November 30, 2009

Cities of Europe and North America Visited by ‘Abdu’l-Baha during 1911-1913

Thonon-les-Bains, Switzerland
Paris, France
Stuttgart, Germany
Budapest, Hungary
London, England
Clifton, England
Byfleet, England
Oxford, England
Edinburgh, Scotland

November 26, 2009

There are Three Versions of the Torah

“ …the Torah, held to be the most ancient of histories, existeth today in three separate versions: the Hebrew, considered authentic by the Jews and the Protestant clergy; the Greek Septuagint, which was used as authoritative in the Greek and other eastern churches; and the Samaritan Torah, the standard authority for that people. These three versions differ greatly, one from another, even with regard to the lifetimes of the celebrated figures.

November 23, 2009

The Greatest Divine Institute – the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar

"The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar [Baha’i temple] is the most important matter and the greatest divine institute. Consider how the first institute of his holiness Moses, after his exodus from Egypt was the 'Tent of Martyrdom' which he raised and which was the traveling temple. It was a tent which they pitched in the desert wherever they abode, and worshipped in it. Likewise, after his holiness Christ-May the spirit of the world be a sacrifice to Him-the first institute by the disciples was a temple. They planned a church in every country. Consider the Gospel, (i. e., read it), and the importance of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar will become evident. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, quoted in Baha’i Year Book 1925-1926, p. 65)

November 20, 2009

We can’t be too exemplary

“The eyes of the people of the world are beginning to be focused on us; and, as humanity's plight goes from bad to worse, we will be watched ever more intently by non-Baha'is, to see whether we do uphold our own institutions whole-heartedly; whether we are the people of the new creation or not; whether we live up to our beliefs, principles and laws in deed as well as word. We cannot be too careful. We cannot be too exemplary.” (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 350)

November 16, 2009

How early Eastern believers viewed birthday celebrations

It is interesting to note that the early believers in the East during the days of Bahá'u'lláh and ‘Abdu'l-Bahá never celebrated their own birthdays. They considered that such an act would imply self-glorification, a means of boosting one's ego. It never crossed their minds that a certain day was their birthday. So real and genuine was this attitude that a great many individuals did not know the exact date of their birth. In the absence of birth certificates, some parents would record the date of the birth of their children in a certain book, much as Westerners used the family Bible for the same purpose. Even then an individual would be deeply insulted if someone wanted to celebrate his birthday, [1] for the only persons whose birthday merited celebration were the Prophets and Chosen Ones of God. Instead of celebrating birthdays, however, these people held regular annual memorial meetings, inviting their friends to join in remembering one of their loved ones who had passed away. In such a meeting, they prayed for the progress of his soul, recounted his services to the Cause, described his qualities, recited Tablets revealed in his honour, if any, and offered charitable donations on his behalf. This practice of annual remembrance of the departed, which is not a binding obligation in the Bahá'í Faith, is now followed by many Bahá'í families. The organisation of such meetings is not usually the responsibility of the institutions of the Faith. They are arranged by individuals on the anniversaries of the passing of their loved ones.

[1 It must be noted that there is nothing in the Bahá'í writings either to condemn the celebration of one's birthday or to encourage it. ] (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha'u'llah, p. 16)

November 13, 2009

Professor E.G. Browne’s view of the Advent of the Bab

 "I am very anxious to get as accurate an account of all the details connected with the [faith of the Bab] as possible, for in my eyes the whole [story] seems one of the most interesting and important events that has occurred since the rise of Christianity -- and I feel it my duty, as well as my pleasure, to try as far as in me lies to bring the matter to the notice of my countrymen -- for suppose anyone could tell us more about the childhood and early life and appearance of Christ, for instance, how glad we should be to know it. Now it is impossible to find out much -- but in the case of the Báb it is possible -- So let us earn the thanks of posterity, and provide against that day now." (E.G. Browne of Cambridge University, quoted in The Chosen Highway)

November 7, 2009

The Highest Station for a Woman

The Greatest Holy Leaf was elevated by Baha’u’llah to “a ‘station such as none other woman hath surpassed,’ and comparable in rank to those immortal heroines such as Sarah, Asiyih, the Virgin Mary, Fatimih and Tahirih, each of whom has outshone every member of her sex in previous Dispensations.” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 347)

November 5, 2009

The Heart of the Planet

The World Center of the Faith located in Israel “.. geographically, spiritually and administratively, constitutes the heart of the entire planet..”. (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, 32; the Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, p.338)

November 2, 2009

Who is the "archetype" of the people of Baha?

Did you know that the Guardian referred to the Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahiyyih Khanum, who was the daughter of Baha’u’llah, as “that archetype of the people of Baha”? (Shoghi Effendi, Bayiyyih Khanum, p. 30). Archetype is defined in the dictionary as: (1) The original pattern, or model, from which all other things of the same kind are made; a prototype; and (2) a perfect example of a type or group. Notice that the reference from the Guardian doesn’t have a gender distinction.

Here are some of her qualities that the Guardian highlighted: