Don’t be oppressive

Don’t be oppressive to one another.


164. Don’t be oppressive to one another: One of the teachings we find in the Bahá’í Faith is that we should not oppress one another. the greatest name 8 pixBaha’i Faith: “No one should glorify himself over another; no one should manifest pride or superiority toward another; no one should look upon another with scorn and contempt; and no one should deprive or oppress a fellow creature.” “Woe then unto the oppressors!

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 63 and Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 21)

The shrine-17pix BABI RELIGION: “THERE is no paradise, in the estimation of the believers in the Divine Unity, more exalted than to obey Gods commandments, and there is no fire in the eyes of those who have known God and His signs, fiercer than to transgress His laws and to oppress another soul, even to the extent of a mustard seed. On the Day of Resurrection God will, in truth, judge all men, and we all verily plead for His grace.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 78)

This is a teaching also found in Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, to name just a few religions. In Christianity we find the prohibition of oppression of one another very clearly stated especially in the writings of The Old Testament: Jewish symbols star-8pix Judaism: Exodus 22:21 “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 25:17 “Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am The LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 24:14 “Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:” Proverbs 3:31 “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.” Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Jeremiah 22:3 “Thus saith The LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.”

In the writings of The New Testament we find the prohibition of oppression of one another is not so directly stated, but it is more or less implied in the words of Jesus that we should do no harm to one another and we should be good to one another and not oppress or be a burden to one another: the cross-5pix Christianity: Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Christ also tells us: Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them.” In other words, oppress not, or persecute not others, as you yourself would not like to be oppressed or persecuted. And, we find that The Apostle Paul also echoes these words of Christ to the people: Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” 12:11 “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving The Lord;” 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:13 “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:14 “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” (oppress not) Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” Romans 12:16 “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:18 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Live peaceably, with all men, and oppress not one another. Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith The Lord.” Romans 12:20 “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.” Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Islamic symbol-10 pix ISLAMLetter 31. “Whatever you like for yourself, like for others, and whatever you dislike to happen to you, spare others from such happenings. Do not oppress and tyrannize anybody because you surely do not like to be oppressed and tyrannized. Be kind and sympathetic to others as you certainly desire others to treat you kindly and sympathetically.” “To oppress a weak and helpless person is the worst form of ferocity.”

(Islam, Ali b. Abi Taalib, Letters from Nahjul Balaagh)

Islamic symbol-5pix IslamLetter 31. “Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.”

(Islam, Ali b. Abi Taalib, Letters from Nahjul Balaagh)

Islamic symbol-5pix Islam: 90. “Verily, God bids you do justice and good, and give to kindred (their due), and He forbids you to sin, and do wrong, and oppress; He admonishes you, haply ye may be mindful!

(The Qur’an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura  16 – The Bee)

90. “Allah (God) commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice.” Allah forbids oppression.

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  16)

Islamic symbol-5pix Islam: 17. “O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another.”

(Islam, Hadith, Hadith Qudsi)

Zoroastrian symbol-12pix ZOROASTRIANISM: “Stand against the oppression.” “He will smite the most oppressive of the oppressors of men, He will afflict most oppressive of the oppressors of men.”

(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Khorda Avesta – Book of Common Prayer pt. 1)

Zoroastrian symbol-5pix Zoroastrianism: Denkard Zoroaster: 3:27 “Evil arises from oppression, and oppression prevails in the world. much wickedness becomes manifest through oppression.”

Hindu symbol-10pix HINDUISM: “Give protection to our bodies, From whosoever would reproach or injure: for thou, God, rescuest from all oppression.”

(Hindu, Vedas, Rig Veda – Book  1)

Hindu symbol 5-pix Hinduism: 7. “Let not the oppressor with this dread, through anger swallow me up, for I am thine.” “Let no oppression master this our holy work.”

(Hindu, Vedas, Rig Veda – Book 5 and 9)

Buddhist wheel symbol-10 pix BUDDHISM: “He has nothing to do with false measures, metals and weights. He avoids the crooked ways of bribery, deception and fraud. He keeps aloof from stabbing, beating, chaining, attacking, plundering and oppressing.”

((The Eightfold Path), Buddha, the Word (The Eightfold Path))

Mandaean symbol-15pix SABEANISM: “Raising my eyes and lifting up my countenance toward the Place which is all portals of radiance, light, glory, beauty, repute and honour (nobility) and to the Abode which is all beams of light; I adore, laud and praise the Mighty, Strange (other-worldly) Life.” There is no place found here for oppression with the honour and nobility of man. “Thou art he who shall rise upward on a smooth road and by the path of the perfect, shall behold the Place of Light and the everlasting Abode.” “The assembly of souls which proceeded from Him, on the Last Day, when they leave their bodies, will rejoice in Him, will embrace Him and will rise up and behold the outer Ether and the everlasting Abode.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapters 9 and 75)

Mandaean symbol1 Sabeanism: “Behold these souls who believed in Thee And for Thy name’s sake stood (in patients) by on earth And were persecuted. Show us pure ether air So that we may forget earthly persecution (oppression), That we may forget the persecution of earth And the vexation of the wicked and liars.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 71)

The shrine-17pix BABI RELIGION: “From the first day that I cautioned thee not to wax proud before God until the present time, four years have elapsed, and during this space naught have I witnessed, either from thee or from thy soldiers, except dire oppression and disdainful arrogance. Methinks thou dost imagine that I wish to gain some paltry substance from this earthly life. Nay, by the righteousness of My Lord! In the estimation of them that have fixed their eyes upon the merciful Lord, the riches of the world and its trappings are worth as much as the eye of a dead body, nay even less. Far from His glory be what they associate with Him!… I seek patience only in God. Verily He is the best protector and the best helper. No refuge do I seek save God. Verily He is the guardian and the best supporter…”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 20)

the greatest name-12pixBAHA’I FAITH: “Be ye kind fathers, and to the unfortunate a refuge and shelter. To the poor be a treasure of wealth, and to the sick a remedy and healing. Be a helper of every oppressed one, the protector of every destitute one, be ye ever mindful to serve any soul of mankind. Attach no importance to self-seeking, rejection, arrogance, oppression and enmity. Heed them not.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 216)