Istijlál, 04 Qawl (Speech), 178 B.E.
Day of the Covenant
Sword fern (Neprolepsis exaltata)
Baked my first “pumpkin” pie using filling made from scratch rather than out of a can:
Additionally, the filling was made from butternut squash instead of pumpkin. It doesn’t look so appealing with the crack in the middle (hopefully, I can find out and remedy whatever causes that), but it was one of the best tasting pumpkin pies I’ve had. In case you want to try it I followed (for the most part) Melissa Clark’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie recipe and Jhanelle Golding’s recipe for whole-roasted butternut squash and used my own pie dough recipe for the crust. If you do give it go, let me know how it turns out.
“Marking the Centenary Commemoration of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá” 1
Fishing at sunset
Beloved friends, on this Day of the Covenant we all look to its Centre and recall the life and Person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a Figure Whose very being was the embodiment of the Covenant, that pivotal centre of unity for all humankind, binding together the multitudinous peoples of the earth. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that Mystery of God, “a sign of His greatness”, and “the most perfect bounty”, Who is treasured in the pure hearts of countless children, youth, and adults, is surely watching over and aiding His loved ones, ever casting His eye of protection over them. In these uncertain times, the friends turn with hope and longing to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that “shelter for all mankind”, “a shield unto all who are in heaven and on earth”, beseeching His assistance from the realms above as they endeavour to follow His example in the path of service. During the coming days, when the thoughts of the believers all around the world are focused on “this sacred and glorious Being”, you have the blessing and privilege of paying homage to Him on behalf of your communities in those very spots where He laboured day and night for the promotion of the Cause of God and for the betterment of humankind. 2
A Covenant in the religious sense is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behaviour in return for which He guarantees certain blessings, or whereby He gives man certain bounties in return for which He takes from those who accept them an undertaking to behave in a certain way. There is, for example, the Greater Covenant which every Manifestation of God makes with His followers, promising that in the fulness of time a new Manifestation will be sent, and taking from them the undertaking to accept Him when this occurs. There is also the Lesser Covenant that a Manifestation of God makes with His followers that they will accept His appointed successor after Him. If they do so, the Faith can remain united and pure. If not, the Faith becomes divided and its force spent. It is a Covenant of this kind that Bahá’u’lláh made with His followers regarding ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá perpetuated through the Administrative Order that Bahá’u’lláh had already created.
— (From a letter dated 23 March 1975 written by the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer) 3
- Universal House of Justice. “25 November 2021 – To the Friends Gathered in the Holy Land.” Bahá’í Reference Library, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/20211125_001/1#854275860. [return]
- Ibid, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/20211125_001/1#854275866. [return]
- Research Department of the Universal House of Justice. “The Universal House of Justice.” Bahá’í Reference Library, Feb. 2021, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/compilations/universal-house-of-justice-compilation/5#692131020. [return]