April 29, 2011

Imperial Firman of Nasiri'd-Din Shah, 1265 A.H. (1844 A.D.) commanding Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza to exterminate the Babis of Mazindaran, Persia

Imperial Firman of Nasiri'd-Din Shah, 1265 A.H. (1844 A.D.) with marginal note in his own hand, commanding Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza to exterminate the Babis of Mazindaran, Persia. (Refer to The Dawn-Breakers, Ch. XIX.) (The Baha'i World 1932-1934)

April 24, 2011

Baha’u’llah revealed the Suriy-i-Sabr (Surih of Patience) on the first day upon arrival in the garden of Ridvan

In God Passes By Shoghi Effendi explains that Baha’u’llah revealed “the "Suriy-i-Sabr" (Surih of Patience) … on the first day of Ridvan” in 1863, “on … His arrival in the garden of Ridvan”. In it He affirms "God hath sent down His Messengers to succeed to Moses and Jesus, and He will continue to do so till 'the end that hath no end'; so that His grace may, from the heaven of Divine bounty, be continually vouchsafed to mankind." In the Suriy-Sabr Baha’u’llah “extols Vahíd and his fellow-sufferers in Nayriz”. (Shoghi Effendi, ‘God Passes By’, p. 140 and ‘The World Order of Baha'u'llah’, p. 116).

In the ‘Revelation of Baha’u’llah’, vol. 1, Adib Taherzadeh provides a very interesting explanation about this Tablet, its recipient, Haji Muhammad-Taqi, a native of Nayriz, and the circumstances culminating in the horrendous events that transpired in the town of Nayriz, Persia, during the Ministry of the Bab. Bahá'u'lláh bestowed the title of Ayyub (Job) to Haji Muhammad-Taqi in this Tablet. This Tablet is also known as Lawh-i-Ayyub (Tablet of Job). It is in Arabic and is equal in length to almost one-quarter of the Kitáb-i-Íqán. 

A provisional translation of this Tablet is available at Baha'i Tablets - provisional translations

April 17, 2011

First National Spiritual Assembly Elected in Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands, elected April 23, 1967 with Hand of the Cause Dr. Ugo Giachery. Left to right: Thomas Hooper, Ellerton Harmer (treasurer), Lorraine Landau, Jean Desert (vice-chairman), Henrietta Trutza (recording secretary), Hand of the Cause Dr. Ugo Giachery, Katharine Meyer (corresponding secretary), Jeffrey Lewis, Dorothy Schneider, and Edwin Miller (chairman) (Baha'i News June, 1967)

April 16, 2011

First Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Yaounde, Cameroon

First Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Yaounde. the Federal capital of the Republic of Cameroon, 1968. Seated (left to right): Louie Stewart (secretary), Alfred Defang (chairman), and Emmanuel Begoumenie (vice-chairman). Satnding (left o rifgt): David Eyong, Paul Nkono, Jacob Ayukotang, John Ayuk, and Elias Eta (treasurer). Ernest Ayompe was absent (Baha'i News, December 1968)

April 14, 2011

1971: Faith Receives Official Recognition in Chad and the Central African Republic

At the end of January and mid-February 1971 the Baha'i Faith was officially recognized and registered by the authorities in the Republic of Chad, destined to have its First National Spiritual Assembly at Ridvan, and in the Central African Republic, which will also have its own National Spiritual Assembly for the first time at Ridvan, 1971.

The recognition and registration, which is the equivalent to Incorporation, is a vital step forward for the Faith in both these countries, and represents a double victory in each case due to the difficulties which preceded these registrations.

In Chad, where the number of believers in the capital, Fort Lamy alone, had reached more than one thousand, application for registration was submitted during 1970 and was rejected by the authorities on the grounds that no new religion had been registered since the country became independent. As an appeal against this decision, the Baha'is in Fort Lamy immediately began a proclamation campaign by presenting the case and Baha'i literature to different ministers in the Government, many of whom were most sympathetic and receptive to the Faith. However it was found that the matter would have to be submitted for a final decision to the Head of State.

April 6, 2011

The First Black Baha’i who arose “to guide others”

From a Tablet revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha for Mrs. Pocohontas in Washington, USA:

"Render thanks to the Lord that among that race thou art the first believer,[1] arisen to guide others. It is my hope that through the bounties and favours of the Abha Beauty thy countenance may be illumined, thy disposition pleasing, and thy fragrance diffused, that thine eyes may be seeing, thine ears attentive, thy tongue eloquent, thy heart filled with supreme glad-tidings, and thy soul refreshed by divine fragrances, so that thou mayest arise among that race and occupy thyself with the edification of the people, and become filled with light. Although the pupil of the eye is black, it is the source of light. Thou shalt likewise be. The disposition should be bright, not the appearance. Therefore, with supreme confidence and certitude, say: 'O God! Make me a radiant light, a shining lamp, and a brilliant star, so that I may illumine the hearts with an effulgent ray from Thy Kingdom of Abha....'" 
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Women)

[1] This Tablet was addressed to one Mrs. Pocohontas in Washington. According to Fadil Mazandarani, the recipient of the Tablet was a black woman. See Tarikh-i-Zuhuru'l-Haq, vol. 8, part 2, p. 1209 (Tihrán: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 132 B.E.). Additional information provided by the Archives of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States indicates that Mr. Louis Gregory, in a history of the Washington, D.C. Bahá'í community, mentions a black Bahá'í, Mrs. Pocohontas Pope, who is likely the same person. Mrs. Pope learned of the Bahá'í Faith through Alma and Fanny Knobloch and Joseph and Pauline Hannen. There is, at present no other information on Mrs. Pope. (The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Women)