Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1st in Baha'i History

1907 - My Name is 'Abdu'l-Bahá. My Reality is 'Abdu'l-Bahá: and Service to all the human race is my perpetual Religion.... 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the Banner of the Most Great Peace ...The Herald of the Kingdom is he, so that he may awaken the people of the East and the West. The Voice of Friendship, of Truth, and of Reconciliation is he, quickening all regions. No name, no title will he ever have, except 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This is my longing. This is my Supreme height. O ye friends of God! 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the manifestation of Service, and not Christ. The Servant of humanity is he, and not a chief. Summon ye the people to the station of Service of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and not his Christhood." (From a letter sent to the friends in New York, January 1st, 1907.)]

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 109)

1912: ‘Alí-Muhammad Varqá, prominent Bahá’í, Hand of the Cause and trustee of Huqúqu'lláh is born

1913 - The Lord of all mankind hath fashioned this human realm to be a Garden of Eden, an earthly paradise. If, as it must, it findeth the way to harmony and peace, to love and mutual trust, it will become a true abode of bliss, a place of manifold blessings and unending delights. Therein shall be revealed the excellence of humankind, therein shall the rays of the Sun of Truth shine forth on every hand.

Remember how Adam and the others once dwelt together in Eden. No sooner, however, did a quarrel break out between Adam and Satan than they were, one and all, banished from the Garden, and this was meant as a warning to the human race, a means of telling humankind that dissension -- even with the Devil -- is the way to bitter loss. This is why, in our illumined age, God teacheth that conflicts and disputes are not allowable, not even with Satan himself.  276 

Gracious God! Even with such a lesson before him, how heedless is man! Still do we see his world at war from pole to pole. There is war among the religions; war among the nations; war among the peoples; war among the rulers. What a welcome change would it be, if only these black clouds would lift from off the skies of the world, so that the light of reality could be shed abroad! If only the darksome dust of this continual fighting and killing could settle forever, and the sweet winds of God's loving-kindness could blow from out the well-spring of peace. Then would this world become another world, and the earth would shine with the light of her Lord.

If there is any hope, it is solely in the bounties of God: that His strengthening grace will come, and the struggling and contending will cease, and the acid bite of blood-dripping steel will be turned into the honey-dew of friendship and probity and trust. How sweet would that day be in the mouth, how fragrant as musk the scent thereof.

God grant that the new year will bring a promise of the new peace. May He enable this distinguished assemblage to conclude a fair treaty and establish a just covenant, that you may be blessed forever, across the unborn reaches of time.

[Addressed to the readers of The Christian Commonwealth, 1 January 1913]

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 275)

1929 - behooves us, while expectantly watching from a distance the moving spectacle of the struggling Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, to seek abiding solace and strength from the reflection that whatever befalls this Cause, however grievous and humiliating the visitations that from time to time may seem to afflict the organic life or interfere with the functions of the administrative machinery of the Bahá'í Faith, such calamities cannot but each eventually prove to be a blessing in disguise designed, by a Wisdom inscrutable to us all, to establish and consolidate the sovereignty of Bahá'u'lláh on this earth.
(In a letter written by Shoghi Effendi, 1 January 1929 to the Bahá'ís of the West, published in "Bahá'í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932", p. 164) Compilation: Crisis and Victory

1953 - The Bahá'í Youth of Germany who were gathered in Titisee, January 1, for Winter School Session.

He urges each one of you, when the details covering the Ten Year Crusade are released, to give this subject careful study, so that you may, during the entire period of this World Crusade, serve the Cause efficiently and devotedly in the place and in the manner in which you are best fitted to do so.
                (Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v II, p. 105)

1962: Amelia Collins, prominent Bahá’í and Hand of the Cause passes away in Haifa, Israel

1970 - Release of a Compilation on Bahá'í Funds

In order to assist the friends everywhere in the proper appreciation of the importance and meaning of contributing to Bahá'í Funds, and to remind them as well as all Assemblies of the underlying principles that must govern the offering and administration of these funds, we have made a compilation of extracts from the Guardian's letters on this subject which we are now sharing with you - The Universal House of Justice

1971: Death of Hand of the Cause of God, Agnes Alexander

Profoundly grieve passing illumined soul Hand Cause Agnes Alexander longstanding pillar Cause Far East first bring Faith Hawaiian Islands. Her long dedicated exemplary life service devotion Cause God anticipated by Center Covenant selecting her share May Maxwell imperishable honor mention Tablets Divine Plan. Her unrestrained unceasing pursuit teaching obedience command Bahá'u'lláh exhortations Master guidance beloved Guardian shining example all followers Faith. Her passing severs one more link Heroic Age. Assure family friends ardent prayers holiest shrine progress radiant soul request all National Spiritual Assemblies hold memorial meetings and those responsible hold service Mother Temples (Signed) Universal House of Justice (The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, p. 127)

1983 - Execution of Hidayat Siyavushi in Shiraz


1986 - Release of a Compilation on Women

The Universal House of Justice requested the Research Department to prepare a compilation on the subject of women, taking into consideration the Bahá'í concepts of the equality of the sexes, the role of education in the development of women, family life, fostering the development of women, etc. The compilation has now been completed and a copy is attached
With loving Bahá'í greetings, Department of the Secretariat

2000 - Presentations of the Bahá'í World Center are televised as part of the new millennium celebrations and are viewed by over one-billion persons around the world.

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