January 20, 2010

Story of Haji Abdu’llah and His conversation with ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Haji Abdu’llah is a Baha’i of eighty years of age. He has lived fifty years in Egypt and has ever been a devoted Baha’i; and a sincere believer. He is dressed in Eastern robes and has a long gray beard. Although advanced in age, he is vigorous and in good health. He has seen Egypt become most prosperous through the opening of the Suez Canal. He lives in one of the small towns in the interior of the country and having heard about the arrival of the Master has come to see him. Today he received permission to return to his work. He had a conversation with ‘Abdul Baha.

‘Abdu’l-Baha asked him how old he was. He said he was over eighty years old.

Well! He had lived a good long life and now he looked younger than ‘Abdu’l-Baha!

It was through the Favor of Baha’u’llah, voiced the old veteran.

It was true! ‘Abdu’l-Baha told him, and wished to know whether he desired to live much longer.

Haji Abdu’llah gave an affirmative answer.

‘Abdu’l-Baha was surprised. What? Was this life so sweet to the old man's taste for him to long for an extension of it? Why was this? As to ‘Abdu’l-Baha he was ready to leave this ephemeral world. It contained no attraction for him. ‘Abdu’l-Baha likened himself to a man who has heard that he must travel twenty days before reaching his destination. Having traveled already fifteen days, he is eager to hasten his trip and arrive at his goal. He is anticipating the eternal union with the Beloved at the end of his journey; therefore he is impatient!

The old man was deeply moved and spoke in a tremulous voice. He did not want to live for himself. Looking back at the map of his life, he saw many barren years stretching before his eyes, for he had not been confirmed in the service of the Cause. Therefore he desired to do something. He was hoping against hope that he might yet be enabled to render a great service to the Cause. He knew that he was very old, but his hope was young, and his eyes were filled with tears.
(Related by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, one of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s secretaries, ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Egypt)