July 22, 1912: The Week Ahead 1
TODAY IS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S LAST DAY IN NEW YORK. Tomorrow morning he will leave for Boston and then he will spend three weeks in the lush countryside of Dublin, New Hampshire. He delayed his trip until tomorrow so that he could meet Prince Muhammad-‘Alí Páshá, the brother of Egypt’s ruler, who came to visit him today. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá won’t be back in New York until November.
In the week ahead, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visits Boston, and on Thursday the quirky inhabitants of Dublin, New Hampshire, awaken to find ‘Abdu’l-Bahá among them.
New York City 2
As He was preparing to depart for Boston and New Hampshire on July 22, the brother of the Khedive of Egypt, Prince Muhammad-‘Álí Páshá, arrived in the city. Abdu’l-Bahá visited him twice, and he returned the visits. The Prince later published in Egypt an account of his travels which referred to his meeting with Abdu’l-Bahá. He described Abdu’l-Bahá’s “vast sagacity and infinite intelligence” and “His vast experience and wide knowledge” and concluded by saying, “He made me happy by His delightful talks.”
Monday, July 22, 1912 3
At the morning gathering of the friends one asked about the longevity of life in ancient times. The Master replied:
“Some think that is a third motion of the earth which is the cause of the length or shortness of life. This motion, they say, is different from the diurnal and annual motions and is the cause of change in the condition of the globe. But the long lives mentioned in certain books and narratives have a different basis. For instance, it was a custom in former times to mention a dynasty or family by the name of one person only. However, the people in the following ages thought that the length of time that a family survived was the length of the life of that family’s founder.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá had planned to leave for Boston and Dublin today but because of the arrival of the brother of the Khedive of Egypt, the great Amír, Prince Muhammad-‘Alí Páshá, the Master’s departure was delayed. The Master paid him a visit which was returned by the prince. On each visit this eminent, enlightened man received the utmost love and showed great interest. When the prince returned to Egypt he published an account of his journey, describing his visit with the Master, which is available everywhere in Egypt and elsewhere. On page 414 of his account he describes his visit with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:
“Monday morning, July 22. I was informed that His excellency, the venerable oriental sage, ‘Abbás Effendi, the head of the Bahá’í Movement, wished to see me. I therefore set 3:00 p.m. today for a conversation with him. ‘Abbás Effendi arrived at the appointed hour. I received him with respect and regard for his reverence and honor.
“Age has not altered his extraordinary sagacity and infinite intelligence. He stayed with me for an hour and conversed on diverse subjects of great importance and usefulness, which amply testified to his vast knowledge and wide experience. Truly, he is a man of science and knowledge and is one of the exalted personages of the East. We paid ‘Abbás Effendi a return visit. He was living in a small but well-furnished house. Everything to insure his comfort was available. He had a suite of ten persons with him wearing Persian kuláhs on their heads. From this orderly and well-organized reception, I understood that this revered personage, because of the weakness of the Americans, had brought such a large number of Persians with him so that he might draw attention to himself. I do not mean this to lower the dignity of this great man, nay, on the other hand, it shows his great intelligence and indicates his vast knowledge of the way by which he may impress the minds of the people so they may turn towards him. His numerous, most impressive speeches have found a wide circulation in America. Indeed, the newspapers and periodicals are still publishing them with commentaries by the learned men of their religion. His influence has reached to such a prominence that bigoted and jealous people are protesting vigorously against him. I stayed with him for a long time and we talked with each other on various subjects. He made me happy by his delightful talks. I departed from his presence with his love and reverence preserved in my heart.”
From such writings those with perception can see that although the Khedive’s brother was not a Bahá’í, he was drawn to and affected by the Master. His words are a brilliant testimony to the effectiveness of the Master’s talks, the impressiveness of His addresses and the vigour with which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá promulgates the teachings of God.
Talk at All Souls Unitarian Church, Fourth Avenue and Twentieth Street, New York, 14 July 1912 4
O my God! O my God! Verily, I invoke Thee and supplicate before Thy threshold, asking Thee that all Thy mercies may descend upon these souls. Specialize them for Thy favor and Thy truth.
O Lord! Unite and bind together the hearts, join in accord all the souls, and exhilarate the spirits through the signs of Thy sanctity and oneness. O Lord! Make these faces radiant through the light of Thy oneness. Strengthen the loins of Thy servants in the service of Thy kingdom.
O Lord, Thou possessor of infinite mercy! O Lord of forgiveness and pardon! Forgive our sins, pardon our shortcomings, and cause us to turn to the kingdom of Thy clemency, invoking the kingdom of might and power, humble at Thy shrine and submissive before the glory of Thine evidences.
O Lord God! Make us as waves of the sea, as flowers of the garden, united, agreed through the bounties of Thy love. O Lord! Dilate the breasts through the signs of Thy oneness, and make all mankind as stars shining from the same height of glory, as perfect fruits growing upon Thy tree of life.
Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Self-Subsistent, the Giver, the Forgiving, the Pardoner, the Omniscient, the One Creator.
’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny
Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America
Curated by Anne Perry
- Menon, Jonathan. “July 22, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 22 July 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/07/22/july-22-1912-the-week-ahead/. ↩
- Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 116. ↩
- ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. 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=5#section120 ↩
- 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, 235. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#898388559 ↩