Budding Bahai

All research or scholarship questions
K1R4
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Budding Bahai

Postby K1R4 » Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:08 pm

Hi,

I'm quite new to the faith, and have been doing some reading, unfortunatley, I'm running out of books. Can somone please provide me with some book titles?

Thanks!

-Kira :D

Allah Is The Truth
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Postby Allah Is The Truth » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:43 pm

How about these?

The Kitab-i-Iqan, (Baha'u'llah)
The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, (Baha'u'llah)
The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, (Baha'u'llah)
Prayers and Meditations of Baha'u'llah, (Baha'u'llah)
Some Answered Questions, ('Abdu'l Baha)
'Abdu'l Baha in London, ('Abdu'l Baha)
Paris Talks, ('Abdu'l Baha)
Baha'i World Faith, (Selected Writings of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l Baha)
Baha'i Scriptures, (Selected Utterances of Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha)
Theif in the Night, (William Sears)
Release the Sun, (William Sears)
A Cry from the Heart, (William Sears)
The Baha'i Proofs, (Mirza Abu'l Fadl)
Islam and the Baha'i Faith, (Moojan Momen)
The Promulgation of Universal Peace, ('Abdu'l Baha)
Divine Philosophy, ('Abdu'l Baha)
Tablets of 'Abdu'l Baha, ('Abdu'l Baha)
The Advent of Divine Justice, (Shoghi Effendi)
God Passes By, (Shoghi Effendi)
The Promised Day Has Come, (Shoghi Effendi)
Tablets of the Divine Plan, ('Abdu'l Baha)
The Secret of Divine Civilization, ('Abdu'l Baha)
Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l Baha, ('Abdu'l Baha)
The Kitab-i-Aqdas, (Baha'u'llah)
The Hidden Words (Persian and Arabic), (Baha'u'llah)
Gems of Divine Mystery, (Baha'u'llah)
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, (Baha'u'llah)
The Dawn-Breakers, (Translated by Shoghi Effendi)
The World Order of Baha'u'llah, (Shoghi Effendi)
Dawn of a New Day, (Shoghi Effendi)
Lights of Guidance, (Compilations of guidance from the Guardian)
Christ and Baha'u'llah, (George Townshend)
The Heart of the Gospel, (George Townshend)
Baha'u'llah and the New Era, (Dr. J. E. Esslemont)
The Covenant of Baha'u'llah, (Abid Taherzadeh)
The Prince of Martyrs, (Abu'l-Qasim Faizi)
Dawn Over Mount Hira, (Marzieh Gail)
Six Lessons on Islam, (Marzieh Gail)
The Brilliant Proof, (Mirza Abu'l Fadl)
My Memories of Baha'u'llah, (Ustad Muhammad-'Aliy-i Salmani)


Have you heard of Ocean? It is this cool computer program that has most of these books that I mentioned on it, and it has the Qur'an, and a bunch of books of Islam. It's got the Bible, the Torah, The Buddhist Writings and from the teachings of Krishna, Zoroaster, and Sikhism.

It's free. I would recommend that if you just want to read the books, but I like to have a book in my hand too when I read.

Search for "Ocean Baha'i). You will find it very easily.

Peace,

I am a new Baha'i too. So nice meet you. I am Matt, though sometimes online I go by "Muhammad Noor"
Say: He is Allah, the One!
Allah, the ternally Besought of all!
He begetteth not nor was begotten.
And there is none comparable unto him.

Sura 112 (al-ikhlas) of the Noble Qur'an.

K1R4
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Postby K1R4 » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:50 pm

Wow, thanks Matt! That list should keep me busy for a while.

It's nice to meet you to :)

I read 'God Loves Laughter' on Saturday night, loved it, and am really excited about learning more. It’s fascinating stuff; my fiancé is a really great source as well, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy these books as much as I will.

Thanks again!

Kira

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:59 pm

Welcome, Kira!

Try this short selection of online introductory books: http://bahai-library.com/?file=introductory_information

For more detail, check the Introductory collection, with lots more books: http://bahai-library.com/?collection=Introductory

-Jonah

Dawud
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Postby Dawud » Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:45 pm

As an introduction, I recommend "The Baha'i Faith: Its History and Teachings" by William McElwee Miller.

http://www.gospelcom.net/wclbooks/thebahaifaith/

For some reason Baha'is don't seem to like this book--perhaps because the author neglected to convert to Bahaism, or because he brings up some stuff that they find embarrassing. But I find it fairer and more in-depth than the various intro books promoted by Baha'i propaganda houses. Anyway, check it out.

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:07 am

This can shed much light on why Baha'is and historians make little use of Miller's book: <a href=http://bahai-library.com/?file=missionary_historian>The Missionary as Historian: William Miller and the Baha'i Faith</a>.

Miller was not trying to write a history, as much as trying to write an *alternative* history. I.e. his very premise was contrarian. His book is most certainly useful (I've read it, yes), but as a reflection of the thoughts and outlook of his sources, who were those who had left or been excommunicated from the Baha'i Faith in the early half of the 20th Century.

The fact that this book is housed online at a site called "gospelcom.net" is another clue as to this book's target audience.

-Jonah

Allah Is The Truth
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Postby Allah Is The Truth » Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:14 am

Thank you for the recommendation, Dawud, but I agree with Jonah on this. The comparison of this is like telling a new Muslim to go to http://www.Muhammadanism.com to learn about "true" Islam, which in reality is nothing more than distorted facts from Christians to make Islam look bad.
Say: He is Allah, the One!

Allah, the ternally Besought of all!

He begetteth not nor was begotten.

And there is none comparable unto him.



Sura 112 (al-ikhlas) of the Noble Qur'an.

Dawud
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:59 pm

Postby Dawud » Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:26 am

I've seen Douglas Martin's piece before. Martin is basically a Baha'i polemicist who objects to people who object to his religion. His major complaint is that Miller uses Azalis, Remey-ites, and other "covenant breakers" as major sources. Presumably he should have stuck with Nabil, Abdul-Baha, and the other canonical authorities. A secondary complaint is that Martin lacks sympathy for Bahaism. Well, boo-hoo.

The book seems aimed not at Christian audiences, but at general readers who are attracted by the Baha'i religion and perhaps considering conversion. It is on a Christian site because the book itself is often hard to find, and these are the people most interested in making his message available. Baha'i sites have their own corresponding biases, but I doubt Martin or his fellow travelers complain about these.

If you really want an honest critique of Miller's book, here are a couple of suggestions:

(1) Run it by someone who is an expert on Middle Eastern religion, but who is neither a Baha'i nor an anti-Baha'i (in other words, who has no horse in this race). See what they make of it.

(2) Make a list of factual errors, as opposed to differences of belief or opinion. I suspect this will be a short list.

(3) Compare it to other books introducing the Baha'i religion, noting what each includes or excludes. Personally I find Miller's presentation deeper and better situated historically, considering this as an entirely separate matter from the ideological controversy.

K1R4
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Postby K1R4 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:40 am

You guys are all so helpful, thanks for all of the suggestions, I really appreciate them!

Matt: I downloaded that 'Ocean' program that you told me about, and it looks awesome! I started reading 'Thief in the Night' - William Sears, but decided to buy it instead. I'll work my way through the information in the program.

Jonah: I'll have a look at the books that you suggested as well; at the moment, I'm reading 'The Proofs of Baha'u'llah's Missions'. It's been a pretty easy, yet informative read so far, and I'm really enjoying it.

Dawud: The book you recommended looks interesting, I'm sure I'll work my way towards it.

Thanks again gentlemen!

-K :)

hihellowhatsup
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Postby hihellowhatsup » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:53 am

I've read the book too, in two languages (English and Spanish). Although I consider it useful for some things, on the whole, it's not a history, but a critique, and not a very good one; I've seen much, much better. There was some things he was right about, and some where just flat out wrong. I'm not saying don't read it, but take it with a grain of salt.

K1R4
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Postby K1R4 » Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:28 am

I'm still reading 'The Proofs', but I received 'Thief in the Night' and couldn't wait to read it. What a great book! It's such an easy read, and makes so much sense! I just wanted to share my excitement about all of this!

I'm not quite ready to declare just yet, but we are moving to Penticton, BC in June and I'd like to be as active in the community (as a non-member) as I can - can I do that?

Thanks

~K

Hasan
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Why always Dawud?

Postby Hasan » Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:55 pm

Dawud:
If you want to be impartial, please leave searchers of the Faith (like Kira) alone to investigate the Faith in the authoritative writings? or what are you afraid of? :shock:

The best book that I can suggest to the friends to initiate in their research is "Some Answered Questions" of 'Abdu'-Bahá.

So, study the Bible, the Qurán and the Authoritative Bahá'í writings first, without antagonistic books which are created by individuals who evidently are not impartial. (such Miller, etc.)

K1R4
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Postby K1R4 » Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:54 am

I've got three books on the go right now; Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (excellent, laugh out loud book), The Proofs, and Thief in the Night. I wish I could read faster so I could move on to your suggestions...I'm just so excited.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was baptized as a Christian, and for reasons I can no longer recall, stopped going to church when I was four. Since then the only experiences I've had with religion were with individuals trying to force their beliefs/faiths on me. Throughout my impressionable high school years, this had a big impact on me and soured any (uneducated) opinions I had begun to form about religion.
Since I met Jād my fiance (J-o-d), who was raised as a Baha’i, he’s opened my eyes to a whole new way to look at and think about religion and spirituality.

Although I will admit that I feel a bit of a hypocrite – denying all faith for so many years and then suddenly becoming fascinated with it. Is this a normal feeling amongst new Bahai’s/faithful?

(I’m notoriously long winded – my apologies)

Thanks all,

~Kira

Mat

Postby Mat » Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:14 am

That was how I felt. Like why am I so suddenly for religion ALL religion. I was against all organized religion. Was really just an agnostic. Could not provve God or disprove god. Made it up as I went a long.

Then I came back to the Bahai Faith and I got entrenched right away. Enthralled by the words of the Bab. Amazed by the fluidity of Bahaullah. In awe of the understanding in Abdul Baha. And put at ease by the structure of Shoghi Effendi. Now with the UHJ I still always have a place to turn.

What got me feeling guilty was the understanding that after a very short weeks as a Bahai I fell in love with Jesus and all the prophets. But Christians were a sore point for me. I had such a bad past with Christians. My family had such a bad past with certain churches. I actively opposed in someways the Christian faith. I felt like such a hypocrite. But I think that's normal and healthy. We bring ourselves to account with God alone. that's what I did. And I let that go since it was nothing but a veil shutting me out from my spirituality. Although, it took a few months to really stop thinking about it:)

Keep going in your learning, all the treasures are yours nothing is not allowed for you to know. That's why I love being a Bahai. I will never stop learning for myself. I may not understand right away why everything is the way it is, but the proofs before me allow the truth to settle into understanding. The understanding always comes:)

Mat

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:00 pm

K,

You are most welcome to participate in all community activities such as devotional meetings, firesides, training classes, and so on. The only activities reserved for declared Bahá'ís are the 19-Day Feasts, administrative activities such as elections, and giving to the Bahá'í Fund. But, besides that, you are most welcome to participate as much and as long as you like.

Brett

p.s. In case you hadn't found it, a Google Search led me to see contact info for Penticton (below drawn from 2 sources):

250-493-1160 or 250-493-8957 ?
PO Box 91,
Penticton
E-mail: lsapenticton@hotmail.com

K1R4
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Postby K1R4 » Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:40 am

Brett,

Thanks for the info. My Fiance was raised as a Baha'i, and plans to be much more active in Penticton than he is in Calgary; I just wanted to make sure that I would be able to join him - in retrospect, it probably would have been easier to just ask him....

Thanks again!

-Kira

Keyvan

Postby Keyvan » Sun May 29, 2005 11:09 pm

has anyone heard of when the second volume of the dawnbreakers will be translated?


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