Memorials of the Faithful
Hájí Mirzá Hasan, the Afnán
Among the most eminent of
those who left their homeland
to join Bahá'u'lláh was Mirzá Hasan, the great
Afnán, who during the latter days won the honor of emigrating
and of receiving the favor and companionship of
his Lord. The Afnán, related to the Báb, was specifically
named by the Supreme Pen as an offshoot of the Holy
Tree. When still a small child, he received his portion of
bounty from the Báb, and showed forth an extraordinary
attachment to that dazzling Beauty. Not yet adolescent, he
frequented the society of the learned, and began to study
sciences and arts. He reflected day and night on the most
abstruse of spiritual questions, and gazed in wonderment
at the mighty signs of God as written in the Book of Life.
He became thoroughly versed even in such material sciences
as mathematics, geometry, and geography; in brief,
he was well grounded in many fields, thoroughly conversant
with the thought of ancient and modern times.
A merchant by profession, he spent only a short period
of the day and evening at his business, devoting most of his time to discussion and research. He was truly erudite, a great credit to the Cause of God amongst leading men of
learning. With a few concise phrases, he could solve perplexing
questions. His speech was laconic, but in itself a
kind of miracle.
Although he first became a believer in the days of the
Báb, it was during the days of Bahá'u'lláh that he caught
fire. Then his love of God burned away every obstructing
veil and idle thought. He did all he could to spread the
Faith of God, becoming known far and wide for his ardent
love of Bahá'u'lláh.
I am lost, O Love, possessed and dazed,
Love's fool am I, in all the earth.
They call me first among the crazed,
Though I once came first for wit and worth...
After the ascension of the Báb, he had the high honor of
serving and watching over the revered and saintly consort
of the blessed Lord. He was in Persia, mourning his separation
from Bahá'u'lláh, when his distinguished son became,
by marriage, a member of the Holy Household. At this,
the Afnán rejoiced. He left Persia and hastened to the
sheltering favor of his Well-Beloved. He was a man amazing
to behold, his face so luminous that even those who
were not believers used to say that a heavenly light shone
from his forehead.
He went away for a time and sojourned in Beirut, where
he met the noted scholar, Khájih Findik. This personage
warmly praised the erudition of the great Afnán in various
circles, affirming that an individual of such wide and diverse
learning was rare throughout the East. Later on, the
Afnán returned to the Holy Land, settling near the Mansion
of Bahjí and directing all his thoughts toward aspects
of human culture. Much of the time he would occupy himself with uncovering the secrets of the heavens, contemplating in their detail the movements of the stars. He
had a telescope with which he would make his observations
every night. He lived a happy life, carefree and light
of heart. In the neighborhood of Bahá'u'lláh his days were
blissful, his nights bright as the first morning in spring.
But then came the Beloved's departure from this world.
The Afnán's peace was shattered, his joy was changed to
grief. The Supreme Affliction was upon us, separation consumed
us, the once bright days turned black as night, and
all those roses of other hours were dust and rubble now.
He lived on for a little while, his heart smoldering, his eyes
shedding their tears. But he could not bear the longing for
his Well-Beloved, and in a little while his soul gave up this
life and fled to the eternal one; passed into the Heaven of
abiding reunion and was immersed beneath an ocean of
light. Upon him be most great mercy, plenteous bounty,
and every blessing, as the ages and cycles roll on. His
honored tomb is in Akká at the Manshíyyih.
Memorials of the Faithful
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