Glossary :: P
“Athlete,” “champion.” Term applied to brave and muscular men.
Panama City House of Worship
Mother Temple of Latin America
Panama City House of Worship
Image copyright ©
Bahá’í International
Architect: Peter Tillotson
On the 8 October 1967, Hand of the Cause of God Amatu’l-Bahá Rúḥíyyih Khánum laid the corner stone of the House of Worship. It was another two years before construction commenced on 1 December 1969, with the Temple Dedication occuring on 29 and 30 April 1972, at which Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum represented the Universal House of Justice
See also : Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.
Pantheism is the belief that reality is identical with divinity, or that all-things compose an all-encompassing, immanent god. Pantheist belief does not recognize a distinct personal anthropomorphic god and instead characterizes a broad range of doctrines differing in forms of relationships between reality and divinity. Pantheistic concepts date back thousands of years, and pantheistic elements have been identified in various religious traditions. ... Pantheism derives from the Greek πᾶν pan (meaning "all, of everything") and θεός theos (meaning "god, divine"). (Text courtesy of Wikipedia)
In The Promulgation of Universal Peace, in a talk dated 27 August 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá discusses and explains where one aspect of pantheism may be considered as truth, saying on page 286
This is a subtle and abstract realization. Meditate upon it, for within it lies the true explanation of pantheism. From this point of view and perception pantheism is a truth, for every atom in the universe possesses or reflects all the virtues of life, the manifestation of which is effected through change and transformation.
It must be noted that the Bahá’í Faith does not subscribe to a pantheistic view of God and/or of His creation. This is quite evident in other Writings and texts of the Central Figures, of Shoghi Effendi and of the Universal House of Justice.
For an authoritative discussion on the subject, see Some Answered Question by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, beginning on page 290.
See also : Anthropomorphism
A heavenly garden; a state of bliss. The Manifestation is “the Nightingale of Paradise”; His Revelation, “the rustling of the leaves of Paradise”; “the love of God” is itself Paradise.
A-Z : Paradise
A mountain range north of Sinai and south of Seir; all are sacred as places of revelation.
Teman lies in northwest Edom, not far from Párán. See Habukkuk 3:3.
Moses himself uses “Párán” with special reference to Muḥammad and “Seir” to Jesus Christ: “And he said: The Lord came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Párán and He came with ten thousands of saints; from His right hand went a fiery law for them.” (Deuteronomy 33:2). Here Moses foretells the coming of three revelations and three prophets after himself, the last being Bahá’u’lláh.
Ishmael (Genesis 21:21) founded the Arabian peoples in Párán.
A-Z : Párán;   Seir
shá, Fu’ád
See   Fu’ád Páshá
Peace, Lesser
See   Lesser Peace
See   Bahá’u’lláh
Peace, Most Great
See   Most Great Peace
Peerless Beloved
See   Ancient Beauty
Pen, Divine
See   Divine Pen
Pen of Glory, Pen of the Most High
See   Ancient Beauty
Literally “the fivefold volume,” referring to the first five books of the Old Testament. Known also as the Torah.
A-Z : Pentateuch;   Torah
People of Bahá’
Generally, the members of the Bahá’í community. Followers of Bahá’u’lláh.
Shoghi Effendi explains that in the Tablet of Carmel “the people of Bahá” refers to the members of the Universal House of Justice.
A-Z : Bahá’ ~ people of
People of the Bayán
The followers of the Báb, known also as Bábís.
See also : Bayán.
A-Z : People ~ of the Bayán
People of Tubbá’
See   Tubbá’
Perfect Exemplar
See   ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Enduring name for Írán, derived from its province Fárs.
A-Z : Persia
Perspicuous Religion
See   Islám
The common title of the kings of Egypt. The Pharaoh of the oppression is usually held to be Ramesis II (about 1340 B.C.), and his son and successor Merenptah, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but this is highly uncertain and the birth of Moses is dated as early as 1520 B.C.
See also : Moses
A-Z : Pharaoh
Philosopher’s Stone
An imaginary substance which the alchemists formerly sought as a means of converting baser metals into gold.
A-Z : Philosopher’s ~ stone
A bird fabled to exist single, to be consumed by fire by its own act, and to rise again from its ashes.
Pages xvi-xvii of the Volume The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys carry a more extensive description of the Phoenix:
The Phoenix, a mythical bird with a life expectancy of one thousand years, has figured predominantly in the theology of many peoples. The bird, a solitary creature, was said to have a flute-like beak with a hundred holes, each opening sounding a mystic tone. As death approaches, the Pheonix prepares its funeral pyre, pours forth its tragic song, and kindles the fire with its feathers. As the embers die down to a single spark, a new Phoenix miraculously arises from the ashes. In response to an enquiry, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith has explained that the Phoenix “does not have any connection with the Manifestation but is used poetically to convey the thought of something that is immortal, or that rises from destruction...”
A-Z : Phoenix
Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, who issued His death sentence.
A-Z : Pontius Pilate
Pilgrim House
A house for visiting pilgrims that Mírzá Ja’far Rahmani built, with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s permission, near the Shrine of the Báb. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá composed a dedicatory inscription that appears above its entrance: “This is a spiritual Hostel for Pilgrims, and its founder is Mírzá Ja’far Rahmani AH 1327. [1909].” It was completed in 1909 and was known as the Eastern or Oriental Pilgrim House. In 1969 the increasing number of pilgrims led the Universal House of Justice to decide that pilgrims should be accommodated in hotels, thereby enabling it to convert the pilgrim house into a reception centre.
A Western Pilgrim House was built across the street from the House of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Haifa, shortly after His passing, with funds American Bahá’ís had contributed and in accordance with a design ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had selected and modified. In 1963 the Universal House of Justice established its offices in the Western Pilgrim House.
In 1983, after the completion of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the Western Pilgrim House became the seat of the International Teaching Centre. Another pilgrim house is located at Bahjí, near the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh.
A journey made with the intention of visiting a shrine or holy place.
For Bahá’ís it is both a privilege and an obligation, although it is only obligatory for men who are able to make the journey. In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas Bahá’u’lláh specifically ordains pilgrimage to the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád and to the House of the Báb in Shíráz.
On the day of Bahá’u’lláh’s ascension, the room where His Holy Dust was laid became a third centre of pilgrimage—the most holy spot and the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world—for at least the next thousand years. Under current conditions, Bahá’ís assume that the obligation of pilgrimage is satisfied by a visit to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and the Shrine of the Báb in the Holy Land.
The first group of Western pilgrims arrived in ‘Akká on 10 December 1898 and included Edward and Lua Getsinger; Phoebe Hearst; Mrs Hearst’s butler, Robert Turner, who was the first African-American in the West to become a Bahá’í; and Mrs Thornburgh.
A-Z : Pilgrimage
Pillar, Crimson
See   Crimson Pillar
Pillars of the Faith
See   Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh
Pillars of the Universal House of Justice
National Spiritual Assemblies
Bahá’ís who leave their hometown or country to reside elsewhere for the purpose of teaching the Bahá’í Faith.
See also : Knights of Bahá’u’lláh.
Pioneer Committees, Continental
See   Continental Pioneer Committees
Refers to the courses of action devised by Shoghi Effendi and, later, by the Universal House of Justice for expanding and consolidating the Bahá’í Faith within the framework of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan.
Teaching Plans launched by Shoghi Effendi include:
·  the first Seven Year Plan (1937-44) and the second Seven Year Plan (1946-53) pursued by the Bahá’ís of the United States
·  a Six Year Plan pursued by the Bahá’ís of the British Isles (1944-50)
·  plans of varying durations separately pursued between 1947- 53 by the National Spiritual Assemblies of Canada, of Central America, of South America, of Australia and New Zealand, of India, Pakistan, and Burma, of Germany and Austria, of Írán, of ‘Iráq, and of Egypt and the Sudan
·  the Two Year Plan for the development of the Faith in Africa
·  and the Ten Year World Crusade (1953-63) pursued by the world-wide Bahá’í community.
The Universal House of Justice has launched
·  the Nine Year Plan (1964-73)
·  the Five Year Plan (1974-79)
·  the Seven Year Plan (1979- 86)
·  the Six Year Plan (1986-92)
·  the Three Year Plan (1993-1996)
·  the Four Year Plan (1996-2000)
·  the One Year Plan (2000-2001)
·  the Five Year Plan (2001-2006)
·  the Five Year Plan (2006-2011)
·  the Five Year Plan (2011-2016).
·  the Five Year Plan (2016-2021).
See also : Major Plan of God;   Minor Plan of God.
A-Z : Plan
Having a belief in more than one god.
Polytheism   (courtesy of Wikipedia
“... the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals.”
Prayer of Nudbih
A “Lamentation” of the Imám ‘Alí.
See also : Zíyárat.
A-Z : Nudbih ~ Prayer of
Pride of Martyrs
See   Mírzá Áqá Buzurg-i-Níshápúrí
Primal Point
A title of the Báb
A-Z : Báb, The
Primal Will
“The first thing which emanated from God is that universal reality…which the people of Bahá call ‘the First Will’” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, page 203).
A-Z : Will ~ Primal
Primitive Age
See   Ages
Prince of Hypocrites
See   ‘Abdu’lláh-i-Ubayy
Prince of Martyrs
See   Ḥamzih
Prince Shujá‘u’d-Dawlih
A Persian Prince attached to the Embassy at Istanbul during the reign of Sulṭán ‘Abdu’l-‘Azíz.
A-Z : Prince ~ Shujá‘u’d-Dawlih
Prison, Most Great
See   Most Great Prison
Process, Ten Part
See   Ten Part Process
Progressive Revelation
The progressive unfoldment of the Faith of God through the appearance of His successive Manifestations. Each Manifestation reveals Teachings suited to the time of Their appearance, renews the spiritual essence of Religion, and promises the appearance of another Manifestation to come.
This process may be considered in terms of the sun. Though each day it rises with a different name and with certain qualities, yet it is still the same sun. Bahá’u’lláh words it thus:
“Consider the sun. Were it to say now, “I am the sun of yesterday,” it would speak the truth. And should it, bearing the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that sun, it still would speak the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the days are but one and the same, it is correct and true. And if it be said, with respect to their particular names and designations, that they differ, that again is true. For though they are the same, yet one doth recognize in each a separate designation, a specific attribute, a particular character.” The Kitáb-i-Íqán”, page 20
Promised One
A title of Bahá’u’lláh.
Prophecy, Daniel’s
See   Daniel’s Prophecy
Prophet (of God)
See   Manifestation of God
Purest Branch
See   Mírzá Mihdí