Baha'i Principals

The Bahá’í teachings represent a considerable number of theological, social, and spiritual ideas that were established in the Bahá’í Faith by Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the religion, and clarified by successive leaders.

Baha’i Reference Library

Oneness of God

God is the imperishable and uncreated being who is the source of all existence and the source of all Revelation sent through the designated Revelers of religion.

Baha’i Reference Library

Oneness of Humanity

Collectively humanity is a single species and all people are equal in the sight of God. The unity of humanity transcends all divisions of race, nation, gender, caste and social class, while celebrating its diversity.

Baha’i Reference Library

Oneness of Religion

God progressively reveals religion through His prophets or messengers to mankind as humanity matures and its capacity and degree of understanding also grows. This is a continuing and never ending process.

Baha’i Reference Library

Progressive Revelation

God periodically reveals His will to mankind through messengers/prophets. Each in turn establishes a new covenant and founds a new religion; a process of revelation that never ceases.

Baha’i Reference Library

Equality of Men and Women

The Bahá’í Faith affirms gender equality; that men and women are indeed equal, that there is no distinction in their spiritual stations, only gender distinctiveness in some aspects of life.

Baha’i Reference Library

Harmony of Science and Religion

Truth is one, therefore true science and true religion must be in harmony. Science without religion leads to materialism, and religion without science leads to superstition.

Baha’i Reference Library

Universal Auxiliary Language

A universal auxiliary language would remove the pressure experienced by the natural aggrandizement of majority language groups.  Minority languages are preserved, each person would keep their mother tongue, and thus preserve minority cultures.

Baha’i Reference Library

Investigation of Truth

Acquiring knowledge through personal processes, and not believe or follow others blindly. Truth is one, and when a person independently investigates reality they are lead to the same truth.

Baha’i Reference Library

Wealth and Poverty

Extremes of poverty and wealth are disallowed for a compassionate society.  Poverty demoralizes people and extreme wealth overburdens people. Such extremes must be eliminated.

Baha’i Reference Library

Universal Education

Emphasis is given compulsory education; promoting moral and spiritual education in addition to the arts, trades, sciences.  It is the obligation of parents to provide for the education of their children, and with special importance given to girls.

Baha’i Reference Library

ObeisanceBaha – Descriptive Bahá’í Historia

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Introduction

Our primary purpose is to preserve Baha’i history—to record little known events and of those ‘front-line’ workers, often with great personal sacrifice, bore the weight of success for policy, programs, teaching, and community consolidation activities. We are all familiar with the work of well-known Baha’i leaders and teachers. But until a more detailed, inclusive, complete, and realistic narrative of Baha’i historical events and those who made success possible, a proper assessment of the growth, development, and expansion of the world-wide Baha’i Community will remain, to a great extent, incomplete.

Invitation

We place great importance in identifying and documenting that which remains unknown to current Baha’i discourse. You are invited to explore ObeisanceBaha and experience what available. While still under development, this site will become resource rich with information about little-known activities and events, and about those who helped to make it possible. Please join with us in this activity, to make available through us to the larger Baha’i Community the wealth of knowledge, information, and material you have available. We assign credit for what you contribute. Thanks for your willingness to take part.

Author

Our archives are a starting point from which to expand the operation. As most materials are in storage, we will retrieve them for preparation and then make them available when time permits.

Research

This site provides links above and below to resources that can assist your research efforts. Though not all-inclusive because new websites are being developed. Please let us know of new sites of importance, and also of any links no longer active.

Image below: Dedication Ceremony. Site of the future Baha’i Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, Panama, Oct 1967.

Nat’l Museum, Tehran, Iran (Persia), Dec. 1970

Persepolis, Iran (Persia), 1970

Quran Gate. Northern Old Gateway of Shiraz, Iran, Dec 1970

Traditional Restaurant, Isfahan, Iran, Dec 1970

Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Pasargadae (near Shiraz), Iran, Dec 1970

Traveling through Fars Providence, Iran, Dec 1970

Photo of ‘Motif’ taken inside the home of Núrayn-i-Nayyirayn,
Apostles of Baháʼu’lláh, Isfahan, Iran. Dec 1970

View of the interior of the house of Baha’u’llah. Tihran, Iran. Dec 1970

Archives

We support historical research. Our archives contain information on Baha’i activities dating to the early 1960s. It includes events and activities, participants, and a variety of supporting material preserved for historical record. Examples include photographs, documents, interviews, observations, and research based on primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. We hope to provide researchers and interested parties with quality of information to augment efforts to provide an inclusive appraisal of the growth, development, and expansion of the Baha’i Community.

Preservation

Links below and above provide access a wealth of information on ways to preserve documents, photographs, videos, and other resource material. This can help you understand the importance and also gain appreciation for the need to document and preserve materials in personal collections.

Writings of The Báb

O Lord! Unto Thee I repair for refuge and toward all Thy signs I set my heart. O Lord! Whether travelling or at home, and in my occupation or in my work, I place my whole trust in Thee.

The most acceptable prayer is the one offered with the utmost spirituality and radiance; its prolongation hath not been and is not beloved by God. The more detached and the purer the prayer, the more acceptable is it in the presence of God.

Wert thou to open the heart of a single soul by helping him to embrace the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest, thine inmost being would be filled with the inspirations of that august Name.


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About Us

We are a center of learning and research dedicated to providing a deeper understanding of Baha’i historical events and those who were intricately involved in the experience.

Historical Perspective

We show the normal functioning of Baha’i communities in historical perspective through people, events and activities to preserve little known facts.

Archiving

Our archives contain source materials accumulated since 1965, and are presented here to document people, places and events instrumental in the growth of Baha’i community life.

Image Wall

The Image Wall allows visitors to browse posts or pages by simply clicking on any image. Images are displayed randomly and are scrollable. Please note that some few images may be place-holders.

Projects

A digital archiving project is a process of preserving data for long-term retention. This can extend the life span of content for easy access and also help to avoid future issues.

Study

Studying the Baha’i Faith resembles the activity of an explorer. It means discovering, gathering and research of a variety of sources, and in our case it is photographically based.

Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.

O SON OF MAN! Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty.

O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.”


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Research

For research purposes the distinctions between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources can be ambiguous. An individual document may be a primary source in one context and a secondary source in another. Encyclopedias are typically considered tertiary sources, but a study of how encyclopedias have changed on the Internet, seemingly, would use them as primary sources. Because time is a defining element, for our purposes these distinctions remain more loosely defined.

Center of Learning

ObeisanceBaha pursues learning through research experience. We are dedicated to fostering deeper understanding and appreciation for the Baha’i experience. Through our collections, pursuits and projects we seek to nurture factual rendering of Baha’i history.

Image above: Mangyan Baha’i village, Mindoro Island, Philippines, 1996.

Library

DRAFT—Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines uses as primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write to form accounts of the past. Information evaluation is the process of evaluating the qualities of an information source, such as its validity, reliability, and relevance to the subject under investigation.  View ‘Instructions’.

Archives

ObeisanceBaha holds an extensive catalogue of research data, documents, studies, reports and other items. It also includes a Name-List of individuals referenced on its website. Information relevant to specific references is compiled and can be searched using the search function.  View ‘Catalogue’.

Catalogue

ObeisanceBaha holds an extensive catalogue of research data, documents, studies, reports and other items. It also includes a Name-List of individuals referenced on its website. Information relevant to specific references is compiled and can be searched using the search function.  View ‘Catalogue’.

Access

Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines uses as primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write to form accounts of the past. Information evaluation is the process of evaluating the qualities of an information source, such as its validity, reliability, and relevance to the subject under investigation.  View ‘Instructions’.

Purpose

For research purposes the distinctions between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources can be ambiguous. An individual document may be a primary source in one context and a secondary source in another. Encyclopedias are typically considered tertiary sources, but a study of how encyclopedias have changed on the Internet, seemingly, would use them as primary sources. Because time is a defining element, for our purposes these distinctions remain more loosely defined.

Sharing

Information can come from virtually anywhere — media, blogs, photographs, personal experiences, books, news articles, journal and magazine articles, expert opinions, encyclopedias, oral accounting, and web pages — and the type of information we require most likely will change depending on the question we are trying to answer.

Procedures

Procedures for contradictory source criticism

Principles

Core principles for determining reliability

Evidence

Eyewitness evidence as real meaning of the statement

Indirect witnesses

Caution with indirect and secondary source of knowledge

Oral Tradition

Oral tradition must satisfy certain conditions

Anonymous Sources

Anonymous sources not used to establish historical facts

Panama Baha’i Temple Site

Temple Cornerstone
Dedication Ceremony

OB Archives

Baha’i Intercontential Conference, Panama, 7-10 Oct, 1967.
Peter Tillotson (Architect), Hands of the Cause: Abu’l-Qásim Faizi, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum
Photo © ObeisanceBaha

Membership

Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines uses as primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write to form accounts of the past. Information evaluation is the process of evaluating the qualities of an information source, such as its validity, reliability, and relevance to the subject under investigation.  View ‘Instructions’.

Certification

ObeisanceBaha holds an extensive catalogue of research data, documents, studies, reports and other items. It also includes a Name-List of individuals referenced on its website. Information relevant to specific references is compiled and can be searched using the search function.  View ‘Catalogue’.

Image below: Abulqasim Afnan, former Caretaker, House of the Bab. Attending the Association of the Friends of Persian Culture, Evanston, IL, 1994; with Terry Randolph, a previous Pilgrim to the House of the Bab, Sharaz, Iran, Dec 1970.

Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

The Faith of the Blessed Beauty is summoning mankind to safety and love, to amity and peace; it hath raised up its tabernacle on the heights of the earth, and directeth its call to all nations.

O thou whose heart overfloweth with love for the Lord! I address thee from this consecrated spot, to gladden thy bosom with mine epistle to thee, for this is such a letter as maketh the heart of him who believeth in God’s oneness to wing its flight toward the summits of bliss.

Service to the friends is service to the Kingdom of God, and consideration shown to the poor is one of the greatest teachings of God.


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Primary Sources

Our primary sources of information allow researchers to get as close as possible to original ideas, events, and empirical research as possible; however, for our purposes, this remains more loosely defined. Baha’i news sources contain reports on activities of the worldwide Baha’i community, considered official sources of information regarding the activities, people, places and events during and to a limited extent beyond the early 1900s.

Baha'i News Volume I

Baha’i News was a publication circulated from March 1910 until March of 1911. It represents the first volume of Star of the West prior to its renaming (Vol. 2), and ran from 1924 to 1990.

Star of the West

Star of the West was published between 1910 and 1935, and contains many translations of Tablets and communications not published elsewhere. The was first published as ‘Bahai News’.

Baha'i News Letter

The Baha’i News Letter was a 40-issue publication between December of 1924 and May of 1930. At issue 41 the title was changed to Baha’i News and continued publication.  Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com.

Baha'i News

Baha’i News was a publication circulated from December of 1924 until October of 1990. The title ‘Baha’i News’ begins at issue 41, the first 40 issues were titled ‘Baha’i News Letter’.

National Baha'i Review

National Bahá’í Review,  an insert included with Baha’i News with subjects of interest to believers in the United States. Began in 1958 titled “U.S. Supplement”.  Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com

Baha'i World News Service

Bahá’í World News Service, official news source of the worldwide Bahá’í community, reports on major endeavors of the global Baha’i community.  Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com

The Baha'i World Publication

The Bahá’í World chronicles over 80 years of religious history, and described by Shoghi Effendi as a unique record of world-wide Bahá’í activity available to the general public.

Baha'i Media Bank

The Bahá’í Media Bank provides photographs for download, intended for non-commercial purposes only. It contains images and information of Baha’i activities around the globe.

Association for Baha'i Studies

The Association for Bahá’í Studies, founded in Canada in 1975, promotes the advanced study of the Bahá’í Faith and the application of its principles to the needs of humanity.

The Bahá’í Faith

“Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. Such a vision unfolds in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh.”  Explore the Bahá’í Faith.

Writings of the Báb

Excerpts from books and Tablets revealed by the Báb.

Works of Bahá’u’lláh

Writings of Bahá’u’lláh translated into English.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Expounding upon the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

Shoghi Effendi

The appointed Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith.

Supreme Executive

The Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith.

Global Locations

National Baha’i Communities.

Baha’i National Center

 

Counsellor Members
Ms. Kimiko Schwerin & Dr. Kim

OB Archives

National Baha’i Center, Seoul, ROK, ca. 1986. Baha’i Continental Board of Counsellors: Mrs. K. Schwerin (1st row, 2nd frm right); Dr. Kim (stnd., 2nd frm right). Photo ©ObeisanceBaha

Global Religious Community

We are concerned primarily with the ideas, values, successes and circumstances that bind us together historically as a global religious community.

Writings of Shoghi Effendi

This new stage in the gradual unfoldment of the Formative Period of our Faith into which we have just entered—the phase of concentrated teaching activity—synchronizes with a period of deepening gloom, of universal impotence, of ever-increasing destitution and widespread disillusionment in the fortunes of a declining age.

The promulgation of the Divine Plan, unveiled by our departed Master in the darkest days of one of the severest ordeals which humanity has ever experienced,18 is the Key which Providence has placed in the hands of the American believers whereby to unlock the doors leading them to fulfill their unimaginably glorious Destiny.


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Image above: Amoz Gipson, UHJ Member, seen here with one of the Howard sisters (Della or Anna), both were long-time Baha’is, taught the Faith in Washington, DC by Louis Gregory. Meeting held in Prince Georges County, MD, ca 1969.

Secondary Sources

Our secondary sources of information analyze, review, or summarize information in primary resources or other secondary resources; however, for our purposes, this remains more loosely defined. Even sources presenting facts or descriptions about events are secondary unless they are based on direct participation or observation. Our secondary sources include events, people, special works, topics, and facts that provide substantial analysis. Most are post-1930.

Collections/Baha'i Faith Materials

The author has compiled a list of English language based sources, primary texts and authoritative literature, on the Baha’i Faith that can be considered essential to a theological library.

Bibliography/Literature Reviews

Bibliographies and literature reviews of Baha’i materials. Sources cited are deemed relevant for undertaking an independent and objective inquiry into the Baha’i Faith. Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com.

Bahaikipedia

Bahaikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia on the Bahá’í Faith that exists to make factual information easily accessible in a single location.   Article links will guide you to associated information.

US National Bahá'í Library

The US National Bahá’í Library is online and available to researchers and bibliophiles.  It includes books, pamphlets, study materials, and national and international Bahá’í periodicals.

Louhelen Baha'i Library

The Web-based catalog allows public access to descriptions of the National Bahá’í Library’s cataloged titles and also those held at the Louhelen Bahá’í School’s library.

Harvard Divinity School

The Religious Literacy Project is dedicated to enhance and promote understanding of religion, providing resources to better understand the roles religions play in global, national, and local contexts.

Accentuating Baha’i History

We focus on extending both the theoretical and historiographical bases for photographic accentuation of Baha’i history. This provides an important base for the further development and preservation of materials vital for historical research.

Volunteer Group

Becoming involved in this very exciting project.

Adaptable

Remain open verifiable data and analysis.

Craftsmanship

Elevating this history to greater prominence.

Multi - Use

Encourage objectivity and understanding.

Special Collections

Identify materials, catalogue the collection.

Accessability

Archives made available for research and learning.

Global Economics Forum

Baha’i Sponsored Event
Washington, DC

OB Archives

Global Economics Forum, Washington, DC (ca. 1969)
Attending [L/R]: James Oliver, Maxine Oliver, Helen Harris, Theodies Washington, Unknown, Silvia Ioas
Seated: Antoniette Washington, Anita I. Chapman. Photo © ObeisanceBaha

Documentation

Our archives contain materials accumulated since 1965 and presented to document people, places and events instrumental to the expansion, growth and development of Baha’i communities.  The project enable stories that would otherwise go unheard to be shared and appreciated.

Universal House of Justice

Ultimately, the call to action is addressed to the individual friends, whether they be adult or youth, veteran or newly enrolled. Let them step forth to take their places in the arena of service where their talents and skills, their specialized training, their material resources, their offers of time and energy and, above all, their dedication to Bahá’í principles, can be put to work in improving the lot of man.

Persevere, therefore, with diligence and steadfastness along this path of endeavour. As you do so, strive to perceive the nobility in every human being—rich or poor, man or woman, old or young, city dweller or villager, worker or employer, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.


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Above image: Sylvia Kuhlman Ioas, former member of the International Baháʼí Council, from 1955 to 1961, seen here attending the US Baha’i National Convention, Wilmette, IL, 1968.

Tertiary Sources

Our tertiary sources of information provide overviews of topics by synthesizing information gathered from other resources; however, for our purposes, this remains more loosely defined. Our tertiary sources often provide data in a convenient form or provide information within a particular context convenient for more complete analysis and interpretation.

Sen McGlinn's Blog

“I am interested especially in Bahai theology (theology is what Bahais usually call ‘deepening,’ but conducted in a systematic and self-critical way)…”

H-Net/H-Baha'i

H-Bahai encourages scholarly discussion of the culture and history of millenarian and/or esoteric religious traditions originating in modern Iran and other regions.

UK Baha'i History Project

Collecting stories of individual Baha’is currently living in the UK, or have lived here in the past. Sponsored by: The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of the UK.  Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com

Encyclopaedia Iranica

Encyclopædia Iranica is dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.

Baha'iTeaching.org

Perspectives given by members of the Baha’i Faith who are striving to deepen their understanding of the Baha’i teachings and to apply them to contemporary challenges.

Juan Cole Publications

The main idea behind this effort is to preserve for prosperity those mostly little known events and activities that contributed to the expansion of Baha’i communities.

Our Core Capabilities

Core capabilities are addressed through spiritual values, moral principles and ethical criteria that denote standards of conduct. This directly impacts individual performance and institutional practices.

System of Ethics

Human happiness achieved through rightful action.

Divine Attributes

Acting accordingly to discover our spiritual nature.

Baha'i Scriptures

Foundation and inspiration of Baha’i ethics.

Justice

Upon which social order and good governance depend.

Essence of Faith

Consists in “fewness of words and abundance of deeds”.

Spiritual Guidance

The pathway most conducive to human happiness.

US National Baha’i Convention

Baha’i House of Worship
Foundation Hall

OB Archives

Hands of the Cause of God
Dr. Dhikru’llah Khadem (1904–1986), Mr. John Aldham Robarts (1901–1991)
Baha’i National Convention, Baha’i House of Worship, Wilmette, IL. 1986.
Photo © ObeisanceBaha

Auditorium, Baha’i Community properties, Isfahan, Iran (Dec 1970).
Draped stage flanked by Baha’i symbols. Top: Image of Abdul-Baha.

Baha'i History

Possession of original materials carries a dual responsibility, the delicate balancing of preserving and providing access to them.   Join us in this important endeavor.

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