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 118: August 06, 1912 | Dublin

Socialism, Strikes, and Oscar Wilde 1

THE AIR IS CHILLY tonight. The time is well past midnight and most of Dublin is asleep. At Brush Farm, George de Forest Brush is chatting with his guest, Margaret Sanger, who is busy adding another log to the fire. Margaret writes a column for the Socialist newspaper the New York Call. Three months from now she will start a new series on sex education entitled “What Every Girl Should Know,” which will be censored by the United States Post Office. Tonight she departs from the theme of women’s health and talks to George about Oscar Wilde’s essay, “The Soul of Man under Socialism.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá is sleeping tonight, but he had addressed the problem of strikes even before he was freed from house arrest in Palestine. “The principal cause of these difficulties,” he said, “lies in the laws of the present civilization; for they lead to a small number of individuals accumulating incomparable fortunes, beyond their needs, while the greater number remain destitute.”

“Rules and laws should be established to regulate the excessive fortunes of certain private individuals,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asserted, “and meet the needs of millions of the poor masses.” But, as usual, he rejected the fundamental premise of Socialism: that perfect economic equality should be legislated. Excessive equality, he argued, would destroy the body politic: “Absolute equality is just as impossible, for absolute equality in fortunes, honors, commerce, agriculture, industry would end in disorderliness, in chaos.”

New Hampshire 2

On August 5 a visitor told Him that her friends had warned her not to come lest she fall into a trap. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied, “‘God be thanked that we have been in this trap for sixty years and we are happy in it. … It is a trap that frees the people from the shackles of prejudice and superstitions … it makes them the captives of the love of God and service to the Cause of the oneness of humanity.’”

After a meeting that same day when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had referred to the cow as the greatest of materialistic philosophers since she knows nothing beyond the sensory level of the animal, He and several others went for an automobile ride. Coming across a herd of cows the ladies said, “‘Master, see how this crowd of philosophers is afraid of the car and is running before it,’” and Abdu’l-Bahá laughed. Mahmúd noted, “As Americans like such jests, it became an oft repeated remark.”

Talk at Dublin Inn, Dublin, New Hampshire 3

Aside from all this, there is need of the stimulus of the joy of glad tidings in human hearts. Certain spiritual attraction is requisite in order that hearts may willingly take the step forward in the divine Cause. We must become attracted to God. The breaths of the Holy Spirit must take effect. Unless this is so, it is impossible for the teachings of God to accomplish in us. An ideal power is necessary. The people of America have remarkably quick perception, intelligence and understanding. Their thoughts are free and not fettered by the yoke of governmental tyranny. They should investigate reality and not be occupied with ancestral forms and imitations. Consider what Christ accomplished. He caused souls to attain a station where with complete willingness and joy they laid down their lives. What a power! Thousands of human souls, in the utmost joy because of their spiritual susceptibilities, were so attracted to God that they were dispossessed of volition, deprived of will in His path. If they had been told simply that sacrifice in the path of God was good and praiseworthy, this would never have happened. They would not have acted. Christ attracted them, wrested the reins of control from them, and they went forth in ecstasy to sacrifice themselves.

Tuesday, August 6, 1912 4

In the morning while pacing back and forth in the drawing room of His residence, the Master said:

“When Persians want to record any important matter, they say, ‘Write this down in the twenty-ninth section.’ Now, as the Persians say, write this in the twenty-ninth section of your book. Whatever occurs is the cause of the elevation of the Word of God and the victory of the divine Cause, even though outwardly it may appear to be a great affliction and hardship. What hardship, grief or affliction could be greater than that which occurred at the time when the Blessed Beauty was exiled from Tihrán? Hearts of stone were melted. All the relatives were weeping and lamenting. All were in utter despair. But that exile became the cause of the raising of the Call and exalting the Word of God, of fulfilling the prophecies of the Prophets and of guiding the people of the world. Had it not been for this exile, these things would not have appeared and these great events would not have occurred.

Consider the case of Abraham. Had He not been exiled, He would not have received that greatest blessing; neither a Jacob nor an Isaac would have risen; the fame of the beauty of Joseph would not have been spread throughout the world. He would not have become the ruler of Egypt; no Moses would have appeared; no Muhammad, the divine Messenger, would have come. All these are a result of the blessings of that exile. It is the same now.”

Later He spoke about the harmful effects of disunity and discord among the emperors of the East and the West:

“For example, the separation between the eastern and western empires and the disagreement between the eastern and western churches in Christianity caused a great weakness. Notwithstanding this, the people still do not take heed.”

In the afternoon He gave a talk on the oneness of the foundation of religion.

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

“Whatever occurs is the cause of the elevation of the Word of God and the victory of the divine Cause …”

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 6, 1912


  1. Menon, Morella. “Socialism, Strikes, and Oscar Wilde.” 239 Days in America, 6 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/06/socialism-strikes-and-oscar-wilde/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 121.
  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, 250. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/18#978585559
  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#section135

239 Days in America, Day 89: July 08, 1912 | New York

July 8, 1912: The Week Ahead 1

IT HAS BEEN A sweltering weekend in New York… ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is visiting the Museum of Natural History this afternoon [July 6].

In the week ahead: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visits the Museum, has lots to say about raising children, and speaks on the binding power of religion at All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan.

New York City 2

During the sweltering July days ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued to receive the friends from morning until night, working with the Bahá’ís to deepen them, and to raise them up into a divine army that might spiritually conquer the world. He often prepared meals for them, prayed with them, walked with them in the garden near His house, notified the Eastern friends of the victories, introduced newcomers to the faith, spoke before large audiences—giving of Himself in ways that would drain away ordinary physical energy, and, with the giving, demonstrating the example of never-ending sacrifice. He urged the unity of the friends and deepened them in the history and the Teachings of the Faith, using many hours for explanations, and illustrations. At all times He reflected, like a many-faceted divine diamond, the various attributes which were part of the single light of God, descending on Him through the Blessed Perfection, Bahá’u’lláh.

Monday, July 8, 1912 3

After His prayers, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá called to Him, one by one, the friends, old and new, who had assembled at His house. Each had a particular request or question. They came into His presence and each had a portion of this bounty. Mr Hoar’s family was invited to dine at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s home. As it was very warm and because of His heavy schedule, the Master did not get any rest until the afternoon when He went for a walk in a park adjacent to His house. He walks in the park, situated on the bank of the river, every day. Mr Moxey described ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s walks in that park in a beautiful poem.

Several friends came to see the Master in the afternoon. The name of Mr Barakat’u’lláh of India was mentioned. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:

“This man culls the teachings of the blessed Cause and publishes them in the name of Islam in the illusive hope of building an imaginary castle and of deriving some profit by deceiving the Muslims. But in the long run he will see nothing but manifest loss.”

At the public meeting this evening ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talk was on the dual nature of man. He said: ‘There are two natures in man. The realization of human virtues and perfections depends on the ascendancy of the spiritual over the animal nature in him.’

Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, 6 July 1912 4

By what means can man acquire these things? How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers? First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements, he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence.

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá walks every day in the park near His house

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 08, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Beating The Heat.” 239 Days in America, 8 July 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/07/08/beating-the-heat/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 109.
  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#section106
  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, 226. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#680242439

239 Days in America, Day 84: July 03, 1912 | New York

Woodrow Wilson: The Man Who Would Be President 1

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, now fifty-six years old, was a Southerner: he was born in Staunton, Virginia, in 1856. His earliest memory was of being three years old, hearing that Abraham Lincoln had been elected president and that there was going to be a war. Wilson earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in history and political science, and taught constitutional law at Princeton, where he was appointed president of the university in 1902, serving until 1910. As governor of New Jersey he pursued an agenda of progressive reform, introducing worker’s compensation and sidelining the party bosses by introducing presidential electoral primaries. His quick rise to national prominence catapulted his presidential run.

Wilson stepped out onto the wide front porch of his house to face the crowd of reporters camped outside. His acceptance speech was short, and devoid of triumphalism. “The honor is as great as can come to any man by the nomination of a party,” he said, “and I hope I appreciate it at its true value; but just a [t] this moment I feel the tremendous responsibility it involves even more than I feel the honor.”

New York City 2

The New York Times for that day and Wednesday [July 3] noted, “Cuban Revolt Seems Over”; “Houdini’s New Trick, Escapes from Huge Can of Water after Being Locked in Chest”; and “Woodrow Wilson Is Nominated for President.”

Wednesday, July 3, 1912

Today was the anniversary of the Independence of the United States from England. There were celebrations everywhere. The Master was invited to attend the Fourth of July parade to which the mayor was also invited. A special messenger had been sent to the Master at Montclair with the invitation. He replied then that He would come if His schedule would permit. As it was not a spiritual occasion, the Master did not go but in order to show His interest, He sent us, His companions, wearing our Persian hats and ‘abás. We arrived before the mayor, were received with great honor as representatives of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and were given seats near the mayor’s chair. There were people there from many nations including China, Japan, Turkey and India, as well as members of the American military and businesses carrying flags and decorations for the celebration. All of these passed before the mayor and were followed by parades of men, women, boys and girls in gala dress and singing sweetly. As they passed by the mayor’s stand, he spoke to all gracefully and kindly. After the parade it was the turn of the poets and speech-makers.

When we returned from the event to the Master, we described all that had taken place. It was well that He did not go because the excessive heat and crowds would have been a strain to His strength and health. Whenever it is beneficial to the interests of the Cause, He endures every kind of hardship. For example, on certain days during this journey, in spite of exhaustion and fatigue, He went to faraway places and attended many gatherings in the course of one day. He said, ‘I am continually speaking from morning until evening. Not even the strongest person would have such patience and fortitude.’

In the afternoon, at the request of friends, He went for an automobile ride into town. In the evening He spoke at length in His home about the coming of the Promised One. 3

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

I desire to make manifest among the friends in America a new light that they may become a new people, that a new foundation may be established and complete harmony be realized; for the foundation of Bahá’u’lláh is love. When you go to Green Acre, you must have infinite love for each other, each preferring the other before himself. The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, “What happiness exists among you!” and will see in your faces the lights of the Kingdom; then in wonderment they will turn to you and seek the cause of your happiness. You must give the message through action and deed, not alone by word. Word must be conjoined with deed. You must love your friend better than yourself; yes, be willing to sacrifice yourself. The Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has not yet appeared in this country. I desire that you be ready to sacrifice everything for each other, even life itself; then I will know that the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has been established. I will pray for you that you may become the cause of upraising the lights of God. May everyone point to you and ask, “Why are these people so happy?” I want you to be happy in Green Acre, to laugh, smile and rejoice in order that others may be made happy by you. I will pray for you. 4

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave Eastern names to two black visitors

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 03, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Woodrow Wilson: The Man Who Would Be President.” 239 Days in America, 3 July 2012, https://239days.com/2012/07/03/the-man-who-would-be-president/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 108.
  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#section101
  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, 218. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#000750473

239 Days in America, Day 81: June 30, 1912 | New Jersey

Donkeys in Baltimore 1

By this morning, Sunday [June 30], the delegates had voted on an additional fourteen ballots, and the New York Times printed the results of each vote on page two. Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey was slowly breaking down the lead of the frontrunner, Champ Clark, the Speaker of the House.

There weren’t many stories in today’s Times that didn’t have to do with politics, but one of them was about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “PROPHET’S DASH FOR TRAIN: Abdul Baha in Spectacular Rush from Montclair” described the spectacle on Saturday morning at the Lackawanna station when his attendants had tried to stop the train from departing without him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was sandwiched between two Roosevelt stories on page six. The column to his left told how TR was gobbling up Republican newspaper endorsements. To his right Teddy chatted with reporters about Baltimore, his clothing still damp after a thunderstorm, which had narrowly missed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unity feast in West Englewood, New Jersey, and had decided to wash out the Roosevelt family picnic in Oyster Bay instead.

New Jersey: The Unity Feast 2

On Sunday morning, June 30, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá left for the home of Mr. Topakyan, the Persian Consul General, in Morristown. On His way there He stopped in Englewood at the home of the minister who had come to see Him the day before, After talking a few minutes, He continued His trip to Morristown. Concerning the afternoon activities, Abdu’l-Bahá’s translator, Dr. Amín Faríd, wrote:

The Consul-General of Persia, Topakyan, gave a barbecue in honor of Abdul-Baha and his Persian suite, at his delightful summer home and garden at Morristown, New Jersey. The journey was accomplished in an automobile from the home of Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm, in West Englewood, through beautiful meadows of New Jersey, and the whole day was spent most pleasantly at the Persian consulate, which is a building in the garden built after the old style of Persian architecture. Among the guests were some prominent men from New York and some society folk to interview him on all sorts of questions. He spoke that forenoon to those persons on the advance of materialism and its evil attendants or concomitants. The dinner was entirely Oriental in character, a barbecue a la Perse. 3

Sunday, June 30, 1912

In the morning, after His obligatory prayer and supplications, the Master invited us into His presence and served us tea with His own hand. He spoke of the blessings and confirmations of the Ancient Beauty, the Greatest Name:

This help and assistance are from Him and these confirmations are through His bounty and favor; otherwise, we are nothing but weak servants. We are as reeds and all these melodies are from Him. We are ants and this dignity of Solomon is from Him. We are servants and this heavenly dominion is from Him. We must, therefore, offer our constant gratitude to Him for His favors and must join heart and soul to praise Him for His blessings.

As His home is always filled with a continuous stream of visitors, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá did not accept invitations from societies or organizations to speak at public meetings. Instead He spoke to the people gathered in the evenings, gave special audiences during the day and attended to other tasks. This evening He spoke about His long stay in New York. ‘As it is the meeting place of the East and the West,’ He said, ‘I desire to make it a center of signs, and pray that the friends may advance and gain precedence in spirituality.’

Apart from these gatherings, the Master’s movements outside attract everyone and His look of favor captivates all. 4

Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons, 1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 24 April 1912

Praise be to God! I have no personal interests. I have an interest in the Kingdom, and this is a sincere intention. I have perfect love for you; therefore, I have traveled this long distance to meet and greet you. I hope that these gatherings may be productive of great results, and there is no greater result than the love of God. There is no greater result than bonds of service in the divine Kingdom and attainment to the good pleasure of the Lord. Therefore, I desire that your hearts may be directed to the Kingdom of God, that your intentions may be pure and sincere, your purposes turned toward altruistic accomplishment unmindful of your own welfare; nay, rather, may all your intentions center in the welfare of humanity, and may you seek to sacrifice yourselves in the pathway of devotion to mankind. Even as Jesus Christ forfeited His life, may you, likewise, offer yourselves in the threshold of sacrifice for the betterment of the world; and just as Bahá’u’lláh suffered severe ordeals and calamities nearly fifty years for you, may you be willing to undergo difficulties and withstand catastrophes for humanity in general. May you bear these trials and tests most willingly and joyously, for every night is followed by a day, and every day has a night. Every spring has an autumn, and every autumn has its spring. The coming of a Manifestation of God is the season of spiritual spring. 5

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

Mahmud: June 30 – Lua’s attempts not to leave the Master for California

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

June 30, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Donkeys in Baltimore.” 239 Days in America, 30 June 2012, https://239days.com/2012/06/30/donkeys-in-baltimore/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 103.
  3. Dr. Ameen U. Fareed, “Barbecue in Honor of Abdul-Baha,” Star of the West, 3, no. 11 (Sept. 27, 1912), 8.
  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=4#section98
  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, 54-55. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/3#867540848

239 Days in America, Day 73: June 22, 1912 | New Jersey

Elephants in Chicago 1

THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION would be over this evening. It had begun on Tuesday, June 18, 1912, at the Chicago Coliseum on Wabash Avenue. After months of campaign speeches, accusations, and rebuttals — and twelve weeks of primary elections in sixteen states — the delegates were ready to choose either President William Howard Taft or former President Theodore Roosevelt to be the Republican Presidential nominee.

Unlike almost everyone else in the building, William Jennings Bryan didn’t have any skin in the game. He was a Democrat, and had run as the Democratic candidate for President three times, in 1896, 1900, and 1908, losing each time. This week he was here not to politick, but to report. The nation wanted his viewpoint; he was in high demand. Several daily newspapers had contracted with him for his eye on each day’s proceedings. Monday morning’s dispatch evoked the early skirmishes on the convention floor:

“The delegates as they come in are badged, tagged and buttonholed,” Bryan wrote. “The prophets are revising their lists as they learn of additions or defections and the corridors of the hotels resound with the cheers of partisans. These things are to be found in every convention, but they are here in unusual abundance.”

Although he was enjoying himself (“We are having a great time”) he could also see through the hullabaloo. “There is a liberal education in a national convention,” he told the public on Monday, “but much that one learns is not useful to him afterwards.”

Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, 20 June 1912 2

The great mass of humanity does not exercise real love and fellowship. The elect of humanity are those who live together in love and unity. They are preferable before God because the divine attributes are already manifest in them. The supreme love and unity is witnessed in the divine Manifestations. Among Them unity is indissoluble, changeless, eternal and everlasting. Each One is expressive and representative of all. If we deny One of the Manifestations of God, we deny all. To inflict persecution upon One is to persecute the Others. In all degrees of existence each One praises and sanctifies the Others. Each of Them holds to the solidarity of mankind and promotes the unity of human hearts. Next to the divine Manifestations come the believers whose characteristics are agreement, fellowship and love. The Bahá’í friends in Persia attained such a brotherhood and love that it really became a hindrance in the conduct of material affairs. Each one into whatever house of the friends he went considered himself the owner of the house, so to speak. There was no duality but complete mutuality of interests and love. The visiting friend would have no hesitation in opening the provision box and taking out enough food for his needs. They wore each other’s clothes as their own when necessary. If in need of a hat or cloak, they would take and use it. The owner of the clothing would be thankful and grateful that the garment had gone. When he returned home, he would perhaps be told, “So and so was here and took away your coat.” He would reply, “Praise be to God! I am so grateful to him. Praise be to God! I am so thankful I have been given this opportunity of showing my love for him.” To such an extreme degree this love and fellowship expressed itself that Bahá’u’lláh commanded that no one should take possession of another’s belongings unless presented with them. The intention is to show to what an extent unity and love prevailed among the Bahá’í friends in the East.

I hope that this same degree and intensity of love may become manifest and apparent here; that the spirit of God shall so penetrate your hearts that each one of the beloved of God shall be considered as all; that each one may become a cause of unity and center of accord and all mankind be bound together in real fellowship and love.

Saturday, June 22, 1912

In the morning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke about the followers of Yahyá, saying:

“These people are following their false imaginings. They say that the letter from the Báb to Yahyá begins thus: ‘From God, the Mighty, the Beloved, to God, the Mighty, the Beloved.’ But this passage is also written at the beginning of the letter to Dayyán and to others. In Tablets revealed by the Blessed Beauty there are also many such passages. The intent is an address from the Manifestation to Himself. What does this have to do with Yahyá? In a Tablet from the Báb to Yahyá and written in Yahyá’s own handwriting, he is directed by the Báb to ascertain God’s intention by asking Siyyid Husayn, the amanuensis.”

The Master then gave various accounts of their vain imaginings and the mischief they caused in both the spiritual and material affairs of Persia. He also spoke about their malicious calumnies against the sincere and trustworthy Bahá’ís of the East and the West. He ended His talk with an exposition on the erroneous notion prevailing among some religious leaders that science is opposed to religion, a belief that leads people to false dogmas and to adhere to vain imaginings.

In the afternoon the Master gave an exposition on the words of Christ: ‘He that desireth to follow Me, must bear his own cross.’ He then mentioned the martyrs of this great Cause and, referring to ‘Abdu’l-Vahháb-i-Shírází, said:

“Before he left the prison to go to the altar of divine sacrifice, he came first and placed his head on Bahá’u’lláh’s feet and kissed them. Having embraced all the friends, he hastened to the plain of sacrifice, dancing and snapping his fingers in ecstasy.

As the Master recounted this event, His voice became so resonant and powerful that it caused the friends to tremble, and then His mood changed. His body dancing and His fingers snapping, He made such ecstatic cries it seemed that the scene of martyrdom had been reenacted before our very eyes. Afterwards, He said: ‘Compare the condition and firmness of the martyrs of this Revelation with those of the disciples of Christ, taking into account the station attained. How great is the difference between this Day and the past. How far the one is from the other.’

Friends and seekers gathered in the evening. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s response to Mr Edsall’s father-in-law was very inspiring and impressive. 3

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

Mahmud: June 22 – False beliefs and malicious calumnies of the followers of Yahya

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

June 22, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Elephants In Chicago.” 239 Days in America, 22 June 2012, https://239days.com/2012/06/22/elephants-in-chicago/.
  2. 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, 208-209. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/14#941667385
  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=4#section90