A compilation of passages from Biblical, Quranic and Baha’I Scripture
“For this divine Covenant is an instrument of the Lord.”
(‘Abdu’l Baha, Star of the West, Vol. VIII, p223)
"So firm and mighty is this Covenant," He Who is its appointed Center has affirmed, "that from the beginning of time until the present day no religious Dispensation hath produced its like." "It is indubitably clear," He, furthermore, has stated, "that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant." "Know thou," He has written, "that the `Sure Handle' mentioned from the foundation of the world in the Books, the Tablets and the Scriptures of old is naught else but the Covenant and the Testament." And again: "The lamp of the Covenant is the light of the world, and the words traced by the Pen of the Most High a limitless ocean." "The Lord, the All-Glorified," He has moreover declared, "hath, beneath the shade of the Tree of Anisa (Tree of Life), made a new Covenant and established a great Testament... Hath such a Covenant been established in any previous Dispensation, age, period or century? Hath such a Testament, set down by the Pen of the Most High, ever been witnessed? No, by God!" And finally: "The power of the Covenant is as the heat of the sun which quickeneth and promoteth the development of all created things on earth. The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men."
(Shoghi Effendi: God Passes By, Pages: 238-239)
192. Today, the Lord of Hosts is the defender of the Covenant, the forces of the Kingdom protect it, heavenly souls tender their services, and heavenly angels promulgate and spread it broadcast. If it is considered with insight, it will be seen that all the forces of the universe, in the last analysis serve the Covenant. In the future it shall be made evident and manifest.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Selections ... `Abdu'l-Baha, Page: 228)
Everything is subject to corruption; but the Covenant of thy Lord shall continue to pervade all regions.
(‘Abdu’l Baha: Star of the West, Vol. IV, p. 170)
THE GREAT OR “ANCIENT” COVENANT OF GOD
Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared. God's purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquillity of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established.
(Baha'u'llah: Gleanings, Pages: 79-80)
The following are references containing the Covenants of God concerning the succession of Prophets sent to the world to renew His everlasting Covenant, and to guide men to the light of understanding:
(From World Order Magazine, Vol. VIII, p.32)
ADAM Gen. II:15-17
NOAH Gen. VI: 18, IX: 8-17
ABRAHAM Gen. XV: 18, XVII: 1-9, XXII: 17-18
I Chron. XVI: 15-25
Acts III: 25
Psalms CV: 9-10
Qur’an II: 118-130
Promulg. Univ. Peace, p. 356
MOSES Exodus XIX: 1-6, XXIV: 1-18, XXXI: 16, III: 15
Deut. IX: 15
Qur’an II: 77
JESUS Heb. XII: 24, VIII: 5-13
MUHAMMED Qur’an IV: 57-83
The BAB Prayers & Meditations, pp. 128-129, 306, 85-86
BAHA’U’LLAH Gleanings, pp. 127-128, 331-332
World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 137
Prayers & Meditations, p. 284
Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p 113
THE COVENANT MADE BY MANIFESTATIONS CONCERNING FUTURE PROPHETS
The divine Prophets are conjoined in the perfect state of love. Each One has given the glad tidings of His successor's coming and each successor has sanctioned the One Who preceded Him. They were in the utmost unity, but Their followers are in strife.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace*, Page: 222)
His Holiness Abraham, on Him be peace, made a covenant concerning His Holiness Moses and gave the glad-tidings of His coming. His Holiness Moses made a covenant concerning the Promised One, i.e. His Holiness Christ, and announced the good news of His Manifestation to the world. His Holiness Christ made a covenant concerning the Paraclete and gave the tidings of His coming. His Holiness the Prophet Muhammad made a covenant concerning His Holiness the Bab and the Bab was the One promised by Muhammad, for Muhammad gave the tidings of His coming. The Bab made a Covenant concerning the Blessed Beauty of Baha'u'llah and gave the glad-tidings of His coming for the Blessed Beauty was the One promised by His Holiness the Bab. Baha'u'llah made a covenant concerning a promised One who will become manifest after one thousand or thousands of years. He likewise, with His Supreme Pen, entered into a great Covenant and Testament with all the Baha'is whereby they were all commanded to follow the Center of the Covenant after His departure, and turn not away even to a hair's breadth from obeying Him.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Baha'i World Faith*, Page: 358)
Every Prophet has covenanted with His people that they accept and follow the coming Manifestation who would be the reappearance of His own reality. The following are a few references containing such covenants: (From World Order Mag. Vol. VIII, p. 32)
MOSES Deut. XVIII: 15-19, XXXIII: 2
JESUS John, XV: 26, XVI: 7
Matt., XXIV: 25
II Peter, III: 1-12
MUHAMMAD Qur’an, LIV: 53-56, III: 75
The BAB Prayers & Meditations, pp. 84-86, 285-286,
World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 100-101
BAHA’U’LLAH Gleanings, pp. 346, 73-74
Kitab’I’Iqan, pp. 12-13
World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 132, 167, 116-117, 124-6
‘ABDU’L BAHA World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 111 (concerning future)
PROPHECIES OF THE BAB ABOUT BAHA’U’LLAH (cited by Shoghi Effendi):
Today the Bayan is in the stage of seed; at the beginning of the manifestation of `Him Whom God shall make manifest' its ultimate perfection will become apparent....
(World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 100)
"Ere nine will have elapsed from the inception of this Cause," He more particularly has stated, "the realities of the created things will not be made manifest. All that thou hast as yet seen is but the stage from the moist germ until We clothed it with flesh. Be patient, until thou beholdest a new creation.
(God Passes By, Page: 29) *
"Of all the tributes," He again affirms, "I have paid to Him Who is to come after Me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference to Him in My Book, the Bayan, do justice to His Cause."
(From Persian Bayan World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 100)
The Bayan deriveth all its glory from `Him Whom God shall make manifest.' All blessing be upon him who believeth in Him and woe betide him that rejecteth His truth."
(From Persian Bayan, World Order of Baha'u'llah, Pages: 100-101)
O Thou Remnant of God! I have sacrificed myself wholly for Thee: I have accepted curses for Thy sake, and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love. Sufficient witness unto me is God, the Exalted, the Protector, the Ancient of Days."
(From Qayyumu’l-Asma, World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 101)
“Year Nine” is 1269 A.H. or 1852-1853 A.D.
THE NEW COVENANT – THE COVENANT OF BAHA’U’LLAH
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:…But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
"The Lord, the All-Glorified," He has moreover declared, "hath, beneath the shade of the Tree of Anisa (Tree of Life), made a new Covenant and established a great Testament... Hath such a Covenant been established in any previous Dispensation, age, period or century? Hath such a Testament, set down by the Pen of the Most High, ever been witnessed? No, by God!"
(‘Abdu’l Baha, cited in God Passes By, Pages: 238-239)
The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures.
(Baha'u'llah: Gleanings, Page: 5)
With each and every Prophet Whom We have sent down in the past, We have established a separate Covenant concerning the Remembrance of God and His Day.
(The Bab: Selections from the Bab, Page: 68 & cited in W.O.B. p. 126)
The time fore-ordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Meditate upon this, O ye beloved of God, and let your ears be attentive unto His Word, so that ye may, by His grace and mercy, drink your fill from the crystal waters of constancy, and become as steadfast and immovable as the mountain in His Cause.
(Baha'u'llah: Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, Page: 111 & Gleanings, pp. 12-13)
The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, whose supreme mission is none other but the achievement of this organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of nations, should, if we be faithful to its implications, be regarded as signalizing through its advent the coming of age of the entire human race. It should be viewed not merely as yet another spiritual revival in the ever-changing fortunes of mankind, not only as a further stage in a chain of progressive Revelations, nor even as the culmination of one of a series of recurrent prophetic cycles, but rather as marking the last and highest stage in the stupendous evolution of man's collective life on this planet.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 163)
THE GREAT, THE ANCIENT COVENANT FULFILLED BY BAHA’U’LLAH
In His Name who shines forth from the Horizon of Might! Verily the Tongue of the Ancient gives glad tidings to those who are in the world concerning the appearance of the Greatest Name, and who takes His Covenant among the nations. Verily, He is Myself, the Shining-Place of My Identity; the East of My Cause; the Heaven of My Bounty; the Sea of My Will; the Lamp of My Guidance; the Path of My Justice; the Standard of My Love. The one who hath turned to Him hath turned to My Face and is illumined through the lights of My Beauty; hath acknowledged My Oneness and confessed My Singleness.
(Baha’u’llah, Baha’I Scriptures, p. 255)
The following is Shoghi Effendi’s explanation of this excerpt above:
It should be made clear to every one reading those extracts that by the phrase "the Tongue of the Ancient" no one else is meant but God, and that the term "the Greatest Name" is an obvious reference to Baha'u'llah, and that "the Covenant" referred to is not the specific Covenant of which Baha'u'llah is the immediate Author and Abdu'l-Baha the Center but that general Covenant which, as inculcated by the Baha'i teaching, God Himself invariably establishes with mankind when He inaugurates a new Dispensation. "The Tongue" that "gives," as stated in those extracts, the "glad-tidings" is none other than the Voice of God referring to Baha'u'llah, and not Baha'u'llah referring to Abdu'l-Baha.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 137)
The Prophetic Cycle hath, verily, ended. The Eternal Truth is now come. He hath lifted up the Ensign of Power, and is now shedding upon the world the unclouded splendor of His Revelation.
(Baha'u'llah: Gleanings, Page: 60)
The Faith of Baha'u'llah should indeed be regarded, if we wish to be faithful to the tremendous implications of its message, as the culmination of a cycle, the final stage in a series of successive, of preliminary and progressive revelations. These, beginning with Adam and ending with the Bab, have paved the way and anticipated with an ever-increasing emphasis the advent of that Day of Days in which He Who is the Promise of All Ages should be made manifest.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 103)
A Revelation, hailed as the promise and crowning glory of past ages and centuries, as the consummation of all the Dispensations within the Adamic Cycle, inaugurating an era of at least a thousand years' duration, and a cycle destined to last no less than five thousand centuries, signalizing the end of the Prophetic Era and the beginning of the Era of Fulfillment…
(Shoghi Effendi: God Passes By, Page: 100)
Prophecies Concerning the Next Manifestation
First is the Covenant that every Prophet makes with humanity, or, more definitely, with His People that they will accept and follow the coming Manifestation who will be the reappearance of His Reality…
(Shoghi Effendi, Baha’I News, No. 80, p.5, col.1)
"Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God," is the express warning uttered in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, "ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying imposter. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will no doubt forgive him. If, however, he persists in his error, God will assuredly send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible indeed is God in punishing!" "Whosoever," He adds as a further emphasis, "interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things." "Should a man appear," is yet another conclusive statement, "ere the lapse of a full thousand years - each year consisting of twelve months according to the Qur'an, and of nineteen months of nineteen days each, according to the Bayan - and if such a man reveal to your eyes all the signs of God, unhesitatingly reject him!"
(Baha’u’llah cited in World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 132)
Two forms of Baha’I Covenant:
As regards the meaning of the Baha’I Covenant: The Guardian considers the existence of two forms of Covenant both of which are explicitly mentioned in the literature of the Cause. First is the Covenant that every Prophet makes with humanity, or, more definitely, with His people that they will accept and follow the coming Manifestation who will be the reappearance of His reality. The second form of Covenant is such as the one Baha’u’llah made with His people that they should accept the Master [‘Abdu’l Baha]. This is merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the series of Lights that appear after every Manifestation. Under the same category falls the Covenant the Master made with the Baha'is that they should accept His administration after Him...
(Shoghi Effendi, via his secretary, Baha’I News, No. 80, p.5, col.1)
THE “LESSOR COVENANT” – WITH THE BELIEVERS
Baha’u’llah’s Appointment of ‘Abdu’l Baha as the Center of the Covenant:
When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.
(Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Page: 63)
It is incumbent upon the Aghsan, the Afnan and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: `When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.' The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [Abdu'l-Baha]. Thus have We graciously revealed unto you our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious, the All-Powerful.
(Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-I-Ahd; Tablets of Baha'u'llah, Page: 221)
O people of the world! When the Mystic Dove will have winged its flight from its Sanctuary of Praise and sought its far-off goal, its hidden habitation, refer ye whatsoever ye understand not in the Book to Him Who hath branched from this mighty Stock.
(Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Page: 82)
"There hath branched from the Sadratu'l-Muntaha this sacred and glorious Being, this Branch of Holiness; well is it with him that hath sought His shelter and abideth beneath His shadow. Verily the Limb of the Law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the Ground of His Will, and Whose Branch hath been so uplifted as to encompass the whole of creation. Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork!... A Word hath, as a token of Our grace, gone forth from the Most Great Tablet - a Word which God hath adorned with the ornament of His own Self, and made it sovereign over the earth and all that is therein, and a sign of His greatness and power among its people ...
(Baha’u’llah in Tablet of the Branch quoted in World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 135)
In accordance with the explicit text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas Baha'u'llah hath made the Center of the Covenant the Interpreter of His Word - a Covenant so firm and mighty that from the beginning of time until the present day no religious Dispensation hath produced its like.
(Abdu'l-Baha, cited in "The World Order of Baha'u'llah -
Selected Letters", p. 136)
Baha'u'llah made a covenant concerning a promised One who will become manifest after one thousand or thousands of years. He likewise, with His Supreme Pen, entered into a great Covenant and Testament with all the Baha'is whereby they were all commanded to follow the Center of the Covenant after His departure, and turn not away even to a hair's breadth from obeying Him.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Baha'i World Faith*, Page: 358)
In the Book of Aqdas, He has given positive command in two clear instances and has explicitly appointed the Interpreter of the Book. Also in all the Divine Tablets, especially in the Chapter of The Branch - all the meanings of which mean the Servitude of Abdu'l-Baha, that is Abdu'l-Baha - all that was needed to explain the Center of the Covenant and the Interpreter of the Book has been revealed from the Supreme Pen. Now as Abdu'l-Baha is the Interpreter of the Book He says that the "Chapter of The Branch" means Abdu'l-Baha, that is, the Servitude of Abdu'l-Baha, and none other.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Baha'i World Faith*, Pages: 358-359)
Purpose of This Covenant:
Inasmuch as great differences and divergences of denominational belief had arisen throughout the past, every man with a new idea attributing it to God, Baha'u'llah desired that there should not be any ground or reason for disagreement among the Baha'is. Therefore, with His own pen He wrote the Book of His Covenant, addressing His relations and all people of the world, saying, "Verily, I have appointed One Who is the Center of My Covenant. All must obey Him; all must turn to Him; He is the Expounder of My Book, and He is informed of My purpose. All must turn to Him.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace*, Pages: 322-323)
Whatsoever He says is correct, for, verily, He knoweth the texts of My Book. Other than He, no one doth know My Book." The purpose of this statement is that there should never be discord and divergence among the Baha'is but that they should always be unified and agreed. Therefore, whosoever obeys the Center of the Covenant appointed by Baha'u'llah has obeyed Baha'u'llah, and whosoever disobeys Him has disobeyed Baha'u'llah. It has nothing to do with Him (Abdu'l-Baha) at all - precisely as the governor-general appointed by the king - whosoever obeys the governor-general obeys the king; whosoever disobeys the governor-general disobeys the king…. Therefore, you must read the Tablets of Baha'u'llah. You must read the Tablet of the Branch and regard that which He has so clearly stated. Beware! Beware! lest anyone should speak from the authority of his own thoughts or create a new thing out of himself. Beware! Beware! According to the explicit Covenant of Baha'u'llah you should care nothing at all for such a person. Baha'u'llah shuns such souls.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace*, Page: 323)
“…To insure unity and agreement He has entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world including the Interpreter and Explainer of His teachings so that no one may interpret or explain the religion of God according to his own view or opinion and thus create a sect founded upon his individual understanding of the divine words. The Book of the Covenant or Testament of Baha’u’llah is the means of preventing such a possibility…Be ye informed and cognizant of this…”
(‘Abdu’l Baha: Baha’I World Faith, p. 248)
“Were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God, there would arise among the Baha’is in one day, a thousand different sects as was the case in former ages. But in this Blessed Dispensation, for the sake of the permanency of the Cause of God and the avoidance of dissension amongst the people of God, the Blessed Beauty (may my soul be a sacrifice unto Him), has through the Supreme Pen written the Covenant and the Testament; He appointed a Center, the Exponent of the Book and the annuller of disputes. Whatever is written or said by Him is conformable to the truth and under the protection of the Blessed Beauty He is infallible. The express purpose of this last Will and Testament is to set aside disputes from the world.” (‘Abdu’l Baha, Tablet [Archives], cited in Baha’I World Faith, pp. 357-8)
“To direct and canalize these forces let loose by this Heaven-sent process, and to insure their harmonious and continuous operation after His ascension, an instrument divinely ordained, invested with indisputable authority, organically linked with the Author of the Revelation Himself, was clearly indispensable. That instrument Baha’u’llah had expressly provided through the institution of the Covenant…” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp237-238)
“To the people of Faith, the clear appointment of the Center of the Cause, after the departure of the Manifestation, is considered the most important point in religious matters, as it is the greatest channel which connects the servants of God with Holy and Divine Truth.” (Mirza Abu’l-Fadl, Baha’I Proofs, p. 108)
b. Station of ‘Abdu’l Baha as Center of the Covenant
Interpreter of the Word of God
“I am according to the explicit texts of the Kitab-I-Aqdas and the Kitab-I-Ahd, the manifest Interpreter of the Word of God…Whoso deviates from my interpretation is a victim of his own fancy.” (‘Abdu’l Baha, cited in World Order of Baha’u’llah, p 138)
“…My station is the station of servitude – a servitude which is complete, pure and real, firmly established, enduring, obvious, explicitly revealed and subject to no interpretation whatever… I am the Interpreter of the Word of God; such is my interpretation.”
(‘Abdu’l Baha, cited in World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 133)
b. ii. The Shield and Shelter for All Mankind
“We have made Thee a shelter for all mankind, a shield unto all who are in heaven and on earth, a stronghold for whosoever hath believed in God, the Incomparable; the All-Knowing. God grant that through Thee He may protect them, may enrich and sustain them, that He may inspire Thee with that which shall be a well-spring of wealth unto all created things, an ocean of bounty unto all men, and the dayspring of mercy unto all peoples.” (Baha’u’llah, Tablet to ‘Abdu’l Baha, cited in World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 135-136)
b. iii. The Mystery of God
“He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Baha’u’llah’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Baha’I ideal, the incarnation of every Baha’I virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being ‘round Whom all names revolve,’ the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation – styles and titles that are implicit and find their truest, their highest and fairest expression in the magic name of ‘Abdu’l Baha. He is, above and beyond these appellations, the ‘Mystery of God’ – an expression by which Baha’u’llah Himself has chosen to designate Him, and which, while it does not by any means justify us to assign to Him the station of Prophethood, indicates how in the person of ‘Abdu’l Baha the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.” (Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 134)
“But if any soul asks concerning the station of this servant, the answer is – ‘Abdu’l Baha. If he inquires after the meaning of The Branch, the answer is – ‘Abdu’l Baha. If he desires to know the significance of the verse regarding The Branch, the answer is – ‘Abdu’l Baha. If he insists upon the explanation of the meaning of ‘The Branch extended from the Ancient Root,’ the answer is – ‘Abdu’l Baha.” (‘Abdu’l Baha, Tablet, Star of the West, Vol. VIII, p. 186; also p. 212)
“According to the clear text of the Kitab-I-Aqdas, and other tablets, the Center of the Covenant is the remover of all difficulties, for he is the interpreter of the Book. Not one soul has the right to say one word of his own account, or to explain anything or to elucidate the text of the Book, whether in public or private…” (‘Abdu’l Baha, from Tablet, Star of the West, Vol. VIII, p. 223)
Difficulty of Understanding the Station of ‘Abdu’l Baha
“…It would be indeed difficult for us, who stand so close to such a tremendous figure and are drawn by the mysterious power of so magnetic a personality, to obtain a clear and exact understanding of the role and character of One Who, not only in the Dispensation of Baha’u’llah but in the entire field of religious history, fulfills a unique function. Though moving in a sphere of His own and holding a rank radically different from that of the Author and the Forerunner of the Baha’I Revelation, He, by virtue of the station ordained for Him through the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, forms together with them what may be termed the Three Central Figures of a Faith that stands unapproached in the world’s spiritual history. He towers, in conjunction with them, above the destinies of this infant Faith of God from a level to which no individual or body ministering to its needs after Him, and for no less a period than a full thousand years, can ever hope to rise…” (Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 131-132)
“Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance; for verily He is the most great Favor unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you; and through Him every mouldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God, and whoso turneth away from Him hath turned away from My Beauty, hath repudiated My Proof, and transgressed against Me. He is the Trust of God amongst you, His charge within you, His manifestation unto you and His appearance among His favored servants…We have sent Him down in the form of a human temple. Blest and sanctified be God Who createth whatsoever He willeth through His inviolable, His infallible decree. They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness of error, are consumed by the heat of worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish.”
(Baha’u’llah, Tablet of the Branch, cited in World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 135)
Prayer of Baha’u’llah
“Thou knowest, O my God, that I desire for Him naught except that which Thou didst desire, and have chosen Him for no purpose save that which Thou hadst intended for Him. Render Him victorious, therefore, through Thy hosts of earth and heaven…Ordain, I beseech Thee, by the ardor of My love for Thee and My yearning to manifest Thy Cause, for Him, as well as for them that love Him, that which Thou hast destined for Thy Messengers and the Trustees of Thy Revelation. Verily, Thou art Almighty, the All-Powerful.” (Revealed for ‘Abdu’l Baha, World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 136)
THIS COVENANT UNIQUE AND UNKNOWN IN PREVIOUS DISPENSATIONS
“In former cycles no distinct Covenant was made in writing by the Supreme Pen; no distinct personage was appointed to be the Standard differentiating falsehood from truth, so that whatsoever he said was to stand as truth and that which he repudiated was to be known as falsehood. At most, His Holiness Jesus Christ gave only an intimation, a symbol, and that was but an indication of the solidity of Peter’s faith. When he mentioned his faith, His Holiness said, ‘Thou art Peter’ – which means rock – ‘and upon this rock will I build My church.’ This was a sanction of Peter’s faith; it was not indicative of his [Peter] being the expounder of the Book, but was a confirmation of Peter’s faith.
“But in this Dispensation of the Blessed Beauty (Baha’u’llah) among its distinctions is that He did not leave people in perplexity. He entered into a Covenant and Testament with the people. He appointed a Center of the Covenant. He wrote with His own pen and revealed it in the Kitab-I-Aqdas, the Book of Laws, and the Kitab-I-‘Ahd, the Book of the Covenant, appointing Him (‘Abdu’l Baha) the Expounder of the Book. You must ask Him (‘Abdu’l Baha) regarding the meanings of the texts of the verses. Whatsoever He says is correct. Outside of this, numerous Tablets He (Baha’u’llah) has explicitly recorded it, with clear, sufficient, valid and forceful statements. In the Tablet of the Branch, He explicitly states: Whatsoever the Branch says is right, or correct; and every person must obey The Branch with his life, with his heart, with his tongue. Without His will, not a word shall anyone utter. This is the explicit text of the Blessed Beauty. So there is no excuse left for anybody. No soul shall, of himself, speak anything. Whatsoever His (‘Abdu’l Baha’s) tongue utters, whatsoever His pen records, that is correct; according to the explicit text of Baha’u’llah in the Tablet of the Branch.” (‘Abdu’l Baha, Star of the West, Vol. III, No. 14, p. 9)