Letter from Ethel Rosenberg to the Friends in Engiand:
December 8, 1921.
Beloved friends in England:
I know so well how heartbroken you have all been at this (for us) sad, sad news and how you must all be longing for a word directly from this sacred spot - made doubly sacred for all of us now as it is the resting place of our Beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha.
I cannot sufficently thank God for allowing me to be here at this solemn time. You are, I know, all feeling with me that now is the ''accepted time"; now is the moment when we must all dedicate our lives afresh to the service of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the perfect Servant of God - and of us all.
Dr. and Mrs. [Florian] Krug of New York, Mr. and Mrs. [John] Bosch from California, Miss Johanna Hauff from Stuttgart, and Mr. [Curtis] Kelsey had all the blessed and wonderful privilege of being here at the time of his departure and ascension. Mrs. Stannard hastened here from Cairo as soon as they received the news - but she did not arrive until Tuesday,
after the funeral had taken place. The actual passing was at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday night, i.e in the early morning of November 28 - [so close to] the day he himself chose so many years ago to be his Commemoration Day - his "Day of Remembrance" for always. Some friends objected to his having selected November as the month for his special day but in my hearing he said, "No! No! There is a special wisdom in this choice. Some day it will be known."
19 Nov; Fatigue; Meals; Farewell
Dr. and Mrs. Krug arrived only nine days before his departure. She tells me they were both much struck by his extreme fatigue and weariness, and they entreated him not to visit the Guest House, but to allow them to visit him. However, he continued to come over to see the friends here and to take a meal with them, right up to the Friday.
Fri 25 Nov
On that day they were particularly impressed by his very loving and impressive farewell. "Good night! Good night!" he repeated several times, stretching out his hands towards them.
Sat 26 Nov
On Saturday, he was taken ill with fever, and his temperature rose to 104°.
Sun 27 Nov - Visitors
On Sunday, the twenty-seventh, he seemed much better, and he had no fever. At 5:00 p.m. that day he received the Qadi (the Muhammadan judge). This gentleman said to him, "I think it would be much better for your health if you would build a small house entirely of
wood, instead of living in a stone house." 'Abdu'l Bahá replied, "I have no time left now to build houses." Then he also received the two principal Police authorities - after that he retired to rest about 8:30.
Sun 27 Nov - Midnight, Ascension
At midnight or so, he arose from his bed and took his temperature and showed his daughter, Ruhá Khánum, that he had no fever. He refused milk and lay down again. Later on, she once more entreated him to drink a little milk. He looked at her and said, "You would give me milk when I am going!" - and with that he was gone.
I have told you these details that you may know how easy and rapid was the passing, and that practically he had no illness - at any rate, no serious illness.
During the previous week, he had given his family many hints of his approaching end, if they had but understood them:
I have decided to go far away
To Ruhi Effendi he said, "I have decided to go far away, where no one can reach me." Ruhi Effendi and another young man who was present thought he was joking, and RuhI Effendi said, "You know, Master, that is impossible; they will always find you."
Destroy this Room
About ten days before the end, he left his little bedroom in the garden and came into the house. He told his family that he had dreamed in the night that Baha'u'Ilah had come to him, and had said, "Destroy this room immediately," and therefore he did not like to sleep outside any more, but would come into the
house. The family were thankful, as they felt he would be nearer to them if he needed any service during the night. They now understand the spiritual symbolism of the saying - the "room" being the Beloved One's body.
So you see, he did what he could to make them ready that the blow might not be too unexpected and sudden. During all those days, he was extraordinarily loving and tender to every one with whom he came in contact - they all say, so much so, that they remarked upon it.
Tue 29 Nov - Funeral
The funeral took place on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. The whole of 'Akka and Haifa attended. Mr. Kelsey has taken some wonderful photographs of the whole procession which he intends to publish as soon as possible. The High Commissioner, Sir. H. Samuel, came up from Jerusalem to be present, and he walked with the procession the whole way. Colonel Summers, the governor of Haifa, was also present. There were wonderful orations at the graveside....
In the Shrine
The Master's body lies in the Tomb of the Báb (for the present) underneath the first chamber. Everything in it is most bright and beautiful. There are wonderful carpets spread upon the floor and a ten-branched candlestick on either side, besides all the other lights. It would cheer your hearts to see it - it is all so bright and joyous.
I am sure we all feel that
now is the time for us all to be united with the utmost love and firmness - to increase our actitivies tenfold in teaching and spreading the good news of the Kingdom.
My best love to you all and greetings and love from all the family.
Yours ever in the blessed Cause,
1921.12.09 - Louise Bosch (Haifa) to Ella Cooper (San Francisco)
Star of West Vol 12 No 18 - p282-283
Letter from Louise Bosch to Ella G. Cooper,
December 9, 1921.
Enclosed please find the Arabic newspaper which contains the speeches made at the holy burial of our Lord and Master on November 29. He was buried at 9:00 a.m. - that is to say, the procession started from the Holy Household at 9:00 a.m.
This particular newspaper brings all the speeches that were made by the Muhammadan clergy, as well as a speech made by a Frenchman who is a newspaper correspondent. These speeches are remarkable, inasmuch as the believers had nothing at all to do with these speeches or with any newspaper articles regarding the passing away of our Lord; no, rather all this is the testimony of outsiders and opposers. So you must realize what this means, when even the opposers came and testified to the greatness of 'Abdu'l-Baha and to the sublimity of his life, and the purpose of his work, and the magnitude of his aims. The ladies of the Holy Household were very much
pleased with all the speeches when they heard about them, and when they afterward read them they said, repeating the Arabic proverb, "The virtue is quite true when it is testified to by the enemy."
Sending Copies and Translating Speeches
Dear Ella, were I to wait until some of the boys had translated this newspaper into English, it would no doubt take several years. They have been accustomed to translate Tablets and supplications, but that is past now, for the present, and they are busy doing other things. So I thought I'd leave it to your brightness of mind to find a way to have it translated, perhaps at the University of California.
As soon as I had mentioned this, the other Westerners here throught that they too ought to send a copy - each one to their respective friends at home - to see how best they could have it translated. Mrs. Krug will send one to Anne Boylan of New York, and Johanna [Hauff] one to Germany.
The ladies said that the outsiders and opposers had said and published so much in honor of 'Abdu'l-Baha that nothing whatever remained for the believers to say. It was as though the Holy Spirit spoke out of these clergymen and people, as though they had received open vision right then and there. And many, many other souls began to know more or less suddenly who it was who had been here and gone.
Daughter Just Knowing Abdu'l-Baha
Even one of the daughters said to me that it was now as though she had never before known 'Abdu'l-Bahá
(her holy father), as though it were only now that she began to realize who he had been. So you might know what the feelings of others must be if that holy woman feels that way about our Lord. It is sure that I feel as though I had never known or seen him.
Mrs. Krug is a flaming torch; she is as though intoxicated with the wine of the love of 'Abdu'l-Baha. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had always favored her much, as her heart is pure and clean like that of a child, and she is not at all selfish, but always had much love for everybody. As far as I am concerned, I am not a flame of fire, but rather ill.
The ladies said that by what the outsiders and the opposers had said and published it could be seen what the ascension of our Lord had done for them, how it had affected them, and how they were feeling from it now. They said they hoped that no one would stop coming here now that our Lord is not here any more, but that the friends all over would realize that they are always welcome here, and that it always would be a great happiness to the Holy Household to receive and welcome them. During their first days of mourning they cried many times for the friends, and wished that all, all, could be present, that all, all, could be here together at the same time - all the friends and believers and near and dear ones, from the Occident and the Orient. They said often: "O how sorry we feel for the grief of the believers all over
the world when they hear the sad news. How disappointed the friends will feel!" From their own sorrow they judged the sorrow of the others. They are holy women, and it is such a privilege for me to learn to know them better every day.
Shoghi Effendi Cables Delay
Shoghi [Effendi] sent a cable saying that he cannot be here (on account of passport difficulties) until about Christmas, so we shall not get away from Haifa until the New Year or so; and we do not know when we shall be back home. We shall not endeavor to go to Jerusalem or Lebanon.