Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grand Views of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri died on 20 December 2009. As some may recall, in May 2008, he expressed his opinion regarding the rights of the Baha'is of Iran in a "fatwa" (a decree) previously translated and published here.

The fatwa reads as follows:
In the Name of God

With greetings,

The congregation of Baha'ism not having the heavenly book like those of Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians in the constitution [of Islamic republic of Iran], are not considered one of the religious minorities. However, since they are the citizens of this country, they have the rights of a citizen and to live in this country. Furthermore, they must benefit from the Islamic compassion which is stressed in Quran and by the religious authorities.

God-willing you will be successful,
(Wal Salam–u Alaykum Warahmatullah)
[Peace and Mercy of God be upon you]

25 Urdibehesht 1387 [14 May 2008]

Signature: Montazeri [Seal]

In its 20 December edition, the UK's Guardian published an article about the life of this eminent religious figure. In its ending paragraph, it states:
His political opposition to injustice may represent an important act of defiance. But what Montazeri would wish to be remembered for may be his attempt to change the basis of Shia jurisprudence from protecting the right of the faithful to protecting the right of the citizens. This made him issue a historic statement earlier this year calling for respect for the right of the Baha'i people in Iran as citizens of the country. No other leading theologian has ever dared to issue such fatwa. He expanded the boundaries of Shia jurisprudence into the realm of human rights and wrote a book on the subject. He may not have become the leader of Iran, but he led conservative jurists into new areas in order to reform old rules.

He is survived by his wife, four daughters and two sons.

• Hossein Ali Montazeri, religious leader, born 1922; died 20 December 2009

To read the entire article, please check this link....

Monday, December 21, 2009


The simple things of life! Very little more can be as heartwarming as the pleasure seen in their faces...their smile reflect their inner peace.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baha'is at Harvard: a Look Back in Time

The following article was published in The Harvard Crimson in January 1987. It illustrates beautifully the intellectual and logical attractiveness of the Baha'i Faith:

Uniting the World One Heart at a Time
By Emily Mieras,
Published: Monday, January 05, 1987

Imagine a world of peace, unity and oneness. A world where racial and religious strife has ceased to exist, where people worship, govern, and even speak as one. To more than three million people around the globe today this is not some unattainable utopia, but a vision destined to become reality.

The guardians of this ideal are the Baha'is, followers of the Persian prophet Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i faith, which at 142 years old, is considered to be one of the world's newest religions. Since then the numbers of his followers have continued to grow, and now number close to three million. Although their numbers are not comparable to other world faiths, Baha'is are widespread and have representatives in far-flung corners of the world.

One of these corners is Harvard. Baha'is in the university community now number about 15, most of whom comprise the Harvard Baha'i Association, which has been in existence since at least the 1950s, says Gisu Mohadjer '83, a Business School student who was the club's president as an undergraduate.

At Harvard, the Baha'i group is "an association of students who are Baha'is and are interested in the faith who work to promote the principles of the Baha'i faith," says Lowell House resident Robert Wallace Cook '88, the current president of the Harvard Baha'i Association.

"We're not here to convert the Harvard population," Cook, of Vermont, says about his group's relatively small presence on campus. "Our primary goal is to make people aware of us and understand what we stand for."

Faith Like No Other

This faith is like no other in the Western world. There are no clergy, no religious hierarchies, and no large church buildings. Baha'i don't even use a traditional 12-month a year calendar, preferring instead a 19-day a month system.

Among the Baha'i ideals are "the oneness of God, the oneness of mankind, and the oneness of religion," says Toni Lynne Andrews '87. These beliefs include the equality of men and women and the cessation of racial and religious strife. The Baha'is believe that all religions are one. In their teachings, one member says, God is metaphorized as a sun and the prophets as mirrors reflecting the same light. Baha'u'llah is the last in a line of prophets including Moses, Jesus and Mohammed....
Continued HERE....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Imprisoned Iran's Baha'i Leaders Listed on Time's Top Ten List

Time magazine has just published its lists of "The Top 10 Everything of 2009". Under the religion section, the plight of the imprisoned ad hoc group of leaders of the Baha'i Community of Iran made this list. Posted below is the story as published on Time website:

9. Banning the Baha'i
By AMY SULLIVAN Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

The government of Iran has held seven leaders of the Baha'i faith — a monotheistic religion founded in 19th century Persia — in prison for more than a year without formal charges, access to their attorneys or a trial. The Baha'i tradition is outlawed in Iran, and some government officials have claimed that the prisoners are guilty of spying for Israel or insulting Islam. Several times, the government has scheduled capital-punishment hearings for the seven, only to cancel at the last minute. "The charges against these imprisoned Baha'is are baseless and a pretext for the persecution and harassment of a disfavored religious minority," said Leonard Leo, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which has demanded their release. As of early December, the Baha'i leaders remained in prison with no trial scheduled.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Soar Like an Eagle!

For all those oppressed, persecuted, harassed and unjustly imprisoned: the day will come when you will freely soar--high and mighty--just like an eagle....