art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir #15, Special Issue on Iran
Winter 2022
Candles in the Darkness



“Their only crime...”

Holy Soil

Holy Soil: The Endurance of the Bahá’ís of Iran by Ighan
Hadigheh: A Bahá’í House of Worship in Tehran by Saba
The Blue Prayer Book by Hannan Hashemi
In Front of the School by Nava
The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Tanin Azadi
The Castle at Maku by Nogol Sadri

The Scent of Roses

The Scent of Roses by Nooshin Mavaddati
A Great Green Enignma by Mehrsa Mastoori
My Tiny Fruit Garden by Foad Bahrami
My Blessed Spot by Hannan Hashemi
Spring in My Grandmother’s Yard by Morvarid Ighani
The Garden of Memories by Sama Khalili

Candles in the Darkness

The Candle in My Family by Alhan
A Shower of Bullets by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
From Thief to Benefactor by Foad Bahrami
The Green Handprint by Nava
The Kolahduz of Barfurush by Sama Khalili
An Immortal Man by Taranom
The Whisper by Andisheh Taslimi


From A Tale of Love by Mahvash Sabet
translated by Shahin Mowzoon and adapted by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

Personal Reflections on Bahá’í Texts

Calamity: The Path to Eternity by Hannan Hashemi
The Way Home by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
The Light in the Darkness by Sama Khalili
From Your Inmost Being by Taraneh


A Small Light in a Dark Room by Andisheh Taslimi
Hope for the Future of Iran by Mehrsa Mastoori


Painting and Interview with Shahriar Cyrus by Mehrsa Mastoori
Resilience by Lynn Miller

← Previous       Next →

Jake Michaud

From Thief to Benefactor


A few years ago, we went to the house of an old man named Sirois to celebrate Ridvan. Sirois had a beautiful ancestral cottage on top of a hill in the middle of a forest as well as a pasture filled with cows and horses. As my grandfather and I were walking along and enjoying the holy day, he told me a story about Sirois, whom he had known ever since they were in the same class together as children.

Apparently, Siros’s father, Shahin, was the head of a gang of thieves who robbed people on the mountain roads. Shahin was so cruel that he took his band of thieves to rural places to rob poor people of the food they had stored. People were so afraid of him that they didn’t dare to oppose him. Over time, Shahin became quite wealthy, stealing money and food from others.

Then one day Shahin heard that a prophet had come with a new religion. He was curious, so he read what he could and he asked people about the new religion. Then he set out on a search for the truth about this new faith and met a number of Bahá’í teachers who shared freely with him the words and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, despite the fact that they knew he made his living as a thief.

Gradually, Shahin became convinced of the truth of the Bahá’í Faith, and, as he conformed his life to its teachings, he changed completely from a cruel robber to a benefactor whose only concern was to help all those he could. At first, people couldn’t believe he had changed; everyone was astonished by his transformation. Over time, as people realized that he wouldn’t hurt them anymore, they began to rob him! They even forced him to leave his house and farm. But Shahin clung to his faith and endured all these injustices. He remained a good man until the day he died, and an example of how someone can be changed utterly by the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh!