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.

At last the Tablet was completed; at His command, "Go in God's care," we left the room, unconscious of ourselves and of each other and removed from this world as each of us sought our separate ways back to the pilgrim house.

Darkness had enveloped the city, and I found myself walking in a very dark, narrow alleyway. Suddenly and quite unexpectedly I heard the voices of two men speaking Persian. One was saying, "It certainly was a strange phenomenon. It affected me deeply.". The other agreed, "Yes, the words were not His; yet He who spoke them spoke the truth."

They continued in this vein, to the effect that the words had been revealed through divine inspiration from the unseen world. These were the same two individuals who had asked to hand-carry Mirza Hadi's Tablet to Tehran. That night at the dinner table they seemed intoxicated, as though they had just awakened from a trance.

Next day, having received their instructions to depart, they began their return journey utterly transformed, carrying with them Mirza Hadi's Tablet.

It is thus clear that the magnetic attraction of the divine
utterance enraptured not only the spirits of the believers, but also stole the unyielding hearts of the non-believers. 
- Dr. Youness Afroukhteh  (‘Memories of Nine Years in ‘Akka)