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
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!
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
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
As I take part in this special period of the Baha’i year, and join fellow Baha’is 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 Baha’is 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
The song ‘Radiant Heart’ by Shadi Toloui-Wallace featuring Shadi’s mother and performer Shidan Toloui-Wallace. Performed live at the Brisbane, Australia Baha’i Centre on 12 June 2011.
You can read Baha’i Blog’s interview with Shadi Toloui-Wallace here, and you can read Baha’i Blog’s interview with Shidan Toloui-Wallace here.
As Baha’is around the world gather together to celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha, the team at Baha’i Blog would like to wish all of our readers a very happy Ayyam-i-Ha!
There are a whole bunch of different ways to celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha, and one fun activity which the team at Baha’i Blog really enjoys are Baha’i quizzes!
Quizzes are a great activity to do with your friends and your community, so we’ve prepared a simple quiz about Ayyam-i-Ha for you all to enjoy!
Go ahead, take the Ayyam-i-Ha quiz and see how you do!
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
Chelsea Lee Smith has been busy! Not only has she been busy working as a full-time mom, but among other things, she’s one of the main driving forces behind the wonderful blog for parenting called Enable Me To Grow, and also the Radiant Hearts educational resource which is aimed at assisting in the spiritual education of children.
And now Chelsea, along with the help of her husband Zafar and two children, has just released yet another resource called At First Light, Volume 1, which is a musical album based on 20 short quotations from the Baha’i Writings.
This wonderful album is a great way for kids and adults alike to memorise the Baha’i Writings, and the album also comes with 20 instrumental tracks of each song as well, so everyone can sing along!
With Ayyam-i-Ha coming up soon, I’m going to be buying a few copies for some of my family and friends, and I thought this would also be good opportunity to let others know about this wonderful album, so I decided to catch up with Chelsea to hear more about the initiative. Continue reading
Like many others, when I heard the news about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I wept. This was not the first massacre in the United States in recent years, but it was perhaps the most shocking.
When something like this happens, it raises a lot of questions. People begin to wonder how many more episodes of human cruelty will transpire in their lifetime, in their children’s lifetime. They wonder if humanity is, in fact, hopeless, and whether it’s even worth it to have children anymore. Just last night, one of my best friends from college told me he and many other couples he knows have decided not to bring kids into this crazy world. Continue reading