The Day of the Covenant

Posted: 2014/11/26

The SS Cedric: the ship ‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived in New York City with on 11 April, 1912. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá designated New York City as “the City of the Covenant.”

In 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Centre of the Covenant, made a 239 day journey across North America. The believers at the time wished to celebrate the day of His birth, which falls on the same day as the Declaration of the Báb (23 May, 1844). ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, instead, asked the believers to celebrate the Day of the Covenant , which is celebrated on 26 November.

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, has written:

‘“So firm and mighty is this Covenant,” He Who is its appointed Center has affirmed, “that from the beginning of time until the present day no religious Dispensation hath produced its like.” “It is indubitably clear,” He, furthermore, has stated, “that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant.” “Know thou,” He has written, “that the ‘Sure Handle’ mentioned from the foundation of the world in the Books, the Tablets and the Scriptures of old is naught else but the Covenant and the Testament.” And again: “The lamp of the Covenant is the light of the world, and the words traced by the Pen of the Most High a limitless ocean.” “The Lord, the All-Glorified,” He has moreover declared, “hath, beneath the shade of the Tree of Anísá (Tree of Life), made a new Covenant and established a great Testament… Hath such a Covenant been established in any previous Dispensation, age, period or century? Hath such a Testament, set down by the Pen of the Most High, ever been witnessed? No, by God!” And finally: “The power of the Covenant is as the heat of the sun which quickeneth and promoteth the development of all created things on earth. The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men.” To this same Covenant He has in His writings referred as the “Conclusive Testimony,” the “Universal Balance,” the “Magnet of God’s grace,” the “Upraised Standard,” the “Irrefutable Testament,” “the all-mighty Covenant, the like of which the sacred Dispensations of the past have never witnessed” and “one of the distinctive features of this most mighty cycle.”’

– Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pg. 238-239