Bahá'í Readers discussion

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What's your favourite Baha'i book?

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message 1: by Sonia (new)

Sonia | 12 comments Mod
To get the ball rolling, I thought it'd be nice to hear from everyone what each of our favourite Baha'i books are.

As I said in the introductions feed, my favourite book at the moment is the Kitab-i-Iqan I think, but this always changes as I read more and more interesting things. I enjoy the Kitab-i-Iqan when I just open it to a page and read that page & the next couple, but found it pretty boring reading it cover to cover. I like it because Baha'u'llah explains all these spiritual truths and quotes from Christianity & Islam in a way that's reasonably easy to understand. The Kitab-i-Iqan Book of Certitude

I also really enjoyed the Dawn Breakers. I found the sacrifices those early Baha'is made really inspiring, and the depth of their belief comes across so strongly that it can't be anything but very inspiring! Dawn Breakers - Nabíl's Narrative

What are your favourite books?


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (noregroetz) | 12 comments As you, my favorite tends to change, but at the moment, it is the Dawnbreakers. There are so many amazing and moving stories of people finding the Faith and being steadfast no matter what. I was reading the section yesterday about Hasan-i-Zanuzi who followed Siyyid Kazim, met the Bab in Karbila and later followed and served the Bab and Baha'u'llah. What a blessed soul!


message 3: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 4 comments The changing of favorite books seems to be normal :-)
I also have my 'go-to' book change from time to time ... I would have to say the one that has always warmed my heart since I was young, is God Loves Laughter. I remember reading it in school during slient reading, as a young teen, and busting up laughing at parts ...


message 4: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (noregroetz) | 12 comments Reading The Dawnbreakers with my daughter now. We had only gotten a couple of chapters in when we went to a Baha'i conference where the youth were asked what their favorite Baha'i book was and she said Dawnbreakers. Smile.


message 5: by Maeve (new)

Maeve (mepwave) | 5 comments It's hard to pick favorites, but the Hidden Words and the Seven Valleys are pretty awesome. I tend to like the mystical :)


message 6: by Douglas (last edited Jun 02, 2013 03:58PM) (new)

Douglas Perry (douglasgperry) | 6 comments Outside of the primary sacred writings of the Bahá'í Faith, one of my favorite Bahá'í books is Nabil's Narrative, The Dawn Breakers The Dawn Breakers: Nabil's Narrative, being epic in scope and mystical in import. I recently completed Motlagh's magisterial trilogy (weighing in at 1,657 pages) on the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh in Biblical context: I Shall Come Again I Shall Come Again by Hushidar Motlagh , Lord of Lords Lord of Lords by Hushidar Motlagh , and King of Kings King of Kings by Hushidar Motlagh . These definitely are my favorite books for now.


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Everett | 2 comments At the moment my favorite Baha'i’ book is “Some Answered Questions,” which is based on talks given by ‘Abdul-Baha, and was written by Laura Clifford Barney and Lesile A. Loveless. Well before I became a Baha'i’ I enjoyed pondering the notion of dreams verses the mundanity of what is commonly referred to as ‘the state of being awake.’ I’ve come to suspect that we exist on many plains and what we call truth on one plain does not bear true on another plane. In the dream state there is no limit to where we can go or on how we get from place to place. Dreamers can fly like an eagle from place to place, walk across hot coals without feeling discomfort and instantly be transported from place to place. At present, my very small Bahá’í Community is meeting every Sunday to read and discuss Abdul-bahá’s suppositions in “Some Answered Questions. I have read this book over and over and each time I read it I learn something new. But studying it with my little group has greatly enhanced my understanding of His message to humanity concerning the meaning of knowledge and the part thoughts play in relationship to our world view. I am hoping to convey His principles to middle and high school children in my short story, “Tuesday Night’s Dream,” not in a preachy, know-it-all kind of way but in the context of telling a story. The same is true of my full length novel, “Epace,” which is being published by Hawkins Publishing Group. I have three teenage grandchildren who I desperately want to focus their attention on the beauty and efficacy of acquiring knowledge by being present in each moment and pondering the validity of all things with an open mind as did Abdul-Baha. In my children’s book, “Storm Clouds Over Christmas,”(Funny Title for a book written my a Bahai)shrouded in fantasy, I explore the concept of justice and the validity of working as a team to achieve a common goal. All this from the study of the wealth of knowledge poured into “Some Answered Questions.” Love to all, Elizabeth


message 8: by Diana (new)

Diana Bliss | 7 comments I think you picked one of my favourite books of all time. When I first became a Baha'i I was fifteen and it was probably the first full length, non-fiction I had ever read. Since then, I have re-read and studied Some Answered Questions many times, sometimes with other Baha'is who are more knowledgeable than I and sometimes by myself. I still learn from it. I still use my aging copy of the book.
Thank you for reminding me, it's time to read it again.


message 9: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Everett | 2 comments Thank you for your comment. "Some Answered Questions,” is my life-line. I am so glad to meet another Baha'i who loves this book as much as I do. When I first began the study of the Faith, this book and William Sears' book, "Thief in the Night," are the two books that opened my eyes and my heart to Bahá’u’lláh. From them I have increased clarity regarding the prophecies in the Bible concerning the Promised One and the “placeless world, the invisible kingdom.” We are using the Ruhi approach in our study and it is brining us together as a community like never before. We are small but growing in so many good ways. Love, Elizabeth Everett Bowers


message 10: by Dennique (new)

Dennique | 1 comments Loved Some Answered Questions! It was the first Baha'i Book I read. I was 19 at the time. My favorite book though is The Hidden Words. I call it my Baha'i psalms. I read it over and over and each time I realize something new.
I do tend to like the mystical though and getting into The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner can be nice. Never finished either of these two but would love to some day!


message 11: by Diana (new)

Diana Bliss | 7 comments You've picked some of the toughest of Baha'u'llah's Writings. Hidden Words is a distillation of all the spiritual teachings from all the Manifestations of God. That's a lot to cover. I think you're very smart and dedicated.


message 12: by Allie (new)

Allie (antlersantlers) In 2011 I started reading a lot about the centenary of Abdu'l-Baha's visit to America. The Promulgation Of Universal Peace: Talks for one, but also Abdu'l-Baha in America. Voyage of Love: 'Abdu'l-Baha in North America was really excellent and written really well for a younger audience. So great.


message 13: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Shoghi Effendi's letter written to "the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West," February 8, 1934, as The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah. Direct, clear, forthright, and it is foundational to Baha'i belief. It's written in four sections, the opening one reflecting the title. Since the early '70s I've lucky enough to have participated in and facilitated a dozen classes on its import, including at my beloved Green Acre.


message 14: by Sonia (new)

Sonia | 12 comments Mod
Thanks for the recommendation Rodney, I looked up "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah" and saw that it was part of the compilation The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters which I've been meaning to read for a while. Now that I just finished reading Creating a New Mind: Reflections on the Individual, the Institutions & the Community by Paul Lample, I might give that a go. Handy having the local community's Baha'i library a 10 minute walk away!
Incidentally, Creating a New Mind is an excellent book- it's a great summary of the Baha'i view of the individual, community and institutions. I used its explanation (it quoted Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l Baha) of why we pray in groups when introducing our devotional gathering the other day, and found its explanation of the focus of Baha'i institutions most helpful.


message 15: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Sonia wrote: "Thanks for the recommendation Rodney, I looked up "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah" and saw that it was part of the compilation The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters which ..."

You won't be disappointed. It is the fundamental statements of belief in one source. Admin in nature\, but based on man's spirit, the foundation of it all.


message 16: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne Perkins (perkinsy) | 4 comments My favourite is the first Baha'i book I read, The Secret of Divine Civilization. It was this book where I first learned that the Muslims had made a tremendous contribution to European learning which is not acknowledged enough today.

I am re-reading it now. It clearly sets the standard for good leadership and government. In today's topsy-turvy world we are so fortunate to have such clear guidance about what standards we should uphold and admire in others.


message 17: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Sonia wrote: "Thanks for the recommendation Rodney, I looked up "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah" and saw that it was part of the compilation The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters which ..."

Sonia, if you study it6, would love to hear your opinion. Do you think it is a seminal/foundational B. book as I do?


message 18: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments My truest favorite is Dispensation in WOB, that's my foundation, but just finished the Kitab-i-Iqan after 6 months of weekly study classes - the "greatest and mightiest" (from God Passes By) after the Most Holy Book.
But today it's a 1974 Canadian Booklet "Excerpts from the writings of Shoghi Effendi on Baha'i Life," long out of print. I first bought it at the 1st Five Year Plan conference in St Louis in '76. Remember that? Excert from the excerpts: "The great thing is to live the Baha'i life - to have our lives so saturated with the Divine Teachings and the Baha'i Spirit that people cannot fail to see a joy, a power, a love, a purity, a radiance, an efficiency in our character and work that will distinguish us from worldly-minded people and make people wonder what is the secret of this new life in us. Unless we can show this transformation in our lives, this new power, this mutual love and harmony, then the Baha'i teachings are but a name to us."


message 19: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Sonia wrote: "Thanks for the recommendation Rodney, I looked up "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah" and saw that it was part of the compilation The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters which ..."

Sonia, we studied this book together in Baha'i class for months and all found it exhilirating in uits many new views of mankind and the world, and our relation to it. For me, not the most exciting read (not the Creative Word) but readable. Glad you got something from it.


message 20: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Yvonne wrote: "My favourite is the first Baha'i book I read, The Secret of Divine Civilization. It was this book where I first learned that the Muslims had made a tremendous contribution to Europea..."

I have it on my list to write essays on many Baha'i books, including "Secret," the source, like Foundations of Unity, of some of the masters most insightful and foresightful views of where we come from and where we're going to land.


message 21: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Allie wrote: "In 2011 I started reading a lot about the centenary of Abdu'l-Baha's visit to America. The Promulgation Of Universal Peace: Talks for one, but also [book:Abdu'l-Baha in America|14629..."

I have a suggestion for serious Baha'i literature readers: annotate with underlines, highlighter and margin comments as you read/study the book. It has helped me remember and attach to the significant words, phrases, history, emotions and pregnant points that have been critical to my 44 year spiritual growth. Our Hamilton community was very lucky to have an outstanding Baha'i (on the NSA of Hawai), Mr. William R. Foster, with wife Ruth amnd family, move into our area and educate, lead by example and mentor us in ALL of the Guardians' clear and pointed writings, for over a decade. That was the effective method he taught us.
We quickly named our then 20 year-old continuous Baha'i School after them both.


message 22: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Richards (rodrjr) | 8 comments Dennique wrote: "Loved Some Answered Questions! It was the first Baha'i Book I read. I was 19 at the time. My favorite book though is The Hidden Words. I call it my Baha'i psalms. I read it over and over and each t..."

I quote the sections on The Four Kinds of Love and the inner and outer powers of Man many times, even in my Blogger blogs. Five inner and five outer, of which scientists now say we have nine outer.


message 23: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 3 comments I'm currently reading Epistle to the Son of the Wolf for something like the third or fourth time. (Not in a row. I've been a Baha'i since 1983, so I've had time to read it a few times.) I've always had the impression that it's largely a chastisement or calling to account of persecutor of Baha'is, but this time through I've been struck by the fact that Baha'u'llah's tone is actually more encouraging than anything else throughout much of the Book. I don't think I noticed that before. In any case, I don't know I'd call it my "favorite" work by Baha'u'llah, but it's certainly worth re-reading every now and again.


message 24: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Blake | 6 comments I have many "favortes". One of which is "The Divine Art of Living" which is a compilation of writings of Baha'u'llah, Abdul Baha, and the Bab.
The Divine Art of Living: Selections from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, the Bab, and Abdu'l-Baha


message 25: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Blake | 6 comments Oh, and also "Thief in the Night" by William Sears.
Thief in the Night


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