239 Days in America, Day 223: November 19, 1912 | New York

The Trouble With J. P. Morgan’s Millions 1

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S AUTOMOBILE halted in front of 33 East 36th Street in the early afternoon on Monday, November 18, 1912. His party of six ascended a broad flight of steps between two sleek Assyrian lionesses who kept watch in pink Tennessee marble before the recessed portico of an Italian Renaissance villa in midtown Manhattan.

The architect of the place, Charles Follen McKim of the renowned firm McKim, Mead & White, had suffered a nervous breakdown over this building—or, more precisely, over having to accommodate the insistent demands and fastidious tastes of his client. On other projects McKim might have done as he pleased, but one simply did not say no to J. Pierpont Morgan. …

The titan of Wall Street had invited ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for a private interview this afternoon here, at his private library. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá entered through heavy bronze doors into the illuminated splendor of a vaulted rotunda. Mosaic panels, and columns of veined skyros and cippoline marble, textured the space and at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s feet a colorful marble floor unfurled, inlaid with pieces from the Roman Forum and a central disc of deep purple porphyry. The domed ceiling of blue and white stucco bore paintings and reliefs of classical figures that Henry Siddons Mowbray had modeled on Raphael and installed beneath the gentle light of a central oculus. Gazing upward, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá could see murals inspired by Pinturicchio, which adorned lunettes over the main entrance and above doors to the East and West rooms, depicting scenes and legendary lovers from Greek and Roman epics, Arthurian romances, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Renaissance lyric poetry. Morgan received guests in the West Room, his large, plush study. His son-in-law wrote that no one could really know him who hadn’t seen him sitting quietly in front of the fire; chomping on a big black cigar; playing solitaire beneath the coffered wooden ceiling; enveloped by the bright red damask silk that lined the study’s walls.

But today he wasn’t there. Some urgent business matter had arisen, and, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá learned, Morgan wouldn’t be able to come. …

Final Days in America: New York City 2

On November 19 Mahmúd noted, “A number of school children gathered near the Beloved saying, ‘Who is this person who looks like Christ?’ Miss Juliet Thompson spoke to them outside the house about the Beloved Cause and the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. They asked to interview Him and they were invited to come. …”

Tuesday, November 19, 1912 3

The Master spent the day at the home of Mrs Krug in the utmost happiness. A number of the believers and His companions were also very happy to witness the Master’s joy, the influence of the Cause of God and the power of the Covenant of God.

In the afternoon, at a public meeting attended chiefly by women, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke on the equality of the rights of women and their education and progress through the Manifestation of this supreme age. He encouraged them to acquire the perfections and virtues of the world of humanity.

Later, at the home of Mr and Mrs Kinney, He asked Mr [Hooper] Harris to speak at the meeting of the friends.

As Mr MacNutt‘s apparent equivocation and lack of firmness seemed to be causing his degradation in the eyes of the friends, he came to the Master and implored Him to recommend him to them. The Master replied, ‘The remedy depends upon your sincere repentance and your open denouncement of the violators in the meetings of the friends.’ In compliance, Mr MacNutt rose and gave an account of his journey to Chicago and his meeting with [Ibrahim George] Kheiralla. Some felt that he spoke ambiguously. The Master asked him to explain his actions in plain words so that the friends might be satisfied and this blemish on his character be removed. Again he testified in clear terms of his faith in the Covenant and his rejection of the Covenant-breakers. The Master went to the podium and expressed His pleasure at Mr Harris’s talk and for Mr MacNutt’s words of repentance. The Master then went upstairs and called Mr [William] Hoar, Mr Harris, Mr [Arthur P.] Dodge and other friends to Him and asked them to embrace Mr MacNutt and exhorted them to have the utmost love and unity among themselves. He encouraged and inspired them to spread the divine word and to diffuse the fragrances of God. He told them that they must sacrifice all other affairs for the accomplishment of this great affair.

Despite this, the Master and the friends, in their inmost hearts, were saddened by Mr MacNutt’s earlier actions. Some felt that he was not trying hard enough to show his humility and firmness in the Covenant. After the Master’s departure from America, Mr MacNutt went to California and other regions of America. The believers stayed away from him. He wrote many letters of repentance to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who sent him many encouraging and kind words.

18 November 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank K. Moxey, 575 Riverside Drive, New York 4

At such a time Bahá’u’lláh dawned from the eastern horizon like the glory of the sun. He renewed the basis of the religions of God, destroyed blind adherence to ancestral forms and established in their stead love and spiritual fellowship so that no strife, discord or hostility remained. This reconciliation of divergent sects is visible and evident. They now live together in love and unity. If you should enter one of their meetings, you would realize that they have become as one race, one native land, one religion; that they associate together in brotherhood and agreement. Praise be to God! These blind imitations and this darkness have ceased to exist, and the reality of the oneness of humanity has been practically proven.

I consider the American people a highly civilized and intelligent nation, a nation investigating truth and reality. It is my hope that through the efforts of this noble nation the solidarity of humanity may be continually advanced, that the illumination of the human world may become widespread, that the banner of universal peace may be held aloft, the lamp of the oneness of the human world be ignited and the hearts of the East and West be conjoined. Then the reality of the divine religions shall become resplendent and refulgent, indicating that they were meant to be the cause of unity and love and that through them heavenly bestowals have ever been conferring light upon the human world.

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

The Master encouraged women to acquire the perfections and virtues of the world of humanity

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

November 19, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “The Trouble With J. P. Morgan’s Millions.” 239 Days in America, 19 Nov. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/11/19/the-trouble-with-j-p-morgans-millions/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 187.
  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=9#section241
  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, 446-447. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/32#729562953

239 Days in America, Day 209: November 05, 1912 | Cincinnati

On Election Day, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Praises Cincinnati’s Favorite Son 1

CLEAR SKIES ACROSS THE country east of the Rocky Mountains promised a big turnout at the polls on this Election Day, November 5, 1912.

President Taft arrived in Cincinnati last night at half-past seven, about two hours after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s train had pulled in from Chicago. But whereas ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had arrived quietly, a throng of ten thousand people turned out at the train station to greet Taft, their city’s favorite son, many of them workers who had missed their suppers in order to catch a glimpse of the President. Taft got into an automobile while a brass marching band played. He was driven north through downtown toward his brother Charles’s house on Pike Street, while green and red fire lit up the sidewalks and an impromptu parade formed around the car. …

‘Abdu’l-Bahá had planned to depart Cincinnati early this morning, but he had so many visitors he couldn’t leave. At the Grand Hotel, on Central Avenue at 4th Street, he talked of the President. “I am most grateful to President Taft for having extended his influence toward the establishment of universal peace,” he said.

The Journey East: Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Baltimore 2

The next day [November 5] the Cincinnati Inquirer reported that “Dr. Abdul Baha” had spoken. It also reported that Woodrow Wilson had been elected President of the United States.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s departure from Cincinnati was delayed until noon on November 5, because of the crowds that came to see Him.

Tuesday, November 5, 1912 3

Early in the morning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá called His attentive lovers to Him and bestowed kindness on everyone. Several representatives of the press came to see Him and recorded His words about the history of the Cause and the teachings of the Abhá Beauty. Their reports appeared in various newspapers and publications.

Although the Master had planned to leave in the morning, the crowd of seekers and the attraction of the friends caused Him to prolong His stay until noon. Today He spoke about the Universal House of Justice and the International Parliament of man, where representatives from all the parliaments of the world will resolve conflicts between nations, such as that in the Balkans. This organization will cure the chronic diseases of the nations.

He then gave an account of how Constantine embraced Christianity and came under the shelter of Christ. He said, ‘Although he wore a crown as a monarch, yet he had to offer his all to the Son of Mary.’ He spoke at length on such topics until He was tired. Then the friends invited Him for a drive through the public parks.

At noon the Master left for Washington DC. At the time of departure, the friends were happy as they recalled their visit and reunion with Him but wept because of His departure from their midst. These opposites, happiness and sorrow, like heat and cold, were both felt and seen.

A few stations beyond Cincinnati, a doctor sitting near the Master asked permission to speak with Him and inquired about the object of His journey. The Master said to the doctor:

“My aim is to create harmony and concord among the different groups and to eradicate prejudice, hatred and enmity so that the peoples and nations of the world may become brothers and well-wishers of mankind and not engage in wars and massacres, and that catastrophes such as that in the Balkans with their bloodshed and annihilation of families may not occur again. Until such events cease, humanity will find no rest, the tabernacle of universal peace will not be raised and the oneness of the world of man will not be realized. We are all the flock of God, members of the same human race and the creatures of one Creator. God is kind to all and His bounties are equally bestowed upon all.

“Sixty years ago Bahá’u’lláh instituted the foundations of such teachings in Persia. He advocated the establishment of universal peace and the oneness of humanity. The Sháh of Persia and the Sultán of Turkey threw us into prison. They killed twenty thousand of us hoping that this Cause would be annihilated and that these teachings of Bahá’u’lláh would be forgotten. But in spite of these obstacles the religion of Bahá’u’lláh progressed day by day. Then there was a revolution and the constitution was established and I was set free. Leaving the prison of ‘Akká, I traveled to countries in Africa, Europe and America, called people to these blessed teachings and invited nations and religions to the oneness of the foundation of all religions and the abandonment of prejudices, wars, dogmatic imitations and superstitions.”

The doctor was delighted and very impressed by the Master’s words and thanked Him sincerely. The Master replied:

“I, too, am very pleased to make your acquaintance. I, a Persian, am delighted to meet an eminent Westerner like you in utmost harmony and fellowship. This meeting of ours is an example of the joining of the East and the West.”

In the afternoon Washington was again blessed by the arrival of the Master. The friends eagerly hastened to meet Him and accompanied Him to a house rented especially for Him. In the evening great numbers of friends gathered around Him like moths around a brilliant candle. The Master spoke about His journey to California, the influence of the Word of God and the devotion of the friends to the Abhá Beauty.

5 November 1912, Talk at Grand Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio 4

I am most grateful to President Taft for having extended his influence toward the establishment of universal peace. What he has accomplished in making treaties with various nations is very good, but when we have the interparliamentary body composed of delegates from all the nations of the world and devoted to the maintenance of agreement and goodwill, the utopian dream of sages and poets, the parliament of man, will be realized.

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

Various newspapers publish articles about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the teachings of the Faith

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

November 5, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “On Election Day, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Praises Cincinnati’s Favorite Son.” 239 Days in America, 5 Nov. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/11/05/on-election-day-abdul-baha-praises-cincinnatis-favorite-son/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 179.
  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=9#section227
  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, 389. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/29#710683858

239 Days in America, Day 208: November 04, 1912 | Cincinnati

November 4, 1912: The Week Ahead 1

TODAY AT 9:15 A.M. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá departed Chicago on the Pennsylvania Railroad. The train skirted the southern rim of Lake Michigan, then took off cross-country, heading southeast across the patchwork fields of Indiana, steaming through Logansport, Kokomo, Anderson, and Richmond. At 5:15 P.M. it will reach the Ohio River, delivering ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Cincinnati for an overnight stay.

In the week ahead, the presidential election season of 1912 comes to a conclusion as Americans go to the polls to vote. As the results scurry across America along the telegraph wires, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá pays a final visit to the nation’s capital.

The Journey East: Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Baltimore 2

Before leaving Chicago that day [November 4], ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sent a telegram to Cincinnati informing the friends, who had been supplicating His presence, that He would stay there for one night and that the stay would be “private.” The friends met Him at the Cincinnati station and took Him to the Grand Hotel where a public meeting with five hundred persons attending had been arranged, followed by a banquet.

Monday, November 4, 1912 3

The Master left for Cincinnati in the morning. At the request of the friends there who longed for a glimpse of His face, the Master sent a telegram informing them that He would stay with them one night in order to visit the believers. At the Chicago train station the friends of God, both men and women, wept as they saw their Master depart. It was a grand occasion and a testimony to the greatness of the Cause of God and the influence of His Covenant. Well-respected people of the West have been attracted to the Beloved of the East. They hovered like moths around the divine lamp and wept at their friend’s departure. Among those who accompanied ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the next station was Mrs True with whom the Master spoke about the Tarbíyat Schools in Tihrán.

In the evening Cincinnati was blessed by the arrival of the Master. With eagerness and excitement, the believers anxiously awaited a glimpse of His face. Mrs Farmer and other believers had arranged a public meeting at the Grand Hotel after which a beautiful banquet was given. Arriving at the hotel, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá first went to the hall where some five hundred had assembled to hear Him. He spoke about the sovereignty and endless bounties of God and concluded with explanations of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh from the holy writings. His words captivated the hearts of His listeners.

The Master then went into the dining room of the hotel where He was delighted to see the beaming faces of the friends, the brightness of the electric lights, the table decorated with colorful flowers and the hearts immersed in the love of God. More than 50 people were seated around the table. The Master sat at the head of the table while the Persian friends sat nearby. In great happiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke these heavenly words:

“It is an excellent table for we have assembled here through the love of Bahá’u’lláh. Tonight I am exceedingly happy to be with you. You must be very happy and in a prayerful attitude for no better meeting could be held. The holding of meetings at which people from the East come to the far West and sit together with you with such love and affection was impossible but through His penetrative power Bahá’u’lláh has made this easy and has joined the East and the West. Would that the friends of Persia were here now and could see this!”

When the conversation turned to Los Angeles, the Master spoke about Mr Chase and the nobility of his spirit. He chanted a prayer in life-giving strains:

“O Thou kind Lord, we render thanks unto Thee that Thou has brought us from the farthest lands of the East to the most distant lands of the West and gathered us at this table arrayed with the finest, most diverse, sweetest and most delicious material foods. We thank Thee especially for the presence of those who have turned toward the Kingdom of Thy favor and have fixed their eyes upon the horizon of Thy kindness.

“O Lord! These souls have turned toward Thee, they desire Thy pleasure and are grateful for Thy blessings. They walk in the ways of Thy will.

“O Lord! Grant them heavenly food; enable them to partake of the Lord’s supper. Exalt this noble lady in Thy Kingdom, bestow everlasting life upon her and grant her Thine eternal favor. As Thou hast given us these earthly blessings so, too, give us heavenly food. Bestow upon us Thine everlasting grace. Strengthen us to arise in praise and gratitude to Thee that we may be aided and assisted to do that which beseems Thy glorification.”

Thou art the Mighty, the Generous, the Compassionate.

About 40 of the friends stayed at the hotel rather than return to their homes that night.

Talk at Grand Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio 4

In the Orient I was informed that there are many lovers of peace in America. Therefore, I left my native land to associate here with those who are the standard-bearers of international conciliation and agreement. Having traveled from coast to coast, I find the United States of America vast and progressive, the government just and equitable, the nation noble and independent. I attended many meetings where international peace was discussed and am always extremely happy to witness the results of such meetings, for one of the great principles of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings is the establishment of agreement among the peoples of the world. He founded and taught this principle in the Orient fifty years ago. He proclaimed international unity, summoned the religions of the world to harmony and reconciliation and established fellowship among many races, sects and communities. At that time He wrote Epistles to the kings and rulers of the world, calling upon them to arise and cooperate with Him in spreading these principles, saying that the stability and advancement of humanity could only be realized through the unity of the nations. Through His efforts this principle of universal harmony and agreement was practically demonstrated in Persia and other countries. Today in Persia, for instance, there are many people of various races and religions who have followed the exhortations of Bahá’u’lláh and are living together in love and fellowship without religious, patriotic or racial prejudices—Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and many others.

America has arisen to spread the teachings of peace, to increase the illumination of humankind and bestow happiness and prosperity upon the children of men. These are the principles and evidences of divine civilization. America is a noble nation, the standard-bearer of peace throughout the world, shedding light to all regions. Foreign nations are not untrammeled and free from intrigues and complications like the United States; therefore, they are not able to bring about universal harmony. But America—praise be to God!—is at peace with all the world and is worthy of raising the flag of brotherhood and international agreement. When this is done, the rest of the world will accept. All nations will join in adopting the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revealed more than fifty years ago. In His Epistles He asked the parliaments of the world to send their wisest and best men to an international world conference which should decide all questions between the peoples and establish universal peace. This would be the highest court of appeal, and the parliament of man so long dreamed of by poets and idealists would be realized. Its accomplishment would be more far-reaching than the Hague tribunal.

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

Friends in Chicago bid the Master a heartfelt farewell

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

November 4, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “November 4, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 4 Nov. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/11/04/november-4-1912-the-week-ahead/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 179.
  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=9#section226
  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, 388-389. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/29#841374064

239 Days in America, Day 204: October 31, 1912 | Chicago

In Chicago, Anything Is Possible 1

THE SUN PEEKED OVER the horizon as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s train steamed toward the western outskirts of Chicago for his third, and final, stay in the city. He had first disembarked in the Windy City on April 29, 1912, less than three weeks after he set foot in America. On that trip he laid the cornerstone of the first Bahá’í House of Worship in the West. Over the next four decades, the structure’s shimmering figure, draped in a filigreed gown of white quartz and portland cement, would slowly rise over the construction site at Grosse Point, on the western shore of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá had returned to Chicago on his trip west on September 12, stopping for five days with a side trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Stepping onto the platform at LaSalle Street Station, he saw a young Japanese student dangling from a lamp post, struggling to get a glimpse of him. Saichiro Fujita became ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s guest for the four thousand mile trip to California and back. Now, seven weeks later, Fujita would leave the party and live in Chicago. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá once again took up residence at the Plaza Hotel on Lincoln Park, where, to a packed ballroom six months before, he had argued for America’s immense potential, challenging the young nation to play a leading role on the world stage.

The Journey East: Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Baltimore 2

At daybreak on Thursday, October 31, the train was approaching Chicago.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá went again to the Plaza Hotel in Chicago, and the friends and inquirers again came in great numbers for interviews. He spoke in the evening to a large gathering in the hall of the hotel …

Thursday, October 31, 1912 3

At daybreak the train was only one station from Chicago. Here, one of the most sincere Bahá’ís, Mr [Albert] Windust, who is the editor of the Star of the West, boarded the train to welcome the Master and became the recipient of His kindness and favors.

The Master remarked this morning:

“It is now more than two years that I have been far from the Holy Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh. Now I must return. If God wills it, I shall make another journey in another direction according to a special program which I have already thought out, so that I can proclaim the Word of God in another way. Let us see what is the will of God. Now we are traveling from California to Chicago. Praise be to God that this journey has passed most pleasantly. At the time of leaving Haifa, I had several ailments and did not expect to cross oceans and plains with such ease and comfort and to make such a long journey.”

When the train reached the station in Chicago, the friends were transported with joy on seeing the Master’s face. The Master went to the Hotel Plaza where He had stayed during His first visit. People came in groups to see Him and remained in His presence until late in the afternoon. Many ministers invited Him to speak in their churches. He accepted some invitations but had to send regrets to others because of the lack of time. Some journalists were given detailed interviews about the history and teachings of this great Cause, which they took down for publication.

Some of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s comments to the friends were these:

“We went to California and a great commotion was set up in the souls. A new spirit was breathed into people. In universities, churches and gatherings people were stirred and the blessed Cause was proclaimed. Decisive proofs were advanced and the teachings of the Blessed Beauty were explained. No one took exception; rather, all offered praise and glory, even the clergymen.”

Some engineers came to Him and He said to them:

“This Cause has spread all over the world. It has brought peace and tranquillity to different nations and religions, has united diverse peoples and has laid the foundation for the prosperity of mankind. Among its principles are the establishment of universal peace among nations and governments, the oneness of the world of humanity and the uniting of sects and religions under the tabernacle of unity.”

Then turning towards some new inquirers, He said:

“Behold the creative power of Bahá’u’lláh! He brought us from the most remote countries of the East and acquainted us with you. How He has connected our hearts and attracted our spirits to each other and has drawn all under the banner of peace and tranquillity! See how He has delivered us from religious, political, national and racial prejudices and saved us from the gloom of superstitions. Behold what a power this is! Had all the powers of the earth combined they could not have joined the hearts in such a manner but Bahá’u’lláh has joined all with a single word. Such is the power of Bahá’u’lláh! We must all turn toward the Abhá Kingdom and pray for confirmation and help so that His aid and assistance can support us from all sides and that we may become the cause of proclaiming the Word of God and of bringing peace and salvation to the people of the world. We must render service to the Kingdom of God so that divine grace may surround all and the favors of Bahá’u’lláh may attain full expression.”

To another group of the friends He said:

“This is the third time that I am in Chicago. It is now your turn to come and visit the Holy Shrine. Praise be to God that divine grace has encircled you! He has chosen you from among His creation and made you favorites of His court. How many are the divines who have called on God in their churches saying, ‘O our Lord! O our Lord!’ Yet when their Lord appeared they remained veiled. You were neither ministers nor monks and you have attained this grace. This is what Christ meant when He said, ‘Many are called but few are chosen’ [Matt. 20:16; 22:14]. Similarly, He said, ‘The people are entering the Kingdom from all directions but the sons of the Kingdom are leaving it.’ Although from distant lands, you have become enlightened whereas most of the countrymen and neighbors of Bahá’u’lláh have remained veiled. Be thankful unto God!”

’Abdu’l-Bahá delivered a public address in the hotel’s salon, giving decisive proofs of the greatness and power of the Cause. As a result, many people learned of the divine teachings and were attracted to the fragrances of God. After dinner Mrs [Louise] Waite sat at the piano and sang a song she had written in praise of the Beauty of the Covenant.

31 October 1912, Talk at Hotel Plaza, Chicago, Illinois 4

In Los Angeles and San Francisco great interest was manifested in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh by the newspapers, universities and churches. Our addresses were lengthy, the message of the Cause was proclaimed and arguments and evidences advanced. There was no dissent. All heard the glad tidings with complete acquiescence, and praise was unanimous, even including the ministers.

The friends in Los Angeles and San Francisco are very firm in the Covenant. If they sense the least violation on the part of anyone, they shun him entirely; for they know that such a person is engaged in extinguishing the lamps of faith ignited by the light of the Covenant, thereby producing weakness and indifference in the divine Cause. For instance, the firm ones teach a person. Then the violators go to him and instill suspicion until he becomes lukewarm. There have been violators here in Chicago for twenty years. What have they done? Nothing. Have they been able to teach anybody? Have they been able to speak in churches or address audiences elsewhere? Have they been able to make anybody firm in the Cause? They are doing nothing except extinguishing the lamps we ignite. The friends in San Francisco are exceedingly firm. They do not receive violators in their homes. Recently a violator went to that city. The Bahá’í friends turned him away, saying, “You are not with us; why do you try to come among us?” Today the most important principle of faith is firmness in the Covenant, because firmness in the Covenant wards off differences. Therefore, you must be firm as mountains.

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

Albert Windust boards the train to welcome the Master to Chicago

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

October 31, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “In Chicago, Anything Is Possible.” 239 Days in America, 31 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/31/in-chicago-anything-is-possible/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 176-177.
  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=8#section222
  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, 381. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/28#024103585

239 Days in America, Day 203: October 30, 1912 | Train Travel

Conversations in Transit 1

Once it became possible to travel long distances on America’s trains, railroad companies introduced dining cars so their passengers wouldn’t have to stop for meals. Berths in the sleeping cars, which had been invented by George Pullman and were manufactured by his company, could be rented at an extra cost to ensure a good night’s rest. In a standard Pullman car, the seats facing each other on the floor could be extended to make a bed, and beds resting on hinges could be pulled down from the ceiling at night.

But the trains that carried ‘Abdu’l-Bahá through the rugged country, from where he watched the sun rise and set many times from his passenger car, were still a long way from the smooth rides on Amtrak today. One railway passenger of the period, who traveled west to San Francisco, recounted having to hold herself in her compartment over the rough patches of terrain so she wouldn’t be tossed into the aisle.

Nevertheless, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá often declined the luxury of a bed. When he departed Denver for Chicago, he chose not to reserve a sleeper for the night. “It is not a matter of our reluctance to pay one dollar,” he explained, “but of our unwillingness to be dependent on bodily comfort. We must be equal to the hardships of traveling like a soldier in the path of truth and not be slaves to bodily ease and comfort.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá was just as busy when riding the trains as he was while off them. He met a wide variety of people on trains, many of whom had seen his picture in the newspapers and approached him to converse.

The Journey East: Teaching on the Train 2

On the train the next day, October 30, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote of an account of His travels in America, which Mahmúd noted, “are still among the papers of His personal belongings and have not as yet been published.”

In the afternoon He began to talk with people in the seats nearby, After a few general remarks He began to discuss the Teachings, and again the people were attracted to come and cluster around Him to learn more.

Wednesday, October 30, 1912 3

While having tea in the morning, the Master said:

“This journey has passed pleasantly. The three days from California to Denver were comfortable and delightful. I did not believe that my weak constitution could bear the hardships and length of this journey.”

At my request, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote an account of His travels in America to the friends in the East. This piece of writing and another article about the history and teachings of the Blessed Beauty are still among the papers of His personal belongings and have not as yet been circulated.

In the afternoon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá conversed with passengers seated near Him, and after a few introductory remarks, spoke to them about the teachings. As the call was raised in the train, others clustered around Him and were delighted to hear His discourse on the unity of mankind, universal peace and divine civilization. Most of the passengers were interested and wanted to know more.

A man of Sufi inclinations saw the others listening with rapt attention, and spellbound by the words of the Master, asked to come near. The Master had him sit close by. After a few words, the man said, ‘All are from God.’ The Master replied:

“Yes, this is true, but one man is so exalted that others bow down before Him and He is adored by them like Christ or Moses, who called people to the oneness of divinity and who became the cause of the education of a nation, while another is so degraded that he bows down before dust and worships ants and serpents. Are these two one and the same? No, certainly not! Divine Manifestations are a different creation. All humanity is created by God but how they differ in intelligence. One is the wisest of the wise and the founder of the laws of happiness and prosperity, while the other is the most ignorant of the ignorant and a destroyer of the edifice of peace and honor.

“Prophets, therefore, have a station of their own. Many people crossed the desert of Sinai but it was Moses who heard the voice of God because the divine Manifestations have a spiritual power peculiar to themselves. Mighty nations existed at the time of the appearance of the divine Manifestations but they were degraded and became obliterated. But observe what a banner of unique being Christ unfurled without friend or helper. All are from God but all have different stations. Both men and animals are from God but what a difference there is between them.”

A minister visited Him. The Master advised him to abstain from dogmatic imitation and described to him the real meaning of baptism. Everyone was impressed by the Master’s explanations and asked for addresses of the friends from whom they could learn more about the Bahá’í teachings.

In the evening He said, ‘Let us reserve sleepers for all of us. We slept in our seats last night and that is enough. Let us not suffer any more hardship.’ We suggested that we would just get a sleeper for Him but He replied, ‘No, we must share equally.’ Therefore, six sleepers were reserved for the night.

25 October 1912, Talk at Hotel Sacramento, Sacramento, California 4

The second teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the principle of the oneness of the world of humanity. God is one; His servants are, likewise, one. God has created all; He is kind to all. Inasmuch as He is such a tender Father to all, why should His children disagree? Why should they war and fight? Like the Heavenly Father we must live in love and unity. Man is the temple of God, the image and likeness of the Lord. Surely if one should destroy the temple of God, he will incur the displeasure of the Creator. For this reason, we must live together in amity and love. Bahá’u’lláh has addressed the world of humanity, saying, “Verily, ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.” This signifies that the entire world of humanity is one tree. The various nations and peoples are the branches of that tree. Individual members of mankind are represented by the twigs and blossoms. Why should these parts of the same tree manifest strife and discord toward each other?

The third teaching of Bahá’u’lláh concerns universal peace among the nations, among the religions, among the races and native lands. He has declared that so long as prejudice—whether religious, racial, patriotic, political or sectarian—continues to exist among mankind, universal peace cannot become a reality in the world. From the earliest history of man down to the present time all the wars and bloodshed which have taken place were caused either by religious, racial, political or sectarian bias. Therefore, it is evident that so long as these prejudices continue, the world of humanity cannot attain peace and composure.

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote an account of His travels in America to the friends in the East

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

October 30, 1912


  1. Jones, Caitlin Shayda. “Conversations in Transit.” 239 Days in America, 30 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/30/conversations-in-transit/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 175.
  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=8#section221
  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, 372-373. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#305228666

239 Days in America, Day 197: October 24, 1912 | San Francisco

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Practical Spirituality” 1

ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had set out from Buffalo on the longest overland trip of his life — a distance farther than the perilous trek he had taken with his family when he was eight years old, in the dead of winter, without proper clothing, over the freezing mountains of Iran to Baghdad; farther than the voyage of his father’s second exile from Baghdad to Constantinople in 1863. On that trip he had served the exiles at night and galloped ahead of the caravans to steal moments of sleep by day: dismounting, laying down, and resting his head on the neck of his horse.

Here in America his horse was made of iron and he had slept upright in a passenger car while his train skirted the southernmost Great Lakes, whisked across the wheatfields of Iowa and Nebraska, traversed the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the salt flats of Utah, and the desert plains of Nevada, and finally arrived, in the middle of the night on October 3, on the shore of the opposite sea.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá hadn’t even planned to travel to the Golden State: it was too far and he had pressing business back in Palestine. But a campaign of letters from his friends in San Francisco and Los Angeles had changed his mind. Now, on the evening of Thursday, October 24, 1912, as he said goodbye to friends at his rented house at 1815 California Street in Pacific Heights, he could look back to three of the most eventful weeks of his entire trip through America.

California 2

Immersing them in words and deeds that were the expressions of His love, He talked to them of spiritual growth, of teaching the Cause, of sowing the seeds.

Thursday, October 24, 1912 3

A group of believers from Oakland and the vicinity arrived. Some brought their children, supplicating the Master to give them His blessings and protection and requesting Persian names for them. All were honored and delighted to have seen the One around whom all names revolve and their eyes overflowed with tears of joy. He encouraged them to make every effort to bring about universal peace and the unity of mankind. He also spoke about His address at the Jewish temple.

On the way back to San Francisco He spoke to a group of young Bahá’ís who were teaching the Cause of God and were dedicated to diffusing the divine fragrances:

“Thank God that the divine bounty has reached you, that the Sun of Truth is shining upon you and that the water of everlasting life has been provided for you. If a man drinks from a sweet spring, he ought to guide others to the same sweet water.

“You have asked me to speak about how to teach the Cause of God. I have spoken at length on this but I repeat that the teacher himself must be detached and devoted so that his breath may affect others. Whoever has taken a step in this field has succeeded. The doors of knowledge are opened before him, his eyes become seeing and he is assisted with the breaths of the Holy Spirit. He is guided himself and becomes the cause of guidance of others. Of course, a person sings a joyous song only when he himself is delighted and rapturous. Thus when one begins to guide others and adduces proofs, then his taste becomes sweeter and his heart more joyful.

“Moreover, everything is limited except the bounty of God and this bounty descends upon man through teaching the Cause of God; then divine inspiration will assist him. It is for this reason that Christ said that whenever you wish to talk do not think about it, the Holy Spirit will inspire you. If you desire eternal honor, everlasting life and heavenly exaltation, then teach the Cause. Divine confirmations shall attend you; this has been experienced. But it calls for firmness and steadfastness. Consider the disciples of Christ and observe with what firmness they arose until the Cause of God advanced. They even sacrificed their lives for this.

In response to a question about purchasing land for a Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, He said: ‘It is very good but for the present it is better to help with the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Chicago.’

The Master went to visit some schools and interesting places. Among them was a technical school, whose students stood respectfully in His presence. He was pleased with them and bestowed kindness upon them. He then went to see a purpose-built auditorium constructed in a circular shape with stairs and seating on three sides. Overlooking the stage one could see the entire audience. At the other end was a large podium with a platform designed in such a way that when a lecturer spoke, his voice could reach the audience without an echo. The building was very large and had been built for special occasions and public events; it had no roof. It was much admired by the Master.

In the afternoon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke at a gathering of the believers on the importance of teaching the Cause:

“Every day confirmations surround some specific pursuit and every hour has a purpose decreed for it. Today, teaching the Cause of God and spreading the divine teachings are what attract heavenly assistance. It is the season of seed-sowing and of propagating the Word of God.”

In the evening He spoke about the imprisonment and persecution of the Blessed Beauty and of the power and influence of the Greatest Name. As He bade farewell to the friends, His words were powerful and impressive. The hearts of the believers were in turmoil and their eyes brimming over with tears. They were saddened because it was the end of the Master’s stay among them and His lovers were feeling the pain of separation from Him.

12 October 1912, Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 4

The age has dawned when human fellowship will become a reality.

The century has come when all religions shall be unified.

The dispensation is at hand when all nations shall enjoy the blessings of international peace.

The cycle has arrived when racial prejudice will be abandoned by tribes and peoples of the world.

The epoch has begun wherein all native lands will be conjoined in one great human family.

For all mankind shall dwell in peace and security beneath the shelter of the great tabernacle of the one living God.

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

Some believers requested Persian names for their children

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

October 24, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Practical Spirituality.” 239 Days in America, 24 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/24/abdul-bahas-practical-days-in-san-francisco/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 170.
  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=8#section215
  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, 370. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#101927339

239 Days in America, Day 194: October 21, 1912 | Los Angeles

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.

California 2

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

October 21, 1912


  1. 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/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 169-170.
  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=8#section212
  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, 368. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#623647365

239 Days in America, Day 179: October 6, 1912 | San Francisco

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Ayn Rand, and the Poor 1

When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was a young man, his father wrote a series of letters to the world’s political and religious leaders. He called them to account for their treatment of the powerless. “Fear the sighs of the poor,” he wrote to Sultan ‘Abdu’l-‘Azíz, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, “and of the upright in heart who, at every break of day, bewail their plight.” The poor, Bahá’u’lláh stated, “are thy treasures on earth. It behoveth thee, therefore, to safeguard thy treasures from the assaults of them who wish to rob thee. Inquire into their affairs, and ascertain, every year, nay every month, their condition, and be not of them that are careless of their duty.”

In America, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke regularly of the means of alleviating poverty. Legislation must protect the poor, he said, and work to limit extremes of poverty and wealth. But more essential, he argued, was a change in people’s hearts — something that would demonstrate itself through material generosity and sacrifice. Moreover, he called on people to associate with the poor. It was something he had spent a great portion of his life doing.

California 2

On His first Sunday in San Francisco, October 6, Abdu’l-Bahá addressed the congregation of the First Unitarian Church in the morning and of the First Congregational Church of Oakland in the evening.

Sunday, October 06, 1912 3

The Master was invited to deliver an address at the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco. The moment He entered the church the audience stood respectfully. When the music ended, the Master was introduced by the pastor of the church, who dwelt on His 40 years of imprisonment, the martyrdom of the Eastern Bahá’ís, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s release from prison and His journey to spread the teachings of the Ancient Beauty. He also mentioned the teachings of universal peace and the unity of nations and peoples under the shadow of the Greatest Name. The pastor then read a translated passage from the Hidden Words.

The Master stood and delivered a comprehensive talk on the degrees of love, amity, peace and the oneness of mankind; the universality of the Manifestations of God; the truth of Islam; and the news of the appearance of Bahá’u’lláh. He concluded by chanting an inspiring prayer in Persian. Again the pastor stood, praised the Master’s talk and thanked Him for His address. At the conclusion of the meeting, a crowd of people came to the Master to shake His hand, expressing their sincerity and heartfelt appreciation. Those who had not yet had the honor of visiting Him took His address so they might meet Him at His home.

In the afternoon a number of Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís gathered to meet Him. In answer to a question from an Indian regarding Sufism and the Trinity, He stated:

“The reality of divinity is holy beyond descent and incarnation but the divine Manifestations are expressive of the attributes and perfections of God, the All-Praised, the Exalted. They are like mirrors placed before the Sun of Truth, so if they claim that the Sun of Truth is in them, they speak the truth. However, they mean that the signs and light of the Sun of Truth are in them, and not the Sun itself.”

In the evening ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went to the First Congregational Church in Oakland. The influence of the Cause and the majesty of the Covenant made such an impression and was so widespread that during his introduction the pastor of the church said: ‘Tonight the messenger of God will speak in the church of God and you will hear with your own ears.’

The Master spoke magnificently on the fundamental oneness of the principles of religions and the truth of Islam. His words moved and deeply affected everyone, increasing their joy and eagerness and raising the status of the Cause of God.

25 September 1912, Talk at Second Divine Science Church, 3929 West Thirty-eighth Avenue, Denver, Colorado 4

My highest hope and desire is that the strongest and most indissoluble bond shall be established between the American nation and the people of the Orient. This is my prayer to God. May the day come when through divine and spiritual activity in the human world the religions shall be reconciled and all races of mankind come together in unity and love. Fifty years ago Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed the peace of the nations and oneness of the divine religions, addressing His words to all the kings and rulers of the world in specific Tablets. Therefore, my supreme desire is the unity of the East and West, universal peace and the oneness of the world of humanity.

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá chanted an inspiring prayer in Persian at the end of His address at the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

October 6, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Ayn Rand, and the Poor.” 239 Days in America, 6 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/06/reflections-on-poverty-and-the-example-of-abdul-baha/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 166.
  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=8#section197
  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, 342. [https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/26#685192122]

239 Days in America, Day 155: September 12, 1912 | Chicago

Europe “One Vast Arsenal,” Says ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 1

FOUR IRANIAN MEN STOOD watching the mighty waters fall, and marveled at the greatness of America. It was Tuesday, September 10, 1912. “The great river feeding the falls,” one of them, Mahmúd-i-Zarqání, wrote, “is flanked on both sides by lakes, fields, mountains and woods. At some places the river falls from a height of a hundred meters. Because of the height of the falls and the crash of the water, small droplets of water form sprays which appear like a great sand storm.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Mahmúd-i-Zarqání, Dr. Ameen Fareed, and Ahmad Sohrab had arrived in Buffalo by train from Montreal at about 11 p.m. the night before, and had taken up residence in suites 118 and 120, on the third floor of the Iroquois Hotel. In the afternoon, after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave interviews to the press in his suite, the four men each paid a streetcar fare of fifty cents for the hour-long ride to Niagara Falls.

From a perch engulfed in mist, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and his secretaries watched the Niagara River thunder over the cliffs into the basin below. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gazed into the roaring waters for more than half an hour. Ahmad Sohrab wrote that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá found the sight “unsurpassed in beauty and unique in awe inspiring charm.” For a time he sat on the bank of the river eating some grapes and pears. Ahmad Sohrab took the opportunity to write postcards to friends across America, and then the party returned to Buffalo by 8 p.m. After resting in his room for thirty minutes, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá then came downstairs and spoke to a group of about seventy people in the hotel’s ballroom. …

Buffalo, Chicago, Kenosha 2

On Thursday ‘Abdu’l-Bahá called the Persians together before dawn to pack, and they left for the train station. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá left a tip with the manager for the bellboy who had served them previously. But to the taxi driver who wanted additional fare for driving Him to the station ‘Abdu’l-Bahá paid no attention. He told the friends, “‘A man may give $1,000 without minding it, but he should not yield even a dollar to the person who wishes to take it wrongfully, for such wrongful behavior is against justice. …’” His departing train sped past Niagara Falls and across the fields and valleys of the Midwest, until at 8:00 P.M. the lights of Chicago appeared. it was September 12.

The Chicago Record-Herald announced ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s return, saying that He “will hold a series of meetings” and that “He is a guest at the home of Mrs. Corinne True of 5338 Kenmore avenue and is accompanied by a Persian secretary, an interpreter and two servants.” A large group of demonstrative friends met Him at the train and He drove to Mrs. True’s home, where a crowd awaited Him.

The Independent magazine for September 12 contained a feature entitled, “America and World Peace,” 3 with the author listed as Abdul Baha Abbas. It opened with an editorial note and continued with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s responses to questions put to Him during an interview in New York on July 19. …

Thursday, September 12, 1912 4

‘Abdu’l-Bahá called us before dawn. He had already packed and readied His bags. We packed our belongings in readiness for our departure. Because the chambermaid for His room was not there, He left a dollar for her with the hotel manager. When He reached the railway station, the driver wanted more money than the usual fare. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá paid no heed to him, saying, ‘A man may give $1,000 without minding it but he should not yield even a dollar to the person who wishes to take it wrongfully, for such wrongful behavior flouts justice and disrupts the order of the world.’

As articles from the Buffalo newspapers were being translated for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the train, He again offered thanks for the assistance and protection from the Abhá Kingdom. He said:

“The confirmation and assistance of the Abhá Kingdom are more manifest than the sun. No eye or ear has seen or heard of such confirmations. Christ went into the Temple of the Jews where He spoke on the teachings of the Torah prohibiting buying and selling in the house of God. Up to the present time Christians glory in this and rejoice over it. But today through the assistance of the Abhá Beauty the Cause of God is proclaimed with the utmost openness in the churches and assemblies of the West.”

The train passed by Niagara Falls. Beautiful villages and factories nestled in green fields and wooded mountain valleys came into view. As midday approached, and as the number of passengers increased at every station, the heat grew more and more intense, causing ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to become tired and weary. He commented that, ‘The friends in America expect me to visit each city. How would this be possible? It is impossible to sit in a train every day from morning until afternoon; the body cannot stand it.’

Today the train traveled through several states. At 8:00 p.m. the lights from Chicago appeared in the distance like brilliant stars and the train pulled into the station.

The Master waited until all the passengers had left the train and then He slowly disembarked. The spacious train station was crowded with His friends. As soon as His feet touched the ground their hearts were stirred. One person hurried forward to shake His hand; another ran to kiss the hem of His robe; another held a bouquet of flowers to present to Him; and yet another raised his voice in praise and gratitude on attaining the bounty of meeting Him. It was an impressive sight, a field of yearning lovers canopied by heavens resounding with songs of joy. The friends formed two lines and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá walked majestically between them showering His blessings on each one. He then went by automobile to the home of Mrs True, the maidservant of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. There one of the Japanese friends bowed at His feet and received His blessings.

After a brief rest, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá appeared before the gathering. His eyes fell on Mr [Saichiro] Fujita, the Japanese gentleman. He remarked:

“So, how is our Japanese Effendi? Recently the government of Japan has undergone a change. A new emperor has come to the throne. The sovereignty of the former Mikado has come to an end; all the hue and cry have ceased, a handful of dust was thrown over him and covered all his imperial regalia. Such was the kingdom of the Mikado. The same is true of all the other kings.

“But as you are a believer in God, you have a kingdom which will never collapse and will be everlasting. Offer thanks to God, Who has bestowed upon you such a kingdom, greater than that of the Mikado. The first Bonaparte was a famous man and a great general who conquered most of the countries of Europe and became the emperor of France. The whole of Europe trembled before his command. The star of his prosperity set and it shall never rise again. At last a trifling incident obliterated his dominion and he became a prisoner in a state of extreme hardship in St Helena where he lamented until his death. One day as he was talking with his generals, they said that Christ, too, was a wise man like Napoleon. He replied, ‘No, you are mistaken. There is a vast difference between Him and me.’

“The sovereignty of Napoleon ceased as soon as he died but the Kingdom of Christ is eternal. The former established his mortal kingdom with bloodshed and the sword while Christ established the Kingdom of God with the life-giving breaths of the Holy Spirit. Napoleon established his kingdom through the power of oppression while Christ established His through the power of the love of God. A hundred thousand Napoleons may be effaced but the Kingdom of Christ will remain forever. Such is the Kingdom of God.”

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

… 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 …

Fourth, religion must reconcile and be in harmony with science and reason. …

Fifth, prejudice … is the destroyer of human foundations and opposed to the commands of God. …

Sixth, the world of humanity is in need of the confirmations of the Holy Spirit. …

Seventh, the necessity of education for all mankind is evident. …

Eighth, universal peace will be established among the nations of the world by international agreement. The greatest catastrophe in the world of humanity today is war. Europe is a storehouse of explosives awaiting a spark. All the European nations are on edge, and a single flame will set on fire the whole of that continent. Implements of war and death are multiplied and increased to an inconceivable degree, and the burden of military maintenance is taxing the various countries beyond the point of endurance. Armies and navies devour the substance and possessions of the people; the toiling poor, the innocent and helpless are forced by taxation to provide munitions and armament for governments bent upon conquest of territory and defense against powerful rival nations. There is no greater or more woeful ordeal in the world of humanity today than impending war. Therefore, international peace is a crucial necessity. An arbitral court of justice shall be established by which international disputes are to be settled. Through this means all possibility of discord and war between the nations will be obviated.

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s response to the taxi driver who demanded more for the usual fare

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

September 12, 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Europe ‘One Vast Arsenal,’ Says ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.” 239 Days in America, 12 Sept. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/09/12/an-iranian-asks-americans-to-pray-that-war-shall-not-come/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 140.
  3. Abdul Baha Abbas, “America and World Peace,” The Independent, 73 (Sept. 12, 1912), 606-09.
  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=7#section172
  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, 317. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/22#922361457

239 Days in America, Day 130: August 18, 1912 | Green Acre

Hand-in-Hand with the Indomitable Kate Carew 1

LAST WEEK, AS WE reached the midpoint of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journey, someone asked me what aspect of the story had surprised me the most. What immediately came to mind was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s engagement with the issue of race. Living on this side of the Civil Rights era, it is perhaps impossible for any of us to truly understand the racial milieu of 1912, and to grasp how singular it was for a man from the Middle East to arrive on American shores and begin to enact change.

On further reflection, I realize that I have been continually surprised at how modern — or even American — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was. He had been in exile or prison for almost sixty of his sixty-seven years, yet here he was strolling through the streets of New York, fully in sync with the hectic pace, and often improvised character, of American life. This unlikely convergence is perhaps best exemplified in his interview with Kate Carew.

Green Acre 2

The next day, August 18, after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke, the chairman sat weeping; and, as He ended in prayer, one lady stood up and fainted. Leaving that meeting, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stopped to hear a group that was singing. He said to them, “‘We listen always to your terrestrial music, now it would be well for you to give ear to our celestial songs.’”

17 August 1912, Talk at Green Acre, Eliot, Maine 3

Tonight I wish to speak upon the oneness of the world of humanity. This is one of the important subjects of the present period. If the oneness of the human world were established, all the differences which separate mankind would be eradicated. Strife and warfare would cease, and the world of humanity would find repose. Universal peace would be promoted, and the East and West would be conjoined in a strong bond. All men would be sheltered beneath one tabernacle. Native lands would become one; races and religions would be unified. The people of the world would live together in harmony, and their well-being would be assured.

Sunday, August 18, 1912 4

It was a rainy day. The Master was occupied until noon counseling the friends to devote their time in teaching the Cause of God and advising them not to interfere in the affairs of the Green Acre Fellowship. Lunch was prepared by Mrs Kinney. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: ‘A little soup would have sufficed me. A variety of foods makes me ill.’

In the afternoon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave an impressive talk to a gathering of liberal-minded visitors concerning the renewal of religious laws and the oneness of the Manifestations of God. A wonderful impression was produced on the whole audience as His melodious voice rang with majestic tones, moving the chairman of the conference to tears. As the Master was offering a prayer, one lady stood up and then fainted. When she regained consciousness she said that the power of the meeting overwhelmed her. It seemed to her that everyone in the audience was flying in heaven.

When the Master left this gathering, He met some people who were singing. He said to them, ‘We listen always to your terrestrial music, now it would be well for you to give ear to our celestial songs.’ After seeing to things in the kitchen, He came out to meet a number of the friends who had come to seek His advice on personal matters. He gave each His special attention. When Miss Edna McKinney, who had transcribed His addresses in English, came into His presence, He said to her, ‘Thou art a maidservant who in the Kingdom of God is among the near ones. I desire the confirmation and protection of the Abhá Kingdom for you.’ He also expressed extraordinary kindness for Mrs Parsons, Mrs Goodall, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Krug and Miss Juliet Thompson, who were not present. He advised Mrs Kinney not to wish for too rapid progress at once in the emancipation of women.

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá preferred simple foods

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 18 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “Hand-in-Hand with the Indomitable Kate Carew.” 239 Days in America, 18 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/18/the-indomitable-kate-carew/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 125-126.
  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, 264-265. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/19#639846345
  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#section147