Specific Teachings

Tajalliyat – Radiant Lights and the Spirit of Truth

tajalliyat

Tajalliyat is a work written by Bahá’u’lláh to one of his followers. It starts with a preamble in Arabic and then switches to Persian so that the Persian people may “become aware of the utterances of the Merciful Lord” and “discover the truth”. We have seen that the question of language is one which arises…

Water Restored to Akka and Service to the Community

akka aqueduct restoring water

As time went on the people of Akka began to see the true character of Bahá’u’lláh and his followers. The initial contempt and hatred with which they had been greeted on entering the city changed into respect and even reliance. Bahá’u’lláh in this period largely ceased the open association he had followed with the people until…

The Universal House of Justice and an ever changing world

Seat of the Universal House of Justice

The writings of Bahá’u’lláh are a very considerable religious corpus. Yet within those writings Bahá’u’lláh provides for the guidance and unfoldment of the Baha’i community over the centuries that would follow his passing. Thus in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, his book of laws, he writes: Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is…

The Word of God

the Word of God

Words are in some sense like seeds. They germinate as thoughts in the minds of readers or hearers. The exact form that the thought takes in the world of individual imagination differs depending on the soil of that heart and mind. As we have seen words also have power – to heal or harm –…

Render unto Caesar …

render unto caesar

The phrase is famous and the story well-known. When the religious scholars of his day were seeking to entrap Jesus they asked him whether it was lawful to pay tax to the Emperor. Jesus asked them to bring him a coin. They showed him a denarius and he asked them “Whose image is on the…

The Kitab-i-Aqdas: A New Paradigm

galileo - new paradigm

The term “paradigm” is used in a way now familiar in everyday speech – such as in the phrase “a new paradigm” or “paradigm shift”. But this kind of usage has a particular and recent origin. It comes from a philosopher of science whose name was Thomas Kuhn. In the late 20th century, this philosopher…

The Kitab-i-Aqdas: A Spiritual Life

House of Abbud - Kitab-i-Aqdas

In previous articles, we have considered what we mean by law, and we have looked at the process of law reform in the context of Bahá’u’lláh’s mission. When Bahá’u’lláh and his family and followers were initially brought to Akka they had been confined in the citadel of Akka. After two years and two months and…

What is Law?

what is law?

Bahá’u’lláh’s purpose throughout his mission was to promote the oneness of humankind but, he notes, that “At one time We spoke in the language of the lawgiver; at another in that of the truth-seeker and the mystic.“[1] If “law” is interchangeable with “mystic truth” it begs the question: what is law? It’s a question that…

Workers’ Rights

workers' rights

As we have seen in previous articles, Bahá’u’lláh was concerned with the extremes of wealth and poverty he saw in society.  He was concerned when the governors of society “reared palaces for themselves” at the cost of the poverty of their people. We has seen how, in freeing slaves he inherited with his family estate,…