August 20

Muhammad appeared in the desert of Hijáz in the Arabian Peninsula, which was a treeless and barren wilderness: sandy, desolate in the extreme, and in some places, such as Mecca and Medina, exceedingly hot. Its inhabitants were nomads, had the morals and manners of desert-dwellers, and were entirely bereft of knowledge and learning. Even Muhammad Himself was illiterate, and the Qur’án was originally written upon the blade-bones of sheep or on palm leaves. Infer then from this the conditions prevailing among the people to whom Muhammad was sent!

His first reproach to them was this: “Why do you reject the Torah and the Gospel, and wherefore do you refuse to believe in Christ and in Moses?” This statement came indeed hard upon them, for they asked: “What then is to be said of our fathers and forefathers, who did not believe in the Torah and the Gospel?” He answered, “They had gone astray, and it is incumbent upon you to renounce those who do not believe in the Torah and the Gospel, though they be your own forefathers.” 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

August 19

This is the time of teaching. All the believers must unloose the tongue of teaching the Cause of God. For teaching is the cause of the guidance of all the inhabitants of the earth; teaching is the means of the illumination of mankind; teaching is conducive to the enlightenment of the world of humanity; teaching is promotive of the confirmations of the Breaths of the Holy Spirit. This is the most great affair! 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 18

According to the dear text of the Book of Aqdas and the explicit contents of the Book of the Covenant, ‘Abdu’l-Baha is the Interpreter of all the Works and Books of the Blessed Perfection, and not only of the Book of Aqdas. This question is clear and evident to those who are informed of the Writings and Tablets (of Baha’u’llah). Were this not the case, everyone would have given an interpretation according to his own inclination and considered his interpretation preferable to the interpretation of others - this would naturally lead to great differences. If someone interprets one verse of the Verses of God, and his interpretation is not approved by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, it is not authoritative. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 17

The members of the Baha’i Assemblies must be infinitely kind towards each other and all their deliberations must be concerning the Kingdom of Abha. Promiscuous discussion must be discountenanced, for these things will become the means of the luke-warmness and apathy of those who are present. The Candles of all the meetings must be the Mention of God, the propagation of the Cause of God, the exposition of Divine Proofs and the elucidation of the Principles of His Holiness Baha’u’llah. When this condition is obtained, the meeting will become heavenly, celestial, godlike, illumined and the means of the guidance of the erring ones. It will yield most great results. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet; Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 16

It is my hope that you may prove yourselves to be the first servants of the realm of humanity, and the builders of the edifice of Divine Justice. That you may radiate the light of the Love of God to such an extent as to be able to remove entirely the gloom and darkness of hatred, bigotry and enmity from among humanity. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, Star of the West, vol. 5. No. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 15

Muhammad never fought against the Christians; on the contrary, He treated them with consideration and accorded them complete freedom. In Najrán there lived a community of Christians, and they were under His care and protection. Muhammad said: “Should anyone infringe upon their rights, I myself will be his enemy and will charge him before God.” In the edicts He promulgated, it is clearly stated that the lives, property, and honour of Jews and Christians are under the protection of God; that a Muslim husband may not prevent his Christian wife from going to church, nor oblige her to wear a veil; that if she died he must entrust her remains to the care of a priest; and that if the Christians desired to build a church the Muslims must support them. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

August 14

Know all mankind of all nations, sects and tribes as your kith and kin. Consider not their deeds, but only God. Seek your reward from Him and not from them. Know the aged of all nations as your fathers, the juveniles as your brothers and the children as your own. No matter what lack of courtesy or what severe persecution or stern expressions of hate and unfathomable enmity you receive, you must have no excuse like the following: "So and so has spoken unkindly about me," "So and so has not done me justice," -- nay, rather you must have no excuse but live according to the Divine Teachings, whether humanity prove agreeable or disagreeable, whether humanity prove hateful or loving, whether it receives you or casts you out, so that perchance you may be assisted in hoisting the standard of peace and pitching the Tabernacle of Oneness and solidarity of the world of humanity -- so that this temporal life may ultimate in the Life Everlasting, and this darkness of ignorance which has pervaded the whole world may be converted into the illumination of guidance. So that material man may become celestial, and the earthly souls become the heavenly souls; that the blind may become perceptive, the deaf attentive, the ignorant wise, the dead arise, so that, in fact, the Kingdom of God in the world of humanity may pitch its Canopy and its Tabernacle in the utmost glory. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (from a Tablet, Star of the West, vol. 5. No. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 13

You should likewise consider in fairness the following: If Christ Himself had been placed in similar circumstances [like Muhammad’s] and among such lawless and barbarous tribes; if for thirteen years He and His disciples had patiently endured every manner of cruelty at their hands; if they were forced through this oppression to forsake their homeland and take to the wilderness; and if these lawless tribes still persisted in pursuing them with the aim of slaughtering the men, pillaging their property, and seizing their women and children—how would Christ have dealt with them? If this oppression had been directed towards Him alone, He would have forgiven them, and such an act of forgiveness would have been most acceptable and praiseworthy; but had He seen that cruel and bloodthirsty murderers were intent upon killing, pillaging, and tormenting a number of defenceless souls and taking captive the women and children, it is certain that He would have defended the oppressed and stayed the hand of the oppressors. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

August 12

It has been established by experience that when the cry of opposition is raised by leaders of religion the Cause of God gains strength. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, November 8, Washington DC, recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

August 11

…God has chosen you from among mankind, and has guided you to the Kingdom, has enlightened your hearts with the love of God, so that you may be the cause of guidance to these people, in order that you may become a cause of guidance to the world of humanity. He has appointed you as the builders of the edifice of true manhood. Consider with what a power of morals you must arise in order to withstand all vicissitudes… [of all] workers of warfare and ruin [who] are spreading the deeds of hatred among nations. Now, consider with what peace and concord you must go forth in order that you may be capable of overcoming the antagonistic forces. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Star of the West, vol. 5. No. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 10

Most human beings are sinners, but the beasts are innocent. Surely those without sin should receive the most kindness and love—all except animals which are harmful… 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

August 9

I am very happy to have met you. I hope that through the favors of the Blessed Beauty you shall become the instruments for the glorification of the divine Cause and the spread of the Word of God so that this city may take precedence over all the other cities of America. As this city is the capital of America, so shall it, God willing, become the center of divine signs. When you arise to teach the Cause of God it will soon be firmly established and will spread because this city has capacity… 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, November 8, Washington DC, recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

August 8

All the people of the world today are workmen of destruction or ruin. Everyone as though with an axe is striking at the root of the foundation of humanity. They hold in their hands great implements of warfare and destruction. Among the greatest is the axe of religious prejudices or sectarian bias, as well as that of racial bias; another implement of destruction is the axe of patriotic bias; another is the axe of political warfare; another implement of ruin is the persistent accumulation of commercial benefit or profit; another, the love of conquest of new domains, as is also the enmity, hatred and bigotry among the nations and tribes. These souls are entirely inadvertent to the relations of the Kingdom of God, deprived of the relations of Unity, and despaired of the Life Eternal. Although outwardly they may be extremely civilized, nevertheless they live in darkness.

Now, God has chosen you from among mankind, and has guided you to the Kingdom, has enlightened your hearts with the love of God, so that you may be the cause of guidance to these people, in order that you may become a cause of guidance to the world of humanity. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Star of the West, vol. 5. No. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 7

You must trust in the favors of the Blessed Beauty which can change a gnat into a phoenix, a drop into an ocean, a stone into a diamond and an atom into a world-illuminating sun. You must not look to your own capacities but to the bounties of the Abhá Kingdom. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, November 8, Washington DC, recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

August 6

You are very welcome! From Eastern lands I have come to the West to sojourn awhile among you. In the East it is often said that the people of the West are without spirituality, but I have not found it thus. Thank God, I see and feel that there is much spiritual aspiration among the Western peoples, and that in some cases their spiritual perception is even keener than among their Eastern brothers. If the teaching given in the East had been conscientiously spread in the West the world today would be a more enlightened place. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, Paris, November 5, 1911, ‘Paris Talks’)

August 5

Organize ye spiritual assemblies. Lay ye the foundation of union and concord in this world. Destroy ye the fabric of strife and war from the face of the earth. Construct ye the temple of harmony and agreement. Enkindle ye the light of the realm of the oneness of humanity. Open ye your eyes. Gaze and behold ye the Other World. The Kingdom of Peace, Salvation, Uprightness and Reconciliation is founded in the Invisible World, and it will by degrees become manifest and apparent through the power of the Word of God. I supplicate God that ye may become the army of that Kingdom, in order that, by the power of the Most Great Name, the friends of God may conquer the world through love, friendship and the strength of the Kingdom of Peace, the human race may become compassionate, and bloodshed and carnage be completely effaced from the universe. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Star of the West, vol. 5. No. 9, August 20, 1914)

August 4

The power of the intellect is one of God’s greatest gifts to men, it is the power that makes him a higher creature than the animal. For whereas, century by century and age by age man’s intelligence grows and becomes keener, that of the animal remains the same. They are no more intelligent today then they were a thousand years ago! Is there a greater proof than this needed to show man’s dissimilarity to the animal creation? It is surely as clear as day. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, Paris, November 5, 1911, ‘Paris Talks’)

August 3

Although in the past all the great Spiritual Teachers have arisen in the East, there are still many men there who are quite devoid of spirituality. With regard to the things of the spirit they are as lifeless as a stone; nor do they wish to be otherwise, for they consider that man is only a higher form of animal and that the things of God concern him not.

But man’s ambition should soar above this—he should ever look higher than himself, ever upward and onward, until through the Mercy of God he may come to the Kingdom of Heaven. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, Paris, November 5, 1911, ‘Paris Talks’)

August 2

It was the Divine Light which enabled the prophets to see two thousand years in advance what was going to take place and today we see the realization of their vision. Thus it is this Light which we must strive to seek, for it is greater than any other. It was by this Light that Moses was enabled to see and comprehend the Divine Appearance, and to hear the Heavenly Voice which spoke to him from the Burning Bush. It is of this Light Muhammad is speaking when he says, ‘Alláh is the light of the Heavens, and of the Earth’. Seek with all your hearts this Heavenly Light, so that you may be enabled to understand the realities, that you may know the secret things of God, that the hidden ways may be made plain before your eyes.

This light may be likened unto a mirror, and as a mirror reflects all that is before it, so this Light shows to the eyes of our spirits all that exists in God’s Kingdom and causes the realities of things to be made visible. By the help of this effulgent Light all the spiritual interpretation of the Holy Writings has been made plain, the hidden things of God’s Universe have become manifest, and we have been enabled to comprehend the Divine purposes for man. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, Paris, November 5, 1911, ‘Paris Talks’)