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COLLECTIONProvisional translations
TITLEPrayer for Fathers
AUTHOR 1 Abdu'l-Bahá
CONTRIB 1Ahmad Sohrab, trans.
TITLE_PARENTStar of the West
ABSTRACTTablet revealed for Albert Windust, first American publisher of the Bahá'í Writings and founder of Star of the West, on the occasion of his father's passing.
NOTES See also the translation in Bahá'í Prayers, p. 65 (1991 ed.).
TAGS* Prayer texts; Albert Windust; Chicago, IL; Covenant; Covenant-breakers; Death; Family; Fathers; Life after death; Names and titles; Parents; Promulgation of Universal Peace (book); Soul; Star of the West; Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá (book); United States (documents)
The Prayer for Fathers was revealed by the Master to Albert Windust, and published in the pages of Star of the West. It appears that Mr. Windust's father passed away, that he then wrote to the Master and asked Him to pray for his father, and the Master revealed a Tablet containing this prayer in response. The senior Mr. Windust passed away in May, 1913 and the Tablet was revealed two months later.

By way of background, Albert Windust was one of the most important pillars of the American Bahá'í community from its earliest days. He was a member of the first Spiritual Assembly in Chicago and served on it until 1954. He was a printer by profession, and one of the founders of the Bahá'í Publishing Society which became the Bahá'í Publishing Trust. He was the first publisher of the Bahá'í Writings in America, and the founder of Star of the West. He collected and published the 3 volumes of Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas, and he assisted Howard MacNutt in collecting and publishing The Promulgation of Universal Peace. There is a good deal written about him in Volume Two of Rob Stockman's The Bahá'í Faith in America. His full-page photograph is between pages 78-79 of that book. His story is included in the "In Memoriam" section of The Bahá'í World, Volume 13, where the cablegram from Shoghi Effendi marking his passing is included, and in which the Guardian refers to him as "Herald Covenant."

Here is the full text, from Volume II, No. 19, page 319 of Star of the West, dated March 2, 1921 (contained in George Ronald blue reprint volume #7). I have left the spelling and transliteration exactly as printed there. [-Brent Poirier, 1999]


Tablet from Abdul-Baha to Albert R. Windust

To Mr. Albert R. Windust, Chicago, Ill. -- Upon him be Baha'o'llah El-Abha!

He is God!

O Thou Almighty! O Thou Forgiver!

The servant of Thy Threshold, Windust, turns his face toward the Kingdom of Abha and begs for his father[*] Thy Grace and bounty. O Thou Omnipotent Lord! In this Great Dispensation Thou dost accept the intercession of the sons in behalf of their fathers. This is one of the special infinite bestowals of this cycle. Therefore, O Thou kind Almighty! Accept the request of this thy servant at the Threshold of Thy Singleness and submerge his father in the ocean of Thy graces -- because this son is confirmed in the accomplishment of Thy services and is displaying the utmost of effort at all times in the pathway of Thy love! Verily Thou art the Giver, the Forgiver and the Kind!

O thou divine servant!

Be thou not unhappy on account of the death of thy father. All of us will hasten from this world to another world. This mundane life has no importance whatsoever. It is our hope that in the divine world we shall find eternal union and seek everlasting fellowship. Importance lies in this fact. This station is obtained through faith and self-sacrifice in the path of God. Consequently we must make an effort to obtain happiness and joyousness in the other world.

Convey the wonderful Abha greeting to the believers. Chicago, in comparison with the cities of America, was in advance and numerically contained more Bahais. But when the stench (vile odor) of the nakazeen was spread in that city there was stagnation. The Cause in other cities of America is progressing day unto day, but Chicago is stationary. Therefore, strive that the sweet fragrance of the Testament and the Covenant may become diffused, the nostrils of the spiritual ones become perfumed, the banner of "Ya-Baha-el-Abha!" be unfurled and the tent of the oneness of the world of humanity be pitched. Then ye shall observe that Chicago will become the Paradise of Abha. These few nakazeen cannot accomplish anything worth while. The utmost is this that they will be the means of the drooping of the believers of God in that city. A person deprived of the spirit of the Covenant is sentenced as dead. The dead surely disintegrate. Therefore, breathe the spirit of the Covenant and the Testament as much as ye can in the hearts, so that the souls may progress day unto day and obtain a new exhilaration.

    Upon thee be Baha-el-Abha!

    (Signed) Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas!

    (Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, July 4th, 1913, Port Said, Egypt.)

      * Thomas Windust, printer, was born in London, England, November 12th, 1849. Died at Chicago, May 21st, 1913, and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, May 23rd.
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