The Passing of Baha’u’llah and His Covenant

Baha'u'llah's bed in the Mansion of Bahji, located just outside of Akko, Israel. (Photo:  Bahai.us via Flickr)

Baha'u'llah's bed in the Mansion of Bahji, located just outside of Akko, Israel. (Photo: Bahai.us via Flickr)

In the early hours of 29 May 1892, Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, passed away in the Mansion of Bahji (located just outside of the prison city of Akko in present day Israel), where He had been a prisoner for nine years. Baha’is around the world commemorate the day of Baha’u’llah’s passing as one of the nine holy days where work should be suspended, and it is known to Baha’is as ‘The Ascension of Baha’u’llah’.

Just after sunset on the day He passed away, Baha’u’llah was buried in a simple room in a house next to the Mansion of Bahji, turning it into the holiest place on earth for Baha’is and making it the place where Baha’is the world over turn towards in prayer, and come from all corners of the earth to pay their respects as Pilgrims.

As I join fellow Baha’is around the world in commemorating the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, I am reminded of the fortune we as Baha’is have in knowing that Baha’u’llah’s successorship was made so explicit, and as a result, this has protected us from schisms. Compared to the passing of other Messengers of God, this is what has made the Baha’i Faith truly unique: The fact that for the first time in history, the founder of a world religion had made His successorship explicitly clear to His followers. Continue reading

The Wilmette Institute: Celebrating 20 Years of Baha’i Learning

Wilmette Institute 20 years 864x628

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Wilmette Institute, an online Baha’i learning centre that offers academic, professional and service-orientated Baha’i classes. In celebration, they are offering a series of free web talks throughout the whole year. These talks are being recorded and posted to their YouTube Channel, in case you miss their live presentations. We’d like to join in the happy occasion by telling you a little about the Institute and about all the exciting things it offers to students around the world. Continue reading

The Wife of the Bab Khadijih Bagum – A Tribute to Suffering

Khadijeh Bagum

…calamities have always been and will continue to be the lot of God’s chosen ones. Therefore, blessed is the one who is satisfied with and thankful for all that hath visited him. For nothing from God touches a person except what is best for him of all that hath been created between the heavens and the earth. Since people are unaware of this mystery and its secrets, they are saddened when calamity strikes. God willing, thou wilt be always seated upon the seat of assurance and nourished with the fruits of understanding. Verily, He is the best of all providers and protectors.

As we contemplate and celebrate the Declaration of the Bab, I hope we can take a few moments to reflect how this mighty day, 171 years ago, not only altered the course of mankind’s history, but also simultaneously changed the life of one young, innocent bride forever.

The young bride was Khadijih Bagum, dearly beloved and cherished wife of The Bab, who paid the high price of enforced separation from Her Husband after a brief two years of marriage and endured forty years of suffering. Continue reading

#7Bahais7years – A Glimpse of the Global Campaign

We are with You Yaran 864x520

The seven day global campaign (14–21 May, 2015) called #7Bahais7years which set out to create awareness and a show of solidarity for the Baha’is being persecuted in Iran, has witnessed a wonderful show of support from the around the world.

The campaign focused on the seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’ which means ‘friends’ in Persian) who, because of their belief in the Baha’i Faith, were arrested and have now been in prison for seven years. The global campaign was based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of the seven days focused on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders, who’s names are: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.

During the campaign there were numerous news articles, TV reports, and most moving of all, was to see the large numbers of Baha’is and their friends from across the globe showing their support by holding prayer meetings and gatherings, and posting photos, videos and artwork on social media.

We thought it would be great to share some examples of this wonderful show of support below: Continue reading

Join the Global Campaign to Help Free Imprisoned Baha’is – #7Bahais7years

7-days-banner_864x481

Unfortunately the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran continues, and it has now been seven years that seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’) have been wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. These seven Baha’is formed the entire membership of the now-disbanded ad hoc group tending to the spiritual and social needs of the Iranian Baha’i community (in the absence of formally elected Baha’i leadership which was banned in 1983), and they were arrested and imprisoned for nothing more than their belief in the Baha’i Faith. Now the Baha’i International Community has launched a global campaign to mark the seventh anniversary of their wrongful imprisonment and to call for their immediate release.

Running for seven days (14 – 21 May, 2015), the global campaign is based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of these seven days will focus on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders.

Continue reading

Music with Zest – An Interview with Lemon Soul Trio

Lemon Soul Trio 864x550

As the Faith grows and develops, the artistic expression of its followers blossoms and grows. Recorded devotional music in French are rare gems so I was ecstatic when I learned about Lemon Soul Trio, a band whose motto is “un antidote contre le blues” (which roughly translates as “an antidote for the blues”) – a clever turn of phrase considering their jazzy, bluesy, world-music style.

Their first album, which bears their band’s name, was released in October 2014. It contains 9 tracks – a propitious number! While the majority of their lyrics are in French, their music is global in its appeal. The group is composed of three very talented musicians: Margaret Harmer, a percussionist; Nicolas Leroy, a guitarist; and Yasmin Farhoumand, a vocalist.

I was eager to find out more and Yasmin agreed to share some behind-the-tunes information on behalf of the band about their exciting work. Continue reading

An Honest Letter to Baha’i Youth about Sex

An Honest Letter to Baha'i Youth About Sex

In a way, I’ve been waiting for 19 years to write this letter and it’s an honor that you are taking a few minutes from your busy life to read my broken thoughts about this topic. Whether you are a Baha’i youth, a parent of one, or maybe someone who isn’t in either of those categories, I’m thrilled that you feel this topic is worthwhile of your time.

Let me get right to it. Sex within a marriage is wonderful. Continue reading

Happy Heart Kid: Character-building Activity Kits for Kids

Empathy Activity Kit. Photo courtesy of Happy Heart Kid

Empathy Activity Kit. Photo courtesy of Happy Heart Kid

I get really excited when I find out about products for children that aim to assist with their moral and spiritual development. I am so grateful to live in this age of instant communication so I can ask other Baha’i mothers questions about the materials and tools they have created and use in their daily lives but there are so few resources out there that are already thoughtfully assembled and ready to go. So you can imagine my joy in discovering Happy Heart Kid, a company that makes character building activity kits for little ones! I was eager to find out all about it and Archana Jiwnani, the woman behind Happy Heart Kid, was happy to oblige. Continue reading

What to Do When You Lose Your Way

82743738

At some time in our lives, we all lose our way. Whether it’s a detour, a sideroad, or ultimately just a different road, each of us has to find their own path. Perhaps the time we feel most fraught is in youth. On popular social media site Reddit, in the Baha’i channel, a discussion thread popped up in response to a youth seeking advice. Other Baha’is offered support and posted advice, much of which is applicable to anyone who is confused, lost or simply unsure. Like many Baha’is, I’ve had my times in just that place, and I thought the advice was worth reposting for anyone else who might find themselves looking for some wisdom. Continue reading

An Introduction to The Tabernacle of Unity

TABERNACLE OF UNITY BOOK 864x486

The Tabernacle of Unity is a beautiful volume containing five tablets (or letters) revealed by Baha’u’llah to people of Zoroastrian background, among which are many familiar passages previously translated by Shoghi Effendi.

In 2006 the Universal House of Justice compiled this book of authorized translations and now the tablets that those passages were excerpted from are available in full in English. You might be familiar with Baha’u’llah’s powerful words “Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch” and the volume gets its title from this quote in the book’s opening tablet: Continue reading