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

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 1, 1913 Stuttgart

Earl Redman writes: 

By 1 May  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was finally well enough to travel to Paris. Before leaving, He met the Stuttgart Bahá’ís in groups at His hotel. On one memorable occasion, He was looking out of his hotel window when he saw a regiment of soldiers marching by. He said:

They are ready to fight for their fatherland. How barbarous it seems to send men who do not even know each other, to the battlefield in order to shoot each other down. The Bahai Grand Army consists of the invisible angels of the Supreme Concourse. Our swords are the words of love and life. Our armaments are the invisible armaments of Heaven. We are fighting against the forces of darkness. O my soldiers, my beloved soldiers! Forward! Forward! Have no fear of defeat; do not have failing hearts. Our supreme commander is Baha’o’llah. From the heights of glory he is directing this dramatic engagement. He commands us! Rush forward! Rush forward! Show the strength of your arms. Ye shall scatter the forces of ignorance. Your war confers life; their war brings death. Your war is the cause of the illumination of all mankind. Your war means victory upon victory. Their war is defeat upon defeat. Their war is the origin of destruction. There are no dangers before you. Push forward! Fire! Fire! . . .[i]

Just over a year later the conflagration of war would engulf the whole of Europe.

[i] Star of the West, vol. VII, no. 16 (31 December 1916), p. 157; a slightly different version is in Star of the West, vol. IV, no. 4 (17 May 1913), p. 72.

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