February 1980: Hand of the Cause Hasan Balyuzi passes away

Balyuzi, Hasan Munaqqar (1908-1980). (Hand of the Cause of God.) A linguist, historian, author, and BBC Radio announcer by profession, he was born on 7 September 1908 in Shiraz, Iran, into a very distinguished Babi/Baha’i family (his parents were Mirza 'Ali Aqa and Munavvar Khanum). He was related to Shoghi Effendi through a common great-grandfather, Haji Mirza Abul-Qasim, and was therefore a member of the Afnan family. His superb mastery of the English language is perhaps due to the fact that he was brought up from the age of four in a diplomatic environment - his father being at one time the governor of the Gulf Ports and Islands. Two scholarly friends of his father tutored him in Persian, Arabic, and history.

When his father was exiled to India during World War I, he learned Urdu and pursued his studies of English in Bishop's College, Poona. After returning to Iran, where his father died in 1921, he was sent, at the age of 17, to the Preparatory School of the American University of Beirut, where he met Shoghi Effendi. Having taken a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in diplomatic history, he left Beirut to take his M.S. (in economics) at the London School of Economics (he achieved this in 1935, but the outbreak of World War II cut short his studies for a doctorate).

February 1876: The birth of Hand of the Cause Keith Ransom-Kehler

Keith was born Nannie Keith Bean on 14 February 1876 in Dayton, Kentucky. She attended a private school in Cincinnati and later graduated from Vassar. She undertook post-graduate work at the Universities of Michigan, Arizona and Chicago and was eventually awarded an MA degree. She taught French at Albion College, later heading the department of English Literature.

In 1903 Keith married Ralph (Guy) Ransom and went with him to Paris, where he studied art for a few years. When Keith was 32 years old, her husband died of tuberculosis. In order to support her daughter, Julia, Keith took an intensive course in design and then became head of the interior decoration section of the Carson, Pirie, Scott department store in Chicago. In 1910 she married James Kehler, a former colleague from Albion College and now an advertising executive from New York. His death in 1923 was a great and lasting sorrow to her.

From 1918 to 1922 Keith was leader of the Liberal Religious Fellowship in Chicago and Chief Counsellor for the Home Beautiful Service. She was involved in Hull House settlement work, prison reform at Sing Sing, and fruit and chicken farm operations. Her work on Municipal Ownership was incorporated in a report of the Federal Bureau of Labour and Statistics. She published articles and lectured on psychology, comparative religions and interior decorating. Under such titles as 'The Divine Adventure--Why be Unhappy?' 'Psychology of Human Relations', 'Making the Most of Ourselves', 'Child Guidance', 'Is Universal Brotherhood Possible?', 'Life's Essential Purpose', 'What is Permanent?', 'Crime and its Remedy', 'A Journey of the Soul', 'Making Houses Homes', 'The Beautiful Necessity' and 'Interior Decorating'.['Presenting Keith Ransom-Kehler', p. 1]

Keith met 'Abdu'l-Baha in London on 13 September 1911; the exact circumstances of the meeting are unknown. It seems, however, Keith did not become a Baha'i until May 1921. She was elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Chicago and served as its secretary. A part of Chicago's elite society, Keith gave up her social life when she became a Baha'i, although she retained her sense of beauty and elegance. When she was in Iran in 1933 she impressed the young Zikrullah Khadem as 'the most stylish woman he had ever met'. (Barron Harper, Lights of Fortitude, p. 100)

February 1925: John Esslemont is acting as Shoghi Effendi’s English-language speaking secretary. He also helps the Guardian with the translation of Hidden Words and other passages from the Writings of Baha’u’llah

The Guardian had written to the London Baha'is in January 1923 expressing his need for a 'competent assistant in my translation work'[Priceless Pearl, p. 91] but no one had responded to the appeal. Advised to leave Scotland before the onset of winter, John[Esslemont] received an invitation from the Guardian to come to Haifa, which he gladly accepted. He arrived in the Holy Land on 21 November 1924.

John immediately began Persian lessons. In November he helped the Guardian translate the Tablet of Ahmad and by December he was reading and translating extracts from Nabil's Narrative. In February 1925 he assisted Shoghi Effendi to translate the Hidden Words and other passages from the Writings of Baha'u'llah. Concerned with the burden of work placed on the young Guardian, John was anxious to be of whatever service he could. When the Guardian asked him to make Haifa his home, John quickly agreed. By February 1925 he was acting as Shoghi Effendi's English-language secretary. Shortly afterwards, however, his health deteriorated again. An attack of pleurisy, a complication of his tuberculosis, put him in hospital for more than two weeks in March.

During his illness, Martha Root came to Haifa as a pilgrim. She and Dr Esslemont spent time together studying Esperanto. She found his book to be an excellent teaching tool and she believed him to be a great scholar. (Barron Harper, 'Lights of Fortitude', p. 82)

February 1974: The Universal House of Justice accepts the design of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice submitted by architect Husayn Amanat

In September 1973 Husayn Amanat of Iran was chosen as the architect for the Seat of The Universal House of Justice, a mighty edifice to be erected at the zenith of the arc. In February 1974 his design was accepted and with all speed the process of construction was set afoot, beginning with a massive excavation of the mountain face and proceeding rapidly, but with precision and attention to every detail, in order to erect a monumental building for the centuries. In its message of 5 June 1975 to the followers of Baha’u’llah throughout the world the Universal House of Justice emphasized the timeliness of the work:

“The first of the majestic edifices constituting this mighty Centre, was the building for the International Archives of the Faith which was completed in the summer of 1957 as one of the last major achievements of Shoghi Effendi’s Guardianship and which set the style for the remaining structures which, as described by him, were to be raised in the course of time in the form of a far-flung arc on the slope of Mount Carmel. In the eighteen years since that achievement, the community of the Most Great Name has grown rapidly in size and influence; from twenty-six National Spiritual Assemblies to one hundred and nineteen, from some one thousand to seventeen thousand Local Spiritual Assemblies, and from four thousand five hundred localities to over seventy thousand, accompanied by a corresponding increase in the volume of the work carried on at the World Centre of the Faith and in the complexity of its institutions. It is now both necessary and possible to initiate construction of a building that will not only serve the practical needs of a steadily consolidating administrative centre but will, for centuries to come, stand as a visible expression of the majesty of the divinely ordained institutions of the Administrative Order of Baha’u’llah.” (The Baha’i World, vol. xvi, pp. 397-8)

Classical in its exterior and in harmony with the Inter-national Baha’i Archives, the exterior of the building is graced by a colonnade of fifty-eight pillars; its marble skin is chosen to resist the weathering of a millennium; its interior is simple, open, and adaptable to the evolving functions of a long future in service to the Faith. Memorable for pilgrims are the magnificent concourse in which they meet the Universal House of Justice and the splendid library-banquet room. How fitting the building’s commanding position high on Carmel’s slope, yet still in the shadow of the jewel-like Shrine of the Bab. (David Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 173-175)

February 1909: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá directed the American believers to hold interracial meetings …

… Louis Gregory soon found, [that] the fundamental Bahá’í principle of the oneness of mankind elicited varied responses from the Bahá’ís themselves.  In fact, as the Hannens told him shortly after he became a Bahá’í in 1909, the practice of separate meetings had never even been discussed by the community members, although ‘Abdu’l-Bahá apparently had directed them to hold interracial meetings as early as February of that year.  Whites like Lua Getsinger, the Hannens, and Mrs Hannen’s sisters, Alma and Fanny Knobloch, all of whom were well aware of the implications of racial unity in the Bahá’í teachings, were already participating in integrated meetings, both in public places and in private homes.  Other white Bahá’ís were not, either because racial mixing was uncustomary or because it was distasteful to them personally.  Many who had been attracted to the Faith by one principle or another, or by the Person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, would have been horror-struck to discover that to be a Bahá’í meant to be a proponent of racial equality.  There did not yet exist any administrative means or even any general sense of necessity to bring such unreconstructed whites into conformity with the Bahá’í principle of oneness.

Louis Gregory proved to be an agent of change in the Washington community.  He was the first black Bahá’í from the “talented tenth.”  A cultivated and articulate lawyer, distinguished in appearance and bearing, he was not deterred by any lack of education or social standing from assuming an active role or from challenging the community’s racial practices.  Under his questioning, the old, unconsidered habits of segregation had to be confronted by the community; and, once the issue had been raised, it could not be dismissed.  Louis Gregory began, quietly but uncompromisingly, to lay the groundwork for the changes he knew were inevitable. (Gayle Morrison, ‘To Move the World’, pp. 31-32)

February 1951: Haji Mirza Habibu'llah Afnan, passes away – ‘Abdu’l-Baha had appointed him as the Custodian of the House of the Báb in Shiraz

Haji Mirza Habibu'llah was born in Shiraz on 7 February 1875.  He was called Muhammad-'Ali at birth, but his father later changed his name to Habibu'llah out of respect for the fact that one of Baha'u'llah's children was named Muhammad-'Ali.  Haji Mirza Habibu'llah grew up in Shiraz in constant contact with the wife of the Bab, who was his aunt.  In September 1890, he set out with his mother, brothers and sister to join his father in Egypt.  From there they proceeded to Haifa where they remained for nine months in the presence of Baha'u'llah. The family then returned to Port Sa'id, where they had a trading establishment.  After the ascension of Baha'u'llah, Mirza Habibu'llah's father left for Iran, while he himself remained in Egypt.  He was often at this time in the company of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl who was also then residing in Egypt.  He visited 'Abdu'l-Baha in the Holy Land on several occasions.  Then in 1900, he was instructed by 'Abdu'l-Baha to return to Shiraz to assist with the repair of the House of the Bab, and he was appointed Custodian of that House by 'Abdu'l-Baha.  He died in 1951. (Balyuzi, Baha’u’llah the King of Glory, p. 473)

February 1869: Fu'ad Pasha, the Turkish Foreign Minister dies in Nice, France

Those mainly responsible for Bahá'u'lláh's final banishment to Akka were the Prime Minister, Ali Pasha, the Foreign Minister, Fu'ad Pasha and the Persian Ambassador, Haji Mirza Husayn Khan (the Mushiru'd-Dawlih). These three worked together closely until they succeeded in their efforts to banish Bahá'u'lláh to 'Akká and to impose on Him life imprisonment within the walls of that prison city. Bahá'u'lláh prophesied that Ali Pasha and Fu'ad Pasha would be struck down by the hand of God as a punishment for their action … (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, v 2, p. 398)

Fu’ad Pasha was born in Istanbul in 1815, the son of a famous poet and scholar, 'Izzat Mulla.  He studied at the Medical School where he learnt French.  He spent three years as an army doctor and then switched to the Translation Bureau in 1837.  He was sent important diplomatic missions until, in 1852, he was appointed Foreign Minister under 'Ali Pasha.  He again served as Foreign Minister in 1855-6, 1858-60, 1861 and 1867, and as Grand Vizier in 1861-3 and 1863-6, alternating with 'Ali Pasha in these important posts.  Fu'ad advocated the modernization of the Ottoman state and was also influential in the development of the Turkish language.  He died on 12 February 1869 in Nice, France, of a heart condition.(Balyuzi, Baha’u’llah The King of Glory, p. 472)

February 1907: ‘Abdu’l-Baha begins to transfer the Holy Family from ‘Akka to His House in Haifa

Keenly aware of Baha'u'llah's vision of Mount Carmel's great destiny, ‘Abdu'l-Baha, having set Himself to supervise and expedite the erection of the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel, considered building a house in Haifa. Miss Laura Clifford Barney (who became Mme Dreyfus-Barney after her marriage in 1911 to Hippolyte Dreyfus) aided in the purchase of the land at the eastern edge of the German colony, on a lane later to be named Persian (Haparsim) Street. The Master then designed His House, and was assisted by Laura Barney in the construction which followed. Throughout the tense period of the Turkish Commission of Inquiry and in spite of all the malign forces then activated, erection of the House went forward, and its effective completion closely coincided with the rebellion of the Young Turks in 1908. From February 1907 ‘Abdu’l-Baha had begun to transfer the Holy Family to Haifa; in the course of several years all moved from 'Akka, including the Greatest Holy Leaf and His beloved grandson, Shoghi Effendi, and in August 1910 He Himself came to the town across the bay. In this House destined for such great service, and which now became 'Abdu'l-Baha's official residence, Shoghi Effendi grew to maturity under the Master's tutelage. (David Ruhe, ‘Door of Hope’, p. 145)

February 1932: Chicago Spiritual Assembly becomes incorporated – The first local spiritual assembly in the Baha’i world to gain civil recognition

The processes of civil incorporation began with the adoption in 1927 of a Declaration of Trust and By-Laws for the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, which gained civil recognition as a voluntary trust two years later. On 17 February 1932 the first local Bahá'í Assembly, that of Chicago, adopted papers of incorporation which, together with those adopted by that of New York City on 31 March of that year, were to become a pattern for such instruments throughout the world. (Century of Light, a statement prepared at the Baha’i World center, commissioned by The Universal House of Justice)

February 1923: Shoghi Effendi is recognized by the governing authorities in Palestine as the custodian of the Shrine of Baha’u’llah

The Mansion of Bahji (Arabic for ‘Delight’) is located north of Akka. It was occupied by Baha’u’llah from September 1879 until His ascension in 1892. The present structure was built by Udi Khammar, the Christian merchant whose house in Akka had earlier been occupied by Baha’u’llah, and was completed in 1870. It was here that Baha’u’llah revealed most of His later Writings, and also received the English orientalist E.G. Browne. When Baha’u’llah passed away He was interred in a room in one of the surrounding buildings occupied by his daughter Furughiyyih Khanum and her husband, Siyyid 'Ali Afnan. That room became the Shrine of Baha’u’llah, and is regarded by Baha’is as the most sacred place on earth. It is the Qiblah to which Baha'is turn in prayer.

February–March 1917: ‘Abdu’l-Baha reveals the final six Tablets of the Divine Plan

Fourteen Tablets revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha during the First World War, addressed to the Baha'is in North America and received by them in 1919, which Shoghi Effendi has called the 'mandate' and 'the supreme charter for teaching'.' They are addressed either to the Baha'is of the United States and Canada as one body or to one of five regional areas of North America.

The 'mandate' was to carry the 'fame of the Cause of God' to the East and to the West and to spread the Glad Tidings of the coming of Baha'u'llah throughout the five continents of the world. In all, 'Abdu'l-Baha mentioned some 120 territories and islands to which the message of Baha'u'llah was to be carried.

The first eight Tablets were revealed between 26 March and 22 April 1916, and the final six between 2 February and 8 March 1917. Of the first group, five Tablets reached America and were published in the 8 September 1916 issue of Star of the West. After that communication with the Holy Land was cut off and the rest of the Tablets remained in the vault under the Shrine of the Bab until the end of the war. They were dispatched to America and unveiled in a ceremony during the 'Convention of the Covenant' held at the Hotel McAlpin in New York in April 1919.

An immediate response to the Tablets was made by Martha Root, who began her world travels, and by Mr. and Mrs. Dunn, who arose to move to Australia. However, it was not until 1937 when Shoghi Effendi gave the American believers the First Seven Year Plan, that the Divine Plan began to be generally implemented. (‘A Basic Baha’i Dictionary, by Wendi Momen)

February 1952: Shoghi Effendi appoints the second contingent of Hands of the Cause

Fred Schopflocher in Canada, Corinne True in the United States, Dhikru'llah Khadem and Shu'a'u'llah 'Ala'i in Persia, Adelbert Muhlschlegel in Germany, Musa Banani in Africa and Clara Dunn in Australia. (Adapted from ‘A Basic Baha’i Dictionary’, by Wendi Momen and ‘The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith’, by Ruhiyyih Khanum, p. 110)

February 1852: Birth of Isabella Brittingham – a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

She was born on 21 February 1852, the daughter of an Episcopal clergyman. She married James D. Brittingham in 1886 and attended her first Baha'i study class in 1898. Almost immediately on accepting the Faith she began to travel to share it. In September 1901 she visited 'Abdu'l-Baha in 'Akka. After her visit she wrote a scholarly instructive essay, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, which was published in 1902 by the Baha'i Publishing Society. Whenever she witnessed a new declaration of faith she would, week after week, send off their letters to 'Abdu'l-Baha, Who on one occasion said laughingly, "Mrs. Brittingham was our Baha'i-maker." One such distinguished person who studied the Faith with her was Dr. Susan Moody, who later rendered heroic services to the Faith as a doctor, educator, and Baha'i teacher in Tihran, Iran. Mrs. Brittingham received the full support of her husband, James, who was not able to accompany her on her teaching trips. She made her second pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 1909. She continued her traveling for the Faith to the end of her life and, in the home of the Revell sisters in Philadelphia, she dictated 11 letters to Jessie Revell on the evening of 28 January 1924 and then passed away later that same evening. (‘Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i Faith’ by Hugh Adamson)

February 1849: The martyrdom of Mulla Husayn -- Bábu'l-Báb (the Gate of the Gate), the “Primal Mirror”; “But for him, God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory."

Mulla Husayn’s death took place on February 2, 1849. Nabil-i-Aza’m, the author of the Dawn-Breakers, pays this tribute:

From the time when Mulla Husayn was assailed by his enemies to the time of his martyrdom was a hundred and sixteen days, a period rendered memorable by deeds so heroic that even his bitterest foes felt bound to confess their wonder. On four distinct occasions, he rose to such heights of courage and power as few indeed could attain. The first encounter took place on … [October 10, 1848 A.D.] in the outskirts of Barfurush; the second, in the immediate neighbourhood of the fort of Shaykh Tabarsi, on the fifth day of the month of Muharram[December 1, 1848 A.D.], against the forces of Abdu'llah Khan-i-Turkaman; the third, in Vas-Kas, on the twenty-fifth day of Muharram[December 21, 1848 A.D.], directed against the army of Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza. The last and most memorable battle of all was directed against the combined forces of Abbas-Quli Khan, of Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza, and of Sulayman Khan-i-Afshar, assisted by a company of forty-five officers of tried ability and matured experience.  From each of these hot and fierce engagements Mulla Husayn emerged, in spite of the overwhelming forces arrayed against him, unscathed and triumphant. In each encounter he distinguished himself by such acts of valour, of chivalry, of skill, and of strength that each one would alone suffice to establish for all time the transcendent character of a Faith for the protection of which he had so valiantly fought, and in the path of which he had so nobly died. The traits of mind and of character which, from his very youth, he displayed, the profundity of his learning, the tenacity of his faith, his intrepid courage, his singleness of purpose, his high sense of justice and unswerving devotion, marked him as an outstanding figure among those who, by their lives, have borne witness to the glory and power of the new Revelation. He was six and thirty years old when he quaffed the cup of martyrdom. At the age of eighteen he made the acquaintance, in Karbila, of Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti. For nine years he sat at his feet, and imbibed the lesson which was destined to prepare him for the acceptance of the Message of the Báb. The nine remaining years of his life were spent in the midst of a restless, a feverish activity which carried him eventually to the field of martyrdom, in circumstances that have shed imperishable lustre upon his country's history. (The Dawn-Breakers, pp. 382-383)

February 1934: The Guardian sends his letter known as ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’ – it is addressed to “the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West”

The weighty treatise known as The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh , written in 1934, burst upon the Bahá'ís like a blinding white light. I remember when I first read it I had the most extraordinary feeling as if the whole universe had suddenly expanded around me and I was looking out into its dazzling star-filled immensity; all the frontiers of our understanding flew outwards; the glory of this Cause and the true station of its Central Figures were revealed to us and we were never the same again. One would have thought that the stunning impact of this one communication from the Guardian would kill puniness of soul forever! However Shoghi Effendi felt in his inmost heart about his other writings, I know from his remarks that he considered he had said all he had to say, in many ways, in the Dispensation. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 213)

February 1941: The passing of Hand of the Cause Hyde Dunn -- “Australia's spiritual conqueror”

Hyde Dunn was born in London on 5 March 1855. His father he was a pharmacist and interestingly, he had childhood contact with Charles Dickens. In early adult life he engaged in business in Great Britain and Europe before emigrating to the United States. On arrival in America he came in contact with the Baha'i Faith and quickly accepted it. He maintained close contact with such outstanding Baha'i teachers as Lua Getsinger, Thornton Chase, and Helen S. Goodall. As a traveling salesman for the Borne's Milk Company he moved around the country teaching the Faith, but his real confirmation came with his meeting with 'Abdu'l-Baha in San Francisco in the autumn of 1912.

Fanny, his first wife, had become a Baha'i but died in 1911 before the visit of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Shortly after Hyde's meeting with the Master he married Clara Holder Davis (Dunn), a Baha'i who had settled in San Francisco, where their "open house" became a center of Baha'i teaching and hospitality. The couple were reading one of 'Abdu'l-Baha's messages to America in 1918 (Tablets of the Divine Plan) when, as Hyde later wrote, "His appeal was so penetrating and thrilling it pierced our hearts. . . . Mother [Clara] looked up and said, 'Shall we go Father' [Hyde]?' 'Yes' was my reply, and no further discussion took place."

February 1850:Seven Bábis are martyred together in Tihran – one of them is the maternal uncle of the Báb

Seven followers of the Báb, prominent and distinguished men, were arrested in 1850 on the false charges of plotting against the life of the Grand Vizier. Despite offers to spare their lives if they recanted their faith, they refused to do so. They were beheaded on February 19/20 and their corpses left three days in the public square to endure the desecration of the mobs. The Seven Martyrs were Haji Mirza Siyyid 'Ali, maternal uncle of the Báb; Mirza Qurban-'Ali, a leading figure of a dervish order; Haji Mulla Isma’il-i-Qumi, a former disciple of Siyyid Kazim; Siyyid Husayn-i-Turshi zi, an esteemed mujtahid; Haji Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Kirmani, a leading merchant; Siyyid Murtada, a noted merchant of Zanjan; and Muhammad-Husayn-i-Maraghi’i. The last three were so eager to be martyrs that each pleaded with the executioner to be allowed to die first. The executioner's answer was to behead them together. (Adapted from ‘A Basic Baha’i Dictionary’, by Wendi Momen; ‘The Babi and Baha’i Religions’ by Peter Smith, p. 28)

February 1847: Birth of Thornton Chase – a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, “the first to embrace the Cause of Baha’u’llah in the Western world”

Thornton was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, 22 February 1847. In June 1894 when he was traveling in Chicago as an insurance salesman he met Ibrahim Kheiralla, who introduced him to the Baha'i Faith. Later that same year, along with four others, he embraced the Cause and began actively to teach. Although not the first believer chronologically ‘Abdu’l-Baha recognized him as the first believer in America, and gave him the title of Thabit (meaning Steadfast). He visited 'Abdu'l-Baha in 'Akka in 1907, and shortly after his return he was transferred to California, where his teaching of the Baha'i Faith intensified. He published several books -- principle among which was his memoir of his visit with 'Abdu'l- Baha entitled ‘In Galilee and In Spirit and In Truth’, his letters, and poems before his death on 30 September 1912, in Los Angeles. When 'Abdu'l-Baha was in America that year and learned of his passing, He made a special journey to Inglewood Cemetery, and after some words of prayer said, "This is a personage who will not be forgotten. For the present his worth is not known, but in the future it will be inestimably dear. His sun will be ever shining, his star will ever bestow the light." For further information about this important American believer, refer to Stockman's biography, Thornton Chase: First American Baha'i. (Adapted from the ‘Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i Faith’ by Hugh Adamson)

February 1953: First of the four Intercontinental Conferences of the Holy Year is held in Kampala, Uganda, and the Guardian's Ten Year World Crusade is launched

In February 1953 the first of the four Intercontinental Conferences of the Holy Year that commemorated Baha'u'llah's incarceration in the Siyah-Chal and the Birth of the Baha'i Revelation was held in Kampala, Uganda. There the Guardian's Ten Year World Crusade was launched. Convened by the British National Assembly, Hasan Balyuzi, the Assembly's chairman; John Ferraby, its secretary; and Dorothy Ferraby, a member of the National Assembly and secretary of the Africa Committee, attended that auspicious conference. (The Baha’i World In Memoriam 1992-1997, p. 138)

February 1894: Ibrahim Khayru'llah, a Syrian doctor, “established his residence in Chicago, and began to teach actively and systematically the Cause he had espoused.”

... in February 1894, a Syrian doctor, named Ibrahim Khayru'llah, who, while residing in Cairo, had been converted by Haji Abdu'l-Karim-i-Tihrani to the Faith, had received a Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh, had communicated with 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and reached New York in December 1892, established his residence in Chicago, and began to teach actively and systematically the Cause he had espoused. Within the space of two years he had communicated his impressions to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and reported on the remarkable success that had attended his efforts. In 1895 an opening was vouchsafed to him in Kenosha, which he continued to visit once a week, in the course of his teaching activities. By the following year the believers in these two cities, it was reported, were counted by hundreds. In 1897 he published his book, entitled the Babu'd-Din, and visited Kansas City, New York City, Ithaca and Philadelphia, where he was able to win for the Faith a considerable number of supporters. The stout-hearted Thornton Chase, surnamed Thabit (Steadfast) by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and designated by Him "the first American believer," who became a convert to the Faith in 1894, the immortal Louisa A. Moore, the mother teacher of the West, surnamed Liva (Banner) by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Dr. Edward Getsinger, to whom she was later married, Howard MacNutt, Arthur P. Dodge, Isabella D. Brittingham, Lillian F. Kappes, Paul K. Dealy, Chester I. Thacher and Helen S. Goodall, whose names will ever remain associated with the first stirrings of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the North American continent, stand out as the most prominent among those who, in those early years, awakened to the call of the New Day, and consecrated their lives to the service of the newly proclaimed Covenant. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 256-257)

February 1915: Shoghi Effendi wins first prize in a college contest

In February 1915 Shoghi Effendi won first prize in the Freshman - Sophomore Prize Contest - what for is not stated - awarded by the Student's Union. He was a good student, but he himself never claimed he had been considered a brilliant or outstanding scholar. There is a very great difference between a deep, wide, farseeing and logical mind and the quality of brain, spurred on more often than not by ambition and conceit, which wins acclaim from faculty and fellow-students. There was never any conceit in Shoghi Effendi's nature and no ambition. He was fired by a supreme motive - to serve 'Abdu'l-Bahá and lift some of the load of work and cares from His shoulders. In a letter dated 15 January 1918, addressed to Him from Beirut by Shoghi Effendi, he puts this in his own words: "I have resumed my studies, directing and concentrating all my efforts on them and doing my utmost to acquire that which will benefit and prepare me to serve the Cause in the days to come." Shoghi Effendi had just returned to Beirut from Haifa, evidently after the Christmas vacation period, and "arrived", he wrote, "happily and safely in the university" after weathering cold and rain on the way. Shoghi Effendi pours out, in every revealing phrase of this letter, "my love and longing for you" and ends: "I have sent you by post a piece of cheese, hoping it will be acceptable to Thee." He signed it "Thy lowly and humble servant Shoghi". When one remembers that during the war tens of thousands were estimated to have died of starvation in the Lebanon, this gift of a piece of cheese assumes different proportions. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 25)

February 1983: The Universal House of Justice occupies its permanent Seat

2 February 1983

To all National Spiritual Assemblies



(Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986, pp. 571-572)