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Prophet and Prince of Royal Persian Blood In Buffalo

Prophet and Prince of Royal Persian Blood In Buffalo
Buffalo New York Enquirer
September 10, 1912
Buffalo, NY

Hail, ‘Abdul-Bahá Abbas

Universal Peace and Unity of the World His Aim, Without Asking Followers to Relinquish Their Respective Religions.

Abdul-Bahá Abbas, descendant of the prophet and prince of the royal blood of Persia, who is founder of the new religion known as the Bahá’í movement, arrived at the Iroquois later last night and is spending today and tomorrow in Buffalo, meeting the several score of Bahá’ís who live in this city. He is accompanied by several secretaries and attendants, all dark complexioned, alert looking young fellow-countrymen.

Tonight ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will meet his local followers either at the Iroquois or at the home of J. Harrison Mills on Elmwood avenue, depending upon what arrangements are made during the day.

The leader of the new religious thought — it can hardly be called a sect, because it admits all believers in God irrespective of denomination and professes not to wean them from church affiliations but to hold them loosely in a general philosophy that requires no pledges and permits retention of membership in established churches, is a patriarchal-appearing old gentleman with flowing white beard, big blue eyes. Oriental coloring and caste, prominent features and a head that would attract attention anywhere.

His Native Dress.

He is of sturdy build, of medium height and looks anywhere from sixty-five to eighty in years. Actually he is sixty-eight, having been born May 4, 1844. The Bahá, when he received visitors this morning, was attired in a white turban, black cassock-like robe and an undergarment of cream-colored cloth that looked something like a fine [unreadable text] ely woven canvas but had a sheen to it that bespoke foreign materials and manufacture. On his feet were knit slippers. The secretaries and interpreter who surround the Bahá wore for the most part smart American clothing, topped off with little round Persian hats of black. One secretary, who was industriously writing, had a black robe, similar to the Bahá’s, over his modern attire.

Abdu’l-Bahá converses through an interpreter, readily answering questions and prompt to explain his teachings which filter through the interpreting process, however, in general terms.

I teach a universal peace and unity of the world, said the Bahá when asked about his belief. It is a spiritual advancement, spreading the desire for universal peace, love of God, the communication of the hearts of people and the foundation of a Heavenly civilization.

World Growing Better.

Asked if any arrangements were made for a meeting with Bahá’ís of the city or to expound his beliefs the leader of the new faith answered he did not know. He indicated that he came to the city without any advance arrangements and if those who are interested in his teachings want a meeting here he will attend it. He is at their disposal. From Buffalo he will go to Chicago, he said, and where he will go while here has not been decided upon yet.

Some folks have the impression that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá forecasts the end of the world. He said he doesn’t. Asked directly if he predicted the end of the world, he smiled in dissent and through his interpreter answered

I know the world has no end. It always will continue as God has created it. If anything is to end, as prophecy relates, it refers to present conditions.

Is the world growing better

Much so. It has progressed and will continue to progress.

The Bahá said his belief has no churches, that it is a spiritual advancement. He comes himself of Mohammedan stock, but asked if he was a Mohammedan, replied in the negative.

I am a Bahá’í, was the war he put it His followers say that Christians, Mohammedans, Jews and all believers in a single God are eligible to their ranks without relinquishing their distinctive beliefs in Christ, Mohammed or inspired prophets. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as of the seed of Mohammed, is entitled to wear the green turban. He does not because that would stamp him as a Mohammedan and he gives his adherence to his own broader views.

The present leader of the Bahá’ís inherits his position from his father, Mirza Hoesin Ali, known also as Bahá’u’lláh (Glory of God).

The members of the Bahá’s partv besides himself are Mirza Mahmood, Merza Ahmed Sohrab and Dr. Ameen N. Fared, the latter the interpreter.

A Universal Religion.

The father taught the universal religion and was persecuted by the Turkish Mohammedans, finally being confined as a prisoner at Akka, where he lived under restraint for nearly a half-century. There ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was born and was instructed by his father. The latter died in 1892. The son was kept a prisoner until the Turkish revolution in 1908 when he was liberated. Since then he has been traveling and teaching his belief. It is claimed that there are many Bahá’ís in this country and throughout the world., more in the Mohammedan countries than elsewhere, as that is where the faith arose. Several Bahá’í publications have sprung up in this country. Buffalo Bahá’í claim that at times as many as 300 persons have attended their meetings. These are not affiliated in any way, however so exact statements as to the number of believers are unobtainable. The Bahá’ís regard ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as a prophet and his father as one before him. They quote passages of the Bible to substantiate this, references to automobiles as chariots that shall be as flaming torches in the days of preparation, the selling [text missing] bread by weight, the advent of flying machines and other inventions, indicated by chapter and verse in their pamphlets.

Abdu’l-Bahá will meet a number [text missing] local Bahá’ís in his rooms at the Iroquois this afternoon. At 8 o’clock tonight he will hold a reception in one of the parlors at the Iroquois.

[picture caption ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Prophet and Prince of Persia, who is in Buffalo on his mission of universal peace.]