Social Action
Category: Bahá’í
5:08 h
Social Action is a Compilation Prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice.

Social Action


Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi

© Bahá’í International Community

Underlying Concepts and Principles

The Concept of Social and Economic Development Enshrined in the Teachings

— 1 —

Promote ye the development of the cities of God and His countries, and glorify Him therein in the joyous accents of His well-favored ones. In truth, the hearts of men are edified through the power of the tongue, even as houses and cities are built up by the hand and other means. We have assigned to every end a means for its accomplishment; avail yourselves thereof, and place your trust and confidence in God, the Omniscient, the All-Wise.

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, par. 160)

— 2 —

… is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán: The Book of Certitude (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing, 2019), p. 169)

— 3 —

… that which hath streamed forth from the Most Exalted Pen is conducive to the glory, the advancement and education of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Indeed it is the sovereign remedy for every disease, could they but comprehend and perceive it.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988), p. 73)

— 4 —

O people of God! Give ear unto that which, if heeded, will ensure the freedom, well-being, tranquillity, exaltation and advancement of all men.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 92)

— 5 —

Unveiled and unconcealed, this Wronged One hath, at all times, proclaimed before the face of all the peoples of the world that which will serve as the key for unlocking the doors of sciences, of arts, of knowledge, of well-being, of prosperity and wealth.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 96)

— 6 —

The progress of the world, the development of nations, the tranquillity of peoples, and the peace of all who dwell on earth are among the principles and ordinances of God. Religion bestoweth upon man the most precious of all gifts, offereth the cup of prosperity, imparteth eternal life, and showereth imperishable benefits upon mankind.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp. 129–130)

— 7 —

God, the True One, beareth Me witness, and every atom in existence is moved to testify that such means as lead to the elevation, the advancement, the education, the protection and the regeneration of the peoples of the earth have been clearly set forth by Us and are revealed in the Holy Books and Tablets by the Pen of Glory.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 130)

— 8 —

That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 167)

— 9 —

This servant appealeth to every diligent and enterprising soul to exert his utmost endeavour and arise to rehabilitate the conditions in all regions and to quicken the dead with the living waters of wisdom and utterance, by virtue of the love he cherisheth for God, the One, the Peerless, the Almighty, the Beneficent.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 172)

— 10 —

Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

(Bahá’u’lláh, The Tabernacle of Unity: Bahá’u’lláh’s Responses to Mánikchí Ṣáḥib and Other Writings (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 2006), par. 1.4)

— 11 —

It behoveth the loved ones of God to occupy themselves under all circumstances with that which is conducive to the edification of human souls, the advancement of the world of being, and the exaltation of the Word of God, the realization of which dependeth upon the deliberations of the trustees of the House of Justice. Well is it with them that strive to render service to the world of humanity. The influence of these souls will lead the world from hardship to comfort, from poverty to wealth, and from abasement to glory.

(Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)

— 12 —

Once in session, it behoveth them to converse, on behalf of God’s servants, upon the affairs and interests of all…. In like manner, they should consider such matters as the refinement of manners, the preservation of human dignity, the development of cities, and the polity which God hath made a bulwark for His lands and a fortress for His people.

(Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)

— 13 —

God has given us eyes, that we may look about us at the world, and lay hold of whatsoever will further civilization and the arts of living. He has given us ears, that we may hear and profit by the wisdom of scholars and philosophers and arise to promote and practice it. Senses and faculties have been bestowed upon us, to be devoted to the service of the general good; so that we, distinguished above all other forms of life for perceptiveness and reason, should labor at all times and along all lines, whether the occasion be great or small, ordinary or extraordinary, until all mankind are safely gathered into the impregnable stronghold of knowledge. We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end. How excellent, how honorable is man if he arises to fulfill his responsibilities; how wretched and contemptible, if he shuts his eyes to the welfare of society and wastes his precious life in pursuing his own selfish interests and personal advantages. Supreme happiness is man’s, and he beholds the signs of God in the world and in the human soul, if he urges on the steed of high endeavor in the arena of civilization and justice.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 2015), pp. 4–5)

— 14 —

Exert every effort in the fields of development and of civilization, in the acquisition of knowledge, the increase of trade, the improvement of agriculture and the promotion of modern discoveries.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)

— 15 —

Guide and counsel at all times the friends of God, one and all, to be occupied day and night with that which is conducive to Iran’s abiding glory, and to exert the utmost effort and the greatest endeavour in order to refine character and manners, labour assiduously, aim for lofty goals, promote love and affection, and foster the progress and development of industry, agriculture and trade.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)

— 16 —

The friends must engage in the work of developing Persia, that is, they must exert great efforts in the promotion of agriculture, industry, trade, education, arts, and sciences.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)

— 17 —

And now, in gratitude for the assistance, confirmation, protection, and loving-kindness vouchsafed by the All-Glorious Lord, the beloved of God must with great wisdom strive to strengthen the pillars of the Cause of God, to establish and promote the religion of God, to diffuse the fragrances of God, and to exalt the Word of God. They must exert every effort for the advancement of the souls in all stages of existence. They must educate the children and teach them useful arts, reach ever higher degrees of civilization, multiply national crafts and industry, promote trade, improve agriculture, provide learning for all, educate women and honour them, and show consideration for the handmaidens of God. They must strive with heart and soul to create love and unity among the friends, to serve the government, and to be true to the royal throne, the well-wishers of everyone, and obedient to the valiant sovereign.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)

— 18 —

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