Category Archives Baha’i Life

Is the Baha’i Faith a “Religion”?

Perhaps you are like me. Perhaps there have been times when you have been asked what the Baha’i Faith is and the minute the word “religion” leaves your lips, your listener becomes apprehensive. Perhaps they reply that religion is an opiate for the masses, that it is an outdated fiction that does not meet the needs of today, that it is the cause of unnecessary bloodshed and war, that religion breeds intolerance for people of other religions, or that faith in something greater than ourselves shouldn’t be organized and administered. In honour of World Religion Day, I thought I’d explore what “religion” means in the context of the Baha’i Writings. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Mutual Support and Assistance

Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

The materials prepared for the 114 youth conferences held around the world in 2013 tell us that youth have a great responsibility to contribute to the betterment of society. Their efforts are more effective if they are able to multiply their society-transforming powers by developing the capacity to create an atmosphere of mutual support and assistance among themselves and in their communities. This can complement their reliance on God’s unfailing assistance and act as a positive force that helps them overcome the negative forces in society which attempt to sap their powers and lead them astray from their purpose.  Continue reading

A Christmas Story: The Forced Migrations of the Messengers of God

Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Baha’u’llah. For Baha’is, these teachers are among a series of divine Messengers, and Their teachings share a spiritual basis. These divine beings’ human lives also share certain features. Nearly all divine messengers have been rejected by most of Their contemporaries, persecuted harshly, if not killed. But for these four, Their persecutions took a particular form: forced migration. They and Their families were pushed from Their native cities into perilous journeys.  Continue reading

Acting with Detachment and Determination

Over a year ago I had a job interview that I had to rush to from my workplace. I’m not the most technologically savvy person but I will still blame the GPS on my phone for what happened. I looked up how to get from work to the interview, jumped on the light rail (or tram), then the train, then tapped the function on my phone to show me how to walk the rest of the way. After walking some time, I arrived back at the train station where I got on the train! With only 10 minutes until the job interview, I started to panic. But then I said to myself: “Well, what will happen if I miss the interview? I have a job anyway. It’s not the best job in the world but it helps me pay the rent and bills and feed my family. I really have nothing to lose!”

So I decided to try to get there on time but not get stressed about it. I was spurred on by a sense of detached determination. I made a second try at navigating my way and I finally arrived at the place half an hour late, my shirt soaked with sweat, and had the interview.  Continue reading

19 Baha’i Apps for Android and iPhone

With the number of people using mobile phones growing globally every day, we thought it was time to update our list of Baha’i-inspired apps currently available for download and use. This list isn’t comprehensive; there are many other apps available, and many that offer similar functions to those we’ve listed below but in different languages or tailored to different countries. Nevertheless, we hope this list of 19 Baha’i-inspired apps gives you a good idea of what’s out there for iPhone and Android users and that it proves helpful to you. We’d love to hear what apps you find useful for you personally, or in your community building endeavours! Continue reading

My 9 Practices for a Spiritually Restorative Nineteen Day Feast

Photo courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

Once every nineteen days, on the first day of each Baha’i month, Baha’is gather together in their local community to meet in what is known as the Nineteen Day Feast, and these gatherings serve as the bedrock of Baha’i community life.

Inspired by Abdu’l-Baha’s intriguing promise that should the Nineteen-Day Feast “be held in the proper fashion the friends will, once in nineteen days, find themselves spiritually restored and endued with a power not of this world,” and encouraged by the Universal House of Justice’s words that the Feast must be “adequately understood by all” to “ensure this glorious outcome,” I set out to deepen and discover what this might mean for me. What is this proper fashion?  Continue reading

Glimpses of the Bicentenary from Around the World Part II

I don’t know about you, but I’m still basking in the glow of having celebrated the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith! The jubilation felt around all over the planet is sustaining me in more ways than one!

This joy has been captured on bicentenary.bahai.org, the official website for the bicentenary aimed at connecting and sharing some of these wonderful celebrations and initiatives!

Here we share a few more of the images, artworks and stories found on bicentenary.bahai.org. Be sure to check out the site for a more!  Continue reading

Celebrating the Upcoming Bicentenary of Baha’u’llah’s Birth

The Bab and Baha’u’llah were Twin Manifestations in a spiritual sense, as they both unfurled the Baha’i Dispensation, but also in a temporal sense, due to the closeness of their ages and birthdays. The anniversaries of their birthdays fall on consecutive days; this year, they occur on Saturday, October 21 (the Birth of the Bab), and Sunday, October 22 (the Birth of Baha’u’llah). The Twin Birthdays are always commemorated as Holy Days, anniversaries when Baha’is are asked to suspend work in honor of the occasion’s sanctity.

Early last year, Baha’is around the world were reminded by the Universal House of Justice, the international Baha’i administrative body, that two bicentennial anniversaries were approaching: the 200th birthday of Baha’u’llah, born in 1817 in Tehran, Iran, and the 200th birthday of the Bab, born in 1819 in Shiraz, Iran. Baha’is around the world are taking the opportunity afforded by this year’s Bicentenary to reflect on how our communities can share the teachings of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Continue reading