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from the Chronology

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1889 (In the year) Bahá'u'lláh instructed Jamal Effendi, a Persian scholar of noble birth and high rank, to proceed to India and acquaint its people with the Bahá'í teachings. He arrived in Bombay in 1872, (sources differ on the date), and proceeded to travel throughout the country. Despite the language difficulty he managed to convey the teachings to many distinguished people. Jamal Effendi's vast knowledge, eloquent tongue and unfailing courtesy attracted many persons to him, and he was the guest of a number of prominent Indians of high standing. At innumerable meetings and discussions Jamal Effendi outlined Bahá'u'lláh's teachings for the upliftment of mankind and many recognized the truth of his words and embraced the Cause. It was not until 1880 that Jamal Effendi's strenuous efforts produced permanent results. In that year the first Bahá'í group was formed at Bombay and from there the Faith spread rapidly to Poona, Calcutta, Karachi and Delhi where Local Spiritual Assemblies were eventually established. [BW18p246] Mumbai (Bombay); Pune (Poona); Kolkata (Calcutta); New Delhi; India; Karachi; Pakistan Jamal Effendi
1906. 10 Nov Harlan Ober and Hooper Harris sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey for Naples and 'Akká on their teaching trip to India at the behest of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. (Tablet 12 March, 1906) Dr. William Moore, brother of Lua Getsinger, had been chosen to accompany Hooper Harris but he died unexpectedly. Harlan did not have the means for such a trip but Lua Getsinger loaned him the necessary funds. [BW13p868]
  • During their three days stopover in 'Akká 'Abdu'l-Bahá provided no instructions but promised them that "Whenever difficult questions or problems come to you, turn your hearts to the heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and you will receive help." They found that they were astonished with some of their own answers to questions put to them during the trip. [BW13p869]
  • Later 'Abdu'l-Bahá told Harlan, "Serve the people, speak in the meetings, love them in reality not through politeness, embrace them as I have embraced you. Even if you should never speak great good will be accomplished." This was to become Harlan's creed for teaching the Faith. [BW13p869]
  • They traveled across India, teaching the Faith, with Persian Bahá'ís Ibn-i-Abhar and Mírzá Mahmúd. See BFA266–71 for details of the trip. [Bahaipedia]
  • "Hooper Harris and Harlan Ober traveled, during no less than seven months, in India and Burma, visiting Bombay, Poona, Lahore, Calcutta, Rangoon and Mandalay." [GPB261]
  • ‘Abdu'l-Bahá sent the "Tablet of Purity" to America with Hooper Harris on his return from Haifa and India. [Highlights of the First 40 Years of the Bahá'í Faith in New York, City of the Covenant, 1892-1932 by Hussein Ahdieh p10]
  • Hoboken; New Jersey; India; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma); Mumbai (Bombay); Pune (Poona); Kolkata (Calcutta); Lahore; Yangon (Rangoon); Mandalay Harlan Ober; Hooper Harris; Travel teaching
    1907 (In the year) Pritam Singh, an Assistant Master of Economics at Chiefs College in Lahore, accepted the Faith, the first Sikh to do so. [BFA2:269] Lahore; Pakistan Pritam Singh; Sikhism; First believers by background
    1933 Jan The National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma incorporated in Lahore, in the state of Punjab under the provisions of the Societies Registration Act of 1960. [GPB336] India; Lahore; Punjab; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma) Recognition (legal)
    1938 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of India, (Pakistan) and Burma launched a Six Year Plan, the Indian Six Year Plan (1938-1944). [Ruhi 8.2 p46, BBRSM158; The Spiritual Conquest of the Planet (Supplement) p2]
  • Although the plan was not initiated by Shoghi Effendi, it received his commendation and encouragement. Lack of funds prevented the plan from being implemented until 1940. [DND70-71, 96-97, 100-101; SBBH2:160]
  • India; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma) Teaching Plans; Teaching Plans, National; India, Pakistan and Burma Six Year Plan
    1943. 16 Aug The passing of Sydney Sprague (b. Oshkosh WI in 1875) in Los Angeles. He was buried in Inglewood Cemetery. His grave is beside that of Tom Collins, husband of Amelia Collins, and lies just across the road from the grave of Thornton Chase, "First Bahá'í of America." [BW9p633-635]
  • During a pilgrimage in late 1904 'Abdu'l-Bahá suggested he visit the Bahá'ís of the East. He toured India and Burma from December 1904 until the summer of 1905 becoming the first Western Bahá'í of go to the far Orient fulfilling Bahá'u'lláh's prophecy the "The East and West shall embrace as lovers". [YBIB6] iiiii
  • See YBIB55-60 For the story of Kai Khosroe, the Zoroastrian Bahá'í from Bombay who gave his life while nursing Sprague in Lahore when he was deathly ill with typhoid fever.
  • In 1908 he became a resident of Tehran, first teaching in the Bahá'í school and, when he returned the following year, he became principal.
  • He married a niece of 'Abdul'-Bahá and became a brother-in-law of Ameen Fareed. When Fareed was expelled from the Faith in 1914 Sprague and his wife as well as his father-in-law followed. Fareed's father was Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání, the emissary who had taken the remains of the Báb from Iran to the Holy Land [Efforts to preserve the remains of the Bab]. Sprague applied to be reinstated in 1931 (or 1937) and was finally accepted in 1941, two years before his passing. [BW9p633-635]
    • He married Farahangiz Khanum on the 20th of July, 1910, a day selected by 'Abdu'l-Bahá so that Stanwood Cobb could attend. The Bahá'í wedding was performed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the legal ceremony was conducted by a mullá four days later. [BN Vol 1 No 12 October 1910 p 7]
  • He made a teaching trip to South America and died soon after his return to the United States. [AB409]
  • He was the author of The Story of the Bahai Movement published in London in 1907 and A Year with the Bahá'ís of India and Burma in May of 1908. [YBIBxi] iiiii
  • Los Angeles; United States; India; Myanmar (Burma); Lahore; Pakistan Sydney Sprague; Covenant-breakers; Ameen Fareed (Amin Farid); Mirza Asadullah-i-Isfahani; Kai Khosroe; Travel teaching; In Memoriam
    1946 Ridván India and Burma launched a Four and One-Half Year Plan, Indian 4½ Year Plan. (1946-1951) [Ruhi 8.2 p46; BW11p32; DND141-143; The Spiritual Conquest of the Planet (Supplement) p2]
  • The goals were:
      - To increase the number of Local Assemblies from 21 to 63
      - To give special attention to areas marked by sharp cultural and political divisions
    As the plan unfolded, the National Assembly added the following additional goals:
      - To publish the Esslemont book - ‘Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era' in eighteen new languages
      - To acquire a National Hazíratu'l-Quds in New Delhi
      - To carry the Bahá'í message to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand
  • India; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma) Teaching Plans; Teaching Plans, National; India, Pakistan and Burma Four and a Half Year Teaching Plan
    1946 Oct 11 The Bahá'ís of Iran launched a Forty-five Month Plan, the Persian 45 Month Plan ( 11 October 1946 to 9 July 1950, The Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Báb). Every province had specific assignments. [BBRSM158; CB316] The objectives of the plan included;

    1. Consolidation of all local Bahá'í communities.

    2. Reestablishment of 62 dissolved Assemblies. (93 LSAs formed)

    3. Formation of 22 groups. (37 established)

    4. Creation of 13 new centres. (24 localities established)

    5. Development of Assemblies from groups in three adjoining countries, namely in Kabul, Afghanistan, Mecca, Arabia and Bahrein Island, Persian Gulf.

    6. The formation of groups in four localities on the Arabian Peninsula.

    7. The sending pioneers to India and 'Iráq to assist in the formation of new groups.

    The Bahá'ís of Tehran were called upon to send out 50 families into the pioneer field. (160 arose) Every individual Bahá'í was included in the operation of the Plan-as a volunteer, by deputizing a pioneer, by contributing funds, by circuit teaching or by providing hospitality to students whose parents had become pioneers. [BW4p34-35; BW11p34-36]

  • Concurrent with the Forty-Five Month Plan the Bahá'ís of Iran made a concerted effort to remove Bahá'í women from the traditional shackles of a lack of education and an inability to participate in public affairs. Women's conferences were held, educational opportunities were created, equality of opportunity, right and privilege was declared to be an essential. [BW11p36].
  • Iran; India; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma) Teaching Plans; Teaching Plans, National; Social and economic development; Women
    1948. Ridván When the state of Pakistan was formed it was incorporated into the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma. The name of the new assembly was known as the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India, Pakistan and Burma.
  • This assembly until Pakistan formed an independent Assembly in 1957.
  • India; Pakistan; Burma National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1951 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India, Pakistan and Burma launched the Indian Nineteen Month Plan (1951-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46; BBRSM158; DND148–50]

    Some goals were:
      - To offer Rs 2,500,000 to the Shrine of the Báb Fund
      - To enrich Bahá'í literature in local languages
      - To send pioneers to Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, Vietnam, Zanzibar and Madagascar
      - To increase the number of Local Spiritual Assemblies in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
      - To enhance the status of the Bahá'í New Era School in Panchgani

    India; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma) Teaching Plans; Teaching Plans, National
    1957 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Pakistan was formed with its first National Convention in Karachi. Previously it was administered by the Regional Assembly of India, Pakistán and Burma. The "mother assembly" reverted by to its former name, The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India and Burma and was so until 1959. [BW13p299]
  • On May 28th the Assembly was incorporated. [BW13p300]
  • Karachi; Pakistan National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1968 (In the year) The Bahá'í Publishing Committee based in Karachi developed into a Bahá'í Publishing Trust responsible for translation and publication into Urdu, English, Persian, Arabic, Sindhi, Pushtu, Balochi, Gojri, Balti and other regional languages. Karachi; Pakistan Publishing Trusts; Translation
    1976 24 – 25 Mar The first Continental Youth Conference of Western Asia took place in Karachi, Pakistan. [BW16:265] Karachi; Pakistan; Asia Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Youth; First conferences
    1978 Mar The first Bahá'í-owned school in Pakistan, the New Day Montessori, opened in Karachi. Karachi; Pakistan Bahai schools
    1981 Apr In Pakistan a constitutional amendment named the Bahá'í Faith among the non-Muslim faiths of the country, thus according it legal recognition. [BW18:107; VV67] Pakistan Constitutions (general); Recognition (legal)
    1990 Jan The first local spiritual assembly comprised entirely of newly enrolled Bahá'ís of Ahmadiyyah background is formed in Chak No. 8P Katta, Pakistan. [BINS219:5] Katta; Pakistan Local Spiritual Assembly; Ahmadiyyah
    1994 Jul 6 – 10 The first Children's Bahá'í Summer School of Pakistan was held in Abbottabad, attended by 13 children. [BINS324:5] Abbottabad; Pakistan Summer schools
    2020. (Mid year) The Pakistani government continued to prohibit citizens, regardless of religious affiliation, from travelling to Israel by marking Pakistani passports as "valid in all countries, except for Israel." Representatives of the Bahá'í community continued to say this policy particularly affected them because the Bahá'í World Centre is in Haifa, Israel. Christian advocates also called on the government to allow Christians to travel to Israel. [US State Department's Report on International Religious Freedom for 2020] Pakistan Persecution, Pakistan

    from the Chronology Canada

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Historical Account of Two Indian Babis: Sa'en Hindi and Sayyid Basir Hindi, by Sepehr Manuchehri (2001-03). Includes translated excerpts from a number of Persian sources on these two individuals. [about]
    2. Jamál Effendi and the early history of the Bahá'í Faith in South Asia, by Moojan Momen, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 9 (1999). Includes maps on Jamal Effendi's journeys in India, and journeys in Southeast Asia. [about]
    3. Navjote of a Converted Zoroastrian Bahai, The: (Chapter 68), by Maneckji Nuserwanji Dhalla, in Dastur Dhalla, the Saga of a Soul: Autobiography of Shams-ul-ulama Dastur Dr. Maneckji Nusserwanji Dhalla (1975). Overview of the Faith, and the author's interactions with Bahá'ís in the early 1900s. (Navjote is the initiation ceremony where a child receives his/her ceremonial garments and first performs the Zoroastrian ritual.) [about]
    4. References to the Bahá'í Faith in the U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, by United States Department of State (1991-2001). Excerpts from the State Department's annual compilation of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on discrimination against the Bahá'í Faith and persecution of its adherents in twenty countries. [about]
    5. Religious Minority Rights, by Christopher Buck, in Islamic World, ed. Andrew Rippin (2008). Discussion of three minority religions within Islamic states that have experienced persecution and hardships which attracted the attention of the international community: the Alevis, the Ahmadiyya, and Bahá'ís. [about]
    6. Scriptures of Different Faiths, The, by Pritam Singh, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 8 (1938-1940) (1942). Overview of Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Christian, and Islamic scriptures, emphasizing their teachings and significance across diverse religious traditions. [about]
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