November 26, 2011

Her Majesty Queen of Rumania

Her Majesty Queen of Rumania
From an autographed photograph presented to Martha Root

November 25, 2011

Haji Amin -- Apostle of Baha'u'llah, Hand of the Cause, the Trustee of Huququ'lláh

Hand of the Cause Mulla Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardikani, surnamed Amin, Apostle of Baha'u'llah, the Trustee of Huququ'lláh

Mulla Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardikani, who is known as Haji Amin or Amin-i-Ilahi, was born in about the year AH 1232 (AD 21 November 1816 -- 10 November 1817) in Ardikan, a small town near Yazd. At seventeen years of age he married into a family of Bábís of the town. He was persuaded to investigate the new religion and eventually, shortly after the martyrdom of the Báb, he declared his belief. When news of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh came, he accepted immediately and travelled throughout Iran meeting other Bábís and teaching them of the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. After a time he became the assistant of Haji Shah-Muhammad Manshadi, Aminu'l-Bayan, who was the Trustee of the Huququ'lláh.[1] He would travel about the country, earning his living by trading and also by acting as a writer for those who could not write. At the same time he collected the Huququ'lláh and any letters that the believers wished to forward to Bahá'u'lláh, and also distributed Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh when these were received. He came to 'Akká while Bahá'u'lláh was still imprisoned in the citadel and succeeded in establishing contact with the exiles. He was the first Bahá'í from the outside world to be able to meet Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká (in the Public Baths). He returned to 'Akká on several further occasions. When Haji Shah-Muhammad Manshadi was killed in 1880, Haji Abu'l-Hasan was appointed Trustee (Amin) of the Huququ'lláh. In 1891 he was imprisoned with Haji Akhund for three years in Tihran and Qazvin. In the time of 'Abdu'l-Bahá he continued his travels, visiting 'Akká and Haifa on several occasions. Towards the end of his life he resided in Tihran and Haji Ghulam-Rida, Amin-i-Amin, was appointed his assistant. He died in 1928 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi. (Balyuzi, ‘Eminent Baha’is in the Time of Baha’u’llah’, p. 263)
[1]. The 'Right of God' -- a payment by believers instituted in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.

November 24, 2011

Sarah Farmer -- Founder of Green Acre

Sarah Farmer

Tablet from ‘Abdu'l-Baba to Sarah Farmer, Founder of Green Acre
O Maid-servant of God! Be rejoiced at this glad tidings, whereby the hearts of the people of the Kingdom of Abha are moved with joy. Verily, I beseech God to make Green Acre as the Paradise of Abha, so that the melodies of the Nightingales of Sanctity may be heard from it, and that the chanting of the Verses of Unity may be raised therein, to cause the clouds of the great Gift to pour upon it the rains falling from heaven, to make those countries become verdant with the myrtles of Truth and Inner Significances, and to plant therein blessed trees, with the Hand of Providence, which may bring forth pure and excellent fruits wherefrom the Fragrances of God may be diffused throughout all regions. These signs shall surely appear, and these lights shall shine forth. (The Baha’i World 1936-1938)

November 12, 2011

Lady Sara Louise Blomfield – Sitarih Khanum

Lady Sara Louise Blomfield – Sitarih Khanum

Prominent British Baha'i, named Sitarih ('star') Khanum by 'Abdu'l-Baha. Of mixed Catholic-Protestant Irish background, she became Part of London high society, marrying the architect Sir Arthur William Blomfield, a son of the bishop of London. After her husband's death in 1899 she became increasingly interested in movements such as Theosophy and in 1907 encountered the Baha’is in Paris. Her home (97 Cadogan Gardens) was 'Abdu'l-Baha's base during His visits to Britain (1911, 1912-1913). She and her daughters also attended 'Abdu'l-Baha in Paris and published their notes on his talks (Talks by Abdu'l-Baha Given In Paris, 19L2;later re-titled Paris Talks). After World War I she became involved in the work of the Save the Children Fund and sought to pro mote the Bah a'i teachings within League of Nations circles. She accompanied Shoghi Effendi back to Haifa after 'Abdu'l-Baha's death and wrote with him the memorial booklet ‘The Passing of 'Abdu'l-Baha (1922)'. She was amongst the group of prominent 'Western Baha’is who consulted with Shoghi Effendi about the future progress of the Faith in 1922, and was subsequently involved with the development of the Baha'i administration in Britain. During lengthy stays in Haifa she gathered notes on Baha’i history - many of them from the sister, wife and one of the daughters of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. These were subsequently published as ‘The Chosen Highway (1940)’. 
(Adapted from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith’, by Peter Smith)