Naw-Ruz message from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha'is in Iran


250px-Seat_of_the_House_of_Justice The new year in the Baha’i calendar is named Naw-Ruz, meaning “New Day” – the first day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere. Baha’is in more than 200 countries and territories around the world celebrate this day.

Despite having the same name and date as the cultural Nayrouz or Nowruz (see which is celebrated in Iran and other countries and recognized by UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/253 as an international day of celebration, the Baha’i Naw-Ruz has a distinctive significance and form of celebration.

The Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the worldwide Baha’i community, on some occasions writes general letters to Baha’is around the world. Baha’is cherish these letters as sources of guidance with immediate implications for daily life. (see and

Below is the text of the most recent letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran on the occasion of the Baha’i Naw-Ruz. You can see more letters of the Universal House of Justice to Iran in Persian at

21 March 2011

To the Believers in the Cradle of the Faith [1]

Dearly loved Friends,

At the advent of the ancient and auspicious Persian festival of Naw-Rúz, the close of the blessed days of fasting and the commencement of a new year, we take this opportunity to convey our heartfelt greetings to every one of you, sincere servants of the All-Merciful, and, through you, to the entire Iranian nation.

It is customary among the nations that a day of general rejoicing be appointed when people come together with joy and gladness and renew the bonds of affection. The day of Naw-Rúz is a reminder of the grandeur and glory of the ancient land of Iran and a symbol of the abiding greatness and distinction of its peoples. This time-honoured tradition is an occasion for all to celebrate and rejoice, to show forth love and kindness, to leave aside rancor and enmity, and to seek inward and outward renewal. From the earliest times, the people of Iran have revered and sanctified this splendid day. The Bahá’ís of the world, too, comprising peoples of every race and origin in over two hundred countries and territories, celebrate this glorious day under the same fair name of “Naw-Rúz” and strive, following the counsels of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to ensure that the outcome of the day not remain “limited to the fruits of mere pleasure”, but that it herald great undertakings aimed at furthering the common weal.

The year just ended saw a continuation of the dire hardships, persecutions and injustices that have been heaped upon you. The chief perpetrators of this oppression are those whose hearts and souls have been possessed by the evil of ignorance and fanaticism, which has robbed them of benevolence and nobility. They have become instruments of violence and cruelty to their fellow human beings and have deprived their own souls of the grace of divine bestowals. Others among your compatriots recognize your innocence, and in their hearts sincerely wish to treat you with justice, but, in the prevailing militarized climate, are impelled to carry out the instructions of their superiors and thus become reluctant participants in this tyranny.

Yet, we render thanks to God that in the course of this year you have witnessed, both within your country and beyond its borders, the spirit of solidarity shown by countless noble- hearted, fair-minded and enlightened Iranians; that you have heard the call of national and international institutions of civil society that has been raised in support of your rights; that you have been informed of the numerous resolutions and declarations that have been issued by national and international bodies in your defence; and that you have won the admiration of the world for your calm and constructive resilience. Your spiritual kin throughout the world, drawing inspiration from the example of your service and sacrifice, have likewise sallied forth in the arena of service with determination and resolve, and remember you continually in their prayers at the Threshold of the Lord of bounty.

We are delighted that, having studied our message of Riḍván 2010 [2], you also benefited from reflecting on the successes achieved by the followers of the Blessed Beauty across the globe in carrying out the provisions of the Five Year Plan as they learned to empower people to take responsibility for their own spiritual, social and intellectual development. And, as mentioned in that message, you yourselves continued to offer, to the extent possible, your own contribution to this divine enterprise. At Riḍván 2011 the next stage of the mighty undertaking in which the Bahá’í world is engaged will commence. Our message dated 28 December 2010 to the Continental Counsellors explains the requirements of the Plan. Bahá’ís throughout the world eagerly anticipate further accomplishments in carrying out its provisions. Each and every one of you, young or old, will undoubtedly also seek, with full determination and as far as conditions permit, to advance on the path of service, whether by fulfilling your individual spiritual responsibilities or by availing yourselves of other opportunities that may arise.

The world is in turmoil, and the onrushing tide of change is proceeding with unparalleled force and speed. The age-old order of the world has been disrupted, and the profound transformations that have taken place at all levels of human relationships call for a fundamental reconsideration of every aspect of life. This applies equally to Iranian society. Consider how its people are resolutely striving to establish a progressive society and are ready to bear every manner of pain and calamity in pursuit of this objective. The season of Naw-Rúz and the renewal of the world of nature are an invitation to reinvigorate the powers of the spirit and to re-examine matters of the heart and conscience. It is befitting that in this vernal season, the outward symbol of the spiritual springtide, in your meaningful conversations with your friends, neighbours, acquaintances, colleagues and other like-minded souls, you explore together how better to contribute to the material and spiritual welfare of others and to build a society in which the innate talents of every individual can flourish without regard to distinctions of class, creed, gender or ethnicity. Ponder together the true purpose of the world of existence and the life of man; consider the beauty and efficacy of a society founded on the principle of unity in diversity; and deliberate on that essential nobility of the soul that enables the individual to see his or her own happiness in the happiness of others. Leave the oppressors to God and call to mind the admonition of Bahá’u’lláh: “O Oppressors on earth! Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man’s injustice.” Look beyond the hardships that have encompassed you on every side and fix your gaze on the sublime vision of the faith of God for the betterment of the world and the happiness of the nations. Following the model of the lives of the Central Figures of our Faith and that of your spiritual forebears, persist in the noble example that you yourselves have set over the last thirty some years and remain patient and composed under difficulties. Persevere in your inspiring sacrifice, and do your share to build
a world and an Iran that are united, prosperous and free.

[signed: The Universal House of Justice]

[1] “Cradle of the Faith” is a reference to the birthplace of the Baha’i Faith which was founded by Baha’u’llah in Persia or the modern Iran.

[2] “Ridvan” is another festival period in the Baha’i calendar, beginning from 21st of April and lasting for 12 days. The 1st, 9th and 12th days are marked by meetings and celebrations by the Baha’i communities world wide. The Universal House of Justice has adopted Ridvan to address general letters to the Baha’is of the World. “Ridvan 2010” is therefore a reference to the message dated April 2010.

In Persian:


9 Responses

  1. Byron Larson

    March 23, 2011 1:09 am

    Yes, the Iranian people are among the most handsome and capable of the globe. When given the open chance they will prove that universally.

  2. Shamim Bina

    March 23, 2011 4:33 am

    God bless our beloved brothers and sisters in Iran. May God’s grace keep them safe. We are truly blessed to have such the beloved Universal House of Justice. I am deeply appreciative and grateful. love and peace!

  3. anonymous

    March 23, 2011 12:12 pm

    Here is a list of links to Universal House of Justice messages to Iranian and Egyptian Baha’is:

    Universal House of Justice Messages to Iranian Baha’is

    Naw-Ruz message from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is in Iran, March 21, 2011

    November 26, 2003, letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran (in English)

    November 26, 2003, letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran (PDF in Farsi)

    7 messages of the Universal House of Justice to Iranian Baha’is from May 19, 2008 to March 05, 2009

    2 messages from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran, dated March 18, 2009 and March 26, 2009.

    Message from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran, dated 23 June 2009.

    Open letter from the Baha’i International Community to the head of Iran’s judiciary, 7 December 2010:

    Universal House of Justice message to Egyptian Baha’is, in English and Arabic, December 2006:

  4. Linda O'Dell

    March 23, 2011 6:49 pm

    Such a beautiful, comforting and inspiring Naw-Ruz message to our dearly beloved brothers and sisters in the cradle of our faith from our wonderfully beloved Universal House of Justice. May we all take guidance and sustenance from this letter during these especially turbulent times in Iran and around the world and be inspired to make our own sacrifices for this Faith we are truly blessed to recognize and accept and be a part of. Prayers continue for the believers in Iran and all of the people there.

  5. jason s

    March 23, 2011 7:35 pm

    specially loved the part that says “leave the oppressors to God” and then quotes from Baha’u’llah, and then calls to continue their efforts. Baha’is in Iran are beacon of strength to the world.

  6. anonymous

    March 25, 2011 6:22 pm

    ” True religion promotes the civilization and honor, the prosperity and prestige, the learning and advancement of a people once abject, enslaved and ignorant, (but)… when it falls into the hands of religious leaders who are foolish and fanatical, it is diverted to the wrong ends, until this greatest of splendors turns into blackest night.”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 80)


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