Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Prayer of Thanksgiving


(Shrine of Baha'u'llah)

Praise be to Thee, O my God, that Thou hast revealed Thy favors and Thy bounties; and glory be to Thee, O my Beloved, that Thou hast manifested the Day-Star of Thy loving-kindness and Thy tender mercies.

I yield Thee such thanks as can direct the steps of the wayward towards the splendors of the morning light of Thy guidance, and enable those who yearn towards Thee to attain the seat of the revelation of the effulgence of Thy beauty.

I yield Thee such thanks as can cause the sick to draw nigh unto the waters of Thy healing, and can help those who are far from Thee to approach the living fountain of Thy presence.

I yield Thee such thanks as can divest the bodies of Thy servants of the garments of mortality and abasement, and attire them in the robes of Thine eternity and Thy glory, and lead the poor unto the shores of Thy holiness and all sufficient riches.

I yield Thee such thanks as can enable the Heavenly Dove to warble forth, upon the branches of the Lote-Tree of Immortality, her song: "Verily, Thou art God. No God is there besides Thee. From eternity Thou hast been exalted above the praise of aught else but Thee, and been high above the description of any one except Thyself."

I yield Thee such thanks as can cause the Nightingale of Glory to pour forth its melody in the highest heaven: "Ali (the Bab), in truth, is Thy servant, Whom Thou hast singled out from among Thy Messengers and Thy chosen Ones, and made Him to be the Manifestation of Thyself in all that pertaineth unto Thee, and that concerneth the revelation of Thine attributes and the evidences of Thy names."

I yield Thee such thanks as can stir up all things to extol Thee, and to glorify Thine Essence, and can unloose the tongues of all beings to magnify the sovereignty of Thy beauty.

I yield Thee such thanks as can fill the heavens and the earth with the signs of Thy transcendent Essence, and assist all created things to enter the Tabernacle of Thy nearness and Thy presence.

I yield Thee such thanks as can make every created thing to be a book that shall speak of Thee, and a scroll that shall unfold Thy praise.

I yield Thee such thanks as can establish the Manifestations of Thy sovereignty upon the throne of Thy governance, and set up the Exponents of Thy glory upon the seat of Thy Divinity.

I yield Thee such thanks as can make the corrupt tree to bring forth good fruit through the holy breaths of Thy favors, and revive the bodies of all beings with the gentle winds of Thy transcendent grace.

I yield Thee such thanks as can cause the signs of Thine exalted singleness to be sent down out of the heaven of Thy holy unity.

I yield Thee such thanks as can teach all things the realities of Thy knowledge and the essence of Thy wisdom, and will not withhold the wretched creatures from the doors of Thy mercy and Thy bountiful favor.

I yield Thee such thanks as can enable all who are in heaven and on earth to dispense with all created things, through the treasuries of Thine all-sufficing riches, and can aid all created things to reach unto the summit of Thine almighty favors.

I yield Thee such thanks as can assist the hearts of Thine ardent lovers to soar into the atmosphere of nearness to Thee, and of longing for Thee, and kindle the Light of Lights within the land of Iraq.

 I yield Thee such thanks as can detach them that are nigh unto Thee from all created things, and draw them to the throne of Thy names and Thine attributes.

I yield Thee such thanks as can cause Thee to forgive all sins and trespasses, and to fulfill the needs of the peoples of all religions, and to waft the fragrances of pardon over the entire creation.

I yield Thee such thanks as can enable them that recognize Thy unity to scale the heights of Thy love, and cause such as are devoted to Thee to ascend unto the Paradise of Thy presence.

I yield Thee such thanks as can satisfy the wants of all such as seek Thee, and realize the aims of them that have recognized Thee.

I yield Thee such thanks as can blot out from the hearts of men all suggestions of limitations, and inscribe the signs of Thy unity.

I yield Thee such thanks as that with which Thou didst from eternity glorify Thine own Self, and didst exalt it above all peers, rivals, and comparisons, O Thou in Whose hands are the heavens of grace and of bounty, and the kingdoms of glory and of majesty!


                (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 329)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

be as angels in the world, and beacons of light



Abdul-Baha – The Master

Pray to God that He may strengthen you in divine virtue, so that you may be as angels in the world, and beacons of light to disclose the mysteries of the Kingdom to those with understanding hearts. (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 61)

Nothing shall remain concealed: the olive oil, though stored within the deepest vault, shall one day burn in brightness from the lamp atop the beacon. The small shall be made great, and the powerless shall be given strength; they that are of tender age shall become the children of the Kingdom, and those that have gone astray shall be guided to their heavenly home. Abdul-Baha (From a Tablet- translated from the Persian)(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 154)


Shoghi Effendi – The Guardian

The more believers there are to stand forth as beacons in the darkness whenever that time does come, the better; hence the supreme importance of the teaching work at this time..." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, July 9, 1957: Teaching the Masses, p. 11)                  (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 136)

As material affairs go from bad to worse in the world, the confidence, optimism, love, and hope of the believers will, by force of contrast, shine out as an ever brighter beacon, leading the people to the Path of Truth, the way laid down by God, which alone can guide them to the promise of the future. (Shoghi Effendi)(Compilations, Principles of Bahai Administration, p. 22)

The history of our Faith is full of records of the remarkable things achieved by really very simple, insignificant individuals, who became veritable beacons and towers of strength through having placed their trust in God, having arisen to proclaim His Message....(Dated 27 March 1945 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles)(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 222)

The Universal House of Justice

The challenge for the Bahá'ís is to provide these thousands of seeking souls, as swiftly as possible, with the spiritual food that they crave, to enlist them under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh, to nurture them in the way of life He has revealed, and to guide them to elect Local Spiritual Assemblies which, as they begin to function strongly, will unite the friends in firmly consolidated Bahá'í communities and become beacons of guidance and havens of refuge to mankind. Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated Naw-Ruz, 1979, to the Bahá'ís of the World, (Compilations, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities)

Let him resolve so to deepen his knowledge of the Faith and so to increase his standards of self-sacrifice and dedication to the Cause as to play his part in building a community which will be worthy of this supreme bounty and which will be a beacon light to the peoples of this fear- wracked world. (The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 29)


The life of a Bahá'í  will be characterized by truthfulness and decency; he will walk uprightly among his fellowmen, dependent upon none save God, yet linked by bonds of love and brotherhood with all mankind; he will be entirely detached from the loose standards, the decadent theories, the frenetic experimentation, the desperation of present-day society, will look upon his neighbours with a bright and friendly face and be a beacon light and a haven for all those who would emulate his strength of character and assurance of soul. (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 93)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Every man of insight confesseth Thy sovereignty...




Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! Every man of insight confesseth Thy sovereignty and Thy dominion, and every discerning eye perceiveth the greatness of Thy majesty and the compelling power of Thy might. The winds of tests are powerless to hold back them that enjoy near access to Thee from setting their faces towards the horizon of Thy glory, and the tempests of trials must fail to draw away and hinder such as are wholly devoted to Thy will from approaching Thy court.

Methinks, the lamp of Thy love is burning in their hearts, and the light of Thy tenderness is lit within their breasts. Adversities are incapable of estranging them from Thy Cause, and the vicissitudes of fortune can never cause them to stray from Thy pleasure.


I beseech Thee, O my God, by them and by the sighs which their hearts utter in their separation from Thee, to keep them safe from the mischief of Thine adversaries, and to nourish their souls with what Thou hast ordained for Thy loved ones on whom shall come no fear and who shall not be put to grief. 


(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations p.5)

Wherefore, be thankful to God...


Wherefore, be thankful to God, for having strengthened thee to aid His Cause, for having made the flowers of knowledge and understanding to spring forth in the garden of thine heart. Thus hath His grace encompassed thee, and encompassed the whole of creation.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 303)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Be calm, be strong, be grateful


Be calm, be strong, be grateful, and become a lamp full of light, that the darkness of sorrows be annihilated, and that the sun of everlasting joy arise from the dawning-place of heart and soul, shining brightly.


                (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 405)

The Most Great BRANCH


In the Bible, In the Old Testament you can find the following verse:

Zechariah 6:12 – Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts saying, Behold the man, whose name is the BRANCH (this is how the word appears in the KJV- not my emphasis), and he shall rise up out of his place and he shall build the Temple of the Lord.” 

Did you know that:

Baha’u’llah’s son Abdul-Baha was called the Most Great Branch – He built the inner tomb of the Shrine of the Bab and laid the foundation stone of the Mother Temple of the West in Wilmette, IL.




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th in Baha'i History

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Buffalo

Today the newspapers appeared with a new title for the Master, `The Prince of the East', which `Abdu'l-Bahá did not welcome. He spoke with the reporters about the beginning and end of creation:

If we determine a beginning and an end for creation, it is as if we determine a beginning and an end for God. There can be no creator without a creation. The sun without light and a king without subjects and a country are simply inconceivable.

Here are some of His words to the friends:

I am exceedingly pleased because I see you firm and unwavering in the Cause of God. Some individuals are like rootless plants, they are pulled out by the slightest breeze. But those who are steadfast are like trees that have strong roots and foundations. Storms cannot shake them; rather, they add to their freshness.


When `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived at the Church of the Messiah, the minister received Him at the entrance and led Him to a study where he humbly expressed his gratitude. He presented the Master with the official church newsletter in which he had published an extensive article about the history and teachings of the Cause. It had been written in a scholarly style and concluded with words in praise of the Master. When the article was translated for the Master, He turned to the minister and said, `You have left nothing for me to say here tonight. You have published everything in his booklet.' We remarked that there could be no miracle greater than this, that clergymen were testifying to the greatness of the Cause of God with their own tongues and pens. The Master replied, `I have told you repeatedly that the Blessed Perfection is assisting us. All these confirmations which descend continually are from Him.' He then went to the stage, stood before the audience and became the center of attraction for friends and seekers alike. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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)

Wednesday, August 28, 1912259 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.260 `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.

1913 - TABLET REVEALED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ  about Men on the House of Justice

1985 –  Martyrdom of MR RAHMATU'LLAH VUJDANI
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.

437.2 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)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27th in Baha'i History




1992: The 44th session of the Sub-Commission of Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the UN passes a resolution drawing attention to the renewed persecution of religious minorities and summary killings of Bahá’ís.

1912 - Abdul-Baha gave a Talk at Metaphysical Club Boston, Massachusetts


Tuesday, August 27, 1912 - The Master was in Malden

`Abdu'l-Bahá returned to Malden in the morning. He was occupied chiefly in writing letters to the American friends. Believers and seekers came by ones and twos and He lovingly received them.
In the evening there was a well-attended meeting at the Theosophical Society.258 The gathering became the dawning place of the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom. The chairman of the meeting introduced the Master to an audience of some five hundred saying:
Several months ago I attended a convention on the emancipation of religions in this city. Many people of different religions and sects spoke, each one praising the beliefs of his own sect. But a very august personage then stood. By His bearing and by the first few words of His address, everyone felt that this person was spiritual and divinely inspired; that His explanations were heavenly; that He was speaking from God; that He could transform the souls; that He was with God and was the herald of peace and love; that what He said was first practiced by Himself; and that He was a flame from the Kingdom which brightened and illuminated the minds and hearts of all. That august person was `Abdu'l-Bahá. I am not worthy to introduce His Holiness to you. You will yourselves know Him better than I.
`Abdu'l-Bahá then stood and gave a stirring address concerning the movement of atoms and the infinite forms that compose this contingent world and gave an explanation of the new teachings of the Cause. During the address, every heart and soul was enthralled. After the meeting everyone spoke of feeling the bounties of the Holy Spirit and of the need for these teachings of love and unity.

1926 - Queen Marie of Romania corresponds with the Guardian

On 27 August 1926 the Queen responded to this first communication from the Guardian and wrote to him what he described as a "deeply touching letter":
Bran August 27th 1926
Dear Sir,
I was deeply moved on reception of your letter. Indeed a great light came to me with the message of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá. It came as all great messages come at an hour of dire grief and inner conflict and distress, so the seed sank deeply.
My youngest daughter finds also great strength and comfort in the teachings of the beloved masters.

We pass on the message from mouth to mouth and all those we give it to see light suddenly lighting before them and much that was obscure and perplexing becomes simple, luminous and full of hope as never before.
That my open letter was balm to those suffering for the cause, is indeed a great happiness to me, and I take it as a sign that God accepted by humble tribute.
The occasion given me to be able to express myself publically, was also His Work, for indeed it was a chain of circumstances of which each link led me unwittingly one step further, till suddenly all was clear before my eyes and I understood why it had been.
Thus does He lead us finally to our ultimate destiny. Some of those of my caste wonder at and disapprove my courage to step forward pronouncing words not habitual for Crowned Heads to pronounce, but I advance by an inner urge I cannot resist.
With bowed head I recognize that I too am but an instrument in greater hands and rejoice in the knowledge.
Little by little the veil is lifting, grief tore it in two. And grief was also a step leading me ever nearer truth, therefore do I not cry out against grief!
May you and those beneath your guidance be blessed and upheld by the sacred strength of those gone before you.
Marie  


Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26th in Baha'i History


  1912 -Abdul- Baha gave a  Talk at Franklin Square House  Boston, Massachusetts

*  Monday, August 26, 1912 Abdul-Baha was in Malden

*  At the invitation of Mrs Breed, the Master went for an automobile ride along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean through a wide thoroughfare about nine miles long and guarded on the ocean side with iron rails. It is a recreation spot, very green and clean, and `Abdu'l-Bahá praised it highly.
*  Some of the firm believers came to visit the Master. He spoke to them about love and faithfulness:
*  This visit is a proof of faithfulness, proof that we have not forgotten one another. In the world of existence nothing is greater than faithfulness, for it allows love to remain unimpaired in spite of the length of time. Behold how faithful were those blessed souls in Persia who, when under the sword, praised the Blessed Beauty. No affliction or persecution could turn them from faithfulness. On the altar of sacrifice they raised cries of `Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá' from their hearts and souls. This is real faithfulness.
*  In the evening at the girls' school He spoke about the rights and education of women. At the conclusion, everyone came to shake His hand with sincerity and gratitude.257
*  Because `Abdu'l-Bahá was tired and it was too far to go back to Malden, He stayed at a hotel in Boston and went to sleep without supper.


 1917 - Howard Colby Ives Received a letter from the Master

 It was dated August 26, 1917. I quote it in full, for the universal viewpoint from which all His words were written robs them of any personal limitation.

"O thou, my revered friend: Your letter imparted the utmost rejoicing, for its contents evidenced attraction to the Kingdom of God and enkindlement with the Fire of the Love of God! A hundred thousand ministers have come and gone: they left behind no trace nor fruit, nor were their lives productive.
To be fruitless in the world of humanity is the manifest loss. A wise person will not attach his heart to ephemeral things: nay, rather, will he continually seek immortal life and strive to obtain eternal happiness.
Now, praise be to God that thou hast turned thy face towards the Kingdom, and art aspiring to receive Divine Bestowals from the Realm of Might.
I have become hopeful, and prayed that thou mayest attain to another Bounty; seek another Life; ask for another World; draw nearer unto God; become informed of the Mysteries of the Kingdom; attain to Life Eternal and become encircled with the Glory Everlasting. Upon thee be the Glory of the Most Glorious!"
(signed) 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas.

Howard colby Ives – Portals to Freedom p.130

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25th in Baha'i History



1912 -  Abdul-Baha gave a Talk at the New Thought Forum  Metaphysical Club Boston, Massachusetts
*   
*  Monday, August 25, 1912 – Abdul-Baha was in Malden

*  The superintendent of a girls' school in Boston came with several people to invite the Master to speak to their students. `Abdu'l-Bahá invited another group of friends from Boston and Green Acre who had come to visit Him to stay for lunch.
*  In the afternoon He went to the New Thought Forum. On the way He stopped by the home of one of the friends whose wife was ill with consumption [tuberculosis]. After comforting and consoling her, He proceeded to the meeting of the society mentioned above. When He entered, the entire audience stood in His honor. After a cordial introduction of welcome, the president of the society announced, without the Master's prior consent, that `Abdu'l-Bahá would speak on the subject of `Captivating the Souls'. Not to embarrass the president, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke first about the conquest of the cities and towns of the physical world by the kings and then described the conquest of the dominion of the hearts and souls of men by the Manifestations of God. He concluded His talk on the influence and expansion of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh in this contingent world. He then chanted a prayer in His sweet, melodious voice.256
*  As the Master went to the automobile, crowds of excited and joyful people lined the outside of the hall to express their gratitude, entreating Him to come the next day to speak to them again. The automobile drove through Boston and two other towns and passed several historic landmarks on the way back to Malden.
*  There was unusual excitement and happiness among the friends who came to `Abdu'l-Bahá's home that evening. The Master spoke about 21 of the teachings of this Great Manifestation of God which are needed by the people of the world.


1963 - Destruction of the 'Ishqabad Temple

25 August 1963

To the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í World

Dear Bahá'í friends,

4:1 The whole Bahá'í World will be grief-stricken at the news of the sad fate which has overtaken the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad, the first Temple raised to the glory of Bahá'u'lláh.+F21 Due to its unsafe condition, resulting from earthquakes, the building has been entirely demolished and the site cleared.
[F21. The temple was located in Turkmenistan, near the Iranian border, north of the Iranian province of Khurasan.]

4.2 The building of this edifice, the only structure of its kind to be raised and completed in the lifetime of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, was described by the beloved Guardian as "a lasting witness to the fervour and the self-sacrifice of the Oriental believers." This "enterprise," the Guardian further wrote, "must rank not only as the first major undertaking launched through the concerted efforts of His followers in the Heroic Age of His Faith, but as one of the most brilliant and enduring achievements in the history of the first Bahá'í century."+F22
[F22. GPB, p. 300. The first Bahá'í century ended in 1944.]

4.3 The Bahá'í centre in 'Ishqabad was founded in the days of Bahá'u'lláh. Already during His lifetime preliminary steps had been adopted by the friends of that community to build, in accordance with the provisions of the Most Holy Book, a Mashriqu'l- Adhkar.+F23
[F23. The Most Holy Book is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh's book of laws.]

4.4 However, the project had to be postponed until 1902, at the end of the first decade of the Ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, when He initiated its construction, called on the friends in the East to offer their contributions towards the  13  fulfilment of this goal, and personally encouraged and directed its development at every stage. The Báb's cousin, the venerable Haji Mirza Muhammad-Taqi, the Vakilu'd- Dawlih, offered his total wealth towards this meritorious enterprise, established his residence in that city, and personally supervised its construction.

4.5 The laying of the cornerstone of this edifice at a ceremony attended by the delegate of the Czar -- the Governor-general of Turkistan -- and the initial steps taken to raise this first House of Worship of the Bahá'í World, inspired the friends in America, who, in 1903, eager to demonstrate the quality of their faith, petitioned 'Abdu'l-Bahá for permission to erect the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the West.

4.6 In addition to the Temple itself, two schools, one for boys and one for girls, and a pilgrim house were built. The local community, and the activities of the friends throughout the provinces of Turkistan expanded and developed in stature until 1928, when the law expropriating religious edifices was applied to this Temple. However, under the terms of two five-year leases, the Bahá'í community was permitted to continue to use the building as a house of worship. In 1938 the Temple was completely expropriated and converted into an art gallery.

4.7 In 1948 violent earthquakes shook the whole town causing devastation and ruin. The building was seriously damaged. The only section which remained relatively secure was the central rotunda. Heavy yearly rains further weakened the structure to such a degree as to endanger the safety of houses in the vicinity. It was at this point that the authorities decided to demolish the remaining edifice and clear the site.

4.8 A reliable report, recently received, indicates that had the Temple been restored to us at this point, we should have had no option but to raze the building ourselves.

4.9 Please share this news with the friends but we do not wish National Assemblies, Local Assemblies or individual believers to take any action.

With loving greetings,
The Universal House of Justice

1980 - Another False Accusation against the Iranian Bahá'ís

25 August 1980

To selected National Spiritual Assemblies

260.1 SUBSEQUENT ARREST ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IRAN AND TWO AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT JUST RELEASED THROUGH MASS MEDIA IRAN ACCUSES LEADERS BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN RECENTLY ATTEMPTED COUP. THIS FALSE ACCUSATION ANOTHER EVIDENCE DELIBERATE SCHEME AUTHORITIES ELIMINATE BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY AND ITS INSTITUTIONS IN LAND ITS ORIGIN. ...

260.2 ASSURE YOU PRAYERS SUCCESS EFFORTS ALLEVIATE SUFFERINGS OPPRESSED BRETHREN IRAN.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

1983 - Passing of Sylvia Ioas, International Bahá'í Council

25 August 1983

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

374.1 SADDENED PASSING DEVOTED MAIDSERVANT BAHÁ'U'LLÁH SYLVIA IOAS.+F674 HER LONG YEARS SERVICE DIVINE THRESHOLD CONSTANT SUPPORT CLOSE COLLABORATION HER DISTINGUISHED HUSBAND CROWNED BY HER APPOINTMENT BY BELOVED GUARDIAN AS MEMBER INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ'Í COUNCIL AND HER SUBSEQUENT ELECTION SAME HISTORIC INSTITUTION AND AS ITS VICE- PRESIDENT. HER GRACIOUS MANNER, CHEERFUL DISPOSITION, HOSPITABLE SPIRIT REMAIN AS INDELIBLE IMPRESSIONS HER FRUITFUL LIFE. FERVENTLY PRAYING HOLY SHRINES HER RADIANT SOUL MAY BE RICHLY REWARDED ABHA KINGDOM. URGE NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL SERVICES.
[F674. For an account of the life and services of Sylvia Ioas, see BW 19:611.]

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
REGRET ANNOUNCE ALSO PASSING AWAY IN PRISON OF AMINU'LLAH QURBANPUR 60 YEAR OLD MASON ON 25 AUGUST 1984. CAUSE DEATH UNKNOWN. HOWEVER BLOOD-STAINED CLOTHES RETURNED TO FAMILY TOGETHER WITH HIS RECENTLY WASHED SHOES MAKE CIRCUMSTANCES HIS DEATH SUSPICIOUS. HIS BODY WAS ALSO BURIED BY AUTHORITIES WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE RELATIVES. ...

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


            (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 644)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 24th in Baha'i History

* 




Sunday, August 24, 1912 - Abdul-Baha was in Malden

*  `Abdu'l-Bahá was engaged in writing letters to the new Bahá'ís in Dublin and bestowing His favors on them. He also wrote to the friends in the Western states. Later, several visitors arrived from Malden and Dublin to see Him. One was the president of the New Thought Forum who had come from Boston to invite the Master to speak to his society. Two people from Tihrán, Persia, who had come to America on business, also came to see Him. He told them:
*  The Persians destroyed their home with their own hands in the hope of building another one; but now they are left in the desert without a home or shelter. We wrote and exhorted them, pointing out that the union of government and the people is like combining milk and honey; otherwise, the neighboring governments will encroach upon the country. In spite of all this they malevolently made false accusations against us. But God protected us because we were not involved in shedding the blood of even one Persian.
*  The newspaper `Fikr' [Thought] was mentioned, and He continued:
*  In this newspaper our letter speaks for itself. We are far from taking part in any seditious movement and we hold fast to the will of the Lord.
*  In the afternoon another group came to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá. One was a minister from Chicago, who asked about the sins of men and the forgiveness of the Manifestations of the Merciful One. `Abdu'l-Bahá gave a detailed explanation, which fascinated the minister. The Master stated that forgiveness depends upon our obedience to the admonitions of the Prophets of God and not on the mere verbal statement of belief or on following the words of the ministers of religion.
*  That evening the friends and seekers of Malden were treated to a talk about the power of the Greatest Name and the unity of nations and peoples. Each day and night witnesses a stream of new inquirers wishing to come into His holy presence.


1972 - Release of a Compilation on Newsletters

24 August 1972

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Bahá'í friends,

120.1 It is clear from the writings of our beloved Guardian that the initiation, regular publication and distribution of a Bahá'í newsletter by each National Spiritual Assembly is one of its vital functions and a means of promoting understanding and unity among the friends, of stimulating their interest and deepening their knowledge of the teachings, and of co-ordinating the activities of the Faith.  226 

120.2 In order to assist National Spiritual Assemblies to properly assess the importance of this activity and take effective steps to ensure that such a newsletter is issued and widely distributed among the friends, we attach a compilation of extracts on this subject from the letters written by the Guardian or on his behalf.+F264 We urge you to study these extracts carefully and consider, as called for, ways and means of improving the standard, ensuring the regular release and facilitating the circulation of your news bulletin. We realize, of course, that in some countries it is necessary to issue the bulletin in more than one language.
[F264. The compilation is too lengthy to include in this volume.]

120.3 A section of the attached extracts also deals with local newsletters. In some countries it may be feasible and desirable to encourage the issue of such bulletins by responsible Local Spiritual Assemblies.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,
The Universal House of Justice


1981 - Release of a Compilation on the Assistance of God

24 August 1981

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Bahá'í friends,

294.1 The Universal House of Justice commissioned the Research Department to compile texts which convey the assurance that the assistance of God will surround and confirm the efforts of the friends when they arise to deliver His divine message and teach His Cause. This compilation is now ready, and a copy is attached.+F589 The Universal House of Justice leaves it to your discretion to determine how best the contents of this compilation or other texts on this subject should be shared with the friends.
[F589. See CC II:201-24.]

294.2 It is the conviction of the House of Justice that the powers of heaven and earth will, as repeatedly asserted in the attached extracts, mysteriously and unfailingly assist all those who will arise with love, dedication, and trust in their hearts to teach the Cause, to promote the Word of God, to deliver its healing message to receptive souls, and to serve its vital interests.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat

            (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 504)


Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23rd in Baha'i History



 Saturday, August 23, 1912 – The Master was in
[Green Acre]
*  In the morning, while the Master was preparing to leave, He said:
*  We have finished our work here. We have sown a seed. Many souls have been attracted and transformed. Every day we have seen gifts such as fruit, flowers, honey and sweets which have been placed here anonymously and without show. This is a proof of the sincerity of their hearts.
*  `Abdu'l-Bahá was delighted to witness the influence of the Word of God on Green Acre. Indeed, it has become a second paradise on earth and had been transformed into verdancy and freshness.
*  At His instructions, the suitcases were packed and the carriage readied. The believers and seekers were burning with the fire of love, lamenting and shedding tears. `Abdu'l-Bahá sat in the carriage while the friends lined both sides of the road. For as long as the carriage remained in sight, they continued to wave their hats and handkerchiefs in farewell. On the way He stopped to visit Miss Farmer, who fell at His feet weeping and received from the Master His infinite favor and utmost kindness.
*  `Abdu'l-Bahá left Green Acre at 10:00 a.m. and reached Malden, Massachusetts, at 1:00 p.m. He arrived at the home of Miss [Marie P.] Wilson, whose invitation to stay at her house He had accepted.255 A new spirit was breathed into the bodies and a divine happiness was shed upon the hearts.
*  As He was tired, `Abdu'l-Bahá did not eat but instead rested for awhile.
*  In the afternoon and evening many friends were honored with meeting Him.




1955 - The worst crisis, however, which the Persian Bahá'í Community experienced in the thirty-six years of the Guardian's ministry, arose in 1955,
when, as he cabled, a sudden deterioration took place in the affairs of this largest community in the Bahá'í world. In a long cable,dated 23 August, he reported to the Hands and National Assemblies what had been taking place: following the seizure by the authorities of the National Headquarters of the Persian believers in Tehran and the destruction of its large ornamental dome (a destruction during which one of the country's leading divines and a general of its army themselves took up pickaxes and went to work), local Bahá'í administrative headquarters all over Persia were seized and occupied, the Parliament of the country outlawed the Faith, a virulent press and radio campaign was started, distorting its history, calumniating its Founders, misrepresenting its teachings, and obscuring its aims and purposes - following all this a series of atrocities was perpetrated against the members of this sorely tried community throughout the entire country. In his summary of the terrible damage done and the "barbarous acts" committed, he cited such events as: the desecration of the House of the Báb in Shiraz, the foremost Shrine of  311  the Faith in Persia, which had been severely damaged; the occupation of the ancestral home of Bahá'u'lláh; the pillaging of shops and farms owned by the believers and the looting of their homes, destruction of their livestock, burning of their crops and digging up and desecration of the Bahá'í dead in their cemeteries; adults were beaten; young women abducted and forced into marriage with Muslims; children were mocked, reviled and expelled from schools as well as being beaten; tradesmen boycotted Bahá'ís and refused to sell them food; a girl of fifteen was raped; an eleven-month-old baby was trampled underfoot; pressure was brought on believers to recant their Faith. More recently, he went on to say, a mob two thousand strong had hacked to pieces with spades and axes a family of seven - the oldest eighty and the youngest nineteen - to the sound of music and drums.

      (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 310)

1968 - First Oceanic Conference

ANNOUNCE CONVOCATION TWENTY-THIRD TO TWENTY-FIFTH AUGUST 1968 FIRST OCEANIC CONFERENCE BAHÁ'Í WORLD PALERMO SICILY HEART SEA TRAVERSED GOD'S MANIFESTATION CENTURY AGO PROCEEDING INCARCERATION MOST GREAT PRISON.


      (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 122)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22nd in Baha'i History

 August 22, 1912 - Abdul-Baha was in
[Green Acre]
So many assembled this morning in the Master's home that there was no room to stand. The Master said that it was not possible to speak to each individually, therefore He stood in front of the group and spoke about the teachings and divine exhortations. At one point He said, `I hope that harvests will be reaped from the seed-sowing and that it will receive heavenly blessings.'
After the meeting the Master gave permission to some earnest seekers to see Him privately. Afterwards, He went to visit the homes of some of the friends.
Today a lady who had survived the Titanic disaster came to see Him. `I am told,' she said, `that you advised not to travel by that ship.'
The Master replied in the affirmative. She questioned, `Did you know that this would happen?' The Master said, `God inspires man's heart.'
When He returned to the Inn, some prominent people came to see Him. In the course of the conversation they said, `We have always understood that religion is opposed to science but we are now indebted to your discourses and teachings for throwing a new light on our thinking.'
The Master gave another talk on these issues for their enlightenment. Another group of people came to visit Him, expressing their heartfelt sorrow that He intended to leave Green Acre. They begged Him to write them a few words in His own handwriting and He wrote brief prayers for them in His exquisite script.
In the afternoon He paid farewell visits to some of the friends at their homes. At each gathering He offered life-giving words and in each home He was as the beloved one who steals hearts. He then returned home extremely exhausted, to the point that He could not even sit down. `Our condition', He said, `is like that of the exhausted iron worker's apprentice whose master said to him, "Die, but pump."'
After a brief rest He went to the hall at Eirenion and gave a talk on unity among the races, the elimination of prejudice amongst the peoples and nations, and the necessity for the oneness of the world of humanity in this enlightened age. At the end He chanted a prayer in such melodious and sweet tones that every heart was attracted to the divine kingdom and every soul turned to the Beauty of the Beloved.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21st in Baha'i History


1868 - Baha'ullah departs from Gallipoli
At last the steamer arrived and dropped anchor. Aqa Rida writes: 'On an evening our luggage was taken to the ship, and the next morning boats took us aboard. The sea was very rough. In the same boat where the Blessed Perfection was to sit, I and another one of the companions had the bounty of being in His presence. Jinab-i-Anis an, his friends were at the quayside. Tears of deep sorrow welled from their eyes. The Blessed Perfection bade them farewell with great kindness, then took His seat in the boat and told us to be seated. Verse flowed from His lips, . . . and He spoke to us words of consolation. He then said jestingly, "Would it not be a treat if the liner should sink?' but added with utmost power and authority, "But it will not sink, even if it is battered by all the waves." Thus He spoke to us until we reached the steamer, which was very crowded. Amongst the passengers was the Persian consul, newly-appointed to serve in Izmir (Smyrna), with his retinue. But the Blessed Perfection spoke to no one. He went to the upper deck, which was cloistered and very spacious. It was the second day of Jamadiyu'l-Avval AH 1285-21 August 1868.
*  The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith writes:
*   
*  So grievous were the dangers and trials confronting Bahá'u'lláh  at the hour of His departure from Gallipoli that He warned His companions   that 'this journey will be unlike any of the previous journeys,' and   that whoever did not feel himself 'man enough to face the future' had best   'depart to whatever place he pleaseth, and be preserved from tests, for  hereafter he will find himself unable to leave' - a warning which   His companions unanimously chose to disregard.*   
*      (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 264)

*  On the morning of the 2nd of Jamadiyu'l-Avval 1285 A.H.  (21 August 1868) they all embarked in an Austrian-Lloyd  steamer for Alexandria, touching at Madelli, and stopping  for two days at Smyrna,  
*      (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 411)

 1912 Abdul - Baha was in  [Green Acre]

*  During the visit of a group of Bahá'ís with the Master, a young girl came in and said, `I have come to ask for your assistance. Please tell me what I am fitted to do so that I may occupy myself with it.' The Master asked, `Do you have trust in me?' She replied, `Yes.' He then said to her, `Be a perfect Bahá'í. Associate with Bahá'ís. Study the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Then you will be assisted in whatever you undertake to do.' She then said, `I am a good Jewess.' The Master then said:
*  A good Jew can also become a Bahá'í. The truth of the religion of Moses and of Bahá'u'lláh is one. Turn toward Bahá'u'lláh and you will acquire peace and tranquillity, you will hear the melody of the Kingdom, you will stir people's souls and you will attain the highest degree of perfection. Be assured of this.
*  When she heard the Master's words she was so impressed that she threw herself at His feet and wept.
*  `Abdu'l-Bahá explained some aspects of the divine philosophy and teachings to the pastor of the Portsmouth church. The pastor said that he had included some of these teachings in his pamphlets and some people had taken offence. The Master said, `Constancy in all things brings forth fruitful results.'
*  Mrs Tatum said, `I feel so dejected today. I am unhappy with myself.' The Master replied:
*  This is a sign of progress. The person who is satisfied with himself is the manifestation of Satan and the one who is not satisfied is the manifestation of the Merciful One. An egotist does not progress but the one who thinks himself imperfect will seek perfection for himself and will progress. If a man has a thousand good qualities, he must not look at them. He must search always for his shortcomings. For example, if a man has a building which is well-constructed and fully decorated but which has a small crack in one of its walls, he will, no doubt, forget the rest and turn his whole attention to repairing that crack. Furthermore, the attainment of absolute perfection for a human being is impossible; thus, however much he may progress he is still imperfect and has above him a point higher than himself. And the instant he sees this point he will not be satisfied with himself. It is for this reason that when someone called Christ `Good Master', He replied that there is only One who is good and that is God.
*  Another lady told `Abdu'l-Bahá that she had lectured in America on universal brotherhood and unity. She was pleased to see the Master in America promulgating these high ideals and that she was going to continue to spread these teachings in the Western states of America. The Master said to her:
*  We must endeavor as much as we can to exterminate spite and perversity so that people may be delivered from the shackles of superstition. You must serve in this way and become the cause of the unity of the world of men.
*  He spoke in the same vein with everyone. There were two people, Dr and Mrs Moore, who had been antagonistic towards the Cause of God from the very beginning. However, they had become so attracted and transformed that they came into the Master's presence with great humility and pledged themselves to the service of the truth. The transformation of such people is a momentous task which will produce great results.
*  In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá went by automobile to the home of Mrs [Kate] Ives and sat next to the driver, which is where members of His entourage usually sit. He sat there until the party arrived. When a number of the friends had gathered, He went with them to the hill of Monsalvat.252 As soon as He arrived about four hundred people sang songs of praise to Him in unison. He addressed this gathering on the necessity of founding the school for the investigation of religions which Miss Farmer wished to establish on that mountain. A moving picture of this gathering was taken.253
*  The gathering was also characterized by a renewed enthusiasm, ardor and love, which seemed to draw all hearts. It was an auspicious day.
*  He then went to Mrs [Esther Annie] Magee's home where He dined with a group of friends.254 He spoke to them about the proofs and evidences of the existence of God and the composition of elements according to the will of the Almighty.


1980 - Arrest of National Spiritual Assembly of Iran and two Auxiliary Board members

259.1 WITH HEARTS BURNING INDIGNATION DISTRESS ANNOUNCE ALL MEMBERS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IRAN TOGETHER WITH TWO AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS FORCIBLY AND PEREMPTORILY TAKEN FROM MEETING IN PRIVATE HOME ON EVENING 21 AUGUST TO UNKNOWN DESTINATION. VIEWING RISING TIDE PERSECUTIONS STEADFAST HEROIC LEADERS HARASSED COMMUNITY HAD ALREADY ANTICIPATED POSSIBILITY SUCH AN UNWARRANTED ACTION AND HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR NINE ALTERNATIVE MEMBERS ASSUME RESPONSIBILITIES NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN CASE THEY WERE UNABLE FUNCTION. NINE MEMBERS APPOINTED BODY NOW AT HELM DETERMINED DISCHARGE SACRED DUTIES FOLLOW IN FOOTSTEPS THEIR COURAGEOUS PREDECESSORS, REMINISCENT SPIRIT EVINCED UNDAUNTED HEROES FAITH DURING MEMORABLE EPISODE BARFURUSH.+F543 NEW NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TOGETHER WITH WIVES CLOSE RELATIVES ARRESTED FRIENDS HAVE APPEALED AUTHORITIES FOR RELEASE LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS. THROUGH THEIR CONSTANCY AND VALOUR PERSIAN FRIENDS HAVE ONCE AGAIN SET AN EXAMPLE OF SERVITUDE AT SACRED THRESHOLD WORTHY EMULATION ALL FRIENDS EVERY LAND PARTICULARLY THOSE PRIVILEGED SERVE ACTIVELY ON BAHÁ'Í INSTITUTIONS. CALL ON FRIENDS EVERYWHERE JOIN US IN FERVENT PRAYERS THAT SELF-SACRIFICING PERSIAN BRETHREN MAY AT LAST YIELD GOLDEN FRUIT THEIR RELEASE FROM YOKE TRIBULATION OPPRESSION SO NOBLY BORNE IN PATH HIS LOVE MORE THAN ONE CENTURY. ...
[F543. In 1848 Mulla Husayn set out with a company of Bábís for the province of Mazindaran to rescue Quddus, a Letter of the Living who was being held in the town of Sari. Nabil reports in The Dawn-Breakers (pp. 337-38) that, after a skirmish with the citizens of Barfurush that ended with the villagers' begging for peace, Mulla Husayn and his companions proceeded to the caravansary. Detecting signs of continued hostility, Mulla Husayn had the gates of the inn closed. As evening approached, he asked whether any of his companions was willing to arise and renounce his life for the sake of the Faith by ascending to the roof of the caravansary to sound the call to prayer. A youth gladly responded. No sooner had he uttered the opening words of a prayer than a bullet struck and killed him. Another youth arose, and, in the same spirit, proceeded with the prayer. He, too, was struck down by an enemy bullet. A third youth attempted to complete the unfinished prayer; but he, too, suffered the same fare as he neared the end of the prayer.]

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


            (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 456)