Collection 1

November 30, 2014

A very unique Child is born

One morning as the sun rose over Tihran, a Child was born. He was born into a family that was powerful in the government of Persia, and was also rich. The house where he was born looked more like a palace than a house, with its tall columned walkways and arched windows looking out over the walled garden.

This child was very special, right from the start. He never cried or fussed in the way that little babies ordinarily do, which surprised his mother very much. People used to shake their heads and say, 'Such a child will not live', because they felt he was too good for this world. His name was Mirza Husayn ‘Ali, but he will always be known as Baha’u’llah.

Baha’u’llah never went to school at all, though of course he was taught the things that noble boys usually learnt, like horse riding, sword fighting and to shoot a gun. He would have read poetry and the Qur’an, and also have learnt to write, but that was all. The odd thing was that even though he had not been taught things like history and philosophy, he knew it all anyway. Grown-ups were often very surprised to find that he knew more than they did!

November 27, 2014

Baha’u’llah receives His Mission from God

Baha'u'llah lived in Persia. He was a wonderful person. His hair was black and His beard was black. He had happy, laughing eyes, and He made everybody happy because He loved them so much. He rode on horseback and He was brave and strong. He was just like a king. 

His wife was called Navvab. Her hair was black and her eyes were dark blue. She was very beautiful. Her heart was so pure and she was so gentle. She loved everybody and she made them happy too.

Baha'u'llah and His wife were very rich. They had three children. The eldest was a boy named 'Abbas Effendi, and He was nine years old. When He grew up He was called 'Abdu'l-Baha. The next was a little girl named Bahiyyih Khanum, and she was six. When she grew up she was called the Greatest Holy Leaf. And the smallest was a little boy named Mirza Mihdi, and he was two. When he grew up he was called the Purest Branch.

They all lived in a big house that looked like a palace and had many servants. One maid-servant was black. One man-servant was named Isfandiyar. The black maid-servant and Isfandiyar loved Baha'u'llah and His family more than all the others did.

The house was full of beautiful things. There were Persian rugs, and gold ornaments and fine hangings. When Navvab had married Baha'u'llah her wedding treasures were so great that it took forty mules to carry them to the house. Her clothes were so pretty, even the buttons were of gold set with precious stones. The children wore beautiful clothes too.

November 23, 2014

The Rule of Thumb

Once there were four fingers on a hand. One was tall, two were medium-sized, and one was a small fellow. But aside from this they were all much alike. They faced the same way and stood in a nice row. In a word, they were "normal”.

On the other hand -- no -- on the some hand -- was a thumb. But how different he was! The fingers that were normal" would get terribly upset at him. “You’re not a real finger! Why can’t you be a normal everyday finger like us?"

They would complain: "We face and move this way but you face and move that way.”

“But I can’t help it,” whined Thumb. "I was made this way; I grew out of the side of the hand and not out of the end like you.”

“Well, ok,” they cut in, "but we all have three joints and you only have two.”

"Now, not quite so fast,” said Thumb. "I hove only two that you can see, but inside the hand is a third big joint covered with a large muscle that makes me strong. If it were not for this I wouldn't be able to move like this… and this… and even get close to you like this…”

November 22, 2014

Dream of Many Fishes

When Baha'u'llah was a child, His father had a dream about Him. He saw Baha'u'llah swimming in a huge ocean. Baha'u'llah's face was so full of light that it glowed. The whole ocean glowed with the light from Baha'u'llah's face.

His hair was long and dark, and it flowed out in the water around Him as He swam. Suddenly many fishes appeared and each fish took one strand of Baha'u'llah's hair in its mouth and followed Baha'u'llah as He kept swimming.

The fish did not hurt Him, or slow Him down. When Bahil'u'llah turned one way, so did every fish. When He turned the other way, the fish followed that way.

The fishes were following Baha'u'llah's light - the light of God in His heart.

Baha'u'llah's father asked a wise man what his dream meant, and the wise man said that the ocean was like the world, and the fishes were the people. All the people would be attracted to the light of God in Baha'u'llah and would follow Him. They would attach their hearts to Him like the fishes in the dream attached themselves to His hair. The people would follow Baha'u'llah wherever He led them.

Now we know that this wise man was talking about the Baha'is. We are the people who follow Baha'u'llah. Every day more people in the world find Baha'u'llah and follow Him.

We can be like the fishes by following Baha'u'llah. If we do what Baha'u'llah teaches us, we will be full of God's light which He reflected on us. 
(by Cindy Pacileo, ‘The Brilliant Star', 1991)

November 16, 2014

Shaykh Ahmad’s Secret

Many years ago there lived in Persia a man who knew a very wonderful secret. Perhaps you would not think it a secret because it was written in a Book, so that everyone might read it. But those who read it did not understand just what it meant. Shaykh Ahmad understood because he had studied this Book a great deal and had prayed to understand. And the secret he found there made him so happy that he wished to tell everyone.

Would you like to know the secret? In this Book, which was called the Qur'an, it told that God would send a new Teacher to the world, a very great Teacher like Jesus and Muhammad. We know only a little about God because He is so much greater than we are, and so very wonderful. Sometimes we are so busy taking care of ourselves and having a good time that we do not even think about God. We forget that we would not even be alive if He did not give us life. So once in a while He sends one of these divine Teachers to the earth to remind people about Himself. These Teachers are like Him and They show us how He wishes us to live.

Jesus was one of these Teachers. Some of us know about Him and read about Him in the Bible. Others know more about Muhammad and read about Him in the Qur'an. It was in the Qur'an, which Muhammad wrote, long ago, that Shaykh Ahmad read about the new Teacher who was coming. He was called the Promised One because God had promised He should come.

Other people read about the Promised One in the Qur'an and knew He was to come. But here is the difference between them and Shaykh Ahmad. When Shaykh Ahmad read the words, he felt very sure that it was time for the Promised One to come right away. The others thought that He would not come for a long, long time.

November 12, 2014

A Prayer for Mirza Ja'far

The August sun burned down on the stone walls of 'Akka as the sailboat rocked roughly into the harbor. The Baha'is had come a long way. They were hot, hungry, and thirsty. But Mirza Ja'far was happy - he was with Baha'u'llah!

The townspeople yelled at them from the streets, from windows and doorways, as they passed. Mirza Ja'far had walked through hateful mobs before. He had been hungry, tired, and hot before. These things did not matter. He was happy.

The guards at the mighty stone prison gave them little to eat and drink. But Mirza Ja'far thanked God. His dark, narrow cell seemed like a sweet-smelling rose garden with Baha'u'llah close by.

Then, one day, Mirza Ja'far fell sick. How could it be? They had crossed deserts and climbed mountains together. Eager always to help, Mirza Ja'far never complained, and he never seemed to need rest. He was the one who went with 'Abdu'l-Baha to find supplies while others rested.

Now Mirza Ja'far grew more and more sick. The doctor turned away. He knew of nothing that would help his patient. Mirza Ja'far drew in his last breath.

Baha'u'llah's secretary rushed to tell Baha'u'llah that their beloved Mirza Ja'far was dead.

"Chant the prayer ... O Thou, the Healer," said Baha'u'llah, "and Mirza Ja'far will come alive."

Quickly, the Baha'is obeyed. Soon Mirza Ja'far's lifeless body grew warm. Next he began to move. Then he sat up, laughing and joking with his friends.

"Praise be to God!" Mirza Ja'far cried. He would live to serve Baha'u'llah for a long time to come! 
(Retold by Gail Radley from a story by 'Abdu'l-Baha, ‘Memorials of the Faithful’; The Central Figures, Baha’u’llah, Core Curriculum, vol.1)