Memorials of the Faithful
Muhammad-'Ali of Isfahán
was among the
earliest of believers, guided to the Faith from its very beginning.
He was one of the mystics; his house was a gathering
place for them, and the philosophers. Noble, high-minded, he was one of Isfahán's most respected citizens, and served as a host and sanctuary for every stranger, rich or poor. He
had verve, an excellent disposition, was forbearing, affable,
generous, a boon companion; and it was known throughout
the city that he enjoyed a good time.
Then he was led to embrace the Faith and caught fire
from the Sinaitic Tree. His house became a teaching center,
dedicated to the glory of God. Day and night the believers
flocked there, as to a lamp lit by heavenly love.
Over a long period, the sacred verses were chanted in that
house and the clear proofs set forth. Although this was
widely known, Muhammad-'Ali was not molested, because
he was a kinsman of the Imám-Jum'ih of Isfahán.
Finally, however, things came to such a pass that the
Imám-Jum'ih himself sent him away, telling him: "I can
protect you no longer. You are in grave danger. The best
thing for you is to leave here, and go on a journey."
He left his home then, went to `Iráq, and entered the
presence of the world's Desired One. He spent some time
there, progressing every day; he had little to live on, but
was happy and content. A man of excellent disposition, he
was congenial to believers and others alike.
When Bahá'u'lláh and His retinue left Baghdád for
Constantinople, Muhammad-'Ali was in His company, and
continued on with Him to the Land of Mystery, Adrianople.
Not one to be inconstant, he maintained his characteristic
immutability of heart. Whatever happened, he
remained the same. In Adrianople as well, his days passed
happily, under the protection of Bahá'u'lláh. He would
carry on some business which, however trifling, would
bring in surprisingly abundant returns.
From Adrianople, Muhammad-'Ali accompanied Bahá'u'lláh
to the fortress of Akká, was put in jail there, and
was numbered among Bahá'u'lláh's fellow captives for the
rest of his life, achieving that greatest of all distinctions, to be in prison with the Blessed Beauty.
He spent his days in utter bliss. Here, too, he carried on
a small business, which occupied him from morning till
noon. In the afternoons he would take his samovar, wrap
it in a dark-colored pouch made from a saddlebag, and go
off somewhere to a garden or meadow, or out in a field, and
have his tea. Sometimes he would be found at the farm of
Mazra'ih, or again in the Ridván Garden; or, at the Mansion,
he would have the honor of attending upon Bahá'u'lláh.
Muhammad-'Ali would carefully consider every blessing
that came his way. "How delicious my tea is today," he
would comment. "What perfume, what color! How lovely
this meadow is, and the flowers so bright!" He used to say
that everything, even air and water, had its own special
fragrance. For him the days passed in indescribable delight.
Even kings were not so happy as this old man, the people
said. "He is completely free of the world," they would declare.
"He lives in joy." It also happened that his food was
of the very best, and that his home was situated in the very
best part of Akká. Gracious God! Here he was, a prisoner,
and yet experiencing comfort, peace and joy.
Muhammad-'Ali was past eighty when he finally departed
to eternal light. He had been the recipient of many
Tablets from Bahá'u'lláh, and of endless bounty, under
all conditions. Upon him be the glory of God the Most
Glorious. Upon him be myriads of heavenly blessings; may
God favor him with gladness forever and ever. His luminous
grave is in Akká.
Memorials of the Faithful
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