|1844. 11 Aug
||The Báb sent Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí to Najaf and Karbalá to proclaim His Cause among the Shaykhís. In Najaf Mullá `Alí delivered a letter from the Báb to Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan Najafí, the leading Shí`í divine and the keeper of the shrines in Iraq. [BBRSM15; DB87-91; SBBH20–1, HotD46]
The Shaykh's rejection of the claim led to a violent debate. Mullá `Alí was taken to Baghdád and imprisoned there. After a public trial, a joint tribunal of Sunní and Shí`í `ulamá, he was sent to Istanbul. He was the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. It is significant that Mullá Hasan Gawhar, a leading figure of the Shaykhí school, participated in the condemnation as it marks the first major challenge to Bábism from a Shaykhí leader. [B27, 37–8, 58; BBR83–90; BBRSM17; BKG31; DB90–2; MMBA, BBR2p17, GPB10]
||Istanbul; Turkey; Iraq; Baghdad; Najaf; Karbala
||Bab, Life of; Mulla Ali Bastami; Ulama; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Shaykhism; Firsts, Other; Trials; Court cases; Persecution, Court cases; Letters of the Living
|1845. 1 Nov
||The Times of London carried an item on the arrest and torture of Quddús, Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání, Mullá `Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání and Mullá Abú-Tálib in Shíráz in June. This was the first known printed reference to the Revelation. A similar article was reprinted on 19 November. [B76–7; BBR4, 69]
||Shiraz; Iran; London; United Kingdom
||Quddus; Ismullahul-Asdaq (Mulla Sadiq Khurasani); Mulla Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani; Mulla Abu-Talib; Times (newspaper); Newspaper articles; Firsts, Other; Mentions
||First newspaper story of the events of the Bábí Faith|
||Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí died in Istanbul naval dockyards. He was the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. [Bahá’í Encyclopedia]
||Mulla Ali Bastami; Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other; Letters of the Living
|1847. Nov - Dec
||Bahá'u'lláh, who was living in Tihrán, visited the detainees and gave them money. [BKG41; DB278–9; GPB68]
Mullá `Abdu'lláh confessed to the murder of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Taqí and was helped to escape. [BKG41–2; DB278]
See BKG42 for why Bahá'u'lláh was thought to have engineered his escape. Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned for a few days for having assisted in Mullá `Abdu'lláh's escape.
This was Bahá'u'lláh's first imprisonment. [BKG41; BW18:380; DB585]
Shaykh Salib-i-Karímí, one of the imprisoned Bábís, was publicly executed in Tihrán.
He was the first to suffer martyrdom on Persian soil. His remains were interred in the courtyard of the shrine of the Imám-Zádih Zayd in Tihrán. [B166; BW18:380; DB280]
The remaining captives were returned to Qazvín. Hájí Asadu'lláh-i-Farhádí was secretly put to death in prison. Mullá Táhir-i-Shírází and Mullá Ibrahím-i-Maballátí were also put to death. [B166; BW18:380; DB280–3]
DB280–3 says `the rest of' the detainees were put to death by the relatives of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Taqí.
||Tihran; Qazvin; Iran
||Bahaullah, Life of; Assassinations; Mulla Abdullah; Tahirih; Haji Mulla Muhammad Taqi; Cemeteries and graves; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution
|1848. 12 Sep
||The accession of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh at Tabríz. [BBR482]
He was 17 years old. [BBR158; GPB37]
He ruled from 1848 to 1 May 1896 when he was assassinated on the eve of his jubilee. [BBD168; BBR482]
The first four years of his reign were marked by the `fiercest and bloodiest of the persecutions of the religion of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh'. During the whole of his reign there were `sporadic persecutions and, in at least some cases, he himself was directly responsible for the death of the martyrs'. [BBR157]
For the first time in the Faith's history the civil and ecclesiastical powers banded together in a systematic campaign against it, one that was to `culminate in the horrors experienced by Bahá'u'lláh in the Síyáh-Chál' and `His subsequent banishment to Iraq'. [GPB37]
See BBRSM25 for an explanation of why the Bábí religion was a challenge to the secular regime.
See SB86 for a reason for Násiri'd-Dín Sháh's cruelty towards the Bábís and Bahá'ís.
See RB3:201 for an explanation of his lengthy reign.
He chose as his prime minister Mírzá Taqí Khán-i-Faráhání, known as a great reformer and a founder of modern Iran. [BBD221; BBR160]
It was not until the spring of 1849 that the new regime was in firm control.
His reform antagonized many and a coalition was formed against him. One of the most active proponents was the queen mother. She convinced the Shah that the prime minister wanted his throne. In October of 1851 the Shah dismissed him and exiled him to Kashan where he was murdered on the Shah's orders.
||Tabriz; Iran; Iraq
||Nasirid-Din Shah; Qajar dynasty; Shahs; Shahs, Throne changes; History (general); Iran, General history; Mirza Taqi Khan-i-Farahani; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Firsts, Other
|1850. 16 May
||Martyrdom of Shaykh Muhammad-i-Túb-Chí in Zanján, the first of the martyrs. [BBR115; DB542–3]
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other
||Bahá'u'lláh had a vision of the Maiden, who announced to Him that He was the Manifestation of God for this Age. [BBD142–3, 212; BKG823 ESW11–12, 21 GPB101–2; KAN62]
This experience compares to the episode of Moses and the Burning Bush, Zoroaster and the Seven Visions, Buddha under the Bodhi tree, the descent of the Dove upon Jesus and the voice of Gabriel commanding Muhammad to ‘cry in the name of thy Lord'. [GPB93, 101]
The Báb repeatedly gave the year nine as the date of the appearance of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest'. The Declaration of the Báb took place in AH 1260; year nine was therefore AH 1269, which began in the middle of October when Bahá'u'lláh had been in prison for about two months. [CB46–7]
Subsequently in His Writings Bahá’u’lláh declared that He was the "Promised One" of all religions, fulfilling the messianic prophecies found in world religions. He stated that being several messiahs converging one person were the spiritual, rather than material, fulfilment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions. His eschatological claims constitute six distinctive messianic identifications: from Judaism, the incarnation of the "Everlasting Father" from the Yuletide prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, the "Lord of Hosts"; from Christianity, the "Spirit of Truth" or Comforter predicted by Jesus in His farewell discourse of John 14-17 and the return of Christ "in the glory of the Father"; from Zoroastrianism, the return of Shah Bahram Varjavand, a Zoroastrian messiah predicted in various late Pahlavi texts; from Shi'a Islam the return of the Third Imam, Imam Husayn; from Sunni Islam, the return of Jesus, Isa; and from the Bábí religion, He whom God shall make manifest.
While Bahá’u’lláh did not explicitly state Himself to be either the Hindu or Buddhist messiah, He did so in principle through His writings. Later, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated that Bahá’u’lláh was the Kalki avatar, who in the classical Hindu Vaishnavas tradition, is the tenth and final avatar (great incarnation) of Vishnu who will come to end The Age of Darkness and Destruction. Bahá’ís also believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the fulfilment of the prophecy of appearance of the Maitreya Buddha, who is a future Buddha who will eventually appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure Dharma. Bahá’ís believe that the prophecy that Maitreya will usher in a new society of tolerance and love has been fulfilled by Bahá’u’lláh's teachings on world peace. [Bahaikipedia]
See P&M295-196(1969), 298-299(1987) where states, "...the First Call gone forth from His lips than the whole creation was revolutionized, and all that are in the heavens and all that are on earth were stirred to the depths". What was "the First Call"?. See GPB121, “These initial and impassioned outpourings of a Soul struggling to unburden itself, in the solitude of a self-imposed exile (many of them, alas lost to posterity) are, with the Tablet of Kullu’t-Tá’am and the poem entitled Rashh-i-‘Amá, revealed in Ṭihrán, the first fruits of His Divine Pen.” iiiii
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Birth of Revelation of; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Visions; Maid of Heaven; Angels; Year nine; Promised One; Prophecies; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; Lawh Kullut-Taam (Tablet of All Food); Rashh-i-Ama (Sprinkling from the Cloud of Unknowing); Firsts, Other
|1852 27 Oct
||The Bábí Faith was first mentioned in the 27 October 1852 volume of Magyar Hírlap (The Hungarian Newspaper), under the title „Persia műveltségi történetéhez” ("To the History of Education in Persia”) where Captain Von Goumoens, a captain of the Austrian army based in Tehran reported on the terrible events related to the persecution of Bahá’ís in Iran.[www.bahai.hu]
||Newspaper articles; Mentions; Firsts, Other
|1853 or 1854
||Birth of Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, first son of Bahá'u'lláh and His second wife, Mahd-i-‘Ulyá. [CB 125]
He was born in the first year of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival in Baghdád. CB125]
||Mirza Muhammad-Ali; Births and deaths; Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Wives of; Bahaullah, Family of; Mahd-i-Ulya (Fatimih Khanum); Firsts, Other
|1863 22 Apr
||Thirty–one days after Naw-Rúz, which in this year fell on 22 March, Bahá'u'lláh left His house for the last time and walked to the Najíbíyyih Garden, afterwards known as the Garden of Ridván (Paradise).
See BKG168, GPB149, RB1:260–1 and SA234–5 for details of His walk.
For the first time, He wore a tall táj as a symbol of His station. [BBD221; BKG176; GPB152]
Bahá'u'lláh entered the Garden just as the call to afternoon prayer was being made. [GPB149; RB1:261]
On this day Bahá'u'lláh declared His mission to a few of His disciples. [RB1:260, 262]
On the afternoon of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival at the Garden He revealed the Lawh-i-Ayyúb (Tablet of Job) (also known as the Súriy-i-Sabr (Súrat of Patience), Madínatu's-Sabr (City of Patience) and Súrat Ayyúb for Hájí Muhammad-i-Taqíy-i-Nayrízí whom He surnamed Ayyúb (Job). He was a veteran of the battle of Nayríz. The Tablet praised Vahíd and the believers of Nayríz. [SA239; Tablet of Patience (Surih Íabr): Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh and Selected Topics by Foad Seddigh]
He also revealed the Tablet of Ridván, an Arabic tablet beginning with "He is seated upon this luminous throne.... [SA239]
...and Húr-i-'Ujáb (The Wondrous Maiden). [SA239]
...as well as Qad atá Rabí'u'l-Bayán, ...The Divine Springtime is come.... [SA240]
and an Arabic Tablet that begins...When the gladness of God seized all else. [SA240]
‘Of the exact circumstances … we, alas, are but scantily informed.' [BKG173; GPB153]
For such details as are known, see BKG173–5 and GPB153.
For the import of the event, see BKG169–73; G27–35; GBP153–5.
This initiated the holy day of the First Day of Ridván, to be celebrated on 21 April. [BBD196]
This marked the end of the dispensation of the Báb and of the first epoch of the Heroic or Apostolic Age of the Bahá'í dispensation. [BBD72, 79]
On the same day Bahá'u'lláh made three important statements to His followers:
- He forbade the use of the sword.
- He stated that no other Manifestations will appear before one thousand years. This was later reiterated in the Kitáb-i-Badí‘ and in The Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
- He stated that, as from that moment, all the names and attributes of God were manifested within all created things, implying the advent of a new Day. [RB1:278–80]
During the 12 days in the Ridván Garden Bahá'u'lláh confided to ‘Abdu'l-Bahá that He was ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest'. [CH82]
See CH82–3 for the effect of this announcement on ‘Abdu'l-Bahá.
||Bahaullah, Writings of; Ridvan; Naw-Ruz; Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Declaration of; Ridvan garden; Najibiyyih Garden; Ages and Epochs; Lawh-i-Ayyub; Haji Muhammad-i-Taqiy-i-Nayrizi; Abdul-Baha, Life of; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; Firsts, Other; Taj; Holy days; Z^^^^ iiiii
|1863. 12 Dec
||Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople
Bahá'u'lláh and His companions arrived in Adrianople (the "remote prison")("The Land of Mystery" (GPB174). It would be here where the sun of His revelation would ascend to its zenith, where He proclaimed the Message of His revelation to the whole world. [BKG206; GPB161; RB2:62]
This was the furthest point from His native land that Bahá'u'lláh reached and the first time in known history that a Manifestation of God had lived on the European continent. [BKG217]
See BKG218–19, 221–2; GPB161–2 and MRHK179–96 for a description of the houses Bahá'u'lláh lived in during this period.
See BKG219–20 for the hardships of the first winter.
|Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey; Europe
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Bahaullah, Houses of, Banishment of; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Land of Mystery
|1866 c. Mar
||The Most Great Separation
Mírzá Yáhyá's behaviour could no longer be tolerated or concealed. Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Súriy-i-Amr (Súrih of Command) as a direct order to him. [CH60, 83, CB84; GBP166; BKG223-245]
This was the formal announcement to the nominee of the Báb of the station of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest' and a summons for him to pay allegiance to His Cause. [CB83–4; RB2:161]
Bahá'u'lláh directed his amanuensis to take the Tablet to Mírzá Yáhyá. Upon receipt he became very angry and a "jealous fire consumed him". He responded, after a requested day's respite, by claiming that he was the recipient of a divine revelation and all must turn to him. [CH60, BKG230; CB84; GPB166–7; RB2:162]
Shoghi Effendi described this event as "one of the darkest dates in Bahá'í history and was the signal for the open and final rupture between Bahá'u'lláh and Mírzá Yahyá. [GPB167]
The announcement that Bahá'u'lláh was the Promised One spread quickly to Iraq and to Persia. The followers were happy for the clarification and glad to be rid of Yáhyá. Only the express command of Bahá'u'lláh prevented them from ridding the world of such nefarious traitor. [CH61]
It is believed that Yáhyá's conduct and accusations precipitated the next exile. [CH61]
|Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Suriy-i-Amr (Surih of Command); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Most Great Separation; Firsts, other; Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Z^^^^
|1866 c. Mar
||Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i-Bahá in honour of Khátún Ján, a believer and close friend of Táhirih. [RB2:171, 179]
It was probably revealed just before He took up residence in the house of Ridá Big. [RB2:171]
This was the first Tablet in which Bahá'u'lláh used the term ‘people of Bahá' to refer to His followers, to distinguish them from the ‘people of the Bayán'. [RB2:179]
||Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey
||Lawh-i-Baha; Khatun Jan; Rida Big; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Writings of
|1867 Sep - Aug 1868
||Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Kitáb-i-Badí‘, the Munájátháy-i-Síyám (Prayers for Fasting), the first Tablet to Napoleon III, the Lawh-i-Sultán written to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, and the Súriy-i-Ra'ís. [BKG245; GBP172]
See RB2:370–82 for details of the Kitáb-i-Badí'.
Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Súriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch) in which ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's future station was foreshadowed. [BBD218; BKG250; GPB177]
See RB2:338–9 for a description of the Tablet.
||Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey
||Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Life of; Suriy-i-Muluk (Surih to the Kings); Kitab-i-Badi (Wondrous Book); Munajathay-i-Siyam (Prayers for Fasting); Lawh-i-Napulyun (Tablet to Napoleon III); Lawh-i-Sultan (Tablet to Nasirid-Din Shah); Suriy-i-Rais (Tablet to Sultan Ali Pasha); Suriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch); Abdul-Baha, Life of; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1868. c. Jul
||Principal Bahá'ís in Baghdád were arrested by the Turkish authorities and exiled to Mosul and other places. [BBR265; BKG247; CH129–30; RB2:333]
RB2:333 indicates this took place towards the end of Bahá'u'lláh's stay in Adrianople.
About 70 people were exiled. [GPB178; RB2:334] Estimate given by Hájí Mirzá Haydar-;Alí is 80. (DOH12]
See BKG184 for an illustration of Mosul.
See BKG183 for a description of the city.
See RB2:334 for the hardships suffered by the exiles.
They remained in Mosul for some 20 years until Bahá'u'lláh advised the community to disband (1885-1886). Their hardship was lessened by generous contributions from the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs. A charity fund was established, the first fund of that kind in any Bahá'í community. [RB2:334–6]
||Baghdad; Mosul; Iraq
||Mirza Muhammad-Hasan (King of Martyrs); Mirza Muhammad-Husayn (Beloved of Martyrs); King of Martyrs and Beloved of Martyrs; Charity and relief work; Funds; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
|1868. 31 Aug
||The ship arrived in Haifa in the early morning. [BKG269; GPB182; RB3:11]
Bahá'u'lláh and His companions — 70 in all — disembarked and were taken ashore in sailing boats. [RB3:11]
One of the Bahá'ís, Áqá `Abdu'l-Ghaffár, one of the four companions of Bahá'u'lláh condemned to share the exile of Mírzá Yahyá, threw himself into the sea when he learned he was to be separated from Bahá'u'lláh. [BKG269; GPB182]
A few hours later Bahá'u'lláh's party was put aboard a sailing vessel and taken to `Akká. [RB3:12]
See photo of the sea gate by which the exiles entered the citadel.
See CH66 for Bahíyyih Khánum's account of the journey.
The exiles landed in `Akká and began a confinement in the citadel that was to last two years, two months and five days. [CH67, BBR205; BKG169; DH12; RB3:11]
Photo of the citadel.
See BKG277–9 for a list of the exiles. Two others joined them immediately after arrival. [BBR205]
See BR205–6 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's account of the journey of exile.
See RB32:2 and RB3:21 for prophecies regarding Bahá'u'lláh's exile to `Akká.
See DH17–24 for a history of `Akká before the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh.
See DH26–8 and GPB186–7 for a description of the exiles' walk to the prison.
See GPB186–7 for Bahá'u'lláh's description of the citadel and the conditions there on His arrival.
See BKG275–7 for Áqá Ridá's description of the citadel and the conditions there.
See DH30–1 for a description of the citadel building and the accommodation used by Bahá'u'lláh.
The first night the exiles were refused both food and drink. [GPB187]
Afterwards each prisoner was allocated three loaves of stale black bread as a daily food ration plus filthy water. [GBP187]
Within two days all fell ill with typhoid but for two, 'Abdu'l-Bahá and another man who was able to help Him nurse and care for the others. [CH234]
Three of the exiles died soon after arrival. Soon after their death Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i-Ra'ís, the second Tablet to `Alí Páshá. [BKG283; GPB187; RB3:20, 34]
See BKG317–21 and CH250–1 for the story of the Azalís who were confined to `Akká with the exiles.
See BBRSM69–70 for details on the system of communications used between the Holy Land and the Bahá'í communities.
At first the Governor was disinclined to relax the strict rules of the exiles but eventually allowed Mírzá Ja'far to go into town, accompanied by a soldier, to purchase food. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had sent Mírzá 'bdu'l-Ahad ahead some time before with instructions to open a shop. It was six months before the exiles could make contact with him. During this time a Greek, Dr. Petro, became a friend and, after having made investigations, assured the Governor that the exiles were not criminals. [CH67]
The King of Martyrs and his brother The Beloved of Martyrs were the first to make contact with the exiles by telegraph. They were able to provide much need assistance. [CH67]
After the restrictions had been relaxed somewhat Shaykh Salmán was able to function as a courier carrying Tablets and letters to and from Persia. When he was arrested in Aleppo, carrying a most important supplication from a friend in Persia to Bahá'u'lláh, he swallowed the letter to avoid detection. [CH67-68]
||Haifa; Famagusta; Akka; Israel; Cyprus
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Mishkin-Qalam; Aqa Abdul-Ghaffar; Lawh-i-Rais (Tablet to Sultan Ali Pasha); Mirza Jafar; Citadel; Prophecies; Cyprus exiles; Exile; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; World Centre
|1876. 14 Feb
||Birth of Keith Ransom-Kehler, Hand of the Cause and the first American Bahá'í martyr, in Kentucky.
||Kentucky; United States
||Keith Ransom-Kehler; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
||Possibly the first visit of Bahá'u'lláh to the Ridván Garden outside `Akká. [BBD196–7; DH95; GPB193]
See DH95–101 for a description of the garden and Bahá'u'lláh's use of it.
See CH96–8 for Túbá Khánum's description of the garden.
||Ridvan Garden; Bahaullah, Life of; Gardens; Firsts, Other; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; World Centre
|1878 to 1881
||The first Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh was Hájí Sháh-Muhammad-i-Manshádí, or Jináb-i-Sháh Muhammad from Manshád, Yazd who had become a believer in Baghdad. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]
His title was Amínu'l-Bayán (Trustee of the Bayán).
He made many journeys between Iran and the Holy Land carrying donations and petitions from the friends and returning with Tablets and news.
He was tasked with receiving the casket of the Báb after the location had been discovered by a number of believers. He transferred it to the Mosque of Imámzádih Zayd in Tehran where it was buried beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary of the shrine. It was consequently discovered and moved to a series of private homes in Tehran until 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent for it for the internment. [ISC-1963p32]
Hájí Sháh-Muhammad was in 'Akká when Áqá Buzurg, entitled Badí', came to confer with Bahá'u'lláh. He and Badí met on Mount Carmel as directed by Bahá'u'lláh.
He was killed as a result of wounds incurred during an attack during a Kurdish revolt. [RoB3p73]
||Iran; Yazd; Baghdad; Tihran
||Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Haji Shah-Muhammad-i-Manshadi (Aminul-Bayan); Bab, Remains of; Mosques; Firsts, Other; Z^^^^
|1878 (In the year)
||Siyyid Mustafá Rúmí arrived in Burma with Jamál Effendi.
He married into a well-to-do Indo-Burman family of traders and settles in Rangoon, remaining in Burma to build up the Burmese community. [BW10:517; PH23]
See BW10:517–18 and MC155 for his conversion of Daidanaw, the first all-Bahá'í village in the world outside Iran.
See BW10:517–20 for an account of his life.
He was named a Hand of the Cause of God by the Guardian after his passing. In the village of Daidanaw, Burma (Rangoon) there is a building they call "the Shrine of Siyyid Mustafa Rumí" in his honour. [CBN253Aug-Sep1971p5]
||Daidanaw; Myanmar (Burma)
||Siyyid Mustafa Rumi; Jamal Effendi; Hands of the Cause; Firsts, Other
|1887. 13 Apr
||The first mention of the concept of `Hand of the Cause' in Bahá'u'lláh's writings is within a Tablet revealed in honour of Ibn-i-Asdaq. [BBD115; EB173]
||Ibn-i-Asdaq (Mirza Ali-Muhammad); Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Institution; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Hands appointed by Bahaullah; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Life of; Appointed arm
|1888 29 Mar
||The first lecture in the West on the Bahá'í Faith (`Bábism') was given by E. G. Browne at the Essay Society, Newcastle, England. [SCU12]
||Newcastle; United Kingdom
||Edward Granville Browne; Firsts, Other
|1889. 8 Sep
||Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání was martyred in `Ishqábád. [BBRXXIX, 296–7; GPB202]
"In the city of 'Ishqábád the newly established Shí'ah community, envious of the rising prestige of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh who were living in their midst, instigated two ruffians to assault the seventy-year old Hájí Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Isfáhání, whom, in broad day and in the midst of the bazaar, they stabbed in no less than thirty-two places, exposing his liver, lacerating his stomach and tearing open his breast. A military court dispatched by the Czar to 'Ishqábád established, after prolonged investigation, the guilt of the Shí'ahs, sentencing two to death and banishing six others - a sentence which neither Násir'd-Dín Sháh, nor the 'ulamás of Tihrán, of Mashad and of Tabríz, who were appealed to, could mitigate, but which the representatives of the aggrieved community, through their magnanimous intercession which greatly surprised the Russian authorities, succeeded in having commuted to a lighter punishment." [GPB202-203]
Czar Alexander III sent a military commission from St Petersburg to conduct the trial of those accused of the murder. [AB109; GPB202]
Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl served as chief Bahá'í spokesman at the trial. [AB109]
Two were found guilty and sentenced to death, six others were ordered to be transported to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
Bahá'u'lláh attached importance to the action as being the first time Shí'ís received judicial punishment for an attack on Bahá'ís. [BBRSM91]
The Bahá'í community interceded on behalf of the culprits and had the death sentences commuted to transportation to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
For Western accounts of the episode see BBR296–300.
||Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani; Czar Alexander III; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Turkmenistan; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
|1891. 15 Feb
||First public lecture in the West on the Bahá'í Faith was given by E. G. Browne at the Southplace Institute, London.
He spoke to the Pembroke College Literary Society in England (Martletts), at which the Faith was discussed at length.
||London; United Kingdom
||Edward Granville Browne; Southplace Institute; Firsts, Other
|1893. 17 Jun
||Áqá Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Muhammadábádí was killed by three men on the orders of two of the `ulamá of Yazd. [BW18:384; GPB296]
He was the first to suffer martyrdom in the ministry of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
See GPB296 for details of his martyrdom.
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other
|1893 23 Sep
||First public reference in North America to the Bahá'í Faith. [SBBH1p76]
Reference was made to it in a paper entitled The Religious Mission of the English Speaking Nations by Rev. Henry H. Jessup, a retired missionary from north Syria, read by Rev George A. Ford at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. [AB63–4; BBD2412; BBR57; BFA1:323; BW2:230; GPB256; SBBH1:76, 88, 202]
See AB63–4, BW2:169 for text.
Historians have observed that, before this Parliament, "religion" was classified by many Americans into ethnic religion and universal religion. They considered there being only one universal religion: Christianity. In this view, all previous faiths were ethnic religions, and their purpose was to prepare the people for Christianity. Ethnic religions may have had portions of the truth, but only Christianity had all truth. This 1893 Parliament was a pivotal moment in the abolition of such classification, as representatives of "eastern" religions such as Swami Vivekananda and Anagarika Dharmapala promoted a new religious tolerance. [Paraphrased quote from Robert Stockman]
||Chicago; United States
||Henry H. Jessup; World Parliament of Religions; Interfaith dialogue; Firsts, Other; Mentions
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla settled in Chicago. [BFA1:XXVII, AB65]
Owing to his work, the first Bahá'í community in North America was soon formed in Chicago. [BBRSM:100; BW10:179]
See AY59-60 for a description of the teaching method used by Haddad and Kheiralla.
||Chicago; United States
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla; Anton Haddad; Teaching; Firsts, Other
|1898 (In the year)
||The first anti-Bahá'í polemical tracts were published by Christian missionaries in Iran. [SBB111:69]
||Criticism and apologetics; Firsts, Other
|1898. 13 Nov
||`Abdu'l-Bahá commemorated Kheiralla's arrival by ending the period of mourning for Bahá'u'lláh and by opening His Tomb to pilgrims for the first time. [BFA1:142–3; SBBH2:112]
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Bahaullah, Ascension of; Pilgrimage; Pilgrims
|1899 (In the year)
||Miss Olive Jackson of Manhattan became the first black American woman Bahá'í. [BFA1:126–7]
||Manhattan; New York; United States
||Race (general); Firsts, Other
||The first Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived in America. [BFA1:143]
See BFA1:143 for the recipients.
||Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Firsts, Other
|1901 (In the year)
||William Hoar, one of the first Bahá'ís in America, was asked by `Abdu'l-Bahá to meet with the Persian ambassador in Washington to request justice for the Bahá'ís of Iran, thus marking the beginning of the efforts of the American Bahá'í community to alleviate the persecution of their brethren. [BFA2:51]
||Washington DC; United States; Iran
||William Hoar; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Ambassadors; Human rights; Firsts, Other
||Thomas Breakwell, an Englishman living in the United States, learned of the Bahá'í Faith in Paris from May Bolles. Within three days he became a believer and immediately wrote to `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB74–5; BW7:707]
For May Bolles' own account see SW7:707–11.
He is the first male British Bahá'í. [BFA2:154]
He is designated by Shoghi Effendi the `first English believer'. [GPB259]
He is the first Western Bahá'í to pay Huqúqu'lláh. [BW7:70]
See also AB74–80; BFA2:154; SEBW6572.
||Thomas Breakwell; May Maxwell (Bolles); Huququllah; First Bahais by country or area; Firsts, Other
|1901 26 Nov
||The Day of the Covenant
The Day of the Covenant is a Bahá'í holy day honouring the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, in particular, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the “Centre of the Covenant" and as such, the successor, the interpreter and the exemplar of the Bahá'í Faith. Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant also provided for the extension of this covenant to the Guardian and to the Universal House of Justice. Prior to this time some of the believers celebrated the birth of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the 22nd of May. Others marked the 29th of May, the anniversary of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh and thusly, the day on which He acceded to the leadership of the Bahá'í community.
'Abdu'l-Bahá chose the day November 26th, as reckoned by the Gregorian calendar, as approximately half a year away from this date, to commemorate His appointment of the Centre of the Covenant.
The day was know as Jashn-i-A'zam (The Greatest Festival) in the East because He was Ghusn-i-A'zam, the Greatest Branch or the "Most Might Branch" [GPB238, BFA2:XV, 56; SA247, Day of the Covenant by Christopher Buck, AB523]
The first celebration of the Day of the Covenant in North America was marked on this day.
|New York; United States
||Day of the Covenant; Firsts, Other; Covenant (general); Holy Days; Abdul-Baha, Birth of; Bahaullah, Ascension of; Bab, Declaration of
|1902 10 Oct
||The Behais Supply and Publishing Board incorporates as the `Bahai Publishing Society', a non-profit company. It is the first Bahá'í institution to be legally incorporated. [BFA2:XVI, 74]
||Publishing Trusts; Firsts, Other
|1904 28 Oct
||Ali Kuli Khan married Florence Breed, the first marriage between a Persian and a Western Bahá'í. [BFA2:147]
For details of this marriage see SUR223–20.
When 'Abdu'l-Bahá heard the new of the marriage He said, ‘This is the first sign of union between East and West.’ Then He sent for candies to be brought and said, ‘The event is so joyous that it must be celebrated!’ And He distributed the candy to those present, as is the custom for the parents of the bridegroom to do at a Persian wedding banquet. [AY26]
See AY51-53 for the history of the Breed name.
See AY53-> for the relationship between Khan and the Hearst family.
||Ali-Kuli Khan; Florence Breed; Firsts, Other; Interracial marriage; Weddings; Hearst family; Phoebe Hearst
|1904 1 Dec
||Sidney Sprague arrived in India. [BFA2:XVI]
He was the first American Bahá'í travelling teacher in Asia. [BFA2:XVI]
||Sidney Sprague; Travel teaching; Firsts, Other
||Hippolyte Dreyfus, Marianne Jerard and Laura Barney visited Russian Turkistan and Iran, specifically Tabriz, Máh-Kú ,and Ishqabad. While in Iran, they witnessed the disturbances associated with the constitutional revolution, which had reached its climax that summer. [BFA2:XVI]
They were the first Western Bahá'ís to do so. [BFA2:XVI; Some Answered Questions" and Its Compiler by Baharieh Rouhani Ma'ani published in Lights of Irfan, 18, pages 444; Prezi]
||Marianne Jerard; Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Laura Clifford Barney; Firsts, Other
|1907 31 Mar
||The Bahá'í calendar was used in North America for the first time. BFA2:247–8]
||North America; United States
||Bahai calendar; Firsts, Other
|1907 19 Jul
||The Chicago `Bahai Assembly' filed an affidavit of incorporation, the first Bahá'í community to acquire legal status. [BFA2:278]
The incorporation is in the name of the community rather than the governing body. [BFA2:278–9]
||Chicago; United States
||Spiritual Assemblies; Incorporation; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1909 (In the year)
||The passing of Robert Turner (b. 15 October, 1856, Virginia d. 1909 California)
the first African-American Bahá'í and a member of the first Western Pilgrimage to Haifa in 1898, led by his employer Mrs. Phoebe Hearst. He was a butler in her household for more than 35 years. He was taught the Bahá'í Faith by Lua Getsinger in the process of serving tea and remained a devoted believer his entire life. "Such was the tenacity of his faith that even the subsequent estrangement of his beloved mistress from the Cause she had spontaneously embraced failed to becloud its radiance, or to lessen the intensity of the emotions which the loving-kindness showered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá upon him had excited in his breast." (GPB259) [A Vision of Race Unity, Ving p101, AZBF475, An Early Pilgrimage by May Maxwell]
He received a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá while on his deathbed and a tribute after his passing. [AY60, 61, 339, AB72]
He was one of the nineteen Western Bahá'ís designated as a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
A Tablet to him from 'Abdu'l-Bahá can be found in SWABpg114 #78 and 'Abdu'l-Bahá in America (website).
See also Bahaikipedia, Bahá'í Chronicles.
Find a Grave.
||Virginia; California; United States
||Robert Turner; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; Firsts, Other; Phoebe Hearst; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
||Charles Mason Remey and Howard Struven spoke at the first Bahá'í public meeting held in Honolulu. [BFA2:348; SBR189]
||Charles Mason Remey; Howard Struven; Firsts, Other
|1910 (In the year)
||Ghodsea Khanoum Ashraf (Qudsíyyih Ashraf) arrived in the United States, the first Persian woman to travel to the country. [BFA2:358]
See Ahmad Sohrab's letter to her in SW6, 10:77–9.
For a short biography see SCF55-85.
||Ghodsea Khanoum Ashraf (Qudsiyyih Ashraf); Ahmad Sohrab; Firsts, Other
|1910 (In the year)
||Charles Mason Remey and Howard Struven arrived in Shanghai and met with Áqá Mírzá `Abdu'l-Baqí Yazdí. They were probably the first Bahá'ís from the West to go to China. [PH25]
||Charles Mason Remey; Howard Struven; Aqa Mirza Abdul-Baqi Yazdi; Firsts, Other
|1910 29 Aug
||`Abdu'l-Bahá departed 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]
See letter from Sydney Sprague to Isabella Brittingham which indicates that He left sometime before this date.
GPB280 and AY84 say He departed in September.
After one month in Port Said He embarked for Marseille but turned 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 stayed for a few days in the Victoria Hotel but then moved to a rented house in Ramleh, a suburb of Alexandria, where He stayed for about one year. [GPB280, AB136]
Early in May of 1911 he moved to Cairo and took 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 sought out His company and met with 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.
||Haifa; 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; Kosseir;
|1911. 26 - 29 Jul
||The First Universal Races Congress was held at the University of London. It was the first important conference in which the British Bahá'ís participated. It was an international symposium on the theme of the brotherhood of humankind and attracted leading politicians, theologians and scholars from the whole of the British Empire and from Europe as well as North America. During the Congress itself there were several presentations from Bahá'ís including the reading of a letter from 'Abdu'l-Bahá who was in Egypt at the time. [NBAD45]
See 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Letter.
See SoW Vol II No 9 for a report by Wellesley Tudor-Pole, an article by Thorton Chase as well as the letter from 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the conference. See as well Speech for the Universal Races Congress translation and comments by Senn McGlinn.
A translation was published in "The Christian Commonwealth" on August 2, 1911.
A bibliography of the presentations, papers and contributions and secondary literature by Ralph Dumain can be found here.
||London; United Kingdom
||Conferences, Racial amity; Race amity; Race (general); Race unity; Firsts, Other
||Hájí Muhammad-Taqí Afnán, Vakílu'd-Dawlih, the cousin of the Báb largely responsible for the building of the House of Worship in `Ishqábád, was buried in the newly acquired Bahá'í cemetery in Haifa, the earliest recorded burial in the cemetery. [BBD51; DH182]
||In Memoriam; Haji Muhammad-Taqi Afnan (Vakilud-Dawlih); Afnan; Bab, Family of; Cemeteries and graves; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Firsts, Other
|1911 10 Sep
||`Abdu'l-Bahá gaves His first public address in the West in the City Temple Church in Holborn, London to an audience of over 2,000 people. He proclaimed that “This is a new cycle of human power…the gift of God in this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and the fundamental oneness of religion.” [ABL17-20, AB140; BW2:227; GPB283–4, In the Footsteps of 'Abdu'l-Bahá p11]
He spoke at the invitation of The Reverend R J Campbell. Mr. Wellesly Tudor-Pole read the translation. [CH154]
For the text of His talk see AB140–2.
For the words He wrote in the pulpit Bible see AB145. The church was bombed in World War II and the pulpit Bible was destroyed. The church was rebuilt in 1958.
For a photo see BWNS792.
||London; United Kingdom
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks at churches; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|1912 27 Sep
||Louisa Mathew and Louis Gregory, an interracial Bahá'í couple, were married in New York City. [239D:169]
||New York; United States
||Louisa Mathew Gregory; Louis Gregory; Firsts, Other; Race (general); Unity; Interracial marriage; Weddings
|1922 25 Feb
||The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was written entirely in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own hand and it was Shoghi Effendi's first translation for the believers in the West. It was sent to New York and addressed to "The beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United states of America and Canada". The "Will" delineated the Bahá’í World Order, already founded in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, and of which 'Abdul'-Bahá was the architect. [AY304]
||Haifa; New York; United States
||Abdul-Baha, Will and Testament of; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Translation; Shoghi Effendi, Translations by; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; Firsts, Other
|1922 6 Jun
||The All-England Bahá'í Council met for the first time. [SBR28; UD9, 468]
ER2 13 says it first met 17 June.
The meeting was held in the home of Mrs Thornburgh-Cropper. [SBR28, 67]
||All-England Bahai Council; Firsts, Other; Mary Virginia Thornburgh-Cropper
|1923 20 Dec
||The Peace Court ruled in favour of giving the Bahá'ís possession of House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád, however, the Council of Ministers, with the approval of King Feisal, ordered that the property not be returned until ownership could be established. [SETPE1p26]
The Guardian sent 19 cables to various individuals and national bodies with instructions that the Bahá'ís should send cables to the British High Commissioner in Iráq, Sir Henry Dobbs, as well as to the British authorities in Iráq and in London as well as to King Feisal to protest the action of the Council of Ministers. In communities where the numbers are stronger, Persia and America, he instructed that every local assembly protest directly. The Guardian himself sent over 600 pieces of correspondence during the following six months concerning this issue. [PP94-6, GBF33-34 BA94-95]
The Iráqí government refused to bow to the pressure put upon them. [PP96]
||House of Bahaullah (Baghdad); Peace Court; Firsts, Other
||The International Bahá’í Bureau was established in Geneva by Jean Stannard under the direction of Shoghi Effendi. [BW4:257]
For the history and work of the Bureau see BW4:257–61, BW6:130–5, BW7:108–13, BW11:507–8.
Its function was to act as intermediary between Haifa and other Bahá’í centres. [BBD118; BW4:261]
||Geneva; Switzerland; Europe
||International Bahai Bureau; Jean Stannard; Firsts, Other
||The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada drew up and published a ‘Declaration of Trust’ and ‘By-laws of the National Spiritual Assembly’. [BW2:89, BW10:180]
For text see BW2:90–8.
The Guardian described it as the Bahá’í ‘national constitution’ heralding ‘the formation of the constitution of the future Bahá’í World Community’. [GPB335; PP302–3]
The drafting was largely the work of Horace Holley with assistance from the lawyer Mountfort Mills. [SBR234]
In subsequent years the National Assemblies of India and Burma, of Egypt, Iraq, Persian and the British Isles all adopted this example almost verbatim. [UD101, BA134-5, SETPE1p145-6]
||United States; Canada
||NSA; Horace Holley; Mountfort Mills; Constitutions; By-laws; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1928 26–30 Apr
||The National Convention of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada was held in the Foundation Hall of the House of Worship for the first time. [BW2:180; CT167]
See BW2:180 for a picture.
||Wilmette; Chicago; United States
||Conventions, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Firsts, Other
|1932 17 Feb
||The Chicago Bahá’í Assembly incorporated, the first local spiritual assembly in the world to do so. This set the pattern for other Assemblies. [GPB336, Century of LIght p57]
||Chicago; United States
||LSA; Incorporation; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1932 23 Nov
||George Adam Benke passed away in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Shoghi Effendi called him the first European martyr. [LDG1:263; MC359]
For his obituary see BW5:416–418.
Photo 1 of his gravesite in Sofia.
Photo 2 of his headstone.
||George Adam Benke; Names and titles; Martyrs; Firsts, Other
|1933 23 Oct
||Keith Ransom-Kehler died of smallpox in Isfahán. [BW5:24, 398]
For her obituary see BW5:389–410.
She was buried near the grave of the King of Martyrs. [BW5:398]
For a picture of her grave see BW5:399.
Shoghi Effendi named her America’s ‘first and distinguished martyr’. [BW5:398]
Shoghi Effendi elevated 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.
||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
|1936 (In the year)
||The first woman was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, Shirin Fozdar.
||Shirin Fozdar; Women; NSA; Firsts, Other
|1939 22 Sep
||The State of Illinois issued the first Bahá’í marriage licence, authorizing the Spiritual Assembly of Chicago to solemnize Bahá’í marriages and issue Bahá’í marriage certificates. [GPB373]
||Illinois; United States
||Marriage; Weddings; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1939 12 Dec
||The Bahá’ís of Caracas, Venezuela, held their first Nineteen Day Feast and afterwards elected a ‘Provisional Assembly’.
||Nineteen Day Feast; Local Spiritual Assemblies; Firsts, Other
|1943 (In the year)
||The publication of A Commentary on the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá written by David Hofman by a new publisher, George Ronald. They went on to publish books on business ethics, comparative religion, studies of sacred texts, Islam, poetry, music, novels, biography and philosophy as well as a number of other subjects. George Ronald is primarily a publisher of books related to the history, teachings, doctrines and personalities of the Bahá’í Faith. See the reference for a list of Bahá'í books published up to 2013. [George Ronald
A Bibliographic History
A current catalogue can be found at their website.
||Abdul-Baha, Will and Testament of; George Ronald; Firsts, Other; Publishing; Publishing Trusts; Publications; David Hofman
||The first Bahá’í shortwave radio broadcast was beamed from New York towards South America. [BW9:44–5]
VV76 says this was 1943.
||New York; United States
||Bahai radio; Firsts, Other
||The British at their national convention, decided to ask the Guardian for their own Six Year Plan. [UDXVI]
He responded immediately by setting them the task of forming 19 assemblies spread over England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire. [UD173]
Shoghi Effendi described this as ‘their first collective enterprise’. [UDXVI, 173–4]
See also BBRSM158, 185.
||United Kingdom; Ireland
||Conventions, National; Teaching Plans, National; Firsts, Other; LSA
|1947 1 Feb
||Reflecting the unity in diversity highly valued by the Bahá'í community, Amin Banani, Mildred Mottahedeh, Hilda Yen, and Matthew Bullock presented the statement "A Bahá'í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights" to the UN, which ended by quoting a well-known passage by Baha'u'llah: "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."
Amin Banani was an influential scholar; Mildred Mottahedeh was a member of the International Bahá'í Council from 1961-63 and later a representative of the BIC for many years; Hilda Yen was a leading figure in Chinese-American society who worked as a diplomat for many years; and Matthew Bullock was a Knight of Baha'u'llah for the Dutch West Indies, on this day was also a Knight for the Netherlands Antilles, and later a representative of the BIC. [BWNS1172]
||New York; United States
||United Nations; Matthew Bullock; Bahai International Community; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|1948 (In the year)
||The first Bahá’í school in Haiti was inaugurated in Carrefour, a suburb of Port-au-Prince.
||Bahai schools; Firsts, Other
||The name ‘Bahá’í International Community’ was first used to refer to the eight existing National Spiritual Assemblies recognized collectively as a non-governmental organization. [BBRSM149; BW11:43; BW12:597]
The Bahá’í International Community evolved to become an international non-governmental organization with affiliates in over 180 countries and territories, which together represent over 5-6 million members of the Bahá’í Faith. As an international NGO, the Office interacts and cooperates with the United Nations, its specialized agencies, with governments, as well as with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The BIC seeks to promote and apply principles — derived from the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith — which contribute to the resolution of current day challenges facing humanity and the development of a united, peaceful, just, and sustainable civilization. The work of the BIC focuses on the promotion of a universal standard for human rights, the advancement of women, and the promotion of just and equitable means of global prosperity.
Mildred Mottahedeh was appointed to serve as the accredited Bahá’í International Observer, a post she held as a volunteer for almost 20 years. [BW12:601]
The following is a list of UN agencies with whom the BIC has representation:
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF),
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM),
United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and
World Health Organization (WHO).
||New York; United States
||BIC; NGO; Bahai International Community (general); Mildred Mottahedeh; UNICEF; UNIFEM; UNEP; Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); World Health Organization (WHO); Firsts, Other; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
|1949 30 Apr
||An Act to incorporate the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada was passed. The act established the name, named the officers as directors, stated the location of the headquarters, defined the objectives, gave it the right to manage the affairs of the Bahá'ís, to make by-laws and to hold property. It was used as a model for registration/incorporation in other states.
The pdf for the Act can be found here.
The National Spiritual Assembly members at that time were John Aldham Robarts, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario, manager; Emeric Sala, of the city of St. Lambert, province of Quebec, manufacturer; Dame Laura Romney Davis, wife of Victor Davis of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario; Siegfried Schopflocher, of the city of Montreal, province of Quebec, manufacturer; Rowland Ardouin Estall, of the city of Montreal, province of Quebec, insurance broker; Ross Greig Woodman, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario, lecturer; Lloyd George Gardner, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario, wholesaler; and Dame Doris Cecilia Richardson, wife of J. P. Richardson, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario; and Dame Rosemarv Scott Sala, wife of the said Emeric Sala, of the city of St. Lambert, province Corporate of Quebec.
See Shoghi Effendi's letter of 19 June, 1949 for his comments.
||NSA; Incorporation; Firsts, Other; Recognition
|1950 (In the year)
||The Court of the First Instance in Karkúk, Iraq, registered a Bahá’í marriage certificate. [MBW4; UD248]
This was the first time in the East, outside Israel, that a Bahá’í marriage was recognized as being legal, an important precedent for other Oriental countries. [MBW4; UD248]
||Firsts, Other; Marriage; Weddings; Recognition
|1950 20 Jan
||World Religion Day was first observed in the United States. [BBD242]
The purpose of World Religion Day is to highlight the ideas that the spiritual principles underlying the world's religions are harmonious, and that religions play a significant role in unifying humanity.
See World Religion Day (January) by Christopher Buck
See message from the Universal House of Justice dated 22 October, 1968 to the Spiritual Assembly of Chicago in Lights of Guidance #1710 in which they describe the purpose of World Religion Day.
".....is a celebration of the need for and the coming of a world religion for mankind, the Bahá'í Faith itself."
||World Religion Day; Interfaith dialogue; Firsts, Other; Z****
|1951 30 Jul
||Louis Gregory, Hand of the Cause of God, passed away in Eliot, Maine, near Green Acre. [BW12:666; TMW310, LOF98]
Soon after his passing he was designated by Shoghi Effendi the first Hand of the Cause of his race. (On 5 August, 1951) [BBD91; BW12:666, MoCxxii]
See TG114, 117-8 for a description of his passing .
For his obituary see BW12:666–70.
For biographical information on Hand of the Cause Louis Gregory see Gayle Morrison, To Move the World: Louis G. Gregory and the Advancement of Racial Unity in America (Wilmette, IL, USA Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982, 1999 printing).
For short biographical information see Bahá'í Encyclopedia]
Louis Gregory kept a journal of his visit to 'Abdu'l-Baha in 1911 including statements of 'Abdu'l-Baha, stories of the believers in the Holy Land and his experiences at the Shrines. It includes a selection of tablets 'Abdu'l-Baha addressed to him. A Heavenly Vista: The Pilgrimage of Louis G. Gregory".
||Eliot; Maine; United States
||Louis Gregory; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Firsts, Other
||Bahjí was lit for the first time by 99 four-branched wrought iron lamp posts. [GBF32; PP89–90]
||Light (general); Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Shrine of
|1953 20 Jun
||Shoghi Effendi designated the Maxwell home in Montreal as a Shrine. [MtC179]
||Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Montreal Shrine; Maxwell Home; Firsts, Other
||Adelaide Sharp, who had been in Iran since 1929, was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, the first woman elected to that body. [BFA2:361]
||Adelaide Sharp; NSA; Firsts, Other; Women
|1954 26 Apr
||President of Israel Ben Zvi and his wife visit the Shrines on Mount Carmel, the first official visit paid by a head of a sovereign state to the Shrines of the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. [GBF139–140; MBW68; PP2923]
||Haifa; Mount Carmel
||Ben Zvi; Presidents; Prominent visitors; Bab, Shrine of; Firsts, Other
|1956 20 May
||Louisa Mathew Gregory, whose wedding to Hand of the Cause of God Louis Gregory in 1912 was the first interracial western Bahá’í marriage, passed away in Eliot, Maine. [BW13:878]
For her obituary see BW13:376–8.
||Eliot; Maine; United States
||Louisa Mathew Gregory; Louis Gregory; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
|1959 (In the year)
||The first contacts with the Aboriginal people were made in Kampong Jus in Malacca by Saurajen, as reported at a special meeting held with Hand of the Cause of God, Dr. Muhajir in Malacca on 29 December 1957. [Jewel Among Nations, Splendour Publications, Author A. Manisegaran. Pages 221-222]
||Kampung Jus; Malacca; Malaysia
||Rahmatullah Muhajir; Saurajen; Aboriginal people; Firsts, Other
|1960 1 Jul
||Ben and Louise Whitecow (early Peigan believers) married in Calgary, Alberta, were the first Bahá’ís in Canada to have a legally recognized Bahá’í marriage. [BW13:687]
||Calgary; Alberta; Canada
||Weddings; Recognition; Firsts, Other
||The International Bahá’í Council was elected for the first time, by postal ballot of the members of the national spiritual assemblies. [BW13:397; MoC282]
The members were Jessie Revell, ‘Alí Nakhjavání, Lutfu’lláh Hakím, Ethel Revell, Charles Wolcott, Sylvia Ioas, Mildred Mottahedeh, Ian Semple and Borrah Kavelin. [MoC282]
See BW13:398 for picture.
See also BBD118; BBRSM131; BW16:90; CB324; MoC168, 242.
||International Bahai Council; Universal House of Justice; Jessie Revell; Ali Nakhjavani; Lutfullah Hakim; Ethel Revell; Charles Wolcott; Sylvia Ioas; Mildred Mottahedeh; Ian Semple; H. Borrah Kavelin; Firsts, Other
|1962 28 Jun
||President Tubman of Liberia visited the Shrine of the Báb.
This is the second official visit of a head of state and is notable in that Liberia is the first black republic on the continent of Africa. [BW13:400]
See BW13:400 for picture.
||Haifa; Mount Carmel; Liberia
||Bab, Shrine of; Presidents; Prominent visitors; Firsts, Other
|1963 18 Jan
||First Bahá'í marriage in Taiwan was between Miss Yeh Chan-ching and Mr Yang Su-thou. Official government recognition of the Bahá'í marriage was obtained in 1973. [The Taiwan Bahá'í Chronicle by Barbara R. Sims p37]
||Weddings; Firsts, Other; Recognition
|1963 21 Apr
||Establishment of the Universal House of Justice
The Universal House of Justice was elected for the first time. [BW14:427; MoC424]
The election was held at 9:30 in the morning at the home of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 7 Haparsim Street, Haifa. [BW14:427; MoC425]
Ballots were received from all 56 national spiritual assemblies. [BW14:427]
288 members of 51 national spiritual assemblies were present at the election. [BW14:427]
For a list of the electors see MoC406–13.
For details of the election see BW14:425–9 and MoC20–1.
||Universal House of Justice, Election of; Conventions, International; Elections; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Firsts, Other; Appointed arm; Universal House of Justice, Basic timeline; Covenant (general); Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline
|1963 22 Apr
||The results of the election of the Universal House of Justice were announced at the close of the morning session of the International Convention: Charles Wolcott, ‘Alí Nakhjavání, H. Borrah Kavelin, Ian Semple, Lutfu’lláh Hakím, David Hofman, Hugh Chance, Amoz Gibson and Hushmand Fatheazam. [BBD231–3; BBRSM131; BW14:425 MoC425; SS50; VVXI-XII]
For a picture of the Hands of the Cause of God with the Universal House of Justice see ZK123.
||Charles Wolcott; Ali Nakhjavani; H. Borrah Kavelin; Ian Semple; Lutfullah Hakim; David Hofman; Hugh Chance; Amoz Gibson; Hushmand Fatheazam; Universal House of Justice, Election of; Elections; Conventions, International; Universal House of Justice, Members of; Firsts, Other
|1966 31 Mar
||While in the custody of the Portuguese authorities Eduardo Duarte Vieira died in prison in Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea Bissau) after twenty days of torture. He was named the first African martyr. [BW14:390, BW16:568]
For his obituary see BW14:389–90.
For the messages to his wife and children he scratched on a biscuit box. See BW14:390–1.
||Portuguese Guinea (Guinea Bissau); Guinea Bissau
||Eduardo Duarte Vieira; Persecution, Guinea Bissau; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other
|1966 19 May
||The first legally recognized Bahá’í wedding in Europe took place in Finland. [BW14:154]
||Weddings; Firsts, Other; Recognition
|1968 19 Feb
||His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa, the first reigning monarch to become a Bahá’í, wrote to the Universal House of Justice confirming his acceptance of the Faith. [BW15:180–3]
||Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa; Bahai royalty; Firsts, Other
|1969 29 Oct
||A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity. WOB203
1844 May 24 Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first telegraphic message over an experimental line from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, the message said: "What hath God wrought?"
1894 May 10 Marconi sent a radio wave 3/4 mile, the first "wireless" transmission.
1897 Marconi Co sent the first ship-to-shore message 12 miles. 1899 Mar 3 the ship "East Goodwin" was saved after sending the distress signal "HELP".
1858 Aug 16 the first transatlantic telegraph cable was an undersea cable running under the Atlantic Ocean used for telegraph communications was laid across the floor of the Atlantic from Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland. The first communications occurred August 16, 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days.
1969 October 29 The birth of the Internet. First message from computer to computer in different locations. UCLA student Charley Kline attempts to transmit the text “login” to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute over the first link on the ARPANET, which was the precursor to the modern Internet. After the letters “l” and “o” are sent the system crashed, making the first message ever sent on the Internet “lo” and the first crash of the system.
||Internet; Communication; Firsts, Other; History (general)
|1971 1 Jan
||The passing of Agnes Baldwin Alexander, Hand of the Cause; “the daughter of the Kingdom”, and “the beloved maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection” (‘Abdu’l-Baha); the only Hand of the Cause mentioned in the Tablets of the Divine Plan; The first Bahá'í to set foot on Hawaiian soil; the first Bahá'í to settle in Japan; and the first Bahá'í to teach the Faith in Korea, passed away in Honolulu. (b. 21 July 1875) [BW15:423; VV8]
She was appointed a Hand of the Cause on the 27th of March, 1957 after the passing of Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend. [MoCxxiv]
For her obituary see BW15:423–30.
See Life of Agnes Alexander by Duane Troxel.
||Agnes Alexander; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Firsts, Other
|1971 13 Feb
||Following the ban imposed by the government of the Central African Republic on Bahá’í activities in November 1970 and subsequent representations made by the international Bahá’í lawyer Dr Aziz Navidi, the ban was lifted and the Bahá’í Faith officially recognized.
This was broadcast in every news bulletin on government radio for the next 24 hours, the first public proclamation of the Bahá’í Faith in the country.
||Central African Republic
||Persecution, Central African Republic; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Firsts, Other; Recognition
||The first National Teaching Committee of Sierra Leone was appointed by the Regional Spiritual Assembly of West Africa.
||Teaching; Firsts, Other
|1972 (In the year)
||The first Bahá’í studies seminar was held in London. For an account of the development of these seminars see BW18:204 and BW19:368.
||London; United Kingdom
||Bahai studies; Firsts, Other; Conferences, Other
|1973 1 Apr
||The Bahá’ís of the Central African Republic broadcasted the first of their weekly radio programmes on Radio Bangui. [BW16:141]
||Central African Republic
||Radio and television programmes; Media; Firsts, Other
|1974 (In the year)
||The first Native Council took place in Haines, Alaska, attended by 50 native Bahá’ís.
||Haines; Alaska; United States
|1975 2 May
||The first teaching institute of the Bahamas took place in Nassau. [BW16:207]
||Teaching institutes; Firsts, Other; Islands
||The New Era Rural Development Project, the first project of its kind in the world, began in the villages around Panchgani, India. [BW17:227–8]
||Panchgani; Maharashtra; India
||New Era Development Institute; Social and economic development; Firsts, Other
|1976 5 Oct
||The passing of Adelaide Sharp (b. Texas, 1896) in Tehran.
In 1929 she accompanied Dr Susan Moody (77) to Tehran and and took up the position of principal of the Tarbiyat School for Girls (opened 1910).
In 1931 she invited her mother, Clara Sharp, to come and live with her.
After the closing of the Tarbiyat Schools on the 6th of December, 1934, the Guardian asked her to remain in Persia. She organized study classes for both boys and girls to study English writings such as Bahá'í Administration, The Promised Day is Come, The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh and other works from the Guardian. In 1954 the Guardian ruled that women could serve on Bahá'í administrative bodied in Persia. She was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly and served in this role for the next fourteen years. She attended the First and Second International Conventions in 1963 and in 1968. Her five decade legacy of service in Iran included children's education, translating Writings, consolidating administrative institutions, serving as the"external affairs" representative for the National Assembly. Upon her passing memorial services where held in Tehran as well as other centres throughout the country. [BW17p418-420, Bahá'í Heroes & Heroines]
||Texas; United States; Tihran; Iran
||Adelaide Sharp; Clara Sharp; Tarbiyat School; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
|1977 16 – 17 Apr
||The first annual Bahá’í Studies Seminar supported by the Departments of Religious Studies and of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, England, took place. [BW18:204]
||Lancaster; United Kingdom
||Bahai Studies, Associations for; Firsts, Other; Bahai studies; Conferences, Other
|1977 12 Oct
||The first Bahá’í educational and cultural radio station, HCRN-1 Radio Bahá’í del Ecuador, made its inaugural broadcast at 1420kHz, 20 watts, in Spanish and Quechua from studios in Otavalo. [BBD193; BW17:169, 215–17; BW19:120; VV77; Mess63-86p373]
Radio Bahá'í was first housed in the Amatu'l-Bahá Ruhiyyih Kahnum Institute in Otavalo. [BW18p226]
For pictures see BW17:216, 218 and VV77.
Full time programming (six hours a day) was initiated on the 12th of December, 1977. The 1 kiloWatt transmitter was located at Cahas, 20km south of Otavalo. [Radio Bahá'í Ecuador p23, 52]
On December 12th, 1979, programming was initiated in the short wave band on 2340 kHz in the 120-metre band. The 1 kilowatt transmitter was located about 30 km north of Otavalo at an altitude of 10,000 feet. In 1982 the transmission frequency was switched to 4990 kHz on the 60-meter band. [Radio Bahá‘Í Ecuador p205 note 23]
||Otavalo; Cahas; Ecuador
||Bahai radio; Bahai-owned radio; Firsts, Other; Education
|1981 23 May
||Helmut Winkelbach, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Belarus, married Olga Grigorevna Dolganova, a Russian, their wedding ceremony was the first Bahá’í wedding in the Soviet Union.
||Soviet Union; Russia
||Helmut Winkelbach; Olga Grigorevna Dolganova; Knights of Bahaullah; Firsts, Other; Weddings
||The renovation of the House of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá in ‘Akká was completed. [BW18:77]
Delegates attending the fifth International Convention were the first pilgrims to visit it. [BW18:77]
For pictures see BW18:78–80.
||House of Abdullah Pasha; Restoration; Conventions, International; Firsts, Other; Pilgrimage; World Centre; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens
|1986 19 Oct
||Lorraine Kahn of Pine Springs, Arizona, is elected a delegate to the United States National Convention, the first Navajo woman to serve in this capacity. [BINS161:19]
||Lorraine Kahn; Native Americans; Conventions, National; Firsts, Other
|1987 (In the year)
||The first conference on the production of Bahá’í literature in Spanish was held in Argentina.
||Literature; Translation; Firsts, Other; Spanish
|1987 6 – 8 Feb
||Maori women held the first National Women’s Hui in the tribal area of Ngati Tuwaretoa, New Zealand. [BINS163:8]
||Ngati Tuwaretoa; New Zealand
||Maoris; Firsts, Other; Indigenous people
|1987 24 Mar
||Radio Bahá’í of Liberia (ELRB), the first Bahá’í-owned radio station in Africa, was inaugurated in Paynesville. [BINS164:6; BW19:121; VV77]
The initial broadcast was aired in December reached most of Liberia as well as parts of Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone with its short wave signal, ELRB soon attracted a diverse and enthusiastic audience with its blend of cultural, service and Bahá’í programming. [BNno685p5]
This radio station was destroyed during the civil conflict and has not been re-established.
||Bahai radio; Bahai-owned radio; Firsts, Other
|1988 30 Jun - 3 Jul
||The Bahá’í Arts Council, Canada, held the first arts festival, ‘Invitation 88: A Festival of the Human Spirit’ at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. [BINS179:2]
||London; Ontario; Canada
||Arts; Firsts, Other
|1989 16 – 17 Sep
||Bahá’ís in Liechtenstein mounted a display of Bahá’í books and an exhibition at an international festival for peace, justice and the preservation of creation held in Balzers, the first time they have been allowed to have a booth or stand of any kind in public. [BINS209:8]
||Exhibitions; Firsts, Other
|1990 (In the year)
||The first Adam Benke Project was organized by the Bahá'í European Youth Council in Bulgaria.
The first semi-public talks and lectures in Bulgaria were given in restaurants, where people are invited to private meetings.
Eleven people become Bahá'ís.
||European Bahai Youth Council; Youth; Firsts, Other
|1990 21 Mar
||The first local spiritual assembly formed in Eastern Europe since the Second World War was elected in Cluj, Romania. [AWH73; BINS221:4]
||Cluj; Romania; Eastern Europe
||LSA; Firsts, Other
||The first indigenous local spiritual assembly of Amazonas State, Brazil, was formed among the Mura tribe in Beruri. [BINS223:71]
||Beruri; Amazonas State; Brazil
||Indigenous people; LSA; Firsts, Other
||Maureen Nakekea and Marao Teem were elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Kiribati, the first indigenous women to be elected to the institution. [BINS224:7]
||NSA; Indigenous people; Women; Islands; Firsts, Other
||For the first time, two Bush Negro women delegates attended the national convention of Surinam. [BINS226:6]
||Indigenous people; Conventions, National; Firsts, Other
||Eighty leaders of thought from around the world gathered at Landegg Academy for the first International Dialogue on the Transition to a Global Society. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Maryland, the Vienna Academy for the Study of the Future and the Landegg Academy. [VV109]
For documentation on the proceedings see UNESCO Documents and Publications.
A second international dialogue took place in 1991 and a third in 1992. [VV109]
||University of Maryland; Bahai Chair for World Peace; Vienna Academy; Landegg academy; Universities; Firsts, Other; Conferences, Other
||The first week-long residential Bahá'í study school of Guinea was held in Guéckédou.
||Study schools; Firsts, Other
||Dr. Victor de Araujo, Bahá'í representative to the United Nations for 23 years and the first full-time representative, retired from his duties. He had represented the BIC at innumerable conferences and seminars throughout the world as well as at the UN headquarters in New York, often serving as chairman on the UN committees. [VV54]
Mr. Techeste Ahderom of Eritrea succeeded him. [VV54]
||New York; United States
||Victor de Araujo; Bahai International Community; United States; Techeste Ahderom; Firsts, Other
|1991 14 Nov
||In a message from Hand of the Cause A.M. Varqá, the Office of the Trustee, the Institution of the Huqúqu'lláh, to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, the formation of the Board of Trustees of the Huqúqu'lláh was announced. Members were Mr. Husayn Banání, Dr. Mohsen Enayat, Dr. Gerald Hanks, Dr. Bill Hatcher, and Dr. Michael Rochester. [CBNJan92 p2]
||Huququllah; Firsts, Other; Huququllah, Trustees of
|1991 26 Nov
||The Office of Ḥuqúqu’lláh had been established in the Holy Land under the direction of the Chief Trustee of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, the Hand of the Cause of God ‘Alí-Muḥammad Varqá, in anticipation of the worldwide application of the Law of Ḥuqúqu’lláh the following Riḍván. Concurrent with this development were the steps being taken by Dr. Varqá to organize regional and national Boards of Trustees of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, following the example of the Board that had been already functioning in the United States. [Adapted from the Message of the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 1991.]
||Varqa, Ali-Muhammad; Varqa; Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Firsts, Other
|1992 24 – 28 Oct
||The first Bahá'í Autumn School of Central Asia was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, attended by more than 200 Bahá'ís and many others. [BINS284:2]
||Bishkek; Kyrgyzstan; Central Asia
||Autumn schools; Firsts, Other
|1994 Mar 24
||The Dalai Lama visited the Bahá'í World Centre, the first time a head of a religion had visited the Shrine of the Báb. [BW93–4:78, CBN Vol 7 no 1 May/June 1994]
||World Centre; BWC
||Dalai Lama; Bab, Shrine of; Prominent visitors; Firsts, Other; Buddhism; Tibet; Interfaith dialogue
|1996 15 Jan
||A Chair for Bahá'í Studies was inaugurated at the University of Lucknow. [BINS354:3]
||Chair in Bahai Studies; Universities; Firsts, Other
||The dedication of the first academic chair in Bahá'í studies in Israel at Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the appointment of Prof. Moshe Sharon. The position was made possible because of an anonymous donation. [Jerusalem Post, June 7, 1999, BWNS84]
||Chair in Bahai Studies; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Universities; Moshe Sharon; Firsts, Other; Donations; BWNS
|2000 17 Feb
||The passing of Mildred Mottahedeh in New York. She had been elected to the International Bahá’í Council, the first globally elected Bahá’í body and was the first Bahá'í International Community representative to the United Nations. She was born in Seabright, New Jersey, on 7 August 1908 and was 91. [One Country Jan-Mar 2000 Vol 11 Issue 4; TP705-706; BW99-00p307-308]
||New York; Seabright; New Jersey; United States
||International Bahai Council; Bahai International Community; Mildred Mottahedeh; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
|2000 17 - 21 Dec
||The first International Conference on Modern Religions and Religious Movements in Judaism Christianity and Islam and the Bábí-Bahá’í Faiths was held in Jerusalem with about 90 persons in attendance. [BWNS84]
||Conferences, Other; Interfaith dialogue; Judaism; Christianity; Islam; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2003 18 Mar
||The President of India, Abdul Kalam, visited the Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi, the first official visit there by an Indian Head of State since the Temple was opened in December 1986. [BWNS204]
||New Delhi; India
||Abdul Kalam; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Delhi; Lotus temple; Prominent visitors; Presidents; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2003 4 Apr
||Given current conditions in the world at the time, the Ninth International Convention was cancelled. It had been scheduled for 29 April to 2 May. Ballots from the National Spiritual Assembly members were mailed to the World Centre. The 19 delegates that had been chosen as tellers travelled to the World Centre to count the votes. [BW'02-‘03pg37-38, BWNS202]
||Conventions, International; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2003 29 Apr
||The election of the Universal House of Justice by postal ballot by 1,544 electors from 178 countries. Chosen were Hartmut Grossmann and Firaydoun Javaheri to replace retiring members Mr. Nakhjavani, 83, and Mr. Fatheazam, 79 and re-elected were Farzam Arbab, Kiser Barnes, Hooper Dunbar, Peter Khan, Douglas Martin, Glenford Mitchell and Ian Semple. [One Country Vol.15 Issue1, BWNS207]
Mr. Grossmann, born in Germany, had academic qualifications in the German and English languages. He served on the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'ís of Germany (1963 to 1969) and Finland (1977 to 1980). He was a university academic in Finland. Mr. Grossmann was appointed a Continental Counsellor in 1980, advising Bahá'í communities throughout Europe in their growth and development. He had been serving in the International Teaching Centre prior to his election.
Dr. Javaheri, who was born in Iran, had a doctorate in agronomy. He lived for 27 years in Africa -- Gambia then Zambia -- where he was Chief Technical Adviser for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. He served the Bahá'í communities there in the area of social and economic development. He was appointed a Continental Counsellor in 1995 after serving for 19 years as a member of its Auxiliary Board. He, like Mr Grossmann, had been serving in the International Teaching Centre prior to his election. [BWNS208]
||Universal House of Justice, Election of; Elections; Universal House of Justice, Members of; Conventions, International; Firsts, Other; Hartmut Grossmann; Firaydoun Javaheri; Farzam Arbab; Kiser Barnes; Hooper Dunbar; Peter Khan; Douglas Martin; Glenford Mitchell; Ian Semple; Retirements; Ali Nakhjavani; Hushmand Fatheazam; BWNS
|2003 16 Dec
||Shirin Ebadi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first Muslim woman to win the coveted distinction.
For a long time she has fought for the rights of women and children in Iran and it is most fitting that she, a woman lawyer who dared to speak out against the sexist Iranian regime, be praised and recognised by the world.
She was an author and also the founder of the Association for Support of Children's Rights in Iran. [Nobel Peace Prize 2003]
In 2002 she founded the Defender of Human Rights Center and in 2009 she was forced to flee into exile after briefly serving as legal counsel for the imprisoned Yaran. Mrs. Ebadi was threatened, intimidated, and vilified in the news media after taking on their case and was not given access to their case files. [BWNS694]
||Shirin Ebadi; Nobel Peace Prize; Human rights; Women; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2017 1 - 2 Sep
||The opening of Cambodia’s first “Local House of Worship” in Battambang, just over two years after the design of the building was unveiled in July 2015.
The Mashriqu’l-Adhkar was designed by Phnom Penh-based architect Tang Sochet Vitou. It is situated on a 9 hectare property of which 1.5 hectares is used for the temple, an administrative building as well as gardens and ponds. The temple is a frequent topic of conversation among the local population. Even before its completion, it had galvanized action towards the betterment of the community and brought neighbours together. it will help provide for the spiritual needs of Cambodia’s growing Bahá'í community which, according to the Ministry of Cult and Religion’s most recent annual report, numbers about 12,000 although some adherents say the figure may now be closer to 20,000. Bahá'í communities were first recorded in the kingdom in the 1920s and since 1992 they have grown steadily with the help of aid workers and Asian immigrants.
In a letter dated 18 December 2014, the Universal House of Justice explained that a Bahá'í House of Worship is a “collective centre of society to promote cordial affection” and “stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society.”
The dedication was marked by a two-day conference bringing together over 2,500 people from Battambang and every other region of Cambodia. A number of Cambodian dignitaries attended along with representatives of other Bahá'í communities in Southeast Asia. The Universal House of Justice was represented by Ms. Sokuntheary Reth who served on the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia.
See the letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated 1 September, 2017, for the message to the gathered friends.
Location: Battambang, Cambodia
Design unveiled:July 2015
Groundbreaking ceremony: 14 November, 2015
Construction Period:January 2016 to September 2017
Site Dedication: 1 September, 2017
Architect: Tang Sochet Vitou
Architectural firm: Architecture Design Intelligence (ADI)
Dimensions: Inside height 11.8m
BWNS1190 (slide show),
||Tang Sochet Vitou; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Cambodia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; Firsts, Other; Gardens; BWNS
|2018 15 Apr
||The design for the local Bahá'í House of Worship was unveiled at a gathering in Matunda Soy, Kenya attended by about 1,000 people. The temple will accommodate about 250 people and the design incorporated the diamond-shaped pattern, a motif commonly found in Kenyan culture. It will be built of construction materials found locally; the roof will be made of local state and the walls from from stone quarried nearby. The Temple’s architect, Neda Samimi, was the first female architect for a Bahá'í House of Worship. [BWNS1251]
||Matunda; Matunda Soy; Kenya
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Architecture; Architects; Women; Firsts, Other; BWNS