Memorials of the Faithful
Áqá Sidq-'Ali was yet one
more of those who left
their native land, journeyed to Bahá'u'lláh and were put
in the Prison. He was a dervish; a man who lived free and
detached from friend and stranger alike. He belonged to
the mystic element and was a man of letters. He spent
some time wearing the dress of poverty, drinking the wine
of the Rule and traveling the Path,[Terms used by the &Sufis.] but unlike the other
&Sufis he did not devote his life to dusty hashísh; on the
contrary, he cleansed himself of their vain imaginings and
only searched for God, spoke of God, and followed the
path of God.
He had a fine poetic gift and wrote odes to sing the praises of Him Whom the world has wronged and rejected. Among them is a poem written while he was a
prisoner in the barracks at Akká, the chief couplet of
A hundred hearts Thy curling locks ensnare,
And it rains hearts when Thou dost toss Thy hair.
That free and independent soul discovered, in Baghdád,
a trace of the untraceable Beloved. He witnessed the dawning
of the Daystar above the horizon of `Iráq, and received
the bounty of that sunrise. He came under the spell of
Bahá'u'lláh, and was enraptured by that tender Companion.
Although he was a quiet man, one who held his peace,
his very limbs were like so many tongues crying out their
message. When the retinue of Bahá'u'lláh was about to
leave Baghdád he implored permission to go along as a
groom. All day, he walked beside the convoy, and when
night came he would attend to the horses. He worked with
all his heart. Only after midnight would he seek his bed
and lie down to rest; the bed, however, was his mantle,
and the pillow a sun-dried brick.
As he journeyed, filled with yearning love, he would
sing poems. He greatly pleased the friends. In him the
name[Sidq, truth.] bespoke the man: he was pure candor and truth;
he was love itself; he was chaste of heart, and enamored
of Bahá'u'lláh. In his high station, that of groom, he
reigned like a king; indeed he gloried over the sovereigns
of the earth. He was assiduous in attendance upon Bahá'u'lláh;
in all things, upright and true.
The convoy of the lovers went on; it reached Constantinople;
it passed to Adrianople, and finally to the Akká
prison. Sidq-'Ali was present throughout, faithfully serving its Commander.
While in the barracks, Bahá'u'lláh set apart a special
night and He dedicated it to Darvísh Sidq-'Ali. He wrote
that every year on that night the dervishes should bedeck
a meeting place, which should be in a flower garden, and
gather there to make mention of God. He went on to say
that "dervish" does not denote those persons who wander
about, spending their nights and days in fighting and folly;
rather, He said, the term designates those who are completely
severed from all but God, who cleave to His laws,
are firm in His Faith, loyal to His Covenant, and constant
in worship. It is not a name for those who, as the Persians
say, tramp about like vagrants, are confused, unsettled in
mind, a burden to others, and of all mankind the most
coarse and rude.
This eminent dervish spent his whole life-span under
the sheltering favor of God. He was completely detached
from worldly things. He was attentive in service, and
waited upon the believers with all his heart. He was a
servant to all of them, and faithful at the Holy Threshold.
Then came that hour when, not far from his Lord, he
stripped off the cloak of life, and to physical eyes passed
into the shadows, but to the mind's eye betook himself to
what is plain as day; and he was seated there on a throne
of lasting glory. He escaped from the prison of this world,
and pitched his tent in a wide and spacious land. May
God ever keep him close and bless him in that mystic
realm with perpetual reunion and the beatific vision; may
he be wrapped in tiers of light. Upon him be the glory of
God, the All-Glorious. His grave is in Akká.
Memorials of the Faithful
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