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Removed link[edit]

Replaced removed link, Baha'is all the time come in and like to do that, but is is a very frowned upon and also if the removal takes away an alternative view then it messes witht eh neautral pint of view that is required in wiki articles both of which can definately cause problems.

such "alternative" groups are very very small and are already mentioned in the main article, mentioning OBF everywhere is like mentioning "Potters of God" on every Chrstian related article - --Cyprus2k1 07:59, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
no, the comparison is not the same. Potters of God don't exist anymore. Orthodox Bahais still number in the thousands, which is approximately 0.1% of the Bahai community worldwide.-Mavaddat 01:49, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
There's no evidence that the OBF has anything remotely resembling these numbers of adherents. And if it did manage thousands, then WP:Undue weight would still apply. MARussellPESE 06:47, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Again both groups share the belief in and history of Abdul-Baha and divide on the Will and Testament of the Master and both groups shold be listed. The fact thaqt one is smaller than the other is not relevant tot he neutral point of view or wiki rules of not erasing links, but if you want a erasier war then be prepared for the consequences.

Order of succession[edit]

As I understand it, Baha'u'llah's will stipulated that Abdu'l Baha succeed him, and gave him the title "Centre of the Covenant" (and lots of other high praise), and said that Muhammad Ali should succeed Abdu'l Baha as leader of the faith. After a lifetime of having to deal with Ali's attempts to undermine him, Abdu'l Baha appointed Shoghi Effendi instead, and instituted the whole idea of the Guardianship. About half of Abdu'l Baha's Will and Testament is devoted to justifying to the Baha'is why he had felt it necessary to change the succession.

Someone removed my comment "Relations between them had deteriorated to the point that...". Personally, I don't see why. If Ali was attempting to get Abdu'l Baha executed by telling tales on him to the Ottoman authorities, then it is clear that by then there had been a pretty comprehensive breakdown in relations between the half-brothers. Putting it this way offers no opinion on who was responsible for that breakdown - so I figure that's perfectly NPOV, but if people don't like having this linking phrase there then it doesn't bother me much. Putting in a sentence of special pleading for `Abdu'l Baha's side of the dispute doesn't seem NPOV to me, however, which is why I removed that sentence about AB repeatedly denying Ali's arguments. -- PaulHammond 13:02, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

does "'Abdu'l-Bahá denied this, making assertions to His followers that He was not to be regarded as such." looks more NPOV? :) - --Cyprus2k1 17:47, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Cyprus, you know, and I know that Muhammad's accusations against `Abdu'l-Baha were a load of rubbish. I know that, because the early American believers used to think that `Abdu'l-Baha, being the son of "The Father" (Baha'u'llah), was really the return of Christ - and Abdu'l Baha did repeatedly deny this, and refused to take any kind of worship from the more enthusiatic American Baha'is. I don't know whether Abdu'l Baha actually dignified Muhammad Ali's challenges with any kind of response - but I don't think it is the business of any encyclopedia article to come down on one side or the other of the controversy. I think we should report the fact that there was trouble between them, report the fact that Muhammad Ali tried to get his half-brother executed by telling tales about him to the Ottoman authorities, but that that effort failed, and that eventually AB was freed as a result of the Young Turks revolution causing a change in government in Palestine. Then, we can report the fact that Ali's efforts against him persuaded Abdu'l Baha that it was necessary to spend about half of his W&T talking about how Muhammad Ali had forfeited the right to be a Baha'i Leader due to his Covenant-Breaking, and that therefore Shoghi was going to be the Guardian instead.
I don't think that we should write anything here that could be accused of being, in Amir's words a "Baha'i promotional pamphlet" - and that is what I feel Brettz is attempting to do here.
btw - if Brettz reverts me again without even correcting his damn spelling mistake, or coming here to discuss things, I think I shall scream. PaulHammond 21:39, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
This falls far short of the spirit of consultation. I made comments as to why I had reverted, if you would read them in the page history. The onus is on you to respond to the points and not to just delete things.
It is not taking a side to state the facts. If the article refers to Muhammad Alí's accusations and then leaves it hanging, this is biased, in its implicit insinuation that He must have made such claims. It is at least incumbent to state that He did make such responses, as He is in fact on record as doing (it may even be in published newspapers of the time as He is recorded in Mahmúd's Diary of having told them this), or otherwise it gives the one-sided impression that Muhammad Ali must have been right. I can provide the exct citations if it will make a difference to you.
I think it is also far from necessary to be concerned with the manifest bias of other editors. Just because some of the articles may have been derived from promotional sources and admittedly should be changed in this environment does not mean that people trying to overcompensate and paint things in what they think and want to be as negative a light as possible (without offering a description of the official Bahá'í response to those insinuations), should be given a free hand to do so. User:Brettz9 09:03, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You didn't come to the talk page, Brettz. I put two paragraphs of explanation here, and tried to justify why I didn't think that my attempt at a linking from the fact of Ali's opposition, to the attempt to get Abdu'l Baha executed, to AB's being freed by the Young Turks was non-NPOV. From my point of view, I came here and tried to edit what was in that paragraph to an NPOV version. I stand by my comments about the succession - "could" rather than "should" understates what the expectations were. If Ali's succession to AB was not widely expected by the contemporary Baha'i community, then why was it that Abdu'l Baha's Will and Testament spent so much time justifying what a terrible Covenant Breaker Ali had been so that he could justify appointing Shoghi as his successor, instead of Ali as Baha'u'llah had said before he knew what a trouble maker Ali would turn out to be.
I don't take much issue with the "could"-"should" issue, actually. I agree that was the implication, I just thought that the Kitáb-i-'Ahd did not justify stating it in such unequivocal terms.
I believe that AB was fully justified in doing that. Discussion of whether the whole "Covenant Breaker" thing that arguably started with AB's W&T has cast a shadow over the whole Baha'i Faith since then is probably too deep and off topic for this article.
Well, Bahá'u'lláh had taken the action of excommunication earlier when Mírzá Yahyá had made the counter-claim to Bahá'u'lláh's public declaration.
Quite possibly, the mention of the problems with Ali doesn't belong in that particular section, and the whole article needs a bit of re-working. I'm willing to discuss all this with you - but not for a couple of weeks. Right now, I'm taking a break from editing Baha'i pages at all because my involvement in attempts to prevent vandalism of the main Baha'i articles by a couple of determined editors has taken its toll on my usual good humour. I've left a note on my user page about that if you're interested.
Such attacks can take a toll on all of us, for sure.
I apologise if you think my comments above are a bit OTT. Put it down to the strain I've been under on the other Baha'i articles. But, it seemed to me that what had happened here was that you had reverted me without bothering to address my comments here to put the article back exactly to your preferred version, even down to the original spelling mistake of "denied", and after what I've been dealing with on the other Baha'i articles, I formed the impression that you considered me some kind of Ali supporter whose comments were not worth considering, which made me react rather crossly. PaulHammond 15:55, Feb 14, 2005 (UTC)
I apologize for not taking the time to examine the talk page carefully and transfer my comments in the notes here. I apologize also for jumping to any conclusions. If you do take some time off as you state at your page, hopefully you won't find the Dr. Who article beleagured by questions of non-NPOV personal attacks and insinuations about who was the best Dr. Who or the worst!  :) Brettz9 17:15, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Nitram Photo edit - Please leave it[edit]

This is one of my two favorite photo's of Abdu'l Baha. Please leave it. It's one of only two I know of where he is smiling. Thanks Martin!!!! Rick Boatright 22:19, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's quite difficult to find good pictures of Abdul Baha smiling. The truth is that he was really happiest when talking with the believers, but the majority of his ministry was spent suffering from the disunity in the world and the disloyalty of the covenant-breakers. Dr. Youness Afroukteh speaks a lot about this matter in "Memories of Nine Years in Akka" (an incredible book) that when Abdul Baha would come in to speak with believers that came to visit him he was visibly heartbroken and weary, but that when speaking with the believers he would warm up and begin to smile and laugh and even joke, because being around the believers who he loved and loved him never failed to warm his heart and gladden his spirit. Peter Deer (talk) 15:43, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


Can we change the title to take away the dash? So... change the title from `Abdu'l-Bahá to `Abdu'l Bahá Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 00:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I believe the Bahá'í usage is with the dash, see -- Jeff3000 00:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

His wife[edit]

I thought it was odd that his wife and children are not mentioned anywhere in the article, so I added a bit. But it would be more useful if someone could fill in the details better. Also maybe a new page just for his wife or something. Not sure how much detail exists on her. Wjhonson 23:01, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I too am interested in this particular topic, especially regarding Munirih Khanum, who I notice there has not been a wiki article written regarding. Peter Deer (talk) 15:45, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


There is a very long article by or about Abdul in the Washington Post about 1911/2. When I get a minute I'll try to transcibe it. [1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wjhonson (talkcontribs) .

I can't get to the link, it goes to to a login screen. -- Jeff3000 16:54, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
It's a subscription-based service. I think a few months ago we had a discussion on WP:RS or on WP:V about whether fee-based services could be cited, etc. But at any rate, this service provides actual photo-images of old newspaper pages, so I'd have to read it and transcribe it, which takes a while. The service itself is about $300 to $400 a year iirc. Wjhonson 01:31, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
What kind of copyright is related to those? I think they would be interesting. Would you be able to post the image as a reference? Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 02:29, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Old newspapers are out-of-copyright, I think before 1922? Not sure on the exact year, but this one is. Not sure if I can post the image, but first I'm going to transcribe it.

The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 12 Sep 1915, p 8 (image 40 of 68 on Ancestry Newspaper subscription service

Abdul Baha To Mr. Carnegie On Theme Of Universal Peace "To his noble personage, his excellency, Mr. Andrew Carnegie:" "May God assist him! O thou illustrious soul! O thou the great pillar of the palace of universal peace. It was some time since I intended to correspond with thee, but there was no intermediary between us. Now that his excellancy Mr. Topakyan (consul general of Persia in New York) has made this possible through his kindly suggestion, I write thee this epistle; for truly I say thou art the lover of the world of humanity, and one of the founders of universal peace.

"Today the most great service to the kingdom of God is the promotion of the principle of the unification of mankind, and the establishment of universal peace. A number of souls who were doctrinaires and unpractical thinkers worked for the realization of this most exalted aim and good cause, but they were doomed to failure, save that lofty personage who has been and is still promoting the matter of international arbitration and general conciliation through deeds, words, self-sacrifice and the generous donation of wealth and property. Rest thou asured that through the confirmation of the Holy Spirit thou wilt become confirmed and assisted in the accomplishment of this most resplendent service and in this mortal world thou shalt lay the foundation of an immortal, everlasting edifice, and in the end thou wilt sit upon the throne of incorruptible glory In the kingdom of God.

Europe United on War "All the leaders and statesmen of Europe are thinking on the plane of war and the annihilation of the mansion of humanity, but thou art thinking on the plane of peace and love and the strengthening and reinforcement of the basis of the superstructure of the human world. They are the heralds of death, thou art the harbinger of life. The foundations of their palaces are unstable and wavering, and the tunnets of their mansions are tottering and crumbling, but the basis of thy structure is firm and unmovable.

"While I was journeying throughout America and Europe (1912) I cried before all the meetings, conventions and churches.

"O ye noble friends, The world of humanity is facing in the future a most portentious danger and supreme calamity. The continent of Europe has become like unto a gunpowder magazine and arsenal, under which are hidden combustible materials of the most inflammatory nature. Its combustion will be dependent upon the sudden and unexpected enkindlement of one tiny spark which shall envelop the whole earth with a world-wide conflagration, causing the total collapse of European civilization through the furious, wild, raging, fiery tongues of war. Therefore, O ye well-wishers of the world of humanity, endeavor by day and by night so that these inflammable materials may not come in touch with the burning fire of racial antipathy and hatred.

Oneness of Humanity "Today the life of mankind and its attainment to everlasting glory depend on its display of effort and exertion in accord with the principles of His Holiness Baha'o'llah: for his first and foremost teaching consists of the oneness of the world of humanity. He says: We are all the sheep of God. His Highness, the Almighty, is the real Shepherd and kind to all the sheep. Why, then, should we be unkind toward each other? Another of his most great institutes deals with the subject of universal peace, the establishment of which would be conducive to the well-being and progress and tranquility of the commonwealth of man.

"Other precepts of Baha'o'llah treat of the identity of the underlying foundations of the religions of God, the original oneness of the nations, the adoptions and general practice of a universal auxillary language and the inculcation of the ideal of cosmopolitanism and world patriotism among the children of men: consequently in future his teachings will act as a deterrent and preventive from the occurrence of the most great danger —i.e., universal war.

Most Important Service "Today the most important object of the kingdom of God is the promulgation of the cause of universal peace and the principle of the oneness of the world of humanity. Whosoever arises in the accomplishment of this presentment service the confirmation of the Holy Spirit will descend upon him. Now all that has been predicted has come to pass, and the lurid flames of this war have emblazoned the horizon of the east and the west, causing a reverberating social earthquake through the column of the earth. After this war the workers for the cause of universal peace will increase day by day, and the pacific party will array its force, displaying great activity with better advantage, and in the end gaining a permanent triumph and eternal victory over all the other parties. The realization of this matter is incontestable and irrefragible.

"Therefore, ere long a vast and unlimited field will be opened before your view for the display of your powers and energies. You must promote this glorious intention with the heavenly power and the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. I am praying in thy behalf that thou mayest pitch a pavilion and unfurl a flag in the world of peace, love and eternal life.

"I beg you to accept the consideration of my highest and deepest respect.

"Abdul Baha Abbas

"Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, May 1, 1915. Home of Abdul Baha, Mount-Carmel, Haifa, Syria" END-OF-QUOTE

Wjhonson 02:31, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

I've now posted the .png image here Wjhonson 03:20, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for posting it. -- Jeff3000 04:27, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

"Sir" Abbas[edit]

Anyone going to take issue with removing "Sir" at the beginning of the name. He never used the moniker, and the order and rank is unknown. MARussellPESE 19:04, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

He was knighted so he is "sir" Zazaban 22:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
So? It's a title he never used and, if memory serves, actually disliked. No other published biography refers to him this way. Why should wikipedia? MARussellPESE 02:54, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Agree with MARussellPESE. -- Jeff3000 02:56, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Why? He was knighted, and therefore his proper title is "Sir". I don't personally know whether or not he liked the title -- do you know where that might have been recorded? Either way, wouldn't it be more encyclopaedic to list him as "Sir", if that is his proper title? --Twilightsojourn 07:03, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Have you seen any book or encyclopedia use the word Sir in front of his name? -- Jeff3000 10:37, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
No, but granted, I haven't checked too extensively, I'm afraid. Either way, though, isn't it proper to include "Sir" (or KBE, I suppose) as a title for anyone who has been knighted? I thought it was simply standard to do so. If not, then we can make the decision accordingly. Why are you supporting the removal of the title, by the way? --Twilightsojourn 04:52, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I keep thinking of this reference:

"My name is Abdu'l-Bahá. My qualification is Abdu'l-Bahá. My reality is Abdu'l-Bahá. My praise is Abdu'l-Bahá... No name, no title, no mention, no commendation have I, nor will ever have, except Abdu'l-Bahá. This is my longing. This is my greatest yearning. This is my eternal life. This is my everlasting glory." (quoted in The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 139)

Although readers should bear in mind that this was in response to American believers asking if he (Abdu'l-Baha) was the second coming of Christ, and he was emphasizing that Baha'u'llah was, and he was the servant of Baha'u'llah. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 05:30, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I think you have a good point. However (and I hate to keep questioning this, especially given the quote above), would it still be more encyclopaedic to list him as "Sir"? If that became his proper name as of the moment of his knighting, then I think it would be.
I am aware, of course that this is a small point -- I am asking this so I can learn, as well, not just to be a nuisance within the context of this article (I'm worried that I may be coming across as splitting hairs over one word, where I am not only trying to seek a better understanding, as well as make Wikipedia the best it can be, even when it comes to potentially small details such as this). Thanks so much for continuing to think about and discuss this question with me! Take care, Twilightsojourn 05:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't like the word, plus more importantly no published source uses the word sir in front of the name. That is more than enough to not use it. -- Jeff3000 12:51, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Twighlightsojourn, you're making an interesting statement that I think deserves discussion: "If that [Sir Abbas] became his proper name as of the moment of his knighting …" Who says, exactly, that that's his proper name? The British Empire? If someone bestows a title on you does that mean you're stuck with it? Is it really a proper name?

To me, it's very significant that Baha'u'llah bestowed various titles on Abbas Effendi, but the one he chose for himself, 'Abdul-Baha, is the one he used exclusively, and the one generally used. I think "Sir Abbas" isn't a "name", but a title; and as such the holder has the right to decide to use it. `Abdul-Baha clearly chose to avoid using it. MARussellPESE 13:35, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

That's a great point, MARussellPESE, and thanks for putting forth the question so well. I went and checked out the article concerning the Order of the British Empire, which is where any hyperlinks for honorary knighthood usually redirect. It doesn't specifically address this question (of "being stuck with" the title, as you put it), but instead describes when individuals are qualified to use it or not (whether or not they are citizens), and in what way ("Sir" or "Dame" versus "KBE" or "GBE" (affixing the letters to the end of one's name)). If one looks at the article for someone like Steven Spielberg, for example, one will notice that he is listed as "Steven Allen Spielberg, KBE", though interestingly, Bill Gates's article does not list him as such, despite him having received the title. Upon further inspection, it appears that there has been some extensive discussion regarding the issue (the first can be read here, and other examples can be seen in the other archives). One person wrote "According to British law, receiving the title "Knight of the British Empire" allows one to use the initials "KBE" after their name. It does not require one to use KBE any more than receiving a Ph.D. or M.D. requires one to use these initials. In certain situations, such as a research lab where everyone has a Ph.D., using Ph.D. with your name is looked upon as rather presumptuous. So to determine whether "KBE" is appropriate to be used with William T. Gates, we must not look to British law but what Bill Gates himself prefers. And in the Microsoft biography of Bill Gates, KBE is not used anywhere. So I don't think we should be using it in his name either.". I'm not sure where this person got this information, but if it is correct, then it would apply here, resulting in no "Sir" or "KBE" for `Abdu'l-Bahá. What do you all think? --Twilightsojourn 01:38, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Bingo! Thanks, Twilightsojourn. Well done. MARussellPESE 02:20, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the difference between Bill Gates and `Abd al-Baha' is that the latter was a citizen of the British Empire. Those who reside in countries outside the British Empire are not allowed to use the title 'Sir', and can only put KBE after their names. Also, there are several rankings of knighthood and `Abd al-Baha' received the order of Knight Commander. The form of recommendation can be viewed in Moojan Momen's Babi and baha'i religions, 1844 - 1944. Finally, I do believe that, as an encyclopaedia article (and not a religious text) the full name, including title and transliteration, should be included. The fact that `Abd al-Baha' himself rarely used this title is well-known and can be mentioned, as well, but it does not erase the fact that the title exists. What else is the point of an encyclopaedia than to provide complete knowledge? I think the title should be restored and, if desired, a clarification should be appended. dgl 10:51, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
[`Abdu'l-Bahá] is a transliteration, and carries any information of the original Arabic. [‘Abd al-Bahā’] is another possible transliteration. There is no need to use both. Since there is enough information about his titles, I made a new paragraph in the intro and left the first sentence as simple as possible. The title of KBE is mentioned there. Cuñado ☼ - Talk 16:48, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
The standard academic system of transliteration from Arabic, used by the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (IJMES) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is used by virtually every scholarly encyclopaedia (see Enclyclopaedia of Islam [`Abd al-Baha'] or a slightly-modified form [`Abd-al-Baha'] in Encyclopaedia Iranica, for example). Given the fact that the Baha'i system of transliteration is more common, I agree that `Abdu'l-Baha should be the primary form of the name, however, the standard academic transliteration should be provided for those who do not know Arabic. Furthermore, you deleted the real given name of `Abd al-Baha' -- `Abbas Effendi -- with no mention twice. Until he succeeded Baha'-Allah in 1892 -- and even afterwards -- this was the primary name he used in correspondence with non-Baha'is and the name which was used to refer to him in almost every non-Baha'i publication.
Again, this is an encyclopaedia, which is supposed to include thorough and comprehensive information. It is not intended to be a religious or hagiographical biography. That said, I do not believe that adding `Abd al-Bahas real name (`Abbas Effendi) or his full title (KBE) in any way harm his memory or offend religious sensibilities. I suggest that you consider what is the purpose of this article on Wikipedia -- to educate those interested in a scholarly account of `Abd al-Bahas life or to present a sterile, but incomplete picture? dgl 11:15, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
That the KBE is mentioned is enough. No encyclopedia names him as "Sir Abdu'l-Baha ..." and thus the argument that it is unencyclopedic to not include the "sir" falls apart. As for his given name, it's also in the lead which is also good enough, but it could be moved forward. Regards, -- Jeff3000 12:19, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
for what it's worth, the historical dictionary of the baha'i faith, edited by hugh adamson (former sec-gen of the UK NSA), lists both `Abbas Effendi and KBE in the title of the entry on `Abd al-Baha'. I quote:

`Abdu'l-Baha. (`Abbas Effendi; the Centre of the Covenant; Sirru'llah - Mystery of God; Ghusn-i-A`zam - Most Great Branch; KBE - Knight of the British Empire.) Baha'u'llah's eldest surviving son, His appointed Successor and interpreter of His revealed World. He was knighted in 1920 as Sir `Abdu'l-Baha `Abbas for His services in averting famine in `Akka during World War I.

i hope this suffices to demonstrate that it is common encyclopaedic practice to include all relevant titles at the start of an entry. (and i should point out further that the reviews for Adamson's text have been critical in that it is not scholarly enough (he leaves out a great deal and there are several editing problems). and even so, it lists Baha'-Allah, the Bab, and `Abd al-Baha' with their full names and titles.) dgl 13:46, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
And here is the Iranica version (by MacEoin), no mention of Sir or KBE in the lead:
"`ABD-AL-BAHA', epithet assumed by `Abba's Effendi, the eldest son of Baha'alla'h (q.v.), founder of the Baha'i movement. The epithet means “servant of the glory of God” or “servant of Baha'alla'h."
Only just before the sentence before his death does he mention the order of the British empire:
"In 1920 he was made a knight of the Order of the British Empire."
So it is not common encyclopedic practice to include all titles. Regards, -- Jeff3000 14:09, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Alternative picture on Wiki Commons[edit]

On [2] there is another good picture of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Could the current picture be replaced with that one? Wiki-uk 16:02, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that one is more common by far. Zazaban 00:03, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Replacement done. Wiki-uk

Abbas Effendi[edit]

"Abdu'l-Bahá's given name was `Abbás Effendí, but he preferred the title of `Abdu'l-Bahá (servant of the glory of God)."

This is not historically correct. Effendi is just an honorific, like Khanum. Abdu'l-Baha took that name upon the death of his father, when members of his family objects to some provisions of His Will. Does anyone else want to work on making this paragraph more accurate? Balyuzi would be a good place to start.--I'm Nonpartisan 02:33, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, my understanding is that Effendi is his "family" name. Last names came late to the region, so people got to choose. MARussellPESE 23:22, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

No, I don't think so. When the Baha'is in Haifa needed to choose a name, Abdu'l-Baha chose Rabbani for the family. That's Shoghi Effendi's legal last name, same as Ruhiyyah Rabbani. Effendi is used all over the Middle East as an honorific, the same as Mister or Honored Sir. But, certainly when he was born, Abdu'l-Baha was not given the name of Abbas Effendi. And, really, the "Servant of God" isn't a "title" either, like Dr., President, or Holy Father. Here is how I would rewrite this:

"Abdu'l-Baha's name at birth was Abbas. From about eight years old his father, Baha'u'llah, began to refer to him as "the master" in reference to his intelligence and spirituality. He as called "The Master" by friends and family alike until the death of Baha'u'llah. After the readin of his father's will, he told his family that he would be known only as Abdu'l-Baha, "the Servant of the Glory" or something like that. Time to go do some research.--I'm Nonpartisan 03:28, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

This is a wonderful and interesting topic. Actually, is there a wikipedia article regarding honorifics and titles in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and further into worldwide Islamic society? I have yet to find it but I think that it would be exceedingly informative, especially to western individuals such as myself who are seeking to understand more about eastern society, either for the purpose of better understanding one's own religion or for simply promoting unity between the peoples of the world. Peter Deer (talk) 15:50, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

"Persian Roots"[edit]

In the second paragraph, it states that the Tablets of the Divine Plan spread the faith beyond their persian roots. This seems rather inaccurate to me, as at the time the tablets were published the Baha'i s had already spread from Iran, to Iraq, to Turkey, to Israel, and all throughout the middle east. I'm going to make a minor change to this (Middle Eastern roots) but I'd like to see it rewritten by someone else. Peter Deer (talk) 21:16, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Concur. The Faith had already spread to India prior to `Abdu'l-Baha's tenure. MARussellPESE (talk) 00:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Munirih Khanum[edit]

The page says Munirih Khanum is the daughter of Mirza Muhammad Ali; that name is incomplete, and gives the impression that he is the same person as Abdu'l-Baha's half-brother. The correct name of her father was Mirza Muhammad-'Ali Nahri. There is more information about her easily obtained in the Ocean program, just type the word "Munirih" into the search box and it brings up her memoirs. Brent Poirier —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


The article says that He married Munirih Khanum in 1872, this is incorrect as Abdulbaha married in March 1873. He was 28, she was 25. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrjames 9999 (talkcontribs) 16:06, 27 September 2008 (UTC)


I'd like to once again address the term Effendi. This was, as far as I am aware, not part of `Abdu'l-Baha's given name. As mentioned by I'm Nonpartisan, Effendi is an honorific. It was particularly used in Turkish areas such as Turkish Palestine. I believe he was born Abbas, not "Abbas Effendi." He was known as Abbas Effendi in Palestine. Is there any historical source saying he was born with the name or title Effendi? I know of none. - Parsa (talk) 17:55, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

It is true that in most cases it is an honorific. However, it is entirely likely in this instance that the name was given to Him at birth, in the same manner Abdu'l-Baha Himself is historically noted as insisting that this be done with His grandson, Shoghi Effendi. In terms of historical documents, in all documents I've seen He is referred to in one of the following ways: Abdu'l-Baha (which He chose for Himself), Abbas Effendi, Ghusn-i-Azam (in reference to His birth) or simply Aqa (in itself an honorific). But I am not an expert on the rules and customs of Persian and Arabic naming, so it's entirely possible that Effendi is not part of his actual name, but if it is an honorific it is one He had from very early on. Peter Deer (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

It's possible that he was refered to as Effendi from an early age since he came from a noble family. It would be similar to someone calling a young aristocrat "young Master." However, it would be unlikely that it was actually part of his given name. Aga ( آقا ) was always the term Baha'u'llah asked his followers and family to use for `Abdu'l-Baha. Perhaps Effendi was in use in 19th century Iran, but I have generally heard of it used in Ottoman Turkish contexts as a junior title of respect, as the Effendi article outlines. Shoghi Effendi grew up in Palestine, not Iran. - Parsa (talk) 00:15, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I studied Middle East history and Arabic pretty extensively in college. Yes, Effendi is an honorific implying high class in Turkish society. Yes, his given name is `Abbas. Just as Baha'u'llah's name is simply Husayn-`Ali. I think the piece you're missing is that throughout the 19th century people around the Middle East started taking last names because there was a dramatic increase in the movement of people, and the tradition of last names was strong in Europe. Most people already used their craft or town with their name, so you were `Ali Baghdadi, or `Ustad `Ali. The change was that these names became official in documents as people traveled. Much like people coming into Ellis Island had to choose a last name, sometimes out of thin air. It's clear that at some point, I'm not sure exactly when or where, `Abbas chose Effendi as a surname, and all his family used it from then on. Cuñado ☼ - Talk 16:42, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to see some documentation on that. What is the name used on the passport that the pictures were taken for in Adrianople. A passport name would be the formal family name.I'm Nonpartisan 00:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by I'm nonpartisan (talkcontribs)
Well, I just stepped over the the Baha'i Encyclopedia Project page, and Abbas Effendi is what is used there, that's a final answer for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by I'm nonpartisan (talkcontribs) 01:06, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


I would think it be prudent to expand the "exiles with his father" section a bit more. It's very short and these were some of the pivotal years of `Abdu'l-Bahá's life. Someonething similair to the Bahíyyih Khánum or Ásíyih Khánum article? --Lizzie1988 (talk) 23:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. That period covers Baghdad, Constantinople, and Akka far too quickly. This is the period when he gains some of his titles, in the change of fortunes of the community in Akka, as well as significant aspects of his station following Baha'u'llah's death and early difficulties in succesorship - but finding sources covering the periods in detail and with authority and facts must be adhered to. It's much more than three short paragraphs. Smkolins (talk) 00:07, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes thats true, 3 paragraphs are not sufficient for this article. Concerning the sources, Bahá'í sources such as `Abdu'l-Bahá: Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh series, The Chosen Highway & Esslemont's Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era can help. For non-Bahá'í onces The Life and Teachings of `Abbas Effendi, Encyclopedia Iranica, Holy People of the World: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, and others should be useful. --Lizzie1988 (talk) 14:37, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Journeys to the West[edit]

  • Another thought I had about expanding is to take the Journeys_to_the_West section into it's own article with a survey of the trips/talks and events during the trips - sources include Juliet's Diary, Paris Talks, Promulgation of Universal Peace, Portals to Freedom, and others. Has anyone seen a chronology of any depth of his trips - where he stayed, who he met with, etc.? I recall there being painting of Abdu'l-Baha for a time in a hotel at Niagara I think.... Smkolins (talk) 22:28, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
and of course newspaper coverage like Abdul Baha Prays in Ascension Church and many more.... Smkolins (talk) 17:31, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
One more: Zarqáni, Mírzá Mahmúd-i- (1998) [1913]. Mahmúd's Diary: Chronicling `Abdu'l-Bahá's Journey to America. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0853984182.  Wiki-uk (talk) 18:11, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeap - I also recall Abdu'l-Baha in London. Smkolins (talk) 23:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Here's some reviews of available resources - [3], [4] I wonder how soon the World Order content will be available online. Smkolins (talk) 23:40, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm also champing at the bit for World Order, I know one person who has a box of back issues next to a scanner, part of the Heritage Project ongoing at Media Services, but I don't know if that's the plan for getting them online. The first book that tried to be very specific about the travels of Abdu'l-Baha was 239 Days, but it's been out of print for many years and many other books have been published since. Promulgation of Universal Peace is great as a historic document of the time, but there's some missing days in there. The same Heritage Project is digitizing all sorts of audio, thousands of tapes, and I bet there will be some interviews and personal rememberances in there, just jewels ready to find.I'm Nonpartisan 05:18, 19 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by I'm nonpartisan (talkcontribs)

With so many accounts would it be useful to do a parallel columns accounting - little summaries with citations for each source discusses it? Or per day in order, little summary and a list or code of which publications cover that day/event?? Smkolins (talk) 14:05, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

I even found a parody - [5] from Stephen Leacock.Smkolins (talk) 14:22, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Partial List of Refs for First Journey[edit]

Smkolins (talk) 02:22, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

The progress on expanding the Journey's section into a main article has significantly progressed.It's all at User:Smkolins/Sandbox and I'm wonder a couple things. I've tried various schemes on basic structure. So far I like the present one the best. What do you think? Also should I post as is, as is with flags for expanding sections mostly towards the bottom, or keep plugging away until the content is reasonably even and then post? The main structural problem is various levels of citation - some are ?? that need to be found but mostly there are unstructured Hardvard-like entries barely formatted.Frankly Harvard style is something I've done only alittle of. If I keep going through the development along it could easily be a couple months before it's "ready" to post. On the other hand one ref I'm waiting for and have been in communication with the Library of Congress about is a reference that might come online in June so a couple months is in order for at least one detail (I have a secondary ref but I think the direct newspaper story should prove most worthwhile.) Smkolins (talk) 12:01, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

It's live! - See `Abdu'l-Bahá's journeys to the West - Still lots to do but it's been suggested to go ahead and post it so more hands can easily access to improve. Smkolins (talk) 21:31, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Administrative Order[edit]

Regarding the phrase in the first section: "and his Will and Testament laid the foundation for the current Bahá'í administrative order." (I have not made any changes to the article. I just want to see if there is agreement about this.)

Perhaps it might be more complete and true to what it says in the Bahá'í writings to say that it was Bahá'u'lláh who laid the foundation for the Bahá'í administrative order (established the Houses of Justice). Then some wording could be used to indicate that 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in his Will and Testament laid the foundation for its current (or present) form. Servant of Baha (talk) 22:52, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

possibly - however while certain features were certainly set by Baha'u'llah it is Abdu'l-Baha which delineated crucial features of Bahá'í administration as we have them. Perhaps it would be more useful to borrow from the language of that page - that "the Will and Testament constitutes one of the four so called Charter documents delineating the features of Baha'i administration".Smkolins (talk) 00:51, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I am focusing on the word "foundation." Since Bahá'u'llàh is fulfilling the prophesy of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth (in which man shall learn war no more) through the establishment of an Administrative Order that will govern in His stead, perhaps it is important to make the distinction that He alone has the authority to lay down this foundation. The infallibility of the Universal House of Justice and the authority of all of the Houses of Justice were established by the Manifestation of God. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's scriptural authority was limited to Interpretration of the Holy Writ. He could elucidate and implement but could not create. For instance, he revealed scripture but not the Creative Word. So, the way I see it, 'Abdu'l-Bahá built upon the foundation laid down by Bahá'u'lláh. The Master did this by describing a framework which constituted the beams and girders of the future administrative edifice. Shoghi Effendi then erected the walls, floors, roofs, and interior rooms (guidelines, procedures, constitutions, by-laws, charters, etc.) that has allowed them to function in their present form. Don't you think that "Certain features" is perhaps too light a phrase to describe the extent of Bahá'u'lláh's authorship of the Administrative Order?

I like your idea of describing 'Abdu'l-Bahá's contribution in the context of the four charter documents instead of saying His Will and Testament laid the foundation. (1) The Tablet of Carmel designates the holy spot of it most high edifice, (2) the Kiláb-i-Aqdas laid the foundation of its authority, (3) the Tablets of the Divine Plan designated and guides its chief builders, and (4) the Will and Testament of 'Abdul-Bahá establishes the Administration's framework, including the Institutions of the Guardianship and the National Spiritual Assemblies.

Your further comments, please. Servant of Baha (talk) 16:22, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. Please move this discussion somewhere else. The talk pages are meant for discussions on the contents of the page as specified by reliable secondary sources. Reliable sources are those published with editorial oversight such as academic publishers and peer-reviewed journals, and the above is all original research based on interpreatation of primary source religious material and that type of material is not permissible in Wikipedia. Regards, -- Jeff3000 (talk) 18:27, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

tributes on death of….[edit]

this might be useful for noting his death - [6], [7], [8] --Smkolins (talk) 20:04, 9 January 2014 (UTC)