Commemorating ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to Howard University

‘Abdu’l-Bahá came to Washington, D.C., in 1912 and spoke these words to an interracial group gathered at Howard University on April 23rd of that year:

“I am very happy to see you and thank God that this meeting is composed of people of both races and that both are gathered in perfect love and harmony. I hope this becomes the example of universal harmony and love until no title remains except that of humanity. Such a title demonstrates the perfection of the human world and is the cause of eternal glory and human happiness. I pray that you be with one another in utmost harmony and love and strive to enable each other to live in comfort.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Eldest Son of Bahá’u’lláh) in 1911 and 1912 traveled to Europe and the United States to share his father’s message of a word embracing faith dedicated to the unification of all mankind. It was during this time that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá came to Howard University. He spoke about the equality of women and men, the oneness of religion and the need to reject every form of prejudice. An important message that is no less timely now 96 years later.

Every year the Bahá’ís of DC and Howard University commemorate this historic visit and speech with a gathering that furthers the theme of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s original address. This year’s event was entitled “The Color of Worship” and it was a joyous occasion for people of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate their unity through their diversity. Below are some pictures of that day.

Reverend Joseph A.C. Smith and Dr. Zitta Rezvani facilitated the event. Zitta and Baher, two Bahá’ís from Arlington participated in the ceremony

There were performances by the Howard University Gospel Choir, the DC Black Men’s Devotional Group, DC Bahá’í Chorale.

Katharine Key sang a beautiful prayer and Alicia Cundall played the harp. Nicholas Gourdine had a very moving mime performance and Baher Seioshansian chanted a prayer in Arabic.