April 30, 2011

Nettie Tobin & the "corner stone" for Chicago Temple

Nettie Tobin kneeling by the stone which she carried as her contribution to the Chicago Temple in the very early days.  'Abdu'l-Baha chose it as the "corner stone" when He visited the site in 1912. The stone is now incorporated into the building, and serves as a special place for prayer and meditation. (The Baha'i World 1932-1934)

April 24, 2011

Louise and John Bosch

Louise and John Bosch

John David Bosch was born at Neu-St. Johann, Canton St. Gall, Switzerland, on August 1, 1855. His parents were Michael Johann Bosch and Maria Biegmann; he had three brothers and three sisters, and was his parents' fifth child. When he was nine, his mother died, and he was then brought up by his oldest sister, whom he loved all his life. After attending elementary and “repletitionary" school in Neu-St. Johann, he left Switzerland with a sister and her husband (the Zuberbuhlers), arrived in America in 1879, and went to Amboy, Nebraska where on arrival the Zuberbuhlers purchased a farm. He practised his trade of cooper. "helped with the building of the railroad, and also farmed." He was in Los Angeles, California between 1884 and 1889, and became a citizen of the United States in Los Angeles County in 1887, the document also being registered in Sonoma County in 1892. He married Kathe Krieg in '85 or '86, the marriage ending in divorce around '89. It was about this period that he went to Germany, France and Spain to study winemaking. After holding various good positions in the Valley of the Moon, he purchased the thirty-five acres constituting the original extent of his Geyserville property on October 26, 1901 from Emily B. Smith of Geyserville.

April 23, 2011

Badi - (Wonderful); Pride of Martyrs; Apostle of Baha’u’llah

Aqa Buzurg of Khurasan

Badi (Wonderful); Pride of Martyrs; Apostle of Baha’u’llah. Born Aqa Buzurg-i-Nishapuri, the son of a devoted Babi, he was later given the title Badi' (unique, wonderful) by Baha’u’llah. Reputed to be a wild, unruly youth, he had no interest in his father's affairs until, during the visit to his home of a traveling teacher, Mulla Muhammadi-Zarandi (Nabil-i-A'zam), he listened to some verses from a long poem by Baha’u’llah and was so entranced that he devoted the balance of his life to serving Him. After his conversion he set out to visit Him, traveling on foot from Mosul to 'Akka. It was during this visit that he was chosen to deliver a letter (Tablet) from Baha’u’llah to Nasiri'd-Din Shah . (The A to Z of the Baha’i Faith by Hugh Adamson)

April 22, 2011

Dr. Furutan - One of the Principals of Tarbiyat School, Secretary of Iranian National Spiritual Assembly for 24 years, One of the Nine Custodial Hands of the Cause

Hand of the Cause Dr. 'Ali-Akbar Furutan

In the face of sustained persecution, Dr. Furutan's family left their native city of Sabzivir in Khurasan, Persia, in 1914 and settled in Ashkhabad, Russia. As a youth he became an active member of the local Baha'i community and, whilst still in his teens, became a teacher in its school. In 1926 he won a scholarship to the University of Moscow to study education and child psychology. In 1930 he returned to Iran where he established a school for Baha'i children in one of the villages. Dr. Furutan was appointed as principal of the Tarbiyat school for boys until its closure in 1934, and wrote study books for Baha’i children’s classes which are still in use. In April 1934 he was elected to the newly formed National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran and served as its secretary until the passing of Shoghi Effendi in November of 1957. Dr. Furutan was appointed a Hand of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi, in the first contingent of Hands, in December 1951. In 1957 he became one of the nine custodial Hands of the Cause in Haifa. Dr. Furutan’s Persian publications are extensive, and several have been translated into English. (Adapted from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith’, by Peter Smith)(See also Baha'i Calendar - this month in history)

From the Universal House of Justice:

April 20, 2011

Keith Ransom-Kehler with Zikrullah Khadem

Keith Ransom-Kehler with Zikrullah Khadem (right) and Salim Nounou. Mrs. Ransom-Kehler is holding a picture of Shoghi Effendi, whom she and Zikrullah Khadem both served with exemplary devotion

April 16, 2011

Morassa Rawhani - First woman to become a member of the Spiritual Assembly of Alexandria, Egypt

Morassa (Yazdi) Rawhani

Mrs. Morassa (Yazdi) Rawhani was born in 1887 and named Akkawiya (the one who belongs to 'Akka) by 'Abdu'l-Baha. She was the granddaughter of Haji Abderrehim Yazdi, one of the first bearers of the Sacred Standard. Born in the fortress of 'Akka, she grew up in the Sacred Household under the shelter of the Greatest Holy Leaf.

With her mother, she moved to Alexandria, Egypt where for a few months she was in charge of cleaning the private room of 'Abdu'l-Baha and was asked by Him several times to sew some of His clothes. She was entrusted to be the Early Prayer Reader of His private quarters.

Mrs. Rawhani was the first woman to become a member of the Spiritual Assembly of Alexandria, Egypt, and dedicated her time to deepening the women in her locality.

April 14, 2011

Albert Hall - President of Bahai Temple Unity and Chairman of Annual Convention of the Baha’is of the United States and Canada – 1910 to 1914

Albert Hall

Albert Hall will ever be remembered for his services in the early development of the Bahai Temple Unity, the body entrusted with the building of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar in America.

From 1910 to 1914, Albert H. Hall was selected each year as chairman of the Annual Convention; he was elected a member of the Baha’i Temple Unity during the same period, and was chosen as its president in 1911, which position he held up to and during the year 1914.

April 9, 2011

Jamal Effendi - The spiritual father of India and Burma -- the first Baha'i teacher sent to India and Burma by Baha'u'llah in 1875

Sulayman Khan Ilyas, Jamal Effendi

The man whom Providence had destined to become the spiritual father of the subcontinent of India and of Burma was a nobleman of the same province of Iran which had been the home of the ancestors of Bahá'u'lláh. His name was Sulayman Khan and he was a native of Tunukabun. But when he set out in the world to serve the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, he left behind the garb of a nobleman and attired in the garment of a humble man of the cloister travelled far and wide. 'Abdu'l-Bahá says that he 'was given the title of Jamali'd-Din'. He became known as Jamal Effendi.