[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


Grief Embraces Joy


Dear friends and co-workers,

Tabriz has once again turned blood guilty and witnessed calamitous events. One hundred and thirty-six years have passed since the sovereign ruler of the kingdom of sacrifice and love, His Holiness the Exalted One, along with His loyal servant, Anis, met the firing squad in the public square of this city and His hate-free Breast was shredded into pieces. This glorious martyrdom, a manifestation of the essence of innocence, greatly enhanced the advent of the spiritual and creative powers of the Apostolic Age. Future generations in fact will, better appreciate and laud the glory and grandeur of this momentous event and its lasting effects.

And now in the midst of the current global human anxiety and turmoil, which is an early sign of and a testimony to the fulfilment of the divine promise, and a way for the establishment of the spiritual civilization of the Heavenly Father, the followers of the Greatest Name [Baha’is] in the Cradle of the Faith, are now encompassed by calamities from every side and are sorely tried. A great many of them suffer impoverishment and are scattered, some captured and imprisoned and some have laid their lives in the path of faith to the Beneficent Lord; and thus we observe how history has repeated itself.

This time, two members from the Army of Life and Salvation, met the firing squad and laid down their lives for the mere crime of adherence to the advent of the “Momentous News”[1]. Heroes stand strong in the face of death and heroes of Baha’u’llah lay down their lives with dignity and courage. One could claim that nothing has changed in the span of this past century, except that, in those days, the perpetrators fully disclosed the reason for their atrocities. But today they accuse innocent individuals who are the manifestation of righteousness and faith and heroically meet the firing squad as a testimony to the grandeur of this Divine Cause and the sanctity of the Baha’i Faith, of every preposterous accusation. Not only do the people of Tabriz fully realize their absurdity and falsehood, but all the people of the world who have come in contact with His message and teachings for mankind, will be alerted to the conditions which Baha’is of the Cradle of the Faith are subjected to.

Beloved and loyal friends, you are the torchbearers of love and kindness, raised by the mighty hand of the Providence. It befits you to choose the path of patience in the face of flames of atrocities and calamities and cling to the helm of submission and soar to the heights of love and forbearance and bring to mind this counsel of the Exalted Pen: [Arabic verse][2]

Truly it behoves the people of Baha to regard even the perpetrators of such actions with love and compassion, regardless of the extent of their harsh atrocities or their bitter and unfair false accusations. Pray for them and ask that: [Arabic verse][3]

A full account of the lives of these two brave martyrs, Dr. Faramarz Samandari and Mr. Yadollah Astani who were renowned in Tabriz for their piety, righteousness, high standard of conduct and who were truly well-loved by all, will be made available to the friends in the near future so that everyone can discern the lofty degree of their spiritual lives and the extent of their selfless services in that city. In this regard, beloved friends must keep in mind that the heroic martyrdom of these two blessed souls will no doubt accelerate the victories and spiritual conquests of this Divine Cause all over the world and intensify the flame of love in the hearts of the followers of this Cause in the East and the West. In the Cradle of the Faith too, as the beloved friends are no doubt fully aware, the elected representatives stand firm with complete dedication and unshakable faith, at the risk of their lives, eagerly welcoming the spears of affliction and with utmost joy, supplication and submission, offer praise in the footsteps of the valiant labourers of the Divine Cause. And now, with hearts overflowing with love, humility, self-effacement and servitude, they turn to you beloved of their hearts and souls, earnestly asking that firstly, during the moments of your prayer and meditation, that you implore and beseech Divine and Heavenly confirmations for this poor assemblage, so that they can render a befitting service to this Beloved Cause during these critical times, and secondly pay worthy and scrutinizing attention to your station and position in this period of the formative age.  Ponder attentively on the great blessings bestowed upon our generation by the Blessed Beauty, and the unique opportunities His overpowering Will has granted the friends in the Cradle of the Faith so that they can adorn their mortal lives with spiritual glory and grandeur by showing forth courage, steadfastness and sacrifice.  Rest assured that these severe storms, calamities and the dark clouds of tribulation and affliction are precursors to the Divine promises and the enchanting dawn of the sun of victory and freedom.  On one hand, we bring to mind the wisdom of [Arabic verse][4] and on the other hand, acknowledge that no matter how fierce the obstacles, they can never hinder the manifestation of the spiritual life of each individual Baha’i or the fulfilment of the lofty goals of the Divine Cause.  Should the faithful friends attain this station, they would certainly discern that they can keep the banners of victory of the Divine Cause flying high in the midst of the most violent storms and with dignity and steadfastness, tread the blood-stained path of over twenty thousand martyrs with determination and unwavering resolve, and thus fulfil their spiritual weighty mission.

Next to Divine confirmations, our hopes are fixed upon every one of you beloved friends,


With warmest regards,

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran





[1] [Quran 78:1] https://quran.com/78

[2] [The original text is as follows:

"یا حمامه الوفا خاطبی الضعفا اذا وجدتم الضراء اشتدت والباساء امتدت والارض ارتجفت والجبال ارتعدت و ذوابع الشدائد احاطت و بحور البلایا ماجت و اریاح الرزایا هاجت و طوفان الامتحان احاط الامکان علیکم بالصبر الجمیل فی سبیل ربکم الجلیل"]

[3] [The original text is as follows:

"الهی الهی اضرم نار محبتک فی‌القلوب و انفخ روح معرفتک فی‌النفوس و نبه اصحاب الغرور"]

[4] [The original text is as follows: "‎اذا زاد البلا زاد اهل‌البها فی حبهم"]