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

December 15

Under no circumstances should Bahá'ís drink. It is unambiguously forbidden in the Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh, that there is no excuse for them even touching it in the form of a toast, or in a burning plum pudding; in fact, in any way. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 3, 1957: Cited in a letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Assembly of Ecuador, December 21, 1972; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

December 14

Underlining the importance of education to the actualization of man's potential, the Guardian concludes: “All depends fundamentally on the training or education which man receives. Human nature is made up of possibilities both for good and evil. True religion can enable it to soar in the highest realm of the spirit, while its absence can, as we already witness around us, cause it to fall to the lowest depths of degradation and misery. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 11 September 1995 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

December 13

Your comments concerning poverty emphasize the extent to which society must change its attitudes before a solution to that social problem can be found. It is not simply a matter of economics; the solution deeply involves the adoption of spiritual principles at the grassroots as well as among governments. It imposes upon the Bahá'ís a clear duty to teach the Faith with unabating vigour. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 27 April 1988 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. III, Economics, Agriculture, and Related Subjects)

December 12

... no husband should subject his wife to abuse of any kind, whether emotional, mental or physical....

When a Bahá'í wife finds herself in such a situation and feels it cannot be resolved through consultation with her husband, she could well turn to the Local Spiritual Assembly for advice and guidance, and might also find it highly advantageous to seek the assistance of competent professional counsellors. If the husband is also a Bahá'í, the Local Spiritual Assembly can bring to his attention the need to avoid abusive behaviour and can, if necessary, take firm measures to encourage him to conform to the admonitions of the teachings. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 6 August 1989 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice; The Compilation of Compilations vol II, Preserving Baha’i Marriages)

December 11

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. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 28 November 1931 to the Bahá'ís of the West, published in "The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh: Selected Letters"; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, Peace)

December 10

One could postulate two extremes of economic theory: those who believe that the best solution is to remove all governmental control and intervention from the operation of the economic system, and those who believe that the functioning of the economic system should be closely supervised and adjusted by the State so that society is not at the mercy of the system but has it under its control. As has become abundantly clear, neither extreme is workable, and proponents of both have gradually come to adopt more moderate stances, although there tends to be an oscillation of viewpoints in response to changing conditions. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 13 November 1985 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. III, Economics, Agriculture, and Related Subjects)

December 9

As regards your suggestion to write a book on Bahá'í economics: the Guardian has no objection to your writing such a work, but he feels that the task is a tremendously difficult one, specially in view of the fact that there are almost no definite teachings on technical economics as it is known and taught today. The Bahá'í Writings give us only a few principles which can guide future Bahá'í economists in their efforts to bring about the necessary readjustments in the economic and industrial system. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 30 June 1936 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. III, Economics, Agriculture, and Related Subjects)      

December 8

'Abdu'l-Baha observes that should man's “natura1 qualities ... be used and displayed in an unlawful way, they become blameworthy”. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 11 September 1995 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

December 7

Two Bahá'ís, when getting married, cannot have the religious ceremony of another Faith. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, February 11, 1973; compilation” ‘Lights of Guidance’)

December 6

…one cannot be a Bahá'í and also a member of another religious organization. This is simply a matter of straight-forwardness and honesty. A great part of the teaching of Jesus Christ concerned His Second Coming and the preparation of His followers to be ready for it. The Bahá'ís believe He has come. No Christian Church believes this; on the contrary, they either look for Him still, or have ceased to believe that He will come. For a Bahá'í to be a member of a community which holds such beliefs is disloyalty to Christ and hypocrisy towards the Christians. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Switzerland, November 21, 1968: Canadian Bahá'í News Special Section, March 1973; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

December 5

It is, of course, permissible to translate Bahá'í Writings into other languages and dialects of languages. It is also possible to simplify or paraphrase the Bahá'í Writings in order to facilitate their translation into languages and dialects having small vocabularies. However, it is not permissible to publish simplifications and paraphrases of Bahá'í Writings as Bahá'í Scripture. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 13 March 1969 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

December 4

Shoghi Effendi, in a letter dated 25 May 1936, written on his behalf, identifies man's “true self” with “his soul”. In describing the nature of "man's inner spiritual self or reality”, he notes that the “two tendencies for good or evil are but manifestations of a single reality or self”, and that the self “is capab1e of development in either way·” 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 11 September 1995 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

December 3

…basic to the Baha'i Teachings is the concept that it is only God Who knows the purpose of human life, and Who can convey this to us through His Manifestations. A distinguishing feature of human existence is that we have been given the capacity to know and love God and to consciously obey Him. Thus we also have the converse: the ability to turn away from God, to fail to love Him and to disobey Him. Indeed, left to himself, man is naturally inclined towards evil. Human beings need not only assistance in defining acceptable behaviour of one person towards another, but also guidance which will help them to refrain from doing that which is spiritually damaging to themselves. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 11 September 1995 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

December 2

This Law [Huqúqu'lláh] of the Aqdas stipulates that nineteen per cent of one's capital is payable as Huqúqu'lláh when such capital has reached an amount of at least "nineteen mithqáls in gold".... In determining the amount a believer should pay, he should first deduct any debts and expenses he may have, and pay nineteen per cent of the remainder of his capital if it is equal to at least nineteen mithqáls of gold. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 21 January 1973; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Huququ’llah)

December 1

…the Writings of the Faith not only acknowledge that each individual has a God-given identity, but they also set out the means by which this identity can achieve its highest development and fulfilment. Baha’u’llah attests that through the Teachings of the Manifestation of God “every man will advance and develop until he attaineth the station at which he can manifest all the potential forces with which his inmost true self hath been endowed”. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 11 September 1995 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

November 30

...the most urgent need of human beings is to recognize the Manifestation of God and thereby to learn how to collaborate constructively. All over the world tremendous efforts are being made to improve the lot of mankind -- or of parts of mankind, but most of these efforts are frustrated by conflicts of aims, by corruption of the morals of those involved, by mistrust, or by fear. There is no lack of material resources in the world if they are properly used. The problem is the education of human beings in the ultimate and most important purpose of life and in how to weld differences of opinion and outlook into a united constructive effort. Bahá'ís believe that God has revealed the purpose of life, has shown us how to attain it, has provided the ways in which we can work together and, beyond that, has given mankind the assurance both of continuing divine guidance and of divine assistance. As people learn and follow these teachings their efforts will produce durable results. In the absence of these teachings, a lifetime of effort only too often ends in disillusionment and the collapse of all that has been built.... 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 3 January 1982 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; Compilation: Redistribution of Wealth, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice)

November 29

O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsán (Branches),the Afnán (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-Tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God and the loved ones of the Abhá Beauty to turn unto Shoghi Effendi - the youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-Trees and the fruit grown from the union of the two offshoots of the Tree of Holiness - as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn. He is the expounder of the words of God and after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendents.  
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘The Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá’; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Covenant)

November 28

In a Tablet addressed to the American believers, a few days before He [‘Abdu’l-Baha] passed away, He thus vented His pent-up longing to depart from this world: “I have renounced the world and the people thereof... In the cage of this world I flutter even as a frightened bird, and yearn every day to take My flight unto Thy Kingdom. Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá! Make Me drink of the cup of sacrifice, and set Me free.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

November 27

At 1:15 A.M. He [‘Abdu’l-Baha] arose, and, walking to a table in His room, drank some water, and returned to bed. Later on, He asked one of His two daughters who had remained awake to care for Him, to lift up the net curtains, complaining that He had difficulty in breathing. Some rose-water was brought to Him, of which He drank, after which He again lay down, and when offered food, distinctly remarked: “You wish Me to take some food, and I am going?” A minute later His spirit had winged its flight to its eternal abode, to be gathered, at long last, to the glory of His beloved Father, and taste the joy of everlasting reunion with Him. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)