On October 20th of each year, Baha’is commemorate the birth of the Báb, one of the three Central Figures of the Faith. The Báb, meaning “the Gate” is the title assumed by Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, who was born on October 20, 1819 in Shiraz. The following article and photos from Bahá’í.org outline the life of this important figure.
This month we are featuring an article by Avrel Seale from bahaiblog.net
6 Reasons to Steer Clear of Partisan Politics
In the United States, the conclusion of the summer Olympics also means we’re fast approaching another presidential election. In fact, the way various elections are staggered, we’re never more than a few months away from an election of some kind. Perhaps in your country, you too are blessed to have the freedom to elect your governmental leaders. It’s a precious and hard-won human right that the whole world is destined to exercise.
Democracy is a core value of Baha’i life. The way in which we govern our own affairs is deeply democratic. We elect our leaders from the bottom of the administrative order to the very top. But we do it all without campaigning. We don’t put our own names or those of others up for election, and likewise we don’t engage in negative self-campaigning to remove ourselves from consideration. Baha’is simply and prayerfully vote for a slate of people they believe will best serve the community, and, in the case of Spiritual Assemblies, the nine top vote-getters are elected.
Baha’is commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab as a Holy Day on July 9 at noon.
THE WAVES OF DIRE tribulation that violently battered at the Faith, and eventually engulfed, in rapid succession, the ablest, the dearest and most trusted disciples of the Báb, plunged Him, as already observed, into unutterable sorrow. For no less than six months the Prisoner of Chihríq, His chronicler has recorded, was unable to either write or dictate. Crushed with grief by the evil tidings that came so fast upon Him, of the endless trials that beset His ablest lieutenants, by the agonies suffered by the besieged and the shameless betrayal of the survivors, by the woeful afflictions endured by the captives and the abominable butchery of men, women and children, as well as the foul indignities heaped on their corpses, He, for nine days, His amanuensis has affirmed, refused to meet any of His friends, and was reluctant to touch the meat and drink that was offered Him. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and profuse expressions of anguish poured forth from His wounded heart, as He languished, for no less than five months, solitary and disconsolate, in His prison.
Baha’is view The Báb as a Messenger of God, who had a role that can be likened to John The Baptist (who told of the coming of Christ) in heralding the coming of the latest Manifestation of God: Baha’u’llah.
The events surrounding the declaration of The Báb have been told in many ways, but perhaps the most widely read is the account in The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation. This book was written by Nabil (one of the Letters of the Living), and chronicles the early days of the revelation of The Báb and Baha’u’llah.
(The following article is from bahaiblog.net)
As we join Baha’is around the world in celebrating the 12 day festival of Ridvan, we thought it would be great to share 12 things you should know about these special days which signify the 12 days Baha’u’llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad, so let’s begin!
1. The Word
Ridvan literally translates to “paradise” in the Arabic language and can be used as such in Baha’i Holy Writings to describe a place or station of spiritual beauty and significance. In phrases such as the “Ridvan of the divine Presence” or the “Ridvan of resplendent glory”, we understand Ridvan to be synonymous with the word Paradise.
Ridvan in common Baha’i speak refers most often to the Festival of Ridvan – a 12-day yearly festival held from April 21st to May 2nd to commemorate the 12 days Baha’u’llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad in 1863, during which time He declared His Prophetic Mission to His followers and announced His station as the Promised One of all religions. Ridvan, together with the Declaration of the Bab, are designated by Baha’u’llah as “the two Most Great Festivals” and are attributed according significance in the Baha’i calendar and celebrated as such in the Baha’i world. The 1st, 9th and 12th days of Ridvan are considered Holy Days, on which work should be suspended.
Fasting is the voluntary abstention from food and drink. Periods of fasting are found in all of the major world religions, and the practice has been significant throughout human history. For Bahá’ís, fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset during the Bahá’í month of `Ala’ (Loftiness), between March 1st/2nd through March 19th/20th, which immediately precedes the Bahá’í New Year. It is a a time of prayer, meditation, and spiritual rejuvenation. Along with obligatory prayer, it is one of the greatest obligations of a Bahá’í and is intended to bring the person closer to God.