Archive for February, 2020

Ayyam-i-Ha 176 B.E.: Intercalary Days-Sunset 2/25/2020-Sunset 2/29/2020

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Whoso firmly believeth today in the rebirth of man and is fully conscious that God, the Most Exalted, wieldeth supreme ascendancy and absolute authority over this new creation, verily such a man is reckoned with them that are endued with insight in this most great Revelation. Unto this beareth witness every discerning believer.

Baha’u’llah

Lawh-i-Hikmat/Tablet-of-Wisdom

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O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name; and when they end—these days of giving that precede the season of restraint—let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind. The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous.

Baha’u’llah, Kitab-I-Aqdas

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Known as the Ayyám-i-Há (the Days of Há), the Intercalary Days have the distinction of being associated with “the letter Há”. The abjad numerical value of this Arabic letter is five, which corresponds to the potential number of intercalary days.

The letter “Há” has been given several spiritual meanings in the Holy Writings, among which is as a symbol of the Essence of God.

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Say: Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. Were anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendor of Our Name, the Creator. Say: This is an existence which knoweth no decay, and Nature itself is lost in bewilderment before its revelations, its compelling evidences and its effulgent glory which have encompassed the universe.

Baha’u’llah

Lawh-i-Hikmat/Tablet-of-Wisdom

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HA-An Expression Of God’s Will Within Nature

Scanning Electron Microscope Images of cross sections of the flagellum of Chlamydomonas. They show a 9-pointed star tipped on each point by the Persian letters He and Aleph combined making the letter “HA” of “Ayyam-i-HA”. The flagellum of Chlamydomonas serve purposes of mobility, sensation, communication, and sexual reproduction, the stimulus for which travel through these conduits which as shown, in cross section are formed in the shape of the Persian letters He and Aleph making the letter “HA” surrounding the 9-pointed star.

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MY God, my Fire and my Light! The days which Thou hast named the Ayyám-i-Há (the Days of Há, Intercalary Days) in Thy Book have begun, O Thou Who art the King of names, and the Fast which Thy most exalted Pen hath enjoined unto all who are in the kingdom of Thy creation to observe is approaching. I entreat Thee, O my Lord, by these days and by all such as have during that period clung to the cord of Thy commandments, and laid hold on the handle of Thy precepts, to grant that unto every soul may be assigned a place within the precincts of Thy court, and a seat at the revelation of the splendors of the light of Thy countenance.

These, O my Lord, are Thy servants whom no corrupt inclination hath kept back from what Thou didst send down in Thy Book. They have bowed themselves before Thy Cause, and received Thy Book with such resolve as is born of Thee, and observed what Thou hadst prescribed unto them, and chosen to follow that which had been sent down by Thee.

Thou seest, O my Lord, how they have recognized and confessed whatsoever Thou hast revealed in Thy Scriptures. Give them to drink, O my Lord, from the hands of Thy graciousness the waters of Thine eternity. Write down, then, for them the recompense ordained for him that hath immersed himself in the ocean of Thy presence, and attained unto the choice wine of Thy meeting.

I implore Thee, O Thou the King of kings and the Pitier of the downtrodden, to ordain for them the good of this world and of the world to come. Write down for them, moreover, what none of Thy creatures hath discovered, and number them with those who have circled round Thee, and who move about Thy throne in every world of Thy worlds.

Thou, truly, art the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations XLV

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Baha’i Sabbath: Mulk 15, 176 B.E. (2/21/2020)-Black History Month 2020-Baha’i’s In Black History

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Black History Month

Alain LeRoy Locke, A.B., Ph.D.

“If they will but see it, because of their complementary qualities, the two
racial groups [Black & White] have great spiritual need, one of the other.” 
Alain Locke (1933)

Below are scans of one of the several articles written by Dr. Locke for publication in the early 20th century Baha’i publication; “The Baha’i World”. This article by Dr. Locke was published in volume IV, 1930-1932 of that series. Click the images to enlarge and read.

The link below contains priceless information regarding the fact of Dr. Alain Locke’s adherance to and activity in the Baha’i Faith that is generally omitted from the historical record. Thanks go to Dr. Christopher Buck for all of his extensive research and publication of this and many other overlooked and very important American Baha’i’s

https://bahai-library.com/buck_alain_locke_bsr

The link below takes the reader to the Congressional Cemetary, a non-profit public cemetary in Washington, D.C. where Dr. Locke’s cremains (ashes) were interred in a final resting place on 9/13/2014.

From the article: “Locke’s black granite gravestone is inscribed with four symbols on the western elevation. The symbols are: a 9-pointed Baha’i star [Bold text added]; a Zimbabwe bird, representing the African country formerly called Rhodesia, which the American Rhodes community adopted; a lambda, representing gay rights [Bold text added]; and the Phi Beta Sigma symbol. A simplified reproduction of a bookplate created by Harlem Renaissance painter Aaron Douglas sits at the center of the stone. The emblem portrays a dramatic art-deco depiction of an African woman’s face set against a sunburst. The words “Teneo te, Africa” translate to “I hold you, my Africa.” “

Alain LeRoy Locke, 1886-1954

For the official Baha’i position on human rights and the elimination of all prejudice follow this link:

Baha’i Open Epistle On Human Rights And Elimination Of All Prejudice

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Mulk 8, 176 B.E. (2/14/2020)-Black History Month 2020-Baha’i’s In Black History

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Black History Month

W.E.B and Nina Du Bois

The Du Bois Family, 1898

W. E. B. Du Bois, Ph.D., son Burghardt, wife Nina

W.E.B. Du Bois met Abdu’l-Baha’, when he (Abdu’l-Baha’) delivered a talk at the 4th annual conference of the NAACP in Chicago, IL., though he may have seen him prior to that date when he delivered a talk at Howard University in Washington, D.C., an Historically Black University (HBCU) on April 23, 1912. Their meeting began Mr. Du Bois’ life-long and intimate relationship with the Baha’i Faith. Both W.E.B. Du Bois and his wife, Nina were very active teachers of the Baha’i Faith documented from at least as early as the 1930’s and probably much earlier than that, given their encounter with Abdu’l-Baha’ in 1912. What follows are two articles published by Mr. Dubois in the official magazine of the NAACP, “The Crisis”, which was founded in 1910 by Du Bois and his associates.

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Talk given by Abdu’l-Baha’ at the Fourth Annual Conference of the NAACP, April 30, 1912
Handel Hall, Chicago, Illinois

As recorded in the Newspaper “The Crisis”, the official magazine of the NAACP, published by W.E.B. Du Boise and associates, a facsimile of the original talk by Abdu’l-Baha’, followed by the text of the article.

GOD has stated in the Bible, the Old Testament: “We have created man in our own image and likeness.” This statement indicates the fact that man in some particular is of the image and likeness of God. This man who has been called the image and likeness of God: Let us find out just where and how he is the image and likeness of the Lord, and what is the standard or criterion whereby he can be measured.
If a man should possess wealth, can we call him an image and likeness of God? Or is human honor the criterion whereby he can be called the image of God? Or can we apply a color test as a criterion, and say such and such a one is colored with a certain hue and he therefore is the image of God? Can we say, for example, a man who is green in hue is an image of God? Or can we make another distinction, saying that one who is white is any more an image of God? Is simply the white color a criterion whereby man is to be judged? And shall we make a sweeping statement like that? Or is it reasonable for us to choose the dark color? Supposing we say a colored man is after all the image and like­ ness, just because of his color, or the red- skinned man, shall he be the image and likeness of God? Or shall we declare the yellow race to be a creation and therefore an image and likeness of God? Hence we come to the conclusion that colors are of no importance.
Colors are accidental in nature. That which is essential is the humanitarian as­pect. And that is the manifestation of Divine Virtues and that is the Merciful Be­stowals. That is the Eternal Life. That is the Baptism through the Holy Spirit. Therefore let it be known that color is of no importance’. Man, who is the image and likeness of God, who is the Manifestation of the Bestowals of God, he is acceptable at the threshold of God whatever be his color. Let him be blue in color, or white, or green, or brown, that matters not! Man is not to be pronounced man simply be­cause of bodily attributes. Man is to be judged according to his intelligence and to his spirit. Because he is to be judged ac­cording to spirit and intelligence, therefore, let that be the only criterion. That is the image of God.
As regards you here in this country, there is a point of importance, namely, patriotism. That is common to both. And from the standpoint of language, you share that, both of you speak one tongue. And you have in common the same civilization. And now, with these numerous points of partnership or contact and the one point of difference, which is of the least importance, that of color, are you going to allow this least of differences, namely, that of color, to sepa­rate you?
From the standpoint of the body, you have that in common. All the five senses and tangible properties of man you share. As regards intelligence, you are both en­dowed therewith. Patriotism is common to both. From the standpoint of language there is a point of contact. Your civiliza­tion is one and the same. From the stand­ point of religion you are one and the same. One point of distinction, and that is color. Is it meet, is it becoming, with all the points of contact, for this least point of distinction or difference should there be any separation or difference? Indeed, not! God is not pleased, nor is any intelligent man pleased, nor is any reasonable man willing to have any difference because of that.
His Holiness, Baha’o’llah, has proclaimed to the world the Oneness of the world of humanity. He has caused the various na­tions and divergent sects and creeds to unite, and he has declared that the difference in color in the human kingdom is similar to the differences of the flowers, the variegated flowers in a garden. If you enter a garden you will see yellow flowers, white flowers, dark, variegated flowers, the red flower, for example, in the utmost of delicacy and beauty, radiant, and each one through dif­ference lends a charm to the other. This difference in the human kingdom is similar to that. And now were you to be ushered into a garden where all the flowers were to be of the same hue or color, how monotonous! Therefore, he has said that the various colors of human kind, one is white, one is black, one is yellow, one is red—this sort of difference lends a harmony of color and beauty to the whole. Therefore, all must associate with one another, even as flowers consort harmoniously together in a given garden.

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Black History Month 2020-Baha’i’s In Black History: Thelma Thurston Gorham

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

Black History Month

Thelma Thurston Gorham, M.A.

Baha’i Teacher and Pioneer Journalist of the Civil Rights Era of the 1950’s delivers a talk to the Baha’i’s of Springfield, MO, ca. 1955-1959. Mrs. Gorham is intoduced by Baha’i Educator and Establisher of the Baha’i Faith, Dr. Leland Jensen who opens the event with the reading of a prayer by Abdu’l-Baha’ and a local Springfield, MO newspaper article, after which he presents Mrs. Gorham. Surviving reel to reel audiotape segments of the occasion which were uncovered in the early 2010’s in Dr. Jensen’s personal archive and recently converted to digital format are presented here in four segments:

Below is an article on the life of Thelma Thurston Gorham from the Tallahassee Drifters Inc. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheTallahasseeDrifters/

 

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Month: Mulk/Dominion 1, 176 B.E. (2/7/2020)

Friday, February 7th, 2020

IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD, THE MOST EXALTED, THE MOST HIGH!

I addressed unto thee aforetime an Epistle in the lucid Arabian tongue, and I now reveal for thee this Tablet in wondrous Persian prose, that thou mayest hear, in the glorious accents of the Nightingale of ‘Iráq, the sweet melodies of the nearness of the heavenly Paradise that had, ere this, been intoned in the language of Ḥijáz. Perchance thou mayest become pure spirit; attain, without taking a single step, the loftiest stations of mystic ascent; and explore, without leaving thine outward habitation, the furthermost reaches of the worlds of inner significance. Thereupon wouldst thou, with a divine rapture, experience true spiritual attraction, lay down thy life in the path of the Friend, and sacrifice thy soul in the wilderness of His love. This indeed is the meaning of stillness in flight and flight in stillness, of fluidity in solidity and solidity in fluidity.

To continue: It is clear that the wayfarers in the wilderness of search and longing, of attainment and reunion, have numerous degrees and countless stations. Some, after spiritual struggle and physical toil, ascend from the lower reaches of “no God is there” to the lofty bowers of “but God”, flee from the shadow of negation to abide in the limitless realm of affirmation, and abandon the privation of a transient existence for the bountiful assemblage of reunion. This is the uttermost limit of the realm of effort and striving.

Others, without receiving the least intimation of “no God is there”, pass beyond the highest horizon of “but God”; without even tasting a dewdrop of the degrees of self-surrender ascend unto the kingdom of life everlasting; and without partaking from the wellspring of utter abnegation quaff the wine of the Ancient of Days. These souls, as they traverse the stages of wayfaring and ascend unto the stations of reunion, walk a different path and occupy a different rank.

Still others, without having perused a single letter of the kingdom of names or acquired the faintest intimation from the realm of attributes, which pertaineth to this world, dawn above the invisible horizon of eternity and return again thereunto. A hundred thousand seas of glory surge in their luminous hearts, and yet to outward seeming their lips are parched; a myriad rivers of holiness stream within their breasts, and yet no trace thereof is to be seen; the books of God’s consummate wisdom are recorded upon the tablets of their hearts, and yet they breathe not a word thereof in the world of appearances. They dwell in the Egypt of certitude and journey in the lands of resignation. They are intoxicated with the beauty, and entranced by the glory, of Him Who is the All-Glorious. Heart to heart they whisper hidden secrets; soul to soul they unfold abstruse matters. The mysteries of the Divine Essence glow upon their brows, and the lights of Divine Unity shine from their peerless faces. They clothe themselves in the robe of concealment and cast their sleeves over both this world and the world to come. Without wings they soar, without feet they walk, without hands they grasp and hold. They speak an unknown tongue and observe an unseen grammar, of which all the world’s inhabitants know not a single letter, save those whom thy Lord hath willed. Unto each hath a share been vouchsafed in His Book, and they shall all attain unto that which hath been destined for them.

It is clear and evident that, in this Dispensation wherein the banner of utterance hath been raised aloft and the candle of discernment hath been lit, there is no Lord but the Exalted One. He it is Who is one in His essence and one in His attributes, single in the kingdom of names and peerless in the realm of actions. It is by virtue of His blessed name that the seas of Divine Unity have been made to surge; it is through the power of His resistless command that the immutable decrees of destiny have been enforced; it is through the potency of His sovereign might that the dictates of fate have been fixed. Who hath the power to soar in that exalted atmosphere or to cherish another beloved than Him? We all abide beneath His shadow and seek our portion from the ocean of His grace. However far the gnat may fly, it can never traverse the length and breadth of heaven, and however high the sparrow may soar, it can never attain the tree of immortality.

But since all do not possess the same degree of spiritual understanding, certain statements will inevitably be made, and there shall arise, as a consequence, as many differing opinions as there are human minds, and as many divergent beliefs as there are created things. This is certain and settled, and can in no wise be averted. Now, it is clear that some are virtuous, others are sinful, and still others are rebellious. One must call the people to love and faithfulness, to zeal and contentment, that the sinful may be admonished and the ranks of the virtuous may swell. Nor is it possible that there be no sinners: So long as the name “the Ever-Forgiving” shineth resplendent above the horizon of existence, there will be sinners in the world of creation, for the latter cannot appear without the former and the former cannot exist without the latter.

Our aim is that thou shouldst urge all the believers to show forth kindness and mercy and to overlook certain shortcomings among them, that differences may be dispelled; true harmony be established; and the censure and reproach, the hatred and dissension, seen among the peoples of former times may not arise anew. Perchance they may be educated and, in the latter Resurrection, inflict not upon that cherished Spirit and Essence of existence, that exalted and subtle Reality, the least of that which the Point of the Bayán was made to suffer.

Moreover, a reply to thine enquiries was sent aforetime. It is evident that whatever question is asked will be answered through the ocean of eternal grace, but such questions also add to the burden of duties imposed upon the servants. That which hath been recorded at God’s behest in the Persian Bayán is indeed sufficient unto all, and none will be held to account for what it hath not commanded. Consider how numerous were those in the early days of the Revelation who obeyed, without the slightest deviation, every least one of its injunctions and yet reaped no benefit therefrom. The beginning of religion is love for God and for His Chosen Ones, and its end is to manifest that love to His servants.

I swear by God! Whoso faileth to obey the commandments of God can in no wise be numbered among His loved ones, for among the conditions of His love is to follow His commandments and observe His prohibitions. But since these are the days of concealment, and the Sun of eternity remaineth hidden beneath the horizon of being, one must gather together everyone with love and protect them. The time for the completion of the commandments and the perfection of deeds will assuredly come.

Baha’u’llah

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Sultan 13, 176 B.E. (1/31/2020)

Saturday, February 1st, 2020

Rashḥ-i-‘Amá

The Clouds of the Realms Above

’Tis from Our rapture that the clouds of realms above are raining down;’Tis from Our anthem that the mysteries of faith are raining down.

Upon the Eastern wind Cathay’s entrancing musk doth waft; This sweetly scented breeze from Our curling locks is raining down.

The day-star of adornment hath dawned forth above the face of God; Behold that mystic truth which from His Countenance is raining down.

The sea of purity hath from the wave of true reunion surged; This precious, rare bestowal from our rapture is raining down.

The treasuries of love lay hid within the very heart of Fárs; From out this treasure trove the pearls of faithfulness are raining down.

The splendour of the rose doth bring the ecstasy of choicest wine; This subtle music from the ringing tones of Lordship is raining down.

The trumpet-blast of Judgement Day, the joyful bliss of heaven’s call— Both at a single breath are from the firmament now raining down.

The Day of “I am He” is made to shine resplendent from Our face; The Age of “He is He” from out Our flowing cup is raining down.

From out the fountain of Our heart hath God’s celestial river flowed; This cup of honeyed nectar from Our ruby lips is raining down.

The Day of God hath been fulfilled, for lo, the Lord hath been unveiled; This wondrous message from the melody of Ṭá’ is raining down.

Behold Bahá’s outpouring grace, the bounty of the clouds above, Which, merged into a single song, in God’s own voice is raining down.

Behold the Lord’s leviathan, behold His sacred countenance; Behold the blessings of the heart that from His throne are raining down.

Behold the Palm of Paradise, behold the warbling of the Dove; Behold the glorious hymns that in the purest light are raining down.

Behold the soul-entrancing song, behold the beating of the drum, Behold the sacred rhythms that from Our hand are raining down.

Behold the Countenance Divine! Behold the Maid of Paradise! Behold the grace upon the world from Our own presence raining down.

Behold the everlasting Face! Behold the chalice-bearer’s charm! Behold the crystal draught that from Our brimming cup is raining down.

Behold the fire of Moses, see His hand that shineth white; Behold the heart of Sinai—from Our hand all raining down.

Hear ye the sotted lovers’ sighs, behold the garden blooming fair; Behold the bliss that from His presence in your midst is raining down.

Behold the radiant face of Há’, behold the beauteous robe of Bá’; Behold the Lordly grace that from Our Pen is raining down.

The vessel of the Advent this, the clouds of limpid waters these; The trill of songbirds this, from Our fleeting Wellspring raining down.

Baha’u’llah, in the Siyah-Chal, 1852

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles