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

Death

Again, all phenomena of the material world are subject to mortality and death, but the immortal spirit does not belong to the phenomenal world; it is holy and sanctified above material existence. If the spirit of man belonged to the elemental existence, the eye could see it, the ear hear it, the hand touch. As long as these five senses cannot perceive it, the proof is unquestioned that it does not belong to the elemental world and, therefore, is beyond death or mortality, which are inseparable from that material realm of existence. If being is not subject to the limitation of material life, it is not subject to mortality.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 306)


All men are in God’s hands, and even if they do get killed we know there is another life beyond this that can hold great hope and happiness for the soul.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 237)


As at the time of death, the real and eternal self of man, his soul, abandons its physical garment to soar in the realms of God, we may compare the body to a vehicle which has been used for the journey through earthly life and no longer needed once the destination has been reached.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 201)


As to the question of the immorality of negligent souls once they have cast off their earthly frame, their immortality is tantamount to extinction, inasmucch as they are deprived of a heavenly life. They are even as the mineral, which endureth in the mineral realm, but which is utter nonexistence when compared to human existence. The other worlds are not a place where realities are transformed, or natures transmuted, or creation renewed. It is clear, however, that souls will progress in degrees and become the object of divine pardon and forgiveness.
(A Radiant Gem by Houri Faláhi-Skuce, p 88)


As to those that have tasted of the fruit of man’s earthly existence, which is the recognition of the one true God … their life hereafter is such as We are unable to describe. The knowledge thereof is with God, alone, the Lord of all worlds.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 345-346)


Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise. The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 19)


By the righteousness of Him Who hath called thee into being and unto Whom ere long thou shalt return, if thou remainest, at the moment of death, a disbeliever in the signs of thy Lord thou shalt surely enter the gates of hell, and none of the deeds thy hands have wrought will profit thee, nor shalt thou find a patron nor anyone to plead for thee.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 19)


"Can a departed soul converse with someone still on earth?"
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.—“A conversation can be held, but not as our conversation. There is no doubt that the forces of the higher worlds interplay with the forces of this plane. The heart of man is open to inspiration; this is spiritual communication. As in a dream one talks with a friend while the mouth is silent, so is it in the conversation of the spirit. A man may converse with the ego within him saying: ‘May I do this? Would it be advisable for me to do this work?’ Such as this is conversation with the higher self.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 178)


Certainly for an intelligent man death is better than sin … .
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 265)


Death proffereth unto every confident believer the cup that is life indeed. It bestoweth joy, and is the bearer of gladness. It conferreth the gift of everlasting life.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 345)


He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a sinner attained, at the hour of death, to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the Concourse on high! And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul’s ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire!
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 265)


If any man be told that which hath been ordained for such a soul in the worlds of God, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, his whole being will instantly blaze out in his great longing to attain that most exalted, that sanctified and resplendent station.... The nature of the soul after death can never be described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole character to the eyes of men.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 19)


If such be the blessings conferred on all created things, how superior must be the destiny of the true believer, whose existence and life are to be regarded as the originating purpose of all creation. Just as the conception of faith hath existed from the beginning that hath no beginning, and will endure till the end that hath no end, in like manner will the true believer eternally live and endure. His spirit will everlastingly circle round the Will of God. He will last as long as God, Himself, will last.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 140)


If your days on earth are numbered, you know that everlasting life awaits you.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 111)


In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 96)


In the spiritual world the divine bestowals are infinite, for in that realm there is neither separation nor disintegration, which characterize the world of material existence. Spiritual existence is absolute immortality, completeness and unchangeable being.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 90-91)


Know then that “life” hath a twofold meaning. The first pertaineth to the appearance of man in an elemental body, and is as manifest to thine eminence and to others as the midday sun. This life cometh to an end with physical death, which is a God-ordained and inescapable reality. That life, however, which is mentioned in the Books of the Prophets and the Chosen Ones of God is the life of knowledge; that is to say, the servant’s recognition of the sign of the splendours wherewith He Who is the Source of all splendour hath Himself invested him, and his certitude of attaining unto the presence of God through the Manifestations of His Cause. This is that blessed and everlasting life that perisheth not: whosoever is quickened thereby shall never die, but will endure as long as His Lord and Creator will endure. The first life, which pertaineth to the elemental body, will come to an end, as hath been revealed by God: “Every soul shall taste of death.” But the second life, which ariseth from the knowledge of God, knoweth no death, as hath been revealed aforetime: “Him will We surely quicken to a blessed life.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 47-48)


Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. The honour with which the Hand of Mercy will invest the soul is such as no tongue can adequately reveal, nor any other earthly agency describe.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 19)


Man is born naked and when dead he is also naked. He brings nothing with him to this world, and when he departs he cannot take anything physical with him to the next. But whatever he has given to the Cause of God while on this earth, his time, his labours, his resources, as well as his services to his fellow human beings, these he can take with him to the spiritual realms. This is one way of transforming something which belongs to the world of matter into the spiritual worlds of God.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 3, p. 78)


Man is destined by God to undergo a spiritual development that extends throughout eternity. His life upon this earth is only the first stage of that development. When we outgrow our physical form, and are considered by God ready to reap the fruit of our spiritual development, we proceed to the other world. We term it death only because of our short sightedness. A more proper term would be ‘a more abundant life.’ it is a forward step we have taken.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 203-204)


Many a sinner who is favored with the essence of faith at the time of death, drinks the wine of immortality and hastens to the Supreme Concourse; while many a believing and obedient one is estranged at the time of the soul’s departure, and dwells in the lowest abyss of fire. He should be … keeping aloof from evil doers with all determination, and asking the forgiveness of God in their behalf; condoning the sinners and despising them not, for the end is not known.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 50)


O living flame of heavenly love! Thine heart hath been so fired with the love of God that from ten thousand leagues afar its warmth and radiance may be felt and seen. The fire lit by mortal hand imparteth light and warmth to but a little space, whereas that sacred flame which the Hand of God hath kindled, though burning in the east, will set aflame the west and give warmth to both the north and the south; nay, it shall rise from this world to glow with the hottest flame in the realms on high, flooding with light the Kingdom of eternal glory. Happy art thou to have obtained so heavenly a gift. Blessed art thou to be favoured with His divine bestowals. The glory of God rest upon thee and upon them that hold fast unto the sure handle of His Will and holy Covenant.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 205)


O thou beloved maid-servant of God, although the loss of a son is indeed heart-breaking and beyond the limits of human endurance, yet one who knoweth and understandeth is assured that the son hath not been lost but, rather, hast stepped from this world into another, and she will find him in the divine realm. That reunion shall be for eternity, while in this world separation is inevitable and bringeth with it a burning grief. Therefore be thou not disconsolate, do not languish, do not sigh, neither wail nor weep; for agitation and mourning deeply affect his soul in the divine realm.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 201)


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. 385)


Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words 46)


That beloved child addresseth thee from the hidden world: “O thou kind Mother, thank divine Providence that I have been freed from a small and gloomy cage and, like the birds of the meadows, have soared to the divine world—a world which is spacious, illumined, and ever gay and jubilant. Therefore, lament not, O Mother, and be not grieved; I am not of the lost, nor have I been obliterated and destroyed. I have shaken off the mortal form and have raised my banner in this spiritual world. Following this separation is everlasting companionship. Thou shalt find me in the heaven of the Lord, immersed in an ocean of light.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 201)


The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155)


The conception of annihilation is a factor in human degradation, a cause of human debasement and lowliness, a source of human fear and abjection. It has been conducive to the dispersion and weakening of human thought whereas the realization of existence and continuity has upraised man to sublimity of ideals, established the foundations of human progress and stimulated the development of heavenly virtues; therefore it behoves man to abandon thoughts of non-existence and death which are absolutely imaginary and see himself ever living, everlasting in the divine purpose of his creation. He must turn away from ideas which degrade the human soul, so that day by day and hour by hour he may advance upward and higher to spiritual perception of the continuity of the human reality. If he dwells upon the thought of non-existence he will become utterly incompetent; with weakened will-power his ambition for progress will be lessened and the acquisition of human virtues will cease.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 265-266)


The mysteries of man’s physical death and of his return have not been divulged, and still remain unread. By the righteousness of God! Were they to be revealed, they would evoke such fear and sorrow that some would perish, while others would be so filled with gladness as to wish for death, and beseech, with unceasing longing, the one true God—exalted be His glory—to hasten their end … As to those that have tasted of the fruit of man’s earthly existence, which is the recognition of the one true God, exalted be His glory, their life hereafter is such as We are unable to describe.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 344-345)


The people of Bahá, who are the inmates of the Ark of God, are, one and all, well aware of one another’s state and condition, and are united in the bonds of intimacy and fellowship. Such a state, however, must depend upon their faith and their conduct. They that are of the same grade and station are fully aware of one another’s capacity, character, accomplishments and merits. They that are of a lower grade, however, are incapable of comprehending adequately the station, or of estimating the merits, of those that rank above them. Each shall receive his share from thy Lord. Blessed is the man that hath turned his face towards God, and walked steadfastly in His love, until his soul hath winged its flight unto God, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Most Powerful, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 170)


The spirit of man, however, can manifest itself in all forms at the same time. For example, we say that a material body is eithersquare or spherical, triangular or hexagonal. While it is triangular, it cannot be square; and while it is square, it is not triangular. Similarly, it cannot be spherical and hexagonal at the same time. These various forms or shapes cannot be manifest at the same instant in one material object. Therefore, the form of the physical body of man must be destroyed and abandoned before it can assume or take unto itself another. Mortality, therefore, means transference from one form to another—that is, transference from the human kingdom to the kingdom of the mineral. When the physical man is dead, he will return to dust; and this transference is equivalent to nonexistence. But the human spirit in itself contains all these forms, shapes and figures. It is not possible to break or destroy one form so that it may transfer itself into another. As an evidence of this, at the present moment in the human spirit you have the shape of a square and the figure of a triangle. Simultaneously also you can conceive a hexagonal form. All these can be conceived at the same moment in the human spirit, and not one of them needs to be destroyed or broken in order that the spirit of man may be transferred to another. There is no annihilation, no destruction; therefore, the human spirit is immortal because it is not transferred from one body into another body.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 306)


The time has come when we must part, but the separation is only of our bodies; in spirit we are united forever.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 502)


The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 19)


Therefore think not that he hath perished. Indeed he will endure in the heavenly kingdom as long as God Himself endureth. And this calleth for gratitude, not grieving. When he findeth that thou art happy he becometh more cheerful, but when he perceiveth that thou art disconsolate, this provoketh anguish in his heart.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Fire and Light, p. 9)


These human conditions may be likened to the matrix of the mother from which a child is to be born into the spacious outer world. At first the infant finds it very difficult to reconcile itself to its new existence. It cries as if not wishing to be separated from its narrow abode and imagining that life is restricted to that limited space. It is reluctant to leave its home, but nature forces it into this world. Having come into its new conditions, it finds that it has passed from darkness into a sphere of radiance; from gloomy and restricted surroundings it has been transferred to a spacious and delightful environment. Its nourishment was the blood of the mother; now it finds delicious food to enjoy. Its new life is filled with brightness and beauty; it looks with wonder and delight upon the mountains, meadows and fields of green, the rivers and fountains, the wonderful stars; it breathes the life-quickening atmosphere; and then it praises God for its release from the confinement of its former condition and attainment to the freedom of a new realm. This analogy expresses the relation of the temporal world to the life hereafter—the transition of the soul of man from darkness and uncertainty to the light and reality of the eternal Kingdom. At first it is very difficult to welcome death, but after attaining its new condition the soul is grateful, for it has been released from the bondage of the limited to enjoy the liberties of the unlimited. It has been freed from a world of sorrow, grief and trials to live in a world of unending bliss and joy. The phenomenal and physical have been abandoned in order that it may attain the opportunities of the ideal and spiritual. Therefore, the souls of those who have passed away from earth and completed their span of mortal pilgrimage in the Titanic disaster have hastened to a world superior to this. They have soared away from these conditions of darkness and dim vision into the realm of light. These are the only considerations which can comfort and console those whom they have left behind.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 47-48)


Those who have never had any opportunity of hearing of the Faith but who lived good lives will no doubt be treated with the greatest love and mercy in the next world and reap their full reward.
(Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 40)


Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be outworn. Abide then in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the realm of glory.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Arabic 14)


Thou hast asked Me whether man, as apart from the Prophets of God and His chosen ones, will retain, after his physical death, the self-same individuality, personality, consciousness, and understanding that characterize his life in this world. If this should be the case, how is it, thou hast observed, that whereas such slight injuries to his mental faculties as fainting and severe illness deprive him of his understanding and consciousness, his death, which must involve the decomposition of his body and the dissolution of its elements, is powerless to destroy that understanding and extinguish that consciousness? How can any one imagine that man’s consciousness and personality will be maintained, when the very instruments necessary to their existence and function will have completely disintegrated?
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 153)


Through his ignorance man fears death, but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 87)


Through his ignorance, man fears death; but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 264)


Verily, we are God’s, and to Him shall we return.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 345)


When our days are drawing to a close let us think of the eternal worlds, and we shall be full of joy!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 111)


When the ladies asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá about immortality, He gave a short talk on the spiritual world, summarizing by saying: “the unborn child would deny the existence of this world for the reason that he knows nothing of it and the best condition to him is the world of the womb, the best food his nourishment, there. He could not visualize this world. But when he is born and arrives at understanding, he sees what a beautiful world this is. So with the spiritual kingdom. The people of this world cannot comprehend the conditions of that immortal world, but, when they reach it, they see that this, in comparison, is just like the world of the womb. The unborn child says: this is the best world. I am quite satisfied with it. I must not leave it.
(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 24)


When these members lack coordination and harmony, we have the reverse, which in the human organism is disease, dissolution, death.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 98)


When two people, husband and wife for instance, have been completely united in this life their souls being as one soul, then after one of them has passed away, this union of heart and soul would remain unbroken.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 75)


You ask an explanation of what happens to us after we leave this world: This is a question which none of the Prophets have ever answered in detail, for the very simple reason that you cannot convert to a person’s mind something entirely different from everything they have ever experienced. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave the wonderful example of the relation of this life to the next life being like the child in the womb; it develops eyes, ears, hands, feet, a tongue, and yet it has nothing to see or hear, it cannot walk or grasp things or speak; all these faculties it is developing for this world. If you tried to explain to an embryo what this world is like could never understand- but it understands when it is born, and its faculties can be used. So we cannot picture our state in the next world. All we know is that our consciousness, our personality, endures in some new state, and that that world is as much better than this one as this one is better than the dark womb of our mother was.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 208-209)


You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached. They come into this world naked, and they must go from it naked. All they possess they must leave behind and pass away solitary, alone. Often at the time of death their souls are filled with remorse; and worst of all, their hope in the mercy of God is less than ours.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)