Against War: An Open Letter to World Leaders

By Majdeddin bin Moussa Irani

This originally untitled document by the nephew and son-in-law of Baha’u’llah, dated September 18, 1944, was included in a chapter called “The Two Younger Branches, the Leaves, and Their Spouses” in Shua Ullah Behai’s book manuscript.

Mr. Behai described this open letter as “his [i.e. Mirza Majdeddin’s] recent message to the world.” Written near the end of World War II, it is a short but forceful essay about Baha’u’llah’s teachings of peace, the dangers of excessive industrialization and the decline of religion.

According to Mr. Behai, the letter was “forwarded through the office of the High Commissioner of Palestine to His Majesty King George of Great Britain. Also a copy was sent by registered mail to His Excellency Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States.” The letter received a polite, brief reply from the British government, which stated that “your message has been laid before His Majesty the King but that the Secretary of State was unable to advise His Majesty to take any action on it.”

Letter:-

To Their Majesties the Kings and Honorable Leaders of State:

I do hereby lay before you an urgent plea that you soften your hearts and agree to decide on a general armistice for the establishment of peace. The wails of suffering humanity are loud and unto the heavens crying “it is enough.” The whole of this planet earth has become as one fierce flaming volcano spilling death and destruction all around. If there is a little corner somewhere that has escaped the fire, it has not escaped the scorching blinding smoke of its burning sides.

The underlying intention of all nations is peace. Had they not formed in the League of Nations a tribunal for the solution of interna­tional problems? This was what Baha’u’llah willed and advised long be­fore its formation. There is no doubt that if all the sister nations, to­gether and in agreement, solved the world’s problem, the waking fire of war would have been safely lulled back to sleep.

Thus spoke Baha’u’llah unto the kings:

Settle ye your disputes amicably among yourselves and ye shall have no need to equip and keep huge armies. For order and peace in your cities and kingdoms ye shall need but litde. Unite, all ye mighty sovereigns, and the storm of dissension will abate: Unite so that your people may live and prosper in peace and comfort.

He also says:

Blessed is the ruler that hath ruled his own self. Blessed is the king that hath mastered his temper. For he that is thus blessed is a lover of peace and a friend to equity; he is an enemy to all that is unjust and tyrannous. The finest fruit that the tree of wisdom hath ever borne is this celestial word: “Ye are all the fruits of one tree, and unto each other like the leaves of one branch. The glory is not to him who loveth his own land only, but to him who loveth the whole world.”

The Divine and Holy Pen to you hath writ: O ye kings and sul­tans, O ye partners of fate, ye princes, sages, and leaders of state, revere and uphold religion. For religion is the cause of all that is just and orderly on the face of the earth. Without it ye shall have no peace. Uphold it with all your might for if its pillars tremble, the wicked multiply and breed, its weakness lends them courage, its absence feme. I tell you in truth that ye may have faith in me, that the little that religion loseth from itself, the evildoers and sin­ners gain a hundredfold. Hearken unto me, [the] All-Seeing and mark my words, for if ye heed them not, there will be nothing save turmoil and the discord of chaos.

Taking away the life of a useless cumbersome old man is a crime the whole world abhors and severely punishes. But on the other hand we witness all around the merciless slaughter of millions of men in the bloom of their youth. Their pure and sacred blood is shed, the hearts of their weeping mothers are wrung and bled, their ldn scattered, their children starved and homes destroyed. We witness an endless chain of misery and suffering but the world seems to stand aside as if in wonder.

No matter what the outcome of war may be, does it balance the cost? The aims of wars are in fact mere hopes and illusions, that are indefinite at best and so grossly vague in themselves. One outcome and one end only is certain: it is misery, destruction and suffering on a grand scale, a heart-rending epic in so eloquent a style. Is this what the Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit ordain?

The tide of this unebbing sea is overflowing with the corpses of the guiltless and the rotting food of the starving and homeless. At the bot­tom of the sea lies the shattered framework of the world’s construction. And yet there is no shimmer of hope to reflect the radiance of peace. Whither from here and when is the end?

There is hardly a spot on the face of the earth that has not felt the guns of the sea, or the bombs of the air; hardly a plot that has not suf­fered, from mountain or plain. The aim is bent and energies focused on one sole object, which is the mass destruction of civilization and hu­manity.

If you have lost the track of truth and become blind to the light of peace, do not forget temperance in your every action. Of temperance Baha’u’llah in one of his tablets says:

The process of civilizing that is being followed by the sages of the industrial countries, if carried to excess and made to overstep the limits of temperance, will lead the people of the world to ruin. Thus speaketh the All-Knowing. For in its excess it doth become a process of vice and sin as much as it was in its temperance a way of new life and betterment. Ponder over these words, ye people, and reflect lest ye be followers in the footsteps of the rash and per­ish. With temperance follow it [i.e. industrial development], for if ye run after it your cities shall bum with the fire of its speed. The Tongue of Omnipotence hath spoken that sovereignty is God’s, the Merciful and Almighty.

How bitterly true these words have been. The cities now burn over the heads of their builders.

It gives me great pain to see the world’s leaders of state who are the most civilized indulge in wars with one another. Though they know the policies and intentions of one another, from the dawn of history until now they have not ceased this interminable stmggle for mutual de­struction. This has come as a result of their own man-made laws along which they are trying to run the universe. Their misery and that of their peoples increases day by day and generation after generation in spite of their professed intention of peace for all on the earth. Even now, though they are rich with the experience of thousands of years, they have not as yet changed what they have become used to. It is time for them who hold the right of life and death over their people to return to the Law of God—that divine law which He has given us so that we may enjoy His gifts and adore His works and so live in peace in happiness.

Listen, O ye mighty Icings, to this my call to you. I am but one of the weak and powerless. I send you this plea, in the eyes of God, seeking no recompense. Hearken unto it, for it embodies the hopes of the suf­fering millions that like me are weak and powerless.

Hoist unto the heavens the banner of armistice; unfold on the earth the healing wing of peace. May you in justice long rule and prosper.

This is from a supplicant that boasts nothing for himself save the power to plead unto God that He may have mercy on him. I humbly pray unto His Almighty Throne that you feel with the weak like me, and may He touch your hearts with the compassion that is His. And may His will be done.

Courtesy:- “A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith”

Download the soft copy of the book ” A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith” from the below link:- http://bahai-lost-history.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

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