Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31st in Baha'i History


1868: Bahá’u’lláh arrives in ‘Akká.
A sailing-boat took the exiles from Haifa, across the bay to 'Akká. Wild rumours had preceded them, and the inhabitants of the town were puzzled, curious, and certainly prejudiced, hostile and even contemptuous. Some of them were at the quayside to gape at 'The God of the Persians', and to jeer. It was the afternoon of 31 August 1868, corresponding to the twelfth day of Jamadiyu'l-Avval AH 1285, that Bahá'u'lláh, with His family and companions, entered the 'Most Great Prison' and were incarcerated in the strongly-fortified citadel.

(H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 269)

1876: 'Abdu'l-Hamid II becomes Sultan, upon which the banishment decree of Sultan 'Abdu'l-Aziz is relaxed.


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Montreal
In the morning, the pastor of the Unitarian Church came with several others to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master discussed with them the elimination of religious superstitions and prejudices, which are contrary to science and common sense and which are obstacles to the attainment of the foundation of truth of the divine religions.
A newspaper reporter was then announced. He had come to interview the Master about His life and the history of the Cause. `Abdu'l-Bahá gave a detailed account, which was recorded by the reporter.
The Master went to the dinner table. Mr Maxwell had come from the customs house and said that when the inspector opened the first suitcase and saw a picture of the Master, he asked, `Is this the picture of the prophet of Persia?' When he received an affirmative reply, the inspector said, `There is no need to inspect these goods' and released all the luggage.
Some of the newspapers accounts about the visit of the Master are full of reverence and praise.
In the afternoon, at the invitation of Mr Maxwell, the Master went for ride in the town. While in the carriage He remarked:
Every city in which the remembrance of God is raised is a divine city. `Akká was a despised city but when it became the center of the mention of God and the dawning place of His Light, it illumined the world.
When He saw some of the college buildings, `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
As only material education is imparted and only natural philosophy is taught, these universities do not produce highly talented scholars. When both the natural and the divine philosophies are expounded, they will bring forth outstanding souls and evince great advancement. The reason for the success of the Greek schools was that they combined both natural and divine philosophies.
As His carriage passed by the Unitarian Church, He said, `Tomorrow we will raise the Call of God in this place.'
The carriage reached the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame. Everything was quiet and no one was in sight. The Master alighted and went in to see the huge building. With rapt attention, He gazed at the vast cathedral, its ornamentation and numerous statues and spoke of its grandeur and embellishments. Standing in an open space at the entrance, He addressed us saying:
Behold what eleven disciples of Christ have accomplished, how they sacrificed themselves! I exhort you to walk in their footsteps. When a person is detached, he is capable of revolutionizing the whole world. The disciples of Christ met together in consultation on top of a mountain. They pledged themselves to undergo all manner of hardships, to accept every affliction as a bounty and to consider all difficulties easy to overcome. `He who is tied to a family, let him arrange to leave it; he who is not should remain single. He should forgo his comfort and his life.' Consulting thus, they descended from the mountain and each one went a different way and never returned. It is for this reason that they were able to leave behind such achievements. After Christ, the disciples truly forgot themselves, and not merely in word. Hence, the Blessed Beauty cited:
Either be like women and indulge in adornment and pleasureOr like men, come out and throw down the gauntlet.

`Abdu'l-Bahá took His seat in the carriage again and told us:
On our way to Baghdád we had to put up with unbearable hardships. At one time a Turkish soldier of the Ottoman army appeared before us. Mírzá Yahyá, on seeing the soldier sitting on the horse with majesty and dignity, cried out with great grief and despair, `Oh! Where were we? Where are we now going? They say that all heads will bow. When shall it be?' I said to him in reply, `When the divine bounty attains perfection, persons greater than this soldier will bow their heads under the shadow of the Word of God.' Where is Mírzá Yahyá now? Let him come and see how the power of Bahá'u'lláh has so inspired humility in these Americans, who consider the Turks as nothing, that a person like Mr Maxwell, an American, is with deference serving Mírzá Ahmad, a Persian.

In the evening there was a well-attended meeting at `Abdu'l-Bahá's residence. He spoke, with good effect, about spiritual progress and the manifestation of divine virtues in human realities. Afterwards many requested private interviews. On receiving satisfactory answers to their questions, they expressed their heartfelt gratitude. Among them was the president of a socialist organization who invited the Master to his group. His request was granted. As it grew late in the evening and other people were waiting for private interviews, we suggested that since the Master might be weary, it would be better if the rest of those waiting came back in the morning. He replied, `No, this is the time to work. We must not think of our fatigue. Everyone is to be met.'

1983 – Announcement that 3 elderly Baha’i’s died in prison
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)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30th in Baha'i History

1912 – Abdul- Baha was in Malden and traveling to Montreal

`Abdu'l-Bahá left today for Montreal. The only servants He took with Him were Mírzá Ahmad Sohrab and myself. Because He had decided to travel to the Western part of America at the pressing invitation of the friends in California, He said, `We have a long distance to go and must therefore leave as soon as possible.' For this reason, He instructed Mírzá Valíyu'lláh Khán-i-Varqá, Áqá Mírzá `Alí-Akbar Nakhjávání, Áqá Sa`íd Asad'u'lláh and Dr Getsinger to remain until His return.
As soon as the friends and a group of Arabs saw `Abdu'l-Bahá at the railway station in Boston, they surrounded Him, their faces beaming with joy and enthusiasm. At 9:00 a.m. the train left Boston and reached Montreal at 8:00 p.m. On the way, a Canadian was privileged to speak with `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master pointed out to him the straight path of truth, and even though this individual had known nothing about `Abdu'l-Bahá before this encounter, he was attracted to Him.
When we arrived at the station, we saw Mr [Sutherland] Maxwell hurrying forward to greet the Master. He had two carriages to convey the Master and His companions to his home. There a group of friends and a newspaper publisher were waiting to see the Master. At the table, Mrs [May] Maxwell said, `So many people have telephoned and sent letters about your arrival and I have replied to all. I have become very tired but I consider this fatigue the greatest comfort of my life.' A pastor had telephoned to ask the Master to address his congregation the day after tomorrow. The editor of the newspaper said that he would publish the announcement the next day. When Mrs Maxwell informed `Abdu'l-Bahá of this, He said, `Very well. You were tired, having undergone such trouble today. You must rest for the time being.'
(Mahmud's Diary)

1926 - The Guardian “wrote to one of the Bahá'ís: "I am anxiously considering ways and means for the formation of some sort of efficient, competent Secretariat in Haifa...”
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 248)

1939 – The Guardian wrote about Wrold War II –
As the long shadow of war descended on Europe I remember well the almost tangible feeling of catastrophe that enveloped me when Shoghi Effendi wrote, from the very heart of that continent, the poetic and powerful words that opened his cable of 30 August 1939: "shades night descending imperilled humanity inexorably deepening...

(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 182)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

treadeth upon the high places...


Baha'i Graphic #27
By Jack Bush
Click to enlarge
Photo taken by me of Gastineau Channel from the top of Mt. Roberts in Juneau, Alaska.

Baha'i Scripture

He bringeth to light whatsoever He willeth, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, invested with transcendent majesty and power.

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 231)

August 29th in Baha'i History


1910: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá leaves the Holy Land for the first time in forty-two years, journeying to Egypt.


1912 - Talk at Home of Madame Morey 34 Hillside Avenue, Malden, Massachusetts


Today was the last day of the Master's stay in Malden. In addition to receiving visitors every minute to bid them farewell, He was busy correcting letters to be posted.
In the evening a joyful meeting was held at His residence. The friends were encouraged as He exhorted them to exert their utmost to promulgate the Word of God. At the end of the meeting He said to Mrs Wilson, `Since my arrival in America I have stayed in but two homes, Mrs Parsons's and yours. God be praised that the divine confirmations have descended on you and that you are assisted in serving the Cause of the Blessed Beauty. You must appreciate the value of this blessing.' Then turning to Miss Englehorn, He said: `I am very pleased with your services. Were you worldly, you would have received your wages but as you are heavenly and divine, your reward is with Bahá'u'lláh.' (Mahmud’s Diary)


1980 - Article on the Faith printed in LeMonde

Recently the world press has carried several excellent articles written by fair- minded and well-known non-Bahá'í writers in support of our beloved Faith. Le Monde of Paris in its 29 August issue published a remarkable article earnestly defending the Bahá'í community in Iran. The Universal House of Justice has asked us to send you a copy of the article in French, with a translation of its text into English, for your information and use in any manner you deem advisable. (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 458)

1983 - Iran Bans Bahá'í Administration

SORELY TRIED COMMUNITY GREATEST NAME IRAN HAS IN RECENT DAYS SUSTAINED YET ANOTHER CRUEL BLOW OPENING NEW CHAPTER ITS TURBULENT HISTORY. ON 29 AUGUST IN UNPRECEDENTED MOVE REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT THROUGH STATEMENT ISSUED ATTORNEY-GENERAL ANNOUNCED BAN BAHÁ'Í ADMINISTRATION, RECITING USUAL FALSE ACCUSATIONS STATING EXISTENCE ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALLY CONSIDERED TO BE AGAINST LAWS CONSTITUTION COUNTRY. HOWEVER STATEMENT SAID BAHÁ'ÍS MAY PRACTICE BELIEFS AS PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS PROVIDED THEY DO NOT TEACH OR INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN FAITH, THEY DO NOT FORM ASSEMBLIES OR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ADMINISTRATION. SERVING IN BAHÁ'Í ADMINISTRATION NOW SPECIFIED AS CRIMINAL ACT. THIS LATEST ONSLAUGHT DEFENCELESS COMMUNITY CLEARLY DEMONSTRATES IMPLACABILITY FANATICAL ELEMENTS IN THEIR DRIVE SUPPRESS LIGHT GOD'S INFANT FAITH IN LAND ITS FIRST GLEAMING.

IN CONFORMITY PRINCIPLE LOYALTY OBEDIENCE GOVERNMENT NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY IRAN IMMEDIATELY TOOK ACTION DISSOLVE BAHÁ'Í ADMINISTRATION THROUGHOUT COUNTRY THUS UPHOLDING INTEGRITY COMMUNITY DESPITE HEAVY YOKE CRUELTIES BORNE BY ITS MEMBERS FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS. CONFIDENT THAT STEADFAST TRIED AND DEVOTED FRIENDS THAT LONG-AGITATED LAND WILL FACE NEW SITUATION WITH RADIANT FORTITUDE. AT SAME 592 TIME BAHÁ'ÍS EI.SEWHERE ENJOYING FREEDOM PRACTICE FAITH ACUTELY CHALLENGED TO VINDICATE BY THEIR RECONSECRATION TO IMMEDIATE SACRED TASKS UNABATED SUFFERING THEIR GRIEVOUSLY WRONGED IRANIAN BRETHREN. INDEED ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES URGED TAKE STEPS STRENGTHEN FOUNDATION BAHÁ'Í INSTITUTIONS THEIR COUNTRIES AS TRIBUTE SACRIFICES COURAGEOUSLY ACCEPTED MEMBERS COMMUNITY BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S NATIVE LAND.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


1983 – Announce the executions of 3 more Baha’i’s in Iran


WITH SORROWFUL HEARTS WE ANNOUNCE EXECUTION OF THREE MORE BAHÁ'ÍS IN IRAN, MR AHMAD BASHIRI, MEMBER NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DISBANDED 29 AUGUST 1983, MR YUNIS NAWRUZI-IRANZAD, MEMBER LOCAL ASSEMBLY KARAJ.
THESE TWO EXECUTED BY HANGING AND THE THIRD, MR FIRUZ PURDIL, AN ENGINEER FROM MASHHAD DETAILS OF WHOSE EXECUTION NOT YET KNOWN. IT IS CERTAIN THAT MR BASHIRI IN HIS FIFTEEN MONTHS' IMPRISONMENT SUFFERED CRUEL INHUMAN TORTURES DESIGNED TO OBTAIN FALSE DECLARATION FROM HIM IMPLICATING DISBANDED BAHÁ'Í ADMINISTRATION IN IRAN AS ESPIONAGE NETWORK. HIS ENDURANCE, STEADFASTNESS, LIKE THAT OF HIS HEROIC FELLOW BELIEVERS, THWARTED INFAMOUS DESIGNS. MR BASHIRI AND MR NAWRUZI-IRANZAD ALONG WITH MR SHAPUR MARKAZI PREVIOUSLY REPORTED WERE INCLUDED IN LIST BAHÁ'ÍS ALREADY CONDEMNED TO DEATH. THIS CAUSES GRAVE CONCERN FATE REMAINING VALIANT SOULS LANGUISHING IN PRISON. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 647)

2000- Baha’i International Community –


BAHA'IS CALL FOR RELIGIOUS LEADERS GATHERED AT THE UNITED NATIONS TO IDENTIFY "CORE VALUES" THAT CAN LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR PEACE


Click here for the Press Release.

Friday, August 28, 2009

when He chanteth..

Baha'i Graphic #26
By Jack Bush
Click to enlarge.
Photo taken by me in Alaska

Baha'i Scripture

.....and when He chanteth words of praise and glorification of God all Paradise becomes motionless like unto ice locked in the heart of a frost-bound mountain.

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 54)

August in Baha'i History


The exact dates are unavailable but the following happened in August.


1842 - The Bab marries Khadijih-Bagum


After a few months in Shiraz He declared His intention of going once again to 'Iraq. His mother, alarmed and agitated by this decision, once more sought the aid of her brother. Their efforts resulted in the marriage of the Báb to Khadijih-Bagum, daughter of Haji Mirza 'Ali, the paternal uncle of His mother. The marriage took place in August 1842. (H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 46)


1848 - The Bab was returned to the prison fortress of Chiriq


It must have been sometime in the first days of August 1848 that the Báb was restored to Chihriq. (H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 147)


1851 - Baha'u'llah was in Kirmanshah


Bahá'u'lláh spent most of August 1851, the month of Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting), in Kirmanshah. There, both Nabil-i-A'zam and Mulla 'Abdu'l-Karim-i-Qazvini attained His presence. He directed Mulla 'Abdu'l-Karim to go to Tihran, and Nabil to take Mirza Yahya with him and stay in the vicinity of Shah-rud. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 67)


1852 - Baha'u'llah imprisoned in the Siyah-Chal


He was thrown into the dungeon called 'The Black Pit' in Teheran in August 1852. (Thief in the Night)


1852 - Signs in the heavens


Biela's comet disappeared in 1846. It returned in August, 1852. This was the very month and year in which Bahá'u'lláh was cast into an underground prison in Teheran. It was the beginning of the forty years of his Mission which ended in Israel in 1892 with his death; the forty years foretold by Micah during which God would show to the Messiah 'wonderful things'. (Thief in the Night)


1852 - The Martyrdom of Tahirih


Tahirih was at the height of her beauty and power when she was slain in August 1852. She was thirty-six. Siyyid Kazim had called her Qurratu'l-'Ayn -- "Consolation of the Eyes." Others had called her Zarrin-T j "Crowned of Gold." But the name by which she lives forever in the hearts of her people is Tahirih -- the Pure One. (William Sears, Release the Sun, p. 120)


1883 - Baha'u'llah's second visit to Haifa


There is a dated Tablet, in the handwriting of Mirza Aqa Jan, which indicates that Bahá'u'lláh was in Haifa in August 1883, probably the date of this second visit. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 373)




1918 - The Master threatened with crucifixion


But the greatest threat to the Master's life and to His family came at the moment when the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, "the brutal, the all-powerful and unscrupulous Jamal Pasha, an inveterate enemy of the Faith," as Shoghi Effendi described him, contemplated crucifying the Master and His whole family, according to Major Tudor which entered Haifa in August 1918, and who states this hideous act was due to take place two days before their entry, but was frustrated by the rapidity of the British advance and the consequent hasty retreat of the Turkish forces.
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 26)


1980 - Disappearance of 2 Auxillary Board Members and the NSA of Iran


THIS HEINOUS ACT CAUSES US FEAR THAT MEMBERS PREVIOUS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND TWO AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS WHO DISAPPEARED AUGUST 1980, AS WELL AS TWO OTHERS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN OVER TWO YEARS, HAVE SUFFERED SAME FATE. NAMES THESE HEROIC DEDICATED SERVANTS BLESSED BEAUTY ARE:
AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS
DR YUTSIF 'ABBASIYAN
DR HISHMATU'LLAH RAWHANI
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS
DR 'ALIMURAD DAVUDI
MR 'ABDU'L-HUSAYN TASLIMI
MR HUSHANG MAHMUDI
MR IBRAHIM RAHMANI
DR HUSAYN NAJI
MR MANUCHIHR QA'IM MAQAMI
MR 'ATA'U'LLAH MUQARRABI
MR YUSIF QADIMI
MRS BAHIYYIH NADIRI
DR KAMBIZ SADIQZADIH
MEMBER LOCAL ASSEMBLY TIHRAN
MR RUHI RAWSHANI
PROMINENT TEACHER
MR MUHAMMAD MUVAHHID

EXEMPLARY CHARACTER THESE SELFLESS GLORIOUS SOULS SOURCE INSPIRATION TO BAHÁ'ÍS OF WORLD. WHILE NOT ABLE WIN CROWN MARTYRDOM LIKE PERSIAN BRETHREN, VALIANT DETACHED FRIENDS EVERY LAND UNDOUBTEDLY ARE ENDEAVOURING EVINCE SAME SPIRIT FOLLOW SAME PATH CONSECRATION DEDICATION GOD'S HOLY FAITH. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT SANCTIFIED BLOOD OF THESE DESCENDANTS DAWN-BREAKERS WILL SERVE STRENGTHEN BODY CAUSE GOD THROUGHOUT GLOBE, PRODUCE UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES TO COMPENSATE LOSSES SUSTAINED CRADLE FAITH. ...

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE





August 28th in Baha'i History


1851 - Bahá’u’lláh arrives in Karbilá, Iraq for the start of a 10 month pilgrimage, during which he spread the Báb's Teachings to the people.
Bahá'u'lláh stopped in Baghdad for a few days, and reached Karbila on 28 August 1851. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 67)

1912 - Abdul-Baha was in Malden


The president of the Theosophical Society begged the Master that at least one of the friends of the Cause be asked to present these new teachings and principles to his society again. The Master replied, `I will appoint a person who will talk to you at several meetings.'
When the enthusiasm of the people at yesterday evening's meeting was mentioned to `Abdu'l-Bahá, He said: `Yes, it was a good meeting. The souls were stirred. The Blessed Beauty sent His confirmations and strong assistance.'
Today a new group of people came to see the Master and to be refreshed. On seeing the spirit which filled the air, their hearts were exhilarated, their souls grateful and heads bowed in respect.
This evening a meeting filled with joy and enthusiasm was held in the home of Mrs Morey in Malden. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the divine teachings and kindly admonished the audience, setting aglow a new fire of love in their hearts. When He had finished speaking, a woman asked about the purpose and value of the creation of the world. He spoke first of the virtues of the world of humanity and then about nearness to God, which uplifted the audience. But the questioner was preoccupied, she said that she did not understand His explanation. Therefore the Master spoke in parables, explaining that the greatest result of any perfect creation is the love of the Creator for His creation and that the essential nature of the life-giving God is to create and to spread His bounties and in doing so, God enjoys His creation. (Mahmud’s Diary)



“In this Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, the women go neck and neck with the men. In no movement will they be left behind. Their rights with men are equal in degree.”


1985 – Two Executions in Iran Announced


AFTER FEW MONTHS' CESSATION OF EXECUTIONS OF BAHÁ'ÍS IN IRAN, GRIEVED ANNOUNCE TWO FURTHER EXECUTIONS. VALIANT SOULS ARE MR 'ABBAS AYDIL-KHANI AND MR RAHMATU'LLAH VUJDANI. FORMER WAS EXECUTED ON 1 AUGUST IN PRISON WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION HIS FAMILY. HIS GRAVE WAS ACCIDENTALLY DISCOVERED NEAR TIHRAN. HE HAD BEEN IMPRISONED ON 26 APRIL 1982 IN ZANJAN WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL APRIL 1985 WHEN HE WAS TAKEN TO TIHRAN. HE WAS 45 YEARS OLD AND WAS AN AIR-CONDITIONING TECHNICIAN. MANNER HIS EXECUTION STILL UNKNOWN. HIS WIFE IS ALSO IN PRISON IN ZANJAN.


MR RAHMATU'LLAH VUJDANI WAS ARRESTED IN JULY 1984 IN BANDAR- 'ABBAS, WHERE HE WAS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD ON 28 AUGUST 1985. HE WAS 57 YEARS OLD. HIS BODY WAS DELIVERED, AND HIS FUNERAL TOOK PLACE IN PRESENCE HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS. HE WAS A TEACHER BY PROFESSION.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 680)

Back from vacation


I am back from a very relaxing vacation on an Alaskan Cruise. It was beautiful and a great way to spend our 3oth wedding anniversary with my wife Irene. Whales were indeed seen, (although they did not prove to be very photogenic) as were eagles, a sea otter and a brown bear. The scenery was breathtaking.


I took the above photo from our balcony while cruising the Tracy Arm Fijord on the way in to view the Sawyer Glacier.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vacation


This blog will be on vacation, while this whale goes and pursues other whales.

So, as the oldie goes - See you in September, See you when the summer's through!

Thank you for your interest in this blog. I look forward to starting this up again in September.

August 12th in Baha'i History

1868 - Departure of Baha'u'llah from Adrianople

It was on 12 August 1868 (22 Rabi'u'th-Thani AH 1285) that Bahá'u'lláh and His companions left the city which He had called 'the Remote Prison' and 'the Land of Mystery'. A Turkish captain named Hasan Effendi and a number of soldiers accompanied them. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 259)
On the twenty-second of the month of Rabi'u'th-Thani 1285 A.H. (12 August 1868) Bahá'u'lláh and His family, escorted by a Turkish captain, Hasan Effendi by name, and other soldiers appointed by the local government, set out on their four-day journey to Gallipoli, riding in carriages and stopping on their way at Uzun-Kupru and Kashanih, at which latter place the Suriy-i-Ra'is was revealed. 'The inhabitants of the quarter in which Bahá'u'lláh had been living, and the neighbours who had gathered to bid Him farewell, came one after the other,' writes an eye-witness, 'with the utmost sadness and regret to kiss His hands and the hem of His robe, expressing meanwhile their sorrow at His departure. That day, too, was a strange day. Methinks the city, its walls and its gates bemoaned their imminent separation from Him.' 'On that day,' writes another eye-witness, 'there was a wonderful concourse of Muslims and Christians at the door of our Master's house. The hour of departure was a memorable one. Most of those present were weeping and wailing, especially the Christians.' 'Say,' Bahá'u'lláh Himself declares in the Suriy-i-Ra'is, 'this Youth hath departed out of this country and deposited beneath every tree and every stone a trust, which God will erelong bring forth through the power or truth.' (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 409)
We know He [Bahá'u'lláh] arrived with His family and friends on Saturday, 12 December 1863, and remained until Wednesday, 12 August 1868; He was forty-six years old when He came and His son, Abbas Effendi known as 'Abdu'l-Bahá, was a youth of nineteen years while His daughter, Bahiyyih Khanum, was a girl seventeen years old. How different was their journey from Constantinople to the present luxurious Oriental Express trip when the train speeds swiftly over the distance in exactly six hours' time! Their journey to Adrianople, evidently hurried and enforced, for they were not prepared and were only thinly clad, took twelve days and was full of hardships as the weather was bitterly cold. Bahiyyih Khanum said long years after that she was a strong, well girl before those terrible exile journeys. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 427)

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH

A group of Dublin residents had a picnic on the shore of Lake Dublin and invited the Master and His entourage to join them. After sitting for awhile viewing the surroundings, the Master went for a short walk. Upon His return He went to the table and ate sweets and sherbet with the friends. He was pleased to see the simplicity of the repast and to feel the sincerity and warmth of the people.
In the afternoon a large gathering of people came to hear Him. They asked Him to speak on the immortality of the spirit. Everyone was so pleased, happy and filled with admiration that one by one each came to shake His hand and to express his or her gratitude. The Master's talk was so much appreciated that for many days afterwards He was asked to speak on the immortality of the spirit, economics and the new teachings. At each meeting He spoke on subjects He had already elucidated and on new topics, which greatly increased the admiration of the audience.
(Mahmud's Diary)

1970 - Formation of Seven National Spiritual Assemblies during Ridvan 1971

The following cable has just been sent to Hands of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum and William Sears representing the Universal House of Justice at Conferences in Bolivia and Mauritius:
"Please announce to participants conference joyous news decision call three additional national conventions next Ridvan namely Sudan Chad and Congo Brazzaville Gabon bringing to seven new National Spiritual Assemblies being formed at close of seventh year Nine Year Plan. Fervently praying Holy Shrines behalf national communities Bahá'í world reaching one hundred one by next Ridvan supplicating reinforcement ties uniting them greater consecration challenging tasks still ahead wider participation all ranks faithful. Communicating text cable all National Spiritual Assemblies."
Please share this news with the friends.
With loving Bahá'í greetings,
THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF Justice

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11th in Baha'i History


1911 – Abdul-Baha sails to France


His personal triumph resounding in Egypt, 'Abdu'l-Bahá turned His attention to Europe. On August 11th 1911, He boarded S.S. Corsica bound for Marseilles.
(H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 139)

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH


A glorious meeting was held at the Unitarian Church in Dublin. He went to the church at 11:00 a.m. and as He entered the entire audience rose to its feet. The pastor sang a beautiful song in praise of `Abdu'l-Bahá. After the preliminary ceremonies, the Master was introduced by the pastor with the utmost reverence and esteem. He then stood and gave a detailed address on the necessity of true education and spiritual power and spoke of the coming of Bahá'u'lláh and His teachings. At the end of His talk He chanted a prayer, His life-giving melodies penetrating the souls and attracting the hearts. A wonderful spirit of humility seemed to permeate the building and the voice of acceptance seemed to issue from all sides.
Many who had not already had the honor of visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá came to Him with such eagerness that the Master said, `The Call of God has been raised here and the work is finished.'
After this meeting the people's spirits were raised. In the afternoon a multitude gathered at the home of Mr and Mrs Parsons. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke, encouraging everyone to think about His words, to meditate on the holy verses, to investigate truth and to gain a full knowledge of divine realities. It is merely owing to a lack of understanding among the leaders of religions, He said, and to their blind imitations and superstitions that statements contrary to science and common sense have crept in and caused intellectuals and scientists to deny religion and disputes to arise among the people, obscuring the true meaning of the laws of God.


1969 - Formation of an Additional National Spiritual Assembly during Ridvan 1970


In the brief space of time following the announcement of the formation of six new National SPiritual Assemblies in Africa next Ridvan, the succession of victories, resulting from the prodigious efforts exerted by the devoted friends, impels us to announce that a seventh National Spiritual Assembly will be formed in Africa at Ridvan, 1970. The new National Spiritual Assembly including Congo (Brazzaville), Chad, Central African Republic and Gabon, will have its seat in Bangui. This will leave Uganda with its own separate National Spiritual Assembly.

Please share this joyous news with the believers. We know the friends throughout the world join us in our supplications for the continued, uninterrupted prosecution and speedy fulfillment of the goals, terminating in the ultimate triumph of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.
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. 28)


1981 - A New Phase of Persecution in Iran


PERSECUTION BAHÁ'ÍS IRAN GAINING MOMENTUM ENTERING NEW PHASE: IN YAZD A FEW DAYS AGO GOVERNMENT FROZE ALL ASSETS 117 BELIEVERS. ON 8 AUGUST ANNOUNCEMENT ON LOCAL RADIO SUMMONED HEADS 150 PROMINENT BAHÁ'Í FAMILIES TO REPORT WITHIN ONE WEEK TO REVOLUTIONARY AUTHORITIES. IN ABSENTIA DECREES TO BE ISSUED RESPECT ANY NAMED BELIEVER WHO FAILS PRESENT HIMSELF BY 15 AUGUST. AMONG NAMES ARE FEW WHO PASSED AWAY, CONFIRMING DETERMINATION AUTHORITIES PERSECUTE BAHÁ'ÍS PURELY FOR THEIR BELIEF, NOT BECAUSE OF ANY ALLEGED CRIME. ONE OF THOSE NAMED WAS ARRESTED AS HE WAS PROCEEDING FOR NECESSARY TEMPORARY JOURNEY OUTSIDE YAZD. ACTIONS TAKEN FORESHADOW PLAN AUTHORITIES FORCE BAHÁ'ÍS RECANT THEIR FAITH PURELY FOR THEIR FAITH ON PAIN CONFISCATION ALL THEIR PROPERTIES, OTHER DIRE CONSEQUENCES. ...
FURTHER REPORT JUST RECEIVED INDICATES IN MANSHAD VILLAGE NEAR YAZD GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL FROM YAZD ACCOMPANIED REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS HAS PEREMPTORILY SEIZED FURNITURE CROPS LIVESTOCK LOCAL BELIEVERS.
FOLLOWING DETAILS ADDITIONAL PERSECUTION OTHER PROVINCES NOW IN HAND:
IN MASJID SULAYMAN AUTHORITIES HAVE INSTRUCTED BANKS SUBMIT LIST ALL CHECKING AND DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS BAHÁ'ÍS.
IN NAYSHABUR WHERE TWO BELIEVERS WERE RECENTLY MARTYRED MOB HAD DESTROYED WALL BAHÁ'Í CEMETERY. AUTHORITIES NOW CLAIM TWO MILLION RIALS FROM LOCAL COMMUNITY TO RESTORE WALL.+F588
[Two million rials was equivalent to about $28,400 in 1981.]

IN HIMMATABAD NEAR ABADIH WIVES OF BELIEVERS WHO HAD FLED FROM THEIR HOMES HAVE BEEN GIVEN NOTICE CALL THEIR HUSBANDS. WIVES THREATENED GRAVE REPERCUSSIONS IF HUSBANDS FAIL PRESENT THEMSELVES. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

1982
- Execution of 'Ali Na'imiyan in Urumiyyih


WITH SORROWFUL HEARTS ANNOUNCE EXECUTION ON 11 AUGUST IN URUMIYYIH ACTIVE BAHÁ'Í 'ALI NA'IMIYAN AFTER BEING IMPRISONED ONE YEAR.
PRESSURES INTENSIFYING AGAINST BELIEVERS IRAN. ...
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10th in Baha'i History


1868 – Dispatch to British Minister regaqrding Baha’u’llah


A few days later, on 10 August 1868, Blunt sent a further dispatch relative to an appeal that he states had been made to him by Bahá'u'lláh:
'With reference to my despatch No. 54 of the 6 instant relative to the case of Shek Hussein Ali Effendi chief of the Persian sect called "Babee" I Have the honor to further report to Your Excellency that I received this morning from the Shek in question the inclosed paper written in Turkish in which he appeals for protection to this Consulate. A similar appeal has been addressed by the Shek to my colleagues in this city. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 457)

1912 – Abdul- Baha was in Dublin, NH
In the morning the Master explained and illustrated some of the verses from Bahá'u'lláh for the friends who had come from the surrounding area to see Him. The explanations ended with the statement that contentment in poverty is better than happiness in wealth but happiness in poverty is more praiseworthy than mere contentment. Above all is the rich man who, having sacrificed, emerges pure from tests and trials and becomes the cause of tranquillity to mankind. Gratitude is the cause of multiple blessings but the apex of gratitude is sacrifice. The station of sacrifice is the highest of all. For this reason it is said, `You will never attain unto righteousness until ye sacrifice that which ye love.'


The Master then narrated a story:
At the time of his death a king longed for the station of a poor man, saying, `Would that I were a poor man so that I would neither have practiced oppression nor have had any regrets at the time of death.' A poor man heard this, and said, `Praise be to God that at the hour of death kings desire to be poor. We poor people at the hour of death have no desire to be kings.'
Conversation of this kind continued for some time.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá addressed a meeting and spoke on the principles of the Cause, emphasizing universal peace among the nations. After the meeting a person in the audience said: `The Bahá'ís do not believe in any one person but believe in the good teachings of all the Prophets and religions.' The implication of his statement was that believing in the Manifestation of God was of no consequence. But note the Master's reply to this remark:
The basic principles of all religions are the same and the Sun of Truth is one, yet every day it appears from a different dawning point. Hence, the Bahá'ís believe in the fundamental truth of all the religions and turn to the Sun of Truth. From whatever dawning point it may appear they turn toward it. At one time, it appeared from the dawning point of Moses, then from that of Jesus and again from that of Muhammad. But if all had looked only at the dawning points, they would have remained veiled like the Jews when the Sun of Truth appeared from another place. Today the Bahá'ís look at the Sun of Truth and not at the dawning point. From whatever place it may appear, they turn to it. You have rightly understood that the Bahá'ís do not believe in a person; rather they believe in the truth which shines from the divine dawning points.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 9th in Baha'i History


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH


A number of the friends, both old and new, were present at `Abdu'l-Bahá's house. One of their questions was whether the existence of evil proceeds from God. He replied:
There is no evil in existence. Evil is non-existence. All that is created is good. Ignorance is evil and it is the non-existence of knowledge; it has no existence of its own. Hence, evil is the non-existence of good. Want of wealth is poverty; absence of justice is oppression; want of perfection is deficiency. All of these opposites imply non-existence and not existence.
At the public meeting in the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá exhorted the audience to refrain from blind imitation, reminding them that the distinction of man lies in his ability to investigate reality and ascertain the truth. He spoke of the coming of Bahá'u'lláh and explained some of the teachings of the Supreme Pen.
After lovingly shaking hands with those present, `Abdu'l-Bahá came into the room where we were and asked about our health, saying to us, `Come here, be seated. Mrs Parsons has sent tea, sweets and some fruit for you. Eat and drink.' Then with a merry twinkle in His eyes, He continued:
Oh! You are very badly off here! May God hear your complaint! Oh! It is so difficult to live in this manner, to dwell in such a house, to breathe such air! And to stay with such servants and respected friends is, of course, very hard for you! May God come to your help!
Then He said:
Joking aside, what a wonderful table the Blessed Perfection has spread for His friends! Had kings come here they would have been served but this fervor and zeal of the friends would not have appeared for any one of them. These noble people who serve you love you with heart and soul and serve you without any fear, hope or expectation of reward. The poet spoke truly when he said that three things are scarce, namely, the demon, the phoenix and the faithful friend. Yes, like the demon and the phoenix, the true friend is rare. But under the shadow of the Word of God, the Blessed Beauty has produced such friends for you.

1985 - Release of a compilation on peace


(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 679)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8th in Baha'i History


1910: Mary Sutherland Maxwell, later to be known as Amatu'l-Bahá Ruhiyyih Khanum, is born in New York City to parents May Maxwell and William Sutherland Maxwell.


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH
One of the devoted friends asked the Master about imperfect realities and their immortality. He replied:
All realities and spirits are immortal, even the spirits of non-believers and imperfect persons. But they cannot be compared in any way with the spirits of the sanctified souls and holy personages. Although this wood has existence, yet in comparison with the existence of man, it is as nothing.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke at a public gathering. He touched on various aspects of love and unity among people and the necessity for cooperation and mutual assistance in human society. In answer to a question regarding vengeance, He replied that man has no right to seek vengeance but that the community is responsible for the protection of all life, property and honor. He then went on to say:
The more material education advances, the more competitive is the race in aggression and injustice. But spiritual education is the cause of competition in praiseworthy actions and the acquisition of human perfections. We hope that day by day these injustices will diminish and the spiritual virtues increase.
The Master went into another room where a young man with a striking personality and pleasing appearance asked Him in what school He had studied philosophy. The Master answered: `In the same school where Christ studied.' He then asked the Master, `What is the relationship between God and nature?' The Master replied:
Some of the philosophers believe that God is the Supreme Reality and that every human being has a spark of this divine reality within him; that He Himself is in a state of utmost power and that all things manifest Him according to their different capacities. Therefore they hold that the Supreme Being is dispersed into infinite forms. This is the position of Plato. But we say that existence as conceived by man or comprehended through human reason or intellect is a characteristic of matter. Matter is like unto essence, while existence is its manifestation. The body of man is essence and existence is dependent upon it. This human body is matter while existence is a power conditioned on matter.
But it is not so with the Essential Self-Existent One. His existence is true existence which is self-subsistent, not an intellectually perceived and comprehended existence; it is an Existence by which all created things come into being. All things are like unto His handiwork and are dependent upon Him. We refer to Him as Self-Existent because we need to make use of a term but we do not mean that that Being can be contained within our comprehension. What is intended is the Reality from Whom all things emanate, the Reality through Whom all things exist.
Not only was the questioner grateful and satisfied with this response but everyone else was also pleased. (Mahmud's Diary)


1913 – Abdul-Baha tells The Story of the Dervish


Then the Master told us the story of a Dervish, as follows: When Baha-Ullah with his family were leaving Bagdad, a Derv- ish begged Abdul Baha's permission to join the party. He was told that the trip would be most difficult, but the Dervish was willing to accept all manner of hardships so he traveled with the party as far as Constantinople. Then when they left for Adrianople, he stayed behind but joined them later, for having become accustomed to associate with the Bahais, he could not live without them. In Adrianople, he rented a room in an adjoining Mosque with another friend, and for some time they lived to-gether peacefully. One day the Dervish came to Baha- Ullah, saying: “My friend attacked me this morning and gave me a sound beating, but I said nothing. I was in a state of utmost resignation. Then after half an hour he returned, kissed my hands and said: ‘Verily, you have attained the stage of great merit, you are now a saint.’” Baha-Ullah, listening with interest to this story, said laughingly: “If he beats you another time and you demonstrate such resignation, he may believe that you have attached the station of Prophethood.” (Abdul-Baha in Egypt)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Must transform battleships into merchant vessels


Baha'i Graphic #24
Click to enlarge.
Photo World War II ship USS Slater berthed in Albany NY taken from Riverfront Park in Rensselaer, NY

Baha'i Scripture

All the governments of the world must transform their battleships and warcraft into merchant vessels. - Abdul-Baha

(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 171)

August 7th in Baha'i History


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH


the man who has no perception or inner sight finds himself always dejected and lifeless; every time he thinks of death, he is afraid, because he considers himself to be mortal.
Blessed souls are not of this category. They sense that they are eternal, luminous and imperishable like the disciples of Christ. It is for this reason that at the time of death or martyrdom Bahá'ís rejoice, because they know there is no death or annihilation for them. At most, the body disintegrates but the soul exists in the divine world and has everlasting life.
(Mahmud’s Diary)


1941 - The Passing of ELIZABETH GREENLEAF


Share deep grief of bereaved community at passing of Elizabeth Greenleaf, beloved handmaid of Bahá'u'lláh. Her radiant spirit, staunch loyalty, noble character, effective teaching method were distinguishing features of her consecrated life. Praying abundant blessings in life beyond.
Cablegram August 7, 1941 (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 48)


1949 - Corners of Shrine Arcade Under Construction


Inform friends of commencement of construction on three corners of arcade of Shrine. Six granite pilasters already erected, twelve columns will be raised shortly. Forwarding photographs for publicity purposes. (Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 73)


1950 - World atmosphere the very antithesis of the Baha'i atmosphere


. . . The people of the world are submerged in an atmosphere which is the very antithesis, morally, of the Bahá'í atmosphere; we must teach them. If we are too strict in the beginning most -- not all -- types will be rebuffed and veer away from what they might otherwise be led to accept. On the other hand, we don't want Bahá'ís who do not seriously try to live up to the teachings -- we must therefore use great tact and challenge strong souls and lead weak souls . . ."
(From a letter dated 7 August 1950 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) (Compilations, The Individual and Teaching - Raising the Divine Call, p. 30)


1995 - PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES
Oral statement to the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, addressing the Question of Minorities.
Geneva, Switzerland - 7 August 1995 (Baha'i International Community)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We must unfurl our wings


Baha'i Graphic #25
Click to enlarge.
Photo - getting ready to power wash the dome of the Mother Temple of the West.


Baha'i Scripture

If we desire to reach the apex of the Supreme Kingdom, we must unfurl our wings;

(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 354)

Links to some recent on-line articles

How do we measure sacrifice?

Dentist Grins at life

Cambridge Interfaith Group Discusses Race see paragraph: William H. Smith, who attended the Unity Cambridge service as a representative of the Baha’i religious community, said he believed that the turmoil surrounding Gates’s arrest was part of “a powerful moral process’’ that would eventually lead to the birth of racial unity.
“There are things about birth that are painful, when something is coming into being,’’ he said. “But how glorious the end.’’

August 6th in Baha'i History


1868 – A report to the British Minister of a petition by Baha’u’llah


On 6 August 1868, Mr John E. Blunt, British consul at Adrianople, sent to Mr Elliot, the British minister at Istanbul, the following dispatch:
'I have the honor to transmit herewith inclosed to Your Excellency the copy of a letter which the Reverend Mr Rosenberg Protestant missionary at this place has addressed to me respecting a certain Shek [Shaykh] Mirza Hussein Ali Effendi [Bahá'u'lláh], chief of a Persian sect called "Babee" who with a party of 40 of his adherents has been undergoing exile at Adrianople during the last six years, and is about to be deported to Gallipoli and thence to the interior of Africa, I believe.
'Yesterday before this letter was addressed to me the Reverend Mr Rosenberg and Boghos Agha, chief of the native protestant community called on me and requested me to endeavour to persuade the local Ottoman authorities not to deport from here this Shek and his adherents, but as they also told me that the measure complained of by the Shek has not originated with these authorities but that it is the result of an imperative order addressed to them by the Sublime Porte, I respectfully declined to comply with their request.
'Mr Rosenberg then said that he should address to me the letter I have inclosed and expressed the hope that I would report the subject to Your Excellency.
'I do not know what the tenets of this "Babee" sect are. The Reverend Mr Rosenberg and Boghos Agha believe that they are adopted from the Holy Scripture, and this belief has naturally excited their sympathy and zeal on behalf of the Shek.
'All I can say is that the Shek in question has led a most exemplary life in this city; that he is regarded with sympathy, mingled with respect and esteem, by the native Mahomedans and has received good treatment at the hands of the Ottoman authorities; and that the general impression here is that the persecution he is now made the object originates with the Persian Government and the Legation at Constantinople.' (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 456)

1912 - Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons Dublin, New Hampshire


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH
In the morning while pacing back and forth in the drawing room of His residence, the Master said:
When Persians want to record any important matter, they say, `Write this down in the twenty-ninth section.' Now, as the Persians say, write this in the twenty-ninth section of your book. Whatever occurs is the cause of the elevation of the Word of God and the victory of the divine Cause, even though outwardly it may appear to be a great affliction and hardship. What hardship, grief or affliction could be greater than that which occurred at the time when the Blessed Beauty was exiled from Tihrán? Hearts of stone were melted. All the relatives were weeping and lamenting. All were in utter despair. But that exile became the cause of the raising of the Call and exalting the Word of God, of fulfilling the prophecies of the Prophets and of guiding the people of the world. Had it not been for this exile, these things would not have appeared and these great events would not have occurred.
Consider the case of Abraham. Had He not been exiled, He would not have received that greatest blessing; neither a Jacob nor an Isaac would have risen; the fame of the beauty of Joseph would not have been spread throughout the world. He would not have become the ruler of Egypt; no Moses would have appeared; no Muhammad, the divine Messenger, would have come. All these are a result of the blessings of that exile. It is the same now.


Later He spoke about the harmful effects of disunity and discord among the emperors of the East and the West:
For example, the separation between the eastern and western empires and the disagreement between the eastern and western churches in Christianity caused a great weakness. Notwithstanding this, the people still do not take heed.
In the afternoon He gave a talk on the oneness of the foundation of religion.

1972 - Passing of Ishraq-Khavari, Preeminent Bahá'í scholar


To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran


GRIEVED LOSS PRE-EMINENT SCHOLAR VALUED PROMOTER FAITH ISHRAQ- KHAVARI. HIS PRECIOUS INDEFATIGABLE SERVICES OVER SEVERAL DECADES WON HIM APPRECIATION BELOVED GUARDIAN. HIS SCHOLARLY CONTRIBUTIONS IMMORTALIZED THROUGH NUMEROUS USEFUL COMPILATIONS TREATISES BEARING ELOQUENT TRIBUTE HIS DEVOTION DEDICATION CAUSE GOD. URGE HOLD APPROPRIATE MEMORIAL GATHERINGS ASSURE RELATIVES FRIENDS FERVENT PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES.
[For an account of the life and services of Ishraq-Khavari, see BW I5:5I8-20.]
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


1982 - Message to the International Conference in Quito, Ecuador -- 6-8 August 1982
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 555)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5th in Baha'i History




1912 – Abdul-Baha gave this Talk at Dublin Inn - Dublin, New Hampshire



1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH



Standing on the lawn and facing the green and verdant hills and valleys, `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
How calm it is. No disturbing sound is heard. When a man observes the wafting of the breeze among these trees, he hears the rustling of the leaves and sees the swaying of the trees, it is as though all are praising and acknowledging the one true God.
Before the afternoon meeting a devoted lady told the Master that one of her friends, when informed that she was planning to attend the meeting, strongly advised her not to go lest she fall into a trap. He said to her:
It has always been the practice of the heedless to hold back the sincere ones from the Cause of God. As for a trap, praise be to God that we have been trapped happily for sixty years and we have no desire to escape. It is a trap that frees people from the shackles of prejudice and superstitions and delivers them from the prison of self and desire. It makes them the captives of the love of God and of service to the Cause of the oneness of humanity.
After delivering the message of God and explaining the divine teachings, the Master spoke humorously about the philosophers.
They say that had there been a spiritual world they would have sensed it. But, as a matter of fact, inability to sense a thing is not a proof of the nonexistence of that thing. If inability to sense constitutes proof of perfection, the cow must be the greatest philosopher, for she does not realize anything beyond the animal world.
This amusing statement that the cow is the greatest of all philosophers caused everyone to laugh. After the meeting, some men and women invited Him to go for a ride in their automobile. While driving, a herd of cows passed in front of the automobile and, becoming frightened, began to run about every which way. The ladies in the car cried out, `Oh Master, see the crowd of philosophers. How frightened they are running away from us.' `Abdu'l-Bahá laughed so heartily that He tired Himself. As the Americans like such jests, it became an oft- repeated remark.



1913 - The World is a Farm and the People are Farmers (Abdul-Baha in Egypt p.158)



“O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God! Every person is a farmer. One sows the seeds of In- dustry; another scatters the acorns of commerce, and a third farms politics. All various agricultural pursuits culminate in harvest, yet these do not enjoy the blessings of the eternal springtime, neither do they yield inexhaust- ible benefits. But as the friends of God are scattering seeds in the farms of reality, they will gain an increasing blessing and will collect throughout centuries and cycles thousands of harvests. Now praise be to God that hou art sowing seeds in the ground of Truth and art the farmer of His Highness the Peerless One.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4th in Baha'i History


1871 – The death of Mirza 'Aliy-i-Sayyah


Mulla Adi Guzal of Maraghih, better known as Mirza 'Aliy-i-Sayyah, became a Bábí in the very earliest days of the Faith, and was the trustee and courier of the Báb during the days of His imprisonment in Mah-Ku and Chihriq. He was sent by the Báb on several important missions; he was the first to visit the scene of the Shaykh Tabarsi upheaval and recite prayers of visitation for the martyrs. During the severest of the Bábí persecutions, Mirza 'Ali fled to 'Iraq and lived in Karbila. During Bahá'u'lláh's sojourn in Adrianople, Mirza 'Ali came to that city and was sent by Bahá'u'lláh to Istanbul. Here he was arrested and interrogated and, when Bahá'u'lláh was exiled from Adrianople to 'Akká in 1868, he was one of His followers who was sent to Cyprus with Mirza Yahya. He died in Famagusta on 4 August 1871. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 468)


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin NH

In the afternoon He spoke in Mr and Mrs Parsons's drawing room about the power of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and the assistance and confirmations of the Greatest Name. Mírzá `Alí Akbar [Nakhjavání] related that during the troubled times in `Akká the Master used to say that a great event would take place in the very near future: it would be as though this lamp would go away and then come back to its original place. Now we understand that this assertion of `Abdu'l-Bahá was a reference to His travels and His return to the Holy Land. The Master then said:
The assistance of the Blessed Beauty brings about extraordinary things. Every act of the Blessed Beauty constitutes in itself a consummate proof. In one of my early writings I wrote that in the eyes of the possessors of insight the doings of Him Who is the Sovereign Truth have no equal. For instance, if the Blessed Beauty asked after someone's health, although outwardly a common expression, it could give to a person who was perceptive hints as to the wisdom and mystery hidden in the words spoken on that occasion. Thus it is that God in all His actions is distinct from all others, just as a wise man displays in all his actions the signs of wisdom.


There were several people waiting to see Him. Two ladies, both of whom were hard of hearing, requested permission to sit near Him so that they might listen to His words through their hearing aids. He said, `Yes, the nearer they come, the better they will hear the Words of God. They must hear the Voice of the Lord in whatever way possible or by whatever means.'
Today, the Master's talk on the immortality of the soul so impressed the hearts that from then on He was asked to speak on this subject at most of the meetings.

1913Birth of Robert Earl Hayden - Baha’i Poet, - Robert Hayden was made poet laureate of Senegal in 1966 and ten years later became America's first black poet laureate.



In order to teach the Cause of Peace, every person must become a clear channel for the expression of the Love of God, the focalization of the Knowledge of God and the manifestation of the attributes of God. We are all His servants, and before His throne we stand with the utmost humility. We must increase our effort, strive in the path- way of righteousness, illumine the world of humanity with the rays of brotherhood and inter-racial feeling and upraise the standard of the solidarity of mankind. This is the world’s work! This is the task set for man! With the assistance of God and the co-operation of all public-spirited leaders we will not fail.


1913Abdul-Baha in Egypt p. 155- the story of Mirza Mohamad Reza


“Whenever,” Mirza Abul Fazl said, “Hajeb-ed-Doulet, one of the Ministers of the Court, came to the prison to investigate the condition of some one, Mirza Mohamad Reza would approach him and speak to him with great earnestness. Finally Hajeb-ed-Doulet would turn to him with a despairing look saying, ‘Sir! This is impossible! I cannot do it. Why did you not ask the Prinice Nayeb- us-Saltaneh about this? He can do it. He has the au- thority.’ At last one day we asked him, ‘What is this which you talk about with Hajeb-ed-Doulet, whenever he comes to the prison, and why does he refuse you so em- phatically?’ He said, ‘I ask and plead with him to sen- tence me to death. I tell him: I am an old man, I am of no good to the world. I want to bathe my body in blood for the sake of Baha-Ullah. Please, please, I beg you to do something for me. Is this too much of a favor that I ask of you? Are you not kind enough to fulfill this last wish of an old man? But he does not listen to me and answers me loudly in the manner you have all heard.’”


P.160 - Those souls who prefer themselves to others are tied with selfish iron bands, while those who prefer others to themselves are the benefactors of the human race. Such was the conduct and the life of Baha-Ullah.

1946 -Youth Must Constantly Strive to Exemplify a Bahá'í Life


He feels that the youth, in particular, must constantly and determinedly strive exemplify Bahá'í life. In the world around us we see moral decay, promiscuity indecency, vulgarity, bad manners -- the Bahá'í young people must be the opposite of these things, and, by their chastity, their uprightness, their decency their consideration and good manners, attract others, old and young, to the Faith. The world is tired of words; it wants example, and it is up to the Bahá'í youth to furnish it."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'í Youth who attended the Green Acre Summer School August 4, 1946, September 19, 1946) (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 637)

1987 – Essential for Youth to Study the Beloved Guardian


ESSENTIAL THAT YOUTH THROUGH PROLONGED SYSTEMATIC STUDY WRITINGS BELOVED GUARDIAN ACQUIRE PROFOUND UNDERSTANDING OPERATION OF FORCES OF DECLINE AND GROWTH CREATING UNIVERSAL FERMENT IN WORLD TODAY AND LEADING MANKIND FORWARD TO GLORIOUS DESTINY. (From a telex dated 4 August 1987 from the Universal House of Justice to the participants of the Youth Conference in Manchester, U.K.) Baha’i Library Source

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Third Glad Tidings



Click to enlarge.

Thanks to Denny & Marsha at Baha'i Daily Readings for this gift.

August 3rd in Baha'i History




1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH


While a few of us were discussing the Master's explanations and the simplicity and decisiveness of His talks, He said to us:
The explanations must be adapted to the capacity of the hearers and suited to the exigency of the time. Beauty of style, moderation in delivery and suitability of words and meanings are necessary. It is not only a matter of uttering words. In `Akká, Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí would hear me speak and would repeat my words exactly on other occasions but he did not understand that a thousand wisdoms and ingredients other than speech are necessary. In the days of Baghdád and Sulaymáníyyih, Shaykh `Abdu'l-Husayn was told that the Blessed Beauty was attracting the Kurds to Himself by quoting Súfí and gnostic terms. This poor Shaykh obtained a copy of the Futúhát-i-Makkíyyih [Conquests of Mecca] and committed its passages to memory. But wherever he quoted them, he saw that none lent an ear to him. He was greatly puzzled as to why people did not listen to him. The Blessed Beauty said, `Tell the Shaykh that We are not in the habit of reading the Conquests of Mecca (Futúhát-i-Makkíyyih) but We impart to them the verses of True Civilization. We are not propounding the writings of the Shaykh [Ibn al-`Arabí], we are propounding the Holy Writ.


In the afternoon He spoke about how the secondary laws of religions change in every age according to the exigencies of the time and the harmfulness of the materialistic world and the benefit of religion. The meeting ended with a series of sincere questions and answers. (Mahmud's Diary)

1983 - Arrest of More Bahá'ís in Iran

ARRESTS IRANIAN BRETHREN CONTINUING. ... 24 INCLUDING 10 WOMEN IMPRISONED BETWEEN 3 AND 5 AUGUST.
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2nd in Baha'i History


1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH


A meeting for blacks was held near Lake Dublin. At this gathering the Master delivered an eloquent address regarding unity and amity between blacks and whites. He spoke of the approaching wedding of Miss [Louisa] Mathew, a white woman, and Mr [Louis] Gregory, a black man, which is to take place shortly in Washington DC. The white people in the audience were astonished to see the influence of the Cause and the blacks were pleased. Incidents like these are little less than miracles; in fact, `splitting the moon in half' would be an easier accomplishment in the eyes of the Americans. This meeting was full of joy.


The guests rejoiced when the Master returned to Mr and Mrs Parsons's home. His words made a deep impression. He spoke on the oneness of the basic principles of the religions of God and the unity of His Manifestations. When questioned about Muhammad, the Prophet of God, His proofs were clear and persuasive and his arguments decisive, uplifting every downcast heart. Everyone testified to the convincing nature of His argument and the greatness of this Cause. About Islam some seemed restrained but no one uttered a dissenting word.


1913 - Abdul-Baha and his family were in Egypt


On 2 August the diary notes: "Today the beloved did not come to see us in the morning because He was entertaining the 'Greatest Holy Leaf' and the rest of the friends who had come with her." When one imagines the joy of the reunion and reads this trite indication of it one realizes something of the dignity and reserve which always surrounded the family of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 21)


1983 – Waves of Arrests in Iran


PERSECUTIONS IRANIAN FRIENDS REMAIN UNABATED. WAVES ARRESTS PROMINENT BAHÁ'ÍS RECENTLY INTENSIFIED. ...

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 1st in Baha'i History


Feast of Kamal



1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Dublin, NH


The Master related to us that `One hundred years ago there was a school in Baghdád which was held during the summer but it was for the children of the wealthy only. The people of the West have adopted and perfected the customs of the East.'


He also said:
As charitable works become praiseworthy, people often perform them merely for the sake of fame and to gain benefit for themselves, as well as to attract people's admiration. But this does not render needless the teachings of the Prophets because it is spiritual morals that are the cause of training one's innate nature and of personal progress. Thus will people offer service to one another with all their hearts for the sake of God and in order to fulfill the duties of devotion to Him and service to humanity and not for the purpose of acquiring praise and fame.


Then He spoke of Mashadí Amír Ghafghazí, a rich man from the Caucasus:

Prior to his embracing this Faith, he was so dauntless and merciless that he had killed countless persons but after embracing this Faith he was entirely transformed, so much so that when once he was fired at by a pistol he did not even raise his arm in self-defense. Such people become educated under the shadow of belief. Similarly, the Bahá'ís of `Ishqábád interceded on behalf of a man who had killed one of their members.


1913 - Abdul-Baha's family joins him 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. His family hastened to His presence there, among them Shoghi Effendi, who joined Him about six weeks after His arrival. If one wonders why he did not get there sooner one must remember that school was not out until after the first week of July and then Shoghi Effendi most probably had to take ship for Haifa from Beirut (the alternative being to come overland with a caravan, which was a cheaper but longer and more arduous method of getting there), where he joined some of his family and then sailed from Haifa to Egypt, arriving in the company of the Greatest Holy Leaf and others on 1 August in Ramleh, where 'Abdu'l-Bahá had once again rented a villa.

(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 21)


1985 - Baha'i Executed in prison


AFTER FEW MONTHS' CESSATION OF EXECUTIONS OF BAHÁ'ÍS IN IRAN, GRIEVED ANNOUNCE TWO FURTHER EXECUTIONS. VALIANT SOULS ARE MR 'ABBAS AYDIL-KHANI AND MR RAHMATU'LLAH VUJDANI. FORMER WAS EXECUTED ON 1 AUGUST IN PRISON WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION HIS FAMILY. HIS GRAVE WAS ACCIDENTALLY DISCOVERED NEAR TIHRAN. HE HAD BEEN IMPRISONED ON 26 APRIL 1982 IN ZANJAN WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL APRIL 1985 WHEN HE WAS TAKEN TO TIHRAN. HE WAS 45 YEARS OLD AND WAS AN AIR-CONDITIONING TECHNICIAN. MANNER HIS EXECUTION STILL UNKNOWN. HIS WIFE IS ALSO IN PRISON IN ZANJAN.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 680)