Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 13th in Baha'i History

1902 -  The Death of Thomas Breakwell

Thomas Breakwell breathed his last at seven p.m., on 13 June 1902, at No. 200, rue Faubourg Saint Denis. He was 30 years of age; he had been a Bahá'í for hardly one year. But from that moment on, he possessed all eternity to live and proclaim his Faith.

The mysterious nature of the unspoken communion between the lover and the Beloved can be seen in the way in which Yunis Khan learned of Thomas's death.

'I was accompanying the Master in the evening from the house where He received His visitors to His home by the seaside. All of a sudden He turned to me and said: 'Have you heard?' 'No, Master,' I replied, and He said: 'Breakwell has passed away. I am grieved, very grieved. I have revealed a prayer of visitation for him. It is very moving, so moving that twice I could not withhold my tears when I was writing it. You must translate it well, so that whoever reads it will weep.' I never knew who had given the Master the news of Breakwell's death. If anyone had written or cabled either in English or French, that communication would have passed through my hands. Two days later the prayer of visitation was given to me. It wrung one's heart, and I could not hold back my tears. I translated it into French, and later, with the help of Lua Getsinger, into English.[18]

(The Life of Thomas Breakwell p.43)

Grieve thou not over the ascension of my beloved Breakwell, for he hath risen unto a rose garden of splendours within the Abha Paradise, sheltered by the mercy of his mighty Lord, and he is crying at the top of his voice: 'O that my people could know how graciously my Lord hath forgiven me, and made me to be of those who have attained His Presence!'[1]
[1 cf. Qur'án 36:25 ]

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Where now is thy fair face?
Where is thy fluent tongue?
Where thy clear brow?
Where thy bright comeliness?

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Where is thy fire, blazing with God's love?
Where is thy rapture at His holy breaths?
Where are thy praises, lifted unto Him?
Where is thy rising up to serve His Cause?

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Where are thy beauteous eyes?
Thy smiling lips?
The princely cheek?
The graceful form?

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast quit this earthly world and risen upward
to the Kingdom, thou hast reached unto the grace of the invisible realm,
and offered thyself at
the threshold of its Lord.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast left the lamp
that was thy body here,
the glass that was thy human form,
thy earthy elements,
thy way of life below.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast lit a flame within the lamp of the Company on high,
thou hast set foot in the Abha Paradise,
thou hast found a shelter in the shadow of the Blessed Tree,
thou hast attained His meeting in the haven of Heaven.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou art now a bird of Heaven,
thou hast quit thine earthly nest,
and soared away to a garden of holiness in the kingdom of thy Lord.
Thou hast risen to a station filled with light.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thy song is even as birdsong now,
thou pourest forth verses as to the mercy of thy Lord;
of Him Who forgiveth ever,
thou wert a thankful servant,
wherefore hast thou entered into exceeding bliss.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thy Lord hath verily singled thee out for His love,
and hath led thee into His precincts of holiness,
and made thee to enter the garden of those who are His close companions,
and hath blessed thee with beholding His beauty.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast won eternal life,
and the bounty that faileth never,
and a life to please thee well,
and plenteous grace.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou art become a star in the supernal sky,
and a lamp amid the angels of high Heaven;
a living spirit in the most exalted Kingdom,
throned in eternity.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
I ask of God to draw thee ever closer,
hold thee everfaster;
to rejoice thy heart with nearness to His presence,
to fill thee with light and still more light,
to grant thee still more beauty,
and to bestow upon thee power and reat glory.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
At all times do I call thee to mind.
I shall never forget thee.
I pray for thee by day, by night;
I see thee plain before me,
as if in open day.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 189)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

The Master gave two talks in the afternoon to the gatherings of the friends. The first was about the differences among the Bahá'ís. `Bahá'u'lláh', He said, `declared that should Bahá'ís dispute, even if it be regarding Bahá'u'lláh Himself, both are wrong. He has enjoined all to turn to the House of Justice. But prior to its being established, all matters should be referred to the Center of the Covenant whom all are commanded to obey.'
After a brief rest, the Master went to another meeting where He spoke on the distinguishing characteristics of the world of humanity. His introductory words were as follows:
I was tired and so I slept. While I was sleeping, I was conversing with you as though speaking at the top of my voice. Then through the effect of my own voice I awoke. As I awoke, one word was upon my lips -- the word imtíyáz (`distinction'). So I will speak to you upon that subject.  (Mahmud's Diary)

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