September 23, 2010

The youth who was given the inestimable privilege of sharing “the cup of martyrdom” with the Manifestation of God

While the Bab was confined in the Castle of Chihriq in northwestern Iran, a youth in the nearby city of Tabriz by the name of Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Zunuzi learned about Him from a traveling teacher. The youth became so spiritually inflamed by what he heard, that he wanted to immediately hasten to the castle and attain the presence of the Bab. This youth was later surnamed Anis by the Bab, a title that literally means “close companion”, because he was subsequently martyred with Him in Tabriz in 1850. This was an inestimable privilege that Anis received --never before anything like it had happen in the history of religion.

This is how it happened.

September 13, 2010

An example of how ‘Abdu’l-Baha treated His enemies

When the Master came to `Akka there lived there a certain man from Afghanistan, an austere and rigid [Muslim]. To him the Master was a heretic. He felt and nourished a great enmity towards the Master, and roused up others against him. When opportunity offered in gatherings of the people, as in the Mosque, he denounced him with bitter words.

'This man,' he said to all, 'is an imposter. Why do you speak to him? Why do you have dealings with him?' And when he passed the Master on the street he was careful to hold his robe before his face that his sight might not be defiled.

Thus did the Afghan. The Master, however did thus: The Afghan was poor and lived in a mosque; he was frequently in need of food and clothing. The Master sent him both. These he accepted, but without thanks. He fell sick. The Master took him a physician, food, medicine, money. These, also, he accepted; but as he held out one hand that the physician might take his pulse, with the other he held his cloak before his face that he might not look upon the Master. For twenty-four years the Master continued his kindnesses and the Afghan persisted in his enmity. Then at last one day the Afghan came to the Master's door, and fell down, penitent and weeping, at his feet.

September 7, 2010

Baha’u’llah, His family and companions experienced exceptionally inhumane conditions in early days in ‘Akka prison

Life in the prison of 'Akka in the early days was extremely difficult and tortuous. The heat was severe during the day and there was no adequate water for washing. For three months, the authorities did not allow Bahi'u'llah to attend the public bath which in those days was the only place where people could take a bath. The guards had been given strict orders not to allow any person to visit Him. Even when a barber came to attend to Baha'u'llah's hair, he was accompanied by a guard and was not allowed to talk to Him. 'Abdu'l-Baha had to live in a room on the ground floor which had been formerly used as a morgue. Its moist air affected His health for the rest of His life. As for the prisoners, the filthy conditions under which they were living, the lack of proper food and hygiene, and the severity of restrictions, took their toll. Shortly after their arrival in the barracks, all but two fell sick. Nine of the ten guards were also struck down by illness. Malaria and dysentery added to their ordeal. The only two unaffected at that stage were 'Abdu'l-Baha and Aqa Riday-i-Qannad, although both of them were taken ill at a later time. The Master, helped by this believer, attended to the needs of the sick and nursed them day and night. The authorities did not call for a doctor to administer medicine. With the few provisions at His disposal all that 'Abdu'l-Baha could do was to cook for them a simple broth and some rice each day. But the hygienic conditions were appalling. The heat was severe during the day and there was no adequate water for washing.