Covenant Library Unified Glossary


{BP}      = Bahá'í Prayers, passim
{DBNN}    = The Dawn-Breakers, Nabíl's Narrative Glossary
{DBNNi}   = The Dawn-Breakers, Nabíl's Narrative Index
{ESW}     = Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Glossary
{GL}      = Gleanings From The Writings Of Bahá'u'lláh Glossary
{KA}      = The Kitáb-i-Aqdas Glossary
{KI}      = The Kitáb-i-Íqán Glossary
{ROB1}    = The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 1 (Baghdád 1853-63), passim
{ROB2}    = The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 2 (Adrianople 1863-68), passim
{ROB3}    = The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 3 (Akká, The Early Years 1868-77), passim
{ROB4}    = The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 4 (Mazra'ih & Bahjí 1877-92), passim
{SFWAB}   = Selections From The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, passim
{TSVATFV} = The Seven Valleys And The Four Valleys, passim

{ABBD}  = A Basic Bahá'í Dictionary, Wendi Momen, 1989
{BGMG}  = Bahá'í Glossary: Persian and Arabic words appearing in the Bahá'í Writings, Marzieh Gail, 1957

{CLUG}  = Brief version of the entry, or when no source exists

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

{ROB2: The numerical values of the letters B, H, A, which constitute the word Bahá [بهاء without the 'ء'], are 2, 5 and l respectively. Some Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh are signed in this way by Him. (p. 383n)}
{DBNN: 'After Hijírah'. Date of Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina, and basis of Muhammadan chronology.}

{ABBD: Anno Hejirae (in the year of the Hijra). Used to signify a date in the Muslim calendar. The Muslim calendar is based on lunar years which in most years are 13 days shorter than solar years. The beginning of this calendar is AD 622, the year of the Hijra (Hejira), the flight of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.}

{DBNN: A loose outer garment, resembling a cloak, commonly made of camel's hair.}

{ROB3: The 'abá was a cloak worn by orientals in those days. It was normally placed over the shoulders, but on cold days it was customary to pull it over one's head. (p. 101n)}

'Abá-Basír, Áqá Naqd-'Alí
{DBNNi: Son of Hájí Muhammad-Husayn, who repulsed the 'Iráqí regiment at Zanján}

{ESW: Son of a Zanján martyr and himself decapitated for his Faith in that city}

{ROB1: A town historic for its burial-place of over two hundred martyrs' heads. These were brought there, via Shíráz, carried aloft on bayonets, and accompanied mainly by the female next of kin who were forced to walk some of the way from the town of Nayríz (over two hundred miles). (p. 77n)}
'Abbás-i-Núrí, Mírzá, Mírzá 'Abbás of Núr, Mírzá Buzurg-i-Núrí, Mírzá Buzurg-i-Vazír, Mírzá Buzurg the Vizier
{DBNNi: Father of Bahá'u'lláh; one of the wisest administrators among the Vazírs of the King}

{ABBD: The father of Bahá'u'lláh. Renowned for, in the words of Mullá Husayn, "his character, his charm, and artistic and intellectual attainments", he served as a Vizier to a son of Fath-'Ali Sháh. Under Muhammad Sháh he was governor of Burújird and Luristán, but lost his official posts and much of his wealth through the antagonism of Hájí Mírzá Áqásí. Bahá'u'lláh was Mírzá Buzurg's third child by his second wife, Khadíjih Khánum. Mírzá Buzurg died in 1839.}

'Abbás-Qulí Khán-i-i-Láríjání
{BGMG: Sniper who killed Mullá Husayn (DB 379), Feb. 1, 1849.}
'Abbúd, Ilyás
{ABBD: A wealthy Christian merchant of 'Akká who owned a home on the edge of what is now called Genoa Square. He was a patron of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George. Bahá'u'lláh and His family lived in the House of 'Údí Khammár which was attached to 'Abbúd's house. Such were the charges of impiety, atheism, terrorism and heresy which were levelled against the Holy Family that 'Abbúd reinforced the partition that separated his house from their dwelling. Eventually, however, he was won over as a friend and offered a room in his house for the use of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Munírih Khánum. Later he rented the whole house to the Holy Family. 'Abbúd died in 1878.}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Servant of the Remembrance. A designation of the Báb.}

see also Dhikr, Siyyid-i-Dhikr

'Abdu'l-'Alí Hájí, Shaykh
{DBNNi: Vahíd's father-in-law, distinguished among the notables of Nayríz.}
{DBNNi: Captain of Prince Hamzih's artillery and a loyal friend to Mullá Husayn at Mashhad.}
'Abdu'l-'Azim-i-Khu'í, Siyyid
{DBNNi: Surnamed Siyyid-i-Khál-Dár, one of the survivors of Tabarsí.}
{ESW: son of 'Abdu'l-Salám, a famous Muslim ecclesiastic of the Sunní sect}
'Abdu'l-'Azíz, Sultan
{GL: The Sultan who decreed each of Bahá'u'lláh's three banishments}

{BGMG: Sultan of Turkey who "with Násiri'd-Dín Sháh was the author of the calamities heaped upon Bahá'u'lláh and embodied the concentrated power vested in Sultanate and Caliphate. (GPB 225). 1830–1876; ruled 1861–1876.}

{ABBD: Sultán of the Ottoman Turkish Empire (ruled 1861–76) who banished Bahá'u'lláh from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Adrianople (Edirne) in 1863, and finally to 'Akká in 1868. The Sultán's decree condemned Bahá'u'lláh and His companions to permanent banishment and ordered that they be strictly confined and forbidden to associate with each other or with the local inhabitants. Bahá'u'lláh is reported to have said that in banishing Him without reason to the Most Great Prison, 'Abdu'l-'Aziz's tyranny was worse than Násiri'd-Dín Sháh's. Bahá'u'lláh addressed the Sultán in two Tablets including the Súriy-i-Mulúk (Tablet to the Kings), but he did not respond. 'Abdu'l-'Aziz was deposed and assassinated in 1876.}

'Abdu'l-Bahá, Ghusn-i-A'zam (Most Great Branch, Greatest Branch), 'Abbás Effendi
{GL: The appointed Successor of Bahá'u'lláh and Center of His Covenant. (1844-1921)}

{KA: The 'Servant of Bahá', 'Abbás Effendi (1844-1921), the eldest son and appointed Successor of Bahá'u'lláh, and the Centre of His Covenant}

{BGMG: The Servant of the Glory. The Center of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant; Exemplar and Interpreter of the Bahá'í Faith. "The Most Great Branch", the "One Whom God hath purposed." (GPB 239). Bahá'u'lláh's "beloved Son … His vicegerent on earth, the Executive of His authority, the Pivot of His Covenant, the Shepherd of His flock, the Exemplar of His faith, the Image of His perfections, the Mystery of His Revelation, the Interpreter of His mind, the Architect of His World Order, the Ensign of His Most Great Peace, the Focal Point of His unerring guidance … occupant of an office without peer or equal in the entire field of religious history …." (GPB 245). (1844-1921)}

{ABBD: Eldest surviving son of Bahá'u'lláh and His designated successor. Named 'Abbás after his grandfather, 'Abdu'l-Bahá was known as 'Abbás Effendi outside the Bahá'í community. Bahá'u'lláh also gave Him the titles Ghusn-i-A'zam (the Most Great Branch), Sirru'lláh (Mystery of God) and Áqá (the Master). He chose the name 'Abdu'l-Bahá (Servant of Bahá) for Himself after the passing of Bahá'u'lláh. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was born in Tihrán, on 23 May 1844. While still a child, He recognized His Father's station even before it had been openly revealed. He shared Bahá'u'lláh's banishment and exile and often served as His Father's deputy when dealing with officials and the public. Bahá'u'lláh described the station of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the Súriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch). In the Kitáb-i-'Ahdí (Book of the Covenant), He named 'Abdu'l-Bahá as His successor and the authorized Interpreter of His Writings. Shoghi Effendi has written: "[T]hough essentially human and holding a station radically and fundamentally different from that occupied by Bahá'u'lláh and His Forerunner, 'Abdu'l-Bahá was the Perfect Exemplar of His Faith...endowed with superhuman knowledge, and to be regarded as the stainless mirror reflecting His light." While not regarding 'Abdu'l-Bahá as a Prophet, Bahá'ís show special respect to His unique station by capitalizing pronouns referring to Him. In about 1873 'Abdu'l-Bahá married Munírih Khánum. Of their nine children, four daughters lived to adulthood. His eldest daughter Díyá'íyyih was the mother of Shoghi Effendi. In 1901 Sultan 'Abdu'l-Hamíd II again ordered 'Abdu'l-Bahá confined to 'Akká but in 1908 He was set free after the Young Turks' revolution. It was 'Abdu'l-Bahá who, at the instruction of Bahá'u'lláh, saw to the transfer of the Báb's remains to the Holy Land and their interment in a permanent Shrine on Mount Carmel in 1909. In 1911 He began His historic journeys to Europe and North America to proclaim His Father's message, returning to the Holy Land in 1913. Renowned outside the Bahá'í community for His humanitarian work, 'Abdu'l-Bahá was knighted in 1920 by the British government for his efforts for the relief of hunger in Palestine during World War I. Among the achievements of the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá were the spread of the Bahá'í Faith to the West and Australia; the building of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in 'Ishqábád and the beginning of the Mother Temple of the West in Wilmette, Illinois, USA; and the establishment of the first institutions of the Bahá'í Administrative Order. In His Will and Testament, 'Abdu'l-Bahá named His grandson, Shoghi Effendi, to succeed Him as Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. 'Abdu'l-Bahá died in Haifa on 28 November 1921, and is buried in a vault of the Shrine of the Báb.}

{ROB4: During Bahá'u'lláh's Ministry 'Abdu'l-Bahá was known by several titles, including Áqá (Master) and the Most Great Branch. The designation 'Abdu'l-Bahá (Servant of Bahá) was adopted by Himself after the Ascension of His Father. (p. 414n)}

see also Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Sarkár-Aqá

'Abdu'l-Báqí, Siyyid
{DBNNi: Was noted for his learning, present when the Báb dictated Tablet to Hájí Mírzá Jání at Káshán; afterwards became a believer}
'Abdu'l-Hamíd II, Sultan
{BGMG: "The Great Assassin". Nephew and successor of 'Abdu'l-'Azíz and with him responsible for 'Abdu'l-Bahá's forty years imprisonment. (PDC 61). 1842–1918; Sultan of Turkey 1876 till deposed 1909.}

{ABBD: Sultan of the Ottoman Turkish Empire (ruled 1876– 1909). As a result of the plotting of Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí, in 1901 'Abdu'l-Hamíd restricted 'Abdu'l-Bahá's freedom, confining Him and His family within the city walls of 'Akká. Later the Sultán sent two commissions of inquiry to investigate false charges made against 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Covenant-breakers, and for a time 'Abdu'l-Bahá was in great danger. However, with the Young Turks' revolution in 1908, all religious and political prisoners in the Ottoman Empire were freed and the Sultan was overthrown the following year. He died in 1918.}

'Abdu'l-Husayn-i-'Iráqí, Shaykh, Shaykh 'Abdu'l-Husayn-i-Tihrání
{ROB2: A diabolical Muslim divine and an inveterate enemy of Bahá'u'lláh since His days in Baghdád. It is interesting to note that a grandson of the Shaykh embraced the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and became one of its active teachers. (p. 332 and n)}
{BGMG: Man who cut his throat when Táhirih put aside her veil at the Conference of Badasht.}

'Abdu'l-Kháliq-i-Yazdí, Mullá
{KI: At first a Jewish priest, he accepted Islám, joined the Shaykhí School and was converted by Mullá Husayn to the Bábí Faith.}

see also Shaykh Ahmad

{KI: The father of the Prophet [Muhammad]. He belonged to the family of Háshim, the noblest tribe of the Quraish section of the Arabian race, directly descended from Ishmael.}
'Abdu'lláh Khán-i-Turkamán
{BGMG: Person first charged by the Sháh to destroy the handful of Bábís who had sought refuge at the Shrine of Shaykh Tabarsí. He recruited an army of 12,000 men and it was thought he could conquer the believers in "the space of two days". (DB 360)}

{DBNNi: Head of army ordered by the Sháh to attack Tabarsí.}

'Abdu'lláh Páshá
{ABBD: Governor of 'Akká from 1819 to 1831, succeeding Sulaymán Páshá, his father-in-law. "An ambitious and acquisitive young man", he inherited extensive lands outside of 'Akká, including land at al-Bahja and Mazra'ih, and he took over Sulaymán's large property now known as the Baydún estate. He built a third mansion at the tip of Carmel, now forming part of the foundation of the lighthouse there. He used as his Governorate buildings in the northwest corner of 'Akká which had been built around 1810 by his father and which incorporated Crusader buildings in its structure. One commentator writes, "Abdu'lláh Páshá, throughout his stormy days as a ruler of the area, had elevated ideas of his own merits, even going so far as to announce publicly...that he fulfilled in himself the conditions of the true Caliph." The Egyptians invaded Palestine in 1831 and took 'Akká in 1832. 'Abdu'lláh Páshá surrendered and was taken to Egypt. In 1840 the area reverted to Turkish rule and 'Abdu'lláh was freed by Egypt. He returned to Palestine and sold the Stella Maris monastery back to the monks. He then went to Constantinople, and eventually to the Hijáz where he died. Several of the residences that once belonged to 'Abdu'lláh Páshá were occupied by Bahá'u'lláh and His family: the Mansion of Mazra'ih; the original structure of the Mansion of Bahjí, which he built in 1821; and the Governorate in 'Akká.}

See also House of 'Abdu'lláh Páshá

{GL: An opponent of Muhammad}

{KI: A prominent opponent of Muhammad; called 'the prince of hypocrites'.}

{BGMG: Powerful Medinite chief and Muhammad's bitter opponent, whose hopes of sovereignty were defeated when the Medinites sent for the Prophet to rule over them. He was the leader of the Hypocrites (munáfiqún) who secretly thwarted and resisted the Prophet at Medina. (Muir, Sir Wm., The Life of Muhammad, 181).}

{BGMG: Sultan of Turkey 1839–1861. Born 1823.}

{ABBD: A shopkeeper of Shíráz who, as a youth, dreamed of the appearance of the Imám 'Alí. With him in the dream was Mullá 'Alíy-i-Bastámí, one of the Letters of the Living who was sent to 'Iráq. On awakening, 'Abdu'l-Vahháb saw Mullá 'Alíy-i-Bastámí passing and followed him. Mullá Alí tried to persuade the young man to return to his shop but to no avail. 'Abdu'l-Vahháb's father overtook them, ordered his son to return home and beat Mulla 'Alí. On their return to Shíráz, 'Abdu'l-Vahháb related his dream to his father, who was overcome with regret for his actions. Later 'Abdu'l-Vahháb moved to Kázimayn near Baghdád where in 1851 he encountered Bahá'u'lláh who was visiting the sacred shrines there. His dearest wish was now to travel back to Írán in the company of Bahá'u'lláh, but Bahá'u'lláh persuaded him to stay where he was and gave him money to enlarge and extend his trade. 'Abdu'l-Vahháb followed Bahá'u'lláh to Tihrán, where he was caught up in the persecution of the Bábís that followed the attempt on the life of the Sháh. Found giving praise to his Lord in the market-place, he was thrown into the Síyáh-Chál and chained to Bahá'u'lláh. One night he dreamed that he was soaring into a space of infinite vastness and beauty. Bahá'u'lláh told him that that day he would sacrifice himself for the Cause. In the morning the gaoler called for 'Abdu'l-Vahháb. He threw off his chains, sprang to his feet and embraced each of his fellow prisoners. Because he had no shoes, Bahá'u'lláh gave him His own. 'Abdu'l-Vahháb kissed the knees of Bahá'u'lláh, then sang and danced all the way to his execution. His executioner later returned to the cell praising the spirit 'Abdu'l-Vahháb had shown at the hour of his death.}

'Abdu'r-Rahmán, Shaykh
{BGMG: Leader of Qádiríyyih Order, who had at least 100,000 followers. In reply to his queries, Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Four Valleys. (GPB 122)}

{GL: Bahá means 'glory'. Abhá is its superlative. Both are titles of Bahá'u'lláh and of His Kingdom.}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Superlative of 'Bahá' (Glory), meaning 'Most Glorious'.}

Abhá Beauty
{ABBD: Bahá'u'lláh.}
Abhá Kingdom
{ABBD: The 'next world'; the spiritual realm beyond the grave into which the soul passes after death.}

see also Abha, the Kingdom

Abhá Pen (The Pen of the Most Glorious), Pen of Glory, Supreme Pen
{ESW: The power of the Holy Spirit manifested through Bahá'u'lláh's writings}

'Ábid, Hájí Siyyid
{DBNNi: One of the attendants who accompanied Vahíd to the enemy's camp and to his martyrdom}
'Ábíd, Shaykh
{BGMG: Tutor at school where the Báb remained five years. (DB 75)}

{KA: The ancient Arabic system of allocating a numerical value to letters of the alphabet, so that numbers may be represented by letters and vice versa. Thus every word has both a literal meaning and a numerical value}

{ABBD: (From the four letters of the Arabic alphabet 'A', 'B', 'J' and 'D') The ancient Arabic system of allocating a numerical value to letters of the alphabet, so that numbers may be represented by letters, and not to be confused with numerology (the study of the occult meaning of numbers). Shoghi Effendi explained in a letter written on his behalf: 'In the Semitic languages--both Arabic and Hebrew--every letter of the alphabet had a numerical value, so instead of using figures to denote numbers they used letters and compounds of letters. Thus every word had both a literal meaning and also a numerical value. This practice is no more in use but during the time of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb it was quite in vogue among the educated classes, and we find it very much used in the Bayán. As the word Bahá also stood for the number nine it could be used interchangeably with it.'}

{BGMG: "The name of an arithmetical arrangement of the alphabet, the letters of which have different powers [numerical values] from one to one thousand. It is in the order of the alphabet as used by the Jews as far as 400, the six remaining letters being added by the Arabians." (Hughes)

Guide to transliteration and pronunciation of the Persian alphabet, together with the Abjad numerical value of the letters -- The non-Arabic letters in the Persian alphabet have no Abjad value.

Abraham, Friend of God, Father of the Faithful
{KI: See Genesis 11-25; Some Answered Questions, pp. 12-14. Scholars give 2100 B.C.-2000 B.C. as his dates. Regarded by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as the Friend of God, the Father of the Faithful.}

{BGMG: "Father of a Multitude". An inhabitant of Ur in Chaldee, who founded the Jewish nation. Ancestor of Bahá'u'lláh through Katurah. This Manifestation of God is also called the Friend of God and the Father of the Faithful. (GPB 94)}

{ABBD: Considered to be the Father of the Jewish people. Bahá'u'lláh was descended from Abraham through his wife Keturah. Abraham is referred to in Bahá'í scriptures as the 'Friend of God' and the 'Father of the Faithful'.}

Absolute Sincerity
{ROB4: It may be said that reading [the Tablet of Ahmad] with absolute sincerity takes place when the reader can truly reach to such heights of faith and assurance that 'his heart shall not waver, even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon him'. In one of His Tablets Bahá'u'lláh states that a person will become steadfast in the Cause when he is absolutely assured in his heart that he does not need to turn to any religion other than this Most Great Revelation.(p. 141)}

Abú, Ab
{BGMG: Father.}
Abú 'Ámír
{GL: An opponent of Muhammad}

{KI: An opponent of Muhammad; a monk.}

Abú-'Alí Síná, Ibn-i-Síná, Avicenna
{ESW: An Arab physician and philosopher born in Persia, known in the West as the Hippocrates and the Aristotle of the Arabs (980-1037 A.D.).}

{BGMG: Persian physician and philosopher. The Shifá' and the Qánún or Canon of Medicine are his most famous works.}

{ESW: Abú-Dhar Ghifárí, an illiterate shepherd who became an esteemed disciple of Muhammad.}

{BGMG: The shepherd who became a Companion of Muhammad; celebrated for piety and asceticism, he preached the equality of all believers and denounced luxury. Claimed as a precursor by Muslim mystics. Bahá'u'lláh speaks of him as becoming "a prince of nations" (SW 19).}

Abú Ismá'íl 'Abdu'lláh Ansárí, Shaykh, Khájih 'Abdu'lláh, of Hirát
{TSVATFV: (1006-1088 A.D.) Súfí leader, descended from the Prophet's companion Abú Ayyúb. Chiefly known for his Munáját (Supplications) and Rubá'íyyát (Quatrains).}

see also Ansár

{BGMG: This is the Kunyih or designation of the fifth Imám, Muhammad-Báqir (AD. 676–731). (SW 113)}
Abú-Ja'far-i-Túsí, Muhammad-Báqir
{ESW: Muslim who like Mufaddal handed down traditions from Imám Sadiq}

{KI: Literally, 'the Father of Folly'; so styled by the Muslims. An implacable enemy of the Prophet [Muhammad].}

{BGMG: The Father of Ignorance, Muslim surname of Muhammad's bitter opponent, his uncle and an influential Meccan called Abu'l-Hikam, the Father of Wisdoms. Killed at Badr, he is said to have been called by Muhammad "the Pharaoh of his people."}

Abu'l Qasím, Mírzá
{DBNNi: Son-in-law and trusted disciple of the mujtahid, Mírzá Muhammad Taqí.}
{ROB1: An uncle of Muhammad who refused to acknowledge His Prophethood and was hostile to Him. (p. 156n)}
{DBNNi: An enemy of Mullá Husayn.}
Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, Mírzá
{BGMG: Illustrious Persian Bahá'í scholar, who taught in the United States at the turn of the century; author of The Bahá'í Proofs, The Brilliant Proof, the Fará'id, etc. ''Learned apologist'' (GPB 195).}

{ABBD: The most outstanding scholar of the Bahá'í Faith. Born in 1844 in Gulpáygán, Írán, to a family of Muslim religious scholars, at thirty Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl was the master teacher of a Tihrán religious seminary. After years of rejecting the Bahá'í Faith, he was moved to study it after an encounter with a humble Bahá'í blacksmith. In 1876 Abu'l-Fadl became a Bahá'í and devoted the rest of his life to teaching, travelling and writing about the Bahá'í Faith. In Cairo he was the centre of Bahá'í activity. In 1901 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent him to America where he spent nearly four years, making a lasting mark on the American Bahá'í community. Among the books he wrote which have been translated into English are The Bahá'í Proofs, The Brilliant Proof, Miracles and Metaphors and Letters and Essays, 1886-1913. Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl died in Cairo in 1914. Shoghi Effendi named him one of the nineteen Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh.}

{ROB2: His name meant 'the father of learning'. (p. 45n)}

{BGMG: "Last of the Four Gates." (See Abváb-i-Arbá'ih, DB Liii). Dying, he refused to name a successor, saying that God had another plan.}

Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardikání, Hájí Mullá, Hájí Amín, Amín-i-Iláhí (Trusted one of God)
{BGMG: First Persian pilgrim to penetrate into 'Akká and glimpse the imprisoned Bahá'u'lláh. (GPB 187).}

{ABBD: A Hand of the Cause and an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh, Abu'l-Hasan became a Bábí shortly after the Martyrdom of the Báb. When Bahá'u'lláh declared His mission, Abu'l-Hasan accepted immediately and travelled throughout Írán teaching other Bábís of the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. Eventually he became the assistant of Hájí Sháh-Muhammad Manshádí, Amínu'l-Bayán, who was Trustee of the Huqúq'u'lláh. Abu'l-Hasan earned his living by trading and by writing letters for those were unable to write, while at the same time he collected the Huqúq'u'lláh and any letters the believers wanted sent to Bahá'u'lláh and distributed Tablets revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. He visited 'Akká whilst Bahá'u'lláh was still a prisoner in the citadel and was the first Bahá'í from the outside world to be able to meet Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká (in the public baths). On the death of Hájí Sháh-Muhammad Manshádí in 1880, Abu'l-Hasan was appointed Trustee (Amín) of the Huqúq'u'lláh. In 1891 he was imprisoned for three years in Tihrán and Qazvín. He continued his travels during the life of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, visiting Haifa and 'Akká on several occasions. He died in 1928 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi.}

Abu'l-Hasan-i-Bazzáz, Hájí
{DBNNi: A traveller with the Báb to Hijáz.}
{ESW: A learned Bábí from Káshán who was murdered in Baghdád by the followers of Mírzá Yahyá.}

{BGMG: A believer martyred through the decrée pronounced by Mírzá Yahyá. (SW 176)}

{ROB4: One of the disciples of the Báb who had attained His presence in Káshán. He went to Baghdád, recognized the station of Bahá'u'lláh and became an ardent lover of the Blessed Beauty. He was murdered in Baghdád on the orders of Mírzá Yahyá. (p. 439)}

Abu'l-Qásim-i-Khurásání, Mírzá
{ROB4: The caretaker of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh and the gardens. (p. 30n)}
Abú-Nasr, Abú-Nasr Farabi, Al-Fárábí
{ESW: Persian philosopher and writer who lived about the 4th Century, A.H.}

{BGMG: Browne, E. G. calls [him] the "greatest philosopher of Islám before Avicenna." died A.D. 950. Nicholson adds, "He devoted himself to the study of Aristotle, whom Moslems agree with Dante in regarding as 'il maestro di color che sanno' [the master of those who know]."}

Abú-Tálib, Mullá
{ABBD: A master mason who came to the Holy Land from Baku, Ádhirbáyján before the passing of Bahá'u'lláh. He had original responsibility, under the supervision of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, for the construction of the Shrine of the Báb, and two doors of the Shrine are named for his two sons, 'Ali-Ashraf and Áqá Bálá. Abú-Tálib originally bought the area of the Ashraf Garden and gave the property to his son 'Ali-Ashraf who later donated it to the Faith.}

Abú-Tálib, Siyyid
{DBNNi: The kad-khudá of a district in Nayríz and one of the companions of Vahíd.}
Abú-Turáb-i-Qazvíní, Shaykh
{DBNNi: A native of Ishtihárd, one of the disciples of Siyyid Kázim.}

{ROB1: One of the leading disciples of Siyyid Kázim; he died as a Bábí in the prison of Tihrán. (p. 332n)}

Abváb-i-Arbá'ih, 'Bábs', 'Gates'
{BGMG: The Four Gates. Successive emissaries, for 69 years after the "disappearance," i.e. death, of the 12th Imám in 260 A.H., between the "Hidden Imám" and the people.}

{ABBD: The Twelfth Imám, who was named Muhammad, disappeared in the ninth century AD. He is believed to have gone into concealment but to have continued to communicate with his followers through intermediaries called 'bábs' (gates). Neither the Twelfth Imám nor the last báb named a successor, and the tradition arose that at the time appointed by God, the Twelfth Imám would appear once again, sent by God to guide mankind. He is also called the Mihdí (The Guided One), Hujjat (the Proof), Baqíyyatu'lláh (the Remnant of God) and the Qá'im.}

see also Ghaybat-i-Kubrá, Ghaybat-i-Sughrá, Husayn-Ibn-i-Rúh Naw-Bakhtí, Abu'l-Hasan-'Alí

{ESW: A powerful Arabian tribe, destroyed, like Thamúd, for its idolatry}

{BGMG: Tribe living in Arabia immediately after Noah, and which built large edifices and pillars in "al-Ahqáf" (The Sand Dunes). They grew haughty because of their prosperity and were destroyed for rejecting their Prophet, Húd.}

{ABBD: Traditionally, a fourth generation descendant of Noah, whose people "inhabited a large tract of country in Southern Arabia...His people, who are said to be of a tall race, were idolators and aggressive people...God chose Húd to be a Prophet to the people of 'Ad." The majority of the people of 'Ad rejected the teachings of Húd and they were destroyed by a calamity.}

See also Sálih

{ROB2: According to Bahá'í belief the Biblical story of Adam is allegorical and He was the first Manifestation of God in recorded history. (p. 352n)}

{BGMG: Manifestation of God who inaugurated a 6,000 year cycle ending with the Dispensation of the Báb. "The Faith of Bahá'u'lláh should indeed be regarded, if we wish to be faithful to the tremendous implications of its message, as the culmination of a cycle, the final stage in a series of successive, of preliminary and Progressive Revelations. These, beginning with Adam and ending with the Báb, have paved the way and anticipated with an ever-increasing emphasis the advent of that Day of Days in which He Who is the Promise of All Ages should be made manifest." (Shoghi Effendi, WOB 103). The Guardian further writes of "the rise of the Orb of Bahá'u'lláh's most sublime Revelation marking the consummation of the six thousand year cycle ushered in by Adam, glorified by all past Prophets and sealed with the blood of the Author of the Bábí Dispensation." (BN, insert dated Oct. 8, 1952). Adam in Persian means man. The Qur'án uses the same phrase for the creation of Adam as for that of Jesus Christ; cf. 15:29, 66:12, etc.: "breathed of My spirit into him."}

{ABBD: The first Manifestation of God to appear on earth in recorded religious history. His Dispensation began the Adamic Cycle. Adam is also considered to be a collective term for the whole of mankind, as in Genesis 5:1–2: "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." 'Abdu'l-Bahá has explained that the Biblical story of Adam and Eve is symbolic: "Therefore this story of Adam and Eve who ate from the tree, and their expulsion from Paradise, must be thought of simply as a symbol. It contains divine mysteries and universal meanings, and it is capable of marvellous explanations...We will explain one of them, and we will say: Adam signifies the spirit of Adam, and Eve his soul. For in some passages in the Holy Books where women are mentioned, they represent the soul of man. The tree of good and evil signifies the human world...The meaning of the serpent is attachment to the human world. This attachment of the spirit to the human world led the soul and spirit of Adam from the world of freedom to the world of bondage, and caused him to turn from the Kingdom of Unity to the human world. When the soul and spirit of Adam entered the human world, he came out from the paradise of freedom and fell into the world of bondage. From the height of purity and absolute goodness, he entered into the world of good and evil...This is one of the meanings of the Biblical story of Adam."}

{DBNN: Muslim call to prayer.}

{ABBD:(Arabic) Announcement. The Muslim call to prayer, made by the muezzin from the minaret of the mosque before each of the five times of obligatory prayer.}

Ádhirbáyján, Ádharbáyján
{ABBD: Mountainous province in the northwest of Írán where the Báb was imprisoned. The provincial capital is Tabríz.}

See also Máh-Kú, Chihríq

{CLUG: Adjure comes, by way of Anglo-French, from the Latin verb adjurare, which means ''to affirm with an oath'' or ''to swear.'' The root of adjurare is jurare, which means ''to swear''; that word is also the source of jury (''a body of persons sworn to give a verdict on some matter submitted to them'') and juror (''a member of a jury''). In English, ''to adjure'' can mean to command someone as if under oath or the penalty of a curse, but the word is more commonly used in the sense of ''to urge or advise earnestly,'' and is synonymous with the somewhat more familiar verbs entreat, importune, and implore.}

Administration, Administrative
{ABBD: Colloquial term used by Bahá'ís to refer to the whole Administrative Order of the Bahá'í Faith. Also often used to refer only to the elected part of this structure.}
Administrative Order, Bahá'í
{ABBD: The structure of Bahá'í institutions, conceived by Bahá'u'lláh, formally established by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will and Testament, and expanded during the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi. Its 'twin pillars' are the Universal House of Justice and the Guardianship. The Bahá'í Administrative Order includes the Local and National Spiritual Assemblies (in future to be called Houses of Justice) and the Universal House of Justice, the Guardianship and the institution of the Hands of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi described the Bahá'í Administrative Order 'not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order destined to embrace in the fullness of time the whole of mankind', and as 'the sole framework' of the future Bahá'í Commonwealth. Combining the best features of various secular forms of government without their drawbacks, the Bahá'í Administrative Order is unique in religious history in its structure and origin. Its establishment by the Founder Himself, and the clear provisions set down for its continuation into the future, safeguard it against division and the formation of sects. Bahá'í Administration, Shoghi Effendi has emphasized, is 'an instrument and not a substitute for the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh,...a channel through which His promised blessings may flow' and which 'should guard against such rigidity as would clog and fetter the liberating forces released by His Revelation.'}

See also World Order of Bahá'u'lláh

Administrative Rights, Voting Rights
{ABBD: The rights belonging to all members enrolled in the Bahá'í community. These include the right to vote in Bahá'í elections, which is, at present, limited to members aged twenty-one and older, as well as other rights including attendance at the Nineteen Day Feast, serving on Bahá'í Administrative bodies, the right to a Bahá'í marriage ceremony and to contribute to the Bahá'í Fund. When a believer persistently and flagrantly breaks Bahá'í law, the National Spiritual Assembly may, after repeated warnings, remove some or all of these administrative rights. Rights may be restored when the person shows repentance and corrects his behaviour.}
Adrianople, Edirne, Ard-i-Sirr (Land of Mystery)
{ABBD: A city in European Turkey to which Bahá'u'lláh was exiled from Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1863 and where He lived for five years. While in Adrianople He proclaimed His message to the kings and rulers of the earth, and it was there He suffered the rebellion of Mírzá Yahyá. Among the many Tablets Bahá'u'lláh revealed in Adrianople are the Súriy-i-Mulúk, the Lawh-i-Sultán, the Súriy-i-Ghusn, both the Arabic and the Persian Tablet of Ahmad and the prayers for Fasting. Of the Revelations He received in Adrianople Bahá'u'lláh has written: 'In those days the equivalent of all that hath been sent down aforetime unto the Prophets hath been revealed.'}

see also Remote Prison

Advent of Divine Justice, The
{ABBD: A volume by Shoghi Effendi written as a letter to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada in 1938. In it, against the background of the events preceding World War II, he calls upon the Bahá'ís of North America to arise to establish the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. He describes the opportunities and responsibilities facing the Bahá'ís of North America, their mission and the tasks they are to carry out, and outlines as standards the "essential spiritual requirements" for success: a high sense of moral rectitude, absolute chastity and freedom from racial prejudice, which he terms "the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Bahá'í community at the present stage of its evolution". He calls upon the American Bahá'ís to arise to pioneer and to attain the goals of the Seven Year Plan (1937–44), cites passages from Bahá'u'lláh about the tests ahead of the community and outlines the future role of the American nation in helping to bring about universal peace.}
{BGMG: Village near Tihrán, site of Bahá'u'lláh's summer residence.}
Afnán, Twigs
{GL: Lit. 'twigs'. Denotes relatives of the Báb.}

{ROB1: 'Twigs', a designation used by Bahá'u'lláh to indicate the Báb's kinsmen, who are the descendants of the three maternal uncles of the Báb [Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Muhammad, Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Ali, Hájí Mírzá Hasan-'Alí], and of the two brothers of His wife. (p. 134n)}

{ROB2: Descendants of the maternal uncles of the Báb and those of the two brothers and the sister of the wife of the Báb are known as the Afnán. (p. 383n)}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Twigs (of the Sacred Lote-Tree). The descendants of the two brothers of the Báb's wife and of the Báb's maternal uncles (Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Muhammad, Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Ali).}

see also Aghsán, Varaqih, Sadratu'l-Muntahá, Genealogy of the Báb

Ages of the Bahá'í Era
{ABBD: Broad divisions of the Bahá'í Era corresponding to stages in the development and growth of the Bahá'í Faith. The first century of the Bahá'í Era (1844–1944) may be said to comprise the Heroic, Primitive or Apostolic Age (1-77 BE/AD 1844–1921), which began with the Declaration of the Báb and included three Epochs comprising the Bábí Dispensation and the ministries of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá; the Formative, Transitional or Iron Age (77 BE/AD 1921–), which began with the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and includes the time in which we live now; and the Golden Age, which shall see the achievement of world civilization and the Most Great Peace, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.}

see also Epoch

Aghsán, Branches
{BGMG: Branch. Son or descendant of Bahá'u'lláh. (SW 94; GPB 239).}

{ABBD: (Arabic) (plural of 'ghusn') Branches (of the Sacred Lote-Tree). The family of Bahá'u'lláh, specifically His sons and His descendants. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was designated the 'Most Great Branch' (Ghusn-i-A'zam), preceding Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí, 'the Greater Branch' (Ghusn-i-Akbar).}

see also Afnán, Varaqih, Sadratu'l-Muntahá

Ahmad Big Tawfíq
{ABBD: The 'sagacious and humane governor' in 'Akká who, in response to a request for permission to render Bahá'u'lláh some service, restored the aqueduct into 'Akká which for some thirty years had been allowed to fall into disuse.}

See also Big

Ahmad, Mírzá, Mullá 'Abdu'l-Karím of Qazvín, Mullá 'Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní
{ESW: A devoted follower of the Báb and of Bahá'u'lláh and amanuensis of the Báb, who before His death sent through him His gifts and effects to Bahá'u'lláh.}
Ahmad, Tablet of
{ABBD: Bahá'u'lláh revealed two Tablets known by this name. The most well-known is the Arabic Tablet of Ahmad, which was revealed around 1865 for a Faithful believer from Yazd. A simple, pure and truthful man, Ahmad travelled throughout Persia telling the Bábís about the coming of Bahá'u'lláh. He would carry with him the original Tablet in Bahá'u'lláh's handwriting and in old age he "spent most of his time reading the Holy Writings, especially his own Tablet which he chanted very often." The Tablet of Ahmad is often read in times of trouble. In it, Bahá'u'lláh promises that "Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet with Absolute Sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his difficulties and remove his afflictions." A second, more lengthy, Tablet of Ahmad was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Persian for Hájí Mírzá Ahmad of Káshán "in order to guide him to the path of faith and belief". However, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad was unfaithful to Bahá'u'lláh, who eventually expelled him from His presence. Almost two-thirds of this Tablet have been translated into English by Shoghi Effendi and appear in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh.}
Ahmad-i-Ahsá'í, Shaykh, Shaykh-i-Ahsá'í, Shaykh Ahmad
{ESW: Precursor of the Báb}

{KI: The first of the two forerunners of the Báb, born A.D. 1753, founder of the Shaykhí School and author of 96 books. Died 1831}

{ROB1: Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsá'í was the founder of the Shaykhí school of Islám. He was followed by Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashtí. Both taught their followers that the coming of the Promised One of Islám was at hand and prepared them for His advent. Most of the early Bábís were from the Shaykhí sect. (p. 169n)}

{BGMG: The first of the ''twin resplendent lights'' who heralded the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Born 1753, died near Medina at the age of 81. (GPB 92; DB 42)}

{ABBD: Founder of the Shaykhí School, whose doctrines prepared the way for the Báb. Shaykh Ahmad was born in 1743 in Ahsá in Arabia. He was a respected interpreter of Islamic doctrine in the Shí'ih holy cities of Najaf and Karbilá, where he was named a mujtahid. Shaykh Ahmad attracted many disciples, although his teachings differed from accepted Shí'ah beliefs. He taught that such concepts as Resurrection, Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven, and the signs expected with the coming of the Qá'im, should be interpreted metaphorically and spiritually, rather than literally as physical events. Shaykh Ahmad was certain that the time of the coming of the long awaited Qá'im was near. Shaykh Ahmad travelled to Persia, where in Yazd Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí became his disciple and designated successor. On a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in 1828, Shaykh Ahmad died at the age of eighty one and was buried near the tomb of Muhammad in Medina.}

Ahmad-i-Azghandí, Mírzá
{DBNNi: A learned 'ulamá of Khurásán.}
Ahmad-i-Káshání, Hájí Mírzá
{ROB2: One of the unfaithful who became a follower of Mírzá Yahyá. (p. 67n)}
{DBNN: 'Greater'}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Comparative of 'Kabír' (great), meaning 'greater', 'greatest.}

{ESW: 'The Star': A Persian reformist newspaper published in Constantinople and influenced by the Azalís}
'Akká, Acre, Achor
{DBNNi: Reference to the Most Great Prison. Turkish penal colony, now in the State of Israel.}

{ESW: The prison city to which Bahá'u'lláh was finally exiled. He arrived there August 31, 1868.}

{GL: The prison city in Palestine where Bahá'u'lláh was finally exiled. He arrived there on August 31, 1868.}

{BGMG: Prison city north of Mount Carmel, Israel; ancient Ptolemais and the "Strong City" of the Psalms. Site of the Most Great Prison where Bahá'u'lláh was incarcerated. A Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Mrs. Ella G. Cooper states: "It is recorded in the Bible: 'Achor shall be a door of hope unto them.' This Achor is the City of 'Akká. Whoever interprets this otherwise is ignorant." (Daily Lessons, by H. S. Goodall and E. G. Cooper; quoted Tablet begins on p. 92; specific reference is to Hosea 2:15; transliteration above modernized). (GPB 184-5). The St. Jean d'Acre of the Crusaders.}

{ABBD: Arabic name for the port city of Akko (known in ancient times as Accho, in the late classical period as Ptolemais, and in the crusader era as St Jean d'Acre), located on the coast of what is now Israel, near Haifa. In the nineteenth century, as a prison-city or penal colony of the Turkish Empire, it was a place so foul that it was said a bird flying over 'Akká would drop dead from the stench. In 1868 Bahá'u'lláh was banished to 'Akká, which, on His arrival, He named the Most Great Prison. For the first two years He and His family were imprisoned in the prison barracks. It was during this period that Bahá'u'lláh suffered the tragic death of his son Mírzá Mihdí, and it was here that Bahá'u'lláh revealed a number of Tablets to rulers including the Lawh-i-Ra'ís, His second Tablet to Napoleon III, and Tablets to Czar Alexander II, Queen Victoria and Pope Pius IX. In 1870 the barracks were needed for housing soldiers, and Bahá'u'lláh was allowed to live in better quarters within the city, first the Houses of Malik, Khavvám and Rábi'ih; then, the House of 'Údí Khammár and the adjacent House of 'Abbúd. In 1877 Bahá'u'lláh left 'Akká for Mazra'ih. After Bahá'u'lláh moved to Mazra'ih, 'Abdu'l-Bahá remained in 'Akká with the other members of the Holy Family. In 1896, after the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, the Holy Family moved from the House of 'Abbúd to the House of 'Abdu'lláh Páshá. The first Western pilgrims visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akká in 1898–9. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was reincarcerated in 'Akká from 1901 until His release in 1908. In 1907 He began moving the Holy Family from 'Akká to Haifa and in 1910 He Himself left 'Akká for His new home at the foot of Mount Carmel.}

{ROB2: When incarcerated in the barracks of 'Akká, one evening Bahá'u'lláh revealed a certain Tablet and referred to that evening as 'Laylatu'l-Quds' (Holy Night). But the Lawh-i-Laylatu'l-Quds revealed in Adrianople is not to be confused with that later Tablet. (p. 188n) In the Tablet of Sayyáh Bahá'u'lláh designates 'Akká as the 'vale of Nabíl' -- The numerical value of the word Nabíl is equal to that of 'Akká. (p. 213, 214 and n)}

{ROB3: For fear of being identified as followers of Bahá'u'lláh, most Bahá'ís who attempted to enter 'Akká in the early period of Bahá'u'lláh's banishment to that city adopted some form of disguise. (p. 56n)}

{ROB4: Bahá'u'lláh did not live at Bahjí all the time. He used to go and stay in 'Akká sometimes. (p. 9n)}

'Alí Khán-i-Máh-Kú'í, 'Alí-Khán-i-Máh-i-Kú'í
{DBNNi: Warden of the Castle of Máh-Kú.}
'Alí Mardán Khán, Fort of
{BGMG: Storm-center at Zanján.}

'Alí Páshá, Muhammad Amin
{ABBD: (1815–71) Grand Vizier of Turkey who helped bring about Bahá'u'lláh's banishment from Baghdád to Constantinople (Istanbul) and thence to Adrianople (Edirne) and eventually to 'Akká. Bahá'u'lláh addressed the Súriy-i-Ra'ís and Lawh-i-Ra'ís to 'Alí Páshá, rebuking him for his cruelty.}
'Ali, Hájí Mírzá Siyyid, Khál-i-A'zam (The Greatest Uncle, the Most Great Uncle), Afnán-i-Kabír
{ABBD: The maternal uncle of the Báb who brought up the Báb after His father died. Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Ali was a leading merchant of Shíráz and the first, after the Letters of the Living, to embrace the Bábí Faith in that city. He devoted the rest of his life to serving his nephew. After visiting the Báb in Chihríq, he went to Tihrán where he was arrested in 1850. With great eloquence he refused to recant his faith, was beheaded, and became known as one of the Seven Martyrs of Tihrán.}

see also Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Muhammad

'Alí-Akbar, Mírzá
{ESW: A cousin (paternal) of the Báb and intimate friend of Dayyán. Murdered by the followers of Mírzá Yahyá.}
'Alí-Akbar-i-Banná, Ustád
{ROB3: Ustád 'Alí-Akbar was an outstanding follower of Bahá'u'lláh who was martyred in Yazd in 1903. He lived for some years in 'Ishqábád and rendered notable services to the Faith. His memoirs deal mainly with the history of the Cause and the believers in 'Ishqábád. The Tablet of Tajallíyát was revealed in his honour. (p. 120n)}

see also Banná

'Ali-Akbar-i-Sháhmírzádí, Hájí Mullá; Hájí Ákhúnd
{ROB3: One of the four Hands of the Cause whom Bahá'u'lláh appointed a few years before the end of His life. (p. 200n)}

{ABBD: Hand of the Cause born in Sháhmírzád in about 1842, the son of a Mullá. He attended religious colleges in Mashhad and in about 1861 he encountered the Bábís and became a Bábí. When news of his conversion spread, the religious students rose against him and forced him to leave town. He eventually settled in Tihrán where he became so well known as a Bahá'í that whenever there was an outburst against the Bahá'ís he would wrap himself in his 'abá and wait for the guards to come and arrest him. He died in Tihrán on 4 March 1910.}

Alif. Lám. Mím. (A.L.M.)
{KI: These and other disconnected letters appear at the head of twenty-nine Súrihs of the Qur'án.}

{BGMG: Cf. Qur'an 2:1. Many Surihs of the Qur'an are prefaced by disconnected letters. Cf. Kitáb-i-Íqán 202: "In the disconnected letters of the Qur'án the mysteries of the divine Essence are enshrined, and within their shells the pearls of His Unity are treasured."}

'Alí-Ján, Mullá
{ESW: A believer of Mázindarán; martyred in Tihrán. (God Passes By, p. 201)}
Ali-Kuli Khán, Mírzá
{ROB3: He rendered notable services to the Faith in the early days of its establishment in the West; among his services were many works of translation.(p. 105n)}

{ROB4: A well-known Persian Bahá'í who served the Cause for many years in the United States; noted for his erudition and translations of the Bahá'í Writings into English. (p. 261n)}

see also Marzieh Gail

{ABBD: (Arabic) One who possesses knowledge ('ilm); a learned scholar.}

see also 'Ulamá

'Alíy-i-Baraqání, Mullá
{KI: Uncle of Táhirih, one of the most learned and famous members of the Shaykhí community. Being converted to the Bábí Faith, he became in Tihrán one of its most earnest and able expositors.}
'Alíy-i-Bastámí, Mullá
{KI: One of the Letters of the Living. Sent on a special mission by the Báb from Shíráz in 1844, he became the first to suffer and to lay down his life in the path of this new Faith}

{BGMG: Man of learning who recognized the Báb. The first to suffer for His sake. (GPB 10)}

{ABBD: Letter of the Living who was directed by the Báb to go to 'Iráq to teach among the Shaykhís. His presentation of a copy of the Báb's Qayyúmu'l-Asmá' to one of the leading exponents of Shí'ih Islám, Shaykh Muhammad Hasan-i-Najafí, led to a violent debate and eventually to his arrest and transfer to prison in Baghdád. A court of inquiry was held in January 1846 where the Sunnís argued for the death penalty on grounds of heresy while the Shí'ihs argued for banishment or imprisonment. He was eventually transferred to Istanbul where he was apparently sentenced to labour in the docks. He died in prison near the end of 1846, thus making him the first Bábí martyr.}

'Alíy-i-Mírí, Shaykh
{BGMG: Mufti of 'Akká and Bahá'í convert.}

'Alíy-i-Mudhahhib, Mullá
{DBNNi: One of the attendants who bore Vahíd to his martyrdom.}
{ROB4: A faithful disciple of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. (p. 101n)}

{BGMG: A disciple of the Báb (DB 432).}

'Alíy-i-Sayyáh, Hájí Muhammad-
{ROB4: A two-faced political figure whom Bahá'u'lláh has stigmatized as Jáhil (the Ignorant One). (p. 101)}
'Alíy-i-Zunúzí, Siyyid
{DBNNi: A notable of Tabríz, Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Zunúzí's stepfather.}
{BGMG: Islámic sect, found principally in Western Persia and also known as Nisárá and Ahlu'l-Haqq, which teaches that 'Alí is an avatar. (Gobineau, Trois Ans en Asie, 338).}

{BGMG: God. The most prevalent explanation of this word, given in such works as the Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, is that the pre-Islámic Arabs worshipped as head of their pantheon a god called Alláh, meaning the iláh, or the god. Muhammad taught: "There is no iláh save the iláh," "Lá iláhá illa'lláh," Allah being thus a combination of the particle "the" (al) and iláh.}

{ABBD: (Arabic) God. Originally the name by which Muhammad designated the one God.}

'Alláh-u-Abhá, 'Alláh'u'Abhá
{BGMG: God is All-Glorious. The Greatest Name, adopted during the period of Bahá'u'lláh's exile in Adrianople as a greeting among Bahá'ís. (GPB 176). Another form of the Greatest Name--not used as a greeting but an invocation--is Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá, O Thou the Glory of Glories!}

{ABBD: (Arabic) God is Most Glorious, God is All-Glorious. A form of the Greatest Name, used as a greeting among Bahá'ís. It replaced 'Alláh-u-Akbar' (God is Most Great), the greeting of Islám, during the years Bahá'u'lláh lived in Adrianople, although the Báb had approved both of these greetings as well as 'Alláh-u-Ajmal (God is Most Beauteous). Shoghi Effendi directed that 'Alláh-u-Abhá' should not be said at the end of prayers and advised not to use it indiscriminately in public in the West lest it give the impression of the Faith being a strange Oriental sect.}

'Alláh-u-Akbar, 'Alláh'u'-Akbar
{ROB1: Literally, 'God is the Greatest'. With these words the followers of the Báb greeted each other. (p. 220n)}

{ABBD: (Arabic) God is Most Great. Islámic invocation.}

'Alláh-Yár, Hájí
{DBNNi: Who with Sulaymán Khán transfers the Báb's remains to Tihrán}
{BGMG: Light cloud, term symbolizing the First Invisible Substance.}

{KI: Expelled in early times from Babylonia, they spread through Arabia to Palestine and Syria and as far as Egypt, to which they gave several of its Pharaohs.}
{ABBD: Secretary; one who writes from dictation or copies manuscripts. In Bahá'í history it refers to the person who wrote down the words of Revelation as they were spoken by Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb. Siyyid Husayn-i-Yazdí was the Báb's amanuensis. Mírzá Áqá Ján was for many years the amanuensis of Bahá'u'lláh.}

{CLUG: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another, and also refers to a person who signs a document on behalf of another under the latter's authority. The term is often used interchangeably with secretary or scribe.}

Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum
{ABBD: Born Mary Sutherland Maxwell, to May Bolles Maxwell and Sutherland Maxwell. In 1937 she became the wife of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. Their marriage 'cemented' the "union of East and West proclaimed by [the] Bahá'í Faith". Appointed by the Guardian as liaison between the International Bahá'í Council and the Guardian, she was named a Hand of the Cause of God in 1952. She served as the Guardian's secretary during his lifetime. Since his death, she has written his biography, The Priceless Pearl (1969) and has undertaken extensive journeys, giving public lectures and visiting villagers and tribal peoples in many parts of the world. She resides in the House of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa and is a member of the International Teaching Centre.}

{CLUG: Rúhíyyih Khánum passed away on January 19, 2000, at the age of 89 in Haifa, Israel. She was buried at the Bahá'í World Centre.}

{DBNN: 'Lord', 'prince', 'commander', 'governor'}

{ABBD: (Arabic, Persian) Prince, governor, commander, lord.}

{BGMG: The Cause of God; also the Command of God.}

{BGMG: Persian town near Caspian, where Bahá'u'lláh was bastinadoed in the presence of the assembled 'ulamás (Nov-Dec. 1848), when He had attempted to join the besieged at Tabarsí. (DB 372).}

Anas, Son of Malik
{BGMG: One of the most prolific traditionists, from the age of ten a servant of Muhammad.}

{CLUG: In Christianity, an anchorite or anchoret (female: anchoress) is someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society to be able to lead an intensely Prayer-orientated, ascetic life. Anchorites are frequently considered to be a type of hermit, but unlike hermits, they were required to take a vow of stability of place, opting for permanent enclosure in cells often attached to churches.}
Ancient of Days
{GL: A title of God, peculiar in the Bible to the Book of Daniel.}
{ROB4: A devoted follower of Bahá'u'lláh, a gifted poet and a Bahá'í teacher of wide repute. (p. 83n)}
{SFWAB: "The Tree of Life, of which mention is made in the Bible, is Bahá'u'lláh..." (p. 57)}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Tree of Life. In the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh it is associated with the Covenant in such passages as: "The Lord, the All-Glorified, hath, beneath the shade of the Tree of Anísá (Tree of Life), made a new Covenant and established a great Testament...".}

{ROB1: Bahá'u'lláh. (p. 81)}

{GL: High Priest of the Jews and father-in-law to Caiaphas (John :18.V.13.)}
{BGMG: "Helpers." Title of those Medinites who rallied around Muhammad after His flight from Mecca to Medina; often coupled with al-Muhájirún, the emigrants, title of those Muslims who migrated from Mecca to Medina.}

Antichrist of the Bábí Dispensation, see Hájí Mírzá Áqásí
Antichrist of the Bahá'í Dispensation see Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahání

Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh
{ABBD: Nineteen outstanding early Bahá'ís designated by Shoghi Effendi as Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh.}

{CLUG: To belong or be connected as a rightful part or attribute.}
{DBNN: 'Master'. Title given by Bahá'u'lláh to 'Abdu'l-Bahá}

{ABBD: (Turkish, Persian) Sir, though generally used to mean 'master'. Áqá was the title given specifically to 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Bahá'u'lláh, in which context it is rendered into English as 'the Master'. In modern usage, when affixed to a surname it means 'Mister'.}

see also Sarkár-Aqá

Áqá Ján, Kaj Kuláh (Skew-cap)
{ROB2: A retired artillery officer in the Turkish army. This man, who created many troubles for Bahá'u'lláh and His companions both in Adrianople and 'Akká, was a native of Salmás in Ádhirbáyján. (p. 326)}
Áqá Ján Khán-i-Khamsih
{DBNNi: Known also by the name of Khamsih and Násirí, colonel of the body guard, executioner of the Báb.}

see also Martyrdom of the Báb

Áqá Ján, Mírzá, Khádimu'lláh
{ABBD: The amanuensis of Bahá'u'lláh. As a youth of sixteen he met Bahá'u'lláh in Karbilá and there became the first to whom Bahá'u'lláh gave a glimpse of His station, years before His public Declaration. For forty years Mírzá Áqá Ján served Bahá'u'lláh as amanuensis and personal attendant, and was given the title Khádim'u'lláh (Servant of God). Bahá'u'lláh often addressed him as 'Abd-i-Hádir (Servant in Attendance). But after the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, Mírzá Áqá Ján broke the Covenant and turned against 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He died in 1901.}

{ROB3: Some Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh are composed in such a way that a part of the Tablet is in the words of His amanuensis, but in fact was dictated by Bahá'u'lláh to appear as if composed by the amanuensis. Every word of the Tablet therefore is from Bahá'u'lláh Himself. (p. 45n) It must be noted that although Mírzá Áqá Ján was Bahá'u'lláh's amanuensis, there were also others who were engaged in this task from time to time. (p. 205n) Mírzá Áqá Ján acted as [Bahá'u'lláh's] servant. Bahá'u'lláh usually called him 'Abd-i-Hádir (Servant in Waiting). (p. 304n) [Mírzá Áqá Ján] was in Bahá'u'lláh's service most of the time, but at the end he became a Covenant-breaker and destroyed a forty-year life of service to Bahá'u'lláh. (p. 404n)}

Áqá Khán-i-Núrí, Mírzá
{DBNNi: The I'timádu'd-Dawlih who succeeded Mírzá Taqí Khán.}

{BGMG: Chief minister of state at time of attempt on Sháh's life by a crazed Bábí (Sádiq-i-Tabrízí), August 1852.}

Áqá Mírzá Áqá, Áqá Mírzá Áqáy-i-Afnán, Jináb-i-Afnán, Núru'd-Din, Núr'u'd-Dín (Light of Faith)
{ROB2: Áqá Mírzá Áqá was one of the outstanding members of the Afnán family. He was instrumental in encouraging Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Muhammad, the uncle of the Báb, to proceed to Baghdád and attain the presence of Bahá'u'lláh. He rendered distinguished services to the Faith. Bahá'u'lláh has granted him and his descendants the custodianship of the House of the Báb in Shíráz. (p. 383n)}

{ROB3: He was one of the distinguished members of the family of the Báb. He was the only son of the sister of the wife of the Báb, a devoted follower of Bahá'u'lláh and one whose services to the Cause were valued by Him. (p. 202n)}

Áqásí, Hájí Mírzá, Antichrist of the Bábí Dispensation
{BGMG: Prime Minister of Persia; the Antichrist of the Bábí Revelation. (GPB 164)}

{ABBD: Grand Vizier of Persia under Muhammad Sháh and called by Shoghi Effendi the 'Antichrist of the Bábí Dispensation'. Described as cruel and treacherous, affecting religious piety although intolerant and bigoted, his misrule of Persia brought the country to the edge of ruin. Jealous fear for his own power and position led him to prevent the meeting of Muhammad Sháh and the Báb. He ordered the Báb imprisoned in Máh-Kú and later in Chihríq. Hájí Mírzá Áqásí was also a bitter enemy of Mírzá Buzurg, the father of Bahá'u'lláh, although for a time he admired Bahá'u'lláh. However, his mind became poisoned against Him and he obtained an order from Muhammad Sháh for Bahá'u'lláh's arrest, intending to kill Him. His plan was frustrated by the death of the Sháh and Hájí Mírzá Áqásí fell from power soon afterwards. He died poor and abandoned in Karbilá in 1849.}

Áqáy-i-Rikáb-Sáz, Mírzá
{DBNNi: One of those present in the Masjid-i-Vakíl and heard the Báb, he afterwards suffered martyrdom.}
{ABBD: (Arabic) Comparative of 'quddús' (very holy), meaning 'most holy'.}

see also Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Quddús

Aqsá, Mosque of, Masjidu'l-Aqsá, Al-Aqsa, Temple Mount
{ESW: Literally, the 'Most Distant' Mosque. The name by which the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem is referred to in the Qur'án.}

{BGMG: ''The Most Remote'' Mosque, at Jerusalem; built on Temple area, and save Mecca alone, the most sacred spot in Islám. Also called as-Sakhrah, ''The Rock,'' also ''The Holy House''. (GPB xiii)}

Aqueduct of Sulaymán
{ABBD: An aqueduct carrying water to 'Akká built by Sulaymán Páshá in about 1815 to replace an earlier one destroyed by Napoleon. By the time of the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká in 1868 this aqueduct had fallen into disrepair. When Ahmad Big Tawfíq became Pasha of the city he became attracted to the Faith through his association with 'Abdu'l-Bahá and his perusal of Bahá'í literature. He asked whether there was anything he could do for Bahá'u'lláh and the suggestion was made to him that he repair the aqueduct--this he immediately arose to do. One portion of the aqueduct bisects the Bahá'í property at Mazra'ih and a second segment runs through Bahjí. Both sections are preserved as historic mementoes of settings recalling Bahá'u'lláh's life.}

{BGMG: Vigil of the Feast of Sacrifice, when the Mecca pilgrims proceed to Mt. 'Arafát. The 9th day of the month of Dhi'l-Hijjih. (DB 32)}

{ABBD: An arc cut into Mount Carmel along which the international Administrative buildings of the Bahá'í Faith are being built. In the Tablet of Carmel, Bahá'u'lláh, addressing Carmel, proclaimed, 'Ere long will God sail His Ark upon Thee, and will manifest the People of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.' Shoghi Effendi interpreted this not only symbolically but literally to mean that the various institutions associated with the development of the Faith would actually have a physical presence on Mount Carmel. Shoghi Effendi 'began the construction of the Administrative Centre of the Faith, to comprise five buildings in a harmonious style of architecture, standing on a far-flung Arc centering on the Monuments of the Greatest Holy Leaf, her Mother and Brother. The first of these five buildings, the International Archives, was completed in the beloved Guardian's lifetime. The second, the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, now stands at the apex of the Arc. ' In 1987 the Universal House of Justice called for the erection of the remaining three buildings: the Seat of the International Teaching Centre, the Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts; and the International Bahá'í Library, along with an extension to the International Archives Building and the creation of nineteen monumental terraces surrounding the nearby Shrine of the Báb. The completion of the buildings on the Arc is linked to the beginning of the Lesser Peace.}

Archives, Bahá'í International
{ABBD: The collection of personal relics of Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the portraits of both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh, original manuscripts and Tablets in the handwriting of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, and other items associated with the Faith which are housed in the first building to be completed on the Arc of Mount Carmel. Before the completion of the International Archives building in 1957 these mementoes were housed in three rooms adjoining the Shrine of the Báb (the 'Major' Archives) and, later, also in a small house in the gardens near the monument to the Greatest Holy Leaf (the 'Minor' Archives). Shoghi Effendi announced his decision to build the International Archives building in 1952 and by 1954 work was under way. Shoghi Effendi himself approved the Parthenon-like design, and it was while he was staying in London to purchase furnishings for the newly-completed building that he passed away. The furnishing was completed by his widow, Rúhíyyih Khánum. An extension to the present building forms part of the plans for the development of the Arc on Mount Carmel. Bahá'í pilgrims visit the Archives building once during their pilgrimage.}
{ROB4: A town situated about 100 miles from Yazd. (p. 245n)}
Ardishír Mírzá
{BGMG: A governor of Tihrán.}

{BGMG: Mystic knower, gnostic.}

{ABBD: 'In the Bahá'í Writings the term 'Ark' is often used to signify the Cause of God, or the Covenant, and Bahá'u'lláh, the Holy Mariner. For example, the Báb in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá' has lauded the community of the Most Great Name, the Bahá'ís, as the "companions of the Crimson-Coloured Ark.' In the Tablet of Carmel Bahá'u'lláh declares, "Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the People of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names." In this context, Shoghi Effendi has said that the Ark refers to the Law of God and that the "sailing of His Ark" refers to the establishment of the Universal House of Justice.}

See also Arc, Tablet of the Holy Mariner

Asadu'lláh, Hájí
{DBNNi: A noted merchant of Qazvín, one of the first to be martyred in Qazvín.}
Asadu'lláh, Mírzá, Siyyid Asadu'lláh, Dayyán
{ESW: Asadu'lláh of Khuy, a devoted and distinguished believer, surnamed Dayyán by the Báb. Was the third to recognize Bahá'u'lláh's true station before His Declaration. Murdered in Baghdád by the followers of Mírzá Yahyá. (See The Dawn-Breakers, p. 303)}

{BGMG: Distinguished believer who, with several others, was murdered by decree of Mírzá Yahyá (GPB 124; SW 176).}

Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání, Mírzá
{ROB3: He had married the sister of Munírih Khánum. Dr. Faríd was their son whose contemptible behaviour brought much sorrow to the heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and who was eventually announced as a Covenant-breaker. Mírzá Asadu'lláh himself also defected towards the end of his life. (p. 427n)}
Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
{ABBD: Bahá'í Holy Day commemorating the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, who died in the early hours of 28 November 1921 in Haifa. His tomb is on Mount Carmel, in a vault within the Shrine of the Báb. The anniversary of His Ascension is observed at 1:00 a.m. Suspension of work is not obligatory on this Holy Day.}

see also Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
{ABBD: Bahá'í Holy Day commemorating the anniversary of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, which occurred in the early hours of the morning of 29 May 1892 at Bahjí. This solemn anniversary is observed at 3:00 a.m., often by the reading or chanting of the Tablet of Visitation. Work is suspended on this Holy Day.}

{ROB3: Bahá'ís often refer to the passing of Bahá'u'lláh as His ascension. This signifies the ascension of His Spirit to the spiritual realms of God. (p. 372n)}

See also Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Ashraf Garden
{ABBD: A large garden immediately adjacent to the Ridván and Firdaws Garden in the Holy Land. Originally the property of Mullá Abú-Tálib, the garden was given to his son 'Ali-Ashraf who later donated it to the Faith. The present custodians of all three gardens live on this property.}

Ashraf, Áqá Mírzá, Áqá Mírzá Ashraf-i-Ábádi'í
{ESW: Áqá Mírzá Ashraf of Ábádih martyred in Isfahán, October, 1888.}
Ashraf-i-Zanjání, Siyyid, Áqá Siyyid Ashraf
{ESW: martyred with 'Abá-Basír (See God Passes By, p. 199 and Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 135)}

{GL: Siyyid Ashraf, born in the Fort of Zanján during the siege}

{ABBD: A Bahá'í martyr whose steadfastness, as well as that of his mother, known as Umm-i-Ashraf, was often praised by Bahá'u'lláh. Ashraf, the son of a martyr, was born in the besieged fort of Zanján. He was arrested as a Bábí, sentenced to death and brutally beaten, yet refused to recant his faith. His mother was brought to the prison to persuade him to recant in order to save his life, but instead she told her son that she would disown him if he denied his belief. Áqá Siyyid Ashraf was martyred in 1870.}

{ROB2: The tenth of Muharram, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Imám Husayn. (p. 210n)}
{BGMG: Qur'án 66:11, the wife of Pharaoh. To Muslim one of four perfect women, the others being Sarah, the Virgin Mary, and Fátimih (See GPB 75) N.B. The reference in PUP 1, 170 and index should be corrected to read Ásíyih, not Ayesha. The commentators say that because she believed in Moses, Pharaoh set a rock on her breast, fastened her hands to four stakes and left her in the blazing sun.}

Askelon, Ashkelon
{ESW: A coast town in Southern Palestine (Judges 14, 19)}
{BGMG: Most Beauteous Names (of God); phrases occurring in Qur'án 7:179, 17:110, etc. According to a hadíth, Muhammad said, ''Verily there are 99 names of God, and whoever recites them shall enter Paradise.'' The traditions also maintain that the Almighty has a hundredth name, the ''Most Great Name'', and that whoever calls on God by this Name shall obtain all his desires. Down the ages, various mystic orders have striven to, and claimed to, possess the Greatest Name--which was not revealed until the Advent of Bahá'u'lláh. The Greatest Name is referred to as Ism-i-A'zam.}

Assembly, The
{ESW: That is, the Assembly of the representatives of the people; the Parliament.}

see also LSA

Assistants to the Auxiliary Boards
{ABBD: Members of the appointed arm of the Administrative Order who help with the work of Auxiliary Board Members. An Assistant's work may either be general, though usually more limited geographically than that of the Auxiliary Board Member he serves, or he may be assigned a particular function, such as working with youth or encouraging the education of children. Unlike other members of the appointed arm, Assistants may simultaneously serve on the elected arm as members of Local or National Spiritual Assemblies or their committees.}

{KI: Sinner.}
'Attár, Shaykh Farídu'd-Dín
{BGMG: (ca. 1150-1230 A.D.) ''the Druggist'', one who deals in attar of roses, etc. Great Persian mystic poet of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, born Níshápúr. His copious works include the Mantiqu't-Tayr in which the birds, in search of the Símurgh, pass through the seven valleys of Search, Love, Knowledge, Independence, Unification, Amazement, Destitution and Annihilation.}
'Attár of Roses, Rose Water
{ROB1: In [the time of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá] it was considered a gracious act for the host to anoint his guests with rose-water. (p. 220n)}

{ABBD: An essential oil of rose often used by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to anoint the believers. Although it has no particular Bahá'í significance, Eastern believers occasionally follow this custom.}

Attributes of God
{ABBD: Those qualities such as love, mercy, justice and trustworthiness through which man can come to know something of the nature of God. God reveals Himself through His attributes. Further, each created thing has been made the bearer of one of the signs or attributes of God, "so that the whole of creation mirrors forth the beauty of God." Human beings alone among creation have been made the bearers of all the divine attributes, and therefore may be said to be made in the 'image' of God. It is one of man's purposes in this life to acquire and refine these attributes and virtues. However, the chief locus of divine attributes in this world are the Manifestations of God who exemplify most perfectly all God's attributes. Many Bahá'í prayers end with a list of some of the attributes, or names, of God.}

Auxiliary Board
{ABBD: An institution created by Shoghi Effendi in 1954 to assist the Hands of the Cause of God. In 1968 the Auxiliary Boards were placed under the direction of the Continental Board of Counsellors, who appoint Auxiliary Board Members from among the Bahá'ís living in their geographical zone. In 1973 the Universal House of Justice allowed the Continental Board to authorize Auxiliary Board Members to appoint Assistants. Each zone has two Auxiliary Boards. The Protection Boards protect the Faith from attack by external enemies and Covenant-breakers, encourage believers to deepen their knowledge of and loyalty to the Covenant and promote unity in Bahá'í communities. The Propagation Boards promote teaching work, assist in the achievement of the goals of teaching plans and encourage contribution to the Funds. The Auxiliary Board Members and their Assistants work directly with individuals, groups and Local Spiritual Assemblies. They do not make Administrative decisions or judgements, but offer advice and counsel. Auxiliary Board Members are eligible for any elective office but if elected to a local or National Spiritual Assembly must choose between accepting the post and remaining on the Board. If elected to the Universal House of Justice, the Auxiliary Board Member ceases to be a member of the Board.}
{KI: A compilation of Shí'ih traditions.}

{BGMG: ''Worlds.'' Title of a work prophesying the opposition of the divines to the Promised One.}

{ESW: An ancient spring in 'Akká.}

{BGMG: The Spring of the Cow, in 'Akká.}

Ayyám-i-Há (Intercalary Days)
{BGMG: Days of . The Intercalary Days, so named by Bahá'u'lláh in the Book of Aqdas, where He also ordained that they should immediately precede the month of 'Alá, i.e., the month of Fasting which closes the Bahá'í year. Every 4th year the number of the Intercalary Days is raised from 4 to 5.}

{ABBD: Literally, Days of Há (i.e. the letter Há, which in the Abjad system has the numerical value of 5). The four days (five in leap year) before the last month of the Bahá'í year, 'Alá', which is the month of fasting. Bahá'u'lláh designated the Intercalary Days as Ayyám-i-Há in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and specified when they should be observed; the Báb had left this undefined. The Ayyám-i-Há are devoted to spiritual preparation for the fast, hospitality, feasting, charity and gift giving.}

see also Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

{BGMG: Days of Stress: the supreme crisis in Adrianople, engineered by the diabolical Siyyid Muhammad. (GPB 163)}

{ABBD: A follower of Mírzá Yahyá}
'Azam, A'zam
{DBNN: 'The greatest'}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Most Great (or Greatest). It is translated as 'universal' in Baytu'l-Adl-i-'Azam ('Universal House of Justice').}

{DBNNi: Mullá Shaykh 'Alí Mírzá, nephew of the Imám-Jum'ih of the Masjid-i-Vakíl.}

{ESW: A believer to whom the Báb revealed the name and the advent of Bahá'u'lláh (God Passes By p. 28)}

{ROB1: One of the disciples of the Báb, a learned divine and intimate friend of Vahíd, who had advised the latter to exercise the utmost consideration towards the Báb lest he should come to regret some act of discourtesy towards Him. (p. 327n)}

'Azím Turshízí
{BGMG: Man who publicly confessed his complicity in the attempt on the life of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh.}

'Azíz Khán-i-Sardár
{BGMG: Slayer of Táhirih.}

'Azíz Páshá
{ROB2: The Deputy Governor of Adrianople. (p. 167n)}
'Azízu'lláh, Shaykh, Paternal uncle of Bahá'u'lláh
{ROB2: Bahá'u'lláh had eight paternal uncles. Among those to whom He taught the Faith of the Báb in Núr were some uncles. Shaykh 'Azízu'lláh rejected the Cause of God and actively rose up against it. (p. 205n)}

'B' and 'E'
{BGMG: Be. Qur'án 3:42 states: ''When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, 'Be,' and it is.'' The reference in Prayers and Meditations, page 85, thus means, ''through His name creation was created.'' The Arabic is 'k' and 'n'--kun.}

{ABBD: Be. The English equivalent of the Arabic 'k' and 'n' (kun). Refers to the act of creation, from the Qur'án 3:42: "When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, 'Be', and it is."}

'B' and 'H', Bá and Há
{ROB1: The word 'Bahá' in Arabic is composed of three letters. According to 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Interpretation, B and H of the word 'Bahá', means that only two letters out of three (B, H and A) have been revealed in this Dispensation, that the full significance and potency of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh which have been symbolically contained within the three letters of His name, have not been disclosed to mankind and that only a limited measure of His light and glory has been shed upon humanity in this age. (p. 83 and n)}
Báb, The, Hájí Siyyid 'Alí Muhammad, Mírzá 'Alí-Muhammad
{DBNN: 'Gate'. Title assumed by Mírzá 'Alí-Muhammad after the Declaration of His Mission in Shíráz in May, 1844, A.D.}

{ESW: The Herald of the Faith (1819-1850)}

{GL: The Herald of the Faith (1819-1850)}

{GL: Born in Shíráz, Persia, on October 20, 1819*; the 'Point of the Bayan' and the 'Báb' and precursor of Bahá'u'lláh}

{KA: Literally the 'Gate', the title assumed by Mírzá 'Alí-Muhammad (1819-1850) after the Declaration of His Mission in Shíráz in May 1844. He was the Founder of the Bábí Faith and the Herald of Bahá'u'lláh.}

{KI: The Qá'im and Mihdí of Islám, and the Forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh. (Birth of the Báb: October 20, 1819*; His Martyrdom: July 9, 1850)}

{ROB1: Literally, 'Gate': One Who is regarded as an intermediary between the faithful and the Promised One. This is a designation well known to the followers of Shí'ah Islám. (p. 222n) The Báb was born on the first day of Muharram 1235 A.H., and Bahá'u'lláh on the second day of the same month in 1233 A.H. These dates are in accordance with the lunar calendar used in the Islámic world. There is a tradition which attributes to Imám 'Alí, the successor of Muhammad, this saying: 'I am two years younger than my Lord'. (p. 294n)}

{ROB2: Although the claim of the Báb was that he was the 'Gate' to a greater revelation than His own, nevertheless the general public recognized the title of the Báb as indicating that He was the intermediary between the Qá'im and the people. In fact, some of His followers lost their faith or were shaken when they heard His claim to be the Qá'im Himself. (p. 86n) Soon after His declaration the Báb instructed His disciples to spread the news but not to disclose His identity until a later date, when it would be announced. (p. 203n)}

{BGMG: The Gate. The Prophet-Herald of Bahá'u'lláh, ''The Manifestation of the Unity and Oneness of God and the Forerunner of the Ancient Beauty'' (BA 11); the return of the Prophet Elijah, of John the Baptist and of the Twelfth Imám (GPB 276, 58); ''My First Name,'' (GPB 57), Whom ''posterity will recognize as standing at the confluence of two Universal Prophetic Cycles, the Adamic...and the Bahá'í...'' (GPB 54). ''The independent Author of a divinely revealed Dispensation...also...the Herald of a New Era and the Inaugurator of a great universal prophetic cycle.'' (GPB 57). Born Shíráz, Oct. 20, 1819*; martyred Tabríz, July 9, 1850.}

{ABBD: Gate. The title assumed by Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad, the Forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh, and Prophet-Founder of the Bábí Faith. Born in Shíráz on 20 October 1819*, Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad was raised by His uncle Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Ali, a merchant. As a child, He showed uncommon wisdom, although He received little formal schooling. He became a merchant and earned a high reputation for fairness. In 1842 He married Khadíjih-Bagum and they had one son, Ahmad, who died in infancy. Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad declared Himself to be the Báb, or 'Gate of God', on 23 May 1844, to the Shaykhí disciple Mullá Husayn-i-Bushrú'í, the first of eighteen individuals who sought and discovered the Báb and who are known as the Letters of the Living. The Báb proclaimed Himself to be the Promised One of Islam, the Qá'im, and said that the Mission of His Dispensation was to alert the people to the imminent advent of another Prophet, 'Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest'. As the Báb gained followers, His doctrines inflamed the Shí'ih clergy, who determined to stamp out the new faith. Muhammad Sháh's Grand Vizier, Hájí Mírzá Áqásí, imprisoned the Báb in the fortress of Máh-Kú, then, when sympathy for Him spread there, moved Him to Chihríq. In 1848 the Báb was subjected to a trial before the Muslim divines of Tabríz and punishment by bastinado. While the Báb was imprisoned, a group of Bábís met at the Conference of Badasht. It was here that Táhirih boldly exemplified the break with Islám by appearing unveiled in public and that Bahá'u'lláh demonstrated His leadership. The Báb's followers were subjected to brutal persecution and massacres by the fanatical Shí'ih clergy, along with the forces of the Persian government throughout the country, notably in Mázindarán at the Fort of Shaykh Tabarsí, Zanján, Nayríz and Tihrán. In 1850 Mírzá Taqí Khán, Grand Vizier of the new Sháh, Násiri'd-Dín, ordered the Báb executed. On 9 July 1850 the Báb was brought before a firing squad in the barracks square of Tabríz, along with a young follower. When the smoke cleared, the crowd was amazed that the Báb was nowhere to be seen. He was located in the room He had occupied, finishing a conversation with His amanuensis. The commander of the Armenian regiment, Sám Khán, refused to fire a second time and another regiment had to be found. This time their bullets killed the Báb. His remains were hidden by His followers and in 1899 transferred to Palestine where in 1909 'Abdu'l-Bahá Himself interred them in the sepulchre on Mount Carmel known as the Shrine of the Báb. Among the most important of the Báb's Writings are the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá', the Persian and Arabic Bayán, Dalá'il-i-Sab'ih and the Kitáb-i-Asmá'. Bahá'ís revere the Báb as the Forerunner or Herald of Bahá'u'lláh, but also as a Manifestation of God in His own right, considering His Writings to be Holy Scripture. The beginning of the Bahá'í Era is dated from the day of His Declaration. The Declaration of the Báb, His birth and the day of His Martyrdom are observed as Bahá'í Holy Days on which work is suspended.}

* [Festivals of the Twin Birthdays] '...will now be observed on the first and the second day following the occurrence of the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz.' UHJ

see also Abváb-i-Arbá'ih

Bábí Dispensation, Bábí Revelation
{BGMG: Began May 22, 1844 A.D. at two hours and eleven minutes after sunset in Shíráz, Persia. Ended in the year 1280 A.H. (WOB 102; GPB xi).}

{ABBD: The period when the Báb's teachings prevailed, beginning on the eve of 23 May 1844 and ending at the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád at Ridván 1863.}

see also Dispensation

Bábí, The Báb's Revelation
{ESW: Followers of the Báb}

{ABBD: A follower of the Báb; of or pertaining to His Revelation. The name Bábí continued to be applied to the followers of Bahá'u'lláh for several years after His Declaration as the One whose advent had been foretold by the Báb. But during the later years of Bahá'u'lláh's residence in Adrianople His followers became known as Bahá'ís. The Bábís suffered terrible persecution at the hands of the Muslim clergy and the government of Írán, particularly after the attempt on the life of the Sháh by two Bábís in 1852. Over 20,000 Bábís died as martyrs for the Cause of the Báb.}

see also People of The Bayán

{BGMG: Site in Shíráz where the Báb's son is buried.}

{ROB2: An historic house which was once the centre of great activities for the Bábís in Mashhad. (p. 133n)}
{BGMG: The Gate of God; designation of the Báb.}
Baby naming ceremony
{ABBD: A ceremony described in a letter written by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to an individual and published in Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, but which is not obligatory. 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote: "Thou hast asked regarding the naming of children: When thou wishest to name a babe, prepare a meeting therefor; chant the verses and communes, and supplicate and implore the Threshold of Oneness and beg the attainment of guidance for the babe and wish confirmated firmness and constancy; then give the name and enjoy beverage and sweetmeat. This is spiritual baptism." Shoghi Effendi further clarified this in 1938: "Regarding your question whether there is any special ceremony which the believers should perform when they wish to 'name' a baby: the Teachings do not provide for any ceremony whatever on such occasions. We have no 'baptismal service' in the Cause...There could be no objection, however, for the friends to come together on such happy occasions, provided they do not hold an official public ceremony, and provided also they strictly avoid any uniformity and rigidity in all such practices."}
Backbiting, Gossip
{ABBD: Saying mean or spiteful things about a person behind his back. Backbiting and calumny are forbidden by Bahá'u'lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and backbiting is described by Him as "grievous error...inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul." 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote of the effects of backbiting on the Bahá'í community: "If any soul speak ill of an absent one, the only result will clearly be this: he will dampen the zeal of the friends and tend to make them indifferent. For backbiting is divisive, it is the leading cause among the friends of a disposition to withdraw." He goes on to say how backbiting can be stopped: "If any individual should speak ill of one who is absent, it is incumbent on his hearers, in a spiritual and friendly manner, to stop him, and say in effect: would this detraction serve any useful purpose?"}

Badasht, Conference of
{BGMG: Hamlet in a plain on the border of Mázindarán. Conference of, lasted twenty-two days (June-July 1848), and proclaimed the annulment of the old Order. (DB 301, n. 1)}

{ABBD: the Báb called a gathering of eighty-one of His followers in the early summer of 1848 in the hamlet of Badasht. The primary purpose of the conference was "to implement the Revelation of the Bayán by a sudden, a complete and dramatic break with the past--with its order, its ecclesiasticism, its traditions, and ceremonials." A second, subsidiary purpose was "to consider the means of emancipating the Báb from His cruel confinement in Chihríq. The first was eminently successful; the second was destined from the outset to fail." During the conference Mírzá Husayn 'Ali (later to become Bahá'u'lláh) gave each participant a new name, designating Himself as 'Bahá', entitling the last Letter of the Living 'Quddús' and giving the title 'Táhirih' to Qurratu'l-Ayn. During the twenty-two-day conference various arguments and counter-arguments were put forward and differences of view and approach arose between Táhirih and Quddús. Eventually Táhirih made a sudden and symbolic gesture which made it clear to all that a new Dispensation had begun: she appeared before the assembled Bábís unveiled, her face uncovered for all to see. This caused consternation among many of the men, some of whom fled in horror while one tried to cut his throat. H. M. Balyuzi writes of this occasion, "At Badasht the faint-hearted fell away. And when those who had remained steadfast left the hamlet it was to go out into a world, for them, greatly changed. That change was in a sense a reflection of the transformation they had experienced. They were determined to assert their freedom from the fetters of the past."}

Badí (Wonderful), Áqá Buzurg of Khurásán, Áqá Buzurg-i-Níshápúrí, Fakhru'sh-Shuhadá' (Pride of the Martyrs)
{ESW: Áqá Buzurg of Khurásán, bearer of the Tablet to the Sháh (see God Passes By p. 199)}

{ABBD: Unique, wonderful. The title given by Bahá'u'lláh to Áqá Buzurg-i-Níshápúrí, the 17-year-old youth who carried the Lawh-i-Sultán to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh. Though he had been known as a rebellious youth, Áqá Buzurg was touched when Nabíl related to him verses in which Bahá'u'lláh described His sufferings. He walked from Mosul to 'Akká to see Bahá'u'lláh, arriving in 1869. His two audiences with Bahá'u'lláh completely transformed the young man. Though many had sought the honour of carrying Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to the Sháh, Bahá'u'lláh entrusted it to Áqá Buzurg, whom Bahá'u'lláh named Badí. When Badí returned to Persia and delivered the Tablet to the Sháh, he was tortured by bastinado and branding and finally put to death. Bahá'u'lláh often extolled his heroism, stating in a Tablet that Badí's station was so high that it was beyond description and giving him the title Fakhru'sh-Shuhadá' (Pride of Martyrs). Shoghi Effendi named him an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh.}

Badí'u'lláh, Mírzá
{BGMG: Brother of Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí. He wrote and published a confession testifying to the acts of the Covenant-breakers against 'Abdu'l-Bahá.}

Badrí Jan
{ROB3: An estranged wife of Mírzá Yahyá. She had left Mírzá Yahyá in the Adrianople days and taken refuge in the house of Áqáy-i-Kalím, the faithful brother of Bahá'u'lláh. She and her brother had journeyed with the companions to 'Akká. [She] joined hands with Siyyid Muhammad and Áqá Ján in a campaign of calumnies against Bahá'u'lláh designed to discredit Him. (p. 225 and n)}
{KI: Founded by the Caliph at Mansur in A.D. 762 on the site of a Christian village on the western bank of the Tigris. It remained for 500 years the seat of the Abbasid Government.}

{BGMG: City where Bahá'u'lláh declared His Mission, to His companions, in 1863. Called by Him the City of God, and (prophetically) in the Qur'án the ''Abode of Peace.'' (10:26; 6:127). (GPB 110)}

{ABBD: The city in 'Iráq to which Bahá'u'lláh went when he was exiled from Persia in 1853 and where He lived until 1863, except for the period between 1854 and 1856 which He spent in the mountains of Sulaymáníyyih. It was just before His departure from Baghdád, during the period now celebrated as the Festival of Ridván (21 April-2 May), that Bahá'u'lláh declared Himself to be the One promised by the Báb. Among the Tablets and Books revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád are The Hidden Words, the Kitáb-i-Íqán , The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner.}

See also Ridván, Garden of, Zahru'l-Kúfih

Bagum, Bigum
{ABBD: (Turkish) The feminine form of 'Big'. A lady of rank; a title of respect, placed after a woman's name.}
Bahá, بهاء
{DBNN: 'Glory', 'splendour', 'light'. Title by which Bahá'u'lláh (Mírzá Husayn-'Alí) is designated.}

{GL: A title given to Bahá'u'lláh by the Báb}

{KA: Bahá means Glory. It is The Greatest Name of God and a title by which Bahá'u'lláh is designated. Also, the name of the first month of the Bahá'í year and of the first day of each Bahá'í month.}

{KI: Literally, 'Glory,' 'Splendor,' referring to Bahá'u'lláh (Mírzá Husayn 'Alí) who had not yet declared Himself but had been already designated by this title.}

{ROB3: The numerical value of the word 'Bahá' [بهاء] in Arabic is nine. (p. 316n)}

see also Abhá

Bahá'í Era (B.E.)
{BGMG: Began May 22, 1844, at 2 hours and 11 minutes after sunset in Shíráz, Persia. The first century of this Era comprises the ''Heroic, the Primitive, the Apostolic Age...and also the initial stages of the Formative, the Transitional, the Iron Age'' ushered in by 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament. (GPB xi-xiii). The Bahá'í Revelation is ''the consummation of all the Dispensations within the Adamic Cycle, inaugurating an era of at least a thousand year's duration, and a Cycle destined to lost no less than five thousand centuries...'' (GPB 100).}

{ABBD: The period of the Bahá'í Dispensation beginning with the Declaration of the Báb on 23 May 1844, and ending with the appearance of a new Manifestation of God at some date in the future. The Bahá'í Era is promised by Bahá'u'lláh to last no less than a thousand years. The opening of the Bahá'í Era marks the end of the Adamic Cycle and the beginning of the Era of Fulfilment or Bahá'í Cycle. Shoghi Effendi has identified three phases or 'Ages of the Bahá'í Era'.}

see also Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Bahá'í Temple Unity Board
{ABBD: A national organization created in Chicago in March 1909 at a Convention of thirty-nine delegates representing thirty-six cities called in pursuance of instructions received from 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Bahá'í Temple Unity was incorporated as a religious corporation in the state of Illinois and was invested with full authority to hold title to the property of the Temple and to provide ways and means for its construction. This national body was superseded in 1925 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada.}

See also Mashriqu'l-Adhkár

Bahá'íyyih Khánum, Bahíyyih Khánum, Varaqatu'l-'Ulyá, Varaqiy-i-'Ulyá (The Greatest Holy Leaf)
{ABBD: Daughter of Bahá'u'lláh, sister of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Designated by Shoghi Effendi as "the outstanding heroine of the Bahá'í Dispensation", she was born in 1846 in Tihrán. She accompanied Bahá'u'lláh on every stage of His exiles. When a young girl she decided to devote herself to the service of the Faith of her Father; therefore she never married. Following the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, she stood by her brother, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and assisted Him greatly at the time when the activities of the Covenant-breakers were at their height. Perhaps her greatest hour of service was after the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá when Shoghi Effendi, overwhelmed by the responsibilities thrust upon him, decided to leave the affairs of the Cause in the hands of Bahíyyih Khánum while he retired to recuperate and contemplate the tasks ahead. Of her character Shoghi Effendi has written: "A purity of life that reflected itself in even the minutest details of her daily occupations and activities; a tenderness of heart that obliterated every distinction of creed, class and colour; a resignation and serenity that evoked to the mind the calm and heroic fortitude of the Báb; a natural fondness of flowers and children that was so characteristic of Bahá'u'lláh; an unaffected simplicity of manners; an extreme sociability which made her accessible to all; a generosity, a love, at once disinterested and undiscriminating, that reflected so clearly the attributes of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's character; a sweetness of temper; a cheerfulness that no amount of sorrow could becloud; a quiet and unassuming disposition that served to enhance a thousandfold the prestige of her exalted rank; a forgiving nature that instantly disarmed the most unyielding enemy--these rank among the outstanding attributes of a saintly life which history will acknowledge as having been endowed with a celestial potency that few of the heroes of the past possessed." The Greatest Holy Leaf passed away on 15 July 1932 and is buried under a shrine in the Monument Gardens on Mount Carmel.}
Bahá'u'lláh, Mírzá Husayn-'Alí, Mírzá Husayn-'Alíy-i-Núrí
{GL: The Founder of the Bahá'í Faith (1817-1892)}

{KA: The 'Glory of God', title of Mírzá Husayn-'Alí (1817-1892), the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith.}

{KI: The Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, the title being recorded in the Persian Bayán of the Báb and meaning the Glory, the Light, and the Splendor of God. (Birth of Bahá'u'lláh: November 12, 1817*; His death: May 29, 1892)}

{BGMG: The Glory of God. '' appellation specifically recorded in the Persian Bayán, signifying at once the glory, the light and the splendor of God...'' (GPB 93–94). ''The Supreme Manifestation of God and the Dayspring of His Most Divine Essence.'' (BA 11). ''...never to be identified with that invisible Reality, the Essence of Divinity itself,'' He is ''the complete incarnation of the names and attributes of God.'' (WOB 114, 112). The Promised One of all the ages. Born Tihrán, Persia, Nov. 12, 1817*; ascended Bahjí, Palestine, now Israel, May 29, 1892.}


Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith and the Manifestation of God for this Day. He was born Mírzá Husayn-'Ali on 12 November 1817* to a noble family of Núr in Mázindarán, Írán. His mother was Khadíjih Khánum and his father Mírzá Buzurg-i-Vazír, a courtier. Bahá'u'lláh was a descendant of the last Sassanian king, Yazdigird III.

He became a follower of the Báb in 1844 at the age of twenty-seven, when the Báb sent Mullá Husayn to tell Him of the new Revelation. Although Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb never met, they corresponded. As Mírzá Husayn-'Alí, Bahá'u'lláh became known as a Bábí leader, and His leadership was especially shown at the Conference of Badasht, after which He was known by the name of Bahá. Bahá'u'lláh suffered from the persecution waged against the Bábís at the time and was made to endure imprisonment and the bastinado.

After an attempt on the Sháh's life by two misguided Bábís, in 1853 Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned for four months in an underground prison known as the Síyáh-Chál in Tihrán. It was there He first received a revelation, through a dream of a Maid of Heaven, that He was the One Promised by the Báb.

Bahá'u'lláh was released from prison but banished from Iran. He chose to go to Baghdád accompanied by some members of His family and companions. After their arrival in Baghdád the community of believers was disrupted by the actions of Mírzá Yahyá, Bahá'u'lláh's disloyal brother. Bahá'u'lláh departed for a period of solitary retreat in the mountains of Sulaymáníyyih until He was persuaded to return in March 1856.

Upon His return He became the recognized spiritual leader of the Bábís. His influence spread and the Persian government persuaded the Ottoman Sultan 'Abdu'l-'Azíz to banish Bahá'u'lláh further. On the eve of His departure from Baghdád for Constantinople, in the Garden of Ridván, in April-May 1863, Bahá'u'lláh declared to His followers that He was the Promised One foretold by the Báb. The Ridván Festival is celebrated as the holiest and most significant of Bahá'í Holy Days.

Bahá'u'lláh departed for Constantinople and soon afterwards was banished to Adrianople where He publicly proclaimed His Mission, addressing His proclamation to the kings and rulers of the earth and calling on them to establish world peace, justice and unity.

Because of the disloyal Mírzá Yahyá's plotting against Bahá'u'lláh, the Turkish authorities condemned Bahá'u'lláh to perpetual imprisonment in the prison-city of 'Akká.

There He was at first subjected to strict confinement for two years in the barracks, during which time He suffered the death of His son Mírzá Mihdí. In spite of the hardship and isolation, from 'Akká He continued His proclamation to the rulers of the earth and the revelation of the foundation-principles which would bring about a New World Order of society founded on the unity of mankind, equality and justice.

Bahá'u'lláh and His family, including His Son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, were moved to a succession of houses in the city, notably the House of 'Údí Khammár, and the House of 'Abbúd. In 1877 Bahá'u'lláh took up residence in the Mansion of Mazra'ih for two years, and then moved to the Mansion of Bahjí where He ascended at the age of seventy-four on 29 May 1892. In His Will, the 'Book of My Covenant', Bahá'u'lláh named His eldest son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, as His successor and authorized Interpreter of His Teachings.

Bahá'u'lláh's Writings are considered by Bahá'ís to be revelation from God and some 15,000 of His Tablets have so far been collected.}

{ROB3: Bahá'u'lláh received the modest education customary for the people of His class. He did not attend the schools of higher learning which were set aside for theologians and divines. (p. 246n)}

{ROB4: The birth of the Báb occurred on the 1st of Muharram, A.H. 1235, according to the lunar calendar. The birth of Bahá'u'lláh occurred on the second day of the same month, A.H. 1233. These two days Bahá'u'lláh has ordained to be considered as one festival. (p. 334n) Because this month is the month of mourning for Shí'ah Islám, Bahá'u'lláh had advised His followers to exercise great caution in celebrating these festivals lest their enthusiasm and rejoicing upset the Muslims and inflame further their animosity towards the Faith. (p. 335n)}

* [Festivals of the Twin Birthdays] '...will now be observed on the first and the second day following the occurrence of the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz.' UHJ
see also Covenant Library Unified Index (Section I - Tablets and Writings of Bahá'u'lláh)
{ABBD: Place of Delight. The site on the plain of 'Akká which gives its name to the Mansion which was the last residence of Bahá'u'lláh. Originally built by 'Abdu'lláh Páshá in 1821, it was later restored and expanded by 'Údí Khammár, who completed it in 1870. The Mansion of Bahjí became empty in 1879 when the Khammár family fled an epidemic disease, probably bubonic plague. Bahá'u'lláh took up residence in the Mansion in 1879 and while living there revealed His final major volume, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. as well as the Tablets of Ishráqát, Bishárát, Tarázát, Tajallíyát, Kalimát-i-Firdawsíyyih, Lawh-i-Aqdas, Lawh-i-Dunyá, and Lawh-i-Maqsúd, writings which Shoghi Effendi described as "among the choicest fruits which His mind has yielded [and which] mark the consummation of His forty-year-long ministry". It was in the Mansion of Bahjí in 1890 that Bahá'u'lláh received the Cambridge orientalist E. G. Browne. On 29 May 1892 Bahá'u'lláh passed away and was interred in the small house adjacent to the Mansion. This small house became His Shrine, the holiest spot on earth, and the Qiblih of the Bahá'í Faith. However, in the years that followed, the Mansion was occupied by Covenant-breakers and allowed to decay. In 1929 Shoghi Effendi regained custody of the building and started the work of restoration. In the early 1950s, with the acquisition of surrounding land, Shoghi Effendi began a programme of beautification including the setting out of extensive gardens surrounding the Mansion. The northwestern quadrant which encloses the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh itself is called the Haram-i-Aqdas.}
{ROB2: A Súfí order very powerful at the time of Bahá'u'lláh. (p. 24n)}
{ESW: The Ethiopian slave who was one of the very early converts to Islám. The Prophet gave him the task of calling the Faithful to prayer, and he became the first Mu'adhdhin of Islám. As he stammered and mispronounced the Arabic letter 'Shín' as 'Sín', he could not give the call correctly, but the perfection of his heart atoned for the fault of his tongue.}

{GL: An Ethiopian slave in Mecca, illiterate and despised, but transformed by his recognition of Muhammad}

Baní-Háshim, Háshimite
{KI: The family to which Muhammad belonged}

{BGMG: Sons of Háshim, the Prophet Muhammad's great grandfather; family from which Muhammad descended.}

{ROB4: Builder-architect. In the old days in Persia there were no colleges or universities in which students might graduate in the fields of science, art or technology. Those who were described as 'builder-architects' had learned their trade through practical experience working as apprentices to the great master-builders of the time. (p. 118n)}
Báqir, Mullá
{ESW: A native of Tabríz and a man of great learning, became a Letter of the Living. Was with Bahá'u'lláh in Núr, Mázindarán and Badasht. Outlived all other Letters of the Living}

{KI: A brother of Mullá Mihdíy-i-Kandí, martyred at Tabarsí}

{BGMG: Sect of the Imámites.}

Báqir-i-Shírází, Mírzá
{BGMG: One of Bahá'u'lláh's secretaries in Adrianople. (GPB 171)}

{DBNN: 'Remnant of God'. Title applied both to the Báb and to Bahá'u'lláh.}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Remnant of God. A title of the Twelfth Imám. It is applied to both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.}

{BGMG: Town where Quddús was publicly martyred by the dregs of the inhabitants, May 1849.}

Basír-i-Hindí, Siyyid
{DBNNi: Converted to the faith by Shaykh Sa'id-i-Hindí in India.}
{BGMG: Right of sanctuary. The law could not touch a fugitive taking sanctuary or bast in Muslim mosques and shrines.}

{ROB1: The victim is made to lie on his back while his feet, inserted in a loop, are raised and the soles beaten with a cane or a whip. (p. 85n)}

{ABBD: Punishment or torture by beating with a wooden rod on the soles of the feet. The bastinado was inflicted upon the Báb by the Shaykhu'l-Islám of Tabríz, Mírzá 'Ali-Asghar, after the Báb's trial by the divines in that city. Bahá'u'lláh suffered the bastinado in Ámul, after He had been arrested on His way to the Fort of Shaykh Tabarsí and had been interrogated by the divines. Bahá'u'lláh had intervened to spare His companions the punishment, requesting that He alone receive it.}

{KI: Mecca}

{BGMG: Mecca, hemmed in by bare hills, lies in an ''ill-ventilated couloir.'' Its center and lowest part is Bathá. Some buildings here were so close to the Ka'bih that their shadows merged with its shadow mornings and evenings.}

{DBNN: 'Utterance', 'explanation'. Title given by the Báb to His Revelation, particularly to His Books.}

{ESW: The chief doctrinal work of the Founder of the Bábí Dispensation}

{GL: The greatest doctrinal work of the Founder of the Bábí Dispensation (lit. 'Exposition')}

{KA: The Bayán ('Exposition') is the title given by the Báb to His Book of Laws, and it is also applied to the entire body of His Writings. The Persian Bayán is the major doctrinal work and principal repository of the laws ordained by the Báb. The Arabic Bayán is parallel in content but smaller and less weighty. References in the annotations to subjects found in both the Persian Bayán and the Arabic Bayán are identified by use of the term 'Bayán' without further qualification.}

{KI: The Bayán (Exposition) is the chief doctrinal work of the Báb. It is described in God Passes By (pp. 24-25) as a 'monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation and the treasury enshrining most of the Báb's references and tributes to, as well as His warning regarding, 'Him Whom God Will Make Manifest'. . . . this Book, of about eight thousand verses, occupying a pivotal position in Bábí literature, should be regarded primarily as a eulogy of the Promised One rather than a code of laws and ordinances designed to be a permanent guide to future generations.' The Báb also wrote 'the smaller and less weighty Arabic Bayán.' }

{ROB4: The Mother Book of the Bábí Dispensation, revealed by the Báb. (p. 305n)}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Explanation, exposition or utterance. The Persian Bayán is the major doctrinal work of the Báb, which Shoghi Effendi has described as a "monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation and the treasury enshrining most of the Báb's references and tributes to, as well as His warning regarding, 'Him Whom God will make manifest'." Revealed in the fortress of Máh-Kú, the Persian Bayán comprises some 8,000 verses and is divided into Váhids. The book, Shoghi Effendi has written, "should be regarded primarily as a eulogy of the Promised One rather than a code of laws and ordinances designed to be a permanent guide to future generations." In the third Váhid the Báb specifically refers to the name of the Promised One and anticipates His World Order: "Well is it with him who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and rendereth thanks unto his Lord. For He will assuredly be made manifest. God hath indeed irrevocably ordained it in the Bayán." This statement, according to Shoghi Effendi, "deserves to rank as one of the most significant statements recorded in any of the Báb's writings". The Arabic Bayán is a "smaller and less weighty" work of the Báb, revealed in the fort of Chihríq during the last months of His life. The term Bayán also refers to the Revelation of the Báb as set down in His Writings.}

{ROB4: It was a custom among the Persians to choose at random a number of beads, and by counting them in a certain manner determine which course of action would be best to follow in a given situation. (p. 243n)}
{ABBD: Term commonly used by Bahá'ís to refer to themselves.}
{DBNN: Honorary title; lower title than Khán}

{ROB2: Turkish title meaning a person of high rank, a Lord. (p. 432n)}

{ABBD: (Turkish) A title placed after a man's name, meaning 'lord' or 'prince'.}

see also Bagum

{KI: Reference to Shí'ih tradition.}
{KI: A compilation of Shí'ih traditions.}

{ROB2: Mullá Muhammad Báqir-i-Majlisí, A famous divine, the author of a series of books known as Biharu'l-Anvár containing traditions of Islám and other accounts. The Shí'ah cherish this series as an encyclopedia of Shí'ah religious knowledge. (p. 348 and n)}

{BGMG: Seas of Lights, a compilation of Shí'ah traditions.}

Birds of Heaven
{ROB1: The Manifestations of God. (p. 186n)}
Birds of the Night
{ROB1: This alludes to Mírzá Yahyá and his associates. (p. 245n)}
Bishárát (Glad-Tidings)
{ABBD: A Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh revealed in 'Akká, containing fifteen passages on subjects including the abolition of ordinances and practices of the past such as holy war, monastic seclusion, and the confession of sins; statements on the establishment of a universal auxiliary language and the Lesser Peace; work as worship; the role of the House of Justice; and the 'majesty of kingship'.}
{BGMG: In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Used at the head of every Súrih of the Qur'án except the ninth. Used at beginning of meals, putting on new clothes, beginning a new undertaking (by Muslims).}

Black Standard
{ROB4: The significance of the Black Standard comes from the Hadíth of Islám which states that whenever it was unfurled at Khurásán, it would signalize the advent of God's new Revelation on earth. (p. 209n)}

{ABBD: The flag of which Muhammad said, "Should your eyes behold the Black Standards proceeding from Khurásán, hasten ye towards them, even though ye should have to crawl over the snow, inasmuch as they proclaim the advent of the Promised Mihdí, the Vicegerent of God." Quddús had been arrested in Mázindarán, and Mullá Husayn was instructed by the Báb to go to his aid with the Black Standard unfurled before him. Many Bábís accompanied him, with more joining on the way. They found many new supporters as they raised the call of the New Day, but they also met with much hostility. It was this march under the Black Standard which marked the beginning of the episode at Fort of Shaykh Tabarsí.}

Black Stone
{BGMG: Hajaru'l-Aswad. Set about five feet from the ground in NE corner of the Ka'bih, the stone is an irregular oval about seven inches in diameter, reddish brown. Encircled by a gold or silver band, it has an undulated surface and is composed of about fifteen smaller stones joined by cement and surrounded by a brownish border. Sacred object of great antiquity (and never one of the pagan Arabs' idols) it is kissed during the rites of the Hájj.}

{CLUG: A pleasant place under the branches of a tree in a wood or garden.}
{ROB3: Branding a person was a common form of torture in [the days of Bahá'u'lláh] in Persia. Rods of iron were placed in a brazier full of burning coal. When the rods became red hot they were placed on the naked body of a person and kept in that position until they got cold. (p. 190n)}
{ROB2: Portable fireplace made of cast iron in which charcoal is burnt. (p. 170n)}
Breakwell, Thomas
{ABBD: The first English Bahá'í. Thomas Breakwell held a responsible post in a cotton mill in the south of the United States. He was introduced to the Faith by May Bolles Maxwell while visiting Paris on holiday in 1901. He later travelled to 'Akká to visit 'Abdu'l-Bahá. "He told 'Abdu'l-Bahá the nature of his profession, that his work was worthwhile and his earnings were considerable, but he added that now he had misgivings because the organization that he served was buttressed by child labour. 'Abdu'l-Bahá advised him: 'Cable your resignation.' He did. He went back to Paris and made it his home." Breakwell, who was battling against advanced consumption, wrote regularly to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. One day, although no news had been sent to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, He said to his secretary, "Breakwell has passed away. I am grieved, very grieved. I have written a prayer of visitation for him." 'Abdu'l-Bahá's lengthy and moving eulogy reveals the esteem with which he was regarded. Shoghi Effendi called him a "luminary in the firmament of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh."}
Browne, Edward Granville, E. G. Browne
{ABBD: The Cambridge orientalist who studied and wrote about the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths and who met Bahá'u'lláh in 1890 at Bahjí. Browne wrote: "The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one's very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow; while the deep lines on the forehead and face implied an age which the jet-black hair and beard flowing down in indistinguishable luxuriance almost to the waist seemed to belie. No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!" Disappointed that the Bahá'ís refused to become involved in Íránian politics, Browne transferred his interest to the Azalís. Browne recognized he had a unique opportunity to study and record at first hand the birth of a faith which "whatever its actual destiny may be, is of that stuff whereof world-religions are made", although some of his colleagues belittled his interest in the subject. One judged Browne's translation of A Traveller's Narrative "quite unworthy of the learning and labour which the author has brought to bear upon it...and concluded: "There are no signs that Mírzá 'Ali Muhammad will leave any permanent mark on religious or political history...Time may vindicate the author: but for the present we can only record our belief that the prominence given to the 'Báb' in this book is an absurd violation of historical perspective; and the translation of the Traveller's Narrative a waste of the powers and opportunities of a Persian scholar."}
{ABBD: A title meaning 'Enlightened One', given to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of the religion of Buddhism. Bahá'ís accept Buddha as a Manifestation of God and believe that prophecies attributed to Buddha about the coming of the Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha of universal fellowship, refer to Bahá'u'lláh.}
{ROB2: The Afnán family in Yazd built a private cemetery not far from the Castle [Government headquarters]. This was later offered for use as a Bahá'í burial ground. Bahá'u'lláh designated it the Buq'atu'l-Khadrá (The Verdant Spot). Several of the Afnáns, Bahá'í martyrs, and eminent Bahá'ís are buried there. The cemetery is no longer in use. (p. 363n)}
Burial, Bahá'í
{ABBD: The body is the temple of the spirit, therefore it must be respected and treated with honour. Its burial in the earth after death and its gradual decomposition is natural. Thus, according to Bahá'í law, cremation of the dead is forbidden and the body must not be transported more than one hour's journey from the place of death. The body should be wrapped in a shroud of silk or cotton, and on its finger should be placed a ring bearing the inscription, ''I came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate''; and that the coffin should be of crystal, stone or hard fine wood. A specific Prayer for the Dead is ordained, to be said before interment...The formal prayer and the ring are meant to be used for those who have attained the age of maturity.}

see also Death, Nature of

Burning Bush
{GL: See Exod. 3.V.2. Symbolic of God's presence in the heart of Moses.}

see also Sadrah

{BGMG: Persian town near north end of Persian Gulf.}

{ABBD: (Persian) Great. A title of respect accorded a man of rank.}
{GL: High Priest and President of the Court that condemned Jesus}

{KI: The Jewish high priest who presided at the court which tried and condemned Jesus}

Cain and Abel
{KI: The two sons of Adam and Eve. See Genesis 4 and Qur'án, Súrih 5}
{ABBD: Sometimes called 'the calamity' although not necessarily one single event. World-shaking catastrophic events and upheaval destined to afflict mankind before the establishment of world peace as part of the simultaneous two-fold processes of the collapse and disintegration of the old world order and the rise and development of the New World Order. Shoghi Effendi explained that "Adversity, prolonged, worldwide, afflictive, allied to chaos and universal destruction, must needs convulse the nations, stir the conscience of the world, disillusion the masses, precipitate a radical change in the very conception of society" before world unity can be achieved.}
Calendar, Bahá'í
{ROB1: Bahá'u'lláh specified that the Bahá'í calendar should begin in A.D. 1844 (the year of the Declaration of the Báb), and He also determined the position of the intercalary days. Nabíl-i-A'zam was asked by Bahá'u'lláh, about A.D. 1871, to transcribe the text of the Badí' Calendar and instruct the believers in its details. (p. 117n)}

{ABBD: Also called the Badí' calendar. The Bahá'í calendar was established by the Báb in the Kitáb-i-Asmá' and approved by Bahá'u'lláh, who stated that it should begin in 1844. It is based on the solar year of 365 days, five hours and some fifty minutes. Each year is divided into nineteen months of nineteen days each with four Intercalary Days (five in leap year), called Ayyám-i-Há, which Bahá'u'lláh specified should precede the nineteenth month. New Year's Day (Naw-Rúz) falls on the Spring Equinox. The Bahá'í day of rest is Istiqlál (Friday), and the Bahá'í day begins and ends at sunset.}

see also Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Caliphs, Khalífih, Khalífah
{KI: Literally, 'successors' or 'vicegerents.' The Shí'ihs hold that the successors of the Prophet must be the members of His own family, but they do not use the title Khalífih or 'Caliph.' The Sultán of Turkey assumed this title early in the 16th century}

{BGMG: Self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islám (PDC 99). Sultanate and Caliphate were ''the twin pillars of Sunní Islám.'' (WOB 173). The Caliphate, now abolished, was ''the mightiest institution of Islám.'' (WOB 196). The founders of the Caliphate ''usurped the authority of the lawful successors'' of Muḥammad (WOB 178). ''The cardinal point wherein the Shi'ites (as well as the other sects included under the more general term of Imamites) differ from the Sunnites is the doctrine of the Imámate. According to the belief of the latter, the vicegerency (khiláfat) of the Prophet is a matter to be determined by the choice and election of his followers, and the visible head of the Musulmán world is qualified for the lofty position which he holds less by any special divine grace than by a combination of orthodoxy and administrative capacity. According to the Imámite view, on the other hand, the vicegerency is a matter altogether spiritual; an office conferred by God alone, first by His Prophet, and afterwards by those who so succeeded him, and having nothing to do with the popular choice or approval...the merely the outward and visible Defender of the Faith: the Imám of the Shi'ites is the divinely-ordained successor of the Prophet, one endowed with all perfections and spiritual gifts, one whom all the faithful must obey, whose decision is absolute and final, whose wisdom is super-human, and whose words are authoritative.'' Browne, E. G., A Traveller's Narrative, 296.}

{ABBD: A successor of Muhammad as the head of Islám. Shoghi Effendi calls the Caliph "the self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islam" who "exercised a spiritual sovereignty, and was invested with a sacred character" and who "usurped the authority of the lawful successors of the Apostle of God (the Imáms)". The Caliphate is an institution of Sunní Islam.}

{ABBD: Generally, beautiful and elegant penmanship; specifically, the drawing-like renderings of Arabic and Persian words, phrases or text. Many of the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb were executed in fine calligraphy. The best-known Bahá'í calligrapher was Mishkín-Qalam, whose calligraphy of The Greatest Name is widely used among Bahá'ís as a symbol of their Faith.}

{ABBD: Uttering false charges with malicious intent, in order to damage another person's reputation. Along with backbiting, calumny is specifically prohibited in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Bahá'u'lláh wrote: "Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endure a century."}
Camphor, Káfúr
{BGMG: Camphor; in Qur'án 76:5, a camphor fountain for the righteous in Paradise.}

{CLUG: Camphor is a white aromatic and crystalline substance with a bitter smell and taste which is obtained by boiling crumbled pieces of the stalks and stems of the camphor tree and letting it evaporate. Besides having a good smell, camphor has also been prescribed as an effective medicine for different diseases. The Fountain of Camphor (Ayn al Káfúr) is in Paradise from which the slaves of 'Alláh drink directly. Camphor overwhelms and whoever enters into it becomes totally absorbed and one with the camphor. The Fountain of Camphor is the place of annihilation, intoxication and Divine Love. The Fire of Divine Love turns into the Light of Divine Knowledge and the lover is then also the knower and is in perfect balance.}

{ROB1: A number of camels or donkeys travelling together carrying passengers from one place to another. (p. 111n)}
{BGMG: Inn for caravans.}
Carmel, Mount
{ESW: The mountain in Israel where Bahá'u'lláh pitched His tent and where the Shrine of the Báb is situated}

{GL: One of the sacred spots in Bahá'í history, where are the Shrines of the Báb and of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and memorials to other members of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's family}

{ABBD: The mountain spoken of by Isaiah as the mountain of the Lord. Site of the Bahá'í World Centre including several Bahá'í Holy Places, the most important of which are the Shrine of the Báb and the Monument Gardens. Mount Carmel is also the location of the Bahá'í world Administrative institutions: the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the International Archives building, and the other present and future institutions of the World Bahá'í Administrative Order, including the International Teaching Centre, the Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts and the International Bahá'í Library as well as the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Haifa which will one day stand on Mount Carmel on a site already designated.}

see also Arc, Ark, Lawh-i-Karmil

Cemetery, Bahá'í
{ABBD: Plots of land set aside by some Bahá'í communities for the burial of Bahá'ís. This is done particularly in places where all other cemeteries are used exclusively by other religious groups, or where Bahá'ís are not allowed to be buried in a particular cemetery. No special dedication or consecrating ceremony is necessary for land to become a Bahá'í cemetery. The Bahá'í cemetery in Haifa is situated at the tip of the promontory of Mount Carmel as its northern face plunges to the plain. It is a six acre plot purchased at the behest of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Its first recorded burial was in August 1911. Several early Bahá'ís are buried there including Hájí Mírzá Haydar-'Alí and many Hands of the Cause.}
Central Figures
{ABBD: According to Shoghi Effendi, the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá are regarded as the 'Central Figures' of the Bahá'í Faith.}
Centre of the Covenant
{ABBD: 'Abdu'l-Bahá was the Centre of the Covenant and Interpreter, who stated: "In accordance with the explicit text of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas Bahá'u'lláh hath made the Centre of the Covenant the Interpreter of His Word..." and further, "I am the Interpreter of the Word of God..." In His Will and Testament 'Abdu'l-Bahá appointed Shoghi Effendi as the Centre of the Covenant and 'expounder of the words of God' after Him. Apart from 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, no one can authoritatively interpret the Writings. Currently The Universal House of Justice is the Centre of the Covenant, and has "power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book".}

see also Kitáb-i-'Ahdí, City of the Covenant

Century of Light
{ABBD: The twentieth century, so designated by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in a Tablet known as Seven Candles of Unity: "...the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century. Of this past ages have been deprived, for this century--the century of light--has been endowed with unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination."}
{ABBD: The unaccompanied musical rendering of the holy scriptures in any language. Generally, however, Bahá'ís use this term to refer to forms of devotional song, adapted from traditional Islámic practices, using the original Persian and Arabic texts of the sacred Writings, the prayers of Shoghi Effendi, and other devotional poems and songs.}

see also Download Center

Chase, Thornton
{ABBD: Designated by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as "the first American believer" and surnamed 'Thábit' (Steadfast), Thornton Chase became a Bahá'í in 1894 in Chicago. He travelled extensively for his employers, and wherever he went he taught and served the Faith, not only by speech and dissertation but also by the radiance of his person. 'Abdu'l-Bahá said of him, "He served the Cause faithfully and his services will ever be remembered throughout future ages and Cycles...For the present his worth is not known, but in the future it will be inestimably dear. His sun will ever be shining, his star will ever bestow the light." Thornton Chase died in Los Angeles in 1912 just before 'Abdu'l-Bahá arrived in California.}
{KI: In the Bible the Cherubim appear as distinct from the angels who are Jehovah's messengers, while the Cherubim are found where God is personally present: e.g. 'And he [God] rode upon a cherub.' (Psalms 18: 10). Figures of Cherubim were wrought into the hangings of the Holy of Holies and were represented above the Mercy Seat within. In later tradition, the Cherubim were included among the nine orders of angels.}
{BGMG: Fortress to which the Báb was transferred about April 10, 1848; designated by Him Jabal-i-Shadíd.}

{ABBD: A fortress in Ádhirbáyján, northeastern Írán, where the Báb was imprisoned for almost all of the last two years of His life. Because He was more strictly confined there than He had been in Máh-Kú, the Báb named Chihríq 'Jabal-i-Shadíd' (the Grievous Mountain). Many of His writings were revealed in Chihríq, including the Arabic Bayán and His Tablet to Hájí Mírzá Áqásí. One of the purposes of the Conference of Badasht was to find a way to free the Báb from His imprisonment in Chihríq.}

{BGMG: ''Burnt Plane-Tree'' quarter, native quarter of Vahíd at Nayríz.}

{CLUG: Known as olivine and peridot, chrysolite means “gold stone”. It is mentioned in the bible in the list of gemstones set in the breastplate of Aaron (Book of Exodus) and in the list of foundation stones for the New Jerusalem (in Revelation). Olivine dates back to the Pharaohs in Egypt. It occurs in a light green to olive green gemstone. Olivine is found in meteorites, the moon, mars and infant stars.}

City of Certitude
{GL: A condition of high spiritual attainment.}
City of the Covenant
{ABBD: On 19 June 1912 'Abdu'l-Bahá named New York the City of the Covenant. At a gathering there, He spoke of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet of the Branch (Súriy-i-Ghusn) and declared His own station to be the 'Centre of the Covenant'.}
Civilization, Divine
{ABBD: The civilization which will be brought about by the establishment of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, "the foundations of which the unerring hand of Bahá'u'lláh has laid, and the essential elements of which the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá has disclosed." "The emergence of a world community, the consciousness of world citizenship, the founding of a world civilization and culture...should, by their very nature, be regarded, as far as this planetary life is concerned, as the furthermost limits in the organization of human society..."}
{ABBD: The Bahá'í Faith has no clergy. "We have no priests," Shoghi Effendi stated in a letter written on his behalf, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Bahá'í is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life...the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day." In His writings, Bahá'u'lláh forbids the monastic practices of asceticism and living in seclusion, bids priests to marry and prohibits the confession of sins.}

see also 'Ulamá

{CLUG: Dawn. The time when roosters begin to crow; early morning.}
{ROB2: In [the days of Bahá'u'lláh], money was only in the form of coins and there were no banking facilities. People used to carry the coins in bags. Wealthy people often had to carry their bags of money on horses. On all His journeys for the promotion of the Cause of God in Persia, Bahá'u'lláh was accompanied by the friends and servants and it was He who provided all the finance and entertained His guests. (p. 177n)}
Collins, Amelia
{ABBD: American Hand of the Cause who accepted the Faith in 1919. She served for many years on the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada and in 1951 was appointed to the first International Bahá'í Council as its Vice-President. In December 1951 she was made a Hand of the Cause. She passed away on 1 January 1962.}
Collins Gate
{ABBD: Large wrought-iron gate erected by Shoghi Effendi at the northern approach to the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. It is named after Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins.}
{ROB1: Interpreted by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. (p. 82)}
Commonwealth, World; Bahá'í Commonwealth
{ABBD: A world community of nations governed by a world federation to which all national governments will be accountable: "The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá'u'lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded." "Some form of world Super-State must needs be evolved, in whose favour all the nations of the world will have willingly ceded every claim to make war, certain rights to impose taxation and all rights to maintain armaments, except for purposes of maintaining internal order within their respective dominions. Such a State will have to include within its orbit an International Executive...a World Parliament whose members shall be elected by the people in their respective countries and whose election shall be confirmed by their respective governments; and a Supreme Tribunal..."}
Community, Bahá'í
{ABBD: The term often used by Bahá'ís to describe those Bahá'ís who live in a particular Administrative unit, locally or nationally. It may also refer to the followers of the Bahá'í Faith worldwide.}
Community, Bahá'í International, World Bahá'í Community
{ABBD: The official name of the worldwide Bahá'í community in its relations with the outside world. That community "represents a cross-section of humanity, the four million adherents coming from virtually every nationality, racial or ethnic group, religious background, culture and social class." "Under the guidance of the Universal House of Justice, its governing authority, the Bahá'í International Community comprises 148 national affiliates (the National Spiritual Assemblies). At the international level it operates through branches specialized for different aspects of its work. At the present time these are three in number: the Secretariat, located at the World Centre of the Faith in Israel; the United Nations Office, based in New York City with a branch in Geneva; and the Office of Public Information, with its headquarters in Israel and a bureau in New York. Both the United Nations Office and the Office of Public Information have representatives in a number of major centres of the world." The relationship of the world Bahá'í community to the United Nations began in 1948 when the eight National Spiritual Assemblies then existing were recognized collectively by the UN Office of Public Information as an international non-governmental organization (NGO) under the name 'Bahá'í International Community'. Today, the Bahá'í International Community is accredited in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It also has a working relationship with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Centre for Human Settlements, the Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the Department of Disarmament Affairs and the Peace Studies Unit, the UN Regional Commissions, and other members of the UN system. It is continually increasing its contact with several of the UN specialized agencies such as the World Food Council (WFC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). In addition, the Bahá'í International Community has representation with the South Pacific Commission and has kept in close touch with the European Parliament and the Council of Europe during the recent persecutions of the Bahá'ís in Írán. It works closely with other nongovernmental organizations at the UN, through membership in many NGO/UN committees in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Santiago. Believing that the United Nations represents a major effort in the unification of the planet, Bahá'ís have supported its work in every way possible. During its participation in conferences, congresses and seminars the United Nations Office makes contributions to those aims of the United Nations that are kindred to the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, such as the status of women and particularly their role in the achievement of world peace; economic justice and cooperation; racial equality; religious tolerance; universal education; minority rights; human rights generally; crime prevention; the control of narcotic drugs; the welfare of children and the family; the movement towards disarmament; and the protection of the environment. In 1987 the Bahá'í International Community became the sixth major religion to join the World Wide Fund for Nature in its initiative for the Conservation of Nature and the Environment. The Office of Public Information was appointed in 1986. It gathers and prepares information about the Bahá'í Faith and coordinates its dissemination to international and national entities, prominent persons, leaders of thought, the mass media and the general public. It seeks to foster a climate of understanding about the aims and achievements of the Bahá'í Faith and to correct misinformation. It also works with national Bahá'í information agencies to help them mobilize their energies in support of international objectives.}

see also International Bahá'í Bureau

Conclave of the Hands of the Cause
{ABBD: Meetings in the Holy Land of all the Hands of the Cause. The first of these was held in November 1957 after the passing of Shoghi Effendi when nine Hands of the Cause were chosen to serve as Custodians of the Bahá'í Faith residing in the Holy Land.}

{CLUG: A crowd or assembly of people}
{ABBD: Term used by Bahá'ís to describe the process of Bahá'í community development whereby the Bahá'ís increasingly understand the teachings of the Faith, abide by its precepts, and take on the responsibilities of teaching and Administration.}
Constantinople, Istanbul, The Great City
{BGMG: Called by Muslim ''The Dome of Islám.'' The traditional seat of both Sultanate and Caliphate.}

{ABBD: The city in Turkey, and former capital of the Ottoman Empire, to which Bahá'u'lláh went from Baghdád at the request of the Turkish government in 1863. He arrived in Constantinople on 16 August and remained there for about four months, after which time He was exiled to Adrianople.}

see also Sublime Porte

{ABBD: A form of discussion between individuals and within groups. It is the method by which Bahá'ís make decisions within their Administrative bodies. Bahá'ís are also encouraged to use consultation in making personal or family decisions. It is "a process for producing change in order to accomplish some definite purpose. This involves a sharing and interaction of thoughts and feelings in a spirit of love and harmony." Consultation is one of the 'two luminaries' of the heaven of divine wisdom', the 'lamp of guidance'. Bahá'u'lláh enjoined, "Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding." Consultation requires the "subjugation of all egotism and unruly passions, the cultivation of frankness and freedom of thought as well as courtesy, openness of mind, and wholehearted acquiescence in a majority decision".}
Continental Board of Counsellors
{ABBD: An institution created in 1968 by the Universal House of Justice as a means of developing "the institution of the Hands of the Cause with a view to extension into the future of its appointed functions of protection and propagation," as the House had already indicated that it saw "no way in which additional Hands of the Cause of God" could be appointed. The duties of the Counsellors include "directing the Auxiliary Boards in their respective areas, consulting and collaborating with National Spiritual Assemblies, and keeping the Hands of the Cause and the Universal House of Justice informed concerning the conditions of the Cause in their areas." Counsellors are appointed for terms of five years and function as Counsellors only when in the continent to which they have been appointed, unless they are appointed to the International Teaching Centre. Counsellors are not eligible for any elective office, except the Universal House of Justice. If elected to the Universal House of Justice, the Counsellor ceases to be a member of the Board of Counsellors.}
{ABBD: A gathering of delegates for the purpose of electing an Administrative body or for electing delegates who will in turn elect that body. Unit, district, state or other sub-national conventions are held to elect delegates who will in turn vote for the National Spiritual Assembly. All the adult Bahá'ís in a given geographic locality will comprise the delegates for a particular sub-national convention, which takes place annually. They elect one of their number to serve as a delegate to the National Convention. The number of delegates to the National Convention is determined by the Universal House of Justice and advised to the national assembly which draws up the electoral units. The National Convention is generally held annually during the Ridván period (21 April-2 May). The delegates to the National Convention vote for the members of the national assembly. They are free to vote for any adult Bahá'í in the country and are not limited to voting for other delegates. Apart from this election, the function of the Convention is to consult with the incoming national assembly. Shoghi Effendi wrote: "It is the vital duty of the delegates to unburden their hearts, state their grievances, disclose their views, and explain their motives. It is the duty of the National Assembly to give earnest, prompt and prayerful consideration to the views of the delegates, weigh carefully their arguments and ponder their considered judgements, before they resort to voting and undertake to arrive at a decision according to the dictates of their conscience. They should explain their motives and not dictate: seek information and invite discussion." The International Convention takes place in Haifa during the Ridván period, at present once every five years. Its purpose is to elect the members of the Universal House of Justice. The delegates to this convention are the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies currently serving. They are free to vote for any adult male Bahá'í in the world and are not limited to voting for other national assembly members. In addition to the election, delegates also consult on a variety of topics of importance to the Faith.}
{KI: The Copts were descendants of the ancient Egyptian stock. They were unbelievers in the time of Moses. The Septs were the tribes of Israel.}
Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh
{ABBD: The divinely-ordained 'instrument' provided by Bahá'u'lláh, as Shoghi Effendi wrote: "to direct and canalize these forces let loose by this Heaven-sent process [the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh], and to ensure their harmonious and continuous operation after His Ascension." In the Kitáb-i-'Ahdí, Bahá'u'lláh clearly appointed 'Abdu'l-Bahá as His successor, identifying Him as 'Him Whom God hath purposed', to whom all should turn after Bahá'u'lláh's passing. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the Centre of the Covenant. The intention of the Covenant is the protection of the unity of the Bahá'í Faith: "The purpose of the Blessed Beauty in entering into this Covenant and Testament was to gather all existent beings around one point so that the thoughtless souls, who in every Cycle and generation have been the cause of dissension, may not undermine the Cause." 'Abdu'l-Bahá has called the appointment of the Centre of the Covenant "the most great characteristic of the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh." "By this appointment and provision He has safeguarded and protected the religion of God against differences and schisms, making it impossible for anyone to create a new sect or faction of belief. To ensure unity and agreement He has entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world, including the interpreter and explainer of His teachings, so that no one may interpret or explain the religion of God according to his own view or opinion and thus create a sect founded upon his individual understanding of the divine Words." The Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh is unique in religious history, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote: "So firm and mighty is this Covenant that from the beginning of time until the present day no religious Dispensation hath produced its like." Further, the Covenant provides the basis for the primary social teaching of the Bahá'í Revelation: "It is indubitably clear that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant."}

see also Center of His Covenant; Covenant, Greater and Lesser; Crimson Ark; Anísá

Covenant, Greater and Lesser
{ABBD: In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi explained that there were "two forms of Covenant both of which are explicitly mentioned in the literature of the Cause. First is the Covenant that every Prophet makes with humanity or, more definitely, with His people that they will accept and follow the coming Manifestation who will be the reappearance of His reality. The second form of Covenant is such as the one Bahá'u'lláh made with His people that they should accept the Master. This is merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the series of Lights that appear after every Manifestation. Under the same category falls the Covenant the Master made with the Bahá'ís that they should accept His Administration after Him." The first of these is known as the Greater Covenant, the second as the Lesser Covenant.}
{ABBD: One who publicly denies the line of succession (i.e. Bahá'u'lláh, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, the Universal House of Justice) or who rebels against the Centre of the Covenant and actively works to undermine the Covenant. In the time of 'Abdu'l-Bahá the arch-breaker of the Covenant was His half-brother Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí. The decision to expel someone from the community as a Covenant breaker is taken, at present, by the Hands of the Cause with the approval of the Universal House of Justice. It is a very rare occurrence. It is forbidden for Bahá'ís to associate with Covenant-breakers. 'Abdu'l-Bahá explains the reason for this: "...just as the bodily diseases like consumption...are contagious, likewise the spiritual diseases are also infectious. If a consumptive should associate with a thousand safe and healthy persons, the safety and health of these thousand persons would not affect the consumptive and would not cure him of his consumption. But when this consumptive associates with those thousand souls, in a short time the disease of consumption will infect a number of those healthy persons." However, Bahá'ís are to pray for Covenant-breakers, as "these souls are not lost forever".}
Cradle of the Administration
{ABBD: America (Amríká). Shoghi Effendi wrote: "the role played by the American Bahá'í community, since the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá until the termination of the first Bahá'í century, has been such as to lend a tremendous impetus to the development of the Faith throughout the world...Indeed so preponderating has been the influence of its members in both the initiation and the consolidation of Bahá'í Administrative institutions that their country may well deserve to be recognized as the cradle of the Bahá'í Administrative Order which Bahá'u'lláh Himself has envisaged..."}
Cradle of the Faith
{ABBD: Írán (Persia).}
Crimson Ark, Safíniy-i-Hamrá
{ESW: Each of the past Dispensations was referred to as an 'Ark.' This refers to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.}

{BGMG: Ordained by God in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá' for the People of Bahá. (SW 139; WOB 84 -- ''Ark of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant'').}

{ABBD: The Covenant. In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas Bahá'u'lláh writes of the companions of the Crimson Ark which God has prepared for the people Of Bahá.}

Crimson Pillar
{KI: An allusion to the religion of Bahá'u'lláh, crimsoned with the blood of martyrs.}
Crimson Spot (Buq'atu'l-Hamrá')
{ABBD: A hill called Samaríyyih near Bahjí where red flowers grew in abundance in the time of Bahá'u'lláh. Today it is occupied by the army. "In the springtime when the hill was verdant and covered with red flowers such as poppies and anemones, Bahá'u'lláh would have His tent pitched there. Many years later, when 'Abdu'l-Bahá was again incarcerated within the city walls of 'Akká, He would wistfully ask those who had gone to visit the Shrine of His Father: "Were red, red flowers blooming on Buq'atu'l-Hamrá'?" }
{ROB4: Cursing is a common practice among the Persians, especially among the clergy who pride themselves in pronouncing a person to be Mal'ún (accursed) with a guttural sound of the letter 'U'. By doing so, not only has the clergy put a curse on someone, but by pronouncing the letter 'U' with a guttural sound he proudly puts himself in the category of a scholar of the Arabic language. Thus he makes a great impression upon the untutored multitude who never know how to use a guttural sound and are lost in admiration for one who does. (p. 341n)}
Cycle, Adamic, Prophetic Cycle, Prophetic Era
{BGMG: Cycle ''stretching back as far as the first dawnings of the world's recorded religious history...'' and ending with the Dispensation of the Báb.}

{ABBD: The great period of time, approximately six thousand years, beginning with the Revelation of Adam and ending with the Declaration of the Báb, during which many Manifestations appeared who prophesied the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. The Adamic Cycle included a series of successive divine revelations which gave rise to the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islám. As Shoghi Effendi wrote, the Declaration of the Báb in 1844 marked the end of the Adamic Cycle and the beginning of the 'Bahá'í Cycle' or 'Era of Fulfilment'.}

See also Progressive Revelation, Universal Cycle, Universal Manifestation

Cycle, Bahá'í, Era of Fulfilment
{BGMG: Began May 22, 1844, at 2 hours and 11 minutes after sunset, in Shíráz, Persia. Destined to last for no less than 5,000 centuries. (GPB xi, 55, 100)}

{ABBD: A period of time beginning with the Declaration of the Báb, including the Bahá'í Dispensation (the Bahá'í Era) and extending beyond it into the future, to include the dispensations of future Manifestations of God who shall be under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh. In a letter interpreting a Zoroastrian prophecy, 'Abdu'l-Bahá described the Bahá'í Cycle as lasting "at least five hundred thousand years". The Bahá'í Cycle is also called by Shoghi Effendi the 'Era of Fulfilment', which succeeded the 'Prophetic Era' or 'Adamic Cycle'.}

See also Progressive Revelation

Cycle, Universal
{ABBD: A long period of time during which several Manifestations appear, each with his own Laws and commandments which prevail for a certain time or cycle. When a universal cycle is completed, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá has written: "important events and great occurrences will take place which entirely efface every trace and every record of the past; then a new universal cycle begins in the world."}

see also Universal Manifestation

{ROB3: An open tower, usually built outside the city in which the dead bodies of Zoroastrians are placed and exposed to nature. After the flesh has been devoured by vultures, the bones are thrown into a deep well. (p. 272n)}
Dalá'il-i-Sab'ih (The Seven Proofs)
{ABBD: A book revealed by the Báb during His imprisonment in Máh-Kú. As Shoghi Effendi wrote, it is "the most important of the polemical works of the Báb...Remarkably lucid, admirable in its precision, original in conception, unanswerable in its argument, this work, apart from the many and divers proofs of His mission which it adduces, is noteworthy for the blame it assigns to the 'seven powerful sovereigns ruling the world' in His day, as well as for the manner in which it stresses the responsibilities, and censures the conduct, of the Christian divines of a former age who, had they recognized the truth of Muhammad's mission, He contends, would have been followed by the mass of their co-religionists."}
{DBNN: 'High constable'.}

{BGMG: Police magistrate.}

Darvísh, Dervish
{ROB1: A Muslim, often a mystic, who renounces the world and communes with God, subsisting on the charity of his fellow men. (p. 76n)}

{ROB2: Súfís from various orders in Persia are categorically referred to as dervishes. (p. 24n)}

{ROB4: Dervishes were in the habit of chanting the praise of the Lord in public. They were identified as Súfís. Very few of them became Bahá'ís. (p. 51n) A Persian mendicant who usually lives on alms and roams the country freely. Sometimes men of culture and means also dressed as dervishes in order to enjoy freedom of movement. Often these men, by virtue of their knowledge and erudition, became the centre of attraction for those who inclined towards Súfism. (p. 177n)}

{ABBD: (Persian) Literally, beggar (Arabic, Faqír). More specifically, a travelling religious mendicant of one of several Súfí orders or other Muslim mystic traditions.}

Darvish Muhammad-i-Írání
{ABBD: The name taken by Bahá'u'lláh when he sought seclusion in the mountains of Sulaymáníyyih in 1856.}

{DBNN: 'State', 'government'}
{ABBD: The heroes and martyrs of the earliest days of the Bábí-Bahá'í Dispensation, so-called because of their association with the beginning of a new age: "The call of the Báb was a call to awakening, a claim that a New Day had dawned." Their story is told in The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl's Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Revelation by Muhammad-i-Zarandí (Nabíl-i-A'zam), translated from the Persian by Shoghi Effendi. The Dawn-Breakers is the main account of the events of the period beginning with the missions of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim, and including the Revelation of the Báb and His Martyrdom, the Conference of Badasht and the deeds of many heroes and martyrs including Mullá Husayn, Quddús, Táhirih, Vahíd and Hujjat. The volume describes the role of Bahá'u'lláh during the Bábí Dispensation and ends with His banishment to Baghdád. Shoghi Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf, said about The Dawn-Breakers that "The life of those who figure in it is so stirring that every one who reads those accounts is bound to be affected and impelled to follow their footsteps of sacrifice in the path of the Faith. The Guardian believes, therefore, that it should be studied by the friends, especially the youth who need some inspiration to carry them through these troubled days."}
Day of God
{ABBD: Generally, the Dispensation of each Manifestation. Specifically, the period, or Universal Cycle, ushered in by Bahá'u'lláh, as Adib Taherzadeh wrote: "whose advent has been hailed in the Heavenly Books as the advent of the Day of God Himself". Bahá'u'lláh Himself states: "Great indeed is this Day! The allusions made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it." "This is the King of Days, the Day that hath seen the coming of the Best-beloved, Him Who through all eternity hath been acclaimed the Desire of the World." "It is evident that every age in which a Manifestation of God hath lived is divinely ordained and may, in a sense, be characterized as God's appointed Day. This Day, however, is unique and is to be distinguished from those that have preceded it. The designation 'Seal of the Prophets' fully reveals and demonstrates its [this Day's] high station."}
Day of the Covenant
{ABBD: Festival observed on 25/26 November to commemorate Bahá'u'lláh's appointment of 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of the Covenant. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had instructed that His own birthday should not be celebrated because it falls on the Declaration of the Báb and that day should be devoted to the Báb's anniversary. At the believers' request 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave them the Day of the Covenant to observe in His honour. It is also known as the Greatest Festival (Jashn-i-A'zam). Suspension of work is not obligatory on this Holy Day.}

see also Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Dayspring of Revelation
{ABBD: The Manifestation of God, specifically Bahá'u'lláh.}

see also Revelation

Daystar, Day-Star, Day-Star of Revelation, Day-Star of the World
{ABBD: The sun. Literary allusion to the Manifestation of God, specifically Bahá'u'lláh.}
Day Star of Muhammad
{GL: Symbol of the Prophet Muhammad as enlightening the world}
Death, Life After
{ABBD: In the Bahá'í teachings death is regarded as the passage of the soul to another plane of existence, which is spiritual rather than physical. The concept of death as annihilation is regarded as a mistaken idea, for even the physical elements of which the body is composed do not cease to exist, but rather undergo a transformation. While the physical body of man decomposes after death, the soul or spirit is indestructible and goes on to another existence where the soul continues on its journey towards God. The nature of this level of existence cannot be comprehended, except in the most elementary way by analogy: "The world beyond", Bahá'u'lláh states, "is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother." In the physical existence of life on earth the soul progresses through its own efforts; in the spiritual world beyond it is dependent for its development on the mercy of God and intercession through the prayers of other souls. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was asked, "How should one look forward to death?" He answered: "How does one look forward to the goal of any journey? With hope and with expectation. It is even so with the end of this earthly journey." Bahá'u'lláh wrote, "O Son of the Supreme! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendour. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?"

see also Abhá Kingdom; Heaven and Hell; Resurrection; Burial, Bahá'í

Death, Nature of
{ABBD: The separation of the soul from the body. In The Hidden Words Bahá'u'lláh reveals, "I have made death a messenger of joy to thee." In the Hurúfát-i-'Állín (The Exalted Letters), here paraphrased by Adib Taherzadeh, Bahá'u'lláh "directs His attention to physical death and dwells on the afflictions which befall the human temple. At this point the vehicle of so precious an entity as the soul becomes useless, is discarded and buried under the dust...The perfect union which for a lifetime brought the soul and the body together is now ended, as one is elevated to great heights and the other abased and condemned to perish. In this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh refers to death as an affliction for the body and confirms that since the spiritual worlds of God are hidden from the eyes of men, it is difficult for those who are bereaved by the death of their loved ones not to feel the anguish of separation in their hearts. He therefore counsels them to fix their attention on the spiritual realms of God and the immortality of the soul."}
{ABBD: The statement of belief made by one who wishes to become a Bahá'í, including acceptance of the stations of Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation of God for this day, of the Báb as His Forerunner and of 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant and Perfect Exemplar of His Faith, as well as acceptance of all that they have revealed. The Universal House of Justice has stated: "The declarants need not know all the proofs, history, Laws, and principles of the Faith, but in the process of declaring themselves they must, in addition to catching the spark of faith, become basically informed about the Central Figures of the Faith, as well as the existence of laws they must follow and an Administration they must obey."}

see also Administrative Order; Enrolment; Age of Maturity

Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh see Ridván, Feast or Festival of

Declaration of the Báb
{ABBD: A Bahá'í Holy Day commemorating the Declaration of the Báb to Mullá Husayn that the Báb was the Promised One. This event occurred at two hours and eleven minutes after sunset on the evening of 22 May 1844 in the House of the Báb in Shíráz. It is considered to mark the opening of the Bahá'í Dispensation and the beginning of the Bahá'í Era. ''This night'', said the Báb to Mullá Husayn, ''this very hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals.'' The Declaration of the Báb is observed about two hours after sunset on 22/23 May and work is prohibited on this Holy Day (23/24 May).}

see also Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

{ABBD: The study of the Bahá'í Faith in all its aspects. Shoghi Effendi has stated, in a letter written on his behalf: "To deepen in the Cause means to read the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master so thoroughly as to be able to give it to others in its pure form." In addition to the thorough study of the history, literature and teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, to deepen in the Faith also means to "assimilate its Laws and principles, ponder its admonitions, tenets and purposes, commit to memory certain of its exhortations and prayers, master the essentials of its Administration, and keep abreast of its current affairs and latest developments." In 1967 the Universal House of Justice, in its Ridván message, wrote a lengthy description of the nature of deepening and the imperative need for the Bahá'ís to deepen in the Cause: "A detailed and exact knowledge of the present structure of Bahá'í administration, or of the bylaws of National and Local Spiritual Assemblies, or of the many and varied applications of Bahá'í law under the diverse conditions prevailing around the world, while valuable in itself, cannot be regarded as the sort of knowledge primarily intended by deepening. Rather it is suggested a clearer apprehension of the purpose of God for man, and particularly His immediate purpose as revealed and directed by Bahá'u'lláh, a purpose as far removed from current concepts of human well-being and happiness as is possible...this is the theme we must pursue in our efforts to deepen in the Cause. What is Bahá'u'lláh's purpose for the human race? For what ends did He submit to the appalling cruelties and indignities heaped upon Him? What does he mean by "a new race of men"? What are the profound changes He will bring about? The answers are to be found in the Sacred Writings of our Faith and in their interpretation by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and our beloved Guardian. Let the friends immerse themselves in this ocean, let them organize regular study classes for its constant consideration, and, as reinforcement to their effort, let them remember conscientiously the requirements of daily prayer and reading of the Word of God enjoined upon all Bahá'ís by Bahá'u'lláh." Deepening forms the basis for individual steadfastness and faith, for teaching through both word and deed and for the establishment and functioning of the institutions of the Administrative Order.}
{ABBD: The provision of financial support for a pioneer or teacher by another person. "Centre your energies", Bahá'u'lláh wrote, "in the propagation of the Faith of God. Whoso is worthy of so high a calling, let him arise and promote it. Whoso is unable, it is his duty to appoint him who will, in his stead, proclaim this Revelation..."}

see also Funds

{SFWAB:''As to the reference in the Arabic Hidden Words that the human being must become detached from self, here too the meaning is that he should not seek out anything whatever for his own self in this swiftly passing life, but that he should cut the self away, that is, he should yield up the self and all its concerns on the field of martyrdom, at the time of the coming of the Lord.'' (p. 207)}

{ABBD: To submit one's will to the will of God and to seek His good pleasure above one's own. Attachment to this world can be described as anything which prevents the soul from drawing nearer to God. Detachment does not mean renunciation of the world, mendicancy or asceticism. Bahá'u'lláh has stated, "Should a man wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing whatever to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or in the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him." Possession of earthly goods is not the only form of attachment. Pride in one's accomplishments, knowledge, position or own self can also be a barrier between oneself and God. Ridding oneself of these is also detachment.}

{ROB3: From the Bahá'í point of view, [detachment] is completely opposite to the ideas of renunciation of the world, mendicancy or asceticism. (p. 287n)}

Dhabíh, Siyyid Ismá'íl-i-Zavári'í, Hájí Muhammad Ismá'íl-i-Dhabíh of Káshán
{GL: Ishmael, famous Bahá'í and brother of Hájí Mírzá Jání of Káshán (see The Dawn-Breakers). Given this title (Sacrifice) by Bahá'u'lláh.}

{ROB1: Bahá'u'lláh has extolled Dhabíh as the 'King and Beloved of Martyrs'. He is reported to have said that 'No blood has, till now, been poured upon the earth as pure as the blood he shed'. Dhabíh should not be confused with the brothers Mírzá Muhammad-Hasan and Mírzá Muhammad-Husayn, who were designated by Bahá'u'lláh the 'King of the Martyrs' and the 'Beloved of the Martyrs', respectively. (p. 103 and n)}

{ROB2: He passed away in Tabríz around 1297-8 A.H. (1880-81). (p. 413n)}

{BGMG: The Sacrifice. Surname of Siyyid Ismá'íl-i-Zavári'í, extolled by Bahá'u'lláh as King and Beloved of Martyrs. (GPB 136)}

{BGMG: Immortal follower of Bahá'u'lláh, formerly a noted divine, who offered up his life as a sacrifice. (SW 75; GPB 130; 136)}

{BGMG: Rememberers. Performers of a dhikr, the religious ceremony practised by various mystic orders.}

{BGMG: Remembrance, commemoration, mention; praise or glorification of God; recital of His names; religious exercise or ceremony. Plural, adhkár.}

{ABBD: (Arabic) Remembrance, mention; praise or glorification. Dhikru'lláh (Remembrance of God) is a title the Báb took in the early days of His ministry.}

see also 'Abdu'dh-Dhikr, Siyyid-i-Dhikr

{ESW: An Arabian term meaning 'clad in armor' applied to Mullá 'Abdu'lláh the arch-killer of Imám Husayn.}

{BGMG: Possessor of the coat of mail. Shimr, leader of Yazíd's army that martyred the Imám Husayn at Karbilá. Prototype of cruelty, he is represented in the passion plays as dressed in chain-armor.}

Disciples of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
{ABBD: Nineteen eminent Western Bahá'ís, men and women, designated by this title by Shoghi Effendi. They were also entitled 'Heralds of the Covenant'.}

{ABBD: The period of time during which the authority of a Manifestation of God's social or temporal teachings endure. (The eternal, spiritual truths taught by each Manifestation are not abrogated but affirmed by subsequent Manifestations.) A Prophet's dispensation begins with the declaration of His prophetic mission and ends with the declaration of the next Manifestation of God, whose Teachings supersede those of the former prophet. The Dispensation of the Báb, which began on 23 May 1844, is closely linked to that of Bahá'u'lláh and is considered part of the Bahá'í Era. The Dispensation of the Báb ended at Ridván 1863 when Bahá'u'lláh declared His Mission in Baghdád. Bahá'u'lláh has stated in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas that the Bahá'í Dispensation shall last no less than a thousand years.}
Divine Elixir
{GL: Symbol of the power of faith to confer eternal life upon man; from 'elixir', an imaginary liquor supposed to prolong human life indefinitely}

{KI: Symbolic reference to the Elixir of the alchemists, that was supposed to transform base metals into gold}

see also Philosopher's Stone

Divine Messenger
{GL: Prophet of God. The Great soul, the All-Perfect One through whom such a Revelation is given.}
Divine Messiah
{GL: The Divine King and Deliverer expected by the Hebrews.}
Divine Springtime
{ROB1: Associated with the appearance of the Manifestation of God. (p. 183n)}
Díyá'íyyih Khánum
{ROB2: Daughter of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The wishes of the wife of the Báb were fulfilled with Díyá'íyyih Khánum's marriage to Mírzá Hádíy-i-Afnán. They were the parents of Shoghi Effendi. (p. 387 and n)}
{BGMG: Village near Fort Tabarsí.}

Dragoman, Tarjumán
{BGMG: Interpreter.}

{BGMG: prayer.}
Economic Problems, Spiritual Solution to
{ABBD: One of the principles or tenets of Bahá'í social teaching, it includes the abolition of extremes of wealth and poverty, to be achieved through taxation as well as the spiritual transformation of attitudes so that the rich engage in philanthropy from inner conviction. 'The essence of the matter', said 'Abdu'l-Bahá, 'is that divine justice will become manifest in human conditions and affairs, and all mankind will find comfort and enjoyment in life. It is not meant that all will be equal, for inequality in degree and capacity is a property of nature. Necessarily there will be rich people and also those who will be in want of their livelihood, but in the aggregate community there will be equalization and readjustment of values and interests. In the future there will be no very rich nor extremely poor.' One of the institutions established to bring this principle into effect is the Huqúq'u'lláh. The Bahá'í Faith provides the spiritual stimulus and framework necessary for the complete restructuring of human society, of which economics is a part. It does not provide a complete economic system or programme of reform: 'There are practically no technical teachings on economics in the Cause, such as banking, the price system, and others. The Cause is not an economic system...The contribution of the Faith to this subject is essentially indirect, as it consists of the application of spiritual principles to our present-day economic system. Bahá'u'lláh has given us a few basic principles which should guide future Bahá'í economists in establishing such institutions which will adjust the economic relationships of the world...' However, there are several practical solutions to specific economic problems to be found in the Bahá'í Writings, such as the creation of a general storehouse of agricultural goods for a community, profit-sharing, the voluntary sharing of one's property with others, the redistribution of wealth so that there are no extremes of wealth and poverty, justice in opportunity, graduated taxation, recognition of the importance of agriculture and the abolition of war.}

see also Wealth and Poverty, Elimination of Extremes of

Education, Nature of
{ABBD: That process which enables a person to understand God, the Manifestation, and his own self, as well as to acquire particular skills and knowledge useful to himself and to the world. Bahá'u'lláh writes: 'The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute Detachment, to the Throne of the Most High.' 'We have decreed, O people, that the highest and last end of all learning be the recognition of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge...' 'Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.' 'It is not desirable that a man be left without knowledge or skills, for he is then but a barren tree.' 'The learned of the day must direct the people to acquire those branches of knowledge which are of use, that both the learned themselves and the generality of mankind may derive benefits therefrom.'}
Education, Universal
{ABBD: One of the principles or tenets of Bahá'í social teaching. 'Abdu'l-Bahá explained: 'Bahá'u'lláh has announced that inasmuch as ignorance and lack of education are barriers of separation among mankind, all must receive training and instruction. Through this provision the lack of mutual understanding will be remedied and the unity of mankind furthered and advanced. Universal education is a universal law. It is, therefore, incumbent upon every father to teach and instruct his children according to his possibilities. If he is unable to educate them, the body politic, the representative of the people, must provide the means for their education.' And: 'education is essential, and all standards of training and teaching throughout the world of mankind should be brought into conformity and agreement; a universal curriculum should be established, and the basis of ethics be the same.' 'Daughters and sons must follow the same curriculum of study, thereby promoting unity of the sexes.' 'Furthermore, the education of woman is more necessary and important than that of man, for woman is the trainer of the child from its infancy...If the educator be incompetent, the educated will be correspondingly lacking...The mothers are the first educators of mankind; if they be imperfect, alas for the condition and future of the race.'}

see also Religion and Science, Harmony of

{BGMG: A Turkish honorific signifying ''sir, master'', and applied to officials and scholars, etc. in some parts of the Middle East.}

{ABBD: (Turkish) A term of respect meaning 'sir' or 'mister' affixed to a person's name.}

{ABBD: The selection of membership of Local and National Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice. All Bahá'í elections are conducted by secret ballot without nominations, canvassing or any form of electioneering. The election process requires the elector to write down the names of those individuals (presently nine for Local and National Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice, generally one for election of delegates to the National Convention) whom he feels are the most suitable for service. There is no discussion of personalities before an election. Those people with the highest number of votes assume office. Local and National Assemblies elect their officers from among their own number. The election of officers is conducted as other Bahá'í elections, except that a person must receive at least five votes to be elected to a particular office. All adult Bahá'ís in good standing in a specific locality are eligible to vote for, and to be elected to, the Local Spiritual Assembly. All adult Bahá'ís in good standing in a particular electoral unit are eligible to vote for, or to be elected as, a delegate to the National Convention. Delegates to the National Convention vote for the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, the members of which are drawn from all adult Bahá'ís in the country, and not merely from the body of the delegates. National Spiritual Assembly members elect the members of the Universal House of Justice from among the adult Bahá'í males of the world community.}

Endowed With Constancy
{BGMG: Title given to those Prophets Who revealed a Faith and instituted religious laws. ''The independent Prophets are the lawgivers and the founders of a new cycle...The other Prophets are followers and promoters...they are like the moon, which...receives its light from the sun.'' 'Abdu'l-Bahá (SAQ 188).}

{ABBD: The Administrative process by which a person who has declared his or her belief in Bahá'u'lláh officially becomes a member of the Bahá'í community, enjoying the rights and privileges of membership including voting in Bahá'í elections, attending Nineteen Day Feasts and serving in elective and appointed administrative positions. Each National Spiritual Assembly determines the manner for registering new believers. In most countries this involves signing a card stating one's desire to become enrolled in the Bahá'í community.}

see also Declaration

{CLUG: Pointed saying tersely expressed.}

{ABBD: A letter. Often refers to major Writings of Bahá'u'lláh addressed to particular individuals, as Epistle to the Son of the Wolf.}

{CLUG: An elegant and formal letter directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually intended to teach moral instruction}

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
{ABBD: The last volume revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, in 1891 in Bahjí. It was addressed to Shaykh Muhammad-Taqí, the son of an enemy of the Bahá'í Faith whom Bahá'u'lláh had named 'The Wolf'. In this Epistle Bahá'u'lláh calls upon Shaykh Muhammad-Taqí to repent his evil deeds, quotes selected passages from His own writings and describes the deeds of the Covenant-breakers in Constantinople.}

{ABBD: Period or division of the three Ages through which the Bahá'í Faith must pass. The Heroic, Primitive or Apostolic Age, "fell into three distinct epochs, of nine, of thirty-nine and of twenty-nine years" duration, associated respectively with the Bábí dispensation and the ministries of Bahá'u'lláh and of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The first epoch of the Formative Age (1921–44/46) witnessed the "birth and the primary stages in the erection of the framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith." The second epoch (1946–63) witnessed the "formulation of a succession of teaching plans designed to facilitate the development of the Faith beyond the confines of the Western Hemisphere and the continent of Europe". The second epoch also witnessed the "appointment of the Hands of the Cause, the introduction of Auxiliary Boards and the establishment of the International Bahá'í Council. The culminating event of the epoch was the election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963." The third epoch (1963–86) witnessed "the emergence of the Faith from obscurity and the initiation of activities designed to foster the social and economic development of communities". The institution of the Continental Board of Counsellors was brought into existence leading to the establishment of the International Teaching Centre. Assistants to the Auxiliary Boards were also introduced. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice was designed and built in this epoch. The fourth epoch (1986–) saw the beginning of the process whereby "the specific goals for each national community will be formulated, within the framework of the overall objectives of the [Six Year Teaching] Plan, by means of consultation between the particular National Spiritual Assembly and the Continental Board of Counsellors." In addition, the term 'epoch' was also used by Shoghi Effendi to refer to the phases in the unfoldment of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan. The first epoch of this Plan began in 1937 with the inception of the First Seven Year Plan by the North American Bahá'í community and concluded with the completion of the Ten Year Crusade in 1963. The second epoch began in 1964 with the inauguration of the Nine Year Plan of the Universal House of Justice.}

see also The Tablets of the Divine Plan, Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Equality of Men and Women
{ABBD: One of the principles or tenets of Bahá'í social teaching. Bahá'u'lláh has stated: 'Praised be God, the Pen of the Most High hath lifted distinctions from between His servants and handmaidens and...hath conferred upon all a station and rank on the same plane.' 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke much about this principle when touring the West in 1911–13. While in America He spoke at a Woman's Suffrage Meeting in New York, stating: 'In past ages it was held that woman and man were not equal--that is to say, woman was considered inferior to man, even from the standpoint of her anatomy and creation. She was considered especially inferior in intelligence, and the idea prevailed universally that it was not allowable for her to step into the arena of important affairs. In some countries man went so far as to believe and teach that woman belonged to a sphere lower than human. But in this century, which is the Century of Light and the revelation of mysteries, God is proving to the satisfaction of humanity that all this is ignorance and error; nay, rather, it is well established that mankind and womankind as parts of composite humanity are coequal and that no difference in estimate is allowable, for all are human. The conditions in past centuries were due to woman's lack of opportunity. She was denied the right and privilege of education and left in her undeveloped state. Naturally, she could not and did not advance. In reality, God has created all mankind, and in the estimation of God there is no distinction as to male and female. The one whose heart is pure is acceptable in His sight, be that one man or woman. God does not inquire, ''Art thou woman or art thou man?'' He judges human actions. If these are acceptable in the threshold of the Glorious One, man and woman will be equally recognized and rewarded. Furthermore, the education of woman is more necessary and important than that of man, for woman is the trainer of the child from its infancy. If she be defective and imperfect herself, the child will necessarily be deficient; therefore, imperfection of woman implies a condition of imperfection in all mankind, for it is the mother who rears, nurtures and guides the growth of the child. This is not the function of the father. If the educator be incompetent, the educated will be correspondingly lacking. This is evident and incontrovertible. Could the student be brilliant and accomplished if the teacher is illiterate and ignorant? The mothers are the first educators of mankind; if they be imperfect, alas for the condition and future of the race...The world of humanity consists of two parts: male and female. Each is the complement of the other. Therefore, if one is defective, the other will necessarily be incomplete, and perfection cannot be attained. There is a right hand and a left hand in the human body, functionally equal in service and Administration. If either proves defective, the defect will naturally extend to the other by involving the completeness of the whole; for accomplishment is not normal unless both are perfect. If we say one hand is deficient, we prove the inability and incapacity of the other; for single-handed there is no full accomplishment. Just as physical accomplishment is complete with two hands, so man and woman, the two parts of the social body, must be perfect. It is not natural that either should remain undeveloped; and until both are perfected, the happiness of the human world will not be realized.'}

see also Women, Status of

Esslemont, Dr John Ebenezer
{ABBD: Hand of the Cause of God, born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1874. He was introduced to the Bahá'í Faith in 1914. His major book, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, the first nine chapters of which he wrote during the First World War, was submitted to 'Abdu'l-Bahá for approval. Esslemont visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1919–20 and returned to the Holy Land in 1925 to undertake work for Shoghi Effendi. He died there in November 1925 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause. Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era has been translated into many languages and has become one of the most widely used of the introductory books to the Bahá'í Faith.}
{ABBD: 'Evil' is explained in the Bahá'í Writings as being the absence of good, in the same way that darkness is the absence of light. Evil is not seen as an independent force in its own right. 'Abdu'l-Bahá explained: '...the intellectual realities, such as all the qualities and admirable perfections of man, are purely good, and exist. Evil is simply their non-existence. So ignorance is the want of knowledge, error is the want of guidance, forgetfulness is the want of memory, stupidity is the want of good sense. All these things have no real existence.' Although the creation of God is entirely good, man's free will allows him the capacity to use his natural gifts for positive good or to pervert them to evil uses, by following his selfish, baser desires. In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi further explained: 'We know absence of light is darkness, but no one would assert darkness was not a fact. It exists even though it is only the absence of something else. So evil exists too, and we cannot close our eyes to it, even though it is a negative existence. We must seek to supplant it by good, and if we see an evil person is not influenceable by us, then we should shun his company for it is unhealthy.' However, Bahá'ís do not believe that people are inherently evil.}

see also Satan

{ABBD: The change and development of the physical or spiritual self. 'Abdu'l-Bahá states: 'Know that nothing which exists remains in a state of repose, that is to say, all things are in motion. Everything is either growing or declining, all things are either coming from non-existence into being, or going from existence into non-existence.' As to spiritual evolution, 'Abdu'l-Bahá says, ' the spirit continues to exist after death, it necessarily progresses or declines; and in the other world, to cease to progress is the same as to decline; but it never leaves its own condition, in which it continues to develop.' Regarding physical evolution, Bahá'ís do not believe that man was once another species, although in physical form man may have resembled other species of animals. 'Abdu'l-Bahá states: ' man in the womb of the mother passes from form to form, from shape to shape, changes and develops, and is still the human species from the beginning of the embryonic period--in the same way man, from the beginning of his existence in the matrix of the world, is also a distinct species, that is, man, and has gradually evolved from one form to another. Therefore this change of appearance, this evolution of members, this development and growth, even though we admit the reality of growth and progress (i.e. if we admit, for example, that man had formerly been a quadruped, or had had a tail), does not prevent the species from being original. Man from the beginning was in this perfect form and composition, and possessed capacity and aptitude for acquiring material and spiritual perfections, and was the manifestation of these words, ''We will make man in our image and likeness.'' He has only become more pleasing, more beautiful, and more graceful.'}

{ABBD: The growth and development of the Bahá'í Faith resulting from the introduction of new people to it.}

see also Teaching

{ROB2: Literally 'an erudite man of great eminence'; an appellation by which Nabíl-i-Akbar was often known. (p. 42n)}
{ABBD: Belief in God. Faith has two aspects: belief and action. Bahá'u'lláh writes: "True belief in God and recognition of Him cannot be complete save by acceptance of that which He hath revealed and by observance of whatsoever hath been decreed by Him and set down in the Book by the Pen of Glory." There is no implication of faith being blind; faith must be balanced by knowledge: "Regarding the 'two wings' of the soul: These signify wings of ascent. One is the wing of knowledge, the other of faith, as this is the means of the ascent of the human soul to the lofty station of divine perfections." "If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment." Every created thing has 'faith' in that it must respond to the Laws of God. Man's soul also has this sort of faith. However, it is better for a man to choose to know and worship God: "Know thou that faith is of two kinds. The first is objective faith that is expressed by the outer man, obedience of the limbs and senses. The other faith is subjective, and unconscious obedience to the will of God...This condition of unconscious obedience constitutes subjective faith. But the discerning faith that consists of true knowledge of God and the comprehension of divine words, of such faith there is very little in any age." Faith is personal and must be personally cultivated. Bahá'u'lláh writes: "...the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself", and: "The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds..."}

{CLUG: Synonym for 'religion', as in Bahá'í 'Faith'. Writings of the Faith = Writings of the Bahá'í Faith}

see also Harmony of Religion and Science

{CLUG: A temple or shrine.}

see also Baytu'l-Ma'múr

{ABBD: (Arabic) (Pl. fuqahá) A Muslim jurist.}
{BGMG: Poor, i.e., in need of God's mercy, poor in the sight of God. These are divided into two great classes, those who live by Qur'ánic law and those who, though calling themselves Muslims, live without the law. A member of the former is known as a traveler (sálik) on the pathway (taríqat) to heaven. The latter are ázád (free), or majdhúb (rapt, abstracted, attracted). There are many orders of faqírs, practising many, and often secret, ceremonies. Their doctrines are Súfí, and their religious ceremonies are called dhikrs.}

{ROB2: Bahá'u'lláh has designated new names for certain towns and villages in the Province of Khurásán: Fárán (Párán) for Tún. Bahá'í writers use the new designations in their writings. (p. 114n)}
Faraqlít, Paraclete
{BGMG: This refers to Muhammad. Cf. Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Charles Mason Remey, S of W, vol. 3, No. 7: ''His Holiness the Christ took the Covenant of the 'Paraclete'--which means His Holiness Muhammad--and announced the glad-tidings of His appearance.'' Islámic doctrine is that this is the original of the word translated ''Ahmad'' in Qur'án 61:6. Nicholson translates ''Ahmad'' laudatissimus.}

Farmán, Firmán
{DBNN: 'Order', 'command', 'royal decree'.}

{ABBD: (Persian) In Persia or Turkey, a royal decree or edict.}

Farmán Farmá
{ESW: Title of Prince Firaydún Mírzá, the son of Prince 'Abbás Mírzá, and brother of Muhammad Sháh.}

{BGMG: Title of a Persian dignitary, SW 170.}

{DBNN: 'Footman', 'lictor', 'attendant'}

{ABBD: (Persian) Literally, carpet-spreader; attendant, footman.}

{DBNN: The head farrásh.}

{ROB1: Chief police officer. (p. 90n)}

{ABBD: (Persian) Head farrásh. The farrásh-báshí to the Sháh was able, at times, to exert power and influence.}

Farsakh, Farsang
{DBNN: Unit of measurement. Its length differs in different parts of the country according to the nature of the ground, the local interpretation of the term being the distance which a laden mule will walk in the hour, which varies from three to four miles. Arabicised from the old Persian 'parsang,' and supposed to be derived from pieces of stone (sang) placed on the roadside.}

{BGMG: 3 to 4 miles; i.e., distance laden mule walks in 1 hour.}

Farsi, Pársí
{CLUG: The Persian language, also known by its endonym Farsi, is spoken and used officially within Írán, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian (officially known as Persian), Dari Persian (officially known as Dari since 1964) and Tajiki Persian (officially known as Tajik since 1999). It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of the Cyrillic script. Historically it has been natively known as Parsi. However, because of Arab conquest, the name Farsi began to emerge, since Arabs could not pronounce P as a sound, since the Arabic language has no P sound. As such, the name Farsi became more prominent. Modern Persian is a continuation of Middle Persian, an official language of the Sasanian Empire (224–651 CE), itself a continuation of Old Persian, which was used in the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE). It originated in the region of Pars (Persia) in southwestern Iran. Its grammar is similar to that of many European languages. Throughout history, Persian was considered prestigious by various empires centered in Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia. New Persian literature was first recorded in the ninth century, after the Muslim conquest of Persia, since then adopting the Perso-Arabic script. Persian was the first language to break through the monopoly of Arabic on writing in the Muslim world, with Persian poetry becoming a tradition in many eastern courts. It was used officially as a language of bureaucracy even by non-native speakers, such as the Ottomans in Anatolia, the Mughals in South Asia, and the Pashtuns in Afghanistan. It influenced languages spoken in neighboring regions and beyond, including other Iranian languages, the Turkic, Armenian, Georgian, and Indo-Aryan languages. It also exerted some influence on Arabic, while borrowing a lot of vocabulary from it in the Middle Ages. Some of the world's most famous pieces of literature from the Middle Ages, such as the Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, the works of Rúmí, the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, the Panj Ganj of Nizámí Ganjavi, The Divan of Hafez, The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Níshápúr, and the miscellanea of Gulistan and Bustan by Saadi Shirazi, are written in Persian. There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, including Lurs, Tajiks, Hazaras, Iranian Azeris, Iranian Kurds, Balochs, Tats, Afghan Pashtuns and Aimaqs.}

{BGMG: Zoroastrian Persians who emigrated to India after the Arab Conquest.}

see also Pure Persian

{ABBD: The abstinence from food and drink between sunrise and sunset in the month of 'Alá'. 'It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires'.}

see also Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Fath-'Ali Sháh
{BGMG: Qájár Sháh who reigned 1798–1834. Notorious among other things for wives, concubines, and ''incalculable progeny.'' (PDC 68).}

{ABBD: Qájár Sháh of Írán who reigned from 1798 to 1834. He bestowed the name 'Mírzá Buzurg' on the father of Bahá'u'lláh principally on account of his calligraphic prowess.}

Fátimih, Chaste One, Daughter of Muhammad
{KI: The daughter of Muhammad and Khadíjih. She married 'Alí, the cousin of Muhammad, and had three sons. One died in infancy and from the other two, Hasan and Husayn, are descended the posterity of the Prophet known as Siyyids.}

{BGMG: Daughter of Muhammad, consort of 'Alí, ancestress of the Báb, known among other titles as ''The Chaste One'' and ''The Lady of Light.'' To Muslims, one of the four perfect women.}

Fátimih, Book Of, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh (Kalimát-i-Maknúnih)
{ESW: The book revealed by Gabriel for Fátimih as consolation after her Father's death and believed by Shí'ih Islám to be in the Qá'im's possession. Identified with The Hidden Words}

{BGMG: Revealed by Bahá'u'lláh as He paced the banks of the Tigris, 1274 A.H. It was originally designated by Him the Hidden Book of Fátimih. Shoghi Effendi refers to it as ''this dynamic spiritual leaven cast into the life of the world for the reorientation of the minds of men, the edification of their souls and the rectification of their conduct...'' (GPB 140).}

{ABBD: A collection of passages revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád in 1858. The Hidden Words, which Shoghi Effendi termed a "marvelous collection of gem-like utterances" were revealed as Bahá'u'lláh "paced, wrapped in His meditations, the banks of the Tigris". The book consists of seventy-one passages in Arabic and eighty-two in Persian, and was originally called the 'Hidden Book of Fátimih'. In Shí'ah Islam, the 'Hidden Book of Fátimih' is believed to have been dictated to the Imám 'Alí by the Angel Gabriel to console Muhammad's daughter Fátimih after the Prophet's death. The 'Hidden Book of Fátimih' is thought to be in the possession of the awaited Qá'im.}

Fátimih, The Báb's second wife
{ROB1: In nineteenth-century Persia the way of life differed radically from present-day life in the West. Social and religious circumstances in Muslim countries almost required a man (especially if he were an eminent person) to take more than one wife. During His six-months' sojourn in Isfahán, the Báb took a second wife, Fátimih, who was a sister of Mullá Rajab 'Alíy-i-Qahír, a Bábí from Isfahán. (p. 249n)}
Fátimih, the Immaculate
{ROB4: Sister of the eighth Imám, Imám Ridá, she was buried in [Qum] AD 816. (p. 187n)}
{BGMG: Sentence or judgment by Muslim muftí.}
Feast, Nineteen Day
{ABBD: The principal gathering of Bahá'ís of a particular locality. The Nineteen Day Feast is, ideally, held on the first day of every Bahá'í month, and brings together the members of the Bahá'í community for worship, consultation and fellowship. The programme for each Feast is divided into three parts to correspond to these purposes. The devotional portion of the feast consists of reading primarily from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb and 'Abdu'l-Bahá or, occasionally, from the sacred scriptures of other religions. The purpose of the consultative portion of the Feast "is to enable individual believers to offer any suggestion to the Local Assembly which in its turn will pass it to the [National Spiritual Assembly]". The social portion of the Feast consists in the serving of refreshments. Attendance at the Feast is not obligatory but very important. In general, only Bahá'ís are permitted to attend the Nineteen Day Feast.}

see also Unity Feast

Fifth Tablet of Paradise
{ROB1: 'Abdu'l-Bahá has clearly indicated that none of these Tablets [Ruby Tablet, Fifth Tablet of Paradise] or lines has been revealed in this world. They are preserved in the Kingdom of God and in the realms of heaven. (p. 82)}
{BGMG: Palace near Káshán, where the minister responsible for the death-sentence of the Báb was killed by royal order.}
Findiriski, Mír-Abu'l Qásim, Siyyid of Findirisk
{ESW: A noted Persian poet and thinker, who lived in the 16th Century, A.D.}

{BGMG: Poet and metaphysician of Isfahán (middle Safaví period). Mullá Sadra was his pupil.}

Firdaws Garden
{ABBD: (Paradise Garden) A garden lying to the west of the Ridván Garden in the Holy Land. It covers an extensive agricultural area. Bahá'u'lláh once pitched His tent near a pool in the garden. In 1881 the garden was purchased in the name of Bahá'u'lláh.}
{ABBD: A meeting held in one's home for the purpose of teaching the Bahá'í Faith. According to Shoghi Effendi, "The principle of the fireside meeting, which was established in order to permit and encourage the individual to teach in his own home, has been proven the most effective instrument for spreading the Faith." "The most effective method of teaching is the Fireside group, where new people can be shown Bahá'í hospitality, and ask all the questions which bother them. They can feel there the true Bahá'í spirit..." Bahá'ís are encouraged to hold a fireside once every nineteen days.}
{CLUG: In Biblical cosmology, the firmament is the vast solid dome created by God during his creation of the world. Today it survives as a synonym for 'sky', 'heaven', or world viewed as a collection of people.}
First Leaf Of Paradise
{ESW: Quotation is from Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet 'Words of Paradise' which has eleven numbered sections, each called a 'leaf'.}
Fírúz Mírzá
{BGMG: Governor of Shíráz in 1850.}

{BGMG: Persian town east of Tihrán.}

{ROB4: A reference to Peter, the Disciple of Christ (p. 433).}
Formative Age, Iron Age, Transitional Age
{ABBD: Corresponding to the period since the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921. As described by Shoghi Effendi, the phase or age of the Bahá'í Era, "ushered in by ['Abdu'l-Bahá's] Will and Testament, which defines its character and establishes its foundation." This age is to "witness the crystallization and shaping of the creative energies" released by the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh. The Formative Age is divided into Epochs which mark stages in the development of the Bahá'í community and its institutions. The first epoch (1921–44/46) saw the formation of local and international institutions in all five continents, the first Seven Year Plan and several national plans. The second epoch (1946-63) witnessed the development, through a series of teaching plans, of the Bahá'í Faith in East and West and the development of the World Centre. The third epoch (1963–86) included three world teaching plans under the direction of the Universal House of Justice and saw the emergence of the Faith from obscurity and the beginning of the social and economic development of Bahá'í communities. The fourth epoch, which began in 1986 with the Six Year Plan, marks a new stage in the development of the Bahá'í Administrative Order. The Formative Age will see its ultimate flowering in the Golden Age.}

see also Ages of the Bahá'í Era, Covenant Library Bahá'í Dates Calendar

Four and Twenty Elders
{ROB1: 'Abdu'l-Bahá has designated [Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Afnán] as one of the '...four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats...', mentioned in the Revelation of S. John the Divine. Of the other twenty-three 'elders', only nineteen have been named, i.e., the Báb and eighteen Letters of the Living. (p 201 and n)}

see also Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh

Free Will
{ABBD: The freedom given to man by God to choose whether or not to acknowledge Him and obey His commands. 'Abdu'l-Bahá states, 'the choice of good and evil belongs to the man himself.' 'Some things are subject to the free will of man, such as justice, equity, tyranny, and injustice, as well as all the good and evil actions; it is evident and clear that these actions are, for the most part, left to the will of man. But there are certain things to which man is forced and compelled: such as sleep, death, sickness, decline of power, injuries, and misfortunes; these are not subject to the will of man, and he is not responsible for them, for he is compelled to endure them. But in the choice of good and bad actions he is free, and he commits them according to his own will.'}
Frequented Fane, Baytu'l-Ma'múr
{BGMG: Qur'án 52:4. In Islám, the Ka'bih or its archetype in heaven.}

{ABBD: In Islám, the Ka'bih or its archetype in heaven. Bahá'u'lláh refers to it in one of the prayers for the Fast: "...this Revelation whereby darkness hath been turned into light, through which the Frequented Fane hath been built...".}

{ABBD: Name by which Bahá'ís often address each other collectively.}
Funds, 'Lifeblood of the Cause'
{ABBD: The moneys contributed by the Bahá'ís to the different institutions of the Faith. Shoghi Effendi wrote: "And as the progress and execution of spiritual activities is dependent and conditioned upon material means, it is of absolute necessity that immediately after the establishment of Local as well as National Spiritual Assemblies, a Bahá'í Fund be established, to be placed under the exclusive control of the Spiritual Assembly. All donations and contributions should be offered to the Treasurer of the Assembly, for the express purpose of promoting the interests of the Cause throughout that locality or country. It is the sacred obligation of every conscientious and faithful servant of Bahá'u'lláh who desires to see His Cause advance, to contribute freely and generously for the increase of that Fund..." The amount given to the Funds is not important: "Contributing to the Fund is a service every believer can render, be he poor or wealthy; for this is a spiritual responsibility in which the amount given is not important. It is the degree of the sacrifice of the giver, and the love with which he makes his gift, and unity of all the friends in this service which brings spiritual confirmations..." Contributions to the Bahá'í funds are not accepted from non Bahá'ís. "One of the distinguishing features of the Cause of God is its principle of non-acceptance of financial contributions for its own purposes from non-Bahá'ís: support of the Bahá'í Fund is a bounty reserved by Bahá'u'lláh to his declared followers." There are several Bahá'í Funds. Each Local Spiritual Assembly will establish its own Fund which is used to support local teaching, proclamation and consolidation activities; similarly, each National Spiritual Assembly will administer a National Fund which supports activities on a national level. The Continental Fund supports the work of the Hands of the Cause, the Continental Board of Counsellors and the Auxiliary Board Members, while the International Fund, administered by the Universal House of Justice, supports Bahá'í work on an international level. There are also funds for various projects, such as the building of a House of Worship and the building of the Arc on Mount Carmel, for deputizing travel teachers or pioneers to undertake these activities in one's stead, and for assisting those believers who have suffered from persecution in Írán.}
{ROB2: Bahá'u'lláh has designated new names for certain towns and villages in the Province of Khurásán: Fúrúgh (Brightness) for Dúgh-Ábád. Bahá'í writers use the new designations in their writings. (p. 114n)}
Fúrúghíyyih Khánum
{ROB2: A daughter of Bahá'u'lláh, Fúrúghíyyih Khánum and her husband, Hájí Siyyid 'Alíy-i-Afnán (son of the 'Great Afnán', Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Hasan) both became Covenant-breakers during the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. (p. 387 and n) Knowing that he had no chance of securing this marriage on his own, and knowing also how eager the wife of the Báb was to attain the presence of Bahá'u'lláh, Hájí Siyyid 'Alí promised that he would accompany her to 'Akká if she arranged this marriage for him. But he did not fulfil his promise. (p. 387n)}
{BGMG: Celebrated work by Shaykh Ibnu'l-'Arabí, containing Muhammad's prediction that all the Qá'im's companions would be slain, except one who would reach the plain of 'Akká.}

{GL: Said to be the highest of the angels, and to hover over the throne of God and shelter it with his wings.}

{KI: The highest of all the angels, the Holy Spirit. It is his duty to write down the decrees of God; through him the Qur'án was revealed to Muhammad}

{ROB1: The angel who embodied the Holy Spirit for Muhammad. (p. 173n)}

"Gathering Beneath the Shade of the 'Tree of Life' "
{ROB1: 'Abdu'l-Bahá interpreted the meaning of the gathering beneath the shade of the 'tree of life' as the establishment of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. 'The Lord, the All-Glorified,' in the words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, 'hath, beneath the shade of the Tree of Anísá [tree of life], made a new Covenant and established a great Testament...' That this Covenant was established at so early a stage in the ministry of Bahá'u'lláh is one of the mysteries of Divine Revelation. Indeed, in a Tablet 'Abdu'l-Bahá stated that when the day-star of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh dawned upon humanity, the first ray which shed its light upon those gathered beneath the 'tree of life' was that of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. (p. 81)}
Generation of the Half-Light
{ABBD: People living today, that is, before the establishment of the Bahá'í Commonwealth. Shoghi Effendi wrote: "the 'generation of the half-light', living at a time which may be designated as the period of the incubation of the World Commonwealth envisaged by Bahá'u'lláh...We stand on the threshold of an age whose convulsions proclaim alike the death-pangs of the old order and the birth-pangs of the new."}
Getsinger, Lua
{ABBD: (née Louisa A. Moore) American Bahá'í to whom 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave the name Livá (Banner)--Banner of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi designated her as 'the mother teacher of the West'. Lua Getsinger travelled extensively in order to teach the Bahá'í Faith. In 1898 she was among the first Western pilgrims to visit 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akká. She died in Cairo in 1916.}
Geyserville Bahá'í School
{ABBD: Property in northern California given to the Bahá'í Faith by John Bosch and used for the first time as a summer school in 1927. The school was superseded by the Bosch School.}
{BGMG: Title of head of Men of the Unseen, indicating saintship. Analogous term, Qutb -- pole, pivot.}

see also Men of the Unseen, Rijálu'l-Ghayb

{BGMG: Occultation; the whole period of the Hidden Imám's Imámate.}

{BGMG: Major Occultation. Period from the death of the Fourth Gate till the return of the Twelfth Imám. During this period all communication between the Imám and his Church ceased.}

{BGMG: Minor Occultation. 69-year period, beginning in 260 A.H., during which the Twelfth Imám was still accessible through the Four Gates.}

{DBNNi: Accompanied Vahíd to Nayríz; one of the martyrs of Khazíh.}
{DBNNi: Accompanied Vahíd to Nayríz.}
{BGMG: Persian province on Caspian Sea.}

God, Divinity, Mystery of Mysteries, Unknowable Essence, Creator
{ABBD: The deity. Bahá'ís believe there is only one God, unknowable in His essence, who is the creator and absolute ruler of the universe. "All existence is dependent upon Him, and from Him all beings derive their sustenance. He is independent of all things. He is alone and without equal. No being can know or approach Him." It is not possible to describe God. Bahá'u'lláh wrote: "To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men." However, man's purpose is to 'know' and to 'worship' God. This paradox lies in the centre of the Bahá'í conception of God. One can come to know God only through His attributes and signs, particularly through His word and command as revealed through His Manifestations. In the world of creation, God's attributes are revealed through created things. Each created thing has been made the bearer of some sign of divine reality, so that the whole of creation mirrors forth the beauty of God. Human beings have been made the bearers of all the divine names and attributes, so that they may be said to be made in the 'image of God'. However, the chief locus of the attributes of God in this world is the Manifestation of God, who exemplifies most perfectly God's attributes and provides a channel for the Revelation of His command.}

{ROB1: The Báb explained in His Writings that attaining 'unto the presence of God', as Promised in the Holy Books, would be none other than attaining the presence of 'Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest'. (p. 299n}

{ROB2: Since it is not possible to know God in His essence, man attains to the knowledge of God when he knows His Manifestation. (p. 36n)}

see also 'Alláh

God Passes By
{ABBD: Volume by Shoghi Effendi, first published in 1944, outlining events in the history of the first hundred years of the Bahá'í Faith including the Mission of the Báb, the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, the Ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the development of the Bahá'í Administrative Order.}
Golden Age
{ABBD: A future age of the Bahá'í Era, the arrival of which will be signalized by the establishment of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. The Golden Age of the Bahá'í Era will, Shoghi Effendi writes, "witness the unification of all the peoples and nations of the world, the establishment of the Most Great Peace, the inauguration of the Kingdom of the Father upon earth, the coming of age of the entire human race and the birth of a world civilization, inspired and directed by the creative energies released by Bahá'u'lláh's World Order..."}

see also Ages of the Bahá'í Era

Government, Obedience to
{ABBD: One of the laws of Bahá'u'lláh is that Bahá'ís must obey the laws of the government of the land in which they live. They are forbidden to take part in subversive movements. In His Will and Testament 'Abdu'l-Bahá has stated: ''According to the direct and sacred command of God...we must obey and be the well-wishers of the governments of the land, regard disloyalty unto a just king as disloyalty to God Himself and wishing evil to the government a transgression of the Cause of God.'' 'Abdu'l-Bahá has further written, '...each and every one is required to show obedience, submission and loyalty to his own government...the Bahá'ís are the well-wishers of the government, obedient to its laws and bearing love towards all peoples.'' And, ''Let them willingly subject themselves to every just king, and to every generous ruler be good citizens. Let them obey the government and not meddle in political affairs...'' Shoghi Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf, has explained that, ''What the Master's statement really means is obedience to a duly constituted government, whatever that government may be in form. We are not the ones, as individual Bahá'ís, to judge our government as just or unjust--for each believer would be sure to hold a different viewpoint, and within our own Bahá'í fold a hotbed of dissension would spring up and destroy our unity.'' However, Shoghi Effendi stated in a letter to the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria in 1934 written on his behalf: ''...whereas the friends should obey the government under which they live, even at the risk of sacrificing all their Administrative affairs and interests, they should under no circumstances suffer their inner religious beliefs and convictions to be violated and transgressed by any authority whatever. A distinction of fundamental importance must, therefore, be made between spiritual and administrative matters. Whereas the former are sacred and inviolable and hence cannot be subject to compromise, the latter are secondary and can consequently be given up and even sacrificed for the sake of obedience to the laws and regulations of the government...In matters of belief, however, no compromise whatever should be allowed, even though the outcome of it be death or expulsion.''}

Great Announcement, A'n-naba'u'l-'Azím
{BGMG: This refers to the advent of the Day of the Lord. (SW 141-3). See Qur'án 78:1–2.}

Greater Plan of God, Major Plan of God
{ABBD: God's purpose for mankind in this age, which is "one and indivisible, whose Source is God, whose author is Bahá'u'lláh, the theatre of whose operations is the entire planet, and whose ultimate objectives are the unity of the human race and the peace of all mankind." "...two great processes are at work in the world: [the first is] the great Plan of God, tumultuous in its progress, working through mankind as a whole, tearing down barriers to world unity and forging humankind into a unified body in the fires of suffering and experience. This process will produce, in God's due time, the Lesser Peace..." The various teaching plans of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice are parts of the Greater Plan and may be called the Minor or Lesser Plan.}

Green Acre Bahá'í School
{ABBD: Property in Eliot, Maine, USA, given to the Bahá'í Faith by Sarah Farmer for use as a summer school. The first Bahá'í summer school was established there in 1929.}
Gregory, Louis
{ABBD: Hand of the Cause born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, in 1874, the son of a freed slave. He attended Fisk University and later studied law at Howard University. He practised law until 1906 when he took a position in the United States Treasury Department. Louis Gregory first heard about the Bahá'í Faith in 1908. He visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Egypt and later in Haifa and 'Akká. He travelled extensively throughout the United States teaching the Bahá'í Faith and was for thirty-five years the mainspring behind the work for Race Amity. He was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States for many years. Louis Gregory passed away in 1951 and was designated by Shoghi Effendi as the first Hand of the Cause of his race.}
Groups, Bahá'í
{ABBD: Communities of Bahá'ís whose adult members number less than nine. Bahá'í groups have no Administrative status but are encouraged to hold their own Nineteen Day Feasts and to teach. When a Bahá'í group increases to nine or more members, generally a Local Spiritual Assembly will be formed at the next Ridván. Occasionally there are Bahá'í groups of more than nine where it is impossible by law, or inadvisable to form a local spiritual assembly.}
Guardian, Guardian of the Cause of God, Valíy-i-Amru'lláh
{ABBD: The Guardianship as an institution was anticipated in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and formally stated in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament, in which He named Shoghi Effendi as 'the guardian of the Cause of God' and 'the expounder of the words of God', whose word was to be infallible and binding on all. His successor was to be appointed by him from his descendants. The Guardian was to act as sole Interpreter of the Bahá'í Scriptures, while power to legislate on questions not mentioned in the Sacred Texts was given exclusively to the Universal House of Justice as whose permanent head he was to serve. When Shoghi Effendi died in 1957, however, the Universal House of Justice had not yet been elected. The successor to the Guardian was to be his first-born son or another male member of the family of Bahá'u'lláh. However, Shoghi Effendi died without children and was unable to appoint a successor from among the members of Bahá'u'lláh's family as they had all broken the Covenant. In 1963 the Universal House of Justice sent the following cable to the Bahá'ís of the world: "After prayerful and careful study of the Holy Texts bearing upon the question of the appointment of the successor to Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Cause of God, and after prolonged consultation...the Universal House of Justice finds that there is no way to appoint or legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi." Thus in one sense the institution of the Guardianship came to an end, because there could be no new Guardians; but in another sense the institution continues on, as the voluminous writings of Shoghi Effendi set a lasting standard of guidance for the future.}

Guardianship, Viláyat
{ABBD: Institution created by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will and Testament to carry on into the future the function of authoritative interpretation of the Sacred Writings and the care and protection of the Bahá'í Faith provided by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Guardian is the "sacred head and the distinguished member for life" of the Universal House of Justice. The Guardian and the Universal House of Justice are "under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One..." 'Abdu'l-Bahá appointed his grandson Shoghi Effendi as the first Guardian. He provided that "after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendants" or, if his child should not manifest the necessary characteristics, that the Guardian would "choose another branch to succeed him". Shoghi Effendi had no children nor did he appoint a successor from among the family of Bahá'u'lláh and therefore no further Guardians can be appointed. The institution of the Guardianship, however, continues. The Universal House of Justice wrote in 1977: "...the word 'guardianship'; is used with various meanings in different contexts. In certain contexts it indicates the office and function of the Guardian himself, in others it refers to the line of Guardians, in still others it bears a more extended meaning embracing the Guardian and his attendant institutions...In the specific sense of referring to the office and function of the Guardian himself, the House of Justice finds that the prerogatives and duties vested in him are of three kinds. First...there are a number of functions and objects which the Guardianship shares with the Universal House of Justice and which the House of Justice must continue to pursue. Secondly, there are functions of the Guardianship which, in the absence of a Guardian devolve upon the Universal House of Justice, for example the Headship of the Faith, the responsibility for directing the work of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause and of ensuring the continuing discharge of the functions of protection and propagation vested in that Institution, and the right to administer the Huqúq'u'lláh. Thirdly, there are those prerogatives and duties which lie exclusively within the sphere of the Guardian himself and, therefore, in the absence of a Guardian, are inoperative except insofar as the monumental work already performed by Shoghi Effendi continues to be of enduring benefit to the Faith. Such a function is that of authoritative interpretation of the Teachings."}

{BGMG: Sparrow.}

Gurgín Khán
{BGMG: Ruthless deputy governor of Isfahán in the days of the Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih.}

{KI: The letter H, the number of which is 5, and which is sometimes used as a symbol of Bahá'u'lláh: see Four Valleys, p. 59 n.}

{BGMG: The letter 'h'. The numerical value of this letter is identical with that of 'Báb' (5).}

see also Ayyám-i-Há

Habíbu'lláh Mírzá
{BGMG: Persian prince martyred for the Faith in Dawlat-Ábád.}

Habíbu'lláh-i-Afnán, Hájí Mírzá, Hájí Mírzá Habíb'u'lláh-i-Afnán
{ROB2: A devoted follower of Bahá'u'lláh who for some time was custodian of the House of the Báb in Shíráz. (p. 383n)}
{DBNNi: Hujjat's infant son, killed at Zanján.}
Hádí Dawlat-Ábádí, Hájí Mírzá, Mírzá Hádíy-i-Dawlatábádí
{ESW: A noted divine from Isfahán who became a prominent follower of Mírzá Yahyá, later identified as his successor.}

{BGMG: Notorious Azalí who ultimately denounced Azal. (SW 86; GPB 233)}

{ROB4: Publicly recanted his faith in the Báb, yet was installed as the successor to Mírzá Yahyá. (p. 438)}

{BGMG: Place where the heads of the martyrs of Nayríz are buried.}

{BGMG: Well-known sacred tradition authenticated by Bahá'u'lláh in the Kitáb-i-Íqán. (GPB 80).}

see also Jábir

{BGMG: A hadíth ''which relates a revelation from God in the language of the Prophet.'' Here is an example from the Mishkátu'l-Masábíh, a well-known book of Sunní traditions: ''Abú Hurayra said, 'The Prophet of God related these words of God, ''The sons of Adam vex Me, and abuse the age, whereas I am the Age itself: In My hands are all events: I have made the day and night.'' ' '' (Cf. Hughes).}

{ABBD: (Persian) Holiness. In Persian it is impolite not to use the word Hadrat before the name of the Manifestation or other figures with a high spiritual station such as 'Abdu'l-Bahá, but this is generally not translated in the English translations of the Bahá'í scriptures.}
{ABBD: His Holiness the Most Exalted One, His Supreme Highness. A title of the Báb.}
Háfíz, Shamsu'd-Dín Muhammad, of Shíráz
{BGMG: Persian mystic poet, A.D. 1320–1390, author of unsurpassed odes in the ghazal form.}

{ROB1: The spiritual worlds of God...are of different degrees. The world of Háhút is described by Bahá'u'lláh as the Heaven of Oneness, the realm of the Divine Being, the imperishable Essence, a realm so exalted that even the Manifestations of God are unable to understand it. (p. 58)}

see also Jabarút, Láhút, Malakút, Nasút

{ABBD: Town in the north of Israel on a large bay, four times visited by Bahá'u'lláh. The area of Haifa was assigned by Jacob and Joshua to the Tribe of Zebulon. In the late 1860s and 1870s a German sect from Württemberg, the Temple Society, settled in Haifa. The town continued to expand in the twentieth century with the opening of a railroad between Haifa and Damascus and the Hijáz in 1905 coupled with the decision of the British to make Haifa their principal Middle Eastern naval and oil port. Today Haifa is a major commercial city and port. Bahá'u'lláh first landed in Haifa on 31 August 1868 after His journey of eleven days from Gallipoli by steamer. He and His companions were transferred from the steamer to a sailing vessel which carried them to 'Akká. Bahá'u'lláh visited Haifa three more times: in August 1883, in April 1890, and in the summer of 1891 for about three months. It was during this last visit that He revealed the Tablet of Carmel and pointed out to 'Abdu'l-Bahá "the site which was to serve as the permanent resting-place of the Báb, and on which a befitting mausoleum was later to be erected". 'Abdu'l-Bahá made this prophecy about Haifa: "In the future the distance between 'Akká and Haifa will be built up, and the two cities will join and clasp hands, becoming the two terminal sections of one mighty metropolis...The mountain and the plain will be dotted with the most modern buildings and palaces. Industries will be established and various institutions of philanthropic nature will be founded. The flowers of civilization and culture from all nations will be brought here to blend their fragrances together and blaze the way for the brotherhood of man. Wonderful gardens, orchards, groves and parks will be laid out on all sides. At night the great city will be lighted by electricity. The entire harbour from 'Akká to Haifa will be one path of illumination. Powerful searchlights will be placed on both sides of Mount Carmel to guide the steamers. Mount Carmel itself, from top to bottom, will be submerged in a sea of lights. A person standing on the summit of Mount Carmel, and the passengers of the steamers coming to it, will look upon the most sublime and majestic spectacle of the whole world." 'Abdu'l-Bahá built the Shrine of the Báb on the site pointed out to Him by Bahá'u'lláh, and the remains of the Báb were interred there on Naw-Rúz 1909. Shoghi Effendi later embellished the shrine with the golden-domed superstructure. Shoghi Effendi also began the construction of the Arc, around which the Administrative offices of the Faith are being built. Haifa thus serves both as a spiritual centre and point of pilgrimage and as the international administrative centre of the Bahá'í Faith.}

Hájj, Háj
{ABBD: (Arabic) pilgrimage to Mecca instituted in the Qur'án.}
{DBNN: A Muhammadan who has performed the pilgrimage to Mecca}

{ABBD: (Persian) One who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The term is placed before the person's name, preceding other titles such as Mírzá, Siyyid or Shaykh.}

{BGMG: Persian official who devised hideous tortures for the Bábís and is described by Browne, E. G. as ''infamous monster.'' (DB, 617; A Traveller's Narrative, 52, n.1)}

{ROB3: The title of Hakím was given to people who were skilled physicians and were endowed with wisdom and divine knowledge. (p. 265n)}

{BGMG: Man's name; wise, also doctor.}

'Hallowed and Blessed Surroundings'
{ROB1: 'Hallowed and blessed surroundings', 'Abdu'l-Bahá stated, refers to the heart of the individual. (p. 81)}
{ESW: Chief Minister of Pharaoh.}
{KI: 'Prince of martyrs,' the title given to Muhammad's uncle.}
Hands of the Cause of God
{ABBD: Individuals appointed first by Bahá'u'lláh, and later by Shoghi Effendi, who were charged with the specific duties of protecting and propagating the Faith. Bahá'u'lláh appointed four individuals to this position: Mírzá 'Alí-Muhammad (Ibn-i-Asdaq), Hájí Mullá 'Ali-Akbar-i-Sháhmírzádí (Hájí Ákhúnd), Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí (Ibn-i-Abhar) and Mírzá Hasan-i-Adíb (Adíb). 'Abdu'l-Bahá did not appoint any living Hands of the Cause, but in Memorials of the Faithful named four people as having been Hands of the Cause: Áqá Muhammad-i-Qá'iní (Nabíl-i-Akbar), Mírzá 'Ali-Muhammad-i-Varqá, Shaykh Muhammad Ridáy-i-Yazdí and Mullá Sádiq-i-Muqaddas (Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq). In His Will and Testament, 'Abdu'l-Bahá developed the institution of the Hands of the Cause: "The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God. All must be under his shadow and obey his command...The obligations of the Hands of the Cause are to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions, sanctified and detached from earthly things. They must manifest the fear of God by their conduct, their manners, their deeds and their words. This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the guardian of the Cause of God." One of the responsibilities of the Hands of the Cause is to protect the Faith from those wishing to harm it and to expel those who attack it: "...the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the guardian of the Cause of God cast him out from the congregation of the People of Bahá and in no wise accept any excuse from him." Further, the Hands of the Cause must assent to the choice of a successor to the guardian. They "must elect from their own number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in the work of the guardian of the Cause of God. The election of these nine must be carried either unanimously or by majority from the company of the Hands of the Cause and these, whether unanimously or by a majority vote, must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor." Several people were posthumously appointed Hands of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi, among them Martha Root, John E. Esslemont and Louis Gregory. In December 1951 he appointed the first contingent of living Hands of the Cause, twelve in number. A second contingent of seven Hands was appointed in February 1952. Five Hands were appointed singly between March 1952 and March 1957, and a final contingent of eight Hands was appointed in October 1957. In the letter appointing this final contingent, Shoghi Effendi referred to the Hands of the Cause as the "Chief Stewards of Bahá'u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth". It was this phrase which enabled the Hands of the Cause legally to take charge of the Bahá'í properties in the Holy Land on the unexpected death of Shoghi Effendi in November 1957. In the period between the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957 and the election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963, the Hands of the Cause directed the affairs of the Faith, enabled the Bahá'ís to complete the Ten Year Crusade and called for the election of the House of Justice, for which they decreed themselves ineligible. This period is known as the