September 30, 2012

The very moving visit of the Master to the resting place of Thornton Chase

After prayer and meditation, the beloved Master, accompanied by several of the friends, went to Mr. Chase's grave. The tram stopped near the cemetery, which is located a few miles from the city. The Master alighted and walked towards the grave with dignified solemnity and serenity. He went directly to the grave site without asking directions from anyone. He praised the site and the lushness of the trees and grass. He stood there for a few minutes leaning against a nearby tree. He then stood near the grave of that distinguished man and spread over it bouquets of flowers, adorning that sanctified soil with such love and affection that bystanders were astonished. Facing in the direction of the Holy Land, the Master chanted Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet of Visitation. All stood in solemn reverence behind Him. After chanting the Tablet of Visitation, He recited a prayer in Arabic for the forgiveness of the departed soul. He then gave a short account of this faithful believer's services, steadfastness and forbearance. Before He left, He placed His forehead on the grave and kissed it. Tears flowed from the eyes of the believers as they bowed before that sacred spot, each one longing to attain to that sublime and exalted station. The spot became an abode of lovers. (Mahmud’s Diary, October 19, 1912)

September 25, 2012

Speakers at the Baha'i Youth Symposium and Baha'i friends, March 22, 1936, Los Angeles, California

Speakers at the Baha'i Youth Symposium and Baha'i friends, March 22, 1936, Los Angeles, California, USA (The Baha'i World 1936-1938)

September 20, 2012

Prayer ‘Abdu’l-Baha chanted before lunch at the request of the friends

He then went to lunch. At the request of those present at the table the Master chanted the following prayer:

He is God! Thou seest us, O my God, gathered around this table, praising Thy bounty, with our gaze set upon Thy Kingdom. O Lord! Send down upon us Thy heavenly food and confer upon us Thy blessing. Thou art verily the Bestower, the Merciful, the Compassionate. (Mahmud’s Diary, October 14, 1912, Pleasanton, California)

September 17, 2012

Prophets of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon

Among the Prophets was Abraham, who prohibited idolatry and was a herald of the oneness of God, consequently He was banished by the people from His native land.

Let us observe how religion became an impetus towards progress. Abraham founded a family which God did bless. Owing to its religious basis the Abrahamic house progressed. Through divine benediction, Prophets issued forth from His lineage. There appeared Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon. The Holy Land was ruled by them and a glorious civilization was established. All this was due to the religion which was founded. (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, excerpt from and a talk given at Temple Emmanu-El, San Francisco, California, October 12, 1912; Mahmud’s Diary)

September 15, 2012

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s conversation with the Mayor of Berkeley

October 7, 1912
San Francisco, California

Among those visiting the Master today was the Mayor of Berkeley. He questioned the Master about economic issues and received useful answers. In conclusion ‘Abdu'l-Bahá said:

We must strive until mankind achieves everlasting felicity. Laws are needed which can both preserve the ranks of individuals and secure peace and stability for them because society is like an army, which needs a general, captains, lieutenants and privates. Not all can be captains nor can all be soldiers. The grades of responsibility are essential and the differences of rank a necessity. Just as a family needs old and young, master and mistress, servants and attendants, likewise society needs organization and structure. However, all must be part of an order which will ensure that each lives in complete comfort within his own station. It should not be that the master lives in comfort while the servant is in pain; that is injustice. Similarly, it is impossible that all be either servants or masters; then there would be no order.

The mayor asked, `Will these things be realized soon?' The Master replied:

As these laws are in conformity with the demands of the time, they will unfailingly prevail, although they will be implemented gradually. Everything can be prevented or resisted except the demands of the time. The time is ripe for the governments to remedy these ills. Relief must be brought to the toiling masses. Otherwise, if these ills are allowed to become chronic, their cure will be difficult and they will precipitate a great revolution.

The Master then gave an account of the unity and self-sacrifice of the friends of the East and expounded on various aspects of the true economic laws, which He had written while in Dublin. The mayor was so impressed that he could not help expressing his sincere admiration. He then invited the Master to an important meeting to be held in the city that evening. Because this meeting had political aims as its objective, the Master tendered His apologies. (Mahmud's Diary)

September 10, 2012

List of the Báb’s Best-Known Works – identified by Shoghi Effendi in ‘The Dawn-Breakers’

1. The Persian Bayán
2. The Arabie Bayán
3. The Qayyúmu’l-Asmá
4. The Sahifatu’l-Haramayn
5. The Dalá’il-i-Sab‘ih
6. Commentary on the Súrih of Kawthar
7. Commentary on the Súrih of Va’l-‘Asr
8. The Kitáb-i-Asmá’
9. Sahifiy-i-Makhdhumíyyih
10. Sahifiy-i-Ja’faríyyih
11. Zíyárat-i-Sháh-’Abdu’l-’Azim

September 6, 2012

We can gain “an abundance of inspiration and manifold insights” by studying the “words uttered by 'Abdu'l-Baha during His travels, and the deeds He undertook with such consummate wisdom and love”

Over the next few years, Baha'is around the world will joyously call to mind the many episodes associated with 'Abdu'l-Baha's historic journey. But this anniversary is more than a time for commemoration. The words uttered by 'Abdu'l-Baha during His travels, and the deeds He undertook with such consummate wisdom and love, offer an abundance of inspiration and manifold insights from which the body of the believers can today draw, whether in their efforts
  • to embrace receptive souls,
  • to raise capacity for service,
  • to build local communities,
  • to strengthen institutions, or
  • to exploit opportunities emerging to engage in social action and
  • [to] contribute to public discourse.
We should, therefore, reflect not only upon what the Master achieved and set in motion but also on the work that remains undone to which He has summoned us. (The Universal House of Justice, message to the Baha’is of the World. 29 August 2010)