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Bahá’í Blogging Challenge Day Sixteen

We Bahá’ís don’t have many temples, there are only nine temples in the world, one for each inhabited continent plus Central America and a single local temple.

They are called mašriqu-l-‘aḏkār (مشرق اﻻذكار) which means in Arabic “Dawning-place of the remembrances of God”. The teachings of our Faith means that one day these temples will be at the centre of a number of community facilities for the dedicated to scientific, educational and humanitarian pursuits, like schools and hospitals.

The first temple was built in Ashgabat in Turkmenistan but was later destroyed by the Soviet government. Since then we have built temples in Wilmette in the US, Kampala in Uganda, Sydney in Australia, Frankfurt in Germany, Panama City in Panama, Tiapapata in Samoa, Delhi in India, Santiago in Chile, and a local temple in Battambang in Cambodia.

These temples all follow a similar design philosophy with a nine sided circular shape, and a dome. We don’t display any pictures or statues and as sermons are forbidden in our temples we don’t have any pulpits or alters.

Our temples are open to people of all religions, and people can come and worship God without any restrictions. Only Bahá’í scriptures and prayers as well as those of other religions can be read or chanted in the temple, and we don’t play musical instruments inside.

And very importantly, no sermons can be delivered inside a Bahá’í temple and under no circumstances can there be any ritualistic ceremonies practised.

Bahá’í Blogging Challenge Day Fourteen

For today I wanted to talk about a Bahá’í belief that I previously mentioned a few days ago, progressive revelation.

We Bahá’ís believe that God is regular in revealing His will to mankind via Messengers/Prophets, and each messenger forms a new covenant and establishes a new religion.

This is quite different to other religions who often believe that their Messenger is the final one. We believe that religion is something that evolves and that each messengers will bring more revelations so that we better understand God than the previous religion.

The differences in the different religion are, we believe, the result of the different cultures and times in which the Messengers come to us. There are certain universal truths that are renewed by each messenger, but they also bring teachings that reflect the spiritual and material evolution of humanity of the time.

Bahá’u’lláh explained that the coming of a new Messenger is like the coming of spring in that it brings new life to the world, which has often come to neglect the teachings of the previous Messenger.

There isn’t a definitive list of the previous messengers of god, but Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá have mentioned that several prophets as Manifestations of God, which include Adam, Noah, Krishna, Moses, Abraham, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, as well as obviously The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.

Bahá’í Blogging Challenge Day Five

I am absolutely shattered after Blood and Glory so once again today’s post will be a very short one.

I thought I would share a prayer I often say before I sleep, this prayer is written by Bahá’u’lláh, and it’s one that always speaks to me a lot, because in my life I do strive to do my best to live according to God’s desires, and when asleep I can’t really do that.

“How can I choose to sleep, O God, my God, when the eyes of them that long for Thee are wakeful because of their separation from Thee; and how can I lie down to rest whilst the souls of Thy lovers are sore vexed in their remoteness from Thy presence?

I have committed, O my Lord, my spirit and my entire being into the right hand of Thy might and Thy protection, and I lay my head on my pillow through Thy power, and lift it up according to Thy will and Thy good pleasure. Thou art, in truth, the Preserver, the Keeper, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.

By Thy might! I ask not, whether sleeping or waking, but that which Thou dost desire. I am Thy servant and in Thy hands. Do Thou graciously aid me to do what will shed forth the fragrance of Thy good pleasure. This, truly, is my hope and the hope of them that enjoy near access to Thee. Praised be Thou, O Lord of the worlds!”

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