April 22, 2010

Baha’u’llah shows kindness to an elderly woman in Baghdad

Every day Baha'u'llah walked to the coffeehouses near the bridge of the boats [in Baghdad]. Each day an elderly woman stood alongside the road and waited for Him to pass. She was poor and lived in a broken-down house. Baha'u'llah stopped each day and spoke kindly to the woman. He would inquire after her health, then give her a little money.

Each day the elderly woman would kiss Baha’u’llah’s hands to show her thanks, but sometimes she wanted to kiss His face. She was rather short and could not quite reach, so Baha'u'llah would bend down to let her kiss Him on the cheek ‘She knows that I like her,' Baha'u'llah would tell His companions, ‘that is why she likes Me.’ (Baha’u’llah, quoted by Balyuzi, Baha’u’llah: King of Glory, p. 151) (Druzelle Cederquist, The Story of Baha’u’llah, p. 159)

April 14, 2010

The amazing story of how ‘Abdu’r-Rahim entered the presence of his Lord in the barracks of the prison city of Akka during the early days of Baha’u’llah’s incarceration

‘Abdu’r-Rahim, whose original name was Ja’far, was a native of the town of Bushru'iyyih in northern Persia – the same town that was the birthplace of Mulla Husayn, the first to believe in the Báb.

Before his conversion to the Faith, 'Abdu'r-Rahim had been a fanatical Muslim. Having noticed the growth of the Faith, he once sought guidance from a local clergyman as to what his attitude should be towards the Bahá'ís. The clergyman told him that 'to fight them is as meritorious as taking part in a holy war”, and that “to kill them is praiseworthy in the sight of God”!

“These words provoked in 'Abdu'r-Rahim a strong urge to kill some Bahá'ís. Armed with a weapon, he one day confronted an old believer by the name of Haji Baba, and told him in no uncertain terms that he had come to take his life because he had strayed from the path of truth and had embraced the Faith of the Bahá'ís.

Faced with the threat of death, Haji Baba displayed unruffled calm and spoke with tenderness such words that the heart of 'Abdu'r-Rahim was touched. Soon his mood changed. Instead of being an enemy intent upon killing, he now wanted to investigate the truth.

April 7, 2010

A Glimpse of ‘Abdu’l-Baha – by M M Holbach in the Christian Commonwealth

Haifa, January 8, 1914

I write this by a window that looks across an orange garden to the slopes of Mount Carmel, which rises almost abruptly beyond the red-roofed houses of the German colony. The “Mount of God” is but a hill in comparison with the mighty Alps, yet how great is its fascination, how beautiful it appears now in the moonlight! From time immemorial it has been the home of the prophets. It is here that ‘Abdu’l-Baha dwells today, and the simple Germans who left their native land to await "the second coming" of their Lord upon this mountain, are his neighbors! In my ears is the sound of the sea, for the blue Mediterranean laps the shores of Carmel, and across the bay Akka gleams white in the moonlight. “The Great Prison” it was called when Baha’u’llah dwelt there, a prisoner in a penal city. But a blessing surely rests upon it now, for the sun seems ever to shine there when the sea and the sky are grey. The soil upon which its houses are built has been many times soaked in blood. Christian and Saracen massacred one another there in turn. Many prisoners have languished there since Napoleon's pride was humbled by his failure to take "the petty town" which yet he designated "the key to the East.''