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Bahaullah says that

“the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself.”

But what is faith? What are the signs of faith and how should our faith be? What should we have faith in and what is the interplay between our soul, spiritual development and faith?

Maybe this Compilation on Faith of 81 quotes from the Bahai Writings can assist in answering these questions and increase our understanding of faith.

 

In Mr Furutans book, Stories of Bahá’u’lláh, there are many short and interesting stories. Some of them are about how we should behave, act and what mind-set we should have. The following four stories are about incorporating the principles of the Faith in our deeds and conduct, qualities the Blessed Beauty wished to see in all friends, and to be forgiving of others faults.

 

Incorporating the Principles of the Faith in our Deeds and Conduct

An official from the Persian consulate in Baghdad came to Bahá’u’lláh one day to report that one of the Persians accused of treason against the government had claimed to be devoted to Him. Out of respect for Bahá’u’lláh they had hesitated to act, but asked His advice as to their duty towards this evil-doer.

‘Tell him, ‘Bahá’u’lláh stated, ‘no one in this world can claim any relationship to Me except those who, in all their deeds and in their conduct, follow My example, in such wise that all the peoples of the earth would be powerless to prevent them from doing and saying that which is meet and seemly.’ Then, turning towards Aqay-i-Kalim, who was present, He explained that should His own brother ‘perpetrate an act contrary to the interests of either the state or religion, and his guilt be established in your sight, ‘it would please Him and be appreciated if he were severely punished (as quoted in God Passes By, p 133). They should not accept anyone’s intercession, nor any claim to relationship to Him by someone who plans and commits a contemptible act.

The messenger from the consulate humbly took his leave. (Story nr. 30)

 

The very first time I was privileged to attain the presence of the Blessed Beauty, He was residing in Akka. I was overcome by excitement and timidity when an attendant directed me to enter. At that moment I heard the voice of Bahá’u’lláh bidding me to come. With a profound sense of humility, I went into His presence; after expressing my utter servitude at His threshold, I seated myself. At His request I was served tea. He then recited some of the sacred writings, after which He stated: ‘Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, that from your behaviour and conduct they may be enabled to recognize the signs and commandments of God.’ (Story nr. 67)

 

Four Qualities

The Blessed Beauty often remarked: ‘There are four qualities which I love to see manifested in people: first, enthusiasm and courage; second, a face wreathed in smiles and a radiant countenance; third, that they see all things with their own eyes and not through the eyes of others; forth, the ability to carry a task, once begun, through to its end.’ (Story nr. 60)

 

Forgiving of Others Faults

I was present at the blessed House in Akka one morning and heard Bahá’u’lláh explaining that ‘man is not infallible’, but that ‘God is the All-Forgiving’. In the same way that God is the “Concealer”’, He added, ‘so should the believers be forgiving if they find faults in one another. Tell them not to be concerned only with themselves, but to centre their attention on the Cause of God. That which is pleasing unto God is unity among the believers.’ Later, He offered us some nabat (rock candy). When I opened my hand to receive it, the Blessed Beauty smilingly inquired: “Did you not bring a handkerchief?’ (Story nr. 68)

Every now and then, I read a good non-fiction book. After having read it, I try to present the main points and the reasoning of the author, only to find myself failing. It seems that although  I have read the book, I have not really read or understood it as I should have. In order to remedy this, I experimented with a method. The method is simply to identify key sentences in each chapter or section and then number them. If I am successful in my attempt, I can go back and read those key sentences and get a pretty good repetition of the main points of the chapters. I tried this with the book “Revelation and Social Reality” written by Mr. Paul Lample. It is indeed a really good book about the whole process and relation between the Word of God and transformation of our own selves and our Society. I feel that, having read this book, I have widened my perspectives and increased my understanding of how the process of social transformation can take place. What I did more this time, was to write down all the key sentences and thus creating an outline of the book. One could perhaps say it is also a compilation. The outline cannot replace reading the book but it can, I hope, prove to be a powerful tool in better understanding and remembering what one has read.

Fortunately, this book can be downloaded for free from the publishers webpage – Palabra Publications.

You can find the outline here, Outline of Revelation & Social Reality

In the Hidden Words of Bahaullah we can read that God “have engraved on thee Mine image”. Could this mean that as God is for example the All-Loving, we should strive to be loving? Naturally this would not apply to all of the Attributes and Names of God but maybe it could be of use to know what Attributes and Names of God we can find in the Bahai Writings. With this in mind, I made a very quick list using the prayer-book (the edition that one can find in Ocean) and came up with the result that you can find attached to this post. A fair disclaimer is that this list is far from comprehensive and should be taken as a draft, just an interesting thing, nothing more. Here is the list Attributes and Names of God.

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