October 1912: Observing the Feast with the Master

The evening of 16 October will never be forgotten, because of the memorable feast, held at the home of Mrs. Goodall, in Oakland. The beautiful rooms were filled with tables, adorned with yellow chrysanthemums and pyramids of fruit. The friends gathered quietly and talked in low but joyous tones. All seemed to feel the evening to be one set apart from all other evenings, for at this feast it was our great privilege to have 'Abdu'l-Bahá with us. There were one hundred and ten present, friends from the Bay Cities and also from Portland and Seattle.

When all were seated at table, 'Abdu'l-Bahá requested that we partake of the food so bountifully provided, while he walked about speaking words of wisdom and love, giving us the spiritual food, for which we hungered. Then, from the stairs, he pronounced a benediction upon all assembled, and soon the friends quietly withdrew. It was the most spiritual meeting. Gathered under one roof were people of different nations and various nationalities, the young and old, all meeting in love and fellowship, and in devotion to the Servant of God in this day. (Star of the West, Vol. III, No. 13, November 4, 1912)

October 680: The martyrdom of Imam Husayn

Imam Husayn's martyrdom took place on the 10th day of Muharram, 61 A.H. (October, A.D. 680) The first ten days of Muharram are observed by Shi'ih Muslims as a period of mourning for the Imams, ending on the tenth day with the Ashura, the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn. A grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Husayn was born to 'Ali and Fatimah (Muhammad’s daughter) in January 626. (Adapted from ‘The Prince of Martyrs’, by Abu'l-Qasim Faizi; ‘A Basic Baha’i  Dictionary’, by Wendi Momen; and ‘Muhammad and the Course of Islam’, by Balyuzi)

October 1957: The Guardian appoints third Contingent of the Hands of the Cause of God

Third Contingent of the Hands of the Cause of God were appointed by Shoghi Effendi: -- cables were sent on 2, October 1957
Hasan Balyuzi 7 Sept. 1908 12 Feb. 1980
Abu'l-Qasim Faizi, 1906 19 Nov. 1980
H. Collis Featherstone 13 May 1913 29 Sept. 1990
John Ferraby 9 Jan. 1914 5 Sept. 1973
Rahmatu'llah Muhajir, 1923 29 Dec. 1979
Enoch Olinga, 24 June 1926 16 Sept. 1979
John Robarts, 2 Nov. 1901 18 June 1991
William Sears 28 Mar. 1911 25 Mar. 1992
(The Ministry of the Custodians 1957-1963, p. xxiii)

October 13 to 16, 1912: The Master is a guest of Phoebe Hearst

October 13 to 16, 1912, were the dates when the Master and His suite spent a weekend as Mrs. Phoebe Hearst's guests at the Hacienda. She rode up to San Francisco and escorted Him to her home, invited prominent guests to meet Him, then escorted Him back to San Francisco. All this in spite of her estrangement from the Faith, which originated, Hasan Balyuzi writes, in her having been victimized by one or two individuals. On the way back 'Abdu'l-Bahá 'warned her not to consider anyone a true Bahá'í who was covetous of the goods of others and who tried to extort money from them'. Like the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh before Him, the Master always exemplified complete detachment from possessions, harking back like the Báb in His farewell to the Letters of the Living, to the words of Christ that when a disciple left a city he should carry away nothing, not even its dust on his feet. (Marzieh Gail, Arches of the Years, p. 94)

October 1844: Millerites expect the coming of the Lord

William Miller of New England was a man of ordinary education who had been an army captain and a justice of the peace. Prolonged study of dates in the Bible had convinced him that all prophetic time except the Millennium would inevitably run out by 1844, perhaps as late in that year as October 22. A shy, unassuming man, he felt no urge to spread this belief until one day a voice within him said: 'Go and tell it to the world.' He struggled against the voice but was defeated; by the end of 1843 he had delivered 3,200 lectures on the coming of the Lord. Tens of thousands of Millerites were, in that year, proclaiming that the Lord would come in a cloud, that every eye would see Him, and that He would come as a thief in the night; the fact that these prophecies were contradictory bothered no one. (Marzieh Gail, Dawn Over Mount Hira, p. 159)

October 1848: Mulla Husayn along with hundreds of his fellow believers march to Mazindaran to rescue Quddus

Mulla Husayn began his long march to Mazindaran to rescue Quddus, accompanied by many of the Bábís who had scattered after the incident in Niyala, and some of the newly-converted who ranged themselves behind the Black Standard. Their numbers, on that journey, swelled into hundreds. On their way they raised the call of the New Day, finding eager supporters, but also such venomous hostility that they could not take residence in any town or village. Yet they did not intend to engage in combat with anyone, let alone the forces of the State. They were only demonstrating their belief and their vision.

As they approached Barfurush, its leading divine, Sa'idu'l-'Ulama, was so vituperative in denouncing Mulla Husayn that the whole town rose up to oppose the Bábís. Clashes and casualties were inevitable. It was during this battle that Mulla Husayn cut through the trunk of a tree and the barrel of a gun in one stroke of his sword. [1] The people of Barfurush were worsted and asked for a truce, and because of their unrest, their leaders begged Mulla Husayn to leave on the morrow for Amul. 'Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani, whom historian Nicolas names as 'the chief military personage of the province,' gave Mulla Husayn a solemn promise, fortified by an oath on the Qur'án, that Khusraw-i-Qadi-Kala'i and his horsemen would escort the Bábís to safety through the forests. This military chief impressed on Khusraw the need to do his duty by Mulla Husayn, and to show him respect and consideration. (Adapted from ‘The Báb - The Herald of the Day of Days’, by Balyuzi)
[1] The fame of this feat spread far and wide. Later, when the Grand Vizier reprimanded Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza, commander of an army sent against the defenders of Shaykh Tabarsi, because he had fled before them, the Prince sent him pieces of the musket-barrel smashed by the sword of Mulla Husayn, with this message: 'Such is the contemptible strength of an adversary who, with a single stroke of his sword, has shattered into six pieces the tree, the musket, and its holder.'

October 1910: ‘Abdu’l-Baha attended a meeting in Egypt commemorating the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn which took place on October 10, 680 AD

'Abdu'l-Bahá's sojourn in Alexandria, Egypt, coincided with the Muslim lunar month of Muharram. This is the month that witnessed the martyrdom of Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and the third apostolic Imam of His Faith, together with many others of the House of the Prophet. That tragedy occurred on the tenth day of Muharram, 61 A.H., which corresponded to October 10th A.D. 680. The Shí'ah world has mourned his martyrdom ever since. Throughout the month of Muharram and the succeeding month of Safar, wherever Shí'ahs are, their grief is given some form of expression. They arrange gatherings at which the sufferings and the heroism of the Family of Muhammad, the treachery and the brutality of the foe are recited. Persians of Alexandria invited 'Abdu'l-Bahá to their meeting. He went and was received with every mark of respect. He gave a robe to the reciter of the heart-rending story of Karbila, rewarding him richly for his talent and devotion. He also left money with the hosts to hold a commemorative meeting on His behalf and to feed the poor. (H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant)

October 1912: 'Abdu'l-Bahá arrives in San Francisco

'Abdu'l-Bahá arrives in San Francisco on 1 October 1912. (Juiete Thompson, ‘Diary of Juliete Thompson’)

October 1911: An article in praise of ‘Abdu’l-Baha is published by the editor of Egyptian Arabic newspaper “al-Mu'ayyad”

After a month's stay in Port Said, 'Abdu'l-Bahá once again took ship, without previous intimation. He intended to go to Europe, but it became evident that the state of His health did not permit the strenuous work involved. He landed in Alexandria. It was in that ancient city that a sudden change occurred. Journalists in Egypt, who had hitherto shown open hostility, asked to meet 'Abdu'l-Bahá and perceptibly changed their tone. Even more, they wrote in terms of high praise. Shaykh 'Ali Yusuf, the editor of the Arabic paper, al-Mu'ayyad, had previously made harsh attacks on Bahá'ís and the Bahá'í Faith, urging severe counter-measures against them. He visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and in the October 16th issue of his paper he published an article under the heading: 'Al-Mirza 'Abbas Effendi'. These are the opening lines of that remarkable article: 'His Eminence Mirza 'Abbas Effendi, the learned and erudite Head of the Bahá'ís in 'Akká and the Centre of authority for Bahá'ís throughout the world, has reached the shores of Alexandria.' At first, related the writer, 'Abdu'l-Bahá stayed in the Victoria Hotel, but after a few days moved to a rented house. Then he went on to say:

He is a venerable person, dignified, possessed of profound knowledge, deeply versed in theology, master of the history of Islam, and of its denominations and developments . . . whosoever has consorted with Him has seen in Him a man exceedingly well-informed, Whose speech is captivating, Who attracts minds and souls, dedicated to belief in the oneness of mankind . . .   His teaching and guidance revolve round the axis of relinquishing prejudices: religious, racial, patriotic. (H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant’)

October 1952: Holy Year is observed from October 1952 to October 1953

The 'Year Nine' is an abbreviation of 1269 A.H. The beginning of the Year Nine occurred about two months after His (Bahá'u'lláh's) imprisonment in that dungeon. We do not know the exact time He received this first intimation... We therefore regard the entire Year Nine as a Holy Year, and the emphasis should be placed ... on the entire year, which started in October, 1852. This means our Centenary Year of Celebration will be from October, 1952 to October, 1953." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, ‘Directives from the Guardian’)

October 1852: The Báb’s predicted year nine commences

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 the year 1260 AH (AD 1844). The year nine is 1269 AH, which began about the middle of October 1852 when Bahá'u'lláh had already been imprisoned for about two months in the Siyah-Chal of Tihran, the scene of the birth of His Revelation. The following are a few passages concerning the year nine:

“In the year nine ye will attain unto all good.' On another occasion He saith: 'In the year nine ye will attain unto the Presence of God.” (The Báb, quoted by Bahá'u'lláh in ‘Epistle to the Son of the Wolf’, p. 141)

“Ere nine will have elapsed from the inception of this Cause, the realities of the created things will not be made manifest. All that thou hast as yet seen is but the stage from the moist germ until We clothed it with flesh. Be patient, until thou beholdest a new creation. Say: 'Blessed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of Makers!” (The Báb, quoted by Bahá'u'lláh in ‘Epistle to the Son of the Wolf’, p. 152) (Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 102)

October 1923: NSA of Britain has its first meeting

The first meeting of the elected "National Spiritual Assembly" [of Britain] took place in London on 13 October 1923. (The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 13, footnote)

October 1844: The Báb left Bushihr on pilgrimage to Mecca

He [the Báb] embarked from Bushihr on the 19th of Ramadan (October, 1844) on a sailing vessel, accompanied by Quddus whom He was assiduously preparing for the assumption of his future office. Landing at Jaddih after a stormy voyage of over a month's duration, He donned the pilgrim's garb, mounted a camel, and set out for Mecca, arriving on the first of Dhi'l-Hajjih (December 12). Quddus, holding the bridle in his hands, accompanied his Master on foot to that holy Shrine. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 9) 

October 1835: Baha'u'llah's marriage with Asiyih Khanum

When Bahá'u'lláh was nearly fifteen years old, His elder sister Sarih Khanum and Mirza Mahmud, the son of Mirza Isma'il-i-Vazir of Yalrud, were married. This Mirza Mahmud, who never espoused the new Faith, had a younger sister, Asiyih Khanum: winsome, vivacious and exceedingly beautiful. As soon as she came of age, and Bahá'u'lláh was nearly eighteen, Sarih Khanum requested her father, Mirza Buzurg, to ask the hand of this sister-in-law for her Brother, Mirza Husayn-'Ali. Their marriage took place in Jamadiyu'l-Ukhra (Jamadiyu'th-Thani) AH 1251 (about October 1835). Asiyih Khanum was the mother of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory)