December 21, 2009

Disciples of Abdu'l-Baha -- "Heralds of the Covenant" - identifed by the Guardian

1. Dr. J.E.Esslemont: distinguished Baha'i author
2. Mr. Thornton Chase: "first Baha'i in America"
3. Mr. Howard MacNutt: noted Baha'i teacher
4. Miss Sarah Farmer:Founder of Green Acre
5. Monsieur Hippolyte Drefus-Barney: author, translator, and international promoter of the Faith
6. Miss Lillian Kappers: noted teacher of the Tarbiyat school, Tihran, Persia
7. Mr. Robert Turner: first Baha'i of the Negro race in America
8. Dr. Arthur Brauns: pioneer worker for the Faith in Germany
9. Mr. W.H. Randall: eloquent upholder of the Baha'i Cause in America
10. Mrs Lua M. Gestinger: renowned and devoted international Baha'i teacher
11. Mr. Joseph Hannan: indefatigable servant of the Cause
12. Mr. C.I. Thacher: zealous Baha'i worker
13. Mr. Ch. Greenleaf: firm supporter of the Faith
14. Mrs. J.D. Brittingham: trusted and energetic sower of the Seed
15. Mrs. Thornburgh: a pioneer of the Fith in England
16. Mrs. Helen S. Goodall: ardent establisher of the Cause in America
17. Mr. Arthur P. Dodge: staunch advocate of the Cause
18. Mr. William H. Hoar: prominent Baha'i teacher
19. Dr. J.G. Augur: pioneer of the Faith in the Pacific islands
(The Baha'i World 1928-1930)

November 30, 2009

National Spiritual Assemblies as of 1925

* NSA of the Baha’is of Persia
* NSA of the United States and Canada
* NSA of the Baha'is of Germany
* NSA of the Baha’is of Great Britain and Ireland
* NSA of the Baha’is of India and Burma
* NSA of the Baha’is of Egypt
* NSA of the Baha’is of Turkistan
* NSA of the Baha’is of Caucasus
* NSA of the Baha’is of Iraq
(Baha’i Year Book 1925-1926)

November 26, 2009

History of Philosophers Prior to Alexander of Greece

"As to what thou didst ask regarding the history of the philosophers: history, prior to Alexander of Greece, is extremely confused, for it is a fact that only after Alexander did history become an orderly and systematized discipline. One cannot, for this reason, rely upon traditions and reported historical events that have come down from before the days of Alexander. This is a matter thoroughly established, in the view of all authoritative historians. How many a historical account was taken as fact in the eighteenth century, yet the opposite was proven true in the nineteenth. No reliance, then, can be placed upon the traditions and reports of historians which antedate Alexander, not even with regard to ascertaining the lifetimes of leading individuals. …..

November 20, 2009

Permission Requested for Construction of Temple

Having heard enthusiastic reports of the building of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkar [Baha’i Temple] in ‘Ishqabad, Russia, the members of the Spiritual committee (better known as the "House of Spirituality") of the Chicago Assembly were inspired to supplicate to the Center of the Covenant, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, to grant permission for the second Mashriqu’l-Adhkar to be built in America. On June 7, 1903, a tablet was revealed in Acca by ‘Abdu’l-Baha saying, "Now the day has arrived in which the edifice of God, the divine sanctuary, the Spiritual temple, shall be erected in America."

The following words from the pen of ‘Abdu’l-Baha clearly indicate the erection of a material building: "The Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, though outwardly a material foundation, is possessed of spiritual effect and causes the union of hearts and the gathering of souls. . . . Praise be to God ! The erection of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar has a great effect in all grades (or states). It was tested in the east and so evidently and plainly was it proved good (that) even when in a village a house was called the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, it possessed a different effect. How much more its building and organization." 
(The Baha’i Year Book 1925-1926)

November 13, 2009

November 26th – Day of the Covenant

The believers in the West, at the time of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, wanted to commemorate His birthday that took place on the same day that the Bab declared His Mission. ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, however, didn’t approve of this and told them that this day was not, under any circumstances, to be celebrated as His day of birth and that it should be exclusively associated with the Bab. But as the Bahá'ís begged for a day to be celebrated as His, He gave them November 26th, to be observed as the day of the appointment of the Centre of the Covenant. It was known as Jashn-i-A'zam (The Greatest Festival), because He was Ghusn-i-A'zam -- the Greatest Branch. In the West it is known as the Day of the Covenant. 
(Adapted from the book, The Centre of the Covenant by Hand of the Cause Balyuzi)

November 7, 2009

Baha'u'llah's Lineage

He [Baha'u'llah] derived His descent, on the one hand, from Abraham (the Father of the Faithful) through his wife Katurah, and on the other from Zoroaster, as well as from Yazdigird, the last king of the Sasaniyan dynasty. He was moreover a descendant of Jesse [1], and belonged, through His father, Mirza Abbas, better known as Mirza Buzurg -- a nobleman closely associated with the ministerial circles of the Court of Fath-'Ali Shah -- to one of the most ancient and renowned families of Mazindaran. 
(Shoghi Effendi, 'God Passes By')
[1] This is not Jesse the father of David, but Jesse referred to in Isaiah 11:1,10 - David Hofman in Baha'u'llah the Prince of Peace

November 3, 2009

Baha’u’llah’s Parents

The noble families of the Nur district, including Baha’u’llah’s family, had for generations provided the kings of Iran with well-educated government officials: civil servants who would collect taxes, keep accounts, pay the army and generally administer the government. Bahalu’llah’s father, Mirza Buzurg Nuri, rose in the ranks of these civil servants to become the minister to a royal prince who was the commander of the royal guards. He was later a vizier (minister), an official responsible for the collection of taxes, in a province. He was given the village of Takur in the Nur region in lieu of salary and he built a fine mansion there by the side of the Nur river as a family home. … Baha’u’llah’s father was also renowned as a calligrapher. Indeed, his real name was ‘Abbas and he had been given the designation Buzurg (meaning “great”) by the king because of his calligraphic prowess.

November 1, 2009

Baha’u’llah’s Ancestral Place

Baha’u’llah’s family came from Nur, a district in the Iranian province of Mazandaran, the province in north Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea. This province has high mountain peaks in the south descending to the northern coastal plain bordering the sea. Because of the dense sub-tropical jungles of the lower parts of the province (a stark contrast to the dry desert conditions in much of the rest of Iran), it was always difficult area for invaders to penetrate.

'Abdu'l-Baha Recognized Baha'u'llah when He was only 9 Years Old

Bahá'u'lláh departed from Tihran for Iraq on 12 January 1853. Among those who accompanied Him in His exile was His eldest son, nine-year-old Abbas, who later assumed the title of Abdu'l-Bahá (Servant of Baha). He had such spiritual insight that, as a young boy, He intuitively recognized the station of His Father. So highly did Bahá'u'lláh esteem Him that in Baghdad He used to address Him, while still in His teens, as the Master -- a designation which Bahá'u'lláh had also used for His own father while in Tihran. 
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1)

Baha'u'llah's Vision

During October 1852 “Baha’u’llah has a vision of a Maiden, who announces to Him that He is the Manifestation of God for this age. This experience compares to the episode of Moses and the Burning Bush, Zoroaster and the Seven Visions, Buddha under the Bodhi tree, the descent of the Dove upon Jesus and the voice of Gabriel commanding Muhammad to ‘cry in the name of thy Lord.’” (A Basic Baha’i Chronology, by Glenn Cameron with Wendi Momen)

Shoghi Effendi's Birth

At the time of Shoghi Effendi's birth [ March 1, 1897] 'Abdu'l-Bahá and His family were still prisoners of the Sultan of Turkey, Abdu'l Hamid; … In 1897 they were all living in a house known as that of Abdullah Pasha … It was in this home that the first group of pilgrims from the Western World visited the Master in the winter of 1898-9 …
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl)

Nabil the Author of Dawn-Breakers

He was born on the 18th day of the month of Safar of the year 1247 A. H. in the village of Zarand in Persia. He was thirteen years old when the Báb declared Himself. Though still young he himself was preparing to leave for Shaykh Tabarsi and join the companions of Mulla Husayn when the news of the treachery and massacre of the besieged companions reached him. He met Bahá'u'lláh in Kirmanshah and Tihran before the latter's banishment to Iraq. He was a close companion of the Báb's amanuensis Mirza Ahmad. He subsequently met Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, Adrianople and 'Akká and was commissioned by Bahá'u'lláh to journey several times to Persia in order to promote the Cause and encourage the scattered and persecuted believers.

Mulla Husayn's Sword

In October 1848 Mulla Husayn and about seventy one of his companions arrive near the town of Barfurush in northern Persia. One of the lead clergy in that town felt threatened by their presence. He instructs the townspeople to go outside the gates of the town and attack them. Seven of Mulla Husayn’s companions were subsequently killed. In the resulting battle the townspeople are defeated and they beg for truce, to which Mulla Husayn agreed. It was during this battle that Mulla Husayn, in one blow from his sword, cut in half an attacker, his musket and the tree behind which the man was hiding.

Baha'u'llah and Asiyih Khanum's Wedding

It was in October 1835 that Baha'u'llah's marriage to Asiyih Khanum took place.

The Bab's Pilgrimage to Mecca

During October 1844 the Bab, accompanied by Quddus, left Shiraz on pilgrimage to Mecca. He returned to Bushihr sometime in late April or early May of 1845.