Home Visits

One of the key activities associated with study circles is visits to another person’s home in order to share a prayer, deepening theme, or a story from the history of the Faith. As with the other activities of the Five Year Plan, there is nothing new in this. Bahá’ís have always been encouraged to be sociable and to visit others. Bahá’u’lláh states:
Know thou that the souls of the people of Bahá, who have entered and been established within the Crimson Ark, shall associate and commune intimately one with another, and shall be so closely associated in their lives, their aspirations, their aims and strivings as to be even as one soul. (Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings, pp. 169-70)
Similarly Abdu’l-Bahá was in the habit of visiting people whenever he could. When he was in London he wrote: “It is a cold and miserable day but as I was anxious to see you I came here. For a man who has love, effort is a rest. He will travel any distance to visit his friends.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 48)

If we look back to the 1920s, we find that Martha Root taught the Faith to Queen Marie of Romania and her daughter during visits to the Queen’s home. It was not easy for Martha to get access to the Queen and at first she was refused. However, she prepared the way by sending a copy of ‘Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era’ and a picture of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the Queen. Martha’s first audience with the Queen was in a room in the Contraceni Palace, outside Bucharest. Martha dressed herself carefully for the visit and spent what little money she had on some simple gifts for the Queen. She then prayed for Divine assistance. During the visit they spoke of spiritual matters and Queen Marie asked many questions. She finally declared “I believe that these teachings are the solution for the world’s problems today.” Queen Marie became the first head of state to acknowledge Bahá’u’lláh as the Manifestation of God for this age.

In the current Five Year Plan, the benefit of linking home visits to study circles lies in the fact that it is helping us to be more systematic. To ensure that nobody is left out, some communities have recently drawn up lists of people who might appreciate a visit from friends. In some communities, it’s also been a good opportunity to re-establish friendships with believers who haven’t been attending community events for some time. An additional benefit revolves around the fact that seekers tend to feel more confident and relaxed when in their own home, on their own ‘patch’.

If you have time to carry out some visits, why not make a personal plan to identify some people and visit them in the next few weeks? Alternatively, if you would like a visit, contact your Assembly or nearest group and let somebody know.

Parvin Morrissey (Auxiliary Board Member for Protection)