Thornton Chase, the First Western Baha'i, in his Study
Copyright © 2010 Baha'i National Archives, Wilmete, Used With Permission

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Abdu'l-Baha Invested as a Knight of the British Empire

Abdu'l-Baha receiving recognition as a Knight of the British Empire. 

On that same April 27th of 1920, in the garden of the Military Governor of Haifa, 'Abdu'l-Bahá was invested with the insignia of the Knighthood of the British Empire. That knighthood was conferred on Him in recognition of His humanitarian work during the war for the relief of distress and famine. He accepted the honour as the gift of a 'just king' but never used the title.(Hasan Balyuzi, "Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant," p. 443)

This was honorary knighthood, not official K.B.E.

Photograph courtesy of the Baha'i National Archives, Wilmette, Illinois, used with permission, copyright 2010 National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States.

In attempting photo identification: The man second from the left with the distinguished white beard is, I believe, the mufti of Haifa.  The man holding the award is Mr. Badi Bushrui, the father of Soheil Bushrui, who held the Baha'i Peace Chair at the University of Maryland for some years.

At the far right, the second man is Harlan Ober, and the woman next to him is his wife, Grace Ober, holding a white piece of paper in her hand.  Two men to the left of Mr. Ober, with his left hand in his pocket and a cane in his right hand, appears to be Dr. Lutfullah Hakim, who was, 43 years later, elected to the Universal House of Justice.

If anyone can provide information about the man standing next to Abdu'l-Baha, with the ornate garment and ornamental sword, I am interested; as well as any other photo identifications.

3 comments:

  1. Knighted, Haifa, April 1920 by Field Marshall Allenby of the British Army (1861 – 1936) for services fighting famine in Palestine, World War 1
    Why down play the honor: 'honorary knighthood' 'never used it'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Knighted, Haifa, April 1920 by Field Marshall Allenby of the British Army (1861 – 1936) for services fighting famine in Palestine, World War 1
    Why down play the honor: 'honorary knighthood' 'never used it'
    pauljdesailly@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. The medal was forwarded to Palestine through military channels, and the investiture ceremony took place on April 27, 1920, with Colonel Stanton, the Governor of Haifa, officiating.

    ReplyDelete