In my Commentary on the Short Healing Prayer, I made mention of the Remembrance of God, the power of the Greatest Name as reflected in the Holy Maiden who appeared in and through Bahá'u'lláh. In this brief essay, I thought I would discuss more of this.
In Islam, Dhikrullah, or the Remembrance (invocation) of God is a devotional practice involving the repetition of the names of God, and other supplications or formulas taken from hadith texts and verses of the Qur'an. Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad to be the embodiment of Dhikrullah. But it is the Spirit of Revelation, the Holy Maiden, who appears in the Manifestations of God, that Bahá'u'lláh describes as the embodiment of Remembrance:
“While engulfed in tribulations I heard a most wondrous, a most sweet voice, calling above My head. Turning My face, I beheld a Maiden—the embodiment of the remembrance of the name of My Lord—suspended in the air before Me. So rejoiced was she in her very soul that her countenance shone with the ornament of the good-pleasure of God, and her cheeks glowed with the brightness of the All-Merciful. Betwixt earth and heaven she was raising a call which captivated the hearts and minds of men.” Bahá'u'lláh, quoted in God Passes By, pp. 101-102.
Note that the call raised by the Holy Maiden is one which is to captivate our hearts and minds. This implies that not only must we approach the Manifestation of God, Bahá'u'lláh, but also that we must engage our hearts in a love relationship with the Holy Maiden, the Spirit of Bahá, and make a mystical connection with this glorious Being.
One of the central Institutions of the Cause of God is the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár which literally means "Dawning Place of the Remembrance of God". Again, the Bahá'í House of Worship is being identified with the Holy Maiden, the embodiment of Remembrance. From this holy place, the servants of God are to go out and perform selfless deeds of service. This service comes from hearts which have become ignited by communion with this Being.
"In reality, the radiant hearts are the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár" says `Abdu'l-Bahá (Tablets, Vol. III, p. 678). That is, the true dawning place is in the hearts of the individual who invokes the names of God.
In my view, there are two aspects of achieving Bahá'í unity: 1) the authority of, and obedience to, the Guardian in matters of scriptural interpretation; and 2) the individual's remembrance of God, a mystical relationship to the Spirit of Baha, born of devout worship and meditation and expressed in acts of selfless service to the Cause of God. This second aspect is the answer to those who would criticize this Faith as being consumed with administrative matters. In reality, it is the mystical connection with the Spirit of Bahá which forms the foundation of our unity. This implies a society of persons living together in unity, with each person being enlightened by the Holy Spirit, but at the same time all being united together in obedience to the Guardian so that the "revelations" of the individual are kept under control by being subjugated to the interpretations of the Center of the Cause.
I would love to see our community develop these ideas, and to grow into a new mature and refined understanding of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh.