May 18, 2020

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s surprising response to two believers trying to identify the most acceptable form of martyrdom – recalled by one of His secretaries

Some thirty years ago when 'Abdu'l-Baha was surrounded by His bitter enemies; when they were instigating the Turkish Government to illtreat Him; when in His confined place of 'Akka He had a very small group of true and faithful Baha'is, 'Abdu'l-Baha always expressed great joy and happiness at the thought of being martyred like unto Jesus Christ and His disciples, and like unto thousands of faithful followers of the blessed Báb and Baha'u'llah.

In those days the doors were opened wide for the Oriental friends to enter heaven.[1] All the true believers prayed to God and yearned to be accepted for martyrdom. One day one of the pilgrims and I were discussing the best way of being admitted to sacrifice. My friend, M. Fazlullah, said that he preferred to be killed by Shamajeen like Suleiman Khan, who danced with joy during that terrible torture. (Shamajeen means decorated, grafted with candles.)

This is the way that Suleiman Khan was martyred. His body was cut through in several places and burning candles were planted in the wounds. In such a horrible state he was driven for several hours throughout the city to show the people the fate of a distinguished and honorable man converted to the new Faith. This was the way that the government, instigated by the clergy, punished the believers, in order to terrify those who desired to know about the new religion.

Now my friend, M. Fazlullah, preferred this way of being sacrificed in the Path of Baha'u'llah. But I did not choose this way. I preferred to be put to death by cannon shot, for that was the best way of propagating throughout the world the call to steadfastness. Several prominent people have been martyred in that way. This was the way that I had chosen, and I implored God to help me to attain to it. But I could not convince my friend that mine was the best way. He stuck obstinately to his own way. The discussion lasted a long time without being able to convince each other.

April 12, 2020

‘Abdu’l-Baha lived in the morgue of the barracks in Akka for two years

North-west building of prison complex
Akka 1922
The dear friends in this city [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 7, 1912] engaged an apartment on the seventh floor of the Schenley Hotel and were exceedingly happy about it, because it looked like that of the Plaza Hotel in Chicago. Then during their private interviews, the friends, one by one asked the same question: "Master! how do you like these rooms?" His reply to all was also the same, "Khaili Khoob! Khaili Khoob!"meaning "Very good! Very good!"

When all had left His presence happy and pleased, He turned His smiling face toward this servant [Dr. Zia Baghdadi] and exclaimed:

"The friends here are anxious to know if I like these rooms! They do not know what we had to go through in the past. Imagine the conditions and surroundings when we were exiled by the Turkish Government and were imprisoned in the barracks of 'Akka; Baha'u'llah occupied one room; His family and several other families were forced to occupy one room.

"Aside from the severe illness that was raging, and the death of many among us prisoners - adults and children - on account of unsanitary surroundings and starvation, I noticed that my own presence in that crowded room was another source of torture to all of them. This was due to the fact that parents and children were suppressing and restraining themselves by trying to be quiet and polite in my presence.

"So, in order to give them freedom, I accepted the morgue of the barracks, because that was the only room available, and I lived in it for about two years. Now the kind friends here wish to know if I like these magnificent rooms!" 
(Star of the West [The Baha’i Magazine], vol. 19, no. 5, August 1928)

March 12, 2020

1969: The story of Saskatoon…

Saskatoon, circa 2020
For some time now the believers across the country [Canada] have heard the name “Saskatoon” appearing with increasing frequency. We hear of something like 70-80 declarations, almost all of them youth, in less than two years, of no “generation gap”, of new approaches and exciting happenings. Anyone who visits the Saskatoon community cannot help but feel that something momentous has taken place and is taking place there.

What is the Saskatoon story?

For a year or so, it has been suggested that the News tell the story of Saskatoon. Urgent pleas have gone out for an "on the spot” account, but to no avail. Finally a wandering member of the Editorial Board [of Canadian Baha’i News magazine] spent a delightful summer evening on the spacious grounds of the Rogers [Don and Barbara] family just outside Saskatoon at a Race Amity Youth Rally. Amid the ebbing and flowing of youth of all ages, she managed to extract from Assembly members some of the history. The difficulty of putting it into words soon became apparent. The growth of the community has demanded all the energy and attention of the Assembly. Furthermore, it seems almost impossible to describe adequately both the spiritual forces that are so obviously present, and the feeling that is Saskatoon.

For, more than anything else, it seems to this observer, Saskatoon is a feeling, a feeling of community — not just any community, but a community of purpose — the community of Baha’u’llah. One feels that here is a dynamic community made up almost entirely of believers under thirty years of age, a community in which everyone, no matter how conformist or non-conformist he or she may appear to be, has a sense of belonging and acceptance. As it becomes increasingly clear that today’s youth is crying out for the experience of community, one to really believe in, Saskatoon takes on even greater significance.

February 20, 2020

How Baha’u’llah managed to evade Prime Minister’s persistent attempts to take possession of one of His properties through fraudulent means and evil designs

One day, as he [Hájí Mírzá Aqásí, the Grand Vazír of Muhammad Sháh] was passing through the village of Quch-Hisar, which belonged to Bahá’u’lláh, he was so impressed by the charm and beauty of that place and the abundance of its water that he conceived the idea of becoming its owner. Bahá’u’lláh, whom he had summoned to effect the immediate purchase of that village, observed:

“Had this property been exclusively mine own, I would willingly have complied with your desire. This transitory life, with all its sordid possessions, is worthy of no attachment in my eyes, how much less this small and insignificant estate. As a number of other people, both rich and poor, some of full age and some still minors, share with me the ownership of this property, I would request you to refer this matter to them, and to seek their consent.” Unsatisfied with this reply, Hájí Mírzá Aqásí sought, through fraudulent means, to achieve his purpose.

So soon as Bahá’u’lláh was informed of his evil designs, He, with the consent of all concerned, immediately transferred the title of the property to the name of the sister of Muhammad Sháh, who had already repeatedly expressed her desire to become its owner.

The Hájí, furious at this transaction, ordered that the estate should be forcibly seized, claiming that he already had purchased it from its original possessor. The representatives of Hájí Mírzá Aqásí were severely rebuked by the agents of the sister of the Sháh, and were requested to inform their master of the determination of that lady to assert her rights. The Hájí referred the case to Muhammad Sháh, and complained of the unjust treatment to which he had been subjected.

That very night, the Sháh’s sister had acquainted him with the nature of the transaction. “Many a time,” she said to her brother, “your Imperial Majesty has graciously signified your desire that I should dispose of the jewels with which I am wont to adorn myself in your presence, and with the proceeds purchase some property. I have at last succeeded in fulfilling your desire. Hájí Mírzá Aqásí, however, is now fully determined to seize it forcibly from me.” The Sháh reassured his sister, and commanded the Hájí to forgo his claim. The latter, in his despair, summoned Bahá’u’lláh to his presence and, by every artifice, strove to discredit His name.

January 8, 2020

Bahá’u’lláh’s father’s dream about Him when He was a child and the soothsayer’s amazing interpretation and prediction

When Bahá’u’lláh was still a child, the Vazír, His father, dreamed a dream. Bahá’u’lláh appeared to him swimming in a vast, limitless ocean. His body shone upon the waters with a radiance that illumined the sea. Around His head, which could distinctly be seen above the waters, there radiated, in all directions, His long, jet-black locks, floating in great profusion above the waves. As he dreamed, a multitude of fishes gathered round Him, each holding fast to the extremity of one hair. Fascinated by the effulgence of His face, they followed Him in whatever direction He swam. Great as was their number, and however firmly they clung to His locks, not one single hair seemed to have been detached from His head, nor did the least injury affect His person. Free and unrestrained, He moved above the waters and they all followed Him.

The Vazír, greatly impressed by this dream, summoned a soothsayer, who had achieved fame in that region, and asked him to interpret it for him. This man, as if inspired by a premonition of the future glory of Bahá’u’lláh, declared: “The limitless ocean that you have seen in your dream, O Vazír, is none other than the world of being. Single-handed and alone, your son will achieve supreme ascendancy over it. Wherever He may please, He will proceed unhindered. No one will resist His march, no one will hinder His progress. The multitude of fishes signifies the turmoil which He will arouse amidst the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Around Him will they gather, and to Him will they cling. Assured of the unfailing protection of the Almighty, this tumult will never harm His person, nor will His loneliness upon the sea of life endanger His safety.”

That soothsayer was subsequently taken to see Bahá’u’lláh. He looked intently upon His face, and examined carefully His features. He was charmed by His appearance, and extolled every trait of His countenance. Every expression in that face revealed to his eyes a sign of His concealed glory. So great was his admiration, and so profuse his praise of Bahá’u’lláh, that the Vazír, from that day, became even more passionately devoted to his son. The words spoken by that soothsayer served to fortify his hopes and confidence in Him. Like Jacob, he desired only to ensure the welfare of his beloved Joseph, and to surround Him with his loving protection. 
- Nabil  ('The Dawn-Breakers, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

December 20, 2019

1844: A lonely youth’s encounter with Bahá’u’lláh by a roadside in Mazindaran and his amazing recognition of His station

One day, in the course of one of His riding excursions into the country, Bahá’u’lláh, accompanied by His companions, saw, seated by the roadside, a lonely youth. His hair was dishevelled, and he wore the dress of a dervish. By the side of a brook he had kindled a fire, and was cooking his food and eating it. Approaching him, Bahá’u’lláh most lovingly enquired: “Tell Me, dervish, what is it that you are doing?” “I am engaged in eating God,” he bluntly replied. “I am cooking God and am burning Him.” The unaffected simplicity of his manners and the candour of his reply pleased Bahá’u’lláh extremely. He smiled at his remark and began to converse with him with unrestrained tenderness and freedom. Within a short space of time, Bahá’u’lláh had changed him completely. Enlightened as to the true nature of God, and with a mind purged from the idle fancy of his own people, he immediately recognised the Light which that loving Stranger had so unexpectedly brought him. That dervish, whose name was Mustafá, became so enamoured with the teachings which had been instilled into his mind that, leaving his cooking utensils behind, he straightway arose and followed Bahá’u’lláh. On foot, behind His horse, and inflamed with the fire of His love, he chanted merrily verses of a love-song which he had composed on the spur of the moment and had dedicated to his Beloved. “Thou art the Day-Star of guidance,” ran its glad refrain. “Thou art the Light of Truth. Unveil Thyself to men, O Revealer of the Truth.” Although, in later years, that poem obtained wide circulation among his people, and it became known that a certain dervish, surnamed Majdhúb, and whose name was Mustafá Big-i-Sanandají, had, without premeditation, composed it in praise of his Beloved, none seemed to be aware to whom it actually referred, nor did anyone suspect, at a time when Bahá’u’lláh was still veiled from the eyes of men, that this dervish alone had recognised His station and discovered His glory. 
- Nabil  ('The Dawn-Breakers, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

November 10, 2019

The story of how Mullá Husayn was able to discover Baha’u’llah in Tihran and have delivered to Him a scroll containing passages from the Writings of the Báb

Tehran circa 1930s
Mírzá Músá, Áqáy-i-Kalím, the brother of Bahá’u’lláh, recounted to me [Nabil] the following:

“I have heard Mullá Muhammad-i-Mu’allim, a native of Núr, in the province of Mázindarán, who was a fervent admirer of both Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim, relate this story:

‘I was in those days recognised as one of the favoured disciples of Hájí Mírzá Muhammad, and lived in the same school in which he taught. My room adjoined his room, and we were closely associated together. On the day that he was engaged in discussion with Mullá Husayn, I overheard their conversation from beginning to end, and was deeply affected by the ardour, the fluency, and learning of that youthful stranger. I was surprised at the evasive answers, the arrogance, and contemptuous behaviour of Hájí Mírzá Muhammad.

That day I felt strongly attracted by the charm of that youth, and deeply resented the unseemly conduct of my teacher towards him. I concealed my feelings, however, and pretended to ignore his discussions with Mullá Husayn. I was seized with a passionate desire to meet the latter, and ventured, at the hour of midnight, to visit him. He did not expect me, but I knocked at his door, and found him awake seated beside his lamp. He received me affectionately, and spoke to me with extreme courtesy and tenderness. I unburdened my heart to him, and as I was addressing him, tears, which I could not repress, flowed from my eyes.

October 17, 2019

How Mullá Sádiq-i-Muqaddas recognized the Báb through Mullá Husayn in Isfahán

Mulla Sadiq-i-Muqaddas, was an outstanding believer who was entitled Ismu'llahu'l-Asdaq (The name of God, the Most Truthful) by Baha’u’llah. He was appointed posthumously a Hand of the Cause by ‘Abdu’l-Baha. (Adapted from ‘Ministry of the Custodians’, and ‘The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, vol. 4, by Adib Taherzadeh) Here is the sweet story of how he recognized the Báb:

As soon as he [Mullá Sádiq-i-Muqaddas] learned of the arrival of Mullá Husayn in Isfáhán, he hastened to meet him. He gives the following account of his first interview, which took place at night in the home of Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alíy-i-Nahrí:

“I asked Mullá Husayn to divulge the name of Him who claimed to be the promised Manifestation. He replied: ‘To enquire about that name and to divulge it are alike forbidden.’ ‘Would it, then, be possible,’ I asked, ‘for me, even as the Letters of the Living, to seek independently the grace of the All-Merciful and, through prayer, to discover His identity?’ ‘The door of His grace,’ he replied, ‘is never closed before the face of him who seeks to find Him.’

I immediately retired from his presence, and requested his host to allow me the privacy of a room in his house where, alone and undisturbed, I could commune with God. In the midst of my contemplation, I suddenly remembered the face of a Youth whom I had often observed while in Karbilá, standing in an attitude of prayer, with His face bathed in tears at the entrance of the shrine of the Imám Husayn. That same countenance now reappeared before my eyes. In my vision I seemed to behold that same face, those same features, expressive of such joy as I could never describe. He smiled as He gazed at me. I went towards Him, ready to throw myself at His feet. I was bending towards the ground, when, lo! that radiant figure vanished from before me.

Overpowered with joy and gladness, I ran out to meet Mullá Husayn, who with transport received me and assured me that I had, at last, attained the object of my desire. He bade me, however, repress my feelings. ‘Declare not your vision to anyone,’ he urged me; ‘the time for it has not yet arrived. You have reaped the fruit of your patient waiting in Isfáhán. You should now proceed to Kirmán, and there acquaint Hájí Mírzá Karím Khán with this Message. From that place you should travel to Shíráz and endeavour to rouse the people of that city from their heedlessness. I hope to join you in Shíráz and share with you the blessings of a joyous reunion with our Beloved.’”
- Nabil  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’; translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

August 14, 2019

Being in love with the Blessed Beauty: “from the beginning of his life till the end”

This honored man, Mírzá Mihdí, was from Káshán. In early youth, under his father’s tutelage, he had studied sciences and arts, and had become skilled in composing both prose and verse, as well as in producing calligraphy in the style known as shikastih.1 He was singled out from his fellows, head and shoulders above the rest. When still a child, he learned of the Lord’s Advent, caught fire with love, and became one of those who “gave their all to purchase Joseph.” He was chief of the yearning seekers, lord of lovers; eloquently, he began to teach the Faith, and to prove the validity of the Manifestation.

He made converts; and because he yearned after God, he became a laughingstock in Káshán, disparaged by friend and stranger alike, exposed to the taunts of his faithless companions. One of them said: “He has lost his mind.” And another: “He is a public disgrace. Fortune has turned against him. He is done for.” The bullies mocked him, and spared him nothing. When life became untenable, and open war broke out, he left his homeland and journeyed to Iraq, the focal center of the new Light, where he gained the presence of all mankind’s Beloved.

He spent some time here, in the friends’ company, composing verses that sang the praises of Bahá’u’lláh. Later he was given leave to return home, and went back to live for a while in Káshán. But again, he was plagued by yearning love, and could bear the separation no more. He returned, therefore, to Baghdad, bringing with him his respected sister, the third consort.

Here he remained, under the bountiful protection of Bahá’u’lláh, until the convoy left Iraq for Constantinople, at which time Mírzá Mihdí was directed to remain behind and guard the Holy House. Restless, consumed with longing, he stayed on. When the friends were banished from Baghdad to Mosul, he was among the prisoners, a victim along with the others. With the greatest hardship, he got to Mosul, and here fresh calamities awaited him; he was ill almost all the time, he was an outcast, and destitute. Still he endured it for a considerable period, was patient, retained his dignity, and continually offered thanks. Finally he could bear the absence of Bahá’u’lláh no longer. He sought permission, was granted leave to come, and set out for the Most Great Prison.

July 8, 2019

Being present when ‘Abdu’l-Baha revealed a Tablet

One night we were in the presence of 'Abdu'l-Baha along with the rest of the pilgrims. While busy writing, the Centre of the Covenant was also attending to all the incoming guests, both Baha'is and non-Baha'is. A few hours after sunset, the non-Baha'is were granted permission to take their leave, after which 'Abdu'l-Baha addressed the friends. Gradually, signs of weariness began to appear in His blessed face; He dismissed everyone with the words, "Go in God's care." When all stood up, the Muslim Shaykh humbly put forward a request: "I beg that a Tablet may be revealed in the honour of Shaykh Hadi so that I may carry it to him." (The late Aqa Shaykh Hadi was the most erudite and highest-ranking Muslim divine in Iran. He had a peculiar creed. Some suspected that he was secretly a Baha'i and some believed him to be a Babi; in any case, he had a large and devoted following.)

'Abdu'l-Baha replied, "I have written to him recently; that should suffice."

But the Shaykh insisted, "I wish to be granted the honour of carrying to him such a gift."  

‘Abdu'l-Baha then consented, "Very well, I shall write it."

As we all began to leave the room, the Master said to Aqa Mirza Nuru'd-Din, "I am very busy, but I do not want to put this off. I may as well write it now, or I won't have another opportunity to do so. So come and sit down and I will dictate a few words." Pen in hand, Aqa Mirza Nuru'd-Din complied immediately.

The melodious chant of the Master filled the air, as divine verses in the Arabic tongue, indescribably eloquent and sublime, and with the rapidity of copious rain, flowed from His lips. God be praised, the atmosphere that dominated the hearts and the minds of those present is beyond description. The awesome power of that long, eloquent Tablet so overwhelmed every faculty of my being that neither pen nor tongue can describe it. As the poet says:

As in a dream, yet indescribable,
Nor is the world ready to hear it.

May 13, 2019

circa 1841, Karbilá: a disciple of Siyyid Kázim describes what happened when the Báb made a quiet appearance at one of Siyyid Kázim’s gatherings

Karbila, 1932
(Wikipedia)
Three days later, I saw that same Youth [the Báb] arrive and take His seat in the midst of the company of the assembled disciples of Siyyid Kázim. He sat close to the threshold, and with the same modesty and dignity of bearing listened to the discourse of the Siyyid. As soon as his eyes fell upon that Youth, the Siyyid discontinued his address and held his peace. Whereupon one of his disciples begged him to resume the argument which he had left unfinished. ‘What more shall I say?’ replied Siyyid Kázim, as he turned his face toward the Báb. ‘Lo, the Truth is more manifest than the ray of light that has fallen upon that lap!’ I immediately observed that the ray to which the Siyyid referred had fallen upon the lap of that same Youth whom we had recently visited.

‘Why is it,’ that questioner enquired, ‘that you neither reveal His name nor identify His person?’ To this the Siyyid replied by pointing with his finger to his own throat, implying that were he to divulge His name, they both would be put to death instantly. This added still further to my perplexity. I had already heard my teacher observe that so great is the perversity of this generation, that were he to point with his finger to the promised One and say: ‘He indeed is the Beloved, the Desire of your hearts and mine,’ they would still fail to recognise and acknowledge Him. I saw the Siyyid actually point out with his finger the ray of light that had fallen on that lap, and yet none among those who were present seemed to apprehend its meaning.

I, for my part, was convinced that the Siyyid himself could never be the promised One, but that a mystery inscrutable to us all, lay concealed in that strange and attractive Youth. Several times I ventured to approach Siyyid Kázim and seek from him an elucidation of this mystery. Every time I approached him, I was overcome by a sense of awe which his personality so powerfully inspired. Many a time I heard him remark: ‘O Shaykh Hasan, rejoice that your name is Ḥasan [praiseworthy]; Ḥasan your beginning, and Hasan your end. You have been privileged to attain to the day of Shaykh Ahmad, you have been closely associated with me, and in the days to come yours shall be the inestimable joy of beholding “what eye hath seen not, ear heard not, nor any heart conceived.”’
- Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí  ([A disciple of Siyyid Kázim], quoted by Nabil; ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

February 13, 2019

1851 Karbilá, Iraq: A disciple of the Báb becomes the first person to whom Baha'u'llah confided His Divine Mission – as was prophesied by the Báb in 1848

It was during Bahá’u’lláh’s nine-month exile to Karbilá in 1851, on the order of the Persian Prime Minister, that He “encountered, as He was walking through the streets, Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí, to whom He confided the secret He was destined to reveal at a later time in Baghdád. He found him eagerly searching after the promised Husayn, to whom the Báb had so lovingly referred and whom He had promised he would meet in Karbilá. (Nabil, ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí was an elderly Babi, quietly went about his life as a scribe and quite unknown to the community of Babis in Karbila. He had been an early disciple of Siyyid Kazim and one who during his days among the Shaykhis in Karbila had fleetingly encountered the Báb, not yet known to be the One awaited, visiting Him with Siyyid Kazim when first He had arrived from Shiraz. During Shaykh Hasan’s first months of conversion as a Bábi he had journeyed to Chihriq to join the Báb in that distant prison, there to act as transcriber of His works. It was then 1848 and Shaykh Hasan was moved to join the valiant defenders of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi, for the mustering summons had gone forth to the faithful. He expressed his wish to the Báb, only to be startled by His countermanding the intention.

The Báb told him: “Participation in that struggle is not enjoined upon you. You should proceed to Karbila and should abide in that holy city, inasmuch as you are destined to behold, with your own eyes, the beauteous countenance of the  promised Husayn. As you gaze upon that radiant face, do also remember Me. Convey to Him the expression of My loving devotion!” And then He added, “Verily I say, I have entrusted you with a great mission! Beware lest your heart grow faint, lest you forget the glory with which I have invested you.” (Nabil, ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

Soon thereafter Shaykh Hasan departed from the fortress-prison of Chihriq, journeyed to Karbila in Iraq as instructed and settled into life in that city. Fearing that a prolonged stay m that center of pilgrimage might arouse suspicion, he decided to marry and to earn his livelihood as a scribe. He lived thus for two years untill he heard of the martyrdom of his Master in Tabriz, and then waited through another year of anticipation.

December 20, 2018

Mírzá Músá: Bahá’u’lláh’s faithful brother, also known as Áqáy-i-Kalím – a brief account of his life by 'Abdu'l-Baha

Jináb-i-Mírzá Músá was the true brother of Bahá’u’lláh, and from earliest childhood he was reared in the sheltering embrace of the Most Great Name. He drank in the love of God with his mother’s milk; when yet a suckling, he showed an extraordinary attachment to the Blessed Beauty. At all times he was the object of Divine grace, favor and loving-kindness. After their distinguished father died, Mírzá Músá was brought up by Bahá’u’lláh, growing to maturity in the haven of His care. Day by day, the youth’s servitude and devotion increased. In all things, he lived according to the commandments, and he was entirely severed from any thoughts of this world.

Like a bright lamp, he shone out in that Household. He wished neither rank nor office, and had no worldly aims at all. His one supreme desire was to serve Bahá’u’lláh, and for this reason he was never separated from his Brother’s presence. No matter what torments the others inflicted, his loyalty equaled the cruelty of the rest, for he had drunk the wine of unadulterated love.

Then the voice was heard, crying out of Shíráz, and from a single utterance of Bahá’u’lláh’s his heart was filled with light, and from a single gust that blew over the gardens of faith, he caught the fragrance. At once, he began to serve the friends. He had an extraordinary attachment to me, and was at all times concerned for my well-being. In Tihrán he occupied himself day and night with propagating the Faith and gradually became well known to everyone; habitually he spent his time in the company of blessed souls.

December 19, 2018

Táhirih proclaims “the Day of Resurrection” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha describes the circumstances

In Badasht there was a field with a stream running through it and gardens to either side. Quddús remained concealed in one of the gardens, and Táhirih resided in the other. A tent had been pitched for Bahá’u’lláh on that field, and the other believers were also housed in tents erected on the same field. In the evenings Bahá’u’lláh, Quddús, and Táhirih would meet. Bahá’u’lláh made a solemn agreement with them that the truth of the Cause would be proclaimed at Badasht, but no specific day was designated.

Then, by chance, Bahá’u’lláh fell ill. As soon as he was informed, Quddús emerged from his concealment and entered Bahá’u’lláh’s tent. Táhirih sent a message saying: “Either bring Bahá’u’lláh to the garden where I reside or I will come myself.” Quddús said: “Bahá’u’lláh is unwell and cannot come”, which was a signal. Táhirih, seizing upon the opportunity, arose and, unveiled, came forth from the garden. She proceeded towards the tent of Bahá’u’lláh crying out and proclaiming: “I am the Trumpet-blast; I am the Bugle-call!”—which are two of the signs of the Day of Resurrection mentioned in the Qur’án. Calling out in this fashion, she entered the tent of Bahá’u’lláh. No sooner had she entered than Bahá’u’lláh instructed the believers to recite the Súrih of the Event from the Qur’án, a Súrih that describes the upheaval of the Day of Resurrection.

November 5, 2018

How one of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s translators became fluent in Arabic – without studying it

In this brief talk, Ali-Kuli Khan recalls how in early 1900 he was able to go on pilgrimage to the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and become one of His translators. Though he only knew Persian, he explains how the Master bestowed upon him the ability to read and understand the Writings in Arabic so he could translate them.

October 10, 2018

Roses from ‘Abdu’l-Baha

The next morning while I [Ali Kuli Khan] was in our room with my family [in Akka, during their pilgrimage in 1906], a gentle rapping attracted me to the door. There I found 'Abdu'l-Bahá standing with a large white handkerchief full of flowers. He said, "Give these flowers to Florence Khanum [American wife of Ali Kuli Khan] and bring me back the handkerchief." This I obeyed instantly. To our joy and delight, we found the flowers to be no other than a bridal bouquet of white roses. In them I found another small bouquet. It was easy to see its significance! All can imagine our joy upon receiving that blessing! My wife burst into tears of joy; for in this lovely act of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's she found the fulfilment of a prayer she had offered for a long time. The prayer was that she might receive a rose from the hand of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. 
- Ali Kuli Khan  (Notes of pilgrimage during 1906; published in ‘1906 Pilgrim Notes of Ali Kuli Khan’)

September 18, 2018

The story of two brothers - “two most blessed souls”: their virtues are praised by ‘Abdu’l-Baha

...Among those who left their homeland were two carpenters, Ustád Báqir and Ustád Ahmad. These two were brothers, of pure lineage, and natives of Káshán. From the time when both became believers each held the other in his embrace. They harkened to the voice of God, and to His cry of “Am I not your Lord?” they replied, “Yea, verily!”

For a time they stayed on in their own country, occupied with the remembrance of God, characterized by faith and knowledge, respected by friend and stranger alike, known to all for righteousness and trustworthiness, for austerity of life and the fear of God. When the oppressor stretched forth his hands against them, and tormented them beyond endurance, they emigrated to ‘Iráq, to the sheltering care of Bahá’u’lláh. They were two most blessed souls. For some time they remained in ‘Iráq, praying in all lowliness, and supplicating God.

Then Ustád Aḥmad departed for Adrianople, while Ustád Báqir remained in ‘Iráq and was taken as a prisoner to Mosul. Ustád Ahmad went on with the party of Bahá’u’lláh to the Most Great Prison, and Ustád Báqir emigrated from Mosul to Akká. Both of the brothers were under the protection of God and free from every earthly bond. In the prison, they worked at their craft, keeping to themselves, away from friend and stranger alike. Tranquil, dignified, confident, strong in faith, sheltered by the All-Merciful, they happily spent their days. Ustád Báqir was the first to die, and some time afterward his brother followed him.

These two were firm believers, loyal, patient, at all times thankful, at all times supplicating God in lowliness, with their faces turned in His direction. During that long stay in the prison they were never neglectful of duty, never at fault. They were constantly joyful, for they had drunk deep of the holy cup; and when they soared upward, out of the world, the friends mourned over them and asked that by the grace of Bahá’u’lláh, they should be favored and forgiven. These two were embosomed in bounty, and Divinely sustained, and the Blessed Beauty was well pleased with them both; with this provision for their journey, they set out for the world to come. Upon them both be the glory of God the All-Glorious; to each be a seat of truth in the Kingdom of Splendors. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk; ‘Memorials of the Faithful’)

August 17, 2018

What happened to the regiment that executed the Báb

Aqa Jan Khan-i-Khamsih who carried out
the order for the execution of the Báb 
The circumstances pertaining to the execution of the Báb provide us with many lessons to reflect on.

As we recall, the Armenian regiment that was ordered to perform that heinous task of executing the Báb and His companion Anis by firing squad on July 9th, 1950 didn’t succeed at their mission. This was because before carrying out their order their Christian commander Sam Khan had some doubts about that assignment. To him, the Prisoner looked kind and compassionate. He wondered for what crime was He to be put to death? Unable to still the voice of his conscience, Sam Khan had approached the Báb and confessed that as a Christian he entertained no ill against Him, but that he had to carry out his assignment. He told the Báb: ‘If your Cause be the Cause of truth, enable me to free myself from the obligation to shed your blood.' To this request the Báb had told him: 'Follow your instructions, and if your intention be sincere, the Almighty is surely able to relieve you from your perplexity.'

Having received this assurance from the Báb, Sam Khan ordered his regiment of seven-hundred and fifty soldiers to carry out their duty. They positioned themselves in three rows and fired seven-hundred and fifty bullets. When the smoke of the gunpowder settled they discovered to their amazement that the two captives were completely unharmed. Their commander, Sam Khan, witnessing this miracle refused to order his soldiers to make a second attempt. Another regiment was therefore brought in. Their commander was Aqa Jan Khan-i-Khamsih. Whereas the first regiment was composed of Armenian Christians, the soldiers belonging to the second regiment were Muslims. They were known as the Nasiri regiment.

July 24, 2018

An example of how the Guardian lived frugally and simply – by Hand of the Cause Furutan

Throughout our pilgrimage [1941] we visited the Shrines of the Báb and 'Abdu'l-Baha in the company of the beloved Guardian. He would chant the Tablet of Visitation in the Shrine of the Báb and then in the Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Baha.

He always removed his half-boots outside the doors of the Shrines. One day I noticed that the right wrist of the Guardian was in a white bandage and he had difficulty in moving it. I immediately thought that I should help remove his shoes. I bent down on my knees and started to undo the knots of his bootlaces. He was just bending down, and said very quietly, "Don't go to the trouble." I said, "Beloved Guardian, this is my honor." I removed his shoes, took my handkerchief from my pocket, and cleaned them. As I was cleaning his boots I noticed that one of them had a hole in it and the other one was repaired.

I was truly saddened. I knew that the Guardian lived frugally and simply, but I had not been aware of its extent.  
- Ali-Akbar Furutan  (‘Hand of the Cause of God Furutan’, by Iran Furutan Muhajir)

July 9, 2018

July 1850: Safeguarding the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion

Moat surrounding city of Tabriz, circa 1930s
On the evening of the very day of the Báb's execution, which fell on the ninth of July 1850…, during the thirty-first year of His age and the seventh of His ministry, the mangled bodies of the Báb and His companion were transferred from the courtyard of the barracks to the edge of the moat outside the gate of the city. Four companies, each consisting of ten sentinels, were ordered to keep watch in turn over them so that none of His followers might claim them.

On the following day the Russian Consul in Tabriz visited the spot, and ordered the artist who had accompanied him to make a drawing of the remains as they lay beside the moat. Nabil, in his chronical, ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, relates the following account from a believer by the name of Hájí ‘Alí-‘Askar who saw this drawing:

“An official of the Russian consulate, to whom I was related, showed me that same sketch on the very day it was drawn. It was such a faithful portrait of the Báb that I looked upon! No bullet had struck His forehead, His cheeks, or His lips. I gazed upon a smile which seemed to be still lingering upon His countenance. His body, however, had been severely mutilated. I could recognize the arms and head of His companion, who seemed to be holding Him in his embrace. As I gazed horror-struck upon that haunting picture, and saw how those noble traits had been disfigured, my heart sank within me. I turned away my face in anguish and, regaining my house, locked myself in my room. For three days and three nights, I could neither sleep nor eat, so overwhelmed was I with emotion. That short and tumultuous life, with all its sorrows, its turmoil, its banishments, and eventually the awe-inspiring martyrdom with which it had been crowned, seemed again to be re-enacted before my eyes. I tossed upon my bed, writhing in agony and pain.”

June 27, 2018

Tabriz, July 1850: Anís accompanies the Báb in facing the firing squad

Tabriz, 19th Century
[The day before His martyrdom]: Deprived of His turban and sash, the twin emblems of His noble lineage, the Báb, together with Siyyid Ḥusayn, His amanuensis, was driven to yet another confinement which He well knew was but a step further on the way leading Him to the goal He had set Himself to attain. That day witnessed a tremendous commotion in the city of Tabríz. The great convulsion associated in the ideas of its inhabitants with the Day of Judgment seemed at last to have come upon them. Never had that city experienced a turmoil so fierce and so mysterious as the one which seized its inhabitants on the day the Báb was led to that place which was to be the scene of His martyrdom.

As He approached the courtyard of the barracks, a youth [Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alíy-i-Zunúzí, surnamed Anís, meaning “companion”] suddenly leaped forward who, in his eagerness to overtake Him, had forced his way through the crowd, utterly ignoring the risks and perils which such an attempt might involve. His face was haggard, his feet were bare, and his hair dishevelled. Breathless with excitement and exhausted with fatigue, he flung himself at the feet of the Báb and, seizing the hem of His garment, passionately implored Him: “Send me not from Thee, O Master. Wherever Thou goest, suffer me to follow Thee.”

“Muhammad-‘Alí,” answered the Báb, “arise, and rest assured that you will be with Me. To-morrow you shall witness what God has decreed.”

June 10, 2018

Karbila, circa 1841: A meeting between the Báb and His forerunner Siyyid Kazim -- its profound and long-lasting effect on a disciple of Siyyid Kazim who was also present

Karbila, circa 1930s
In the following incident Nabil gives an example of Siyyid Kazim’s efforts to prepare his disciples to gradually remove the veils of age-old erroneous understandings and superstition, to become ready to recognize their Lord, the Báb:

In those days Siyyid Kázim became increasingly aware of the approach of the Hour at which the promised One [the Báb] was to be revealed. He realised how dense were those veils that hindered the seekers from apprehending the glory of the concealed Manifestation. He accordingly exerted his utmost endeavour to remove gradually, with caution and wisdom, whatever barriers might stand in the way of the full recognition of that Hidden Treasure of God.

He repeatedly urged his disciples to bear in mind the fact that He whose advent they were expecting would appear neither from Jabúlqá nor from Jabúlsá.’ [1] He even hinted at His presence in their very midst:

“You behold Him with your own eyes,” he often observed, “and yet recognise Him not!”

To his disciples who questioned him regarding the signs of the Manifestation, he would say:

“He is of noble lineage. He is a descendant of the Prophet of God, of the family of Háshim. [2] He is young in age, and is possessed of innate knowledge. His learning is derived, not from the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad, [his master] but from God. My knowledge is but a drop compared with the immensity of His knowledge; my attainments a speck of dust in the face of the wonders of His grace and power. Nay, immeasurable is the difference. He is of medium height, abstains from smoking, and is of extreme devoutness and piety.” 

May 18, 2018

An example of ‘Abdu’l-Baha drawing from “the power of Baha’u’llah”

One day after a meeting when, as usual, many people had crowded round Him, 'Abdu'l-Bahá arrived home very tired. We were sad at heart that He should be so fatigued, and bewailed the many steps to be ascended to the flat. Suddenly, to our amazement, the Master ran up the stairs to the top very quickly without stopping.

He looked down at us as we walked up after Him, saying with a bright smile, from which all traces of fatigue had vanished:

"You are all very old! I am very young!"

Seeing me full of wonder, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said: "Through the power of Bahá'u'lláh all things can be done. I have just used that power."

That was the only time we had ever seen Him use that power for Himself, and I feel that He did so then to cheer and comfort us, as we were really sad concerning His fatigue.

Might it not also have been to show us an example of the great Reserve of Divine Force always available for those of us who are working in various ways in the "Path of the Love of God and of Mankind." A celestial strength which reinforces us when our human strength fails. 
- Lady Blomfield  (‘The Chosen Highway’)

April 10, 2018

June-July 1849: The Báb’s immeasurable sorrow when the news of the martyrdom of Mulla Husayn, the heroes of Tabarsí, and Quddus reached Him

The news of the tragic fate which had befallen the heroes of Tabarsí brought immeasurable sorrow to the heart of the Báb. Confined in His prison-castle of Chihríq, severed from the little band of His struggling disciples, He watched with keen anxiety the progress of their labours and prayed with unremitting zeal for their victory. How great was His sorrow when, in the early days of Sha’bán in the year 1265 A.H., [June 22-July 21, 1849 A.D.] He came to learn of the trials that had beset their path, of the agony they had suffered, of the betrayal to which an exasperated enemy had felt compelled to resort, and of the abominable butchery with which their career had ended.

“The Báb was heart-broken,” His amanuensis, Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-‘Azíz, subsequently related [to Nabil], “at the receipt of this unexpected intelligence. He was crushed with grief, a grief that stilled His voice and silenced His pen. For nine days He refused to meet any of His friends. I myself, though His close and constant attendant, was refused admittance. Whatever meat or drink we offered Him, He was disinclined to touch. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and expressions of anguish dropped unceasingly from His lips. I could hear Him, from behind the curtain, give vent to His feelings of sadness as He communed, in the privacy of His cell, with His Beloved. I attempted to jot down the effusions of His sorrow as they poured forth from His wounded heart. Suspecting that I was attempting to preserve the lamentations He uttered, He bade me destroy whatever I had recorded. Nothing remains of the moans and cries with which that heavy-laden heart sought to relieve itself of the pangs that had seized it. For a period of five months He languished, immersed in an ocean of despondency and sorrow.”

March 18, 2018

‘Abdu’l-Baha tells a story about an incident during His childhood

[On another day, the Master gave them a story out of His own life:]

I was a child, nine years old. In the thick of those calamities, [Baha'u'llah was confined in the Siyah-Chal] when the enemy attacked, they stoned our house and it had filled up with stones. We had nobody to help us. There was only my mother, [1] my sister, [2] and Aqa Mirza Muhammad-Quli. [3] To protect us, my mother took us away from the Shimiran Gate to the Sangilaj quarter, where in the back lanes she found a house. In that house she watched over us and forbade us ever to set foot on the street. But one day the problem of how to get food became so urgent that my mother said to me: ‘Can you go to your aunt’s house? [4] Tell her to find a few krans [5] for us, no matter how.’

Our aunt lived in the Takyih [6] of Haji Rajab-’Ali, near the house of Mirza Hasan Kajdamagh. I went there. She tried everywhere and finally managed to collect five krans, which she tied up in the corner of a handkerchief and gave me.

On my way back through the Takyih, the son of Mirza Hasan recognized me. Immediately he called out, ‘This one is a Bábí!’ and the boys ran after me. The house of Mulla Ja’far of Astarabad was not far away, and I reached it and went into the entry. The son of Mulla Ja’far saw me but he did not put me out. Neither did he rout the boys.

February 25, 2018

Táhirih’s arrest in Qazvin and subsequent release through the intervention of Baha’u’llah

Táhirih was a woman of rare accomplishment. Most Persian women were not educated, but Táhirih's father had recognized early on that his young daughter was gifted with an especially keen mind. He loved her dearly and educated her the same way he educated his sons. Táhirih had grown into a woman as famous for her intelligence as for her beauty -- more than equal to any man in her knowledge of religion and in her ability to present strong, clear arguments. She possessed other talents as well. In a land where people had, for centuries, turned to their poets as often as their prophets for inspiration, Tahirih was known for the exquisite poetry she wrote. Her father, highly regarded among Persia's religious leaders, had taught his daughter well.

Still, she was a woman in a Muslim society. When men gathered in her father's house for religious discussion, Táhirih had to speak from behind a curtain, for women were not permitted to be in the company of men who were not members of their immediate family. She could never expect to be a spiritual leader, no matter how great her knowledge and skill. Some mullas even argued that women did not possess souls and ranked little higher than animals. How could they possibly understand religion?

"Would that she had been a boy," said her father, "for he would have shed illumination upon my household, and would have succeeded me."

Táhirih's marriage had been arranged according to the customs of the day, and she became mother to a daughter and two sons.

One day in the library of her cousin's house, she had happened upon the writings of Shaykh Ahmad, which captured her interest and led her into correspondence with Siyyid Kazim. Determined to study with him, Táhirih had traveled to Karbala, but ten days before her arrival Siyyid Kazim died.

February 1, 2018

‘Abdu’l-Baha recalls an example of Baha’u’llah’s majesty and power while officially still a prisoner

One day the government leaders, pillars of the country, the city’s ‘ulamás, leading mystics and intellectuals came out to the Mansion. The Blessed Beauty paid them no attention whatever. They were not admitted to His presence, nor did He inquire after any of them. I sat down with them and kept them company for some hours, after which they returned whence they had come. Although the royal farmán specifically decreed that Bahá’u’lláh was to be held in solitary confinement within the Akká fortress, in a cell, under perpetual guard; that He was never to set foot outside; that He was never even to see any of the believers—notwithstanding such a farmán, such a drastic order, His tent was raised in majesty on the heights of Mount Carmel. What greater display of power could there be than this, that from the very prison, the banner of the Lord was raised aloft, and rippled out for all the world to see! Praised be the Possessor of such majesty and might; praised be He, weaponed with the power and the glory; praised be He, Who defeated His foes when He lay captive in the Akká prison! 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk; ‘Memorials of the Faithful’)

January 18, 2018

circa 1850: Nabil, the author of Dawn-Breakers, took ‘Abdu’l-Baha to school one day

One day Mírzá Ahmad conducted me [Nabil, he was then about 19 years old] to the house of Bahá’u’lláh, whose wife, the Varaqatu’l-’Ulya, [the Most Exalted Leaf] the mother of the Most Great Branch, had already healed my eyes with an ointment which she herself had prepared and sent to me by…Mírzá Ahmad.

The first one I met in that house was that same beloved Son of hers, who was then a child of six. He smiled His welcome to me as He was standing at the door of the room which Bahá’u’lláh occupied. I passed that door, and was ushered into the presence of Mírzá Yahyá, [Baha’u’llah’s half-brother] utterly unaware of the station of the Occupant [Baha’u’llah] of the room I had left behind me….

On another occasion, when I visited that same house, I on the point of entering the room that Mírzá Yahyá occupied, when Áqáy-i-Kalím, [Baha’u’llah’s faithful brother] whom I had previously met, approached and requested me, since Isfandíyár, their servant, had gone to market and had not yet returned, to conduct “Áqá” [‘Abdu’l-Baha] to the Madrisiy-i-Mírzá-Sálih [school] in his stead and then return to this place. I gladly consented, and as I was preparing to leave, I saw the Most Great Branch, a child of exquisite beauty, wearing the kuláh [hat]  and cloaked in the jubbiy-i-hizari’í, [A kind of overcoat] emerge from the room which His Father occupied, and descend the steps leading to the gate of the house. I advanced and stretched forth my arms to carry Him. “We shall walk together,” He said, as He took hold of my hand and led me out of the house.

We chatted together as we walked hand in hand in the direction of the madrisih [school] known in those days by the name of Pa-Minar. As we reached His classroom, He turned to me and said: “Come again this afternoon and take me back to my home, for Isfandíyár is unable to fetch me. My Father will need him to-day.” I gladly acquiesced, and returned immediately to the house of Bahá’u’lláh…

I… returned to the madrisih in time to conduct the Most Great Branch to His home. 
- Nabil  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

January 10, 2018

Quddús’ amazing ability to pen copious writings – their recital and tributes by Mulla Husayn provided daily spiritual food at Fort Tabarsi

We know from the Baha’i Writings that Quddus, in addition to being the last Letter of the Living and the chosen companion of the Báb during His pilgrimage to Mecca, has a high station. The Guardian elucidates on it in ‘God Passes By’:

“Quddús, immortalized by Him [the Báb] as Ismu'llahi'l-Akhir (the Last Name of God); on whom Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet of Kullu't-Ta'am later conferred the sublime appellation of Nuqtiy-i-Ukhra (the Last Point); whom He elevated, in another Tablet, to a rank second to none except that of the Herald of His Revelation; whom He identifies, in still another Tablet, with one of the ‘Messengers charged with imposture’ mentioned in the Qur'án; whom the Persian Bayan extolled as that fellow-pilgrim round whom mirrors to the number of eight Vahids revolve; on whose ‘detachment and the sincerity of whose devotion to God's will God prideth Himself amidst the Concourse on high;’ whom 'Abdu'l-Bahá designated as the ‘Moon of Guidance;’ and whose appearance the Revelation of St. John the Divine anticipated as one of the two ‘Witnesses’ into whom, ere the ‘second woe is past,’ the ‘spirit of life from God’ must enter” (Shoghi Effendi, 'God Passes By')

Here is an example of Qúddus’ amazing keenness of understanding concerning the manifold meanings of the Word of God: 

Following the conference of Badasht, Quddús was en route to his home town when he fell into the hands of his opponents and placed under house arrest.

Nabil, the great Baha’i chronicler, explains that while Quddus was in confinement in the home of a leading clergy of the town of Sari, Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí, the latter asked Quddús “to write a commentary on the Súrih of Ikhlas, better known as the Súrih of Qul Huva’lláhu’l-Ahad” (Nabil, ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi).

December 5, 2017

A believer’s eagerness to provide financial assistance to Baha’u’llah – but chose a wrong method

Aqa Mirza Ja'jar was an erudite divine of Islam. In his youth, he taught at a theological school... He left the school altogether when he embraced the Cause and became a very steadfast believer. In those days, the Ancient Beauty was in Baghdad. Knowing that He was living an austere life in that city, Mirza Ja'jar wished to provide some funds for the relief of His blessed Person. In the end he came up with a plan. There were many vases and other ornaments made of copper in the mosques of Yazd. He used to go to a mosque at night, climb to the upper chambers, dismantle the ornamental copper vessels which were hanging from the ceiling, and take them home. Little by little he stole similar vessels from several mosques. In the end he gathered nearly half a ton of these copper items... He then transported them to Ardikan (about 100 miles from Yazd) to the home of a certain Ustad Kazim, an ironmonger. There he cut the copper articles to pieces and eventually succeeded in selling the metal for 70 tumans (a large sum of money in those days) in silver coins. He placed the silver inside a specially made leather cummerbund, tied it around his waist and set off on his journey on foot to Baghdad where he attained the presence of Baha’u’llah and presented the money to Him. The Blessed Beauty accepted the money from him, and bestowed upon him His blessings and favors. But He ordered him to accompany Mirza Aqa Jan, Khadimu'llah (the Servant of God), to the banks of the river and throw the money into its waters. Mirza Jajar became a servant of the household, and was among those companions who accompanied Baha’u’llah to Istanbul. 
- Adib Taherzadeh  (‘The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, vol. 4')

November 20, 2017

Two dreams that ‘Abdu’l-Baha had about two months before He passed away

Bedroom of  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, where He passed away
Two months before His ['Abdu'l-Baha's] passing He told His family of a dream He had had. 

“I seemed,” He said, “to be standing within a great mosque, in the inmost shrine, facing the Qiblih, in the place of the Imám himself. I became aware that a large number of people were flocking into the mosque. More and yet more crowded in, taking their places in rows behind Me, until there was a vast multitude. As I stood I raised loudly the call to prayer. Suddenly the thought came to Me to go forth from the mosque. When I found Myself outside I said within Myself: ‘For what reason came I forth, not having led the prayer? But it matters not; now that I have uttered the Call to prayer, the vast multitude will of themselves chant the prayer.’”

A few weeks later, whilst occupying a solitary room in the garden of His house, He recounted another dream to those around Him. 

“I dreamed a dream,” He said, “and behold, the Blessed Beauty (Bahá’u’lláh) came and said to Me: ‘Destroy this room.’” None of those present comprehended the significance of this dream until He Himself had soon after passed away, when it became clear to them all that by the “room” was meant the temple of His body. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

November 1, 2017

‘Abdu’l-Baha had the Power of Ether

Here is a fascinating insight about the Master, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, which Juliet Thompson, heard from Valíyu’lláh Varqa, a member of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s entourage during His visit to America in 1912. The following is an entry from her diary:

The next morning, Thursday, though I [Juliet Thompson] went unusually early to the Master, He had already left the house. But Lua, Valíyu’lláh Khán [son of the great Baha’i poet and martyr, Varqa], and I had a wonderful morning. Valíyu’lláh told us so many things.

“My father,” he said, “spent much time with the Blessed Beauty. The Blessed Beauty Himself taught him.

“One time when my father was in His room, Bahá’u’lláh rose and strode back and forth till the very walls seemed to shake. And He told my father that once in an age the Mighty God sent a Soul to earth endowed with the power of the Great Ether, and that such a Soul had all power and was able to do anything. ‘Even this walk of Mine’ said Bahá’u’lláh, ‘has an effect in the world.’

“Then He said that His Holiness Jesus Christ had also come with the power of the Great Ether, but the haughty priesthood of His day thought of Him as a poor, unlettered youth and believed that if they should crucify Him, His Teachings would soon be forgotten. Therefore they did crucify Him. But because His Holiness Jesus possessed the power of the Great Ether, He could not remain underground. This ethereal power rose and conquered the whole earth. ‘And now,’ the Blessed Beauty said, ‘look to the Master, for this same Power is His.’