|1830 Jan c.
||Birth of Hájí Mírzá Muhammad Taqí Afnán (Vakílu'd-Dawlih), maternal uncle of the Báb, who supervised and largely paid for the building of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in `Ishqábád.
||Haji Mirza Muhammad Taqi Afnan; Vakilu'd-Dawlih; Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
|1889. 8 Sep
||Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání is martyred in `Ishqábád. [BBRXXIX, 296–7; GPB202]
- Czar Alexander III sends a military commission from St Petersburg to conduct the trial of those accused of the murder. [AB109; GPB202]
- Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl serves as chief Bahá'í spokesman at the trial. [AB109]
- Two are found guilty and sentenced to death, six others are ordered to be transported to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
- Bahá'u'lláh attaches importance to the action as being the first time Shí'ís received judicial punishment for an attack on Bahá'ís. [BBRSM91]
- The Bahá'í community intercedes on behalf of the culprits and has the death sentences commuted to transportation to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
- For Western accounts of the episode see BBR296–300.
||Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání; Czar Alexander III; Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl
||By 1890 about a thousand Bahá'ís have settled in `Ishqábád. [BBRSM91, SDOH99]
||Shanghai is re-opened to the Bahá'í Faith by the arrival of two Bahá'ís from`Ishqábád, Áqá Mírzá Mihdí Rashtí and Áqá Mírz `Abdu'l-Baqí Yazdí, who open a branch of the Ummi'd company, an import-export firm. [PH25]
||Áqa Mirza Mihdi Rashti; Áqa Mirza `Abdu'l-Baqi Yazdi; Ummi'd company
|1902 28 Nov
||Construction begins on the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of `Ishqábád with the laying of its cornerstone. [BFA2:116-17]
- BBRXXX says this was 12 December. The discrepancy may lie in the use of two different calendars.
- The foundation stone is laid in the presence of General Subotich, governor-general of Turkistan. [BFA2:116–17; GPB300; see discussion of Krupatkin vs Subotich in whitmore_city_love]
- `Abdu'l-Bahá commissions Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí, the Vakílu'd-Dawlih, son of Hájí Siyyid Muhammad, the uncle of the Báb for whom Bahá'u'lláh had revealed The Kitáb-i-Íqán, to be in charge of the project. [AB109]
- `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself delineates the general design and a Russian architect, Volkov, plans and executes the details of the construction. [AB109–10]
- A meeting hall and some of its dependencies had been built before 1900.
- Its dependencies include two Bahá'í schools, a travellers' hostel, a medical dispensary and Hazíratu'l-Quds. [BBD122; BBR442; BBRSM:91]
- For a Western account of this see BBR442–3.
- See jacket of BBR for a photograph of work on the Temple.
||Mashriqu'l-Adhkar; General Subotich; Krupatkin; Haji Mirza Muhammad-Taqi; the Vakilu'd-Dawlih; Volkov; Haji Mirza Muhammad-Taqi; the Vakilu'd-Dawlih; Haji Siyyid Muhammad; Volkov; Haziratu'l-Quds
|1903 7 Mar
||Inspired by the news of the `Ishqábád Temple project, the Chicago House of Spirituality asks `Abdu'l-Bahá for permission to construct a Mashriqu'l-Adhkár. [BFA2:XVI, 118; BW10:179; GPB348]
||Temple; House of Spirituality; Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
||The outer structure of the House of Worship in `Ishqábád is completed and the dome is in place. [AB110, EB267]
- The outer decoration will not be completed until 1919.
- For a description of the Temple, its gardens and environs see BW1:79–81, GPB300–1 and PUP71.
||House of Worship; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
||Mr Husayn Uskuli and two Bahá'ís friends arrive in Shanghai from 'Ishqábád. His family joins him. [PH28-29, BW13p871-872]
|1925 22 Nov
||John Esslemont, Hand of the Cause of God, Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, passes away in Haifa. [BW3p84-85, BBD81, SETPE1p108-110]
- For letters of Shoghi Effendi announcing his death and giving details of his life and funeral see BA97–8 and UD40–3.
- For an obituary see BW1:133–6 and BW8:929–35.
- He is buried next to the grave of Vakílu’d-Dawlih, the chief builder of the House of Worship at ‘Ishqábád. [DJEE37]
- Shoghi Effendi elevates him to the station of Hand of the Cause of God on his death. The announcement is made on November 30th. [BA7-98; BWT3:333; DJEE40; PP92; UD403, MoCxxii
- See also Moojan Momen, Dr John E. Esslemont (BPT UK 1975) and BW8p929-935 for "John Ebenezer Esslemont: His Life and Service" by Jesse E. Revell.
||John Esslemont; Hand of the Cause; Disciple of Abdul-Baha; Vakilu’d-Dawlih; House of Worship; Mashriqul-Adhkar; In Memoriam; Hand appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi
||The Soviet authorities abrogate the constitution of the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) and the assembly is dissolved. [BW3:37, BW8p88, SETPE1p154]
- Bahá’í schools and libraries are closed. [BBRSM173]
- Not long after, the government orders that all religious buildings in the Soviet Union are the property of the government and the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is expropriated and leased back to the Bahá’ís. [BBD122; BBR473; BBRSM161; BW3:37]
- For the history of the persecution of the Bahá’ís in the Soviet Union see BBR473 and BW3:34–43.
- PP364–5 says it was 1929.
||religious persecution; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar; Ishqabad
||The Bahá’í Temple in ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) is damaged by an earthquake. [BBD 122; BW14:480]
||Baha’i Temple; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
|1956 25 Feb
||Husayn Uskuli, (b. 1875) long-time pioneer to Shanghai from ‘Ishqábád, passes away in Shanghai at the age of 82 and is buried in the Kiangwan Cemetery in Shanghai. [PH29, BW13p871-873]
- He heard about the Faith at the age of 18 from Mírzá Haydar-'Alí. After his marriage he moved to 'Ishqábád where he was very active in the community. After his move to Shanghai his home was the centre of activity and hospitality for all those passing through. He was the only foreign-born Bahá'í to remain in China after the regime change. The xenophobic attitude of the government precluded any meaningful contact with the local citizenry.
- He was survived by four daughters and a son.
||Husayn Uskuli; In Memoriam
|1963 25 Aug
||The Universal House of Justice announces the demolition by the Soviet authorities of the House of Worship in ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) owing to earthquake damage. [BBD122; BW14:479–81]
- For a picture of the damaged Temple see BW14:481.
||House of Worship; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
||The re-creation of the Local Spiritual Assembly of 'Ishqábád. [AWH73; VV111]
||The Local Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) is re-formed after a lapse of 61 years, the first local assembly to be formed in the Soviet Union. [AWH73; VV111]