Posted by: samandal | December 21, 2009

Men Are as Women, II: Holy Mother

Hajj of the Báb

Although not a Holy Day, this day commemorates the Hajj of the Báb.

“In His Name, the Glory of the Most Glorious! O Divine Providence! Thou seest and art a witness that all my limbs, my members, my heart, my soul, and my conscience bear testimony to the inexhaustible bounties which Thou hast showered upon this unworthy handmaiden at the Threshold from the beginning of her life.”                          (Munírih Khánum)

“In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made.”                           (Genesis i. 1–3, Douay-Rheims Version)

Munírih Khánum (1847–1938), also known to Bahá’ís as the Holy Mother, was the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the devoted grandmother of Shoghí Effendí. Her father was Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí Nahrí, a member of a prominent Isfáhání Bahá’í merchant family; her parents had been childless until given a portion of the Báb’s food to eat. Widowed and humiliated shortly after her marriage to one of her cousins, she was chosen to wed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by Bahá’u’lláh himself. Two sons and three daughters died in childhood, but four daughters survived to adulthood. Her death and ascension occurred on 28 April 1938.

“Remember thou how the angel said, O Mary, God hath chosen and purified thee above all women of the world; O Mary, obey thy Lord; praise him and worship him with them that worship him … Remember thou how the angel said, O Mary, God declareth unto thee a word, from which shall proceed the Messias, named Jesus, the son of Mary, full of honour in this world, and that shall be in the other, of the number of intercessors with his Divine Majesty; he shall speak in the cradle, as a man between thirty and fifty years, and shall be in the number of the just.”              (Qur’án iii. 42–46, Du Ryer-Ross Version)

“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his hand-maid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.”                                                                 (Luke i. 46–50, Douay-Rheims Version)