January 31, 2015

The unveiling of the Tablets of the Divine Plan, New York, April 1919

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. Mary Maxwell (seated, center) and Elizabeth Coristine (seated, right), unveiled the Tablets addressed to Canada. Seated to the left of Mary is Bahiyyih Randall.

January 26, 2015

March 1909: The interment by 'Abdu'l-Baha of the sacred remains of the Báb in their permanent resting place on God's holy mountain

On the 28th of the month of Safar 1327 A.H., the day of the first Naw-Ruz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, 'Abdu'l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands -- in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving -- the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Bab and His companion.

When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr-Prophet of Shiraz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God's holy mountain, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotion.

"The most joyful tidings is this," He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, "that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb ... after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquillity has, through the mercy of the Abha Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Ruz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel..." 
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By)

January 23, 2015

1942: First Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

First Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 1942. (The Baha'i World 1940-1944)

January 21, 2015

A group of early Persian Baha'is imprisoned for their Faith

On the left: Jinab-i-Varqa and his son Ruhu'llah who were later martyred. On the extreme right: Haji Iman-i-Zanjani, a survivor of the Zanjan upheaval. Second from right: Mirza Husayn-i-Zanjani. (The Baha'i World 1940-1944)

January 18, 2015

1912: ‘Abdu’l-Baha comments on the growth of the Baha’i community from Tehran to San Francisco

When they exiled us from Persia, from Tehran to Baghdad, the journey was made in thirty stages and in these thirty stages we did not find one Baha’i. Now in every one of these places there are great numbers of Baha’i friends.

Notwithstanding that the ruler of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey opposed the Cause so violently exercising tyranny and oppression thinking to extinguish the Lamp of God yet this Lamp day by day grew in radiance, its power increased and its illumination became greater, until it reached such a degree that now its lights are spread throughout the world even as far as San Francisco, which is very far from Persia. See what this will mean in the future! 
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a talk, San Francisco, October 5, 1912; Star of the West, vol. 10, no. 13, November 4, 1919) 
(To read the entire talk please visit: Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

January 17, 2015

Táhirih “advocated the emancipation of women in 1848”

Táhirih, that peerless heroine of Iranian history, courageously advocated the emancipation of women in 1848, at a time when efforts to improve the status of women were only beginning to gather momentum in a few parts of the world. 
(The Universal House of Justice, from a message dated 20 June 2008 addressed to the Baha’is in Iran)

January 10, 2015

January 3, 2015

While besieged within the fort of Shaykh Tabarsi Quddus completed a commentary about Baha’u’llah comprising five hundred thousand verses

Though distant in body, these heroic souls are engaged in daily communion with their Beloved, partake of the bounty of His utterance, and share the supreme privilege of His companionship. Otherwise how could Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim have known of the Bab? How could they have perceived the significance of the secret which lay hidden in Him? How could the Báb Himself, how could Quddus, His beloved disciple, have written in such terms, had not the mystic bond of the spirit linked their souls together? Did not the Báb, in the earliest days of His Mission, allude, in the opening passages of the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá', His commentary on the Surih of Joseph, to the glory and significance of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh? Was it not His purpose, by dwelling upon the ingratitude and malice which characterised the treatment of Joseph by his brethren, to predict what Bahá'u'lláh was destined to suffer at the hands of His brother and kindred? Was not Quddus, although besieged within the fort of Shaykh Tabarsi by the battalions and fire of a relentless enemy, engaged, both in the daytime and in the night-season, in the completion of his eulogy of Bahá'u'lláh -- that immortal commentary on the Sad of Samad which had already assumed the dimensions of five hundred thousand verses? Every verse of the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá', every word of the aforementioned commentary of Quddus, will, if dispassionately examined, bear eloquent testimony to this truth. 
(Shoghi Effendi, ‘The Dawn-Breakers’)