How to Be a Heroic Baha’i Today

A youth studying the spiritual empowerment of junior youth in Montero, Bolivia. (Photo: Baha'i Media Bank)

Oftentimes, I find myself reading chronicles from early Baha’is, immersing myself in their stories of complete selflessness, utter sacrifice, and staunch devotion to the Cause of God.

I find myself thinking that my humble undertakings serving the Baha’i Faith pale in comparison to what they endured in a bid to spread the Message of Baha’u’llah.

Abdu’l-Baha writes:

…ye must in this matter—that is, the serving of humankind—lay down your very lives, and as ye yield yourselves, rejoice.

But what does it mean to lay down our lives? I think that this is one of many metaphorical references found in the Baha’i Writings to giving up one’s life and it makes me ask myself, what does it symbolically look like for me to give up my life to the beliefs I hold dear? And how can I do so rejoicingly?

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The Twin Holy Birthdays of the Bab and Baha’u’llah

Only a handful of humanity are aware that barely 160 years ago Iran witnessed a re-enactment of scenes that had occurred in Roman Judaea two millennia earlier. The ancient land — known as Persia at the time — was about to boil over and, as a result, a new religious movement peaceably inviting men and women to embrace a new commandment from God, had been all but vanquished. As a fluke of fate or fortune, its call for world unity as the will of God for our Age, had barely managed to reach beyond the borders of Persia and the Ottoman Empire — the two empires whose two monarchs and religious orthodoxies were determined to stamp out these ‘stirrers of sedition’. Today worldwide and unquenchable, this movement is alive and well. It is the Baha’i Faith. Continue reading

Baha’i Blog Quiz: The Bab

Hey, hey, hey Baha’i Blog readers! Here at Baha’i Blog, we love quizzes, so we’ve decided to start having a regular quiz post to help you all gauge just how much you may know about certain topics relating to the Faith.

With the commemoration of the Martyrdom of The Bab coming up, we’ve decided to dedicate our very first Baha’i quiz to the life of The Bab.

Go ahead – take the quiz and let us know if you enjoyed it in the ‘comments’ section. Good luck!

Worldview and the Law of the Persian Bayan – A Series of 4 Talks by Dr. Nader Saiedi

In this series of four talks by Dr. Nader Saiedi called ‘Worldview and the Law of the Persian Bayan’, Dr. Saiedi offers a holistic, yet concise look at the Persian Bayan, the Mother Book of the Bab’s Dispensation. These talks explore the worldview offered in the Persian Bayan by looking at the work in its totality, as well as examining its laws, commandments and ordinances. Continue reading

Message from the Universal House of Justice Marking the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab

The Universal House of Justice has just released a message marking the occasion of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith.

The letter can be found on the Baha’i International Community’s website dedicated to the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab and is available in several languages: bicentenary.bahai.org

Here is the message from the Universal House of Justice in English: Message from the Universal House of Justice Marking the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab Continue reading

Immortal Youth – A Compilation in Honor of the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab

Immortal Youth: A Tribute to the Life and Station of the Bab is a new volume released in honor of this year’s bicentennial anniversary of His Birth. Initiated and compiled by the editorial department of the US Baha’i Publishing Trust, this softcover book offers some sacred and authoritative texts of the Baha’i Faith that pertain to the life and station of the Bab. The 118 page book is organized in an accessible manner and is divided into sections covering the birth, declaration, martyrdom, and station of the Bab, followed by a selection of His own prayers and meditations. It includes Writings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab as well as Writings and recorded utterances of Abdu’l-Baha and writings of Shoghi Effendi.

Immortal Youth gathers together passages and Writings found elsewhere into one commemorative book: it is beautifully designed and a befitting tribute to the Bab. While neither an exhaustive or comprehensive collection, the book’s introduction explains that “it is hoped that this book will offer an opportunity for readers to reflect on the life and station of the inaugurator of the Baha’i Dispensation, the towering Figure described by Baha’u’llah as ‘the Primal Point, the Divine Mystery, the Unseen Essence, the Dayspring of Divinity, and the Manifestation of Thy Lordship, through Whom all the knowledge of the past and all the knowledge of the future were made plain.'”  Continue reading

The Moon Was There: Glimpses of the Bab’s Childhood for Young Children

Alhan Rahimi is the author of Mulla Husayn: The Story of the Declaration of the Bab for Young Children and Ridvan Garden: The Story of the Festival of Ridvan for Young Children and she has also penned and published The Moon Was There: Glimpses of the Bab’s Childhood for Young Children. As a parent of little ones, I am so grateful to Alhan for creating these materials. Here’s what she shared with us about her book about the childhood of the Bab:

Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to write this book?

Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to make the moon your main character?

Not being able to have any illustrations of the Manifestation of God was the main reason for thinking of a some other way to illustrate the story. And why the moon? Well, I think it’s special that the moon, which can be seen from everywhere on this planet, is the same moon that witnessed the Bab’s childhood!

Baha’i Blog: Who is the book’s target audience?

Children under the age of 5. However, anyone can enjoy reading it!

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750: A Collaborative Photography Installation in Honor of the Bab

750 is an incredible collaborative photographic initiative created in honor of the Bab. It features 750 photographs of candles (some of which are illumined) as a reference to the 750 rifles that were fired to execute the Bab, and the inextinguishable nature of His revelation and the impact of His teachings.

My good friend and awesome photographer, Nancy Wong was one of the collaborators involved in this project, and I was excited to hear all about how it came about. Below you’ll find what she shared with me, along with some images of the installation. Continue reading

My Beloved: A Prayer by the Bab Sung by Elika Mahony

“My Beloved” is a track from Elika Mahony’s album created in honour of the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Bab. The album is titled The Exalted One and it features 11 songs based on prayers and Writings of the Bab with piano, cello, guitar, tiple, cuatro (South American instruments) and voice. “My Beloved” puts the prayer “O God, my God, my Beloved, my heart’s Desire” to music and it is sung in six different languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Chinese, Italian and French. Continue reading

Eroica: Afshin Jaberi’s Piano Sonatas and Ballades Honoring the Life of the Bab

Afshin Jaberi and I met in the year 2000 during a summer school in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This was where I first heard a beautiful piece that he composed for a drama inspired by The Dawn-Breakers. Back then he was engaged in his post- graduate studies at the Almaty Conservatoire while serving the Baha’i community of Kazakhstan. Born into a Baha’i pioneering family, Afshin Jaberi was deeply affected by the early history of the Baha’i Faith, the hardships of its Founders’ lives, and the heroes who sacrificed everything for the establishment of a new religion. Later in life Afshin found a creative outlet in music to convey his emotion and feelings about those historic events. I reconnected with Afshin to talk about his music and his recent album, Eroica, which is a musical tribute to the Bab.

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Aerial Footage of the Shrine of the Bab Now Available in Baha’i Media Bank

As Baha’is around the world prepare to commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab in a few days, and with the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab around the corner, I wanted to share that five new video clips of aerial footage of the Shrine of the Bab, located in Haifa, Israel, have recently been added to the Baha’i Media Bank, and from what I can tell, it’s the first time video has been added to the collection. Continue reading

Baha’is of Ireland Bicentenary Video 1 of 19: The Irish Physician Who Met the Bab

In anticipation of this October’s 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, the Baha’is of Ireland are releasing 19 short videos. In this video, the first in the series, we learn about Dr. Cormick, the Irish physician and the only Westerner believed to have met the Bab, and who left us a first-hand account of his meeting with Him. Continue reading

The Bab – What was He like?

green background abstract cloth wavy folds of textile textureAs Baha’is around the world gather on 17 Rahmat according to the Baha’i calendar, they will focus on the Bab’s martyrdom in Tabriz in 1850, ponder its spiritual significance, and offer their supplications to the Divine.

On that holy day commemorating the horrendous event of His execution, it is also probable that many will wonder what it would have been like to encounter the One who was the Prophet-Forerunner of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. Continue reading