Intuition

Harry Randall, once he had leaped the hurdle and become a Bahá’í was a very enthusiastic one. When Harlan told him about 'guidance' - what a mystery it was, and how earnestly Harlan himself was trying to understand and live under it Harry, too, began to try to apply it. One afternoon he started out to take a walk and, in an effort to understand this guidance that Harlan talked about, Harry paused at each cross street and corner praying that he might be urged in whatever direction it might be that God wished him to take. He walked and walked, the city streets gave way to country roads and still he walked. At some corners he was moved to turn; at some he went straight ahead. But he felt no urge to stop he felt strongly that he should keep going. Finally, at the end of the afternoon, he came to a small white house surrounded by a picket fence - and here, with his hand on the gate, he knew this was the house he had been led to; this was the end of his walk. So he opened the gate, went up the short path and knocked at the door. A woman opened the door and, giving him one look, called back over her shoulder, 'John, John he's come!' It seems that the night before, this woman had had a dream in which she had gone to open her door to one who knocked - a man who had come into her house and told her something that was so exciting and wonderful that when she woke up - though she couldn't remember what the exciting and wonderful thing had been - she was still so excited she'd told her husband about it. And then Harry had knocked - Harry had come into her house and Harry had told her about Bahá’u’lláh and given her the wonderful Message for the New Day.

Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother's Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 24

A number of people suggested that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sail to England and cross the Atlantic to America aboard the brand-new ship Titanic instead of the much older, slower Cedric. Later in America, when He was asked why He didn't, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, after a long pause, during which He looked reflectively out of the window, 'I was asked to sail upon the Titanic, but my heart did not prompt me to do so.' When asked the same question at a later date, he responded with, 'God sends a feeling of misgiving into man's heart.'

Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 52

A visitor, to her great relief, reached the doors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's house only two days before He left Paris. She had travelled post-haste from the United States, and had a remarkable story to relate. At home her little daughter had asked her what she would do should the Lord Jesus return to the world. She would rush to seek Him, she had said, only to be told that the Lord Jesus was here. How did she know, the mother had enquired. The child replied that the Lord Jesus had told her Himself. Some days later the mother was reproached for not doing what she had said she would do. Twice the Lord Jesus had told her that He was here, the little girl insisted. But she did not know where to look, the mother told her child. And the child was certain that they would discover where to go, where to look. That afternoon, on a walk, the little girl suddenly stopped and, excited and ecstatic, pointed to a shop where magazines were displayed. Prominent there was the photograph of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. There, there, the child shouted, was the Lord Jesus. The magazine which contained the photograph of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá led the way to Paris, and the American lady, taking the first available boat to cross the Atlantic, sailed that very night.

H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 168

At one meeting, Ella was very taken with Ruth White. Seeing this, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá called Ella over and asked what her new friend saying, then strongly cautioned, saying, "Be very careful". Though Ella did not understand, she heeded the warning – Ruth White later attacked the Faith and became a Covenant-Breaker.

Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 149

At the time my father was invited by the Guardian to come and live with us in the Holy Land, after my mother's unexpected death in Argentina in March 1940, Shoghi Effendi decided, for reasons of his own, to go to England. For those who were not in the Middle East-European theatre of war, it is almost impossible to convey any picture of the infinite difficulties involved in such a move at such a moment in history. In spite of the prestige and influence of the Guardian, the fact remained that no visa for England could be granted by the authorities in Palestine and our application was therefore forwarded to London. Shoghi Effendi appealed to his old friend Lord Lamington and requested him to use his good offices in ensuring a visa was granted, but by the time it became imperative for us to leave at once for England if we were ever to reach there, no answer had yet been received by the Palestine authorities and Lord Lamington's reply was long delayed in reaching us.

Impelled by the forces which so mysteriously animated all his decisions, the Guardian decided to proceed to Italy, for which country we had obtained a visa. We left Haifa on 15 May in a small and smelly Italian aquaplane, with the water sloshing around under the boards our feet rested on as if we were in an old row-boat. A few days later we arrived in Rome and I went to Genoa to meet my father who arrived on the last sailing the S.S. Rex ever made as a passenger ship. As soon as we returned, the Guardian sent my father and me to the British Consul to inquire if our visa had by any chance been transferred from Palestine. But there was no news and the Consul said he was absolutely powerless to give us a visa as all authorizations had to come from London and he was no longer in a position to contact his government! We returned with this heart-breaking news to the Guardian.

He sent us back again. Of course we obeyed him implicitly because he was the Guardian, but neither my father nor I could see what more there was we could possibly do than we had already done. Nevertheless we found ourselves again seated opposite the Consul and saying very much the same things all over again, with the exception that I said he was the Head of the Bahá’í Faith and so on. The Consul looked at me and said "I remember ‘Abdu’l-Bahá..." and went on to recount some contact he had had with the Master. He was obviously deeply touched by this memory. He took our passport, stamped a visa for England in it and said he had no right whatsoever to do so and that it was not worth the paper it was stamped on, but it was all he could do; and that if we wished to try to enter England with it, that must be our own decision and we risked being refused. With this we immediately left Italy for France, passing through Menton on 25 May and proceeding to Marseilles. Within a few days Italy entered the war against the Allies.

It is hard to describe the period that followed. The whole episode was like a brilliantly lit nightmare - a personal nightmare for us and a giant nightmare in which the whole of Europe was involved. As our train made its way to Paris every station was crowded with thousands of refugees fleeing before the rapidly crumbling Allied front in the North. There was no way of getting any accurate information, chaos was descending. In Paris we discovered to our dismay that all ports to England were closed and the last hope of reaching that country - a hope diminishing hourly - was to go down to the little port of St Malo and see if we could still get a boat from there. We, and hundreds of other people trying to get home to England, had to wait a week before at last two boats succeeded in calling at St Malo.

I never saw the Guardian in the condition he was during those days. From morning to night he would mostly sit quite still, immobile as a stone image, and I had the impression he was being consumed with suffering, like a candle burning itself away. Twice a day he would send my father and me to the boat company in the port to inquire if there was any news of a ship and twice a day we had to come back and say "no news". It may seem strange to others that he should have been terribly concerned, but a mind like his was so infinitely better equipped to understand the danger to the Cause of our situation than we were - and God knows I was ill with worry too.

Both my father and I were still feeling the great shock of my mother's sudden death from a heart attack and this, combined with everything else, made him, at least, almost numb. Not so the Guardian, who realized that if he fell into the hands of the Nazis, who had already banned the Cause in their own country and were closely associated with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem - who was actively engaged in Arab politics and the avowed enemy of the Guardian - he would very likely be imprisoned, if not worse, and the Cause itself be left with no leader and no one to encourage and guide the Bahá’í world at such a time of world chaos.

It seems to me the situation was very similar to those days in 'Akká when the Master had been in danger of being taken off to a new place of exile and when He too had waited for news of a ship.

At last we embarked on the first of the two boats that came during the night of 2 June to evacuate the people stranded in St Malo and we sailed in total darkness for Southampton, where we arrived on the following morning. It was the day after we left, as I remember, that the Germans marched into St Malo.

Rúhíyyih Khánum, The Priceless Pearl, pp. 177-178

At the time of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s second visit to Newark, He spoke in my Father's Brotherhood Church in Jersey City. My father had begged Him to do this, and at once Abdu'1-Bahá had consented, but He would set no date. Father was eager and anxious that a date be definitely set, partly because the Master was to leave New York again - this time for California, and partly because he knew from experience that to have a successful meeting required publicity and announcements and invitations, all of which took time. So he began pressing ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the date. Each time the Master would smile gently, pause a moment (to consult some inner knowledge?) then, shaking His head, would murmur "It is not yet known." Father, a not-too-patient man, urged

in every way he could but he got nothing more. And the date of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s departure was approaching. Suddenly, early in one week, He announced He would speak the following Sunday. Father was frantic. Only four or five days to publicize such an important event. But, to his astonishment, there was plenty of time. Doors opened swiftly, one after the other, and when that Sunday evening came the large hall that Father had rented for his Brotherhood Church was completely filled with the overflow standing along the back.

Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother's Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 37