SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26: Unity plays a major role in the Baha’i religion, and it’s in recognition of the “great unifier” that Baha’is today celebrate the Day of the Covenant, or the appointment of Abdu’l-Baha, the son of Baha’u’llah, as the center of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant. Baha’u’llah himself declared the light of unity as so powerful that “it can illuminate the whole earth,” and he ensured that his religion would continue to experience unity after his death by establishing a covenant. (Get details at Wikipedia.) Baha’u’llah’s Covenant both meticulously explains Baha’i doctrines and ensures that, through correct understanding of the doctrines—using, in part, an elected legislative body—Baha’is may keep their worldwide community unified. Perhaps no part of this covenant was more vital than its center, Abdu’l-Baha, who would go on to provide a perfect example of Baha’u’llah’s teachings and become a role model for every practicing Baha’i. (Learn more at Baha’i.org.)
Abdu’l-Baha was actually born 6 months earlier, on May 23, but that day was also the day the Bab declared his mission and so Abdu’l-Baha forbid Baha’i followers to celebrate his birthday on that day. After enough pleading from Baha’is, Abdu’l-Baha gave them Nov. 26 as a day to recognize his birthday.
BAHA’I NEWS FROM SOUTH AFRICA
South African Baha’is have struggled to exemplify their religion’s unity in the face of cultural and national conflict during the past 100 years; in great victory, a recent celebration in Johannesburg marked the success of these Baha’is’ hard work. (Read the whole story from the Baha’i World News Service.) Amid segregation all around them, Baha’is stood behind racial unity—even when they had to hide their intentions—and continued to perform such deeds as electing a multi-racial council. Today, Baha’is celebrate their freedom in South Africa.