The Kitáb-i-Aqdas or Aqdas is the central book of the Bahá'í Faith written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion, in 1873. The work was written in Arabic under the Arabic title al-Kitābu l-Aqdas, but it is referred to by its Persian title, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, given to the work by Bahá'u'lláh himself, it is sometimes referred to as "the Most Holy Book", "the Book of Laws" or the Book of Aqdas. The word Aqdas has a significance in many languages as the superlative form of a word with its primary letters Q-D-Š. Bahá'u'lláh had manuscript copies sent to Bahá'ís in Iran some years after the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in 1873, in 1890–91 he arranged for the publication of the original Arabic text of the book in Bombay, India; the Aqdas is referred to as "the Mother-Book" of the Bahá'í teachings, the "Charter of the future world civilization". It is not, only a'book of laws': much of the content deals with other matters, notably ethical exhortations and addresses to various individuals and places.
The Aqdas discusses the establishment of Bahá'í administrative institutions, Bahá'í religious practices, laws of personal status, criminal law and ethical exhortations, social principles, miscellaneous laws and abrogations, prophecies. Bahá'u'lláh stated that the observance of the laws that he prescribed should be subject to "tact and wisdom", that they do not cause "disturbance and dissension." Bahá'u'lláh thus provided for the progressive application of his laws. Shoghi Effendi stated that certain other laws, such as criminal laws, that are dependent upon the existence of a predominantly Bahá'í society would only be applicable in a possible future Bahá'í society, he stated that if the laws were in conflict with the civil law of the country where a Bahá'í lives the laws could not be practiced. Furthermore, some laws and teachings are, according to Bahá'í teaching, not meant to be applied at the present time and their application depends on decisions by the Universal House of Justice. Baha'is believe the Aqdas supersedes and succeeds previous revelations such as the Quran and the Bible.
The text of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas consists of several hundred verses, which have been grouped in 189 numbered paragraphs in the English translation most of which are just a few sentences. The style combines elements of both poetry and rhymed prose and the text contains instances of literary devices like alliteration, repetition, onomatopoeia and antithesis, alternation of person and personification. Rules and principles are interspersed and guide interpretation, authority and limits for authorized interpretation are specified, it defines a Bahá'í Administration as part of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh, speaks to the individual reader, as there are no clergy in the religion to rely on for guidance. The text moves between statements said to be plain and statements suggesting the key to understanding the book is to look at the text for clues to itself; some statements reflect on the teachings in the religion on various themes and underscore a relationship of the Aqdas as a'motherhood' in relation to all the other scriptural works and they to it.
It relates to scriptures of other religions by abrogation, affirmation or reformation — an example of progressive revelation as a principle of the religion. While it is the core text on laws of the religion, it is not the exclusive source of laws in the religion, nor of Bahá'u'lláh's own writings, complementarily the reader is told explicitly to not view the text as a "mere code of laws"; the Kitáb-i-Aqdas was completed by Bahá'u'lláh in 1873. It was published in the Arabic for circulation among Bahá'ís speaking the language circa 1890. A Russian translation was undertaken by Alexander Tumansky in 1899 and was his most important contribution to Bahá'í studies. Around 1900 an informal English translation was made by Bahá'í Anton Haddad, which circulated among the early American Bahá'í community in a typewritten form. In 1961, an English scholar of Arabic, Dr. Earl E. Elder, William McElwee Miller, an hostile Christian minister, published an English translation, "Al-Kitab Al-Aqdas", through the Royal Asiatic Society, however its translation of the notes section was problematic and overall lacked "poetic sensibility, skill in Arabic translation".
Indeed, Miller only used it to further his polemical agenda. In 1973 a "Synopsis and Codification" of the book was published in English by the Universal House of Justice, with 21 passages of the Aqdas, translated into English by Shoghi Effendi with additional terse lists of laws and ordinances contained in the book outside of any contextual prose. In 1992, a full and authorized Bahá'í translation in English was published; this version is used as the basis of translation into many other languages highlighting the practice of an indirect translation and how the purpose of the translation affects the act of translation. The Bahá'í Library Online provides a side-by-side comparison of the authorized translation with earlier translations of Anton Haddad and Earl Elder; the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is supplemented by the "Questions and Answers"', which consists of 107 questions submitted to Bahá'u'lláh by Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin concerning the application of the laws and Bahá'u'lláh's replies to those questions "Some Texts Revealed by Bahá'u'lláh" Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances
Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas
The Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas are selected tablets written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, published together as of 1978. The current edition bears the title Fountain of Wisdom: A Collection of Writings from Bahá'u'lláh; as his mission drew to a close after his writing of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in 1873, he continued to write unnumbered tablets and letters, doing so until the last days of his life in 1892. Six of the tablets in this volume were translated into English and published in 1917; the translations were improved upon by Shoghi Effendi, those not translated by him were filled in with the publication in 1978 under the supervision of the Universal House of Justice. See online text hereThe Tablet of Carmel is a short tablet of only a few pages, but it is considered one of the charters of the Bahá'í administration, it consists of a conversation between God and Mount Carmel. In it, God says to the mountain: "Render thanks unto thy Lord, O Carmel; the fire of thy separation from Me was fast consuming thee...
Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation... Beware lest thou hesitate or halt. Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favoured of God, the pure in heart, the company of the most exalted angels... Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names."Shoghi Effendi described the tablet as "the Charter of the World Spiritual and Administrative Centers of the Faith on that mountain." Implying that this document established that Mount Carmel would be the physical location of the Bahá'í World Centre. The two other documents described as charters by Shoghi Effendi include the Tablets of the Divine Plan, the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá. See online text hereThe Lawḥ-i-Aqdas or Most Holy Tablet, sometimes referred to as the Tablet to the Christians, was addressed to a believer of Christian background.
In the Tablet Bahá'u'lláh proclaims his message to Christians across the world, in clear terms declares that his station is that of the Kingdom of the Father that Jesus Christ had promised. See online text hereThe Bishárát is a Tablet, composed of fifteen headings, each designated a glad-tiding, where Bahá'u'lláh provides teachings and laws. While the identity of the person that Tablet was addressed to is not known, Adib Taherzadeh states that the tone of the utterances throughout the Tablet indicate that it was addressed to humankind and not to an individual. Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan call this tablet a "proclamatory Kitab-i-Aqdas", where a selection of laws from the Aqdas and supplementary texts, relevant for all humanity, are re-revealed; the main themes are abolishments of certain laws from other religions, secular world reforms. In 1891 the Tablet was sent to Cambridge orientalist E. G. Browne and the St. Petersburg diplomat Victor Romanovich Rosen, who published translations of it in English and Russian respectively.
The fifteen glad-tidings are: The abolition of the law of holy war practised by Muslims, where Bahá'u'lláh states that war of any kind is incompatbile with the Bahá'í principles of love and unity. The statement that everyone should associate with all the people of the world with a spirit of friendliness regardless of race or religion. "The second Glad-Tidings It is permitted that the peoples and kindreds of the world associate with one another with joy and radiance. O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship." Advocates the adoption of a universal language. Serve Monarchs that protect the oppressed. Exhorts Bahá'ís to honesty and truthfulness towards their government. Concerns the establishment of the Lesser Peace. Confirms that clothing and facial hair are left to the discretion of each individual. Abolishes the practice of idleness in the name of religion, performed by people who would lead an ascetic life and go into seclusion. Bahá ` u ` lláh instead states.
Abrogates the practice of the confession of sins as practiced by some Christian churches, provides a prayer to be used by individuals to ask forgiveness directly of God. Abolishes the law of the destruction of Books; this refers to the Báb's advice in the Bayán to destroy holy books of the past. Permits the study of arts and sciences which "would redound to the progress and advancement of the people." This is in reference to some Muslim clergy. Enjoins everyone to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and raises this occupation to the station of worship. Writes about the duties of the Universal House of Justice and that they are charged with the affairs of all people. States that it is not necessary to undertake long journeys to visit the resting-places of the dead; this is in reference to the practice by Muslims who believe that it is conducive to the forgiveness of sins. Bahá ` u ` lláh states. While Bahá'u'lláh disapproves of special long journeys to visit the graves of the dead, he states that there is some spiritual value in praying at the resting-place of the dead.
Recommends a constitutional monarchy combined with representative democracy in preference to a republic. See online text hereIn the Ṭarázát Bahá'u'lláh reveals some of his teachings and exhortations; the Tablet i
Bahá'u'lláh, was a Persian religious leader and the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, which advocates universal peace and unity among all races and religions. At the age of 27, Bahá'u'lláh became a follower of the Báb, a Persian merchant who began preaching that God would soon send a new prophet similar to Jesus or Muhammad; the Báb and thousands of followers were executed by the Iranian authorities for their beliefs. Bahá'u'lláh faced exile from his native Iran, in Baghdad in 1863 claimed to be the expected prophet of whom the Báb foretold. Thus, Bahá'ís regard Bahá'u'lláh to be a Manifestation of God, fulfilling of the eschatological expectations of Islam and other major religions. Bahá'u'lláh faced further imprisonment under Ottoman authorities in Edirne, to the prison city of Acre, where he spent his final 24 years of life, his burial place is a destination of pilgrimage for his followers, the Bahá'í World Centre sits in nearby Haifa. He wrote many religious works, notably the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Kitáb-i-Íqán, The Seven Valleys, the Hidden Words.
Bahá'u'lláh's teachings focus on the unity of God and mankind. Similar to other monotheistic religions, God is considered the source of all created things. Religion, according to Bahá'u'lláh, is renewed periodically by Manifestations of God, people who are made perfect through divine intervention and whose teachings are the sources of the major world religions throughout history. Bahá'ís view Bahá'u'lláh as the first of these teachers whose mission includes the spiritual unification of the entire planet through the eradication of racism and nationalism. Bahá'u'lláh's teachings include the need for a world tribunal to adjudicate disputes between nations, a uniform system of weights and measures, an auxiliary language that could be spoken by all the people on earth. Bahá'u'lláh taught that the cycles of revelatory renewal will continue in the future, with Manifestations of God appearing about every thousand years. Bahá'u'lláh was born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí on 12 November 1817, in Tehran, the capital of Persia, present-day Iran.
Bahá'í authors trace his ancestry back to Abraham through Abraham's wife Keturah, to Zoroaster, to Yazdgerd III, the last king of the Sassanid Empire, to Jesse. According to the Bahá'í author John Able, Bahá'ís consider Bahá'u'lláh to have been "descended doubly, from both Abraham and Sarah, separately from Abraham and Keturah", his mother was Khadíjih Khánum, his father was Mírzá Buzurg. Bahá ` u ` lláh's father served as vizier to the twelfth son of Fat ′ h Ali Shah Qajar. Mírzá Buzurg was appointed governor of Burujird and Lorestan, a position that he was stripped of during a government purge when Muhammad Shah came to power. After the death of his father, Bahá'u'lláh was asked to take a government post by the new vizier Hajji Mirza Aqasi, but declined. Bahá'u'lláh had three wives, he married his first wife Ásíyih Khánum, the daughter of a nobleman, in Tehran in 1835, when he was 18 and she was 15. She was given the title of Navváb, his second wife was his widowed cousin Fátimih Khánum. The marriage took place in Tehran in 1849 when she was 21 and he was 32.
She was known as Mahd-i-`Ulyá. His third wife was Gawhar Khánum and the marriage occurred in Baghdad sometime before 1863, he had five of whom he outlived. Bahá'ís regard Ásíyih Khánum and her children Mírzá Mihdí, Bahíyyih Khánum and `Abdu'l-Bahá to be the Bahá'í holy family. In 1844, a 24-year-old man from Shiraz, Siyyid Mírzá `Alí-Muḥammad, claimed to be the promised redeemer of Islam, taking the title of the Báb, which means "the gate"; the resulting Bábí movement spread across the Persian Empire, attracting widespread opposition from the Islamic clergy. The Báb himself was executed in 1850 by a firing squad in the public square of Tabriz at the age of 30; the Báb claimed no finality for his revelation. In his writings, he alluded to a Promised One, most referred to as "Him whom God shall make manifest". According to the Báb, this personage, promised in the sacred writings of previous religions, would establish the kingdom of God on the Earth; the Báb entreats his believers to follow Him whom God shall make manifest when he arrives.
The Báb eliminated the institution of successorship or vicegerency to his movement, stated that no other person's writings would be binding after his death until Him whom God shall make manifest had appeared. Bahá'u'lláh first heard of the Báb when he was 27, received a visitor sent by the Báb, Mullá Husayn, telling him of the Báb and his claims. Bahá'u'lláh became a Bábí and helped to spread the new movement in his native province of Núr, where he became recognized as one of its most influential believers, his notability as a local gave him many openings, his trips to teach the religion were met with success among some of the religious class. He helped to protect fellow believers, such as Táhirih, for which he was temporarily imprisoned in Tehran and punished with bastinado or foot whipping. Bahá'u'lláh, in the summer of 1848 attended the conference of Badasht in the province of Khorasan, where 81 prominent Bábís met for 22 days, it is at this conference that Bahá'u'lláh took on
Summons of the Lord of Hosts
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts is a collection of the tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, that were written to the kings and rulers of the world during his exile in Adrianople and in the early years of his exile to the fortress town of Acre in 1868. Bahá'u'lláh claimed to be the Promised One of all religions and all ages and summoned the leaders of East and West to recognize him as the promised one; the Summons of the Lord of Hosts is the printing of five distinct tablets of this material. See online text hereThe Súriy-i-Haykal or Tablet of the Temple, is a composite work which consists of a tablet followed by five messages addressed to Pope Pius IX, Napoleon III, Tsar Alexander II of Russia, Queen Victoria, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar; the messages were written while Bahá'u'lláh was in Adrianople, shortly after its completion, Bahá'u'lláh instructed the Surih and the tablets to the kings be written in the form of a pentacle, symbolizing the human temple, added to it the conclusion: Thus have We built the Temple with the hands of power and might, could ye but know it.
This is the Temple promised unto you in the Book. Draw ye nigh unto it; this is that which could ye but comprehend it. Be fair, O peoples of the earth! Which is preferable, this, or a temple, built of clay? Set your faces towards it, thus have ye been commanded by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Shoghi Effendi, who described the tablet as one of Bahá'u'lláh's most challenging works, writes about the Súriy-i Haykal, "words which reveal the importance He attached to those Messages, indicate their direct association with the prophecies of the Old Testament", referring to the prophecy where Zechariah had promised the rebuilding of the Temple in the End of Times. In the Book of Zechariah it is recorded: And speak unto him, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH. Shoghi Effendi, in The Promised Day is Come, refers to this rebuilding of the temple as fulfilled in the return of the Manifestation of God in a human temple. Throughout the tablet, Bahá'u'lláh address the Haykal and explains the glory, invested in it.
Bahá ` u ` lláh, in response to a question, has stated. Adib Taherzadeh has written that "t is fascinating to know that the One Who speaks with the voice of God in this Tablet is identical with the One spoken to." Regarding the Haykal, Bahá'u'lláh writes that it refers to the human or physical temple of the Manifestation of God. He states that the Manifestation of God is a pure mirror that reflects the sovereignty of God and manifests God's beauty and grandeur to mankind. In essence Bahá'u'lláh explains that the Manifestation of God is a "Living Temple" and every time that Bahá'u'lláh addresses the Haykal he shows a new facet of God's revelation; the Haykal, which represents the Manifestation of God who spreads the Word of God in the form of a human temple, has members each of whom symbolize one of the signs and attributes of God. To the eyes of the Haykal he asks it to not look at the world of creation, but instead to focus on the beauty of God. To the Haykal's ears Bahá'u'lláh asks it to become deaf to the voices of the ungodly and to listen to the Word of God.
To the tongue of the Haykal Bahá ` u ` lláh states. To the hands of the Haykal Bahá'u'lláh asks them to stretch out upon all humankind and hold within their grasp the reins of God. Bahá'u'lláh states that from the heart of the Haykal knowledge will emerge and raise scientists who will bring about technological achievements. Another symbol used by Bahá'u'lláh in describing the Haykal is through the four letters that compose the word in Arabic. Bahá'u'lláh in the tablet explains the spiritual significance of each letter: H is for Huwiyyah, Y is for Qadír, K is for Karím, L is for Fadl. Regarding the five other messages to the rulers that form the pentacle of the Súriy-i-Haykal, Bahá'u'lláh tells them he is the Manifestation of God for this day, that they should accept his message; the message to Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the longest message, was delivered to the Shah by Badí‘, a youth, killed by the Shah shortly thereafter. See online text hereThe Súriy-i-Ra'ís, or "Tablet of the Chief", which addresses Mehmed Emin Âli Pasha, the Ottoman Prime Minister, was written in August 1868, when Bahá'u'lláh and the other Bahá'ís were being exiled from Adrianople to Gallipoli to their final destination of the prison city of Acre.
The Súriy-i Ra'ís, written in Arabic, was revealed in honour of Muhammad Isma'il Kashani, a faithful believer of Bahá'u'lláh. In the tablet, Bahá'u'lláh writes about Âli Pasha's claimed abuse of civil power. In the tablet, Bahá'u'lláh tells Âli Pasha, whom he calls chief, to listen to the voice of God, that no power on earth can prevent him from proclaiming God's message and from achieving his purpose. Bahá'u'lláh further accuses Âli Pasha of conspiring with the Qajar Empire's ambassador to harm him, forecasts that because of this injustice he will find himself with a "manifest loss." Furthermore, Bahá'u'lláh compares Âli Pasha with those who rose up against previous prophets, such as Nimrod against Abraham, Pharaoh against Moses, the Sasanian emperor against Muhammad. Regarding Âli Pasha's superior, Sultan A
Some Answered Questions
Some Answered Questions is a book, first published in 1908. It contains questions related to religion and science, asked to `Abdu'l-Bahá by Laura Clifford Barney, during several of her visits to Haifa between 1904 and 1906, `Abdu'l-Bahá's answers to these questions. `Abdu'l-Bahá was the son of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, was appointed by him as his successor and interpreter of his words. Topics covered include the Prophets of God, human evolution, immortality of the soul, the relationship between the soul and the body and Christian subjects.'Abdu'l-Bahá's answers were first written down in Persian by a secretary, afterwards revised twice by'Abdu'l-Bahá. In 1908, three first editions were published: The Persian text by E. J. Brill in The Netherlands. A new English translation revised by a committee at the Bahá'í World Centre was published in 2014 and made available in early 2015; the book is divided into five parts: Part one covers topics such as the one universal law that governs nature and spiritual proofs of the existence of God, Manifestations of God, Biblical prophecies from chapters 8, 9 and 12 of the Book of Daniel, chapter 11 of the Book of Isaiah and chapters 11 and 12 of the Book of Revelation.
Part two consists of subjects of Christian interest, such as the significance of symbolism, an examination and breakdown of various verses from the Bible, the story of Adam and Eve, the birth of Christ, the greatness of Christ, miracles, the Eucharist and the Papacy, the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the second coming of Christ, the Day of Judgement, the Trinity, sin and predestination. Part three speaks about topics such as the five aspects of spirit, the stations and influence of the Manifestations of God, universal cycles, the two classes of Prophets, God's rebukes to the Prophets and infallibility; the fourth part includes a commentary on the theory of evolution, the origin of the universe, the difference between man and animal, the origin of man, the difference between the soul and spirit, human nature, the origin of the spirit and mind of man, the relationship between the spirit and the body, the relationship between God and man, the physical and intellectual powers of man, the differences of character in men, the degree of knowledge man possesses and the knowledge the Manifestations of God possess, man's knowledge of God, the immortality of the spirit, the state and progress of the spirit after death, the influence of the stars, free will, visions and communication with spirits, spiritual and physical healing.
Part five goes into topics such as the nonexistence of evil, two kinds of torment, the justice and mercy of God, the punishment of criminals, reality, pre-existence, pantheism, four kinds of comprehension, ethics. Bahá'í cosmology Bahá'í Faith and science Bahá'í Faith and the unity of religion Tablet to Dr. Forel `Abdu'l-Bahá; some Answered Questions. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-162-0. `Abdu'l-Bahá. Some Answered Questions. Haifa, Israel: Bahá'í World Centre. ISBN 978-0-87743-374-3. Kluge, Ian; some Answered Questions: A Philosophical Perspective, in Lights of Irfan, Volume 10. Ma'ani, Baharieh Rouhani; some Answered Questions" and Its Compiler, in Lights of Irfan 18. Ruhi Institute. Spirit of Faith. Ruhi Institute; the Power of the Holy Spirit. E-book version of Some Answered Questions - 2014 translation Some Answered Questions in many languages Some Answered Questions in Persian 2014 translation, side-by-side with the 1908 translation Some Answered Questions public domain audiobook at LibriVox Related material on Bahá’í Library Online
Bahá'í symbols are symbols that have been used, or are used, to express identification with the Bahá'í Faith. While the five-pointed star is the symbol of the religion, being used to represent the human body and Messengers of God, more common symbols include the nine-pointed star, the Greatest Name, the Ringstone symbol, representing perfection, the Messengers of God; the five-pointed star, or haykal is the symbol of the Bahá'í Faith as mentioned by Shoghi Effendi, head of the Bahá'í Faith in the first half of the 20th century: "Strictly speaking the 5-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith, as used by the Báb and explained by Him." The five-pointed star has been used as the outline of special letters or tablets by both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Haykal is a loan word from the Hebrew word hēyḵāl, which means temple and Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. In Arabic, the word means the body or form of something the human body. In the Bahá'í tradition, the haykal was established by the Báb — who told of Bahá'u'lláh's coming — who represented the haykal as a five-pointed star representing the human body as a head, two hands, two feet.
The Báb wrote many letters, tablets and more in the shape of a five-pointed star, including some that included many derivatives of the word Bahá’. In Bahá'u'lláh's writings the Súriy-i-Haykal, while the meaning of temple remains present, the haykal is used to mean the human body, but the body of the Manifestation of God — a messenger from God — and the person of Bahá'u'lláh himself. In the Tablet, the haykal is used to refer to the word of God, revealed by the Manifestations of God, he says in the same Tablet:"O Living Temple! We have, in truth...ordained Thee to be the emblem of My Cause betwixt the heavens and the earth..." In Islamic belief God has 99 names, in some Islamic traditions it is believed that there is a special hidden 100th name, the greatest. In Bahá'í belief the Greatest Name is Bahá’, translated as "glory" or "splendour". Many symbols of the Bahá'í Faith derive their significance from the word Bahá’, it is the root word used in many other names and phrases including Bahá'í, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá, Alláh-u-Abhá.
In Twelver Islam, the Greatest Name, or Most Great Name, refers to the Book of God, thus the fact that Baha'u'llah used the verbiage of the Greatest Name signifies Baha'u'llah's writings similar to Bayán - explanation, in Babism. Bahá'u'lláh referred to Bahá'ís in his writings as "the people of Bahá’", in addition, the Báb sent a tablet to Bahá'u'lláh with 360 derivatives of the word Bahá’. Along with daily prayers, Bahá'ís are encouraged to recite the phrase "Alláh-u-Abhá" 95 times in a form of meditation; the symbol known as Greatest Name is an Arabic calligraphic rendering of "Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá". This rendering was drawn by the early Bahá'í calligrapher Mishkín Qalam, adopted by Bahá'ís everywhere. Since the symbol refers more directly to the Name of God and of the Messenger of God, than any other symbol in the Bahá'í Faith, it is not used in a casual manner or to adorn the personal artifacts that are put to common use; the symbol can be seen in Bahá'í homes and rings that are produced on a limited scale.
According to the Abjad system of Isopsephy, the word Bahá' has a numerical equivalence of 9, thus there is frequent use of the number 9 in Bahá'í symbols. The most used symbol connected to the number 9 is the nine-pointed star. While the star is not a part of the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, it is used as an emblem representing "9", because of the association of number 9 with perfection and Bahá’; the number 9 comes up several times in Bahá'í history and teachings. On the significance of the number 9, Shoghi Effendi wrote: "Concerning the number nine: the Bahá'ís reverence this for two reasons, first because it is considered by those interested in numbers as the sign of perfection; the second consideration, the more important one, is that it is the numerical value of the word "Bahá’"…"Besides these two significances the number nine has no other meaning. It is, enough to make the Bahá'ís use it when an arbitrary number is to be chosen." Its use on gravestone markers was approved by Shoghi Effendi head of the religion, in 1944.
The ringstone symbol was designed by `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son and successor, as its name implies, is the most common symbol found on rings worn by Bahá'ís, but it is used on necklaces, book covers, paintings. It consists of two stars interspersed with a stylized Bahá’; the lower line is said to represent humanity and the world of creation, the upper line the world of God, the middle line represents the special station of Manifestation of God and the world of revelation. The position of Manifestation of God in this symbol is said to be the linking point to God; the two stars or haykals represent Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb. The writings of Bahá’u’lláh contain many allegories and symbolic language taken from nature, referring to spiritual principles. Christopher Buck analyses a selection of six key scenarios (the Promised One, the Covenant, illumination and the beloved, the Maid of H
Mecca spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, the plain of Tihamah in Saudi Arabia, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level, 340 kilometres south of Medina, its resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. As the birthplace of Muḥammad, the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad's descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities, it was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925.
In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's fourth tallest building and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj; as a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city. "Mecca" is the familiar form of the English transliteration for the Arabic name of the city, although the official transliteration used by the Saudi government is Makkah, closer to the Arabic pronunciation. The word "Mecca" in English has come to be used to refer to any place that draws large numbers of people, because of this some English speaking Muslims have come to regard the use of this spelling for the city as offensive.
The Saudi government adopted Makkah as the official spelling in the 1980s, but is not universally known or used worldwide. The full official name is Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkatu l-Mukarramah, which means "Mecca the Honored", but is loosely translated as "The Holy City of Mecca"; the ancient or early name for the site of Mecca is Bakkah. An Arabic language word, its etymology, like that of Mecca, is obscure. Believed to be a synonym for Mecca, it is said to be more the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that surrounds and includes the Ka‘bah; this form is used for the name Mecca in the Quran in 3:96, while the form Mecca is used in 48:24. In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. Other references to Mecca in the Quran call it Umm al-Qurā, meaning "Mother of All Settlements"/"mother of villages". Another name of Mecca is Ṫihāmah.
Another name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, according to Arab and Islamic tradition, is Faran or Pharan, referring to the Desert of Paran mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:21. Arab and Islamic tradition holds that the wilderness of Paran, broadly speaking, is the Tihamah and the site where Ishmael settled was Mecca. Yaqut al-Hamawi, the 12th century Syrian geographer, wrote that Fārān was "an arabized Hebrew word, one of the names of Mecca mentioned in the Torah." Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar. Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region; the provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor; the early history of Mecca is still disputed, as there are no unambiguous references to it in ancient literature prior to the rise of Islam.
The Roman Empire took control of part of the Hejaz in 106 CE, ruling cities such as Hegra, located to the north of Mecca. Though detailed descriptions were established of Western Arabia by Rome, such as by Procopius, there are no references of a pilgrimage and trading outpost such as Mecca; the first direct mention of Mecca in external literature occurs in 741 CE, in the Byzantine-Arab Chronicle, though here the author places it in Mesopotamia rather than the Hejaz. Given the inhospitable environment and lack of historical references in Roman and Indian sources, historians including Patricia Crone and Tom Holland have cast doubt on the claim that Mecca was a major historical trading outpost; the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes about Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica, describing a holy shrine: "And a temple has been set up there, holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". Claims have been made. However, the geographic location Diodorus describes is located in northwest Arabia, around the area of Leuke Kome, closer to Petra and within the form