(“Servant of Baha”) (1844-1921):
Eldest son of Baha’u’llah. Designated by Baha’u’llah as the authorized
interpreter of his father’s writings. Born Abbas Effendi; also known as
“Centre of the Covenant,” “Most Mighty Branch,” and the “Master.”
A ritual washing of hands and face Baha’u’llah required as part of the
daily obligatory prayer.
Order: all the institutions that administer the affairs of
the Baha’i Faith. Created by Baha’u’llah and developed by ‘Abdu’l-Baha,
Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice.
The one-time prison city in present day Israel where Baha’u’llah was
kept for the last 20 years of His life. He died while still a prisoner,
and is buried on the outskirts of Bahji.
of ‘Abdu’l-Baha: November 28, a Holy Day when work is not
of Baha’u’llah: May 29th a Holy Day when work should be
Board: an appointed administrative body created by the
Universal House of Justice. Members are appointed on the basis of their
wisdom, maturity, and experience and act as advisors to Local Spiritual
Assemblies and individuals in their areas. Assists the work of the
Continental Board of Counsellors.
(The Days of Ha): A four day period (five in leap year) of
gift exchange. Also known and Intercalary Days (February 25-March 1)
immediately before the period of fasting.
the (the Gate): (1819-1850) Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, the
Prophet-Founder of the Babi Faith and “Herald” of the Baha’i Faith. His
ministry ended with his public execution on July 9, 1850 in Tabriz,
Calendar: A solar calendar consisting of 19 months of 19
days, with four intercalary days.
Era: The period since the declaration of the Bab until the
next manifestation of God.
World Center: At Mount Carmel in Haifa (Acre) Israel. Home
to the seat of the Universal House of Justice, the Shrine of the Bab
and other buildings. Also close to the Shrine of Baha’u’llah.
(Glory of God): (1817-1892) Mirza Husayn-‘Ali, the
Manifestation of God for this day. He spread the message of unity and
peace, and authored over 100 volumes to form the core of the Baha’i
holy writings. He spent his 40-year ministry in prison and exile.
The area where Baha’u’llah spent his final years (1879-1892).
Baha’u’llah is buried in a shrine at Bahji, the holiest spot on Earth
(Book of Laws): The major work of the Bab.
of the Bab: October 20th, a holy day when work should be
of Baha’u’llah: November 12th, a holy day when work should
of the Covenant: A name given to ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
Board of Counsellors: An appointed administrative body
created by the Universal House of Justice. Members are appointed on the
basis of wisdom, maturity, and experience and primarily act as advisors
to National Spiritual Assemblies in their areas.
An agreement between God and humanity. Baha’is believe in two
covenants: The “Greater Covenant” is the belief that God will continue
to send manifestations of the divine to Earth. The “Lesser Covenant” is
specific to the Baha’i Faith and involves Baha’u’llah’s assurance that
the unity of his followers will be maintained.
The account by Nabil-i-Zarandi of the life of the Bab and the
development of the Babi religion. It was edited and translated into
English by Shoghi Effendi in 1932.
of the Covenant: November 26, a holy day when work is not
suspended; a celebration of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s unique position in the
Card: A card that is filled out by someone wanting to
become a Baha’i. Though the true definition of a Baha’i is anyone who
believes in Baha’u’llah, signing a declaration card is the
formalization of that belief. The declaration then registers the new
Baha’i as a voting member of his or her community.
of the Bab: May 23, a holy day when work should be
Studying the holy writings and sometimes other religions as well.
Baha’is fast for a period of 19 days starting March 2nd in the last
month of the Baha’i calendar. During the fast, adult Baha’is refrain
from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset. Children, the
elderly, pregnant and nursing mothers and the ill are exempt.
The Baha’i Feast is held every 19 days. The Feast consists of three
portions: devotional, administrative, and social.
A small meeting held in someone’s home for the purpose of educating
people about various aspects of the Baha’i faith. Non-Baha’is are
Guardian: Official title of Shoghi Effendi, the
great-grandson of ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
The administrative centre of the Baha’i Faith, located in Israel. This
is also the location of the resting place of the Bab.
of the Cause of God: A designation given by Baha’u’llah,
‘Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi to some 43 individuals in the history
of the Baha’i Faith whose role has been to inspire and enlighten
Baha’is in the application of the Faith’s teachings in their daily
Words: A work composed by Baha’u’llah in 1858. It consists
of 71 Arabic and 82 Persian sections. Each section consists of an
aphorism on an ethical or spiritual topic.
Days: See individual entries.
Land: Refers to Israel, specifically the Haifa, Akka,
Bahji area. It is considered holy because it is home to the resting
places of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
A Baha’i who leaves his or her home and takes up residence in another
area to spread Baha’u’llah’s teaching.
The “Most Holy Book” of Baha’u’llah. Composed around 1873 and contains
the main laws and ordinances of the Baha’i faith.”
(Book of Certitude): Composed around 1873 and contains the main laws
and ordinances of the Baha’i faith. It consists of interpretation of
biblical and Quranic terms, images, and prophecies, and contains many
ethical and spiritual exhortations.
of Baha’u’llah: The first Baha’i to travel to a country or
Covenant: Baha’u’llah’s agreement with his followers that
in exchange for their obedience to his laws and institutions, he will
protect the unity of the religion.
Spiritual Assembly: Elected body that administers the
local affairs of a Baha’i community.
Tree: In the Writings of Baha’u’llah, the Lote Tree
generally means the Manifestation of God, which ordinary humans can
of the Bab: July 9th, a Holy day when work should be
Master: A title for ‘Abdu’l-Baha, given to him by
of God: A term for the founders of the major world
religions, who are seen as messengers of divine revelation and examples
of a divine life.
Husayn-‘Ali: The given name of Baha’u’llah.
Mahmudnizhad: One of 10 young Baha’i female martyrs who
refused to recant their faith in Shiraz, Iran on June 18, 1983.
Mighty Branch: One of the names given to ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
Spiritual Assembly: The elected body that deals with the
affairs of the Baha’i Faith at a national level.
Ruz (New Year): First day of the Baha’i New Year, March
21, when work should be suspended.
Prayer: A special prayer required by religious law.
Baha’u’llah specified three obligatory prayers, one of which Baha’is
choose to recite each day.
Revelation: The Baha’i belief that God has sent successive
revelations in order to uplift and educate humanity.
The Shrine of Baha’u’llah at Bahji; the direction in which Baha’is turn
when reciting the obligatory prayer.
Council: An elected body of nine Baha’is who assist in the
growth of the community at a regional level. It lies between a Local
Spiritual Assembly and the National Spiritual Assembly.
Festival of (“Paradise”): Twelve-day festival celebrating
Baha’u’llah’s public declaration of his mission. The first, ninth and
twelfth days of Ridvan are holy days when work should be suspended.
of Divine Civilization: A work composed by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in
1875 detailing the role of religion in social reforms that Iran should
implement in order to become a modern nation. It serves as one of the
Baha’i Faith’s major treatises on social reform.
Valleys: A major mystical work composed by Baha’u’llah
between 1856 and 1862.
Effendi: (1896-1957) Great-grandson of Baha’u’llah,
appointed by ‘Abdu’l-Baha as the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith.
of the Bab: Shrine in which the Bab is buried, located on
Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.
‘Ali-Muhammad: The given name of The Bab.
A letter (epistle) written by the Bab, Baha’u’llah or ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
House of Justice: The supreme administrative institution
of the Baha’i Faith.
The holy works of The Bab, Baha’u’llah, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha.