Day of the Covenant
Photos, videos and a compilation of writings dedicated to this Baha'i Faith Holy Day. The Day of the Covenant is the day when Baháʼís celebrate the appointment of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant. It occurs yearly on the 4th day of Speech (Qawl) which coincides with either November 25 or 26 depending on when Naw Ruz falls on that year.
The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring 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. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth everyone who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.
- Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 19
I bear witness to Thy unity and Thy oneness, and that Thou art God, and that there is none other God beside Thee. Thou hast, verily, revealed Thy Cause, fulfilled Thy Covenant, and opened wide the door of Thy grace to all that dwell in heaven and on earth. Blessing and peace, salutation and glory, rest upon Thy loved ones, whom the changes and chances of the world have not deterred from turning unto Thee, and who have given their all, in the hope of obtaining that which is with Thee. Thou art, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Bountiful.
- Extracts from the Medium Obligatory Prayer - Bahá’u’lláh
By Thy Glory! O Beloved of all hearts, Thou that alone canst still the pangs of yearning for Thee! Though all the dwellers of heaven and earth unite to glorify the least of Thy signs, wherein and whereby Thou hast revealed Thyself, yet would they fail, how much more to praise Thy holy Word, the creator of all Thy tokens. All praise and glory be to Thee, Thou of Whom all things have testified that Thou art one and there is none other God but Thee, Who hast been from everlasting exalted above all peer or likeness and to everlasting shalt remain the same. All kings are but Thy servants and all beings, visible and invisible, as naught before Thee. There is none other God but Thee, the Gracious, the Powerful, the Most High.
O my Lord and my Hope! Help Thou Thy loved ones to be steadfast in Thy mighty Covenant, to remain faithful to Thy manifest Cause, and to carry out the commandments Thou didst set down for them in Thy Book of Splendors; that they may become banners of guidance and lamps of the Company above, wellsprings of Thine infinite wisdom, and stars that lead aright, as they shine down from the supernal sky. Verily, Thou art the Invincible, the Almighty, the All-Powerful. - Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, 2002 U.S. Edition, pp. 71-72
Bahá’u’lláh covenanted, not that I (Abdu’l-Baha) am the Promised One, but that Abdu’l-Baha is the Expounder of the Book and the Centre of His Covenant, and that the Promised One of Bahá’u’lláh will appear after one thousand or thousands of years. This is the Covenant which Bahá’u’lláh made. If a person shall deviate, he is not acceptable at the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh. In case of differences, Abdu’l-Baha must be consulted. They must revolve around his good pleasure. After Abdu’l-Baha, whenever the Universal House of Justice is organized it will ward off differences.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha: The Covenant, p. 117
Inasmuch as great differences and divergences of denominational belief had arisen throughout the past, every man with a new idea attributing it to God, Bahá’u’lláh desired that there should not be any ground or reason for disagreement among the Bahá’ís. 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. Whatsoever He says is correct, for, verily, He knoweth the texts of My Book. Other than He, no one doth know My Book.”
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 322-323
My name is Abdul-Baha, my identity is Abdul-Baha, my qualification is Abdul-Baha, my reality is Abdul-Baha, my praise is Abdul-Baha. Thraldom to the Blessed Perfection is my glorious and refulgent diadem; and servitude to all the human race is my perpetual religion. - Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas
Hold thou fast to the Covenant of thy Lord, and as the days go by, increase thy store of love for His beloved ones. Bend thou with tenderness over the servitors of the All-Merciful, that thou mayest hoist the sail of love upon the ark of peace that moveth across the seas of life. Let nothing grieve thee, and be thou angered at none. It behoveth thee to be content with the Will of God, and a true and loving and trusted friend to all the peoples of the earth, without any exceptions whatever. This is the quality of the sincere, the way of the saints, the emblem of those who believe in the unity of God, and the raiment of the people of Bahá.
- 'Abdu’l-Bahá ,Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, page 26
A Covenant in the religious sense is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behaviour in return for which He guarantees certain blessings, or whereby He gives man certain bounties in return for which He takes from those who accept them an undertaking to behave in a certain way. There is, for example, the Greater Covenant which every Manifestation of God makes with His followers, promising that in the fulness of time a new Manifestation will be sent, and taking from them the undertaking to accept Him when this occurs. There is also the Lesser Covenant that a Manifestation of God makes with His followers that they will accept His appointed successor after Him. If they do so, the Faith can remain united and pure. If not, the Faith becomes divided and its force spent. It is a Covenant of this kind that Baha’u’llah made with His followers regarding Abdu’l-Baha and that Abdu’l-Baha perpetuated through the Administrative Order.
- From a letter written by The Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 23 March 1975
A story to illustrate the covenant
It was the custom of Shoghi Effendi to walk on Mount Carmel, and at times he invited the Persian men believers to walk with him. They would walk a few paces behind him, out of respect. Ali-Kuli Khan was a member of one of these groups of men, and at one point Shoghi Effendi stopped, and turned to the men, and said, “Although I am Abdu’l-Baha’s successor, I am not His equal. His station is far greater than my own.” Then he turned, and continued walking. Ali-Kuli Khan burst into tears. When he finished weeping, one of his fellow pilgrims asked him, “What Shoghi Effendi said was very beautiful, but why did it have such an effect on you?” Ali-Kuli Khan answered, “Many years ago, I was here on Pilgrimage during the days of Abdu’l-Baha. One day I was walking with Him on the slopes of Mount Carmel, and He stopped, at that very same spot, and turned to me and said, “Although I am the Successor to Baha’u’llah, I am not His equal. His station is far, far greater than My own.” And of course, as we were walking behind the beloved Guardian, I recalled the sweetness of that moment. And then I saw that we were approaching that spot where the Master had spoken, and to my astonishment, Shoghi Effendi stopped, and spoke at that same spot. And when he said what he did, then I understood the greatness of this Cause.”