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

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About 95 Gems

Online store where you can find Bahá'í and Bahá'í inspired jewelry. View all posts by 95 Gems

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

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