A coffee table book and home visit companion www.hastenforth.com
Quotations selected by Shoghi Effendi for his message “The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh” Foreword written by Mr. Kiser Barnes Book designed by Gigi Alford and Anis Mungapen © Make
it Just creations
An affordable photo book of the Holy Land The initial motivation for creating this book was affordability. Having a book that takes one on a virtual journey to the Holy Places of the Bahá’í World Centre should not be a luxury available only to the wealthy. This book is the result of a concerted effort to keep the costs of publishing as low as possible while maintaining the quality that all will cherish. To reach as many people as possible, there are two versions of the book: a hard cover version with a dust jacket and a soft cover version that can be sold for a great deal less than the first while featuring an equal calibre of photographs printed on the same grade of paper.
Bahjí - Circumambulation from dawn till dusk The first chapter features quotations pertaining to Bahá’u’lláh and images of His resting place in Bahjí. The sequence of photographs traces a path of circumambulation around the holy grounds, and the scenes gradually turn from day to night to convey a sense of passing time in the serenity of the gardens. To simulate actually being in the gardens and near the Holy Places, the pages of Hasten Forth combine close ups and wideshots of the same scene to give the eye the sensation of looking near and lifting its gaze.
The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh
In 1934 Shoghi Effendi wrote a message to the Bahá’ís in the West to explain the fundamental verities of the new religion. This essential document for Bahá’í libraries was the inspiration for Hasten Forth. The chapters of the photo book mirror the four themes addressed by Shoghi Effendi: Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Administrative Order. Each chapter features the quotations the Guardian selected for the corresponding section in his message.
Home visit companion
Because the book is structured after Shoghi Effendi’s treatise on the basic tenants of the Bahá’í Faith, it makes a helpful tool for telling and showing others about the distinctive elements of the world’s youngest religious dispensation. It is especially useful in discussing the Eternal Covenant of God and the Specific Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh. Also, Hasten Forth is an excellent visual aid for recounting one’s pilgrimage. The website provides home visit tips: w w w.hastenfor th.com
Foreword by Mr. Kiser Barnes
Fully illuminated Arc
The very title, Hasten Forth, arouses wonder. It seems fitting for this engaging book, in that it gives it a practical, enabling quality. It is drawn from the great Tablet of Carmel, which Bahá’u’lláh revealed on one of His visits to God’s holy mountain. …
During the Tenth International Bahá’í Convention in 2008, the Administrative Buildings on Mount Carmel were fully lit for a number of hours each evening to mark the significant event held every five years to elect the Universal House of Justice.
It might also delight readers of a book meant to inspire learning and action to know that, in the metaphoric language of revelation, “Hasten Forth” applies directly to Bahá’ís as well. The Universal House of Justice has written: “Carmel is astir with the wonders of His grace as she responds to the redemptive call He raised in the Tablet bearing her name… The friends … have reaffirmed their pledge to respond to this divine longing. May their exploits in the Name of Bahá scatter more widely the fragrance of His Revelation.” (Letter to the Bahá’ís of the World, 16 January 2001.)
The added lighting and the beauty of the gardens at the height of spring made this period a special time for photographing the structures and the Monument Gardens at the heart of the base of the arched path. The passages in this chapter highlight Shoghi Effendi’s assertion that the rise and establishment of the Administrative Order constitute the hall-mark of the second and formative age of the Baha’i era.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites The backdrop to the production of this book was filled with exciting developments at the Bahá’í World Centre. ... the Holy Places and gardens in the Haifa and Western Galilee areas were inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage list as places of global importance and universal historical value, such that the Bahá’í Holy Places are now widely recognized as the cultural heritage of all humanity. Meanwhile, the inscription in July 2008 came at almost a midway point in an understaking to restore and reinforce the two structures built by Shoghi Effendi on Mount Carmel [the Shrine of the Báb and the International Archives Building] more than five decades ago. (From the introduction to the book.)
Creating Hasten Forth This book is par excellence a family project. It has been self-published by a husband and wife team with the loving support of our parents. It took us more than three years to complete the project, and along the way we enlisted countless friends to advise, revise and contribute. We are grateful that our father Samson Mungapen was able to see a finished copy of Hasten Forth before he passed away suddenly in October 2010. He was very proud of the book and shared our dream that it will become a tool for building community. Thank you for letting us tell you a little bit about our project.
Photographs by: Anis Mungapen, Laura Mostmand, Gigi Alford and Reza Mostmand Editing and captions by: Gigi Alford Concept and design by: Gigi Alford and Anis Mungapen International collaboration with:
Hasten Forth: All aboard for a virtual journey to the Holy Land Visits to the Bahá’í Holy Places are unique experiences for all. Thus, different photos ignite each person’s imagination. Hasten Forth attempts to capture this effect by including a wide variety of images, from new and varied vantage points, taken before sunrise and after midnight and everything in between, representing all seasons of the year. Whether quotations, images or stories captivate readers most, Hasten Forth is designed for their enjoyment.
Table of contents The four chapters include quotations, photographs and captions filled with stories and descriptions. Mr. Barnes’ foreword connects the reader to the Holy Land’s rich history and significance. A presentation on the Bahá’í Faith & a bibliography are included for further study.
Chapter one: Bahá’u’lláh, The Glory of God Our journey begins with a visit to Bahjí, where the latest Manifestation of God lived His last years and where His earthly remains are buried. Let the photos lead you in a circumambulation of the Shrine and Mansion, passing the day from sunrise to sunset in the gardens.
The primacy of Bahjí The longest chapter in the book is the first one, and for good reason. Bahá’u’lláh is the Manifestation of God for this day. His resting place in Bahjí is the Qiblih, the Point of Adoration, and the holiest Spot on Earth. On Bahá’í pilgrimage it is the first visit on the nine-day program.
Chapter two: The Báb, the Prophet-Herald Next stop on our journey brings us to Mount Carmel, to the Shrine of the Báb and the nineteen hanging terraced gardens that extend to the the base of the mountain and up to its summit. Poised on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and overlooking Haifa Bay to the north, the golden-domed monument is breathtaking in every shot.
Chapter three: Abdu’l-Bahá, the Mystery of God As no one structure in the Holy Land is predominantly associated with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá yet his presence blessed many of them, this chapter pays visits to numerous sites. Several photos depict the cityscape of ‘Akká from a ship sailing the Mediterranean Sea - views early pilgrims visiting Bahá’u’lláh during His exile there would have seen on their approach to the Most Great Prison.
Chapter four: The Administrative Order In addition to quotations from the three Central Figures featured in the previous chapters, here Shoghi Effendi’s writings are also included. Photos show the exquisite architecture of the Administrative Buildings and the manicured landscaping of the Monument Gardens of the Arc on Mount Carmel. Both daytime and nighttime panoramas are equally stunning.
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