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)