Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December 11. On this date in 1994, the Universal House of Justice's Research Department responded to a letter "about the reason that the prayers of the Guardian are not translated into English" noting "the Universal House of Justice instructs us to advise that it does not feel that the time has come for this to be done."


December 11. On this date in 1994, the Universal House of Justice's Research Department responded to a letter "about the reason that the prayers of the Guardian are not translated into English" noting "the Universal House of Justice instructs us to advise that it does not feel that the time has come for this to be done."

December 11. On this date in 1979, a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador answered a question about "if, prior to local elections an enrolled believer withdraws from the Faith and this leads to the removal of his name from Bahá'í membership, and yet he is subsequently elected to the Local Assembly"


December 11. On this date in 1979, a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador answered a question about "if, prior to local elections an enrolled believer withdraws from the Faith and this leads to the removal of his name from Bahá'í membership, and yet he is subsequently elected to the Local Assembly"
48. If Enrolled Believer Withdraws--Subsequently Elected to Spiritual Assembly
"Regarding your last question, if, prior to local elections an enrolled believer withdraws from the Faith and this leads to the removal of his name from Bahá'í membership, and yet he is subsequently elected to the Local Assembly, such votes as have been cast in his name are disregarded without invalidating the remaining votes on the ballots. If, however, the process of withdrawal has not taken place, that is, the believer refuses on the day of election to participate and expresses then his desire to withdraw from the community, and yet he is subsequently elected to the Assembly, since his withdrawal is generally unknown to the friends, in such a case the remaining eight elected members should meet, consider the withdrawal, and if his name has to be removed from Bahá'í membership, a by-election should be held to fill the vacancy."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, December 11, 1979)

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 10. On this date in 2014, a letter "regarding Kalimat Press was received by the Universal House of Justice and forwarded to our department for response. As a result of concerns that Kalimat Press was pursuing a particular editorial agenda, offering certain titles that were not in keeping with the best interests of the Faith, in 2005 the National Spiritual Assemblies of the United States and Canada asked Local Spiritual Assemblies to no longer distribute its publications. Individuals are free, of course, to decide to purchase books from any publisher."


 
December 10. On this date in 2014, a letter "regarding Kalimat Press was received by the Universal House of Justice and forwarded to our department for response. As a result of concerns that Kalimat Press was pursuing a particular editorial agenda, offering certain titles that were not in keeping with the best interests of the Faith, in 2005 the National Spiritual Assemblies of the United States and Canada asked Local Spiritual Assemblies to no longer distribute its publications. Individuals are free, of course, to decide to purchase books from any publisher."
May 2015
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
Your letter dated 10 December 2014 seeking clarification regarding Kalimat Press was received by the Universal House of Justice and forwarded to our department for response. As a result of concerns that Kalimat Press was pursuing a particular editorial agenda, offering certain titles that were not in keeping with the best interests of the Faith, in 2005 the National Spiritual Assemblies of the United States and Canada asked Local Spiritual Assemblies to no longer distribute its publications. Individuals are free, of course, to decide to purchase books from any publisher.
With loving Bahá'í greetings,
For Department of the Secretariat

December 10. On this date in 1937, Shoghi Effendi wrote German Bahá’í's "The friends should not feel unnecessarily agitated, but should have full confidence in the future which, we firmly believe, is gloriously bright."


December 10. On this date in 1937, Shoghi Effendi wrote German Bahá’í's "The friends should not feel unnecessarily agitated, but should have full confidence in the future which, we firmly believe, is gloriously bright."
10 December 1937
Dear Frau Muhlschlegel,
The Guardian was deeply rejoiced to receive your very cordial message of the first ins., and is indeed happy to know that during the next few months you will be travelling regularly to Zurich, and that you intend in this way to communicate to him any news regarding the situation of the Cause in Germany. He truly welcomes your offer, and feels that it is a most urgent and valuable service you can render the Faith.
Mr. Greeven, as you may know, is in close touch with the authorities in Berlin, and has so far succeeded in inducing the government to give more sympathetic consideration to our case. The secretary of the Minister for Church affairs has promised him that the funds, books and archives will be returned, but that there can be no hope of having the government rescind the rulings entirely. The negotiations, as you see, have not been quite in vain. The friends should not feel unnecessarily agitated, but should have full confidence in the future which, we firmly believe, is gloriously bright. As in the past, the German Bahá'í Community will eventually overcome and crush such forces of opposition, and will arise, out of the storm and stress of its present-day afflictions, stronger and purer and more determined to accomplish its allotted task in the establishment of the New World Order. Assure the believers that they have no reason whatsoever to feel distressed. The Cause is God's and is therefore in safe hands.
Regarding the German translation of the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh"; a copy of the German text of that pamphlet prepared by Miss Grossmann was forwarded to Haifa about two months ago through the care of Frau Brauns. The Guardian wrote her in answer, that he would keep the manuscript until such time when the time and means for its publication would be found.
Now he wishes to know whether the translation mentioned in your letter is the same as the one sent by Frau Brauns, or is a new rendering made by Dr. Muhlschlegel.
To you, to him, as well as to all your children he sends his loving thoughts and greetings....
P.S. At the Guardian's instruction I am mailing to your address a copy of the "Bahá'í World" vol. III, as to is not certain whether you or any of the German friends has seen this latest issue of the Year book....
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Dear and valued co-worker:
I wish to assure you and through you our dearly beloved German friends that the trials to which they are subjected are but a prelude to an age of unprecedented glory and activity in the service of the Cause of God. These clouds will dissipate and the splendour of the Faith will be shed with increasing radiance. Let the Cause grow silently and acquire greater depths in the hearts of the tested believers in that land, and the day will surely come when its potentialities will be manifested in a manner that would cause every beholder to marvel.
Your true brother,
Shoghi

On February 11, 1934, Shoghi Effendi addressed a letter to a German Bahá'í stating about the Nazi government that "obedience to the regulations and orders of the state is indeed, the sacred obligation of every true and loyal Bahá'í" and that "our German friends are under the sacred obligation to whole-heartedly obey the existing political regime, whatever be their personal views and criticisms of its actual working. There is nothing more contrary to the spirit of the Cause than open rebellion against the governmental authorities of a country, specially if they do not interfere in and do not oppose the inner and sacred beliefs and religious convictions of the individual. And there is every reason to believe that the present regime in Germany, which has thus far refused to trample upon the domain of individual conscience in all matters pertaining to religion will never encroach upon it in the near future, unless some unforeseen and unexpected changes take place. And this seems to be doubtful at present."
11 February 1934
Dear Bahá'í Brother,
I am charged by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of Jan. 30th as well as for the enclosed pamphlet containing the address delivered by Herr Hitler on Oct. 14th, 1933, on the subject of Germany's attitude towards peace, all of which he read with deepest care and sustained interest. He wishes me to convey to you and to all the members of your German National Assembly and through them to all the followers of the Faith in Germany his views on the present conditions in that land, and particularly in their relation to the nature and scope of the Bahá'í activities of our German believers.
At the outset it should be made indubitably clear that the Bahá'í Cause being essentially a religious movement of a spiritual character stands above every political party or group, and thus cannot and should not act in contravention to the principles, laws, and doctrines of any government. Obedience to the regulations and orders of the state is indeed, the sacred obligation of every true and loyal Bahá'í. Both Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá have urged us all to be submissive and loyal to the political authorities of our respective countries. It follows, therefore, that our German friends are under the sacred obligation to whole-heartedly obey the existing political regime, whatever be their personal views and criticisms of its actual working. There is nothing more contrary to the spirit of the Cause than open rebellion against the governmental authorities of a country, specially if they do not interfere in and do not oppose the inner and sacred beliefs and religious convictions of the individual. And there is every reason to believe that the present regime in Germany which has thus far refused to trample upon the domain of individual conscience in all matters pertaining to religion will never encroach upon it in the near future, unless some unforeseen and unexpected changes take place. And this seems to be doubtful at present.
For whereas the friends should obey the government under which they live, even at the risk of sacrificing all their administrative affairs and interests, they should under no circumstances suffer their inner religious beliefs and convictions to be violated and transgressed by any authority whatever. A distinction of a fundamental importance must, therefore, be made between spiritual and administrative matters. Whereas the former are sacred and inviolable, and hence cannot be subject to compromise, the latter are secondary and can consequently be given up and even sacrificed for the sake of obedience to the laws and regulations of the government. Obedience to the state is so vital a principle of the Cause that should the authorities in Germany decide to-day to prevent the Bahá'ís from holding any meeting or publishing any literature they should obey and be as submissive as our Russian believers have thus far been under the Soviet regime. But, as already pointed out, such an allegiance is confined merely to administrative matters which if checked can only retard the progress of the Faith for some time. In matters of belief, however, no compromise whatever should be allowed, even though the outcome of it be death or expulsion
There is one more point to be emphasized in this connection. The principle of obedience to government does not place any Bahá'í under the obligation of identifying the teachings of his Faith with the political program enforced by the government. For such an identification, besides being erroneous and contrary to both the spirit as well as the form of the Bahá'í message, would necessarily create a conflict within the conscience of every loyal believer.
For reasons which are only too obvious the Bahá'í philosophy of social and political organization cannot be fully reconciled with the political doctrines and conceptions that are current and much in vogue to-day. The wave of nationalism, so aggressive and so contagious in its effects, which has swept not only over Europe but over a large part of mankind is, indeed, the very negation of the gospel of peace and of brotherhood proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh. The actual trend in the political world is, indeed, far from being in the direction of the Bahá'í teachings. The world is drawing nearer and nearer to a universal catastrophe which will mark the end of a bankrupt and of a fundamentally defective civilization.
From such considerations we can well conclude that we as Bahá'ís can in no wise identify the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh with man-made creeds and conceptions, which by their very nature are impotent to save the world from the dangers with which it is being so fiercely and so increasingly assailed.
The Guardian hopes that these brief explanations will be sufficient to guide our German National Assembly in their efforts to safeguard and promote the interests of the Faith, and that through them they will be given a new vision of the Cause and a fresh determination to carry forward its message to the world at large.
With greetings and best wishes to you and to all the friends in Germany,...
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Dear and valued co-worker:
I wish to add a few words in loving appreciation of your strenuous, your intelligent and devoted efforts for the spread and consolidation of our beloved Faith. May the Almighty bless your endeavours, deepen your understanding of the essentials and requirements of our beloved Cause, and enable you in these difficult and challenging days to promote its interests and consolidate its institutions,
Your true brother,
Shoghi
On April 25, 1938, one month after Nazi Germany's Anschluss of Austria, a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi stated "it made him immensely happy to realize that the friends in Germany and Austria have been again drawn together, and are closer than ever in the past. He hopes that the removal of the barriers which have hitherto so sadly separated the German and Austrian communities will mark the beginning of a new era of unprecedented growth and expansion in your affairs."
25 April 1938
Dear Friends,
The postcard message which you had sent the Guardian on the occasion of Dr. Muhlschlegel's visit to Vienna, has just been received, and it made him immensely happy to realize that the friends in Germany and Austria have been again drawn together, and are closer than ever in the past. He hopes that the removal of the barriers which have hitherto so sadly separated the German and Austrian communities will mark the beginning of a new era of unprecedented growth and expansion in your affairs. He is certain that you are fully alive to the far-reaching possibilities which the present hour offers, and wishes you therefore to be happy and thankful, and confident in the blessings which the future has in store for you, and your dear co-workers in that land.
I take this opportunity of assuring you once more of his prayers for your welfare, protection and continued guidance, and reciprocating your very kind greetings,...
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Assuring you in person of my incessant prayers for your protection, guidance and happiness,
your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi  

December 10. On this date in 1948, Shoghi Effendi wrote American Bahá’í's "Convey to believers the joyful news of the safe delivery on Mt. Carmel of a consignment of thirty-two granite monolith columns, part of the initial shipment of material ordered for construction of the arcade of the Báb's Sepulcher, designed to envelop and preserve the sacred previous structure reared by 'Abdu'l-Bahá."



December 10. On this date in 1948, Shoghi Effendi wrote American Bahá’í's "Convey to believers the joyful news of the safe delivery on Mt. Carmel of a consignment of thirty-two granite monolith columns, part of the initial shipment of material ordered for construction of the arcade of the Báb's Sepulcher, designed to envelop and preserve the sacred previous structure reared by 'Abdu'l-Bahá."
[December 10, 1948]
Arcade for the Shrine of the Báb
Convey to believers the joyful news of the safe delivery on Mt. Carmel of a consignment of thirty-two granite monolith columns, part of the initial shipment of material ordered for construction of the arcade of the Báb's Sepulcher, designed to envelop and preserve the sacred previous structure reared by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Building operations are soon starting notwithstanding the difficulties of the present situation. I am supplicating the Almighty's guidance and sustaining grace for successive stages of an enterprise envisaged sixty years ago by Bahá'u'lláh, initiated by the Center of His Covenant, designed to culminate as contemplated by Him in erection of a superstructure to be crowned by a golden dome marking the consummation at the heart of the Mountain of God of the momentous undertaking born through the generating influence of the Will of the Founder of our beloved Faith, so dear to the heart of His blessed Son, and dedicated to the memory of the Martyr-Prophet, the immortal Herald of the Bahá'í Dispensation.

December 10. On this date in 1964, Alyce Janssen, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Spanish Morocco, died in Santa Rosa, California.


December 10. On this date in 1964, Alyce Janssen, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Spanish Morocco, died in Santa Rosa, California.

What has always struck me about the designation of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh is the arbitrariness with which the "virgin territories" were defined. For example, the Cook Islands and Tonga Island, both part of the Realm of New Zealand have distinct sets of Knights, while Niue and the Chatham Islands, also part of the Realm of New Zealand, are Knightless.

Several islands off the coast of Alaska have distinct Knights, like Baranof Island , Kodiak Island, and the Aleutian Islands. Yet other Alaskan islands, like the Pribilof Islands are Knightless.

The Brazilian state of Amapá has its own Knights (for Portuguese Guiana), while the other Brazilian states are Knightless.

Crete and Rhodes have Knights distinct from the Knights of mainland Greece, yet other Greek islands, like Santorini and Samos, are Knightless.

Key West has its own Knight, yet the other Florida Keys are Knightless.

Tiny islands, like Great Manan, have their own Knights. St. Thomas Island has its own Knight, yet the remaining Leeward Islands have one set of Knights, representing numerous politically and geographically independent islands. Similarly, the Windward Islands have one set of Knights, representing numerous politically and geographically independent islands.

December 10. On this date in 1898, The first Western pilgrims arrived in ‘Akká. Led by Ibrahim George Kheiralla, the group included Phoebe Hearst, Lua Getsinger, May Maxwell, and Robert Turner. In ‘Akká, they witnessed first hand the conflict between `Abdu'l-Bahá and his brothers.

The first Western Bahá'í pilgrims, pictured in the winter of 1898. Ibrahim George Kheiralla is seated in the middle of the front row. Lua Getsingersits second from right. Standing in the left is Robert Turner.


December 10. On this date in 1898, The first Western pilgrims arrived in ‘Akká. Led by Ibrahim George Kheiralla, the group included Phoebe Hearst, Lua Getsinger, May Maxwell, and Robert Turner. In ‘Akká, they witnessed first hand the conflict between `Abdu'l-Bahá and his brothers.

On November 11, 1849, Ibrahim George Kheiralla was born to a Christian family in a village on Mount Lebanon. He later studied medicine at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut.

Ibrahim George Kheiralla converted to the Bahá'í Faith while living in Egypt in 1889 when he met Hájí `Abdu’l-Karím-i-Tihrání. Kheiralla went through Europe and eventually came to the United States in late 1892 where he joined Anton Haddad, the first Bahá'í to come to America. Initially, Kheiralla settled in New York where he began teaching "Truth Seeker" classes. He visited Charles Augustus Briggs and others, as well as the Syrian community in New York.

In 1894 Kheiralla moved on to Chicago following the interest fostered by the World's Columbian Exposition's World Parliament of Religions. In Chicago he taught "Truth Seeker" classes. One of the early converts while Kheiralla was in Chicago was Thornton Chase, who had read the presentation about the Bahá'ís at the Exposition, and is generally considered the first Bahá'í convert in the West to have remained in the religion. Other individuals had converted, but none remained members of the religion.

Another to join the religion from Kheiralla's early classes was Howard MacNutt, who would later compile The Promulgation of Universal Peace, a prominent collection of the addresses of `Abdu'l-Bahá during his journeys in America. Both men were designated as "Disciples of 'Abdu'l-Bahá" and "Heralds of the Covenant" by Shoghi Effendi.

Another student of the classes and Disciple was Lua Getsinger, designated as the "mother teacher of the West".

Another who "passed" the class and joined the religion was the maverick Honoré Jackson. Kheiralla moved once again, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1895, where a large Bahá'í community soon developed.
Because of his success promulgating the Bahá'í Faith in North America, 'Abdu'l-Bahá titled Kheiralla "Bahá's Peter," "the Second Columbus" and "Conqueror of America." 'Abdu'l-Bahá would write a Tablet to Ibráhím George Kheiralla.

In 1898, Kheiralla undertook a Bahá'í pilgrimage to Palestine to meet 'Abdu'l-Bahá with other American pilgrims, including Phoebe Hearst, Lua Getsinger and May Boles. In Akka, Kheiralla witnessed first hand the conflict between 'Abdu'l-Bahá and his brothers. Upon his return to America in 1899, Kheiralla began to announce his avowed leadership of Western Bahá'ís independent of `Abdu'l-Bahá and authored a book, Beha'u'llah, wherein he states his belief that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was equal in rank to his brothers Mírzá Muhammad 'Alí, Díyá'u'lláh, and Badi'u'lláh. Early after the return to America, 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent, first, Anton Haddad with a letter contesting the definition of leadership, then Khieralla's initial teacher of the religion, 'Abdu’l-Karím-i-Tihrání, to confront him.

The conflict made the newspapers. Ultimately, in the conflict between 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Mírzá Muhammad 'Alí, Kheiralla sided with the latter for which he was declared a Covenant-breaker.
Kheiralla would go on to form the "Society of Behaists," which would later be led by Shua Ullah Behai and eventually become defunct. Kheiralla had three children, two daughters who were named Nabeeha and Labiba, and a son named George Ibrahim Kheirallah who converted Islam in the 1930s, becoming active in the Islamic Society of New York, and translated and published some poems of Khalil Gibran.

Ibrahim George Kheiralla died on March 6, 1929.