THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD
1. THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD AND
THE EXTENSION OF THEIR FUNCTIONS INTO THE FUTURE
A. THE RULERS AND THE LEARNED
every society and community of human beings are those who are revered for their learning and wisdom, and there are those who are invested with authority to govern. In religious communities it has been usual for the legislative and governing authority to be held by the learned who have thus, as priests or as doctors of religious law, combined both capacities in the same persons. Other communities have, only too often, been riven by the conflict between church and state, between priests and kings, or, in more modern terms, between intellectuals and the establishment. In the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh these two extremes, of the over-concentration of authority on the one hand and of division and conflict on the other, are eliminated. The way this is achieved is one of the unique features of that Order and confers unimagined benefits upon the Bahá'í community.
In the Kitáb-i-'Ahd (the Book of the Covenant) Bahá'u'lláh wrote, Blessed are the rulers and the learned in Bahá. The Guardian, interpreting this passage, stated on 4 November 1931:
In this holy cycle the 'learned' are, on the one hand the Hands of the Cause of God and, on the other, the teachers and diffusers of His teachings who do not rank as Hands, but who have attained an eminent position in the teaching work. As to the 'rulers' they refer to the members of the Local, National and International Houses of Justice. The duties of each of these souls will be determined in the future. (Translated from the Persian.)
Since those words were written the Bahá'í Administrative Order has developed rapidly and is now functioning throughout the world. Under the supreme authority of the revealed Law of God the Bahá'í community is governed by its elected institutions: Local and National Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice, while the institutions of the 'learned', which exercise no governing authority over the believers, are accorded an exalted rank which enables them to exert their beneficent influence over all parts of the community. Commenting on this feature of the Bahá'í Administrative Order, the Universal House of Justice wrote in its message of 24 April 1972:
The existence of institutions of such exalted rank, comprising individuals who play such a vital role, who yet have no legislative, administrative or judicial authority, and are entirely devoid of priestly functions or the right to make authoritative interpretations, is a feature of Bahá'í administration unparalleled in the religions of the past...
Developing this theme, the Universal House of Justice referred in that same message to a letter written on behalf of the Guardian on 14 March 1927, to the Spiritual Assembly of Istanbul, in which he expounded the Bahá'í principle of action by majority vote. In this letter Shoghi Effendi points out how, in the past, it was certain individuals who 'accounted themselves as superior in knowledge and elevated in position' who caused division, and that it was those 'who pretended to be the most distinguished of all' who 'always proved themselves to be the source of contention'. He praises God that Bahá'u'lláh had withdrawn authority from 'the unyielding and dictatorial views of the learned and the wise', rejected the assertions of individuals, even though recognized as the most accomplished and learned among men, as authoritative criteria, and 'ordained that all matters be referred to authorized centres and assemblies'. Thus the institutions of the learned in the Bahá'í Faith, while invested with high rank and exercising invaluable moral authority and influence, have no executive
power other than in the direction of their own institutions.
The difficulty of establishing a clear understanding of this administrative concept, new in the history of religion, is reflected in the concluding passage of the message of the Universal House of Justice, of 24 April 1972, quoted above:
...The newness and uniqueness of this concept make it difficult to grasp; only as the Bahá'í community grows and the believers are increasingly able to contemplate its administrative structure uninfluenced by concepts from past ages, will the vital interdependence of the 'rulers' and 'learned' in the Faith be properly understood, and the inestimable value of their interaction be fully recognised.
Only now, as these two arms of the world-embracing system of Bahá'u'lláh begin to function in their separate but complimentary roles towards a common achievement, are intimations caught of the divine beneficence of that system.
B. THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD
Bahá'u'lláh Himself created the institution of the Hands of the Cause and appointed a few of His followers to serve Him as Hands in His own lifetime. In the Tablet of the World
He refers to the Hands of the Cause in words descriptive of the station of service to which they are called:
Light and glory, greeting and praise be upon the Hands of His Cause through whom the light of fortitude hath shone forth and the truth hath been established that the authority to choose rests with God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Unconstrained, through whom the ocean of bounty hath surged and the fragrance of the gracious favours of God, the Lord of mankind, hath been diffused. We beseech Him-- Exalted is He--to shield them through the power of His hosts, to protect them through the potency of His dominion and to aid them through His indomitable strength which prevaileth over all created things. Sovereignty is God's, the Creator of the heavens and the Lord of the Kingdom of Names.
The Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá contains many references to the Hands of the Cause, including explicit definitions of their station and functions, as well as various admonitions addressed to them:
Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest ...upon the Hands of the Cause of God that have diffused widely the Divine Fragrances, declared His Proofs, proclaimed His Faith, published abroad His Law, detached themselves from all things but Him, stood for righteousness in this world, and kindled the Fire of the Love of God in the very hearts and souls of His servants; ...the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God cast him out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise accept any excuse from him...
...The Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in the work of the Guardian of the Cause of God. The election of these nine must be carried either unanimously or by majority from the company of the Hands of the Cause of God and these, whether unanimously or by a majority vote, must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the Guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor...
O friends! The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God. All must be under his shadow and obey his command. ...
The obligations of the Hands of the Cause of God are to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions, sanctified and detached from earthly things. They must manifest the fear of God by their conduct, their manners, their deeds and their words. This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the Guardian of the Cause of God. He must continually urge them to strive and endeavour to the utmost of their ability to diffuse the sweet savours of God, and to guide all the peoples of the world, for it is the light of Divine Guidance that causeth all the universe to be illumined. To disregard, though it be for a moment, this absolute command which is binding upon everyone, is in no wise permitted, that the surface of the earth may become heavenly, that contention and conflict amidst peoples, kindreds, nations and governments may disappear, that all the dwellers on earth may become one people and one race, that the world may become even as one home.
'Abdu'l-Bahá did not Himself appoint any additional Hands of the Cause. He did, however, refer to certain outstanding teachers of the Faith as Hands. During the first three decades of his ministry as Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi
designated certain outstanding Bahá'ís as Hands posthumously. Then, in December 1951, he raised twelve living believers to this exalted rank, a development of the Administrative Order which thrilled the entire Bahá'í world. In February 1952 he appointed a further seven, and in 1957 eight more, bringing the total number to twenty-seven.1 In these brief six years the Guardian not only established this institution on a firm foundation throughout the world, with a body of four Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land to act as the liaison between himself and the Hands in each continent, but he brought into being in each continent two Auxiliary Boards, one for the protection and one for the propagation of the Faith, to act as the 'assistants, deputies and advisors' of the Hands of that continent.
The epic story of how in November 1957, the Hands of the Cause of God, called by the Guardian the 'Chief Stewards of Bahá'u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth', rallied the grief-stricken and stunned Bahá'ís of the world, guided them to the victorious accomplishment of the Ten Year Crusade which he had launched, and convened the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies for the first election of the Universal House of Justice in April 1963, has been told in befitting detail in Volume XIII of this publication.
C. THE CONTINENTAL BOARDS OF COUNSELLORS
The establishment of the Universal House of Justice in 1963 ushered in a new phase in the evolution of the institution of the Hands of the Cause. In October 1963 the House of Justice decided 'that there is no way to appoint or legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi'. Therefore, among the first questions which it was necessary for it then to consider were the manner in which the institution of the Hands of the Cause was to continue to perform its appointed functions, the relationship which should exist between the House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause, and how the indispensable functions of the Hands of the Cause could be extended into the future, since, according to the text of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God.
Following consultation with a conclave of the Hands in October-November 1964, the Universal House of Justice announced to the believers in its message of November 1964 the following decisions:
There is no way to appoint, or to legislate to make it possible to appoint, Hands of the Cause of God.
Responsibility for decisions on matters of general policy affecting the institution of the Hands of the Cause, which was formerly exercised by the beloved Guardian, now devolves upon the Universal House of Justice as the supreme and central institution of the Faith to which all must turn.
That same message announced increases in the number of the members of the Auxiliary Boards for propagation in every continent, and the Hands were requested to appoint one or more members of each Auxiliary Board to act in an executive capacity on their behalf and in the name of each Hand, for the direction of the work of the Boards. The message continued:
The exalted rank and specific functions of the Hands of the Cause of God make it inappropriate for them to be elected or appointed to administrative institutions, or to be elected as delegates to national conventions. Furthermore, it is their desire and the desire of the House of Justice that they be free to devote their entire energies to the vitally important duties conferred upon them in the Holy Writings.
At the same time the House of Justice confirmed the request of the Hands of the Cause that, henceforth, members of the Auxiliary Boards should be freed from administrative responsibilities, including service on committees and as delegates to conventions.
On 21 June 1968 the House of Justice announced by cable to the Bahá'í world the decision to establish eleven Continental Boards of Counsellors for the protection and propagation of the Faith and, in a written message issued on 24 June, outlined in detail the nature and scope of this action. Because of its great significance to the evolution of the Administrative Order, the entire text of this message is quoted:
1 See 'The Institution of the Hands of the Cause of God', The Bahá'í World, vol. XIII, p. 334.
The majestic unfoldment of Bahá'u'lláh's world-redeeming administrative system has been marked by the successive establishment of the various institutions and agencies which constitute the framework of that divinely-created Order. Thus, more than a quarter-of-a-century after the emergence of the first National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í world the institution of the Hands of the Cause of God was formally established, with the appointment by the beloved Guardian, in conformity with the provisions of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament, of the first contingent of these high-ranking officers of the Faith. Following the passing of the Guardian of the Cause of God, it fell to the House of Justice to devise a way, within the Administrative Order, of developing 'the institution of the Hands of the Cause with a view to extension into the future of its appointed functions of protection and propagation', and this was made a goal of the Nine Year Plan. Much thought and study has been given to the question over the past four years, and the texts have been collected and reviewed. During the last two months, this goal, as announced in our cable to the National Conventions, has been the object of prolonged and prayerful consultation between the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause of God. All this made evident the framework within which this goal was to be achieved, namely:
The Universal House of Justice sees no way in which additional Hands of the Cause of God can be appointed.
The absence of the Guardian of the Faith brought about an entirely new relationship between the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause and called for the progressive unfoldment by the Universal House of Justice of the manner in which the Hands of the Cause would carry out their divinely-conferred functions of protection and propagation.
Whatever new development or institution is initiated should come into operation as soon as possible in order to reinforce and supplement the work of the Hands of the Cause while at the same time taking full advantage of the opportunity of having the Hands themselves assist in launching and guiding the new procedures.
Any such institution must grow and operate in harmony with the principles governing the functioning of the institution of the Hands of the Cause of God.
In the light of these considerations the Universal House of Justice decided, as announced in its recent cable, to establish Continental Boards of Counsellors for the protection and propagation of the Faith. Their duties will include directing the Auxiliary Boards in their respective areas, consulting and collaborating with National Spiritual Assemblies, and keeping the Hands of the Cause and the Universal House of Justice informed concerning the conditions of the Cause in their areas.
Initially eleven Boards of Counsellors have been appointed, one for each of the following areas: Northwestern Africa, Central and East Africa, Southern Africa, North America, Central America, South America, Western Asia, Southeastern Asia, Northeastern Asia, Australasia and Europe.
The members of these Boards of Counsellors will serve for a term, or terms, the length of which will be determined and announced at a later date, and while serving in this capacity, will not be eligible for membership on national or local administrative bodies. One member of each Continental Board of Counsellors has been designated as Trustee of the Continental Fund for its area.
The Auxiliary Boards for protection and propagation will henceforth report to the Continental Boards of Counsellors who will appoint or replace members of the Auxiliary Boards as circumstances may require. Such appointments and replacements as may be necessary in the initial stages will take place after consultation with the Hand or Hands previously assigned to the continent or zone.
The Hands of the Cause of God have the prerogative and obligation to consult with the Continental Boards of Counsellors and National Spiritual Assemblies on any subject which, in their view, affects the interests of the Cause. The Hands residing in the Holy Land will act as liaison between the Universal House of Justice and the Continental Boards of Counsellors, and will also assist the Universal House of Justice in setting up, at a propitious time, an international teaching centre in the Holy Land, as anticipated in the Guardian's writings.
The Hands of the Cause of God are one of the most precious assets the Bahá'í world possesses. Released from administration of the Auxiliary Boards, they will be able to concentrate their energies on the more primary responsibilities of general protection and propagation, 'preservation of the spiritual health of the Bahá'í communities' and 'the vitality of the faith' of the Bahá'ís throughout the world. The House of Justice will call upon them to undertake special missions on its behalf, to represent it on both Bahá'í and other occasions and to keep it informed of the welfare of the Cause. While the Hands of the Cause will, naturally, have special concern for the affairs of the Cause in the areas in which they reside, they will operate increasingly on an intercontinental level, a factor which will lend tremendous impetus to the diffusion throughout the Bahá'í world of the spiritual inspiration channelled through them--the Chief Stewards of Bahá'u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth.
With joyful hearts we proclaim this further
unfoldment of the Administrative Order of Bahá'u'lláh and join our prayers to those of the friends throughout the East and the West that Bahá'u'lláh may continue to shower his confirmations upon the efforts of His servants in the safeguarding and propagation of His Faith.
A clarification of the status of Counsellors and their relationship to National Spiritual Assemblies was made by the House of Justice in a letter to a National Spiritual Assembly in May 1975:
... (it) must be one of warm and active collaboration, a full sharing in the excitement and the challenge of the teaching work and the establishment of living and growing Bahá'í communities ...While the role of the Counsellors is normally to advise, encourage and reinforce, and they have no legislative or administrative authority, they nevertheless occupy a rank superior to that of the National Assembly or its members and each individual Counsellor is a high officer of the Faith entitled to the respect, honour and courtesy due to his rank. Each country which is privileged to have a resident Counsellor should prize that privilege. Each National Assembly which has a Counsellor at hand for frequent consultations should, without relinquishing any portion of its divinely assigned authority, call upon him often for his views and accord great weight to his advice.
On 8 June 1973 a further directive was sent to the Continental Boards of Counsellors which answered the need discussed by the Counsellors during their sessions in the Holy Land, at the time of the International Convention of that year, for some method to enable their institution to reach more deeply into the fabric of the Bahá'í world community. The House of Justice authorized each Board of Counsellors, at its discretion, to permit Auxiliary Board members to appoint assistants, whose duties would be to activate and encourage Local Spiritual Assemblies, to call the attention of Local Spiritual Assembly members to the importance of regular meetings, to encourage local communities to gather for Nineteen Day Feasts and Holy Days, to help deepen their fellow-believers' understanding of the teachings, and generally to assist the Auxiliary Board members in the discharge of their duties. The advice, at that time, was to proceed gradually with this new step so that experience could indicate the most effective manner of its operation. Since then, as a result of the proven value of this expanded service, appointments of assistants in each zone have been steadily and rapidly augmented. The letter of 8 June 1973 stated that 'believers can serve at the same time both as assistants to Auxiliary Board members and on administrative institutions'.
Adjustments to the number of Continental Boards of Counsellors are made as the Universal House of Justice deems necessary, entailing adjustments to zones assigned to the Boards, to the numbers of Counsellors and to the numbers of Auxiliary Boards and Auxiliary Board members.1 Thus the institution operates at all levels throughout the world, reaching into the basic structure of local community life and exerting its encouraging and uplifting influence upon the lives of individuals and the deliberations of institutions, constantly watching over the security of the Faith, pointing the way to the promotion of its best interests, and to the ever wider dissemination of its healing message.
D. THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTRE
Assurance of the extension into the future of the appointed functions of protection and propagation conferred upon the Hands of the Cause was accomplished by the establishment of the Continental Boards of Counsellors. However, that vital goal having been accomplished, the problem remained of ordering the work of the new institution so that it would grow organically with the Faith itself.
In a letter addressed to all National Spiritual Assemblies on 24 June 1968 the Universal House of Justice confirmed that 'the relationship of Continental Boards of Counsellors to National Spiritual Assemblies will follow the pattern of the relationship between the Hands of the Cause and National Spiritual Assemblies, outlined by the beloved Guardian in various communications'.
The cablegram addressed by the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual
1 In November 1980 the thirteen Boards of Counsellors were consolidated into five, each Continental Board having two Auxiliary Boards, one for protection and one for propagation; and each Auxiliary Board member having assistants as needed and authorized.
Assemblies on 21 June 1968 announcing the establishment of Continental Boards of Counsellors had contained a reference to the 'future establishment international teaching centre Holy Land foreshadowed writings beloved Guardian.'
In October 1971 the Hands of the Cause were notified that after the International Convention for the election of the Universal House of Justice during Ridván 1973, their presence in the Holy Land for a period of time in order to consult on a number of important subjects would be most welcome. The foremost topic would be the establishment of the international teaching centre about which the Hands had previously been requested to submit their written views. The Universal House of Justice, in its letter to the Hands of the Cause in October 1971, cited, amongst others, the following three quotations from the Guardian which anticipated the evolution of the World Administrative Centre of the Faith on Mount Carmel and the establishment there of an international teaching centre as the seat of the Hands of the Cause of God:
...it must be clearly understood, nor can it be sufficiently emphasized, that the conjunction of the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf with those of her brother and mother incalculably reinforces the spiritual potencies of that consecrated Spot which, under the wings of the Báb's overshadowing Sepulchre, and in the vicinity of the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, which will be reared on its flank, is destined to evolve into the focal centre of those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions, ordained by Bahá'u'lláh and anticipated by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and which are to function in consonance with the principles which govern the twin institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. Then, and then only, will this momentous prophecy which illuminates the concluding passages of the Tablet of Carmel be fulfilled: Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee (Carmel) and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.1
In this great Tablet which unveils divine mysteries and heralds the establishment of two mighty, majestic and momentous undertakings--one of which is spiritual and the other administrative, both at the World Centre of the Faith--Bahá'u'lláh refers to an 'Ark', whose dwellers are the men of the Supreme House of Justice, which, in conformity with the exact provisions of the Will and Testament of the Centre of the Mighty Covenant is the body which should lay down laws not explicitly revealed in the Text. In this Dispensation, these laws are destined to flow from this holy mountain, even as in the Mosaic Dispensation the law of God was promulgated from Zion. The 'sailing of the Ark' of His laws is a reference to the establishment of the Universal House of Justice, which is indeed the Seat of Legislation, one of the branches of the World Administrative Centre of the Bahá'ís on this holy mountain. It will be housed in a separate building near the International Archives building, now under construction, on a site in the neighbourhood of the Shrine of the Báb, and overlooking the sacred and illumined Monuments. In the neighbourhood of these two stately edifices and two mighty Institutions (i.e. the Archives Building and the edifice for the House of Justice), another edifice will gradually be erected which will be the Seat of the Guardianship, the Centre which will interpret, expound and prepare commentaries on explicitly revealed laws, and will reinforce and supplement the legislative body. Yet another edifice to supplement these three edifices will be the Centre for the propagation and teaching of the Faith, the Seat for the Hands of the Cause, who, in accordance with the explicit text of the Will and Testament are charged with the security, the preservation and protection of the Cause, the safeguarding of the unity of the community, the promotion of God's religion and the spread of His Word. These majestic and mighty edifices, which will be constructed gradually in accordance with a beautiful and unique style of architecture around the sacred Monuments, are all considered as branches of this highly-exalted, firmly-grounded and broadly-based World Administrative Centre of the followers of the Cause of Him Who is the Lord of this Age and the Ruler of Creation.2
The raising of this edifice (International Bahá'í Archives) will in turn herald the construction, in the course of successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, of several other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause, and the Universal House of Justice. These edifices will, in the shape of a far-flung arc, and following a harmonizing style of architecture, surround the resting places of the Greatest Holy Leaf, ranking as foremost among the members of her sex in the Bahá'í Dispensation, of her brother, offered up as a ransom by Bahá'u'lláh for the quickening of the world and its unification, and of their mother, proclaimed by Him to be His chosen 'consort in all the worlds of God'. The ultimate completion of this stupendous undertaking will mark the culmination of
1 Shoghi Effendi, letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, 21 December 1939; see Messages to America, pp. 32-33.
2 Shoghi Effendi, letter in Persian to the Bahá'ís of the East, Naw-RÏz 111 (1954).
the development of a world-wide divinely-appointed Administrative Order whose beginnings may be traced as far back as the concluding years of the heroic Age of the Faith.1
On 5 June 1973, following the International Convention and the consultations with the Hands of the Cause, and less than a month after the Counsellors had left the Holy Land to resume their services within their zones, the following announcement was cabled by the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies:
ANNOUNCE ESTABLISHMENT HOLY LAND LONG ANTICIPATED INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTRE DESTINED EVOLVE INTO ONE THOSE WORLD SHAKING WORLD EMBRACING WORLD DIRECTING ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS ORDAINED BY BAHA'U'LLAH ANTICIPATED BY 'ABDU'L-BAHA ELUCIDATED BY SHOGHI EFFENDI STOP MEMBERSHIP THIS NASCENT INSTITUTION COMPRISES ALL HANDS CAUSE GOD AND INITIALLY THREE COUNSELLORS WHO WITH HANDS PRESENT HOLY LAND WILL CONSTITUTE NUCLEUS ITS VITAL OPERATIONS STOP CALLING UPON HOOPER DUNBAR FLORENCE MAYBERRY AZIZ YAZDI PROCEED HOLY LAND ASSUME THIS HIGHLY MERITORIOUS SERVICE STOP OFFERING PRAYERS HEARTFELT GRATITUDE SACRED THRESHOLD THIS FURTHER EVIDENCE ORGANIC EVOLUTION ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER BAHA'U'LLAH.
It was followed three days later by this expanded announcement to the Bahá'ís of the world:
The centennial year of the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas has already witnessed events of such capital significance in the annals of the Bahá'í Dispensation as to cause us to contemplate with awe the rapidity with which Divine Providence is advancing the Cause of the Most Great Name. The time is indeed propitious for the establishment of the International Teaching Centre, a development which, at one and the same time, brings to fruition the work of the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land and provides for its extension into the future, links the institution of the Boards of Counsellors even more intimately with that of the Hands of the Cause of God, and powerfully reinforces the discharge of the rapidly growing responsibilities of the Universal House of Justice.
This International Teaching Centre now established will, in due course, operate from that building designated by the Guardian as the Seat for the Hands of the Cause, which must be raised on the arc on Mount Carmel in close proximity to the Seat of the Universal House of Justice.
The duties now assigned to this nascent institution are:
To co-ordinate, stimulate and direct the activities of the Continental Boards of Counsellors and to act as liaison between them and the Universal House of Justice.
To be fully informed of the situation of the Cause in all parts of the world and to be able, from the background of this knowledge, to make reports and recommendations to the Universal House of Justice and give advice to the Continental Boards of Counsellors.
To be alert to possibilities, both within and without the Bahá'í community, for the extension of the teaching work into receptive or needy areas, and to draw the attention of the Universal House of Justice and the Continental Boards of Counsellors to such possibilities, making recommendations for action.
To determine and anticipate needs for literature, pioneers and travelling teachers and to work out teaching plans, both regional and global, for the approval of the Universal House of Justice.
All the Hands of the Cause of God will be members of the International Teaching Centre. Each Hand will be kept regularly informed of the activities of the Centre through reports or copies of its minutes, and will be able, wherever he may be residing or travelling, to convey suggestions, recommendations and information to the Centre and, whenever he is in the Holy Land, to take part in the consultations and other activities of the Centre.
In addition, we now appoint Mr. Hooper Dunbar, Mrs. Florence Mayberry and Mr. 'Azíz Yazdí to membership of the International Teaching Centre, with the rank of Counsellor. These believers, who have been serving with distinction on the Continental Boards of Counsellors in South America, North America and Central and East Africa respectively, will henceforth reside in Haifa and will, together with the Hands present in the Holy Land, constitute the nucleus of the operations of the Centre.
Authority for the expulsion and reinstatement of Covenant-breakers remains with the Hands of the Cause of God. All such matters will be investigated locally by the relative Continental Board of Counsellors in consultation with any Hand or Hands who may be in the area. The Continental Board of Counsellors and the Hands concerned will then make their reports to the International Teaching Centre where they will be considered.. The decision whether or not to expel or reinstate will be made by the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land who will, as at
1 Shoghi Effendi, letter to the Bahá'ís of the world, 27 November 1954; see Messages to the Bahá'í World, p. 74.
present, submit their decision to the Universal House of Justice for approval...
The decisions now announced are the outcome of deliberation extending over a number of years, reinforced by consultations with the Hands of the Cause of God, and especially with the Hands residing in the Holy Land who were requested in 1968 to assist the Universal House of Justice in the establishment of the International Teaching Centre, a task that now increases in magnitude as that Centre begins its work.
One of the first tasks assigned by the Universal House of Justice to the International Teaching Centre was to devise the broad outlines of the global teaching plan to begin at Ridván 1974 and conclude five years later at Ridván 1979. This comprehensive and detailed survey of the entire Bahá'í world community provided an opportunity for the Teaching Centre to become thoroughly acquainted with the conditions, needs and potentialities of the one hundred and thirteen national Bahá'í communities which made up the Bahá'í international community at Ridván 1973. A greatly increased flow of vital information from the Continental Boards of Counsellors was called for by the International Teaching Centre, which promised, in turn, the development of an increasingly close relationship between itself and the Boards through a similarly increased flow of materials from the Teaching Centre. At the request of the House of Justice the Teaching Centre also evolved a plan for international collaboration on travelling teaching projects.
The divinely ordained institution of the Hands of the Cause of God, having been brought into active reality by the Guardian of the Faith according to the directives of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament was confronted in its infancy with an appalling crisis in the life of that Faith whose protection was its prime duty. During the interregnum between the passing of the Guardian and the election of the Universal House of Justice, the Hands of the Cause as its Chief Stewards, maintained the integrity and unity of the Faith. The functions of protection and propagation appointed to this great institution have now been extended into the future in a manner consonant with the principles of the Faith. The Continental Boards of Counsellors with their attendant Auxiliary Boards for protection and propagation, the assistants to the Auxiliary Board members, all co-ordinated and kept in relationship to the Universal House of Justice by the International Teaching Centre, form the fabric of the appointive arm of the Administrative Order of the Faith, which will in increasing measure exert its spiritualizing influence upon the development of the Bahá'í community and of all mankind.
Picture at Bottom of the Page with the Caption: The Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Akbar FurÏtan with delegates to the Fifth International Convention from Taiwan.
2. THE WORK AND TRAVELS OF THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE
Hands of the Cause of God, freed in 1968 of administrative duties, were able increasingly to devote their efforts to serving as standard-bearers for the Bahá'ís of the world in support of the teaching activities launched by National Spiritual Assemblies and other institutions of the Bahá'í Faith.
In the opening phases of the Seven Year Plan, no less than in the teaching plans that preceded it, these remarkable individuals have been fonts of inspiration, encouragement and reinforcement. Their contribution to the achievement of the goals and the influence of their example upon the Bahá'í friends takes effect on numerous levels, both manifest and intangible. Their universal services in protecting the Cause of God; in proclaiming its truths; in deepening the knowledge of its adherents; in galvanizing the rank and file to greater heights of accomplishment; in awakening to an appreciation of the Bahá'í Cause a large segment of the public, often uninformed of its true nature and its relevance to the spiritual and social perils confronting society; and in presenting Bahá'í literature to Heads of State and others in authority, have continued unabated.
Not alone through their travels, but also through their consultation, their presence at gatherings large and small, their correspondence, their writings and addresses, their association with Bahá'í pilgrims and their interaction with Bahá'ís in the field, often in farflung and remote areas, they have... diffused widely the Divine Fragrances, declared His proofs, proclaimed His Faith, published abroad His Law, detached themselves from all things but Him, stood for righteousness in this world, and kindled the Fire of the Love of God in the very hearts and souls of His servants...
The years covered by this volume of the international record, Ridván 1979-1983, have witnessed a regrettable thinning of the ranks of the Chief Stewards of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, leaving the community of the Greatest Name, at Ridván 1983, with ten. Set out below is a record, ordered chronologically, of the tragic loss sustained in this period by the entire Bahá'í world through the passing of six beloved Hands of the Cause of God: Enoch Olinga (September 1979), Dr. Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir (December 1979), Hasan M. Balyúzí (February 1980), Dr. Adelbert Muhlschlegel (July 1980), Abu'l-Qasim Faizí (November 1980) and Paul E. Haney (December 1982). Although these pages lack scope to chronicle the full range of the services of the Hands--some frail or in ill health but of undiminished spiritual power --let the following excerpts culled from Bahá'í International News Service bulletins, and other sources, suggest in brief outline some of their major travels as well as a few of their other activities which are less amenable to documentation. Unfortunately, circumstances obtaining in êrán prevent the reporting of the services rendered by the Hand of the Cause Jalál Kházeh.
Austria: HUNDRED FRIENDS ASSEMBLED STEYR CLOSE FIVE YEAR PLAN FOR TWENTY-FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION PRESENCE HAND CAUSE ALAI COUNSELLOR BETTY REED TWO AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS. INSPIRED MESSAGE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE FRIENDS PLEDGE GO FAITHFULLY WHOLEHEARTEDLY FORWARD INTO FIRST PHASE SEVEN YEAR PLAN . . .. (From a cablegram received Ridván 1979)
Australia: LARGEST ASSEMBLAGE AUSTRALIAN CONVENTION JOYOUSLY AFFIRMS DEDICATION SEVEN YEAR PLAN. EIGHTY-ONE ASSEMBLED DELEGATES NEARLY FIVE HUNDRED FRIENDS DEEPLY GRATEFUL GUIDANCE SPIRITUAL STIMULATION MESSAGE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF
JUSTICE. OVERJOYED TREMENDOUS GAIN FIVE YEAR PLAN INSPIRED EXTEND EFFORTS FULFILLMENT NEW CHALLENGES ...FRIENDS INSPIRED PRESENCE HAND CAUSE FEATHERSTONE COUNSELLOR KHAN TEN AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS. PERVASIVE SPIRIT OPTIMISM TWO INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TEACHERS ALREADY RAISED ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1979)
Papua New Guinea: HAPPY INFORM ELEVENTH NATIONAL CONVENTION HELD GREAT SUCCESS. THIRTY-TWO DELEGATES ATTENDED. MESSAGES UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE HAND OF CAUSE FEATHERSTONE OPENED CONVENTION. COUNSELLOR HOEHNKE GREETED DELEGATES VISITORS. GOALS FIVE YEAR PLAN ACHIEVED ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1979)
Philippines: JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL CONVENTION ...GRATEFUL PRESENCE HAND CAUSE RAHMATULLAH MUHAJIR COUNSELLOR PAYMAN THIRTEEN AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS THREE HUNDRED AND ONE PARTICIPANTS SEVENTEEN CITIES ... REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS PRODUCED INCREASED INTEGRATION AND COOPERATION TRIPLE NUMBER AREA TEACHING COMMITTEES FIFTEEN TEACHING PROJECTS STARTING IMMEDIATELY ALSO SPECIFIC PLANS OPENING MANY ISLANDS DOUBLING ASSEMBLIES NEXT TWO YEARS SELF-ORGANIZING SELF-SUPPORTING BASIS ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1979)
United States: OVER 1,800 DELEGATES AND FRIENDS GATHERED AT THE SEVENTIETH NATIONAL BAHAI CONVENTION OF THE UNITED STATES EXPRESS JOY AND GRATITUDE FOR THE BLESSED PRESENCE AND INSPIRATION OF THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD WILLIAM SEARS DHIKRULLAH KHADEM AND JOHN ROBARTS AND COUNSELLORS EDNA TRUE SARAH PEREIRA AND VELMA SHERRILL. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE RAHMATULLAH MUHAJIR AND ALI AKBAR FURUTAN AND COUNSELLOR HEDI AHMADIYYIH WHOSE DEDICATED EFFORTS CONTRIBUTED VITALLY TO THE ACCELERATION OF TEACHING EFFORTS. WITH THEIR ASSISTANCE THE MANIFOLD SACRIFICES OF THE AMERICAN BAHAI COMMUNITY AND THE BOUNTIES SHOWERED UPON US BY THE DIVINE CONCOURSE THE FIVE YEAR PLAN OF GOD WAS BROUGHT TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED EXPLOSION OF VICTORIES ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1979)
Austria: GREETINGS SUMMER SCHOOL UPPER AUSTRIA GREATLY BLESSED PRESENCE BELOVED HAND CAUSE AMATULBAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM ...COUNSELLOR ANNELIESE BOPP. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FRIENDS PRESENT EIGHT NATIONS.. IMPLORING PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES FRUITFUL COMPLETION SEVEN YEAR PLAN.. (Cablegram received 29 August 1979)
United States: More than six hundred and fifty Bahá'ís and their guests gathered from 31 August to 3 September at the Massanetta Springs Center in Harrisburg, Virginia, for a conference on the theme of 'Spiritual Enrichment and Self-dedication'--a topic derived from the Seven Year Plan message of the Universal House of Justice. The Hand of the Cause of God Dhikru'lláh Khádem inspired those present with memorable stories and counsel. He pointed out that the Faith is spread and established through the sacrifice and devotion of the believers rather than through wealth or worldly power. Mrs. Javidukht Khadem, a member of the Auxiliary Board, also addressed the group ...Participants from nineteen States, from the Bahamas, Canada, êrán, Italy, Spain and from pioneering posts in many other countries, came to more than double the number expected by the sponsoring Assembly of Staunton, Virginia ...The Local Spiritual Assembly of Staunton plans to make the conference an annual event. (From a report received 10 December 1979)
Italy: JOYOUS GREETINGS PARTICIPANTS GATHERED TWO CONSECUTIVE SUMMER SCHOOLS ITALY TOTALLING OVER FOUR HUNDRED FRIENDS FOURTEEN COUNTRIES. TRULY UPLIFTED PRESENCE BELOVED HAND CAUSE JOHN ROBARTS WIFE AUDREY WHOSE INSPIRATION HAS PRODUCED TREMENDOUS SPIRITUAL AWARENESS PRAYER. SEVEN NEW BELIEVERS ENROLLED DURING SUMMER SCHOOL NUMEROUS OFFERS TRAVEL TEACHING ... (From a cablegram received 14 September 1979)
World Centre: WITH GRIEF-STRICKEN HEARTS ANNOUNCE TRAGIC NEWS BRUTAL MURDER DEARLY LOVED GREATLY ADMIRED HAND CAUSE GOD ENOCH OLINGA BY UNKNOWN GUNMEN
Caption of Top Picture: The Hands of the Cause (left to right) William Sears, Dr. 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá, John Robarts and Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, guest speakers at 'The Gathering', near Port Hope, Ontario, Canada; August 1980.
Caption of Bottom Picture: The Hand of the Cause Dr. Ugo Giachery with two young friends in Norway.
COURTYARD HIS KAMPALA HOME. HIS WIFE ELIZABETH AND THREE OF HIS CHILDREN BADI LENNIE AND TAHIRIH HAVE ALSO FALLEN INNOCENT VICTIMS THIS CRUEL ACT. MOTIVE ATTACK NOT YET ASCERTAINED. HIS RADIANT SPIRIT HIS UNWAVERING FAITH HIS ALL-EMBRACING LOVE HIS LEONINE AUDACITY IN THE TEACHING FIELD HIS TITLES KNIGHT BAHAULLAH FATHER VICTORIES CONFERRED BELOVED GUARDIAN ALL COMBINE DISTINGUISH HIM AS PREEMINENT MEMBER HIS RACE IN ANNALS FAITH AFRICAN CONTINENT. URGE FRIENDS EVERYWHERE HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS BEFITTING TRIBUTE HIS IMPERISHABLE MEMORY. FERVENTLY PRAYING HOLY SHRINES PROGRESS HIS NOBLE SOUL AND SOULS FOUR MEMBERS HIS PRECIOUS FAMILY. (Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies 16 September 1979)
Uganda: The Hand of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga, together with his wife and three children, was buried on 24 September 1979 in the Bahá'í Cemetery on Kikaaya Hill, in the precincts of the Mother Temple of Africa near Kampala, Uganda ...The funeral service took place at 2:00 p.m. in the Conference Hall of the National Hazíratu'l-Quds adjacent to the House of Worship and the Bahá'í Cemetery. As the gathered mourners sang 'Alláh-u-Abhá', the coffins were carried reverently into the hall and placed at the head of the room. The coffin of the Hand of the Cause was in the special care of the members of the Continental Board of Counsellors; the other pallbearers were members of the Olinga family and the large Bahá'í 'family' in East Africa ...Over three hundred persons were present, many of whom had to stand outside the building during the service. Some had walked great distances to be present for the sad occasion, having been informed by special broadcasts on the State radio system. Official visitors included the Minister of Justice as special representative of the President of Uganda, the former Ugandan Ambassador to Losotho, the Bishop of Namirembe, the Canon of Makerere Church in Kampala, the Principal Immigration Officer, and other distinguished guests and representatives of the press.
The message of the Universal House of Justice was read during the service, recalling that the Guardian of the Faith had conferred upon Mr.. Olinga the titles 'Knight of Bahá'u'lláh' and 'Father of Victories' before appointing him, in 1957, the first native African Hand of the Cause of God. Other messages of condolence were read, and a brief summary of Mr. Olinga's life was given. Prayers and other passages from the Bahá'í Writings preceded and followed the messages, read in the Ateso, Luganda, Swahili, Persian and English languages...
Mr. Olinga's grave adjoins that of the Hand of the Cause Músá Banání. Just below are the tombs of his wife Elizabeth and daughter Táhirih, and those of his two sons, Badí' and Lennie. (From reports received through 31 December 1979)
United States: Texas believers enjoyed a nine-day visit from the Hand of the Cause of God Dhikru'lláh Khádem from 3 to 11 November when eight hundred Bahá'ís from six surrounding States attended a day-long meeting in Houston. Mr. Khádem shared memories of the Guardian, thrilling the believers with his reminiscences, his presence and his perceptions of the Guardian's legacy. The youth he urged to study The Advent of Divine Justice, and all were urged to study the writings of Shoghi Effendi. Joyous gatherings throughout the State marked the nine days, with special meetings for Local Spiritual Assemblies of Houston and Dallas, and firesides in La Porta and Fort Worth and at the Bahá'í Club at Rice University. Mrs. Javidukht Khadem, an Auxiliary Board member, participated with zeal and humour in many of the events that were sponsored by the Continental Board of Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members Mr. Hormoz Bastani and Mrs. Eunice Braun. (From a report received February 1980)
Argentina: JOYOUSLY ANNOUNCE INAUGERATION OUR LOCAL HAZIRATULQUDS WITH PRESENCE BELOVED HAND CAUSE RAHMATULLAH MUHAJIR COUNSELLOR ATHOS COSTAS ABOUT FORTY BAHAIS AND NONBAHAIS. HAVE NAMED AND DEDICATED IT MEMORY BELOVED HAND CAUSE HERMANN GROSSMANN ... (From a
cablegram received from the Local Spiritual Assembly of Rosario 21 December 1979)
Australia: On the last day of 1979, the Hand of the Cause H. Collis Featherstone arrived home in Rockhampton, Australia, from a ten-nation tour of the western Pacific and the Far East which lasted seventy-six days and took him to scores of Bahá'í centres in cities, towns and villages.
A principal aim of Mr. Featherstone's trip, on which he was accompanied by his wife, Madge, was to participate in the National Teaching Conference of the Mariana Islands in Inarajan, Guam, on 20-21 October ...
Excellent publicity included a prominently-placed interview in the Pacific Daily Mail ...and a television spot on the evening news. The Governor of Guam, Mr. Paul Calva, received the Featherstones and three local believers for a fifteen-minute interview, during which the Governor was given a copy of The Bahá'í World, vol. XVI, on behalf of the National Assembly. Following the conference, Mr. Featherstone visited village communities in Yap and Palau during a two-week period.
In Japan from 10 to 20 November, public meetings and firesides were held in major cities including Hiroshima where Mr. Featherstone gave a fireside talk to university students. At Amagasaki, Mrs. Featherstone addressed a gathering of eleven women. A public meeting in the goal city of Hirakata resulted in an enrolment.
Four days in Korea included gatherings with Auxiliary Board members and assistants, meetings with believers of Pusan and a Seoul public meeting with one hundred and four present, more than half of them enquirers.
In Taiwan the Featherstones were met on 24 November by a colourful international group of Chinese, Malaysian, Persian, Korean and American Bahá'ís bearing a large welcoming banner. The cities of Taipei, Tainan, Hsintien and Kaohsiung held meetings for believers as well as firesides.
In Hong Kong Mr. Featherstone met with the Bahá'í 'footballers' at the National Centre, spoke at a gathering for believers and met with an Auxiliary Board member and assistants.
A Bangkok newspaper reported the arrival of Mr. Featherstone in Thailand by calling him an 'international peace lecturer', reporting that he would be meeting 'VIPs and business leaders'. Leaving Thailand on 10 December, the Featherstones divided the next twenty-one days among four countries, making teaching stops in Malaysia, where they attended a Winter School at Cameron Highlands, and in Singapore, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, returning home on 31 December ... (From reports received through 31 December 1979)
World Centre: PROFOUNDLY LAMENT UNTIMELY PASSING IN QUITO ECUADOR BELOVED HAND CAUSE RAHMATULLAH MUHAJIR FOLLOWING HEART ATTACK COURSE HIS LATEST SOUTH AMERICAN TOUR. UNSTINTED UNRESTRAINED OUTPOURING OF PHYSICAL SPIRITUAL ENERGIES BY ONE WHO OFFERED HIS ALL PATH SERVICE HAS NOW CEASED. POSTERITY WILL RECORD HIS DEVOTED SERVICES YOUTHFUL YEARS CRADLE FAITH HIS SUBSEQUENT UNIQUE EXPLOITS PIONEERING FIELD SOUTHEAST ASIA WHERE HE WON ACCOLADE KNIGHTHOOD BAHAULLAH HIS CEASELESS EFFORTS OVER TWO DECADES SINCE HIS APPOINTMENT HAND CAUSE STIMULATING IN MANY LANDS EAST WEST PROCESS ENTRY BY TROOPS. FRIENDS ALL CONTINENTS WHO MOURN THIS TRAGIC LOSS NOW SUDDENLY DEPRIVED COLLABORATION ONE WHO ENDEARED HIMSELF TO THEM THROUGH HIS GENTLENESS HIS LUMINOUS PERSONALITY HIS EXEMPLARY UNFLAGGING ZEAL HIS CREATIVE ENTHUSIASTIC APPROACH TO FULFILMENT ASSIGNED GOALS. URGE FRIENDS EVERYWHERE HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS BEFITTING HIS HIGH STATION UNIQUE ACHIEVEMENTS. MAY HIS RADIANT SOUL ABHA KINGDOM REAP RICH HARVEST HIS DEDICATED SELF-SACRIFICING SERVICES CAUSE GOD. (Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies 30 December 1979)
Ecuador: The Hand of the Cause of God Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir arrived in Ecuador from Lima, Peru, on 26 December. He was greeted at the airport by a host of friends including members of the Continental Board of Counsellors who were in the country for one of their scheduled meetings. Dr. Muhájir was presented with several bouquets of red roses which he, in turn, lovingly presented to two of the indigenous believers from Otavalo as a token of his love and esteem. He shook hands and embraced all the friends, saying
'Alláh-u-Abhá' ...Everyone showed such happiness at being with Dr. Muhájir that passers-by paused to look on, some of them asking 'Who is he?' and giving the Bahá'ís an opportunity to mention the name of the Faith.
Dr. Muhájir's schedule was hectic. He did not pause to rest after arriving at the airport, as he usually did in this altitude, but was driven directly to appointments including a radio interview and a meeting of the Counsellors. Later that evening he spoke to the Bahá'í community in Quito, and afterwards had a brief interview with members of the National Spiritual Assembly. The following day he went to Esmeraldas accompanied by Auxiliary Board member Charles Hornby and Keikavous Vahdat to visit the new Bahá'í institute that is being built and named in honour of the Hand of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga. After lunch Dr. Muhájir made three radio broadcasts followed by a fireside and a television interview...
On 26 December he returned to Quito and resumed his busy schedule, conferring that afternoon with the Counsellors and then presiding over a joint meeting with the Counsellors, Auxiliary Board members and the National Spiritual Assembly.
A conference for pioneers had been called by the National Spiritual Assembly on behalf of the Continental Board of Counsellors...Mount your steeds, O heroes of God! was always Dr. Muhájir's motto and it was embodied in the eagerness of those who were waiting to see how many far-reaching projects he would envisage and substantiated by the prompt movement of pioneers and teachers responding to the call. Whenever a new teaching plan was received from the Universal House of Justice, everyone knew it would not be long before a visit from Dr. Muhájir was forthcoming to place in perspective any perplexities that might be engendered by the vastness of the plan. He would always open up new avenues and approaches to teaching...after each session he would leave heads swirling by his edifying presence, his high spirits, his clarity of vision and, of course, by the amount of work he outlined to be accomplished while, at the same time, giving the group the feeling that they had really planned it themselves...
On 29 December, after a full day's schedule, Dr. Muhájir fell ill and was taken to a near-by emergency clinic for medical attention. During this time he was repeating the Greatest Name with those who were caring for him and he smiled and talked with the doctor and nurse when his pain was not so acute. Counsellor Mas'úd Khamsí never left his side. About half an hour after his arrival at the clinic, Dr. Muhájir lost consciousness and soon passed away . . .. (Adapted from a report by Mrs. Helen Hornby)
Ecuador: The Hand of the Cause of God Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir was buried on 31 December 1979 in a beautiful cemetery high in the Andes mountains near Quito, Ecuador, where he died suddenly on 29 December following a heart attack. Appointed by the Guardian in October 1957, he was the youngest of the remaining Hands of the Cause ...The funeral services were planned by the National Spiritual Assembly in consultation with the Continental Board of Counsellors. Mrs. êrán Muhájir and daughter, Gisu, arrived from the United States in time to choose a burial plot in the cemetery called 'Park of Memories' which Mrs. Muhájir selected for its simple beauty and tranquility. Dr. Muhájir's casket was surrounded by a profusion of floral tributes. Attending were five of the six members of the Board of Counsellors, Auxiliary Board members from four countries, and representatives of the National Spiritual Assemblies of Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Believers from all parts of Ecuador increased the attendance to over one hundred persons ...At the cemetery, prayers were offered in several languages, the cabled tribute from the Universal House of Justice was read as a fitting eulogy for the Hand of the Cause, and one of the Counsellors chanted in Arabic the Prayer for the Dead. Mrs. Muhájir had selected three plots in the cemetery to allow the grave to be oriented eastward, towards Bahjí ...On the same day the friends attended a conference to launch Dr. Muhájir's audacious plan--now consecrated to his name--which calls for a vast expansion among the black and Indian population. The Counsellors cabled that REPRESENTATIVES NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES AGREE DEDICATE 1980 YEAR MASS CONVERSION SOUTH AMERICAN CONTINENT ACCORDING HIS DESIRE. NATIONAL COM-
MUNITY ECUADOR WORKING WHOLEHEARTEDLY COMPLETE ARRANGEMENTS. BESEECH PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES ACHIEVE UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES DEDICATED HIS MEMORY ... (From various reports received through February 1980)
Belize: Friends around the world are lamenting the great loss of the Hand of the Cause of God Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir, for he lived and travelled in Southeast Asia, India, Europe, the Americas, the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. He devoted eleven months out of the year to travel for the Faith ...Each country received him as their own because of his unique ability to be so completely attuned with the people of each place he visited...The great love he showered on us all will always be a part of each one of us, awakening in us our own love for each other. Posterity will record his exploits in the teaching field, but at this time let us remember most of all his example. Were we but to emulate to a small extent his great outpouring of physical and spiritual energies and his genuine kindness and love, and arise with sacrificial efforts to teach our brothers and sisters about this great all-encompassing Faith, then we would ensure that the spiritual heart of this great man--Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir--shall continue to pulsate throughout these lands . . .. (From Bahá'í Newsletter of Belize, January 1980)
Malaysia: REJOICE INFORM SUPREME BODY WINTER SCHOOL CAMERON HIGHLAND HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL. GRATEFUL PRESENCE BELOVED HAND FEATHERSTONE COUNSELLORS YAN KEE LEONG CHINNIAH OVER FOUR HUNDRED PARTICIPANTS. ABUNDANT FRUITS SEVENTY-SIX PIONEERS TRAVEL TEACHERS FORTY HOME FRONT ... (From a cablegram received 30 December 1979)
World Centre: WITH BROKEN HEARTS ANNOUNCE PASSING DEARLY LOVED HAND CAUSE HASAN BALYUZI. ENTIRE BAHAI WORLD ROBBED ONE OF ITS MOST POWERFUL DEFENDERS MOST RESOURCEFUL HISTORIANS. HIS ILLUSTRIOUS LINEAGE HIS DEVOTED LABOURS DIVINE VINEYARD HIS OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORKS COMBINE IN IMMORTALIZING HIS HONOURED NAME IN ANNALS BELOVED FAITH. CALL ON FRIENDS EVERYWHERE HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS. PRAYING SHRINES HIS EXEMPLARY ACHIEVEMENTS HIS STEADFASTNESS PATIENCE HUMILITY HIS OUTSTANDING SCHOLARLY PURSUITS WILL INSPIRE MANY DEVOTED WORKERS AMONG RISING GENERATIONS FOLLOW HIS GLORIOUS FOOTSTEPS. (Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies 12 February 1980)
United Kingdom: The funeral service for the Hand of the Cause of God Hasan M. Balyúzí was held on 15 February 1980 at the New Southgate Cemetery in London. Mr. Balyúzí, who passed away peacefully on the morning of 12 February in London following a heart attack, was appointed a Hand of the Cause in October 1957. He also bore the title Afnán, indicating that he was a lineal descendant of the Báb.
Three hundred believers and friends gathered at 3:45 p.m. for a dignified and moving ceremony conducted by Mr. Philip Hainsworth on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly. The service began with a tribute on behalf of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Europe by Mr. Adib Taherzadeh. Mrs. Marion Hofman followed with a tribute that included reading of a cabled message from the Universal House of Justice ...A reading in English of a passage from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh about the Hands of the Cause, by the son of the deceased, Mr. Robert Balyúzí, was included in the programme prepared by the National Assembly. Eight members of the National Assembly attended, some of whom--together with members of the family--acted as pallbearers.
Mr. Balyúzí is buried in close proximity to the grave of Shoghi Effendi in a cemetery in the outskirts of London formerly known as the Great Northern Cemetery ...
In 1963, disabled by ill health which prevented his travelling, Mr. Balyúzí took up his pen, devoting his remaining years to producing important literary works which are perhaps his most significant legacy to the Bahá'í world. Among the books that streamed forth until the very last months of his life are: Bahá'u'lláh (a brief Life, accompanied by an essay 'The
Word Made Flesh' published in 1963); 'Abdu'l-Bahá (1971); The Báb (1973); Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith (1970); Muhammad and the Course of Islám (1976). His magnum opus, a major Life of Bahá'u'lláh, was completed just before his passing in London on 12 February 1980 ... (From reports received during February 1980)
United States: The Bahá'í children's long-playing record album, 'Happy Ayyám-i-Há!', produced by Joyce and Danny Deardorff and released through Prism Productions, won a 1979 Angel Award from RIM (Religion in Media). The album features as host the Hand of the Cause William Sears and utilizes music arranged and conducted by Russ Garcia. Referring to Mr. Sears, the album jacket states, 'His special love for children is so beautifully expressed in this recording as he portrays a loving grandfather answering their questions and sharing their joy and laughter.' The award was presented during a ceremony on 14 February 1980 at the Hollywood Palladium to Joyce and Danny Deardorff, producers of the album, and Marcia Day, executive producer of Prism Productions. This was the fifth annual awards programme sponsored by Religion in Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of religious values in the media and the album was one of only two non-Christian enterprises to win an award. Marcia Day ended her brief acceptance remarks by saying, 'We hope we accomplished what we set out to do--express for children the principles of the oneness of God, the oneness of religion and the oneness of mankind.' The Bahá'ís had two large tables near the front of the assemblage, and stood out as the most lively and diversified group at the ceremony. (From a report received April 1980)
United States: THREE HUNDRED PERSIAN BELIEVERS GATHERED TOGETHER IN THE SHADOW MOTHER TEMPLE WEST IN PRESENCE OF HAND CAUSE DHIKRULLAH KHADEM COUNSELLORS EDNA TRUE IRAJ AYMAN AND MANUCHIHR SALMANPUR THREE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS TWO AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS OFFER DEEPEST LOVE SERVITUDE SUPREME BODY. DETERMINED DISPERSE FULFILL GOALS CONSOLIDATE WEAK CENTERS. OVER FIFTY SOULS OFFER PIONEER. REQUEST PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES BESEECHING CELESTIAL CONFIRMATIONS ... (From a cablegram received 19 February 1980)
United States: OVER ONE HUNDRED PERSIAN BELIEVERS LOUISIANA OKLAHOMA MISSISSIPPI ALABAMA TEXAS GATHERED REGIONAL CONFERENCE BATON ROUGE HUMBLY RENEW DEVOTION SUPREME INSTITUTION. TWENTY-TWO VOLUNTEERED HOMEFRONT INTERNATIONAL PIONEERING. SUPPLICATE PRAYERS THEIR EFFORTS SERVICE CAUSE ... (From a cablegram received 21 February 1980)
United States: TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERSIAN FRIENDS GATHERED SAN DIEGO CENTER 24 FEBRUARY PRESENCE HAND CAUSE VARQA DEEPLY GRIEVED PASSING DEAR HAND CAUSE BALYUZI. OFFER HEARTFELT SUBMISSION SUPREME INSTITUTION. FIFTY BELIEVERS DETERMINED RESPOND FILL PIONEERING TRAVEL TEACHING GOALS. OTHERS HOPEFUL MOVE LATER. BESEECH PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES BESTOWAL CONFIRMATION SUCCESS. (Cablegram received 26 February 1980)
United States: FOURTEEN HUNDRED PERSIAN BELIEVERS GATHERED SANTA MONICA CALIFORNIA 24 FEBRUARY PRESENCE HAND CAUSE VARQA COUNSELLORS KHAMSI SALMANPUR AND AYMAN TWO NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS AND AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBER JALIL MAHMOUDI. SPIRIT DEDICATION INTENSE. COUNSELLORS REMAINED LOS ANGELES FOLLOWING TWO DAYS TO CONSULT WITH PROSPECTIVE PIONEERS ... (From a cablegram received 2 March 1980)
Germany: ABOUT FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY BAHAIS AND FIFTY NONBAHAIS PARTICIPATED NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE LANGENHAIN 22-23 MARCH 1980 BLESSED BY HAND OF THE CAUSE OF GOD PAUL HANEY AND COUNSELLOR ADIB TAHERZADEH WHO ENCOURAGED AND INSPIRED ALL TO ARISE AND SERVE BELOVED FAITH. EXPRESS OUR DEEP GRATITUDE FOR THEIR PRESENCE ...TWENTY-SIX FRIENDS AROSE FORTHCOMING TEACHING ACTIVITIES ... (From a cablegram received 24 March 1980)
Canada: OVER ELEVEN HUNDRED DELEGATES OBSERVERS ASSEMBLED CANADIAN CONVENTION VANCOUVER BLESSED PRESENCE BELOVED HAND
CAUSE JOHN ROBARTS ... ACTIVE PARTICIPATION INDIGENOUS MINORITIES ...NUMBER ASSEMBLIES NOW OVER THREE HUNDRED TWENTY ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1980)
Korea: THOUGH DEEPLY GRIEVED PASSING THREE HANDS CAUSE GOD DISTRESSED OPPOSITION FRIENDS IRAN KOREAN DELEGATES DETERMINED SHARE BURDEN IRANIAN COMMUNITY ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1980)
United States: WE UNMISTAKABLY SENSE THE ADVENT OF THE LONG-AWAITED SORELY-NEEDED SPIRITUAL REBIRTH PROMISED BY THE MASTER IN TABLETS OF THE DIVINE PLAN. THE SPIRIT OF OPTIMISM COUPLED WITH UNSHAKABLE CONFIDENCE IS PERVADING THIS COMMUNITY ...WE FEEL THAT THE CONCOURSE OF ABHA RECENTLY REINFORCED BY THE PASSING OF THREE HANDS OF THE CAUSE IS WAITING TO ASSIST THOSE WHO ARISE IN THE SERVICE OF OUR BELOVED CAUSE ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1980)
United States: Over one hundred Bahá'ís attended a three-day conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, held from 9 to 11 May. The conference commemorated the visit of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to that city in 1912. The Hand of the Cause Dhikru'llah Khádem was the featured speaker for the occasion. Several of the meetings were held in the same room in Schenley Hall where the Master spoke in 1912 when it was the Schenley Hotel. It is now part of the University of Pittsburgh's Student Union building ...Mr. Khádem spoke several times during the weekend. He outlined the Master's visit to the United States, spoke on the station of the Manifestations of God and of the authorized interpreters of the Bahá'í Writings, and closed by encouraging all participants to deepen themselves in the Faith in order that they might better convey its truths ... (From a report received 26 May 1980)
Canada: The Canadian Association for Studies on the Bahá'í Faith held its fifth Annual Conference and its first International Conference on health and healing, both within the period of 30 May to 4 June in Ottawa, with a combined attendance of more than five hundred persons ...the Hand of the Cause John Robarts encouraged the friends throughout the Conferences. In attendance were members of the National Spiritual Assemblies of Haiti, Switzerland and Canada; members of the Auxiliary Board; and a distinguished array of Bahá'ís from all parts of Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and New Zealand. A special lectureship on Bahá'í history was initiated at this year's annual meeting in memory of the late Hand of the Cause Hasan M. Balyúzí. The Hand of the Cause John Robarts spoke about Mr. Balyúzí's life. Dr. 'Abbás Afnán and Dr. Muhammad Afnán, both of whom are descendants of the Báb[sic] and relatives of the late Hand of the Cause, talked about his illustrious lineage. The special lectureship, which will be continued at future annual meetings, was capped by a scholarly address by Mr. Douglas Martin, a historian and secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada. He reviewed Mr. Balyúzí's immense life work as a historian . .. . (From a report received 23 July 1980)
World Centre: Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum left the World Centre on 25 June for a brief sojourn in England, travelling thereafter to Spain for a week's stay, which included visits to the friends in Madrid and Barcelona and the dedication of the Hazíratu'l-Quds in the latter city. Following this she spent fourteen weeks in Toronto, Canada, editing a two-hour documentary film entitled 'The Pilgrimage'. This historic film--a beautiful and deeply moving account of the Holy Places in 'Akká and Haifa--was written, narrated, directed and edited by Amatu'l-Bahá, and in addition to its interest to the public will provide a most effective and inspiring deepening experience for the believers ...Filmed at the World Centre by Prism Productions Inc., 'The Pilgrimage' is a superb documentary depicting the Bahá'í Holy Places in great detail. It is a two-hour, 16mm sound colour film on four reels to facilitate screening and is available in English, French and Spanish. (From various reports received June-December 1980)
United States: IN DIGNIFIED UPLIFTING CEREMONY WITNESSED BY HAND CAUSE KHADEM HOUSE OF JUSTICE MEMBER AMOZ GIBSON COUNSELLORS COWAN GARDNER TRUE REPRESENTATIVES NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES ALASKA CANADA AND UNITED STATES AND NUMBER AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS NATIVE COUNCIL ENTRUSTED SPECIAL GIFT FOR MIGHTY HOUSE OF JUSTICE TO MRS. MARY GIBSON IN HOPE SHE CAN PRESENT IT TO SUPREME INSTITUTION IN SPIRIT IN WHICH IT WAS GIVEN. ONE FEATURE CONFERENCE A POW-WOW HELD ON LAKESIDE PROPERTY UNDER SHADOW OF MASHRIQULADHKAR DREW ATTENDANCE NUMBERING APPROXIMATELY ONE THOUSAND SCINTILLATING THE MINDS AND SPIRITS FOR ITS AESTHETIC EXECUTION BUT MORE IMPORTANT POWERFULLY IMPRESSING UPON THEM BAHAI IDEAL ONENESS MANKIND ... (From a cablegram received 15 July 1980)
Sweden: NORWEGIAN-SWEDISH SUMMER SCHOOL BLESSED PRESENCE BELOVED HAND CAUSE GOD GIACHERY COUNSELLOR TAHERZADEH AUXILIARY BOARDS OVER TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY FRIENDS FORTY-FOUR CHILDREN TWENTY YOUTH TWELVE COUNTRIES. INSPIRED TO HIGH DEGREE HEROISM SACRIFICE FRIENDS MARTYRS IRAN. MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD BELOVED EXEMPLAR DEDICATION CAUSE GOD ANGELINE GIACHERY. HUMBLY REQUEST PRAYERS SHRINES SPIRITUAL GROWTH CHILDREN CONFIRMATIONS BELIEVERS NORDIC REGION ... (From a cablegram received 28 July 1980)
World Centre: WITH SORROWFUL HEARTS ANNOUNCE PASSING BELOVED HAND CAUSE ADELBERT MUHLSCHLEGEL. GRIEVOUS LOSS SUSTAINED ENTIRE BAHAI WORLD PARTICULARLY FELT EUROPE MAIN ARENA HIS DISTINGUISHED SERVICES CAUSE GOD. SERVING FOR MANY YEARS NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY GERMANY HE BECAME AFTER ELEVATION RANK HAND CAUSE ONE OF CHAMPION BUILDERS EMERGING EUROPEAN BAHAI COMMUNITY CONSTANTLY TRAVELLING ENCOURAGING RAISING SPIRITS FRIENDS RESIDING WHEREVER SERVICES MOST NEEDED FINALLY PIONEERING GREECE AND SURRENDERING HIS SOUL PIONEER POST. HIS CONSTANT WILLINGNESS SERVE HIS ABILITY ENDEAR HIMSELF BELIEVERS AND OTHERS ALIKE BY HIS LOVING GENTLENESS SERENE HUMILITY RADIANT CHEERFULNESS AND HIS NEVER CEASING PURSUIT KNOWLEDGE AND TOTAL DEDICATION BLESSED BEAUTY PROVIDE WONDERFUL EXAMPLE BAHAI LIFE. ADVISE FRIENDS COMMEMORATE HIS PASSING AND REQUEST BEFITTING MEMORIAL SERVICES ALL MOTHER TEMPLES. (Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies 29 July 1980)
United States: Your cable dated 29 July 1980 was received and on the following night, in the meeting of the friends in St. Louis, its text was read. The hearts of the friends were deeply touched and grieved, but they felt resigned before the will of the Lord, fully conscious that the soul of Dr. Adelbert Muhlschlegel is now in the Abhá Kingdom in the utmost joy and gratitude, as he recalls the efforts he exerted during his lifetime in the promotion of God's Holy Faith which is the sole path for the salvation of the world from the great convulsions with which it is beset ... (From a report by the Hand of the Cause Shu'á'u'lláh 'Alá'í)
Kenya: DEEPLY GRIEVED SUDDEN PASSING HAND CAUSE ADELBERT MUHLSCHLEGEL . HIS HUMBLENESS DEPTHS UNDERSTANDING FAITH SHOWN PROCLAIMING FAITH DURING VISIT NINE YEAR PLAN RECALLED KENYA BAHAI COMMUNITY WITH ADMIRATION ... (From a cablegram received from the National Spiritual Assembly of Kenya)
Switzerland: TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY PARTICIPANTS FROM TEN COUNTRIES INCLUDING MANY YOUTH AND THIRTY CHILDREN ASSEMBLED TAVERNE TICINO. UPLIFTED PRESENCE HAND OF CAUSE OF GOD UGO GIACHERY ...STIMULATED BY THEME NEW STANDARDS OF LIFE WHICH PROMOTES ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF ALL FRIENDS. SUCCESSFUL CHILDRENS CLASSES AND TEENAGERS WORKSHOP. HIGHLY SPIRITUAL COMMEMORATION PASSING HAND OF CAUSE OF GOD ADELBERT MUHLSCHLEGEL AND REMEMBRANCE ANGELINE GIACHERY. TWO PUBLIC MEETINGS ORGANIZED IN TAVERNE AND LUGANO. FOUR DECLARATIONS ... (From a cablegram received 3 August 1980)
Canada: TEACHING PROJECT SHAWINIGAN HEARTLAND QUEBEC SUPPORTED COUNSELLORS SUSTAINED NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND TEACHING COMMITTEE. SUPPLICATE PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES SUCCESS CULMINATION PROJECT AUGUST 9.
TWO HANDS CAUSE AUXILIARY BOARD FRIENDS QUEBEC PARTICIPATE RECEPTION MUNICIPALITY SIGNATURE CITYS GOLDEN BOOK AND PROCLAMATION PICNIC THOUSANDS INVITED. AUSPICIOUS TEACHING DEDICATED HEROIC MARTYRS PERSECUTED BRETHREN CRADLE FAITH ... (From a cablegram received 6 August 1980)
Canada: A beautiful example of the kind of collaboration we are experiencing here in Canada between the institutions of the Faith took place at the annual 'Gathering'. Organized by the Hand of the Cause of God William Sears, this year's 'Gathering' was specially for the Auxiliary Board members and their assistants. Three Hands of the Cause were among the honoured guests, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, John Robarts and 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá. As soon as Mr. Sears learned of the new initiatives taken by the National Assembly, however, he turned over a key portion of the programme to the Assembly to introduce its plan to focus the entire resources of the Canadian Bahá'í community on winning our international pioneer goals. Throughout the weekend speakers continually referred to the National Assembly's plan. Those present saw the entire administration move as one body in response to this priority focus.
A memorable part of the 'Gathering' was a special memorial service for the Hands of the Cause Enoch Olinga, Hasan M. Balyúzí, Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir and Adelbert Mühlschlegel. It was very stirring to see four devoted Hands of the Cause gathered to pay tribute to their much loved co-workers. The potency of the occasion was augmented with the realization that these souls were four from a company of twelve remaining Chief Stewards. It was a priceless privilege to hear stories of the meetings of the conclaves of the Hands between 1957 and 1963, and to catch a glimpse of the comradeship and power that characterized these conclaves. (From a report received 1 September 1980)
Papua New Guinea: Cabled greetings were sent from an inspirational institute with the Hand of the Cause H. Collis Featherstone and Mrs. Madge Featherstone at Goroka on 14 September. Thirty-two pioneers and many local believers from other parts of Papua New Guinea gathered with Counsellor Violet Hoehnke, six Auxiliary Board members and seven members of the National Assembly to pledge themselves to the current two-year phase goals, particularly the re-election of lapsed Assemblies ... (From a report received 14 September 1980)
World Centre: HEARTS FILLED WITH SORROW PASSING INDEFATIGABLE SELFSACRIFICING DEARLY LOVED HAND CAUSE GOD ABUL QASIM FAIZI. ENTIRE BAHAI WORLD MOURNS HIS LOSS. HIS EARLY OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN CRADLE FAITH THROUGH EDUCATION CHILDREN YOUTH STIMULATION FRIENDS PROMOTION TEACHING WORK PROMPTED BELOVED GUARDIAN DESCRIBE HIM AS LUMINOUS DISTINGUISHED ACTIVE YOUTH. HIS SUBSEQUENT PIONEERING WORK IN LANDS BORDERING IRAN WON HIM APPELLATION SPIRITUAL CONQUEROR THOSE LANDS. FOLLOWING HIS APPOINTMENT HAND CAUSE HE PLAYED INVALUABLE PART WORK HANDS HOLY LAND TRAVELLED WIDELY PENNED HIS LITERARY WORKS CONTINUED HIS EXTENSIVE INSPIRING CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIGH AND LOW YOUNG AND OLD UNTIL AFTER LONG ILLNESS HIS SOUL WAS RELEASED AND WINGED ITS FLIGHT ABHA KINGDOM. CALL ON FRIENDS EVERYWHERE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERINGS HIS HONOUR INCLUDING SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE MEETINGS HIS NAME IN HOUSES WORSHIP ALL CONTINENTS. MAY HIS SHINING EXAMPLE CONSECRATION CONTINUE INSPIRE HIS ADMIRERS EVERY LAND. PRAYING HOLY SHRINES HIS NOBLE RADIANT SOUL MAY BE IMMERSED IN OCEAN DIVINE MERCY CONTINUE ITS UNINTERRUPTED PROGRESS IN INFINITE WORLDS BEYOND. (Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies 20 November 1980)
World Centre: The Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizí was laid to rest in the Bahá'í Cemetery at the foot of Mount Carmel on Sunday, 23 November 1980. The service was attended by his fellow Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land, 'Alí-Akbar Furútan and Paul Haney, members of the Universal House of Justice, Counsellor members of the International Teaching Centre, members of his family and the staff serving at the World Centre. A special gesture of love was made when the children, each carrying a
bouquet of flowers, placed them around the graveside, kneeling and bowing their heads in sorrow at the passing of their beloved friend.
Earlier, all of the friends had assembled at the temporary Seat of the Universal House of Justice at No. 10 Haparsim Street. Many floral tributes from all over the world were placed at the front of the room, and the readings and prayers, especially one by Mr. Faizí's dearly-loved grandson, Paul, brought tears to the eyes of those who had the honour of witnessing this touching tribute to the Hand of the Cause. His humility and love had endeared him not only to those with whom he lived and worked, but to the pilgrims and the friends in different parts of the world with whom he had visited and corresponded, bringing them encouragement and love. On Wednesday, 19 November, after two years of illness, he peacefully passed away in his own home. He is universally mourned, and remembrances of his gentle and loving nature will always be in our hearts. (From a report dated 15 December 1980)
United States: The Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizí leaves a rich written legacy. His most recent work, published posthumously, is the foreword to A Concordance to the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, compiled by Dr. Jalil Mahmoudi and published by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust of the United States. Other titles include Stories from the Delight of Hearts, Three Meditations on the Eve of November the Fourth, The Wonder Lamp, Explanation of the Emblem of the Greatest Name, Milly: A Tribute to Amelia E. Collins, and The Prince of Martyrs. Mr. Faizí's Commentary on the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh is available on a cassette recording ... (From a report received 15 December 1980)1981
Switzerland: Approximately eighty friends gathered on 1 November 1980 at 4:00 p.m. in Büchtold-Haus to commemorate the passing of the Hand of the Cause Adelbert Mühlschlegel. The participants, who came from all parts of Switzerland to express their affection and admiration, recited prayers in various languages including Esperanto, on of the many languages spoken by Dr. Mühlschlegel. A number of people gave their recollections of Dr. Mühlschlegel and described happy moments spent in his presence. A photograph of him, surrounded by flowers, was prominently displayed.. Ginette Dunand revived before our spiritual eye the solemn and poignant scene at the most beautiful cemetery in Greece where friends from many places accompanied his mortal remains to their last resting-place. They said their final farewells to the earthly 'temple' of this pure spirit and pledged themselves to follow his example of service. Those who have heard him describe being called by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum
to prepare the body of Shoghi Effendi for burial will not readily forget how vividly he seemed to relive that deeply moving experience ...At the memorial service some of Dr. Mühlschlegel's poems were read to the accompaniment of music and projected slides showing him surrounded by the friends in diverse gatherings. The meeting ended with the chanting of a prayer. The life of the Hand of the Cause of God was one deserving of emulation ... (Adapted from a report by Verena Stroligo in bulletin bahá'í Suisse, December 1980)
Canada: From many locations in British Columbia three hundred Bahá'ís came to Vancouver in November to hear the Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá speak about the importance of developing a personal teaching plan. Dr. Varqá, who considers Canada his second home, spoke on the 'victories which come with self-discipline'. He spoke again at Nanaimo where fifty Bahá'ís assembled from distant points ...In Vancouver he met with Bahá'í youth at a special meeting, telling of the crucial role they can play in the Cause, specifying their work in pioneering, teaching and child education. Dr. Varqá also addressed a gathering of one hundred Bahá'ís in Calgary in November. (From a report received in December 1980)
France: One hundred and sixty Bahá'ís of France attended a national teaching conference in Paris on 22-23 November 1980 which was graced by the presence of the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery. Three Auxiliary Board members, Mr. Paul Hakím, Dr. 'Azíz Misbáh and Mrs. Diane Starcher participated, as did the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. Sixty-five persons pledged themselves to various aspects of the teaching work—eight of them as pioneers, twenty-eight as traveling
Caption of Top Picture: The Hand of the Cause Dr. Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir with friends in Mendoza, Argentina; December 1979.
Caption of Bottom Picture: The Hand of the Cause Paul E. Haney at the site of the House of Worship in India, with members of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia; 6 January 1981.
teachers ...A unity evening was conducted by the Local Spiritual Assembly of Paris in an intensely spiritual atmosphere, enriched immensely by the presence of Dr. Giachery. (From a report received 23 December 1980)
Canada: During her stay in Canada to work on the film 'The Pilgrimage', the Hand of the Cause of God Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum addressed the Bahá'ís both in Persian and English, in Montreal and Toronto; gave the eulogy in English at the memorial service for the Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizí held on 7 December at the Toronto Bahá'í Centre; and was interviewed for a Toronto television programme entitled 'Sounds of the East' which was broadcast on 8 December and repeated on 11 December. Following the completion of the pilgrimage film, she flew to Los Angeles on 11 December and thence to Vancouver on 17 December, again speaking to large gatherings of Bahá'ís in both these cities. Following the conference in Panama of the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Americas (from 2 to 4 January) which she will attend as the representative of the Universal House of Justice, she plans to visit most of the Central American countries. (From a report received 10 December 1980)
Germany: HAND CAUSE DHIKRULLAH KHADEM COUNSELLORS ANNELIESE BOPP AGNES GHAZNAVI WINTER SCHOOL OBERUSEL SOUTH GERMANY. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY PARTICIPANTS. ENTHUSIASTIC DEEPENING ...YOUTH PROGRAMME EMPHASIZED TEACHING AND PIONEERING. THREE DECLARATIONS ... (From a cablegram received December 1980)
United Kingdom: Mothers, Fathers and Children, by the Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Akbar Furútan, which was originally published in Persian in 1960 under the title Essays on Education, has become a widely used guide to child-raising for parents in êrán. It has now been published in English for the first time. How to train a child according to Bahá'í principles while dealing with day-to-day problems is the subject of this immensely practical book. The Bahá'í reader will realize, more than ever, some of the implications of the many references in the Bahá'í Writings to child-training. The author approaches his subject with knowledge and zest, and his readers—parents—with sympathy and with encouragement to enjoy their children, to take a moral stand, and, above all, to realize that being a mother or father is an honourable activity. Mr. Furútan is well-known throughout the Bahá'í world as an educator. He was appointed a Hand of the Cause in 1951 and now, with three fellow Hands of the Cause and four Counsellors, he is one of those who constitute the nucleus of the International Teaching Centre at the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith. (From a report received December 1980)
Canada: The energetic support given the work of the Faith by the Hand of the Cause John Robarts has excited the admiration of the Canadian believers. Following successful teacher-training sessions in November, he has been active in the Province of Quebec for the past several weeks, meeting with the National Spiritual Assembly, with a group of six Counsellors of the Americas, and with the Canadian National Teaching Committee. In Toronto he attended important planning meetings in November with Counsellors Arbab and Gardner, Auxiliary Board members for Eastern Canada and National and Regional Teaching Committee members. The Hand of the Cause worked actively in Quebec from September through November, speaking at the 'stage' conferences, at the three-day French Council and the Native Council in October. He led intensive teaching workshops in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa on three weekends. It is reported that the friends left the meetings inspired, refreshed and committed to increasing their individual and group efforts. He next attended the Eastern Ontario Winter School and the International Developments Conference at the National Centre of Canada. The National Assembly writes, 'Both the Hand and his dear wife, Audrey, have cheered the friends with their vitality and enthusiasm ...' (From a report received 1 January 1982)
Africa: The inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Africa opened in Nairobi, Kenya, with devotions and the reading of the message of the Universal House of Justice by its representative, the Hand of the Cause William Sears ...A meeting with the Continental Pioneer Committee for Africa was held during one full session and specific decisions reached which will bring close collaboration on pioneer work, travel teaching projects, record keeping, orientation of new pioneers and continuing ties with them ...It was felt that the unification of the Board of Counsellors for all Africa could well presage the long-yearned-for unity of all the peoples of this vast continent ...After his attendance at the Nairobi conference, Mr. Sears traveled to South Africa where he met with the National Spiritual Assembly and laid plans to visit Transkei, Swaziland and Lesotho, going finally to South-West Africa/Namibia for the inaugural convention of that National Spiritual Assembly at Ridván ...Mr. Sears maintains close contact with the Continental Board of Counsellors, Auxiliary Board members and National Spiritual Assemblies in Africa through cassette recordings and round-robin letters. (From reports received through January 1981)
Africa: The Hand of the Cause of God John Robarts is on a lengthy teaching mission, having spent several days in the United Kingdom. He is presently in South Africa and will undertake extensive travel before attending the inaugural convention of Bophuthatswana during the Ridván period. (From a report received January 1981)
The Americas: On 1 January the Counsellors in the Americas, coming to Panama from as far north as Alaska and as far south as Argentina, along with Counsellor member of the International Teaching Centre, Mr. Hooper Dunbar, and a large representation of Panamanian believers, were at the airport to welcome the representative of the Universal House of Justice, the Hand of the Cause of God Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. She was warmly greeted with music, dancing and song. Before the consultative meetings began, the Counsellors gathered at dawn for devotions in the Mother Temple of Latin America ... At a special session on Saturday evening Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum made reference to the future responsibilities of the Counsellors now that their jurisdiction extends from pole to pole ... (From a report received January 1981
The Americas: News reaching the World Centre during January in the course of Amatu'l-Bahá's progress through the Central American countries tells of exciting proclamation victories. From Panama she cables: SPENT ONE DAY AND NIGHT WITH CUNAS SAN BLAS. OVER THREE THOUSAND VILLAGERS SAW GREEN LIGHT FILM. ALSO TWO NIGHTS IN CHIRIQUI. SECOND LARGEST GATHERING SINCE DEDICATION TEMPLE HELD AT MUHAJIR INSTITUTE OVER NINE HUNDRED PRESENT. TWENTY-FOUR GUAYMI COMMUNITIES REPRESENTED. RUTH PRINGLE LAURETTA KING ACCOMPANIED ME. ATTENDED TEMPLE SERVICE TWO SUNDAYS. MEETING WITH NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY BAHAIS AND PUBLIC ALL CONTRIBUTED MEMORABLE VISIT MUCH LOVED COUNTRY. Moving northward, from Costa Rica she cabled this heartening news: RECEIVED CORDIALLY ...HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT RODRIGO CARAZO ODIO FOLLOWED PRIVATE MEETING FIFTY MINUTES HIS DISTINGUISHED WIFE VERY ACTIVE NATIONAL FIGURE. ALSO EXCELLENT HALF-HOUR MEETING PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ...WEEKEND CONFERENCE BAHAIS LARGE PUBLIC MEETING AND UNITY FEAST AND SPECIAL AIR TRIP TO TALMANCA MEET INDIANS LOCAL FRIENDS PIONEERS ...'
On 31 January Amatu'l-Bahá advised: WEEKS VISIT NICARAGUA IMPRESSIVE EVERY WAY ...VERY CORDIAL THIRTY-FIVE MINUTE INTERVIEW REGARDING FAITH FIRST CONTACT NEW GOVERNMENT. . PRESENTED BEHALF NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY LARGE PRINTED FRAMED STATEMENT OBEDIENCE GOVERNMENT ENJOINED BY BAHAULLAH. EXCEPTIONALLY FINE STATEMENT PRINTED LEADING NEWSPAPER AFTER PRESS CONFERENCE AND RECORDED INTERVIEW BROADCAST NEWS PERIOD ON NATIONAL STATION AS WELL AS NOTICE MY VISIT BLUEFIELDS. PUBLIC LECTURES MANAGUA BLUEFIELDS WELL ATTENDED MOSTLY NONBAHAIS. WARM RECEPTION MANY QUESTIONS. WEEKEND CONFERENCE OTHER
MEETINGS BELIEVERS MANAGUA GRANADA BLUEFIELDS AND THREE MEETINGS WITH NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY ... (From cablegrams received through 31 January 1981)
Australasia: In close proximity to the beautiful House of Worship of the Antipodes in Sydney, the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, representing the Universal House of Justice, and all seven members of the Board of Counsellors in Australasia, gathered to discuss recent developments announced by the Supreme Body in the functioning of the Boards of Counsellors . . . Towards the close of the conference, at the request of the Counsellors, Mr. Featherstone spoke in inspiring terms on the evolution of the institution and the challenging times that face humanity in the immediate future . . . Following these meetings Mr. Featherstone attended a National Teaching Conference at Albury, New South Wales, and a National Youth Conference from 11 to 14 January. Following that, and meetings with Auxiliary Board members and their assistants, he and Mrs. Featherstone returned to their home in Rockhampton where they readied themselves for their next swing through the Pacific Ocean regions that were anticipating the visit of the Hand of the Cause . . . (From reports received through 31 January 1981)
Asia: In conjunction with his attendance at the New Delhi meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia, the Hand of the Cause of God Paul E. Haney fulfilled an ambitious schedule of events laid out for him by the National Spiritual Assemblies of India and Pakistan. Before the New Delhi meeting he went to the New Era School, Panchgani, where he addressed the students and those friends who remained after the Winter School held there. Accompanied by Counsellor Manúchihr Salmánpúr he spent six days visiting Karachi believers and consulting with the National Spiritual Assembly. He visited the community of Lahore in the Punjab region of North Pakistan which had not been visited by a Hand of the Cause since Tarázu'lláh Samandarí was there seventeen years ago. Returning to India on 13 January, Mr. Haney participated in a successful three-day teaching conference for North India held in New Delhi and then went on to the Indore Institute in Madhya Pradesh, the area of large-scale enrolments of recent years. He was accompanied by the Counsellor, Mrs. Shirin Boman. Mr. Haney next traveled to Bangalore where he took part in the South India Teaching Conference held in that city on 18-19 January. After twenty-five days of continuous travel, giving selflessly of his time and energies, Mr. Haney returned to the Holy Land on 21 January.
Europe: As all the meetings of the Counsellors on the five continents were about to begin, he Hand of the Cause of God Dhikru'lláh Khádem, representative of the Universal House of Justice, all nine members of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Europe, and visiting member of the International Teaching Centre, Counsellor Anneliese Bopp, sought guidance and rendered thanks for the historic meeting with prayers at the Mother Temple of Europe in Frankfurt. Described as a 'wonderful, happy meeting', the first session opened with the message of the Supreme Body read by Mr. Khádem . . . Following the decisions on major policy, aspects of the work in Europe were reviewed with the valuable participation of Mr. Khádem. A highlight of the days spent together came on Saturday evening when the Hand of the Cause spoke to the Counsellors and to many friends gathered from far and near in the National Hazíratu'l-Quds. His subject was the suffering of the Bahá'ís of êrán and how sacrifice furthers the Cause of God . . . (From a report received January 1981)
Europe: Thirty-five days of intensive travel in December and January by the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery took him half-way around the world to Western Samoa for his fourth visit to that country. On 30 December he was received by His Highness the Malietoa Tanumafili II . . . Dr. Giachery's stay in Samoa included attendance at the 'most historic and bountiful Summer School ever', as reported by Counsellor Suhayl 'Alá'í, who said that before 'a large gathering of more than two hundred friends from all three major islands and the island of Tau (Manua Islands), Dr. Giachery poured out his heart day and night, his luminous spirit enriching the heart and soul of every believer'. Dr. Giachery proceeded to the Hawaiian Islands where he
appeared at two meetings in Honolulu and one in Lihue, Kauai, all well-attended, and took part in a memorial meeting for the Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizí. Moving on to Southern California, he attended gatherings two and three times a day, meeting old friends after an absence of eleven years . . . (From a report received January 1981)
United States: At a gala evening entitled 'A Tribute to the Hands of the Cause' sponsored by the Bahá'í community of Irvine, California, on 12 January 1981, the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery happily was able to be present, as if in answer to the prayers of the planning community ...in attendance were Counsellors Hooper Dunbar and Fred Schechter ...Dr. Giachery's address on the Guardian and the few remaining Hands was poignant beyond description. The marvellous evening was evidence of the reality of the spiritual power flowing from the Institutions of the Hands, the International Teaching Centre and the Continental Boards of Cousellors ... (From a report received 29 January 1981)
The Americas: For nearly a year Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's travels through the western hemisphere have brought countless opportunities to grateful national communities to proclaim the Faith as never before. Since her participation in the Counsellors' conference held in January in Panama she has visited Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Antigua, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica ...The Bahá'í community of Honduras shared nineteen unforgettable days with Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. In the capital city she spoke to a capacity crowd at the Hotel Honduras Maya on world peace. A national teaching conference opened the following day. Forty Bahá'ís of the Paya Indian tribe travelled by chartered bus from the distant Department of Olancho. Accompanied by Mrs. Violette Nakhjavání, Amatu'l-Bahá paid a courtesy visit to the President of the City Council of Tegucigalpa. An article and a photograph appeared in a prominent paper, with details of the cordial discussion they held. A picnic was held where many friends enjoyed the company of the Hand of the Cause ...Leaving Tegucigalpa on 5 February she went by plane to the northern coastal city of La Ceiba where Bahá'ís from that community and from nearby Corozal were waiting in the airport. When the plane touched down, the Black Carib Bahá'ís of Corozal began their typical dances, much to the surprise and enjoyment of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. An in-depth radio interview was broadcast by Radio Ceiba whose manager was greatly impressed by the wisdom and dignity of his guest ...She and her companion called on the Mayor of La Ceiba, holding a cordial forty-minute interview. Following an afternoon press conference, she spoke in the evening to a crowd of more than two hundred persons, which included the Mayor and people from all classes of society.
A Saturday morning radio interview lasted for an hour; next came a two-day teaching conference with two hundred and fifty Bahá'ís from twenty-seven communities. She was next taken to the village of Corozal where Black Caribs, the Farfunas, live. More than two hundred Bahá'ís quickly gathered and performed an ancient folk dance for the visitors ...that same evening thirty-five new believers embraced the Faith. The next day she paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of the Department of Atlántida, a woman. The two women spoke together cordially for more than an hour about the Faith and its purposes. Another radio interview in the afternoon was followed by a visit to Sambo Creek village where a public meeting with more than one hundred Bahá'ís and seekers was held ...After a well-deserved day of rest, Amatu'l-Bahá visited Brus Laguna in the heart of the Mosquitia area of swamps and lagoons ...walking for many hours, or canoeing, the beloved friends, men and women and children, arrived in small groups to meet the first Hand of the Cause to make that perilous journey. During the teaching conference they were like many small rivers of spirit flowing towards Rúhíyyih Khánum's ocean of love ...On 15 February the group walked to the village of Kusuapayka where the believers spoke of their ancient Miskito customs. It was truly beautiful to see how they confided in her. She
in turn spoke of the importance of the indigenous peoples ...
A week before the arrival of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and Mrs. Violette Nakhjavání in Belize, on 19 February the newspapers carried articles about Amatu'l-Bahá and spoke of Belize as the 'one hundred and twenty-seventh country to be visited by her'. She was met at the plane by Counsellor Ahmadíyyih, members of the National Spiritual Assembly and the Deputy Mayor of Belize City. Beneath a large banner reading 'Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum—Welcome to Belize' she was officially greeted on behalf of the Mayor and met Bahá'ís of Belmopan, San Ignacio, Belize City and Burrell Boom. She had a special word for each one. All were captivated by her natural charm and open manner.
A baqnquet in her honour brought many distinguished guests. Her book Prescription for Living was distributed to each one as a gift from the National Assembly. A public meeting in the hotel ballroom brought nearly one hundred persons to hear her speak on 'A Pattern for World Unity'.
On the twenty-first she recorded three radio programmes—one for Radio Belize and two for the Bahá'í series. In the afternoon she traveled to the capital city, Belmopan, where a public meeting was held at the Bahá'í Centre. On Sunday an all-day conference brought nearly five hundred Bahá'ís from all over the country to the largest Bahá'í gathering ever held in Belize where the Knight of Bahá'u'lláh, Mrs. Shirley Warde, who has been a pioneer in Belize since 1953, was introduced.
A visit to the Governor of Belize was a cordial one. Books were given to him. The Commissioner of Police and his Deputy had met the Hand of the Cause Enoch Olinga and expressed their great admiration for the Bahá'ís.
On 24 February Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum was welcomed to the Carib settlement of Dangriga by the Mayor and a group of Bahá'ís. Later, she dined in the District Hazíratu'l-Quds with the Local Assembly, all of whose members are Caribs. A Carib dance was performed in Town Hall by professional dancers, and was followed by a talk by Amatu'l-Bahá to an audience of seventy people ...After meetings with the National Spiritual Assembly, Amatu'l-Bahá left for El Salvador, assured by the Belize friends that her visit, though short, 'had inspired all with a new spirit of dedication to the Cause of God'. (From reports received through 29 February 1981)
The Americas: The itinerary established for Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum in El Salvador began with a meeting with the National Spiritual Assembly, followed by the celebration of Ayyám-i-Há. A talk at the Cultural Centre was attended by seventy people, mostly women. On the weekend, almost four hundred Bahá'ís from all over the country, and some seekers as well, met at the International School to hear the visitor discuss many subjects ...A Unity Feast was held on 1 March with the Hand of the Cause participating in the devotional part ...
For nine days in Guatemala, Amatu'l-Bahá gave talks and lectures for Bahá'ís and their guests. On 7-8 March about one hundred Bahá'ís arrived in the capital city to listen to the Hand of the Cause whose talks were filled with wisdom and inspiration. On Monday she traveled to San Lucas Toliman, in Sololá, where she talked to indigenous believers of that area ...A banquet for prominent persons and a press conference completed the schedule in Guatemala City ...
In Yucatán the seemingly tireless travelers spent a week, the most important events of which were: a reception tea with the outstanding women of MŽrida; a public meeting in the National Chamber of Commerce; a half-hour interview with the assistant to the Mayor; a six-minute interview on the television news programme; and, finally, three regional teaching conferences with Mayan believers ...
In a cablegram from the Hand of the Cause herself, the World Centre learned of her meeting on 20 March, the eve of Naw-Rúz, with JosŽ Lopez Portillo, the President of Mexico. She states that she was 'received most courteously' and presented him with The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh and the statement on obedience to government ... (From reports received through 4 June 1981)
Swaziland: On 8 March the Hand of the Cause William Sears and his wife, Marguerite,
came to Mbabane and many friends gathered on short notice to meet them at the Bahá'í Centre there. Mr. and Mrs. Sears told of their decision to return to Africa, a decision prompted by the news of the death of Enoch Olinga which reached them while they were praying at the cornerstone of the Mother Temple of North America. They had pioneered to South Africa from 1953 to 1959, the first Regional Assembly comprised of fourteen countries having been formed at a meeting at their farm near Johannesburg in 1956 ... (From a report received March 1981)
Zimbabwe: The dedication, on 22 March, of an outstanding Bahá'í Centre at Templeton Ranch Compound in Mtoroshanga was made even more outstanding by the participation of the Hand of the Cause John Robarts and his wife, Audrey. The money to purchase the building materials of the new Centre was raised by the women of this community by baking small cakes in the kitchen of pioneers Mike and Becky Figgins and then selling them to workers in the nearby mines. Four Bahá'í men built the structure which is large enough to accommodate thirty to fifty persons ...Gifts were brought for the occasion from the Continental Board of Counsellors, the Rose Garden community of Greater Salisbury and by visitors from Zambia. Even from Urbana, Ohio, U.S.A., a gift was airmailed—a replica of the Greatest Name made especially for this Hazíratu'l-Quds ...The Bahá'ís of Templeton presented Mr. and Mrs. Robarts with a carving of the Zimbabwe bird and a large spoon and fork made from animal horns. Food was served to everyone from huge, three-legged iron kettles, standing over open fires. The friends sat under the trees eating together and singing music to lift the hearts on that beautiful day. (From a report received 15 April 1981)
Bermuda: INEXPRESSIBLE JOY THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION ERECTION YET ANOTHER PILLAR IN THE AMERICAS ...CONVENTION BLESSED ATTENDANCE HAND CAUSE AMATULBAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM COULSELLOR SARAH PEREIRA NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY REPRSENTATIVE GLENFORD MITCHELL ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Bermuda: Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum herself cabled: BLESSED ISLE BERMUDA PEARL ATLANTIC UPLIFTED NEW HEIGHTS ...WONDERFUL SPIRIT RECEPTION PRECEDING CONVENTION GRACIOUSLY ATTENDED PREMIERS WIFE ALSO LEADING SENATOR AND MINISTER HEALTH OTHER DISTINGUISHED GUESTS INCLUDING SIXTY-THREE OVERSEAS BAHAIS. PREMIER CORDIALLY RECEIVED ME. SPOKE ROTARY CLUB TELEVISION PRESS RADIO INTERVIEWS MYSELF AND OTHERS. BAHAI PROGRAMMES SATUARATED PUBLIC NEWS OUR HISTORIC ELECTION FIRST NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY. (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Bophuthatswana: Assembled at Mmabatho, the delegates to the first convention of Bophuthatswana cabled the Universal House of Justice: INSPIRED PRESENCE HAND CAUSE JOHN ROBARTS ...GRATEFUL GUIDANCE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE PARENT ASSEMBLY SOUTH AND WEST AFRICA AND REPRESENTATIVE OF COUSELLORS ...ASSEMBLY GOAL ALREADY ACHIEVED ...DETERMINATION SURPASS GOAL FULFIL CONFIDENCE BELOVED HOUSE. TOTAL ATTENDANCE ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Botswana: A ten-day visit to Botswana by the Hand of the Cause John Robarts and Mrs. Audrey Robarts brought special joy to the villagers of Francistown, Palapye and Mahalapye—small places which seldom receive visitors. From 8 to 18 April the Robarts visited the friends in Gaborone, the capital city, on three occasions, and were interviewed by Radio Botswana. An article about them appeared, unsolicited, in the Daily News and their visit was broadcast as a news item on the radio ...The National Spiritual Assembly stated that 'it is difficult to express how much this visit meant to our community ...Mr. Robarts is loved ...as the person who, with his wife and family, brought the wonderful Message of Bahá'u'lláh to the people of Botswana'. (From a report received 25 June 1981)
Italy: TWENTIETH ITALIAN CONVENTION HEARTS FULL OF JOY PRESENCE BELOVED HAND CAUSE GIACHERY ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Leeward Islands: From its seat in St. John's,
Antigua, the Leeward Islands Convention cabled:: ... PRAYERS GUIDANCE YOUR FAITH IN US HAVE MADE POSSIBLE THIS JOYOUS OCCASION INAUGURATION NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY LEEWARD ISLANDS. ALSO THANK YOU FURTHER PLEASURE DISTINCT HONOUR PRESENCE HAND CAUSE AMATULBAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM ...SIXTY-SEVEN BELIEVERS PRESENT FROM SIXTEEN ISLANDS. HAPPY ANNOUNCE DEDICATION BEAUTIFULLY DECORATED NEW HAZIRATULQUDS. YOUR MESSAGE CREATED ENTHUSIASM DETERMINATION FULFIL NEW GOALS.(From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
South and West Africa: HEARTS BURDENED CONTINUOUS PERSECUTION FRIENDS IRAN ... YET JOYOUS UPLIFTED ADVANCES EXPANSION HOLY CAUSE GOD. BLESSED PRESENCE BELOVED HAND WILLIAM SEARS. (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
South West Africa/Namibia: HEARTFELT GRATITUDE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HAND CAUSE WILLIAM SEARS ... ALSO PRESENT COUNSELLOR MASEHLA FOUR NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY REPRESENTATIVES FOUR AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS TEN DELEGATES SIXTY-SIX BELIEVERS TEN CHILDREN ...ALL GREATLY INSPIRED BY BELOVED HAND ELECTION FIRST NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY.(From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Tuvalu: From its seat in Funafuti, the new Tuvalu National Spiritual Assembly cabled hailing the MARKED VICTORY OF THE NINTH PILLAR OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE IN AUSTRALASIA ... CONVENTION UPLIFTED PRESENCE HAND OF CAUSE OF GOD COLLIS FEATHERSTONE ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
United States: TWO THOUSAND GATHERED AT SEVENTY-SECOND CONVENTION ... IN PRSENCE HANDS OF THE CAUSE SHUAULLAH ALAI AND DHIKRULLAH KHADEM ... STIRRED BY TRAGIC NEWS OF THE THREE MARTYRDOMS ON THE EVE OF OUR CONVENTIONS OPENING ... ATTRACTING THE LIGHT OF PUBLIC ATTENTION AND COMPASSION GUARANTEEING GROWTH AND SPEEDING THE EMERGENCE OF THE FAITH FROM OBSCURITY. (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Windward Islands: WITH JOYFUL HEARTS SINGING PAEAN PRAISE INAUGURAL CONVENTION BOUNTY OF PRESENCE HAND CAUSE VARQA ... MANY FRIENDS THREE ISLANDS ... DELIGHTED ANNOUNCE FORMATION FORTY-ONE LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES ALL ISLANDS ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1981)
Following the Convention there was a press interview with Dr. Varqá and Counsellor Ruth Pringle, and interviews with the acting Governor-General and the Prime Minister. Each of these high-ranking officials received the Bahá'ís warmly ...In each of the three interviews questions were raised about the persecution of the Bahá'ís in êrán. (From a report received 7 June 1981)
The Americas: After attending the inaugural Conventions of the Leeward Islands and of Bermuda, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum proceeded to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. These eventful stops are summarized in a cabled message she sent to the World Centre: ... THREE NIGHTS IN PUERTO RICO INCLUDED PUBLIC AND BAHAI MEETINGS AND A MEETING WITH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. A HAPPY OCCASION. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FIVE-DAY VISIT VERY SUCCESSFUL ... WEEKEND CONFERENCE ABOUT ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY ATTENDANTS MANY LOCALITIES. MEETING WITH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ALSO PRESS INTERVIEWS AND EXCELLENT PUBLIC MEETING. TEN DAY VISIT HAITI INCLUDED MEETINGS PORT-AU-PRINCE PETIONVILLE JACMEL LES CAYES AND LILAVOIS ALSO SMALL WEEKEND CONFERENCE NATIONAL CENTRE TWO TELEVISION AND TWO RADIO INTERVIEWS AND A VERY WELL ATTENDED PUBLIC MEETING. AT BAHAI SCHOOL (ANIZ ZUNUZI) MET MAYOR OF LILAVOIS CHIEF OF POLICE OF AREA AND OTHER OFFICIALS THEIR FIRST VISIT SCHOOL ENABLING US PRESENT FAITH AND OBJECTIVES SCHOOL ... FIFTEEN MINUTE INTERVIEW FOREIGN MINISTER ...WHO ALSO HOLDS PORTFOLIO RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS.
Of the Jamaican community she cables: ... DURING SIX-DAY VISIT RECEIVED BY GOVERNOR GENERAL FOR CORDIAL THIRTY-MINUTE INTERVIEW ... AND FIFTEEN MINUTE INTERVIEW WITH PRIME MINISTER TO WHOM PRESENTED CASE PERSIAN PERSECUTIONS VERY STRONGLY ... OVER TWO HUNDRED BAHAIS ATTENDED WEEKEND CONFERENCE AND ABOUT THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE EIGHTY PERCENT NON-
BAHAIS AT PUBLIC MEETING. TWENTY-MINUTE SPECIAL TELEVISION INTERVIEW ON FAITH PRESS CONFERENCE WITH RADIO AND TELEVISION REPORTERS PRESENT AND MEETING WITH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ALL CONTRIBUTED HAPPY ENDING SUCCESSFUL VISIT.
From her succession of stunning victories in the Caribbean, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum flew to Ottawa, Canada, for two talks before the Canadian Association for Bahá'í Studies, continuing the unique service she has been rendering to the believers of the western hemisphere during almost one year of sustained effort. (From reports, newsletters and cablegrams received through 4 June 1981)
Australasia and the Pacific: Leaving his home in February, the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, accompanied by his wife, began a seventy-two-day journey that took him to nine National Spiritual Assembly areas, scores of islands and to communities where he met many hundreds of individual believers. Some highlights of his visits were: meetings with the Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur, and with the believers at Petalangjaya, assisting them with proclamation planning; in the Marianas, visits to pioneers on Saipan and Rota, bringing ideas and encouragement; in the Carolines, the dedication of a new National Hazíratu'l-Quds on Ponape where his talk was recorded by a radio announcer to be repeated at intervals on Ponape radio broadcasts; meetings with believers, radio and press interviews in Majuro, in the Marshalls, and a courteous interview with President Amata Kabua who said, with great warmth, 'You have brought light into a dark room'; a busy programme in Kiribati during which Mr. Featherstone met with the National Spiritual Assembly, gave a radio interview and travelled by motorized outrigger canoe (a three-and-a-half-hour, twenty-five mile trip) to meet with believers of Tewai village on Tabiteueau South. The Kiribati sojourn ended with a three-day teaching conference in Tarawa and was followed by a ten-day visit to Fiji. Mr. and Mrs. Featherstone returned to their home on 9 May for a brief respite ... (From reports received through 1 June 1981)
Barbados: During the stay in Barbados of the Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá in May, when he attended the National Convention of that island country, he called on the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Brazane Babb. The cordial twenty-minute interview with Dr. Varqá included presentation by the Secretary of the National Assembly of a kit containing Bahá'í Writings and pamphlets to be passed on to the Minister of External Affairs. There was also a short visit to the Chief of Protocol who was very friendly and who had visited the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. (From a report received 1 June 1981)
World Centre: Count Paolo Marzotto, the president of Industria dei Marmi Vicetini, the firm in Chiampo, Italy, which cut and carved all the marble and granite for the Shrine of the Báb, the International Archives building and the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, generously decided to bring to the Holy Land the workers whose skill and artistry has gone into the nearly-completed building which is to serve as the permanent Seat of the Universal House of Justice. Count and Countess Marzotto, accompanied by forty-four guests, together with the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery and Mr. Sohrab Youssefian, both of whom have been intimately connected with this great structure, arrived at the World Centre. With the permission of the Universal House of Justice, some eighty Bahá'ís from Italy joined the special flight and came with the group to the World Centre for a three-day visit, bringing with them, as guests of the National Spiritual Assembly, five very prominent Italian journalists. The visit proved to be a profoundly moving and highly significant occasion.
Early on Friday morning, the party from Industria dei Marmi Vicetini and the journalists, accompanied by Mr. and Mts. Husayn Amánat, Mr. and Mrs. Youssefian and Mr. Giovanni Ballerio, were taken to visit the old city of 'Akká and the Cell of Bahá'u'lláh. They then proceeded to Bahjí where they were welcomed by Dr. Ugo Giachery and those members of the Universal House of Justice who served on the Building Committee, as well as members of the World Centre staff who had worked on the Seat,
and their wives. After a cooling refreshment, all visited the Most Holy Shrine where Dr. Giachery recited the Tablet of Visitation in Italian ...a moving address of welcome was given by the Hand of the Cause Dr. Giachery on behalf of the Universal House of Justice and a very touching and extremely cordial response was delivered by Count Marzotto.
Returning to Haifa, all went immediately to the Seat of the Universal House of Justice and were conducted through it by the architect, Mr. Amánat, and the resident engineer, Mr. 'Azíz Khabípúr.
That evening the Pilgrim House in Haifa was a joyous gathering place for the pilgrims, the Italian three-day visitors, the group from Chiampo and the journalists.
Count Marzotto and his guests left the following morning to visit the Christian Holy Places in Israel, but the Italian journalists remained for two more days to visit other Bahá'í Holy Places and to conduct interviews about the Faith. It was surely providential that they had thus been fully informed about the Cause and had had dispelled many misconceptions when, while they were still present, the tragic news reached the World Centre of the martyrdom of seven members of the Spiritual Assembly of Hamadán. This news affected them deeply, and they left for Rome determined to do all they could to ensure that the public would learn the truth of the tragic events. (From a report dated June 1981)
Sweden: Sweden's first Summer School held in July brought friends from eight other countries and received considerable press and radio publicity. The Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery and Counsellor Hartmut Grossmann brought joy and inspiration to the one hundred and seventy friends who had been deeply grieved by the news of martyrdoms in êrán. (From a report received 11 August 1981)
United Kingdom: JOYOUS GREETINGS NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE UNITED KINGDOM DEDICATED MEMORY FIVE BELOVED HANDS OF CAUSE RECENTLY PASSED ABHA KINGDOM. INESTIMABLE BOUNTY PRESENCE HAND OF CAUSE RUHIYYIH KHANUM COUNSELLOR TAHERZADEH FOUR AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS THREE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS ALMOST NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PARTICIPANTS REPRESENTING OVER TWENTY NATIONALITIES ...PILGRIMAGE GUARDIANS GRAVE BESEECH CONFIRMATION TEACHING PROJECT VIRGIN AREAS UNITED KINGDOM AFTER CONFERENCE AND RELIEF IRANIAN BELIEVERS. ENTIRE CONFERENCE AROSE PLEDGE DAILY LIFE SERVICE BAHAULLAH ... (From a cablegram received 22 July 1981)
United States: In Kansas City, Missouri, from 2 to 5 July three thousand five hundred youth of the North American continent signed a commemorative scroll pledging unity and sacrifice and dispatching it to the Universal House of Justice on the seventy-sixth anniversary of a similar pledge made to 'Abdu'l-Bahá by American believers. The first Continental Youth Conference, honoured by the attendance of the Hands of the Cause of God Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and Dhikru'lláh Khádem brought young believers from twenty countries to the huge gathering. They adopted a national youth plan ...and launched eight summer teaching projects. (From a report received 8 July 1981)
Alaska: A total of fifty-nine different activities were reported by thirteen Alaskan communities in response to the inspiring plan launched by the Hand of the Cause William Sears last year before leaving North America to reside in Africa. Called 'Operation Befriend', the disarmingly simple but effective application of the Teachings consists of Bahá'í communities discovering ways to serve their larger community. Notable service activities of Alaskan communities: an international music festival with proceeds given to a local charity; a Human Rights essay contest; a cultural arts fair; Bahá'í music in community chorus programmes; murals for a children's ward of a hospital; a dance group which performs for schools. One community helped immigrants to attain official status, assisting with government procedures. In one community Bahá'í children wrote, planned and performed a mini-circus for a geriatric ward in a hospital. Some communities assisted with civic clean-up days, made donations of food, goods or services to non-Bahá'í functions, participated in local parades and celebrations,
or helped in libraries, health and other service organizations. (From a report received August 1981)
Australia: In Wollongong, New South Wales, two hundred and twenty-five believers gathered in the last weekend of August with the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone for an Institute opened by the Lord Mayor of the Australian town. Participation by three Auxiliary Board members and showing of the new film 'The Pilgrimage' brought deepened understanding and an intense spiritual atmosphere to deliberations on the Seven Year Plan.
British Isles: The month of August added to the amazing tally of locations visited during the fourteen-month travel schedule of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum the cities of Iverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, and the Shetland, Orkney and Hebrides Islands groups.
On 14 August at Iverness an interview was held with the Hand of the Cause by the British Broadcasting Corporation. In it she spoke of the persecutions in êrán. On the same day she was received by the Lord Provost (Mayor) of the city of Iverness, and that night she attended a conference of the Bahá'ís for the highland area of Scotland. Twenty-five attended from Aberdeen and other centres.
August 15 and 16 found her in the Shetland Islands city of Lerwick where she met with the Bahá'ís on several occasions and made a courtesy call on the County Convener, the head of the entire administration of the Shetland Islands ...On 18 August B.B.C. radio conducted an excellent interview with Amatu'l-Bahá after which she lunched with the Bahá'ís and carried out a day-long meeting.
Stornoway, in the Western Isles of the Outer Hebrides, was the next stop where a dinner with the Bahá'ís was followed by a large public meeting at which Rúhíyyih Khánum spoke.
She then flew to Glasgow where a small chartered plane flew her to the Island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. She was accompanied by the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom. In Mull she met with members of the Local Spiritual Assembly, had a lunch with them followed by a meeting with more than forty Bahá'ís from nearby centres, leaving the same evening for Edinburgh where she spent a busy four days. Three hundred Bahá'ís from Scotland and the north of England attended the conference for the Bahá'ís of lowland Scotland which she addressed. She was received by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and during her half-hour interview with him was able not only to answer his questions regarding the Faith but inform him in detail of the bitter persecutions of the Persian believers now taking place. On 30 August, just prior to her departure from the British Isles, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum lunched with the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom.
Australia: Dedicating August and September to the Bahá'ís of Australia, the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone gave generously of his time and energies to participate in public meetings, seminars, deepening sessions, firesides, youth meetings, a Summer School, a special service for the twentieth anniversary of the dedication of the Temple and numerous visits of assistance to and consultation with individual believers, Assemblies, Board members and the National Spiritual Assembly. Mrs. Featherstone also participated actively, addressing deepening sessions on the subject of the Guardian and speaking to a women's group in Renmark which included among the thirteen non-Bahá'í women the lady Mayor of that city. In all, the Featherstones travelled to eighteen Australian cities during August and September. (From a report received September 1981).
Cyprus: September brought Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and her companion, Mrs. Violette Nakhjavání closer to the Holy Land. The final two weeks of Amatu'l-Bahá's journey were spent in Cyprus in both the Greek and Turkish areas. The Greek-language newspaper, Simerini, sent a reporter to the airport for the arrival of the Hand of the Cause on 1 September, having already printed news of her coming in the previous Sunday's paper. A prominent English-language newspaper, the Cyprus Weekly, interviewed her on 3 September and a long and sympathetic article head-
Caption of Top Picture: The Hands of the Cause (left to right) Enoch Olinga, Abu'l-Qásim Faizí and Dr. Adelbert Mühlschlegel, Teaching Conference, Pišn, Germany; 1972.
Caption of Bottom Picture: The Hand of the Cause Dhikru'lláh Khádem (far left) with members of the Spanish and Asian Regional Teaching Committees, National Bahá'í Centre, Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A.; August 1982.
lined 'Genocide against the Bahá'ís of êrán, was published.
Cyprus Bahá'ís reported, 'The presence of the Hand of the Cause seemed to give great courage to the friends who issued at least two hundred invitations to the special gathering on 5 September at the National Hazíratu'l-Quds in Nicosia ...A most moving commemoration took place with nearly fifty people present when, with prayers, stories, readings, to a background of music and slides, we remembered our fellow Bahá'ís who have laid down their lives for the Faith ...' Many sympathetic friends attended their first Bahá'í function that day.
Cypriot Bahá'ís on the Turkish side of the island came to an all-day conference and were privileged to lunch with their distinguished visitor. Later she was shown the land for their Hazíratu'l-Quds. Returning to Limassol, on the Greek side, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum met with the believers there on 9 September.
On the evening of Tuesday, 15 September 1981, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum returned to the Holy Land, having devoted one year, two months and twenty-one days to travels on behalf of the Cause, accompanied by her valued companion. She had visited at least twenty-six countries, meeting government officials and dignitaries on every level from municipal to national, including several heads of state; giving interviews to the press, radio and television; and visiting with Bahá'ís of these same countries in city and hamlet, village or town, encouraging, instructing and stimulating them to make their best efforts on behalf of the Cause, and bringing the special spiritual ambience of the Holy Land and Holy Family. (From reports received through 15 September 1981)
Portugal: The national Summer School in Lisbon on 23 September brought one hundred Bahá'ís together in the presence of the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery, who inspired, instructed and encouraged them in 'greater service ...to the remaining goals of the Seven Year Plan ...and the quality of Bahá'í life'. (From a report received September 1981)
United Kingdom: A conference in London with ninety participants on 29 September brought together the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery, nine Counsellors of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Europe, members of eighteen National Spiritual Assemblies, and of the Continental Pioneer Committee of Europe, and representatives of the Bahá'í International Community staff. They observed in a cabled message to the Universal House of Justice that the IRREVERSIBLE PROCESS OF EMERGENCE OBSCURITY CALLS FOR NEW UNDERSTANDING UNDERLYING SPIRITUAL NATURE TEACHINGS to reinforce all individual and collective efforts in proclamation, expansion and consolidation. They spoke of the need to achieve RADICAL CHANGES IN ATTITUDES AND APPROACHES to meet new needs and rapidly changing conditions in Europe. (From a cablegram received 29 September 1981)
United States: Two Hands of the Cause of God, Dhikru'lláh Khádem and John Robarts, spoke to a busload of French Canadian visitors from Quebec who toured the Mother Temple of the West in Wilmette, Illinois, which was designed by a French Canadian architect, Louis Bourgeois. Their visit was the first such organized trip by French Canadians and was marked by special readings at the Temple, a film of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and a slide presentation on the history of the Temple. (From a report received September 1981)
Australia: From all parts of Australia more than three hundred Bahá'ís came to a conference of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Australasia held in collaboration with the National Spiritual Assembly in Adelaide from 10 to 12 October 1981. Among those attending were the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, who was making a return visit to the city in which he had been enrolled as a Bahá'í many years ago, Counsellor Peter Khan, three members of the Auxiliary Board and four members of the National Assembly...Analysis of the present state of the Seven Year Plan brought the happy news of several new Assemblies and an increased rate of enrollment...The entire conference was video-taped—a first for an Australian Bahá'í conference—for use in later deepening clas-
ses. (From a report received 20 November 1981)
Zambia: Careful advance planning, allocation of areas, and preparation of teaching aids preceded the Zambian teaching programme spanning the period 20 October to 12 November. Aimed at creating fifty new Local Assemblies, the programme was undertaken in the name of the Hand of the Cause Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir ...The first word received was that the campaign ended with at least ten new Local Assemblies, thirty new localities and two hundred new Bahá'ís. (From a report received December 1981)
Australasia: From mid-November through December the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, accompanied by Mrs. Featherstone, travelled to Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Indonesia, returning home to Australia on 29 December. In May 1982 the Hand of the Cause will attend the International Conference in Manila, will travel to various countries of Asia and Europe, and will arrive in the Republic of Ireland in June to represent the Universal House of Justice at the Dublin International Conference. (From reports received through 26 January 1982)
World Centre: The months of August and September will witness the last three International Conferences called by the Universal House of Justice for 1982 ...The 6-8 August gathering in Quito, Ecuador, will be held in the sports pavilion of Colegio Benalcazar in the heart of Quito where more than a thousand Bahá'ís will greet the Hand of the Cause Paul E. Haney who will come to them from Haifa as the representative of the Universal House of Justice to the Conference ... The Hand of the Cause William Sears will be the emissary of the Universal House of Justice to the Lagos Conference ... The Montreal Conference on 3-5 September will be the last of the series, and its close will mark the mid-point of the Seven Year Plan ...it will take the Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, in her capacity as representative of the Universal House of Justice to the Conference, back to her ancestral home. The house which belonged to her distinguished parents, and which was visited by the Master, is now maintained as a Shrine by the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada ... (From a report dated January 1982)
Benin: A Regional Centre named after the Hand of the Cause Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir was dedicated on 24 January 1982 in Aborney, provincial capital of the Zou, and the historic royal capital of the Fon people ...'Centre Muhájir' stands in the heart of Aborney on the main artery through town, directly across from the entrance to the Museum and the historic royal palace of the Fon kings. The titular head of the royal families of the Fon people, Agoliagbo II, came to the dedication and spoke of his interest in and support of the Bahá'í teachings. National Assembly members presented Bahá'í books to the King and thanked him for coming. Counsellor Thelma Khelghati welcomed the audience and explained the relationship of the Bahá'í teachings to traditional beliefs ...two hundred and fifty Bahá'ís and invited guests were present at the dedication (From a report received 11 March 1982)
United States: A Cry from the Heart, a new book by the Hand of the Cause of God William Sears, will be available at the Bahá'í National Convention ...Mr. Sears, deeply moved by the savage onslaught on the heroic Bahá'í community in êrán, has written a dramatic account of the current persecutions. In doing so he has drawn on his own travels in êrán where he came to know and love the Persian Bahá'ís. He also makes use of detailed information available at the World Centre where he wrote the first draft of the book ... (From a report received January 1982)
Canada: PROFOUNDLY MOVED EMOTIONAL APPEAL HAND OF CAUSE WILLIAM SEARS TO EXPLOIT TEACHING POSSIBILITIES A CRY FROM THE HEART ...DELEGATES INCLUDING TEN INDIANS ONE INUIT FIVE FRENCH CANADIANS TWENTY-FIVE
PERSONS OTHER MINORITIES ...IMPRESSED RESPONSE MEDIA SUPPORT GOVERNMENT BAHAI APPEAL JUSTICE IRANIAN CRISIS ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1982)
Canada: On the weekend of 10-11 April, forty-five individuals met in Ottawa, invited by the Executive committee of the Association for Bahá'í Studies to inaugurate the work of the Bahá'í International Health Agency. The creation of such an agency had been approved by the Universal House of Justice and endorsed by the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada. The policy conference was honoured to have the Hand of the Cause John Robarts in attendance and enriching the consultation ... (From a report received 13 June 1982)
France: IN PRESENCE HANDS OF THE CAUSE GIACHERY KHADEM ...ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO PARTICIPANTS ...CONVENTION CONSIDERED GALVANIZING MESSAGES ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1982)
Hawaiian Islands: ASSEMBLED DELEGATES BOARD MEMBERS GUESTS STIRRED BY PRESENTATION A CRY FROM THE HEART. ALL PRESENT BROUGHT TO TEARS OVERPOWERING EMOTIONAL RESPONSE SUPREME SACRIFICES OFFERED BY OUR BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS CRADLE FAITH. HAND SEARS IMAGERY OF IMPOSSIBILITY DESTRUCTION ORANGE TREE BLESSED BAB SYMBOLIZED OUR UNSHAKEABLE CONFIDENCE FUTILITY ENEMIES ANNIHILATE FAITH OF GOD ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1982)
Malaysia: INSPIRED PRSENCE BELOVED HAND COLLIS FEATHERSTONE ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1982)
Singapore: HAND CAUSE FEATHERSTONES MESSAGE ON URGENCY OF TEACHING TIMELY AND STIMULATING. DEEPLY MOVED ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1982)
United States: HIGH SPIRIT GENERATED BY RELEASE HOUSE OF JUSTICE RIDVAN MESSAGE APPEARANCE HAND CAUSE SEARS ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1982)
Australia: A cable from the Australian National Spiritual Assembly expresses delight about a MEMORABLE HAPPY BUSY WEEKEND JUST PASSED as it reports on 31 May two nation-wide television programmes on the Faith. ...THE SIXTY-MINUTES SHOW ...EXTREMELY WELL DONE FIFTEEN MINUTES OF BEAUTIFUL PICTURES OF THE [BAHAI HOLY PLACES] AND THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP IN SYDNEY. THE SHOW FEATURED THE HAND OF THE CAUSE AMATULBAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM WHO WAS AS USUAL BRILLIANT. Another programme of fifteen-minute length on ABC-TV called 'Nation-wide' dealt with the Faith, with emphasis on Iranian Bahá'ís in what was described as a well-balanced and sympathetic presentation. (From a cablegram received 31 May 1982)
Republic of Ireland: The participation in the Dublin Conference of the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone came at the mid-point of a four-month journey in which he left Australia on 27 April with his wife, Mrs. Madge Featherstone, to visit seventeen countries and return to Australia in time for the opening on 2 September of the International Conference in Canberra. Among the countries visited were Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines (in time for the National Convention), Thailand, Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland ... (From reports received through 29 June 1982)
India: Glory, the youth magazine of India, is celebrating its tenth year of publication. Its anniversary edition, vol.. X, no. 6, is a compendium called 'The Best of Glory'. The opening page acknowledges a debt to the late Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizí who helped to bring the youth publication into existence and fanned the flickering flame of its life through some difficult years ... (From a report received June 1982)
Finland: The Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, Counsellor Hartmut Grossmann, members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Finland, Auxiliary Board members, their assistants, and friends from seven countries assembled at the Finnish Summer School in Savonlinna from 23 to 31 July. The first day was devoted to the Dublin Conference. The message of the Universal House of Justice to that Conference was read by Mr. Featherstone and discussed by the friends ... (From a report received 9 August 1982)
Norway: The Hand of the Cause Dr. Ugo Giachery was among the one hundred and thirty persons who attended the Summer School of Norway from 17 to 24 July ...Dr. Giachery's stirring account of the life of the Greatest Holy Leaf was part of a full day dedicated to her memory, which constituted the Norwegian Bahá'í community's fiftieth anniversary commemoration of her passing. Participants represented fourteen countries and Norway's principal minority group, the Laplanders (or Same) people ... (From a report received July 1982)
Canada: CONTINENTAL INDIGENOUS COUNCIL BLOOD RESERVE ALBERTA SEND WARMEST LOVING GREETINGS FROM FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX ATTENDEES. REPRESENTATIVES SIXTY TRIBES TEN COUNTRIES. GRATEFUL ATTENDANCE HAND CAUSE RUHIYYIH KHANUM COUNSELLORS ROMAN KING PAVON. SPIRIT IS BUILDING TO PROCLAIM TEACH FAITH TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.(Cablegram received 14 August 1982)
Canada: The seventh annual meeting of the Association for Bahá'í Studies brought seven hundred members and guests to Ottawa on 30 August for a four-day gathering which preceded the great International Conference in Montreal ...In connection with the Association meeting, the Governor-General of Canada, Edward Schreyer, greeted Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum at the University of Ottawa campus on 2 September ... (From a report received September 1982)
Costa Rica: A satellite conference held on 14 August in Costa Rica was graced by the presence of the Hand of the Cause Paul E.. Haney and Counsellor Donald Witzel ... It was stated that two hundred Bahá'ís attended the conference from all parts of Costa Rica, including approximately forty Guaymi believers from Talamanca and Terraba ... (From a report received September 1982)
Haiti: The Aníz Zunúzí School, which has arisen in Haiti during 1979-1981, first opened its doors in the academic year 1980 with a few classes, and will have its official inauguration on 20 October 1982. As a focus of prestige and recognition for the Faith in Haiti, it has already begun to assume importance. The public relations efforts of the Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, and of Mme. Lea Nys of Belgium, brought about newspaper articles and a television report from the school site ...In October, with official recognition as a public utility under the direction of the National Spiritual Assembly of Haiti, and with additional grade levels and the first stages of a programme leading to a technical school, the Aníz Zunúzí School will enter a new phase, with unlimited possibilities for future growth and advances in a country where illiteracy is a grave social problem. (From a report received August 1982)
Samoa: Following his attendance at the International Conference in Canberra where he represented the Universal House of Justice, Dr. Ugo Giachery made a brief but memorable visit to Samoa where, on 13 September 1982, he was received by His Highness Malietoa Tunamafili II at a morning reception lasting two hours ...During Dr. Giachery's stay in Apia the National Spiritual Assembly of Samoa held a traditional 'sua', including the traditional kava ceremony and the presentation of a fine mat and food. Many believers came from Upolu and Savai'i to be with the Hand of the Cause and hear him speak. Dr. Giachery also visited American Samoa for one night, meeting with the friends at Fagaitua, and participating in a half-hour television interview which was broadcast the following Sunday. He also took the opportunity to tour the site of the Samoan House of Worship ... (From a report received 19 October 1982)
South Africa: HISTORICAL FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SOUTH AFRICA HELD HOLIDAY INN JOHANNESBURG INSPIRED BY HAND CAUSE WILLIAM SEARS COUNSELLORS MASEHLA AND WINCKLER NINE BOARD MEMBERS. ATTENDANCE INCLUDED ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY PIONEERS FROM SOUTH AFRICA LESOTHO SWAZILAND BOPHUTHATSWANA UNITED STATES BOTSWANA ZIMBABWE CISKEI VENDA LEBOWA KWAZULU PLUS ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN INDIGENOUS AFRICAN COLOURED MALAY INDIAN WHITE BELIEVERS SAME COUNTRIES PLUS MALAWI ... (From a cablegram received 21 September 1982)
Bophuthatswana: JOYFUL ANNOUNCE SUCCESS HISTORIC INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE BOPHUTHATSWANA DEDICATED GREATEST HOLY LEAF.. GIANT STEP EMERGENCE FAITH FROM OBSCURITY SOUTHERN AFRICA. REPRSENTATIVE HAND CAUSE WILLIAM SEARS COUNSELLOR WILLIAM MASEHLA FIVE AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS FOURTEEN COUNTRIES OVER ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY ADULTS SEVENTY CHILDREN INCREASED AWARENESS COMMON GOALS ESPECIALLY BORDER TEACHING ... (From a cablegram received 30 September 1982)
Brazil: In preparation for the large-scale teaching efforts to be launched in the west-central region of the country, the National Spiritual Assembly sponsored a regional teaching conference in Campo Grande on 4 September dedicated to the memory of the Hand of the Cause Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir who set an immortal example in mass teaching efforts ... (From a report received 13 October 1982)
United States: The recent travels of the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone have taken him to a number of centres in the United States. In New York, Mr. Featherstone visited the offices of the Bahá'í International Community and later addressed a meeting attended by two hundred believers at the New York Bahá'í Centre. In Chicago Mr. Featherstone met with the National Spiritual Assembly, gave a talk to members of the National Centre staff, and on a later occasion spoke to a gathering of Bahá'ís in Foundation Hall at the Mother Temple of the West.
In St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Featherstone addressed the believers and held a public meeting. Similar meetings for the friends and the public were held in San Francisco and Los Angeles, approximately twelve hundred people attending the latter gathering. Mr. Featherstone's arrival in Canberra, Australia, coincided with the opening of the International Conference in which he participated. (From a report received December 1982)
Bermuda: A Cry from the Heart--the stirring book by the Hand of the Cause William Sears that deals with the persecution of the Bahá'ís in êrán—is now available for sale at the three major commercial bookshops in Bermuda, the National Spiritual Assembly has reported ...a copy is being donated to the public library. An article describing the book is in process of preparation and is expected to appear in one of the island's three newspapers ... (From a report received October 1982)
Canada: The journey undertaken by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum on 11 August covered twenty thousand miles and took her to forty-five locations. She visited centres in all Canadian provinces, included the Magdalen Islands, Quebec and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and toured the Yukon Territory and Labrador. In addition, she visited Greenland and Iceland. Throughout her travels she met many Indians and Eskimos whose spiritual receptivity deeply impressed her. 'Her deep love for the native people of North America was reflected in visits to many Indian reserves including: Blood Reserve, Alberta (where a major Native Council took place); Carcross Band Reserve, Yukon; Fountain Band and Thunder Bird Band Reserves in British Columbia; Peigan Reserve, Alberta; Dreamers Rock Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario; Lennox Island Reserve, Prince Edward Island; and Eskasoni Reserve, Nova Scotia. Believers in some of Canada's geographically remote communities, which all too seldom receive travel teachers, will be forever grateful for her loving consideration when she visited: St. John's and Grand Falls, Newfoundland; Happy Valley, Labrador; and Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island. Even Canada's overseas northern goals were included with especially significant visits to Nuuk, Greenland and Reykjavik, Iceland,' Counsellor Gardner wrote.
A warm personal reception was accorded Amatu'l-Bahá not only by her Bahá'í hosts but by many high officials including the President of Iceland, the Eskimo Premier and Danish Governor of Greenland, the Lieutenant öGovernor of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Premier and Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, the Commissioner of the Yukon Territory and the Regional Director of Baffin Island. Local Bahá'ís enthusiastically arranged excellent meetings and publicity for their distinguished guest ...
Following her tour of Canada, Greenland and Iceland, Amatu'l-Bahá's itinerary took her to Haiti where she participated in the inauguration of the Aníz Zunúzí School. (From reports received through 28 October 1982)
Haiti: THANKFULLY ANNOUNCE SINGULAR SUCCESS INAUGURATION ANIS ZUNUZI SCHOOL INSPIRING DAY PRESENCE HAND CAUSE AMATUL-BAHA REPRSENTATIVE OF MONSIEUR MADAME PRESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE DEPARTMENT EDUCATION AMBASSADOR CANADA MAYOR DEPUTIES CROIS DESBOUQUETS THREE COUNSELLORS FIVE HUNDRED PARTICIPANTS LOCAL BAND RADIO TELEVISION ... (From a cablegram received 22 October 1982)
Kenya: Mr. William Sears has concluded a five-week journey that took him to each of Africa's five satellite conferences. The following cablegram was received from Nairobi: FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE BAHAIS INCLUDING FOUR COUNSELLORS SEVENTEEN BOARD MEMBERS NINETY CHILDREN FOM TWELVE COUNTRIES HONOURED PRSESENCE DISTINGUISHED REPRESENTATIVE HAND CAUSE WILLIAM SEARS. CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY PROMINENT KENYAN EFFIE OWUOR RECENTLY ELEVATED FIRST WOMAN HIGH COURT JUDGE ...CONFERENCE DEEPLY INSPIRED SACRIFICIAL SPIRIT GREATEST HOLY LEAF YOUR ENCOURAGING MESSAGES HIGHLY MOVING TALKS HAND CAUSE AND EXCELLENT PRSENTATION OTHER SPEAKERS ...HEARTS WARMED PRESENCE THIRTEEN EGYPTIANS TWENTY-SIX TANZANIANS THIRTEN UGANDANS ... (From a cablegram received 21 October 1982)
Transkei: WORDS FAIL EXPRESS HIGH SPIRIT OF LOVE SERVICE GENERATED BY MESSAGES UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE NEWS LAGOS CONFERENCE EXALTED EXAMPLE GREATEST HOLY LEAF PRESENTED HAND CAUSE WILLIAM SEARS COUNSELLOR BAHIYYIH WINCKLER TO INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CONFERENCE TRANSKEI ...HONOURABLE MINISTER OF WELFARE SPORT CULTURAL AFFAIRS WHO SPOKE MOVING WORDS ABOUT THE FAITH ...[AND WAS] ATTRACTED BY SPIRIT OF CONFERENCE DEMONSTRATING UNITY OF RACE ... (From a cablegram received 5 October 1982)
World Centre: WITH STRICKEN HEARTS ANNOUNCE SUDDEN IRREPARABLE LOSS THROUGH AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT 3 DECEMBER HIGHLY DISTINGUISHED GREATLY PRIZED HAND CAUSE GOD STAUNCH DEFENDER COVENANT PAUL HANEY.. THIS DISTINGUISHED SERVANT BAHAULLAH WAS BLESSED CHILDHOOD THROUGH ATTAINMENT PRESENCE ABDULBAHA. HIS NATURAL GENTLENESS GENUINE HUMILITY UNAFFECTED UNBOUNDED LOVE HIS UPRIGHTNESS INTEGRITY HIS SINGLE-MINDED DEVOTION CAUSE SINCE YOUTHFUL YEARS HIS UNFAILING RELIABILITY METICULOUS ATTENTION DETAIL CHARACTERIZED HIS HISTORIC SERVICES BOTH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS. SPANNING MORE THAN HALF CENTURY HIS TIRELESS LABOURS INCLUDED LONG TIME MEMBERSHIP AMERICAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. SINCE 1954 HE CONSECRATED HIS ENERGIES AS MEMBER UNIQUE COMPANY CHIEF STEWARDS FAITH AND LATER AS MEMBER BODY HANDS CAUSE RESIDING HOLY LAND AT ONE OF MOST CRITICAL PERIODS BAHAI HISTORY. LAST DECADE HIS EARTHLY LIFE WAS FULLY DEDICATED DEVELOPMENT NEWLY FORMED INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTRE. GENERATIONS YET UNBORN WILL GLORY IN HIS IMPERISHABLE ACHIEVEMENTS AND BE INSPIRED BY HIS UNIQUE FORTITUDE. ARDENTLY SUPPLICATING HOLY THRESHOLD PROGRESS HIS NOBLE SOUL ABHA KINGDOM. ADVISE HOLD THROUGHOUT BAHAI WORLD INCLUDING ALL MASHRIQULADHKARS MEMORIAL GATHERINGS BEFITTING HIS HIGH RANK AND HIS MERITORIOUS SERVICES. (Cablegram from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies 5 December 1982)
World Centre: The Hand of the Cause Paul E. Haney,who served in the Holy Land since 1957, was laid to rest in the Bahá'í Cemetery at the foot of Mount Carmel on Sunday, 5 December 1982. The service was attended by his widow, supported by the friends serving at the World Centre, and pilgrims. Also in attendance were a number of Israeli guests whose friendship and admiration Mr. Haney had won during his long residence in the Holy Land. All assembled at the present Seat of the Universal House of Justice at 10 Haparsim Street, Haifa, where the service was conducted. A moving selection of readings and prayers was read in an atmosphere of sorrow lightened by the friends' recollection of Mr. Haney's unfailing cheerfulness, unflagging zeal and unswerving integrity in service to the
Faith. Mr. Haney was appointed by Shoghi Effendi a Hand of the Cause on 19 March 1954. The motor accident which claimed his life on 3 December terminated a record of service which stretches back to his earliest years in his native America ... (From a report dated December 1982)
World Centre: The Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Akbar Furútan returned to the Holy Land on 30 December after a tour of Canada and the United States focusing on communities in Ontario, Canada; and Boston, Alexandria and Southern California in the United States. During the four-month trip, Mr. Furútan gave eighty-two talks to diversified and to solely-Persian audiences. In a meeting with the friends who serve in the Holy Land which was held in the magnificent new Seat of the Universal House of Justice, he commented that he was astonished and touched by the love which he observed, during his tour, between the Persian and Western friends. Many mornings he would be visited by the families of the martyrs. Mr. Furútan admitted that often the stories they told would be so moving that he would have to tell them he could bear no more, but when he attempted to console them, he found that their response was only humble pride at the courage and steadfastness of their relatives who had suffered martyrdom. He was accompanied and assisted on his journey by his daughter, Mrs. êrán Muhájir. (From a report dated 15 January 1982 [sic])
Bangladesh: A week-long teaching programme in the name of the much-loved Hand of the Cause Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir was held in Rajshahi town. In one week thirty-five hundred persons, many of them dignitaries, professors, doctors and students, heard about the Faith and received literature. A book exhibit was mounted at the district Hazíratu'l-Quds of Rajshahi, containing publications in Bengali, English and other languages, and accompanied by posters illustrating Bahá'í principles ...about one thousand persons visited, twenty of whom embraced the Faith. A slide show on the Faith was well attended each evening. News of the exhibit was carried on notice boards in five locations about town and the newspapers carried articles for three days ... (From a report received 15 December 1982)
Canada: Bahá'í publications are being retailed in Canada by thirty-five bookstores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec because of action by communities to promote the new books on persecutions of the Bahá'ís in êrán. English-language bookshops are carrying êrán's Secret Pogrom by Dr. Geoffrey Nash and A Cry from the Heart by the Hand of the Cause William Sears, while French-language bookstores are displaying Les Bahá'ís ou victoire sur la violence by Christine Hakím-Samandarí. One chain carries a complete range of Bahá'í titles ... (From a report received December 1982)
Costa Rica: The national teaching plan of Costa Rica was launched at a Summer School in December, in the name of the late Hand of the Cause of God Paul E. Haney. The two hundred and fifty persons who attended the school, including indigenous believers from Talamanca, were inspired by the presence of three Counsellors of the Continental Board—Mrs. Lauretta King, Mrs. Ruth Pringle and Mr. Raúl Pav—n.
Haiti: In consultation with the National Spiritual Assembly, the Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum worked out a detailed schedule for her five weeks in Haiti during which she and her companion, Mrs. Violette Nakhjavání travelled the length and breadth of the country and visited twenty-five Bahá'í communities. 'In Amatu'l-Bahá's estimation,' her companion reported, 'the outstanding event was the opening of the island of êle-a-Vache, one of the goals of the Seven Year Plan of the Universal House of Justice, where twenty-eight people accepted the Faith, including the Magistrate of this charming tropical island of over 7,000 inhabitants. Rúhíyyih Khánum, accompanied by eight other Bahá'ís, hired a boat in the town of Les Cayes and crossed the turbulent sea, over an hour's trip; the weekly market had brought many buyers and sellers, not only from this little island but also from the mainland. Moving in the crowded market amongst the friendly and cheerful people, she attracted a number of people, and when the Magistrate
suggested that we sit under a grove of coconut palms by the sea for our picnic lunch, she invited him to join us. Afterwards she asked the Auxiliary Board member, Mr. RenŽ Jean Baptiste, to give in Creole an introductory talk on the Faith; questions were asked, literature distributed, and our hearts were moved when the Magistrate and twenty-seven other people accepted the Cause. We have since heard that in follow-up visits by other Bahá'ís these new believers have proved their sincere devotion to the Cause of God.'
The few days spent in Toronto, Canada, prior to her return to the Holy Land coincided with the memorable meeting held there for the Hand of the Cause Paul E. Haney. Two Hands of the Cause, John Robarts, who acted as chairman for the occasion, and Dr. 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá, were present on the podium with Amatu'l-Bahá; her moving tribute in memory of her distinguished co-worker and 'life-long friend' deeply touched the audience of over five hundred Bahá'ís who were present.
In a period of five and a half months Amatu'l-Bahá has covered over thirty thousand miles and visited over eighty-five centres ... (From reports received through December 1982)
Alaska: HAPPY ANNOUNCE THIRD YOUTH CONFERENCE HELD LAKE ALASKA ...DEDICATED IRANIAN YOUTH. LAST EVENING RESERVED TRIBUTE ALL HANDS CAUSE OF GOD. SPECIAL MEMORIAL SERVICE PAUL HANEY. HIGH SPIRIT UNITY ACHIEVED ... (From a cablegram received 10 January 1983)
Australasia: Between 1 December and 31 January, the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, accompanied by Mrs. Featherstone, visited the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as two locations in Australia. Mr. Featherstone's activities in the Philippines included a meeting with the Dean of the University of Philippines College to whom he presented a proclamation book which was warmly received.
In Japan Mr. Featherstone met with Bahá'ís at the Osaka Centre then flew to Kangoshima and taxied to Ibusuki, sister city to Rockhampton, Australia, Mr. Featherstone's home town. On 13 December, Mr. and Mrs. Featherstone met the Mayor and presented colour photos of the Japanese Garden in Rockhampton. (On a later occasion the proclamation book and pamphlet were presented to the Mayor.) They went next to the site of the Australian garden, to be planted later in the year with 2,000 Australian gum trees and other shrubs. In Tokyo the Featherstones met with the National Spiritual Assembly in the New National Hazíratu'l-Quds.
In Korea Mr. Featherstone met with the youth of Seoul and was received by the Vice Mayor of Anyung City. He spoke at a public meeting there and also at the Bahá'í Winter School at Kadrion Mountain in the Dong Hang Temple area.
Mr. Featherstone addressed the English-speaking division of Rotary Club at the Hilton Hotel in Taipei, met the Mayor of Fengyuen, and spoke to the friends at the Bahá'í Winter School. Many prominent officials were contacted by the Hand of the Cause while he was in Taiwan, among them the Governor who knew of the Faith and was most cordial, and who accepted a copy of The Bahá'í World, vol. XVII, and the proclamation pamphlet..
The friends gathered at the airport in Hong Kong to receive the Hand of the Cause. Several hundred people read the Bahá'í banners in Chinese, Vietnamese and English, and many asked questions.
The Featherstones were taken by jet hydrofoil to Macau and were immediately taken to a luncheon attended by seventy people including members of the press and radio. Excellent publicity resulted in the press. The Mayor praised the Bahá'ís so much that media representatives asked him if he was a Bahá'í. A radio spot on 11 January gave twenty minutes of prime time to the Faith, the announcer describing the teachings, reading from the Writings and giving the address of the Bahá'í Centre, urging everyone listening 'to investigate this beautiful Faith for themselves'.
Caption of Top Picture: The Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Akbar Furútan with some delegates to the International Convention; April 1983.
Caption of Bottom Picture: The Hand of the Cause H. Collis Featherstone (back row) with Mrs. Featherstone and some participants in the Bahá'í children's classes, Summer School, Savonlinna, Finland; July 1982.
A busy schedule in Thailand took Mr. Featherstone to the new Yasothon School and to the World Religion Day meeting in Bangkok where Mr. Featherstone and a Buddhist professor were principal speakers. Stopping briefly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Featherstones attended the Feast at the National Hazíratu'l-Quds. Returning to Australia on 22 January, the Hand of the Cause fulfilled a schedule of deepening classes, meetings with Auxiliary Board members and their assistants, a meeting with youth, an open house and a public meeting held jointly with Counsellor Dr. Peter Khan—three days of activity arranged by the Regional Teaching Committee of Western Australia in the area of Perth. On 29-30 January Mr. and Mrs. Featherstone took part in the South Australian Youth Camp at Mt. Breckon, Victor Harbour. In the evening the Hand of the Cause addressed a public meeting and the following day set out for home. (From reports received through February 1982 [sic])
India: The first Bahá'í Women's Conference on the State level in India was held in Tumkur, Karnataka from 9 to 10 April ...
The women were thrilled by the receipt of a cablegram from the Universal House of Justice and another from the Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, encouraging them to foster the Bahá'í family atmosphere, a letter from the Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone which was hand-delivered to the assembled women and read out to them, and a cable from the National Spiritual Assembly of India calling for a 'great upsurge of teaching by women throughout India'. (From a report received 9 May 1983)
Dominica: HAPPY ANNOUNCE FORMATION NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY DOMINICA PRESENCE HAND CAUSE KHADEM COUNSELLOR PRINGLE SECRETARY PARENT NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY FIRST PIONEER DOMINICA BILL NEDDEN ... (From a cablegram received Ridván 1983)
St. Lucia: ELEVEN ASSEMBLED DELEGATES FIRST NATIONAL BAHAI CONVENTION ST. LUCIA HONOURED BOUNTY INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. ALL PROGRESS DUE YOUR UNFAILING GUIDANCE. SUCCESSFUL SPIRIT-FILLED CONVENTION RESULT PRESENCE HAND CAUSE KHADEM REPRESENTATIVE YOUR AUGUST BODY. (Cablegram received Ridván 1983)
Picture at Bottom of Page with the Caption: The Hand of the Cause John Robarts, with the four Bahá'ís who built the Templeton Ranch Bahá'í Centre, Mtoroshanga, Zimbabwe, photographed at the dedication of the Centre; 22 March 1981.
3. HANDS OF THE CAUSE WHO REPRESENTED THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
Listed below are the Hands of the Cause who represented the Universal House of Justice at inaugural Conventions held in the period 1979-1983, the name of the new National Spiritual Assembly, its seat, the parent or sponsoring National Assembly and, in chronological order, the dates of the Conventions.
AT CONVENTIONS FOR THE ELECTION OF NEW NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES
Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum Bermuda—Hamilton
Leeward Islands—St. Johns, Antigua
(Leeward and Virgin Islands)
Dr. 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá Windward Islands—Kingstown, St. Vincent
(Barbados and the Windward Islands)
Collis Featherstone Tuvalu—Funafati
(Kiribati and Tuvalu)
John Robarts Bophuthatswana—Mmabatho
(South and West Africa)
William Sears Southwest Africa/Namibia—Windhoek
(South and West Africa)
Dhikru'lláh Khádem St. Lucia—Castries
4. A TRIBUTE TO THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD1
by LILIAN ALÁ'Í
Light and glory, greeting and praise be upon the Hands of His Cause, through whom the light of fortitude hath shone forth and the truth hath been established that the authority to choose rests with God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Unconstrained ...We beseech Him-- exalted is He--to shield them through the power of His hosts, to protect them through the potency of His dominion and to aid them through His indomitable strength which prevaileth over all created things ...
WITH these words Bahá'u'lláh in His Tablet of the World (Lawh-i-Dunyá) describes the station of servitude to which the Hands of the Cause of God are called. He beseeches God to shield them, to protect them and to aid them. They are His precious trust among us and their like will never be seen again. Perhaps the greatest tribute one can pay is to speak of their place in Bahá'í history. We are so intimately associated with them and stand so near to them, that only future historians will be able to do full justice to their exploits.
The origin of the Hands of the Cause can be found in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. During His lifetime He appointed four to serve Him.
Many references to the Hands of the Cause can be found in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He clearly defined their station and functions but did not appoint any living Hands of the Cause. However, there were certain outstanding teachers of the Faith who, after their passing, were referred to by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as Hands.
For thirty years Shoghi Effendi continued to do as his Grandfather had done, and it was not until December 1951 that he cabled the following announcement to the Bahá'í world:
HOUR NOW RIPE TAKE LONG INEVITABLY DEFERRED STEP CONFORMITY PROVISIONS ABDUL-BAHAS TESTAMENT ...APPOINTMENT FIRST CONTINGENT HANDS CAUSE OF GOD TWELVE IN NUMBER EQUALLY ALLOCATED HOLY LAND ASIATIC AMERICAN EUROPEAN CONTINENTS.
He then went on to say that this step was in preparation for the full development of the institution provided in 'Abdu'l-Baháís Will and Testament. Furthermore, he said that there would be a parallel measure—the formation of the Universal House of Justice.
The Guardian then named the twelve Hands of the Cause. In the Holy Land, Sutherland Maxwell, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins (President and Vice-President of the International Bahá'í Council); in the Cradle of the Faith, Valíyuíllláh Varqá, Tarázu'lláh Samandarí, 'Alí-Akbar Furútan; in the American continent, Horace Holley, Dorothy Baker, Leroy Ioas; and in the European continent, George Townshend, Hermann Grossmann and Ugo Giachery.
During the remaining six years of his life he developed the Institution of the Hands of the Cause, broadening and strengthening the scope of its activities, appointing additional Hands and providing for the appointment by the Hands of Auxiliary Board members who were to assist them in their work.
In February 1952 the Guardian raised their number to nineteen by adding another seven distinguished Bahá'ís, namely, Fred Schopflocher, Corinne True, Dhikru'lláh Khádem, Shu'áíuílláh 'Alá'í, Adelbert Mühlschlegel, Músá Banání, and Clara Dunn. The body of the Hands of the Cause now
1An address given by Lilian 'Alá'í during the International Bahá'í Conference held in Canberra, Australia, 1-4 September 1982.
represented all five continents of the globe and the 'three principal world religions of mankindí. He said that they had a two-fold sacred function, propagation and preservation of the unity of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.
For five years after 1952 there was no increase in the number of Hands. However, during that time five of them passed away—namely, Sutherland Maxwell, Fred Schopflocher, Dorothy Baker, Valíyuíllláh Varqá and George Townshend. Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Jalál Kházeh, Paul E. Haney, 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá and Agnes Alexander were appointed to replace them.
In his last message to the Bahá'í world the beloved Guardian raised the membership of the Hands of the Cause to twenty-seven. Many of us will recall the exciting years of the World Crusade. He described the astonishing achievements of those days as 'So marvelous a progress, embracing so vast a field, achieved in so short a time, by so small a band of heroic souls ...í
He then said that this progress '...well deserves ...to be signalized by, and indeed necessitates, the announcement of yet another step in the progressive unfoldment of one of the cardinal and pivotal institutions ordained by Bahá'u'lláh ...involving the designation of yet another contingent of the Hands of the Cause of God ...The eight now elevated to this exalted rank are: Enoch Olinga, William Sears ...John Robarts ... Hasan Balyúzí ...John Ferraby ... Collis Featherstone ... Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir ...and Abuíl-Qásim Faizí ...a group chosen from the four continents of the globe, and representing the Afnán, as well as the black and white races and whose members are derived from Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Pagan backgrounds.
Many of the Hands of the Cause were also pioneers of the World Crusade and yet others became homefront pioneers.
During Ridván 1954 Shoghi Effendi implemented his promised inauguration of the auxiliaries of the Institution of the Hands, namely, the Board members, who were to act as deputies, assistants and advisers to the Hands and work in conjunction with the National Spiritual Assemblies, through calling upon the Hands to appoint thirty-six Board members, nine each in America, Europe, and Africa, seven in Asia, and two in Australia. Five Continental Funds were also inaugurated at that time.
The first International Bahá'í Council had already been appointed by Shoghi Effendi, in 1951; its membership included five Hands, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Ugo Giachery and Leroy Ioas. Four lived in the Holy Land and the fifth, Dr. Giachery, who was pioneering in Italy, was designated as member-at-large.
In June 1957 the Guardian called upon the Hands of the Cause and the National Assemblies to engage in close association and consultation not only in connection with the teaching work, but especially in regard to the protection of the Faith. In his last message to the Bahá'í world he further expanded the Institution of the Hands of the Cause by requesting each group of continental Hands to appoint an Auxiliary Board with the specific duty of watching over the security of the Faith. And so we can see how, step by step, in less than six years, he built a strong Institution functioning throughout the world whose nerve centre was in the Holy Land. In addition, the parallel body, the International Bahá'í Council, had also been established.
Very suddenly, a few short weeks later, Shoghi Effendi, the Sign of God on earth and our beloved Guardian, ascended to the world beyond, leaving behind a grief-stricken community, bewildered and bereft. Upon the Hands of the Cause now fell the onerous task of directing and safeguarding the affairs of the Faith of God.
It is well for us to think deeply about the events that followed the sudden removal from our midst of our beloved Guardian, the one who had for so long and so lovingly guided our steps. Let us not forget that when the Blessed Beautyís ascension took place He left a Will appointing 'Abdu'l-Bahá and when 'Abdu'l-Bahá passed to the great beyond, He too left a Will appointing Shoghi Effendi. I do not feel that any Bahá'í can pay greater tribute to the Hands of the Cause than acknowledging and being eternally grateful to them for the steps they now took.
'It was upon Rúhíyyih Khánum in ...her hour of greatest trial and grief that the terrible weight of responsibility rested of informing the Bahá'ís of the world that their Guardian had suddenly passed away. It devolved upon
her to initiate the steps necessary to protect the Faith at this moment of unparalleled crisis.í She lovingly did so in a series of cables to the Bahá'í world preparing them for the news of his passing. She 'telephoned the members of the International Bahá'í Council in Haifa ...It was agreed that immediate steps be taken to seal the door of the apartment occupied by the Guardian in order to ensure that no person should enter these quarters until the Hands of the Cause could take appropriate action ...By November 8, nearly all Hands of the Cause had arrived in London. At the request of Rúhíyyih Khánum, they met that night to plan the funeral service ...This tragic and moving occasion marked the first meeting ...of the Hands from the Holy Land and the various continents since their appointment by Shoghi Effendi.í .
'On November 15, 1957 ... Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins and Leroy Ioas, accompanied by Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery ... entered the apartment of the Guardian and sealed with tape and wax the safe where important documents were kept. The keys of the safe were placed in an envelope which was sealed and signed by the five Hands and then placed in the safe of Mr. Ioas, the Secretary-General of the International Bahá'í Council. The drawers of Shoghi Effendiís desk were also sealed and the seals countersigned.
'Three days later, on November 18, 1957, just two weeks after the ascension of the Guardian, the Hands of the Cause assembled in the Holy Land, held a memorial meeting in the precincts of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, and then entered upon ...fateful days of prayerful and soul-searching consultation which led to ...vital and far-reaching decisions ...í
The historic document, Proclamation by the Hands of the Cause to the Bahá'ís of East and West, written from the meeting, contained these words:
'On the following morning, November 19th, nine Hands of the Cause, selected from the Holy Land, and the several continents of East and West, with Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, broke the seals placed upon the beloved Guardianís safe and desk and made careful examination of their precious contents. These same Hands, rejoining the other Hands assembled in the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí, certified that Shoghi Effendi had left no Will and Testament. It was likewise certified that the beloved Guardian had left no heir. The Aghsán (branches) one and all are either dead or have been declared violators of the Covenant by the Guardian for their faithlessness to the Masterís Will and Testament and their hostility to him [who was] named first Guardian in that sacred document.
'The first effect of the realization that no successor to Shoghi Effendi could have been appointed by him was to plunge the Hands of the Cause into the very abyss of despair ...From this dark abyss, however, contemplation of the Guardianís own life of complete sacrifice and his peerless services gradually redeemed our anguished hearts ...í
The Hands then wrote of the achievements of the beloved Guardian in words designed to encourage and strengthen the friends.
'Has not the World Centre, with its sacred Shrines and institutions, been firmly established? Has not the Message been established in 254 countries and dependencies? Have not the National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies ...been implanted in twenty-six great areas of all continents? Has not the Guardian left us not only his incomparable translations, for English-reading Bahá'ís, of the Bahá'í sacred literature but also his own master works of interpretation which disclose to us the unshatterable edifice of an evolving Bahá'í Order and world community? Has not the Guardian, building upon the enduring foundation of the Masterís Tablets of the Divine Plan, created the World Crusade to guide our work until 1963? Has not the Guardian, moreover, in his mysterious insight into the present and future needs of the Bahá'í community, called into being the International Bahá'í Council and the company of twenty-seven Hands with their Auxiliary Boards, whom in his final communication to the Bahá'ís, he designated “Chief Stewards of the embryonic World Commonwealth of Bahá'u'lláh“?...
'Beloved friends! Is not the most precious legacy bequeathed to us all by Shoghi Effendi the privilege of constancy in the Faith of
Bahá'u'lláh and devotion in teaching His Message? This is the heartfelt plea we direct to every Bahá'í: The hour has come, as it did with the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, when true Bahá'ís will be distinguished by their firmness in the Covenant and their spiritual radiance while pressing forward the mighty work committed to every area of the world community—to every individual Bahá'í! For now our implacable opponents may, and probably will, unleash their attacks, assuming in their ignorance that the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh is weakened and defenceless. By consecration of spirit we are armed against all manner of assault and we hold the weapon of faith with which the triumph of the Guardianís aims and purposes is assured ...í
Such were their words as they took us under their protection.
In other documents the Hands of the Cause made decisions on how their body would function and their relationship with National Assemblies. In response to their appeal, all National and Regional Assemblies in the Bahá'í world recognized the body of the nine Hands in the Holy Land gave their full support. Because of this and actions taken by the Hands, it was possible to safeguard the Bahá'í properties and funds and to be recognized by the Government.
From that time onwards until the establishment of the Universal House of Justice in 1963 the Hands of the Cause sent a series of messages to the Bahá'í world from each of its annual conclaves. They actively and unceasingly encouraged the friends to attain the goals set by the Guardian and watched over the community with loving hearts. In 1959 they wrote:
'As we look back over the past two years which have elapsed since that unforgettable and heart-breaking moment when we realized our beloved Guardian had been taken from us, we cannot but marvel at the protection which has been vouchsafed this Holy Cause. As one man, the believers have rallied to the support of their Faith, closed their ranks, stood firm in the hour of supreme test, and arisen to carry forward the World Crusade.í
In the same message they announced that the election of the International Bahá'í Council by all members of National and Regional Assemblies would take place during Ridván 1961.
In their 1960 message they mentioned that since 1953 almost 3,000 pioneers had left their homes and scattered over the face of the planet. There was evidence of the possibility of mass conversion. Tens of thousands of people in Africa, India and South America were becoming Bahá'ís and it became necessary for the Hands of the Cause to devote their labour on a global scale. Thus they began their journeys throughout the countries of the world bringing hope and encouragement to the friends and edifying the hearts of all men. They attended a multitude of conferences, summer schools, conventions. They met with all strata of society from the highest to the lowest in the land. They met with pioneers, often making special and difficult journeys to be with a lone pioneer, to cheer their hearts and encourage them and the fledgling communities that were being created around them. And through it all, they lovingly watched over and protected the Faith.
As far back as 1961 they prepared the Bahá'í world for the election of the Universal House of Justice during Ridván 1963. This long-awaited and eagerly anticipated event took place on the first day of Ridván 1963 in the central hall of the historic home of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Guardian in Haifa. Two hundred and eighty-eight members of fifty-six National and Regional Assemblies were present as delegates, representing every continent and the islands of the seas, and from virtually every one of the major races and ethnic groups of mankind. The Universal House of Justice, the supreme legislative body ordained by Bahá'u'lláh and vouchsafed by Him as being under the unerring guidance of God, had been established. The master helmsmen had sailed the seas chartered by the beloved Guardian and brought their vessel to safe harbour.
In 1968, the Universal House of Justice met in consultation with the Hands of the Cause and from this meeting came the Institution of the Continental Boards of Counsellors which was to 'grow and operate in harmony with the principles governing the functioning of the Institution of the Hands of the Causeí. The Auxiliary Boards then came under the direc-
tion of the Continental Boards of Counsellors. The International Teaching Centre was established in 1973 'destined to evolve into one of those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions ordained by Bahá'u'lláh. Its establishment brings to fruition the work of the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land.í
Many years have passed, and from the original twenty-seven Hands only eleven remain. Many of them have visited the countries and islands encompassed by this conference and have become very dear to us. Some, such as Agnes Alexander, John Henry and Clara Hyde Dunn, Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir and dear Collis Featherstone, have lived and continue to live among us. Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum dedicated the Mashriquíl-Adhkár of the Antipodes and represented the Universal House of Justice at the laying of the foundation stone of the Mashriquíl-Adhkár of the Pacific in Samoa. Our very dear Dr. Giachery, besides his memorable work in connection with the Shrine of the Báb, was instrumental in presenting the Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh in such a way to His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa, that he was moved to declare his belief in Bahá'u'lláh and to visit the resting-place of the beloved Guardian. All of them, including the Hands of the Cause Enoch Olinga, 'Alí-Akbar Furútan, Dhikru'lláh Khádem, William Sears, John Robarts and Abuíl-Qásim Faizí, made great teaching journeys through our lands and islands. They took our burdens upon their shoulders. Nowhere in recorded religious history has there been such a group of people as the Hands of the Cause of God, who, with such purity of soul, selflessness, complete dedication and faithfulness, guided and watched over an emerging religion.
To them, in remembrance of their fortitude, I address the beautiful poem contained in the following Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá:
O thou who hast been sore afflicted on the|
pathway of the Covenant! Anguish and
torment, when suffered on the pathway of
the Lord, Him of Manifest signs, is only
favour and grace; affliction is but mercy,
and grief a gift from God. Poison is sugar
on the tongue, and wrath is kindness,
nourishing the soul.
Then praise thou Him, the loving Pro-
vider, for having ordained this dire afflic-
tion, which is but bounty unalloyed.
If I, like Abraham, through flames must
Or yet like John a bloodstained road
If Joseph-like, Thouíd cast me in a well,
Or shut me up within a prison cell--
Or make me eíen as poor as Mary's
I will not go from Thee.
But ever stand
My soul and body bowed to Thy command.
Dear friends, when we become tired and dispirited, when our goals seem unobtainable, let us think of them. Let us try, in some small way to be like them. They are our Hands of the Cause and the world has never seen their like.
Light and glory, greeting and praise be upon
The Bahá'í World, vol. XIII, pp. 333-363
The Bahá'í World, vol. XVI, pp. 406-414.
Poem from Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
5. The Hands of the Cause of God: An Appreciation
by Ray Hudson
AMONG the wonders accomplished by Shoghi Effendi during the last few years of his ministry was the elevation to the rank of Hands of the Cause of God of a few believers from among the Bahá`ís of the world: These precious souls were like jewels buried among the mass of the believers until the beloved Guardian plucked them out. The consummate wisdom of this action became evident when the Universal House of Justice, in its first message presented 30 April 1963, at the World Congress, paid tribute to the work accomplished by the Hands of the Cause following the passing of the Guardian:
`The Universal House of Justice, with pride and love, recalls on this supreme occasion its profound admiration for the heroic work which they have accomplished. We do not wish to dwell on the appalling dangers which faced the infant Cause when it was suddenly deprived of our beloved Shoghi Effendi, but rather to acknowledge with all the love and gratitude of our hearts the reality of the sacrifice, the labor, the self-discipline, the superb stewardship of the Hands of the Cause of God.'1
The World Order of Bahá`u'lláh is crowned with the Universal House of Justice, an Institution which was created by Bahá`u'lláh Himself and which is under the guidance of both Bahá`u'lláh and the Báb. `Abdu'l-Bahá declared this body to be the source of all good and freed from all error.2 The beloved Guardian labored all his life to erect this Institution which is twin to the Institution of the Guardianship, and through those Hands of the Cause whom he appointed the election for this Supreme Body was called.
The work of the Hands of the Cause constitutes an integral part of the World Order of Bahá`u'lláh. Today this work is flourishing throughout the world, and under the guidance of the Universal House of Justice it will continue in future decades and centuries. The story of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause of God is such that centuries will be unable to fathom the love these believers held for their beloved Guardian nor will ages comprehend the iron resolution of their steadfastness in the Covenant of Bahá`u'lláh. There will be no repetition of their examples. They are unique among the followers of Bahá`u'lláh. They are the priceless gifts which Shoghi Effendi gave to us.
Where does the story of such enduring love begin?
Bahá`u'lláh Himself named the first Hands of the Cause and called them those through whom the light of fortitude hath shown forth and the truth hath been established that the authority to choose rests with God.
He said they were those through whom the ocean of bounty hath surged and the fragrance of the gracious favours of God, the Lord of Mankind, hath been diffused.3
`The Hands of the Cause, of Bahá`u'llá's days,' stated Shoghi Effendi through a letter written by his secretary, `will be known to the friends by name when the history of the Cause in Persia and the Near East is written and available.' 4
`Abdu'l-Bahá did not Himself formally appoint any Hands of the Cause. Certain outstanding Bahá`ís, however, were referred to by Him as Hands.
1 Wellspring of Guidance, p. 2.
2 Will and Testament, p. 14.
3 Tablets of Bahá`u'lláh, p. 83.
4 The Bahá`í World, vol. XIV, p.445.
Shortly after His ascension it was discovered that `Abdu'l-Bahá had produced an extraordinary Will and Testament, portions of which outlined the appointment, duties, and obligations of the Hands of the Cause. Written entirely in His Own hand, this great testament, the Guardian has declared, is the Charter of the Administrative Order, `His greatest legacy to posterity' and `the brightest emanation of His mind.'1
Providing an `indissoluble link' insuring `the continuity of the three ages that constitute the component parts of the Bahá`í Dispensation' 2
(the Heroic, the Formative, and the Golden Ages) this document requires `time, and the guidance of God's Universal House of Justice, to obtain a clearer and fuller understanding of its provisions and implications.' 3
The Guardian, writing through his secretary, stated: `The contents of the Will of the Master are far too much for the present generation to comprehend. It needs at least a century of actually working before the treasures of wisdom hidden in it can be revealed . . .
In God Passes By
, page 328, Shoghi Effendi summarizes, in his concise and masterly way, the contents of the Will and Testament. Here, however, we are primarily interested in what was written about the Hands of the Cause.
The appointment of the Hands of the Cause, `Abdu'l-Bahá categorically states, must be made by the Guardian of the Cause.
The obligations of the Hands of the Cause of God are to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions, sanctified and detached from all earthly things. They must manifest the fear of God by their conduct, their manners their deeds and their words. 5
The Hands of the Cause are urged by `Abdu'l-Bahá to diffuse the sweet savors of God, and to guide all the peoples of the world, for it is the light of Divine Guidance that causeth all the niverse to be illumined. 6
`Abdu'l-Bahá fuertther bestows salutation and praise . . . upon the Hands
[pillars] of the Cause of God that have diffused widely the Divine Fragrances, declared His Proofs, proclaimed His Faith, published abroad His Law, detached themselves from all things but Him, stood for righteousness in this world, and kindled the Fire of the Love of God in the very hearts and souls of His servants. 7
He also states: This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the Guardian of the Cause of God. 8
As we witness (and as history will study) the steadfastness and complete, wholehearted, joyful obedience of the Hands of the Cause we might understand the meaning of being under the direction of the guardian of the Cause
. The spontaneity that they have shown in fulfilling the wishes of the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice endures as a lasting lesson to all Bahá`ís. Obedience is the true measure of love for Bahá`u'lláh; the loving devotion of the Hands of the Cause found expression in an exact and instantaneous obedience.
Such obedience does not come automatically. By appointment as Hands of the Cause these believers were not guaranteed steadfastness in the Covenant. When `Abdu'l-Bahá placed the Hands under the direction of the Guardian He said: Should any, within or without the company of the Hands of the Cause of God disobey and seek division, the wrath of God and His vengeance will be upon him, for he will have caused a breach in the true Faith of God. 9
Yet `Abdu'l-Bahá stressed that the Hands had responsibility for protecting the Cause. He said they must be ever watchful
and He gave them the authority needed to preserve the security of the Faith.
In formally establishing this institution `Abdu'l-Bahá presented the Hands of the Cause with the dual function of guarding over the security, and of insuring the propagation, of His Father's Faith. 10
`Abdu'l-Bahá called them to this high station. Who could do these things? Who could demonstrate such stead-
1 God Passes By, p. 325.
2 The World Order of Bahá`u'lláh, p. 143.
3 Bahá`í Administration, p. 62.
4 Quoted in Messages from the Universal House of Justice: 1968-1973, p. 44.
5 Will and Testament, p. 13.
7 ibid., p. 3.
8 ibid., p. 13.
10 Messages to the Bahá`í World, p. 127.
fastness, encompass such knowledge, and personify such love? During the thirty years that followed `Abdu'l-Bahá's ascension it was seen that a few Bahá`ís had achieved this station. Periodically Shoghi Effendi cabled or wrote National Assemblies the news that a certain outstanding teacher or administrator of the Cause had died. On rare occasions he would use such a communication to announce that this believer `by sheer merit deserved to rank as one of the Hands of the Cause of God'1
or that the services of another believer entitled her to an eminent rank among the Hands of the Cause of Bahá`u'lláh. 2
There were ten believers posthumously named Hands of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi. The complete list is found in The Bahá`í World
, vol. XIV, pages 447-449, and includes:
1. Martha Root--`that star-servant of the Cause of Bahá`u'lláh,' the `foremost Hand which `Abdu'l-Bahá's will has
raised up in the first Bahá`í century.' 3
2. Keith Ransom-Kehleróthe `first and distinguished' American martyr. 4
3. Dr. John Esslemontówhom Shoghi Effendi called `the warmest of friends, a trusted counsellor, an indefatigable collaborator, a lovable companion.' 5
4. Louis Gregoryóthe `noble-minded, golden-hearted' believer who was `loved, admired and trusted by `Abdu'l-Bahá.' 6
After 1951 when the first contingent of living Hands of the Cause was named there were no further posthumous appointments.
As 1953 approoached the Guardian began to make plans for the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bahá`u'lláh's Revelation in the Síyáh-Ch
ál, that dark loathsome prison of Tihrán. This called for a series of four International Conferences and the launching of an unprecedented teaching campaign that would establish the Faith throughout the world. This Ten Year Spiritual Crusade constituted one of ten stages of `the plan wrought by God Himself for humanity'óa plan which began with Adam and which will culminate when `the light of God's triumphant Faith shining in all its power and glory will have suffused and enveloped the entire planet.'7
This Spiritual Crusade was to be a glorious enterprise and glorious were the events that led to its launching. Among these preparatory events was the announcement, on 24 December 1951, of the first contingent of living Hands of the Cause of God. Those named were: Sutherland Maxwell, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Valíyu'llláh Varqá, Tarázu'lláh Samandarí, `Alí-Akbar Furútan, Horace Holley, Dorothy Baker, Leroy Ioas, George Townshend, Hermann Grossmann, and Ugo Giachery. On 29 Ferbruary 1952 the twelve Hands were increased to nineteen with the nominations of Fred Schopflocher, Corinne True, Dh
u`á'u'lláh `Alá`í, Adelbert Mühlschlegel, Músá Banání, and Clara Dunn.
With this announcement the Guardian said: MEMBERS AUGUST BODY INVESTED IN CONFORMITY WITH ABDULBAHA'S TESTAMENT, TWOFOLD SACRED FUNCTION, THE PROPAGATION AND PRSERVATION OF THE UNITY OF THE FAITH OF BAHAULLAH AND DESTINED TO ASSUME INDIVIDUALLY IN THE COURSE OF TIME THE DIRECTION OF INSTITUTIONS PARALLELING THOSE REVOLVING AROUND THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE . . . 8
Over the next five years the number of Hands was kept at nineteen. Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Kh
ánum, Jalál Kh
ázeh, Paul E. Haney, `Alí-Muhammad Varqá, and Agnes B. Alexander replaced those Hands of the Cause who passed away.
In October 1952 the Guardian called upon the Hands, `by virtue of their supreme function as chosen instruments for the propagation of the Faith,' to appoint during Ridván 1954 Auxiliary Boards whose members would act as the `assistants, deputies, and advisers' of the Hands on each continent.
1 Bahá`í Administration, p.98.
2 Messages to America, p. 3.
3 ibid., p. 30.
4 ibid., p. 3.
5 Bahá`í Administration, p.98.
6 Citadel of Faith, p. 163.
7 Messages to the Bahá`í World, p. 155.
8 ibid., p. 21.
From the time of their appointments the Hands of the Cause were outstanding in helping to win the goals of the Ten Year Crusade in their respective continents. In them the Faith also found leonine defenders and Shoghi Effendi once wrote how certain Hands had shared in `administering a stunning defeat to the enemies of the Faith.'1
The protective function of the Hands of the Cause was further re-inforced in October 1957 when the number of the Hands was increased to twenty-seven. The Guardian said this body was `one of the cardinal and pivotal institutions ordained by Bahá`u'lláh, and confirmed in the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá.' He called the Hands of the Cause `the Chief Stewards of Bahá`u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth,who have been invested by the unerring Pen of the Center of His Covenant with the dual function of guarding over the security, and of insuring the propagation of His Father's Faith.' He wrote:
`The eight now elevated to this exalted rank are: Enoch Olinga, William Sears, and John Robarts, in West and South Africa; Hasan Balyúzí and John Ferraby in the British Isles; Collis Featherstone and Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir in the Pacific Area; and Abu'l-Qásim Faizí in the Arabian Peninsulaóa group chosen from four continents of the globe, and representing the Afnán, as well as the black and white races and whose members are derived from Christan, Muslim, Jewish and Pagan backgrounds.
`This latest addition to the band of high-ranking officers of a fast evolving World Administrative Order, involving a further expansion of the august institution of the Hands of the Cause of God, calls for, in view of the recent assumption by them of their sacred responsibility as protectors of the Faith, the appointment of these same Hands, in each continent separately, of an additional Auxiliary Board, equal in membership to the existing one, and charged with the specific duty of watching over the security of the Faith, thereby complimenting the finction of the original Board, whose duty will henceforth be exclusively concerned with assisting the prosecution of the Ten-Year Plan.' 2
The Ten Year Crusade was nearing its mid-point on a wave of unprecedented victories. The believers had pioneered throughout the world. They were raising the call of Yá-Bahá'u'l-Abhá*
through all regions. Translations of the Writings were being made. Incorporations and legal recognitions of the Faith were being obtained. Bahá`í Centers, local and national Hazíratu'l-Quds were materializing. It was a vibrant time. The air was electric. During his few moments of rest from the administration of the vast complexities of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi was hard at work on a beautiful map which gave expression to the joy and pride he felt for the believers. From every continent he drew colored arrows charting accomplishments and from Haifa golden rays burst forth keyed to record the development of the World Center of the Faith. One gold ray was the recent appointment of additional Hands of the Cause. With an abruptness that stilled all things the hand of the beloved Guardian was withdrawn. He died in London on 4 November 1957.
Prostrate with grief yet steadfast, overwhelmed with sorrow yet steadfast, the Hands of the Cause of God began the most extraordinary period of their services. The reins of the Cause had suddenly been handed to its Chief Stewards. It is to this period, spanning the last six years of the Ten Year Crusade, that the Universal House of Justice paid moving tribute:
`Following the passing of Shoghi Effendi the international administration of the Faith was carried on by the Hands of the Cause of God with the complete agreement and loyalty of the national spiritual assemblies and the body of the believers. This was in accordance with the Guardian's
1 ibid., p. 31.
2 ibid., pp. 127-128.
* `O Thou the Glory of Glories!', another form of the Greatest Name Alláh-u-Abhá.
designation of the Hands as the ìChief Stewards of Bahá`u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth.î
`From the very outset of their custodianship of the Cause of God the Hands realized that since they had no certainty of Divine guidance such as is incontrovertibly assured to the Guardian and to the Universal House of Justice, their one safe course was to follow with undeviating firmness the instructions and policies of Shoghi Effendi. The entire history of religion shows no comparable record of such strict self-discipline, such absolute loyalty, and such complete self-abnegation by the leaders of a religion finding themselves suddenly deprived of their divinely inspired guide. The debt of gratitude which mankind for generations, nay, ages to come, owes to this handful of grief-stricken, steadfast, heroic souls is beyond estimation.'1
For six years the Hands of the Cause guided the Bahá`ís with infinite tenderness and love. They for whom the loss of the Guardian was greatest gave the most to their fellow believers. On them descended, with all its fearful implications, the actuality of protecting the Faith when the storm of opposition to the Covenant of Bahá`u'lláh was again unleashed. Speaking at the Intercontinental Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1958, the Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins said:
`We are all, in a way, Shoghi Effendi's heirs. We have inherited his work. His plan is completely laid out. Ours is the task to fulfill it. We must, each of us, complete our share of the World Crusade. This is the memorial we must build to our beloved Shoghi Effendi.
`Let us love him more now than ever before, and through the power of our love attract his love to us, and bring his blessing on our labors.
`Let us not fail him, for he never failed us. Let us never forget him, for he never forgot us.' 2
The labors and sufferings of the Hands of the Cause were blessed. On 22 April 1963, from the International Convention in Haifa, they were able to cable all National Assemblies:
OCCASION WORLDWIDE CELEBRATIONS MOST GREAT JUBILEE COMMEMORATING CENTENARY ASCENSION BAHAULLAH THRONE HIS SOVEREIGNTY WITH HEARTS OVERFLOWING GRATITUDE HIS UNFAILING PROTECTION OVERFLOWING BOUNTIES JOYOUSLY ANNOUNCE FRIENDS EAST WEST ELECTION SUPREME LEGISLATIVE BODY ORDAINED BY HIM IN HIS MOST HOLY BOOK PROMISED BY HIM RECEIVE HIS INFALLIBLE GUIDANCE.
And they also said:
TO JUBILATION ENTIRE BAHAI WORLD VICTORIOUS COMPLETION BELOVED GUARDIANS UNIQUE CRUSADE NOW ADDED HUMBLE GRATITUDE PROFOUND THANKSGIVING FOLLOWERS BAHAULLAH FOR ERECTION UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE AUGUST BODY TO WHOM ALL BELIEVERS MUST TURN WHOSE DESTINY IS TO GUIDE UNFOLDMENT HIS EMBRYONIC WORLD ORDER THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS PRESCRIBED BY BAHAULLAH ELABORATED BY ABDULBAHA LABORIOUSLY ERECTED BY SHOGHI EFFENDI AND INSURE EARLY DAWN GOLDEN AGE FAITH WHEN THE WORD OF THE LORD WILL COVER THE EARTH AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA.3
With that beautiful cable an era in the work of the Hands of the Cause came to a close. Now their destiny was to be unfolded for them by this same Universal House of Justice. A new chapter in the evolution of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause was about to open.
Inaugurated by Bahá`u'lláh, formally established by `Abdu'l-Bahá, brought into operation by Shoghi Effendi, the Institution of the Hands of the Cause of God now looked upon the Universal House of Justice to insure its continuation into the future. How would this be done? In November 1964 the House of
1 Wellspring of Guidance, p. 45.
2 The Bahá`í World, vol. XIII, p. 840.
3 ibid., p. 362.
Justice announced: `There is no way to appoint, or to legislate to make it possible to appoint, Hands of the Cause of God.' How then could this `cardinal and pivotal' institution extend `into the future . . .
its appointed functions of protection and propagation'?
The initial step was taken in November 1964 when the Hands were formally related to the House of Justice. Still assigned to specific continents, they were `reinforced by a wider and more efficient organization of their work' through an increase in the number of Auxiliary Board members and the appointment of certain Board members to act in an executive capacity on behalf of each Hand. 1
After much thought and study, after `prolonged and prayerful consultation between the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause of God', in June 1968 the Supreme Body announced the establishment of Continental Boards of Counselors for the protection and propagation of the Faith. The creation of this institution insured the extension into the future of the appointed functions of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause. The Hands of the Cause were released from administration of the Auxiliary Boards whose members now were appointed by and reported to the Continental Boards of Counselors.
`The Hands of the Cause of God,' wrote the Universal House of Justice, `are one of the most precious assets the Bahá`í world possesses.' The House of Justice looked forward to these appointees of the Guardian being able `to concentrate their energies on the more primary responsibilities of general protection and propagation, ìpreservation of the spiritual health of the Bahá`í communitiesî and ìthe vitality of the faithî of the Bahá`ís throughout the world.' 2
The increased freedom for the Hands to travel widely has had a profound effect on the progress of the Cause. At the conclusion of the Nine Year Plan, the Universal House of Justice wrote: `They have, in all parts of the world, inspired the friends, assisted National Spiritual Assemblies, promoted the teaching work and played a vital part in the success of the Plan. The lagging fortunes of more than one national community have been revolutionized by a visit of a Hand of the Cause; swift and energetic action, inspired by the Hand, has been followed by astonishing results, completely reversing that community's prospects.' 3
When the House of Justice announced the creation of the Continental Boards of Counselors it alluded to the eventual establishment of an international teaching center at the World Center. This teaching center had been foreshadowed in the writings of the beloved Guardian. The evolution of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause took a further step in June 1973 when the House of Justice announced: `The time is indeed propitious for the establishment of the International Teaching Center, a development which, at one and the same time, brings to fruition the work of the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land and provides for its extension into the future, links the institution of the Boards of Counselors even more intimately with that of the Hands of the Cause of God, and powerfully reinforces the discharge of the rapidly growing responsibilities of the Universal House of Justice.'4
All the Hands of the Cause are members of the International Teaching Center. Each Hand is kept informed of the activities of the Center, each conveys suggestions, recommendations and information to the Center, and when in the Holy Land, takes part in the consultations and activities of the Center. In addition, four believers with the rank of Counselor serve on this body.
In announcing the Seven Year Plan the Universal House of Justice wrote: `The Institution of the Hands of the Cause of God, the Chief Stewards of Bahá`u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth, is bearing a precious fruit in the development of the International Teaching Center as a mighty institution of the World Center of the Faith; an institution blessed by the membership of all the Hands of the Cause; an institution whose beneficent influence is diffused to all parts of the Bahá`í community through the Continental Boards of Counselors, the members of the Auxiliary Boards and their assistants.' 5
The marvel and wonder of the International Teaching Center is only beginning to unfold before us. It is a further evidence of the
1 Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 40-43.
2 ibid., p. 142.
3 Messages: 1968-1973, p. 116.
4 Universal House of Justice letter dated 8 June 1973.
5 Universal House of Justice letter dated Naw-Rúz 1979.
eternal legacy of the Hands of the Cause. In the future it will operate from that building on the arc on Mount Carmel designated by the Guardian as the Seat for the Hands of the Cause.1
The Universal House of Justice in writing about the Hands of the Cause of God, the Counselors and the members of the Auxiliary Boards, said that `it is not incorrect to refer to the three ranks collectively as one institution.'2
It explained that the Auxiliary Boards were brought into being to assist the Hands, and they are now the `assistants, deputies, and advisers' of the Continental Boards of Counselors for each respective area. The Continental Boards of Counselors were brought into being to carry into the future the vital functions of protection and propagation vested in the Institution of the Hands of the Cause.
`However,' continued the Universal House of Justice, `each is also a separate institution in itself.' The House of Justice also has stated that `Although the Counselors occupy a rank lower than that of the Hands of the Cause, they are nevertheless charged with the same two responsibilities and follow in the footsteps of the Hands of the Cause.' 3
The Supreme Body in addition stated that the Hands of the Cause would `nurture the new institution and work in close collaboration with it as long as possible.' 4
The The Hands of the Cause of God are the standard-bearers. They are the `divinely appointed, tried, and victorious souls . . .
`Their deeds are such as to eclipse the acts of the apostles of old and to confer eternal splendor on this period of the Formative Age.' 6
What more can be said once the Universal House of Justice, freed from all error
, has stated categorically that our debt of gratitude to them is beyond estimation?
`These few gallant and dedicated believers, whose place in history is forever assured by virtue of their appointment to their high office,' wrote the Universal House of Justice on another occasion, `are indeed a precious legacy left to us by our beloved Guardian, and as the years go by there is increasingly added to the honor and respect which is their due by reason of their exalted rank, the love and admiration of the friends evoked by their constant services.' 7
1 Universal House of Justice letter dated 8 June 1973.
2 Messages: 1968-1973, p. 92.
3 Universal House of Justice letter to a National Spiritual Assembly dated 20 May 1970.
4 Messages: 1968-1973, p. 92.
5 Wellspring of Guidance, p. 26.
6 Messages: 1968-1973, p. 70.
7 Wellspring of Guidance, p. 106.
6. The Development of the Institution of the Continental Boards of Counsellors
(adapted from the Hawaiian History Calendar)1
21 June 1968
REJOICE ANNOUNCE MOMENTOUS DECISION ESTABLISH ELEVEN CONTINENTAL BOARDS COUNSELLORS PROTECTION PROPAGATION FAITH THREE EACH FOR AFRICA AMERICAS ASIA ONE EACH FOR AUSTRALASIA EUROPE . . .
The Universal House of Justice
24 June 1968
. . .
those who have been appointed to the first Continental Boards of Counselors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith:
Husayn Ardikání (Trustee, Continental Fund), Muhammad Kebdani, William Maxwell.
Central and East Africa
Oloro Epyeru, Kolonario Oule, Isobel Sabri, Midhí Samandarí, `Azíz Yazdí (Trustee, Continental Fund).
Seewoosumbur-Jeehoba Appa, Shidán Fath-i-A'zam (Trustee, Continental Fund), Bahiyyih Ford.
Lloyd Gardner, Florence Mayberry, Edna True (Trustee, Continental Fund).
Carmen de Burafato, Artemus Lamb, Alfred Osborne (Trustee, Continental Fund).
Athos Costas, Hooper Dunbar (Trustee, Continental Fund), Donald Witzel.
Masíh Farhangí, Mas'úd Kh
amsí, Hádí Rahmání (Trustee, Continental Fund), Manúch
ihr Salmánpúr, Sankaran-Nair Vasudevan.
Yan Kee Leong, Kh
udárahm Paymán (Trustee, Continental Fund), Chellie Sundram.
Rúhu'lláh Mumtází (Trustee, Continental Fund), Vicente Samaniego.
Suhayl Alá'í, Howard Harwood, Thelma Perks (Trustee, Continental Fund).
Erik Blumenthal, Dorothy Ferraby (Trustee, Continental Fund), Louis Hénuzet.'
The Universal House of Justice
24 June 1968
`. . .
The number of Auxiliary Board members to be assigned to each continental zone is as follows:
Central and East
The Universal House of Justice
10 July 1969
`With great joy we announce that we have decided to increase the total number of members of the Continental Boards of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith to thirty-eight by adding John McHenry III to the Continental Board of Counsellors in North East Asia and Mas'úd
Caption of Top Picture: Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Africa (1981) with the Hand of the Cause William Sears. Seated, left to right: William Masehla, Friday Ekpe, Thelma Khelghati, William Sears, Bahiyyih Winckler, Isobel Sabri, Peter Vuyiya. Standing, left to right: Shidan Fat'he-Aazam, Mihdi Samandari, Muhammad Kebdani, Oloro Epyeru, Hushang Adieh, Zekrollah Kazemi, Kolonario Oule, Husayn Ardekani.
Caption of Bottom Picture: Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in the Americas (1981) with the Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. Seated, left to right: Ruth Pringle, Velma Sherrill, Carmen de Burafato, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Lauretta King, Sarah Pereira. Standing, left to right: Peter McLaren, Angus Cowan, Farzam Arbab, Artemus Lamb, Hidáyatu'lláh Ahmadíyyih, Raúl Pavón, Lloyd Gardner, Mas'úd Khamsí, Donald Witzel, Athos Costas, Fred Schechter.
amsí to the Continental Board of Counsellors in South America . . .
`We also rejoice to announce the appointment of Mrs. Shirin Boman to the Continental Board of Counsellors of Western Asia to fill a vacancy on that Board . . .
The Universal House of Justice
. . . IN VIEW EFFECTIVE REINFORCEMENT THIS NOBLE WORK BY ABLE DEDICATED CONTINENTAL BOARDS COUNSELLORS THEIR AUXILIARY BOARDS TOGETHER WITH GROWING NEED AND EXPANSION WORLD COMMUNITY ANNOUNCE AUGMENTATION VITAL INSTITUTION THROUGH APPOINTMENT THREE ADDITIONAL COUNSELLORS IRAJ AYMAN WESTERN ASIA ANNELIESE BOPP BETTY REED EUROPE AND AUTHORIZATION APPOINTMENT FORTYFIVE ADDITIONAL AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS NINE AFRICA SIXTEEN ASIA TWO AUSTRALASIA EIGHTEEN WESTERN HEMISPHERE . . .
The Universal House of Justice
5 June 1973
ANNOUNCE ESTABLISHMENT HOLY LAND LONG ANTICIPATED INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTRE DESTINED EVOLVE INTO ONE THOSE WORLD SHAKING WORLD EMBRACING WORLD DIRECTING ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS ORDAINED BY BAHAULLAH ANTICIPATED BY ABDULBAHA ELUCIDATED BY SHOGHI EFFENDI. MEMBERSHIP THIS NASCENT INSTITUTION COMPRISES ALL HANDS CAUSE GOD AND INITIALLY THREE COUNSELLORS WHO WITH HANDS PRESENT HOLY LAND WILL CONSTITUTE NUCLEUS ITS VITAL OPERATIONS. CALLING UPON HOOPER DUNBAR FLORENCE MAYBERRY AZIZ YAZDI PROCEED HOLY LAND ASSUME THIS HIGHLY MERITORIOUS SERVICE . . .
The Universal House of Justice
8 June 1973
`The number of zones has been raised to twelve by . . .
the new zone of South Central Asia . . .
`The number of Counsellors is now raised to fifty-seven by the appointment of Mr. Friday Ekpe and Mr. Dh
ikru'lláh Kázimí in North-western Africa, Mr. Húshang Ahdíyyih and Mr. Peter Vuyiya in Central and East Africa, Dr. Sarah Pereira and Mrs. Velma Sherrill in North America, Mr. Rowland Estall and Mr. Paul Lucas in Central America, Mrs. Leonora Armstrong, Mr. Peter McLaren and Mr. Raúl Pavón in South America, Mr. Dipchand Khianra and Mrs. Zena Sorabjee in South Central Asia, Mr. Firaydún Míth
áqíyán in South-eastern Asia, Mr. Richard Benson and Miss Elena Marsella in North-eastern Asia and Miss Violet Hoehnke in Australasia. Dr. William Maxwell who has been rendering distinguished service as a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors in North-western Africa has been obliged to return to the United States . . .
The Universal House of Justice
7 October 1973
` . . .
the number of Auxilary Board members throughout the world is to be raised to two hundred and seventy, of whom eighty-one will serve on the Auxilary Boards for the Protection of the Faith and one hundred and eighty-nine will serve on the Auxiliary Boards for the Propagation of the Faith. In all there will be fifty-four Auxiliary Board members in Africa, eighty-one in the Western Hemisphere, eighty-one in Asia, eighteen in Australasia and thirty-six in Europe.'
The Universal House of Justice
30 September 1974
` . . .
Mrs. Salisa Kermani was appointed by the House of Justice to the Board of Counsellors for South Central Asia in place of Mr. Vasudevan who is presently furthering his education in the United States. Mr. John McHenry . . .
has returned to the United States . . .
He has tendered his resignation as a Counsellor . . .
International Teaching Centre
6 January 1975
` . . .
The decision has been taken, therefore, after consultation with the International Teaching Centre, to break the present zone of North-western Africa into two separate zones of Northern and Western Africa, to each of which will be transferred parts of the Central and East African zone . . .
`Because of the creation of a new Board1
for Northern Africa, the Counsellors in this and the one for Western Africa must be regrouped, new appointments made to the Northern Board and the number of Auxiliary
1 Raising the total to thirteen.
Caption of Top Picture: Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia (1981) with the Hand of the Cause Paul Haney. Seated, left to right: Khudárahm Paymán, Yan Kee Leong, Shirin Boman, Paul E. Haney, Zena Sorabjee, Dipchand Khianra, Rúhu'lláh Mumtází. Standing, left to right: John Fozdar, Búrháni'd-Din Afshín, Manúchihr Salmánpúr, S. Nagaratnam, Zabíhu'lláh Gulmuhammadí, Chellie J. Sundram, Vicente Samaniego. Hideya Suzuki left the meeting before the photograph was taken. Aydin Güney and Masíh Farhangí were unable to attend.
Dr. Farhangí, imprisoned at that time in Írán, was executed in June 1981.
Caption of Bottom Picture: Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Australasia (1981) with the Hand of the Cause H. Collis Featherstone. Front row, left to right: Ben Ayala, H. Collis Featherstone, Tinai Hancock, Lisiate Maka. Back row, left to right: Suhayl `Alá`í, Peter Khan, Richard Benson, Owen Battrick.
Board members increased. We decided, therefore, that the Board for Northern Africa will consist of Mr. Muhammad Kebdani, already serving as a Counsellor, Mr. Muhammad Mustafá, and Mr. `Imád Sábirán. The Board for Western Africa will consist of Mr. Husayn Ardikání (Trustee), Mr. Friday Ekpe, Mr. Dh
ikru'lláh Kázimí, and Dr. Mihdí Samandarí (transferred from the Central and East African Board).
`We are also increasing the number of Auxiliary Board members in Africa, adding 9 members to the Board for Protection, and 9 to that for Propagation, bringing the totals for that continent to 27 and 45 respectively . . .
The Universal House of Justice
17 March 1976
`The membership of six of the Boards of Counsellors has been increased by the appointment of one additional Counsellor in each case, as follows: Western Africa, Mrs. Thelma Khelghati; Southern Africa, Mr. William Masehla; South Central Asia, Mr. Burháni'din Afsh
ín; North-eastern Asia, Mr. Hideya Suzuki; Australasia, Mr. Owen Battrick; Europe, Mr. Adib Taherzadeh.
`The number of Auxiliary Board members throughout the world has been raised from 288 to a new total of 378, 117 of which are for protection and 261 for propagation . . .
International Teaching Centre
24 March 1976
` . . .
The Universal House of Justice has authorized the appointment of ninety more Auxiliary Board members . . .
On behalf of the Universal House of Justice
31 October 1976
`The Universal House of Justice announces with pleasure that it has appointed three new Counsellors as follows:
Dr. Peter Khanóto the Continental Board of Counsellors in Australasia
Dr. Hidáyatu'lláh Ahmadíyyih--to the Continental Board of Counsellors in Central America
Mr. Angus Cowan--to the Continental Board of Counsellors in North America'
On behalf of the Universal House of Justice
24 March 1977
ANNOUNCE AUTHORIZATION INCREASE MEMBERSHIP BOARDS BY 297 RAISING TOTAL TO 675 OF WHICH 279 ARE AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS FOR PROTECTION AND 396 FOR PROPAGATION OF FAITH . . .
On behalf of the Universal House of Justice
29 August 1977
KINDLY CABLE MR IMBUM CHINNIAH . . . QUOTE INFORM YOU WITH PLEASURE YOUR APPOINTMENT CONTINENTAL BOARD COUNSELLORS SOUTHEASTERN ASIA . . .
The Universal House of Justice
29 June 1979
. . . MOMENT PROPITIOUS ANNOUNCE DURATION TERMS SERVICE MEMBERS CONTINENTAL BOARDS COUNSELLORS AS ANTICIPATED IN ANNOUNCEMENT ESTABLISHMENT THAT INSTITUTION AND IN CONSTITUTION UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE. DECISION NOW TAKEN THAT TERMS WILL BE OF FIVE YEARS STARTING DAY COVENANT 26 NOVEMBER 1980 . . .
The Universal House of Justice
4 July 1979
JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE APPOINTMENT COUNSELLOR ANNELIESE BOPP TO MEMBERSHIP INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTRE
The Universal House of Justice
7 February 1980
. . . DEEPLY GRIEVED UNTIMELY PASSING DEVOTED COWORKER INPERAJU CHINNIAH . . .
The Universal House of Justice
20 October 1980
HEARTS SADDENED PASSING DISTINGUISHED COUNSELLOR LEONORA STIRLING ARMSTRONG . . .
The Universal House of Justice
3 November 1980
` . . .
we have decided that the time is ripe for a further step in the development of the institution itself that will, at one and the same time, accord greater discretion and freedom of action to the Continental Boards of Counsellors in the carrying out of their duties, and widen the scope of each Board to embrace an entire continent. In accordance with this decision, the zones of the Continental Boards of Counsellors will, from the Day of the
Caption of Top Picture: Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Europe (1981) with the Hand of the Cause Dhikru'lláh Khádem. Seated, left to right: Ursula Mühlschlegel, Erik Blumenthal, Betty Reed, Anneliese Bopp (International Teaching Centre), Dhikru'lláh Khádem, Dorothy Ferraby. Standing, left to right: Louis Hénuzet, Agnes Ghaznavi, Hartmut Grossmann, Leo Nederreiter, Adib Taherzadeh.
Caption of Bottom Picture: The members of the Universal House of Justice, the Hands of the Cause, Counsellor members of the International Teaching Centre and members of the Continental Boards of Counsellors photographed with some members of their families at Mazra`ih following the International Convention; 1983.
Covenant of the year 137 [26 November 1980] be as follows:
1. Africa, comprising the areas of the four present zones of that continent.
2. The Americas, comprising the present zones of North, Central and South America.
3. Asia, comprising the present zones of Western, South Central and South-eastern Asia, together with the present zone of North-eastern Asia without the Hawaiian Islands and Micronesia.
4. Australasia, comprising the present zone of Australasia plus the Hawaiian Islands and Micronesia.
`Those who are now appointed as Counsellors to serve on these Continental Boards for the next five years are:
ang Ahdieh (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Mr. Husayn Ardekání, Mr. Friday Ekpe, Mr. Oloro Epyeru, Mr. Shidan Fat'he-Aazam, Mr. Zekrollah Kazemi, Mr. Muhammad Kebdani, Mrs. Thelma Khelghati, Mr. William Masehla, Mr. Muhammad Mustafá, Mr. Kolonario Oule, Mrs. Isobel Sabri, Dr. Mihdí Samandarí, Mr. Peter Vuyiya, Mrs. Bahíyyih Winckler.
Dr. Hidáyatu'lláh Ahmadíyyih, Dr. Farzam Arbáb, Mrs. Carmen de Burafato, Mr. Athos Costas, Mr. Angus Cowan, Mr. Lloyd Gardner (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Mr. Mas'úd Kh
amsí, Mrs. Lauretta King, Mr. Artemus Lamb, Mr. Peter McLaren, Mr. Raúl Pavón, Dr. Sarah Pereira, Mrs. Ruth Pringle, Mr. Fred Schechter, Mrs. Velma Sherrill, Mr. Donald Witzel.
Mr. Burháni'Dín Afsh
ín, Mrs. Shirin Boman, Dr. Masíh Farhangí, Dr. John Fozdar, Mr. Zabíhu'lláh Gulmuhammadí, Mr. Aydin Güney, Mr. Dipchand Khianra, Mr. Rúhu'lláh Mumtází, Mr. S. Nagaratnam, Mr. Kh
udárahm Paymán (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Mr. Manúch
ihr Salmánpúr, Mr. Vicente Samaniego, Mrs. Zena Sorabjee, Dr. Chellie Sundram, Mr. Hideya Suzuki, Mr. Yan Kee Leong.
Mr. Suhayl `Alá`í, Mr. Ben Ayala, Mr. Owen Battrick (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Mr. Richard Benson, Mrs. Tinai Hancock, Dr. Peter Khan, Mr. Lisiata Maka.
Mr. Erik Blumenthal, Mrs. Dorothy Ferraby, Dr. Agnes Ghaznavi, Mr. Hartmut Grossmann, Mr. Louis Hénuzet (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Mrs. Ursula Mühlschlegel, Dr. Leo Nederreiter, Mrs. Betty Reed, Mr. Adib Taherzadeh.
`A number of friends who have rendered highly valued services as Counsellors are not being reappointed for the coming term, and we wish to express here our profound gratitude for the devoted labours they have rendered and are rendering in the path of the Cause. These dearly-loved believers are:
Mr. Seewoosumbur-Jeehoba Appa, Dr. Iraj Ayman, Mr. Rowland Estall, Mr. Howard Harwood, Miss Violet Hoehnke, Mrs. Salisa Kermani, Mr. Paul Lucas, Miss Elena Marsella, Mr. Alfred Osborne, Miss Thelma Perks, Mr. Hádí Rahmání, Mr. Imád Sabirán, Miss Edna True . . .
The Universal House of Justice
14 November 1980
`The Universal House of Justice has requested that we inform the Boards that the number of Auxiliary Board members allotted to each continent is as follows:
International Teaching Centre
27 November 1980
`In consideration of the extension of the area of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Australasia we have decided to increase the number of Auxiliary Board members allocated to that continent by nine on each Board, raising the totals to twenty-seven Protection Board members and thirty-six Propagation Board members . . .
The Universal House of Justice
24 June 1981
. . . ANOTHER FOUR DISTINGUISHED BELIEVERS NOW GATHERED ABHA KINGDOM ON BEING MARTYRED . . . DR. MASIH FARHANGI MEMBER BOARD COUNSELLORS ASIA . . .
On behalf of the Universal House of Justice
17 August 1981
. . . DEEPLY GRIEVED PASSING EMINENT DISTINGUISHED SERVANT BLESSED BEAUTY MEMBER BOARD COUNSELLORS AFRICA . . . MUHAMMAD MUSTAFA . . .
The Universal House of Justice
13 May 1982
`The Universal House of Justice announces with pleasure the appointment of Dr. Sábir Afáqí to the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia to replace Dr. Masíh Farhangí, who was martyred last year.'
On behalf of the Universal House of Justice
picture with the Caption: The Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum with His Excellency Sir Gerald Christopher Cash, Governor General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; 29 April 1981.
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