Ali Nakhjavani Speaks on the Covenant (part I)

Dr. Ali Nakhjavani, a former member of the Universal House of Justice, talks on the Covenant:

Biography
After he received his Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut in 1939, in the early 1940s Mr. Nakhjavani returned to Iran. He was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bah??’?­s of Iran from 1950 to 1951.

In 1951, Mr. Nakhjavani and his family moved to Uganda, where he worked as a teacher and lecturer. He was a member of the Auxiliary Board for the Propagation in Africa from 1954 to 1961 and chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa from 1956 to 1961.

In 1961, Mr. Nakhjavani was elected to the International Bah??’?­ Council and served as its president. He was elected to the Universal House of Justice in 1963 and served continuously as a member of the institution until his retirement in 2003.

Mr. Nakhjavani is tied with Mr. H. Fatheazam for the second longest term as a member of the Universal House of Justice. The record holder for the longest continuous membership belongs to Mr. Ian Semple (1963-2004).

The Covenant
I’ve already touched on the subject of the Covenant and for now I’ll simply present this video. Perhaps a commentary will be upcoming shortly.

  • http://www.sonjavank.com/sen Sen McGlinn

    I find it odd that he puts so much emphasis in part 1 on countering two “views,” that the Covenant is non-essential or that it is no longer essential. But I’ve never encountered these views in the Bahai community, or in polemics. Perhaps he is just saying that the study of the Covenant has slipped too far down the agenda, as the community has concentrated on a series of action programmes: attracting people of capacity, building the Arc, mass teaching, street teaching, entry by troops, Institute process and Ruhi …

    In which case, I agree. First is “to know,” and then “to do” – a ceaseless round of fervent activities is less effective than reflection followed by deliberate action towards realistic goals

  • http://www.sonjavank.com/sen Sen McGlinn

    I find it odd that he puts so much emphasis in part 1 on countering two “views,” that the Covenant is non-essential or that it is no longer essential. But I’ve never encountered these views in the Bahai community, or in polemics. Perhaps he is just saying that the study of the Covenant has slipped too far down the agenda, as the community has concentrated on a series of action programmes: attracting people of capacity, building the Arc, mass teaching, street teaching, entry by troops, Institute process and Ruhi …

    In which case, I agree. First is “to know,” and then “to do” – a ceaseless round of fervent activities is less effective than reflection followed by deliberate action towards realistic goals

  • Bird

    Thanks again for the subject change Baquia. Did not make it through the whole video tonight. I met Ali a few years back and listen to him share. Pretty powerful his spirit indeed. Watched what I call a hot shot moment for the community however. People were hot at the moment and that was it, shot the next day, NO ACTION!

    He gave us some really good ideas, one in particular was to be either a flower in a vase or a light beaming upward. Flowers in the room are beautiful but limited to those who walk in, never the less a sign of welcome, however lights united can be seem through the dark miles away. He said I was a light, quite touching. I tried his advise about hiring a non-Bahai for a Sunday school teacher, as he and his wife had once done pionnering, but none allowed the young girl to even try. Sad and soar subject for me, I had such hope and optimism about the BF @ that time…

    I really liked him, he was deep and real. Devoted. His wife, a lovely soul herself, shined the room even brighter. I’ll try to catch the whole thing as time goes by. Not to hip on the who covenant thing. Not a Bahai anymore but still quite fond of all people who love God deeply.

    Bird

  • Bird

    Thanks again for the subject change Baquia. Did not make it through the whole video tonight. I met Ali a few years back and listen to him share. Pretty powerful his spirit indeed. Watched what I call a hot shot moment for the community however. People were hot at the moment and that was it, shot the next day, NO ACTION!

    He gave us some really good ideas, one in particular was to be either a flower in a vase or a light beaming upward. Flowers in the room are beautiful but limited to those who walk in, never the less a sign of welcome, however lights united can be seem through the dark miles away. He said I was a light, quite touching. I tried his advise about hiring a non-Bahai for a Sunday school teacher, as he and his wife had once done pionnering, but none allowed the young girl to even try. Sad and soar subject for me, I had such hope and optimism about the BF @ that time…

    I really liked him, he was deep and real. Devoted. His wife, a lovely soul herself, shined the room even brighter. I’ll try to catch the whole thing as time goes by. Not to hip on the who covenant thing. Not a Bahai anymore but still quite fond of all people who love God deeply.

    Bird

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    This is an excellent talk about the Baha’i view of current events a future history. That it is not supported by any factual evidence is besides the point to people of faith I suppose.

    The dotted line that Mr. Nakhjavani shows in his power point is the one I see couter balancing the negative forces, and Baha’i is part of that positive force. But it is also part of the downward trend when it proceeds with a closed mind and Ruhi catechism.

    The chart in fact is schizophrenic. If we have an up ward and down ward trend and if we are going to hit rock bottom at some point doesn’t that mean that the downward trend will win?

    How about a view that says while there are positive and negative trends and forces, the positive ones will ultimately win and world peace will be achieved the way humankind has always done things, through its own efforts.

    The Baha’i common wealth is an illusion; the world super state a distinct possibility through the mind and soul of mankind. To think that once a world super state is established that then people will say — oh, why not merge with the Baha’i administrative order — is pure folly.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    This is an excellent talk about the Baha’i view of current events a future history. That it is not supported by any factual evidence is besides the point to people of faith I suppose.

    The dotted line that Mr. Nakhjavani shows in his power point is the one I see couter balancing the negative forces, and Baha’i is part of that positive force. But it is also part of the downward trend when it proceeds with a closed mind and Ruhi catechism.

    The chart in fact is schizophrenic. If we have an up ward and down ward trend and if we are going to hit rock bottom at some point doesn’t that mean that the downward trend will win?

    How about a view that says while there are positive and negative trends and forces, the positive ones will ultimately win and world peace will be achieved the way humankind has always done things, through its own efforts.

    The Baha’i common wealth is an illusion; the world super state a distinct possibility through the mind and soul of mankind. To think that once a world super state is established that then people will say — oh, why not merge with the Baha’i administrative order — is pure folly.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    [quote comment=""]This is an excellent talk about the Baha’i view of current events a future history. That it is not supported by any factual evidence is besides the point to people of faith I suppose.

    The dotted line that Mr. Nakhjavani shows in his power point is the one I see couter balancing the negative forces, and Baha’i is part of that positive force. But it is also part of the downward trend when it proceeds with a closed mind and Ruhi catechism.

    The chart in fact is schizophrenic. If we have an up ward and down ward trend and if we are going to hit rock bottom at some point doesn’t that mean that the downward trend will win?

    How about a view that says while there are positive and negative trends and forces, the positive ones will ultimately win and world peace will be achieved the way humankind has always done things, through its own efforts.

    The Baha’i common wealth is an illusion; the world super state a distinct possibility through the mind and soul of mankind. To think that once a world super state is established that then people will say — oh, why not merge with the Baha’i administrative order — is pure folly.[/quote]

    I listened to the whole thing – seemed to me as if he were chastising, albeit gently, the community he was addressing – as if NZ had been naughty, perhaps, or were in danger of being naughty in some way – just my imagination? I think the vision of Baha’u’llah for unity and reconciliation will be fulfilled, but probably not by the Baha’is ultimately – in conjunction with them, perhaps. Perhaps we need to remember that God doeth whatsoever God willeth, and it is presumptuous for us to think we know how it will all play out – that is the fatal mistake made, always, by the followers left behind to find their way forward in the world, covenant or no.

    Basically, I agree with Frank’s thoughts on this matter.

    Thanks, Baquia for sharing the video.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    [quote comment=""]This is an excellent talk about the Baha’i view of current events a future history. That it is not supported by any factual evidence is besides the point to people of faith I suppose.

    The dotted line that Mr. Nakhjavani shows in his power point is the one I see couter balancing the negative forces, and Baha’i is part of that positive force. But it is also part of the downward trend when it proceeds with a closed mind and Ruhi catechism.

    The chart in fact is schizophrenic. If we have an up ward and down ward trend and if we are going to hit rock bottom at some point doesn’t that mean that the downward trend will win?

    How about a view that says while there are positive and negative trends and forces, the positive ones will ultimately win and world peace will be achieved the way humankind has always done things, through its own efforts.

    The Baha’i common wealth is an illusion; the world super state a distinct possibility through the mind and soul of mankind. To think that once a world super state is established that then people will say — oh, why not merge with the Baha’i administrative order — is pure folly.[/quote]

    I listened to the whole thing – seemed to me as if he were chastising, albeit gently, the community he was addressing – as if NZ had been naughty, perhaps, or were in danger of being naughty in some way – just my imagination? I think the vision of Baha’u’llah for unity and reconciliation will be fulfilled, but probably not by the Baha’is ultimately – in conjunction with them, perhaps. Perhaps we need to remember that God doeth whatsoever God willeth, and it is presumptuous for us to think we know how it will all play out – that is the fatal mistake made, always, by the followers left behind to find their way forward in the world, covenant or no.

    Basically, I agree with Frank’s thoughts on this matter.

    Thanks, Baquia for sharing the video.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="55523"]Thanks, Baquia for sharing the video.[/quote]

    You’re welcome. If you noticed a tone of fatherly chastisement, it is probably because it is there. The New Zealand Baha’i community is a bit of sticky wicket having produced Alison Marshall, Steve Marshall, Sen McGlinn and others.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="55523"]Thanks, Baquia for sharing the video.[/quote]

    You’re welcome. If you noticed a tone of fatherly chastisement, it is probably because it is there. The New Zealand Baha’i community is a bit of sticky wicket having produced Alison Marshall, Steve Marshall, Sen McGlinn and others.

  • Bird

    The speech gives 9 minutes of Baha’u’llah with the rest of the entire pp was Shoghi Effendi… Too much. â€?World Super Stateâ€? with the Jewish Dove of Peace symbol… Where the heck is the plan outlined by Baha’u’llah? The lines up and down – calling other religions failures? I’m dizzy. The Covenant gives a â€?guaranteeâ€? … There are immature and non-informed Bah?’?­â€™s out there? Who knew? Fix your eyes / gaze on â€?ITâ€?, a mighty force, consummate mighty power that is hidden in me and it will be revealed to me and redouble? Double! All by the firmness in the Covenant… Wholly COW!

  • Bird

    The speech gives 9 minutes of Baha’u’llah with the rest of the entire pp was Shoghi Effendi… Too much. â€?World Super Stateâ€? with the Jewish Dove of Peace symbol… Where the heck is the plan outlined by Baha’u’llah? The lines up and down – calling other religions failures? I’m dizzy. The Covenant gives a â€?guaranteeâ€? … There are immature and non-informed Bah?’?­â€™s out there? Who knew? Fix your eyes / gaze on â€?ITâ€?, a mighty force, consummate mighty power that is hidden in me and it will be revealed to me and redouble? Double! All by the firmness in the Covenant… Wholly COW!

  • http://www.maryams.net/dervish Umm Yasmin

    I have to say… his choice of strawman argument is rather weak. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Baha’i (active, inactive, dissident or unenrolled) who has said “you know I just think this Covenant thing is all irrelevant”. I am sure even the unaffiliated and unenrolled Baha’is (like Alison, Karen etc.) think the Covenant is supremely important, they just don’t think the Current Baha’i Hierarchy is quite what the Founders had in mind as the Covenant.

    Anyhow, I’ve nominated your blog for an “I Love Your Blog” :)

  • http://www.maryams.net/dervish Umm Yasmin

    I have to say… his choice of strawman argument is rather weak. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Baha’i (active, inactive, dissident or unenrolled) who has said “you know I just think this Covenant thing is all irrelevant”. I am sure even the unaffiliated and unenrolled Baha’is (like Alison, Karen etc.) think the Covenant is supremely important, they just don’t think the Current Baha’i Hierarchy is quite what the Founders had in mind as the Covenant.

    Anyhow, I’ve nominated your blog for an “I Love Your Blog” :)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    what a lovely surprise! I’m flattered :)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    what a lovely surprise! I’m flattered :)

  • http://www.maryams.net/dervish Umm Yasmin

    [quote comment=""]what a lovely surprise! I’m flattered :)[/quote]

    I don’t suppose you’d settle a bit for hubby and I? Do you pee standing up or sitting down? ;P

  • http://www.maryams.net/dervish Umm Yasmin

    [quote comment=""]what a lovely surprise! I’m flattered :)[/quote]

    I don’t suppose you’d settle a bit for hubby and I? Do you pee standing up or sitting down? ;P

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  • ep

    I didn’t listen to the speech, it would probably be bad for my mental health. I’ve been exposed to “enough” bahai insanity for the last 35 years.

    I’m an ex-bahai that thinks the bahai covenant, along with other pillars of western/judeo-christian-islamic theology, is irrelevant and a waste of time.

    As Ken Wilber (buddhist, integra theorist) says, the western model of spirituality is a “middle-man” scam. Prophets block direct access to transcendence, and exist as a archetype in western religion because of the early history of religion in creating social hierarchy to control resources, such as water for irrigation systems.

    The role of the priests and “prophets” was to keep the less wealthy, less powerful and slaves under control.

    One of the “best” ways to do that is to brainwash them into thinking that they can only access beauty/truth/goodness through a religious hierachy of priests/prophets.

    in that sense, the bahai covenant is a continuation of a giant scam, but even so it does contain some “progressive” elements (see Terry Culhane) that are of course ignored by the dumbed-down/fundamentalist version of bahai culture that prevails.

    have a nice day.
    ep
    sacramento

    [quote comment="55779"]I have to say… his choice of strawman argument is rather weak. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Baha’i (active, inactive, dissident or unenrolled) who has said “you know I just think this Covenant thing is all irrelevant”. I am sure even the unaffiliated and unenrolled Baha’is (like Alison, Karen etc.) think the Covenant is supremely important, they just don’t think the Current Baha’i Hierarchy is quite what the Founders had in mind as the Covenant.

  • ep

    I didn’t listen to the speech, it would probably be bad for my mental health. I’ve been exposed to “enough” bahai insanity for the last 35 years.

    I’m an ex-bahai that thinks the bahai covenant, along with other pillars of western/judeo-christian-islamic theology, is irrelevant and a waste of time.

    As Ken Wilber (buddhist, integra theorist) says, the western model of spirituality is a “middle-man” scam. Prophets block direct access to transcendence, and exist as a archetype in western religion because of the early history of religion in creating social hierarchy to control resources, such as water for irrigation systems.

    The role of the priests and “prophets” was to keep the less wealthy, less powerful and slaves under control.

    One of the “best” ways to do that is to brainwash them into thinking that they can only access beauty/truth/goodness through a religious hierachy of priests/prophets.

    in that sense, the bahai covenant is a continuation of a giant scam, but even so it does contain some “progressive” elements (see Terry Culhane) that are of course ignored by the dumbed-down/fundamentalist version of bahai culture that prevails.

    have a nice day.
    ep
    sacramento

    [quote comment="55779"]I have to say… his choice of strawman argument is rather weak. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Baha’i (active, inactive, dissident or unenrolled) who has said “you know I just think this Covenant thing is all irrelevant”. I am sure even the unaffiliated and unenrolled Baha’is (like Alison, Karen etc.) think the Covenant is supremely important, they just don’t think the Current Baha’i Hierarchy is quite what the Founders had in mind as the Covenant.

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