October 19, 2014

An example of the commanding power of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was about twenty-four years old, the most terrible crisis which Bahá'u'lláh and His family ever had to meet, developed in Adrianople, when once again they were on the eve of banishment. A banishment far more cruel than the three that had preceded it, for now this uniquely united family was to be torn asunder, Baha'u'llah sent to a distant city, a secret destination, His wife and children to another secret destination; forever parted, and forever lost, one to the other.

'Abdu’l-Bahá sought out the officials. Again and again He went to them. What He said has not been recorded--only that "He pleaded", "He persisted", and that the officials "seemed unable to put the measure into execution."

While this measure was pending, news of it reached the believers of Adrianople and they rushed in a body to the house of Baha'u'llah, frantic at the thought of separation from Him. In such a state of agitation and despair one old man seized a knife and crying, "If I must be separated from my Lord, I will go now and join my God," cut his throat.

A scene of wild confusion followed, during which a cordon of police surrounded the frenzied crowd and attempted brutally to control it.

It was then that 'Abdu’l-Bahá suddenly appeared in their midst. A lightning flash of power and a superhuman force was felt by all as they heard His "impassioned and vehement words", denouncing the cruelty of the police, demanding the presence of the governor.

In telling the story ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sister, Bahiyyih Khánum, told Juliet Thompson: "We had never before seen my brother angry."

So swift was the effect of this anger that the governor was at once sent for. He hurried to the scene and, witnessing it, said: "We cannot separate these people. It is impossible."

Thus it was that about seventy devotees were allowed to accompany their Divine Beloved, Baha’u’llah, to ‘Akka. 
(Adapted from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Center of the Covenant’, by Juliet Thompson)