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

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall 1913, Egypt; His power of adaptability

Between now and December 5, 'Abdu'l-Bahá will still be in Egypt. Various people, including Shoghi Effendi and Bahiyyih Khanum, have and will visit Him there. I can just picture those in Akka yearning for his return--His own wife and daughters, for instance! It's somewhat of a mystery why He chose to stay for so long, but here are some stories from this time: 

From Earl Redman's 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Their Midst:

 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s health slowly improved over the summer, but reversed in the autumn, in part due to the activities of two of His recent travelling companions. Tamaddunu’l-Mulk, who had been with the Master in London and Paris, was attempting to split the Bahá’ís in Tehran while Amin Fareed was defying His orders. By the middle of the next year, Fareed was in open defiance of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and was travelling through Europe trying to raise money for himself using the name of the Faith. He arranged one such meeting in London which was prevented by the efforts of Lotfullah Hakim. Mason Remey and George Latimer also toured Europe to counter Fareed’s activities. Fareed’s appetite for money, which began in America with his efforts to pry money from Phoebe Hearst and Agnes Parsons, led to his expulsion from the Faith.
            Slowly, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s health continued to improve. At about 6 o’clock one morning, He went to the house where His secretaries stayed. Even though He had already done considerable work, He arrived to find every one of them still quite asleep.

            On the afternoon of 29 October, ‘Abdul-Bahá went for a walk. When He reached the telegraph office at the Bacos station, He went in to visit with the chief operator, something He did on occasion. Ahmad Sohrab wrote:

How wonderful it seems to me, his power of adaptability to all people . . . how he enjoys the free and unimpeded association of men! Here was Abdul-Baha sitting in a small telegraph office of Ramleh, talking heartily in Arabic with an operator and how he listened to him. First he spoke about the brother of the Khedive, and how he met him in America and France, praising his progressive ideas and intelligence. Then he said:
  ‘When I was in America I was most busy. Often I addressed three meetings a day, and gave innumerable interviews from early morning till midnight. In Europe I spread certain divine teachings which will insure security to the human world, and taught them that the foundation of the religions of God is one and the same. Now I have returned to Egypt in order to rest from the effects of this arduous journey; but while I am here correspondence is uninterrupted with all parts of the West . . . I have done this, not because I expected the praise of men. Far from it! How foolish are some people who may think that we have accepted all these hardships and undergone forty years of imprisonment by Sultan Abdul Hamid, in order to receive the commendations of men! How thoughtless they are! Neither their adulation or blame shall reach me. I have done my work! I have sown my seeds, and leave it to the power of God to cause their growth! You wait a few years longer and you will then hear the notes of this melodious music!’

YES! YES! We are hearing the music now. . . .