A fundamental redefinition of human relationships is called for. Present-day conceptions of what is natural and appropriate in relationships—among human beings themselves, between human beings and nature, between the individual and society, and between the members of society and its institutions—reflect levels of understanding arrived at by the human race during earlier and less mature stages in its development. If humanity is indeed coming of age, if all the inhabitants of the planet constitute a single people, if justice is to be the ruling principle of social organization—then existing conceptions that were born out of ignorance of these emerging realities have to be recast…Movement in this direction has barely begun.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Mar 03, The Prosperity of Humankind)
All the Manifestations of God came with the same purpose, and they have all sought to lead men into the paths of virtue. Yet we, their servants, still dispute among ourselves! Why is it thus? Why do we not love one another and live in unity? It is because we have shut our eyes to the underlying principle of all religions, that God is one, that He is the Father of us all, that we are all immersed in the ocean of His mercy and sheltered and protected by His loving care.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 120)
Another commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another even as I love you. Great mercy and blessings are promised to the people of your land, but on one condition; that their hearts be filled with the fire of love, that they live in perfect harmony and kindness like one soul in different bodies. Never forget this.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 502)
But some souls are weak; we must endeavor to strengthen them. Some are ignorant, uninformed of the bounties of God; we must strive to make them knowing. Some are ailing; we must seek to restore them to health. Some are immature as children; they must be trained and assisted to attain maturity. We nurse the sick in tenderness and the kindly spirit of love; we do not despise them because they are ill. Therefore, we must exercise extreme patience, sympathy and love toward all mankind, considering no soul as rejected. If we look upon a soul as rejected, we have disobeyed the teachings of God. God is loving to all. Shall we be unjust or unkind to anyone? Is this allowable in the sight of God? God provides for all. Is it befitting for us to prevent the flow of His merciful provisions for mankind? God has created all in His image and likeness. Shall we manifest hatred for His creatures and servants? This would be contrary to the will of God and according to the will of Satan, by which we mean the natural inclinations of the lower nature. This lower nature in man is symbolized as Satan—the evil ego within us, not an evil personality outside.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 286-287)
But the love which sometimes exists between friends is not (true) love, because it is subject to transmutation; this is merely fascination. As the breeze blows, the slender trees yield. If the wind is in the East the tree leans to the West, and if the wind turns to the West the tree leans to the East. This kind of love is originated by the accidental conditions of life. This is not love, it is merely acquaintanceship; it is subject to change.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 181)
Consider the heedlessness of the world, for notwithstanding the efforts and sufferings of the Prophets of God, the nations and peoples are still engaged in hostility and fighting. Notwithstanding the heavenly commandments to love one another, they are still shedding each other’s blood. How heedless and ignorant are the people of the world! How gross the darkness which envelops them!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 469-470)
During the last six thousand years nations have hated one another, it is now time to stop. War must cease. Let us be united and love one another and await the result. We know the effects of war are bad. So let us try, as an experiment, peace, and if the results of peace are bad, then we can choose if it would be better to go back to the old state of war! Let us in any case make the experiment. If we see that unity brings Light we shall continue it. For six thousand years we have been walking on the left-hand path; let us walk on the right-hand path now. We have passed many centuries in darkness, let us advance towards the light.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 61-62)
How grievous it is to see how man has used his God-given gift to frame instruments of war, for breaking the Commandment of God ‘Thou shalt not kill‘, and for defying Christ’s injunction to ‘Love one another‘.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 42)
If I love you, I need not continually speak of my love—you will know without any words. On the other hand if I love you not, that also will you know—and you would not believe me, were I to tell you in a thousand words, that I loved you.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 16)
Indeed the believers have not yet fully learned to draw on each other’s love for strength and consolation in time of need. The Cause of God is endowed with tremendous powers, and the reason the believers do not gain more from it is because they have not learned to draw fully on these mighty forces of love and strength and harmony generated by the Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi, Living the Life, p.8)
Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for any one the things ye would not desire for yourselves. This is My best counsel unto you, did ye but observe it.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 127)
Let this letter be spread among the beloved in America, that they may agree, unite and love one another; nay, rather that they should love all the people, and (be willing to) sacrifice even their lives for one another. This is the Path of El-Bahá! This is the Religion of El-Bahá! This is the Law of El-Bahá! He who hath not this hath no portion with El-Bahá!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 526)
Love gives life to the lifeless. Love lights a flame in the heart that is cold. Love brings hope to the hopeless and gladdens the hearts of the sorrowful.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 179)
One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 92)
One of the teachings is that love and faithfulness must prevail in the hearts that men may see the stranger as a friend, the sinner as an intimate fellow, may count enemies as allies, regard foes as loving comrades, call their executioner the giver of life, consider the denier as a believer and the unbeliever as a faithful one—that is, men must behave in such a manner as may befit the believers, the faithful, the friend and the confidant. If this lamp may shine in a befitting manner in the assemblage of the world you will find that the regions will become fragrant and the world become a delectable paradise, the surface of the earth will become an excellent garden, the world will become as one home, the different nations will become as one kind, and the peoples and nationalities of the East and West will become as one household.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 125-126)
The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 245)
The fourth [kind of love] is the love of man for man. The love which exists between the hearts of believers is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, this love will make them all the stars of one heaven and the fruits of one tree. This love will bring the realization of true accord, the foundation of real unity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 180-181)
The greatest gift of man is universal love, for this love is the magnet which renders existence eternal, attracts reality, and diffuses life with infinite joy. If this love penetrates the heart of man, all the forces of the universe will be realized in him, for it is a divine power which transports him to a divine station; and man will make no real progress until illumined by this power of love. Strive to increase the love-force of reality, to make your hearts greater centers of attraction, to create new ideals and relationships.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 501-502)
The more you love, the nearer you will be to God. Love is one of the bounties of God. Therefore to love one another is good.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 501)
"The more,” He said, “you love one another, the nearer you get to me. I go away from this world, but Love stays always.”
(The Diary of Juliet Thompson)
The thing the friends need—everywhere—is a greater love for each other, and this can be acquired by greater love for Bahá’u’lláh; for if we love Him deeply enough, we will never allow personal feelings and opinions to hold His Cause back; we will be willing to sacrifice ourselves to each other for the sake of the Faith, and be, as the Master said, one soul in many bodies.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 16)
There is, unfortunately, no way that one can force his own good upon a man. The element of free will is there, and all we believers—and even the Manifestation of God Himself—can do is to offer the truth to mankind. If the people of the world persist, as they seem to be doing, in their blind materialism, they must bear the consequences in a prolongation of their present condition, and even a worsening of it. Our duty as Bahá’ís is to build up such a love and unity within our own ranks that the people will be attracted by this example to the Cause. We also must teach all we can and strengthen the Bahá’í Community in the administration. But more we cannot do to avert the great sufferings which seemingly still lie ahead of the world in its present evil state.
( Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 113)
They should manifest gratitude and thankfulness to God, and the best way to thank God is to love one another.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 468)
Today you will see two souls apparently in close friendship; tomorrow all this may be changed. Yesterday they were ready to die for one another, today they shun one another’s society! This is not love; it is the yielding of the hearts to the accidents of life. When that which has caused this ‘love’ to exist passes, the love passes also; this is not in reality love.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 181)
Verily, ye are all the leaves and fruits of one tree; ye are all one. Therefore, associate in friendship; love one another; abandon prejudices of race; dispel forever this gloomy darkness of human ignorance, for the century of light, the Sun of Reality hath appeared. Now is the time for affiliation, and now is the period of unity and concord. For thousands of years ye have been contending in warfare and strife. It is enough. Now is the time for unity. Lay aside all self-purposes, and know for a certainty that all men are the servants of one God Who will bind them together in love and agreement.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 322)
We must look higher than all earthly thoughts; detach ourselves from every material idea, crave for the things of the spirit; fix our eyes on the everlasting bountiful Mercy of the Almighty, who will fill our souls with the gladness of joyful service to His command ‘Love One Another‘.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 39)
What the believers need is not only … to really study the teachings, but also to have more peace-makers circulating among them. Unfortunately, not only average people, but average Bahá’ís, are very immature; gossip, trouble-making, criticism, seem easier than the putting into practice of love, constructive words and cooperation. It is one of the functions of the older and the more mature Bahá’ís, to help the weaker ones to iron out their difficulties and learn to really function and live like true believers!
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 89)
… pity the sorely-troubled and give them endless, loving care; to cherish and comfort them, and bring them joy.
(Compilations, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 77)