Pages 65-67


Passages from letters written on behalf of


1.    Your touching words in connection with the sudden removal of the Greatest Holy Leaf from their1 midst have greatly alleviated the burden of sorrow that weighs so heavily upon their hearts and have demonstrated that in their great and irreparable loss the friends are faithfully sharing their sorrow and grief.
      The passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf, so tragic in its suddenness, has, indeed, divested the Holy Family of its unique adornment and the Bahá'í world at large of one of its noblest and most precious members. She was to us all not only a true friend but the real embodiment of those traits and characteristics, of that genuine and profound love that was born of God, and that we had learned to admire in the Master...
      In this great loss that the followers of the Faith both in East and West have come to suffer our Guardian's share is the greatest and perhaps the most cruel. His sole comfort, in this great calamity, is

1 Members of the Holy Family.


to see the friends unitedly working for the spread of a Cause for which our departed Khánum had given up all her life, and for the triumph of which she cherished the highest hopes. The expressions of zealous enthusiasm and hope, of genuine self-abnegation and love that the American believers and especially our precious sister Mrs Agnes Parsons demonstrated in their last Convention meeting have greatly brightened the closing days of her life.1 Shoghi Effendi trusts that her memory will increasingly serve to cheer and hearten the friends in their ever-widening activities.

2.    The passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf, so cruel in the feelings of unalterable grief that it has evoked, is, indeed, a tremendous loss to us all and particularly to our Guardian. Her presence among us was such a source of inspiration and joy that we cannot too deeply grieve the immensity of our loss. She was a real mother to every one of us, a comforter in our pains and anxieties, and a friend in our moments of utter loneliness and despair. But alas!

1 Refers to the Annual Convention held in April 1932, at which the delegates and friends responded in an impressive manner to the need of the Fund associated with the name of the Greatest Holy Leaf, initiated in order to complete the exterior ornamentation of the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. Mrs Parsons spontaneously removed a valuable pearl necklace from her neck to assist in meeting the Fund's goal. See Bahá'í News, No. 62, May 1932 for a report of that Convention.


We failed to appreciate adequately what her presence among us meant and it is only now, when she has gone for ever, that we come to realize the irreparable character of our loss.
      And yet, however deep our consciousness of her unexpected removal from our midst may be, we cannot but feel certain that from her heavenly retreat she is continually showering her blessings upon everyone of us and is interceding on our behalf so that we may recover our energies and unanimously arise and dedicate our lives to the service of her Father's glorious Cause.
      Her memory will, assuredly, continue to inspire us for many, many long years and will prove, when the hour of adversity is at its darkest, to be our best sustainer.
      May her glorious spirit inspire us with faith and hope, steel our energies and enable us to make every sacrifice in the path lighted by her saintly and eventful life.

3.    The ascension of the Greatest Holy Leaf is, indeed, an irreparable loss to us all and will continue to be deeply felt for many, many long years. Her presence among us was such a source of blessings and inspiration! She was to every one of us not only a friend but a real mother, through whose maternal care and love we had learned to feel and experience that consuming love which is born of God and which alone can galvanize the souls of men.


      Her departure from our midst, though cruel and heart-rending in its immediate results cannot but ultimately serve the very best interests of the Cause. For this invincible Faith of God has, ever since its inception in darkest Persia, grown and flourished amidst all sorts of tribulations and sufferings and has welcomed all these as providential forces destined to ensure its unity, promote its interests and consolidate its work.
      Let us, therefore, not remain disconsolate and hopeless and withstand in a heroic way the shock occasioned by the passing of our beloved Khánum. Her ascension is a challenge to us all, a challenge to our faith, to our sincerity and to our love.
      May her memory continue to strengthen and deepen our spiritual insight and enable us to render the Faith as many services as we can.

4.    His grief is too immense and his loss too heavy to be adequately expressed in words. But the many letters of condolence he has already received, and especially your message that indicated your profound attachment to our departed Khánum, greatly comforted his sorrow-stricken heart and gave him the assurance that in this calamitous event the friends are amply sharing his grief.
      However irreparable and heart-rending our loss may be, we cannot but thank God for having released our beloved Holy Leaf from the oppression and bondage of this world. For more than eighty


years this Exalted Leaf bore with a fortitude that bewildered every one who had the privilege of knowing her, sufferings and tribulations that few of our present-day believers did experience. And yet, what a joy and what a saintlike attitude she manifested all through her life. Her angelic face was so calm, so serene in the very midst of sufferings and pains. Not that she lacked tenderness of heart and sympathy. But she could overcome her feelings and this because she had put all her trust in God.
      And now that she has gone for ever we should rejoice at the thought that she is still living in our hearts and is animating our soul with a devotion, a courage, and a hope of which we are in such a dire need in these days of sufferings and hardships.
      May the memory of her saintly life inspire you with faith and hope, cheer and strengthen your heart and make of you a servant worthy to promote and consolidate the interests of the Faith!

5.    The irreparable loss which the Faith has suffered through the passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf is too immense to be adequately expressed in words, and we cannot fully realize its significance at the present stage of the evolution of the Cause. Future generations stand in a better position to appreciate what her significance was during the early days of the Revelation and especially after the ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.


      And now that she has gone for ever and is in direct communion with God we should rejoice at the thought that from the Realm Above she is watching over us all and is sending us her blessings.
      May the memory of her saintly life be our comforter in our hours of sadness and despair, and may we learn through her example how to live the true life of the spirit, of self-abnegation and of service.

6.    In these days, when we are all mourning the loss of our beloved Greatest Holy Leaf, Shoghi Effendi's sole comfort is to see the friends as ever devoted and active and striving day and night to promote the teachings of the Cause.
      However cruel our separation from Bahíyyih Khánum may be, especially at a time when her presence among us was such a source of inspiration and strength, yet we feel confident that from her Heavenly Retreat she is sending us her blessings and is quickening our weary souls.
      Concerning the suspension of festivities for a period of nine months it should be made clear that what is meant by this is that all gatherings, whether outdoor or indoor, which are not of a strictly devotional character should be abolished all through the period of our mourning. However, meetings and services that are wholly spiritual as well as those that are necessary for the carrying on


of the administration should continue to be held as usual.

7.    Your message of condolence and sympathy, dated July 22nd, 1932 which so fully conveyed your profound grief at the loss occasioned by the unexpected passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf was received and read with great interest. The Guardian's sorrow was much relieved and the burden of his agonizing pain immensely alleviated. He sincerely hopes that out of the pangs of this crushing calamity the Faith will strengthen its foundations and extend the sphere of its ever-widening influence.
      Our loss is, indeed, immense and even irreparable. But our joy should also be great, for the Greatest Holy Leaf has at least been released from the bondage of this world after more than eighty years of continued suffering. It would take me too long to relate in their fullness those incidents which eloquently proclaim her as one of the greatest sufferers the world has yet seen. And yet, with what a fortitude she bore all these tribulations for she was confident in the grace of God.
      Though now gone for ever from our midst we should be hopeful that from her Celestial Realm she will send us her blessings and will extend to us her help. Her memory will continue to cheer and strengthen our souls, deepen our spiritual insight and bring us to a strong determination to serve till


the very last breath of our life a Cause for which our departed Khánum gave up her entire existence and for the future of which she cherished the brightest hopes.

8.    ... The news of the Memorial Service you had held for the Greatest Holy Leaf gave him the assurance that the friends are faithfully sharing his grief and are demonstrating in a befitting manner their profound devotion to one whose very life was an example of faithfulness and sincerity, of self-abnegation and love.
      The ascension of the Greatest Holy Leaf is, indeed, both a calamity and a blessing. It is an overwhelming calamity since it has deprived us of the presence in our very midst of the last Remnant of that Heroic age of the Cause that gave birth to so many noble and faithful souls. The mere presence of our beloved Khánum among us was a source of inspiration and blessing. And now that she has gone we cannot too deeply deplore the immensity of our loss.
      But thanks to God for having released her, after so many long years of agonizing pain, of the bondage of this world and given her the priceless privilege of being in direct communion with God.
      May her everlasting spirit continue to guide our efforts and enable us to serve a Cause, for which she suffered so much, with all our might, our enthusiasm and hope.


9.    The letter from that spiritual friend has reached the beloved Guardian, and he is aware of your bitter grieving over the calamitous news that a most glorious fruit of the Holy Tree, the Most Exalted Leaf, the Remnant of Bahá, has passed away.
      This disastrous event has had an effect on the Guardian so terrible that no pen can describe it nor paper bear the words; for that bright and surpassingly fair presence, that quintessence of the perfections and attributes of God, was his close companion, and the consolation of his heart, so that his separation from her whom the world wronged, and the ascension of that loved one of the community of love, was unspeakably hard for him to bear.
      She was a divine trust, a treasure of the Kingdom, and she spent all the days of her precious life as an exile and a captive, and her every priceless hour was passed under tests and afflictions and ordeals that she endured at the hands of merciless foes. From early childhood she had her share of the sufferings of Bahá'u'lláh, subjected even as He was to hardships and calamities, and she was as well the partner in sorrows and tribulations of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
      For her there was never a night of peaceful sleep, for her no day when she found rest, and always, like a moth, would her comely person circle about the bright candle of the Faith. The words of her mouth were ever to glorify the Abhá Beauty, her only thought and her high purpose were to proclaim the Cause of God and to protect His Law, while the


dearest wish of her glowing heart was to waft far and wide the sweet breathings of the Lord.
      Her heavenly ways were a model for the people of Bahá, and those who dwell in the pavilions of devotion and the denizens of the Abhá Paradise found in her celestial attributes their prototype and their guide. Glory be to God, Who created her, fashioned her, called her into being, sent her forth and revealed her, whose like the eye of the world had never seen.
      The Guardian sends his message of consolation to your honoured self and all the friends, and he says that it is fitting that the righteous should hold fast to the cord of resignation and acquiescence, and adorn themselves with the ornaments of faithfulness and servitude, and take for their example that priceless treasure of the Kingdom.

10.  The letter dated 5 August 1932, from that spiritual friend has been received by the Guardian of the Cause of God, may our lives be sacrificed for him, and he has been informed of your receiving his telegram regarding the ascension of that matchless fruit of the Tree of Glory, the Most Exalted Leaf.
      There is no question but that the burden of grief on his sorrowing heart, because of this terrible ordeal, this great calamity, is heavier than minds can conceive, or words can tell. That gem of immortality, that precious and exalted being, was the one consolation, the one companion of the Guardian in


his sorrow-filled life; and she, with her sweet encouragement, her gentle words, her never-ceasing, soothing care of him, her smiles that came like fair winds from heavenly gardens, could always gladden and refresh his spirit.
      No one has understood the tender, spiritual and celestial bond between the Guardian and her who was the Remnant of Bahá, nor can any mind conceive that plane of being, nor reckon its sublimity.
      During her whole life span, that heavenly being was subjected to ordeals and tribulations. She confronted the attacks of the hostile, and she suffered afflictions any one of which could well have shattered a mountain of iron. And yet the sweet and comely face of that spirit-like dove of holiness, was wreathed till her very last hour in life-giving smiles, nor did that patience and endurance, that greatness, that majesty and dignity, ever desert her delicate and fragile person.
      She who was the trust left by Bahá'u'lláh had no other aim nor goal but these: to proclaim the Cause of God and exalt His Word; to praise and glorify the Blessed Beauty's name; to bear 'Abdu'l-Bahá in mind and serve Him ever; to pity the sorely-troubled and give them endless, loving care; to cherish and comfort them, and bring them joy. There is, then, good reason, that with the passing of this peerless gem, this precious, matchless pearl, we should rend our garments in mourning, and that our eyes should stream with bitter tears.


      The Guardian conveys his message of condolence, and says that in this severest of afflictions, it would befit the people of Bahá to hold fast to resignation and acquiescence, and to rise up and loyally serve the Faith, taking for their example that priceless treasure of the Abhá Paradise.

11.  What you had written concerning the memorial gatherings of men and women believers to mourn the Most Exalted Leaf, who was the peerless fruit of the Holy Tree, and to commemorate the ascension of her who was the most glorious trust left on earth by the Lord—may the souls of holy men and women be a sacrifice for her sacred resting-place—has been received by the Guardian.
      It cannot be imagined to what a degree this terrible and calamitous event has saddened him, and, more than words can tell, clouded the radiance of his heart. For that holy being, that resplendent person, with all her heart and soul and endless love, had ever fostered and cherished him in the warm embrace of her celestial tenderness. She was his single, dear companion, she was his one and only consolation in the world, and that is why he is so burdened down with the passing of her high and stately presence, and why the departure of that comely spirit is so hard for him to bear.
      She who was left in trust by Bahá'u'lláh was the symbol of His infinite compassion, the day star in the heaven of His bounty and grace. That sanctified


spirit revealed the loving-kindness of Him who was the Beauty of the All-Glorious, and was the welling spring of the favours and bestowals of Him Who was the Lord, the Most High. She was the comforter of anyone who grieved, the solace of any with a broken heart. She, that Remnant of Bahá, was a loving mother to the orphan, and for the hapless and bewildered it was she who would find a way. Her holy life lit up the world; her heavenly qualities and ways were a standard for people all over the earth. Like a cloud of grace, she showered down gifts, and her bestowals, like the morning winds, refreshed the soul.
      Stranger and friend alike were captured by her loving-kindness, her spiritual nature, her unceasing care for them and tender ways; enamoured of her great indulgence toward them, and how she favoured them and cherished them. The mind could only marvel at that subtle and ethereal being, at the majesty and greatness of her, and the heavenly modesty, and the forbearance and long suffering. Even in the thick of the worst ordeals, she would smile like an opening rose, and no matter how dark and calamitous the times, like a bright candle she would shed her light.
      The Guardian sends messages of heartfelt condolence to all of you, and asks you to be submissive and acquiescent and patient, and loyally to arise and serve, and take for your model that precious treasure of the Abhá Paradise.
      You had asked the Guardian as to the nine months of mourning, during which all Bahá'í festivities


are to be suspended. His answer is that this refers to nine solar months. He says further that the blessed and exalted Leaf ascended at one hour after midnight, on the eve of Friday, July 15.

12.  ... He is eagerly awaiting to see the friends as ever burning with the desire to serve a Cause for the sake of which our departed Holy Leaf gave up her entire existence.
      May her glorious spirit cheer your hearts, strengthen your faith and inspire you with renewed courage and hope.

13.  His loss is too immense to be adequately expressed in words. But his joy is also great. For such calamitous events, though cruel in their immediate effects, nevertheless, serve to stimulate the friends and quicken their souls.
      Ours, therefore, is the opportunity to arise and serve the Cause and put all our trust in God. Surely, He will guide our steps and will inspire us with the necessary enthusiasm and strength.
      May the immortal spirit of our departed Khánum quicken our energies and give fresh lustre to our endeavours for the greater extension of the Cause.


14.  The profound sorrow occasioned by the sudden passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf, as well as the unnumbered messages of sympathy received from friends and believers in East and West, all of which the Guardian acknowledged in person, have caused the unavoidable delay in giving his immediate attention to various matters referred to in your communications to him. He deeply regrets the obstacles which stood in his way and which by their very nature he found them impossible to surmount.

15.  The Guardian of the Cause of God has received your letter of 21 July 1932, telling of your and the other friends' profound distress on receiving word of this calamity, this dire ordeal, that is, the ascension of the Most Exalted Leaf, that brightest fruit of the Eternal Tree.
      It is certain that this anguish, this harrowing event, has reached into the very depths of his being, and oppressed and darkened his radiant heart more than words can ever tell. For the subtle and spiritual attachment that the Guardian felt for her, and the heavenly tenderness and affection between that lovely fruit of the divine Lote-Tree and himself, was a bond so strong as to defy description, nor can the mind encompass that exalted state. That secret is a secret well-concealed, a treasured mystery unplumbed, and to a plane such as this, the minds of the believers can never find their way. On this account the Guardian's anguish at being parted from


that bright and comely denizen of Heaven is beyond our conceiving.
      She who was a sparkling light of God, she who was so full of grace—that widespread ray of Heaven's splendour, that sign of God's mercy—was made to appear with all perfections, all goodly attributes, all blessed ways; and never had the world's eye gazed upon such a welling spring of tender love, of pity and compassion, and never will it behold again such a gem of loving-kindness, such a fount of God's munificence.
      How many a night did she whom the world wronged spend as a prisoner, worn with care, tormented, banished from her home. How many a day did she live through as an exile and a captive! There was no venom of affliction, at the hands of this Faith's foes, that was not given her to drink, no arrow of cruelty but struck her holy breast. Yet in spite of the endless tribulations and disasters, she who was a spirit of holiness and a songster of Heaven, would even in the midst of dire ordeals, her face aglow, bloom like a rose.
      The Guardian sends messages of consolation to you and all the friends in this bereavement, and he says that in this calamitous time all must bow down their heads and be acquiescent, arise in faithful service to His Cause, and model themselves upon that most exalted, sacred and resplendent presence.

16.  The Guardian's anguish, because of this tragic occurrence, is such that it can neither be


plumbed nor described in words. That sublime and gloried Leaf, that precious jewel of the Kingdom, was the one great solace of his life; she was his glorious companion, and her disappearance, and the separation from her, and her ascending into the heavenly presence and court of her Lord was the direst ordeal to be visited upon the people of Bahá. Alas for any future time that might produce such a calamity, when the world's eye might see its like.
      That sacred treasure, that jewel of Heaven, was the very sign and token of spiritual attributes and qualities and perfections, the very model of high honour and nobility and heavenly ways. The sufferings she bore in the pathway of God were the cruellest ones, the afflictions that assailed her were the severest of all. Fortitude was the rich dress she wore, serenity and tranquil strength were her splendid robe, virtue and detachment, purity and chastity, were all her jewels, and tenderness, care and love for humankind, her beauty's bright adornings.
      The Guardian conveys his message of consolation and comfort, enjoining submission and acquiescence in this calamity, and the need for arising to serve and to be steadfast, and to take for our model that gem of the Abhá Paradise.

17.  Indeed, the Greatest Holy Leaf, the Trust of Bahá'u'lláh amongst us, was the emblem of His boundless grace, a luminary shining in the heaven of


tender mercy and gracious providence, the embodiment of the manifold favours of the Abhá Beauty, a repository of the bounty and loving-kindness so characteristic of the Báb, the Exalted One. To every disconsolate one she was an affectionate comforter, to every heart-broken and grief-stricken soul, a token of unfailing sympathy, of kindliness, of cheer and comfort. Her blessed life was a source of spiritual illumination for the whole world and her noble traits and heavenly attributes served as a shining example, an object of emulation for all mankind. Like the showers of heavenly grace, her generosity knew no bounds, and as the breeze of celestial blessing and favour, she breathed a new life into every soul. Both friends and strangers were drawn by her sense of spirituality, her tenderness and refinement, her unfailing solicitude, and were attracted by the magic of her unbounded affection and goodwill. That heavenly being displayed throughout her life such evidence of glory and dignity, such manifestations of majesty and greatness, such a degree of patience and resignation as bewildered the minds and souls. In the midst of trials her radiant face bore the likeness of a sweet rose and in moments of sore tribulation she was resplendent as a brilliant candle.

18.  The Guardian trusts that the explanation he has given by wire regarding the suspension for a period of nine months of Bahá'í religious festivity


has been made clear. The Nineteen Day Feast being of a quasi-administrative character should continue to be held, but should be conducted with the utmost simplicity and should be devoid of any features associated with feasts and entertainment. The celebration of Naw-Rúz, the anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh and of the Báb should be altogether cancelled as a token of our deep mourning for so distinguished and precious a member of Bahá'u'lláh's family. The period of nine months should be reckoned from the 15th of July to the 15th of April.

19.  The loss of the Greatest Holy Leaf will be bitterly felt by all those friends who had the pleasure and privilege to meet her. She always kept such a wonderful atmosphere of joy and hope around her that was bound to influence those that were present and help them to go out into the world with added zeal and determination to consecrate all in the path of God.
      The only consolation of Shoghi Effendi is in the knowledge that she has been delivered from earthly worries and physical weakness and that she is now in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh, her Father and Lord, enjoying the infinite blessings of His eternal Kingdom.

20.  Even though during these last years she was weak and most of the time confined to her room, yet


she was a source of constant joy and inspiration to those that met her. The Guardian feels her loss tremendously because the greatest part of his leisure hours he used to spend in her company.
      His only comfort is that she has been delivered from the worries and weaknesses of a body that could no more withhold her spirit and help her to express all her desire in meeting the friends and serving them.
      At present, in the presence of her Father and Lord we trust she is remembering us and asking for us His divine grace and blessings.

21.  The passing away of the Greatest Holy Leaf was a loss every Bahá'í will feel deeply if only he stops to think about it. She was such a precious soul and so radiantly happy and hopeful even under most adverse circumstances. Every believer that came in contact with her left her presence with a more determined spirit of service and self-sacrifice. Both Shoghi Effendi and the rest of the Bahá'ís will mourn her loss bitterly. Their only consolation can be her own deliverance from a life of hardship and difficulties, and her entrance into a realm which is naught but eternal bliss and infinite divine grace.

22.  Even though the Greatest Holy Leaf has left us in body she is with us in spirit, inspiring us in our work and beseeching for us God's loving mercy and


fatherly care. She will never forget her loving friends nor leave them in their woes.
      Shoghi Effendi was very sad to hear of your difficulties, especially as they have encompassed you at an age when you cannot confront them but must have comfort and peace. You should, however, take courage and resign to the will of God when you see what the Greatest Holy Leaf had to face during her life. All you may suffer is nothing compared to what she had to endure; and yet how joyous and hopeful she used always to be!
      This is the way of the world. The greatest among us seems to be the one who has suffered most and withstood best the battles of life.

23.  Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 25th 1932 and to extend his deep appreciation for your kind words of sympathy. This loss is a thing that will be bitterly felt by every Bahá'í throughout the world, because she used to be a source of inspiration to every one of them. The mere coming into her presence and thinking of the trials and difficulties she had to pass through in her life, was sufficient to create in us new hope and arouse us to stronger determination to promote the Cause she suffered for.

24.  You should be very happy to have had the privilege of meeting her upon this physical plane of


existence, for the world has seen only very few such souls who have suffered so much for the sake of God and yet kept their cheer and uttered words of hope and encouragement to those who were around them. What a source of inspiration she was to the pilgrims who came from the four corners of the world to seek spirituality and attain a new birth by visiting the Holy Shrines. They should surely remember those blessed moments they spent in her room or in her presence elsewhere, and remembering her suffering, take courage in confronting the problems of their life. May God help us all to follow her example and like her be a blessing to others.

25.  Surely there is nothing that will console the Guardian more than the happy news that the Cause for which the Greatest Holy Leaf lived and suffered is gradually spreading and embracing the whole of the people of the world.
      She is undoubtedly conscious of our activities, following our work and impatiently awaiting the result of our battles. Let her passing, therefore, be a source of added sacrifice and more energetic striving on the part of her devoted friends and lovers.

26.  These nine months during which the Guardian has asked the friends to discard feast days, are meant to be months of mourning for the passing away of the Greatest Holy Leaf. The friends should


also use it as a period of redoubled energy in serving the Cause in expression of our deep love for her as well as for the Cause she so much suffered for.

27.  Surely no matter what we say about her still we have not done justice to the abounding love she had and the services she rendered to Bahá'u'lláh and the Master. Her life was full of events, full of sacrifices in the path of God. Ever since her childhood she had to endure hardships and share the exile and persecution that Bahá'u'lláh had to suffer. In her face one could easily read the history of the Cause from its earliest days to the present moment.
      Notwithstanding all this she never grumbled nor lost her faith in the future. She kept cheerful and tried to give cheer to others. She was a real source of inspiration to every person that met her.
      The only adequate way to show our love and devotion to her is to arise and serve the Cause for which she so earnestly laboured during all her mortal life. Her deeds and sacrifices should act as examples for us to follow.

28.  Indeed it would have been for you such a joy to meet the Greatest Holy Leaf during her earthly life, but the Guardian does not wish you to feel depressed about it; this beloved soul will from the Heaven of her Almighty Father guide you to serve the Cause which has been so dear to her. Shoghi


Effendi values your sincere sympathy in this irreparable loss; he hopes that we all will follow the example of her saintly life.

29.  He fully appreciates the deep sorrow that you, as well as the other friends, feel for the passing away of the Greatest Holy Leaf. All those who met her cannot feel but an emptiness in their hearts. She was always such a source of courage and hope to those pilgrims that came from all parts of the world and had the pleasure of meeting her, that they left her presence with added hope and greater determination to serve the Cause and sacrifice their all in its path. This was especially true of them after the passing away of the Master when they felt that she was the only worthy remnant of Bahá'u'lláh's immediate kin.
      May her passing stir the friends to greater measures of sacrifice and direct their attention towards the spiritual duties that have been laid upon their shoulders.

30.  He is sure that all the Bahá'ís throughout the world share with him in this sorrow, for she was a source of comfort and inspiration to them all. No one left her presence without being deeply impressed by her spirit. All the sufferings that she had endured during her life and that had left their traces upon her feeble form, had not in the least affected


her spirit of joy and hopefulness. She liked to see the people happy, and exerted all her efforts to make it easy for them to realize it.
      How badly we need such souls in the world at present when it seems so full of sorrows and discouragements! Every one is suffering and no person to give them courage and brighten their hearts.
      Shoghi Effendi hopes that the friends will follow her example and become a source of inspiration to the world at large, giving hope to the depressed and joy to the disconsolate. Moreover, he trusts that her passing will operate as a great impetus in our services to the Cause for which she suffered so long and so hard.

31.  He deeply appreciates your sincere, well-expressed reference, to the tribute he has written to the dearly beloved Greatest Holy Leaf. You cannot imagine to what an extent our dear Guardian has, in this loss, been deprived for ever of the sustaining influence and kindness that this Most Exalted Leaf used to shower daily upon him. In this beautiful Tribute we can trace the life of this beautiful soul, witness with anguish all the sufferings and deprivations that she has endured. Now we should, all of us, try in turn to follow her saintly path and direct all our energy to serve the Cause, which has been so dear to her.

32.  ... He was deeply touched by the strong attachment of the friends to one who, besides being


the beloved daughter of Bahá'u'lláh, exemplified perhaps more than anyone the true spirit that animates His teachings. His sincere hope is that your love for our departed Greatest Holy Leaf will attain such depth and intensity as to enable you to follow on her footsteps and to carry out with increasing devotion and vigour all that she cherished so much during the entire course of her earthly life. The memory of her saintly life will undoubtedly sustain and feed your energies and will provide you with that spiritual potency of which we are all in such a great need.

33.  The steps of her holy resting-place represent Local Spiritual Assemblies, not individual believers. The columns, that is the pillars, are like the National Spiritual Assemblies, while the dome, which is raised following the placing of the columns, symbolizes the Universal House of Justice which, in accordance with the Master's Will and Testament must be elected by the secondary Houses of Justice, that is, the National Spiritual Assemblies of East and West.

click for larger photo
Monument marking the resting place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, erected
on Mount Carmel by Shoghi Effendi, who said that its three stages
symbolized the three-fold structure of Bahá'í's Administrative Order.
click for larger photo
Views of the monument; above, floodlit at
night; below, an early photograph.
click for larger photo
View of the monument looking northwards
across the Bay of Haifa, to 'Akká.
click for larger photo
Photograph of Bahá'í's Tablet, in His Own handwriting,
to Bahiyyih Khanum, the text of which is carved
and gilded around the pediment of her monument.
      see Dedication


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