as several treatises and pamphlets written by Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl and others, was energetically undertaken. A considerable correspondence with various centers throughout the Orient was initiated, and grew steadily in scope and importance. Brief histories of the Faith, books and pamphlets written in its defence, articles for the press, accounts of travels and pilgrimages, eulogies and poems, were likewise published and widely disseminated.
Simultaneously, travellers and teachers, emerging triumphantly from the storms of tests and trials which had threatened to engulf their beloved Cause, arose, of their own accord, to reinforce and multiply the strongholds of the Faith already established. Centers were opened in the cities of Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Paul and in other places. Audacious pioneers, whether as visitors or settlers, eager to spread the new born Evangel beyond the confines of their native country, undertook journeys, and embarked on enterprises which carried its light to the heart of Europe, to the Far East, and as far as the islands of the Pacific. Mason Remey voyaged to Russia and Persia, and later, with Howard Struven, circled, for the first time in Bahá'í history, the globe, visiting on his way the Hawaiian Islands, Japan, China, India and Burma. Hooper Harris and Harlan Ober traveled, during no less than seven months, in India and Burma, visiting Bombay, Poona, Lahore, Calcutta, Rangoon and Mandalay. Alma Knobloch, following on the heels of Dr. K. E. Fisher, hoisted the standard of the Faith in Germany, and carried its light to Austria. Dr. Susan I. Moody, Sydney Sprague, Lillian F. Kappes, Dr. Sarah Clock, and Elizabeth Stewart transferred their residence to Tihrán for the purpose of furthering the manifold interests of the Faith, in collaboration with the Bahá'ís of that city. Sarah Farmer, who had already initiated in 1894, at Green Acre, in the State of Maine, summer conferences and established a center for the promotion of unity and fellowship between races and religions, placed, after her pilgrimage to Akká in 1900, the facilities these conferences provided at the disposal of the followers of the Faith which she had herself recently embraced.
And last but not least, inspired by the example set by their fellow-disciples in Ishqábád, who had already commenced the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the Bahá'í world, and afire with the desire to demonstrate, in a tangible and befitting manner, the quality of their faith and devotion, the Bahá'ís of Chicago, having petitioned `Abdu'l-Bahá for permission to erect a House of Worship,
and secured, in a Tablet revealed in June 1903, His ready and enthusiastic approval, arose, despite the smallness of their numbers and their limited resources, to initiate an enterprise which must rank as the greatest single contribution which the Bahá'ís of America, and indeed of the West, have as yet made to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. The subsequent encouragement given them by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and the contributions raised by various Assemblies decided the members of this Assembly to invite representatives of their fellow-believers in various parts of the country to meet in Chicago for the initiation of the stupendous undertaking they had conceived. On November 26, 1907, the assembled representatives, convened for that purpose, appointed a committee of nine to locate a suitable site for the proposed Temple. By April 9, 1908, the sum of two thousand dollars had been paid for the purchase of two building lots, situated near the shore of Lake Michigan. In March 1909, a convention representative of various Bahá'í centers was called, in pursuance of instructions received from `Abdu'l-Bahá. The thirty-nine delegates, representing thirty-six cities, who had assembled in Chicago, on the very day the remains of the Báb were laid to rest by `Abdu'l-Bahá in the specially erected mausoleum on Mt. Carmel, established a permanent national organization, known as the Bahá'í Temple Unity, which was incorporated as a religious corporation, functioning under the laws of the State of Illinois, and invested with full authority to hold title to the property of the Temple and to provide ways and means for its construction. At this same convention a constitution was framed, the Executive Board of the Bahá'í Temple Unity was elected, and was authorized by the delegates to complete the purchase of the land recommended by the previous Convention. Contributions for this historic enterprise, from India, Persia, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Russia, Egypt, Germany, France, England, Canada, Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, and even Mauritius, and from no less than sixty American cities, amounted by 1910, two years previous to `Abdu'l-Bahá's arrival in America, to no less than twenty thousand dollars, a remarkable testimony alike to the solidarity of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in both the East and the West, and to the self-sacrificing efforts exerted by the American believers who, as the work progressed, assumed a preponderating share in providing the sum of over a million dollars required for the erection of the structure of the Temple and its external ornamentation.
Renewal of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Incarceration
The outstanding accomplishments of a valiant and sorely-tested community, the first fruits of Bahá'u'lláh's newly established Covenant in the Western world, had laid a foundation sufficiently imposing to invite the presence of the appointed Center of that Covenant, Who had called that Community into being and watched, with such infinite care and foresight, over its budding destinies. Not until, however, `Abdu'l-Bahá had emerged from the severe crisis which had already for several years been holding Him in its toils could He undertake His memorable voyage to the shores of a continent where the rise and establishment of His Father's Faith had been signalized by such magnificent and enduring achievements.
This second major crisis of His ministry, external in nature and hardly less severe than the one precipitated by the rebellion of Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí, gravely imperiled His life, deprived Him, for a number of years, of the relative freedom He had enjoyed, plunged into anguish His family and the followers of the Faith in East and West, and exposed as never before, the degradation and infamy of His relentless adversaries. It originated two years after the departure of the first American pilgrims from the Holy Land. It persisted, with varying degrees of intensity, during more than seven years, and was directly attributable to the incessant intrigues and monstrous misrepresentations of the Arch-Breaker of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant and his supporters.
Embittered by his abject failure to create a schism on which he had fondly pinned his hopes; stung by the conspicuous success which the standard-bearers of the Covenant had, despite his machinations, achieved in the North American continent; encouraged by the existence of a regime that throve in an atmosphere of intrigue and suspicion, and which was presided over by a cunning and cruel potentate; determined to exploit to the full the opportunities for mischief afforded him by the arrival of Western pilgrims at the prison-fortress of Akká, as well as by the commencement of the construction of the Báb's sepulcher on Mt. Carmel, Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí, seconded by his brother, Mírzá Badí'u'lláh, and aided by his brother-in-law,
Mírzá Majdi'd-Dín, succeeded through strenuous and persistent endeavors in exciting the suspicion of the Turkish government and its officials, and in inducing them to reimpose on `Abdu'l-Bahá the confinement from which, in the days of Bahá'u'lláh, He had so grievously suffered.
This very brother, Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí's chief accomplice, in a written confession signed, sealed and published by him, on the occasion of his reconciliation with `Abdu'l-Bahá, has borne testimony to the wicked plots that had been devised. "What I have heard from others," wrote Mírzá Badí'u'lláh, "I will ignore. I will only recount what I have seen with my own eyes, and heard from his (Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí) lips." "It was arranged by him (Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí)," he, then, proceeds to relate, "to dispatch Mírzá Majdi'd-Dín with a gift and a letter written in Persian to Nazím Páshá, the Valí (governor) of Damascus, and to seek his assistance.... As he (Mírzá Majdi'd-Dín) himself informed me in Haifa he did all he could to acquaint him (governor) fully with the construction work on Mt. Carmel, with the comings and goings of the American believers, and with the gatherings held in Akká. The Páshá, in his desire to know all the facts, was extremely kind to him, and assured him of his aid. A few days after Mírzá Majdi'd-Dín's return a cipher telegram was received from the Sublime Porte, transmitting the Sultán's orders to incarcerate `Abdu'l-Bahá, myself and the others." "In those days," he, furthermore, in that same document, testifies, "a man who came to Akká from Damascus stated to outsiders that Nazím Páshá had been the cause of the incarceration of Abbás Effendi. The strangest thing of all is this that Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí, after he had been incarcerated, wrote a letter to Nazím Páshá for the purpose of achieving his own deliverance.... The Páshá, however, did not write even a word in answer to either the first or the second letter."
It was in 1901, on the fifth day of the month of Jamádiyu'l-Avval 1319 A.H. (August 20) that `Abdu'l-Bahá, upon His return from Bahjí where He had participated in the celebration of the anniversary of the Báb's Declaration, was informed, in the course of an interview with the governor of Akká, of Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd's instructions ordering that the restrictions which had been gradually relaxed should be reimposed, and that He and His brothers should be strictly confined within the walls of that city. The Sultán's edict was at first rigidly enforced, the freedom of the exiled community was severely curtailed, while `Abdu'l-Bahá had to submit, alone and
unaided, to the prolonged interrogation of judges and officials, who required His presence for several consecutive days at government headquarters for the purpose of their investigations. One of His first acts was to intercede on behalf of His brothers, who had been peremptorily summoned and informed by the governor of the orders of the sovereign, an act which failed to soften their hostility or lessen their malevolent activities. Subsequently, through His intervention with the civil and military authorities, He succeeded in obtaining the freedom of His followers who resided in Akká, and in enabling them to continue to earn, without interference, the means of livelihood.
The Covenant-breakers were unappeased by the measures taken by the authorities against One Who had so magnanimously intervened on their behalf. Aided by the notorious Yahyá Bey, the chief of police, and other officials, civil as well as military, who, in consequence of their representations, had replaced those who had been friendly to `Abdu'l-Bahá, and by secret agents who traveled back and forth between Akká and Constantinople, and who even kept a vigilant watch over everything that went on in His household, they arose to encompass His ruin. They lavished on officials gifts which included possessions sacred to the memory of Bahá'u'lláh, and shamelessly proffered to high and low alike bribes drawn, in some instances, from the sale of properties associated with Him or bestowed upon some of them by `Abdu'l-Bahá. Relaxing nothing of their efforts they pursued relentlessly the course of their nefarious activities, determined to leave no stone unturned until they had either brought about His execution or ensured His deportation to a place remote enough to enable them to wrest the Cause from His grasp. The Valí of Damascus, the Muftí of Beirut, members of the Protestant missions established in Syria and Akká, even the influential Shaykh Abu'l-Hudá, in Constantinople, whom the Sultán held in as profound an esteem as that in which Muhammad Sháh had held his Grand Vizir, Hájí Mírzá Aqásí, were, on various occasions, approached, appealed to, and urged to lend their assistance for the prosecution of their odious designs.
Through verbal messages, formal communications and by personal interviews the Covenant-breakers impressed upon these notables the necessity of immediate action, shrewdly adapting their arguments to the particular interests and prejudices of those whose aid they solicited. To some they represented `Abdu'l-Bahá as a callous usurper Who had trampled upon their rights, robbed them of their heritage, reduced them to poverty, made their friends in Persia their enemies,
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