the vazir’s dream

The following is an account recorded in Nabil’s Narrative/The Dawn Breakers, translated by the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi.

When Bahá’u’lláh was still a child, the Vazír, His father, dreamed a dream. Bahá’u’lláh appeared to him swimming in a vast, limitless ocean. His body shone upon the waters with a radiance that illumined the sea. Around His head, which could distinctly be seen above the waters, there radiated, in all directions, His long, jet-black locks, floating in great profusion above the waves. As he dreamed, a multitude of fishes gathered round Him, each holding fast to the extremity of one hair. Fascinated by the effulgence of His face, they followed Him in whatever direction He swam. Great as was their number, and however firmly they clung to His locks, not one single hair seemed to have been detached from His head, nor did the least injury affect His person. Free and unrestrained, He moved above the waters and they all followed Him.

The Vazír, greatly impressed by this dream, summoned a soothsayer, who had achieved fame in that region, and asked him to interpret it for him. This man, as if inspired by a premonition of the future glory of Bahá’u’lláh, declared: “The limitless ocean that you have seen in your dream, O Vazír, is none other than the world of being. Single-handed and alone, your son will achieve supreme ascendancy over it. Wherever He may please, He will proceed unhindered. No one will resist His march, no one will hinder His progress. The multitude of fishes signifies the turmoil which He will arouse amidst the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Around Him will they gather, and to Him will they cling. Assured of the unfailing protection of the Almighty, this tumult will never harm His person, nor will His loneliness upon the sea of life endanger His safety.”

That soothsayer was subsequently taken to see Bahá’u’lláh. He looked intently upon His face, and examined carefully His features. He was charmed by His appearance, and extolled every trait of His countenance. Every expression in that face revealed to his eyes a sign of His concealed glory. So great was his admiration, and so profuse his praise of Bahá’u’lláh, that the Vazír, from that day, became even more passionately devoted to his son. The words spoken by that soothsayer served to fortify his hopes and confidence in Him. Like Jacob, he desired only to ensure the welfare of his beloved Joseph, and to surround Him with his loving protection.

the childhood of the báb

The following is an account of the Báb’s childhood, as recorded in Nabil’s Narrative/The Dawn Breakers, translated by the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi.

The Báb, whose name was Siyyid ‘Alí-Muḥammad, was born in the city of Shíráz, on the first day of Muharram, in the year 1235 A.H. He belonged to a house which was renowned for its nobility and which traced its origin to Muḥammad Himself. The date of His birth confirmed the truth of the prophecy traditionally attributed to the Imám ‘Alí: “I am two years younger than my Lord.” Twenty-five years, four months, and four days had elapsed since the day of His birth, when he declared His Mission. In His early childhood He lost His father, Siyyid Muḥammad-Riḍá, a man who was known throughout the province of Fárs for his piety and virtue, and was held in high esteem and honour. Both His father and His mother were descendants of the Prophet, both were loved and respected by the people. He was reared by His maternal uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid ‘Alí, a martyr to the Faith, who placed Him, while still a child, under the care of a tutor named Shaykh Abid. The Báb, though not inclined to study, submitted to His uncle’s will and directions.

Shaykh Abid, known by his pupils as Shaykhuna, was a man of piety and learning. He had been a disciple of both Shaykh Aḥmad and Siyyid Kázim. “One day,” he related, “I asked the Báb to recite the opening words of the Qur’án: ‘Bismi’lláhi’r-Rahmáni’r-Raḥím.’ He hesitated, pleading that unless He were told what these words signified, He would in no wise attempt to pronounce them. I pretended not to know their meaning. ‘I know what these words signify,’ observed my pupil; ‘by your leave, I will explain them.’ He spoke with such knowledge and fluency that I was struck with amazement. He expounded the meaning of ‘Alláh,’ of ‘Rahmán,’ and ‘Raḥím,’ in terms such as I had neither read nor heard. The sweetness of His utterance still lingers in my memory. I felt impelled to take Him back to His uncle and to deliver into his hands the Trust he had committed to my care. I determined to tell him how unworthy I felt to teach so remarkable a child. I found His uncle alone in his office. ‘I have brought Him back to you,’ I said, ‘and commit Him to your vigilant protection. He is not to be treated as a mere child, for in Him I can already discern evidences of that mysterious power which the Revelation of the Ṣáḥibu’z-Zamán alone can reveal. It is incumbent upon you to surround Him with your most loving care. Keep Him in your house, for He, verily, stands in no need of teachers such as I.’ Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid ‘Alí sternly rebuked the Báb. ‘Have You forgotten my instructions?’ he said. ‘Have I not already admonished You to follow the example of Your 76 fellow-pupils, to observe silence, and to listen attentively to every word spoken by Your teacher?’ Having obtained His promise to abide faithfully by his instructions, he bade the Báb return to His school. The soul of that child could not, however, be restrained by the stern admonitions of His uncle. No discipline could repress the flow of His intuitive knowledge. Day after day He continued to manifest such remarkable evidences of superhuman wisdom as I am powerless to recount.” At last His uncle was induced to take Him away from the school of Shaykh Abid, and to associate Him with himself in his own profession. There, too, He revealed signs of a power and greatness that few could approach and none could rival.

truthfulness (take 5)

Today’s lesson: truthfulness.

whiteboardNovember 29, 2015: 1.5 hours, 5 children, ages 6–9. Awesome class! I remembered to bring the markers for the classroom’s whiteboard, and I showed up early to write out all the important elements on the board: class schedule, new quote and prayer to memorize, and new song for us to sing. Things went quite smoothly and it felt like the class just flowed naturally.

We were going to start with some work in the children’s workbooks, but our helpers—who had the books—ended up running late, so we improvised: “The story for today’s lesson is The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” we explained, “so before class begins, we can spend some time drawing what we remember of the story.” Most of the children knew the story quite well (“I’ve heard it so many times!“), so they could readily identify the main characters in the story and draw a simple scene with the shepherd, the wolf, and the sheep.

Once everyone arrived, we gathered for prayers, starting off with a little deep breathing to help us relax. The younger children seemed especially eager to recite the prayers they had learned. Next, we began studying a new prayer: “O Thou Kind Lord! I am a little child…”. We went through it step by step, identifying words that might be difficult, and explaining each of them. After reading it together a couple of times, we started to erase words a few at a time, inviting some of the children to recite the prayer along with the words that were removed. Once we were done, we went on to sing the song, Truthful Words. It’s one of the new songs included with the new version of Grade 1; It sounds quite nice, and I feel as though it helps support the quote a lot better. Everyone enjoyed it. Speaking of quotes, one of our helpers, who was filling in for my regular co-teacher, gave an excellent explanation of the quote (“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues”), with plenty of different scenarios and questions to help the children reflect. As a result, I think they got a really good idea of some of the nuances surrounding telling the truth (What if you think something is true, but it’s not? Is that a lie, or a mistake?).

Next, we stretched our legs and moved over to the table for story time. But what do you do when nearly all the children have heard the story before? Well, we turned things around a little and got the children to tell the story instead, one sentence at a time. They remembered it well—with just a little prompting, they got all the important details out of the story and told it from start to finish. Once it was over, they started to suggest improvements to the story: What if, instead of the wolf eating the sheep, the sheep beat up the wolf? What if there was a ROBOT SHEEP, with LASERS and CHAINSAWS? Obviously, these ideas had to go somewhere, so back to the colouring table they went, embellishing the drawings they made at the beginning of class with robot sheep, laser beams and who knows what else. After bringing out the snacks, we invited those children who were finished with their drawings to play a game of touch telephone on the whiteboard.

Like I said, it was an awesome class. Although it required some quick thinking to deal with unexpected circumstances (no workbooks, and everyone knowing the story already), the fact that we had the rest of the class fully prepared left us in a good frame of mind to improvise. It gets easier with experience, too: When we start teaching for the first time, having to deal with the unexpected seems daunting because we can’t say “hey, this worked in the past, let’s try it”. But once you’ve tried enough things—and made enough mistakes—improvising becomes much easier.

tiếng việt

Chúng tôi đã phát triển các vật liệu sau đây cho các lớp học của con cái của chúng tôi trong những năm qua; bạn có thể tìm thấy một số trong số họ chỉ hữu ích khi họ đang có, hoặc họ có thể giúp truyền cảm hứng cho bạn để tạo ra vật liệu của riêng bạn về các chủ đề khác nhau.

Bạn có tài liệu mà bạn muốn chia sẻ với chúng ta và thế giới? Hãy liên lạc với chúng tôi!

español

Hemos desarrollado los siguientes materiales para las clases de nuestros propios hijos en los últimos años; es posible encontrar algunos de ellos útiles tal y como son, o pueden ayudarle a inspirar para crear sus propios materiales sobre diferentes temas.

¿Tiene materiales que le gustaría compartir con nosotros y el mundo? Póngase en contacto con nosotros!

 

Hojas de lección
Páginas para colorear
Ejercicios escritos/dibujados

français

Nous avons développé les matériaux suivants pour nos classes d’enfants au fil des années; peut-être vous les trouverez utiles comme tels, ou bien ils vous inspireront à créer vos propres matériaux sur des thèmes différents.

Avez-vous créé des matériaux que vous aimeriez partager avec nous et le monde? Entrez en contact avec nous!

Matériaux informatifs
Feuillets de leçon
Pages à colorier
Exercices écrits et dessinés
Labyrinthes
Mots cachés
Autres