Among the people, a multitude became intoxicated with this divine wine—and a multitude were deprived of this great favor. Many a soul enlightened his sight and insight by the radiance of grace, and many were cheered and rejoiced at the melodies of unity. Some birds sang melodies and harmonies, and some nightingales began to warble on the branches of the rose-tree of mercifulness. The Kingdom and the phenomenal world were adorned, and became the envy of the delectable paradise—but, alas—and a thousand times alas!—that the heedless souls are still in the sleep of negligence, and the ignorant are keeping clear of this holy gift. The blind are veiled, the deaf are bereft and the dead despair of attaining to it; just as it is said (in the Koran) “They despair of the life to come, as the infidels despair (of the resurrection of) those who dwell in the graves.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 370)
And if a nightingale soar upward from the clay of self and dwell in the rose bower of the heart, and in Arabian melodies and sweet Iranian songs recount the mysteries of God—a single word of which quickeneth to fresh, new life the bodies of the dead, and bestoweth the Holy Spirit upon the moldering bones of this existence—thou wilt behold a thousand claws of envy, a myriad beaks of rancor hunting after Him and with all their power intent upon His death.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 19)
Beware lest ye give ear to the words of those from whom the foul smell of malice and envy can be discerned; pay no heed to them, and stand ye for righteousness.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 199)
But in these days such odor of jealousy is diffused.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 64)
Even as wolves, tyrants are lying in wait, and the wronged, innocent flock hath neither help nor succour. Hounds are on the trail of the gazelles of the fields of divine unity, and the pheasant in the mountains of heavenly guidance is pursued by the ravens of envy.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 313)
For in the tavern of the mortal world the bile of the man of God is not removed. He will not rest a moment here and will not stain himself with the attachments of the world. Nay, rather, the friends are the stars of the summit of Providence and the planets of the firmament of Guidance. With perfect strength do they dispel darkness and destroy the foundation of envy and enmity. They wish for the world and its denizens unity and peace; they destroy the basis of war and strife; they seek integrity, faithfulness and friendliness, and are well-wishers even of the evil-disposed enemy. Thus they make this prison of infidelity the sublime mansion of fidelity, and this dungeon of envy a delectable paradise.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 380)
He invited the people of the earth to the light of righteousness. The more passionately He exhorted them, the fiercer waxed the envy and waywardness of the people, except those who wholly detached themselves from all save God, and ascended on the wings of certainty to the station which God hath exalted beyond the comprehension of men. It is well known what a host of enemies besieged Him, until at last the fires of envy and rebellion were kindled against Him. And after the episode of the fire came to pass, He, the lamp of God amongst men, was, as recorded in all books and chronicles, expelled from His city.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 10)
Know, verily, the heart wherein the least remnant of envy yet lingers, shall never attain My everlasting dominion, nor inhale the sweet savors of holiness breathing from My kingdom of sanctity.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 6)
Nay, rather, the friends are the stars of the summit of Providence and the planets of the firmament of Guidance. With perfect strength do they dispel darkness and destroy the foundation of envy and enmity. They wish for the world and its denizens unity and peace; they destroy the basis of war and strife; they seek integrity, faithfulness and friendliness, and are well-wishers even of the evil-disposed enemy. Thus they make this prison of infidelity the sublime mansion of fidelity, and this dungeon of envy a delectable paradise.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 380)
O My servants, defile not your wings with the clay of waywardness and vain desires, and suffer them not to be stained with the dust of envy and hate, that ye may not be hindered from soaring in the heavens of My divine knowledge.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 325)
Pitiless ravens do lie in wait for this bird of the heavens of God, and the huntsman of envy stalketh this deer of the meadow of love.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 41)
Purge thy heart from malice and, innocent of envy, enter the divine court of holiness.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 42)
Say: O ye that envy Me and seek My hurt! The fury of your wrath against Me confound you! Lo, the Day Star of Glory hath risen above the horizon of My Revelation, and enveloped with its radiance the whole of mankind. And yet, behold how ye have shut out yourselves from its splendor and are sunk in utter heedlessness. Have mercy upon yourselves, and repudiate not the claim of Him Whose truth ye have already recognized, and be not of them that transgress.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 255)
Shall that which anyone hath of wealth endure unto him, or avail him tomorrow with him who holdeth his forelock? If any should look on those who sleep under slabs and keep company with the dust, can he distinguish the bones of the king’s skull from the knuckles of the slave? No, by the King of Kings! Or doth he know governors from herdsmen, or discern the wealthy and the rich from him who was without shoes or carpet? By God, distinction is removed, save for him who fulfilled righteousness and judged uprightly. Where are the 78 doctors, the scholars, the nobles? Where is the keenness of their glances, the sharpness of their sight, the subtlety of their thoughts, the soundness of their understandings? Where are their hidden treasures and their apparent gauds, their bejeweled thrones and their ample couches? Alas! All have been laid waste, and the decree of God hath rendered them as scattered dust! Emptied is what they treasured up, and dissipated is what they collected, and dispersed is what they concealed: they have become [such that] thou seest naught but their empty places, their gaping roofs, their uprooted beams, their new things waxed old. As for the discerning man, verily wealth will not divert him from regarding the end; and for the prudent man, riches will not withhold him from turning toward [God] the Rich, the Exalted. Where is he who held dominion over all whereon the sun arose, and who spent lavishly and sought after curious things in the world and what is therein created? Where is the lord of the swarthy squadron and the yellow standard? Where is he who ruled Zawra,* and where he who wrought injustice in [Damascus] the spacious? Where are they at whose bounty treasures were afraid, at whose openhandedness and generosity the ocean was dismayed? Where is he whose arm was stretched forth in rebelliousness, whose heart turned away from the Merciful One? Where is he who used to make choice of pleasures and cull the fruits of desires? Where are the dames of the bridal chambers, and the possessors of beauty? Where are their waving branches and their spreading boughs, their lofty palaces and trellised gardens? Where is the smoothness of the expanses thereof and the softness of their breezes, the rippling of their waters and the murmur of their winds, the cooing of their doves and the rustling of their trees? Where are their laughing hearts and their smiling teeth? Woe unto them! They have descended to the abyss and become companions to the pebbles; today no mention is heard of them nor any sound; nothing is known of them nor any hint. Will the people dispute it while they behold it? Will they deny it when they know it? I know not in what valley they wander erringly: do they not see that they depart and return not? How long will they be famous in the low countries and in the high, descend and ascend? ‘Is not the time yet come to those who believe for their hearts to become humble for the remembrance of God?‘* Well is it with that one who hath said or shall say, ‘Yea, O Lord, the time is ripe and hath come,’ and who severeth himself from all that is. Alas! naught is reaped but what is sown, and naught is taken but what is laid up, save by the grace of God and His favor. Hath the earth conceived Him whom the veils of glory prevent not from ascending into the Kingdom of His Lord, the Mighty, the Supreme? Have We any good works whereby defects shall be removed or which shall bring Us near unto the Lord of causes? We ask God to deal with Us according to His grace, not His justice, and to make Us of those who turn toward Him and sever themselves from all beside Him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 77-79
The grace of God is beating down upon mankind, even as the rains in spring, and the rays of the manifest Light have made this earth to be the envy of heaven. But alas, the blind are deprived of this bounty, the heedless are closed off from it, the withered despair of it, the faded are dying away—so that even as flooding waters, this endless stream of grace passeth back into its primal source in a hidden sea. Only a few receive this grace and take their share of it. Wherefore, let us put our hopes in whatever the strong arm of the Beloved can bring about.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 277)
The thin eyelid prevents the eye from seeing the world and what is contained therein. Then think of the result when the curtain of greed covers the sight of the heart. Say, O people, the darkness of greed and envy obscures the light of the soul, as the cloud prevents the penetration of the sun’s rays. Should one listen with the ear of intelligence to this utterance, he shall spread the wings of freedom and soar with great joy toward the heaven of understanding.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 132)
Understand your rank and protect your stations by the Name of God, because the polytheists and repudiating ones and the perfidious ones appeared with the clothes of unity, advancement and truthfulness and they spent the zeal of their envy in misleading the people.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 233)
Yet even now warfare prevails. Envy and hatred have arisen between nations.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 83)
… greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holiness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 546)