December 25, 2011

Huququ’llah (The Right of God) – a talk by the Hand of the Cause Dr. ‘Ali-Muhammad Varqa at the Sixth International Convention, Haifa, May 1, 1988

Dearly loved friends,

At the inception of the Six Year Plan of the Universal House of Justice, which coincided with dramatic changes in many aspects of society, a new arena for rapid development of the Faith of God has been attained and the purpose and aim of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation have been unveiled before the very eyes of Government Authorities, Heads of States and Scholars who were not even aware of its existence.

At this rightful time the Universal House of Justice has emphasized the importance of acquiring knowledge of the laws and ordinances revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, and adopted the translation of the most Holy Book, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, into English as one of the sublime goals of this new plan.

Among the commandments and decrees revealed in this sacred Book is the law of Huququ'lláh, previously applicable only to the friends in the East. The Western friends became aware of this law with the dissemination of the compilation of the Holy text and the Sacred writings prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice.

Huququ'lláh is an Arabic word composed of two words, "Huquq" meaning "Rights" and "Allah" meaning "God". Therefore, Huququ'lláh means "The Rights of God", a part of the individual's possessions and income offered at the Threshold of the Lord.

In a Tablet addressed to Jinab-i-Zayn referring to Huququ'lláh, Bahá'u'lláh states that the progress and the promulgation of the Faith of God, depend on material means, therefore, the expansion and the advancement of God's Revelation and the establishment of a new order and a new world civilization cannot be achieved without material means.

December 10, 2011

The Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice – a talk by Ian Semple, former member of the Universal House of Justice, London, 28 January, 2006 [1]

When, earlier today, I was recalling these past years, it occurred to me how much the British Bahá’í Community has grown in that short time. When I left in 1961 I recollect there were about eight hundred Bahá’ís in the whole British Isles, and they were already not only operating twenty five Local Spiritual Assemblies, but directing the work in east and west Africa, and starting to think about the Pacific, and all sorts of things. At that time they were in fact about the size of a normal local congregation of a Non-Conformist Church, but the Faith obviously had much greater strength – as you see by the range of activities that they were undertaking. Now just see the size of the meeting here and think of all the other friends in the British Isles. It is a tremendous advance.

What I have been asked to talk about tonight is the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, which, in a sense, is a brief outline of part of the history of the Faith. I think history is vital for us to know and to understand but we should also see ourselves as part of it. We cannot divide life rigidly into the past, present and future. Academically, perhaps, one has to. I remember when I was at university one of my friends wanted to study the history of the First World War, but he was told by his professor of history that he could not do that, it just wasn’t history; it was current affairs.

Of course, really, current affairs is just a continuation of history. This was brought home to me in 1962, when we were at Bahjí commemorating the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh. In those days we would go out there in the evening and have a meal together, and then we would spend the evening either dozing or walking around or sitting, talking, and then we would probably go to sleep for a while and, finally, in the morning hours gather for the commemoration of the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh. Well, that particular night, while we were sitting around the table where we had been eating, the Hand of the Cause Mr Samandarí, who was there with us, told us how moved he was to be there on that evening because it was the first time he had been in Bahjí on the night of the Ascension since it took place. And we realised he had been a pilgrim when Bahá’u’lláh ascended and had been in the presence of Bahá’u’lláh. And here he was sitting with us. That’s how short Bahá’í history is. This is just the year 162 – we are in the middle of the second century. We are not, in Bahá’í terms, at the beginning of the 21st century; we are in the second century. We are in the springtime of the world.