September 27, 2015

1976: First National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tonga

Members of the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tonga, 1976. (Baha'i World News Service)

September 13, 2015

Baha’u’llah addresses a most weighty Epistle to Pope Pius IX

To Pope Pius IX, the undisputed head of the most powerful Church in Christendom, possessor of both temporal and spiritual authority, He, a Prisoner in the army barracks of the penal-colony of 'Akká, addressed a most weighty Epistle, in which He announces that "He Who is the Lord of Lords is come overshadowed with clouds," and that "the Word which the Son concealed is made manifest." He, moreover, warns him not to dispute with Him even as the Pharisees of old disputed with Jesus Christ; bids him leave his palaces unto such as desire them, "sell all the embellished ornaments" in his possession, "expend them in the path of God," abandon his kingdom unto the kings, "arise ... amidst the peoples of the earth," and summon them to His Faith. Regarding him as one of the suns of the heaven of God's names, He cautions him to guard himself lest "darkness spread its veils" over him; calls upon him to "exhort the kings" to "deal equitably with men"; and counsels him to walk in the footsteps of his Lord, and follow His example. 
- Shoghi Effendi  ('God Passes By')

September 6, 2015

September 2014: Colombian Temple's design unveiled

The design for the local Baha'i House of Worship in the Norte del Cauca region of Colombia was unveiled Sept. 14 at a meeting held at the site designated for its construction in the small community of Agua Azul. Eduard Lopez, speaking on behalf of the team of architects working on the project, told an audience of 500 that over the previous several months in Norte del Cauca, the team had visited communities and groups, listened to their ideas and thoughts about the House of Worship, striven to understand their aspirations, and participated in their community-building activities. They also studied the natural surroundings and the architecture of homes in the region. "People tell us that we are designing this House of Worship. But it is actually all of you who have designed it, and we are channeling your ideas," he said.  

The presentation was preceded by a traditional Colombian dance and a number of songs performed by the community. "It was a moment we have been waiting for months," explained Nilma Aguilar Vilas, who was born on the outskirts of Puerto Tejada, few miles from the Temple land. 
(The American Baha’i, November-December 2014)

September 1, 2015

Writings of Shaykh Ahmad -- one of the two forerunners of the Báb

A.L.M. Nicolas, in Chapter 5 of his book, “Essai sur le Shaykhisme,” gives a list of no less than ninety-six volumes as representing the enrire literary output of this prolific writer. Among them, the more important are the following:

l. Commentary on the Ziyaratu’l Jami’atu’l-Kabirih of Shaykh Hadi.
2. Commentary on the verse “Qu’l Huvallah-u-Ahad.”      
3, Risaliy-i-Khaqaniyyih, in answer to Fath-‘Ali Shah’s question regarding the superiority of the Qa'im over His ancestors.  
4. On dreams.
5. Answer to Shaykh Musay-i-Bahrayni regarding the position and claims of the Sahibu’z-Zaman.                     
6. Answer to the Sufis.
7. Answer to Mulla Mihdiy-i-Astirabadi on the knowledge of the soul.   
8. On the joys and pains of the future life.  
9. Answer to Mulla 'Ali-Akbar on the best road to the attainment of God.
10. On the Resurrection.
- Shoghi Effendi  (Footnotes to Dawn-Breakers, section on Shaykh Ahmad)