A new version of the Bahá’í Reference Library is now available. This ‘old version’ of the Bahá’í Reference Library will be replaced at a later date.

The new version of the Bahá’i Reference Library can be accessed here »

Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
Go to printed page GO
Pages 42-44

Letter of 30 November 1925

30 November 1925 1
To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful in the East and in the West.
Dear fellow-workers,
It is with feelings of overwhelming sorrow that I communicate to you the news of yet another loss which the Almighty, in His inscrutable wisdom, has chosen to inflict upon our beloved Cause. On the 22nd of November, 1925—that memorable and sacred day in which the Bahá’ís of the Orient celebrated the twin Festivals of the Declaration of the Báb and the Birthday of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—Dr. John E. Esslemont passed on to the Abhá Kingdom. His end was as swift as it was unexpected. Suffering from the effects of a chronic and insidious disease, he fell at last a victim to the inevitable complications that ensued, the fatal course of which neither the efforts of vigilant 43 physicians nor the devoted care of his many friends could possibly deflect.
He bore his sufferings with admirable fortitude, with calm resignation and courage. Though convinced that his ailments would never henceforth forsake him, yet many a time he revealed a burning desire that the friends residing in the Holy Land should, while visiting the Shrines, implore the All-Merciful to prolong his days that he may bring to a fuller completion his humble share of service to the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh. To this noble request all hearts warmly responded. But this was not to be. His close association with my work in Haifa, in which I had placed fondest hopes, was suddenly cut short. His book, however, an abiding monument to his pure intention, will, alone, inspire generations yet unborn to tread the path of truth and service as steadfastly and as unostentatiously as was trodden by its beloved author. The Cause he loved so well he served even unto his last day with exemplary faith and unstinted devotion. His tenacity of faith, his high integrity, his self-effacement, his industry and painstaking labours were traits of a character the noble qualities of which will live and live forever after him. To me personally he was the warmest of friends, a trusted counsellor, an indefatigable collaborator, a lovable companion.
With tearful eyes I supplicate at the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh—and request you all to join—in my ardent prayers, for the fuller unfolding in the realms beyond of a soul that has already achieved so high a spiritual standing in this world. For by the beauty of his character, by his knowledge of the Cause, by the conspicuous achievements of his book, he has immortalised his name, and by sheer merit deserved to rank as one of the Hands of the Cause of God.
He has been laid to rest in the heart of that beautifully situated Bahá’í burial ground at the foot of Carmel, close to the mortal remains of that venerable soul, Ḥájí Mírzá Vakílu’d-Dawlih, the illustrious cousin of the Báb and chief builder of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of Ishqábád. Pilgrims visiting his grave from far and near will, with pride and gratitude, do honour to a name that adorned the annals of an immortal Cause.
May he eternally rest in peace. Shoghi 44
1. Printed also in “Bahá’í Administration”.   [ Back To Reference]