August 25, 2012

The Báb explains to Muhammad Shah some of the indignities that He experienced during the first four years of His Ministry before being sent to the Fortress of MáKu

I swear by God! Shouldst thou know the things which in the space of these four years have befallen Me at the hands of thy people and thine army, thou wouldst hold thy breath from fear of God, unless thou wouldst rise to obey the Cause of Him Who is the Testimony of God and make amends for thy shortcomings and failure.

While I was in Shíráz the indignities which befell Me at the hands of its wicked and depraved Governor waxed so grievous that if thou wert acquainted with but a tithe thereof, thou wouldst deal him retributive justice. For as a result of his unmitigated oppression, thy royal court hath become, until the Day of Resurrection, the object of the wrath of God. Moreover, his indulgence in alcohol had grown so excessive that he was never sober enough to make a sound judgement. Therefore, disquieted, I was obliged to set out from Shíráz with the aim of attaining the enlightened and exalted court of Your Majesty. The Mu’tamídu’d-Dawlih [the Governor of Isfahan who became an admirer of the Báb] then became aware of the truth of the Cause and manifested exemplary servitude and devotion to His chosen ones. When some of the ignorant people in his city arose to stir up sedition, he defended the divine Truth by affording Me protection for a while in the privacy of the Governor’s residence. At length, having attained the good-pleasure of God, he repaired to his habitation in the all-highest Paradise. May God reward him graciously...

Following his ascension to the eternal Kingdom, the vicious Gurgín, resorting to all manner of treachery, false oaths and coercion, sent Me away from isfáhán with an escort of five guards on a journey which lasted seven days, without providing the barest necessities for My travel (Alas! Alas! for the things which have touched Me!), until eventually Your Majesty’s order came, instructing Me to proceed to Mákú... (The Báb, extracts from an Epistle to Muhammad Shah, ‘Selections from the Writings of the Báb)

August 20, 2012

1937: First Baha'i Youth Group in America to be recognized as an official University activity

Baha'i Youth of the University of Illinois, 1937: The first Baha'i Youth Group in America to be recognized as an official University activity. (The Baha'i World 1936-1938)

August 12, 2012

17 July 1982: The first gathering held in the Permanent Seat of the Universal House of Justice on Mount Carmel

The first gathering ever held in the Permanent Seat of the Universal House of Justice on Mount Carmel was a seminar on the life of the Greatest Holy Leaf, held on 17 July 1982. Though not entirely ready for occupancy, the Seat was the venue for a memorable programme which, together with the midnight commemoration at the tomb, constituted the World Centre's observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Bahiyyih Khinum. (The Baha’i World 1979-1983)

August 8, 2012

September 1916: Four of the Fourteen Tablets of the Divine Plan were first published in the Star of the West magazine

Fourteen Tablets revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha during the First World War, addressed to the Baha'is in North America and received by them in 1919, which Shoghi Effendi has called the 'mandate' and 'the supreme charter for teaching'. They are addressed either to the Baha'is of the United States and Canada as one body or to one of five regional areas of North America.

The 'mandate' was to carry the 'fame of the Cause of God' to the East and to the West and to spread the Glad Tidings of the coming of Baha'u'llah throughout the five continents of the world. In all, 'Abdu'l-Baha mentioned some 120 territories and islands to which the message of Baha'u'llah was to be carried.

The first eight Tablets were revealed between 26 March and 22 April 1916, and the final six between 2 February and 8 March 1917. Of the first group, five Tablets reached America and were published in the 8 September 1916 issue of Star of the West. After that, communication with the Holy Land was cut off and the rest of the Tablets remained in the vault under the Shrine of the Báb until the end of the war. They were dispatched to America and unveiled in a ceremony during the 'Convention of the Covenant' held at the Hotel McAlpin in New York in April 1919.

An immediate response to the Tablets was made by Martha Root who began her world travels, and by Mr. and Mrs. Hyde Dunn, who arose to move to Australia. However, it was not until 1837 when Shoghi Effendi gave the American believers the First Seven Year Plan that the Divine Plan began to be generally implemented. (Wendi Momen, A Basic Baha’i Dictionary)

August 3, 2012

Spring of 1938: First group of Baha'i pilgrims travel by air to Iran

The first group of pilgrims traveling by air to Iran via Baghdad in the spring of 1938. Taken at the Haifa Aerodrome with members of the Baha'i community. The trip from Tihran to 'Akka which took four months in the days of Baha'u'llah is now accomplished in seven hours' flying time. (The Baha'i World 1936-1938)