“…true faith is no mere acknowledgement of the unity of God, but rather the living of a life that will manifest all the perfections and virtues…” –‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Devotion 

Quotations

Below is a small selection of passages from the Bahá’í Writings on the subject of devotion.

Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb. Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise its influence upon his soul. Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him Who is the Source of power and wisdom.

(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CXXXVI)

Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide…Pride not yourselves on much reading of the verses or on a multitude of pious acts by night and day; for were a man to read a single verse with joy and radiance it would be better for him than to read with lassitude all the Holy Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Read ye the sacred verses in such measure that ye be not overcome by languor and despondency. Lay not upon your souls that which will weary them and weigh them down, but rather what will lighten and uplift them, so that they may soar on the wings of the Divine verses towards the Dawning-place of His manifest signs; this will draw you nearer to God, did ye but comprehend.

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas)

The state of prayer is the best of conditions, for man is then associating with God. Prayer verily bestoweth life, particularly when offered in private and at times, such as midnight, when freed from daily cares.

(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

In the highest prayer, men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear Him or hell, or hope for bounty or heaven…When a man falls in love with a human being, it is impossible for him to keep from mentioning the name of his beloved. How much more difficult is it to keep from mentioning the Name of God when one has come to love Him…The spiritual man finds no delight in anything save in commemoration of God.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in J. E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era)

Prayer and meditation are very important factors in deepening the spiritual life of the individual, but with them must go also action and example, as these are the tangible results of the former. Both are essential.

(Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, To an individual believer, 15 May 1944)

The obligatory prayers are binding inasmuch as they are conducive to humility and submissiveness, to setting one's face towards God and expressing devotion to Him. Through such prayer man holdeth communion with God, seeketh to draw near unto Him, converseth with the true Beloved of one's heart, and attaineth spiritual stations.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet, translated from the Persian)

All praise be unto God, Who hath revealed the law of obligatory prayer as a reminder to His servants, and enjoined on them the Fast that those possessed of means may become apprised of the woes and sufferings of the destitute.

(Bahá’u’lláh, from compilation on The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting, p.1)

Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas)

O brother, we should open our eyes, meditate upon His Word, and seek the sheltering shadow of the Manifestations of God, that perchance we may be warned by the unmistakable counsels of the Book, and give heed to the admonitions recorded in the holy Tablets.

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqan)

Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds. In these words the mysteries of Divine Wisdom have been treasured…

(Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, Suriy-i-Vafá)

Were any man to ponder in his heart that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed and to taste of its sweetness, he would, of a certainty, find himself emptied and delivered from his own desires, and utterly subservient to the Will of the Almighty. Happy is the man that hath attained so high a station, and hath not deprived himself of so bountiful a grace.

(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, CLXIV)

Holy places are undoubtedly centres of the outpouring of Divine grace, because on entering the illumined sites associated with martyrs and holy souls, and by observing reverence, both physical and spiritual, one’s heart is moved with great tenderness.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet)

O MY SERVANTS! Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is incumbent on everyone to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth, O men of understanding! For results depend upon means, and the grace of God shall be all-sufficient unto you. Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire.

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Persian no. 80)

Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship…

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy, p. 83)


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  • You can find readings, essays, and resource materials on this subject in the Articles and Resources section.

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