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’)

July 10, 2017

1970: Centenary of the martyrdom of the Purest Branch, Mirza Mihdi – the Universal House of Justice called for special worldwide prayer

25 March 1970
To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

In commemoration of the centenary of the martyrdom of the Purest Branch, which falls on 23 June 1970, we call upon the Baha'is of the world to unite in prayer for "the regeneration of the world and the unification of its peoples."

During those days one hundred years ago Baha'u'llah was enduring His imprisonment in the Barracks of 'Akka. Upon the tribulations which weighed Him down was heaped the fatal accident which befell His young son, His companion and amanuensis, Mirza Mihdi, the Purest Branch, whose dying supplication to his Father was to accept his life "as a ransom for those of His loved ones who yearned for, but were unable to attain, His presence." In a Tablet revealed in that grievous hour Baha'u'llah sorrows that "This is the day whereon he that was created of the light of Baha has suffered martyrdom, at a time when he lay imprisoned at the hands of his enemies." Yet He makes clear that the youth passing has a far profounder meaning than His acceptance of the simple request, declaring that "Thou art, verily, the trust of God and His treasure in this land. Erelong will God reveal through thee that which He hath desired." In a prayer revealed for His son He proclaims the purpose underlying the tragedy: "I have, O my Lord, offered up that which Thou hast given Me, that Thy servants may be quickened, and all that dwell on earth be united."  Thus upon a youth of consummate devotion who demonstrated such beauty of spirit and total dedication was conferred a unique station in the Cause of God.

In your recalling the bereavement of Baha'u'llah upon the loss of His loved son, and honouring a highly significant event in the Faith, we leave it to the discretion of the Assemblies whether they choose to hold special gatherings of prayer. In the Holy Land at the World Centre on Mount Carmel there will be an observance at the grave of Mirza Mihdi, at which time his pure example and sacrifice for all mankind will be remembered through the words of his glorious Father.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
The Universal House of Justice
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

July 2, 2017

1970: The Baha’i World attained consultative status at United Nations Economic and Social Council

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE BAHA'I WORLD ATTAINMENT CONSULTATIVE STATUS UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL THEREBY FULFILLING LONG CHERISHED HOPE BELOVED GUARDIAN AND WORLD CENTRE GOAL NINE YEAR PLAN.+F192  SUSTAINED PERSISTENT EFFORTS MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVES BAHA'I INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY UNITED NATIONS DEVOTED SUPPORT BAHA'I COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT WORLD FINALLY REWARDED.  SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT ADDS PRESTIGE INFLUENCE RECOGNITION EVER ADVANCING FAITH BAHA'U'LLAH.  OFFERING PRAYERS GRATITUDE HOLY SHRINES.

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

June 27, 2017

World situation worsened during 1968 and 1969

In the worsening world situation, fraught with pain of war, violence and the sudden uprooting of long-established institutions, can be seen the fulfilment of the prophecies of Baha'u'llah and the oft-repeated warnings of the Master and the beloved Guardian about the inevitable fate of a lamentably defective social system, an unenlightened leadership and a rebellious and unbelieving humanity. Governments and peoples of both the developed and developing nations, and other human institutions, secular and religious, finding themselves helpless to reverse the trend of the catastrophic events of the day, stand bewildered and overpowered by the magnitude and complexity of the problems facing them. At this fateful hour in human history many, unfortunately, seem content to stand aside and wring their hands in despair or else join in the babel of shouting and protestation which loudly objects, but offers no solution to the woes and afflictions plaguing our age. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 16 November 1969; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

A summary of worsening events that took place in the world in 1968 and 1969 – by Geoffry Marks
The years 1968 and 1969 were racked with war, violence, terrorism, and civil unrest around the world. Wars raged in Vietnam and Nigeria; Soviet and Chinese troops skirmished in a continuing border dispute; Soviet troops entered Czechoslovakia to quell a movement toward liberalization; and El Salvador invaded Honduras. Coups d'etat toppled governments in 'Iraq, Syria, Sierre Leone, Dahomey, the Congo, Mali, the Sudan, Libya, the Netherlands Antilles, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia; states of emergency were declared in Spain, Malaysia, and Chile; violent unrest occurred in West Germany, Spain, Bombay, Pakistan, Argentina, Kenya, and the United States; and student protests erupted in Paris, Mexico City, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, and the United States. United States and Israeli airliners were hijacked, and two Israeli airliners were attacked by terrorists.  Moreover, a number of leaders were assassinated, including Somalian president Abdirascid Ali Scermarche; US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; US presidential candidate Robert E. Kennedy; US ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein; and Mozambique Liberation Front leader Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane. 
- Geoffry Marks  (Footnotes to “Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

June 19, 2017

Consequences of rejecting the Message of God brought by Bahá’u’lláh: Napoleon III – “the foremost monarch of his day in the West”

…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…

Napoleon III, the foremost monarch of his day in the West, excessively ambitious, inordinately proud, tricky and superficial, who is reported to have contemptuously flung down the Tablet sent to him by Bahá’u’lláh, who was tested by Him and found wanting, and whose downfall was explicitly predicted in a subsequent Tablet, was ignominiously defeated in the Battle of Sedan (1870), marking the greatest military capitulation recorded in modern history; lost his kingdom and spent the remaining years of his life in exile. His hopes were utterly blasted, his only son, the Prince Imperial, was killed in the Zulu War, his much vaunted empire collapsed, a civil war ensued more ferocious than the Franco-German war itself, and William I, the Prussian king, was hailed emperor of a unified Germany in the Palace of Versailles. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

June 12, 2017

1969: Total number of Continental Boards of Counsellors increased to thirty-eight

With great joy we announce that we have decided to increase the total number of members of the Continental Boards of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith to thirty-eight… 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 10 July 1969; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

June 5, 2017

1944: Centenary Exhibition, England

Centenary Exhibition held in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, 1944, showing exterior view of shop window on one of the main streets. 
(The Baha'i World 1944-1946)

May 27, 2017

1945: First Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Guayaquil, Ecuador

Photographed with the members of the Spiritual Assembly are the two teachers who helped in the establishment of this Assembly.
(The Baha'i World 1944-1946)

May 16, 2017

Date of the publication of the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

The subject you had raised with regard to the date of the publication of the writings of Bahá’u’lláh is interesting as it is important… The earliest published writings of Bahá’u’lláh date from the nineties of the last century. Over forty years ago the Aqdas, a volume of general Tablets including Tarazát, Ishráqát, and others were published in Ishqábád (Russia) and Bombay respectively and copies of these though rare are still procurable. Simultaneously with these, if not earlier, some of the writings of Bahá’u’lláh were published by the Oriental Department of the Imperial Russian University at St. Petersburgh under the supervision of its director Baron Rosen (and more particulars about these could be found in the books of E. G. Browne) and these of course are not undated like some of those published in Bombay.

The main bulk of the writings of Bahá’u’lláh however are to be found in manuscript form written by noted scribes after the fashion of orientals. These scribes did not leave all their manuscripts undated and Jinábí Zain, a very noted Bahá’í scribe, always dated his copies of the writings of Bahá’u’lláh at the end of the volume in what E. G. Browne calls ‘colophenes’ and the description of some of these colophenes could be found in the works of the Cambridge Professor.

The son of the above-mentioned scribe is still living in Haifa and does very much the same work as his father. He claims that as early as 1868 his father used to write copies of the Íqán for the Bahá’ís in Persia as a source of livelihood, and that after 1885 when he went to Akká to join Bahá’u’lláh’s party his entire work and time was devoted to copying the sacred writings for sale among Bahá’ís. These copies are to be found all throughout the East and are almost invariably dated. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 9 February 1930 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; ‘Unfolding Destiny’)

May 10, 2017

Consequences of rejecting the Message of God brought by Bahá’u’lláh: --> Násiri’d-Dín Sháh – the “Prince of Oppressors”

…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 vain and despotic Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh, denounced by Bahá’u’lláh as the “Prince of Oppressors”; of whom He had written that he would soon be made “an object-lesson for the world”; whose reign was stained by the execution of the Báb and the imprisonment of Bahá’u’lláh; who had persistently instigated his subsequent banishments to Constantinople, Adrianople and Akká; who, in collusion with a vicious sacerdotal order, had vowed to strangle the Faith in its cradle, was dramatically assassinated, in the shrine of Sháh ‘Abdu’l-‘Aẓím, on the very eve of his jubilee, which, as ushering in a new era, was to have been celebrated with the most elaborate magnificence, and was to go down in history as the greatest day in the annals of the Persian nation. The fortunes of his house thereafter steadily declined, and finally through the scandalous misconduct of the dissipated and irresponsible Aḥmad Sháh, led to the eclipse and disappearance of the Qájár dynasty. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

May 2, 2017

Five Hands of the Cause of God passed away between December 1979 and November 1980

Enoch Olinga (17 September 1979); Rahmatu'llah Muhajir (30 December 1979); Hasan M. Balyuzi (12 february 1980); Adelbert Muehlchlegel (29 July 1980); and Abu'l-Qasim Faizi (20 November 1980) 
(Adapted from ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)