MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26: Today’s Baha’i holiday—the Day of the Covenant—marks what binds devotees. Prior to his death, founder Baha’u’llah promised his followers that if they could obey his words, he would ensure their unity and, through them, the Kingdom of God would come to blossom on Earth. Baha’u’llah wanted to ensure no schisms—so he established his eldest son as the Center of the Covenant and shared through him ways that the faith should be lived.
Ever humble, Abdu’l-Baha considered himself his father’s servant—after all, his very name translates to “the Servant of Baha.” (Learn more at Planet Baha’i.) Although Abdu’l-Baha was born on May 23, that was also the day the Bab declared his mission as proclaimer of the coming Messenger of God (Baha’u’llah); at their insistence, Abdu’l-Baha gave Baha’is an alternative date of November 26 to celebrate his birthday. Abdu’l-Baha asked followers to remember him not as a leader, but as the center of his father’s Covenant.
To this day, Baha’is around the world promote freedom of religion—and lift up their concern for ruthless anti-Baha’i persecution in Iran. Even in the face of such repression, Baha’is remain united in their hope through Baha’u’llah’s Covenant. As written by Abdu’l-Baha, wrote in part: “Every mighty tree will be uprooted by tempestuous winds except for the trees of the Divine orchard.”
STANFORD OPENS 1ST UNIVERSITY-BASED BAHA’I COLLECTION
Upward of 1,000 books, letters, photographs and out-of-print Baha’i publications now grace the Stanford University Libraries, the New York Times reported earlier this month, thereby creating the first university-based collection of Baha’i materials in the U.S. The collection was made possible by a donation; officials report that with the new Jack H. Lee and Arden T. Lee Fund for Baha’i Studies, the Stanford collection will continue to grow in the future.