Divorce

In the 1970’s I met Inez Greeven. She went on Pilgrimage during the days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in 1920 and again in 1921. She told me that during her Pilgrimage the Master asked her, “Where is your husband?” She said, “This was the one thing I did not want Him to ask me about. I answered, “Well, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he is not here."
"Yes, I can see that he is not here. Where is your husband?"
I told Him, “‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he left me for another woman."
"Yes, I know,” He replied. “And because you have forgiven him, God has forgiven him."
At the time, she was Inez Cook. She later met and married Max Greeven, a wonderful Bahá’í, of whom Shoghi Effendi thought highly. You can read about them in “Dear Co-Worker: Messages from Shoghi Effendi to the Benelux Countries”. You can also read about Inez’ first Pilgrimage here: http://bahai-storytelling.blogspot.com/2010/02/abdul-bahas-use-of-storytelling.html and http://bahai-storytelling.blogspot.com/2010/07/story-of-gate-of-garden-quote-from.html (Brent Poirier)


The Master was averse to divorce. In reply to a question, He said “It is not that divorce should be more easy, but that marriages should be more difficult.” In all the years that Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were dwelling in Syria there was not one case of divorce among the Bahá’ís.
The wife of an Armenian Bahá’í implored the Master to allow her husband to divorce her; many were her accusations against her husband. The Master said to her: “You are a Christian, how can you ask to be separated? Christ Jesus, Whom I reverence, came not to part but to unite.” At length, seeing that the woman loved another man, the Master said: “You may divorce her, she is no longer your wife.” When the woman fled with the man, taking much of her husband’s money with her: “You now see the reason for my consent,” said the Master.
Another instance:
‘Abdu’l-Qasim, the gardener of the Ridván, wished to marry an Arab peasant woman; he was advised by Bahá’u’lláh not to do so. But as he was very much in love with her, consent was at length given. In a few years he came saying: “I want to divorce Jamilih, and marry a younger woman.” “It is absolutely forbidden, you have married her; you must take care of her to the last moment of your life.”
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 213-214)