The Aftermath of the Titanic Disaster 1

One night a few days later he [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] spoke of the ship to an audience in Washington, DC, where the Senate hearings into the disaster had just begun. “Within the last few days a terrible event has happened in the world,” he said, “an event saddening to every heart and grieving every spirit.” “A number of beautiful souls passed beyond this earthly life.”

 Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons, 1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 23 April 1912

…Although such an event is indeed regrettable, we must realize that everything which happens is due to some wisdom and that nothing happens without a reason. Therein is a mystery; but whatever the reason and mystery, it was a very sad occurrence, one which brought tears to many eyes and distress to many souls. I was greatly affected by this disaster. Some of those who were lost voyaged on the Cedric with us as far as Naples and afterward sailed upon the other ship. When I think of them, I am very sad indeed. But when I consider this calamity in another aspect, I am consoled by the realization that the worlds of God are infinite; that though they were deprived of this existence, they have other opportunities in the life beyond, even as Christ has said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” They were called away from the temporary and transferred to the eternal; they abandoned this material existence and entered the portals of the spiritual world. Foregoing the pleasures and comforts of the earthly, they now partake of a joy and happiness far more abiding and real, for they have hastened to the Kingdom of God. The mercy of God is infinite, and it is our duty to remember these departed souls in our prayers and supplications that they may draw nearer and nearer to the Source itself. 2

First Days in America: New York City 3

As the crowds kept coming to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Mahmúd noted, “The friends and inquirers continued coming from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. There was always a group sitting outside waiting for their turn. If granted a private interview by Him of only five minutes, they considered themselves greatly favored.”

  1. Menon, Jonathan. “The Aftermath of the Titanic Disaster.” 239 Days in America, April 16, 2012. [return]
  2. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 46-47.  [return]
  3. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 25-26. [return]