13 Aug
2011
Posted in: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, History
By    2 Comments

Stirrings in the Middle East – Part 1

egypt_1910

Egypt Railway Map 1910. From the Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá departed in 1910 on what was to be a spiritual rejuvenation for the West. After a brief Visit to the Holy Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel, He made His way to the port to begin His journey. However, prior to setting off on this Western voyage, He first journeyed to a key political, intellectual and spiritual link to the Occident, Egypt. While having been immeasurably enriched through the embrace of Islam, and fostering many advancements now seen as the foundation of the civilized world, Egypt had been dominated by foreign forces for all of its history, creating an unsettled but resilient demeanour in its people, who were hungry for the establishment of just and civilized principles in their nation.

“During these travels ‘Abdu’l-Bahá displayed a vitality, a courage, a single-mindedness, a consecration to the task He had set Himself to achieve that excited the wonder and admiration of those who had the privilege of observing at close hand His daily acts. Indifferent to the sights and curiosities which habitually invite the attention of travelers and which the members of His entourage often wished Him to visit; careless alike of His comfort and His health; expending every ounce of His energy day after day from dawn till late at night; consistently refusing any gifts or contributions towards the expenses of His travels; unfailing in His solicitude for the sick, the sorrowful and the down-trodden; uncompromising in His championship of the underprivileged races and classes; bountiful as the rain in His generosity to the poor; contemptuous of the attacks launched against Him by vigilant and fanatical exponents of orthodoxy and sectarianism; marvelous in His frankness while demonstrating, from platform and pulpit, the prophetic Mission of Jesus Christ to the Jews, of the Divine origin of Islám in churches and synagogues, or the truth of Divine Revelation and the necessity of religion to materialists, atheists or agnostics; unequivocal in His glorification of Bahá’u’lláh at all times and within the sanctuaries of divers sects and denominations; adamant in His refusal, on several occasions, to curry the favor of people of title and wealth both in England and in the United States; and last but not least incomparable in the spontaneity, the genuineness and warmth of His sympathy and loving-kindness shown to friend and stranger alike, believer and unbeliever, rich and poor, high and low, whom He met, either intimately or casually, whether on board ship, or whilst pacing the streets, in parks or public squares, at receptions or banquets, in slums or mansions, in the gatherings of His followers or the assemblage of the learned, He, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue and the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, continued for three crowded years to trumpet to a world sunk in materialism and already in the shadow of war, the healing, the God-given truths enshrined in His Father’s Revelation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 282)

2 Comments

  • Thank you so much for putting this together.

  • I learned a lot from this post, much appreciated! :)