Bahá’u’lláh was born in 1817 into an aristocratic family in Persia. Early in His life, He rejected the fortunes that awaited Him, stating, “I have never aspired after worldly leadership. My sole purpose hath been to hand down unto men that which I was bidden to deliver by God…”.
In 1863, He declared that He had a new, divinely inspired message, one that would lay the foundation of prosperity for mankind. This foundation was gradually expressed in thousands of His verses, letters and books, all of which provide a framework for the development of a global civilization that accounts for both the spiritual and material dimensions of human life. They include social and ethical teachings, prayers, laws and ordinances, mystical writings and proclamations of His message to the most powerful rulers of the time.
Until His passing in 1892, Bahá’u’lláh suffered four decades of imprisonment, torture and exile for proclaiming His message. His lot, therefore, was not unlike His Divine predecessors, who all suffered in one way or another for proclaiming their revolutionary message. Indeed, Bahá’u’lláh claimed to be the latest in the series of Divine Messengers who have appeared throughout history, including Abraham, Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
Just over a century after His passing, Bahá’u’lláh’s followers are to be found in all corners of the globe, including over 2,000 in Toronto.
Selections from the writings of Bahá’u’lláh
“To every discerning and illumined heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute…Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery.”
“The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.”
“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”