Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mírzá Mihdí – The most Pure Branch

Mirza Mehdi Mírzá Mihdí (Mehdí) was Bahá’u’lláh’s youngest son. Born in Iran in 1848, he was a gentle child that loved his Father very much. From a young age, he accompanied his Father on His exile without complaints or requests.

His life was the perfect example of complete detachment and unconditional love.

“To the galling weight of these tribulations was now added the bitter grief of a sudden tragedy — the premature loss of the noble, the piousMírzá Mihdí, the Purest Branch, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s twenty-two year old brother, an amanuensis of Bahá’u’lláh and a companion of His exile from the days when, as a child, he was brought from Tihran to Baghdad to join his Father after His return from Sulaymaniyyíh. He was pacing the roof of the barracks in the twilight, one evening, wrapped in his customary devotions, when he fell through the unguarded skylight onto a wooden crate, standing on the floor beneath, which pierced his ribs, and caused, twenty-two hours later, his death, on the 23rd of Rabi’u’l-Avval 1287 A.H. (June 23, 1870). His dying supplication to a grieving Father was that his life might be accepted as a ransom for those who were prevented from attaining the presence of their Beloved.

In a highly significant prayer, revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in memory of His son — a prayer that exalts his death to the rank of those great acts of atonement associated with Abraham’s intended sacrifice of His son, with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn — we read the following: “I have, O my Lord, offered up that which Thou hast given Me, that Thy servants may be quickened, and all that dwell on earth be united.” And, likewise, these prophetic words, addressed to His martyred son: “Thou art the Trust of God and His Treasure in this Land. Erelong will God reveal through thee that which He hath desired.”

After he had been washed in the presence of Bahá’u’lláh, he “that was created of the light of Bahá,” to whose “meekness” the Supreme Pen had testified, and of the “mysteries” of whose ascension that same Pen had made mention, was borne forth, escorted by the fortress guards, and laid to rest, beyond the city walls, in a spot adjacent to the shrine of Nabi Salih, from whence, seventy years later, his remains, simultaneously with those of his illustrious mother, were to be translated to the slopes of Mt. Carmel, in the precincts of the grave of his sister, and under the shadow of the Báb’s holy sepulcher.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 188)

Advertisements

Bahá’í Symbols “the Greatest Name”, the “ring symbol” and the 9 Pointed star – what do they mean?

In the Bahá’í Faith there are some symbols that are used in what we call “Bahá’í jewelry”. These symbols are:

1. In the words of Shoghi Effendi (Directives from the Guardian, p.87) “the symbol of the Greatest Name represents an invocation which can be translated either as ‘O Glory of Glories’ or ‘O Glory of the All-Glorious’. The word Glory used in this connection is a translation of the Arabic term ‘Bahá, the name of Bahá’u’lláh.”

2. The ring symbol is a version of the Greatest Name and its design is divided like this: The three horizontal lines symbolize (from top to bottom) the world of God, the world of His Manifestation and the world of humanity. The line that crosses them all vertically symbolizes the Holy Spirit which binds all three worlds. The two stars on either side represents the Twin Manifestations of the Baha’i Faith: The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.

3. The Nine Pointed Star is a Baha’is symbol that represents the number ‘9’. Why the number nine is relevant to Baha’is can be read below*.

 

*”Concerning the number nine; the Bahá’ís reverence this for two reasons, first because it is considered by those who are interested in numbers as a sign of perfection. The second consideration which is the more important one is that it is the numerical value for the word “Baha”. (B = 2, h = 5, a = 1, and there is an accent at the end of the word which is also = 1; the ‘a’ after the ‘B’ is not written in Persian so it does not count.) In the Semitic languages — both Arabic and Hebrew — every letter of the alphabet had a numerical value, so instead of using figures to denote numbers they used letters and compounds of letters. Thus every word had both a literal meaning and also a numerical value. This practice is no more in use but during the time of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb it was quite in vogue among the educated classes, and we find it very much used in the Bayan. As the word Baha also stood for the number nine it could be used interchangeably with it. (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 413) You can see how these symbols are being integrated into our jewellery designs:

Let us finally consider these words:

“Someone wished to know if it were a good custom to wear a symbol, as, for instance, a cross. He said: “You wear the cross for remembrance, it concentrates your thoughts; it has no magical power. Bahá’ís often wear a stone with the greatest name engraved on it: there is no magical influence in the stone; it is a reminder, and companion. If you are about to do some selfish or hasty action, and your glance falls on the ring on your hand, you will remember and change your intention.”

– Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 93