At the time of writing this article (1st March, 2022), there is a new war in Eastern Europe, more people becoming refugees are fleeing their homeland as aggressors pour across their border and new transgressions against human rights are inflicted on the weak and helpless.
For Baha’is, we are just completing our Intercalary Days - days of hospitality - which began the day after the recent invasion. Many have therefore been using these days to join with the large numbers of concerned people across Britain and Europe to collect vital supplies for the refugees and those being bombarded inside the country.
The next 19 days are the time of Fasting (not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset): this is a time of self-reflection and improvement; however, it seems likely that the focus will go into helping others abroad and organising and supporting devotional and discussion meetings to encourage everyone to work for world peace, as there is ongoing violence across the globe, from minor skirmishes to major wars from the far East to the far West (Wikipedia: List of ongoing armed conflicts).
On 21st March is Naw-Ruz, meaning ‘New Day’ and celebrated by many groups and nations. Baha’u’llah, Founder of the Baha’I Faith, designated it as a Holy Day – it marks the end of the Fast and is the start of a new year, being – physically – the vernal equinox and therefore the spring and the new life it brings; but it is also a symbol of the Messengers or Manifestations of God, Whose Messages proclaim a spiritual springtime and revitalisation of humanity, which Naw-Ruz commemorates.
As the New Year dawns, these words from ‘Abdu’l-Baha (the son of Baha’u’llah) seem appropriate, especially in these troubled times:
‘Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain… If you desire with all your heart friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger until it reaches the minds of all men.’
Simon Trick, member of the Baha'i faith
Date: Monday 14th March 2022