|Conqueror of Hearts table of contents
During the last day of the 1963 historic first International Convention
in Haifa, I found myself at the Pilgrim House where some of the delegates were
waiting for transportation to take us to visit the Most Holy Shrine at
Bahjí. While waiting for the bus, I decided to again visit the Shrine
of the Báb. On returning to the Pilgrim House I discovered that the bus
had already left for Bahjí. Mr. Faizí suddenly appeared and
asked whether I and Donald Witzel, who was also there, would like to visit with Hand
of the Cause of God, Tarázu'lláh Samandarí, who had a
small room at the Pilgrim House. He then ushered us into Mr.
Samandarí's room, who greeted us graciously and offered us some tea and
sweet cakes. Mr. Faizí translated for us as Mr. Samandarí
showed us and explained some of his calligraphy and notebooks. (Mr.
Faizí explained to me that Mr. Samandarí kept a diary and wrote
it in every day. I am confident that in the future these delightful notebooks
will be translated and available to all.) Mr. Samandarí gave Donald
and me a rendition of the Greatest Name that he had done. On mine was written
in Persian, "Made in the year 120, in the vicinity of the Most Holy Shrine,
when I had a little cold," and signed, Tarárzu'lláh
Samandarí." After we left Mr. Samandarí's room, Mr. Faizí
asked whether we had noticed the pleasant fragrance in Mr. Samandari's room.
It was sweet, but not like perfume. Mr. Faizí said that this was his
natural fragrance and was a sign of Mr. Samandarí's spirit.
We then left Haifa for the First World Congress in London to celebrate the
Centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration. I looked for Mr.
Faizí and was told that he had remained in Haifa for a few days. (He
later told me that he stayed in Haifa to look after the World Centre while the
rest of the Bahá'ís at the World Centre traveled to London.)
However, on the last day of the Centenary celebration, he spoke to the 6,000
friends present in Royal Albert Hall. I shall never forget his words on that
occasion, especially his statement that we were standing on the shoulders of
Here are Mr. Faizí's closing words of that Celebration in London in
A hundred years ago when Bahá'u'lláh was in Baghdad, one
day He was pacing up and down in front of His house and rows of people were
standing near him. Some were Persian princes and some were from Arab noble
families. Bahá'u'lláh asked, `What are the news of the town? What
are the news of the martyrs?' And one of the Persian princes said, `How is it
that when you are with your own people, you speak to them of such exalted
subjects, but when you are with us, you only ask us of the news of the town and
of the martyrs?' Bahá'u'lláh paced up and down and said, `People
who can hear my word are not yet created.' He again paced up and down and
started to tell them something. One of the things which He said at that time
was this. He said, `If there are pearls beneath seven seas, I will bring them
out. If there are jewels hidden beyond seven mountains, by the power of the
direction of the Word of God, I will bring them out.' Who could ever realize
in that hour what these words meant? But today we see with our eyes the
fulfillment of these words. Bahá'u'lláh brought out pearls from
seven seas, and brought jewels from beyond seven mountains and brought them all
here, from the Pacific, the Atlantic, the mountains of Bolivia, all countries
of the world. These are the pearls and jewels which Bahá'u'lláh
desired to have.
One evening at a hotel in London I met up with Mr. Faizí, We spent a
few delightful moments together. I asked him whether I could adopt him as
my father, since my biological father had died several years before. He
agreed, and ever since that time I have considered him as my father.
On my return to Honduras, I found a letter from him dated July 27, 1963, from
Haifa. In the letter he tells me that he had been thinking of our mutual
friend, Jeanne Frankel, that he had been at the Bahá'í Center in
London and had desired to write her. Marion Hofman had obtained Jeanne's
address from someone who lived on the same island. He left London and went to
Paris, Nice and then back to Haifa. When he arrived in Haifa, he found a
letter from Jeanne written the same day he was trying to find her address.
Then he says:
Just think how Bahá'u'lláh has brought our hearts together and
friends in the East and West feel their sentiments towards each other. Today I
wrote to her and am writing to you and desire to write to some more. Now you
can visualize me. You remember the House of the Master where you all gathered.
I am sitting in the room where you had been sitting to vote. Here I think of
every one of you and pray and pray that at the very depths of your hearts and
souls you all feel happy in the service of our precious Cause. Now that we
have the House of Justice and every day I see these precious souls with so much
love, energy, enthusiasm and devotion, I feel no more tired, even though
mountains of work and responsibility are put on my shoulders. I feel happier,
readier and more uplifted than ever. One feels the guidance which come to them
in every step. One sees the invisible Hands of God holding them, supporting
them, and guiding them. As the secretary of one of the NSAs, I am sure you
feel the same. I always remember the comfort and happiness I felt in your room
and the vibrations of love surrounding all the friends. Please remember me to
everyone of them -- especially to the mother and the little girl. (Then he
saluted the friends in Spanish, sending much Bahá'í love)...P.S.
The big black bag is near me now. Do you remember I missed it in the hotel?
In September of 1963, because of ill health, I had to return to the United
States after my four-year stay in Honduras. In November 1963, I received a
letter forwarded from Honduras written by Mr. Faizí from Jerusalem on
October 27, 1963. In this letter, he speaks about the members of the Universal
House of Justice:
The first and foremost news that I must share with you is the health, unity and
the enthusiasm of the members of the Universal House of Justice. It is simply
miraculous that a group of people never knowing each other before, never
working with each other and every one belonging to special kind of work and
interest become so amalgamated together that today they are one body and one
soul. Such unity attracts the light of guidance and that is the sole reason
why we witness the light of confirmation, strength and God's wishes and desires
even in every word they utter. This makes every Bahá'í happy and
determined to do more. ... I am all right and just two days ago finished an
article of about 24 sheets about the Convention and the Congress. It is in
Persian and I hope to render it soon into English. I will surely send you a
A letter dated December 12, 1963, from Bahjí arrived. In it he states:
How did you know that I would be in Bahjí? [I had asked him to say some
prayers for me there]. Yesterday before my departure with the pilgrims to
Bahjí, I received your very beautiful and inspiring letter. Now here I
am and have prayed for you from the depths of my heart.
The news about the State Convention is simply thrilling. To have 300 people in
a State Convention is simply beyond my imagination. How I wish that the
Persians too would have the same freedom!
Amongst the pilgrims we have some very interesting people. One is a young and
very strong teacher of the cause in Persia. He travels all about, goes to many
towns and states in Persia. He tells me that there is a very ancient port in
the southern coasts of Persia. This port is called Abbas Port. There are some
very fine Bahá'ís there and in the house of one of them, he found
a tablet by the Master. He says that as it carries the Name of Abbas, it is His
own Port and in future it will be the lamp of guidance to many.
Now the Americans are changing the same old. fashioned port into the most
modern port of the Middle East with all its required equipments, etc. Millions
will be spent, and a road will be paved from there to the middle of Persia. The
friends there are becoming stronger and stronger and more respected and loved
by the people.
A contact embraced the Faith after he talked to him for only two or three
sessions and when this young teacher asked his contact of the reason of this
speedy recovery, he said that it was because of a dream. He dreamt that his
mother had taken hold of the hem of the Prophet Muhammad's garment begging Him
to put her son on the right path. He said when I dreamt that I thought of
inquiring about the Bahá'í Faith....When we had the celebration
in Haifa and London, these few friends made a special glorious celebration in
that port and it had been during the same Ridván Feast when the
construction of the new coast had been inaugurated.
I found this very interesting, therefore I wrote it to you to make your kind,
pure and radiant heart happy.
The above letter was not completed until December 20, 1963. He added the
I could not finish my letter to you last week. Here I am again for special
thanksgiving to Bahá'u'lláh who arranged a free ticket for me to
go to Teheran and return. My mother is very ill and I wanted so much to see
her. The ever great monster money stood against me and my heart's desire, but
Bahá'u'lláh solved it so easily for me. I will be on my way to
Teheran on the 23rd and perhaps will remain there for about 45 days. Should
the many thousand friends give me time, I would certainly write to you,
especially from Shíráz. Meanwhile, please pray that I will prove
worthy of this bounty and will do something for the Faith too. I do not want
to fail Him.
In 1964, I underwent surgery and had written to Mr. Faizí during
recuperation. He answered by letter dated July 13, 1964:
I was right then to worry about you! Now I know why... In two days my children
(May (20) and Naysan (15) are coming to stay with me for 45 days. I am now
living just adjacent to the Shrine. Being always face to face with such a
source of light, hope and consolation, I shall surely and very often remember
you. You are very dear to me and my prayers will be along the lines you asked
for - that Bahá'u'lláh will use you for the progress of His
Cause. He will. Be sure dearest Shirley. Who ever knocked at His door and
was returned empty handed? I knock and knock and my dear ones will remain
under His loving kindness and protection.
Again, on July 29, 1964, he wrote from Haifa:
The moment I received your letter I wrote you and hope that you have already
received my note. Here is again a few lines to tell you how worried I am about
your health. My prayers are constant and my hope is fervent that you are
improving and getting ready to resume your services to win some honours in the
9 Year Plan too... I am having some very exciting days. My two children are
here for the summer. Having been separated for some time, now the reunion
means much to me. My daughter May is very much interested in music. She plays
the piano and there are some possibilities for her to continue her studies
here. This is what she really loves to do: to study and to protect her daddy.
My son is 15 and somewhat still playful.
In the summer we will have a class for all the Bahá'í children.
The oldest is 20 and the youngest 11. There are 3 girls and the rest are boys.
The students will be responsible for the class. Each one will teach a subject.
They are busily preparing their subjects. Tomorrow our summer classes will
start and the first topic is mass conversion by a boy of 14. I hope that these
classes will put all the children on the right path of their future services.
How I wish I could have more young people to work with!
Be so kind as to convey my love to all the friends whom I had the honour to
meet while in Los Angeles. I love them all, never forget them and hope to meet
My daughter and my son both send you love and greetings. They love you too.
After these loving letters, who could remain ill! In his letter of September
23, 1964, Mr. Faizí continues his loving encouragement and shares news
about his activities in Haifa and Greece:
My very sweet and kind sister--my daughter. The receipt of your lovely letter
written in such beautiful and lovely paper and with so much love and enthusiasm
was a remedy to my loneliness. This is my story: My children were here for
about 50 days and when they left, I was very sad. Fortunately, I was asked to
go to Greece for some time. I did this. My sojourn in Greece was a very happy
and successful one. When I returned and went to the same house and looked at
the children's rooms, you can't imagine how I missed them and what I felt in my
heart. At this time they brought me some letters. Amongst them was the very
precious and penetrating one of yours which brought light to my eyes, hope to
my heart and I love you even more than ever before. Rest assured dearest that
I pray -- pray ardently that Bahá'u'lláh will aid, sustain and
support you in all your endeavors in the propagation of His Faith.
Ours is to pray and purge ourselves so that we will be worthy instruments.
Then let Bahá'u'lláh use us in any way He finds best and most
useful for His Cause. I am sure that He will never fail you. I am also
certain that wherever you are, you are a source of delight, happiness and
ardent services to the friends. Where is our dear and mutual friend Behar
whose name means Spring? Please convey to her and all the dear ones my love
and sincerest wishes.
It is difficult to quote Mr. Faizí when he praises me, but I do so
because his encouragement (and praises), though not earned, always gave me
strength and the desire to do better. It was as if all during the years I knew
him, and no matter where I was living or pioneering, he had, in a sense, taken
my hand and helped me in my services to the Cause.
I moved to the San Francisco area where I received a letter from him dated
October 12, 1964, in which he speaks about the excitement in the Holy Land
because of the arrival of the Hands of the Cause for their annual meeting. He
states, in part:
From day after tomorrow Hands start pouring in the Holy Land. Then the
meetings. Meetings in the mornings, in the afternoons, in the nights, all
alone by ourselves and sometimes with our dearly beloved members of the House.
After days and nights of consultation, referring to the texts and above all
prayers, we must write the message. Now you see what I mean when I say I must
hurry. I remember you in my prayers and hope that ere long you will be
established in life and will serve the Cause to the best of your ability.
Dearest Bill Sears is here now and being with him is a constant source of joy
and happiness. More of his books will be published and I hope that you will
have them all. They are of two kinds: Bahá'í and
non-Bahá'í, as he puts them, sublime and ridiculous. But they
are all wonderful. The friends must be very happy and grateful that they have
such a great and gifted writer amongst them. When Bahá'u'lláh
was singled out for God's Message in this Age, He was promised that the
treasures of the world will rise to serve Him. Now Bill is one of these. The
American Bahá'í Community will have many such treasures...
A short time later, Mr. Faizí sent the following letter to some about his
sojourn in Iran, in which he spent forty-five days in 1964. I include this
letter here. (The letter was undated but arrived in some time in the fall of that year.)
Dearly beloved friend,
I am so late in answering your very kind communications that I do not really
know how to start this letter. I hope that you are still as kind as ever
before and will overlook this horrible delay.
It is about month that I am back in the Holy Land after my world tour which
took me to the International Convention, to the London Congress, and eventually
to Iran where I sojourned for about forty-five days.
The story of this one month and a half is simply wonderful. Though the friends
were requested not to arrange extensive programs for me, after two or three
days experience showed that it was utterly beyond my power or that of any
committee to control the many demands of the dearly beloved of Teheran. They
were so eager to ask and so longing to know.
My daily program would start by the early morning and would be ended by
midnight. The moment I opened my eyes, there were people who had gathered in
the hall and who desired to confer with me on different subjects. This done, I
usually went to the houses of the veteran teachers, valiant pioneers, and the
sick and the poor who due to illness or the long distances could not possibly
attend any meeting. In all such assemblages of the friends I encouraged them
to ask questions. This proved very delightful and profitable, both for me and
for them. By such questions I would understand the nature of the community,
their difficulties, problems and shortcomings, and they in turn would receive
the news of the world and the progress of our Faith in many different
countries. The only thing which caused me a bit of trouble was the terrible
cold of the winter and the heavy snow which had covered all roads. Having
lived for fifteen years in Arabia, I was not accustomed to such terrific cold.
I was never warm enough, especially my feet. But the waves of love and the
enthusiasm which encircled me everywhere compensated for this physical coldness
which did not really matter very much.
The youth in Iran are especially interested in any problem concerning our
Faith. They proved so eager to attend the meetings that if the committee had
invited, for example, a hundred, there would be at least five hundred present.
If there were not enough chairs, the newcomers who just stand in rows,
sometimes for hours. The Youth Committee throughout Iran has many subsidiary
committees such as committees for public speaking, teacher training classes,
publications, etc. Although confronted with many, many difficulties, they have
had wonderful achievements in all of their activities.
Let me describe for you one of their classes: On a special day, parents and
friends were invited to observe the final examination of the Public Speaking
Class. There were two groups, each group consisting of more than thirty boys
and girls under the supervision and guidance of three teachers. The members of
each class had taken many teaching tours from Teheran to many different parts
of Iran, especially to villages. Each one had committed to memory more than
seventy-five quotations from our Sacred Writings. Thus they get ready to use
the proper sayings in their speeches or when they talk to some contacts. Each
knew by heart at least five long Tablets in Persian or in Arabic. Though the
means of transport are not adequately comfortable, available, or inexpensive,
scarcely any of the students had ever been late to any of the classes. When
they gave talks, recited the Tablets, or quoted from the Writings, their
pronunciation and delivery were clear and penetrating. At the end of the
meeting we had the pleasure to look at the many different books that the
students had copied and the books to which they had referred during the entire
year. When they asked me to tell them something, I was so thrilled that I
could hardly speak. At the end of the day they promised to continue their
studies to get ready for their future services. With tears in their eyes they
expressed homage, respect and loyalty to this House of Justice and conveyed the
message that they would be ready to participate in the new year's Plan arranged
by that exalted Body.
Having in mind the many obstacles that our young and old people have in Iran,
what they achieve approach miracles. This proves that no obstacle is
unsurmountable if we rely wholeheartedly upon the grace of God and the strength
we receive from Him.
From Teheran I went to Isfáhán where I spent five nights. One
night I went to a nearby village called Najaf-Abad, the friends of which are
renowned for their bravery and steadfastness. As it was winter and the friends
could not use their Bahá'í Hall, they had taken the trouble of
pitching a huge tent in one of the houses. The floor was covered with many
colorful carpets. More than one thousand Bahá'ís sat on the
floor, and as the ladies had covered themselves with colored cloth, the entire
gathering seemed to me like a beautiful garden of many different flowers.
The friends sitting there were the ones who had suffered the most during the
year 1955 when the cruel waves of persecution covered all parts in Iran. For
many months they were not allowed to purchase provisions from the market and
could not even gather in their own crops, most of which had already been
devastated and plundered by the angry mobs. The enemies paid errand boys to go
on bicycles around and around the lanes and unfrequented passages to see
whoever dared to help the Bahá'ís. These brave souls managed to
hold on with what they had previously stored in their houses, but eventually
many were forced to leave their villages for other places in search of other
ways to earning their living. As the drivers did not accept them in their
busses or taxis, many took their way to their unknown destinations on foot.
None of these tribulations could ever loosen their hold on the hem of
Bahá'u'lláh's grace and Faith. Standing there in the midst of
these wonderful Bahá'ís, whom I loved and adored, I could not
utter a word. Beside that, I knew many of them from before. Many of them as
children had sat on my lap when I was about twenty-five years old and lived in
that village for about five years, immersed in the ocean of their love, care
My struggle for words proved useless. The love and devotion, the memories of
the past, and the remembrance of their sufferings were too strong for my feeble
words to express anything. I continued looking at them, and from every row of
the friends I received strength and inspiration. Then, at last, I started to
speak to them about the beloved friends in Bolivia, the rapid progress of the
Cause in India and Africa, and I told them some stories which I had gathered
throughout my one-year trip around the world. The description of the
International Convention and the World Congress brought tears to their eyes. I
could then see visibly in their faces that they were praising
Bahá'u'lláh and saying that if their feet are in fetters and they
cannot take the torch of God freely around the countries, their brothers and
sisters in other parts of the world, with their sacrificial services, can take
the light of the Cause even to the very dark and obscure corners of the
After twenty-five years, I found my dear ones close to me, and it proved very
hard for me to depart again.
In Shíráz I spent five nights. There I had the honor to
visit the House of the Báb and the very same room where Mullá
Husayn sat face to face with the Báb and heard His melodious voice when
He declared His Mission.
Something really miraculous took place for me in Shíráz.
I had sent a cable to the Hands in Haifa and begged them to appoint a certain
date and hour when they would gather in the Shrine of the Báb, and I
would be in the Báb room, for the purpose of a simultaneous prayer.
Thus a spiritual magnetic chain would be stretched between the starting point
and the final one: His House in Shíráz and His Resting
Place on Mount Carmel.
I received an answer to my cable in Teheran. But let me tell you this. One
day I was drawn as if my mysterious forces to the House and I walked in tears
and full of supplications. There in that very same room I remember all my dear
ones in the countries where I had passed through, and I prayed and supplicated
for every one of them. The illumined faces of the dear friends were just in
front of me when I was in that very small room. It was a feeling which
permanently stays with me and forever remains undescribable. What affected me
most was the very small size of the House, the rooms and the little pond in the
courtyard. To compare this smallness with the grandeur of the Message which
covered the whole earth makes us comprehend the mysterious ways by which the
Cause of God makes progress in different countries of the world under so much
hardship, difficulties and plight. How great! How very great is the Plan of
God! That very tiny Room, by His decree and desire, became the fountainhead of
all the blessings, the springtide of the spiritual revival of mankind, and the
Primal Point from which powers are constantly released for the spiritual
conquest of the globe!
When in Teheran I received the expected cable from the Hands in Haifa, I came
to know that on the very same day and hour that they had gathered in the Shrine
of the Báb, I had been in His House in Shíráz.
Since my return from all these trips, especially in Iran, I felt so exhausted
and tired that I could not possibly do any serious work. I hope that with
prayers and spending more time in the Shrines I will regain my strength.
These days are the wonderful days of the early weeks of the year 121 . I
hope and pray that you will be ushered into this year with fresh powers and
ample energy and be ready to do your part in the glorious Nine Year Plan of our
beloved House of Justice. We see how this Plan is made and how the members of
the House of Justice spend days and nights in preparing the different stages;
so much so that we are worried about their health. They work from early
morning until about after midnight. We are sure that the results will be great
and full of power, chances and potentialities which will enable every
Bahá'í to perform heroic feats. Fresh forces and ample resources
will be at the disposal of the beloved Friends and I am certain that the
Bahá'ís will once again mount their steeds and render their
sacrificial services to the Cause in such terrific speed and enthusiasm that
the eyes of the entire world will be amazed at the rapid consummation of the
Plan. Any substantial help and assistance given by the Friends to fulfill the
goals of this Divine Plan will surely and abundantly attract many blessings
from On High for themselves, their friends, relatives and their homelands.
Dearly beloved friends, I assure you once more of my ardent and continued
prayers in the Shrines. I write this hurried note to you from Bahjí and
I hope that this letter will bring to you the fragrance, the tranquillity and
assurance which prevail in the atmosphere surrounding the Resting Place of the
Supreme Manifestations of God in this Age.
Yours humbly in the Beloved's servitude. Faizí.
I had moved to Carmel, California, and received a lovely note from him dated
December 3, l964. I had learned how to say "I love you" in Persian (man tora
dustaram) and had put it in my letter to him. He refers to this and says:
I am in the Master's House in a room adjacent to His and read and reread your
beautiful and moving letter. The red petals in it are symbols of your wonderful
thoughts.. .1 was so delighted to know about the many ways and doors opened to
the beloved friends that I immediately sent your letter to No. 10 where the U.
H. of Justice have their meetings. Don't be afraid, two or three know Persian
and they don't mind you loving me. I mean your Persian sentences.
I wish I could hear them from you. As to your plans, be sure of one thing that
I never stop thinking or of praying for you. Here at the door of His room I
repeat the prayer of the Báb, thinking of you and then will proceed
writing to you.
The other day I was reading the pilgrim notes of a certain Persian who lived a
long time with the Master. There is a beautiful point in it which I would like
to share with you. The following is the gist of it: When the country of
Palestine was in turmoil, fear and consternation because of the advent of the
Committee of Investigation, every body was in great fright except the Master
who was in absolute tranquility. Though the friends had faith and knew that
nothing would ever harm Him, the situation became so intense that their love
for their Beloved urged them to ask Him to please take care of Himself. He
told them: "I make the sails very strong, the ropes tight and firm and
everything in perfect order and then have my aim visibly in front of me and
drive towards it. No tempest will ever cause me to deviate. Should I change my
path at every wave, there would be no success. Look at the rays of the sun,
spread everywhere. Have them pass through a lens and concentrate on a point,
then conflagration takes place. Look at the steam coming out from the boiling
water. Concentrate it in one place, then the same weak and feeble steam will
move trains and ships." Should the friends concentrate their material, mental
and spiritual powers on one end, aim or purpose, then they will see wonders.
Fortunately for the Bahá'ís at every stage they have plans on
which they must concentrate and win its goals and then start another more
glorious plan. I am sure my darling that you will have great success. This
love, faith and great charm and personality which God has abundantly given you
will enable you to find the right path to the right point of concentration. It
will be the same in finding the right path to the hearts of people. Treasures
of the world will never be equal to this. Through you many will come to the
Cause and you will be eternally happy.
A friend of mine went on pilgrimage and took for me a small of Persian lime
perfume I had obtained for Mr. Faizí. He wrote on December 8, 1964:
Many, many heartfelt thanks for the Persian Lime. It is so beautiful that I do
not use it. It is too precious for me.. Oh how I wish I could make a very
extensive trip and to find and meet my dear friends in their homes and chat
till morning.' I heard some bad news too. .... and .... are divorced. There
is no rest, no comfort and no happiness in anything except in the service of
the Cause and under Its shadow. Bahá'u'lláh has often said that
it had been useless for the people to ask Him (for) comfort. This is not
created in this world. Should these dear sisters concentrate on
Bahá'í activities, they would find their lives totally changed.
Then they will find some meaning and some purpose -- some lofty aim towards
which they constantly move. When the aim is fixed and the determination is
made, then towards that aim one marches on. No matter how high and terrible
the waves are, one feels sure that the aim is at hand.. .1 am so glad that you
are in (the) Carmel district. I had one of the most wonderful nights in that
district in the house of our precious Arthur [Dahl]. I never forget the love
and the hospitality I received there and the beautiful meeting with so many
precious souls and thirsty hearts. Whenever I think of my sojourn in
California, I am uplifted because of the exalted experiences I had with the
dearly beloved friends in that part of the world which resembles so much the
Holy Land.. Please pray for me. I have so many things to do. I desire to
write many notes about God Passes By and especially about the many
questions the friends have asked me about problems and materials mentioned
therein. Did I give you the accounts I have written about Ahmad in whose
honour the famous Tablet of Ahmad had been revealed, or the accounts and
explanations of the Greatest Name? If not, let me know and I will send them to
you by the pilgrims. What I do desire to write about the book God Passes
By is really such accounts which will elucidate the historical points, etc.
This needs a bit of rest and non-disturbance, patience and diligent work.
Therefore I need your prayers very much. I believe this is my mission that I
Whatever beautiful I see, there springs in my heart a desire to obtain it and
send it to my dear ones. A small plate and some pressed flowers which have
been resting in the Shrine are sent to you with the hope that you will like
them. I hope they bring to you all my love and the fragrances of these
beautiful spots. Once you visit these places, you live in them always and
forever. The impressions grow with you and their impacts become greater and
greater. When I said goodbye to our dear, dear Guardian and left the Holy Land
for Iran, my life became a perpetual yearning for looking at His countenance
again. No day passed without me sitting somewhere and closing my eyes and
bringing him closer and closer to myself. The way he walked and talked became
so vivid in my mind that I thought I am again with him. This strengthened me
and kept me and my family alive in the most terrible conditions ever possible
for fifteen years.
Now I am sure you always remember the Shrines so beautifully carpeted with the
rarest flowers, the gardens trimmed and arrayed, the House of the Master with
open arms ready to receive the delegates from all over the world and above all
the radiant faces of all those pure souls who came to elect the House of
Justice. Then the great days in London. Though so unique and rare in the
history of mankind, they never remain unparalleled in the Cause, because I am
certain that the most enjoyable days are ahead of us when the people of
Bahá will rejoice and will find their labours concluded and will witness
the days of the harvest. Such days will be coming and each of them conceived
with interminable mysteries.
In January 1965, he sent me his account of the Tablet of Ahmad, still
uncompleted, as he had more materials to add, which was later published with
the title, Flame of Fire
While at Bahjí in February 1965, he wrote the following:
Here in Bahjí, I can't get rid of the faces -- beautiful smiling
supplicating faces of my dear ones. Wherever I go I see them in my vision.
Every word of prayer I utter I behold them, asking for more. It is a great
delight--nay the greatest that one can aspire--to live always with the
beautiful thoughts of the dearest ones.
He also sent some rose petals for my friend Dorothy Behar who was then
pioneering in Puerto Rico and asked that I forward them to her. For me he sent
a beautiful Persian green silk scarf that I still have and treasure.
The next letter was dated June 19, 1965, from Tel Aviv:
As to myself, it is about four days that I am in Tel Aviv to get my visas for
the tour of the European Summer Schools. In the mornings I must run from one
consulate to another and in the afternoons I have more time to myself to
concentrate on the two subjects which I am going to teach. I love these two
subjects and I believe within their framework we can say a lot. The Meaning of
History and the other is Philosophy of Bahá'í Education. Both
are based on texts. They are marvelous subjects. Peepholes to many hidden
and mysterious chambers of human soul and destiny. They are not conclusively
studied. They are results of my life research and clues or suggestions for the
youth to probe deeper and deeper into such subjects. How I wish that sometime
in future we can come together to discuss such beautiful subjects. When I walk
and think of the different aspects of this vast problems which have kept
scholars busy throughout centuries, I am so immersed that suddenly I find
myself in need of someone to tell me how to get back to my hotel.
On August 6, 1965, Mr. Faizí had gone to Frankfurt for a complete
medical checkup on "orders" from the World Centre. He writes:
For more than one month, I am constantly moving from one place to another,
attending [summer] schools, giving answers to questions till about 11 p.m and
after all feeling so exhausted that I had been ordered by the World Centre to
go to Frankfurt for a complete medical check-up--hence this letter from
Frankfurt. The tests are satisfactory and after one week I will be on my way
to the remaining summer school. This I hope has explained the horrible delay
in writing to you to thank you for the very wonderful letter which I received
in England. I wish I had time to explain to you about Buddha and the great
enlightenment He brought to the world.. I wish I had one or two hours to
myself to write a long letter to your dear, dear friend who sent me one of the
most beautiful .communications. Alas all such hopes should be abandoned and
their fulfillment be left in abeyance because of time. Time, our greatest
adversary, racing always against it and it is shrinking more and more and the
tests are increasing by unimaginable speed. Please give him all my love and
assurance of sincerest prayers. The subjects of History and Fundamentals of
Bahá'í Education were received with great enthusiasm in all the
summer school. I am still studying and adding notes. I need your love, your
prayers and your news. Please give my love to all. Yours ever in His Name.
He also referred in this letter to a new Bahá'í who had many
perplexing questions, who had asked that his letter be sent to Mr.
The next letter came from Bahjí sometime in 1965, which had been brought
to me by my friend, Mohi Sobhani, and in which was enclosed a lovely little
book of Persian Miniatures. Mr. Faizí writes:
Sobhani came with so much zeal, love and enthusiasm that I thought he had
brought all of you. Nowadays, though very busy because of my loneliness, I am
most eager to know what is happening to you.. Two more of my books are
published by the N.S.A. and distributed. They are not very big, but the
friends like them very much. Please pray that I will do the same in English.
The pressure of work and the anxiety which is resulted from it prevents me to
do anything. Are you going to the Convention? Paul [Haney] will represent the
World Centre and I am sure you will enjoy seeing him... I keep all your
letters. I love them and am proud having them.
A few days later, this short note from Bahjí:
I can't go out from Bahjí without writing a few lines to you. Many,
many thanks for the beautiful letters and the most welcomed paintings. They
were so fresh and reflected very much the beauty of your dear souls.
In September 1965, I moved from Monterey, California on the occasion of my
marriage to Ricardo Macias, then residing in West Hollywood, California. We
had written to Mr. Faizí to tell him about our marriage and our possible
departure to pioneer in Argentina. He wrote to us on Naw-Rúz 123
(1966). We did not receive his letter until the following May, when we were
already at our pioneer post in Mendoza, Argentina. It also contained a lovely
card on which were pressed petals from the Shrines. He wrote:
Many, many thanks for your lovely messages and good news which I received after
my return from my almost 8 month tour in all the countries of Europe. The news
of your wonderful marriage and the prospects of pioneering and serving the
Cause brought light to my eyes and joy to my aching heart.
Then on April 24, 1966, from Haifa.
What wonderful news! and what a pleasant surprise for me. Are you settled in
Mendoza? The beautiful town with wonderful streets, coffee houses on the
pavements covered by tall trees? In 1962 when I returned from Chile to
Argentina I stayed four days and I liked the town very much. Some streets
resemble Teheran. Had I more time I would have stayed longer. Now you are in
the very same town where I desired to sojourn more. You can't imagine how very
happy I am that you are settled there! In my many hours of walking I went to
the house of a certain person who spoke English. His dear and noble wife
received me very kindly and asked some questions. Another day I went to the
house of some Arabs and the whole family gathered. We had Arab coffee and
On June 2, 1966, he writes from Haifa:
The news of your marriage, pioneering and then settlement in Mendoza one after
the other brought much joy, happiness and consolation to my heart. I hope and
pray that you will rejoice life together and will be confirmed to render many
valuable services to the Cause you love so dearly. Whatever it is, one should
feel happy and grateful that he has the chance to serve this Cause at the time
when the whole world denies it. Should every pioneer ponder upon this fact, he
would find the greatest consolation. He Will never feel isolated, forsaken or
weak. On the contrary, he will find himself united with his Lord and will have
His blessings and powers.
My wife is invited to go to India for a teaching tour. Perhaps on her way to
India she will come to me and will remain with me few days. My children, May
and Naysam, may join me in the summer I hope their exams will be finished
successfully and they will come with the greatest amount of joy and energy.
They all know you so well and count you as one of the family.
In his letter of October 22, 1966, he again remembered his sojourn in Mendoza,
I still think so lovingly of the town where you pioneer. Do vou know that some
of the streets resemble those of Teheran? I sat on the pavement, had coffee,
pondered, wrote and the garcon (waiter?) came and talked to me in Arabic.
My tour in the four countries (of Europe) was most wonderful and at the same
time most exhausting. I only slept five hours each night and once I was in a
taxi to reach a certain N.S.A. meeting for more than two hours, but I was there
The next letter was dated February 24, 1967.
I hope and pray that you still think of me as someone living, but very, very
busy. If I have not written to you, it does not mean have forgotten you or
have ever stopped thinking of and praying for you. You and your dear husband
are always in my heart and my poor soul is ever soaring in the beautiful town
of Mendoza where I hope the Cause of God will penetrate and recreate many
people and quicken many, many souls.
These last month I was very, very busy. There were several special questions
put to me and I had to prepare proper answers. One was a letter from the
Canadian N.S.A. on Child Education and the special obligation of parents. It
took me three weeks to prepare an answer to this request. I hope they will
print the same in their Bahá'í News, in which case I shall soon
send you a copy.
The other was about the addresses of `Abdu'l-Bahá in the States and to
find which ones had not been translated and published. The third was the life
story of Ahmad, which, as I am promised, will appear in the
Bahá'í News of U.S. by the month of March. I am sure you will
have a copy.
So you see my dear, dear daughter how very busy I had been, but all through
thinking of both of you. I hope and pray that you enjoy the best of health.
Your work is steadily going on and your newly enrolled friends will help you to
teach our beloved Faith
Please convey my love to all--especially to dearly beloved Hooper and his ever-
"Beloved Hooper" is, of course, Hooper Dunbar and his "ever-charming wife" is
Maralynn Dunbar, who were living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at that time.
On June 16, 1967, Mr. Faizí writes from Haifa:
Many, many thanks for your very wonderful message which reached me at the most
opportune time Once the beloved Guardian said that the friends should count
their blessings. There is no means to record the blessings received in these
tumultuous days. It was simply the most miraculous deed of God to have done
all of this in such a short time and by so few people and in so many different
fronts. We must reiterate to ourselves what the Guardian often said about
the fate and destiny of the people who martyred the Báb, imprisoned
Bahá'u'lláh and the Master and martyred 20,000 adherents. We
must also in comparison know about the exalted station of those who are
destined to protect the Shrines. All these make us more than grateful to
Bahá'u'lláh and His Cause in which we are well safeguarded The
work of the Cause must not be delayed even a single minute. All of us were
doing our work, including the pilgrims, with absolute confidence in Him and His
Mr. Faizí's remarks referred to the Six-Day War in Israel.
From Wilmette, Illinois in February 1968:
In my first tour around the world I found you and I loved you and your love and
your dear husband are still preciously kept in my heart. In the second around
the world tour, I did not see you, but my heart was with you, especially when
I knew that `Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum had been
crossing Argentina. I wanted very much to write to you from U.S. but my time
had been so intensely limited that I did not expect to give lessons, go
to the hotel and resume the same thing over again the next day. When I
reached home, I was utterly exhausted, I could not concentrate. I always
thought that the friends were around me and were asking questions from me.
In seems that in each letter he writes, Mr. Faizí apologizes for not
writing more often. How very dear and kind he was to take the time to write,
especially when he was so over--burdened with work and exhausted. This always
made us love him so much more.
He wrote again after his return from a six month trip in the countries of the
Far East. In his letter dated July 1, 1969, from Haifa, he tells us that his
doctors have ordered absolute rest. He says that in a month his "aching heart"
will be better and he will be an his feet to enter the field of service. I
don't think that a moment of his life was not spent in service to our beloved
Cause, even when he was resting, recuperating, or even sleeping.
From Haifa, February 15,1970, he wrote a short letter after his long absence
from the Holy Land. He says:
My trips to the Pacific Islands had been absolutely unprecedented in beauty,
scope, results, and depths. The people are made to be Bahá'ís.
They have suffered enough throughout centuries and now they must find shelter
under the Greatest Name. I have written something in the form of a letter
about the trips. When printed, I will send you copies.
I shall remain in Haifa for about one month and a half. By the end of March, I
shall proceed to Africa where my sojourn will prolong for about 3 months and
after that J must go to Europe where I hope to visit my children. Therefore I
beg you to pray more for me. Though tired and exhausted, I hasten to note down
these lines lest you would think I have forgotten you and I am discourteous.
Again from Haifa, October 25, 1970, he "apologizes" for the delay in writing.
You will please excuse the undesired delay. Ever since the Palermo Conference,
I am on the move. This means that I am about three years on and off in other
continents. I covered Australia, New Zealand and then most of the islands of
the Pacific and the last seven months had been touring Africa and some
countries of Europe.
You had been so much in my heart and prayers that I have published a short
story in Persian, the scenes of which start and end in Mendoza. I will send
you a copy In case you have some Persians who can read Persian, give it to
them to read and give you the summary.
(I never did get an opportunity to read that short story. If anyone ever
comes across it, I would be so grateful.) Mr. Faizí then continues:
The news of the progress of the Cause in Mendoza made me very happy and
reminded me of the few days that I spent in that beautiful town. In my story I
have said that some of the streets reminded every Persian of the streets of
Teheran. I always remember them.
In a note dated December 4, 1970, he sent us some petals from the Shrines and
Hoping that these petals from the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh will
bring you the perfume of my abiding love and the assurance of my continued
In the fall of 1970, the Bahá'ís in Argentina had the bounty and
privilege of a visit of beloved Hand of the Cause of God, Enoch Olinga. He came
to Mendoza accompanied by Hooper and Maralynn Dunbar. At that time, there was
a small nucleus of Bahá'ís in Mendoza, although not enough to
form an Assembly. There were Bahá'ís who had enrolled in
neighboring villages, as well as some Persian pioneers residing in San Juan, a
province adjacent to Mendoza. We had an extraordinary two days with Mr.
Olinga, with a public meeting in our home with television and newspaper
reporters, and an afternoon tea. During a break, Mr. Olinga spoke to my
husband, Ricardo, about pioneering in Africa. When I mentioned it to Mr.
Faizí in a letter, he responded on December 4, 1970:
I was doing something else and your beautiful letter was brought to me. There
is a point in it which urges me to write immediately and that is your
pioneering. I am never against the ideas expressed by my precious Olinga, nor
do I ever dare to say "no" to what he says "yes." I love him from the very
depths of my heart and respect his feelings and thoughts.
But all the pioneers who have very often asked me as to the changing of their
posts I have invariably said, "no" and here are my humble reasons:
1. You are in Argentina about five to six years during which you have learned
the language, contacted many people, have made yourselves known to the people,
have established a business, etc.
2. You are just starting to have an Assembly.
3. Your new enrolled believers are not yet very strong to uphold the
4 The contacts who are just ready to declare may stop.
5. Should you go to utterly a new place, you must start the language over
again, make contacts, make yourselves known, find people to enroll, etc. What
does this mean? It means that you will lose the years you have spent in
Argentina and God knows whether you will gain them in Africa.
6. Bahá'u'lláh has always recommended patience. It is in the
pioneering post that we must have patience. Therefore remain in your post, try
your utmost to do more, establish some Assemblies and when you have enough,
spend some months in traveling in South America so much in need of
inspiration, encouragement and upliftment."
Ricardo and I were extremely grateful for Mr. Faizí's comments.
However, because of health matters, we had to leave our post; not to pioneer
somewhere else, but instead to return to the States. However, happily, Mendoza
formed its first Assembly, and there are now a number of Bahá'í
communities surrounding Mendoza, the capital of that province. The
Bahá'ís there are devoted and very active in teaching the
After our return to the states, we settled in Beverly Hills, California. A
letter dated April 1971 contained some pertinent comments about pioneering.
Now I have especially come to the House of the beloved Master and in a room
adjacent to His room, and try to write and finish this note.
I wish both of you a very happy and blessed Feast and that whatever is planned
for you will give you greater chance and wider scope to render more services to
the Cause you love so much and which you support so courageously.
As to your pioneering possibilities, I would like to mention the following
points. I hope that these will serve as stepping stones for your future move
1. I always pray that the pioneers will have the means to stay in their
pioneering posts. During the many years, they learn about habits, customs,
rituals, background and the history of the inhabitants of a certain country.
They learn their language, then they come to know people, find friends and
contacts and people come to know them. When all these are gained, they must go
to another place and start the same spiritual exercises over again. This is
indeed a 1oss of money, time and energy. Meanwhile, the pioneers grow in age
and do not have the enthusiasm, energy and patience of their first years of
2. The pioneers must have patience and remain sure that the seeds they sow
will surely spout and grow in due time.
3. The pioneers must know that the response of people of the world is not the
same throughout the world. For example when we hear that some thousands have
embraced the Faith in India, we must not expect the same should happen in
Germany. Some times the poor pioneers are judged on this basis. They are even
told, 'Look thousands in India and only fifteen in your pioneering post!'
This darkens the vision of our pioneers and deadens their souls. Some have
returned home because of such a wrong approach.
Whatever happens, I believe that the pioneers must stick to their posts.
These are my personal opinions and express the same in general to anyone who
Now, in your case, you are back home because of reasons and forces beyond your
control. Now that you are getting ready to go to another place for the same
purpose, I believe if all possibilities are the same, you must
chose again one of the Spanish- speaking countries. By living more than ten
years amongst them, you know how to approach them, talk to them, etc But if
you are asked to go to Africa, please be sure to chose an English-speaking
country. Whatever is in my heart to safeguard your energy, power, capacities
and possibilities were expressed here in the most prayerful mood
Before going home, I stand at the door of the Master Room and offer ample
prayers for your protection, success and everlasting happiness. Be always sure
and happy Have absolute reliance in God. Prepare yourselves for another
jump and keep the beloved Guardian's words and wishes as your guiding stars.
Excuse the delay in writing Pardon the speed with which this is written.
Overlook the irregularities, but always have in mind that each word is written
in `Abdu'l-Bahá's House and very near to His Room. I stood at the door
and prayed for you and some other friends. I feel sure and confident that you
feel the warmth of these prayers and wi11 get the response in planning your
precious life togther in the service of our beloved Faith. You are always my
dear daughter and I wish you every joy, blessing, confirmation and success.
The next letter was dated May 19, 1971:
I have a long program to go through Here is a resume. Persia for two months,
Italy one month, Europe two months, return to the Holy Land, get ready for
India and the Far East and then Australia and New Zealand. This much I know.
The rest must be planned after further consultation. I need your prayers.
We just visited the Shrine and prayed for the success of all the Oceanic
Conferences. So far the news is excellent. Most of the news is more than
expected. Last year at this time I was in Fiji and all the friends were
desperate. `How can we manage to hold the Conference there?' Now we received
the news that the Conference has been very successful. It augurs a great future
for the friends of the Pacific. Where the Christian missionaries have failed
after a hundred years, the Faith is growing rapidly. All forces help. Dreams,
conversations, hardships, disappointments, the love of the pioneers are all
channels through which the people find their way to God. All the forces
standing against the steady flow of the Cause of God are giving way. Like
unto a gigantic dam, the Cause will be set free and it will flow to cover the
whole earth. The Plan prescribed by the Guardian is unfolded day by day. He
said that the people are few, afterwards group by group;. but the time will
come when they will enter en mass. It means our numerical and other resources
will be one thousand fold. If, for example, we have an isolated believer, the
time will come when that one Bahá'í will be surrounded by a
thousand Bahá'ís. It is incredible, but it will be so. It is
with this hope and assurance that the friends must rise, teach disperse,
travel, speak and live the Bahá'í life.
His next communication was postmarked Teheran on June 8, 1971. Then an entire
year passed without a letter until one arrived dated June 6, 1972, from
somewhere in Germany. I had written to him in care of the National Spiritual
Assembly of Hawaii, which was then forwarded to him in Haifa, and then to
Enclosed you will find the cover of your envelope
to see how many countries it has crossed to eventually bring me the joy your
letters always impart.
Now I am in a sanatorium hoping to regain my strength to resume my trips. Now
I have your address and telephone number and will surely write to you when I
arrive in the U.S. I feel much better. It is my heart which is exhausted due
to over-accumulated fatigue.
Now I sleep better and have had enough rest. Therefore I hope and pray that I
will be permitted by the House and doctors to travel. It is my life to give
my life to the beloved friends. No one knows how much the friends mean to
me! Each is a breeze of mercy and drop of the martyr's blood that
resuscitates. In twenty days my fate will be known.
Please pray, dearest Shirley, [that] I have not so much wasted my time in
I have written something and I hope you will soon have them. The
Bahá'í Publishing Trust of India has undertaken to issue uniform
pamphlets containing the following my me:
and some others which will be combined with the above titles. At present I am
finishing Lest We Would Forget, which is a very brief story of the Cause
in India and highlights of the early believers' biographies are indeed very
interesting. If the friends from that part order enough of these pamphlets,
they will be able to go on with other publications; and if not, perhaps they
will be detained because of the lack of funds. The Indian friends are very
- The Wonder Lamp. It is from one of the talks of our brother Bill
Sears simplified by me in the form of a story.
- The Flame of Fire on Ahmad who received the famous Tablet.
- Explanation of the Greatest Name.
- Narcissus to `Akká.
- The Palm of Victory.
I have used a part of your envelope to write a Persian poem for you which says,
"Love is an endless ocean."
The next letter was dated July 21, 1972, postmarked Hamburg, where he advised
he was at the Bahá'í Summer School in Germany. He says that he
had spoken about one hour the night before and that nothing happened to his
heart. He goes on:
Had it not been for the prayers of you and my dear ones such as your good and
noble self, I would not be able to be here and give lessons. Words fail me to
express my deep thanks and gratitude to you for your very prompt spiritual
sustenance contained in your beautiful messages--especially the last one which
brought me the lines written by your precious husband, my spiritual
There is definitely a great awakening in Germany and Europe altogether. The
U.S. teams who have come, hand in hand with the German teams, go to all goals
and already have won many victories.
There will be two great conferences: Padua, Italy and Plin , Germany
respectively. All arrangements are in the hands of the youth. I will attend
both conferences; and after that I will see if my health allows me to go on
touring Europe or elsewhere.
Wherever I am or will be, my joy and spiritual strength is from thinking of and
praying for the beloved friends. I hope that though deprived from seeing their
beautiful faces and beholding them laboring in the fields of teaching, I will
receive the news of their victories on all fronts. I also pray that they will
feel the warmth of my prayers and my arms holding them.
Again from Hamburg, on August 29, 1972, he writes:
When I think of the hardships inflicted upon the early pioneers and teachers, I
do not dare to complain of my illness. It is apparently the gradual failure of
heart; and though bitter and disappointing in some respects, in its essence it
is a bounty which brings me closer to our Lord for more help and assistance.
When I am invited to give a lecture or a lesson, you can't imagine how strongly
I cling to His Hem and ask Him, `Confirm me. Guide me. Inspire me, ` and when
the talk is over, I feel released and happy.
The two conferences of Padua and Plin were unprecedented in their glory, impact
and results. The beloved Guardian used to always say, `Have they tried? Let
them try. Then they will behold the glorious manifestation of power,
inspiration and guidance.'
Your cards, letters and enclosures are food of my soul which reach me in due
time. I am so exhausted that I really drag myself, but at these opportune
moments your sweet love touches me like the rod of a magician and changes me
into a vigorous person again. It is due to you that today I write and prepare
myself for tonight's meeting from 7 to 10 p.m.
On October 10, 1972, from London, he writes:
At present I have two deepening classes each week, and I thoroughly enjoy each
one of them. I speak about one hour and the audience asks questions for one
hour. When I return home, I feel light, elated and happy.
The duration of my sojourn in this country will be 2 months being completed on
the 15 of November, after which I will visit as many countries in Europe as my
health will allow me. I hope and pray that nothing will deprive me from this
little bit of service.
In London I am living with my son, his wife and his daughter, 24, 20 and 1 year
old respectively, and my son works as a manager for me. He makes and arranges
all the classes.
I hope that I will be able to finish some of the historical pamphlets that I
have started. Perhaps in this way I will be of some little service to my dear
In December 1972, Ricardo and I moved to Wilmette, Illinois, where I served as
one of the coordinators for the National Teaching Committee. A letter from
beloved Mr. Faizí, dated January 1, 1973, from Copenhagen, was forwarded
to me at the National Bahá'í Center. He continues relating
events from his European sojourn:
On this particular day I send you my love and assurance of ardent
supplications. I pray that every day will be adorned with great devotional
servitude to His great Cause.
I remained almost three months in England where I regularly received your very
beautiful cards and the most precious spiritual messages every word of which
sat deep in my heart and brought comfort to me. Because of such tender love, I
am on the move again.
It is now two weeks that I have left London for the Continent. Holland and
Denmark made me very happy. The friends are united and very active. There are
new faces, new Bahá'í Centers and groups and above all a new
spirit of devotion and dedication.
The mysterious forces of the Cause operate in all tender hearts and ready
souls. A man who had dreamt of the Master fourteen years ago now sees the
portrait and immediately accepts.
A young man who came to possess a house by inheritance offered the top story
with all the furniture, large hall, etc., to be used as a Bahá'í
Center of one of the towns.
I mean such tokens of devotion, attraction to the Cause and sacrificial
services demonstrate that humanity is marching and advancing towards the source
of light, love and eternal life. I am sure that you have the same experiences
in your part of the world.
The beloved friends should know that the Bahá'í Faith is the
Faith of moderation, joy and hope. You read the books about the world
situation and you find all sad, despondent and gloomy picture of the future.
But in the Faith, we have the most beautiful panorama of what is in store for
us. The West will fall in love with the East. From all parts of the world we
will hear the cry of `Yes, my Lord, I am coming.' This handful of dust will
become the mirror of the Kingdom of God. All problems and unsurmountable
difficulties will be solved by the divine love and divine ways of
It is a beautiful day in which we live and we witness the first rays of the sun
of unity penetrating the clouds. Ere long the sunshine of the oneness will
cover all parts of the world. Then no voice will be raised to heavens except
in the praise of this Glorious Cause.
The next note was dated March 7, 1973, during the Fast. It is a short note, but
as always, full of love and his tender spirit:
In these beautiful days, every hour of which is blessed with special potency
and the best moments are given to His lovers, more than any other day, I think
of and pray for my dear ones, and wish them the best in these days and in the
coming Naw-Rúz and Ridván.
I need your prayers too, because by the last week of April I will start a long
tour which will take me to the Conference in Hawaii and then to Canada and
Europe. I dread the failure because of my poor health. I start this trip
totally depending upon the prayers of my dear ones and I feel sure that they
will not fail me.
Ar Ridván 1973, he writes:
It had been indeed very kind of both of you to have sent such a loving message
to me which I received at the most opportune time. Every word sat deep in my
heart and the whole loving letter seemed to be the fresh breeze of the early
mornings in the spring season of Shiráz. Lest I would be
entangled with the many tasks ahead, I would like to send you this note, though
hurriedly written... .1 am extremely happy that you are at this work: The
To be there or not is not in my hands. I cannot and will never say, `I would
like to be here or there.' The administrative order must suggest and the
Universal House of Justice must decree. I hope that which is the desire of God
will be manifested.
Have you heard the tape I sent about the Book of Aqdas? I do not know what is
the reactions or response of the friends.
From Haifa, July 14, 1973:
It is long since I wrote to you last; but both of you are always in my heart
and prayers. The reasons of this delay is the spiritual storm of the
International Convention, the waves of which are still covering us. I struggle
against the heaps of things that I must do day by day and get ready for a short
tour of about four months in Europe. I hope that you understanding and also
feel the warmth of my feelings and my prayers.
November 22, 1973:
It is long since I wrote you last. The reason was not that I forgot you and
your dear husband. You are always in my heart, thoughts and particularly
During the last months I was busy finishing three manuscripts which, I hope,
when published will make the believers happy. They will be published in India,
and I hope soon.
You need not be worried about us here. The servants of His Threshold regularly
attend to their work. Not even a minute delay occurred in our meetings. The
Universal House of Justice prays for all mankind. We hope that soon man will
emerge from the age of childhood and enter the stage of maturity when man will
see the whole world as one unit, all leaves of one branch and fruits of one
January 10, 1974:
Dearly loved friends, you are very busy and you do not realize that you have
left me uninformed for a very long time. But my prayers for both of you are
continued. I hope that your silence is only due to the fact that you are over
occupied in that very active Center.
The beloved friends will become very happy when they receive the Five Year Plan
of the Universal House of Justice. Young and old will find in it great and
important roles to play. We supplicate that all will avail themselves of these
Please tell me how you are. Prayerfully, Faizí.
Then on January 29, 1974, he writes:
Now I need your prayers more than ever before. Within three months I must
start a tour which will take me to South and Central America, California,
Hawaii, Canada and Europe. I need much prayer. I am afraid that my health
will not allow me to render the services the friends expect [of] me. how I
long to reach Wilmette and meet you, but in South America I will think of you
very much. How much more in Central America where I first met you.
Please tell me if you have seen the following pamphlets published by the Indian
Trust: Flame of Fire, Wonder Lamp, Symbol of the Greatest Name, Narcissus
to `Accá, [and] Our Precious Trusts. These are my pamphlets
published in India. I wanted very much to send you and other friends copies.
12 Bahá131 (April 1, 1974):
Many thanks for your inspiring letter and consoling words. I need every ounce
of such spiritual tonic. The way is too long and my health is not dependable. I
go the same road of 1963 when I met you in that small office of yours where our
friendship started and you became my daughter. I have to go the same path with
less energy and more hope. But I know what miracles prayer can perform! I
will reach U.S. but only California. Then Hawaii and afterwards Canada.
Today I had a letter from Japan. They tell me that there is a new spirit in
the country. At least one enrollment every day, and what precious souls! It
is after the release of the Five Year Plan. It has started its miraculous
effects even before being read to the friends.
We will have wonderful years ahead of us when we will see the glory, the quick
advancement and the profound foundation of our dear Cause.
The other day I received an article written in the University Magazine of
Bombay. A student asked the professor of English Literature who are the best
prose writers of the 20th century. The professor sighs and says, `You do not
know him. The world does not know him yet. He is the writer of God Passes
By. Such statements are the first signs of the glorious day of
recognition. All must hand in hand try to advance the Dawn of this very
wonderful Day of God.
At this time the staff at the National Bahá'í Center in Wilmette
was working hard in preparation for the St. Louis Conference to launch of the
Five Year Plan in the United States. One day while at my desk at the National
Center, I received a telephone call from Mr Faizí who was in
California and who told me that he would be in Toronto, close to Wilmette, was
thinking of stopping by for a short visit and asked whether I arrange to get
him a hotel room. When he arrived in Wilmette, he called me to invite me for
tea at the hotel coffee shop. We spent about two hours conversing. During
the conversation, I asked him whether he would be able to join us in St. Louis
for the conference. He said that he could not do anything without the express
wish of the Universal House of Justice, and that since beloved Rúhiyyih
ánum was representing the World Centre, he felt it would be
improper of him to go without the invitation of the House of Justice.
When I returned to the office, I spoke to Charlotte Linfoot, a member of the
National Spiritual Assembly, and told her about Mr. Faizí's comments in
response to my question about his attending the St. Louis Conference. She then
arranged for a cable to be sent to the Universal House of Justice, requesting
Mr. Faizí's presence at the conference. A response was received almost
immediately from the House of Justice, with a request that Mr. Faizí
attend the Conference in St. Louis.
The Conference was blessed with the presence of five Hands of the Cause:
ánum, Zikru'lláh Khadem, John
Robarts , William Sears, and beloved Mr. Faizí. However he was tired
and weak from his arduous travels. During one of the programs while sitting on
the stage with his fellow-Hands, he became faint and had to leave to lie down
back stage. His. recuperative powers were, however remarkable, because later
that evening I visited with him at his hotel, and although still weak, he was
feeling much better.
At one point I asked him how he managed to keep up with his overwhelming and
vast correspondence with the friends all over the world. He told me that the
beloved Guardian was his example, that Shoghi Effendi answered (or had someone
answer on his behalf) every letter he received and that he, Mr. Faizí,
could do no less. He also presented me with a most beautiful amethyst stone
which I treasure to this day. (I later had the Greatest Name engraved on it
and wear it on a chain around my neck.).
The next letter was from Haifa dated February 1975. Ricardo and I had recently
returned from service at the National Center in Wilmette and were again in
California. Mr. Faizí writes:
Enclosed you will find the beautiful portrait of the Greatest Leaf painted by
Mr. M. Ahdiyyih. When you come on pilgrimage in June you will meet him at the
door of the Shrines where he and his wife serve. I wait some more months for
your arrival. I believe I will be here.
It is very kind of your dear husband to have accepted my humble gift with so
much love and grace. (He had sent through Wendy Ayoub a lovely wallet for
Ricardo.) Please pray for me. I am like a motor car which must be taken to a
garage for all sorts of repairs and adjustments.
May 26, 1975, from Haifa:
I have only about one month before starting for the nine summer schools of
Europe. I have to finish a long pamphlet in Persian about the Covenant of God
in all ages. I have fifty pages ready, but still thirty pages should be
finished. At such moments the receipt of your message with so much love and
encouraging words worked on me as a true spiritual tonic. Thank you very much.
You are always in my prayers and hope your desire to serve
Bahá'u'lláh in a wider field will be fulfilled.
Tomorrow night we commemorate the passing of Bahá'u'lláh in
Bahjí. Your dear names are already on the list. I remember you there
and will have special prayers for you. I hope that you will feel the warmth
with which I supplicate in your very dear names. Be sure that He will assist
you in every line of teaching.
In late 1975, although still in California, we moved to Santa Monica near Los
Angeles. Mr. Faizí wrote to us on August 9, 1976, from Haifa:
I am in the midst of preparation for a long tour in the Pacific. The
excitement is simply too much. New Zealand is the aim where I should represent
the Supreme Body. It is too much for my health, but I feel absolutely sure
that the Concourse on High will keep me on the straight path. More than twenty
deepening lessons are being prepared which will be used in the many islands of
The news of the ill health of your dear husband broke my heart. He is
surrounded by many prayers.
Have you heard the news of the Paris Conference? The news is simply awe
inspiring. More than 6,000 friends had been gathered. World dignitaries had
sent messages. The details will be announced and the beloved friends will be
active more than ever.
This is indeed the Day when the beloved ones of God must decide to add to the
amount of time, money and energy to be contributed for the advancement of the
Cause which is the sole and only shelter for mankind facing dangers from six
The next letter was dated September 19, 1977:
Your dear letter reached me today. It brought me much joy and assurance that I
am not forgotten by my dear ones. Your epistle, though short, brought me much
(1) Your near future pilgrimage and (2) dear Ricardo is well and can cooperate
with you in all your valuable services to the Cause which both of you love so
dearly, support so valiantly and uphold with all your God given talents, powers
This is the greatest of all the bounties of God. Everything in this transient
life is doomed to vanish except the humble efforts which we exert with the sole
aim and purpose of elevating the beloved Faith that we have embraced. This is
eternal. This will be our passwords to the presence of our beloved Master. I
feel sure and certain that both of you cooperate firmly together in the various
fields where the Faith of God is propagated. I pray for you and I hope that
you will enjoy good health and prosperity.
Please be so kind to convey my love to the friends whom I miss. I long to see
them; but I must gratify this desire by having them in my heart, praying for
them and receiving their wonderful news. With much thrill I await your arrival
to the Holy Land. Most lovingly, Faizí.
In February 1978, Ricardo and I were at last able to go on pilgrimage to the
World Centre where we joyfully spent some brief moments with beloved
Faizí. Those days for each pilgrim are so special and filled with so
much joy and exaltation of the spirit, yet I remember that each time I saw Mr.
Faizí, there was such an aura around him; he radiated such light that I
felt that I was really in the presence of a saint. He obviously was not well
then, but each time he came to the Pilgrim House, he attracted the friends as
moths to flame. He would be sitting quietly speaking to someone, and suddenly,
he would be surrounded by the other friends who were irresistibly drawn to him.
I remember an evening at the Pilgrim House when one of the members of the
Universal House of Justice was speaking to the friends (I believe it was
javaní), Mr. Faizí walked in. Immediately
javaní relinquished his seat to Mr. Faizí and
asked him to take his place and talk to the friends. I had a few moments alone
with Mr. Faizí, but was content to be in his presence and be surrounded
by his loving kindness.
Back home after our glorious pilgrimage, the following letter was received:
Fasting Days 134 [postmarked March 5, 1978]:
My very precious friends. It is one week since you departed, but I still have
the perfume of your presence and feel the loving care of both of you. Though
the weather has become milder, I can't separate the pull-over you gave me.
This is particularly true when I am at my desk to write. It keeps me warm,
gives special vigor to my aching heart and sustains my fingers to go on and
Now it is the season of love. Bahá'u'lláh has given us abundant
share of His love; therefore we must always immerse in the oceans of love.
`Abdu'l-Bahá says that if the friends do not have a share of this love,
[they] will have no share of Bahá. It is indeed the remedy of all our
ailments and the strongest sustainer of the human temple.
The beautiful days between Naw-Rúz and Ridván are so glorious
that one feels resuscitated. That is the main reason that I write to you
during these most refreshing hours of the year.
At Naw-Rúz, the sun rises in its vernal equinox and at Ridván,
the Sun of Truth rises with all divine splendour. How deeply we must be happy
and grateful! In the world, the great majority of which do not desire to open
their eyes to behold the majesty of the Sun of Truth, God, in His supreme love,
has allowed us to behold the beauty of His Supreme Manifestation! This indeed
is the most bountiful gift which we have received from our Creator. Thus we
must try to awaken others, help them to open their eyes and invite them to
enter the pavilion of His glory and mercy. What a wonderful duty given to us
by our Lord!
Whenever I pass by the surrounding areas of the Shrines, I invariably remember
my dear ones and supplicate the Lord to keep you all safe and sound, confirmed
with unprecedented blessings, empower you to utter words which will quicken the
human souls, to grant you that attraction which will draw many lost souls nigh
to their Creator and bless both of you with infinite love which you can share
The warmth of your love, tender affections and your deep faith in our Lord,
give me the supreme hope that you will convert the lives of many!
How I long to visit the shape where the Supreme Name is its destination. [Mr.
Faizí had gifted me with a pin with a rendering of the Greatest Name.]
I would like to be near both of you and accompanied by you go and visit our
dear and mutual friends such as Wendy Ayoub. Have you given her my love and
sincere salutations? Have you any news from our dear Beth McKinty? I hope and
pray that she is in the best of health and serves the Cause she loves so
tenderly. With all her charm and dynamic love.
You are always (I mean all of you) with me, present in my prayers, near me in
the precincts of the Shrines, so much so that I often feel the touch of your
hands on my shoulder, pushing me to go on, though the burden is too heavy!
As to my writings, I continue despite all the impediments. Here is the most
needed help: Your heartfelt prayers! As to sending parts and parcels of the
manuscript, this is a problem which needs much thought. I do not very much
trust the postage. Because I write the stories by pen, I have no extra copy.
I mean that I have only one copy and if a part of it is lost I will be in
trouble. At present I pour out and write the chapters as quickly as my fingers
can perform. When I polish the whole manuscript and get it ready, I will think
this over and will write to you and Beth. Meanwhile I wish you all the best.
There was no letter from Mr. Faizí for almost a year, then one dated
February 28, 1979, arrived:
Many heartfelt thanks for your beautiful letter, every word of which sat deep
in my heart. How very kind indeed of both of you to remember the one who loves
you and will never forget you.
Last year was a full-time teaching tour for me. After that year I had not yet
been permitted to make another trip. My health is somewhat jeopardized, hence
no more outings.
Here I am often at home preparing pamphlets, books, etc. I hope and pray that
in the future you will receive and read them. But the most important token of
my love for my precious friends is the prayer which I offer in their dear
names. I love you as ever and I pray that you enjoy health, comfort and
opportunities to serve the Cause which you love so much.
Undated, but postmarked March 6, 1979:
The Feast of Naw-Rúz is fast approaching and I think of my dear ones and
wish each and all a season full of the spirit of the spring season. I hope and
pray that you are happy and busy in the teaching in which your heart is always
happy and joyful.
As mankind is day by day going deeper and deeper into all devilish acts of
making more brutal battles and wars, we must prepare more plans to save mankind
from the cruel clutches of circumstances. The promises of the Master and the
Guardian are very plain. As man is encircled by all satanic armaments of
killing and destruction, he will be at the same time hastening to find shelter
only in the mercy of God. This is a ripe situation for the friends to convey
to the thirsty souls the life giving message of Bahá'u'lláh.
When the beloved Guardian started to acquaint the pilgrims with the depths of
man's misery in the midst of wars when the cities will be on fire, some of the
listeners became victims of sorrow. At this moment the Guardian would usually
say, `I would like you to be happy.' When the world reaches the very depths of
miseries of wars, etc., man will open his eyes to the horizon full of the
effulgence of the new Day when they will agree to stop the devilish wars. We,
as Bahá'ís must be more than ever before ready to spread the
message. This is the time for every adherent to open his or her mouth and
refresh the minds of the contacts with the glad tidings.
From a letter dated August 29, 1979:
I feel much better than in the months ago. I seemed to be exhausted. I could
not endure being at my desk. After every hour I had to go to my bed and rest
for fifteen minutes. I feel much better than the past months and I feel very
grateful for your devotional supplications which seem to cover me and helped me
to get rid of the fatigue and pain in my back, ankles and the exhaustion which
was the most painful. Words fail me to express my thanks and gratitude to you
and other friends who remember me in their supplications. Well done, my sweet
and beautiful co-worker.
You will be glad to know that Bahá'u'lláh has already compensated
me. Years ago I translated one of the very beautiful books written by one of
the disciples of the beloved Master. The greatest part of his life he had been
in the worst prisons of the world. In the end of his life, the beloved Master
wanted him to live in Haifa. While in His presence, he complained abut the pain
in his eyes. `Abdu'l-Bahá advised him to write every day some accounts
of his life. He did so and gradually this book was finished. I hope and pray
that the American publications will have this book at the disposal of the
beloved friends of the world.
The book to which he refers is Stories from the Delight of Hearts
(Kalimat Press, 1980), which is a translation by Mr. Faizí of
Hájí Mírzá Haydar-`Alí's memoirs.
The last written communication I received from my dear friend and helper was a
short note postmarked Haifa, August 3, 1980, a few short months before his
precious self was transported to the Abhá Kingdom. (It must be noted
that the results of his illness were apparent in his handwriting. It must have
been very difficult for him to use the pen at that time.):
Your dear letter, after a very long time, reached me, gladdened my heart, gave
me assurance of your safe and sound condition and your services to the Cause
you adore with all your heart and soul. Well done! Bravo! Keep on and yours
will be the immeasurable bounties of Bahá'u'lláh. I continue
praying for you and your near ones. I am yours ever in His love.