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|1867 Sep - Aug 1868
||Nabíl-i-A‘zam was dispatched to Iraq and Iran to inform the Bábís of the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. He was further instructed to perform the rites of pilgrimage on Bahá'u'lláh's behalf in the House of the Báb and the Most Great House in Baghdad. [BKG250; EB224; GPB176–7]
For details of his mission see EB224–7.
On hearing Nabíl's message, the wife of the Báb, Khadíjih Khánum, immediately recognized the station of Bahá'u'lláh. [EB225]
Nabil was the first Bahá'í to perform pilgrimage to the house of the Báb in Shiraz in fall 1866, in accordance with the rites prescribed in the Surat al-ḥajj revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. He also went to Baghdad and performed the pilgrimage to the House of Bahá'u'lláh in spring 1867, according to another sura, Surat al-damm written by Bahá'u'lláh for that purpose. Nabil’s pilgrimage to those two houses marked the inception of pilgrimage laws ordained by Bahá'u'lláh later in his Kitāb-i-Aqdas. For the rites of these two pilgrimages performed by Nabíl see SA113–15. [GPB176-177, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica, DB434-435]
||Shiraz; Iran; Baghdad; Iraq
||Nabil-i-Azam; Pilgrims; Pilgrimage; First pilgrims; Khadijih Khanum; House of Bahaullah (Baghdad)
|1869 Early in the year
||Hájí Amín-i-Iláhí arrived in `Akká from Iran and was the first pilgrim to see Bahá'u'lláh. [DH33]
He was `only able to do so in the public bath, where it had been arranged that he should see Bahá'u'lláh without approaching Him or giving any sign of recognition'. This was the bath of Al-Jazzár. [DH33; GBP817]
||Haji Amin (Abul-Hasan-i-Ardikani); Public baths; Pilgrims; First pilgrims
|1870. 22 Jun
||Mírzá Mihdí, the Purest Branch, fell through the skylight in the roof of the prison in `Akká onto a crate lying on the floor below. [BKG311–12; GBP188; RB3:205]
It was a normal practice for prisoners to go onto the roof in the summer evenings for fresh air. [RB3:205]
He was chanting the verses of Bahá'u'lláh's Qasídiy-i-Varqá'íyyih. [RB3:206]
He was so badly injured that his clothes have to be torn from him. [RB206]
Bahá'u'lláh came to him at His bedside and asked His son whether he wished to live; the Purest Branch begged Bahá'u'lláh to accept his life as a ransom for the opening of the gates of the prison to pilgrims. Bahá'u'lláh accepted this sacrifice. [BKG311–12; GPB188; RB3:208]
||Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Qasidiyyih-Varqaiyyih (Ode of the Dove); Citadel; Pilgrimage; Pilgrims; First pilgrims
|1898. 22 Sep
||The first Western pilgrims departed for `Akká, travelling via New York and Paris. [BFA1:XXVIII, 140–1, 230]
It was arranged by Phoebe Hearst, who had already planned a journey to Egypt for the autumn. [BFA1:140, AY60]
There were 15 pilgrims in all. Among them is Ibáhím Kheiralla. [AB68; AY111]
||New York; United States
||Pilgrimage; First pilgrims; Pilgrims; Phoebe Hearst; Lua Getsinger; Edward Getsinger; Robert Turner; Ibrahim George Kheiralla
|1898. 10 Dec
||The first Western pilgrims arrived in `Akká. [AB68; BBD13; BBRXXX; DH214; GPB257; SCU13; Bahá'í Teachings]
They divided 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]
In Paris the group was joined by two nieces of Mrs Hearst, Mrs Thornburgh, her daughter Miriam Thornburgh-Cropper and May Bolls. [AB68]
There were further additions in Egypt. [AB68]
See BFA1:143–4 for those included in the first group.
Among the group was 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 received 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 made 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]
See Star of the West, vol. VII, No. 4 or "Lua Getsinger - Herald of the Covenant" By Amine DeMille for a description of how 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave Lua the power to speak. iiiii
||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
|1898. c. 20 Dec
||The second group of Western pilgrims arrived in `Akká, and stayed three days before returning to Cairo. [BFA1:145]
See BFA1:145 for those included in this group.
||Pilgrimage; First pilgrims; Pilgrims
|1899 16 Feb
||The third group of Western pilgrims arrived in the Holy Land. [BFA1:145]
See BFA1:145 for those in the group.
||Pilgrimage; Pilgrims; First pilgrims
||Thomas Breakwell went on pilgrimage to `Akká, the first Englishman to do so. [BFA2:154; BW7:709]
For an account of this pilgrimage see AB77 and BW7:710.
||Thomas Breakwell; Pilgrimage; First pilgrims
|1927 11 Mar
||Sadie Oglesby and her daughter Bertha Parvine arrived in Haifa, the first black American women to make the pilgrimage. [TMW173, 206, SETPE1p141-145]
||Pilgrims; First pilgrims
|1957 3 Feb
||Enoch Olinga arrived in the Holy Land, the first black African Bahá’í to go on pilgrimage.
||Enoch Olinga; First pilgrims; Pilgrims