Thursday, June 23, 2011

100 Years Ago - the early months in 1911 of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's stay in Egypt.

 100 Years Ago - the early months in 1911 of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's stay in Egypt.

The Hand of the Cause H. M.  Balyouzi writes about the early months in 1911 of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s stay in Egypt:

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been asked to address the Universal Races Congress to be held in London (lasting four days from 
July 26 to July 29th, inclusive, in the big assembly hall of the University of London)  but He decided to defer His departure from Egypt.  

    Early in May He moved to Cairo and took residence nearby in Zaytún. As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sojourn in Egypt lengthened, 
newspapers showed increasing admiration and friendliness.  Al-Muqattam, the most prominent of them, had on November 28th 
of the preceding year (1910) published a highly appreciative account. Other papers such as al-Ahrám and Wádia’n-Nil were no 
less laudatory. In Cairo, Shaykh Muhammad Bakhit, the Mufti of Egypt, and Shaykh Muhammad Rishád, the Khedive’s Imám, 
called on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and He returned their call. On a Friday He visited the shrine of Siyyidah Zaynab and said the Friday prayer 
there.  The Khedive, ‘Abbás Hilmî II also met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and ‘Uthmán Páshá, the notable responsible for arrangements, later 
attested to the particular reverence which the Khedive had exhibited towards Him.  Their meeting was repeated. Ronald Storrs, 
Oriental Secretary of the British Agency, had first come to know ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1909, within the prison-city of ‘Akká; and now, in 
Egypt, in his own words, ‘had the honour of . . . presenting him to Lord Kitchener, who was deeply impressed by his personality, as 
who could fail to be? George Zaydán, the eminent writer and celebrated editor of the magazine al-Hilál, was another leading figure
 in the pubic life of Egypt who visited ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Indeed there were many, clerics, aristocrats, administrators, parliamentarians, 
men of letters, journalists and publicists, Arabs, Turks and Persians, who sought His presence. The poor and the deprived also had 
access to Him and went away happy.  

    His personal triumph resounding in Egypt, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá turned His attention to Europe. 
         [‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Center of the Covenant, H. M. Balyuzi, George Ronald, Pub. © Mary Balyuzi, 1987    (paper back), pp 138-139.

   Juliet Thompson writes in her diary that 'Abdu'l-Bahá did not attend the Universal Races' Congress. They had asked Him to speak 
on philosophy and to make no reference to religion, so He sent a representative,Tamaddunu'l-Mulk.  
            The Diary of Juliet Thompson (p, 155)
    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sent a letter to the congress

     “Great interest was aroused on Thursday during the discussion on Abdu’l-Baha’s letter to the congress, the full text of which follows: 

    “Alexandria, May 29, 1911

    “To the President, first Universal Races Congress. 

    “My Dear Friend:—Your letter of invitation has been received, and I am much obliged for it. It is my utmost desire to be present at such a gathering, 
for I am thoroughly confident that beneficial results shall surely follow these meetings, and that they will become the means of establishing friendship 
and love among the world’s differing races. Thus the basis of enmity may be destroyed and the tent of unity of the world of humanity be raised 
throughout all regions.

    “I regret much that circumstances may prevent me from attending, but I will endeavor as much as lies in my power to attend. Failing to do so, 
pray excuse me.

    “With a sincere heart I supplicate at the Divine Threshold that this congress may be successful in founding a noble institution which shall be 
permanent and everlasting; that it may ignite a candle from which a heavenly light shall beam, and plant a tree whose fruit may be friendship, 
love and unity between all the children of men, so that conflict and warfare may be abolished, and patriotic, racial religious and political prejudices 
become unknown. Peace should replace strife, enmity be superseded by love, estrangement annihilated, and unity  established. Then what has 
been spoken of in the heavenly books will become well rooted in the hearts of all, and the glad-tidings of the sacred writings be fulfilled.  In conclusion 
I offer my utmost appreciation and respect to such a blessed congress.”    “(Sig.) Abbas”

    The chairman, Mr. J. M. Robertson, M.P., made sympathetic reference to the spirtiual language in which the letter was couched, and his remarks 
were applauded.
            Star of the West, Vol. II, Aug. 20, 1911) #9,  p. 3- 4

    Although 'Abdu'l-Bahá has turned His attention to Europe He won't sail for Marseilles until August, 1911.

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