Ridwan season approaches...

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    A little over three weeks from now Baha'is observe the Ridwan season ... which has three Holy Days.. The First Day of Ridwan, the Ninth Day of Ridwan and the Twelfth Day of Ridwan! Days on which we do not work or go to school...

    Here is a historical background for the season:

    The Ridwan Season...
    The word Ridwan ("Riz-wan") is an Arabic word meaning paradise..

    When Baha'u'llah was in Bagdad and was "summoned" by the Sultan of the then Ottoman Empire to Istanbul in 1863 CE along the way He stopped by a place known to Baha'is as the Ridwan Garden which was then situated on a verdant island of the Tigris River outside Bagdad.

    The small exiled community of what was left of the Babi (followers of the Bab the martyr Prophet and predecessor of Baha'u'llah) movement had been expecting the fulfillment of prophecy of the Bab that "Him Whom God would make manifest" would appear and lead the community in a new dispensation.

    Baha'u'llah announced to His immediate family and certain intimate followers that He was the One foretold by the Bab on three successive occasions that coincided with the twelve days of occupation of the Ridwan Garden that has later come to be known as "the Twelve Days of Ridwan" and the three occasions of the announcements are the first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridwan observed today as Holy Days by the Baha'is around the world.

    So the Ridwan season begins from on evening April 20th and concludes evening May 2nd as the concluding Twelfth Day of Ridwan.

    Another significance for the Baha'i community is that on the first day of Ridwan are scheduled the elections of the Local Spiirtual Assemblies around the Baha'i world.. Every city, town or jurisdiction where there are a minimum nine adult believers will elect a Local Spiritual Assembly which is the local administrative unit for Baha'i affairs in that jurisdiction. Thousands of communities around the world will be holding these Local Assembly elections next April 20th or during the succeeding day April 21st known as the "First Day of Ridwan".
     
  2. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    thanks Artha

    I must get round to reading up on the Bahai faith sometime.
     
  3. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Truly, it would benefit you much to read the words of Baha'u'llah, a truly enlightened Sufi and very rare because he has been imprisoned for a long period and this gave him the opportunity to record what has been shown through his enlightenment. It is really rare that such beings actually write down their own experience, but for me the faith has gone quite awry since - his son certainly was not enlightened and as official interpreter has missed much of Baha'u'llahs statements, then his Grandson - given similar infallibility to interpret, despite not being enlightened either - has made the faith almost entirely about the outer world... so please bare this in mind if you read their words...

    Baha'u'llah is incomparable though, it is truly impossible not to love him when you are exposed to his words! Few have climbed to his heights and communicated them so precisely.
     
  4. arthra

    arthra A friend

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  5. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Background on the Ridwan Garden...

    I was going to post another post here on Ridwan:

    "Declaration at Ridvan+F1 near Bahdad

    After much negotiation, at the request of the Persian
    Government, an order was issued by the Turkish Government
    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    1. Pronounced Rizwan.

    summoning Bahá'u'lláh to Constantinople. On receipt of this
    new His followers were in consternation. They besieged the
    house of their beloved Leader to such an extent that the family
    encamped in the Garden of Najib Pasha outside the town for
    twelve days, while the caravan was being prepared for the long
    journey.


    It was during these twelve days (April 22 to May 3,
    1863, i.e. nineteen years after the Báb's Declaration) that
    Bahá'u'lláh announced to several of His followers the glad
    tidings that He was the One Whose coming had been foretold
    by the Báb -- the Chosen of God, the Promised One of all the
    Prophets.


    The Garden where this memorable Declaration took
    place has become known to Bahá'ís as the "Garden of Ridvan,"
    and the days Bahá'u'lláh spent there are commemorated in the
    "Feast of Ridvan," which is held annually on the anniversary
    of those twelve days. During those days Bahá'u'lláh, instead
    of being sad or depressed, showed the greatest joy, dignity and
    power.


    His followers became happy and enthusiastic, and great
    crowds came to pay their respects to Him. All the notables of
    Baghdad, even the Governor himself, came to honor the departing
    prisoner."


    - p. 29 Baha'u'llah and the New Era by J.E. Esslemont
     
  6. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    The Garden of Najib Pasha-Ridwan Garden-Tigris Rivir

    [​IMG]
     
  7. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Map of Baghdad around 1854 ...(from wikipedia)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Ridwan from Islamic sources...


    Ridwan - Angel in charge of al-Janna. At the last Judgement it will be his task to adorn Paradise and set out robes of honor for the Prophet Muhammad. On the same occasion Ridwan will also feed the blessed fasters as they are resurrected from their graves. (See al-Hisab; Yawm al-Qiyama.)

    al-Janna - Meaning literally 'The Garden' and is the most common name by which Paradise is referred to in the Qur'an. Paradise, like Hell, are described in the Qur'an in very physical terms, however some scholars have instead interpreted these descriptions allegorically or metaphorically. The Qur'an also refers to Paradise as 'Adn (Eden) and the Persian term Firdaws. Based on the Qur'an some scholars have identified seven Heavenly gardens, which contrasts neatly with the seven Qur'anic divisions of Hell. God promises Paradise to those who do good, avoid evil, exhibit true repentance and believe in the Qur'an. (See Hawd; Kafur; al-Kawthar; al-Nar; Salsabil; Sidrat al-Muntaha; Tasnim.)
     
  9. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Developments leading up to Ridwan (David Merrick):

    Bahá'u'lláh was encamped with His followers in an open area outside the City to mark the new year, and after a few days His secretary came out from His tent, and with Bahá'u'lláh's companions all gathered around him, he began chanting to them the Tablet of the Holy Mariner . The friends had never before felt such overwhelming sorrow, as they realised the period of Baghdad was just about to close. He finished chanting, and then Bahá'u'lláh Himself spoke, comparing all the tents to the distractions of the world: that they are no sooner spread, than they are rolled back. Saying this, He immediately ordered them folded up, and requested everyone return to the City.

    Messenger

    The tents were still being put away, when a messenger arrived with an invitation to a meeting at the Governor's headquarters. He handed it to Bahá'u'lláh, Who accepted it; Bahá'u'lláh, however, made it known that His mission was not with rulers and officials, and therefore had no cause to meet at the Court House. Instead, He suggested meeting the next day, in the mosque, just across the street from the Governor.

    Tumult

    A great tumult quickly seized and spread amongst Bahá'u'lláh's companions. Refusing to sleep or eat, many resolved to end their lives the moment they were parted from Him. Bahá'u'lláh with His loving-kindness gradually drew them away from their course, and resigned them to His good-pleasure.

    Meeting at Mosque

    The appointed hour came, and the Governor arrived at the mosque. He felt too ashamed of his task, and sent in his deputy to pass on the order exiling Bahá'u'lláh to Istanbul, the capital of the Empire. The order was presented to Bahá'u'lláh in the mosque, and, as was the custom, made His own choice. Bahá'u'lláh gave His decision to go there, and the government provided Him with money to make the journey. Bahá'u'lláh accepted it, and immediately distributed the money to the poor.


    Author : David Merrick, Edinburgh

    All comments appreciated : davidmerrick@paintdrawer.co.uk


    The Story of Ridván
     
  10. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Continuing with David Merrick's outline of events:

    I liked the point made that Abdul-Baha offered to go in place of Baha'u'llah:


    When Bahá'u'lláh was summoned before the magistrates, Abdu'l-Bahá stepped forward and declared his firm desire to go in Bahá'u'lláh's place; but Bahá'u'lláh prevented this, and went Himself. Great numbers of people assembled about Bahá'u'lláh's house, and when they saw Him leave, they were one and all thrown into a most visible grief, feeling He might never return to them.
    The magistrates respected and loved Bahá'u'lláh, and having found themselves unable to stop or change the exile, they apologised with great sorrow. Bahá'u'lláh remained in conference with them all day, yet there was no way to prevent the decree.

    Initial Reaction to the News:

    His followers were still gathered about the house when the news arrived, and their hearts sank to the depths. The fierce natures of many Arabs present, billowed to the surface with violent declarations, and they implored Bahá'u'lláh not to desert them, feeling that without Him as their shepherd, they would die. Although desiring to go alone, His family wept and insisted so intensely that they accompany Him, He in the end agreed they could, and named those who would stay behind. He said they must prepare to set out on the exile in two weeks'. However, the next day they utterly overran the house, and no preparations were possible.

    Author : David Merrick, Edinburgh

    All comments appreciated : davidmerrick@paintdrawer.co.uk

    The Story of Ridván
     
  11. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Even ts leading up to Ridwan..per David Merrick:

    Progressive Allusion

    Gradually Bahá'u'lláh began to convey to His future followers what was approaching. His festive, soul-entrancing poems and writings, the conversations He held and the change in His manner, were full of hints of the prophetic office and leadership He was about to take on. Exaltation and sadness would flood His soul, and a boundless ecstasy filled His lovers' hearts.

    Tablets Chanted

    In the night time, His secretary would gather them all together in his room, close the door, and under the light of many fragrant candles, he would chant for them the newly-revealed poems and Writings in his possession. Immersed in the realms of the spirit, they would become oblivious of the world around, and forgetting entirely the need for food, drink or sleep, would suddenly discover night having passed, and the sun approaching noon.

    Author : David Merrick, Edinburgh

    All comments appreciated : davidmerrick@paintdrawer.co.uk

    The Story of Ridván
     
  12. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Events leading up to Ridwan...(continued)

    Bahá'u'lláh revealed a personal Tablet for every one of His friends in Baghdad, adult and child alike, writing for them with His Own hand...?

    Preparations to Leave

    The next few weeks were exceptionally busy. Bahá'u'lláh revealed a personal Tablet for every one of His friends in Baghdad, adult and child alike, writing for them with His Own hand; He received innumerable visitors, and made the practical preparations necessary for the caravan journey. The arrangements required for the journey were exceptionally demanding.

    Decision for Ridvan

    Bahá'u'lláh suggested moving across the River into the garden of one of His friends, and there with Abdu'l-Bahá receive the visitors, freeing the house from the turmoil of people and allowing the family to pack. The Master made the arrangements for Bahá'u'lláh to go to the Garden, and in every way he could, shielded Bahá'u'lláh from the pounding insistence of the world around.
    This suggestion of moving out from the house was repeated amongst the friends and quickly became distorted, until a rumour circulated that Bahá'u'lláh was being taken away alone, and everyone came pouring in in masses, wild with grief and unable to be calmed.

    Author : David Merrick, Edinburgh

    All comments appreciated : davidmerrick@paintdrawer.co.uk

    The Story of Ridván
     
  13. arthra

    arthra A friend

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  14. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Mr. Khadem and Mr. Faizi in the Garden...

    A precious video with Hands of the Cause of God Mr. Khadem and Mr. Faizi taliking about the Ridvan! An older video but fascinating me every time I see it!


    Festival of Ridvan - YouTube
     
  15. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Preparing the Garden

    Provisions were moved into the Garden; a tent was set in the centre for Bahá'u'lláh, and other tents were ranged throughout the Garden, forming a little village.
    The Garden was blooming with bright red roses, colourful flowers, tulips, and luxuriantly green trees. A pool of water stood in the middle of Bahá'u'lláh's tent, and everywhere outside, streams of water flowed in all directions. Everyone was devoted to making the Garden more beautiful than it had ever been.

    Departure for the Garden - 22 Apr

    On the appointed afternoon, in the nineteenth year of the Faith, the 22 April 1863, Bahá'u'lláh emerged from the inner room of the House, and set out with Abdu'l-Bahá toward the Garden that lay over the River, ten minutes from the City gate. On His head He now wore conspicuously a taj, a tall, beautifully-adorned felt hat that He from that moment on would wear throughout His ministry.

    Gathering for Bahá'u'lláh

    People of every rank, nationality and walk of life gathered from all quarters of the City and thronged the approaches of His house: men and women of every age, friends and strangers from every social class, the poor, the orphaned and the outcast, merchants, notables, clerics and officials, the vast majority unconnected to the Faith of the Báb, the Bahá'í ladies congregating together in the courtyard; all waited, amazed, heartbroken and apprehensive.

    The Story of Ridván
     
  16. arthra

    arthra A friend

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  17. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    The Ridvan

    Crossing the River

    Bahá'u'lláh boarded a small boat waiting for Him; the people pressed all around Him, wishing to be in His Presence for as long as they could.
    The boat pushed off, and ferried Bahá'u'lláh across the water, in company with 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the Purest Branch , another of His sons, and His secretary, and the companions on the bank all watched with sorrowing hearts as He receded into the distance.
    Bahá'u'lláh set foot on the opposite bank and crossed into the Garden, just as the call of 'God is the Greatest' resounded throughout the district from the pinnacles of the mosque, summoning the inhabitants to the late afternoon prayer, at two hours to sunset. Shortly after Bahá'u'lláh's arrival, the River rose up, making it difficult to cross, and it was only on the ninth day that the whole of Bahá'u'lláh's family was able to join Him.

    Those Remaining on the Banks

    An extraordinary exhilaration, a marvellous exaltation in the atmosphere filled the companions that day. As they remained watching on the bank, they were aware of this, yet unable to understand what in due time they were to learn.
    Seeing the boat reach the other side and Bahá'u'lláh disappear in the distance, they started off on foot toward the main bridge floating on the River, they made their way to the Garden, where food was cooking and tea prepared for the friends.

    The Garden of Ridvan

    For twelve days Bahá'u'lláh stayed in the Garden, and would be found each day in the utmost joy, walking majestically in the flower-lined avenues and amongst the trees.
    The friends living in Baghdad would come during the day and return home each night, whilst others would be engaged in service to those in the Garden.
    Eminent rulers, clergy and jurists would come continuously to Bahá'u'lláh's tent with their insoluble problems, and take their leave satisfied with their dilemmas entirely solved.

    Day 1 - Mystery Manifest

    On the very first day of the Ridván festivities, Bahá'u'lláh shone out to the world like the most brilliant sun. At that critical hour and without warning, amidst the unending multitude of interrupting visitors thronging His tent and the dangers such a news would bring to His exile, Bahá'u'lláh chose to lay bare the mystery surrounding His person, and assume the power and authority of the One promised by the Báb. He made known how the effulgence of the Eternal Truth had at that moment infused all created things with the life of every divine quality, immersing creation in the sea of purification; the sword was to be utterly cast from reach; and He made it known that the next Messenger would come to the world after a thousand years. In such a way, and through many signs, Bahá'u'lláh conveyed His position to those who were present, and announced with great joy the start of the Festival of Ridvan. Though on the threshold of His exile into great suffering in far-away lands, yet sadness and grief entirely vanished from everyone's hearts, and was replaced with unclouded delight.

    The Story of Ridván
     
  18. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    Three announcememts...

    The three announcements


    In a Tablet written some years later Bahá'u'lláh states that three announcements were made on the first day of Ridvan.

    First, Bahá'u'lláh's followers were forbidden to fight to advance or defend their faith. (Religious war, jihad, had been permitted in Islam and under certain conditions by the law of the Bab.)

    Second, there would not be another prophet for a full thousand years.

    Third, at that moment all the names of God were fully manifest in all things.

    These are perhaps to be regarded as an oblique announcement of His own prophethood. The first two anticipate basic features of Bahá'í law recorded in the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

    The third announcement is echoed in many passages from Tablets related to Ridvan, for example:



    "For We perceive the fragrance of the Day whereon He Who is the Desire of all nations hath shed upon the kingdoms of the unseen and of the seen the splendour of the light of His most excellent names, and enveloped them with the radiance of the luminaries of His most gracious favours -- favours which none can reckon except Him, Who is the omnipotent Protector of the entire creation."

    Thus, Bahá'u'lláh's arrival in Ridvan marks a mystic transformation of the world, in which the entire creation is infused with the glory of God's names. His announcement should, therefore, be viewed less as the revealing of a secret to a few individuals than as a fundamental transformation in the relationship between God and the world.


    From "Ridvan"

    by John Walbridge
    published in Sacred Acts, Sacred Space, Sacred Time: Baha'i Studies volume 1
    Oxford: George Ronald, 1995
     
  19. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    arthra A friend

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