He is God, exalted is He, the Lord of loving-kindness and bounty! Glory be unto Thee, Thou, O my God, the Lord Omnipotent. I testify to Thine omnipotence and Thy might, Thy sovereignty and Thy loving-kindness, Thy grace and Thy power, the oneness of Thy Being and the unity of Thine Essence, Thy sanctity and exaltation above the world of being and all that is therein. O my God! Thou seest me detached from all save Thee, holding fast unto Thee and turning unto the ocean of Thy bounty, to the heaven of Thy favor, to the Daystar of Thy grace. Lord! I bear witness that in Thy servant Thou hast reposed Thy Trust, and that is the Spirit wherewith Thou hast given life to the world. I ask of Thee by the splendor of the Orb of Thy Revelation, mercifully to accept from him that which he hath achieved in Thy days. Grant then that he may be invested with the glory of Thy good-pleasure and adorned with Thine acceptance. O my Lord! I myself and all created things bear witness unto Thy might, and I pray Thee not to turn away from Thyself this spirit that hath ascended unto Thee, unto Thy heavenly place, Thine exalted Paradise and Thy retreats of nearness, O Thou Who art the Lord of all men! Grant, then, O my God, that Thy servant may consort with Thy chosen ones, Thy saints and Thy Messengers in heavenly places that the pen cannot tell nor the tongue recount. O my Lord, the poor one hath verily hastened unto the Kingdom of Thy wealth, the stranger unto his home within Thy precincts, he that is sore athirst to the heavenly river of Thy bounty. Deprive him not, O Lord, from his share of the banquet of Thy grace and from the favor of Thy bounty. Thou art in truth the Almighty, the Gracious, the All-Bountiful. O my God, Thy Trust hath been returned unto Thee. It behooveth Thy grace and Thy bounty that have compassed Thy dominions on earth and in heaven, to vouchsafe unto Thy newly welcomed one Thy gifts and Thy bestowals, and the fruits of the tree of Thy grace! Powerful art Thou to do as Thou willest, there is none other God but Thee, the Gracious, the Most Bountiful, the Compassionate, the Bestower, the Pardoner, the Precious, the All-Knowing. I testify, O my Lord, that Thou hast enjoined upon men to honor their guest, and he that hath ascended unto Thee hath verily reached Thee and attained Thy Presence. Deal with him then according to Thy grace and bounty! By Thy glory, I know of a certainty that Thou wilt not withhold Thyself from that which Thou hast commanded Thy servants, nor wilt Thou deprive him that hath clung to the cord of Thy bounty and hath ascended to the Dayspring of Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the One, the Single, the Powerful, the Omniscient, the Bountiful.
I am concerned by the report that a place of worship of the Gonabadi dervishes in Isfahan has been demolished by the Iranian authorities. Golnaz Esfandiari of Radio Free Europe writes
The reason for the destruction — which reportedly took place shortly after midnight on February 18 — is not clear, but it comes amid growing pressure on dervishes, who practice the Sufi tradition of Islam, and other religious minorities in Iran.
The dervish house of worship, or hosseinieh, was located next to the tomb of the great poet and dervish Naser Ali at the historical Takht-e Foulad cemetery, where a number of respected Iranian figures are buried.
Dervishes gathered there to pray, meditate, read Sufi poetry, and perform religious ceremonies. In recent months, following the demolition of several dervish sites throughout Iran, dervishes in Isfahan had expressed concern that their hosseinieh could meet a similar fate.
To prevent that from happening, several of the local dervishes were spending nights at the hosseinieh to keep watch.
But there was little they could do when, in the early hours of February 18, some 200 members of the security forces, police, and plainclothes agents arrived.
The dervishes’ mobile phones were taken away to prevent them from informing others of the raid, and they were detained and transferred to a police station.
Abdol Saleh Loghmani, one of the Isfahan dervishes, told RFE/RL that the security forces cut off water and electricity to the area, and destroyed the walls around the poet’s tomb with a bulldozer.
“They also destroyed the library where [religious] books were kept. They demolished the big hall where we had our Monday and Friday ceremonies and also our Sunday dawn meetings. They took away all the carpets and other property,” he said.
He said the five people were detained, but they were released after the authorities completed the demolition. He that added authorities then dispersed the dervishes who, after hearing the news about the destruction, had gathered around the site.
Source: Radio Free Europe
There are no grounds for imprisoning the seven Baha’i leaders in Iran and they should be released not tried. The Baha’i International Community recently stated
Reports that seven imprisoned Baha’is have been accused of espionage and other crimes and that their case will be referred to the Revolutionary Court next week are deeply concerning, potentially marking a new and dangerous stage in Iran’s persecution of Baha’is, said the Baha’i International Community today.
“The accusations are false, and the government knows this,” said Diane Ala’i, the Baha’i International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva. “The seven Baha’is detained in Tehran should be immediately released.”
Word of a possible trial against imprisoned Baha’is came yesterday in an Iranian ISNA news agency report quoting Tehran’s deputy public prosecutor, Hassan Haddad. According to the report, a case will be sent to the revolutionary courts next week accusing the seven Baha’is of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic republic.”
It is presumed that the seven referred to by Mr. Haddad are the group of Baha’i leaders from Tehran who were arrested last year in raids reminiscent of sweeps nearly 30 years ago at the start of the Islamic revolution. Those sweeps led to the execution of dozens of Baha’i leaders at the time. …
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I recently discovered these biographical details of the seven Baha’i leaders wrongfully detained in Iran. I think the biographies highlight the fact that these individuals are making a positive contribution to society in Iran and are in no way deserving of this injustice.
1. Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi
Fariba Kamalabadi, 45 years old, received her postgraduate degree in Education, specializing in Developmental Psychology. She is married with three children – two daughters (one a 13-year-old high school student, and one, married, 20 years old) and one son who was recently married and lives in China.
2. Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani
Jamaloddin Khanjani, a 76-year-old businessman, was the sales manager for Zamzam Company (a soft drink production company) and more recently he managed a brick factory. He is married with three children.
3. Mr. Afif Naemi
Afif Naemi, a 47-year-old industrialist, was expelled from medical school because of his membership in the Bahá’í Faith. He is married with two sons.
4. Mr. Saeid Rezaie
Saeid Rezaie, 50 years old, is a Farming Equipment Engineer. He had a successful business maintaining farming equipment in Shiraz and later he moved to Tehran. In addition to his regular profession, he is a scholar and author. He is married and has three children. Two of his daughters were among 54 Baha’i youth who were arrested in Shiraz in May 2006, while they were engaged in a humanitarian project aimed at helping underprivileged young people. Later they were released and tried.
5. Mrs. Mahvash Sabet
Mahvash Sabet, is a 56-year-old former teacher with a degree in educational planning. While she was working as a teacher she attended a training course for special education Corps, which sent recent graduates to remote areas in Iran to teach in schools. She was expelled from both her job and the training, because of being a Bahá’í. She is married and has two children.
6. Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli
Behrouz Tavakkoli, a 57-year- old lecturer, received a bachelor’s degree in social work and worked as a civil servant until he was expelled because of his belief in the Bahá’í Faith. He is married with two children.
7. Mr. Vahid Tizfahm
Vahid Tizfahm is a 37-year-old optometrist and owner of an optical shop. He received his degree in sociology and later trained as an optometrist. He was born in Tabriz (northwest of Iran) and lived there until mid-2007 when he moved to Tehran with his wife and 8-year-old son.