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VOL. II. November 4, 1911. No. 13
Tablet from Abdul-Baha 3 Farewell to Abdul-Baha—Article reprinted from The Christian Commonwealth, issue of Oct. 4th 4 The Work in California—By Mrs. H. S. Goodall and Mr. Sydney Sprague 11 Recent Letters from Bombay, India—By N. R. Vakil 11 Persian Section—Illustrated 12-24
STAR OF WEST
At the direction of the last Convention and with the later recommendation of Abdul-Baha, 292 feet of lake frontage, securing an unobstructed view from the Mashrak-el-Azkar site, has just been opportunely purchased under contract by the Bahai Temple Unity. The funds for this purchase must be raised by individual donations aside from the anticipated revenue necessary to complete the payment on the original plot. $2,200 is already available. $2,800 more is needed to meet this initial payment which is due December 29th, the remainder being due in four annual payments of $3,000 each. The call is urgent. Remittances to the Financial Secretary, Mrs. Corinne True, 5338 Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, Ill. Executive Board Bahai Temple Unity.
PRICE LIST OF PUBLICATIONS OF THE BAHAI REVELATION Hidden Words $ .15 Seven Valleys .25 Book of Ighan 1.00 Postage 10 cents
Tarazat and Other Tablets In Press Tablet of Ishrakat .25 Surat-ul-Hykl .25 Tablets of Abdul-Baha (Vol. I) 1.50 Postage 15 cents Mysterious Forces of Civilization 1.50 Postage 10 cents
Bahai Revelation $1.00 Postage 10 cents
Universal Religion 1.25 Postage 10 cents
Some Answered Questions 1.50 Postage 15 cents
School of the Prophets 1.25 Postage 10 cents
Unity Through Love .10 In Galilee .35 A Year with Baha'is of India and Burma .25 Story of Bahai Movement .05
Revelation of Baha'o'llah $ .10 Dawn of Knowledge .15 Martyrdoms in Persia .10 10 Days in Lt. of Acca .25 Table Talks with Abdul-Baha .10 Daily Lessons Received at Acca .20 My Visit to Acca .10 Flowers from the Rose Garden of Acca .10 Portfolio of Views of Holy Land 1.00
PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED BY THE BAHAI PUBLISHING SOCIETY Address all Orders to MISS MARY LESCH, 5205 Jefferson Avenue CHICAGO
In congratulating the recently re-organized Bahai Publishing Society in securing the services of so capable a servant as Miss Mary Lesch, to attend to the sale and distribution of its publications, the STAR OF THE WEST, on behalf of all the friends in America, wishes to voice its appreciation of the pioneer work accomplished by the members of that Society during the past years, especially the self-sacrifice and devotion of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur S. Agnew. The Editors.
STAR OF THE WEST VOL. II Chicago (November 4, 1911) Kudrat No. 13
TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA.
Through Aga Ahmad Sohrab and Jenab Mr. Remey. To all friends of ABHA in America:
Upon them be the Glory of God!
O friends of BAHA'O'LLAH!
Your letters reached me and were read with great joy. Praise be to God, that they are the proofs of faith and assurance in the Kingdom ABHA. They are witnesses of firmness and steadfastness and earnest supplication.
His highness Jesus says if the Promised One manifests in the East, his signs will appear in the West. Now give thanks to God that as the Great Sun arose in the East, his Brilliant Light shone upon the West and brightened the western world. Therefore you must give a thousand thanks every moment that though you were apparently very far off, in reality you were near.
A blind person cannot see the sun though near, but eyes with sight can see it from a thousand miles' distance. For this the Great Almighty be praised, that in the far west the nostrils are perfumed by the Holy Fragrance.
Appreciate this Bounty, be happy and joyful for this Divine boundless Bounty. With great love you have asked for the presence of Abdul-Baha in America, I also greatly wish to go to the friends and see their interesting faces. But during this journey I have no time. I must go back to the East, this is according to wisdom. Therefore with great regret and sorrow at separation I am obliged to return. If it pleases God next year I will take a journey towards the West so that I may engage myself in seeing the faces of the friends, in proclaiming the Word of God and in spreading the Divine Fragrance and the calling of the Kingdom of God in the great meetings and assemblies.
If you only knew in what condition of tumult and excitement of longing is the soul and heart of Abdul-Baha to see you, then surely, because of the greatness of your happiness you would express your joy in music and song and engage yourselves in the melodies of the Supreme Court in worshipping and praising Almighty God.
Upon you be the Glory of ABHA!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
On the morning of Oct. 2d, Abdul-Baha breakfasted with the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House. The Lord Mayor said to him that he considered London to be greatly honoured by having such a guest. The next morning Abdul-Baha left for Paris and is residing in a nice flat taken for a month or so, near the Trocadero and Arc de Triomphe.
[Reprinted from The Christian Commonwealth, London, Eng., issue of Oct. 4, 1911.]
FAREWELL TO ABDUL BAHA.
Impressive Meeting in London.
At the invitation of Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper about two hundred representative people met in the hall of the Passmore Edwards' Settlement, Tavistock Place, last Friday evening to bid farewell to Abdul Baha Abbas on the eve of his departure for Paris. Arriving in London on Monday evening, September 4, he has spent a happy and busy four weeks in our midst. Except for a brief visit to Bristol last week, he remained at 97, Cadogan Gardens. His time was mainly occupied in interviews with people who wished to meet him. These included not a few whose names are household words in this country, and some travelled long distances to see him.
A beautiful spirit prevailed on Friday evening. The atmosphere was very different from that of an ordinary meeting or religious gathering. Everyone present was enriched by the lofty spiritual tone of the proceedings; the notes struck were all in the direction of Brotherhood, unity, peace. While a report of the speeches would give a very inadequate idea of the effect produced, yet they were so well-conceived, so sincere, so exquisitely phrased as to be all worthy of reproduction. Among others Ameer Ali Syed wrote regretting his inability to be present, and Archdeacon Wilberforce sent affectionate greetings.
After the Lord's Prayer and prayers for Unity of Baha'u'llah and Gelasius (V. century), Professor Michael Sadler spoke as follows:—
We have met together to bid farewell to Abdul Baha, and to thank God for his example and teaching, and for the power of his prayers to bring Light into confused thought, Hope into the place of dread, Faith where doubt was, and into troubled hearts the Love which overmasters self-seeking and fear. Though we all, among ourselves, in our devotional allegiance, have our own individual loyalties, to all of us Abdul Baha brings, and has brought, a message of unity, of sympathy, and of peace. He bids us all be real and true in what we profess to believe; and to treasure above everything the Spirit behind the form. With him we bow before the hidden name, before that which is of every life the Inner Life! He bids us worship in fearless loyalty to our own faith, but with ever stronger yearning after union, brotherhood, and love; so turning ourselves in spirit, and with our whole heart, that we may enter more into the mind of God, which is above class, above race, and beyond time.
Prof. Sadler concluded with a beautiful prayer of James Martineau.
Mr. Eric Hammond said the Bahai movement stood for unity: one God, one people; a myriad souls manifesting the divine unity, a unity so complete that no difference of colour or creed could possibly differentiate between one manifestation of God and another, and a sympathy so all-embracing as to include the very lowest, meanest, shabbiest of men; unity, sympathy, brotherhood, leading up to a concord
universal. He concluded with a saying of Baha'u'llah, that the divine cause of universal good could not be limited to either East or West. Miss Alice Buckton said we were standing at one of the springtimes of the world, and from that assembly of representatives of thought and work and love would go out all over the world making for unity and brotherhood. The complete equality of men and women was one of the chief notes of Bahai teaching. Sir Richard Stapley pointed out that unity must not be sought in the forms and externals of religion, but in the inner spirit. In Persia there has been such an impulse towards real unity as was a rebuke to this so-called Christian country. Mr. Claude Montefiore, as a Jew, rejoiced in the growth of the spirit of unity, and regarded that meeting as prophetic of the better time to come, and in some sense a fulfillment of the idea expressed by one who fell a martyr to the Roman Catholic faith, Sir Thomas Moore, who wrote of the great Church of the Utopians, in which all varieties of creeds gathered together, having a service and liturgy that expressed the higher unity, while admitting special loyalties. Mrs. Stannard dwelt on what that meeting and the sentiments expressed meant to the East, especially to the women, whose condition it was difficult for the West to understand. Tamaddon-ul-Molk testified to the unifying effect the Bahai movement had had in Persia, and of the wonderful way in which it had spread to America and other countries.
Then “The Master” rose to give his farewell address. An impressive figure, the face rather worn, but the eyes full of animation, he stood for about fifteen minutes, speaking in soft, musical Persian. From time to time he gently stroked his white beard, and with hands extended, palms upwards, he closed with a prayer:—
O noble friends and seekers for the Kingdom of God! God be praised! we see the light of love is shining in the East and the West; and the tent of intercourse is raised in the centre of the world for the drawing together of hearts and souls. The call of the Kingdom has gone all over the world. The annunciation of the world's Universal Peace has enlightened the world's conscience. My hope is that by the zeal and ardour of the pure-hearted, the darkness of hatred and differences will be entirely abolished, and the light of love and unity will shine more brightly. This world shall become a new world. Things material will become the mirror of the Kingdom. Human hearts will meet and embrace each other. The whole world shall become as a man's native country; and different races shall be counted as one race. Then disputes and differences will vanish, and the Divine Beloved will be revealed in the society of mankind. It is because the East and the West are illumined by the One Sun, all races, nations, and creeds are the servants of the One God. The whole earth is one home, and all peoples are bathed in the ocean of God's mercy. God created all. He gives sustenance to all. He guides and trains all under the shadow of his bounty. We must follow the example God himself gives us, and do away with all these differences and quarrels. Praise be to God! the signs of friendship are appearing, and a proof of this is that today I—an Easterner—in the London of the West have received extreme kindness, regard, and love, and I am deeply thankful and happy. I shall never forget this time I have spent with you. I leave you with extreme regret, and with prayers for you, that all the beauty of the Kingdom may be yours.
The translation of the valedictory having been read by Professor Sadler, Abdul Baha closed the meeting by giving his blessing in undulating rhythmic tones.
By the time these lines appear Abdul Baha Abbas will have left our shores, but the memory of his gracious personality is a permanent possession. His influence will be felt for many days to come, and has already done much to promote that union of East and West for which many have long yearned.
THE WORK IN CALIFORNIA.
“The future of California, whether in regard to its material affairs or spiritual affairs, is very important. It is my hope that the people of California may become the sons and daughters of the Kingdom and be the means of promoting the religion of God.
“Regarding the Exposition of 1915 which will be inaugurated in San Francisco in America: From now undoubtedly the Bahais must arrange and prepare ways and means so that a great number of them may be present on that occasion.”—Abdul-Baha.
Every believer is becoming more active and here in California things Bahai are booming. Dr. Fareed and Mrs. Getsinger gave the Message to 5,000 people south, and here, wonderful openings are being made. The Knights Templar entertained Dr. Fareed two evenings. At the first all wore their regalia and Dr. Fareed wore his Persian robes. The second meeting was more informal. Dr. Fareed spoke of the disturbed conditions and mentioned a remedy. At the second he spoke of the Bahai Movement. He and Mrs. Getsinger spoke at the Unitarian Church in Alameda last Sunday.
Mrs. Getsinger also spoke before the Jewish Women's Council, consisting of 600 members, and their friends.
Our Oakland meetings are being held regularly and two meetings a week are held in the Bahai room here.
Mr. Mack, who enthusiastically received The Message on the battleship “California,” has called to see us several times and brought enquiring friends. He holds Bahai meetings in his cabin Tuesday evenings. Some of his friends were transferred to other ships, where they will undoubtedly spread the Message. Saturday, the 14th, was a gala day here. President Taft turned the first spade of soil for the Panama Exposition site. San Francisco is waking up spiritually and materially. Helen S. Goodall.
"Assuredly ye will achieve a Conquest in California."—Abdul-Baha.
Since last March Dr. Ameen U. Fareed and Mrs. Lua. M. Getsinger have been in California in obedience to the instructions of Abdul-Baha, disseminating the tidings of the coming of the Manifestation. They have spoken in various cities surrounding San Francisco Bay—San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and farther north on the Pacific Coast at Geyserville. In Southern California their work was begun in the extreme south of the state, in San Diego and the nearby towns of La Jolla and Point Loma. From San Francisco, distant six hundred miles to the north, came three Bahais to accompany Mrs. Getsinger and Dr. Fareed to San Diego, a city without any known believers. There, among strangers, the work commenced. Soon some prominent citizens became attracted to the teachings, thus leading to meetings in private houses, before one or two men's clubs, and in a public hall.
Our two messengers of peace even spoke on the battleship “California,” the flagship of the fleet; and across the boundary in Mexico, at Tia Juana, they gave succor to some of the wounded in one of the skirmishes between the federal and insurrectionary forces of Mexico. During this struggle, Dr. Fareed told the waiting Red Cross corps in their tent of the coming of BAHA'O'LLAH to bring peace to the world; and it is of significant interest that Dr. Fareed was asked by the Red Cross commander to act as surgeon on the field, and that Mrs. Getsinger was installed as one of the nurses. Several newspapers of San Diego reported the meetings that were held and gave accounts of the work and training of Mrs. Getsinger and Dr. Fareed. Interest grew rapidly, and when the two speakers returned to Los Angeles, after an absence of several weeks, a Bahai Center was left in La Jolla, and hundreds of persons in San Diego and its vicinity had heard the words of BAHA'O'LLAH.
In Los Angeles, an audience of about four hundred was addressed by both Mrs. Getsinger and Dr. Fareed, and many interested ones stayed to ask for fuller information and to offer assistance in furthering the spread of The Message. Mrs. Getsinger spoke to the American Women's League in its own hall, and both speakers addressed the World's Spiritual Congress, in session at Long Beach. Dr. Fareed spoke in the Church of the Golden Rule, at Pasadena, and Mrs. Getsinger addressed the regular meeting of believers in Los Angeles in the Walker Auditorium. In all about a thousand people in Los Angeles and vicinity—Pasadena, Long Beach, Glendale and Tropico—have listened to these speakers.
It is now thirteen years since Mrs. Getsinger sowed in California the first seeds of the Bahai teachings. Today she is rejoicing in the first fruits of that planting, even while she helps break greater fields throughout the state and make them ready for the longed-for coming of Abdul-Baha.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF DR. FAREED'S ADDRESS AT LOS ANGELES BEFORE AN AUDIENCE OF FOUR HUNDRED INQUIRERS.
Ladies and gentlemen, my friends in God:
I am glad to read to you from the Words of BAHA'O'LLAH: “O ye discerning ones of the people! Verily the words which have descended from the heaven of the will of God are the source of unity and harmony for the world. Close your eyes to racial difierences and welcome all with the Light of Oneness. Be the cause of the comfort and promotion of humanity. This handful of dust, the world, is one home: let it be in unity. Forsake pride, it is a cause of discord. Follow that which tends to harmony. Consort with all the people with love and fragrance. Fellowship is the cause of unity, and unity is the source of order in the world. Blessed are they who are kind and serve with love."
The Bahai Movement is not a sect, a cult, nor a religious denomination. Therefore, we are not here to invite you to join any sectarian issue, nor to fetter you with a creed. In presenting to you the Bahai Movement we will endeavor to inform you of a subject which has attracted to itself the attention of thoughtful men in all parts of the world. A great movement for which twenty thousand people in Persia
forfeited their lives willingly and parted with their possessions and sacrificed every worldly attachment joyfully. It is deserving for this reason, if for no other, your closest attention.
Our contemporaneous history records three important events occurring almost simultaneously. On the 23rd of May, 1844, in two parts of the world two different religious people, having studied the prophecies of their respective bibles carefully, came to the conclusion that their Promised One would appear at that time.
The Millerites, as you know, in this country, clothed themselves in “ascension robes” and from the hilltops and housetops gazed heavenward, anticipating the descent of the Christ from heaven. They were disappointed because of their misunderstanding concerning prophetic terminology. On that same date, however, God fulfilled the hopes of these expectant ones in His Eternal Way, in accordance with the reality of prophecy; for in Persia there did appear the wondrous Herald, who announced himself as the Bab, or Gate, to the promised Kingdom of God which was to be established upon the earth in the “latter days.” And, very significant, on the 24th of May, the very next day, in America the first telegraphic message was sent by Professor Morse,—“What hath God wrought!”
The Bab was only twenty-five years of age when he arose to give the Glad-Tidings of “Him-whom-God-would-Manifest.” He was the Preparer of the Way, and the Precursor mentioned in all the prophecies; a John the Baptist, as it were, of this great dispensation. He was a soul divinely intense and pure. The power of God's Word in his eloquence attracted thousands of those who sought the Light. The liberality manifested in his teaching as compared with the creed-bound and superstitious orthodoxy of the time aroused the severest opposition and persecution, to the point of his own death and the death of hundreds of his followers. Although he was allowed to live and teach about six years, when he was, on the 9th of July, 1850, martyred in the public square of the City of Tabriz, yet his Message had spread far and wide, even beyond the confines of his own country.
His book, El-Beyan, or The Explanation, contained the vital prophecy for the world that nine years after him the Promised One, or, as he expressed it "He-whom-God-would-Manifest," would appear and establish the Universal Religion. He even mentioned His Name, to be BAHA'O'LLAH or "The Glory of God," though he had never met Him. As prophecied by the Bab, BAHA'O'LLAH revealed Himself at the appointed time, laid the foundation for this world-embracing movement. The persecution which befell all the Prophets attacked Him, the movement having spread so rapidly through His dauntless announcement of the Word of God, so that people were attracted in hosts; the clergy of Persia, hand in hand with the government, exiled Him to Arabia. The story of this banishment and of those following it would make a volume. Suffice it to say that His banishment from Persia to Baghdad, Arabia, thence to Constantinople and Adrianople, and lastly to Acca, the penal colony of Turkey, was meant to exterminate His Movement, to extinguish the torch of God's love with which He kindled the hearts of men.
The remarkable, nay miraculous, thing happening every time He was exiled, was a greater spread of His Word and a greater brilliancy of His Light. Moreover, these banishments at the hands of the clergy and the government were aimed by God to fulfill the foreshadowings of His Prophets; for many are the prophecies contained in the Bible, the Koran, and the Zend Avesta, which were fulfilled by these afliictions. The last place of exile, the little prison town of Acca, in the Promised Land, deserves special mention because of the many tidings concerning it as given by Isaiah and Daniel; because from this prison BAHA'O'LLAH sent forth His letters to the kings and there, in this “Most Great Prison” hundreds, nay thousands went to see Him. Acca was renowned for its foul climate and pestilential environs. A
place where criminals and political suspects lived but a short time; however, when BAHA'O'LLAH, the Prisoner of the Love of God, blessed this disease-ridden town, God changed disease with ease, fresh salubrious water was conveyed to the city; in short, the climate was changed, and the surrounding desert is today a veritable garden.
Here, for over a quarter of a century, BAHA'O'LLAH was occupied with the giving of teachings which underlie this great Bahai Movement. His books are many and contain solutions of the many problems pertaining to man's welfare and salvation. He has answered the questions of all who have sought the truth of God and who today are longing for the knowledge of God. Before His departure, which occurred in May, 1892, He enjoined upon His followers the Covenant of God, whose Center He declared was His blessed son, Abdul-Baha, the present leader of the Movement. He commanded all who seek guidance in the Kingdom and interpretation of any of the Holy Writings, to turn to him. And so today, for spiritual light we look to the Servant of Baha, which is the meaning his name. BAHA'O'LLAH was the founder of the Great World Religion, and Abdul-Baha is the promulgator of it.
Now let us touch on the fundamental teaching of this movement. A teaching which makes unity possible in the world. He says: “Oneness in its true significance, means that God alone should be realized as the one power which animates and dominates all things, which are but manifestations of its energy.” This one power has from time to time manifested itself through chosen instruments called the Prophets, to various peoples at various times. These prophets are considered to be bearers of the same Message, Manifestations of the same Light, therefore, they are one and the leaders of the One God.
They prepared the peoples of the world for the latter days when this Oneness would find fulfillment and all men would become in reality brothers. The Bahais declare that this is the latter day, that through BAHA'O'LLAH all people are to be united. . . . . The human race has been hindered from union through three predjudices—religious, racial, and patriotic. When the Oneness of God is realized and the solidarity of the human family is well understood, these prejudices will be dispelled from the hearts of men. The Words of BAHA'O'LLAH are the remedies which alone can cure human ills. He says, “Ye are all leaves of one tree and drops of one sea!” Again He says, “Associate with men of all religions with love and fragrance, fellowship is the cause of unity, and unity is the source of order in the world." This one admonition would remove forever religious prejudices if it be carried out. “This handful of dust, the world, is one home, let it be in unity” is the basis of international patriotism, which can replace limited patriotic prejudice.
In regard to racial prejudice, which has separated man from man, this is His “Hidden Word” which has already united representatives of many races. “O sons of men! Do you know why we have created ye from the same clay: that no man should glorify himself above another, for ye must be as one soul, living in many bodies, in the one land,” etc. The world is interdependant, what affects one part of it will necessarily affect another. If one part of the body suffer, the entire sensorium is afflicted; and even so is it with the world, if one portion of the social fabric suffer, the entire body politic is afflicted. Thus it is that the Bahai Movement is to unite the world; though religious in nature, yet its laws govern social, industrial, and economic states and conditions. And it has already united many people of diverse nations and religions. F. B. Beckett.
Large photographs of Abdul-Baha, taken during his recent visit to England, may be obtained from Mrs. M. Thornburgh-Cropper, 31 Evelyn Mansions, Carlisle Place, Westminster, London. Price, 50 cents.
STAR OF THE WEST
[Continuing the BAHAI NEWS]
PUBLISHED NINETEEN TIMES A YEAR
By the BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, 515 South Dearborn Street., Chicago, Ill., U.S.A. Entered as second-class matter April 9, 1911, at the post office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879.
Albert R. Windust—EDITORS—Gertrude Buikema Persian Editor.—Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, 1800 Belmont Road, Washington, D. C., U.S.A. Associate Editor.—Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi, Chicago.
TERMS: $1.00 per year; 10 cents per copy.
Note—Until further notice, distribution in the Orient is through Agents. Make Money Orders payable to BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, P. O. Box 283, Chicago, Ill., U.S.A.
Address all communications to BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, P. O. Box 283, Chicago, Ill., U.S.A.
TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA.
O thou Star of the West! HE IS GOD!
Be thou happy! Be thou happy! Shouldst thou continue to remain firm and eternal, ere long, thou shalt become the Star of the East and shalt spread in every country and clime. Thou art the first paper of the Bahais which is organized in the country of America. Although for the present thy subscribers are limited, thy form is small and thy voice weak, yet shouldst thou stand unshakable, become the object of the attention of the friends and the center of the generosity of the leaders of the faith who are firm in the Covenant, in the future thy subscribers will become hosts after hosts like unto waves of the sea; thy volume will increase, thy arena will become vast and spacious and thy voice and fame will be raised and become world-wide—and at last thou shalt become the first paper of the world of humanity. Yet all these depend upon firmness, firmness, firmness!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
|1st||Baha' (Splendor)||Mar. 21|
|2nd||Jalal (Glory)||Apr. 9|
|3rd||Jamal (Beauty)||Apr. 28|
|4th||Azamat (Grandeur)||May 17|
|5th||Nur (Light)||June 5|
|6th||Rahmat (Mercy)||June 24|
|7th||Kalamat (Words)||July 13|
|8th||Asma (Names)||Aug. 1|
|9th||Kamal (Perfection)||Aug. 20|
|10th||Eizzat (Might)||Sept. 8|
|11th||Masheyat (Will)||Sept. 27|
|12th||Elm (Knowledge)||Oct. 16|
|13th||Kudrat (Power)||Nov. 4|
|14th||Kowl (Speech)||Nov. 23|
|15th||Massa'ulk (Questions)||Dec. 12|
|16th||Sharaf (Honor)||Dec. 31|
|17th||Sultan (Sovereignty)||Jan. 19|
|18th||Mulk (Dominion)||Feb. 7|
|Four Intercalary days.|
|19th||Ola (Loftiness)||Mar. 2|
|(Month of fasting.)|
|Vol. II||Chicago, (November 4, 1911) Kudrat||No. 13|
We have been requested to correct the statement made in our issue of Aug. 1, 1911, wherein mention is made of Mirza Ali Kuli Khan, Charge de'Affaires of Persia, of Washington, D. C., being honorary president of the Persian-American Educational Society. We have been informed that his acceptance of this title depends upon the wishes of his government, from whom consent has not yet been received.
Our Persian Editor, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, has been called to the presence of Abdul-Baha. He will leave America, Nov. 11th. The good wishes of all the friends go with him. The Persian section from his able pen will continue as heretofore, wherever he may be. Our Persian section this issue contains:
(1) Editorial on visit of Abdul-Baha to England; (2) photograph of Assadollah, who came to America, some years ago and who is now travelling with Abdul-Baha; (3) poem by Mirza Mahmoud Zargany, celebrating Abdul-Baha's visit to Europe; (4) article by Mirza Mahamond Bagor Kahn, who accompanied Abdul-Baha to London; (5) Abdul-Baha's address in the City Temple, London; (6) article by Mirza Lotfollah Hakin, describing the visit and work of Abdul-Baha in England; (7) farewell address of Abdul-Baha delivered before a gathering at Passmore Edward's Settlement; (8) address of Abdul-Baha in St. John's, Westminster; (9) photograph of Dr. Edward Getsinger, of Washington, D. C.; (10) photograph of Prof. Mohamad Barakatullah, editor of the Islamic Fraternity published in Tokyo, Japan; (11) Tablet from Abdul-Baha to Miss Rosenberg, of London, upon his arrival in Paris; (12) Tablet from Abdul-Baha to the American Bahais in regard to his coming to this country; (13) poem by Mirza Jalal Maftoun celebrating the appearance of the STAR OF THE WEST; (14) apology of the Persian editor for the late appearance of this issue of the STAR OF THE WEST.
JENAB AFNAN VAKIL DOWLEH.
On August 29, 1911, there passed away on Mt. Carmel one of the great saints of the Bahai religion, Jenab Afnan Vakil Dowleh. He was the nearest living relative of the Bab, being his first cousin, and it was for his father, the Bab's uncle, that BAHA'O'LLAH wrote the Kitab-el-Ighan. Jenab Afnan was a play fellow of the Bab when a boy and I have heard him describe the beauty and illumination of that glorious youth. Now, I understand, there is no other Bahai in the world who can remember meeting the Bab. Those who have been to Acca will remember his illumined countenance, his long snowy beard and his bright, blue, smiling eyes. Jenab Afnan spent his whole life in serving the Cause and the crowning service of his long life was the building of the Mashrak-el-Azkar in Eshkabad, for it was due to his aid and untiring energy that that building was erected and he laid the first stone. The last years of his life he spent near his beloved Master in Acca and Haifa and it was in his home on Mt. Carmel, near the tomb of his divine cousin, that he passed away at the great age of eighty-five. In the early morning, at sunrise, we Bahais of Haifa and Acca took him to his last resting place, the little plot of land that the Bahais have acquired for a cemetery on the slope of Mt. Carmel near Elijah's cave. These great historical personages in the Cause are leaving us one by one. Theirs has been the storm and stress—ours the easy reaping where they have sown. Can we ever realize the great debt we owe to them?
Another of the old believers has passed away this summer, Haji Khan, and his history is also very interesting, for when he was young he was a rich and powerful chief of a tribe in Beluchistan. When he became a believer he gave up his wealth and position and walked from Beluchistan to Baghdad to see the Blessed Beauty, BAHA'O'LLAH, and from that time he was a faithful follower unto death.
These saints of God! So they live and pass on to their glorious immortality, the world all unheeding that if it has been entertaining angels unawares. Sydney Sprague.
EXTRACTS FROM RECENT LETTERS RECEIVED FROM BOMBAY, INDIA.
I fail to express how much people here like to know about Bahaism, and what a fine field of work is ready, but we require workers. If you can succeed in sending a few Americans here, only if they pay flying visits, one after the other, thus keeping India busy with Bahai talk, it will be very good. The opportunities are more for our good than that of the Cause. The Cause will progress anyhow, and if we do not work, there will be others to do it.
Of course, much work is to be done even in America, and you may say we cannot spare men, and you are quite right there; but the workers here are comparatively very few, besides if Americans come here it will be more weighty. If we make efforts we may succeed in spreading the Cause in India. In America the Cause is well-rooted and set on its footing, while in India, a country inhabited by one-fifth or one-sixth of the world's population, it is not comparatively well-rooted or well-spread, and we shall be held responsible if we do not carry the news to the people of India in every part of the country. It is the most important problem of all the problems and deserves greater attention and care.
We also wish that some American Bahai doctor might come to Bombay or India. If he comes to Bombay, and if he is well-versed in medicine, he will earn well, will create stronger bonds of Unity, and will attract many other people to the Cause. Besides, he will get enough work and be able to serve both the Cause and humanity. If he is married, so much the better. His wife may take up any cause of the poor, the depressed and the sick. If she too is educated, she may start a school or attend any school in Bombay she chooses. If we volunteer our services in India, and start some schools, a hospital or take up the cause of the depressed, I think, if God wishes, in a very short time many souls will be attracted to the Cause.
If any teacher thinks of establishing any school in Bombay, that too will be very good. But on that subject you should communicate with us in detail and we shall supply you every information.
India is a very good place for any sort of work. Its population is 300 millions. Just think, one-sixth of humanity lives in this small place. Much work can be done here. The people are good, kind, sympathetic, self-sacrificing, generous, loving and ready to offer a helping hand to anything. We must love them, if we wish that they should love us. N. R. Vakil.
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