1906 PILGRIM NOTES OF ALI-KULI KHAN
On Large Appetites and the spirituality of eating; Tahirih
As a nursing mother, my wife apologized to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for what she spoke of as her “great appetite.” He however referred to her duties as a mother and the labors which make part of that calling, and to the need therefore for more than usual nourishment. Speaking of appetite and taking food, He said further in part: “Virtue and excellence consist in true faith in God, not in having a small or a large appetite for food, or in similar matters. Jinabi Tahirih (* Qurrat-ul-Ayn *) had a good appetite. When asked concerning it, she would answer, ‘It is recorded in the Holy traditions that one of the recorded attributes of the people of paradise is “partaking <8> of food, continually.”‘ (Whatever may be the outward meanings of this tradition, in its spiritual sense it means that when man is brought into the Paradise of Divine Nearness, through faith, he perennially and perpetually partakes of the food of Divine Bounties and Favors.)
“To be brief; when man takes food, it strengthens him in whatever mood or state of mind or condition he may be in at the time of eating. For instance, if a man is full of love, eating food increases his love; on the contrary, when a man is angry and eats food it intensities his anger. Thus it is necessary that man think only of the Love of God. Then if he eats a little more food than may seem usual, it does no harm. But otherwise, that is, if he does not possess the Love of God, to eat little or much food is all the same.”
Joy as Medecine
Then turning to Haji Khurasani (* Who was just recovering from a long period of mental and physical indisposition. *) He said in part: “Joy is the best cure for your illness. Joy is better than a hundred thousand medicines for a sick person. If there is a sick person and one wishes to cure him, let one cause joy and happiness in his heart.”
The beloved of God must, like the roses of the rose-garden, send fragrant messagesfrom one to another, receive strength from one another, and co-operate together, by the strength of the Kingdom. There is no greater means than communion and communication. Communication is half a meeting.
Abdu’l-Bahá Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 417