Ever so often, we’ll be putting up posts for our ‘Common Questions Series’. As the name suggests, these are questions about the Faith that we often get. You know those ones – where you kinda, sorta, maybe know the answer but aren’t sure if you know enough to give the asker a full response? Yeah, those ones. Baha’i Blog has decided to make a collection of those questions, which will hopefully be as helpful to you, our readers, as it is to us!
We’ve been getting a few questions recently about Naw-Ruz and its origins as a Baha’i Holy Day, so we’ll start with that!
Image by Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie (Flickr)
Is Naw-Ruz an Iranian holiday or a Baha’i Holy Day?
Naw-Ruz (which in Persian literally means “New Day”) is a New Year holiday for both Iranians and Baha’is. Both groups celebrate it on the 21st of March each year but the significance and celebrations between the two are slightly different.
Image by Mamchenkov (Flickr)
The Baha’i Fasthas just ended. I’ve been fasting for 20 years now and I’m embarrassed to say that I still find that I have to constantly remind myself that the Fast is not just about the food! Okay, so for those of you who don’t know me, you should know that ohhhh I love food! My family and I are renowned for talking about how much we like food and the different types of food we like, even while sitting around a table and having a meal together. In fact, there’s even a Tablet written by Baha’u’llah to my family some generations back, which relates to – you guessed it – FOOD!
Most of us identify the Baha’i fast with the act of not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. But as Shoghi Effendi explains, there’s much, much more to it than that:
It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian
Baha’i actor Rainn Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute in the hit TV show The Office, talks about the Baha’i Faith with Oprah Winfrey.
You can also read Baha’i Blog’s interview with Rainn Wilson here.
Music video from the album ‘Arise’ by the Dawnbreaker Collective. The initiative was borne from the desire of a number of Baha’i musicians based in the Los Angeles area to create an eclectic collection of Baha’i inspired music which was both conscious and musically awesome.
Music video of the song ‘Armed’ by Devon Gundry. Video produced and directed by Justin Baldoni. Music Produced and Performed by Devon Gundry and Kelly Snook. Mixed and Engineered by Kelly Snook. Words by Baha’u’llah. In Loving Memory of Kathy Grammer. (devongundry.com)
Music video to the song “Backbiting” from MANA’s debut album ‘Reflections On The Life Of The Spirit’. MANA is a Baha’i-inspired music and cultural performance group from the Pacific Islands, based mostly in Australia. The word MANA means ‘the Almighty’ or ‘the Powerful’ and signifies strength of spirit in many languages of the Pacific. All lyrics in the albums are based on the Baha’i Writings and passages found in the sequence of courses developed by the Ruhi Institute.
You can read Baha’i Blog’s post about MANA here.