November 22, 2017

Messages of condolences from high officials and tributes in various newspapers concerning the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

  • The British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Mr. Winston Churchill, telegraphed immediately to the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, instructing him to “convey to the Bahá’í Community, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, their sympathy and condolence.”
  • Viscount Allenby, the High Commissioner for Egypt, wired the High Commissioner for Palestine asking him to “convey to the relatives of the late Sir ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbás Effendi and to the Bahá’í Community” his “sincere sympathy in the loss of their revered leader.”
  • The Council of Ministers in Baghdád instructed the Prime Minister Siyyid ‘Abdu’r-Rahmán to extend their “sympathy to the family of His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in their bereavement.”
  • The Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Congreve, addressed to the High Commissioner for Palestine a message requesting him to “convey his deepest sympathy to the family of the late Sir Abbás Bahá’í.”
  • General Sir Arthur Money, former Chief Administrator of Palestine, wrote expressing his sadness, his profound respect and his admiration for Him as well as his sympathy in the loss which His family had sustained.
  • One of the distinguished figures in the academic life of the University of Oxford, a famous professor and scholar, wrote on behalf of himself and his wife: “The passing beyond the veil into fuller life must be specially wonderful and blessed for One Who has always fixed His thoughts on high, and striven to lead an exalted life here below.”
  • Many and divers newspapers, such as
    • the London “Times,”
    • the “Morning Post,”
    • the “Daily Mail,”
    • the “New York World,”
    • “Le Temps,”
    • the “Times of India” and others, in different languages and countries, paid their tribute to One Who had rendered the Cause of human brotherhood and peace such signal and imperishable services.
  • The High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, sent immediately a message conveying his desire to attend the funeral in person, in order as he himself later wrote, to “express my respect for His creed and my regard for His person.” 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

November 21, 2017

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s last day on earth

Till the very last day of His earthly life ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued to shower that same love upon high and low alike, to extend that same assistance to the poor and the down-trodden, and to carry out those same duties in the service of His Father’s Faith, as had been His wont from the days of His boyhood. On the Friday before His passing, despite great fatigue, He attended the noonday prayer at the mosque, and distributed afterwards alms, as was His custom, among the poor; dictated some Tablets—the last ones He revealed—; blessed the marriage of a trusted servant, which He had insisted should take place that day; attended the usual meeting of the friends in His home; felt feverish the next day, and being unable to leave the house on the following Sunday, sent all the believers to the Tomb of the Báb to attend a feast which a Pársí pilgrim was offering on the occasion of the anniversary of the Declaration of the Covenant; received with His unfailing courtesy and kindness that same afternoon, and despite growing weariness, the Muftí of Haifa, the Mayor and the Head of the Police; and inquired that night—the last of His life—before He retired after the health of every member of His household, of the pilgrims and of the friends in Haifa.

November 20, 2017

1951: Shrine of the Báb

View of the Shrine of the Báb and gardens, from photograph received from the Guardian early in March, 1951. 
(Baha’i News April 1951)

November 15, 2017

1910: Some historic developments in Akka & Haifa

The Ottoman officials have recently opened two large gateways through the thick, solid and ancient walls of the old fort of Acca. Both open out on the green plain in front of Bahji, where the Holy Tomb is located. Wonderful to relate, one of these gates is situated back of the old house of 'Abdu'l-Baha, where he often walked, during the time of his confinement, to the fortress!

Furthermore, official men, architects and masons have come from Constantinople for the express purpose of planning a beautiful city outside of the old prison walls! To live today and witness the actual fulfillment of the old prophecies is verily a blessing for which we cannot be sufficiently thankful.
- Ameen U. Fareed (Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 9, August 20, 1910)

November 12, 2017

November 11, 2017

1979-1982: Cables received by Ayatollah Khomeini concerning the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran

Over 10,000 Local Spiritual Assemblies cabled the Ayatollah Khomeini, urging his intervention regarding the expropriation of Baha'i properties in Iran.
(From a Summary prepared by the Baha’i International Community and accompanied a letter from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of the World, 26 January 1982; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

November 8, 2017

1944: Three future Hands of the Cause of God

Presiding National Spiritual Assembly officers of the Centenary Convention in Persia. Left to right: Shuallah Ala'i (vice-chairman), Vali'ullah Varqa (chairman) and Ali-Akbar Furutan (secretary). 
(Baha’i News, April 1946)

November 3, 2017

1994: First National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Cambodia

Hand of the Cause of God Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum (center) with members of the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Cambodia, Counsellors Lee Lee Ludher (far left) and Shantha Sundram (third from right), and Mrs. Violette Nakhjavani (third from left). 
(The Baha'i World 1994-1995)