Wednesday, November 8, 2017

200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah

مستلهمين من حياة حضرة بهاءالله وتعاليمه يحتفل الملايين حول العالم في 22 أكتوبر تشريفا وتكريما لذكرى مرور 200 عام على مولده.  


Millions of Baha’is around the World are celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith in October 22, 2017


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

114 Baha'i Youth Conferences around the World



The Essential Role of Baha'i Youth

"Once the youth learns that this Cause is their Cause, and that through it they can ensure their future social tranquility and spiritual progress, then they will arise and consecrate their life to the promotion of this Faith. And no one can awaken the youth of the world to a consciousness of this road to salvation ex-cept from their own numbers—youths already inspired with the Bahá’í spirit."
 
Shoghi Effendi

To every generation of young believers comes an opportunity to make a contribution to the fortunes of humanity, unique to their time of life. For the present generation, the moment has come to reflect, to commit, to steel themselves for a life of service from which blessing will flow in abundance.

For more details and to register to attend a conference in the United States, visit the youth conferences website at www.youthconf.bahai.us

City                             Dates                                 Venue
      Atlanta                  August 9-11     (Fri-Sun)    Atlanta Marriott Marquis
      Boston                   July 19-21         (Fri-Sun)    Hynes Convention Center
      Chicago                 July 13-15         (Sat-Mon)  Renaissance Hotel, Schaumburg
      Dallas                    August 9-11     (Fri-Sun)    Hilton Anatole
      Durham                 July 18-20         (Thu-Sat)   Raleigh Convention Center
      Houston                August 23-25   (Fri-Sun)    Crowne Plaza Houston near Reliant-Medical    

      Los Angeles         Aug 31-Sept 2  (Sat-Mon)  University of California at Los Angeles
      Minneapolis         August 16-18   (Fri-Sun)    Carleton College, Northfield
      Oakland                 July 26-28         (Fri-Sun)    Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
      Phoenix                  July 19-21         (Fri-Sun)    Phoenix Convention Center
      San Diego              August 9-11     (Fri-Sun)    Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
      Seattle                    July 26-28         (Fri-Sun)    TBA
      Washington, DC  August 16-18   (Fri-Sun)    Hyatt Regency Crystal City
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ayyám Al Há - أيام الهاء

The Baha'i calendar consists of 19 months and the Baha’i month consists of 19 days, giving 361 days, requiring the addition of four or five more days. Ayyám Al Há form the intercalary days that fill out the 365 or 366 days of the solar year.

Baha'u'llah specified in the Kitáb Al Aqdas that the Days of Ha should be inserted in the calendar just before the month of fasting:
"Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months...and when they end--these days of giving that precede the season of restraint--let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind."

This holiday begins each year on the evening of February 25 and ends at sunset on March 1st. Of this period Bahá'u'lláh writes:
"It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name."

As in His prayer for Ayyám Al Há, Bahá'u'lláh juxtaposes these "days of giving" with the Fast's "season of restraint." Ayyám Al Há is intended partly as spiritual preparation for the Fast, a reminder of its approach, and a way of fostering the detachment from material things so necessary for the Fast.

“Ayyam Al Ha" is an Arabic phrase means literally the "Days of Ha" ("Ha" is an Arabic letter corresponding to the English "H") the numerical value of "Há" is 5, the sum of the numerical values of the letters in the "Báb," and the maximum number of intercalary days."Há" is also the first letter of an Arabic pronoun commonly used in Arabic religious writings to refer to God, or "the Divine Essence." "Há" by itself is used as a symbol of "the Essence of God," and was the subject of many Arabic essay on its mysteries.

Bahá'u'lláh has designated the intercalary days "amid all the nights and days" as manifestations of the letter Há"--that is, as Days of the Divine Essence. Thus Ayyám Al Há can be thought of as days that symbolize eternity, infinity, and the mystery and unknowable Essence of God Himself. Contemplation during these days of the timeless mystery of the Essence of God provides us the "joy and exultation" with which to "sing His praise and magnify His Name."

 
أيام الهاء

يتبع التقويم البهائي السنة الشمسية التي تتألف من 365 يوما وخمس ساعات وخمسين دقيقة. وتتألف السنة البهائية من تسعة عشر شهرا، كل شهر منها تسعة عشر يوما سُميت على أسماء صفات الله (فيكون المجموع 361 يومًا) يضاف إلى ذلك الأيام الزائدة وهي أربعة أيام، أو خمسة أيام في السنوات الكبيسة. هذه الايام الزائدة سميت بأيام الهاء وقد حدد حضرة بهاء الله موقعها في السنة البهائية بان تكون قبل شهر الصوم العلا
:15يتفضل حضرة بهاء الله في الكتاب الاقدس، فقرة
واجعلوا الايام الزّائدة عن الشّهور قبل شهر الصّيام، انّا جعلناها مظاهر الهاء بين اللّيالي والايام لذا ما تحددّت بحدود السّنة والشّهور، ينبغي لاهل البهاء ان يطعموا فيها انفسهم وذوي القربى ثم الفقراء والمساكين، ويهللنّ ويكبّرنّ ويسبّحنّ ويمجّدنّ ربّهم بالفرح والانبساط. واذا تمّت ايام الاعطاء قبل الامساك، فليدخلنّ في الصّيام كذلك حكم مولى الانام

تبدأ أيام الهاء كل عام مساء يوم الخامس والعشرين من شهر فبراير وتنتهي عند غروب شمس اليوم الأول من شهر مارس. وقد أوصى حضرة بهاء الله بإقامة الولائم، والضيافة، والإنفاق على الفقراء والمساكين، احتفالا بها

وتعقد فيها اجتماعات بكلّ محبّة وسرور وابتهاج وتتزيّن فيها مجالس عامّة ويكون الجميع فيها زمرة واحدة، فتتجسّد في الأبصار وحدة الأمّة وألفتها واتّحادها
حضرة عبد البهاء

المدلولات الروحانية لايام الهاء
هذه الأيام الزائدة على الشهور قد امتازت بانتسابها إلى "الهاء" وهو حرف يساوي في الحساب الأبجدي العدد خمسة، وهو أكبر عدد يمكن أن تصل إليه عدة أيام الهاء. وكذلك يشير حرف الهاء إلى مدلولات ومعان روحانية، ومن جملة ما يرمز إليه "الهوية الإلهية"، أي" ذات الغيب المنيع"، أي" الله" سبحانه وتعالى.وهي تعتبر اعداداً روحانياً لفترة الصوم

هذه ايام الهاء وأمرنا الكل أن ينفقوا فيها على انفسهم وعلى الذين توجهوا إلى هذا المقام المرفوع أن اذكروا الله فيها ثم اعرفوا قدرها لأنها تحكي عن هذا الاسم الذي به سخر الله الغيب والشهود
حضرة بهاء الله

قد تشرفت الأيام يا إلهي بالأيام التي سميتها بالهاء كأن كل يوم منها جعلته مبشراً ورسولاً ليبشر الناس بالأيام التي فيها فرضت الصيام على خلقك وبريتك ليستعد كل نفس للقائها ويعين في قلبه محلاً لها ويطهره باسمك لنزولها عليه
حضرة بهاء الله

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Baha'i House of Worship in India

The Baha’i House of Worship in New Delhi, India commonly called the Lotus Temple is one of the marvels of modern architecture. The temple gives the impression of a half-open lotus flower afloat, surrounded by its leaves. The shining pure white marble, the majestic dome, the petals clearly standing out create a sense of grandeur and awe. It has received an average of 4.3 million visitors every year – from all nations, religions and walks of life.Since its inauguration to public worship and visits in December 1986, the Baha’i House of Worship in New Delhi, India has drawn to its portals more than 70 million visitors, making it one of the most visited edifices in the world. On an average, 8,000 to 10,000 people visit the Baha’i House of Worship each day. These visitors have admired its universal design in the form of a lotus and have been fascinated by the Teachings of the Baha’i Faith, especially its tenets of the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind. This ‘Lotus’ casts its benevolent glance over vast green lawns and avenues covering an expanse of 26 acres of land.


All around the lotus are walkways with beautiful curved balustrades, bridges and stairs that surround the nine pools representing the floating leaves of the lotus. It is a remarkable tabernacle of peace and beauty and an engineering feat that will set standards for centuries.Capturing the imagination with its simplicity and elegance this monument in marble is dedicated to the purpose of prayer, meditation and spiritual upliftment. From within its hallowed precincts rise in praise and glorification of the Almighty voices in unison, of Baha’is, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians people of all castes, colors and cultures. There is no clergy in the Baha’i House of Worship, no idols, no pictures, no sermons, and no rituals. It is a place for communication between man and his Creator, God.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Baha'i House of Worthip in Australia

The Australian House of Worship is a place of prayer and meditation that is open to people of all beliefs. Baháís belief in the oneness of God, the oneness of His Messengers and the oneness of humanity. Located in the beautiful hills and bush land above the northern beaches of Sydney, it is one of seven Baha’i Temples throughout the world. Each House of Worship is designed to be distinctive, the unifying factor being that all are nine-sided – a symbol of the unity of the world religions. Like all Baha’i Houses of Worship, the Australian House of Worship is intended to become a future hub for social, scientific, educational and humanitarian services.


It is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm every day of the year, and to 7 pm in summer months. A public service is held every Sunday at 11 am. It is located at 173 Mona Vale Road, Ingleside, near Sydney's northern beaches. The grounds cover approximately nine Acres. The site is the highest point in the area and the House of Worship is often used by aircraft and ships for navigational purposes.



Construction of the Baha'i House of Worship began in April 1957. It took more than four years to complete, at an approximate cost of 150,000 pounds. The money to build the Temple was donated by Baha’is. It was formally dedicated and opened to the public on 17 September 1961. The architect was John Brogan of Sydney. As with all Baha’i Temples, it has nine sides and nine entrances, symbolically representing the Baha’i belief in the unity of the human race under the one God, and the essential unity of the world religions. Construction techniques never before employed in Australia were used for this House of Worship. A helicopter was used to place the prefabricated lantern structure atop the completed dome, the first time such a technique was used in Australia. It attracted extensive media coverage.




On completion of the main structure and dome, a plate bearing an inscription in Arabic, meaning "O Glory of the All Glorious", was hoisted into position in the centre of the dome inside the auditorium. Today this magnificent edifice, standing some 38 metres in height, with a diameter of around 30 metres, has become a highly visible landmark on Sydney's northern beaches.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Baha'i New Year "Naw-Ruz"

166 Year of the Baha'i Era

"It is a New Year; that is to say, the rounding of the cycle of the year. A year is the expression of a cycle of the sun; but now is the begining of a cycle of Reality, a New Cycle, a New Age, a New Century, a New Time and a New Year. Therefor it is very blessed"
Abdu'l Baha


The Baha’i New Year starts on March 21, (the vernal equinox) which marks the first day of spring and the end of the Baha'i Faith’s annual Nineteen Day Fast. Naw Ruz means new day in Persian and it is one of nine holy days on which Baha’is suspend work. They typically celebrate the holy day at sunset on March 20 by gathering for prayer, as the sunset on which the holiday begins comes at the end of the Fast.


Baha'is follow the Badi ("wonderful") calendar, which consists of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), with the addition of "Intercalary Days" (four in ordinary and five in leap years) between the 18th and 19th months to adjust the calendar to the solar year.

The months are named after the attributes of God. The Baha’i New Year is astronomically fixed and begins with the March equinox (March 21). The Baha’i Era commenced with the year of the Bab’s declaration (1844 A.D.).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Baha'i Fast


The Baha'i year consists of 19 months and the Baha’i month consists of 19 days . Each month named after the attributes of God.The First month’s name is Bahá. It is an Arabic word which means Splendor. The second month is the month of Jalál (Glory), Jamál (Beauty ),…etc . The nineteenth month (‘Alá - Loftiness) is the month of the fast, usually 2–20 March, immediately after the termination of the Intercalary Days (Ayyam Al Ha), and is followed by the feast of Naw-Rúz.


During these nineteen days the fast is observed by abstaining from both food and drink from sunrise to sunset. As the month of the fast ends at the March equinox, the fast always falls in the same season, namely, spring in the Northern, and autumn in the Southern, Hemisphere; never in the extreme heart of summer nor in the extreme cold of winter, when hardship would be likely to result. At that season, moreover, the interval between sunrise and sunset is approximately the same all over the habitable portion of the globe, namely, from about 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.

“O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end.”
Baha'u'llah , the Kitáb Al Aqdas-p16

“These are the ordinances of God that have been set down in the Books and Tablets by His Most Exalted Pen. Hold ye fast unto His statutes and commandments, and be not of those who, following their idle fancies and vain imaginings, have clung to the standards fixed by their own selves, and cast behind their backs the standards laid down by God. Abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sundown, and beware lest desire deprive you of this grace that is appointed in the Book.”
Baha'u'llah , the Kitáb Al Aqdas-p17

Fasting is enjoined on all the believers once they attain the age of 15 and until they reach the age of 70 years. But it is not binding on children and invalids, on travelers, or on those who are too old or too weak (including women who are with child or have babes at the breast).

“The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous.”
Baha'u'llah , the Kitáb Al Aqdas-p16

The spiritual meaning of Fast:

There is much evidence to show that a periodical fast such as is enjoined by the Bahá’í teachings is beneficial as a measure of physical hygiene, but just as the reality of the Bahá’í fast does not lie in the consumption of physical food, but in the commemoration of God, which is our spiritual food, so the reality of the Bahá’í fast does not consist in abstention from physical food, although that may help in the purification of the body, but in the abstention from the desires and lusts of the flesh, and in severance from all save God.

“Fasting is a symbol. Fasting signifies abstinence from lust. Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires. But mere abstention from food has no effect on the spirit. It is only a symbol, a reminder. Otherwise it is of no importance. Fasting for this purpose does not mean entire abstinence from food. The golden rule as to food is, do not take too much or too little. Moderation is necessary. There is a sect in India who practice extreme abstinence, and gradually reduce their food until they exist on almost nothing. But their intelligence suffers. A man is not fit to do service for God with brain or body if he is weakened by lack of food. He cannot see clearly.”
Abdu’l-Bahá

Shoghi Effendi indicates that the fasting period is:
“…essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.”

The importance of obeying God’s commandments and laws:

“O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures. Thus hath it been sent down from the heaven of the Will of your Lord, the Lord of Revelation. Were any man to taste the sweetness of the words which the lips of the All-Merciful have willed to utter, he would, though the treasures of the earth be in his possession, renounce them one and all, that he might vindicate the truth of even one of His commandments, shining above the Dayspring of His bountiful care and loving-kindness.”
Baha'u'llah , the Kitáb Al Aqdas-p3

"O SON OF BEING! Walk in My statutes for love of Me and deny thyself that which thou desirest if thou seekest My pleasure."

Baha'u'llah , The Arabic Hidden Words – No.38

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baha’u’llah’s Writing

60% of Baha’u’llah’s writing is in Arabic and 40% of his writing is in Persian.



“Although there can be no question or doubt as to the sweetness of the Persian tongue, yet it hath not the scope of the Arabic. There are many things which have not been expressed in Persian, that is to say, words referring to such things have not been devised, whilst in Arabic there are several words describing the same thing. Indeed there existeth no language in the world as vast and comprehensive as Arabic”


From a Tablet to Abu’l-Fadl -The Tabernacle of Unity – Baha’u’llah

Friday, March 5, 2010

مشرق الأذكار البهائي بالولايات المتحدة الامريكية

:يتفضل حضرة بهاء الله

طوبى لمن توجه الى مشارق الأذكار في الأسـحار ذاكراً مستغفراً واذا دخل يقعد صامتاً لاصغاء آيات الله الملك العزيز الحميد - قل مشرق الأذكار انه كل بيت بُني لذكري في المدن والقرى كذلك سُمي لدى العرش ان انتم من العارفين

أســـتغرق لويس برجواه المصـــمم المعماري- الفرنسي/الكندي الجنسية - ثمان ســنوات من العمل الشــــاق ليصـــل إلى تصـــميم لائق لهذا الغرض السامي. فقد تخيل المبنى عبارة عن زخرفة دقيقة مشعة بالضــياء ، ضـــياء الوحي الإلهي الذي تجــلى بظـهور حضــرة بهاء الله

يعتبر المبنى طراز معمـاري فريد فهو لا ينتمي لأي من الطرز الغربية أو الشرقية، وهو يدعو جميع افراد البشر من مختلف الاديان والجنسيات لعبادة الحق جل جلاله


:يقول لويس برجواه
تحتوى الأبراج على زخـارف متشابكة لرموز جـميع الأديان ، دلــيلاً ومثالاً للزائر من أي ديانـة علـى الأخوة العـالمية التي يرمز إليها مشرق الأذكار

ولتحويل رسومات بورجواه إلى هذا البناء المزخرف، تم ابتكـار عملية خاصة لصـب الأســمنت الأبيض المخـلوط بحــبيبات الكوارتز في قوالب معينة لتشــكيل تلك الزخـارف المشـــابه للدانتيلا. وبعد ذلك تم تثبيتها في أماكنها المخصصة لتكوين الطبقة الخارجية للمبنى


الرمز المنقوش في أعلى القبة الداخلية عــبارة عن تشــكيل من الحروف العربية تكون جملة
" يا بهــاء الأبهــى "

الآيات المنقوشة أعلى المدخل والقاعة الداخلية
سوف يلاحظ زائروا مشرق الأذكار وجود 18 آية من الآيات المنزلة من قلم حضرة بهـاء الله منقوشة أعلى المداخل التسـعة و أيضاً أعلى زوايا القاعة الداخلية

:الآيات المنقوشة أعلى المداخل


"ما الأرض إلا وطنٌ واحد والبشـر سـكانه"
" أحب الأشياء عندي الإنصافُ. لاترغب عنه إن تكن إلىّ راغــباً "
"حبي حصــني من دخل فيه نجـا وأمنَ "
" لا تنفـس بخطأ أحد ما دمت خاطـئاً "
" فؤادك منزلي قدســهُ لنزولي "
" جعلتُ لك الموت بشـارة كيف تحـزن منهُ "
"اذكرني في أرضـي لأذكرك في سـمائي "
" يا أغنياء الأرض الفقراء أمانتي بينكم، إذاً فأحفظوا أمانتي كما ينبغــي "
" أصـل كل العلوم هو عرفانُ اللهِ جل جـلالهُ "


:بعض الآيات المنقوشة أعلى زوايا القاعة الداخلية
" كلكم أثمار شجرة واحدة وأوراق غصـنٍ واحد "
" نور الاتحـاد ينير الآفـاق "
" عاشـروا مع الأديان بالروح والريحـان "
" ياابن الوجود مشـكاتي أنتَ ومصـباحي فيكَ "
" ياابن الوجـود اعمل حـدودي حـباً لي "

:الأنشـطة البهائية
جميع الأحتفالات والأنشطة البهائية مفتوحة للجميع من مختلف الجنسـيات، والعقائد والأديان لحضورها
ضمن الأنشطة

The House of Worship Stands for Light and Unity



Louis Bourgeois, architect of the temple, conceived of the ornamental tracery as embodying and celebrating light—the light of a new revelation from God revealed through Bahá'u'lláh. Neither of the East nor of the West, the Temple design transcends any specific culture, forming a unique structure where the world’s inhabitants can come and be united in prayer.

THE SYMBOL at the top of the dome is an arrangement of the Arabic words : Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá—a prayer or invocation meaning O Thou Glory of the All-Glorious.



“In the tracery of the towers are intertwined all the religious symbols of the past, demonstrating to each beholder of any religion: welcome to this Temple exemplifying universal brotherhood.”
—Louis Bourgeois

Entrance and Alcove Inscriptions

Visitors to the House of Worship will find 18 quotations from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh integrated into the entrances and alcoves.

Above the Entrances:

"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."

"The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice;turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me."

"My love is My stronghold; he that entereth theein is safe and secure."

"Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner."

"Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent."

"I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve?"

"Make mention of Me on My earth, that in My heaven I may remember thee."

"O rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust."

"The source of all learning is the knowledge of God, exalted be His Glory."




In the Alcoves:


"All the Prophets of God proclaim the same Faith."

"Religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold."

"Ye are the fruits of one tree,and the leaves of one branch."

"So powerful is unity’s light that it can illumine the whole earth."

"Consort with the followers of all religions with friendliness."

"O Son of Being! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee."

"O Son of Being! Walk in My statutes for love of Me."

"Thy paradise is My love; thy heavenly home is reunion with Me."

"The light of a good character surpasseth the light of the sun."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Celebrating the birth of Baha’u’llah



"I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven, and for this there befell Me what hath caused the tears of every man of understanding to flow."
Baha'u'llah

Bahá'u'lláh, a title in Arabic that means "The Glory of God", was born on November 12, 1817 in Iran. The son of a wealthy government minister, Mirza Buzurg-i-Nuri, His given name was Husayn Ali and His family could trace its ancestry back to the great dynasties of Iran's imperial past. Bahá'u'lláh led a princely life as a young man, receiving an education that focused largely on horsemanship, swordsmanship, calligraphy and classic poetry.

In October 1835, Bahá'u'lláh married `Asiyih Khanum, the daughter of another nobleman. They had three children: a son, `Abdu'l-Bahá, born in 1844; a daughter, Bahiyyih, born in 1846; and a son, Mihdi, born in 1848. Bahá'u'lláh declined the ministerial career open to Him in government, and chose instead to devote His energies to a range of philanthropies which had, by the early 1840s, earned Him widespread renown as "Father of the Poor."



Because of His teachings, He was banished into an exile, eventually lasting forty years, that took Him to the Holy Land. The first was to Baghdad where, in 1863, He announced Himself as the One promised by His Forerunner, the Báb. From Baghdad, Bahá'u'lláh was sent to Constantinople, to Adrianople, and finally to Acre, in the Holy Land, where He arrived as a prisoner.

Beginning in September 1867, Bahá'u'lláh wrote a series of letters to the world leaders of His time, addressing, among others, Emperor Napoleon III, Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm I, Tsar Alexander II of Russia, Emperor Franz Joseph, Pope Pius IX, Sultan Abdul-Aziz, and the Persian ruler, Nasiri'd-Din Shah.

In these letters, Bahá'u'lláh openly proclaimed His station. He spoke of the dawn of a new age. But first, He warned, there would be catastrophic upheavals in the world's political and social order. To smooth humanity's transition, He urged the world's leaders to pursue justice. He called for general efforts at disarmament and urged the world's rulers to band together into some form of commonwealth of nations. Only by acting collectively against war, He said, could a lasting peace be established.

Continued agitation from opponents caused the Turkish Government to send the exiles to Acre, a penal city in Ottoman Palestine. Acre was the end of the world, the final destination for the worst of murderers, highway robbers and political dissidents. A walled city of filthy streets and damp, desolate houses, Acre had no source of fresh water, and the air was popularly described as being so foul that over flying birds would fall dead out of the sky.

It was in Acre that Bahá'u'lláh's most important work was written. Known more commonly among Bahá'ís by its Arabic name, the Kitab-Al-Aqdas(the Most Holy Book), it outlines the essential laws and principles that are to be observed by His followers, and lays the groundwork for Bahá'í administration.
In the late 1870s, Bahá'u'lláh was given the freedom to move outside the city's walls, and His followers were able to meet with Him in relative peace and freedom. He took up residence in an abandoned mansion and was able to further devote Himself to writing.

On 29 May 1892, Bahá'u'lláh passed away. His remains were laid to rest in a garden room adjoining the restored mansion, which is known as Bahji. For Bahá'ís, this spot is the most holy place on earth.

His teachings had already begun to spread beyond the confines of the Middle East, and His Shrine is today the focal point of the world community which these teachings have brought into being.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Báb, Forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh

On July 9, members of the Baha’i Faith commemorate the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab (“the gate” in Arabic), one of nine holy days on which members of the Baha’i Faith suspend work and school.

The Báb referred to this coming Divine Teacher as “Him Whom God shall make manifest” and stated that “no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference in My Book, the Bayan, do justice to His Cause.” He clarified the central aim of His mission by explaining that “the purpose underlying this Revelation, as well as those that preceded it, has, in like manner, been to announce the advent of the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest.” The basis for all human accomplishment is to be found in the teachings of this promised universal Manifestation of God, and “the sum total of the religion of God is but to help Him.” For the Báb, a climacteric in human history had been reached, and He was the “Voice of the Crier, calling aloud in the wilderness of the Bayan” announcing to humanity that it was entering the period of its collective maturity.

Throughout His writings, the Báb warned His followers to be watchful, and as soon as the promised Teacher revealed Himself, to recognize and follow Him. The Báb exhorted them to see with the “eye of the spirit” rather than through their “fanciful imaginations.” To be worthy of “Him Whom God shall make manifest” required entirely new standards of conduct, a nobility of character that human beings had theretofore not achieved: “Purge your hearts of worldly desires,” the Báb urged His first group of disciples, “and let angelic virtues be your adorning...The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him...”

The boldness of the Báb’s proclamation—which put forth the vision of an entirely new society—stirred intense fear within the religious and secular establishments. Accordingly, persecution of the Bábis quickly developed. Thousands of the Báb’s followers were put to death in a horrific series of massacres. The extraordinary moral courage evinced by the Bábis in the face of this onslaught was recorded by a number of Western observers. European intellectuals such as Ernest Renan, Leo Tolstoy, Sarah Bernhardt and the Comte de Gobineau were deeply affected by this spiritual drama that had unfolded in what was regarded as a darkened land. The nobility of the Báb’s life and teachings and the heroism of His followers became a frequent topic of conversation in the salons of Europe. The story of Tahirih, the great poet and Bábi heroine, who declared to her persecutors, “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women,” traveled as far and as quickly as that of the Báb Himself.

Ultimately, those opposed to the Báb argued that He was not only a heretic, but a dangerous rebel. The authorities decided to have Him executed. On 9 July 1850, this sentence was carried out, in the courtyard of the Tabriz army barracks. Some 10,000 people crowded the rooftops of the barracks and houses that overlooked the square. The Báb and a young follower were suspended by two ropes against a wall. A regiment of 750 Armenian soldiers, arranged in three files of 250 each, opened fire in three successive volleys. So dense was the smoke raised by the gunpowder and dust that the entire yard was obscured.

The report of the execution, written to Lord Palmerston, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, by Sir Justin Shiel, Queen Victoria’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Tehran on July 22, 1850, records: “When the smoke and dust cleared away after the volley, Báb was not to be seen, and the populace proclaimed that he had ascended to the skies. The balls had broken the ropes by which he was bound but he was dragged from the recess where, after some search he was discovered and shot.”

After the first attempt at execution, the Báb was found back in His cell, giving final instructions to one of His followers. Earlier in the day, when the guards had come to take Him to the courtyard, the Báb had warned that no “earthly power” could silence Him until He had finished all that He had to say. When the guards arrived this second time, the Báb calmly announced: “Now you may proceed to fulfill your intention.”

Again, the Báb and His young companion were brought out for execution. The Armenian troops refused to fire, and a Muslim firing squad was assembled and ordered to shoot. This time the bodies of the pair were shattered, their bones and flesh mingled into one mass. Surprisingly, their faces were untouched. The light of the “Mystic Fane,” as the Báb referred to Himself, had been quenched under a dramatic set of circumstances.The last words of the Báb to the crowd were: “O wayward generation! Had you believed in Me every one of you would have followed the example of this youth, who stood in rank above most of you, and would have willingly sacrificed himself in My path. The day will come when you will have recognized Me; that day I shall have ceased to be with you.”

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Northbrook Interfaith Walk

"Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship" Baha'u'llah

The Northbrook Baha'i Community invites you to come and learn new ways of eliminating all forms of prejudice, at Northbrook public library in the Civic Room. A Family Friendly event!

Bike the Walk, Walk the Walk, or drive. Visit participating Houses of Worship and experience the rich cultural diversity that exists right in our own backyard. Come together to learn, experience and enjoy!

Northbrook is home to marvelous variety of religious traditions. The Northbrook Clergy Association and the Northbrook Community Relations Commission are co-sponsoring the Northbrook Interfaith Walk that will open the doors to 17 religious institutions for all to enjoy on Sunday April 26, 2009 from 1-4 PM.

The religious diversity of our community is a gift. This opportunity to learn about traditions of those that differ from our own is a unique one. We have the great opportunity to model mutual respect and the shared values of care and justice in a world that too often closes doors before reaching out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Washington Post/Newsweek “On Faith” blog

The religious leaders on the panel are sent a new question each week. The question of this week is:

“Should a layperson read sacred texts alone, without the help of clergy or community? How do you read and study sacred texts?”
Mr. Kenneth Bowers, Secretary General of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Unaited States, response by the folowing:

A Duty and Privilege to Investigate Truth

Both individual and group study of sacred scriptures are essential aspects of living a life of spiritual advancement and service to humanity. The Word of God has a dynamic effect on the mind and spirit when approached in a spirit of regular study, action and reflection. Bahá'ís consider the scriptures of the major religions of the world--including the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, the Qur'an, the Old and New Testaments, and Buddhist and Hindu scriptures--as repositories of the Word of God and treasure houses of profound insights to be discovered and applied over a lifetime.

The Bahá'í Faith has no clergy, and the Founder of our Faith, Bahá'u'lláh, enjoined all believers to study the scriptures daily and reflect on their meaning and application to their daily lives. Bahá'u'lláh wrote: "Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths." By interacting with the Word of God, believers not only reach greater depths of understanding, but bring the scriptures to life by expressing them in their daily actions and moral choices.

Regular group study of the scriptures is also beneficial and complementary. Throughout the world, Bahá'ís host study circles for in-depth and systematic study of the scriptures. These study circles are facilitated by volunteer tutors, and participants learn together in a spirit of mutual support and respect. The group setting provides a network of support for taking the lessons gleaned from the scriptures and applying them to the challenges and opportunities that surround us each day--in our family life and parenting, in our work or professions, and in our service to our neighborhoods and communities.

The Bahá'í approach to studying scriptures is thus flexible and emphasizes both personal and collective interaction with the Word of God. We each have the duty and privilege of independent investigation of truth using the faculties of discernment and understanding that each soul has been endowed with by God. Different insights and perspectives on the scriptures enrich the community, but no one's interpretation is considered authoritative or binding on others. Within the Bahá'í community, a diversity of understandings can flourish under a framework of elected Assemblies in which differences are resolved through consultation.

Engaging with the Word of God is a source of illumination, of gladness and comfort for the soul. Ultimately this is the touchstone for the proper study of scripture. Bahá'u'lláh wrote: "Should a person recite but a single verse from the Holy Writings in a spirit of joy and radiance, this would be better for him than reciting wearily all the Scriptures of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Recite ye the verses of God in such measure that ye be not overtaken with fatigue or boredom. Burden not your souls so as to cause exhaustion and weigh them down, but rather endeavour to lighten them, that they may soar on the wings of revealed Verses unto the dawning-place of His signs. This is conducive to nearer access unto God, were ye to comprehend."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Prayer for America

" O Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy gladtidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal. _'Abdu'l-Baha

This prayer was revealed by Abdu'l-Baha on the occasion of his visit to the United States of America in 1912; he was travelling from April through December touring North America.

Abdu'l-Baha is the son of Baha'u'lla the profit founder of the Baha'i religion.

Baha'u'llah is regarded by Baha'is as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ, and Muhammad.

Monday, October 27, 2008

United Nations Day - يوم الامم المتحدة

The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.

In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter.

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that Member States observe it as a public holiday.

The Bahá'í International Community and the United Nations

More than a century ago, Bahá'u'lláh called for the creation of a system of international governance, based on the principle of collective security, which would encompass all of the nations of the world and lay the foundations for a lasting and universal peace. In seeking to promote this concept, as well as to engender justice, peace and prosperity at the international level, the worldwide Bahá'í community has, as a duly accredited non-governmental organization, long worked closely with the United Nations, supporting many of its goals and programs. Bahá'í representatives were present in 1945 in San Francisco at the founding of the United Nations. in 1948, the Bahá'í International Community itself was recognized by the UN DPI as an international non-governmental organization.

In May 1970, the Bahá'í International Community was granted consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), allowing for a greater degree of interaction with the Council and its subsidiary bodies in efforts to promote social and economic development worldwide. In March 1976, the Bahá'í International Community was granted consultative status with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), similarly extending opportunities for interaction with the United Nations to promote the health, education and well-being of children.

The Bahá'í International Community participates actively in United Nations consultations dealing with minority rights, the status of women, crime prevention, the control of narcotic drugs, the welfare of children and the family, and the movement toward disarmament.
Among the measures which the Bahá'í community advocates as contributions to world unity are a federation of nations, an international auxiliary language, the coordination of the world's economy, a universal system of education, a code of human rights for all peoples, an integrated mechanism for global communication, and a universal system of currency, weights and measures.




*****



وضع تسمية "الأمم المتحدة" رئيس الولايات المتحدة الأسبق فرانكلين د. روزفلت، واستُخدم هذا الاسم للمرة الأولى في "إعلان الأمم المتحدة" الصادر في 1 كانون الثاني/يناير 1942، خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، عندما أخذ ممثلو 26 أمة من حكوماتهم تعهدا بمواصلة القتال سويا ضد قوات المحور.

وقد اشترك في وضع ميثاق الأمم المتحدة ممثلو 50 بلدا في أثناء مؤتمر الأمم المتحدة المعني بالمنظمة الدولية، ثم برز كيان الأمم المتحدة رسميا إلى حيز الوجود يوم 24 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 1945، عندما صدق على الميثاق كل من الاتحاد السوفياتي والصين وفرنسا والمملكة المتحدة ، والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، ومعظم الدول الموقعة عليه. واصبح هذا اليوم هو يوم الامم المتحدة. وبدأ الاحتفال به منذ عام 1948. ويتسم الاحتفال بهذا اليوم عادة في جميع أنحاء العالم بتنظيم اجتماعات ومناقشات وعروض عن أهداف المنظمة وإنجازاتها. وفي عام 1971، أوصت الجمعية العامة أن تحتفل الدول الأعضاء بهذا اليوم باعتباره مناسبة عامة.

الجامعة البهائية العالمية وعلاقتها بالامم المتحدة

للجامعة البهائية تاريخ حافل بالعمل مع المنظمات الدولية. فقد تأسس "المكتب البهائي العالمي" في مقر عصبة الأمم في جنيف عام1926 ، وخدم هذا المكتب كمركز للبهائيين الذين يشاركون في نشاطات عصبة الأمم. وحضر البهائيون توقيع ميثاق الأمم المتحدة في سان فرانسيسكو عام1945. وفي عام 1948 جرى تسجيل الجامعة البهائية العالمية منظمةً عالميةً غير حكومية مع الأمم المتحدة، وفي عام 1970 مُنحت مركزاً استشاريّاً (يُسمّى الآن مركزاً استشاريّاً "خاصّاً") مع المجلس الاقتصادي والاجتماعي للأمم المتحدة (ECOSOC)، ثم مركزاً استشاريّاً مع منظمة الأمم المتحدة للطفولة (اليونسيف) عام 1976، ومع صندوق الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي للمرأة (اليونيفيم) عام 1989. كما أسست علاقات عمل مع منظمة الصحة العالمية (WHO) عام 1989 أيضاً. وعلى مدى سنوات، عملت الجامعة البهائية العالمية عن قرب مع برنامج الأمم المتحدة للبيئة (UNEP)، ومفوضية حقوق الإنسان، ومنظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلم والثقافة (اليونسكو)، وبرنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي (UNDP).

:تسعى الجامعة البهائية العالمية في تعاونها مع منظمة الامم المتحدة ، لنشر المبادئ التي يمكن للسلام الدائم أن يقوم عليها



- وحدة الجنس البشري: إن الاعتراف بوحدة الجنس البشري هو أسّ أساس السلام والعدالة والنظام في العالم. وينطوي عليه تغييرٌعضويٌّ في تركيبة المجتمع.
- المساواة بين الرجال والنساء: إن تحرير المرأة هو مطلب مهمّ من مُتطلبات السلام، ولن يستقرّ المناخ الخلقيّ والنفسيّ الذي سوف يتسنى للسلام العالمي أن ينمو فيه، إلا عندما تدخل المرأة بكلّ ترحاب سائر ميادين النشاط الإنساني كشريكة كاملة للرجل.
- معيار عالمي لحقوق الإنسان: فحقوق الإنسان جزء لا يتجزّأ من الواجبات، وإذا ما أردنا تحقيق السلام والتقدم الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، فيجب الاعتراف بحقوق الإنسان وحمايتها محليّاً ووطنيّاً وعالميّاً. وعلاوة على ذلك، يجب العمل على تثقيف الأفراد للاعتراف بحقوقهم وحقوق الآخرين واحترامها.
- العدالة الاقتصادية والتعاون: رؤيةٌ لازدهار وتقدم إنساني بكل ما تحمله هذه العبارة من معنى. إن بعث إمكانات الرفاه المادي والروحاني لسكان الأرض قاطبة سوف يساعد على تحريك الإرادة الجماعية للتغلب على الحواجز الموضوعة أمام السلام كالهوّة السحيقة بين الغني والفقير.
- التعليم الشامل: لأنَّ الجهل هو السّبب الرّئيسيّ في انهيار الشّعوب وسقوطها وفي تغذية التّعصّبات وبَقائها. فلا نجاح لأيّة أُمَّةٍ دون أن يكون العلم من حقّ كلّ مُواطِن فيها، رجلاً كان أم امرأة. على التعليم أن يروج التوافق بين العلم والدين.
- لغة عالمية إضافية: مع تقدم العالم ليصبح أكثر استقلالاً، فلا بُدَّ له من اتِّخاذ لغةٍ عالميّةٍ واحدةٍ مُتَّفق عليها وخطّ عموميّ ليُدرَّس في المدارس في جميع أنحاءِ العالم؛ وستكون لغةً إضافيّةً إلى جانب اللّغة أو اللّغات الأصليّة للقُطر. والهدف منه توفير سبلٍ أفضل للاتّصال بين الشّعوب، وتخفيض التّكاليف الإداريّة، وخلق روابط أمتن بين كافّة الشعوب والأمم.