Abdu’l‐Baha giving a souvenir of the Baha’i Temple Dedication to Charles Greenleaf (age 17). Photo courtesy of the Baha'is of the United States.
I think it goes without saying that Abdu’l-Baha communicated the principles of the Baha’i Faith through His actions: generosity, for example, was articulated when coins were placed in the hands of destitute men at the Bowery Mission in New York City and social justice was demonstrated when Louis Gregory, who had been excluded from a luncheon owing to his race, was personally invited to the table by Abdu’l-Baha and given the seat of honor.
This year, as we commemorate the centenary of His Passing, I have been thinking about the Westerners who were in His presence and I often wonder about the logistics of language for those who did not speak Persian, Arabic or Turkish as He did.
I have read accounts of His travels to Europe and North America that describe how there were interpreters in His entourage and that for the most part His communications were translated to those around Him. Stanwood Cobb describes the unique experience of what it was like to hear Abdu’l-Baha speak via a translator: Continue reading
Angelina Diliberto Allen has penned a new historical book called When the Moon Set Over Haifa. This book shares the stories of six Westerners who were in Haifa at the time of the Passing of Abdu’l-Baha on November 28, 1921. There were five pilgrims: John Bosch and Louise Stapfer Bosch, Dr. Florian Krug and Grace Krug, and Fraulein Johanna Hauff. The only other Western believer present was Curtis Kelsey from New York, who was there to install electrical power plants to light the Shrines of the Bab and Baha’u’llah.
This book tells the story of these six Baha’is and explores how their experiences at the time of the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha shaped their lives. Angelina’s book is such a gift, especially in this special commemorative year when we reflect on the Life of Abdu’l-Baha. You can hear Angelina talk about her book, and many other fascinating topics, in this episode of the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson but in this interview, we hear specifically about When the Moon Set Over Haifa. Here’s what Angelina graciously shared with us:
Nestled within a greater initiative called The Utterance Project, Violetta Zein has produced an informative, visually-rich online project titled “The Extraordinary Life of Abdu’l-Baha” in honor of the centenary of His Passing. It’s an interactive and illustrated nine-part chronology of the Life of Abdu’l-Baha and you may find it useful and inspiring, particularly in this special year as we strive to reflect profoundly on His Life.
I am so grateful to Violetta for sharing with us all about this initiative. Here’s what she shared with the Baha’i Blog team: Continue reading
In preparation for the release of his new album in honor of the centenary of the Passing of Abdu’l-Baha, Home of Light, singer-songwriter Luke Slott took viewers on a 19 day journey of storytelling and music during the month of the Baha’i Fast.
Luke’s wonderful recounting of the events and stories of the history of the Baha’i Faith, coupled with his beautiful music, was captured in a series of 20 videos called ‘A Story of Light’. I wanted to connect with my dear friend Luke to find out more about this wonderful initiative and to share it with our readers. Here’s what he had to say: Continue reading
On April 11, 1912 in New York City, Abdu’l-Baha commenced 239 unforgettable days traversing the North American continent with this warm greeting: “How are you? Welcome! Welcome!” How typical it was of His generosity of spirit that He should be welcoming His devotees as His own guests!
After arriving today, although weary with travel, I had the utmost longing and yearning to see you and could not resist this meeting. Now that I have met you, all my weariness has vanished, for your meeting is the cause of spiritual happiness.
This long voyage will prove how great is my love for you. There were many troubles and vicissitudes, but, in the thought of meeting you, all these things vanished and were forgotten.
Abdu’l-Baha’s loving words of encouragement and guidance continue to ring out more than a century later, inviting readers today to follow in His footsteps through the pages of The Promulgation of Universal Peace, the indispensable collection of talks and discourses He gave during His North American sojourn. Continue reading
A new volume of recently translated Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha titled Light of the World has just been released by the Baha’i World Centre! You can download and read the volume in its entirety from the Baha’i Reference Library here: Light of the World: Selected Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha
As Baha’is and their friends around the world prepare to commemorate the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s Passing, this new volume is a treasured gift. The volume contains 76 Tablets describing aspects of the life of Baha’u’llah including the tribulations He suffered, events in His homeland, the purpose and greatness of His Cause, and the nature and significance of His Covenant. Continue reading
We’re excited to share that a selection of 26 prayers prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice and released in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Abdu’l-Baha’s passing has just been made available online on the Baha’i Reference Library.
The Baha’i Reference Library offers downloadable and searchable Writings from Baha’u’llah, the Bab, Abdu’l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, letters and publications of the Universal House of Justice and compilations, such as the recently released compilation on the Universal House of Justice. You can click on “Recent Additions” to see what’s been added to the Baha’i Reference Library.
If you haven’t already, you may wish to subscribe to the Baha’i World News Service, which often reports when new translations are released, as well as documents the activities of the worldwide Baha’i community.
The Baha’i World is an incredible global publication under the direction of the Universal House of Justice. Its first volumes were overseen by Shoghi Effendi, shortly after the start of his ministry as Guardian in 1921. The continuation of The Baha’i World volumes paused for several years but in May 2019, the publication was relaunched online (https://bahaiworld.bahai.org). Most recently the website has been enhanced and it’s definitely worth repeatedly exploring. Continue reading