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How the Bab’s Laws Affect Modern Baha’i Life

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 10/20/2019 - 8:30am

Guidance provided by the Baha’i writings shapes Baha’i life. This includes not only beliefs, but also actions and practices, especially in the form of spiritual laws. For the most part,...

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How Did I Get Here?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 10/19/2019 - 8:00am

We all know how we got here – as the result of an ages-old biological process, where female egg meets male sperm, gestation occurs for around 39 weeks, and we...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Villainous Grand Vizier of Persia

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 10/19/2019 - 7:59am

In 1848 Muhammad Shah, the 39-year old king of Persia, was dying.  According to Shiite Islam, Persia’s supreme monarch ruled as a divine surrogate – until the coming of the...

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Accompaniment: Activating the Potential in Others

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 10:00am

“It’s fine, I’ll do it.” We’ve all heard those famous last words that lead to pretty much any and all physical, mental and emotional burnout.  Have you ever used that...

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The Profound Impact of Jesus Christ and Christianity

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 8:00am

The history of the Jews after the reign of King Solomon essentially tells a story of loss of influence, disintegration of the Jewish Empire and dispersion after conquests by foreign...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

So How Do I Teach My Kids about Spirituality?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 10:00am

“If I just teach my children how to be good people, won’t their innate sense of human dignity prevail?” That question crops up a lot lately, as spiritual-but-not-religious adults become...

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Interracial Marriage: A Love at First Sight Story

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 8:00am

Interracial marriage – illegal in the United States for more than two hundred years – only gradually became legal through the love of some of the brave couples who moved...

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30 Books Relating to the Bab

Baha'i Blog - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 2:29am

In honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, we thought we’d share an updated post of books relating to the Bab, His station, His ministry, His family and His early believers. This list of 30 books is in no particular order and it describes titles written for a variety of audiences and in a diversity of styles, including some creative non-fiction. We hope you find this list useful in these days leading up to the bicentenary and beyond!

1. Selections from the Writings of the Bab

There is currently only one volume of the Bab’s Writings translated into English. This collection of excerpts from books and Tablets revealed by the Bab, including the Commentary on the Surih of Joseph, the Persian Bayan, the Seven Proof), the Book of Names, and various other Writings. It was first published in an authorized English translation in 1976. This volume can be read, in full, on the Baha’i Reference Library.

2. Immortal Youth – A Compilation in Honor of the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab

Immortal Youth: A Tribute to the Life and Station of the Bab is a new volume released in honor of this year’s bicentennial anniversary of His Birth. Initiated and compiled by the editorial department of the US Baha’i Publishing Trust, this softcover book offers some sacred and authoritative texts of the Baha’i Faith that pertain to the life and station of the Bab.
 
 

3. A Traveller’s Narrative: Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Bab

This simple, moving narrative recounts the events in the lives of the Bab and His followers, and illustrates the character of the Baha’i revelation by quoting passages from Baha’u’llah’s Writings. It was written by Abdu’l-Baha around 1886 and first published anonymously in Persian in 1890. The English translation was prepared by Professor Edward G. Browne and first published by Cambridge University Press in 1891. You can read it, in its entirety, on the Baha’i Reference Library.

4. The Primal Point: A New Book of Tributes to the Bab and His Followers

The Primal Point is a significant and timely paperback volume recently published by George Ronald that contains testimonials and tributes to the Bab and some of His early followers. The anthology was put together in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of the Birth of the Bab and rather than capture a comprehensive chronological account of His life, it focuses on the importance of His station and the impact of His Revelation.

5. The Dawn-Breakers: Nabil’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Baha’i Revelation

The Dawn-Breakers, or Nabil’s Narrative as it’s often called, is the most comprehensive and authoritative eyewitness account of the beginnings of the Baha’i era. It is also distinguished for being the only work of its kind completed in the time of Baha’u’llah, who approved portions of the manuscript. Translated by Shoghi Effendi, and originally published in English in 1932, this book continues to offer a priceless resource for those wishing to better understand early Baha’i history, its connection to the Babi religion, and the implications of this history for today. You can read an introduction to The Dawn-Breakers here on Baha’i Blog.

6. Journey to a Mountain: The Story of the Shrine of the Bab (Volume I)

Michael Day has written a new trilogy that describes the construction of the Shrine of the Bab. Volume one tells for the first time in detail the thrilling story of how the sacred remains of the Bab were taken from Tabriz to Tehran and hidden for nearly 50 years. It then moves on to describe how Abdu’l-Baha achieved the impossible. Although a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire until 1908, He managed to fulfill Baha’u’llah’s directive to bring the casket to Mount Carmel to build a Shrine in the place indicated by His Father, and to inter the sacred remains. Read an interview about the book with author Mr. Day here.

7. ‘Stories From the Dawn-Breakers’ Read by William Sears

Zoe Meyer originally wrote Stories from the Dawn-Breakers and William Sears’ reading of it is warm, captivating and charming — which makes it a fantastic resource for children and junior youth. Restored and remastered in honor of the upcoming bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, the the four disc set is now available for purchase.
 

8. Awakening: A History of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Nayriz

Many Baha’is are familiar with the events described in the book The Dawnbreakers, where followers of the Bab were under attack and siege by the Persian army, but aside from these descriptions in the Dawnbreakers, very little is known about the many events which took place during this turbulent period of our Faith’s early history. That is why the new book Awakening: A History of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Nayriz by Dr. Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman is so important. Read an interview with the book’s co-author Mr. Ahdieh here.

9. Did You Ever Wonder: A Story About the Bab as a Child’

Dr. Will van den Hoonaard recently published a children’s book about the Bab when He was a child. The book is titled Did You Ever Wonder: A Story About the Bab as a Child. Children love to hear stories about other children and I think the approach Will has taken is brilliant. Read an interview with the book’s co-author, Dr. Will van den Hoonaard here.

10. God Passes By

God Passes By is a historical review by Shoghi Effendi of the first century of the Baha’i Faith, published in 1944 on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of the Bab. In can be read, in full, online at the Baha’i Reference Library.

 

11. Amazing Stories from the DawnBreakers

Jacqueline Mehrabi recasts some of the episodes from The Dawn-Breakers in a simple language for children. This book is divided into short chapters that give brief accounts of such figures as Shakh Ahmad, Siyyid Kazim, Mulla Husayn, Tahirih, Quddus, Vahid, Khadijih Bagum, and others.
 
 

12. Hour of the Dawn: The Life of the Bab

Shoghi Effendi described the period of the Bab as “unique in the whole range of man’s religious experience”. This book makes this gripping and extraordinary story accessible to people of all ages.
 
 
 

13. The Herald and His Heroes: Stories about the Bab

This fascinating and inspiring history is written in an easy-to-read format, accessible for youth and adults.
 
 
 
 
 

14. The Green Years

Authored in Persian during his youthful years by Fariburz Sahba, the renowned architect and writer, as a series of articles for the Baha’i Children’s magazine “Varqa”, The Green Years is a translated version of these articles compiled into a book. This children’s book portrays the history of the Bab and the heroic stories of His followers during the Babi Dispensation.

 

15. The Bab: The Herald of the Day of Days

This is probably the most comprehensive book about the life of the Bab and the author, H.M. Balyuzi, is not only considered one of the foremost scholars of the Baha’i Faith, but he’s also actually related to the Bab. In this easy-to-read biography of the Bab, Balyuzi makes good use of many official historical documents and cites material gathered from family archives.
 

16. Gate of the Heart: Understanding the Writings of the Bab

Understanding the Bab’s Writings and their context can help us understand more about the personage of the Bab, and Dr. Nader Saiedi’s meticulous and insightful analysis identifies the key themes, terms, and concepts that characterize each stage of the Bab’s Writings, unlocking the code of the Bab’s mystical lexicon. Gate of the Heart is a subtle and profound textual study and an essential resource for anyone wishing to understand the theological foundations of the Baha’i religion and the Bab’s significance in religious history. Listen to an interview with Dr. Saiedi here on the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson.
 

17. The Bab: The King of Messengers

This treatise is not a book of history, but rather it’s the text of an address about the greatness of the revelation of the Bab. It covers highlights of the life of the Bab as well as describing the fate of the persecutors of the Bab and His companions. It also addresses the references in the Revelation of the Bab to the subsequent Revelation of Baha’u’llah.
 

18. Khadijih Bagum, the Wife of the Bab

Written and compiled by H.M. Balyuzi, a relative of the Bab, we are able to gain a better understanding of the life of the Bab through this short account of the life of the wife of the Bab, a “princess of her age”. Read a tribute to Khadijih Bagum here, and listen to an audio version of this article titled The Other Witnesses: Khadijih Bagum and Haji Mubarak at the Declaration of the Bab here.
 
 

19. Release the Sun

Written by Hand of the Cause William Sears, this easy-to-read and gripping book brings to life the early history of the Baha’i Faith conveying the divine magnetism and remarkable radiance of the Bab and the selflessness of the Babis right up through the hour of the martyrdom of the Bab.
 
 

20. Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees

Baharieh Rouhani Ma’ani offer an in-depth study of the lives of women closely related to the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Over two and half decades she worked to gather all the known information about the women whose lives were intertwined with those of the Manifestations of God for this age ־ mothers, wives, sisters, daughters. Looking beyond published sources, she was given permission by the Universal House of Justice to consult original documents in the Baha’i International Archives and to make provisional translations of more than 50 Tablets, letters, memoirs and papers not previously published in English, many never before published in any language.
 

21. The Woman Who Read Too Much

This work of creative non-fiction by the talented Bahiyyih Nakhjavani describes what might have occurred during Tahirih’s house arrest and subsequent martyrdom. You can read an interview with Bahiyyih about this book here on Baha’i Blog.
 
 

22. Central Figures: The Bab

These richly illustrated storybooks on the life and teachings of the Bab enable children of all ages to understand and appreciate His divinely ordained Mission as Herald of the coming of Baha’u’llah. There are three volumes to this set.
 
 

23. Persian Passion: Of Gods and Gargoyles

Written by Tom Lysaght, this is a work of creative non-fiction set in Persia during the time of the Bab. Actor Rainn Wilson said it’s “… an expertly written look into the parallel histories of the founders of the Baha’i Faith, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. It evokes the spiritual passion and political complexity of mid-nineteenth century Persia in beautiful prose…”, and Dr. Nader Saiedi calls it “A captivating account of a dramatic summer that questioned traditionalism and patriarchy, and celebrated the resurrection of the human spirit”. You can read an interview with Tom here on Baha’i Blog.

24. Zanjan: A Graphic Novel Based on Actual Events

Zanjan is a rich fictional work that is based on actual events from one of the many dramatic episodes surrounding the emergence of the Baha’i Faith in mid-nineteenth century Persia. You can read more about Zaynab and the women of Zanjan here.
 
 

25. The Bab and His Heroes: Dawn of a New Revelation

The Bab and His Heroes tells the dramatic story of the Bab and those brave men and women who, abandoning the religious doctrines and superstitions of their varied faiths, accepted His claim to fulfill the prophecies of those faiths and offered up their lives in His path.

 

26: The Bab: Gate to Baha’u’llah – A Teacher’s Guide

Filled with fun, hands-on, kid-tested learning activities, this theme book is the third in a series of easy-to-use teacher’s guides designed for Baha’i children’s classes. Inside you will find a treasure trove of ideas for Baha’i summer and winter schools, Holy Day programs, academic classrooms, home schoolers and weekend retreats. The book has four sections: The Bab: His Birth, Early Life and Station; Declaration of the Bab; Martyrdom of the Bab; The Primal Point.

27. Mulla Husayn: The Story of the Declaration of the Bab for Young Children

A true story written to help children form an understanding of this unique occasion. Written in a simple language with illustrations, this book serves as a wonderful resource for parents and educators to foster a spiritual identity in children from a young age using stories from the history of the Faith. This story of Mulla Husayn’s perseverance and the dawning of a new religion is sure to fill children with wonder. You can read out interview with author, Alhan Rahimi here.

28. Saddlebag: A Fable for Doubters and Seekers

This work of creative non-fiction, also by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, tells the story of a bag containing the Bab’s Writings that was stolen. Told from a variety of viewpoints, this is a beautifully told, transcendent tale of truth, salvation, and the power of desire.
 
 
 

29. Brilliant Star Magazine: Light of Faith

Created to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Bab, the “Light of Faith” issue features stories and activities about the Bab’s mission and the oneness of religion, including: a two-page illustrated timeline of key events in the Bab’s life; the story of the Bab’s house arrest and His influence on the people of Shiraz; a story and activity about Baha’u’llah’s recognition of the Bab’s divine station; explorations of the Bab’s station and the oneness of religion through puzzles, a drawing activity, interviews with kids, and more.
 

30. Daily Reflections and Stories for Children: Book 4 – Stories of the Bab

A short passage from the Baha’i writings, a simple story and a beautiful painting for each of 19 days all relating to a virtue – promote in children a love for reading daily from the scriptures and enable them to learn about the life of the Bab.
 
 

Well, that completes our list of 30 books relating to the Bab for now! We hope you’ve discovered some new books to add to your reading list, and also some which you may choose to read again.

Please let us know of any books we may have missed in the Comments section below, or about how some of these books may have touched your life.

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

My New Wife, My New Country, My New Life

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 10:33am

Immigrants to America like me learn to love their new country – and I not only did that, I brought a new love to my country. In addition to my...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Influence of the Bab’s Teachings on Baha’i Belief

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 9:00am

The Bab’s original ideas and laws have had a profound influence on Baha’i thought and life which continues to this very day. Some of these ideas and laws have been...

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Do We Worship Entrepreneurs and Western Education Too Much?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 10/15/2019 - 10:00am

In the global West, we often associate innovation with successful entrepreneurs and traditional Western education – but do these associations really drive civilization’s progress? As a college student seeking to...

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Our Spiritual Imperative to Stop Period Poverty

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 10/15/2019 - 8:00am

The Baha’i teachings call on us all to work to bring about justice in every country of the world, and to acknowledge the dignity and equality of every person: When perfect...

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Celebration – An Album for the Twin Bicentenary Celebrations of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab

Baha'i Blog - Mon, 10/14/2019 - 7:28pm

A spirit of loving collaboration really shines through the music on Celebration, an album in honor of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, Founders of the Baha’i Faith. Its 16 original tracks beautifully marry multicultural rhythms and sounds with extracts from the Baha’i Writings. The album was put together by a group of friends in Quebec, Canada, and I was able to ask Pierre Tremblay how it all came together. Here’s what he shared with me: 

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself and the people involved in putting the album together? The people who contributed to the album are Baha’is with a few friends of the Faith who are inspired to put beautiful, culturally diverse music to sacred text. Most of them do not have a platform and several had never previously recorded anything. These artists are friends who we felt deserved to be heard. They all jumped at the opportunity to participate in this tribute to the Twin Bicentennials. I am a semi-retired musician and small-time producer. I have been a Baha’i and a professional musician for close to 50 years. The musician involved included: Somiya Amoroso-Colatosti, Alexandre Evans, Keyvan Peymani, Samia Nakhostine, Jessica Leblanc, Gustaff Besungu, Afaf Sahnoun, Rachel Tremblay and her children Tuesday Rain Leduc and Tao Stone Leduc, Mira-Clair Lepage, Janie Cardinal-Fernandes, Bruno A.R., Allison Wood, Ben Michel, Rachel Luce, Zoutenn Pathé, Jonathan Bouquet, Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, Lien Tremblay, Ophélie Welldon, Sahba Badie, Verna Lindstrom, Albert Beghuis and myself. Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to put this album together?

The contributors inspired me. I felt that the mixture of styles and cultures would make a beautiful bouquet, a loving offering to Baha’u’llah and the Bab.

Baha’i Blog: What was the process like of making this album? The contributors would travel to our home, one hour north of Montreal, to record their piece, in the course of about one year. We then added additional instruments and vocals when required and as opportunity permitted. Then the mixing and mastering went on for a few months. Each song presented its own “production” challenge as the styles and types of instrumentation were mostly very different from one another. We then did the artwork, printed the inserts, burnt and printed the CDs and set the album up for free download on Bandcamp. All of the materials were paid by the Laval Local Spiritual Assembly and Louise Profeit-Leblanc. Baha’i Blog: What’s something that you learned while putting it together? It is always a learning process for me to support artists’ work, especially youth – something I greatly enjoy. I learn to hear their artistic voice and their uniqueness and I strive to join them in growing and supporting it. This was a lovely collaboration. Baha’i Blog: Where can we find the album? We printed a couple of hundred that we give away mostly at Bicentennial celebrations where we are invited to perform. Otherwise it can be downloaded for free at: https://burnthillfunk.bandcamp.com/album/celebration We had a CD launch here in the Laurentians, a free concert involving most of the contributors. Approximately 100 people attended, including many friends of the Faith and others. We will repeat the performance in Laval on November 2nd and a few other performances are in the works. Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Pierre! We appreciate you sharing this with us and wish you all the best with your future performances!

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

How to Respond to Internet Flaming—Spiritually

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 10/14/2019 - 10:45am

How can we cultivate a spirit of consultation and true friendship online? Those vital spiritual attributes, so conducive to human progress, often get lost on the web.  Just think of...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

How to Bring the Sacred Home

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 10/14/2019 - 9:45am

Each of us brings a variety of things home in the course of our lifetime, both to the house in which we dwell and the home within our heart.  We...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Why Do Prophets Appear in Such Corrupt Cultures?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 10:00am

Jesus Christ was famously born in Bethlehem; however, he was raised in Nazareth, a township with a negative reputation, according to the Gospel of St. John: Can any good thing...

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How the Bab’s New Calendar Transforms Time

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 8:00am

Time orders life, or so it seems – at least most of the time. How often do we check the time, mark our calendars, plan our schedules? Pretty much all...

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Staying Truthful – Under All Conditions

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 10/12/2019 - 10:00am

To be a good person, do you have to always be truthful? The Baha’i teachings suggest that no matter what those around us do, every individual has the responsibility to...

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Abraham: Monotheism’s Introducer in the West

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 10/12/2019 - 9:07am

According to the Torah – the Old Testament of the Bible – Abraham lived in a society near Baghdad that worshiped many gods. His message brought monotheism, the belief in...

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Responding to Climate Change Skeptics, Spiritually

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 10/11/2019 - 10:00am

A few weeks ago I wrote an essay about fires in the Amazon and their impact on climate change. A commenter said the essay “feeds climate alarmism, which fuels mass...

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