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from the chronology

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1846. 23 Sep Up to this point the Báb had not been critical of the civil government but considering that His denunciations of the intellectually dishonest and plundering clergy were so unrelenting, could they expect to escape His scrutiny? The governor, Husayn Khán, was thus threatened by the Báb's rising popularity and ordered His arrest. The chief constable, `Abdu'l-Hamíd Khán, took the Báb into custody and escorted Him to the governor's home but found it abandoned. He took the Báb to his own home where he learned that a cholera epidemic had swept the city and that his sons have been stricken. At the chief constable's insistence the Báb cureed the boys by requesting they drink some of the water with which He had washed His own face. `Abdu'l-Hamíd resigned his post and begged the governor to release the Báb who agreed on condition the Báb leave Shíráz. The incident proved to be Husayn Khán's undoing: the Sháh dismissed him from office shortly after. [B104–5; BBRSM55; DB194–7; DB194note1; GPB13; TN9]
  • This cholera outbreak was evidently a sign of the coming Manifestation. The outbreak raged for four years. [DB196note2)
  • See BBR170–1 and DB197 for the fate of Husayn Khán who was immediately dismissed by the Sháh.
  • DB196–7 says `Abdu'l-Hamíd Khán had only one ill son.
  • DB195Note1 gives this date as 1845. If this were the case how could the Báb have celebrated "The second Naw-Rúz after the declaration..." [DB190] MBBA165n237 says that it took place on the 10th of September 1846 and that He was in His own house at the time.
  • Shiraz; Iran Husayn Khan; Governors; Bab, Life of; Abdul-Hamid Khan; Epidemics; Muhammad Shah; Shahs; cholera
    1876. 31 Aug Deposition of Murád V followed by the accession of `Abdu'l-Hamíd II to the Sultanate of the Ottoman Empire, upon which the banishment decree of Sultan 'Abdu'l-Aziz for Bahá'u'lláh was relaxed. Istanbul (Constantinople); Turkey Murad V; Abdul-Hamid II; Sultan
    1892 29 May The Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh

    Bahá'u'lláh passed away at Bahjí in His seventy–fifth year. [AB47; BBRXXIX, 233; BKG420; CB148; GPB221; RB4:411]

    "The news of His ascension was instantly communicated to Sultán 'Abdu'l-Hamíd by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in a telegram which began with the words "the Sun of Bahá has set". [GPB222; AB47; BKG420]

  • He cited these last words, two verses from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas:

    “Say: Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.”

    “Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you through the power of truth. We are truly almighty. Whoso hath recognized Me will arise and serve Me with such determination that the powers of earth and heaven shall be unable to defeat his purpose.” [GWB137]

  • For an account by Túbá Khánum see CH105–9.
  • Bahá'u'lláh had spent 23 years, 8 months and 29 (or 30) days in the Holy Land. [DH12]
  • He passed away eight hours after sunset. [GPB221; UD170]
  • Shortly after sunset, on the very day of His passing, Bahá'u'lláh was buried beneath the floor of the northermost room in the house adjacent to the mansion of Bahjí, the house which had served as a dwelling-place for His son-in-law, Háji Siyyid 'Ali Afnán. This became the Qiblih of the Bahá'í Faith. [AB47; BBD211; BKG427; GPB222]
  • See CB149 and RB4:149 for the effect of Bahá'u'lláh's ascension on`Abdu'l-Bahá.
  • See ARG71-72 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's account of His attempt to convince Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí to be faithful to the Covenant.
  • See CoC132-134; AB52–3, CB148–9, 152-153 and RB4:148–9 for the theft of Bahá'u'lláh's cases containing His seals, papers and other items. See as well An Epistle to the Bahá'í World by Mirza Badi'u'llah, page 13, written during his short-life period of confession/redemption.
    • One of the documents in these cases was the original Long Obligatory Prayer that had been mentioned in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Bahá'u'lláh had revealed the text but did not release it in order to avoid provoking conflict with Muslims. [Prayer and Worship by John Walbridge]
    • The box also contained a valuable ring and a rosary. "The ring was sold by Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí in the course of his journey in India and spent as travel money. And Mírzá Badi`u’llah wasted the rosary." [MBBA214
  • See AB52–61, CB148–51 and RB4:148–54 for the Covenant-breaking activities of Bahá'u'lláh's family immediately following His death.
  • For 'Abdu'l-Bahá's description of His Father see BWF220-224.
  • See GPB222–3 for the mourning following the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh.
  • See BBR234–6 for a list of Europeans who had met Bahá'u'lláh.
  • Bahji Bahaullah, Ascension of; Bahaullah, Life of; Holy days; Sultan Abdul-Hamid; Covenant-breakers; Covenant (general); Qiblih; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; Abdul-Baha, Life of; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Box with Writings; Boxes; Seals; Obligatory prayer; Missing, lost or destroyed Writings
    1901 20 Aug Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd re-imposed the restrictions confining `Abdu'l-Bahá and His brothers within the walls of `Akká. [AB94; CB226–7; DH67–8; GBP264]
  • This was the result of mischief stirred up by Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí. [AB92–5; CB227; GBP264]
  • See as well An Epistle to the Bahá'í World by Mirza Badi'u'llah, page 18.
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá was subjected to long interviews and detailed questioning. [AB95; GPB2645]
  • For the continued mischief and false allegations of the Covenant-breakers see CB227–30 and GBP265–7.
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá suspended the visits of the pilgrims for a time. [GBP267]
  • He directed that all the Bahá'í writings in the possession of His family and secretaries be transferred to Egypt and has His mail redirected through an agent in Egypt. [GBP267]
  • For the work of `Abdu'l-Bahá whilst in confinement 1901–8 see CB231–44 and GBP267–9.
  • Akka; Egypt Sultan Abdul-Hamid; Mirza Muhammad Ali; Covenant-breakers; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; Pilgrims; Pilgrimage; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Badiullah
    1902 12 Oct Birth of `Abdu'l-Hamíd Ishráq-Khávarí, Bahá'í scholar, author and translator, in Mashhad. Mashhad; Iran Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari; Bahai scholars; Births and deaths
    1904 (In the year) Through the year the Covenant-breakers plotted until the friendly governor of `Akká was replaced by one hostile to `Abdu'l-Bahá. Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí stirred up opposition in certain elements of the population. [AB111; CB232]
  • Newspapers in Egypt and in Syria wrote false reports about `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB111; CB232]
  • Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí drew up an official indictment against `Abdu'l-Bahá full of false accusations. [AB112; CB232; MBBA82-83]
  • These actions resulted in the arrival of the first Commission of Inquiry, sent by Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd. [AB112; CB233]
  • The Commission summoned `Abdu'l-Bahá to answer the accusations levelled against Him and upon receiving His replies, the inquiry collapsed. [AB113–14; CB233]
  • Haifa; Akka; Istanbul (Constantinople); Turkey Mirza Muhammad Ali; Covenant-breakers; Abdul-Baha, Commission of inquiry; Sultan Abdul-Hamid; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1905 (In the year) A second Commission of Inquiry, under the chairmanship of `Árif Bey, arrived in `Akká further to investigate the charges laid against `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB117–25; BBR320 3; CB234–7; GPB269–71]
  • See BBR322 for difficulties in dating this event. All Bahá'í sources indicate that this took place in 1907 but documents in the Ottoman State Archives indicate that it took place in 1905.
  • The Commission returned to Turkey amid political upheavals and its report was put to one side. [AB122–3; CB237; GPB271]
  • Haifa; Akka; Istanbul (Constantinople); Turkey Abdul-Baha, Commission of inquiry; Sultan Abdul-Hamid; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1908 24 Jul In Constantinople, a bomb intended for Sultán 'Abdu'l-Hamíd as he returned from the mosque on Friday, killed and injured a number of people. This event prompted the authorities to recall all the members of the Commission who were gathering evidence against 'Abdu'l-Bahá at the time. Some months later the "Young Turk" revolutionaries demanded the release of all political and religious prisoners. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was free by in September. [AB123; BBD4; BBRXXX; CB237; DH71; GPB272]
  • A cable was sent to Constantinople to enquire whether `Abdu'l-Bahá was to be included in the amnesty. `Abdu'l-Bahá was set free. [AB123; GPB272]
  • Istanbul (Constantinople); Turkey Abdul-Baha, Commission of inquiry; Sultan Abdul-Hamid; Young Turks; History (general); Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1909 27 Apr `Abdu'l-Hamid II was deposed. [BBR486]

    Sultan 'Abdu'l-Hamid II lived from 1842 to 1918) and reigned from 1876 to 1909. During his reign large portions of the Ottoman Empire were lost. Following his defeat in the war with Russia in 1878, Tunisia was occupied by France (1881), and Egypt was controlled by Britain (1882). In 1897, the Empire was forced by the Europeans to recognize the autonomy of Crete. The Sultán ruled as a despot, and brutally repressed the Armenians between 1894-6. In 1908, due to the lack of support among the army and the rise of the Young Turks, 'Abdu'l-Hamid was forced re-enact the Constitution of 1876 which he had suspended earlier, and which, for the first time in an Islámic state, defined the rights of both the ruler and his subjects. He was ultimately deposed when he attempted to plot a counterrevolution against the Young Turks and was exiled to Salonika, where he died in disgrace.

  • See AY189-191 for a description of his riches and his last years. He died in January of 1918.
  • Accession of Muhammad (-Rishád) V [BBR486]

    The last Ottoman Sultán, Muhammad VI, was deposed and was succeeded briefly by a cousin, but in 1924, the caliphate was abolished by Ataturk. The seat of the Caliphate had been located in Istanbul since 1517. [ALM3; PDC98-102]

  • Istanbul (Constantinople); Turkey Abdul-Hamid II; Sultans; Muhammad-Rishad VI; Armenian genocide; Caliphate; Ottoman Empire; History (general)
    1942 (The early 20th Century) Bahá'í Scholarship

    The publication in 1865 of the Comte de Gobineau’s (1816-1882),Les Religions et Les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale created an interest in Europe. A scholar that was inspired by Gobineau was E.G.Browne. He travelled to Iran and also visited Bahá’u’lláh in Akka in the latter days of His life. He translated two histories of the new religion and published two other books as well as a number of articles. He also made an important collection of manuscripts that he gave to Cambridge University Library. Bahá'ís have criticized Browne's work for being too sympathetic to Azal, Baha'u'llah's half-brother and implacable enemy. One of the books that Cobineau for Les Religions... was Násikhu't-Taváríkh (the 'history to abrogate all previous historiies') by Lisánu'l-Mulk. This book had been condemned by Bahá'u'lláh as a falsification of history one which even an infidel would not have had the effrontery to produce. [SUR36-37]      

    A.L.M. Nicolas (1864-1939) was a French consular official in Iran who researched and wrote a biography of the Báb as well as translating three of the Báb's major works into French.

         Just as the Báb was the centre of the scholarly interests of Gobineau, Browne and Nicolas, some Russian scholars who were more interested in Bahá'u'lláh. Baron Viktor Rosen (1849-1908), the director of the Oriental Department of the University of St. Petersburg was assisted by Aleksandr Tumanski (1861-1920). He spent a great deal of time with the Bahá'í community of Ashkhabad and with Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani. Although he did not write as much as Browne or Nicolas, what he did write was derived from a very deep and thorough investigation. [L&E43-83]

      See An Officer and an Orientalist: Alexander Grigorevich Tumanskii and His Contribution to Russian Historiography on and Policy towards the Babi-Baha’i Religion by Soli Shahvar, Bahá'í Studies Review 20 (1), 3-19

         There was much interest in scholarship in the early days of the Faith because almost all of the most important disciples of the Báb were Islamic religious scholars, as were many of the leading converts to the Bahá'í Faith in later years. The most important of these was the above mentioned Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1844-1914). He was learned in the Zoroastrian and Jewish scriptures and spent some time in the Christian West at the request of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá prior to His visit.

         During the 1930s to 1960s, a second generation of Iranian Bahá'í scholars, such as Fadil Mazandarani (1881-1957), 'Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari (1902-1972), and 'Azizu'llah Sulaymani (1901-1985) systematized Bahá'í theology and law, developed aids for scholars such as dictionaries of Bahá'í terminology, and wrote histories and biographies. This was of course a more traditional style of scholarship than is current in the West, but it continues to be useful to all present scholars.

         The above-described initial flurry of interest in the Bábí and Bahá'í religions in the West was not sustained and from the 1920s to the 1970s, there were no Western scholars who were as deeply engaged as the above-named ones and only a handful of studies that can be said to have done much to advance knowledge. From the 1970s onward, there gradually emerged a new stream of scholars who can be said to be a fusion of the above two groups, the Western and the Bahá'í scholars. This new generation of scholars mostly began as Bahá'ís, although some have subsequently left the religion. They use Western academic methodology and most operate from within Western universities but they have access to insider information and resources. Apart from these individuals, the Bahá'í Faith has been very little studied by Western scholars of religion.

         A word must also be said about what passes for scholarship on the Bahá'í Faith in Iran and to a lesser extent in the rest of the Middle East. Bahá'ís have been persecuted in many Middle Eastern countries and rejected by Islamic leaders, and one form of this discrimination has involved the manipulation of information. For most of the last 100 years, deliberately distorted or falsified information and documents have been created mostly by some within the Islamic religious establishment and then distributed as though these were facts about the Bahá'í Faith. Since the Bahá'ís have had no ability to respond to this material in the Middle East, these distortions have gradually become accepted in the Middle East as the truth. One example is the forged memoirs of Count Dolgorukov, the Russian ambassador to Iran in the 1840s to 1850s. This and other contradictions were so clearly spurious that even some Iranian scholars debunked them when they were first published in the 1940s. But despite this, they are often regularly cited by Middle Eastern writers up to the present day as though they are a reliable source for the history of the religion.

         Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, this manufacturing of disinformation and forged material has increased greatly with programs in the media, articles, and books appearing on a frequent basis, especially in the government-run media. The result is that there is almost nothing published in the Middle East that has reliable information about the Bahá'í Faith in it. A little of this sort of scholarship has also appeared in the West; some Christian missionaries, notably Reverend William McElwee Miller(1892-1993)(Also see WOB83) have written anti-Bahá'í material and ex-Bahá'ís have published academic work that is calculated to make the Bahá'í community resemble a cult as portrayed in the anti-cult campaigns that were carried out in the Western media in the 1980s. [The above was copied from the website Patheos and has been edited for brevity. It was contributed by Dr. Natalie Mobini]

  • See as well the publication of Der Bahā'ismus, Weltreligion der Zukunft?: Geschichte, Lehre und Organisation in Kritischer Anfrage (Bahá'ísm-Religion of the Future? History, Doctrine and Organization: A Critical Inquiry) by Francesco Ficicchia under the auspices of the Central Office of the Protestant Church for Questions of Ideology in Germany.
  • Bahai studies; Scholarship; Orientalism; Babism; Comte de Gobineau; Edward Granville Browne; A.L.M. Nicolas; Baron Rosen; Alexander Tumansky; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Mirza Asadullah Fadil-i-Mazandarani; Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari; Azizullah Sulaymani; Reverend William McElwee Miller; Francesco Ficicchia; Baron Viktor Rosen
    1955. 3 Jun Shoghi Effendi announced to all National Assemblies that Majdi'd-Din, "the most redoubtable enemy of 'Abdu'l-Baha" and "the incarnation of Satan", someone who played a leading role in the kindling of the hostility of 'Abdu'l-Hamíd and Jamál Páshá and who was the instigator of Covenant-breaking and archbreaker of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant, died at the age of one hundred after being struck with paralysis affecting his limbs and his tongue. [MBW87-88, 94]
  • He was the son of Bahá'u'lláh's only full brother Mírzá Músá, also know as Áqáy-i-Kalím. He was married to Samadiyyih, Bahá’u’lláh's daughter from his second wife Fatimih Khanum making him brother-in-law to Mírzá Muhammad `Alí.
  • Both Majdi'd-Dín and Samadiyyih were eventually declared Covenant-breakers for supporting Mírzá Muhammad `Alí. Majdi'd-Din was a scribe for Bahá'u'lláh. It was he who on June 6th or 7th, 1892, read the Kitáb-i-'Ahd to a large crowd in front of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh in which Bahá'u'lláh appointed 'Abdu'l-Bahá as his successor. [CBN No69 Oct 1955 p2]
  • Covenant-breakers; Majdid-Din; Abdul-Hamid; Jamal Pasha; Mirza Musa (Aqay-i-Kalim); Samadiyyih Khanum; Fatimih Khanum
    1972 6 Aug ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Ishráq-Khávarí, Iranian scholar, author, translator and promoter of the Bahá’í Faith, passed away. [BW15:520]
  • For his obituary see BW15:518–20.
  • Wikipedia page.
  • Tihran; Iran Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Bahai scholars

    from the main catalogue

    1. Evolving Role of Bahá'í Scholarship, The, by Vahid Rafati, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 25:1-2 (2015). Lecture on the evolution of Bahá’í scholarship; ulamás and the Faith; role of the ulamás in Islam; changes instituted by Bahá'u'lláh; abolition of clerical authority; historical legacy of some scholars; present challenges and future scholarship. [about]
    2. Ishráq Khávarí, by Vahid Rafati, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 8 (1998). Very brief article, short enough to qualify as "fair use." [about]
    3. Ishraq Khavari's Books and Publications, by Adel Shafipour (2008). A list of the research and writings of Ishráq-Khávarí, known as a brilliant scholar of the Bahá'í Faith (in the Persian language), much of whose work remains unpublished. [about]
    4. Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986: Third Epoch of the Formative Age, by Universal House of Justice (1996). [about]
    5. Writings of Baha'u'llah, The, by Abdu'l-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 14 (1963-1968) (1974). Part of a commentary by the renowned scholar `Abdu'l-Hamid-i-Ishraq Khavari, adapted by Habib Taherzadeh, summarizing many of the early and often untranslated Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh. [about]
     
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