9Pointed Star

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.

Shrine of the Báb. © Bahá’í IC

ObeisanceBaha – Descriptive Bahá’í Historia

principles

Bahá’í Faith

ObeisanceBaha introduces the Bahá’í Faith is a global religion founded in the 19th century. Its history and teachings are about the essential worth of all religions and the oneness and unity of all people. It is here you can learn what Baha’is believe about the oneness of God and religion, humanity as an entity of one, the harmony between religion and science, historical aspects, those whom serve, and much more. Below you will find a selection of thematic areas central to Bahá’í teaching, belief and practice.

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 & 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 & 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

*Note: Several photos contained on this website have appeared on various Baha’i sponsored blogs and other media. When using our photos, assign attribution as: ©Terry Randolph, ObeisanceBaha.

Introduction

Our primary purpose is for the preservation of Baha’i history—to record little known events and especially activities of those ‘front-line’ workers who, often with great personal sacrifice, bore the weight of success or failure of Baha’i programs, teaching campaigns, and community consolidation efforts. 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; therefore, archived materials are a necessity. This website will continuly to be updated.

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, to be retrieved, prepared and then made available when time permits. As of January 2022, the website is being upgraded. It will also be expanded to include additional posts and archive material.

Research

This site provides links, above and below, to resources that can assist your research efforts. Not all-inclusive because new websites continue to come online. Please let us know of new sites of importance, and also of any links no longer active.

Readers Pipe Version 2

National Museum, Tehran, Iran (Persia), Dec. 1970

Persipolis
Remnants of Persepolis: Capital of the Persian Empire,
Seat of Darius, the King of Kings, Persia. Photo, Dec 1970.
Sharaz North Gate

Quran Gate. Northern Gateway to Shiraz, Iran, Dec 1970

Traditional Restaurant Isfahan

Traditional Persian Restaurant, Isfahan, Iran, Dec 1970

Tomb Cyrus Great

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

Fars Providence

Traveling through Fars Providence, Iran, Dec 1970

House of Merchants

Wall motif located within the home of Núrayn-i-Nayyirayn,
Apostle of Baháʼu’lláh, Isfahan, Iran. Dec 1970

House Bahaullah

Interior view of a front-room within 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.

Blog Post

Quida Flora Coley

Quida Flora Coley

Ouida Flora Coley (1939-2013) was a devoted member of the Baha’i Faith for well over 50 years.   She had served for several years as a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Washington, DC, and being fluent in Spanish she had…

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Pupil of the Eye

Pupil of the Eye

The ‘Pupil of the Eye’ metaphor has both astounded and confused the Baha’i community mainly due to it being analyzed within the framework of current distorted historical narratives and dysfunctional social points-of-view.

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Maid of Heaven

Maid of Heaven

Maid of Heaven. “Ḥúríyyih” (from Ḥúrí, pronounced ‘hoo-ree’) are Maidens of Paradise, a term whose roots can be found in the Qur’án (44–54, 52:20, 56–22, and 55:72).  It refers to angelic female figures that…

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Baha’i Community Membership

Baha’i Community Membership

Baha'i Membership Contact ListsThe Baha'i community membership and those designated as Baha'i community contacts as shown are incomplete (1966-67).  However, researchers can use these list to gain a general understanding of Baha'i locations locations and those listed...

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The Great Tao

The Great Tao

This article compares the similarities of the spiritual insights of The Great Tao with that of other major religions, notably the Baha’i Faith. The author argues that there can be no understanding of the Chinese mind and spirit without knowing some of the major spiritual tenents of the Tao Te Ching, a Chinese classic credited to the sage Laozi.

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Baha’i Tutorial School Mindoro

Baha’i Tutorial School Mindoro

Mangyan People Baha'i Villagers Five Villages VisitedPeriod of 14 Days (1996)Indigenous MangyansBahá’í Tutorial Schools “I have lived in this land all my life. Here I was born and it is here that I obtained manhood. It is a beautiful land rich in forest, mountains,...

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Perspective

We provide information on little known Baha’i events and those who who shared the challenges of bring them about. This includes perspectives from the Baha’i writings, research, and personal experience of those dedicated belivers who worked tirelessly to meet the challenges of advancing a new world order.

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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.

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Historical Perspective

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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’.

chile temple

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.

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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’.

Women Reading

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

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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

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 for historical facts

Panama Baha’i Temple Site

PanamaDedication

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.

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.

Extended 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Seoul ROK 1 

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

economicsMeeting

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.

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.

Sens Blog

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)…”

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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.

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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

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Encyclopaedia Iranica

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

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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.

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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

HandsCause

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

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