'Abdul Baha in Egypt
by Abdu'l-Bahá and Mirza Ahmad Sohrabtranslated by Mírzá Ahmad Sohrab.
New York: J. H. Sears & Co. Inc. for New History Foundation, 1929
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ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
MIRZA AHMAD SOHRAB
Published for NEW HISTORY FOUNDATION by J. H. SEARS & COMPANY Inc. New York
COPYRIGHT, 1929, BY NEW HISTORY FOUNDATION
Approved by the Publishing Committee of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States and Canada
THESE RECORDS OF THE PERFECT LIFE OF ABDUL BAHA
Around the great figures of the Prophets in all ages have been woven stories and records, often in the remote past clouded by myth and allegory, which nevertheless, constitute a witness to the light.
In this age when the influence of Baha-Ullah and Abdul Baha is universally felt and their writings are being studied and translated into many languages, this intimate diary record should meet with wide response.
Mirza Ahmad Sohrab served for more than eight years as one of the private secretaries and interpreters of Abdul Baha; he accompanied him on his journey throughout the West in 1912 and was with him during the World War. In this diary he has vividly portrayed certain aspects and events in the daily life and surroundings of the “Master” not found elsewhere, thus adding a document of human interest and appear to the ever expanding literature written around the Bahai Cause.
Through his great love for Abdul Baha, Mirza Ahmad Sorab [sic] has given us a glimpse into that divine life of servitude and sacrifice, whose imperishable traces are written in the history of this age.
Abdul Baha Abbas, a Persian, to whom millions turned as the prophet of International Peace and Brother- hood and who was hailed both in the East and in the West as the teacher of Love and Goodwill among mankind, was one of the outstanding spiritual figures of the 19th and 20th centuries.
His were inspired words, and men of all ranks obeyed him and carried his precepts in their lives, because they realized that here lived among them a godman—as 2000 years ago there lived another godman in the midst of another people and another race.
To the students of the origin and growth of religions, the lives of the founders of those religions have been the sources of the most fruitful and searching studies, and here in the 20th century, we saw with our own eyes a man who embodied in his life and practiced in his daily associ- ation with his fellowmen, the highest ideals of truth and beauty; laying the foundation of a Universal Faith to which an ever increasing number of people from every religion, and no religion have subscribed with unflinching loyalty.
Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, also a Persian, lived and traveled with Abdul Baha throughout America, Europe, Egypt and Palestine. As his secretary and interpreter, xi
from 1912 to 1919 he was with him during eventful years whicll inclu(le(l the World War. Thus he became a close observer of the events that transpired around this great teacher of Universal Ideals and recorded daily his most salient remarks, talks and utterances. Besides this, he translated into English thousands of Abdul Baha's "Tablets" or letters to his followers, scattered in all parts of the Western hemisphere.
Thus the Diary, kept by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, during those eight years, is no other than a compendium of Bahai Ideals, principles, events and stories, interspersed with general reflections and descriptions of the countries through which they traveled. It is a treasury of hopeful things for the sore-footed traveler along the path of spiritual search.
When the Diary was being written, the Manuscript was regularly mailed to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Hannen of Washington, D. C., who faithfully made typewritten copies and forwarded them to all the Bahai Centers throughout the world.
In this manner, for years, extracts and quotations have been circulated and published in all the Bahai literature and books from what has become popularly known as "Ahmad's Diary of Abdul Baha."
At different times in the past years, efforts have been made to publish the Diary in its entirety--so that it may become available not only to Abdul Baha's followers and admirers, but to students of religions and philosophy as well; but the psychological hour had not yet arrived. Praise be to God. these obstacles are at last removed
and God in His mysterious way has provided the means through the instrumentality of "The New History Foun- dation”—so that the Diary may be given to the world in a series of uniform volumes.
The present book covers a period of three months— from July 1st to September 30th, 1913. It is hoped that the second volume will be ready for publication at an early date and so, with the help of God, from time to time various volumes will be given out until the whole series is complete.
In the course of writing the Diary, the author often refers to Abdul Baha Abbas as the "Master" or the "Be- loved." This title was one of the many given to him by his Father, Baha-Ullah, the founder of the Bahai Movement. "Aga" is the Persian word for the "Master" or "Lord" and by this title, he was known to all the Bahais, up to the year 1892, when Baha-Ullah departed from this life and then, he took to himself the name of "Abdul Baha"--the Servant of God. But to the people outside the Bahai community, he was ever known as "Abbas Effendi."
The author in presenting this Diary to the world in its original form written some twenty years ago hopes that the reader will be able to conjure a picture of Abdul Baha's life and ministrations among the early adherents of the Bahai Movement.
I arose next morning (Tuesday, A pril 14th) af ter a most refreshing sleep, and was served with tea by the old man with spectacles. Soon after this a sudden stir without announced the arrival of fresh visitors, and a moment after my companion of the previous evening en- tered the room, accompanied by two other persons, one of whom proved to be the Babi agent from Beyrout, while the other, as I guessed from the first by the extraordinary deference shown to him by all present, was none other than Baha's eldest son Abbas Effendi.
Seldom have I seen one whose appearance impressed me more. A tall strongly-built man holding himself as an arrow, with white turban and raiment,S long black locks reaching almost to the shoulder, broad powerful forehead indicating a strong intellect combined with an unswerv- ing will, eyes keen as a hawk's, and strongly-marked but pleasing features— such was my first impression of Abbas Effendi, "the master" (Aga) as he par excellence is called by the Babis.
Subsequent conversation with him served only to heighten the respect with which his appearance had from the first inspired me. One more eloquent of speech, more ready of argument, more apt of illustration, more inti- mately acquainted with the sacred books of the Jews, the Christians and the Muhammadans, could. I should think,
scarcely be found even amongst the eloquent, ready, and subtle race to which he belongs.
These qualities, combined with a bearing at once majestic and genial, made me cease to wonder at the influence and esteem which he enjoyed even behond the circle of his father’s followers.
About the greatness of this man and his power no one who had seen him could entertain a doubt.
EDWARD G. BROWNE, 1891.
(Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Lecturer in Persian in the University of Cambridge.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 1, 1913 Pages
1. To look back and survey the activities of the month. 2. The Bahai path and its pilgrims. 3. Tablet of Abdul Baha to the "Theosophy" in Scotland in re- gard to divine civilization. 4. Article in "Egyptian Gazette" about the Bahai Pilgrims. 5. Home of Abdul Baha in Bagdad and its keeper. 6. Abdul Baha's talk to the Pilgrims on the evidences of the Cause. 7. Ex- periences of a pilgrim and how he was robbed on the way 1-8
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 2, 1913
1. Talk of Abdul Baha on spiritual cultivation and teaching. 2. Departure of the pilgrims and remarks of Abdul Baha on music. 3. Quiet association with Abdul Baha. 4. Progress of the Bahai Cause in Ger- many and letters from that country. 5. Appearance of Truth 8-11
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 3, 1913
1. The Bahai Cause is in need of earnest workers who will defy all opposition. 2. Life in Port Said, and fleas but no mosquitoes. 3. Hossein Rouhy and his Bahai school in Cairo. 4. Palace of Baha-Ullah in Nur, Persia. 5. Talk of Abdul Baha on Baha-Ullah's imprisonment in the Prison of Acca, and on real hap- piness. 6. Remarks on the war waged between Greece and Bulgaria. 7. Story about Baha-Ullah's shepherd. 8. A joke with Hossein Rouhy 11-17
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 4, 1913
1. Story of the Haji Abdullah and his conversation with Abdul Baha. 2. Abdul Baha dictates Tablets for xvii
Pages many Bahais. 3. Tablet to the International Congress of Free Christians. 4. Poem by Mr. Chase read to Abdul Baha. 5. Story about Abraham's hospitality 17-25
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 5, 1913
1. World's conflict and its remedy. 2. The departure of a Zoroastrian Bahai for Bombay and Abdul Baha's Tablet about his Western trip. 3. Abdul Baha's inter- view with the Indian Editor 26-28
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 6, 1913
1. The Bahai heart is a cool fountain. 2. Another interview with the Indian Editor and Abdul Baha's talk on education. 3. The Bahai Cause in Paris and Tablets for the friends 28-31
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 7, 1913
1. Importance of correspondence between the friends. 2. Abdul Baha's talk on the enemies of the Cause. 3. Arrival of Haji Niaz, the old patriarch. 4. Tablet to the Editor of "The Christian Commonwealth" on "Uni- versal Peace" 31-37
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 8, 1913
1. What is the function of real religion? 2. Abdul Baha's perennial cordiality and courtesy. 3. The joy of serving Abdul Baha. 4. There is a power in this Cause. 5. Haji Niaz and the story of the king and Ayaz 37-41
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 9, 1913
1. Our life in Port Said. 2. The death of a Bahai child and the ceremony of her burial. 3. The Chris- tian and Mohammedan cemeteries. 4. Visiting Taki Menshadi's tomb in the cemetery. 5. Outline of Taki Menshadi's life and his services to the Bahai Cause. 6. Menshadi's epistolary style and his peculiarities. 7. How to conduct Bahai meetings and the importance of public speaking. 8. Tablet by Abdul Baha regarding delivery of eloquent speeches 41-48
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 10, 1913 Pages
1. Sayad Assadullah departs for Russia to spread the message. 2. Sayad Assadullah's talk with Abdul Baha and his glowing resolution. 3. Farewell to Sayad As- sadullah. 4. Abdul Baha's expectation to go to Ismailia. 5. Poems of Mr. Moxey read to Abdul Baha. 6. Abdul Baha speaks about the "Star of the West." 7. Talk on his tour to America 48-52
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 11, 1913 1. Abdul Baha's departure for Ismailia. 2. He praises American Bahais. 3. He tells the Persians about Fred Mortenson who traveled from Minneapolis to Green Acre in order to see him. 4. The absence of Abdul Baha is noticed everywhere. 5. Tablet on Abdul Baha's trip to America. 6. The Power of the Bahai Cause 52-55
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 12, 1913
1. Telephone message from Ismailia about Abdul Baha. 2. Mirza Mahmoud prepares three volumes on the tour of Abdul Baha throughout Europe and Amer- ica. 3. Translation of Tablet to the believers in Ker- man, Persia. 4. How to deliver Bahai public addresses. 5. How great movements have advanced. 6. About Abdul Baha's American tour to a Persian Bahai 56-59
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 13, 1913
1. Tablet of Abdul Baha on progress. 2. A Tablet by Abdul Baha on personal illumination and guiding others to the truth. 3. The day of the glorious bounties of the invisible beauty of the Kingdom of Abha. 4. Mrs. Stannard may go to India and teach the Bahai Cause 59-62
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 14, 1913
1. The French Day of Independence in Port Said. 2. Abdul Baha's life in Ismailia. 3. What constitutes everlasting fame 62-65
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 15, 1913 Pages
1. The message of Abdul Baha to the Unitarians. 2 Abdul Baha's conversation with Bishop Birch of New York City. 3. Some churches are free from preju- dices. 4. Abdul Baha expresses the desire to visit the shrine of his father in Acca. 5. Abdul Baha praises the faith of German Bahai's 65-70
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 16, 1913
1. The scope of Abdul Baha's talks in California. 2. The program of a day's activity in Port Said. 3. Per- mission comes to visit Abdul Baha in Ismailia. 4. What is real friendship ? 5. A prayer for the friends. 6. For me to be silent, for you to be singing 70-73
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 17, 1913
1. A prayer of illumination. 2. The dawn of the Sun of Reality. 3. People are heedless. 4. The duty of the followers of Truth. 5. Our journey to Ismailia. 6. Visit to Abdul Baha in the hotel room. 7. Forma- tion of habits. 8. Baha-Ullah's life in the prison bar- rack of Acca. 9. Abdul Baha's room in prison. 10. The fleas of Acca. 11. Abdul Baha leaves for Alex- andria. 12. Ismailia is a clean city 73-80
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 18, 1913
1. Abdul Baha's bust, made in Vienna, is sent to Port Said. 2. A Prayer for the success of the Bahais. 3. Prayer for illumination. 4. The Covenant is a lamp 80-84
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 19, 1913
1. Arrival of Abdul Baha in Ramleh. 2. The pres- ence of Abdul Baha holds the people together. 3. Brahma, Krishna and Buddha taught the oneness of God. 4. The law of change is universal. 5. In the Bahai Cause no one holds religious office, titles and ceremonies. 6. Who are the sanctified souls? 84-87
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 20, 1913
1. Who is Abdul Baha ? 2. A Catholic procession in the streets of Port Said. 3. First journey of the
Pages Persians to America. 4. Material and spiritual food. 5. Steam a marvelous energy. 6. Abdul Baha's wel- come in New York. 7. Interview with the newspaper- men on the steamer deck 88-92
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 21, 1913
1. There is no diary of Baha-Ullah's and Abdul Baha's words during the long years of incarceration. 2. Teaching the Cause is the most important of all services. 3. It is the day of action and happiness 92-95
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 22, 1913
1. The spiritual lesson drawn from the material progress of Port Said and the Suez Canal 96-97
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 23, 1913
1. Possible departure for Ramleh makes us happy. 2. Arrival of Mrs. Getsinger in Port Said. 3. Transla- tion of an interview between Abdul Baha and the re- porter of the "San Francisco Examiner" 97-104
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 24, 1913
1. Our departure from Ramleh. 2. Thinking over meeting Abdul Baha. 3. Scenes along the railroad. 4. Abdul Baha calls on us. 5. Real love attracts divine confirmations. 6. Teach the Cause through deeds 104-108
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 25, 1913
1. A call on Mirza Abul Fazl. 2. Alexandria is a progressive city. 3. Abdul Baha talks with the Per- sian followers. 4. Abul Fazl a great Bahai teacher 108-111
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 26, 1913
1. The fragrances of God and their marvelous re- sults. 2. Now is the time of the union of all the na- tions and religions. 3. In the Bahai revelation there is no limitation. 4. Become ye as kind fathers to the children of humanity. 5. Abdul Baha ready for the last call. 6. Letters and news from America. 7. Eloquent speeches must be delivered at public gatherings. 8.
Pages Persian American Educational Society. 9. Many Tab- lets dictated for believers. 10. Pray with an attracted heart 111-117
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 27, 1913
1. The effect of association with Abdul Baha. 2. Abdul Baha dictates Tablets for the Persians. 3. Tickets for Charity. 4. Importance of cleanliness in all things. 5. Description of a charity bazaar in Alex- andria 117-120
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 28, 1913
1. First one must teach himself, then others. 2. Her- alding the Kingdom of God in the cities of Europe and America. 3. While encircled by the whirlwind of ca- lamities, blossom ye like a rose. 4. Abdul Baha sacrific- ing his life in the path of Baha. 5. Abdul Baha tells of his early life. 6. Abdul Baha tells the Arabs about his Western trip 120-124
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 29, 1913
1. Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abha from Min- neapolis. 2. Modern hospital in Alexandria. 3. Abdul Baha takes the French Bahai doctor for a drive 124-127
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 30, 1913
1. The Cause of Baha-Ullah is the mainspring of Love and Peace. 2. Abdul Baha tells about his health and work. 3. Oriental Bahais anxious to receive the news. 4. Mirza Abul Fazl and his position in the Bahai Cause. 5. Mohammedan Mullahs and their hair- splitting metaphysical discussions 127-130
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 31, 1913
1. The progress of the Bahai Cause in the Orient 2. Al)dul Baha tells about Rasheed Pasha and his sys- tem of extortion. 3. The episode of Rasheed Pasha and Madame Jackson about Abdul Baha's Freedom. 4. The infinite patience of Abdul Baha in answering the trivial questions put to him 131-137
Pages RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 1, 1913
1. What can we do to spread the Bahai Cause? 2. The difficulties of Western journey have left their im- pressions upon Abdul Baha. 3. Now the importance of the station of the believers is unknown. 4. Service of the believers of God. 5. The Bahai meeting in Alex- andria. 6. Bahai detachment and independence. 7. Arrival of members of Abdul Baha's family 137-141
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 2, 1913
1. The "Greatest Holy Leaf," the daughter of Baha- Ullah. 2. Abdul Baha talks with two pilgrims. 3. This is the day of teaching. 4. Mr. Atwood, an Englishman. 5. Filial piety. 6. The future of Persia. 7. What Abdul Baha saw and did on his Western tour 141-145
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 3, 1913
1. Spiritual sustenance distributed in the morning. 2. Spiritual receptivity. 3. Abdul Baha sang a new song in every garden. 4. The Mohammedan month of fasting. 5. What is the real object of fast? 6. Abdul Baha writes to an Indian Prince 146-150
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 4, 1913
1. The blessings of the universal mind. 2. Abdul Baha and the family morning prayer. 3. Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi. 4. The Persians delight with the pictures in the American Magazines. 5. Universal homage paid to Abdul Baha. 6. Life during the month of Mohammedan fast. 7. How eager are the Bahais of Persia for martyrdom. 7. Abdul Baha confounds the Mullahs in the Mosque. 9. Story of Mullah Sadek, the fanatical Sheikh. 10. Abdul Baha's love-pat 150-157
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 5, 1913
1. Abdul Baha does not rest. 2. The significance of spiritual meetings. 3. The world is a farm and the people are farmers. 4. Spiritual guidance. 5. Be seekers of Truth. 6. Divine confirmations. 7. Self- ish people are tied with iron bands. 8. How Abdul
Pages Baha built a bath for Baha-Ullah. 9. Spiritual hu- mility and the story of the king and the Arab. 10. Ab- dul Baha's generosity 157-163
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 6, 1913
1. God’s favors measureless. 2. Spiritual relation- ship. 3. A walk through the streets and the radiance of the star of hope 163-165
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 7, 1913
1. The beauty and charm of the palaces of Ramleh. 2. The Egyptian Pashas are proud of Abdul Baha and his philosophy of religion. 3. A call from Abdul Baha and his encouragement 165-168
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 8, 1913
1. A practical lesson in cleanliness. 2. The story of the Dervish and his resignation. 3. Abdul Baha amid the roses. 4. Abdul Baha raises the Call of the King- dom 168-171
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 9, 1913
1. The Bounties of God. 2. A Tablet for the be- lievers of Esphahan, Persia. 3. Contrast between Ori- ental and Occidental houses. 4. Abdul Baha gives money to the poor 171-175
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 10, 1913
1. How Abdul Baha dictates Tablets to his friends in all parts of the world. 2. Abdul Baha speaks on The- osopny 175-177
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 11, 1913
1. The spread of the Bahai Cause similar to the spreading of early Christianity. 2. Abdul Baha's Tab- lets are the never-fading roses of the Kingdom of Abha. 3. The most great sin is back-biting 177-181
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 12, 1913
l. The Bahais must start a forward movement of
Pages teaching. 2. Mrs. Getsinger and her forthcoming trip to India. 3. Abdul Baha praises German Bahais in Tablet 181-183
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 13, 1913
1. The story of the man who made it appear that he was a Bahai in 1830, while the movement began in 1844. 2. The story of the fifteen robbers in Bagdad. 3. Abdul Baha talks about helping the poor and the needy. 4. The story of the Mohammedan Mullah and the questioner. 5. Arrival of a new pilgrim. 6 With Abdul Baha in the Rose-garden 183-188
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 14, 1913
1. Bahai schools in Kashan and Teheran and their examinations. 2. The Orient-Occident Unity. 3. Talk of Abdul Baha to the writer. 4. Abdul Baha praises Mrs. Goodall and Mrs. Getsinger. 5. Difference be- tween Abdul Baha and others. 6. Abdul Baha and three roses 188-193
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 15, 1913
1. How are you to-day? 2. Talk on religion and atheism by an illiterate Bahai. 3. Abdul Baha sends his secretaries to Nouzha Park. 4. Attending a Bahai meet- ing with new pilgrims. 5. Abdul Baha and the Khe- dive of Egypt. 6. A sweet Tablet to the little darling Mona 193-196
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 16, 1913
1. Abdul Baha writes to a Hindu Bahai. 2. El- Yahou arrives from Cairo. 3. Abdul Baha dictates Tablets in the garden. 4. Walks and Bahai reminis- cences. 5. Abdul Baha gives Persian names to two German and Austrian Bahais traveling in Persia. 6. The believers must summon the people to the King- dom. 7. Acquire complete concentration 197-200
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 17, 1913
1. Abdul Baha and the Khedive of Egypt. 2. A traveling companion for Mrs. Getsinger in her ap-
Pages proaching visit to India. 3. Story of the French Am- bassador and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Af- fairs about Christ's resurrection. 4. The principle upon which Abdul Baha's journey was based. 5. America cannot be compared to Europe 200-204
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 18, 1913
1. Abdul Baha and his attitude toward humanity. 2. Abdul Baha and Abul Hoda, a favorite of the Sul- tan 204-206
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 19, 1913
1. The coming of Isabel Fraser to Egypt. 2. Abdul Baha attends to his mail. 3. Thou must be firm and unshakable in thy purpose. 4. Abdul Baha and his talk with Miss Hiscock 206-210
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 20, 1913
1. Strange customs in different countries are not tokens of the inferiority of the people. 2. On Divine Guidance from a Tablet of Abdul Baha. 3. Lack of trustworthiness. 4. Persecutions in the path of God. 5. Teaching the Cause. 6. Faithfulness at the Holy Threshold. 7. Arrival of a new pilgrim. 8. Abdul Baha's photograph in Constantinople. 9. Abdul Baha talks on his meeting and conversation with a Persian general in Paris 210-215
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 21, 1913
1. The qualities of the members of the Spiritual As- semble 215-217
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 22, 1913
1. Story of the woodcutter and his wife. 2. Story of the sinner and the Mullah. 3. Story of the Bak- tashi and his strange death amidst the laughter of his friends. 4. Abdul Baha goes to Mosque and gives money to the poor 217-222
Pages RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 23, 1913
1. The Bahais must embody their teachings in their lives. 2. The story of the man who did not know the window in his own room. 3. No power on earth can withstand the Cause of God. 222-226
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 24, 1913
1. How Tablets to the American friends are spread all over Persia. 2. An eloquent Tablet to Mr. William Hoar of New York. 3. The minute questions asked of Abdul Baha. 4. Abdul Baha jokes and beats his secretary. 5. Abdul Baha says that if people wish to sneeze they ask him about it. 6. A talk by Abdul Baha on creation. 7. Explanation on free will. 8. Ab- dul Baha talks to Sheiks and young Egyptians on his trip to the West 226-234
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 25, 1913
1. International Bahai correspondence conducive to unity. 2. The weather in Ramleh. 3. Receipt of Bahai reports from America. 4. The story of Foad Pasha, the Grand Vizir of Turkey. 5. Gaemmagam, the Persian statesman. 6. The story of the sick soldier and the watchman 234-240
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 26, 1913
1. The Bahais must raise a new voice. 2. The article .of Arthur Brisbane on "Science" translated and pub- lished in Arabic daily and discussed by students. 3. This world is dark, it must be changed into a universe of light. 4. Attraction is not realized save through teaching the Cause of God. 5. Confer upon everyone spiritual joy. 6. A poetic tablet like a bouquet of fra- grant flowers 240-244
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 27, 1913
1. This is the seed-sowing time. 2. This is the day in which to lay the foundation of the house. 3. All efforts must be centralized around the spreading of the
Pages Cause. 4. Hope for the union of the East and the West 244-248
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 28, 1913
1. The life of the East and the West, and of how the Bahai movement unites them. 2. Abdul Baha writes on the future condition of women 248-251
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 29, 1913
1. The college life and its expected results. 2. A talk by an old Bahai on the sins of backbiting. 3. Per- mission given to Persian Bahai students to come to Ramleh. 4. Abdul Baha praises Mrs. Besant, Presi- dent of the Theosophical Society 251-255
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 30, 1913
1. Spread of the Bahai Cause in the interior of Turkey. 2. Let the American friends wait. 3. Story of how a Bahai feast was given in Bagdad. 4. Abdul Baha writes on nineteen day feasts. 5. The Moham- medan month of fasting comes to an end 255-258
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 31, 1913
1. The story of the blind mall and the serpent 258-261
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 1, 1913
1. The watermelons of Acca. 2. Abdul Baha and the story of the policeman of Ramleh. 3. Abdul Baha talks on the power of imagination. 4. Oriental Bahais portray natural spirituality 262-265
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 2, 1913
1. Moving picture theaters in Egypt. 2. The feast of Ramadan and its spirit of joy. 3. Talk on education and the story of the selfish mother. 4. Story of the theologian and the sea captain. 5. Story Of a meta- physician and the correction Of his book by a teacher. 6. Study of science and true religion must be combined 265-270
Pages RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 3, 1913
1. Persian Bahai students of the American college arrive. 2. Persian students in Paris and London. 3. Abdul Baha tells the students how to study. 4. The students read Abdul Baha's talks in America. 5. Abdul Baha calls on the Persian Consul 270-274
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 4, 1913
1. The story of the royal bird of Gedam. 2. Purity and chastity are foundations of spiritual life. 3. The brother of the Khedive calls on Abdul Baha. 4. Ameri- can ice cream for the students; their visit to the national park. 5. Their love for the Bahai Cause 274-278
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 5, 1913
1. Who is Abdul Baha and what is he doing? 2. The Persian students and prayers. 3. The story of a man who was hired to build a wall around the garden. 4. In the Cause of Brotherhood there are no titles. 5. Ab- dul Baha inquires from the Persian students about their teachers. 6. People are not awake to the danger of war. 7. Abdul Baha dictates Tablets for the Ameri- can Bahais. 8. Program of a national or religious feast. 9. Driving around with Abdul Baha 278-284
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 6, 1913
1. The American Bahais must make great efforts in teaching the Cause of Peace. 2. Prof. Armenius Vam- bery's letter to Abdul Baha. 3. The Persian students meet Mrs. Getsinger. 4. Abdul Baha speaks to them on the Power of unity 284-287
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 7, 1913
1. The story of the mythical republic and a curious way of electing a president. 2. Abdul Baha spends a busy day 287-291
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 8, 1913
1. The Arab Bahais give a feast to the Persian stu- dents. 2. How an Arab became a Bahai. 3. Importance
Pages of agriculture. 4. A prayer for the illumination of mankind. 5. The object of the coming of Baha- Ullah 291-295
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 9, 1913
1. A bird's-eye view of the general conditions of the world. 2. The spread of the Bahai Cause in Ger- many makes Abdul Baha happy. 3. Photographs re- ceived from America and Germany distributed among Persian Bahais. 4. The silence of Abdul Baha is elo- quent 295-299
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 10, 1913
1. Good news received from America and Europe. 2. A few Arabian proverbs. 3. A prayer by Abdul Baha for detachment 299-302
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 11, 1913
1. How the Persian students lived together. Q. An important Tablet revealed by Abdul Baha for China 302-307
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 12, 1913
1. Departure of the Persian students. 2. Russian Count meets Abdul Baha and talks on the two aspects of reincarnation. 3. Strive that love may increase day by day. 4. Tablet of Abdul Baha to the author of "Modern Social Religion." 5. Pure intention is the magnet of heavenly assistance. 6. "Strive to quicken the dead souls." 307-311
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 13, 1913
1. From Ramleh the mysterious power of God is silently quickening the world. 2. Story of the German Consul in Haifa and how he became the victim of "Bravo." 3. Abdul Baha dictates many Tablets for Russia 311-314
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 14, 1913
1. The law of Universal Love and the Bahais. 2. Tablets for German Bahais 314-316
Pages RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 15, 1913
1. A busy day for Abdul Baha. 2. The story of the king and the thorn picker 317-321
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 16, 1913
1. Arrival. of pilgrims and other incidents. 2. Trans- lation of a Tablet giving the keynote of the Bahai movement. 3. Give hearing to the deaf, sight to the blind and speech to the dumb .321-324
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 17, 1913
1. The spiritual palace of International Brother- hood is being built by the peacemakers. 2. "Chris- tian Commonwealth" and Bahai articles. 3. Tablet to the Editor of the "Christian Commonwealth." 4. The sojourn in Ramleh has been fruitful 324-327
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 18, 1913
1. Abdul Baha writes to the believers in Russia. 2. In the Bahai Cause there are no salaried teachers. 3. Wit is the salt of conversation. 4. The second party of the Bahai students arrive. 5. Mrs. Fraser arrives from America. 6. Mrs. Fraser is welcomed at the station by Shoghi Effendi 327-330
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 19, 1913
1. The American Bahais will be going to India. 2. The importance of the art of translation. 3. The past glory of Persia and her future opportunity. 4. The Bahai students meet Mrs. Getsinger and Mrs. Fraser in the home of Abdu. Baha 5. Bahai meeting for the Americans. 6. Abdul Baha amid a profusion of thou- sands of roses. 7. Description of the garden of Baha- Ullah in Teheran. 8. A single rose in the garden of Constantinople 330-336
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 20, 1913
1. Thoughts on the Mediterranean shore. 2. Abdul Baha talks to Mrs. Fraser and Mrs. Getsinger about
Pages their trip to India. 3. Mr. Hooper Harris and Harlan Ober's journey to India 336-338
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 21, 1913
1. The story of the king and his search for the foun- tain of life. 2. The simplicity of life and how the Arabs live in the desert. 3. Abdul Baha talks with Mrs. Fraser 338-344
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 22, 1913
1. Abdul Baha's spiritual moods. 2. Dr. Getsinger's arrival in Alexandria. 3. Tablet from Abdul Baha to Bahais in Leipzig, Germany. 4. Another Tablet to a German Bahai asking him to teach 344-347
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 23, 1913
1. Speeches to be delivered at public meetings. 2. History of the life of Armenius Vambery 347-351
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 24, 1913
1. A Persian Bahai student delivers a lecture in Eng- lish. 2. Abdul Baha wishes the Bahai students to take postgraduate courses. 3. The mission of the Bahai Cause is universal, not local 351-355
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 25, 1913
1. An Analysis of the Letters of Unity by a Persian student. 2. Story of the stork, fish and prawn. 3. Let- ters received from and tablets written to different parts of the world 355-357
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 26, 1913
1. Ishkabad, Russia, an important center of the Bahai Movement. 2. Tablets for the Bahais of Ishkabad 357-361
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 27, 1913
1. Tablet in handwriting of Baha-Ullah. 2. Prayer for spiritual strength by Baha-Ullah. 3. Someone must arise to write the life history of Baha-Ullah. 4. Pil- grims arrive from India, Persia and Russia. 5. Abdul
Pages Baha urges the students to practice public speaking on all subjects 361-364
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 28, 1913
1. Farewell words to the students. 2. I desire that thou mayst be filled with Baha-Ullah. 3. Mrs. Stan- nard an earnest Bahai. 4. An address delivered to the students 364-369
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 29, 1913
1. The Persian Bahais are anxious to know all about the Western Bahais. 2. "Mahmal" or the Holy Carpet. 3. Abdul Baha speaks to the students before their de- parture for College. 4. Mirza Jalal and wife arrive from London. 5. All the pilgrims are gone and the house seems deserted 370-372
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 30, 1913
1. The procession of Mahmal in Alexandria. 2. Mah- mal, a great annual event. 3. Koran verses woven in Mahmal. 4. Mahmal or Carpet, is a sacred object. 5. People from all over Egypt come to visit and touch the Mahmal. 6. How Mahmal was originated. 7. Many Mahmals mentioned in history. 8. Hardships of Baha- Ullah to become the cause of the awakening of the people 373-379
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER, 1913
1. What it means to be with Abdul Baha. 2. The students consist of a large delegation. 3. The students sing Mrs. Shahnaz Waite's anthems. 4. Happiness and tranquillity of heart. 5. Lasting enjoyment is for the moral man. 6. The meaning of Faith. 7. The basic principle of the good-pleasure of God. 8. The success- ful student. 9. Light and Knowledge. 10. Letter to the students from the President of College. 11. The Bahai Cause as interpreted by Abdul Baha 379-390
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 1, 1913.
1. To look back and survey the activities of the month. 2. The Bahai path and its pilgrims. 3. Tablet of Abdul Baha to the "Theosophy" in Scotland in regard to Divine Civilization. 4. Article in "Egyptian Gazette" about the Bahai pilgrims. 5. Home of Baha-Ullah in Bagdad and its keeper. 6. Abdul Baha's talk to the pilgrims on the evidences of the Cause. 7. Experiences of a pilgrim and how he was robbed on the way.
1. To Look Back and survey the Activities of the Month
I believe it would be a good practice if, on the first of every month, we would survey the collective activities of the days just past, to see whether we have accomplished anything either beneficial or harmful to our fellow men; if we find the former, we should make these actions step- ping-stones for greater things; if the latter, we should try to turn into the right pathway. For those who have just accepted the Bahai Revelation there is nothing more use- ful than retrospection. In this day the Highway of the Lord of Mankind is plain. Many of the past obstacles are removed, and the hollow places and marshy grounds are filled. If we start walking in His path we shall surely reach our destination, behold the Countenance of the Be- loved, receive His benediction and ever afterward com- mune with the Holy Ones.
2. The Bahai Path and Its Pilgrims
The Bahai path is one which leads us to the Kingdom of Eternity. God has illumined it with the Light of His 1
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
face. Hundreds and thousands are joining those who have begun their pilgrimage upon the Highway of Abha. As they go along they raise their clarion voices in thank- fulness and praise. They sing the songs of Peace and Spiritual brotherhood. They know that theirs is the victory of attainment. What a happy band of pilgrims they are! Their faith is superhuman, their energy ex- traordinary, their faces illumined, their feet untiring, their conviction contagious, their love unselfish, their hope transcendent, their sincerity unquestioned, their integrity unimpeachable and their devotion to the Cause attested! My friends ! let us join this holy band of pilgrims!
Last night Abdul Baha told me to come to him in the morning with a number of petitions just received; so I was there quite early. While He was dictating Tablets he carried on different lines of conversations with a stream of callers and pilgrims. Tablets were revealed for a large number of friends in Europe and America, and a wonderful article for the "Theosophy" of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Editor of which is Mr. Graham Pole.
3. Tablet of Adul Baha to the "Theosophy" in Scotland
in Regard to Divine Civilization and Man's Illumination
"TO THE SECRETARY OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY AND THE EDITOR OF ‘SCOTLAND THEOSOPHY,' EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
"He is God!
O THOU BELOVED AND RESPECTED FRIEND:---
"Your letter written to Aga Mirza Ahmad was re- ceived. I likewise read it. Its contents imparted hap- piness, for it was an indication of the magnanimity of your effort and of your philanthropic intention. The
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Articles which you have published in the Theosophical magazine bear testimony to your lofty aim.
"A wise and sagacious writer pens such articles--the results of which are eternal, and its benefits universal; thus the world of humanity may advance toward the king- dom of Mercifulness and divine susceptibilities may shine and gleam like unto radiant lamps from the reality of man.
"To-day humanity is in need of heavenly teachings, which are the spirit of this age and the light of this cycle. Material, physical civilization has made extraordi- nary progress, but Divine Civilization is totally forgotten. In truth, Divine Civilization is like unto the light, whereas material civilization is similar to the glass. The glass without the light will be dark.
"Therefore, great effort must be made so that the heavenly lamp may become ignited, the world of morality illumined and the inexhaustible virtues which are the deco- rations of the reality of mankind revealed as glowing stars.
"The world of nature is the arena of the animal king- dom. Look thou upon any one of the animals and thou will realize that the virtues of the world of nature are fully manifest in it with the utmost perfection--to an ex- tent that it would be impossible for man to attain. Con- sider thou a sweet singing bird, beautiful and harmonious, that builds its nest on the topmost branch of a tree growing on the slope of a mountain! In reality this nest is preferable to the palace of the king. The weather is of the utmost delicacy, the panorama indeed entrancing, the water most salubrious, the mountains green and verd- ant, and the harvest in the valley and on the plain is the wealth of the bird! It has no trouble, no hardship, no thought, no scheme, no sorrow, no grief, no remorse and no regret. Day and night this bird lives with the utmost
4 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
joy and happiness in its own royal nest! It becomes evident that the virtues of the world of nature are most complete in the animal kingdom.
"But look at the condition of the poor man ! Now he is exiled, again he is sick, then helpless or perhaps a prisoner, now he is afflicted with poverty and penury, and then thrown amid dangers. Day and night he is striving, so that he may gain his livelihood through toil and turmoil. With your own reason compare the differ- ence between the life of man and that of the animal! These things demonstrate that the virtues of the world of nature are more apparent in the animal kingdom.
"On the other hand, although man does not seem to enjoy a complete share or inexhaustible portion of these natural bounties, he is, in the Divine World, the center of infinite Bestowals, the lamp of the light of Reality, the shining mirror of the Beauty of God, the manifestor of human perfection, the dawning place of celestial rays and the possessor of the "holy power" which pen- etrates into and surrounds the essence of all phenomena.
"Man discovers the reality of things, and governing the world of nature, brings its secrets out of the world of the invisible into the realm of existence. Now, like a bird, he soars through the air and again he swims on the surface of the ocean; he travels hither and thither, then dives under the sea with great power. Thus he causes the revelation of all the laws of nature out of the unseen into the seen realm.
"For this reason, he is endowed with a higher power to make use of this knowledge to benefit the world and stimu-late its progress. This "power" is reserved for man, and by it he is distinguished from the animal.
"Inasmuch as man is endowed with such a power, he must become the manifestation of divine civilization, the dawning-place of the light of reality, the founder of
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 5
heavenly perfections, the spreader of spiritual teachings and the servant of the world of morality. He must re- joice the spirits through the Divine Glad-tidings, free them from discouragement and grant them the hope of Everlasting life.
"This is the excellence and glory of the human world! This is the Everlasting Prosperity.
( Signed) "ABDUL BAHA ABBAS"
4. Article in the "Egyptian Gazette" about Bahai Pilgrims
An article published in the Egyptian Gazette, dated ,Friday, June 27th, on page three, entitled:---
"ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT. WONDERFUL SCENES IN PORT SAID. EASTERN BAHAIS ASSEMBLED IN FORCE."
The description of the Persian believers "who are curiously dressed in great lambskin hats and long divided skirts with enormous pleats" was specially graphic. Here is a quotation giving another sidelight of the manner in which these "Converts" lived:--
"At Port Said the pilgrims have erected a huge tent on the roof of a native hotel and there they gather and sing with touching devotion."
5. Home of Baha~Ullah and Its Keeper
Mirza Nourallah Vakil is an old believer from Bagdad. He has been in Haifa and Alexandria for ten months awaiting the arrival of the Beloved. He is a patient, true Bahai, ever ready to fulfill the desire of the Lord. He is the keeper of the House in which Baha-Ullah and his
6 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
family lived for eleven years. This house, owing to lack of attention, has fallen into ruin, and for the present there are no means at hand to either rebuild or to repair it. In speaking with him upon this matter he said that with a sum of 500 pounds sterling the house could be suitably repaired. The above answer was given through my own solicitation; but I believe it would cost at least 1,000 pounds sterling to reconstruct the house upon its old plan without any architectural innovation, thus keeping the original form of the time of Baha-Ullah. Abdul Baha spoke to Mirza Nourallah and to a number of Bahais from Bagdad. He made it plain that he has great love for the believers of Bagdad, and that they are ever in his heart. Let them not be sad owing to the present ruin of the house. The time for its building will come very soon. It may have to be destroyed and rebuilt but its first form must not undergo any change. Let them rest assured that it will be constructed most solidly. This is a Blessed House; do they not realize it was the home of Baha- Ullah? All that quarter in which the House is situated will be destroyed and then transformed into wonderful Parks and gardens. It will become most heavenly. The Holy Sepulcher of Christ was for three hundred years a place for dumping all kinds of rubbish, then St. Helena came, cleared the ground and built over it a most wonder- ful church. However, these times are different, and the Places wherein the Blessed Perfection has lived will be fully preserved.
To-day two pilgrims arrived, Mirza Fazlollah, the son of the oldest brother of Baha-Ullah from Persia, and a young Bahai from Damascus.
Upon hearing of the arrival of the son of his uncle, Abdul Baha called him into his presence and showered much love upon him. I was not there to witness the scene and to hear his words. but Ali Akbar told me that the
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 7
Master spoke about his childhood days. Things that I should like to have heard.
6. Abdul Baha's Talk to the Pilgrims on the Evidences of the Cause
In the afternoon we were all invited to the Master's house for tea. We waited a few moments downstairs, and as soon as we heard his footsteps everybody arose. He sat on a chair in front of the window and spoke feelingly.
He stated that the majority of the inhabitants of Persia are yet asleep, although God has demonstrated His Cause to them in so many ways . . . If this Cause had ap- peared in Europe or America, those regions would by this time have become illumined and countless souls awakened. So many were martyred in Persia, so much blood has been spilt! If one of these events had transpired in an- other country, the effect would have been marvelous! Nevertheless there were many people in Persia who be- came illumined and celestial, and cried out in order to awaken their fellow men! . . . An infinite number of these believers of God have been examples of severance, incarnations of devotion, and flaming candles; they have embodied in the world of humanity the Teachings of God, and have become demonstrations, showing how man could be pure, sanctified, attracted, enkindled and honest! The evidences of God they wrote with their own blood upon the earth.
Then he went out to take a walk, telling us to follow him. As the "Greatest Holy Leaf" (Abdul Baha's sis- ter) will arrive from Haifa to be with the Master, and as the present house is small and rather unfurnished, another apartment consisting of four rooms and a kitchen is rented for us. "Us" means Mirza Mahmoud, Sayad
8ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Assad-Ullah, Mirza Moneer and Ahmad Sohrab. The Master therefore walked to this apartment to see if it was ready. On the way he told us two stories of his child- hood, one about the Mohammedan clergy and the "big paradise," another about a bare-headed Mullah before a large crowd of people, the sudden shower of hail upon his head and his precipitated flight.
7. Experiences of a Pilgrim and How He was Robbed on the Way
Coming out of the apartment Abdul Baha ordered a carriage and with Mirza Fazlollah they were driven away. We returned to the hotel and had an interesting conversa- tion with a young Bahai from Damascus. Having been in Teheran during the Parliamentary period, he gave us a thrilling account of the victory of the Nationalist Cause, and of his journey from Teheran toward Shiraz, and how a large Caravan which included himself was attacked and robbed. He and his friend had to walk six days through mountains and uninhabited places, bedraggled and with large blisters on the soles of their feet before they reached their destination. Although he had suffered much, yet he was very cheerful and happy because to-day he was privileged to look upon the face of Abdul Baha---the lover of humanity. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 2, 1913.
1. Talk of Abdul Baha on Spiritual Cultivation and teaching. 2. Departure of the pilgrims and remarks of Abdul Baha on music. 3. Quiet association with Abdul Baha. 4. Progress of the Bahai Cause in Germany and letters from that country. 5. Appearance of Truth.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 9
1. Talk of Abdul Baha on Spiritual Cultivation and Teaching
Toward the end of a wonderful talk given this after- noon to the Persian Pilgrims, Abdul Baha stated that it was not his duty to command particular persons to teach the Cause. Whosoever arises to spread the Word and to perform this service, will behold the Doors of Confirma- tion open wide before his face. This is the time for teaching and therefore results will be achieved. In every season a particular service will be productive. If, during the seed-sowing time we want to gather the harvest we shall be unsuccessful, if at the period of irrigation we desire to do something else, failure will be the result. Now this is the divine season of seed-sowing. Every Bahai must become a heavenly Cultivator, or at the ap- pointed hour the prayers of all the past and future ages, will yield no fruit. In his long trip throughout Europe and America Abdul Baha's primal object was to show the friends of God by deeds that now is the hour for teach- ing the Cause. Although Acca and Haifa are the head- quarters of this movement and he had many reasons to stay there, and from that center administer the affairs of the Cause, yet, he left everything and traveled through- out the earth to herald the coming of the Kingdom of Abha. Any person desiring to be surrounded by the Confirmations of the Blessed Perfection, must arise and teach the Cause. This is the path.
2. Departure of the Pilgrims, and Remarks of Abdul Baha on Music
Seven more pilgrims left for Haifa and Alexandria. Except one Zoroastrian who will depart for Bombay on the 5th, no one is left of the large number of
10ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
pilgrims. To-day two fine young Bahai students ar- rived from Beirut. They are the advance guard of the rest of the students who will be here soon. These two are very polite and speak English fluently. One of them is the son of Mohammad Taki Esphahani of Cairo---his name is Abdul Hossein. He has a fine voice and chants the Bahai Communes most effectively. He chanted to- night for the Beloved who was very pleased with him.
Abdul Baha wishes the believers to cultivate their voices so that they may sing the Bahai songs and chant with effect the Prayers of the Blessed Perfection; for Prayer is the food of the spirit.
3. Quiet Association with Abdul Baha
In the evening, at the end of a long walk, the Master came to our hotel. He walked down the veranda where I was sitting alone, opened the door and entered one of the rooms. Little by little the friends gathered around him. Down in the street a motley crowd of Arabs were passing along; above our heads, the stars shone with ut- most brilliancy, while at our left the Mediterranean lay smiling. We were all very happy in the Presence of the Master of Illumination. In the darkness his face irradi- ated like an orb of li~ht, and his tongue uttered such words of guidance and truth as the "Man of Sorrows" spoke 1900 years ago on Mount Olivet.
4. Progress of the Bahai Cause in Germany and Letters from That Country
In the morning we drank tea in Abdul Baha's presence. He sent for us very early. It seemed that he had slept last night in Ahmad Yazdi's apartment, so we all went there. After our arrival he spoke about the progress of
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 11
the Cause in Germany. He had some letters from Mirza Ali Akbar and Mirza Lotfollah Hakim giving the de- scription of the meetings in Stuttgart during their one week's stay there. He read the former aloud, and gave me the latter to read to the friends.
There were also letters from the German friends and these he gave me to translate and send to the Star of the West, for publication, which was done on the same day. Then he spoke very enthusiastically about the German believers, their firmness, and their devotion. For more than one hour he talked about Baha-Ullah and about the enemies of the Cause, who had at every turn tried to stop its influence, but who had all failed. And he also related several historical incidents of the early days of Bagdad.
5. Appearance of Truth
In concluding his remarks he told us that along with the appearance of Truth, the point of opposition raises its head. The former gains signal victory, the other goes into crushing defeat; the first upraises the standard of guidance, the other unfurls the banner of error; one is divine revelation, another is satanic suggestion; the first leads us into the paradise of Peace, the second hurls us headlong into the hell of war. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 3, 1913.
1. The Bahai Cause is in need of earnest workers who will defy all opposition. 2. Life in Port Said and fleas, but no mosquitoes. 3. Hossein Rouhy and his Bahai School in Cairo. 4. Palace of Baha-Ullah in Nur, Per- sia. 5. Talk of Abdul Baha on his and Baha-Ullah's imprisonment in the prison of Acca, and on real happi-
12 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
ness. 6. Remarks on the war waged between Greece and Bulgaria. 7. Story about Baha-Ullah's shepherd. 8. A joke with Hossein Rouhy.
1. The Bahai Cause Is in Need of Earnest Workers Who Will Defy All Opposition
We are living in the days in which the Spirit of the Lord is manifest, and the rays of the Sun of Reality evident. The divine Jerusalem has descended from heaven and the Glorious Glad-tidings are proclaimed. We must fashion our lives according to the heavenly teachings, live in a state of internal contentment, peruse the Holy Writings and practise that which will be conducive to our own and to the world's prosperity. The Bahai Cause is much in need of real, earnest workers—workers who will defy all opposition, meeting their antagonists with smiling faces and standing as firm rocks before the blow- ing of the winds of tests and of the storms of trials. How many old trees are uprooted by one wind and how many ships have been wrecked by one storm! There are many lands athirst for the water of life, let the friends of God irrigate them with vernal showers from the King- dom of Abha. There are many persons hungry for the heavenly bread, we must invite them to the Banquet of the Lord. The lethargic must become active, the sleepy awakened; the deprived must receive a share of the in- exhaustible Favors, and the sweet music of the Supreme Concourse must be heard. We should be up and doing some kind of service no matter how slight it is. Praise be to God that the orb of the Center of Covenant is shin- ing and that His Mercy is all-encompassing. He is teach- ing and gently and lovingly guiding us in the Right Path. We all desire to serve him in some way and win his good pleasure by sincerely walking in his footsteps; we
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 13
hope to become the signs of his compassion and the hum- ble followers of his eternal law!
2. Life in Port Said, and Fleas, But No Mosquitoes
All this morning and part of the afternoon we were left to ourselves. The Master was busy in other directions and could not call us to his presence. Meanwhile we found time to pack our trunks and move from the hotel into our new apartment. It is unfurnished but as we do not know how long we will stay in Port Said, it is not necessary to purchase many things. I have one large black kitchen table on which I do my writing, a chair and a bed. The apartment is airy and has a won- derful side view of the Mediterranean. It is in the Arab quarter and rented for nine dollars a month. Port Said is famous for its fleas. They bother us to death all night. Those who have mosquito nets escape the attacks of the fleas and sleep comfortably, but I happen not to have any and have to carry on an offensive and defensive war with the swarming army. Several years ago when I lived here, there were many mosquitoes--not as bad as New Jersey ones--but quite ferocious. However, the Egyptian Government organized a Sanitary Commission who un- dertook the filling of the marshy grounds and thus ex- terminated the breeding of mosquitoes. During the spring and summer there is not a drop of rain. All that we see is an occasional patch of cloud aimlessly rambling in the sky. Our apartment being very near the Mediterranean, we enjoy a fresh, vitalizing breeze all the time, especially in the evenings. Many people sleep on the roofs which are flat and paved like the floor of a room.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
3. Hossein Rouhy and His Bahai School in Cairo
About 5 o'clock Khosro, Abdul Baha's attendant, brought the good news that we were called by the Master to the new house. The believers with others just arrived from Cairo, were already assembled when we entered. Hossein Rouhy who years ago was in America with Kho- rassani, was present with his three sons. He is a short man and knows English and Arabic very well. He keeps a private school in Egypt, the pupils numbering about a hundred and sixty children; the majority being orphans. The school is named "Abbas" and the master's photo- graph is hung in a prominent place in every classroom. Hossein Rouhy is an active young man, and I believe that he is doing much good.
4. Palace of Baha-Ullah in Nur, Persia
The Master had asked Mirza Fazlollah—the son of his great uncle—to draw the design of the house of Baha- Ullah in Nur. Therefore, he, with the assistance of Mirza Ali Akbar, was busy all day making this plan which was completed this afternoon. It must have been a palatial residence according to the architectural conception of the East. The Master, holding the various papers in his hands, described the different parts of the house as though he had left it yesterday. Then with his matchless power, he contrasted this palace of luxury and worldly comfort with the barren and ruined barrack of Acca.
5. Talk of Abdul Baha on His and Baha-Ullah's Imprisonment in the Prison of Acca, and on Real Happiness
Abdul Baha spoke on happiness, saying that the soul of man must be happy, no matter where he is. He must
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 15
attain to that condition of inward beatitude and peace, where outward circumstances can not alter his spiritual calm and joyousness. No one can imagine a worse place than the barracks of Acca. The climate was bad, the water no better, the surroundings filthy and dirty, and the de- portment of the officials unbearable, while he and his family were looked upon as enemies of religion and de- stroyers of morals. The Government had given orders that no one should address them during their stay in Acca and that tlley should not be allowed to converse with each other.
Upon their arrival, the officials found that there were not enough rooms in the barracks to imprison them sepa- rately, so all were put into two bare rooms. The court had a most gloomy aspect. It contained three or four fig trees, in the branches of which several ominous owls screeched all nigllt. Everyone became ill and there were neither provisions nor medicines.
At the entrance to the barrack there was an under- taker's room. It was a horrible looking place, yet Abdul Baha lived there for two years with the utmost happi- ness. Up to that period he had had no opportunity to read the Koran from cover to cover, but here he found ample time and used to study this Holy Book with fervor and enthusiasm, going over the incidents and events of the lives of former prophets and finding how parallel they were with the events of these latter days. Thus he was consoled and encouraged. He would read, for instance, the following verse:
"How thoughtless are the people ! Whenever a prophet is sent unto them they either ridicule him or per- secute him."
And then he read this verse:
16ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
"Verily our host is victorious over them."
He was very happy, because he was a free man. Shut off in that room his spirit traveled throughout the im- mensity of space. At night he went up on the roof and communed with the countless brilliant stars. What a divine feast ! What a heavenly procession ! What spiritual freedom ! What beatific bliss ! What celestial Sovereignty!
6. Remarks on War Waged between Greece and Bulgaria
Then he spoke in detail about the present war between Greece and Bulgaria, and the utter folly of shedding the blood of innocent people. There is no benefit in this human butchery, this spoilation, this destruction! Man- kind must learn the lesson of Peace; they must be in- structed in the school of love. What is this insanity? What is this fratricide? What is this ruthlessness? Away with the nightmare of war! Banish the thought of strife and sedition! Are we not brothers? Are we not the sheep of one shepherd? How long shall this blindness continue; how long this military lunacy? Then he spoke about the restlessness of kings and rulers and gave us the instance of one Mohammedan Kaliph who, although he had many countries under his dominion, yet could not be happy.
Divine happiness, he said, is obtained through servi- tude at the Threshold of God, through evanescence, de- tachment, sincerity and severance from all else save Him.
7. Story about Baha,Ullah's Shepherd
Before he left us he recalled to his mind the name of the head-shepherd of Baha-Ullah and related many stor- ies about him. He asked Mirza Fazlollah whether he were
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 17
still alive and received the answer: "He is dead, but his daughter is living."
One day this head-shepherd came to the Blessed Per- fection and said: "My Lord! I have one piece of advice to give unto you."
"What is it?" Baha-Ullah asked.
"Never trust the Ulemas."
Baha-Ullah loved this man because of his simplicity and faithfulness. We were then given permission to retire.
8. A Joke with Hossein Rouhy
Abdul Baha asked Hossein Rouhy how many pupils he had in his school. "One hundred and sixty." Abdul Baha said laughingly that Hossein Rouhy was rich and that his hands were certainly full! He himself did not have one pupil. Could Hossein Rouhy find some students for Abdul Baha? _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 4, 1913.
1. Story of the old Haji Abdullah and his conversation with Abdul Baha. 2. Abdul Baha dictates Tablets for many Bahais. 3. Tablet to the International Congress of Free Christians and other religious liberals held in Paris. 4. Poem by Mr. Thornton Chase read to Abdul Baha. 5. Story about Abraham's hospitality.
1. Story of Haji Abdullah and His Conversation with Abdul Baha
Haji Abdullah is a Bahai of eighty years of age. He has lived fifty years in Egypt and has ever been a devoted Bahai; and a sincere believer. He is dressed in Eastern robes and has a long gray beard. Although advanced in
18ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
age, he is vigorous and in good health. He has seen Egypt become most prosperous through the opening of the Suez Canal. He lives in one of the small towns in the interior of the country and having heard about the arrival of the Master has come to see him. To-day he received permission to return to his work. He had a conversation with Abdul Baha.
Abdul Baha asked him how old he was.
He said he was over eighty years old.
Well! He had lived a good long life and now he looked younger than Abdul Baha!
It was through the Favor of Baha-Ullah, voiced the old veteran.
It was true! Abdul Baha told him, and wished to know whether he desired to live much longer.
Haji Abdullah gave an affirmative answer.
Abdul Baha was surprised.
What? Was this life so sweet to the old man's taste for him to long for an extension of it? Why was this? As to Abdul Baha he was ready to leave this ephemeral world. It contained no attraction for him. Abdul Baha likened himself to a man who has heard that he must travel twenty days before reaching his destination. Hav- ing traveled already fifteen days, he is eager to hasten his trip and arrive at his goal. He is anticipating the eternal union with the Beloved at the end of his journey; therefore he is impatient!
The old man was deeply moved and spoke in a trem- ulous voice. He did not want to live for himself. Looking back at the map of his life, he saw many barren years stretching before his eyes, for he had not been con- firmed in the service of the Cause. Therefore he desired to do something. He was hoping against hope that he might yet be enabled to render a great service to the
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 19
Cause. He knew that he was very old, but his hope was young, and his eyes were filled with tears.
2. Abdul Baha Dictates Tablets for Many Bahais.
This morning the Master received in private many of the Egyptian friends who had just arrived to meet him for one day. Meanwhile he found time to dictate Tablets to many of the friends in America and England and an important one to the International Congress of Free Christians, and other Religious Liberals, holding its Con- gress in Paris from July 16th to 22nd. Let me share with you the contents of the last.
3. Tablet to the International Congress of Free Christians
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF FREE AND PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANS, AND OTHER RELIGIOUS LIBERALS, HELD IN PARIS, FRAN CE, JULY, 1913.
"He is God!
"BELOVED AND RESPECTED FRIEND:--
"Your letter was received. Its contents became con- ducive to happiness of conscience, for it indicated that a group of the well-wishers of the world of humantiy have displayed an effort to bring about a Congress of Religions, so that this may become the means of estab- lishing affiliation among those religions, in order that the reality and the foundation of the Divine Religion be disclosed, and the causes of misunderstandings be re- moved. This is indeed an exalted intention; it is a service
20ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
to the world of humanity and is conducive to the un- veiling of merciful susceptililities.
"I hope that that Congress may be confirmed in affil- iating the hearts of the people of the world, and be the means of the creation of peace between religions, so that the darkness of estrangement may be dispelled from amongst mankind and the followers of all religions may be ushered into the world of Unity—that is, accept the principles of the Oneness of the word of humanity.
"It has been my greatest longing to be present at that International Gathering, but now I live in Egypt, my physical constitution is weakened, and other infirmities of age prevent me from attending the Congress. Therefore, begging your pardon for this shortcoming, I write a few lines on this subject:—
"It is well known and evident to the wise men of humanity—the wooers of Truth—that the aim of the ap- pearance of the Holy Divine Manifestations, the revela- tion of the Book and the establishment of the Spiritual Religion, has been no other than to create affinity amongst the children of men, and to found the law of Love be- tween the individuals of the world of humanity. Religion is the basis of spiritual Unity; it is the oneness of thoughts; the oneness of susceptibilities; the oneness of morality; and the necessary connection between all the people of the world—so that minds and souls may grow and develop through divine Education, in order that they may investigate reality, ascend to the lofty heights of human perfection and found on this terrestrial globe a Divine Civilization.
"In the world of existence there are two kinds of Civilizations: a natural and material civilization which serves the physical world; and a divine and heavenly civilization which renders service to the world of moral- ity. The founders of natural civilization are the scien-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 21
tists and philosophers of the earth. The establishers of divine civilization are the celestial Manifestations of God. Religion is the basis of Divine Civilization. Natural civilization is like unto the body. Divine Civilization is like unto the spirit. A Body without spirit is dead, although it may be in the utmost beauty and comeliness. In short, by religion we mean those necessary bonds which unify the world of humanity. This has ever been the bestowal of God. This is the object of Divine teaching and law. This is the light of everlasting life. But alas, a thousand times alas ! for this solid foundation is abandoned and forgotten; the leaders of religion have fabricated a set of blind dogmas and rituals which are at complete variance with the foun- dation of divine religion. As these dogmas differ from each other, they cause differences; differences breed strife, and strife ends in war and bloodshed; the blood of innocent people is spilled, their possessions are ran- sacked and pillaged and their children become captives and orphans. Thus religion, which was designed to be- come the cause of friendship, has become the cause of enmity. Religion, which was meant to be sweet honey, is changed into bitter poison. Religion, whose function was to be the illumination of the world of humanity, has become the factory [Cause]of obscurantism and gloom. Religion which was meant to confer everlasting life, has become the fiendish instrument of death. Consequently, as long as these blind dogmas are in human hands, and these nets of dissimulation and hypocrisy in their fingers, religion will be but a harmful agency in the world of humanity. Hence these superannuated and tattered dog- mas which are current among present day religions must be totally abolished, and, thus, freed from past traditions, mankind will be able to investigate the real objects of divine religion; for inasmuch as the foun-
22ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
dation of the religion of God is One, and that One is absolute reality, and reality is indivisible and not amen- able to multiplicity, therefore complete unity and amity between all religions shall be instituted and the true religion of God shall become unveiled with the utmost beauty and sublimity in the assemblage of the world of humanity.
"Thence, it is the duty of this honorable Congress to rend asunder these veils of imitations, to remove these non-essentials and to disperse these dark clouds that the Sun of Truth may dawn from the Everlasting Horizon with the utmost brilliancy.
"Praise be to God, that this century is the century of success! This Cycle is the Cycle of Reality! Minds have developed, thoughts have taken a wider range of vision; intellects have become keen; emotions are sensitized; inventions have transformed the face of the earth and this age has acquired a glorious capacity for the majestic revelation of the oneness of the world of humanity.
"Should this honorable Congress display an extraor- dinary effort in the promotion of altruistic aims, and remove these dogmas which are in the hands of the religionists––such dogmas as are in opposition to the Divine Ideals--this world will become another world, the physical earth will be changed into the universe of the Kingdom, the world of humanity will become an arena for the revealing of the mysteries of Truth; the rays of the Sun of the Divine Firmament will shine upon it; East and West will become illumincd; North and South will embrace each other like unto two be- loved ones; the followers of all the religions will be- come investigators and champions of Reality, new eternal Institutes will be founded in the human world
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 23
and the Palace of the oneness of the realm of humanity raised higher and higher, day by day.
"These are the hopes of this Wanderer. I beg of God confirmation and assistance for you,—so that you may be inspired with such a spiritual vision: the ap- pearance of which is looked upon as impossible and unrealizable from the very foundation of the world; but which in this glorious Cycle will become manifest in the utmost beauty and perfection. "Upon you be greeting and praise. (Signed) "ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Although at this time the Master was not feeling well he continued to dictate Tablets and when he was thus occupied, he entered into a spiritual state, and his bodily weariness completely disappeared, and for the time his health was absolutely restored.
For the last few days he has been complaining about the weather and he may shortly leave for Ismailia, which is the summer resort of Egypt. The Port Said weather at this season is most humid. I don't think he will keep all of us with him, but he may take one or two; probably Mirza Moneer. In the afternoon, while the believers were sitting in his presence, he dictated many Tablets and they listened most carefully. To them, this is more significant than a talk, because they consider it the greatest privilege of their lives to be pres- ent while the holy Tablets are revealed. After an hour or so he said it was enough, and for nearly thirty minutes he related many stories about the futility of studying Mohammedan theology which is nothing more than traditions and prejudiced dogmas.
24ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
4. Poem by Mr. Chase Read to Abdul Baha
The poem of Mr. Chase written on August 9, 1912, San Francisco, California, was read to the Master and he gave his permission to publish it in the Star of the West. It was composed just before his death, begging the Beloved to go to California. The first line of it is:—
"O Thou David of the Promised Kingdom of God."
5. Story about Abraham's Hospitality
Another interesting story about Abraham was sent from Francisco by Miss Bijou Strawn who is preparing a book of the Master's addresses for publication. She desires to include this story as a footnote. It was read to the Master. He gave the source whence the story came. First I will copy here the story as reported in M. K. Schermerhorn's book, and then I will give the version as the Beloved told it:
"Abraham would scarce break His Fast for one week, lest some hungry traveler should pass who might need his store. Ever he looked out upon the desert, and one day he beheld an aged man, with hair white as snow, tottering toward his door. 'Guest of mine eyes!' ex- claimed Abraham, 'enter thou with welcome, and be pleased to share my bread and salt!' The stranger com- plied and the place of honor was given to him. When the family gathered round the board, each one of them said: 'In the name of God!'—but the aged guest uttered no word. Abraham said: 'Good man! when thou eatest food, is it not right to repeat the name of God?' The stranger replied, 'My custom is that of the Fire Worship- ers!' Then Abraham arose in wrath, and drove the aged man from his house, but even as he did so, a swift-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 25
inged Spirit stood before the patriarch and said:— 'Abraham, for a hundred years hath the divine bounty flowed out to this man in sunshine and rain, in bread and life. Is it fit for thee to withhold thy hand from him, because his worship is not thine?' "
According to Abdul Baha, this story is recorded in the Masnavi. It is related that an aged and decrepit man visited His Holiness Abraham, and was received with the utmost hospitality and courtesy. When dinner was served, His Holiness Abraham uttered the name of God and then began to eat. His guest, on the other hand, pronounced the name of an idol and also began to eat. His Holiness was grieved, and arose in wrath rebuking his guest most severely; but even as he did so, God's revelation descended upon him:—
"O Abraham ! For a hundred years this man has been an idol worshiper and I have been patient with him; I have nurtured him; I have protected him; I have taken care of him; I have trained him; I have showed him with many bounties and have been kind and loving to him; but thou wert not able to endure his society even for one night!"
His Holiness Abraham was deeply touched by this address and begged his aged guest to pardon him.
When we left the Master's presence he kept Mirza Fazlollah and later on, as they were walking together in the avenue, the Editor of "Peesah Akbar," an impor- tant Indian newspaper, met him. This journalist hap- pens to know a great deal about the Cause through the American press notices which were sent to him by Mirza Mahmoud who met him while traveling and teaching in India. He has already written several articles about the Cause in his own journal.
26ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 5, 1913
1. World's conflict and its remedy. 2. The departure of a Zoroastrian Bahai for Bombay and Abdul Baha's Tablet about his Western trip. 3. Interview of Abdul Baha with the Indian Editor.
1. World Conflict and Its Remedy
Whether we live in the East or in the West, the in- visible Power of God is unifying our scattered forces, and training us for the service of His Kingdom—the Kingdom of Universal Love and inter-racial Amity. To-day, more than at any other time, the world of hu- manity is in need of this Power. The keen competition which is carried on by the captains of industry and finance, the rumbling discontent and social unrest of the laboring class, the bigotry and.fanaticism of some of the religions, the heat and bitterness with which fanatic con- troversies are upheld between the sectarians, the spirit of superiority with which some nations look upon others, the lust of conquest, and the desire for the extension of territory, the social and political rivalries between nations and governments and the hatred and enmity existing be- tween antagonistic races:—all these forces clashing against each other, apparently aggravate the situation and make confusion more confounded. But the Power of the spiritual conscience has come to stay, bringing healing under its wide-outstretched wings. Abdul Baha believes that this power alone is the solvent for all these puzzling problems. Here and there may be found some medicine to give temporary relief, but the lasting and permanent cure is the spiritual Power of Love which unites all people and sets at naught their seeming dif- ferences. This Power alone transforms hearts, inspires
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 27
spirits, uplifts minds, reveals the secrets of Truth and unfurls the Banner of divine brotherhood.
2. The departure of a Zoroastrian Bahai for Bombay, and Abdul Baha's Tablet about His Western Trip.
Our last pilgrim, the Zoroastrian from Bombay—Meh- reban—has left today for his home. He was an old man with a bushy round, gray beard. He spoke very little, but his eyes were fresh springs of love and gentleness. The Master has been especially kind to him and often praised his race for their uprightness and charity. He called him, this morning, to his presence, and after a few words of farewell, gave him a short Tablet written with his own hand, the translation of which is as follows:
"O thou Mehreban! Praise be to God that through the Protection and Favor of the Omnipotent God thou didst reach the Illumined spot, have kissed the Threshold of the Kind Friend, and have become confirmed and assisted in that which is the highest desire of the angels of the Uni- verse of heaven. Now thou hast for several days been my associate and my companion, therefore return to India and convey the greeting of this Friend to each and all the believers and say:—
"'This indigent one does not enjoy one moment of peace. In the evening he is restless, by day he is full of acclamation. He undertook the long trip to Europe and America and cried out over the mountains and on the plains. Now the time has come when the friends may raise their mighty voices and fill the world with the mel- ody of the Kingdom of Abha. They must show an ef- fort, render some kind of service, create a whirlwind of ecstasy and appear with manifest signs and power, so that Abdul Baha may obtain peace of mind and of spirit. . . .'"
28ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
3. Abdul Baha's Interview with the Indian Editor
This morning the Beloved sent for Mirza Moneer and dictated several Tablets to the Persian believers, many of them having long or brief accounts of his western jour- ney. Later in the day, Mirza Mahmoud called on Mou- lavi Mahboud Alam, the Indian Editor, and together they visited the Master. As he was a Moslem, the discussion dealt purely with the Mohammedan world and made an exposition of the means through which the different sects might be brought closer together. The journalist was much impressed by the talk of the Beloved and took notes so that he might write a few articles on the Cause.
About six o'clock we gathered in front of the hotel to bid farewell to our Zoroastrian brother. Then we ac- companied him to the pier and while he was leaving in the little boat to be conveyed to the steamer, I looked up, and there in the heavens, beheld the most luminous crescent that I had ever seen! It was small, semi-circular, silvery, and so delicate! For a long time I looked at it, and the hunger of my eyes could not be satisfied. It was the sil- very bow of the angels of God, the arrows of which are meteors of Truth to disperse the hosts of ignorance and intolerance. Returning to the hotel, we sat around the table and looked into one another's faces. For the first time we were only five, and not only did we miss our many pilgrims, but also the beloved friends beyond the seas in Europe and America! _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 6, 1913.
1. The Bahai heart is a cool fountain. 2. Another inter view with the Indian editor and Abdul Baha's talk on ed- ucation. 3. The Bahai Cause in Paris and Tablets for the friends
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 29
1. The Bahai Heart Is a Cool Fountain
The heart of a Bahai is a cool spring from which eter- nally gushes forth the pure water of divine knowledge and heavenly wisdom. This water irrigates the soil of humanity which is parched through the heat of dogmas and the fire of superstitions. Immediately after the dis- tribution of this water, the flowers and anemones of love and affection become manifest and the nostrils of those who are remote and near are perfumed. Barren ground is changed into a luxuriant garden, sterile soil is made productive, bare trees are clad with verdant gar- ments, the silent nightingales break forth into songs of gladness, the frost of the winter is transformed into winsome spring, and the stillness of death is changed into the buoyancy of life!
The Bahai heart is a garden. Its gardner is Abdul Baha. With his tender hands he plants roses and violets, carnations and tulips, chrysanthemums and lilies of the valley. The beauty of these ideal flowers is in their im- perishableness and in the sweetness of their fragrance. Day and night he sows the seeds from his never-ending store. To him, the ground of every human heart is sus- ceptible to Divine Cultivation. That is why he has so many gardens. He is the most successful spiritual gar- dener that the world has ever seen! He knows the com- position of the soil and the chemical ingredients of every part, and he applies his indisputable knowledge with real success. Give to him the most barren, sterile patch of ground, and before long it is a mass of flowers and an orchard of fruitful trees.
30ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
2. Another Interview with the Indian Editor, and Abdul Baha's Talk on Education
This morning the Beloved had a most interesting in- terview with the Editor of "Peeseh Akbar." The Edi- tor propounded many questions concerning the return of the old glory of Islam, the education of the Eastern women, the matter of the veil for women, etc., to each one of which the Master gave detailed answer. The Editor was carried away with enthusiasm, because he found all his difficulties removed with such simple, yet eloquent expressions. He wrote down all the Master told him. He understands Persian quite well and is a progres- sive and intelligent journalist. He has been out of India for nearly seven months and expects to go to Tunis, Europe and New York before returning to his native land. The Master has given him an introduction to the Persian Charge d'Affaires in Washington, D. C., so that he may be shown all due respect and proper hospitality.
Toward the end of his talk to him, Abdul Baha stated that we must ever think of the education of the public and try our utmost to improve the conditions of the submerged classes and to lay a solid foundation for the erection of the Temple of human happiness. For the realization of this hope, divine Education is essential, and the inculcation of the idea of the oneness of the world of humanity is necessary. We must deal with all with loving kindness and be the real well-wishers of mankind. They are the sheep of God and God is the Universal Shepherd. He is compassionate to every member of His flock. He trains all, He feeds all. He protects all. We must free them from the old prejudices. We must confer upon them a new life, which is cordial love, good-fellow- ship, amity and unity, amongst the children of men. Our behavior and conduct must be an example to them. We
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 31
must abandon all forms of prejudice, religious, racial, sectarian, and national. The object of all the religions has been the moral progress of the race. Only by walk- ing in this path can the illumination of the world be as- sured, and the prosperity of mankind obtained.
3. The Bahai Cause in Paris and Tablets for the friends
Abdul Baha dictated several beautiful Tablets for Miss Sanderson, Mons. et Madame Richard, Mons. et Madame Bernard and Mr. and Mrs. Scott of Paris. He expressed hope for the future illumination of Paris and exhorted these friends to continue the spreading of the message. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 7, 1913.
1. Importance of correspondence between the friends. 2. Abdul Baha's talk on the enemies of the Cause. 3. Ar- rival of Haji Niaz, the old patriarch. 4. Tablet to the editor of Christian Commonwealth in London on "Uni- versal Peace."
1. Importance of Correspondence between the friends
Often a letter from a far-off friend gives one good cheer and encouragement. This is part of that invisible chain which unites all mankind; more especially is this the case with those who are working for a common Cause. Thousands of miles, oceans and lands may divide them, but when the word comes, the hearts are united, space and time annihilated and they live as though in one room, talking and conversing together and creating an atmos- phere of uplift. This in itself is a sufficient reason why the Bahais from various countries and out-of-the-way places should correspond one with the other and keep
32ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
themselves informed, not only of the progress of the Cause, which, is of course, the most important thing, but of other current events which would be of interest.
2. Abdul Baha's Talk on the Enemies of the Cause
This morning I was summoned to Abdul Baha's pres- ence. Mirza Fazlollah was there. Packages of letters were all around the Master. He was writing, and now and then he raised his head and spoke, evidently follow- ing the thread of a long conversation. When I arrived he was saying that the Cause has many enemies! The Bahais must be very happy. The priests and the Ulemas, the Rabbis and the Mobeds are attacking the Cause right and left, but their attacks make it stronger and more pow- erful. We are invulnerable. We know no defeat. We are fighters to the very last. There are no deserters in the Grand Army of Abha! They are all good fighters! One of the missionaries in Beirut in his sermon cried out in wrath and hopeless anger:—"We always thought that the Bahais would be a good, wholesome influence for civilizing Islam alone, now they have started to civilize us and are trying to teach us by demonstrating a plan of propaganda, the like of which has never been seen since the time of Christ and His Apostles!" Ah, me! We have many enemies, bitter, dangerous and revengeful! But we defeat them through the Power of Love! This is our only weapon. The Ocean of the Cause is limitless, shoreless, depthless. One wave and all these foams will be scattered to the four corners of the sea. Abdul Baha did not look at the present disturbed conditions of the ocean. His heart was assured and confident as to the future of the Cause. No person, no matter how power- ful, can shake the foundation of the Bahai Faith. It rests upon the Eternal Rock of Ages. After the depar-
33ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
ture of His Holiness Christ, there were only eleven disciples. These were of the humble class, deprived of any social distinction and yet their faith was often shaken, but behold the result of their work! Now after the de- parture of the Blessed Perfection there were more than one million Bahais scattered all over the earth, each one faithful, sincere and self-sacrificing. Praise be to God, that singly and alone, without any helper or assistant, we are attacking the trained army of darkness and have come out oi the field victorious!
Such is the sublime faith of Abdul Baha that must ani- mate and quicken all the Bahais throughout the world.
3. Arrival of Haji Niaz, the Old Patriarch
In the afternoon we were called again. Haji Niaz had just arrived from Cairo. He has been many times in the presence of Baha-Ullah. He is a venerable Bahai, about eighty years old, and has lived in Egypt for the last thirty-five years. He is tall, has a long white beard and wears a turban like the Master. He has a gentle person- ality, and all the American Bahais who have passed through Cairo, have made it a point to see Haji Niaz. The Master loves him very much, and welcomed him with open arms. He talked with him about the believers in Cairo. Then the Master dictated several Tablets, includ- ing a long one on "Universal Peace" for the Christian Commonwealth. From this time on the Beloved may write more Articles for the Western press to be read by many thousands of people who cannot be reached other- wise.
34ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
4. Tablet to the Editor of "The Christian Common- wealth" on Universal Peace
O THOU ESTEEMED KIND FRIENDS:—
"After journeying throughout the United States of America and the great capitals of Europe, I have re- turned to the East. I am most pleased and well satisfied with the result of this journey–because I met noble peo- ple and associated with worthy souls, who are the cause of honor and glory to the world of humanity. They are learned and wise, well informed about the realities of events, well-wishers of the human world, especially they are advocates of Universal Peace.
"In these days, the world of humanity is afflicted with a chronic disease. It is one of bloodshed, of the destruc- tion of the divine edifice, of the demolition of cities and villages, of the slaughter of the noble youths of the world of humanity making children become orphans and women homeless. What calamity is greater than this? What crime is more heinous than this, what disease more dan- gerous, what folly more direful?
"Consider that in former days there were only reli- gious wars, but now there are racial and political wars, fought at staggering expense and sacrifice. A thousand times alas for this ignorance, for this bloodthirstiness and ferocity!
"I am pleased and grateful to the Societies which are organized in the west for the promotion of universal peace, with whose presidents, officers and members, I have frequently conversed. I hope that the sphere of their activities may from day to day, become enlarged, so that the lights of higher ideals may illumine all regions, the oneness of the world of humanity be proclaimed in the East and in the West, and men attain composure and
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 35
well-being. These revered souls who are the servants and the promoters of the cause of universal peace shall ere long shine like brilliant stars upon the horizon of man- kind, flooding all regions with their glorious lights. In the past century freedom was proclaimed and the foun- dations of liberty were laid in all the western countries. Praise be to God that the sun of justice has shone forth and the darkness of despotism and tyranny has disap- peared.
"Now in this radiant century in which the world of humanity is being matured, it is assured that the flag of universal Peace shall become unfurled, waving over all the regions of the globe. This is the most great prin- ciple of Baha-Ullah, for the promotion of which all the Bahais are ready to sacrifice their possessions and their lives.
''Notwithstanding my bodily weakness and infirmity, I have traveled East and West for the last three years. In many temples I have cried out, and before many au- diences raised my voice for the enlistment of their sym- pathy. I have declared the evils of war and explained the benefits of Universal Peace. I have elucidated the causes which lead to the honor and glory of the world of llu- manity and told of the ferocity and bloodthirstiness of the animal kingdom; I showed the defects of the world of nature and made an exposition of the means whereby the illumination of the world of humanity can fully be real- ized. I unfolded and disclosed the foundations of divine religion and proclaimed the teachings of His Holiness Baha-Ullah. I demonstrated the existence of God by irrefutable, rational proofs, and proved the reality of all the prophets of God. I gave utterance to my inmost con- viction that the verity of the religion of God is the cause of the life of the world of humanity; it is divine civili- zation and pure enlightenment.
36ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
"In giving the explanation of these principles, my ob- ject has been no other than the desire to promote Univer- sal Peace. Praise be to God, I have found hearing ears, observed seeing eyes, and discovered informed hearts. Therefore I am well pleased with this journey.
"But on the other hand the well-wishers of the world of humanity and the advocates of Universal Peace must make an extraordinary forward step, organize important international congresses and invite as delegates progres- sive and influential souls from all parts of the world;—so that through their wise counsels and deliberations this ideal of Universal Peace may leap out of the world of words into the arena of actual and practical demonstra- tion. This question is of paramount importance and will not be easily realized, but we must take hold of every means until the desired result is obtained.
"Fifty years ago, whosoever talked about Universal Peace was not only ridiculed, but called visionary and utopian. Now, praise be to God ! it has assumed such im- portance that every one acknowledges that this question of Universal Peace is the light and spirit of the age.
"I hope the noble leaders of the world of humanity who are the divine bestowals among the people, and the means of pacification among the nations, will arise with the utmost effort and with whole-hearted resolution ex- tinguish this world-raging conflagration, especially now that the blood of innocent people and the cries of orphans are reaching to the very gate of heaven, while the harrow- ing sorrow of mothers penetrates souls with the irresisti- ble force of human tragedy. Thus through the endeavors of these guardians of the rights of mankind, the world of creation may enjoy the repose of conciliation, the banner of Universal Peace be unfurled, the tabernacle of the oneness of the world of humanity be pitched, all mankind be gathered under its protecting shade and the
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 37
shining star of eternal felicity and happiness of the world of humanity will dawn with the utmost brilliancy from the horizon of international comity, while the luminous arks of spiritual brotherhood of all races and tongues will illumine the united gathering of mankind with the inef- fable lights of God throughout countless ages and cycles.
(Signed) ABDUL BAIIA ABBAS. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 8, 1913.
1. What is the function of real religion? 2. Abdul Baha's perennial cordiality and courtesy. 3. The joy of serving Abdul Baha. 4. There is a power in this Cause. 5. Haji Niaz and the story of the king and Ayaz related by him.
1. What is the Function of Real Religion?
Pure religion, free from dogmas, contributes to the happiness and progress of a people, suffering them to at- tain to the highest summit of democracy and brother- hood. Religion, hampered by the chains of fossilized traditions will keep mankind within limits of intolerance and prejudice. Religion must be as pure as the breeze of the early morn, as bright as the stars of heaven, as fragrant as the sweet flowers of spring, as clear as the limpid and cooling water of the fountain, as verdant as the delectable paradise, and as universal as the rays and the heat of the sun.
Therefore, when religion does not perform these func- tions, it is not fulfilling its mission. In this connection Abdul Baha, in a Tablet just revealed to the Sixth Inter- national Congress of Free and Progressive Christians and other Religious Liberals to be held in Paris, July 16-22, 1913, says:
"Thus religion, which was destined to become the
38ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
cause of friendship, has become the cause of enmity. Religion, which was meant to be sweet honey, is changed into bitter poison. Religion, whose function was to be the illumination of the world of humanity has become the factor of obscurantism and gloom. Religion, which was to confer Everlasting Life has become the instrument of death."
The duty of every one of us is, therefore, to spread the principles of Pure religion, in accordance with the needs of this age.
2. Abdul Baha's Perennial Cordiality and Courtesy
When one enters the presence of the Beloved, even if it is for the thousandth time, one feels quickened by the spirit of reverence, humility, and evanescence. When this morning I found myself, standing before him and heard his rich vibrant voice greeting me: "You are wel- come! You are welcome!" I felt as though this was my first visit to him. He always receives every one, even his servants, with heavenly cordiality, a sweet smile, divine courtesy, and inimitable friendship, making them feel as though they were his own sons and daughters.
3. The Joy of Serving Abdul Baha
With his discourse, his remarks, and his teachings, he uplifts one's heart and makes one long to sacrifice every- thing in his path. Really to be with him for one hour is more glorious than a long association with all great men of the world; and to render service to him is better than serving kings. To win his good pleasure is a source of eternal joy; to upraise the flag of his truth is more won- derful than all the wealth of this earth! May we all re- main faithful to him and live and act in such a manner as
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 39
to win his approval! If we continue to be firm in the Cause and pray every morn and eve for this pearl of great price our brows will be crowned with the diadem of God's Bestowals! The Cause of humanity must become a glowing fire in our hearts and not a flickering flame in our minds. It must become a flowing fountain, ever gushing forth from the innermost part of our beings! No obstacle must seem to us insurmountable and no diffi- culty discouraging. We must face all the problems, try to solve them and encourage others through deeds and sym- pathy! What if the whole world be against us! We may be in the minority—the Christ and His Apostles were in the minority 1900 years ago—but whenever God is on the side of the minority it will become the majority.
4. There Is a Power in This Cause
After dictating several wonderful Tablets Abdul Baha laid stress upon the fact of the great power existing in this Cause, a mysterious power, far, far, beyond the ken of men and angels. That invisible power is the source of all these outward activities. It moves hearts. It rends mountains. It administers the complicated affairs of the Cause. It inspires the friends. It dashes into a thousand pieces all the forces of opposition. It creates new spiritual worlds. This is a mystery of the Kingdom of Abha.
The Tablets were for Mrs. Harriet C. Cline, and Mrs. Mabel Rice-Wray of Los Angeles, Calif.; Miss Harriet Magee of New York, Mrs. Dixon of Washington, D. C., Miss Dorothy Hodgson of Paris and Miss General Jack of London.
40 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
5. Haji Niaz and the Story of the King and Ayaz
Leaving the Beloved to his divine contemplation, I went to the hotel and there had a talk with Haji Niaz. I knew him before my trip to America several years ago. Through him I had received my first Tablet from the Master and because of this I love him very much. In fact everybody loves him. He is a veteran in the Cause. He related in his rich language, the story of a king and his ministers and courtiers.
Once upon a time the king went out to hunt with the members of his Cabinet, the Diplomatic Corps, the offi- cials of the Court and a large number of important per- sonages, especially invited for this occasion. As the king intended to stay in the country, he ordered the Master of Ceremonies to take the Imperial Tent which was a wonderful work of art. On important occasions he had in past seasons caused the inner walls and ceiling of this royal tent to be decorated with hundreds of precious jew- els. This year also he asked the Minister of Finance to take with him the casket of jewels. After many days of preparation, the Imperial Caravan, which was more than a mile long, set forth. The King headed the pro- cession. After him came the Cabinet Ministers, the Diplomatic Corps, the courtiers and the guests. They had to travel six days before they could reach the hunt- ing ground. After four days it so happened that the horse carrying the box of jewels lagged at the end of the Caravan. Three hours march, and the king looked around, when to his apparent surprise, he found no one with him except Ayaz, and observed the Caravan more than a half mile away, surrounded with dust and great confusion.
"What is this?" asked the king.
"Half an hour ago," Ayaz llumbly and serenely an-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 41
swered, "The casket of jewels fell from the back of the horse, and all of the precious stones were scattered on the ground, and in the wild scramble that followed, everyone forgot his duty, and tried to seize the jewels."
The king did not move or speak to show that an ex- traordinary event had happened.
But after a few moments of reflection, he said "Ayaz !"
"Yes, my Lord."
"Why didst thou not join them to get a portion of the spoils? Are they not precious jewels?"
"Yes, my Lord. These jewels are good for them, but I preferred to remain with thee. Thou art the greatest Jewel of my life!" _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 9, 1913.
1. Our life in Port Said. 2. The death of a Bahai child and the ceremony of her burial. 3. The Christian and Mohammedan cemeteries. 4. Visiting Taki Menshadi's tomb in the cemetery. 5. Outline of the history of Taki Menshadi and his services to the Bahai Cause. 6. Men- shadi's epistolary style and his peculiarities. 7. How to conduct Bahai meetings and the importance of public speaking. 8. Tablet by Abdul Baha regarding delivery of eloquent speeches.
1. Our Life in Port Said
My room has two doors which open on to the veranda and at night there is always a cool breeze from the Medi- terranean which is not more than a thousand feet away. At midnight I get up and go out and listen to the music of the waves, played for the bright stars. To-night, the moon is shining. The voices of the Arabs chanting their Koran come to my ears. It is a weird, monoto- nous sound, but very soothing. My table is covered with
42 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
papers and letters; Mirza Mahmoud, a few steps further, is writing and copying Tablets. My light consists of a dear little lamp. I am indeed happy.
2. The Death of a Bahai Child and the Ceremony of Her Burial
We have just returned from a memorial meeting, held on account of the death of Mirza Jalal Afshar's little daughter, he is one of the Port Said Bahais. We were invited at 5 P. M. to go to the funeral. Mirza Mahmoud chanted one of the prayers of Baha-Ullah then the little body was washed, wrapped in silk, and as there was no ring for her finger, the prayer was written on a piece of paper and put in the palm of her hand. The second cere- mony, the Mohammedan, consisted of the coming of the Mullah, and the chanting of prayers and then they car- ried her body by hand to the near-by Mosque. All those who entered the Mosque left their shoes at the door. The body was laid on the floor, the tall Mullah before it. We stood behind the Mullah. He began then to read the prayer for the dead with the rapidity of light- ning, and from time to time raised his two hands to his face and ears, which exercise was copied by us automati- cally, according to custom. All this, however, did not take more than five minutes. Several carriages were ready at the door of the Mosque, and as soon as we came out, Mirza Jalal, his brother, the Mullah, carrying with both hands the body of the child, and another relative got into one carriage, and we followed in the others. We were driven posthaste toward the cemetery, situated in the west of the city. The Mediterranean was on our right and always very near. On the way we observed many little hills of soft silk-like sand, formed by the winds. Often one observed the extremely soft sand trickling
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 43
down from the upper part of the little hills exactly like the flowing of a tiny rivulet. It was a strange sight, and reminded one of the passing of our own lives.
3. The Christian and Mohammedan Cemeteries
First we drove by the Christian Cemetery, surrounded by a wall. We saw the cross in all forms—large and small —defying the cresent of the Mohammedan burying- place. I had to stand up in the carriage to see the Chris- tian Cemetery. It was not as beautiful and flowery as the Cemeteries of America—because it is most difficult, in this land of sand, to raise trees and flowers—but it was fairly clean and one could see patches of green and there were flowers here and there. Finally, we reached the Mohammedan cemetery! It was very unclean. Shrieking Arab men and women were in evidence. The tombstones are made of wooden boxes, and I believe a spark of fire would burn the whole place. The dead girl was interred beside her grandfather, buried here a few years ago. The poor father was weeping and quite inconsolable. Haji Niaz, being the oldest man, tried to comfort him.
4. Visiting Taki Menshadi's Tomb in the Cemetery
Probably many of the American friends remember the faithful Taki Menshadi through whom the East and the West carried on a large and voluminous correspondence with Abdul Baha. He died a few years ago and his body is buried in this cemetery. I met him during my first visit to Acca, and from that time till the day of his death corresponded with him. I expressed a desire to visit his tomb. Yousoff directed us to it, and we offered a prayer. Unless one knows the place, it is not possible to
44ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
find it, for there is no tombstone, a piece of wood with- out an inscription is its only mark. Haji Niaz knew Taki Menshadi well. The brief outline of his life is as follows:
5. Outline of Taki Menshadi's Life and His Services to the Bahai Cause
He was from Menshad, a little village near Yazd. In his early youth he had accepted the revelation, but had found the people of his own village extremely fanatical and dogmatic, and as the rabble threatened to kill him, finally left the place and moved to the city of Kerman. There he began to teach the Cause but when the Ulemas received news of his presence, they sent word to him that he must leave the city immediately or they would take the law into their own hands. So with much difficulty and privation he came at last to the city of Shiraz. After some time, with the object of visiting Baha-Ullah, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and thus acquired the much- respected title of "Haji." From Mecca he went to Alexandria. It was before the Arabi Revolution. Here, with a number of other Persians, he engaged in business, but not being constitutionally fitted for that kind of work, and having always the hope of serving the Cause, and of beholding the Face of the Blessed Perfection, he one day left everything and went to Acca. After attaining the supreme desire of his heart, he made Acca his final home and there tried to seek congenial occupation. Little by little, his eagerness to serve the Cause, and his longing to devote his whole time to the Movement, was dem- onstrated, and Baha-Ullah from time to time gave him a packet of Tablets to mail to different parts of the Orient. When the believers from all over the world observed that they received their Tablets through him, they began di-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 45
recting their petitions in his care so that he might give them personally to Baha-Ullah and intercede for them Thus, without any ceremonies or formalities, Taki Men- shadi became the most well-known and talked of Bahai. Every one was eager to receive his letters. It has often been stated by those believers who are familiar with both Persian and English writings, that Taki Menshadi and Mr. Chas. Mason Remey were brothers in calligraphy, only Taki Menshadi was an older brother.
6. Menshadi's Epistolary Style and His Peculiarities
Menshadi's letters are well preserved by all the Per- sians. Haji Niaz tells me that he has 500 of them. I may have two hundred or more. These letters are master- pieces of news writing. He had a sense for bare facts and news and he knew that no one expected philosophy from him or the literary style of Oriental compliments. He had done away with all this form. It was really a radical departure from the established rule and many young people, seeing the wisdom of his course. followed his epistolary innovations. The letters generally opened with a few sentences about the Master's health and his family. This to the Bahai world, was considered the most important part. Then the record of the arrival and departure of the pilgrims, their names, the events in Acca, a general outline of the progress of the Cause in other parts of the world, etc. They were indeed "newsy letters." After the ascension of Baha-Ullah the activities of the Cause increased a hundredfold, the number of the believers became considerably larger, the movement spread in America and Europe and the matter of corre- spondence with all these heterogeneous elements became of the utmost importance. The Master looked about for an efficient experienced man. who could hold in his hand
46ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
the helm of the ship of correspondence, and who with a cool head and infinite patience, could direct it through the tempestuous seas of difficulties. In the whole Bahai world, there was no one more fitting than Taki Menshadi, and he was selected for the position. For many years he worked untiringly, unceasingly, ever receiving assistance from the Supreme Concourse. In his early days at Acca and Haifa, his room became a general meeting-place for all the Bahais. "I will see you to-night at Menshadi's home at such and such an hour," was an oft quoted ex- pression. The door was open to everyone. All pilgrims were welcome. He was always the first to go to the steamer to greet the newcomers or say farewell to those who were returning, laden with the spiritual gifts from the Presence of Baha-Ullah. Haji Niaz says:—
"Taki Menshadi was well known amongst all the Bahais for his fidelity, simplicity, loving disposition, truthfulness, sincerity and above all, for his ability to serve everyone with gentleness, courtesy, and marvellous patience. His room was furnished with simplicity. He always sat on the floor, surrounded with a pile of letters. He was often literally buried in them. He smoked a 'water-pipe' all the time, and an over-indulgence in this, finally caused his death."
When Sultan Abdul Hamid sent several commission- ers to Acca and conditions became intolerable, the "Be- loved" sent Taki Menshadi to Port Said—so that from this place he might carry on his work, it was in this town that he passed away at the age of sixty, serene and happy. The Master was much grieved when he heard the news, and after a while appointed Sayad Assadullah in his place, this position he has filled with credit to the Cause and to himself. I hear however, that Sayad Assadullah is going to leave for Russia to-morrow to teach the Cause. After the wonderful trip through Amer-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 47
ica and Europe he will no doubt be confirmed in attracting many souls to the Kingdom of Abha! The Master, before long, will appoint another person to carry on his work.
7. How to Conduct Bahai Meetings, and the Importance of Public Speaking
This morning, I called on the Beloved. He had received packages of letters, some from America. There is one point which has been brought to his attention of late. It is this:—In certain Assemblies in America a number of the believers desire to exclude all public speaking and to confine themselves to the reading of Tablets, etc. This is positively not in accordance with the Bahai Plan of teach- ing, nor with the instructions of Abdul Baha. To read Tablets, and the Holy Writings is only half of the aspect of the question; the other aspect is the delivery of elo- quent addresses and fluent talks elucidating the spirit of the Cause. The Master's wish is always to encourage the believers to speak at the meetings. This I know is his will. When to-day the subject was again presented to him in a letter from America, he told me that he had written in many Tablets that the friends must speak at the meet- ings. We must encourage public-speaking, especially in those who have this talent. The Cause must be spread through eloquent, sincere addresses. We must unloose the tongue, spread the Fragrances of God and diffuse the words of God. We must present to the public the proofs and evidences of this Cause with a language of fire—so that souls may be exhilarated, and minds become full of tumult and of acclamation. With words of Love and il- lumination we must set the hearts aglow with this Fire of Divine Truth, and enkindle the spirits with this Power of the Kingdom. We must explain the Teachings orally, so that the consciousness of men may be stirred; then
48ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
invisible inspirations will descend, Bounties from the Holy Spirit will be revealed, rays from the Sun of Reality will shine forth, Breezes from the Paradise of Abha will waft abroad and the Glad-tidings of the Kingdom spread throughout the world.
8. Tablet by Abdul Baha Regarding the Delivery of Eloquent Speeches
Then he revealed a Tablet on this subject and may issue others before long:—
"Thou hast written concerning the spiritual meeting. The spiritual meeting must be in the utmost state of ec- stasy and tumult. Prayers may be recited, Tablets and verses read, eloquent speeches delivered and divine proofs explained. Then the audience may be encouraged and in- cited to enter the Kingdom of God, news received from different countries may be imparted and at the end they may repeat collectively a supplication." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 10, 1913
1. Sayad Assadullah departs for Russia to spread the message. 2. His talk with Abdul Baha and his glowing resolution. 3. Farewell to him. 4. Abdul Baha's expec- tation to go to Ismailia. 5. Poems of Mr. Moxey read to Abdul Baha. 6. Abdul Baha speaks about the "Star of the West." 7. His talk on his tour in America.
1. Sayad Assadullah Departs for Russia to Spread the Message Our traveling companion, and fellow-worker, Sayad Assadullah Gomi, who has been with Baha-Ullah and the Master for many years and traveled with the latter throughout America and Europe, left to-day for the Cau-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 49
casus to teach the Cause. We will miss him. He has been like a father to us during our wanderings and although Mirza Mahmoud wrote the official report of the trip of the Beloved, yet Sayad Assadullah corresponded with the friends in small assembliesall over the East. They could not receive any direct news, were he not traveling with us. Now, detached from all else save God, alone, at the age of seventy-six, he faces the world. Carrying in his hand the Ideal Banner of the Cause, he leaves Port Said with a firm confidence and trust in Abdul Baha
After the ascension of Baha-Ullah he made a trip through Persia, taught many souls, and was bitterly persecuted for his glorious faith. Last night and this morning he went to Abdul Baha and no doubt received his orders and heavenly benediction. To-day at one o'clock we were all gathered at the station, to bid him farewell. He goes first to Alexandria to meet Mirza Abul Fazl and then taking a ship, will sail for Constantinople.
2. Sayad Assadullah's Talk with Abdul Baha and His Glowing Resolution
I confess that nothing has so deeply stirred me in my whole Bahai career as the heavenly resolution of this old man to go alone into the world and teach the Cause! He himself went to the Master and begged for his per- mission. He said: "I have heard thy glorious proclama- tions from pulpits and platforms. I have seen wondrous scenes of the Majesty of Our Lord. I have hearkened to the divine words falling from thy blessed lips. My Lord! My cup is full to overflowing. I am an old man. I ques- tion if I can accomplish anything in thy cause, but I sup-licate thee to let me try. I can contain myself no longer. I do not wish to flicker out on the couch of rest, but long to end on the battlefield. I would love to die as a soldier,
50ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
fighting the good fight to the very last moment, and not as a pensioner."
And so he went! With such a superhuman example of deeds and self-sacrifices does anybody wonder why the Bahai Cause has such stupendous power? All the friends in America and Europe who have met our dear brother Sayad Assadullah love him, and I know that from the depth of their hearts they will pray that the Lord may keep him and protect him many years yet for the service of His Cause, and as a witness to His Power.
3. Farewell to Sayad Assadullah
My beloved Sayad Assadullah farewell! You have been a loving companion and a faithful attendant to our Be- loved! Your cheerful face and disposition shall never be forgotten! Your memory will shine in our inmost hearts as a radiant star! Your faith will be a glorious example for all the younger generations. During the years of your life you have served your God to the best of your ability! You have suffered and accepted much persecution in the Path of Baha! nAnd now, although a veteran of many wars, you are again enlisted in the ranks of active work and are entering on a new campaign! Farewell!
4. Abdul Baha's Expectation to Go to Ismailia
For a few minutes we were privileged to see the Master in the morning. He said that the weather in Port Said had not agreed with him, and that he expected to leave tomorrow for Ismailia, a town about one hour and fifteen minutes from this city. He is going there for two or three days and if all goes well, he will send for us. Ahmad Yazdi and Khosro will accompany him.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 51
5. Poems of Mr. Moxey Read to Abdul Baha
In the afternoon Mirza Abdul Gasim Isfahani and Mirza Mahmoud, two merchant Bahais from Cairo ar- rived with their wives to see the Master. They accom- panied me into his holy presence. He was dressed in spotless white and looked very beautiful. A large envel- ope containing the poems of Mr. Frank K. Moxey of 575 Riverside Drive, New York City, had just been received. The Master gave them to me to read. After looking over the title of each, I told him about them. He then asked me to translate the poem on the Bab, which I did immediately. He was most pleased and praised it very highly. The poem is very eloquent and shows true inspira- tion. It is hoped that he will continue to write upon such soul-stirring ideals. A Bahai poet is needed in America There are many in Persia.
6. Abdul Baha Speaks about the "Star of the West"
Then the Master took from the table the "Star of the West," No. 5, and showed all those who were present the photograph of the Mashrekol Adkar Convention in New York City. He was very happy, saying: "Look at this photograph and wonder at the penetrating influence of the Bahai Cause."
He expressed the hope that the "Star of the West" would, little by little, widen its field and become a power for good in the Cause and in humanitarian activities. Its Persian section is eagerly read by all the Bahais.
7. Talk on His Tour to America
Then, referring to his arduous tour through the United States, he mentioned that the confirmation and assist-
52ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
ance of the Blessed Perfection were his companions; otherwise his body could never have stood all the difficul- ties of the voyage. He did not feel well, yet he worked. He traveled. He went there. He came here. He did not give any importance to his body. The wisdom of this was that the believers might see with their own eyes that he was rising above hardships, vicissitudes, sickness and troubles so that the Cause might prosper. Except for the diffusion of the Fragrances of God, he desired nothing. Except for service at the Threshold of Abha, he cared for nothing. His hope was to teach the Cause, to pro- claim the Glad-tidings of the appearance of the King- dom of Abha, and to advance the Cause of International peace and human brotherhood. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, July 11, 1913.
1. Abdul Baha's departure for Ismailia. 2. He praises the American Bahais. 3. He tells the Persians how Fred Mortenson traveled from Minneapolis to Green Acre in order to see him. 4. The absence of Abdul Baha is noticed everywhere. 5. Extracts from tablets regarding his journey to the West. 6. The Power of the Bahai Cause.
1. Abdul Baha's Departure for Ismailia
Knowing that the beloved departs today for the city of Ismailia, we called on him about 6:30 A. M. The train leaves at eight, so we had ample time to have our last meeting. There were several pilgrims, who had just ar- rived, and to them he expressed his regrets. He will stay there two or three days. If the weather agrees with him, he will rent a house and send for us. If not, he will re- turn, and go either to Alexandria or Ramleh.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 53
2. He Praises the American Bahais
He spoke about the innumerable meetings had at- tended in America, and how he found in the believers a true spiritual sense, and a divine and heavenly attraction which made them strive upward; how the paeans of their glad praises were raised to the supreme Concourse; how they were making great efforts to bring into being the spiritual consciousness of mankind; how they were ser- vants of the oneness of the world of humanity, the pro- moters of universal Peace and the standard-bearers of the spiritual brotherhood of man.
3. He Tells the Persians about Fred Mortenson Who Traveled from Minneapolis to Green Acre in Order to See Him.
Then he told the Persian friends about Fred Morten- son, a young Bahai from Minneapolis, who had been so anxious to meet the Master that he risked his life by concealing himself under the train till he reached Green Acre, Maine.
Praising the courage of this fine clean fellow Abdul Baha said that when he passed through Minneapolis he had again met him and his wife. Such events could not happen by the effort of any human being, but they are the confirmations of the Holy Spirit and the marvelous signs of this Dispensation!
About 7 :45 the carriage was ready, the two small satchels of the Beloved were brought down, and after saying farewell to each one of us, he was taken to the station, Ahmad Yazdi and Khosro accompanying him.
54 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
4. The Absence of Abdul Baha is Noticed Everywhere
We returned home saddened because we could not go with the master, but were consoled by looking forward to our reunion, which would not be long.
A young Persian Bahai, by the name of Aga Jamal, arrived yesterday from Haifa, and he will cook for us in our own apartment as long as we are here. He is a tall, quiet man, very willing to serve and to please every- body.
Mirza Ali Akbar, Haji Niaz and Mirza Fazlollah live in the hotel, but for their board and tea they come to us. Haji Niaz is a good conversationalist and knows many anecdotes and stories. While I was writing in my room, they had gathered around him on the veranda and he spoke to them about many things of interest. At noon we received a telephone message from Ahmad Yazdi assuring us of the master's safe arrival and that he is stopping at the Hotel Vaseteef. He is pleased with the place and is well.
In the afternoon we were again gathered on the veranda, drinking tea and talking about,the Cause; Haji Niaz described his meetings with Prof. A: G. Browne of Cambridge University, when he was in Egypt, when the latter was invited to the house of Khorassani, where all day one of the Bahai teachers discussed with him aspects of the Cause referring to rational and scriptural proofs.
Let me translate for you a few extracts from recent Tablets:—
5. Tablet on Abdul Baha's Trip in Arnerica
"Less than a year, Abdul Baha raised the cry of 'Ya Baha El Abha' from his heart and soul as he crossed the mountains and deserts of that continent! In churches
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 55
and meetings he imparted the Glad-tidings of the appear- ance of the Kingdom of God. With a resonant voice he announced the dawn of the Sun of Reality and explained divine proofs and evidences. With a heart and spirit overflowing with the Love of God he raised the New Wonderful Melody. Undoubtedly it will have great efFect. Consider that the soul-imparting Melody of His Holi- ness Christ, (may my life be a sacrifice to him!) became effective and world-conquering after three hundred years, but in a short space of time the Song of the Kingdom of Abha has quickened the East and the West!
The future of the Cause in Stuttgart::
"I hope that the Ensigns of Divine Verses may be up- raised in Stuttgart; the Fire of the Love of God be so en- kindled as to set all those parts aglow, and that each one of those blessed souls may become as a bright candle, shedding the light of guidance in every direction."
6. The Power of the Bahai Cause
"The Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abha can over- come hard stones and resuscitate dried bones. Like unto the downpouring of the vernal shower, they cause the growth of roses and hyacinths, jasmine and jonquils to come forth out of black soil! Likewise if the inhabitants of a city are submerged in the sea of materialism, it may take some time to awaken them, yet the Melody of the Kingdom of Abha shall finally quicken them; the cup of the Love of God will become full to overflowing, im- parting a wonderful exhilaration to allay the thirst of the thirsty ones."
56ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 12, 1913.
1. Telephone message from Ismailia about Abdul Baha.
2. Mirza Mahmoud prepares three volumes on the tour of
Abdul Baha throughout Europe and America. 3. Tablet
on the Glad-tidings of the Kingdom to the believers
in Kerman, Persia. 4. How to deliver Bahai Public ad-
dress. 5. How great Movements have advanced. 6.
About Abdul Baha's American tour to a Persian Bahai.
1. Telephone Message from Ismailia about Abdul Baha
To-day at noon we received a telephone message from Ismailia giving us news of the master's improved health and wishing us to give his greeting to each one of the friends. Two Bahais arrived from Cairo, not knowing that the Master was not here. We entertained them to the best of our ability with stories of the spiritual Con- quest of the Beloved in the West. As one of them had only two days leave from his work, we got the Master's consent by telephone, that he might be permitted to see him in Ismailia.
Everybody was here as usual talking about the Cause; Haji Niaz told us about some incidents in the life of Baha-Ullah. Toward evening we walked to the quay where the Casino Palace Hotel, the small municipal gar- den and DeLessep's statue are situated. We observed great preparations for festivities and upon inquiry were told that the French were celebrating their Independence Day, 14th of the month.
As there is a strong element of French in the Canal Company, they seem desirous to impress the Egyptians with their patriotism, and they are making very elaborate preparations. In Cairo they celebrate this Feast on a much larger scale.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 57
2. Mirza Mahmoud Prepares Three Volumes on the Tour of Abdul Baha Throughout Europe and America
The last few days Mirza Mahmoud is preparing Abdul Baha's addresses from the time he sailed from Alexandria to America. These addresses will form the first volume; the second will be his diary in Persian of the journey, and the third the translation of the articles which ap- peared in the principal papers and magazines of America and Europe. Once these books are published and circu- lated in the Orient, they will have great effect in further- ing the Cause of the Kingdom of Abha!
3. Translation of a Tablet to the Believers in Kerman, Persia
The following is a Tablet to the believers of Kerman, Persia:
"O ye kind friends ! A letter was received from Ker- man giving you utmost praise and saying, the friends of God are like unto flames of fire and radiant lamps of the Kingdom; they are as fire-temples of spirituality and brilliant stars of heaven. This letter has become the cause of happiness to my heart, for praise be to God, the Fire of the Love of God is set aglow in Kerman, the veils which have covered their eyes are burned away; the be- lievers are attracted and stirred into gladness, and the friends are in a state of supplication and invocation. Therefore, I prayed and implored at the Divine Threshold and wished for the beloved ones a cup overflowing with the Grace of God, so that, in Kerman, the day of resur- rection may be set up, the hearts become exhilarated, the city moved by the resounding voice, and the world stirred with the power of the Holy Spirit!
"Praise be to God! The Eastern horizon is luminous
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and the nostrils of the people of the West are perfumed. The splendor of the luminary of the East has cast a re- flection upon the West which has illumined it. The Voice of the Almighty is raised in these regions and the Pure Religion of God is being promoted. Ere long it shall yield important results and the ensign of 'Ya Baha El Abha' shall be lifted so high as to wave over all the continents."
4. How to Deliver Bahai Public Addresses
"The basis of this divine call (teaching and delivering addresses) must be the oneness of the world of humanity; so that religious fanaticism, sectarian bias, racial preju- dice and political rivalry may be removed, so that all mankind may enter under the uni-colored tent of the oneness of the world of humanity, and hearts may affili- ate with each other, souls be attracted and East and West embrace each other. This must be the basis of your addresses in public meetings."
5. How Great Movements Have Advanced
"All great movements have advanced through altruism, selflessness, and self-sacrifice and not merely through an interchange of public opinions. It is my hope that all may arise with the greatest power to serve this most im- portant Cause (Universal Peace) and become the means of the welfare of the world of humanity."
6. About Abdul Baha's American Tour to a Persian Bahai
"It is nearly two years anda half since I have been a wanderer over mountains and deserts and a traveler over seas and lands. The journey was extended to many
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 59
climes. . . . The penetrative power of the Holy Cause has stirred the columns of the world. In many cities of America the Divine Call was raised. Likewise in the countries of Europe. In numerous churches, clubs, groups and Universities of America the Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abha were explained precisely with resonant voice, and no one arose to make opposition. They listened most attentively and afterwards expressed their pleasure. Ere long this Call shall yield glorious results and will fill the world with its fruits." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 13, 1913.
1. Tablet of Abdul Baha on progress. 2. Another Tablet
on personal illumination. 3. The day of the invisible bounty of the Kingdom of Abha. 4. Mrs. J. Stannard may go to India to teach the Bahai Cause.
One of the believers, Mirza Abul Gasem Esphahani coming from Cairo a few days ago brought with him a package belonging to Sayad Assadullah. This package among other things contained three precious volumes of Tablets from the pen of Abdul Baha. They are copies of very old letters, some of them addressed to the be- lievers in America. Herein I will translate a few. The following may have been revealed to one of the Ameri- can Assemblies and probably is sixteen years old:—
1. Tablet of Abdul Baha on Progress
"He is El Abha! "O YE FRIENDS OF THE BLESSED PERFECTION!
"This century is the century of attraction. This Cycle is the Cycle of His Highness the Lord of Lords. The
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East and West are in commotion and acclamation and the North and South in ecstasy and tumult. The world is progressing with marvelous acceleration and the realm of existence is growing and developing with an eternal velocity and at geometric ratio. Mankind, like unto a suckling babe is being trained in the Arms of Providence, and humanity like unto a newly planted tree in the ground of the world, is waxing in stature and size, becoming more beautiful and lovely through the downpour of the rain of Grace. The greater the exertion, the more the descent of the divine Bestowal. The more we ascend heavenward, the greater will be the realization of uni- versal progress from all directions.
"Therefore, O ye friends of the Ancient Beauty and ye beloved ones of the Most Great Name! Make an ef- fort, so that in all the grades of Human existence, whether spiritual or material, ye may make extraordinary advancement. The Mercy and Favor of His Highness, the One is with us!
(Signed) "ABDUL BAHA ABBAS"
Here is another Tablet which was revealed probably thirteen years ago to (Mrs. Helen G. Goodall), a believer in San Francisco, California, the contents of which shows how the Master's prayers are fulfilled in her behalf:—
2. A Tablet by Abdul Baha on Personal Illumination and Guiding Others to the Truth
"O thou spiritual pearl and leaf stirred by the wafting of the Breeze of God! Verily with a heart overflowing with love and affection I perused thy letter which was an eloquent expression of thy praise for the love of God, of thy firmness in the Covenant of God, thy gladness
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through the Fragrances of God and thy great exertion in the guidance of the servants of God!
"Verily I supplicate God to confirm thee with the Breaths of the Holy Spirit, to dilate thy breast with the Zephyrs wafting from the direction of the Paradise of Abha and to suffer thee to become a light from which radiates the rays of supplication, invocation and prayers toward the Kingdom of God:—so that thou mayest be- come a Cause of the awakening, mindfulness and quick- ening of the servants and maid servants of God, and a means of giving them of the wine of knowledge and of summoning them to the Kingdom of the Merciful with evidences and proofs. . . ."
Iwill close this day by the translation of another won- derful Tablet:—
3. The Day of the Glorious Bounties of the Invisible Kingdom of Abha.
"He is El Abha!
O YE REAL FRIENDS!
"This day is the day of the Glorious Bounties of the Invisible Kingdom of Abha and of the tumultuous wav- ing of the seas of the Inexhaustible Bestowals of the Supreme Countenance. The rays of his effulgences have dawned from all directions and the breezes of His gen- erosity and compassion are wafting from all parts. The doors of His kingdom are flung wide and the verses of His Omnipotence are spread abroad. His ancient Grace like a mighty torrent is flowing with great impetuosity, and His manifest light is apparent from the horizon of Certainty like unto a shining moon.
"But these servants must appreciate the value of this
62ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Eminent Grace and consider this sublime generosity as the most great Bounty;—so that we may become its signs and be illumined with its rays. When vernal showers decend [sic] upon good and pure soil, flowers will grow therein and the black earth will become a delectable Paradise."
4. Mrs. Standard May Go to India and Teach the Bahai Cause
Mrs. J. Stannard, an English Bahai, is back in Port Said and may stay with us for several days. I had a most pleasant conversation with her about the progress of the Cause in Germany and England. The Master may send her to India. She is a very active and energetic worker and no doubt will be able to spread the Bahai movement very effectively. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 14, 1913.
1. The French Day of Independence in Port Said. 2.
Abdul Baha's life in Ismailia. 3. What constitutes ever-
1. The French Day of Independence in Port Said
The European part of Port Said is decorated with thousands of Japanese lanterns, the French flag is seen everywhere, and everybody seems to enter into the spirit of celebration on this National Feast of the Republic of France. After sunset the principal avenues, the French Consulate, the Banks, firms and buildings are lighted up by electricity. The street in which the Eastern Exchange, Continental and Casino Palace Hotels are built, is a riot of music promenaders, Arabs, Greeks, Italians, English,
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 63German, and French. Everybody is out to have a good time and to see the sights. The avenue from one end to the other is wired, and a roof is constructed of Japanese lanterns. The trees also bear such luminous fruits. During the day there have been many public functions and receptions in the Consulate, in the government house and in the Canal Company headquarters. Last night there was a grand Ball in the Casino Palace Hotel. About eight o'clock we left home, our destination being the Municipal Park. The Casino Palace Hotel is so built that it fronts the Mediterranean and on the other side faces the Park. The hotel was illumined from top to bottom with electric festoons and it was indeed a glori- ous sight to thousands of Arabs, men, women and chil- dren—who had come to see what wonders these "strangers" have wrought! The weather was cool, a brisk breeze was wafting from the sea. The heaven was clear and the soft silver rays of the Queen of night streamed down upon a merry-making population. The search- light, built upon a high pillar to guide ships into the har- bor, revolved round and round, sending its powerful rays into the remote distances of the sea. At nine o'clock a cannon boomed forth, and the display of fireworks was started. More than twenty coal barges were tied together] at the wharf. People crowded near the harbor. The fire- works were on these barges and hundreds of rockets ascended to the skies displaying many colors. Some strange, fantastic contrivances, were displayed on the water, which ran hither and thither like lizards. For one hour and a half the display of pyrotechnics continued, showing all the original devices and magical works that a French mind can invent.
As soon as the fireworks started, three ships illumi-nated from top to bottom, came into view from the other side of the port. These were followed by more than one
64ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
hundred boats in an orderly line, all brilliantly lighted with electricity. It was really a very imposing naval procession, fairy-like, picturesque and beautiful. Beside these boats there were several hundred others belonging to the merry-makers, afloat on the calm sea. Now and then the air brought to our ears the sweet notes of a mandolin or guitar. . . . It was half past eleven when we returned home!
2. Abdul Baha's Life in Ismailia
This morning Ahmad Yazdi returned from Ismailia and brought good news of the Beloved. The first two days he had not felt well, but now he is resting better. While there he had met an old friend of his, a famous doctor who had prescribed a regime of rest and diet to be followed strictly. The Master has decided to remain a week; if the weather agrees with him he will send for all of us, if not, he will return and then may go to Ram- leh. He has sent for Mirza Fazlollah to go to him as soon as possible. So he left at seven P. M., and will be in Ismailia at 8:15 P. M.
To-day I will translate another Tablet to an American Bahai:
3. What Constitutes Everlasting Fame
"O THOU WHO ARE ATTRACTED BY THE LIGHTS SHIN- ING FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
"Verily I have read thy eloquent letter and wonderful epistle expressing thy excessive joy through the divine Glad-tidings, and reflecting the susceptibilities of thy con- scious and spiritual emotions through the Bestowals of His Majesty the Lord of mankind. Blessed art thou for this Bounty! Gladness be unto thee for this Gift! Re- joicing be thine for this confirmation. Happiness be
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 65
unto thee for this assistance. Ere long thou shalt behold with eyes of beatitude the signs of success and prosperity because of thy firmness in the Love of God, thy stead- fastness in the Covenant of God, thy superlative attrac- tion to God, thy unwavering perseverance in the diffusion of the Fragrance of God and thy source of joyousness through the Glad-tidings of God!
"Know thou, verily I say unto thee that the condition of this mortal world, even if it is the kingship of the whole expanse of the Globe, is ephemeral. It is an illu- sion. It ends in nothing, neither does it contain any re- sults nor in the estimation of God is it equal to the wing of a mosquito. Where are the kings and the queens? Where are the palaces and the empresses? Where are the imperial thrones and jeweled crowns? Where are the mighty rulers of Persia, Greece and Rome? Verily their palaces are in ruin and desolation, their thrones de- stroyed, and their crowns cast in the dust. But any one of the maid-servants of God who has arisen in the dif- fusion of the Fragrances of God, serving the Kingdom of God, summoning the people to the Word of God, eternally her signs shall be widely spread and handed down through centuries and cycles; her dawn shall ever be luminous; her star always shining; her flag continually flying; her station divinely glorified; her crown scintillat- ing; her message living; her fame immortal; her voice resonant; her spirit in the apex of the Kingdom; and her effulgence in the horizon of the Realm of Might I beg of God to make thee one of these maid-servants.." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 15, 1913.
1. The Message of Abdul Baha to the Unitarians. 2.
Abdul Baha's conversation with Bishop Birch of New
York City. 3. Some churches are free from prejudices.
66ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
4. Abdul Baha expresses the desire to visit the Shrine
of his father in Acca. 5. Abdul Baha praises the faith
of the Germans.
In the Persian notes of our brother Mirza Mahmoud I find a glorious message to the Unitarians of America which I am sure was not translated at the time: It is the second day after the Beloved's departure from Alex- andria, March 26 or 27th, 1912. An American woman expresses her interest in the Cause, saying that she is a Unitarian and requesting the Master to send a message to them in the United States. Then Abdul Baha utters the following words:—
1. The Message of Abdul Baha to the Unitarians
"Convey to the Unitarians my loving greetings and say; The most exalted aim in this world is the promo- tion of the Love of God and the establishment of good fellowship and unity between the people. This is the signal distinction between man and beast. When thou reaches America, announce to the Unitarians:—
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The Sun of Universal Love hath dawned;
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The Banquet of friend- ship and divine association is spread.
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The Banner of the King- dom of God is unfurled!
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings ! The heavenly Spring hath appeared.
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The Cloud of spiritual Grace is pouring down!
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The trees of the orchard of humanity are verdant and abloom.
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Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The Herald of the King- dom hath become manifest.
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The prophecies of the holy Books have been fulfilled.
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The age of human brotherhood is dawning upon mankind!
Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings! The Century of light and Universal Peace hath come!"
As I read these vital words it seemed to me that they were a most significant prelude to the enthusiastic recep- tion given to him by the Unitarians of America at their Convention in Boston, in the Tremont Temple.
Another beautiful talk that I may be permitted to trans- late here from the Persian notes is the Beloved's words to Bishop Birch of New York, who came to call on him at the Hotel Ansonia on the sixth day of his arrival After a preliminary conversation he said:
2. Abdul Baha's Conversation with Bishop Birch of New York City
"Praise be to God that stupendous material develop- ments are obtained in this country; but material civiliza- tion alone does not safeguard the progress of a nation; because through material civilization, dynamite, Krupp guns, projectiles and Mauser's rifles are invented: thus the infernal instruments of human fratricide are multi- plied and constantly perfected. Therefore, natural civili- zation fosters both good and evil. All this warfare, and bloodshed, and all this feverish multiplication of military armaments are the results of material civilization. When material civilization joins hands with spiritual civiliza- tion, then it will be perfect. In former times a wooden box may have protected your objects from the thief. but
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now safes with their complicated keys and signs do not daunt the robbers. Consequently just as 'good' is ad- vanced through material civilization, 'evil' has taken the same pace. Earthly civilization must become the hand- maid of heavenly civilization. Natural civilization is like unto the body of man. If the body is animated by the spirit, it is alive, otherwise it is a corpse which in time will become decomposed."
The Bishop expressed his pleasure and delight at hear- ing the above words of truth. The Master replied:
3. Some Churches are Free from Prejudices
"I am likewise very grateful to you. Praise be to God that your churches are free from prejudice. They are not so creed-bound as to be unable to breathe. Many Christian Churches in Europe are as yet extremely dog- matic, but I have already spoken in churches belonging to your denomination. The congregations consisted of most delightful and intelligent people. This is a great distinction. I love you with all my heart and soul. My chief aim is to remove the present misunderstanding be- tween the nations of the East and the West:—so that we may express love toward each other and promote the essentials of heavenly civilization. I hope that such a confirmation may be vouchsafed, so that we may become united."
The Bishop said:—
"Up to this time no one has come from the East to the West with such power, such lucid teachings and such exalted aims. Therefore I am very grateful to you and most pleased to have met you."
The third contribution for to-day is going to be a part of a touching Tablet revealed by the Betoved to a friend in Acca, on the fourth of this month. He says in part:
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 69
4. Abdul Baha Expresses Desire to Visit the Shrine of His Father in Acca
"Truly I say, the extreme desire of my heart and soul is to be present at the Court of Baha-Ullah, so that I may perfume my face and my locks with the dust of the Holy Threshold. It is now three years since Abdul Baha has been deprived of this Favor and has remained too far to become the recipient of the dawning lights of that brilliant spot. Day and night he has suffered from regret and deprivation. It is hoped from His Highness the Desired One, that this weak body which through the effect of the long journey has come to the verge of com- plete disintegration, may before the cessation of breath, become so assisted as to throw itself upon the Dust of the Holy Threshold. May this servant attain to a new life, illumine his eyes, and transform his heart and spirit into a rose garden and meadow, start on his journey to reach the Abode of the Friend and haste from this to another world."
5. Abdul Baha Praises the Faith of German Bahais
In a Tablet revealed on the same date to Mirza Ali Akbar he says about Germany:—
"In short, Germany shall become illuminated; because its inhabitants are religious and not submerged in the sea of materialism. Those souls who travel along the path of nature are like unto dead people; the breath of life does not play upon them to any effect. Praise be to God that you have become assisted in service and that you have ignited the candle of guidance before the eyes of all. It is hoped that most weighty results may become apparent. The German believers are in a state of real
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enkindlement; firm and steadfast in the Cause of God; therefore their influence will be very great."
To-dav a letter was received from Mirza Moneer who is in Ismailia, giving the news of the well-being of the Master, and saying that he will soon send for us; he is looking for a house large enough to accommodate all. In the morning we called on Ahmad Yazdi at his store; in the afternoon Madame Stannard came to see us and we talked a great deal about the probability of the Be- loved's trip to India. She has lived in that country for a long time, and is thoroughly familiar with the situation. To-day several letters arrived from America imparting cheer and happiness. Through the golden chain of cor- respondence hearts are united even if seas and lands separate them. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 16, 1913.
1. The scope of Abdul Baha's talks in California. 2. The program of a day's activity in Port Said. 3. Permission comes to visit Abdul Baha in Ismailia. 4. What is real friendship? 5. A prayer for the friends. 6. For me to be silent, for you to be singing.
1. The Scope of Abdul Baha's Talks in California
Now that we are temporarily separated from the Be- loved, we occupy our time with the past, working upon the notes of his American tour. I am copying all the Master's public and private talks given in California, so that when I am with him, he may correct them for future publication. The Master's talks in California reached the high water mark of his trip, showing the wonderful versatility of his divine mind. During those days, a
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 71
flood of teachings was poured from his tongue, irrigat- ing the soil of hearts.
2. The Program of a Day's Activity in Port Said
Mirza Mahmoud is busy writing the diary of Abdul Baha's tour in America. Mirza Ali Akbar copies the Tablets and addresses of the Beloved. He is eager to have these heavenly words to read in the Bahai meetings which he will attend on his way to Persia. For the pres- ent our group consists of only these three persons. We live very quietly. Seldom anything or anybody disturbs the peacefulness of our abode. I get up at five o'clock and after reading a few prayers, go out on the veranda and look at the Mediterranean, sometimes perfectly calm, and again rough. Then I work for an hour or two, till my friends are awake. Mirza Jamal, our Bahai cook, has by this time prepared our breakfast, which consists of tea, bread and cheese. Then we work again till noon, and now and then one of us may go upon some errand or to visit Ahmad Yazdi's store to receive the news. For lunch, often we have bread, cheese, cantaloupe or water- melon, and if not these, "abgousht" or "Persian stew." Our friends take a nap. I work. At four we have tea. At six we take a walk and call on Madame Stannard at the Eastern Exchange Hotel. Generally we are back by eight. Between nine and ten we have our supper, some- times rice or meat. Then we sit on the veranda for about an hour, speaking about the Cause, and enjoying the moonlit night, then we return to our room to work until eleven or twelve o'clock, after which we retire. This is the program of our life for the present. A great con- trast to our strenuous activities in the West.
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3. Permission Comes to Visit Abdul Baha in Ismailia
This morning Mirza Fazlollah returned from Ismailia with a package of Tablets from the Beloved for me to translate. On the envelope the Master writes with his own hand:
"Translate these Tablets immediately. We hope soon to rent a house. As soon as it is prepared, we will send for you."
This message danced before my eyes and I started on my translations. Our happiness was complete when Mirza Ali Akbar brought us permission to leave for Is- mailia to-morrow, to spend the day. The anticipation of meeting the Master gave us a new vigor and all day and night we walked on a cloud of joy and happiness. . . . Mirza Fazlollah has received permission to leave to-mor- row for Persia.
The following is the translation of a Tablet revealed for the Persian believers on July 4th, which may be of interest:—.
4. What Is Real Friendship
"O YE FRIENDS OF ABDUL BAHA! Material friendship is not permanent; for every kind of love which is not purely for the sake of God is ended in hatred. Amity which is not for the sake of the Lord, changeth into enmity. But the divine friends are the faithful ones. They are the consolation of the heart and the peace of my spirit. They are spirit embodied, love personified; sincer- ity incarnated, loyal friends and staunch lovers. There- fore they are the cause of the happiness of the heart and the soul.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 73
5. Prayer for the Friends
"During this long journey, whenever the memory of the friends crossed my mind, hardships were forgotten, inconceivable joys were realized and vicissitudes and in- conveniences changed into composure and tranquillity. Then I supplicated toward the Kingdom of Glory, saying: "'O thou kind Beloved! Be thou the associate of the hearts and the souls of the friends; send them at every moment dew from the sea of thy bestowals; exhilarate them every second with new wine and cause them to be- come intoxicated with thy cup; so that they may take the divine goblet in their hands, give the choice wine to the seekers and confer the exhilaration of the wine of 'Am I not your Lord ?' upon the wooers!"
6. For Me to Be Silent, For You to Be Singing
"In short, during this trip you were all with me and were visible before my sight. In my wanderings, the Melody of this divine bird reached the apex of heaven, and the cry of "Ya Baha El Abha" was heard by the people of the world. Now it is the turn of the believers of God. I will be silent and they must sing with accla- mation and joy:—so that they may awaken the heedless ones.
(Signed) "ABDUL BAHA ABBAS." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 17, 1913.
1. A Prayer for illumination. 2. The Dawn of the Sun of Reality. 3. People are heedless. 4. The duty of the followers of Truth. 5. Our journey to Ismailia. 6. Visit to Abdul Baha in the hotel room. 7. Formation of habits. 8. Baha-Ullah's life in the prison barrack of
74ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Acca. 9. Abdul Baha's room in prison. 10. The fleas of Acca. 11. Al)dul Baha leaves for Alexandria. 12. Ismailia is a clean city.
To begin this day with thanksgiving on my lips and in my heart, I will translate a Tablet revealed by the Master many years ago to the Persian believers. It is from one of the books of Sayad Assadullah.
1. A Prayer of Illumination
"I praise Thee, O Thou Remover of Sorrows, Over- looker of faults, Rejoicer of hearts and Illuminator of faces! Verily to the beloved ones at the door of Thy oneness, the worthiest amongst Thy people, the noble ones amongst Thy creatures and the righteous ones in the congregation of Thy servants, are evidences of the manifestation of Thy singleness. Verily Thou hast chosen Thy believers for the sake of Thy Love, elected them for Thy Knowledge, appointed them as the custo- dians of Thy Mysteries and exalted them above all Thy other servants, under all circumstances, and conditions.
"O Lord! O Lord! Illumine their eyes with the be- holding of Thy ights, refine their consciences with the appearance of Thy Mysteries and enlighten their hearts with he traces of Thy Names! Suffer them to become the signs of Thy Unity, and the Banners of Thy single- ness, the stars of Thy Graces and the candles of Thy Assemblages; so that they may arise to serve Thee and be steadfast in Thy worship. Verily Thou art the Merci- fut, the Giver, the Mighty and the Generous.
2. The Dawn of the Sun of Reality
"O ye kind friends of Abdul Baha ! It is night. The impenetrable darkness hath covered all regions, but the
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 75
hearts of the yearning ones are illumined and enlightened by the rays of the Bestowal of the Clement. The efful- gence of the Morn of guidance is manifest and clear and the brilliant rays of the Sun of Reality are,diffused throughout all Continents. The verses of the divine Majesty of the Most Great Name are read by all the people in all tongues; and through explanations, the evi- dences and proofs of the Blessed Perfection are demon- strated. The Melody of Holiness ascends to the etherial sphere and the songs of Unity descend from the King- dom of Singleness. The Breezes of the most eminent Guidance confer life, and the sweet Fragrances of the Paradise of Abha perfume this world and the world beyond.
3. People Are Heedless
"Notwithstanding this effulgence and this diffusion of the Fragrance of the Rose garden of the Covenant, in- numerable souls are yet afflicted with the sleep of negli- gence. Their eyes are veiled and their nostrils do not inhale its fragrant perfume. What negligence, what in- advertence, what ignorance and what heedlessness is this! Verily this is the condition of the deprived ones in this Most Great Dispensation!
4. The Duty of the Followers of Truth
"But as regards you, turn your faces toward the King- dom of Abha and join your voices in anthems of thanks- giving and glorification!—that, praise be to God, the Sun of Unity hath so illumined the hearts of the right- eous ones as to cause them to become the envy of the dawning-places of light and this is only through His all- comprehending Mercy and special Favor! Its source is:
76ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
—‘He chooseth for His Grace whomsoever He willeth,' and its mainspring is:—‘This is through the Bounty of your Lord, He bestoweth on whomsoever He desireth.'
"Therefore, appreciate the value of the Most Great Bestowal of this ineffable Grace, and of this manifest Favor and Bounty which has been given to all the in- habitants of the world; so that by this appreciation and thankfulness the Mercy of the Peerless Lord may be in- creased, the Ancient Grace be revealed in the hearts and souls and spiritual outpouring be vouchsafed.
"Upon ye be greeting and praise!
(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS.
5. Our Journey to Ismailia
As we were leaving this morning for Ismailia we arose early. The train left at eight o'clock. In our company there were several other Bahais with their families who planned to stop over at Ismailia, to meet the Master and then continue upon their journey to Cairo. All along the road the mighty Canal joining the two seas was visible, and now and then great ships passed before our eyes. On the other side was the barren desert with its lack of vege- tation. We also passed by a great salt lake, the whiteness of which dazzled us in the light of the sun. The train stopped at many stations, allowing passengers to get on or off as the case might be. By ten o'clock we reached Ismailia. It has a small, up-to-date station. As it is practically inhabited only by Europeans, it is one of the cleanest spots in Egypt. It has, of course, an Arab quarter, but in comparison with other Arab quarters I have seen this one is quite clean. Ismailia is a new town.
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6. Visit to Abdul Baha in the Hotel Room
As soon as we reached the station we hurried to the hotel of J. Bosta. The first persons we met were Mirza Moneer and Khosro, who have been fortunate enough to be with the Master. One of them conducted us to room 13 where the Beloved was living. When we entered we found Abdul Baha in bed in a weakened condition. He welcomed us and inquired about our health. One of us had brought a package of letters and after a few minutes it was delivered to him. For a while he read them. There was one from an American believer (Miss . A. Boylan) announcing the sad news of the death of her mother; another from India welcoming him to Egypt and inviting him to visit the former country. There were many more letters and cablegrams which for the present were left unread.
7. Formation of Habits
He raised himself and sat up in bed. He complained of the hardness of the cushions, saying, that when he was in Paris one of the believers had brought him a soft cushion and had urged him to put it under his head. He had become accustomed to it, and as there was none in the present hotel his neck consequently suffered pain all night. He said it was very bad to become the slave of habit, and that when he was young he often had a brick or a piece of rock to rest upon and slept soundly.
Haji Niaz said he had a soft pillow with him and begged to be allowed to go out and bring it. Abdul Baha would not have it, because he wished to get accustomed again to his old habits. One must never habituate him- self to anything the absence of which may affect one's comfort.
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8. Baha-Ullah's Life in the Persian Barrack of Acca
Then he related the story of Baha-Ullah's cruel in- carceration in the barracks of Acca, substantially as follows:
When two years had passed, a regiment of soldiers was assigned to Acca. Of course there was only one place for them to live and that was the barracks. There- fore they had no alternative other than to turn out the Bahai prisoners. At the time there was an inn in Acca which was inhabited by different people. In after years this inn became an hospice for the pilgrims. Abdul Baha went to the innkeeper, stating, that inasmuch as the Bahais were numerous and included several families, he desired to rent the inn and if it were possible for the present inmates to lodge themselves elsewhere.
The innkeeper agreed to accept this offer, but when after a few days he came back to draw up the papers and to sign the document, the Master observed that one of the rooms was still inhabited.
"Who is here?" he asked.
"It is the German Consul," the imlkeeper replied.
"He must leave the premises, otherwise I will not rent the place. It is impossible for an outsider to live here."
The innkeeper looked at him with ridicule and con- tempt.
"Ha, ha !" he laughed. "And they say you are a pris- oner! You talk to me as though you are my lord and master. What do you think, Mr. Prisoner ! Do you ex- pect to get an exclusive palace in this prison town? Not much, not much. This man is the German Consul. I cannot drive him out." To which Abdul Baha replied: "There are many palaces in the outside world! If a prisoner can find a palace in a prison town, he has in- deed accomplished something."
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 79
9. Abdul Baha's Room in Prison
Finally the German Consul left of his own accord, only requesting the use of the room for two hours a day so that he might attend to his official duties, to which proposition Abdul Baha consented cheerfully. Then the Bahais began to repair the rooms, but one of them had to be left untouched because their funds were exhausted The rooms were then assigned to the various families and friends, and Abdul Baha chose the unrepaired one for himself. This room was so damp that grass had grown on the walls and there were several cracks in the ceiling which gave free admittance to the rain. The floor consisted of humid earth, and was a breeding place for fleas.
10. The Fleas of Acca
Abdul Baha had a mat and a long Persian fur coat. The latter was his garment by day and his blanket by night. When he covered himself with it, an army of fleas, hiding in the ambuscade of fur, attacked him and did their best to defeat him, but he outwitted them by turning the coat and by using its other side. Then for an hour he slept, until the wily, indomitable fleas would find their way again to the inner side. Every night he had recourse to this maneuvering eight or ten times, yet notwithstanding this, he was by far happier and more joyful then than at this time, sleeping on a fine bed in the hotel.
11. Abdul Baha Leaves for Alexandria
Then to our surprise he informed us that he would leave to-day for Ramleh, and stay there for one week.
80ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
If the weather agreed with him, he would send for us; if not, he would return to Port Said and together we would all go to Haifa. Therefore at 2 :30 P. M., accom- panied by Mirza Moneer and Khosro, he left for Alexan- dria and Ramleh. The station master was a European, and when the Beloved reached the station a few minutes before time, he was conducted by him to his private office to rest. When the train arrived, this station master followed him very politely to the first class compartment. This sign of distinction was great enough in the eyes of the natives and officials of the railroad to excite their wonder and curiosity. Then as the train pulled out from the station we were once more separated from the Master. Our train leaves for Port Said at half-past nine, and therefore we have several hours on our hands.
12. Ismailia Is a Clean City
In order to pass the time profitably we took in the sights. There is a beautiful large park, lovely buildings, clean avenues and many electric lights. I was quite sur- prised at the size of the park with its big pine trees and flowers. We saw also the native quarter. The goats, the hens, the donkeys and the other animals live in the same room with the Arabs, making a peaceful family. When we set our feet in the Port Said station, familiar faces greeted us. Ahmad Yazdi, Ibrahim Effendi and Aga Jamal. They were, of course, surprised to hear that the Master had left Ismailia, but they said quietly: "He doth whatsoever he willeth." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 18, 1913.
1. Abdul Baha's bust, taken in Vienna, is sent to Port Said. 2. A prayer for the success of the Bahais. 3. Prayer for illumination. 4. The Covenant is a lamp.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 81
1. Abdul Baha's Bust, Made in Vienna, Is Sent to Port Said
I have no news to write. We did not hear anything from Ramleh. It was a hot day so we stayed at home and worked until 7 o'clock P. M. Then we paid a call on Madame Stannard and returned by way of Ahmad Yazdl s store. He had received the Master's little bust from Stuttgart. Mr. Herrigel has sent one to Mirza Mahmoud and one to me. At present, mine is on my writing table and is a reminder of his wondrous person- ality and heavenly Love. "His spiritual face" is printed on the Tablets of our hearts. We think of him and work for him, for "his spiritual face" is the Love of God, is the Knowledge of God, is the Breath of the Holy Spirit, is the Divine Inspiration and love for all mankind.
2. A Prayer for the Success of the Bahais
The following is a prayer revealed from the tongue of the Beloved many years ago:—
"He is Glory, the Most Glorious!
"O God! O God! Behold Thou these radiant faces made joyous through the Fragrances of the flowers of Thy Kingdom, El Abha, and illumined with the lights of Thy Supreme Concourse. Verily Thou seest that the temples of the believers are stirred by the fresh breezes of the Morning of Eternity and that the hearts of the pure ones are attracted by the signs of the Sacred Mysteries!
"O Lord! Fill for them the cups of joy; enlighten their faces by the rays emanating from the lamp of divine prosperity; cause them to hear the sweet songs of the
82ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
birds of Holiness in the rose garden of Spiritual success; gladden them by allowing them to listen to the melodies of the Doves of light inthe delectable heavenly fields, and suffer them to enter into the Paradise of Abha, Thy Celestial Garden.
"O My Lord! O My Lord! Intoxicate them with the Wine of Knowledge, sweeten their taste with the delicacies of prayer in the early morn and eve; gather them together into one congregation; confer upon them a shelter; protect them in the cause of Thy Covenant and Testament; shield them from doubts and from the evil suggestions of the waverers; make them Mines of Knowl- edge, of Wisdom and of Assurance, cause their feet to be firm and steady in the Straight Path, and grant unto them prosperity in whatever country they call the people to Thy Name! Verily, Thou art the Lord of the Cause and Thou art Powerful to do whatsoever Thou desirest! (Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Here is another prayer. It may have been revealed for the American believers.
3. Prayer for Illumination
"He is El Abha!
"O Thou Incomparable God! Make Thou these hearts intimate with Thy Mystery; suffer them to be detached from the known and from the unknown; cause them to drink from the overflowing cup of the morn of Unity and intoxicate them with the wine of 'Am I not your Lord?'
"O Lord! These servants are captivated by Thee. These longing ones are attracted and enthralled by Thy Beauty. They are wanderers a~out Thy abode; lovers
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 83
of Thy Countenance, and the flocks of gazelles of Thy meadow.
"O Lord! We are stumbling in the desert of remote- ness and are scattered in the valley of deprivation! Send Thou to us the Messenger of Providence and the Angel of Guidance:–-so that the Fragrance of Thy Garden may reach unto our nostrils, the refulgent light of Thy Countenance illumine the 'house of sorrows' of these grief-stricken people; the darkness of night be changed into the sunlight of day and the thorny place of regret transformed into the garden of hope. Verily Thou art the Mighty, the Seer and the Hearer!
"O ye believers of God ! Rejoice in the Most Eminent Bounty of your Lord! Be happy; for the Favors of the Glad-tidings of the King of the Kingdom are un- limited. Be ye prepared for the downpouring of the Cloud of Mercy. Upon you be the Bestowals of your Lord, the Ancient! Dilate your breasts, increase your fervor, exalt your ambition, add to your yearning, and be rejoiced in heart, for God hath chosen you from amongst His creatures, for the sake of His Love. Verily He is Merciful and Clement to you.
(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
I bring this day to a close by translating another Tab- let revealed to an American Bahai several years ago:—
4. The Covenant Is a Lamp
"O thou spiritual leaf, which is verdant and fresh through the downpourings of the Kingdom of God!
"Verily I pray at the Threshold of God, the Mighty, the Powerful, that He may illumine thy heart with the light emanating from the height of the kingdom, cause thy tongue to speak the praise of the Living, Self-subsis-
84 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
tent, Eternal Lord, and suffer thee to become a light shining with the rays of Knowledge, so that thou mayst enlighten those vast cities and great states.
"Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, the Covenant of God and His Testament is a lamp with world-illuminating rays which from the Supreme Concourse enlightens the horizons of the earth and heaven. Whosoever stations himself before this divine light, will be illumined with Manifest Glory, his speech will become effective in the hearts and spirits, and God will reinforce him with a power which will penetrate through the realities of all things. Upon thee be Bahai!
(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 19, 1913.
1. Arrival of Abdul Baha in Ramleh. 2. The presence
of Abdul Baha holds the people together. 3. Brahma,
Krishna and Buddha taught the Oneness of God. 4. The
law of change is universal. 5. In the Bahai Cause no
one holds religious offices, titles and ceremonies. 6.
Who are the sanctified souls?
1. Arrival of Abdul Baha in Ramleh
This morning we received a short note from Mirza Moneer telling us about the safe arrival of the Master in Ramleh where he has taken rooms in the Hotel Vic- toria. Unfortunately owing to the fatigue of the jour- ney and to the recurrence of fever, he had not been sleeping well at night. On the way they had met Seyad Jalal who was also going to Ismailia to meet the Beloved. Toward evening I called on Mrs. Stannard. She read me a letter, just received from Miss Hiscock of New York, who has been living in Ramleh for two or three years. .She spoke of her happiness on hearing of the ar-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 85
rival of the Master. Mirza Abul Fazl has already called on him and she and other friends intend to avail them- selves of the first opportunity to do the same.
The Master has sent one of the Bahais, Sayad Yahya, to Haifa to accompany his daughter, Rouha Khanum, back to Alexandria. . . . A house will be rented in Ram- leh, and in a few days we will be on our way to join the Spiritual Caravan.
2. The Presence of Abdul Baha Holds the People Together
When the Master leaves a place all the different ele- ments which have been holding together are seemingly scattered; the collected individualities regain their entities each person follows his own inclination; one feels that something is lacking, for the touchstone of life has gone the great social leveler has disappeared. The "I" and the "MY" stalk abroad. Futile conversation and bicker- ing, sneak around the corner and if encouraged, step boldly in to the courtyard and to the private chamber. We must ever gaze toward the sun of Universal Fellow- ship, otherwise we will dissipate our forces
This morning I was reading the diary of the Master's voyage on the steamer Cedric from Alexandria to New York. Omitting the usual details and descriptions of the trip, I have chosen a few selections from his talks with different travelers which have a general bearing upon his expected arrival in America.
3. Brahma, Krishna and Buddha Taught the Oneness of God
It is the third day of the trip. An American, after hearing the Master's teachings on reincarnation, goes
86ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
to his cabin and carries to him an idol worshiped in China and Japan. The Master holds it in his hand and remarks:—
What vast difference exists between the souls of man- kind! One retrogrades to such a low level as to worship statues and stone idols: forms which are devoid of spirit and reason, while God hath conferred upon him reason and adorned his shoulders with the mantle of spiritual attributes! Another soars to such a high summit of per- fection and perspicacity as to become the Sign of God and the Instructor of humanity. Brahma, Krishna and Buddha never advocated polytheism. They were emi- nent teachers of monotheism as were all the other pro- phets of God; but succeeding generations misconstrued their words and in order to further their own selfish in- terests fabricated these false doctrines.
4. The Law of Change is Universal
On the sixth day he spoke to a group of passengers as follows:—
"All created phenomena are subject to the law of change and transmutation. Youth is followed by old age; a tender plant grows into an aged tree; dynasties are born, wax strong, reach to the zenith of glory and then totter to the ground. Likewise everyone of the world religions has been a cause of progress and advance- ment in its own time, but now they have become as very old trees, and do not yield any more luscious fruits. Some people persist in the unscientific belief that these very old trees will again become young and push forth leaves, blossoms and fruits. This is impossible. This age needs a young sapling with universal growing ca- pacity. Are you informed of such a plant?
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 87
5. In the Bahai Cause No One Holds Religious Offices, Titles and Ceremonies
On the eighth day, he speaks to the Persians:—
"The Blessed Perfection has torn up the root of the tree of superstition and religious offices. In the past the ambitious leaders of religion have been the reasons of the ignorance and the retrogression of nations. In this Cause there is no religious title, no ceremony of ordina- tion. One is not respected simply because one wears a peculiar dress or has been given a religious title or has inherited one from Patriarchs of the Church. No! These are not marks of distinction.
6. Who Are the Sanctified Souls?
"On the other hand, there are holy souls, the signs of whose divine sanctity and spirituality become apparent in the hearts of others. People are unconsciously attracted to them through their pure morality, their justice and loving kindness. Everyone is drawn to them on account of their praiseworthy attributes and pleasing qualities, and all faces are illumined by the light of their virtue and integrity. In this Movement there is no title to be given to anyone, and no position to be inherited. 'The hands of the Cause' are the hands of Truth. Therefore, whosoever is the promoter and the servant of the Word of God, is the hand of Truth. By ‘the hands of God' certain definite spiritual meanings are conveyed. It is not only a verbal expression. The more a man is humble in the Cause of God, the more he is confirmed; and the more he is evanescent, the more he is favored." _________
88ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 20, 1913.
1. Who is Abdul Baha? 2. A Catholic procession in the streets of Port Said. 3. First journey of the Persians
to America. Why Abdul Baha went to America. 4.
Material and spiritual food. 5. Steam, a marvelous en-
ergy. 6. Abdul Baha's welcome in New York. 7. In-
terview with the newspapermen on the steamer deck.
1. Who is Abdul Baha?
The heart of Abdul Baha is the fountain of life out of which flows the Water of Truth. Are you thirsty? His Universal Teaching is divine Food descending from the exalted heaven of the Will of God. Are you hungry? His utterances are the roses and anemones of the garden of Abha. Do you love flowers? His words are the brilliant stars of the firmament of spiritual Glory. Are not the stars beautiful? His presence inspires confidence, manhood, loyalty and uprightness. Should you not char- acterize yourselves with these attributes? His Ideals are fresh breezes heralding the approaching dawn of the springtime of human regeneration. Are you stirred into gladsome life? His message is the sweet melody of the Kingdom of Abha. Do you listen to the soul-enraptur- ing strains? His pathway is the pathway, leading the traveler to the ultimate reality. Are you ready to walk in it?
2. A Catholic Procession in the Streets of Port Said
To-day the French inhabitants had a gorgeous religious procession which started from their church. All the streets through which it passed were adorned with flags, bunting and Japanese lanterns. The priests were dressed in their pompous surplices of red, gold and silver. There were long lines of young girls dressed as angels, also a
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 89
company of choir boys. The procession was brought to an end by a large statue of the Virgin Mary, holding the child, Jesus, in her arms. Of course thousands of Arabs left their work to gaze at this very spectacular sight of what they called "idol worship," and not understanding the sacredness of these symbols, they poked fun and laughed in their sleeves. How sad is the ignorance of humanity!
I will continue to translate a few more sayings of the Beloved when on the steamer Cedric.
3. First Journey of the Persians to America
Ninth day:—"Formerly it was most difficult to cross the Atlantic and up to this time few travelers with our aims and intentions have gone from Persia to America. There are some who have visited the United States, but it has been either for personal affairs or for the trans- action of business. One can therefore say, that this is the first disinterested journey of a group of Persians to America. Our great hope is in the divine Confirmations through which all doors will be opened to us. To-day the nations of the world can be conquered by divine Power, and this divine Power revolves around the servants of the Blessed Perfection. All personal interests must dis- appear beside this wondrous Aim."
Eleventh day.—"I go to America on account of the invitations of the American Peace Societies and the ur- gent appeals of my friends, because the objects of this Cause are universal Peace, the oneness of the world of humanity and perfect equality between all mankind. As this century is the century of light and the cycle of the revelation of Mysteries, undoubtedly these glorious aims will be fully established, and the influence of this great Cause will encircle the East and the West."
90 ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
4. Material and Spiritual Food
Twelfth day:—At the table the Master speaks about simple diet: how much better it is for one's constitution to eat one or two courses. One of the American Bahais asks Him if he will not prescribe a simple recipe of diet- ing for the believers upon His arrival in America. He laughs heartily and says:—
"We do not interfere with their material food, but we will give them a simple recipe of spiritual food. This is our work."
5. Steam a Marvelous Energy
Sixteenth day:—"We will be only one more day on the steamer. In reality steam is a marvelous energy. Were it not for this power, how could we cross the Atlantic Ocean? What a wonderful means of transpor- tation God has prepared for us and how the Blessed Perfection has confirmed us! Otherwise what relation between America and Persia!"
6. Abdul Baha's Welcome in New York
Seventeenth day:—Great skyscrapers are visible in the distance. The Goddess of Liberty holds aloft her lamp. The Master walks up on the deck watching with great interest the shifting scenes; hundreds of Bahais are im- patiently waiting on the pier. He talks with the Per- sians:—
"When we embarked on the steamer in Alexandria no one dreamed that we should reach America in such safety, and cross the Atlantic with such ease.
"Now the steamer docks in its berth; the Bahais on the pier wave their handkerchiefs and hats; The Desire of their hearts is not seen from the dock; he is in his cabin
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 91
surrounded by a number of newspapermen. Patiently Abdul Baha gives interviews to each, answering every question and satisfying all. Here I will translate one of the many beautiful interviews. It is the shortest.
7. Interview with the Newspapermen on the Steamer Deck
"What are your aims?" the reporter asks
"Our aims," he answers, "are Universal Peace and the Oneness of the world of humanity. Last year I visited London and Paris. This year I have come to America to meet the lovers of Peace, perchance we may find a basis for co-operation. It is my hope that the American Peace Societies may consolidate their forces, and thus, shoulder to shoulder, may render an effective service to human- kind."
"How will Universal Peace be established?"
"By educating the public with the sentiments of Peace. To-day the full realization of Universal Peace is a panacea for every social disease."
"What are these diseases?"
"One of the diseases is the poverty of the middle classes through the unbearable burden of war taxation. This craze for militarism has reached its height and shall soon recede. The income of the farmer and of others is taken by the power of a military government and foolishly expended upon useless implements of destruction. The prospect becomes gloomier every year because the war budget of every nation is being increased without any re- gard to the feverish signs of social unrest and industrial upheaval. The people are seething with ideas of insur- rection and agitation. Their burden has become too heavy and their patience is exhausted. They groan under this load, and grope in the darkness, seeking the light of Peace. Their pitiful cries ascend to the throne of the
92ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Almighty. Lo, lo! He has listened to them; He has answered their prayers. The dawn of Peace has ap- peared, the lights of brotherhood are breaking through the foul clouds of human prejudices. Lovers of Peace! Rejoice! rejoice! O ye who are heavy laden, be happy, be happy! Weep no more, for your burden will be taken away from you.
"This military and naval expenditure is a great dis- ease. Look at the result of the war between Italy and Turkey! How dreadful! There exists a reign of Ter- ror. Fathers weep for their sons; sons weep for their fathers. How many peaceful villages are laid waste! How the wealth of the nations is exhausted! The remedy for this disease is through Universal Peace. This will insure public security! To-day that which is the cause of dispersion is war. If the nations enter into a faithful agreement to at once lay armaments aside, they shall secure for themselves and their posterity eternal welfare; they shall become freed from every difficulty and from international confusion. This end must be attained through the development of minds and hearts and by in- culcation of peaceful ideals in all the institutions of modern civilization." _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 21, 1913.
1. There is no diary of Baha-Ullah's and Abdul Baha's
words during the long years of incarceration. 2. Teach-
ing the Cause is the most important of all services. 3. It
is the day of action and happiness.
1. There Is No Diary of Baha-Ullah's and Abdul Baha's Words during the Long Years of Incarceration.
Aside from the mpression that the Beloved will stay in Ramleh and not go to Haifa, there is no news. We
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 93
are anxiously waiting to receive the word for our de- parture. Not only do I miss the glory of His presence, but so much of his wonderful words of light and guid- ance are lost because there is no one to report them. The art of diary writing is comparatively unknown in the East. The believers have not been accustomed to it. For example, throughout the life of Baha-Ullah and during that of Abdul Baha until the present no one dreamed of reporting their sayings. I have not yet seen a book or pamphlet, biographic in tone and diary-like in construc- tion. The recent Persian pilgrims, learning this from the West, would whenever they were summoned to the presence of the Beloved, beg either Mirza Mahmoud or myself to go with them and report the Master's words. We were really stenographers, and our services were much in demand. Had the Master lived in America for the last forty years, there would besides his Tablets have been volumes of memoirs and diaries written by those who were fortunate enough to be near him.
While we are waiting patiently to receive his command, we are not idle. The calmness and sweetness of the Peace which passeth all understanding wafts over our minds and hearts, and in this temporary separation we have experienced that deeper spiritual union which will more and more be realized as time goes on.
2. Teaching the Cause Is the Most Important of All Services
Just as the Master has sacrificed everything in his life in order to spread the Fragrances of the Paradise of Abha, just as the Spirit of Baha-Ullah is his guardian and protector, so likewise must we forget all other thoughts and occupy ourselves with those matters which pertain to the exaltation of the word of God among man-
94ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
kind, and be confident that the Blessed Perfection, under all circumstances, will sustain and reinforce us. At the present time the promulgation of the Teachings is of paramount importance because the Power of the Supreme Concourse is behind it.
In a Tablet revealed by the Beloved many years ago, to the Persian friends, He says:—
"O ye believers of God! Supplicate and entreat at the Threshold of the Almighty that He may confirm you in wafting from the direction of the Garden of God. Blow ye over all creation like the Breezes of the early morn and impart ye a freshness and verdancy through the Power of Truth upon the flowers, the sweet hyacinths and the rose of the garden of existence. This is the quintessence of the meeting and the superlative degree of success and prosperity, for it causes the attainment of man unto the kingdom of Abha, attracts him to the Sacred Court of His Highness the Almighty and suffers him to reach the Sublime Presence of the Powerful, the Omnipotent Lord."
The translation of another dynamic Tablet to the Per- sian believers, revealed likewise many years ago, may be of interest:—3
3. It Is the Day of Action and Happiness
"O ye merciful friends of Abdul Baha! Although it is night, yet it is the morn of the dawn of the divine Kingdom. Lights are shining and f aces are radiant. The Ancient Bestowal of the Beauty of Abba is the Com- panion of every pure heart and the Effulgence of the Manifestation of the Mount of Sinai is the associate
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 95
of every firm and steadfast one. The soul-entrancing Melody of the Blessed Perfection is heard from the In- visible World by every upright and righteous person, and His Glad-tidings and gospels of joy bestow unde- niable Favor. The Fame of His greatness hath filled all regions and the songs of the birds of the meadow of His Reality confer spirit upon all the inhabitants of the globe.
"Consequently, we must send forth a joy-cry and through the Power of God infuse a mighty thrill of spiritual emotion through the pillars of this mortal world. Eternal Life must be revealed in this mundane existence; heavenly Grace must become apparent and the Everlast- ing Bounty of the Paradise of Abha must adorn this earth. How long this silence! How long this speechless- ness! How long this lukewarmness! The flaming torch of the burning Fire of God is set aglow on the apex of the world and the lighted candle of guidance is a wit- ness in the gatherings. If we are not enkindled with the heat of this divine flame, with what heart-burning fire will we then be lighted! If we are not intoxicated with this Wine of God, what kind of wine, then, will exhilar- ate us! If in the Assemblage of Transfiguration we do not forget ourselves, becoming joyous and enraptured then in what gathering will we make tumult and acclama- lon. O ye divine friends! The Call is the Call of the Beauty of Abba, streaming down from the Invisible Kingdom! The Melody is the Melody of the Supreme Concourse, be ye happy, be ye joyous, be ye exultant, "Upon ye be greetings and praises.
( Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
96ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 22,1913.
1. The spiritual lesson drawn from the material progress
of Port Said and the Suez Canal.
1. The Spiritual Lesson Drawn from the Material Progress of Port Said and the Suez Canal
The material progress of Port Said is a great lesson for all the Bahais. Forty years ago there were only a handful of dingy hovels with half-naked Arabs. There was no trade, there were no houses, and no communica- tion existed with the outside world. Almost all the area on which the present up-to-date city with its 60,000 busy inhabitants is built, is land reclaimed from the sea. When the Suez Canal joined the two mighty oceans together, Port Said became an international port, and from that date the magical progress of the city continued uninter- ruptedly. Just as God inspired the heart and mind of DeLesseps with this most wonderful thought of joining the two seas, in like manner, Our Beloved, as a spiritual Engineer, is appointed by Baha-Ullah to unite the East and the West. The concerted efforts of thousands of laborers made possible the realization of the Suez Canal, and thus the greatest engineering feat up to that time was accomplished. Similarly the united zeal and en- deavor of all the Bahais are needed to join together the mighty seas of humanity. This is not child's play. This is a stupendous undertaking. Could the laborers complete the Canal if they sat around and criticised one another? Let us be faithful in our enterprise, and work to the end; let no harsh words discourage us, let us leave behind fruit- less discussions, and engage in that whereby the Word of God may be promoted and the Fragrances of the Cause diffused. Thus we may bring happiness to the heart of Abdul Baha. Let us look forward, and not
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 97
backward; heavenward and not earthward. Baha-Ullah will assist us. The Canal will be completed and there will be witnessed the Confluence of the seas. Then the two mighty oceans of the human families—East and West—which are being stirred at the present time by the contrary winds of conflicting prejudices, shall be joined together. There will be millions of laborers in the future; but we must hold the breach honorably until they arrive! God does not need our services, but we are in need of His continued Graces. He is the most Potent! He can wait. A thousand years in His sight, is as one day. If, through our negligence and inadvertence, we retard His work, we are the losers. He will raise other generations to fulfill His command. He will inspire other hearts to proclaim His words. He will illumine other minds to grasp His ultimate plan. He will rein- force other armies to achieve His triumph. He will in- instruct other nations to magnify His name. We must not let this matchless opportunity escape us! The tool is his who can handle it.
About six o'clock we left our apartment in search of news. The headquarters of news is Ahmad Yazdi's store, so thither our feet directed us. There to our sur- prise and delight we found Haji Sayad Javad and Rouhi Effendi, just arrived from Haifa at the bidding of the Master. The former is an old Bahai of the time of Baha-Ullah and has an interesting history as a back- ground; the latter is the grandson of the Master. He is about 13 years old, the son of Mirza Mohsen. ________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 23, 1913. 1. Possible departure for Ramleh makes us happy. 2
Arrival of Mrs. Getsinger in Port Said. 3. Translation
98ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
of an Interview between Abdul Baha and the reporter of the "San Francisco Examiner."
1. Possible Departure for Ramleh Makes Us Happy
I feel that the Beloved will call us to him before the end of this month. I have heard that two houses are rented, one for himself and his family; the other for the secretaries, etc. The houses are near each other. This has indeed lifted our spirits, and has made us de- cidedly cheerful; now we sing as we work. Mirza Ali Akbar whistles Russian songs; Mirza Mahmoud chants Persian poems, and my choice, strange to say, falls to American music. We do not refer to this great change —but as we look at each other, the joy in our eyes speaks volumes. After all, environment plays a large part in shaping our thoughts and aspirations. However, the Master is teaching us to live above environment, and not to let our minds be colored by the changing film of events.
This morning Haji Sayad Javad and Rouhi Effendi came to call, and we welcomed them with Bahai cor- diality. Haji Javad gave me a short account of his trips to Acca to see Baha-Ullah during the early days of His imprisonment. Javad is an old gentleman, he is tall, with a short white beard, and has a fund of reminiscences of the days of the Blessed Perfection.
2. Arrival of Mrs. Getsinger
After five o'clock we sauntered out toward Ahmad Yazdi's store, and it was with genuine satisfaction that we met Mrs. Getsinger, who had landed two hours be- fore. She was well and happy, and overflowing with the joyful anticipation of meeting the Master. Strange enough a telegram was received from the Master within
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an hour, giving her permission to leave the next morning for Ramleh.
3. Translation of an Interview between Abdul Baha and the Reporter of the "San Francisco Examiner"
I would now like to translate from my Persian notes a most interesting interview between a correspondent of the Examiner er and the Master in San Francisco. The date is October 3rd, 1912. The hour is about eight P.M. This fine interview appeared the next day in a most crude form, almost unrecognizable:—
Correspondent: "Are you pleased with the United States?"
Abdul Baha: "The Continent of America is most progressive. The means of instruction are prepared; the educational institutions are thoroughly equipped and the pupils are being systematically trained and educated. Its wealth is on an upward tendency. Its government is democratic. Its advancement unceasing. Its nation hospitable. Its people loyal, energetic and noble. Its in- habitants free and lovers of liberty. Its men civilized and its women cultured, refined and idealistic. On the other hand, all these advantages are on the objective plane and I observe that the majority of the people are submerged in a sea of materialism and agnosticism. Its material civilization is well nigh perfect, but it is in need of the civilization of heaven—divine civilization." Correspondent: "What do you mean by divine civiliza- tion?"
Abdul Baha: "Divine Civilization is the light. Ma- terial civilization is the lamp. Material civilization is the body; in itself it is not sufficient, and humanity, from every point of view, stands in need of divine civilization. Natural civilization produces material welfare and pros-
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perity; divine civilization develops man's ideal virtues. Natural civilization serves the physical world; Divine Civilization serves the world of morality. Divine Civili- zation is a symposium of the perfections of the world of humanity. Divine Civilization is the improvement of the ethical life of a nation. Divine Civilization is the discovery of the Reality of phenomena. Divine Civiliza- tion is spiritual philosophy. Divine Civilization is Knowledge of God wth rational and intellectual evidences. Divine Civilization is Eternal Life. Divine Civilization is the immortality of the soul. Divine Civilization is the breath of the Holy Spirit. Divine Civilization is heavenly wisdom. Divine Civilization is the Reality of the Teachings of all the ancient prophets. Divine Civili- zation is IJniversal Peace and the Oneness of the world of humanity. The Holy Manifestations of God have been the founders of Divine Civilization, the first teach- ers of mankind and the spreaders of the fragrances of holiness and sanctity amongst the children of men." Correspondent: "Are you satisfied with the Ameri- can people?"
Abdul Baha: "The Americans are a kind, and affec- tionate people. All nations are welcomed in their midst. They give to every one the right of living and allow each to seek happiness in his own way. Here no one feels a foreigner. I am most pleased with them."
Correspondent: "I have heard that you advocate the complete equality of men and women. This radical teaching coming from an Oriental thinker, is of great interest and supreme significance. Just at this juncture the Californian women are clamoring for the right to vote for all the National and State officials, and your opinion on this important question would be greatly ap-preciated by the people."
Abdul Baha: "The question of equality between men
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and women has made greater advancement in America than anywhere else, and day by day it is assuming more importance and coming nearer to its full realization. However, so long as complete equality does not exist be- tween men and women, the world of humanity will not make extraordinary progress. The woman is an essen- tial column, while the man is also an essential column. If we aim to have a lasting building, the foundations of both columns must be laid very deep. Women are the first teachers of the children. They instruct them and mculcate morality in their minds and hearts. Later these children attend schools and universities for higher edu- cation and specialization. Now if the teacher or instruct- tor is deficient, how can the scholar be properly trained? Therefore, it is proven that the culture and development of men will be intensified and will attain perfect fruition when women have equal opportunities with them. Con- sequently, the women must enjoy all the learning they are able to assimilate, so that they may reach to the level of men. The same privileges and opportunities must be con- ferred upon both; so that, just as they share life and its responsibilities, they may also share the same virtues of the world of humanity. Undoubtedly partnership in education and culture presupposes equality in rights. The world of humanity has two wings, one the male, the other the female. Both wings have to become strong so that mankind may soar to the empyrean of its destined perfection; for if one wing is left weak, the upward flight must from necessity be slow. God has created both human. They enjoy in common all the faculties. No one is endowed with special privileges. How can we make a distinction which is unknown in the sight of God? We must follow the policy of God. Moreover, there are male and female in the vegetable kingdom. They are on equal footing. Inherently they enjoy suffrage and
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there is no distinction between them. Likewise in the animal kingdom, the right of suffrage and equality is enjoyed without any feeling of superiority or privilege. Thereforeit is admitted that there is no distinction of gender in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, although they are deprived of reasonableness and have not the distinguishing faculties. But we, who are confirmed with the bestowal of reason, and who enjoy all the charac- teristics which distinguish man from the animal, how can we act in this manner, and build these false barriers? Many women have appeared who have won for them- selves fame and name by the versatility of their thoughts. Amongst the Bahai women a number have shown re- markable talent for literature, science and art, and have rendered distinct services in all the departments of life.
"In history many capable women have displayed spe- cial genius for government and political administration, like Semiramis; Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, and Queen Victoria of England. In the religious world the Israelites wandered for forty years in the wilderness and could not conquer the Holy Land. Finally a woman achieved this signal victory. In the dispensation of Christ, the apostles became confused; even Peter denied Him thrice, but Mary of Magdala became the cause of their firmness and stead- fastness. In the religion of Baha-Ullah, Kurrat-Ul-Ayne, and many other Persian women, demonstrated their knowledge and wisdom to such an extent that even the men were astonished and listened with deference to their advice and counsel.
Correspondent: "What is your object in coming to America?"
Abdul Baha: "I have come to America to promote the ideal of Universal Peace and the solidarity of the human race. I have not come for pleasure, or as a tourist."
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Correspondent: "What do you think about woman's fashions?"
Abdul Baha: "We do not Iook upon the dresses of women, whether they are of the latest mode. We are not the judge of fashion. We consider rather the wearer of the dress. If she is chaste, if she is pure, if she is cul- tured, if she is characterized with heavenly morality and if she is favored at the Threshold of God, she is honored and respected by us, no matter what manner of dress she wears. We have nothing to do with the ever-chang- ing world of mode and picture hats."
Correspondent: "What is the greatest thing you have seen in America?"
Abdul Baha: "The greatest thing I have seen in America is its Freedom. In reality this is a free nation and a democratic government."
Correspondent: "What is your opinion about Turkey and the Balkan war?"
Abdul Baha: "We have nothing to do with war. We are advocates of Peace. Speak to us about the conditions of Peace. Go to the diplomatists and militarists and ask their opinions about this war. But as regards Peace: In the world of humanity there is no more important affair, no weightier cause. It is conducive to the well- being of the world of creation; the means of the prosperity of nations, the reason of eternal friendship be- tween peoples, the cause of solidarity between the East and the West, the promoter of real freedom and the most eminent Favor of His Highness the Almighty. We must all strive to upraise the Flag of International Peace, the Oneness of the world of humanity, and the spiritual brotherhood of mankind."
The correspondent tried to ask a few more questions, but Abdul Baha interrupted him by this final statement,
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while putting his hand on his shoulder and kissing his face:—"
"Consider how much I love thee and to what extent I respect Mr. Hearst that, notwithstanding the fatigue coming over me as the result of a very busy day, I have answered all thy questions."
Thus the young man left the presence of Abdul Baha with a sense of awe and respect that one feels only when one is saturated with the holy atmosphere which is created wherever he is—the Center of Spirituality and heaven- liness. _________
PORT SAID, EGYPT, JULY 24, 1913.
1. Our departure for Ramleh. 2. Thinking over meet- Abdul Baha. 3. Scenes along the railroad. 4. Abdul Baha calls on us. 5. Real love attracts divine Confir- mations. 6. Teach the Cause through deeds.
1. Our Departure for Ramleh
The Port Said believers have gone to the station to say good-by to Haji Sayad Javad, Rouhi Effendi and Mrs. Getsinger who are leaving to-day for Ramleh to be honored with the blessing of the Beloved's presence. I am with them too. The train leaves at eight A.M. They are very happy. The train pulls out of the station, and we return home in the heat of the sun to spend another day in quiet work and uninterrupted solitude. I sit at my table, Mirza Mahmoud at his and Mirza Ali Akbar in his room is copying the addresses of Abdul Baha, when the door opens and Aga Aziz enters. He looks at me and smiles. Like a flash of lightning his thought is trans- ferred to me. I get up from my seat:
"Have you any news for us from the Master?" I ask.
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"Yes," he quietly answers. " Ahmad Yazdi has just now received a telegram giving you permission to leave for Ramleh."
We are very happy. We must leave by the one o'clock train. In half an hour all our baggage is prepared. What spiritual ecstasy! What divine beatitude! We go to Ahmad Yazdi's store to thank him personally for this good news. Returning home we finish our work and at a quarter after twelve start for the station. There, to our surprise, we find Ahmad Yazdi who has come to say good-by to us.
2. Thinking over Meeting Abdul Baha
Finally everything is ready; the first and second bell rings, and the train starts. In our hearts the birds of joy sing; behind us the pleasant memories of more than a month, all about the sandy, quiet desert—the garden of Allah; ahead of us union—with whom?— With the Beloved of our hearts. As I sat in our compartment contemplating the love of the Master, my eyes were filled with tears of joy and I realized more than ever—and no doubt thousands have had this same experience—that Abdul Baha is our Beloved, our Hope, our Desire, the sum-total of all our longings. If one has Abdul Baha for his Beloved, his happiness is not dimmed; his peace is not broken; his faith can move mountains and all his aspirations are fulfilled! O Joy of Joy! O Heavenly Light! O Love Divine! Art Thou not the most beauti- ful, the most satisfying, the most ennobling, the most rapturous! Would I not gladly dedicate my whole life to treasure Thee in the secret chamber of my heart? Thou art the Poet of transmutation. Thou art the Philoso- pher's stone. Thou art the remedy for all sorrows! O Love! O God! O Unchanging Lord! sustain us, feed
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us with thy ambrosial food; suffer us to drink from thy diamond cup of pure affection. We feel throughout our whole body the spiritual thrills of thy compassion and mercy.
3. Scenes Along the Railroad
By this time we reach Ismailia, the small clean town, blessed by the presence of our Beloved. After a few minutes, the train starts again. The country is fresh and green from the unfailing blessing of the Nile; the palm trees are laden with bunches of green dates, the cotton belt is extensive and the reports are that this year's crop is excellent. As the train passes on we see hundreds of men and women working in the fields, camels are grazing, and there are many cows and sheep. Rice also is culti- vated in this part of the country. At 4.30 P.M. we reach Benha where we have to change trains, and after thirty minutes we are again on our way. It is 7.30 when we enter the station of Sidi Gaber, and here Haji Khorassani and Mirza Moneer are present to welcome and guide us to our new quarters. On the way our train had crossed the noble Nile. It is spanned by a most excellent iron bridge. Toward sunset, the men and women farmers– Fellaheen–showing their religious spirit, leave their work and perform their ablutions and prayers wherever they happen to be. It is a most divine picture to see these simple people praying to their Maker under the open sky. Another lovely scene which is truly Biblical, is the procession of women with jars on their heads, leav- illg their curious mud-built villages to fill them at the spring.
4. Abdul Baha Calls on Us
Ramleh is a modern Egyptian town with all the con- veniences of western civilization. It is a summer resort
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for the rnost important European officials in the service of the Egyptian Government, and also for the native Pashas. There are lovely parks, all kinds of hotels and splendid houses. We have a nice furnished apartment about two hundred yards from the residence of the Be- loved. At eight o'clock he came to welcome us and our joy at again looking upon his benign face, knew no bounds.
He had just returned from calling upon Mirza Abul Fazl. He inquired about our health, and after a few more questions, left us, but the happiness of those min- utes will remain in our hearts. During the last days while the Beloved was living in the Victoria Hotel, many English officials, native Pashas, and Arab Sheiks have called upon him, and on many occasions more than twenty of these important men would gather in the salon to listen to his talks. None of these are preserved. There is a weekly meeting at the house of Haji Khorassani and the Master attended it. At present Touba Khanum, the Master s daughter, with her son Rouhi and Mrs. Get- slnger, are staying in the house of the Beloved
I will end this letter bu the translation of two quota- tions from Tablets—
5. Real Love Attracts Divine Confirmations
"If thou desirest to be confirmed in the service of the Kingdom of God, live in accord with the Teachings of Baha-Ullah, and that is: real love for the world of hu- manlty, and the utmost of kindlless for the believers of God. This real love, like unto magnetic power, attracts divine Confirmations."
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6. Teach the Cause Through Deeds
"If a soul calls the people to the Kingdom of God ac- cording to the Principles of Baha-Ullah, there will be many listeners. First, one may teach by deeds, then speak the word. First, one must become thirsty, then the salu- brious water may be offered. No matter how delicious the water is, one who is not thirsty will not enjoy it. Therefore, make ye an effort, so tllat the people may be- come thirsty; then enable them to quaff from this divine Chalice." _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 25, 1913.
1. A call on Mirza Abul Fazl. 2. Alexandria a progres- ive city. 3. Abdul Baha talks with his Persian follow- ers. 4. Abul Fazl a great Bahai teacher.
1. A Call on Mirza Abul Fazl
This morning the Beloved visited our apartment and sat on the Veranda. He is trying to find a house in Ramleh for Mirza Abul Fazl, so that he may be near us. After a few moments he went out with Haji Moha- mad to look for one. We learned later that a house has been found almost adjacent so that we shall have the privilege of seeing Mirza Abul Fazl quite often.
In the afternoon Haji Khorassani came and expressed a wish to call on Mirza Abul Fazl. Mirza Ali Akbar and myself begged him to take us, too. It is about one hour's ride to reach the place, and then one must walk several blocks. We knocked at the door. After a minute it was opened and Mirza Abul Fazl welcomed us. He looked much older than when I used to serve him in America. He still has the same desire to be left alone.
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He loves to wait on his guests personally. After greet- ing us, he inquired about many of the believers in Amer- ica. I was glad to convey to him their messages of love and respect and to tell him how he is remembered and honored by all the friends. He recalled his pleasant sum- mers spent in Green Acre, and wished that place a great future. He asked about the health of Miss Farmer. He inquired about the publication of his recent book, the Brllllant Proof" and requested that a copy be forwarded to the Rev. Easton. He deplored his inability to travel caused by his physical weakness.
"If I were strong enough I would never stay in one place more than a month. I would travel constantly. I have advised the Bahai teachers, that this is the best way to spread this universal message. They must fly from one bush to another, and sing the songs of the Kingdom —the Klngdom of Abha."
Then he served us with tea prepared by his own hands and Mirza Ali Akbar related some of the incidents dur- the trip of the Beloved in America.
2. Alexandria Is a Progressive City
We were on our way home when we met Aga Mo- hamad Bagher. The Master has appointed him to attend to the occasional needs of Mirza Abul Fazl. He lives near him. He told us that Abdul Baha sent him to ac- company Mirza Abul Fazl to Ramleh.
Alexandria to all intents and purposes is like a progres- sive American city. Its tall buildings, its large depart- ment stores, its clean avenues, its double-decked electric cars, its delightful parks, its electrically lighted boulevards and streets, its fine promenades around the seaport, are all signs of a wonderful prosperous spirit. As I passed along the streets it seemed as though I was walking on an
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avenue in New York, and I wondered at the magical transformations which had taken place since thls city was burned to the ground during the Arabi revolution thirty- one years ago. The inhabitants of all nations, Greeks, Italians, French, Jews, English, Arabs, Persians, live here and associate with one another in perfect harmony.
3. Abdul Baha Talks with the Persian Followers
When we reached home it was nine o'clock and the Master was sitting on the veranda with a number of be- lievers. I learned to my regret that I had missed a large gathering of friends.
"What did he speak of?" I asked. The answer was given; about America, his addresses in churches and temples, the unity of mankind and the beauty and holi- ness of the spiritual life.
4. Abul Fazl a Great Bahai Teacher
Mirza Abul Fazl was there and the Master asked him to inspect the house which he is going to rent for him. When he returned he said that he was very satisfied with the place and in a few days we will have him with us. I shall ever be indebted to Mirza Abul Fazl who bestowed so much kindness upon me during my first years ln Amer- ica. He is to-day the greatest teacher in the Bahai world, and through his writings he is beloved by friends and respected by foes. May he live many years longer! How the Master loves him, considers his comfort and tries to prepare all means of happiness for him.
In talking with Mirza Abul Fazl Abdul Baha said when he will come to Ramleh he would be his physician, and take good care of him. Abul Fazl is coming and
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like a wise mentor he will guide and instruct us as long as we are in Ramleh. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 26, 1913.
1. The fragrances of God and their marvelous results 2. Now is the time of the Union of all nations and re- legions. 3. In the Bahai revelation there is no limita- tion. 4. Become ye as kind fathers to the children of humanity. 5. Abdul Baha ready for the last call. 6. Letters and news from America. 7. Eloquent speeches must be delivered in public gatherings. 8. Persian American Education Society. 9. Many Tablets dic- tated for believers. 10. Pray with an attracted heart.
Before chronicling the daily events I would like to share with you the wonderful contents of a very great Tablet revealed for the believers of God in Azarbayejan.
1. The Fragrances of God and Their Marvelous Results
"O YE SPIRITUAL FRIENDS OF ABDUL BAHA! "The faithful envoy has arrived and in the spiritual world has conveyed the message to the believers of God. This blessed happy messenger is no other than the Fra grance of attraction and the soul-refreshing breeze of the Love of God. These stir hearts into cheerfulness and make the spirits the treasures of joy and gladness. The effulgence of Divine Unity has cast such splendor over the hearts and spirits and created such tremendous effect as to establish a bond of spiritual communication between each and all, making them throb as one heart and beat as one pulse. Therefore one observes that spiritual reflections and merciful impressions are printed in the utmost beauty and art, upon the Tablets of the hearts and that their delicate forms are transparent and graceful. I pray God that, day by day, this spiritual communica-
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tion may become reinforced and cause more and more the appearance of this Divine Unity in the world of hu- manity; so that all mankind like unto disciplined soldiers, may abide under the shade of the Word of God and under the Flag of the Covenant, striving with all their hearts and souls, that universal conciliation, cordial love and spiritual communication may be firmly established among the hearts of the inhabitants of the world; and that all the children of men through the radiant, new Be- stowal, may consort and associate with each other in one loving meeting; that strife and war may vanish from the face of the earth; that the love of the Beauty of the Most Glorious may encompass every atom of Creation; that enmity be changed into amity; differences trans- formed into good-fellowship; the foundation of animosity destroyed; the basis of hatred demolished; the illumina- tion of Union cause the disappearance of the darkness of limitation and the transcendent light of the Merciful suffer the hearts of humanity to become the mines of the refulgent Love of God.
2. Now Is the Time of the Union of All Nations and Religions
"Oh ye friends of God!
"Now is the time when you must affiliate with all na- tions with joy and the utmost kindness—thus may you become the manifestors of the Mercy of His Highness the One. Become ye the spirit of the world and the quintessence of life in the temple of mankind. In this wonderful century in which the Ancient Beauty—the Most Great Name—has dawned from the horizon of the world with infinite Bestowals, the Word of God hath created such dominion and potency over the realities of mankind that the effect and influence of human condi-
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tions and environments are neutralized. With a penetra- tive power He hath gathered all into the Court of Union and addresses them as follows:—
"'Now is the time when the believers of God must un- furl the Banner of Unity, singing the songs of friend- ship in the Assemblages of the world and inviting all to the universality and all-inclusiveness of the Grace of God—so that the canopy of Holiness may be pitched on the apex of creation and the nations brought under the shade of the Word of Unity. This bounty shall become unveiled in the Center of the world when the believers of God will live in accord with the Teaching of the Merci- ful One and occupy their time in the diffusion of the sweet Fragrances of Universal Love.'
3. In the Bahai Revelation There is No Limitation
"In every dispensation the Command of friendship and the law of Love have been revealed, but it has been cir- cumscribed within the circle of believing friends and not with those outside of it. Praise be to God that in this wonderful cycle the laws of God are not confined by any limitations; neither must they be exercised toward a special community to the exclusion of another. He hath commanded the friends to show love, friendship, amity and kindness to all the people of the world.
4. Become Ye As Kind Fathers to the Children of Humanity
"Now the believers of God must live in accord with these divine Teachings. They must become kind fathers to the children of humanity; affectionate brothers to the youths of mankind and soul-sacrificing children toward those who are laden with age. The aim is this: You
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must be in the utmost state of joy and fragrance and show love and kindness to all, even to your enemies. Meet persecution and adversity with trust. Whenever animos- ity appears, deal with it with forbearance: make your breasts targets for the arrows and spears of opposition. Brave the ridicule, the blame and the rebuke with perfect love: so that all nations may observe the Power of the Most Great Name, and all people acknowledge the Po- tency of the Blessed Perfection—showing how He hath destroyed the foundations of strangeness, hath guided the inhabitants of the world to unity and love, hath il- luminated the realm of man and transformed this terres- trial globe into a delectable Paradise. These people are like unto children, negligent and mindless. One must train them with the utmost love and carry them with in- finite tenderness in the arms of Grace so that they may taste the love of the Merciful One, become illumined like unto candles and dissipate the darkness of this world. Thus they may behold clearly and manifestly the glorious crown and brilliant diadem with which the Most Great Name—The Blessed Perfection—may my life be a sacri- fice to Him—hath adorned the heads of His Believers; what graces He hath poured upon the hearts of His friends; what love He hath brought into the world of hu- manity and what friendship He hath caused to appear among the children of men?
"O Lord! O Lord! Confirm Thy righteous servants in the practice of love and friendship to all mankind and assist them in the diffusion of the Light of Guidance which is descending from Thy Supreme Concourse upon all the inhabitants of the world. Verily Thou art Pow- Rrful, Mighty, Omnipotent, Generous! And, verily, Thou art the Merciful, the Clement, the Compassionate and the Bestower!
(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS"
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5. Abdul Baha Ready for the Last Call
This morning the Beloved called me to his presence. He spoke of the weather and of the state of his health saying that he had not been feeling well, in Ramleh, but that for the present he would not move to any other place, no matter what might happen. He said, he has finished his work. He has nothing else to do. He is now ready for the last call! How he longs to quaff from that cup! How sweet will be its taste! How delightful will be that hour!
He was surrounded by letters and papers. He handed me a package just received from America to be trans- lated and made ready for his answers. He told me to come back in the afternoon. Before leaving he wished me to go into the reception room and visit Mrs. Get- singer, which I did with great pleasure. We had an in- teresting conversation about the Movement in the United States and I read to her the above Tablet and together we hoped that the believers of the Merciful would be in- spired to carry out its contents.
6. Letters and News from America
At four o'clock I returned. As I passed along the street in front of the house, I looked up and lo—I saw the Master sitting on the balcony dressed in his beauti- ful white robe. He saw me and bade me come up. When I entered the room he welcomed me with genuine hilarity. He felt better this afternoon, and asked me to read him the letters. He told me to sit down near the open window, so that I might get the cool breeze, while he walked back and forth. Did you ever think of the great attention which he pays to all his servants? We be- gan to work. Because Mr. Joseph H. Hamlen of Wash-
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ington, D. C., was an active worker in the field and a special friend of nflne, I often read his reports first—so this time I asked:—
"May I read Mr. Hannen's report?"
The Master laughed heartily and said, that if Mr. Han- nen was mv dear friend, he was at least his son.
He was amused when I read how a clergyman was brought into the Cause by hearing a lecture against it.
7. Eloquent Speeches Must Be Delivered at Public Gatherings
As regards speaking at meetings he emphasized the fact that he has written many times on this subject. He sent a Tablet only a few days ago, which was meant for all the believers. He wished me to send a copy of it to Mr. Hannen and to write him that at the meetings and gatherings eloquent addresses and inspiring speeches must be delivered, explaining the principles of the Blessed Per- fection, and setting the hearts aglow with the Fire of the Love of God.
8. Persian American Educational Society
He also was pleased to hear that $250.00 had been sent to Dr. Moody in Teheran, Persia, and expressed the hope that the activities of the Persian American Educational Society may increase yearly, and may be enabled to wipe out its debt. He often speaks about this Society, its large, disinterested platform and the fame which it has acquired in such a short space of time.
9. Many Tablets Dictated for Believers
He revealed a Tablet for Mrs. Hannen about the Bahai Sunday school and to many other believers in different
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parts of the world. While he was dictating these Tablets he was carrying on a long conversation with an Arab Sheik. When he had finished he came out, followed by all of us. He took a long walk and about eight o'clock returned to our apartment and stayed for nearly an hour, speaking at times and then lapsing into silence.
10. Pray with an Attracted Heart
Here I end with the following quotation from a re- cent Tablet:—
"Thou has written asking what thou shouldst do and what prayer thou shouldst offer in order to become in- formed of the Mysteries of God. Pray thou with an attracted heart and supplicate with a spirit stirred by the Glad-tidings of God. Then the doors of the Kingdom of Mysteries shall be opened before thy face and thou shalt comprehend the realities of all things." _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 27, 1913.
1. The Effect of Association with Abdul Baha. 2. Abdul Baha dictates Tablets for the Persians. 3. Tickets for charity. 4. Importance of cleanliness in all things. 5. Description of a charity bazaar in Alexandria.
1. The Effect of Association with Abdul Baha ,
We are bathed in the sea of Abdul Baha's love; are flying in the atmosphere of his beauty; drinking the wine of his Grandeur; eating the food of his humility; listen- ing to the thrilling music of his divine voice; resting under the ever-spreading tree of his teachings, and watch- ing the light and shade of his countenance. He inspires our hearts with wondrous thoughts of social service and
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mutual helpfulness. He reveals to our souls the secrets of forgiveness and loving kindlncss. He teaches us pa- tience and long suffering. If hearts are not stony, these lessons will, in the long run, bear fruit; and I believe they will affect even the most adamant. For behind every heart of stone, there is a warm one of flesh and blood and under many a tattered coat, may live a noble prince. His presence teaches us how insignificant are our en- deavors, how narrow our thoughts, how futile our works in comparison with his grand accomplishments, his sweeping, universal conception of mankind, his increas- ing activities in all directions, and his attention to all de- tails. If we could walk in his footsteps, emulate him in all our lives, serve our fellowmen as He serves them, spread the Glad-tidings of the Kingdom as he spreads them, then we shall have won his good pleasure.
2. Abdul Baha Dictates Tablets for the Persians
This morning Abdul Baha called Mirza Ali Akbar to his Presence. He felt radiant and most happy. Mirza Ali Akbar, finding him in some light-giving mood, re- lates a few funny stories which make him laugh more. Afterwards he sends for Mirza Moneer, and dictates to him many Tablets for the Oriental believers, some of which I translate herein because they contain paragraphs concerning his trip to America. From now on there will be a flood of Tablets flowing from his tongue. For more than three years the Eastern believers have been deprived of the traces of his pen. Now it is time to compensate them.
Toward noon he passed by the door of our house, fol- lowed by an Arab. We thought that he was coming in and so we prepared to receive him, but he passed on,
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 119
making the sign of salutation. He was evidently going to fulfill an engagement.
3. Tickets for Charity Bazaar
Later he returned with a letter in his hand and dis- tributed among us several tickets for a charity entertain- ment, which was to be held in the San Stefano Hotel. A Pasha, who is a patron of the hotel had sent these tickets to him. The fête was for a worthy cause—the erection of a school, called Orwat-Ul-Woska.
4. Importance of Cleanliness in All Things
After the distribution of these tickets he spoke very emphatically about cleanliness, especially in cooking. He wished our Persian Bahai cook to wear a spotless white apron, to wash his hands often with soap, to keep his kitchen as clean as a pearl and to be as tidy and neat in his cooking as the best French chef
Concluding his remarks he smilingly stated that if he did not see these changes in the cook, he would use the big stick, because some educators believe that one whip- ping will do more good than a hundred words of advice.
He recalled with much satisfaction a cook who had kept a restaurant in Beirut many years ago, and who was the embodiment of cleanliness. This cook did not touch the meat with his hands, but cut it with a special instru- ment and cooked it with great taste and delicacy. Abdul Baha stayed in Beirut for a long time and he went often to his kitchen to watch him at his work. As long as the Master lived in that city he remained his customer.
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5. Description of a Charity Bazaar in Alexandria
When he left we hurried along to the fête in the San Stefano Casino. It was a palatial hotel, most splendidly built. Hundreds of carriages and automobiles were wait- ing in rows. As we entered we saw a large crowd of people, nearly five thousand, dispersed all over the grounds. Several bands of music were playing at different places. Many other amusements attracted the attention of the people. The wonderful sea with its ebb and flow was shimmering under the sunshine. The crowd was orderly and jovial. Except for the Tarboushes on the heads of the young men, and the thin white veils which covered the lower halves of the faces of women, letting their black eyes and eyelids shine forth, I could not see much difference between this and any American charity affair. By seven o'clock it was almost impossible to move, so dense was the throng. At night there were many mov- ing pictures, and an excellent display of fireworks which evoked general applause. Later, the Master called at the house of Haji Khorassani, and finding there a number of Arabs, he gave them a talk which was taken down by one of those present. After this meeting he returned to the house, and entertained us with stories which evoked much laughter. He was well and happy to-day. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 28, 1913.
1. First one must teach himself, then others. 2. Herald- ing the Kingdom of God in the cities of Europe and
America. 3. While encircled by the whirlwind of calum-
nies, blossom ye like unto a rose. 4. Abdul Baha sacri-
ficing his life in the path of Baha. 5. Abdul Baha tells of
his early life. 6. Abdul Baha tells the Arabs about his
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 121
The following are a few quotations from Tablets re- vealed yesterday for the Persian believers:—
1. First One Must Teach Himself, Then Others
"After my return from America and Europe, owing to the difficulties of the long voyage and to the innumer- able inconveniences of the journey, a physical reaction set in and I became indisposed. Now, through the Favor and Bounty of the Blessed Perfection, I am feeling bet- ter; therefore, I am engaged in writing this letter, so that thou mayst realize that the friends of God are never forgotten under any circumstances. . . . Now is the time when the believers of God may imitate the conduct and manner of Abdul Baha. Day and night they must engage in teaching the Cause of God but they must be in the same spiritual state which Abdul Baha manifested while traveling in America. When the teacher delivers an address, his words must first of all have a supreme and powerful effect over himself so that everyone may be In turn affected. His utterances must be like unto flames of fire, burning away the veils of dogmas, passion and desire. Moreover he must be in the utmost state of humility and evanescence—so that others may become mindful. He must have attained to the station of renunci- ation and annihilation. Then and not until then, will he teach the people with the Melody of the Supreme Con- course."
2. Heralding the Kingdom of God in the Cities of Europe and America
"Praise be to God that, through the Bestowal and Grace of the Beauty of Abha, (from the Continent of Europe) (I have returned to the Continent of Africa.)
122ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
I have tarried in Egypt for a few days because I was weakened by the fatigue of traveling through the cities of Europe; by the variable climates of the American mountains and prairies and by the length and hardships of the voyage. While in Europe one day we were in Lon- don and another in Edinburgh; now in Paris and anon in Stuttgart; once in Budapest and again in Vienna. We were almost every hour in another place, delivering lengthy speeches and addresses, and notwithstanding the indisposition of the body, day and night I cried and raised my voice in large meetings and important churches. . . . As there were many obstacles, the door of correspond- ence was closed; but the faces of the illumined friends were manifest at every hour in the Court of Conscious- ness, and at all times they were present in my memory. As I have now found a little leisure, I address you this letter so that I may occupy myself with the servitude of the believers of God, and become the means of the happiness of the hearts. This is the utmost desire of Abdul Baha."
3. While Encircled by the Whirlwind of Calumnies, Blossom, Ye Like a Rose
"During this long trip great capacity was created in every clime for listening to the Word of God; even in the vast countries of the Orient the fame of the Cause of God is spreading more and more. Therefore, the friends of God must take as example my behavior and demeanor . They must not rest one moment. They must not seek quietude for one second. At all times they must emanate joy and gladness. They must be occupied in teaching the Cause of God. No event must sadden their hearts. No catastrophe must break their spirit. With di- vine happiness they must withstand every impending dis-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 123
aster. During the time of peace, security, comfort and the absence of grief, even the monkey will be a jovial fellow. He will be happy, joyful, grateful, patient and overflowing with gladsomeness. But the sincere servant of Baha-Ullah, who is firm in the Covenant and steadfast in the Testament, while surrounded by the most great sea of tests; threatened by surging, rocking waves of perse- cution, encircled by whirlwinds of calumnies and backbit- ings—will blossom like unto a rose and break into joyous songs and sweet melodies like unto the nightingale."
4. Abdul Baha Sacrificing His Life in the Path of Baha
"Your letter was received; but Abdul Baha, owing to the Infirmlty of the body; the difficulty of voyaging over seas and lands, the lack of rest, the striving and exerting day and night; the delivering of long addresses in different cities; and of answering the varied, and intri- cate questions of the people;—has not been able to an- swer it. His life, his identity, his heart and his body are gladly sacrificed in the Path of Baha! This is the Be- stowal of the Almighty! This is the Inestimable Favor of God! This is the Favor of the Blessed Perfection! These are the Graces of His Highness the One!"
5. Abdul Baha Tells of His Early Life
It was about six o'clock in the morning when the door of the house was opened and the Beloved came in. I had Just finished dressing and was about to take my place at my table to translate a few Tablets. The rest were asleep, but they jumped out of bed and were dressed in a few minutes. He was surprised that they were yet asleep and told us he had already read many letters, written several Tablets and attended to various other things be-
124ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
fore leaving the house. Up to the time he was 32 years old he never slept in bed, preferring always a piece of mat and using for a pillow one or two books. He went to sleep without changing his clothes, fearing that it would take him some time to dress in the morning. But now he cannot do these things. When he lived in Acca he generally kept ten secretaries busy; often dictating im- portant letters to three of them at the same time.
6. Abdul Baha Tells the Arabs about His Western Trip
Then he started to correct one of his addresses de- livered in San Francisco, and made some remarks about the speeches before the open Forum and the Japanese In- dependent Church. Just as he came suddenly, he left sud- denly, and there were many pledges that henceforward everybody will be up before six A.M.
He again came in the afternoon, stayed a long time, and told us stories about three men who were great cowards, but who became courageous and intrepid after accepting the Bahai revelation. How graphic, how sim- ple, how matchless he is in his description of such events. Then he called on an important native Pasha and after nine o'clock, returned to our house bringing an Arab with him. After offering him coffee, he described the meetings in the Bowery Mission in New York, and spoke of the Salvation Army in London and of other incidents of the wonderful Western trip. When he left the room, we felt the sweet fragrance of the presence of God. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 29, 1913.
1. Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abha from Minne-
apolis. 2. Modern hospital in Alexandria. 3. Abdul Baha
takes the French Bahai doctor for a drive.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 125
1. Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of Abha from Minneapolis
This morning the Beloved sent for me and within a few minutes I was standing in his holy presence. He dictated several cablegrams, and spoke a few minutes on various topics. Then I went to Alexandria to despatch the cables and attend to other errands. As he handed me one of the corrected addresses of California, he said these talks must be translated into Arabic. Let it be done at once.
A package of newspapers was received from Minne- apolis in which the Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abha were printed. These Glad-tidings had been sent to the Master for correction while we were in Paris. I would like to quote them because the Master was pleased with my Persian translations of them.
"Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abha!
"We announce to you Glad-tidings of great Joy! Similar words were spoken almost two thousand years ago. Reflect and be not of the heedless. This is the Great Day of God. This is the Day of Universal Peace of Universal Brotherhood, of a Universal language and of the Union of All Religions. This is the Day wherein the Prophecies of the Holy Books of eyery tongue have been, or are being, fulfilled. This is the Cycle of Baha- Ullah!
"We announce to you His Holiness, the Bab, the Pre- cursor of 'He whom God shall manifest.'
"We announce to you Baha-Ullah, 'He whom God shall manifest.' The one who has broken the Seals of both the Creational and Collective books.
"We announce to you Abdul Baha, the Center of the Covenant, the Interpreter of the Holy Books of all peo- ples and of the Bahai Teachings, and the door through
126ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
which mankind can enter the Kingdom of God in this Day and Dispensation."
For dinner the Beloved ate a special dish prepared by one of the Pashas and left at his house. In turn he sent part of it to us. It was one of those rare delicacies of Arabia, a kind of meat cake with vegetables and pine- nuts.
2. Modern Hospital in Alexandria
I forgot to write that yesterday we called on Sayad Jalal, the son of a celebrated Bahai poet and teacher, liv- ing in Teheran. He is in the German hospital. A few days ago he was operated on but now he feels much better. The hospital is a model of elegance and cleanliness. All the floors and walls are built of marble. Really I am amazed at every turn, at the practical signs of progress in Egypt. It is nothing short of miraculous! Walking through the avenues and the European business districts of Alexandria one thinks that one is living in Europe or America.
3. Abdul Baha Takes the French Bahai Doctor for a Drive
In the afternoon I called on the Beloved and in his presence found DeBons, a French Bahai dentist practic- ing in Cairo—now on his way to Switzerland to meet his wife. Abdul Baha is going to take him for a drive through Nozha Park, which is the National Park of Alexandria. I have heard much praise of it, but have not yet been there. They say it rivals any park in Europe or America. For nearly two hours Abdul Baha entertained the doctor driving through the park and speaking to him about his spiritual experiences in America. when he re-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 127
turned, he was as fresh as when I saw him in the morn- ing. For the last three or four days his health has been improving and for this great blessing we proffer thanks- giving and praise to the Lord. He walks among us as a divine witness to all men. Every day spent in the neigh- borhood of his light is equal to an age, the significance and beauty of which cannot be grasped by the mentality of man _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 30, 1913
1. The Cause of Baha-Ullah is the mainspring of Love and Peace. 2. Abdul Baha tells about his health and
work. 3. Oriental ahais anxious to receive the news.
4. Mirza Abul Fazl and his position in the Bahai Cause 5. Mohammadan Mullahs and their hair-splitting meta-
1. The Cause of Baha-Ullah Is the Mainspring of Love and Peace
The Cause of Baha-Ullah is the Cause of life. Life is the mainspring of material and spiritual activities. One of the active principles is Love, the other is Peace. The life of a Bahai is not rounded and developed without the full manifestation of these two active principles. They must become the dominant influence of his whole ex- istence. He must "love" the world and be at "peace" with humanity; so that these two harmonious notes may blend together and assist him to ascend to the highest summit of true greatness and innate spiritual perception. The prophets of God have come to inculcate in the life of every individual these two principles; especially Baha- Ullah. "He hath held aloft the banner of love and peace. Whosoever is imbued with the realities of these two principles, has life. Love and Peace are the causes
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which hold together all the different elements of the min- eral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. Were it not for the presence of these two divine forces constantly exercising their benign influence, the whole scheme of creation would have been smashed to pieces long ago. The power of gravitation or attraction is no other than one of the signs of these heavenly energies. Whenever the secret power of these two spiritual verities is fully revealed in the world of humanity, impelling mankind to grow greater and greater in its capacity, then the glorious zenith of divine civilization will become visible. It is our duty to cause these two principles more and more to be revealed, among ourselves, toward one another, and among the people of the world. What a lofty privilege! What a divine Bestowal! What a wonderful responsi- bility! What a radiant glory! What ecstatic joy! What pure happiness!"
2. Abdul Baha Tells about His Health and Work
This morning Abdul Baha sent for me. Joyfully I hastened to his holy house to receive the rays of his love and benediction. He dictated cablegrams to various parts of the world and spoke about the amount of work to be accomplished. He stated that no one can imagine how many different issues must be met, and how many con- flicting interests harmonized! He was now advanced in age. The physical reaction of his long journey has had a terrible effect upon his weakened constitution, and he cannot work as vigorously as he used to in his youth. When he reads a letter his eyes grow weary; when he dictates a few Tablets, his mind gets tired, when he walks a few thousand feet he becomes exhausted.
How heart-breaking and joy-imparting is his condi- tion in these days. The barometer of his health never
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 129
stands on one mark for two days. Like the ebb and flow of the sea, is the condition of his health. We watch him with great solicitude, but are unable to do anything to al- leviate his paln or to increase his health. One day he told us that the doctor enjoins upon him the dictum, Do not work, Do not speak, Do not write, but God commands him to work, speak and write. Now whose commands should he obey?
3. Oriental Bahais Anxious to Receive the News
A few minutes later I was out in the open, sad at heart because I had seen Abdul Baha so heavy-laden with the burden of the world and there is not a single soul to lighten it. While Sayad Assadollah was here he carried on a large and profitable correspondence with all parts of the Orient, thus informing the friends of the passing events. They did not receive any Tablets, but his cor- respondence kept them in touch with the Center and was, of course, a great consolation. But now he is gone to be a soldier in the field and up to this date no one has been appointed to fill his place; thus the believers in the Orient are concerned and anxious. Mirza Mahmoud, upon his arrival on Port Said, discontinued writing weekly letters and is now, day and night, busy compiling his notes. I also am occupied with my own duties. Mirza Moneer takes the dictation of Tablets for the Oriental Bahais which are being revealed almost every day.
4. Mirza Abul Fazl and His Position in the Bahai Cause
When I returned, the Master was in the house, Mirza Abul Fazl also being present. He recited in detail a re- sumé of his addresses in the Jewish synagogues of America. The respect and utter humility of Mirza Abul
130ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Fazl in the presence of the Beloved is most touching. He hardly raises his voice when he addresses him.. Those who have seen and heard Mirza Abul Fazl, know the ex- tent of his knowledge, the wide range of his learning, and the brilliancy of his services to the Cause of God. Men like him are rarest jewels and therefore they are loved and honored by the Master. He has suffered imprison- ment for two years for the sake of llis faith and has un- dergone much persecution.
5. Mohammedan Mullahs and Their Hair-splitting Metaphysical Discussions
In the afternoon the Master came in again and im- mediately two Mohammedan Mullahs called on him. These Arabs love hair-splitting religious controversies; and tllerefore one of them tried to start the ball rolling. The Master, with a wonderfully divine attitude, silenced him and gently rebuked him for the utter uselessness of theological discussions which are not productive of any result. They were advised to investigate the Truthj free from any prejudice. Then he spoke about his lecture in Oxford University, his meeting with Mr. Alexander G. Bell, the inventor of the telephone, in Washington, and ended by telling them that his field of activity was in Europe and America. He had come here to rest for a few months.
The Mullahs were utterly defeated, begged humbly for his forgiveness of their apparent negligence, and ex- pressed their conviction that they were highly profited by the meeting and hoped that they would never forget the lesson they had learned today. _________
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RAMLEH, EGYPT, JULY 31st, 1913.
1. The progress of the Bahai Cause in the Orient. 2.
Abdul Baha tells about Raslleed Pasha and his system of
extortion. 3. The episode of Rasheed Pasha and Madame
Jackson about Abdul Baha's freedom. 4. The infinite
patience of Abdul Baha in answering the trivial ques-
tions put to him.
1. The Progress of the Bahai Cause in the Orient
The progress of the Bahai Cause is evident. The signs of awakening are apparent. The beauty of the spiritual life is manifest. The traces of the Sun of Reality are spreading. The mysteries of the Words of God are revealed. The clouds of superstitions are dis- pelled. The horizon of divine religion is clear. The rose-garden of hearts is adorned. The nightingales of significances are warbling. The flowers of faith are per- fuming the nostrils. The Breezes of the Holy Spirit are vivifying the dead. The fountains ofeternal life are flowing. The vineyard of the Lord is verdant. The ser- vants are faithful, The gardeners are honest and sincere. From all all parts of the Orient the news of the for- ward march of the Bahai Cause is being received. Men and women are advancing toward the Kingdom of El Abha! On their lips are new hymns of praises! In their hearts tumultous voices of glorification. In their ears are the sweet, ravishing melodies of the birds of paradise. The teachers of the Cause are inspired with a new zeal. Their hearts are fired with the unprecedented example of Abdul Baha. Difficulties! There are none. From every corner of the Orient the still small voice grows into volume and force, becoming irresistible in its might, re- moving every obstacle from its path, and attacking the rank and file of the forces of darkness, putting them into complete rout.
132ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
Through the gloomy night of ignorance and fanati- cism, the light-bearers of Reality, with torches in their hands are running through the length and breadth of the East, illumining hearts with the effulgence of the King- dom. Lo! do you hear the songs of the Eastern teachers which are being co-ordinated into one mighty voice:—
Let us follow the example of Abdul Baha! He has paved for us the highroad of teaching! et us follow him! et us emulate him! We shall seek no rest, wish for no comfort! We are his soldiers and he is our com- mander! We must increase the power of our activity! We must travel! We must forget everything else save the promotion of the Cause!
Thus a new spirit is aroused all over the East, impelling the teachers to go forward, to rush onward, to follow Abdul Baha!
2. Abdul Baha Tells about Rasheed Pasha and His System of Extortion
The Beloved called this morning. He was in a happy mood. Mirza Abul Fazl was there; so the main part of the talk was directed to him. First Abdul Baha spoke of the two Mullahs who visited him yesterday, saying that these Arab sheiks do not understand what fair dis- cussion means. They love a good fighty argument better than their lives. They do not mean to investigate a given subject, examine its minor and major points and obtain the conclusion. They love to go on, pro and con, ad infinitum.
Then he spoke about Rasheed Pasha, a former Gover- nor of Syria who had called upon him many times in Paris. He said, in part, that this man, according to pop- ular tradition, must have been bad even before Adam and Eve. He extorted money with the flimsiest excuses
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 133
from the peaceful citizens of Syria. For example, he would send for a wealthy merchant or manufacturer to come to Beirut on urgent business. Then on his arrival he would tell him, "I have received bad reports concern- lng your character and dealings. You must stay here till I send a committee to investigate these reports and then I will set you free." The man, finding himself helpless in the face of such accusations, stayed one, two, three, four weeks. Meanwhile, there was no one at the head of his business, and alarming reports come to him. Finally he felt constrained to give a few hundred pounds to the governor so that he might get away. Rasheed Pasha was also a favorite spy of the Sultan of Turkey. He would forward the most dreadful reports about the law-abiding citizens, thus filling his pockets with bribery and extor- tion.
3. The Episode of Rasheed Pasha and Madame Jackson about Abdul Baha's Freedom
It so happened that at one time the secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Paris met Madame Jackson at a re- ception. Madame Jackson told him about Abdul Baha's incarceration in the town of Acca, and of the cruelty and injustice of the Turkish authorities. This secretary, be- ing a relative of Rasheed Pasha, answered Madame Jack- son, saying, that there must needs be at least 3000 pounds sterling to bring about Abdul Baha's freedom. Madame Jackson agreed to pay this sum if he succeeded in achiev- ing his liberty. Immediately he reported to Rasheed Pasha that there lived a woman in Paris who was wil- ling to pay a large sum if Abdul Baha could be set free. The governor, who loved money better than his life, cabled back to Paris, "Very well, it will be done." Meanwhile Abdul Baha heard about the episode in this
134ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
way: One day, the Motosarraf of Acca, who was the husband of the sister of Ahmad Ezzat Pasha, came run- ning to him, saying, "God be praised! All the means are prepared!" "How?" Abdul Baha asked. "What has happened?" "Oh! do you not know?" he said. "Soon you will be free. You will go out of this prison. You will travel wherever you wish." Then he told the rest of the story. As soon as he left Abdul Baha's abode, the latter sent a cable to Madame Jackson. "Beware! Be- ware! lest you pay one cent for my freedom. In prison I am feeling happy!" When the governor heard about Abdul Baha's instructions to Madame Jackson, he was, of course, furious. He had thought it would be so easy to get this sum of money. So he changed his tactics, and Abdul Baha one day received a letter from his secretary saying that the governor was very anxious to see him enjoying the air of freedom. Abdul Baha did not an- swer. After a week, he received another letter from the same secretary announcing that the governor had in- structed him to draw up a petition to his Imperial Maj- esty, begging for Abdul Baha's liberty. Again Abdul Baha did not answer. Then he wrote that the petition was ready to be mailed. No answer. Again: the gov- error is going to sign the papers and mail them tomor- row. No answer. Then Abdul Baha received his last letter, saying that the governor had read the petition and had written over the envelope, 'Not to be sent.' No an- swer. When the governor realized that he had failed in everything, he sent his own son to Acca to see Abdul Baha personally, thinking that perchance he might suc- ceed. The son was, of course, lavishly entertained by Motosarraf. Abdul Baha was invited to meet him. After dinner the son brought up the subject from various points of view. Abdul Baha took the attitude that he knew nothing about the matter. After dinner he followed
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 135
Abdul Baha to his house and spoke a great deal, but to no cffect. "I am sorry to see you in prison," he would say. "Here I am happy," Abdul Baha answered. When in the morning he was leaving, disappointed, he made an- other effort by saying, "I hope, my Effendi, that I shall see you next time in Haifa." Abdul Baha waved the matter aside. When the governor heard the unsuccessful report of his son, he was crestfallen and angry. At that time he was so powerful that all the inhabitants of Syria trembled through fear of him. His reports to the Sultan were laws. One word from him would bring down the ire of his Majesty on anybody's head, no matter how important and influential they were.
When Abdul Baha realized that they were again at their old tactics, trying to make him say the word "yes" to their extortionate demands, he one day called Moto- sarraf to his house and told him defiantly: "Do not make any more intrigues; you shall fail in all your secret machinations. There is a destined period for my impris- onment. Before the coming of that time, even the kings of the earth cannot take me out of this prison, but when the appointed moment arrives, all the emperors of the world cannot hold me a prisoner in Acca. I shall then go out. Rest thou assured of this."
When the Motosarraf heard this emphatic statement, he wrote a letter to the governor, advising him not to make any further move "because Abbas Effendi knows the Talisman of Imam Ali. He has learned from the po- sition of the heavenly Constellations the time of his free- dom and no one can hasten it. It is better for us to give up this idea."
136ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
4. The Infinite Patience of Abdul Baha in Answering the Trivial Questions Put to Him.
At noon Mirza Moneer brought me a letter to translate into Persian. When this was finished I called at the Master's house to deliver it. I knocked at the door three or four times before Khosro answered. As I waited out- side I heard the voice of the Master, dictating Tablets to Mirza Moneer. I was then announced and ushered into the room. The Master welcomed me. He was sitting near the balcony; in front of him was a chair piled high with letters from the East and West. His dress and tur- ban were of snowy white matching his beautiful locks and beard. Across the street there was a tall green acacia tree which attracted his attention. Now and then his eyes closed and again opened revealing infinite pity and love hidden in his eyes. Mirza Moneer was sitting writ- ing down the heavenly words which flowed like a fountain from the tongue of the Beloved. As I watched him, I was struck by the divine beauty of his countenance, soft, tender and most adorable.
The many difficult problems of the Bahai world are solved by him. Now he writes to Persia on how to hold an election, then to far-off America on how to rent a hall. One Bahai desires to know whether she should cook food for her child; another person asks how to proceed to buy a piece of land. There are some misunderstandings in this assembly to be removed; the feelings of some person are ruffled, and must be smoothed down. One man's mother or father is dead, he requests a Tablet of visita- tion, another desires to have a wife. To one a child is born, she begs for a Bahai name; another has taught sev- eral souls, he asks for Bahai rings for them. This man has had business reverses, he must be encouraged, an- other has fallen from a ladder, he implores for a speedy
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 137
recovery. One has quarreled with his wife, and he wants advice on how to be reconciled; another supplicates for blessings upon his marriage. The Master goes over these one by one with infinite patience and with his words of advice, creates order out of chaos. The sorrows of the world troop along in review before him, and as they pass, lo, the transformation happens ! The sorrowful becomes joyful, the ill-tempered good-natured, the lazy active, the sleepy one awakened. With magical words he transmutes iron into gold and darkness into light. At last he rises from his seat and for a while walks to and fro, still dic- tating Tablets to the philosopher and to the simple; soar- ing toward the empyrian of spirituality, giving us a vision of sanctity, and of the roses of Paradise, and for a while we roam, guided by him, in those delectable gardens of Abha, intoxicated with the fragrance of God; and then we find ourselve in the streets, walking home upborn on the wings of light. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 1, 1913.
1. What can we do to spread the Bahai Cause? 2. The difficulties of the western journey have left their impress- sions on Abdul Baha. 3. Now the importance of the station of the believers is unknown. 4. The service of the believers of God. 5. A Bahai meeting in Alexandria. 6. Bahai detachment and independence. 7. Arrival of members of Abdul Baha's family.
1. What Can We Do to Spread the Bahai Cause?
What can we do to become more fitting instruments, and purer channels, devoted whole-heartedly to the fur- therance of the Bahai Cause ? Is it through the organiza- tion of various committees? The discussion of various
138ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
plans? The reading of Tablets and Words? The deliv- ery of public addresses? The expounding of the Holy Utterances? The holding of Friday or Sunday meet- ings? The announcement of the Message? The publica- tion and circulation of literature? It may be through any, or all of these, in fact each one of the above methods is important in its own place. But from a larger out- look, it is through the attraction of the heart, the purity of conscience, the spirituality of ideals, the concentration of selfishness, the leaping forth of the fire of the Love of God and the entire renunciation of self.
For the last few days many Tablets have been revealed for the Persian believers, and therefore it is very fitting to translate a few extracts:—
2. The Difficulties of the Western Journey Have Left Their Impressions on Abdul Baha
"The long journey over sea and land, the innumerable difficulties in the morn and at eve, the lack of rest and sleep, the delivery of detailed addresses in public congre- gations, the meetings with visitors from sunrise to mid- night in America, the answering of countless questions and the withstanding of the hardships of the trip, have made their impression on this earthly constitution, and the result is a great weakness . . . It is now a few days since I arrived in Ramleh, and feeling somewhat better, I am engaged in writing to you.
"Convey infinite longing and love on behalf of Abdul Baha to all the believers of God. Day and night I am re- membering the friends, kneeling before the Threshold and begging for them the confirmations of the Kingdom of Abha. I hope that from now on the broken chain of correspondence will be taken up and that through the pro-
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tection and preservation of the Blessed Beauty the pen will be set in motion."
3. Now the Importance of the Stations of the Believers Is Unknown
"The Glances of Divine Providence are always vouch- safed, the infinite Bestowals are continually descending. There are clear evidences that in the service of the Cause of God you are confirmed. Know ye the value of this most great Favor and render ye thanksgiving unto the Threshold of God by day and by night; because you have adorned your heads with such Glorious Crowns and have illumined such a light-giving candle in the assemblage of the world! Now the greatness of this station is hidden and invisible, but ere long it will become evident and man- ifest."
4. Service of the Believers of God
"Thank God that thou are assisted in serving the be- lievers of God. Thou art the enkindled brasier of the Fire of Love and a lamp of the utmost purity through which the Light of God's attraction shines forth. Ap- preciate the value of this Divine Favor. Be self sacri- ficing, and give exhilaration and rejoicing to the friends of God and engage in adoration and thanksgiving to the Most Glorious Lord with infinite gladness and happi- ness.”
Today the Beloved came to see us in the morning. He sat on the veranda and asked Mirza Moneer to bring the Tablets which he dictated yesterday to be corrected by him. For half an hour he read them over and made a few corrections here and there. Then he dictated a Tab-
140ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
let to Maharajah of Couch Bahar of India. He also dis- patched eight cables to the various cities of Persia giving the believers the good news of his health. Then went out to call on Mirza Abdul Fazl.
5. A Bahai Meeting in Alexandria
For the first time since my arrival in Ramleh I went to a Bahai meeting in the house of Khorassani. There were many Persian and Arabian Bahais present. After our entrance, according to the Eastern custom, rose-water was given us with which to anoint our faces. Then tea was served and conversation started. I told them some- thing about our American trip in which they were greatly interested. We spoke of certain people who rise to a great station in the Cause, then suddenly fall and are for- gotten. One of the old believers illustrated this subject as follows:—
"If a person scales only a few steps of the ladder and falls, he can arise, shake off the dust, heal his bruises and scale the ladder again. But if he falls from the highest step, it will be most difficult for him to arise."
Then an old man began to chant a prayer of Baha-UI- lah when some one brought in the news that the Master was arriving. Immediately the man stopped his chant- ing, all voices were hushed, and everybody was on his feet, awaiting the coming of Abdul Baha. As he en- tered all heads bowed down and he walked toward the up- per part of the room and seated himself on the divan. He spoke in Arabic, for the sake of the Arabian Bahais. The subject was the Pyramids and their antiquity. When he left the room he called me to go with him and I was very happy. He spoke to me with much gentleness and kindness. He is at all times thinking of the welfare and comfort of his servants.
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6. Bahai Detachment and Independence
While he walked along the street he was commenting on the fact that he desired every Bahai to be severed and detached. If he passes between two mountains of gold, he must not look to either side. Those souls who have entered under the shade of the Blessed Perfection must display such independence as to astonish the people of the world. If men come to them with money and supplicate them to accept it, they should reject it.
7. Arrival of Members of Abdul Baha’s Family
On the way Mirza Ali Akbar brought the news that the Greatest Holy Leaf, Abdul Baha's sister, his daughter, Shoghi Effendi, and five or six others had arrived from Haifa. The Beloved came to see us, sat for one hour, drank a cup of coffee, and then left us to return to his house to see the newcomers.
In the evening Shoghi Effendi brought me a few let- ters from America sent by Ahmad Yazdi, and the new book by Mr. Horace Holley "The Modern Social Reli- gion," which is just out. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 2, 1913.
1. The Greatest Holy Leaf,.the daughter of Baha-UI- lah. 2. Abdul Baha talks with two pilgrims. 3. This is the day of teaching. 4. Mr. Atwood, an Englishman. 5. Filial Piety. 6. The future of Persia. 7. What Ab- dul Baha saw and did on his Western tour.
1. "The Greatest Holy Leaf"—the Daughter of Baha-Ullah
To-day the Beloved did not come to see us in the morn- ing because he was entertaining "the Greatest Holy Leaf"
142ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
and the rest of the friends who had come with her. In the Bahai Cause she is a unique woman. . She has de- voted all her life to the service of humanity. She is a glorious star set upon the crown of womanhood, and a light-giving personality. Everybody takes her advice be- cause she is a loving mother and sister to every Bahai. Her noble life is a glorious epic of self-sacrifice, generos- ity, and kindness. She radiates joy and ecstacy and is the worthiest representative of her kind. All those who have come within the radius of her calm, spiritual influence and have spoken even a few ords with her, bear testi- mony to the fact that she is a heavenly soul—-wonderfully spiritual, highly cultivated and attuned with the ethereal music of the celestial spheres. Well may all womankind be proud of her sweet life, spent in the path of God, con- secrated to the Love of God and dedicated to the service of the Almighty!
Two pilgrims have just arrived from Persia. One is from Yazd, the other from Khorassan, a relative of Bab- El-Bab, Mullah Hossein Bushruyieh—the first believer in the Bab.
2. Abdul Baha Talks with Two Pilgrims
I was going to take a walk when I saw the Master, dressed in his pure white garment, slowly coming toward me. I stood aside in a reverent attitude until he arrived, then I followed him. He felt very tired because he had read and written a great deal during the day.
He wished that he could get away, and be alone for sev- eral weeks and do nothing but rest, but he wondered whether he would be happy! He entered the house and our dear pilgrims wanted to kneel before him and kiss his hands, but he prevented them from doing so. He inquired from each how the Cause was progressing in
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their respective cities. The one from Yazd answered that the Cause was spreading very rapidly in that part of the world, the teachers were very zealous and active, the meetings very radiant and that every day from ten to fifteen people were instructed in various gatherings. The Master praised their zeal and courage and expressed the hope that they would increase their enthusiasm and their power of teaching.
3. This Is the Day of Teaching
In talking with these pilgrims the Master emphasized that this is the day of teaching. This is the day of ser- vice. This is the day of the illumination of the world of humanity. Nothing else will give permanent result. This is their work.
Then he left us, but our hearts were full with his love, a love which never grows dim, but is light upon light.
4. Mr. Atwood, an Englishman
I went out, walking toward the Hotel Plaisance where Miss Hiscock and Mr. Atwood live. I had a most inter- esting talk with the latter. He is very cultured and learned and the Master thinks highly of him. He writes articles for Magazines, is well-informed on many sub- jects and has lived in Ramleh with his wife and two chil- dren for nearly four years. From now on I hope to see him as often as I can for I have great admiration for him. He is a man of intelligence and sound mind.
I will end my letter today with the translations of a few extracts from the Tablets.
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5. Filial Piety
“TO A FATHER WHOSE SON IS A TEACHER IN THE CAUSE.
"Every son who does not become a cause of glory for his parents is a manifest loss. How many children turn out to be fruitless and unfaithful! Therefore render thanksgiving unto the Lord that thou hast such a kind and skillful son. He is a servant of the Cause and very efficient. He is favored at the Threshold of the Most Glorious King. His heart and soul are vivified through the Breaths of the Merciful. His eyes are turned toward the horizon of His Highness, the Unconstrained. His tongue is fluent with the divine proofs and evidences, and his nostrils perfumed with the sweet Fragrances of the Clement One."
6. The Future of Persia
"The region of Nur is the birthplace of the Speaker on the Mount. Consider to what grandeur, importance and splendor it shall attain throughout future ages and cycles. It shall become the abode of the Paradise of the King- dom; the forest for the lions of the Forgiving Lord, the Holy Ground for the people of all nations and the abode of the angels of the Most High, for the Fire of Sinai flamed forth from this region and the Most Great Lum- inary dawned from this horizon. But a thousand times alas, that the inhabitants of that country are still heedless and unaware. Ere long they shall become awakened and mindful, and they will glorify and magnify the Lord for these privileges."
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7. What Abdul Baha Saw and Did on His Western Tour
"O YE ILLUMINED FRIENDS OF ABDUL BAHA: "It is well-nigh three years since, like unto the wind I have been crossing vast deserts and like unto the nest- less and shelterless bird, I have day and night been sing- lng over mountains and slores. Now, in the middle of the ocean, I watched the crest of the furious tempest and while traveling I beheld the vastness and the immensity of the wilderness. One moment of rest I enjoyed not; one second of peace I sought not. Throughout many cities of the Occident I delivered the Glad-tidings of the appearance of the Sun of the Orient, in many churches I raised the cry of Ya Baha El Abba, and before innumer- able audiences, with resonant voice gave the Gospel of the Kingdom. . . .
"Praise be to God that the rays of the Sun of Reality are shining upon the East and the West, changing dark nights into luminous days. From every direction the cry of 'Ya Baha El Abha' is being heard and from every side the voice of 'Oh my Lord the Supreme!' has reached to the zenith of heaven. . . .
"In short, after great difficulties, from the West I have returned to the East. I shall tarry in Egypt for a while so that I may gain physical strength and energy; per- chance, God willing, I may render a service to the Thresh- old of God, and at the Court of the Beauty of Abha, may be confirmed in Thraldom. If the believers of God loosen the tongue of teaching, in a short time, undoubt- edly this world will become another world, the rays of the Most Great Luminary shall shine and its darkness be transformed into the illumination of the East and the West." _________
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RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 3RD, 1913.
1. Spiritual sustenance distributed in the morning.
2. Spiritual receptivity. 3. Abdul Baha sang a new song
in every garden. 4. The Mohammedan month of fasting.
5. What is the real object of fasting? 6. Abdul Baha
writes to a Indian Prince.
1. Spiritual Sustenance Distributed in the Morning
His Holiness the Bab has said that every day before sunrise the spiritual sustenance of mankind is provided and distributed. Similarly, how appropriate it is to adorn the beginning of every letter with the name of the Lord of mankind and with quotations from the Tablets re- vealed from the tongue of the Beloved! He thus writes to a Persian believer:
2. Spiritual Receptivity
"The Cloud of Providence hath poured down the rain of guidance upon the East and the West; the rays of the Sun of Reality has shone forth upon all the inhabitants of the world, but out of the brackish ground nothing will grow except thorns and thistles and the effulgences of the Orb of Truth do not penetrate through the black stone. Therefore, thank God that thy pure heart was the clear mirror reflecting the radiant rays of divine guidance, and that thy mind was fertile soil, because, through the down- pour of the rain of Grace there have appeared the flowers, anemones of wisdom. Thank God for this Eminent Bounty, for verily thou art of those who have attained."
3. Abdul Baha Sang a New Song in Every Garden
"Thy letter was received. Thou hast lamented and complained because it is some time since thou hast received
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any letter from Abdul Baha. For forty hears Abdul Baha was kept in prison, but his infinite longing was to spread with a resonant voice the word of God throughout all countries and to unloosen his tongue in the exposition of Truth and in teaching the Cause. No sooner was his freed from prison, than he hastened to every clime and country. On every mountain he raised a cry of 'He is God' and in every city he spoke with public-spirted men. In every garden he sang a new melody, and like unto the bird of the morning raised the note of Ya Baha El Abha. In every meeting he elucidated the teachings of this divine Cause and while traveling through the Western countries he summoned all to the Kingdom of God. Under such circumstances, there was no time to write, and therefore correspondence was neg- lected."
4. The Mohammendan Month of Fasting
This is the first day of the month of Ramadan—the month of Mohammedan fasting. The Beloved made this announcement this morning as he entered the house. He sat down on the veranda and spoke on the subject of fasting. The Mohammedans are very strict about it. One must eat, drink and smoke nothing from sunrise until sunset. As the eastern calendar is lunar, the month of fasting falls in different seasons; as a result of this arrangement it is in August this year—a month extremely hot with days exceptionally long. The laborers and farm- ers suffer very much from thirst during the day, but they do not break the laws of their religion. If by mere chance a Mohammedan is seen eating in the street, he is punished by the Sheik. In the evening all good Mo- hammedans to the Mosque to pray, and strictly obey all the ceremonials connected with this holy month.
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Every person—whether he understands it or not—should read the Koran, at least once, from cover to cover. This act is most meritorious.
The Master told Mirza Ali Akbar to go to Alexandria and bring our two new pilgrims back to live with us. They had taken rooms in a native hotel somewhere down town. By three o'clock they were here full of joy and delight because they were going to be near the Beloved and see him every day.
5. What is the Real Object of the Fast?
In the afternoon the Master came and as there were present several Arabian believers, he talked in Arabic on physical and spiritual fasting. Real fasting is to ab- stain from carnal desires and the prompting of ego. Fasting means to purify the heart from every stain of egotism, replacing material tendencies with spiritual sus- ceptibilities, refining the moral fibre, intensifying the Fire of the Love of God, cleansing the self from the dross of haughtiness, teaching humility and dispelling the darkness of ignorance.
After the Beloved left, the audience scattered, and went out for a brief stroll. In a few minutes I found myself in the Hotel Plaisance talking with Mr. Atwood, Miss Hiscock and a very charming Turkish lady. She spoke French and English quite well besides three or four other languages.
I will conclude today by quoting the translation of an- other Tablet.
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"THROUGH REV. PROMOTHO LOLL SEN
"TO HIS HIGHNESS PRINCE MARARAJ COUCH BAHA,
"(Upon him be greeting and praise)
"He is God!
"O HAPPY STARRED AND NOBLE PRINCE:
"The gift you have forwarded was very acceptable be-cause it was from your Highness; this exile one over mountain and plain, this wanderer over land and sea took that cup as a symbol, signifying: 'I am thirst for the Water of Reality and longing for intoxication with the Wine of Knowledge.'
"Therefore I upraised the hand of supplication toward the Kingdom fo the Incomparable One, praying:—O Thou Almighty, Deign to fill this Divine Cup with the Wine of Thy Love and let this golden goblet overflow with the nectar of Thy Grace; so that friends and strang- ers may become exhilarated with the wine of 'Am I not your lord?' and shareless ones become the adorers of the Ideal Wine.
"In short I offered the utmost prayer and supplica- tion at the Threshold of the Possessor of Glory that your kind father the leader of the Worthies, the Glorious Ameer, may be submerged in the Ocean of Divine Grace, become intoxicated with the Wine of Celestial Bestowal and Favor, obtain the Peace of the spirit in the Rose-gar- den of the Merciful in the midst of the Paradise of Knowledge, and attain to the station of the Transfigura- tion in the Delectable Heaven of God.
"May the Almight confer the happiness of both worlds upon thee, O happy starred Prince, grant eternal joy and felicity never-ending, suffer thee to become the
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the manifestation of confirmation and to inspire thee under all circumstances with a new spirit!
"This is the prayer of this wanderer in behalf of that leader of freedman.
"Upon this be greeting and praise!
(Signed) "Abdul Baha Abhas"
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 4TH, 1913
1. The blessings of the universal mind. 2. Abdul Baha
and the family morning prayers. 3. Abdul Baha and
Shoghi Effendi. 4. The Persians delighted with the pic-
tures in the American Magazines. 5. Universal homage
paid to Abdul Baha. 6. Life during the onth of the
Mohammedan fast. 7. How eager are the Bahais of
Persia for martyrdom. 8. Abdul Baha confounds the
Mullahs in the Mosque. 9. Story of Mulla Sadek, the
fanatical Sheik. 10. Abdul Baha’s love-pat
1. The Blessings of the Universal Mind
Praise be to God that the world has heard the message of Reality, listened to the clarion call of Wisdom, quaffed the Water of Eternal Life, hastened toward the arena of Knowledge, embraced the Beloved of Truth, has been quickened by the breaths of the Holy Spirit, stirred by the Glad-Tidings of the Lord of Hosts and rejoiced by the wonderful words of God! May the hearts become as fountains from which the limpid water of divine spirit ever flow! May the minds become as rose-gardens wherein the flowers of idealism grow and develop! May the spirits become as mines out of which nuggets of love and jewels of friendship are produced! This is the world’s heavenly heritage. The inner world, like a beau- tiful meadow, is carpeted with hyacinths of affections, violets of harmony, anemones of immortal ideals, and lilies of spiritual susceptibilities. No one should hide
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 151
these tender flowers under a glass. Let the light shine. Sing like unto a nightingale. Gird up the loin of en- deavor. Soar heavenward. Stept into the arean of ac- tivity. Diffuse the radiancy of the celestial light. Leap forward. Raise the ringing watchword of Peace and Brotherhood. Do not tarry. Travel on and on in the mystic realms of Guidance. Your helper is God. Your inspirer is the Holy Spirit. Your co-workers are the angels of the Supreme Concourse. You have rececived the Truth, and the Truth hath made you free. What greater blessing is there than this? This is Eternal Glory and everlasting Life.
In order to teach the Cause of Peace, every person must become a clear channel for the expression of the Love of God, the focalization of the Knowledge of God and the manifestation of the attributes of God. We are all His servants, and before His throne we stand with the utmost humility. We must increase our effort, strive in the path- way of righteousness, illumine the world of humanity with the rays of brotherhood and inter-racial feeling and upraise the standard of the solidarity of mankind. This is the world’s work! This is the task set for man! With the assistance of God and the co-operation of all public-spirited leaders we will not fail.
2. Abdul Baha and the Family Prayer in the Morning
Hardly were we out of our beds when Khosro rang the bell. Haji Sayad Javad and myself were summoned by the Beloved. When we arrived at the door of his apartment, Khosro made a sign to wait. The door was shut and we could see nothing. In a moment I heard the sweet voice of a woman. Oh! She was chanting a prayer and I was all attending. I knew what it was. Like a flash it dawned upon me. It was the family morn-
152ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
ing prayer offered at the Threshold of Baha-Ullah and presided over by the Center of His Covenant. As I waiting there I pictured in my mind a spiritual society, when every home would be a temple of God like unto the home of the Beloved. From these hearths every morning chants of thanksgiving and praise would be sent up to heaven from the lips of those whose hearts were stirred by the spiritual Fragrance, whose spirits were treasuries of the mysteries of God and whose consciences reflect the longing and aspirations of the angels!
The chant continued soaring higher and higher, car- rying me away to a glorious world! I thought I was listening to the delectable voices of the Seraphim and Cherubim. Then it ended in a hush of silence, leaving behind the delicate hues and perfumes of the world of God and filling the void with a rare atmosphere of spirit- uality!
3. Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi
Now the door opened and we were bidden to the Mas- ter’s writing room. As we sat there we heard Shoghi Effendi chanting with pathos and sweetness. As he ended the prayer suddenly I heard the voice of the Master. I was on my feet. What marvelous depth of feeling! It causes the stones to dance with joy! He was teaching Shoghi Effendi how to chant and how to control his voice under various expressions.
What a heavenly Feast I have had this morning! Manna from on high! What a great privilege to have even a mental glimpse of this Holy Shrine of the Lord of Mankind where every morning, prayers are proffered for the general welfare of all the human race; such prayers as will effect the very foundations of the social consciousness of every man and woman in this world.
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 153
Then the Master entered our room and said that, in- asmuch as it was the month of Ramadan, he couldn’t serve us tea. He had prepared many envelopes contain- ing Tablets to be mailed and he asked Haji Sayad Javad to take them to Port Said and there to be registered.
4. The Persians Delighted with the Pictures in American Magazines
While I was in Abdul Baha’s presence, the mail man brought several letters from America and four big pack- ages of the Magazines, “Travel,” kindly sent by Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm. These magazines delighted many. Already several copies are with Shoghi Effendi, some of them are with Mr. Atwood. Everybody is interested in the pic- tures. I would appreciate it if the friends could send every month some of the current magazines and papers. They would delight the hearts of many friends, especially the illustrated ones.
5. Universal Homage Paid to Abdul Baha
In the afternoon I called on the Master. He was sit- ting on the balcony. He asked me about the news from America. I rad him the letters just received from Miss Thompson, Mrs. Ralston, Miss H. Magee, Mrs. Fraser, and others.
After half an hour’s talk about the Cause in America he left the house and I accompanied him. He is shown marked respect by everyone as he walks in the streets. The policeman sanding at the corner salutes him, the man sitting on the ground gets up as though compelled to do so by a superior force. He walked toward our house and surprised everyone by his sudden appear- ance. For nearly an hour he sat on the veranda watching
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the slow stream of life passing by. Now and then he spoke in monosyllables and then he took his customary walk.
6. Life during the Month of Mohammedan Fast
During the days of Ramadan life is very interesting just before and after sunset. Before sunset, because everybody is exhausted with hunger and thirst; then res- taurants are filled by the people awaiting anxiously the setting of the sun, and the streets present a hustling, mot- ley crowd; after sunset, because once they have satisfied their appetites they go out to the cafes, amusement places, and theaters.
7. How Eager are the Bahais of Persia for Martyrdom
Mirza Abul Fazl came in the evening, and told us a few incidents out of the rich treasury of his life. When he was imprisoned in Teheran with 18 others, there was an old man among them by the name of Mirza Mohamad Reza. He was well known for three rare qualities; firm- ness, fearlessness and truthfulness. He defied the prison authorities by his courage; awed the enemies by his firm- ness and set at naught the intrigues of the foes through his truthfulness.
“Whenever,” Mirza Abul Fazl said, “Hajeb-ed-Doulet, one of the Ministers of the Court, came to the prison to investigate the condition of some one, Mirza Mohamad Reza would approach him and speak to him with great earnestness. Finally Hajeb-ed-Doulet would turn to him with a despairing look saying, ‘Sir! This is impossible! I cannot do it. Why did you not ask the Prinice Nayeb- us-Saltaneh about this? He can do it. He has the au- thority.’ At last one day we asked him, ‘What is this
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 155
which you talk about with Hajeb-ed-Doulet, whenever he comes to the prison, and why does he refuse you so em- phatically?’ He said, ‘I ask and plead with him to sen- tence me to death. I tell him: I am an old man, I am of no good to the world. I want to bathe my body in blood for the sake of Baha-Ullah. Please, please, I beg you to do something for me. Is this too much of a favor that I ask of you? Are you not kind enough to fulfill this last wish of an old man? But he does not listen to me and answers me loudly in the manner you have all heard.’”
8. Abdul Baha Confounds the Mullahs in the Mosque
Mirza Abu Fazl was giving us a graphic description of another prison scene, and he had just reached its climax when the door opened and the Master entered. Ap- patently he felt well and in a happy mood. He told us that last Friday he had gone to the Mosque of Sidi Jabar. There were many Mullahs present. One of them was chanting the verses of the Koran, while another was addressing the people. Abdul Baha could hear neither, so he addressed the one who was speaking, “What art thou doing? Hast thou not heard the saying of Moham- med, that when El Koran is read everyone must listen?” The man turned red and was ashamed and all the other Mullahs looked at each other wonderingly.
9. Story of Mullah Sadek, the Fanatical Sheik
Then he related another story: During the early years of his arrival in Acca, he was one night invited to a feast, where, for the edification of the guests, El Koran was being chanted by a very good singer. The Mohammedans having forgotten their reverence for Holy things, and
156ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT
overlooking the injunction of Mohammed, smoked and talked on such occasions, and when Abdul Baha arrived, there was a hubbub of confusion, people chatting, smok- ing and drinking coffee and tea; while in a corner of the room two singers chanting the Koran with great feeling. Abdul Baha looked about and saw beside him a very fanatical sheik, Mullah Sadek. Abdul Baha asked him whether this was fitting and if, according to the text of the Koran these people should not listen quietly. He an- swerved: “Yes.” “Then enjoin the law of God upon them,” Abdul Baha told him. Mullah Sadek arose from his seat: “Be silent,” he hurled at them with tremendous fury, and struck at their water-pipes, glasses and cups, breaking them all in his religious zeal. He then harangued them for their lack of religious spirit, their forgetfulness of the Laws of God, and their awful dis- obedience. The people were astonished and thought that he had become a lunatic; but from that time one, at all the feasts, nothing was served and everybody listened rever- ently while the Koran was chanted.
Although Mullah Sadek considered the Bahais infidels, yet he used to come every night to Abdul Baha’s house; staying for supper and talking until midnight. He was so fanatical that if any person deviated one hair’s breadth from the prescribed formulas of the religion, he would consider him an atheist.
10. Abdul Baha’s Love-pat
The Beloved continued talking and relating several amusing stories, which made us laugh. When he had finished he told us that his intention had been to entertain us. Then he arose to leave and as he passe dme he looked at me with twinkling eyes—and raising his hand brought it down on my left cheek. It was a hard blow and every-
ABDUL BAHA IN EGYPT 157
body enjoyed it, especially myself. It has been some time since I had received a “love-pat” and I was thinking that I was somewhat neglected. A “love-pat” from the Master is worth all the kindnesses of all the people of the world
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 5TH , 1913
1. Abdul Baha does not rest. 2. The significance of
spiritual meetings. 3. The world is a farm and the peo-
ple are farmers. 4. Spiritual Guidance. 5. Be seekers
of Truth. 6. Divine Confirmation. 7. Selfish people are
tied with iron bands. 8. How Abdul Baha built a bath
for Baha-Ullah. 9. Spiritual humility and the story of
the King and the Arab. 10. Abdul Baha’s generosity.
1. Abdul Baha Does Not Rest
Let me share with you another translation of the words of the Beloved revealed to the Persians:—
“It has been some time since Abdul Baha has been de- prived of correspondence, because he has been engaged in the delivery of public addresses. He has been speak- ing constantly. He has been crying out at every morn and shunning rest at every eve. On many a night and day he has been giving the Glad-Tidings of the appear- ance of the Kingdom of Mystery in the temples of both friends and strangers. This delay in correspondence comes from the lack of time and opportunity; otherwise you are always before his sight. It is hoped from the Favor of the Self-Subsistent Lord that your hearts may be flooded with a new effulgence—that is, that you may obtain a new joy and ecstacy and leap high like an inextinguishable flame—so that the light of your love may illumine all regions.”
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2. The Significance of Spiritual Meetings
“The meetings that thou art holding in thy house are the means of strengthening the hearts of the spiritual ones, of guiding the seekers and of awakening the sleep ones. These meetings are illumined with the splendor of divine Providence, and like unto the rose-gardens of Wisdom they are adorned with the flower of signifi- cances and Ideals. I hope that they will make progres.”
3. The World is a Farm and the People are Farmers
“O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God! Every person is a farmer. One sows the seeds of In- dustry; another scatters the acorns of commerce, and a third farms politics. All various agricultural pursuits culminate in harvest, yet these do not enjoy the blessings of the eternal springtime, neither do they yield inexhaust- ible benefits. But as the friends of God are scattering seeds in the farms of reality, they will gain an increasing blessing and will collect throughout centuries and cycles thousands of harvests. Now praise be to God that hou art sowing seeds in the ground of Truth and art the farmer of His Highness the Peerless One.”
4. Spiritual Guidance
“Thank God that a light of guidance has shone in the court of thy heart and soul! Thirsty wert thou, thou didst attain to the fountain of eternal life. Sick wert thou, thou didst receive the Most Great Antidote of the Glorious Lord.”
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5. Be Seekers of Truth
“Your letter was received. I supplicated and entreated at the Threshold of the Kingdom of Abha to Confer upon you anew Grace and Bounty; so that those souls may ever walk in the straight Path, move in the Ancient Highway of the Lord and be seekers of Truth and speakers of Truth. This is the utmost hope of Abdul Baha.”
6. Divine Confirmations
“O thou servant at the Threshold of the Blessed Per- section! Offer thou glorification unto the Lord because the radiant morn of the most great Guidance has appeared upon the dawning-places of the heart and spirit; the musk-diffusing fragrance of the garden of reality has reached the nostrils; the divine Confirmations have rent the veils asunder; the slight and the insight have beheld the most glorious signs; the dove of the Love of God has returned to the meadow of the Covenant and the moth of attraction has circled around this divine Lamp.”
7. Selfish People Are Tied with Iron Bands
Our home was illumined very early this morning by the presence of the Beloved. He walked in with con- indent strides. His face was beaming with joy and health. And the sun of his countenance irradiated happi- ness, so we in turn were made glad for our peaceful life depends upon his good health.
As he sat upon a chair he told us that he had slept soundly the last two nights, and to-day felt very well. I could see the effect on his animated face. It had not any of the former weariness. Then he spoke about fasting and of how it is necessary for the rich to think
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of the poor during the month of Ramadan. Those souls who prefer themselves to others are tied with selfish iron bands, while those who prefer others to themselves are the benefactors of the human race. Such was the conduct and the life of Baha-Ullah.
8. How Abdul Baha Built a Bath for Baha-Ullah
The name of Baha-Ullah brought to his mind the fol-lowing incident:—
In the military barracks of Acca, there was a small primitive bath which the Blessed Perfection used oc-casionally. After their departure from this place Abdul Baha rented a little house in the town. This house con-sisted of two stories, two rooms being on the lower floor and four on the upper, all of very modest propor-tions. Now the family was numerous, and Abdul Baha wondered how all those souls could be accommodated in this small house. Finally thirteen of them agreed to occupy one room, and here they lived and slept and worked together. They kept this house for well-nigh twenty years. It so happened that, although it was small, it yet contained a primitive bath, and the Blessed Per-fection could use it as often as he wished. At the end of twenty years, Abdul Baha rented a much larger house, but it had no bath. He went to Baha-Ullah and asked permission to build one. The more he begged, the more definitely was he refused. Abdul Baha stated, that a bath could be built for only fifty pounds, but Baha-Ullah did not give his consent.
After a month had passed he went to an Arab friend . and borrowed from him 250 pounds at two per cent. This money he took to a merchant who was in former times a grain-dealer, but who was now out of work. He told him something to this effect:
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“We will enter into a partnership; the capital will be from me, the labor from you. With this fund you will deal in grain for four months. After paying off all the expenses of rent, etc., and receiving your monthly salary, we will divide the profit; one-third for you and two- thirds for me.”
This agreement was made and the merchant started the business. After four months they cleared their ac-counts. The debt was paid back with its two per cent interest; the merchant received his one-third profit; all the other expenses were defrayed, and 30 pounds left in the balance for Abdul Baha. With that sum he built a bath in the house of Baha-Ullah. This house is kept intact to the present day.
9. Spiritual Humility and the Story of the King and the Arab
Then the conversation turned upon another subject— how outward circumstances, such as wealth, honor, titles and even spiritual gifts made some people proud.
Concerning this the Master told a story:
It is said that at one time a king went traveling incog-nito. He put on a humble suit of clothes and started on his adventures. After a few days journey, during which he had lost his way in the scorching desert, he finally reached the tent of an Arab. The Arab, finding the man exhausted from heat and hunger, dragged him to the the shade. When the king was revived, he asked the Arab he what he had to eat and drink.“I have a goat-skin of wine and a little goat,” the Arab answered. Very well, bring the wine and let the goat be cooked.” The wine was brought. When the king had drunk one cup, he looked at the Arab and said: “Do you know who I am?” “No.”
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“I am a soldier in the king's army.” The Arab was glad to entertain a brave man.
He drank another cup. “Do you know who I am?” “Who are you?” “I am a Minister of the King's Council Chamber.” “I am delighted to receive such a distin- guished statesman.” A third cup was taken. “Do you know who I am?” “Well?” “I am the King himself.” The Arab could stand it no longer. He arose from his place and took away the goat-skin of wine. “Why do you do this ?” the guest asked, astonished. “Because I believe that if you drink another cup, you will declare yourself to be the prophet of God, and a fifth one may raise you to the station of God himself; so it is better for you to cool down a little.”
10. Abdul Baha's Generosity
At five o'clock Abdul Baha returned with Mirza Ali Akbar, and went out to call on Mirza Abul Fazl. He came back after two hours and complained of fatigue, because he had been speaking with several Arabs who had made an appointment to see him. He said, that from morning until this very moment beggars of all nationali-ties and religions had knocked at his door, and that even now one was waiting outside and he gave me some money for him.
His munificence extends to all people. Freely he gives without distinction for race or color. Our duty in life is to follow his glorious example, in taking care of the poor in time of need, and in practising charity and kind-ness. I do not see or hear what he does and says during the day, but I know that every minute is spent in the service of others.
How to make the world better, how to improve the conditions of mankind, how to raise the standard of moral
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consciousness and how to make the hearts more glad is his hourly preoccupation. Before leaving he told us that the duty of each believer is to be the servant of the other and to attend to his brother's wants. He considered himself the servant of all the friends of God. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 6, 1913.
1. God's favors measureless. 2. Spiritual relationship. 3. A walk through the streets and the radiance of the star of hope.
1. God’s Favors Measureless
This morning I was musing upon the events of the past two years, the extraordinary occurrences concerning the Cause, the historic tour of Abdul Baha through the United States and Europe and the contrast of our present quiet stay in Ramleh. “What does the future hold for us ?” I asked subconsciously. Baha-Ullah has caused the descent of divine blessings; he has spread before us a heavenly Table bearing many kinds of spiritual food, he has left amongst us his son, Abdul Baha—to interpret his words and to spread his Universal Message and he has summoned into existence glorious souls all over the world to promulgate His principles. We must let the lamp of hope burn, we must free ourselves from regrets or pes-simism. If we fall, we must immediately rise and push forward. The same God who has assisted others will come to our help.
2. Spiritual Relationship
Abdul Baha visited us this afternoon and we gathered about him like moths around a candle. Little by
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the friends arrived. Then an American Bahai came with an Arabian believers—a tall young man. The Master spoke with them on the spiritual union of hearts, irre- spective of color and nationality.
This spiritual union is one of the wonders of the age, that an oriental and occidental can meet on common ground. Although there exits between them no racial, no patriotic, no political relationship, yet they are able to enjoy a friendship as through they belong to the same race. This is a spiritual bond. Often two brothers reared in the same household are antagonistic, but on this divine plane others who have no material connections can in reality be more sympathetic than if they were blood relations. Happy are you that you have drunk from this spiritual fountain and have attained to the reality of existence.
Then spoke about his western trip, mentioning the names of the various cities of America, and of how his time was spent in those place. Although often he had not felt well, he had been happy because he could teach the Cause and spread the Glad-Tidings.
3. A Walk through the Streets and the Radiance of the Star of Hope
At sunset he ordered tea and in the calm atmosphere of a lovely eastern evening, we felt his power more than ever. He is the King of our hearts and spirits and our love for him is increasing daily. He left very quietly, followed by the Arab believer. I felt a new ray of hope dawning upon the horizon of my soul. After dinner I wished to be alone so that I might contemplate the divine sweetness of the Beloved. Walking through the streets I looked up and millions of stars were shining in their accustomed glory. The night was beautiful. The East-
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ern sky was radiant. The stars were the shining lamps of God. At last I sat down on a broken wall and I looked about me. Thinking upon the past, I became confident for the future. God in his bounty has guided the ship of my destiny so far, and He will continue to do the same. I returned with a light step. On my way back I met three other believers. They are sincere in their striving and longing to be of more useful service. How confident they were! How simple! how spiritual! how glorious their faith! They inspired me with a greater faith. In the darkness there arose a light, full of radiance and beauty. I entered the house very happy. My heart was singing. The future was in the hands of God. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 7, 1913.
1. The beauty and charm of the palaces of Ramleh. 2. The Egyptian pashas are proud of Abdul Baha and his philosophy of religion. 3. A call from Abdu Baha and his encouragement
1. The Beauty and Charm of Ramleh
From my room I see the great clock of the New Vic- toria Hotel, wherein the Beloved stayed from time to time. The manager with much pride shows to the guests the various rooms occupied by the Master. He knows something about the Cause, and recognizes the great honor and blessing bestowed upon him and his hotel. When the Master was here the last time, he gave two large feasts just before his departure for America. There are a few other hotels and houses in which the Beloved has lived periodically. The homes of the Pashas are really wonderful specimens of the best Renaissance architecture. They very much resemble the houses and
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villas I have seen at Nice. Wonderful palaces, furnished with a taste truly magnificent, and are enclosed within gardens, the beauty and charm of which rival the fairy-lands of the artists and the poets. These “villas” are surrounded by walls from two to four yards high. The principal avenues are macadamized and clean and the narrow streets are also very much like the garden paths of Nice. As one walks through them the perfume of the flowers is inhaled, the branches of the trees overhang-ing the walls give a cool, inviting shade and the climbing vines add to the charming verdancy. A man passing through the streets and observing the houses, sees all the windows tightly shut. The stranger may think that they are not inhabited, but on inquiring about this custom of closing the windows, he is politely informed that as the owner is Mohammedan, the blinds are drawn, so that no foreign eyes may gaze upon the dark beauties of the women.
2. The Eyptian [sic] Pashas are Proud of ,Abdul Baha and His Philosophy of Religion
Several of the houses of these Pashas are honored by the presence of the Master, for they admire him and ap- preciate his teachings of tolerance and broad-mindedness. It is very strange that although these men do not believe in the Cause, yet they boast before strangers about the existence of Abdul Baha.
A very prominent Pasha, who was an admirer of Abdul Baha, received from time to time some English periodicals with accounts of the Bahai movements, among them was the Christian Commonwealth which contained an article explaining the Cause.
After showing the article to visiting Englishman, the Pasha said:—
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“We have produced in the Orient a man such as Abbas Effendi, who alone visited Europe and America, and who through the sheer force of his personality and the wonderful soundness and brilliancy of his philosophy, cap- tivated the pulpits and platforms, revolutionized the cur- rent of western thoughts, opened before your faces vistas of glorious ideals, and drew to his audiences thousands of men and women who were deeply attracted to his hu- mane and divine wisdom, while the Press of the West from one end to another had but one tongue by which to praise his many virtues and to elucidate his system of religion and philosophy. Yes, we are proud of him. We honor him because he comes from the heart of the Orient. He represents us, he utters our ideals and longings. You have never sent us a man who could travel in the Orient and deliver lectures as Abbas Effendi has done in the West.”
Thus these people are spreading the principles in a most effective manner, because they are men of great influence, although not “believers” in the Bahai Move-
3. A Call from Abdul Baha and His Encouragement
This morning the Master did not come to our house but passed by, asking for Mirza Ali Akbar. During the day he came in two or three times, but for only a few minutes. His health has improved much. He seems very busy, for he is out often, paying visits to this or that person.
In the morning I was told many interesting stories of how certain people had become Bahais and the manner in which some of the believers taught. These stories are really worth recording, for they illustrate the peculiar disposition of a people who may be instructed by a line
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of poetry quoted at the right time, but refuse to listen to all kinds of logical arguments.
ín the evening the Beloved came with a number of friends, tea was prepared according to his directions and served by himself. He stayed for half an hour, speaking now and then about the Cause and encouraging the Pil- grims to teach when they are back again among their associates and relatives. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 8, 1913.
1. A practical lesson in cleanliness. 2. The story of the
Dervish and his resignation. 3. Abdul Baha amid the
roses. 4. Abdul Baha raises the Call of the Kingdom.
1. A Practical Lesson in Cleanliness
Today I played the part of house-cleaner and cook. I spent most of my time in the kitchen cleaning the dishes, washing the utensils, scrubbing the floor and dusting the ceiling and the cupboard. It was an object lesson to our cook, who does not know the simple ways of cleanliness. When I left the kitchen all the Persians came in and ad- mired the spotlessness of everything. The cook was most willing to learn, but there had been no one who would take a day off to demonstrate a method of tidi- ness to him.
“My parents did not teach me any of these things; in fact they did not know them,” was the way he ex- plained this lack of knowledge.
Most of the simple, loving folks here have plenty of religion. They are honest, truthful, hospitable, but they lack the knowledge of hygiene and sanitation. Their children are allowed to remain dirty; in many cases they do not dress them well for fear of bring them to
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notice and of possibly attracting the “Evil Eye.” Woe unto anyone if he praises or admires the beauty of the child of a Mohammedan! What these people need is a practical knowledge and the inculcation of sanitary laws. Once they learn these, they will forget their super- stitions; the outlook of their cramped lives will be ex-panded, the light of intelligence will shine, and the beauty of holiness appear. The most important thing for them is the supreme knowledge of cleanliness which is next to godliness. The Bahai Revelation is insulting this lesson, and they are learning as fast as opportunity is offered to them. Baha-Ullah has said that cleanliness is the perfume of paradise!
2. The Story of the Dervish and His Resignation
While I was busy with my house-cleaning, the Master was dictating Tablets for the Oriental believers. In the morning he came to see the pilgrims, but most of them were not yet up. However, within a few minutes they were in his presence. He asked the cook what he was going to prepare for us. The cook did not know and Ab- dul Baha demanded from one after the other what they liked, and finally the decision was made. Then the Master told us the story of a Dervish, as follows: When Baha-Ullah with his family were leaving Bagdad, a Derv- ish begged Abdul Baha's permission to join the party. He was told that the trip would be most difficult, but the Dervish was willing to accept all manner of hardships so he traveled with the party as far as Constantinople. Then when they left for Adrianople, he stayed behind but joined them later, for having become accustomed to associate with the Bahais, he could not live without them. In Adrianople, he rented a room in an adjoining Mosque with another friend, and for some time they lived to-
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gether peacefully. One day the Dervish came to Baha- Ullah, saying: “My friend attacked me this morning and gave me a sound beating, but I said nothing. I was in a state of utmost resignation. Then after half an hour he returned, kissed my hands and said: ‘Verily, you have attained the stage of great merit, you are now a saint.’” Baha-Ullah, listening with interest to this story, said laughingly: “If he beats you another time and you demonstrate such resignation, he may believe that you have attached the station of Prophethood.”
3. Abdul Baha Amid the Roses
In the afternoon we met Abdul Baha in a garden walking among the lovely roses. He was talking on the mission of the Manifestations of God.
Before sunset we went to a Bahai meeting in the house of Khorassani. They expected Abdul Baha but he did not come, because he was very tired on account of the activities of the day. In the evening a number of Arabs called on him in his own house. One of them had composed an eloquent poem in his honor, and read it aloud. They stayed until twelve o’clock and went away impressed with his knowledge and wisdom.
4. Abdul Baha Raises the Call of the Kingdom
In a Tablet revealed to the Persian believers he says:
“O YE FRIENDS OF ABDUL BAHA:— It is now three years that, like unto a nestless and shelterless bird, I have been wandered through mountains and plains and flying over the wilderness and Sahara. I rested not one moment, neither did I tarry long anywhere. Constantly was I moving and travelling. The cry of the Kingdom
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of Abha was raised and the most great Glad-tidings penetrated throughout those vast and remote regions. The Flag of the Cause of God was unfurled over every hill and waved over every country. As I was occupied day and night, spreading the world-consuming call of the Cause, I failed to correspond with the friends of the heart and the soul, but as soon as I returned to the Orient, notwithstanding my indisposition, I immediately started to correspond. For the utmost desire of my heart and spirit is to remember the believers and to mention the names of the friends, especially those who have been at all times, the objects of tests and who are submerged in the sea of trials; notwithstanding this, with infinite firm- ness and steadfastness, you withstood the attack of the waves, underwent bravely violent storms, and guided the Ark to the shore of salvation. Therefore I am greatly pleased and most satisfied with the believers of Bosh- rouyah, Kheir-ol-Gara and Faran and all those of Khorassan. I hope that in the future their flame of en- thusiasm, and the fire of their devotion may be enkindled more and more. Upon ye, and upon the maid-servants of the Merciful be Baha El Abha.” _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 9, 1913.
1. The Bounties of God. 2. Tablet for the believers of Esphahan, Persia. 3. Contrast between Oriental and Occidental hosues. 4. Abdul Baha gives money to the poor.
1. The Bounties of God
No matter where we go and what we do, the protect- ing hand of God overshadows us. We are tenderly and wistfully taken care of by Him who rules the world of
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Creation. In His mighty grasp He holds the scepter of Guidance and in His hand He carries the golden crown of the heavenly Glad-tidings. He illumines the hearts of the sincere ones with the light of Providence and sum-mons all the nations to come under the Tent of His Mercy. He quickens the dead with the Breaths of the Holy Spirit and inspires hearts with divine Knowledge. He adorns the heavens with countless scintillating stars and commands the winds to blow from every direction. He causes the water to gush out of the adamantine rock and irrigates the soil with the rain of Reality. He re- veals unto man the mysteries of His Kingdom and spreads abroad the vision of Paradise! Glory be unto Him for this Manifest Bestowal. Thanks be unto Him for this Evident Grace! Praise be unto Him for this spiritual outpouring!
His true servants adore Him under all conditions and circumstances. They obey His will and follow His com- mandments. They lose the self and attain to the station of renunciation. The love of humanity flows through the stream of their lives. They become the spiritual springtimes which are followed by no autumns. They become the guardians of the rights of men. They are the angels of the Supreme Concourse, the fruitful trees of the Orchard of the Almighty and the singing nightin- gales of the meadow of Truth. It is the hope of every lover of humanity to become the center of these merciful qualities, to attract these praiseworthy attributes, to sur- round himself with these wonderful virtues and to reflect the rays of the sun of righteousness!
2. A Tablet for the Believers of Esphahan, Persia
A Tablet was revealed yesterday for the believers of Esphahan. Esphahn is my native home and I have a
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secret predilection for that place. The Tablet is through a Sayad Assadullah, a native of that city who, is a fine young man amongst the present pilgrims. After having a most memorable visit of many days with the Blessed Master, he leaves tomorrow via Constantinople for his home. Here is the translation of the Tablets:—
“O YE FRIENDS OF ABDUL BAHA! His Honor Sayad Assadullah arrived in Alexandria and a meeting was ob- tained. When he received permission for his depar- ture he mentioned your names and asked for a Tablet. But Abdul Baha, like unto a bird who has been con- stantly flying for many days and nights is exhausted. He has not rested for one moment, and is in the utmost fatigue and weariness, to such an extent that he has not the endurance for writing even one word. Notwith- standing this, through the tremendous power of the Love of God and the rising of the waves of affection for the believers of God, I am thus engaged; so you may realize how this heart is attracted toward those blessed souls, and is the captive of the memory of the friends.
“In short, it has been some time since, like unto a Breeze wafting, I have been travelling in the regions of the West, but under all conditions and circumstances, I have remembered the friends of the East. At every mo- ment, the spirit enjoyed a new exhilaration, and often I regretted the fact that I was far from the opportunity of association with those faithful believers. I did not choose any plane as my shelter. One night I was cross- ing a mountain, and spending the day on the plains and in the flowerbeds. At one time I was traveling in the midst of the great ocean and at another, landing on the shore of a continent. Day and night I raised my voice and cried out in the name of His Highness the Almighty! Now at last I have reached Alexandria and have looked
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in the faces of the Oriental believers. Praise be to God that I beheld such pilgrims who are in the utmost of supplication and adoration of God. I have also remem- bered you. It is hoped that the Sun of Reality may so shine upon the East that the West may become illumined with one of its effulgent rays and that the friends of Persia may be the means of the union of the hearts of the people of other countries and arise for the guidance of the inhabitants of the earth. Praise be to God that the con- firmation of the Blessed Perfection descend incessantly like vernal showers and that merciful reinforcements are constantly bringing assistance. Therefore, O ye believers of God, avail yourselves of this opportunity, be ye en- gaged in the enlightenment of souls and think ye of the unlimited illumination of your hearts. Enlighten the East. Perfume the West and let nostrils inhale the Fragrances.
“Upon ye be Baha El Abha.
(Signed) “ABDUL BAHA ABBAS.}
3. Contrast between the Oriental and Occidental Houses
This morning the Beloved paid us an early visit. He called each one by name and our hearts glowed with un- changeable love. He said to the pilgrims that it was the wonderful Love of God that gave him the impetus to write so many Tablets to the friends of Persia. Other- wise physically it would have been impossible. Then he said that he could not sleep last night, because he had been submerged in a sea of thought and reflection. He pointed out the contrast between the Oriental and Occi- dental houses by saying, that all the Oriental houses were enclosed within beautiful courts and gardens. If a per- son cannot sleep during the night, he can go out in the
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court, walk around quietly, commune with the stars, and pass the night in the open. But one cannot leave the Occidental houses except to go into the streets.
4. Abdul Baha Gives Money to the Poor
In the afternoon he returned and asked for Mirza Moneer. While he was standing in front of the house, an Arab stopped and begged for money to feed his chil- dren, because he was a stranger in the city. I wondered whether he vas telling the truth, but the Master gave him one Majidi, which is quite a sum in this part of the world. Then he went into the garden nearby. For more than one hour he sat silently, his eyes half-closed; only now and then opening them to look at the flowers, and thus he remained in the garden until sunset. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 10, 1913.
1. How Abdul Baha dictates Tablets to his friends in all parts of the world. 2. Abdul Baha speaks on Theosophy.
1. How Abdul Baha Dictates Tablets to His Friends in All Parts of the World
This morning I was called into the presence of the Be- loved. He was very happy. He asked for the letters which have come from America and Europe. I returned home and brought a full-sized package. As soon as he started to dictate, and the words of wisdom like unto a sparkling stream flowed from his blessed mouth, he was a transfigured person. He sat immovable on the sofa, his eyes most of the time shut, but his heart a wav- ing ocean of revelation. Now he revealed a Tablet to a believer in Constantinople, and again to a friend in
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Rangoon, India; Stuttgart and Switzerland, London and Paris, New York and Honolulu, Washington and Bos- ton were represented. How wonderful and significant appears to me this golden net-work of spiritual corre- spondence, reaching to the different parts of the earth! This correspondence is not based upon any commercial or material scheme. It is the eternal plan of God, to dif- fuse the fragrance of the spiritual rose and scatter the rays of the Divine Sun! Every day an ideal Congress of religions and nations is held in the rather small room of the Beloved and he presides over the proceedings with a dignity and wisdom that is nothing short of miracu- lous. Some of the friends who became the recipients of the Tablets are as follows: Miss Beatrice Irwin, Miss Rhoda Nicols, Mrs. Isabel Fraser, Mr. Ch. Remey, Miss A. Boylin, Miss 0. Schwartz, Abbas Butt Ally, Mr. Ekstein, Madame d'Ange d'Astre, J. Miller, Dr. Skinner, J. Wieland, Miss Alma Knoblock, etc., etc. Toward the end, the Master was so moved that he got up from his seat and began to walk to and fro while continuing dictation. I tried to keep up with the rapidity of his uttered words. When I mentioned the name of one of the believers, his whole countenance changed, and he was very happy, say- ing that he loved him, because he was very sincere in the Cause. In the Tablet, addressed to this particular Bahai, he said:
"May His Holiness Baha-Ullah be thy Confirmer and Helper! May the Effulgence of the Sun of Reality be the light of thy path! May the sea of Divine Confirma- tion cast its waves over thee! May the cloud of Celestial Grace pour upon thee! May the Breeze of Providence be the cause of the fragrance of thy nostrils! May the treasury of the Kingdom be thy wealth! This is the prayer of Abdul Baha in thy behalf.''
What a heavenly prayer! Then he revealed a Tablet,
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on the sinfulness of back-biting, evil-finding and gossip, which must be spread all over the Bahai world. Soaring again toward the spiritual realms of eloquence and paus- ing for a moment, he said, if these Tablets do not move and stir the hearts out of their sleep and do not spur them into activity, they are harder than stones; because in this condition of weakness, he was writing to them with such love and tenderness.
It was about 11:30 that I left his presence. In the afternoon he went to the rose-garden, and while sitting on the soft grass dictated many more Tablets to the Per- sian believers.
2. Abdul Baha Speaks on Theosophy
In the evening he came to our house. He sat on the veranda. Many believers were gathered around him. He spoke on the doctrines of the Theosophists, of his interview with Mrs. A. Besant in London and with other prominent Theosophists in the West, about the story of the boy who is being educated in Oxford to become the manifestation of God, and a most instructive exposition of the principles of reincarnation which was greatly bene- ficial to all. Mirza Abdul Fazl said afterward:
"I have read many books on this subject, but have never seen anywhere, such clear and lucid explanations." _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 11, 1913.
1. The spreading of the Bahai Cause similar to the
spreading of early Christianity. 2. Abdul Baha's Tablets are the never-fading roses of the Kingdom of Abha. 3. The most great sin is back-biting.
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1. The Spread of the Bahai Cause Similar to Spreading of Early Christianity
Three of our pilgrims—one from Esphahan, another from Yazd and a third from Eshkabad, departed for their respective countries, carrying away the Glad-tidings of the Kingdom of Abba.[sic] As they travel along, from coun- try to country, before reaching their native lands, they will cheer many hearts, console many despondent spirits, teach many souls, and diffuse far and wide the fragrances of the Roses of Love and Affection. How exactly parallel is the promotion of this Movement to that of early Christianity! Whole-hearted, spiritual, zealous men and women, without the expectation of any salary, are spreading the Cause throughout all the countries of the world! Their only reward is the good-pleasure of the Lord of Mankind. They are affected neither by the praise nor the blame of the people! They work for the sake of God. They are always in good humor, ever teaching their fellowmen the ways of charity and free- dom, amity and concord. Abdul Baha sent for the pil- grims early this morning, so that he might speak to them words of blessing and comfort. He praised the stead- fastness of the Persian believers before the executioner's sword and under the severest trials; how they danced with joy when they were surrounded by persecution, and how they faced martyrdom with benign faith and smil- ing countenances!
2. Abdul Baha's Tablets Are the Never-fading Roses of the Kingdom of Baha
Early in the morning I went down to the sea, and as I passed the house of the Beloved, I saw him walking in his room and talking to the Pilgrims who were about
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to leave. At four o'clock he sent for Mirza Moneer. In the rose-garden nearby many Tablets were dictated for the Eastern and Western Bahais. These Tablets carry with themselves, not only the ideal fragrances of the paradise of Abha, but the perfume of the flowers before his loving vision. They have a special charm and sig- nificance to me and as I translate or read them, the beau- tiful rose-garden with its luxuriant verdancy and fragrant flowers passes before my sight, and I look upon each one of these Tablets as a spiritual rose, never-fading, im- perishable, sent as a divine gift to the friends of God. These roses of the Kingdom of Abha are being scattered all over the earth, to perfume the nostrils of mankind, not only in these days, but throughout the coming genera- tions. Just think of Abdul Baha, visualize him in your mind! He is walking among the flower-beds, pausing here to pick a rose, there a violet, inhaling them with the sweetness of his spirit and dictating words of knowl- edge and wisdom!
3. The Most Great Sin Is Back-biting
Herein I translate the important Tablet on back-biting. It is written to Doctor M. G. Skinner of Washing- ton, D. C.
"He is God.
O THOU MY DOCTOR!
"Thy letter was received. Thou hast written regard- ing thy aims. How blessed are these aims! especially for the suppression of back-biting (gossip, fault-finding, etc). I hope that you may become confirmed therein; because the worst human quality and the most great sin is back-biting; most especially when it emanates from the
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tongues of the believers of God. If some means might be devised so that the doors of back-biting could be shut eternally and each one of the believers unsealed his tongue only for praise of the other, then the Teachings of His Holiness Baha-Ullah would be spread, hearts illuminated, spirits glorified and the human world attain to Everlast- ing Felicity.
"I hope that the believers of God will shun back-biting completely, (gossip-making and fault-finding) and each one praising the other cordially, and believing that back- biting is the cause of divine wrath; that if a person back- bites to the extent of one word he may become dishonored amongst all people: because the most hateful character- istic of man is fault-finding. One must expose the praiseworthy qualities of the souls and not their evil attributes. The friends must overlook each other's shortcomings and speak only of their virtues—not of their faults.
"It is related that his Holiness Christ—may my life be a sacrifice to Him—one day accompanied by His Apostles, passed by the corpse of a dead animal. One of them remarked: 'How putrid has become this animal!' The other exclaimed: 'How it is deformed!' A third cried out: 'What an odor! How cadaverous looking!' But His Holiness Christ said:—'Look at its teeth! How white they are!' Consider that He did not look at all for the defects of that animal, nay rather, He searched well until He found its beautiful white teeth. He ob- served the whiteness of the teeth only and entirely over- looked the deformity of its body, the dissolution of its organs and its evil odor!
"This should be the attribute of the children of the Kingdom!
"This should be the conduct and the manner of the real Bahais!
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"I hope that all the believers will attain to this lofty station.
"Upon thee and upon them be Baha El Abha.
(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Toward evening the Beloved called at the apartment of Mirza Abul Fazl and finding there a few young Arab students, spoke to them on general subjects. For the present Mirza Abul Fazl is writing a book which when finished may be considered the chief work of his busy and eventful life. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 12, 1913.
1. The Bahais must start a forward movement of teach- ing 2. Mrs. Getsinger and her forthcoming trip to India. 3. Abdul Baha praises the German Bahais in a
1. The Bahais Must Start a Forward Movement of Teaching
This is the time when the believers must give attention to the spreading of the Teachings among those people who have not yet heard of this Cause. There should be a general forward movement in all the Bahai Assemblies. The supreme question of spreading the Lights of the Kingdom of Abha must gain the upper hand. Abdul Baha desires to see the results of the work of the friends.
We must recruit new soldiers for the Army of Abha. The friends should avail themselves of this great oppor- tunity. They should loosen the tongues of eloquence and invite all men to the heavenly Banquet. They should speak with fire and let the spirit of God inspire their hearts. Abdul Baha is crying: Teach, Speak, Spread the Message! Can we remain indifferent, speechless, and
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voiceless? No! a thousand times No! Why has God given us tongues? To speak out his Grace, to pro- claim His Manifestation, to raise our voices in public meetings and gathering-places, to widen the circle of human thought and to teach His Principles.
Because Abdul Baha travelled throughout America and Europe, the zeal and enthusiasm of the Persian teachers have been increased a hundred times. We have seen him with our own eyes, heard his teachings with our own ears. The slogan of every Bahai must be: "Let us teach the people brotherhood and tolerance!"
2. Mrs. Getsinger and Her Forthcoming Trip to India
This morning the Beloved sent for me. He was feel- ing well. Mrs. Getsinger was called into the room and the plan of her journey to India discussed. Since her arrival she has been living with Abdul Baha's family which is presided over by the Greatest Holy Leaf! Then the Beloved dictated a few Tablets and cablegrams. In the afternoon he passed by the house, followed by Shoghi Effendi, and asked for Mirza Moneer. Many Tablets were revealed in the garden. No one is allowed to go there during these hours unless permitted by him. One of the Tablets is to Mr. Ekstein of Stuttgart. He is a fine Bahai and translated the words of the Master on many occasions during our trip to that city. The Tablet is as follows:
3. Abdul Baha Praises the German Bahais in Tablet
"O THOU ILLUMINED MAN!
"The days that I spent with thee in Stuttgart I shall never forget, for at all times we associated with the
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Assistance of the Breaths of the Holy Spirit. The power of Confirmation of His Holiness Baha-Ullah waved over those meetings, the lights of the kingdom shone forth from the horizon of Abha, the invincible aids descended successively, the hearts were in the utmost joyousness, the spirits were exhilarated with the Divine Glad-tid- ings, and each one of the believers like unto a candle. On this account those days will never be forgotten
"Now it is my hope that after my departure; the Fire of the Love of God may flame forth with greater in- tensity, and that thou mayest sing a heavenly melody in every gathering. . . . I am most grateful and satisfied with the believers of Stuttgart. Truly I say that they are blessed souls. I will never forget them for one mo- ment. The thought of them makes me very happy. . . ." _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 13TH, 1913.
1. The story of the man who made it appear that he was a Bahai in 1830 while the movement began in 1844. 2. The story of fifteen robbers in Bagdad. 3. Abdul Baha talks about helping the poor and the needy. 4. The story of Mohammed, the Mullah and the questioner. 5. The arrival of a new pilgrim. 6. With Abdul Baha in the rose garden.
1. The Story of the Man Who Made It Appear That He Was a Bahai in 1830, While the Movement Began in 1844
This morning the Master came in to inquire about the health of his servants. We responded joyfully to his humorous questions about fasting, eating, etc. After walking a few minutes he sat down and corrected the Tablets which had been dictated during the last two days. Then, in connection with his remarks about those
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persons who profess to be Bahais because they expect some material reward, he related the following story:—
"When the Bahais were living in Bagdad there was a very prominent man who used often to come to see Baha-Ullah. He sat in His Presence with the greatest respect and listened attentively to his utterances. One day he tried to express his faith and belief in the Cause with all apparent sincerity and devotion. 'Yes, my Lord!' he concluded his talk, 'I thoroughly believe in this Cause. In the year 1830, one or the great teachers of this Move- ment passed by our city. I met him and he talked with me for several days and his words convinced me of the validity of this revelation. From that time on I have been a believer.'" Then Abdul Baha laughed, saying, that this man did not know that the movement was in- augurated only in 1844 and so, in order to convince Baha- Ullah of the genuineness of his belief, he had set the time of his acceptance 14 years before the declaration of the Bab!
2. The Story of the Fifteen Robbers of Bagdad
At another time there were fifteen robbers in Bagdad. They raided many houses during the nights. The gov- ernment and police were unable to find their whereabouts. One night they robbed the stores of several Persian mer- chants and according to the law of capitulation, the Persian Consul did his best to catch them. This Consul was, however, very greedy and avaricious, and he thought more of his personal profit than of finding the robbers and of giving back to the merchants their stolen goods. One morning Abdul Baha arose early and came out of the house. He saw in the court fifteen uncouth men waiting for him. Their spokesman told him that they were the band of robbers and that in order to escape the
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wrath of the Consul and his rapacity, they had come to take refuge under the shelter of Baha-Ullah and become Bahais. Abdul Baha inquired about their whereabouts gave them a little advice, and sent them away. Then knowing that if the goods were taken by the Consul, they would never be returned to their owners, he sent one of the believers to the chief of the band, requiring him to return everything, which he did without any protest. The merchants in turn, received quietly all their stolen goods without the mediumship of the Consul. But when the Consul heard of Abdul Baha's part in this affair, he was very wroth, because the matter had been taken out of his jurisdiction. He had expected to fatten his pockets, and not succeeding in this he forever afterward tried to injure the Bahais on every occasion.
Among these robbers there was one by the name of Heydar. As a punishment for his former raids, the gov- ernment had cut off both his hands. He was, notwith- standing this handicap, the cleverest of them all. One morning, a Bahai came to Abdul Baha, saying that last night his money which was sewed in a special pocket of his vest had been stolen. He did not know how, and he wondered who had done the deed.. Abdul Baha told him to go and bring his vest, and when it was before him, he observed that the pocket was not ripped with a knife, but chewed. to pieces with teeth. He did not say anything, but sent for Heydar. When Heydar arrived, Abdul Baha told him: "Thou hast stolen the money of this poor man. Give it back to him." He tried to deny it, but Abdul Baha said: "Look at this vest! Thou hast chewed the pocket with thy teeth; it is not torn with a knife as any other man would have done were he in possession of his hands." No, he would not confess that he had stolen it. Then Abdul Baha ordered the bas- tinado to be brought in. After receiving a few lashes
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on the soles of his feet, he brought out of his pocket the small bundle of money and gave it to its owner. Then he was released.
3. Abdul Baha Talks about Helping the Poor and Needy
Before Abdul Baha's departure for America, the poor of all nationalities came to him, Persians and Turks, Arabs and Syrians, Greeks and Europeans, belonging to all religions and faiths. He gladly helped everyone without any distinction for race or color; but this year he could not give to the same extent, because the expenses of his travels in America and Europe had totalled a great sum. Even now he was under a heavy debt. However, although these difficulties existed, he would not send one man away without satisfying him and relieving his im- mediate needs. The worst condition in life is, when one is in urgent want of the means of livelihood. It is indeed very sad when a person begs for assistance to be unable to lighten his burden, or to contribute anything toward his relief.
4. The Story of the Mohammedan Mullah and the Questioner
Then, changing the mode of his expression, he said:
One day a layman went to a Mullah and asked several questions. The Mullah did not answer him. The man then said: "Have you not read in the Koran 'You must not turn away a questioner?'" The Mullah in turn re- joined:—"Hast thou not also read the injunction in the same holy book, 'Give thou not thy possessions to the fools.' Now, my possessions are the ideals of knowledge and of Truth. I must protect them from intruders."
Then he interpreted a dream of Mirza Ali Akbar and
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left our precincts to attend to the many works of charity which call for his personal attention.
5. Arrival of a New Pilgrim
A new pilgrim arrived to-day from Beirut. He is an old Bahai and has a most interesting history. He has a limited education, but out of the clearness of his heart and the beauty of his faith, he interprets the verses of the Koran and can carry on most instructive discussions on spiritual subjects. The Master has expressed a wish that he should interpret in his presence, one Koranic verse every day.
6. With Abdul Baha in the Rose-garden
When I returned from Alexandria in the afternoon I was told that the Master had asked for me. 1 went im- mediately to the garden. Seeing me standing near the door, he permitted me to enter and to take a seat. He was walking in the avenue fronting a most charming rose-garden, and dictating Tablets to Mirza Moneer. Shohgi Effendi was there also. For nearly three hours, the limpid stream of revelation flowed to irrigate the parched ground of hearts in distant climes! Just as the sun was sinking behind the western horizon, he revealed a most touching, prayer. His voice was like the music of the spheres, now chanting in a clear rich voice, now in a low, sweet undertone. The effect made us forget- ful of everything. The dusk of the evening, the murmur of the breeze through the roses and trees, the unbroken calmness of the atmosphere, the spiritual beauty of the presence of the Master, and then as we looked up, the twinkling stars all combined to weave around our hearts a garland of spiritual enchantment! We were in reality
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worshiping the glorious King of Kings in the holiest moment of our lives! The prayer was a supplication to the throne of the Almighty for the purification of souls and the spiritualization of hearts,—in order that men might sing the praises of their Lord, and cause the ringing cries of "Ya Baha El Abha" to ascend from their meeting places to the Supreme Concourse.
As we left the garden, I carried with me that wonder- ful prayer of the Beloved! On the wings of Light it had ascended to the throne of the Almighty and had been ac- cepted by the Ruler of Mankind. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 14TH 1913.
1. Bahai schools in Kashan and Teheran and their ex- laminations. 2. The Orient-Occident Unity. 3. Talk of Abdul Baha to the writer. 4. Abdul Baha praises Mrs. Goodall and Mrs. Getsinger. 5. Difference between Ab- dul Baha and others. 6. Abdul Baha and three roses.
1. Bahai Schools in Kashan and Teheran and Their Examinations
Yesterday afternoon the Master read to us a letter received from Kashan, giving the details of the examina-tions of the children of the Bahai school in that city. He said that there were more than 700 persons present on Commencement Day and that all the pupils examined came out with flying colors. The school has become a credit to the Bahai community and every one speaks about it. Another letter from Teheran was given us by the Master to read. It contained a graphic description of the examinations at the school of Tarbiat. Thirty students together with the President of the school and the teach- ers presented themselves before the Board of Examiners,
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appointed by the government in the College of Darel- Fonoun. Twenty-one out of the thirty pupils received their diplomas. This shows the earnestness of these stu- dents of Tarbiat and their thorough education. After this examination which lasted several days, the Faculty of the school gave a public reception, to which more than 2000 persons were invited. The school of Tarbiat is well known throughout Persia as a Bahai institution. It ranks high for its educational standard, and its Branch for the girls is headed by Miss Lillian Kappes. Not- withstanding many stumbling blocks in its path, it has been slowly, but surely forging ahead. Its progress and steady advancement is very dear and near to the heart of Abdul Baha. He hopes that it may become a wonderful influence for culture and refinement throughout Persia; and those friends in America who are assisting it are helping the Cause in an unqualified manner. Not only the American friends have realized the importance of this fact, but also the Indian Bahais in their far-off country.
2. The Orient-Occident Unity
In a Tablet revealed two or three days ago to the be- lievers of Rangoon Abdul Baha says:
"Whatever contribution you may send to the school of Tarbiat is in the estimation of Abdul Baha, most ac- ceptable. In this we observe the aim of God working for the advancement of public education in Persia. The Western friends have rendered a worthy service to the Tarbiat School through the instrumentality of the Orient-Occident Unity in Washington. It is hoped that this channel of philanthropy will be continually widened, its various interests solidified, its annual scholarships kept up and increased in number, and its wholesome, disin- terested influence expanded. Inasmuch as it is a uni-
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versal undertaking, and every universal undertaking is divine in origin, its activities will continue. God has con- firmed this work in many ways and will confirm those who are serving it."
3. Talk of Abdul Baha to the Writer
This morning the Beloved sent Basheer for me. When I stood in his presence, He spoke with great tenderness. In his face there was the serenity of the Kingdom, the newness of the spring and the freshness of roses. Through his tongue the angels of love and affection ut- tered words of truth and beauty. I could almost hear the aeolian harps playing infinite chords of sound and color. My spirit was transported into the seventh heaven of ecstasy!
He told me that he had allowed me to stay near him, so that he might educate me according to his own stand- ards. As soon as he observed that I had attained to that standard, he would send me away. Daily I must prepare myself for the services of the Cause. I must live in such a manner that wherever I go, I may attract from the Kingdom of Abha the divine Confirmations of the Blessed Perfection. Like unto the nightingale I must sing; like unto the bird I must soar; like unto the tree I must bear fruit; like unto the breeze I must waft over mountains and deserts, and similar unto the artist I must paint. Sanctified and holy I must occupy my time with the diffusion of the Lights of the Kingdom, and strive in the enkindlement of hearts and the regeneration of souls. I must be the servant of the Blessed Beauty and create a great reverberation in the spheres of thought and ideals. I must protect my eyes in order to behold His beauty, and my ears, so as to hear His music. Abdul Baha's wish for me is that I may be trained in accord-
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ance with the nature of his great teachings, and try to walk in the footsteps of his mission. Then when He sends me away, he may ever receive, glad news from me, so that he may declare that his son is the spreader of the Cause of His Holiness Baha-Ullah, the conqueror of the cities of the hearts, the torch-bearer in the highway of guidance, and a radiant star in the heaven of the Supreme Concourse. There is much work to be done. Gird up the loins of endeavor. Be on the alert. Be wakeful and pray. In a short while he shall send me away. The time is coming soon. Now daily he is watching me, just as the gardener watches the growth of the plant with solicitude and care. Like unto the magnet I must draw the Confirmations of the Kingdom of Abha unto my- self and be connected with the most Great Sea. I must not rest one moment. I must seek no comfort; yea, yea I must walk in his footsteps. He declared by the Blessed Beauty that there was no other ideal in his mind except the ideal of servitude at the Threshold of Baha-Ullah. I must live eternally in this condition. All other condi- tions are non-existent when compared with this supreme state—the guidance of God. I must spread this ideal among the people. Baha-Ullah alone is my faithful helper and supporter. The time for my service has come I must be confident and rest assured that the Blessed Perfection is with me. . . .
These utterances of Abdul Baha flashed through my mind and heart like so many rays of light. I was dazzled. From the height of authority and inspiration he was speaking. I was moved to tears and my whole body was shaken to the core; then the Beloved, seeing my condi- tion, changed his tone and spoke of other things. He dictated several Tablets for the believers of Persia. Then I left his presence. I walked as a man in a dream.
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4. Abdul Baha Praises Mrs. Goodall and Mrs. Getsinger
In the afternoon he passed by the house. He called me to go with him. In reply to a cablegram to Mrs. Goodall, he had received an answer which had made him very happy. He said that she was his beloved, heavenly daughter, that she was the daughter of Baha-Ullah, ever serving the Cause with a rare faithfulness and mag- nanimity. He also spoke very lovingly about Mrs. Get- singer.
He said that if Mrs. Getsinger conducts herself ac- cording to his instructions she shall move India and teach many souls. Her words are endowed with Spiritual ef- ficacy. Severed from all else save God she must go to India, relying upon Baha-Ullah for Confirmation.
I gave the Master a list of the names of the Bahai As- semblies of America and Europe requesting him to re- veal a Tablet for each assembly.
At the gate of the garden, two poor Persians were standing. He told me to bring them in, and finding that he did not have money, he borrowed two English pounds from a believer, and gave one to each.
5. Difference between Abdul Baha and Others
In reference to a certain individual, he said, that the difference between himself and many men is that he wishes the welfare of the people for their own sakes, and without any ulterior motive. He desires that every one of the friends may shine like unto the sun. Others may love you, but it may be for some purpose. They may love you because they expect some day or some time, to receive a reward from you; but Abdul Baha expects no reward. There are some people who are submerged in mud, yet they believe that they are world-illuminating
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suns. He wishes to free them from this water and clay, clear their wings from these impediments, but they cry out: "No, No, we are suns and stars; we are not in need of thy education," Nothwithstanding [sic] this, he must open the way for their freedom.
6. Abdul Baha and Three Roses
Then he walked toward the end of the garden, and spoke with the gardener. The latter picked three roses, one white, one pink and one red, and offered them to the Master, a beautiful symbol to those who know the mean- ing and significance of each color. With these roses in his hand, he faced the setting sun,—the horizon was suffused with purple and crimson. For a long time he looked toward the West, as though expecting to see the sun rise from that direction. He was in deep thought. Without a word he left the garden and we followed him. _________
RAMLEH, EGYPT, AUGUST 15, 1913.
1. How are you to~day ? 2. Talk on religion and atheism by an illiterate Bahai. 3. Abdul Baha sends his secre- taries to Nouzha Park. 4. Attending a Bahai meeting with new pilgrims. 5. Abdul Baha and the Khedive of Egypt. 6. A sweet Tablet to the darling little Mona.
1. How Are You To-day?
How are you to-day? Are you happy? Are you glad because you are living in this unparallelled cycle of the Lord? Are you facing the world and its puzzling prob- lems this morning with courage and enthusiasm? Are you going to make another heart happy beside your own? Will you open wide the window of your soul? Is the
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meadow of your life verdant? Will you continue to be hopeful and optimistic? Will you dedicate yourself anew to the service of your fellow men? Are you feeling the whir and stir of the new dawn? What will you do next to benefit mankind? What kind of thoughts and ideals will you hold in the secret chambers of your minds? Will they be exalted and lofty? Will they be humani- tarian and disinterested? Let us on this day make a new resolution. Let us stand up and with a radiant faith pro- claim the Cause of God.
2. Talk on Religion and Atheism by an Illiterate Bahai
This morning our new Pilgrim—Haji Mohammed from Beirut—carried on a long discussion with me.
"Religion and atheism; faith and agnosticism are like two streams which have been flowing from unknown sources since the genesis of mankind. The former is sweet and the latter is bitter. When the stream of re- ligion becomes active, the stream of atheism is dried up; therefore the fresh stream of faith must ever be strong and aromatic, in order to consume the bitter stream of unfaith which is tasteless. In this day Baha-Ullah from the inaccessible heights of the mountains of revelation has sent down upon the valley of humanity fresh and sweeping torrents of Faith to swell the volume of the stream of religion, and to irrigate the network of the brooks of materialism. Each Bahai is a new torrent and must roar with the power of reality. This stream of truth is greater than an ocean. It clears the path from all thorns and thistles and leaves behind it culture and civilization."
To hear from the tongue of a simple man such a dis- sertation was an extraordinary thing.
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3. Abdul Baha Sends His Secretaries to Nouzha Park
At 3 o'clock Basheer told Mirza Mahmoud and me that according to the wish of Abdul Baha, Shoghi Effendi would take us, this afternoon, to the famous Park of Alexandria. I welcomed this invitation, because I had been looking forward to the day when I could see this public garden. We took the electric car for Alexandria, then another one through the city. The park has a fine gate, and as one enters, one finds shady, inviting avenues on every side. There are many animals, and a part of our time was spent in watching them. The flower-beds are laid out very artistically, there is a lake and many small reservoirs of water in which gold fish disport them- selves with great abandon. Tall palm trees, at the top of which many clusters of green dates are hanging, lend a charming effect. It was about sunset when we left the Park, having thoroughly enjoyed the scenic beauty and large green vistas. We walked back half the way, and then took the car.
4. Attending a Bahai Meeting with New Pilgrims
When we returned, the Master was talking to the friends. He told us to go with the rest of the believers to the weekly meeting in Haji Khorassani's house. There we saw three other pilgrims from Cairo, Mirza Abul Gasem, El Yahou and Mirza Javad. Later on three other Arab believers arrived to meet the Master, and so the gathering was enlivened by the presence of these newcomers. Tea was served, prayers were chanted, and different ones spoke.
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5. Abdul Baha and the Khedive of Egypt.
During our absence in the afternoon, Osman Pasha, one of the Ministers of the Khedive, called on the Master conveying the loving greetings of the Ruler of Egypt and his longing to meet him. The date was then fixed for the afternoon of August 17th. His Highness the Khedive is now staying in Alexandria. His summer re- sort is near Ramleh. He lives in one of his palaces fronting the sea called Raas-ottin. The Khedive is friendly to the Bahai Movement and has special regard for the Master. It may be that history will record that he is one of the few Oriental Rulers who has received Abdul Baha with due honor.
6. A sweet Tablet to the darling little Mona.
While we were walking through the Garden of Nouzha, the Beloved was dictating beautiful Tablets to Mirza Moneer in another garden in Ramleh. One of these Tablets is to the little daughter of Mrs. Theodora de Bons whose husband is a dentist in Cairo. Now all three are on a vacation in Switzerland. Her name is Mona; so in this delightful manner the Master begins the Tablet:
“O THOU MY DARLING LITTLE MONA! Thy tiny elo- quent letter was received and thy sweet dear thoughts became known to me. Rest thou assured that I shall be- hold thy charming, lovely face, and from thy dainty mouth shall hear a wonderful melody and song in glori- fication, thanksgiving and praise of the Almighty!
"Upon thee be Baha El Abha.
(Signed “ABDUL BAHA ABBAS.”
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2. An Important Tablet Revealed by Abdul Baha for China
I will now give the translation of a very significant Tablet revealed for a learned gentleman in China. It may be taken safely that this is the first important Tablet which has been sent to the Chinese Republic. I would like to see it translated into the Japanese language and also into Chinese. Once translated into these two languages it will be well if it were printed in a small pamphlet
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with a short historical sketch of the Bahai Cause, and distributed.
"He is God!"
"O THOU WOOER OF TRUTH WHO ART ATHIRST FOR REALITY!
"Your letter was received. Its contents was evidence to the fact that from the horizon of consciousness the refulgent light has become manifest. It is hoped that after the appearance of the dawn, the brilliant sun may rise so gloriously as to cast its splendors upon all regions.
"It is a fact well-known to your honor that the world of existence is in need of an educator and instructor. The educators are of two kinds. The educators of the world of nature, and educators of the world of reality. If you leave the earth in its natural condition, it will become a jungle and a thorny place; but once it is entrusted to the hands of a skilled and kind gardener, the jungle will be changed into an orchard, and the thorny patch transformed into a rose-garden. Consequently, it has become evident that the world of nature is in need of training. Moreover, reflect carefully, for should humankind be deprived of the graces of culture and instruction, it would become a poisonous body; because the savage tribes have not acquired any of the separative distinctions which differentiate man from beast. For example: what is the difference between the African negro and the American negro? The former has not yet adorned himself with the ideals of culture while the latter has become intelligent, sagacious and civilized. During my journey throughout America, at the time when I was in Washington and elsewhere, I delivered detailed addresses in the universities, churches, conventions and meetings of the negroes, and found their audiences composed of most intelligent persons
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who could grasp the subjects under discussion as well as any other audiences of civilized and intelligent Westerners. Thus a great chasm exists between these two communities of negroes; one in the lowest depth of ignorance; another rising toward the pinnacle of civilization and freedom. Then it is plain that education is the distinguishing mark. Undoubtedly, culture or instruction is the cause of the glory of the one, while the lack of education is the means of the degradation of the other.
"Hence it is proven that education is the concommitant necessity of the world of modern civilization.
"Furthermore: Civilization is of two kinds. The civilization of the world of reality which belongs to the realm of morality. As long as the influence of these two types of civilization does not appear fully in the body politic, complete success and prosperity will not be obtained. Consider that the tent of material civilization is pitched in the European world; yet notwithstanding this how dark it is! The thoughts of all men converge upon the law of the 'Survival of the fittest' and the ideals of all the inhabitants revolve around the doctrine of the 'Struggle for existence.' The extravagant expenditures on armaments are daily increasing at a terrible rate, and the staggering expenses of the financial budget to support the preparations of the military storehouses, have brought the nations to the brink of bankruptcy. Civilized mankind is in a state of civil insurrection and under a too heavy burden; they are struggling, with wonder and astonishment, to free themselves. All this is because the civilization of morality, spirituality and attraction with the Fragrances of God is entirely lost sight of.
"In short: Just as the Instructor and the Teacher are necessary in the material world; so in the Ideal realm, i.e.: the Kingdom of spirit and consciousness, ethics and
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morality, infinite virtues and the perfections of humankind and salvation in both worlds–there must needs be an Educator and Teacher. The founders of natural civilization are the philosophers of the earth, and the Teachers of the Ideal civilization are the Holy Divine Manifestations. Therefore if the human world is deprived of the training of the natural and ideal teacher, unquestionably it will fall headlong into the lowest stratum of the animal kingdom. Natural civilization is like unto a glass; divine civilization is like unto the light. Material civilization is similar to the body, Divine Civilization is the spirit. The lamp is in need of the light and the body is only quickened through the spirit. Read the work of Galen, the famous Greek Philosopher, which he has written on the progress of the civilization of the world of humanity. He says: 'Religious beliefs are the greatest means of impelling upward the world of civilization and humanity. As an example to this:–We observe that a number of people contemporaneous with us are known as Christians. Inasmuch as they are firmly rooted and well-established in their beliefs, the common people of this sect are as true philosophers, are adorned with such ethics and manners that the greatest philosophers attain to them only after many years of study, troubles, hardships and discipline. The simple folk of this community are characterized with the infinite virtues and excellences of the world of humanity.' Hence it is established that mankind is in need of an Ideal, Universal Instructor, in order to unify under the shade of one Word the various nationalities, causing antagonistic communities to drink from one fountain; changing enmity and hatred into amity and love, and transforming strife and war into peace and salvation. In this manner His Holiness Mohammed–upon him be peace and greeting–conciliated the various contending warlike, barbaric tribes and
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nomads of Arabia, and ushered them into the shade of the Tent of agreement, upraised a lofty banner in the world of physical and spiritual sciences, and caused them to attain to the highest station of Everlasting Glory. Likewise, His Holiness CHrist–upon Him be peace–gathered around one spring of Unity, the inimical, the quarrelsome and the warring nations of Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Chaldeans, Assyrians and Egyptians who exercised toward each other the utmost rancor and contempt. He established amongst them the ideal band of communication.
"The above instances irrevocably demonstrate that the world of humanity is in need of Universal Teachers and Instructors, and that these are the holy, divine Manifestations. If certain souls pretend to be of the elect and in no need of education, it is similar to a pretension put forth by private soldiers that they are skilled and efficient, and do not require the instruction of the general. It is evident that such statements are baseless. All the individuals of the army, whether privates or officers, are in need of the supervision of the commander-in-chief, who is the general instructor.
"This is enough and sufficient for those who have hearing ears and to this God bears testimony!
(Signed) "ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
RAMLEH, EGYPT, SEPTEMBER 12, 1913
1. Departure of the Persian students. 2. Russian Count meets Abdul Baha and talks on reincarnation. 3. Strive that love may increase day by day. 4. Tablet of Abdul Baha to the author of "Modern Social Religion." 5. Pure intention is the magnet of heavenly assistance. 6. "Strive to quicken dead souls."