Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29th in Baha'i History

1880- 'Abdu'l-Ghaffar-i-Isfahani, Aqa rejoins Baha’u’llah in Akka

'Abdu'l-Ghaffar was a trader of Isfahan who became a believer whilst on a journey to Baghdad. He was one of the companions of Bahá'u'lláh in His exile to Adrianople. He was sent by Bahá'u'lláh to Istanbul, where he was arrested and sentenced to exile in Cyprus. When the ship carrying Bahá'u'lláh and His fellow-exiles reached Haifa, he threw himself into the sea, unable to bear separation from Bahá'u'lláh, but was rescued and sent on to Cyprus. However, he succeeded in escaping from the island on 29 September 1870 and rejoined Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká, where he settled down in the Khan-i-Afranj. In order to conceal his presence from the authorities he changed his name to Aqa 'Abdu'llah. After the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, he went to live in Damascus where he died. (See Memorials of the Faithful, pp. 59-61.)
(H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 467)

1906 - Birth of Universal House of Justice member Charles Wolcott.

1911 - Farewell words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá London

1911 – the Italo-Turkish War which broke out on September 29,1911.
On the occasion of the Battle of Benghazi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said: --

The news of the Battle of Benghazi grieves my heart. I wonder at the human savagery that still exists in the world: How is it possible for men to fight from morning till night, killing each other, shedding the blood of their fellowmen? And for what object? To gain possession of a part of the earth! Even the animals when they fight have an immediate and more reasonable cause for their attacks. How terrible is it that men who are of the higher kingdom can descend to slaying and bringing misery to their fellow beings for the possession of a tract of land -- the highest of created beings fighting to obtain the lowest form of matter, earth.

Land belongs not to one people but to all people. The earth is not man's home but his tomb. However great the conqueror, however many countries he may reduce to slavery, he is unable to retain any part of these devastated lands but one tiny portion -- his tomb. If more land is required for the improvement of the condition of the people, for the spread of civilization ... surely it would be possible to acquire peaceably the necessary extension of territory. But war is made for the satisfaction of men's ambition. For the sake of worldly gain to the few terrible misery is brought to numberless homes, breaking the hearts of hundred of men and women. ...

I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of his heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love
.

When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other's hands. So may all the savagery of men disappear by the mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul.

Do not think the peace of the
world an ideal impossible to attain. Nothing is impossible to the divine benevolence of God. If you desire with all your heart friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger until it reaches the minds of all men.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, p. 161)

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Salt Lake City

In the morning several newspaper reporters who had heard of His arrival came to see the Master. They were fascinated with `Abdu'l-Bahá's words concerning the history and teachings of the Cause of God. To one of them He said:
When I entered this city, I saw there was quite a stir. I asked the reason and was told that an agricultural convention was being held. I remarked that Bahá'u'lláh, too, organized a convention in Persia. The difference is that your congress is of this world but Bahá'u'lláh's is divine. Great persons have come to the congress but their motive is earthly as they have assembled to consider questions concerning agriculture. But in that other congress holy ones have gathered who irrigate the field of hearts with the water of eternal life, as their motive is heavenly. This congress is decorated with earthly lamps while that is embellished with heavenly lights. The music of this is terrestrial while the strains of that are celestial. This convention meets in a private hall while that gathering is held under the tent of the unity of mankind and international peace. The queen of this congress is a lady bedecked with ornaments and embellishments of this mortal world but the king of that congress is the King of the Throne of Eternity, Whose sovereignty is divine. When I compared these two congresses I became extremely glad and prayed that God may bless your farming and bestow upon you spiritual strength and capacity for life everlasting. (Mahmud's Diary)

1966 Iceland recognizes the Faith as a Religious Organization -article

1990 - Death of prominent Australian Bahá’í and Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone

1998 – London Times - Iran Offers No Mercy to Baha'i ' Heretics' - article

1998 – BBC - Baha'i death sentences in Iran - article

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