Hazíratu'l-Quds

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Hazíratu'l-Quds (or Hazíra for short) is sometimes used to describe local (and national) Bahá'í centers as they are now, and sometimes it is described as a future, more developed, focused building, dedicated to administrative purposes. It is to be a part of each Mashriqu'l-Adhkár.

Contents

Compilations and Bahá'í Writings on

Components of (to be brought into one place)

(See 1 below)

The Hazíratu'l-Quds to symbolize the ideal of service in relation to the Faith and mankind in general

1. "the institution of the Haziratu'l-Quds - the seat of the Baha'i National Assembly and pivot of all Baha'i administrative activity in future ... Complementary in its functions to those of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar - an edifice exclusively reserved for Baha'i worship - this institution, whether local or national, will, as its component parts, such as the Secretariat, the Treasury, the Archives, the Library, the Publishing Office, the Assembly Hall, the Council Chamber, the Pilgrims' Hostel, are brought together and made jointly to operate in one spot, be increasingly regarded as the focus of all Baha'i administrative activity, and symbolize, in a befitting manner, the ideal of service animating the Baha'i community in its relation alike to the Faith and to mankind in general."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 339-340)

The spiritual to precede the material, but a local centre can be a tutorial school and heart of other aspects of community life (in addition to the spiritual, administrative, and as a gathering-place)

2. "...even the first local centre that a Bahá'í community erects can begin to serve not only as the spiritual and administrative centre and gathering place of the community, but also as the site of a tutorial school and the heart of other aspects of community life. The principle remains, however, that the spiritual precedes the material...Such stirring can be fostered, encouraged and assisted by the national and continental instiutitions of the Faith, but without them any activities introduced from above might well prove abortive."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Brazil, May 8, 1984, Lights of Guidance, vol. iii., no. 1884, p. 556)"

The Centre will ideally become the site of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár

3. "In these days one of the essential requirements of the Faith which will attract divine blessings and lead to the protection of the servants at His Threshold, is to set aside a suitable place to serve as a centre for Bahá'í activities in each of the localities where believers reside. In such a centre, even if it is among the most modest of locations, all gatherings of the friends should be held, such as those for the reading of the Tablets, for prayers and supplications, for the meetings of the Local Spiritual Assembly, for the teaching work, for the delivery of talks, for commemorations, for festivals and for the Feasts. If the location is suitable, it would be light upon light if in the future the edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár could also be erected on that spot. That centre should be named Hazíratu'l-Quds, so that the musk-scented breaths of the fervent prayers offered therein, and the sweet breeze of spiritual discussions and worthy enterprises wafted from the Hazíratu'l-Quds may spread to neighbouring regions, and impart healing and fragrance to the nostrils of a sorely-afflicted world."

(Translated from a letter of Shoghi Effendi to the friends in Írán and the East, dated July 1925 quoted in Social and Economic Development, Compilation on Social and Economic Development, no. 489)

Relationship with the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár and individual's homes

Dancing

Dancing Not Appropriate in Haziratu'l-Quds

"The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer the questions raised in your recent letter regarding the proper use of the Haziratu'l-Quds.

"As in most cases the Bahá'ís have no other meeting-place in the city which has a Haziratu'l-Quds, and the Haziratu'l-Quds is a building that has a number of rooms, he sees no objection in allowing the youth to have their meetings there with their non-Bahá'í friends, but dancing he does not feel is appropriate."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of South America, February 15, 1947, in Lights of Guidance, no. 913)

(Non-traditional) dancing not allowed in Local or National Haziratu'l-Quds

"The Haziratu'l-Quds is an Institution of the Faith and no distinction should be made between a National or Local Haziratu'l-Quds concerning its use. Other than the Haziratu'l-Quds dances may certainly be allowed at summer schools, etc., and it should be left to the discretion of the committee or Assembly in charge to make whatever arrangements are necessary."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, June 27, 1970, in Lights of Guidance, no. 914)

From Lights of Guidance (to categorize)

Haziratu'l-Quds--Its Main Function

"With reference to the use of your Haziratu'l-Quds we wish to point out that its main function is to serve as the National Administrative Headquarters of the Faith in your country, and anything else is secondary to that. If possible and convenient, believers may be accomodated from time to time, but it should not be regarded as a hotel facility. The work of the Cause is the prime matter and nothing should be allowed to interfere with that."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, October 23, 1963, in Lights of Guidance, no. 912)

Youth allowed to have meetings with non-Bahá'í friends in the Haziratu'l-Quds as well as Bahá'í weddings, funerals, Feasts and Holy Days, though in the future, it will be used for purely administrative purposes

"The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer the questions raised in your recent letter regarding the proper use of the Haziratu'l-Quds.

"As in most cases the Bahá'ís have no other meeting-place in the city which has a Haziratu'l-Quds, and the Haziratu'l-Quds is a building that has a number of rooms, he sees no objection in allowing the youth to have their meetings there with their non-Bahá'í friends, but dancing he does not feel is appropriate. Bahá'í weddings and funerals can likewise be conducted in the Haziratu'l-Quds.

"The Haziratu'l-Quds, although Feasts and Holy Days are celebrated in it, must not be confounded with a Temple; it is an administrative headquarters. No doubt in the future it will be used for purely administrative purposes, but for the time being it must fill the role of being a true Centre and rallying-point for the Bahá'í Community."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of South America, February 15, 1947, in Lights of Guidance, no. 913)

Principles that Govern Acceptance of Gifts of Land

Please refer to No. 728.

(Lights of Guidance, no. 915)

National Spiritual Assembly Should Budget Annually for Maintenance of Properties

"Many properties have already been acquired in the course of previous plans. It is important that these properties be properly maintained in good repair. National

Spiritual Assemblies should set aside sums annually in their budgets for the maintenance of national properties so that when a repair becomes necessary the funds will be available without creating a sudden crisis for the national fund. As far as possible, local Haziratu'l-Quds and other local properties should be kept up by the local friends themselves.

"It is also important to make full use of the properties of the Faith for the purposes for which they were acquired. Well maintained and regularly used properties will not only be a means of fostering Bahá'í community life, but will add to the prestige and dignity of the Faith in the eyes of the non-Bahá'í public."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, Naw-Ruz 1979, in Lights of Guidance, no. 916)

Responsibility of National Spiritual Assembly to Maintain and Improve Properties--Individual Bahá'ís Can Help in Many Ways

"National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world are required to assume, on a continuing basis, the responsibility of providing for the maintenance and improvement of their own Bahá'í properties, and they should instill into the consciousness of the believers the importance of their role in keeping the national headquarters in a representative and attractive condition. There are many ways in which the Bahá'ís can help to beautify and maintain their National Haziratu'l-Quds, not only by contributing by material means, but also by offering their time and labour to clean, paint, take care of minor repairs, work in the gardens, etc."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Uruguay, June 20, 1979, in Lights of Guidance, no. 917)

Purchase and Sale of Haziratu'l-Quds

"The Universal House of Justice has requested us to acknowledge your letter of May 6, 1981 concerning the proposed sale of your National Haziratu'l-Quds and to convey the following.

"The matter is entirely within the discretion of your National Assembly bearing in mind the principle that you should not be without a National Haziratu'l-Quds; that is, you must obtain a new one, or at least have the transactions for obtaining it well advanced and secure, before disposing of the old one.

"In reply to your question about the location of the Secretariat of the National Assembly, we have been asked to say that your Assembly must operate from the National Haziratu'l-Quds, and it is important and desirable that your Secretary reside as near as possible to the National Headquarters in order that the duties of the office may be attended to with dispatch. Enclosed for your consideration are excerpts from recent letters dealing with this subject."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Nicaragua, June 7, 1981, in Lights of Guidance, no. 918)

National Haziratu'l-Quds Need Not Serve Needs of Local Spiritual Assembly--Preferable that National Secretary Live in Haziratu'l-Quds

"There is no requirement for the National Haziratu'l-Quds to include within its accommodations a public meeting hall, neither is there a requirement that it be a meeting place for the Local Spiritual Assembly in the city in which it

may be located. Its essential function is that it is the seat of the National Spiritual Assembly, and should have adequate facilities for its secretariat. Should there be adequate space and the National Assembly feels it convenient, there would be no objection to its leasing one or two rooms to the Local Spiritual Assembly, but this certainly is not an essential part of the National Haziratu'l-Quds. The facilities you choose to specify as criteria in the search for new quarters are a matter for your own decision.

"While it is not imperative for the National Secretary to live in the National Haziratu'l-Quds, it is the generally preferred arrangement. Should it be impossible for the Secretary to live actually in the Haziratu'l-Quds itself, there would be no objection to his living nearby. The vital thing is that the seat of the National Spiritual Assembly should be the National Haziratu'l-Quds, and that the National Assembly should operate from there."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Virgin Islands, July 22, 1982, in Lights of Guidance, no. 919)

The National Spiritual Assembly Must Operate from the National Haziratu'l-Quds--Eventually, Full Time Service Will Be Required of the National Secretary

"The first principle which has been established is that a National Spiritual Assembly must operate from its National Haziratu'l-Quds, which is the official Seat of the National Spiritual Assembly. During the early formative years of the Faith and the building up of the Administrative Order it has been permitted in certain instances for the National Secretary to reside away from the city in which the National Haziratu'l-Quds is located, but in these cases the principle has always been enforced that the National Spiritual Assembly itself operates from its proper address at the National Haziratu'l-Quds.... The aim should be to overcome this anomaly and for the National Secretary to reside close to, if not in, the National Haziratu'l-Quds itself. Inevitably the day will come when it will be necessary for your National Secretary to devote his entire time to the service of the National Spiritual Assembly and it will then be imperative for the Secretary to operate from the Haziratu'l-Quds."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Dominican Republic, February 9, 1976, in Lights of Guidance, no. 920)

Preferable Arrangement and Bahá'í Norm that the National Secretary Live in the Haziratu'l-Quds--Not to be Considered a "Right of Office"

"While it is not imperative for the National Secretary to live in the National Haziratu'l-Quds, and certainly the believer elected to the important post cannot claim such residence as a right of office, it is the generally preferred arrangement and is, in fact, the norm of Bahá'í practice. The vital thing is that the seat of the National Spiritual Assembly should be the National Haziratu'l-Quds and that the National Assembly should operate from there. This obviously requires the constant attendance of the Secretary since all mail for the Assembly should be received at and despatched from the Haziratu'l-Quds, and there are many other considerations of which you are all informed. However, the final decision must rest with your National Spiritual Assembly and should it be impossible for the National Secretary to live actually in the Haziratu'l-Quds itself there

would be no objection to the officer living near or within easy reach, particularly if it were on a temporary basis."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, September 22, 1974, in Lights of Guidance, no. 921)

A District Haziratu'l-Quds Serves the Local Community as a Gathering Place for Bahá'ís of Wider Area

"A district Haziratu'l-Quds should be considered as the local Haziratu'l-Quds of the community in which it is situated, but as it is intended also to serve as a central gathering place for friends from a wider area it should be a more substantial structure than normally required for a local Haziratu'l-Quds. In keeping with this concept, such a building can be used for the holding of conferences, teaching institutes, deepening classes, etc., for the larger area.

"Whether someone should live in the district Haziratu'l-Quds is a matter for your Assembly to determine. However, it is usually desirable to have living accommodation available for someone to reside there to act as a caretaker for the property."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Surinam and French Guiana, August 15, 1982, in Lights of Guidance, no. 922)
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