[Updated May 2012]
In 2008, I posted an entry about the translation of the Eighth Ishraq, which is the eighth section of one of Baha’u'llah’s shorter works, the Ishraqat or Splendours. The posting explained why I thought that the 1978 translation was incorrect where it says “All matters of State (‘umuur-e siyaasiyyah) should be referred to the House of Justice.” The earlier translation by Ali Kuli Khan, “Administrative affairs are all in charge of the House of Justice, and devotional acts must be observed according as they are revealed in the Book” was, I thought, more accurate, and more consistent with other works by Abdu’l-Baha and Baha’u'llah. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘بهائیت’
Posted by Sen on November 5, 2011
Posted in Bahai Writings, Church and State, Community, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Administrative matters, Affairs of the people, Ali Kuli Khan, amur-e mellat, amuur-e mellat, Aqdas, ‘amuur-e siyaasiyyah, Baha'u'llah, Bahai, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Bisharat, Church and State, Community, House of Justice, Iqan, ishraqat, lawh-e dunya, matters of state, politics, Religion, Sermon on the Art of Governance, Shoghi Effendi, Tehran, theocracy, theocratic, Translation, بـهاءالله, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | 23 Comments »
Posted by Sen on April 22, 2011
Abdu’l-Baha’s knighthood has never been a matter of importance to Bahais themselves, who have many much weightier reasons to admire and follow Abdu’l-Baha as the successor to his father, Baha’u’llah, as the authorised interpreter of the Bahai scripture and teachings, as the Centre of the Covenant that unites Bahais across the world, and as the best exemplar of the Bahai life. However the photograph of Abdu’l-Baha, seated at the ceremony to confer on him the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is one of the stock images on Iranian and Islamic anti-Bahai sites that seek to present the Bahai Faith as a Western invention, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on April 21, 2011
The punch line is, they show nothing. At least this time. A site called Bahaism and the British Government is presenting “Documentation pertaining to historical connections of the leadership of Bahaism with the British government.” It has just two documents so far. The site has been greeted with relief by the anti-bahai ideologues, who have been claiming for generations that the British established the Bahai Faith to weaken Islam, without finding any evidence. (For a brief treatment of the “British did it” scam, see the Wikipedia article. For a thorough treatment see Adib Masumian’s short book on anti-Bahaism in Iran (PDF))
The funny thing is, the documents are evidence that the British were not involved with the Bahais. You can click on the images to get a larger view, but I’ve typed them over so that search engines can find them – and the owners of “Bahaism and the British Government” cannot remove the evidence. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on March 7, 2011
In a discussion on Talisman9, one friend said that he felt obliged to incorporate any statement made by the Universal House of Justice under the infallible protection of God into his corpus of beliefs, and another said that if the Universal House of Justice makes a certain understanding of doctrine an inherent part of its legislation, he felt obligated to understand and believe that. Does the *UHJ’s power of elucidation imply this? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on February 27, 2011
A Bahai friend asked about Abdu’l-Baha’s reference to America as a “democracy,” in the talk he gave to the Orient-Occident-Unity Conference in Washington on 20 April 1912. In the course of researching it, I found a short prayer by Abdu’l-Baha for East-West unity, which I have translated, and also discovered that a much loved and quoted reference to the future of America, known as the “prayer for America,” is not authentic.
The context of this query was a discussion of whether the United States is a republic, or a democracy. The question appears to depend largely on definitions: if a republic is a state with an elected head of state and a government answerable to the people, and a democracy is a state with a government chosen in free and fair elections, with freedom of speech and protection of individual and minority rights under the rule of law, the United States would appear to aspire to be a democratic republic, at the intersection of these two terms.
Be that as it may, I was asked about the term “American democracy” in the talk Abdu’l-Baha gave at the Orient-Occident-Unity Conference. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Political science | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, pilgrim's notes, political theology, Shoghi Effendi, Star of the West, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 6 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 18, 2011
There are numerous ‘pilgrim’s notes’ recording people’s memories of the words of Abdu’l-Baha or of Shoghi Effendi, some more reliable than others. But the diary entries below are Shoghi Effendi’s reports of the words of Abdu’l-Baha, dated in 1919, as the First World War was ending. They include Shoghi Effendi’s translations of sections of Abdu’l-Baha’s tablets.
The first letter contains a citation from a Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha that, so far as I know, is not published elsewhere. The third letter, dated February 10, 1919, gives some insight into the motives of the British authorities in awarding a knighthood to Abdu’l-Baha on 27 April 1920, based on a recommendation submitted by the British Administrator, Major-General Money, on 18 July, 1919. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on February 10, 2011
This talk by Abdu’l-Baha, given in Chicago, was published in Star of the West volume 3, No. 3, page 30, dated April 28, 1912. This is puzzling, since the talk was not given until two days later! That issue of Star of the West reports talks dated up to May 5 1912, so presumably the “April 28″ number was actually printed sometime in May. The talk has been republished in Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 69, but the editor of Promulgation has nipped and tucked here and there, taking out some of the wrinkles, adding some explanations, and removing Abdu’l-Baha’s humourous references to green and blue people. A friend has asked for the unvarnished text, so I am posting it here. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on January 13, 2011
This posting is about a story, according to which New York is the city of the Covenant because that is where Abdu’l-Baha announced the Bahai Covenant in the West, on June 19, 1912. The words of the important talk by Abdu’l-Baha, which has been called the ‘announcement,’ have been preserved in a surprisingly reliable form. As it is not published in sources such as Promulgation, I have reproduced it below. Reliable as it is, the text and the stories around this announcement, raise some questions: what exactly was newly announced, or revealed? Who named New York the city of the Covenant, when, and why? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, History | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, covenant, Shoghi Effendi, Star of the West, Will and Testament, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on November 29, 2010
This tablet from Abdu’l-Baha, translated by Shoghi Effendi, was published in Star of the West in October, 1919, and has not been republished in full since then. It is interesting both as the source of a well-known appeal for peace (re-published in the Bahai World Centre’s Compilation on Peace, but in a different translation) and for Abdu’l-Baha’s comparison between the Testament of Baha’u’llah, which appointed Abdu’l-Baha as head of the Bahai community, in writing, and the oral traditions on which the appointment of Peter rested. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on November 22, 2010
This tablet by Abdu’l-Baha, dated around 1899, responds to detailed questions, “concerning the wisdom of referring some important laws to the House of Justice.” Abdu’l-Baha replies that, in principle, the Baha’i Faith is similar to Christianity, whose scriptures also specify only a few laws.
The Bahai Faith, he says, has little connection to worldly concerns. Religion’s primary function is to refine characters and bring light in darkness. However the Bahai scriptures do specify some foundations of our religious law, leaving subsidiary matters to the divinely-inspired House of Justice, which can make ‘cultural laws,’ (ahkaam madaniyyih) in accordance with time and circumstance. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on October 27, 2010
Towards the end of his life, Baha’u'llah wrote a number of works that included numbered lists of his teachings. Abdu’l-Baha also wrote several letters that include such numbered lists of essential teachings. Not surprisingly, Abdu’l-Baha sometimes adopted the same format when speaking to gatherings, however the records of these in English are often unreliable. One of these talks – one for which there are authenticated Persian notes (here), not just notes taken in English, caught my attention because it includes “the separation of religion and politics” as a key principle and also refers to this as “not entering into politics” — a formulation that will be more familiar to Bahais. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Church and State, Political science, Theology | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, bahai theology, Church and State, political theology, Religion and Politics, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 56 Comments »
Posted by Sen on August 12, 2010
Continuing with the readings from Nader Saiedi’s Gate of the Heart. I’ve selected a section beginning on page 315, where it is headed ‘Perfection and refinement’ — a title that doesn’t do justice to the implications of these concepts for a theology of positive stewardship for the natural world.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on July 20, 2010
Continuing a series of postings to give readers a taste of Nader Saiedi’s Gate of the Heart , I’ve chosen a section on pages 248-251 entitled “Worship as Paradise.” Naturally, in the book, Saiedi cites his sources, but if you want those, you will have to buy the book.
Posted by Sen on July 13, 2010
I’ve been reading Nader Saiedi’s Gate of the Heart and I’m boundlessly enthusiastic. It’s more than a milestone of Bahai Studies: it contains much understanding that will help many of us trying to live the life of Faith – which the Bab, I think, would call the life of the heart. With the author’s permission, I’m going to make paraphrases of some sections, starting with a section on the Bab’s teaching on Destiny on pages 210-216. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on June 17, 2010
Contributed by Ahang Rabbani
Shapur (Hushang) Markazi was a Baha’i from Gilan. For a number of years he served with great distinction on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran and later as an Auxiliary Board member. In the early years of the Islamic Revolution (1979), he was arrested and imprisoned in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. After much torture, he was executed on September 23, 1984, because of his religious convictions. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on May 23, 2010
The Universal House of Justice is an elected body that serves as the head of the world-wide Bahai community. It is empowered to decide when Bahai laws are applicable for Bahais, to provide the necessary framework so that they can be applied, and to make laws and rulings for situations that are not covered in Bahai scripture. So it has a very important role in Bahai community life. Unlike all the other Bahai institutions and roles and positions in community life, membership of the Universal House of Justice is, at least for now, reserved for men. I will return to that ‘for now’ briefly, at the end of this posting. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on May 13, 2010
One of the friends asked for the Persian text of the well-known prayer that begins, “O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand….”
I had to disappoint him: there is no Persian original for this. It comes from the Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for May 9, 1914. He would write his diary in Persian, and later translate parts of it into English and distribute the translations. In this case, his handwritten English translation has survived in manuscript (a friend has a copy), and contains this prayer, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on May 4, 2010
This letter from Abdu’l-Baha to Mr. and Mrs. MacNutt, written in July 1919, is interesting for its mention of an incident during Abdu’l-Baha’s time in America, when one of his entourage used his position to beg for money, for its characterisation of the fruitlessness activities of the followers of Kheiralla and Mirza Muhammad Ali as foam on the ocean waves, for the loving mention of Lua Getsinger, who had died three years earlier, and not least because it is one of the few works of Abdu’l-Baha translated by Shoghi Effendi. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Aminu'llah Farid, Arianism, Arius, Bahai Faith, Green Acre, Habib Mu'ayyad, Howard MacNutt, Lua Getsinger, Mary Jane Pinchot, Mary MacNutt, Marzieh Gail, Mirza Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Zarqani, Shoghi Effendi, theosphists, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 3 Comments »
Posted by Sen on April 4, 2010
This is in response to ‘Pluralist Society is an Unethical Rabble’ on another Bahai blog on WordPress, Owen’s Meanderings. Owen says he is
“increasingly reminded of that famous biblical story about Sodom and Gommorroh,” … the men and women who sit in government seats must take their share of the blame for the inequities within a nation. However increasingly I have realized that the person living in my street is likely to be twice a corrupt as a politician. … There seems to be very few people who have self-regulating ethical decision-making process. .. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Church and State, Community, Ethics and Morality, Individualism, Political science | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, multiculturalism, pluralism, pluralist society, political theology, postmodernism, بهائی, بهائیت | 12 Comments »
Posted by Sen on March 30, 2010
The following petition was sent to Reza Shah (1878 – 1944; father of Mohammed Reza Shah) by the NSA of the Bahais of North America back in 1926. I’m posting it here to make it accessible to search engines, and because its impressive argumentation is relevant to the current persecutions in Iran, and refutes recent claims that the Bahais of Iran were privileged ( ! ) under the Pahlavi kings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on March 27, 2010
Mirza Muhammad Ali was a younger brother of Abdu’l-Baha who rebelled against his brother’s authority as head of the Bahai community, was able to secure possession of some Bahai properties and for some time to cause other difficulties, particularly by misrepresenting Abdu’l-Baha to the government as a threat to the Ottoman state. By the end of his life, Muhammad Ali was left without friends or followers, and had been forced to abandon the properties that he had seized, but did not have the means to maintain in a liveable condition. He died in 1937. There has been no “Muhammad Ali” sect of the Bahai Faith for seventy years past. So why mention this old history here?
In recent weeks we have seen the curious phenomenon of an attempt to revive the claims of Muhammad Ali, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Defence of the Faith | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Guardianship, Mirza Muhammad Ali, Shoghi Effendi, Unitarian Bahai Association, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 39 Comments »
Posted by Sen on March 26, 2010
A google search on “killed one hundred and thirty people in one night” will turn up several repetitions of the claim that Baha’u'llah killed one hundred and thirty people in one night. The story appears to originate in June 1997, in an article by Imran Shaykh on the BahaiAwareness site. It was picked up in an article posted on ‘The Religion of Islam,’ a Muslim missionary site, in 2006. More recently has appeared on facebook and on the candidly titled “Anti Bahai Website” and various other places.
Posted by Sen on March 23, 2010
Posted by Sen on March 13, 2010
A Short Historical Survey of the Baha’i Movement in India, Burma, Java Islands, Siam, and Malay Peninsula.
by Siyyid Mustafa Roumie
Published in Star of the West 1931, Vol. 22, in 7 installments
Volume 22. No.3 pages 76-79, June 1931
The Author, one of the leading Baha’is of Mandalay, was in his youth an ardent associate and companion of the great Mirza Jamal Effendi who first brought the Baha’i Message to the countries of southern Asia. These chronicles are both fascinating themselves in the spiritual adventure they narrate, and also invaluable as a history written by one who was an eye witness.
When through the mighty Will of God, His Holiness Baha’u'llah, came out of the terrible prison walls in the fortress of ‘Akka Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in History | Tagged: Bahai Faith, Bahai history, Burma, India, Java Islands, Jelle de Vries, King of Boné, missionary activities, Persians in Asia, Sayyid Mustafa Roumie, Siam, Siyyid Mustafa Rumi, Suluwesi, travelogue, بهائی, بهائیت | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 9, 2010
The following description by Mirza Munir Zayn, of the final burial of the Bab’s remains in the Shrine dedicated to him, on Mount Carmel in Israel was published in Star of the West volume 11 page 316 (March 2 1921). In addition to its inherent interest, Zayn’s account is clearly the source of a description of the same event by Shoghi Effendi, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on February 7, 2010
I think the meaning is wider than simply “pilgrim’s hostel.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on January 25, 2010
There is no harm in any affliction which befalleth thee in the love of El-Baha, … Remember the hardships of the disciples, and what Mary, the Virgin; Mary, the Magdalene; and Mary, the mother of Jesus Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Theology | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, brothers of Jeus, Lesser Peace, Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, postmodern theology, Virgin Mary, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on January 1, 2010
A Pilgrim’s note
On Planet Bahai (a very good Bahai discussion forum), I had been arguing that Baha’u’llah’s World Order and the Bahai Administrative Order are two different things, to which the moderator Dale replied,
“‘Abdu’l-Baha,” replied the person to whom he was talking.
“And where,” he then asked, “does authority reside after the Master’s passing?”
“The Guardian,” the other person replied.
“No,” he said. “It resides with the World Order of Baha’u'llah.”
Posted in Church and State | Tagged: Bahai Administrative Order, Bahai World Order, Church and State, Emeric Sala, new world order, Organic unity, pilgrim's notes, political theology, Religion and Politics, Shoghi Effendi, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | 1 Comment »
Posted by Sen on December 20, 2009
A friend asked about the ‘days of marriage’ which Abdu’l-Baha referred to in a letter to Alwyn Baker in late 1920. That led me to two letters from Abdu’l-Baha, one of them translated by Shoghi Effendi and available only in an edited form, the other not available in English in Ocean and the other search engines, and containing some remarks on philosophy, evolution and the eternity of creation. And, in the end, I also found out about the ‘days of marriage.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, History | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Alwyn Baker, Bahai community, Chicago reading room, eternity of creation, evolution, philosophy, Shoghi Effendi, Star of the West, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on November 25, 2009
An awkward question
Anna’s come a long way – to national television, in fact. She’s being interviewed on her favourite subject: the Bahai Faith. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Church and State, Defence of the Faith | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Anna's presentation, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Church and State, kingship, NWO, political theology, Shoghi Effendi, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sen on October 29, 2009
[Updated, July 2012: added A Traveller's Narrative]
One of the friends asked:
What do you make of ‘Abdu’l-Baha having written:
“This House of Justice enacteth the laws and the government enforceth them. The legislative body must reinforce the executive, the executive must aid and assist the legislative body so that through the close union and harmony of these two forces, the foundation of fairness and justice may become firm and strong, that all the regions of the world may become even as Paradise itself.” (Will and Testament, 14)
Posted in Bahai Writings, Church and State, Political science | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Church and State, International Tribunal, poltical theology, Secret of Divine Civilization, Sermon on the Art of Governance, Shoghi Effendi, Supreme Tribunal, Tablet to the Hague, Will and Testament, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on October 16, 2009
One of the friends said:
Long ago I picked up a supposed quote from the Bab, “The mystery of sacrifice is there is no sacrifice.” Now I can’t find a source. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on October 12, 2009
In a discussion group, one of the participants recalled that Shoghi Effendi had said that the requirement for appointment as a Hand of the Cause was “instant, exact and complete obedience.” It’s a familiar phrase in Bahai discourse, but is it from the words of Shoghi Effendi? Is it about the Hands of the Cause?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on October 6, 2009
In a conversation with a friend about the translation of the 8th Ishraq (discussed here), I realised that he thought the whole question of the Bahai teachings on church and state hinged in some way on doubtful matters: on the translation of the Ishraqat, on whether the words “the consummate union and blending of church and state” had been interpolated into a report of Abdu’l-Baha’s words, (See the entry ‘A consummate union’), and such like.
Nothing could be further from the truth: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Church and State, Theology | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah, bahai theology, Church and State, Kitab-i Iqan, kitab-i-aqdas, monarchy, Quran, render to Caesar, Resaleh-ye Siyasiyyeh, separation of church and state, Shoghi Effendi, spiritual sovereignty, The Bab, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on September 15, 2009
Abdu’l-Baha and his critics
You can ‘prove’ just about anything, by pulling words out of context. A few years ago there was an example of this tactic on a web site opposing the Bahai teachings, called ‘Answering Bahaullah.’ One page there purported to show examples of racism in Bahai scripture. That site is no longer functioning, although the web archive has a copy, but the material from that page is being recycled by various bloggers and has been reproduced in the ‘Bahai Combat Kit’ at page 73 (image later in this entry).
So let’s look at these “proofs” of racism in the Bahai scriptures. But first let’s look at Abdu’l-Baha. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Defence of the Faith, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Africa, Africans, Bahai Combat Kit, Contextual reading, Convention for Race Amity, Louis Gregory, NAACP, racism, Rousseau, Some Answered Questions, state of nature, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sen on June 28, 2009
While Ayatollah Khomeini was in exile in Najaf in 1970, he said:
This slogan of the separation of religion and politics and the demand that Islamic scholars not intervene in social and political affairs has been formulated and propagated by the imperialists; it is only the irreligious who repeat them. Were religion and politics separate in the time of the Prophet? Did there exist on one side a group of clerics, and opposite it, a group of politicians and leaders? (As cited by Nader Hashemi)
Posted by Sen on May 27, 2009
I’ve been looking again at an old claim that Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament was not written by Abdu’l-Baha, that it was ‘fraudulent.’ This claim is the foundation for two small Bahai splinter groups that reject the institution of the Guardianship (established by Abdu’l-Baha in his Will and Testament), and it has also been propagated in Germany in anti-Bahai polemics published by the Lutheran ‘Central Office for Questions of Ideology’ (EZW). In looking through the documents, I’ve noticed something that doesn’t seem to have been commented on in the past.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on May 11, 2009
This posting points out that there is a clear procedure for the appointment of a legitimate Guardian of the Bahai Faith, and none of the claimants satisfy it. Therefore, all the past claimants and present hopefuls are counterfeit.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Aqdas and Law, Defence of the Faith | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Guardianship, Hands of the Cause, hermeneutics, Mason Remey, secret ballot, Will and Testament, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 10 Comments »
Posted by Sen on May 4, 2009
The Bahai Encyclopaedia Project has begun to put up a selection of online articles. As of today, there are 21 articles online, so it is just a small beginning. Two are classified under “teachings and laws,” but one of these is misfiled: it is on the Letters of the Living and belongs in the history category. That leaves one article on the Bahai teachings, the one entitled ‘children.’
Looking down this article, I was surprised to see that even where better sources are easily available, it draws extensively on The Promulgation of Universal Peace, which is not an authentic source. In a footnote to the footnotes the Encyclopaedia editors even list Promulgation of Universal Peace among ‘scripture and other authoritative texts.’ The author and editor are clearly not aware of source-critical issues, which is not a promising start for such a project.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community | Tagged: Bahai Encyclopaedia, Bahai scholarship, Bahai Studies, Howard MacNutt, Joseph Hannen, new paradigm, pilgrim's notes, Promulgation of Universal Peace, source criticism, Star of the West, بهائیت | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on April 26, 2009
One of the friends said:
… an elderly lady once told me that Shoghi Effendi had said that the earth would “fall off its axis and spin wildly for three days”… well, I’ve searched and searched for anything even close…
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Ahmad Sohrab, Apocalypticism, Bahai Faith, Bahai lore, causes of World War I, militarism, polar shift, Ruth Moffet, Star of the West, survivalism, World War 1, WWI, بهائی, بهائیت | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on April 18, 2009
Bahais have been frequent participants in inter-faith fora, and like all the participants we need to work out what our basic stance is: are we there to protect our interests and have our say; are we counting the other participants as anonymous Bahais and including them into our project; are we there to show what we have to offer that other religions do not have, and so win converts?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Sen on April 11, 2009
That’s not true for Islam: Friday is the day on which attendance at the congregational prayers at noon in the mosque is obligatory for those Muslims who are able, but it is not a ‘day of rest’ in Islam. But what about the Bahai Faith? We do not say our obligatory prayers in congregation (although we may say them, each for himself, during the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar service, but that is another story). Do we have a day of rest, as the wikipedia article says?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Aqdas and Law, Bahai Writings, Community, Devotions, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Aqdas, Badi` Calendar, Baha'i calendar, Baha'u'llah, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Bayan, day of rest, dhikr, Friday prayers, Gerald Keil, Mason Remey, remembrance of God, sabbath, Sunday, The Bab, بـهاءالله, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 10 Comments »
Posted by Sen on March 21, 2009
Is civilization to be ‘ever-advancing,’ or is it limited to moderation?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Ethics and Morality, Translations | Tagged: Baha'u'llah, Civilization, Lawh-e Maqsuud, qanat, Shoghi Effendi, urbanisation, بـهاءالله, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on March 8, 2009
In a discussion on this blog, I referred briefly to Rodney Stark’s work on the dynamics of religious growth. Stark is primarily a sociologist, whose contribution to church history is to employ the statistical and analytic methods used in sociology. His book, The Rise of Christianity (1996, Princeton University Press) deals roughly speaking with the first three centuries of Christianity, and the first century of Mormonism, and offers a lot of food for thought for the Bahais.
Stark begins by estimating that there were 1000 Christians in the Roman Empire in the year 40. He notes that in the middle of the third century, Christians were by their own account few in number (p.5), but by the year 300 there were about 5 to 7.5 million Christians: so numerous that a few years later Constantine found it expedient to embrace the church. This has led the church in its own histories, and some scholars, to suppose that there was a mass conversion event in the late third century. But constant growth of 40% per decade, or 3.42% per year, is enough to explain these results: no mass conversion event is required. This is the same growth picture that Stark had found in his previous work on the Mormon church, which has grown hugely in 100 years without mass conversions, and it is supported by the archaeological evidence of church sizes.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Community | Tagged: Bahai, Bahai Faith, Benton Johnson, conservative theology, Constantine, devotional meetings, entry by troops, Hoge, Lesser Peace, liberal theology, Luidens, mass conversion, Moonies, Mormons, Rodney Stark, Ruhi, The Rise of Christianity, triumphalism, Vanishing Boundaries, بهائی, بهائیت | 6 Comments »