Category Archives: Bahá’u’lláh

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kalimát or “Words”

diamondBahá’ís throughout the world gather today within the First Day of the Month of Kalimát [Words] before sunset to celebrate the first day of the Bahá’í Month of Kalimàt.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kalimát or “Words”

The Word illumines surfaces in the soul;
Not so the mortal eye, my friend–they who dilate
Earthly limitations know the truth–they violate
The borders of the pupil to occlude accents from a dream. The flow
Of images beneath the lids so often bound, so ever-weathered,
Couples with the muse, crown a cosmic wind of aromatic lustre in the ether,
A cloud—a simple afterthought of action forged in fires of hubris–either,
Lust or fear, pilots in the path of all dust: both are witnesses. Tethered
Wonders, perceptions of the lens, veined, suited in appearance; perceptions
Of an ancient mountain’s bile or gleaned from its seed, diamonds from the sun
Are death to those who negate. Just so, say Prophets in the Sealed Writ or sung
Beyond capacities of the ear heard when spoke, pronounced and uttered
Only once in pre-existent natural form. Seized,
the Word is cut and polished in the tailings of the present.
The Holy Word defines the substance of the raw material of divine parsimony
cut and spliced in sacrifice, rendered gems from ores of human ignominy.

“They Might Have Opened All the Doors”

…again, in honour of the Blessed Event commemorated on this day…Bahá’ís throughout the world commemorate this evening after sundown and tomorrow the Declaration of The Báb, the Forerunner, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Whose purpose was to prepare the world for the imminent appearance of Bahá’u’lláh the Promise of All Ages and Religions and Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. The declaration of His mission on earth came in the early evening hours of 23 May 1844 when He declared His Advent to the first of the believers in His Faith.

“Whom do you claim to be,” he asked the Báb, “and what is the message which you have brought?” “I am,” thrice exclaimed the Báb, “I am, I am, the promised One! I am the One whose name you have for a thousand years invoked, at whose  mention you have risen, whose advent you have longed to witness, and the hour of whose Revelation you have prayed God to hasten. Verily I say, it is incumbent upon the peoples of both the East and the West to obey My word and to pledge allegiance to My person.”

The Dawn-Breakers, p. 316

The Báb (1819-1850)

House of The Báb in Shiráz, Irán [destroyed by Muslims in recent years


On May 23, 1844, in Shiráz, Persia, a young man known as The Báb announced the imminent appearance of the Messenger of God awaited by all the peoples of the world. The title “Báb” means “the Gate.” Although Himself the bearer of an Independent Revelation from God, The Báb declared that His purpose was to prepare mankind for this advent.


Swift and savage persecution at the hands of the dominant Muslim clergy followed this announcement. The Báb was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and finally on July 9, 1850 was executed in the public square of the city of Tabríz. Some 20,000 of His followers perished in a series of massacres throughout Persia. Today, the majestic building with the golden dome, overlooking the Bay of Haifa, Israel, and set amidst beautiful gardens, is the Shrine where The Báb‘s earthly remains are entombed.

“They Might Have Opened
All the Doors”

They might have opened all the doors; they might have paced the floors;
They might have seen His image somewhere in the dream or lingering
In atavistic traces of His family line, the graces, strong and nimble fingering
Upon the instrument, the shrill nib carving statues from the stone,
in voice a thousand rapturous scores.
They might have seen themselves beside Him somewhere there in the breach,
His sun’s withdrawal at implosion, His apogée at dusk approaching
Whispering luminosities, crescendi in the vibration in clefs defying
barriers and shibboleths, crouching
In scattered catacombs, beyond the reach
Of mortals East and all expectant worshipers at West, in haste ancipating
Bas-relief scrawled along the walls and fractured vents
up from the seabed of all humanity,
Famed and storied such that His arrival only rivalled Bethlehem’s nativity
And by appointment, lest the Great Announcement
failed to spawn a catholic antipathy.
With but a word, the pantheon of deities and vain imaginings
that once were stone
were given breath to stifle such precocity in letters as the pen
Cannot recall nor circumscribe: that night, the Nineteen found their mark
as lightning from East to West and back again.

…admittedly obscure, my few words here will find their meaning in the hearts of all Bahá’ís who know the significance of this day; to all the rest, I beg indulgence for these few hours…

43:1 Afterward he brought me to The Báb, even The Báb that looketh toward the East: 43:2 And, behold, Bahá’u’lláh came from the way of the East: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory.

43:3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.

43:4 And Bahá’u’lláh came into the House by the way of The Báb whose prospect is toward the East.

Ezekiel

Happy and Joyous Ayyám-i-Há!…

IMG_1543

To the Bahá’ís and their friends throughout the world, a Happy and Joyous Ayyám-i-Há!…

Bahá’ís in more than 200 countries and territories are celebrating a four-day festival involving hospitality, gift giving, charity and social gatherings. The festival, which runs from the evening of 25 February until sunset on 1 March, serves as a spiritual preparation for a Holy Fast Period during the last month of the Bahá’í Year, which begins on March 2 and ends on March 20.

Shrine of The Bab

Night view of The Shrine of The Báb, on Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

The Báb, the Prophet and Forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh [much as John the Baptist was to The Christ], the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, instituted the Badí Calendar in the Persian Bayán with 19 months of 19 days with a period of intercalary days to allow for the calendar to be solar. He did not, however, specify where the intercalary days should go. Bahá’u’lláh, Who announced Himself to be the One foretold by the Báb, confirmed and adopted the Badí Calendar in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, The Most Holy Book, His book of laws. He placed the intercalary days before the fasting month of `Alá’, the nineteenth and last month, and gave the intercalary days the name “Ayyám-i-Há” or “Days of Há”.

The nineteen months of the Bahá’í Calendar are named after the attributes of God. Ayyám-i-Há commemorates the transcendence of God over His attributes since its name “Há” has been used a symbol of the essence of God in the Bahá’í Holy Scriptures.

During the Festival of Ayyám-i-Há, Bahá’ís are encouraged to celebrate God and His oneness by showing love, fellowship and unity. In many instances Bahá’ís give and accept gifts to show forth the love, and it is a period of the year during which many Bahá’ís hold events which feature hospitality, food, festivities beginning within families and extending outwardly to as many souls as they can physically and materially manage.

Celebrations of Ayyám-i-Há, as the festival is called, take different forms in different locations as suits the taste and culture of the believers wherever they live in the world. At this time, then, since the Bahá’í Faith is acknowledged as the second most widespread of the world’s religions after Christianity, it follows that these festivities are being celebrated truly throughout almost the entire world in as many ways as there are cultures.

Of this period Bahá’u’lláh writes: “It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name.”

During the Fast which follows, Bahá’ís abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset as a reminder of the need for individuals to control their material desires. It is seen as a time of meditation and prayer during which Bahá’ís refresh and reinvigorate themselves spiritually. There are exemptions from the Fast for the young and elderly, and for those who are pregnant, ill or who are engaging in heavy work. The fasting period ends with the joyous Naw-Rúz (New Year) Festival, which begins at sunset on March 20, the first day of spring at the Spring Equinox.

Temple Wilmette

…Interior of the Bahá’í House of Worship, Wilmette, Illinois…

The very best to Bahá’ís throughout the world as you commemorate the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh…

The very best to Bahá’ís throughout the world as you commemorate the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh…

Bahá’ís gather throughout the world have gathered at 3:00 a.m. to commemorate the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh at that hour on 29 May 1892.
 
 

Six days before [Bahá’u’lláh] passed away He summoned to His presence, as He lay in bed leaning against one of His sons, the entire company of believers, including several pilgrims, who had assembled in the Mansion, for what proved to be their last audience with Him. “I am well pleased with you all,” He gently and affectionately addressed the weeping crowd that gathered about Him. “Ye have rendered many services, and been very assiduous in your labors. Ye have come here every morning and every evening. May God assist you to remain united. May He aid you to exalt the Cause of the Lord of being.” To the women, including members of His own family, gathered at His bedside, He addressed similar words of encouragement, definitely assuring them that in a document entrusted by Him to the Most Great Branch [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] He had commended them all to His care. —Shoghi Effendi,  God Passes By p.222