Category: Bahá’í
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Youth is compiled by the Research Department from Extracts from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi.



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

© Bahá’í International Community

Extracts Relating to the Subject of Youth

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

— 1 —

Blessed is he who in the prime of his youth and the heyday of his life will arise to serve the Cause of the Lord of the beginning and of the end, and adorn his heart with His love. The manifestation of such a grace is greater than the creation of the heavens and of the earth. Blessed are the steadfast and well is it with those who are firm.

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

From the Writings Of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

— 2 —

It is incumbent upon the youth to walk in the footsteps of Ḥakím and to be trained in his ways, for such important souls as he and his like have now ascended to the Kingdom of Abhá. The youth must grow and develop and take the place of their fathers, that this abundant grace, in the posterity of each one of the loved ones of God who bore great agonies, may day by day increase, until in the end it shall yield its fruit on earth and in Heaven.

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

— 3 —

Wherefore, O ye illumined youth, strive by night and by day to unravel the mysteries of the mind and spirit, and to grasp the secrets of the Day of God. Inform yourselves of the evidences that the Most Great Name hath dawned. Open your lips in praise. Adduce convincing arguments and proofs. Lead those who thirst to the fountain of life; grant ye true health to the ailing. Be ye apprentices of God; be ye physicians directed by God, and heal ye the sick among humankind. Bring those who have been excluded into the circle of intimate friends. Make the despairing to be filled with hope. Waken them that slumber; make the heedless mindful.

Such are the fruits of this earthly life. Such is the station of resplendent glory. Upon you be Bahá’u’l-Abhá.

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

— 4 —

O Lord! Make this youth radiant and confer Thy bounty upon this poor creature. Bestow upon him knowledge, grant him added strength at the break of every morn and guard him within the shelter of Thy protection so that he may be freed from error, may devote himself to the service of Thy Cause, may guide the wayward, lead the hapless, free the captives and awaken the heedless, that all may be blessed with Thy remembrance and praise. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.

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

From Letters Written by Shoghi Effendi

— 5 —

What you have undertaken to achieve, under the guidance and instruction, of that valiant and indefatigable servant of the Abhá Threshold, my well-beloved brother Dr. Baghdádí, is highly praiseworthy and of supreme importance. Never flinch in your great enterprise. Deepen your knowledge of the Cause. Strive to extend the sphere of your activities and seek to understand and promote the harmony that must exist between true science and Divine Revelation. I will never fail to pray for you. I have great hopes in the ultimate triumph of the task before you.

In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to a letter 23 January 1924
written on his behalf to the Bahá’í Youth of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

— 6 —

The Bahá’í youth must be taught how to teach the Cause of God. Their knowledge of the fundamentals of the Faith must be deepened and the standard of their education in science and literature enhanced. They must become thoroughly familiar with the language used and the example set by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His public addresses throughout the West. They must also be acquainted with those essential prerequisites of teaching as recorded in the Holy Books and Tablets.

Shoghi Effendi, 9 June 1925 to the Spiritual Assembly of the East — translated from the Persian

— 7 —

I strongly urge you to devote, while you are pursuing your studies, as much time as you possibly can to a thorough study of the history and Teachings of our Beloved Cause. This is the prerequisite of a future successful career of service to the Bahá’í Faith in which I hope and pray you will distinguish yourself in the days to come.

In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to a letter 18
May 1926 written on his behalf to an individual believer

— 8 —

The youthful and eager workers for the Cause … occupy a warm place in my heart. I will remember their hopes, their plans, their activities in my hours of prayer at the Holy Shrine. I urge them to study profoundly the revealed utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and the discourses of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and not to rely unduly on the representation and interpretation of the Teachings given by Bahá’í speakers and teachers. May the Almighty sustain you and guide you in your work.

In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to a letter 20
March 1929 written on his behalf to an individual believer

— 9 —

The work in which you are engaged is dear and near to my heart and constitutes one of the most vital aspects of the manifold activities of our beloved Faith. The highest standards of purity, of integrity, of detachment and sacrifice must be maintained by the members of your group in order to enable you to play a decisive part in the spread and consolidation of the Faith. A tremendous responsibility has been laid upon you, and nothing short of a pure, a virtuous, an active and truly exemplary life can enable you to fulfil your high destiny. I will pray that you may be guided and strengthened to render the most effective service to the Cause and by your example lend a fresh impetus to the onward march of its new-born institutions.

In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to a letter 6 September 1934 written on his
behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada Youth Council

From Letters Written on Behalf of Shoghi Effendi

— 10 —

If the younger Bahá’í generation, in whom Shoghi Effendi has great hopes, take the pain of studying the Cause deeply and thoroughly, read its history, find its underlying principles and become both well informed and energetic, they surely can achieve a great deal. It is upon their shoulders that the Master has laid the tremendous work of teaching. They are the ones to raise the call of the Kingdom and arouse the people from slumber. If they fail the Cause is doomed to stagnation….

26 April 1923 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma

— 11 —

His hope, as well as that of the friends, is that you should increase both in number and spirituality. The future of this Cause, which is so dear to us all, depends upon the energy and devotion of the rising generation. It is you who before long will be called to shoulder its responsibilities and undertake its spread. To do that, however, you ought to be well equipped. You ought to have your intellectual as well as spiritual side equally developed….

28 December 1925 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’í Youth of Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A.

— 12 —

We had heard through various channels the wonderful way your children had grown to speak about the Cause in public. Shoghi Effendi’s hope is that they will, the three of them, become able and devoted speakers on the Cause and subjects akin to it. To do this properly they will need a firm foundation of scientific and literary training which fortunately they are obtaining. It is just as important for the Bahá’í young boys and girls to become properly educated in colleges of high standing as it is to be spiritually developed.

The mental as well as the spiritual side of the youth has to be developed before he can serve the Cause efficiently.

28 November 1926 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

— 13 —

He was greatly pleased and highly encouraged with your slow but progressive work among members of the faculty and the student body in State College. It is high time for the Bahá’ís to try and reach the thinking and educated youth of the country upon whom so much of the future depends, especially the stupendous task of applying the spirit and letter of the Bahá’í teachings to the requirements of the time — a work for which generations of preparation might be necessary.

13 June 1928 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

— 14 —

He was deeply interested in your work among the university students and hopes that it will bear much fruit. The youth is open-minded, unhampered by prejudice and ready to accept any message that satisfies his spiritual longings as well as intellectual demands. The work should, however, be both intensive and extensive. It is not sufficient that you should address many student bodies; persons have to be found to follow up that work, pick those who are interested to know more and ground them in the teachings. This task undoubtedly pertains to the teaching committee which should always be on the alert, see where there is a receptive group and send teachers to bring them into the Cause.

20 June 1931 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

— 15 —

Being a Bahá’í you are certainly aware of the fact that Bahá’u’lláh considered education as one of the most fundamental factors of a true civilization. This education, however, in order to be adequate and fruitful, should be comprehensive in nature and should take into consideration not only the physical and the intellectual side of man but also his spiritual and ethical aspects. This should be the programme of the Bahá’í youth all over the world.

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