Celebrating Freedom and Individual Rights

"The Peerless Beloved says! The way of freedom is opened. Hasten ye. The fountain of knowledge is gushing, drink ye."

Celebrating Freedom and Individual Rights

Please join us for this week's devotional at the Edmond Baha'i Center, "Celebrating Freedom & Individual Rights.

"The Peerless Beloved says! The way of freedom is opened. Hasten ye. The fountain of knowledge is gushing, drink ye."

-Baha'i Writings

11:00 Welcome and Introduction

"O Son of Spirit" by Meredith & Arman

This is the Day - from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh

Reading 1

All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.
— Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CIX

I most urgently request the friends of God to make every effort, as much as lieth within their competence, along these lines. The harder they strive to widen the scope of their knowledge, the better and more gratifying will be the result. Let the loved ones of God, whether young or old, whether male or female, each according to his capabilities, bestir themselves and spare no efforts to acquire the various current branches of knowledge, both spiritual and secular, and of the arts.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet, translated from the Arabic

Close investigation will show that the primary cause of oppression and injustice, of unrighteousness, irregularity and disorder, is the people’s lack of religious faith and the fact that they are uneducated. When, for example, the people are genuinely religious and are literate and well-schooled, and a difficulty presents itself, they can apply to the local authorities; if they do not meet with justice and secure their rights and if they see that the conduct of the local government is incompatible with the divine good pleasure and the king’s justice, they can then take their case to higher courts and describe the deviation of the local administration from the spiritual law. Those courts can then send for the local records of the case and in this way justice will be done. At present, however, because of their inadequate schooling, most of the population lack even the vocabulary to explain what they want.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization

Reading 2

Thus man cannot grasp the Essence of Divinity, but can, by his reasoning power, by observation, by his intuitive faculties and the revealing power of his faith, believe in God, discover the bounties of His Grace. He becometh certain that though the Divine Essence is unseen of the eye, and the existence of the Deity is intangible, yet conclusive spiritual proofs assert the existence of that unseen Reality. The Divine Essence as it is in itself is however beyond all description. For instance, the nature of ether is unknown, but that it existeth is certain by the effects it produceth, heat, light and electricity being the waves thereof. By these waves the existence of ether is thus proven. And as we consider the outpourings of Divine Grace we are assured of the existence of God.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablet to August Forel

Religion is the light of the world, and the progress, achievement, and happiness of man result from obedience to the laws set down in the holy Books. Briefly, it is demonstrable that in this life, both outwardly and inwardly the mightiest of structures, the most solidly established, the most enduring, standing guard over the world, assuring both the spiritual and the material perfections of mankind, and protecting the happiness and the civilization of society—is religion.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization

Reading 2 Continued

The virtues of humanity are many, but science is the most noble of them all. The distinction which man enjoys above and beyond the station of the animal is due to this paramount virtue. It is a bestowal of God; it is not material; it is divine. Science is an effulgence of the Sun of Reality, the power of investigating and discovering the verities of the universe, the means by which man finds a pathway to God. All the powers and attributes of man are human and hereditary in origin—outcomes of nature’s processes—except the intellect, which is supernatural. Through intellectual and intelligent inquiry science is the discoverer of all things. It unites present and past, reveals the history of bygone nations and events, and confers upon man today the essence of all human knowledge and attainment throughout the ages. By intellectual processes and logical deductions of reason this superpower in man can penetrate the mysteries of the future and anticipate its happenings.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

"Know Ye Not" by Ali Youssefi

"Noble Have I Created Thee" by Benjamin, Aaron, Camila & Shay

Reading 3

The greater your attainment, the higher your standard in the divine purpose. The man of science is perceiving and endowed with vision, whereas he who is ignorant and neglectful of this development is blind. The investigating mind is attentive, alive; the callous and indifferent mind is deaf and dead. A scientific man is a true index and representative of humanity, for through processes of inductive reasoning and research he is informed of all that appertains to humanity, its status, conditions and happenings. He studies the human body politic, understands social problems and weaves the web and texture of civilization. In fact, science may be likened to a mirror wherein the infinite forms and images of existing things are revealed and reflected. It is the very foundation of all individual and national development. Without this basis of investigation, development is impossible.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

11:30 Discussion

“Individual Rights and Freedom in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”

The Universal House of Justice

The Bahá'í World Centre

29 December 1988

11:55 Closing

Subscribe for the weekly newsletter.