Abuse - Spiritual

All these stainless hearts and sanctified souls have, with absolute resignation, responded to the summons of His decree. Instead of complaining, they rendered thanks unto God, and amidst the darkness of their anguish they revealed naught but radiant acquiescence to His will. It is evident how relentless was the hate, and how bitter the malice and enmity entertained by all the peoples of the earth towards these companions. The persecution and pain they inflicted on these holy and spiritual beings were regarded by them as means unto salvation, prosperity, and everlasting success.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 235-236

Meditate a while on the motive and reason which have been responsible for such a persecution. At no time, in no Dispensation, have the Prophets of God escaped the blasphemy of their enemies, the cruelty of their oppressors, the denunciation of the learned of their age, who appeared in the guise of uprightness and piety. Day and night they passed through such agonies as none can ever measure, except the knowledge of the one true God, exalted be His glory.

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 57-58

All who stand up in the cause of God will be persecuted and misunderstood. It hath ever been so, and will ever be. Let neither enemy nor friend disturb your composure, destroy your happiness, deter your accomplishment. Rely wholly upon God. Then will persecution and slander make you the more radiant. The designs of your enemies will rebound upon them. They, not you, will suffer. A large multitude of people will arise against you, showing oppression, expressing contumely and derision, shunning your society, and heaping upon you ridicule. However, the Heavenly Father will illumine you to such an extent that, like unto the rays of the sun, you shall scatter the dark clouds of superstition, shine gloriously in the midst of Heaven and illumine the face of the earth. You must make firm the feet at the time when these trials transpire, and demonstrate forbearance and patience.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Crisis and Victory, p. 137

Bahá’u’lláh endured ordeals and hardships [for] sixty years. There was no persecution, vicissitude or suffering He did not experience at the hand of His enemies and oppressors. All the days of His life were passed in difficulty and tribulation - at one time in prison, another in exile, sometimes in chains. He willingly endured these difficulties for the unity of mankind, praying that the world of humanity might realize the radiance of God, the oneness of humankind become a reality, strife and warfare cease and peace and tranquillity be realized by all. In prison He hoisted the banner of human solidarity, proclaiming universal peace, writing to the kings and rulers of nations, summoning them to international unity and counselling arbitration. His life was a vortex of persecution and difficulty; yet catastrophes, extreme ordeals and vicissitudes did not hinder the accomplishment of His work and mission. Nay, on the contrary, His power became greater and greater, His efficiency and influence spread and increased until His glorious light shone throughout the Orient, love and unity were established, and the differing religions found a center of contact and reconciliation. Therefore, we also must strive in this pathway of love and service, sacrificing life and possessions, passing our days in devotion, consecrating our efforts wholly to the Cause of God so that, God willing, the ensign of universal religion may be uplifted in the world of mankind and the oneness of the world of humanity be established.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 145-146

But after I leave, some people may arise in Opposition, heaping persecutions upon you in their bitterness . . . Rest ye in the assurance of firmness. Be well poised and serene, remembering that this is only as the harmless twittering of sparrows and that it will soon pass away.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 428-430

Consider the history of the past. Recall, for instance, the days of Christ and the events subsequent thereto. How many were the books written against Him! What calumnies were attributed to Him! How violent were the utterances in the temples against Him! How many the accusations! What hatred and persecution! How they scoffed at Him in derision and contempt! Consider the titles and epithets they bestowed upon His majesty! They even designated Him Beelzebub – Satan.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 428-430

Oppression is the wind that doth fan the fire of the Love of God. Welcome persecution and bitterness. A soldier may bear arms, but until he hath faced the enemy in battle he hath not earned his place in the king's army. Let nothing defeat you. God is your helper. God is invincible. Be firm in the Heavenly Covenant. Pray for strength. It will be given to you, no matter how difficult the conditions.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Crisis and Victory, pp. 155-156

The meaning of this is that ye must show forth tenderness and love to every human being, even to your enemies, and welcome them all with unalloyed friendship, good cheer, and loving-kindness. When ye meet with cruelty and persecution at another's hands, keep faith with him; when malevolence is directed your way, respond with a friendly heart. To the spears and arrows rained upon you, expose your breasts for a target mirror-bright; and in return for curses, taunts and wounding words, show forth abounding love. Thus will all peoples witness the power of the Most Great Name, and every nation acknowledge the might of the Ancient Beauty, and see how He hath toppled down the walls of discord, and how surely He hath guided all the peoples of the earth to oneness; how He hath lit man's world, and made this earth of dust to send forth streams of light.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 21

Therefore, my purpose is to warn and strengthen you against accusations, criticisms, revilings, and derision . . . Be not disturbed by them. They are the very confirmation of the Cause, the very source of upbuilding to the Movement.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 428-430

Therefore, O ye beloved of God, be not grieved when people stand against you, persecute you, afflict and trouble you and say all manner of evil against you. The darkness will pass away and the light of the manifest signs will appear, the veil will be withdrawn and the Light of Reality will shine forth from the unseen Kingdom of El-Abhá. This we inform you before it occurs, so that when the hosts of people arise against you for my love, be not disturbed or troubled; nay, rather, be firm as a mountain, for this persecution and reviling of the people upon you is a pre-ordained matter. Blessed is the soul who is firm in the path!

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 396

You must withstand them with the utmost love and kindness; consider their oppression and persecution as the caprice of children, and do not give any importance to whatever they do. For at the end the illumination of the Kingdom will overwhelm the darkness of the world and the exaltation and grandeur of your station will become apparent and manifest . . . Rest ye assured.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Crisis and Victory, p. 137

Terrible as persecution is, we must always remember that it waters the tree of Religion, and that from such deeds as this the believers -- far from being cowed and silenced -- must derive inspiration and courage.

Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, p. 141

The friends should, therefore, not assume an attitude of mere resignation in the face of persecutions. They should rather welcome them, and utilize them as [a] means for their own spiritual uplift and also for the promotion of the Cause. As the Faith grows stronger and attracts the serious attention and consideration of the world outside, the friends must expect a similar, if not a greater, increase in the forces of opposition which from every direction, both secular and religious, will be massed to undermine the very basis of its existence. The final outcome of such a struggle, which will be surely gigantic, is clear to us believers. A Faith born of God and guided by His Divine and all-pervasive spirit cannot but finally triumph and firmly establish itself, no matter how persistent and insidious the forces with which it has to contend. The friends should be confident, and act with the utmost wisdom and moderation, and should particularly abstain from any provocative act. The future is surely theirs.

Shoghi Effendi, Crisis and Victory, p. 148

The Guardian . . . is very much grieved indeed to learn of the severe opposition which you are encountering from your husband because of your affiliation with the Cause. He can very well realize the terrible condition facing you, but feels confident that Bahá’u’lláh is guiding you to follow the right way, and is continually assisting and strengthening you in your efforts to solve this most serious and challenging problem of your life. The staunch and unwavering loyalty and devotion which you have thus far so splendidly demonstrated in your attitude to the Faith is truly remarkable and worthy of the highest praise and admiration. The persecutions from which you are now suffering have this one great advantage, namely to deepen your faith in the Cause, and to revive and refresh your energies for its service. You should, therefore, rejoice and welcome those sufferings in so far as they serve to further awaken your consciousness of being a member of the New World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 223

The Guardian wishes me specially to urge you to remain patient and confident, and above all to show your husband the utmost kindness and love, in return for all the opposition and hatred you receive from him. A conciliatory and friendly attitude in such cases is not only the duty of every Bahá’í but is also the most effective way of winning for the Cause the sympathy and admiration of its former foes and enemies. Love is, indeed, a most potent elixir that can transform the vilest and meanest of people into heavenly souls. May your example serve to further confirm the truth of this beautiful teaching of our Faith.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 223

They, however much buffeted by present circumstances, and no matter how perilous the path they now tread, must press forward unafraid of persecution, scorn or calumny, towards the shining goal they have set themselves to attain.

Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, p. 127

To remain at one's post, to undergo sacrifice and hardship, loneliness and, if necessary, persecution, in order to hold aloft the torch of Bahá’u’lláh, is the true function of every pioneer.

Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 336

Trials and persecutions have always been, and will continue to be, the lot of the chosen ones of God. But these they should consider blessings in disguise, as through them their faith will be quickened, purified and strengthened.

Shoghi Effendi, Crisis and Victory, p. 148