How to Get Thoroughly Acquainted: A Baha’i Perspective on Dating

Baha'i Dating close up
When it comes to dating and getting to know a potential partner in the framework of the Baha’i laws and principles, many young (and not so young) people experience confusion and uncertainty. It can be hard to know how to approach this topic, and while many of us realize that the concept and practice of dating in much of society today is largely inappropriate, it can be hard to determine how to get to know a person really well, while at the same time remaining steadfast in the Cause and staying within the framework of chastity. Continue reading

Manijeh: Not Only a Change of Name

Manijeh Not Only a Change of Name 350x570In the corner of our lounge room sits an elderly woman knitting and smiling but rarely talking as the discussion on spiritual matters swirls around the room.

Then, in one of those silences that develop as people gather their thoughts, she stands up, walks over with the scarf she has knitted and gently places it around a woman’s neck and gives her a hug.

Everybody laughs with joy because love was shown by deeds not words.

What few of them knew, until they were told later, was that the knitter has played an historic role in the history of the Baha’i Faith. She was once a custodian of a holy place, the House of the Bab in Bushehr, Iran.

With the assistance of her daughter, Fereshteh Hooshmand, Manijeh Saatchi, 84, now of Brisbane, Australia, has produced a book that tells of her experiences in a way that shows how the human spirit, elevated by love and faith, can prevail against the forces of religious persecution.

In an introduction to Manijeh: Not Only a Change of Name, a former member of the Universal House of Justice, the late Dr. Peter Khan, wrote that the book “conveys a message of hope and optimism for all who value truth and who yearn for justice to prevail”. Continue reading

Just Launched: Official Website for the Universal House of Justice

Official Universal House of Justice website
Baha’i Blog is so excited to share the news of the launch of the new official website for the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the international Baha’i community.

The website provides general information about the Universal House of Justice and it also provides selected statements and letters that have been written by, or prepared under its supervision, such as Who Is Writing the Future? and the 2002 Letter to the World’s Religious Leaders. Continue reading

3 Ways to Engage with Changemakers in Our Community

A Baha’i shares the message of Baha’u’llah with her neighbour in Norte del Cauca, Colombia. (Photo: Baha’i World Centre)

For many of us, determining our role in the current Five Year Plan can be a major struggle. The Baha’i community is progressing and learning at such a rapid rate that it can seem difficult to keep up. There may also be certain community initiatives that are new to us and make us feel uncomfortable, so we watch others conduct the teaching work as we try and find our place.

In its most recent Ridvan message, the Universal House of Justice praised and encouraged our global teaching efforts and indicated that there is no formula to how we serve the current plan. During each cycle of activity, several methods of teaching can be employed depending on the characteristics of each population. The Supreme Body states: Continue reading

Baha’i Blog Turns 3 and the Top 10 Articles of the Year are…

Trio of cupcakes decorated with frosting and candles

Baha’i Blog is celebrating its third year of blogging about ‘everything Baha’i’, and we’d like to say a very special THANK YOU to everyone for your constant support and encouragement over the last few years!

Baha’i Blog’s popularity has continued to soar, and although we’re an English language blog, our readership has truly been global, as we continue to get tons of great feedback and encouragement from people all over the world with more-and-more people getting engaged with the site and finding Baha’i Blog a great resource. (In fact, we’re being read in 193 countries out of the 196 that exist in the world – so that ain’t bad!)

We’ve also just redesigned Baha’i Blog making it mobile and tablet friendly, and there’s an awesome new video section as well, so be sure to check that out!

Over the last three years Baha’i Blog has served up nearly 300 awesome articles (296 to be exact), and every year on Baha’i Blog’s birthday we showcase the top 10 blog posts of the year, so without further ado, we’re happy to count down to you our 10 most popular posts of the year: Continue reading

Naw-Ruz: The Baha’i New Year

cloudy sunset over field with sunflowers
The Baha’i New Year, or Naw-Ruz, which means “new day” in Persian, is celebrated by Baha’is around the world each year on March 21, and it is the only Baha’i Holy Day with no direct relation to the life of a Messenger of God.

Naw-Ruz marks the end of the 19 day month of fasting, and it’s a joyous time of celebration. It’s also one of the Baha’i Holy Days on which work is to be suspended.

Naw-Ruz is also celebrated by Zoroastrians and often in parts of countries where branches of Shiite Islam can be found – though there’s a difference between the Baha’i Holy Day of Naw-Ruz and the the Persian holiday of Naw-Ruz, the theme of celebrating a new day remains the same. The Jewish festival of Purim is also said to have been adopted from the Persian New Year, and Naw-Ruz is celebrated a lot like the Christian Easter, with many symbols indicating spring and renewal.

The Bab called the first day of His new 19 day calendar “the Day of God”. The remaining eighteen days of the first month were associated with the eighteen Letters of the Living (the first 18 individuals who recognized the station of the Bab), hence the Bab’s apostles imagined a celebration that would last nineteen days. Baha’u’llah adopted the new calendar proposed by the Bab, and the use of Naw-Ruz as a festival for those who observed the fast. Continue reading

Visionaries: An Interview with JB Eckl of Badasht

Badasht-Visionaries-864x362
Many of you may have already heard the music of The Badasht Project, (or more commonly known as Badasht). Their debut album While The City Sleeps and thier second album release Raise Me Up have been hugely popluar in the world-wide Baha’i community, and now The Badasht Project returns with a new album called Visonaries, which is a 2-CD set of 21 songs dedicated to the youth, featuring an ever-greater circle of collaborators spanning every genre from electronica to bluegrass to hip-hop. The new album features young artists, some already well along their path, others recorded for the first time, creating music ranging from the purely devotional, using passages from the Baha’i Writings to the personal and introspective, in the inspired language of the heart.

The Badasht Project is spearheaded by musicians JB Eckl and Eric Dozier, and it’s expanded into a collective benefiting from many voices and perspectives. The project was originally conceived as a response to the Baha’i Writings regarding the true purpose and station of the arts and by combining the talents and experience of artists, producers, scholars and entrepreneurs, and the project aims to bring to bear the full power of the arts towards the fostering of a more dynamic, spiritual and vibrant community.

It’s been over two years that I’ve wanted to do an interview with JB Eckl and Eric Dozier about The Badasht Project, and so now, three albums later, I was finally able to catch up with JB Eckl to find out more about this wonderful initiative and their latest album. Continue reading

A Talk by Mr. Paul Lample on the Current Plan and the Community-building Process

Paul Lample TalkHere at Baha’i Blog we’re always looking for good resources for the Baha’i world community to use, so we’re happy to share with you a recent talk by Mr. Paul Lample called ‘The Current Plan and the Community-building Process’.

Mr. Lample gave the talk in August last year at the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, USA, and he covers a number of topics including his personal thoughts on the current Plan and the activities propelling the community-building process forward.

The talk is available on the US Baha’i website, but the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States have also given Baha’i Blog permission to share the talk with our readers, so you can either stream or download the talk below. Continue reading

Meet the New Look Baha’i Blog!

placeit-(1)It was three Fasts ago that we first launched Baha’i Blog to the world. With our third birthday right around the corner, we’ve been preparing for a big update to the site’s look and feel. And today we’re very excited to announce it to our community of readers!

Thanks to our relentlessly committed editor Naysan, and our talented group of contributors, we have some of the best Baha’i content on the web. The new design is designed to emphasize that great content. We’ve simplified the interface right down, and put the focus on our articles.

The new site is mobile friendly, providing a beautiful reading experience from your phone or tablet. In the years since we launched Baha’i Blog, mobile reading has really taken off and now represents about 40% of our readership. With the change to a mobile friendly experience we’re aiming to take that number even higher in the months to come. Continue reading

SoulPancake’s ‘Have a Little Faith’ does an Episode on the Baha’i Faith

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while now, but there’s a great show I watch on SoulPancake’s Youtube channel called Have a Little Faith, and basically the show follows Zach Anner (the show’s creator and host) in his quest to learn more about faith and different religions.

In this particular episode called ‘Baha’i How Are You Doing?’, Zach visits Justin Baldoni, a Baha’i, an actor and a director (and the creator of My Last Days, another great show on SoulPancake), to learn more about the Baha’i Faith. The episode is both accurate and heartwarming, and Zach’s humor is awesome – so check it out! Continue reading