Selections From the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
202: O ye lovers of truth, ye servants of humankind! ...
O ye lovers of truth, ye servants of humankind! Out of the flowering of your thoughts and hopes, fragrant
emanations have come my way, wherefore an inner sense of
obligation compelleth me to pen these words.
Ye observe how the world is divided against itself, how
many a land is red with blood and its very dust is caked with
human gore. The fires of conflict have blazed so high that
never in early times, not in the Middle Ages, not in recent
centuries hath there ever been such a hideous war, a war
that is even as millstones, taking for grain the skulls of men.
Nay, even worse, for flourishing countries have been reduced
to rubble, cities have been levelled with the ground,
and many a once prosperous village hath been turned into
ruin. Fathers have lost their sons, and sons their fathers.
Mothers have wept away their hearts over dead children.
Children have been orphaned, women left to wander,
vagrants without a home. From every aspect, humankind
hath sunken low. Loud are the piercing cries of fatherless
children; loud the mothers' anguished voices, reaching to
And the breeding-ground of all these tragedies is prejudice:
prejudice of race and nation, of religion, of political
opinion; and the root cause of prejudice is blind imitation
of the past--imitation in religion, in racial attitudes, in
national bias, in politics. So long as this aping of the past
persisteth, just so long will the foundations of the social
order be blown to the four winds, just so long will humanity
be continually exposed to direst peril.
Now, in such an illumined age as ours, when realities
previously unknown to man have been laid bare, and the
secrets of created things have been disclosed, and the Morn
of Truth hath broken and lit up the world--is it admissible
that men should be waging a frightful war that is bringing
humanity down to ruin? No, by the Lord God!
Christ Jesus summoned all mankind to amity and peace.
Unto Peter He said: `Put up thy sword into the sheath.'
Such was the bidding and counsel of the Lord Christ; and
yet today the Christians one and all have drawn their
swords from out the scabbard. How wide is the discrepancy
between such acts and the clear Gospel text!
Sixty years ago Bahá'u'lláh rose up, even as the Day-Star,
over Persia. He declared that the skies of the world
were dark, that this darkness boded evil, and that terrible
wars would come. From the prison at Akká, He addressed
the German Emperor in the clearest of terms, telling him
that a great war was on the way and that his city of Berlin
would break forth in lamentation and wailing. Likewise did
He write to the Turkish sovereign, although He was that
Sultán's victim and a captive in his prison--that is, He was
being held prisoner in the Fortress at Akká--and clearly
stated that Constantinople would be overtaken by a sudden
and radical change, so great that the women and children of
that city would mourn and cry aloud. In brief, He addressed
such words to all the monarchs and the presidents, and
everything came to pass, exactly as He had foretold.
There have issued, from His mighty Pen, various teachings
for the prevention of war, and these have been scattered
far and wide.
The first is the independent investigation of truth; for
blind imitation of the past will stunt the mind. But once
every soul inquireth into truth, society will be freed from
the darkness of continually repeating the past.
His second principle is the oneness of mankind: that all
men are the sheep of God, and God is their loving Shepherd,
caring most tenderly for all without favouring one or
another. `No difference canst thou see in the creation of the
God of mercy';
all are His servants, all implore His grace.
His third teaching is that religion is a mighty stronghold,
but that it must engender love, not malevolence and hate.
Should it lead to malice, spite, and hate, it is of no value at
all. For religion is a remedy, and if the remedy bring on
disease, then put it aside. Again, as to religious, racial,
national and political bias: all these prejudices strike at the
very root of human life; one and all they beget bloodshed,
and the ruination of the world. So long as these prejudices
survive, there will be continuous and fearsome wars.
To remedy this condition there must be universal peace.
To bring this about, a Supreme Tribunal must be established,
representative of all governments and peoples;
questions both national and international must be referred
thereto, and all must carry out the decrees of this Tribunal.
Should any government or people disobey, let the whole
world arise against that government or people.
Yet another of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is the equality
of men and women and their equal sharing in all rights. And
there are many similar principles. It hath now become
evident that these teachings are the very life and soul of the
Ye who are servants of the human race, strive ye with all
your heart to deliver mankind out of this darkness and these
prejudices that belong to the human condition and the
world of nature, so that humanity may find its way into the
light of the world of God.
Praise be to Him, ye are acquainted with the various laws,
institutions and principles of the world; today nothing
short of these divine teachings can assure peace and tranquillity
to mankind. But for these teachings, this darkness
shall never vanish, these chronic diseases shall never be
healed; nay, they shall grow fiercer from day to day. The
Balkans will remain discontented. Its restlessness will
increase. The vanquished Powers will continue to agitate.
They will resort to every measure that may rekindle the
flame of war. Movements, newly-born and world-wide in
their range, will exert their utmost effort for the advancement
of their designs. The Movement of the Left will
acquire great importance. Its influence will spread.
Strive ye, therefore, with the help of God, with illumined
minds and hearts and a strength born of heaven, to become
a bestowal from God to man, and to call into being for all
humankind, comfort and peace.
1. [John 18:11]
2. [Qur'án 67:3]