‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921) Son of Bahá’u’lláh, his successor and authorised interpreter of his writings. Known to the general public as ‘Abbás Effendi.
Abhá Most glorious. Bahá means glory, and abhá is its superlative form. Both are titles of Bahá’u’lláh.
Ablutions The ritual washing of the hands and face in preparation for the daily obligatory prayer.
Administrative Order The institutions that administer the affairs of the Bahá’í Faith . Created by Bahá’u’lláh. Certain elements further elaborated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice.
Afnán Relatives of the Báb. Literally, twigs.
Aghsán Relatives of Bahá’u’lláh. Literally, branches.
Alláh-u-Abhá Literally, God the All-Glorious. Bahá’ís recite this 95 times every day.
Ancient of Days Title for God. In the Bible. Frequently used in Bahá’í holy writings, it appears in the Book of Daniel.
Ancient Beauty Title for Bahá’u’lláh
Arc Arc cut into Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, where the Bahá’í Faith ’s international administrative buildings are being sited.
Báb, the Title, meaning gate, assumed by Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad, prophet-founder of the faith and forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh.
Bahá’í era Period of the Bahá’í calendar beginning with the Declaration of the Báb on 23 May 1844. Expected to last until the next appearance of a prophet of God at least a thousand years from then.
Bahá’í International Community Generally refers to the worldwide Bahá’í community, used in the community’s official external relations. Functions as an international non-governmental organisation. Offices include its Secretariat at the Bahá’í World Centre, a United Nations office in New York and a branch in Geneva.
Bahá’í World Centre Spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá’í Faith , located in the twin cities of ‘Akká and Haifa, in Israel.
Bahá’u’lláh Title assumed by Mírzá Husayn-‘Alí, founder of the Bahá’í Faith . Born on 12 November 1817, he declared his mission as the Promised One of all Ages in April 1863 and died in May 1892. His writings are considered by Bahá’ís to be direct revelations from God.
Consultation Discussion between individuals and within groups. Requires subjugation of egos so all ideas can be shared and evaluated with frankness, courtesy, and open minds to produce unanimous decisions. Its guiding principles were elaborated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Convention Gathering called at a regional, national, or international level to consult on matters affecting the welfare of the Bahá’í community and to elect the local, national and international administrative bodies.
German Templer Colony Group of houses with red-tiled roofs at the foot of Mount Carmel that once housed members of the Society of the Temple, founded in Germany during the mid-1800s. Templers gathered in Haifa in 1863 to await the second coming of Christ.
Hands of the Cause of God Individuals appointed first by Bahá’u’lláh and later named by Shoghi Effendi, charged with the specific duties of protecting and propagating the faith.
Huqúqu’lláh 19% of personal income (post-expenses) that individuals donate to the Universal House of Justice. Used to promote the faith and for the welfare of society.
International Teaching Centre Established 1973 by the Universal House of Justice to bring to fruition the work of the Hands of the Cause of God in the Holy Land, and provide for its future. Located at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
Knights of Bahá’u’lláh Title initially given by Shoghi Effendi to those Bahá’ís who opened up new territories to the faith during the first year of the Ten Year Crusade (1953-1963). Later applied to those who first reached the remaining listed territories.
Lesser Peace A political peace that will be established by the nations of the world to bring about an end to war.
Local Spiritual Assembly Bahá’í Faith ’s local administrative body. Its nine members are directly elected by secret ballot each year at Ridván.
Monument Gardens Beautifully landscaped gardens at the heart of the Arc on Mount Carmel with monuments to Bahá’u’lláh’s wife and daughter, his son who died in prison in ‘Akká, and to the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Mount Carmel Site of the Bahá’í World Centre and several Bahá’í holy places. The most important of these are the Shrine of the Báb and the Monument Gardens. Described by Isaiah as the mountain of the Lord.
National Spiritual Assembly Bahá’í Faith ’s national administrative body, ordained in the Bahá’í sacred writings.
Nineteen Day Feast Principal gathering of each local Bahá’í community every Bahá’í month. Has three purposes: worship, consultation, and fellowship.
Pioneer Any Bahá’í who moves to a foreign country to teach the Bahá’í Faith . Homefront pioneer describes those who move to areas in their own country not yet exposed to the Bahá’í Faith , or where the Bahá’í community needs strengthening.
Regional Spiritual Assembly Institution identical in function to the National Spiritual Assembly, but including a number of countries or regions. Often established as a precursor to the formation of a National Spiritual Assembly.
Ridván Arabic for paradise. Twelve-day festival commemorating Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration of his mission to his companions in 1863 at the Garden of Ridván.
Shoghi Effendi Rabbání (1897-1957) Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith after the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1921.
Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh Resting place of Bahá’u’lláh’s mortal remains, located near the city of ‘Akká, Israel. To Bahá’ís, the holiest place on earth, a place of pilgrimage.
Shrine of the Báb Resting place of the Báb’s mortal remains, located on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. A sacred site to Bahá’ís, and a place of pilgrimage.
Tablet Describes writings revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Ten Year Crusade 1953-1963. Ten-year programme initiated by Shoghi Effendi to teach the Bahá’í Faith . Culminated with the election of the Universal House of Justice, during the centenary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh. The objectives of the crusade included the development of institutions at the World Centre; consolidation of the communities in the participating National Spiritual Assemblies; the opening up of principle unopened territories. See also Knights of Bahá’u’lláh.
Universal House of Justice Supreme body of the Bahá’í Faith following the death of Shoghi Effendi. The supreme administrative body ordained by Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, his book of laws. Elected every five years by members of all National Spiritual Assemblies at an International Convention. First elected in 1963, it occupied its permanent seat on Mount Carmel in 1983.