"The True Seeker must, before all else, cleanse his heart..."


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by Mark Towfiq
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Bahíyyih Khánum
Pages 162-165

48: At this hour while yet the heart burns with ...

At this hour while yet the heart burns with the anguish of sorrow, and the gloom of bereavement still hangs low, my thoughts turn in loving remembrance to my sincere beloved sisters and brothers in the Cause.


The news of your firmness in the Covenant, of your endeavour to work in unity and harmony, and of your untiring zeal and devotion in the Path of Service, has been a source of untold joy to me. For now my sole comfort lies in the loyalty and faithfulness of the friends, and my one joy in the progress of the Cause.


Dear friends! At this critical time through which the Cause is passing the responsibility that has fallen on every individual Bahá'í is great, and his duties are pressing and manifold. Now that the Sun of the Covenant has set on the horizon of the world, the eyes of all the people are turned expectant upon us. Now the time has come for the faithful friends of `Abdu'l-Bahá, who have been the recipients of the Glorious Light, to shine forth even as brilliant stars. The radiance of our Faith must be such as to dispel the clouds of doubt and guide the world to the Day-spring of Truth.


Our firmness must be such as to cause him who wavers and errs to turn back penitent unto the fold; our unity and love must be such as to cause the peoples of the world to join hands in amity and brotherhood; and our activity in service must be such as to have all parts of the world resound with the echoes of `YA-BAHA'U'L-ABHA!'.


For inspiration and guidance let us turn unto His life-imparting exhortations: `O friends, show forth your fidelity! O my loved ones, manifest your steadfastness and your constancy! O ye who invoke His Name, turn ye and hold fast unto Him! O ye who lift up your hearts and implore His aid, cling to Him and walk in His ways! It is incumbent upon every one of us to encourage each other, to exert our utmost endeavour to diffuse His divine fragrances and engage in exalting His Word. We must, at all times, be stirred by the breeze that bloweth from the rose-garden of His loving-kindness, and be perfumed with the fragrances of the mystic flowers of His grace.'


Thus does `Abdu'l-Bahá still call to us from His realm of effulgent glory. Will not each of us hearken unto His voice, and exert the utmost endeavour to fulfil His hopes?


Dear friends, this is the day of faithfulness; this is the day of unity; this is the day of service. Let us not wait, nor ponder, but, detached from the world and its concerns, clad in the armour of faith, filled with the divine spirit of love, and quickened by His life-giving exhortations, let us arise in utmost love and harmony, hasten to the field of service, and subdue the domain of hearts with the arms of the love of God and the sword of peace and brotherhood.


For all inspiration and assurance let us turn unto Bahá'u'lláh's promise: `Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you through the power of truth. We are truly almighty.'


Dear friends! A great obligation of every Bahá'í is vigilance to protect and shield the stronghold of the Faith from the onslaught of the enemies. In these days their activity has waxed strong. They are constantly on the alert, and exert the utmost endeavour to cause such harm as would impede the onward march of the Cause.


Association with such people will cause discord and unrest among the friends and will be detrimental to the progress of the Cause. Therefore it is urgent that the friends exercise great wisdom and vigilance lest through the evil schemes of the enemies a breach be made in the Faith. The few people whom `Abdu'l-Bahá pronounced as injurious to the Cause must be shunned by all the friends, as Shoghi Effendi himself tells us to do in his second letter to the American believers.