converting!

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senfreern
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converting!

Postby senfreern » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:33 pm

hey you guys.. i'm wondering what the conversion process is to the Baha'i faith? i'm not looking at converting.. just wondering!

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:43 am

Hello and a hearty welcome Kyle,

As a Christian, are you interested to learn or read more about the Baha'i teachings which refer to Baha'u'llah fulfilling Christian prophecy?

Yes, to become a Baha'i and join the administration in America (as the Baha'i Writings say we should become a part of the community--a community which is seen as being like a laboratory for practicing the virtues we must learn--patience, kindness, and so on), you do need to sign a declaration card.

As far as daily things to do, here are the basics:

1) Choose either the short, medium, or long obligatory prayer and read it with "pure-hearted devotion" according to its instructions. We should also recite the phrase "Allah'u'Abha" (God is the Most Glorious) 95 times.
2) Read some of the Writings of Baha'u'llah or the Bab every morning and evening. To fulfill this duty more conveniently, Baha'u'llah revealed the Hidden Words--a book of very short bits of wisdom which we can read and reflect on, and try to put into practice. We don't need to read a whole lot if we don't want to.
3) Live the live of a Baha'i in our character, through our profession (or studies) and practice of Baha'i principles, including studying the Baha'i Writings and trying to teach it to others.

As far as being "liberal", it depends what you mean by it. "Liberal" originally means generous. Of course, you can be generous. :)

However, one challenge for Baha'is is that since we believe in unity, we have to avoid the tendency for our societies in the world to make divisions between people, calling some "liberal", "conservative", etc. Also Baha'is cannot be involved in politics. We have our own system of administration that Baha'u'llah has brought to the world to help solve the current problems faced by governments, and we are trying now to build that system (without intefering in politics and of course obeying the laws of the country) instead of getting ourselves into the fighting that is so common today.

On the personal, moral level too, if we are to benefit from the higher Wisdom Baha'u'llah has brought for humanity, we will need to correct some of our behaviors and thinking, including those that people typically associate with being "conservative" or "liberal". (The Declaration card (in the U.S. at least) itself emphasizes our understanding of Baha'u'llah as the Manifestation of God today and the laws and administration He started that we are to follow--so if we are recognizing His being representative for us of God's Wisdom, we are saying we will try to follow His way better rather than call ourselves Baha'i and try to only find the Baha'i teachings which suit our own already existing beliefs.)

But I should say that this is a process for all of us. You should definitely be accepted if you are willing to try to improve yourself in this way. But despite this, I should say the other Baha'is are also only human. Depending on who is in your local community, it is possible you may face some challenges in coming to mix well with those who may have different mindsets and understanding of the Baha'i Teachings. There is a lot of diversity in the Baha'i community (as in the world), and it takes effort for us to learn to improve ourselves and share successfully with others. That being said, you may find (as many do) your local community a most warm place; if the community is unified, then you can especially be empowered to focus on sharing your collective happiness with others (teaching and serving the rest of society). I have heard that Austin, Texas has a quite active Baha'i community, so that may well be the case for you.

all the best,
Brett

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Postby Jonah » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:21 am

i am realy liberal, will i be accepted?

I feel like observing that, as depicted in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was one of the most "liberal" people imaginable. Some random quotes, via Google:

Love your enemies


If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.


If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.


It will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.


You cannot serve both God and Money


When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.


When I read the Sermon on the Mount, I can tell you that contemporary "conservatism" is the last thing that comes to mind.

It's also instructive to recall that the contemporary meanings of "liberal" are wholly formed by, or framed by, the fairly recent Conservative movement, i.e. its antithesis. See "liberal" in its literal meaning, "one who seeks freedom," and it sounds almost neo-con. It's only been pejorative since 1970 or so. The modern conservative movement has been amazingly successful at reframing the political contexts, viz. the newly-derogatory overtones of words like "liberal" or "conspiracy theory." I highly recommend reading any recent Kevin Philips book for more on this (a founder of, and then apostate from, the modern conservative movement).

-Jonah

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:32 am

Also, as a quote posted by Brett says (in another thread), 'Abdu'l-Baha states that we can only say good things about the world's leaders (i.e. the American President), if we are to say anything at all.

And we are told that in the Baha'i community we are not to discuss political matters or the like, because it will get Baha'is involved in such matters which they shouldn't be involved in. Indeed, our Baha'i community is young and you will easily find many Bush-haters or other people with strong political opinions among the Baha'is. However, it is not our job, as Baha'is, so show ridicule and disdain for our President, or to express political beliefs (or to hold them). We must realize that no political system that exists is perfect; we believe to have the correct system. So unduly focusing on negative things in the world will just detract us from our main objective, building up our world order. One shouldn't focus on the old house that is crumbling down, he should instead focus on the magnificent one that is being built up.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:00 pm

Source: http://bahai-library.com/?file=bahaullah_synopsis_codification

D. Miscellaneous Laws, Ordinances and Exhortations

1. Miscellaneous Laws and Ordinances:

a. Pilgrimage26

b. Huqúqu'lláh24

c. Endowments

d. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkár27

e. Duration of the Bahá'í Dispensation28

f. Bahá'í Festivals29

g. The Nineteen Day Feast

h. The Bahá'í Year

i. The Intercalary Days

j. The age of maturity

k. Burial of the dead30

l. Engaging in a trade or profession is made obligatory and is exalted to the rank of worship31

m. Obedience to government

n. Education of children

o. The writing of a testament

p. Tithes32

q. Repetition of the Greatest Name 95 times a day33

r. The hunting of animals34



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s. Treatment of female servants35

t. The finding of lost property36

u. Disposition of treasure trove

v. Disposal of objects held in trust37

w. Manslaughter38

x. Definition of just witnesses39

y. Prohibitions:

i. Interpretation of the Holy Writ

ii. Slave trading

iii. Asceticism

iv. Monasticism

v. Mendicancy40

vi. Priesthood

vii. Use of pulpits

viii. The kissing of hands

ix. Confession of sins41

x. Plurality of wives17

xi. Intoxicating drinks

xii. Opium

xiii. Gambling

xiv. Arson42

xv. Adultery42

xvi. Murder42

xvii. Theft42

xviii. Homosexuality43

xix. Congregational prayer, except for the dead2

xx. Cruelty to animals

xxi. Idleness and sloth

xxii. Backbiting

xxiii. Calumny

xxiv. Carrying arms unless essential



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xxv. Use of public pools in Persian baths44

xxvi. Entering a house without the owner's permission

xxvii. Striking or wounding a person

xxviii. Contention and conflict

xxix. Muttering sacred verses in the street

xxx. Plunging one's hand in food45

xxxi. Shaving one's head

xxxii. Growth of men's hair beyond the lobe of the ear

2. Abrogation of specific laws and ordinances of previous Dispensations, which prescribed:

a. Destruction of books

b. Prohibition of the wearing of silk

c. Prohibition of the use of gold and silver utensils

d. Limitation of travel

e. Offering priceless gifts to the Founder of the Faith

f. Prohibition on questioning the Founder of the Faith

g. Prohibition against remarrying one's divorced wife21

h. Penalizing whoever causes sadness to his neighbour

i. Prohibition of music

j. Limitations upon one's apparel and beard

k. Uncleanliness of divers objects and peoples46

l. Uncleanliness of semen

m. Uncleanliness of certain objects for purposes of prostration



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3. Miscellaneous Exhortations:

a. To associate with the followers of all religions with fellowship

b. To honour one's parents

c. Not to wish for others what one does not wish for one's self

d. To teach and propagate the Faith after the ascension of its Founder

e. To assist those who arise to promote the Faith

f. Not to depart from the Writings or to be misled by those who do

g. To refer to the Holy Writ when differences arise

h. To immerse one's self in the study of the Teachings

i. Not to follow one's idle fancies and vain imaginations

j. To recite the holy verses at morn and at eventide

k. To recite the holy verses melodiously

l. To teach one's children to chant the holy verses in the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár

m. To study such arts and sciences as benefit mankind

n. To take counsel together

o. Not to be indulgent in carrying out the statutes of God

p. To repent to God of one's sins

q. To distinguish one's self through good deeds

i. To be truthful

ii. To be trustworthy



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iii. To be faithful

iv. To be righteous and fear God

v. To be just and fair

vi. To be tactful and wise

vii. To be courteous

viii. To be hospitable

ix. To be persevering

x. To be detached

xi. To be absolutely submissive to the Will of God

xii. Not to stir up mischief

xiii. Not to be hypocritical

xiv. Not to be proud

xv. Not to be fanatical

xvi. Not to prefer one's self to one's neighbour

xvii. Not to contend with one's neighbour

xviii. Not to indulge one's passions

xix. Not to lament in adversity

xx. Not to contend with those in authority

xxi. Not to lose one's temper

xxii. Not to anger one's neighbour

r. To be closely united

s. To consult competent physicians when ill

t. To respond to invitations

u. To show kindness to the kindred of the Founder of the Faith47

v. To study languages for the furtherance of the Faith

w. To further the development of cities and countries for the glorification of the Faith



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x. To restore and preserve the sites associated with the Founders of the Faith

y. To be the essence of cleanliness:

i. To wash one's feet

ii. To perfume one's self

iii. To bathe in clean water

iv. To cut one's nails

v. To wash soiled things in clean water

vi. To be stainless in one's dress

vii. To renew the furnishings of one's house48

senfreern
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Postby senfreern » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:22 pm

thanks all.. now does anyone have the links the the prayers? and is there any specific way to do them?

thanks again. :)

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:28 pm

The prayers are all here, starting from the section "Long Obligatory Prayer" going to the "Short Obligatory Prayer": http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahau ... ments.html

We only need to choose one of these for reading each day.

As to special instructions, some of these instructions are written within the text of the prayer. Also, before reciting the prayer, one is to wash one's hands and face (this is called performing "ablutions") and stand and face the Qiblih (the place where Baha'u'llah is buried; since it is in Israel, if you are in a western country like the U.S., you should turn toward the East, or maybe north-east).

You can see http://www.bahai9.com/Obligatory_Prayer and the linked pages for the quotations that detail all of this. The quotations there (mostly from Baha'u'llah's Most Holy Book, the Kitab-i-Aqdas) also explain them further, such as explaining that the instructions in the short prayer to say the prayer at "noon" can be interpreted as anytime from noon to sunset.

take care,
Brett

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Postby Dorumerosaer » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:52 pm

>>i know that in order to become a baha'i, you have to sign the declaration card.. easy. but what are like some daily things you have to do to be baha'i, like with prayers, and all of that?>>

You have found the Promised One of the Ages, the One Promised by Daniel, by Isaiah, by Jesus Christ Himself.

Jump in. Ask what He wants you to do, and then do it. It's for your good, not His.

Brent


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