April 26, 1932: To Baha’is of Montreal

26 April 1932

To the Bahá’ís of Montreal

Dear Bahá’í brothers and sisters:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your joint letter dated March 21st, 1932. He trusts that, with the aid and blessings of the Master, you will succeed to realize your hopes and create a great impetus among the friends that will ultimately lead towards the completion of that noble and beautiful edifice. It is only through such a general sacrifice that we can bring that task to a successful completion.

Consider what a wonderful prestige we will create for the Cause in the eyes of the public! At a time when stupendous undertakings are being given up for lack of funds, when all the human institutions are crumbling down and failing to inspire hope in their followers, the world will see our Temple completed, not through the donations of wealthy people, but through the sacrifices of humble souls who have the love of God burning in their hearts.

March 21, 1932: To Baha’is throughout the United States and Canada

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

Friends and fellow-defenders of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh:

Significant as have been the changes that have lately overtaken a swiftly awakening humanity at this transitional phase of its checkered history, the steady consolidation of the institutions which the administrators of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh are, in every land, toiling to establish should appear no less remarkable to even those who are as yet imperfectly acquainted with the obstacles they have had to surmount or the meagre resources on which they could rely.

That a Faith which, ten years ago, was severely shaken by the sudden removal of an incomparable Master should have, in the face of tremendous obstacles, maintained its unity, resisted the malignant onslaught of its ill-wishers, silenced its calumniators, broadened the basis of its far-flung administration, and raised upon it institutions symbolizing its ideals of worship and service, should be deemed sufficient evidence of the invincible power with which the Almighty has chosen to invest it from the moment of its inception.

December 20, 1931: To North American Baha’is

I deeply appreciate the continued and self-sacrificing endeavors of the American believers in the face of the grave financial and economic depression into which their country and the whole world is now plunged. That the Temple edifice should arise under such circumstances, that at its elaborate and exquisite ornamentation should be carried out, through the efforts of a mere handful of Baha’i followers despite the gloom, the uncertainty and the dangers which surrounded them is but another evidence of the mysterious, all-compelling power of Baha’u’llah whose blessings will be bountifully vouchsafed to all who arise to carry out His purpose. The Cause is entering upon a period of unprecedented achievements. The full measure of its glory and power will be gradually manifested, if we, on our part, execute in their entirety the instructions and bequests bequeathed to us by our beloved Master. The American believers have made a splendid beginning. Let them bring to a speedy and successful termination a task which they have so nobly initiated and which they alone are destined to accomplish."

December 20, 1931.
(Baha’i News, September 1932)

November 28, 1931: To Baha'is Worldwide

Fellow-believers in the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh:

The inexorable march of recent events has carried humanity so near to the goal foreshadowed by Bahá’u’lláh that no responsible follower of His Faith, viewing on all sides the distressing evidences of the world’s travail, can remain unmoved at the thought of its approaching deliverance.

It would not seem inappropriate, at a time when we are commemorating the world over the termination of the first decade since ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sudden removal from our midst, to ponder, in the light of the teachings bequeathed by Him to the world, such events as have tended to hasten the gradual emergence of the World Order anticipated by Bahá’u’lláh.

Ten years ago, this very day, there flashed upon the world the news of the passing of Him Who alone, through the ennobling influence of His love, strength and wisdom, could have proved its stay and solace in the many afflictions it was destined to suffer.

March 21, 1930: To Baha'is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

Amid the reports that have of late reached the Holy Land, most of which witness to the triumphant march of the Cause, a few seem to betray a certain apprehension regarding the validity of the institutions which stand inseparably associated with the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. These expressed misgivings appear to be actuated by certain whisperings which have emanated from quarters which are either wholly misinformed regarding the fundamentals of the Bahá’í Revelation, or which deliberately contrive to sow the seeds of dissension in the hearts of the faithful.

January 12, 1930: To Bahá'ís of Tokyo

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge receipt of your joint letter enclosed in Miss Alexander's note. Shoghi Effendi hopes that through the combined efforts of the Bahá'ís of Tokyo, the Cause will establish a strong center in that city and then begin and radiate its spiritual light to neighboring localities. Now that Miss Root is with you, you should endeavor to awaken new competent souls and then when she is gone strive to ground them firmly in the teachings.

(signed by Ruhi Afnan)
(January 12, 1930) 

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Assuring you of my fervent prayers for you all at the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. Your true brother,
(Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 62)

October 25, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the United States and Canada

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

My well-beloved friends:

Ever since that remarkable manifestation of Bahá’í solidarity and self-sacrifice which has signalized the proceedings of last year’s memorable Convention, I have been expectantly awaiting the news of a steady and continuous support of the Plan which can alone insure, ere the present year draws to its close, the resumption of building operations on our beloved Temple.

Moved by an impulse that I could not resist, I have felt impelled to forego what may be regarded as the most valuable and sacred possession in the Holy Land for the furthering of that noble enterprise which you have set your hearts to achieve. With the hearty concurrence of our dear Bahá’í brother, Zíáoulláh Asgarzadeh, who years ago donated it to the Most Holy Shrine, this precious ornament of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh has been already shipped to your shores, with our fondest hope that the proceeds from its sale may at once ennoble and reinforce the unnumbered offerings of the American believers already accumulated on the altar of Bahá’í sacrifice. I have longed ever since to witness such evidences of spontaneous and generous response on your part as would tend to fortify within me a confidence that has never wavered in the inexhaustible vitality of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in that land.

March 20, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

With a heart overflowing with thankfulness and joy I take my pen to share with you tidings that eloquently testify to the triumphant majesty and unconquerable spirit of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. From Geneva, the seat of the League of Nations, there comes the news that the fervent plea addressed by the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq to the world’s supreme Tribunal regarding an issue that for a time has stirred the Bahá’í world to its foundation has at last met with a noble and most gratifying response.

You will recall the references made in my previous communications, dated November 6, 1925, October 29, 1926, and January 1, 1929, to the forcible seizure of Bahá’u’lláh’s sacred house by the Shí’ah of Baghdád, to the appeals which from almost every quarter of the globe have showered upon the authorities of ‘Iráq for its restitution, to the long and unsuccessful legal proceedings to which the representatives of the Faith in that land have resorted, and lastly to the petition which they have addressed to the League’s Permanent Mandates Commission setting forth the history of the case and appealing for the intervention of the Council in their behalf. I am now informed that after mature deliberation the conclusion arrived at by the Mandates Commission, urging that prompt action be taken to redress the wrong suffered by the Bahá’ís, has been duly communicated to, and adopted by, the Council of the League, which in turn will formally communicate the recommendations of its Commission to the Mandatory Power.

February 12, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Fellow-laborers in the Divine Vineyard:

I feel impelled by the force of various circumstances to share with you the news of recent happenings in those countries of the Near and Middle East which, by the ruling of Providence, are in these days undergoing a transformation which is as startling in its features as it is significant in its bearings upon the interests of our beloved Faith.

I have already in my previous communication briefly referred to the nature and effects of that momentous Revolution which has, with surprising swiftness, substituted a westernized and rejuvenated Turkey for the primitive and decrepit Ottoman Empire. I have also attempted to describe the first stages of that recent and moving episode which has served in a manner that is truly providential to thrust the Bahá’í community in Turkey out of the obscurity of oppressive neglect into the broad daylight of official and public attention.

January 1, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the West

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

Whilst the Bahá’ís of Persia, constituting the overwhelming majority of the adherents of the Bahá’í Faith in eastern lands, are tasting the first-fruits of their long-dreamed emancipation, a not inconsiderable section of Bahá’u’lláh’s following in the East, inhabiting the provinces of Caucasus and Turkistan, are being subjected to trials and tribulations not very dissimilar, though inferior in intensity, to the afflictions borne so long and so heroically by their Persian brethren.

In my last communication to you I have attempted to depict the nature and swiftness of those liberating forces which today are being released in Persia by an enlightened regime determined to shake off with unconcealed contempt the odious fetters of a long standing tyranny. And I feel that a description of the very perplexing situation with which our brethren in Russia find themselves confronted at present will serve to complete the picture which responsible believers in the West must bear in mind of the critical and swiftly moving changes that are transforming the face of the East.

December 21, 1928: To Baha’is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!

With feelings of profound sorrow I am moved to address you these few lines mourning the loss which the Cause has undoubtedly sustained by the passing of one who, for many years and in circumstances of exceptional significance, rendered the sacred Threshold distinctive and inestimable services. The hand of Divine Decree has removed, by the death of our talented and dearly-beloved friend, Mr. Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, yet another outstanding figure in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, who, by his brilliant gifts of mind and heart as well as by the divers achievements of his life, has truly enriched the annals of God’s immortal Faith.

A pioneer of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh ever since its celestial light first warmed and illuminated the West, he has, by his close association with the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, by his contact with all sections of society, by his scholarly presentation of the history and fundamentals of the Faith, and lastly by his unforgettable share in the settlement of the complex and pressing issues that called for expert assistance in the days following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, achieved a standing which few have as yet attained.

December 6, 1928: To Baha’is worldwide

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the East and West.

Dear fellow-workers:

I desire to convey to you in a few words my impressions of the recently published “Bahá’í World,” copies of which, I understand, have already, thanks to the assiduous care and indefatigable efforts displayed by the Publishing Committee of the American National Spiritual Assembly, been widely distributed among the Bahá’í countries of East and West.

This unique record of world-wide Bahá’í activity attempts to present to the general public, as well as to the student and scholar, those historical facts and fundamental principles that constitute the distinguishing features of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh to this age. I have ever since its inception taken a keen and sustained interest in its development, have personally participated in the collection of its material, the arrangement of its contents, and the close scrutiny of whatever data it contains.

December 6, 1928: To Baha’is throughout the West

6 December 1928

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,

Events of a startling character and of the utmost significance to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, have recently transpired throughout the Near and Middle East in such rapid succession, that I feel moved to write about them to those who, in distant lands and with eager hearts, are waiting to witness the fulfilment of the prophecies of Bahá’u’lláh. You will, I am certain, rejoice with me to learn that the quickening forces of internal reform are swiftly awakening from their age-long slumber of negligence those lands which, trodden by the feet of Bahá’u’lláh and wherein are enshrined the memorable scenes of His birth, His ministry, His exiles, His banishments, His suffering and His ascension, are destined in the fullness of time to play a pre-eminent rôle in the regeneration of the East—nay of all mankind.

February 12, 1927: To Baha’is throughout the West

12 February 1927

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

The trend of various events, affecting directly and indirectly the interests of the Bahá’í Cause, have of late served to bring into further prominence the character as well as the significance of a Faith destined to regenerate the world.

Of all the diverse issues which today are gradually tending to consolidate and extend the bounds of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, the decision of Egypt’s religious Tribunal regarding the Bahá’ís under its jurisdiction appears at the present moment to be the most powerful in its challenge, the most startling in its character, and the most perplexing in the consequences it may entail. I have already alluded in my letter of January 10, 1926, addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, to a particular feature of this momentous verdict, which after mature deliberation has obtained the sanction of Egypt’s highest ecclesiastical authorities, has been communicated and printed, and is regarded as final and binding. I have stressed in my last reference to this far-reaching pronouncement the negative aspect of this document which condemns in most unequivocal and emphatic language the followers of Bahá’u’lláh as the believers in heresy, offensive and injurious to Islám, and wholly incompatible with the accepted doctrines and practice of its orthodox adherents.