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Transcript of Baha'i
Holidays Panama City The Seven Dimensions of Baha'i New Delhi History of the Founder:
Bahá’u’lláh Special Rituals Basic Tenets of Baha'i Where is Baha'i Practiced? Countries where Baha'i is Practiced Baha'i is practiced all over the world
open to people of all races, cultures, and economic backgrounds
most diverse organization of people on the planet
Baha'i devotional meetings can be held anywhere- not just in a church, temple, house of worship, or similar structure The Bab Roots in Shi'ite Islam (believed in the return of the 12th successor of Muhammad)
the Báb claimed to be the forerunner for this 12th successor
the Báb's teachings were seen as heresy, he was imprisoned and executed
Bahá'u'lláh followed the Báb, was persecuted and exiled many times, but grew and popularity while he claimed his teachings The Beginning Born in 19th century Persia
Led a princely life as a child
Married and had three children
Became a philanthropist
Known as "Father of the Poor" March 2-21
beginning of a Nineteen Day Fast instituted by Baha’u’llah
people between the ages of 15 to 70 should fast
go without food from sunrise to sunset
a time of spiritual preparation and regeneration for the new year
brings the community together in prayer, reading of scriptures, discussion, and enjoyment of another’s company Special Rituals Baha’i faith places importance on the relationship with God and not rituals
They have no priests or clergy, initiation ceremonies, sacraments, or worship rituals
abstain from alcohol and other mind-altering substances
have the consent of parents to marry
attend the Nineteen Day Feast on the first day of each month of the Baha’i calendar The Bábi movement became active in Bábi movement
The Báb was executed
Bábi movement participants placed in prison
imprisoned in the Black Pitt
God spoke to Bahá’u’lláh
a new religion was formed Exiled exiled and spent two years reflecting in the mountains in Kurdistan “The period is reminiscent of the periods of seclusion undertaken by the Founders of the world's other great Faiths, calling to mind the wanderings of 40 days and nights spent by Christ in the desert, and Muhammad's retreat in the cave on Mt. Hira. Baha'i in Baton Rouge The Baha'i Faith Unity Center is located at 4270 Perkins Road in Baton Rouge LA
Open meetings Friday evening at 7:30 and Sunday morning at 10:30 Numbers of Baha'i Baha’i has an estimated 7 million followers. However, the diffusion of believers makes them difficult to count In nations with 200,000+ people...
The largest number of Baha’i followers is in India (about 1.9 million)
Nation with the largest percent believing in Baha’i is Belize (2.5%) The Seven Houses of Worship Wilmette, Illinois, USA
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Panama City, Panama
New Delhi, India The Garden of Ridvan grew the Babi group in Baghdad
sent into exile again
told his followers in the Garden of Ridvan that he was the Promised One
celebrated today in the Ridvan Festival
reputation grew, gained more followers
went to Constantinople, exiled again Acre sent to Acre, the end of the road for prisoners
In Acre, wrote Kitab-i-Aqdas(the Most Holy Book)
outlines the essential laws and principles that are to be observed by His followers
lays the groundwork for Bahá'í administration.
died and buried in a restored mansion
Bahji- most revered spot for Baha’i followers today Bahá’u’lláh: the latest prophet of God Bahá’u’lláh was a member of the Sassanid Dynasty
brought messages of unity and oneness
“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens” A New Vision for the Future Unity
New system of values
Ability to think and decide collectively
Will to address problems confronting humanity
Resources of reason and faith The Continuation after Bahá’u’lláh Appointed his son to continue the faith, who then appointed his grandson to spread the faith
people of the Baha’i faith have been persecuted by Iranians since its founding in the nineteenth century (they placed emphasis on education, they deny the essence of Iran's government)
“accused of prostitution since their marriages are viewed as illegitimate, of spying since some of their conferences were in foreign cities, and of being Zionist supporters since their headquarters are in Haifa, Israel. Many Bahá'ís were arrested, tortured and executed.” Baha'is Believe All humanity is one family.
Women and men are equal.
All prejudice—racial, religious, national, or economic—is destructive and must be overcome.
We must investigate truth for ourselves, without preconceptions.
Science and religion are in harmony.
Our economic problems are linked to spiritual problems.
The family and its unity are very important.
There is one God
all major religions come from God.
World peace is the crying need of our time. March 21- Baha’i New Year celebrated on the vernal equinox
it is preceded by the Nineteen Day Fast Modern Baha'i spread rapidly in the 1960s
Today, people from every nation and ethnicity are a part of the Baha’i religion
up to 7 million followers today April 21- First day of Ridvan Festival 12 day period
local and national spiritual assemblies are elected on this day
commemorates the declaration of Baha’u’llah’s mission when he left Baghdad to travel to Constantinople
work is suspended April 29- Ninth Day of Ridvan commemorates the arrival of Baha’u’llah’s family in the Bajibiyyih Garden
work is suspended Heaven and Hell Heaven and Hell are allegories for nearness and remoteness from God. The Purpose of Life Human Existence has meaning only in relation to the creator After death, the condition of our souls determines our experience of the afterlife. Heaven and Hell are not physical places, but spiritual realities. “The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness” - Bahá'u'lláh Experiential faith
God experienced as Holy Presence
Religious Experience of the founder
God spoke to him in the Black Pit
Two years of reflection in exile Mythic Story of Adam and Eve is symbolic, not literal
see humanity’s religious history as a sacred narrative with many appearances of sacred figures
not just founders of religions
Stories of past prophets
The Dawn-Breakers- a narrative of the Babi period I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth.
There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Short Obligatory Prayer (Recited at Noon) May 2- Twelfth and Final day of Ridvan commemorates the departure of Baha’u’llah for Constantinople
work is suspended May 23- Declaration of the Bab the Bab declared his mission on May 23 in 1844 which marks the initial beginning of the Baha’i era
rituals for this holiday are held two hours after sunset
work is suspended on this holiday May 29- Ascension of Baha’u’llah Baha’u’llah passed from this life on May 29
commemorations are held at 3AM
work is suspended on this holiday July 9- Martyrdom of the Bab the Bab was executed on July 9 in 1850 by a firing squad
commemorations are held at noon
work is suspended for this holiday October 20-the birth of the Bab Celebrates the birth of the Bab
work is suspended November 12- Birth of Baha’u’llah Baha’u’llah was born on November 12 in 1817
work is suspended November 26- Day of the Covenant a day to celebrate the life of Abdul-Baha
work is not suspended November 28- Ascension of Abdul-Baha celebrates the passing away of Abdul-Baha
celebrations are held at 1am
work is not suspended Prayer Includes spontaneous, personal prayers and recited prayers
Baha’u’llah wrote hundreds of prayers for many situations
One of three obligatory prayers must be recited each day
“I bear witness, O my God, that Thou has created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subs Meditation reflect at the end of each day on their deeds and worth
free to choose his or her own form of meditation Houses of Worship gathering places for prayer and meditation
intended to focus on the Baha’i community
Their worship services have no sermons, rituals, or clergy
instead they include prayer, music, reading of scriptures of all religions, especially Baha’u’llah
these houses are open to people of all religions Nineteen Day Fast this is held once every nineteen days
it is the local community’s regular worship gathering to promote community amongst member of the Baha’i faith
contains three elements
social fellowship Doctrinal The Bahai faith recognizes every religion’s scriptures
They also focus on the teachings and writings of Baha’u’llah Ethical All humanity is connected
They believe in equality for everyone and no discrimination or prejudice
our everyday problems are linked to our spiritual problems
There is only one God
All major religions come from the same God Ritual They have no clergy that lead special rituals
focus more on the relationship with God and others than rituals
Nineteen Day Fast
Nineteen Day Feast Social everyone is welcome
one of the most diverse organizations on the planet Material Baha'u'llah's writings
Seven houses of worship Basic Baha'i teaching