1. O MY well-beloved, deeply spiritual sister! Day and night thou livest in my memory. Whenever I remember thee my heart swelleth with sadness and my regret groweth more intense. Grieve not, for I am thy true, thy unfailing comforter. Let neither despondency nor despair becloud the serenity of thy life or restrain thy freedom. These days shall pass away. We will, please God, in the Abhá Kingdom and beneath the sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty, forget all these our earthly cares and will find each one of these base calumnies amply compensated by His expressions of praise and favour. From the beginning of time sorrow and anxiety, regret and tribulation, have always been the lot of every loyal servant of God. Ponder this in thine heart and consider how very true it is. Wherefore, set thine heart on the tender mercies of the Ancient Beauty and be thou filled with abiding joy and intense gladness....
2. O thou my affectionate sister! In the daytime and in the night-season my thoughts ever turn
to thee. Not for one moment do I cease to remember thee. My sorrow and regret concern not myself; they centre around thee. Whenever I recall thine afflictions, tears that I cannot repress rain down from mine eyes....
3. Dear and deeply spiritual sister! At morn and eventide, with the utmost ardour and humility, I supplicate at the Divine Threshold, and offer this, my prayer:
'Grant, O Thou my God, the Compassionate, that that pure and blessed Leaf may be comforted by Thy sweet savours of holiness and sustained by thereviving breeze of Thy loving care and mercy. Reinforce her spirit with the signs of Thy Kingdom, and gladden her soul with the testimonies of Thy everlasting dominion. Comfort, O my God, her sorrowful heart with the remembrance of Thy face, initiate her into Thy hidden mysteries, and inspire her with the revealed splendours of Thy heavenly light. Manifold are her sorrows, and infinitely grievous her distress. Bestow continually upon her the favour of Thy sustaining grace and, with every fleeting breath, grant her the blessing of Thy bounty. Her hopes and expectations are centred in Thee; open Thou to her face the portals of Thy tender mercies and lead her into the ways of Thy wondrous benevolence.
Thou art the Generous, the All-Loving, the Sustainer, the All-Bountiful....'
4. Dear sister, beloved of my heart and soul! The news of thy safe arrival and pleasant stay in the land of Egypt has reached me and filled my heart with exceeding gladness. I am thankful to Bahá'u'lláh for the good health thou dost enjoy and for the happiness He hath imparted to the hearts of the loved ones in that land. Shouldst thou wish to know of the condition of this servant of the Threshold of the Abhá Beauty, praise be to Him for having enabled me to inhale the fragrance of His tender mercy and partake of the delights of His loving-kindness and blessings. I am being continually reinforced by the energizing rays of His grace, and feel upheld by the uninterrupted aid of the victorious hosts of His Kingdom. My physical health is also improving. God be praised that from every quarter I receive the glad-tidings of the growing ascendancy of the Cause of God, and can witness evidences of the increasing influence of its spread....
5. O thou my loving, my deeply spiritual sister! I trust that by the grace and loving-kindness of the one true God thou art, and wilt be, kept safe and secure beneath the sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty. Night and day thy countenance
appeareth before mine eyes, and in my mind are engraved the traits of thy character....
6. To my honoured and distinguished sister do thou convey the expression of my heartfelt, my intense longing. Day and night she liveth in my remembrance. I dare make no mention of the feelings which separation from her has aroused in mine heart; for whatever I should attempt to express in writing will assuredly be effaced by the tears which such sentiments must bring to mine eyes....
7. O Diya!1 It is incumbent upon thee, throughout the journey, to be a close, a constant and cheerful companion to my honoured and distinguished sister. Unceasingly, with the utmost vigour and devotion, exert thyself, by day and night, to gladden her blessed heart; for all her days she was denied a moment of tranquillity. She was astir and restless every hour of her life. Moth-like she circled in adoration round the undying flame of the Divine Candle, her spirit ablaze and her heart consumed by the fire of His love....
8. O thou my affectionate sister! God be praised, according to what we hear the
1 Daughter of Abdu'l-Bahá.
climate in that land hath proved not unfavourable. It is to be hoped that out of the grace of the Blessed Beauty thy illness will be completely cured and thou wilt return in the best of health, so that once again I may gaze upon that wondrous face of thine.
Write thou a full account of thy condition by every post, for I am most anxious for news of thee. Let me know if thou shouldst desire anyone from here to come to thee, that I may send the person alongeven Munirihso that thou wilt not be homesick.
That thou shouldst spend a few days of peace and rest, is my dearest wish.
We here, God be thanked, are all enjoying the best of health. I have been better lately, and sleeping well at night. Rest assured.
9. O my dear sister!
Praise be to God, within the sheltering grace of the Blessed Beauty, here in the lands of the West a breeze hath blown from over the rose-gardens of His bestowals, and the hearts of many people have been drawn as by a magnet to the Abhá Realm.
Whatever hath come to pass is from the confirmations of the Beloved; for otherwise, what merit had we, or what capacity? We are as a helpless babe, but fed at the breast of heavenly grace. We are no more than weak plants, but we flourish in the spring rain of His bestowals.
Wherefore, as a thank-offering for these bounties, on a certain day don thy garb to visit the Shrine, the ka'bih of our heart's desire, turn thyself toward Him on my behalf, lay down thy head on that sacred Threshold, and say:
O divine Providence! O Thou forgiving Lord! Sinner though I be, I have no refuge save Thyself. All praise be Thine, that in my wanderings over mountains and plains, my toils and troubles on the seas, Thou hast answered still my cries for help, and confirmed me, and favoured me, and honoured me with service at Thy Threshold.
To a feeble ant, Thou hast given Solomon's might. Thou hast made of a gnat a lion in the thicket of Thy Mercy. Thou hast bestowed on a drop the swelling waves of the sea, Thou hast carried up a mote to the pinnacles of grace. through Thee. Otherwise, what strength did the fragile dust possess, what power did this feeble being have?
O divine Providence! Do not seize us in our sins, but give us refuge. Do not look upon our evil ways, but grant forgiveness. Consider not our just deserts, but open wide Thy door of grace.
Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful! Thou art the Seer, the Knower!
10. O my well-beloved sister, O Most Exalted Leaf!
Thou didst leave for Akka to remain but two days or so and then return, but now thou hast been gone from us for quite a while. We have stayed behind in Haifa, all alone, and it is very difficult to get along. We hear that thou art a little indisposed; the Haifa air would have been better for thee. We had everything ready in Haifa to receive thee, but in fact, this caused thee some difficulty. There is no way but to endure the toil and trouble of God's path. If thou dost not bear these hardships, who would ever bear them?
In any case, no matter how things are, come thou here today, because my heart is longing for thee.
11. O thou my sister, my dear sister!
Divine wisdom hath decreed this temporary separation, but I long more and more to be with thee again. Patience is called for, and long-suffering, and trust in God, and the seeking of His favour. Since thou art there, my mind is completely at rest.
In recent days, I have made a plan to visit Egypt, if this be God's will. Do thou, on my behalf, lay thy head on the sacred Threshold, and perfume brow and hair in the dust of that Door, and ask that I may be confirmed in my work; that I may, in return for His endless bounties, win, if He will, a drop out of the ocean of servitude.
12. My sister and beloved of my soul!
Here on the slopes of Mount Carmel, by the cave
of Elijah, we are thinking of that Most Exalted Leaf, and the beloved and handmaids of the Lord.
We pass our days in writing and our nights now in communion with God, now in bed to overcome failing health. And although, to outward seeming, we are absent from you all, and far away, still our thoughts are with you always.
I can never, never forget thee. However great the distance that separates us, we still feel as though we were seated under the same roof, in one and the same gathering, for are we not all under the shadow of the Tabernacle of God and beneath the canopy of His infinite grace and mercy?
13. My sister, for a considerable period, that is, from the day of Bahá'u'lláh's ascension, grown so thin and feeble, and was in such a weakened condition from the anguish of her mourning, that she was close to breakdown.
1 Haji Mirza Hasan-i-Khurasani (see H. M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 86, 124).
Although, so far as she was concerned, it was her dearest wish to drain her cup and wing her way to the realms where the Divine Essence shineth in glory, still this servant could not bear to behold her in that state. Then it occurred to me that, God be thanked, I have such an unfailing comforter as Jinab-i-Haji,1 and it would be well to make him my partner in distress. I therefore determined to
send her to Egypt, to provide her with a change of air.
Although this will certainly cause thee trouble and inconvenience, still, I trust that out of God's bounty, it will also bring thee much joy and good cheer.
14. O my spiritual sister!
Thou didst go away to Haifa, supposedly for only three or four days. Now it becometh apparent that the spiritual power of the Shrine hath brought thee joy and radiance, and even as a magnet is holding thee fast. Thou surely wouldst remember us as well.
Truly the spiritual quality of the holy place, its fresh skies and delicate air, its crystal waters and sweet plains and charming seascape, and the holy breathings from the Kingdom all do mingle in that Sacred Fold. Thou art right to linger there...
Kiss the light of the eyes of the company of spiritual souls, Shoghi Effendi...
15. O my spiritual sister!
God be praised, through the Ancient Beauty's grace and bounty, we have set foot safe and sound upon this shore, and arrived in this town1...
These coasts were once the place where the breezes of God's loving kindness blew, and here in this sacred Vale the Son of Spirit2 raised up His call
of 'Here am I, O Thou My Lord! Here am I!' That is why we here perceive, from every direction, the sweet breathings of holiness.
My meaning is, rest thou assured, this servant is suffering neither from any trouble, nor hardship, nor fatigue. I am looking after myself, and keeping away from all mental preoccupations; all, that is, except for one thought, which doth indeed disquiet the mindand that is, God forbid, that thou shouldst sorrow.
I hope that out of the bestowals and bounties of the Ancient Beauty, He will in His grace bring comfort to every heart.
16. O my affectionate sister!
God be praised, through His grace and favour, my health and well-being are now restored, but it is very hard for me to bear thine absence.
We think of thee at all times, here on the slopes of this sacred, holy and blessed Mount Carmel, and we are being happy on thy behalf...
17. O my dear sister!
It is quite a while now, since thou hast left us, and gone away to Nazareth and Haifa. This journey hath lasted too long. The weather in Akka is fine and
moderate. If thou comest back, it will rejoice our hearts....
18. O my cherished sister!
Thou art never absent from my thoughts.
I speak of thee and call thee to mind at all times. It is my hope that out of God's favour and grace thou dost keep safe and well, and dost visit the two Sacred
Thresholds on my behalf.
19. O my sister in the spirit, and the companion of my heart!
God willing, the climate of Haifa hath proved favourable. I hope that out of the bounties of the Ancient Beauty thou wilt gain a measure of peace and health.
I bring thee to mind both night and day. Just recently I had hoped to come to Haifa to visit thee, but various problems and the pressure of work have left me no time; for I want to see the travellers off, and every one of them presented a long list of names. God be thanked, I have written to them all.
Kiss the fresh flower of the garden of sweetness, Shoghi Effendi.
20. O thou Greatest and Most Merciful Holy Leaf!
I arrived in New York in the best of health, and I
have been at all times thinking of thee, and supplicating fervently at the threshold of the Blessed Beauty that He may guard thee in the stronghold of His protection. We are in the utmost fellowship and joy. I hope that thou wilt be sheltered under His bountiful care.
Write to me at once about Ruha Khanum's and
Shoghi Effendi's condition, informing me fully and hiding nothing; this is the best way.
Convey my utmost longing to all.
21. I do not know in what words I could describe my longing for my honoured sister. Whatever it may write, my pen falls short.