News clips

40 Years in Jail Brings Wisdom

40 Years in Jail Brings Wisdom
San Francisco California Examiner
September 25, 1912
San Francisco, CA

Abdu’l-Bahá Urges World Peace

Famous Oriental Philosopher Will Visit San Francisco to Spread Doctrine.

Abdu’l-Bahá, after being in prison for forty years, is on his way to San Francisco to preach the faith he learned to follow during his confinement.

Abdu’l-Bahá is the son of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of Bahá’ísm, which is, in brief, the doctrine of universal peace. He will remain here for two weeks or more, urging the peoples of the world to peace and brotherhood.

Abdu’l-Bahá was imprisoned with his father at Bagdhad for preaching the religion of the Dawn of a New Day. From Bagdhad, Bahá’u’lláh was removed to Akka or Acre and there with his son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who is about to visit this city, he issued pamphlets, known as tablets, announcing the faith of Bahá’ísm.

In 1904 the father died in prison calling upon the world to listen to the message of his son. With the revolution of the young Turks in 1908, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was released from prison and emerged into the world after having been hidden in dark dungeons for more than forty years.

He went to Egypt and Europe and was received with open arms by the wise men of the west, who allowed him to preach and teach after his own manner.

His mission has lasted in the open world for four years. He has now fifteen million followers known as Bahá’ís.

Abdu’l-Bahá speaks with the tongue of prophecy, though he resents being called a prophet, since he claims that what he has to say is of what there is and not what there shall be. He is a philosopher of wisdom gained not from books but from a life of solitude, during which his only literature has been the Bible, and his father’s works. But ‘Abdul is a scholar of amazing culture. He speaks like a fountain of wisdom.

He has the insight of Omar Khayyah, combined with the optimism of the Christian belief. He offers something more than a worldly hope men set their hearts upon. He offers a reality of life that comes only through peace of mind. This he declares is the first step towards peace of nations, though he fears that at present the nations of the world are striving at peace in the midst of discord.

Abdu’l-Bahá is now in Denver on his way West. He will arrive in San Francisco this week and various pulpits in the city will be lent to him to preach from. He preaches from all kinds of pulpits and it makes no difference to him, or to the people he preaches to the denomination of the church where he takes his stand.

[picture caption: ‘ABDU’L-BAHA]