Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World – Collection 16

“Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World” is a Baha’i Blog initiative in honor of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, the two Prophet-founders of the Baha’i Faith.

In this initiative, we share portraits of Baha’is and their friends from different countries and territories all over the world, along with a few of their words about what the Baha’i Faith means to them or how it has touched their lives.

You can stay updated by following the “Personal Reflections” social media pages FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also visit the website dedicated to this project: personalreflections.bahaiblog.net

In 2017 we shared 200 portraits and reflections in honor of the Birth of Baha’u’llah and in 2019 we decided to share another 200 to celebrate the bicentenary of the Bab’s Birth. Our hope is that by sharing these pictures and excerpts, we will answer the call from the Universal House of Justice to communicate “a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries [the Bab and Baha’u’llah] rose successively above the horizon of the world.”

Here is the 16th collection of images displayed here via our Instagram page, and it’s the sixth set of 20 in honor of the Birth of the Bab.

We hope you find this project as inspirational as we do!

 

 

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“The Baha’i teachings have given me peace and they’ve given me a context to live by, which I don’t think I clearly defined before. I think we strive to have virtues and a sense of morality but I think it was handed down to me by my parents and society and when I was introduced to the Baha’i Faith, I started to question what those virtues and those principles actually meant. And upon questioning, I got to dissect and unpack and then make decisions. From thereunto it was intentional. That resonated with me. It was beyond a thought. It was a feeling that was evoked.” #Bahai #BahaiFaith #Bicentenary #BicentenaryBirthoftheBab #Bahaiphoto #Bahaiphotographer

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“I think a characteristic maybe that is distinctive and apparent everywhere in the Babi Dispensation and in the early days of the Baha’i Faith is the sort of clear and all consuming fire of the love of God, that just grips everybody, maybe [because of] their proximity to the Manifestations of God. But I think that is something that just doesn’t receive as much attention; you can talk about truth and justice and generosity, and those are all qualities that are very important for our character, our formation, our development. And somehow the fire of the love of God is another kind of thing [where we want to be] as a mirror to help reflect those places where the fire of the love of God is burning now, and to strengthen it, till it grows every day.” #Bahai #BahaiFaith #Bicentenary #BicentenaryoftheBirthoftheBab #Bahaiphoto #Bahaiphotographer

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“My wife was a Baha’i, but I wasn’t too much interested in reading the Baha’i Writings. Due to circumstances she had to go back to the Netherlands with our daughter, so I was more or less alone in that particular time and space in West Africa. So I had these long nights that I could read things. There was not so much light, most of the time there was no electricity, so I read all these books, and amongst them were the Selections of the Writings of the Bab, in the light of a candle or a lantern or something like that. I can still remember: it was still in the rainy season, each night there was a kind of thunderstorm, so the scenery was a thunderstorm, a bit of light, but not too much, and in the background most of the times the drums of the celebrations of the traditional African celebrations of religious festivals, and in this backdrop I read about the Writings of the Bab. And I was very much impressed by His meekness, by His excellence, and by the power and might of the words that He revealed.” #Bahai #BahaiFaith #Bicentenary #BicentenaryBirthoftheBab #Bahaiphoto #Bahaiphotographer

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“There was actually a point in my life when I tried to leave the Baha’i Faith because I felt that I couldn’t live up to the spiritual responsibilities that I felt that I should live up to. And it wasn’t just in my imagination, I really was not living up to those spiritual responsibilities, and I was trying to gather up the courage to be able to leave the Faith, so that I would not harm or damage the reputation of the Faith. I was heartbroken, and I was crying and I was trying to gather the courage to leave the Faith, so I was saying the Tablet of Ahmad. And then in the middle of saying the Tablet of Ahmad, I’m hysterically laughing and crying at the same time, realising the irony of saying the Tablet of Ahmad, so I can leave the Faith that I love so much; that I cannot belong to because I don’t really feel that I can do this thing that Baha’u’llah’s asking us to do. I have this realisation that I’m not in the Faith, the Faith is in me.” #Bahai #BahaiFaith #Bicentenary #BicentenaryBirthoftheBab #Bahaiphoto #Bahaiphotographer

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“I think something that always strikes me [about the followers of the Bab was] just their level of conviction, faith and trust — that connection to what is unseen, and the spiritual forces that are always so present in our lives. But maybe in our more materialistic society it’s very hard to access those forces and feel connected to them. So I find those stories very helpful and inspiring in terms of just reminding myself that I can access those spiritual forces through my own perseverance, my own daily spiritual practice. And as I refine that, I too can access those forces and blessings and bounties that our spiritual ancestors were able to channel.” #Bahai #BahaiFaith #Bicentenary #BicentenaryoftheBirthoftheBab #Bahaiphoto #Bahaiohotographer

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“I think in the Dispensation of the Bab, and the Life of the Bab in general, we see what it means to sacrifice yourself and to sacrifice your comforts for the advancement of civilisation. I mean that’s on a larger scale. But on a smaller scale, what it means to be a living sacrifice for your beliefs and being willing to really have the courage of your convictions […] Maybe I’m called on to sacrifice my comfort, maybe wherever it is I think I want to live, maybe there’s a better place I could be living where I could be more of service to humanity, maybe I’m asked to sacrifice certain comforts, day to day — or even the safety of a familiar environment. And I’m asked to sacrifice those things in order to be of service to humanity. It’s thinking, ‘What are the sacrifices I know that I can make in helping to improve the lot of humanity?'” #Bahai #BahaiFaith #Bicentenary #BicentenaryBirthfotheBab #Bahaiphoto #Bahaiphotographer

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About the Author

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

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