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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 161-163

Territorial Ambitions

Many are the wars which have been fought over pieces of territory whose possession has been coveted by two or more rival nations. The greed of possession has been as fertile a cause of strife among nations as among individuals. According to the Bahá’í view, land rightly belongs not to individual men or individual nations but to humanity as a whole; nay, rather, it belongs to God alone, and all men are but tenants. 162
On the occasion of the Battle of Benghazi 1 , ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:—
The news of the Battle of Benghazi grieves my heart. I wonder at the human savagery that still exists in the world: How is it possible for men to fight from morning till night, killing each other, shedding the blood of their fellowmen? And for what object? To gain possession of a part of the earth! Even the animals when they fight have an immediate and more reasonable cause for their attacks. How terrible is it that men who are of the higher kingdom can descend to slaying and bringing misery to their fellow beings for the possession of a tract of land—the highest of created beings fighting to obtain the lowest form of matter, earth.

Land belongs not to one people but to all people. The earth is not man’s home but his tomb.

However great the conqueror, however many countries he may reduce to slavery, he is unable to retain any part of these devastated lands but one tiny portion—his tomb.

If more land is required for the improvement of the condition of the people, for the spread of civilization … surely it would be possible to acquire peaceably the necessary extension of territory. But war is made for the satisfaction of men’s ambition. For the sake of worldly gain to the few terrible misery is brought to numberless homes, breaking the hearts of hundred of men and women. …

I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of his heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other’s hands. So may all the savagery of men disappear by the mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the 163
sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain. Nothing is impossible to the divine benevolence of God. If you desire with all your heart friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger until it reaches the minds of all men.
1. A battle of the Italo-Turkish War which broke out on September 29, 1911.   [ Back To Reference]