Chapter 6   Chapter 8

Chapter Seven

Marriage Under the World Order of Baháulláh: An Eternal Bond. The Wedding. The Need For Reformation Of Laws Pertaining To Divorce. The Laws Of Baháulláh. Four Kinds Of Love. The Children Of The New Day.

It is, therefore, evident that in the world of humanity the greatest king and sovereign is love. If love were extinguished, the power of attraction dispelled, the affinity of human hearts destroyed, the phenomena of human life would disappear.

Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 256

In tracing the development of the institution of marriage it is interesting to note that the progressive steps, from the promiscuity of the earliest history of mankind to the more or less monogamous ordinance now in vogue in most civilized countries, have been in direct ratio to the ethical and spiritual development of the race. Moreover this development has paralleled the appearance and teachings of the great Prophets and Messengers of God to mankind.

What little is known of the matrimonial relations and customs of the various peoples before the coming of Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad indicates much looser and more unethical relations than obtained after their teaching.

One might reasonably expect, therefore, that the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh and its exemplification by Abdu'l-Bahá, in dealing with this subject, would lay down laws and prescribe regulations founded upon eternal spiritual principles and adapted to the needs of a world civilization far in advance of any hitherto practiced.

For the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh deal primarily with the Reality of man, and his station as an immortal and eternal being in an infinite universe governed and supported by immutable laws based upon righteousness and truth.

Marriage, then, under the Bahá'í regime, is an eternal bond. It allows for only one real marriage, and this union continues throughout all the worlds of God.

This assumption makes necessary an entirely new regulation of both marriage and divorce. For, since man is still in the age of immaturity, and is still influenced by desire and passion, many mistakes will be made in the selection of a mate, and these mistakes must be rectified as quickly and as simply as possible.

For two souls to live together under an enforced union in which harmony, cooperation, happiness and true eternal love have become impossible, is a defiance of a basic law in the Bahá'í revelation, the Law of Unity. It is not only desirable but allowable that such false union be dissolved. This necessity will probably be extremely rare as the race comes more and more under the influence of the whole range of the Divine Teachings. For once man realizes the supreme joy of true physical and spiritual union he will be content with nothing less. Moreover, Bahá'u'lláh has framed such safeguarding laws, and Abdu'l-Bahá has explained them so fully, that public opinion will tend more and more to enforce their obedience as experience proves their efficacy in securing and perpetuating human happiness.

When Abdu'l-Bahá was in this country in 1912 He took occasion more than once to emphasize the sacredness of the marriage bond, and to illustrate by precept and example the attitude incumbent upon the Bahá'ís in its observance.

The most notable of these occasions was the wedding ceremony on July 17th 1912 in which Harlan Ober and Grace Robarts were united by Abdu'l-Bahá Himself in accordance with the law of Bahá'u'lláh.

Abdu'l-Bahá suggested that I should assist Him by performing the necessary legal ceremony in order: "That all should be done in accordance with the law of the land."

It is not an easy task to present to minds obsessed with the conception of this world and its affairs as complete in itself rather than as an anteroom to a larger, freer life, a scene in which the dominant note was Eternity; the very atmosphere charged with an expansive freedom and tranquility.

As my eyes took in that long, beautifully furnished room, speaking of all that related to our modern culture, yet holding within its walls representatives of Paris; Berlin; London; Tihrán and Ghom, Persia; Bombay, India; Bákú, Russia; and Haifa, Palestine; quite a number of representatives of the black race, and about one hundred of my own countrymen, a conviction was borne in upon me that I was taking part in a truly epoch-making event.

For here was, to all intents and purposes, a gathering of representatives of the whole world, and of every degree of poverty and affluence; of culture and its lack; of every range of spiritual capacity.

Here indeed the East and West were gathered together to witness a prefigurement, a symbol, a prognosis of a fundamental detail of the coming social order under the World Plan of Bahá'u'lláh, the Kingdom of God upon earth.

Dominating the scene was the white-robed figure of the Master. From the age of seven He has been addressed and spoken of by this title. Bahá'u'lláh Himself indicated his wish that so He should be addressed.

His right to the title did not rest upon any assumption by Himself of authority or precedence. His whole bearing was ever that of humility and gentle deference. Yet in every home He entered He was the host, in every gathering the center; in every discussion the arbiter; to every problem the answer.

Nor was it so because He wished or willed it so to be. On the contrary when He was asked to act as honorary chairman of the New York Bahá'í Assembly, (one of the 72 incipient Houses of Justice in this country which, in the future will form the units of community government under the Plan of Bahá'u'lláh), He calmly and decisively replied that " Abdu'l-Bahá is a servant."

Nevertheless one could not be in His Presence more than a few moments without realizing that His every act, tone, gesture, word was so imbued with wisdom, courage, and tranquil certitude, combined with such humble consideration of His interlocutor, that conclusive Truth was conveyed to every beholder and listener. As Abdu'l-Bahá has said referring to Bahá'u'lláh when confronting His deniers and opposers: "How can darkness assert itself in the Presence of Light? Can a fly attack an eagle? Or the shadow defy the sun?"

And so, in this gathering of souls believing in a new era of human consciousness; a new epoch in which that consciousness should merge into the divine, we looked to Him as to the Master of our destinies, as the One Leader who, in this time of ancient superstitions and modem follies, knew the way out of the human labyrinth into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

I sat very near Him, and, naturally, my every faculty, eye, ear, mind and heart were centered upon that radiant Personality. Nor was I alone in this. There was but One worthy of attention when He was present; but One wholly satisfying.

After the simple wedding ceremony and the bride and groom had resumed their seats, Abdu'l-Bahá rose. His cream-colored `aba fell in graceful folds to His feet. Upon His head he wore a tarboosh, or fez, of the same color, beneath which His long white hair fell almost to His shoulders. Most impressive of all His impressive aspects were His eyes. Blue they were but so changing with His mood! Now gentle and appealing, now commanding, now flashing with hidden fires, now holding a deep, tranquil lambent repose as though gazing upon scenes of glory far removed.

His brow above those wide-set eyes was like an ivory dome. His neatly clipped beard, snowy white, touched His breast, but around His mouth no straggling hairs obscured the mobile lips.

He spoke through an interpreter, as was His custom, not so much because He could not use English, as that it was wise to guard against possible misquotation. Every word He uttered while in America was transcribed as it fell from His lips by a Persian secretary, in that language, and also by an American stenographer as the interpreter followed. So that in future ages, when the thousands of writings and addresses of Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá are translated and codified, there may never be any question as to the actual words and their connotation.

He swept the room with a glance at once enfolding and abstracted. He raised His hands, palm upwards, level with His waist. His eyes closed and He chanted a prayer for the souls united by Him and by me. By Him that morning according to the Laws of the New World Order in which the spirit of man is to be trained to function harmoniously with its brief material environment; by me this evening as the representative of the passing regime in which ancient superstitions and outworn shibboleths often tinge the most sacred observances, yet which, being customary, are to be observed "lest offense be given to any soul."

This prayer of Abdu'l-Bahá, chanted in tones to me unequalled in all experience, mellifluous (honey-like), is the nearest descriptive word, but how inadequate, is the keenest of all my memories of that evening.

In spite of the fact that the language was Persian, and so, of course, unfamiliar to me, the impression I received was that of understanding.

So vivid was this that the interpreter's translation came as a shock. What need to translate language addressed to the spirit? A flash of comprehension came to me. Perhaps here was the explanation of the incident recorded of that far-off Day of Pentecost when each listener to the words of the disciples heard his own tongue.

There is a story told of an illiterate miner who made a long journey on foot to meet Abdu'l-Bahá when He was in San Francisco, which further illustrates the same spiritual phenomenon. This man, though uneducated, had great spiritual capacity. He attended a meeting at which Abdu'l-Bahá spoke. He seemed enthralled as the measured, bell-like tones fell from the Master's lips. When the interpreter took up the passage in English this miner started as if awakening. "Why does that man interrupt?" He whispered. Then again Abdu'l-Bahá spoke, and again the visitor was lost in attention. Again the interpreter translated as the speaker paused. At this the miner's indignation was aroused. "Why do they let that man interrupt? He should be put out."

"He is the official interpreter," one sitting beside him explained. "He translates the Persian into English."

"Was He speaking in Persian?" was the naive answer, "Why anyone could understand that."

As for me: my heart was certainly moved far more by the chanting Voice and the flowing, musical periods, than by the interpreter's version of the wedding prayer, beautiful as it is.

"Glory be unto Thee, O my God! Verily this Thy servant and this Thy maid-servant have gathered under the shadow of Thy Mercy and they are united through Thy Favor and Generosity. O Lord! Assist them in this Thy world and Thy Kingdom, and destine for them every good through Thy bounty and Grace.

Cause them to become the signs of harmony and unity until the end of time. Verily Thou art the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and the Almighty!"[14]

As intimated (p. 93), marriage under the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh is based upon a far nobler conception of Man's destiny than ever before. This is because under the 1900 years of Christian teaching the spiritual capacity of the race has developed to a point where such conception of Man's station is at least comprehensible.

The object of the coming of the Manifestations of God is none other than the raising of man's consciousness to a higher level. This is one of the meanings of "Heaven" as used by the prophets of God.[15] It is that state of consciousness to which the teachings of the eternal Christ spirit, no matter under what name He rises upon the horizon of history, exalts the spirit of the true believer.

It is essential, then, that under each new dispensation the eternal principles, reiterated by each Messenger of God, should be so clarified and explained that they will apply effectively to the problems of the new day. So when Jesus appeared He abrogated the Mosaic Law regarding divorce, which, while perfectly adapted to the nomadic life of the Hebrews and to their background of centuries of slavery under Egypt, had become subject to such abuse under the changed conditions of the Roman environment, and the sacerdotalism of the Pharisee and priest, as to become a mockery.

It is plain that at this time the same observance of the letter of Christ's teachings on this subject prevails, and total neglect of the spirit. In America, supposedly a Christian social order, the marriage bond is regarded with less sacredness than in any other country in the world. In 1930, the latest census, there was one divorce to every six marriages. And who can number the infringements of the wedding vow; the hatreds in the home; the broken family circles, which never reached the divorce court? Plainly this is an intolerable condition. If it were to continue unchecked it might well result in a complete breaking down of family life and the utter destruction of the institution of marriage. Indeed this social breakdown has already begun in Russia, and is threatened in one or two other countries. And what is becoming known as "free love" and "companionate marriage" is obtaining recognition in some of our own educational institutions and actually taught as the only solution of the spreading problem.

This problem is so momentous, its solution so fraught with danger or safety to the destinies of the race, that this servant of the Glory of God has gathered all the available information possible on the subject and presents the actual wording of Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá, in order that the reader may judge for himself whether, if and when these Divine Laws become operative, a happier social order would result.

In the first place it must constantly be borne in mind that Bahá'u'lláh envisages a world unity; a world order. It assumes, moreover, the close association of man with God, and presumes the assistance of the Supreme World, the Holy Spirit, in the establishment of this Order.

Thus, in the conception of the Kingdom of God on earth, Bahá'u'lláh sees as accomplished the unity of all races and peoples; the abolition of all prejudice; an inherent and passionate love for Truth, no matter from what source it comes, and the spread of basic education in these laws to all peoples.

Thus He has generalized broadly, encompassing the problems of East and West; of North and South, leaving to the International House of Justice the application of these principles as special and individual problems arise.

If the reader will bear this in mind, and make every effort to disabuse himself of the very natural prejudices he may have entertained, it will be much easier for him to appreciate the wisdom of Bahá'u'lláh's Plan for a New World Order.

This is not an easy task to set oneself, for man naturally tends to accept as fixed the conventions and usages obtaining at that moment of History in which he has happened to appear upon the planet. But to do this is to disregard all the records of the past, which indicate most clearly the inevitable mutation or abolition of all human institutions, and the general tendency, throughout the ages, to simplify, purify and ennoble them. The destiny of the race is very high, and even the Laws of Bahá'u'lláh are not proposed as final. The next thousand or ten thousand years will witness still further advances by mankind along the path to the divine perfection to which all the Prophets of God have summoned him. "Ye must be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect."

At this stage in the development of the race the Laws promulgated by Bahá'u'lláh assuredly seem to meet most adequately the needs of men taken as a whole. To those who study the writings of Bahá'u'lláh, paying due attention to the claim of majestic authority involved, these sublime Words calling man to participate in a social order far higher than that ever envisaged in the past, can hardly fail to stimulate a dawning hope, revive a failing courage and again set ablaze the fire of the love of God in cooling hearts.

Bearing all this in mind let us endeavor to approach the subject of marriage relations, as taught by Bahá'u'lláh, with the thoughtful consideration, if not reverence, due any teacher who, for the sake of the Message which He was convinced He bore for men, suffering every indignity, humiliation and torture which the ingenuity of two cruel rulers and their peoples, the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey, could over a period of forty years, inflict upon Him.

That the reader may receive an idea of the claim put forth by Bahá'u'lláh regarding the Source of His authority and the objectives towards which He urges humanity, the following paragraph is quoted from His writings lately translated by His great-grandson, Shoghi Effendi, the first Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.

"The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day-Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His Laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. . . . They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples. He that turneth away from them is accounted among the abject and foolish. We verily have commanded you to refuse the dictates of your evil passions and corrupt desires, and not to transgress the bounds which the Pen of the Most High hath fixed, for these are the breath of life unto all created beings. The seas of Divine Wisdom and divine utterance have risen under the breath of the breeze of the All-Merciful. Hasten to drink your fill, O men of understanding."[16]

Regarding marriage the following is a summary of the ordinances prescribed by the "Pen of the Most High" for the guidance of the race for the coming thousand or thousands of years. Again the reader's attention should be called to the fact that the Lawgiver envisages not one nation or religion or group but the whole world.

Bahá'u'lláh enjoined marriage upon all and monogamy is assumed as the only means of content and happiness. He condemned the attitude of certain religious groups in various creedal systems which forbade marriage to their priesthood. "It is My Command," He said, "that ye raise up children who will mention Me among My servants."

He directed that marriage should depend first upon the consent of both parties concerned and also upon the consent of the parents of both, as "He desires love and affection and unity to exist between all the servants of God, and lest hatred and detestation come between them."

A dowry is recommended paid by the man to the woman, and He designates the amount, which is quite small. The object, evidently, being to avoid the sense of absolute dependence of the wife upon the husband. This is especially important in oriental countries.

In case of disagreement between man and wife, if any agitation or aversion arise, he must not divorce her, but be patient one year, "perhaps the fragrance of love may emanate from them." If, however, at the expiration of that time "no fragrance of love be diffused," divorce is allowed.

Abdu'l-Bahá, in a Tablet to the Bahá'ís of America, wrote as follows:

"The friends (Bahá'ís) must strictly refrain from divorce unless something arises which compels them to separate because of their aversion for each other; in that case, with the knowledge of the Spiritual Assembly, they may decide to separate. They must then be patient and wait one complete year. If during this year harmony is not reestablished between them, then their divorce may be realized. ... The foundation of the Kingdom of God is based upon harmony and love, oneness, relationship and union, not upon differences, especially between husband and wife. If one of these two become the cause of divorce, that one will unquestionably fall into great difficulties, will become the victim of formidable calamities and experience deep remorse."[17]

Bahá'u'lláh exhorts men not to follow their material self, for it is an instigator to transgression and foul actions, but rather to follow the Ruler of all things Who commandeth them to practice virtue and righteousness. It is such constant references to a Supreme Law, coupled with a sympathetic consideration of human weakness, which makes the study of His Writings so enthralling. One looks in vain into the statute books of past and present for any such atmosphere of commingled authority and love. The Mosaic Law conveys no hint of such. It is as if the Sermon on the Mount were reduced to a code and laid upon men with gentle hands. In this fact lies the assurance not only of its divine origin but of its ultimate acceptance by the world. For when the heart of man is appealed to as well as his reason he is perforce enlisted on the side of the Law proposed. As an illustration of this appeal Bahá'u'lláh urges upon the husband, when undertaking an extended absence from his wife, to acquaint her with particulars of his movements and an appointed time for his return. "If he fulfills his promise he will be of those who fulfill the commands of his Lord, and will be recorded by the Pen of Command as being of those who do right." If a real excuse prevents his return he must inform his wife and strive to return. If this is not done she must wait nine months, at the expiration of which time she is free to choose another husband. "But if she is patient it is better, for God loves those who are patient."

If during those nine months of waiting news is received from the husband she must adopt kindness and favor, for He wisheth peace to exist among His servants. "Beware lest ye create obstinacy in your midst."

Picture the courts of the future where such an atmosphere obtains. If the reader is inclined to doubt that such should ever be possible far be it from me to cast aspersions. None could possibly be a greater doubter than I. Yet I have come to see in the Divine Words of Bahá'u'lláh not only beauty and wisdom but an indwelling potency to sway the human heart and will. The fact that several millions of the world's peoples have already subscribed to His Teachings and Laws, often at the cost of property and life, may be accounted as, at least, some slight reason to hope that at some not far distant day an influential minority of sane men will accept and put in practice these divine precepts.

Regarding the provision concerning the consent of the parents of both parties to the marriage, Abdu'l-Bahá once wrote to an inquirer that this consent was to be obtained after a mutual satisfactory arrangement had been arrived at by the contracting parties. Before that the parents had no right of interference. This abrogates the practice usual in the Orient by which the parents arrange the marriage, often without the consent or wish of the persons most interested. He further says that as a result of these provisions the strained relations between relatives-in-law which have become proverbial in Christian and Muhammadan countries, are almost unknown among the Bahá'ís, and divorce is also a rare occurrence.[18]

Many have been the utterances and writings of Abdu'l-Bahá on this subject. Following are some of the most important:

"In this most Merciful Age the ignorant prejudices are entirely removed. The Bahá'í engagement is the perfect communication and the entire consent of both parties. However, they must show forth the utmost attention and become informed of one another's character, and the firm covenant between them must become an eternal bond, and their intention must be everlasting affinity, friendship, unity and life. The bridegroom must, before the bridesmen and few others, say: `Verily, we are content with the Will of God.' And the bride must rejoin: `Verily, we are satisfied with the desire of God.' This is Bahá'í matrimony.

Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 325

"Regarding the question of matrimony: know that the command of marriage is eternal. It will never be changed or altered. This is a Divine Creation and there is not the slightest possibility that change or alteration shall affect this Divine Creation (marriage).

Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 474

"Among the majority of the people of the world marriage consists of physical relationship, and the union and relationship is but temporary, for at the end physical separation is destined and ordained. But the marriage of the people of Bahá must consist of both physical and spiritual relationship, for both of them are quickened by the wine of one cup, arc attracted by One Peerless Countenance, vivified by one life and illumined by one Light. This is the spiritual relationship and everlasting union.

Likewise in the physical world they are bound together with strong and unbreakable ties. When relationship, union and concord exist between the two from a physical and spiritual standpoint, that is a real union and is, therefore, everlasting. But if the union is merely from a physical point of view it is unquestionably temporary, and in the end separation is inevitable.

Consequently when the people of Bahá desire to enter the sacred union of matrimony, eternal connection, ideal relationship, spiritual and physical association of thoughts and conceptions of life must exist between them, so that in all the grades of existence, and in all the worlds of God this union may continue forever and ever. For this Union is a splendor of the Light of the Love of God.

Likewise if the souls become real believers in God they will find themselves ushered into this exalted state of relationship, become manifestoes of the Love of the Merciful, and exhilarated by the cup of the Love of God. Undoubtedly that union and relationship is eternal.

The souls who sacrifice self, become detached from the imperfections of the realm of man, and free from the bondage of this ephemeral world, assuredly the splendors of the rays of Divine Union shall shine in their hearts, and they shall find ideal relationship and happiness in the Eternal Paradise."

(Signed) Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas

In the first two of the above selections it will be noted that the emphasis is upon the eternality of the true marriage union. In the third quotation a careful reading will disclose the three ways in which this unending union may be achieved, (a) When two souls on the altars of whose hearts bums the fire of the love of God, find that light reflected in each other and that flame, commingled, becomes one fire. (b) When two souls having become united in physical union afterwards become illumined by the Eternal Love, that union also becomes eternal. Abdu'l-Bahá once wrote concerning a believer who had married a non-believer, or was about to marry: "This marriage is permissible, but Miss----must exert herself day and night so that she may guide her husband. She must not rest until she makes him her spiritual as well as physical partner in life."

(c) The last paragraph relates to those souls who never in this world find their true spiritual mate, and remain deprived throughout this transitory life of that great joy. To such He says: "If you become detached from this ephemeral world and the imperfections of the realms of man, assuredly the splendors of Divine Union will shine in your heart and you find ideal relationship and happiness in the Eternal Paradise."

Speaking of the reality of love Abdu'l-Bahá said:

"There are but four kinds of Love:

(a) The love of God for His Creation, the reflection of Himself in the mirror of creation. Through one ray of this Love all other love exists.

(b) The Love of God for His children. His servants. Through this love man is endowed with physical existence, until through the Breaths of the Holy Spirit--this same Love--he receives eternal life and becomes the image of the Living God. This love is the origin of all the love in the world of creation.

(c) "The love of man for God. This is attraction to the Divine World, entrance into the Kingdom of God, receiving the Bounties of God, illumination with the Lights of the Kingdom. This love is the origin of all philanthropy; this love causes the heart of man to reflect the rays of the Sun of Reality.

(d) "The love of man for man. The love which exists between the believers in God is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and, finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, the stars of one heaven, the fruits of one tree.

"But the love which sometimes exists between friends is not true love, because it is subject to transmutation. As the breeze blows the slender trees yield. If the wind is in the East the tree leans toward the West, and if the wind turns to the West the tree leans towards the East. This kind of love is originated by the accidental conditions of life. This is not love, it is merely acquaintanceship: it is subject to change...."


It seems impossible to read these divine Words without an inner conviction growing in the heart that Man, in this dispensation, is being ushered into a new and hitherto unrealized world: the world of Reality; the world of the Spirit. No imagination can compass the world of man, the coming social Order, when it becomes impregnated with this Spirit, when it becomes illumined, as it surely will, by this supreme Sun.

And when we have seen in the very life of Abdu'l-Bahá this Light manifested, when before our eyes we have witnessed the power and beauty of such ideals fully expressed, and are told in Words of matchless beauty and wisdom that such a life may be approximated by all who submit themselves to the Rays of the Supreme Love, how the heart is stirred to realize this experience, and the will summoned to assist, to one's fullest capacity, in bringing about this Kingdom of Love upon the earth!

Abdu'l-Bahá's many references to the children of the New Day invites the mind to a most enthralling consideration. His allusions to such children, especially when born of such heavenly union as already described, are many and beautiful. Taken in connection with the foregoing excerpts on marriage, and its eternal bond, they give a faint indication of what human society may be when the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh is established. Space can be given to only two or three citations.

These children are neither Oriental nor Occidental, neither Asiatic nor American, neither European nor African, but they are of the Kingdom; their native home is heaven and their resort is the Kingdom of Abhá.

Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 648

"The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age."

The Báb to His disciples
The Dawn-Breakers, p. 94

"It is incumbent upon thee to nurture thy children from the breast of the Love of God, to urge them towards spiritual matters, to turn unto God and acquire good manners, best characteristics and praiseworthy virtues and qualities in the world of humanity; and to study sciences with the utmost diligence; so that they may become spiritual, heavenly and attracted to the fragrances of sanctity from childhood and be reared in a religious, spiritual and heavenly training."



O My Lord! O my Lord!

I am a child of tender years. Nourish me from the breast of Thy mercy, train me in the bosom of Thy love, educate me in the school of Thy guidance and develop me under the shadow of Thy bounty. Deliver me from darkness, make me a brilliant light; free me from unhappiness, make me a flower of the rose garden; suffer me to become a servant of Thy threshold and confer upon me the disposition and nature of the righteous; make me a cause of bounty to the human world, and crown my head with the diadem of eternal life.

Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Seer, the Hearer.

Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Prayers

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