What did the trees do wrong?

Photo essay: Trees chopped down at Bahai cemetery in Isfahan

by Ahang Rabbani
During the early hours of Saturday, 27 September 2008, the custodians and grounds-keepers of the Baha’i cemetery in Isfahan visited the cemetery (on the road leading to Nain in Yazd Province) and found all the trees cut to pieces. It appears that in Iran, even for trees that are close to Baha’is – even deceased Baha’is – is a crime punishable by death.  While we know that the current regime believes the Baha’i community has no right to live or even exist or even to die and be buried in this land, why should trees be deprived of the right to live and flourish?  What crime, other than being close to Baha’is, did these trees commit?


In the Name of Trees

by scb (not verified) on

In the Name of Trees (For Isfahan)

In the name of trees
Forgive me
I am a lover of Beauty

I exist to cultivate
Living lines
From green leaves
In waterless deserts

Where brambled wrack
I carry water, sow flowers
And cultivate trees

Under my hand
Quivering roses
Arise like crimson

And cool cypress spears
Assemble themselves
Exhaling scent
In ordered rows

Forgive me
I aspire to fulfill
An obligation to exalt

To propagate
Thriving gardens
On decrepit plots
And restore abuse
To splendor

I am a lover of Beauty
Please forgive me

There is no time
I am Baha’i
I must keep planting
(I am already planting)


I don't want to be rude

by Ramin007 (not verified) on

But jenab e doctor,

shouldn't your name be written as Fariborz not Faribors.
I don't want to pick on the rest of your English, but at least you could write your own Persian name correctly. I assume it is your name!?
I wonder if you got M.D. from the same place Doctor ( I should say, Former Doctor) Kordan, got his!

Good luck


The tree was a bahai too

by nemah (not verified) on

since it grew on bahai property and now it's gone to the fire to be burned. I am sure you understand.


Faribors Maleknasri M.D.

by Seagull (not verified) on

What has what the honorable nation of Iran choosing got to do with this despicable and not so honourable act of destroying properties and cutting down trees!
What would prophet Mohammad PBUH say to these people?
Are you saying because Shah destroyed one building, to buy sympathy, this continuous systematic destruction is justified!


Response to Dr. Maleknasri

by Homa in LA (not verified) on

Regarding your query about the attack on the Baha'i national center (not a mosque, since Baha'is don't worship in mosques), please see the article by Dr. Bahram Choubine, who is a non-Baha'i historian, published right here on Iranian.com:


Regards, Homa.


Unethical and uncivilized

by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

According to bahai`s affair there are a lot to read in "IRANIAN" and other Iranians hating sites. But i have never read about following: Early in winter 1953, a few monthes after CIA coup in Iran His majesty ordered to bomb the bahai`s Mosque ( mosque?) somewhere in tehran. after so many years now - anno 2008 - i think he wanted to win the sympathy of Iranian Nation with that action. Fortunately it did not helped him. On january 16th 1979 he had to leave after the peanuts merchant Jimmy had said to the media ( World media? ) a day before on January 15th: It is better when the shah goes. And he went. by the way: The honorable Iranian nation have said 30 years down with american imperialism. And see: It is economically dead. Of course the europian reanimation efforts are on the way but they can not save its life for good. They are only prolonging the death process. Greeting


Someday We Will Find a Way ...

by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

The way is founded allready.
"we", just we - living thousands miles away - need only to take it. However in order to take the way and arrive with success we would need to take with us a good number of wild GIs for opening the doors for us after we have arrived. But they - the GIs - are all allready demotivated and immobilized, can not take a small pace and would not be able to carry the Iranian values away. so they are bare of even the tiniest Motivation for accomponing us if we ever should seriously beginn to take the founded way. Because all of those who make likewise suggestions and make Hope know by themselves that they will never take the way. The only way which "we" can factually and in reality take is our beloved "IRANIAN". Greeting


Forests Will Arise

by scb (not verified) on

Forests will arise where these trees were chopped down. Of that I have no doubt, however long it may take, even unto generations . . .
Oppression will not win, hatred can't succeed.
Only love is eternal.
To plant a tree is to love.

Do not say, `How can He speak of God while in truth His age is no more than twenty-five?' Give ye ear unto Me. I swear by the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: I am verily a servant of God.

I have been made the Bearer of irrefutable proofs from the presence of Him Who is the long-expected Remnant of God.

Here is My Book before your eyes, as indeed inscribed in the presence of God in the Mother Book. God hath indeed made Me blessed, wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon Me to observe prayer and fortitude so long as I shall live on earth amongst you.

By His Holiness, The Bab


What choices?!

by Amazed (not verified) on

Abol Danesh, what choices are you referring too? you can only call something a choice that you have freely and without any influence studied its affects, its benefits or detriments and then you have made a choice, otherwise it is blind imitation and boy haven't we Iranians prefected this art.

Nothnig should be accepted blindly espcially a Religion. Question to ask is which religion discourages blind imitation and askes for one to investigate before accepting or rejecting without any conditions before or after? wouldn't that be nice if we could practice that in everything else in life as well rather than blindly follow trends just because we are brainwashed by a commercial or a billboard or some fakey character convincing us what is good or bad?

But sometimes we are creatures of habits and unfortunately those habits come with a price tag. And Iran has been paying a hefty price for its masses following blindly the groups who have a committment to ignorance, prejudice and bigotry all wrapped in deep hate for one's self and others.

Question now is, how much longer can we endure this humiliation and degredation and pretend all is well? this is a paramount question for humanity not only Iranians, the suffering is universal just different places have different ways of living with it or buffering it or masking it and in some cases just ignoring it(Africa is a good example).

So once again, what choices are you talking about??


Abol Danesh - Choices...

by alborz on

Marx's station as a 20th century thought leader is now buried in the dust bin of history.  Parroting him not only does not lend any credibility to your views, it actually diminishes you.

The teachings of Zoroaster resonates in the teachings of every manifestation that has come henceforth and has been expanded to meet the needs of the ensuing era.  We as Iranians should be proud that Iran has been the birthplace of three divine manifestations and divine teachings have been revealed in our language.  This honor amongst the nations of the world is destined to distinguish Iran.

As for your personal views, I respectfully decline to comment on. I do note, however, that you have appeared several times in this thread only to make your presence known.

Next time, perhaps you care to add to the dialogue by expressing and supporting a view.  Your thoughtfulness will only then be apparent.



Choices and more Choices: Variety of Opium

by Abol Danesh, University Professor (not verified) on

...One thing I always I ask myself is this...When the Persian Zoroastar with his great & original trinity message of goodness is already at your finger tip why on earth somebody wish to go and come up with another religion of "Bahaai"

Don't get me wrong ... I have a lot of bahai friends and I am proud of their accomplishments.

"Relgion is the opium of the masses" Karl Marx


Unethical and uncivilized

by Abarmard on



Ali Reza - Baha'i Vision

by alborz on

The social ailments that you have referred to as 'Bribery, prostitution, drugs, gangs, in short every form of vice and immorality is evident to its highest degree" and which have engulfed Iran are the by-product of social, economic and spiritual decay in a society, which is made up of individuals and its smallest unit, the family.  Baha'i teachings recognize that all human vices are a product of spiritual deprivation and decay. Spiritual decay, in a country that touts its religious institutions and theocratic governance, is but a clear and unamibigious testament to the impotence of that which it espouses and mandates for its citizens.  Therefore, failed social and economic programs that are typically identified as the cause of these social ailments are themselves born out of the absence of a potent spiritual foundation for these programs.  The Baha'is believe that spiritual potency is renewed with the coming of a new manifestation from God, with willing recognition of this spiritual renewal and adherence to its transforming principles.  Enforcement, as evidenced in Iran's society, needs no furthur argument for its failure and its disasterous consequences.

The role of the individual is also acknowledged and in this context . Baha'i elections, while democratic in principle, denounces much of what we are in the midst of during the US elections.  For example the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, Shoghi Effendi, who passed away in 1957, said:

Beware, beware lest the foul odour of the parties and peoples of foreign lands in the West, and their pernicious methods, such as intrigues, party politics and propaganda — practices which are abhorrent even in name — should ever reach the Bahá'í community, exert any influence whatsoever upon the friends, and thus bring all spirituality to naught. The friends should, through their devotion, love, loyalty and altruism, abolish these evil practices, not imitate them. It is only after the friends completely ignore and sanctify themselves from these evils, that the spirit of God can penetrate and operate in the body of humanity, and in the Bahá'í community. (//bahai-library.com/compilations/elections.html)

The Baha'i teachings first and foremost provide a context for the fulfillment of the reality of Man and its purpose in this life.  The following excerpts from Baha'i Writings will hopefully address your question in this regard:

O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land!... Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires...

We behold it, in this day, at the mercy of rulers so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage, much less recognize a Revelation so bewildering and challenging as this....92

This is the Day whereon the earth shall tell out her tidings. The workers of iniquity are her burdens, could ye but perceive it....93

All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth....94

A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth; and yet none hath discovered its cause or perceived its motive. Consider the peoples of the West. Witness how, in their pursuit of that which is vain and trivial, they have sacrificed, and are still sacrificing, countless lives for the sake of its establishment and promotion....95

In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil.... Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal....96

Furthermore, it is written:

The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquility of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories.... The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home.... That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.... It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.97

I invite you to further readings on this subject at:




Baha'i vision

by Ali Reza (not verified) on

I was intrigued by comments posted that the Baha'i system envisions (if I understood correctly) that governance is in the hand of people through elected insitutions/bodies.

I'm not so worried about the form of government, but the nature of people that are involved. So I want to go back to a question that was asked (I think by Hasan) about the moral teachings that the Bahai religion advocated. Let me ask it this way. Today, Iran is steep in corrupt practices. Bribery, prostitution, drugs, gangs, in short every form of vice and immorality is evident to its highest degree. What will the Bahais do about this? What has your leaders said about it?


A Pleasing Turn...

by faryarm on

The discussion on the future of Iran and the ongoing exchange  of The Bahai vision for the future is no doubt an eye opener to many on this site.

Perhaps this is a sign of the readership's readiness to dwell on substance and worthwhile discussion of sustainable social and spiritual change for Iran. 

We are indeed fortunate to have such increasing number of delightful exchanges ; a special thanks to Alborz.




Cutting trees

by Farama (not verified) on

When the Cancer reaches to its max, it will not even realize by consuming the body, results in its own death. Destructions of goodness in any form are a true and clear singes of fears and weakness, and finally results in total claps.

“Erelong, these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the most great peace' shall come." Baha'u'llah

Were man to appreciate the greatness of his station and the loftiness
of his destiny he would manifest naught save goodly character, pure
deeds, and a seemly and praiseworthy conduct..

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 171)


Hasan - short responses to your specific questions

by alborz on

Moderation in wealth is a term that I am using to refer to the means by which extremes in wealth and poverty are averted.  While the specific forms by which this is achieved is not limited nor prescriptive in nature, profit sharing amongst the employees of an economic concern, and progressive taxation, are just examples of specific mechanisms by which accumulation of wealth can be regulated. In turn, the government would serve its constituents through plans that support the achievement of each persons physical, material and spiritual potential.

The acknowledgement of Man's spiritual potential makes itself manifest in social and economic programs.  Just as a long distant runner, would regulate his material food intake to be in alignment with his physical training, we now know that these runners also prepare themselves spiritually for ultimate endurance.  Programs for social and economic development would be mindful of their effect on the spiritual, as well as the material and physical nature of Man.  So this is an acknowledgement that has long been missing in all aspects of economic activity, and the consequences are brutally evident in today's economic crises.  Today's events are but a grim reminder that unbridled materialism in its most manifest form, capitalism, is on its last leg and about to crumble.  There is not a day that goes by without hearing such terms as "morality" and "truthfullness" when the captains of industry are called to account for their decisions and action. These spiritual principles are finding their way into the economic lexicon of today, as lives are devastated and entire societies begin to feel shaken.

I hope that this further clarifies the earlier entry.  The important thing to note is that the Baha'i teachings provide a framework and any specifics are simply examples and not mandates.  Again, this is my humble and limited understanding and as always the source is the best place to drink from.

There are two other short reference material that are also about the same topic. The first is the Promise of World Peace and the second is the  Prosperity of Humankind both authored by the Universal House of Justice (Bayt'ul Adl Azam Elaahi), the highest Baha'i institution.  Both are listed on this link:


Happy readings,



Nothing surprising in this act.

by Amazed (not verified) on

Once we admit the problem lies in the system that is producing/harboring elements that are capable of anything and everything then we will start looking for a solution. Changing mindsets is going to be a challenge for Iran and will persistently remain.
Axing any form of life requires a certain mindset, axing trees for firewood is one and axing trees at a cemetery because the buried had a different view on life is another.

Iran will hopefully soon recover from this current mayhem however the option is going to be through either acknowledgment or pain and the worst scenario will be getting used to the pain, which seems we have at least for the last 30 years and enduring a long drawn out misery for years to come.

Ignorance is not just bliss but also very bleak.


Hasan - the answer is below your last comment !

by alborz on



Hasan Nafti

by Abol Danesh (not verified) on

... I suggest you rephrase your question as follow to make your hypothetical inquiry a bit mor realistic:

If the new government with 100 percent bahai membership prompts into life in iran what is their plan to spend 70 billion dollar oil revenue--the rest "peesh-e bache bezaaree ghar mekonneh" is simply peanaut--?

Then the following question could be adanced:

Will Iran look more like Europeans or palestinian with the way the bahai government wish to spend the 70 billion dollar?


On future of Iran, under a Baha'i regime

by Hasan (not verified) on

I found Alborz's description absolutely fascinating! There's much there to contemplate and digest. I will eagerly look up the book you mentioned and will read them this week.

Alborz gave a most insightful explanation about governance and that makes perfect sense. That is, a true regime must have ground support -- perfect democratic way. I understand that.

But what I don't understand is what is meant by "implementing moderation of wealth". I understand the concept, but how you prevent from the rich getting richer and the poor growing in want. And what does "spiritual foundation for social and economic development" means. I suspect it means something very profound, but could you please unpack it for me? Say a few more words. Or perhaps it is in the book you cited, which I will look up later tonight.

I had always heard that Baha'is had some amazingly advanced ideas, but I sure like to learn more.

Best regards, Hasan.


But what after the trees ...

by Hasan (not verified) on

I'm sure Baha'is are fine gardeners and will plant fine trees.

But what will do after the trees?

Will they do something about the current ruined economy and bring about more social equity in society?

Will they expand education, and if so, how?

Will they expand social responsibility, and if so, how?

Will they increase moral character of the society, and if so, how?

I'm looking for answers beyond just a few trees.

Regards, Hasan


Hasan - Vision for Iran and a vision for governance

by alborz on

You have asked a simple and yet profound series of questions, to which an answer worthy of their importance is actually available by Abdu'l Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah.  The book entitled "Secret of Divine Civilization" (Resaleh Madaniyeh), was written in 1875 and can be found at the online Baha'i Reference Library.

Below you will find two links. The first is to the English translation, and the second to the orginal Persian of Resaleh Madaniyeh.



This books describes Baha'i principles of governance, as addressed to the rulers of Persia, in the 19th century.  It deals with questions that are as relevant today as they were over a century ago.  It deals with the roles and responsiblities of rulers, and the welfare of the nation and goes into subjects such as how to deal with the forces of western modernity.  Iranians should take pride that Abdu'l Baha was one of the first spiritual leaders from Persia to be welcomed in the West where he expounded on the teachings of Baha'u'llah and laid the foundations of now a World Religion that regards Iran as a sacred land. His travels to Europe and the US in 1912 exposed the West to principles that have been materialized during the course of the past century. These include the formation of the UN, the European Union, and other coalitions that reinforce and acknowledge the interdependency of humankind. Despite the current shortcomings of these institutions they represent a foundation that was foretold in Baha'i principles a century ago.

Each of your questions is a vast topic onto itself and requires a context.  Baha'i governance is unlike any model that currently exists.  Its spiritual foundation and yet democratic principles cannot be examined separately.  Each is dependent on the other.

I have to preface my responses to your questions by stating that Baha'is strongly believe that independent investigation is the hallmark of someone that seeks the truth.  My responses can in no wise be a surrogate for such independent investigation and to a large degree reflect my limitations in understanding and expression. So with that preface, I will try to briefly address your questions.

1. Baha'i leadership is channeled through institutions and not individuals. The Baha'i Faith has no clergy and those that serve on the institutions are elected into defined terms.  Individually they have no power, prestige, nor any influence or station different from any other Baha'i.  So the transition from the current scheme of governance to that of a Baha'i system of governance would revamp the entire premise of governance as we know it.  The concept of "replacing" the leadership without a ground swell of support for such a change is inconceivable.  Otherwise the challenges that would be encountered could not be expected to be much different than those Iran faces today.

2. As for programs that would be implemented, this question also implies that the best of programs can be effective independent of public support and the process by which this support is obtained.  By way of example, however, I will state a few general principles. In the Baha'i system there would be an emphasis on determining and providing an acceptable level of access to education, health, nutrition and livelihood. This would be achieved through the practice of moderation in wealth accumulation, through employee participation in profit sharing.  The extremes in wealth and poverty would be abolished through the establishment of,  yes,  spiritual foundations for social and economic development.

3. A society that has self-adopted the Baha'i principles and has an appreciation for the spiritual foundation of all human endeavors, will no doubt be motivated for excellence in the spirit of service to humankind, while individuals with the greatest capacity for such service are clearly distinguished.  Their test is indeed the most difficult as they will have to moderate their self perceptions and temper the forces of ego.  In a Baha'i system those that are materially "rich", will also face the challenge of how to balance the fulfillment of their personal aspirations against their spiritual fulfillment in the service to humanity.  A tall order, but one that Baha'is believe Man is inestimably capable of achieving.

4. As I mentioned earlier, the above references goes into significant depth on these and many other related subjects on governance.

I am enormously pleased to have come across your entry as it marks an inflection point in the ongoing discussion on the Baha'i Faith on this site.



In response to Hasan

by Farzad (not verified) on

Dear Hasanak, the fist thing they do is to replant these trees.
Best wishes


What is the Baha'i program for Iran?

by Hasan (not verified) on

Let's say for the sake of argument that the current regime in Iran was removed and in its place a leadership composed of Baha'is was installed.

What would that leadership do?

What programs would they advance?

How would the society be any different?

Have the Baha'i leaders in the past written on this subject?

I'm looking for thoughtful comments from my friends on this subject and look forward to an informed dialogue.

Best wishes, Hasan.


A- Danesh: Your simple words are simply wrong !

by alborz on

Your simple words only convey a mistaken conclusion of what Mr. Rashidian and I are discussing.

Baha'is, have never and will never engage in any conflict of any sort for any purpose.  How you reached this conclusion is beyond me. Any objective and reasonable reader, with even some command of the English language, would question your motives before questioning your intelligence and integrity.

The Bahai Faith is exemplified by the acts of its adherents to their moral principles and teachings.  None of these include violence or blood-shed. To associate these to the Baha'is is unfounded and nothing but slander.

Shiism need not be struck with an axe by anyone as it is going through its own life cycle.  Any harsh criticism of Islam and Shiism on this site is nothing but the symptom of a natural process that it is going through.  The real damage is self inflicted by a theocracy with $70 billion in oil revenues. 

Clearly your entry was written in haste with a lot of frustration.  Your frustration is noted and understood.  As I said in an earlier entry, the best remedy is the alignment between your heart and mind. Deal with that and you will either be wielding an axe or embracing a new approach to life and thereafter.



Within: In anothe word...

by A. Danesh (not verified) on

...You still wish to avoid bloody arm conflict ( massacre, assasination, extermination, bombing, etc.) onlly to settle record in the civil rights areana to lay root by fight it all out in the court ? Then follow the india... a country that tolerates over 500 different kind of god damn religions of this kind and the other in diverse variety...

There are bridges and there are bridges and it all depends on which one you wish to choose to determine your destiny-- Danesh



حیف کاندر شهر کوران امده

Persian Empire (not verified)

هر که ارزان میخرد ارزان دهد
گوهری طفلی به قرص نان دهد
حق عیان چون مهر رخشان امده
حیف کاندر شهر کوران امده


یادم میاد که

perspolis (not verified)

یادم میاد که کلاس راهنمایی در ایران میرفتم
یکی از هم کلاسیهای من که از خانواده مثلا تحصیل کرده میامد به من گفت که روح الله یک اسم بهایی هست و به همین دلیل هم اقای روح الله خمینی بهایی هست

دیگر از این ملت چه انتظاری میشه داشت؟


Within: In anothe word...

by A. Danesh (not verified) on

What alborz is telling rashidian in simple word is this:

In order for bahai to lay root as legitimate faith in Iran and a permanent future they must get themselves engaged in Arm Conflict (bombing, assasination, etc., etc.) with the established Shia faith until the shed blood make the bahai faith a tall legitimate faith in iranian consciousness.

A Lion Share of Horror that is ...

"To reckon with..."