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

Evil Spirits

As to the question of evil spirits, demons and monsters, any references made to them in the Holy Books have symbolic meaning. What is currently known among the public is but sheer superstition.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 512)


Bahá’ís recognize that evil is negative and has no existence in its own right, but that does not mean that there is no power in evil. Do not Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá warn us repeatedly of the spiritual infection of Covenant-breaking?
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


Evil forces do take control of our life, but it is within our power to free ourselves from falling under their subjection.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


He wishes me to urge you not to feel disturbed by the dreams you have had, but rather to make every effort to resist and overcome the forces of darkness that assail your mind.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


He wishes you to persevere in your efforts and not be disheartened by the forces of darkness assailing you on every side. By the power of action and prayer, he feels certain, you will be able to overcome them all.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


In answer to those who may ask you what the stand is of your religion on the subject of demons, you can say without hesitation that the concept of Satan or the Devil as an actual being opposed to God is rejected by the Bahá’í teachings but that the term is understood by Bahá’ís to mean the promptings of self and desire and the dark side of human nature.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


In regard to your question concerning evil spirits and their influence upon souls, Shoghi Effendi wishes me to inform you that what is generally called evil spirit is a purely imaginary creation and has no reality whatever. But as to evil, there is no doubt that it exerts a very strong influence both in this world and in the next. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the “Some Answered Questions” gives us a thorough and true analysis of the problem of evil. You should preferably refer to that book for further explanation on that point.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 521)


May the Beloved speedily and completely release you from the dark forces which have assailed you and enable you to triumph over all obstacles and thus serve effectively His Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


No true and faithful Bahá’í should in this day remain idle or seek what would give him comfort or even inner satisfaction. We should be constantly assailing the forces of darkness that have enveloped the earth and hasten the dawn of the new day foretold by Bahá’u’lláh.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


One of the Bahá’í pilgrims from the West who asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá about the power exercised by evil souls who had passed to the next world, recorded His answer as “There is no power exercised over the people by those evil souls that have passed away. Good is stronger than evil and even when alive they had very little power. How much less have they after they are dead....”
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


One of the Bahá’í pilgrims from the West who asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá about the power exercised by evil souls who had passed to the next world, recorded His answer as “There is no power exercised over the people by those evil souls that have passed away. Good is stronger than evil and even when alive they had very little power. How much less have they after they are dead.... Also, in a letter to an individual believer, written on behalf of the Guardian on 18 January 1951, it is stated: ‘You should not be afraid any one can affect your mind. Even when we want to catch thoughts of those we love most we cannot do so, how much less can other people succeed in penetrating our minds. In relation to individuals seeking the advice of ‘priests’ to assist their healing when the cause of their illness is diagnosed as ’supernatural forces‘, we enclose for your study a passage from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and several extracts from letter written on behalf of the Guardian to individual believers on the subject of spiritual healing.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 520)


Regarding your question as to the meaning of Jin or Genii referred to in the Qur‘án, these are not beings or creatures that are actually living, but are symbolic references to the power of man of evil and may be likened to evil spirits. But the point to bear in mind is that these have no positive existence of any kind.”
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 497)


Regarding your question relative to the condition of those people who are described in the Gospel as being possessed of devils; this should be interpreted figuratively; devil or Satan is symbolic of evil and dark forces yielding to temptation.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 513)


Shoghi Effendi’s earnest hope and plea is, therefore, that we who have been chosen to act as the dawn-breakers of a new era may not sit idly and leave the world enveloped in its social and spiritual darkness; that we may arise, and, lifting high the torch of guidance, bring light and hope to the heart of a perishing humanity.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


Strive therefore with heart and soul to drink deep from the spirit of self-sacrifice which the pioneers of the Cause have so gloriously displayed, and equip yourselves fully to fight the good fight against the dark forces that have encompassed the world.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


The Bahá’í Teachings inform us that there is no independent force of evil in creation, but terms such as “devil” or Satan” are used in sacred books as symbols of the promptings of the lower nature of man.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Dec 02, Child Abuse, Psychology and Knowledge of Self)



The Guardian too will specially and earnestly pray on your behalf, that your heart may be comforted and cheered, and may be set free from the forces of darkness that so strongly assail it.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


The House of Justice affirms that the influence of these supernatural phenomena is dependent on the conviction, even on a subconscious level, that other people can influence a person’s mind, and it attests that it is within the power of the individual to free himself from subjugation to these forces. By deepening themselves in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’ís will come to recognize the lack of any true reality in such negative forces. Furthermore, Spiritual Assemblies are called upon gradually to wean the believers away from the illusions and practices that are potentially destructive to their spiritual and material well-being, by encouraging them to avoid involvement in such practices and by deepening their trust in the protective power of the Bahá’í Faith.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


The assurance that in this gloomy hour when the whole world is being shaken by the forces of darkness, and humanity at large is beginning to experience the fire of that ordeal foretold by Bahá’u’lláh, the friends are more than ever closely united with him in true bonds of spiritual fellowship is indeed the source of deepest comfort to him...
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


The dark forces in the world, of disbelief and materialism, seem to certainly be engulfing humanity more and more--but of course, to our eyes, guided by the light of Bahá’u’lláh, it signifies the speeding up of a process of deterioration which alone can pave the way for the emergence of the new world He has ordained.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


The important thing for Bahá’ís to understand is that the influence of such ‘arts’ is dependent on the conviction, even the sub-conscious conviction, of the person affected and, similarly, the power of the ‘priests’ to overcome the influence is likewise an outcome of the sufferer’s conviction that it is from the ‘priest’ that he or she will be able to obtain help.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 520)


The reality underlying this is that the evil spirit, Satan or whatever is interpreted as evil, refers to the lower nature of man. This basic nature is symbolized in various ways. In man there are two expressions; One is the expression of nature, the other the expression of the spiritual realm. The world of nature is defective. Look at it clearly, casting aside all superstition and imagination... God has never created an evil spirit; all such ideas and nomenclature are symbols expressing the mere human or earthly nature of man. It is an essential condition of the soil of earth thorns, weeds and fruitless trees may grow from it. Relatively speaking, this is evil: it is simply the lower state and basic product of nature.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 294-295.)


There are dark forces in the world today of despair and hatred and suspicion; the believers must, as the Master said, turn their backs on these and their faces to Him, confident of His help and protection.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


There are, therefore, specific actions that Bahá’ís can take when confronted with the kind of situation of which you write, but the principal way in which they can overcome them is to deepen themselves in the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh so that they will come to recognize the lack of any true reality to such negative forces.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


There is no power exercised over the people by those evil souls that have passed away. Good is stronger than evil and even when alive they had very little power. How much less have they after they are dead …
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 520).


We have been told over and over again in the Teachings that the forces of darkness attack Bahá’ís; and it is these forces which are seeking to disrupt your national body.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


We need never be disappointed with the smallness of our numbers or be discouraged at the reluctance of the majority of the people to accept the Teachings, but rather we must endeavour all the more, confident that Truth shall ultimately prevail, and that the dark forces of the world shall in time be vanquished.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


With the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, spiritual powers of limitless magnitude are available to the believer, to reinforce his endeavours to free himself from evil influences.... Through recourse to prayer, consultation with the Bahá’í institutions and obedience to their instructions, and through wholehearted participation in Bahá’í community life, a believer may partake of the life-giving and healing spirit which has been released to the world with the coming of the Manifestation.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


You have asked regarding the influence of evil spirits. Evil spirits are deprived of eternal life. How then can they exercise any influence? But as eternal life is ordained for holy spirits, therefore their influence exists in all the Divine worlds.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 512)


You should never allow the many dark thoughts and dark forces in the world today to weigh on your mind or depress you. The world is very black at present, and humanity in a very degraded condition spiritually. We must accept this fact, but not allow it to influence us. Our life is in the Cause of God, and we draw our strength from it, and the world of the Cause is the world of light.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")


You should not be afraid anyone can affect your mind. Even when we want to catch the thoughts of those we love most we cannot do so, how much less other people succeed in penetrating our minds.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 518)


...if you seek immunity from the sway of the forces of the contingent world, hang the Most Great Name in your dwelling, wear the ring of the Most Great Name on your finger, place the picture of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in your home and always recite the prayers that I have written. Then you will behold the marvellous effect they produce. Those so-called forces will prove but illusions and will be wiped out and exterminated.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


… that does not mean that there is no power in evil. Do not Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá warn us repeatedly of the spiritual infection of Covenant-breaking? In one of His Tablets, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote: ‘If you seek immunity from the sway of the forces of the contingent world, hang the ‘Most Great Name’ in your dwelling, wear the ring of the ‘Most Great Name’ on your finger, place the picture of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in your home and always recite the prayers that I have written. Then you will behold the marvellous effect they produce. Those so-called force will prove but illusions and will be wiped out and exterminated. Recognize that evil is negative and has no existence in its own In a letter dated 26 November 1939 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer we find the following: ‘Evil forces do take control of our life, but it is within our power to free ourselves from falling under their subjection. There are, therefore, specific actions that Bahá’ís can take when confronted with kind of situation of which you write, but the principal way in which they can overcome them is to deepen themselves in the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh so that they will come to recognize the lack of any true reality to such negative forces.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 520)


...the rapid progress of the Faith means the hastening of the final victory of goodness over the dark forces of evil that are at present threatening the world.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")