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Ninth Day of Ridvan

Ninth Day of Ridvan

Welcome and Introduction

Some thoughts on the day of Ridvan 2008:

Some historical events of the 20th century related to the ninth day of Ridvan:

1916-04-19 “In one of His talks[1] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states that the enemies of the Faith, determined to extinguish the fire of the Cause, did everything in their power to banish Bahá’u’lláh from Baghdad. They did not realize that this banishment would bring victory to His Faith. However, when Bahá’u’lláh moved to the Garden of Ridvan, they saw the greatness of His Cause, and were dismayed and disheartened by the marks of honour and respect which the inhabitants of Baghdad and its notables showered upon Him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá adds that, whereas banishment is normally a sad occasion, Bahá’u’lláh turned it into the most joyous event in His life. The days of Ridvan became the Most Great Festival, celebrating the Declaration of His Mission to His followers. [1 This talk was given on the ninth day of Ridvan 1916, at Bahji, ‘Akká.] (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 276-7)

1953-04-30 On April 30, 1953 Shoghi Effendi wrote his message entitled “Fivefold Historic Celebration in America” in which he reminded Baha’is of the significance of the ninth day of Ridvan.

“On the occasion of the fivefold historic celebration — the dedication for public worship of the holiest Mashriqu’l-Adhkar of the Bahá’í world; the convocation of the Second Intercontinental Teaching Conference of the Holy Year; the anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden of Ridvan; the holding of the Forty-Fifth American Bahá’í Convention, and the launching of the epochal, global, spiritual Crusade, marking the climax of the festivities associated with the Centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission — announce to His followers of East and West that the final phase of the construction of the Báb’s Sepulcher has been ushered in through the erection of scaffolding for the completion of the shuttering of the dome.

Forty-four gilded tiles out of a total of twelve thousand, designed to cover two hundred fifty square meter surface of the dome, were placed in permanent position on the eve of the ninth day of the ninetieth anniversary of the Ridvan Festival. On the afternoon of the same day, during the course of a moving ceremony in the presence of pilgrims and resident believers of ‘Akká and Haifa, I have placed reverently a fragment of the plaster ceiling of the Báb’s prison cell in the castle of Mah-Ku beneath the gilded tiles of the crowning unit of the majestic edifice, circumambulated the base of the dome, paid homage to His memory, recalled His afflictive imprisonment and offered prayers on behalf of the friends of East and West on a subsequent visit to the interior of His Shrine (Shoghi Effendi. Messages to the Baha’i World:1950-1957:140).”

Perhaps the use of visuals that reflect the historical link between the golden dome of Haifa and the ninth day of Ridvan might be appropriate.

1957-Ridvan There is an historical photo taken in 1957 of the 26 Hands of the Faith at their first Conclave in Bahji (Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum and Clara Dunn were present but not shown) . Another group photo of the plenary meeting of the Hands of the Cause, which included (seated) Musa Banani; first row, left to right: Leroy Ioas, Tarazu’llah Samandari, Agnes Alexander, Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, Enoch Olinga, Jalal Khazeh; second row, left to right: Dhikru’llah Khadem, behind him Collis Featherstone, Adelbert Muhlschlegel, Shu’a’u’llah ‘Ala’i, Hermann Grossmann, Rahmatu’llah Muhajir, Abu’l-Qasim Faizi, John Robarts, ‘Ali-Muhammad Varqa and ‘Ali-Akbar Furutan; back row: Ugo Giachery, William Sears, Paul Haney, Hasan Balyuzi and John Ferraby, was taken on on the steps of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s home in April 1963.

It was during this period that the Custodians decided,

“It is felt that there should be an actual moment of thanksgiving for the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh, and that this could appropriately fall on the ninth day of Ridvan, which would come about half-way through the Congress. This could also be a suitable day for the election of the Universal House of Justice.” (Ministry of the Custodians: 1957-1963: An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause: 290).

I think this helps us understand the significance of the ninth day.

Webliography and Bibliography

Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Baha’i World:1950-1957. p. 140.

Ministry of the Custodians: 1957-1963: An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause: 290).

Please see other posts and pages on this blog that might provide useful resources as you prepare for this 2008 celebration:

Resources for Enhancing Holy Day Programs

Multimedia Online Resources

  1. This page summarizes services and provides examples of resources available on the official Baha’i Media Resources This is a separate site hosted by the official site of the Baha’i International Community
  4. Prayers with images for general use This is a post on this blog which includes PowerPoint Presentations by non-professionals
  5. Creative Commons Images that might be useful in holy day celebrations

Tablets and Texts Associated with Specific Holy Days

Ocean, a searchable database of the Writings provides a rich resource for the preparation of holy day events. Gradually this blog will link these Writings to bookmarks in specific pages of official sites that host full-text Writings on-line.

  1. Tajaliyat (Effulgences)
  2. The Divine Springtime is Come Ridvan, Naw-Ruz
  3. Ridvan Writings

Programs from the Archives Used at Holy Day celebrations in Past Years

  1. Ridvan 2008 draft
  2. First Day of Ridvan
  3. First Day of Ridvan 2005
  4. Ninth Day of Ridvan
  5. Twelfth Day of Ridvan 2005
  6. Twelfth Day of Ridvan

Historical Accounts, Backgrounds and Timelines Useful in Preparing Introductions and Stories about Specific Holy Days

  1. The story of Ridvan (1863) Taherzadeh’s account
  2. Ridvan histories
  3. Chronology of Events Related to Ridvan

For your consideration

How can we incorporate the arts in a highly diverse community without losing artists and/or audience?

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