239 Days in America, Day 61: June 10, 1912 | Philadelphia

News, Insight, and Shredded Wheat 1

“FOR THE SUMMER DAYS,” the advertisement went, “when the appetite needs to be coddled with fresh fruits that nourish and strengthen without disturbing the digestion. There is nothing so deliciously satisfying as Shredded Wheat Biscuit With Strawberries and Cream.”

The ad ran on the front inside cover of the June, 1912, issue of the American Review of Reviews, a magazine edited by Albert Shaw. Every month, for twenty-five cents, Shaw offered his readers original stories, and summarized noteworthy articles from other news sources around the world, providing an editorial perspective on each subject. In the June issue, which was about 130 pages long, one of Shaw’s “Leading Articles of the Month” was about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Many daily newspapers had covered ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s first two months in America, but the popular magazines, which had a longer editorial schedule, only began to appear in June. The American Review’s story on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá — “Will Bahaism Unite All Religious Faiths?” — appeared on the 107th page of the issue. It reported on his 1911 trip to London, and began by quoting an English magazine, the Fortnightly Review:

Surely the dawn of a new day was heralded on that Sunday evening when the Archdeacon of Westminster walked hand in hand with Abdul Baha up the nave of St. John’s Church.

Monday, June 10, 1912

After prayers and meditations in the morning, the Master called us into His presence and requested that we chant some prayers. Later He was occupied managing His affairs. In the meeting with the friends today He spoke about differences that arise within religions after the ascension of their Founders, the Manifestations, to the heavenly abode. But the Blessed Beauty has shut the door on such differences and has referred all affairs to the House of Justice so that whatever the House of Justice commands, all must obey and submit to it. He said that if the Bahá’ís should become divided into two branches, each establishing a House of Justice of its own in opposition to the other, both would be false. Bahá’u’lláh wrote His Covenant with His own Pen and, prior to the establishment of the House of Justice, He appointed and confirmed the Center of the Covenant, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, directing that ‘whatever He does is correct’.

The Master spoke with great emotion at the meetings of the Bahá’ís, His exhortations accompanied by sighs of grief. His condition during this time was such as to cause great sadness.

In the afternoon He went to the house of the Persian Consul, Mr Topakyan. When He returned home, one of the friends questioned Him about the influence of dreams, saying that it has frequently occurred that two people from widely different places would call out to each other, recognizing each other’s voices in the state of sleep. The Master responded:

It is obvious that a very deep relationship exists between the spirit of man and the world of existence. It often happens that what we see in a dream comes to pass in wakefulness; indeed, even in wakefulness when the soul is unfettered, matters come to mind which later appear in visible form. This shows that between the reasoning power of man and that visible appearance there is a spiritual connection. Furthermore, the spirit of man has the power of discovering facts. When this power is realized, problems become easily resolved. Amusingly, while materialists are engaged in making discoveries concerning the strata of the earth, they are immersed in the very spiritual power whose potency and influence they deny. They also claim to forecast coming events.

Such discourses were frequently discussed in the Holy Presence. 2

New York, Philadelphia, New York 3

At 9:30 A.M., Monday, June 10, He [Abdu’l-Bahá ] addressed a group of fifty people at the home of Jesse Revell. Until His train left at 3:00 P.M. for New York, He conducted interviews at the Revells’ and at the Hotel Rittenhouse.

Talk at Baptist Temple, Broad and Berks Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 9 June 1912

Bahá’u’lláh has risen from the eastern horizon. Like the glory of the sun He has come into the world. He has reflected the reality of divine religion, dispelled the darkness of imitations, laid the foundation of new teachings and resuscitated the world. 4

The first teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the investigation of reality. Man must seek reality himself, forsaking imitations and adherence to mere hereditary forms. As the nations of the world are following imitations in lieu of truth and as imitations are many and various, differences of belief have been productive of strife and warfare. So long as these imitations remain, the oneness of the world of humanity is impossible. Therefore, we must investigate reality in order that by its light the clouds and darkness may be dispelled. Reality is one reality; it does not admit multiplicity or division. If the nations of the world investigate reality, they will agree and become united. Many people and sects in Persia have sought reality through the guidance and teaching of Bahá’u’lláh. They have become united and now live in a state of agreement and love; among them there is no longer the least trace of enmity and strife. 5

The second teaching of Bahá’u’lláh concerns the unity of mankind. All are the servants of God and members of one human family. God has created all, and all are His children. He rears, nourishes, provides for and is kind to all. Why should we be unjust and unkind? This is the policy of God, the lights of which have shone throughout the world. His sun bestows its effulgence unsparingly upon all; His clouds send down rain without distinction or favor; His breezes refresh the whole earth. It is evident that humankind without exception is sheltered beneath His mercy and protection. Some are imperfect; they must be perfected. The ignorant must be taught, the sick healed, the sleepers awakened. The child must not be oppressed or censured because it is undeveloped; it must be patiently trained. The sick must not be neglected because they are ailing; nay, rather, we must have compassion upon them and bring them healing. Briefly, the old conditions of animosity, bigotry and hatred between the religious systems must be dispelled and the new conditions of love, agreement and spiritual brotherhood be established among them. 6

The third teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is that religion must be the source of fellowship, the cause of unity and the nearness of God to man. If it rouses hatred and strife, it is evident that absence of religion is preferable and an irreligious man better than one who professes it. According to the divine Will and intention religion should be the cause of love and agreement, a bond to unify all mankind, for it is a message of peace and goodwill to man from God. 7

The fourth teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the agreement of religion and science. God has endowed man with intelligence and reason whereby he is required to determine the verity of questions and propositions. If religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards of science, they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is superstition. Unquestionably there must be agreement between true religion and science. If a question be found contrary to reason, faith and belief in it are impossible, and there is no outcome but wavering and vacillation. 8

[Fifth,] Bahá’u’lláh also taught that prejudices—whether religious, racial, patriotic or political—are destructive to the foundations of human development. Prejudices of any kind are the destroyers of human happiness and welfare. Until they are dispelled, the advancement of the world of humanity is not possible; yet racial, religious and national biases are observed everywhere. For thousands of years the world of humanity has been agitated and disturbed by prejudices. As long as it prevails, warfare, animosity and hatred will continue. Therefore, if we seek to establish peace, we must cast aside this obstacle; for otherwise, agreement and composure are not to be attained. 9

Sixth, Bahá’u’lláh set forth principles of guidance and teaching for economic readjustment. Regulations were revealed by Him which ensure the welfare of the commonwealth. As the rich man enjoys his life surrounded by ease and luxuries, so the poor man must, likewise, have a home and be provided with sustenance and comforts commensurate with his needs. This readjustment of the social economy is of the greatest importance inasmuch as it ensures the stability of the world of humanity; and until it is effected, happiness and prosperity are impossible. 10

Seventh, Bahá’u’lláh taught that an equal standard of human rights must be recognized and adopted. In the estimation of God all men are equal; there is no distinction or preferment for any soul in the dominion of His justice and equity. 11

Eighth, education is essential, and all standards of training and teaching throughout the world of mankind should be brought into conformity and agreement; a universal curriculum should be established, and the basis of ethics be the same. 12

Ninth, a universal language shall be adopted and be taught by all the schools and institutions of the world. A committee appointed by national bodies of learning shall select a suitable language to be used as a medium of international communication. All must acquire it. This is one of the great factors in the unification of man. 13

Tenth, Bahá’u’lláh emphasized and established the equality of man and woman. Sex is not particularized to humanity; it exists throughout the animate kingdoms but without distinction or preference. In the vegetable kingdom there is complete equality between male and female of species. Likewise, in the animal plane equality exists; all are under the protection of God. Is it becoming to man that he, the noblest of creatures, should observe and insist upon such distinction? Woman’s lack of progress and proficiency has been due to her need of equal education and opportunity. Had she been allowed this equality, there is no doubt she would be the counterpart of man in ability and capacity. The happiness of mankind will be realized when women and men coordinate and advance equally, for each is the complement and helpmeet of the other. 14

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

Mahmud: June 10 – Anointing a few believers with attar of rose in a park

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

June 10, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “News, Insight, and Shredded Wheat.” 239 Days in America, 11 June 2012, https://239days.com/2012/06/10/news-insight-and-shredded-wheat/.
  2. ’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=4#section78
  3. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 88.
  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, 180 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#157115028.
  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, 180 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#045961347.
  6. 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, 180-181 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#809417607.
  7. 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, 181 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#452783317.
  8. 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, 181 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#473669591.
  9. 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, 181 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#671180319.
  10. 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, 181-182 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#726278506.
  11. 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, 182 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#242057922.
  12. 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, 182 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#545900315.
  13. 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, 182 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#265879433.
  14. 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, 182 https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/13#793902064.