Talk Given by Abdu’l-Baha in Port Sa’id on 27 June 1913

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Port Sa‘íd on 27 June 1913, the original text of which is published in Khiṭábát-i-Ḥaḍrat-i-‘Abdu’l-Bahá, vol. 3, pp. 2930

He is God

This is indeed a good gathering; it does not get any better than this. With rapt attention to God, His loved ones in attendance here are seated next to one another. Our hearts are in a state of utmost love, fellowship, and joy, and Áqá Mírzá Ja‘far[1] is serving as our kind host.

They call this place “the junction of the two seas,”[2] and in the Qurʼán there is mention of “the letting loose of the two seas.”[3] This refers to the place where Moses and Joshua met a great personage,[4] of whom God says “We taught him knowledge from Ourself”[5] when the dead fish came back to life,[6] and this has a new and wondrous meaning.

I hope that, God willing, hidden confirmations may descend successively, and that gatherings like this one may be held again and again. These gatherings have great effects in the world of being; cognizant souls recognize what effects and fruits they will yield. In the dispensation of Christ, His Apostles gathered on top of a mountain; if observed closely, everything that transpired afterwards will be regarded as the result of that gathering.

Once the Apostles went their separate ways after [the crucifixion of] Christ in their state of agitation, it was Mary Magdalene who gathered them again; she made them firm and steadfast in the Cause of Christ, and said to them, “Why are you distressed? Nothing has really happened, inasmuch as Christ stated time and again that such an occurrence would come to pass—but concealed from the eyes of men though His body has become, His Reality continues to shine resplendent. No affliction actually touched that Reality; rather this was an affront to His body, not His real Spirit. Why, then, are you perturbed? And setting this aside, Christ suffered hardships that none could endure for a single day. Three long years He spent in the wilderness; at times He subsisted on plants, at others He used the dust of the earth as His bed, and at night He had no light but the stars in the sky. Yet in spite of this immeasurable toil and these countless adversities, He trained you all for this day. If there is an ounce of loyalty in you, do not forget Him, and desire neither comfort nor repose for yourselves. If you are faithful, occupy yourselves with the memory and mention of Him. Would it be seemly of us to forget that radiant face? Would it be seemly of us to efface those bounties [of His] from our memory? Would it be seemly of us to shut our eyes to the sacrifice Christ made—to be like others and think only of eating and sleeping, our ease and tranquility? How can this be called ‘fidelity’: that this revered Person should disappear and we busy ourselves with our indulgent pursuits?”

In short, she gathered the Apostles and eventually a feast was held on top of the mountain. After a few people recounted the limitless bounties of Christ, they said, “We must see what faithfulness demands and act accordingly. There is no doubt that, following [the death of] Christ, [the terms of] faithfulness will not allow us to live in comfort—to occupy ourselves with earthly delights and pursue our own fancies—rather we must give up all that we have. We must first detach ourselves from everything; he who has any tie must excuse himself from it, and he that does not must not form one. None of us must have any thought but the thought of Him. We must limit all our thoughts to the thought of servitude. We must set ourselves to spreading His sweet savors and strive to disseminate His Word.”

And so it was that they made a pact and reached a substantive agreement. They came down from the mountain, and each of them, raising the call aloud, went in a different direction and served the Kingdom.

Everything that transpired in the dispensation of Christ was the result of that gathering, and its signs persist to this day. As for us, seated as we are here in this time and place—we in this atmosphere of consummate spirituality and affinity—I hope that this fellowship may yield great results.


[1] Áqá Mírzá Ja‘far Shírází Hádíoff, builder of the pilgrim-house in Haifa. Surnamed “Raḥmání” by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Mírzá Jaʻfar Shírází was a Baháʼí businessman who was originally from Shíráz and later moved to ‘Ishqábád, eventually settling in Kokand in today’s Uzbekistan. A biography of Mírzá Jaʻfar Shírází in Persian has been published in Hádí Raḥmání Shírází, “Sharḥ-i-Aḥvál-i-Mutaṣáʻid ila’lláh Jináb-i-Áqá Mírzá Jaʻfar-i-Hádíoff Raḥmáníy-i-Shírází,” Áhang-i-Badíʻ, year 28, nos. 11 and 12 (Bahman–Isfand 1352, corresponding to February–March 1974), pp. 621.

[2] Qurʼán 18:60.

[3] Qurʼán 25:53 and 55:19.

[4] Typically believed to be the prophet-like figure Khiḍr. There are untranslated passages from the Writings of Baháʼuʼlláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which indicate that Khiḍr was the “higher reality” of Moses, or the personification of the “station of unity” common to all the Manifestations of God. Refer to Fáḍil Mázandarání, Amr va Khalq, vol. 2 (Hofheim, Germany: Baháʼí-Verlag, 1985), pp. 20105.

[5] Qurʼán 18:65.

[6] Qurʼán 18:61.

A typescript of the original Persian text of this talk appears below. 


فی الحقيقه خوب مجلسی است بهتر از اين نميشود حاضرين از احبّای الهی در کمال توجّه الی اللّه با يکديگر نشسته‌اند و قلوب در نهايت محبّت و الفت و صدور منشرح و جناب آقا ميرزا جعفر هم ميزبان مهربان. اينجا را مجمع البحرين ميگويند و در قرآن ذکر مرج البحرين است يعنی جائيکه حضرت موسی و يوشع با شخصی بزرگوار ” علّمناه من لدنّا علماً ” ملاقات نمودند موقعی که ماهی مرده زنده شده و اين معنی بديع دارد. باری اميدواريم انشاء اللّه تأييدات غيبيّه پياپی رسد و اينگونه مجالس مکرّر فراهم آيد. در عالم وجود اين مجالس تأثيرات عظيمه دارد نفوسی که آگاهند پی ميبرند که چه آثار و نتائجی خواهد داشت. در کور حضرت مسيح حواريّون محفلی در بالای کوه داشتند که اگر خوب تدقيق شود جميع آنچه بعد واقع شد از نتايج آن اجتماع است. پس از آنکه حواريّون بعد از حضرت مسيح متفرّق شدند و مضطرب بودند مريم مجدليّه سبب شد که حضرات را دو باره جمع نمود و در امر حضرت مسيح ثابت و راسخ کرد و بآنها گفت که چرا مضطرب و سر گردانيد امری واقع نشده زيرا مکرّر حضرت ميفرمودند که اين امر واقع خواهد گرديد ولی جسم از انظار مستور شد امّا حقيقت ساطع و لامع است و مصيبتی بر آن وارد نه بلکه اين توهين بر جسد مسيح است نه بروح حقيقی، چرا مضطربيد؟ و از اين گذشته حضرت مصائبی داشتند که يک روز آنرا کسی تحمّل نتواند سه سال متمادياً در صحرا بودند گاهی به گياه گذران ميکردند گاهی خاک زمين را بالين خويش می نمودند شبها چراغی جز ستاره های آسمان نداشت با وجود اين زحمت و مشقّت بی پايان شما ها را بجهت امروز تربيت کرد. اگر بوی وفائی در مشام داريد او را فراموش ننمائيد براحت نپردازيد آسايش خويش نخواهيد اگر اهل وفائيد بياد و ذکر او مشغول باشيد. آيا سزاوار است آن روی تابان را فراموش کنيم، آيا سزاوار است آن عنايات را از ياد محو نمائيم، آيا سزاوار است از آن جانفشانی حضرت چشم پوشيم مثل سائرين در فکر خوردن و خوابيدن باشيم در فکر نعمت و آسايش افتيم، چگونه اين را وفا ميتوان گفت که اين هيکل مکرّم مستور شود و ما بهوای خود مشغول گرديم؟ باری حضرات را جمع کرد نهايت بالای جبل مهمانی شد بعد از آنکه چند نفر ذکر الطاف بی پايان حضرت نمودند گفتند بايد ديد وفا چگونه اقتضا ميکند چنان کنيم شبهه ئی نيست که بعد از حضرت وفا قبول نميکند ما راحت باشيم بلذائذ دنيوی مشغول گرديم و بخيال خويش پردازيم بلکه بايد آنچه داريم و نداريم جميع را فدا کنيم. اوّلا از هر چه هست بگذريم نفوسی که تعلّق دارند عذر بخواهند نفوسی که ندارند تعلّق ننمايند هيچکس جز فکر او فکری نداشته باشد جميع افکار را حصر در عبوديّت نمائيم مشغول نشر نفحات او باشيم و در انتشار کلمه او بکوشيم هم عهد شدند و قرار واقعی دادند و از جبل پائين آمده هر يک فرياد کنان بطرفی رفتند و بخدمت ملکوت پرداختند. آنچه در کور حضرت مسيح واقع همه از نتائج آن مجلس بود و الی الآن آثارش موجود است. حال ما هم که در اين موقع نشسته ايم با کمال روحانيّت و الفتيم اميدوارم نتائج عظيمه از اين الفت حاصل شود.