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

Decision-Making

As to your moving to another city: Meditate thou, perform the ablution and pray to God before sleeping; and whatever the Merciful One may inspire unto thee at the time of revelation in a dream, that will be consistent with obtaining thy wishes.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 629-630)


Consequently, it has become evident that the four criteria standards of judgment by which the human mind reaches its conclusions (senses, intellect, traditional or scriptural and inspiration) are faulty and inaccurate. All of them are liable to mistake and error in conclusions. But a statement presented to the mind, accompanied by proofs which the senses can perceive to be correct, which the faculty of reason can accept, which is in accord with traditional authority and sanctioned by the promptings of the heart, can be adjudged and relied upon as perfectly correct, for it has been proved and tested by all the standards of judgment and found to be complete. When we apply but one test, there are possibilities of mistake. This is self-evident and manifest.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 255)


In order not to dissipate the energy and resources of the community, careful consideration should be given before taking on any further projects.
(Universal House of Justice, Guidance for Bahá’í Radio, p. 18)


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 your last question, concerning cases when those needed for consultation are not available and a person is uncertain on the course to be followed in an important matter, you ask whether it is permissible for him to resort to the practice of “istikharihn” [a process of divination, such as is done through bibliomancy, when a Holy Book is opened at random and guidance is sought for one’s problem by reading passages of the Book on the opened page.] using the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. The Guardian has stated that in such cases what is necessary and essential is for the person to turn his heart wholly to God and to beseech aid from the Source of Grace and inspiration and nothing else. If it is possible to postpone the decision it would be preferable and more proper to do so, until the means for consultation are made available.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 105)


Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the Ministers of the House of Justice that they may act according to the needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients of divine inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 27)


It is again not permitted that any one of the honoured members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously, though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 88)


May the Beloved help you in forming the right decision, and spare you the anxiety and suffering which too hasty action in such matters inevitably produces. You should give this question, which is of such vital concern to your future, the full consideration it deserves, and examine all its aspects carefully and dispassionately.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 446)


One of the fundamentals involved in our Administrative Order, which we must remember will become the pattern for our World Order, is that even if an Assembly makes an ill-advised decision it must be upheld in order to preserve the unity of the community. Appeal can be made from the Local Assembly’s decision to the National Assembly ... But the principle of authority invested in our elected bodies must be upheld. This is not something which can be learned without trial and test.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 80)


Rather is it the task of the individual believer to determine, according to his own prayerful understanding of the Writings, precisely what his course of conduct should be in relation to situations which he encounters in his daily life. If he is to fulfil his true mission in life as a follower of the Blessed Perfection, he will pattern his life according to the Teachings. The believer cannot attain this objective merely by living according to a set of rigid regulations. When his life is oriented towards service to Bahá’u’lláh, and when every conscious act is performed within this frame of reference, he will not fail to achieve the true purpose of his life.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1988 Jun 05, Detailed Legislation on Moral Issues)


[Shoghi Effendi said] leave the important for the most important.
(Universal House of Justice, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 109-110)


The Bahá’í principle of the harmony between science and religion requires, as you say, that a Bahá’í scholar must use his intelligence to arrive at a solution of a specific problem if there is an apparent conflict between a Sacred Text and other evidence; and also he must accept the fact that some problems may defy his comprehension.
(Universal House of Justice, Scholarship, p. 24)


The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to your work; and is delighted to see that you are carrying on your various projects with so much enthusiasm and devotion. It would be ideal if an offer, such as that made, could be accepted; but as the Cause has so many burdens to bear at this time, we are forced to do as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said—give up the important for the most important.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 116)


The Master spoke of the many letters He had answered that morning and of the packages still unopened. Mr. Kinney said: “I will write Your letters for You!” Our Lord: “Very good; very good. Write a letter and answer it yourself. Look into your heart and see the answer. The answer is what is written on the tablet of your heart. That which is written upon paper is subject to corruption and various accidents, such as consumption by fire and moth, but that which is inscribed on the tablet of the heart is imperishable and everlasting. A day will come when all My communications upon paper—all My writing – will be effaced. But that which I have inscribed upon the hearts will not be effaced. There is no end to it. For I write the Word of the Love of God upon the hearts, and the Word of God is eternal.”
(The Diary of Juliet Thompson, page unknown)


The most urgent need of human beings is to recognize the Manifestation of God and thereby to learn how to collaborate constructively.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 516)


When a believer has a problem concerning which he must make a decision, he has several courses open to him. If it is a matter that affects the interests of the Faith he should consult with the appropriate Assembly or committee, but individuals have many problems which are purely personal and there is no obligation upon them to take such problems to the institutions of the Faith; indeed, when the needs of the teaching work are of such urgency it is better if the friends will not burden their assemblies with personal problems that they can solve by themselves. “A Bahá’í who has a problem may wish to make his own decision upon it after prayer and after weighing all the aspects of it in his own mind; he may prefer to seek the council of individual friends or of professional counsellors such as his doctor or lawyer so that he can consider such advice when making his decision; or in a case where several people are involved, such as a family situation, he may want to gather together those who are affected so that they may arrive at a collective decision. There is also no objection whatever to a Bahá’í asking a group of people to consult together on a problem facing him.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 179)


When the most important work is before our sight, we must let go the important one.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 501)


When thou desirest and yearnest for meeting in the world of vision; at the time when thou art in perfect fragrance and spirituality, wash thy hands and face, clothe thyself in clean robes, turn toward the court of the Peerless One, offer prayer to Him and lay thy head upon the pillow. When sleep cometh, the doors of revelation shall be opened and all thy desires shall become revealed.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 104)