17 October 2017

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

17 October 2017

To the Bahá’ís of Iran

By now, you will have read our message dated October 2017 addressed to the multitude of people throughout the world who are celebrating the bicentenary of the Birth of the Abhá Beauty.  Millions of souls, in more than 240 independent countries, territories, and islands, are reflecting upon the implications of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the outstanding Son of the sacred land of Iran.  Surely, every insightful and illumined Iranian will view with pride a commemoration on such an unprecedented scale held to honour a Personage from that land.  The diversity of races and ethnicities of these people is so vast as to portend the fulfilment of the unity of the human race, the ultimate goal of His Revelation.

What a wonder is this!  Fair-minded historians of course know why a distinguished Person from the Núrí family—inhabitants of Mázindarán—born in Tehran, descended from the ancient kings of Persia, One who held His native land in such special affection, was forced to leave His country.  Forty years of exile did not diminish in the slightest His connection to that land.  With tender love and benevolence for His compatriots, Bahá’u’lláh set about establishing a united, vibrant, and progressive community composed of people from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds.  Through the dispatch of Tablets, the sending of teachers, and the messages of loving kindness conveyed through those who flocked to His presence in the prison-city of ‘Akká in the Holy Land, He assisted the people of Iran who, in His words, are “adorned with the ornaments of talent and capacity” to nurture that God-given capacity.

Such were the achievements of your spiritual forebears that today people all over the world are able to benefit from the radiant light of the divine teachings.  The first among these is a strong emphasis on goodly character and rectitude of conduct.  Bahá’u’lláh describes spirituality and morality as the sure foundation for a progressive society and the solid basis for the protection and soundness of the social order and for the advancement of the common good.  The Bahá’í teachings clarify, for example, that trustworthiness and truthfulness enhance the ability for collective undertakings, advance industry and the economy, and ensure the progress of other constructive endeavours.  No nation can achieve prosperity and salvation without the refinement of character.  If morality were to dominate, success in all aspects would be guaranteed because thoughts would become illumined; individual and collective relations strengthened; moral courage enhanced; arts, sciences, and rationality promoted; commerce advanced; and spiritual and material welfare and mutual respect and freedom for all would become the pivot of policies for the management of affairs.  Thus would a nation be transformed into another creation.  How numerous are the groups, the world over, who claim to be in the forefront of working for social progress, yet, because of their lack of adherence to trustworthiness and truthfulness, are in fact striking an axe to the root of their societies.  Their actions are the embodiment of what has been stated in the Qur’án:  “They demolish their homes with their own hands.”

8 May 2017 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

8 May 2017

To the Bahá’ís of Iran

Dearly loved Friends,

As the ninth year of the imprisonment of the former members of the Yarán draws to an end, they continue to be deprived of their basic human rights.  Vast numbers of people in Iran and throughout the world look forward to the conclusion of this prolonged and illegal confinement.  Although some of those who were imprisoned for serving the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education have been released after completing years of unjust sentences, others remain in prison.  And still others continue to be jailed for various contrived reasons.  Promoters of education and learning, who view the establishment and continuous functioning of the Institute as one of the most brilliant examples of constructive resilience, demand an end to the deprivation from access to education suffered by the Bahá’í youth of Iran.

In reality all of you, whether veteran Bahá’ís or new believers, are subject in some way to injustice and cruelty, to oppression and tyranny, at the hands of the ignorant and the prejudiced.  The policy of economic strangulation directed against you is executed under various pretexts.  The humiliation of Bahá’í schoolchildren and expulsion of university students continues unabated.  The malicious attacks upon Bahá’í homes, followed by the confiscation of property, the arrests of individuals, the demands for heavy bail, and the issuing of baseless verdicts in the courts, are unceasing.  At the same time extensive negative propaganda, spread through officially controlled media and defamatory films designed to inflame the public mind against a portion of the citizens of the country, is constantly increasing.  This prejudice and inequity towards law-abiding citizens is routinely perpetrated by some of the officials who claim to be proponents of Islamic justice.

The specious character of the oppressors’ claims is now clear and evident to all.  Some of the events of the past year have left no doubt in the minds of the people of Iran and beyond, that the rigid fanaticism and worldly considerations of some among the religious leaders are the real motive for all the opposition and oppression against the Bahá’ís.  The representatives of the country on the international stage are no longer able to deny that these acts of discrimination are in response to matters of belief and conscience.  Officials, lacking any convincing explanation for their irrational conduct and unconcerned at the damage done by their narrow policies to the name and credibility of the country, find themselves unable even to give a plausible answer to why they are so apprehensive about the existence of a dynamic Bahá’í community in that land.

The wide-ranging activities of large numbers of people in thousands of localities throughout the world over the next few months will be a demonstration of joy and devotion in recognition of the two hundredth anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.  It will also be a reflection of hope and confidence in the process of building vibrant communities in His Name.  Your compatriots, upon hearing this news, will come to learn that although the Bahá’ís in the land of the birth of this Faith are subjected to such intense prejudice, the Bahá’í vision and principles are greatly admired and appreciated throughout the rest of the world.  One example of this appreciation is the recent message from the President of one of the most populous countries of the world who, at the start of the bicentenary year, has publicly invited the citizens of his country to reflect on the life of Bahá’u’lláh and on His unifying teachings.  The esteem of the peoples of the world for the goals and teachings of this world-embracing spiritual movement that arose from Iran is, no doubt, a source of pride for all pure-hearted Iranians.

20 March 2017 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Naw-Rúz 2017

To the Followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the Cradle of the Faith

On the occasion of the advent of Naw-Rúz and the arrival of soul-stirring springtime, we convey our warm greetings to you, followers of the Abhá Beauty and loved ones of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.  We hope that the revitalization of nature, along with the joyful news you receive of the progress of the Cause, will cheer and refresh your hearts and spirits.  Naw-Rúz 2017 marks the beginning of the year of the two-hundredth anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh in the sacred city of Ṭihrán, a year during which Bahá’ís throughout the world, together with other champions of peace and brotherhood, will honour the greatness of His Mission to establish the unity of humankind.  A great multitude in cities and villages, and many artists, writers, poets, leaders, educators and other prominent thinkers in every corner of the world, each according to his or her own initiative and inspiration, will mark that turning point in history.  They will pay homage to the marvellous gift of His Revelation—which includes a new conception of religion, as well as a clear vision of the oneness of humanity and the guidance necessary for its realization.  How befitting it is that many of the fair-minded and receptive citizens of Iran now take pride in the fact that this Personage is a Son of that sanctified soil and as a result of this blessed association, Iran is considered a sacred land and Naw-Rúz is celebrated every year throughout the world.  Our thoughts and ardent prayers are constantly with you.  Praise be to God that, through the confirmations of the Concourse on High, you have demonstrated to the people of Iran and of the world that, despite ongoing persecution by unjust and prejudiced elements, you continue, with wisdom, courage and meekness, to endeavour in the path of love for humanity, spreading the sweet savours of unity, and you hold no bitterness or resentment towards any individual, rank or authority.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

15 October 2016 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

15 October 2016

To the followers of the Ancient Beauty in the sacred land of Iran

At this time of great joy and excitement, when the Mother Temple of South America, nestled in the foothills of the Andes, has been dedicated with the utmost dignity, reverence and majesty in the presence of Chile’s high-ranking officials, including the senior representative of its President, thousands of the followers of the Greatest Name are gathered in Santiago to celebrate the establishment of that lofty and luminous Temple.  They have also come to recall the sacrifices of their spiritual forebears who, in response to the call of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the earlier stages of His Divine Plan, pioneered to those lands and to remember the receptive and pure-hearted people of that region who accepted the message of the Abhá Beauty and who, in obedience to His teachings, exerted every effort to raise up the divine civilization which is His gift to humanity.  The radiance of those teachings and their reflection in the vibrant Bahá’í communities of that region have now become manifested in a majestic edifice of novel design erected in a most delightful setting.  This mighty structure holds in its open embrace equally all peoples of every background, race and belief and will shine out, together with its future charitable dependencies, as a bright symbol of the meaning of the oneness of humankind and of service to the peoples of the world.  The spiritual process initiated by the revelation of the mighty law of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár—continued through the establishment of a Mother Temple on every continent and pursued over many years despite countless obstacles—has, with the completion of this last continental Temple, entered a new stage, the dawning of which is the construction of national and local Houses of Worship.  Aware that the spread of the Cause and the establishment of its institutions throughout the world have always owed so much to the sacrifices of His followers in the Cradle of the Faith, at this historic moment we call you to mind, you moth-like lovers of His light, who have ever sacrificed yourselves for its flame and accepted every ordeal in the path of the All-Merciful.  O lovers of the Abhá Beauty, consider how the victories achieved illustrate these soul-stirring words in His Mathnaví:

O Beauty of God, step out from behind the veil,
That the sun may rise above the horizon of the West.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]
 

19 October 2016 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

19 October 2016

To the patient and sorely tried friends in the Cradle of the Faith

     At a time when your spiritual brothers and sisters were joyfully making the necessary preparations for marking the inauguration of the Mother Temple of South America, we were deeply saddened by the news of the murder of Farhang Amiri in Yazd.  The assistance of local residents in the prompt arrest of one of the perpetrators, the preliminary actions of the police, and the willingness of a lawyer to pursue the case illustrate the fact that different sectors of society in that land deplore oppression and injustice and abhor this despicable act.  Encouraging signs may be discerned in the diligence of the responsible magistrate and in his promise to investigate this tragic event with a view to the equality of all citizens before the law.  Reports now clearly demonstrate that religious bigotry was the chief motive of this crime.  Open-minded Iranians, together with the international community, are now eager to see how justice will be carried out and wonder when the incitement and the prevailing atmosphere that make possible such heinous deeds will come to an end.

     The family of Mr. Amiri has in the past endured many an injustice and with their very blood watered the tree of the Cause of God.  In the years following the Islamic Revolution, that precious soul himself, with utter contentment, bore numerous hardships for his association with Baha'u'llah's Blessed Name.  He lived a modest and honourable life.  His conduct was motivated by his belief in the oneness of humanity and the elimination of prejudices of all kinds and by a desire to serve his homeland.  He was known among his neighbours for his kindness, gentleness, wisdom, and humility.  He earned his living with a spirit of detachment from the world and had no quarrel with anyone.  His family environment was marked by love and tenderness, and he encouraged his children to adorn their lives with the ornaments of honesty and trustworthiness.  And at the age of sixty-three, that pure soul, that radiant and magnanimous soul, offered up his life in absolute meekness, hoisted the ensign of martyrdom and attained his Beloved's presence in the realms above, and in the Abha Kingdom joined the company of the other martyrs of this Faith--among whom number his own noble father and six other relatives who, sixty-one years ago in Hurmuzak, near Yazd, sacrificed their lives in the path of the Blessed Beauty.

     We extend our heartfelt greetings and sincere condolences to his beloved wife, his cherished children, his esteemed mother, and his other relatives and supplicate in the Holy Shrines for the progress of his luminous soul and for the solace of all the members of that devoted and respected family.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]