239 Days in America, Day 151: September 08, 1912 | Montreal

‘Abdu’l-Bahá Bids Farewell to Montreal 1

SEPTEMBER 8, 1912, WAS a wet Sunday and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spent his last day in Montreal at his hotel, saying farewell to the Maxwells and other Montreal friends and well-wishers. After a similar period of time, I, too am bidding farewell to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Montreal. If there was one overarching message I got from covering the week, it was his emphasis on the need for humanity to undergo a wholesale transformation.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá saw with clarity that Europe was headed towards an “appalling war,” and that economic injustice would lead to labor unrest on an unimagined scale. He defined the underlying spiritual principles of economic ills, international conflict, gender inequality and domestic poverty. His novel concepts defied conventional categories, yet were taken seriously by the mainstream media that could have all too easily represented him as a foreigner with exotic ideas.

During his time in Montreal, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá met with the leading members of society, including the Archbishop of Montreal and the principal of McGill University, as well as ministers, rabbis, labor leaders and wealthy merchants. But he was not on what one might today call a profile-raising public relations tour. He was in Montreal to enunciate his father’s teachings, and to boldly invite social leaders to help actualize them. “Would you not like to serve such an ideal?” he said to a group of McGill professors.

Montreal 2

Abdu’l-Bahá had taught and exhorted and given of Himself during ten days of ceaseless activity in Montreal. On September 8, His last full day with the friends, He said, “‘I have sown the seed. Now water it. You must educate the souls in divine morals, make them spiritual, and lead them to the oneness of humanity and to universal peace.’”

Sunday, September 8, 1912 3

In the afternoon He [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] gave an account of His imprisonment in the Most Great Prison and of His return to the Holy Land. Someone suggested that His return to ‘Akká might bring trouble to Him and again cause His imprisonment. ‘Oh no,’ He replied,

“that organization has been rolled up; that system has been rendered null. Those days were so hard that all had believed that when the Commission of Investigation returned to Constantinople ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life and name would be effaced. But God did not will it. As we were imprisoned for the Cause of God and not for political reasons, while in prison we were not perturbed and had no worries. However, the others thought that after I was set free I would raise the banner of independence among the Arabs and unite them with me! See, how ill-informed was such a judgment!”

As this was the last day of His stay in Montreal, all the friends, both old and new, expressed their sorrow. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá consoled them with the glad tidings of certitude, spiritual nearness, assistance and heavenly grace.

5 September 1912, Talk at St. James Methodist Church, Montreal, Canada 4

… In order that human souls, minds and spirits may attain advancement, tranquillity and vision in broader horizons of unity and knowledge, Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed certain principles or teachings, some of which I will mention.

First, man must independently investigate reality …

Second, the oneness of the world of humanity shall be realized, accepted and established. …

Third, religion must be the mainspring and source of love in the world, for religion is the revelation of the will of God, the divine fundamental of which is love. Therefore, if religion should prove to be the cause of enmity and hatred instead of love, its absence is preferable to its existence.

Fourth, religion must reconcile and be in harmony with science and reason. If the religious beliefs of mankind are contrary to science and opposed to reason, they are none other than superstitions and without divine authority, for the Lord God has endowed man with the faculty of reason in order that through its exercise he may arrive at the verities of existence. Reason is the discoverer of the realities of things, and that which conflicts with its conclusions is the product of human fancy and imagination.

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

“I have sown the seed … You must water it.”

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

September 8, 1912


  1. Michel, Tony. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá Bids Farewell to Montreal.” 239 Days in America, 8 Sept. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/09/08/abdul-baha-bids-farewell-to-montreal/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 137.
  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=7#section168
  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, 315-316. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/22#356279711

239 Days in America, Day 141: August 29, 1912 | Malden

William Henry Randall and a Glass of Grape Juice 1

WILLIAM HENRY RANDALL, OR “Harry” for short, was never late. He attributed his success, in part, to this habit. Randall had climbed the ranks of a shipping company – starting out by sweeping floors and running errands – and was now its president. In May 1912, however, he found himself climbing up to the sixth floor of the Victoria Hotel in Boston to deliver a glass of grape juice to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Harry had investigated all the world’s religions, or so he thought. Despite his professional responsibilities, he found the time to study under the tutelage of a Harvard professor. Yet Harry did not care to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “What do I want to meet another oriental for?” he said. “I’ve met Vivekananda and all the great orientals that have come to this country, and I don’t want to meet any more.”

Finally, out of politeness, Randall accepted an invitation to hear ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speak. He later wrote: “I was very much impressed with his beautiful appearance, his words and the love which seemed to radiate from the very words he spoke.” Harry discovered that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was different from any man he had ever met. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá was what he talked about,” Randall said. So when someone asked if he would deliver grape juice to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at the Victoria Hotel, he was happy to comply. He purchased six bottles and rushed right over.

Montreal 2

The newspapers reported several events attended by Abdu’l-Bahá. The Boston Evening Transcript, on August 29, said:

Interest out of the usual for a wedding was found in the address to the bridal couple and bestowal of his blessing by Abdul Baha Abbas, the Persian leader, who is touring this country propagating his new religion based on the brotherhood of man. He is a friend of the bride’s sister, Mrs. Ali Kuli Kahn, wife of the Persian chargé e’affaires at Washington, and who formerly was Miss Florence Breed. … Little Marzieh Khan … was flower girl.

Talk at Home of Madame Morey, 34 Hillside Avenue, Malden, Massachusetts 3

God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. This is his endowment and equipment for the investigation of reality. Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another’s ears nor comprehend with another’s brain. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God. Therefore, depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise, you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of all the bounties of God. Turn to God, supplicate humbly at His threshold, seeking assistance and confirmation, that God may rend asunder the veils that obscure your vision. Then will your eyes be filled with illumination, face to face you will behold the reality of God and your heart become completely purified from the dross of ignorance, reflecting the glories and bounties of the Kingdom.

Thursday, August 29, 1912 4

Today was the last day of the Master’s stay in Malden. In addition to receiving visitors every minute to bid them farewell, He was busy correcting letters to be posted.

In the evening a joyful meeting was held at His residence. The friends were encouraged as He exhorted them to exert their utmost to promulgate the Word of God. At the end of the meeting He said to Mrs Wilson, ‘Since my arrival in America I have stayed in but two homes, Mrs Parsons’s and yours. God be praised that the divine confirmations have descended on you and that you are assisted in serving the Cause of the Blessed Beauty. You must appreciate the value of this blessing.’ Then turning to Miss Englehorn, He said: ‘I am very pleased with your services. Were you worldly, you would have received your wages but as you are heavenly and divine, your reward is with Bahá’u’lláh.’

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

“… your reward is with Bahá’u’lláh.”

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 29 1912


  1. Jones, Caitlin Shayda. “William Henry Randall and a Glass of Grape Juice.” 239 Days in America, 29 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/29/william-harry-randall-and-a-glass-of-grape-juice/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 131-132.
  3. 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, 293. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/20#743483799
  4. ’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#section158

239 Days in America, Day 99: July 18, 1912 | New York

“Bind Ye the Broken With the Hands of Justice” 1

WHILE UNDER HOUSE ARREST in Adrianople, Bahá’u’lláh addressed the rulers of the nineteenth century in his Tablet of the Kings. Over the next few years he would continue to write messages to the monarchs in Europe and the Middle East. Sometimes he wrote letters directly to them, and at other times addressed them by name in his other works. In 1873, in his book of laws, Bahá’u’lláh called the leaders of the New World to a unique role in establishing justice…

Later, in the Most Holy Book, Baha’u’lláh gave a specific mission to the leaders across the Atlantic. “Hearken ye, O Rulers of America and the Presidents of the Republics therein,” he wrote. “Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice, and crush the oppressor who flourisheth with the rod of the commandments of your Lord, the Ordainer, the All-Wise.”

New York City 2

On July 18, The Independent magazine carried an editorial entitled “The Persian Prophet”:

The visit of Abdul Baha to this country is an interesting event even to those of us who do not see in Bahaism a new revelation destined to supersede the older faiths. It is interesting, at the least, to have brought visibly before us evidence that Asia, the aged mother of all the great religions of the world, has not yet become barren. For he who is now in our midst is by as many millions of people today regarded as a prophet, “yea and much more than a prophet.” The number of his followers can, of course, be only vaguely estimated .. the foremost aim of Bahaism is unity. It would “the Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects” not “confute,” but combine …

Such in essence is the Bahai doctrine, tho stripped of the poetic imagery and illustration that grows in a Persian garden. A strange offshoot from Mohammedanism in these latter days—this religion of universal peace, mutual toleration and equal rights. Tho its lessons may be most needed in Islam, yet they are far from being superfluous to Christendom.3

Thursday, July 18, 2022

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talk today centered on the persecutions and tribulations of the Blessed Beauty and the triumph of the Cause of God in the face of opposition from the most powerful enemies.

When the Master later expressed His intention to move from New York to Dublin [in New Hampshire], the friends were stirred by emotion and excitement. He said:

My weakened condition and excessive work hamper me, otherwise many extraordinary souls would have arisen among these friends. As long as such souls do not arise, the real object will not have been accomplished. A certain amount of enthusiasm and ability can be discerned among them, it is other persons who are to arise.

He then mentioned the names of Mullá Hasan and Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Latíf, saying:

They were deputized by the mujtahid to see the Blessed Beauty in Mázandarán. The moment they approached Him, they were transformed and became a new creation, not seeking rest for a moment whether by day or night. After undergoing great suffering and persecutions in Mashhad, Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Latíf sacrificed his life in the field of martyrdom and hastened to the Abhá Kingdom. Similarly, a blind Indian Shaykh attained the presence of Bahá’u’lláh in Mázindarán and danced and sang ecstatically from night till morn. Thus are people required to arise for the Cause of God. Such are the people who are worthy of the field of service and sacrifice.

In the evening the Master spoke on the importance of unity and amity among the friends, on the composition and decomposition of elements, and on the existence and disappearance of matter. 4

Talk at All Souls Unitarian Church, Fourth Avenue and Twentieth Street, New York, 14 July 1912 5

Another cause of dissension and disagreement is the fact that religion has been pronounced at variance with science. Between scientists and the followers of religion there has always been controversy and strife for the reason that the latter have proclaimed religion superior in authority to science and considered scientific announcement opposed to the teachings of religion. Bahá’u’lláh declared that religion is in complete harmony with science and reason. If religious belief and doctrine is at variance with reason, it proceeds from the limited mind of man and not from God; therefore, it is unworthy of belief and not deserving of attention; the heart finds no rest in it, and real faith is impossible. How can man believe that which he knows to be opposed to reason? Is this possible? Can the heart accept that which reason denies? Reason is the first faculty of man, and the religion of God is in harmony with it. Bahá’u’lláh has removed this form of dissension and discord from among mankind and reconciled science with religion by revealing the pure teachings of the divine reality. This accomplishment is specialized to Him in this Day.

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

“I desire for you that which I desire for My own daughters, Tuba and Ruha”

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 18, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “‘Bind Ye the Broken With the Hands of Justice.’” 239 Days in America, 18 July 2012, https://239days.com/2012/07/18/with-the-hands-of-justice/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 111-113.
  3. “The Persian Prophet” (editorial), The Independent, 73 (July 18, 1912), 159-60.
  4. ’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#section116
  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, 231. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#579448233