Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29th in Baha'i History

1892 - Ascension of Baha'u'llah

Already nine months before His ascension Bahá'u'lláh, as attested by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, had voiced His desire to depart from this world. From that time onward it became increasingly evident, from the tone of His remarks to those who attained His presence, that the close of His earthly life was approaching, though He refrained from mentioning it openly to any one. On the night preceding the eleventh of Shavval 1309 A.H. (May 8, 1892) He contracted a slight fever which, though it mounted the following day, soon after subsided. He continued to grant interviews to certain of the friends and pilgrims, but it soon became evident that He was not well. His fever returned in a more acute form than before, His general condition grew steadily worse, complications ensued which at last culminated in His ascension, at the hour of dawn, on the 2nd of Dhi'l-Qa'dih 1309 A.H. (May 29, 1892), eight hours after sunset, in the 75th year of His age. His spirit, at long last released from the toils of a life crowded with tribulations, had winged its flight to His "other dominions," dominions "whereon the eyes of the people of names have never fallen," and to which the "Luminous Maid," "clad in white," had bidden Him hasten, as described by Himself in the Lawh-i-Ru'ya (Tablet of the Vision), revealed nineteen years previously, on the anniversary of the birth of His Forerunner

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 221)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

29 May 1912 Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Kinney 780 West End Avenue, New York

The happiness of Master increased day by day through influence of the Cause of God. Whenever He was asked about His health, He said with the utmost happiness, `My health and happiness depend on the progress of the Cause of God. Nothing else merits attention. This happiness is eternal, and this life is life everlasting.' (Mahmud's Diary)

1925 - Trip to the Holy Land or Service?

In connection with the question that you had asked as to whether you should take a trip to the Holy Land or keep the sum to defray the expense of a young man you are educating. Shoghi Effendi wishes me to write you that although it means profound pleasure to him and to the members of the holy family, to welcome you in the home of our beloved Master and to share with you the eternal outpourings of His Grace in and around His blessed Shrine, he deems it of greater importance for you to keep up helping the young boy whom you have undertaken to educate. This he would advise you with a deep realization of Bahá'u'lláh's most pregnant utterance that he who educates his child or another's it is just as though he is educating a child of Bahá'u'lláh Himself.

(From a letter dated 29 May 1925 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 295)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28th in Baha'i History

1912- Abdul-Baha in America

28 May 1912 Talk at Reception at Metropolitan Temple Seventh Avenue and Fourteenth Street, New York

Today He moved from the house facing the Hudson River to Mrs Kinney's home. He had instructed us to rent a house for Him because the owner of the apartment hotel considered that the movement of so many diverse people was unusual and felt that the additional work and difficulty [for the staff] was too much. There had been so many people visiting from morning to night that the hotel management had been obliged to respond to incessant inquiries. However, when the staff saw the Master's great kindness as He left the hotel they became ashamed of their conduct and begged Him to stay longer, but He did not accept. (Mahmud's Diary)

1975 - Bahá'ís must cling firmly to the knowledge that the Cause is safely in God's hands

The Bahá'ís must cling firmly to the knowledge that the Cause is safely in God's hands, that the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh is incorruptible and that they can have complete confidence in the ability of the Universal House of Justice to function "under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One"....
(28 May 1975, from a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 127)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27th in Baha'i History

1850 - Vahid enters Nayriz. Beginning of the First Nayriz Upheaval.

(Misc Baha'i, Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

Mr Frederick Lynch, the author of the book International Peace and an active member of the peace movement, stood and said:
Since the arrival of `Abdu'l-Bahá in America, I have had the honor of hearing and meeting Him several times; I have read with great interest His speeches and addresses in the newspapers. My ardent wish is that I may see here, too, the great impact of His teachings and the influence of His manifest signs. I was present at the Peace Conference at Lake Mohonk and had the pleasure of listening to the most remarkable address given there. The principles of His teachings, as given in that address, are the oneness of humanity, universal peace and the unity of religions. All His talks vibrate with the spirit of these principles and their influence is felt by all. How I welcome this dear person, whose presence has inspired the minds and hearts of the Americans! He receives inspiration from the breaths of the Holy Spirit. His spirit is infinite, unlimited and eternal. I am delighted to have been invited to this great occasion and to have the opportunity publicly to express my heartfelt testimony. (Mahmud's Diary)

1966 - the last refuge of a tottering civilization
The Universal House of Justice, which the Guardian said would be regarded by posterity as "the last refuge of a tottering civilization," is now, in the absence of the Guardian, the sole infallibly guided institution in the world to which all must turn, and on it rests the responsibility for ensuring the unity and progress of the Cause of God in accordance with the revealed Word.
(The Universal House of Justice, from a letter dated 27 May 1966, published in "Wellspring of Guidance: Messages 1963-1968", p. 90) (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 123)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Men who suffer not, attain no perfection

Baha'i Graphic #134
Photo by Irene Bush

Baha'i Scripture

“Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.” 

(Abdul-Baha, Paris Talks p.50)

May 26th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

26 May 1912 Talk at Mount Morris Baptist Church Fifth Avenue and 126th Street, New York

Abdu'l-Bahá left Boston today but before leaving He attended a meeting of the Golden Circle [al-Halqatadh-Dhahabíyyah], the largest Syrian society in America. One of the learned men, Dr Georgi, introduced the Master and praised Him in the most beautiful words. Another gentleman, a poet of the Arabic language, read, with great reverence and respect, an ode he had written in praise of the Cause of God and the Master. Then `Abdu'l-Bahá rose and delivered a most eloquent address, which made the Syrians very happy. No one could have imagined that they would have been so attracted and moved to such a degree. When `Abdu'l-Bahá stepped from the pulpit, all rushed towards Him to shake His hand. An Arabic-speaking woman struggled out of the crowd with great difficulty and threw herself at His feet, saying, `I testify that in Thee is the spirit of God and the spirit of Christ.' (Mahmud's Diary)

1943 - Bahá'í children like you have a lot of wonderful work to do

He (the Guardian) feels that Bahá'í children like you have a lot of wonderful work to do for others in the future. But you don't even have to wait until you grow up, you can help your dear Mother teach the Cause to others right now, and also tell your playmates about it. The Guardian is going to pray that you may grow up to be a shining light in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.

(Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 440)

1946 - We must be patient with each other's shortcomings

We must be patient with each other's shortcomings, and always strive to create love and unity among the believers, who, after all, are still immature in many ways and far from perfect. The Faith itself is the great thing, and the Bahá'ís must strive to become ever more perfect instruments for Bahá'u'lláh to use and to accomplish His purpose through.

(26 May 1946 to an individual believer) Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 383)

May 25th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

25 May 1912 Huntington Chambers Boston, Massachusetts

At a meeting in the afternoon at the Master's residence with philosophers and learned men of Boston, one visitor asked about the immortality of the soul. In response, `Abdu'l-Bahá delivered a most unique discourse on the subject, which left everyone astonished. Those leaders of science and knowledge were captivated with the beauty of the Covenant. The talk was so impressive that the Master Himself remarked as He left the meeting: `Until now there has never been such a discourse about the immortality of the soul.' This was purely the result of His authority and power. He had had no intention of speaking on this subject but when He was questioned, He answered without hesitation. (Mahmud's Diary)

1978 - Love for God and Bahá'u'lláh

To an individual Bahá'í

Dear Bahá'í friend,
The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 21 March 1978 in which you express concern that you do not yet feel in your heart the degree of love for God and for Bahá'u'lláh that you wish to have and which you witness in others, and is touched by the depth of your longing and effort. We have been requested to convey the following.

One source of true joy and happiness which you would do well to concentrate upon is that you have been able to recognize and accept God's supreme Manifestation in the Day of His appearance. There is no greater bounty than this and the souls of all Bahá'ís should be filled with gratitude for this supreme gift.

The House of Justice encourages you to continue your reading of the Words of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master and adds that spiritual growth has been likened to organic growth. Everything living must change. Growth and change can be imperceptible or dramatic and rapid. It is stated in a letter dated 6 October 1954 written on behalf of the beloved Guardian to an individual believer:

When a person becomes a Bahá'í, actually what takes place is that the seed of the spirit starts to grow in the human soul. This seed must be watered by the outpourings of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the spirit are received through prayer, meditation, study of the Holy Utterances and service to the Cause of God.

We have been directed to assure you of the prayers of the House of Justice for your spiritual advancement and that you may be so strengthened in your faith that you will be enabled to devotedly serve the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,

The Department of the Secretariat

(Messages 1963 to 1986 p.382)

May 24th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

24 May 1912 Talk at Free Religious Association, or Unitarian Conference
Boston, Massachusetts

He quickly left for the meeting at Ford Hall. More than a thousand people were in the audience. The subject of His talk was the unity of the teachings of the Messengers of God and the oneness of religions.
Because another lecturer had spoken just before the Master criticizing religion, `Abdu'l-Bahá's talk seemed extraordinary and produced a great effect. The former speaker, a zealous minister, had announced that a false Christ, a denier of Christ, had come to America. But when the people heard the Master's address establishing the truth of all the Prophets and especially that of Christ, they were surprised, astonished and extremely interested. Moreover, the dignity of `Abdu'l-Bahá as He left the meeting became a further cause of attracting the hearts. The members of the association, as well as the Association of Unitarians, had offered to pay the expenses of the Master's journey but the offer was not accepted.
At the end of the conference, the chairman held the Master's hand while the audience applauded. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Master. As `Abdu'l-Bahá left the hall He bestowed His favors upon all. (Mahmud's Diary)

1983 - Statement by the President of the United States about the Bahá'ís of Iran

To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States


(Messages 1963 to 1986 p. 580)

May 23rd in Baha'i History

1844 - the Declaration of the Bab

The Birth of the Bábí Revelation

May 23, 1844, signalizes the commencement of the most turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the Bahá'í Era, an age which marks the opening of the most glorious epoch in the greatest cycle which the spiritual history of mankind has yet witnessed. No more than a span of nine short years marks the duration of this most spectacular, this most tragic, this most eventful period of the first Bahá'í century. It was ushered in by the birth of a Revelation whose Bearer posterity will acclaim as the "Point round Whom the realities of the Prophets and Messengers revolve," and terminated with the first stirrings of a still more potent Revelation, "whose day," Bahá'u'lláh Himself affirms, "every Prophet hath announced," for which "the soul of every Divine Messenger hath thirsted," and through which "God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets."
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 3)

1844 - Birth of Abdul-Baha

Abdul Baha is the law establisher, as he was the first to live these laws. He was born in the city of Teheran, Persia, May 23, 1844.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 9)

The Bahá'ís wished to celebrate 'Abdu'l- Baha's birthday, but He did not want this because it coincides with the anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb (23 May), when all attention should be given to that sacred event. He gave them instead the Day of the Covenant to celebrate, choosing a date that is six Gregorian months away from the commemoration of Bahá'u'lláh's Ascension.

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 739)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

23 May 1912 Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Francis W. Breed
367 Harvard Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

At noon `Abdu'l-Bahá visited the house maintained for the poor of Syria and Greece [the Greek-Syrian Relief Society]. Members of this association had prepared lunch for Him with great care. The lady who was the president of the association had been busy making preparations for His reception. In one of the large rooms there was a table laden with various Eastern dishes. The Master was given the seat of honor to the right of the hostess, which, according to Western etiquette, is a sign of respect. Many association members were also present. Among the Master's comments at the table was this: `Happy are you who are engaged in serving the poor. My greatest happiness is this, that I may be counted among the poor.' (Mahmud's Diary)

1954 - The Bahá'ís must realize that they belong to a world-wide Order, and not an American civilization.
The Bahá'ís must realize that they belong to a world-wide Order, and not an American civilization. They must try and introduce the Bahá'í atmosphere of life and thought into their Summer Schools, rather than making the Summer School an episode and a pleasant vacation period, during which they learn a little more about the Faith.

(From a letter dated 23 May 1954 written on behalf of the Shoghi Effendi to the Green Acre Program Committee of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 36)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 22nd in Baha'i History

The House of the Báb was ordained by Bahá'u'lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas as a place of pilgrimage. In this House the Báb held His celebrated interview with Mulla Husayn (the first to seek out the Báb and independently recognize His station) on the evening of 22 May 1844.]

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 414)

1844 - The Declaration of the Bab

'That night, that memorable night, was the eve preceding the fifth day of Jamadiyu'l-Avval, in the year 1260 A.H.[1]  It was about an hour after sunset when my youthful Host began to converse with me. "Whom, after Siyyid Kazim," He asked me, "do you regard as his successor and your leader?" "At the hour of his death," I replied, "our departed teacher insistently exhorted us to forsake our homes, to scatter far and wide, in quest of the promised Beloved. I have, accordingly, journeyed to Persia, have arisen to accomplish his will, and am still engaged in my quest." "Has your teacher," He further enquired, "given you any detailed indications as to the distinguishing features of the promised One?" "Yes," I replied, "He is of a pure lineage, is of illustrious descent, and of the seed of Fatimih. As to His age, He is more than twenty and less than thirty. He is endowed with innate knowledge. He is of medium height, abstains from smoking, and is free from bodily deficiency." He paused for a while and then with vibrant voice declared: "Behold, all these signs are manifest in Me!"

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 55)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

That evening the first meeting in Boston was held at 8:00 p.m. for the American Unitarian Association Conference at the Tremont Temple, the largest of all of the churches in the region. The President of the Republic, Mr Taft, is also a member of this important association. Present at the conference were some 800 Unitarian ministers representing the Unitarian churches in America and Canada. In addition, there were nearly two thousand others assembled. The presiding officer of the meeting was the Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts [Robert Luce], who introduced the Master to the audience, saying:
Tonight we express our highest respect and heartfelt gratitude in this great gathering for this highly revered and peace-loving personage who has come from the East to the West to promote the principles of the oneness of humanity and universal peace. Indeed, it is a great joy and supreme honor that this esteemed personage has graced our meeting with His presence. It is my great honor to introduce to you His Holiness, `Abdu'l-Bahá.
When the Master stood up, the entire audience gave Him a prolonged standing ovation. Although in all meetings the audience has risen when the Master appeared, this gathering had a particular importance. The group was composed of elected representatives and leaders of many congregations from several countries and it was they who stood, demonstrating their reverence and to honor Him. The Master spoke about the progress and evolution of creation. It was so impressive that the audience applauded with elation and joy. (Mahmud's Diary)
1943 - Guardian announces acceptance of model for the Shrine of the Bab
In May the model was delivered. After carefully studying it, Shoghi Effendi came to his decision and on 22 May the press was informed that the design for the completed Shrine of the Báb had been chosen and would be built as soon as circumstances permitted.
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 239)

2001 - Dedication of the Terraces on Mt. Carmel
The Mount Carmel projects will have been completed by this time and the preparations will have been well advanced for dedicatory events, scheduled to take place on 22 and 23 May 2001, to which a number of representatives from each national Bahá'í community will be invited.
(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 156, 1999, p. 4)

May 21st in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

In the morning and afternoon the Master delivered addresses at two public meetings. One consisted of admonitions from the Abhá Beauty, and the other, owing to His impending journey to Boston, was a farewell address to the friends, promising them a speedy return.
This afternoon many of the believers' children came to visit. He embraced them all with the utmost kindness and affection. He exhorted the friends to provide Bahá'í education and spirituality for these newborn trees of the Garden of Favor. To witness such meetings is a real joy. With great devotion, the young and old circled around `Abdu'l-Bahá like moths.

1926 - The Guardian writes about the need for rest

On 21 May, again writing to this same Bahá'í, he opens his heart and says: "I myself am too tired to do any effective work at present. I have become slow, impatient, inefficient...I am trying to get away if no sudden crises again takes place. I have had so many of them during the last few months..." Yet in this state Shoghi Effendi managed to do what he thought could be done: "I feel that with patience, tact, courage and resource we can utilize this development to further the interests and extend the influence of the Cause." he had mustered the forces of the Bahá'í world in defence of the oppressed Persian Community, ensured that wide publicity in the foreign press be given to these martyrdoms and constantly directed various National Assemblies in the action they should take in this respect as well as in the case of the Most Holy House.

Such is the tale of one period of the Guardian's life; how many blows rained on him in a little over six months, at a time when he was still struggling to get the load that had been placed on his shoulders at the time of the Master's passing properly balanced so that he could carry it!

(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 98)

1954 - Homosexuality - We must be tolerant but uncompromising, understanding but immovable in our point of view

Amongst the many other evils afflicting society in this spiritual low-water mark in history is the question of immorality, and overemphasis of sex. Homosexuality, according to the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, is spiritually condemned. This does not mean that people so afflicted must not be helped and advised and sympathized with. It does mean that we do not believe that it is a permissible way of life; which, alas, is all too often the accepted attitude nowadays.
We must struggle against the evils in society by spiritual means, and by medical and social ones as well. We must be tolerant but uncompromising, understanding but immovable in our point of view.
(From a letter dated 21 May 1954 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 57)

May 20th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

20 May 1912 Talk at Woman’s Suffrage Meeting Metropolitan Temple
Seventh Avenue and Fourteenth Street, New York

When He entered the gathering, the entire audience stood with great joy and excitement. The chairman of the meeting [Mrs Penfield] first gave an introductory account of the persecutions and imprisonment of the Master and explained the meaning of the name `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master then spoke at length about the education and rights of women. There was great excitement in the audience, and, as in other gatherings, the people were deeply moved and both men and women shook His hand, supplicating for assistance. (Mahmud's Diary)

1939 - Character Building and Ethics

"The course on character building ... the Guardian feels, is particularly important and should be given due emphasis and studied carefully and thoroughly specially by the young believers in attendance at the school. Those standards of Bahá'í conduct, which he himself has set forth in his last general epistle, 'The Advent of Divine Justice' and which it should be paramount duty of every loyal and conscientious believer to endeavor to uphold and promote, deserve serious study and meditation, and should constitute the main central theme of this year's program ..."

"The principles and methods laid down by the Guardian in his 'Advent of Divine Justice' on this vital subject of Bahá'í ethics, should indeed prove of invaluable inspiration and guidance to all the students and friends attending the Summer School classes, and thus prepare them to better appreciate the privileges, and more adequately discharge the responsibilities, of their citizenship in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh."

(From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, May 20, 1939: Ibid,. p. 10)  (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 562)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 19th in Baha'i History

1874 - Birth of Hand of the Cause John Esslemont

For a great biographical sketch - click here 

1891 - Martyrdom of the Seven Martyrs of Yazd

In the Lawh-i-Dunya Bahá'u'lláh states:  

The tyrant of the land of Ya [Yazd], committed that which hath caused the Concourse on High to shed tears of blood.

He was Prince Mahmud Mirza the Jalalu'd-Dawlih, Governor of Yazd. Bahá'u'lláh is referring to the martyrdom on his orders of seven believers known as the first seven martyrs of Yazd. This heinous crime took place on 19 May 1891; the news reached Bahá'u'lláh when He was staying in Haifa. He withheld the Revelation of His words for nine days, and during this period no one was admitted into His presence. The first Tablet which was revealed after this lapse of nine days was the Lawh-i-Dunya'. The details of the martyrdom of these seven is given in the Tarikh-i-Shuhaday-i-Yazd (the History of the Martyrs of Yazd), and Shoghi Effendi in his masterly fashion has summarized it as follows:

In Yazd, at the instigation of the mujtahid of that city, and by order of the callous Mahmud Mirza, the Jalalu'd-Dawlih, the governor, a son of Zillu's-Sultan, seven were done to death in a single day in horrible circumstances. The first of these, a twenty-seven year old youth, 'Ali-Asghar, was strangled, his body delivered into the hands of some Jews who, forcing the dead man's six companions to come with them, dragged the corpse through the streets, surrounded by a mob of people and soldiers beating drums and blowing trumpets, after which, arriving near the Telegraph office, they beheaded the eighty-five year old Mulla Mihdi and dragged him in the same manner to another quarter of the city, where, in view of a great throng of onlookers, frenzied by the throbbing strains of the music, they executed Aqa 'Ali in like manner. Proceeding thence to the house of the local mujtahid, and carrying with them the four remaining companions, they cut the throat of Mulla 'Aliy-i-Sabzivari, who had been addressing the crowd and glorying in his imminent martyrdom, hacked his body to pieces with a spade, while he was still alive, and pounded his skull to a pulp with
stones. In another quarter, near the Mihriz gate, they slew Muhammad-Baqir, and afterwards, in the Maydan-i-Khan, as the music grew wilder and drowned the yells of the people, they beheaded the survivors who remained, two brothers in their early twenties,
'Ali-Asghar and Muhammad-Hasan. The stomach of the latter was ripped open and his heart and liver plucked out, after which his head was impaled on a spear, carried aloft, to the accompaniment of music, through the streets of the city, and suspended on a mulberry tree, and stoned by a great concourse of people. His body was cast before the door of his mother's house, into which women deliberately entered to dance and make merry. Even pieces of their flesh were carried away to be used as a medicament. Finally, the head of Muhammad-Hasan was attached to the lower part of his body and, together with those of the other martyrs, was borne to the outskirts of the city and so viciously pelted with stones that the skulls were broken, whereupon they compelled the Jews to carry the remains and throw them into a pit in the plain of Salsabil. A holiday was declared by the governor for the people, all the shops were closed by his order, the city was illuminated at night, and festivities proclaimed the consummation of one of the most barbarous acts perpetrated in modern times.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 4, p. 347)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

19 May 1912 Talk at Church of the Divine Paternity Central Park West, New York

19 May 1912 Talk at Brotherhood Church Bergen and Fairview Avenues, Jersey City, New Jersey

On Sunday, 19 May, He spoke at the Church of the Divine Paternity. This was unbearably beautiful. The church is Byzantine, making me think of the worship of the early Christians. The interior is of grey stone.

Oh the look of His that day! Then, more vividly than ever, He shone as the Good Shepherd, returned at last to His flocks. I wept through the whole service. At the end of the pew in front of me sat Lua, her eyes fixed on the master, rapt, adoring, her beauty immeasurably heightened by that recognition, that adoration.

(Misc Baha'i, The Diary of Juliet Thompson p.100)

The landlord [of `Abdu'l-Bahá's house] had complained about the excessive comings and goings of the visitors, therefore the Master chose the house of Mr and Mrs Kinney for the gatherings of the friends. Among the new people visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá were some Jewish rabbis. (Mahmud's Diary)

May 18th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

Among those visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá were some New York clergymen. One of them, Dr John H. Randall, while the Master and His retinue had been absent, had spoken to his congregation about the life and teachings of `Abdu'l-Bahá. He expressed the hope that he would follow in the footsteps of the Master. So effective was his talk that many of his listeners burst into tears. He came with great humility to ask `Abdu'l-Bahá to deliver an address in his church. `Abdu'l-Bahá replied that since He had been invited to speak that week at several gatherings in Boston, He was not able to accept the invitation until after He returned. (Mahmud's Diary)

1926 - prerequisite of a successful career of service

I strongly urge you to devote, while you are pursuing your studies, as much time as you possibly can to a thorough study of the history and Teachings of our Beloved Cause. This is the prerequisite of a future successful career of service to the Bahá'í Faith in which I hope and pray you will distinguish yourself in the days to come.

(In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to a letter dated 18 May 1926 written on his behalf to an individual believer) (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 416)

1934 - Appreciation of the Baha'i Faith by American Historian DR. HERBERT ADAMS GIBBONS

I have had on my desk, and have read several times, the three extracts from 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Message of Social Regeneration. Taken together, they form an unanswerable argument and plea for the only way that the world can be made over. If we could put into effect this program, we should indeed have a new world order.

"The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solution for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation." In these three sentences we really have it all. (Excerpt from personal letter dated May 18, 1934.)

(Misc Baha'i, Appreciations of the Baha'i Faith, p. 55)

1972 - Message to the Bahá'í Unity Conference Ganado, Arizona

18 May 1972

Beloved friends,

Praise be to the Almighty that you have gathered in that beautiful spot in a spirit of love and harmony for the purpose of strengthening the bonds of unity between yourselves and among all men.

The All-Wise Creator of earth and heaven has from the beginning which has no beginning sent to His peoples Divine Messengers to guide them to the Straight Path. These Wise Ones have come to establish the unity of the Kingdom in human hearts. This great evolutionary process of building the organic unity of the human race has entered a new stage with this mighty message of Bahá'u'lláh. His voice is the voice of the Great Spirit. His love for humankind is the force of the New Age.

He who sends the rain, who causes the sun and the stars to shine, the rivers to flow, the winds to blow and the earth to give forth her bounties has in this Great Day sent to all mankind Bahá'u'lláh. It is this Great One who has opened the door of divine knowledge to every soul. It is His teachings that will establish world unity and bring about universal peace.

The people of the world are the tools in His hand. They must strive to understand His message and to walk in the path of His divine guidance. Every human being is responsible in this day to seek the truth for himself and thereafter to live according to that wise counsel. The old ones have all longed for this sweet message. Praise God that you have found it.

Now awakened to new wisdom, now guided to the straight path, now illumined with this mighty message, strive you day and night to guide and assist the thirsty ones in all lands to the ever-flowing fountain, the wandering ones to this fortress of certainty, the ignorant ones to this source of knowledge and the seekers to that One for whom their hearts long.

May your consultation reach so high a level of endeavour and purpose that the Great One will open before your faces the doors of the paradise of wisdom and love and cause the light of the Abha Beauty to shine in your midst.

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

(Messages of the Universal House of Justice 1968 to 1973 p.96)

1982 - The passing of former Universal House of Justice Member - Amoz Gibson

To learn more about Amoz Gibson - click here

May 17th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

When He was tired during these days He would often go alone in the afternoon to the park near Riverside Drive. He explained: `When I sleep on the grass, I obtain relief from exhaustion and am freed from cares. If I am not alone, I will talk and perspire and will not become relaxed and free of cares.' As always, people were continually coming and going both day and night. Everyone was anxious to see Him and He spoke to them continuously. It was impossible for Him to get any rest except when He went out alone. (Mahmud's Diary)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 16th in Baha'i History

1849 - Martyrdom of Quddus at Barfurush.

(Misc Baha'i, Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)

To Read more on the life of Quddus - click here

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

Photographs of `Abdu'l-Bahá were taken together with His party. Many dignitaries visited Him and were attracted and ignited by His love. He then expressed His intention to return to New York. The president of the conference was reluctant for Him to leave. The Master replied, `As I have to see numerous people and speak to many audiences, I must leave.' The president remained in the presence of the Master with great reverence until He left. The Beloved presented the president with a good quality Persian carpet, for which he was very thankful.
When the Master returned to New York, the friends came to see Him. They were delighted to hear that so many at the conference were attracted and paid attention to the Master's address. A few days later the talks He had given at the conference were published in a New York newspaper and thus provided guidance to many. (Mahmud's Diary)

1925 - Should Strive to Have Pure Thoughts and Dreams

"...That truth is often imported through dreams no one who is familiar with history, especially religious history, can doubt. At the same time dreams and vision are always coloured and influenced more or less by the mind of the dreamer and we must beware of attaching too much importance to them. The purer and more free from prejudice and desire our hearts and minds become, the more likely is it that our dreams will convey reliable truth, but if we have strong prejudices, personal likings and aversions, bad feelings or evil motives, these will warp and distort any inspirational impression that comes to us....In many cases dreams have been the means of bringing people to the truth or of confirming them in the Faith. We must strive to become pure in heart and 'free from all save God'. Then our dreams as well as our waking thoughts will become pure and true. We should test impressions we get through dreams, visions or inspirations, by comparing them with the revealed Word and seeing whether they are in full harmony therewith."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 16, 1925, Spiritualism, Reincarnation and Related Subjects, p. 1 from the Universal House of Justice)  (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 513)

May 15th in Baha'i History

1845 - The Báb returns to Bushihr following pilgrimage.

(Misc Baha'i, Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

The Master remained at Lake Mohonk. Many came into His presence and to each He taught the Cause of God, answering their questions in the way best suited to the understanding of the listener. Concerning the peace conference, He related a story:
Once I wrote to the Persian friends that if the workers of peace conferences do not apply in their own lives what they advocate, they are like those wine sellers who convene and make emphatic speeches regarding the harmfulness of wine and proposing its prohibition. But when they go out of the meeting, they begin again to sell wine and to do what they were doing in the past. Therefore it is necessary for the power of execution and effect to spiritually penetrate the body of the world.
The Master gave two addresses at this conference. At the request of the president, He wrote in detail explanations of the divine questions, which were to be published in a book recording the proceedings of the conference. A copy of the other address which He gave on the first evening was written by us. (Mahmud's Diary)

1944 - Prayer and Meditation require action and example
Prayer and meditation are very important factors in deepening the spiritual life of the individual, but with them must go also action and example, as these are the tangible results of the former. Both are essential.
(15 May 1944 to an individual believer)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 241)

1984 -  Martyrdom of 2 Believers in Iran
 15 MAY - 
(UHJ, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 628)

May 14th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

As `Abdu'l-Bahá was invited to Lake Mohonk, the venue for the conference of the International Peace Society, He made preparations to leave. This conference was the greatest of all the peace conferences in America. It was held in a most ideal location and many dignitaries and delegates from various countries had been invited to attend. Lake Mohonk is four hours away from New York by train. At the train station special landaus were waiting to take the guests to the conference site. The Master took one of these and went to the Hotel Lake Mohonk. He praised the beauty of the place and the scenic grandeur of the route as His carriage drove for about an hour amidst green valleys, wooded hills, woodlands, waterfalls and natural springs. The conference was to last for three days. Each day two long sessions were held in the spacious hall of the hotel facing the lake, the hall having been especially built for the conference.
On the first evening, `Abdu'l-Bahá's name was at the head of the program. All the members and delegates were anxious to hear His address. The president [of the International Peace Society, Mr Smiley] introduced the Master with the utmost respect and glowing words of praise. Then `Abdu'l-Bahá stood and spoke. A new spirit and a new excitement seemed to prevail over the gathering. During the day most of the delegates had been engaged in materialistic issues. Their thoughts had been concentrated on effecting the union of the interior of the United States of America. In the evening, however, they found themselves puzzled when they heard the eloquent, elegant address from the Master concerning the unity of all people, the reformation of the whole world and the Manifestation of the Greatest Name which would bring about the oneness of the world of humanity and the promulgation of the teachings of universal peace. He spoke for about 20 minutes, the time allotted to Him in the program. According to the custom of the West, the audience applauded for a long time when He ceased speaking. They requested that He continue but because He was tired He apologized and with a gesture of His hand bestowed kindness on all. One by one, dignitaries and delegates from many countries came to shake His hand. Some of them embraced Him and expressed their thanks. The president again stood, offered thanks and spoke with great reverence on the importance of the teachings, praising and commending `Abdu'l-Bahá on behalf of the audience. Mr Smiley's wife then gave the Master a pendant especially made for the peace conference and thanked Him most joyfully (Mahmud's Diary)

1912 - A Teaching story from Juliet Thompson

On Friday, the fourteenth of May, I had quite a distinguished visitor, Khan Bahadur Allah-Bakhsh, the Governor of Lahore. Mr Barakatu'llah had sent him to see me. I invited him to my meeting that night and he came and seemed to fall in love with the Teachings. The next morning early he called on the Master at the Hudson Apartment House. Lua, May, and I were there at the time and I told him that May was one of my spiritual mothers and Lua my spiritual grandmother. Whereupon the old gentleman said that in that case I was his mother, May Maxwell his grandmother, and Lua his great-grandmother!

Very soon the Master sent for him and kept him a long time in His room. When the interview was over and Khan Bahadur Allah-Bakhsh had left, the Master called me to Him.
"You teach well, Juliet," He said. "You teach with ecstasy. You ignite the souls. A great bounty will descend upon you. I have perfect confidence in you as a teacher. Your heart is pure, absolutely pure."

My heart absolutely pure! I wept. 
Then, for the second time, the Master gave me a picture of Himself. 
Three days later I had a note from the Governor of Lahore. In it
he said: "'Abdu'l-Bahá is the Divine Light of today."
(Diary of Juliet Thompson p. 60) 

1914 - Limitation of Armaments

'Abdu'l-Bahá says:  -- 
By a general agreement all the governments of the world must disarm simultaneously. It will not do if one lays down its arms and the others refuse to do so. The nations of the world must concur with each other concerning this supremely important subject, so that they may abandon together the deadly weapons of human slaughter. As long as one nation increases her military and naval budget other nations will be forced into this crazed
competition through their natural and supposed interests.
 --  Diary of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, May 11-14, 1914.
(Esselmont, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, p.169)

1957 - Advice to aspiring Baha'i Authors

Regarding the advice you asked him for, he feels that to devote all one's studies with the object of becoming a Bahá'í author, is rather risky. We need Bahá'í authors badly, but you have to be assured that you have the talent to earn your living in that field, and also serve the Faith in it.

He feels that the best thing for you to do is to devote your studies to acquiring a sound education, if you like along literary lines, and then see what develops.

(14 May 1957) Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 413)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 13th in Baha'i History

Baha'i's at Green Acre Baha'i School

13 May 1850 - Beginning of the Zanjan Upheaval.

(Misc Baha'i, Chronolgy of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)


(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 527)

See - CHAPTER III -Upheavals in Mazindaran, Nayriz and Zanjan

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 34)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

13 May 1912 Talk at Reception by New York Peace Society Hotel Astor, New York

In the evening there was a meeting at `Abdu'l-Bahá's residence with people from India and Japan. He spoke to them in detail, saying:
India had a great civilization in former times. That civilization spread from that part of Asia to Syria and Egypt; from Syria it was extended to Greece from whence it found its way to Arabia and Spain. Again, from Spain it spread over most of Europe. The world of man, however, has not yet reached its maturity. The time will come when this material civilization will be infused with divine civilization. Universal peace will be realized and people will become angelic. That will be the time of the world's maturity. (Mahmud's Diary)
1913 - Birth of Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone
Click here for more information

May 12th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

12 May 1912 Talk at Unity Church Montclair, New Jersey

12 May 1912 Talk at Meeting of International Peace Forum Grace Methodist Episcopal Church West 104th Street, New York

As `Abdu'l-Bahá left the church, many surrounded Him and shook His hand, each one attracted, each heart full of eagerness, each soul inclined towards the Master and every eye turned towards Him, each supplicating and yearning for the confirmations of the Kingdom. Not one mind was bereft of eagerness and no heart failed to be immersed in the sea of joy.
`Abdu'l-Bahá returned to Mr Edsall's home where several Bahá'ís and seekers had gathered, including the minister and his wife, to have lunch with Him. All were overjoyed to be with Him. `Abdu'l-Bahá was exceedingly happy and the gathering became the envy of heaven.
After lunch and a little rest, another group came to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá and another meeting was held with eagerness and excitement. The Master spoke with animation, encouraging the friends and guiding the true seekers. Before He left, the minister brought out the church's guest book, requesting that the Master write a prayer in His own hand. He do so at once:
He is God! O Lord! O Pure One! Thanks be to Thee that, traversing mountains and deserts and crossing the great ocean we were enabled to reach this country and utter Thy Name and manifest Thy signs in these regions. Even in this church we have raised our voice to Thy Kingdom like unto Elijah. O God! Attract the members of this church to Thy beauty, protect and shield them in Thine own shelter and bless them.
(Mahmud's Diary)

1944 - deep and thoughtful scholars

Young men and women in the Faith must be deep and thoughtful scholars of its teachings, so that they can teach in a way that will convince people that all the problems facing them have a remedy. They must grasp the Administration, so that they can wisely and efficiently administer the ever-growing affairs of the Cause; and they must exemplify the Bahá'í way of living. All this is not easy -- but the Guardian is always encouraged to see the spirit animating such young believers as yourself. He has high hopes of what your generation will accomplish.
(12 May 1944 to an individual believer)  (Compilations, Scholarship, p. 11)

1982 - Execution of Baha'i after childbirth

Word has also recently been received that in the city of Dizful, a Bahá'í woman, Mrs Iran Rahimpur (Khurma'i), was executed on 12 May 1982 after giving birth to her child. The baby was taken away by the Muslims and his fate is unknown.

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 605)