Fall 2019 issue of Bahá’í Canada

Posted: 2019/10/28

Nabíl-i-A`zam, author of The Dawn-Breakers, made a pilgrimage to both the House of the Báb in Shíráz and the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad.[1] In a Tablet addressed to him, Bahá’u’lláh revealed, “His glory be with thee, inasmuch as thou hast journeyed from God unto God, and entered within the borders of the Court of unfading splendor—the Spot which mortal man can never describe.”[2]

With the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb following only two years after the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, it feels as if our community has also journeyed from God to God. The eight cycles between the two bicentenaries “during which the greatest share of the effort needed to fulfill the objectives of the Five Year Plan” are drawing to a close.[3]

In its 7 September 2019 message, the National Spiritual Assembly wrote, “[T]he remarkable narratives of the youthful Báb and His intrepid followers are inspiring the acts of young and old alike. Possessing a merit ‘far beyond an exploration of history,’ these stories have drawn the friends closer to their spiritual forebears as they make the changes to daily patterns of life that in turn give life to the teaching work…”[4]

Bahá’í Canada has also taken inspiration from The Dawn-Breakers. Over the past several months, we published a series of excerpts from this narrative on the Bahá’í Canada website, bahaicanada.bahai.ca, and in this issue include the story of Zaynab, a woman who demonstrated extraordinary heroism during the Zanján upheaval.

More recently, there have also been those called to lay down their lives. Zarrin Moqimi Abyányeh was one of 10 women martyrs in Shíráz, Iran, in 1983. In this issue, we have republished excerpts from a tribute written by her sister, Simin Khavari. During her life, Zarrin felt as if she had returned to the time of the dawn-breakers.

The year 2021 will mark the end of the first century of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Faith. The article “Marking measures of time” looks back at this period and invites the reader to deepen further on the guidance received during this time – history that is still being made.

Like the dawn-breakers, the youth of today “are once more summoned to the vanguard of a movement aimed at nothing less than the transformation of the world.”[5] In this issue’s feature article, we revisit the clusters of Vancouver and Toronto, two examples of places where the friends responded wholeheartedly to the vision shared by a group of representatives who visited Sydney, Australia.[6] Over the summer months, many youth entered the institute process.

Summer schools across the country also focused on the Ministry of the Báb. Justine Rastello-Gralepois, who attended the Quebec Bahá’í summer school, contributed the article “The meaning of sacrifice” in which she reflects on what it means to sacrifice in the present day as her family continues to serve as homefront pioneers.

Many new souls are also being reached through devotional gatherings. In Nunavut, in the article “Beacons of light in Pond Inlet,” Patricia Parks describes how a relatively small community looks outward and welcomes others. There, devotional gatherings are proving to be an effective means of growth.

And as the community grows, our material needs also increase. In the article “Deepening on the Law of Huqúqu’lláh” Lynn Smith explains how a better understanding of this law unlocked a feeling of utmost joy and gratitude.

The stories of the dawn-breakers “assist the company of believers to realize that, by consecrating themselves to the acts of service required in this age, they are emulating the noble qualities of their spiritual forebears.”[7] We look forward to reporting on the bicentenary celebrations taking place across Canada, as these qualities are sure to come to light.

[1] H.M. Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá’ís in the time of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 224.
[2] Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 302-3.
[3] Letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 1 June 2018.
[4] From the National Spiritual Assembly to the Bahá’ís of Canada, 7 September 2019.
[5] From the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the World, Ridván 2018.
[6] See the article “Stories from Sydney” in the Summer 2019 issue of Bahá’í Canada for more information.
[7] From a letter written from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 1 June 2018.

Fall 2019 issue