Glossary :: A
B and E
In all instances in the Writings where the letters “B” and “E” are mentioned, the Arabic letters are “Káf” and “Nún”, the two consonants of the Arabic word “Kun”, which is the imperative meaning “Be”.
A-Z : “Be” | B and E
Bahá’í Era: denotes the nineteen-month Badí‘ calendar, which is reckoned from 21 March 1844, the year of the Báb’s declaration of His mission.
Before Hijrae format of the Muslim calendar, dating up to the ad 622 flight of Muḥammad from Mecca to Medina
See : A.H.
Báb, Nominee of the
See   Nominee of the Báb
Báb, Shrine of the
See   Shrine of the Báb
Báb, The
See   The Báb
Of or pertaining to the Báb; used to refer to followers of the Báb.
Bábí Faith: Revelation or Faith founded by the Báb in 1844
A-Z : Bábís
Bábí Faith
See   Bábí
Bábíyyih, The
See   The Bábíyyih
See   Mullá Ḥusayn
Badasht Academy
Green Acre has been home to the annual Badasht Academy since the summer of 1999.
A week long intensive study of Bahá’í history, Badasht Academy is a four year program for high school aged students, most of whom reside in the northeastern United States.
See also : Conference of Badasht.
Badasht, Conference of
See   Conference of Badasht
See   Mírzá Áqá Buzurg-i-Níshápúrí
Badí‘ Calendar
See   Bahá’í Calendar
1867 — 1950
A son of Bahá’u’lláh who became a Covenant-Breaker.
Baghavad Gita
main Hindu Scripture
A-Z : Hindus
Known as the “Abode of Peace” or the “Home of Peace”.
Founded by the Caliph at Manṣúr in ad 762 on the site of a Christian village on the western bank of the Tigris. It remained for 500 years the seat of the Abbasid Government.
See also : Abbasid Caliphate;   Abú-‘Abdi’lláh.
A-Z : Baghdád
Baghdádí, Zíá M.
See   Zíá M. Baghdádí
Arabic for Glory, Splendor, or Light
1. the Greatest Name; a title given to Bahá’u’lláh by the Báb
2. the name of the first month of the Bahá’í year (20 March-8 April)
See also : Bahá’í Calendar.
A-Z : Bahá’
Bahá, Maidservant of
See   Amatu’l-Bahá Rúḥíyyih Khánum Rabbani
Bahá’í Calendar
The Bahá’í Calendar is also known as the Badí‘ Calendar. It was established by the Báb in the Kitáb-i-Asmá’, and subsequently approved by Bahá’u’lláh, Who stated that it should begin in 1844, the year of the Báb’s Declaration.
The original calendar of the Báb consisted of nineteen months of nineteen days each. Bahá’u’lláh, in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, added the Intercalary Days (Ayyám-i-Há) of four days (five in a leap year), thus making the Bahá’í Calendar a solar calendar.
·  the Bahá'í day begins and ends at sunset.
·  the Bahá’í day of rest is Istiqlál (Friday)
·  Ayyám-i-Há falls between the months of Mulk and ‘Alá’, from 26 February to 1 March.
·  the Bahá’í Month of Fasting is the 19th month, ‘Alá’ (Loftiness)
·  New Year’s Day (Naw-Rúz) falls on the Spring Equinox. The table below, ‘Months of the Year’, provides the Gregorian date according to astronomical reckoning for Naw-Rúz, based upon a letter from the Universal House of Justice 10 July 2014. It is designated the “Day of God”
·  each of the days of the month is given the name of one of the attributes of God. The names are the same as those of the nineteen months.
Days of the Week
1. Jalál Glory Saturday
2. Jamál Beauty Sunday
3. Kamál Perfection Monday
4. Fidál Grace Tuesday
5. ‘Idál Justice Wednesday
6. Istijlál Majesty Thursday
7. Istiqlál Independence Friday
Months of the Year
First days when Naw-Rúz is:
1. Bahá’ Splendour 20 March 21 March
2. Jalál Glory 8 April 9 April
3. Jamál Beauty 27 April 28 April
4. ‘Azamat Grandeur 16 May 17 May
5. Núr Light 4 June 5 June
6. Raḥmat Mercy 23 June 24 June
7. Kalimát Words 12 July 13 July
8. Kamál Perfection 31 July 1 August
9. Asmá’ Names 19 August 20 August
10. ‘Izzat Might 7 September 8 September
11. Mashíyyat Will 26 September 27 September
12. ‘Ilm Knowledge 15 October 16 October
13. Qudrat Power 3 November 4 November
14. Qawl Speech 22 November 23 November
15. Masá’il Questions 11 December 12 December
16. Sharaf Honour 30 December 31 December
17. Sulṭán Sovereignty 18 January 19 January
18. Mulk Dominion 6 February 7 February
Ayyám-i-Há Intercalary Days 25 February 26 February
19. ‘Alá’ Loftiness 1 March 2 March
See also : Ayyám-i-Há;   Holy Day;   Naw-Rúz;   Riḍván
A-Z : Calendar
Bahá’í Council, International
See   International Bahá’í Council
Bahá’í Elections
Elections are conducted according to Bahá’í principles to select individuals to serve as members of Local and National Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice.
Elections for Local Spiritual Assemblies are generally held on 21 April, the first day of the Riḍván Festival (21 April-2 May), but in certain circumstances can be held on any day during Riḍván. Elections for National Spiritual Assemblies are held annually during Riḍván. Elections for the Universal House of Justice are held every five years.
All adult members in good standing in a Bahá’í community may vote for the members of their Local Spiritual Assembly; Bahá’ís in an electoral unit elect one or more delegates who, in turn, elect the members of the National Spiritual Assembly at the national convention. The members of the National Spiritual Assemblies elect the members of the Universal House of Justice at an international convention.
Shoghi Effendi advises electors
“to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience.” (“Directives from the Guardian”, page 24.)
There are no nominations. Campaigning and electioneering are forbidden. Ballots are cast in a prayerful atmosphere, and the nine persons receiving the most votes are considered chosen by God. Members of a minority race or group are given preference when tied for the ninth position; otherwise, ballots are cast to break the tie.
A unique and significant aspect of all Bahá’í elections is the fact that voters elect with the understanding that they are free to choose whomever their consciences prompt them to select, and they freely accept the authority of the outcome.
A-Z : Election(s)
Compilations : The Sanctity and Nature of Bahá’í Elections;   The Spiritual Character Of Bahá’í Elections
Bahá’í Faith
Revelation or Faith founded by Bahá’u’lláh in 1863
A-Z : Bahá’ís;   Cause ~ of God
Bahá’í Fund
See   Fund
Bahá’í International Community
An international body made up of Bahá’í institutions, local and national, continental and international, all closely interrelated, and comprising the world-wide membership of the Bahá’í Faith.
Since 1948 the Bahá’í International Community has been affiliated with the United Nations’ Office of Public Information. In 1967 the Universal House of Justice assumed the function (shouldered for many years by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States) of representing the Bahá’í International Community in its capacity as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations. In 1970 the Bahá’í International Community was granted consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and in 1976 it became affiliated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, formerly named the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund). It is also affiliated with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
In its work with the United Nations, the Bahá’í International Community participates in meetings of United Nations bodies concerned with such issues as human rights, social development, the status of women, the environment, human settlement, food, science and technology, population, the law of the sea, crime prevention, substance abuse, youth, children, the family, disarmament, and the United Nations University.
Bahá’í International Convention
See   International Bahá’í Convention
Bahá’í World Centre
The world spiritual and administrative centres of the Bahá’í Faith located in the twin cities of ‘Akká and Haifa in Israel. The seat of the Universal House of Justice and the Shrine of the Báb are located on Mount Carmel and the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh is nearby in Bahjí
See also : Administrative Order;   Arc;   Haifa
Bahá’í World Commonwealth
The future Bahá’í community of nations, Shoghi Effendi explains, that will operate “solely in direct conformity with the laws and principles of Bahá’u’lláh” and will be animated wholly by His spirit.
Its “supreme organ” will be the Universal House of Justice functioning in “the plenitude of its power”. Its advent will “signalize the long-awaited advent of the Christ-promised Kingdom of God on earth.” It will serve as both “the instrument and the guardian of the Most Great Peace.” Within the Bahá’í World Commonwealth “all nations, races, creeds and classes” will be “closely and permanently united,” and “the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them” will be “definitely and completely safeguarded. This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of mankind, ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations, and will enact such laws as shall be required to regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust the relationships of all races and peoples. A world executive, backed by an international Force, will carry out the decisions arrived at, and apply the laws enacted by, this world legislature, and will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth. A world tribunal will adjudicate and deliver its compulsory and final verdict in all and any disputes that may arise between the various elements constituting this universal system. … A world metropolis will act as the nerve centre …, the focus towards which the unifying forces of life will converge and from which its energizing influences will radiate.”
The world commonwealth will include a system of international communication; an international auxiliary language; a world script and literature; a uniform and universal system of currency, weights, and measures; and an integrated economic system with co-ordinated markets and regulated channels of distribution.
See also : World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.
A-Z : World(s)(’s) ~ commonwealth
12 November 1817 — 29 May 1892
Arabic for the “Glory of God”. Title of Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alí Nuri, Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. For accounts of His life, see Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By; Nabíl, The Dawn-Breakers; and Balyuzi, Bahá’u’lláh: The King of Glory.
Bahá’u’lláh is referred to by a variety of titles, including the Promised One of All Ages, the Blessed Beauty, the Blessed Perfection, the Morn of Truth, the Abha Luminary, the Dayspring of the Most Divine Essence, the Ancient Beauty, the Ancient Root, the Ancient of Days, the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation, the Mystic Dove, the Sovereign Revealer, the Judge, the Redeemer, the Divine Physician, the Prince of Peace, the Pen of Glory, the Pen of the Most High, the Supreme Pen, the Lord of Hosts, and the Lord of the Age.
His birth (see note under Holy Day) and his ascension (May 29, 1892) are celebrated, and are Holy Days on which work is suspended.
See also : Blessed Beauty;   Blessed Perfection;   Book of the Covenant;   Greatest Name;   Man-Yuẓhiruhu’lláh;   Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh;   The Hidden Words;   The Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
A-Z : Bahá’u’lláh
Bahá’u’lláh, Knights of
See   Knights of Bahá’u’lláh
Bahá’u’lláh, Shrine of
See   Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh
Bahíyyih Khánum
1846 —15 July 1932
Bahíyyih Khánum
Image copyright ©
Bahá’í International
The Greatest Holy Leaf; the Most Exalted Leaf, saintly daughter of Bahá’u’lláh and outstanding heroine of the Bahá’í Dispensation. Her death in 1932 marked the final end of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Faith, which had drawn to a close with the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1921.
A monument erected in her memory symbolizes the Bahá’í World Order; its location is Mount Carmel, within the Arc and in close proximity to the resting-places of her brother, Mírzá Mihdí; her mother, Ásíyih Khánum; and the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Munírih Khánum.
Her station as “foremost woman of the Bahá’í Dispensation” and her rank among women are paralleled only by such heroines of previous Dispensations as Sarah, Ásíyih, the Virgin Mary; Fáṭimih, and Ṭáhirih.
For a compilation of Bahá’í Writings about Bahiyyih Khanum and for some of her own letters, see Bahiyyih Khanum: The Greatest Holy Leaf (1982).
“Delight, gladness, joy”: the name of the property north of ‘Akká where the Shrine of Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh is situated and where Bahá’u’lláh lived from 1880 until His ascension in 1892. Its extensive gardens were created by Shoghi Effendi and expanded by the Universal House of Justice.
The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí is the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world.
A-Z : Bahjí
The Ethiopian slave who was one of the very early converts to Islám.
The Prophet gave him the task of calling the Faithful to prayer, and he became the first Mu’adhdhin of Islám. As he stammered and mispronounced the Arabic letter ‘Shín’ as ‘Sín’, he could not give the call correctly, but the perfection of his heart atoned for the fault of his tongue.
“The Baloch or Balúch are a people who live mainly in the Balochistan region of the southeastern-most edge of the Iranian plateau in Pákistán, Írán, and Afghánistán, as well as in the Arabian Peninsula.” (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Literally “Sons of Háshim” (great grandfather of Muḥammad): clan of Quraysh from which Muḥammad was descended.
See also : ‘Abdu’lláh.
A-Z : Baní-Háshim
Báqir, Mullá
See   Mullá Báqir
Báqir, Shaykh Muḥammad-
See   Shaykh Muḥammad-Báqir
“Remnant of God.” The title is applied both to the Báb and to Bahá’u’lláh. It is also applied to the Twelfth Imám
Baraghání, Fáṭimih
See   Ṭáhirih
Baraqání, Muḥammad-‘Alíy-i-
See   Mullá ‘Alíy-i-Baraqání
Bárfurúshí, Muḥammad-‘Alíy-i-
See   Quddús
Basṭámí, Mullá ‘Alíy-i-
See   Mullá ‘Alíy-i-Basṭámí
Whipping of the bare soles of the feet, usually with a cane or twitch
Wikipedia describes it thus:
“Foot whipping or bastinado is a method of corporal punishment which consists of hitting the soles of a person's bare feet. Unlike most types of flogging, this punishment was meant to be more painful than it was to cause actual injury to the victim. Blows were generally delivered with a light rod, knotted cord, or lash.
“The receiving person is required to be barefoot. The uncovered soles of the feet need to be placed in an exposed position. The beating is typically performed with an object in the type of a cane or switch. The strokes are usually aimed at the arches of the feet and repeated a certain number of times.”
A reference to Mecca; Baṭḥá is the central quarter and lowest part of Mecca, which lies in the immediate vicinity of the Ka‘bih (Kaaba), Islám’s most sacred Shrine
A-Z : Mecca
Battle of Fort Ṭabarsí
October 10, 1848 to May 10, 1849
Fought at the Shrine of Shaykh Ṭabarsí, near Bárfurúsh.
On the arrival of Mullá Ḥusayn and the company of Bábís, Mullá Ḥusayn instructed them to build a fort around the Shrine. Even while building they were subjected to constant attacks. Throughout the seige, the Bábis, led by Mullá Ḥusayn, repulsed every attack. Mullá Ḥusayn himself was killed by a bullet during the afternoon of 2 February 1849.
The seige was ended by treachery, with Prince Mihdí Qulí Mírzá promising by oath written in his Qur’án that they would not be harmed and would be safe to return to their homes. The defenders lay down their arms, and assembled in a tent which the Prince had had erected for them. The next day, in the afternoon, while Quddús was summoned to the Princes’ headquarters, the companions were surrounded and killed.
“Exposition, explanation, lucidity, eloquence, utterance”: the title given by the Báb to two of His major works, one in Persian, the other in Arabic. It is also used sometimes to denote the entire body of His Writings.
The Persian Bayán is the major doctrinal work and principal repository of the laws ordained by the Báb. The Arabic Bayán is parallel in content but smaller and less weighty.
The Bayán is described by Shoghi Effendi, in God Passes By, pages 24-25, as a
“monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation and the treasury enshrining most of the Báb’s references and tributes to, as well as His warning regarding, ‘Him Whom God will make manifest’…. this Book, of about eight thousand verses, occupying a pivotal position in Bábí literature, should be regarded primarily as a eulogy of the Promised One rather than a code of laws and ordinances designed to be a permanent guide to future generations.”
See also : Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’
A-Z : Bayán
Text : Selections From the Writings of the Báb ~ Excerpts from the Persian Bayán
Bayán, People of the
See   People of the Bayán
Beloved of Martyrs
See   Mírzá Muḥammad-Ḥusayn
Best Beloved
See   Ancient Beauty
Honorary title; lower title than Khán
Reference to Shí‘íh traditions. Short for Biḥáru’l-Anvár.
See also : Arba‘ín;   ‘Aválim;   Biḥáru’l-Anvár;   Káfí;   Mufaḍḍal;   Traditions;   Yanbú‘.
A-Z : Biḥár
Literally “Sea of Lights”, a compilation of Shí‘íh traditions.
See also : Arba‘ín;   ‘Aválim;   Biḥár;   Káfí;   Mufaḍḍal;   Traditions;   Yanbú‘.
A-Z : Biḥár
Black Stone
A small rock situated low in the eastern corner of the Kaaba.
See also : Baṭḥá;   Mecca;   Qiblih
A-Z : Black ~ Stone
Blessed Beauty
A translation of Jamál-i-Mubarak, a title of Bahá’u’lláh.
See also : Ancient Beauty.
Blessed Perfection
A translation of Jamál-i-Mubarak, a title of Bahá’u’lláh.
See also : Ancient Beauty.
Book of Fáṭimih, The
See   The Hidden Words
Book of the Covenant
A translation of Kitáb-i-‘Ahd (sometimes referred to as Kitáb-i-‘Ahdí, meaning “the Book of My Covenant”); Bahá’u’lláh’s last will and testament, designated by Him as His “Most Great Tablet” and alluded to by Him as the “Crimson Book”.
The last Tablet revealed before His ascension, it was written in His own hand and entrusted, shortly before His passing, to His eldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. In it Bahá’u’lláh clearly designates ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as His successor and as the Centre of His Covenant, providing for the continuation of divine authority over the affairs of the Faith in the future.
Shoghi Effendi, in God Passes By, Chapter XIV, discusses and explains the significance of this document, and the role and position of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá within that Covenant.
A-Z : Kitáb-i-‘Ahd
Text : Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh ~ Kitáb-i-‘Ahd
Bosch, John D.
See   John D. Bosch