Jalál, 08 Sharaf (Honor), 179 B.E
The Nine Year Plan: 2022-2031
Beloved friends, on this Day of the Covenant we all look to its Centre and recall the life and Person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a Figure Whose very being was the embodiment of the Covenant, that pivotal centre of unity for all humankind, binding together the multitudinous peoples of the earth. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that Mystery of God, “a sign of His greatness”, and “the most perfect bounty”, Who is treasured in the pure hearts of countless children, youth, and adults, is surely watching over and aiding His loved ones, ever casting His eye of protection over them. In these uncertain times, the friends turn with hope and longing to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that “shelter for all mankind”, “a shield unto all who are in heaven and on earth”, beseeching His assistance from the realms above as they endeavour to follow His example in the path of service 1. During the coming days, when the thoughts of the believers all around the world are focused on “this sacred and glorious Being”, you have the blessing and privilege of paying homage to Him on behalf of your communities in those very spots where He laboured day and night for the promotion of the Cause of God and for the betterment of humankind. 2 3
Light of the World
Thou hast written concerning the holding of gatherings on the occasion of the Day of the Covenant. Nothing greater, more potent, or more momentous can be conceived than the Covenant of God and His Testament! No such thing hath ever occurred in the Dispensations of the past, that an explicit text should be so clearly revealed in such unmistakable language as in the Most Holy Book, a quarter of a century prior to the ascension of its Author; that the Ancient Beauty should nurture and educate all His loved ones through this divine grace; that He should then enter, with His Sublime Pen, into this firmly established and mighty Covenant with them; and that He should mention this Covenant in all His Books and Tablets, encouraging and praising those who hold fast unto it and renouncing those who break it. By what means can the one who hath failed to cling to this firm cord and mighty bond be secured? All the chains and ties of the world would be incapable of binding him fast.
Should it be thy wish to provide the means of ensuring a firmer adherence to the Covenant, compile thou the words and verses that have been revealed in all the divine Tablets on the subject of the Covenant and the Testament, and, after reading the Book of the Covenant in that gathering, recite those verses, so that the station of the steadfast and the station of those who waver may be made clear. This matter is greater than all others. 4
- “Wert thou to consider this world, and realize how fleeting are the things that pertain unto it, thou wouldst choose to tread no path except the path of service to the Cause of thy Lord. None would have the power to deter thee from celebrating His praise, though all men should arise to oppose thee.
Go thou straight on and persevere in His service. Say: O people! The Day, promised unto you in all the Scriptures, is now come. Fear ye God, and withhold not yourselves from recognizing the One Who is the Object of your creation. Hasten ye unto Him. Better is this for you than the world and all that is therein. Would that ye could perceive it!”
Bahá’u’lláh. Gleanings from the Writings of Baháʹuʹlláh. Translated by Shoghi Effendi. Rev Ed. 1952. Reprint, Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1971, 314. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/gleanings-writings-bahaullah/7#620815101 ↩
- Universal House of Justice. The Nine Year Plan: 2022-2031. 1st ed. Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing, 2022, 27-28. ↩
- Universal House of Justice. “25 November 2021 – To the Friends Gathered in the Holy Land.” Bahá’í Reference Library, November 25, 2021.
- ’Abdu’l-Bahá. Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ’Abdu’l-Bahá. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Center, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/light-of-the-world/5#167351487 ↩