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Title: Compilation on Peace
Author: Universal House of Justice
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Compilation on Peace


by Research Department of the Universal House of Justice



Edition 1, (September 2006)



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                                 CONTENTS


Baha’i Terms of Use
EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH
   1: This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been
   poured...
   2: God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first
   is to...
   3: O ye that dwell on earth! The distinguishing feature that marketh
   the...
   4: The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace
   and...
   5: O ye rulers of the earth! Wherefore have ye clouded the radiance of
   the...
   6: The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable
   unless...
   7: We pray God—exalted be His glory—and cherish the hope that He may...
   8: The sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser Peace,
   details...
   9: ... In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried
   to...
   10: First: It is incumbent upon the ministers of the House of Justice
   to...
   11: In the abundance of Our grace and loving-kindness We have revealed
   specially...
   12: ... They that are possessed of wealth and invested with authority
   and...
   13: We have enjoined upon all mankind to establish the Most Great
   Peace—the...
   14: The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy
   Will is...
   15: Our hope is that the world’s religious leaders and the rulers
   thereof will...
   16: Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that
   which...
EXTRACTS FROM THE UTTERANCES OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH
   17: ... Praise be to God that thou hast attained!... Thou hast come to
   see a...
EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ
   18: Know thou that all the powers combined have not the power to
   establish...
   19: Rest thou assured that in this era of the spirit, the Kingdom of
   Peace will...
   20: So long as these prejudices [religious, racial, national,
   political] survive,...
   21: At present universal peace is a matter of great importance, but
   unity of...
   22: True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of
   the world...
   23: In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to
   the...
   24: ...every great Cause in this world of existence findeth visible
   expression...
   25: As far as possible, rest thou not for a moment, travel to the North
   and...
   26: Chaos and confusion are daily increasing in the world. They will
   attain...
EXTRACTS FROM THE UTTERANCES OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ
   27: Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity
   and...
   28: We will pray that the ensign of international peace may be uplifted
   and that...
   29: Today the greatest need of the world of humanity is discontinuance
   of the...
   30: ...because I find the American nation so capable of achievement and
   this...
   31: In past ages humanity has been defective and inefficient because it
   has been...
   32: All of us know that international peace is good, that it is
   conducive to human...
   33: This has come to pass. The powers of earth cannot withstand the...
   34: The most momentous question of this day is international peace
   and...
   35: Now the glorious and brilliant twentieth century has dawned, and
   the divine...
   36: He promulgated the adoption of the same course of education for man
   and...
   37: The world is in greatest need of international peace. Until it
   is...
   38: I find these two great American nations [the United States and
   Canada] highly...
   39: The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the
   female....
   40: A Supreme Tribunal shall be elected by the peoples and governments
   of...
   41: A Supreme Tribunal shall be established by the peoples and
   Governments of...
   42: As to the question of disarmament, all nations must disarm at the
   same...
   43: Once the Parliament of Man is established and its constituent
   parts...
   44: Every century holds the solution of one predominating problem.
   Although...
   46: By what process, continued the questioner, will this peace on earth
   be...
EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF SHOGHI EFFENDI
   47: Dearly-beloved friends! Humanity, whether viewed in the light of
   man’s...
   48: No machinery falling short of the standard inculcated by the
   Bahá’í...
   49: The world-shaking ordeal which Bahá’u’lláh, as quoted in the
   foregoing pages,...
   50: The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny. The...
   51: The principle of collective security He [Bahá’u’lláh] unreservedly
   urges;...
   52: During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of the
   present...
   53: The raising of this Edifice will in turn herald the construction,
   in the...
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF SHOGHI EFFENDI
   54: The world is in great turmoil, and what is most pathetic is that it
   has learned...
   55: Shoghi Effendi wrote his last general letter to the western
   friends...
   56: Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
   dated...
   57: The different nations of the world will never attain peace except
   after...
   58: The Guardian has also read with deep interest all the enclosed
   papers. He...
   59: Whatever our shortcomings may be, and however formidable the forces
   of darkness...
   60: As regards the International Executive referred to by the Guardian
   in his...
   61: In connection with your teaching work: what the Guardian wishes you
   to...
   62: With reference to your question concerning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s reference
   to...
   63: As regards your teaching work: the Guardian has already advised you
   to...
   64: With reference to the question you have asked concerning the time
   and...
   65: Though it is premature to try and endeavour to foresee on what
   basis...
   66: What ‘Abdu’l-Bahá meant about the women arising for peace is that
   this is a...
   67: The Seven Lights of Unity will not necessarily appear in the order
   given....
   68: The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh will establish a new way of life
   for...
   69: World government will come, but we do not know the date....
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
   70: When Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed His Message to the world in the
   nineteenth...
   71: It is true that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made statements linking the
   establishment of...
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
   72: ...the Bahá’í Faith aims to eliminate all war, including nuclear.
   The fundamental...
   73: At the present time, the subject of nuclear disarmament has become
   very...
   74: Concerning the transition from the present system of national
   sovereignty...
   75: It is true that Bahá’ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use
   of force in...
   76: Bahá’u’lláh’s principal mission in appearing at this time in human
   history



EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH



1: This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been
poured...


This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been poured out
upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into
all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to
reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide
beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It
behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to
the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best
interests....

(“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í
Publishing Trust, 1983), p. 6) [1]



2: God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is
to...


God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to
liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide
them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace
and tranquillity of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can
be established.

(“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, pp. 79–80) [2]



3: O ye that dwell on earth! The distinguishing feature that marketh
the...


O ye that dwell on earth! The distinguishing feature that marketh the
preeminent character of this Supreme Revelation consisteth in that We have
... laid down the essential prerequisites of concord, of understanding, of
complete and enduring unity. Well is it with them that keep My statutes.

(“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, p. 97) [3]



4: The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace
and...


The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and
tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath
written: The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding
of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally
realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and,
participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as
will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a
peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the
tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among
themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should
unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world
will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving
the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within
their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every
people, government and nation. We fain would hope that the kings and
rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God,
may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of
tyranny. ...The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will
have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is
achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were
entering his own home. These things are obligatory and absolutely
essential. It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to
strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and
action.... That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the
service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy
is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and
kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not
for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him
who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its
citizens.

(“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, pp. 249–250) [4]



5: O ye rulers of the earth! Wherefore have ye clouded the radiance of
the...


O ye rulers of the earth! Wherefore have ye clouded the radiance of the
Sun, and caused it to cease from shining? Hearken unto the counsel given
you by the Pen of the Most High, that haply both ye and the poor may
attain unto tranquillity and peace. We beseech God to assist the kings of
the earth to establish peace on earth. He, verily, doth what He willeth.

O kings of the earth! We see you increasing every year your expenditures,
and laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is wholly
and grossly unjust. Fear the sighs and tears of this Wronged One, and lay
not excessive burdens on your peoples. Do not rob them to rear palaces for
yourselves; nay rather choose for them that which ye choose for
yourselves. Thus We unfold to your eyes that which profiteth you, if ye
but perceive. Your people are your treasures. Beware lest your rule
violate the commandments of God, and ye deliver your wards to the hands of
the robber. By them ye rule, by their means ye subsist, by their aid ye
conquer. Yet, how disdainfull ye look y upon them! How strange, how very
strange!

Now that ye have refused the Most Great Peace, hold ye fast unto this, the
Lesser Peace, that haply ye may in some degree better your own condition
and that of your dependents.

O rulers of the earth! Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need no
more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your territories and
dominions. Beware lest ye disregard the counsel of the All-Knowing, the
Faithful.

Be united, O kings of the earth, for thereby will the tempest of discord
be stilled amongst you, and your peoples find rest, if ye be of them that
comprehend. Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye
all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice.

(“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, pp. 253–254) [5]



6: The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable
unless...


The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless
and until its unity is firmly established. This unity can never be
achieved so long as the counsels which the Pen of the Most High hath
revealed are suffered to pass unheeded.

(“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, p. 286) [6]



7: We pray God—exalted be His glory—and cherish the hope that He may...


We pray God—exalted be His glory—and cherish the hope that He may
graciously assist the manifestations of affluence and power and the
daysprings of sovereignty and glory, the kings of the earth—may God aid
them through His strengthening grace—to establish the Lesser Peace. This,
indeed, is the greatest means for ensuring the tranquillity of the
nations. It is incumbent upon the Sovereigns of the world—may God assist
them—unitedly to hold fast unto this Peace, which is the chief instrument
for the protection of all mankind. It is Our hope that they will arise to
achieve what will be conducive to the well-being of man. It is their duty
to convene an all-inclusive assembly, which either they themselves or
their ministers will attend, and to enforce whatever measures are required
to establish unity and concord amongst men. They must put away the weapons
of war, and turn to the instruments of universal reconstruction. Should
one king rise up against another, all the other kings must arise to deter
him. Arms and armaments will, then, be no more needed beyond that which is
necessary to ensure the internal security of their respective countries.
If they attain unto this all-surpassing blessing, the people of each
nation will pursue, with tranquillity and contentment, their own
occupations, and the groanings and lamentations of most men would be
silenced. We beseech God to aid them to do His will and pleasure. He,
verily, is the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, and the Lord
of this world and of the world to come. It would be preferable and more
fitting that the highly-honoured kings themselves should attend such an
assembly, and proclaim their edicts. Any king who will arise and carry out
this task, he, verily will, in the sight of God, become the cynosure of
all kings. Happy is he, and great is his blessedness!

(“Epistle to the Son of the Wolf”, rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1988), pp. 30–31) [7]



8: The sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser Peace,
details...


The sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser Peace, details
of which have formerly been revealed from Our Most Exalted Pen. Great is
the blessedness of him who upholdeth it and observeth whatsoever hath been
ordained by God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, (Wilmette:
Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988), p.23) [8]



9: ... In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to...


... In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to
excess, it will prove a source of evil. Consider the civilization of the
West, how it hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world. An
infernal engine hath been devised, and hath proved so cruel a weapon of
destruction that its like none hath ever witnessed or heard. The purging
of such deeply-rooted and overwhelming corruptions cannot be effected
unless the peoples of the world unite in pursuit of one common aim and
embrace one universal faith. Incline your ears unto the Call of this
Wronged One and adhere firmly to the Lesser Peace.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 69) [9]



10: First: It is incumbent upon the ministers of the House of Justice
to...


First: It is incumbent upon the ministers of the House of Justice to
promote the Lesser Peace so that the people of the earth may be relieved
from the burden of exorbitant expenditures. This matter is imperative and
absolutely essential, inasmuch as hostilities and conflict lie at the root
of affliction and calamity.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 89) [10]



11: In the abundance of Our grace and loving-kindness We have revealed
specially...


In the abundance of Our grace and loving-kindness We have revealed
specially for the rulers and ministers of the world that which is
conducive to safety and protection, tranquillity and peace; haply the
children of men may rest secure from the evils of oppression. He, verily,
is the Protector, the Helper, the Giver of victory. It is incumbent upon
the men of God’s House of Justice to fix their gaze by day and by night
upon that which hath shone forth from the Pen of Glory for the training of
peoples, the upbuilding of nations, the protection of man and the
safeguarding of his honour.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 125) [11]



12: ... They that are possessed of wealth and invested with authority
and...


... They that are possessed of wealth and invested with authority and
power must show the profoundest regard for religion. In truth, religion is
a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold for the protection and
welfare of the peoples of the world, for the fear of God impelleth man to
hold fast to that which is good, and shun all evil. Should the lamp of
religion be obscured, chaos and confusion will ensue, and the lights of
fairness and justice, of tranquillity and peace cease to shine. Unto this
will bear witness every man of true understanding.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 125) [12]



13: We have enjoined upon all mankind to establish the Most Great
Peace—the...


We have enjoined upon all mankind to establish the Most Great Peace—the
surest of all means for the protection of humanity. The sovereigns of the
world should, with one accord, hold fast thereunto, for this is the
supreme instrument that can ensure the security and welfare of all peoples
and nations. They, verily, are the manifestations of the power of God and
the daysprings of His authority. We beseech the Almighty that He may
graciously assist them in that which is conducive to the well-being of
their subjects. A full explanation regarding this matter hath been
previously set forth by the Pen of Glory; well is it with them that act
accordingly.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 126) [13]



14: The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy Will
is...


The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy Will is
to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world; make it
not the cause of dissension and strife. The religion of God and His divine
law are the most potent instruments and the surest of all means for the
dawning of the light of unity amongst men. The progress of the world, the
development of nations, the tranquillity of peoples, and the peace of all
who dwell on earth are among the principles and ordinances of God.
Religion bestoweth upon man the most precious of all gifts, offereth the
cup of prosperity, imparteth eternal life, and showereth imperishable
benefits upon mankind. It behoveth the chiefs and rulers of the world, and
in particular the Trustees of God’s House of Justice, to endeavour to the
utmost of their power to safeguard its position, promote its interests and
exalt its station in the eyes of the world. In like manner it is incumbent
upon them to enquire into the conditions of their subjects and to acquaint
themselves with the affairs and activities of the divers communities in
their dominions. We call upon the manifestations of the power of God—the
sovereigns and rulers on earth—to bestir themselves and do all in their
power that haply they may banish discord from this world and illumine it
with the light of concord.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, pp. 129–130)
[14]



15: Our hope is that the world’s religious leaders and the rulers thereof
will...


Our hope is that the world’s religious leaders and the rulers thereof will
unitedly arise for the reformation of this age and the rehabilitation of
its fortunes. Let them, after meditating on its needs, take counsel
together and, through anxious and full deliberation, administer to a
diseased and sorely- afflicted world the remedy it requireth.

The Great Being saith: The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with the
two luminaries of consultation and compassion. Take ye counsel together in
all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which
leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding.

(“Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 168) [15]



16: Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that
which...


Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which
profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof.... Regard the world
as the human body which, though created whole and perfect, has been
afflicted, through divers causes, with grave ills and maladies. Not for
one day did it rest, nay its sicknesses waxed more severe, as it fell
under the treatment of unskilled physicians who have spurred on the steed
of their worldly desires and have erred grievously. And if at one time,
through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed,
the rest remained afflicted as before. Thus informeth you the All-Knowing,
the All-Wise.... That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy
and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of
all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no
wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful
and inspired Physician. This verily is the truth, and all else naught but
error.

...

Consider these days in which the Ancient Beauty, He Who is the Most Great
Name, hath been sent down to regenerate and unify mankind. Behold how with
drawn swords they rose against Him, and committed that which caused the
Faithful Spirit to tremble. And whenever We said unto them: ‘Lo, the World
Reformer is come,’ they made reply: ‘He, in truth, is one of the stirrers
of mischief’....

(Extracts from the Tablet to Queen Victoria, cited in Shoghi Effendi, “The
World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters”, rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í
Publishing Trust, 1982), pp. 39–40; p. 163) [16]



EXTRACTS FROM THE UTTERANCES OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH



17: ... Praise be to God that thou hast attained!... Thou hast come to see
a...


... Praise be to God that thou hast attained!... Thou hast come to see a
prisoner and an exile.... We desire but the good of the world and
happiness of the nations; yet they deem us a stirrer up of strife and
sedition worthy of bondage and banishment.... That all nations should
become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection
and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity
of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled—what harm is
there in this?... Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these
ruinous wars shall pass away, and the “Most Great Peace” shall come.... Do
not you in Europe need this also? Is not this that which Christ
foretold?... Yet do we see your kings and rulers lavishing their treasures
more freely on means for the destruction of the human race than on that
which would conduce to the happiness of mankind.... These strifes and this
bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one
family.... Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him
rather glory in this, that he loves his kind....

(Words spoken to E. G. Browne, from his pen portrait of Bahá’u’lláh, J. E.
Esslemont, “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, 5th rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í
Publishing Trust, 1987), pp. 39–40) [17]



EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ



18: Know thou that all the powers combined have not the power to
establish...


Know thou that all the powers combined have not the power to establish
universal peace, nor to withstand the overmastering dominion, at every
time and season, of these endless wars. Ere long, however, shall the power
of heaven, the dominion of the Holy Spirit, hoist on the high summits the
banners of love and peace, and there above the castles of majesty and
might shall those banners wave in the rushing winds that blow out of the
tender mercy of God.

(“Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”, [rev. ed.] (Haifa: Bahá’í
World Centre, 1982), p. 174) [18]



19: Rest thou assured that in this era of the spirit, the Kingdom of Peace
will...


Rest thou assured that in this era of the spirit, the Kingdom of Peace
will raise up its tabernacle on the summits of the world, and the
commandments of the Prince of Peace will so dominate the arteries and
nerves of every people as to draw into His sheltering shade all the
nations on earth. From springs of love and truth and unity will the true
Shepherd give His sheep to drink.

O handmaid of God, peace must first be established among individuals,
until it leadeth in the end to peace among nations. Wherefore, O ye
Bahá’ís, strive ye with all your might to create, through the power of the
Word of God, genuine love, spiritual communion and durable bonds among
individuals. This is your task.

(“Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”, p. 246) [19]



20: So long as these prejudices [religious, racial, national, political]
survive,...


So long as these prejudices [religious, racial, national, political]
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.

(“Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”, p. 249) [20]



21: At present universal peace is a matter of great importance, but unity
of...


At present universal peace is a matter of great importance, but unity of
conscience is essential, so that the foundation of this matter may become
secure, its establishment firm and its edifice strong.

Therefore Bahá’u’lláh, fifty years ago, expounded this question of
universal peace at a time when He was confined in the fortress of Akká and
was wronged and imprisoned....

Among His teachings was the declaration of universal peace. ...the
teachings of Bahá’u’lláh were not limited to the establishment of
universal peace. They embraced many teachings which supplemented and
supported that of universal peace.

...

In fine, such teachings are numerous. These manifold principles, which
constitute the greatest basis for the felicity of mankind and are of the
bounties of the Merciful, must be added to the matter of universal peace
and combined with it, so that results may accrue. Otherwise the
realization of universal peace by itself in the world of mankind is
difficult. As the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are combined with universal
peace, they are like a table provided with every kind of fresh and
delicious food. Every soul can find, at that table of infinite bounty,
that which he desires. If the question is restricted to universal peace
alone, the remarkable results which are expected and desired will not be
attained. The scope of universal peace must be such that all the
communities and religions may find their highest wish realized in it. The
teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are such that all the communities of the world,
whether religious, political or ethical, ancient or modern, find in them
the expression of their highest wish.

...

For example, the question of universal peace, about which Bahá’u’lláh says
that the Supreme Tribunal must be established: although the League of
Nations has been brought into existence, yet it is incapable of
establishing universal peace. But the Supreme Tribunal which Bahá’u’lláh
has described will fulfil this sacred task with the utmost might and
power. And His plan is this: that the national assemblies of each country
and nation—that is to say parliaments—should elect two or three persons
who are the choicest of that nation, and are well informed concerning
international laws and the relations between governments and aware of the
essential needs of the world of humanity in this day. The number of these
representatives should be in proportion to the number of inhabitants of
that country. The election of these souls who are chosen by the national
assembly, that is, the parliament, must be confirmed by the upper house,
the congress and the cabinet and also by the president or monarch so these
persons may be the elected ones of all the nation and the government. The
Supreme Tribunal will be composed of these people, and all mankind will
thus have a share therein, for every one of these delegates is fully
representative of his nation.(1) When the Supreme Tribunal gives a ruling
on any international question, either unanimously or by majority rule,
there will no longer be any pretext for the plaintiff or ground of
objection for the defendant. In case any of the governments or nations, in
the execution of the irrefutable decision of the Supreme Tribunal, be
negligent or dilatory, the rest of the nations will rise up against it,
because all the governments and nations of the world are the supporters of
this Supreme Tribunal. Consider what a firm foundation this is! But by a
limited and restricted League the purpose will not be realized as it ought
and should. This is the truth about the situation, which has been
stated....

(“Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”, pp. 297–298, p. 304, pp.
306–307) [21]



22: True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of the
world...


True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of the world
whenever a certain number of its distinguished and high-minded
sovereigns—the shining exemplars of devotion and determination—shall, for
the good and happiness of all mankind, arise, with firm resolve and clear
vision, to establish the Cause of Universal Peace. They must make the
Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means
in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world. They must
conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of
which shall be sound, inviolable and definite. They must proclaim it to
all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race. This
supreme and noble undertaking—the real source of the peace and well-being
of all the world—should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth.
All the forces of humanity must be mobilized to ensure the stability and
permanence of this Most Great Covenant. In this all-embracing Pact the
limits and frontiers of each and every nation should be clearly fixed, the
principles underlying the relations of governments towards one another
definitely laid down, and all international agreements and obligations
ascertained. In like manner, the size of the armaments of every government
should be strictly limited, for if the preparations for war and the
military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will
arouse the suspicion of others. The fundamental principle underlying this
solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any
one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce
it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with
every power at its disposal, to destroy that government. Should this
greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will
assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure.

Observe that if such a happy situation be forthcoming, no government would
need continually to pile up the weapons of war, nor feel itself obliged to
produce ever new military weapons with which to conquer the human race. A
small force for the purposes of internal security, the correction of
criminal and disorderly elements and the prevention of local disturbances,
would be required—no more. In this way the entire population would, first
of all, be relieved of the crushing burden of expenditure currently
imposed for military purposes, and secondly, great numbers of people would
cease to devote their time to the continual devising of new weapons of
destruction—those testimonials of greed and bloodthirstiness, so
inconsistent with the gift of life—and would instead bend their efforts to
the production of whatever will foster human existence and peace and
well-being, and would become the cause of universal development and
prosperity. Then every nation on earth will reign in honour, and every
people will be cradled in tranquillity and content.

A few, unaware of the power latent in human endeavour, consider this
matter as highly impracticable, nay even beyond the scope of man’s utmost
efforts. Such is not the case, however. On the contrary, thanks to the
unfailing grace of God, the loving-kindness of His favoured ones, the
unrivaled endeavours of wise and capable souls, and the thoughts and ideas
of the peerless leaders of this age, nothing whatsoever can be regarded as
unattainable. Endeavour, ceaseless endeavour, is required. Nothing short
of an indomitable determination can possibly achieve it. Many a cause
which past ages have regarded as purely visionary, yet in this day has
become most easy and practicable. Why should this most great and lofty
Cause—the day-star of the firmament of true civilization and the cause of
the glory, the advancement, the well-being and the success of all
humanity—be regarded as impossible of achievement? Surely the day will
come when its beauteous light shall shed illumination upon the assemblage
of man.

The apparatus of conflict will, as preparations go on at their present
rate, reach the point where war will become something intolerable to
mankind.

It is clear from what has already been said that man’s glory and greatness
do not consist in his being avid for blood and sharp of claw, in tearing
down cities and spreading havoc, in butchering armed forces and civilians.
What would mean a bright future for him would be his reputation for
justice, his kindness to the entire population whether high or low, his
building up countries and cities, villages and districts, his making life
easy, peaceful and happy for his fellow beings, his laying down
fundamental principles for progress, his raising the standards and
increasing the wealth of the entire population.

...

No power on earth can prevail against the armies of justice, and every
citadel must fall before them; for men willingly go down under the
triumphant strokes of this decisive blade, and desolate places bloom and
flourish under the tramplings of this host. There are two mighty banners
which, when they cast their shadow across the crown of any king, will
cause the influence of his government quickly and easily to penetrate the
whole earth, even as if it were the light of the sun: the first of these
two banners is wisdom; the second is justice. Against these two most
potent forces, the iron hills cannot prevail, and Alexander’s wall will
break before them. It is clear that life in this fast-fading world is as
fleeting and inconstant as the morning wind, and this being so, how
fortunate are the great who leave a good name behind them, and the memory
of a lifetime spent in the pathway of the good pleasure of God.

...

A conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war
becomes the powerful basis of peace, and ruin the very means of
reconstruction. If, for example, a high-minded sovereign marshals his
troops to block the onset of the insurgent and the aggressor, or again, if
he takes the field and distinguishes himself in a struggle to unify a
divided state and people, if, in brief, he is waging war for a righteous
purpose, then this seeming wrath is mercy itself, and this apparent
tyranny the very substance of justice and this warfare the cornerstone of
peace. Today, the task befitting great rulers is to establish universal
peace, for in this lies the freedom of all peoples.

(“The Secret of Divine Civilization”, 2nd ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1983), pp. 64–67, 70–71) [22]



23: In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to
the...


In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to the
absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved.
Continents remained widely divided, nay even among the peoples of one and
the same continent association and interchange of thought were well nigh
impossible. Consequently intercourse, understanding and unity amongst all
the peoples and kindreds of the earth were unattainable. In this day,
however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents
of the earth have virtually merged into one.... In like manner all the
members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or
villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is
self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all
peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture
and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all
mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of
the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century. Of this past ages
have been deprived, for this century—the century of light—has been endowed
with unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination. Hence the
miraculous unfolding of a fresh marvel every day. Eventually it will be
seen how bright its candles will burn in the assemblage of man.

Behold how its light is now dawning upon the world’s darkened horizon. The
first candle is unity in the political realm, the early glimmerings of
which can now be discerned. The second candle is unity of thought in world
undertakings, the consummation of which will ere long be witnessed. The
third candle is unity in freedom which will surely come to pass. The
fourth candle is unity in religion which is the corner-stone of the
foundation itself, and which, by the power of God, will be revealed in all
its splendour. The fifth candle is the unity of nations—a unity which in
this century will be securely established, causing all the peoples of the
world to regard themselves as citizens of one common fatherland. The sixth
candle is unity of races, making of all that dwell on earth peoples and
kindreds of one race. The seventh candle is unity of language, i.e., the
choice of a universal tongue in which all peoples will be instructed and
converse. Each and every one of these will inevitably come to pass,
inasmuch as the power of the Kingdom of God will aid and assist in their
realization.

(Cited in Shoghi Effendi, “The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”, pp. 38–39, and
“The Promised Day Is Come”, rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust,
1980), pp. 120–121) [23]



24: ...every great Cause in this world of existence findeth visible
expression...


...every great Cause in this world of existence findeth visible expression
through three means: first, intention; second, confirmation; third,
action. Today on this earth there are many souls who are promoters of
peace and reconciliation and are longing for the realization of the
oneness and unity of the world of humanity; but this intention needeth a
dynamic power, so that it may become manifest in the world of being. In
this day the divine instructions and lordly exhortations promulgate this
most great aim, and the confirmations of the Kingdom also support and aid
the realization of this intention. Therefore, although the combined forces
and thoughts of the nations of the world cannot by themselves achieve this
exalted purpose, the power of the Word of God penetrateth all things and
the assistance of the divine Kingdom is continuous. Erelong it will become
evident and clear that the ensign of the Most Great Peace is the teachings
of Bahá’u’lláh, and the tent of union and harmony among nations is the
Tabernacle of the divine Kingdom, for therein the intention, the power and
the action, all three, are brought together. The realization of everything
in the world of being dependeth upon these three elements.

(From a Tablet - translated from Persian) [24]



25: As far as possible, rest thou not for a moment, travel to the North
and...


As far as possible, rest thou not for a moment, travel to the North and
South of the country and summon all men to the oneness of the world of
humanity and to universal peace, saying: O people! Bahá’u’lláh laid the
foundation of universal peace fifty years ago. He even addressed Epistles
to the kings wherein He declared that war could destroy the foundation of
the world of humanity, that peace is conducive to everlasting life and
that dire peril awaited mankind. Also three years before the outbreak of
the world war ‘Abdu’l-Bahá travelled to America and most of Europe, where
he raised His voice before all gatherings, societies and churches,
appealing: O ye assemblage of men! The continent of Europe hath virtually
become an arsenal filled with explosives. There are vast stores of
destructive material hidden underground, liable to burst forth at a single
spark, causing the whole earth to quake. O ye men of understanding! Bestir
yourselves that perchance this accumulation of volatile material may not
explode. But the appeal went unheeded and consequently this murderous war
broke out.

The bulk of humanity now realiseth what a great calamity war is and how
war turneth man into a ferocious animal, causing prosperous cities and
villages to be reduced to ruins and the foundations of the human edifice
to crumble. Now, since all men have been awakened and their ears are
attentive, it is time for the promulgation of universal peace—a peace
based on righteousness and justice—that mankind may not be exposed to
further dangers in the future. Now is the dawn of universal peace, and the
first streaks of its light are beginning to appear. We earnestly hope that
its effulgent orb may shine forth and flood the East and the West with its
radiance. The establishment of universal peace is not possible save
through the power of the Word of God...

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian) [25]



26: Chaos and confusion are daily increasing in the world. They will
attain...


Chaos and confusion are daily increasing in the world. They will attain
such intensity as to render the frame of mankind unable to bear them. Then
will men be awakened and become aware that religion is the impregnable
stronghold and the manifest light of the world, and its laws, exhortations
and teachings the source of life on earth.

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian) [26]



EXTRACTS FROM THE UTTERANCES OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ



27: Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and...


Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and
conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a propelling
power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and
the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means. They
cannot be established through political power, for the political interests
of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and
conflicting. They cannot be founded through racial or patriotic power, for
these are human powers, selfish and weak. The very nature of racial
differences and patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this
unity and agreement. Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the
oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings
of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine
power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other powers are too weak and are
incapable of accomplishing this.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, 2nd. ed.
(Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982), pp. 11–12) [27]



28: We will pray that the ensign of international peace may be uplifted
and that...


We will pray that the ensign of international peace may be uplifted and
that the oneness of the world of humanity may be realized and
accomplished. All this is made possible and practicable through your
efforts. May this American democracy be the first nation to establish the
foundation of international agreement. May it be the first nation to
proclaim the universality of mankind. May it be the first to upraise the
standard of the Most Great Peace, and through this nation of democracy may
these philanthropic intentions and institutions be spread broadcast
throughout the world. Truly, this is a great and revered nation. Here
liberty has reached its highest degree. The intentions of its people are
most praiseworthy. They are, indeed, worthy of being the first to build
the Tabernacle of the Most Great Peace and proclaim the oneness of
mankind. I will supplicate God for assistance and confirmation in your
behalf.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, pp. 36–37) [28]



29: Today the greatest need of the world of humanity is discontinuance of
the...


Today the greatest need of the world of humanity is discontinuance of the
existing misunderstandings among nations. This can be accomplished through
the unity of language. Unless the unity of languages is realized, the Most
Great Peace and the oneness of the human world cannot be effectively
organized and established because the function of language is to portray
the mysteries and secrets of human hearts. The heart is like a box, and
language is the key. Only by using the key can we open the box and observe
the gems it contains. Therefore, the question of an auxiliary
international tongue has the utmost importance.... It is my hope that it
may be perfected through the bounties of God and that intelligent men may
be selected from the various countries of the world to organize an
international congress whose chief aim will be the promotion of this
universal medium of speech.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, pp. 60–61) [29]



30: ...because I find the American nation so capable of achievement and
this...


...because I find the American nation so capable of achievement and this
government the fairest of western governments, its institutions superior
to others, my wish and hope is that the banner of international
reconciliation may first be raised on this continent and the standard of
the Most Great Peace be unfurled here. May the American people and their
government unite in their efforts in order that this light may dawn from
this point and spread to all regions, for this is one of the greatest
bestowals of God. In order that America may avail herself of this
opportunity, I beg that you strive and pray with heart and soul, devoting
all your energies to this end: that the banner of international peace may
be upraised here and that this democracy may be the cause of the cessation
of warfare in all other countries.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, pp. 83–84) [30]



31: In past ages humanity has been defective and inefficient because it
has been...


In past ages humanity has been defective and inefficient because it has
been incomplete. War and its ravages have blighted the world; the
education of woman will be a mighty step toward its abolition and ending,
for she will use her whole influence against war. Woman rears the child
and educates the youth to maturity. She will refuse to give her sons for
sacrifice upon the field of battle. In truth, she will be the greatest
factor in establishing universal peace and international arbitration.
Assuredly, woman will abolish warfare among mankind....

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 108) [31]



32: All of us know that international peace is good, that it is conducive
to human...


All of us know that international peace is good, that it is conducive to
human welfare and the glory of man, but volition and action are necessary
before it can be established. Action is essential. Inasmuch as this
century is a century of light, capacity for action is assured to mankind.
Necessarily the divine principles will be spread among men until the time
of action arrives. Surely this has been so, and truly the time and
conditions are ripe for action now....

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 121) [32]



33: This has come to pass. The powers of earth cannot withstand the...


This has come to pass. The powers of earth cannot withstand the privileges
and bestowals which God has ordained for this great and glorious century.
It is a need and exigency of the time.... Let this century be the sun of
previous centuries, the effulgences of which shall last forever, so that
in times to come they shall glorify the twentieth century, saying the
twentieth century was the century of lights, the twentieth century was the
century of life, the twentieth century was the century of international
peace, the twentieth century was the century of divine bestowals, and the
twentieth century has left traces which shall last forever.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, pp. 125–26)
[33]



34: The most momentous question of this day is international peace and...


The most momentous question of this day is international peace and
arbitration, and universal peace is impossible without universal suffrage.
Children are educated by the women. The mother bears the troubles and
anxieties of rearing the child, undergoes the ordeal of its birth and
training. Therefore, it is most difficult for mothers to send to the
battlefield those upon whom they have lavished such love and care.
Consider a son reared and trained twenty years by a devoted mother. What
sleepless nights and restless, anxious days she has spent! Having brought
him through dangers and difficulties to the age of maturity, how agonizing
then to sacrifice him upon the battlefield! Therefore, the mothers will
not sanction war nor be satisfied with it. So it will come to pass that
when women participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world, when
they enter confidently and capably the great arena of laws and politics,
war will cease; for woman will be the obstacle and hindrance to it. This
is true and without doubt.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, pp. 134–35)
[34]



35: Now the glorious and brilliant twentieth century has dawned, and the
divine...


Now the glorious and brilliant twentieth century has dawned, and the
divine bounty is radiating universally....

Truly, this can be called the miracle of centuries, for it is replete with
manifestations of the miraculous. The time has come when all mankind shall
be united, when all races shall be loyal to one fatherland, all religions
become one religion, and racial and religious bias pass away. It is a day
in which the oneness of humankind shall uplift its standard and
international peace, like the true morning, flood the world with its
light....

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 153) [35]



36: He promulgated the adoption of the same course of education for man
and...


He promulgated the adoption of the same course of education for man and
woman. Daughters and sons must follow the same curriculum of study,
thereby promoting unity of the sexes. When all mankind shall receive the
same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be
realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed. Without
equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction
are conducive to discord and strife. Equality between men and women is
conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never
be willing to sanction it. Mothers will not give their sons as sacrifices
upon the battlefield after twenty years of anxiety and loving devotion in
rearing them from infancy, no matter what cause they are called upon to
defend. There is no doubt that when women obtain equality of rights, war
will entirely cease among mankind.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 175) [36]



37: The world is in greatest need of international peace. Until it is...


The world is in greatest need of international peace. Until it is
established, mankind will not attain composure and tranquillity. It is
necessary that the nations and governments organize an international
tribunal to which all their disputes and differences shall be referred.
The decision of that tribunal shall be final. Individual controversy will
be adjudged by a local tribunal. International questions will come before
the universal tribunal, and so the cause of warfare will be taken away.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 301) [37]



38: I find these two great American nations [the United States and Canada]
highly...


I find these two great American nations [the United States and Canada]
highly capable and advanced ... it is my hope that these revered nations
may become prominent factors in the establishment of international peace
and the oneness of the world of humanity...

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 318) [38]



39: The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the
female....


The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female.
So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will
not fly. Until womankind reaches the same degree as man, until she enjoys
the same arena of activity, extraordinary attainment for humanity will not
be realized; humanity cannot wing its way to heights of real attainment.
When the two wings or parts become equivalent in strength, enjoying the
same prerogatives, the flight of man will be exceedingly lofty and
extraordinary. Therefore, woman must receive the same education as man and
all inequality be adjusted. Thus, imbued with the same virtues as man,
rising through all the degrees of human attainment, women will become the
peers of men, and until this equality is established, true progress and
attainment for the human race will not be facilitated.

The evident reasons underlying this are as follows: Woman by nature is
opposed to war; she is an advocate of peace. Children are reared and
brought up by the mothers who give them the first principles of education
and labour assiduously in their behalf. Consider, for instance, a mother
who has tenderly reared a son for twenty years to the age of maturity.
Surely she will not consent to having that son torn asunder and killed in
the field of battle. Therefore, as woman advances toward the degree of man
in power and privilege, with the right of vote and control in human
government, most assuredly war will cease; for woman is naturally the most
devoted and staunch advocate of international peace.

(“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 375) [39]



40: A Supreme Tribunal shall be elected by the peoples and governments
of...


A Supreme Tribunal shall be elected by the peoples and governments of
every nation, where members from each country and government shall
assemble in unity. All disputes shall be brought before this Court, its
mission being to prevent war.

(“Paris Talks: Addresses given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Paris in 1911–1912”,
11th ed. (London: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979), p. 132) [40]



41: A Supreme Tribunal shall be established by the peoples and Governments
of...


A Supreme Tribunal shall be established by the peoples and Governments of
every nation, composed of members elected from each country and
Government. The members of this Great Council shall assemble in unity. All
disputes of an international character shall be submitted to this Court,
its work being to arrange by arbitration everything which otherwise would
be a cause of war. The mission of this Tribunal would be to prevent war.

(“Paris Talks: Addresses given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Paris in 1911–1912”, p.
155) [41]



42: As to the question of disarmament, all nations must disarm at the
same...


As to the question of disarmament, all nations must disarm at the same
time. It will not do at all, and it is not proposed, that some nations
shall lay down their arms while others, their neighbours, remain armed.
The peace of the world must be brought about by international agreement.
All nations must agree to disarm simultaneously...

No nation can follow a peace policy while its neighbour remains warlike.
There is no justice in that. Nobody would dream of suggesting that the
peace of the world could be brought about by any such line of action. It
is to be brought about by a general and comprehensive international
agreement, and in no other way...

Simultaneous action, he went on, is necessary in any scheme of
disarmament. All the governments of the world must transform their
battleships and warcraft into merchant vessels. But no one nation can by
itself start in upon such a policy and it would be folly should one power
attempt to do so ... it would simply invite destruction....

...

Are there any signs that the permanent peace of the world will be
established in anything like a reasonable period? ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was asked.

It will be established in this century, he answered. It will be universal
in the twentieth century. All nations will be forced into it.

...

Economic pressure will tell?

Yes: the nations will be forced to come to peace and to agree to the
abolition of war. The awful burdens of taxation for war purposes will get
beyond human endurance...

No, said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in conclusion, I repeat, no nation can disarm under
these circumstances. Disarmament is surely coming, but it must come, and
it will come, by the universal consent of the civilized nations of the
earth. By international agreement they will lay down their arms and the
great era of peace will be ushered in.

In this and no other way can peace be established upon the earth.

(Extracts from interview with newspaper reporter, quoted in “‘Abdu’l-Bahá
in Canada” (Thornhill: Bahá’í Canada Publications, 1987), pp. 34–35) [42]



43: Once the Parliament of Man is established and its constituent parts...


Once the Parliament of Man is established and its constituent parts
organized, the governments of the world having entered into a covenant of
eternal friendship will have no need of keeping large standing armies and
navies. A few battalions to preserve internal order, and an International
Police to keep the highways of the seas clear, are all that will be
necessary. Then these huge sums will be diverted to other more useful
channels, pauperism will disappear, knowledge will increase, the victories
of Peace will be sung by poets and bards, knowledge will improve the
conditions and mankind will be rocked in the cradle of felicity and bliss.
Then, whether a government is constitutional or republican, hereditary
monarchy or democratic, the rulers will devote their time to the
prosperity of their nations, the legislation of just and sane laws and the
fostering of closer and more amicable relations with their neighbours—thus
will the world of humanity become a mirror reflecting the virtues and
attributes of the Kingdom of God.

By a general agreement all the governments of the world must disarm
simultaneously... It will not do if one lays down the arms and the other
refuses to do so. The nations of the world must concur with each other
concerning this supremely important subject, thus they may abandon
together the deadly weapons of human slaughter. As long as one nation
increases her military and naval budget, another nation will be forced
into this crazed competition through her natural and supposed
interests....

...

Now the question of disarmament must be put into practice by all the
nations and not only by one or two. Consequently the advocates of Peace
must strive day and night, so that the individuals of every country may
become peace-loving, public opinion may gain a strong and permanent
footing, and day by day the army of International Peace be increased,
complete disarmament be realized and the Flag of Universal Conciliation be
waving on the summit of the mountains of the earth.

...

The ideals of Peace must be nurtured and spread among the inhabitants of
the world; they must be instructed in the school of Peace and the evils of
war. First: The financiers and bankers must desist from lending money to
any government contemplating to wage an unjust war upon an innocent
nation. Second: The presidents and managers of the railroads and steamship
companies must refrain from transporting war ammunition, infernal engines,
guns, cannons and powder from one country into another. Third: The
soldiers must petition, through their representatives, the Ministers of
War, the politicians, the Congressmen and the generals to put forth in a
clear, intelligible language the reasons and the causes which have brought
them to the brink of such a national calamity. The soldiers must demand
this as one of the prerogatives. Demonstrate to us”, they must say, “that
this is a just war, and we will then enter into the battlefield otherwise
we will not take one step.... Come forth from your hiding-places, enter
into the battlefield if you like to attack each other and tear each other
to pieces if you desire to air your so-called contentions. The discord and
feud are between you; why do you make us, innocent people, a party to it?
If fighting and bloodshed are good things, then lead us into the fray by
your presence!”

In short, every means that produces war must be checked and the causes
that prevent the occurrence of war be advanced;—so that physical conflict
may become an impossibility. On the other hand, every country must be
properly delimited, its exact frontiers marked, its national integrity
secured, its permanent independence protected, and its vital interests
honoured by the family of nations. These services ought to be rendered by
an impartial, international Commission. In this manner all causes of
friction and differences will be removed. And in case there should arise
some disputes between them, they could arbitrate before the Parliament of
Man, the representatives of which should be chosen from among the wisest
and most judicious men of all the nations of the world.

(“Star of the West”, vol. 5, no. 8 (August 1914), pp. 115–117) [43]



44: Every century holds the solution of one predominating problem.
Although...


Every century holds the solution of one predominating problem. Although
there may be many problems, yet one of the innumerable problems will loom
large and become the most important of all. ...in this luminous century
the greatest bestowal of the world of humanity is Universal Peace, which
must be founded, so that the realm of creation may obtain composure, the
East and the West, which include in their arms the five continents of the
globe, may embrace each other, mankind may rest beneath the tent of
oneness of the world of humanity, and the flag of universal peace may wave
over all the regions....

...

Today the true duty of a powerful king is to establish a universal peace;
for verily it signifies the freedom of all the people of the world. Some
persons who are ignorant of the world of true humanity and its high
ambitions for the general good, reckon such a glorious condition of life
to be very difficult, nay rather impossible to compass. But it is not so,
far from it.

(“Star of the West”. vol. 7, no. 14 (November 1916), p. 136) [44]

O ye individuals of humanity, find ye means for the stoppage of this
wholesale murder and bloodshed. Now is the appointed time! Now is the
opportune time! Arise ye, show ye an effort, put ye forward an
extraordinary force, and unfurl ye the Flag of Universal Peace and dam the
irresistible fury of this raging torrent which is wreaking havoc and ruin
everywhere.

(“Star of the West”, vol. 18, no. 11 (February 1928), p. 345) [45]



46: By what process, continued the questioner, will this peace on earth
be...


By what process, continued the questioner, will this peace on earth be
established? Will it come at once after a universal declaration of the
Truth?

No, it will come about gradually, said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. A plant that grows
too quickly lasts but a short time. You are my family, and he looked about
with a smile, my new children! if a family lives in unison, great results
are obtained. Widen the circle; when a city lives in intimate accord
greater results will follow, and a continent that is fully united will
likewise unite all other continents. Then will be the time of the greatest
results, for all the inhabitants of the earth belong to one native land.

(“‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London: Addresses, and Notes of Conversations”,
Commemorative ed. (London: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1987), p. 106) [46]



EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF SHOGHI EFFENDI



47: Dearly-beloved friends! Humanity, whether viewed in the light of
man’s...


Dearly-beloved friends! Humanity, whether viewed in the light of man’s
individual conduct or in the existing relationships between organized
communities and nations, has, alas, strayed too far and suffered too great
a decline to be redeemed through the unaided efforts of the best among its
recognized rulers and statesmen—however disinterested their motives,
however concerted their action, however unsparing in their zeal and
devotion to its cause. No scheme which the calculations of the highest
statesmanship may yet devise, no doctrine which the most distinguished
exponents of economic theory may hope to advance, no principle which the
most ardent of moralists may strive to inculcate, can provide, in the last
resort, adequate foundations upon which the future of a distracted world
can be built. No appeal for mutual tolerance which the worldly-wise might
raise, however compelling and insistent, can calm its passions or help
restore its vigour. Nor would any general scheme of mere organized
international co-operation, in whatever sphere of human activity, however
ingenious in conception or extensive in scope, succeed in removing the
root cause of the evil that has so rudely upset the equilibrium of present
day society. Not even, I venture to assert, would the very act of devising
the machinery required for the political and economic unification of the
world—a principle that has been increasingly advocated in recent
times—provide in itself the antidote against the poison that is steadily
undermining the vigour of organized peoples and nations. What else, might
we not confidently affirm, but the unreserved acceptance of the Divine
Programme enunciated, with such simplicity and force as far back as sixty
years ago, by Bahá’u’lláh, embodying in its essentials God’s
divinely-appointed scheme for the unification of mankind in this age,
coupled with an indomitable conviction in the unfailing efficacy of each
and all of its provisions, is eventually capable of withstanding the
forces of internal disintegration which, if unchecked, must needs continue
to eat into the vitals of a despairing society. It is towards this
goal—the goal of a new World Order, Divine in origin, all-embracing in
scope, equitable in principle, challenging in its features—that a harassed
humanity must strive.

To claim to have grasped all the implications of Bahá’u’lláh’s prodigious
scheme for world-wide human solidarity, or to have fathomed its import,
would be presumptuous on the part of even the declared supporters of His
Faith. To attempt to visualize it in all its possibilities, to estimate
its future benefits, to picture its glory, would be premature at even so
advanced a stage in the evolution of mankind.

All we can reasonably venture to attempt is to strive to obtain a glimpse
of the first streaks of the promised Dawn that must, in the fullness of
time, chase away the gloom that has encircled humanity. All we can do is
to point out, in their broadest outline, to what appear to us to be the
guiding principles underlying the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, as amplified
and enunciated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Centre of His Covenant with all
mankind and the appointed Interpreter and Expounder of His Word.

That the unrest and suffering afflicting the mass of mankind are in no
small measure the direct consequences of the World War and are
attributable to the unwisdom and short-sightedness of the Framers of the
Peace Treaties only a biased mind can refuse to admit....

It would be idle however to contend that the war, with all the losses it
involved, the passions it aroused and the grievances it left behind, has
solely been responsible for the unprecedented confusion into which almost
every section of the civilized world is plunged at present. Is it not a
fact—and this is the central idea I desire to emphasize—that the
fundamental cause of this world unrest is attributable, not so much to the
consequences of what must sooner or later come to be regarded as a
transitory dislocation in the affairs of a continually changing world, but
rather to the failure of those into whose hands the immediate destinies of
peoples and nations have been committed, to adjust their systems of
economic and political institutions to the imperative needs of a fast
evolving age? Are not these intermittent crises that convulse present-day
society due primarily to the lamentable inability of the world’s
recognized leaders to read aright the signs of the times, to rid
themselves once for all of their preconceived ideas and fettering creeds,
and to reshape the machinery of their respective governments according to
those standards that are implicit in Bahá’u’lláh’s supreme declaration of
the Oneness of Mankind—the chief and distinguishing feature of the Faith
He proclaimed?....

How pathetic indeed are the efforts of those leaders of human institutions
who, in utter disregard of the spirit of the age, are striving to adjust
national processes, suited to the ancient days of self-contained nations
to an age which must either achieve the unity of the world, as adumbrated
by Bahá’u’lláh, or perish. At so critical an hour in the history of
civilization it behoves the leaders of all the nations of the world, great
and small, whether in the East or in the West, whether victors or
vanquished, to give heed to the clarion call of Bahá’u’lláh and,
thoroughly imbued with a sense of world solidarity, the sine qua non of
loyalty to His Cause, arise manfully to carry out in its entirety the one
remedial scheme He, the Divine Physician, has prescribed for an ailing
humanity. Let them discard, once for all, every preconceived idea, every
national prejudice, and give heed to the sublime counsel of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
the authorized Expounder of His teachings. You can best serve your
country, was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s rejoinder to a high official in the service of
the federal government of the United States of America, who had questioned
Him as to the best manner in which he could promote the interests of his
government and people, if you strive, in your capacity as a citizen of the
world, to assist in the eventual application of the principle of
federalism underlying the government of your own country to the
relationships now existing between the peoples and nations of the world.

...

Some form of a world super-state must needs be evolved, in whose favour
all the nations of the world will have willingly ceded every claim to make
war, certain rights to impose taxation and all rights to maintain
armaments, except for purposes of maintaining internal order within their
respective dominions. Such a state will have to include within its orbit
an international executive adequate to enforce supreme and unchallengeable
authority on every recalcitrant member of the commonwealth; a world
parliament whose members shall be elected by the people in their
respective countries and whose election shall be confirmed by their
respective governments; and a supreme tribunal whose judgement will have a
binding effect even in such cases where the parties concerned did not
voluntarily agree to submit their case to its consideration. A world
community in which all economic barriers will have been permanently
demolished and the interdependence of Capital and Labour definitely
recognized; in which the clamour of religious fanaticism and strife will
have been for ever stilled; in which the flame of racial animosity will
have been finally extinguished; in which a single code of international
law—the product of the considered judgement of the world’s federated
representatives—shall have as its sanction the instant and coercive
intervention of the combined forces of the federated units; and finally a
world community in which the fury of a capricious and militant nationalism
will have been transmuted into an abiding consciousness of world
citizenship—such indeed, appears, in its broadest outline, the Order
anticipated by Bahá’u’lláh, an Order that shall come to be regarded as the
fairest fruit of a slowly maturing age.

...

Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide
Law of Bahá’u’lláh. Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing
foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remould its
institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing
world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it
undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame
of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men’s hearts, nor to abolish the
system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive
centralization are to be avoided. It does not ignore, nor does it attempt
to suppress the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of
language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the
peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a
larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists
upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the
imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive
centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on
the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity such as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Himself has explained.

...

Its [the principle of the Oneness of Mankind] implications are deeper, its
claims greater than any which the Prophets of old were allowed to advance.
Its message is applicable not only to the individual, but concerns itself
primarily with the nature of those essential relationships that must bind
all the states and nations as members of one human family. It does not
constitute merely the enunciation of an ideal, but stands inseparably
associated with an institution adequate to embody its truth, demonstrate
its validity, and perpetuate its influence. It implies an organic change
in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has
not yet experienced. It constitutes a challenge, at once bold and
universal, to outworn shibboleths of national creeds—creeds that have had
their day and which must, in the ordinary course of events as shaped and
controlled by Providence, give way to a new gospel, fundamentally
different from, and infinitely superior to, what the world has already
conceived. It calls for no less that the reconstruction and the
demilitarization of the whole civilized world—a world organically unified
in all the essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, its
spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and
yet infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its
federated units.

It represents the consummation of human evolution—an evolution that has
had its earliest beginnings in the birth of family life, its subsequent
development in the achievement of tribal solidarity, leading in turn to
the constitution of the city-state, and expanding later into the
institution of independent and sovereign nations.

...

To take but one instance. How confident were the assertions made in the
days preceding the unification of the states of the North American
continent regarding the insuperable barriers that stood in the way of
their ultimate federation! Was it not widely and emphatically declared
that the conflicting interests, the mutual distrust, the differences of
government and habit that divided the states were such as no force,
whether spiritual or temporal, could ever hope to harmonize or control?
And yet how different were the conditions prevailing a hundred and fifty
years ago from those that characterize present-day society! It would
indeed be no exaggeration to say that the absence of those facilities
which modern scientific progress has placed at the service of humanity in
our time made of the problem of welding the American states into a single
federation, similar though they were in certain traditions, a task
infinitely more complex than that which confronts a divided humanity in
its efforts to achieve the unification of all mankind.

Who knows that for so exalted a conception to take shape a suffering more
intense that any it has yet experienced will have to be inflicted upon
humanity? Could anything less than the fire of a civil war with all its
violence and vicissitudes—a war that nearly rent the great American
Republic—have welded the states, not only into a Union of independent
units, but into a Nation, in spite of all the ethnic differences that
characterized its component parts? That so fundamental a revolution,
involving such far-reaching changes in the structure of society, can be
achieved through the ordinary processes of diplomacy and education seems
highly improbable. We have but to turn our gaze to humanity’s
blood-stained history to realize that nothing short of intense mental as
well as physical agony has been able to precipitate those epoch-making
changes that constitute the greatest landmarks in the history of human
civilization.

Great and far-reaching as have been those changes in the past, they cannot
but appear, when viewed in their proper perspective, except as subsidiary
adjustments preluding that transformation of unparalleled majesty and
scope which humanity is in this age bound to undergo. That the forces of a
world catastrophe can alone precipitate such a new phase of human thought
is, alas, becoming increasingly apparent. That nothing short of the fire
of a severe ordeal, unparalleled in its intensity, can fuse and weld the
discordant entities, that constitute the elements of present-day
civilization, into the integral components of the world Commonwealth of
the future is a truth which future events will increasingly demonstrate.

The prophetic voice of Bahá’u’lláh warning, in the concluding passages of
the “Hidden Words”, “the peoples of the world” that “an unforeseen
calamity is following them and that grievous retribution awaiteth them”
throws indeed a lurid light upon the immediate fortunes of sorrowing
humanity. Nothing but a fiery ordeal, out of which humanity will emerge,
chastened and prepared, can succeed in implanting that sense of
responsibility which the leaders of a new-born age must arise to shoulder.

I would again direct your attention to those ominous words of Bahá’u’lláh
which I have already quoted: “And when the appointed hour is come, there
shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to
quake.”

Has not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself asserted in unequivocal language that
“another war, fiercer than the last, will assuredly break out”?

Upon the consummation of this colossal, this unspeakably glorious
enterprise—an enterprise that baffled the resources of Roman statesmanship
and which Napoleon’s desperate efforts failed to achieve—will depend the
ultimate realization of that millenium of which poets of all ages have
sung and seers have long dreamed. Upon it will depend the fulfilment of
the prophecies uttered by the Prophets of old when swords shall be beaten
into ploughshares and the lion and the lamb lie down together. It alone
can usher in the Kingdom of the Heavenly Father as anticipated by the
Faith of Jesus Christ. It alone can lay the foundation for the New World
Order visualized by Bahá’u’lláh—a World Order that shall reflect, however
dimly, upon this earthly plane, the ineffable splendours of the Abhá
Kingdom.

One word more in conclusion. The proclamation of the Oneness of
Mankind—the head corner-stone of Bahá’u’lláh’s all-embracing dominion—can
under no circumstances be compared with such expressions of pious hope as
have been uttered in the past. His is not merely a call which He raised,
alone and unaided, in the face of the relentless and combined opposition
of two of the most powerful Oriental potentates of His day—while Himself
an exile and prisoner in their hands. It implies at once a warning and a
promise—a warning that in it lies the sole means for the salvation of a
greatly suffering world, a promise that its realization is at hand.

Uttered at a time when its possibility had not yet been seriously
envisaged in any part of the world, it has, by virtue of that celestial
potency which the Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh has breathed into it, come at last
to be regarded, by an increasing number of thoughtful men, not only as an
approaching possibility, but as the necessary outcome of the forces now
operating in the world.

Surely the world, contracted and transformed into a single highly complex
organism by the marvellous progress achieved in the realm of physical
science, by the world-wide expansion of commerce and industry, and
struggling, under the pressure of world economic forces, amidst the
pitfalls of a materialistic civilization, stands in dire need of a
restatement of the Truth underlying all the Revelation, of the past in a
language suited to its essential requirements. And what voice other than
that of Bahá’u’lláh—the Mouthpiece of God for this age—is capable of
effecting a transformation of society as radical as that which He has
already accomplished in the hearts of those men and women, so diversified
and seemingly irreconcilable, who constitute the body of His declared
followers throughout the world?

That such a mighty conception is fast budding out in the minds of men,
that voices are being raised in its support, that its salient features
must fast crystallize in the consciousness of those who are in authority,
few indeed can doubt. That its modest beginnings have already taken shape
in the world-wide Administration with which the adherents of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh stand associated only those whose hearts are tainted by
prejudice can fail to perceive.

(28 November 1931 to the Bahá’ís of the West, published in “The World
Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters”, pp. 33–37, 40–43, 45–48) [47]



48: No machinery falling short of the standard inculcated by the Bahá’í...


No machinery falling short of the standard inculcated by the Bahá’í
Revelation, and at variance with the sublime pattern ordained in His
teachings, which the collective efforts of mankind may yet devise can ever
hope to achieve anything above or beyond that “Lesser Peace” to which the
Author of our Faith has Himself alluded in His writings. “Now that ye have
refused the Most Great Peace,” He, admonishing the kings and rulers of the
earth, has written, “hold ye fast unto this the Lesser Peace, that haply
ye may in some degree better your own condition and that of your
dependents.” Expatiating on this Lesser Peace, He thus addresses in that
same Tablet the rulers of the earth: “Be reconciled among yourselves, that
ye may need no more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your
territories and dominions... Be united, O kings of the earth, for thereby
will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you, and your peoples find
rest, if ye be of them that comprehend. Should any one among you take up
arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but
manifest justice.”

The Most Great Peace, on the other hand, as conceived by Bahá’u’lláh—a
peace that must inevitably follow as the practical consequence of the
spiritualization of the world and the fusion of all its races, creeds,
classes and nations—can rest on no other basis, and can be preserved
through no other agency, except the divinely appointed ordinances that are
implicit in the World Order that stands associated with His Holy Name....

...

The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, whose supreme mission is none other but the
achievement of this organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of
nations, should, if we be faithful to its implications, be regarded as
signalizing through its advent the coming of age of the entire human race.
It should be viewed not merely as yet another spiritual revival in the
ever-changing fortunes of mankind, not only as a further stage in a chain
of progressive Revelations, nor even as the culmination of one of a series
of recurrent prophetic cycles, but rather as marking the last and highest
stage in the stupendous evolution of man’s collective life on this planet.
The emergence of a world community, the consciousness of world
citizenship, the founding of a world civilization and culture—all of which
must synchronize with the initial stages in the unfoldment of the Golden
Age of the Bahá’í Era—should, by their very nature, be regarded, as far as
this planetary life is concerned, as the furthermost limits in the
organization of human society, though man, as an individual, will, nay
must indeed as a result of such a consummation, continue indefinitely to
progress and develop.

...

The whole of mankind is groaning, is dying to be led to unity, and to
terminate its age-long martyrdom. And yet it stubbornly refuses to embrace
the light and acknowledge the sovereign authority of the one Power that
can extricate it from its entanglements, and avert the woeful calamity
that threatens to engulf it.

Ominous indeed is the voice of Bahá’u’lláh that rings through these
prophetic words: “O ye peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an
unforeseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you.
Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight.” And
again: “We have a fixed time for you, O peoples. If ye fail, at the
appointed hour, to turn towards God, He, verily, will lay violent hold on
you, and will cause grievous afflictions to assail you from every
direction. How severe, indeed, is the chastisement with which your Lord
will then chastise you!”

Must humanity, tormented as she now is, be afflicted with still severer
tribulations ere their purifying influence can prepare her to enter the
heavenly Kingdom destined to be established upon earth? Must the
inauguration of so vast, so unique, so illumined an era in human history
be ushered in by so great a catastrophe in human affairs as to recall, nay
surpass, the appalling collapse of Roman civilization in the first
centuries of the Christian Era? Must a series of profound convulsions stir
and rock the human race ere Bahá’u’lláh can be enthroned in the hearts and
consciences of the masses, ere His undisputed ascendancy is universally
recognized, and the noble edifice of His World Order is reared and
established?

The long ages of infancy and childhood, through which the human race had
to pass, have receded into the background. Humanity is now experiencing
the commotions invariably associated with the most turbulent stage of its
evolution, the stage of adolescence, when the impetuosity of youth and its
vehemence reach their climax, and must gradually be superseded by the
calmness, the wisdom, and the maturity that characterize the stage of
manhood. Then will the human race reach that stature of ripeness which
will enable it to acquire all the powers and capacities upon which its
ultimate development must depend.

...

Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall mark of the stage which
human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of
city-state, and nation have been successively attempted and fully
established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is
striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in
state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to
maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of
human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can
best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.

...

The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the
establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds
and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy
of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the
individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded.
This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world
legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of mankind,
ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations, and
will enact such laws as shall be required to regulate the life, satisfy
the needs and adjust the relationships of all races and peoples. A world
executive, backed by an international Force, will carry out the decisions
arrived at, and apply the laws enacted by, this world legislature, and
will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth. A world
tribunal will adjudicate and deliver its compulsory and final verdict in
all and any disputes that may arise between the various elements
constituting this universal system. A mechanism of world
inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed
from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous
swiftness and perfect regularity. A world metropolis will act as the nerve
centre of a world civilization, the focus towards which the unifying
forces of life will converge and from which its energizing influences will
radiate. A world language will either be invented or chosen from among the
existing languages and will be taught in the schools of all the federated
nations as an auxiliary to their mother tongue. A world script, a world
literature, a uniform and universal system of currency, of weights and
measures, will simplify and facilitate intercourse and understanding among
the nations and races of mankind. In such a world society, science and
religion, the two most potent forces in human life, will be reconciled,
will co-operate, and will harmoniously develop. The press will, under such
a system, while giving full scope to the expression of the diversified
views and convictions of mankind, cease to be mischievously manipulated by
vested interests, whether private or public, and will be liberated from
the influence of contending governments and peoples. The economic
resources of the world will be organized, its sources of raw materials
will be tapped and fully utilized, its markets will be co-ordinated and
developed, and the distribution of its products will be equitably
regulated.

National rivalries, hatreds, and intrigues will cease, and racial
animosity and prejudice will be replaced by racial amity, understanding
and co-operation. The causes of religious strife will be permanently
removed, economic barriers and restrictions will be completely abolished,
and the inordinate distinction between classes will be obliterated.
Destitution on the one hand, and gross accumulation of ownership on the
other, will disappear. The enormous energy dissipated and wasted on war,
whether economic or political, will be consecrated to such ends as will
extend the range of human inventions and technical development, to the
increase of the productivity of mankind, to the extermination of disease,
to the extension of scientific research, to the raising of the standard of
physical health, to the sharpening and refinement of the human brain, to
the exploitation of the unused and unsuspected resources of the planet, to
the prolongation of human life, and to the furtherance of any other agency
that can stimulate the intellectual, the moral, and spiritual life of the
entire human race.

A world federal system, ruling the whole earth and exercising
unchallengeable authority over its unimaginably vast resources, blending
and embodying the ideals of both the East and the West, liberated from the
curse of war and its miseries, and bent on the exploitation of all the
available sources of energy on the surface of the planet, a system in
which Force is made the servant of Justice, whose life is sustained by its
universal recognition of one God and by its allegiance to one common
Revelation—such is the goal towards which humanity, impelled by the
unifying forces of life, is moving.

(11 March 1936, published in “The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected
Letters”, pp. 162–63, 201–4) [48]



49: The world-shaking ordeal which Bahá’u’lláh, as quoted in the foregoing
pages,...


The world-shaking ordeal which Bahá’u’lláh, as quoted in the foregoing
pages, has so graphically prophesied, may find it [the American nation]
swept, to an unprecedented degree, into its vortex. Out of it it will
probably emerge, unlike its reactions to the last world conflict,
consciously determined to seize its opportunity, to bring the full weight
of its influence to bear upon the gigantic problems that such an ordeal
must leave in its wake, and to exorcise forever, in conjunction with its
sister nations of both the East and the West, the greatest curse which,
from time immemorial, has afflicted and degraded the human race.

Then, and only then, will the American nation, moulded and purified in the
crucible of a common war, inured to its rigours, and disciplined by its
lessons, be in a position to raise its voice in the councils of the
nations, itself lay the corner-stone of a universal and enduring peace,
proclaim the solidarity, the unity, and maturity of mankind, and assist in
the establishment of the promised reign of righteousness on earth. Then,
and only then, will the American nation, while the community of the
American believers within its heart is consummating its divinely appointed
mission, be able to fulfill the unspeakably glorious destiny ordained for
it by the Almighty, and immortally enshrined in the writings of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Then, and only then, will the American nation accomplish
“that which will adorn the pages of history,” “become the envy of the
world and be blest in both the East and the West.”

(25 December 1938, published in “The Advent of Divine Justice” (Wilmette:
Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1984), pp. 90–91) [49]



50: The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny. The...


The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny. The interdependence
of the peoples and nations of the earth, whatever the leaders of the
divisive forces of the world may say or do, is already an accomplished
fact. Its unity in the economic sphere is now understood and recognized.
The welfare of the part means the welfare of the whole, and the distress
of the part brings distress to the whole. The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh
has, in His own words, “lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction” to
this vast process now operating in the world. The fires lit by this great
ordeal are the consequences of men’s failure to recognize it. They are,
moreover, hastening its consummation. Adversity, prolonged, world wide,
afflictive, allied to chaos and universal destruction, must needs convulse
the nations, stir the conscience of the world, disillusion the masses,
precipitate a radical change in the very conception of society, and
coalesce ultimately the disjointed, the bleeding limbs of mankind into one
body, single, organically united, and indivisible.

...

To the general character, the implications and features of this world
commonwealth, destined to emerge, sooner or later, out of the carnage,
agony, and havoc of this great world convulsion, I have already referred
in my previous communications. Suffice it to say that this consummation
will, by its very nature, be a gradual process, and must, as Bahá’u’lláh
has Himself anticipated, lead at first to the establishment of that Lesser
Peace which the nations of the earth, as yet unconscious of His Revelation
and yet unwittingly enforcing the general principles which He has
enunciated, will themselves establish. This momentous and historic step,
involving the reconstruction of mankind, as the result of the universal
recognition of its oneness and wholeness, will bring in its wake the
spiritualization of the masses, consequent to the recognition of the
character, and the acknowledgement of the claims, of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh—the essential condition to that ultimate fusion of all races,
creeds, classes, and nations which must signalize the emergence of His New
World Order.

Then will the coming of age of the entire human race be proclaimed and
celebrated by all the peoples and nations of the earth. Then will the
banner of the Most Great Peace be hoisted. Then will the world wide
sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh—the Establisher of the Kingdom of the Father
foretold by the Son, and anticipated by the Prophets of God before Him and
after Him—be recognized, acclaimed, and firmly established. Then will a
world civilization be born, flourish, and perpetuate itself, a
civilization with a fullness of life such as the world has never seen nor
can as yet conceive. Then will the Everlasting Covenant be fulfilled in
its completeness. Then will the promise enshrined in all the Books of God
be redeemed, and all the prophecies uttered by the Prophets of old come to
pass, and the vision of seers and poets be realized. Then will the planet,
galvanized through the universal belief of its dwellers in one God, and
their allegiance to one common Revelation, mirror, within the limitations
imposed upon it, the effulgent glories of the sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh,
shining in the plenitude of its splendour in the Abhá Paradise, and be
made the footstool of His Throne on high, and acclaimed as the earthly
heaven, capable of fulfilling that ineffable destiny fixed for it, from
time immemorial, by the love and wisdom of its Creator.

(28 March 1941, published in “The Promised Day Is Come”, pp. 122–124) [50]



51: The principle of collective security He [Bahá’u’lláh] unreservedly
urges;...


The principle of collective security He [Bahá’u’lláh] unreservedly urges;
recommends the reduction in national armaments; and proclaims as necessary
and inevitable the convening of a world gathering at which the kings and
rulers of the world will deliberate for the establishment of peace among
the nations.

(“God Passes By”, rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1987), pp.
217–218) [51]



52: During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of the
present...


During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of the present
and succeeding epochs, the last and crowning stage in the erection of the
framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh—the
election of the Universal House of Justice—will have been completed, the
“Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, the Mother-Book of His Revelation, will have been
codified and its laws promulgated, the Lesser Peace will have been
established, the unity of mankind will have been achieved and its maturity
attained, the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will have been executed, the
emancipation of the Faith from the fetters of religious orthodoxy will
have been effected, and its independent religious status will have been
universally recognized...

...

...we cannot fail to perceive the workings of two simultaneous processes,
generated as far back as the concluding years of the Heroic Age of our
Faith, each clearly defined, each distinctly separate, yet closely related
and destined to culminate, in the fullness of time, in a single glorious
consummation.

One of these processes is associated with the mission of the American
Bahá’í community, the other with the destiny of the American nation. The
one serves directly the interests of the Administrative Order of the Faith
of Bahá’u’lláh...

The other process dates back to the outbreak of the First World War that
threw the Great Republic of the West into the vortex of the first stage of
a world upheaval. It received its initial impetus through the formulation
of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, closely associating for the first
time that Republic with the fortunes of the Old World. It suffered its
first set-back through the dissociation of that Republic from the
newly-born League of Nations which that President had laboured to create.
It acquired added momentum through the outbreak of the Second World War,
inflicting unprecedented suffering on that Republic, and involving it
still further in the affairs of all the continents of the globe. It was
further reinforced through the declaration embodied in the Atlantic
Charter, as voiced by one of its chief progenitors, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It assumed a definite outline through the birth of the United Nations at
the San Francisco Conference. It acquired added significance through the
choice of the City of the Covenant itself as the seat of the newly-born
organization, through the declaration recently made by the American
President related to his country’s commitments in Greece and Turkey, as
well as through the submission to the General Assembly of the United
Nations of the thorny and challenging problem of the Holy Land, the
spiritual as well as the administrative centre of the World Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh. It must, however long and tortuous the way, lead, through a
series of victories and reverses, to the political unification of the
Eastern and Western Hemispheres, to the emergence of a world government,
and the establishment of the Lesser Peace, as foretold by Bahá’u’lláh and
foreshadowed by the Prophet Isaiah. It must, in the end, culminate in the
unfurling of the banner of the Most Great Peace, in the Golden Age of the
Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.

(5 June 1947 to the Bahá’ís of West, published in “Citadel of Faith:
Messages to America 1947–1957” (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980),
p. 6, pp. 32–33) [52]



53: The raising of this Edifice will in turn herald the construction, in
the...


The raising of this Edifice will in turn herald the construction, in the
course of successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, of several
other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such
divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the
Cause, and the Universal House of Justice. These Edifices will, in the
shape of a far-flung arc, and following a harmonizing style of
architecture, surround the resting-places of the Greatest Holy Leaf,
ranking as foremost among the members of her sex in the Bahá’í
Dispensation, of her Brother, offered up as a ransom by Bahá’u’lláh for
the quickening of the world and its unification, and of their Mother,
proclaimed by Him to be His chosen “consort in all the worlds of God”. The
ultimate completion of this stupendous undertaking will mark the
culmination of the development of a world-wide divinely-appointed
Administrative Order whose beginnings may be traced as far back as the
concluding years of the Heroic Age of the Faith.

This vast and irresistible process, unexampled in the spiritual history of
mankind, and which will synchronize with two no less significant
developments—the establishment of the Lesser Peace and the evolution of
Bahá’í national and local institutions—the one outside and the other
within the Bahá’í world—will attain its final consummation, in the Golden
Age of the Faith, through the raising of the standard of the Most Great
Peace, and the emergence, in the plenitude of its power and glory, of the
focal Centre of the agencies constituting the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.
The final establishment of this seat of the future Bahá’í World
Commonwealth will signalize at once the proclamation of the sovereignty of
the Founder of our Faith and the advent of the Kingdom of the Father
repeatedly lauded and promised by Jesus Christ.

This World Order will, in turn, in the course of successive Dispensations
of the Bahá’í Cycle, yield its fairest fruit through the birth and
flowering of a civilization, divinely inspired, unique in its features,
world-embracing in its scope, and fundamentally spiritual in its
character—a civilization destined as it unfolds to derive its initial
impulse from the spirit animating the very institutions which, in their
embryonic state, are now stirring in the womb of the present Formative Age
of the Faith.

(27 November 1954 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States,
published in “Messages to the Bahá’í World, 1950–1957” (Wilmette: Bahá’í
Publishing Trust, 1971), pp. 74–75) [53]



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF SHOGHI EFFENDI



54: The world is in great turmoil, and what is most pathetic is that it
has learned...


The world is in great turmoil, and what is most pathetic is that it has
learned to keep away from God, Who alone can save it and alleviate its
sufferings. It is our duty, we who have been trusted with the task of
applying the divine remedy given by Bahá’u’lláh, to concentrate our
attention upon the consummation of this task, and not rest until the peace
foretold by the Prophets of God is permanently established....

(9 December 1931 to the Bahá’ís of Tokyo) [54]



55: Shoghi Effendi wrote his last general letter to the western friends...


Shoghi Effendi wrote his last general letter to the western friends
because he felt that the public should be made to understand the attitude
the Bahá’í Faith maintains towards the prevailing economic and political
problems. We should let the world know what the real aim of Bahá’u’lláh
was. Up to the present Unity of Mankind was only of an academic
importance. Now it is becoming more and more a subject for international
statesmen to think of. It is coming to the field of practical politics. It
is therefore a wonderful chance for us to come to the front and expound
the teaching which is the goal and aim of the social precepts of
Bahá’u’lláh. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the friends will re-echo this call
to an organic unity of mankind until it forms part of the conscious faith
of every living man in the world. Great judgement should be however
practised lest we be misunderstood and our Faith be classed among radical
movements.

(28 January 1932 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States
and Canada) [55]



56: Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
dated...


Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated
January 26th 1932 which accompanied a printed copy of his last general
letter. He thanks you both for this as well as for the one hundred copies
you are shipping to him. He is deeply gratified to learn that the friends
find it interesting and worthwhile enough as to make its subject-matter
the topic of their teaching campaign. He sincerely hopes that this will
also awaken some of the friends to the importance of this teaching of the
Cause and stimulate them to make a thorough and deep study of it. For it
undoubtedly forms the goal of the social precepts of the Faith. There is
no reason why the Bahá’ís should not take the lead in advocating such a
federation of the world, towards which the world is driven by forces it
cannot control....

(16 February 1932 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States
and Canada) [56]



57: The different nations of the world will never attain peace except
after...


The different nations of the world will never attain peace except after
recognizing the significance of the teachings and whole-heartedly
upholding them for through those precepts all international problems will
be solved and every man will secure the spiritual environment in which his
soul can evolve and produce its highest fruits.

(15 January 1933 to an individual believer) [57]



58: The Guardian has also read with deep interest all the enclosed papers.
He...


The Guardian has also read with deep interest all the enclosed papers. He
is firmly convinced that through perseverance and concerted action the
cause of Peace will eventually triumph over all the dark forces which
threaten the welfare and progress of the world today. But such purely
human attempts are undoubtedly ineffective unless inspired and guided by
the power of faith. Without the assistance of God, as given through the
message of Bahá’u’lláh, peace can never be safely and adequately
established. To disregard the Bahá’í solution for world peace is to build
on foundations of sand. To accept and apply it is to make peace not a mere
dream, or an ideal, but a living reality. This is the point which the
Guardian wishes you to develop, to emphasize again and again, and to
support by convincing arguments. The Bahá’í peace programme is, indeed,
not only one way of attaining that goal. It is not even relatively the
best. It is, in the last resort, the sole effective instrument for the
establishment of the reign of peace in this world. This attitude does not
involve any total repudiation of other solutions offered by various
philanthropists. It merely shows their inadequacy compared to the Divine
Plan for the unification of the world. We cannot escape the truth that
nothing mundane can in the last resort be enduring, unless supported and
sustained through the power of God.

(25 September 1933 to an individual believer) [58]



59: Whatever our shortcomings may be, and however formidable the forces of
darkness...


Whatever our shortcomings may be, and however formidable the forces of
darkness which besiege us today, the unification of mankind as outlined
and ensured by the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh will in the fullness of time
be firmly and permanently established. This is Bahá’u’lláh’s promise, and
no power on earth can in the long run prevent or even retard its adequate
realization. The friends should, therefore, not lose hope, but fully
conscious of their power and their rôle they should persevere in their
mighty efforts for the extension and the consolidation of Bahá’u’lláh’s
universal dominion on earth.

(6 November 1933 to an individual believer) [59]



60: As regards the International Executive referred to by the Guardian in
his...


As regards the International Executive referred to by the Guardian in his
“Goal of a New World Order”, it should be noted that this statement refers
by no means to the Bahá’í Commonwealth of the future, but simply to that
world government which will herald the advent and lead to the final
establishment of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. The formation of this
International Executive, which corresponds to the executive head or board
in present-day national governments, is but a step leading to the Bahá’í
world government of the future, and hence should not be identified with
either the institution of the Guardianship or that of the International
House of Justice.

(17 March 1934 to two believers) [60]



61: In connection with your teaching work: what the Guardian wishes you
to...


In connection with your teaching work: what the Guardian wishes you to
particularly emphasize in all your talks is the supreme necessity for all
individuals and nations in this day to adopt in its entirety the social
programme given by Bahá’u’lláh for the reconstruction of the religious,
economic and political life of mankind. He wishes you to explain and
analyze the elements that help in raising this Divine World Order in the
light of the present-day events and conditions in the world. Special
stress, he feels, should be laid on the impending necessity of
establishing a supranational and sovereign world state, as the one
described by Bahá’u’lláh. With the world becoming increasingly subject to
tumults and convulsions never experienced before, the realization of such
a necessity is entering into the consciousness of not only the wise and
learned, but of the common people as well. The believers should,
therefore, seize this opportunity and make a supreme effort to present, in
a convincing and eloquent language, those social and humanitarian
teachings of the Faith which we believe to constitute the sole panacea for
the innumerable ills afflicting our present-day world.

(15 November 1935 to two believers) [61]



62: With reference to your question concerning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s reference
to...


With reference to your question concerning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s reference to
“unity in the political realm”: this unity should be clearly distinguished
from the “unity of nations”. The first is a unity which politically
independent and sovereign states achieve among themselves; while the
second is one which is brought about between nations, the difference
between a state and a nation being that the former, as you know, is a
political entity without necessarily being homogeneous in race, whereas
the second implies national as well as political homogeneity.

(26 July 1936 to an individual believer) [62]



63: As regards your teaching work: the Guardian has already advised you
to...


As regards your teaching work: the Guardian has already advised you to
stress in your talks the idea of a world superstate, and the concept of
the Oneness of Mankind underlying it. In addition, he wishes you also to
emphasize the fact that humanity, taken as a whole, has entered the most
critical and momentous stage of its evolution, the stage of maturity. This
idea of the coming of age of mankind constitutes the central core of the
Bahá’í Teachings, and is the most distinguishing feature of the Revelation
of Bahá’u’lláh. A proper understanding of this concept gives the key to an
adequate appreciation of the tremendous claim made by the Author of the
Faith, both with regard to His own station, and to the incomparable
greatness of His Dispensation.

(12 October 1936 to an individual believer) [63]



64: With reference to the question you have asked concerning the time
and...


With reference to the question you have asked concerning the time and
means through which the Lesser and Most Great Peace, referred to by
Bahá’u’lláh, will be established, following the coming World War: Your
view that the Lesser Peace will come about through the political efforts
of the states and nations of the world, and independently of any direct
Bahá’í plan or effort, and the Most Great Peace be established through the
instrumentality of the believers, and by the direct operation of the laws
and principles revealed by Bahá’u’lláh and the functioning of the
Universal House of Justice as the supreme organ of the Bahá’í
superstate—your view on this subject is quite correct and in full accord
with the pronouncements of the Guardian as embodied in “The Unfoldment of
World Civilization”.

(14 March 1939 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and
Canada, and to an individual believer) [64]



65: Though it is premature to try and endeavour to foresee on what
basis...


Though it is premature to try and endeavour to foresee on what basis
various nations would be represented on any international council, or in
any international form of government, it is clear that from the Bahá’í
standpoint it could only be carried out on a basis of true justice; and
justice does not imply one race having a preponderating vote over some
other race’s representatives, and thus being in a position to dominate
them.

(12 April 1942 to an individual believer) [65]



66: What ‘Abdu’l-Bahá meant about the women arising for peace is that this
is a...


What ‘Abdu’l-Bahá meant about the women arising for peace is that this is
a matter which vitally affects women, and when they form a conscious and
overwhelming mass of public opinion against war there can be no war. The
Bahá’í women are already organized through being members of the Faith and
the Administrative Order. No further organization is needed. But they
should, through teaching and through the active moral support they give to
every movement directed towards peace, seek to exert a strong influence on
other women’s minds in regard to this essential matter.

(24 March 1945 to two believers) [66]



67: The Seven Lights of Unity will not necessarily appear in the order
given....


The Seven Lights of Unity will not necessarily appear in the order given.
A product of the second may well be universal culture.

(19 November 1945 to an individual believer) [67]



68: The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh will establish a new way of life for...


The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh will establish a new way of life for
humanity. Those who are Bahá’ís must endeavour to establish this way of
life just as rapidly as possible. Now that the hour has arrived when the
Bahá’í Faith is gaining prominence, and is being reviewed by so many
peoples, it is necessary that the adherents of the Faith should live up to
the high ideals of the Faith in every way. In this way they can
demonstrate that the Bahá’í Faith does create a new way of life, which
brings to the individual a complete association with the Will of God, and
thus the establishment of a peaceful and universal society. Divisional
attachments are of men, while universal service is of God.

The Guardian is now anxious that all the friends achieve a universal
consciousness and universal way of life.

(20 November 1955 to an individual believer) [68]



69: World government will come, but we do not know the date....


World government will come, but we do not know the date.

(15 August 1957 to an individual believer) [69]



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE



70: When Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed His Message to the world in the
nineteenth...


When Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed His Message to the world in the nineteenth
century He made it abundantly clear that the first step essential for the
peace and progress of mankind was its unification. As He says, “The
well-being of mankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and
until its unity is firmly established.” (“The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”,
p. 203) To this day, however, you will find most people take the opposite
point of view: they look upon unity as an ultimate, almost unattainable
goal and concentrate first on remedying all the other ills of mankind. If
they did but know it, these other ills are but various symptoms and side
effects of the basic disease—disunity. Bahá’u’lláh has, furthermore,
stated that the revivification of mankind and the curing of all its ills
can be achieved only through the instrumentality of His Faith....

...

We are told by Shoghi Effendi that two great processes are at work in the
world: the great Plan of God, tumultuous in its progress, working through
mankind as a whole, tearing down barriers to world unity and forging
humankind into a unified body in the fires of suffering and experience.
This process will produce, in God’s due time, the Lesser Peace, the
political unification of the world. Mankind at that time can be likened to
a body that is unified but without life. The second process, the task of
breathing life into this unified body—of creating true unity and
spirituality culminating in the Most Great Peace—is that of the Bahá’ís,
who are labouring consciously, with detailed instructions and continuing
Divine guidance, to erect the fabric of the Kingdom of God on earth, into
which they call their fellow men, thus conferring upon them eternal life.

(8 December 1967, published in “Wellspring of Guidance: Messages
1963–1968”, 1st rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1976), pp.
131–34) [70]



71: It is true that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made statements linking the establishment
of...


It is true that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made statements linking the establishment of
the unity of nations to the twentieth century. For example: “The fifth
candle is the unity of nations—a unity which, in this century, will be
securely established, causing all the peoples of the world to regard
themselves as citizens of one common fatherland.” And, in The “Promised
Day Is Come”, following a similar statement quoted from “Some Answered
Questions”, Shoghi Effendi makes this comment: “This is the stage which
the world is now approaching, the stage of world unity, which, as
‘Abdu’l-Bahá assures us, will, in this century, be securely established.”

There is also this statement from a letter written in 1946 to an
individual believer on behalf of the beloved Guardian by his secretary:

All we know is that the Lesser and the Most Great Peace will come—their
exact dates we do not know. The same is true as regards the possibility of
a future war; we cannot state dogmatically it will or will not take
place—all we know is that mankind must suffer and be punished sufficiently
to make it turn to God.

(29 July 1974) [71]



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE



72: ...the Bahá’í Faith aims to eliminate all war, including nuclear. The
fundamental...


...the Bahá’í Faith aims to eliminate all war, including nuclear. The
fundamental purpose of our Faith is unity and the establishment of peace.
This goal, which is the longing of people throughout an increasingly
insecure world, can only be achieved through the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.
Since it is only the Bahá’ís who can give these Teachings to mankind, the
friends must weigh carefully how they will spend their time and energy and
guard against associating with activities which unduly distract them from
their primary responsibility of sharing the Message of Bahá’u’lláh.

(4 July 1982 to an individual believer) [72]



73: At the present time, the subject of nuclear disarmament has become
very...


At the present time, the subject of nuclear disarmament has become very
much a political issue, with demonstrations taking place not only in the
United States but also in England and some western European countries. To
single out nuclear disarmament falls short of the Bahá’í position and
would involve the Faith in the current disputes between nations. It is
very clear that Bahá’ís believe disarmament, not only of nuclear weapons
but of biological, chemical and all other forms, is essential...

(12 January 1983 to an individual believer) [73]



74: Concerning the transition from the present system of national
sovereignty...


Concerning the transition from the present system of national sovereignty
to a system of world government, the House of Justice fully agrees with
your view that the Bahá’ís must now do all in their power to promote this
transition. This requires several related activities, all of which are
goals of the present Seven Year Plan. One is the establishment as rapidly
as possible of firmly grounded efficiently functioning Local Spiritual
Assemblies in every part of the world, so that seekers everywhere will
have a point of reference to which they can turn for guidance and for the
Teachings of the Faith. A second is the deepening of the believers, of all
ages, in their understanding of and obedience to the Teachings. A third is
the proclamation of the Faith to all strata of society, and in particular
to those in authority and to leaders of thought so that those who hold the
direction of peoples in their hands will learn accurately about the nature
and tenets of the Faith and will grow to respect it and implement its
principles. A fourth is the promotion of Bahá’í scholarship, so that an
increasing number of believers will be able to analyse the problems of
mankind in every field and to show how the Teachings solve them. A fifth
is the development of relations between the Bahá’í International Community
and the United Nations both directly with the highest UN institutions and
at a grass-roots level in areas of rural development, education, etc.

As you are no doubt aware, the Guardian indicated that the development of
mankind from its present chaotic condition to the stage of the Bahá’í
World Commonwealth would be a long and gradual one. The coming into
existence of a World Authority and the initiation of the Lesser Peace, is
one major transformation in this process, and will be followed by other
stages of the development of the Faith as outlined by Shoghi Effendi in
his writings. Undoubtedly, as these developments are taking place, the
counsel the institutions of the Faith can give to governments, the pattern
of world administration offered by the Bahá’í community and the great
humanitarian projects which will be launched under the aegis of the
Universal House of Justice, will exercise a great influence on the course
of progress.

(19 January 1983 to an individual believer) [74]



75: It is true that Bahá’ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use of
force in...


It is true that Bahá’ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use of force
in the service of justice and upholding law. But we do not believe that
war is ever necessary and its abolition is one of the essential purposes
and brightest promises of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation. His specific command
to the kings of the earth is: “Should any one among you take up arms
against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest
justice.” (Tablet to Queen Victoria, “The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh”, p.
13) The beloved Guardian has explained that the unity of mankind implies
the establishment of a world commonwealth, a world federal system,
“...liberated from the curse of war and its miseries in which Force is
made the servant of Justice...” whose world executive “backed by an
international Force,...will safeguard the organic unity of the whole
commonwealth.” This is obviously not war but the maintenance of law and
order on a world scale. Warfare is the ultimate tragedy of disunity among
nations where no international authority exists powerful enough to
restrain them from pursuing their own limited interests. Bahá’ís therefore
ask to serve their countries in non-combatant ways during such fighting;
they will doubtless serve in such an international Force as Bahá’u’lláh
envisions, whenever it comes into being.

(11 September 1984 to an individual believer) [75]



76: Bahá’u’lláh’s principal mission in appearing at this time in human
history


Bahá’u’lláh’s principal mission in appearing at this time in human history
is the realization of the oneness of mankind and the establishment of
peace among the nations; therefore, all the forces which are focused on
accomplishing these ends are influenced by His Revelation. We know,
however, that peace will come in stages. First, there will come the Lesser
Peace, when the unity of nations will be achieved, then gradually the Most
Great Peace—the spiritual as well as social and political unity of
mankind, when the Bahá’í World Commonwealth, operating in strict
accordance with the laws and ordinances of the Most Holy Book of the
Bahá’í Revelation, will have been established through the efforts of the
Bahá’ís.

As to the Lesser Peace, Shoghi Effendi has explained that this will
initially be a political unity arrived at by decision of the governments
of various nations; it will not be established by direct action of the
Bahá’í community. This does not mean, however, that the Bahá’ís are
standing aside and waiting for the Lesser Peace to come before they do
something about the peace of mankind. Indeed, by promoting the principles
of the Faith, which are indispensable to the maintenance of peace, and by
fashioning the instruments of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, which we
are told by the beloved Guardian is the pattern for future society, the
Bahá’ís are constantly engaged in laying the groundwork for a permanent
peace, the Most Great Peace being their ultimate goal.

The Lesser Peace itself will pass through stages; at the initial stage the
governments will act entirely on their own without the conscious
involvement of the Faith; later on, in God’s good time, the Faith will
have a direct influence on it in ways indicated by Shoghi Effendi in his
“The Goal of a New World Order”. In connection with the steps that will
lead to this latter stage, the Universal House of Justice will certainly
determine what has to be done, in accordance with the guidance in the
Writings, such as the passage you quoted from “Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh”,
page 89. In the meantime, the Bahá’ís will undoubtedly continue to do all
in their power to promote the establishment of peace.

(31 January 1985 to an individual believer) [76]

Revised September 1990



FOOTNOTES


    1 The translation of this sentence has been revised since the
      publication of “Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”.





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