Excerpts from the sacred Writings of the Baha'i Faith: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha, and Letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice

March 24

In the strict legal sense there are no "grounds" for a Bahá'í divorce. No question of misbehavior of either party is involved and the only condition under which a Bahá'í divorce may be considered is the irreconcilable antipathy of the parties. Thus it is not sufficient that one or both of the parties has asked that the date for the beginning of the year of waiting be fixed; the Assembly must find the condition of irreconcilable antipathy to exist before the date can be fixed. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated May 24, 1972 to a National Spiritual Assembly; Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

March 23

A very important element in the attainment of such equality is Bahá'u'lláh's provision that boys and girls must follow essentially the same curriculum in schools. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 28 December 1980 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Women)

March 22

Devote ye particular attention to the school for girls, for the greatness of this wondrous Age will be manifested as a result of progress in the world of women. This is why ye observe that in every land the world of women is on the march, and this is due to the impact of the Most Great Manifestation, and the power of the teachings of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, published in "Bahá'í Education, a compilation"; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Women)

March 21

Not all of us are capable of serving in the same way, but the one way every Bahá'í can spread the Faith is by example. This moves the hearts of people far more deeply than words ever can.

The love we show others, the hospitality and understanding, the willingness to help them, these are the very best advertisements of the Faith. They will want to hear about it when they see these things in our lives. (From a letter dated 14 October 1943 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 17 March 1943 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

March 20

The Bahá’í New Year, Naw-Rúz, is astronomically fixed, coinciding with the March equinox. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (The ‘Notes’ section of the Kitab-i-Aqdas)

March 19

Through example, loving fellowship, prayer, and kindness the friends can attract the hearts of such people and enable them to realize that this is the Cause of God in deed, not merely words!... 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 24 February 1943 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

March 18

...There are no set forms of meditation prescribed in the teachings, no plan, as such, for inner development. The friends are urged - nay enjoined - to pray, and they also should meditate, but the manner of doing the latter is left entirely to the individual...

The inspiration received through meditation is of a nature that one cannot measure or determine. God can inspire into our minds things that we had no previous knowledge of, if He desires to do so. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated January 25, 1943 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

March 17

The prescribed ablutions consist of washing the hands and the face in preparation for [obligatory] prayer. In the case of the medium Obligatory Prayer, this is accompanied by the recitation of certain verses.

That ablutions have a significance beyond washing may be seen from the fact that even should one have bathed oneself immediately before reciting the Obligatory Prayer, it would still be necessary to perform ablutions (Q and A 18). 
- The Universal House of Justice  (The ‘Notes’ section of the Kitab-i-Aqdas)

March 16

Well aware of the impending trials that were to afflict Him, the Báb had, ere His final separation from His family, bequeathed to His mother and His wife all His possessions, had confided to the latter the secret of what was to befall Him, and revealed for her a special prayer the reading of which, He assured her, would resolve her perplexities and allay her sorrows. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

March 15

... The powerful operations of this titanic upheaval [World War II] are comprehensible to none except such as have recognized the claims of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab. Their followers know full well whence it comes, and what it will ultimately lead to. Though ignorant of how far it will reach, they clearly recognize its genesis, are aware of its direction, acknowledge its necessity, observe confidently its mysterious processes, ardently pray for the mitigation of its severity, intelligently labor to assuage its fury, and anticipate, with undimmed vision, the consummation of the fears and the hopes it must necessarily engender.

This judgment of God, as viewed by those who have recognized Bahá'u'lláh as His Mouthpiece and His greatest Messenger on earth, is both a retributory calamity and an act of holy and supreme discipline. It is at once a visitation from God and a cleansing process for all mankind. Its fires punish the perversity of the human race, and weld its component parts into one organic, indivisible, world-embracing community. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 28 March 1941 to the Bahá'ís of the West, published as ‘The Promised Day is Come’)

March 14

The period of the Báb’s banishment to the mountains of Ádhirbayján, lasting no less than three years, constitutes the saddest, the most dramatic, and in a sense the most pregnant phase of His six year ministry. It comprises His nine months’ unbroken confinement in the fortress of Máh-Kú, and His subsequent incarceration in the fortress of Chihríq, which was interrupted only by a brief yet memorable visit to Tabríz. It was overshadowed throughout by the implacable and mounting hostility of the two most powerful adversaries of the Faith, the Grand Vizir of Muhammad Sháh, Hájí Mírzá Aqásí, and the Amír-Nizám, the Grand Vizir of Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh. It corresponds to the most critical stage of the mission of Bahá’u’lláh, during His exile to Adrianople, when confronted with the despotic Sulṭán ‘Abdu’l-‘Azíz and his ministers, ‘Alí Páshá and Fu’ád Páshá, and is paralleled by the darkest days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ministry in the Holy Land, under the oppressive rule of the tyrannical ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd and the equally tyrannical Jamál Páshá. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

March 13

The voice of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Center of the Covenant of God, has, likewise, been raised, announcing the dire misfortunes which were to overtake, soon after His passing, the ecclesiastical hierarchies of both Sunní and Shí’ih Islám. “This glory,” He has written, “shall be turned into the most abject abasement, and this pomp and might converted into the most complete subjugation. Their palaces will be transformed into prisons, and the course of their ascendant star terminate in the depths of the pit. Laughter and merriment will vanish, nay more, the voice of their weeping will be raised.” “Even as the snow,” He moreover has written, “they will melt away in the July sun.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘The Promised Day Is Come’)

March 12

Generally, the wisest course for the Bahá’í community in controversial situations is to remain uninvolved; however, at times when primary Bahá’í principles are at the heart of an issue, the decision of the National Assembly concerned should not necessarily be to observe silence but, rather, to take action which rises above the partisan political manifestations of the controversy. The Assembly may, for instance, present its own statement to the authorities, setting forth its views on essential issues on the basis of principle, letting the circumstances determine how the principle is best to be applied. If you feel that such action would be appropriate in the situation you face with respect to the issues raised in your letter, you may wish to draft such a statement, but before releasing it, kindly check with the World Centre. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, dated January 14, 1988; compilation: ‘Involvement in Political Protests and Demonstrations”, prepared by the Office of Public Affairs of US National Spiritual Assembly)

March 11

... the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land have shared with us a portion of the February 3rd letter of... referring to teaching in the prison in ...and to the formation of Local Assemblies in cell blocks, While this teaching work is commendable those who accept Bahá'u'lláh under these conditions cannot undertake administrative responsibilities, nor can Local Assemblies be formed in prisons. However, they may observe Nineteen Day Feasts, Bahá'í Holy Days, and other Bahá'í events. When they return to their own communities they may participate in administrative affairs as well." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated February 9, 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador,: Extract from a letter written to another National Spiritual Assembly, June 11, 1964; compilations: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

March 10

Of the various writings that make up the Súriy-i-Haykal, one requires particular mention. The Lawḥ-i-Sulṭán, the Tablet to Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh, Bahá’u’lláh’s lengthiest epistle to any single sovereign, was revealed in the weeks immediately preceding His final banishment to ‘Akká. It was eventually delivered to the monarch by Badí‘, a youth of seventeen, who had entreated Bahá’u’lláh for the honour of rendering some service. His efforts won him the crown of martyrdom and immortalized his name. The Tablet contains the celebrated passage describing the circumstances in which the divine call was communicated to Bahá’u’lláh and the effect it produced.  Here, too, we find His unequivocal offer to meet with the Muslim clergy, in the presence of the Sháh, and to provide whatever proofs of the new Revelation they might consider to be definitive, a test of spiritual integrity significantly failed by those who claimed to be the authoritative trustees of the message of the Qur’án. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (Introduction to ‘The Summons of the Lord of Hosts’)

March 9

All Baha'is are subject to Baha'i law and Baha'i standards. It would clearly be unacceptable for a Baha’i doctor to advocate abortion as a method of birth control and set up a clinic for that purpose, or for a Baha'i psychiatrist to publicly advocate sexual intercourse before marriage. 
- The Universal House of justice  (From a letter dated 10 December 1992 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; compilation: ‘Issues Related to Study of the Faith’, Extracts from letters written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice)

March 8

In reviewing your Minutes for 15 March 1967, we note Item 25-8 in which the Treasurer suggests a lottery as means of disposing of a Persian carpet which has been given to you by one of the believers. We do not feel this is an appropriate way in which to raise funds....

As far as individuals are concerned, we have carefully studied the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi on this point and it is apparent that such subsidiary matters are not recorded in the Holy Texts. The Universal House of Justice is not prepared to decide at this time whether the purchase of lottery tickets should be permitted or prohibited. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, July 4, 1967: Extracts Concerning Gambling, Lotteries and Raffles, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

March 7

It is apparent that the crisis of contemporary civilization is impelling thinkers in many lands to explore new scholarly methodologies capable of coming to grips with spiritual, moral, cultural, and social phenomena not hitherto encountered. No segment of humanity is so well equipped as the Baha'i community to take a leading role in this effort. As a body of people who are being steadily freed by the Revelation of Baha'u'llah from the "gravitational pull," so to speak, of the cultures in which their habits of mind have been formed, the community already has a unique approach to the exploration of reality. This approach needs to be sharply honed as an ever more effective instrument of social transformation. The devising of the new scholarly paradigm called for by this circumstance offers a priceless opportunity of service and achievement to those Baha'is who enjoy the dual gifts of spiritual faith and intellectual faculties trained in the best that contemporary society has to offer. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 5 October 1993 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; compilation: ‘Issues Related to Study of the Faith’, Extracts from letters written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice)

March 6

The spiritual growth generated by individual devotions is reinforced by loving association among the friends in every locality, by worship as a community and by service to the Faith and to one's fellow human beings. These communal aspects of the godly life relate to the law of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár which appears in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Although the time has not come for the building of local Mashriqu'l-Adhkárs, the holding of regular meetings for worship open to all and the involvement of Bahá'í communities in projects of humanitarian service are expressions of this element of Bahá'í life and a further step in the implementation of the Law of God. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 28 December 1999 to the Bahá'ís of the World; compilation: ‘Selected Guidance Concerning Devotional Gatherings’, Extracts from Letters Written by and on Behalf of the Universal House of Justice’, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice)