Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thoughts of Pilgrims

At one in the morning on November 28, 1921, Abdu'l-Baha passed into the next world. He was at his home in Palestine. A number of pilgrims were closeby, because they had come to visit the Baha'i shrines. Here are a few passages from a letter written by one such pilgrim:

"Abdu’l Baha, after having gone to bed, again slept apparently until nearly eleven o’clock. Then he roused and his daughter Rouha Khanum came to his bed. She saw that Abdu’l Baha had perspired much. She poured some water for him which he drank. She then went to his dresser to obtain a fresh night garment for him. But, alas, she found none! Her father, as usual, had given everything away.

At the time this was related to me I thought of a beautiful cotton night shirt that my husband and myself had brought along with us from a believer in Germany who sent it by us to Abdu’l Baha as a present. It was a fine gentleman’s garment, all handmade by the sender, of the best pre-war cotton goods and embroidered with Abdu’l Baha's monogram. It seemed superfluous to ask what had become of it – no doubt it had gone by the way all such things would go when given to Abdu’l Baha, “the father of the poor.”

Rouha Khanum then ran over to her own house and returned to her father’s bedside with the needed garment secured from her husband’s drawer. Afterward she gave Abdu’l Baha some water to drink and presently he fell asleep again."

I have chosen not to post the passages about the moment that Abdu'l-Baha departed from this world. I feel extremely thoughtful after reading the above passage. It underlines the generous spirit of Abdu'l-Baha.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thoughts Directed at Children

On Sunday, Nov. 24, 1912, a group of children came to visit Abdu'l-Baha. They had seen him several days earlier, while on their way to school. Abdu'l-Baha received them graciously, and gave them some candies and flowers. He also gave those children a bit of advice. Here is what he said:

"I hope you will be educated as you ought to be and that each of you will become the pride of your family. May God assist you to acquire divine knowledge in the school of the world of must obey your parents so that they may be pleased with you, and so that God will be pleased with you, and that you may become the children of the Kingdom and mirror forth words of Christ."

The above statement can be found in Manmud's Diary, a book written by Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani, and translated by Mohi Sobhani.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thoughts on Detachment

As Abdu'-Baha traveled around the United States, he did not show much concern for his clothes. He made a point of keeping them clean, but he did not have lots of different things to wear. He did not worry much about where he would get his next meal. He was very detached from the concerns of everyday life. He modeled the life stylye about which he had written:

" ye not, seek ye no composure, attach no yourselves to the luxuries of this ephemeral world, free yourselves from every attachement and strive with heart and soul to become fully established in the Kingdom of God. Gain yer the heavenly treasures. Day by day become ye more illumined. Drae ye nearer and nearer unto the threshold of oneness."

The above quote, written by Abdu'l-Baha, comes from page 87 of Tablets of the Divine Plan.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Discovering Thoughts

Yesterday I discovered a thick book that contains the thoughts of one of the Persians that traveled with Abdu'l-Baha. I leafed through the book, knowing that I can return to the same group of bookshelves next Sunday.

Later I took part in a discussion about Abdu'l-Baha and his father. During our discussion, the members of a our group read some thoughts on traveling, thoughts written by Adu'l-Baha. Here is what he had to say:

"O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and raising the call of 'Ya Baha'u'l-Abha' in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the divine teachings! This alas I can not do. How intensely I implore it! Please God, you may achieve it."

The above quote was taken from The Divine Plan by Abdu'l-Baha.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on an Unveiling

Tomorrow, November 12th, is the birthday of Baha'u'llah, the father of Abdu'l-Baha. Tomorrow, Nov. 12, 2009 the Charter for Compassion will be revealed. You can read more about that charter at this website: I think you will agree with me, when I say that both Abdu'l-Baha and his father would have praised the unveiling of this charter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Link to Profound Thoughts

Today, the Iranians who want to follow the teachings of Abdu'l-Baha face threats of persecution. Seven of those followers are now in prison. Read what has been said about them by this one knowledgeable diplomat:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts on a Truthful Label

When I wrote the short story that was later included in an anthology, I assumed that the company making Life Saver Candies adhered to a truth in labeling policy. I never imagined the possibility that a candy could have harmful ingredients (other than decay causing sugar). Today, however, I have read about one candy that did have such ingredients.

Today the makers of Jelly Belly candies had to recall the containers with the phrase "49 flavors" on the label. The company had failed to put on the label all of the ingredients. The ingredient list lacked mention of the peanut butter and peanut flour that were used in making the Jelley Belly candies.

When I read about that, I immediatey tried to envision what Abdu'l-Baha might have said or thought, if told that he should return his roll of candy and get his money back.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thoughts About a Prayer

When Abdu'l-Baha was sailing from New York back to Europe and eventually Egypt, he met a man who was a professor at Mount Holyoke College. When he learned that the professor taught at an all female institution, Abdu'l-Baha promised to pray for that College.

Have his prayers been answered? To discover what is happening at that College this week go to