Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 15, 1913 Bristol; correlation between Denver & Clifton

At Clifton Guest House, 1911
Earl Redman writes:

‘Abdu’l-Bahá returned to the Clifton Guest House in Bristol on 15 January, this time accompanied by the Persian Ambassador, Dúst-Muhammad Khán. At a meeting that evening with many outstanding people in attendance, Mírzá Mahmúd was struck by the sight of the Ambassador, whose tears flowed down his face as he watched people of all walks of life bowing and curtseying. ‘That moved me so much that I was greatly affected, and wept and rejoiced too’, wrote Mahmúd:

In Britain, at large gatherings, I had noticed time and again the same reaction from men of his standing . . . who kept saying: ‘What great glory God conferred upon us . . . what a Sun of grandeur and felicity rose from the horizon of the East, but alas, alas, we did not heed it . . ‘. [i]

In the evening, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá met a group at the Guest House. Interspersed in the crowd, ‘Here and there was seen a scarlet fez which denoted the presence of eastern students, some of whom He had met there in 1911’. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá greeted them by raising His palms to His forehead, then told them that He had ‘come to Clifton this time via Las Angeles and Chicago’. Although the Master began His talk seated, He was soon on His feet ‘occasionally walking to and fro, and sometimes emphasizing a fact with upraised hand or standing still with eyes closed and his silver voice low’.[ii]
            In the Clifton Chronicle and Directory of 22 January it was reported that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told Wellesley Tudor-Pole that of all the places He had visited in Europe and America, He found the climate to be the most pleasant in Denver and Clifton. He also complimented the people of Clifton and encouraged them to ‘become the means of creating good fellowship between the children of men. May they relinquish those blind dogmas which have created strife in the world of humanity. May they become instrumental in putting into practice the Heavenly teaching’.[iii]

[i] Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 370.
[ii] Star of the West, vol. 1V, no. 1 (21 March 1913), p. 4.
[iii] The Clifton Chronicle and Directory, 22 January 1913, in United Kingdom Bahá’í Archives. 

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