Sharaf - Honor - Baha'i Feast Devotional Program
A compilation from the Baha'i writings on the topic of Honor ( Sharaf ) - a Baha'i Feast devotional program.
1. As to those souls who are preaching the Word of God, it behooveth them to shake the dust of every land which they have passed by off their shoes and to be with God and without need of the rich -- although their bed is the soil, their light is the stars of the sky and their food is the herbs of the desert -- because theirs is the wealth of the Kingdom, the honor of the realm of might and the bounty of the divine world; and they are not in want of this world and its cares. Their throne is the mat of humility, their honor is in suffering every lowliness in the path of the Loving Lord and their wealth is being empty-handed from the pomps of the world and its vanities and their provision is trusting in God and being severed from all that is on the earth and its wealth.
-- Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha, pp. 60-61
2. All praise to the unity of God, and all honor to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation, and Who, rescuing His creatures from the abasement of remoteness and the perils of ultimate extinction, hath received them into His kingdom of incorruptible glory. -- Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pp. 64-65
3. Who can ever believe that this Servant of God hath at any time cherished in His heart a desire for any earthly honor or benefit? The Cause associated with His Name is far above the transitory things of this world. Behold Him, an exile, a victim of tyranny, in this Most Great Prison. His enemies have assailed Him on every side, and will continue to do so till the end of His life. Whatever, therefore, He saith unto you is wholly for the sake of God, that haply the peoples of the earth may cleanse their hearts from the stain of evil desire, may rend its veil asunder, and attain unto the knowledge of the one true God--the most exalted station to which any man can aspire. Their belief or disbelief in My Cause can neither profit nor harm Me. We summon them wholly for the sake of God. He, verily, can afford to dispense with all creatures.
-- Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 85
4. Then it is clear that the honor and exaltation of man must be something more than material riches. Material comforts are only a branch, but the root of the exaltation of man is the good attributes and virtues which are the adornments of his reality. These are the divine appearances, the heavenly bounties, the sublime emotions, the love and knowledge of God; universal wisdom, intellectual perception, scientific discoveries, justice, equity, truthfulness, benevolence, natural courage and innate fortitude; the respect for rights and the keeping of agreements and covenants; rectitude in all circumstances; serving the truth under all conditions; the sacrifice of one's life for the good of all people; kindness and esteem for all nations; obedience to the teachings of God; service in the Divine Kingdom; the guidance of the people, and the education of the nations and races. This is the prosperity of the human world! This is the exaltation of man in the world! This is eternal life and heavenly honor!
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, pp. 79-80
5. Question: What relation do you sustain to the founder of your belief? Are you his successor in the same manner as the Pope of Rome? Answer: I am the servant of Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder; and in this I glory. No honor do I consider greater than this, and it is my hope that I may be confirmed in servitude to Bahá'u'lláh. This is my station. --`Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 167
6. The greatest bestowal of God in the world of humanity is religion; for assuredly the divine teachings of religion are above all other sources of instruction and development to man. Religion confers upon man eternal life and guides his footsteps in the world of morality. It opens the doors of unending happiness and bestows everlasting honor upon the human kingdom. It has been the basis of all civilization and progress in the history of mankind. -- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith, p. 270
7. Pay thou no heed to the humiliation to which the loved ones of God have in this Day been subjected. This humiliation is the pride and glory of all temporal honor and worldly elevation. What greater honor can be imagined than the honor conferred by the Tongue of the Ancient of Days when He calleth to remembrance His loved ones in His Most Great Prison? The day is approaching when the intervening clouds will have been completely dissipated, when the light of the words, "All honor belongeth unto God and unto them that love Him," will have appeared, as manifest as the sun, above the horizon of the Will of the Almighty.
-- Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 305-306
8. Thou art God's shadow on earth. Strive, therefore, to act in such a manner as befitteth so eminent, so august a station. If thou dost depart from following the things We have caused to descend upon thee and taught thee, thou wilt, assuredly, be derogating from that great and priceless honor. Return, then, and cleave wholly unto God, and cleanse thine heart from the world and all its vanities, and suffer not the love of any stranger to enter and dwell therein.
-- Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 237
9. O Lord! I am weak, strengthen me with Thy power and potency. My tongue falters, suffer me to utter Thy commemoration and praise. I am lowly, honor me through admitting me into Thy kingdom. I am remote, cause me to approach the threshold of Thy mercifulness. O Lord! Make me a brilliant lamp, a shining star and a blessed tree, adorned with fruit, its branches overshadowing all these regions. Verily, Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful and Unconstrained. -- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 81