June 25, 2013

"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:

June 10, 2013

A Western woman telling ‘Abdu’l-Baha about her troubles …

One day, when Lua Getsinger was in 'Akká she noticed a Western woman was telling 'Abdu'l-Bahá all about her troubles. This was a strange thing to do for usually when people enter the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá they are so filled with the outpouring of His radiant love that they think only of their blessings. 'Abdu'l-Bahá with great kindness listened for half an hour to the western woman's troubles; they were really not very big troubles. At last he arose, and said he had another engagement and must be going. "But there," he said, pointing out of the window, "goes a man whom I will bring in to see you. His name is Mírzá Haydar-'Alí. We call him the 'Angel of Mount Carmel'. He walks on earth but he lives in heaven. He has had many troubles and he will tell you about them." 'Abdu'l-Bahá went out, but quickly returned with Mírzá Haydar-'Alí whom he presented to the woman, and then departed.

The "Angel of Mount Carmel" with great humility and sweetness of manner began to talk with the woman of the luminous century in which we live and the divine age that is to be. She listened for a while, impatiently, and at last broke in with, "But 'Abdu'l-Bahá said you would tell me about your troubles." Mírzá Haydar 'Alí looked up in amazement.

"Troubles?" he replied, "why madam, I never had any troubles, I don't know what troubles are." 
(The Baha’i Magazine (Star of the West), vol. 22, no. 8, November 1931)