1. O Leaf of Paradise!
May the spiritually-minded son, Mírzá Badí'u'lláh, God willing, be always safe in the stronghold of God's care and protection.
2. I feel prompted to offer my sincere best wishes to you and to express the agony of separation that has deeply affected me. First of all let me say that I received with the hand of gratitude and thankfulness your kind letter which bore the full abundance of your love and amply portrayed the noble traits of your nature, so richly adorned with laudable characteristics. In truth, I always pay tribute to your excellent qualities and eagerly yearn to set my eyes upon your countenance. I often recall those days when I had the delightful pleasure of your company and indulged in the fruits of your brilliant sense of humour. Perhaps the days of reunion shall come again through the favour of the Lord of grace and bounty. I fervently pray that Godglorified and exalted be Hemay endue your life with vigour and happiness and enable you to achieve your heart's desire. Moreover, I beseech Himexalted is Heto grant me the pleasure of meeting you again very soon. Indeed, He is nigh and readily answers the call. I hereby offer my best greetings and befitting salutations to your revered person, and may God perpetuate your life. Every one here enquires about your distinguished self and sends high expressions of praise and compliment to you. May God prolong your life.
3. The letter in which that leaf had expressed the ardent longing of her heart and revealed the depth of her devotion has received my eager attention.
be enabled to exalt His Word and to render exemplary service to His Cause, that perchance the ears of all created things may be purged of the tales of bygone ages and become endued with the capacity to hearken to the holy verses that the Lord of all men has proclaimed. Indeed, this is the underlying purpose of man's existence during the brief period of his earthly life. Please God, we may all be confirmed and aided to achieve this.
4. Despite our overwhelming sorrows and afflictions, our heart-burning and depth of woes, you are always in our thoughts and we call to mind your cheerful face. When we visit the Most Holy Shrine, the Point round which revolve the people of the world, we offer our prayers, and visit that Sacred Spot on your behalf, and on behalf of all the friends, particularly the well-assured, the faithful and loyal
handmaids of the Merciful. We have prayed and will continue to pray at the Threshold of the Tomb of the Blessed Beauty for your success, and that of your relatives. Likewise in the presence of 'Him Whom God hath purposed' you are always remembered. Several days ago He retired to the Cave of Khidr,1 and that verdant spot has been blessed by the steps of our Master, 'Him round Whom all names revolve'. He intends to stay there for a while, so that He may have some respite from His countless concerns and cares.
to achieve unity, harmony, friendliness and fellowship, that they may magnify Thy virtues in the daytime and in the night season, may chant Thy holy words, may recite verses from Thy heavenly Book, may eagerly set their hearts toward the retreats of Thy holiness, yearning to behold the vision of Thy grandeur. O Lord! Fulfil their hearts' desires, gladden their bosoms with the shining splendour of the Centre of Thy Covenant, illumine their eyes and rejoice their souls with the goodly gifts of the light of harmony. Verily Thou art the Lord of the Day of Judgement.
5. It is my earnest hope that you, His distinguished leaf, together with the other maidservants of the All-Merciful in that land, may be so enkindled by the flame set ablaze by the hand of God as to illumine the whole world through the quickening energy of the love of God, and that through the eloquence of your speech, the fluency of your tongue, and the confirmations of the Holy Spirit you will be empowered to expound divine wisdom in such manner that men of eloquence, and the scholars and sages of the world, will be lost in bewilderment. This indeed would not be hard for Him.
6. O exalted leaf, O distinguished friend! May the glory of God and His praise, His bounty and
blessing rest upon you inasmuch as you have remained faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament.
7. May my life be sacrificed for those leaves who are steadfast in the Covenant of Godthey whom the slander of the slanderer hinders not from holding fast to His divine Testament.
by His love; for this token of grace we have offered boundless praise at the Threshold of our forgiving Lord. We are well acquainted with the matters you have mentioned in your letter, and in the luminous and holy presence of the peerless Servant of His Threshold, our Master, `Abdu'l-Bahámay my life be sacrificed for Himyour name and the names of all the handmaids of God and of His enraptured leaves have been mentioned and words of praise were expressed by Him in your favour. Be well assured that you are always remembered at the spiritual meetings and gatherings of the friends.
8. From this hallowed and snow-white Spot, this blessed, heavenly Garden, wherefrom the fragrance of God is diffused to all regions, I hail you with salutations, most tender, most wondrous, and most glorious, and impart to you the most joyful tiding. This tiding serves as the sweet-smelling savour of His raiment to them that long to behold His face, it represents the highest aspiration of His steadfast leaves, it is the animating impulse for the happiness of the world, it is the source of ineffable gladness to the people of Bahá, a remedy to the afflicted, and a refreshing draught for the thirsty. By the righteousness of God, O beloved friend, through this glad-tiding the ailing are cured and every mouldering bone is quickened. This most joyful tiding is the news of the good health and well-being of the
blessed, the exalted, the holy person of `Abdu'l-Bahá, 'He Whom God hath purposed'may the life of all created things be offered up for His oneness.
9. A number of your spiritual sisters, namely the handmaidens who have embraced His Cause, have arrived here from Paris and the United States on pilgrimage. They recently reached this blessed and luminous Spot and have had the honour to prostrate themselves at His Holy Threshold and to behold the radiant face of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Centre of the Covenant of Almighty Godmay my life be offered up as a sacrifice for His sake. We have now the pleasure of their company and commune with them in a spirit of utmost love and fellowship. They all send loving greetings and salutations to you through the language of the heart.
10. May the Light of Union radiate with greater clearness and brilliancy day by day among the people in your great countryfor to this country God has given much and much is expected from it. But without harmony and love existing among those who call themselves Bahá'ís, nothing will be seen from it whatsoever; for verily the Believers
are the pivots upon which the fate of nations hang; and a difference among two believers is quite sufficient to consume and destroy a whole country. The one who works for harmony and union among the hearts of the people in these days will receive the greatest blessings and the most abundant bounties. There is no greater work for one to do upon this earth than to try and unite the hearts of the peopleand especially those who are calling upon the Holy Name of God.
11. O my dear sister! I have read what you wrote, and as I became aware of the content, I wept bitter tears. Then I carried the letter itself to `Abdu'l-Bahá and He read it from beginning to end. These terrible events in Yazd call for cries and lamentation, and the shedding of tears of fire.
killed on the holy Path be offered up for him!made to defend themselves, and each one of them felled a number of those foes of 'Alí's House, spilled out the others' blood, before being martyred themselves. But these innocent victims of Yazd looked on their murderers with smiles, and gently welcomed them, and in exchange for the swords' blows offered honey and milk. Those set the blade to the victims' throats, but the martyrs presented them with sweets; those cursed and vilified them, while the martyrs implored God to forgive their murderers.
still not enough, and they merit more. I hope that, with the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom, we may be enabled to offer up our hearts and souls for the children of the martyrs, and think of ourselves as the servants of those noble ones.
12. Concerning the remnants of the martyrs' families, you have mentioned how eager they are to hear a word of commendation assuring them that this act of self-sacrifice and martyrdom will be acceptable in the sight of God. Therefore, I mentioned this matter in His holy presence and I am glad to say that, in compliance with His instructions, a compilation containing most of the Tablets which have been revealed in honour of the martyrs of Yazd and elsewhere has been prepared. I am now sending it to you together with this letter. You may peruse these Tablets and then recite them in the presence of the remnants of those who have offered up their lives in the path of God, that they may be fully aware that those martyrs are well-favoured at the exalted threshold of the Almighty, and that the merciful glances of `Abdu'l-Bahámay our souls be His sacrificeare at all times directed towards them.
has always been and will continue to be remembered at the fellowship meetings and in His holy presence.
13. O leaf that has been stirred by the breeze of God! O victim of oppression in the path of the Abhá Beauty!may my soul and the souls of the handmaids of God be offered up as a sacrifice for the dust of His Holy Shrine.
14. All praise be to the Abhá Beauty, the Best-Beloved, the Desire of the world, for having enabled His well-assured leaves to remain firm in the Cause of God and steadfast in His love, even as immovable mountains, particularly the ladies
belonging to the household of the Afnanthe twigs of the celestial Tree, who are resident in the land of Ya [Yazd]upon them be the glory of the Most Glorious. In these days when tempestuous winds of tests are blowing and an ocean of trials has risen high, they have rid themselves of all earthly attachments, set their affection on the sacred beauty of the True One and have turned their hearts to the celestial kingdom.
15. At the exalted Threshold of our Lord, the Best-Beloved of the world, I fervently beseech Him to graciously keep that assured leaf and the other handmaids of the Merciful safe and secure under the shelter of His bounty and grace.
happiness, inasmuch as it indicates that you have turned in prayer and supplication to the Kingdom of God and been attracted to His divine fragrances. It imparted exceeding gladness and radiance, and thereby the hearts and spirits were inspired. Both at the sublime meetings convened in His presence and at the fellowship gatherings of the handmaids of the merciful Lord your name and the names of the beloved handmaids in India are often mentioned with high praise.
16. On my return from Beyrouth I was sorry to find out that you had left for Italy and I missed seeing
you before you left. Not only I but all the holy household miss you very much. Though we miss you we are glad to learn that our Lord has directed you to go into the world and give the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom to the people and awaken the sleeping souls. How happy you must have been that you left with this thought in your mind that with the direction of our Lord you have gone. We hope that we soon will hear of your wonderful services in the Path of the Cause of God. Have no fear and be not down-hearted. Trust in Him. Be sure you will be successful at the end, for He has sent you and He will surely be with you and help you always.
17. O my dear sister! Your excellent letter brought me much joy, testifying as it did to your ardour and pure intent, and to your being immersed in the ocean of God's heavenly love, and also to the harmony and concord among His handmaidswhich indeed is the greatest of God's bestowals: for fellowship, closeness and love are glories of the Kingdom, and richest gifts from the Lord of dominion and might. We thank Him then for this great bounty.
Whom God hath purposed, the Centre of His ancient Covenant.
18. The Festival of Ridvan is come and the splendour of the light of God is shining from the invisible horizon of His mercy. The overflowing grace of the Lord of oneness is pouring down copiously from the unseen world and the glad-tidings of the Kingdom are coming in from all countries. The resplendent morn that betokens the advancement of the Cause of God and heralds the exaltation of His Word is dawning in every region.
19. You should not think that the record of those meetings can ever be blotted out from the pages of history or that the memory of those gatherings can fade from the face of the world. Nay every single act, every deed or utterance is a seed sown in the garden of life. Ere long it will grow and develop, yielding an abundant harvest even as a fruitful tree....
Those sufferings were endured for the sake of God alone and for His love. They occurred during this century in which the Manifestation of God has appeared, and their underlying purpose was solely to glorify the Cause of the Abhá Beloved, and to exalt the Word of God. Indeed, a single deed performed in this Day is equivalent to the deeds of a thousand years.
20. Both in the Persian and Arabic Writings of the Primal Pointmay the life of all men be offered up for Himthere are several, nay indeed numerous passages in which He directs His plea to the exalted court of Him Whom God shall make manifest, requesting Him to graciously protect the leaves of the Tree of the Bayan, that they may not fall away but rather attain their paradise which is the recognition of His Manifestation.
21. HIS HOLINESS `ABDU'L-BAHÁ ASCENDED TO ABHÁ KINGDOM INFORM FRIENDS. GREATEST HOLY LEAF.
22. NOW IS A PERIOD OF GREAT TESTS. THE FRIENDS SHOULD BE FIRM AND UNITED IN DEFENDING THE CAUSE. NAKEZEENS1 STARTING ACTIVITIES THROUGH PRESS AND OTHER CHANNELS ALL OVER THE WORLD. SELECT COMMITTEE OF WISE COOL HEADS TO HANDLE PRESS PROPAGANDA IN AMERICA. GREATEST HOLY LEAF.
23. MEMORIAL MEETING WORLD OVER JANUARY SEVEN. MASTER LEFT FULL INSTRUCTIONS IN HIS WILL AND TESTAMENT. TRANSLATION WILL BE SENT. INFORM FRIENDS. GREATEST HOLY LEAF.
24. IN WILL SHOGHI EFFENDI APPOINTED GUARDIAN OF CAUSE AND HEAD OF HOUSE OF JUSTICE. INFORM AMERICAN FRIENDS. GREATEST HOLY LEAF.
25. The hearts of the people of Bahá are intensely burning by reason of the great calamity, and their longing cries are rising up to the Concourse on High and the angelic dwellers in the Abhá Paradise, yet, this day is the day of service, and this time the time to spread the holy Teachings1 Covenant-breakers.
far and wide; therefore must God's loved ones like unto a shining flame, rise up to serve the Cause of God with all their might and vie with one another in service. Let them, even as shooting stars, drive the disloyal outso that in the Preserved Tablet of God, they may be recorded with that company who ever stood faithful to His Covenant and Testament.
26. We thank you most sincerely for your kind letters of sympathy, and we appreciate your loving1 See III, 1, page 21.
Messages, which are as comforting balm to our wounded hearts.
27. REJOICED OVER CONVENTION NEWS. PRAYING FOR CONFIRMATION. HOLY LEAF.
28. In this day, those holy souls are divinely confirmed who stand firm in the most sacred Cause of the Abhá Beauty, those who are steadfast, and loyal to the Covenant and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
Praised be the undying glory of God that you and all His friends have attained this greatest of gifts. You stand fast-rooted in the divine Covenant, and you turn to the appointed Centre, the explicitly chosen Branch. In all the world, what conceivable bounty could ever be greater than this?
29. It is not unknown to those who stand firm in the Covenant and Testament of God that the centre of violation and his associates, from the day of the ascension of the Ancient Beauty, may His Great Name be ever exalted, have been working night and day and continually putting forth all their efforts, to spread disorder and disrupt the Faith. At this time, because of our terrible affliction, the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahámay the quintessence of our souls be sacrificed to His sacred resting-placethey are busying themselves more than ever with the circulation of false rumours and idle imaginings, their purpose being, one way or another, to instil doubts into the minds, and thus to achieve their vain and futile ends.
the wicked designs of that abominable band. And it is certain that through the never-ceasing confirmations of God, the light diffused by the loyalty of the true believers will scatter the darkness of the suspicions which the malicious have been spreading, and the brightness that streams from the believers' faces will dispel the gloom of the people of doubt.
custody until the matter could be fully investigated to determine the question of rightful ownership. Now, after the passage of four months, the Government has rendered its verdict, to the effect that the question should be put to the Bahá'í community, and that whatever decision the Bahá'ís arrive at will be conclusive. If the Bahá'í community considers Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí to be excommunicated, then he has no rights whatever to the takeover. Therefore, wherever Bahá'ís reside, they must, through the given city's Spiritual Assembly, and bearing the signature of named individuals who are members of the elected body, inform the British authorities in Jerusalem, either by cable or letter sent through His Majesty's ambassadors or consuls, that the Bahá'í community, in conformity with the explicit writings and the Will and Testament of His Eminence `Abdu'l-Bahá, Sir Abbas Effendi, texts well known and available in His own handrecognize His Eminence Shoghi Effendi as the one to whom all Bahá'ís must turn, and as the Guardian of the Cause of God, and that they have no connection whatever, either material or spiritual, with Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí, whom they consider to be excommunicated from the Bahá'í Faith, according to the explicit writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
Britannic Majesty's Government in Palestine, its Headquarters being Jerusalem, issue a categorical order that the key of the Holy Tombwhich is the Point of Adoration and the sanctuary of all Bahá'ís in the worldbe restored to His Eminence Shoghi Effendi, the Chosen Branch, and in this way to render the Bahá'í community, whether of the East or of the West, more appreciative than ever of British justice. The text of both cable and letter, together with the address, have been written on a separate sheet, as enclosed. The message is to be signed by the representatives and known followers of the Bahá'í Faith in that city.
30. This dire calamity, this great affliction, the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá, may our lives be sacrificed for His meekness, has shaken us to the very depths. Our lives lie in ruins. In our hearts, the stars of happiness have set, the lamps of joy have been put out. No more, from the rose-garden of the All-Glorious, does the nightingale warble those songs that fed the spirit in days gone by. From over the flower-beds of Heaven, the dove trills and coos no more. Now is the bright morning dark, and blazing noon is night, and the sea of woe has surged, and a storm of sorrow has overwhelmed mankind.
rebellion of the violators, is now hidden behind heavy clouds, has departed from this world's horizons, and has risen upward to the realm of transcendent glory, to the all-highest Horizon.
achieve these things, which alone befit this sacred day.
31. Although that supreme calamity, that great ordeal, the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá, put the torch to the harvest of our hearts, and brought down both our outer and inner beings, wedding us to grief and ceaseless pain, yet praised be God, He Who is the Dayspring of the Covenant has appointed in writing a specific centre, and designated the Guardian of the Cause, Shoghi Effendi, as the one toward whom must turn all those who follow Bahá'u'lláhHis purpose being that the Faith of God and His Cause should remain secure and safe. For this greatest of gifts it is fitting that we should return a thousand thanks to the one Beloved, and offer a thousand praises to His court of holiness.
one true God pervaded all the earth, and put the darkness of ignorance to flight.
32. O faithful servant of the Best-Beloved, the Most Glorious! O steadfast friend, flourishing in the garden of His luminous Beauty! The brief but informative letter you had written to Shoghi Effendi, the Chosen Branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, has been received together with the scrolls of doubt you had enclosed. Indeed, men whose nostrils have been perfumed by the fragrance of the Abhá Paradise, whose ears have been exhilarated by the sweet melodies of the nightingale warbling in the rose-garden of immortality, and
whose souls have been refreshed and quickened by the reviving breaths of holiness, would surely be saddened to hear the screech of the raven and the croaking of the crow, and from them they would certainly endeavour to flee. For the disgusting odour of violation is like poisonous air, whose baneful effects upon the body and soul are injurious and harmful, nay rather it will eventually lead to terrible loss and perdition. Thus the way you have dealt with this matter is approved and acceptable.
33. O God, my God!
and the heart blazes up, and nothing remains save only despair and anguish.
endowed them with the qualities of the spirit. And all this time He bore, at the hands of that evil crew, not once but over and over again, every kind of outrage, and calumny, and oppression. For they were forever lying in wait for Him, were spying on Him at all times from their ambush, attacking Him in whatever manner they chose, swelling with their insolence and pride. And yet, through Thy strong support, Thine overwhelming confirmations, they were the losers in the end, and their strivings came to nothing in this world's life, and all they gained was their own ruin.
upraising of Thy Cause in this world below. It is a book in which all things are explained in minute detail, in such wise that no matters whether small or great have been left out. And by Thy will and pleasure He designated therein, in place of His own Person, a Branch grown out from the Tree of Thy holiness, one fresh and tender, verdant and flourishing, arising to serve Thee, dwelling in the groves of Thine eternity, and Thine immortal gardens. And he, after turning to Thy gracious countenance and through Thine ancient succour, is inviting the people unto Thee and unto Thy Covenant, sound and firmly-established, and is spreading Thy commandments and Thy doctrines throughout Thy land, and guiding Thy servants to the path that leads aright.
gardens and groves of Thy Covenant and Testament, and make them to enter the pavilions of Thy good pleasure, and shelter them in the refuge of Thy protection, and cast upon them the glance of Thy mercy's eye, and guard them from deviation and schism. Make them to live in unity and harmony, one with the others, and aid them to serve Thy Faith and to spread Thy Teachings far and wide.
The glories of that Sun are shining now from out the high, immortal realms, and His glance is resting on His loved ones. The portals of everlasting blessings are opened wide. The succouring armies are standing ready, waiting to behold what efforts the loved ones will exert as they carry out the holy Will, as they boil up and roar like waves of the sea. Let them rest not for a moment, nor wish for quiet and repose; let them carry out all His behests and thus prove their loyal gratitude for all His endless grace.
assaults of alienation and violation, that come against it like Gog and Magog.1
2 Qur'an 14:29.
3 Qur'an 13:18.
withstand the overwhelming power of the Covenant, nor can the mountains of diabolical suggestions ever stand under the rod of God's majesty and
the Resolver of all complex and difficult questions, and the Centre of the Faith. Therein as well are the other Branches, the Afnan and the rest of the believers bidden to direct themselves unto that One so that all might face one and the same Centre, and all be bound thereto. Thus would the basic foundation of God's Cause, which is unity, remain unassailable. Thus the root of heresy and rebellion would wither away, and just as in the days when He Who is the Truth was made manifest, so too in the day of His Covenant the light of unity would pervade all things, and put to flight the murk of disbelief and dualism and rebellion and oppositionand thus the tree of His holy Cause would grow and flourish, and the rich fruits borne by the holy Teachings would satisfy all needs and be sweet in the mouth of all mankind.
without the spine the papers would become loose and scattered.
cause thee to stumble, pluck it out ... if thy hand offend thee, cut it off...'1
Bahá'í community? Would not such as these be
only plucked-out eyes and palsied hands?
1 On p. 14 of 'An Epistle to the Bahai World' written by Mírzá Badí'u'lláh, translated by Dr Aminu'llah Farid, and published by the Bahá'í Publishing Society in Chicago in 1907, there is the following passage concerning the falsification by Muhammad-'Alí of a Tablet in which Bahá'u'lláh relates the misdeeds of Mírzá Yahya, to whom He refers as 'My brother'. Mírzá Badí'u'lláh writes: 'A few moments passed and I saw him [Muhammad-'Alí] take up the Tablet, erase "My brother" and replace it with "My Greatest Branch". Having seen this, I immediately said: "This deed is a great sin and a breach of trust. If you show this Tablet, this servant will divulge the whole account, will point out the interpolation, and this will cause all the writings in your possession to be considered unreliable. Hereafter whatsoever of the writings traced by the Supreme Pen you may show me, I will not accept as authentic until I have carefully compared the manuscript with the original handwriting which is elsewhere preserved and have examined the same with a magnifying glass."'
that he, their second chiefthe very one who wrote
the confession so full of the abominable acts of their
first chief and his associatesnow cleaves to the first
one like flesh to bone.
For over a period of thirty years, always increasing their efforts, they inflicted extreme anguish on `Abdu'l-Bahá; and they did not, in all this span, ever take one step nor draw a single breath to help the Faith. They spent their entire time in attempts to wean to beloved of God away from obedience to the Centre of the Covenant, and to undermine theirIf I my tale could tell,
convictions, making them waver in their faith, and
turning them cold; and because of what they did,
thousands of souls were veiled from the holy Cause,
and prevented from embracing it.
1 Qur'an 22:11.
Cause. Protect them from the hosts of discord and
calumny, and cause them to come under the sheltering
banner of Thy Testament, that is raised high on
the summits of the earth.
34. To the doves of faithfulness, ever since
that most grievous of disasters, the passing of
`Abdu'l-Bahá, this world of dust has become a
cage, and a place of torment; and to the unrestrained
nightingales it is only a prison, narrow and dark.
and calamity and hurt. And They have established
laws and ordinances, that assure the flourishing and
freedom and joy and salvation of all the human race.
In this way that primal purpose will be revealed, and
that subtle mystery divulged.
35. The passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá, may our lives
be a sacrifice for His meekness, was the ultimate
calamity, the most great disaster. The light has fled
our hearts, and our souls are wedded to sorrow, and
no power in all the world can furnish any consolation,
save only the power that comes from the
steadfastness of the believers and their deep-rooted
faith, and their unity, and their love for one another.
to viewstill His rays are shining from out His
hidden place, and forever will His light shed down
36. The ascension of Him Who was the Temple of the Covenant, the setting of Him Who was the Orb of harmony, `Abdu'l-Bahá, may our lives be sacrificed for the wrongs He suffered, was the most dire calamity, and the most dread of ordeals. It dissolved our very hearts, it laid low the very pillars
of our being. It made our eyes to shed tears of blood,
and our sighs and the sound of our weeping reached
upward to the Concourse on High. Then did a sea of
anguish roll up great waves of grief, and a whirlwind
of sorrow swept over the peoples of the earth.
bring smiles to His countenance; this was the joy of
His precious heart.
37. We rejoiced greatly to learn of the unity among the friends, their staunchness, their ardour, and the fact that they have established a Spiritual Assembly. It is clear that the stronger grow the bonds of yearning love among the believers, and the fiercer its fire, the more will they find themselves embraced by the bounties of the Ancient of Days,
and receiving the continuous confirmations of the
Greatest Name. Thus will the Assemblies of the
friends become reflections of the gardens of the
Concourse on High, mirroring forth the radiance of
the Abhá Kingdom.
and true lovers at the sacred Threshold of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
38. That supreme affliction, the passing of
`Abdu'l-Bahá, was the direst of ordeals; it was an
anguish of mourning. The parting with mankind's
Beloved set fire to the hearts of all His lovers, and the
souls of the believers dissolved in its burning. Even
the beauteous dwellers in the Abhá Paradise cried
out and wept, and in their empyrean abode the
Maids of Heaven moaned and lamented. The gems
of holiness fell a prey to crushing grief, the essences
of sanctity bowed down in sorrow.
God, and protect the Holy Faith, and He brought
God's Word to the ears of those in East and West. He
trained and nurtured friends of such a kind that
whensoever their names were on His lips or spoken
in His presence, His blessed face would glow and
His whole being would radiate with joy. Many and
many a time He would express His trust and
confidence. In the gatherings held toward the close
of His days, He would repeatedly tell of the apostles
of Jesus. Among other things He would say that
when the Spirit1 left this nether world and hastened
away to the glorious Kingdom, He had but twelve
disciples, and even of these, one was cast off; and
that this small number, because they sacrificed all
they had for Jesus, and immersed themselves in the
radiance of that sweet and comely Being, and lost
themselves in Christ, they lit the world. 'Now when
I depart,' He would say, 'I have loyal loved ones that
number 50,000 or more, and each one of these is a
mighty fortress to guard the edifice of God, each
one, for the Ark of the Faith, is strong as armour-plate.
They are rooted firm as the high mountains,
they are bright and rising stars, they are jewels, they
are pearls.' Today, God be thanked, these qualities
are radiating from the faces of the righteous, and
shining upon their brows.
at the beginning, crowning all His gifts with His
Will and Testament, in which He clearly made
known the obligations devolving upon every stratum
of the believers, in language most consummate,
comprehensive and sound, setting down with His
own pen the name of Shoghi Effendi, as Guardian of
the Cause and interpreter of the Holy Writ. The first
of His bounties was the light He shed, the last of His
gifts was that He unravelled the secrets by lifting the
39. The good news that the Word of God is
being raised up, and His Cause glorified, and that
His friends, on fire with love for Him, are arising to
spread His sweet savours abroadis coming in
steadily from every quarter of the globe.
the light of these Teachings will illumine the earth and gladden the hearts of the people of Bahá.
40. All the virtues of humankind are summed
up in the one word 'steadfastness', if we but act
according to its laws. It draws to us as by a magnet
the blessings and bestowals of Heaven, if we but rise
up according to the obligations it implies.
41. It is clear how that most dire of calamities, that most great disaster which was the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá, may our souls be sacrificed for His meekness, has set our hearts on fire and dissolved our very limbs and members in grief. Darkness settled on our souls, of blood were our tears. Even the essences of sanctity cried out in fear, and the gems of holiness moaned and lamented, while our
own inner selves fell to ashes, and there was no peace
left in the soul, no patience in the heart.
O kind Lord! O Comforter of anguished hearts!
lands as well, and scattering far and wide the
musk-deer sweetness of heavenly mysteries.
Tree of holiness were illumined with beams of
fidelity and faith. Once again, the loved ones in that
region were inebriated with the wine of the Primal
Covenant, and in their firmness and steadfastness
and loyalty they led the field. They showed forth
such constancy as to astonish the mind, and they
manifested such power and endurance as to raze the
piled-up doubts of the doubters to the ground. Of
the poisoned winds of violation there was no trace
left in all that land. The hopes of the disaffected were
blighted, and the centre of violation clearly witnessed
the defeat of all his aims and plans.
guarded the divine law, He defeated its adversaries,
He frustrated the hopes of those who wished it ill.
each one, explicitly appointed, irrefutably and in
writing, the Centre of the Faith, designating the
Guardian of the Cause and the interpreter of the
Holy Book, His Eminence Shoghi Effendi, appointing
him, the Chosen Branch, as the one toward
whom all must turn. Thus He closed for all time the
doors of contention and strife, and in the best of
ways and in a most perfect method He pointed out
the path that leads aright.
see the important benefits that it will yield; that he will soon come home, and that once again correspondence with him can be resumed, and the doors of access will be opened wide.
42. All praise to the omnipotent Lord, that in this auspicious day He Who is the Sun of bounty has shone out so fair and bright as to light up the world of the hearts. He has burned away the veils of waywardness and ignorance. He has struck off the fetters of baseless myths and ignoble concepts that chained the people hand and foot. He has cleansed and burnished the mirrors of men's souls, sullied by the dust and rust of this dark world. He has opened wide the door to that Celestial Tavern of matchless wine, and He is freely pouring out the immortal draught of knowledge and perception and love. He has hoisted the banner of oneness, and destroyed the foundations of estrangement. Under the sway of His unity, the many-coloured races and diverse religions have tasted the rose-red wine of His love, and are aliens no more. Those pure in spirit who have set eyes upon Him, and approached the place He dwells in, reflecting Him have shone out like mirrors, and cleaving to Him alone, they have detached their hearts from all else but Him. They have heard, with their inner ears, His words, and they have noted His ways, and forgotten all else. They are ever soaring upward, out of the lower
world to the world above, and they are fit to be told
the mysteries, and they understand them.
43. Indeed, you have adorned yourself with the qualifications of faithfulness and are striving to fulfil the requirements of servitude to the Abhá Threshold. You have been inebriated with the wine of the love of God, have quaffed your fill at the banquet of loyalty to His Faith and have caused the seekers of truth, those that are sore athirst for the life-giving waters of His grace, to drink from the heavenly stream of true understanding. This was indeed most fitting and appropriate. For in this grievous calamity, this distressing bereavement, the
best consolation and solace that the spiritual souls
could offer is to dedicate themselves to the service of
the Cause, to diffuse widely the sweet savours of
holiness, to become wanderers in the path of that
heavenly Best-Beloved, to let their whole beings
burn and melt, and be enkindled with the fire of His
love. Such indeed is the effective remedy, the most
potent cure for this irreparable agony, for this
aching of the heart and soul. There is no other
44. The deep heart's love and the longing of the soul of this wronged one for those spiritual beloved ones, and in particular for those who are kin to the peerless Holy Tree of sanctity and oneness, cannot be told in words, and my most ardent wish is that I might correspond with each one of you, but our alarm and grief over this momentous happening,
this terrible affliction and ill-omened agony, this inexorable
divine decree, the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá
may our souls be offered up for all the
wrongs He bore!has left us wretched, desolate,
to such a degree that there is no peace in the
spirit, no will to endure in the heart.
souls of those who are fast-rooted in the Covenant, ever is He bringing tidings of great joy.
45. The good news has come that the Will and
Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, may our lives be
sacrificed for His meekness, has been read at the
meetings of the friends, and we here are rejoiced to
learn of their unity and their steadfastness and
loyalty, and of their directing themselves toward the
designated Centre, the named and specified Guardian
of the Cause of God, the interpreter of the Book
of God, the protector of His Faith, the keeper of His
Law, Shoghi Effendi. This news brought extreme
accord with the counsels of `Abdu'l-Bahá, so that
the light of divine confirmations may wax ever
brighter, and the bounties of divine favour and
success appear on every side, and that in a brief
period, great progress will be made, and secrets now
hidden will be divulged, and joy and radiance will
46. In this noblest of all ages the Sun of grace
and loving-kindness has shone out from the divine
day-spring with such resplendent glory and is casting
His beams so bright and far, that He has lit up all the
earth and made the hearts and minds of men to be as
sanctified mirrors and reflectors of holinessthis to
such a degree that from turning their faces unto that
bright Orb, that Star of the loftiest heaven, those
illumined beings have received abundant grace and
have been enabled to understand the secret of God's
oneness, and the mystery of His unity, and to
become alert to subtle realities.
our duty plain; an explicit and lucid Text explains
the revealed Book; a specifically named Centre has
been designated, toward whom all must turn, and
the pronouncement of him who is the Guardian of
the Cause and the interpreter of the Book has been
made the decisive decree. All this is out of the grace
and favour of our Beloved, the All-Glorious, and
the loving-kindness of Him from the splendours of
Whose servitude earth and heaven were illumined.
47. The purport of your letter is highly indicative of your steadfastness in His Cause, of your unswerving constancy in the Covenant, of having set your face toward Shoghi Effendi, the authorized Point to whom all must turn, the Centre of the Cause, the Chosen Branch, the bough that has branched out from the twin heavenly Trees. Indeed, this is the
essential thing, this is the meaning of true devotion,
this is the unshakable, the indubitable truth whereby
the people of Baha, the dwellers of the Crimson
Ark, are distinguished.
48. At this hour while yet the heart burns with the anguish of sorrow, and the gloom of bereavement still hangs low, my thoughts turn in loving remembrance to my sincere beloved sisters and brothers in the Cause.1 The Báb.
The news of your firmness in the Covenant, of
your endeavour to work in unity and harmony, and
of your untiring zeal and devotion in the Path of
Service, has been a source of untold joy to me. For
now my sole comfort lies in the loyalty and faithfulness
of the friends, and my one joy in the progress of
hearts and implore His aid, cling to Him and walk in His
ways! It is incumbent upon every one of us to encourage
each other, to exert our utmost endeavour to diffuse His
divine fragrances and engage in exalting His Word. We
must, at all times, be stirred by the breeze that bloweth
from the rose-garden of His loving-kindness, and be
perfumed with the fragrances of the mystic flowers of His
is vigilance to protect and shield the stronghold of the Faith from the onslaught of the enemies. In these days their activity has waxed strong. They are constantly on the alert, and exert the utmost endeavour to cause such harm as would impede the onward march of the Cause.
49. O steadfast ones, gathered beneath the Abhá Beauty's standard of oneness, O faithful lovers of `Abdu'l-Bahá! Sad news has come to us out of Iran in recent days, and it has intensely grieved the entire Bahá'í world: they have, in most parts of that land, set bonfires of envy and malevolence, and hoisted the banner of aggression against this much-wronged community; they have left no means untried, no plot or strategy neglected, and have arisen with extreme hostility and spite to pull out by their very roots the trees of this garden of God.
filled with the love of Him. From every ambush, they are hunting down gazelles that pasture in the meadows of His unity. They are taking the men and women believers captive, and making orphans of the children. They are plundering the believers' property, sacking their hearths and homes.
He has lit; or that by directing a storm of denial against them, they could bring down His trees, so flourishing, so firmly rooted in His Kingdom, or lay
His fair gardens in ruins.
This is the unique obligation of the Bahá'ís of the world. Addressing the believers, Bahá'u'lláh says: 'Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body.' This means that just as each member safeguards the rest, warding off any threatened harm, so too must the individual Bahá'ís do, whether in the East or the West. At this time it is urgently needful, and it is the request of this grieving servant, that the assembly of the believers in that area act at once, and take the case to the ambassador of the Iranian government. Let them tell him, 'The holy Cause of Bahá'u'lláh has so unified us who are His world-wide followers, and has brought us so close together, that we have become like a single body. If the foot of a Bahá'í, in the farthest Eastern land, is so much as scratched by a thorn, it is even as if we Bahá'ís here in the West had suffered the same. We have now received word from Iran that in Shíráz, in Sultánábád, in Hamadán, in Káshán, even in Tihrán, and in other places as well, the fanaticism of the ignorant and heedless has been fanned into flame, and that agitators are stirring up the populacewith the result that our brothers and sisters, who are but well-wishers of all humankind and are indeed the world's only hope for peace, and are obedient and helpful citizens of Iran and her government, find themselves under attack and pushed into the heart of the fire.
the wolf, and provide for their security and well-being. By bringing us word of this outcome, Iran will earn the deep and heartfelt gratitude of thousands of Bahá'ís who reside in these countries, and widespread appreciation will be voiced by us in our many gatherings, of her government's good offices on our behalf.'