VISIT TO WOKING MOSQUE
On this day in 2003 local Baha'is from Guildford, Godalming, Leatherhead, Camberley, Egham, Woking and Bracknell visited the Mosque for private prayer and the reading of a special prayer revealed by Abdu’l-Baha. The Baha'is present were representatives of several different countries - England, India, Persia, Tunisia and Zambia.
Afterwards the Baha’is were warmly welcomed by the Secretary of the Shah Jahan Mosque, Munawar Ahmed, at a reception held in the Memorial House. This was the same place in which Abdu’l-Baha had been warmly received after his visit to the Mosque 90 years before.
The Baha’is were most interested in an article which was read to them from The Surrey Advertiser of 90 years ago, printed on Wednesday January 22, 1913, entitled "An Interesting Gathering" which recorded Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to the Mosque and the address given by him on that occasion, which was that the causes of difference in religion were caused by blind dogmas and imitations. He said that each of the religions of God was the means of bringing justice, equality, faith and benevolence to the world and it was time for all religions to show affection towards each other. He said that we were servants of one God, whose beauties were all-encircling, so we should rise to render thanksgiving unto God, and let war and strife be banished from the face of the earth.
The friends gathered were able to view a photograph of Abdu'l Baha taken at the Mosque at the time of his visit in January 1913. In addition, reference was made to Abdu'l-Baha's stay at Vanners farm in Byfleet and to his visit to the Brooklands aviation ground.
Shortly after his visit to Woking, Abdu’l-Baha proceeded to Paris, then to Germany, Hungary, Austria and Egypt, eventually returning to Haifa, Palestine (now Israel) in January 1914. During the carnage of the First World War Abdu’l-Bahá was in the Holy Land where he continued with the work of the Bahá’í Faith. His humanitarian efforts to avert starvation and to relieve famine and distress in the Holy Land were recognised by the British Government who granted him a Knighthood of the British Empire in 1920.
©Copyright 2003, Woking News & Mail (Surrey, United Kingdom)