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There was a merchant in Akka who, like his fellow citizens did not respect the Bahá’ís. This was because they did not understand the good teachings of the Bahá'í Faith. One day, this merchant saw a camel-load of charcoal that belonged to the Bahá’ís. He took the charcoal and did not pay for it. When Abdu’l-Bahá heard this, he went to the merchant’s shop and asked for the return of the charcoal. The merchant did not pay Abdu’l-Bahá any attention. Abdu’l-Bahá patiently sat there and waited. After three hours, the merchant asked Abdu’l-Bahá, what He had done that He was kept in the prison. Abdu’l-Bahá replied that His crime was the same one for which Christ was persecuted. The merchant was very surprised that Abdu’l-Bahá knows so much about Christ and His Teachings. This made him very happy. He was very impressed and he became very respectful to Abdu’l-Bahá. Though the charcoal was gone, he agreed to pay for it.
As Abdu’l-Bahá rose to leave, the merchant walked with him into the street with great respect and honour. Dear Children, Abdu’l-Bahá showed kindness to the people of all religions and helped them to become united. Quotation for Lesson 1 “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illumine the whole earth.” -Bahá’u’llah
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JB Bahá’í Children Class Story of Abdu'l-Bahá LESSON 2 ((Summarized version of story from Ruhi Book 3,p. 41)
Abdu’l-Bahá could always tell what was in a person’s heart. Once, there was a lady who was Abdu’lBahá guest at dinner. As she was listening to Abdu’l-Bahá’s wise words and looking at a glass of water in front of her, she thought… “Oh! If only Abdu’l-Bahá would take my heart and empty it of every desire and then refill it with divine love and understanding, just as you would do with this glass of water.” Abdu’l-Bahá knows what was in the lady’s heart. He called for a servant and said a few words to him. This servant quietly went to the lady’s place, took her glass, emptied it and put it back in front of her. Shortly, Abdu’l-Bahá while continuing His talk, took a pitcher of
water and in the most natural way, slowly refilled the lady’s empty glass. The lady was filled with joy. She was so happy that Abdu’l-Bahá had answered her heart’s desire.
You see dear children, hearts and minds are like open books to Abdu’l-Bahá. He reads them with great love and kindliness.
Quotation for Lesson 2
“O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”
-Bahá’u’llah155 / 244 words
JB Bahá’í Children Class
Story of Abdu'l-Bahá
LESSON 3 ((Summarized version of story from Ruhi Book 3,p. 43)
One day, Abdu’l-Bahá wanted to go from Akka to Haifa. He went to take an inexpensive seat in a regular coach. The driver was surprised and must have asked himself why Abdu'l-Bahá was so frugal as to ride in this cheap coach. “Surely, Your Excellency would prefer to travel in a private carriage,” exclaimed. “No,” replied Master, and He traveled in crowded coach all the way Haifa.
he the the to
As He stepped down from the coach in Haifa a distressed fisherwoman came to Him and asked for His help. All day she had caught nothing and now had to return to her hungry family.
Abdu'l-Bahá gave her a good sum of money, turned to the driver and said, “Why should I ride in luxury while so many are starving?”
Quotation for Lesson 3 “Tread ye the path of justice, for this, verily, is the straight path.” -Bahá’u’llah-
LESSON 4 (p. 45)
While Abdu'l-Baha was a prisoner in Akka there was a man in that city who hated Abdu'l-Baha very much. He behaved very badly towards Abdu'l-Baha. He was not kind to Abdu'l-Baha and said bad things about Him. When he passed by Abdu'l-Baha he would be so rude and unkind that he would cover his own face so that he would not see Abdu'lBaha’s face. He was a poor man. In spite of what he had done to Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha would still send him food and clothes. Once, he felt sick. Abdu'l-Baha sent a doctor to help him and even paid for his medicine and gave him some money. Yet he was very ungrateful. He took the gifts and did not even thank Abdu'l-Baha. So ungrateful was he that he will give one hand to the doctor to check his pulse and use his other hand to cover his face so that he will not see Abdu'l-Baha’s face. This went on for many years. Abdu'l-Baha continued to be kind. Then one day, he went to Abdu'l-Baha, fell at Abdu'l-Baha’s feet and cried, “Forgive me, Sir! For twenty-four years I have done evil to you. For twenty-four years, You have shown only goodness to me. Now I know that I have been wrong. Please forgive me.” Dear children, you see, love is greater than hate and forgiveness is a virtue. 213/349
LESSON 5 (p. 46)
Lua Getsinger, an American Bahai lady went to Akka to see Abdu'l-Baha. One day, He said He was busy and asked Lua to visit His poor and sick friend and to bring some food to him. Lua felt very proud that Abdu'l-Baha had asked her to do something for Him. So she went but soon came running back. She told Abdu'l-Baha how dirty and smelly the man and his place was. Abdu'l-Baha sadly and sternly looked at her and told her that if she wanted to serve God, she must also serve her fellow men, because in every person she should see the image and likeness of God. He asked Lua to go back to the house and clean it and feed the man too and she must not come back until all this was done. He told her that He had done it many times and she can definitely do it once. Lua Getsinger obeyed Abdu'l-Baha and learned about service. Dear Children, this is how Abdu'l-Baha taught Lua Getsinger to serve her fellow men.
LESSON 6 (p. 50)
A young shepherd taking care of his family’s sheep, was bored one day and decided to play a trick on his neighbours. Suddenly, he shouted “Wolf, Wolf, The wolf is eating the sheep.” All of his friends came to help but they found him laughing. They went back to work saying that the boy had behaved very badly. The following day, the boy again cried out, “Wolf, Wolf! Help me! Help me!” Some came to help him only to find out he has played a trick on them again. On the third day, the neighbours again heard him shouting, Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is eating the sheep! Please come, help! No one paid attention as they thought he was playing a trick again. But this time, he was not playing a trick. The wolf did come and ate the sheep. He lost his sheep and his friends because he had lied.
Dear Children, if we tell lies, the day will come when nobody will believe (or trust) us even when we tell the truth. This is because they have lost trust in us.
LESSON 7 (p. 52)
When Ruhullah was twelve years old, he and his father travelled to Akka to see Abdu'l-Baha. He was so happy to see Abdu'l-Baha and to spend time with Him. Soon they left Akka and returned to Persia. Together he and his father told people the Teachings of the Bahai Faith. Ruhullah could recite prayers beautifully. One day, some people captured Ruhullah and his father and sent them to a prison in Tehran. Life was very difficult in the horrible prison. One day, they killed Ruhullah’s father and then Ruhullah. They did this because they did not understand the Bahai Teachings that Ruhullah and his father loved.
Dear Children, Ruhullah and his father loved the Bahai Faith and even when their lives were difficult, they were very, very brave and steadfast.
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LESSON 8 (p. 55)
Abdu'l-Baha was a humble man. Friends wanted to give him great titles but he only wanted to be called Abdu'l-Baha which means ‘Servant of the Glory’. One day, some rich friends who respected Abdu'lBaha very much arranged for a specially dressed boy to carry a fancy bowl with crystal water and a perfumed towel for Abdu'l-Baha to wash His hands before a meal. Abdu'l-Baha understood that they wanted to do it for Him. He quickly washed His hands with some water nearby and dried them with a piece of cloth (which a gardener had). With a radiant face, He turned to meet His guests and invited them to use the crystal water and perfumed towel to wash their hands.
Dear Children, Abdu'l-Baha was a very humble man.
LESSON 9 (p. 57)
Abdu'l-Baha was going to entertain the Governor of Akka. Before the day arrived, his wife went to the tailor and ordered a fine coat for Him. When the day came, His wife laid out the new coat for Abdu'l-Baha but He asked for His old coat. He could not accept the new coat that His wife had ordered for Him. He said there was no reason to spend so much money on a coat just for Him. He said with the money He could buy five simple ones like the one He normally wore. Then He would have a new coat and still have four coats to give to others.
Dear Children, Abdu'l-Baha was always thinking of others. He was a selfless man indeed.
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LESSON 10 (p. 59)
Mulla Bahram was very sad one day because his cousin’s small child had died. The child was given a Bahai burial. This made some people angry and they put his cousin into jail. These people did this because they did not understand and did not agree with the Bahai Teachings. Mulla Bahram tried to save his cousin. He went to seek the help of a high government official. That day, the official was hosting a feast. All the guests were very surprised that their host treated Mulla Bahram with great respect and they asked him why. The official said that it was because Mulla Bahram was a righteous and honest man. He explained that once when he was in trouble he tried to bribe Mulla Bahram with money but Mulla Bahram did not accept the money but carried out his work honestly.
Dear Children, we must always be honest and righteous in whatever we do. 135/518
LESSON 10 (p. 59) (A simpler version)
Mulla bahram was sad because his cousin’s small child had died. The child was given a Bahai burial. For this, his cousin was put to jail. He went to a high government official for help. That day, the official was hosting a feast. All the guests were surprised that the host treated Mulla Bahram with great respect. When asked why, the official said it was because Mulla Bahram was a righteous and honest man. He explained that at one time he had tried to bribe Mulla Bahram but Mulla Bahram did not accept it. He had carried out his work honestly.
Dear Children, we must always be honest and righteous in whatever we do.
LESSON 11 (p. 62)
One day, Baha’u’llah asked Abdu'l-Baha to inspect the work of the shepherds who were taking care of His sheep. Abdu'l-Baha was very young then. When the inspection was over and as Abdu'l-Baha was about to leave, the man who had accompanied Him said, “It is your father’s custom to leave a gift for each shepherd.” Abdu'l-Baha was quiet for a while. He did not know so He was not prepared. Then He had an idea! He would give the shepherds the sheep they were taking care of! When Baha’u’llah heard about Abdu'l-Baha’s actions, He was much pleased that Abdu'l-Baha had such generous thoughts. He jokingly (humorously) remarked that everyone had better take good care of Abdu'l-Baha because someday He would give Himself away. Truly, Abdu'l-Baha had spent His entire life, giving His time and His service to humanity.
Dear Children, let us always be as generous and giving (and magnanimous) as Abdu'l-Baha.
LESSON 12 (p. 63) Muhammad Baqar’s wife fell sick. Hakim Aqa Jan, a Jewish doctor, treated her. But she did not get better, instead she got worse the next day. Muhammad Baqir rushed and asked Hakim Aqa Jan to go to his house to check on his wife again. Alas, Hakim Aqa Jan realized his mistake. He had given her the wrong medicine (instead of the quinine pills he had given her strychnine, a powerful poison) and that was why she became worse and could possibly die. He was frantic, if his mistake was found out, he and his entire family could be killed. He confessed his grave mistake to Muhammad Baqir. He was so surprised when Muhammad Baqir answered, “Everyone can make a mistake. You have not done so on purpose. Even if my wife dies, no one will blame you.” Hakim Aqa Jan was so touched. That night with Muhammad Baqir’s help, he did all he could to save Muhammad Baqir’s wife. When morning came, Muhammad Baqir’s wife became better. Hakim Aqa Jan could not believe the courtesy and kindness that Muhammad Baqir had shown and asked him why he had treated him so well, despite the serious mistake he had made. Muhammad Baqir answered, “The reason is that my wife and I are Baha’is and we love people of all religions.” Dear Children, this is how Hakim Aqa Jan was attracted to the Bahai Faith and later became a Bahai. Muhammad Baqir was truly a Bahai.
LESSON 13 (p. 66)
Haji Muhammad was a very good hunter. He could shoot very well. One day, he saw Baha’u’llah and a group of Baha’is on an outing. Baha’u’llah told him not to kill innocent birds. He did not listen and he continued to shoot at any bird he saw. Strangely, whether the birds were far or new, he just was not able to hit any bird. He was very surprised because he was always able to. Then he realized he had not obeyed Baha’u’llah’s clear command. That day he decided that he will obey the commands of God at all times.
LESSON 14 (p. 68)
Three Little Fish Once there lived three little fish who lived happily and safely in a lake with their family and friends. They ran races and played games. One day, the three little fish swam to a part of the lake, they have never been before. They were happily swimming and jumping in and out of the water. On one jump, one of the little fishes saw a very large wall, something he had never seen before. Excitedly, he told his two brothers what he saw. They laughed at him but they too wanted to find out what it was. Both of them took a big jump and indeed saw the wall. Quickly, they swam back to their home and woke their grandfather up. They told him that the wall goes from shore to shore and also to the bottom of the lake. Their grandfather told them the wall is a dam, that keeps them safe from crocodiles and other hungry fish and animals. It also protects them from the strong currents and it makes the water stay in the lake. It is their stronghold.
Three Little Fish continued…
The three little fish accepted their grandfather’s explanation but soon they became very curious. They wanted to know what it was like on the outside. So one day, they decided to jump over the dam. They swam at full speed and jumped as high as they could. Suddenly they realized that the water was lower and they fell hard into the water. Their bodies ached and the swift current threw them against the rocks and scraped their noses into the sand. Quickly they swam to some smooth stones to rest. Their bodies truly ached. Suddenly a crocodile swam by. They ran to hide. Another fish was passing by. They saw the crocodile swallowed up the fish in one bite! By now, they were really scared. They wanted to go home. Just then a very huge fish swam close by. They were so frightened that without thinking, they jumped. The three of them jumped so high that they went over the dam and landed on the lake. Fright had given them the strength to jump so high. They promised that they will never leave their stronghold again and with great speed swam back to their mother.
LESSON 15 (p. 72)
Sina and His Son, Habib Sina was an old man. For many years he travelled far and near to tell people about the Baha’i Faith. Today he was going teaching again. His son, Habib will go with him. It was snowing and was very cold. For the first night, they had to sleep in an old stable that was leaking. The next day they travelled the whole day without resting. They also had a sleepless night in an old hotel full of bugs. Both of them know that such trips are very difficult and uncomfortable. But they are happy to do it so they can meet Baha’is and encourage them and help them to understand the teachings better. One day, Sina said they are already very near to the town of a great Baha’i friend. They only have to pass by one village to get there. By the time, they had just passed this village, it rained very heavily. The area became very badly floaded. They got lost and worse, Sina fell sick and became paralyzed and could not even speak. It was such a difficult time for Sina and Habib.
Sina and His Son, Habib continued…
Habib decided to take his sick father back to the village they had just passed through. Luckily, the people received them warmly and helped them. An elderly woman took good care of Sina. She was weeping constantly. The next day, Sina became better and could now speak. They conversed (talk) and the elderly woman said she had dreamt of Sina and his son, three nights ago. She saw Sina lying unconscious in her dream. She knew his visit must have a special meaning. She asked Sina where he was going. He told her he was going to visit a Baha’i friend living in the next town. It was so amazing that this friend of his was actually her grandson and she too was a Baha’i. She said all the inhabitants of that village were also Baha’is. What a happy ending! Dear Children, can you see how Sina and his son, Habib were assisted by God’s power and guidance. Have faith, Children. God will guide and assist you.
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