January 12, 2016

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Farewell Words to Europe

1 December, 1911
Paris, France

I bid a loving farewell to the people of France and England. I am very much pleased with them. I counsel them that they may day by day strengthen the bond of love and amity to this end - that they may become the sympathetic embodiment of one nation - that they may extend themselves to a universal Brotherhood to guard and protect the interests and rights of all the nations of the East - that they may unfurl the Divine Banner of justice - that they may realize and treat each nation as a family composed of the individual children of God and may know that before the sight of God the rights of all are equal.

For all of us are the children of one Father. God is at peace with all His children:  why should they engage in strife and warfare among themselves? God is showering down kindness; why should the inhabitants of this world exchange unkindness and cruelty?

"Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch."

Beware!  Beware! Lest ye offend any heart.
Beware!  Beware! Lest ye hurt any soul.
Beware!  Beware! Lest ye deal unkindly toward any person:
Beware!  Beware! Lest ye be the cause of hopelessness to any creature. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, December 1, 1911, Paris, France; ‘Star of the West Vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

January 2, 2016

“…who indeed would have thought it possible that I should be here talking in Paris?”

October 25, 1911
Paris, France

I regret that you have been kept waiting so long. Yet, I have waited so many years in prison before I could see you-surely you do not mind waiting a little to see me.  Our hearts are always together and the Bounty of the Kingdom of Abhá binds our spirits in one. For have we not one aim, one desire and one prayer? Therefore we are always together.

Last night, when I returned home, I did not sleep.  I lay awake thinking and I said to myself: "Here am I in Paris. O my God! what is Paris and who am I?" I never thought from the darkness of my prison that I should come here and be among you, for I was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. When I read the document which told me of my sentence, I said to the officials:  "It is impossible!" And they were astonished. Then I said to them: "If 'Abdu'l-Hamíd were immortal and I myself were immortal, then would it be possible for him to condemn me to be in prison forever, but as we are not immortal, then it is impossible. My spirit is free and that can no man imprison."

Now you see the powers of God, that I am no longer in prison, but here in Paris, talking with you. I am thankful to meet the spiritual friends and you also must be happy that God has allowed me to come among you. For who indeed would have thought it possible that I should be here talking in Paris? 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, October 25, 1911, Paris, France; ‘Star of the West Vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)