Baha’is Mourn the Loss the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad

Baha’is around the world learned today that the house in Baghdad occupied by Bahá’u’lláh the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, during his exile and imprisonment there in the mid-nineteenth century, has been destroyed. No further details are immediately available.


Archive photo of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad.

Old image of the house of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad.

Old image of the house of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad.

After being exiled from Persia (Iran), Bahá’u’lláh and His family lived in Baghdad from 1853 to 1863 until He was furthered exiled to Constantinople, modern-day Istanbul. In His book of laws, He designated His house in Baghdad as a site for pilgrimage for all Bahá’ís, along with the House of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran, which was destroyed in the early years of the Islamic Revolution.

The Bahá’ís of Arlington are deeply distressed to learn that a property of extraordinary religious significance has been destroyed.


Baghdad in the era when Bahá’u’lláh lived there.

Diverse religions come together as volunteers to help others

harvest-and-gleaningsA group of Baha’is from Arlington recently carpooled to Maryland to donate a few hours on a Saturday packing sweet potatoes from North Carolina and cabbage in banana cartons to be delivered to people in need in the Washington, DC, area.

The Arlington Baha’is were joined by a diverse group of others volunteers — a multilingual group of Mormons who had travelled on missions as far as Japan and Madagascar, a young Muslim lady from Somalia, a Mandarin-speaking Voice of America broadcaster, a woman from the central valley of California who spoke with others in her native Cantonese, Catholics, and a Protestant mother of three who spoke only English but with the deepest appreciation for its flexibility and inclusiveness.

As they all gathered around the full crates of produce for a group photo at the end of a productive morning, they discussed the act of picking up the best of what has been left after the harvest, not unlike the way Jesus and His disciples did while roaming the Holy Land.

Many of the Baha’is were reminded of the words of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Faith, who said:

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.


For a personal reflection of one of the participants you can read his blog … click here.

for Newtown, Connecticut, U.S.A.


O thou beloved maidservant of God, although the loss of a [child] is indeed heart-breaking and beyond the limits of human endurance, yet one who knoweth and understandeth is assured that the son hath not been lost but, rather, hath stepped from this world into another, and she will find him in the divine realm. That reunion shall be for eternity, while in this world separation is inevitable and bringeth with it a burning grief.

Praise be unto God that thou hast faith, art turning thy face toward the everlasting Kingdom and believest in the existence of a heavenly world. Therefore be thou not disconsolate, do not languish, do not sigh, neither wail nor weep; for agitation and mourning deeply affect his soul in the divine realm.

That beloved child addresseth thee from the hidden world: ‘O thou kind Mother, thank divine Providence that I have been freed from a small and gloomy cage and, like the birds of the meadows, have soared to the divine world—a world which is spacious, illumined, and ever gay and jubilant. Therefore, lament not, O Mother, and be not grieved; I am not of the lost, nor have I been obliterated and destroyed. I have shaken off the mortal form and have raised my banner in this spiritual world. Following this separation is everlasting companionship. Thou shalt find me in the heaven of the Lord, immersed in an ocean of light.’

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Bahá’ís to Celebrate Holy Day, October 20

Shrine of the BabA picnic-gathering of Bahá’ís in northern Virginia to celebrate the Birth of the Báb, the Herald Prophet of the Bahá’í Faith, will be held on Tuesday, October 20, from 12:00 noon to 4:30 pm at the Cherry Hill Park in Falls Church, VA (map URL).

The Holy Day program will begin at 2:00 pm. Hot dogs will be provided; bring food for all to enjoy. Please join us, families and children, one and all!

Click here for a Google map.