To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages



Praised be God, Who hath adorned the heaven of love with the stars of unity and harmony, and hath ordained that in the world of being marriage be the chief instrument for the realization of that which He hath purposed for the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Verily, He hath raised up regions and countries, and hath revealed the arts and sciences, and whatsoever ye witness today or have heard from His learned servants in the past. Exalted be the Lord of Names, He Who hath enjoined marriage as a comfort unto His servants and His people, and as a means for their peace and tranquillity in His dominion. Thus hath it been revealed from the heaven of His sanctity in His Most Holy Book, as well as in His Books and Scriptures in former times and more recently. Verily, potent is He to accomplish His purpose, and He is the One, the Incomparable, the Unconstrained….

O Lord! I beseech Thee by the gentle winds of the dawn of Thy Manifestation, through which Thou hast vivified all created things, and by the outpourings of Thy grace, and by the pearls of the ocean of Thy knowledge and wisdom, to assist him who hath turned unto Thee and through whom Thou hast manifested Thy grace and Thy loving-kindness, and whom Thou hast, as a token of Thy bounty and a sign of Thy grace, favoured with one of Thy maidservants who hath been engaged in serving Thee for a number of years. O Lord, bind them together in Thy name, through which Thou hast subdued the hearts and attracted the souls. Verily, potent art Thou to do as Thou desirest, and in Thy grasp are held the reins of all that are in heaven and on earth. Praised be Thou, O Lord of the worlds and the Desire of all them that have recognized Thee!

(Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [93]

He is God!

O peerless Lord! In Thine almighty wisdom Thou hast enjoined marriage upon the peoples, that the generations of men may succeed one another in this contingent world, and that ever, so long as the world shall last, they may busy themselves at the Threshold of Thy oneness with servitude and worship, with salutation, adoration and praise. “I have not created spirits and men, but that they should worship me.”6 Wherefore, wed Thou in the heaven of Thy mercy these two birds of the nest of Thy love, and make them the means of attracting perpetual grace; that from the union of these two seas of love a wave of tenderness may surge and cast the pearls of pure and goodly issue on the shore of life. “He hath let loose the two seas, that they meet each other: Between them is a barrier which they overpass not. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will ye deny? From each He bringeth up greater and lesser pearls.”7

O Thou kind Lord! Make Thou this marriage to bring forth coral and pearls. Thou art verily the All-Powerful, the Most Great, the Ever-Forgiving.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in Bahá’í Prayers, pp. 116–118) [94]

O my Lord, O my Lord! These two bright orbs are wedded in Thy love, conjoined in servitude to Thy Holy Threshold, united in ministering to Thy Cause. Make Thou this marriage to be as threading lights of Thine abounding grace, O my Lord, the All-Merciful, and luminous rays of Thy bestowals, O Thou the Beneficent, the Ever-Giving, that there may branch out from this great tree boughs that will grow green and flourishing through the gifts that rain down from Thy clouds of grace.

Verily Thou art the Generous, verily Thou art the Almighty, verily Thou art the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pars. 87.3–87.4) [95]

O God, my God! Join in accord these two souls and set firm their feet in eternal love and everlasting union, in order that each of them may be unto the other a bestowal of Thy grace, a token of Thy loving-kindness, and an outpouring from Thy Kingdom of bounty. Bestow upon them pure and goodly offspring who shall stand firm in servitude unto Thee, remain constant in Thy worship, yearn for Thy Kingdom, and be filled with inspiration by Thy Great Announcement. Verily Thou art the Most Bountiful, and verily Thou art the Merciful, the Compassionate.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [96]

Praise be unto God Who hath adorned the human reality with manifest signs of divine love, and hath illumined all existent beings with the light of attraction, in such wise that they have become harmonized, interconnected, and mutually attracted through the power of heaven. Verily, union, assemblage, marriage, intermingling, association, and integration are the cause of life for all beings, whereas dissolution, separation, dissociation, divorce, and division lead to the death and destruction of created things. God hath created no being but that its existence doth depend upon the association, composition, and intermingling of simple, primal elements—whereas all that God hath decreed of death, destruction, and extinction occurreth by way of the dissolution, separation, dispersion, and dissociation of the principal constituent parts. Whensoever the natures and elements are gathered, joined, paired, and intermingled, a living being or composite entity is formed, fashioned, and brought into existence. And whensoever they dissociate, separate, and disperse, then that being shall deteriorate, decline, and fall from its station of existence within creation.

Thus, God hath made harmony the cause of life, and discord the cause of death, and hath ordained that coupling, union, and mutual attraction between the hearts of the servants and maidservants through the bond of matrimony be the cause of joy and prosperity of both body and soul. “Glory be to Him Who hath created all the pairs, of such things as the earth produceth, and of themselves, and of things beyond their ken.”8 This, verily, is an evidence of His tender mercy, bounty, and grace unto His devoted servants.

We beseech God to make this marriage to be a cause of felicity, advancement, honour, glory, upliftment, and freedom, so that from this servant and handmaiden there may issue forth many souls who will worship God, bow down in adoration before Him, be devoted and sincere in their faith, and arise to render service to Him and to the world of humanity. He, verily, is the Beneficent, the All-Merciful.

O God, my God! Bless Thou the two parties to this marriage, this Thy servant and this Thy handmaiden, both of whom believe in Thy oneness, testify to Thy unity, and are attracted to Thy Kingdom. Ordain for them every good and make their marriage to be a cause of loftiness, honour, perfection, light, and mercy for evermore. Verily, Thou art the All-Bountiful, the Compassionate, and Thou art He Who is loving and kind to His handmaidens and servants.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [97]

O my Lord and my Hope! Thou hast, through Thy consummate wisdom, enjoined harmony upon Thy creation and prescribed companionship unto the virtuous amongst Thy servants. Thou hast created all things as joined pairs so that through such union Thy purpose may be realized, and through such bonding, joy and gladness may appear. Thou hast, through Thy grace and bounty, conjoined the hearts and souls, so that countenances may shine, even as lamps, with the light of Thy love, and joyful nuptials may occur at every morn and eventide….

Lord! Make these two souls even as one body, one soul, and one heart, intermingling even as water and wine, and as honey and pure milk. Ordain Thou for their offspring every blessing. Advance their station and cause them to be as two luminous signs shining forth from the horizon of love and affection. Verily, Thou art the Unifier, the Supreme Ordainer, the Source of all love, the Most Generous, the Compassionate.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [98]

Grant, O my Lord, that this marriage may be auspicious, joyous, blessed, and praiseworthy. Strengthen Thou the union and increase the harmony between these two souls, that they may live together in the utmost tranquillity and delight, and may establish a devoted family that believeth in Thee and in Thy signs. Verily, Thou art the All-Bountiful. Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Omnipotent, the Most Powerful.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [99]

He is the All-Glorious.

O ye two closely knit and enlightened birds! Praise ye God that in the divine garden, upon the tree of hope, ye have sought shelter within the same nest and are engaged together in extolling and sanctifying the incomparable Lord. Wherefore, lift up the voice of the spirit and sing ye this song of glorification and praise:

O Lord! We are but feeble birds, yet we abide within the shelter of Thy protection. We are lowly fowls dwelling upon the dust, but we seek Thy mighty abode. Broken-winged are we, yet do we yearn to soar unto Thy sublime summits and Thy retreats of celestial glory. Wherefore, bestow upon us Thy favour and grant us Thy strength, that we may acquire wings of felicity, may take flight in this limitless space, and become intimates of Thy Kingdom of Glory. Grant Thou that, through the union of these two unrestrained birds, a flock of the meadows of truth may emerge and soar within the lands of divine unity. Upon you be greetings and praise.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian) [100]

He is the All-Glorious.

O my God, O my God! This is Thy servant whom Thou hast caused to be related to Thy heavenly Tree and to be born beneath the shade of Thy oneness. Thou didst suckle him at the breast of Thy loving-kindness, and reared him within the embrace of Thy care. Thou didst guide him unto the right path until, through Thy grace and bounty, he attained unto maturity within the shelter of Thy protection. Thou didst lead him to walk in the straight and undeviating Path, cleaving steadfastly unto Thy sure Handle and mighty Cord, in order that he might seek Thy good-pleasure, be content with Thy decree, turn unto Thy heaven, speak forth Thy praise, and manifest the qualities of the favoured and the sincere amongst Thy servants.

Thou hast now favoured him with one of Thy handmaidens and hast wed him to her through Thine endless bounties. Lord, she was an orphan who was nurtured beneath the shade of Thy mercy and reared within the bosom of Thy favours and bestowals. She attained unto maturity within the protective embrace of Thy Covenant and was safeguarded under the watchful eye of Thy loving-kindness and mercy.

O Lord! Unite these two souls through Thy grace, and bind their hearts together through Thy bounty, that they may become even as a single body, a single soul, and a single being, untarnished by antipathy or estrangement, and waxing greater in fidelity and purity with each passing day. Graciously assist them in their servitude to Thy great and sacred Threshold, and vouchsafe unto them Thy blessings and favours. Protect them from every distress and tribulation, from every sickness and sorrow. Thou art, in truth, the All-Bountiful, the Almighty, the Bestower. Verily, Thou art the Most Gracious, the All-Merciful, Whose help is implored by all.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [101]

O my Lord and my Hope! This Thy servant hath, in obedience to Thy bidding and in fulfilment of Thy laws, wed one of Thy handmaidens in order that they may establish upon Thine earth a family that shall remember Thee amongst Thy creatures, call out in Thy name amidst Thy people, and become distinguished throughout the world for its relationship to Thee and its reliance upon Thee. O Lord! Grant that this marriage may be prosperous, blessed, pleasing, and happy, and make it a cause of harmony and fellowship for evermore. Thou, verily, aidest whomsoever Thou willest. Thou art, in truth, the Most Powerful, the Almighty, the Omnipotent.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [102]

O Lord, make Thou this marriage to be blessed, prosperous, and happy. Bind these two souls together, and gladden Thou every eye with the fruits that shall come forth from this auspicious occasion. Shelter them both within the sanctuary of Thy care and protection, and guard them with the watchful eye of Thy loving-kindness. Cause them to become signs of Thy remembrance amidst Thy creatures, and lamps of Thy knowledge within the glass of Thy bountiful favour.

O Lord! They are feeble; strengthen them through Thy power. They are lowly; exalt them through Thy might. They are supplicating Thee at the door of Thy oneness and entreating Thee at the threshold of Thy tender mercy. Verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the All-Mighty, the Bounteous, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [103]

O Lord! Grant that this marriage may be blessed and happy. Send down Thy mercy upon them both in order that from them may issue forth noble children who shall turn unto Thy Kingdom of beauty, glorify Thee in their hearts and with their tongues in the world of being, and unravel the mysteries Thou hast deposited in the hearts and souls. Thou, in truth, art the One Who uniteth, bindeth, and joineth together the human race. Thou, verily, art the Bestower, the Compassionate, the Beneficent.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Arabic) [104]

O Lord, make Thou this marriage to become a cause of heavenly blessings and a means of enkindlement with the fire of Thy love in the eternal Kingdom. Vouchsafe Thy grace in order that both may be favoured at Thy Holy Threshold and remain firm in Thy love, may advance spiritually with every passing day, and may become two resplendent signs of faith and certitude amongst the people.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian) [105]

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