Phonographic Recording of a Chant by Abdu’l-Baha in New York, 18 June 1912

On 18 June 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá chanted a Persian Tablet into a phonograph while He was traveling in New York. The authorized translation of that Tablet is available on the Bahá’í Reference Library here.

To my knowledge, the original text of this Tablet has yet to be made available through official Bahá’í channels as of this writing (31 July 2021). In the meantime, I have prepared a provisional typescript of the original Persian text below as a tribute to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in these days leading up to the Centenary of His Ascension. I am deeply grateful to Violetta Zein for giving me the inspiration to do this as a contribution to Part VI of The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

It should be noted that the words ‘Abdu’l-Bahá recorded on this occasion are not the same as those captured in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in New York: The City of the Covenant under the heading “The Filming of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá” (p. 49), which is itself a partial reproduction of an address given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on that same occasion that was originally recorded by Mírzá Maḥmúd Zarqání in Badáyi‘u’l-Áthár 1:127 (where it is incorrectly associated with the events of 17 June 1912) and sounds similar only because it uses the same refrain (“Glad-tidings, glad-tidings!”); is cataloged in Steven Phelps’s Partial Inventory of the Works of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith with the ID number ABU1688; has been published in various sources (including Khiṭábát-i-Ḥaḍrat-i-‘Abdu’l-Bahá 2:15354, where the incorrect date of 17 June 1912 mentioned above is repeated); and appears, in provisional English translation approved by the Bahá’í World Center for publication, in Maḥmúd’s Diary, pp. 136–37

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(The provisional typescript formerly hosted on this page has been superseded by this authorized typescript on the Bahá’í Reference Library. This page has been preserved simply to avoid link rot.)