Globalization itself is an intrinsic feature of the evolution of human society. It has brought into existence a socio-economic culture that, at the practical level, constitutes the world in which the aspirations of the human race will be pursued in the century now opening.
No objective observer, if he is fair-minded in his judgement, will deny that both of the two contradictory reactions it is arousing are, in large measure, well justified.
The unification of human society, forged by the fires of the twentieth century, is a reality that with every passing day opens breathtaking new possibilities.
A reality also being forced on serious minds everywhere, is the claim of justice to be the one means capable of harnessing these great potentialities to the advancement of civilization.
It no longer requires the gift of prophecy to realize that the fate of humanity in the century now opening will be determined by the relationship established between these two fundamental forces of the historical process, the inseparable principles of unity and justice.
— Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 133
کم کم رز به رز
little by little, day by day
— persian proverb
ايقان - Íqán -Ee-qaan
Mon dieu! Guide-moi, protège-moi, illumine la lampe de mon coeur et fais de moi une étoile brillante. Tu es le Fort, le Puissant.
— Abdul Baha
Every discerning observer will recognize that in the Dispensation of the Qur’án both the Book and the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the matter of names, Muḥammad, Himself, declared: “I am Jesus.” He recognized the truth of the signs, prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that they were all of God. In this sense, neither the person of Jesus nor His writings hath differed from that of Muḥammad and of His holy Book, inasmuch as both have championed the Cause of God, uttered His praise, and revealed His commandments. Thus it is that Jesus, Himself, declared: “I go away and come again unto you.” Consider the sun. Were it to say now, “I am the sun of yesterday,” it would speak the truth. And should it, bearing the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that sun, it still would speak the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the days are but one and the same, it is correct and true. And if it be said, with respect to their particular names and designations, that they differ, that again is true. For though they are the same, yet one doth recognize in each a separate designation, a specific attribute, a particular character. Conceive accordingly the distinction, variation, and unity characteristic of the various Manifestations of holiness, that thou mayest comprehend the allusions made by the Creator of all names and attributes to the mysteries of distinction and unity, and discover the answer to thy question as to why that everlasting Beauty should have, at sundry times, called Himself by different names and titles….
— Baha’u’llah, Kitab-i-Iqan, pg 22
[I had initially written this after the first week had passed, and then reconsidered it entirely, deciding to “do it” much later]
It’s been one month since the most important person in my life changed station. I like looking at it that way – someone (out of hundreds) put it that way, and I really like it. Other words one would use would be to say “my mom passed away”.
Between June 2013 and April 2014, I got my heart broken twice. Or so I thought. I thought I knew what love, or loss, or heartbreak was…I was sitting talking to a beloved friend about it, and she managed to capture the perfect word for it – perspective. Hahahhahaahahha. What an idiot.
She was also able to verbalise something I hadn’t been able to articulate – void. There is now this space, but what is the strangest is that it’s only sometimes that I realise that it’s there…
I catch myself saying things out loud in past tense, and I hate it. I hate thinking things in past tense “my mom loveD this….my mom DID that….” I hate saying and hearing things in past tense. I am not in denial about what has happened (present continuous) [or maybe I am, what do I know?] I get what has happened. Initially, I hated hearing “My condolences” or “sorry for your loss”. If one more person had posted that “do not stand by my grave and weep” poem I would have gone hulk. I’m done with hearing things I already know like “she is so happy” or “stay strong” (what else am I going to be??) or “she is always with you” - I know she is always with me. I’m being ungrateful now I’m sorry. (and that’s also difficult and a lie because I’m ok with hearing them from certain people, and not from others).
I’ve noticed that there are so many people in this club, this “half-orphans” club, this “no-moms” club. This club sucks. How did you all do it?
To be honest, I am overjoyed for my mother – I am happy that she is happy (I KNOW that she is). I am happy that she is free from the limitations of this world and that now her legend and gigantic soul is no longer bound by everything.
When I cry, it is not for her (although….maybe… I should explain this better). When I cry, it is for me - my own stupidity; it is for my own selfishness (irony), and idiotic idiotness, it is for my own complete self-centred-and-absorbed-wrapped-up-in-my-self-ness, my lack of attention, and my insensitivity. I had initially set out exactly what it was that had upset me, but I’m editing that out now. Instead I want to ask you, to squeeze your people, sit with them, pay attention, and above all, make sure that they KNOW, unequivocally and without a doubt, how much you love and admire and want them and need them around. This certitude…
Face-tsunamis are triggered by small things; songs, smells, places you had planned to go to, handwriting or colours. There are sinkholes of memories, things you’re dying to remember that wont come to you, and are instead engulfed again by a void. It’s the permanence of it, the physical eternityness – that’s the suckerpunch right there. And yet, at the same time, (and that’s why I specified it), it’s merely the physical eternityness of it, it’s NOT permanent. The Baha’i writings and perspectives bring such a sense of chill, a sense of “well-that-makes-sense” relief. “This separation is temporal; this remoteness and sorrow is counted only by days.”
What I have learnt and continue to realise is that pain does not preclude contentment. My mother was/is the most solid example of never letting pain, or size or energy or age or anything, stop you from serving, and smiling and being content. Even when she’s not “here” she teaches me lessons. Everything has a new layer.
There is a tenderness, and a violent shell of solitude all at the same time.
This is a special kind of ache.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord my God! I beg of Thee by Thy Name through which He Who is Thy Beauty hath been stablished upon the throne of Thy Cause, and by Thy Name through which Thou changest all things, and gatherest together all things, and callest to account all things, and rewardest all things, and preservest all things, and sustainest all things—I beg of Thee to guard this handmaiden who hath fled for refuge to Thee, and hath sought the shelter of Him in Whom Thou Thyself art manifest, and hath put her whole trust and confidence in Thee.
She is sick, O my God, and hath entered beneath the shadow of the Tree of Thy healing; afflicted, and hath fled to the City of Thy protection; diseased, and hath sought the Fountainhead of Thy favors; sorely vexed, and hath hasted to attain the Wellspring of Thy tranquillity; burdened with sin, and hath set her face toward the court of Thy forgiveness.
Attire her, by Thy sovereignty and Thy loving-kindness, O my God and my Beloved, with the raiment of Thy balm and Thy healing, and make her quaff of the cup of Thy mercy and Thy favors. Protect her, moreover, from every affliction and ailment, from all pain and sickness, and from whatsoever may be abhorrent unto Thee.
Thou, in truth, art immensely exalted above all else except Thyself. Thou art, verily, the Healer, the All-Sufficing, the Preserver, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
My mommy is going in for open-heart surgery today….
June 18, 1983
31 years ago today, 10 Baha’i women were taken from their cells where they had been languishing after being arrested, tried and found guilty of teaching children who had been banned from their schools because they were Baha’is. They were then executed.
Thousands of others were imprisoned, tortured, dismissed from employment and schools, or had their properties confiscated.
Unable to extract confessions by torture - whipping the soles of their feet with an electric cable - they were pronounced guilty and hung one by one in a former polo field.
The youngest of them, Muna Mahmudnizhad, 17 pictured above, whose father had been arrested and executed in March of that year, asked to be the last to die that she might pray for the strength of her companions, and spare them the sight of their death.
An incident at once shocking for its awfulness, and stirring for the courage shown in the face of injustice and physical torture, they remain an iconic example of steadfastness and resilience that inspires to this day.
Soft prayers and the tenderest of thoughts then for them tonight, and beyond. Their names, so we might remember them as real people:
Mrs. Nusrat Yalda’i, 54 years old
Mrs. ‘Izzat Janami Ishraqi, 50 years old
Miss Roya Ishraqi, 23 and daughter of ‘Izzat
Mrs. Tahirih Siyavushi, 32 years old
Miss Zarrin Muqimi, 28 years old
Miss Shirin Dalvand, 25 years old
Miss Akhtar Sabit, 19 or early 20’s
Miss Simin Saberi, early 20’s
Miss Mahshid Nirumand, 28 years old
Miss Mona Mahmudnizhad, 17 years old
The graves of these women are and have been being destroyed by the Iranian government. Desecration of religious sites and cemeteries is a particularly blatant expression of a hateful ideology of “cultural cleansing”, aimed at eliminating all traces of Iran’s Baha’i citizens.
“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.
"…I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life…"
O loving God! I am a young child, a suppliant, a captive.
Be Thou my refuge, my support, my protector. I am in distress: give me the means of tranquillity. I am needy: bestow upon me the treasure of the Kingdom. I am dead: give me the Spirit of Life. I am weak: favour me with power and strength, so that I may be a maid-servant in Thy Threshold, with perfect purity and sanctity; sacrifice myself unto Thee, be quit of myself and seek Thee, walk in the path of Thy good pleasure, speak Thy secret and witness the signs of Thy Oneness wherever I look.
O God! Make me ablaze, like unto the fire of Thy love, and make me free from attachment to this mortal world, until I find the peace of soul and the rest of conscience.
Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty! Thou art the Hearer, the Seer!
"….until I find the peace of soul and the rest of conscience…"
Inspirational reading material taped to the outside of my cousin’s shower so he can read it whilst in the shower.
Today marks off as one month since over 200 girls were kidnapped from school by a group of cowardly individuals who profess to be carrying out something, in the name of Something Else, and who attempt to use any form of justification for their actions. It must be made clear that none of their reasons are acceptable.
I would like to point out to you, who has the ability to read and perceive and access knowledge, and sincerely beg you not to confuse or attribute the idiotic actions of people who have clearly misunderstood a Message, with the divinity or validity of that Message, or, heaven forbid, the Source of that Message. (yes, the CAPS are on purpose).
This past weekend I was sitting in a small room with some quotes on the status of women, on the walls. The quotes made me think of the Chibok girls, girls and women all over the world who are suffering due to every manner of violence imaginable, the convenient and selective international outcry, hashtags, protests, posters and direction in which the world is going - it seems society’s GPS needs some serious reconfiguration.
Sitting in that room I was struck by the profoundness of the following quotes (and of course the one above):
- "Through education, women will make unique contributions to the creation of a just world order: an order characterized by vigour, cooperation, harmony, and a degree of compassion never before witnessed in history."
- “Women and girls in territories throughout the world are enmeshed in a culture which enables and sustains violence against them. This affects not only women and girls; such violence is ultimately an act of aggression against society as a whole. It degrades victims, perpetrators, families and entire communities. As such, the eradication of violence requires not only changes in law and policy, but more fundamental changes at the level of culture, attitudes and beliefs. Such changes must be grounded in the conviction that the equality of women and men is not only a goal to be achieved, but a truth about human nature to be acknowledged and embraced. The soul has no gender. The very essence of what make us human is neither ‘male’ nor ‘female.’ Conceived in this way, equality goes beyond a tally of resources or a set of social norms. It reflects the nobility inherent in every human being.”
I firmly believe that education of women and girls is one of the primary tools to bringing about equality between the sexes, and that anyone who tries to hamper that is an agent for the stagnation and failure of humanity. I tried to think about what would counteract the actions of the kidnappers, and the only thing I could think about was more education, and a higher level of excellence from those of us who have been educated, or are in some way related to someone in the process of education.
The kidnappers are trying to paralyse at least half of society - the only way to counteract that is to compensate for it by being exceptional. As such, I’d like to suggest that together with whatever additional campaigns you may feel the need to be involved with, consider cultivating excellence, and facilitating education in whatever way you can.
If you are, or know of a girl in school, aim for an “A” in whatever you’re studying on behalf of the girls who can’t go to school, and on those days where you feel like bunking class or you procrastinate or dont give it your all, think of the thousands of girls around the world who don’t go to school, not because they dont want to, but because they cant.
If you’ve finished school, try pursue further education where you can, and if you have the means to, sponsor a kid to be able to go to school.
"When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed. Without equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction are conducive to discord and strife. Equality between men and women is conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never be willing to sanction it…."
I’m just gonna leave this here….
I want to share this, but I don’t exactly know what to say: I’ve spoken about martyrdom before, but I want you to please listen to this ^^^.
20 years ago on the 13th March 1994, in the middle of Mdantsane in Ciskei, Eastern Cape, before South Africa’s first set of democratic elections, three men who lived their lives trying to bring about the unity of humanity, were put against a wall and executed because of what they believed in, and what they were trying to do.
The gunmen failed. When you give your life; live your life for something bigger than you, nothing can stop you.
Some people lay stress on fasting. They affirm that in augmenting the weakness of the body they develop a spiritual sensibility and thus they think to approach God.
Weakening one’s self physically does not necessarily contribute to spiritual progress. Humility, kindness, resignation, and all these spiritual attributes emanating from great physical strength are acceptable to God. That an enfeebled man cannot fight is not accounted a virtue. Were physical weakness a virtue the dead would be perfect, for they can do nothing.
If a man be just, kind, humble and merciful and his qualities are acquired through the will-power — this is Godlike. A child cannot kill a man; but a Bonaparte can abstain from war, from shedding blood, from devastating countries. A dumb person will not speak ill of any one, a paralyzed hand cannot strike; but a strong arm can refrain from striking. Justice, love and kindness must be the instruments of strength, not of weakness.
— Abdul-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p.98
"To be a Baha’i simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." ~ Abdul Baha