Passages from a Persian Letter of Shoghi Effendi on Absolute Servitude, Trust in God, and Alignment with His Will

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of passages from a Persian letter from Shoghi Effendi. The original text can be found in Máʼidiy-i-Ásmání, vol. 3, pp. 79.

For them that are endued with insight, there is, in the world of humanity, no throne more exalted than the station of absolute servitude … among the meanings of this servitude is that we should desire nothing from the all-pervasive Will of God save submission and contentment, and seek only to place our complete trust and reliance in His all-encompassing Purpose, for despite our mightiest efforts, the supreme laws that govern the visible and invisible realms are not subject to change, and the sublime ordinances of God—those countless divine decrees that constitute the balance wherein all existence is weighed—can never be altered. It is, therefore, incumbent upon man to ponder both these ideals and strive to realize them, that his words and his deeds may accord with the consummately powerful law of God. A man of true insight will have attained to the acme of this thoughtful reflection when all his actions are aligned with that all-pervading source, that most great law, and he is desirous of nothing whatsoever but that alignment—that thereby his thoughts may revolve around the pivot of moderation, and his aspirations not lead to such perplexity as would deprive his own noble self of innate happiness and richness in God.

There can be no doubt that among the significant fruits of one’s obedience to the divine ordinances is that he shall be content with whatever the omnipotent hand of God and His divine order have graciously bestowed upon him, availing himself thereof with timeliness and moderation and taking abundant delight therein, knowing of a certainty that whenever he cherishes any desire that transgresses the bounds ordained for him by God—a desire that sets him on the path to a lack of trust and reliance in God—he will feel turmoil, not happiness, and come to experience spiritual poverty and languor, rather than confidence and composure. Thus have the Manifestations of God enjoined trust and reliance in the all-subduing Will of God, and the wise ones of humanity made their appeals to moderate speech and behavior, emphasizing that the blissful security of all mankind is dependent on their observance of God’s weighty laws, for were a man to disobey the precepts of the divine Manifestations—those emblems of knowledge and justice—he would be overwhelmed with such immoderate thoughts as would add to his distress and agitation, deprive him of all tranquility, and rob him of any gladness of spirit.

Hence, one can find no trace of absolute perfection in the world of creation, nor is there any creature devoid of vexation. No one is entirely free of sorrow or perplexity … every one of them has entertained a scenario not rooted in reality, insisting to himself that if he had only gone about some matter from the past differently from how he actually pursued it, he would have avoided the trials and tribulations that followed …

Be assured of the grace vouchsafed from the realm above, and set your affections on divine connections and imperishable bounties, such that the changes and chances ordained by God shall bring you only rapturous joy, and move you to leap with abounding ecstasy …

A typescript of the Persian text of these passages appears below.

در عالم وجود از برای انسانِ بصير عرشِ اعلائی بهتر از مقام عبوديّت عظمی نه … از جملهْ معنی عبوديّتِ محضه آن که نزد آن ارادۀ مطلقه جز تسليم و رضا نخواهيم و غير توکّل و اعتماد به آن مشيّت محيطه نجوئيم چه به سعی و اهتمام قوانين کلّيّۀ عوالم غيب و شهود تغيير نيابد و آن مقدّرات عظيمه و ميزان قضای لايتناهی هستی و وجود تبديل نجويد. پس، از برای نوع انسان سعی و تدبّر از اين دو لازم که اقوال و اعمال خويش را با قانون قدرت کامله مطابقه نمايد؛ و کمال تدبّر آنکه شخص بصير حرکات و سَکَناتِ خود را به آن مصدر مطلق و ناموس اعظم معاينه فرمايد (نه آنکه غير آن را بخواهد) تا افکار بر محور اعتدال دَوَران کند و آمال مايۀ کدورت و مَلال نگردد و قلب مبارک حضرت انسان و سُرور ذاتی و غنای فطری محجوب و مهجور نشود.

بی‌گمان، يکی از نتايج مهمۀ شرايع الهيّه اين است که انسان در آنچه دستِ قدرت و نظمِ الهی به او عنايت فرموده راضی باشد و آن را به موقع و اعتدال به کار بَرَد و در آن خوش مانَد و يقين نمايد که هر گاه از آن مقامِ مقدّر تجاوز خواهد و رو به عدمِ اعتماد و توکّل نهد به جای سرور کدورت يابد و به عکسِ اطمينان و سکون اضطرار و فتور بيند. بناءْ عليهذا، مظاهرِ الهيّه امر به توکّل و اعتماد به ارادۀ غالبه فرمودند و عقلایِ امم حکم به گفتار و رفتار معتدلانه نمودند و صيانت و سرورِ عالمِ انسانی را منوط به رعايت احکام متقنه گفتند چه اگر به غيرِ متابعتِ قوانين خداوندانِ دانش و داد عمل شود غلبۀ افکارِ غير معتدلانه مزيدِ اضطرار و اضطراب گردد و دل و جان را از سکون و قرار باز دارد و از نشاط و انبساطِ روحی مانع شود.

اين است که در عالم خلقت کمالِ مطلق يافت نشود و هيچ مخلوقی از مَلال خالی نباشد؛ هيچ تنی از اندوه و کَلال فارغ نه … هر يک را گمانْ چنان که اگر در آن طريقِ مخصوص سير و سلوک نمی‌نمود به آن گونه بلايا مبتلا نمی‌شد …

مطمئن به فيضِ عالمِ بالا باشيد و دل به روابطِ رحمانيّه و عناياتِ صمدانيّه بنديد و تغييرات آفرينش را مايۀ وجد و نشاط سازيد و وسيلۀ طَرَب و انبساط کنيد …

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