Chapter 17 – Living in Harmony With Others

Living by the Law of Love

Blessed is he who prefers his brother before himself.465 _Bahá’u’lláh

A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.466 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Think ye of love and good fellowship as the delights of heaven, think ye of hostility and hatred as the torments of hell.467 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God.468 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Love is the source of all the bestowals of God. Until love takes possession of the heart, no other divine bounty can be revealed in it.469‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Seeing the Best in Others

Never speak disparagingly of others, but praise without distinction.470 _ ‘Abdu’l- Bahá

Thus it is incumbent upon us, when we direct our gaze toward other people, to see where they excel, not where they fail.471 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Should any heap his blame upon you, praise ye him; should he offer you a deadly poison, give him the choicest honey in exchange…should he be thorns, be ye his roses…472 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Following the Golden Rule

…choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself.473 _Bahá’u’lláh

Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee…474 _Bahá’u’lláh

Beware lest ye prefer yourselves above your neighbors.475 _Bahá’u’lláh

Being Just

Say: Observe equity in your judgment; ye men of understanding heart! He that is unjust in his judgment is destitute of the characteristics that distinguish man’s station.476 _Bahá’u’lláh

Be vigilant, that ye may not do injustice to any one, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. Tread ye the path of justice, for this, verily, is the straight path.477 _Bahá’u’lláh


If ye become aware of a sin committed by another, conceal it, that God may conceal your own sin.478 _Bahá’u’lláh

…forgive the sinful, and never despair his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be.479 _Bahá’u’lláh

…let your adorning be forgiveness and mercy…480 _Bahá’u’lláh

Being Generous

O ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.481 _Bahá’u’lláh

Be ye trustworthy on earth, and withhold not from the poor the things given unto you by God through His grace. He, verily, will bestow upon you the double of what ye possess.482 _Bahá’u’lláh

…well is it with the rich who bestow their riches on the needy and prefer them before themselves.483 _Bahá’u’lláh

Admonishing and Guiding Others

Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should any one among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and good-will. Help him to see and recognize the truth, without esteeming yourself to be, in the least, superior to him, or to be possessed of greater endowments.484 _Bahá’u’lláh

…it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth…485 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Being Courteous

Well is it with him who is illumined with the light of courtesy and is attired with the vesture of uprightness. Whoso is endued with courtesy hath indeed attained a sublime station.486 _Bahá’u’lláh

Being Humble

Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men.487 _Bahá’u’lláh

…take ye good heed not to be reckoned among those of the past who were invested with knowledge, yet by reason of their learning waxed proud before God…488 _The Báb

Not Saddening Others

Beware lest ye offend any heart, lest ye speak against anyone in his absence, lest ye estrange yourselves from the servants of God.489 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Pray ye for all; ask ye that all be blessed, all be forgiven…Beware, beware, lest ye offend the feelings of another, even though he be an evil-doer, and he wish you ill.490 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Avoiding Animosity

If any differences arise amongst you, behold Me standing before your face, and overlook the faults of one another for My name’s sake…491 _Bahá’u’lláh

Illumine and hallow your hearts; let them not be profaned by the thorns of hate or the thistles of malice.492 _Bahá’u’lláh

Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred.493 _Bahá’u’lláh

Not Finding Faults

If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.494 _Bahá’u’lláh

O Companion Of My Throne!
…Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee, and magnify not the faults of others that thine own faults may not appear great; and wish not the abasement of anyone, that thine own abasement be not exposed.495 _Bahá’u’lláh

Honoring One’s Parents

Beware lest ye commit that which would sadden the hearts of your fathers and mothers. Follow ye the path of Truth which indeed is a straight path. Should anyone give you a choice between the opportunity to render a service to Me and a service to them, choose ye to serve them, and let such service be a path leading you to Me.496 _Bahá’u’lláh