I Was Tired So I Slept 1

FRANK SINATRA SANG THAT he wanted to “Wake up in the city that doesn’t sleep.” He meant New York. But, on June 13, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá just wanted to sleep.

“I was tired so I slept,” he said, after resting briefly in the middle of the afternoon. It had been another busy day at his residence in Manhattan. Several prominent ministers had called to converse, drink tea, and invite him to speak at their churches. As usual, the front door had opened to visitors at 7:30 a.m. and would remain so until midnight, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would often start attending to his correspondence.

He frequently survived on less than three hours sleep. In fact, throughout his life, sleep had often been something of a luxury.

New York, Philadelphia, New York 2

On June 13 the continuing streams of people prompted ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to instruct those with Him, “‘If anyone who has not seen Me as yet wishes to see Me, or if anyone has some urgent business, inform Me. All others I will meet in the public meeting, because I have neither time nor strength to see people individually.’”

The power and majesty of the Blessed Beauty 3

In the morning and afternoon several prominent ministers visited the Master to invite Him to their churches. They left happy and submissive after receiving the bounty of being in His presence and witnessing the effulgence of His countenance. After they left, the Master spoke to the friends and newcomers about the power and majesty of the Blessed Beauty. With great power and dignity He related the story of the last days of ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd and the malicious accusations of the enemies and adversaries:

In spite of all these persecutions and afflictions, the Cause of God triumphed and the Covenant of God gained influence. In fact, even members of the Commission of Inquiry, who every hour ordered a more severe persecution and spread a fresh calumny and who had joined our enemies and adversaries at ‘Akká with the aim of destroying and effacing us, were overtaken by the wrath of God while returning to Constantinople. Affairs changed; all the tyrants were debased; some of the members of this very commission were killed or murdered; and some fled away. Finally, one of them went to the believers in Egypt and begged for minimum subsistence.

The Master gave two talks in the afternoon to the gatherings of the friends. The first was about the differences among the Bahá’ís. ‘Bahá’u’lláh’, He said, ‘declared that should Bahá’ís dispute, even if it be regarding Bahá’u’lláh Himself, both are wrong. He has enjoined all to turn to the House of Justice. But prior to its being established, all matters should be referred to the Center of the Covenant whom all are commanded to obey.’

  1. Knight, Annabel. “I Was Tired So I Slept.” 239 Days in America, 13 June 2012, https://239days.com/2012/06/13/i-was-tired-so-i-slept/. [return]
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 90. [return]
  3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=4#section81  [return]