December 10, 2011

The Passing of Mirza ‘Abu’l-Fadl

January 21, 1914
‘Abdu’l-Baha’s residence, Haifa

Today very sad news has been received. He was indeed a very glorious personage. In every way he was unequalled. It is impossible for a person to be perfect in all things. His honor Agha Mirza Haydar Ali must write his life history.

In reality, he was in the utmost severance in the utmost firmness and steadfastness in the Cause of God. He was detached from all things. From the day this person became a believer until this day, he was engaged in service in the Cause of God. He was engaged either in giving the Message or in writing. He was never attached to this world.

How learned he was and studious of books! He was familiar with every nation. With the precepts of all religions he was acquainted. He was my partner and participant in the servitude of the holy threshold.

During the days of sorrow, he was my consolation. I had perfect confidence in him. Every written criticism of the Cause I used to refer to him and he wrote the answer.

How humble and meek he was! No matter how much we insisted that this person take a servant for himself, he refused, that he might serve the friends and give them tea. All friends and strangers, when they went to his home, he used to serve. Although his body was weak, sick, feeble and feverish, he used to stand and make tea. All his thoughts were directed to making his visitors pleased and happy at any rate.

During all this time I did not hear from him the word – “I; I said or I wrote." He used to say, "I submitted to them; I submitted to the friends."

Never a word was uttered by him, saying, I have knowledge," or I have experience." He was indeed effaced and selfless. He was self sacrificing at the holy threshold. The odor of existence could not be inhaled from him.

A great wisdom necessitated his passing. There is nothing to do but to exercise patience. How many a man equals a thousand men!

All the friends of God should gather together and pray at the holy tomb of the Báb and I will pray here. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, vol. 9, no. 2, April 9, 1918) (Please also visit Baha’i Heroes and Heroines for a brief write-up about Mirza Abu’l-Fadl)