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Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

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Special Website Dedicated to the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah

Baha'i Blog - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 7:53pm

To capture the jubilant celebrations occurring all over the planet, the Baha’i International Community has released a special website dedicated to the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. This official website, bicentenary.bahai.org, aims to inspire and encourage and it will unfold in the days surrounding the Birth of Baha’u’llah–so it’s definitely worth visiting over and over again. It’s also available in six languages: English, Russian, Spanish, French, Persian, and Arabic!

The website is divided into seven main sections:

1. A Message from the Universal House of Justice

This section presents the moving letter from the Universal House of Justice addressed to “all who celebrate the Glory of God.” You can read the letter in its entirety, or download it.

The message provides a context in which to consider the life and mission of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, and it can be used at appropriate occasions connected with your Bicentenary celebrations, and also shared with those whom you feel might be receptive to its contents.

2. Feature Film: “Light to the World”

A feature length film about Baha’u’llah and the world-embracing effects of His teachings will be available for download on October 18th.

3. Photos and Stories of Activities from Around the World

Beginning on the 20th of October at 4:00 Greenwich Mean Time, the website will begin showcasing celebrations and accounts from around the world.

The Baha’i World News Service describes the website with these words:

Beginning at the first sunset on 20 October in the Pacific region and ending at the last on 22 October in the Americas, the site will be updated with photos, news, and other media from scores of locations over the course of those 72 hours.

[…] The bicentenary website will connect the world by capturing the celebrations of people from all walks of life in selected localities across the globe as they celebrate the life of Baha’u’llah and His unifying message. These localities will be illustrative of the thousands of other celebrations that will be unfolding in country after country throughout the planet.

You can read the full news article about the website here: news.bahai.org

4. Video Streaming from Houses of Worship

The website will also feature streaming, beginning on October 20th, of select events occurring at Houses of Worship across the planet.

If you’d like to know more about Houses of Worship, here is an introductory article about these unique edifices.

5. Some Public Messages, Reports & Media

This section highlights some of the messages of good will from local, regional or national officials or leaders, as well a sampling of the media coverage some celebrations have received.

6. Artistic Expressions

In its 18 May 2016 letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies, the Universal House of Justice wrote:

At the heart of these festivities must be a concerted effort to convey a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries rose successively above the horizon of the world. Of course, this will take different forms in different contexts, extending to a myriad artistic and cultural expressions, including songs, audio-visual presentations, publications and books. responding to the call of the Universal House of Justice.

This section of the website gives us a taste of the myriad artistic and cultural expressions that are flourishing around the world. In this section of the Bicentenary website you can explore music, films and videos, visual art and calligraphy, poetry and storytelling, among many others.

7. Short Articles

The website also features four articles that describe who Baha’u’llah is and the effects of His revelation. The articles are titled:

We’d encourage you to explore this website now for a dose of joy and wonder, and to continue to visit it in the coming days!

 

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Once a Jew, Always a Jew?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:00am

What’s the difference between ethnicity, heritage, religion and faith? A few days ago I wanted to wish all my Jewish friends a very Happy Rosh Hashanna—the Jewish New Year—and at...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 8:01am

When Mirza Husayn Ali—Baha’u’llah—became one of the early Babis in 1844, he had never met the Bab. How did it happen? In the simplest terms, Baha’u’llah read a letter the...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Heaven and Hell: Internal Conditions, not Places

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 10:00am

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, he expresses the Baha’i belief that heaven and hell are primarily internal spiritual conditions and not physical places. Even though Milton does offer dramatic settings...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

I’d Like to Introduce You to Baha’u’llah

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 8:00am

Baha’is believe that God has addressed humanity through a sequential series of divine messengers and prophets—and that the latest one, Baha’u’llah, was born 200 years ago. On October 22, 1817,...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Visiting a Baha’i House of Worship: Immeasurable Potentialities

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 10:00am

Have you ever walked a ways in a snowstorm? Crunch. Cruunch. Skee-runnch… My feet, plodding on the un-shoveled sidewalks, carried me north 1.2 miles from Ridge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Ripping the Veil, Taking a Knee, and Other Acts of Disruption

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 8:00am

Have you ever heard of the American abolitionist Stephen S. Foster, or the Persian poetess and feminist Tahirih? In the 1840’s this man and this woman, living in two completely...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

“Beyond Materialism” | Armando Troche

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 1:47pm

Educator and poet, Armando Troche sets the stage with an original spoken word performance aptly entitled “Beyond Materialism.” What really separates us from an animal? What I’ve gleaned is that...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The News Media: Our Own Reflection?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:00am

Fake news! The accusations fly around our heads like angry wasps. Conflicting headlines driven by political bias and simple manipulation assault us from every direction.   The cries of “liar,...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Do You Love Everyone? Not Hardly…

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 8:00am

Tell the truth: Do you love everyone? I wish I did, but I have to admit—some people in this world are really hard to love. The Baha’i teachings ask us,...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

1848: Baha’u’llah suffered the humiliating bastinado punishment

Bahá'í Stories - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 2:34pm
Following His arrest by the soldiers of the acting governor of Ámul about nine miles away from Fort Tabarsi when He was planning to join the heroic believers, Baha’u’llah and His companions were taken to the town of Amul, Mazindran in northern Iran.
The hostile clerics of Ámul had created a major commotion in the town. Having Baha’u’llah and His companions in their midst, the situation was further exacerbated by the divines calling upon the people to protect their religion by demanding severe punishment upon the captives – including murder. People were told to come to the mosque, fully armed -- the butcher with his axe, the carpenter with his hatchet – prepared to make a rush at Baha'u'llah and murder Him. The divines of Ámul were particularly marked for their rapacity.
The Acting Governor realized that any indulgence on his part would be fraught with personal danger. By inflicting a befitting punishment upon the captives, he sought to check the mob’s passions. He ordered punishment by bastinado - a form of torture that involves being beaten on the soles of the feet with a rod. He also promised that the captives would be kept in custody following this punishment until the return of the governor.
Taken to the mosque of the chief priest, the first to be bound in order to receive the bastinado was Mulla Baqir of Tabriz, one of the Letters of the Living. Said he, 'I am only a groom of Mirza Busayn-'Ali... [Baha’u’llah].' Whereupon Baha’u’llah intervened and succeeded in inducing his captors to release him. So too He interceded for Haji Mirza Jani, the merchant of Kashan who, He said, was a mere tradesman and whom He regarded as His guest, so that He himself was responsible for any charges brought against him. This merchant had earlier acted as host to the Báb in Kashan, he was also the first chronicler of His Faith. Mirza Yahya, His half-brother and ward, was also set free as soon as Baha’u’llah had declared him to be His attendant. . “None of these men,” Baha’u’llah told the acting governor, “are guilty of any crime. If you insist on inflicting your punishment, I offer Myself as a willing Victim of your chastisement.” The acting governor was reluctantly compelled to give orders that Bahá’u’lláh alone be chosen to suffer the indignity which he had intended originally for His companions.
And so, reluctantly, the acting Governor gave orders that Baha’u’llah alone should be punished. When he had been bound in the humiliating bastinado position, his legs in the air, bare feet exposed and lashed to a bar held by assistants, Mulla Zaynu'l-'Abidin, Baha’u’llah’s paternal uncle and one of the company, threw himself in front of Baha’u’llah, and was thrashed until he fainted from the pain. Baha’u’llah was then beaten with rods until his feet bled.  He was then removed, along with his companions, to one of the rooms of the mosque, and held there until the return of the Governor from his visit to Fort Shaykh Tabarsi. (Adapted from ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, by Nabil, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi; ‘Baha’u’llah. The King of Glory’, by Balyuzi; and ‘The Robe of Light, vol. 1’, by Ruhe)
Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Cowboys: Always Alone, Even with Someone They Love

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:10am

Do you ever feel really lonely, even in a room full of people? Do you feel alone, even with someone you love? There’s a Willie Nelson song I love that...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

My 3-Year-Old Says His First Prayer

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 8:00am

My son turns three next week, and while there have been many milestones along the way, tonight he said his first prayer.   From in utero, I’ve been praying with...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Lower and Higher Natures Within Us All | Jamey Heath

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 2:43pm

“We were designed,” says singer/songwriter Jamey Heath, “to struggle.” Everyone has two competing natures within them, the Baha’i teachings say—their lower, animal nature and their higher spiritual one. Jamey, after...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Discovering the Supreme Pen All Over Again

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:30am

One night in the fall of 1993 at Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois, I reclined on a couch in the S.S. McClure Lounge, named after an alumnus who became a...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Know Sugar, Know Slavery, Know Racism

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:00am

Are you physically fit? If you said yes, you likely exercise on a regular basis and maintain a conscientious understanding of what goes into your body.   If, on the...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Great Wisdom of Prayer and Fasting

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:00am

For Baha’is, two practices are indispensable for spiritual growth: obligatory prayer and fasting. But what is so significant about them? We have ordained obligatory prayer and fasting so that all...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Baha’u’llah’s Bicentenary Inspires Gift of Trees

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 8:00am

The Baha’i community of Chile recently donated 2,000 trees to the city of Santiago. This gift came from the Native Flora Project, a tree-planting initiative at the Baha’i House of...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 11:02am

My husband John and I recently returned from a three-month camping trip across North America from our home in Southern Ontario to Vancouver Island and back. Fortunate to have the...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Fulfilling the Prophecies of Judaism and Christianity

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 8:00am

Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, claimed to fulfill the ancient prophecies of both Judaism and Christianity. Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, referred to...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

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