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Ridvan

Festival of Ridvan (Ridván)

See also a timeline of events related to Ridvan

Introduction

“The twelve day period commemorating Bahá’u’lláh’s announcement of his claim to prophethood and his departure from Baghdad in 1863, observed from sunset 20 April to sunset, 2 May. The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are major Bahá’í holy days on which work should be suspended. Bahá’í elections are normally held during Ridvan. The name derives from the Najibiyyih Garden in Baghdad where Bahá’u’lláh stayed during this period and to which he gave the name Ridvan (Paradise) (Walbridge 1995).”


“Acclaiming that historic occasion [Ridván] as the “Most Great Festival,” the “King of Festivals,” the “Festival of God,” He has, in His (Kitáb-i-Aqdas), characterized it as the Day whereon “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification,” whilst in one of His specific Tablets, He has referred to it as the Day whereon “the breezes of forgiveness were wafted over the entire creation (Shoghi Effendi. God Passes Bypp. 154).”


110. “All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days — the first of the Most Great Festivals being those days whereon the All-Merciful shed upon the whole of creation the effulgent glory of His most excellent Names and His most exalted Attributes, and the second being that day on which We raised up the One Who announced unto mankind the glad tidings of this Name, through which the dead have been resurrected and all who are in the heavens and on earth have been gathered together. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Ordainer, the Omniscient (Kitáb-i-Aqdas).”

112 “Say: The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King of Festivals. Call ye to mind, O people, the bounty which God hath conferred upon you. Ye were sunk in slumber, and lo! He aroused you by the reviving breezes of His Revelation, and made known unto you His manifest and undeviating Path (Kitáb-i-Aqdas).”

Suggested Prayers and Readings

Timeline of Events Related to Festival of Ridvan

First Day of Ridvan

Ninth Day of Ridvan

Twelfth Day of Ridvan

Useful images as background for Ridvan stories, prayers, readings

The arrival of Bahá’u’lláh in the Najíbíyyih Garden, subsequently designated by His followers the Garden of Ridván, signalizes the commencement of what has come to be recognized as the holiest and most significant of all Bahá’í festivals, the festival commemorating the Declaration of His Mission to His companions. So momentous a Declaration may well be regarded both as the logical consummation of that revolutionizing process which was initiated by Himself upon His return from Sulaymáníyyih, and as a prelude to the final proclamation of that same Mission to the world and its rulers from Adrianople (Shoghi Effendi. God Passes By. pp. 151-155).”


“Acclaiming that historic occasion as the “Most Great Festival,” the “King of Festivals,” the “Festival of God,” He has, in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, characterized it as the Day whereon “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification,” whilst in one of His specific Tablets, He has referred to it as the Day whereon “the breezes of forgiveness were wafted over the entire creation ((Shoghi Effendi. God Passes Bypp. 154).”


“The twelve day period commemorating Bahá’u’lláh’s announcement of his claim to prophethood and his departure from Baghdad in 1863, observed from sunset 20 April to sunset, 2 May. The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are major Bahá’í holy days on which work should be suspended. Bahá’í elections are normally held during Ridvan. The name derives from the Najibiyyih Garden in Baghdad where Bahá’u’lláh stayed during this period and to which he gave the name Ridvan (Paradise) (Walbridge 1995).”

“The twelfth day was appointed for departure. The garden was filled with people coming for final farewells. It was late afternoon before the party got underway. Bahá’u’lláh mounted a fine roan stallion named Sa`udi (he also had two others, named Sa`id and Farangi), and the party left the garden amidst displays of affection and grief. The party travelled as far as Firayjat, three miles up the Tigris. There they stayed in a borrowed garden for a week while Bahá’u’lláh’s brother Mirza Musa completed dealing with their affairs in Baghdad and packing the remaining goods. Visitors still came daily. The party finally set out on 9 May for the three-month journey to Istanbul (Walbridge 1995).”


Tablets and writings associated with Ridvan

“A number of important tablets of Bahá’u’lláh are associated with Ridvan. These include:

  • Surih-i-Sabr (Lawh-i-Ayyub; The Tablet of Job; Suriy-i-Sabr; Surih of Patience; Madinatu’s-Sabr; City of Patience; Surat Ayyub.Provisional Translation by Khazeh Fananapazir, 21 April 1997. In 1863, on the first day of His arrival at the garden of Ridvan, Baha’u’llah revealed a singularly important Tablet known as Suriy-i Sabr (Surih of Patience), or Lawh-i Ayyub (the Tablet of Job), thus named in memory of one of the survivors of the Nayriz-I holocaust, Haji Muhammad Taqiy-i Nayrizi, surnamed Ayyub. Some time ago, Ahang Rabbani asked Dr. Khazeh Fananapazir to prepare and Ahang Rabbani received Dr. Khazeh Fananapazir’s permission to share his translation of this Tablet for inclusion in a forthcoming study on Nayriz [with this website -ed.](Ahang Rabbani). It was written for Haji Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Nayrizi, whom Bahá’u’lláh surnamed Ayyub, “Job,” a veteran of the battle of Nayriz. The tablet praises Vahid (q.v.), the Babi leader at Nayriz, and the believers of Nayriz. (Ayyam-i-Tis`ih 262-304)(Walbridge 1995)
  • Tablet of Ridvan, beginning “Huva ‘l-Mustavi `ala hadha ‘l- `arshi’l-munir” “He is seated upon this luminous throne.” An Arabic tablet speaking joyfully of the lifting of the veils that had concealed God’s beauty and the manifestation of all his names in created things and appealing to the people to answer the call of their Lord. After each verse is a refrain of the form, “Glad tidings! This is the Festival of God, manifest from the horizon of transcendent bounty.” (Ayyam-i-Tis`ih 246-50)(Walbridge 1995).
  • Hur-i-`Ujab: “The Wondrous Maiden.” An allegorical tablet in Arabic rhymed prose celebrated the unveiling of Bahá’u’lláh’s glory. In this allegory the Maid of Heaven comes forth and unveils herself. Her unveiled beauty inflames creation. In joy she passes around the wine of life, plays music, and serves the food of beauty. But the arrogant reject her and she returns saddened to her heavenly palace, grieving that the people of the Book have rejected her and vowing not to return to them until the Day of Resurrection (Ayyam-i-Tis`ih 251- 54. RB 1:218).(Walbridge 1995).
  • “The Divine Springtime is come. . . “: (Qad ata Rabi`u’l-Bayan) The superscription of this tablet says that it “was revealed in the Ridvan for all to read during the Festival of Ridvan. . .” The tablet takes the form of a dialogue between God and “the Most Exalted Pen” – i.e., Bahá’u’lláh. God chides Bahá’u’lláh for not openly proclaiming the greatness of this day. Bahá’u’lláh replies that he is silent only because the people are veiled. God answers that today only His face can be seen in creation. God excuses Bahá’u’lláh’s silence and proclaims that he has made Bahá’u’lláh the trumpet of the Day of Resurrection. The tablet explains in mystical terms the significance of Bahá’u’lláh’s entry into the garden of Ridvan and commands Bahá’u’lláh to attract the hearts of men through the Word of God. The tablet appeals to the believers to heed the call of God. Bahá’u’lláh concludes the tablet with the statement that the Word of God had so inebriated him that he can write no longer. This well-known and frequently-quoted tablet is frequently referred to by western Bahá’ís as the Ridvan Tablet. (Ayyam-i-Tis`ih 254-61; GWB xiv; Days to Remember 27-31)(Walbridge 1995).

 

  • “When the gladness of God seized all else. . .”: (Fa-lamma akhadha farahu’llah kulla ma sivahu. . .) Provisional Translation. An Arabic tablet in which Bahá’u’lláh describes, with much mystical symbolism, his departure from the Most Great House, the grief of the people in the streets, his crossing of the Tigris and entry into the garden, and his final departure. This tablet is a rich source for understanding the symbolic significance of Ridvan and provides some historical information as well. (Ayyam-i-Tis`ih 305-12)(Walbridge 1995).

 

 

  • Other tablets and talks: There are other prayers, tablets and talks of Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá relating to Ridvan, usually composed at or for a particular Ridvan observance. (Ayyam-i-Tis`ih 313-21, 324-31; Days to Remember 31-34; AVK 3:29-39). (Walbridge 1995).”

 

See also

Baha’i News Service. “Baha’i communities celebrate the most important Baha’i Holy Day.” 14 April 2014. Toronto, Ontario, 14 April 2014 (CBNS)

Selected Webliography and Bibliography

Taherzadeh, Adib. The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 276-7). See also full-text.

Townshend, George. 1957. Chapter 12. Christ and Baha’u’llah. Oxford: George Ronald.

Shoghi Effendi. 1971 [1944]. God Passes Bypp. 151-155).” Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust.

Shoghi Effendi. April 30, 1953-04-30.”Fivefold Historic Celebration in America.”

The significance of the ninth day of Ridvan.Walbridge, John. 1995. “Ridvan.” in “Sacred Acts, Sacred Space, Sacred Time” Baha’i Studies Volume 1. Oxford: George Ronald.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. moussoni nzambi guy permalink
    May 3, 2008 11:41 am

    bonne fete de Ridvan Maman Maureen.

    frm guy

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