November 27, 2010

Historic Rug

Some members of the famous Ahmadpur family had been in the presence of the beloved Master when the Shrine of the Bab had almost been completed. In their longing to have a share in that great and historic enterprise, they asked the Master if they could make a special carpet for the floor and send it to Haifa. He accepted their request and gave instructions as to what design they should choose for the carpet. This photo was taken after its completion and before its dispatch to the Holy Land. The people sitting in front are from the family of Haji Ahmad, in whose silk factory the Bab's body had been kept after being taken from the edge of the moat outside the city of Tabriz. This rug is now placed in the Shrine of the Bab. (Baha’i News, October 1964)

Korea's First National Convention, April 22-25, 1964

Some of the 65 Baha'is who attended Korea's First National Convention, April 22-25, 1964, in Taegu, Korea. Hand of the Cause, Dr. Rahmat'llah Muhajir (holding the Greatest Name) also attended this historic event. (Baha'i News July 1964)

November 21, 2010

The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad, extensively damaged by violent earthquakes in 1948, was demolished in 1963 by the Russian authorities for safety reasons

A message from the Universal House of Justice:

To the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í World

Dear Bahá'í friends,

The whole Bahá'í World will be grief-stricken at the news of the sad fate which has overtaken the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad, the first Temple raised to the glory of Bahá'u'lláh. [The temple was located in Turkmenistan, near the Iranian border, north of the Iranian province of Khurasan ] Due to its unsafe condition, resulting from earthquakes, the building has been entirely demolished and the site cleared.

The building of this edifice, the only structure of its kind to be raised and completed in the lifetime of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, was described by the beloved Guardian as "a lasting witness to the fervour and the self-sacrifice of the Oriental believers." This "enterprise," the Guardian further wrote, "must rank not only as the first major undertaking launched through the concerted efforts of His followers in the Heroic Age of His Faith, but as one of the most brilliant and enduring achievements in the history of the first Bahá'í century."[GPB, p. 300. The first Bahá'í century ended in 1944.]

November 16, 2010

Baha’u’llah requested a ten-minute meeting with the Ottoman Sultan

“ … in the Lawh-i-Ra'ís, Bahá'u'lláh, recalling His conversation with the Turkish officer charged with the task of enforcing His banishment to the fortress-town of 'Akká, has written: "There is a matter, which, if thou findest it possible, I request thee to submit to His Majesty the Sultan, that for ten minutes this Youth be enabled to meet him, so that he may demand whatsoever he deemeth as a sufficient testimony and regardeth as proof of the veracity of Him Who is the Truth. Should God enable Him to produce it, let him, then, release these wronged ones, and leave them to themselves." "He promised," Bahá'u'lláh adds in that Tablet, "to transmit this message, and to give Us his reply. We received, however, no news from him. Although it becometh not Him Who is the Truth to present Himself before any person, inasmuch as all have been created to obey Him, yet in view of the condition of these little children and the large number of women so far removed from their friends and countries, We have acquiesced in this matter. In spite of this nothing hath resulted. Umar himself is alive and accessible. Inquire from him, that the truth may be made known unto you." 
(Shoghi Effendi, 'The Promised Day is Come')

November 15, 2010

First National Convention of the Baha'is of Finland, April 1962

First National Convention of the Baha'is of Finland, April 1962 (Baha'i News August 1962)

November 13, 2010

Ridvan 1961: Newly Elected International Baha'i Council Holds First Meeting

Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land meeting with the International Baha'i Council. From left: A. Furutan, Charles Wolcott, William Sears, Leroy Ioas,  Sylvia loas, lan Semple, John Ferraby, PauI E. Haney, Lotfullah Hakim, A. Q. Faizi, Ruhiyyih Khanum, Jessie Revell, 'Ali Nakhjavani, Ethel Revell, Mildred Mottahedeh, H. Borrah Kavelin, Jalal Khazeh.

International Baha'i Council

An institution created by Shoghi Effendi in 1951 as the forerunner of the Universal House of Justice. It was invested with three functions: to forge links with the authorities in the State of Israel, to assist Shoghi Effendi in the erection of the superstructure of the Shrine of the Bab, and to conduct negotiations related to matters of personal status with the civil authorities. To these were added further functions as the Council developed. The members of the first Council were appointed by Shoghi Effendi: its President was Charles Mason Remey and its Vice-President Amelia Collins. The Council was enlarged to eight members in 1952 and to nine in 1955. Following the passing of Shoghi Effendi the Council continued to perform its duties at the World Centre under the direction of the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land. At Ridvan 1961 the Council was elected for the first time. Its nine members were elected by the members of all the national and regional spiritual assemblies in the Baha'iworld by postal ballot. The Hands of the Cause ruled that they themselves were not eligible for election to this body. The following people were elected: Jessie Revell, 'Ali Nakhjavani, Lutfu'llah Hakim, Ethel Revell, Charles Wolcott, Sylvia Ioas, Mildred Mottahedeh, Ian Semple and H. Borrah Kavelin. These members served until the election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963. (Baha’i Dictionary by Wendi Momen)

November 12, 2010

Tablets Revealed by Baha’u’llah during the Baghdad Period (January 1852 – April 1863) – listed alphabetically: Part 1

[Source for the list of Tablets: Geoffry Marks, ‘Call for Remembrance, Connecting the Heart to Baha’u’llah’, pp. 279-280)

Az-Bágh-i-Iláhí (From the Garden of Holiness)

It is an ode revealed not long before the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh. It is one of His most joyous odes, composed in an exalted style. Each Persian verse is followed by one in Arabic, and the combination of the two creates a rich melody of unsurpassed beauty and enchantment. Its theme is the advent of the Promised Day of God, but to describe its contents is not an easy task, especially in the absence of an English translation.

In each and every line Bahá'u'lláh alludes to Himself and extols His own attributes. He unveils the splendours of His exalted station and, among other designations, refers to Himself as the Lord of all mankind, the Day-star of Truth, the Promise of all ages, the Youth of Paradise, the Quickener of men and the Essence of the Spirit of Truth. This poem is an eloquent description of Bahá'u'lláh's stupendous station, the character of His Mission and the outpourings of His Revelation.

The chanting of this beautiful ode creates an atmosphere of ecstasy and joy. It moves the heart and evokes a feeling of awe and excitement within the soul. No wonder that the companions of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, who chanted it in their gatherings, were carried away into the realms of spirit, completely oblivious of this world and all its peoples. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 218)

November 10, 2010

The Most Great Prison as seen in 1907

The Most Great Prison in Akka, Israel. This photo was taken by the late Hand of the Cause, Roy C. Wilhelm in 1907 (Baha'i News, January 1965)

November 7, 2010

Auxiliary Board Members in Africa, February 1960

Hand of the Cause Musa Banani held a meeting for the Auxiliary Board members for Northeast and Central and East Africa at Nairobi from February 26 to 28, 1960. Front row, left to right: Gilbert Robert, Abdu'l-Rahim Yazdi, Musa Banani, and Jamshid Munajjim. Back row, left to right: Aziz Yazdi, Ali Nakhjavani, Max Kenyerezi, and Jalal Nakhjavani (Baha'i News, June 1960)

November 6, 2010

Auxiliary Board Members in North America, January 1960

Hand of the Cause William Sears with the North American members of the Auxiliary Board of the Hands of the Cause, at their meeting in Wilmette, Ill., on January 9 and 10, 1960. Front row: Velma Sherrill, Katherine McLaughlin, William Sears, Rowland Estall, and Curtis Kelsey. Back row: Hushang Javid, Mildred Muttahedeh, Amoz Gibson, Margery McCormick, William deForge, Sarah Pereira, Peggy Ross, and Florence Mayberry (Baha'i News, April 1960)