October 14, 2010

Sowing the Seeds -- excerpts from Address by Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qasim Faizi at the Closing Session of the World Congress, May 2, 1963

Our thanks and gratitude to the pioneers, the national assemblies and the friends who made all these victories possible. I am sure that the pioneers who stand at their posts know the greatness of today. . . . Let us not leave all these opportunities which Baha'u'llah has left for us. Let us value and know the greatness of teaching. . . .

About a year ago I started on a world tour. Before going I was very much afraid of taking this responsibility, but one of the friends said, "Go to Latin America and just love them." . . . There was one question which was repeatedly asked me. I want to repeat it here, and the answer that I gave. In many places the friends -- having heard the news of India, of Africa, of Indonesia, of all parts of the world -- were really getting discouraged and saying, "What is wrong with us? We have been living here five years and there are only ten Baha'is. Is our method wrong? Aren't we as spiritual as those people of India? Is there anything wrong with us?"

I want to assure everybody that there is nothing wrong with the pioneers, nothing wrong with the method of their teaching, but there is this little misunderstanding. They think that India got all these results only this year -- or Africa, or Indonesia. No, beloved friends, this is the work of at least ninety years of struggle. Baha'u'llah Himself sent Jamal Effendi, who went to all the provinces of India and spoke about the Cause, and returned to Baha'u'llah apparently empty-handed. Baha'u'llah told him to go back, sow the seed -- "This is your function." The next time Jamall Effendi went to India he went to all the provinces, went to Burma, to Singapore, to Java, to the Philippines, and to some of the islands of the Pacific; and this teacher of the Cause, the most capable, died without having seen a single result of his activity.

Now, after Jamal Effendi died, the beloved Master sent many teachers to India. The beloved Guardian sent many teachers to India. The results of the suffering of all these people did not appear all of a sudden. It was a gradual movement in the soil of the hearts of the People. But, please listen to the words of the Master when there were only about fifteen or twenty believers in the whole of India, and very weak believers. He wrote to them:

"Mass conversion will definitely take place in India; from one end of the country to the other. It will become the meeting place of this divine pearl. The Indian friends will arise to serve in such a way that they will be an example of service to all neighboring countries. India will arise to serve in such a way that the Indian friends will make Thailand a paradise and will revive Japan."

These are the things that kept the believers going on with their work. And then, after eighty or ninety years, all of a sudden, all the seeds started to sprout. The same thing is true of Africa. The African work is not the result of this year's work or last year's work. Again. Baha'u'llah Himself sent His first teacher. Haji, to Africa. . .

The results of the sacrifices of all these people are manifested now. Therefore, those who have been for five or ten years in some place should never complain. These results are of eighty years' work -- yes, ninety years and suffering. Work day and night in such time and the harvest will be ready. Baha'u'llah has definitely said, clearly said to the friends: "Your function is to sow the seeds. God will either let them grow or will bury them."

It is yours to stand at your post and sow the seed. The greatest requirement for this progress is patience. Patience is the thing which is described in the Qur'an as having rewards unlimited. . . . Please have patience. God will work through you, even if it is not in your lifetime --the lifetime of generations after you. All services will be rewarded. Be sure! Rest assured and rest in your places of pioneering. Serve and be steadfast in the path of God at the post given you during the time of the beloved Guardian . . .

If it was easy, the beloved Guardian would never have said we need brave people in these days. If it was easy anybody could do it. Therefore you who are brave accept this post; show your bravery to the end of your life. Let us not think of our unworthiness in the path of service, beloved friends. (Baha’i News, August, 1963)