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from the chronology

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1889 In the year The passing of Mullá Sádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-Khurásání entitled by Bahá'u'lláh Ism'lláh'l-Asdaq (In the Name of God the Most Truthful) in Hamadán. He was born in Mashhad in 1800, the son of a cleric, around the beginning of the 19th century He furthered his own clerical studies in Karbila under the Shaykhi leader Sayyid Qasim Rashti, eventually gaining the rank of mujtahid, and becoming known by the honorific title Muqaddas (‘the holy one’).
  • As a young man he had been a disciple of Siyyid Kázim and had met Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad in Karbilá. He was among the first believers who identified with the Message of the Báb. See DB100 and EB7 for the story of how he independently determined His identity when he met Mullá Husayn in Isfahán on his way to deliver a tablet to Bahá'u'lláh in Tehran. The very next day he left Isfahán for Shíráz on foot arriving 12 days later to find that the Báb had already departed for pilgrimage.
  • He took up residence in Shíráz and received a Tablet from the Báb instructing him to change the Call to Prayer. See DB146-148, EB13-14 for the story of how he endured over 900 strokes of the lash on the command of Husayn Khán-i-Írva´ní, the Governor of the province of Fars, and remained indifferent to the pain. (6 August, 1845) He was expelled from the city and proceeded to Yazd. He had similar fate in that city and was banished.
  • On the way to Khurásán he joined Mullá Husayn and those who would participate in the Tabarsí siege where he was on hand for the death of Mullá Husayn. (DB381) After the deception and massacre he was one of the few survivors and, as a prisoner, was taken to Mázindarán to be executed by the family Prince Mihdí-Qulí Mírzá who had commanded the royal troops and had been killed in battle. On route the party called on the clerics to interrogate him and his fellow Bábi and they became convinced that they were not heretics deserving of execution. The prisoners were to be sent to Tehran but escaped and made their way to Míhámí and eventually to Mashad.
  • In 1861, after life in that city became impossible, he went to Baghdád where he attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh. After 14 months he returned to his native province of Khurásán.
  • He continued in his audacious teaching and as a result was taken to Tehran where he was kept in the Síhåh-Chál. He taught a number of fellow prisoners about the Promised One and converted Hakím Masíh, the Jewish physician assigned to attend to the prisoners. He was the first Bahá'í of Jewish background in Tehran (and was the grandfather of Lutfu'lláh Hakím, a former member of the Universal House of Justice.) After 28 months imprisonment he was pardoned but refuse to leave without his fellow prisoners. The Sháh released 40 of the 43 prisoners. (The remaining three were guilty of actual crimes.)
  • After Tehran he went to Khurásán and returned to the capital some three years later to help in changing the hiding place of the remains of the Báb. Then he travelled to Káshán, Isfahán and Yazd where he convinced some of the Afnáns to accept the truth of their Nephew's claims. After returning to Khurásán he was given permission to make a pilgrimage to 'Akká where he remained for some four months, returning by way of Mosul and Baghdád. When he reached Hamadán he was exhausted. Twelve days after his arrival he passed.
  • He had been the recipient of many tablets from Bahá'u'lláh including a Tablet of Visitation after his passing. One of the most well-know tablets was the Lawh-i-Ahbáb (Tablet of the Friends). It is thought He revealed this Tablet some time after leaving the barracks in 'Akká, about 1870-1871. [RoB3p258-260, List of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh]
  • He was the father of Ibn-i-Asdaq who Bahá'u'lláh appointed a Hand of the Cause of God. [EB19]
  • ‘Abdu’l-Baha posthumously referred to him as a Hand of the Cause of God.
  • References [LoF32-41, MF5-8, DB381. EB7-23, BBR 69-70]
Hamadan; Iran Hands referred to as such by Abdul-Baha; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Ismullahul-Asdaq (Mulla Sadiq Khurasani)
1892 6 Jul The passing of Hand of the Cause of God Nabil-i-Akbar Áqá Muhammed-i-Qá'iní. He was born in Naw-Firist, Persia (Iran) on 29 March 1829.
  • “It has been claimed that no one within the enclave of the Baha’i Faith has ever surpassed the profundity of his erudition.” Bahá’u’lláh addressed the Lawh-i-Hikmat (Tablet of Wisdom) in his honour. [EB115]
  • He was imprisoned a number of times in Iran for his Bahá’í activities and eventually moved to Ashkhabad (‘Ishqábád, Turkmenistan). He died in Bukhárá, Uzbekistan. ‘Abdu’lBahá designated him a Hand of the Cause of God. [LoF28-31]
  • For details of his life see EB112–15.
  • Bukhara; Uzbekistan; Naw-Firist; Iran Nabil-i-Akbar (Aqa Muhammed-i-Qaini); Hands referred to as such by Abdul-Baha; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Lawh-i-Hikmat (Tablet of Wisdom); Baha'u'llah, Writings of
    1896 1 May The martyrdom of Hand of the Cause of God Varqa (‘Dove’), Mírzá ‘Ali-Muhammad. (b.1856) He and his young son, Ruhu’lláh, were killed by, Hajib’ud-Dawleh, one of the Qajar courtiers, in fact the Chief Steward, in the aftermath of the assassination of Nasir'd-Din Shah. [GPB296, BBRXXIX]
  • For the story of their lives see MRHK405–22 and World Order: Winter 1974-1975, Vol. 9 No.2 p29-44.
  • For a Western account of the episode see BBR361–2.
  • He was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause of God by 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá named him posthumously as a Hand of the Cause and Shoghi Effendi designated him as one of the Apostles of Bahá-u-lláh. [EB75-97 LoF42-49, BBR361-362, SoBSNBp225-229]
  • See Varqá and Son: The Heavenly Doves by Darius Shahrokh.
  • See also Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • See SoW Vol 12 No 4 (17 May 1921 (Volume 7 pg93) for a photo of Varqá, Ruhu'lláh and their two companions.
  • Yazd; Tihran; Iran Varqa, Mirza Ali-Muhammad; Varqa, Ruhullah; In Memoriam; Apostles of Bahaullah; Hands of the Cause; Hands appointed by Abdul-Baha; Hands appointed by Abdul-Baha; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Varqa
    1897 In the year The passing of Hand of the Cause of God Shaykh Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Yazdí (Mullá Ridá) while incarcerated in the Síyáh-Cháh.
    • He was born in Muhammad-Ábád in the province of Yazd into a well-known family in about 1814. He was provided a good education and he became a divine known for his piety, eloquence and courage.
    • Mullá Ridá became a follower of the Báb in the early days of the Revelation. He recognized Bahá'u'lláh as the Promised One of the Bayan some time after 1855 upon reading Qasídiy-i-Varqá'íyyih, "Ode of the Dove". (Bahá'u'lláh had composed this ode while still in Sulaymáníyyih.)
    • He was a fearless teacher who was outspoken and often suffered imprisonment and torture. "Other than seventeen-year-old Badí, no one has surpassed Mullá Ridá's unusual power of endurance. The rare combination of endurance, eloquence, courage and humour made him that unique hero who illuminated the pages of the history of the Bahá'í Faith." [Extract from a Persian book called Masabih-i-Hidayat, Volume I by Azizu'llah-i-Sulaymani]
    • In one story of his courage in teaching and his endurance in withstanding abuse, he was found to be picking his teeth while being bastinadoed and, in another, while a elderly man he withstood a brutal flogging on his bare back in the prison yard. A witness to this flogging, Ghulám-Ridá Khán, a notable of Tehran who happened to be imprisoned at the same time, became a believer upon seeing his steadfastness under the lashing. [RoB1p84-91, EB89-111, LoF21-27]
    • 'Abdu'l-Bahá referred to a few of the believers posthumously as being Hands of the Cause (see MF5 and BW14p446) Adib Taherzadeh points out that "since there are one or two others by the same name (Shaykh-Ridáy-i-Yazdí) it is not possible to identify him. However, some believe strongly that he is Mullá Muhammad-i-Ridáy-i-Muhammmad-Ábádí. [RoB4p186n]
    Muhammadabad; Yazd; Tihran; Iran Mulla Rida (Shaykh Muhammad-Riday-i-Yazdi); Hands referred to as such by Abdul-Baha; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Siyah Chal (Black Pit)
    1897 In the year The Hands of the Cause appointed by Bahá'u'lláh are instructed by `Abdu'l-Bahá to gather to begin the consultations regarding the future organization of the Bahá'í community in Tihrán.
    • This gathering leads to the formation of the Central Spiritual Assembly of Tihrán in 1899. [BBD98, 114, 115; EB268]
    Tihran; Iran Hands appointed by Bahaullah; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Central Spiritual Assembly of Tihran; Spiritual Assemblies; Administrative Order
    1910 The passing of Hand of the Cause of God Hájí Mullá ‘Alí-Akbar-i-Shahmírzádí, (Hájí Akhund). He was born in Shahmírzád around 1842/3.
    • Bahá’u’lláh had entrusted him with the sacred task of moving and hiding the remains of the Báb. In Tehran he transferred the remains to Hand of the Cause Amínu’l-Bayán who moved them through innumerable dangers to a safe hiding place in the Mosque of the Imámzádih Zayd in Tehran, where they lay concealed until the time when, at the behest of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, they were transferred to the Holy Land to be laid in their permanent resting place on the slopes of Mount Carmel. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]
    • He was appointed a Hand of the Cause by Bahá’u’lláh. [LoF3-8]
    Tihran; Shahmirzad; Iran Haji Akhund (Mulla Ali-Akbar-i-Shahmirzadi); Hands appointed by Bahaullah; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Activities
    1917 The passing of Hand of the Cause of God Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Abharí (Ibn-i-Abhar). He was born in 1853/4 in Abhar.
    • For four years he suffered in Síyáh-Chál wearing the very same chains as Bahá’u’lláh had worn in 1852.
    • His services during the time of the Master included teaching journeys through Persia, the Caucasus and India. He also made some eleven journeys to the Holy Land with the permission of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
    • A special service rendered by Ibn-i-Abhar was the promotion of the education of women. He and his wife played an important part in the advancement of women in Persian society.
    • In 1886 Bahá’u’lláh appointed him a Hand of the Cause. He died in 1917. [LoF13-16, BBD114, EB268]
    Abhar; Tihran; Iran; Caucasus; India Hands appointed by Bahaullah; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Ibn-i-Abhar (Mulla Muhammad Taqi); Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Chains; Women; Gender; Equality
    1928 The passing of Hand of the Cause of God Mírzá 'Alí-Muhammad, known as Ibn-i-Asdaq. He was born in Mashhad in 1850/1.
  • His father was Mullá Sádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-Khursúní, referred to as a Hand of the Cause of God by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [EM19] While still a child he suffered imprisonment with his father in Tehran.
  • He begged Bahá’u’lláh permission to be a martyr. Baha’u’llah said that if one lived right he might attain martyrdom. In 1882 Baha’u’llah conferred the station of martyr on him calling him “Shahid Ibn-i-Shahid” (“Martyr, son of the Martyr”) .”
  • He is the first of the Hands of the Cause of God named by Bahá’u’lláh.
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave him a special mission to teach members of the “ruling class” the Faith.
  • He was deeply involved in the planning and construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in ‘Ishqábád.
  • Ibn-i-Asdaq, Mírzá ‘Alí-Muhammad, Hand of the Cause of God, Apostle of Bahá’u’lláh, passes away in Tihrán. [BBD115, EM176, LoF9-12, RoB4p286]
  • For details of his life see EB171–6.
  • Tihran; Mashhad; Iran In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause; Hands appointed by Bahaullah; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Apostles of Bahaullah; Ibn-i-Asdaq (Mirza Ali-Muhammad); Apostles of Bahaullah; Mulla Sadiq-i-Muqaddas-i-Khursuni; Hands referred to as such by Abdul-Baha; Names and titles; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad
    1933 23 Oct Keith Ransom-Kehler dies of smallpox in Isfahán. [BW5:24, 398]
    • For her obituary see BW5:389–410.
    • She is buried near the grave of the King of Martyrs. [BW5:398]
    • For a picture of her grave see BW5:399.
    • Shoghi Effendi names her America’s ‘first and distinguished martyr’. [BW5:398]
    • Shoghi Effendi elevates her to the rank of Hand of the Cause on 28 October, 1933. [BW5:398, MoCxxii]
    • For her mission in Iran see BW5:23–7.
    • See also PP306–7.
    • See Other People Other Places by Marzieh Gail (pages 176-181) for a pen portrait of Keith Ransom-Kehler .
    Isfahan; Iran Keith Ransom-Kehler; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Cemeteries and graves; Names and titles; Firsts, Other
    1938 to 1955 The fourth Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh was Jináb-i-Valíyu'lláh Varqá, the third son of Varqá the martyr. He was born in Tabriz and after the death of his father and brother he was raised by his grandmother, a fanatical Muslim. At the age of 16 his uncle removed him from the home and taught him the Faith. He attended the American University at Beirut and spent summers with 'Abdu'l-Bahá and accompanied the Master to America and served as His interpreter. He returned to Iran where he served on local and national assemblies and was made a Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh in 1938 at a time when the observance of the law spread throughout Iran. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]

    He was elevated to a Hand of the Cause of God in 1951 and passed away in Tubingen, Germany in 1955 while taking a treatment for an illness. [BW13p831-834]

    Tubingen; Germany; Tabriz; Iran; Beirut; Lebanon; Akka Varqa, Valiyullah; Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; American University at Beirut; Varqa
    1939 28 Sep Martha Root, ‘foremost Hand raised by Bahá’u’lláh’, passes away in Honolulu. (b. 10 August,1872 Richwood Union County Ohio, USA) [BBD198–9; GPB388; MRHK486; PP105]
    • Photos of her gravesite 1, 2 and 3.
    • Directions to her gravesite.
    • For Shoghi Effendi’s tribute to her see GPB386–9.
    • On the 2nd of October Shoghi Effendi announced her appointment to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God. [MoCxxii]
    • Shoghi Effendi calls her the ‘archetype of Bahá’í itinerant teachers’, the ‘foremost Hand raised by Bahá’u’lláh since ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing’, ‘Leading ambassadress of His Faith’ and ‘Pride of Bahá’í teachers’. [GPB386]
    • From the Guardian...her "acts shed imperishable lustre American Bahá'í Community". [PP106]
    • For her obituary see BW8:643–8.
    • She is buried in the Nuuanu Cemetery, Honolulu.
    • See also Garis, Martha Root: Lioness at the Threshold and Martha Root: Herald of The Kingdom.
    • See Other People Other Places by Marzieh Gail (pages 170-175) for a pen-portrait of Martha Root.
    • She was designated a Hand of the Cause of God on the 3rd of October, 1954
    Honolulu; Hawaii Martha Root; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Cemeteries and graves; In Memoriam
    1942 25 Jun The passing of 'Abdu'l-Jalíl Bey Sa'ad who was, for many years, the president of the National Spiritual Assembly and a judge in the Civil Courts in Egypt. Through his sustained effort the Declaration of Trust was recognized as valid and legalized in 1934.
    • He made an important contribution in translating into Arabic. Among his accomplishments were The Dawn-Breakers, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, Laws of Personal Status and Rules of Procedure.
    • In 1941 he employed the Declaration of Trust as an instrument to induce the Ministry of Civil Defence to grant permission to build the Hazíratu'l-Quds in Cairo. While supervising this project in the intense heat he fell ill and died suddenly after an operation.
    • Shoghi Effendi appointed him to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God on the day of his passing. [MoC597-599]
    Egypt Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Abdul Jalil Bey Saad; Declaration of Trust; Haziratul-Quds; Dawn-Breakers (book); Esslemont; Arabic language; Translation
    1946 13 Dec The passing of Muhamman Taqí Isfahání. He had been born in Persia and was horrified by the behaviour of Mullá Huhammad Báqir (The Wolf) and Imám-Jum'íh who had killed the two brothers Muhammad Husayn and Muhammad Hasan so he left for Egypt and encountered many believers on his way. He passed through Akka and met both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'-Bahá.
    • His name is closely associated with the early progress of the Faith in Egypt. His house was the centre of activity and was were both Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl and Lua Getsinger spent their last days. He received 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His visit to Egypt. He was the chief member of the Publishing Committee and helped to translate many books into Arabic such as the Iqán and Some Answered Questions.
    • The Guardian announced his elevation to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God two days after his passing and donated a sum of money to be used for his tomb. He is buried in the Bahá'í Cemetery. [MoCxxii, BW11p500-502]
    Egypt Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Hands of the Cause, Activities; In Memoriam; Muhamman Taqi Isfahani; Lua Getsinger; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Translation
    1952 8 Oct Shoghi Effendi announces his decision to launch ‘the fate-laden, soul-stirring, decade-long world-embracing Spiritual Crusade’ in the coming year. [BW12:253–5; MBW411
    • For the objectives of the Crusade see BW12:256–14.
    • Among the goals to be achieved is the construction of the International Bahá’í Archives building. [BBD22; DH168; MBW43]
    • He calls upon the Hands of the Cause to appoint during Ridván 1954 five auxiliary boards to act as their adjuncts or deputies to work with the national spiritual assemblies to execute the projected national plans. [MBW44, BW13p335]
    BWC Ten Year Crusade; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; International Bahai Archives; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Auxiliary Board Members and assistants; Appointed arm; NSA; Teaching plans; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1953 12–18 Feb The first Intercontinental Teaching Conference is convened by the British National Spiritual Assembly in Kampala, Uganda. [BW12:121, MBW135-140]
    • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the conference see BW12:121–4.
    • For a report of the conference see BW12:124–30.
    • It is attended by ten Hands of the Cause, Bahá’ís from 19 countries and representatives of over 30 tribes. [PP413]
    • Over a hundred new African believers attend as personal guests of the Guardian. [PP413]
    • With this conference the Ten Year World Crusade is launched. [BBRSM158–9; BW12:253; MBW41]
    Kampala; Uganda; Africa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Guardianship; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; Teaching; First conferences
    1953 3 – 6 May The All-America Intercontinental Teaching Conference is held in Chicago. [BW12:133]
    • For the texts of Shoghi Effendi’s messages to the conference see BW12:133–41 and MBW142–6.
    • Twelve Hands of the Cause are present. [BW12:143]
    • At the conference, five members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States resign from that body in order to go pioneering: Elsie Austin, Dorothy Baker, Matthew Bullock, Mamie Seto and Dr William Kenneth Christian. [ZK102]
    • Extract from the cecond message to All-American Intercontinental Conference from Shoghi Effendi... [MBW150]
      .....the lands contributed in Latin America for a similar purpose approximate one-half of a million square meters, ninety thousand of which have been set aside near Santiago, Chile, for the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of South America..
    Chicago; United States; Santiago; Chile; America Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; Teaching; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Pioneering; Elsie Austin; Dorothy Baker; Matthew Bullock; Mamie Seto; William Kenneth Christian; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Santiago; Purchases and exchanges
    1953 21 – 26 Jul The European Intercontinental Teaching Conference is held in Stockholm. [BW12:167]
    • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the conference see BW12:167–71.
    • For a report of the conference see BW12:171–8.
    • Fourteen Hands of the Cause are present. [BW12:171]
    • 374 Bahá’ís from 30 countries attend, of these 110 come from the ten goal countries. [BW12:171]
    Stockholm; Sweden; Europe Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; Teaching; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities
    1954 6 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the creation of five Auxiliary Boards with the following number of members: Asia 7; America 9; Europe 9; Africa 9; Australia 2. [MBW59]
    • Their function is to ‘act as deputies of the Hands in their respective continents’, to ‘aid and advise them in the effective prosecution of the’ and to assist them ‘in the discharge of their dual and sacred task of safe-guarding the Faith and of promoting its teaching activities’. [MBW63]
    • See also BBD26; BBRSM127; MC3.
    • These boards were mandated with the propagation of the Faith.
    Auxiliary Board Members and assistants; Appointed arm; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Ten Year Crusade
    1955 to 2007 The fifth Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh was 'Ali-Muhammad Varqá. He inherited both the Trusteeship and the station of Hand of the Cause of God from his father upon his passing. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]
    • During his tenure the compilation Huqúqu'lláh was published (1985) by the Universal House of Justice.
    • The delegates gathered at the National Convention of the Bahá'ís of the United States in 1984 petitioned the Universal House of Justice to make the Law of the Huqúqu'lláh applicable in their country. (Up to this point the law only applied to Bahá'is of Persian origin.) The Universal House of Justice replied that it was not yet time for such a measure but did agree to make more information available in preparation for such a time. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 3 January, 1985, AWH30]
    • Friends in Austria and the United States published codifications on the Law of the Huqúqu'lláh. To the benefit of the believers everywhere the Research Department at the World Centre was asked to prepare a brief history and a Codification. This information was sent to all national assemblies in the Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1987.
    • In 1991 the Central Office of Huqúqu'lláh was established in the Holy Land under the direction of the Chief Trustee in anticipation of the worldwide application of the law. Subsequently regional and national boards were established. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 1991]
    • With the publication of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in English in 1992 the law of the Huqúqu'lláh became universally applicable.
    • In 2005 an International Board of Trustees of the Huqúqu'lláh was established to guide the regional and national boards. Three members appointed to the Board were Sally Foo, Ramin Khadem, and Grant Kvalheim. Their term of office was to be determined. [Ridván 2005]
    • The last Hand of the Cause of Cause and Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh, Alí Muhammad Varqá, passed away in Haifa on the 22nd of September, 2007. [BWNS579]
    BWC; Haifa Varqa, Ali-Muhammad; Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Varqa; BWNS
    1957 10 Nov The Hands of the Cause meet in London. [TG157]
    • See SDSC191-195 and SDSC430 note 8 for excerpts from the transcript of the talk recorded in shorthand by Rose M Wade and given by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum to the gathered Hands and other friends.
    London; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum
    1957 15 Nov Hands of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins and Leroy Ioas, accompanied by Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery, enter the apartment of Shoghi Effendi and seal with tape and wax the safe where his important documents were kept as well as the drawers to his desk. [BW13:341]
    • The keys to the safe are placed in an envelope, which is sealed and signed by the five Hands and then placed in the safe of Leroy Ioas. BW13:341]
    Haifa Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Leroy Ioas; Ugo Giachery
    1957 18–25 Nov The first conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí. Twenty-three Hands were present. [BBRSM128; DH215; MC8–11, TG158]
    • This is the first meeting of the Hands of the Cause as a group.
    • For a personal account of the Conclave by Hand of the Cause Zikrullah Khadem. see ZK119.
    • For the nature of the six Conclaves see MC9–10, 12.
    Akka; BWC; Haifa Bahji; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Conclaves; Zikrullah Khadem
    1957 18 Nov The Hands of the Cause conduct a memorial meeting for Shoghi Effendi in the Haram-i-Aqdas. [BW13:341; MC35] Akka Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Haram-i-Aqdas; Bahji
    1957 19 Nov Nine Hands of the Cause are chosen by Rúhíyyih Khánum to examine Shoghi Effendi’s apartment. [BW 13:341]
    • These are the five members of the International Bahá’í Council (Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Ugo Giachery and Leroy Ioas), an Afnán (Hasan Balyuzi), a representative of the Hands of the Western Hemisphere (Horace Holley), a representative of the Hands of the African continent (Músá Banání) and the Trustee of the Huqúqu’lláh (‘Alí Muhammad Varqá). [BW13:341]
    • After seeing that the seals are intact, the Hands examine the contents of Shoghi Effendi’s safe and desk. [BW13:341]
    • The nine Hands sign a document testifying that no Will or Testament of any nature executed by Shoghi Effendi has been found. This is reported to the entire body of Hands assembled in the Mansion of Bahjí. [BW13:341]
    • See CB378–9 for an explanation of why Shoghi Effendi left no Will.
    Haifa; Bahji Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; International Bahai Council; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Ugo Giachery; Leroy Ioas; Hasan Balyuzi; Horace Holley; Musa Banani; Varqa, Ali-Muhammad
    1957 25 Nov A proclamation is issued stating that Shoghi Effendi left no heir and made no appointment of another Guardian. [BW13:341–5; MC25–30]
    • See LOG310 for an explanation of the various meanings of the word ‘Guardianship’.
    • See CB388–9 for a discussion of the continuation of the institution of the Guardianship.
    Haifa; BWC Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Covenant (general); Hands of the Cause, Activities; Guardianship; Custodians; Appointed arm; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1957 25 Nov Nine Hands are chosen to serve as Custodians of the Faith residing in the Holy Land. [BBD57; BW13:342; DH215]
    • The Hands residing in the Holy Land are established as a legal body under the title ‘The Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith’.
    • The Hands chosen as first Custodians are Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Leroy Ioas, Hasan Balyuzi, ‘Alí Akbar Furútan, Jalál Kházeh, Paul Haney and Adelbert Mühlschlegel. [BW13:345–6; MC40–1]
    Haifa; BWC Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Institution; Custodians; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Leroy Ioas; Hasan Balyuzi; Ali Akbar Furutan; Jalal Khazeh; Paul Haney; Adelbert Muhlschlegel; Appointed arm
    1957 Nov-1963 Apr Interregnum

    The six year ministry of the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land, or ‘Custodians’. [BW16:90; WG45–6]

    • This period is known as the ‘interregnum’. [BBD 120]
    • See BW14:467 for a summary of the work of the Hands of the Cause during this period.
    • The International Bahá’í Council continues to perform its duties at the World Centre under the direction of the Custodians. [BBD118]
    • See also The Ministry of The Custodians 1957–1963.
    Haifa; BWC Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Custodians; Interregnum; Ministry of The Custodians (book); International Bahai Council; Universal House of Justice; Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Appointed arm; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1958 21–24 Mar The second Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Sydney, Australia. [BW13:319]
    • Hand of the Cause Charles Mason Remey, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative and who is the architect of the Mother Temple of Australasia, attends, accompanied by four other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:317]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC72–5.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:319–21.
    Sydney; Australia; Australasia Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Charles Mason Remey; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Sydney; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects
    1958 2–4 May The third Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Wilmette, Illinois. [BW13:323]
    • Hand of the Cause Dr Ugo Giachery, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by four other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:323]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC90–8.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:323–5.
    Wilmette; Illinois; United States; America Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Ugo Giachery; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade
    1958 25–29 Jul The fourth Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Frankfurt, Germany. [BW13:327]
    • Amelia Collins, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by ten other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:327]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC102–6.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:327–9.
    Frankfurt; Germany; Europe Amelia Collins; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade
    1958 21 Sep Hand of the Cause Leroy Ioas arrives in Indonesia and is plunged into negotiations regarding the holding of the conference. He meets with local Bahá’ís and anoints them with attar of roses as they pass to the room to view the portrait of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:331–2] Indonesia Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Leroy Ioas
    1958 27 – 29 Sep The fifth Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Singapore. [BW13:331]
    • Hand of the Cause Leroy Ioas, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by eight other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:331–2]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC111–6.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:331–2.
    Singapore; Asia Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Leroy Ioas; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade
    1958 21–28 Nov The Second Conclave of the Hands of the Cause convenes at Bahjí. [BW13:347–8; MC118]
    • It is attended by 25 of the 27 Hands of the Cause. [BW13:347; MC118]
    • The Hands of the Cause call for the election of the Universal House of Justice at the time of the Most Great Jubilee in 1963. BBRSM129; BW13:351; MC122]
    Akka Hands of the Cause, Conclaves; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Most Great Jubilee; Centenaries
    1959 14 Jun The Hands of the Cause announce that the remains of the cousin of the Báb have been identified and have been transferred to a cemetery. [MC161] Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities
    1959 23 Oct - 1 Nov The third Conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí. [BW13:351; MC161–2]
    • For the agenda of the meeting see MC163–4.
    • Charles Mason Remey unsuccessfully attempts to convince his fellow Hands that the Guardianship should continue. [BBRSM130; MC217]
    Akka Bahji; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Charles Mason Remey; Guardianship; Covenant-breakers
    1959 4 Nov The Hands of the Cause issue a message from their third Conclave. [MC166–70]
    • The date for the election of the Universal House of Justice is fixed at Ridván 1963. [MC166]
    • They call for the election at Ridván 1961 of 21 national spiritual assemblies in Latin America. [MC167–8]
    • They call for the election at Ridván 1962 of 11 national spiritual assemblies in Europe. [MC168]
    • They call for the election at Ridván 1961 of the International Bahá’í Council by postal ballot of the members of the national and regional spiritual assemblies constituted at Ridván 1960. [MC168]
    • The name of Hand of the Cause Charles Mason Remey is missing from the list of signatories to this letter. [MC170]
    Akka Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Universal House of Justice, Election of; International Bahai Council; Charles Mason Remey; Covenant-breakers
    1960 5 May Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qásim Faizí is sent by the Custodians to France to meet with the National Spiritual Assembly and Bahá’ís of France. [MC197]
    • After consultation, five members of the assembly continue to support Charles Mason Remey in his claim to be the second Guardian and resign from the assembly. The national assembly is dissolved. [MC203]
    BWC; Haifa; France Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Abul-Qasim Faizi; NSA; Charles Mason Remey; Covenant-breakers; Guardianship
    1960 26 Jul The Hands of the Cause of God declare Charles Mason Remey a Covenant-breaker. [BBRSM221; MC224–5] Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Charles Mason Remey; Covenant-breakers
    1960 18 – 27 Oct The fourth Conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí. [MC229] Haifa; BWC Bahji; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Conclaves
    1960 2 Nov The Hands of the Cause issue a message from their fourth Conclave. [MC237–44]
    • All the Hands of the Cause are henceforth to render their services on a global, rather than a regional, scale. [MC239]
    Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Conclaves
    1961 Jan - Feb Hand of the Cause of God Dr Rahmatu’lláh Muhájir travels to India and demonstrates the principle of mass teaching. [DM172–84; SBBH2:165–7]
    • Mass teaching begins in the rural area of Madhya Pradesh among the Hindu population. In 1961 there are 850 Bahá’ís; in 1963 87,000; by 1973 nearly 400,000; and by 1987 about two million. In 1983 45 per cent of all local spiritual assemblies are in India. [BBRSM195; BW13:299]
    Madhya Pradesh; India Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Rahmatullah Muhajir; Mass conversion; Mass teaching; Teaching; LSA; Statistics; Growth
    1961 15 Oct – 2 Nov The fifth Conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí. [MC297]
    • For the agenda see MC298.
    Akka Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Conclaves; Bahji
    1961 5 Nov The Hands of the Cause issue a message from their fifth Conclave. [MC313–23]
    • They call for the election of the Universal House of Justice at a convention to be held in the Holy Land on the first, second and third days of Ridván 1963. [CB392; MC321]
    • They ask the electors to leave the Hands free to ‘discharge their duties’. [MC321]
    • The celebration of the Most Great Jubilee, the Centenary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh, is to be held in London rather than Baghdád, owing to the situation in the Middle East. [MC322]
    Haifa; Baghdad; Iraq; London; United Kingdom Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Conclaves; Bahji; Most Great Jubilee; World congresses; Centenaries; Universal House of Justice, Election of; UHJ
    1963 9 Apr The sixth Conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí.
    • For the agenda see MC404.
    • For cabled message from the Conclave see MC420.
    Akka Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Hands of the Cause, Conclaves; Bahji
    1963 7 May The Universal House of Justice issued its first message to national conventions. [WG4–8]
    • It announced that the body has no officers and that its communications will be signed ‘Universal House of Justice’ over an embossed seal. [WG6]
    • It paid tribute to the Hands of the Cause. [WG5]
      • See the message from the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 2007 for a list of accomplishments of the Hands of the Cause during the period between the passing of the Guardian and the election of the Universal House of Justice.
    Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; UHJ; Universal House of Justice (general); Universal House of Justice, Messages of
    1963 9 May The Hands of the Cause of God pass a resolution regarding the principles that will apply between the body of the Hands and the Hands Residing in the Holy Land and the activities of the Hands in the Holy Land. [MC426]
    • Five Hands of the Cause are assigned to the Holy Land.
    Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities
    1963 19 May The Hands of the Cause cable the annual conventions with the names of the five Hands chosen to reside in the Holy Land: Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Leroy Ioas, ‘Alí-Akbar Furútan, Paul Haney and Abu’l-Qásim Faizí. [MC427] Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Leroy Ioas; Ali Akbar Furutan; Paul Haney; Abul-Qasim Faizi
    1971 The ‘Lake Victoria Plan’, a joint venture among the National Spiritual Assemblies of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi designed to carry the Faith to all the peoples and tribes living within Africa’s largest lake basin, is inaugurated at the suggestion of Hand of the Cause Dr Muhájir. [DM96–8] Lake Victoria; Africa Rahmatullah Muhajir; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities
    1973 5 Jun The International Teaching Centre is established at the Bahá’í World Centre for the purpose of continuing the work of the Hands of the Cause of God into the future. [BBD118–19; BBRSM132–3; BW16:134, 411–14; BW17:322–5; VV16, CEBF200]
    • For cable of the Universal House of Justice see BW16:413.
    • Hands of the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, ‘Alí-Akbar Furútan, Paul Haney and Abu’l-Qásim Faizí and Counsellor members Hooper Dunbar, Florence Mayberry and Aziz Yazdí are appointed. [BW16:413]
    • For pictures see BW16:412 and VV16.
    • The duties and the organization of the International Teaching Centre were deliniated in the Message from the Universal House of Justice of June 8th, 1973.
    BWC; Haifa International Teaching Centre; International Teaching Centre, Members of; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Counsellors; Universal House of Justice, Basic timeline; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Ali Akbar Furutan; Paul Haney; Abul-Qasim Faizi; Hooper Dunbar; Florence Mayberry; Aziz Yazdi; Appointed arm; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1992 The publication of the book entitled The Ministry of the Custodians 1957-1963: An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause was published by the Bahá'í World Centre. [VV122] BWC Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Custodians; Ministry of the Custodians (book); Publications
    2006 16 Jun The Baha'i International Community's Office of Public Information announced the launch of a new website called "Baha'i Media Bank,". The site contained more than 2,500 high-quality photographs on Baha'i-related themes and the plan was to eventually include video and audio material. [BWNS455] BWC; Worldwide Bahai Media Bank; Websites; Visuals; BWC; Bahaullah, Houses of; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Bab, Shrine of; Monument gardens; Gardens; Pilgrim houses; Montreal Shrine; Junayn Gardens; Ridvan garden; Haziratul-Quds (general); Bahai history; Pilgrimage; Knights of Bahaullah; Hands of the Cause; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Bahaullah, Family of; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Relics; First Bahais by country or area; Activities (general); Core activities; - Institute process; Devotional gatherings; Prayer; Ruhi institute; Study Circles; Childrens classes; Social action; Social and economic development; Conferences; Regional conferences; World Congresses; Conventions, International; Conventions, National; National Spiritual Assemblies; Local Spiritual Assemblies; Counsellors; Bahai International Community; Symbolism; Greatest Name; Persecution, Iran; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; World Centre

    from the main catalogue

    1. Bahá'í World, The: Volume 18 (1979-1983), in Bahá'í World (1986). [about]
    2. Core Activities of the Five Year Plan and the Movement of Clusters, by Farzam Arbab (2004). [about]
    3. Hands of the Cause of God, by Universal House of Justice and Lilian Ala'i, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 18 (1979-1983) (1986). Six documents from Baha'i World 18 part four section 2: The Hands of the Cause of God and their functions, their work and travels 1979-1983, Boards of Counsellors and the International Teaching Centre, and tributes by Lilian Ala'i and Ray Hudson. [about]
    4. Ministry of the Custodians: An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause 1957-1963, by Universal House of Justice (1992). Account of the stewardship of the Hands of the Cause of God from 1957-63, from the passing of Shoghi Effendi to the election of the House, riding the waves of crisis to the moment of victory — the fulfillment of prophecy. [about]
    5. Passing of Shoghi Effendi, Ministry of the Hands of the Cause, and Defection of Mason Remey, The, by Shahin Vafai, in The Essence of the Covenant: Features, History, and Implications (2005). [about]
    6. Varqá, Ali-Mohammad, by Iraj Ayman, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (2017). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    7. Visits of the Hands of the Cause of God to Ireland, by Betsy Omidvaran, in Solas, 3 (2003). An overview of all known visits by the Hands, the highest-ranking officers of the Bahá’í Faith, to Ireland. Review of the many historical sources about this largely-uninvestigated topic. Includes timeline of the visits between 1952 and 1986. [about]
     
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