July 29, 2010

First Baha’i to live in Vancouver, Canada

In April of 1920, Marion Jack [then 56 years old] moved to Vancouver and was the first Baha'i to live there. She worked with Mrs. Laura Luther of Seattle to arrange for the visit of Jenab-i-Fadl Mazandarani to Vancouver. He spent seven days there in January and February of 1921. As a result of the teaching efforts made during this visit, four people became Baha’is. Marion stayed a few months longer in order to deepen the new believers and in 1922 returned to New Brunswick … (Marion Jack Immortal Heroine, publication Baha’i Canada, 1985) (For a brief write-up about Marion Jack, please visit Baha’i Heroes and Heroines)

July 22, 2010

Examples of changes in social laws associated with various past religions

… the purpose of the religion of God is the education of humanity and the unity and fellowship of mankind. Furthermore, we will establish the point that the foundations of the religions of God are one foundation. This foundation is not multiple, for it is reality itself. Reality does not admit of multiplicity, although each of the divine religions is separable into two divisions. One concerns the world of morality and the ethical training of human nature. It is directed to the advancement of the world of humanity in general; it reveals and inculcates the knowledge of God and makes possible the discovery of the verities of life. This is ideal and spiritual teaching, the essential quality of divine religion, and not subject to change or transformation. It is the one foundation of all the religions of God. Therefore, the religions are essentially one and the same.

July 21, 2010

What is the conclusive evidence of the divine origin of known Messengers of God?

What, then, is the mission of the divine Prophets? Their mission is the education and advancement of the world of humanity. They are the real Teachers and Educators, the universal Instructors of mankind. If we wish to discover whether any one of these great Souls or Messengers was in reality a Prophet of God, we must investigate the facts surrounding His life and history, and the first point of our investigation will be the education He bestowed upon mankind. If He has been an Educator, if He has really trained a nation or people, causing it to rise from the lowest depths of ignorance to the highest station of knowledge, then we are sure that He was a Prophet. This is a plain and clear method of procedure, proof that is irrefutable. We do not need to seek after other proofs. We do not need to mention miracles, saying that out of rock water gushed forth, for such miracles and statements may be denied and refused by those who hear them. The deeds of Moses are conclusive evidences of His Prophethood. If a man be fair, unbiased and willing to investigate reality, he will undoubtedly testify to the fact that Moses was, verily, a man of God and a great Personage. (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 363)

July 19, 2010

Socrates, Hippocrates and other Greek philosophers visited Palestine and acquired wisdom from the Jewish prophets

This unique Personage [Moses], single and alone, rescued the children of Israel from bondage through the power of religious training and discipline. He led them to the Holy Land and founded there a great civilization which has become permanent and renowned and under which these people attained the highest degree of honor and glory. He freed them from bondage and captivity. He imbued them with qualities of progressiveness and capability. They proved to be a civilizing people with instincts toward education and scholastic attainment. Their philosophy became renowned; their industries were celebrated throughout the nations. In all lines of advancement which characterize a progressive people they achieved distinction. In the splendor of the reign of Solomon their sciences and arts advanced to such a degree that even the Greek philosophers journeyed to Jerusalem to sit at the feet of the Hebrew sages and acquire the basis of Israelitish law. According to eastern history this is an established fact. Even Socrates visited the Jewish doctors in the Holy Land, consorting with them and discussing the principles and basis of their religious belief. After his return to Greece he formulated his philosophical teaching of divine unity and advanced his belief in the immortality of the spirit beyond the dissolution of the body. Without doubt, Socrates absorbed these verities from the wise men of the Jews with whom he came in contact. Hippocrates and other philosophers of the Greeks likewise visited Palestine and acquired wisdom from the Jewish prophets, studying the basis of ethics and morality, returning to their country with contributions which have made Greece famous. (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 361-369)

July 14, 2010

“The Báb wrote a letter containing three hundred and sixty derivatives of the root Baha” – Baha’u’llah’s name

The Báb announced that the greater Manifestation would take place after Him and called the Promised One "Him Whom God shall make manifest," saying that nine years later the reality of His own mission would become apparent. In His writings He stated that in the ninth year this expected One would be known; in the ninth year they would attain to all glory and felicity; in the ninth year they would advance rapidly. Between Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb there was communication privately. The Báb wrote a letter containing three hundred and sixty derivatives of the root Baha. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 24)

July 6, 2010

Some religious references to the city of 'Akka

'Akká had achieved fame more than once in its long history. It had refused to bow to mighty conquerors. Prophets of Israel as well as the Prophet of Arabia had alluded to it in terms that exalted it above other towns and cities of glittering splendour. Hosea had said that 'Akká was 'a door of hope'. Ezekiel had referred to it as 'the gate that looketh toward the east' to which 'the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east' It was Ptolemais in the days when Jesus walked the Mediterranean shore. And Muhammad had said: 'Blessed the man that hath visited 'Akká, and blessed he that hath visited the visitor of 'Akká . . . A month in 'Akká is better than a thousand years elsewhere.' (Balyuzi, ‘Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant’, p. 25; citations from God Passes By, p. 187. See also Hosea ii. I5, and Ezekiel xliii. I-2. Hosea refers to it as ‘the valley of Achor’.)