Sunday, October 28, 2012

To Fight For A Handful Of Dust

AS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ BOARDED THE TRAIN that would take him eastward from Sacramento to Salt Lake City and Denver, Ottoman troops in Europe retreated along a front that reached from Adrianople and Lozengrad, away from the Bulgarian border.The war had been going on for several weeks. Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, and Bulgaria had formed an alliance intent on reclaiming all European territories from the Ottoman Empire. 
‘Abdu’l-Bahá had traversed the terrain they fought on: as a young man he had accompanied his exiled father the 1,500 miles from Baghdad to Constantinople; and again, four months later and in the dead of winter, to Adrianople.
“God does not want war,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told the railway staff. “God is kind to all,” he said. “We, too, should be kind to one another.” He continued: “We should not fight for a handful of dust. The earth is our endless tomb. Is it worthy of us to wage war and shed blood for this tomb while God has destined that we win the cities of men’s hearts and bestowed upon us an eternal Kingdom?”