Tag Archives Baha’i Writings

“What I Saw of Abdu’l-Baha”: Vignettes by Laura Barney

Abdu’l-Baha on the steps of 7 Haparsim Street, His home in Haifa, May 1921. Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

May 16, 1909, New York City: a group has gathered to hear Laura Clifford Barney speak. Her name is familiar to the audience from Some Answered Questions, which was published last year. This book brought Abdu’l-Baha’s commentary on subjects ranging from the New Testament to criminal justice to the newborn Baha’i community in the United States.

Barney, the book’s compiler and translator, has spent most of the past decade far from this, her homeland, living in Paris and Akka. She lived for months at a time in Abdu’l-Baha’s household—a “village” bustling with Baha’is of all ages, as she fondly recalls—from 1904 to 1906, when she compiled Some Answered Questions. During these Akka sojourns, she had many opportunities to interact with and observe Abdu’l-Baha.

“It is not what I think [that] is of much importance but what I saw…of the characteristics and habits of Abdu’l-Baha,” she tells her New York audience. One attendee has a pen poised above a stack of lined paper, ready to transcribe Barney’s words. Thanks to this unnamed scribe, we have a record of Barney’s comments that day. For this post, passages have been arranged by topic: first, anecdotes of Abdu’l-Baha; second, reminiscences of life in His household; and third, reflections on His attributes and guidance. These excerpts have been lightly edited for readability.  Continue reading

New English Translations of Prayers, Tablets, Extracts and Talks by Abdu’l-Baha

In honor of the Day of the Covenant (the day when Baha’is celebrate the appointment of Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant), we thought it would be a perfect time to bring our readers’ attention the exciting news of the newly translated prayers, tablets, extracts and talks by Abdu’l-Baha, recently made available on the Baha’i Reference Library. Continue reading

109 New Baha’i Writings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha Now Available Online

The Baha’i World Centre has joyfully announced that its online Baha’i Reference Library now includes a feature that allows passages or Tablets from the Baha’i Faith’s Writings, which in the course of the work at the Baha’i World Centre are translated and prepared for publication, to be released online when they become available. In launching this new feature, 109 items are now available; these include selections from the works of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha translated in English and Persian originals.  Continue reading

The Tablet of Ahmad: Who Was Ahmad?

Many Baha’is around the world, myself included, recite the Tablet of Ahmad when in times of difficulty or grief. This Tablet, as well as the Obligatory Prayers and the Long Healing prayer,

[…] have been invested by Baha’u’llah with a special potency and significance, and should therefore be accepted as such and be recited by the believers with unquestioning faith and confidence.

I recently found out who Ahmad was and what he did to deserve receiving this Tablet from Baha’u’llah, and now I feel totally different when I recite it! What a blessing to get to know about him and understand why this Tablet was revealed to him! I hope that sharing some details of his story will also inspire you and will enrich your supplications when chanting this unique and powerful Tablet.  Continue reading

New Compilation About Baha’i Temples: The Institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar

In its 2018 Ridvan message to the Baha’is of the world, the Universal House of Justice referred to a new compilation dedicated to the institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar. The Universal House of Justice said:

… we have every expectation that the recently released statement and compilation about the institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, prepared by our Research Department, will further stimulate the friends’ appreciation of the significance of worship in community life. For in their acts of service, especially in their regular devotional gatherings, Baha’is everywhere are laying the spiritual foundations of future Houses of Worship.

The term “Mashriqu’l-Adhkar” means “Dawning place of the praise of God”. The term is used primarily to refer to a Baha’i House of Worship, or Temple, and its surrounding dependencies.

The compilation was put together by the Research Department at the Baha’i World Centre and it includes a statement, as well as quotations from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi and excerpts from letters written by the Universal House of Justice.

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What Happened on the 12th Day of Ridvan?

The 12 day Festival of Ridvan signifies the anniversary of the Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s mission to His followers, and in The Most Holy Book Baha’u’llah ordained Ridvan as one of two of the “Most Great Festivals”, the other being the Declaration of the Bab. Although the entire festival is sacred, Baha’is suspend work on three specific days of the Ridvan Festival – the 1st, 9th and 12th days.

I don’t think there is any way to write a blog article that can summarize or make comment on such a momentous and sublime occasion as what took place when Baha’u’llah proclaimed to be the Promised One of all Ages in the Garden of Ridvan. It’s like trying to imagine the infinitude of the universe, or count all the waves in the ocean. And it’s likewise difficult to describe what took place on the 12th Day of Ridvan, when Baha’u’llah left the Ridvan Garden and began the long and arduous exile to Constantinople. Thankfully, we can turn to Baha’u’llah’s descriptions of what occurred in Days of Remembrance. Continue reading

An Interview with Ramine Yazhari About ‘Rejoice’

Ramine Yazhari has released a devotional album in honour of the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. The album is titled Rejoice and its melodies are soaring (you can stream it here on Bandcamp). Last year, Ramine released a single called ‘This Newborn Child’ and I listened to it over and over and over again, finding inspiration each time I heard it. You may also recognize Ramine’s voice from his devotional album dedicated to the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s travels to the West, Long Journey. I was glad to learn that Rejoice had been released and Ramine very graciously agreed to tell us a little about how the album came together. I hope you enjoy our conversation:

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A Personal Reflection on Forgiveness

What does it mean to forgive those who wrong us personally or do terrible things to others in the world? Abdu’l-Baha affirms that,

Inasmuch as God is clement and loving to His children, lenient and merciful toward our shortcomings, why should we be unkind and unforgiving toward each other?

And:

Let not your heart be offended with anyone. If someone commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him. Do not complain of others. Refrain from reprimanding them, and if you wish to give admonition or advice, let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer. Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts. Beware! Beware! Lest ye offend any heart.

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Celebrating 100 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions Around the World!

Baha’i Blog’s very popular music series called “Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions” is still going strong, and last week we just published our 100th Studio Session so as you can imagine, we’re super excited!

Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends around the world, to come into a studio to film and record them singing a song based on the Baha’i Writings. We then make these videos and audio recordings available on our YouTube Channel and SoundCloud page for everyone to listen to and download for free.

We publish one Studio Session per week, and so far we’ve recorded in 21 locations in 11 different languages across the globe! Continue reading