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Dawn of a New Day

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of India, date unknown
  • Pages:
  • 228
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Pages 200-201

Letter of March 27, 1938

1. In the passage “eschew all fellowship with the ungodly”, Baha’u’llah means that we should shun the company of those who disbelieve in God and are wayward. The word “ungodly” is a reference to such perverse people. The words “Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My loved ones” should not be taken in their literal sense. Baha’u’llah’s advice is that again we should flee from the enemies of God, and instead seek the fellowship of His lovers.
2. A believer has the right to vote for himself during the election time, if he conscientiously feels the urge to do so. This 201 does not necessarily imply that he is ambitious or selfish. For he might conscientiously believe that his qualifications entitle him to membership in a Baha’i administrative body, and he might be right. The essential, however, is that he should be sincere in his belief, and should act according to the dictates of his conscience. Moreover, membership in an assembly or committee is a form of service, and should not be looked upon as a mark of inherent superiority or a means for self-praise.
3. The Baha’i view of “reincarnation” is essentially different from the Hindu conception. The Baha’is believe in the return of the attributes and qualities, but maintain that the essence or the reality of things cannot be made to return. Every being keeps its own individuality, but some of his qualities can be transmitted. The doctrine of metempsychosis upheld by the Hindus is fallacious.
4. The eating of pork is not forbidden in the Baha’i Teachings.
5. Genesis XIX, 29–38—the text makes it quite clear that Lot was not responsible for the action committed by his two daughters, as they gave him wine and made him drunk.
6. Electioneering and all forms of propaganda are against the spirit of Baha’i elections. The chief opportunity which the friends have for discussion on administrative questions is during the Nineteen Day Feasts, at which time the members of the assembly can meet with the body of the believers and discuss in common the affairs of the Cause, and suggest new policies and methods. But even then no reference to individuals should be made.
7. Baha’is are permitted to marry non-believers but they should insist on observing the Baha’i marriage ceremony and should also not object if their non-Baha’i partner wishes to observe the marriage ceremony of his or her particular religion. Civil marriage is generally practised amongst the Western believers, but in most of the East it is unknown.
March 27, 1938