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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January 8, 1913 The Glory of the Lord revealed

 Still in Edinburgh, 'Abdu'l-Bahá continues His extensive talks and activities.  Earl Redman, in 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Their Midst, writes:

On 8 January, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued to receive visitors. One medical student, a ‘Mohamadan Hindu’, asked Him to perform a marriage between him and a ‘Scotch lassie’.  Unfortunately, it was discovered that it would take ten days to get a licence from the city Registrar, making it impossible for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to do so since He was to leave in just three days.
            The newspapers had reported the meeting of the previous evening, and were looking forward to the next one, to be held that afternoon at the Rainy Hall, part of New College, the Divinity Faculty of Edinburgh University. One of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s common themes was the futility of war. The Edinburgh Evening Dispatch wrote: ‘He is endeavouring to do what Foreign Secretaries, and Peace Conferences, and Ambassadorial Conversations have been striving to do with cannon on their backs . . . it would be well to listen attentively to what this Persian has to say. His coming is at least opportune, when Europe is full of armed men with murder in their eyes’.
            During His talk at Rainy Hall on 8 January, the Master said, just nineteen months before the outbreak of the world war:

What is this native land, this fatherland that we glory over so much? We live but a few years on the surface of the earth; afterwards it becomes our eternal cemetery, as is has been the cemetery of all men and women that have lived since Adam. In the circumstances, is patriotic prejudice worth all the division it has caused? 

After ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s presentation, Reverend A. B. Robb thanked Him, saying:

We have been in the habit of sending missionaries from the West to the East to preach the Gospel. Today we have a missionary from the East to preach the old Gospel in a new and original way. After all, it is not the words which have impressed us so much as the life. He has a right to speak, for He has spent forty years of His life in prison for the sake of the truth which was revealed to Him.

            Miss E. C. H. Pagan remembered ‘Abdu’l-Bahá saying that ‘the Federation of Europe would actually come about in the present century . . . Little did we then think from what terrible suffering this Federation would begin to emerge’.   This prediction came 39 years before the first step was taken in the formation of the European Common Market in 1951, later to develop into the European Union.
            Later, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went to St Giles Cathedral for a charity performance of Handel’s Messiah. When the group entered the Cathedral, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took His seat in the front row of the gallery looking down on the rest of the audience. Ahmad Sohrab wrote:

All the eyes involuntarily turned to Him with wonder and respect. Then the chorus with delightfully trained voices raised the exultant tone ‘And the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it’. Was not this a wonderful prophecy which had they wisdom and perception they could see the Glory of the Lord revealed before their own eyes!
[end of Redman's account]
Men students at the art school,
around that time

He also visited the Arts School, part of New College. 
Photos provided by Hari Docherty
Women students at the art school
around that time

Don't you wish you could have experienced this day, in its own multi-faceted glory? 

No comments:

Post a Comment