Open Letter to ‘Abdu’l-Baha

During the winter of 1910-11 I was visited by Mrs. L[ua] Getsinger and Dr. Ameen Fareed, while they were touring the States as Baha’i missionaries. The object of their visit was to guide me to the path which both of them believed then to be the right one. However they were un­successful in their mission.

In X9X2 while my uncle Abdu’l-Baha was visiting the United States, by the authority of my father I humbly wrote him a letter and asked him for a conference to settle the existing differences in our cause. I hereby reproduce the copy of the same:

To His Excellency Abbas Effendi Abdu’l-Baha.

 Dear Sir:

Inasmuch as your views and doctrines in our religion are rad­ically different from those of my father, your younger brother, Mohammed Ali Effendi, who was chosen in the “Book of My Cove­nant,” the Last Will of Baha’u’llah, to occupy after you the same position you occupy now;

And inasmuch as this difference between both of you spread among the followers of Baha’u’llah and divided them into two par­ties, one following you and believing in your personal teachings, and the other party which joined your brother believing in the teachings of Baha’u’llah only and considering them final as He de­clared;

And, inasmuch as we were all commanded in the “Most Holy Book,” Kitab-i-Aqdas, to bring our differences to the utterance[s] of Baha’u’llah, which sufficed the world, whereby they should be settled;

And, inasmuch as our duty is to establish peace at home, among ourselves first, before we preach others to do so;

I hereby beg your Excellency to appoint a conference of peace and spirituality to hold its meetings at the city of Chicago, or some other place, at a certain time, in order to discuss with the language of love and kindness the differences between the said two parties and settle them in accord with the utterances of Baha’u’llah and His commandments.

If it please you, said conference would be composed of your Excellency with some learned ones of your followers, myself and Dr. I. G. Kheiralla, who introduced Baha’ism into America and Christendom, with a few of our party.

My father, Ghusn-i-Akbar, authorized me to state that he will accept and sanction whatever your Excellency would establish with me and with his representative Dr. I. G. Kheiralla.

The official language of said conference shall be the U.S. lan­guage; a neutral interpreter should be hired to translate from the Arabic language all that you would like to say and in the meantime to translate to you all the discussions of the conference. Also to ask the Associated Press to send a reporter to write the minutes of the conference; and to invite three American savants to attend the meetings and act as witnesses and judges.

I suggest the questions and discussions to be the following:

 First: Why your Excellency concealed a part of the “Book of My Covenant,” the Will of Baha’u’llah? That will was entrusted to you that you might give all of it to the followers of Baha’u’llah.

 Second: Ghusn-i-Akbar was chosen to occupy after you the same position you occupy, but your Excellency claimed that he was cut off and fell. How is it possible that he fell from the said position before having had a chance to occupy it?

 Third: What grounds have you to claim that you are the Cen­ter of the Covenant? God only is the Center of the Covenant.

 Fourth: Why do you claim to be the Interpreter of the utter­ances of Baha’u’llah? He declared in the Book of Wisdom that there is no Interpreter to them save Himself.

 Fifth: How could it be that you are the manifestation of servi­tude and Baha’u’llah declared it to Himself only? Also He taught there are no manifestations after Him until one thousand years have passed from His appearance.

 Sixth: Why do you claim the great infallibility, calling your let­ters sacred tablets and revelations? Baha’u’llah said: “Whosoever claimeth a mission before the completion of one thousand years (from His Manifestation) is a lying impostor.”

 Seventh: Why do you teach that this greatest Manifestation has three chiefs, the Bab, Baha’u’llah and yourself? Baha’u’llah said: “There is no one else beside Me in the Kingdom.” Likewise the Bible taught that at the latter days we shall have one shep­herd, only one chief and not three. Also Baha’u’llah said: “He hath no agent, no successor, and no son.”

 Eighth: Why do you claim and in the same breath deny that which you claim?

 Ninth: Why do you not teach and spread the teachings of Baha’u’llah as you were commanded to do, instead of spreading your own?

 I close this open letter, appealing to your Excellency by justice, love and unity to grant my request.

Your humble servant,

The grandson of Baha’u’llah,

Shua Ullah

I forwarded the above letter to ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Chicago, Illinois, where he was staying, but unfortunately I did not receive a reply. When I heard of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s arrival in California I addressed him the same letter again, this time through the press as an open letter, a copy of which appeared in several newspapers throughout the United States.

 A reporter from the Los Angeles Examiner interviewed ‘Abdu’l- Baha and the following reply appeared in that newspaper, October 20, 1912:

“Would you listen to the talk of the drunkard in the street?” [said ‘Abdu’l-Baha]

“Do you class your nephew as one no better than a drunkard?” he was asked.

“Worse,” he benignly replied.

Reference:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

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