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 seems to be an unfortunate day for anniversaries….
On Wednesday, May 14th, 2014, seven Baha’is will mark the end of their sixth year in prison, having been sentenced on false charges and without proper trial. Part of a group of more than 800 prisoners of conscience (115 of whom are Baha’is) these people are in prison simply because of their beliefs. The Baha’i 7 are serving 20 years – the longest sentence given to any prisoner of conscience currently in an Iranian jail.
Many human rights activists working to support those who are suffering human rights abuses in Iran consider the treatment of the Baha’i community an important indicator in the general human rights landscape – a sort of litmus test for human rights in general. If the rights of the Baha’i community are protected and upheld, then it is likely that other human rights will be protected and upheld.
The 7 Baha’i’s leaders in Iran were each arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly “disturbing national security, spreading propaganda against the regime, and engaging in espionage”. All the charges are false. You can read more about the individuals here.
On the 16th December 2013, the 7 Baha’i Leaders wrote a letter to the President of Iran Hassan Rouhani on the Charter of Citizen’s Rights. You can read it here.
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….
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
3 days until my favourite time of year!!
The Baha’i Fast starts on Sunday, March 2nd!!
Read more here :)
"These Bahai’s are dirty, they are unethical, they are unclean non-believers, do not dine with them, do not socialize with them, do not befriend them,"
VIOLENCE WITH IMPUNITY
I just finished watching this short documentary on the status of Baha’i’s and their human rights in Iran. The documentary illustrates a report which was released earlier this year.
If I were there in Iran, along with being an immoral spy, I’d also be unclean, unemployed, and expelled from university.
Please watch this, and share it. It is also available to watch in Persian.
…by our actions, we reveal what is growing in the heart. Actions are mirrors of the soul…
Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion. Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest. Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss. Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe. Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low.
— Baha’u’llah, Tablet of Wisdom.
The line “We test our gold with fire, we test our people with gold” is an altered passage from one of the writings of Baha’ullah. My friend, a great writer and teacher who follows the Bahai faith, said this to me once when I was feeling down. It’s a reminder that life isn’t meant to be easy, and that the really tough ones among us are probably the most tested as well.
"O SON OF BEING! Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants" ~ Baha’u’llah
Poster design by ofthesol