August 10, 2016

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

…CONSUMATION SIX INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCES ATTENDED BY 9,200 BELIEVERS INCLUDING NEARLY ALL HANDS CAUSE LARGE NUMBER BOARD MEMBERS REPRESENTATIVES ALMOST ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES BAHÁ'Í WORLD OVER 140 TERRITORIES AND HOST OF ASIAN AFRICAN AMERINDIAN TRIBES. 
- 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

“IN EARLY DAYS OF JUNE 1877 BAHÁ'U'LLÁH LEFT CITY 'AKKA AND TOOK UP RESIDENCE IN MAZRA'IH.” 
(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)

June 1, 2016

The Citadel of Tabriz, Persia

The Citadel of Tabriz where the Bab was at one time detained 
(The Baha'i World 1940-1944)

May 21, 2016

February 1958: Introduction of Baha’i News “Supplement”

A Message from US National Spiritual Assembly:

Beginning with this issue, BAHA'I NEWS will henceforth carry as an insert a United States Supplement, which will be devoted to subjects of particular interest and concern to the believers of this country. This action brings BAHA'I NEWS more in conformity with the wishes of the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, who expressed the hope years ago that BAHA'I NEWS would become "the foremost Baha'i journal of the world."

Up to this time, BAHA'I NEWS has been designed to meet that purpose so far as possible, depending upon the material received from all parts of the world, but in addition it has been the medium of communication between the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and its committees and the individual members of the American Baha'i community.

This new plan means that from now on any information, suggestions, recommendations, and requests that concern the believers in the United States only will be concentrated largely in the Supplement, but the main body of BAHA'I NEWS will continue to carry news and reports of Baha'i activities in the United States which are of interest to the friends throughout the world and which reflect progress in the World Crusade.

May 18, 2016

1967: Baha'i Week proclaimed in Indianapolis - marking the 150th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah

The Indianapolis Spiritual Assembly decided in March, 1967 to proclaim the Baha'i Faith through holding a "Baha'i Week" in November, 1967, marking the 150th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah and held just one year after the first proclamation week in Indiana (Fort Wayne, November, 1966). Work began immediately and preparations proceeded through the following months. A prelude to the Week was the annual State Fair Baha'i exhibit in August which publicized the coming event to at least 250,000 people. The launching of the Proclamation was in October when the Mayor of Indianapolis, John J. Barton, and a State Senator, Nelson Grills, were present at a tea commemorating the centenary of the messages of Baha’u’llah to the kings and rulers. 
(US National Baha’i Review, February 1968) 

May 15, 2016

June 1968: The Institution of the Continental Boards of Counselors is brought into being by the Universal House of Justice

In June 1968 the Institution of the Continental Boards of Counselors was brought into being, fulfilling the goal of extending the aforementioned functions of the Hands into the future, and this momentous decision was accompanied by the next step in the development of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause: the continental Hands were to serve henceforth on a worldwide basis and operate individually in direct relationship to the Universal House of Justice; the Hands ceased to be responsible for the direction of the Auxiliary Boards, which became an auxiliary institution of the Continental Boards of Counselors; the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land were given the task of acting as liaison between the Universal House of Justice and the Boards of Counselors; and the working interrelationships between the Hands and the Boards of Counselors were established. Reference was also made to the future establishment by the Universal House of Justice, with the assistance of the Hands residing in the Holy Land, of an international teaching center in the Holy Land. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 24 April 1972; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973’)

May 11, 2016

1968: One Hundredth Anniversary of Baha'u'llah's Arrival in the Holy Land

In August 1968 nearly two thousand Baha'is from many countries assembled at Bahji to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Baha'u'llah in the Holy Land. They then ascended the long stairway from Carmel Avenue to the Shrine of the Báb, around which they walked in respect for the Forerunner and Herald of their Faith. ('The Baha'is and the Holy Land', an audio-visual program prepare by the NSA of the United States, 1971)

May 6, 2016

April 1968: A Baha'i delegation met with Israel's President

At the First International Baha'i Convention held  in the Holy Land in 1968 this delegation was sent to Jerusalem to make a formal call on Israel's President Zalman Shazar, to deliver the greetings of the convention. ('The Baha'is and the Holy Land', an audio-visual program prepare by the NSA of the United States, 1971)

April 25, 2016

Circa 1871: Baha’u’llah reveals Lawh-i-Qad Ihtaraqa'l-Mukhlisun - The Fire Tablet

Towards the end of 1871 Bahá'u'lláh received a letter from one of His devoted followers in Persia, Haji Siyyid 'Ali-Akbar-i-Dahaji, a nephew of Siyyid Mihdi, the Ismu'llah.[1] In answer to his letter, Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i-Qad Ihtaraqa'l-Mukhlisun, or the Lawh-i-ihtiraq, translated into English and known in the west as the Fire Tablet. The recipient of this Tablet, Haji Siyyid 'Ali-Akbar was so much loved by Bahá'u'lláh that when he passed away Bahá'u'lláh gave his uncle the name 'Ali-Akbar, in memory of that devoted believer.

The Lawh-i-Qad Ihtaraqa'l-Mukhlisun is one of Bahá'u'lláh's most celebrated Tablets; it is possessed of great powers, and the believers often recite it at times of difficulties and suffering. Of this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh states in the Fire Tablet:

'Should all the servants read and ponder this, there shall be kindled in their veins a fire that shall set aflame the worlds.'

The Fire Tablet is in Arabic rhyming verse; it moves the heart when chanted in the original language. It was revealed at a time when great afflictions and sorrows had surrounded Bahá'u'lláh as a result of the hostility, betrayal and acts of infamy perpetrated by those few individuals who had once claimed to be the helpers of the Cause of God. Bahá'u'lláh pours out His heart in this Tablet and expatiates on His afflictions. For nothing brings more sorrow to the heart of the Manifestation of God than unfaithfulness and treachery from within the community. Imprisonment and all manner of persecution by the outside enemy can do no harm to the Cause. What harms it are the actions of those who bear His name and yet commit deeds contrary to His good-pleasure. These few breakers of the Covenant of the Báb, who followed Mirza Yahya and rose up against Bahá'u'lláh from within, created such havoc in the community and among the inhabitants of 'Akká that the Pen of Bahá'u'lláh lamented in this Tablet in a manner unprecedented in all His Writings.