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‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, Noted Persian Teacher, Arrives

Abdul Baha Abbas, Noted Persian Teacher, Arrives
San Francisco California Chronicle
October 4, 1912
San Francisco

Apostle of Universal Peace and Brotherhood to Deliver Series of Lectures

ABDU’L-BAHA ABBAS, the Persian teacher and disciple of universal peace, the oneness of humanity, the oneness of God, universal love, the eradication of prejudice, arrived in San Francisco early yesterday morning. He has been in the United States six months, and though his arrival here had been arranged for and expected for several days by the local assembly of Bahá’ís, no one was at the railroad station to meet him. This was in accordance with the expressed wish of the venerable teacher. He had telegraphed that he desired to enter the city quietly. His train was eight hours late and he with his suit drove to the house at 1815 California street, which has been prepared for his residence during his three weeks stay here.

Accompanying ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were Dr. Ameer N. Fareed, Mirza Ahmiel Schrab and Mirza Mahmood of Persia, Mirza [text missing] of Russia and M. Eugata of Japan. They will act as interpreters to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the series of lectures he will deliver in San Francisco and the transbay cities.

Abdul Bába’s career is romantic. He went to the prison fortress of Akka, near Mount Carmel, in Palestine, with his father when only 8 years of age. With no schooling, except the teaching of his noble father, he spent forty years in prison. Since his release four years ago he has traveled in Egypt, Continental Europe and England, pleading for the removal of prejudice and the establishment of universal peace.

At the house were a score of people, mostly women. One woman said she did not think ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would see a reporter, as he was going to Oakland in the afternoon. But he did.


Abdu’l-Bahá is of middle stature, strongly built, and wears long, light-colored robes. His forehead is high, and full, his nose slightly aquiline and his beard and mustache gray-white. His eyes are gray and blue, large, soft, penetrating. His gray hair rests on his shoulders.

My greatest happiness this morning,” said he, “is this: That I have come to such a modern and progressive city. Praise be to God, everything is beautiful and there seems to be much joy here.”

After a few questions and answers he was shown a copy of the “Chronicle” containing the full accounts of war preparations in the Balkan states and Turkey. He inquired if actual hostilities had begun and then asked:

Will the “Chronicle” take a message from me to the American people?” Answered in the affirmative, he dictated an appeal for universal peace.


Praise be to God: The United States has in reality made extraordinary progress; day by day they are advancing toward the ultimate goal. The material virtues of the people are many; now they must think of the ideal virtues, so that the highest of the perfections of humanity may illumine the regions of America. Among the highest virtues is universal peace, the oneness of humanity. The chief ailment of humanity today is international strife; this militates against the advancement of the material and ideal virtues.

The continent of America is isolated so far as other countries are concerned; the Government is not thinking of making conquests, of enlarging the circle of colonization. They are not thinking to contend with other nations so far as financial, commercial and political supremacy is concerned. They are not the rival of any other nation.

Their utmost desire is this: That the continent of America be protected.

They are engaged in the amelioration of internal conditions; they are not engaged in warfare with any nation. Therefore, they have the time and ability to raise the standard of universal peace and spread the doctrine of the oneness of God. May their influence spread and permeate to all parts of the world.

Other peoples of the world have to contend with international difficulties. First, the nations are rivals with each other so far as commercial advantages are concerned. Second, they are thinking of nationnal self-aggrandizement. Third, they are thinking of planting new colonies. Therefore, it is difficult for them to step into this field, to uphold international peace, because they are contending, warlike, victory-loving people. They cannot be instrumental in promulgating international peace.


But, praise be to God, the American Government is no warlike Government; the American democracy is not founded upon warlike doctrines. Hence it becomes this democracy to uphold international peace and spread it throughout the world. Through the promulgation of this doctrine will be distributed the greatest blessings.

It will eliminate the darkness of prejudice, the darkness of war, the darkness of rancor and hatred, the darkness of racial prejudice, the darkness of political prejudice. May this darkness be blotted out and the light become widespread, universal. May the oneness of humanity, become primordial, supreme.

His holiness, Bahá O’llah fifty years ago spread broadcast this great movement, proclaimed the benefits of international peace. This took place at a time when the thought was not in the minds of men, nor the words upon the tongues of the people. At the time he summoned people from all parts of the Orient. He addressed letters to the sovereigns of Europe, setting forth the results to accrue from the establishment of universal peace. He invited all to participate in a world’s arbitral court of justice, to be composed of representatives of every Government in the world, the delegates thereto to be chosen and ratified by the Governments. Thereto would be referred disputes between nations for settlement. In case any Government or nation should prove rebellious concerning any decision of the court, the other nations should coalesce to force [unreadable text] into obedience.

A more fervent hope and a fonder desire concerning the American people is that their instrumentality shall be such as to enlarge the scope of this scheme and that earnest concerted action from the nations of the world will result therefrom.

This great cause, which alone insures the happiness of the world, must receive support throughout the world.”

Abdu’l-Bahá will remain in the city for two to three weeks. Many of the churches have invited him to fill their pulpits, and his first public appearance will be Sunday morning at 11 o’clock in the Unitarian Church at Franklin and Geary streets. Sunday night he will deliver a sermon in the First Congregational Church in Oakland.

Abdu’l-Bahá has been invited to deliver a talk at Stanford University by Dr. David Starr Jordan, which he has accepted. Speaking of this yesterday, he said:

The duty of educated men especially university presidents of the Nation is this:

To teach in the universities and schools ideas concerning universal peace, so that the student may be so molded that in after years he may help carry to fruition the most useful and human issue of mankind.”

[picture caption: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, the Persian apostle of universal peace, who arrived in San Francisco yesterday.]