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since His incarceration had been reimposed, remained unclouded, and His confidence unshaken. "The meaning of the dream I dreamt," He, at that time, told the believers who still remained in Akká, "is now clear and evident. Please God this dynamite will not explode."

Meanwhile the members of the Commission had, on a certain Friday, gone to Haifa and inspected the Báb's sepulcher, the construction of which had been proceeding without any interruption on Mt. Carmel. Impressed by its solidity and dimensions, they had inquired of one of the attendants as to the number of vaults that had been built beneath that massive structure.

Shortly after the inspection had been made it was suddenly observed, one day at about sunset, that the ship, which had been lying off Haifa, had weighed anchor, and was heading towards Akká. The news spread rapidly among an excited population that the members of the Commission had embarked upon it. It was anticipated that it would stop long enough at Akká to take `Abdu'l-Bahá on board, and then proceed to its destination. Consternation and anguish seized the members of His family when informed of the approach of the ship. The few believers who were left wept with grief at their impending separation from their Master. `Abdu'l-Bahá could be seen, at that tragic hour, pacing, alone and silent, the courtyard of His house.

As dusk fell, however, it was suddenly noticed that the lights of the ship had swung round, and the vessel had changed her course. It now became evident that she was sailing direct for Constantinople. The intelligence was instantly communicated to `Abdu'l-Bahá, Who, in the gathering darkness, was still pacing His courtyard. Some of the believers who had posted themselves at different points to watch the progress of the ship hurried to confirm the joyful tidings. One of the direst perils that had ever threatened `Abdu'l-Bahá's precious life was, on that historic day, suddenly, providentially and definitely averted.

Soon after the precipitate and wholly unexpected sailing of that ship news was received that a bomb had exploded in the path of the Sultán while he was returning to his palace from the mosque where he had been offering his Friday prayers.

A few days after this attempt on his life the Commission submitted its report to him; but he and his government were too preoccupied to consider the matter. The case was laid aside, and when, some months later, it was again brought forward it was abruptly closed forever by an event which, once and for all, placed the Prisoner of Akká beyond the power of His royal enemy. The "Young Turk" Revolution, breaking out swiftly and decisively in 1908, forced

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a reluctant despot to promulgate the constitution which he had suspended, and to release all religious and political prisoners held under the old regime. Even then a telegram had to be sent to Constantinople to inquire specifically whether `Abdu'l-Bahá was included in the category of these prisoners, to which an affirmative reply was promptly received.

Within a few months, in 1909, the Young Turks obtained from the Shaykhu'l-Islám the condemnation of the Sultán himself who, as a result of further attempts to overthrow the constitution, was finally and ignominiously deposed, deported and made a prisoner of state. On one single day of that same year there were executed no less than thirty-one leading ministers, páshás and officials, among whom were numbered notorious enemies of the Faith. Tripolitania itself, the scene of `Abdu'l-Bahá's intended exile was subsequently wrested from the Turks by Italy. Thus ended the reign of the "Great Assassin," "the most mean, cunning, untrustworthy and cruel intriguer of the long dynasty of Uthmán," a reign "more disastrous in its immediate losses of territory and in the certainty of others to follow, and more conspicuous for the deterioration of the condition of his subjects, than that of any other of his twenty-three degenerate predecessors since the death of Sulaymán the Magnificent."

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CHAPTER XVIII

Entombment of the Báb's Remains on Mt. Carmel

`Abdu'l-Bahá's unexpected and dramatic release from His forty-year confinement dealt a blow to the ambitions cherished by the Covenant-breakers as devastating as that which, a decade before, had shattered their hopes of undermining His authority and of ousting Him from His God-given position. Now, on the very morrow of His triumphant liberation a third blow befell them as stunning as those which preceded it and hardly less spectacular than they. Within a few months of the historic decree which set Him free, in the very year that witnessed the downfall of Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd, that same power from on high which had enabled `Abdu'l-Bahá to preserve inviolate the rights divinely conferred on Him, to establish His Father's Faith in the North American continent, and to triumph over His royal oppressor, enabled Him to achieve one of the most signal acts of His ministry: the removal of the Báb's remains from their place of concealment in Tihrán to Mt. Carmel. He Himself testified, on more than one occasion, that the safe transfer of these remains, the construction of a befitting mausoleum to receive them, and their final interment with His own hands in their permanent resting-place constituted one of the three principal objectives which, ever since the inception of His mission, He had conceived it His paramount duty to achieve. This act indeed deserves to rank as one of the outstanding events in the first Bahá'í century.

As observed in a previous chapter the mangled bodies of the Báb and His fellow-martyr, Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí, were removed, in the middle of the second night following their execution, through the pious intervention of Hájí Sulaymán Khán, from the edge of the moat where they had been cast to a silk factory owned by one of the believers of Milán, and were laid the next day in a wooden casket, and thence carried to a place of safety. Subsequently, according to Bahá'u'lláh's instructions, they were transported to Tihrán and placed in the shrine of Imám-Zádih Hasan. They were later removed to the residence of Hájí Sulaymán Khán himself in the Sar-Chashmih quarter of the city, and from his house were taken to the shrine of Imám-Zádih Ma's˙m, where they remained concealed until the year

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1284 A.H. (1867-1868), when a Tablet, revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople, directed Mullá `Alí-Akbar-i-Sháhmírzádí and Jamál-i-Bur˙jirdí to transfer them without delay to some other spot, an instruction which, in view of the subsequent reconstruction of that shrine, proved to have been providential.

Unable to find a suitable place in the suburb of Sháh `Abdu'l-`Azím, Mullá `Alí-Akbar and his companion continued their search until, on the road leading to Chashmih-`Alí, they came upon the abandoned and dilapidated Masjid-i-Mashá'u'lláh, where they deposited, within one of its walls, after dark, their precious burden, having first re-wrapt the remains in a silken shroud brought by them for that purpose. Finding the next day to their consternation that the hiding-place had been discovered, they clandestinely carried the casket through the gate of the capital direct to the house of Mírzá Hasan-i-Vazír, a believer and son-in-law of Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Alíy-i-Tafríshí, the Majdu'l-Ashraf, where it remained for no less than fourteen months. The long-guarded secret of its whereabouts becoming known to the believers, they began to visit the house in such numbers that a communication had to be addressed by Mullá `Alí-Akbar to Bahá'u'lláh, begging for guidance in the matter. Hájí Sháh Muhammad-i-Manshadí, surnamed Amínu'l-Bayán, was accordingly commissioned to receive the Trust from him, and bidden to exercise the utmost secrecy as to its disposal.

Assisted by another believer, Hájí Sháh Muhammad buried the casket beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary of the shrine of Imám-Zádih Zayd, where it lay undetected until Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání was informed of its exact location through a chart forwarded to him by Bahá'u'lláh. Instructed by Bahá'u'lláh to conceal it elsewhere, he first removed the remains to his own house in Tihrán, after which they were deposited in several other localities such as the house of Husayn-`Alíy-i-Isfahání and that of Muhammad-Karím-i-`Attár, where they remained hidden until the year 1316 (1899) A.H., when, in pursuance of directions issued by `Abdu'l-Bahá, this same Mírzá Asadu'lláh, together with a number of other believers, transported them by way of Isfahán, Kirmansháh, Baghdád and Damascus, to Beirut and thence by sea to Akká, arriving at their destination on the 19th of the month of Ramadán 1316 A.H. (January 31, 1899), fifty lunar years after the Báb's execution in Tabríz.

In the same year that this precious Trust reached the shores of the Holy Land and was delivered into the hands of `Abdu'l-Bahá, He, accompanied by Dr. Ibráhím Khayru'lláh, whom He had already

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honored with the titles of "Bahá's Peter," "The Second Columbus" and "Conqueror of America," drove to the recently purchased site which had been blessed and selected by Bahá'u'lláh on Mt. Carmel, and there laid, with His own hands, the foundation-stone of the edifice, the construction of which He, a few months later, was to commence. About that same time, the marble sarcophagus, designed to receive the body of the Báb, an offering of love from the Bahá'ís of Rangoon, had, at `Abdu'l-Bahá's suggestion, been completed and shipped to Haifa.

No need to dwell on the manifold problems and preoccupations which, for almost a decade, continued to beset `Abdu'l-Bahá until the victorious hour when He was able to bring to a final consummation the historic task entrusted to Him by His Father. The risks and perils with which Bahá'u'lláh and later His Son had been confronted in their efforts to insure, during half a century, the protection of those remains were but a prelude to the grave dangers which, at a later period, the Center of the Covenant Himself had to face in the course of the construction of the edifice designed to receive them, and indeed until the hour of His final release from His incarceration.

The long-drawn out negotiations with the shrewd and calculating owner of the building-site of the holy Edifice, who, under the influence of the Covenant-breakers, refused for a long time to sell; the exorbitant price at first demanded for the opening of a road leading to that site and indispensable to the work of construction; the interminable objections raised by officials, high and low, whose easily aroused suspicions had to be allayed by repeated explanations and assurances given by `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself; the dangerous situation created by the monstrous accusations brought by Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí and his associates regarding the character and purpose of that building; the delays and complications caused by `Abdu'l-Bahá's prolonged and enforced absence from Haifa, and His consequent inability to supervise in person the vast undertaking He had initiated--all these were among the principal obstacles which He, at so critical a period in His ministry, had to face and surmount ere He could execute in its entirety the Plan, the outline of which Bahá'u'lláh had communicated to Him on the occasion of one of His visits to Mt. Carmel.

"Every stone of that building, every stone of the road leading to it," He, many a time was heard to remark, "I have with infinite tears and at tremendous cost, raised and placed in position." "One night," He, according to an eye-witness, once observed, "I was so hemmed in by My anxieties that I had no other recourse than to recite and

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