consultation brings unity

When we come together in consultation, we are able to see the whole world around us more clearly, and understand it more deeply, than we would be able to do on our own. We see the unity of God’s creation and its harmony, and we become more united in our own thoughts. Sometimes it takes a lot of talking for us to find a united way forward; sometimes, not much. The more we consult, the better the plans we can make, and the more we can get done.

In the same way that the strength of many people is greater than the strength of one person, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us, it is better to have the views of many people than just one. When the views of many people come together, solutions are revealed, and truth can be seen.

Prayers/readings for study

“Say: no man can attain his true station except through his justice. No power can exist except through unity. No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultation.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Consultation: A Compilation, no. 2, p. 1.)

Activities

STORY

  • The story of the flooded village, from Ruhi Book 3, Grade 2, Set 7, Lesson 20.

SONGS

  • Consultation Means Finding Out, by Roberta Christian and Eugene Babcock. A sample mp3 is available on the Core Curriculum website. Lyrics are also available elsewhere.

ART

  • Have the children draw their impression of the story of the village. They could choose several different scenes to portray: a before-and-after view, with one panel showing the village during the storm and another showing the village after the Bahá’ís arrived with the seeds; the Bahá’ís in consultation, with word or picture balloons above their heads showing the topics they are discussing; or everyone working together to load corn seeds onto a truck.

DRAMA

  • Have the children act out the story of the village, as detailed in Ruhi Book 3, Grade 2, Set 7, Lesson 20.

OTHER

  • One useful way to explore consultation with children is to model a talking circle, a method used by many First Nations/Native American cultures to resolve conflicts and solve problems. Like Bahá’í consultation, participating in a talking circle is a sacred act, like saying prayers. Before starting a talking circle, the teacher should explain a few simple rules (it may be useful to write these down and display them prominently during the class): 1. Only one person speaks at a time. To make it easier to tell who has the right to speak, a “speaking token” such as a stick, a feather, or some special object is used. Whoever holds the token has the right has the right to speak.2. Speak “from the heart”, i.e. frankly and openly. Everyone should feel free to fully express themselves and their ideas, keeping in mind the need to be respectful, kind, truthful and courteous.3. Listen respectfully. When one person is speaking, others show respect with reverent attention and silence.4. Each contribution is sacred. After each person has spoken, we show respect for their contribution and refrain from criticism. Outside the circle, we refrain from gossip or backbiting—what is said in the circle stays in the circle.

Reference

Consultation bestoweth greater awareness and transmuteth conjecture into certitude. It is a shining light which, in a dark world, leadeth the way and guideth. For everything there is and will continue to be a station of perfection and maturity. The maturity of the gift of understanding is made manifest through consultation. (Bahá’u’lláh, From a Tablet translated from the Persian)

Man must consult on all matters, whether major or minor, so that he may become cognizant of what is good. Consultation giveth him insight into things and enableth him to delve into questions which are unknown. The light of truth shineth from the faces of those who engage in consultation. Such consultation causeth the living waters to flow in the meadows of man’s reality, the rays of ancient glory to shine upon him, and the tree of his being to be adorned with wondrous fruit. The members who are consulting, however, should behave in the utmost love, harmony and sincerity towards each other. The principle of consultation is one of the most fundamental elements of the divine edifice. Even in their ordinary affairs the individual members of society should consult. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Persian)

Regarding thy question about consultation of a father with his son, or a son with his father, in matters of trade and commerce, consultation is one of the fundamental elements of the foundation of the Law of God. Such consultation is assuredly acceptable, whether between father and son, or with others. There is nothing better than this. Man must consult in all things for this will lead him to the depths of each problem and enable him to find the right solution. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Persian)

… The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the assembly. They must be wholly freed from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and that assembly be brought to naught. The second condition: they must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one’s views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority. It is again not permitted that any one of the honoured members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced. In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness…. If this be so regarded, that assembly shall be of God, but otherwise it shall lead to coolness and alienation that proceed from the Evil One…. Should they endeavour to fulfil these conditions the Grace of the Holy Spirit shall be vouchsafed unto them, and that assembly shall become the centre of the Divine blessings, the hosts of Divine confirmation shall come to their aid, and they shall day by day receive a new effusion of Spirit. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Cited in a letter dated 5 March 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, published in “Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932”, pp. 22-23)

Experience

consultation

teachers at workEach of us has our own unique perspective and understanding of things. Sometimes, we disagree with someone else’s perspective, or we understand the truth of a situation differently. More often than not, each of us is partly correct. Bahá’í consultation is a way for us to explore our different perspectives together and to get closer to the truth. Bahá’u’lláh teaches us that consultation is a guiding light which leads the way to truth and bestows understanding. With consultation, we can deal with difficult situations and solve problems we could not solve on our own.

Prayers/readings for study

“Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of
guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding.” (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 168.

Activities

STORY

  • The story of the Baha’is stuck in a snowstorm, from Ruhi Book 3, Grade 2, Set 7, Lesson 19.
  • The story of the King’s elephant, as told in Ruhi Book 3, Grade 2, Set 7, Lesson 19. This story, also known as the story of the blind men and an elephant, originated in the Indian subcontinent and has been retold with many different variations. The one included in Ruhi Book 3 stands out, since it models consultation: the villagers investigate, consult and come to an understanding together, and are confirmed in the end when they see the elephant with their own eyes.

SONGS

  • Consultation Means Finding Out, by Roberta Christian and Eugene Babcock. A sample mp3 is available on the Core Curriculum website. Lyrics are also available elsewhere.

ART

  • Have the children draw their impression of the story of the King’s elephant, with the villagers feeling different parts of the elephant and imagining various objects (rope, a tree trunk, a snake, etc.)

Drama

  • Have the children act out the story of the King’s elephant, each of them playing one of the villagers who went to investigate about the elephant.

Other

  • One useful way to explore consultation with children is to model a talking circle, a method used by many First Nations/Native American cultures to resolve conflicts and solve problems. Like Bahá’í consultation, participating in a talking circle is a sacred act, like saying prayers. Before starting a talking circle, the teacher should explain a few simple rules (it may be useful to write these down and display them prominently during the class):1. Only one person speaks at a time. To make it easier to tell who has the right to speak, a “speaking token” such as a stick, a feather, or some special object is used. Whoever holds the token has the right has the right to speak.2. Speak “from the heart”, i.e. frankly and openly. Everyone should feel free to fully express themselves and their ideas, keeping in mind the need to be respectful, kind, truthful and courteous.3. Listen respectfully. When one person is speaking, others show respect with reverent attention and silence.4. Each contribution is sacred. After each person has spoken, we show respect for their contribution and refrain from criticism. Outside the circle, we refrain from gossip or backbiting—what is said in the circle stays in the circle.

Reference

Consultation bestoweth greater awareness and transmuteth conjecture into certitude. It is a shining light which, in a dark world, leadeth the way and guideth. For everything there is and will continue to be a station of perfection and maturity. The maturity of the gift of understanding is made manifest through consultation. (Bahá’u’lláh, From a Tablet translated from the Persian)

Man must consult on all matters, whether major or minor, so that he may become cognizant of what is good. Consultation giveth him insight into things and enableth him to delve into questions which are unknown. The light of truth shineth from the faces of those who engage in consultation. Such consultation causeth the living waters to flow in the meadows of man’s reality, the rays of ancient glory to shine upon him, and the tree of his being to be adorned with wondrous fruit. The members who are consulting, however, should behave in the utmost love, harmony and sincerity towards each other. The principle of consultation is one of the most fundamental elements of the divine edifice. Even in their ordinary affairs the individual members of society should consult. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Persian)

Regarding thy question about consultation of a father with his son, or a son with his father, in matters of trade and commerce, consultation is one of the fundamental elements of the foundation of the Law of God. Such consultation is assuredly acceptable, whether between father and son, or with others. There is nothing better than this. Man must consult in all things for this will lead him to the depths of each problem and enable him to find the right solution. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, From a Tablet translated from the Persian)

… The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the assembly. They must be wholly freed from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and that assembly be brought to naught. The second condition: they must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one’s views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority. It is again not permitted that any one of the honoured members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced. In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness…. If this be so regarded, that assembly shall be of God, but otherwise it shall lead to coolness and alienation that proceed from the Evil One…. Should they endeavour to fulfil these conditions the Grace of the Holy Spirit shall be vouchsafed unto them, and that assembly shall become the centre of the Divine blessings, the hosts of Divine confirmation shall come to their aid, and they shall day by day receive a new effusion of Spirit. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Cited in a letter dated 5 March 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, published in “Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932”, pp. 22-23)

Experience

cooperation and reciprocity

Some things in this world can live alone, and some cannot. A tree, for example, can live and grow on its own without depending on other trees. Human beings, on the other hand, need to help and cooperate with each other in order to thrive and progress. When we work together for a common goal, we are able to accomplish much more than we would be able to do on our own.

prayer/reading for study

“The supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

activities

STORY

  • The story of Nettie Tobin, who contributed the cornerstone to the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette. (See the drama section, below.)

GAMES

  • Any cooperative game, where children work together for the achievement of a common goal, would be great for this class.

DRAMA

  • Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes: Ask the children to walk around the classroom, without bumping into the walls or each other. At the teacher’s instruction, they should walk as if they were in someone else’s shoes (i.e. imitating someone). For example, the teacher could ask them to walk like:
    • A baby that has just learned to walk
    • Someone who’s late for an appointment
    • Someone who’s walking a dog on a leash
    • Someone who’s looking for their lost watch
    • Someone who’s walking on hot pavement
    • Someone with their two legs in one pant leg
    • …and so on
  • Ask the children to name some large, heavy objects. Ask the children, one at a time, to act out moving one of those heavy objects themselves from one end of the classroom to the other. Then, ask the children to move one of the objects together, as a group, from one end of the classroom to the other. When finished, ask them to reflect on the exercise: Was it easy to move these heavy objects alone? What happened when they came together to move it as a group?

standing tall

  • Act out the story of Nettie Tobin, from the moment she receives the summons to contribute to building the House of Worship, up to the moment she arrives at the site of the future House of Worship. Key moments include:
    • Nettie receives the summons to contribute to building the House of Worship.
    • She goes to the construction site next door asking for a suitable piece of stone, and the foreman tells her she can pick any one she wants out of the rejected stone pile.
    • Nettie realizes the stone is too heavy for her to carry, so she gets an old baby carriage to put it into and wheels it all the way home herself with great difficulty.
    • Nettie calls a friend to come help her bring the stone to the site of the future House of Worship.
    • Together, Nettie and her friend travel to the site, loading and unloading the carriage carrying the stone onto three different trolleys.
    • After they have stepped off of the third trolley, the baby carriage breaks and they are unable to push it any further.
    • Suddenly, two boys with a wagon walk by, and Nettie asks them for their help in carrying the stone the remaining distance, to which they agree.
    • All four friends carry the cornerstone to the site.

DRAWING

  • Print out black-and-white copies of a photograph of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, USA. The children can use markers, coloured pencils or crayons to colour over it.

reference

The website of the Bahá’ís of the United States has an adaptation of Nettie Tobin’s story.

“The supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity. The stronger the ties of fellowship and solidarity amongst men, the greater will be the power of constructiveness and accomplishment in all the planes of human activity. Without cooperation and reciprocal attitude the individual member of human society remains self-centered, uninspired by altruistic purposes, limited and solitary in development like the animal and plant organisms of the lower kingdoms. The lower creatures are not in need of cooperation and reciprocity. A tree can live solitary and alone, but this is impossible for man without retrogression. Therefore, every cooperative attitude and activity of human life is praiseworthy and foreintended by the will of God. The first expression of cooperation is family relationship, which is unreliable and uncertain in its potency, for it is subject to separation and does not permanently cement together the individual members of humanity. There is also a cooperation and oneness in nativity or race which is likewise not efficient, for although its members may agree in general, they differ radically in personal and particular points of view. Racial association, therefore, will not ensure the requirements of divine relationship. There are other means in the human world by which physical association is established, but these fail to weld together the hearts and spirits of men and are correspondingly inefficient. Therefore, it is evident that God has destined and intended religion to be the cause and means of cooperative effort and accomplishment among mankind. To this end He has sent the Prophets of God, the holy Manifestations of the Word, in order that the fundamental reality and religion of God may prove to be the bond of human unity, for the divine religions revealed by these holy Messengers have one and the same foundation. All will admit, therefore, that the divine religions are intended to be the means of true human cooperation, that they are united in the purpose of making humanity one family, for they rest upon the universal foundation of love, and love is the first effulgence of Divinity.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.338)

“It seems as though all creatures can exist singly and alone. For example, a tree can exist solitary and alone on a given prairie or in a valley or on the mountainside. An animal upon a mountain or a bird soaring in the air might live a solitary life. They are not in need of cooperation or solidarity. Such animated beings enjoy the greatest comfort and happiness in their respective solitary lives.

“On the contrary, man cannot live singly and alone. He is in need of continuous cooperation and mutual help. For example, a man living alone in the wilderness will eventually starve. He can never, singly and alone, provide himself with all the necessities of existence. Therefore, he is in need of cooperation and reciprocity.

“The mystery of this phenomenon, the cause thereof is this, that mankind has been created from one single origin, has branched off from one family. Thus in reality all mankind represents one family. God has not created any difference. He has created all as one that thus this family might live in perfect happiness and well-being.

“Regarding reciprocity and cooperation: each member of the body politic should live in the utmost comfort and welfare because each individual member of humanity is a member of the body politic and if one member of the members be in distress or be afflicted with some disease all the other members must necessarily suffer. For example, a member of the human organism is the eye. If the eye should be affected that affliction would affect the whole nervous system. Hence, if a member of the body politic becomes afflicted, in reality, from the standpoint of sympathetic connection, all will share that affliction since this (one afflicted) is a member of the group of members, a part of the whole. Is it possible for one member or part to be in distress and the other members to be at ease? It is impossible! Hence God has desired that in the body politic of humanity each one shall enjoy perfect welfare and comfort.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p.38)

experience

god is our true friend

We are never alone in this world. Throughout our life, we are surrounded by parents, family, friends, classmates, teachers, neighbours, and more. God is with us, too, throughout our entire life; he loves us and cares for us, provides for us by sending His laws and teachings, forgives us when we make mistakes. We listen to His teachings and follow them because we know he is our Creator and our true Friend.

prayer/reading for study

“Incline your hearts, O people of God, unto the counsels of your true, your incomparable Friend.” (Bahá’u’lláh)

activities

STORY

  • Tell the story of how Bahá’u’lláh was arrested and unjustly imprisoned in the Siyáh-Chál, along with many others who followed the Cause he proclaimed. This dark, cold dungeon was a horrible, filthy place with foul air; the prisoners were held in heavy chains. Despite this, Bahá’u’lláh taught the prisoners to chant verses that reaffirmed their trust in God: “God is sufficient unto me; He verily is the All-Sufficing!” chanted one row of prisoners. “In Him let the trusting trust,” the other row would respond. Their repeated chanting grew so loud that even the cruel king in his palace heard their voices. When he was told that the chanting came from the prisoners in the Siyáh-Chál, he grew silent, knowing that no matter what horrors he could inflict on them, there was nothing he could do to turn from from their Cause.

Games

  • Explorer, based on Hot and Cold. Choose one child to be the “explorer”, who then leaves the room. The remaining children must choose a secret spot in the room for the explorer to find, and a simple posture for the explorer to take once the spot is found (i.e. standing on one foot, with a hand on the right hip, etc). Once the spot and the posture are chosen, the explorer returns to the room and begins exploring. As the explorer gets closer to the spot, the children should communicate this by clapping louder and louder; as he or she gets farther, they should clap softer and softer. Once the correct spot is found, the children should clap in the same way to indicate how “far” the explorer is from the correct posture.

DRAMA

  • Have the children practice their storytelling skills by memorizing the story of the prisoners in the Siyáh-Chál. They should cover at least the main points of the story, summarized in Lesson 13 of Ruhi Book 3, Grade 2, Set 5. To help them remember each of the points, cue cards can be used—with either words or images on them representing each point. Use these cards to review the main points with them at least once before they begin retelling the story. If at any time they get stuck, the appropriate cue card can be shown to help them along.

reference

O children of negligence and passion! Ye have suffered My enemy to enter My house and have cast out My friend, for ye have enshrined the love of another than Me in your hearts. Give ear to the sayings of the Friend and turn towards His paradise. Worldly friends, seeking their own good, appear to love one the other, whereas the true Friend has loved and doth love you for your own sakes; indeed He hath suffered for your guidance countless afflictions. Be not disloyal to such a Friend, nay rather hasten unto Him. Such is the day-star of the word of truth and faithfulness, that hath dawned above the horizon of the pen of the Lord of all names. Open your ears that ye may hearken unto the word of God, the Help in peril, the Self-existent. (Bahá’u’lláh, Persian Hidden Words, No. 52)

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

experience

knowing god

Day by day, we make effort to obey the commandments of God and to show forth good qualities in our actions, such as love, compassion, generosity, justice and humility. We pray to God and ask Him to guide us, and seek to know Him. But how do we know God? We know Him through the Great Educators he sends to us from time to time, who bring us His laws and teachings. By studying them and applying them in our lives, we come to know Him and worship Him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that we see the signs of God’s perfections in all the things we see in the world. The sun shining and giving light and warmth to the world reminds us of God’s love. The rain falling reminds us of His bounty. A mountain reaching to heaven reminds us of His majesty.

prayer/reading for study

“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to
know his Creator and to attain His Presence.” (Bahá’u’lláh)

activities

story

The Scholar and the Blacksmith. Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl, a highly educated scholar, meets an unlettered blacksmith who presents him with questions he cannot answer. (See reference section, below.)

games

  • The Detective game: one child, who plays the “detective”, leaves the room, and a “leader” is chosen. All the children must sit or stand in a circle and follow the movements of the “leader” so closely that the “detective” will be unable to tell who the real leader is. Repeat enough times for everyone to have a chance to play both roles.
  • Charades: Remind the children that we see signs of God in everything around us; then ask children to act out different parts of nature and the environment—mountains, rain, clouds, wind, flowers, birds, etc.

drawing

  • Ask the children to draw some part of their natural environment: a scene with mountains; the sun shining on a meadow filled with animals; rain falling on a garden of flowers or vegetables; and so on.

crafts

reference

“I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, Short obligatory prayer)

“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol. Such a man hath attained the knowledge of the station of Him Who is “at the distance of two bows,” Who standeth beyond the Sadratu’l-Muntahá. Whoso hath failed to recognize Him will have condemned himself to the misery of remoteness, a remoteness which is naught but utter nothingness and the essence of the nethermost fire. Such will be his fate, though to outward seeming he may occupy the earth’s loftiest seats and be established upon its most exalted throne.” (Bahá’u’lláh)

“It so happened that on the way out one of the donkeys lost a shoe, so the party called at the nearest blacksmith for help. Noticing the long beard and large turban of Mirza Abu’l-Fadl — indications of his vast knowledge — the blacksmith Ustad Husayn-i-Na’l-Band (shoeing smith), who was illiterate, was tempted to enter into conversation with the learned man. He said to Mirza that since he had honoured him with his presence, it would be a great privilege for him if he could be allowed to ask a question which had perplexed his mind for some time. When permission was granted he said, ‘Is it true that in the Traditions of Shí’ah Islam it is stated that each drop of rain is accompanied by an angel from heaven? And that this angel brings down the rain to the ground?’ ‘This is true,’ Mirza Abu’l-Fadl responded. After a pause, the blacksmith begged to be allowed to ask another question to which Mirza gave his assent. ‘Is it true’, the blacksmith asked, ‘that if there is a dog in a house no angel will ever visit that house?’ Before thinking of the connection between the two questions, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl responded in the affirmative. ‘In that case’, commented the blacksmith, ‘no rain should ever fall in a house where a dog is kept.’ Mirza Abu’l-Fadl, the noted learned man of Islam, was now confounded by an illiterate blacksmith. His rage knew no bounds, and his companions noticed that he was filled with shame. They whispered to him, ‘This blacksmith is a Bahá’í!'” (from The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Volume 3: `Akka, The Early Years 1868-77, by Adib Taherzadeh)

experience

ayyám-i-há

Ayyám-i-Há (The “Days of Há”, also known as the Intercalary Days) is a festival celebrated between the 18th and 19th months of the Bahá’í calendar, from February 26 to March 1 of every year.

During Ayyám-i-Há, Bahá’ís show hospitality and provide good cheer for themselves, their families and friends; perform charitable work to benefit the poor and needy; and celebrate joyfully and sing God’s praise. Ayyám-i-Há is a time to show our love for God by extending universal love, consideration and generosity to all His creatures.

reading/prayer for study

“It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name…” (Bahá’u’lláh)

activities

story

pencilwork

  • Give the children a copy of a Bahá’í calendar and use it to explain the nature of Intercalary Days: Nineteen months of nineteen days makes 361 days, with 4 (or 5) left over to make 365 (or 366 in leap years).

Crafts

service project

  • Ayyám-i-Há is a perfect time for engaging in charitable works, so planning some kind of service project would be an ideal activity. Ideas could include: making greeting cards for the elderly, or get well cards for those who are sick or infirm; helping to collect food for, or sort food at, a local food bank…
  • Enable Me To Grow has a great list of Family Service Projects for Ayyám-i-Há that could be adapted for a children’s class.

reference

“O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name; and when they end—these days of giving that precede the season of restraint—let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind. The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous.”

(Bahá’u’lláh, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p.16)

experience

  • not yet!