What is the Baha’i Ringstone Symbol?

(Photo courtesy of 9starjewelry.com)

Everything you know is put to the test when you have children. Recently, after singing the prayer that begins “O God! Educate these children…” for what must have been the 1,000th time, my five year old asked me: “What is the Sun of Reality?”. She stopped me in my tracks. I really had to think about it, and think about how to explain my thoughts. She also frequently asks about what is referred to as “the ringstone symbol”, a work of calligraphy often found on Baha’i-inspired jewelry, and used by many of our family members. My answers to all these questions need some work, so this prompted me to read up on this significant symbol and, in preparation for the next time she asks about it, I’ve written up seven questions and answers about the ringstone symbol:  Continue reading

The Trumpet Blast: Music Inspired by the Life of Baha’u’llah

Nikolai Clavier is the creative mind behind The Trumpet Blasta musical score for a play about the life of Baha’u’llah by that same name. Performed in Norway to celebrate the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, this 15 track instrumental album includes pieces titled ‘Ridvan’, ‘The Heavenly Maid’, and ‘The Mansion of Bahji’, among many others. 

Nikolai Clavier’s Trompetstøtet, or The Trumpet Blast, premiered in Beitostølen, Norway in July of 2017. Each song accompanies a scene about the life of Baha’u’llah but listening to the soundtrack, even without the dialogue and action of the play, is nevertheless a dramatic experience. Nikolai gladly agreed to tell us more about this musical arrangement and the performance it accompanied. I hope you enjoy our conversation! Continue reading

Celebrating Ridvan in Our Garden

Ridvan is the King of Festivals in the Baha’i calendar. The twelve days of the Festival of Ridvan mark the momentous occasion when Baha’u’llah told His supporters that He was the Promised One they had been awaiting. At that time, Baha’u’llah was in a beautiful garden on the Tigris River in Baghdad. The garden was named Ridvan, or Paradise in English, by Baha’u’llah’s followers. Roses in full bloom lined its paths. Nightingales sang throughout the night. Baha’u’llah said:

The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new.

Baha’is around the world reflect on the story of Ridvan each year. One year I realised that the Festival of Ridvan is the perfect time of year for big gardening projects. We live in Sydney, Australia so while the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying spring, we are in the midst of autumn. Each Ridvan I do things such as the mass planting of seeds, building new garden beds, pruning, etc. While I work in my garden, I reflect on the time Baha’u’llah spent in the Ridvan garden.  Continue reading

Baha’i Blog’s Top 10 Audio Tracks of the Year

To celebrate Baha’i Blog’s 7th birthday, we’ve published a post on our top 10 articles of the year, and our top 10 image posts of the year, and now it’s time to list our 10 most popular audio tracks of the year.

At Baha’i Blog we produce our own original audio content, like this dramatized reading of E. G. Browne’s meeting with Baha’u’llah, and we also share curated audio content from the online world (always adhering to copyright laws of course).

You can find tons of great Baha’i-inspired audio content on our Soundcloud page, and in the Audio section on the Baha’i Blog website.

In this top 10 countdown, we list the top 10 audio tracks based on the number of plays and downloads from Naw-Ruz 2017 to Naw-Ruz 2018. So let’s get on with the countdown starting from number 10: Continue reading

Baha’i Blog’s Top 10 Image Posts of the Year!

To celebrate Baha’i Blog’s 7th birthday, we recently posted our 10 most popular articles of the year, and now we thought it would be a good time to share our 10 most popular Image posts of the year as well!

What do we mean by “Image posts”? Well, Baha’i Blog has an Article Section, a Video Section, an Audio Section, and about two years ago we launched our Image Section, where we feature photos, wallpapers, design, art and other imagery from talented Baha’i creators. (You can find out more about our Image Section by reading this article.)

In this top 10 countdown, we list the top 10 posts with the most amount of traffic from Naw-Ruz 2017 to Naw-Ruz 2018 based on Google Analytics. Let’s start with number 10: Continue reading

Materialism: A Book by Dr Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian

Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian’s book, Materialism: Moral and Spiritual Consequences, is now in its second edition! Examining psychological, sociological and spiritual perspectives and substantiated by extensive scientific research, this book focuses on the moral and social consequences of materialistic mindsets. It advocates for a sensible balance between the spiritual and material aspects of life as two pillars of an equitable civilization.

The book is thorough and beautifully marries empirical scientific and economic concepts with spiritual principles and ideas. It is both an ethical guidebook and a thoughtful analysis. The first edition of this book received the Distinguished Scholarship award of the Association for Baha’i Studies in 2011 and I’m really thrilled that it is now in its second edition.

Dr Ghadirian kindly agreed to share a little about his book. I hope you enjoy our conversation:  Continue reading

10 Most Popular Baha’i Blog Articles of the Year

Baha’i Blog celebrates its birthday every year just after Naw-Ruz, and now that we’ve just celebrated our seventh year of Baha’i blogging, it’s time for our annual ‘Top 10’ countdown of Baha’i Blog’s most popular posts.

As you know, Baha’i Blog has an Article section, a Video section, an Audio section, an Image Gallery, a YouTube Channel and a Soundcloud page, but written articles are the first thing we started out with, and they range from news and personal reflections, to interviews and tributes.

We’re also always looking for contributions from new writers here at Baha’i Blog, so whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or an inexperienced newbie, we would love to have you on board. If you’re interested in trying your hand at blogging about the Baha’i Faith and have an idea for a blog post that you think would fit right in, then have a read of our ‘Write For Us‘ and ‘Editorial Values‘ pages, and then send an email to: EDITOR@BAHAIBLOG.NET

Now on with this Top 10 countdown! We’ve listed below, the 10 most read Baha’i Blog articles of the last year (from Naw-Ruz 2017 to Naw-Ruz 2018), based on Google Analytics. So now ladies and gentlemen, here’s the countdown starting from number 10: Continue reading

OMG: A German Grunge Rock Album Based on the Baha’i Writings

Here at Baha’i Blog we’re passionate about the arts, and we love celebrating the diverse ways in which Baha’is and their friends around the world express the Revelation of Baha’u’llah through various forms of artistic expression.

During the recent global celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, we witnessed an exciting wave of artistic initiatives in all parts of the world to honor this special period in history, which the Universal House of Justice called “…the single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Baha’u’llah”.

Inspired by “this special period in history”, a Baha’i in Austria named Arno Kerche decided to release an album called OMG. Most of the songs on OMG are based on the Baha’i Writings in German, and the style is grunge rock. Baha’i-inspired music in this genre is rare, and Baha’i-inspired music in this genre in German is even more rare, so I decided to get in touch with Arno to find out more about his story and how OMG came to be:  Continue reading

Celebrating 7 Years of Baha’i Blog: Some Highlights of the Year!

It’s Baha’i Blog’s seventh birthday everyone, and we’re super excited to share it with you all!

Baha’i Blog’s mission is to create, celebrate and explore Baha’i-inspired content, artistic expression and use of media. Since 2011 we have been using Baha’i Blog as a “laboratory” of sorts, where through planning, action and reflection, we explore how the vast and dynamic Revelation of Baha’u’llah translates into various avenues of content creation, whether it be through the articles we publish, the videos we make, the music we record, the podcast we produce, or even the T-shirts we print.

The field of arts and media inspired by the Baha’i Revelation is a blossoming garden of personal and community projects, creations and craft. Through Baha’i Blog we aim to surface, highlight, celebrate and contribute to this ecosystem, and we do this by not only being active participants and creators ourselves, but by also encouraging, collaborating, showcasing and helping other creators as well. Continue reading

New Books About the Hands of the Cause for Children & Youth

Two new biographies are available about the lives of the Hands of the Cause for young readers! These books, published by the Baha’i Publishing Trust of India, are the result of true team-effort and international collaboration between Elika and Tarrant (Tarry) Mahony and Vered Ehsani. The first volume describes the lives and heroic acts of service of Amelia Collins, Dorothy Baker and Tarazu’llah Samandari, the second; Martha Root, Enoch Olinga and Rahmatu’llah Muhajir. A third volume is currently in progress. All are meant for a young audience — which makes them all the more special!  Continue reading