Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21st in Baha'i History

1913 - Abdul-Baha Leaves London for Paris
He sailed, on the S.S. Celtic, on December 5, from New York for Liverpool; and landing there He proceeded by train to London. Later He visited Oxford, Edinburgh and Bristol, and thence returning to London, left for Paris on January 21, 1913. - God Passes By p.200

1914 – the passing of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl

For a great biography plus details of his passing click here

Mirza Muhammad, who is known to Bahá'ís as Mirza Abu'l-Fadl or Mirza Abu'l-Fada'il, was born in 1844 into a family of religious scholars in Gulpaygan. He studied the Islamic sciences, becoming well versed in both the traditional transmitted branches of knowledge as well as the rational philosophic branches. He studied at Karbila, Najaf and Isfahan and eventually became the head of a religious college, the Madrisiy-i-Madar-i-Shah (the religious college of the Mother of the Shah). The story of his introduction to the Bahá'í Faith through a humble blacksmith is well known to Bahá'ís. The confirmation of his belief came in 1876 after a period of studying the Writings of the Faith and seeing the prophecies of Bahá'u'lláh come true.

His conversion led to his dismissal from his post and imprisonment for five months. He then became the secretary of Manakji Sahib, the Zoroastrian agent in Tihran. In December 1882 he was arrested, together with a large number of Bahá'ís of Tihran, and was in prison for twenty-two months. After this he began extensive travels throughout Iran. It was principally through his writings that the Bahá'í Faith was presented to the Jews of Iran in such a way as to bring a large number of them into the Bahá'í fold. In 1888 he travelled to 'Ishqabad and later to Samarqand and Bukhara. In 1894 he spent ten months in the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akká and then on the instructions of 'Abdu'l-Bahá proceeded to Cairo, where he settled for a number of years and was successful in converting some of the students of the foremost institution of learning of the Sunni world, al-Azhar. Between 1900 and 1904 he travelled to Paris and the United States where his talks and his writings enabled the nascent Bahá'í communities to gain a clearer understanding of the tenets of the Faith. He then lived in Beirut and Cairo until his death in the latter city on 21 January 1914 (Eminent Baha’is in the Time of Baha’u’llah, p.264)

1923 - Birth of Brigitte Lundblade, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh named for pioneering to the Shetland Islands

Please read a quick biography of Brigitte Lundblade here

1949 – The Guardian has an interview with Ben Gurion.

The interview took place on Friday evening, 21 January, in the private home the Prime Minister was staying in on Mt Carmel and lasted about fifteen minutes. Ben Gurion inquired about the Faith and Shoghi Effendi's relation to it and asked if there was a book he could read; Shoghi Effendi answered his questions and assured him he would send him a copy of his own book God Passes By - which he later did, and which was acknowledged with thanks. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 289)

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