Where to find Baha’i Sheet Music Online

In this day and age it’s become much easier to get a hold of new information and materials. Years ago, if you wanted to play an instrument like your guitar or keyboard at a gathering or camp, you’d have to get things like sheet music off other people and from books at Baha’i stores. Now, all you have to do is get online, grab the music yourself from the comfort of your own home and print it off!

Music is a important ingredient at feasts, firesides, devotionals, childrens classes, and many other Baha’i meetings, as it is a ladder to the soul. So getting those upbeat tunes to sing along with and liven up your events is a must!

As Baha’u’llah says,

We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high.
-Baha’u’llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas

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Science and Religion: Best Friends Forever

Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

Last year, when NASA’s robotic rover, Curiosity, successfully made its way to our planetary neighbor, everyone celebrated. Unsurprisingly, on the Internet, some people tweaked: “Dear Religion, While you were debating what chicken sandwiches were okay to eat, I just landed on Mars. Sincerely, Your Pal Science.”

To be fair, Science and Religion have been taking jabs at each other for some centuries now. Continue reading

Kahlil Gibran and the Baha’i Faith

Kahlil Gibran (Jan 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931)

In 1912, Hudson Maxim, the one-handed American inventor of explosives, went to see Abdu’l-Baha at His hotel in New York. It’s possible that his morning interview with the “Prophet of Peace” was a kind of reconnaissance mission for the great scientist, research for his work of war: know thy enemy. Elements of their conversation read like a comedy of opposites:

“What do you think of modern warfare?” demanded Maxim.

“Everything that prevents war is good,” replied Abdu’l-Baha.

“Do you consider the next great national war necessary?” Maxim asked.

“Why not try peace for awhile?” Abdu’l-Baha answered. “If we find war is better, it will not be difficult to fight again.”

The combative approach Maxim took was met with a gentle, finding-the-good-ness spirit in Abdu’l-Baha, which Maxim seems to have found hostile in its mildness. He resorted to drawing a picture for Abdu’l-Baha of the range of an exploded bomb, to illustrate the physical limitations of its destruction.

This man was a product of his age, thoroughly believing and, in fact, invested in the vain imaginings of 19th-century theories about war. The Master turned to the light in Hudson Maxim, appealing to him to use his exceptional talents in instead “invent[ing] guns of love” that “God will be pleased with you and from every standpoint of estimation you will be a perfect man.”

This story serves as a contrast to the entirely different sentiments and circumstances surrounding the introduction, in the same city and during the same year, of our real subject: the meeting of a young Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran and that life-long Prisoner from Persia Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

Baha’i Blog Turns Two! …and Our Top 10 Posts of the Year are…

Baha’i Blog has just turned two years old (Yippee!) and the team at Baha’i Blog would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone from around the world for their wonderful and continued support!

Over the last year Baha’i Blog has continued to soar – in fact, with thousands of readers located in 193 countries (we’ve literally had over 100,000 unique visitors!), we’ve been doubling our numbers in every way!

Our Calendar of Events and the Resource Directory also continue to grow, with users adding more and more content every week!

Our Facebook page followers and Mailing List subscribers have also more than doubled, so if you haven’t done so already, follow us on Facebook and join our mailing list if you want to be notified when we post something new.

So far we’ve published 193 original posts written by dozens of authors, and these posts continue to cover a wide variety of topics relating to the Baha’i Faith. We’re also always looking for good writers, so if you’re interested in writing for us, you can find out more about how you can write for us here.

Now, without further ado… (Drum roll please!) …Baha’i Blog is proud to present to you our 10 most popular posts of the year: Continue reading

Baha`i Blog’s Trivia Quiz: Naw-Ruz

Naw-Ruz has arrived, and the team at Baha’i Blog has come up with ten questions to test your knowledge of this Baha’i holy day.

Go ahead, take the Naw-Ruz quiz and see how you do!

If you don’t manage to get 100%, don’t fret. There’s always next year!

Feel free to familiarise yourselves with Naw-Ruz through these articles below – or see how you go without reading through them first.

1) A Time For Renewal

2) Is Naw-Ruz an Iranian Holiday or a Baha’i Holy Day?

3) Naw-Ruz: Spiritual Springtime

But most importantly, the team at Baha’i Blog would like to wish you all a very happy Naw-Ruz!

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Language: The Brick and Mortar of an Ever-advancing Civilization

One important component of building an ever-advancing civilization that merits careful reflection is the role of language in this process.

There are certain words one hears repeatedly—in the messages of the Universal House of Justice, in reflection gatherings, in conversations among friends, and in society at large. Some examples are ‘organic’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘coherence’. Perhaps at times, it would be fitting to pause and ask “Do I know what these concepts mean?” “Am I using these words carefully or am I treating them like jargon-du-jour?”

‘Organic’ and ‘empowerment’, notably, appear to have been appropriated by wider society, and are used so frequently and thoughtlessly as to render them virtually meaningless. For instance, a well-known singer recently described her new album as an exercise in “female empowerment”. Almost every track on that album was about sex and the objectification of one or both genders. How empowering?

Is this just a matter of semantics, or is there something more important at stake here? Continue reading

Verdant Isle: An Interview with Shadi Toloui-Wallace

Australian singer and songwriter Shadi Toloui-Wallace was raised in a musical family, but her own musical journey with the Faith really came to fruition when she recognised the need within the Baha’i community for more contemporary forms of music that are inspired by the teachings of the Baha’u’llah. With the support and encouragement of her family, and the legendary Louie Shelton coming on board to produce the album, Shadi launched her debut album called Leather Bound Book, which quickly took the Baha’i world by storm.

I first met Shadi about four years ago when I had just moved to Melbourne, Australia, and Shadi had just released her debut album. She had come to Melbourne to perform at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and her captivating music swept the audience right off their feet! Continue reading

4 Things The Fast Helps Us Strengthen

As I take part in this special period of the Bahá’í year, and join fellow Bahá’ís around the world in The Fast, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned from fasting over the years. Probably the main thing which comes to mind is that even now, although I’ve been doing it every year for the last 20 years - I’m not getting any better at it.

But perhaps that’s the point. To get better at it would mean that we would potentially miss out on a significant opportunity to put ourselves to the test in order to help ourselves grow and develop into better human beings, which is what we’re encouraged to do as Bahá’ís everyday. Baha’u’llah wrote:

We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period… beware lest desire deprive you of this grace that is appointed in the Book.

So, maybe it doesn’t need to get easier, as I don’t want to be deprived of “this grace”.  Continue reading

Baha`i Blog’s Trivia Quiz: Ayyám-i-Há

As Baha’is around the world gather together to celebrate Ayyám-i-Há, the team at Baha’i Blog would like to wish all of our readers a very happy Ayyám-i-Há!

There are a whole bunch of different ways to celebrate Ayyám-i-Há, and one fun activity which the team at Baha’i Blog really enjoys is Baha’i trivia!

Trivia’s a great activity to do with your friends and your community, so we’ve prepared a simple trivia quiz about Ayyám-i-Há for you all to enjoy!

Go ahead, take the Ayyám-i-Há quiz and see how you do!
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Nature as a Spiritual Metaphor: Wind and the Will of God

If God is All-Loving and All-Merciful, why would He allow so much pain and suffering in the world and cause such severe difficulties to befall us?

I am unspeakably fortunate to have never endured extreme poverty, been diagnosed with a debilitating or life-threatening illness, suffered the sudden loss of a family member, or experienced any other type of severe calamity that so many unfortunately have. But tragedy in some shape or form appears to afflict all of us at some point in our lives: it was Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith and the great-grandson of Bahá’u’lláh, who described this life as the “home of suffering we call our earth” (Lights of Guidance, p. 207). When such suffering occurs, many of us will inevitably wonder the age-old question of why a beneficent God would ordain for our lives to be afflicted with such difficulties. Continue reading