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Paris Talks

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1972 eleventh edition reprint
  • Pages:
  • 184
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Pages 182-184

TABLET REVEALED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ

182
August 28th, 1913
O Thou my beloved daughter!
Thine eloquent and fluent letter was perused in a garden, under the cool shade of a tree, while the gentle breeze was wafting. The means of physical enjoyment was spread before the eyes and thy letter became the cause of spiritual enjoyment. Truly, I say, it was not a letter but a rose-garden adorned with hyacinths and flowers.
It contained the sweet fragrance of paradise and the zephyr of Divine Love blew from its roseate words.
As I have not ample time at my disposal, I will give herein a brief, conclusive and comprehensive answer. It is as follows:
In this Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, the women go neck and neck with the men. In no movement will they be left behind. Their rights with men are equal in degree. They will enter all the administrative branches of politics. They will attain in all such a degree as will be considered the very highest station of the world of humanity and will take part in all affairs. Rest ye assured. Do ye not look upon the present conditions; in the not far distant future the world of women will become all-refulgent and all-glorious, For His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh Hath Willed It so! At the time of elections the right to vote is the inalienable right of women, and the entrance of women into all human departments 183 is an irrefutable and incontrovertible question. No soul can retard or prevent it.
But there are certain matters, the participation in which is not worthy of women. For example, at the time when the community is taking up vigorous defensive measures against the attack of foes, the women are exempt from military engagements. It may so happen that at a given time warlike and savage tribes may furiously attack the body politic with the intention of carrying on a wholesale slaughter of its members; under such a circumstance defence is necessary, but it is the duty of men to organize and execute such defensive measures and not the women—because their hearts are tender and they cannot endure the sight of the horror of carnage, even if it is for the sake of defence. From such and similar undertakings the women are exempt.
As regards the constitution of the House of Justice, Bahá’u’lláh addresses the men. He says: ‘O ye men of the House of Justice!’
But when its members are to be elected, the right which belongs to women, so far as their voting and their voice is concerned, is indisputable. When the women attain to the ultimate degree of progress, then, according to the exigency of the time and place and their great capacity, they shall obtain extraordinary privileges. Be ye confident on these accounts. His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh has greatly strengthened the cause of women, and the rights and privileges of women is one of the greatest principles of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Rest ye assured! Ere long the days shall come 184 when the men addressing the women, shall say: ‘Blessed are ye! Blessed are ye! Verily ye are worthy of every gift. Verily ye deserve to adorn your heads with the crown of everlasting glory, because in sciences and arts, in virtues and perfections ye shall become equal to man, and as regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy ye are superior’.