A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Chosen - Effect on Relatives

Concerning your question whether a soul can receive knowledge of the Truth in the world beyond. Such a knowledge is surely possible, and is but a sign of the loving Mercy of the Almighty. We can, through our prayers, help every soul to gradually attain this high station, even if it has failed to reach it in this world. The progress of the soul does not come to an end with death. It rather starts along anew line. Bahá’u’lláh teaches that great far- reaching possibilities await the soul in the other world. Spiritual progress in that realm is infinite, and no man, while on this earth, can visualize its full power and extent.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 204-205)


In reference to your question about ancestors and descendants, we have been directed to say that while there are Tablets from Bahá’u’lláh stating that faith in the Manifestation of God on the part of a believer attracts God’s Mercy to the souls of departed parents the House of Justice knows of no text in Bahá’í Writings to support the statement that a believer’s seven past generations and seven generations to descend from him are blessed when that person becomes a Bahá’í. You may also be familiar with the statement of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that ‘it is permitted to ask for advancement, forgiveness, mercy, beneficence, and blessings for a man after his death...Therefore children...must implore pardon and forgiveness for their parents‘.”
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 227-228)


Mr. XXX observes that Bahá’u’lláh makes the receipt of the divine bounty conditional on the person not having inflicted “harm upon Him Who is the Sovereign Truth nor upon His loved ones”. He enquires whether, in this context, the “harm” referred to is only physical harm or whether it includes other forms, such as psychological and economic pressures. The Research Department has not, so far, located any statement in the Writings which interprets this verse and shed light on Mr. XXX’s question. In reflecting on this issue, however, a number of points bear consideration:
Only God can judge another soul. As individuals, we are not in a position to truly know the spiritual condition of another person nor are we informed of the effort they are making to fight their spiritual battles.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1991 Aug 28, The Condition of non-Bahá’í Relatives after Death)


One of the distinguishing characteristics of this most great Dispensation is that the kin of such as have recognized and embraced the truth of this Revelation and have, in the glory of His name, the Sovereign Lord, quaffed the choice, sealed wine from the chalice of the love of the one true God, will, upon their death, if they are outwardly non-believers, be graciously invested with divine forgiveness and partake of the ocean of His Mercy. This bounty, however, will be vouchsafed only to such souls as have inflicted no harm upon Him Who is the Sovereign Truth nor upon His loved ones. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of the Throne on High and the Ruler of this world and of the world to come.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 386)


The Master has told us that gifts and good deeds done in memory of those who have passed on, are most helpful to the development of their souls in the realms beyond.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 204)


The Research Department has not been able to locate any specific statement in the Writings concerning the definition of “kin” intended by Bahá’u’lláh in His Tablet. The word in the original Persian Tablet which is translated as “kin” is “muntasibin", which means, literally, “related to", “connected by blood”.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1991 Aug 28, The Condition of non-Bahá’í Relatives after Death)


Thou hast mentioned the station of parents in the next world. One of the special bounties of this Revelation is that whoever accepteth the Dayspring of the Cause, his parents, although they may not have attained the recognition of the Revelation, the splendours of the Sun of divine favor will be vouchsafed unto them. This is one of His bounties bestowed upon His lovers. Render thanks and be of those who are grateful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in The Universal House of Justice, 1991 Aug 28, The Condition of non-Bahá’í Relatives after Death)


We cannot take the teaching that if a believer remains steadfast till the end of his life he will be the means of spiritual awakening of all his ancestors too literally, especially as it is only reported, and not in an authenticated form. However, we can be assured that the true and faithful believer will be in a much better position to intercede for his ancestors, and aid in their development than if he were not spiritually enlightened.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 228)


While Bahá’u’lláh clearly affirms that these souls are “invested with divine forgiveness", “partake of the ocean of His mercy” and are the recipients of “the splendours of the Sun of Divine favor", the Research Department has not, however been able to locate any statement in the Writings to suggest that one’s non-Bahá’í parents, upon their death, automatically become Bahá’ís.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1991 Aug 28, The Condition of non-Bahá’í Relatives after Death)


With reference to Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet in which He says that all the relatives of believers will reach the Kingdom in the other world; by this is meant only a partial attainment. They can, however, progress indefinitely, as spiritual progress in the order world is limitless, and is not confined to those who have attained unto the knowledge and recognition of the Cause while still in this world.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 208)


Your contribution to the Shrine of the Báb is very deeply appreciated... Your mother and father will both be helped spiritually to a very marked degree by this contribution in their memory, for the Shrine. Parents are glorified by the deeds of their children; and your service and dedication to the Faith will be the means of their spiritual development in the realms beyond.
(Shoghi Effendi, quoted in The Universal House of Justice, 1991 Aug 28, The Condition of non-Bahá’í Relatives after Death)