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The House of Justice was delighted to learn that discussions among the believers about the significance of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár are creating strong connections with the undertaking and are leading to a broader participation of the Bahá’ís and their friends in this collective endeavour. Increased awareness among the believers in Colombia of the significance of the House of Worship has also generated material contributions from them; this is yet another sign of their spiritual commitment. It is hoped that this initial response will be sustained throughout the life of the project and foster a pattern of regular giving to the funds of the Faith.

The Universal House of Justice, On behalf of, Letter dated 10 December 2013 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia

Your donations to the Temple as well as the remarkable manner in which you are assisting the believers in their efforts to widen the scope of their publicity work are real and abiding contributions you have made to the Faith. And although at present you are unable to contribute financially as much as you did in former years you should not feel discouraged, much less disappointed. For the best way in which you can effectively support the Temple cause is not through material means but by the moral help which is your primary obligation to extend to those who are in charge of the building of that sacred and unique Edifice. It is devotion, sincerity and genuine enthusiasm which in the long run can ensure the completion of our beloved Temple. Material considerations, though essential, are not the most vital by any means. Had it been otherwise the Temple would have never reached the stage of progress which it has already so well attained. For the resources of the community are limited, and have been severely affected during the last two years by an unprecedented and world-wide economic crisis. But despite all these material obstacles the Temple has made a steady progress and this alone is sufficient to convince every unbiased observer of the divine potency animating the Faith—a potency before which all material difficulties must inevitably wane.

On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Letter dated 30 December 1933 to individual believers

You asked concerning some plans whereby funds could be gathered for the Temple. Shoghi Effendi believes that the best and noblest method is to have free donations that are made spontaneously and with the sense of making some sacrifice in furthering the Cause. It is with sacrifice that this Temple is to be built. This is the truly worthy method. This principle therefore excludes any method whereby the help of non-Bahá’ís is included. A Bahá’í Temple should be built by the Bahá’ís alone; it is not an ordinary humanitarian activity in which the help of any person could be solicited.

On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Letter dated 14 April 1932 to the Bahá'ís of Kenosha, Wisconsin

I deeply appreciate the continued and self-sacrificing endeavours of the American believers in the face of the grave financial and economic depression into which their country and the whole world is now plunged. That the Temple Edifice should arise under such circumstances, that its elaborate and exquisite ornamentation should be carried out, through the efforts of a mere handful of Bahá’í followers despite the gloom, the uncertainty and the dangers which surround them, is but another evidence of the mysterious, all-compelling power of Bahá’u’lláh Whose blessings will be bountifully vouchsafed to all who arise to carry out His purpose. The Cause is entering upon a period of unprecedented achievements. The full measure of its glory and power will be gradually manifested, if we on our part execute in their entirety the instructions and behests bequeathed to us by our beloved Master.

Shoghi Effendi, Letter dated 20 December 1931 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada

Verily, with a sincere heart, I have rendered thanks unto God for His having aided the friends, despite their poverty and lowliness, to contribute to the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, the pillars of which will soon be raised in the midmost heart of America.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Arabic

Thou hadst written that the friends intend to contribute towards the cost of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. This news imparted infinite joy, inasmuch as the abundant effusions of the Kingdom, the heavenly outpourings of God’s grace, and His unfailing confirmations are directed towards the establishment of the bonds of unity, harmony, and fellowship in the world of humanity. Therefore, this worthy act on the part of the friends in the East to gather and send contributions to the West is praiseworthy, meritorious, and among the distinctive characteristics of this Dispensation. It was unheard of in the past for the East to lend its material support to the West, that is, for the friends in Persia to aid in the building of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in America. This is the first occasion of its kind; therefore, its effects will surely be laudable and it will bring forth admirable results.

Praise be to the Ancient Beauty for having conferred such ties of friendship and harmony upon the human race, for having established such a mighty foundation, and for having promoted such a sublime aspiration. Thanks be to the Most Great Name for having raised aloft such a tabernacle in the midmost heart of the world, through which the various nations of the earth shall become unified and associate with one another in friendship; the disparate nations of the world shall become one country and its numerous lands one homeland; all the different governments shall join together in union and harmony; the roots of injustice shall be eradicated; and the foundations of war, conflict, pillage, plunder, hatred, and hostility shall be destroyed. This cooperation and collaboration between the East and the West provideth sufficient and irrefutable proof that this blessed aim will be achieved.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Persian

O thou who art firm in the Covenant! Thy letter was received and its purport was made plain and evident. Thou hadst written of the high endeavour, the exertion and the determination evinced by the loved ones of God, of their irrepressible enthusiasm for the construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, and of the engagement of their blessed persons in carrying its building stones. In truth, this news brought such joy to the hearts as is impossible to describe or recount, for it conjured the image of that noble assemblage bearing stones in the utmost humility and meekness and yet considering themselves exalted above the kings of the world.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Persian

O Lord, O Thou Who dost bless all those who stand firm in the Covenant by enabling them, out of their love for the Light of the World, to expend what they have as an offering to the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, the dayspring of Thy wide-spread rays and the proclaimer of Thine evidences, help Thou, both in this world and the world to come, these righteous these upright and pious ones to draw ever nearer to Thy sacred Threshold, and make bright their faces with Thy dazzling splendours. Verily art Thou the Generous, the Ever-Bestowing.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections From the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 96

Hasten now to ‘Ishqábád, in the utmost detachment and aflame with the fire of attraction, and convey to the friends of God ardent greetings from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Kiss thou each one’s face and express this servant’s deep and sincere affection to all. Do thou on behalf of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá move the earth, carry the mortar, and haul the stones for the building of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár so that the rapture of this service may bring joy and gladness to the Centre of Servitude. That Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is the first visible and manifest establishment of the Lord. Therefore, it is this servant’s hope that each and every virtuous and righteous soul will sacrifice his all, evince great happiness and exultation, and rejoice in carrying the earth and mortar so that this Divine Edifice may be raised, the Cause of God may spread, and in every corner of the world the friends may arise with the utmost resolve to accomplish this great task. Were ‘Abdu’l-Bahá not imprisoned and were there not obstacles in his path, he himself would assuredly hasten to ‘Ishqábád and carry the earth for the building of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár with the utmost joy and gladness. It behoveth the friends now to arise with this intention in mind and serve in my place so that in a short time this Edifice may be revealed to all eyes, the loved ones of God may engage in making mention of the Abhá Beauty, the melodies of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár may rise at dawntide to the Concourse on high, and the songs of the nightingales of God may bring joy and ecstasy to the denizens of the All-Glorious Realm. Thus will the hearts rejoice, the souls delight in joyful tidings, and the minds be illumined. This is the highest hope of the sincere ones; this is the dearest wish of them that are nigh unto God.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, In a letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 1 August 2014

One of the wondrous events that has of late come to pass is this, that the edifice of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is being raised in the very heart of the American continent, and numerous souls from the surrounding regions are contributing for the erection of this holy Temple. Among these is a highly esteemed lady of the city of Manchester, who hath been moved to offer her share.

Having no portion of goods and earthly riches, she sheared off with her own hands the fine, long and precious tresses that adorned her head so gracefully, and offered them for sale, that the price thereof might promote the cause of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.

Consider ye, that though in the eyes of women nothing is more precious than rich and flowing locks, yet notwithstanding this, that highly-honoured lady hath evinced so rare and beautiful a spirit of self-sacrifice.

And though this was uncalled for, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would not have consented to such a deed, yet as it doth reveal so high and noble a spirit of devotion, He was deeply touched thereby. Precious though the hair be in the sight of western women, nay, more precious than life itself, yet she offered it up as a sacrifice for the cause of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár!

It is related that once in the days of the Apostle of God He signified His desire that an army should advance in a certain direction, and leave was granted unto the faithful to raise contributions for the holy war. Among many was one man who gave a thousand camels, each laden with corn, another who gave half his substance, and still another who offered all that he had. But a woman stricken in years, whose sole possession was a handful of dates, came to the Apostle and laid at His feet her humble contribution. Thereupon the Prophet of God—may my life be offered up as a sacrifice unto Him—bade that this handful of dates be placed over and above all the contributions that had been gathered, thus asserting the merit and superiority thereof over all the rest. This was done because that elderly woman had no other earthly possessions but these.

And in like manner this esteemed lady had nothing else to contribute but her precious locks, and these she gloriously sacrificed in the cause of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.

Ponder and reflect how mighty and potent hath the Cause of God become! A woman of the west hath given her hair for the glory of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections From the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 97-99

Whosoever arises for the service of this building shall be assisted with a great power from His Supreme Kingdom and upon him spiritual and heavenly blessings shall descend, which shall fill his heart with wonderful consolation and enlighten his eyes by beholding the glorious and eternal God!

The contribution that thou hast made to the Temple is beloved. The Temple is the most great foundation of the world of humanity and it hath many branches. Although the Temple is the place of worship, with it is connected a hospital, pharmacy, pilgrims’ house, school for the orphans, and a university for the study of high sciences. Every Temple is connected with these five things. I hope that now in America they will build a Temple and gradually add to it the hospital, school, university, pharmacy and pilgrims’ house with the utmost efficiency and thoroughness. Thou shouldst make known to the believers these details, so that they may realize how important the Temple is. The Temple is not only a place for worship; nay, it is perfect in every way.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 416

O friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His co-sharers and partners in the servitude of the Lord of Hosts! Verily the greatest affair and the most important matter today is to establish a Mashriqu’l-Adhkár and to found a Temple from which the voice of praisings may rise to the Kingdom of the majestic Lord. Blessings be upon you for having thought to do so and intending to erect such an edifice, advancing all in devoting your wealth in this great purpose and in this splendid work. You will soon see the angels of confirmation following after you and the hosts of reinforcement crowding before you.

When the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is accomplished, when the lights are emanating therefrom, the righteous ones are presenting themselves therein, the prayers are performed with supplication towards the mysterious Kingdom, the voice of glorification is raised to the Lord, the Supreme, then the believers shall rejoice, the hearts shall be dilated and overflow with the love of the All-living and Self-existent God. The people shall hasten to worship in that heavenly Temple, the fragrances of God will be elevated, the divine teachings will be established in the hearts like the establishment of the Spirit in mankind; the people will then stand firm in the Cause of your Lord, the Merciful. Praise and greetings be upon you.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 415

Concerning the erection of the Temple: Now all the believers must become united, so that the Temple may be built soon in one place. For should the believers undertake the erection of the Temple in many places, it will not become completed anywhere; and as in Chicago they have preceded every other place to plan the erection of the Temple, undoubtedly to cooperate and help them is nobler and a necessity. Then, when it is built in one place, it will become erected in many other places. If, for the present, you prepare or establish a home in New York, though by renting it, to become a center for the gathering of the believers of God, it is very acceptable. God willing, in all the states of America in the future there will be erected Temples with infinite architectural beauty, art, with pleasing proportion and handsome and attractive appearances; especially in New York. But for the present, be ye satisfied with a rented place.

O friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His co-sharers and partners in the servitude of the Lord of Hosts! Verily the greatest affair and the most important matter today is to establish a Mashriqu’l-Adhkár and to found a Temple from which the voice of praisings may rise to the Kingdom of the majestic Lord. Blessings be upon you for having thought to do so and intending to erect such an edifice, advancing all in devoting your wealth in this great purpose and in this splendid work. You will soon see the angels of confirmation following after you and the hosts of reinforcement crowding before you.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 415

As I have already intimated in the course of my conversations with visiting pilgrims, so vast and significant an enterprise as the construction of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West should be supported, not by the munificence of a few but by the joint contributions of the entire mass of the convinced followers of the Faith. It cannot be denied that the emanations of spiritual power and inspiration destined to radiate from the central Edifice of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár will to a very large extent depend upon the range and variety of the contributing believers, as well as upon the nature and degree of self-abnegation which their unsolicited offerings will entail. Moreover, we should, I feel, regard it as an axiom and guiding principle of Bahá’í administration that in the conduct of every specific Bahá’í activity, as different from undertakings of a humanitarian, philanthropic or charitable character, which may in future be conducted under Bahá’í auspices, only those who have already identified themselves with the Faith and are regarded as its avowed and unreserved supporters should be invited to join and collaborate. For apart from the consideration of embarrassing complications which the association of non-believers in the financing of institutions of a strictly Bahá’í character may conceivably engender in the administration of the Bahá’í community of the future, it should be remembered that these specific Bahá’í institutions, which should be viewed in the light of Bahá’u’lláh’s gifts bestowed upon the world, can best function and most powerfully exert their influence in the world only if reared and maintained solely by the support of those who are fully conscious of, and are unreservedly submissive to, the claims inherent in the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. […] Ours surely is the paramount duty so to acquit ourselves in the discharge of our most sacred task that in the days to come neither the tongue of the slanderer nor the pen of the malevolent may dare to insinuate that so beauteous, so significant an Edifice has been reared by anything short of the unanimous, the exclusive, and the self-sacrificing strivings of the small yet determined body of the convinced supporters of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 181-183

There now remains the important consideration of a design for the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. It does not matter whether it is executed by a Bahá’í or a non-Bahá’í architect, but the essential thing is that it must be beautiful and dignified. There must be none of this hideous, exaggerated, bizarre style, which one sees in many modern buildings. It is not befitting for our House of Worship. He thinks that you should impress this on any architects wishing to submit drawings. The essentials of the design, as stipulated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are that the building should be nine-sided, and circular in shape. Aside from this, the architect is not restricted in any way in choosing his style of design.

Whenever you have a sufficient collection of drawings, he would be pleased to receive them, and give you his advice.

A very large building at this time is not necessary, as the expense would overtax our resources too heavily; and the Persian Bahá’ís, who are so much more numerous, will have to, during the coming nine years, build a much larger and more pretentious structure in Ṭihrán, and consequently a more expensive one.

On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Letter dated 25 June 1954 in The Light of Divine Guidance I, p. 215-216

The Temple must naturally be a dignified and worthy edifice. He does not consider that any of these modernistic experiments in architecture are at all suitable for a building of this nature, lacking as they so often do, beauty and dignity.

He also considers that the building should be a relatively small one, both because of the size of the Community in Germany, and the financial resources of the Faith at present. The most important thing of all is to build this first Temple on European soil.

In the days when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was urging the American Bahá’ís to build the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the western world, He repeatedly emphasized that it could be a modest building, and that the important thing was the spiritual element that this House of Worship in the name of Bahá’u’lláh should be raised in the heart of America. The same thing applies now to your Temple in Germany. Size and pretentiousness are not important. The important thing is that the building should be speedily erected, and be a financial possibility, not placing, as the American Temple, a terrible strain on the friends for years to come.

On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Letter dated 2 August 1955 in The Light of Divine Guidance I, p. 235-236