A Baha'i Wedding
Quite an oriental note was struck toward the end of 'Abdu'l-Baha's London
visit, by the marriage of a young Persian couple who had sought his
presence for the ceremony, the bride journeying from Baghdad accompanied
by her uncle in order to meet her fiance here and be married before
'Abdu'l-Baha's departure. The bride's father and grandfather had been
followers of Baha'u'llah during the time of his banishment.
We hesitate to alter the bridegroom's description of the service and
therefore print it in his own simple and beautiful language. It will serve
to show a side not touched on elsewhere, and without which no idea of his
visit is complete. We refer to the attitude of reverence with which people
from the East who came to see 'Abdu'l-Baha regard their great teacher.
They invariably rise and stand with bowed heads whenever he enters the
Mirza Dawud writes:--
On Sunday morning, the 1st of October, 1911, A.D., equal to the 9th Tishi
5972 (Hebrew Era), Regina Nur Mahal Khanum, and Mirza Yuhanna Dawud were
admitted into the holy presence of 'Abdu'l-Baha: may my life be a
sacrifice to Him!
After receiving us, 'Abdu'l-Baha said, You are very welcome and it makes
me happy to see you here in London.
Looking at me he said, Never have I united anyone in marriage before,
except my own daughters, but as I love you much, and you have rendered a
great service to the Kingdom of Abha, both in this country and in other
lands, I will perform your marriage ceremony today. It is my hope that you
may both continue in the blessed path of service.
Then, first, 'Abdu'l-Baha took Nur Mahal Khanum into the next room and
said to her, Do you love Mirza Yuhanna Dawud with all your heart and
soul? She answered, Yes, I do.
Then 'Abdu'l-Baha called me to him and put a similar question, that is to
say, Do you love Nur Mahal Khanum with all your heart and soul? I
answered Yes, I do. We re-entered the room together and 'Abdu'l-Baha
took the right hand of the bride and gave it into that of the bridegroom
and asked us to say after him, We do all to please God.
We all sat down and 'Abdu'l-Baha continued; Marriage is a holy
institution and much encouraged in this blessed cause. Now you two are no
longer two, but one. Baha'u'llah's wish is that all men be of one mind and
consider themselves of one great household, that the mind of mankind be
not divided against itself.
It is my wish and hope that you may be blessed in your life. May God help
you to render great service to the kingdom of Abha and may you become a
means of its advancement.
May joy be increased to you as the years go by, and may you become
thriving trees bearing delicious and fragrant fruits which are the
blessings in the path of service.
When we came out, all the assembled friends both of Persia and London
congratulated us on the great honour that had been bestowed upon us, and
we were invited to dine by the kind hostess.
After a little while we gathered around the table with him. During the
meal one of the friends asked 'Abdu'l-Baha how he enjoyed his stay in
London, and what he thought of the English people. I acted as interpreter.
'Abdu'l-Baha replied: I have enjoyed London very much and the bright
faces of the friends have delighted my heart. I was drawn here by their
unity and love. In the world of existence there is no more powerful magnet
than the magnet of love. These few days will pass away, but their import
shall be remembered by God's friends in all ages and in all lands.
There are living nations and dead nations. Syria lost its civilization
through lethargy of spirit. The English nation is a living one, and when
in this spiritual springtime the divine truth come forth with renewed
vitality, the English will be like fruitful trees, and the Holy Spirit
will enable them to flourish in abundance. Then will they gain not only
materially, but in that which is far more important, spiritual progress,
which will enable them to render a greater service to the world of
Another asked why the teachings of all religions are expressed largely by
parables and metaphors and not in the plain language of the people.
'Abdu'l-Baha replied:--Divine things are too deep to be expressed by
common words. The heavenly teachings are expressed in parable in order to
be understood and preserved for ages to come. When the spiritually minded
dive deeply into the ocean of their meaning they bring to the surface the
pearls of their inner significance. There is no greater pleasure than to
study God's Word with a spiritual mind.
The object of God's teaching to man is that man may know himself in order
to comprehend the greatness of God. The Word of God is for agreement and
concord. If you go to Persia where the friends of Abha are many, you will
at once realize the unifying force of God's work. They are doing their
utmost to strengthen this bond of amity. There, people of different
nationalities gather in one meeting and chant the divine tablets with one
accord. It might be supposed that they were all brethren. We do not
consider anyone a stranger, for it is said by Baha'u'llah 'Ye are all the
rays of one sun; the fruits of one tree; and the leaves of one branch.' We
desire the true brotherhood of humanity. This shall be so, and it has
already begun. Praise to be God, the Helper, the Pardoner!
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