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

April 30

Who else can be the blissful if not the community of the Most Great Name, whose world-embracing, continually consolidating activities constitute the one integrating process in a world whose institutions, secular as well as religious, are for the most part dissolving? They indeed are "the people of the right," whose "noble habitation" is fixed on the foundations of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh – the Ark of everlasting salvation in this most grievous Day. Of all the kindreds of the earth they alone can recognise, amidst the welter of a tempestuous age, the Hand of the Divine Redeemer that traces its course and controls its destinies. They alone are aware of the silent growth of that orderly world polity whose fabric they themselves are weaving. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated March 11, 1936, ‘The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh’; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol.III, Social and Economic Development)

April 29

As to his question about the permissibility of promulgating the divine teachings without relating them to the Most Great Name, you should answer: "This blessed Name hath an effect on the reality of things. If these teachings are spread without identifying them with this holy Name, they will fail to exert an abiding influence in the world. The teachings are like the body, and this holy Name is like the spirit. It imparteth life to the body. It causeth the people of the world to be aroused from their slumber." 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

April 28

[The Festival of Ridvan,] the "Most Great Festival," the "King of Festivals," the "Festival of God" Himself -- the Festival associated with the accession of Him [Baha’u’llah] Who is the Lord of the Kingdom to the throne of everlasting glory, and with the formal assumption by Him of His prophetic office...
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated June 15, 1946; ‘Messages to America’)

April 27

[Baha’u’llah’s public] Proclamation was made at a time when the Faith was in the throes of a crisis of extreme violence, and it was in the main addressed to the kings of the earth, and to the Christian and Muslim ecclesiastical leaders who, by virtue of their immense prestige, ascendancy and authority, assumed an appalling and inescapable responsibility for the immediate destinies of their subjects and followers.

The initial phase of that Proclamation may be said to have opened in Constantinople with the communication (the text of which we, alas, do not possess) addressed by Bahá’u’lláh to Sulṭán ‘Abdu’l-‘Azíz himself, the self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islám and the absolute ruler of a mighty empire. So potent, so august a personage was the first among the sovereigns of the world to receive the Divine Summons, and the first among Oriental monarchs to sustain the impact of God’s retributive justice. The occasion for this communication was provided by the infamous edict the Sultán had promulgated, less than four months after the arrival of the exiles in his capital, banishing them, suddenly and without any justification whatsoever, in the depth of winter, and in the most humiliating circumstances, to Adrianople, situated on the extremities of his empire. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 26

With the arrival of Bahá’u’lláh at Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and seat of the Caliphate (acclaimed by the Muhammadans as “the Dome of Islam,” but stigmatized by Him as the spot whereon the “throne of tyranny” had been established) the grimmest and most calamitous and yet the most glorious chapter in the history of the first Bahá’í century may be said to have opened. A period in which untold privations and unprecedented trials were mingled with the noblest spiritual triumphs was now commencing. The day-star of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry was about to reach its zenith. The most momentous years of the Heroic Age of His Dispensation were at hand. The catastrophic process, foreshadowed as far back as the year sixty by His Forerunner in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, was beginning to be set in motion. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 25

…in the Garden of Ridván, on the eve of His banishment to Constantinople, the ten-year delay, ordained by an inscrutable Providence, had been terminated through the Declaration of His Mission and the visible emergence of what was to become the nucleus of a world-embracing Fellowship. What now remained to be achieved was the proclamation, in the city of Adrianople, of that same Mission to the world’s secular and ecclesiastical leaders, to be followed, in successive decades, by a further unfoldment, in the prison-fortress of Akká, of the principles and precepts constituting the bedrock of that Faith, by the formulation of the laws and ordinances designed to safeguard its integrity, by the establishment, immediately after His ascension, of the Covenant designed to preserve its unity and perpetuate its influence, by the prodigious and world-wide extension of its activities, under the guidance of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Center of that Covenant, and lastly, by the rise, in the Formative Age of that Faith, of its Administrative Order, the harbinger of its Golden Age and future glory. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 24

In the name He [Baha’u’llah] bore He combined those of the Imám Ḥusayn, the most illustrious of the successors of the Apostle of God—the brightest “star” shining in the “crown” mentioned in the Revelation of St. John—and of the Imám ‘Alí, the Commander of the Faithful, the second of the two “witnesses” extolled in that same Book. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 23

To Him [Baha’u’llah] Isaiah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, had alluded as the “Glory of the Lord,” the “Everlasting Father,” the “Prince of Peace,” the “Wonderful,” the “Counsellor,” the “Rod come forth out of the stem of Jesse” and the “Branch grown out of His roots,” Who “shall be established upon the throne of David,” Who “will come with strong hand,” Who “shall judge among the nations,” Who “shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips slay the wicked,” and Who “shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 22

To His [Baha’u’llah’s] Dispensation the sacred books of the followers of Zoroaster had referred as that in which the sun must needs be brought to a standstill for no less than one whole month. To Him Zoroaster must have alluded when, according to tradition, He foretold that a period of three thousand years of conflict and contention must needs precede the advent of the World-Savior Sháh-Bahrám, Who would triumph over Ahriman and usher in an era of blessedness and peace. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 21

He [Baha’u’llah] alone is meant by the prophecy attributed to Gautama Buddha Himself, that “a Buddha named Maitreye, the Buddha of universal fellowship” should, in the fullness of time, arise and reveal “His boundless glory.” To Him the Bhagavad-Gita of the Hindus had referred as the “Most Great Spirit,” the “Tenth Avatar,” the “Immaculate Manifestation of Krishna.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 20

To Him [Baha’u’llah] Jesus Christ had referred as the “Prince of this world,” as the “Comforter” Who will “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” as the “Spirit of Truth” Who “will guide you into all truth,” Who “shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak,” as the “Lord of the Vineyard,” and as the “Son of Man” Who “shall come in the glory of His Father” “in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,” with “all the holy angels” about Him, and “all nations” gathered before His throne. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 19

To Him [Baha’u’llah] Muhammad, the Apostle of God, had alluded in His Book as the “Great Announcement,” and declared His Day to be the Day whereon “God” will “come down” “overshadowed with clouds,” the Day whereon “thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank,” and “The Spirit shall arise and the angels shall be ranged in order.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 18

Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí,… to his disciples, as his days drew to a close,…had significantly declared: “Verily, I say, after the Qá’im the Qayyúm will be made manifest. For when the star of the former has set the sun of the beauty of Husayn will rise and illuminate the whole world. Then will be unfolded in all its glory the ‘Mystery’ and the ‘Secret’ spoken of by Shaykh Ahmad.... To have attained unto that Day of Days is to have attained unto the crowning glory of past generations, and one goodly deed performed in that age is equal to the pious worship of countless centuries.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 17

The teacher, when teaching, must be himself fully enkindled, so that his utterance, like unto a flame of fire, may exert influence and consume the veil of self and passion. He must also be utterly humble and lowly so that others may be edified, and be totally self-effaced and evanescent so that he may teach with the melody of the Concourse on high -- otherwise his teaching will have no effect. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

April 16

Normally the building of structures or headstones on graves should be left to the family of deceased, and all expenses should be covered by them. The use of most great name or the ringstone symbol on gravestone is not appropriate.

In a letter dated September 17, 1971 to an individual believer we wrote the following: "Concerning the question you ask in your postscript, there is no specific ruling regarding the type of headstone that may be used at a grave site. However, regarding the inscription on a headstone, the beloved Guardian asked the believers not to use any form of the greatest name but a nine pointed star may be used. Or, you may wish to have an appropriate text from the sacred writings inscribed on the headstone. The position of the body in the grave should be with the feet pointing toward the Qiblih, which is Bahji in 'Akká'." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated May 4, 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Uganda; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

April 15

It is not possible to accept a free grant of land from the government to be used as a Temple site. The principle of not accepting gifts from non-Bahá'ís for strictly Bahá'í purposes applies to receiving free grants of land from non-Bahá'ís, whether individuals, institutions, or governments. There is no objection, however, to accepting free plots of land from the government or civic authorities if such plots are used for Bahá'í cemeteries or such institutions that are charitable or humanitarian in nature, such as schools. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated June 15, 1972; Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

April 14

Although we have not found any text which forbids the owning of race horses, horse racing as a means of winning the prize money and betting at race courses, we quote the translation of a Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on horse racing:

“Betting on horse racing is a pernicious disease. It hath been seen in Europe what distress this hath caused. Thousands have become afflicted and distraught. The friends of God must engage in work which is lawful and attracteth blessings, so that God's aid and bounty may always surround them.” (Translated from the Persian)

We do not feel...that it is appropriate for funds for the Faith to be raised through raffles." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated June 20, 1972 to a National Spiritual Assembly: Extracts Concerning Gambling, Lotteries and Raffles, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice; compilations: Lights of Guidance)

April 13

You will note that the aspect of protecting the child from making the wrong decision is not mentioned in any... quotations as a reason for the law, [concerning parental consent] although it may well play a part in the parents' decision as they have the obligation to consider the welfare and happiness of their children at all times. However limited our understanding of this and other laws given us by Bahá'u'lláh, we are assured that the divine blessings await those who place their reliance in Him and obey His commandments. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated July 19, 1972, to two believers; Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

April 12

Concerning the declaration of young people under the age of 18, ... we can accept a child of the age of 15 and over as a Bahá'í even if his parents do not consent and this remains true even though according to the law of Finland they cannot be officially transferred to the Bahá'í register. You should not, therefore, exclude such believers from the Nineteen Day Feasts. However, although such believers should not be swayed from their belief by their parents' objections, they should, in view of the stress that the Teachings place upon the respect due to parents and in view of the law in Finland, obey their parents as far as taking part in Bahá'í activities is concerned. Their aim should be to gradually awaken in their parents' hearts the same love for Bahá'u'lláh that has fired their own and not to antagonize their parents needlessly or contribute in any way to disharmony in their families at this crucial point in their development. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 1 March 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Finland; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I)