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I am doing ...
In the early days ( 1901 to '05), Abdu'l-Baha sent to the United States the beloved
and most radiant Abu'l-Fadl. The purpose was to travel and teach and Ali Kuli Khan
was asked to accompany Abu'l-Fadl as interpreter. This was arranged and the two gentlemen started off. The trip was a wonderful success. It was during the period when teachers
(Hindu, Zoroastrian or Buddhist) were greeted eagerly all over the country and these
Baha'i teachers. shared the wave of popularity., It was in one of the middle western cities that this experience occurred.
The local Opera House had been rented for Abu'l-Fadl's talks and it was packed. Probably
more than a thousand people had come. And, before this crowd Abu'l-Fadl rose to speak.
For a moment, he stood there, his eyes roving over all the lifted, waiting faces, and suddenly he thought 'This trip is proving very successful! I am doing very
well, this is a cause for great pride and satisfaction and when I return to Acca
the Master will be well pleased with me. Truly I am doing well.' And, with this
thought, the mind of Abu'l-Fadl went completely blank. He did not know who he was or why he
was standing on this platform with all these people looking at him or what he was
supposed to say. Then, instantly he realized what had happened. He had taken it upon himself to feel that it was HE who had accomplished this success; it was HIS words that would reach the hearts; it was HE - HE - HE - who had been proud. And, as he realized this he turned, in abject shame, to Baha'u'llah, imploring His forgiveness and begging Him to fill his heart once more with His Light to move his lips again with His Word. And immediately Abu'l-Fadl's prayer was answered, and the talk went forward.
Later, Abu'l-Fadl asked Dr. Khan how long it had been that he stood there tongue-tied
and blank - for it had seemed to Abu'l-Fadl that he must have disgraced himself before
that great audience. But Khan assured him that it had been no time at all that there had been no break in the discourse.
But it is to be noted that - many years afterward - Abdu'l-Baha particularly praised
Abu'l-Fadl for being one of the very rare souls who never used the pronouns 'I' or
'me' or 'mine'.
This was told to me by Ali Kuli Khan
in New York City c. 1934
MIBN Stories Copyright (c) 1998 Next Story
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