May 26, 2010

Baha’u’llah’s Seals

Apart from one seal which bore His name, Husayn-'Ali, Bahá'u'lláh had altogether ten seals which were made at different times during His ministry. Only one of them bears the inscription 'Bahá'u'lláh'. A few contain passages which describe Him as a Prisoner and the One Whom the world has wronged. Others declare in majestic language and unmistakable terms His undisputed authority, His transcendent majesty and His glorious station as the Supreme Manifestation of God and His Vicegerent on this earth. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 24) To see pictures of these seals please visit Baha’i Sacred Relics

May 19, 2010

The Bab Revealed Nine Commentaries on the Whole of the Qur’an While Incarcerated in Mah-Ku for Nine Months

Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunuzi who, as one of the secretaries of the Bab, was engaged in transcribing the verses which He dictated to His amanuensis while imprisoned in Mah-ku for nine months, related the following fascinating account to Nabil, the author of the Dawn-Breakers:

"When subsequently He was incarcerated in the fortress of Mah-Ku, in the province of Adhirbayjan, I was engaged in transcribing the verses which He dictated to His amanuensis. Every night, for a period of nine months, during which He was a prisoner in that fort, He revealed, after He had offered His evening prayer, a commentary on a juz' [a juz' is one-thirtieth of the Qur'án] of the Qur'án. At the end of each month a commentary on the whole of that sacred Book was thus completed. During His incarceration in Mah-Ku, nine commentaries on the whole of the Qur'án had been revealed by Him. The texts of these commentaries were entrusted, in Tabriz, to the keeping of a certain Siyyid Ibrahim-i-Khalil, who was instructed to conceal them until the time for their publication might arrive. Their fate is unknown until now.”

"In connection with one of these commentaries, the Báb one day asked me: 'Which do you prefer, this commentary which I have revealed, or the Ahsanu'l-Qisas, My previous commentary on the Surih of Joseph? Which of the two is superior, in your estimation?' 'To me,' I replied, 'the Ahsanu'l-Qisas seems to be endowed with greater power and charm.' He smiled at my observation and said: 'You are as yet unfamiliar with the tone and tenor of this later commentary. The truths enshrined in this will more speedily and effectively enable the seeker to attain the object of his quest.'” (The Dawn-Breakers, Nabil's Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Revelation,Translated and Edited by Shoghi Effendi p. 26)

May 16, 2010

Percentage of Women on NSA's by Continent -- as of 1993

Percentage of women on National Spiritual Assemblies by continent -- as of 1993 (The Baha'i world, 1992-1993)

May 12, 2010

Advice from ‘Abdu’l-Baha to keep in mind when one feels he/she is “in the right in a case in dispute, and his minority prevents him from establishing this rightful matter”

Blessed are they who are the means of making unity among the friends, and pity on those who in the right or wrong are the cause of discord. For instance: When one is in the right in a case in dispute, and his minority prevents him from establishing this rightful matter, instead of agitating the subject, if he will humbly submit to sacrifice his position for the sake of unity and peace, God will accept that sacrifice and ere long the rightful matter will be established without any further dispute, by the Divine assistance; whereas without such sacrifice and submissiveness great harm might ensue.

The friends must be prepared to efface themselves at all times. Seeking the approval of men is many times the cause of imperiling the approval of God. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Vol. VI, no. 6, June 24, 1915)

May 10, 2010

Tests are means of ripening one’s spirit

In this day every one must be tested, as the time of the "chosen ones" to prove their worth is indeed very short. The day of attainment is drawing to a close for them. The "first fruits" must be ripened in spirit, mellowed in love, and consumed by their self-sacrifice and severance. None other are acceptable as first fruits and all who fail to attain to the standard through the tests, are relegated to the "many who are called."

The more one is severed from the world, from desires, from human affairs and conditions, the more impervious does one become to the tests of God. Tests are a means by which a soul is measured as to its fitness, and proven out by its own acts. God knows its fitness beforehand, and also its unpreparedness, but man, with an ego, would not believe himself unfit unless proofs were given him. Consequently, his susceptibility to evil is proven to him when he falls into the tests, and the tests are continued until the soul realizes its own unfitness, then remorse and regret tend to root out the weakness.

The same test comes again in greater degree, until it is shown that a former weakness has become a strength, and the power to overcome evil has been established. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Vol. VI, no. 6, June 24, 1915)