In this issue – Getting Married
The Wedding of Shoghi Effendi and Ruhiyyih Khanum
Surely the simplicity of the marriage of Shoghi Effendi – reminiscent of the simplicity of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own marriage in the prison-city of ‘Akká – should provide a thought-provoking example to the Bahá’ís everywhere.
No one, with the exception of his parents, my parents and a brother and two sisters of his living in Haifa, knew it was to take place. He felt strongly urged to keep it a secret, knowing from past experience how much trouble any major event in the Cause invariably stirred up. It was therefore a stunning surprise to both the servants and the local Bahá’ís when his chauffeur drove him off, with me beside him, to visit the Holy Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh on the afternoon of 25 March 1937. His heart drew him to that Most Sacred Spot on earth at such a moment in his life.
I remember I was dressed, except for a white lace blouse, entirely in black for this unique occasion, and was a typical example of the way oriental women dressed to go out into the streets in those days, the custom being to wear black. Although I was from the West Shoghi Effendi desired me to fit into the pattern of the life in his house – which was a very oriental one – as naturally and inconspicuously as possible and I was only too happy to comply with his wishes in every way.
When we arrived at Bahji and entered the Shrine he requested me to give him his ring, which I was still wearing concealed about my neck, and this he placed on the ring-finger of my right hand, the same finger that corresponded to the one of his own on which he himself had always worn it. This was the only gesture he made.
He entered the inner Shrine, beneath the floor of which Bahá’u’lláh is interred, and gathered up in a handkerchief all the dried petals and flowers that the keeper of the Shrine used to take from the threshold and place in a silver receptacle at the feet of Bahá’u’lláh. After he had chanted the Tablet of Visitation we came back to Haifa and in the room of the Greatest Holy Leaf our actual marriage took place, as already mentioned.
Except for this visit, the day he told me he had chosen to confer this great honour on me, and one or two brief moments in the Western Pilgrim House when he came over for dinner, I had never been alone with the Guardian.
There was no celebration, no flowers, no elaborate ceremony, no wedding dress, no reception. His mother and father, in compliance with the laws of Bahá’u’lláh, signified their consent by signing our marriage certificate and then I went back to the Western Pilgrim House across the street and joined by parents (who had not been present at any of these events), and Shoghi Effendi went to attend to his own affairs.
At dinner-time, quite as usual, the Guardian appeared, showering his love and congratulations on my mother and father. He took the handkerchief, full of such precious flowers, and with his inimitable smile gave them to my mother, saying he had brought them for her from the inner Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh.
My parents also signed the marriage certificate and after dinner and these events were over I walked home with Shoghi Effendi, my suitcases having been taken across the street by Fujita while we were at dinner. We sat for a while with the Guardian’s family and then went up to his two rooms which the Greatest Holy Leaf had had built for him so long ago. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 150-152)
Prayer for Marriage
O my Lord, O my Lord! These two bright orbs are wedded in Thy love, conjoined in servitude to Thy Holy Threshold, united in ministering to Thy Cause. Make Thou this marriage to be as threading lights of Thine abounding grace, O my Lord, the All-Merciful, and luminous rays of Thy bestowals, O Thou the Beneficent, the Ever-Giving, that there may branch out from this great tree boughs that will grow green and flourishing through the gifts that rain down from Thy clouds of grace. Verily Thou art the Generous, verily Thou art the Almighty, verily Thou art the Compassionate, the All-Merciful. (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 119)
To hear it sung by Bahareh Khademi who has a voice like an angel
Did you ever wonder what a simple Baha’i wedding might look like? This will give you some ideas!
Love Courtship and Marriage by Joan Barstow Hernandez is one of those books that people say: “If I read this before I got married, I never would have got divorced”!
Do you want to prepare yourself for a wonderful marriage, or better the marriage that you already have?
This book offers guidance from the Bahá’í Writings for all those of any age who are interested in developing a good marriage, based on the assumption that marital success depends on the moral and spiritual qualities of both partners.
The chapters not only explore some of these qualities, but also give practical suggestion on getting to know the character of one another before marriage, practices that strengthen the marriage and how to face the tests that are an inevitable part of any marriage.
· A new Approach to Marriage
· The Spiritual Foundation of Marriage
· Becoming Acquainted with One Another’s Character
· Developing Spiritual Qualities
· Laws that Govern Baha’i Marriage
· Married Life
· Spiritualizing Your Marriage
· Efforts to Avoid Divorce
· The Importance of Obeying Baha’i Laws
· The Marriage Tablet
· A Questionnaire for Greater Self Knowledge
Want to get married? Scared? That’s hardly surprising in a society with a divorce rate over 50%, where relationships seem to vanish like the morning dew. Yet most people dream of finding a partner for life someday.
Raymond Switzer approaches the issues with understanding and humour. Drawing both on Bahá’í teaching and professional experience as a psychologist, he presents a new perspective for the 21st century that takes into account where we are now and looks at where we might like to go and how to get there.
Knowing ourselves, becoming attracted to another person and getting to know them, falling in love, sexual healing in an often brutal society, deciding to get married – these are among the subjects of Conscious Courtship.
Questions answered include:
· What can I do to find a lasting relationship?
· How can you really get to know another person?
· How do you know when you’re ready for marriage?
· How can 1 overcome my fear of not choosing wisely?
· What about sharing responsibilities in a relationship?
· Can I have high expectations?
· What are the essential qualities to look for in another?
· What about differences in age, culture or nationality?
· When do you know you’ve found the right person?
· and many more …
Marabeth Lum is a Relationship and Life Coach who has a passion for working to empower and inspire people to live their best lives. She started her coaching practice and later her blog ‘Single to Smitten’ to serve as a platform for her true calling in relationship coaching. Now, she partners with women to optimize their mindset, create individualized action plans and provide effective tools and strategies to create tangible and sustainable results. In short, she helps today’s professional woman find her Mr. Right. If you’re a single man looking for your Mrs. Right – she’s happy to work with you too!
Marabeth helps you to
- clear out old relationship patterns, boyfriends kept on the ‘back burner’, and beliefs about how dating goes for you.
- create a blank slate for meeting your Mr. Right.
- connect to who you truly are and what you really want in a significant other
- identify the qualities you bring into a relationship and zero in on what you’re looking for in a significant other.
- map out a plan and get you into action.
- get out of your own way and into the places and spaces where you can optimize the possibility of manifesting your man.
Kiki & Cake
Kiana Foroughi has an event planning business in Adelaide Australia called Kiki & Cake, specializing in made-to-order cakes for all occasions and all ages. She loves to make cake because it brings joy to people’s lives and helps celebrate a special occasion.
Pictures of some of her more unusual cakes
A bottle of cake? All edible including the cake tablets and label –
It’s chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganash goodness!
Every single detail on these cakes is hand made and edible!
She loves rising to the challenge of new designs and flavour combinations, taking time to make everything look perfectly smooth, even though she works with Swiss meringue buttercream instead of the more traditional fondant. Buttercream takes a lot of patience and time to get it super smooth. The loads of little details she puts into every cake take time and a lot of preparation and patience, but in the end her cakes are as delicious to eat as they are to look at.
In her work with cakes, others have said:
- an artist of monumental proportions
- I admire your talent and artistry greatly
- The cake work is just gorgeous – always so classy and different!!
- Her buttercream is out of this world
- It was so spectacular and delicious.
- I loved how it matched the birthday girl’s dress. Too much cuteness in one day!
Can’t you just taste these descriptions?
- Edible blooms on a delicious vanilla butter sponge filled with blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and strawberries some fresh cream and then frosted in the most delicious blueberry and blackberry Swiss meringue buttercream
- Blue chocolate drip on Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with lollies galore and a hand cut fondant cake topper
- Vanilla butter sponge soaked in fresh passionfruit pulp, layered with passionfruit cream and frosted in raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream
- Square vanilla cake with strawberries and cream, swiss meringue buttercream, dark chocolate drip and an abundance of fruit
- Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse and the smoothest vanilla buttercream
- Layers of Chocolate Cake, fresh cream and chunks of salted caramel frosted in smooth buttercream
- a little obsession with pomegranates… vanilla butter sponge, fresh cream and fresh strawberries. Covered in buttercream and a dark chocolate ganache then topped with an assortment of goodness!
- Layers of coconut cake and fresh cream and caramel covered in white chocolate ganache
- Vanilla butter cake filled with layers of fresh cream and dulce de leche and covered in vanilla bean buttercream
- vanilla butter sponge with fresh strawberries and cream filling and a vanilla cream cheese buttercream frosting
Her philosophy is: why don’t you make that special occasion more meaningful and order a cake from me while helping me promote doing what I love. I will donate 20% of profit made from each cake ordered to a cause. Make your special occasion make a difference.
I sure wish I lived close enough to order some of her cakes!
Our Readers Write:
Congrats on launch of new website this weekend. Will eagerly await seeing it live! Cheers! (Jaellayna Palmer)
I do like your new logo. J (Anthony Fleming)
Thank you for the mention, Susan! How delightful to see news of Randall Dighton, who was on 9-day Pilgrimage with Dr. Sabet and me. I did not know you were recovering and am glad to know you are on the road to a full recovery 🙂 (Jan Sabet-Sharghi)
I was very taken with the Tablet for healing (although I call it a Tablet for Protection) at the bottom of your latest newsletter, and I copied it and shared it at the Feast last night. A couple people pounced on it (I think it resonates with a lot of us right now) but they quizzed me on where did I get it, when was it translated, is it published anywhere, and so on. Anyway, can I ask if you have a further citation of where you got it? I’m adding to my daily morning prayers. THANK YOU for including it in your newsletter. (Marlene Macke)
Yes, my new website is now live and I’m really excited with the work that Caleb put into it!
You can find the Tablet of Healing online at the Baha’i Library
Thanks to all who write in! Your encouragement really keeps me going!
By the way, I accept donations! If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!! There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!
See you next month! Hope it’s a month filled with beauty!