October 12, 2017

1921: The “birth of the Administrative Order, the nucleus and pattern of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh”

…the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, "an event which signalized at once the end of the Heroic Age of our Faith, the opening of the Formative Age and the birth of the Administrative Order, the nucleus and pattern of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 15 April 1971, ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

October 11, 2017

1972: One hundred and ten National Spiritual Assemblies

11 February 1971
To all National Spiritual Assemblies

REJOICE ANNOUNCE ALL FRIENDS FORMATION DURING RIDVAN 1972 NINE ADDITIONAL NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES RAISING TOTAL NUMBER PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE TO ONE HUNDRED AND TEN. THREE IN AFRICA MALAGASY REPUBLIC REUNION SEYCHELLES THREE IN ASIA EAST PAKISTAN NEPAL SINGAPORE ONE IN AUSTRALASIA NORTHWEST PACIFIC OCEAN COMPRISING GUAM CAROLINES MARIANAS MARSHALLS TWO IN EUROPE ICELAND AND REPUBLIC IRELAND.

FOUR OF THESE SEYCHELLES EAST PAKISTAN SINGAPORE NORTHWEST PACIFIC CONSTITUTE SUPPLEMENTARY ACHIEVEMENTS NINE YEAR PLAN. URGE PIONEERS SCHEDULED ALL THESE AREAS SETTLE POSTS WITHOUT DELAY. CALL UPON RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES BRACE THEMSELVES EXERT SUPREME EFFORT FAST FLEETING WEEKS BEFORE COMING RIDVAN ESTABLISH AS MANY ASSEMBLIES AS POSSIBLE THEREBY BROADENING STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS PROJECTED NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. FERVENTLY PRAYING HOLY SHRINES FOLLOWERS MOST GREAT NAME MAY SEIZE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT HOUR AND SPARE NO EFFORT UNTIL GOALS PLAN ARE FULLY ACCOMPLISHED THEREBY ATTRACTING TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES INESTIMABLE BLESSINGS ANCIENT BEAUTY.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
(Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986)

October 8, 2017

1950: First Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tokyo, Japan

Eight members of the first Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tokyo, Japan, 1950-1951. 
(The Baha'i World 1950-1954)

October 5, 2017

The Báb’s prison room in Tabriz

The Báb was imprisoned in Tabriz in 1848 in this now (1953) crumbling prison room of the old brick Ark. 
(The Baha'i World 1950-1954)

September 28, 2017

African Baha’i History

African Baha'i history had its beginnings in Egypt, which was opened to the Faith during the period of the ministry of Baha'u'llah; it gathered momentum during the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Baha when Baha'i localities were established in South Africa and Tunisia. But the early effects of these spiritual endowments became more obvious with the remarkable success of the two-year Africa Project (1951-53) when 16 territories were opened, bringing to 25 the total number of countries and islands in which Baha'is resided; this preceded the opening of the 33 virgin territories called for in the beloved Guardian's Ten Year Global Crusade, a period of astonishing development in Africa that evoked the  admiration and praise of Shoghi Effendi as many people from different tribes entered the  Cause, a number of administrative institutions were formed, and it became possible to raise up the Mother Temple of Africa in the heart of the continent. During the course of these rapid developments, the African believers themselves, through sacrificial effort as teachers and pioneers, arose to champion the Cause of God, manifesting the profundity of their response to the Message of the New Day. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated Ridvan 153 addressed to the Followers of Baha'u'llah in Africa)

September 20, 2017

The first time Bábís become aware of the true station of Quddus

Mullá Husayn had in the meantime apprised his companions [at Fort Tabasi] of the approach of Quddús, and had enjoined them to observe towards him a reverence such as they would feel prompted to show to the Báb Himself. “As to myself,” he added, “you must consider me as his lowly servant. You should bear him such loyalty that if he were to command you to take my life, you would unhesitatingly obey. If you waver or hesitate, you will have shown your disloyalty to your Faith. Not until he summons you to his presence must you in any wise venture to intrude upon him. You should forsake your desires and cling to his will and pleasure. You should refrain from kissing either his hands or his feet, for his blessed heart dislikes such evidences of reverent affection. Such should be your behaviour that I may feel proud of you before him. The glory and authority with which he has been invested must needs be duly recognised by even the most insignificant of his companions. Whoso departs from the spirit and letter of my admonitions, a grievous chastisement will surely overtake him.” 
- Nabil  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

September 10, 2017

A “few instances that eloquently testify to the unique” contributions that Baha’u’llah made during the early years of the Bábí Dispensation – summarized by the Guardian

The first incarceration to which He was subjected as a result of the helping hand He had extended to the captives of Qazvín; the ability with which He achieved the deliverance of Táhirih; the exemplary manner in which He steered the course of the turbulent proceedings in Badasht; the manner in which He saved the life of Quddús in Níyálá; the wisdom which He showed in His handling of the delicate situation created by the impetuosity of Táhirih, and the vigilance He exercised for her protection; the counsels which He gave to the defenders of the fort of Tabarsí; the plan He conceived of joining the forces of Quddús to those of Mullá Ḥusayn and his companions; the spontaneity with which He arose to support the exertions of those brave defenders; the magnanimity which prompted Him to offer Himself as a substitute for His companions who were under the threat of severe indignities; the serenity with which He faced the severity inflicted upon Him as a result of the attempt on the life of Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh; the indignities which were heaped upon Him all the way from Lavásán to the headquarters of the imperial army and from thence to the capital; the galling weight of chains which He bore as He lay in the darkness of the Síyáh-Chál of Ṭihrán—all these are but a few instances that eloquently testify to the unique position which He occupied as the prime Mover of the forces which were destined to reshape the face of His native land. It was He who had released these forces, who steered their course, harmonised their action, and brought them finally to their highest consummation in the Cause He Himself was destined at a later time to reveal. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’, by Nabil; translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

September 4, 2017

1979-1982: Resolutions adopted by various governments on behalf of the persecuted Baha'is in Iran

  • Canadian Parliament (2)
  • House of Representatives, Australia
  • Senate, Australia
  • German Federal Parliament
  • A meeting held in a committee room of the House of Commons, United Kingdom
  • United Nations General Assembly, Third Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance
  • United Nations Sub-commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Commission on Human Rights (2)
  • European Parliament (2)
  • Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2)
  • House of Representatives of the State of Alaska, USA.
  • House of Representatives, State of Illinois, USA.
  • International Association for Religious Freedom
(Prepared by the Baha’i International Community and accompanied a letter from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of the World, 26 January 1982; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

August 24, 2017

A Message from ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the American People – “An Appeal for Peace”, published in San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 1912

Praise be to God: The United States has in reality made extraordinary progress; day by day they are advancing toward the ultimate goal! The material virtues of the people are many; now they must think of the ideal virtues, so that the highest of the perfections of humanity may illumine the regions of America.

Among the highest virtues is universal peace, the oneness of humanity. The chief ailment of humanity today is international strife; this militates against the advancement of the material and ideal virtues.

The continent of America is isolated so far as other countries are concerned; the government is not thinking of making conquests, of enlarging the circle of colonization. They are not thinking to contend with other nations so far as financial, commercial and political supremacy is concerned. They are not the rival of any other nation. Their utmost desire is this: That the continent of America be protected.

They are engaged in the amelioration of internal conditions; they are not engaged in warfare with any nation. Therefore, they have the time and ability to raise the standard of universal peace and spread the doctrine of the oneness of God. May their influence spread and permeate to all parts of the world.

August 20, 2017

Consequences of rejecting the Message of God brought by Bahá’u’lláh: Francis Joseph, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary

Franz Joseph in c. 1905
Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary
…the fate that has overtaken those kings, ministers and ecclesiastics, in the East as well as in the West, who have, at various stages of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry, either deliberately persecuted His Cause, or have neglected to heed the warnings He had uttered, or have failed in their manifest duty to respond to His summons or to accord Him and His message the treatment they deserved, particular attention…

The arbitrary and unyielding Francis Joseph, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, who had been reproved in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, for having neglected his manifest duty to inquire about Bahá’u’lláh during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, was so engulfed by misfortunes and tragedies that his reign came to be regarded as one unsurpassed by any other reign in the calamities it inflicted upon the nation. His brother, Maximilian, was put to death in Mexico; the Crown Prince Rudolph perished in ignominious circumstances; the Empress was assassinated; Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife were murdered in Serajevo; the “ramshackle empire” itself disintegrated, was carved up, and a shrunken republic was set up on the ruins of a vanished Holy Roman Empire—a republic which, after a brief and precarious existence, was blotted out from the political map of Europe. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

August 14, 2017

circa 1845: Before a brilliant assemblage of the most accomplished divines, the Christian governor of Isfahan, Persia, declared his faith in the Prophet of Islám, and the Báb

Manuchihr-Khan, 
the Governor of Isfahan
The tumultuous enthusiasm of the people of Isfáhán [towards the Báb] was meanwhile visibly increasing. Crowds of people, some impelled by curiosity, others eager to discover the truth, still others anxious to be healed of their infirmities, flocked from every quarter of the city to the house of the Imám-Jum’ih. [where the Báb was staying] The wise and judicious Manúchihr Khán [the governor] could not resist the temptation of visiting so strange, so intriguing a Personage. Before a brilliant assemblage of the most accomplished divines he, a Georgian by origin and a Christian by birth, requested the Báb to expound and demonstrate the truth of Muhammad’s specific mission. To this request, which those present had felt compelled to decline, the Báb readily responded. In less than two hours, and in the space of fifty pages, He had not only revealed a minute, a vigorous and original dissertation on this noble theme, but had also linked it with both the coming of the Qá’im and the return of the Imám Husayn—an exposition that prompted Manúchihr Khán to declare before that gathering his faith in the Prophet of Islám, as well as his recognition of the supernatural gifts with which the Author of so convincing a treatise was endowed. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

August 11, 2017

1979-1982: Some of the world leaders and government officials who issued statements concerning the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran

  • Prime Minister's Office of the United Kingdom
  • President Mitterrand of France
  • Offices of the King and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium
  • President and Minister of Cultural Affairs of Luxembourg
  • All three parliamentary parties in Luxembourg
  • Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of Germany
  • Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India
  • 148 Out of 150 Members of Parliament in the Netherlands
  • Swiss Parliamentarians
  • Western Samoan Government
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia
  • Governor of the Hawaiian Islands, USA.
  •  Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
(Prepared by the Baha’i International Community, accompanied a letter from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of the World, 26 January 1982; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

August 8, 2017

1863: While in Constantinople, Baha’u’llah introduced the concept of choosing or creating one universal language and script to Kamal Pasha, a former Ottoman Prime Minister who was at that time one of the ministers of the Sultan

c 1870 Constantinople (now called Istanbul)
One day, while in Constantinople, Kamál Páshá visited this Wronged One. Our conversation turned upon topics profitable unto man. He said that he had learned several languages. In reply We observed: “You have wasted your life. It beseemeth you and the other officials of the Government to convene a gathering and choose one of the divers languages, and likewise one of the existing scripts, or else to create a new language and a new script to be taught children in schools throughout the world. They would, in this way, be acquiring only two languages, one their own native tongue, the other the language in which all the peoples of the world would converse. Were men to take fast hold on that which hath been mentioned, the whole earth would come to be regarded as one country, and the people would be relieved and freed from the necessity of acquiring and teaching different languages.” When in Our presence, he acquiesced, and even evinced great joy and complete satisfaction. We then told him to lay this matter before the officials and ministers of the Government, in order that it might be put into effect throughout the different countries. However, although he often returned to see Us after this, he never again referred to this subject, although that which had been suggested is conducive to the concord and the unity of the peoples of the world.

We fain would hope that the Persian Government will adopt it and carry it out. At present, a new language and a new script have been devised. If thou desirest, We will communicate them to thee. Our purpose is that all men may cleave unto that which will reduce unnecessary labor and exertion, so that their days may be befittingly spent and ended. God, verily, is the Helper, the Knower, the Ordainer, the Omniscient.
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Epistle to the Son of the Wolf’)

July 23, 2017

Consequences of rejecting the Message of God brought by Bahá’u’lláh: William I, King of Prussia

…the fate that has overtaken those kings, ministers and ecclesiastics, in the East as well as in the West, who have, at various stages of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry, either deliberately persecuted His Cause, or have neglected to heed the warnings He had uttered, or have failed in their manifest duty to respond to His summons or to accord Him and His message the treatment they deserved, particular attention…

William I, the pride-intoxicated newly-acclaimed conqueror of Napoleon III, admonished in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and bidden to ponder the fate that had overtaken “one whose power transcended” his own, warned in that same Book, that the “lamentations of Berlin” would be raised and that the banks of the Rhine would be “covered with gore,” sustained two attempts on his life, and was succeeded by a son who died of a mortal disease, three months after his accession to the throne, bequeathing the throne to the arrogant, the headstrong and short-sighted William II. The pride of the new monarch precipitated his downfall. Revolution, swiftly and suddenly, broke out in his capital, communism reared its head in a number of cities; the princes of the German states abdicated, and he himself, fleeing ignominiously to Holland, was compelled to relinquish his right to the throne. The constitution of Weimar sealed the fate of the empire, whose birth had been so loudly proclaimed by his grandfather, and the terms of an oppressively severe treaty provoked “the lamentations” which, half a century before, had been ominously prophesied. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

July 18, 2017

1912: House at Malden, Massachusetts, where 'Abdu'l-Baha rested

The house at Malden, Massachusetts, where 'Abdu'l-Baha rested in 1912 as guest of Maria P. Wilson (The Baha'i World 1944-1946)

July 14, 2017

April 1970: Total number of National Spiritual Assemblies reaches 94

BAHA'I WORLD COMMUNITY ENTERING SEVENTH YEAR NINE YEAR PLAN HAS AMPLY DEMONSTRATED ABILITY SCALE HEIGHTS DEVOTION SACRIFICE WIN ASTONISHING VICTORIES WORLD-REDEEMING WORLD-HEALING WORLD-UNITING FAITH. AT THIS RIDVAN EXTEND LOVING WELCOME ELEVEN NEW NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES NOW FORMING SEVEN IN AFRICA ONE IN AMERICAS ONE IN ASIA TWO IN AUSTRALASIA RAISING TO NINETY-FOUR NUMBER SUPPORTING PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE….  
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a cable dated Ridvan 1970; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)