Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Essence of Love



Double click to enlarge the item above.


This is from a program from the Baha'i House of Worship, Wilmette, IL

June 30th in Baha'i History


1983 – Elderly Baha’i dies in prison in Shiraz …in service to the Cause


Three believers who were advanced in age have died in prison and thus have joined the ranks of those who have laid down their lives in service to the Cause. They are: Mr Husayn Nayyiri-Isfahani, 64 years old -- imprisoned in Isfahan and died just as he was going into court for his trial on 29 November 1982. Mr Ahmad-'Ali Thabit-Sarvistani, 67 years old -- died in prison in Shiraz on 30 June 1983. Mr Muhammad Ishraqi, 81 years old, an Auxiliary Board member -- died in prison in Tihran on 31 August 1983.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 605)


1937 – from a letter written on behalf of the Guardian


The Bahá'í teacher must be all confidence. Therein lies his strength and the secret of his success. Though single-handed, and no matter how great the apathy of the people around you may be, you should have faith that the hosts of the Kingdom are on your side, and that through their help you are bound to overcome the forces of darkness that are facing the Cause of God. Persevere, be happy and confident, therefore."
From a letter dated June 30, 1937, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, published in The Individual and Teaching, pp. 23-24 (Compilations, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 50)

Monday, June 29, 2009

June 29th in Baha'i History


1850 - Martyrdom of Vahid. (Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)


Zaynu'l-'Abidin Khan, the Governor of Nayriz, was alarmed by the tumultuous reception accorded to Vahid by the people of the town, and was shocked and angered when he saw that great numbers were entering the Faith within the span of a few days. He decided to take immediate action, and ordered the army to wipe out the newly-formed community and kill its leader. Soon there was a great upheaval and the followers of the Báb were forced to take refuge in an old fort outside the town. Though vastly outnumbered by the army, and in spite of their lack of training, these defenders of the fort of Khajih fought with such courage and heroism that their enemies suffered humiliating defeat and were forced to withdraw in terror.


Having realized the futility of his armed intervention, Zaynu'l-'Abidin Khan resorted to deception and treachery. Cunningly, he raised the cry of peace, sent a message in writing to the defenders of the fort to invite Vahid and other leaders to visit him in the army camp, and pledged his word to investigate the truth of the Cause of the Báb and to end all bloodshed and strife. In order to beguile those simple and pure-hearted men, he and his staff affixed their seal to the Qur'án and sent it with this message as a testimony of their honesty and truthfulness. Vahid knew their treachery, but to honour the Qur'án he emerged from the fort and went to the camp, where he was at first ceremoniously received. There he rebuked the authorities for their tyranny and blindness and called on them to investigate and embrace the new-born Faith of God. So penetrating were his words that the Governor and his men were confounded by the force of his argument. Recognizing the profundity of his knowledge and the sincerity of his beliefs, the Governor became apprehensive lest some of his men transfer their allegiance to Vahid. Within three days, through deceit and treachery, the Governor succeeded in evacuating the fort. But its heroic defenders walked into a trap, and most were massacred by the army. Vahid was shamefully put to death and his body was dragged through the streets and bazaars of Nayriz to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals, while men and women danced merrily around him.


Vahid's martyrdom shed an imperishable lustre upon the Faith of God. The story of his life adorns the pages of the history of the Cause and the example he has left will guide and inspire countless generations throughout the ages. He was peerless in the realm of learning and knowledge, indomitable in his faith, challenging in his public discourse, heroic in the defence of the Cause of God and unsurpassed in his love for the Báb.


In the Suriy-i-Sabr Bahá'u'lláh describes the proclamation of the Faith by Vahid and the circumstances which led to the upheaval in Nayriz. He recounts, at some length, the events which led to the incarceration of the believers and lauds their heroism, self-sacrifice, and eventual martyrdom. He portrays the agony and sufferings which were inflicted upon the survivors, mainly women and children, who were forced to accompany the heads of the martyrs which were carried aloft on lances to Shiraz and paraded in the streets and bazaars of that city.[1] He severely condemns the perpetrators of such atrocities and warns them not to rejoice in their actions, but to fear the wrath of an almighty God who will justly, in the next world, punish them for the cruelties they have inflicted upon His loved ones.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 264)

1883– Martyrdom of Mulla 'Ali-Jan in Mazindaran


Mulla 'Ali-Jan was a native of Mazindaran and was born in the year 1846. In his youth he displayed a passion for acquiring religious knowledge. He therefore studied Islamic theology and became well-versed in the Qur'án and the traditions of Islam. One day he came across some traditions extolling the merits of the city of 'Akká. He was puzzled by this, and no one among the divines could explain to him the significance of these traditions. He searched for an answer until he came across a well-known Bahá'í who taught him the Faith. Embracing the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh endowed Mulla 'Ali-Jan with new vision, and his religious passion found an outlet in the teaching field. With exemplary devotion and enthusiasm he taught the Faith to many souls; he even took the unusual step of proclaiming the Faith from the pulpits of the mosques. This resulted in great numbers entering the Faith in different villages.
Then began a period of great opposition. The divines clamoured for his death, and he was sent to Tihran where he was imprisoned. Eventually, with the approval of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, on 29 June 1883 he was escorted by a band of soldiers beating drums and blowing trumpets to a public square in Tihran and executed. Shoghi Effendi has summarized the story of his martyrdom in these words:
Mulla 'Ali Jan was conducted on foot from Mazindaran to Tihran, the hardships of that journey being so severe that his neck was wounded and his body swollen from the waist to the feet. On the day of his martyrdom he asked for water, performed his ablutions, recited his prayers, bestowed a considerable gift of money on his executioner, and was still in the act of prayer when his throat was slit by a dagger, after which his corpse was spat upon, covered with mud, left exposed for three days, and finally hewn to pieces.(35) (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 4, p. 386)

1912 – Abdul-Baha gave a Talk at Unity Feast, Outdoors in West Englewood, New Jersey


Here is a story of that day an talk from Juliet Thompson


The great words He spoke to us then have been preserved. I will not repeat them. Besides I remember them too imperfectly. But He said one thing which woke my whole being: "This is a New Day; a New Hour."


By the time He had finished, the feast was ready, but just as it was announced a storm blew up -- a strange, sudden storm, without warning. There was a tremendous crash of thunder; through the treetops we could see black clouds boiling up, and big drops of rain splashed on the tables.
The Master rose calmly and, followed by the Persians, walked out to the road, then to the end of it where there is a crossroad. A single chair had been left there and, as I watched from a distance, I saw the Master take it and sit down, while the Persians ranged themselves behind Him. I saw Him lift His face to the sky. He had gone a long way from the house; thunder still crashed and the clouds rolled frighteningly low, but He continued to sit perfectly motionless, that sacred, powerful face upturned to the sky. Then came a strong, rushing wind; the clouds began to race away; blue patches appeared above and the sun shone out. And then the Master rose and walked back into the grove. This I witnessed.


Later, as we sat at the tables, two hundred and fifty of us, He anointed us all with attar of rose. I was not at a table but sitting under a tree with Marjorie Morten and Silvia. The Master swept toward us in His long white robes, forever the Divine Shepherd.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The 5 Steps of Prayer




Shoghi Effendi is alleged to have prefaced the formula of prayers and meditation with the following five steps as transcribed by Ruth Moffet


Step 1: Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Messengers of God (Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Zoaster, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh) as they have the greatest power. Then remain in silence of contemplation for a few minutes.


Step 2: Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment, but if it seems to be an answer to prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.


Step 3: Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.


Step 4: Have Faith and confidence that the power will flow through you and the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right message, the right principle or the right book will be given you. Have confidence, and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once Step 5.


Step 5: Act. Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for Divine Power to flow through you. Many pray but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as though it had all been answered? How true are those words- "greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out."


From Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 90-91.* Excerpted from the pilgrim's notes of Ruth Moffet, an early American Bahá'i.
Prayer Requires Preparation:

One World Currency

Baha'i's believe that:

A worldscript, a world literature, a uniform and universal systemof currency, of weights and measures, will simplify andfacilitate intercourse and understanding among the nationsand races of mankind.

(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, p. 280)


China among other nations is now calling for a World Currency.

http://tinyurl.com/lx847e

June 28th in Baha'i History


1983 – Martyrdom in Shiraz


367.1 SWIFT ON HEELS EXECUTION YOUNG BAHÁ'ÍS SHIRAZ ANNOUNCE DISTRESSING NEWS YET ANOTHER YOUNG SERVANT BAHÁ'U'LLÁH THAT CITY, 24 YEAR OLD SUHAYL HUSHMAND, HANGED 28 JUNE, BRINGING TO 142 TOTAL NUMBER BAHÁ'ÍS KILLED SINCE BEGINNING ISLAMIC REVOLUTION, NOT INCLUDING 14 WHO DISAPPEARED. FATE OTHER PRISONERS SHIRAZ IN BALANCE.


UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 583)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 27th in Baha'i History


1826 - Death of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i. (Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)


He foretold and taught his followers of the coming of the promised Q’aim and -


Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, that luminous star of Divine guidance who had so clearly perceived, before the year sixty, the approaching glory of Bahá'u'lláh, and laid stress upon "the twin Revelations which are to follow each other in rapid succession," had, on his part, made this significant statement regarding the approaching hour of that supreme Revelation, in an epistle addressed in his own hand to Siyyid Kazim: "The mystery of this Cause must needs be made manifest, and the secret of this Message must needs be divulged. I can say no more. I can appoint no time. His Cause will be made known after Hin (68)."
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 92)


1965 - Death of 'Alí Akbar Rafí'í Rafsanjání, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh named for pioneering to Morocco, International Zone.


1984 – Martyrdom in Tihran


To all National Spiritual Assemblies


400.1 FURTHER OUR TELEX DATED 3 JULY WE HAVE JUST RECEIVED DISTRESSING NEWS OF EXECUTION IN TIHRAN ON 27 JUNE OF IHSANU'LLAH KATHIRI, 40 YEARS OLD, AFTER 11 MONTHS IMPRISONMENT HIS BODY UNCEREMONIOUSLY BURIED BY AUTHORITIES WITHOUT INFORMING FAMILY. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Baha'i Prayer for the Education of Children



Click on image above to make it larger!

The prayer by Abdul-Baha being sung by Jack Lenz can be seen here.

June 26th in Baha'i History

1942 - Passing of Hand of the Cause of God ABDU'L JALIL SAAD appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi


BAHÁ'Í WORLD DEPLORES LOSS DISTINGUISHED PROMOTER FAITH ABDU'L JALIL SAAD. HIS EMINENT SERVICES AS CHAMPION CAUSE IN EGYPT AS TEACHER AUTHOR ADMINISTRATOR UNFORGETTABLE. INFORM FRIENDS HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS HIS HONOUR.
SHOGHI (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Indian Subcontinent, p. 221)

1968 - The Universal House of Justice sent this address to the first National Youth Conference in the United States

61.1 WARMLY ACKNOWLEDGE CONFIDENT JOYOUS MESSAGE FROM BAHÁ'Í YOUTH GATHERED PRECINCTS MOTHER TEMPLE WEST. MOVED THEIR DETERMINATION SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES SERVE BELOVED FAITH CALL ON THEM BOLDLY CHALLENGE INVITE CONFUSED CONTEMPORARIES ENTRAPPED MORASS MATERIALISM TO EXAMINE PARTAKE LIFE-GIVING POWER CAUSE JOIN ARMY BAHÁ'U'LLÁH CONFRONT NEGATIVE FORCES OF A SOCIETY SADLY LACKING SPIRITUAL VALUES. ASSURE YOUTH ARDENT PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES GUIDANCE CONFIRMATION THEIR COURAGEOUS EFFORTS.
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

1995 - The Institutions of the Faith in the Untied States are granted Tax Exempt status:

The U.S. Treasury Department has held that the National Spiritual Assembly and all Local Spiritual Assemblies are exempt from federal income tax as organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (hereinafter sometimes called "the Code") in a letter dated June 26, 1995. A copy of this letter is available upon request.

(Compilations, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A new set of “Be” attitudes


A new set of “Be” attitudes
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.

Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.

Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.

Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.

Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men.

Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression.

Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.

Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.

Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.

Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 284)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24th in Baha'i History


Feast of Rahmat - Mercy


1926 - Birth of Enoch Olinga, Hand of the Cause of God and Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for British Cameroon. Pictured Above.


1936 - A Faith born of God and guided by His Divine and all-pervasive spirit cannot but finally triumph and firmly establish itself, no matter how persistent and insidious the forces with which it has to contend.


Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated June 24, 1936 (Compilations, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities)


1947 - "Our belief in Christ, as Bahá'ís, is so firm, so unshakable and so exalted in nature that very few Christians are to be found now-a-days who love Him and reverence Him and have the faith in Him that we have. It is only from the dogmas and creeds of the churches that we dissociate ourselves; not from the spirit of Christianity.


(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of Vienna, June 24, 1947)(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 159)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Begin with the End in Mind

I have used this story written by Baha’u’llah on several occasions to demonstrate a slightly different take on this second habit of highly effective people. What do you think?

“There was once a lover who had sighed for long years in separation from his beloved, and wasted in the fire of remoteness. From the rule of love, his heart was empty of patience, and his body weary of his spirit; he reckoned life without her as a mockery, and time consumed him away. How many a day he found no rest in longing for her; how many a night the pain of her kept him from sleep; his body was worn to a sigh, his heart's wound had turned him to a cry of sorrow. He had given a thousand lives for one taste of the cup of her presence, but it availed him not. The doctors knew no cure for him, and companions avoided his company; yea, physicians have no medicine for one sick of love, unless the favor of the beloved one deliver him.

At last, the tree of his longing yielded the fruit of despair, and the fire of his hope fell to ashes. Then one night he could live no more, and he went out of his house and made for the marketplace. On a sudden, a watchman followed after him. He broke into a run, with the watchman following; then other watchmen came together, and barred every passage to the weary one. And the wretched one cried from his heart, and ran here and there, and moaned to himself: "Surely this watchman is Izra'il, my angel of death, following so fast upon me; or he is a tyrant of men, seeking to harm me." His feet carried him on, the one bleeding with the arrow of love, and his heart lamented. Then he came to a garden wall, and with untold pain he scaled it, for it proved very high; and forgetting his life, he threw himself down to the garden.

And there he beheld his beloved with a lamp in her hand, searching for a ring she had lost. When the heart-surrendered lover looked on his ravishing love, he drew a great breath and raised up his hands in prayer, crying: "O God! Give Thou glory to the watchman, and riches and long life. For the watchman was Gabriel, guiding this poor one; or he was Israfil, bringing life to this wretched one!"

Indeed, his words were true, for he had found many a secret justice in this seeming tyranny of the watchman, and seen how many a mercy lay hid behind the veil. Out of wrath, the guard had led him who was athirst in love's desert to the sea of his loved one, and lit up the dark night of absence with the light of reunion. He had driven one who was afar, into the garden of nearness, had guided an ailing soul to the heart's physician.

Now if the lover could have looked ahead, he would have blessed the watchman at the start, and prayed on his behalf, and he would have seen that tyranny as justice; but since the end was veiled to him, he moaned and made his plaint in the beginning. Yet those who journey in the garden land of knowledge, because they see the end in the beginning, see peace in war and friendliness in anger.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 13)

June 23rd in Baha'i History


1870 - Mirzá Mihdí dies in ‘Akká after falling through a skylight. The photo above is of his resting place on Mt. Carmel.


What expressions of devotion, love and thanksgiving must have passed through his lips on that occasion, we cannot imagine. All we know is that Bahá'u'lláh, having the power of life and death in His hands, asked His dying son whether he wished to live. He assured him that if this was his wish God would enable him to recover and grant him good health. But the Purest Branch begged Bahá'u'lláh to accept his life as a ransom for the opening of the gates of the prison to the face of the many believers who were longing to come and enter the presence of their Lord. Bahá'u'lláh accepted his sacrifice and he died on 23 June 1870, twenty-two hours after his fall.

Thus ended the life of one of whom Bahá'u'lláh states that he 'was created of the light of Baha', whose birth had taken place during some of the darkest hours in the history of the Faith, whose infancy had been spent within the cradle of adversity, whose soul at an early age had been set aglow with the fire of ordeal and separation, whose days of joy had been spent in exile and within the walls of a prison, and whose tragic death had clothed him with the crimson vesture of sacrifice, shedding thereby an imperishable lustre upon the Cause of his glorious Father.

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3, p. 207)


Nabil-i-A'zam has said that he, Siyyid Mihdiy-i-Dahaji[1] and Nabil-i-Qa'ini[2] were in Nazareth when the earth tremor occurred. It lasted for about three minutes and people were frightened. Later when they heard the news of the death of the Purest Branch they realized that it coincided with the timing of his burial and then they knew the reason for it. Bahá'u'lláh, in one of His Tablets referring to the Purest Branch, confirms the 210 cause of the earth tremor in these words:
Blessed art thou and blessed he that turneth unto thee, and visiteth thy grave, and draweth nigh, through thee, unto God, the Lord of all that was and shall be... I testify that thou didst return in meekness unto thine abode. Great is thy blessedness and the blessedness of them that hold fast unto the hem of thy outspread robe... Thou art, verily, the trust of God and His treasure in this land. Erelong will God reveal through thee that which He hath desired. He, verily,is the Truth, the Knower of things unseen. When thou wast laid to rest in the earth, the earth itself trembled in its longing to meet thee. Thus hath it been decreed, and yet the people perceive not... Were We to recount the mysteries of thine ascension, they that are asleep would waken, and all beings would be set ablaze with the fire of the remembrance of My Name, the Mighty, the Loving.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3, p. 209)
Lauded be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou seest me in this day shut up in my prison, and fallen into the hands of Thine adversaries, and beholdest my son (The Purest Branch) lying on the dust before Thy face. He is Thy servant, O my Lord, whom Thou hast caused to be related to Him Who is the Manifestation of Thyself and the Day-Spring of Thy Cause.
At his birth he was afflicted through his separation from Thee, according to what had been ordained for him through Thine irrevocable decree. And when he had quaffed the cup of reunion with Thee, he was cast into prison for having believed in Thee and in Thy signs. He continued to serve Thy Beauty until he entered into this Most Great Prison. Thereupon I offered him up, O my God, as a sacrifice in Thy path. Thou well knowest what they who love Thee have endured through this trial that hath caused the kindreds of the earth to wail, and beyond them the Concourse on high to lament.
I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by him and by his exile and his imprisonment, to send down upon such as loved him what will quiet their hearts and bless their works. Potent art Thou to do as Thou willest. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 34)

In a Tablet revealed in that grievous hour Bahá'u'lláh sorrows that "This is the day whereon he that was created of the light of Baha has suffered martyrdom, at a time when he lay imprisoned at the hands of his enemies." Yet He makes clear that the youth passing has a far profounder meaning than His acceptance of the simple request, declaring that "Thou art, verily, the trust of God and His treasure in this land. Erelong will God reveal through thee that which He hath desired." In a prayer revealed for His son He proclaims the purpose underlying the tragedy: "I have, O my Lord, offered up that which Thou hast given Me, that Thy servants may be quickened, and all that dwell on earth be united." Thus upon a youth of consummate devotion who demonstrated such beauty of spirit and total dedication was conferred a unique station in the Cause of God.

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 168)

the Purest Branch, the martyred son of Bahá'u'lláh, "created of the light of Baha," the "Trust of God" and His "Treasure" in the Holy Land, and offered up by his Father as a "ransom" for the regeneration of the world and the unification of its peoples.

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 347)
The Purest Branch, the martyred son, the companion, and amanuensis of Bahá'u'lláh, that pious and holy youth, who in the darkest days of Bahá'u'lláh's incarceration in the barracks of 'Akká entreated, on his death-bed, his Father to accept him as a ransom for those of His loved ones who yearned for, but were unable to attain, His presence,

(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 31)
The Master, as a very young man, was called upon to shoulder heavy responsibilities in the service of His Father in Iraq and Turkey; and His brother, the Purest Branch, yielded up his life to God in the Most Great Prison at the age of twenty-two that the servants of God might "be quickened, and all that dwell on earth be united."

(The Universal House of Justice, 1966 Jun 10, Youth in Every Land)

Also On June 23rd
1845 – An Account of the activities of this date in Persia appeared in the London Times dtd November 19, 1845 As far is known, these were the earliest references to the Faith the Báb in any Western publication.
”(June 23): -- Four persons being heard repeating their profession of faith according to the form prescribed by the impostor, were apprehended, tried, and found guilty of unpardonable blasphemy. They were sentenced to lose their beards by fire being set to them. The sentence was put into execution with all the zeal and fanaticism becoming a true believer in Mahomet. Not deeming the loss of beards a sufficient punishment, they were further sentenced the next day, to have their faces blacked and exposed through the city. Each of them was led by a mirgazah[1] (executioner), who had made a hole in his nose and passed through it a string, which he sometimes pulled with such violence that the unfortunate fellows cried out alternately for mercy from the executioner and for vengeance from Heaven. It is the custom in Persia on such occasions for the executioners to collect money from the spectators, and particularly from the shopkeepers in the bazaar. In the evening when the pockets of the executioners were well filled with money, they led the unfortunate fellows to the city gate, and there turned them adrift.

(H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 76)

1912 – Abdul-Baha gave a Talk at Montclair, New Jersey


1970 - In commemoration of the centenary of the martyrdom of the Purest Branch, which falls on 23 June 1970, we call upon the Bahá'ís of the world to unite in prayer for "the regeneration of the world and the unification of its peoples."

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 168)


1981 Three more Martyrs in Tihran


To all National Spiritual Assemblies


286.1 TRAGIC NEWS JUST RECEIVED THREE MORE PROMINENT PERSIAN BAHÁ'ÍS, BUZURG 'ALAVIYAN, HASHIM FARNUSH AND FARHANG MAVADDAT EXECUTED TIHRAN YESTERDAY. CHARGES COMPLETELY MISREPRESENT BAHÁ'Í SERVICES AS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ACTIVITIES. ... OFFERING PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES BLESSED BEAUTY MAY CONFIRM ALL EFFORTS ALLEVIATE SUFFERINGS OPPRESSED INNOCENT COMMUNITY.
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 22nd in Baha'i History


22 June 1870, early in the evening, Bahá'u'lláh informed His son (The Purest Branch Mirza Mihdi) that he was not needed that day to write and that instead he could go up on the roof for prayer and meditation as was his custom. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3, p. 204) He fell through a skylight and died 22 hours later on 23 June 1870.


The photo Above is of the spot where Mirza Mihdi landed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 21st in Baha'i History

21 June 1850
The Bábís, through treachery, induced to leave the fort, then set upon and killed. End of First Nayriz Upheaval. (Misc Baha'i, Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)

21 June 1912 - On 21 June, the Master left for Montclair to stay nine days. I was with Him all day till He went. I had lunched with Him nearly every day that week. Lua, Mrs Hinkle-Smith, Valiyu'llah Khan, and I bade Him goodbye on the steps of His house. Montclair
(Misc Baha'i, The Diary of Juliet Thompson)

1968 - Establishment of the Continental Board of Counsellors by the Universal House of Justice
To: All National Spiritual Assemblies
Dear Bahá'í Friends,
The following cable has today been sent to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States for publication in "Bahá'í News":
Rejoice announce momentous decision establish eleven Continental Boards Counselors protection propagation Faith three each for Africa Americas Asia one each for Australasia Europe. Adoption this significant step following consultation with Hands Cause God ensures extension future appointed functions their institution. Continental Boards entrusted in close collaboration Hands Cause with responsibility direction Auxiliary Boards and consultation National Spiritual Assemblies. Hands Cause God will henceforth increase intercontinental services assuming worldwide role protection propagation Faith. Members Auxiliary Boards will report be responsible to Continental Boards Counselors. Hands Cause residing Holy Land in addition serving liaison between Universal House Justice and Continental Boards Counselors will assist future establishment International Teaching Center Holy Land foreshadowed writings beloved Guardian. Details new developments being conveyed by letter. Fervently supplicating Holy Threshold divine confirmations further step irresistible unfoldment mighty Administrative Order Bahá'u'lláh (Signed) Universal House of Justice.
With loving Bahá'í greetings,
THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, p. 4)

Hidden Word


Thanks to the people from Daily Readings for this gift.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 20th in Baha'i History


1912 – Abdul-Baha spoke at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York


1912 – Juliet Thompson recalls the Master that day:


The next day, 20 June, we went to Mrs Kasebier's -- Lua, Mrs Hinkle-Smith, and I -- in the car with the Master.
I shall never forget the Master's beauty in the strange cold light of her studio, a green, underwater sort of light, in which He looked shining and chiselled, like the statue of a god. But the pictures are dark shadows of Him.
(Misc Baha'i, The Diary of Juliet Thompson)


1954 – the following remarks on the role of the individual believer were written in a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:


This challenge, so severe and insistent, and yet so glorious, faces no doubt primarily the individual believer on whom, in the last resort, depends the fate of the entire community. He it is who constitutes the warp and woof on which the quality and pattern of the whole fabric must depend. He it is who acts as one of the countless links in the mighty chain that now girdles the globe. He it is who serves as one of the multitude of bricks which support the structure and ensure the stability of the administrative edifice now being raised in every part of the world. Without his support, at once whole-hearted, continuous and generous, every measure adopted, and every plan formulated, by the Body which acts as the national representative of the community to which he belongs is foredoomed to failure. The World Centre of the Faith itself is paralysed if such a support on the part of the rank and file of the community is denied it. The Author of the Divine Plan Himself is impeded in His purpose if the proper instruments for the execution of His design are lacking. The sustaining strength of Bahá'u'lláh Himself, the Founder of the Faith, will be withheld from every and each individual who fails in the long run to arise and play his part.
(From a letter dated 20 June 1954 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States)

(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 23)

June 19th in Baha'i History


1912: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá confers upon New York City the title of "City of the Covenant". On the same day, he explains to the believers there His station as the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant.

Here is an on-line gem:
‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ IN NEW YORK: THE CITY OF THE COVENANT
This 61 page document tells of the Master’s visit to NYRetrieved from "http://bahaikipedia.org/June_19"

1850 -Arrival of the Báb at Tabriz. (Misc Baha'i, Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)


1975 - Bahá'ís took full advantage of opportunities created by United Nations International Women's Year (1975). The Universal House of Justice appointed two women to represent the Bahá'í International Community at the historic World Conference on Women held in Mexico City between 19 June and 2 July 1975. Nine Bahá'ís were appointed to represent the Bahá'í International Community at the NGO Tribune held parallel to the World Conference. Bahá'ís participated fully in the Tribune activities, sponsoring an exhibit and holding a reception.
(Baha'i International Community, 1995 Feb 29, Baha'i International Community International Organ)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18th in Baha'i History


1983: Ten Bahá’í women, including 17-year-old Mona Mahmudnizhad, are hanged in Shiraz, Iran after being arrested for teaching religious children's classes to Bahá’í youth.


Here are two links to music videos about the event.
Mona, With the children – Doug Cameron
Kiss the Rope – smith and dragoman


The Universal House of Justice said:
364.2 THE EXECUTION OF THESE GUILTLESS WOMEN IN THE NAME OF RELIGION MUST SHOCK CONSCIENCE HUMANITY. THEY WERE ARRESTED FOR ACTIVITIES IN BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY INCLUDING EDUCATION OF YOUTH.
364.3 FOLLOWING LONG INTERROGATION IN PRISON THEY WERE WARNED THEY WOULD BE SUBJECTED TO FOUR SESSIONS PRESSURING THEM RECANT THEIR FAITH ACCEPT ISLAM AND IF BY FOURTH TIME THEY HAD NOT SIGNED PREPARED STATEMENT RECANTING FAITH THEY WOULD BE KILLED. ALL PREFERRED DIE RATHER THAN DENY THEIR FAITH
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 581)


Also on this day:
1991: Death of John Robarts, prominent Canadian Bahá’í and Hand of the Cause of God


1912 – Abdul-Baha spoke at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17th in Baha'i History


The Picture at left is of my wife and a friend standing in the foundation of the Universal House of Justice, today marks the 34th anniversary of -
1975 – Beginning of the excavation of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice

To all National Spiritual Assemblies
165.1 JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE COMMENCEMENT EXCAVATION SITE UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE BUILDING ARC MOUNT CARMEL CONTRACT ENTAILS REMOVAL FORTY THOUSAND CUBIC METRES ROCK AND EARTH AT COST APPROXIMATELY TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. INVITE ALL BELIEVERS CONTRIBUTE UNSTINTINGLY BUILDING FUND ENSURE UNINTERRUPTED PROGRESS HISTORIC UNDERTAKING.
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986 p.318)

Also taking place on June 17th:

1912 - Abdul -Baha Spoke at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

1984 – Martyrdom of a believer from Mashhad

To all National Spiritual Assemblies
399.1 FURTHER DISTRESSING NEWS RECEIVED FROM IRAN OF EXECUTION BY HANGING OF NUSRATU'LLAH VAHDAT IN MASHHAD 17 JUNE. AN ADDITIONAL 51 BELIEVERS NOW HELD IN PRISONS IRAN, MAKING TOTAL OF 751, SOME OF WHOM ARE SUBJECTED TO CRUEL TORTURE. A NUMBER OF FRIENDS ARE NOW IN PARTICULAR DANGER. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986 p.632)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16th in Baha'i History


1897 - Birth of Adelbert Mühlschlegel, Hand of the Cause of God and prominent German Bahá’í
1912 – Abdu'l-Baha spoke at the Fourth Unitarian Church, Beverly Road, Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY. This talk is the source of the following verse
The unity which is productive of unlimited results is first a unity of mankind which recognizes that all are sheltered beneath the overshadowing glory of the All-Glorious, that all are servants of one God; for all breathe the same atmosphere, live upon the same earth, move beneath the same heavens, receive effulgence from the same sun and are under the protection of one God. This is the most great unity, and its results are lasting if humanity adheres to it;
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 191)
1912 – Abdu'l-Baha spoke at the MacNutt Home, 935 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
1912 - Abdu'l-Baha spoke at the Central Congregational Church, Hancock St, Brooklyn, NY
1913 - Abdu'l-Baha – arrived in Egypt
At last the long journey was over and the Master, sixty-nine years old and exhausted from His herculean labours, returned to Egypt on 16 June 1913.
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 21)
1983 – Six Baha’is executed in Shiraz

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

363.1 WITH GREAT SORROW IMPART NEWS EXECUTION BY HANGING LATE HOURS 16 JUNE IN SHIRAZ ANOTHER SIX VALIANT SERVANTS CAUSE:
DR BAHRAM AFNAN, PROMINENT PHYSICIAN, 48 YEARS OLD
MR BAHRAM YALDA'I, STUDENT, 23 YEARS OLD
MR JAMSHID SIYAVUSHI, MERCHANT, 39 YEARS OLD
MR 'INAYATU'LLAH ISHRAQI, RETIRED OFFICER OIL COMPANY, 60 YEARS OLD
MR KURUSH HOQBIN, ELECTRICAL TECHNICIAN, 27 YEARS OLD
MR 'ABDU'L-HUSAYN AZADI, EMPLOYEE HEALTH MINISTRY, 60 YEARS OLD

363.2 GRAVELY CONCERNED LIVES OTHER PRISONERS THREATENED BE SUBJECTED SIMILAR FATE IF REFUSE RECANT FAITH AND EMBRACE ISLAM. THIS RUTHLESS TREATMENT BY FANATICS NOW TAKING REINS JUSTICE THEIR HANDS IN DEFIANCE WORLD PUBLIC OPINION, DEMANDS SPECIAL CONSIDERATION BY GOVERNMENTS AND PEOPLE OF PROMINENCE TO EXERT UTMOST EFFORTS PREVENT CONTINUATION SUCH ACTS WHICH VIOLATE PRINCIPLES JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS. ...

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986 p. 580)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Motivational Quote

I really liked this quote I found the other day:

Have patience, wait but do not sit idle; work while you are waiting; smile when you are wearied with monotony; be firm while everything around you is being shaken; be joyous while the ugly face of despair grins at you; speak aloud while the malevolent forces of the nether world try to crush your mind; be valiant and courageous while men all around you are cringing with fear and cowardice.
(Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 547)

Hope for Iran

Maybe not today, but God willing soon

"Rejoice with great joy, O Land of Ta (Tihran), for God hath made thee the dayspring of His light, inasmuch as within thee was born the Manifestation of His glory. Be thou glad for this name that hath been conferred upon thee -- a name through which the Daystar of grace hath shed its splendor, through which both earth and heaven have been illumined. Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people. Verily, thy Lord is the All-Knowing. His authority embraceth all things. Rest thou assured in the gracious favor of thy Lord. The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Thus hath it been decreed in the Wondrous Book."
(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 148)