239 Days in America, Day 122: August 10, 1912 | Dublin

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Four 1

TODAY MARKS THE END of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s fourth month in America. We thought we’d take this opportunity to look back at some of the highlights of the past month.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá has now passed the halfway mark on his journey through America. We look forward to having you join us for the final four months. And please, join the conversation!

New Hampshire 2

At the close of a meeting on August 10, after He had shaken hands with the crowd of people, He went with the Persians to another room and said, “‘Come here, be seated. Mrs. Parsons has sent tea, sweets and some fruits for you. Eat and drink.’” With a twinkle in His eyes, He continued:

Oh! you are very badly off here! May God hear your complaint! Oh! you are in great trouble. To live in this manner, to dwell in such a house, to walk in such air, and to stay with such … respected friends is, of course, very hard for you. … See what I meant by the jest. What a wonderful table the Blessed Perfection has spread for His friends! Had kings come here they would have been served. But this favor and zeal of the friends would not have appeared for any one of them. These great men love you with heart and soul and serve you without any fear, hope, or expectation of reward. The poet has truly said that these things, namely, the demon, … the phoenix, … and the faithful friend are scarce. Yes, like the demon and the phoenix, the true friend is scarce. But under the shadow of the Word of God, the Blessed Beauty has produced such friends for you.

Saturday, August 10, 1912 3

In the morning the Master explained and illustrated some of the verses from Bahá’u’lláh for the friends who had come from the surrounding area to see Him. The explanations ended with the statement that contentment in poverty is better than happiness in wealth but happiness in poverty is more praiseworthy than mere contentment. Above all is the rich man who, having sacrificed, emerges pure from tests and trials and becomes the cause of tranquillity to mankind. Gratitude is the cause of multiple blessings but the apex of gratitude is sacrifice. The station of sacrifice is the highest of all. For this reason it is said, ‘You will never attain unto righteousness until ye sacrifice that which ye love.’ The Master then narrated a story:

“At the time of his death a king longed for the station of a poor man, saying, ‘Would that I were a poor man so that I would neither have practiced oppression nor have had any regrets at the time of death.’ A poor man heard this, and said, ‘Praise be to God that at the hour of death kings desire to be poor. We poor people at the hour of death have no desire to be kings.’”

Conversation of this kind continued for some time.

In the afternoon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed a meeting and spoke on the principles of the Cause, emphasizing universal peace among the nations. After the meeting a person in the audience said: ‘The Bahá’ís do not believe in any one person but believe in the good teachings of all the Prophets and religions.’ The implication of his statement was that believing in the Manifestation of God was of no consequence. But note the Master’s reply to this remark:

“The basic principles of all religions are the same and the Sun of Truth is one, yet every day it appears from a different dawning point. Hence, the Bahá’ís believe in the fundamental truth of all the religions and turn to the Sun of Truth. From whatever dawning point it may appear they turn toward it. At one time, it appeared from the dawning point of Moses, then from that of Jesus and again from that of Muhammad. But if all had looked only at the dawning points, they would have remained veiled like the Jews when the Sun of Truth appeared from another place. Today the Bahá’ís look at the Sun of Truth and not at the dawning point. From whatever place it may appear, they turn to it. You have rightly understood that the Bahá’ís do not believe in a person; rather they believe in the truth which shines from the divine dawning points.”

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

Gratitude is the cause of multiple blessings but the apex of gratitude is sacrifice

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 10, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Four.” 239 Days in America, 10 Aug. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/08/10/abdul-bahas-journey-so-far-month-four/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 121-122.
  3. ’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=6#section139

239 Days in America, Day 104: July 23, 1912 | Boston

A Modern Prophet 1

“THERE IS NO DOUBT, among thinking people, that this man represents, in great degree, the growing and evolving spirit of our times.” That was Elbert Hubbard in “A Modern Prophet,” an article he wrote about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the July 22, 1912, issue of Hearst’s Magazine….

“According to Abdul Baha,” Hubbard wrote in Hearst’s Magazine, “we are now living in a period of time that marks the beginning of the millennium – a thousand years of peace, happiness and prosperity.” He told his readers that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had come to the West with a mission, and that no one should doubt his sincerity. “He is no mere eccentric,” Hubbard added.

Elbert Hubbard likely never met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Whatever means he used to research his article, he managed to simultaneously capture the spirit of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s message while getting most of his facts wrong. “He speaks many languages and certainly speaks English better than most Americans do,” Hubbard wrote. Of course, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá barely spoke a word of English. Hubbard also claimed that one-third of all Persians had joined the Bahá’í religion.

New Hampshire 2

Abdu’l-Bahá left New York at 8:00 A.M. on Tuesday, July 23, and arrived in Boston for a second visit at 3:30 P.M. He sent most of His entourage on to Dublin, New Hampshire, but He and a translator and secretary took rooms at the Victoria Hotel in Boston, where a public meeting was held at 6:00 P.M. After that He went to Mrs. [Alice Ives] Francis W. Breed’s home and talked to a large group of people before returning to the hotel.

Tuesday, July 23, 1912 3

‘Abdu’l-Bahá left New York at 8:00 a.m. for Boston and Dublin, reaching Boston at 3:30 p.m. A number of friends were at the train station to receive Him. As soon as they saw Him, they hovered around Him like moths around a candle, anxious to sacrifice themselves before Him. As He did not plan to stay in Boston for more than two nights, He instructed everyone in His entourage except an interpreter and a secretary to go directly to Dublin.

He then went to the Hotel Victoria where the public meeting was held at 6:00 p.m. There were both Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís present as well as some journalists who questioned Him about His purpose in coming to America. The Master replied:

“I came for the peace gatherings in America. They are good. But their efforts must not end in words alone. I pray that they may receive confirmation so that this country may become the center of efforts for peace.”

His address was on economic problems.

In the evening He was invited to dine at the home of Mrs [Alice Ives] Breed. As the Master left the hotel, crowds of people stood in rows as He passed through them. That evening He spoke about the persecutions and tribulations of the Manifestations of God, the reconciliation of the hearts and the victory of this blessed Cause of God. After dinner He made the long and tedious journey back to the hotel.

Talk at Hotel Victoria, Boston, Massachusetts 4

The fundamentals of the whole economic condition are divine in nature and are associated with the world of the heart and spirit. This is fully explained in the Bahá’í teaching, and without knowledge of its principles no improvement in the economic state can be realized. The Bahá’ís will bring about this improvement and betterment but not through sedition and appeal to physical force—not through warfare, but welfare. Hearts must be so cemented together, love must become so dominant that the rich shall most willingly extend assistance to the poor and take steps to establish these economic adjustments permanently. If it is accomplished in this way, it will be most praiseworthy because then it will be for the sake of God and in the pathway of His service. For example, it will be as if the rich inhabitants of a city should say, “It is neither just nor lawful that we should possess great wealth while there is abject poverty in this community,” and then willingly give their wealth to the poor, retaining only as much as will enable them to live comfortably.

Strive, therefore, to create love in the hearts in order that they may become glowing and radiant. When that love is shining, it will permeate other hearts even as this electric light illumines its surroundings. When the love of God is established, everything else will be realized. This is the true foundation of all economics. Reflect upon it. Endeavor to become the cause of the attraction of souls rather than to enforce minds. Manifest true economics to the people. Show what love is, what kindness is, what true severance is and generosity. This is the important thing for you to do. Act in accordance with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. All His Books will be translated. Now is the time for you to live in accordance with His words. Let your deeds be the real translation of their meaning. Economic questions will not attract hearts. The love of God alone will attract them. Economic questions are most interesting; but the power which moves, controls and attracts the hearts of men is the love of God.

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

Juliet manages to say good-bye to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 23, 1912


  1. Jones, Caitlin Shayda. “A Modern Prophet.” 239 Days in America, 23 July 2012, https://239days.com/2012/07/23/elbert-hubbard-modern-prophet-original-hippie/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 117.
  3. ’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#section121
  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, 238-239. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/17#978851230

239 Days in America, Day 82: July 01, 1912 | New York

July 1, 1912: The Week Ahead 1

ABDU’L-BAHÁ ARRIVED BACK in the city late yesterday evening. He’ll stay in New York for just over three weeks before heading up the east coast for a month-long trip to Dublin, New Hampshire and Eliot, Maine.

New York City 2

On Monday morning, July 1, after prayer, He said to the Persian friends, “‘This help and assistance are from Him [Bahá’u’lláh] and these confirmations are through His Bounty and Favor; otherwise we are nothing but weak servants. We are like flutes and all these tunes are from Him.’”

Monday, July 1, 1912

During the Master’s stroll in the park near the house, a person of Greek ancestry walked by. When he saw ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he was attracted and approached Him. The passerby immediately summoned his friends, who were in the park, to gather round. In those green surroundings the Master spoke to them about Greek philosophers and about the progress and civilization of their country in ancient times. He then exhorted and encouraged them to acquire the virtues of the world of humanity. He was so compelling that they were immediately influenced. That evening they came to the Bahá’í gathering and became yet more links in the chain of lovers.

Every night after the public meeting, seekers are invited to visit ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His own room. As they listen to His solutions to complex spiritual problems, to His convincing arguments and to answers to their questions, they are drawn towards the Kingdom of God and attracted to the Abhá horizon. Although it is summer and intensely hot, every day and night a new group of inquirers is introduced. 3

1 July 1912, Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York 4

What could be better before God than thinking of the poor? For the poor are beloved by our heavenly Father. When Christ came upon the earth, those who believed in Him and followed Him were the poor and lowly, showing that the poor were near to God. When a rich man believes and follows the Manifestation of God, it is a proof that his wealth is not an obstacle and does not prevent him from attaining the pathway of salvation. After he has been tested and tried, it will be seen whether his possessions are a hindrance in his religious life. But the poor are especially beloved of God. Their lives are full of difficulties, their trials continual, their hopes are in God alone. Therefore, you must assist the poor as much as possible, even by sacrifice of yourself. No deed of man is greater before God than helping the poor. Spiritual conditions are not dependent upon the possession of worldly treasures or the absence of them. When one is physically destitute, spiritual thoughts are more likely. Poverty is a stimulus toward God. Each one of you must have great consideration for the poor and render them assistance. Organize in an effort to help them and prevent increase of poverty. The greatest means for prevention is that whereby the laws of the community will be so framed and enacted that it will not be possible for a few to be millionaires and many destitute. One of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings is the adjustment of means of livelihood in human society. Under this adjustment there can be no extremes in human conditions as regards wealth and sustenance. For the community needs financier, farmer, merchant and laborer just as an army must be composed of commander, officers and privates. All cannot be commanders; all cannot be officers or privates. Each in his station in the social fabric must be competent—each in his function according to ability but with justness of opportunity for all.

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

Seekers in public meetings were invited to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá home

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 01, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “July 1, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 1 July 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/07/01/abdul-baha-returns-to-new-york/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 107.
  3. ’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#section99
  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, 216. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#305820706