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Memories of Nine Years in Akka

by Youness Afroukhteh

translated by Riaz Masrour.
previous chapter chapter 8 start page single page

Chapter 9


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CHAPTER 9

He IS the Most Glorious!

We believers were not without our faults

Praise be to God, that in the previous eight chapters of this book I have been able to describe those events at the Most Holy Threshold that impressed themselves indelibly on my confused and feeble mind, despite the passage of thirty to forty years. While the accounts of the treachery of the Covenant-breakers have no doubt distressed my esteemed readers, they also contain the glad-tidings of the process by which the enemies of the Faith met at last with utter defeat and ruin. They explain how the ringleaders and their accomplices were annihilated and how the banner of the Covenant was unfurled on the highest peaks. In short, as revealed in the above Tablet, everything that heavenly Reality had promised the loved ones of God came to pass.

I now wish to bring to the esteemed readers' attention this thought: let us beware lest we, the lovers of God, who are well acquainted with this painful history, should allow it to repeat itself today, when the heavenly essence of the Covenant has reemerged attired in the sublime raiment of Guardianship.

Although in the past, during the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, we had all carefully studied the Kitab-i'Ahd and were intimately acquainted with its explicit divine verses, and although we longed to serve the Cause and sacrifice ourselves in the path of the Covenant, yet out of negligence and indifference


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to the nature of our deeds and conduct, many of us brought sadness to the heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

The boundless blessings and bounty of that manifestation of grace and compassion had so enraptured us that we unwittingly became preoccupied with ourselves to such an extent that we imagined the Faith to be our own possession, and so we felt entitled to bring our often unreasonable and untimely requests to 'Abdu'l-Bahá's attention, taking up so much of His precious time as He responded to each and every one.

For the smallest personal matters we imposed on Him extraordinary requests. Several times I heard from 'Abdu'l Bahá'ís lips, when He was somewhat indisposed, words such as these: "I have written to him only recently. He should open his chest and count the number of letters he has from me. The irony is that they do not obey my words; if they did, a single word I said would suffice the world." The burden we imposed on the person of 'Abdu'l-Bahá was beyond endurance. I mention one or two as examples:

When He asked the resident friends to contribute, no matter how little, towards the construction of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad, the late Aqa Riday-i-Qannad was assigned to collect all such contributions and send them. Since there were troublemakers in our midst and Aqa Rida wished to make sure that they would not find an opportunity to stir up conflict and disunity, he humbly asked that all receipts for such contributions be signed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This was to ensure that the Covenant-breakers would not be able to use this as a pretext for their mischievous purposes. The receipts were signed and sealed by the Master. When the news reached Iran, the Persian friends in envy implored that their receipts too might be so adorned. Several thousand receipts in the amounts of 9 shahi, 19 shahi and 9 qeran{233} arrived in 'Akka, and all of them, one by one, received His signature and seal. There was so much of it that the insignia of the Master's seal wore out completely, and the Master's fingers could no longer function at times. One day I was going up the stairs as 'Abdu'l-Bahá was coming out of


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His office. Suddenly He stopped, and leaning against the door remarked, "Jinab-i-Khan, I am exhausted. Let us go for a walk. Today I have signed and sealed a thousand receipts for contributions to the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar." The extreme fatigue so evident in His face was heartrending. I was so saddened that I completely forgot the reason that had brought me to Him, and so instead began to relate a story from the Bible.{234}

As we walked the narrow, dark streets of 'Akka He continually expressed His satisfaction and happiness with all the friends. The irony was that at times He even went so far as to express feelings of embarrassment and-God forbid!-shame at the sacrifices made by a few of the friends.

Consider the benevolence of the Lord, The servant is the sinner and yet He is contrite.

For example, certain letters from Iran sometimes recounted a disagreement between two of the friends. The matter was usually so insignificant and pointless as not to be worthy of mention. Yet they placed their hopes and expectations upon 'Abdu'l-Bahá's judgement. The Master, however, like a kind and compassionate father whose two children are fighting over the possession of a peach or a walnut, would tenderly soothe and reconcile them, never using a harsh tone lest a heart-the treasure-house of the love of Bahá'u'lláh be broken.

These were among the burdens imposed on 'Abdu'l-Bahá by individuals. Strangely enough, the Bahá'í communities were no less blameworthy: "Thus this should serve as a warning for those who have eyes to see." I present one example: During the Constitutional Revolution in Iran, opponents of the Faith on both sides of the struggle-namely the constitutionalists and the autocrats-maligned and vilified the friends. The leaders of both sides were members of the clergy. One mulla took the Aqdas into the pulpit and read aloud the verse: "the reins of power [will] fall into the hands of the people,"{235} which seemed to express a view sympathetic


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towards the Constitution, while at the same time another mulla declared the Bahá'ís' lack of participation in revolutionary politics as a sure sign of their support for an autocratic system. This difficult problem was truly a divine test for the friends, who had just survived the terrible test of the Covenant-breakers' rebellion.

Since both sides accused the Bahá'ís of belonging to the wrong camp, any time one side seemed to be losing ground it would appeal to the Bahá'ís for help, promising victory if only it could be assured of their cooperation. And just as soon as the situation was reversed, the other side would beseech the friends for their assistance. It was at these times that various conflicting petitions and entreaties would reach the Holy Threshold. Unfortunately, these events were taking place at an inopportune time. Barely a year or a year and a half had passed since the events of Yazd and Isfahan{236} and the Iranian nation was susceptible of rebellion, and capable of a bloodbath on the smallest excuse. Moreover, they were happening at a time when the Covenant-breakers' activities were at their peak, as they prepared their last assault on the Faith. Now you can see what 'Abdu'l-Bahá was going through. "Refrain from involvement in politics, even to the extent of uttering a single word," was continuously on His lips; similar words formed the opening passages of His Tablets. These are a few examples of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's burdens and hardships. When He was distressed over this or other matters, He would also implicitly complain about those believers who were firm in the Cause. For example, He would say, "I wrote to Iran instructing the friends to do this. They replied, 'Since things are as they are, it would be better if we did that.' Do you know what that means? It means, 'You do not know, and we do.' Despite all this, I pray for them and implore God to aid and assist them." Another time He said, "They have written to me from Iran that, 'We are being asked: "Where is your pride? Where are your aspirations? What has happened to your courage and your audacity?" How can


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we respond?"' Then He continued, "I wrote that they should say, 'If a mature, wise human being observes a few immature, ignorant children fighting over some imaginary object, is it worthy of that person to involve himself and participate in their feud, or should he counsel both sides and reconcile them?'"

In short, during the entire period of the Constitutional Revolution these matters imposed a burden which Abdu'l-Bahá had to endure in addition to the rebellion of the Covenant-breakers in 'Akka. This was due to the faults and shortcomings of us firm believers.

My point is that we, lovers of God, firm and steadfast in His Covenant, having weathered the tests and difficulties caused by the uprising of the Covenant-breakers as described in previous chapters—who could recite the Tablet of the Covenant by heart, manifesting intense devotion and depth of faith, nevertheless constantly presented "our" opinions and expressed our "selves" at that sanctified threshold. And this is one category of hardship we imposed on 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Many a time He would say, "I don't claim sinlessness. I am the first of sinners (God forbid!) but the Ancient Beauty has bestowed upon me a station, and therefore whatever I say is what will be."

What is a homeland and who is a patriot? At the height of the Constitutional Revolution, which coincided with the first year of the Ottoman Empire's constitutional government, all the Iranians in Beirut (including those who had fled Iran or had been exiled, and particularly two or three young men whose fathers had been killed in the uprising) assembled day and night demonstrating their patriotic fervour and expressing their devotion to their homeland and their love of freedom. They believed such sentiments to be the zenith of human perfections. This was their highest ideal, and they considered anyone who failed to share their convictions an outcast and devoid of all human virtue.


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The words homeland, freedom and independence were to them the same as faith, devotion, God, prophet and love. In fact, this illusory freedom and independence had been won by utilizing foreign embassies as political sanctuaries, for fear of government reprisals. The Bahá'í friends, however, had no affiliation with foreign entities and so the young Bahá'ís in Beirut were, in their view, devoid of human merit. Fortunately, a few of these revolutionaries who were possessed of sound judgement and a pious spirit were my intimate friends. Once these friends became acquainted with the principles of the Faith I sent them, in accordance with the Master's previous instructions, to the sanctified threshold of 'Abdu'l-Bahá where they became inebriated with the wine of His bounty and love. One of those whom I took with me to 'Akka was a proud young man from a noble family who is at present a man of prominence and has made his home in Europe. He became the recipient of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's infinite bounty and loving-kindness. In those days (which coincided with the opening stages of the Young Turks Revolution and the time when the Covenant-breakers had crept back into seclusion) the Western and Eastern pilgrims were beginning to receive permission again to travel to 'Akka and attain the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. A respectable American believer and his wife arrived in 'Akka at this time, tasted the sweetness of reunion and became the recipients of divine blessings at the dinner table; they met this young man and developed a warm friendship with him. After a few days, when they received permission to depart, I was assigned to escort all. three of them to Haifa to board the ship. The Americans were going to Egypt and the young Iranian was bound for Beirut. As they paid their farewells to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, kissing the hem of His 'aba, the Master told the Americans, "Wherever you encounter Iranian Bahá'ís embrace them on my behalf, like this, and kiss them." "What should I do?" asked the American lady. "You can do the same with the ladies!" was 'Abdu'l-Bahá's response.


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And so they said their goodbyes and we travelled to Haifa. As we arrived at the dock, several Bahá'ís from the remote villages of Azerbaijan were disembarking. These pilgrims, men, women and children, looked exhausted, dishevelled and unkempt. The men looked haggard with their shaved heads, untidy ruffled beards, unwashed faces and worn-out clothes. In order to attain the desired Ka'bih these pilgrims had probably walked some two-thirds of the way from Iran and borne all manner of hardships before reaching the passenger ship. They must have said to each other all the way,

The air of Ka'bih has me running with such joyful rush That the thorn bushes in my path are like silk to the touch.

Their extreme fatigue could therefore be clearly appreciated. My patriot friend, who was from an aristocratic family, was loath to meet people who were so obviously of the agricultural and working class, and so he turned his head and walked away. But as soon as the two American Bahá'ís discovered that these were Bahá'ís, in obedience to what the Master had told them they welcomed them joyfully. Like parents who have just found their lost children or, to use 'Abdu'l-Bahá's expression, "like two lovers" they embraced them, tears of joy streaming from their eyes. I called my friend who had walked away, and said, "Come and see what 'homeland' really means, and what is meant by 'patriotism'." He approached, only to witness that heart-warming emotional scene as tears of envy flowed from his eyes. Thus he recognized the true homeland and learned patriotism from us, and for some time this story went from mouth to mouth in Beirut.

What was happening on the moon?

As described in previous chapters, during my stay in Beirut I used to visit 'Akka and attain 'Abdu'l-Bahá's presence four months a year. In the first years the Master gave me some translation work, but in the following years, although He


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would invite me to rest a few days and then be ready for work", there was nothing much for me to do, for the translation work was being performed by others. Later He instructed me to stay in Haifa near the Shrine of the Bab. Once, I asked to be permitted to move to another location, since I felt it was not befitting to use that sanctified Shrine as a place of rest or residence. 'Abdu'l-Bahá replied, "I forbade others, but you are the servant of that Shrine and therefore you must stay there." (This was one of the greatest honours of my life.)

Many of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's utterances, as before, contained glad tidings which brought joy and happiness to the hearts of the oppressed and persecuted Iranian friends. They had heard from the lips of Bahá'u'lláh: "This Faith is like an unstoppable flood, despite the Persians who wish to prevent it from flowing. Before long, it will rise in America." It was therefore necessary for the friends to know that "the All-Knowing is faithful to His promises".

At that time, all documents worth publishing were sent on the Master's instructions to the honoured Muhibu's-Sultan Rawhani to be printed and distributed. One day I was summoned to the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He handed me a small but thick envelope and told me: "Gather together all the English-language experts and translate this letter carefully."

The English-language experts at the time consisted of Mirza Valiyu'llah Khan Varqa, who had been attending the American school for just one year, Mirza Badi' Bushru'i, and Mirza Nuru'd-Din Zayn and Mirza Munir, who were studying English under my tutelage. We assembled in the pilgrim house and anxiously opened the letter. Unfortunately, in addition to the illegible handwriting, the contents were comprised of scientific and mathematical expressions with which none of us was familiar. Nobody had any knowledge of astronomy or astrophysics. All we understood was this: "On such and such a night when there was a full moon, using such and such a telescope located at the summit of such and such a mountain peak, I saw and recognized you, and


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therefore I profess my belief" This was followed by a number of emotional expressions, after which more scientific formulae followed.

When I submitted to 'Abdu'l-Bahá the translation along with the original petition, I apologized for our incompetence. Showering me with expressions of loving-kindness, He instructed me to send it to Tehran forthwith so that it might be published. This was done. Recently in Tehran I asked Muhibu's-Sultan if he had the English version of that letter for me to review after all these years. He replied that he was no longer in possession of any of those papers. I even asked the honoured Varqa. He had forgotten the whole incident altogether. The point here is that the old Persian friends had read in Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets that all the atoms of the universe testify to the greatness of this Cause (the moon being one such atom). In another place He reveals: "The tree bears witness and the sea professes: the Hidden Treasure has been manifested."{237} In His Tablet revealed in my honour when I was a youth, He writes, 'All things rejoice and clap their hands The Pen of the Covenant wrote, "Soon the banner of the Covenant will be raised aloft on the world's highest peaks." ('Abdu'l-Bahá){238} There are many similar Writings of which the friends are aware and with which I, too, am somewhat familiar. However, I must admit, I have no clue as to what was going on inside that full moon!

Another work referring to the moon was prepared by the honoured Subhani, who has sent me a copy for inclusion in this book. In Surih 180 of the exalted book Qayyumu'l-Asma,{239} the Surih known as "Alif, Lam, Mim", and also in Surih 111 of that same Book, known as the "Surih of Ali", a certain blessed verse has been revealed twice without the slightest change. From the billowing ocean of this verse, and through the power of inspiration granted to Mr. Subhani, a single priceless pearl has emerged.{240} Here is the twice revealed verse: "O people of God, hear My call from this shining moon." In abjad numerology the value of the term


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qamaru'l-munir (shining moon) is equivalent to the value of "Shoghi Rabbani".

Shoghi Rabbani Shining moon SH 300 Q 100 0 6 m 40 GH 100 R 200 I 10 L 30 R 200 m 40 B 2 N 50 A 1 1 10 N 50 R 200 I 10 670 (Value of the expression "shining moon") 9

679 679

This was the content of the honoured Subhani letter.

By God, you're right!

Having completed the last year of my studies and successfully passed the tests required by the Medical School, I now had to go through the State examinations required by the Ottoman and French governments. Since the examinations were to be held by a committee that was to arrive at the end of summer, I welcomed the opportunity to return to 'Akka for the summer.

Although the Persian Constitutional Revolution was in full swing, the non-partisanship of the believers had been clearly demonstrated by their actions and had served to keep them safe, so that news reaching 'Akka from Iran was not only devoid of horrifying reports, but actually gave tidings of the well-being, safety and tranquillity of the friends. This in turn brought joy to the hearts of the resident believers.

The Ottoman Constitutional Revolution had only just begun, and so no one was paying much attention to the


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machinations of the Covenant-breakers; defeated an broken, all their attempts having failed miserably, they bur rowed into their holes like earthworms.

No longer were the Covenant-breakers even mentioned among the friends. Peace prevailed everywhere. The Easter friends were beginning to arrive, and the pilgrim house was lively again. Most of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's utterances pertained to the days of the Blessed Beauty; these He recounted in the context of admonition and advice, so that in times of hardship and calamity the friends might be reminded to rely on the will of God. He gave examples of the virtues of courage and audacity; these excited every atom of one's being and prompted the desire to challenge any enemy to an encounter.

Speaking of Mirza Asadu'llah, who had the responsibility of sweeping the floors of His house, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said, "Aqa Asadu'llah is a very small man, but he possesses a brave heart. He used to carry a broadsword and act as a guard at Bahá'u'lláh's house. In Baghdad, when whispers were heard that a plot was afoot by the enemies of Bahá'u'lláh to attack His house, the Blessed Beauty responded, 'I will send Aqa Asadu'llah who will take care of the lot of them."'

One of the stories the Master told frequently was about one of the Ottoman officials in 'Akka, who once planned to extract a large bribe from Bahá'u'lláh. To do so he began to create a great deal of trouble. Failing in his purpose, he summoned the Blessed Beauty to the Government House. When Bahá'u'lláh arrived, the officer intensified the pressure by threatening Him with a variety of ultimatums and penalties. Losing patience with the man, Bahá'u'lláh suddenly stood up and there and then began to perform the Obligatory Prayer, as the officer looked on incredulously Once the prayer was completed He beckoned the officer. As he approached, suddenly the Blessed Beauty raised His hand, slapped him hard across the face and said, "I have telegraphed you the money," and walked out. The poor man, petrified, stood there like a statue. It so happened that that very evening he received a telegram from the Sublime Porte relieving him of his duties


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and summoning him to the capital. That night he presented himself at Bahá'u'lláh's door, threw himself at His feet and asked for forgiveness and blessing.

The point is this: that in those days, some time in mid-1908, no trace of concern and worry for the resident believers and pilgrims was left. 'Abdu'l-Bahá in utter joy and happiness Himself, was counting the victories of the Cause and explaining to us in pleasant stories and examples how those victories had been won.

It goes without saying what an ocean of joy flooded my heart, having completed the arduous courses of the medical curriculum, passed all the examinations, and then attained the presence of the Beloved. One afternoon, I walked from the pilgrim house to the Master's House. The Master was not at home and the biruni area was deserted. As I waited, I began to pace back and forth in the front yard, the same spot where during the investigations of the Commission of Enquiry the Master had planted flowers and put up a tent as a place of rest. As I walked up and down this long pathway, sweet and wonderful thoughts so dominated my mind that utterly oblivious of my surroundings I was soaring in the heavenly atmosphere of a different realm. My thoughts centred around this: that ten or fifteen years ago, in my ignorance I had thought that the highest position that I could ever attain in this world was to merit a raise from the Bank, build a larger house for myself, gradually earn the right of signature in one of the departments of the Bank, and become this or that. O God, how unworthy were those desires for a human being who is filled with the love of God! Praised be God, that He had planned a different fate for me. The Master summoned me, and worthy or not I absorbed heavenly virtues and found myself in the company of the very personification of Truth. From the darkness of the material world I was guided towards the celestial light. Ultimately, I was encouraged to study medicine and the hosts of divine confirmations came to my aid every step of the way, not only in this achievement but for others which lay in the future. O, my God, what loss would I


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have experienced had I achieved my unworthy goals and become deprived of these blessings! How far from my desires was the divine will.

For about an hour I was deeply engrossed in these thoughts, as I continued to pace up and down waiting for 'Abdu'l-Bahá to arrive. In that state of thanksgiving, I raised my head and observed the crescent moon. I told myself how wonderful it would be if seeing this moon could coincide with beholding that matchless Beauty, as has been written:

It was the moon I sought, But lo! It was the sun that rose.

As this thought crossed my mind, suddenly the voice of 'Abdu'l-Bahá rang out: "Jinab-i-Khan, come!"

0 my God, how could I have been so mindless as to have missed the Master's presence in the tent? I ran towards it. With a feeling of utter joy mixed with a bit of embarrassment, and breathing hard, I bowed. With one of those loving smiles, He said, "So, what were you thinking? I want to know. Tell me truthfully now, I won't make you pay! But be honest."

I was so confused that I had not heard the Master repeatedly telling me to sit down. "I have come to understand something, and that is what I was thinking about just now," I replied. "Whatever a human being desires for himself brings him nothing but loss, and whatever God desires for him is gain upon gain." Immediately, He joyfully exclaimed three times, "By God, you're right!"

What is fortune?

If each hair of your head is endowed with manifold talents, Not one will be of use if bad luck is its companion.

There is no doubt that it is the lack of true understanding of this issue on the part of the ignorant that has caused the deterioration of human society, and yet the existence in our


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everyday lives of the factor we call "luck" can neither be ignored nor discounted. Many a poet and philosopher has considered it an important element in the achievement of success and happiness. This belief, however, has diminished the value of initiative, action and effort by promoting an attitude of passivity and sloth, and has lured people into a deep slumber of indolence as they await the rising of the star of good fortune. As the poet says,

Banish from heaven the star of my fate, O Seer, For my fate is doomed, and my sighs may burn away the sky, I fear.

This illusive fortune comes in a variety of colours. Black fortune, white fortune, sleeping fortune, sober fortune, beginner's luck, worn-out luck, feeble luck, hard luck, bright fortune, dark fortune, rebellious fortune, etc. In short, this many-coloured and multi-faceted fortune sometimes accompanies an individual from the moment of his birth and stays with him to the end; while at other times its star rises but then quickly fades. Luck can come and go. At times it comes only to disappear without trace. So who should ask this significant philosophical question on the subject of luck? Who else but a young, illiterate, simple Parsi Bahá'í,{241} who apart from his qualities of total sincerity and complete honesty had no claim to learning or wisdom. In a gathering of friends and in the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, he asked, in his peculiar native dialect. "May my life be a sacrifice for You, what is this luck? Is it real or just an invention?" This question from that simple and modest young man caused the ocean of utterance to surge, and thus for over a quarter of an hour those present were enraptured by the Master's words.

On our return to the pilgrim house everyone praised and applauded that young man who had been the instrument through whom many a truth had been discovered. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's utterances, as far as I can recall after these many years, were as follows:{242}


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"In Bahá'í philosophy, luck is the same as divine confirmation, which is ceaseless and continuous, never subject to interruption or suspension. It is not limited to some to the exclusion of others. The capacity for its manifestation must be created. Showers of divine bounty and confirmation are always falling; if any spot experiences a suspension or delay, other areas shall receive these effusions. The clouds of divine bounty bestow blessings on all. It is sanctified of exclusivity. The significant point is that he who sows a seed or plants a sapling becomes the recipient of bounty, he becomes the possessor of good fortune, otherwise he remains deprived. The sun of mercy is eternal and ever-abiding; it is not specific to some. The loved ones of God must strive to become worthy of divine confirmations. Misfortune has no true existence. It is simply deprivation of divine bounty. absence of light, otherwise darkness has no outer reality. Darkness should be eliminated through the light of the recognition of God. For example, a storm is a universal blessing. It is a prelude to cool and temperate weather. It is one of nature's features, an essential part of natural phenomena. However, if it strikes a ship which is incapable of resisting its force, this is not due to the ship's misfortune. The storm did not come to sink the ship but to follow its own natural course. Now, the more substantial and sturdy the ship, the better it can endure the force of the storm. Tests of the world of nature are of the same kind.

"So good fortune, or luck, is the ceaseless bounty of God, and misfortune is a chance event that represents its absence. Praise be to God that all of you are fortunate. What fortune is greater than divine knowledge? What fortune is greater than the love of God, which is the source of all divine effusions?" In short, He spoke in this vein for some time as we all sat utterly spellbound.


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Return to Beirut

The summer was over. The happy, enchanted days of reunion had come to an end. Never before had 'Akka seemed happier or more accommodating. It was cleansed of evil individuals and free from the unfaithful. This was an historic moment, culminating in the lifting of the condition of incarceration and its associated restrictions.

Once I arrived back in Beirut, I was confronted with manifold problems. The late Aqa Muhammad Mustafa's commercial firm had fallen into disorder through the duplicity of his partners; my account there had been closed and any prospect of establishing credit at another financial institution was non-existent. The day of the arrival of the State Examiners was near, and not only was there no hope of any financial help from the school authorities, who were Jesuit priests, but rather, I could count on their antagonism and opposition.

Before the arrival of the examiners I was in dire need Of 30 liras, without which all the work of the previous five years would have gone for naught, and further, my financial reputation would have been ruined. While I was away, the general chaos caused by the Iranian Revolution and the continuing violence and slaughter between the Constitutionalists and the autocrats had become so fierce that all communications to Iran had been suspended. Moreover, within the Ottoman realm, the triumph of the Young Turks and the rebellion of the Armenians had brought business to a standstill. My application to the Ottoman Bank was turned down. As the State Examiners arrived the problem remained unsolved. When no hope remained, I resorted to prayer and supplication. If within the next six hours of that day the required fees were duly paid, I would be able to sit for the State examinations next morning; otherwise the process would be delayed for one year, and who knew what might happen between now and then? In short, the hardships of those first few days were substantially more acute than the difficulties in the first year of


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my studies. But praised be God, those promises of divine confirmations were realized; rebellious fortune was tamed and the pathway to deliverance was made manifest when Aqa Mirza Enayat'u'llah Cha'ichi, having run all the way and arriving quite out of breath, brought the news that such and such a Jewish currency exchange firm had agreed to lend the required amount and had accepted my promissory note, which no one else had been willing to recognize and no bank would have accepted as collateral. In short, within the space the deal was done and the fee was paid Just before of six hours closing time.

Next morning I was summoned before the examiners. Three State tests were given, in addition to the annual examinations held by the School. Were these tests easy or difficult? Difficult for the one who did not know the real meaning of good fortune and had not heard the true definition of the word from the lips of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Within a few days all the examinations were completed with great success and the promises of divine confirmations were fulfilled once again. Afterwards, I set out for 'Akka straight away and presented to 'Abdu'l-Bahá the document issued by the Medical School authorizing me to practise medicine pending the receipt of the actual medical diplomas from Paris and Istanbul.

Three medical cases

In the section entitled "Six years of hard work did not go to waste!", reference was made to the fact that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was not very satisfied with the doctors in 'Akka. Typically, whenever one of the pilgrims or resident Bahá'ís was taken ill, he visited a doctor selected by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and it was the Master who paid the doctor's fees and the cost of all the required medications. The doctors, who had no formal training and yet practised medicine, were also entitled to a fee. It was during the time of turmoil brought about by the investigations of the Commission of Enquiry that the Master


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had sent me to Beirut, after preparing me for the challenge of attending medical school through the bounty of His counsel and advice. Once, before I left, He had addressed me in these words, "Go and get an education, maybe you can save us from these doctors." Then He had added, "Who knows where we may be at that time?"

The point is, He was not happy with the doctors. The only doctors who had been trained abroad were the American Protestant physician who ran a missionary hospital, a Greek Cypriot who had come from Istanbul, and two other Arab doctors who were licensed to practice. The members of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's family were usually sent to Beirut for medical care.

My first opportunity to practise medicine came during my first two months in medical school, when I had just begun the study of the science of anatomy and dissection. The Greatest Holy Leaf and one of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's daughters, accompanied by Mirza Hadi Afnan, arrived in Beirut for medical treatment. As soon as I heard the news, I rushed to the home of the late Muhammad Mustafa Baghdadi to pay my respects.

The honoured Afnan emerged from the inner apartments in an agitated state. "She [the Greatest Holy Leaf] has been visiting Dr. Debron for the last two days, but she is feeling quite poorly," he informed me. "She is experiencing severe dizziness and nausea and asks that you should write a prescription and give proper advice for the condition."

"I have just begun the alphabet of medicine," I replied. "How can I give any instructions when I know nothing?"

He went back inside to relay the message, but returned forthwith. "Whatever it takes, you must give some advice," he pleaded. "It is her wish that you should prescribe medication."

No matter how hard I thought, nothing came to mind except expressions of helplessness and ignorance. When they brought her message for the third time, insisting on the same thing and emphasizing the same instructions, the honoured Afnan made a personal plea, "We have no power of our own.


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Healing comes from God. You prescribe something, maybe i is your good faith and strong devotion which she feels will properly guide you."

Without a second thought I said, brew a pinch of mint like tea and have her drink it with candy sugar. Having said this, I sat down to wait it out. An hour later they brought the happy news that the nausea had abated and that she had prayed for me in gratitude for my contribution. The next morning, I received the honour of being admitted into her presence to offer my wishes for her speedy recovery. It is a pity that the loving friends could not have been present at such an occasion. I was rewarded with a package of high-quality silk handkerchiefs, some candy sugar from the Holy Land, a bottle of attar of rose, and many kind words. So this was my first fee from my first opportunity to practise medicine before completing the requirements of the Medical School. My second opportunity to practise medicine took place when I had passed the last examination of the Medical School and was duly recognized by the school authorities as a Doctor of Medicine. While I was waiting for the State Examiners to arrive and preparing myself for those tests, a young aristocratic Iranian was taken ill. Because of the turmoil in Iran he had received no communications from his parents. I undertook to treat this young man for five Turkish liras, and made a personal guarantee at a reputable pharmacy for the payment of all the medication before starting my treatment.

In my first years at Medical School I had made a vow that when I completed my studies, I would present my very first earnings to 'Abdu'l-Bahá as an act of love and devotion. I was emulating the renowned Mr. Remey, who while studying engineering in Paris had sent an amount of $9, his very first fee, to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This was the same amount that He had granted to me on my departure for Beirut. At that time I had no hope that my patient would receive funds any time soon, thus enabling me to collect my first fee. However, since the arrival of the funds was still within the realm of possibility,


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and because my intentions were good and I had learned the true meaning of good fortune, my patient was cured within two weeks, the money was received from Iran, he paid his debt at the pharmacy and fulfilled his responsibility to me. I, too, stayed true to my vow, and before long received the receipt for the amount from the sanctified threshold of 'Abdu'l-Bahá This was the result of my second attempt to practise medicine before I was officially granted the licence to do so. But oh, how I needed God's help on my third attempt!

The third attempt: When I returned to 'Akka after completing the examination and receiving my licence, I overheard a conversation in the pilgrim house to the effect that the Centre of the Covenant was experiencing chronic fever. About an hour after attaining His presence and presenting Him with my licence, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, showering me with endless expressions of His loving-kindness, told me, "I run a fever every night. It is a nervous condition. Give it some thought." The idea of treating 'Abdu'l-Bahá as a patient had never occurred to me, and so I took His utterance as a kindly but humorous comment and I bowed my head in response.

Two or three days later while a few of us were in His presence, the Master said in passing, 'At night I run a temperature and develop severe headaches." Then, addressing this servant, He said, "Prescribe something."

Again, I did not think that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had actual medical treatment in mind, and in my heart I said,

May Thy pain come to the hearts of all Thy lovers, May their lives be sacrificed for Thine.

That night, like the night before, He did not come downstairs. Next morning Mirza Haydar-'ali and I attained His presence. The Master was in a happy mood and so in turn all of us were filled with joy and gladness. Suddenly He said, "Khan, whatever has happened? Come closer and check my pulse." Since whenever 'Abdu'l-Bahá's hand fell into my grasp by chance, I would kiss it as He smiled at me, so this time, too, I


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jumped at the chance with abandon, took His hand an kissed it three times. Smiling broadly, He said, "My dear man I said check my pulse!"

I checked His pulse. It was quite regular and smooth somewhat slow, but otherwise like the pulse of a young person. He said, "It is all right now, but at nights I have a temperature." He then rose and began to pace up and down the front area of the biruni. After a few minutes, He summoned me alone to His presence and said, "Really now, prescribe something. I have been ill for more than a month." Only then did I realize that aside from bestowing kind words, He really was referring to actual medical treatment. Furthermore, He Himself had already diagnosed the problem. And since I was never a shy or silent type, I boldly jumped at the opportunity and replied, "I have received from America a number of half-milligram sample pills of arsenate of strychnine. " "Yes, yes, that is good," said the Master approvingly. "I will immediately go to the pharmacy and prepare several doses of quinine for four or five days," I added. "Very well," he agreed, "proceed." Overwhelmed, I ran all the way to the pilgrim house and then to the pharmacy and in a world of excitement I prepared the medicine, wrote the instructions for its use, placed it neatly in a box and returned. It was before noon and 'Abdu'l-Bahá was still in the guest room. I presented the box.

"Well?" mused 'Abdu'l-Bahá. "So you want to put me under your medical care. And without a fee? You think I am going to take your medicine without paying the expenses?"

He walked over to where Mirza Haydar-'ali was standing and addressed him: "Listen to what Khan has to say. He is offering to treat me and provide all the medication for no fee. Many a physician has come to me, but I did not accept them, and now Khan, who became a doctor only yesterday, prescribes medicine for me today and all for free."

The honoured Mirza continually confirmed 'Abdu'l-Bahá's


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utterances by repeated bows. I was beside myself with joy. As He began to climb the stairs, He turned and said, "Very well, I will start now."

In the afternoon, we attained the Master's presence again, but He made no further reference to the matter. Since in those days 'Abdu'l-Bahá did not normally receive the friends in the evenings, we too had reduced our expectations of being granted that pleasure, but unfortunately that night someone brought the news that He was very ill. It should be obvious how a newly qualified doctor would feel when faced with such tidings in handling his very first case. A few minutes later someone else brought further news that Abdu'l-Bahá's condition had not improved. The joy and happiness of the late morning had suddenly been replaced by the horror of this hour. I was summoned to His presence. He was resting on the couch in the upstairs guest room when I entered. I cannot express the depth of my dismay and anxiety. "Nothing has happened," He said quickly. Then He asked about the exact components, one by one, of the mixture. Since I myself had prepared the medicine I was quite certain that no wrong ingredient had mistakenly found its way into the mixture. I enumerated each component and its quantity "Yes, the quantity of the quinine must have been somewhat excessive," He said. "Do not worry," He went on to assure me, "everything will turn out all right." After showering me with boundless expressions of loving-kindness, He dismissed me with "May God go with you." Feeling terrible, I returned to the pilgrim house. Only God knows what I went through that night. All night long I either sat up in bed or lay down wide awake, and sometimes in my delirium I repeated,

O Thou Who art the Recipient and Answerer of every prayer, O Thou Who art the healing balm and the true healer, At this night's end the sun shall not its promise keep. Endless thoughts play through my mind but the one bestowing sleep.


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Dost Thou know why the morning breeze I love so well? It resembles my Beloved's face when He removes his veil!

At sunrise, noiselessly and without alarming anyone, I hastened to the House of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. And what did I see in the front yard of the biruni? Aqa Asadu'llah, that old sword carrying guard of the Blessed Beauty, was sweeping and cleaning the area. He shouted from some distance away, "Jinab-i-Khan, glad tidings, glad tidings, you should be very happy! 'Abdu'l-Bahá has offered prayers in your name! He said, 'For some time I have not been able to go to the public bathhouse. I feel so well today that I am able to go this morning, thanks to Jinab-i-Khan.'"

This happy news was so dramatic that suddenly I found myself sitting in a corner weeping uncontrollably, as a flood of tears of joy quenched the burning fire in my heart. After a while, I regained my senses and began to pace back and forth while the sun began to rise on the eastern horizon.

Suddenly 'Abdu'l-Bahá appeared at the doorway of the front entrance. And what did He say? "Jinab-i-Khan, I felt so well that I went to the bathhouse and prayed for your well-being. I will continue to take the rest of the medicine." He praised me further with kind words and I, half dancing, half running, returned to the pilgrim house; and since I had concealed the events of the previous night from the pilgrims, I now shared the whole story with them.

Thy name was whispered, yet the lovers heard it plain; Thy jumped up dancing, he who heard and he who named. On the forehead of this crazed one they placed kiss after kiss, And then they snapped their fingers in happy joyful bliss. From pure joy the friends into frenzied dance broke And eagerly grasped the hem of the Beloved's robe.

News from Iran and the Ottoman States

These opening days of the Fall of 1909 were the best times in


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'Akka, for the hearts of the pilgrims and the resident believers were filled with joy and gladness. The loathsome noises of the troublemakers and antagonists were no longer to be heard; instead, the soul-stirring melodies of the steadfast believers sounded sweet to our ears in this divine flower garden. While both Iran and the Ottoman realms had been subjected to extreme hardship and both lands were afflicted by the ever-growing fires of rebellion and revolution, the friends, in obedience to the emphatic instructions of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, had remained uninvolved in any of the political issues and struggles. Thus the reality of the verse "God keeps tyrants busy with tyrants" was manifested, as the corrupt and hostile thoughts and actions of both the Constitutionalists and the autocrats received their chastisement, while the peace-loving, gentle Bahá'ís were kept safe in the midst of these dangerous times.

Every report that reached the Holy Land contained glad tidings of the friends' well-being and safety, as well as their feelings of unbounded zeal and devotion. Even more remarkable was that the enemies of the Faith in both camps, and in both the Persian and Ottoman realms, invariably received due chastisement for their actions. In Iran, whenever the Constitutionalists had the upper hand, those antagonists who had tried to deceive the public by accusing the Bahá'ís of initiating the rebellion, themselves became the targets of suspicion and experienced the horrors of the gallows; and conversely, when there was a reversal of fortune and the autocrats regained power, again it was the enemies of the Faith and the trouble-makers who were caught in the web of their own conspiracies and who paid dearly for their actions. All this was entirely due to 'Abdu'l-Bahá's unequivocal instructions. Because of this general state of tranquillity and order, the teaching work improved tremendously both in the East and in the West, and 1909 turned out to be a blessed year. For example, in Iran when several of the enemies of the Faith were executed by the autocrats, at the same time the


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"Utuzbir" incident took place in Istanbul where some thirty-one ministers and high-ranking pashas, all inveterate enemies of the Faith, were arrested and immediately hanged the same day. This unforgettable incident was one of the most significant events of the Young Turks Revolution.{243} And so this year witnessed the doom of the Covenant-breakers, the demise of the mischief-makers, and finally, the end of the Most Great Prison.

The end of the Most Great Prison of 'Akka

The Young Turks Revolution and the imprisonment of 'Abdu'l-Hamid had created such an atmosphere of suspicion and fear that none of the Ottoman Muslims residing in Palestine and Syria dared even to mention it. Some of the die-hard autocrats either gave no credence to the reports or spread a thousand absurd stories about the Sultan having ascended to the heavens and the liberals having managed to imprison only his statue. Meanwhile, in their deeply rooted hatred the Armenians let no opportunity go by in publishing caricatures and taunting and insulting pictures of the King.

The friends, however, considered all this noise as nothing but the buzzing of flies, and thus continued their spiritual feast, receiving heavenly blessings. In these words they expressed their sentiments of gratitude and thanksgiving:

If there is enmity and war among the Arabs; There is nothing but love and joy between Layli and Majnun.{244}

News at last reached 'Akka that the Sublime Porte had issued a decree freeing all political prisoners. This news was of course unworthy of mention in the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, yet among the friends it created great commotion and excitement The believers began to anticipate the departure of the Master from Akka to the city of Haifa, while in that city, friends and non-Bahá'ís alike awaited His arrival with great eagerness.


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In those days, I had just arrived in Haifa from 'Akka and witnessed the excitement of the friends who, having tasted the bitter poison of separation during the reincarceration of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, were now impatiently and anxiously awaiting His arrival.

How long shall I wait anxiously for a glance of Thee, As I stand in the street looking longingly at the gate? In my sore longing after Thee It IS my ye that you will see, O misery, roll down my face, So that my tears it may replace.

Everyone asked me, "Why is He not coming?" Some said they had heard that the Governor of 'Akka had proclaimed the Master to be free of all restrictions. But others said that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had indicated that any order freeing Him must come from Istanbul and be specifically in His name. Some said that the Governor had already asked for such specific instructions, but with all the chaos in Istanbul only God knew when a reply might be forthcoming. Of course, I had heard all these stories in 'Akka too, but because there we were all submerged in the ocean of His presence, 'Abdu'l-Bahá's dignified and serene bearing prevented us from asking any questions about it. Here, however, there was a great deal of clamour and excitement among the friends; the cup of their patience had so overflowed that in accordance with the expression, 'A drowning man clutches at any straw", they found me to be their last resort. They told me, "You are the one who brought us the news of the reincarceration of 'Abdu'l-Bahá a few years ago, and so now you are the one who must present our petition and entreaty at His threshold." And I, who had been undeservedly spoiled by the Master, abandoned my manners and humbly brought the matter to His attention. Praised be God, after a day or two their petition received the honour of His acceptance and that peerless Beauty


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repaired to the city of Haifa. On His arrival in the city He said to me, "We have accepted your request and rejected Sultan 'Abdu'l-Hamid's command. What more do you want?" and then He entered His residence. Observing the unfinished building, He remarked, "We are not of this world and have no need of such a house. But man has the duty to develop and cultivate God's earth." The foundations of the house had been laid by the late Mrs. Jackson, who did not live long enough to complete its construction;{245} the building work was finished at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's expense and the House is now the residence of His family In brief, those were days of joy, celebration and thanksgiving for the friends. Nor did the non-Bahá'ís fall short in expressing their own delight, and so feasts and festivities abounded. One point that I shall never forget was the marked change in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's attitude and conduct towards people of prominence and government dignitaries. All forms of discretion and caution, which had been practised from the time of the Blessed Beauty, gave way to open declaration of the Faith. From that point I understood that the line of the Caliphate had been broken once and for all. For instance, to the die-hard pro-Caliphate officers the Master spoke about the Tradition: "Wonder of wonders between Jamadi and Rajab."{246} He even declared, "The days which fall within this duration are the time for me to arise for the triumph of the Cause of God and the promotion of the divine teachings." At these words, those in attendance evinced such humility and lowliness that we were astounded.

Describing the indescribable

In this collection of memoirs now nearing completion, I have recorded many of my experiences and observations which I felt were worthy of mention. For example, in each chapter I have presented a brief description of the manners bearing and many burdens of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. In the sections on love,


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generosity, helping the poor and others I have recounted whatever my feeble and confused memory can recall after all these years. But alas, there are a number of subjects commonly regarded as indescribable, that I, like a dumb-mute who has dreamed a vision but is incapable of enunciating a word, have kept in the treasure-house of my heart, withholding them from the eyes and thoughts of the readers.

These subjects I have referred to as "describing the indescribable". Why indescribable? Because, first, where is the power of expression, where is the wisdom and knowledge that would enable me to adequately express and convey true understanding? Secondly, where are those who can truly hear and understand? In any case, with trembling and feeble hand I now present some samples of such secrets, sharing with the friends a few drops of that ocean. One is the effect of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's glance. Not a description of the Master's eyes; such descriptions have already been recorded by many of the believers, and are all entirely true. Nobody, in fact, could look directly into 'Abdu'l-Bahá's eyes. On His arrival in America (as recounted by the members of His retinue), when the optometrist arrived to examine the Master's eyes he was unable to look directly into them. This matter is well known to those who have attained His presence.

Many a king is ensnared by the mystery of thine eyes, Many a wise one inebriated by the sweet wine of thy love.

The effect of His glance, however, is my real purpose. First, the look of anger, for which "I seek refuge in God from His wrath". But this look, praised be God, was very rare. Secondly, the glance of love and compassion. This was His permanent and all-encompassing glance, bringing joy and delight. Third, that magnetic, captivating and all-conquering gaze. On many an occasion in the narrow, dark alleys of 'Akka, I have observed non-Bahá'ís who followed us utterly attracted and captivated by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, until dismissed by


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Him. This glance had certain characteristics which I cannot even begin to describe.

With a glance, the kings conquer a realm, With a glance, to the kingdom of hearts you lay claim.

Fourth, the look of satisfaction, which meant "I am well pleased with you". This look was the same for both the perceives through divine power the desire of the one beheld. In this state, I felt that if I asked for sovereignty over the earth and heavens, He would grant it to me-but in that instant one could have no other wish but that which was the will of God I saw this look many a time. Under its influence, one desires suffering in the path of God. Varqa the martyr, and certain others, hastened to the field of martyrdom under the influence of such a gaze. Sixth, the searching glance, so that the one beheld realized that everything in his heart and mind, from past to future, was laid bare before Him.

obedient and the rebellious. Fifth, the gaze which

Those secrets and deceit that in man may lie hidden, Before God are clear as daylight, so it is written.

Seventh, and above all, the look that bestows knowledge and understanding. For example, we were witnesses to two individuals who became enraptured with such a glance and received true understanding. One was the late Fadil-i-Shirazi and the other Shaykh Ali-Akbar-i-Quchani At the time of their pilgrimage both these believers were men of literary talent and illumined hearts, yet by their own admission they were bereft of true understanding. The Master frequently used to say about both of them with some humour, "You teach the Faith and I teach the Faith. I summoned Shaykh 'Ali-Akbar and said a few words to him. Wait and see how I taught him." He said the same thing about Fadil. We put many questions to these two believers about their experiences while they


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were in 'Akka, but their answers were not convincing. Yet they both spoke out on the subject of teaching. Although I was never worthy of that glance, yet I have seen it many times, and will give one example here. One day a number of us were accompanying the Master to one of the houses where Bahá'u'lláh had formerly resided, and He was talking to us on a variety of subjects. Suddenly and quite unexpectedly, He asked, "Khan, how long have you been with us?" "Five years," I replied "Five years," He repeated. "The time has come for me to cease speaking and for you to begin understanding. Protect the friends. Go in the care of God," He remarked, and so dismissed me from His presence. At that moment, not only did I understand 'Abdu'l-Bahá's allusion, but I also knew what had to be done. Siyyid Mihdi-Dahaji, known as 'Ali-Akbar, outwardly seemed to enjoy 'Abdu'l-Bahá's trust, yet I knew that he was secretly a troublemaker and that unless he himself divulged his true intentions, the Master would never expose him. At present he had deceitfully gathered about him a group of innocent and naive young men from both the pilgrim and resident groups, and by recounting the details of his time spent in prison in Tehran and Bahá'u'lláh's sentiments of loving-kindness and bounty towards him, had charmed and captivated every one. But, praised be God, by the grace of God I was able to safeguard the friends. His expulsion from the Faith, however, did not become known until three years later, when he himself revealed his true nature. This, then, was how 'Abdu'l-Bahá looked at us. As for how we looked at that all-powerful Master, the words of Hafiz should suffice:

How can any glance perceive you as you really are? Each one sees only what he can understand.


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Return to Iran

During the entire time of my stay at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's threshold, whether during my residency in 'Akka or during my frequent trips to and from that city, I had never given any thought to my ultimate departure and permanent separation from the Beloved of the world. However, as soon as the Most Great Prison was ended and the hands of the Covenant-breakers could no longer weave any more conspiracies or rebellions, I was reminded of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's words before the renewal of the prison conditions. He often said, "Were it not for safeguarding the Most Holy Shrine-for these gentlemen (meaning the Covenant-breakers) will not protect these holy sites - I would travel and teach the Faith." And again, after the overthrow of the Sultanate and Caliphate of 'Abdu'l-Hamid, He used to openly explain to the die-hard Ottomans: "I have to spread the teachings of God around the world."

From these words, it became clear that He considered the security of 'Akka as well as that of the Shrine of the Bab an established fact, the destruction of the Covenant-breakers conclusive, and the probability of His travelling to various destinations very likely. His words to this servant were similar to those which He had imparted to me during my first visit (twelve years before) as I was departing for Iran. All His instructions were about serving the Faith of God. While the thought of separation and remoteness from that Threshold was unpleasant, yet praised be God, the prevalent atmosphere of joy and happiness that accompanied the defeat of the enemies of the Faith both within and without, and the pleasure and joy of nearness to the Beloved of the world during His time of freedom as He planned His travels to various regions of the world, so delighted our hearts that each living cell of our bodies was in a state of utter bliss. This time conditions were quite different from the time of my departure for Beirut, for at that time the Beloved of the world had been suffering in the clutches of the people of


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malice. But this separation did not entail such distressful feelings. As the poet says:

It would take hemlock more bitter than the poison of remoteness To make me forget the ecstasy of your nearness.

One day we were in the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa. I was deep in thought and feeling exceptionally happy. I do not know what could have been detected from my face, but suddenly 'Abdu'l-Bahá asked, "Tell me, what are you thinking? Where are you? Tell me the truth now!" This increased my joy. "I was thinking about the power of God," I explained, "and how divine confirmation has descended upon the whole world, and how within a month's time a group of the enemies of the Faith in Iran received their due punishment at the hand of the dictatorial regime, while simultaneously the Utuzbir incident took place in Turkey whereby thirty-one high-ranking ministers and senior government officials, all inveterate enemies of the Faith, were dispatched to the realm of perdition by the power of the constitutionalists." The Beloved replied, "It is exactly as you say." It should not go unstated that one of those enemies of the Faith who was able to escape with his life in the Utuzbir incident was Jamal Pasha. During his administration as Governor he had caused much mischief, but escaped its consequences at the time. Later, he led the Ottoman armies in the First World War, and in the Battle of Egypt vowed to hang the Master once victory was achieved. However, after his defeat he himself was subsequently hanged, and joined the other thirty-one of his colleagues at last.{247}

In brief, it became quite clear from 'Abdu'l-Bahá's utterances that I had to return to Iran. When the Master spoke about my journey, Mirza Haydar-'Ali commented, "It would be good for him to go to 'Ishqabad and stay there for a while. This would be of much benefit A round." But 'Abdu'l-Bahá advised, "No, his mother misses him too


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much. First he must go to Tehran. Then he may go wherever is suitable."

At that time, Tehran was quite a safe place to live. The Spiritual Assembly, however, was not elected by the body of the friends. The Hands of the Cause elected a number of individuals based on majority vote. There were nineteen of them, and therefore, because of differences in taste and talent, the administration of affairs always lagged behind schedule.

For a few days 'Abdu'l-Bahá continued to speak about Iran until my departure became definite. The kindly and bountiful utterances heaped upon this unworthy sinner by 'Abdu'l-Bahá were now so profuse as to be beyond estimation. The night before my departure, He asked me, "How long have you been with us?" "Nine years," I replied.

'A sacred number. You will go to Iran and you will do well because your intentions are pure. We are also doing well, because our intentions too are pure." He then pointed towards a large German warship, which had dropped anchor in the port of Haifa, and said, "We have no such fighting ships. But then, all these ships will eventually sink, while our frail skiff will reach its destination." He spoke at great length in praise of my unworthy services. His words prompted me to look inside myself carefully I saw nothing but sinfulness , shortcomings, weakness and shame. And yet He had closed His eyes to all that and had accounted them as my service and sacrifice. Then I realized how well the poet Khayyam had written:

Where there is blessing, things thou hast not performed Are considered as done.

Or in the words of Sa'di:

Let me weep, O heart, as the falling spring rain, For even the rock laments the lover's parting pain. He who has once of parting's bitter wine tasted


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Knows the pain of hope abandoned in those so tested. Tell the state of my tearful eyes to the caravan driver's men So they as on a rainy day may pack the beasts of burden.

His words added to my shame and embarrassment. That night I spent sleepless; my tears would not cease. The next day from morning until dinnertime, I was permitted to attain the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá several times. During the entire time I was filled with joy and delight. After dinner, as I took my leave, the Master spoke to me in confidence on some matters that filled my soul with joy and faith. The heavenly breezes that He wafted over me kept me in a state of exaltation as I departed from His presence. A few of the friends, in accordance with the Master's instructions, accompanied me to the dock. As the ship lifted anchor and began to move into open sea, I kept my eyes unwaveringly and as long as I could see, on Mount Carmel.

To heart, the breast IS but its home, And you to heart are a guest well known.

Those with insightful hearts do well To have you in their hearts forever dwell.

As heart within, so to us are you part, As life within, so are you our very heart.

To conquer my heart how easy for Thee, To free it from your love, how hard for me.

The stars, O Thou shining bright as the sun, Are but the point to which all reverence is done.

True beloved art Thou in Thy lovers' sight, Thou shining in every assemblage like candle light.

Once the heart's mirror finds a place Before the light of Thine incomparable face


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Like unto Sinai will it brightly shine And become the recipient of mysteries divine.

If seeing you is but hopeless desire, Seeking you IS hope fulfilled, spirits rising higher.

Happy the one whose love for Thee Resolves every difficulty.

In this tempest of love, what my heart hopes for Is that MY ship of wisdom never reaches the shore.

My tears fail to extinguish my love's fiery glow, How can mere mud cover the sun-fountain's flow?

O fire burning bright in long* hearts, Burn away the veils of superstitions and doubts,

Burn away this temple, this mortal cage, So that naught between my beloved and I may emerge

Thy nearness for Afroukhteh, a joy eternally true, Woe is his lot whose heart is bereft of You.


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Apology

Dear friends, this account which has been presented to you under the tide Memories of Nine Years in 'Akka is an unworthy attempt on my part to depict that Heavenly Reality, that Celestial Beauty. But no words, whether written or spoken, can describe Him, so that any such attempt is doomed to failure. Furthermore, the literary style of this epistle is quite undeserving of any notice by those friends who have drunk deep of the fountainhead of erudition, literary knowledge and divine wisdom. Considering my lack of the necessary literary skills, and especially the long period which separates me from that pilgrimage, it might have been better for me to have spent the remaining years of my life in silence, wonder and astonishment, for what I witnessed and experienced, compared to this earthly and material life, was heavenly intoxication; it now seems like a dream that ended all too soon. And while pondering on that dream, amazing and unforgettable as it was, I feel that I should begin to interpret it and understand its implications, or at least arise to perform a service to fulfil its ideals. For at that time and in that place, "I was an angel, and the heavenly paradise was my home.{248} And now, if someone were to ask me what I have brought back with me from that other world, I would have to respond hopelessly, "Nothing, nothing".

I have neither blooms, not leaves, nor fruits, I wonder why the wise Gardener planted a seed like me?


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As you read, you will note that this collection is filled with flaws and deficiencies. First, the rules of philosophy, literature and composition have not been observed, and so every line of this story is the product of the natural expression of my feelings, and in no way complies with the requirements of reason and logic. Secondly, I have reflected here the thoughts and emotions of my youth, through the sluggish and all too feeble faculties of my old age, recording these events after the passing of some forty years. Obviously, such a jump across so extensive a time is bound to have invited a good many errors into the text, to say nothing of what may have been lost to mere forgetfulness. Of course, if after so many years no change in the intensity of my feelings and views is detected here, it is strictly due to the bounty of faith and devotion and has nothing to do with any literary or philosophical achievement.

I ask, therefore, that if during the reading of these chapters you have come across stories pleasing or heartwarming to you, you may rest assured that they did not originate in me but rather are the reflections of divine bounty and heavenly confirmations. And if you have found flaws and errors, you may also be assured that they are the reflections of the deficiencies and faults of this unworthy servant, for which I offer my deepest apology.


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SELECTED BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

'Abdu'llah Khan-i-Nuri, Haji Mirza The father-in-law of Varqa the martyr (see below). A resident of Tabriz, he served as attendant to the Crown Prince. See Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, 1313. 76-7. 'Abdu'llah, Mirza (c. 1843-1918) 'kitab-i-musiqi-i-Irani ("the book of Persian music"), he was a master of the sitar and the tar. He was the son of Ali Akbar Farahani, the foremost court musician under Nasiru'ld-Din Shah and followed in his father's footsteps; his system and teaching of Persian classical music is still followed today in Iran's conservatories. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets to him urge him to "elevate and transform classical music". See Caton, "Bahá'í Influences on Mirza 'Abdu'llah", which discusses these Tablets. 'Abdu'l-Ghani Baydun 'A wealthy and influential man who was living in close proximity to the Mansion of Bahji and had friendly association with the violators of the Covenant" (Taherzadeh, Covenant, P. 234). The Commission of Enquiry stayed at his house in 1907; the family had lived on this property since at least the eighteenth century.

'Abdu'l-Hamid II (ruled 1876-1909) Sultan of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. As a result of the plotting of Mirza Muhammad-'Ali in 1901 he restricted 'Abdu'l-Bahá's freedom, confining Him and His family within the city walls of 'Akka. He later sent two Commissions of Enquiry to investigate false charges made against 'Abdu'l-Bahá by the Covenant-breakers. He was deposed in 1909 following the Young Turks Revolution of 1908. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 269-72.


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Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani, Mirza (1844-1914) The most celebrated Bahá'í scholar of his generation, noted for his learned treatises on the Bahá'í Faith. Fara'id (Priceless Jewels), his response to a critical work by an influential cleric of the time, is considered his masterpiece. It is as yet unpublished in English, although a translation is in preparation. In 1901 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent him to the United States to deepen the American Bahá'ís and to counter the attempts of Kheiralla to create a division within the American Bahá'í community. His grave in Egypt is next to the grave of Lua Getsinger. He was named an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh by Shoghi Effendi. See Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, pp. 263-5.

Afnan, Aqa Siyyid Ahmad The rank of martyr was bestowed on him posthumously. See Faydi Khanidan-i-Afnan. Afnan, Aqa Mirza Hadi The father of Shoghi Effendi, he was the son of Aqa Siyyid Husayn-i-Afnan of Shiraz. See Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, P. 2 19 (photograph); Taherzadeh, Covenant, P. 358.

Afnan, Haji Mirza Muhammad-Taqi (Vakilu'd-Dawlih) On reading the Kitab-i-Iqan he sought out Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad before returning to Persia to teach the Faith. After the passing of Bahá'u'lláh he carried out the building of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad. "Never did he fail in servitude, in devotion, and he would set about a major undertaking with alacrity and joy" ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, p. 127). His last days were spent in Haifa; he was named an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh by Shoghi Effendi. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, pp. 126-9; Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, pp. 266-8. Ahmadov brothers Believers living in Tbilsi, Georgia, whose father Haji Ahmad met the Bab in Tabriz and hid the remains of the Bab after His martyrdom.

Akhund, Haji 'Ali-Akbar (Hand of the Cause), see 'Ali-Akbar-i- Shahmirzadi.

'Ali-Akbar-Quchani Shaykh (d. 1915) A learned and respected Bahá'í teacher, he served the Faith in the Caucasus and India. He was shot while making purchases in the bazaar of


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his native town and was named a martyr. See Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, P. 416.

'Ali-Akbar-i-Shahmirzadi, Haji Mulla (c. 1842-1910) Known as Haji Akhund, he was one of the four Hands of the Cause of God appointed by Bahá'u'lláh. On his conversion in about 1861 his religious students in Mashhad forced him to leave the town and thereafter he was frequently arrested and imprisoned. He was responsible for much of the teaching and administration of the Persian Bahá'í community and was named an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh by Shoghi Effendi. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, I Memorials, pp. 9-12; Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, pp. 265-6; Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 4, Pp. 294-301.

'Ali-Muhammad Khan Bahá'í Of Yazd. Once a close associate of Jalalu'd-Dawlih, the Governor of Yazd who instigated the persecutions of 1903, he later became a teacher and principal of the Tarbiyat School for boys in Tehran. See Sulaymani, Masabih-i-Hidayat.

'Ali-Quli Min (Ali Kuli Khan, Nabilu'd-Dawlih, 1879-1966) Distinguished Bahá'í and diplomat who served 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akka as translator before going to the United States in 1901 to translate for Mirza 'Abu'l-Fadl. His marriage to Florence Breed in 1904 was the first marriage between a Persian and an American Bahá'í. He was an early translator of some of the most important works of Bahá'u'lláh into English. See Gail, Summon Up Remembrance and Arches of the Years.

Aqa Jan, Mirza (d. 1901) The amanuensis of Bahá'u'lláh. As a youth he met Bahá'u'lláh in Karbila and there became the first to whom Bahá'u'lláh gave a glimpse of His station. He served Bahá'u'lláh for forty years as amanuensis and personal attendant, and was given the title Khadim'u'llah (Servant in attendance). After the passing of Bahá'u'lláh he broke the Covenant and turned against 'Abdu'l-Bahá. See Taherzadeh, Covenant, ch. 15 Aqay-i-Kalim Mirza Musa, Muhammad-Quli. Faithful of Bahá'u'lláh, named first among the Apostles of


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by Shoghi Effendi He accompanied Bahá'u'lláh in all His exiles.

See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, pp. 86-90; Balyuzi, Bahá'u'lláh, The King of Glory passim.

Arastu Khan Hakim, Dr. (1877-1934) The grandson of Hakim Masih, the first Bahá'í of Jewish descent. After studying at the American School in Tehran he went to Akka in 1900 and stayed for a year. He later practised medicine in Tehran. See Bahá'í World, vol. 5, pp. 414-16.

Arjmand, Haj Mihdi (1861-1941) Of Jewish background, he became a well-known teacher of the Bahá'í Faith in Hamadan. His book Gulshan-i-Haqayiq (Rose Garden of Truths) is admired for its apologetic treatment of the relationship of the Bahá'í Faith to Judaism and Christianity. His family established the Haj Mehdi Memorial Trust in his name. See Ayman, "Haj Mihdi Arjmand".

Asadu'llah, Aqa From the city of Qum, he was a well-known travelling teacher, and remained faithful to the Cause to the end of his life. One of those responsible for making purchases on behalf of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

Asadu'llah-i-Isfahani Mirza A trusted believer, he was charged with bringing the sacred remains of the Bab from Iran to the Holy Land. After the defection of his son Amin'u'llah Farid, he, too, broke the Covenant.

Ashchi, Aqa Husayn Originally from Kashan, he served as cook in the household of Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople and later in 'Akka. ("Aschchi" means "one who cooks soup".) He also kept the household pharmacy. His memoirs are notable for their eyewitness accounts of the life and times of Bahá'u'lláh. He was one of those involved in the murder of three Azalis in 'Akka, owing to his devotion to Bahá'u'lláh See Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 2, pp. 169, 404-8; vol. 3, pp. 13, 18, 235-6, 410. 1

Badi'u'llah, Mirza Son of Bahá'u'lláh by his second wife Fatimih Khanum (Mahd-i-'Ulya), he was the younger brother of the Arch-breaker of the Covenant Muhammad-'Ali and a half-brother


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of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Although he did not initially question the Will and Testament of Bahá'u'lláh, his activities against 'Abdu'l-Bahá led to his becoming a Covenant-breaker. His short lived repentance is recounted in this book. See Taherzadeh, Covenant, pp. 117, 150-53

Baghdadi, Aqa Muhammad Mustafa Devoted believer in Baghdad from the time of Bahá'u'lláh's sojourn in Iraq. "He was the leader, among all the friends in 'Iraq, and after the great separation, when the convoy of the Beloved left for Constantinople, he remained loyal and staunch, and openly, publicly, observed by all, taught the Faith" ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, p. 132). He later asked for permission to live nearer 'Akka, and was granted leave to establish his residence in Beirut. Here he assisted travelling pilgrims. His son Zia Mabsout Baghdadi (d. 1937) was a student in Beirut during the author's time there. After qualifying as medical doctor he settled in the United States in 1909 and was prominent member of the Chicago Bahá'í community. See Bahá'í World, vol. 7, pp. 535-9.

Baqiroff (Khamsi), Siyyid Nasru'llah (1857-1925) One of five brothers who were honoured by Bahá'u'lláh with the title "Sadat-i-Khams". He used his considerable wealth in the service of the Cause, particularly in offering the major share of the expenses of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's travels in Europe and America. A member for many years of the Spiritual Assembly of Tehran, when news of the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá reached that body but before His Will and Testament was read, in the midst of shock and grief Baqiroff is reported to have said, "Praised be God, the Faith has become young." See Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, p. 64 (and photograph); Mehrabkhani, Sadat-i-Khams, a history of the Khamsi family.

Breakwell, Thomas (1872-1902) Early English Bahá'í. He became a Bahá'í in Paris in 1901, and died there of consumption after his pilgrimage to 'Akka. Shoghi Effendi called him a "luminary in the firmament of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh". See Bahá'í World, vol. 7, pp. 801-2; Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, PP. 74 80. 'Abdu'l Bahá'ís Tablet in his memory is printed in Selections, pp. 187-9.


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Brittingham, Isabella (1852-1924) Eminent American Bahá'í teacher and travelling teacher. Author of The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh in a sequence of four lessons; first published in 1902 by the Bahá'í Publishing Society in Chicago, it went into at least nine editions. She went on pilgrimage in 1901 shortly after the renewal of restrictions on 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and again in 1909. She travelled the United States, teaching constantly and sending letters from new believers to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi. See Whitehead, Some Early Bahá'ís, pp. 131-8.

Burujirdi, Aqa Jamal During the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh he received much praise and various honorary titles such as Ismu'llah'u'l-Jamal (The Name of God, Jamal) due to his many services, but broke the Covenant after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh and rose in opposition to the Centre of the Covenant, 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He was known in the Bahá'í community as "Hyena" or "Old Hyena" (pir-i-kaftar). See Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 2, pp. 118-19, 264-7.

Bushru'i, Mirza Badi'. A student contemporary with the author at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut. During World War I he ran a school at the village of Abu-Sinan for the children of the Bahá'ís. A companion of 'Abdu'l-Bahá for many years in the Holy Land.

Canavarro, Countess Marie de Souza Known as Sister Sanghamitta, she was the first woman to convert to Buddhism on American soil, in 1897. She lectured on Buddhism in Asia and the West, wrote books and articles about the religion, and ran a Buddhist school for girls in Sri Lanka. See Tweed, The American Encounter with Buddhism; Bartholomeusz, Women under the Bo Tree.

Diya'u'llah, Mirza Son of Bahá'u'lláh by His second wife Fatimih Khanum (Mahd-i-'Ulya), he was the younger brother of the Arch-breaker of the Covenant Muhammad-'Ali, full brother of Mirza Badi'u'llah, and a half-brother of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. A weak, vacillating man, he eventually broke the Covenant. See Taherzadeh, Covenant, pp. 117, 150-53.


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Dodge, Arthur Pillsbury (1849-1915) Lawyer, publisher, and inventor, he became a Bahá'í in 1897. He was named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi. See Stockman, Bahá'í Faith In America, vol. 1, pp. 116-17 and Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 13, pp. 100-101. His sons Wendell Phillips Dodge and William

Copeland Dodge studied the Faith as young men with Ibrahim Kheiralla. Following their pilgrimage in 1901 they published Utterances of Abdul Beha Abbas to two young men, American pilgrims to Acre, 1901.

Dreyfus, Hippolyte (1873-1928) The first French Bahá'í, in 1901. A prominent French lawyer, he wrote a number of works on the Bahá'í Faith and translated several of Bahá'u'lláh's writings into French. He was instrumental in writing and presenting petitions to the Shah in September 1902 in Paris and again during the Yazd and Isfahan persecutions of 1903 (see Star of the West, vol. 15, P. 230, and Metelmann, Lua Getsinger, PP. 59-61). In 1911 he married Laura Clifford Barney with whom he had worked on a French translation of Some Answered Questions. Dreyfus was a devoted Bahá'í and was named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi. See Shoghi Effendi's appreciation of him in Bahá'í World, vol. 3, Pp. 210-14.

Dreyfus-Barney, Laura (1879-1974) From a prominent American family, she accepted the Faith in Paris around 1900. She made a number of extended visits to 'Akka, asking questions of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the answers to which she later compiled as Some Answered Questions (see the description in this book, PPdu'l-Baha314-19, 342-4.) She was active in the promotion of the human rights of women and was twice decorated by the French government for services to humanity. See Bahá'í World, vol. 16, PP. 535-8.

Fadil-i-Shirazi (Shaykh Muhammad Ibrahim, 1863-1935) An eminent Muslim scholar of literature and philosophy, he accepted the Bahá'í Faith through reading the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, who gave him the title "Fadil" (learned, man of culture and refinement). His own writings are mainly in logic and apologetics. He undertook the pilgrimage to 'Akka during the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and received several Tablets from Him. See Sulaymani, Masabih-i-Hidayat, vol. 1.


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Faezeh Khanum (Gulsurkh Begum, c. 1856-c.1930) A courageous believer during the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, she was the daughter of a Muslim cleric who secretly believed in the Bab and advised her to seek Him out. She became a Bahá'í in Tehran, upsetting her husband who however came to accept the Faith. She was given the name "Faezeh" (the one who attains, victorious) by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Her services to the Faith were many and varied: teaching, writing a plea to the Shah for justice together with other Bahá'í women, and selling her house as a contribution to the construction of the House of Worship in 'Ishqabad. Often persecuted, she was on one occasion so badly beaten by a mob that she lost the sight of one eye. She received numerous Tablets from 'Abdu'l-Bahá and wrote poems addressed to Him. Her pilgrimage took place in 1898. See Arbab, 'Akhtaran-i-Taban, vol. I.

Farid (Fareed), Amin'u'llah Son of Mirza Asadu'llah-i-Isfahani Farid was educated by the Master and accompanied him to the United States as one of His translators, but caused 'Abdu'l-Bahá much anxiety and grief because of his "erratic and damaging behaviour" (Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, P. 230). He became a Covenant-breaker in 1914.

Fariq Pasha Turkish government official in 'Akka. As General he led the Turks against the Greeks in 1897 in Syria.

Farmer, Sarah Jane (1847-1916) American philanthropist who became a Bahá'í upon meeting 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akka in 1900. She gave Green Acre, her property in Eliot, Maine, to the Faith for use as a permanent Bahá'í summer school. She was named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi. See Martin, Life and Work.

Getsinger, Lua (Louisa Moore, 1871-1916) Outstanding American Bahá'í who accepted the Faith in Chicago in April 1897. She and her husband, Edward, played a central role in opposing Kheiralla and other Covenant-breakers. Lua devoted nearly all her time to teaching the Faith and spent much time away from home; she also made several extended visits to 'Akka. She died in Egypt of an illness she had contracted in India, and


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is buried in Cairo next to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl. She was given the title "Herald of the Covenant" by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and was named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and "Mother Teacher of the West" by Shoghi Effendi. See Bahá'í World, vol. 8, pp. 642-3 and Metelmann. Lua Getsinger.

Goodall, Helen (1847-1922). She accepted the Faith in 1898 and with her daughter Ella Cooper helped establish the first Bahá'í community on the West Coast of the United States, in Oakland. After her first pilgrimage in 1908 she and her daughter published Daily Lessons Received at Acca. She was named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi. See Whitehead, Some Early Bahá'ís of the West, pp. 21-34.

Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahiyyih Khanum (1846-1932) Daughter of Bahá'u'lláh and Navvab, and sister of Abdu'l-Bahá, she was designated by Shoghi Effendi as "the outstanding heroine of the Bahá'í Dispensation". She accompanied Bahá'u'lláh in every stage of His exiles and imprisonment, and after His passing stood by her brother 'Abdu'l-Bahá and assisted Him greatly when the activities of the Covenant-breakers were at their height. After the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the youthful Guardian, overwhelmed by the responsibilities thrust upon him, left the affairs of the Cause in the hands of Bahiyyih Khanum while he retired to recuperate and contemplate the tasks ahead. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, P. 2 16; Bahiyyih Khanum, The Greatest Holy Leaf

Haydar-'Ali, Haji Mirza, of Isfahan (c. 1834-1920) He became first a Babi and later met Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople. For fifty years he served the Cause of God and endured much hardship including imprisonment in Egypt and Sudan. In his later years he served the Master in Haifa. His best-known publications are the partially translated Bihjatu's-Sudur (Delight of Hearts) and Dalail'u'l-Irfan (Proofs of the Knowledge of God). See Balyuzi, "The Angel of Mount Carmel", in Eminent Bahá'ís, pp. 237-50.

Hoar, William H. (1856-1922) Hoar heard of the Faith at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 and became


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a Bahá'í in 1896. In 1900 he was instrumental in forming the first Bahá'í consultative body in New York, the New York Board of Counsel. He served on the Executive Board of the Bahá'í Temple Unity from 1909-1912. He was named a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi. See Harris, "William H. Hoar". Husayn Effendi Tabrizi Resident in Haifa, "he faithfully waited upon the believers, and his home was a way station for Bahá'í travellers". His life is described by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials". pp. 118-19.

Husayn Effendi, buried in `'Akka. Son of 'Abdu'l-Bahá who died in childhood.

Isma'il Aqa (d. 1939)Servant in the household of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and also gardener. He served 'Abdu'l-Bahá devotedly for thirty years and was present at His passing. See Bahá'í World, vol. 8, p. 681.

Ismu'llah'u'l-jamal. see Burujirdi.

Jackson, Mrs. Tewksbury American Bahá'í resident in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She made the pilgrimage to 'Akka several times and used her considerable wealth in the service of the Faith. Her apartment in Paris gave hospitality to Bahá'ís such as Lua Getsinger and May Bolles. Thomas Breakwell's first encounter with the Faith took place there. 'Abdu'l-Bahá visited her there in 1911 on hearing she was in ill health.

Jahrumi, Mulla Husayn Notorious Covenant-breaker in Bombay (see note 64).

Jalal, Mirza A son of the King of Martyrs and a son-in law of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, he later broke the Covenant.

Jamal Pasha, Ahmad (1872--1922) Turkish politician and general. One of the chiefs of the Committee of Union and Progress during World War 1. He was Minister of Public Works (19 13) and


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Minister for the Navy (1914), and Commander of the 4th Army in Syria from 1915-1917, His meetings with 'Abdu'l-Bahá are described by Balyuzi. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Pp. 412-14. However, swayed by the accusations of the Covenant-breakers, he vowed to crucify the Master. After the War he became a refugee in Berlin, and then in Switzerland. In Afghanistan as inspector general of the Afghan Army, he made contact with the Bolsheviks in Moscow and in Tashkent in 1920. He was assassinated at Tiflis in 1922. See Larousee, Grand dictionnaire encyclopedique.

Kern, Margaret Early American believer in New York City by about 1897. Her poem "The Rustle of His Robe" was published in 1901. See Stockman, vol. I, Pp. 121, 226.

Kheiralla (Khayru'llah), Ibrahim George (1849-1929) Syrian Christian who became a Bahá'í around 1888. He migrated to the United States in 1892 and was instrumental in establishing the Faith there. He began to question the authority of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1900 and eventually broke with the Bahá'í Faith, creating a crisis in the Bahá'í community. See Stockman, Bahá'í Faith in America, vol. I, pp. 158-84.

Khusraw Servant in the household of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Of Burmese origin, he was the Master's personal servant, accompanying Him to Egypt, but was prevented from continuing to the United States. His marriage took place in the week before 'Abdu'l-Bahá's passing. See Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 400.

Majdu'd-Din, Mirza The son of Aqay-i-Kalim, the faithful brother of Bahá'u'lláh. Majdu'd-Din became a Covenant breaker and one of the bitterest enemies of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. See Taherzadeh, Covenant, p. 148.

Manshadi, Haji Siyyid Muhammad Taqi A faithful and devoted servant of Bahá'u'lláh who with his brother Ja'far followed Him from Adrianople to 'Akka. The Covenant-breakers attempted to win him to their cause but he remained loyal to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Tablets and letters were sent and received through him, at first through his residence in Haifa and later in Port Said at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's request. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, PP. 54-57.


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Mihdi-i-Dahaji, Siyyid known as 'Ali-Akbar. Entitled by Bahá'u'lláh "Ismu'llah-Mihdi" (The Name of God, He who is guided) he became a Covenant-breaker during the Ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The name 'Ali-Akbar was also bestowed on him by Bahá'u'lláh in remembrance of Siyyid Mihdi's nephew, a faithful believer greatly loved by Bahá'u'lláh and for whom the Fire Tablet was revealed. See Taherzadeh, Revelation, VOL 2, pp. 272-275.

Mishkin-Qalam Title of Mirza Husayn Isfahani, the famous Bahá'í calligrapher, who attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople. He was banished to Cyprus by the Ottoman government in 1868. After gaining his freedom he returned to 'Akka and continued to work at his art producing a range of magnificent calligraphies over the years. He was named an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh by Shoghi Effendi. See Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, pp. 270-72.

Mu'ayyad, Dr Habibu'llah Khudabakhsh (1888-1971) Born to a Bahá'í family of Jewish heritage, he was a student contemporary of the author at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut in 1909 Dr. Mu'ayyad served the Master in several capacities. In 194 he was sent to Germany to counter the activities of Dr. Farid. During World War I he ran a dispensary at Abu-Sinan where he carried out operations with the assistance of Lua Getsinger (Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá, P. 411). His memoirs Khatirat-i-Habib notable for their pen-pictures of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. His poem "Dastam-Beguir" is well known in the West. He was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran for many years.

Moody, Dr. Susan 1. (1851-1934) American physician who became a Bahá'í in 1903 in Chicago. At 'Abdu'l-Bahá's invitation she went to Persia in 1909 to provide medical care for the Bahá'í women. She founded the Tarbiyat Girls' School in Tehran in 1910, and lived in Persia for 15 years. See Bahá'í World, vol. II, PP. 483-6.

Muhammad-'Ali, Mirza (1853-1937) Younger half-brother of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Arch-breaker of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant after


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His ascension, he was given the tide "Centre of Sedition" by the Master. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 246, 249, and Taherzadeh, Covenant, pp. 125-34.

Muhammad Hasan, Aqa Caretaker of the pilgrim house in 'Akka. "Single-handedly, thrice a day he prepared the pilgrims' meals, cleared the rooms, shopped for provisions, cooked, washed the dishes [he] greatly loved to engage in discussion he was truly learned, particularly in the areas of mysticism, philosophy and proofs." (Mu'ayyad, Khatirat-i-Habib).

Muhammad Javad-i-Qazvini "One of the most inveterate adversaries of 'Abdu'l-Bahá" (Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 86). A devoted believer during the time of Bahá'u'lláh, Who gave him the title Ismullah'u'l-Jud (the name of God, the Generous). He became a Covenant-breaker during the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. His son Ghulamu'llah was one of those sent to America by the Covenant-breakers to help Kheiralla in his bid for power.

Muhammad-i-Qaini. Aqa (Nabil-i-Akbar) A "man without likeness or peer a universal man" ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, p. 1). A scholar and mujtahid, he met Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad and became a believer. The title "Nabil-i-Akbar" was given him by Bahá'u'lláh; he was also known as Fadil-i-Qa'ini (the learned one of Qa'in). Bahá'u'lláh's Lawh-i-Hikmat (Tablet of Wisdom) was addressed to him. A fearless teacher of the Cause, he was persecuted and died in poverty Named by 'Abdu'l-Bahá posthumously as a Hand of the Cause. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, pp. 15.

Munir, Aqa Mirza Son of Mirza Muhammad-Quli, Aqay-Kalim. Served as amanuensis for the Persian text of Some Answered Questions.

Munir-i-Zayn A son of Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin he served as one of the Master's secretaries, accompanying Him to Egypt in 1910, but was prevented from going to America with Him. See Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 135, 176, 399.


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Musa-i-Javahiri, Haji Mirza Surnamed Harf-i-Baqa (Letter of Eternity, Immortal Letter), a title bestowed on him by Bahá'u'lláh). He was the original owner of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, and a devoted servant of Bahá'u'lláh. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, pp. 108-16 under Mirza Muhammad-i-Vakil; Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. pp. 211-12.

Nabil-i-Akbar see Muhammad-i-Qa'ini

Nabil-i-Zarandi, Nabil-i-A'zam (d. 1892) Title of Muhammad-i-Zarandi, a devoted and fearless follower of Bahá'u'lláh who served the Cause in various capacities. He was a tireless teacher of the Faith and an accomplished poet and scholar. Among others, he taught the Faith to Aqa Buzurg Khurasani known as Badi', Bahá'u'lláh's emissary to Nasiri'd-Din Shah who sacrificed his life to complete his mission, as well as to the wife of the Bab who became a devoted believer in the Cause of God. Nabil was given the title Nabil-i-A'zam (the most great Nabil) by Bahá'u'lláh and is referred to by the beloved Guardian as "His Poet-Laureate, His chronicler and His indefatigable disciple" (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 130). Grief-stricken, he drowned himself after the passing of the Blessed Beauty He is the author of the well-known history, The Dawn-Breakers. He was named an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh by Shoghi Effendi. See Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, pp. 268-70.

Na'im, Mirza Muhammad Eminent Bahá'í poet and teacher. See Sulaymani, Masabih-i-Hidayat; Taherzadeh, Revelation vol. 3, PP. 389-93.

Nuru'd-Din-i-Zayn Mirza Son of Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin He later attended 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Egypt in 1910. See Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 135.

Phelps, Myron H. A prominent member of the New York Bar, he heard of the Bahá'í Faith in London. Although he never became a Bahá'í, his book Abbas Effendi, His Life and Teachings was for many years one of the best-known accounts of Abdu'l-Bahá in English, despite its various inaccuracies. These are well described by Stockman, Vol. 2, pp. 236-8, and in Marzieh Gail's


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Preface to the 1985 edition of Phelps' book (The Master in 'Akka, Los Angeles: Kalimat Press).

Remey, Charles Mason (1874-1974) Remey became a Bahá'í in Paris in 1899 and served the Faith devotedly for many years in various capacities. Appointed a Hand of the Cause of God in 1951, he was appointed president of the International Bahá'í Council the same year, but after the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957 he broke the Covenant and was declared a Covenant-breaker in 1960. See Harper, Lights of Fortitude, pp. 287-306.

Riday-i-Qannad, Aqa Muhammad Also known as Aqa Rida of Shiraz. Believer exiled with Bahá'u'lláh to 'Akka. Between Baghdad and Constantinople he and Aqa Mirza Mahmud travelled ahead of the party to prepare the food and make arrangements for the comfort of the believers. In 'Akka he continued to serve the Holy Family, purchasing goods and keeping accounts. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, PP. 39-41.

Mirza 'Ali-Akbar Khan, Muhibu's-Sultan. Secretary of the Spiritual Assembly of Tehran 'for many years and responsible for publishing in Tehran. Known also as a calligrapher. Ruhu'llah see Varqa.

Sadru'l-'ulama, Haji Aqa Honoured by the pen of 'Abdu'l-Bahá with the title of Sadru's-Sudur. Islamic scholar originally from Hamadan, "reportedly eulogized and praised by 'Abdu'l-Bahá" (Ayman, "Haj Mihdi Arjmand", pp. 9-10. He was the first to receive instructions from 'Abdu'l-Bahá to initiate teacher-training classes in Tehran. See also Rastigar's biography of him.

Salman, Shaykh Early believer who made the journey from Persia to 'Akka every year on foot to carry Tablets from Bahá'u'lláh for distribution among the friends in Persia. He also conducted Munirih Khanum to 'Akka before her marriage to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, pp. 13-16; Taherzadeh. Revelation, vol. I, P. 113; Balyuzi, King of Glory, PP. 344-7, 441-4.


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Samandar, title of Shaykh Kazim Qazvini, the recipient of the Tablet of Fu'ad. He was the son of Muhammad Nabil. This title was bestowed upon him by Bahá'u'lláh during whose ministry. as well as the ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, he performed exemplary service in the teaching work as well as the promotion of solidarity and love within the Bahá'í community.

Samandari, Tarazu'llah (d. 1968) Son of Samandar (see above). In his youth he attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh. He served with distinction during the ministries of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Guardian, and was among the first contingent to be named a Hand of the Cause by the beloved Guardian in December 1951. His services continued until his death at the age Of 94.

Sanderson, Edith Early American Bahá'í in Paris, from 1901. She went on pilgrimage several times and had the honour of receiving 'Abdu'l-Bahá in her mother's home in Paris in 1912. Shoghi Effendi refers to her "long record of historic services" (Bahá'í World, vol. 13, pp. 889-90).

Shu'a'u'llah, Mirza Son of the Arch-breaker of the Covenant Mirza Muhammad-'Ali, who sent him to the United States in 1905 to help Kheiralla in creating a breach in the ranks of the Bahá'í Community. In 1912 during 'Abdu'l-Bahá's visit he made every effort to neutralize the influence of the Master but was unsuccessful in winning converts to his father's cause.

Spencer, Louise, see Waite.

Sulayman Khan One of the leaders of the Babi Faith, martyred by having his body pierced in several places and inserting lighted candies in the wounds. He danced the whole time singing songs of love for his beloved Bab.

Tahirih Khanum Notable Bahá'í in Tehran, described as "an enlightened soul, holding advanced ideas, not gleaned from foreign sources, but evolved through personal work and service" (Remey, Observations, 2nd ed., p. 106 quoted in Stockman, vol. 2, P. 292).


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Vakilu'd-Dawlih see Afnan, Haji Mirza Muhammad-Taqi

Varqa, Mirza 'Ali-Muhammad With his 13-year-old son Ruhu'llah he was martyred in Tehran by the brutal Hajibu'd-Dawlih under the most cruel circumstances in May 1896. Ruhu'llah was forced to watch the murder of his father but nevertheless refused to renounce his faith and was strangled by the executioner. Varqa is considered to be one of the most distinguished teachers and poets of the Bahá'í Faith. He was named by 'Abdu'l-Bahá posthumously as a Hand of the Cause of God. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, p. 5; Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, P. 296; Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, Ch. 7.

Varqa, Mirza 'Azizu'llah Khan Son of the martyred Mirza 'Ali-Muhammad Varqa, brother of the Hand of the Cause Mirza Valiyu'llah Khan Varqa, and uncle of the Hand of the Cause Dr. Ali Muhammad Varqa. See photograph in Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, p 8 1.

Vujdani, Yusuf Khan (d. 1934) A well-known teacher whose life spanned the ministries of Bahá'u'lláh, 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi. A descendant of Fath-'Ali Shah, his early life was spent at Court, but this could not satisfy his quest for truth. After becoming a Bahá'í he received a Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh and later served 'Abdu'l-Bahá in India and Iran, where he was injured by fanatical mobs and subsequently exiled. In the early years of the twentieth century he resided in Haifa where he taught the young Bahá'í children. See Sulaymani, Masabih-i-Hidayat, Vol. 2, p. 3; Bahá'í World, vol. 5, P. 413 (photograph only).

Waite, Louise Spencer Given the Persian name "Shahnaz" by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. American Bahá'í, musician and poet. See Bahá'í World, vol. 8, pp. 661-64.

Winterburn, G.T. and Rosa Winterburn Early American Bahá'ís in Paris, they were among the signatories of the 1903 petition to the Shah presented by Hippolyte Dreyfus and Lua Getsinger, appealing to him to stop the persecutions of Bahá'ís in Yazd and Isfahan. Their account of their six-day pilgrimage


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in February 1904, Table Talks with 'Abdu'l-Bahá, was translated by Youness Khan and published in 1915. On their return to the United States they settled in Tropico, California.

Yahya, Mirza, Subhi-i-Azal (c. 1832-1912) Younger half-brother of Bahá'u'lláh, he rebelled against Him and claimed to be the successor of the Bab. When Bahá'u'lláh was banished to 'Akka in 1868, Azal was exiled to Cyprus where he spent the rest of his life. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 112-27; Taherzadeh, Covenant, pp. 60-96.

Yamamoto, Kanichi (1879-1961) First Japanese Bahá'í. He learned of the Faith in Hawaii and became a Bahá'í in 1902 at the age Of 23. In 1903 he left Hawaii to become a butler to Helen Goodall's family in Oakland, California. He arranged the meeting at the Japanese YMCA at which 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on 7 October 1912. See Bahá'í World, vol. 13, PPdu'l-Baha931-3; Whitehead, Some Bahá'ís to Remember, pp. 176-86.

Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin (1818-1903) Title of Mulla Zaynu'l-Abidin of Najafabad, Isfahan, who according to 'Abdu'l-Bahá is accounted among the Disciples of the Bab and Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh. From a clerical family, he was persecuted for his Bahá'í belief and exiled to Mosul with other believers from Baghdad; there his leadership and guidance were instrumental in building a model Bahá'í community. "Noted among the companions of Bahá'u'lláh for his wit and humour, his learning and calligraphy, but above all for Bahá'u'lláh's high regard for him." (Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís, P. 274.) Because of his skills, Bahá'u'lláh instructed him to transcribe His Tablets. All Tablets in the hand of Zaynu'l-'Abidin, according to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, are considered authentic. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, PP. 150-53.


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BIBLIOGRAPHY

'Abdu'l-Bahá. Memorials of the Faithful. Trans. Marzieh Gail. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1971 -The Promulgation of Universal Peace. Compiled by Howard MacNutt. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 2nd edn. 1982. -Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Comp. Research Dept. Trans. Marzieh Gail et al. Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1978. -Some Answered Questions. Comp. and Trans. Laura Clifford Barney. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 4th edn. 1981. First published as Some Answered Questions, and An-Nuru'l-Abha Fi Mufawadat 'Abdu'l-Bahá, collected by Laura Clifford Barney (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1908); Les Lecons de St-Jean d'Acre (Leroux, Paris, 1908).

Afroukhteh, Youness. Iribat-i-Sharq va Gharb (Union of the East and West). Unpublished.

Alexander, Agnes Baldwin. Forty Years of the Bahá'í Cause in Hawaii, 1904 1942. Personal Recollections of a Bahá'í Life in the Hawaiian Islands. Rev. edn. Honolulu: National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Hawaiian Islands, 1974

Arbab, Foruq. 'Akhtaran-i-Taban. Vol. I. Tehran, 126 B.E. (1969).

Ayman, Iraj. "Haj Mihdi Arjmand", in Moojan Momen (ed.(, Scripture and Revelation. Bahá'í Studies Series, vol. 3. Oxford: George Ronald, 1997.

Bahá'í Prayers. A Selection of Prayers Revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab and 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982.

Bahá'í World, The. Vol. 3, 1928-1930; vol. 5, 1932-1934; vol. 7, 1936-1938; vol. 8, 1938-1940; vol. 11, 1946-1950 Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, various years. Vol. 13, 1954-1963. Haifa: The Universal House of Justice, 1970. Vol. 16, 1976-1979. Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1981.


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Bahá'u'lláh. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Trans. Shoghi Effendi. Wilmette. Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1962. -The Hidden Words. Trans. Shoghi Effendi. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1985 -The Kitab-i-Aqdas: The Most Holy Book. Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1992. -Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Comp. Research Department. Trans. Habib Taherzadeh et al. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 2nd edn. 1978.

Bahiyyih Khanum: The Greatest Holy Leaf Research Department of the Universal House of justice. Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1982.

Balyuzi, H. M. 'Abdu'l-Bahá: The Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. George Ronald: Oxford, 1971 -Bahá'u'lláh, the King of Glory Oxford: George Ronald, 2nd edn. 1991. -Eminent Bahá'ís in the Time of Bahá'u'lláh. Oxford: George Ronald, 1985 -Muhammad and the Course of Islam. George Ronald: Oxford, 1976.

Bartholomeusz, Tessa. Women Under the Bo Tree. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Baudelaire, Charles. L'etranger, in Le spleen de Paris. Paris: Le Livre de Poche, Librarie Generale Francaise, 1964.

Bezai, N. Z., Tasqirih-i-Shua'rayyih Qam-i-Avval-Bahá'í (Biographies of the Poets of the First Bahá'í Century) vol. 2. Tehran: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1970.

Bible. Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version. London: Collins, 1952.

Book of Common Prayer.

Canavarro, Marie de Souza. "Insight into the Far East", (1925), in T.A. Tweed and Stephen Prothero (eds.), Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Carus, Paul. The Gospel of Buddha according to old records. New York: Open Court Publishing Co, 1894

Caton, Margaret L. "Bahá'í Influences on Mirza 'Abdu'llah, Qajar Court Musician and Master of the Radif', in Cole and Momen, 1984.

Compilation of Compilations, The. Research Department of the Universal House of justice, 1963-1990. 2 vols. Sydney: Bahá'í Publications Australia, 1991.

Cole, Juan R., and Momen, Moojan. From Iran East and West.


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Studies in Babi and Bahá'í History, vol. 2. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1984.

Dodge, Wendell Phillips, and Dodge, William Copeland. Utterances of Abdul Beha Abbas to two young men, American pilgrims to Acre, 1901. Board of Counsel in New York (n.d.).

Dreyfus, Hippolyte. The Universal Religion: Bahaism. London: Cope & Fenwick, 1909.

Esslemont, J.E. Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era. First published 1921. London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.

Faydi, Muhammad-'Ali. Khanidan-i-Afnan (History of the Afnan Family). Tehran: BE 128 (1971).

Gail, Marzieh. Arches of the Years. Oxford: George Ronald, 1991. -Summon Up Remembrance. Oxford: George Ronald, 1987.

Harper, Barron Deems. Lights of Fortitude. Oxford: George Ronald, 1997.

Harris, W. Hooper. "William H. Hoar", in Star of the West, vol. 12, no. 19 (2 March 1922).

Haydar-'ali, Haji Mirza. Bahá'í Martyrdoms in Persia in the Year 1903, A.D. Translated by Dr. Youness Khan Afroukhteh. Chicago: Bahá'í Publishing Society, 1904. -Stories from the Delight of Hearts: The Memoirs of Haji Mirza Haydardu'l-Baha(Originally published as Bihjatu's-Sudur, Bombay, 1913.) Trans. and abridged A.Q. Faizi. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1980. Health and Healing. Compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of justice. New Delhi: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1986.

Hollinger, Richard. "Ibrahim George Kheiralla and the Bahá'í Faith in America", in Cole and Momen, 1984.

Huququ'llah: The Right of God. Comp. Research Department of the Universal House of justice. London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, rev. edn. 1989.

Kern, Margaret. The Rustle of His Robe (1901). Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. Comp. Helen Bassett Hornby. New Delhi: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 3rd rev. edn. 1994.

Martin, Douglas James. The Life and Work of Sarah Jane Farmer, 1947-1916. Diss. University of Waterloo, 1967.

Matthews, Gary L. He Cometh With Clouds: A Bahá'í View of Christ's Return. Oxford: George Ronald, 1996.

Mehrabkhani, R. Sadat-i-Khams (History of the Khamsi Family).


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Metelmann, Zelda Piff. Lua Getsinger: Herald of the Covenant. Oxford: George Ronald, 1997.

Momen, Moojan. The Babi and Bahá'í Religions, 1844-1944: Some Contemporary Western Accounts (ed.). Oxford: George Ronald, 198 1. An Introduction to Shi'i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism. Oxford: George Ronald, 1985 -Scripture and Revelation (ed.). Bahá'í Studies Series, vol. 3. Oxford: George Ronald, 1997.

Momen, Wendi (ed.) A Basic Bahá'í Dictionary. Oxford: George Ronald, 1989.

Mu'ayyad, Habib. Khatirat-i-Habib (Memoirs of Habib). Tehran: 1961.

Phelps, M. H. Abbas Effendi: His life and Teachings. Introduction by Edward Granville Browne. First published 1903. 2nd rev. ed: Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912.

Qur'an. Rodwell, J.M. (trans.). The Koran. London: J.M. Dent, 1909

Rabbani, Ruhiyyih. The Priceless Pearl. London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1969.

Rastigar, Nasr'u'llah. Tarikh-i-Hadrat-i Sadru's-Sudur. Biography of Sadru's-Sudur. Tehran: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1947.

Remey, Charles Mason. Observations of a Bahai Traveller. 2nd ed. Washington: 1914.

Rochefoucauld, Francois, Duc de La. Reflexions ou sentences et maximes morales (1665)

Ruhe, David S. Door of Hope: The Bahá'í Faith in the Holy Land. George Ronald: Oxford, 2nd rev. edn. 2001.

Sears, William. Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millenium. Oxford: George Ronald, 1961.

Shoghi Effendi. God Passes By. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, rev. edn. 1974. -Messages to America 1932-1946. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Committee, 1947.

Sims, Barbara. Japan Will Turn Ablaze! Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice, and Historical Notes about Japan. Rev. edn. Osaka: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1992.

Star of the West (8 vols.). Chicago: Bahá'í News Service, 1910-1935. Oxford: George Ronald. Reprinted 1978 and 1984

Stockman, Robert H. The Bahá'í Faith in America. Vol. 1: Origins, 1892-1900. Wilmette, U.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1985. Vol. 2: Early Expansion, 1900-1912. Oxford: George Ronald, 1995,


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Sulaymani, 'Azizu'llah. Masabih-i-Hidayat (Biographies of early Bahá'ís). 8 vols. Tehran: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1947-1972.

Taherzadeh, Adib. The Child of the Covenant: A Study Guide to the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. George Ronald, Oxford, 2000. The Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. Oxford: George Ronald, 1992. -The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh. Four volumes. Oxford: George Ronald, 1974 1988.

Tweed, T. A. The American Encounter with Buddhism 1844-1912: Victorian an Culture and the Limits of Dissent. Rev. edn. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Waite, Louise. Bahá'í Hymns and Poems written by Mrs. Louise Spencer Waite. Chicago, Bahai Publishing Society, 1904. -Bahai Hymns of Peace and Praise. L.R. Waite. (n.p.). 1908.

Whitehead, O. Z. Some Bahá'ís to Remember. Oxford: George Ronald, 1983. -Some Bahá'ís of the West. Oxford: George Ronald, 1976.

Whitmore, Bruce W. The Dawning Place: The Building of a Temple, the Forging of the North American Bahá'í Community. Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1984

Winterburn, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. T. Table Talks with Abdul-Baha in February , 1904. Notes taken by Mr. and Mrs. Geo. T. Winterburn. Translated by Mirza Youness Khan. Chicago: Bahai Publishing Society, 1915.


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NOTES AND REFERENCES

1. abjad: from the four letters of the Arabic alphabet "A', "B", and "D". The letters of the alphabet were given corresponding numerical values and thus each word had both a literal meaning and a numerical significance. Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1932: "This practice is no more in use but during the time of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab it was quite in vogue among the educated classes, and we find it very much used in the Bayan." (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 10 February 1932, in Lights of Guidance, no. 828.) The abjad was used to codify messages or observe significant dates in verse or prose. For example, Bahá'u'lláh refers to Adrianople as the "Land of Mystery", both of which have the same numerical value. At the time of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, Nabil "found that the numerical value of the word 'shidad' year of stress was 309, and it thus became evident that Bahá'u'lláh foretold what had now come to pass" ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Memorials, P. 35). 1892, the year of Bahá'u'lláh's ascension, was 1309 A.H. For more on the abjad system see Momen, Basic Bahá'í Dictionary, p. 6.

2. Shokuhi: pen-name of Aqa Mirza 'Abdu'l-Husayn Shirazi. who lived in Tehran (d. 19 18). See Bezai, Poets of the First Bahá'í Century.

3. lit. "The Book of My Covenant": the Will and Testament of Bahá'u'lláh, written entirely in His own hand and unsealed on the ninth day after His passing. "Referred to by Him as the 'Most Great Tablet' and 'the Crimson Book', it designates 'Abdu'l-Bahá as Bahá'u'lláh's successor and the one to whom all should turn for guidance after Bahá'u'lláh's death. As a


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written covenant clearly stating the succession of authority by a Manifestation of God, this document is unique in religious scripture. The Will and Testament of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi has written, together with the Kitab-i-Aqdas and those Tablets describing the station of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, 'constitute the chief buttresses designed by the Lord of the Covenant Himself to shield and support, after His ascension, the appointed Centre of His Faith and the Delineator of its future institutions' (God Passes By, p. 239)." (Momen, Basic Bahá'í Dictionary p. 132.) The Kitab-i-'Ahdi is published in English in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 219-223.

4. Ghusn-i-Akbar, the title given by Bahá'u'lláh to Muhammad 'Ali, younger half-brother of 'Abdu'l-Bahá who broke Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant after His ascension. He was given the title "Centre of Sedition" by the Master.

5. Aghsan, the kindred of Bahá'u'lláh. Plural of ghusn, branch. In His Writings, Bahá'u'lláh refers to His sons as Branches. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is Ghusn-i-A'zam, the Most Great Branch.

6. Karbila and Najaf. cities in Iraq and sites of significant Islamic shrines. It was at Karbila that the horrendous martyrdom of the Imam Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, took place; while Najaf is the site of the Shrine of Ali, the first Imam. These two cities together with Kazimayn are the main centres of pilgrimage and scholarship in Shi'i Islam.

7. This refers to Bahá'u'lláh's statement in His Will and Testament, the Kitab-i-'Ahd: "Verily God hath ordained the station of the Greater Branch [Muhammad 'Ali] to be beneath that of the Most Great Branch ['Abdu'l-Bahá]. He is in truth the Ordainer, the All-Wise. We have chosen 'the Greater' after 'the Most Great, as decreed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All Informed." Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, P. 222.

8. Mirza Yahya, the Arch-breaker of the Covenant of the Bab. Muhammad-'Ali was named the Arch-breaker of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 246, 249, and Taherzadeh, Covenant, pp. 125-34.


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9. Shoghi Effendi describes this period in the "newly-born Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh": 'A crisis, almost as severe as that which had assailed the Faith in its earliest infancy in Baghdad, was to shake that Covenant to its foundations at the very moment of its inception, and subject afresh the Cause of which it was the noblest fruit to one of the most grievous ordeals experienced in the course of an entire century" God Passes By, P. 246.

Title given by Bahá'u'lláh to the members of the family of the Bab and their descendants.

11. "When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root." Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 121. See also Kitab-i-Aqdas, notes 145 and 184

12. A city west of Tehran and the first stop on the way to Russia. Qazvin is the birthplace of the immortal Tahirih.

13. A coastal town on the Caspian Sea.

14. A port on the Caspian Sea and a departure point for various Russian ports.

15. Present city of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.

16. Capital of Georgia.

17. A Georgian port on the Black Sea.

18. "Shrouded in mystery is the ancient use of the cave near the base of the mountain [Carmel] at its western tip Elijah traditionally is said to have lived there During Arab times some new legends were evolved concerning al-Khidr (the Green or Immortal One) and both Druze and Arabs venerate the site Bahá'u'lláh visited the lower cave some time after His visit to the Carmelite monastery, thereby also hallowing it for the generations to come Following Bahá'u'lláh's passing in May 1892, 'Abdu'l-Bahá came that summer to Haifa, living


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in the upper apartment of the western building near the cave mouth. There, in sorrow at the machinations of the Covenant-breakers and in relative isolation at this cool spot by the sea, the Master spent one month and He stayed there in subsequent years" (Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 187-90, with photographs).

19. The author's self-confessed emotional state at this first meeting with 'Abdu'l-Bahá may have caused confusion here. According to Christian doctrine, Jesus spent the three days between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection in hell, not heaven: "He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven " (Creed, Book of Common Prayer).

20. A loose outer garment like a cape or a long coat, without pockets or buttons.

21. Bahji: lit. place of delight. The site on the plain of 'Akka which gives its name to the Mansion that was the residence of Bahá'u'lláh during the last years of His earthly life. When Bahá'u'lláh passed away He was interred in the small house adjacent to the Mansion. This became His Shrine, the holiest spot of earth and the Qiblih of the Bahá'í Faith. However, the Mansion was occupied by the Covenant-breakers; not until 1929 did Shoghi Effendi regain custody of the building. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 101-18; Momen, Basic Bahá'í Dictionary, PP. 42-3.

A beautiful garden near 'Akka, named Ridvan (Paradise) by Bahá'u'lláh, which served as a place of rest and leisure. The river Na'mayn runs through it. The Ridvan Garden should not be confused with the garden of the same name in Baghdad, the site of Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 91-96.

23. This refers to the Muslim Cemetery of 'Akka where Navvab, Asiyih Khanum, wife of Bahá'u'lláh and mother of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, was laid to rest in 1886. Her remains were later transferred to the Monument Gardens in Haifa. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, PP. 79-80.


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24. "The Nabi Salih, patron saint of 'Akka, after whom the cemetery is named, is unlikely to be the Salih mentioned by Muhammad in Qur'an vii. 71-7 Salih was an Arabian prophet who followed Noah and Hud in the Qur'anic ordering. In the Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 9, Bahá'u'lláh refers to Salih and his hundred years of mission, but nowhere later connects the prophet with the holy man of 'Akka, whoever he may have been." (Ruhe, Door of Hope, P. 224.)

25. Probably referring to the son of 'Abdu'l-Bahá who died at the age of 4. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, P. 51.

26. The caravanserai Khan-i-'Avamid served for decades as a residence and pilgrim house for Bahá'ís See Ruhe, Door of Hope, PP. 72-3.

27. White tea: aq-par in Turkish, meaning untreated leaves of tea.

28. The main building of the former Governorate of 'Abdu'llah Pasha, it was rented to 'Abdu'l-Bahá in October 1896 and served as the residence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and His family for nearly two decades. Today it is one of the sites visited by pilgrims in the course of their pilgrimage. The Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, was born in this house. The casket containing the remains of the Bab were hidden here in the room of the Greatest Holy Leaf from 1899 to 1909. It was here that the first Western pilgrims visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá; Some Answered Questions was revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the dining room of the upper floor of this house. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 56-68.

29. Old Persian homes were constructed so as to divide the outer quarters, the biruni, which served as a general reception area where male guests were received and entertained, from the inner apartment, the andaruni, consisting of the family area which housed the ladies of the household and a private reception area where intimate friends were received.

30. darb-khanih: lit. the door of the house. The residential palaces of the Qajar kings in Tehran were referred to as the darb-khanih. It refers to the biruni of the residence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.


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31. abgusht: a common Persian dish made of lamb, yellow split peas, beans, potatoes and tomatoes, with dried lemon. When cooked the liquid is separated from the other ingredients which are then mashed to a paste in a pestle and mortar and eaten with the liquid poured over.

32. About 1892 'Abdu'l-Bahá rented the house known as the Pilgrim House, adjoining the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, from its Christian owner; He also had the use of the house known as the Tea House. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 110, 226.

33. In Islamic countries prominent people had in their service a reciter of the Qur'an who had the daily task of chanting verses from the Qur'an in the evening, while the whole household listened to the words of God.

34. Revealed in Constantinople, "a masterpiece of Persian poetry, noted for the beauty and power of its composition, and acclaimed as one of the most soul-stirring among His poems" (Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 2, P. 29).

35. Revealed in Kurdistan, this poem is known as Saqi-Az-Ghayb-i-Baqa. See Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 1, p. 64.

36. Provisional translation.

37. "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, O Glad Tidings."

38. Provisional translation.

39. Chopped onion is placed at the bottom of the pot in a small amount of oil; short skewers of lamb meat are then placed over the onion. Another layer of chopped onion and a smidgen of minced garlic are added. The pot is then placed on the stove to cook at low heat.

40. "placed on the table in European style" i.e. rather than set out on a tablecloth at floor level in the Persian manner.

41. These included the believers named as "companions" of


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Bahá'u'lláh. Those who entered the Most Great Prison with Him in 1868 are listed by Balyuzi, King of Glory, P. 277.

42 Haji Mirza Haydar-'Ali writes of this time: "The ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá began so vigorously that Bahá'í communities everywhere were overwhelmed. Letters from the Master poured into every village, town and country like the drops of the rains of spring. The friends were cheered and enamoured by His life-giving words." Stories from the Delight of Hearts, p. 121.

43. "The centre of violation purloined, in its entirety, the Divine trust which specifically appertained to this servant. He took everything and returned nothing. To this day the usurper unjustly remains in possession. Although each single item is more precious for 'Abdu'l-Bahá than the dominion of earth and heaven, till. now I have kept silent and have not breathed a word lest it bring us into disrepute amongst strangers. This was a severe blow to me. I suffered, I sorrowed, I wept, but I spoke not" ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablet to Mirza Muhammad-Baqi Khan of Shiraz, quoted in Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, P. 53). See also the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, verses 6, 32, 38, described in Taherzadeh, Child of the Covenant, ch. 16; Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 248-9; Taherzadeh, Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 126-134.

44. According to Shi'i belief, Ali Ibn Abi-Talib, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, was His intended successor. However, it was Abu'-Bakr Ibn Abi-Quhafah, a wealthy and influential leader of the Muslims and the father-in-law of Muhammad, who became the first Caliph of the world of Islam. "For Ali the supreme necessity of preserving the unity of Islam, of stemming the tide of secession, took precedence over the assertion of his own rights" (Balyuzi, Muhammad, p. 168). Abu'-Bakr was succeeded by 'Umar Ibn al-Khatab, a courageous and fiery man, "stern but just" (Balyuzi, P. 70), and then by 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan. 'Ali was passed over until 23 years after the death of the Prophet, and became the fourth Caliph in 656 A.D. Here and elsewhere in this book the position of 'Abdu'l-Bahá is likened to that of 'Ali, alluding to the Covenant-breakers' attempts to usurp His divinely ordained position.


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45. "Him Whom God hath purposed": Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 121. See note II above. "Him round Whom all names revolve": Lawh-i-Ard-i-Ba (Tablet of the Land of Ba, Beirut), in Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, P. 227, revealed on the occasion of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to Beirut at the invitation of the Governor of the Province of Syria. See Balyuzi, King of Glory, P. 378-9; Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 4, PP. 240-41. On the use of the title "Master" (Aqa), see Taherzadeh, Covenant, pp. 138-9, where Bahá'u'lláh is recorded as having admonished someone who "referred to certain individuals as the Aqa. On hearing this Bahá'u'lláh was heard to say with a commanding voice: 'Who is the Aqa? There is only one Aqa, and He is the Most Great Branch."'

46. Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 121, quoted by Bahá'u'lláh in his Will and Testament.

47. Provisional translation from Arabic; "the company that returned from the banks of the Euphrates " refers to the army of the Umayyad usurpers under the brutal generalship of 'Ubaydu'llah ibn Ziyad, who slew the Imam Husayn at Karbila and brought his only surviving son 'Ali as a prisoner to Damascus. "Men and women, misguided, misinformed, misled, thronged the route to the palace of Yazid and heaped abuse upon them. 'You are seceders,' they shouted; 'you have put yourselves outside the pale.' 'All replied: 'Nay, by God, we are his servants who believed in Him and His proofs. Through us the gladsome visage of Faith was revealed and the signs of the merciful God shone forth.' But the people retorted: 'Did you not forbid what God made lawful; did you not make lawful what God forbade?' And 'Ali answered: 'Nay, we were the first to follow the commandments of God. We are the root of this Cause and its origin. We are the sign of God, His word amidst mankind."' (Balyuzi, Muhammad and the Course of Islam, p. 196) See also Momen, Shi'i Islam, PP. 30-32. These events eventually led to the sack of the holy city of Medina, where 80 of the remaining companions of the Prophet were put to the sword (Balyuzi, p. 197).

48. Khadim'u'llah: servant of God; Abd-i-Hadir: servant in waiting; titles given to Mirza Aqa Jan by Bahá'u'lláh when


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he served as Bahá'u'lláh's amanuensis. See Taherzadeh, Covenant, ch. 15.

49. Huququ'llah: literally, the Right of God. It is a sum equivalent to 19 per cent of the assets of a Bahá'í after all expenses; according to Bahá'í law it should be paid to the Head of the Faith. This is not to be confused with optional donations contributed by Bahá'ís. See Huququ'llah: The Right of God.

50. Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 121. The event referred to is the passing of Bahá'u'lláh.

51. Bab-ed-Din: The Door of True Religion (1897) See Hollinger, "Ibrahim George Kheiralla in Cole and Momen, From Iran East and West, p. 113 and note 117.

The Battle of Khandaq (moat or fosse) took place in 627 A.D. It was one of the most significant victories of the Prophet over the idolators. Also known as the Battle of the Confederates, it was occasioned by the last attempt of the Meccans to destroy Muhammad and His followers. A huge army laid siege to Medina, which the Muslims defended by digging a moat or trench around the city, at the suggestion of Salman the Persian. See Balyuzi, Muhammad, pp. 93-101.

53. Point of Adoration: Qiblih. The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh is the Qiblih or the Point of Adoration for the Bahá'ís of the world. Obligatory prayers are recited while facing in that direction.

54. An example of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's prophecies concerning Haifa is given by Dr. Habib Mu'ayyad: "The future of Mount Carmel is very bright. I can see it now covered all over with a blanket of light. I can see many ships anchored at the Port of Haifa. I can see the kings of the earth with vases of flowers in their hands walking solemnly toward the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab with absolute devotion and in a state of prayer and supplication" (Khatirat-i-habib, vol. 1, p. 81, cited in Taherzadeh, Covenant, P. 226).

55. The superstructure was completed on I May 1931, but not


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until 8 January 1943 was the exterior ornamentation complete. Work on the interior and the gardens still remained; the public dedication of the House of Worship took place in May 1953. See Whitmore, Dawning Place.

56. Haziratu'l-Quds (lit. Paradise). The term was first used by the beloved Guardian in his message of the summer of 1925 and refers to a site which is to be used for assemblage, consultation and fellowship of the believers as well as the holding of various meetings and assemblies.

57. Well-known Islamic tradition referring to God and His creation. References and allusions to it are found throughout the Bahá'í writings. See Kitab-i-Aqdas, note 43.

58. Rawdih-khani: a recital of the tragedy of Karbila where Husayn, grandson of the prophet Muhammad and third Imam of Shi'i Islam, was martyred with his family in the 7th century A.D. See Momen, Introduction to Shi'i Islam, P. 240 and fig. 41.

59. Provisional translation. Here 'Abdu'l-Bahá alludes to the story of Joseph who was betrayed by His brothers, thrown into a water well and left for dead. He was rescued and taken to Egypt where He gained high office and was able to save His tribe. The analogy is found in several places in the Bahá'í Writings, referring to both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá. 'Abdu'l-Bahá too was betrayed by His brothers, and rescued the Faith of God from their clutches. 'Abdu'l-Bahá here compares the Joseph story to the Covenant-breakers' treatment of Him after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh.

60. On the significance of the Hidden Words Bahá'u'lláh Himself reveals: "This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfil in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of


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Divine virtue." On the Tablets such as Tarazat [Ornaments], Ishraqat [Splendours], Tajalliyat [Effulgences] and others published in English in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi has written: "These Tablets must rank among the choicest fruits which His mind has yielded, and mark the consummation of His forty-year-long ministry" (God Passes By, p. 216).

61. Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 121.

62. Mirza Hadi Afnan, the father of Shoghi Effendi.

63. 29 May, the anniversary of the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh.

64. the Aghsan and a few others decided to address a letter to Mirza Aqa Jan purporting to be on behalf of all the Bahá'ís of Persia. The gist of the letter was as follows: 'O Khadem! How long will you remain silent? For how long should we tarry in the wilderness of error? All of us look for your guidance. The Aghsan sent the above draft to Mulla Husayn-i-Jahrumi who was residing in Bombay, India, and instructed him to copy it in his own handwriting and post it to Mirza Aqa Jan, care of the Arch-breaker of the Covenant They arranged to hand the letter to him in the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. Usually when Mirza Aqa Jan went to the Shrine, he would sit down for about an hour, close his eyes and raise his hands upwards saying prayers. One day when he was seated in this manner the letter [was placed] in his hands. Later, he opened his eyes and saw the letter, but did not know who had placed it there We can guess what kind of thoughts must have come to him when he read it. He imagined that as soon as he made a statement, all the believers in Persia would respond positively to him. The fire of pride and rebellion began to burn within his heart " (Account by Haji 'Aliy-i-Yazdi, quoted in Taherzadeh, Covenant, p. 185).

65, Man: a unit of measurement equivalent to approximately three kilograms.

66. The Black Stone (Hajaru'l-aswad) which adjoins the Ka'bih is the Point of Adoration (Qiblih) to which Muslims turn in


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prayer and where the annual rites of pilgrimage (Hajj) are carried out. According to some traditions, this is "the stone which , it is said, the Angel Gabriel brought to Abraham from Paradise" (Balyuzi, Muhammad, p. 18); for some it is the same rock upon which Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice His son.

67. Kitab-i-'Ahd, in Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, p. 222.

68. Provisional translation.

69. They meant that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had replaced the customary Muhammad and yet Salman, an ordinary man, accepted the Bahá'í greeting of "Allah'u'Abha" with the term "Allah'u'A'zam" in order to emphasize His own rank and thus assume a new station superseding that of Bahá'u'lláh. 75. mubahilih: a confrontation designed to prove the veracity or falsity of a claim. "The two parties come together face to face.

70. Allah'u'Abha, God, the Most Glorious; Allah'u'A'zam, God and it is believed that in such a confrontation the power of the Most Great; Allah'u'Ajmal, God, the Most Beauteous; truth will destroy the ungodly" (Taherzadeh, Child of the Allah'u'Akbar, God the Great One. Covenant, p. 125).

71. Provisional translation.

72. "obviously a man of various indulgences and pleasures": this reflects centuries-old Islamic attitudes to music and musicians. The author would have drawn this conclusion simply from the fact that Mirza 'Abdu'llah was a musician, and worse, had been at court. The statement reflects the reputation of musicians within Iranian Islamic society and demonstrates that these traditional attitudes had not yet been shed by the Bahá'ís at this time. In fact, "a number of musicians have spoken of the good character of Mirza 'Abdu'llah, that he had a spiritual temperament, was darvish (humble) and exemplified the ideal of the spiritual master of music" (Caton, "Bahá'í Influences on Mirza 'Abdu'llah" p. 54 See also Biographical Notes in this book. The Islamic prohibition against music has been lifted in the Bahá'í Faith and music is regarded as "divine and effective" ('Abdu'l-Bahá), "an exalted and worthy art" (Caton, p. 54).

73. This refers to the legal concept in Islam of the necessity for two witnesses to prove a case: a main witness and a supporting


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witness. There are legal qualifications for a person to be allowed as a witness. Women and children are not considered to possess the qualifications of a witness and are therefore not recognized in law as witnesses.

74. Salman was the first Persian to believe in Islam. He is therefore considered a supporting witness. Abu'l-Hikam (literally, the father of wisdom, father of philosophy) is a title given by Bahá'u'lláh to Socrates in a number of His Tablets (see, for example, the Lawh-i-Hikmat, in Tablets, p. 147). In other words, many wise men bore negative testimony to the truth of Muhammad and yet Salman, an ordinary man, accepted the Cause.

76. Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 121.

77. ibid. verses 122 and 123-

78. Provisional translation.

79. A northern province of Iran crossed by travellers on their way to Russia and other northern destinations; it was the native province of Bahá'u'lláh.

80. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is alluding to his spiritual demise because of his violation of the Covenant.

81. Reference to the future Dr. Amin'u'llah Farid, who in 1914 broke the Covenant. His mother was a sister of Munirih Khanum, wife of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

82. The pilgrim house for Westerners, at the end of Haparsim Street nearest the sea, is among the Bahá'í properties and has been restored. Other houses in Haifa from this period have


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been demolished or their whereabouts are not known at this time.

83. Hidden Words, Persian no. 13.

84. The author is probably referring here to the years following the Young Turks Revolution in 1908, when the House of the Master was completed and pilgrims were once more welcomed in larger numbers, since elsewhere in this chapter he refers to pilgrimages being curtailed in 1900.

85. which He considered to be poorly translated.

86. The construction of the Shrine began in 1899-1900. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 274-5.

87. The author is referring here to the Shrine constructed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, not to the superstructure completed in 1953 by Shoghi Effendi after the present book was published.

88. Possibly In one of the Templar houses in the German colony; see Ruhe, Door of Hope, illustration p. 194. The author refers to three houses having been rented in Haifa in 1900.

89. Bahá'í Prayers, p. 60.

90. See note 59.

91. Since 1866 when the Cretans rose in revolt against Turkish rule there had been a dispute over Greek claims to Crete and Macedonia which had never been satisfactorily resolved. Violence broke out in May 1896 and continued sporadically over the following months. In February 1897 Greece sent an armed force to annex the island of Crete, whereupon Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia proclaimed an international protectorate and landed troops. This intervention only exasperated the situation, however, and the Greeks prepared for war, which was declared by Turkey in April 1897. After a brief campaign Greece was defeated, a peace treaty being signed on 4 December 1897. The political question of


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Crete remained, however, giving rise to sporadic violence for the next fifteen years until the outbreak of the First Balkan War in 1912-13

92. This Tablet is published in English in 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, no. 158 (PP. 187-9).

93. See the account by May Maxwell in Bahá'í World, vol. 7, PP. 707-11.

94. The House of 'Abbud; see Ruhe, Door of Hope, p. 47.

95. Wendell Phillips Dodge and William Copeland Dodge, sons of Arthur Pillsbury Dodge. Their account of their pilgrimage: Utterances of Abdul Beha Abbas to two young men, American pilgrims to Acre, 1901, was published by the Board of Counsel in New York (n.d.). See Stockman, Bahá'í Faith in America, VOL 2, P. 79.

96. i.e. the House of 'Abbud.

97. This well-known book on Buddhism for Western readers was by Paul Carus (1852-1919): The Gospel of Buddha according to old records. Told by P. Carus. New York: Open Court Publishing Co, 1894, and many other editions. Madame de Canavarro was a prominent American Buddhist at this time; see Biographical Notes.

98. Phelps, M. H. Abbas Effendi: His Life and Teachings. Introduction by Edward Granville Browne. First published 1903. 2nd rev. ed: Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912. Passages from this book are quoted in Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 98-102.

99. "In 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), an Alsatian Jewish officer of the French army, was falsely accused of giving information to the German military attache in Paris. Subsequent efforts to exonerate Dreyfus led to a prolonged political crisis, perhaps the most important in the history of the Third Republic. Although the evidence against him was insufficient, he was convicted and sent to Devil's Island in


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October of 1894. Twelve years later he was vindicated and readmitted to the army" (Grolier Encyclopedia).

100. No information about this person has been found so far.

101. The Getsingers were members of the first group of Western pilgrims to 'Akka, December 1898-March 1899.They made a second pilgrimage in the autumn of 1900, staying in Haifa until I January 1901 before going to Port Said to study the Bahá'í teachings with Mirza 'Abu'l-Fadl Lua Getsinger "visited the Holy Land at least eight times, and spent two long periods of time in the Master's household, once about 1902-3 and again in 1915" (Metelmann, Lua Getsinger, P. 50). Correspondence between Youness Khan and Lua Getsinger is quoted in Metelmann's book (PP. 53-5).

102. See note 109.

103. qadir. omnipotent, equal to 144 in abjad reckoning. The author thus agreed to recite the Bab's prayer 144 times in accordance with Lua's request.

104. The original of this poem has not been found. The attempt to retranslate into English from the fine Persian translation by Youness Khan has been undertaken by the present translator.

105. He had been implicated in the rebellion of Mirza Aqa Jan. See note 64 above.

106. Emigrants: muhajirun. Here the analogy is drawn between those families who were the companions of Bahá'u'lláh in His exiles, and the early believers in Islam who accompanied the Prophet Muhammad to Medina in 622 A.D., the year of the Hirja (Hegira) or Emigration. The Muslim calendar dates from that year.

107. On the 1903 persecutions in Yazd and Isfahan, see Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 102-107; Momen, Babi and Bahá'í Religions, ch. 27, PP. 373-404.


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108. Haydar-'ali, Haji Mirza. Bahai Martyrdoms in Persia in the Year 1903, A.D. Translated by Dr. Yunis Khan Afrukhtih. Chicago: Bahai Publishing Society, 1904.

110. Compare 'Abdu'l-Bahá's statement in Some Answered Questions, ch. 45: "Know that infallibility is of two kinds: essential infallibility and acquired infallibility Essential infallibility is peculiar to the supreme Manifestation, for it is His essential requirement, and an essential requirement cannot be separated from the thing itself But acquired infallibility is not a natural necessity; on the contrary, it is a ray of the bounty of infallibility which shines from the Sun of Reality upon hearts, and grants a share and portion of itself to souls. Although these souls have not essential infallibility, still they are under the protection of God-that is to say, God preserves them from error For instance, the Universal House of justice, if it be established under the necessary conditions-with members elected from all the people -that House of justice will be under the protection and the unerring guidance of God. If that House of justice shall decide unanimously, or by a majority, upon any question not mentioned in the Book, that decision and command will be guarded from mistake. Now the members of the House of justice have not, individually, essential infallibility; but the body of the House of justice is under the protection and unerring guidance of God: this is called conferred infallibility."

111. Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, p. 222.

112. Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the World, p. 55.

113. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted in Esslemont, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, p. 108.

114. Provisional translation.

115. Provisional translation.

116. Mirza Muhammad-'Ali.


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117. Khalil: Haji Muhammad-Ibrahim of Qazvin, the recipient of the Lawh-i-Khalil revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. See Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 2, pp. 259-61.

118. See note 44.

119. This Tablet, revealed in Arabic and as yet untranslated into English, begins with the words, "In My Name, the Humourist". In a Memorandum to the Universal House of justice dated 12 January 1997, the Research Department states: " it is a serious mystical poem, revealed in the form of a prayer. The text does not illuminate the reference to the 'Humourist'. It is, however, interesting to note that, while dealing with an exalted theme, the language of expression is, unexpectedly, that of the common people-light, simple, and even colloquial."

120. Lit. "They mix wine (sharab) with liquor (araq) and call it sharaq." The combination of the words "wine" and "whisky" into "wineky" is the translator's attempt to replace a term used by the author which if used here would fail to communicate the meaning and humour of the original.

121. Provisional translation.

122. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Hadrat-i-'Abdu'l-Bahá Majmuiyyij-Munajatha. Langenhain: Bahá'í-Verlag, 1992, P. 176, prayer no. 157. The author

here uses the description "revealed verse" in a general rather than

specific sense, as the term is usually used only for the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh or the Bab.

123. Qur'an 2.151.

124. Phelps, Abbas Effendi, pp. 2-10. His description is reprinted in Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 98-102.

125. Authorized translation.

126. ghazal in Persian.


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127. ghassideh in Persian.

128. No information about this believer has been found. The opening lines of the poem are retranslated here.

129. Margaret Kern, The Rustle of His Robe, 1901. The opening lines of her poem are retranslated here.

130. Louise Waite. This poem appears in Bahai Hymns and Poems written by Mrs. Louise Spencer-Waite (Chicago, Bahai Publishing Society, 1904), P. 7, under the title 'A Bahai Hymn". It is set to music in Waite, Bahai Hymns of Peace and Praise (1908).

131. "Ottoman-style fez": a tall narrow circular hat, typically red, in common use at that time and place. Pilgrims wearing Western headgear would have been too easily identifiable.

132. Parsis are Zoroastrians of Iranian heritage who fled the persecution of the Islamic clergy and settled in India and Pakistan from about the 8th century A.D. The largest community of Parsis is in Bombay. The first Iranian Zoroastrians to accept the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh already belonged to a persecuted minority. See Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 3, PP. 267-73, on these early conversions and also about the survival of "pure Persian" in the Zoroastrian community, in contrast to the present Persian language which incorporates many words originally from Arabic.

133. The Winterburns described this incident in their account of their pilgrimage, which took place between 5-11 February 1904: "While we were in Acca, there was also visiting Abdul--Baha a man from Bombay, one who had been a Zoroastrian. He was accompanied by his little son, a child of perhaps eleven or twelve. He heard that two Americans were there, and he begged to be allowed to see us, because in the sacred book of the Zoroastrians, written thousands of years ago, it was prophesied that a new world should be discovered, and that in the "last days" people from this new world should meet with the people of Zoroaster, that they should meet in the worship of the same God, in the same place. To him it was the


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literal fulfilment of the prophecy, and he wanted to see us. He was a tall man with a great simplicity of manner, that simplicity that comes of great earnestness. He said: 'I can not ten you how happy I am to see you, or what my heart feels to meet you here. My words can not express it, but I would give my life for you.' He added that he should always remember having seen us. Neither shall we ever forget that meeting. " (Table Talks with Abdul-Baha, P. 27.) Of their meetings with 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the Winterburns wrote: "We saw Abdul-Baha every day at luncheon and at dinner, and some days He would come to us for a little while in the morning or for a few minutes in the afternoon, and once He spent a long time with us at night after dinner. At the table, between courses, or when He was not eating, He would talk to us, giving us the teachings, the proofs of this great Manifestation. Always His words came with graciousness, with kindness and encouragement, and over and over again did He impress upon us the necessity of service in the Cause. For myself, I had not those great experiences of emotion that some visitors to his Presence have been seized with; but a great peace fell upon my soul, a tranquility and a surety took possession of me, such as comes nowhere else. That is the pervading atmosphere of the Holy House, a calm security that no cataclysm can shake; a love that encircles one, that is expressed by every person there, the great love of service, of doing something for another, of losing one's self completely in the absolute love that comes only from God. The love shown us there I can never forget. May God grant that I may be able to carry the message of it to others!" (ibid. P. 26).

134. This probably refers to Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani who was martyred in 'Ishqabad in 1889. His martyrdom, foretold by Bahá'u'lláh in a Tablet to him, led to a prolonged legal case which his murderers were sentenced to death. The Bahá'í community made representations to the government on their behalf and obtained from the Czar the commutation of their sentences to life imprisonment. "This act of intercession on behalf of their enemies was acclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh as a princely deed" (see Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 4, pp. 342-6 and photograph).


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135. Vakilu'd-Dawlih, title of Haji Mirza Muhammad-Taqi Afnan, the builder of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad. See Biographical Notes.

136. emigrants: see note 106.

137. See note 52.

138. Amatu'llah: Handmaid of God.

139. Tell al-Fakhkhar, the Hill of the Shards, also known as Napoleon's Hill.

140. "Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying imposter" (Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 37); "We have chosen 'the Greater' after 'the Most Great' (Kitab-i-'Ahd, in Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, P. 222). i.e. the Covenant-breakers claimed that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had claimed to be a Manifestation of God, whereas such a claim was strictly condemned by Bahá'u'lláh, and that because of this the succession should now fall to his half-brother, Mirza Muhammad-'Ali, the "Greater Branch".

141. Fundamental principles: muhkamat; allegorical verses: muteshabehat. Verses of the Qur'an are considered to be of these two types. Muhkamat are verses whose meanings are clear and require no interpretation or clarification, while muteshabehat refers to verses which have an allegorical or symbolic meaning, and require interpretation.

142. Persian proverb.

143. the two mischief-makers of Tabriz: supporters of Muhammad-'Ali One of these was Jalil-i-Khu'i, for whom Bahá'u'lláh had revealed the Tablet of Ishraqat. See Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 4, PP. 145-6.

144. This was the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, which ended with a peace treaty in September 1905.


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145. Seat of the Ottoman government in Istanbul.

146. Two international conferences (1899 and 1907) held at The Hague became known as World Peace Conferences. The first (1899) which is referred to here, was convened by Count Muravyov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tsar Nicholas 11 of Russia. Twenty-six nations were represented. Although the Conference failed to realise its primary objective of arms limitation, it did succeed in passing three Conventions or Declarations prohibiting the use of asphyxiating gases, expanding bullets, and projectiles or explosives fired from balloons; also, by adopting a Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes it laid the groundwork for the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The second Peace Conference (1907) was proposed by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt but was officially convened by Tsar Nicholas II, with 44 participating nations. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's well-known Tablet addressed to the Central Organization for a Durable Peace at the Hague was sent to neither of these Peace Conferences, but after World War I in 1919 and 1920.

147. "Praise be to Him Who hath honoured the Land of BA through the presence of Him round Whom all names revolve": the first sentence of the revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in honour of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the occasion of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to Beirut. See Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, p. 227.

148. Kitab-i-'Ahd, in Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, P. 222.

149. This paragraph refers in several places to the passages in the Kitab-i-Aqdas and the Kitab-i-'Ahd already quoted. The whole passage in the Kitab-i-'Ahd is as follows: "The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsan, the Afnan and My kindred to turn, one and A, their faces toward the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: 'When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.' The object of this sacred Verse is none other except the Most


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Mighty Branch ['Abdu'l-Bahá]. Thus have We graciously revealed unto you our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious, the All-Powerful. Verily God hath ordained the station of the Greater Branch [Muhammad 'Ali] to be beneath that of the Most Great Branch ['Abdu'l-Bahá]. He is in truth the Ordainer, the All-Wise. We have chosen 'the Greater' after 'the Most Great' as decreed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All Informed" (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, pp. 22 1-22).

150. Nusayri: followers of 'Ali rather than the Prophet Muhammad. See Balyuzi, Muhammad, pp. 223-4.

151. 'Aliyu'llahi: "those who equate 'Ali with God". Also known as Ahl-i-Haqq: the people of truth. See Balyuzi, Muhammad, p. 224.

152. The House of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. See note 30.

153. Qiblih or the Point of Adoration, the holy site towards which faithful believers direct their attention while reciting the obligatory prayer. The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahji is the Qiblih of the Bahá'í community, according to the text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas (verses 6 and 137). The verse quoted by Mirza Yusuf Khan-i-Vujdani is from the Qur'an, ii: 109, the Surih of the Cow (al-baqarah), which alludes to the question of the Qiblih in Islam.

154. See Chapter I, PP. 95-6.

155du'l-Baha In most Bahá'í prayer books.

156. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation, P. 453.

157. Aqay-i-Kalim, Mirza Musa, the faithful brother of Bahá'u'lláh. See Biographical Notes.

158. Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 113.

159. The drawing of blood, or blood-letting, was used to cure a variety of illnesses.


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160. See Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 211-12 for a description the Druze community and beliefs. There were several Druze villages on Carmel and in the Galilee at the time, often visited by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. In World War I some of these villages provided shelter to local Bahá'ís. The present-day Druze community in the region numbers some 100,000.

161. "Signs of the Day of Revelation" (yom-i-zuhur. day of advent, appearance, manifestation, revelation): contradictions such as these are prophesied, for example, by Isaiah: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fading together they shall not hurt nor destroy In all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (11:6-9).

162. This passage, from "when 'Abdu'l-Bahá was walking triumph of the Cause of God is in his hands!"' is reprinted with permission from Rabbani, Priceless Pearl, pp. 2-3.

163. See note 147.

164. i.e. Shoghi Effendi. The author here uses indirect allusion as a mark of respect.

165. This translation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablet is reprinted from Rabbani, Priceless Pearl, P. 2.

166. See Momen, Shi'i Islam, P. 249-50 for a short account of these struggles. The Constitution was signed in early 1907, was briefly overturned in a coup d'etat in 1908 but triumphed in 1909. The "two black and white domes" refer to clerical turbans.

167. Ahmad Shah.

168. This passage refers to the policy of the Pahlavi dynasty under Rida Shah, who proclaimed himself Shah in 1925. He curtailed the power of the ulama, and in 1928 made Western dress compulsory. See Momen, Shi 'i Islam, pp. 250-51


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169. Kirman, in Iran, was a centre of Azali activity.

170. Millerites: followers of William Miller, one of the many nineteenth-century Christian scholars who calculated from Bible prophecies that Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. The Millerite movement was the precursor of today's Seventh Day Adventist church. For the basis of these calculations and a description of this and other millenial movements, see Sears, Thief in the Night, pp. 1-11; Matthews, He Cometh with Clouds, pp. 89-111.

171. 23 May 1844.

172. Kanichi Yamamoto was already a Bahá'í when he went to work for Mrs. Goodall in 1903. For accounts of his accepting the Faith in Honolulu in 1902 see Whitehead, Some Bahá'ís to Remember, pp. 176-186; Bahá'í World, vol. 13, P. 932; Alexander, Forty Years of the Bahá'í Cause in Hawaii, pp. 8-12. Mrs. Goodall had in fact taught Elizabeth Muther, who taught Kanichi Yamamoto while he was working in the household of Mr. and Mrs. William Owen Smith, the parents of Clarence Smith. Yamamoto had already written twice to the Master in Japanese and received two Tablets in reply, before the event described here by Youness Khan. It refers to the third Tablet revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá on 4 August 1904; by this time Yamamoto had moved to California where he was working as butler to Mrs. Goodall. On this occasion Mrs. Goodall sent his letter and her own in the same envelope to the Master.

173. 4 August 1904. In Sims, Japan Will Turn Ablaze!, pp. 22-23.

174. An illustration of this bathhouse appears in Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 3, between pages 60-61. See also P. 74, note, in that book.

175. Compare other statements by the Master, e.g. the food of man is cereals and fruit he is not in need of meat, nor is he obliged to eat it. Even without eating meat he would live with the utmost vigour and energy." "Meat is nourishing and containeth the elements of herbs, seed and fruits; therefore


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sometimes it is essential for the sick and for the rehabilitation of health. There is no objection in the Law of God to the eating of meat if it is required" (From Tablets to individual believers, in Health and Healing, compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of justice).

176. qaba: a long shirt worn under the 'aba, the overdress.

177. "dulab" disease-diabetes.

178. Hidden Words, Persian no. 49.

179. Qur'an 104:1-2.

180. This refers to 'Ali ibn Abu Talib. cousin of the Prophet and the first Imam.

181. Hatem-i-Ta'i: legendary figure in Persian folklore; " TAT' generous.

182. Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1612-168o), author, famous for his epigrams on manners and behaviour. In 1665 he published Reflexions ou sentences et maximes morales, which went into five editions in his lifetime under the title Maximes. Self-interest, a quality he found in all human actions, is a recurrent theme of the Maximes: "Us vertus se perdent clans l'interet commes les fleuves se perdent dans la mer"-virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea (quoted in Encyclopedia Britannica).

183. Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, section CLIII.

184. Tyre and Sidon, two of the oldest Phoenician towns, which today are located in Lebanon.

185. Stigmatized by Bahá'u'lláh as "The Tyrant of Yazd" (God Passes By, p. 232), Prince Jalalu'd-Dawlih was a son of Zillus'-Sultan.

186. 'Aynu'l-Baqar: Spring of the Cow; see Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 122, 227.


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187. By "Traditions" here the author means Islamic and in this case a Tradition "attributed to the Apostle of God Himself" (Ruhe, Door of Hope, p. 122). The translation is by Shoghi Effendi in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 180.

188. On the aqueduct, see Ruhe, Door of Hope, pp. 123-5; on the Gardens of Ridvan and Firdaws see Ruhe, pp. 91-100.

189. Tongue of Glory: Bahá'u'lláh.

190. As translated in 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, no. 206, P. 256.

191. The first paragraph is a provisional translation. The authorized translation of the remainder of the Tablet has been taken from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, no. 12, pp. 27-28.

192. Provisional translation.

193. See Taherzadeh, Covenant, P. 235. The Fezzan Desert is in the North Sahara, in present-day Libya south of Tripoli.

194. The three parts of the Will and Testament were written at different periods of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's life. The first part, in which Shoghi Effendi is appointed Guardian of the Cause, was probably written around 1906; it was then buried underground for safety See Taherzadeh, Child of the Covenant, P. 7.

195. The chanter of the Muslim call to prayer, the adhan.

196. Amatu'l-Baha: "Handmaiden of Baha". Laura Barney's visits took place before her marriage mentioned in the previous paragraph.

197. Lit. "Table talks of 'Abdu'l-Bahá". It was published simultaneously in English, French and Persian: Some Answered Questions, and An-Nuru'l-Abha Fi Mufawadat 'Abdi'l-Baha, collected by Laura Clifford Barney (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1908); Les Lecons de St-Jean-d'Acre (Leroux, Paris, 1908). The contribution of this book to the knowledge of the Bahá'í teachings in the West was well


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described by Hippolyte Dreyfus (who translated it into French) in the Preface to his own book published in the same year: "By this work, Laura Clifford Barney has powerfully contributed to placing within the reach of the public the teaching of the new religion, for she has given, in the very simple form in which they were held, the conversations she had with the "Master of 'Akka". Till now, in fact, considering the small number of works translated into any one of the European languages, the knowledge of the philosophy and theology of Bahaism was limited only to the Orientalists who could read in the text the works of Bahá'u'lláh or of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and to the adepts among whom the Master's Tablets are in circulation. Some Answered Questions, therefore, covers a deficiency particularly perceptible in the West." (The Universal Religion: Bahaism, pp. 9-10). See also Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 107, 260, 268 and 305.

198. See Some Answered Questions, Ch. 74: "The Nonexistence of Evil", pp. 263-4.

199. It has not been possible to ascertain who is referred to here.

200. Provisional translation.

201. The assassination of Nasiri'd-Din Shah took place on I May 1896.

202. Irtibat-i-Sharq va Gharb: Union of the East and West; the author's diary of his teaching trip to Europe.

203. These reports were the result of mischief-making by partisans of Mirza Muhammad-'Ali. See Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 111.

204. 'And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them; and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Gen 15:5-6).

205. i.e. a follower of Mirza Yahya had joined the followers of Mirza Muhammad-'Ali.


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206. In most Bahá'í prayer books.

207. The father of Shoghi Effendi.

208. Retranslated into English from the published Persian translation.

209. This can be read in the 1981 edition: "Preface to the First Edition", Some Answered Questions, pp. xvii-xviii. See also note 197 above.

210. One of these was the section "Strikes", published as an 'Appendix to London 1908 edition" in 1918 by the Bahai Publishing Society, Chicago.

211. The French translation was in fact made in collaboration with Hippolyte Dreyfus (see note 197 above), "and, as she later related, it was during this undertaking that they discovered how well they could work together". Bahá'í World, vol. 16, p. 536.

212. i.e. the Covenant-breakers.

213. See note 194 above for the date of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament.

214. Although an Italian national, he was Acting Consul for Spain at the time; for accounts of this incident see Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá. p. 12 1; Taherzadeh, Child of the Covenant, p. 218.

215. The author refers here to Iranian history with which his readers would be familiar. Haji Mirza Aqasi was Prime Minister of Iran during the reign of Muhammad Shah (1834-1848), and was bitterly opposed to the mission of the Bab. Mulla Baqir Majlisi (1628-1700) enjoyed similar power and influence at the 17th-century Safavid court.

216. Mawlavi and Yektai: two of the many sects of Sunni Islam practised in the Ottoman Empire, both inclined towards mysticism.


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217. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá's own account of these charges, in Selections, pp. 216-21.

218. Haji Mirza Haydar-'ali describes this visit in Stones from the Delight of Hearts, p. 152; it seems to have taken place in 1903, i.e. before the Commission of Enquiry.

219. See note 214 above.

220. These events took place in 1951 during the Second Seven Year Plan in the United States, but were announced by Shoghi Effendi in 1946, e.g. in his cable of 25 April 1946 to the American Convention inaugurating the Plan (Messages to America, p. 88). This date coincides with the writing of the last three chapters of the present book, although the book was not published until 1953 (109 B.E.)

221. World War I.

222. On the Master's journey to Beirut in 1879, see Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 193; Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 37-9; Taherzadeh, Revelation, vol. 4, pp. 240-41, which quotes Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet revealed on that occasion, the Lawh-i-Ard-i-Ba(Tablet of the Land of Ba). This Tablet is also found in Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, pp. 227-8.

223, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, no. 22, P. 51.

224. Provisional translation.

225. Lit: 'eternal rose-garden', the term applied to Bahá'í cemeteries.

226. Gog and Magog: according to biblical prophecy (Rev. 20:8-9), these nations went to war against the Kingdom of God under the leadership of Satan: "and they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."


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227. "the incident in Yemen": possibly the continuing confrontation between the British and the Ottomans, or an incident concerning the continued Zaydi opposition to Ottoman rule; the Zaydi leader was Yahya ibn Muhammad.

228. This took place on 5 October 1908, taking advantage of the opportunity arising from the Young Turks Revolution that summer.

229. Bahá'u'lláh, Hidden Words, Persian no. 13.

230. Followers of Mirza Yahya, the Arch-breaker of the Covenant of the Bab.

231. "Of this event Zechariah had written: 'Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord' (Zech. 6:12). How mysteriously and indubitably had his prophecy come true. 'The Branch' had built 'the temple of the Lord', had raised His 'tabernacle' on His Mountain-on Carmel -the Mountain of God." (Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 129.)

232. Provisional translation. The original is in Arabic.

233. Persian coins of negligible value.

234. See Chapter 4, pp. 226-7.

235. Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 93.

236. In 1903, see above, p. 160.

237. Provisional translation.

238. Provisional translation.

239. This book is the Bab's interpretation of the Surih of Joseph, one of the Surihs of the Qur'an renowned as the Ahsanu'l-Qisas (the Best of Stories). The first chapter of the Bab's


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interpretation, known as the Suratu'l-Mulk, was revealed by Him on the night of His Declaration in His house in Shiraz in the presence of Mulla Husayn Bushrui, on 23 May 1844.

240. Here the author alludes to the passage in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá referring to Shoghi Effendi as "the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas" (Will and Testament, para. 2).

241. Parsi Bahá'í: typically, a Bahá'í of Persian Zoroastrian descent who lives in India.

242. Provisional translation.

243. Utuzbir: thirty-one. Among those executed that day was 'Arif Bey, head of the Commission of Enquiry. See Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 124.

244. Layli and Majnun: legendary lovers enjoying the same fame in the East as Romeo and Juliet do in the West.

245. 'At the request of Mrs. Tewksbury Jackson who on one occasion accompanied her to the Holy Land, Laura Barney helped in the project. In relating this episode to the writer later, Mme. Dreyfus-Barney said: 'For some time, therefore, and meeting with many obstacles, I was occupied with purchasing house made-of course with the land, having a design for the approval of the Master-and seeing that its construction was carried out efficiently and promptly. All this kept me occupied for some time. "'(Account by Ugo Giachery in Bahá'í World, vol. 16, p. 537.) Mrs. Jackson, an American, lived mainly in Paris, where she was visited by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1911.

246. Jamadi and Rajab: two months of the lunar calendar observed by the Islamic world.

247. On Jamal Pasha and his threat against the Master, see Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, PP. 412-14.

248. Hafiz

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