On the oneness of humanity

Sunday, September 10, 1911: at the City Temple, London

A provisional translation from Khetabat-e Hazrat-e `Abdu’l-Baha dar safr-e-Europa (Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in his European travels), page 19

[see note]

He is God,
Distinguished guests, and seekers in the path of God,

Praise be to God, the lights of reality have shone forth, the gentle winds have wafted from the divine rose garden, the call of the Kingdom has been raised in all regions, the breaths of the Holy Spirit have entered our innermost hearts, bestowing everlasting life. In this wonderful age, the East is illumined, the West is fragrant, and those who are spiritually aware can catch the scent of amber. The sea of the unity of the human race is in motion, the banner of the Holy Spirit has been raised. Every fair-minded person will testify that this is a wondrous day, that this era is the era of Almighty God. Soon the earth will be a very paradise. It is the day of the oneness of the sons of men, and the unity of all communities.

The ages of ignorance gave rise to prejudices, which are the foundation of antagonism between the children of Adam. In this day of triumph, God’s bounty is unmistakable. The ensign of the oneness of humanity will fly from the poles of the globe. Disputes and conflicts will be a thing of the past, and the first light of the world’s great peace will dawn. The world will be renewed, and all men will be brothers. All the communities will be as the flags of the All-Glorious. Bloodthirstiness is an attribute of the animal, while peace and righteousness are benefits offered by the human station. His Holiness Baha’u’llah has said “Justice and equity are the life of the world.” Praise be to God, in this country the standard of justice has been raised, and the equality of all has been openly proclaimed. There is tranquillity and well-being, security and happiness. God is one, humanity is one, the foundations of the divine religions are one. Love is the reality of the Godhead. O my friends, strive with all your hearts until the east and west embrace one another like two dear friends.

O God, illumine this gathering, assist these souls. Make their faces to shine, make their inward character the rose garden of the Merciful. Give life to their hearts through the breaths of the Holy Spirit, and bestow the most great guidance, that their souls may become exquisite. Lavish heavenly blessings upon them and make them worthy of Thy bestowals. Given them shelter and protection under Your guardianship and care. Grant them Thy unfailing favours and ordain for them the blessing of perfect fellowship. Thou art the Knowing, the Giver, the bestower of bounties.

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One thought on “On the oneness of humanity

  1. Notes on the Persian text

    This text was apparently prepared in writing by Abdu’l-Baha, and given to one of Abdu’l-Baha’s entourage to translate into English, since Eric Hammond states in Abdu’l-Baha in London (p. 19) that after Abdu’l-Baha had delivered it in Persian, Mr. W. Tudor-Pole read an English translation, which is published in Abdu’l-Baha in London. Therefore it is not surprising that the Persian text, translated here, is quite similar to the version published in Abdu’l-Baha in London.

    Because the text in Abdu’l-Baha in London is based directly on the Persian, rather than being adapted from notes taken while an interpreter spoke, it is properly categorised as an ‘early translation’ rather than as an unauthenticated text or pilgrim’s note.

    An earlier Persian text can be found in Star of the West Vol.2 Nr.12 on page 4 of the Persian section. There are a surprising number of small differences between them. I have used the text as edited by Mahmud Zarqani as the master text, since the differences are generally plausible improvements, such as the removal of redundancies, and because Abdu’l-Baha, who was alive when Mahmud Zarqani did his work and who approved the publication of the volume and its translation into Arabic, may have given either a general mandate to Zarqani, or indeed specific instructions for the changes. Exceptions, where I have used the Star of the West version, are noted below.

    The ensign of the oneness of humanity will fly from the poles of the globe.” Zarqani’s text has “Soon, the oneness of humanity…” It appears he has accidentally repeated the word “soon” from a few lines above, and the text in Star of the West in this case provides a more plausible image.

    All the communities will be as the flags of the All-Glorious.” It is tempting to read ra`aya (subjects of) rather than rayaat (ensigns, standards), but since Zarqani has not made that amendment in his edition, and the text in Star of the West is quite clear, I have not done so. For the translation of the title Jalil-e Akbar, compare to Makatib-e Hazrat-e Abdu’l-Baha vol. 8 p. 4 and Muntakhabati az Makatib-e Hazrate-e Abdu’l-Baha vol. 2 p. 35, from which it appears that it refers to God rather than Baha’u’llah.

    “Peace and righteousness”: I have used sulh-o-salaah, as it appears in the Star of the West version. Zarqani’s version has only salaah (righteousness, fair dealings), but the contrast to bloodthirstiness requires the inclusion of peace.

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