All Things Baha’i’s logo is a calligraphy masterpiece created by Diaa Mzehem, Fine Artist and Fashion Designer. When I first gazed upon this magnificent artistic depiction of “Alláh-u-Abhá” (God is Most Glorious), I knew it had to find a special place on our blog. Alláh-u-Abhá, is a greeting that Bahá’ís use when they meet each other. Abhá is a superlative of the word Bahá’, and a form of the Greatest Name.
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This beautifully rendered creation begins with nine undulating waves which form the outer framework of the splendor that lies within. Each of the waves move inward with graceful meandering strokes of artistry forming the phrase Alláh-u-Abhá in Arabic nine consecutive times; each of the nine contracting until they reach the fine tips of the center Nine-Pointed Star which symbolizes the Baha’i Faith.
Baha’is believe that Bahá’u’lláh, whose title means “The Glory of God,” is the latest Manifestation to found a major world religion and usher in a new age of human development:
“…in the kingdoms of earth and heaven there must needs be manifested a Being, an Essence Who shall act as a Manifestation and Vehicle for the transmission of the grace of the Divinity Itself, the Sovereign Lord of all. Through the Teachings of this Day Star of Truth every man will advance and develop until he attaineth the station at which he can manifest all the potential forces with which his inmost true self hath been endowed. It is for this very purpose that in every age and dispensation the Prophets of God and His chosen Ones have appeared amongst men, and have evinced such power as is born of God and such might as only the Eternal can reveal.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 67-68.
It is a belief in Islamic tradition that God has 99 names, and some believe that there is a special hidden 100th name, which is the greatest. In Bahá’í belief the Greatest Name that was once hidden now made manifest is Bahá’. The word Bahá’ (بهاء), translated as “glory” or “splendour” has a numerical equivalence of 9 in the Abjad system of Isopsephy (Arabic Language), and thus there is frequent use of the number 9 in Bahá’í symbols which has been artistically rendered within Diaa’s calligraphy of Alláh-u-Abhá.
“Bahá’ is the root word used in many other names and phrases including Bahá’í (a follower of Bahá’), Bahá’u’lláh (Glory of God), `Abdu’l-Bahá (Servant of Glory), Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá (O Thou Glory of the Most Glorious), and Alláh-u-Abhá (God is Most Glorious) referring to God manifest in Bahá’u’lláh.” (Wikipedia)
Baha’is refer often to the number 9 when mentioning the unity of the 9 major religions that exist today beginning with their Founders Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
The number 9 is also represented in the construction of the Mašriqu-l-‘aḏkār (مشرق اﻻذكار), Arabic phrase meaning “Dawning-place of the remembrances of God”), otherwise known as the Bahá’í House of Worship. A nine-sided circular shape (Nonagon) is an essential architectural characteristic for the Houses of Worship stipulated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá representing the Unity of these 9 major religions.
Everything in creation has been given one of the names of God. Upon man, God has bestowed all of His names, attributes and perfections. Of all created things, man is the only being capable of reflecting the “splendor” or “glory” (Bahá’) of God made manifest through His most recent Manifestation, Bahá’u’lláh.
“Now, the world of existence, indeed every created thing, proclaims but one of the names of God, but the reality of man is an all-encompassing and universal reality which is the seat of the revelation of all the divine perfections…. “Thus, the divinity of God, which is the totality of all perfections, reveals itself in the reality of man—that is, the divine Essence is the sum total of all perfections, and from this station it casts a ray of its splendour upon the human reality. In other words, the Sun of Truth is reflected in this mirror. Thus man is a perfect mirror facing the Sun of Truth and is the seat of its reflection. The splendour of all the divine perfections is manifest in the reality of man, and it is for this reason that he is the vicegerent and apostle of God. If man did not exist, the universe would be without result, for the purpose of existence is the revelation of the divine perfections.” – Bahá’u’lláh (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp. 226-227)
All Things Baha’i would like to thank Diaa and his family for this generous contribution to our efforts!