A Baha'i Fireside is where a group of people get together to discuss some aspect of the Baha'i Faith. Firesides are open to all, so they are great for those seeking information about the Baha'i Faith. This on line fireside is designed for many contributors and many readers. If you have questions or comments about any of the post, feel free to click on the comment link at the bottom of the post. You can remain anonymous if you want.
O HUSAYN! God grant thou shalt ever be bright and radiant,
beaming with the light of the Sun of Truth, and mayest unloose thy tongue
in magnifying the Name of God, which is the most laudable of all acts.
Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 234)
1.(of an action,
idea, or goal) deserving praise and commendation.
"laudable though the aim might be, the results have been
I Started my fireside blog on 26th of October
2012 and as of today, July 27th, 2014 it has had 1,000 views. My
more popular blog, the London World Peace Forum was started on June 6th
2011 and it would take a year to break the 1,000 views mark. Then, in July of
2012 it had 602 view followed by 1,996 in August that year. Currently, at time
of writing, it stands at 19,607 views.
I made a post on the Peace Forum blog on July 3rd, 2012 that got a lot of
attention. To date 2,047 people have viewed this post alone. I titled it “Addition
vs Subtraction. I compared the Teachings of God to Mathematics and likened the
rejection of God’s latest messenger to be the same as rejecting new concepts of
math. The student that has just learned to add is now being asked to subtract
and he wants nothing to do with it. There is an uprising among additionists as
they try to squash the influence of subtraction, but the subtractionists
explain that the full purpose of addition can never be realized without
subtraction. I have repeated the argument below for your convenience.
Addition vs Subtraction
One and One is Two
Addition vs Subtraction
I just love addition and I do not
want to see it corrupted by subtraction. We all know from the very beginning of
addition that one plus one is two. Now subtraction wants to confuse the issue
by saying one minus one is zero. Tell subtraction to get a life. What good is
zero? What do we do when there is nothing left? With addition we will always
have more. Whatever we have we can add to it and get more. There is power in
addition, but subtraction wants to take that away. If you love addition you
will not allow subtraction make a negative impression on you. And if
subtraction does take hold, what’s next? Multiplication, division or perhaps
even fractions; we don’t need these. Addition serves all our needs. It gives
and never takes away. Don’t let our pure methods of addition get corrupted with
these new age ideas.
Addition is good, but it doesn’t do
everything. Addition is getting, but if we keep adding and never taking away,
we will become bogged down in materialism.Subtraction is giving and sharing. If I have ten apples and give five
away, I still have five. Addition can’t do that. Without subtraction there
would be no room for addition. Our storage facilities would be full and we
would starve to death. Subtraction is necessary for live. If we have ten apples
and we eat one, we have just subtracted. Yes, with addition we can get all we
need, but we can’t use it without subtraction. If the additionalist would
examine the principles of addition they would see it was just a first step leading
to subtraction and beyond. Yes it will progress to multiplication, division and
even fractions, but this is a fulfilment of addition and not a corruption.
It is plain to see that the Divine
Teachers teach us what we are capable of learning at the time, but if we reject
the Divine teachings of the present because they introduce new ideas that we
are not familiar with and were not taught in the past, we lose big time. The
new teachings do not negate the teachings of the past, but they add to it. It
is not a denial of the past but a fulfillment of it. When we close our minds to
the new ideas, we become handicap and the old ideas will no longer work for us.
If we don’t learn to subtract, addition will lose its power and be of no use to
Moses brought the revelation of God
to humanity in His age. He brought social and spiritual laws to help us live.
Among them was the law of the Sabbath that was designed to give us humans a
break and a day of rest. By the time Jesus appeared the followers of Moses had
interpreted the law in such a manner that people became slaves to the law.
Moses led the people out of slavery and Jesus found them in a new kind of
When Jesus introduced new spiritual
and social concepts, He was rejected by the majority of the followers of Moses.
When He explained that the law was made for man and not that man was made for
the law, He was accused of blasphemy and corrupting the law of God. Have the
followers of Jesus suffered for accepting His teachings? No, they went on to
found great governments and establish kingdoms on earth. They did not reject
the teachings of Moses, but added the teachings of Jesus to them. Many more
became acquainted with the teachings of Moses through the efforts of the
Christians and there was no harm whatsoever done to the law of Moses.
Again humanity progressed and became
in need of new ideas and teachings. The people of the Arabic area were nomadic
tribes living in a constant state of war. God sent Mohammad and the tribes were
united into a great nation. The Muslim universities became renown over the
world and even many Christian leaders were educated in these Muslim
institutions. If you doubt the advantages of these new ideas, try balancing
your bank account or filing your tax return using roman numerals. Our present
number system and mathematics is an outcome of Muslim educational techniques.
Over the last few hundred years we
have seen the world increasingly being ravaged by war. Each nation wanting to
protect its way of life would rise up against anyone perceived to be a threat
to its ideals.Politics, religion and
materialism all contributed to the greed of expanding territories and defeating
the enemy. Christ’s injunction to “love your enemies” was forgotten as even one
Christian ideology would rise up in war against another. At such a time, God’s
twin Messengers, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh came with a message of love and
unity.Bahá’u’lláh annulled the rule of
the sword and replaced it with the power of utterance. He says;
Know thou that We have annulled the
rule of the sword, as an aid to Our Cause, and substituted for it the power
born of the utterance of men. Thus have We irrevocably decreed, by virtue of
Our grace. Say: O people! Sow not the seeds of discord among men, and refrain
from contending with your neighbor, for your Lord hath committed the world and
the cities thereof to the care of the kings of the earth, and made them the
emblems of His own power, by virtue of the sovereignty He hath chosen to bestow
upon them. He hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this
world's dominion. To this He Who is Himself the Eternal Truth will testify. The
things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men's hearts, that He may
cleanse them from all earthly defilements, and enable them to draw nigh unto
the hallowed Spot which the hands of the infidel can never profane. Open, O
people, the city of the human heart with the key of your utterance. Thus have
We, according to a pre-ordained measure, prescribed unto you your duty.
Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 303, 304)
We see in the past how, despite
insurmountable odds and extreme opposition, the law of God was established and
human society was advanced. We also see that, without these new ideas, human
society was doomed and its destruction would have resulted. Now, more than ever
we see the destruction of the human race looming on one side while the
revelation of God is rushing in on the other to save it. The world is waiting
for the life giving Message that has been entrusted to those faithful followers
who have recognized it. The veils must be rent asunder, the clouds dispersed
and the hearts unlocked so the revelation of Glory may shine with its life
giving rays on all of humanity.
Yes; many problems can be solved with
addition, but we need subtraction, multiplication, division and many other
aspects to solve all the problems. Even so, the past revelation of God was good
and sufficient to solve the problems of the Day in which it was revealed, to
solve the problems of today we need the current revelation of God and we must
learn the rules and conditions of the future world order which is currently
From KITAB-I-'AHD (Book of
the Covenant), Bahá'u'lláh states.
ye that dwell on earth! The religion of God is for love and unity; make it not
the cause of enmity or dissension. In the eyes of men of insight and the
beholders of the Most Sublime Vision, whatsoever are the effective means for
safeguarding and promoting the happiness and welfare of the children of men
have already been revealed by the Pen of Glory. But the foolish ones of the
earth, being nurtured in evil passions and desires, have remained heedless of
the consummate wisdom of Him Who is, in truth, the All-Wise, while their words
and deeds are prompted by idle fancies and vain imaginings.
(Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 220)
Many wars have been fought and
often the opponents both had the belief that
God was on their side. As they attempted to rid the world of evil forces they
forgot to ask God if it was what He wanted them to do.
Bahá'u'lláh makes it clear that
the religion of God is for love and unity. Many people see God as a warring God
that divides humanity against itself and inspires people toward hatred and
strife. Many atheists cannot believe in such a God. A friend of mine would
often tell such people that she did not believe in the God that they didn’t
believe in either. She explained that, in order to not believe in God they must
have some concept of God that they don’t believe in, and that concept of God
she did not accept either.
The Religion of God, in its pure
form, is a very powerful thing. Unfortunately, even watered down, it can be
very powerful and have a great influence. Thus evil men have used the religion
of God to promote their own interests. By watering down and distorting the
facts they come up with a new religion that resembles Truth but promotes hatred
of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are
ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of
thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;
but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth
evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore
by their fruits ye shall know them.
Thus the wolf comes in sheep’s
clothing intent on dispersing the flock and devouring the weak ones. If we
remain united, the wolf does not havechance, so he must first divide the flock and scatter it into sects,
religions, cults and other divisions that will weaken the True religion. Be
assured that if anyone is attempting to divide God’s sheep, he is not the True
Shepherd. When we realize that all of Gods Messengers taught us to love, we
will all embrace the Ancient Faith of God and be in unity.
your principal concern be to rescue the fallen from the slough of impending
extinction, and to help him embrace the ancient Faith of God.
(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of
Bahá'u'lláh, p. 316)
Did you find something in your scriptures that caught your attention? Why not share it with us. Click on comments below to leave your comments.
For I say unto you, Ye
shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in
the name of the Lord.(Matthew
Ask, and it shall be
given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he
that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew
Those who know the truth do not
need to seek the truth but those who seek the Truth find the Truth. This common
theme runs through all religion. Those who consider themselves learned and
righteous feel they have no need of knowledge or forgiveness. Therefore they go
on assured of salvation while despising the sinner. Yet, when one acknowledges
sin and continues a lifelong search after Truth, he or she is rewarded
But go ye and learn
what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to
call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.(Matthew 9:13)
Until we say “Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord,” we can in no
wise recognize Him. This is evident throughout scripture. How many Priests,
Rabbis, Mullahs, Ministers or clergy of any religion have failed to recognize
the one sent by God when they came face to face with Him? This is repeated
throughout history. Those who believe they have perfect knowledge feel they
need no more and therefore reject the Word of God even if they meet Him in
person. Yet the true seeker recognizes His voice even if he or she is hearing
His words hundreds of years after they were revealed.
But ye believe not,
because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and
I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:26-27)
If we love the Lord, Our God, we
thirst after His Knowledge while ever mindful of our own shortcomings. We love
our neighbor and, desiring that he suffer no shame, we hide his deficiencies
any praise his attributes, but for ourselves, we must scrutinized our lives and
always be working on bringing it more in accordance with God’s Will. We have
only one live to control and that is our own. If we do that in accordance with
the will of God while intently listening for the Voice of God, we will hear Him
calling us into the unity of the One Fold under the One Shepherd.
And other sheep I
have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear
my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
Now we have a challenge set
before us. Can we do as the Holy Spirit guides us? Will we follow the Spirit of
Truth when he comes to us with All Truth? When we go forth in humbleness to
accomplish that which God has ordained our reward is beyond our imagination. We
are being watched from the Heavenly Realm and He knows us better than we know
ourselves. He knows our capabilities and when He says to try He knows we can
succeed even if we feel the task is impossible. Yes, we need to look at our own
shortcomings, but only so we can correct ourselves and learn how to lead a more
Godly life. If we use these shortcomings as an excuse to fail, then we are not
relying on our Almighty God to see us through. He will aid us so long as we
try. He will bring a passage of His word to our minds when we need it most if
we but take the time to read His Word.
principal concern be to rescue the fallen from the slough of impending
extinction, and to help him embrace the ancient Faith of God. Your behavior
towards your neighbor should be such as to manifest clearly the
signs of the one true God, for ye are the first among men to be re-created by
His Spirit, the first to adore and bow the knee before Him, the first to circle
round His throne of glory. I swear by Him Who hath caused Me to reveal whatever
hath pleased Him! Ye are better known to the inmates of the Kingdom on high
than ye are known to your own selves. Think ye these words to be vain and
empty? Would that ye had the power to perceive the things your Lord, the
All-Merciful, doth see -- things that attest the excellence of your rank, that
bear witness to the greatness of your worth, that proclaim the sublimity of
your station! God grant that your desires and unmortified passions may not
hinder you from that which hath been ordained for you. (Bahá'u'lláh,
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 316 - 317)
Still there are some who doubt the
Power of God. They see evil in the world and think that God has lost control.
We find ourselves in difficulty and doubt that God can help us, however at such
times we are taught to pray:
Is there any
Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His
servants, and all abide by His bidding! (The Báb, Baha'i Prayers, p. 27)
says, “all abide by His bidding.” It
is hard for us to understand. He gives us free will and with that free will, we
suffer the consequences of the decisions
we make, yet we are powerless to work outside of His will. He has perfect
knowledge and therefore knew everything we would do even before He created us,
so we wonder why. Why does He allow wars? Why does He allow little children to
be abused? We cannot understand because we only see this earthly plain, but in
His perfect Wisdom and Knowledge, He knows how much pain we need to correct our
ways. We suffer when we turn away from Him and He allows that suffering in a
measure that will help us to turn back to Him.
Many of us, with imperfect
knowledge, would like to advise God and tell Him a better way of doing things,
but He has perfect knowledge and knows what is best for us.
I can already hear the cry of the
people. They will tell me that I don’t know what happened to themselves or
their loved ones and how could I believe that was the will of God and I need to
make clear that all that happens is not necessarily His will, but since it is His
will to give us free will, we must also be allowed to suffer the consequences of
our actions. Therefore, when people commit terrible acts there is terrible
consequences. Many times innocent victims are hurt, but the recompense for their
hurt will come. If not in this life time, it will surely come. Those who did
the evil things will have to live with the knowledge of the results of what
they did and they too will receive the recompense for their actions. And yet,
we have a forgiving God. When we learn to be forgiving we will suffer much
And forgive us our
debts, as we forgive our debtors.(Matthew 6:12)
How are you feeling today? Let me
know your thoughts. Leave a comment.
foolish one! Know thou that he is truly learned who hath acknowledged My
Revelation, and drunk from the Ocean of My knowledge, and soared in the
atmosphere of My love, and cast away all else besides Me, and taken firm hold
on that which hath been sent down from the Kingdom of My wondrous utterance.
He, verily, is even as an eye unto mankind, and as the spirit of life unto the
body of all creation. Glorified be the All-Merciful Who hath enlightened him,
and caused him to arise and serve His great and mighty Cause. Verily, such a
man is blessed by the Concourse on high, and by them who dwell within the
Tabernacle of Grandeur, who have quaffed My sealed Wine in My Name, the
Omnipotent, the All-Powerful.
(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of
Baha'u'llah, p. 207, 208 )
This quote isfrom a
tablet written to Shaykh Muhammad Baqir. However I still wonder if the address,
“O foolish one!” may also apply to
“Know thou that he is
truly learned who hath acknowledged My Revelation,”
I have acknowledged the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, so am I
truly learned? Wait! There is more conditions.
“and drunk from the
Ocean of My knowledge,”
Well I’ve taken a few sips from this Ocean.
“and soared in the
atmosphere of My love,”
I know Bahá'u'lláh loves us, but am I soaring in the
atmosphere of His love?”
“and cast away all
else besides Me,”
This is tough. I’m not sure I’ve done that. If I’ve cast
away most other things, does that count?”
“and taken firm hold
on that which hath been sent down from the Kingdom of My wondrous utterance.”
I am trying. I am desperately trying to grasp every word
that comes from Bahá'u'lláh, but can I say I have taken firm hold of it?
The words of praise that Bahá'u'lláh has for the truly
learned makes one long for such a position, and yet how unworthy we feel. And
this for a good reason. The qualifications for the truly learned are tough. Is
there anyone who can honestly say they have met all those qualifications? I
wonder what qualifications there would be for the fifty percent learned.
Question : What is the changeless commandment of
thou didst grasp the significance of rendering assistance unto God and didst
arise to achieve this through the power of wisdom and utterance. Say: To assist
Me is to teach My Cause. This is a theme with which whole Tablets are laden.
This is the changeless commandment of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the
future. Comprehend this, O ye men of insight. They that have passed beyond the
bounds of wisdom fail to understand the meaning of assisting God as set forth
in the Book. Say: Fear ye God and sow not the seeds of dissension amongst men.
Observe ye that which hath been enjoined upon you by your Lord, the Almighty,
the All-Knowing. He knoweth the reality of victory and hath taught it to you
with an utterance that the vain imaginings of them that rove distraught in the
wilderness of doubt can never corrupt.
(Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 196)
Question. Why is the changeless commandment of God to teach
If it be Our pleasure We shall render the Cause victorious through the power of
a single word from Our presence. He is in truth the Omnipotent, the
All-Compelling. Should it be God's intention, there would appear out of the
forests of celestial might the lion of indomitable strength whose roaring is
like unto the peals of thunder reverberating in the mountains. However, since
Our loving providence surpasseth all things, We have ordained that complete
victory should be achieved through speech and utterance, that Our servants
throughout the earth may thereby become the recipients of divine good. This is
but a token of God's bounty vouchsafed unto them. Verily thy Lord is the
All-Sufficing, the Most Exalted.