‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in one of His Tablets, expounding upon the words of Bahá’u’lláh Himself, has made it clear that only men are eligible for election to the Universal House of Justice: “The House of Justice, however, according to the positive commandments of the Doctrine of God, has been specialized to the men, for a (specific) reason or exercise of wisdom on the part of God, and this reason will presently appear, even as the sun at midday.” When specifically asked why women were not to be elected to this Supreme Body, Shoghi Effendi, through his secretary, gave the following explanation: “Regarding your question, the Master said the wisdom of having no women on the International House of Justice would become manifest in the future. We have no other indication than this.... when the International House of Justice is elected, there will only be men on it, as this is the law of the Aqdas.”
(Custodians, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 388)
All this happened just as announced by Bahá’u’lláh. Napoleon III was dethroned and exiled. His empire passed away and became nonexistent while the dominion and sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prisoner, has become eternal through the confirmation of God. This is as evident as the light of the sun at midday except to those who are spiritually blind.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 211-212)
Although Bahá’u’lláh was solitary, secluded and unknown in His retirement, the report spread throughout Kurdistan that this was a most remarkable and learned Personage, gifted with a wonderful power of attraction. In a short time Kurdistan was magnetized with His love. During this period Bahá’u’lláh lived in poverty. His garments were those of the poor and needy. His food was that of the indigent and lowly. An atmosphere of majesty haloed Him as the sun at midday. Everywhere He was greatly revered and beloved.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 26)
As soon as he attempted to lead the congregation in offering the Friday prayer, enjoined upon him by the Báb, the Imam-Jum‘ih, who had hitherto performed that duty, vehemently protested, on the ground that this right was the exclusive privilege of his own forefathers, that it had been conferred upon him by his sovereign, and that no one, however exalted his station, could usurp it. “That right,” Hujjat retorted, “has been superseded by the authority with which the Qá‘im Himself has invested me. I have been commanded by Him to assume that function publicly, and I cannot allow any person to trespass upon that right. If attacked, I will take steps to defend myself and to protect the lives of my companions."
Finally, he uttered in a clear voice the Friday prayer which must be said instead of the habitual daily one said when the Imam comes. He then expounded several sayings of the Báb and concluded thus: ‘The goal for which the world has been striving is now here, free from veils and obstacles. The sun of Truth has risen and the lights of imagination and imitation have been extinguished. Fix your eyes upon the Báb, not upon me, the least of his slaves. My wisdom compared to his is as an unlighted candle to the sun at midday. Know God by God and the sun by its rays. So, today has appeared the Sáhibu’z-Zamán. The Sultan of Possibilities is living.’ Needless to say, these words made a deep impression upon the audience. Nearly all accepted this message and conversed among themselves regarding the true nature of the Báb.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 533)
But now Bahá’o‘llah has come with incomparable glory like the glow of the sun at midday, the moment of its greatest heat and light. The glory of God has proclaimed a cause that until now none had heard. He addresses himself to the whole of humanity, saying: “O people of the world, ye are all the branches of one tree, the leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea.” Thus he announces human unity, strikes the universal chord of harmony between the races, nations and tribes and makes of the earth one native land. The world was in the darkness of indifference and Bahá’o‘llah is the light of unity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 60)
Consider the way of the people. They ignore these well-founded traditions, all of which have been fulfilled, and cling unto those of doubtful validity, and ask why these have not been fulfilled. And yet, those things which to them were inconceivable have been made manifest. The signs and tokens of the Truth shine even as the midday sun, and yet the people are wandering, aimlessly and perplexedly, in the wilderness of ignorance and folly.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 239)
How, then, can the reality of man, which is accidental, ever comprehend the Reality of God, which is eternal? It is self-evidently an impossibility. Hence we can observe the traces and attributes of God, which are resplendent in all phenomena and shining as the sun at midday, and know surely that these emanate from an infinite source. We know that they come from a source which is infinite indeed.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 423)
In the physical powers and senses, however, man and the animal are partners. In fact, the animal is often superior to man in sense perception. For instance, the vision of some animals is exceedingly keen and the hearing of others most acute. Consider the instinct of a dog: how much greater than that of man. But, although the animal shares with man all the physical virtues and senses, a spiritual power has been bestowed upon man of which the animal is devoid. This is a proof that there is something in man above and beyond the endowment of the animal—a faculty and virtue peculiar to the human kingdom which is lacking in the lower kingdoms of existence. This is the spirit of man. All these wonderful human accomplishments are due to the efficacy and penetrating power of the spirit of man. If man were bereft of this spirit, none of these accomplishments would have been possible. This is as evident as the sun at midday.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 241-242)
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.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 47)
O God, my God! These are Thy feeble servants; they are Thy loyal bondsmen and Thy handmaidens, who have bowed themselves down before Thine exalted Utterance and humbled themselves at Thy Threshold of light, and borne witness to Thy oneness through which the Sun hath been made to shine in midday splendour. They have listened to the summons Thou didst raise from out Thy hidden Realm, and with hearts quivering with love and rapture, they have responded to Thy call.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 24-25)
O God, my God! These are Thy feeble servants; they are Thy loyal bondsmen and Thy handmaidens, who have bowed themselves down before Thine exalted Utterance and humbled themselves at Thy Threshold of light, and borne witness to Thy oneness through which the Sun hath been made to shine in midday splendor. They have listened to the summons Thou didst raise from out Thy hidden Realm, and with hearts quivering with love and rapture, they have responded to Thy call.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 154)
O my God! O my God! Verily, these are Thy weak servants and Thy submissive, faithful ones and Thy sincere maid-servants who are humbled before Thy illumined Threshold, acknowledging Thy Oneness which hath appeared like unto the appearance of the sun in midday, listening to Thy call from Thy mysterious Kingdom and uttering Thy prayers with hearts overflowing with Thy love and devotion!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 389)
The Covenant that the Báb made with His followers concerning ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest’ was firm and irrevocable. Because His advent was unquestionable, assured as the midday sun, the Báb did not appoint a successor. Instead, He appointed Mirza Yahya as the leader of the community until the advent of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest‘.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 99)
The House of Justice, however, according to the positive commandments of the Doctrine of God, has been specialized to the men, for a (specific) reason or exercise of wisdom on the part of God, and this reason will presently appear, even as the sun at midday.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 90)
Therefore, divine sovereignty necessitates a creation over which its dominion is exercised. There must be evidences of sovereignty. If we try to conceive of a time when creation was nonexistent, when there were no subjects or creatures under divine dominion and control, Divinity itself would disappear; there would be a cessation of the bounty of God, just as the kingship and favor of an earthly monarch would disappear if his kingdom did not exist. The sovereignty of God is eternal. There has been no beginning; there will be no end. This is as evident as the sun at midday, even to one endowed with limited reason.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 272)
These are the interpretations of Christ Himself. Reflect upon them, and the meanings of the Holy Books will become clear as the sun at midday.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 246)
This radiant Youth, without wealth, power of armies or prestige, rescued the Jews who believed on Him from tyranny and degradation and lifted them to the highest plane of development and glory. Peter, His disciple, was a fisherman. Through the power of Christ he shed light upon all the horizons of the world. Furthermore, various people of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Assyrian nations were brought together in unity and agreement; where warfare and bloodshed had existed, humility and love were manifest, and the foundations of divine religion were established, never to be destroyed. This proves that Christ was a heavenly Teacher and Educator of the world of humanity, for such evidences are historical and irrefutable, not based upon tradition and circumstantial report. The power of His Word in cementing these nations together is as clear and evident as the sun at midday. There is no need of further demonstration.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 340)
Verily, I have read the expressions of thy longing for the visit and thy craving to come to this Brilliant Spot. But the violators of the Covenant of God have stirred up the dust of deception, and besides this, there are numerous obstacles and it is impossible for thee to come in these times. But verily, I pray my Lord to make this success feasible unto thee in a future time. There is for this a mature wisdom concealed from sight, but it shall appear as clear as the sun in midday.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 199-200)
Women, under Bahá’í law, are accorded a few exemptions in their religious observances. Furthermore, a few restrictions apply to women: women inherit a lesser share than men, although this is not mandatory if an individual prefers to distribute his property otherwise, and women do not serve in the Universal House of justice, although they serve on the Local and National Houses, and the members of the last-named elect the members of the Universal body. Of this non-membership in the Universal House of Justice, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said the reason ‘will presently appear, even as the sun at midday‘. It does not affect woman’s status of equality, since the highest rank a Bahá’í can attain, that of Hand of the Cause, is open to women as well as men.
(Marzieh Gail, Dawn Over Mount Hira, p. 136)