Abdu’l-Baha was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah. When Abdu’l-Baha passed away on 28 November 1921, He was eulogized as One who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” as a “pillar of peace” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”
At some point in our lives, we all suffer from illnesses of the body or the mind and we face tests and difficulties. This collection highlights resources dedicated to physical and spiritual health and well-being, healing, resilience and overcoming challenges.
In this video, we hear an extract from Ruhiyyih Khanum’s book Prescription for Living about dealing with hardship and struggle.
Ruhiyyih Rabbani, born Mary Sutherland Maxwell and affectionately known by the title Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, was the Handmaiden of Glory; the beloved consort of Shoghi Effendi; his “shield”, his “helpmate”, and his “tireless collaborator”; a Hand of the Cause of God; and the “Baha’i world’s last living link to the family of Abdu’l-Baha”.
EXTRACT (lightly adapted for readability and shared courtesy of the Baha’i World Centre):
“No matter how easy or luxurious [life] may be made, it still brings in its wake inevitable hardship and struggle.
We must recognise that under duress great things are born. Diamonds form in molten rock. The sweetest flowers of man’s spirit have often been watered by tears. To struggle gives strength, to endure breeds a greater capacity for endurance.
We must not run away from our heartbreaks in life; we must go through them, however fiery they may be, and bring with us out of the fire a stronger character, a deeper reliance on ourselves and on the Creator…
Love, hate, passion, fear, sorrow, pain—they act on us and spur us on, they develop our qualities and give us colour and individuality. Why should we want to shun and abolish [that which brings] out the best in us, that tempers our steel, that teaches us to value happiness at its true worth? Can a man who has never been hungry in all his life know what a piece of bread means, savour all its sweetness, as can a man who has starved?
We are not expected to like suffering […] but we should, when the cup is at our lips and we have no choice but to drink it, drink it down strongly and courageously, knowing it will hurt but strengthen, wound but eventually heal…
We must also accept the fact that there are some things in this life we are not going to be able to understand here and now. They are mysteries either too profound, or denied us to comprehend in this world.
But it is given to us to understand certain things […] God, with all that term implies, cannot be unjust any more than He can be unloving. Nothing could be more unjust or unkind than to set a man an impossible task, to require of him something beyond his strength to do.
The trials that come to us in life come to test our strength and to exercise and perfect it. We are not set tasks that we cannot accomplish, we are not tyrannized over by God. … He sets the hurdle a little higher because He knows we are now ready to make that jump if we try, and what is more, He will help us.
The Friend of the soul of man is there and He wants us to win, to grow strong, to be worthy of the heritage He has prepared for us; He is therefore ready to lend a helping hand if we call Him; if we fling out ours towards His, He will grasp it firmly.”
You can find a copy of Prescription for Living from a variety of book retailers including Bahaibook.com.au in Australia.
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.