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Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1909 edition
  • Pages:
  • 730
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Pages 642-645

“O thou servant of the Threshold of God!…”

O thou servant 1 of the Threshold of God!
I read what flowed from thy pen in the love of God, and found charming meanings from the contents (of thy letter). I hope, through the gift of the glorious Lord, that thou wilt be always refreshed and revived by the fragrances of the Merciful.
As to what thou hast written concerning “Reincarnation”: Believing in reincarnation is one of the old tenets held by most nations and creeds, as well as by the Greek and Roman philosophers and wise men, the old Egyptians and the chief Assyrians. But all these sayings and superstitions are vanity in the sight of God.
The greatest [argument] produced by those who held to reincarnation has been this: “That it is necessary to the justice of God to give every one his due. Now everybody who is afflicted by any calamity is said to have sinned; but when a little child, which is still in the womb of its mother and hath just been formed, is found to be blind, deaf or imperfect, how could it have committed 643 any sin that we might say this imperfection is given to it as a punishment therefore—so, though such a child hath not done outwardly any sin in the womb of its mother, ye [they say] it must have sinned when it was in its former body, which hath caused it to suffer this punishment.”
Indeed, these people have been negligent of the fact that had the creation been carried out in a uniform fashion, how could the statement be true, that “God doeth whatever He wisheth and God doeth whatever He desireth!” 2
Though the fact of “Return” is mentioned in the Divine Books, by this is intended the return of the qualities, characters, perfections, truths and lights (of the past age), which re-appear in every age, and not (the return) of certain persons and souls. For example: If we say this lamp is the return of that of last night, or that the last year’s flower hath returned in the garden (this year), in this sense the return of the individual, or identity, or personality is not meant; nay, rather, it is intended that the same qualities and states existing in that lamp or flower, which are now seen in this lamp or flower, have returned. That is, the same perfections and virtues and properties which existed in the past springtime have returned during this present springtime. For instance: When one says, these fruits are the same as those of last year; in this sense, he hath reference to the freshness and delicacy of the fruit, which hath returned, 644 although there is no doubt that the identical fruit of last year hath not returned.
Have the friends of God found such enjoyments and repose during their existence on this visible earth, that they might wish to have their return renewed and repeated constantly? Are all these calamities, injuries, trials and difficulties of the once coming not sufficient for them that they should wish a repeated life in this world? Hath this cup been of such sweetness that they should long for it successively and repeatedly? No! the friends of the Beauty of El-Baha never seek any recompense or reward except the meeting and the visit (of God) in the Kingdom of El-Baha; and they never walk but in the valley of desire to attain the Supreme Height. They only wish the immortal blessing and the eternal gift, which are sanctified above the worldly understanding.
Because, when thou lookest with the iron sight, thou wilt find that all mankind is suffering in this earthly world; there is no one in such tranquility that this (state) might have been a reward for his good deeds in a former life and there is no soul so happy that this might be the fruit of his past pain! Had the life of a man in his spiritual being been only confined to his life in this world, the creation would have proved useless; the divine qualities would have no result and effect; nay, all things, created beings and the world of creation would have proved abortive. I ask pardon of God for such false imaginations and for such errors!
As the usefulness and powers of the life (of a child) were not seen in that dark and narrow world (of the womb), but when it is brought into this vast world, all 645 the use of its growth and development becometh manifest and obvious in it, so likewise, reward and punishment, paradise and hell, and the requital of deeds and actions done by it in the present life become manifest and evident when it is transferred to the world to come—which is far from this world! Had the life and growth of the child in the womb been confined to that condition, then the existence of the child in the womb would have proved utterly abortive and unintelligible; as would the life of this world, were its deeds, actions and their results not to appear in the world to come.
Therefore, know thou that the True One possesseth invisible worlds which human meditation is unable to comprehend and the intellect of man hath no power to imagine. When thou wilt purify and clarify thy spiritual; nostrils from every worldly moisture, then thou wilt inhale the holy fragrances diffusing from the merciful gardens of these worlds.
El-Abha be upon thee and upon all those who are gazing and turning unto the Kingdom of El-Baha, which God hath sanctified above the understanding of the heedless souls and from being perceived by the eye of those who deny!
1. To a believer in Baku, Russia.   [ Back To Reference]
2. Abdul-Baha elucidated Jesus’ teaching against the theory of “blindness from birth” and the defects being caused by the sin of the individual in a former state (see St. John 9:1–3), thus: “Jesus states that this defect exists in order to prove and show that the gift of sight is from God alone and is one of his bounties. Because were all created with sight the people would consider it a mere natural fact that they must be so made, and not give God thanks for His great gift.”—Translator   [ Back To Reference]