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Soon the month of “loftiness” begins. The word loftiness indicates elevation of character or spirit, extending high in the air, exalted in rank, dignity, and elevated in style, tone or sentiment. Perhaps we can discern different perspectives of loftiness in our reflections and meditations in this month. This blogpost gives a suggestion of readings for either the spiritual part of the Nineteen Day Feast or for personal reflection on the theme of loftiness during this month. In short, this compilation covers the Loftiness of God, His Word and His Cause, the loftiness of human beings and finally, a few quotations on the Fast as a means of attaining loftiness.
The Month of Sovereignty (Sultan)
The month of Sovereignty (Sultan) is approaching. The meaning of “sovereignty” is simply “supreme power or authority”. It is also a debated concept within the domain of political science, where it means “a state or a governing body” that has “full right and power to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies”. Interestingly, in this regard, concepts such as absoluteness, exclusivity, the right to exercise control, independence and the relationship between a sovereign power and its subjects, are closely associated with the concept of sovereignty.
Bahá’u’lláh says, “the majesty of kingship is one of the signs of God.” Perhaps a brief reflection on the sovereignty of a kingship and its relation to the associated concepts mentioned above might help us understand the Sovereignty of God a little bit more.
The root of the Arabic word for honour (sharaf), when referring to a person, means, “to be raised up”. With this definition in mind, we understand that the honour of man is to attain a lofty station. The Báb says in the Persian Bayan (provisional translation) that “… the honour of the servant consists in affirming the singleness of his Lord, in recognizing Him, in confessing to His justice, in obedience to Him, and in obtaining His good-pleasure.”
Furthermore He says in the same Book, “There is no honour for anyone in the next life unless he has attained to the presence of his Lord and spread abroad his messages and detached himself from all but him, so far as he was able. This is an honour whereon all pride themselves.”
Soon the month of “questions” begins and questions play an important role in learning. As we are striving to express “a culture in which learning is the mode of operation”, posture of humility is important. Humility does not come from having answers but by being open to the fact that there are more things we don’t know that those we do know. Counsellor Donoval told a story.