Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17th in Baha'i History


1848 - The incident of Niyala, which occurred just after the Conference at Badasht, took place about July 17, 1848. (Dawn-Breakers, p. 301 (Marzieh Gail, Dawn Over Mount Hira, p. 130)


When the conference of Badasht ended, the believers were attacked in the village of Niyala. Mirza Hadi died on the way home as a result of these persecutions, (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 204)


Bahá'u'lláh stayed in Badasht for twenty-two days. Then, the Bábís - those who had remained constant and steadfast - with their faith fortified, set out from the environs of that epoch-making conference; but at the village of Niyala they were attacked on all sides. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 46)


I have heard Bahá'u'lláh Himself describe that incident: "We were all gathered in the village of Niyala and were resting at the foot of a mountain, when, at the hour of dawn, we were suddenly awakened by the stones which the people of the neighbourhood were hurling upon us from the top of the mountain. The fierceness of their attack induced our companions to flee in terror and consternation. I clothed Quddus in my own garments and despatched him to a place of safety, where I intended to join him. When I arrived, I found that he had gone. None of our companions had remained in Niyala except Tahirih and a young man from Shiraz, Mirza Abdu'llah. The violence with which we were assailed had brought desolation into our camp. I found no one into whose custody I could deliver Tahirih except that young man, who displayed on that occasion a courage and determination that were truly surprising. Sword in hand, undaunted by the savage assault of the inhabitants of the village, who had rushed to plunder our property, he sprang forward to stay the hand of the assailants. Though himself wounded in several parts of his body, he risked his life to protect our property. I bade him desist from his act. When the tumult had subsided, I approached a number of the inhabitants of the village and was able to convince them of the cruelty and shamefulness of their behaviour. I subsequently succeeded in restoring a part of our plundered property." (The Dawn-Breakers, p. 298)
What of the savage violence with which He was stoned by the angry people in the neighborhood of the village of Niyala? (Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 11)


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in New York

He then said:
My discourses in various gatherings have been founded on principles that are in conformity with reality as well as with the utmost wisdom. For instance, I say that the foundation of all divine religions is the same and that the Prophets are the dawning places of truth. No one can take exception or say that the principles of the Prophets and the truth of their teachings are different. Then I state that the basic teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are universal peace; the oneness of humanity; prohibition of execration and calumny; association with the followers of all religions in harmony and unity of nations, of races and of governments; and such like. I ask, did any of these principles exist in former books and religions? At the end of the talk I say that the laws of the divine religions are of two kinds: the first deals with spiritual verities which are one and the same in all religions; the other with laws which change according to the exigency of the time. For example, it is written in the Torah that if one breaks the teeth of another, his teeth must also be broken; and if one blinds the eyes of another, his eyes must also be blinded. For the sake of one dollar the thief's hand was to be cut off. Now, can such laws be permitted and enforced in this age? Surely, no one can say it is permissible. In this way, all answers to important questions have been elucidated perfectly and none can deny them or protest against them.

1932 – the Guardian wrote of his grief:


But it was on 17 July the he wrote to the American and Canadian believers a letter that provides a glimpse of what was passing in the surging sea of his heart and in which he eulogizes the life, station and deeds of 'Abdu'l-Bahá sister, pouring forth his love in an unforgettable torrent of words.
Dearly-beloved Greatest Holy Leaf! Through the mist of tears that fill my eyes I can clearly see, as I pen these lines, thy noble figure before me, and can recognize the serenity of thy kindly face. I can still gaze, though the shadow of the grave separate us, into thy blue, love-deep eyes, and can feel, in its calm intensity, the immense love thou didst bear for the Cause of thine Almighty Father, the attachment that bound thee to the most lowly and insignificant among its followers, the warm affection thou didst cherish for me in thine heart. The memory of the ineffable beauty of thy smile shall ever continue to cheer and hearten me in the thorny path I am destined to pursue. The remembrance of the touch of thine hand shall spur me on to follow steadfastly in thy way. The sweet magic of thy voice shall remind me, when the hour of adversity is at its darkest, to hold fast to the rope thou didst seize so firmly all the days of thy life.
Bear thou this my message to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, thine exalted and divinely-appointed Brother: If the Cause for which Bahá'u'lláh toiled and laboured, for which Thou didst suffer years of agonizing sorrow, for the sake of which streams of sacred blood have flowed, should, in the days to come, encounter storms more sever than those it has already weathered, do Thou continue to overshadow, with Thine all-encompassing care and wisdom, Thy frail, Thy unworthy appointed child.
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p.144)


1937 - Every Bahá'í, no matter how poor, must realize what a grave responsibility he has to shoulder in this connection, and should have confidence that his spiritual progress as a believer in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh will largely depend upon the measure in which he proves, in deeds, his readiness to support materially the divine institutions of His Faith.
(From a letter dated 17 July 1937 written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India and Burma) (The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 67)

1979 – Baha’i National Center in Iran converted to Islamic University
SITUATION FRIENDS IRAN STEADILY DETERIORATING. REUTERS HAS SENT WORLD PRESS NEWS RELEASE TWELVE JULY QUOTING OFFICIAL PARIS NEWS AGENCY THAT NATIONAL BAHÁ'Í HEADQUARTERS BEING CONVERTED INTO ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE Messages 1963 to 1986 p.421

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