dr. ali-muhammad varqá

mirza mihdi and navvabIt’s with great sadness that the Baha’i world learned today of the passing of Dr. ‘Ali-Muhammad Varqá, the last living member of the Hands of the Cause of God, those selfless, sanctified souls appointed as servants and guides to the worldwide Baha’i Community, whose work, whose only passion was to protect and proclaim the Baha’i Faith in every corner of the globe. According to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Hands of the Cause were appointed by the Guardian (Shoghi Effendi) and served under His direction. As the Guardian is no longer with us, however, the Hands of the Cause are no longer appointed, and their work is now taken up by the Continental Board of Counsellors, appointed by the Universal House of Justice.

In a message sent today to the Baha’is of the world announcing the passing of Dr. Varqá, the Universal House of Justice pays him tribute and requests the prayers of the Friends everywhere for the progress of his soul through all the worlds of God. We have truly witnessed today, as Barney Leith puts it, the passing of a link with Baha’i history.

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the baha’i encyclopedia

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to these past few weeks, I have four answers for you:

this last item is pretty interesting actually. you should check it out. you probably know of wikipedia, especially if you’ve read any high school or undergraduate research papers lately. well, bahaikipedia (haw haw) is essentially wikipedia all about the Baha’i Faith. it’s a growing project, meaning that it’s still pretty tiny and is badly in need of contibutions. I’ve been adding some basic information about the Canadian Baha’i community, including profiles of cities like Ottawa and Montreal. if you’re bedridden and have nothing else to do, or if you’re still healthy and have a little time left in your day after all your regular commitments are up, check it out, create your own account and see what you could add to it!

heyvoon

when misagh attackswhat began as an Ottawa in-joke is growing into an international meme thanks to the power of the Internet. imagine my surprise at the uproar caused by an innocent photo of me and Hooman posted to flickr following a local celebration of the ninth day of Ridván (the same one where Eric Farr performed). Not only have people around the world discovered the hilarity of heyvooning, they’re doing it themselves—and posting the photos to flickr, where a new heyvoon group collects the fallout. Check it out, and be sure to contribute samples of your own neighbourhood heyvoonery.

it’s just the beginning

The 60’s were a turbulent and exciting time in the history of civilization, and no less so in the history of the Baha’i community. A few months ago, the American Baha’i National Centre posted videos of the 1968 Baha’i National Youth Conference, perhaps for the benefit of those of us who were merely glimmers in our parents’ eyes at the time—but perhaps also to remind us of the world-reviving spirit that permeated the Baha’i community at the time, a community fresh out of its Ten Year Crusade and already into the Nine Year Plan, which brought the message of Baha’u’llah to countless receptive souls across the globe.

Part One

Read a related article: Baby Boomer Baha’is recall joining the Faith in Summer of Love era. Also, click below to see more videos!

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random note

hey! just a random note to say that I’m still alive, just working like crazy and juggling several different priorities—two children’s classes and a study circle doing Book 6 of the Ruhi curriculum come to mind. It’s labor dabor day weekend in North America; tomorrow, Julie, my mom and I will be at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre doing some garden-planting with the kids (part 2). It’s supposed to be 21 degrees C tomorrow, which is just warm enough for comfort. We’ll be sure to take photos. Then on Sunday it’s a devotional gathering / BBQ / picnic to welcome everyone into a new year of children’s classes – we went an entire year without stopping during the summer, and that’s pretty cool! yay for us!