October 21, 1912: The Week Ahead 1
IN THE PAST WEEK, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited the Hearst estate in Pleasanton, California, where he spent three relaxing days in the company of Phoebe Hearst and her family. Then we traced the final days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s close friend Thornton Chase, and looked at the profound correspondence that passed between the two men over the years. We followed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, where Chase had recently been laid to rest, and watched as he knelt and kissed the stone.
In the week ahead: conflicting press coverage of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s trip to San Francisco; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addresses the Century Club of California, a prominent women’s organization; and he heads north to Sacramento, where he delivers two major public addresses, the second of which reiterates his fear that Europe is destined for war.
Abdu’l-Bahá left Los Angeles Monday evening, traveled all night, and arrived in San Francisco the next day.
Monday, October 21, 1912 3
From morning until noon all the rooms in the Master’s suite were filled with people. Even the corridor was filled. The Master moved among the crowd, sometimes in the rooms and sometimes in the corridor, instructing the assemblage in the divine teachings, persuading them to serve the cause of universal peace and encouraging them to develop divine virtues and heavenly perfections in themselves.
When the people were told the Master was leaving, they became saddened and expressed their deep sorrow. Some churches and clubs sent messages inviting the Master to prolong His stay and to speak before their audiences. He was unable to accept their invitations and responded: ‘I have no time, as I must return soon to the East. Nonetheless, I have great love and attachment for each one of you.’
With great eagerness, friends both old and new brought their children to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and to receive His blessings and protection.
As the time of departure grew near, the friends in Los Angeles were in a spiritual and prayerful mood. The Master spoke to them:
“Thank the Lord that you have attained His eternal favors and have been blessed with seeing eyes. All are blind but you are endowed with sight. All are earthly but you are heavenly. Although you live on earth, you soar high in heaven. It is my hope that day by day you will seek assistance and will rise to promote the Word of God. Go every year to visit the grave of Mr Chase on my behalf, for he was a sanctified soul; his station will be known later.
“I have come a long distance to see you; I have traveled 12,000 miles. Praise be to God that I have found you in spiritual joy and happiness. I pray that you may live under the care and protection of God and be assisted by Him in rendering greater service to His mighty Cause, so that each of you may become a fruit-bearing tree in the garden of His favor, full of freshness and life. May you acquire more bounties of the Kingdom and engage yourselves in guiding souls, so that Los Angeles may become a divine city and a center of the lights of the Kingdom. If the friends of God act according to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, they will succeed in guiding the people, will promote the unity of mankind and will strive for universal peace. Heavenly confirmations will descend upon them and they shall attain that station which is the desire of the holy ones and near ones.”
When the Master reached the railway station, it was learned that Mrs Goodall, without telling us, had secured pullman reservations for everyone. Although the Master had a comfortable berth in the train, He was so tired He could not sleep.
12 October 1912, Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 4
Today the Christians are believers in Moses, accept Him as a Prophet of God and praise Him most highly. The Muslims are, likewise, believers in Moses, accept the validity of His Prophethood, at the same time believing in Christ. Could it be said that the acceptance of Moses by the Christians and Muslims has been harmful and detrimental to those people? On the contrary, it has been beneficial to them, proving that they have been fair-minded and just. What harm could result to the Jewish people, then, if they in return should accept Christ and acknowledge the validity of the Prophethood of Muḥammad? By this acceptance and praiseworthy attitude the enmity and hatred which have afflicted mankind so many centuries would be dispelled, fanaticism and bloodshed pass away and the world be blessed by unity and agreement. Christians and Muslims believe and admit that Moses was the Interlocutor of God. Why do you not say that Christ was the Word of God? Why do you not speak these few words that will do away with all this difficulty? Then there will be no more hatred and fanaticism, no more warfare and bloodshed in the Land of Promise. Then there will be peace among you forever.
’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny
As the time of departure from Los Angeles grew near many people wanted to see the Master
Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America
Curated by Anne Perry
- Sockett, Robert. “October 21, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 21 Oct. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/10/21/october-21-1912-the-week-ahead/. ↩
- Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 169-170. ↩
- ’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=8#section212 ↩
- 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, 368. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#623647365 ↩