A User’s Guide to God Passes By

With a raging war, a frightening pandemic, climate chaos and divided democracies, we need protection against succumbing to anxiety or despair.

One potent preventative–or antidote–is to spend time with God Passes By, which Shoghi Effendi wrote in the perilous days of World War II.

Here is a user’s guide to “the greatest epic of the millennium.”

What is God Passes By?

Published in 1944, the book is the only full-length narrative that Shoghi Effendi wrote, that fact testifying to the importance he saw in its content.

It is a historical survey of the first 100 years of the Baha’i Faith. Its 25 chapters cover the Ministries of the Bab, Baha’u’llah and Abdul-Baha as well as the first 23 years of the Formative Age of the Faith. Continue reading

Unrestrained as the Wind – A New Animation about Abdu’l-Baha and Agriculture

Baha’i Blog is excited to have recently published Unrestrained as the Wind: Abdu’l-Baha and Agriculture on our Youtube channel in both English and Persian, and it’s the fourth collaboration between PersianBMS and filmmaker Flavio Azm Rassekh on the life of Abdu’l-Baha.

This seven minute animation tells the story of how Abdu’l-Baha predicted the First World War during His travels to the West, and how He managed to protect the population of Palestine from starvation as a result of the conflict.

Like his other animations in this series, Flavio decided to focus on an aspect of Abdu’l-Baha’s life, and in this particular case, he sheds some light on the miraculous achievement of saving the lives of so many during a famine due to the First World War, and through the cooperative efforts of farming and agriculture.

I decided to touch base with my dear friend, Flavio, to find out more about this film and some of his thoughts behind it: Continue reading

Under the Staircase – A Biography of Fatollah Ferdowsi

Baha’i communities around the world have been founded and are strengthened by heroism and sacrifice. It is an honour to learn about recent publications that offer us glimpses of the indomitable strength of character of Baha’is, both from the early years of the Baha’i Faith’s inception and its more recent history.

Under the Staircase: A Martyr’s Journey is the moving memoir written by a son, Farsheed, about his father, Fatollah Ferdowsi. Fatollah was a remarkable man who was executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the morning of January 4, 1982. His only crime was his belief in the teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

Farsheed graciously agreed to tell us about this book, its significance to his family, and he shares some wisdom for aspiring Baha’i writers: Continue reading

Calling for Australian Creators! Introducing: Baha’i Blog’s ‘Creator Network’

Since sharing our plans for a new Baha’i Blog vision and direction, we’ve been working on expanding our network of Australian creators to share their artistic expressions of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah and its transformative powers. We want to inspire individuals around Australia to get interested, excited, and involved! We believe films and other arts and media have a role to play in doing just that. But, we can’t do it alone. Continue reading

One Planet, One Habitation – A Baha’i International Community Statement About the Natural World

The Baha’i International Community (BIC) has just released a new statement called One Planet, One Habitation: A Bahaʼi Perspective on Recasting Humanity’s Relationship With the Natural World.

The statement was written on the occasion of Stockholm+50, a major international environmental meeting of the United Nations that took place in Stockholm, Sweden, the first week of June 2022.

You can read and download the statement in full here: One Planet, One Habitation: A Bahaʼi Perspective on Recasting Humanity’s Relationship With the Natural World

According to the BIC release (which you can read in full here), “the statement was launched at an event the BIC co-hosted at the Swedish Parliament with a number of other civil society organizations, including the Climate Governance Commission and Global Women Leaders: Voices for Change and Inclusion. The event was moderated by Swedish Members of Parliament Anders Österberg and Mattias Vepsä.” Continue reading

Hazel Scott: Gifted Musician and Defender of Her People

Hazel Scott (June 11, 1920 – October 2, 1981). Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Hazel Scott, the sole survivor of her parents’ seven children, loved the piano from the time she was a very young child. Her mother, Alma, practiced and taught piano in their home in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The sound was as much a part of the child as was her breathing. Later, Hazel would call the piano “that marvel of marvels.”

At three years old, when Hazel’s grandmother, Margaret, fell asleep one afternoon, Hazel wanted to play the hymn Margaret always sang at naptime. “I knew that somehow I could find ‘Gentle Jesus’ somewhere among those keys in front of me.” That was exactly what she did, playing the melody with both hands. When her grandmother woke up, thinking that a student had come into the house to practice, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She called the whole neighborhood in, as well as Hazel’s mother, Alma, to witness this small miracle. Continue reading

Chapter 45 – An Afro-Futuristic Album by Zahyia

Zahyia has released an album called Chapter 45. Zahyia is a songwriter, lyricist, producer and creative visionary and this eight track Baha’i-inspired album includes three songs based on excerpts from the Baha’i Writings, such as a musical meditation on the Long Healing Prayer.

The album is a personal reflection on the 45th year of her life and I was very curious to find out more. Here’s what Zahyia generously shared with us: Continue reading

Micky’s Masterpiece – A New Children’s Book About Art by Anne Gordon Perry

Anne Gordon Perry is a radiant artist, bright and brimming with creative projects. We interviewed her on the Baha’i Blogcast to talk about her film Luminous Journey (you can find that episode here) and in this interview she tells us all about her children’s book called Micky’s Masterpiece.

Here’s what Anne shared with us:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have been committed to the arts for over five decades, particularly since becoming a Baha’i, and my passion for creativity relates to many things I do. I teach college writing, film appreciation, art appreciation, and humanities at the Art Institute of Dallas and have a PhD in Aesthetic Studies. As an artist, I write and do some theatre, dance, visual art, and filmmaking. My interest in children’s literature comes out of my love for stories, for storytelling, and for contributing something to the education of young people.

Continue reading

Exploring Far-Flung Futuristic Forms of Intergalactic Unity

This article is an abstract and hypothetical exploration of the far-flung future. Although it’s fantastical and based on my imagination, articulating my thoughts on this subject has broadened my perspective of the Baha’i Faith’s current state, given me a newfound appreciation for the significance of the times we are living in, and heightened my appreciation for the past. I hope you enjoy this exploration of the possibility of unity that extends beyond Earth into interplanetary federations and that it helps you ponder our collective future. Continue reading

Infinite Horizons: The Life and Times of Horace Holley – A New Book by Kathryn Hogenson

Although we’ve only spent a few hours in each other’s company, I have a profound respect and love for Kathryn Hogenson. You may know her from her book Lighting the Western Sky or from when she appeared on the Baha’i Blogcast in a special episode dedicated to Abdu’l-Baha (which you can listen to here).

She has penned a new book called Infinite Horizons: The Life and Times of Horace Holley and I’m eager to hear all about it. Here’s what Kathryn graciously shared with us about this book, what she learned in the process of writing it, why biographies of Hands of the Cause are precious, and what reading about Horace Holley’s life can teach us about service to humanity:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, and a Virginian transplanted to Florida. From my earliest years, I was unexplainably religious, so when I heard about the Baha’i Faith for the first time at age 19 at a Seals & Crofts concert in my hometown, Richmond, I immediately responded to it and within less than two months enrolled. That was almost 50 years ago. From that point on, the Faith has become more and more the centre of my life. I am also a lawyer with a lifelong love of history, but even though I have worked in the legal field, most of my career has been spent working for either the Universal House of Justice at the World Centre or for the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States. While in Haifa, I discovered the pleasure of researching Baha’i history and writing what I found as a story. The result was Lighting the Western Sky: The Hearst Pilgrimage and the Establishment of the Baha’i Faith in the West which was published in 2010. It has been a great joy to connect with people from across the globe who have read that book.

Continue reading