Women and men have been and always will be equal …

“Women and men have been and always will be equal in the sight of God.”[1] With these words, Bahá’u’lláh challenges the age old oppression of women. Thus, the following concept applies as much in respect of gender equality as elsewhere: Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other.[2] The general assertion…

Bahá’u’lláh on Good Government

good government - detail from new york court house

We live in a time of increasing distrust between citizens and institutions of government. Ordinary people seek solutions for what they experience as failures of government – yet institutions of governance struggle to genuinely connect with affected populations. What light does Bahá’u’lláh’s thought cast on what constitutes good government? Bahá’u’lláh lived under absolute monarchies. His own experience of government was one of…

How Bahá’u’lláh came to be in the Holy Land

Mt Carmel in the Holy Land where Baha'u'llah stood

It is a curious fact of history that it was the successive banishments of Bahá’u’lláh by the Ottoman Sultan – finally to the prison-city of Akka – that placed Bahá’u’lláh in the Holy Land. I don’t need to explain where the “Holy Land” is, because the reference is so well known. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all hold the land sacred, as…

We are One – Overcoming Racism Part 2

As introduced in yesterday’s article, racism is entirely incompatible with Bahá’u’lláh’s thought. “Close your eyes to racial differences, and welcome all with the light of oneness.”[1] As westerners began to join the Baha’i Faith early in the 1900’s, it was clear that racism would need to be addressed, and Abdu’l Baha, Bahá’u’lláh’s son, set out to do so. Indeed Abdu’l Baha began this…

We are One – Overcoming Racism Part 1

gathering of humanity - flowers of a garden - against racism

While Bahá’u’lláh, a persecuted prisoner of the Ottoman Sultan, was promulgating his universal teachings of the oneness of humanity, wholly different and toxic doctrines were taking hold in western thought. Racism was emerging as scientific and intellectual orthodoxy and was to reach its horrific nadir in the holocaust of World War II. Europeans held dominance over their fellow human beings as colonial powers –…

Mystic Gems – the Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

The Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah

Among the most well known works of Bahá’u’lláh are the Hidden Words. They are written in brief “gem-like utterances”,[1] 71 in Arabic and 82 in Persian. They are at once of crystalline clarity and yet impenetrable in their allusion to a spiritual reality beyond our day to day experience. The Hidden Words are among the works which Bahá’u’lláh wrote in the voice…

A Mountain of Roses: The Ridvan Festival

mountain of roses - story of ridvan

The second exile of Bahá’u’lláh by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, this time from Baghdad to Constantinople, is not remembered as a time of sorrow. It is remembered a a time of joy. For this time, in April 1863, marks the time when Bahá’u’lláh declared his mission to his closest friends and followers. For near 10 years, Bahá’u’lláh had restored the remnant followers…

Prophet and Seer

humiliation of germany at versailles

Is it possible to see the future? All of us can predict the future to a small degree, simply on the basis of past experience. Yet the idea that someone could see events far in the future raises scepticism. It is outside our common experience. Some of us have subjective experiences of deja vu (a feeling we have seen some event…