My last post on this blog was back in 2014, as I write this there is a “Recent Posts” list to the left which includes articles dating back to 2010. I thought that blogging was a dying trend and that sooner or later this domain name was going to be dominated by another project I had in mind.
Then, a few days ago, I got a notification on Facebook that I had been invited to join a group, I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook group invites recently and I usually just ignore them, but this one was interesting because it was from a Bahá’í blogger whom I had not been in touch with for a while, and the group he was inviting me to was in support of a challenge, to write a Bahá’í-related blog post each day for the month of November.
Marriage, from a Bahá’í perspective, is both spiritual and physical in nature. The following article looks at the foundations of a strong spiritual union, and begins this exploration by examining what the Bahá’í Faith teaches us about love. While the following article quotes extensively from the authoritative Writings of the Bahá’í Faith it is, ultimately, a personal understanding of these texts and is not, in itself, authoritative.
There are three main Bahá’í-related items that might be sought from a jeweller, they are “Ringstone Symbol” rings (or pendants), prayer beads and possibly burial rings. I have recently been thinking of replacing my Ringstone Symbol ring, which I lost when it flew into the English Channel with an oyster that I threw back into the sea from Brighton Beach many years back. This prompted me to look at Bahá’í jewellers on-line and so, in addition to a little extra information about the three items I have just mentioned, the results of my search are below.
In the early hours of 29th May, 1892, Baha’u’llah, the prophet founder of the Bahá’í Faith, passed away. At 3am each year (4am with clocks adjusted for British summer time) Bahá’ís around the globe commemorate this event. In North-East England we have a tradition of doing so near St Mary’s Lighthouse along the coastline at Whitley Bay. This allows us, weather permitting, to witness the sun rising over the North Sea shortly after our programme of commemoration. Continue reading In the Early Hours of 29th May→
Back in 2006 I posted this article giving the locations of various Baha’i sites for anybody wanting to zoom in on them in Google Maps or Google Earth. Back then a couple of the buildings were obscured by clouds, those clouds are now gone and, if you have 3D Buildings turned on, you can now fly around 3D models of the exteriors to most of the buildings.
The Shrine of Baha’u’llah: 32°56’36.86″N, 35° 5’30.38″E The Shrine of The Bab: 32°48’52.49″N, 34°59’13.91″E Baha’i House of Worship, America:
42°04’27.92″N, 87°41’03.71″W Baha’i House of Worship, Australia:
33°41’07.52″S, 151°15’31.32″E Baha’i House of Worship, Germany:
50°06’47.23″N, 8°23’47.93″E Baha’i House of Worship, India:
28°33’12.11″N, 77°15’30.97″E Baha’i House of Worship, Panama:
9° 3′ 34.90″ N 79° 31′ 13.75″ W Baha’i House of Worship, Uganda:
0°21’51.96″N, 32°35’19.06″E Baha’i House of Worship, W. Samoa:
13° 54′ 9.37″ S 171° 46′ 34.45″ W The Guardian’s Resting Place (not 3D): 51°37’21.85″N, 0°08’35.57″W
Above is the Baha’i House of Worship in Illinois, USA, below is the House of Worship in New Delhi, India. You can appear to fly inside the buildings using Google Earth but the interior has not been recreated.
23rd May is the anniversary of the event that marks the starting year of the Baha’i Calendar, the Declaration of The Báb, the moment that the fore-runner of Bahá’ú’llah first revealed His station to somebody. It took place approximately 2 hours and 11 minutes after sunset on 22nd May 1844. As with many episodes from the history of the Bahá’i and Bábí faiths, the story of the events leading up to that moment makes good reading. I will not say much more here, rather I shall link to this much fuller article I posted here some years back
I always like to pause and savour the moment, or reflect, on anniversaries -including those from other Faiths and significant past events – when I am aware of them. I find it particularly potent to do so when these events have a time associated with them. Interestingly, while with most events in the world we take the anniversary as being the time that corresponds to when it happened in the place that it happened, Bahá’í anniversaries tend to be remembered at the local time that matches what the local time was in the place it happened. The result of this is that, rather than everyone in the world marking the moment at the same time, there is a 24 hour wave of events and individual remembrance that circles the planet with the sun (or with the time zones).
While it may have been about 2 hours and 11 minutes after sunset that The Báb declared Himself to be a Prophet, the whole day is considered to be the anniversary (the Bahá’í day being from sunrise to sunset) and so many Bahá’í communities hold their celebration at a time that isn’t so late at night. As Newcastle community has a Bahá’í Centre adjoined to a residential property we have to hold our event early the following evening (so ours is at 6:30 tonight).
Tomorrow night the Bahá’í community of Newcastle-upon-Tyne will be having a special prayer meeting for the Bahá’ís in Iran, as the seven sacrificial souls pictured above enter their third year in prison and the Iranian Bahá’í community as a whole face continued persecution.
Referred to as leaders for ease of reference, the prisoners served as an informal body called the Yaran, or “Friends,” and attended to the spiritual and social needs of the Baha’is in Iran. The seven have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison since they were arrested in 2008 – Mrs. Sabet on 5th March and the remainder of them on 14th May.
The Bahá’í World News Service reported on 10th May that:
As seven Baha’i leaders in Iran enter their third year of imprisonment, new details about the harsh conditions of their incarceration have emerged, prompting renewed calls for their immediate release…
“These innocent Baha’is have now been locked up for two full years in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, under conditions which clearly violate international standards,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations. “We call on the Iranian authorities to release them now, and ask the international community to join us in this plea. The dictates of justice demand no less.”
“No court hearing was held until 12 January this year when they appeared in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court. Charges including espionage, propaganda activities and “corruption on earth” were all denied. Further appearances took place on 7 February and 12 April.
“In the three trial sessions that have so far taken place, no evidence has been provided whatsoever of wrongdoing – making it all the more obvious that the prisoners are being held only because of their religious belief,” said Ms. Dugal.
“If their freedom is not immediately granted, at the very least they should be released on bail. Steps should be taken to ensure that their trial is expedited and conducted fairly, in accordance with international standards,” she said.
Severe prison conditions
Friday marks the second anniversary of the group’s imprisonment, and details continue to emerge about the severe conditions under which they are being held. It is known, for example, that the two women and five men are confined to two cells which are so small that they restrict adequate movement or rest.
“They have neither beds nor bedding,” said Ms. Dugal.
The place has a rancid smell, and they are permitted to have fresh air for only two hours each week. They have a light that if turned off during the day makes it impossible for them to see anything.
“Contact with their loved ones is restricted to one 10-minute telephone call a week, or visits which are mostly conducted through a glass barrier,” Ms. Dugal said.
“Such inhumane conditions show no regard for the principles outlined in international agreements for the treatment of prisoners, which provide that no one may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment,” she said.
“The prisoners’ own requests for modest improvements to their conditions remain unaddressed, and as a consequence their health is suffering.
“These people are innocent, and there is no reason they should be made to suffer like this,” she said.
According to the journalist Roxana Saberi – who shared a cell for three weeks with two of the Baha’i prisoners – the women are confined in a small space. “They roll up a blanket to use as a pillow,” she said. “The floor is cement and covered with only a thin, brown carpet, and prisoners often get backaches and bruises from sleeping on it. … When I was with them, we were allowed into a walled-in cement yard four days a week for 20 to 30 minutes.”
Today, April 10th, is our 6th wedding anniversary, or our “sugar” anniversary according to British tradition. I decided that today I would share a couple of things from our wedding that will give an insight into the Baha’i wedding ceremony.
At 17:32 GMT tonight (20th March) the sun crossed over the equator into the northern hemisphere. This event, called the vernal equinox, marks the beginning of springtime in the northern hemisphere and, in many traditions, the beginning of the new year.
HAIFA, Israel — The Universal House of Justice has announced the results of a by-election for two of its nine members.
The new members are Stephen Birkland and Stephen Hall, elected in balloting in which members of national Baha’i governing bodies around the world serve as electors. The voting was done by mail, and results were conveyed today to all Baha’i National Spiritual Assemblies.
The Universal House of Justice is the head of the Baha’i Faith. Its permanent seat is at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, and all members reside here for the duration of their service.
The regular election of the nine members of the House of Justice occurs every five years at an international convention, held in Haifa. The most recent election was in 2008.
The by-election was necessary to fill two vacancies created when the House of Justice approved the request of two members, Mr. Hooper Dunbar and Dr. Peter Khan, to relinquish their positions owing to their advanced age and the heavy burden of work involved in membership.