Words of Love

I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy…

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Work is Worship

Among Bahá’u’lláh’s Glad Tidings is one directed to what we spend most of our waking time doing: working. Often, in the…

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Balancing Material and Spiritual Civilization

Baha'i House of Worship New Delhi - material and spiritual civilization

“No matter how far the material world advances, it cannot establish the happiness of mankind. Only when material and spiritual civilization are linked and coordinated will happiness be assured. “[1]  With these words Abdu’l Baha introduces another of the great principles of Baha’u’llah’s teachings. In short – that true civilization implies a balanced progress of material and spiritual – with…

Weaving the Future from the Threads of the Past

weaving the future from threads of the past

Across the world, the 19th century was a time of dramatic change. From our 21st century vantage point we may perceive it as “old fashioned” but in truth it was a time of change such as the world has rarely seen. In some places the world experienced revolutions, in others wide ranging reforms arose in almost every aspect of society. This…

Words of Love

words of love

I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.[1] Armed with the power of Thy name nothing can ever hurt me, and with Thy love in my heart all the world’s afflictions can in no wise alarm me.[2] Commit not that which defileth…

Before the Dawn: The Bab – Prophet Herald

room in the house of the bab where he declared his mission to mulla husayn 22 may 1844 before dawn

Several times we’ve encountered mention of the Bab – the prophet-herald of Baha’u’llah. Here, is a little of the story of the time that preceded Baha’u’llah, as told in Nabil’s Narrative. The time before the dawn. Mulla Husayn, a young seminarian, was undertaking a search. He was carrying out the last wishes of his spiritual teacher who had passed away not…

Work is Worship

Among Bahá’u’lláh’s Glad Tidings is one directed to what we spend most of our waking time doing: working. Often, in the past “sacred” has been taken to imply set apart. A special caste was concerned with the administration of the sacred. The ordinary day to day activities of life were not sacred. Bahá’u’lláh overturns this separation. Work is worship. It is enjoined upon every one…

Adam and the Rainbow Serpent

sidewalk rainbow serpent

In ancient biblical lore Adam is the first human and the creation story of Adam and Eve is well-known. Adam and Eve are cast as responsible for the “fall of man” through their disobedience in eating from tree of good and evil. This story is regarded as a metaphorical rather than literal in the Baha’i teachings.[1] In the Qur’an, Adam and…

Lidia Zamenhof and a World Language

Lidia Zamenhof’s famous father was the creator of the Esperanto – perhaps the most successful effort to create an international language. Lidia herself devoted herself to promoting the language and also to teaching the Baha’i Faith of which she had become a member. Undoubtedly Bahá’u’lláh’s call for adoption of a world language would have resonated strongly with her, given her…

Into the Prison City: Suffering of the Prophets

prison in akka suffering of the prophets

Yesterday we read Bahá’u’lláh’s good news. Yet Bahá’u’lláh’s own life was full of suffering. “O the misery of men! No Messenger cometh unto them but they laugh Him to scorn.” …“Each nation hath plotted darkly against their Messenger to lay violent hold on Him, and disputed with vain words to invalidate the truth.”[1] Bahá’u’lláh was exiled from place to place at the…

Good news – Bahá’u’lláh’s Glad Tidings

Good news – glad tidings – or “gospel” to use an old English word. In Arabic “bisharat”. Bahá’u’lláh’s Glad Tidings are a short collection of teachings concerned with reform of the world.  They are addressed to all human beings. Bahá’u’lláh notes the abolition of the following as key consequences of his Glad Tidings. The abolition of: holy war, destruction of books, the…

Harmony of Science and Religion – Dispelling Superstition

Harmony of Science and Religion

“Among … principles of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings was the harmony of science and religion“, with words such as these Abdu’l Baha introduces us to another core principle he identifies in Baha’u’llah’s teachings and thought. But what does this principle mean and how does it relate to the quite fractious debates that emerge from time to time in society? Abdu’l Baha goes…

Oneness of Humanity: A Sense of Community and a Glass of Water – the Baha’i Feast

oneness of humanity - feast - water

In Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings, the oneness of humanity is nurtured through an interconnected network of concepts that address human unity at many levels. Among those concepts is the simple action of gathering together. The concept is found in the call of followers of different relations to associate together in friendship. It is also found in the Baha’i Feast. it is enjoined…

Oneness of Humanity – Reconstruction and Demilitarization of the Entire World

earth rise - oneness of humanity reconstruction and demilitarization of Earth

  When you say you believe in the oneness of humanity – sometimes people think you are making a “motherhood and apple pie” statement. “Let’s all love each other”. It’s true that in one sense that’s exactly what it means. But it also implies far more. Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’u’lláh’s great grandson, in the 1930’s in the lead up to World War…