Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17th in Baha'i History

1912 Abdul-Baha was in Oakland & San Francisco


He also gave accounts of the last days of His imprisonment in `Akká, the oppression of Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd and the conduct of the Commission of Investigation.


This commission of investigation and oppression was on its way back to Istanbul from `Akká when the majesty of the justice of God revolutionized all matters. Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd was deposed and one member of the commission was murdered, another died and two of them absconded. One of these two begged for his daily expenses from the friends in Egypt.


Some philosophers, religionists and civic leaders of the town came one by one to see the Master. They were attracted by His words on spiritual matters and left with the utmost sincerity. One questioned Him about spirit and matter. The Master replied:


This question may be answered in two ways, philosophically as well as spiritually. Philosophically, the answer is easy because in philosophy the spirit is energy and all matter is endowed with energy; and this power is inseparable from matter, as in electricity. In other words, matter is a vehicle for spirit but the transformation of matter does not involve the extinction of that power because transformation and transference are in the properties of matter.
Immaterial beings or realities, however, are protected and preserved and their essential power remains unaltered. The manifestation or appearance of the spirit varies due to changes in matter and bodies. This, however, does not mean that spirit itself is subject to extinction.
The listeners were pleased to hear `Abdu'l-Bahá explain this subject in detail and testified to His divine knowledge and to the cogency of His explanation and argument. (Mahmud's Diary)

1944 – The difference between character and faith


There is a difference between character and faith; it is often very hard to accept this fact and put up with it, but the fact remains that a person may believe in and love the Cause -- even to being ready to die for it -- and yet not have a good personal character, or possess traits at variance with the teachings. We should try to change, to let the Power of God help recreate us and make us true Bahá'ís in deed as well as in belief. But sometimes the process is slow, sometimes it never happens because the individual does not try hard enough. But these things cause us suffering and are a test to us in our fellow-believers, most especially if we love them and have been their teacher!
(Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 440)

1948 – Guardian writes of the first Spiritual Assembly in Wales


The formation of the first Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly in Wales is an event of great historical significance. I congratulate you on this splendid achievement which, I trust, will be a prelude to still greater victories in the service of our glorious Faith. I will supplicate on your behalf, the blessings of Bahá'u'lláh, that your work may prosper, your plans bear abundant fruit, and your hopes realised for the propagation of the Faith and the establishment of its nascent institutions.
Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 393)

1963-Request for Prayers for Moroccan Bahá'í Prisoners

Our Bahá'í friends who were tried at Nador, Morocco, last year and who received sentences of death or life imprisonment are still being held in prison. Their appeal which has been pending for nearly a year still has not been heard. However, we are pleased to report that another Bahá'í prisoner, Muhammad Mannan, of Tangier was recently provisionally released.
Note: In April 1962 fourteen Moroccan Bahá'í men were arrested in Nador. On 31 October 1962, after more than six months of imprisonment, they were tried before the Criminal Court of Nador on charges of rebellion and disorder, attacks on public security, constitution of an association of criminals, and attacks on religious faith. On 10 December 1962 they were found guilty and sentenced. Their cases were then appealed to the Supreme Court of Morocco, which overruled the lower court's verdict and released the men. A world-wide campaign to publicize the plight of the Bahá'í prisoners focused public opinion, favourable to the Bahá'ís, on the Moroccan authorities. For further information, see BW 13:288-89, and messages nos 8 and 12.]
We are calling for believers throughout the world to pray at the Feast of Qawl (23 November) that early favourable action may be taken in the cases of these devoted and steadfast friends whose long suffering on behalf of our Faith has been an inspiration to Bahá'ís everywhere.
The friends at the World Centre will join you on that day by saying prayers at the Holy Shrines for our Moroccan friends.
With loving greetings,
The Universal House of Justice (Messages 1963 to 1986, p.19)


1967 - Assumption by the Universal House of Justice of Representation of the Bahá'í International Community at the United Nations
To all National Spiritual Assemblies
MORROW SIX INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCES INAUGURATING PROCLAMATION PERIOD ANNOUNCE BAHÁ'Í WORLD SIGNIFICANT STEP DEVELOPMENT RELATIONS UNITED NATIONS THROUGH ASSUMPTION BY UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE FUNCTION REPRESENTATION BAHÁ'Í INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAPACITY NON- GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION AT UNITED NATIONS. TAKE THIS OCCASION EXPRESS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY UNITED STATES AND MILDRED MOTTAHEDEH GRATEFUL LOVING APPRECIATION MANY YEARS DEVOTED TIRELESS SUCCESSFUL SERVICES AS REPRESENTATIVE AND OBSERVER RESPECTIVELY.
The Universal House of Justice (Messages 1963 to 1986, p.116)


1980 – Death of Leonora Armstrong, a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors from 1973 through 1980, in Bahia, Brazil, on 17 October 1980. For an account of her life and service to the Faith, see BW 18:733-38
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 354)

1992 - Death of Lights of Guidance author Helen Hornby.

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