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Search for tag "Egypt"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1819–1831 `Abdu'lláh Páshá becomes the governor of `Akká in 1819. In 1832 when the Egyptians take `Akká he surrenders and is taken to Egypt. He is freed in 1840 when the area reverts to Turkish rule. [BBD5] Akka; Israel; Egypt Abdullah Pasha; Governors; History (general)
1831 – 40 Egyptian occupation of `Akká. [BBR202; DH128]
  • 'Abdu'lláh Páshá is the governor of 'Akká from 1919 to 1831. In 1832 when the Egyptians took the city he surrenders and is taken to Egypt. He is freed in 1840 when the area reverted to Turkish rule. [BBD5]
Akka; Israel; Egypt; Turkey History (general); Abdullah Pasha
1840 The British fleet take `Akká from the Egyptians. [BBR202] Akka; Israel; Egypt; United Kingdom History (general)
1862 - 1863 Hájí Mírzá Haydar-`Alí and six other prominent Bahá'ís are arrested in Cairo for being Bahá'ís at the instigation of the corrupt Persian consul, Mírzá Husayn Khán. They are banished to Khartoum, where Haydar-`Alí will spend the next 9 years in confinement. [BBR257; BKG250; GBP178, Delight of Hearts 32-66] Egypt Haji Mirza Haydar-Ali; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
1863. 19 Oct Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Tablet of the Bell (Subhánika-Yá-Hú). [BKG206; BW14:632; RB2:18]
  • See SDH41-43 for the story of Hájí Mirzá Haydar-'Alí and the use of this tablet during his imprisonment in Egypt.
Istanbul; Turkey; Egypt Bahaullah, Writings of; Lawh-i-Naqus (Tablet of the Bell); Haji Mirza Haydar-Ali; Bab, Declaration of; Bahaullah, Life of
1867 Sep - Aug 1868 In this period the extent of the Faith is enlarged, with expansion in the Caucasus, the establishment of the first Egyptian centre and the establishment of the Faith in Syria. [GPB176]
  • While Nabil was in Khorasan in spring 1866, at his suggestion, the greeting Alláh-u-Abhá (God is the most Glorious) was adopted by the followers of Bahá'u'lláh, replacing the old salutation of Allāho Akbar (God is the Greatest), which was common among the Bábis. This was a significant action that gave group identity to the Bahá'ís and was a sign of their independence from the Bábís and the Azális, a Bábí faction that considered Mírzá Yaḥyā Ṣobḥ-e Azál as the legitimate successor to the Báb. The greeting Alláh-u-Abhá superseded the Islamic salutation and was simultaneously adopted in Persia and Adrianople. [BKG250; GPB176, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica,]
  • The phrase ‘the people of the Bayán', which now denotes the followers of Mírzá Yahyá, is discarded and is replaced by the term ‘the people of Bahá'. [BKG250; GBP176]
Caucasus; Egypt; Syria; Iran; Edirne; Turkey Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); People of the Bayan; People of Baha; Allah-u-Abha; Greatest Name; Most Great Separation; Z****
1868. c. May Bahá'u'lláh sends Nabíl-i-A`zam to Cairo to enquire after Hájí Mírzá Haydar-`Alí. He was instructed by Bahá'u'lláh to appeal to the officials for the release of several Bahá'ís who had been imprisoned in Cairo at the instigation of their enemies. He was thrown into prison in Cairo for two months and then in the Alexandria jail for a few more months. While there he befriended a Christian cellmate, Fáris Effendi, who soon becomes a Bahá'í. [BKG248, 265–6; EB268; GPB178]
  • Fáris Effendi was probably the first Christian to become a Bahá'í. [RB3:10, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica]
  • See BKG265–8 for an account of Nabíl's arrest and imprisonment.
  • After his release he travelled to Cyprus and Beirut and then joined the Bahá'u'lláh's exiled community in Akka in late October of 1969. He spent the last two decades of his life in that area. [“Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica]
Cairo; Egypt Nabil-i-Azam; Haji Mirza Haydar-Ali; Faris Effendi; Imprisonments; First believers by background; Christianity; Conversion; Interfaith dialogue
1868. c. 7 Jun Nabíl has a dream in which Bahá'u'lláh appears to him in his cell and assures him that he will have reason to rejoice within the next 81 days. [BKG267] Cairo; Egypt Nabil-i-Azam
1868. c. 21 Jul Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim-i-Shírází is arrested in Egypt and money extorted from him. [BBR257–8; BKG243; GPB178] Egypt Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
1868. 23 Aug The steamer leaves Smyrna at night for Alexandria, which she gains on a morning two days later. [BKG265] Izmir (Smyrna); Turkey; Alexandria; Egypt Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Ships
1868 26 - 27 Aug The steamer carrying Bahá'u'lláh docks at Alexandria, early in the morning. [BKG265; RB3:6]
  • The exiles change ships, again onto an Austrian-Lloyd ship. [BKG265]
  • Several exiles go ashore to make purchases. One passes by the prison house where Nabíl is detained. Nabíl, watching from the roof of his prison cell, recognizes him. [CH65, BKG265, 267; RB3:6]
  • Nabíl and Fáris Effendi write letters to Bahá'u'lláh which are delivered by a Christian youth. The youth returns with a Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh and gifts from `Abdu'l-Bahá and Mírzá Mihdí. [BKG267–8; RB3:6–7]
  • The ship bearing Bahá'u'lláh and the exiles leaves Alexandria for Port Said. [BKG268]
Alexandria; Egypt Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Nabil-i-Azam; Faris Effendi; Gifts; Ships
1868. c. Oct Nabíl is released from prison in Egypt and departs for `Akká. [BKG290–1; RB3:57]
  • He visits Cyprus on the way. [BKG291]
Cairo; Egypt; Akka; Cyprus Nabil-i-Azam
1879 `Abdu'l-Bahá travels to Beirut at the invitation of Midhat Páshá, the Válí of Syria. [BKG378]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá is still officially a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire. BKG379]
  • Bahá'u'lláh reveals a Tablet marking the occasion. [BKG378–9; GPB243; TB227–8]
  • Among the important figures `Abdu'l-Bahá meets in Beirut are Midhat Páshá himself and Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh, the future Grand Muftí of Egypt. [BKG379]
Beirut; Lebanon; Egypt Midhat Pasha; Muhammad Abduh; Lawh-i-Ard-i-Ba (Tablet of the Land of Ba); Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Life of
1882 11 Jul The British navy bombarded Alexandria, beginning or provoking fires that destroyed the city and forced a mass exodus of its population to the interior. In August-September the British invaded the country, restored Khedive Tawfiq to his throne, arrested 'Urabi, the Muslim modernist Muhammad 'Abduh, and other constitutionalists, and imposed a "veiled protectorate" on the country that differed only in name from direct colonial rule. The official British sources attempted to suggest that they had saved Egypt from a military junta allied to Islamic fanaticism, but more impartial observers have characterized the British invasion as the quashing of a grassroots democratic movement by an imperial power in the service of the European bond market. [BFA15, Wilmette Institute faculty notes] Alexandria; Egypt Britain; History (general); Muhammad Abduh
1890 In the decade Bahá'í books are published for the first time, in Bombay and Cairo. [GPB195; SA250] Mumbai (Bombay); India; Cairo; Egypt Bahai literature; Publishing; Publications; First publications; Business
1890 Ibrahim George Kheiralla (Khayru'lláh) becomes a Bahá'í in Cairo under the tutelage of `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Tihrání. [BFA1:19]
  • It is probable that he is the first Bahá'í from Syrian Christian background. [BFA19]
  • See BFA1:175 for pictures.
Cairo; Egypt Ibrahim George Kheiralla; First believers by background; Christianity; Conversion; Interfaith dialogue
1892 19 Jun Anton Haddad departed Cairo en route to the United States. [An Outline of the Bahá'í Movement in the United States: A sketch of its promulgator [Ibrahim Kheiralla] and why afterwards denied his Master, Abbas Effendi by Anton Haddad]
  • He is probably the first Bahá'í to reach American soil. [BFA1:26]
Cairo; Egypt; North America Anton Haddad; Ibrahim Kheiralla: Z****
1898. 10 Dec The first Western pilgrims arrive in `Akká. [AB68; BBD13; BBRXXX; DH214; GPB257; SCU13; Bahá'í Teachings]
  • They divide themselves into three parties, using Cairo as a staging post. [AB68; BFA1:143; SBBH1:93]
  • See AB68–72; BFA2:9; DH61; GPB257, 259 for those included in the pilgrimage group.
  • Included were Mrs Hearst's nieces, a few American friends and, joining in London, Mrs Mary Thornburgh-Cropper and her mother. [SCU13. CH234-236]
  • See BFA1:143–4 for those included in the first group.
  • Among the group is Robert Turner, the first member of the black race to become a Bahá'í. For 35 years, Turner faithfully served as butler to Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Senator George Hearst, parents of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. [AB72; BBD227; BFA1:139; GPB259]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá receives the pilgrims in the House of `Abdu'lláh Páshá. [BBD13, 108; DH61]
  • See AB68–71; BW16:104–5; CH235–6 and GPB257–9 for the pilgrims' responses to the pilgrimage.
  • Edward Getsinger makes a recording of `Abdu'l-Bahá chanting a prayer. [BFA1:160]
  • The Getsingers returned from the pilgrimage with an Arabic copy of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas which was later translated by Anton Haddad. [BFA2:11]
Akka; Cairo; Egypt Pilgrims; Pilgrimage; First pilgrims; Mary Virginia Thornburgh-Cropper; Robert Turner; First believers by background; Edward Getsinger; Lua Getsinger; Anton Haddad; Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book); House of Abdullah Pasha; Abdul-Baha, Voice recording of
1901 20 Aug Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd re-imposes the restrictions confining `Abdu'l-Bahá and His brothers within the walls of `Akká. [AB94; CB226–7; DH67–8; GBP264]
  • This is the result of mischief stirred up by Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí. [AB92–5; CB227; GBP264]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá is subjected to long interviews and detailed questioning. [AB95; GPB2645]
  • For the continued mischief and false allegations of the Covenant-breakers see CB227–30 and GBP265–7.
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá suspends the visits of the pilgrims for a time. [GBP267]
  • He directs that all the Bahá'í writings in the possession of His family and secretaries be transferred to Egypt and has His mail redirected through an agent in Egypt. [GBP267]
  • For the work of `Abdu'l-Bahá whilst in confinement 1901–8 see CB231–44 and GBP267–9.
Akka; Egypt Sultan Abdul-Hamid; Mirza Muhammad Ali; Covenant-breakers; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; Pilgrims; Pilgrimage; - Basic timeline, Expanded
1903 May Russian poet Isabella Grinevskaya wrote the play "Báb" which was performed in St. Petersburg in 1904 and again in 1914 and once again in 1917. It was translated into French and Tatar (and later into German by Friedrich Fiedler) and lauded by Leo Tolstoy and other reviewers at the time. It is reported to have been Tolstoy's first knowledge of the Faith.
  • In 1910-11 she spent two weeks in Ramleh as a guest of `Abdu'l-Bahá and after she returned to Russia she had several letters and Tablets from Him.
  • Immediately upon her return from Egypt in January of 1911 she began work on the book "A Journey in the Countries of the Sun", an account of her visit with 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This work was not completed until 1914 because in the summer of 1912 she made a trip to Paris to work with the French translator of "Báb", Madame Halperin, and when she returned to Leningrad she began work on the drama entitled Bahá'u'lláh. It was published in Leningrad in 1912 but was never performed. "Journey", a book of some 550 pages did not get published because of the disruption cause by the advent of the war. See BW6p707-712 for the article "Russia's Cultural Contribution to the Bahá'i Faith" by Martha Root.
  • For a photo see BW6p709 or here.
  • Also see Notes on the Babi and Bahá'í Religions in Russia and its territories by Graham Hassall.
  • Isabella Grinevskaya (the pen name of Beyle (Berta) Friedberg), born in Grodno in 1964, died in Istanbul in 1944. [Revolvy]
St Petersburg; Ramleh; Egypt; Istanbul; Turkey; Grodno; Russia Isabella Grinevskaya; Leo Tolstoy; Publications; Plays; Arts
1910 29 Aug `Abdu'l-Bahá departs for Egypt on board the Kosseir accompanied by two attendants, Mírzá Munír-i-Zayn and 'Abdu'l-Husayn. [ABF5, BBRXXX; GPB280, AB134-135, Bahá'í News #12 16Oct1910 pg206, the Message from the Universal House of Justice dated August 29, 2010]
  • GPB280 and AY84 say He departed in September.
  • After one month in Port Said He embarks for Marseille but turns back to Alexandria owing to His health. In a letter to Munírih Khánum He stated that His intention was to proceed to America or South Africa. [GPB280, ABF5]
  • He stays for a few days in the Victoria Hotel but then moves to a rented house in Ramleh, a suburb of Alexandria, where He stays for about one year. [GPB280, AB136]
  • Early in May of 1911 he moves to Cairo and takes up residence in nearby Zaytún. [AB138]
  • It was during this period that a sudden change occurred. A journalist who had previously been hostile towards Him took a new tone. [AB136]
  • The Russian poet Isabel Grinevsky, the Oriental Secretary of the British Agency, Ronald Storrs, Lord Kitchener, George Zaydán, eminent writer and celebrated editor as well as clerics, aristocrats, administrators, parliamentarians, men of letters, journalists and publicists, Arabs, Turks and Persians all seek out His company and meet Him. This period could be considered the first public proclamation of the Faith. [MRHK348, AB136-139]
  • See AB138-139 for a description of His triumphs during this period.
Port Said; Ramleh; Alexandria; Cairo; Zaytun; Egypt Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Proclamation; Firsts, Other; Isabella Grinevskaya; Ships
1911 11 Aug The beginning of `Abdu'l-Bahá's first Western tour. [AB139]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá departs from Egypt with a party of four on the S. S. Corsica for Marseilles, Thonon-les-Bains and London. [AB139; GPB280; SBR22, SoW Vol2 no.10 (8 September, 1911) p7]
  • Subsequent research has shown that the ship was not the S.S. Corsica as stated in GPB280 but rather the L'Orenoque. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris page 6 note 47.
  • See BW1:130 for a list of cities He visits between 1911 and 1913.
  • It is believed that funds for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s teaching journeys to the West were provided by an oil-rich believer in Baku. [AY11]
Baku; Alexandria; Egypt; Marseilles; Thonon-les-Bains; France; London; United Kingdom Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; S. S. Corsica; Orenoque; Ships; Funds; Donations; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded
1911 2 Dec `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves Paris and returns to Egypt where He takes up residence in Ramleh again. He passed the winter here and then embarked on His Second Western tour in March of 1912. [AB167; GPB280; SBR25] Ramleh; Egypt; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Life of
1912 25 Mar `Abdu'l-Bahá sails from Alexandria on the S.S. Cedric to New York via Naples. They arrive in that city after two day's sailing. [AB171; CWB281]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá prefered the slower S.S. Cedric to the Titanic, about to make her maiden voyage. [AB171]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá's companions numbered six: Shoghi Effendi, Siyyid Asadu'lláh-i-Qumí, Dr Amínu'lláh Faríd, Mírzá Munír-i-Zayn, Áqá Khusraw and this servant, Mahmúd-i-Zarqání. [Mahmud's Diary p13]
Alexandria; Egypt; Naples; Italy; New York; United States Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; S. S. Cedric; Ships; Titanic; Abdul-Baha, Life of; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
1913 13 Jun `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves Marseilles on the S. S. Himalaya for Port Said. [AB395]
  • He sends a telegram to Haifa instructing the many pilgrims awaiting his return to come to Port Said. Because of the great numbers who come, there isn't sufficient hotel accommodations and a large tent is erected on the roof in which to hold meetings. SoW Vol 4 No 7 p121.
Marseille; France; Port Said; Egypt Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; S. S. Himalaya; Ships; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Pilgrims; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
1913 13 Jun - 2 Dec At some time during His stay in Egypt 'Abdu'l-Bahá meets with Sir Ronald Storrs who presents Him to Lord Kitchener. [BW10p192,194]
  • 'Abdu'l-Bahá presents him with a specimen of writing by Mishkín-Qalam and His own Persian pen box.
Egypt Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Ronald Storrs, Sir; Kitchener, Lord; Mishkin-Qalam; Gifts
1913 10 Jul `Abdu'l-Bahá goes to Ismá`ílíyyah, where the weather is less humid. [AB399–400] Ismailiyyah; Egypt Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of
1913 17 Jul `Abdu'l-Bahá travels to Ramleh. [AB400] Ramleh; Egypt Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of
1913 23 Jul Lua Getsinger arrives at Port Said. [AB400] Port Said; Egypt Lua Getsinger; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of
1913 1 Aug Shoghi Effendi, the Greatest Holy Leaf and the eldest daughter of `Abdu'l-Bahá arrive in Egypt. [AB401]
  • During this period Tammaddun'ul-Mulk (who had been in London during `Abdu'l-Bahá first visit) attempts to divide the Bahá'ís of Tehran and Dr Amínu'llah Farid's increasingly erratic behaviour brought Him much suffering and sorrow. [AB402]
Ramleh; Egypt; Tihran; Iran Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Covenant-breakers; Tammaddunul-Mulk; Amin Farid
1913 2 Dec `Abdu'l-Bahá boards a Lloyd Triestino boat bound for Haifa. [AB402] Egypt; Haifa Lloyd Triestino; Ships; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
1914 21 Jan Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh, passes away in Cairo. [AB404; BBD67]
  • For a brief biography see EM263–5, SDH113.
  • His resting place is now next to that of Lua Getsinger in the Bahá'í cemetery in Cairo.
  • His numerous works include Fará'id (The Peerless Gems) 1898; The Brilliant Proof; 1912; Bahá'í Proofs, 1902; and Al-Duraru'l-Bahíyih (The Shining Pearls, published in English as Miracles and Metaphors), 1900. [BBD7]
  • See AY103, Star of the West, vol. IV, no. 19, pp. 316–7 and Bahá'í Proofs p17-18 for the story of how Ameen Fareed entered and secretly remained in Mírzá’s house, between the time of Mírzá’s death and his burial, and removed precious manuscripts which, slightly changed, he would spread among the believers in an attempt to undermine their unity at a later time.
Cairo; Egypt Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Apostles of Bahaullah; Lua Getsinger; Cemeteries and graves; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Ameen Fareed; Covenant-breakers
1916 1 May Lua Getsinger, Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá, dies of heart failure in Cairo. [BBD87; SW7, 4:29]
  • For an her obituary see SW7, 4:29-30.
  • She is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Cairo. In 1939 a court ruling enables the Bahá'ís to reinter her in the first Bahá'í cemetery established in Egypt. Her grave is now beside that of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl. [GPB344]
  • See also Sears and Quigley, The Flame.
Cairo; Egypt Lua Getsinger; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; Cemeteries and graves; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
1921 Following `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí publishes far and wide that he is the successor to `Abdu'l-Bahá. [CB277]
  • The Egyptian Bahá'ís respond to this by publishing a refutation of his claims. [CB276; SW12, 19:294-5]
Egypt Mirza Muhammad Ali; Covenant-breakers; Succession; Abdul-Baha, Will and testament of
1921 29 Dec Shoghi Effendi arrives in the Holy Land from England by train from Egypt. [GBF14; PP42]
  • An envelope addressed to him from 'Abdu'l-Bahá is waiting for him. It contained the Will and Testament. [Ruhi8.2p2]
  • He is so worn and grief-stricken that he has to be assisted up the stairs and is confined to bed for a number of days. [CB285]
United Kingdom; Egypt; Haifa Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Will and Testament of; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha, Passing of
1924 Dec The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt and the Sudan is formed, the first national body in Africa. [BBRSM121; GPB333]

Martha Root gives the first African radio broadcast about the Bahá'í Faith, in Cape Town.

Egypt; Sudan; Cape Town; South Africa NSA; Martha Root
1925 10 May A Muslim Court in Egypt pronounces the Faith to be an independent religion. [BBRSM173; BW2:31;BW3:49]
  • For text of the judgement see BW3:48–50.
  • This was ‘the first charter of liberty emancipating the Bahá’í Faith from the fetters of orthodox Islam’. [BA100-1, 120-123; BW3:110–11; GPBXII, 302, 365; CB306; PP319–20; UD65 WOB99, LoF57, SETPE1p102-104]
    1. "an attack which, viewed in the perspective of history, will be acclaimed by future generations as a landmark not only in the Formative Period of the Faith but in the history of the first Bahá'í century. Indeed, the sequel to this assault may be said to have opened a new chapter in the evolution of the Faith itself, an evolution which, carrying it through the successive stages of repression, of emancipation, of recognition as an independent Revelation, and as a state religion, must lead to the establishment of the Bahá'í state and culminate in the emergence of the Bahá'í World Commonwealth. [GPB364]
  • Subsequent to the court's decision...

      "the presentation of a petition addressed by the national elected representatives of that community to the Egyptian Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice (supported by a similar communication addressed by the American National Spiritual Assembly to the Egyptian Government, see BW4p166), enclosing a copy of the judgment of the Court, and of their national Bahá'í constitution and by-laws, requesting them to recognize their Assembly as a body qualified to exercise the functions of an independent court and empowered to apply, in all matters affecting their personal status, the laws and ordinances revealed by the Author of their Faith--these stand out as the initial consequences of a historic pronouncement that must eventually lead to the establishment of that Faith on a basis of absolute equality with its sister religions in that land." [GPB367]

      "it became a lever which the Egyptian Bahá'í community, followed later by its sister-communities, readily utilized for the purpose of asserting the independence of its Faith and of seeking for it the recognition of its government. Translated into several languages, circulated among Bahá'í communities in East and West, it gradually paved the way for the initiation of negotiations between the elected representatives of these communities and the civil authorities in Egypt, in the Holy Land, in Persia and even in the United States of America, for the purpose of securing the official recognition by these authorities of the Faith as an independent religion. " [GPB366]

    Background Information

      "It was in the village of Kawmu's-Sa`áyidih, in the district of Beba, of the province of Beni Suef in Upper Egypt, that, as a result of the religious fanaticism which the formation of a Bahá'í assembly had kindled in the breast of the headman of that village, and of the grave accusations made by him to both the District Police Officer and the Governor of the province--accusations which aroused the Muhammadans to such a pitch of excitement as to cause them to perpetrate shameful acts against their victims--that action was initiated by the notary of the village, in his capacity as a religious plaintiff authorized by the Ministry of Justice, against three Bahá'í residents of that village, demanding that their Muslim wives be divorced from them on the grounds that their husbands had abandoned Islám after their legal marriage as Muslims." [GPB364-365]

  • See message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt dated 21 December 2006.
Kawmus-Saayidih; Beba; Beni Suef; Egypt Recognition; Islam; Interfaith dialogue; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1929 Sep Shoghi Effendi sails from England to Cape Town and proceeds overland to Cairo. [PP180–1, SETPE1p163]
  • He travelled through East Africa passing through Rhodesia where he visited the grave of Cecil Rhodes and further north in Rhodesia to see the Victoria Falls.
  • He rode as a passenger through part of East Africa with an English hunter and travelled on a train for some five hundred miles.
  • He crossed the Nile River through a papyrus swamp on a ferry.
  • He was back in Haifa by October. [SETPE1p163]
United Kingdom; Cape Town; South Africa; Cairo; Egypt; Africa Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Travels of; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
1934 The Declaration of Trust was legalized in Egypt as a result of the work of Montfort Mills and 'Abdu'l-Jalíl Bey Sa'ad. This greatly facilitated future transactions with the Government. [BW9p598] Egypt Montfort Mills; Abdul-Jalil Bey Saad; Declaration of Trust
1934 In Egypt, a certain learned Shaykh el Kharashi attacked the Faith in a series of articles under the heading, "The Bahá'í Faith Is a Pleasing Illusion". 'Abdu'l-Jalíl Bey Sa'ad refuted his arguments with a series of fourteen articles under the heading "The Bahá'í Faith Is an Everlasting Truth". Having failed to counter 'Abdu'l-Jalíl's arguments the Shaykh and his associates appealed to the authorities to stop his articles on the grounds that they were anti-Muhammadan. The matter was raised to the Minister and then to Parliament where both parties were asked to stop publication. 'Abdu'l-Jalíl was transferred to a remote part of the country where, it was hoped that he would not be able to resume his activities. [BW9p598] Egypt Criticism and apologetics; Abdul-Jalil Bey Saad
1934 Dec The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt and the Sudan incorporate. [GPB336]
  • This is the first national assembly in an Islamic country to secure civil recognition and the status of an independent religion. [BW6:24]
Egypt; Sudan; NSA
1939 21 Feb Background Information

    "riots which broke out with exceptional fury in Ismá'ílíyyih, when angry crowds surrounded the funeral cortege of Muhammad Sulaymán, a prominent Bahá'í resident of that town, creating such an uproar that the police had to intervene, and having rescued the body and brought it back to the home of the deceased, they were forced to carry it without escort, at night, to the edge of the desert and inter it in the wilderness." [GPB367-368]

The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt had, in respect of the decision of the 10th of May, 1925 declaring the Báhá'í Faith to be non-Muslim, petitioned the government for the right to administer laws of personal status to the Bahá'í community according to its Bahá'í Laws affecting Matters of Personal Status. On the 29th of February, 1939, the Grand Muftí ruled that the Bahá'ís were not to be considered Muslims and had no right to be buried in Muslim cemeteries. Four plots of land were allocated to serve as cemeteries for the Bahá'í community in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and in Ismá'ílíyyih. Immediately following this decision the remains for Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl were transferred followed by the exhumation from a Christian cemetery in Cairo the remains of Lua Getsinger and subsequent re-interment in an adjacent plot. [GPB368-369]

Cairo; Alexandria; Port Said; Isma'iliyyih; Egypt Lua Getsinger; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani
1940 (in the decade) The first Egyptian Bahá’í summer school is held in the mid-1940s. Egypt Summer schools; First summer and winter schools
1940 The Grand Muftí of Egypt states that Bahá’ís cannot be buried in Muslim cemeteries, forcing the authorities to allow the Bahá’ís to have their own.
  • The graves of Mírzá Abu’l-Fadl Gulpáygání and Lua Getsinger are transferred to the cemetery near Cairo.
Egypt Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Lua Getsinger; Cemeteries and graves
1940 28 Jul Shoghi Effendi, Rúhíyyih Khánum and Sutherland Maxwell leave England for South Africa. [PP180]
  • This is the only route open back to Palestine, as Italy’s entrance into the war has closed the Mediterranean to Allied ships. [PP180]
  • The trip across Africa takes them to Stanleyville, Congo; Juba in the Sudan; down the Nile to Khartoum and back to Palestine through Cairo. [PP180–1, TG159]
United Kingdom; Africa; South Africa; Congo; Sudan; Egypt Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Travels of; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, Journeys of; Sutherland Maxwell; World War II; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
1941 'Abdu'l-Jalíl Bey Sa'ad translated The Dawn-Breakers into Arabic. His translation was published but because of the war it had to be referred to the Publicity Section of the government for approval. From that department it was passed to the high Muslim authorities who determined that it was against the Muslim faith and so should be condemned. The entire publication run was gathered for destruction and upon hearing this 'Abdu'l-Jalíl interviewed all the officers concerned and not only secured the release of the books but obtained official permissions to distribute them in Egypt and abroad. [BW-598-599] Egypt Dawn-Breakers (book); Nabil-i-Azam; Abdul-Jalil Bey Saad; Translation; Publications; Arabic language; Opposition
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
1946 13 Dec Muhammad Taqíy-i-Isfahání passes away in Egypt. He was born in Iran. [BW11:500]
  • Shoghi Effendi names him a Hand of the Cause of God posthumously. [BW11:502]
  • For his obituary see BW11:500–2.
Egypt Muhammad Taqiy-i-Isfahani; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi
1948 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Egypt and Sudan launch a Five Year Plan (1948-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46, BBRSM158] Egypt; Sudan Teaching Plans; Teaching Plans, National
1950 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the Africa Campaign in a cable to the British national convention. [BW12:52; UD245–6]
  • The British community is to lead the campaign supported by the Bahá’ís of the United States and Egypt. [UD245]
  • For the objectives of the campaign see UD245–6.
  • For the importance of the enterprise see UD260–3.
  • The plan is to be launched after a year’s respite but the British Bahá’ís begin to implement the plan immediately. [CB317]
  • At the time of the Campaign there was "one National Spiritual Assembly with its seat in Cairo, Egypt, the opening of 12 countries to the light of the Faith, and some 50 localities established throughout its vast lands." [Message from the Universal House of Justice To the Friends gathered at the Bahá’í International Conference at Lagos dated 19 August, 1982.]
Africa; United Kingdom; United States; Egypt Teaching Plans; Africa Campaign
1951 Bahá’í women in Egypt are extended the right of membership on local spiritual assemblies. [MBW12]
  • Shoghi Effendi calls this ‘a notable step in the progress of Bahá’í women of the Middle East’. [MBW12]
Egypt LSA
1951 Ridván Several National Spiritual Assemblies-Britain, Egypt, India, Iran and the United States, join forces in their first collaborative teaching effort called the Africa Campaign (1951-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46, BBRSM158, MBW135-140] Africa; United Kingdom; United States; Egypt; India; Iran Teaching Plans; Africa Campaign
1956 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the extension to Egyptian Bahá’í women of the right to be elected to the national spiritual assembly and to participate in the national convention. [MBW96–7] Egypt NSA
1960 Aug All Bahá’í activity in Egypt is prohibited by Presidential Decree No 263 issued by President Nasser of the United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria). Bahá’ís are interrogated, arrested, fined and imprisoned and their property confiscated. [BBRSM174; MC228]
  • See message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt dated 21 December 2006.
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
1971 Following the prohibition of Bahá’í activity in Egypt in 1960, Egyptian Bahá’ís put forward a petition to the Supreme Constitutional Court seeking to overturn the presidential decree as unconstitutional. Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Petitions
1971 13 Oct Following the banning of Bahá’í activities in Egypt in 1960, Egyptian Bahá’ís submit a petition to the Supreme Constitutional Court asking for redress and for justice to be upheld. [BW15:173]
  • The opinion of one Mandatory of the government is that the 1960 decree is unconstitutional. [BW15:173]
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Court cases
1975 The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt decides that the 1960 decree of President Nasser banning all Bahá’í activities is constitutional and the application of the Bahá’ís for annulment of the decree is dismissed. [BW16:137]
  • Though nominally they have been guaranteed equal rights and religious freedoms under the 1971 Constitution, Bahá'ís, in practice, have retained a secondary legal status due to ongoing religious discrimination. Issues pertaining to personal status in Egypt are informed by religious rather than civil law and recognition pertains only to Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Aspects of religious life such as marriage, divorce and family relationships are not recognized by the state.
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Human rights
1975 Feb The Arab Boycott Office, at its meeting in Cairo, announces that the Bahá’í Faith has been placed on its blacklist. [BW16:136; BW17:78] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1980 27 Jul The death of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in Cairo. (b.26 October, 1919 in Tehran).
  • Shah of Iran from 16 September, 1941 to 11 February. He came to power after an Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah.
  • He had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in April 1974 by the French haematologist Professor Jean Bernard, [David Owen]
  • He fled Iran on 17 January and flew to Aswan, Egypt where he was welcomed by President Anwar El-Sadat.
  • Later he lived in Marrakech, Moraocco as a guest of King Hassan II.
  • And then Paradise Island in the Bahamas,
  • then Cuernavace, Mexico, near Mexico City where his medical conditon deteriorated.
  • On the 22nd of October he flew New York for treatment in the Cornell Medical Center after President Carter relented. He was later taken to the Kelly Air Force Base in Texas and from there to the Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base.
  • He left the US on the 15th of December, 1979 and lived for a short time in Isla Contadora in Panama where he was taken in under American pressure. The new Iranian government made an attempt to extradite him.
  • In March, 1980 he returned to Egypt having been offered permanent asylum by President Anwar El-Sadat
  • The official cause of death was complications of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
  • He was buried in the Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo, [Wiki]
Cairo; Egypt Reza Shah Pahlavi
1985 23 Feb Forty–one Bahá’ís from various parts of Egypt are arrested, charged with offences against laws introduced in 1960 banning activities of Bahá’í institutions. [BW19:41, 283]
  • For an account of the event, its aftermath and the press campaign surrounding it see BW19:283–7.
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Bans; Persecution
1985 7 May The court hearings open on the cases of the Bahá’ís arrested in Egypt in February on charges of disregarding the 1960 ban on Bahá’í activity. [BW,9:285]
  • The cases are adjourned until 7 October to allow time for the defence lawyer to study the files numbering about a thousand pages. [BW19:285]
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Bans; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1985 7 Oct The court cases against the Bahá’ís arrested in Egypt for contravening the 1960 ban on Bahá’í activities, due to be heard today, are adjourned until 3 February 1986 owing to adverse and unfair reports appearing in today’s newspapers. [BW19:286] Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1986 21 Jan The Islamic Research Academy at the Azhar University in Cairo publishes in a number of newspapers a lengthy opinion about the Bahá’í Faith in advance of the court cases of Bahá’ís due to be heard in February. [BW19:286]
  • For a refutation of this statement by the Bahá’í International Community, see BW19:288–96 and "Far Stretching River".
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Bahai International Community; Criticism and apologetics
1994 Sep 5 – 13 The Bahá'í International Community attends the United Nations International Conference on Population of Development and the parallel Non-Governmental Organizations' Forum in Cairo. [BINS328:1] Cairo; Egypt BIC; United Nations
2001 14 Jan Sixteen Baha'is were arrested in the southern Egyptian city of Sohag. The charges brought against them concerned their membership in the Bahá’í Faith. [Message from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada dated the 19th of January, 2001] Sohag; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
2003 in the year A fatwa was issued against the Bahá'í Faith by Al-Azhar, the prominent religious institution supporting the continued ban as apostates. Cairo; Egypt Fatwa; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Bans; Persecution
2004 in the year The 2004 Circular 49/2004 issued by the Ministry of the Interior specifically instructed officials to refrain from providing cards to anyone other than Muslims, Christians and Jews. In particular, it effectively forced practicing Bahá’í into a limbo when registering for personal documents. As Egyptian citizens are required to include their religious affiliation and the Bahá’í faith is not officially recognized, unlike Islam, Christianity and Judaism, practicing Bahá’ís were not able to secure official status. [Minority Right website] Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2004 19 Apr The passing of Mr Aziz Ismayn Yazdi in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 94. Aziz Yazdi lived in Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Great Britain, Uganda, Kenya, Israel, and finally Canada. In 1968 he was appointed to the Continental Board of Counsellors in Central and East Africa and was an inaugural member of the International Teaching Centre in Haifa. [BWNS297, BW'03-‘04pg239] Vancouver; Canada; Egypt; Syria; Iran; Iraq; United Kingdom; Uganda; Kenya; Israel Aziz Ismayn Yazdi; Counsellors; International Teaching Centre, Members of; In memoriam; Births and deaths; BWNS
2006 4 Apr In late 2004 or early 2005 the government of Egypt introduces a computerized identity card system that locks out all religious classifications except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Baha'is are unable to get ID cards and other documents essential to day-to-day life. Thus begins an epic struggle for Bahá'í appellants to win the right to have their religious affiliation properly identified on goverment documents.

The issuance of birth certificates is at the heart of the first case, which concerns 14-year-old twins Imad and Nancy Rauf Hindi. Their father, Rauf Hindi, obtained birth certificates that recognized their Baha'i affiliation when they were born but new policies require computer generated certificates and the computer system locks out any religious affiliation but the three officially recognized religions. Without birth certificates, the children are unable to enroll in school in Egypt.

A lower administrative court rules that the couple should be identified as Baha'is on official documents, a decision that, if upheld, will essentially overturn the government's policy of forcing citizen to choose from only the three officially recognized religions -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism -- on state documents. The lower court's ruling provokes an outcry among the fundamentalist elements in Egyptian society, particularly Al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood who object to any kind of recognition of the Baha'i Faith as a religious belief. The case gains international attention in the news media and from human rights groups and sparks a wholesale debate in newspapers and blogs throughout the Arab world over the right to freedom of religion and belief. [BWNS454, Minority Right website]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 15 May The government appeals the lower court's ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court and the hearing focuses on procedural issues concerning the case. The emotions stirred by the case are evident at the initial hearing. Lawyers and other individuals seated in the courthouse interrupt and heckle defense counsel each time they try to address the court. They yell insults at them, calling them 'infidels' and threatening them with physical violence during the hearing. Because the Court is unable to impose order in the courtroom, the Court briefly adjourns the hearing before resuming the proceedings in camera. When the hearing is adjourned courthouse security officers refuse to protect lawyers who are surrounded by members of the crowd, verbally threatening, pushing, shoving and not allowing them to walk away from the area.

After the government's appeal of the lower court's ruling a court hearing is set for 19 June, however, the Court commissioner's advisory report is not submitted in time for the hearing and the hearing is further postponed until the 16th of September. [BWNS454, BWNS456]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 16 Sep The Supreme Administrative Court again postpones its hearing on the government appeal of a lower court's ruling upholding the right of a Baha'i couple to have their religion properly identified on government documents. In a brief hearing the Court continues the case until 20 November in order to await the completion of an advisory report from the State Commissioner's Authority on the case. [BWNS480] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 20 Nov Lawyers representing a Baha'i couple seeking to have their religious affiliation properly identified on state documents present arguments at a full hearing before the Supreme Administrative Court. The hearing is short and the court adjourns until 16 December when a judgment in the case is expected. [BWNS492] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 16 Dec Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court rules against the right of Baha'is to be properly identified on government documents. There are now two cases related to this issue; the first involves a lawsuit by the father of twin children, who is seeking to obtain proper birth certificates for them and the second concerns a college student who needs a national identity card to re-enroll in university.

The decision upholds current government policy, a policy which forces the Baha'is either to lie about their religious beliefs or give up their state identification cards. The policy effectively deprives Egyptian Baha'is and others of access to most rights of citizenship, including education, financial services, and even medical care. [BWNS492]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 21 Dec A message is sent from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt regarding the recent Supreme Administrative Court decision with respect to their right to hold identification cards. [BWNS499]
  • For a the full text of the message from the Universal House of Justice 21DEC2006 in English.
Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2007 12 Nov Human Rights Watch and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights release a report that states that Egypt should end discriminatory practices that prevent Baha'is and others from listing their true religion on government documents. The 98-page report, titled Prohibited Identities: State Interference with Religious Freedom, focuses on problems that have emerged from Egypt's practice of requiring citizens to state their religious identity on government documents but then restricting the choice to Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. "These policies and practices violate the right of many Egyptians to religious freedom," states the report. [BWNS587]
  • See HRW.org for the full text of the report.
Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2007 25 Dec The two cases, the first by the father of twin children who is seeking to obtain proper birth certificates for them and the second by a college student who needs a national identity card to re-enroll in university, were set for "final judgment" by the Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo but the hearings were unexpectedly postponed until 22 January 2008. The court indicated it is still deliberating on the cases. On 22 January it was announced that the cases had been continued until 29 January. [BWNS597] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2008 29 Jan In a victory for religious freedom, a lower administrative court ruled in favour of two lawsuits that sought to resolve the government's contradictory policy on religious affiliation and identification papers. The Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo upheld arguments made in two cases concerning Baha'is who have sought to restore their full citizenship rights by asking that they be allowed to leave the religious affiliation field blank on official documents. a lower court again ruled in their favor. Two Muslim lawyers filed an appeal. [BWNS600] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 16 Mar The Supreme Administrative Court removes any grounds for preventing Baha'is from receiving proper official identity documents by dismissing an appeal by two Muslim lawyers thus clearing the way for an end to years of deprivation for Egyptian Baha'is and opening the door to a new level of respect for religious privacy in Egypt. The appeal sought to prevent the implementation of a lower court ruling last year that said Baha'is can leave blank the religious classification field on official documents, including all-important identity cards and birth certificates. [BWNS703] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 17 Apr With respect to the Supreme Administrative Court decision of 16 March 2009, the decree, dated 19 March, 2009 is signed by General Habib al-Adly, Egypt’s Interior Minister, and published on 14 April in the official gazette. According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), which represented Baha’is in many of the recent court cases concerning religious affiliation on government documents, the decree amends the Implementing Statutes of Egypt’s Civil Status Law of 1994. It specifically instructs officials to place a dash (--) before the line reserved for religion in the official documents of citizens who can show that they, or their ancestors, were followers of a religious belief other than the three recognized by the state. [BWNS707] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 8 Aug Two young Egyptian Bahá'ís, Imad and Nancy Rauf Hindi, received the new identity cards. They had been at the center of a court case over religious identification on government documents. Their new computerized ID cards show a dash instead of their religion. They are the first such cards to be issued following a ruling by the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court of 16 March, 2009 that cleared the way for the government to issue documents without reference to religious identity. For nearly five years, since the government began introducing a computerized identity card system that locked out all religious classifications except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, Bahá'ís have been unable to get ID cards and other documents essential to day-to-day life in Egypt. [BWNS707, BWNS726, BWNS499, BWNS495, BWNS492, BWNS480]

The Bahá’í secured the right to an identification card, however, legislation still refused to recognize the validity of the Bahá’í faith and maintained their secondary status within Egypt. Marriage and Bahá’í personal law were still not acknowledged by the state: married Bahá’í who refused to be issued documentation that lists them incorrectly as ‘single’ still reportedly faced difficulties in setting up a bank account and other basic freedoms. This official ‘invisibility’ had also had a profound impact on their ability to participate in civil and political life. Bahá’ís were also the target of hostility towards the end of Mubarak’s regime and in the wake of his resignation, including the torching of several Bahá’í homes where the perpetrators remain unpunished. {Minority Rights website]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2011. 25 Jan January 25th marked the beginning of the revolution in Egypt where millions of protesters from all socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The security of the Bahá'ís during this period of unrest remained an issue. In February 2011, Bahá’í homes in Shouraneya were again set on fire, with some reports alleging the involvement of state security officers in the attack. Salafi leaders (an ultra-conservative reform branch within Sunni Islam) also continued to agitate against Bahá’í as a threat to national stability. Shouraneya; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
2011 Apr In an open letter to their fellow citizens, the Bahá'ís of Egypt offer some advice regarding the future of their nation. [BWNS817] Egypt Open letters; BWNS
2012 Jun After the January 25th revolution against Mubarak and a period of rule by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Egypt through a series of popular elections with Egyptians electing Islamist Mohamed Morsi to the presidency in June 2012.

On 3 July 2013, Morsi was deposed by a coup d'état led by the minister of defense General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The situation of Egypt’s Bahá’í community remained uncertain. The prescriptions of the 1960 Presidential Decree, despite the revolution, had yet to be annulled. This meant that despite the 2009 lifting of the restrictions on identification documents, the Bahá’í Faith still had not received actual recognition as a religion and Bahá'í were frequently subjected to public vilification. It was a period of extreme unrest. It is estimated that between Sisi's overthrow of Morsi and the 2014 presidential elections, an estimated 20,000 activists and dissidents were arrested by the police under the interim government. El-Sisi went on to become Egypt's president by popular election in 2014.

Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; History (general)
2014. 28 May In the presidential election in Egypt, former Egyptian defence minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected with 97% of the vote according to government sources. The subsequent 2014 Constitution of the Sisi government, while guaranteeing the ‘inviolable’ right of freedom of religion, extended this only to Islam, Christianity and Judaism – meaning that Bahá’i were still prohibited from many basic freedoms, such as practicing their religious laws and constructing places of worship. Though Bahá’í representatives lobbied during the constitutional drafting processes to expand religious freedoms to their community, this did not occur.

In December 2014, a public workshop was held by the Ministry of Religious Endowments to warn of the dangers of the spread of the Bahá’i faith in Egypt.

Egypt Opposition; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution; Human rights; History (general); Constitutions

from the main catalogue

  1. `Abdu'l-Bahá in Egypt: September 1910, by Julio Savi, in Lights of Irfan, 14 (2013). Historical and political background of Abdu'l-Baha's various travels to Egypt, discussion of the people he met, and press coverage. [about]
  2. Abdu'l-Bahá's Year in Egypt: A Compilation of Eyewitnesses, in Witnesses to Babi and Bahá'í History, vol. 10 (2008). Annotated excerpts from Baha'i News. Includes 8-page overview of Abdu'l-Baha's visit to Egypt, his companion and diarist Ahmad Sohrab, and the trip's press coverage. [about]
  3. 'Abdul Baha in Egypt, by Abdu'l-Bahá and Mirza Ahmad Sohrab (1929). A detailed record of three months of Abdu'l-Bahá's time and activities in Egypt, as recorded by his then-companion and secretary. Includes translations of his talks. [about]
  4. Cold Winter in North Africa, A: The Case of the Bahá'ís in Egypt, by Naseem Kourosh, in International Law News, 41:3 (2012). Contemporary history of the Egyptian government's refusal to issue identification cards to Baha'is. [about]
  5. Commentary on the Azhar's Statement regarding Bahá'ís and Bahá'ísm, by Mohsen Enayat, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 2:1 (1992). Response to an official 1986 pronouncement on the Faith by this prominent Egyptian university. [about]
  6. Egypt, Bahá'í Community of, and Religious Identity, by Universal House of Justice (2006). Message to the Bahá'ís of Egypt in the wake of a Supreme Administrative Court decision in Cairo that upheld a discriminatory government policy regarding Bahá'ís and their identification cards. In both English and Arabic. [about]
  7. 'His Eminence Mírzá ‘Abbás Effendi Has Reached the Shores of Alexandria': Abdu'l-Baha in Egypt, by Betsy Omidvaran, in Solas, 4 (2004). Contacts ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had with influential people in Egypt, the impressions he made on them, and the description of his journey there as contained in Century of Light and many other Baha'i texts and histories. [about]
 
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