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Edward Granville Browne: The Only European Historian Who Met Baha’u’llah

Edward Granville Browne (7 February 1862 – 5 January 1926), was a British orientalist who met Baha’u’llah.

You should appreciate this, that of all the historians of Europe none attained the holy Threshold but you. This bounty was specified unto you.

These words Abdu’l-Baha wrote to Edward Granville Browne about his interviews with Baha’u’llah in 1890. From one of these interviews emanated the description of meeting Baha’u’llah famous in the Baha’i community, which you can listen to here.

Foment in the Middle East—the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78—pulled Browne away from the course his family had set for him. Born in 1862 in Gloucestershire, England, Browne was the eldest son among nine children. His father hoped he would pursue the family business of shipbuilding and civil engineering. But Browne’s calling lay elsewhere. In college he studied Turkish, Arabic, and Persian, and in 1882, he ventured eastward, visiting Turkey for several months to pursue his research.

On 30 July 1886, Browne discovered a movement that would absorb his attention for the decades to come: the Babi Faith. He stumbled upon an account of the revolutionary religion in Count Gobineau’s 1865 Religions et philosophies dans l’Asie Centrale. In the words of scholars Sir Edward Denison Ross and John Gurney, “He was spellbound by the story of the courage and devotion shown by the Bab and his faithful followers, and at once resolved to make a special study of this movement.” He wrote admiringly of the Bab’s “gentleness and patience, the cruel fate which had overtaken him, and the unflinching courage wherewith he and his followers, from the greatest to the least, had endured the merciless torments inflicted on them by their enemies.” In the Bab’s Revelation, he recognized, as he put it, “the birth of a faith which may not impossibly win a place amidst the great religions of the world.” Browne resolved to extend Gobineau’s account, which ended with the 1852 massacre of Babis. Continue reading

“My Light is in Thee” by Alia Azad [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in San Francisco, USA with Alia Azad who sings “My Light is in Thee” from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Continue reading

The Value of Silence and Fewness of Words

In today’s world and in my culture, it is often the talkative who are popular and at the centre of attention. Those who don’t speak a lot are considered shy and even boring. It is normal that when people are together, they talk the whole time. Any silence is awkward and has to be filled with chatter.

Of course, speech is a marvellous skill. In another article on Baha’i Blog, I explained the high station that language has in the Baha’i Faith.

But here I would like to discuss the place of silence in the life I am striving to live. Words are useful for certain purposes and if used in the right way (as the before-mentioned article highlights), but beyond that, I think they can be destructive.  Continue reading

Vuelo al Reino (Flight to the Kingdom) – by Leonor Dely

“Vuelo al Reino” (Flight to the Kingdom) is a song in Spanish about death performed by Leonor Dely in the lively style of the Colombian cumbia.

Inspired by the Baha’i Writings, the song was written by Enidia Rinaldi, and she shared it with her son Daniel Badi Rinaldi as a gift after she was diagnosed with cancer. Her wish was for people to have a different perspective towards death, that it shouldn’t always be sad, and instead a celebration of life.

Below are the lyrics to the song in both Spanish and English, and you can find out more about the background to the song in Daniel’s own words: Continue reading

Spiritual But Not Religious – Are Millennials Missing the Plot?

BahaiTeachings.org Editor-in-Chief, Payam Zamani interviews an author, an activist and actor Justin Baldoni — to find out why so many reject religion but embrace spirituality.

Payam wanted to know why 72% of millennials consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious” — so he asked an African educational activist, a celebrity actor/producer and an author. All from different walks of life, these three offer frank and honest answers. “Isn’t religion,” one of the panelists said, “only for people who can’t think for themselves?” Join Payam as they explore this big social trend and try to answer the penetrating questions it raises for our future. Continue reading

Among the Sanctuaries: An Album by Amy Stephen

Amy Stephen, a Canadian multi-instrumental musician, singer, composer and choir director, has released an album called Among the Sanctuaries. It features Celtic infused devotional songs inspired by the Baha’i Faith, Christianity and Islam. You’ll also hear the stirring chanting of Amir Haghighi. All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). I was excited when Amy agreed to tell us more about her album and the inspiration behind it: Continue reading

“O That I Could Travel” by Sarah & Nava

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Vancouver, Canada with Sarah Nadia Mohebiany and Nava Taghvai who sing “O That I Could Travel” based on a Tablet by Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

“O That I Could Travel” by Sarah & Nava [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Vancouver, Canada with Sarah Nadia Mohebiany and Nava Taghvai who sing “O That I Could Travel” based on a Tablet by Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

Bobo & Kipi: A Fabulous Uplifting Children’s TV Show

Bobo & Kipi is a children’s television show unlike any other. Produced by Susan Sheper, a Baha’i pioneer to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this virtues-based puppet show was an instant hit with my children. They love the characters, the songs, the animated stories and as a parent, I love having a reference point for when we discuss specific virtues such as generosity and sharing, perseverance, and trustworthiness. Although originally produced in French and aired in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9StarMedia recently released the first season of the show in English for purchase and download and if you’d like a taste, here’s the link to the show’s English trailer. I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity when Susan agreed to tell me a bit more about the fabulous show!

Baha’i Blog: Hi Susan! Thank you for spending some time chatting with us! To begin could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work in television?

Continue reading

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