May 28, 2020

1967: Canada - Fort Qu'Appelle Native Teaching Conference

The photo shows Hand of the Cause John Robarts and his wife Audrey, a number of Auxiliary Board Members, eight members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada, members of the National Advisory Committee on Indian Teaching and the newly appointed members of the N.T.C. branch for Saskatchewan.  Also shown are many well-known friends working in that region. (Canadian Baha’i News, no. 211, August 1967)

May 23, 2020

1969: Continental Conference of Indigenous Teaching at Fort Qu’appelle Institute, Saskatchewan, Canada


To develop ways and means to achieve a continental approach in reaching and consolidating the native peoples of North America — that was the aim of the August Conference at Fort Qu’Appelle. Inspired by Hands of the Cause Ali Akbar Furutan and John Robarts on the first night, the stage was set for two days of workshops. Within the framework of consultation, recommendations were developed amid healthy cultural encounter. The Pow Wow on the last day brought all together in fellowship — a fitting climax, generating a new surge of spirit. 
(Canadian Baha’i News, No. 234, November, 1969)

May 18, 2020

1844-1845: The first province in Persia to eagerly embrace the Divine Message of the Báb

The people of Núr, when Bahá’u’lláh had departed from out their midst, continued to propagate the Cause and to consolidate its foundations. A number of them endured the severest afflictions for His sake; others quaffed with gladness the cup of martyrdom in His path. Mázindarán in general, and Núr in particular, were thus distinguished from the other provinces and districts of Persia, as being the first to have eagerly embraced the Divine Message. The district of Núr, literally meaning “light,” which lay embedded within the mountains of Mázindarán, was the first to catch the rays of the Sun that had arisen in Shíráz, the first to proclaim to the rest of Persia, which still lay enveloped in the shadow of the vale of heedlessness, that the Day-Star of heavenly guidance had at length arisen to warm and illuminate the whole land. 
- Nabil  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

May 13, 2020

1846: Divine intervention at exactly the same time as the Báb was arrested – an outbreak of a devastating cholera in Shiraz

While the situation was steadily deteriorating in the provinces, the bitter hostility of the people of Shíráz was rapidly moving towards a climax. Husayn Khán, [the Governor] vindictive, relentless, exasperated by the reports of his sleepless agents that his Captive’s power and fame were hourly growing, decided to take immediate action. It is even reported that his accomplice, Hájí Mírzá Áqásí, [the Prime Minister] had ordered him to kill secretly the would-be disrupter of the state and the wrecker of its established religion. By order of the governor the chief constable, ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Khán, scaled, in the dead of night, the wall and entered the house of Hájí Mírzá Siyyid ‘Alí, where the Báb was confined, arrested Him, and confiscated all His books and documents.

That very night, however, took place an event which, in its dramatic suddenness, was no doubt providentially designed to confound the schemes of the plotters, and enable the Object of their hatred to prolong His ministry and consummate His Revelation. An outbreak of cholera, devastating in its virulence, had, since midnight, already smitten above a hundred people. The dread of the plague had entered every heart, and the inhabitants of the stricken city were, amid shrieks of pain and grief, fleeing in confusion. Three of the governor’s domestics had already died. Members of his family were lying dangerously ill. In his despair he, leaving the dead unburied, had fled to a garden in the outskirts of the city. ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Khán, [the chief constable in Shiraz] confronted by this unexpected development, decided to conduct the Báb to His own home. He was appalled, upon his arrival, to learn that his son lay in the death-throes of the plague. In his despair he threw himself at the feet of the Báb, begged to be forgiven, adjured Him not to visit upon the son the sins of the father, and pledged his word to resign his post, and never again to accept such a position. Finding that his prayer had been answered, he addressed a plea to the governor begging him to release his Captive, and thereby deflect the fatal course of this dire visitation. Husayn Khán acceded to his request, and released his Prisoner on condition of His quitting the city. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

May 8, 2020

circa 1845-46: The Shah of Persia appointed “one of the most erudite, eloquent and influential of his subjects” to investigate the claims of the Báb

Portrait of Muhammad Shah and
his Vizier Haj Mirza Aghasi
The commotion had assumed such proportions that the Sháh, unable any longer to ignore the situation, delegated the trusted Siyyid Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí, surnamed Vahíd, one of the most erudite, eloquent and influential of his subjects—a man who had committed to memory no less than thirty thousand traditions—to investigate and report to him the true situation.

Broad-minded, highly imaginative, zealous by nature, intimately associated with the court, he, in the course of three interviews, was completely won over by the arguments and personality of the Báb. Their first interview centered around the metaphysical teachings of Islám, the most obscure passages of the Qur’án, and the traditions and prophecies of the Imáms. In the course of the second interview Vahíd was astounded to find that the questions which he had intended to submit for elucidation had been effaced from his retentive memory, and yet, to his utter amazement, he discovered that the Báb was answering the very questions he had forgotten. During the third interview the circumstances attending the revelation of the Báb’s commentary on the súrih of Kawthar, comprising no less than two thousand verses, so overpowered the delegate of the Sháh that he, contenting himself with a mere written report to the Court Chamberlain, arose forthwith to dedicate his entire life and resources to the service of a Faith that was to requite him with the crown of martyrdom during the Nayríz upheaval. He who had firmly resolved to confute the arguments of an obscure siyyid of Shíráz, to induce Him to abandon His ideas, and to conduct Him to Tihrán as an evidence of the ascendancy he had achieved over Him, was made to feel, as he himself later acknowledged, as “lowly as the dust beneath His feet.” Even Husayn Khán, [the Governor of Fars] who had been Vahíd’s host during his stay in Shíráz, was compelled to write to the Sháh and express the conviction that his Majesty’s illustrious delegate had become a Bábí.
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)