Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23rd in Baha'i History


1888- The martyrdom of Mirza Ashraf

It was in 1888 when Zillu's-Sultan discovered that one of his secretaries, together with a young servant, were attracted to the Faith and were studying the Kitáb-i-Íqán. The Prince was filled with rage when he discovered that it was Mirza Ashraf who had been teaching the Faith to these two. He arrested Ashraf and put him in prison. A few days later the Prince invited a number of divines including Aqa Najafi (the Son of the Wolf) to interrogate Mirza Ashraf in his presence. With great eloquence and conviction Ashraf in a loud voice, which could be heard outside the room, declared his beliefs and proved the validity of the Faith he had embraced. Confounded and utterly helpless to refute his arguments in support of the Faith, the divines used their usual weapon of denunciation. Aqa Najafi wrote Ashraf's death sentence and delivered it into the hands of the Prince who ordered his execution.

Mirza Ashraf was executed on 23 October 1888 by hanging in the same public square as Mulla Kazim. By order of Aqa Najafi, his body was trampled underfoot, savagely mutilated by the mob, delivered to the flames and then thrown into a ditch and a wall pulled down over it. These barbarous acts of killing were typical of the way in which a great many Bahá'í martyrs met their deaths in a spirit of resignation and reliance upon God.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 4, p. 385)

1912 Abdul-Baha was in San Francisco & Oakland

After the meeting the Master went to His room but the friends implored His presence among them. He then returned to the gathering, saying, among other things:

I have now been for some time in these regions. In any city I have entered I have met with the friends and other people. In all the gatherings and most of the churches I have called out to the Abhá Kingdom and invited people to the Cause of the Blessed Beauty. At night I have implored and supplicated and prayed and asked for assistance, so that the rays of the Sun of Reality may shine on this country, illumine all the regions of America, bestow everlasting life; that its citizens may acquire heavenly civilization and that they may be bountifully favored through the teachings of the Blessed Beauty.
Praise be to God! This has come to pass through the grace of the Blessed Beauty and the assistance of the Abhá Kingdom. The call of God has been raised in all the cities of America. Accounts of the greatness of the Cause have been published even in the newspapers.

He also spoke with joy and happiness about the establishment of the Cause in the countries of the East and the firmness and steadfastness of the Persian friends.
One day, as He was strolling, He called to remembrance the days of the Blessed Beauty, referring with sadness to His sojourn in Sulaymáníyyih, to His loneliness and to the wrongs inflicted upon Him. Though He had often recounted that episode, that day He was so overcome with emotion that He sobbed aloud in His grief . . . All His attendants wept with Him, and were plunged into sorrow as they heard the tale of the woeful trials endured by the Ancient Beauty, and witnessed the tenderness of heart manifested by His Son. (Mahmud’s Diary)

1939 - Temple Ordained to be Ark to Ride Tidal Wave

"... Divinely-founded Temple ordained to be the Ark destined to ride triumphant the tidal wave of world-encircling calamities and offering sole refuge to storm-tossed sufferers of sinful, steadily sinking civilization ...."
(Cablegram form Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, October 23, 1939: Messages to America, p. 30)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 605)

1967 - Laying of the Foundation Stone of the Panama Temple

We are happy to share with you the joyous news that the Foundation Stone of the Mother Temple of Latin America has been laid by Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum on behalf of the Universal House of Justice.
(Messages 1963 to 1986, p.116)


1981 - Further Acts of Persecution in Iran


FOLLOWING NEWS FURTHER ACTS PERSECUTION INFLICTED BRETHREN IRAN JUST RECEIVED:
-- IN URUMIYYIH, ADHIRBAYJAN TWENTY-SIX BAHÁ'ÍS SUMMARILY ARRESTED, FIVE OF WHOM ARE WOMEN.
-- IN BIRJAND, KHURASAN HOUSES ALL LOCAL BELIEVERS RANSACKED FORCING FRIENDS DESERT THEIR HOMES AND FLEE FOR SAFETY.
-- IN TIHRAN HOME PROMINENT BELIEVER OCCUPIED ALL HER FURNITURE CONFISCATED. LISTING OF ITEMS ALLEGEDLY FOUND IN HOUSE FALSELY INCLUDES ARMAMENTS DRUGS.
-- FRIENDS IRAN LIVING IN ATMOSPHERE CONSTANT FEAR THEIR PROPERTIES AND LIVES. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986, p.508)


1983 - Passing of Continental Counsellor Raul Pavon

DEEPLY DEPLORE LOSS ZEALOUS SERVANT CAUSE BAHÁ'U'LLÁH RAUL PAVON DISTINGUISHED PROMOTER FAITH AND INDEFATIGABLE WORKER IN TEACHING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES LATIN AMERICA. HIS OUTSTANDING SERVICES AS MEMBER BOARD COUNSELLORS AMERICAS AND UNIQUE ENDEAVOURS ESTABLISHMENT FIRST BAHÁ'Í RADIO STATION WARMLY REMEMBERED. PRAYING HOLY SHRINES PROGRESS HIS RADIANT SOUL WORLDS GOD AND SOLACE LOVING COMFORT HIS BEREAVED FAMILY. FEEL CONFIDANT HIS DEARLY CHERISHED PARENTS REJOICE ABHA KINGDOM RANGE HIS DEDICATED SERVICES. URGE ALL COMMUNITIES AMERICAS HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS BEFITTING HIS HIGHLY VALUED CONTRIBUTIONS BELOVED FAITH.
[F692. For an account of the life and services of Raul Pavon, see BW 19:616.]

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986, p.604)


1998 - RELIGIOUS INJUSTICE, A TEST OF FAITH Atlanta

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