Our dear friend Anne Corcoran has translated the following. How fitting that I should receive it today!
Librairie Bahá′í 1998 A book produced for the centenary of the Bahá′í Faith in France in 1998.
8 March 1913
The beloved Master was suffering from the flu February 26 and wasn’t yet completely better because of his frailty and his tiredness. When the friends met ‘Abdu’l Bahá said in substance:
“I wish very much to speak at length with you but my health doesn’t permit me. (. . . In Paris my energies were weekend and unfortunately I wasn’t able to leave this city and I rested here.
I love you very much and I wish that during these days I could speak longer with you. It is necessary to say, however, that in this illness there is a wisdom, it is not without reason; later it will become known that I did not become ill in Paris without reason.
I have been travelling two and a half years, I haven’t been sick anywhere except here, so I have had to stay longer here. If I hadn’t fallen sick I wouldn’t have stayed more than a month in Paris. There is however a wisdom in this. I am under the divine will and not under the law of nature. It is not nature that dominates me, no, it is the will of God that does what it wishes. It has been that way since the beginning of my life. All that has passed it is after one understands the wisdom. I was, in Tehran, a child of seven years, when I contracted tuberculosis, without any possibility of cure. It was later that the reason for that illness became obvious. In fact, if I hadn’t got sick, I would have had to stay in the Mazandaran region, and not in Tehran (. . . ) and then, at the moment of the “Blessed- Beauty”, I would not have been able to accompany him to Iraq. At the right time my illness passed in spite of the fact that the doctors had confirmed the impossibility of my cure. . . . In my present illness, there is also a wisdom which will become known later”. [Not exact translation of 'Abdu'l Baha's word]
In between, entire groups of people hurried to the door to see the source of these words, and to pay their respects. Groups of Iranian students, Muslims and Bahá’ís, Jewish students, well known people, philosophers and writers (like Henri Bergson, Mr. and Mrs. Brown from Cambridge), eminent politicians (notably oriental) the diplomatic minister of Persia, who with the ambassadors secretary visited several times with invitations to visit him. We must not forget also the Prince Zillu’s- Sultán – the arrogant eldest son of Nasir’d- Din Sháh – the governor of Isfahan at the time of the martyrdom of the illustrious Bahá’ís , the “King of martyrs”, and the “Best beloved of martyrs”.
No house in the world was as hospitable as that of ‘Abdu’l Bahá, who to all, without any distinction, a friend and a master. No one could leave that house without joy in their heart.
Rowshan Mavaddat Extract from Bahá’í France no 15, winter 1988
In this article the sense of the Bahá′í words of ‘Abdu’l Bahá are reported. That is, the author has translated from Persian the essence of Abdu’l Bahá’s words.