Welcome to Baha'i Blog.

Browse Articles, Videos, Audio and more. Or Learn about the Baha'i Faith!

Start Reading

Seeking a State of Heaven: A Book About the German Templers by Carolyn Sparey Fox

Carolyn Sparey Fox’s newest book is titled Seeking a State of Heaven and it tells the story of the German Templers who settled at the foot of Mount Carmel beneath the Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, Israel.

Their avenue of homes has become an iconic landmark of Haifa and for Baha’is they have become symbolic of those who are searching and yearning to hear about Baha’u’llah’s teachings of unity, equality and oneness. To be honest, that’s the extent of my knowledge of the German Templers so my curiosity was definitely piqued when I learned that a book about them has been written.

It was great to catch up with Carolyn Sparey Fox, who I had interviewed before, about her latest book. Here’s what she shared with me:

 Baha’i Blog: What was the inspiration for putting this book together?

Since writing my first book, The Half of it was Never Told, many Baha’is have spoken to me about the German Templers, wrongly believing that they settled at the foot of Mount Carmel because they believed that the return of Christ was about to take place there. I knew that this wasn’t entirely correct, but I didn’t really have the answer, so I started doing some research — it turns out that the Templers initially called themselves “Friends of Jerusalem” and Jerusalem was actually the focus, the goal of the German Templers’ spiritual journey, not Haifa. Initially my plan was to come up with a few sentences, but as I read more and more my sentences became paragraphs, my paragraphs became chapters, and before I knew it I was launched into writing a book, which describes all about how the Templers ended up in Haifa, instead of Jerusalem.

I was also fascinated by the connection between the German Templers in Haifa and the Baha’is living in Akka, and latterly Haifa. Abdu’l-Baha knew several of the Templers personally of course, and Baha’u’llah actually wrote a Tablet to David Hardegg, one of the two men who were behind the creation of the Templers.

Continue reading

Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 31: Mam-Yassin Sarr & David Fox

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode I have the delightful Mam-Yassin Sarr and her husband, David Fox, visiting me at my home in California. They are visiting me from The Gambia in West Africa, and they are the founders of Starfish International, a non-profit dedicated to educating and empowering girls in The Gambia. In this conversation we talk about how they met, how each of them discovered the Baha’i Faith, and the inspiration behind Starfish International. We also talk about life in The Gambia, international conflict and racism, and the awesome transformative power of education. I hope you enjoy our conversation! Continue reading

“What I Saw of Abdu’l-Baha”: Vignettes by Laura Barney

Abdu’l-Baha on the steps of 7 Haparsim Street, His home in Haifa, May 1921. Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

May 16, 1909, New York City: a group has gathered to hear Laura Clifford Barney speak. Her name is familiar to the audience from Some Answered Questions, which was published last year. This book brought Abdu’l-Baha’s commentary on subjects ranging from the New Testament to criminal justice to the newborn Baha’i community in the United States.

Barney, the book’s compiler and translator, has spent most of the past decade far from this, her homeland, living in Paris and Akka. She lived for months at a time in Abdu’l-Baha’s household—a “village” bustling with Baha’is of all ages, as she fondly recalls—from 1904 to 1906, when she compiled Some Answered Questions. During these Akka sojourns, she had many opportunities to interact with and observe Abdu’l-Baha.

“It is not what I think [that] is of much importance but what I saw…of the characteristics and habits of Abdu’l-Baha,” she tells her New York audience. One attendee has a pen poised above a stack of lined paper, ready to transcribe Barney’s words. Thanks to this unnamed scribe, we have a record of Barney’s comments that day. For this post, passages have been arranged by topic: first, anecdotes of Abdu’l-Baha; second, reminiscences of life in His household; and third, reflections on His attributes and guidance. These excerpts have been lightly edited for readability.  Continue reading

“Egli vi soccorrerà (He will come to your aid)” by Anis & Shideh

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Genoa, Italy with Anis Mirra and Shideh Massai who sing “Egli vi soccorrerà (He will come to your aid)” in Italian, based on the writings of Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

“Egli vi soccorrerà (He will come to your aid)” by Anis & Shideh [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Genoa, Italy with Anis Mirra and Shideh Massai who sing “Egli vi soccorrerà (He will come to your aid)” in Italian, based on the writings of Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

New Letter from the Universal House of Justice About Abdu’l-Baha

In these precious hours between the Day of the Covenant and the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha, when our hearts and our minds are turning towards Him, the Baha’i world has been gifted with a letter from the Universal House of Justice (this letter can be read in full or downloaded from the Baha’i Reference Library here). For ease of reference, we have quoted it in full below:  Continue reading

Iranian Women’s Motocross Champion, Shahrzad Nazifi, Sent to Prison

This video slideshow by Iranwire.com shares the news of Shahrzad Nazifi, an Iranian Baha’i and a women’s motocross champion and coach, was arrested on November 18, 2018 and taken to Evin Prison. After her arrest, security agents searched her house for five hours and confiscated books, her cellphone, her laptop and some other personal items, according to Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA). An informed source told HRANA that Nazifi was arrested “on the motocross course”. Continue reading

New English Translations of Prayers, Tablets, Extracts and Talks by Abdu’l-Baha

In honor of the Day of the Covenant (the day when Baha’is celebrate the appointment of Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant), we thought it would be a perfect time to bring our readers’ attention the exciting news of the newly translated prayers, tablets, extracts and talks by Abdu’l-Baha, recently made available on the Baha’i Reference Library. Continue reading

“Abdu’l-Baha” by Dominique Sylvester [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Johannesburg, South Africa with Dominique Sylvester who sings “Abdu’l-Baha” based on a tablet by Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

Bahai Arts, Stories, Media & Bahai Religion