Dr Davoodi a martyr of Iran

Highlights of a Talk by Mrs. Malek-Áfágh Dávoodí (the wife of the late Dr. `Alí-Murad Dávoodí*) at the Dec. 26-30th, 2000 Society for Persian Arts and Letters Conference

Dr Davoodi

Dr Davoodi

My dear ones, the Revolution days in Iran were indeed strange times. They reminded me of this saying from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “Great tests and difficulties await the friends; the magnitude of these trials shake even the bones of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.”


Story about Charles Dunning – Knight of Bahá’u’lláh

Marion Hofman told this story about the Knight of Baha’u’llah to the Orkney Islands, Charles Dunning.

Charlie was small, slightly strange-looking.  The children in Kirkwall used to run after him and throw stones and sticks and call him names. He was simple and uneducated.

Charlie went on pilgrimage during the time of the Guardian.  At dinner the other guests were shocked because Charles spoke very forcefully to the Guardian telling his views – and wagging his finger at the Guardian to emphasize his points.  The Guardian laughed and took it all in good spirit.

Worse was to come.  After the meal Charlie took out his packet of cigarettes, lit one and puffed away.  Shock – horror!

The Guardian who loved Charlie (and I like to think was trying to deepen the other guests) instructed that a packet of 20 Players Navy Cut cigarettes be at Charlie’s dinner-table place for the remainder of the pilgrimage.

God Willing

In “Portals to Freedom” Howard Colby Ives describes how Abdu’l Bahá would make plans wholly trusting in God 

“We should count time by heart throbs.” When I recall that all so far recounted occurred within the first three weeks after my meeting with Abdu’l-Bahá it seems incredible. In those few days life had taken on an entirely new meaning. I felt like a spiritual Columbus exploring the uncharted oceans of God. New lands had been discovered upon which I hardly had courage to set foot. Heights and depths of inner experience had been touched of which heretofore I had never dreamed. Truly, many times I had “packed eternity into an hour, or stretched an hour to eternity.”

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Being Lucky

Dr Youness Afroukhteh describes when Abdu’l Bahá was asked “…what is this luck. Is it real or just an invention?” In “Memories of Nine Years in Akka” (page 404), Dr Afroukhteh records his recollection of Abdu’l Baha’s response:


“In Bahá’i philosophy, luck is the same as divine confirmation, which is ceaseless and continuous, never subject to interruption or suspension. It is not limited to some to the exclusion of others. The capacity of its manifestation must be created. Showers of divine bounty and confirmation are always falling; if any spot experiences a suspension or delay, other areas shall receive these effusions.

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Dorothy Baker talking about prayer

Below are notes taken by Gene Pritchard from Dorothy Baker’s talks at Rice Lake, 1941. Taken from “Copper to Gold” page 252.

Dorothy Baker

Pray until you feel the inner contact about anything, then watch. God will open the door. We should obtain God’s first choice. Have magnetic spiritual passion. Talk, listen to the inner silences. Hear the voice of God. Yearning opens the recesses of the heart. Have the ardour and conviction…..

Remember the gift of intercession, as it is one of the creative forces of God. Those who have ascended have different attributes but there is no real separation. The realm of bounty is not fully understood. The force behind our progress is the degree of detachment, the consecrated life, and depth of conviction to God. Servitude is the essence of motion.

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Meeting Abdu’l-Bahá

Howard Colby Ives in “Portals to Freedom” (page 30 – 33) recollects the experience of meeting with with Abdu’l Baha all alone. 

Abdu'l Baha

A door was opening far across from me and a group was emerging and Abdu’l-Bahá appeared saying farewell. None had any eyes save for Him. Again I had the impression of a unique dignity and courtesy and love. The morning sunlight flooded the room to center on His robe. His fez was slightly tilted and as I gazed. His hand, with a gesture evidently characteristic, raised and, touching, restored it to its proper place. His eyes met mine as my fascinated glance was on Him. He smiled and, with a gesture which no word but “lordly” can describe. He beckoned me.

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Two verses for times of hardship

In the booket “Poor in all Save God” (page 28, printed in the US) it is suggested that the following two phrases by Bahá’u’lláh are said 19 times each day:

” He who puts his trust on God, God will suffice him.   He who fears God, God will send him relief.”