To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages
Category: Bahá’í
2:20 h
To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages is a Compilation Prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice.

To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages


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

© Bahá’í International Community

The Cause of Unity

— 1 —

And then the voice of the Divine Lote-Tree sounded, calling aloud and saying: “Praise be unto God Who hath ordained marriage to be a portal for the appearance of the manifestations of His Name, the All-Merciful, and adorned by its means the cities of His mention and praise.” Verily, it is the key to the perpetuation of life for the peoples of the world, and the inscrutable instrument for the fulfilment of their destiny. Through it the water of life hath streamed forth unto the people of certitude. Praised be God, Who hath made marriage a means for propagating His Cause amongst His servants and proclaiming His Word throughout the world….

All loving-kindness is Thine, O Thou Who art the Object of the adoration of all humankind, inasmuch as Thou hast ordained marriage to be a cause of unity amongst Thy creatures and of the exaltation of Thy Word amidst Thy people. Through its agency, Thou hast bound together the hearts and revealed the manifestations of Thy Name, the Best-Beloved. By its means, the hidden mysteries have been disclosed from behind the mount of Thy power, and earth and heaven have been illumined with the light of Thy loving-kindness.

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

— 2 —

Marriage, among the mass of the people, is a physical bond, and this union can only be temporary, since it is foredoomed to a physical separation at the close.

Among the people of Bahá, however, marriage must be a union of the body and of the spirit as well, for here both husband and wife are aglow with the same wine, both are enamoured of the same matchless Face, both live and move through the same spirit, both are illumined by the same glory. This connection between them is a spiritual one, hence it is a bond that will abide forever. Likewise do they enjoy strong and lasting ties in the physical world as well, for if the marriage is based both on the spirit and the body, that union is a true one, hence it will endure. If, however, the bond is physical and nothing more, it is sure to be only temporary, and must inexorably end in separation.

When, therefore, the people of Bahá undertake to marry, the union must be a true relationship, a spiritual coming together as well as a physical one, so that throughout every phase of life, and in all the worlds of God, their union will endure; for this real oneness is a gleaming out of the love of God.

In the same way, when any souls grow to be true believers, they will attain a spiritual relationship with one another, and show forth a tenderness which is not of this world. They will, all of them, become elated from a draught of divine love, and that union of theirs, that connection, will also abide forever. Souls, that is, who will consign their own selves to oblivion, strip from themselves the defects of humankind, and unchain themselves from human bondage, will beyond any doubt be illumined with the heavenly splendours of oneness, and will all attain unto real union in the world that dieth not.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pars. 84.2–84.5)

— 3 —

Bahá’í marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their mutual attachment of mind and heart. Each must, however, exercise the utmost care to become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other, that the binding covenant between them may be a tie that will endure forever. Their purpose must be this: to become loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity….

The true marriage of Bahá’ís is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God. This is Bahá’í marriage.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pars. 86.1–86.2)

— 4 —

With all humility, prayers of supplication have been offered at the Holy Threshold, that this marriage may be a harbinger of joy to the friends, that it may be a loving bond for all eternity, and yield everlasting benefits and fruits.

From separation doth every kind of hurt and harm proceed, but the union of created things doth ever yield most laudable results. From the pairing of even the smallest particles in the world of being are the grace and bounty of God made manifest; and the higher the degree, the more momentous is the union. “Glory be to Him Who hath created all the pairs, of such things as earth produceth, and out of men themselves, and of things beyond their ken.” And above all other unions is that between human beings, especially when it cometh to pass in the love of God. Thus is the primal oneness made to appear; thus is laid the foundation of love in the spirit. It is certain that such a marriage as yours will cause the bestowals of God to be revealed. Wherefore do we offer you felicitations and call down blessings upon you and beg of the Blessed Beauty, through His aid and favour, to make that wedding feast a joy to all and adorn it with the harmony of Heaven.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pars. 87.1–87.2)

— 5 —

O ye two believers in God! The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other.

If they live thus, they will pass through this world with perfect contentment, bliss, and peace of heart, and become the object of divine grace and favour in the Kingdom of heaven. But if they do other than this, they will live out their lives in great bitterness, longing at every moment for death, and will be shamefaced in the heavenly realm.

Strive, then, to abide, heart and soul, with each other as two doves in the nest, for this is to be blessed in both worlds.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pars. 92.1–92.3)

— 6 —

He is God.

All praise be unto God, Who hath created realities that are paired through the mutual encounter of the divine names and attributes, that are comprised of both existence and essence, and that derive their grace from states that are opposite yet compatible and from facing mirrors that form complementary reflections. “Glory be to Him Who hath created all the pairs, of such things as the earth produceth, and of themselves, and of things beyond their ken”, and hath made the human reality to be a wellspring of blessings and a fountainhead of abundant increase in the world of being. The inner realities of all things proceeded from the encounter of the most excellent names, and the contest of the most exalted attributes. They married, assembled, gathered, harmonized, united, and attained unto completion and perfection—whereupon, within the essences of the realities derived therefrom, the effulgence of primal oneness shone resplendent.

Within these mysteries lieth an inscrutable wisdom—a wisdom through which God’s laws and ordinances have been revealed in the Sacred Scriptures. Unto God belongeth supreme authority, irrefutable proofs, all-swaying sovereignty, consummate might, and all-encompassing powers of attraction.

Blessing and praise rest upon that Reality that joineth together the spiritual realities and subtle particulars of the universe—that mighty Bridge, that all-bountiful Link, that Confluence of the two seas and Meeting-Place of the two shores, that Day-Star of the “two Easts” and Light of the “two Wests”upon that Blessed Tree and its branches, its leaves, its blossoms, and its fruits, and upon all those who have sought shelter within its shade and taken refuge beneath its outspread boughs.

Verily, the All-Merciful One shed His splendour upon the Sinai of creation with a light that gleamed, flashed, and beamed upon the dawning-places of the souls and the horizons of the world. Thereupon did all potentialities and their recipients, and all existences and essences, unite and join together in affection, intimacy, and mutual attraction. Through this union, the sign of Divine Oneness appeared, the standard of His Singleness was hoisted, all multiplicity disappeared, all selfishness vanished into nothingness, and every dividing boundary did fade away.

And so that this primal oneness may be expressed and this spiritual harmony be manifested, He, through His consummate wisdom and all-encompassing mercy, prescribed matrimony and ordained it to be a means of salvation and well-being, that it might be a symbol of that divine bond and a sign of that spiritual harmony, heavenly bounty, and celestial favour.

Rejoice, then, O people of Bahá, at this loving harmony that your Lord hath ordained for you from the realms above, and this unity that hath been established upon pillars of divine guidance. From it hath sprung the harmony that hath formed between this blessed leaf and this exalted bough, and the union that hath appeared between this noble fruit and this wondrous branch.

Wherefore, beseech ye God to make this marriage blessed, prosperous, loving, and happy, to gladden and vivify by it their two hearts, and to raise up, through them, souls who will walk steadfastly in the Cause of the Lord, who will diffuse the sweet savours of holiness throughout the East and the West, will illumine the world with the light of divine knowledge, will perfume all regions with the fragrances of divine mysteries, and will adorn the world of being with the hidden secrets of servitude to Him Who is its Creator and Supreme Ordainer. Praise be unto God, both at the beginning of this union and at its culmination.

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

— 7 —

Regarding the question of marriage, know thou that the command of marriage is eternal. It will never be changed or altered. This creation is divine, and it is not possible for that which is created by God to be changed or altered.

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

— 8 —

It has been ordained in this Dispensation that unity and love should increase day by day between husband and wife, so that they become one soul, one spirit and one body. I hope that God’s purpose will be manifested in the utmost perfection between you.

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

— 9 —

Praise be unto Him Who, through His effulgent grace, created the Primal Origin of existence and made It the centre of the seat of glory. From this human Temple, He hath caused to emanate all the tribes, kindreds, and nations of the earth. Whereupon He created all things—whether plants or animals or intelligent and rational beings—in joyous, connected pairs, in order that they might flourish, multiply, and worship their Lord with radiant devotion, treading the path of guidance with heart and soul. Amongst the believers, He hath ordained this binding covenant to be a sign of Divine Unity and the highest means for attaining physical and spiritual union. He hath matched His servants and chosen ones with luminous maidservants and heavenly leaves…. He hath bound together their hearts and made them even as a single soul, that they may, at all times and under all conditions, live in harmony, affection, unity, and concord.

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

— 10 —

O maidservant of God! Praise be unto God that thy loving husband hath entered beneath the shade of the Blessed Tree, and hath received the light of divine guidance from the heavenly sun and luminous moon. He is an agreeable companion and a true friend. Therefore, thou shouldst act in such a manner that he may enjoy the utmost happiness, felicity, and delight and may be wholeheartedly pleased and gladdened. I shall pray for you and hope that, through the bounties and blessings of the Almighty, ye may live in a state of utmost harmony and love. Upon thee be the glory of the Most Glorious.

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

— 11 —

Endeavour that the black and the white may gather in one meeting place, and with the utmost love, fraternally associate with each other, so that quarrel and strife may vanish from among the white and the black. Thou must even endeavour that they intermarry. There is no greater means to bring about affection between the white and the black than the influence of the Word of God. Likewise marriage between these two races will wholly destroy and eradicate the root of enmity.

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

— 12 —

What the Bahá’ís must do is not commit adultery if they are married, and refrain from sexual intimacy before marriage. It is not a sin in the Bahá’í Faith if you do not marry, but marriage is recommended to the believers by Bahá’u’lláh.

There is no teaching in the Bahá’í Faith that “soul mates” exist. What is meant is that marriage should lead to a profound friendship of spirit, which will endure in the next world, where there is no sex, and no giving and taking in marriage; just the way we should establish with our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters and friends a deep spiritual bond which will be everlasting, and not merely physical bonds of human relationship.

(From a letter dated 4 December 1954 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

Ocean 2.0 Reader. Empty coverOcean 2.0 Reader. Book is closedOcean 2.0 Reader. FilterOcean 2.0 Reader. Compilation cover