Re: Photo of Baha'u'llah

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Posted by Jonah on September 01, 1999 at 14:56:48:

In Reply to: Photo of Baha'u'llah posted by Mike on September 01, 1999 at 02:15:30:

Viewing the portraits of any of the Manifestations or photos of Baha'u'llah is not forbidden, but is tightly circumscribed. We are, though, forbidden to portray the Manifestations ourselves, whether by making paintings of them, portraying them in a play, etc. Below are some quotations. More info can be found at Having the photos in digital format on a computer would be no more forbidden than possessing a copy of a photo at home, as some Baha'is do, but neither hardcopy nor digital copies should be viewed casually. Only one website, a covenant-breaker one, displays a photo of Baha'u'llah publicly, and Baha'is would of course be earnestly discouraged from visiting or viewing it. But it's not "forbidden," per se. -Jonah

"There is no objection that the believers look at the picture of Baha'u'llah, but they should do so with the utmost reverence, and should also not allow that it be exposed openly to the public, even in their private homes."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 6, 1939. Lights of Guidance, p. 541)

"Your understanding that the portrayal of the Bab and Baha'u'llah in works of art is forbidden, is correct. The Guardian made it clear that this prohibition refers to all the Manifestations of God; photographs, or reproductions of portraits, of the Master may be used in books, but no attempt should be made to portray Him in dramatic or other works where He would be one of the 'dramatic personae'. However, there can be no objection to symbolic representation of such Holy Figures, provided it does not become a ritual and that the symbol used is not irreverent."
(Universal House of Justice. Lights of Guidance, p. 540)

"The more universal and informal the character of Baha'i worship in the Temple the better. Images and pictures, with the exception of the Greatest Name, should be strictly excluded."
(Written on bahalf of Shoghi Effendi. Lights of Guidance, p. 608)

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