Sen McGlinn's blog

                                  Reflections on the Bahai teachings

Archive for June, 2018

Instrumental music in the House of Worship

Posted by Sen on June 21, 2018


Hymns, music and singing in worship are mentioned often in the Bahai writings. Many examples are brought together in the Compilation on Music. Abdu’l-Baha writes to one Bahai:

Music is regarded as a praiseworthy branch of learning … Chant (or sing) the verses of God in the great congregations and grand oratories, in the most wondrous accents, and raise such a melody in the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar that the Concourse on High will resonate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Community, Devotions, Mashriqu'l-Adhkar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

A Book similar to the Quran

Posted by Sen on June 3, 2018


In the “Bihár” it is recorded:

“In our Qá’im there shall be four signs from four Prophets, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, and Muḥammad. The sign from Moses, is fear and expectation; from Jesus, that which was spoken of Him; from Joseph, imprisonment and dissimulation; from Muhammad, the revelation of a Book similar to the Qur’án.”

In his Ketab-e Iqan, Baha’u’llah cites a prophetic tradition about four characteristics of four different prophets, that will also be characteristic of the Qa’im, the promised messiah of the Shiah tradition. The last of these characteristics, the one the Qa’im shares with Muhammad, is “the revelation of a Book similar to the Qur’an.” Baha’u’llah gives his source as the Behar al-Anwar, a huge compilation of mainly Shiah traditions, the life work of Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi, who died around 1700. The Behar became a standard work of Shiah scholarship, especially in the 19th century.

Contemporary Shiah apologists have made the citation in the Iqan a point of critique, because the form Baha’u’llah cites differs from its form in the most widely used modern edition of the Behar al-Anwar.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bahai Writings, Defence of the Faith | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

To teach is to learn, is to work, is to serve, etcetera

Posted by Sen on June 2, 2018

A number of Bahai writers and musicians have used a quote attributed to Abdu’l-Baha, which goes “O Lord of the worlds! To teach is to learn, to learn is to work, to work is to serve, to serve is to love, to love is to sacrifice, to sacrifice is to die, to die is to live, to live is to strive, to strive is to rise above all earthly limitations and enter the eternal realms.” Often these words are tacked on the end of a prayer of Abdu’l-Baha contained in a letter to Lua Getsinger. That prayer begins “Thou knowest, O God, and art my witness that I have no desire in my heart save to attain Thy good pleasure, …” or in an older translation “Thou testifiest and Thou knowest in my heart and soul there is no desire except to attain Thy pleasure..”
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bahai Writings, Devotions, Translations | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Abdu’l-Baha speaks – in bilingual format

Posted by Sen on June 1, 2018


My latest book is out, from Leiden University Press (click to order (please)).

It is 400 pages, most of them in bilingual Persian/English format. This is the third bilingual book in modern Iranian Studies that I have done, and the second for the Iranian Studies Series. The works in this volume are three of Abdu’l-Baha’s socio-political essays: The Secret of Divine Civilization, Selections from A Traveller´s Narrative and The Art of Governance. There is about 80 pages of introduction outlining the historical setting and the authors and actors that Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha knew. There are also translator’s notes on various textual issues, where a short footnote would not suffice, and an index.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bahai Writings, Church and State, Translations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: