Abbás Effendí:
Centenary of His Visit to Egypt (1910-1913)

By Nabil Fares

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #107
Louhelen Bahá'í Center: Davison, Michigan, USA
October 7–10, 2011
(see list of papers from #107)

    'Abdu'l-Bahá `Abbás (23 May 1844 - 28 November 1921), known to the Arab and Islamic worlds as Abbas Effendi, and to the west as `Abdul-Bahá, was the greatest middle-eastern mind that explained the spiritual and material issues in a contemporary way. His creative ideas led the reformation movements at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

    He was the first middle-easterner that carried to the west the message of unity and accord, and created a program for enduring world peace. He gave us the brightest reflections on the verses of the Holy Scriptures, Quran, the Bible and Torah (Old Testament), and explained their verses logically and in a scientific way.

    His thoughts overpowered equally the East and the West, especially Egypt (Misr) and the Arab world. The people of the East titled Him "the Knowledgeable Scientist", "the Great Pious Shaykh", "the Essence of Kindness and Perfection", "the Miracle of his Era", "The Rarity of His Time", "The Master of the Spiritual Reformers".

    At the age of 64, after forty years of imprisonment, `Abdu'l-Bahá `Abbás was set free by the Young Turks revolution (new Ottoman). As soon as He was freed, He travelled outside Palestine (currently Israel) for three years from 1910-1913. Egypt was the first country `Abdu'l-Bahá `Abbás visited and he used it as a center for his travels to Europe and North America. `Abdu'l-Bahá `Abbás spent three years outside `Akká and Haifa, one and half year of which He spent in Egypt.

    Abbás Effendí arrived in Egypt in August/September 1910. As the Centenary rolls over, I offer this humble presentation with the aid of Professor Suheil Bushrui's book "`Abbás Effendí", "`Abdu'l-Bahá" by H. M. Balyuzi among other tables from Star of the West.

    The presentation will create a context to cover some of the following subjects:

    `Abbás Effendí's Writings in Egypt

    1. Speeches
    2. Discussions and dialogues
    3. Books and writings
    4. Messages to the institutions and international societies and gatherings
    5. Tablets to individuals regarding scientific; philosophical and religious topics
    6. General letters and tablets addressed to the believers in the East and the West
    7. Personal tablets
    8. Will and Testimonies
    9. Prayers and meditations
    10. Prayers and meditations for certain occasions
    11. Tablets of Visitation
    12. Poetry and prose
    `Abbás Effendí's relation with the Arab and Islamic leaders of thought
    1. Imam Shaykh Mohammed 'Abduh
    2. Prince Mohamed Ali Towkiq
    3. Shaykh Ali Youssef
    4. Ármin Vámbéry
    5. Mohamed Jamil Beyham
    6. The prince of perspicuousness / eloquence — Shakib Arselan
    7. Slaim Qabein
    8. Gubran Khalil Gubran
    9. Amin Al-Rihani
    10. Prince George Beg Lutf-Alla

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