March, 2009

Centenary of the Interment of the Sacred Remains of the Báb

The Shrine of the Bab in 1909Naw-Rúz, 166 B.E. – observed March 21, 2009 by members of the Baha’i Faith – marked the 100th anniversary in the of the interment of the sacred remains of the Báb in the shrine on Mt. Carmel – an occasion that Shoghi Effendi describes in the following passage from God Passes By, p. 276:

On the 28th of the month of Safar 1327 A.H., the day of the first Naw-Ruz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands-in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving-the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion.

When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr Prophet of Shiraz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God’s holy mountain, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotions.

The Shrine of the Bab 2006“The most joyful tidings is this,” He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, “that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb… after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquility has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel… By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Rúz, a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city… and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.”

Arlington Baha’is Celebrate the Feast of Bahá

March 21st marks the first day of Bahá (Splendor) which first month of the Bahá’í calendar. After breaking the fast together on Friday March 20th, on March 21st the Arlington community gathered together to celebrate the first Nineteen-Day Feast of the new year. Nineteen-Day Feast is a centerpiece of the Bahá’í Community. The Bahá’í calendar consists of 19 months, with 19 days in each month. Therefore at the beginning of each month, Baha’is all over the world gather together for a “Feast.” There are three portions to every Nineteen-Day Feast, a devotional part during which prayers are read, an administrative portion during which the affairs of the community are discussed, and a social portion. ‘Abdu’l-Baha stated:

“As to the Nineteen Day Feast, it rejoiceth mind and heart. If this feast be held in the proper fashion, the friends will, once in nineteen days, find themselves spiritually restored, and endued with a power that is not of this world.”

We invite you to enjoy a short slideshow of pictures taken this weekend in Arlington from the Feast of Bahá.

Happy New Year!

happy-naw-ruzMarch 21st is Naw-Rúz, or New Years for Bahá’ís. The term “Naw-Rúz” literally means “new day,” and it marks both the beginning of the Bahá’í calendar and an end to the days of fasting. There are two events happening locally, and we invite you to come and celebrate with us. On Friday March 20th at 7:00 pm the Bahá’ís of Arlington will be joining with the Bahá’ís of Alexandria at the Alexandria Bahá’í center, located at 5400B Eisenhower Ave. You are invited to enjoy dinner and music as we ring in the new year.

If you’d rather come to a smaller more intimate gathering, we will also be having a devotional gathering in Arlington at 7:00pm on Friday March 20th. The gathering will be preceded by dinner including lentil soup, Persian saffron rice, salad and more! This will be a chance break the fast together on the last day of the year, and enter into the new year together with prayers.

“O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast.”  (Bahá’u’lláh)

For more information regarding these events please contact us. We hope to see you there, and we wish you a happy and joyous new year! Happy Naw-Rúz!

Radio Program on the Bahá’í Faith in Iran

We invite you to participate in a live online radio program on the Bahá’í Faith in Iran that will take place Tuesday March 17th on World Focus, PBS’s nightly international news program. According to the World Focus website, this program “will explore the background and history of the Baha’i faith, religious persecution in Iran and the arrest and forthcoming trial of the seven Baha’i leaders.” You are invited to submit questions for the show here.

You can tune into the live show on Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. EST at or listen after the fact at