Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Universal House of Justice elected

HAIFA, Israel —
The results of the election of the nine members of the Universal House of Justice have been announced.
The members of the Universal House of Justice are, from left to right, Paul Lample, Firaydoun Javaheri, Payman Mohajer, Gustavo Correa, Shahriar Razavi, Stephen Birkland, Stephen Hall, Chuungu Malitonga, and Ayman Rouhani.
 More than 1,500 ballots were cast yesterday for membership of the council that serves as the head of the Baha'i Faith. Those elected for the next five-year term are Paul Lample, Firaydoun Javaheri, Payman Mohajer, Gustavo Correa, Shahriar Razavi, Stephen Birkland, Stephen Hall, Chuungu Malitonga, and Ayman Rouhani.
 The election marked the 50th anniversary of the first election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963. The supreme governing council of the Baha'i Faith is entrusted by Baha'u'llah in His own writings with exerting a positive influence on the welfare of humankind, promoting education, peace and global prosperity, and safeguarding human honor and the position of religion. It is responsible for applying the Baha'i teachings to the requirements of an ever-evolving society and legislating on matters not explicitly covered in the Faith's sacred texts.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Lest any observer of the Cause be tempted to misunderstand such warnings as only metaphorical, Shoghi Effendi, drawing some of the historical implications, wrote in 1941:

 A tempest, unprecedented in its violence, unpredictable in its course, catastrophic in its immediate effects, unimaginably glorious in its ultimate consequences, is at present sweeping the face of the earth. Its driving power is remorselessly gaining in range and momentum. Its cleansing force, however much undetected, is increasing with every passing day. Humanity, gripped in the clutches of its devastating power, is smitten by the evidences of its resistless fury. It can neither perceive its origin, nor probe its significance, nor discern its outcome. Bewildered, agonized and helpless, it watches this great and mighty wind of God invading the remotest and fairest regions of the earth, rocking its foundations, deranging its equilibrium, sundering its nations, disrupting the homes of its peoples, wasting its cities, driving into exile its kings, pulling down its bulwarks, uprooting its institutions, dimming its light, and harrowing up the souls of its inhabitants.

Bahá'í International Community: Century of Light

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Delegates arrive for International Baha'i Convention

HAIFA, Israel — More than 1,000 delegates representing 157 countries have arrived here to participate in the 11th International Baha'i Convention. A global election process that began with Baha'is in more than 100,000 cities and villages around the world culminates on Monday, when delegates will gather to elect the nine members of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Baha'i Faith.

First elected 50 years ago in 1963, the Universal House of Justice is entrusted by Baha'u'llah in His own writings with exerting a positive influence on the welfare of humankind, promoting education, peace and global prosperity, and safeguarding human honor and the position of religion. It is responsible for applying the Baha'i teachings to the requirements of an ever-evolving society and legislating on matters not explicitly covered in the Faith's sacred texts.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This holy Dispensation,...

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s authentic pronouncements should, likewise, be recalled as confirming, in no less emphatic manner, the unexampled vastness of the Bahá’í Dispensation. “Centuries,” He affirms in one of His Tablets, “nay, countless ages, must pass away ere the Day-Star of Truth shineth again in its mid-summer splendor, or appeareth once more in the radiance of its vernal glory… The mere contemplation of the Dispensation inaugurated by the Blessed Beauty would have sufficed to overwhelm the saints of bygone ages—saints who longed to partake, for one moment, of its great glory.” “Concerning the Manifestations that will come down in the future ‘in the shadows of the clouds,’” He, in a still more definite language, affirms, “know, verily, that in so far as their relation to the Source of their inspiration is concerned, they are under the shadow of the Ancient Beauty. In their relation, however, to the age in which they appear, each and every one of them ‘doeth whatsoever He willeth.’” “This holy Dispensation,” He, alluding to the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, explains, “is illumined with the light of the Sun of Truth shining from its most exalted station, and in the plenitude of its resplendency, its heat and glory.”

Shoghi Effendi: The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Divine Springtime is come,

This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of Thy Lord, the Gracious, the Most Bountiful. Verily, We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days. This is the Day whereon the unseen world crieth out: “Great is thy blessedness, O earth, for thou hast been made the foot-stool of thy God, and been chosen as the seat of His mighty throne.” The realm of glory exclaimeth: “Would that my life could be sacrificed for thee, for He Who is the Beloved of the All-Merciful hath established His sovereignty upon thee, through the power of His Name that hath been promised unto all things, whether of the past or of the future.”

This is the Day whereon every sweet smelling thing hath derived its fragrance from the smell of My garment—a garment that hath shed its perfume upon the whole of creation. This is the Day whereon the rushing waters of everlasting life have gushed out of the Will of the All-Merciful. Haste ye, with your hearts and souls, and quaff your fill, O Concourse of the realms above!

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Final Consummation

Only those who are willing to associate the Revelation proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh with the consummation of so stupendous an evolution in the collective life of the whole human race can grasp the significance of the words which He, while alluding to the glories of this promised Day and to the duration of the Bahá’í Era, has deemed fit to utter. “This is the King of Days,” He exclaims, “the Day that hath seen the coming of the Best-Beloved, Him Who, through all eternity, hath been acclaimed the Desire of the World.” “The Scriptures of past Dispensations,” He further asserts, “celebrate the great jubilee that must needs greet this most great Day of God. Well is it with him that hath lived to see this Day and hath recognized its station.” “It is evident,” He, in another passage explains, “that every age in which a Manifestation of God hath lived is divinely-ordained, and may, in a sense, be characterized as God’s appointed Day. This Day, however, is unique, and is to be distinguished from those that have preceded it.The designation ‘Seal of the Prophets’ fully revealeth its high station. The Prophetic Cycle hath verily ended. The Eternal Truth is now come. He hath lifted up the ensign of power, and is now shedding upon the world the unclouded splendor of His Revelation.
” “In this most mighty Revelation,” He, in categorical language, declares, “all the Dispensations of the past have attained their highest, their final consummation. That which hath been made manifest in this préeminent, this most exalted Revelation, standeth unparalleled in the annals of the past, nor will future ages witness its like.”

Shoghi Effendi: The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Friday, April 19, 2013

In one of His letters, Bahá’u’lláh refers to a vision that He had in the Ridván Garden:

 "One day of days We repaired unto Our Green Island. Upon Our arrival, We beheld its streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant, and the sunlight playing in their midst. Turning Our face to the right, We beheld what the pen is powerless to describe; nor can it set forth that which the eye of the Lord of Mankind witnessed in that most sanctified, that most sublime, that blest, and most exalted Spot. Turning, then, to the left We gazed on one of the Beauties of the Most Sublime Paradise, standing on a pillar of light, and calling aloud saying: 'O inmates of earth and heaven! Behold ye My beauty, and My radiance, and My revelation, and My effulgence. By God, the True One! I am Trustworthiness and the revelation thereof, and the beauty thereof. I will recompense whosoever will cleave unto Me, and recognize My rank and station, and hold fast unto My hem. I am the most great ornament of the people of Baha, and the vesture of glory unto all who are in the kingdom of creation. I am the supreme instrument for the prosperity of the world, and the horizon of assurance unto all beings.' Thus have We sent down for thee that which will draw men nigh unto the Lord of creation."

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas,

عید اعظم رضوان

 حقّ جَلَّ جَلالُه از برای ظهور جواهر معانی از معدن انسانی آمده الیوم دینُ اللّه و مذهبُ اللّه آنکه مذاهب مختلفه و سُبُل متعدّده را سبب و علّت بغضا ننمایند این اصول و قوانین و راه های محکم متین از مَطلَعِ واحد ظاهر و ازمَشرقِ واحد مُشرق و این اختلافات نظر به مَصالحِ وقت و زمان و قرون و اعصار بوده ای اهل بها کمر همّت را محکم نمایید که شاید جدال و نزاع مذهبی از بین اهل عالم مرتفع شود و محو گردد حُبّاً لِلّهِ وَ لِعِبادِه بر این امر عظیم خطیر قیام نمایید ضغینه و بغضای مذهبی ناریست عالم سوز و اِطفآءِ آن بسیار صَعبْ مگر یَدِ قدرتِ الهی ناس را از این بلاء عقیم نجات بخشد... ای اهل عالم همه بار یک دارید و برگ یک شاخسار به کمال محبّت و اتّحاد و مودّت و اتّفاق سلوک نمایید قسم به آفتاب حقیقت نور اتّفاق آفاق را روشن و منوّر سازد حَقِّ آگاه گواه این گفتار بوده و هست جهد نمایید تا به این مقام بلند اعلی که مقام صیانت و حفظ عالم انسانی است فائز شوید این قصد سلطان مقاصد و این اَمَلْ مَلیکِ آمال ولکن تا افق آفتاب عدل از سحاب تیرۀ ظلم فارغ نشود ظهور این مقام مشکل به نظر می آید و سَحابِ تیره مَظاهر ظنون و اوهامند یعنی علمای عصر. گاهی به لسان شریعت و هنگامی به لسان حقیقت و طریقت نطق نمودیم و مقصدِ اَقصی و غایتِ قُصوی ظهور این مقام بلند اعلی بوده کَفی بِاللّهِ شَهیداً ای اهل بها با جمیع اهل عالم بروح و ریحان معاشرت نمایید اگر نزد شما کلمه و یا جوهریست که دون شما از آن محروم به لسان محبّت و شفقت القا نمایید اگر قبول شد و اثر نمود مقصد حاصل و الّا او را به او گذارید و دربارۀ او دعا نمایید نه جفا لسان شفقت جذّاب قلوبست و مائدۀ روح و بمَثابه معانیست از برای الفاظ و مانندافق است از برای اشراق آفتاب حکمت و دانایی 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Seldom have I seen one whose ...

"Seldom have I seen one whose appearance impressed me more. A tall strongly-built man holding himself straight as an arrow, with white turban and raiment, long black locks reaching almost to the shoulder, broad powerful forehead indicating a strong intellect combined with an unswerving will, eyes keen as a hawk’s, and strongly marked but pleasing features – such was my first impression of ‘Abbás Efendi, ‘the master’…as he, par excellence, is called by the [Bahá’ís]. Subsequent conversation with him served only to heighten the respect with which his appearance had from the first inspired me. One more eloquent of speech, more ready of argument, more apt of illustration, more intimately acquainted with the sacred books of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muhammadans, could, I should think, scarcely be found even among the eloquent, ready, and subtle race to which he belongs. These qualities, combined with a bearing at once majestic and genial, made me cease to wonder at the influence and esteem which he enjoyed even beyond the circle of his father’s followers. About the greatness of this man and his power no one who had seen him could entertain a doubt."

[Edward G. Browne, ed. A Traveller’s Narrative, English translation and notes. (Cambridge University Press, 1891) Vol. II, xxxvi.]

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Be generous in prosperity,...

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

توسعۀ اجتماعى و اقتصادى «جميع از برای اصلاح عالم خلق شده اند»

حضرت بهاءاللّه می فرمايند که «جميع از برای اصلاح عالم خلق شده اند»[۱] . خلق یک جامعۀ جهانی مملو از صلح که حامی رفاه و ترقی فردی و جمعی نوع بشر باشد، محور دیدگاه دیانت بهائی در مورد آینده را تشکیل می دهد. در چهارچوب جامعۀ در حال رشد بهائی که توجه زیادی به دگرگونی اخلاقی و روحانی نشان می دهد، فعالیت های توسعۀ اجتماعی و اقتصادی یکی از

نشانه های تعهد بهائیان به این هدف والاست.

جامعه جهانی بهائی به عنوان یک مجموعۀ زنده و پویا، پا را از مرزبندی های رایج جامعه امروز، مثل «شمال/جنوب» و «توسعه یافته/توسعه نیافته» فراتر می گذارد. بهائیان سراسر دنیا صرف نظر از میزان پیشرفت مادّی کشورهای محلّ سکونت شان به فعالیت های توسعۀ اجتماعی و اقتصادی می پردازند و می کوشند که تعاليم حضرت بهاءاللّه را در فرایند تدريجی بنای تمدّنی جدید به کار برند. هر فرد بالقوّه در اين مسير سهمی دارد.

به اين ترتيب مساعی بهائی در ميدان توسعۀ اقتصادی و اجتماعی معمولاً بر اساس ابتکارات مردم عادی هر دهکده و شهری صورت می گيرد. وقتی اين برنامه ها به رشد و تکامل لازم برسند، به برنامه های پایدارتری با تشکيلات دائمی اداری تبدیل خواهند شد. با این حال تعداد خیلی کمی از این برنامه ها را می توان با برنامه های پيچيدۀ توسعه ای که سازمان های دولتی و سازمان های چندجانبۀ بين المللی با امکانات و سرمايه خود ايجاد کرده اند، مقايسه نمود.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

For man two wings are necessary ...

"Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means. They cannot be established through political power, for the political interests of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot be founded through racial or patriotic power, for these are human powers, selfish and weak. The very nature of racial differences and patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this unity and agreement. Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other powers are too weak and are incapable of accomplishing this."

For man two wings are necessary. One wing is physical power and material civilization; the other is spiritual power and divine civilization. With one wing only, flight is impossible. Two wings are essential. Therefore, no matter how much material civilization advances, it cannot attain to perfection except through the uplift of spiritual civilization.

'Abdu'l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace

Friday, April 12, 2013

Divine Transcendence: Closer than your Life-vein

An awesome post by Peter Rose at Baha'i Blog.

A profound mystery lies deep inside all of us. Buddhists call it “Enlightenment”; Christians call it “Grace”; and Baha’is call it “Divine Bounty”.
 But any mere words we try to use to describe it will always fall short. It is imperative, however, that we find a way to tune into that mystery because this is what makes our lives meaningful, happy and enriched. And getting there is not nearly as hard or as painful or as elusive as we might think. The only real obstacle is us, because we have such pocket-sized attitudes to our own potential. But Baha’u'llah makes it very clear – in the Hidden Words - that all we have to do is reach within and find it.

 O SON OF UTTERANCE! Thou art My stronghold; enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee. 
 O SON OF BEING! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favour upon thee. 
 O SON OF BEING! With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Calamities and Crisis

"Every discerning eye clearly sees that the early stages of this chaos have daily manifestations affecting the structure of human society; its destructive forces are uprooting time-honoured institutions which were a haven and refuge for the inhabitants of the earth in bygone days and centuries, and around which revolved all human affairs. The same destructive forces are also deranging the political, economic, scientific, literary, and moral equilibrium of the world and are destroying the fairest fruits of the present civilization. Political machinations of those in authority have placed the seal of obsolescence upon the root-principles of the world's order. Greed and passion, deceit, hypocrisy, tyranny, and pride are dominating features afflicting human relations. Discoveries and inventions, which are the fruit of scientific and technological advancements, have become the means and tools of mass extermination and destruction and are in the hands of the ungodly. Even music, art, and literature, which are to represent and inspire the noblest sentiments and highest aspirations and should be a source of comfort and tranquility for troubled souls, have strayed from the straight path and are now the mirrors of the soiled hearts of this confused, unprincipled and disordered age. Perversions such as these shall result in the ordeals which have been prophesied by the Blessed Beauty in the following words: 'Every day a new calamity will seize the earth and a fresh tormenting trial will appear'. 'The day is approaching when its (civilization's) flame will devour the cities.'

 "In such an afflicted time, when mankind is bewildered and the wisest of men are perplexed as to the remedy, the people of Bahá, who have confidence in His unfailing grace and divine guidance, are assured that each of these tormenting trials has a cause, a purpose, and a definite result, and all are essential instruments for the establishment of the immutable Will of God on earth. In other words, on the one hand humanity is struck by the scourge of His chastisement which will inevitably bring together the scattered and vanquished tribes of the earth; and on the other, the weak few whom He has nurtured under the protection of His loving guidance are, in this formative age and period of transition, continuing to build amidst these tumultuous waves an impregnable stronghold which will be the sole remaining refuge for those lost multitudes. Therefore, the dear friends of God who have such a broad and clear vision before them are not perturbed by such events, nor are they panic-stricken by such thundering sounds, nor will they face such convulsions with fear and trepidation, nor will they be deterred, even for a moment, from fulfilling their sacred responsibilities. "One of their sacred responsibilities is to exemplify in their lives those attributes which are acceptable at His Sacred Threshold."

From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Iranian believers resident in various countries throughout the world, February 10, 1980

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

O ye that dwell on earth!

O ye that dwell on earth! The religion of God is for love and unity; make it not the cause of enmity or dissension. In the eyes of men of insight and the beholders of the Most Sublime Vision, whatsoever are the effective means for safeguarding and promoting the happiness and welfare of the children of men have already been revealed by the Pen of Glory. But the foolish ones of the earth, being nurtured in evil passions and desires, have remained heedless of the consummate wisdom of Him Who is, in truth, the All-Wise, while their words and deeds are prompted by idle fancies and vain imaginings.

Tablets of Baha'u'llah, 

Monday, April 8, 2013

As material and physical sciences ...

As material and physical sciences are taught here and are constantly unfolding in wider vistas of attainment, I am hopeful that spiritual development may also follow and keep pace with these outer advantages. As material knowledge is illuminating those within the walls of this great temple of learning, so also may the light of the spirit, the inner and divine light of the real philosophy glorify this institution. The most important principle of divine philosophy is the oneness of the world of humanity, the unity of mankind, the bond conjoining East and West, the tie of love which blends human hearts.
Therefore, it is our duty to put forth our greatest efforts and summon all our energies in order that the bonds of unity and accord may be established among mankind. For thousands of years we have had bloodshed and strife. It is enough; it is sufficient. Now is the time to associate together in love and harmony. For thousands of years we have tried the sword and warfare; let mankind for a time at least live in peace.

`Abdu'l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I said, O God, Here am I in Paris! What is Paris and who am I? Never did I dream that from the darkness of my prison I should ever be able to come to you, though when they read me my sentence I did not believe in it.
They told me that ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd had ordered my everlasting imprisonment, and I said, ‘This is impossible! I shall not always be a prisoner. If ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd were immortal, such a sentence might possibly be carried out.
It is certain that one day I shall be free. My body may be captive for a time, but ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd has no power over my spirit—free it must remain—that can no man imprison’.
Released from my prison by the Power of God I meet here the friends of God, and I am thankful unto Him.
Let us spread the Cause of God, for which I suffered persecution. What a privilege it is for us to meet here in freedom. How happy for us that God has so decided that we may work together for the coming of the Kingdom!

`Abdu'l-Bahá: Paris Talks

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Call out to Zion, O Carmel,

Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come! His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendour is revealed. Beware lest thou hesitate or halt. Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favoured of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels. O how I long to announce unto every spot on the surface of the earth, and to carry to each one of its cities, the glad-tidings of this Revelation - a Revelation to which the heart of Sinai hath been attracted, and in whose name the Burning Bush is calling: `Unto God, the Lord of Lords, belong the kingdoms of earth and heaven.' Verily this is the Day in which both land and sea rejoice at this announcement, the Day for which have been laid up those things which God, through a bounty beyond the ken of mortal mind or heart, hath destined for revelation. Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Baha who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.

Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The world’s equilibrium ...

"The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.
 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. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause—a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future..."

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh