Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not Even A Lamp


Published on May 28, 2013.
 In the Persian Bayan, the Bab recorded that during the long nights of His imprisonment in the remote mountain fortress of Mah-ku, He was denied even a lamp. In memory of His suffering, Abdu'l-Baha spoke of a day when the Shrine of the Bab and "Mount Carmel itself, from top to bottom, will be submerged in a sea of Light." The waves of light that illuminate the terrace gardens are symbolic of His triumph and that of His Faith. This definitive documentary presents a comprehensive report on what has happened on Mount Carmel, whose transformation is a physical expression of the growing strength of the world-wide Baha'i community.

 This remarkable story draws upon hundreds of hours of footage taken from the inception of the Mount Carmel Projects to their opening in May 2001 and is an important historical document for present and future generations.
 Copyright 2001 by the Baha'i World Centre, all rights reserved.

The passing of Bahá’u’lláh

In the early hours of 29 May 1892, Bahá’u’lláh passed away at the Mansion of Bahjí. Nine days later His will was unsealed. It designated ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as His successor and head of the Bahá'í Faith — the first time in history that the founder of a world religion had made explicitly clear whom people should follow after His death. This declaration of a successor is the pivotal provision of what is known to Bahá'ís as the "Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh." It has enabled the Bahá'í Faith to remain united around one central authority for over a century.

Shortly after the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sent this message: "The Sun of Truth, that Most Great Light, hath set upon the horizon of the world to rise with deathless splendour over the Realm of the Limitless. In His Most Holy Book He calleth the firm and steadfast of His friends: 'Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men.'"

Read more at The life of Bahá’u’lláh

Commemoration of the passing of Baha’u’llah,

In the early hours of May 29, Baha’is and friends will gather to commemorate the passing of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, 121 years ago.
 The unity of the peoples of the world is central to Baha’u’llah’s teachings. The concept that we are one human family is relevant to understanding current society and its interdependence. Reinforcing this idea of the unity of humanity, Baha’u’llah’s teachings include the equality of women and men, the limitation of the extremes of wealth and poverty, and the common purpose and Divine Source of all world religions.
 As with all previous Messengers of God, Baha’u’llah was subjected to persecution by the ruling authorities and clergy. Nevertheless, the number of Baha’u’llah’s followers grew quickly. Exiled from His Persian homeland to Iraq, to Constantinople (Istanbul), to Adrianople (Edirne), and finally to the distant prison-city of Akka — then part of the Ottoman Empire and now in Israel, the attempts of the authorities to limit Baha’u’llah’s influence actually caused His message to spread...

Canadian Baha'i News Service.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dost thou believe thou ....

Dost thou imagine, O Minister of the Sháh in the City (Constantinople), that I hold within My grasp the ultimate destiny of the Cause of God? Thinkest thou that My imprisonment, or the shame I have been made to suffer, or even My death and utter annihilation, can deflect its course? Wretched is what thou hast imagined in thine heart! Thou art indeed of them that walk after the vain imaginings which their hearts devise. No God is there but Him. Powerful is He to manifest His Cause, and to exalt His testimony, and to establish whatsoever is His Will, and to elevate it to so eminent a position that neither thine own hands, nor the hands of them that have turned away from Him, can ever touch or harm it.
“Dost thou believe thou hast the power to frustrate His Will, to hinder Him from executing His judgement, or to deter Him from exercising His sovereignty? Pretendest thou that aught in the heavens or in the earth can resist His Faith? No, by Him Who is the Eternal Truth! Nothing whatsoever in the whole of creation can thwart His Purpose . . . ” Know thou, moreover, that He it is Who hath, by His own behest, created all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. How can, then, the thing that hath been created at His bidding prevail against Him?”

O army of God!

O army of God! Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Pray ye for all; ask ye that all be blessed, all be forgiven. Beware, beware, lest any of you seek vengeance, even against one who is thirsting for your blood. Beware, beware, lest ye offend the feelings of another, even though he be an evil-doer, and he wish you ill. Look ye not upon the creatures, turn ye to their Creator. See ye not the never-yielding people, see but the Lord of Hosts. Gaze ye not down upon the dust, gaze upward at the shining sun, which hath caused every patch of darksome earth to glow with light.
O army of God! When calamity striketh, be ye patient and composed. However afflictive your sufferings may be, stay ye undisturbed, and with perfect confidence in the abounding grace of God, brave ye the tempest of tribulations and fiery ordeals.

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Báb’s exalted station

Wishing to stress the sublimity of the Báb’s exalted station as compared with that of the Prophets of the past, Bahá’u’lláh in that same epistle asserts: “No understanding can grasp the nature of His Revelation, nor can any knowledge comprehend the full measure of His Faith.” He then quotes, in confirmation of His argument, these prophetic words: “Knowledge is twenty and seven letters. All that the Prophets have revealed are two letters thereof. No man thus far hath known more than these two letters. But when the Qá’im shall arise, He will cause the remaining twenty and five letters to be made manifest.” “Behold,” He adds, “how great and lofty is His station! His rank excelleth that of all the Prophets and His Revelation transcendeth the comprehension and understanding of all their chosen ones.” “Of His Revelation,” He further adds, “the Prophets of God, His saints and chosen ones, have either not been informed, or, in pursuance of God’s inscrutable decree, they have not disclosed.”

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Declaration of the Bab

The Birth of the Bábí Revelation

House of The BÁB In shiraz, Iran.
May 23, 1844, signalizes the commencement of the most turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Era, an age which marks the opening of the most glorious epoch in the greatest cycle which the spiritual history of mankind has yet witnessed. No more than a span of nine short years marks the duration of this most spectacular, this most tragic, this most eventful period of the first Bahá’í century. It was ushered in by the birth of a Revelation whose Bearer posterity will acclaim as the “Point round Whom the realities of the Prophets and Messengers revolve,” and terminated with the first stirrings of a still more potent Revelation, “whose day,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself affirms, “every Prophet hath announced,” for which “the soul of every Divine Messenger hath thirsted,” and through which “God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets.”

House of The BÁB In shiraz, Iran.
The opening scene of the initial act of this great drama was laid in the upper chamber of the modest residence of the son of a mercer of Shíráz, in an obscure corner of that city. The time was the hour before sunset, on the 22nd day of May, 1844. The participants were the Báb, a twenty-five year old siyyid, of pure and holy lineage, and the young Mullá Husayn, the first to believe in Him. Their meeting immediately before that interview seemed to be purely fortuitous. The interview itself was protracted till the hour of dawn. The Host remained closeted alone with His guest, nor was the sleeping city remotely aware of the import of the conversation they held with each other. No record has passed to posterity of that unique night save the fragmentary but highly illuminating account that fell from the lips of Mullá Husayn.

Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Báb

Of all the tributes which Bahá’u’lláh’s unerring pen has chosen to pay to the memory of the Báb, His “Best-Beloved,” the most memorable and touching is this brief, yet eloquent passage which so greatly enhances the value of the concluding passages of that same epistle. “Amidst them all,” He writes, referring to the afflictive trials and dangers besetting Him in the city of Baghdád, “We stand life in hand wholly resigned to His Will, that perchance through God’s loving kindness and grace, this revealed and manifest Letter (Bahá’u’lláh) may lay down His life as a sacrifice in the path of the Primal Point, the most exalted Word (the Báb). By Him, at Whose bidding the Spirit hath spoken, but for this yearning of Our soul, We would not, for one moment, have tarried any longer in this city.”

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


مهمترين و مؤثّر ترين محامدی که از يراعهء عظمت حضرت بهآءاللّه در ذکر محبوب خويش يعنی حضرت اعلی نازل و در ضمن آن به بلايا و رزايای واردهء بر خود در مدينهء بغداد اشاره فرموده‌اند اين بيان موجز و بليغ است که مسک الختام آن کتاب مستطاب ميباشد : " و اين عبد در کمال رضا جان بر کف حاضرم که شايد از عنايت الهی و فضل سبحانی اين حرف مذکور مشهود ( حضرت بهآءاللّه ) در سبيل نقطه و کلمه عُليا ( حضرت باب ) فدا شود و جان در بازد و اگر اين خيال نبود فوالّذی نطق الرُّوح بامره آنی در اين بلد توقّف نمينمودم . "

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Báb

That the Báb, the inaugurator of the Bábí Dispensation, is fully entitled to rank as one of the self-
sufficient Manifestations of God, that He has been invested with sovereign power and authority, and exercises all the rights and prerogatives of independent Prophethood, is yet another fundamental verity which the Message of Bahá’u’lláh insistently proclaims and which its followers must uncompromisingly uphold. That He is not to be regarded merely as an inspired Precursor of the Bahá’í Revelation, that in His person, as He Himself bears witness in the Persian Bayán, the object of all the Prophets gone before Him has been fulfilled, is a truth which I feel it my duty to demonstrate and emphasize. We would assuredly be failing in our duty to the Faith we profess and would be violating one of its basic and sacred principles if in our words or by our conduct we hesitate to recognize the implications of this root principle of Bahá’í belief, or refuse to uphold unreservedly its integrity and demonstrate its truth. Indeed the chief motive actuating me to undertake the task of editing and translating Nabíl’s immortal Narrative has been to enable every follower of the Faith in the West to better understand and more readily grasp the tremendous implications of His exalted station and to more ardently admire and love Him....


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

The Báb

The short duration of His Dispensation, the restricted range within which His laws and ordinances have been made to operate, supply no criterion whatever wherewith to judge its Divine origin and to evaluate the potency of its message. “That so brief a span,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself explains, “should have separated this most mighty and wondrous Revelation from Mine own previous Manifestation, is a secret that no man can unravel and a mystery such as no mind can fathom. Its duration had been foreordained, and no man shall ever discover its reason unless and until he be informed of the contents of My Hidden Book.” “Behold,” Bahá’u’lláh further explains in the Kitáb-i-Badí’, one of His works refuting the arguments of the people of the Bayán, “behold, how immediately upon the completion of the ninth year of this wondrous, this most holy and merciful Dispensation, the requisite number of pure, of wholly consecrated and sanctified souls had been most secretly consummated.”
The marvelous happenings that have heralded the advent of the Founder of the Bábí Dispensation, the dramatic circumstances of His own eventful life, the miraculous tragedy of His martyrdom, the magic of His influence exerted on the most eminent and powerful among His countrymen, to all of which every chapter of Nabíl’s stirring narrative testifies, should in themselves be regarded as sufficient evidence of the validity of His claim to so exalted a station among the Prophets.

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

Saturday, May 18, 2013

At a time when the Cause of the Bab ...

 "At a time when the Cause of the Bab seemed to be hovering on the brink of extinction, when the hopes and ambitions which animated it had, to all human seeming, been frustrated, when the colossal sacrifices of its unnumbered lovers appeared to have been made in vain, the Divine Promise enshrined within it was about to be suddenly redeemed, and its final perfection mysteriously manifested. The Babi Dispensation was being brought to its close (not prematurely but in its own appointed time), and was yielding its destined fruit and revealing its ultimate purpose -- the birth of the Mission of Baha'u'llah. In this most dark and dreadful hour a New Light was about to break in glory on Persia's somber horizon. As a result of what was in fact an evolving, ripening process, the most momentous if not the most spectacular stage in the Heroic Age of the Faith was
now about to open.

During nine years, as foretold by the Báb Himself, swiftly, mysteriously and irresistibly the embryonic Faith conceived by Him had been developing until, at the fixed hour, the burden of the promised Cause of God was cast amidst the gloom and agony of the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán. "Behold," Bahá'u'lláh Himself, years later, testified, in refutation of the claims of those who had rejected the validity of His mission following so closely upon that of the Báb, "how immediately upon the completion of the ninth year of this wondrous, this most holy and merciful Dispensation, the requisite number of pure, of wholly consecrated and sanctified souls has been most secretly consummated." "That so brief an interval," He, moreover has asserted, "should have separated this most mighty and wondrous Revelation from Mine own previous Manifestation is a secret that no man can unravel, and a mystery such as no mind can fathom. Its duration had been foreordained."
 
Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By."


Message and Prayer for Baha'is of Iran 2009


Few years old, but has not lost it's affect.
A moving message from the Universal House of Justice, (international governing body of the Baha'i Faith) preceded by a short but beautiful provisional translation of a prayer revealed by Baha'u'llah for His imprisoned followers in Iran. Wonderful soundtrack by Alexander Zografov.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

UNIVERSAL PEACE

This recent war has proved to the world and the people that war is destruction while Universal Peace is construction; war is death while peace is life; war is rapacity and bloodthirstiness while peace is beneficence and humaneness; war is an appurtenance of the world of nature while peace is of the foundation of the religion of God; war is darkness upon darkness while peace is heavenly light; war is the destroyer of the edifice of mankind while peace is the everlasting life of the world of humanity; war is like a devouring wolf while peace is like the angels of heaven; war is the struggle for existence while peace is mutual aid and cooperation among the peoples of the world and the cause of the good-pleasure of the True One in the heavenly realm.
There is not one soul whose conscience does not testify that in this day there is no more important matter in the world than that of Universal Peace. Every just one bears witness to this and adores that esteemed Assembly because its aim is that this darkness may be changed into light, this bloodthirstiness into kindness, this torment into bliss, this hardship into ease and this enmity and hatred into fellowship and love. Therefore, the effort of those esteemed souls is worthy of praise and commendation.

Selected Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

UK religious leaders call for release of imprisoned Baha’is


A delegation of religious leaders in the United Kingdom today met with Alistair Burt, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, presenting him with an open letter calling for the release of the seven imprisoned Iranian Baha’i leaders.
 Addressed to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, the letter was signed by 50 individuals representing virtually every religious community in the United Kingdom, including the Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism. His Grace Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre with Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt.
Signatories to the letter included Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, and Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra. His Grace Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre, handed the message to Mr. Burt.

Read more ...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Five Years Too Many


The Five Years Too Many campaign has produced an official campaign video. Three and a half minutes long, it may be freely distributed through social networks. Please share.
 The video can be viewed and shared through this link: https://vimeo.com/mediamakesus/fiveyears

Saturday, May 11, 2013

O Thou Provider!


... O Thou Provider! Assist Thou these noble friends to win Thy good pleasure, and make them well-wishers of stranger and friend alike. Bring them into the world that abideth forever; grant them a portion of heavenly grace; cause them to be true Bahá’ís, sincerely of God; save them from outward semblances, and establish them firmly in the truth. Make them signs and tokens of the Kingdom, luminous stars above the horizons of this nether life. Make them to be a comfort and a solace to humankind and servants to the peace of the world. Exhilarate them with the wine of Thy counsel, and grant that all of them may tread the path of Thy commandments.
O Thou Provider! The dearest wish of this servant of Thy Threshold is to behold the friends of east and west in close embrace; to see all the members of human society gathered with love in a single great assemblage, even as individual drops of water collected in one mighty sea; to behold them all as birds in one garden of roses, as pearls of one ocean, as leaves of one tree, as rays of one sun. Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful, and Thou art the God of strength, the Omnipotent, the All-Seeing.

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá


پیام ٢۰ اردیبهشت ۱۳۹٢, بیت العدل اعظم خطاب به بهائیان ایران

...
دسته‌گلی زیبا یاد احبّای عزیز مهد امر الله را هر لحظه در خاطر زنده نگه می‌داشت. در روز دوم کانونشن پس از شنیدن شرحی از احساسات خالصانۀ شما عزیزان نسبت به جمال اقدس ابهی و آمادگی‌تان برای استقامت سازنده در راه اعلای امر نازنینش، عدّه‌ای از نمایندگان از قارّۀ افریقا به طور دسته‌جمعی به ترنّم سرودی روح‌افزا به افتخار آن محبوبان دل و جان پرداختند. در ایّام تشرّفِ نمایندگان به روضۀ مبارکه و مقامات مقدّسه در ادعیۀ قلبیّه یاد می‌شدید و در طول این مؤتمر فرخنده این بیان شیرین مولای محبوب در گوش جان طنین‌انداز بود: "در محفل انسیم در محضر قدسیم هم ساکن فردوسیم ای جای تو خالی ای جای تو خالی.

" برگزاری این انجمن شور روحانی بین‌المللی مصادف بود با پنجمین سال مسجونیّت اعضای هیئت سابق یاران که برای خدمت به بهائیان ایران به تمشیت امور جامعه مشغول بودند و با دومین سال دست‌گیری عزیزانی که با خلوص نیّت به تدریس علوم و فنون مفیده به جوانان بهائی اشتغال داشتند، جوانانی که به دستور دولت‌مردانِ وطن خویش به خاطر عقاید خود از تحصیلات عالیه محروم گشته‌اند. این وقایع اسف‌بار هر دو نمادی از ظلم و ستمی است که بر کلّیّۀ بهائیان ایران وارد می‌شود و در طیّ دوازده ماه گذشته بدون هیچ دلیل موجّهی شدّت یافته و از اطفال صغیر تا سال‌مندان ضعیف را در بر گرفته است. این جور و عدوانِ منبعث از تعصّب و نادانی دامن‌گیر بسیاری از دیگر شهروندان غیور آن سرزمین نیز گردیده و موجب شده است تا عدّه‌ای از برجسته‌ترین و لایق‌ترین فرزندان آن آب و خاک به بهانه‌های سخیف و بی‌پایه در زندان به سر ‌برند. گویی عاملین این مظالم نه تنها به رضای حقّ و آسایش خلق بی‌اعتنا هستند بلکه از پیامدهای زیان‌بار اجتماعی، اقتصادی، 
روانی و معنوی اعمال‌شان برای کشور باستانی ایران و ملّت شریف آن نیز پروایی ندارند.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Five Years Too Many" campaign event on May 6, 2013


Rainn Wilson of "Office" and freelance journalist Roxana Saberi (who shared a cell with Baha'i prisoners in Iran) speak at the "Five Years Too Many" Campaign

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spiritual principles

"There are spiritual principles, or what some call human values, by which solutions can be found for every social problem. Any well-intentioned group can in a general sense devise practical solutions to its problems, but good intentions and practical knowledge are usually not enough. The essential merit of spiritual principle is that it not only presents a perspective which harmonizes with that which is immanent in human nature, it also induces an attitude, a dynamic, a will, an aspiration, which facilitate the discovery and implementation of practical measures. Leaders of governments and all in authority would be well served in their efforts to solve problems if they would first seek to identify the principles involved and then be guided by them."

The Promise of World Peace A Statement of the Universal House of Justice

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh ...

The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is
that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the non-essential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.
The aim of Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet of this new and great age which humanity has entered...is not to destroy but to fulfil the Revelations of the past, to reconcile rather than accentuate the divergencies of the conflicting creeds which disrupt present-day society.


پيروان آئين بهائی اعتقاد راسخ دارند که جوهر تعاليمی که حضرت بهاءاللّه بعالم ابلاغ فرموده اين است که : حقائق دينی امری است نسبی نه مطلق . ظهورات الهيّه تسلسل دارد و تجدّد يابد . جميع اديان بزرگ عالم اساسشان الهی است . مبادی و اصولشان کاملاً با يکديگر موافق است . آمال و مقاصدشان يکی است . تعاليمشان جلوه هائی متنوّع از حقيقت واحد است . وظائف و اجرائاتشان مکمّل يکديگر است . تفاوتشان فقط در تعاليم فرعی و غير اساسی است . رسالتشان هر يک نماينده مراحلی متتابع در تکامل جامعه انسانی است .
هدف حضرت بهاءاللّه پيامبر اين عصر جديد و عظيم عالم انسانی چنين است ... که ظهورات سابقه را باتمام رساند نه آنکه آنها را مضمحل سازد . سبب آشتی بين اديان شود نه آنکه بر اختلافات معتقدات متضادّشان که سبب انشقاق جامعه کنونی گشته دامن زند .

"Five Years Too Many"

NEW YORK —
To mark the five year anniversary of the wrongful imprisonment of the seven Iranian Baha'i leaders, the Baha'i International Community is launching a campaign to call for their immediate release – and to draw attention to the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.
"On 14 May, the seven innocent Baha'i leaders will have been behind bars for five full years, unjustly imprisoned solely because of their religious beliefs," said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations.
The campaign will run from 5 May through 15 May, under the title "Five Years Too Many." Around the world, Baha'i communities and others are planning public events that focus on the plight of the seven, who face 15 more years in prison, and whose 20-year sentences are the longest of any current prisoners of conscience in Iran.

Baha'i World News Service

Words of Wisdom

THE source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment with His holy will and pleasure.
The essence of wisdom is the fear of God, the dread of His scourge and punishment, and the apprehension of His justice and decree.
The essence of religion is to testify unto that which the Lord hath revealed, and follow that which He hath ordained in His mighty Book.
The source of all glory is acceptance of whatsoever the Lord hath bestowed, and contentment with that which God hath ordained.
The essence of love is for man to turn his heart to the Beloved One, and sever himself from all else but Him, and desire naught save that which is the desire of his Lord.
True remembrance is to make mention of the Lord, the All-Praised, and forget aught else beside Him....


Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, Words of Wisdom

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My work is now done upon this plane;

How well I remember when, more than two years ago, the Beloved Master turning to a distinguished visitor of His, who was seated by Him in His garden, suddenly broke the silence and said:
 "My work is now done upon this plane; it is time for me to pass on to the other world." Did He not in more than one occasion state clearly and emphatically: -- "Were ye to know what will come to pass after me, surely would ye pray that my end be hastened"? In a Tablet sent to Persia when the storm raised years ago by that Committee of Investigation was fiercely raging around Him, when the days of His incarceration were at their blackest, He reveals the following: -- "Now in this world of being, the Hand of Divine Power hath firmly laid the foundations of this all-highest Bounty and this wondrous Gift. Gradually whatsoever is latent in the innermost of this Holy Cycle shall appear and be made manifest, for now is but the beginning of its growth and the dayspring of the revelation of its Signs. Ere the close of this Century and of this Age, it shall be made clear and manifest how wondrous was that Springtide and how heavenly was that Gift!"

Shoghi Effendi, excerpt from a message dated January 21st, 1922

Eleventh International Baha'i Convention: A global community reflects

HAIFA, Israel —
A group photograph of the 11th International Baha'i Convention. The bouquet of red roses in the foreground noted the absence of delegates from Iran.
More than 1,000 representatives of the Baha'i world community gathered here, 29 April-2 May, for a unique global event that was infused with joy, reverence and purpose.
The eleventh International Baha'i Convention marked the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Convention in 1963 at which the Universal House of Justice – the international governing council of the Baha'i Faith – was first elected.
A global election:
The Convention saw the election of the nine members of the Universal House of Justice for the coming five year term. In a unique electoral process, all forms of campaigning, electioneering and nominations are strictly avoided. Rather, after prayerful reflection, the assembled delegates silently and privately wrote down the names of nine individuals who they felt would be best able to serve on the institution....

Read more

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Departure of Bahá’u’lláh from the Garden of Ridván,

Already, as Nabíl has pointed out in his narrative, Bahá’u’lláh had, in the course of His discourses, during the last years of His sojourn in Baghdád, alluded to the period of trial and turmoil that was inexorably approaching, exhibiting a sadness and heaviness of heart which greatly perturbed those around Him. A dream which He had at that time, the ominous character of which could not be mistaken, served to confirm the fears and misgivings that had assailed His companions. “I saw,” He wrote in a Tablet, “the Prophets and the Messengers gather and seat themselves around Me,
moaning, weeping and loudly lamenting. Amazed, I inquired of them the reason, whereupon their lamentation and weeping waxed greater, and they said unto me: ‘We weep for Thee, O Most Great Mystery, O Tabernacle of Immortality!’ They wept with such a weeping that I too wept with them. Thereupon the Concourse on high addressed Me saying: ‘...Erelong shalt Thou behold with Thine own eyes what no Prophet hath beheld.... Be patient, be patient.’... They continued addressing Me the whole night until the approach of dawn.” “Oceans of sorrow,” Nabíl affirms, “surged in the hearts of the listeners when the Tablet of the Holy Mariner was read aloud to them.... It was evident to every one that the chapter of Baghdád was about to be closed, and a new one opened, in its stead.

Shoghi Effendi, ‘God Passes By’