September 28, 2016

1974-1979: Outpouring of pioneers and funds by Persian believers

…during the Five Year Plan [1974-1979] the Persian friends far surpassed any other national community in their outpouring of pioneers and funds…
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated Naw-Ruz 1979; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

September 25, 2016

January 1978: First International Bahá'í Women's Conference in South America

3 January 1978
To the First International Bahá'í Women's Conference in South America


(Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986)

September 20, 2016

February 1925: American Baha’is assist Persian believers -- Flood destroyed 500 Baha’i homes in Nayriz

On February 6, the National Spiritual Assembly received the following cablegram from Shoghi Effendi: “Flood destroyed 500 Baha’i homes in Nayriz. Grave disaster. May America contribute her share.” In response to this urgent appeal, the National Treasurer transmitted to Shoghi Effendi by cable within a few days, the sum of fifteen hundred dollars. Telegrams were immediately sent to the ten largest Assemblies asking them to make a special contribution to the National Fund by wire, if possible, in behalf of our Persian brothers and sisters. Up to February 22nd, nearly three thousand dollars had been received.

In addition to these telegrams, a letter was sent to the other local Assemblies in order that all the friends might share in the privilege of coming to the assistance of the homeless Baha’is.

September 16, 2016

An English physician resident in Tabríz met the Báb in the Citadel of Tabriz prior to His execution

“He was a very mild and delicate-looking man, rather small in stature and very fair for a Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much. Being a Siyyid, he was dressed in the habit of that sect, as were also his two companions. In fact his whole look and deportment went far to dispose one in his favour. Of his doctrine I heard nothing from his own lips, although the idea was that there existed in his religion a certain approach to Christianity. He was seen by some Armenian carpenters, who were sent to make some repairs in his prison, reading the Bible, and he took no pains to conceal it, but on the contrary told them of it. Most assuredly the Musulman fanaticism does not exist in his religion, as applied to Christians, nor is there that restraint of females that now exists.” 
- Dr. Cormick  (From a letter to a fellow practitioner in an American mission in Persia, given in Professor E. G. Browne’s ‘Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion’, quoted by Shoghi Effendi in ‘Introduction to Dawn-Breakers’)

September 12, 2016

While being bastinadoed [a form of punishment or torture that involves caning the soles of someone's feet], a farrásh, whether intentionally or not, struck the Báb across the face with the stick destined for His feet.

The only known record of the Báb’s having been seen by a European belongs to the period of His persecution when an English physician resident in Tabríz, Dr. Cormick, was called in by the Persian authorities to pronounce on the Báb’s mental condition. The doctor’s letter, addressed to a fellow practitioner in an American mission in Persia, is given in Professor E. G. Browne’s “Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion.” “You ask me,” writes the doctor, “for some particulars of my interview with the founder of the sect known as Bábís. Nothing of any importance transpired in this interview, as the Báb was aware of my having been sent with two other Persian doctors to see whether he was of sane mind or merely a madman, to decide the question whether he was to be put to death or not. With this knowledge he was loth to answer any questions put to him. To all enquiries he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting in a low melodious voice some hymns, I suppose. Two other siyyids, his intimate friends, were also present, who subsequently were put to death with him, besides a couple of government officials. He only deigned to answer me, on my saying that I was not a Musulman and was willing to know something about his religion, as I might perhaps be inclined to adopt it. He regarded me very intently on my saying this, and replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans coming over to his religion. Our report to the Sháh at that time was of a nature to spare his life. He was put to death some time after by the order of the Amír-Nizám, Mírzá Taqí Khán. On our report he merely got the bastinado, in which operation a farrásh, whether intentionally or not, struck him across the face with the stick destined for his feet, which produced a great wound and swelling of the face. On being asked whether a Persian surgeon should be brought to treat him, he expressed a desire that I should be sent for, and I accordingly treated him for a few days, but in the interviews consequent on this I could never get him to have a confidential chat with me, as some government people were always present, he being a prisoner. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘Introduction to Dawn-Breakers)

September 7, 2016

January 1925: A Special Period of Supplication and Prayer is called for by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada: February 19th -- March 9th, 1925

The time has come when all the believers are given the privilege of uniting spiritually to pray and supplicate as one heart, one mind and one soul in behalf of the beloved Guardian of the Cause, in order that new and broader channels may be created through which his unique devotion to the Cause may flow outward ever stronger and more effectively through all parts of the Baha’i world. 

Therefore the members of the National Spiritual Assembly request the friends throughout the United States and Canada to set apart the period of nineteen days beginning February 19th as a time consecrated to daily supplication and prayer, individually and collectively invoking Divine guidance and favor that the hopes of the Guardian of the Cause may be fulfilled.

These hopes are that nine Baha’i helpers may be gathered together at Haifa to assist Shoghi Effendi in the details of his work, especially the translation of the Creative Word. After the period of prayer, any believer who feels the call to this Service may lay his or her name and qualifications before Shoghi Effendi for him to consider. The friends will understand that these nine helpers are desired for specific, temporary services, and are not to be regarded in the light of those nine souls who, in the fulness of time, will be permanently associated with the Guardian of the Cause. It is suggested that the friends unite, during the nineteen days, in the use of Shoghi Effendi’s favorite prayer: --

September 2, 2016

1924: Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and Canada

Mountfort Mills: Chairman
Horace Holley: Secretary
Florence Morton: Treasurer
Alfred E. Lunt: Assistant Treasurer
Elizabeth Greenleaf
May Maxwell
Agnes S. Parsons
Siegfried Schopflocher
Roy C. Wilhelm
(Baha’i News Letter, No. 1, December 1924)