The Institution of the Mas͟hriqu’l-Ad͟hkár


The Institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár

A Statement Prepared by the Research Department
of the Universal House of Justice

September 2017

The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, “the Dawning-place of the Praise of God”,1 is described by the Universal House of Justice, in its letter dated 18 December 2014 to the Bahá’ís in Iran, as “a unique concept in the annals of religion” that “symbolizes the teachings of the new Day of God”.2 The House of Justice further states that the House of Worship is a “collective centre of society to promote cordial affection” and that it

stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society. Men and women, children and youth, are held in its embrace as equals.3

The extraordinary significance of this matchless institution for the unity and well-being of humanity is underscored throughout the writings of the Faith. Bahá’u’lláh, for instance, proclaims, “Blessed are they that occupy themselves in the House of Worship with the remembrance of Him Who is the Lord of the righteous!”4 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá affirms that while the House of Worship is “built upon earth, in reality it is an institution of the Concourse on high” and its “pinnacles shall soar to the apex of heaven”.5 In another Tablet He refers to it as “the dawning-place of lights and the gathering place of the righteous”, in which “noble souls … offer supplications, intone divine verses, and chant prayers with wondrous melodies” such that “the inmates of the Concourse on high hearken and call out, crying, ‘Happy are we; let all the world rejoice!’”6 It is, the Master declares, “the first visible and manifest establishment of the Lord”,7 being so momentous a structure that even the act of “laying but one brick for [it] or one of its dependencies is like unto building a lofty edifice”.8 As Shoghi Effendi states, the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is a “symbol and harbinger of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”.9 It is, in the words of the House of Justice, a beacon of light “against the gloom of hatred and inequity”.10 Eight continental Temples now illumine the world, while local and national ones are beginning to emerge, each one summoning “all comers to worship the One Who is their Creator, their sovereign Lord, the Giver of Light to the world”11 and galvanizing “an entire people to reach for a more profound sense of unified purpose”.12 Each reminds us of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s assurance that “a hundred thousand Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs shall be reared in glory, dignity, and utmost majesty”.13

To assist in further understanding the nature of this divine institution and its profound implications for the spiritual regeneration of humanity, the attached compilation of extracts from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as well as from the letters written by, or on behalf of, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice is provided. Some of the concepts that may be gleaned from various passages in the compilation are discussed below.

Hide note