October 15, 2021

July 1974: Members of Continental Pioneer Committees “will henceforth be appointed by the Universal House of Justice”

22 July 1974

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

In view of the ever-increasing number of pioneers and travelling teachers now arising from various countries to serve the Cause of God in widely scattered lands throughout all continents the Universal House of Justice has considered ways of deriving maximum benefit from the services of these devoted believers, co-ordinating their efforts and anticipating the needs of the future.

The Continental Boards of Counsellors will soon be approaching you about the need for pioneers and travelling teachers for the period ending Ridvan 1976.

The functions of the Continental Pioneer Committees have been reviewed and developed in a way that will enable them to operate in closer collaboration with the Continental Boards of Counsellors and the National Spiritual Assemblies of their areas. A copy of the statement outlining the functions of the Continental Pioneer Committees as now revised is attached for your information. As you will note, the members of these Committees will henceforth be appointed by the Universal House of Justice. Nothing in the functions now assigned to the Continental Pioneer Committees in any way detracts from the primary responsibility of National Spiritual Assemblies to foster and promote pioneering and travelling teaching.

It is our hope and prayer that as the Five Year Plan unfolds evidences of closer ties of co-operation among the various institutions of the Faith will be increasingly witnessed in every land.

With loving Baha'i greetings,

The Universal House of Justice

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

October 1, 2021

June 1845 - Shiraz: First direct interaction between the Báb and the clergy

Shaykh Abú-Turáb, the Imám-Jum’ih of Shíráz, who was present at that meeting [between the Báb and the Governor of Fars, Husayn Khan] and who strongly disapproved of the conduct of Husayn Khán, ordered that the Báb’s turban be replaced upon His head, [1] and invited Him to be seated by his side. Turning to the governor, the Imám-Jum’ih explained to him the circumstances connected with the revelation of the verse of the Qur’án [2] which the Báb had quoted, and sought by this means to calm his fury. “This verse which this youth has quoted,” he told him, “has made a profound impression upon me. The wise course, I feel, is to enquire into this matter with great care, and to judge him according to the precepts of the holy Book.” Husayn Khán readily consented; whereupon Shaykh Abú-Turáb questioned the Báb regarding the nature and character of His Revelation. The Báb denied the claim of being either the representative of the promised Qá’im or the intermediary between Him and the faithful. “We are completely satisfied,” replied the Imám-Jum’ih; “we shall request you to present yourself on Friday in the Masjid-i-Vakíl, and to proclaim publicly your denial.” 

- Nabil  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

[1] Qur’án, 49:6 - “If any bad man come unto you with news, clear up the matter at once, lest through ignorance ye harm others, and be speedily constrained to repent of what ye have done.”

[2] The Governor’s attendant had struck the Báb in the face so violently that His turban had fallen to the ground. [adapted from ‘The Dawn-Breakers’]