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1875 (In the year) At the request of Baha'u'lláh,`Abdu'l-Bahá wrote The Mysterious Forces of Civilization, a treatise on the establishment of a just, progressive and divinely-based government. [SDCv; Baha’u’llah on the Circumstances of the Composition of “The Secret of Divine Civilization” a provisional translation of a Tablet by Bahá'u'lláh by Adib Masumian]
  • It was lithographed in Bombay in 1882. It was first published in English under the title The Mysterious Forces of Civilization in London in 1910. [SDCv] It was re-issued in 1918 and later translated as The Secret of Divine Civilization by Marzieh Gail and published by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust in Wilmette in 1957.
  • See Marzieh Gail's Summon Up Remembrance pg46-47 for a description of Persia at the time. The nation was ostensibly ruled by a self-serving monarch who had little regard for the county or its people. The government administered the chessboard where Russia and England played out their competing imperialistic designs to increase their respective spheres of influence. Through bribery and intrigue, they contended to raise up ministers who would do their bidding. They thwarted the progress of the nation by manipulating the clergy to oppose any Western ideas, threatening that such would threaten Islam. If required these measures were supplemented with the bribery of the ulamas, accepted eagerly either for their personal gain or for contributions to their communities. Thus Iranians were kept divided, deprived, and ignorant; all the better to exploit them. [SUR62]
  • Shoghi Effendi called The Secret of Divine Civilization "`Abdu'l-Bahá's outstanding contribution to the future reorganization of the world". [WOB37]
  • See the English translation of the message of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Iran dated 26 November 2003 in which they make reference to this book.
  • Akka; Mumbai (Bombay); India; Iran Secret of Divine Civilization (book); Publishing; Publications; First Publications; Corruption; Reform; Iran, General history; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Adib Masumian
    1963 (In the year) 15 years after the establishment of Israel and during the course of the unrest that swept through Iran in response to a set of far-reaching reforms launched by Muhammad-Ridá Sháh, Ayatollah Khomeini and the Association of Iranian Clerics, in two separate declarations, denounced Bahá'ís as agents and representatives of Israel, and demanded their severe repression.
          During the 1960s and 70s almost everything that troubled Iranian clerics was seen as evidence of a Bahá'í-Israeli plot against Islam. The Shah, who was harshly rebuked by the ‘ulama for his regime’s strong ties with Israel, was accused of being a Bahá'í because of some of the reforms he had introduced, notably his giving voting rights to women, and providing blue-collar industrial workers with a share of the profits earned by their companies. Various cultural events launched by the administration, some of which had clear Western tones, were seen as Bahá'í plots to undermine the Islamic identity of Iranians. Iranian ministers and courtiers were almost collectively accused of being Bahá'ís. Even Iran’s notorious intelligence agency, SAVAK, whose strong anti-leftist agenda had naturally led to its inclination to recruit people with Islamic ties, and which had obvious connections with the Hujjatieh society – the self-professed arch-enemies of the Bahá'ís – was seen as nothing more than a Bahá'í puppet. Consequently, the 1979 Islamic Revolution came about not just as an uprising against the Shah, but supposedly as a reaction to an Israeli-Bahá'í threat. [Iran Press Watch 1407]
    Iran; Israel Conspiracy Theories; Ayatollah Khomeini; Shahs; Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi; Reform; History (general); Iran, General history; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution

    from the chronology of Canada

    from the main catalogue

    1. `Abdu'l-Bahá and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution: Embracing Principles while Disapproving Methodologies, by Mina Yazdani, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 24:1-2 (2014). Abdu’l-Bahá’s orientation toward the Constitutional Revolution of 1906–1911: he embraced the principles of constitutionalism while disapproving of confrontation; real social change needs to start at the moral-ethical level. [about]
    2. `Abdu'l-Bahá's Blueprint for a Progressive and Prosperous Iran, by Adib Masumian (2016). 'Abduʼl-Bahá's contributions to Iranian thought and social discourse, as recorded in his seminal work The Secret of Divine Civilization. [about]
    3. Ambivalence of Hostility and Modification: Patriarchy's Ideological Negotiation With Women, Modernity and Cinema in Iran, by Elnaz Nasehi, in International Journal of Advanced Research, 8:10 (2020). Passing mentions of the Bahá'í Faith in the context of how forces behind the Constitutional Revolution paved the way for the presence of women in public sphere and Iranian cinema. [about]
    4. Bahá'í Influence on the Reform Movements of the Islamic World in the 1860s and 1870s, by Moojan Momen, in Bahá'í Studies Bulletin, 2:2 (1983). Bahá'í influences on the Middle Eastern reform movement in the 1860s and 1870s. [about]
    5. Bahá'í Students and American University of Beirut in the Early 20th Century, by Reed M. Breneman (2008). The influential activities of the campus Bahá'í association in Beirut, 1900-1920 and during the first World War. [about]
    6. Baha'is and the Constitutional Revolution, The: The Case of Sari, Mazandaran, 1906-1913, by Moojan Momen, in Iranian Studies, 41:3 (2008). Accounts of the Constitutional Revolution in Iran have tended to ignore the role of the Baha’is. They educated people about the reforms envisaged and about the modern world, for which they were persecuted. [about]
    7. Bahá'u'lláh and Liberation Theology, by Juan Cole, in Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology, Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions vol. 8 (1997). The idea of liberation and equality is central to Bahá'í theology; the poor in the 19th century Middle East; Bahá'u'lláh and the poor; Tablet to the Kings on wealth and peace; laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and Huququ'lláh; state social welfare. [about]
    8. Baha'u'llah as 'World Reformer', by Christopher Buck, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 3:4 (1991). This article places Bahá'u'lláh in the context of Islamic reform by comparing him to several contemporary Iranian reformers. Bahá'u'lláh prosecuted his proposed reforms in three stages: (1) Bábí reform; (2) Persian reform; and (3) world reform. [about]
    9. Bahá'u'lláh's Bishárát (Glad-Tidings): A Proclamation to Scholars and Statesmen, by Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 16 (2010). Historical and textual study of the one of the major writings of Bahá'u'lláh, and new theories as to its provenance and purpose; it may have been revealed for E. G. Browne. [about]
    10. Browne, Edward Granville: Persian Constitutional movement, by Kamran Ekbal, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 4 (1990). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    11. Christianity from a Bahá'í Perspective, by Robert Stockman (1998). Includes two topics: "A Bahá'í approach to the Bible" and "Bahá'í Writings on Jesus Christ." [about]
    12. Constitutional Movement and the Bahá'ís of Iran, The: The Creation of an 'Enemy Within', by Moojan Momen, in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 39:3 (2012). Bahá'ís had a complex relationship with the Constitutionalist Movement, sometimes supporting it and sometimes abstaining from involvement, but the impact of the Bahá'ís on the reformers and on the Revolution has been underestimated. [about]
    13. Development of Metaphysics in Persia, The: A Contribution to the History of Muslim Philosophy, by Muhammad Iqbal (1908). Short philosophical observations on the theology of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. [about]
    14. Exposition of the Tablet of the World (Lawh-i-Dunyá), An, by James B. Thomas, in Lights of Irfan, 4 (2003). To fully appreciate the historical significance of the Tablet of the World, this essay first portrays the developing conditions in Persia and in the world that preceded this Tablet, then discusses its salient points. [about]
    15. Internationalism and Divine Law: A Baha'i Perspective, by Roshan Danesh, in Journal of Law and Religion, 19:2 (2004). On the internationalism motif in Bahá'í political and legal thought; the place of divine legal claims in contemporary debates about models of world order; religion as a unifying force; concept of divine law in both Persian and Islamic history. [about]
    16. Introduction to Abdu'l-Baha's The Secret of Divine Civilization, An, by Nader Saiedi, in Converging Realities, 1:1 (2000). 'Abdu'l-Bahá's The Secret of Divine Civilization in the context of the Iranian social and political situation of the day, and comments on its contribution to ongoing debates on certain religious, social, and political debates. [about]
    17. Laws Abrogated by Bahá'u'lláh (2018). Laws abolished from previous religions and from the Bayán. [about]
    18. Letter on Racism in the United States, by Universal House of Justice (2020). Letter on need for American people to grasp the moment to create a reform of its social order related to racial prejudice, and the Bahá’í community’s distinctive contribution to the eradication of racism. [about]
    19. Mikhail Sergeev, Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity and the Bahá'í Faith: Review, by Benjamin Olshin, in Studies in Bahá'í Philosophy, vol. 4 (2015). [about]
    20. Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Bahá'í Faith in the Nineteenth-century Middle East [introduction only], by Juan Cole, in Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions (1998). Introduction and first 4 pages of Chapter One. [about]
    21. Muhammad `Abduh and Rashid Rida: A Dialogue on the Bahá'í Faith, by Juan Cole, in World Order, 15:3-4 (1981). Translation of a dialogue between two influential Sunni thinkers of the early Twentieth Century; contains much of historical interest. [about]
    22. One Common Faith, by Universal House of Justice (2005). Review of relevant passages from both the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the scriptures of other faiths against the background of contemporary crises. [about]
    23. Ottoman Reform Movements and the Bahá'í Faith, by Necati Alkan (2004). Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá had contact with many of the reformers and modernist ideas in Turkey in the 1860s-1890s. This paper focuses on the "Young Turk" leader Abdullah Cevdet. [about]
    24. Ottoman Reform Movements and the Bahá'í Faith, 1860s-1920s, by Necati Alkan, in Studies in Modern Religions: Religious Movements and the Babi-Bahá'í Faiths, ed. Moshe Sharon (2004). The relationship between the Young Ottoman and Young Turk reform movements and the Bahá'ís from the 1860s onwards; the nature of these contacts and the impressions of the Young Ottomans and Young Turks of the Babis and Bahá'ís; the convergence of ideas. [about]
    25. Paradox of Protest in a Culture of Contest, The, by Michael Karlberg, in Peace and Change, 28:3 (2003). In our culture, political and legal institutions are structured as contests and reform is characterized as protest. This leads to injustice and unsustainability. Bahá'í models of elections and decision-making offer a practical alternative. [about]
    26. Permanence of Change, The: Contemporary Sociological and Bahá'í Perspectives, by Hoda Mahmoudi, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 18:1-4 (2008). Sociohistorical changes of the Axial Age and the Renaissance, sociological views on modernity and its contemporary challenges, and key features of modernity as identified in the Bahá’í writings as "the universal awakening of historical consciousness." [about]
    27. Power and the Bahá'í community, by Moojan Momen, in Lights of Irfan, 19 (2018). While Bahá'í social teachings may have sounded new and exciting a century ago, that is no longer the case today. The problem the world faces is not in the principles that would lead to a better society, but in their application. [about]
    28. Religion in the Modem World, by Anjam Khursheed, in Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review, vol. 6 (2001). On aspects of the Western secular rebellion against theocracy and the rise of free enquiry and freedom of conscience through the lens of the European Reformation and Galileo’s conflict with the Papacy; religion's role in strengthening family unity. [about]
    29. Representing the Unpresentable: Historical Images of National Reform, by Negar Mottaheddeh: Review, by Jack Kalpakian, in Digest of Middle East Studies, 17:2 (2008). Book review that touches on the Islamic Republic's treatment of judgment day and how it relates to Bábí doctrine; the image of the Bábí as the internal, modern other inside Iran's national psyche; Qurrat al-'Ayn as a female equivalent of Joseph. [about]
    30. Secret of Divine Civilization, by Abdu'l-Bahá (1957). Originally issued anonymously in 1875, this was ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's program for the developmental reform of society within an Iranian context. [about]
    31. Secret of Divine Civilization: Expanded outline, by Roger Coe (1999). Summary of contents, in outline format. [about]
    32. Tablet of Glad-Tidings: A Proclamation to Scholars and Statesmen, by Christopher Buck and Nahzy Abadi Buck (2012). The Lawh-i-Bishárát as a Proclamatory Aqdas and public announcement of principles from 'The Most Holy Book'; a proclamation to scholars and statesmen; Cambridge manuscripts from the E.G. Browne Collection; response to modernity; Persian original. [about]
    33. Theological Responses to Modernity in the Nineteenth-century Middle East, by Oliver Scharbrodt, in Lights of Irfan, Book 3 (2002). With their theologies, Bahá'u'lláh and Muhammad 'Abduh both responded to the challenge of modernity and sought change, but while 'Abduh remained on the grounds of the Islamic tradition, Bahá'u'lláh founded a new religion. [about]
    34. Theses on Modernity and the Bahá'í Faith, by Mikhail Sergeev, in Studies in Bahá'í Philosophy, vol. 4 (2015). On how new religious movements respond to modernity; cycles of religion; project of modernity; culture vs. civilization; the Bahá'í extension of modernity; Bahá'í departure from modernity; separation of religion and state. [about]
    35. Treatise on Leadership, by Abdu'l-Bahá (1998). [about]
     
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