239 Days in America, Day 9: April 19, 1912 | New York, NY

“Isn’t that the Woman of It?” 1

‘Abdu’l-Bahá opened his eyes again: “I am going to the poor in the Bowery now,” he told her. “I love them.” He invited Kate Carew to come along.

“There was another gasp of surprise at the Bowery Mission as, still hand in hand—he just wouldn’t let me go—the Baha and I trotted through a lane composed of several score of the society’s members. A few of the young ladies had their arms filled with flowers, which afterward filled the automobile. Some four hundred men were present, belonging to the mission.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to the homeless men for about twenty minutes. Jesus Christ was also homeless, he told them. “You are His comrades, for He outwardly was poor, not rich. Even this earth’s happiness does not depend upon wealth.”

“You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached.”

“Therefore,” he said, “we will thank God that we have been so blessed with real riches. In conclusion, I ask you to accept ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as your servant.” 2

First Days in America: New York City 3

On Friday, April 19, ‘Abdul Baha spoke in Earl Hall at Columbia University, telling his audience, “it is our duty to put forth our greatest efforts and summon all our energies in order that the bonds of unity and accord may be established among mankind.” 4

That evening, Mahmúd noted, “most of the friends stayed longer in His presence” and they “continued coming until late in the night.” Because it was His last day in New York before leaving for Washington and Chicago the friends wanted to be with Him as long as possible.

Talk at Earl Hall, Columbia University, New York

God has created us all human, and all countries of the world are parts of the same globe. We are all His servants. He is kind and just to all. Why should we be unkind and unjust to each other? He provides for all. Why should we deprive one another? He protects and preserves all. Why should we kill our fellow creatures? If this warfare and strife be for the sake of religion, it is evident that it violates the spirit and basis of all religion. All the divine Manifestations have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity. The fundamental truth of the Manifestations is peace. This underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another. Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world. 5

Friday, April 19, 1912

It was the last day of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s stay in New York. From early morning until noon there were the usual comings and goings of numerous friends and believers at the Master’s hotel. In the evening a large meeting was arranged for the Master’s talk at Earl Hall at Columbia University. In addition to students and professors, there were many other interested people, as well as the Bahá’ís. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talk was most penetrating and dealt with the supernatural powers of human nature and the results achieved from education and knowledge, and gave an explanation of peace and so on. After the meeting, those who had already met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá brought other seekers to meet Him in another room. These meetings were so long that the professors’ plan to give the Master a tour of the university had to be abandoned.

From both the friends and inquirers was frequently heard the remark, ‘Oh, that this meeting would never end, for we do not want to leave Him.’

As it was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last night in the city, many believers remained longer than usual in His company. Each was a Majnún, enchanted with the beauty of the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant and attracted to the divine fragrances.

The friends continued to arrive until late at night. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá bade farewell to all and promised to be back among them when He returned. 6

  1. Menon, Jonathan. “”Isn’t That the Woman of It?”.” 239 Days in America, April 19, 2012. https://239days.com/2012/04/19/isnt-that-the-woman-of-it/.
  2. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 32-34.https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/2#141496815.
  3. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 36.
  4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 31. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/2#018105204.
  5. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 32. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/2#018105204.
  6. Mahmud-i-Zarqani, Mirza. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=2#section26

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