Masa'il - Questions - Baha'i Feast Devotional Program
A compilation from the Baha'i writings on the topic of Questions ( Masa'il ) - a Baha'i Feast devotional program.
1. It is not permissible to ask questions from Him Whom God will make manifest, except that which well beseemeth Him. For His station is that of the Essence of divine Revelation... Whatever evidence of bounty is witnessed in the world, is but an image of His bounty; and every thing owes its existence to His Being... The Bayán is, from beginning to end, the repository of all of His attributes, and the treasury of both His fire and His light. Should anyone desire to ask questions, he is allowed to do so only in writing, that he may derive ample understanding from His written reply and that it may serve as a sign from his Beloved. However, let no one ask aught that may prove unworthy of His lofty station.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 101
2. In the Bayán it had been forbidden you to ask Us questions. The Lord hath now relieved you of this prohibition, that ye may be free to ask what you need to ask, but not such idle questions as those on which the men of former times were wont to dwell. Fear God, and be ye of the righteous! Ask ye that which shall be of profit to you in the Cause of God and His dominion, for the portals of His tender compassion have been opened before all who dwell in heaven and on earth. -- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 64
3. Everything that is hath come to be through His irresistible decree. Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doeth what He pleaseth. He chooseth, and none may question His choice. Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved, ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. To this He Who is the Lord of all creation beareth Me witness. Whoso hath inhaled the sweet fragrance of the All-Merciful, and recognized the Source of this utterance, will welcome with his own eyes the shafts of the enemy, that he may establish the truth of the laws of God amongst men. Well is it with him that hath turned thereunto, and apprehended the meaning of His decisive decree.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, pp. 21-22
4. As the wayward of every age have failed to fathom the deeper import of these weighty and pregnant utterances, and imagined the answer of the Prophets of God to be irrelevant to the questions they asked them, they therefore have attributed ignorance and folly to those Essences of knowledge and understanding. -- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 149
5. Know thou moreover that thy letter reached Our presence and We perceived and perused its contents. We noted the questions thou hast asked and will readily answer thee. It behoveth everyone in this Day to ask God that which he desireth, and thy Lord will heed his petition with wondrous and undeniable verses. -- Bahá'u'lláh
-- Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 183
6. This Wronged One hath perused thy letter in the Most Great Prison and is apprised of thine enquiry concerning the commandments of God on the subjects of resurrection and the means of livelihood. Thou hast done well to ask these questions, for the benefit thereof will be gained by thyself as well as other servants of God, both outwardly and inwardly. Verily thy Lord knoweth all things and readily answereth the call. -- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 267
7. The songs which the bird of thine heart had uttered in its great love for its friends have reached their ears, and moved Me to answer thy questions, and reveal to thee such secrets as I am allowed to unfold. In thine esteemed letter thou hadst inquired which of the Prophets of God should be regarded as superior to others. Know thou assuredly that the essence of all the Prophets of God is one and the same. Their unity is absolute. God, the Creator, saith: There is no distinction whatsoever among the Bearers of My Message. They all have but one purpose; their secret is the same secret. To prefer one in honor to another, to exalt certain ones above the rest, is in no wise to be permitted. Every true Prophet hath regarded His Message as fundamentally the same as the Revelation of every other Prophet gone before Him. If any man, therefore, should fail to comprehend this truth, and should consequently indulge in vain and unseemly language, no one whose sight is keen and whose understanding is enlightened would ever allow such idle talk to cause him to waver in his belief.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pp. 78-79
8. The fourth teaching of Bahá'u'lláh is the agreement of religion and science. God has endowed man with intelligence and reason whereby he is required to determine the verity of questions and propositions. If religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards of science they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is superstition. Unquestionably there must be agreement between true religion and science. If a question be found contrary to reason, faith and belief in it are impossible and there is no outcome but wavering and vacillation.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith, p. 240
9. O thou maid-servant of God! Whenever thou art desiring to talk and answer questions, turn thy face toward the Kingdom of Abhá and beseech for assistance; then loosen thy tongue. Thou wilt behold at that time how thou art able to answer all the questions! -- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 592
10. Now concerning our social principles, namely the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh spread far and wide fifty years ago, they verily comprehend all other teachings. It is clear and evident that without these teachings progress and advancement for mankind are in no wise possible. Every community in the world findeth in these Divine Teachings the realization of its highest aspirations. These teachings are even as the tree that beareth the best fruits of all trees. Philosophers, for instance, find in these heavenly teachings the most perfect solution of their social problems, and similarly a true and noble exposition of matters that pertain to philosophical questions. In like manner men of faith behold the reality of religion manifestly revealed in these heavenly teachings, and clearly and conclusively prove them to be the real and true remedy for the ills and infirmities of all mankind. Should these sublime teachings be diffused, mankind shall be freed from all perils, from all chronic ills and sicknesses. In like manner are the Bahá'í economic principles the embodiment of the highest aspirations of all wage-earning classes and of economists of various schools.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith, pp. 347-348
11. Thou hast written concerning the meetings and the gathering places of the believers of God. Such assemblies and congregations will greatly aid the promotion of the Word--and all the audience, whether friends or not friends, become affected. But when the friends have the intention of entering in these meetings and assemblies, they must first make the purpose pure, disengage the heart from all other reflections, ask the inexhaustible divine confirmation and with the utmost devotion and humility set their feet in the gathering-place. Let them not introduce any topic in the meeting except the mentioning of the True One, neither must they confuse that merciful assembly with perplexed outside questions. They must either teach or open their tongues in propounding argument, either commune or supplicate and pray to God, either read Tablets or give out advices or exhortations.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith, p. 407
12. His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh has given instructions regarding every one of the questions confronting humanity. He has given teachings and instructions with regard to every one of the problems with which man struggles. -- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 39