Day by day, we make effort to obey the commandments of God and to show forth good qualities in our actions, such as love, compassion, generosity, justice and humility. We pray to God and ask Him to guide us, and seek to know Him. But how do we know God? We know Him through the Great Educators he sends to us from time to time, who bring us His laws and teachings. By studying them and applying them in our lives, we come to know Him and worship Him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that we see the signs of God’s perfections in all the things we see in the world. The sun shining and giving light and warmth to the world reminds us of God’s love. The rain falling reminds us of His bounty. A mountain reaching to heaven reminds us of His majesty.
prayer/reading for study
“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to
know his Creator and to attain His Presence.” (Bahá’u’lláh)
The Scholar and the Blacksmith. Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl, a highly educated scholar, meets an unlettered blacksmith who presents him with questions he cannot answer. (See reference section, below.)
- The Detective game: one child, who plays the “detective”, leaves the room, and a “leader” is chosen. All the children must sit or stand in a circle and follow the movements of the “leader” so closely that the “detective” will be unable to tell who the real leader is. Repeat enough times for everyone to have a chance to play both roles.
- Charades: Remind the children that we see signs of God in everything around us; then ask children to act out different parts of nature and the environment—mountains, rain, clouds, wind, flowers, birds, etc.
- Ask the children to draw some part of their natural environment: a scene with mountains; the sun shining on a meadow filled with animals; rain falling on a garden of flowers or vegetables; and so on.
- Paper snowflakes, if the class takes place during winter. Standard designs are fairly easy to do. You can also try nine-pointed snowflakes. Or, you could use some slightly unusual designs. Or you could make three-dimensional snowflakes!
“I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, Short obligatory prayer)
“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol. Such a man hath attained the knowledge of the station of Him Who is “at the distance of two bows,” Who standeth beyond the Sadratu’l-Muntahá. Whoso hath failed to recognize Him will have condemned himself to the misery of remoteness, a remoteness which is naught but utter nothingness and the essence of the nethermost fire. Such will be his fate, though to outward seeming he may occupy the earth’s loftiest seats and be established upon its most exalted throne.” (Bahá’u’lláh)
“It so happened that on the way out one of the donkeys lost a shoe, so the party called at the nearest blacksmith for help. Noticing the long beard and large turban of Mirza Abu’l-Fadl — indications of his vast knowledge — the blacksmith Ustad Husayn-i-Na’l-Band (shoeing smith), who was illiterate, was tempted to enter into conversation with the learned man. He said to Mirza that since he had honoured him with his presence, it would be a great privilege for him if he could be allowed to ask a question which had perplexed his mind for some time. When permission was granted he said, ‘Is it true that in the Traditions of Shí’ah Islam it is stated that each drop of rain is accompanied by an angel from heaven? And that this angel brings down the rain to the ground?’ ‘This is true,’ Mirza Abu’l-Fadl responded. After a pause, the blacksmith begged to be allowed to ask another question to which Mirza gave his assent. ‘Is it true’, the blacksmith asked, ‘that if there is a dog in a house no angel will ever visit that house?’ Before thinking of the connection between the two questions, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl responded in the affirmative. ‘In that case’, commented the blacksmith, ‘no rain should ever fall in a house where a dog is kept.’ Mirza Abu’l-Fadl, the noted learned man of Islam, was now confounded by an illiterate blacksmith. His rage knew no bounds, and his companions noticed that he was filled with shame. They whispered to him, ‘This blacksmith is a Bahá’í!'” (from The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Volume 3: `Akka, The Early Years 1868-77, by Adib Taherzadeh)