Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8th in Baha'i History

Feast of Izzat

1889 – Murder of Haji Muhammad-Rida

On 1 July 1889 Haji Muhammad-Rida received a Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh in which He praises him for his devoted services, bestows His blessings upon him for his steadfastness and devotion to the Cause, and assures him that all his deeds and aspirations are manifest before Him. He further states that a grievous upheaval has occurred in the city of Ishqabad and describes it as the attack of a serpent upon one who is the recipient of the bounties of His Lord.
Although the identity of the believer who was the target is not disclosed by Bahá'u'lláh, He prays for Haji Muhammad-Rida that God may give strength to his body and assurance to his heart. This Tablet arrived at a time when Haji Muhammad-Rida had invited all the believers of 'Ishqabad to a feast. When it was read out to the friends, Mirza Abu'l-Fadl explained that although no upheaval had taken place so far in 'Ishqabad, since Bahá'u'lláh has used the past tense and clearly indicated that one of the believers had been struck down by the enemies, it was an absolute certainty that this upheaval was inevitable. It would happen soon and only one person would be martyred. Haji Muhammad-Rida said to the friends that he believed that he was the believer whose martyrdom Bahá'u'lláh had foretold in this Tablet. And this happened two months later.
Incensed by the remarkable progress of the Faith in 'Ishqabad, the Shí'ah Muslim community had been secretly planning to assassinate a number of believers. Although their plan did not materialize, they succeeded in murdering Haji Muhammad-Rida. Two men armed with daggers attacked him in the bazaar and stabbed him to death. This was on the morning of 8 September 1889. It is reported that they stabbed him thirty-two times amid the jubilation of a great number of people who had gathered to watch him die. Some of the believers attributed the prayers revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in the Tablet he had received, which beseeched God to give strength to his body, as an indication of the agonizing and torturous way in which he was to be martyred. The murderers were so bloodthirsty that they were seen licking their daggers which were dripping with blood, until the Russian police arrived and took them into custody. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 4, p. 343)

1911 – Abdul-Baha gave a
Discourse at Miss Rosenberg’s Unity Meeting

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Montreal
`Abdu'l-Bahá's discourses today consisted of divine exhortations, admonitions and expressions of farewell to the friends. `I have sown the seed,' He said. `You must water it. You must educate the souls in divine morals, make them spiritual and lead them to the oneness of humanity and to universal peace.'

As this was the last day of His stay in Montreal, all the friends, both old and new, expressed their sorrow. `Abdu'l-Bahá consoled them with the glad tidings of certitude, spiritual nearness, assistance and heavenly grace.

1953 – Passing of L. W. Eggleston
Grieve at passing of valued promoter of Faith. His historic donation of school highly meritorious, reward bountiful in Kingdom. Deepest sympathy; praying for progress of his soul.
[September 8, 1953] (Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 162)

1957 – To the Baha’is of Ketchikan, Alaska
If the friends arise with consecration, devotion, and zeal -- so the Holy Spirit may descend through them, to those who are wandering the deserts of material chaos -- they will be surprised at the victories which will be won.
Letter written on Behalf of the Guradian
(Shoghi Effendi, High Endeavours - Messages to Alaska, p. 42)

1979: The House of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran is destroyed by Revolutionary Guardsmen, and later razed by the government.

PERSECUTION OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS, THE LARGEST RELIGIOUS MINORITY IN IRAN, HAS TAKEN A NEW TURN. EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING A CROWD OF OVER 100 PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE HEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT FOR RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENTS IN SHIRAZ, AND ACCOMPANIED BY 25 REVOLUTIONARY GUARDSMEN AND 10 OTHER ARMED MEN, ATTACKED THE MOST HOLY HOUSE OF THE BÁB WHICH WAS ORDAINED BY BAHÁ'U'LLÁH, THE FOUNDER OF THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH, TO BE A PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE FOR HIS FOLLOWERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND IS REGARDED BY THEM AS THE MOST HALLOWED SPOT IN IRAN. THIS CROWD, WHICH HAD THE KEY TO THE HOUSE, SMASHED AND DISMANTLED DOORS AND WINDOWS, DESTROYED ORNAMENTAL PLASTERWORK, BREACHED THE WALLS AND HACKED TO PIECES A TREE IN THE COURTYARD. THIS MORNING THE WORK OF DEMOLITION IS BEING CONTINUED BY A GROUP OF WORKMEN AND IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PURPOSE IS TO RAZE TO THE GROUND THE HOUSE OF THE BÁB AND TWO ADJACENT HOUSES WHICH ALSO BELONG TO THE BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY.

A WAVE OF ANGUISHED INDIGNATION IS SWEEPING THE BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. WHEN ALL BAHÁ'Í HOLY PLACES IN IRAN WERE SEIZED BY THE AUTHORITIES IN RECENT MONTHS, THE PROTESTATIONS OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS WERE MET WITH BLAND ASSURANCES, CONFIRMED IN WRITING, THAT THE TAKE-OVER WAS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THESE SACRED PROPERTIES.
BAHÁ'ÍS IN EAST AND WEST ARE REGISTERING VEHEMENT PROTESTS WITH THE IRANIAN AUTHORITIES

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE Messages 1963 to 1986 p.424

1980 – Seven innocent Baha’i’s in Yazd executed

ANNOUNCE WITH DEEP SORROW HEARTRENDING NEWS MARTYRDOM ON MORNING MONDAY EIGHT SEPTEMBER IN YAZD SEVEN DEVOTED STEADFAST BELIEVERS TWO OF WHOM WERE AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS AND FIVE PROMINENT BAHÁ'ÍS YAZD INCLUDING ONE SEVENTY-EIGHT YEAR OLD BELIEVER. LOCAL REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS WHO PERPETRATED THIS DASTARDLY ACT CHARGED INNOCENT FRIENDS ON LOCAL RADIO WITH FALSE IMPUTATIONS SUCH AS SPYING AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES. THIS EPISODE WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS ANOTHER EVIDENCE PATIENCE LONG-SUFFERING INNOCENT PERSIAN BRETHREN IN FACE OF UNABATED HATRED VIRULENT MALICE INVETERATE ENEMIES FAITH. ...
NAMES MARTYRS AS FOLLOWS: AZIZU'LLAH DHABIHIYAN FIRAYDUN FARIDANI NURU'LLAH AKHTAR-KHAVARI JALAL MUSTAQIM MAHMUD HASANZADIH 'ALI MUTAHHARI 'ABDU'L-VAHHAB KAZIMI-MANSHADI. ...

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 457)

2000-Bahá'í United Nations Representative Addresses World Leaders at the Millennium Summit
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2000 - Radio project to reach more than 1 million in Ghana's Volta region

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2 comments:

Ahang Rabbani said...

There's an entire e-book on the martyrdom and documents related to Haji Muhammad-Rida: http://ahang.rabbani.googlepages.com/ishqabad2

Thanks.

Jack Bush said...

Thanks - I shall check it out!