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Raw quotes from the Bahá'í Literature for
Why Bahá'í Universal Auxiliary Language Institutes

[1] It is incumbent upon the Trustees of the House of Justice to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book, and to enforce that which is agreeable to them. God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth, and He, verily, is the Provider, the Omniscient.

We have formerly ordained that people should converse in two languages, yet efforts must be made to reduce them to one, likewise the scripts of the world, that men's lives may not be dissipated and wasted in learning divers languages. Thus the whole earth would come to be regarded as one city and one land.

(eighth leaf in the Kalimat-i-Firdawsiyyih
(Words of Paradise)
in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 68)

[2] The utterances set forth therein by the Pen of the Lord of creation include the following which constitute the fundamental principles for the administration of the affairs of men:

First: It is incumbent upon the ministers of the House of Justice to promote the Lesser Peace so that the people of the earth may be relieved from the burden of exorbitant expenditures. This matter is imperative and absolutely essential, inasmuch as hostilities and conflict lie at the root of affliction and calamity.

Second: Languages must be reduced to one common language to be taught in all the schools of the world.

(Lawh-i-Dunya (Tablet of the World)
in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 89)

[3] The sixth Ishraq is union and concord amongst the children of men. From the beginning of time the light of unity hath shed its divine radiance upon the world, and the greatest means for the promotion of that unity is for the peoples of the world to understand one another's writing and speech. In former Epistles We have enjoined upon the Trustees of the House of Justice either to choose one language from among those now existing or to adopt a new one, and in like manner to select a common script, both of which should be taught in all the schools of the world. Thus will the earth be regarded as one country and one home. The most glorious fruit of the tree of knowledge is this exalted word: Of one tree are all ye the fruit, and of one bough the leaves. Let not man glory in this that he loveth his country, let him rather glory in this that he loveth his kind. Concerning this We have previously revealed that which is the means of the reconstruction of the world and the unity of nations. Blessed are they that attain thereunto. Blessed are they that act accordingly.

The seventh Ishraq The Pen of Glory counselleth everyone regarding the instruction and education of children. Behold that which the Will of God hath revealed upon Our arrival in the Prison City and recorded in the Most Holy Book. Unto every father hath been enjoined the instruction of his son and daughter in the art of reading and writing and in all that hath been laid down in the Holy Tablet. He that putteth away that which is commanded unto him, the Trustees are then to take from him that which is required for their instruction, if he be wealthy, and if not the matter devolveth upon the House of Justice. Verily, have We made it a shelter for the poor and needy. He that bringeth up his son or the son of another, it is as though he hath brought up a son of Mine; upon him rest My Glory, My Loving-Kindness, My Mercy, that have compassed the world.

The eighth Ishraq This passage, now written by the Pen of Glory, is accounted as part of the Most Holy Book: The men of God's House of Justice have been charged with the affairs of the people.

(Ishraqat (Splendours)
in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Pages 127-128)

[4] The third Glad-Tidings concerneth the study of divers languages. This decree hath formerly streamed forth from the Pen of the Most High: It behoveth the sovereigns of the world - may God assist them - or the ministers of the earth to take counsel together and to adopt one of the existing languages or a new one to be taught to children in schools throughout the world, and likewise one script. Thus the whole earth will come to be regarded as one country. Well is it with him who hearkeneth unto His Call and observeth that whereunto he is bidden by God, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.

(Bisharat (Glad-Tidings)
in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 22)

[5] Likewise He saith: Among the things which are conducive to unity and concord and will cause the whole earth to be regarded as one country is that the divers languages be reduced to one language and in like manner the scripts used in the world be confined to a single script. It is incumbent upon all nations to appoint some men of understanding and erudition to convene a gathering and through joint consultation choose one language from among the varied existing languages, or create a new one, to be taught to the children in all the schools of the world.

(Lawh-i-Maqsud (Tablet of Maqsud)
Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Pages 165-166)

[6] The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and essential. It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action.... 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. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. 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.

(Lawh-i-Maqsud (Tablet of Maqsud)
in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Pages 166-167)
(also partially in The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Pages 249-250)

[7] Our conversation turned to topics profitable to man. He said that he had learned several languages. In reply We observed: "You have wasted your life. It beseemeth you and the other officials of the Government to convene a gathering and choose one of the divers languages, and likewise one of the existing scripts, or else to create a new language and a new script to be taught children in schools throughout the world. They would, in this way, be acquiring only two languages, one their own native tongue, the other the language in which all the peoples of the world would converse. Were men to take fast hold on that which hath been mentioned, the whole earth would come to be regarded as one country, and the people would be relieved and freed from the necessity of acquiring and teaching different languages." When in Our presence, he acquiesced, and even evinced great joy and complete satisfaction. We then told him to lay this matter before the officials and ministers of the Government, in order that it might be put into effect throughout the different countries. However, although he often returned to see Us after this, he never again referred to this subject, although that which had been suggested is conducive to the concord and the unity of the peoples of the world.

We fain would hope that the Persian Government will adopt it and carry it out. At present, a new language and a new script have been devised. If thou desirest, We will communicate them to thee. Our purpose is that all men may cleave unto that which will reduce unnecessary labor and exertion, so that their days may be befittingly spent and ended. God, verily, is the Helper, the Knower, the Ordainer, the Omniscient.

(Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
Pages 137-139)

[8] 189. O members of parliaments throughout the world! Select ye a single language for the use of all on earth, and adopt ye likewise a common script. God, verily, maketh plain for you that which shall profit you and enable you to be independent of others. He, of a truth, is the Most Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the AllInformed. This will be the cause of unity, could ye but comprehend it, and the greatest instrument for promoting harmony and civilization, would that ye might understand! We have appointed two signs for the coming of age of the human race: the first, which is the most firm foundation, We have set down in other of Our Tablets, while the second hath been revealed in this wondrous Book.

(The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
Page 88)

[9] 9. The selection of a single language and the adoption of a common script for all on earth to use: one of two signs of the maturity of the human race

(Notes: The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
Page 163)

[10]194. We have appointed two signs for the coming of age of the human race :PP189
The first sign of the coming of age of humanity referred to in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh is the emergence of a science which is described as that "divine philosophy" which will include the discovery of a radical approach to the transmutation of elements. This is an indication of the splendours of the future stupendous expansion of knowledge.

Concerning the "second" sign which Bahá'u'lláh indicates to have been revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Shoghi Effendi states that Bahá'u'lláh, ". . . in His Most Holy Book, has enjoined the selection of a single language and the adoption of a common script for all on earth to use, an injunction which, when carried out, would, as He Himself affirms in that Book, be one of the signs of the 'coming of age of the human race'". ..

(Notes: The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
Page 250)

[11]118. The Lord hath granted leave to whosoever desireth it that he be instructed in the divers tongues of the world that he may deliver the Message of the Cause of God throughout the East and throughout the West, that he make mention of Him amidst the kindreds and peoples of the world in such wise that hearts may revive and the mouldering bone be quickened.

(The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
Page 62)

[12] Moreover such forms and modes of writing as are now current amongst men were unknown to the generations that were before Adam. There was even a time when men were wholly ignorant of the art of writing, and had adopted a system entirely different from the one which they now use. For a proper exposition of this an elaborate explanation would be required.

Consider the differences that have arisen since the days of Adam. The divers and widely-known languages now spoken by the peoples of the earth were originally unknown, as were the varied rules and customs now prevailing amongst them. The people of those times spoke a language different from those now known. Diversities of language arose in a later age, in a land known as Babel. It was given the name Babel, because the term signifieth "the place where the confusion of tongues arose."

Subsequently Syriac became prominent among the existing languages. The Sacred Scriptures of former times were revealed in that tongue. Later, Abraham, the Friend of God, appeared and shed upon the world the light of Divine Revelation. The language He spoke while He crossed the Jordan became known as Hebrew ('Ibrani), which meaneth "the language of the crossing." The Books of God and the Sacred Scriptures were then revealed in that tongue, and not until after a considerable lapse of time did Arabic become the language of Revelation...

Witness, therefore, how numerous and far-reaching have been the changes in language, speech, and writing since the days of Adam. How much greater must have been the changes before Him!

(Gleanings,
Pages 172-174)

[13] Mirza Aqa Jan further related to Nabil that, one day in Kazimayn, when both he and Aqa Muhammad-Hasan-i-Isfahani were in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh, in the house of Haji 'Abdu'l-Majid-i-Shirazi, He asked the host whether he wished to hear the Badi' (Unique) language, which, He said, was the language used by the denizens of one of the worlds of God. He then proceeded to chant in that language. Mirza Aqa Jan said that hearing this language had a wonderful effect on the listener. One day, Mirza Aqa Jan related, Bahá'u'lláh said to Haji 'Abdu'l-Majid: 'Haji, you have heard the Badi' language, and witnessed God's supremacy over His worlds. Render thanks for this bounty and appreciate its worth.'

(Bahá'u'lláh, The King of Glory,
Page 113-114)

[14] The sixth is the universal auxiliary language.

('Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy,
Page 25)

[15] 6. A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE A universal language shall be adopted and taught in the schools and academies of the world. A committee appointed by national bodies shall select a suitable language to be used as a means of international communication. Every one will need but two languages, his national tongue and the universal language. All will acquire the international language.

( 'Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy,
Page 27)

[16] "In order to facilitate complete understanding between all people, a universal auxiliary language will be adopted and in the schools of the future two languages will be taught--the mother tongue and this international auxiliary tongue which will be either one of the existing languages, or a new language made up of words from all the languages--the matter to be determined by a confederation met for the purpose which shall represent all tribes and nations. This international tongue will be used in the work of the parliament of man--a supreme tribunal of the world which will be permanently established in order to arbitrate international questions. .

( 'Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy,
Page 84)

[17] His Excellency ABDUL BAHA, addressed the Paris Esperanto group on February 12, 1913, at a banquet which was accorded him at the Hotel Moderne in that city. M. Bourlet, President of the Paris Esperanto Society, in introducing Abdul Baha, said that one of the principles of the great world religion which he was promulgating, was the establishment of a universal language.

( 'Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy,
Page 141)

[18] The universal light for this planet is from the sun and the special electric ray which to-night illumines this banquet hall appears through the invention of man. In like manner the activities which are trying to establish solidarity between the nations and infuse the spirit of universalism in the hearts of the children of men are like unto divine rays from the sun of reality and the brightest ray is the coming of the universal language. Its achievement is the greatest virtue of the age for such an instrument will remove misunderstandings from amongst the peoples of the earth and will cement their hearts together. This medium will enable each individual member of the human family to be informed of the scientific accomplishments of all.

The basis of knowledge and the excellencies of endeavor in this world are to teach and to be taught. To acquire sciences, and to teach them in turn, depends upon language, and when the international auxiliary tongue becomes universal it is easily conceivable that the acquirement of knowledge and instruction will likewise become universal.

No doubt you are aware that in the past ages a common languageshared by various nations created a spirit of solidarity amongst them. For instance, thirteen hundred years ago there were many divergent nationalities in the Orient. There were Copts in Egypt, Syrians in Syria, Assyrians and Babylonians in Bagdad and along the rivers of Mesopotamia. There existed among these peoples rank hatred; but as they were gradually brought nearer through common protection and common interests, the Arabic language grew to be the means of intercommunication and they became as one nation. They all speak Arabic to this day. In Syria, if you ask any one of them, he will say, "I am an Arab," though he be a Greek, an Egyptian, Syrian or Jew.Today one of the chief causes of the differences in Europe is the diversity of languages.

We say "this man is a German, the other an Italian, a Frenchman, an Englishman," etc. All belong to the great human family yet language is the barrier between them. The greatest working basis for bringing about unity and harmony amongst the nations is the teaching of a universal tongue. Writing on this subject fifty years ago, His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH declared that complete union between the various nations of the world would remain an unrealized dream until an international language was established.

Misunderstandings keep people from mutual association and these misunderstandings will not be dispelled except through the medium of a common ground of communication. Every intelligent man will bear testimony to this.

The people of the Orient are not fully informed of the events in the west and the west cannot put itself into sympathetic touch with the east.

Their thoughts are enclosed in a casket. The universal language will be the master key to open it. Western books will be translated into that language and the east will become informed of the contents; likewise eastern lore will become the property of the west. Thus also will those misunderstandings which exist between the different religions be dispersed. Religious prejudices play havoc among the peoples and bring about warfare and strife and it is impossible to remove them without a common medium.

I am an Oriental and on this account I am shut out from your thoughts and you likewise from mine. A mutual language will become the mightiest means toward universal progress, for it will cement the east and the west. It will make the world one home and become the divine impulse for human advancement. It will upraise the standard of oneness of the world of humanity and make the earth a universal commonwealth.

It will create love between the children of men and good fellowship between the various creeds. Praise be to God, that Dr. Zamenhof has constructed the Esperanto language. It has all the potential qualities of universal adoption. All of us must be grateful and thankful to him for his noble effort, for in this matter he has served his fellow-man well. He has done a service which will bestow divine benefits on all peoples. With untiring effort and self-sacrifice on the part of its devotees it holds a promise of universal acceptation. Therefore every one of us must study this language and make every effort to spread it, so that each day it may receive a wider recognition, be accepted by all nations and governments of the world and become a part of the curriculum of all the public schools. I hope that the business of the future international conferences and congresses will be carried on in Esperanto. In the coming ages, two languages will be taught in the schools, one the native tongue, the other an international auxiliary language. Consider today how difficult is human communication. One may study fifty languages and travel through a country and still be at a loss. I myself speak several Oriental languages, but know no western tongue. Had this universal language pervaded the globe, I should have studied it and you would have been directly informed of my thoughts and I of yours and a special friendship would have been established between us. Please send some teachers to Persia so that they may teach Esperanto to the younger generation. I have written asking some of them to come here to study it. May it be promulgated rapidly; then the world of humanity will find eternal peace; all the nations will associate with one another like mothers and sisters, fathers and brothers, and each individual member of the community will be fully informed of the thoughts of all. I am extremely grateful to you and thank you for these lofty efforts, for you have gathered at this banquet in a selfless endeavor to further this great end. Your hope is to render a mighty service to the world of humanity and for this exalted aim I congratulate you from the depths of my heart.

( 'Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy,
Pages 143-145)

[19] One sign of unity is the construction of an international auxiliary language, Esperanto. Let us strive untiringly to spread this language.

( 'Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy,
Page 172)

[20] The seventh candle is unity of language, i.e., the choice of a universal tongue in which all peoples will be instructed and converse. Each and every one of these will inevitably come to pass, inasmuch as the power of the Kingdom of God will aid and assist in their realization.

(Selections From The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
Page 32)
(also in The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 39:2)

[21] Regarding the translation of the Books and Tablets of the Blessed Beauty, ere long will translations be made into every tongue, with power, clarity and grace. At such time as they are translated, conformably to the originals, and with power and grace of style, the splendours of their inner meanings will be shed abroad, and will illumine the eyes of all mankind. Do thy very best to ensure that the translation is in conformity with the original.

(Selections From The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
Page 66)

[22] And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is the origination of one language that may be spread universally among the people. This teaching was revealed from the pen of Bahá'u'lláh in order that this universal language may eliminate misunderstandings from among mankind.

(Selections From The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
Page 301)
(also in Foundations of World Unity,
Page 29:4)

[23] As to the Esperantists, associate with them. ... It is evident that the Esperantists are receptive and thou art familiar with and expert in their language. Communicate also with the Esperantists of Germany and other places. The literature which thou circulatest should deal only with the teachings. The dissemination of other literature is at present not advisable. My hope is that the divine confirmations may continually assist thee....
Grieve not over the apathy and coldness of the Hague meeting. Put thy trust in God. Our hope is that among the people the Esperanto language may hereafter have a powerful effect. Thou hast now sown the seed. Assuredly it will grow. Its growth dependeth upon God.

(Selections From The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
Page 308:2)

[24] One of the great steps towards universal peace would be the establishment of a universal language. Bahá'u'lláh commands that the servants of humanity should meet together, and either choose a language which now exists, or form a new one. This was revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas forty years ago. It is there pointed out that the question of diversity of tongues is a very difficult one. There are more than eight hundred languages in the world, and no person could acquire them all.

The races of mankind are not isolated as in former days. Now, in order to be in close relationship with all countries it is necessary to be able to speak their tongues. A universal language would make intercourse possible with every nation. Thus it would be needful to know two languages only, the mother tongue and the universal speech. The latter would enable a man to communicate with any and every man in the world! A third language would not be needed. To be able to talk with a member of any race and country without requiring an interpreter, how helpful and restful to all! Esperanto has been drawn up with this end in view: it is a fine invention and a splendid piece of work, but it needs perfecting. Esperanto as it stands is very difficult for some people.

An international Congress should be formed, consisting of delegates from every nation in the world, Eastern as well as Western. This Congress should form a language that could be acquired by all, and every country would thereby reap great benefit. Until such a language is in use, the world will continue to feel the vast need of this means of intercourse. Difference of speech is one of the most fruitful causes of dislike and distrust that exists between nations, which are kept apart by their inability to understand each other's language more than by any other reason. If everybody could speak one language, how much more easy would it be to serve humanity! Therefore appreciate 'Esperanto', for it is the beginning of the carrying out of one of the most important of the Laws of Bahá'u'lláh, and it must continue to be improved and perfected.

(Paris Talks,
Pages 155:3-157:1)

[25] The causes of dispute among different nations are always due to one of the following classes of prejudice: racial, lingual, theological, personal, and prejudices of custom and tradition.... The differences in language cause disunion between nations. There must be one universal language.

('Abdu'l-Bahá in London,
Page 60)

[26] A friend enquired concerning Bahá'u'lláh's prophecy in the Words of Paradise, that a universal language would be formed, and desired to know if Esperanto would be the language chosen. "The love and effort put into Esperanto will not be lost," he answered, "but no one person can construct a Universal Language. It must be made by a Council representing all countries, and must contain words from different languages. It will be governed by the simplest rules, and there will be no exceptions; neither will there be gender, nor extra and silent letters. Everything indicated will have but one name. In Arabic there are hundreds of names for the camel! In the schools of each nation the mother tongue will be taught, as well as the revised Universal Language."

( 'Abdu'l-Bahá in London,
Page 94)

[27] TODAY the greatest need of the world of humanity is discontinuance of the existing misunderstandings among nations. This can be accomplished through the unity of language. Unless the unity of languages is realized, the Most Great Peace and the oneness of the human world cannot be effectively organized and established because the function of language is to portray the mysteries and secrets of human hearts. The heart is like a box, and language is the key. Only by using the key can we open the box and observe the gems it contains. Therefore, the question of an auxiliary international tongue has the utmost importance. Through this means international education and training become possible; the evidence and history of the past can be acquired. The spread of the known facts of the human world depends upon language. The explanation of divine teachings can only be through this medium. As long as diversity of tongues and lack of comprehension of other languages continue, these glorious aims cannot be realized. Therefore, the very first service to the world of man is to establish this auxiliary international means of communication. It will become the cause of the tranquility of the human commonwealth. Through it sciences and arts will be spread among the nations, and it will prove to be the means of the progress and development of all races. We must endeavor with all our powers to establish this international auxiliary language throughout the world. It is my hope that it may be perfected through the bounties of God and that intelligent men may be selected from the various countries of the world to organize an international congress whose chief aim will be the promotion of this universal medium of speech.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Pages 60-61)
(also partially in #1138 Lights of Guidance,
Page 340)

[28] Eighth, education is essential, and all standards of training and teaching throughout the world of mankind should be brought into conformity and agreement; a universal curriculum should be established, and the basis of ethics be the same. Ninth, a universal language shall be adopted and be taught by all the schools and institutions of the world. A committee appointed by national bodies of learning shall select a suitable language to be used as a medium of international communication. All must acquire it. This is one of the great factors in the unification of man.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Page 182)

[29] Diversity of languages has been a fruitful cause of discord. The function of language is to convey the thought and purpose of one to another. Therefore, it matters not what language man speaks or employs. Sixty years ago Bahá'u'lláh advocated one language as the greatest means of unity and the basis of international conference. He wrote to the kings and rulers of the various nations, recommending that one language should be sanctioned and adopted by all governments. According to this each nation should acquire the universal language in addition to its native tongue. The world would then be in close communication, consultation would become general, and dissensions due to diversity of speech would be removed.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Page 232)

[30] Bahá'u'lláh has proclaimed the adoption of a universal language. A language shall be agreed upon by which unity will be established in the world. Each person will require training in two languages: his native tongue and the universal auxiliary form of speech. This will facilitate intercommunication and dispel the misunderstandings which the barriers of language have occasioned in the world. All people worship the same God and are alike His servants. When they are able to communicate freely, they will associate in friendship and concord, entertain the greatest love and fellowship for each other, and in reality the Orient and Occident will embrace in unity and agreement. The world is in greatest need of international peace. Until it is established, mankind will not attain composure and tranquility.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Page 300)

[31] Eleventh, one language must be selected as an international medium of speech and communication. Through this means misunderstandings will be lessened, fellowship established and unity assured. These are a few of the principles proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh. He has provided the remedy for the ailments which now afflict the human world, solved the difficult problems of individual, social, national and universal welfare and laid the foundation of divine reality upon which material and spiritual civilization are to be founded throughout the centuries before us. Praise be to God ! I find these two great American nations highly capable and advanced in all that appertains to progress and civilization. These governments are fair and equitable. The motives and purposes of these people are lofty and inspiring. Therefore, it is my hope that these revered nations may become prominent factors in the establishment of international peace and the oneness of the world of humanity; that they may lay the foundations of equality and spiritual brotherhood among mankind; that they may manifest the highest virtues of the human world, revere the divine lights of the Prophets of God and establish the reality of unity so necessary today in the affairs of nations.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Page 318)

[32] Bahá'u'lláh has announced the necessity for a universal language which shall serve as a means of International communication and thus remove misunderstandings and difficulties. This teaching is set forth in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas ("Most Holy Book") published fifty years ago. He has also proclaimed the principle that all mankind shall be educated and that no illiteracy be allowed to remain. This practical remedy for the need of the world cannot be found in the text of any other sacred Books. He teaches that it is incumbent upon all mankind to become fitted for some useful trade, craft or profession by which subsistence may be assured, and this efficiency is to be considered as an act of worship. The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are boundless and without end in their far-reaching benefit to mankind. The point and purpose of our statement today is that they are new and that they are not found in any of the religious Books of the past. This is in answer to the question, "What has Bahá'u'lláh brought that we have not heard before?" Therefore, it is conclusive and evident that the Manifestation of God in this day is distinguished from all former appearances and revelations by His majesty, His power and the efficacy and application of His Word.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Page 434)

[33] His teachings. which embody the divine spirit of the age and are applicable to this period of maturity in the life of the human world, are: The oneness of the world of humanity The protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit The foundation of all religion is one Religion must be the cause of unity Religion must accord with science and reason Independent investigation of truth Equality between men and women The abandoning of all prejudices among mankind Universal peace Universal education A universal language Solution of the economic problem An international tribunal. Everyone who truly seeks and justly reflects will admit that the teachings of the present day emanating from mere human sources and authority are the cause of difficulty and disagreement amongst mankind, the very destroyers of humanity, whereas the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are the very healing of the sick world, the remedy for every need and condition. In them may be found the realization of every desire and aspiration, the cause of the happiness of the world of humanity, the stimulus and illumination of mentality, the impulse for advancement and uplift, the basis of unity for all nations, the fountain source of love amongst mankind, the center of agreement, the means of peace and harmony, the one bond which will unite the East and the West. After every night there is a morn.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
Page 440)

[34] Religion must be the cause of unity.
Religion must accord with science and reason.
Independent investigation of truth.
Equality between men and women.
The abandoning of all prejudices among mankind.
Universal peace.
Universal education.
A universal language.
Solution of the economic problem.
An international tribunal.

('Abdu'l-Bahá, HMB,
Page 330)

[35] 'Abdu'l-Bahá's address was chiefly concerned with an auxiliary international language. Sir Patrick Geddes spoke afterwards to propose a vote of thanks.

('Abdu'l-Bahá, HMB Page 364)

[36] Verily, I pray my Lord to teach thee a language and writing of the Kingdom which will satisfy thee, so as to dispense with all things; for that spiritual writing and instructive tongue are eloquent, clear, laudable, legible, read by the tongue and preserved in the heart. Blessed is he who knows it in the world of man!

(Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Mr. Kanithi Yamamoto January 1903 in Japan Will Turn Ablaze! Page 14)
( also in Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas, Vol. III Page 559)

[37] Endeavor as much as thou canst to acquire the English language with the utmost eloquence and excellence, so that thou mayest be enabled to translate the Tablets into the Japanese tongue. This is my advice. Certainly exert thy utmost endeavor to attain this bounty.

(To Kanichi Yamamoto, Date not known
in Japan Will Turn Ablaze! Page 16)

[38] The Japanese youth, K. Yamamoto ... must acquire the English language well, so as to enable him to translate the Divine Tablets into the Japanese language.

(To Mrs. J. D. Brittingham, October 18, 1906
in Japan Will Turn Ablaze! Page 17)

[39] Thou hast taken much pain in inventing the new Japanese writing. Thou hast rendered a service to the world of humanity -- May God reward thee!

Today, however, there exist many kinds of writing. That which is more necessary and is assisted by divine confirmations is the propagation of the heavenly Call. It is this which bestoweth life unto the dead souls, which refresheth the dried tree and ornamenteth it with leaves, blossoms and fruits. Concentrate all thine energy in this that thou mayest make heavenly progress, that thou mayest attain to the light of the Sun of Reality... This is most important!

(To Sensui Saiki, October 15, 1920
in Japan Will Turn Ablaze! Page 30)

[40] "Acquire the Persian tongue, so as to learn of the meanings of the Divine words and to know the Divine mysteries, to develop an eloquent speech and to translate the blessed Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh. The Persian language shall become noteworthy in this cycle; nay, rather, the people shall study it in all the world."

(Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Vol. II,
Page 306)
(also in Lights of Guidance,
Page 340-341)

[41] Questions not treated of are left to the civil law of each country, and to the decisions of the Bait-ul-Adl, or House of Justice, instituted by Baha'o'llah. Respect toward the head of the State is part of respect toward God. A universal language, and the creation of tribunals of arbitration between nations, are to suppress wars. "You are all leaves of the same tree, and drops of the same sea," Baha'o'llah has said. Briefly, it is not so much a new religion as Religion renewed and unified, which is directed today by Abdul-Baha.--

(quoted from Nouveau Larousse Illustre, supplement, p. 66
in Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas, Vol. I. Page viii)

[42] But regarding the universal language: Ere long significant and scientific discussions concerning this matter will arise among the people of discernment and insight and it will produce the desired result.

(Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá Vol. III Page 596)

[43] "Thou hast written regarding to language of Esperanto. This language will be spread and universalized to a certain degree, but later on a language more complete than this, or the same language will undergo some changes and alterations and will be adopted and become universal. I hope that Dr, Zamenhof, become assisted by the invisible connfirmation and do a great service to the world of humanity."

(Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Vol. III Page. 692)

[44] Some of the weightiest passages of His Epistle to Queen Victoria are addressed to the members of the British Legislature, the Mother of Parliaments, as well as to the elected representatives of the peoples in other lands. In these He asserts that His purpose is to quicken the world and unite its peoples; refers to the treatment meted out to Him by His enemies; exhorts the legislators to "take counsel together," and to concern themselves only "with that which profiteth mankind"; and affirms that the "sovereign remedy" for the "healing of all the world" is the "union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith,' which can "in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled and all-powerful and inspired Physician." He, moreover, in His Most Holy Book, has enjoined the selection of a single language and the adoption of a common script for all on earth to use, an injunction which, when carried out, would, as He Himself affirms in that Book, be one of the signs of the "coming of age of the human race."

(God Passes By,
Page 211)

[45] The significant summons issued to the Presidents of the Republics of the American continent to seize their opportunity in the Day of God and to champion the cause of justice; the injunction to the members of parliaments throughout the world, urging the adoption of a universal script and language;

(God Passes By,
Page 215:1) (The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
Page 15)
(King of Glory, by HMB Page 352)

[46] The injunction to "consort with all men in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship" He further emphasizes, and recognizes such association to be conducive to "union and concord," which, He affirms, are the establishers of order in the world and the quickeners of nations. The necessity of adopting a universal tongue and script He repeatedly stresses; deplores the waste of time involved in the study of divers languages; affirms that with the adoption of such a language and script the whole earth will be considered as "one city and one land"; and claims to be possessed to the knowledge of both, and ready to impart it to any one who might seek it from Him.

To the trustees of the House of Justice He assigns the duty of legislating on matters not expressly provided in His writings, and promises that God will "inspire them with whatsoever He willeth."

(God Passes By,
Pages 218:3-219)

[47] ... that `'Abdu'l-Bahá expounded, with brilliant simplicity, with persuasiveness and force, and for the first time in His ministry, those basic and distinguishing principles of His Father's Faith, which together with the laws and ordinances revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas constitute the bed-rock of God's latest Revelation to mankind. ...the adoption of a universal auxiliary language;

(God Passes By,
Page 281:1)

[48] The mere enumeration of the national committees which, originating mostly in the West and functioning with exemplary efficiency in the United States and Canada, now carry on their activities with a vigor and a unity of purpose which sharply contrast with the effete institutions of a moribund civilization, would suffice to reveal the scope of these auxiliary institutions which an evolving Administrative Order, still in the secondary stage of its development, has set in motion:... the International Auxiliary Language Committee;

(God Passes By,
Pages 333:1-334)

[49] They include, moreover, "study days" held in Bahá'í homes and centers, classes for the study of Esperanto and other languages, ...

(God Passes By,
Page 341:1)

[50] In 1920," is the declaration made in his testament by the distinguished Swiss scientist and psychiatrist, Doctor Auguste Forel, "I learned at Karlsruhe of the supraconfessional world religion of the Bahá'ís founded in the Orient seventy years ago by a Persian, Bahá'u'lláh. This is the real religion of 'Social Welfare' without dogmas or priests, binding together all men of this small terrestrial globe of ours. I have become a Bahá'í. May this religion live and prosper for the good of humanity! This is my most ardent desire." "There is bound to be a world state, a universal language, and a universal religion," he, moreover has stated, "The Bahá'í Movement for the oneness of mankind is, in my estimation, the greatest movement today working for universal peace and brotherhood."

(God Passes By,
Page 375:2)

[51] This Faith, Shoghi Effendi wrote, "does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world."

(The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 41:3)

[52] It calls for no less than the reconstruction and the demilitarization of the whole civilized world--a world organically unified in all the essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, its spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and yet infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its federated units.

It represents the consummation of human evolution--an evolution that has had its earliest beginnings in the birth of family life, its subsequent development in the achievement of tribal solidarity, leading in turn to the constitution of the city-state, and expanding later into the institution of independent and sovereign nations.

(The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 43:1-2)

[53] A world metropolis will act as the nerve center of a world civilization, the focus towards which the unifying forces of life will converge and from which its energizing influences will radiate. A world language will either be invented or chosen from among the existing languages and will be taught in the schools of all the federated nations as an auxiliary to their mother tongue. A world script, a world literature, a uniform and universal system of currency, of weights and measures, will simplify and facilitate intercourse and understanding among the nations and races of mankind. In such a world society,

(The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh,
Page 203)

[54] As to your suggestion regarding a more widespread use of the Esperanto among the Bahá'ís as a medium of correspondence. Shoghi Effendi, as you know, has been invariably encouraging the believers, both in the East and in the West, to make an intensive study of that language, and to consider it as an important medium for the spread of the Cause in international circles. He has been specially urging the friends to have the Cause well represented in all Esperanto Congresses and associations, and by this means cultivate greater friendship and cooperation between them and the Esperantists. But in this connection, he feels, he must make it clear that although the Cause views with much sympathy and appreciation the activities which the Esperantists are increasingly initiating for the spread of their language, yet it considers that the adoption of the Esperanto by the entire world is by no means an inevitable fact. Neither Bahá'u'lláh, nor even 'Abdu'l-Bahá, ever stated that Esperanto will be the international auxiliary language. The Master simply expressed the hope that it may, provided certain conditions were fulfilled, develop into such a medium. 24 December 1935

( Lights of Divine Guidance, Vol 2 Pages 36-37)

[55] #1140. "Regarding the subject of Esperanto; it should be made clear to the believers that while the teaching of that language has been repeatedly encouraged by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, there is no reference either from Him or from Bahá'u'lláh that can make us believe that it will necessarily develop into the international auxiliary language of the future. Bahá'u'lláh has specified in His writing that such a language will have either to be chosen from one of the existing languages, or an entirely new one should be created to serve as a medium of exchange between nations and peoples of the world. Pending this final choice, the Bahá'ís are advised to study Esperanto only in consideration of the fact that the learning of this language can facilitate inter-communication between individuals, groups and Assemblies throughout the Bahá'í world in the present stage of the evolution of the Faith."

(From letter written on behalf of the Guardian
to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada,
June 4, 1937:
Bahá'í News, No. 109, July 1937,
Page. 1)
(republished in Lights of Guidance,
Page 341)

[56] #2033. The Teacher Should Use Whatever Method of Expression That Will Attract the Listener
"English is, compared to Latin and oriental languages, lacking (as spoken in daily use) in flowery terms, and the Guardian feels that in teaching you should always use whatever method will most attract your hearers. If such term as 'The Glory of god' are not suited to certain individuals' mentality you should refrain from using them until they draw really close to the spirit of the Cause. The teaching is of primary, the words of secondary importance."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi
to an individual believer, January 23, 1945)
(Lights of Guidance,
Pages 600-601)

[57] #1141. The Present Need of An Auxiliary Language
"What Bahá'u'lláh is referring to in the Eighth Leaf of the Exalted Paradise is a far distant time, when the world is really one country, and one language would be a sensible possibility. It does not contradict His instruction as to the need immediately for an auxiliary language.

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi
to an individual believer, March 16, 1946)
(Lights of Guidance,
Page 341 )

[58] 29 July 1946 - He feels that the subject of the Bahá'í work in Esperanto in Germany is a matter for you to take up with the National Spiritual Assembly; we Bahá'ís do not claim Esperanto will be the auxiliary language of the future--but as we firmly believe in the necessity of an auxiliary language we are glad to support this work by publishing books in Esperanto and encouraging the Bahá'ís to learn it, if they wish to. Cooperation with this society is an excellent means of spreading the Cause, as Martha Root demonstrated in her travels. However, all details in this matter must be decided by the N.S.A. You can contact Bahá'í Esperantists in England and the U.S.A. through their respective N.S.A.s.

(to Dr. Hermann Grossmann 29 July 1946,
in Lights of Divine Guidance, Vol 2 Page 53)

[59] He would not advise you to teach them Esperanto, as we have no way of knowing whether it will ultimately be chosen as the auxiliary language of the world. He thinks the most direct and quickest way of communicating with them in a common tongue should be chosen; in other words either you should learn their language or they yours, whichever will yield the quickest results.

(a letter dated December 12, 1942) (High Endeavors,
Page 6)

[60] There followed another long pause, then the Master turned again to me and said: "At the present time the British Empire is the greatest and is still expanding and its language is a world language.

(The Priceless Pearl,
Page 12)

[61] From his Beirut days until practically the end of his life Shoghi Effendi had the habit of writing vocabularies and typical English phrases in notebooks. Hundreds of words and sentences have been recorded and these clearly indicate the years of careful study and he put into mastering a language he loved and revelled in. For him there was no second to English. He was a great reader of King James version of the Bible, and of the historians Carlyle and Gibbon, whose style he greatly admired, particularly that of Gibbon whose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Shoghi Effendi was so fond of that I never remember his not having a volume of it near him in his small room and usually with him when he travelled. There was a small Everyman's copy of part of it next to his bed when he died. It was his own pet bible of the English language and often he would read to me excerpts from it, interrupting himself with exclamations such as "Oh what style; what a command of English; what rolling sentences; listen to this." With his beautiful voice and pronunciation - in the direction of what we call an "Oxford accent", but no exaggeratedly so - the words fairly glowed with colour and their value and meaning came out like shining jewels.

(The Priceless Pearl,
Page 37-38)
Also partly in (The Guardian,
Page 12)

[62] In addition to this he devoted much attention, during the early years of his Guardianship, when Esperanto was rapidly spreading, particularly in Europe, to encouraging the publication of a Bahá'í Esperanto Gazette, explaining to its editor that his interest was due to "my great desire to promote in such parts of the Bahá'í world as present circumstances permit the study of an international language".

(The Priceless Pearl,
Page 207)

[63] In addition to these personal relationships Shoghi Effendi had far more contact with certain non-Bahá'í organizations than is commonly supposed. This was particularly true of the Esperantists, whose whole object was to bring about the fulfilment of the Bahá'í principle that a universal auxiliary language must be adopted in the interests of World Peace. We have copies of his personal messages to the Universal Congress of Esperantists held in 1927,1928,1929, 1930 and 1931, and he no doubt sent many messages of a similar nature at other times. Shoghi Effendi not only responded warmly when there was any overture made to him, but often took the initiative himself in sending Bahá'í representatives, chosen by him, to various conferences whose interests coincided with those of the Bahá'ís. We thus find him writing to the Universal Esperantist Association, in 1927, that Martha Root and Julia Goldman will attend their Danzig Congress as official Bahá'í representatives, and that he trusts "will serve to strengthen the ties of fellowship that bind the Esperantists and the followers of Bahá'u'lláh, one of whose cardinal principles . . . is the adoption of an international auxiliary language for all humanity." In his letter addressed to the delegates and friends attending this nineteenth Universal Congress of Esperantists he writes:

My dear fellow workers in the service of humanity, I take great pleasure in addressing you and wishing you . . . from all my heart the fullest success in the work you are doing for the promotion of the good of humanity. It will interest you, I am sure, to learn that as the result of the repeated and emphatic admonitions of 'Abdu'l-Bahá His many followers even in the most distant villages and hamlets of Persia, where the light of Western civilization has hardly penetrated as yet, as well as in other lands throughout the East, are strenuously and enthusiastically engaged in the study and teaching of Esperanto, for whose future they cherish the highest hopes . . .

(The Priceless Pearl,
Pages 271-272)
also in (The Guardian,
Pages 124-125)

[64] A fundamental lack of communication between peoples seriously undermines efforts towards world peace. Adopting an international auxiliary language would go far to resolving this problem and necessitates the most urgent attention.
(The Promise of World Peace,
Page 106)

[65] In keeping with the requirements of the times, consideration should also be given to teaching the concept of world citizenship as part of the standard education of every child.

(The Promise of World Peace,
Page 102)

[66] Two points bear emphasizing in all these issues. One is that the abolition of war is not simply a matter of signing treaties and protocols; it is a complex task requiring a new level of commitment to resolving issues not customarily associated with the pursuit of peace.

(The Promise of World Peace,
Page 110)

[67] One out of every five adult Americans is functionally illiterate, meaning that they cannot read newspapers, recipes or fill out job applications. There are literacy councils and community colleges which will send literacy teachers to classes organized by the Bahá'ís.

(Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities,
Pages 13.15-14.1)

[68] #348 ... "Bahá'í authors may submit their works for review to any National Spiritual Assembly, and may send their works, once approved, to any publisher they like, Bahá'í or non-Bahá'í, at home or abroad. It should be remembered, however, that the approval should be given by the National Spiritual Assembly of the country where the work is to be first published. And in the case of a nonBahá'í publisher the author should insist on use of the system of transliteration at present used by the Faith for languages employing the Roman alphabet. "It is hoped that Bahá'í authors will provide a constant stream of new works. Introductory books, commentaries, dissertations on various aspects of the Revelation, text books, histories, reviews, audio-visual material are all needed to stimulate study of the Faith and to promote the vital teaching work."

(The Universal House of Justice:
From Memorandum on Bahá'í Publishing -- Ridvan 1971)
(Lights of Guidance,
Page 101)

[69] The Universal House of Justice, in response to your letter of 20 April concerning translations into French or Creole using simpler words than the original text, has requested us to send the following three quotations. These make it clear that a quotation in English may be rendered into simple English in order to facilitate its translation into another language or dialect. However, it is not permissible to publish simplifications and paraphrased extracts of Bahá'í Writings as Bahá'í Scripture.

"We have noticed a tendency in a number of countries to attempt to translate Bahá'í literature into the current, easy, everyday language of the country. This, however, should not be an overriding consideration. Many of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá are in exalted and highly poetic language in the original Persian and Arabic and you will see, for example, that when translating Bahá'u'lláh's Writings into English the beloved Guardian did not use present-day colloquial English but evolved a highly poetic and beautiful style, using numbers of archaic expressions reminiscent of the translations of the Bible."

(From a letter dated 7 October 1973,
written by the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)
(#370 Lights of Guidance,
Page 108)

[70] "Obviously teaching literature and books about the Faith can be written in Simple English. However, we feel that when the Sacred Writings are published the standard English translation should be used, but there would be no objection to printing alongside it the translation into Simple English which should be described as a paraphrase of the Holy Word. Thus, for the people of ... who have difficulty in comprehending standard English, the simple English version would be in the nature of an explanation of the Writings which they could understand. In the case of teaching literature in which quotations from the Writings appear, these could either be paraphrased or a simple English version could be used with the standard version printed as a footnote. This method would also provide a means whereby the people of ... could improve their knowledge and understanding of the English language."


(From a letter dated 20 September 1973
written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice
to a National Spiritual Assembly)
(#370 Lights of Guidance,
Pages 108-109 )

[71] ...It is, of course, permissible to translate Bahá'í Writings into other languages and dialects of languages. It is also possible to simplify or paraphrase the Bahá'í Writings in order to facilitate their translation into languages and dialects having small vocabularies. However, it is not permissible to publish simplifications and paraphrases of Bahá'í Writings as Bahá'í Scripture."


(From a letter dated 13 March 1969
written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice
to a National Spiritual Assembly)
(#370 Lights of Guidance,
Page 109)

[72] "The Universal House of Justice has requested us to advise you to base your translations on current editions of all the books referred to, if translation is involved. In each instance you should consult the original publisher and obtain a copy of the latest printing or edition to ensure that all approved correction are embodied in your translation."

(From a letter
written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice
to the National Spiritual Assembly of Taiwan, May 22, 1984)
(#371 Lights of Guidance,
Page 109)

[73] "The National Spiritual Assembly which undertake the translation, usually through a committee of Bahá'í translators, is the body which "authorizes" the translation, if it is approved. In some instances, if there are no Bahá'í translators available, there is no objection, in principle, to employing non-Bahá'ís for this purpose. It is usual for the National Spiritual Assembly to appoint a Reviewing Committee, or establish some means of providing review of the completed translation. You will note from the enclosed memorandum that, with the exceptions enumerated therein, new translations of the Sacred Text into languages other than English must be made from the Guardian's English translation where it exists; and when no such translation exists, advice should be sought from the Universal House of Justice.

(From a letter
written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice
to the Spiritual Assembly of Guadeloupe, May 13, 1986)
(#367 Lights of Guidance,
Pages 106-107)

[74] In the Bahá'í view, recognition of the oneness of mankind "calls for no less than the reconstruction and the demilitarization of the whole civilized world--a world organically unified in all the essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, its spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and yet infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its federated units."

Elaborating the implications of this pivotal principle, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, commented in 1931 that: "Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men's hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided.

It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity. . . ."

(The Promise of World Peace,
Pages 120-126)

[75] 193. Select ye a single language . . . adopt ye . . . a common script. v.189
Bahá'u'lláh enjoins the adoption of a universal language and script. His Writings envisage two stages in this process. The first stage is to consist of the selection of an existing language or an invented one which would then be taught in all the schools of the world as an auxiliary to the mother tongues. The governments of the world through their parliaments are called upon to effect this momentous enactment. The second stage, in the distant future, would be the eventual adoption of one single language and common script for all on earth.

(Notes: Kitabi-Aqdas,
Page 250)

[76] In His Writings, Bahá'u'lláh has given three signs for the maturity of mankind. One is the above statement concerning the decline in the fortunes of kings. Another, to which we have made a reference in the previous volume, is the transmuting of elements, the achievement of alchemy. The third, mentioned in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, is the adoption of an international auxiliary language.

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 3,
Page 157)

[77] In each Ishraq of the Tablet of Ishraqat Bahá'u'lláh reveals some of His weighty counsels to mankind in general and to His followers in particular. He enjoins upon all mankind to establish the Lesser Peace, urges His followers to 'observe God's holy commandments', reminds them that the Cause of God will become victorious through 'praiseworthy deeds and upright character', addresses special counsels to the Universal House of Justice (the supreme body ordained by Bahá'u'lláh which came into being in 1963), affirms that its members 'have been charged with the affairs of the people', refers to it 'all matters of state', and asserts that this instruction is to be considered as 'part of the Most Holy Book'. He moreover affirms that justice is 'upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment', counsels 'everyone regarding the instruction and education of children', announces the purpose of religion to be the establishment of 'unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world', forbids His followers to make religion the cause of dissension and strife, advocates the adoption of a universal auxiliary language, and enjoins upon the Trustees of the House of Justice 'either to choose one language from among those now existing or to adopt a new one'.

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Volume 4,
Page 159)

[78] It is interesting to note that in the Tablet of Bisharat Bahá'u'lláh enjoins upon the governments of the world to adopt the international language. These two statements, which seem to be contradictory, may be regarded as two different stages in bringing about a world auxiliary language. The first stage will be the adoption of a universal language by the governments, while the second will have to wait until such time that the Universal House of Justice has emerged as the supreme institution of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh and its authority is recognized. It is only then that it can possibly reconsider the choice of the language so as to either retain the one chosen by the governments or alter it altogether.

In one of His Tablets (Nafahat-i-Quds) revealed in ''Akká, Bahá'u'lláh emphasizes the importance of adopting the auxiliary international language ordained in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. He states that its implementation will provide a means for safeguarding the unity of the human race and will facilitate intercourse and understanding among the peoples of the world.

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Vol 4,
Pages 159-160)

[79] In this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh praises the Arabic language for its expressiveness and eloquence, and remarks that no other language can match its vast possibilities. He further states that God would be pleased if all the peoples of the world were to speak the Arabic language. But He does not require humanity necessarily to adopt it as the international language; rather He leaves the choice to the appropriate institutions.

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Vol 4,
Page 160)

[80] It has not been possible so far to identify the person for whom the Tablet of Bisharat (Glad-Tidings) was revealed.... On the other hand, Bahá'u'lláh after the preamble, addresses the peoples of the world. ... In this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh advocates the adoption of a universal language, advises the sovereigns of the world or their ministers... to choose a new or an existing; language for the purpose,...

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Vol 4,
Pages 161-162)

[81] (Kalimat-i-Firdawsiyyih- in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh 57-80) urges the establishment of a universal language;

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Vol 4,
Page 215)

[82] In this Tablet (Lawh-i-Dunya, Tablet of the World, in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Pages 83-97) Bahá'u'lláh promulgates some of His Teachings aimed at the reconstruction of human society. These mostly reiterate teachings previously revealed, such as the establishment of an international language,

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Vol 4,
Page 341)

[83] At present, a new language and a new script have been devised.' This is possibly a reference to Esperanto which was invented about four years before Bahá'u'lláh wrote this Epistle.

(The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,
Vol 4,
Page 437)

[84] The language and script referred to on p. 138 were never communicated to anyone by Bahá'u'lláh.

(Marzieh Gail,
in preface to Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
Page xvi)

[85] When Stephenson invented his locomotive engine, European mathematicians of the time, instead of opening their eyes and studying the facts, continued for years to prove to their own satisfaction that an engine on smooth rails could never pull a load, as the wheels would simply slip round and round and the train make no progress. To examples like these one might add indefinitely, both from ancient and modern history, and even from our own times. Dr. Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto, had to battle for his wonderful international language against the same sort of ridicule, contempt, and stupid opposition which greeted Columbus, Galvani, and Stephenson. Even Esperanto, which was given to the world so recently as 1887, has had its martyrs.

(Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era,
Page 199)

[86] Bahá'u'lláh commanded the adoption of a universal auxiliary language, and Dr. Zamenhof and others obeyed His call by devoting their lives and genius to this great task and opportunity.

(Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era,
Page 236)

[87] A world language will either be invented or chosen from among the existing languages and will be taught in the schools of all the federated nations as an auxiliary to their mother tongue. A world script, a world literature,

(Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era,
Page 280)

[88] Other examples are: The equality of men and women; the universalization of knowledge (education); the creation of one universal language;

(December 9, 1920 Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
to Miss Yuri Mochizuki (later Mrs. Furukawa),
the first Japanese woman to become a Bahá'í)
(Japan Turn Ablaze! Page 27)

[89] "Your institutes should not only be seats of Bahá'í learning but also centres from which mass teaching and consolidation work over a large area must be inspired and conducted. The Institute is not merely a building, nor solely a place where Bahá'í classes can be held for a few days. It should be the centre of complex activities which systematically assist your Assembly in the achievement of its goal in teaching and consolidation."

(From letter of the Universal House of Justice
to the National Spiritual Assembly of India: June 23, 1966)
(#1909 Lights of Guidance,
Page 564)

[90] * Encourage individual believers to adopt teaching goals for themselves.

* Carry out activities designed to deepen the believers in both a spiritual and intellectual understanding of the Cause.

* Encourage the believers to make greater use of Bahá'í literature.

* Encourage the believers to enhance their command of language to assist them to understand the Bahá'í writings ever more clearly.

* Develop and foster Bahá'í scholarship and lend support to the Associations for Bahá'í Studies.

(Six Year Plan 143-149, 1986-1992,
of The Universal House of Justice,
February 25, 1986,
Page 17)

[91] In addition to projects to be initiated at the World Centre, these ideas include:
ù Calling upon local and national Bahá'í communities to sponsor a wide range of activities which will engage the attention of people from all walks of life to various topics relevant to peace, such as: the role of women, the elimination of racism, the eradication of prejudice, the promotion of education, the extension of social and economic development, the adoption of a world auxiliary language, the establishment of world government;
ù Mounting a publicity campaign which will make use of such themes as "world peace through world religion," "world peace through world education," "world peace through world language," "world peace through world law"--a campaign which could lead to discussion of these subjects in small or large gatherings, at local or national levels, and perhaps in collaboration with organizations promoting such ideas;
ù Urging the publishing within and without the Bahá'í community of a wide assortment of literature, posters and other graphic materials on peace;

(A Wider Horizon,
Pages 31-32) <

[92] Develop and administer correspondence courses for teaching and deepening. (Six Year Plan 143-149,
Page 16)

[93] Eleventh- One language must be selected as an international medium of speech and communication. Through this means mis-understandings will be lessened, fellowship established and unity assured.

('Abdu'l-Bahá In Canada,
Page 42)

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[101] 4. Making a commitment to a universal auxiliary language and a common script The United Nations, which currently uses six official languages, would derive substantial benefit from either choosing a single existing language or creating a new one to be used as an auxiliary language in all its fora. Such a step has long been advocated by many groups, from the Esperantists to the Bahá'í International Community itself. [17] In addition to saving money and simplifying bureaucratic procedures, such a move would go far toward promoting a spirit of unity.

We propose the appointment of a high-level Commission, with members from various regions and drawn from relevant fields, including linguistics, economics, the social sciences, education and the media, to begin careful study on the matter of an international auxiliary language and the adoption of a common script.

We foresee that eventually, the world cannot but adopt a single, universally agreed-upon auxiliary language and script to be taught in schools worldwide, as a supplement to the language or languages of each country. The objective would be to facilitate the transition to a global society through better communication among nations, reduction of administrative costs for businesses, governments and others involved in global enterprise, and a general fostering of more cordial relations between all members of the human family. [18]

This proposal should be read narrowly. It does not in any way envision the decline of any living language or culture.

(Bahá'í International Community, 1995 Oct,
Turning Point For All Nations)

It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other."

Shoghi Effendi,
The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.
(Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. 1974.) pp. 41-42.
(Bahá'í International Community, 1995 Oct,
Turning Point For All Nations)

[The following 17, 18 are two footnotes for including their commentary for the above.]

17. "Regarding the whole question of an International Language.... We, as Bahá'ís, are very anxious to see a universal auxiliary tongue adopted as soon as possible; we are not the protagonists of any one language to fill this post. If the governments of the world agree on an existing language, or a constructed, new tongue, to be used internationally, we would heartily support it because we desire to see this step in the unification of the human race take place as soon as possible."

Shoghi Effendi,
Directives of the Guardian.
(Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust.) p.39.

In making this proposal, we wish to call attention to the term "auxiliary." The Bahá'í teachings value and promote cultural diversity, not uniformity. At this point in history, then, we do not envision imposing a single language worldwide. Rather, what we imagine is that peoples and nations would keep their own local and national languages -- while at the same time be encouraged to learn a universal language. Certainly such a universal language should ultimately be taught, as a required subject, in all of the world's schools. But this should in no way detract from legitimate expressions of national and local linguistic and cultural diversity.

18. "The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script," wrote Bahá'u'lláh in the late-1800s. "When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home."

Shoghi Effendi, trans.,
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh.
(Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. 1983.) p.250.
[See quote 6 in these brackets in this document.]

[102] To a large extent this is also true of unity of language. The need for it is now recognized on all sides, as reflected in the circumstances that have compelled the United Nations and much of the non-governmental community to adopt several "official languages". Until a decision is taken by international agreement, the effect of such developments as the Internet, the management of air traffic, the development of technological vocabularies of various kinds, and universal education itself, has been to make it possible, to some extent, for English to fill the gap.

(Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice,
Century of Light, p. 128,
published 2001)

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[103] 664. Every movement which promotes unity and harmony in the world is good, and everything which creates discord and discontent is bad. This is a century of illumination, surpassing all others in its many discoveries, its great inventions, and its vast and varied undertakings. But the greatest achievement of the age in conferring profit and pleasure on mankind is the creation of an auxiliary language for all. Oneness of language engenders peace and harmony. Oneness of language creates oneness of heart. It sweeps away all misunderstandings among peoples. It establishes harmony among the children of men. It gives to the human intellect a broader conception, a more commanding point of view.

Today the greatest need of humanity is to understand and to be understood. With the help of the International Language, every individual member of a community can learn of world happenings and become in touch with the ethical and scientific discoveries of the age. The auxiliary international language gives to us the key -- the key of keys -- which unlocks the secret of the past. By its aid every nation henceforth will be able easily and without difficulty to work out its own scientific discoveries.

It is a well-known fact that the Oriental student coming to the West, in his efforts to acquaint himself with the discoveries and achievements of Western civilization, must spend precious years of his life in acquiring the language of the land to which he comes before he can turn to the study of the special science in which he is interested. For example, let us suppose that a youth from India, Persia, Turkestan or Arabia comes to this country to study medicine. He must first struggle with the English language for four years, to the exclusion of all else, before he can even begin the study of medicine. Whereas, if the auxiliary international language were taught in all the schools during his childhood, he would learn the language in his own country, and afterwards, wherever he wished to go, he could easily pursue his specialty without loss of some of the best years of his life.

Today if one wishes to travel abroad, even though possessed of several languages, he is likely to be seriously handicapped because he does not know the particular language of some one people. I have studied Oriental languages profoundly and know the Arabic better than the Arabians themselves. I have studied Turkish and Persian in my native land, besides other languages of the East; nevertheless, when I visited the West I had to take an interpreter with me quite as if I knew no language. Now if the International Language were generally spoken, that and the Persian language would be sufficient for me in every country of the world.

Only think how the International Language will facilitate intercommunication among all the nations of the earth. Half of our lives are consumed in acquiring a knowledge of languages, for in this enlightened age every man who hopes to travel in Asia and Africa and Europe must learn several languages, in order that he may converse with their peoples. But no sooner does he acquire one language than another is needed. Thus one's whole life may be passed in acquiring those languages which are a hindrance to international communication. The International Language frees humanity from all these problems.

In a word, to understand and be understood, there must be an international medium. The teacher and the pupil must know each other's language, in order that the teacher must impart his knowledge and the pupil receive it. In all the world there is nothing more important than to be understood by your fellowmen, for upon this depends the progress of civilization itself. To acquire a knowledge of the arts and sciences one must know how to speak, to understand and at the same time to make himself understood, and this matter of understanding and being understood depends on language. Once establish this auxiliary language and all will be enabled to understand each other.

I recall an incident which occurred in Baghdad. There were two friends who knew not each other's language. One fell ill, the other visited him, but not being able to express his sympathy in words, resorted to gesture, as if to say, "How do you feel?" with another sign the sick replied, "I shall soon be dead," and his visitor, believing the gesture to indicate that he was getting better, said, "God be praised!"

From such illustrations you will admit that the greatest thing in the world is to be able to make yourself understood by your friends and to understand them, and that there is no greater handicap in the world than not to be able to communicate your thoughts to others. But with the auxiliary language all these difficulties disappear.

('Abdu'l-Baha,
Baha'i Scriptures,
pp. 337-338)

[104] He was invited later to the Golden Circle Club where He was asked whether Arabic might become the universal language. He said that it would not. He was then asked about Esperanto. He replied:

A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter from New York to one of the promoters of Esperanto telling him that this language could become universal if a council of delegates chosen from among the nations and rulers were established which would discuss Esperanto and consider the means to promote it.

Golden Circle Club,
Boston 24 July 1912
Mahmúd's Diary p 179 - 180
(Mahmúd's Diary is counted as Baha'i Scripture)

[105] "INTERNATIONAL AUXILIARY LANGUAGE

"With regard to Arabic, in several Tablets Baha'u'llah praises the vastness and eloquence of the Arabic language, but in none of His Writings does He state that His followers are required to learn that language. In a number of instances `Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian have both encouraged the believers in the West to learn Persian. Similarly, `Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi on occasion encouraged believers in Europe and Asia to study English. And, as you are no doubt aware, the involvement of the friends in the study of Esperanto has also been deemed praiseworthy. However, the choice as to which language will ultimately be selected as the international auxiliary language has been left by Baha'u'llah, in His Book of Laws, to the leaders of the nations or possibly to the House of Justice to decide."

UHJ,
email to an individual
10 February 1998

Although more in regards to language in general
rather than being specifically related to International Auxiliary Language
the following quotes are appended here.

[106] "Furthermore, the Baha'i parents from an Iranian background should endeavor to teach their children the Persian language, for Persian is one of the two languages of revelation in this glorious Dispensation. Baha'u'llah says: "In this Day when the sun of knowledge hath appeared and is resplendent from the firmament of Iran, whatever is said in praise of this language is meet and seemly." He also says: "The Beloved of the world speaks in the Persian language. It would be praiseworthy in His eyes if His loved ones also converse and write in this language."

"It would be a great service if, in every city and region where a number of Iranian Baha'is reside, some Persian friends would exert a special effort to teach this language to the children and youth, study together the Writings in Persian, and drink their fill from the billowing source of the Creative Word and the Sacred Writings. We praise God for having enabled some Baha'i institutions abroad to devise ways and develop programs to teach the Persian language to those Iranians who outside their homeland. Such programs can be put to good use for the achievement of this blessed service."

http://www.bahai-library.org/uhj/persian.believers.html

[107] “Such testimonies bearing on this theme [inestimable wealth which Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá bequeathed to posterity (in the greatness of this Day)] are impregnated with such power and reveal such beauty as only those who are versed in the languages in which they were originally revealed can claim to have sufficiently appreciated.”
(Shoghi Effendi,
World Order of Bahá’u’lláh,
p. 103)

[108] “Shoghi Effendi was very glad to hear that you are planning to study Persian very seriously. Should you do it you will obtain ample reward for your labours, for you will then be able to go straight to the writings themselves.”

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi,
The Light of Divine Guidance, p. 21)


[109] “Every child without exception must from his earliest years make a thorough study of the art of reading and writing, and according to his own tastes and inclinations and the degree of his capacity and powers, devote extreme diligence to the acquisition of learning, beneficial arts and skills, various languages, speech and contemporary technology.”

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi,
in Bahá’í Education,
pp. 58)

[110] “And further, as well as in the ideals of character, instruction in such arts and sciences as are of benefit, and in foreign tongues.”

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
Bahá’í Education,
p. 42)

[111] A method of foreign language instruction is at:

http://bahai-library.org/?file=compilation_bahai_education.html#76

[112] See also ITEM 21 at:

http://www.bahai-library.org/uhj/aspects.teachings.html
on language Bahá'u'lláh Himself devised.

[113] "A fundamental lack of communication between peoples seriously undermines efforts towards world peace. Adopting an international auxiliary language would go far to resolving this problem and necessitates the most urgent attention."

(The Universal House of Justice,
1985 Oct,
The Promise of World Peace)


[114] "Perhaps the main consideration in future will be the specific qualities of a [universal] language in being exact, rich and easy to learn for both East and West"

(from a letter written by Shoghi Effendi to an individual,
18 May 1928,
in a memorandum from the Research Department of the UHJ,
7 July 1994
quoted in an Essay by Jeffrey Gruber
published in "Healing the Body Politic"
2004)


[115]

A Tablet of Baha'-Allah
commenting upon that verse of the al-Kitab al-aqdas
concerning the selection of an International Auxiliary Language and Script.

[I]

[1] We revealed in the Most Holy Book, "O members of the parliaments throughout the world! Select ye a single language for the use of all on earth, and adopt ye likewise a common script. God, verily, maketh plain for you that which shall profit you and enable you to be independent of others. He, verily, of a truth, is the Most Bountiful, the All- Knowing, the All-Informed.' [Aqdas, para. 189]

[2] This irrevocable decree hath been revealed from the immemorial dominion for the peoples of the world in general and for those in government (ahl al majlis) in particular,

[3] since the execution of the commandments, ordinances and precepts revealed in the Book (al-kitab al-aqdas) has been entrusted to the men of the divine houses of justice (rijal-i buyut-i `adliyya'-i ilahiya).

[4] This ordinance is the greatest means for the accomplishment of unity and the supreme instrument for the establishment of social intercourse and loving fellowship between the peoples of different lands.

[II]

[1] It is evident that most people, on account of the dispersion of the languages of the inhabitants of the world, are deprived of social intercourse, friendship and the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom from one another.

[2] It is thus the case, as a result of the Divine Bounty and Grace, that all have been commanded to select a language -- whether newly created or from among the existing languages of the earth -- that everyone may converse therein.

[3] When this comes to pass the whole earth will be seen as one city on account of the fact that all will comprehend the language of one another and understand their respective intentions.

[4] This will be the cause of the promotion and the elevation of the world. Should a person emigrate from his native land and arrive in any other city, it would be as if he had arrived back in his own homeland.

[III]

[1] Hold ye fast unto this directive [of the Kitab-i aqdas], O members of parliaments (ahl al-majalis) and civic authorities (al-mudun)! Should a person ponder a little upon this directive he would readily come to understand that what has been revealed from the Heaven of the Divine Will is an expression of the Divine Bounty, the benefit of which encompasses all.

[2] Yet, it is the case, that some servants suckle at the breast of negligence and ignorance in such manner that they transgress that which is beneficial, the excellence of which is both rationally and traditionally obvious and clear.

[3] Such servants, with the hypocrisy of wayward souls, have and will continue to veil their eyes from that wisdom which is the basis and the cause of the progress of the world and the elevation of its peoples. Wherefore, verily, are they in manifest loss.

[IV]

[1] Every community speaks its own language; the Turk, for example, in Turkish; the peoples of Iran, in Persian and the Arabs in Arabic. In addition, the people of Europe speak their own diverse languages. Such multifarious languages are traditional among, and specific to, these aforementioned communities.

[2] Yet, a further language has now been decreed such that all the people of the world would converse therein; so that all will understand one another's language and be capable of achieving their respective intentions. He, verily, is the Gate to love and kindness and to fellowship and unity. He, verily, is the Most-Great Translator [Interpreter] (tarjuman-i a`?am] and the very Key to the Ancient Treasury.

[V]

[1] How many the souls who are observed spending all their time in the acquisition of different languages!

[2] What a great pity that persons should spend an whole lifetime (the most-precious of worldly assets) in this manner.

[3] The purpose of such an individual in these endeavors is the acquisition of the knowledge of different languages so that he might understand the intention of other peoples and what lies within their domain.

[4] Now if mankind would carry out what has been commanded of them, it would suffice all alike since they would free themselves from numerous impediments [causing separation].

[VI]

[1] That proposition which is especially beloved, when presented before the Heavenly Throne, is that all should converse in the Arabic language. This, inasmuch as it is the most comprehensive of all languages (absat az kull al-lughat).

[2] If a person were to become truly aware of the comprehensiveness and the broad scope of this most eloquent language, they would assuredly select it [over other languages as an international language of the future ?].

[3] The Persian language is extremely sweet. The tongue of God in this dispensation has revealed in both Arabic and Persian.

[4] Persian, however, does not, and will never have, the magnitude of Arabic.

[5] Indeed, relative to it, all languages have been, and will remain, circumscribed.

[VII]

[1] This is the most-gracious state of affairs which has been mentioned.

[2] The purpose however, is that the people of the earth should select a single language and that all humanity converse therein.

[3] This is that which hath been ordained by God and is that which will benefit all mankind if they did but know.

[4] Likewise, in place of the particular scripts of diverse peoples, a single script should be adopted and all mankind write therein.

[5] Thus will all scripts ultimately be seen as a single script and all languages a single language.

[VIII]

[1] These commandments will jointly be the cause of the oneness of the hearts and the souls of the peoples of the world. He teaches you that which is best for you. Take firm hold thereof, for He assuredly, is the Exhorter, the Counselor, the Expounder, the Director, the Gracious , the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

[2] All languages and scripts will ultimately become one and the diverse territories of the earth be seen as a single clime.

[3] Otherwise, therein you shall see moral obliquity, as opposed to peaceful tranquility.

(The largely Persian text of the tablet translated above is printed in at least two volumes;

[l] Ishraq Khavari's *Ganj-i shayigan* (BPT:Tehran 124 Badi`/1967-8), 210-213 and

[2] Nafahat-i quds* (New Delhi, n.d.) 5-8.

Discussion of the translation - and the source
is to be found at Commentary on Aqdas


[116] Universal education, freedom of thought, the protection of human rights, recognition of the earth's vast resources as a trust for the whole of humankind, society's responsibility for the well-being of its citizenry, the promotion of scientific research, even so practical a principle as an international auxiliary language that will advance integration of the earth's peoples-for all who respond to Bahá'u'lláh's revelation, these and similar precepts carry the same compelling authority as do the injunctions of scripture against idolatry, theft and false witness..

(Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice,
One Common Faith)


[117] For the satisfactory solution of any one such question we need the progressive application of all the Bahá'í principles. For instance in this case it is clear that racial and national prejudices must be abolished, that universal education is necessary, that a universal league of nations must have an authority superseding that of any one nation, that impartial arbitration must be substituted for domination by powers which are backed by strong armies and navies, that an international language is needed to promote international understanding, that materialism and selfish greed must be replaced by true religion and mutual love, and so on.

(Shoghi Effendi,
Message to the Antipodes,
p. 28)


[118] The following is part of an email reply to me (Brett Zamir) from the Universal House of Justice dated 10 February 1998. My question on this topic which it addresses was:

"...is there any indication in the Writings as to whether Bahá'u'lláh desires for Arabic, Persian, or some other language to become the universal language of the future...?"

"INTERNATIONAL AUXILIARY LANGUAGE"

"With regard to Arabic, in several Tablets Baha'u'llah praises the vastness and eloquence of the Arabic language, but in none of His Writings does He state that His followers are required to learn that language. In a number of instances `Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian have both encouraged the believers in the West to learn Persian. Similarly, `Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi on occasion encouraged believers in Europe and Asia to study English. And, as you are no doubt aware, the involvement of the friends in the study of Esperanto has also been deemed praiseworthy. However, the choice as to which language will ultimately be selected as the international auxiliary language has been left by Baha'u'llah, in His Book of Laws, to the leaders of the nations or possibly to the House of Justice to decide."

Universal House of Justice
dated 10 February 1998

[119] 1.7 "Thou hast wrtten concerning language. Both Arabic and Persian are laudable. That which is desired of a language is that it convey the intent of the speaker and either language can serve this purpose. And since in this day the Orb of divine knowledge hath risen in the firmament of Persia, that tongue deserveth every praise."

Bahá'u'lláh,
Tablet to Manikchi Sahib
(Lawh-i-Manikchi Sahib)

[120] 2.54 His last question "Most of the Tablets that we have seen are in Arabic. However, since the Beloved in this age is of Persian descent, the Arabic tongue should be abandoned and discarded. For to this day the Arabs themselves have not understood the meaning of Qur'an, whereas the Persian language is highly prized, lauded and admired among the dwellers of the inhabited quarter of the globe. And just as the Persian of the present day is superior to Arabic, so too is Old Persian, which is greatly favoured by the people of India and others. It would therefore be preferable if the words of God, magnified be His mention, were hereafter mainly delivered in pure Persian, since it attracteth the hearts to a greater degree. It is moreover requested that the reply to these questions be graciously written in pure Persian."

2.55 The Persian Tongue is in truth exceedingly sweet and pleasing, and ever since this request was submitted in His most blessed and exalted court, numerous Tablets have been revealed in that language. As to the statement concerning the Qur'an implying that its outward meaning hath not been understood, in reality it hath been interpreted in numerous ways and translated into countless languages. That which men have been unable to grasp are its hidden mysteries and inner meanings. And all that they have said or will say is limited in scope and should be seen as commensurate with their rank and station. For none can fathom its true meaning save God, the One, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing.

2.57 The distinguished Sahib hath written: "Since Beloved in this age is of Persian descent, the Arabic tongue should be abandoned and discarded." In this connection these sublime words issued from the Pen of the Most High, magnified and exalted be His glory: "Both Arabic and Persian are laudable. That which is desired of a language is that it convey the intent of the speaker, and either language can serve this purpose. And since in this day the Orb of knowledge has risen in the firmament of Persia, this tongue deserveth every praise."

2.58 The light of truth is indeed shining resplendent above the horizon of divine utterance, and hence no further elaboration is required from evanescent soul or from others like unto him. Although there can be no question or doubt as to the sweetness of the Persian tongue, yet it hath not the scope of the Arabic. There are many things which have not been expressed in Persian, that is to say, words referring to such things have not been devised, whilst in Arabic there are several words describing the same thing. Indeed there existeth in the world no language as vast and comprehensive as Arabic. This statement is prompted by truth and fairness, otherwise it is clear that in this day the world is being illumined by the splendours of that Sun which hath dawned above the horizon of Persia, and that the merits of this sweet language be overestimated.."

Bahá'u'lláh,
Responses to questions of Manikchi Sahib
from a Tablet to Mirza Abdu'l-Fadl

[121] "It is my hope that thou mayest succeed in writing thy book. However, the language should be moderate, tempered, and infinitely courteous. Look not at the language used by that hostile writer, for he was prejudiced and unrefined. Any person with the slightest degree of fairness will understand that his writing is totally biased and inspired by enmity. This is enough proof that what he hath written is spurious."

'Abdu'l-Baha (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 409)

Also appears in:
(From a Tablet to an individual believer - translated from the Persian)
(The Universal House of Justice,
1988 Mar 13,
Guidance to Poets - with Compilation on Writers and Writing, p. 3)

[122]
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