[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Emblem]

National Spiritual Assembly of Iran

Number: 8/12/48

Date: 8 Mashiyyat 135

Coinciding with: 12 Mehr 1357 [4 October 1978]

 

A message from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran,

To the beloved friends in the sacred land of Iran

In this period, when spiritual matters have gained a heightened new interest, the beloved Baha’i friends must use every opportunity to raise the Word and present the principles and realities of the Divine Cause with great zeal and fervour, and rid the seekers of fallacious predispositions and baseless beliefs; to explain and elucidate the truth of the message of the Blessed Beauty through study of the sacred text regarding the issues mentioned below; and to make a special effort in order to refute various false accusations, wrongful allegations and widespread misgivings and prejudices, and thus, in fulfilment of their most significant spiritual duty, make every effort to teach the Cause of God.

The primary issue that has recently regained popularity and is talked about is the relationship between the Cause of God and man-made politics. The friends must offer a comprehensive explanation on “non-interference in political affairs” as the first obligation of an adherent of this precious Faith; to make use of the book “Ganjine Hodud Va Ahkam”[1] chapter 52, as well as other publications, and explain that in this great Dispensation, God has left material affairs and temporal issues to the authorities in charge and has chosen the hearts of the people, spiritual affairs, refinement of character and development of mankind for His own reign.

In the Most Holy Book, Kitab-i-Aqdas, we read:

“None must contend with those who wield authority over the people; leave unto them that which is theirs, and direct your attention to men’s hearts”[2] 

And in the Suriy-i-Dhabih, He says:

“The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath bestowed the government of the earth upon the kings. To none is given the right to act in any manner that would run counter to the considered views of them who are in authority. That which He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts.”[3]

It must be explained to our non-Baha’i friends that the Faith of Baha’u’llah is inherently spiritual and aspires to enhance conscience and refine character, and [for this reason], the Baha’i friends do not, under any circumstances, engage themselves in political affairs. To clarify, they do not accept positions to become ambassadors, members of legislative assemblies or ministers in parliaments, but consider it their duty to provide service to the authorities in the country of their residence. They further consider it their duty, as a moral and spiritual obligation, to follow the laws of their government and to strictly adhere to authorities in charge. They also consider it their duty to serve the society and their country with utmost honesty, integrity and benevolence. Disloyalty to their country is viewed by the Baha’is as treachery against God and an unforgiveable sin.

Abdu’l-Baha, addressing the Baha’is of Iran, said, [Persian verse][4].

It would be greatly beneficial for the friends to carefully study the revealed text, which can be found in the book “Amro Khalgh”, starting from page 284, regarding social development, service to the public and to the state, and ponder on these sacred words once again: [Persian verse][5].

As such, Baha’is can take no action towards their government or country except with utmost sincerity, truthfulness, integrity and loyalty. For years, Baha’is have engaged, and continue to engage, in the progress, development and advancement of this sacred land of Iran, the birthplace of this blessed Cause, and in their governmental or private positions, they arise to serve with honesty, integrity and benevolence. They avoid any interference in political affairs, which, in their view, is a decisive indication of who is a true Baha’i and who is not, and in whatever position and rank they find themselves, they wish for nothing except prosperity and progress for their country, and nothing except prestige and dignity for their homeland.

Similar to other religions, they believe in the unity of all mankind, but this love for humanity and abolition of all prejudices does not hinder them from their devotion and love for their homeland or service to their fellow citizens. They adhere to the principle of unity in diversity and diversity in unity and believe in one God, the unity of all religions and Prophets of God, and the unity of all mankind; they have a special love for their homeland and its people. In over 350 territories in the world, including independent countries, islands or dependent nations where Baha’is have established vast communities and well-founded and solid organizations, they all truly regard Iran, the centre and the dawning place of the advent of the Herald and the Glorious Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, with a special love, reverence and respect, and are all prepared to lay their lives down for the glory and dignity of beloved Iran.

It is necessary to add that the homeland of the Blessed Beauty will, in future, become the most admired country in the world, and its government the most glorious of all governments on earth, as we see that this promise has been explicitly revealed in the holy text.

Abdu’l-Baha, the centre of the Covenant of this Cause, has said, [Persian verse][6]

And in another place, He says, [Persian verse][7]

And thus, those who are not familiar with the principles of this Faith and not fully appreciative of the reason why the Baha’i friends, in spite of their intense love for this sacred land, abstain from political affairs, can be enlightened and better informed through your clarifications and elucidations. There are other cases that require clarification and explanation, which, due to the brevity of this message, will be presented in our future messages.

Requesting confirmation for each and every one of the friends in service to our beloved Iran,

With sincere Baha’i regards,

Secretary of the Assembly

Ghaem-Maghami [signature]

 

 

[1] [A treasury of laws and ordinances by Mr. Eshragh-Khavari]

[2] [Kitab-i-Aqdas: Verse 95] https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/search#q=and%20direct%20your%20attention%20to%20men's%20hearts

[3] [Gleanings From The Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, No. 115, pages 240- 246] https://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-115.html

[4] [The original text is as follows:

"شب و روز بکوشید تا حکومت عادله پادشاهی از شما راضی باشد و بجان و دل بصداقت و خیرخواهی دولت ابد مدّت قیام نمائید... جمیع مأمورین از صغیر و کبیر باید در نهایت عصمت و عفت و استقامت به جیره و مواجب جزئی قناعت نمایند و دست و دامن را پاک دارند ... اگر نفسی بحکومت عادله خیانت کند به خدا خیانت کرده است و اگر خدمت کند به خدا خدمت کرده است."]

[5] [The original text is as follows:

"هر ذلّتی را تحمّل توان نمود مگر خیانت بوطن و هر گناهی قابل عفو و مغفرت است مگر هتک ناموس دولت و مضرّت ملّت."]

[6] [The original text is as follows:

"انسان را عزّت و بزرگواری به راستی و خیرخواهی و عفت و استقامت است نه بزخارف و ثروت. اگر نفسی موفق بر آن گردد که خدمت نمایان به عالم انسانی علی‌الخصوص بایران نماید سرور سروران است و عزیزترین بزرگان، این است غنای عظیم و این است گنج روان و این است ثروت بی‌پایان."]

[7] [The original text is as follows:

"احبّای الهی را همواره دلالت و وصیت نمائید که جمیع شب و روز به آن چه سبب عزّت ابدّیه ایران است پردازند و در تحسین اخلاق و آداب و بذل همّت و مقاصد ارجمند و الفت و محبّت و ترقی و اتّساع صناعت و زراعت و تجارت سعی بلیغ و جهد عظیم مبذول دارند."]