Memorials of the Faithful
Jináb-i-Munib, upon him be the Glory of the All-Glorious
His name was Mirzá Áqá
and he was spirit itself.
He came from Káshán. In the days of the Báb, he was
drawn to the sweet savors of God; it was then he caught
fire. He was a fine youth, handsome, full of charm and
grace. He was a calligrapher second to none, a poet, and he
had as well a remarkable singing voice. He was wise and
perceptive; staunch in the Faith of God; a flame of God's
love, severed from all but God.
During the years when Bahá'u'lláh resided in `Iráq,
Jináb-i-Munib left Káshán and hastened to His presence.
He went to live in a small and humble house, barely
managed to subsist, and set about committing to writing
the words of God. On his brow, the bestowals of the Manifestation
were clear to see. In all this mortal world he had
only one possession, his daughter; and even his daughter
he had left behind in Persia, as he hurried away to `Iráq.
At the time when, with all pomp and ceremony, Bahá'u'lláh
and His retinue departed from Baghdád, Jináb-i-Munib
accompanied the party on foot. The young man
had been known in Persia for his easy and agreeable life
and his love of pleasure; also for being somewhat soft and
delicate, and used to having his own way. It is obvious what
a person of this type endured, going on foot from Baghdád to Constantinople. Still, he gladly measured out the desert miles, and he spent his days and nights chanting prayers,
communing with God and calling upon Him.
He was a close companion of mine on that journey.
There were nights when we would walk, one to either
side of the howdah of Bahá'u'lláh, and the joy we had
defies description. Some of those nights he would sing
poems; among them he would chant the odes of Háfiz,
like the one that begins, "Come, let us scatter these roses,
let us pour out this wine,"[The remainder of the verse is: "Let us split the roof of Heaven and draw a new design."] and that other:
To our King though we bow the knee,
We are kings of the morning star.
No changeable colors have we--
Red lions, black dragons we are!
The Blessed Beauty, at the time of His departure from
Constantinople, directed Jináb-i-Munib to return to Persia
and promulgate the Faith. Accordingly he went back, and
over a considerable period he rendered outstanding services,
especially in Tihrán. Then he came again, from Persia to
Adrianople, and entered the presence of Bahá'u'lláh, enjoying
the privilege of attending upon Him. At the time
of the greatest catastrophe, that is, the exile to Akká, he
was made a prisoner on this Pathway and traveled, by now
feeble and ill, with the party of Bahá'u'lláh.
He had been stricken by a severe ailment and was pitifully
weak. Still, he would not agree to remaining behind
in Adrianople where he could receive treatment, because
he wanted to sacrifice his life and fall at the feet of his
Lord. We journeyed along till we reached the sea. He was
now so feeble that it took three men to lift him and carry
him onto the ship. Once he was on board, his condition grew so much worse that the captain insisted we put him off the ship, but because of our repeated pleas he waited
till we reached Smyrna. In Smyrna, the captain addressed
Colonel Umar Bayk, the government agent who accompanied
us, and told him: "If you don't put him ashore, I
will do it by force, because the ship will not accept passengers
in this condition."
We were compelled, then, to take Jináb-i-Munib to the
hospital at Smyrna. Weak as he was, unable to utter a
word, he dragged himself to Bahá'u'lláh, lay down at His
feet, and wept. On the countenance of Bahá'u'lláh as well,
there was intense pain.
We carried Jináb-i-Munib to the hospital, but the functionaries
allowed us not more than one hour's time. We
laid him down on the bed; we laid his fair head on the
pillow; we held him and kissed him many times. Then
they forced us away. It is clear how we felt. Whenever I
think of that moment, the tears come; my heart is heavy
and I summon up the remembrance of what he was. A
great man; infinitely wise, he was, steadfast, modest and
grave; and there was no one like him for faith and certitude.
In him the inner and outer perfections, the spiritual
and physical, were joined together. That is why he could
receive endless bounty and grace.
His grave is in Smyrna, but it is off by itself, and deserted.
Whenever this can be done, the friends must search
for it, and that neglected dust must be changed into a
much-frequented shrine,[Qur'án 52:4.] so that pilgrims who visit there
may breathe in the sweet scent of his last resting-place.
Memorials of the Faithful
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