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Baha'i History Baha'i History: The Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá

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Old 09-07-2014, 01:20 PM   #1
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From: Quilimari,Chile
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In Memory of a Great Baha'i

"I am only a drop from the vast ocean of Baha'u'llah's school"

Notable among those who had attained the station of true knowledge was Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, the great Baha'i scholar and one of the Apostles of Baha'u'llah. He is renowned for his vast knowledge, not only within the Baha'i community but throughout the East. He was an acknowledged authority on many subjects including history and divine philosophy and was an outstanding master of Arabic and Persian literature. Once in academic circles in Egypt he was referred to as 'God of the pen, a pillar of history and the comer-stone of knowledge and virtue.'

Dr. Habib Mu'ayyad, who knew him personally, has written a great deal in his memoirs concerning the greatness of this man. Here is one passage:

Once people asked him [Mirza Abu'l-Fadl] how he had acquired this vast erudition and how he had become the recipient of this God-given knowledge. He became so displeased with his questioners that he angrily remarked 'Who is Abu'l-Fadl! What is Abu'l-Fadl! I am only a drop from the vast ocean of Baha'u'llah's school. If you also, enter the same school, you will become the master of Abu'l-Fadl. If you don't believe me go to Gulpaygan[his home town], see my relatives and then you will understand.'

The following story gives us a glimpse of his greatness:
In the early years of the twentieth century, 'Abdu'l-Baha sent Mirza Abu'l-Fadl to the United States of America to teach and help the believers deepen in the Faith. After his return, he and a number of American pilgrims were seated in the presence of ' Abdu'l-Baha in ‘Akka. The pilgrims began to praise Mirza Abu'l-Fadl for the help he had given them, saying that he had taught many souls, defended the Cause most ably against its adversaries, and had helped to build a strong and dedicated Baha'i community in America. As they continued to pour lavish praise upon him, Mirza Abu'l-Fadl became increasingly depressed and dejected, until he burst into tears and wept loudly. The believers were surprised and could not understand this, even thinking that they had not praised him enough!

Then 'Abdu'l-Baha explained that by praising him they had bitterly hurt him, for he considered himself as utter nothingness in the Cause and believed with absolute sincerity that he was not worthy of any mention or praise.

Mirza Abu'l-Fadl has truly set an example for Baha'is to follow, in that throughout his Baha'i life he never used the word 'I' to ascribe merit to himself.
(Adib Taherzadeh, ‘The Revelation of Baha’u’llah’, vol. 2)
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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Thank you, Bill!!! BIG SMILE!!!!
Old 09-07-2014, 02:09 PM   #3
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From: Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
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beloved and true friend

Thank for this. It is a wonderful reminder to all of us on how we can learn, and how to be humble.

From that same volume, this story from earlier in the life of this servant of the Beloved :

The following story in the life of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, the outstanding scholar of the Cause and its famous apologist, is one which demonstrates that reading the Word of God with the eye of intellect can lead a man astray. He himself has recounted the story that soon after he came in contact with the believers, they gave him the Kitáb-i-Íqán to read. He read it with an air of intellectual superiority and was not impressed by it. He even commented that if the Kitáb-i-Íqán was a proof of Bahá'u'lláh's claims, he himself could certainly write a better book.

At that time he was the head of a theological college in Tihran. The following day a prominent woman arrived at the college and approached some students asking them to write an important letter for her.[1] The students referred her to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl saying that he was an outstanding writer, a master of eloquence and a man unsurpassed in the art of composition. Mirza Abu'l-Fadl took up his pen to write, but found himself unable to compose the first sentence. He tried very hard but was unsuccessful. For several minutes he scribbled in the corner of the page and even drew lines on his own fingernail, until the woman realized that the learned scribe was unable to write. Losing her patience she arose to go and mockingly said to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, 'If you have forgotten how to write a simple letter why don't you say so instead of keeping me here while you scrawl?'
[1 In those days people who were not educated often paid a small sum of money to a learned man to write letters for them. The essential requirements for writing good letters were good composition and fine penmanship.]

Mirza Abu'l-Fadl says that he was overcome with feelings of shame as a result of this incident, and then suddenly remembered his own comments the night before about his being able to write a better book than the Kitáb-i-Íqán. He had a pure heart and knew that this incident was nothing but a clear answer to his arrogant attitude towards that holy Book.

However, it took Mirza Abu'l-Fadl several years to be convinced of the truth of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. He reached a stage where he accepted the Faith intellectually, but for years his heart was not convinced. The only thing which caused him to recognize the truth of the Cause of God after having struggled for so long was to submit himself and surrender his intellectual gifts to God. One evening he went into his chamber, and prayed with yearning as tears flowed from his eyes, beseeching God to open the channels of his heart. At the hour of dawn he suddenly found himself possessed of such faith that he felt he could lay down his life in the path of Bahá'u'lláh. The same person who once had said he could write a better book than the Kitáb-i-Íqán, read this book many times with the eye of faith and found it to be an ocean of knowledge, limitless in scope. Every time he read it he found new pearls of wisdom within it and discovered new mysteries which he had not come across before.

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 219)
With very warmest greetings

Old 09-07-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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From: Florida
Posts: 949
The Brilliant Proof

Speaking to the Bahá'ís, `Abdu'l-Bahá has written the following tribute to Mirzá Abu'l-Fadl's "The Brilliant Proof",

"His Honor Mirzá Abu'l-Fadl has written a treatise answering the criticisms of a London preacher. Each one of you should have a copy. Read, memorize and reflect upon it."

The Brilliant Proof: Table of Contents
Old 09-07-2014, 07:07 PM   #5
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Thank you for the link, Josh. That was totally interesting. Love learning things I knew nothing about!
Old 09-08-2014, 06:14 AM   #6
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From: Quilimari,Chile
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Originally Posted by becky View Post
Thank you for the link, Josh. That was totally interesting. Love learning things I knew nothing about!
Dear friends

Becky is not the faith so full of examples, for us? So full of knowledge and power, that anyone can refute the Baha'i faith is always a puzzle for me, but in the above story he explains part of the problem some have. Of course as I believe until God opens their eyes, they will never see, never understand.
With such a person you only have circular discussions that lead no where.

Josh yes thank you for that I have The Brilliant Proof with me always, a wonderful book full of spiritual proofs.

Dear Romane, thank you for this additional story of this most learned and Humble person, whenever I contemplate Humility, Mirzá Abu'l-Fadl always comes to mind, I often tell people he is my example of Humility, and I think it is Martha Root, what an example to me, but her impatience declaring to Abdul-Baha perfect me now. I think of her impatience and also mine, but what a better servant she proved to be than myself, what examples we have in this faith.

I would encourage one and all, who know of other stories of Mirzá Abu'l-Fadl, to please post them here.
Loving regards to all
Old 02-16-2015, 02:32 AM   #7
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Joined: Feb 2015
From: Paskistan
Posts: 1

Appreciate it for that link, Josh. That has been completely intriguing. Appreciate learning issues When i believed practically nothing about!

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