200th anniversary articles

A Tribute to Bahá’u’lláh

abdu'l baha plymouth - tribute to baha'u'llah

This article tells the story of a moment in time. A small event – briefly told – yet an event that still echoes through time and space. A few evenings ago the words from that event echoed in song in the Australasian Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney. Here is the story. Abdu’l Baha was travelling…

Each Morrow Richer Than its Yesterday

each day better - dawn - healthy attitude to mistakes

We all make mistakes. How we deal with our own mistakes and of those around us has important implications. Too often we stand in judgement of our fellow human beings. It’s an attitude that is corrosive to our own connection with the sacred, and in its worst manifestations creates a judgemental and oppressive community. Despite the prevalence of…

Seeker

zion valley - seeker

For me, it was like the lifting of a darkness of which I had previously been unaware. The lights were on – a new beauty and truth was in the world – and there was no going back. The journey the seeker follows to faith is not an easy one. It is really impossible to describe.…

Solving Problems Beyond Solution – The Book of Certitude

Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts - Book of Certitude

The goal of Bahá’u’lláh’s entire life’s work, as he describes, is to foster unity among human beings. Of his writings, the Book of Certitude plays a particular role in this purpose. Accordingly, it has been said that the Book of Certitude: by sweeping away the age-long barriers that have so insurmountably separated the great religions of…

Women and men have been and always will be equal …

Students and teachers of Tarbiyat Girls school - gender equality

“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…

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…

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…

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.…

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…