The Cause of Universal Peace

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Enduring Impact

The article below by Kathryn Jewett Hogenson has been added to the special collection, “The Mystery of God,” a selection of pieces brought together to honor the Centenary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. You can also visit the Library to see the entire selection of essays and articles on the website.  The Library is periodically augmented with pieces from the printed volumes, published from 1926 to 2006. 

In the late summer of 1911 in the United States, Albert Smiley found a letter sent from Egypt among the items in his mail. Dated August 9, it was from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, head of a religion which Smiley had only briefly encountered the year before.1 The letter addressed Smiley as the founder and host of the Lake Mohonk Conferences on International Arbitration and praised those gatherings and their goal of establishing arbitration as the means to settle disputes between nations. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated emphatically, “What cause is greater than this!” Explaining how His Father, Bahá’u’lláh, had advocated the unity of the nations and religions, He asserted that the basis of this unity was the oneness of humanity.2 To ensure that His message to the sponsors was received and considered, a second letter was sent on August 22 to the Conference secretary, Mr. C. C. Philips. It began, “The Conference on International Arbitration and Peace is the greatest results [sic] of this great age.”3 In response, the organizers invited ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to take part in the 1912 Conference and to address one of its sessions.4

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