September 20, 2016

February 1925: American Baha’is assist Persian believers -- Flood destroyed 500 Baha’i homes in Nayriz

On February 6, the National Spiritual Assembly received the following cablegram from Shoghi Effendi: “Flood destroyed 500 Baha’i homes in Nayriz. Grave disaster. May America contribute her share.” In response to this urgent appeal, the National Treasurer transmitted to Shoghi Effendi by cable within a few days, the sum of fifteen hundred dollars. Telegrams were immediately sent to the ten largest Assemblies asking them to make a special contribution to the National Fund by wire, if possible, in behalf of our Persian brothers and sisters. Up to February 22nd, nearly three thousand dollars had been received.

In addition to these telegrams, a letter was sent to the other local Assemblies in order that all the friends might share in the privilege of coming to the assistance of the homeless Baha’is.

September 16, 2016

An English physician resident in Tabríz met the Báb in the Citadel of Tabriz prior His execution

“He was a very mild and delicate-looking man, rather small in stature and very fair for a Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much. Being a Siyyid, he was dressed in the habit of that sect, as were also his two companions. In fact his whole look and deportment went far to dispose one in his favour. Of his doctrine I heard nothing from his own lips, although the idea was that there existed in his religion a certain approach to Christianity. He was seen by some Armenian carpenters, who were sent to make some repairs in his prison, reading the Bible, and he took no pains to conceal it, but on the contrary told them of it. Most assuredly the Musulman fanaticism does not exist in his religion, as applied to Christians, nor is there that restraint of females that now exists.” 
- Dr. Cormick  (From a letter to a fellow practitioner in an American mission in Persia, given in Professor E. G. Browne’s ‘Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion’, quoted by Shoghi Effendi in ‘Introduction to Dawn-Breakers’)

September 12, 2016

While being bastinadoed [a form of punishment or torture that involves caning the soles of someone's feet], a farrásh, whether intentionally or not, struck the Báb across the face with the stick destined for His feet.

The only known record of the Báb’s having been seen by a European belongs to the period of His persecution when an English physician resident in Tabríz, Dr. Cormick, was called in by the Persian authorities to pronounce on the Báb’s mental condition. The doctor’s letter, addressed to a fellow practitioner in an American mission in Persia, is given in Professor E. G. Browne’s “Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion.” “You ask me,” writes the doctor, “for some particulars of my interview with the founder of the sect known as Bábís. Nothing of any importance transpired in this interview, as the Báb was aware of my having been sent with two other Persian doctors to see whether he was of sane mind or merely a madman, to decide the question whether he was to be put to death or not. With this knowledge he was loth to answer any questions put to him. To all enquiries he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting in a low melodious voice some hymns, I suppose. Two other siyyids, his intimate friends, were also present, who subsequently were put to death with him, besides a couple of government officials. He only deigned to answer me, on my saying that I was not a Musulman and was willing to know something about his religion, as I might perhaps be inclined to adopt it. He regarded me very intently on my saying this, and replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans coming over to his religion. Our report to the Sháh at that time was of a nature to spare his life. He was put to death some time after by the order of the Amír-Nizám, Mírzá Taqí Khán. On our report he merely got the bastinado, in which operation a farrásh, whether intentionally or not, struck him across the face with the stick destined for his feet, which produced a great wound and swelling of the face. On being asked whether a Persian surgeon should be brought to treat him, he expressed a desire that I should be sent for, and I accordingly treated him for a few days, but in the interviews consequent on this I could never get him to have a confidential chat with me, as some government people were always present, he being a prisoner. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘Introduction to Dawn-Breakers)

September 7, 2016

January 1925: A Special Period of Supplication and Prayer is called for by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada: February 19th -- March 9th, 1925

The time has come when all the believers are given the privilege of uniting spiritually to pray and supplicate as one heart, one mind and one soul in behalf of the beloved Guardian of the Cause, in order that new and broader channels may be created through which his unique devotion to the Cause may flow outward ever stronger and more effectively through all parts of the Baha’i world. 

Therefore the members of the National Spiritual Assembly request the friends throughout the United States and Canada to set apart the period of nineteen days beginning February 19th as a time consecrated to daily supplication and prayer, individually and collectively invoking Divine guidance and favor that the hopes of the Guardian of the Cause may be fulfilled.

These hopes are that nine Baha’i helpers may be gathered together at Haifa to assist Shoghi Effendi in the details of his work, especially the translation of the Creative Word. After the period of prayer, any believer who feels the call to this Service may lay his or her name and qualifications before Shoghi Effendi for him to consider. The friends will understand that these nine helpers are desired for specific, temporary services, and are not to be regarded in the light of those nine souls who, in the fulness of time, will be permanently associated with the Guardian of the Cause. It is suggested that the friends unite, during the nineteen days, in the use of Shoghi Effendi’s favorite prayer: --

September 2, 2016

1924: Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and Canada

Mountfort Mills: Chairman
Horace Holley: Secretary
Florence Morton: Treasurer
Alfred E. Lunt: Assistant Treasurer
Elizabeth Greenleaf
May Maxwell
Agnes S. Parsons
Siegfried Schopflocher
Roy C. Wilhelm
(Baha’i News Letter, No. 1, December 1924)

August 26, 2016

The continuing persecution of the Bearers of the Message of God – summarized by Baha’u’llah

Praise be to Thee, O Lord My God, for the wondrous revelations of Thy inscrutable decree and the manifold woes and trials Thou hast destined for Myself. At one time Thou didst deliver Me into the hands of Nimrod; at another Thou hast allowed Pharaoh’s rod to persecute Me. Thou, alone, canst estimate, through Thine all-encompassing knowledge and the operation of Thy Will, the incalculable afflictions I have suffered at their hands. Again Thou didst cast Me into the prison-cell of the ungodly, for no reason except that I was moved to whisper into the ears of the well-favored denizens of Thy Kingdom an intimation of the vision with which Thou hadst, through Thy knowledge, inspired Me, and revealed to Me its meaning through the potency of Thy might. And again Thou didst decree that I be beheaded by the sword of the infidel. Again I was crucified for having unveiled to men’s eyes the hidden gems of Thy glorious unity, for having revealed to them the wondrous signs of Thy sovereign and everlasting power. How bitter the humiliations heaped upon Me, in a subsequent age, on the plain of Karbilá! How lonely did I feel amidst Thy people! To what a state of helplessness I was reduced in that land! Unsatisfied with such indignities, My persecutors decapitated Me, and, carrying aloft My head from land to land paraded it before the gaze of the unbelieving multitude, and deposited it on the seats of the perverse and faithless. In a later age, I was suspended, and My breast was made a target to the darts of the malicious cruelty of My foes. My limbs were riddled with bullets, and My body was torn asunder. Finally, behold how, in this Day, My treacherous enemies have leagued themselves against Me, and are continually plotting to instill the venom of hate and malice into the souls of Thy servants. With all their might they are scheming to accomplish their purpose.... Grievous as is My plight, O God, My Well-Beloved, I render thanks unto Thee, and My Spirit is grateful for whatsoever hath befallen me in the path of Thy good-pleasure. I am well pleased with that which Thou didst ordain for Me, and welcome, however calamitous, the pains and sorrows I am made to suffer. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

August 20, 2016

July 26, 1868: Sultan ‘Abdu’l-Aziz issues a Farman (Order) banishing Baha’u’llah to ‘Akka

(Balyuzi, 'Baha'u'llah, The King of Glory')
Explicit orders had been issued by the Sultan [‘Abdu’l-Aziz] and his ministers to subject the exiles, who were accused of having grievously erred and led others far astray, to the strictest confinement. Hopes were confidently expressed that the sentence of life-long imprisonment pronounced against them would lead to their eventual extermination. The farman of Sultan Abdu'l-'Aziz, dated the fifth of Rabi'u'th-Thani 1285 A.H. (July 26, 1868), not only condemned them to perpetual banishment, but stipulated their strict incarceration, and forbade them to associate either with each other or with the local inhabitants. The text of the farman itself was read publicly, soon after the arrival of the exiles, in the principal mosque of the city as a warning to the population. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

August 15, 2016

1948: First Annual Convention of the Baha'is of Canada

First Annual Convention of the Baha'is of Canada, 1948 
(The Baha'i World 1946-1950)

August 10, 2016

1967: Consummation of six Intercontinental Conferences attended by 9,200 believers

- The Universal House of Justice (Cablegram dated 15 October 1967; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

August 6, 2016

By 1862 almost 400 “illumined divines”, “men of consummate learning”, and “doctors of mature wisdom” had declared their faith in the Báb – their “names are all inscribed upon the ‘Guarded Tablet’ of God”

In this most resplendent Dispensation, however, this most mighty Sovereignty, a number of illumined divines, of men of consummate learning, of doctors of mature wisdom, have attained unto His Court, drunk the cup of His divine Presence, and been invested with the honour of His most excellent favour. They have renounced, for the sake of the Beloved, the world and all that is therein. We will mention the names of some of them, that perchance it may strengthen the faint-hearted, and encourage the timorous.

Among them was Mulla Husayn, who became the recipient of the effulgent glory of the Sun of divine Revelation. But for him, God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory. Among them also was Siyyid Yahya, that unique and peerless figure of his age, Mulla Muhammad Aliy-i-Zanjani, Mulla Aliy-i-Bastami, Mulla Sa'id-i-Barfurushi, Mulla Ni'matu'llah-i-Mazindarani, Mulla Yusuf-i-Ardibili, Mulla Mihdiy-i-Khu'I, Siyyid Husayn-i-Turshizi, Mulla Mihdiy-i-Kandi, Mulla Baqir, Mulla Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Yazdi, Mulla Aliy-i-Baraqani, and others, well nigh four hundred in number, whose names are all inscribed upon the "Guarded Tablet" of God.

All these were guided by the light of that Sun of divine Revelation, confessed and acknowledged His truth. Such was their faith, that most of them renounced their substance and kindred, and cleaved to the good-pleasure of the All-Glorious. They laid down their lives for their Well-Beloved, and surrendered their all in His path. Their breasts were made targets for the darts of the enemy, and their heads adorned the spears of the infidel. No land remained which did not drink the blood of these embodiments of detachment, and no sword that did not bruise their necks. Their deeds, alone, testify to the truth of their words. 
- Baha'u'llah  (‘The Kitab-i-Iqan’)

August 1, 2016

1992: First Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Slovenia and Croatia

1992 - First Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Slovenia and Croatia 
(The Baha'i World 1994-1995)

July 25, 2016

June 1877: Baha’u’llah left the city of ‘Akka

(Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1977; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

July 20, 2016

1938: The “first Local Spiritual Assembly in Latin America was formed in Mexico City”

Conscious of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's impassioned plea to promulgate the oneness of mankind to a spiritually impoverished humanity, a handful of itinerant Bahá'í' teachers set forth four decades ago, traversed the land bridge connecting the two continents of the Western Hemisphere and carried the healing Message of Bahá'u'lláh to the Spanish-American Republics. Their dedicated efforts were rewarded when, in 1938, the first Local Spiritual Assembly in Latin America was formed in Mexico City. This initial triumph at the inception of the first of the teaching plans formulated by Shoghi Effendi spearheaded other victories leading to the formation of two, then of four Regional Spiritual Assemblies and ultimately to the establishment of National Spiritual Assemblies in each of the republics of Latin America and in the islands of the Caribbean. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated February 1977; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

July 15, 2016

1925-1926: Committees of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and Canada

  • Finance: Northeastern States; Central States, Southern States, Western States, Canada
  • Teaching: Northeastern States, Central States, Southern States, Western States, Canada
  • Publishing
  • Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
  • Contacts
  • Racial Amity
  • Baha'i Magazine
  • Archives
  • Library
  • Legal
  • Press
  • Year Book
  • Compilation of Prayer Book
  • Cooperation between Baha'is of North America and Persia
  • History of the Baha'i Cause in North America
  • Baha'i World Fellowship Combined With The Magazine of the Children of the Kingdom
  • Baha'i Youth Activities
  • Green Acre Trustees
  • Green Acre Program
  • Green Acre Architecture and Grounds
  • Green Acre Young People
(Baha’i News, November 1925)

July 10, 2016

April 1963: The First Election of the Universal House of Justice

To enable the delegates to prepare themselves spiritually for their great responsibility, arrangements had been made by the Hands of the Cause, with the cooperation of the International Baha'i Council, for all to visit the several Holy Places. This was the greatest mass pilgrimage ever to have been made to the World Centre of our Faith.
On the morning of the 21st of April, 1963, delegates proceeded to the Master's House at No.7, Persian Street, to discharge their sacred responsibility in accordance with the text of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha.
They came from all parts of the globe, representing many races, peoples, tongues, and cultural backgrounds.

July 1, 2016

Paris, France: 1899-1902 – a nucleus of 25 to 30 people (some later became Hands of the Cause) who were drawn to the Faith and nurtured by May Bolles (Maxwell)

Merely to register the names of those who, from 1899 to 1902, were drawn by her "personal fascination... so fragile, so luminous... and the most delicate, perfect beauty, flower-like and star-like;" and who, through this spell, attained to its origin in her rapturous love for 'Abdu'l-Baha - is to compel astonishment. The first to believe was Edith MacKaye, and by the New Year of 1900, Charles Mason Remey and Herbert Hopper were next to follow. Then came Marie Squires (Hopper), Helen Ellis Cole, Laura Barney, Mme. Jackson, Agnes Alexander, Thomas Breakwell, Edith Sanderson, and Hippolyte Dreyfus, the first French Baha'i. Emogene Hoagg and Mrs. Conner had come to Paris in 1900 from America, Sigurd Russell at fifteen returned from 'Akka a believer, and in 1901, the group was further reinforced by Juliet Thompson, Lillian James, and "the frequent passing through Paris of pilgrims from America going to the Master... and then again returning from the Holy Land." These are but a few, for "in 1901 and 1902 the Paris group of Baha'is numbered between twenty-five and thirty people with May Bolles as spiritual guide and teacher." 
(The Baha’i World 1940-1944)

June 20, 2016

January 31, 1899: The casket containing the precious remains of the blessed Báb arrives in the Holy Land – fifty lunar years after His death in Tabriz, Persia

Assisted by another believer, Haji Shah Muhammad buried the casket beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary of the shrine of Imam-Zadih Zayd, where it lay undetected until Mirza Asadu'llah-i-Isfahani was informed of its exact location through a chart forwarded to him by Bahá'u'lláh. Instructed by Bahá'u'lláh to conceal it elsewhere, he first removed the remains to his own house in Tihran, after which they were deposited in several other localities such as the house of Husayn-'Aliy-i-Isfahani and that of Muhammad-Karim-i-'Attar, where they remained hidden until the year 1316 (1899) A.H., when, in pursuance of directions issued by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, this same Mirza Asadu'llah, together with a number of other believers, transported them by way of Isfahan, Kirmanshah, Baghdad and Damascus, to Beirut and thence by sea to 'Akká, arriving at their destination on the 19th of the month of Ramadan 1316 A.H. (January 31, 1899), fifty lunar years after the Báb's execution in Tabriz. 
- Shoghi Effendi  ('God Passes By')

June 15, 2016

1944: Lua Getsinger was laid to rest in a Baha'i Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt

Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt and Local Spiritual Assembly of Cairo gathered to re-inter the remains of Lua Getsinger. Lua Getsinger was originally interred in a Christian cemetery in Cairo. With the help of the US State Department in Washington, the American Consulate in Cairo, and the Egyptian Baha'i Assembly her body was removed to the Baha'i Cemetery on December 19, 1944. (The Baha'i World 1940-1944) 

June 10, 2016

The Barrack in Tabriz, Persia

An old photograph of the Barrack in Tabriz where the Bab was martyred in 1850. 
(The Baha'i World 1940-1944)