February 16, 2011

An example of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s sense of humor

'Abdu'l-Baha spoke at length to the press representatives [in America], answering all their questions about peace, war, the rights of women, freedom of the press, education, true liberty and true religion.

'Abdu'l-Baha displayed wisdom, love and a sense of humour as He chatted with the press reporters in His stateroom. He recalled an incident from the previous winter when a young Christian was about to set off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The pilgrim was worried, feeling that he did not have the right spirit and sense of reverence.

“The proper spirit in which to visit places hallowed by remembrances of Christ,” 'Abdu'l-Baha told His young visitor, “is one of constant communion with God. Love for God will be the telegraph wire, one end of which is in the Kingdom of the Spirit, and the other in your heart.”

‘I am afraid my telegraph wire is broken,' the would-be pilgrim complained.’

“Then,” said 'Abdu'l-Baha, laughing heartily, “I told him: ‘You will have to use wireless telegraphy.’” (Quoted in ‘The Flame, the Story of Lua’, by William Sears & Robert Quigley)

February 8, 2011

Abdu’l-Baha’s Responses to Requests for Healing

Dr. Youness Afroukhteh who served 'Abdu'l-Baha as His trusted secretary and interpreter from 1900-1909 writes an interesting account in his memoirs:

I had frequently heard the Master speak about the practice of medicine. On a number of occasions He talked about Jinab-Kalim [Bahá'u'lláh's faithful brother] and his skills in the medicine of the old days, and how he used to treat those who came to him with medical problems. 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself had formerly prescribed medicine for those who sought His advice. However, Baha'u'llah had told them that such medical practices should cease, so that the believers might not develop the habit of consulting anyone but actual physicians, or of receiving medical advice from anyone except qualified practitioners. The intention was that the verse: "Resort ye, in times of sickness, to competent physicians" might be understood and applied.

Despite this, and while we all knew that because of this blessed verse, the Healer of all spiritual infirmities would not interfere in cases of physical disorder, nevertheless whenever anyone had fallen ill and had at last lost all hope of recovery through the conventional means practised by the physicians, he would seek a cure at the threshold of 'Abdu'l-Baha, imploring, "O Thou panacea of our every incurable pain, and O Healer of all of our maladies and afflictions." And since to disregard a plea or refuse an appeal had no place in the ocean of compassion and loving-kindness of that quintessence of generosity, and none had ever come away empty-handed or disappointed, so through the use of some material means or approach He would impart healing to the supplicant. What was even more astonishing was that non-Baha'is too, who had no knowledge of the principles and beliefs of the Faith, applied even more than the believers for the healing balm of the Master, never losing hope in the eventual effectiveness of the prescribed cure.