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Bahá’u’lláh’s “Long Healing Prayer” in light of a Metaphysics of Unity

Jul 19, 2020

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Daniel’s Notes on the Long Healing Prayer

Designated as having “a special potency and significance,” Bahá’u’lláh’s Long Healing Prayer or “Anta al-Káfí” engages deeply the Islamic tradition’s prayers, enumeration and meanings of God’s ninety-nine names, the ideal of dhikr, letter-to-number symbolism, and talismanic practices, while creating an original work that calls on one-hundred-and-nineteen names of God in second-person invocations characterized by rhymes, frequent alliterations, and structures of nineteen. While the prayer supplicates spiritual forces for healing, protection, and guidance, the author argues that just as important is that the prayer invites a meditation on God’s names and attributes which not only define humans’ capacity to recognize God but also define for the Bahá’í the underlying significance of spiritual and physical reality. Health is nurtured as one continually grows in perceiving and experiencing the single organism of existence as a whole—self, others, unseen spiritual realities, and one’s natural and social ecology—fashioned, defined, and cared for by that Whole who is Creator and Lord of all.

Contributors

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Daniel Pschaida

Desiring to promote inter-religious understanding, critical engagement, and respect, I left the field of early childhood education and entered graduate school for religious studies in 2006 and in 2015 earned my PhD from the University of California Riverside in Religious Studies with a focus on Islamic Studies and Religion in America. My dissertation is called "American Islam, the Next Generation: Young Adult Muslim Americans on Campus— Faith, Identities, Citizenship, Gender, and Pluralism." I have taught Comparative Religion and Humanities at North Arizona University and currently teach at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University. Currently, I'm working on a review of the book American Messiahs, revising a research paper on Baha'i pilgrimage to submit for publication, and completing a research project on the 99 Beautiful Names of God in Islam's links with Baha'u'llah's Long Healing Prayer.

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