Ruhi Book 9 develops participants’ love for their Creator

Posted: 2018/03/09

Three-year-old Ammar Toukan practices the alphabet with his cousin while his uncle Avinash Persaud studies Ruhi Book 9 at the Toronto Bahá’í Centre. Photo: Elena Toukan

An intensive study of Ruhi Book 9: Gaining an Historical Perspective has given nine friends a deeper understanding into their relationship with their Creator.

“We were intrigued by the title,” said Linda Gershuny, one of the book’s tutors. “Although no specific practice is stated, we concluded that the study helped us see the significance of our Faith as the fulfillment of the Prophetic cycle and beginning of the universal cycle.”

The members came together as part of an intensive institute campaign in Toronto where participants were encouraged to study whatever book in the Ruhi sequence they needed to complete. The Book 9 group studied the book’s first unit, The Eternal Covenant, which helped them to learn about God and find ways to understand Him through the physical universe.

“The review of the names and attributes of God, which cover the eternal spiritual teachings of all Faiths, reminded us of the qualities we are striving to develop,” said Dorothy Robinson, who co-tutored the book. “Learning about our spiritual capacities through our inner senses – eye, ear and heart was particularly illuminating.”

Elena and Emad Toukan joined the group as a couple, with their three-year-old son tagging along. Imagery played a large part in their study as they discussed with the other participants the spiritual faculties described in the Writings.

“There is so much in the Writings that talk about the heart and your sight, but it’s not talking about the physical. It’s talking about the inner,” Mr. Toukan explained. “There’s a section on each faculty to help us understand that.”

“We used a lot of metaphors of parenthood and children,” said Mrs. Toukan. “It added a nice dimension and it was so great being able to participate and feel very welcomed as a family and seeing Ammar very loved.”

With a deeper understanding of their spiritual faculties, the participants then studied the names of God and their implications, with names such as the All-Bountiful, the All-Loving and the Most Generous. Their study of His attributes closed with what the book describes as God’s greatest title: the name Bahá, the All-Glorious.

After this in-depth look into the names of God, the friends were then able to dive into the Eternal Covenant. For Mr. Toukan, this portion of the study – much of which focused on Bahá’u’lláh’s writings in the Kitáb-i-Íqán – was particularly inspiring.

“It talks about progressive revelation and launches into so many quotations from the Kitáb-i-Íqán,” he said. “Before taking Book 9 I had read the Íqán, and I thought the study really made things more visible in my mind in ways I hadn’t really thought about.”

Ms. Gershuny said that everyone appreciated the insights shared throughout the study, and that it helped to envision their role in the Covenant in a new way:

“We felt better prepared through this study to renew efforts to fulfill the Covenant by enriching our inner spiritual lives, obeying the Teachings and ongoing guidance, building our communities and sharing the Message of Bahá’u’lláh with people of all Faiths.”

The study not only helped the adults. Mrs. Toukan said her son also grew spiritually during the study by participating through acts of service. Each day, when all the members of the campaign came together for prayers, the three-year-old handed out prayer books. He also helped to entertain his younger cousin when she joined the study for a day. “It had such a nice influence on him,” she said. “He became extra prayerful at home. It was pretty sweet.”

Ms. Gershuny said she was deeply thankful for the opportunity to study the book in an environment created by “thoughtful” institute coordinators and volunteers who she said made sure all of their needs were met.

“Thanks to these friends – and two wonderful babies – we all felt happy to have the opportunity to study this very confirming book together.”