William Sutherland Maxwell: Distinguished Architect

William Sutherland Maxwell, November 14th, 1874 - March 25th, 1952 (Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community)

William Sutherland Maxwell, November 14th, 1874 - March 25th, 1952 (Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community)

William Sutherland Maxwell was a distinguished soul whose life is best summarized in the words of Shoghi Effendi. The Guardian cabled the following obituary to the Baha’is of the world on March 26, 1952:

With sorrowful heart announce through national assemblies that Hand of Cause of Baha’u’llah, highly esteemed, dearly beloved Sutherland Maxwell, has been gathered into the glory of the Abha Kingdom. His saintly life, extending well nigh four score years, enriched during the course of Abdu’l-Baha’s ministry by services in the Dominion of Canada, ennobled during the Formative Age of Faith by decade of services in Holy Land, during darkest days of my life, doubly honoured through association with the crown of martyrdom won by May Maxwell and incomparable honor bestowed upon his daughter, attained consummation through his appointment as architect of the arcade and superstructure of the Bab’s Sepulchre as well as elevation to the front rank of the Hands of Cause of God.

Continue reading

Celebrating Six Years of Baha’i Blog!

Baha'i Blog 6th Birthday Post (864x569)

I can’t believe it’s now been six years since a few of us got together and launched Baha’i Blog, a site aimed at sharing and creating content that explores and celebrates the Revelation of Baha’u’llah through various avenues of media including articles, video and audio.

We set out on this Baha’i Blog journey with an approach of ‘learning through action’, and we continue to meet regularly in order to plan, act and reflect on all the things we’re working on. The last six years have truly been an amazing experience with so many great learnings and so much great feedback and help from both Baha’i Institutions and so many individuals and communities in every part of the world. We are extremely grateful to everyone for their continued encouragement and support over the years!

So far we’ve had over 120 contributors to Baha’i Blog, and we’ve published over 1,060 posts to date. We’ve produced over 100 videos, and over 130 audio recordings including talks, music, and even our very own podcast series with Rainn Wilson.

With so much happening here at Baha’i Blog, we thought we’d just share a few of the highlights of some of the things we’ve done over the last year: Continue reading

The Divine Springtime: A Personal Reflection

The Divine Springtime A Personal Reflection 864x468

Perhaps you live in a place like I do where the weather is a big topic of conversation. You could be in line at the market or among friends. No matter the situation: casual talk always begins with a commentary on the weather of the hour and its forecast.

As the Fast draws to a close, Baha’is celebrate the New Year when the vernal equinox begins in Tihran, the cradle of the Baha’i Faith. While snowstorms may still rage in my corner of the world and while any greenery is still dormant and hidden, spring has nevertheless sprung. One of my favourite Writings is:

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.

Continue reading

My 7 Tips for Fasting When You Have Young Children

My 7 Tips for Fasting When You Have Small Children 864x550

The fast is beautiful, spirituality refreshing and hard…and it can get so much harder when you become a parent! Suddenly you not only have to fast but now you have to a be a good parent at the same time (something that can feel pretty impossible even when we’re fully nourished). This year I’ve given myself seven strategies for fasting with three kids with as much mindfulness, patience and good-humour as possible.  Continue reading

Year of the Nightingale: A New Album by Luke Slott

Luke Slott Bahai Blog 864x525

Last year, singer, songwriter and composer Luke Slott wanted to record an album dedicated to the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah taking place in 2017. To do this, he decided to team up with music producer Kelly Snook and create a 30 day Kickstarter campaign in order to raise enough funds to make the album happen, and let’s just say the show of support was staggering. Within 23 hours of launching the campaign, he met his goal!

The album, aptly titled Year of the Nightingale, has just been completed and Luke is releasing the tracks one at a time on his YouTube channel during the month of the Baha’i Fast.

I decided to catch up with Luke to find out more about the album: Continue reading

Dedicating the Fast to a Goal

Dedicating the Fast to a Goal 864x525

Every year during March Baha’is observe a 19 day Fast. According to Abdu’l-Baha, fasting symbolizes detachment from earthly things. It is my understanding that fasting is a time for aligning our inner compass with God’s will and getting a grip on our lower nature.

Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires.

It seems like the Fast is a perfect time to challenge our insistent self, set some goals and start a journey towards a destination. So why not dedicate the period of Fast for a specific purpose?  Continue reading

Toward Prosperity: New BIC Statement About the Role of Women and Men

Toward Prosperity 450x695

Toward Prosperity: The Role of Women and Men in Building a Flourishing World Civilization is a new document released by the Baha’i International Community (BIC). This five page statement was prepared as a contribution to the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. It includes these powerful words: “Women and men are equal, and always have been.” This document examines prosperity, as it relates to “the economic empowerment of women in the changing world of work” and the BIC states that “while the path towards prosperity has many obstacles, it is also paved with hope.” With the recent release of this statement and the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we wanted to help spread the word about this statement as it offers the leaders of the world a Baha’i perspective on a critical subject.  Continue reading

New Letter from the Universal House of Justice on Economic Life

New Letter from the Universal House of Justice on Economic Life 864x468

On 1 March, 2017 the Universal House of Justice wrote a letter to the Baha’is of the World on economic life.

While all letters from the Universal House of Justice merit repeated study and reflection, this letter arrived just as the Fast began, a period unique in its dedication to prayer, meditation, introspection, study and action. I hope the Fast, and the spiritual attributes it helps strengthen, act as a magnifying glass so that I can better understand and implement this recent guidance in my daily life. Continue reading

19 Resources for the Fast

19 Resources for the Fast 864x468 2

As we move into the early days of the Fast, here are some Baha’i Blog resources and a few other great finds from around the web dedicated to this special time of year. They include articles that offer a variety of perspectives on the Fast. There’s a diversity of personal reflections, music, videos and a quiz! We hope these resources, listed in no particular order, give you some food for thought (pun intended!) during these spiritually rejuvenating days. Continue reading