O spiritual friends and true companions of `Abdul-Baha. The calamity of a plague epidemic has shaken the sacred regions of Iran and thrown them into turmoil, and has caused a furor and perturbation. Therefore the hearts and souls of the oppressed have fallen captive to care and sorrow. Day and night they are helpless and needy before the threshold of the lord, saying,:
"O you who are informed of the mystery: even though we are sinners and afflicted, nevertheless the divine bestowal, mercy and forgiveness does not depend on the worthiness or capacity of human beings. Remove this unexpected calamity from the country of Iran so that your servants might find peace of mind and tranquillity of conscience."
Praise be to God for his pure grace and beneficence, insofar as this merciless catastrophe was ended in a short period, whereas in the rest of the world it endured for a long time. A few years ago, it struck all around this illumined spot save for the city of `Akka itself, lasting for two years in the Hijaz and Egypt, then in Damascus, Beirut, Hama, Homs, Tripoli, Jaffa and Jerusalem. Then it reached Iraq, and from Iraq spread to Iran.
The speed with which this calamity was lifted from the kingdom of Iran derives from the good fortune produced by the blessed intentions of the most great center of kingship [Muzaffarud-Din Shah]. For in past times the disease of plague struck that country and lasted for seven years. Now, it has disappeared so rapidly. This is solely a result of the holy intentions of his highness the shah and the justice of his excellency the prime minister [`Aynud-Dawlih]. In reality, his majesty the king cares for his subjects and is kindly. And the respected prime minister is just, experienced, determined, and expert. This servant had kept silent from the beginning of the prime ministers term until now, so that I might speak only after scrutiny and investigation. In truth, I ask God to confirm his majesty the shah with a pure nature and good thoughts so that he may give attention to the repose and tranquillity of the generality of his subjects, and to bestow great success upon his excellency the prime minister.
According to the decision that has been announced, the shah and the prime minister have decreed that in every city a special center shall be appointed for the purpose of judging court cases, deciding lawsuits, and realizing the rights of the servants, and lawsuits will be confined to that center. This matter is extremely beneficial, and will produce public calm and serenity both near and far. If it is carried out, the cornerstone of the Most Great Civilization in all regions shall be laid. The pavilion and tabernacle shall be raised in Iran. This is the beginning of the reform of the kingdom. God willing, they will prove successful in implementing it, and that the ignorant shall withdraw the hand of shamelessness and instead obey and submit to just civil laws and ordinances.
Divine friends! `Abdul-Baha is pleased with all of you, and gazes at how you cling to the threshold of divine unity and your complete love for the All-Merciful. Today all the nations of the earth are sullied by the vices of the satanic realm, and are devoid of the virtues of the divine world. All are bloodthirsty and sharp of claw, are unjust and act precipitously. Look at the turmoil and tumult occurring in Manchuria. Consider, you who have eyes to see.
All these conflicts take place in the world of dust. In the end, this unclean dust, like an impudent serpent, will swallow up every single human being, and will not spare a single soul. Despite its iniquity and injustice, this black earth is beloved of all, the seductive sweetheart of the horizons. How thoughtless, how ignorant, that for the sake of this useless dust, the affliction of the body and the soul, such sacrifices should be madethat blood should be shed, cities razed, and life and property despoiled. How many a loving father sighs and wails for his son, and how many a mother mourns her offspring by weeping tears of blood. How many innocent children have become grief-stricken orphans, and how many women have seen their respected husbands lying in earth and blood. This is the result of the "civilization" of the peoples and nations. Consider, you who have eyes to see.
In the midst of this concourse of the worlds factions, the party of God has the desire to serve the world of humanity. God willing, they will efface these calamities by the power of the proof, the divine confirmations, and boundless determination. Quickly, the intent of this oppressed people is good. Determination is decisive; what then can divine confirmations accomplish? God gives success to whomever he desires in whatever he desires. In truth, he is powerful over all things.
Source: `Abdul-Baha, Majmu`ih-'i Mubarakih. Ed. `Ali Akbar Milani. Tehran, 1326/1908, pp. 88-91. See below for Persian text
Page 89 of the Persian Text
Page 90 of the Persian Text
Page 91 of the Persian Text