November 30, 2014

Rúhá Khánum, one of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's daughters, was seriously ill when He left Alexandria, Egypt, aboard S. S. Cedric for the West on March 25, 1912

When ‘Abdu'l-Bahá was saying farewell amid the tears, lamentations and sadness of the friends and members of the Holy Family who watched their beloved's departure, one of `Abdu'l-Bahá's daughters, Rúhá Khánum, was seriously ill. It was evident that this deeply affected the Master. It was in these circumstances that `Abdu'l-Bahá left Alexandria on the morning of Monday, March 25, 1912. Although He had already bidden the friends farewell and had embraced most of them, many accompanied Him to the ship, expressing their sadness and anguish at their impending separation from Him. After visiting, walking about the ship and receiving His cabin assignment, `Abdu'l-Bahá went to the main hall where. He bestowed His love, affection and assurance on each of the friends. After an hour, the friends left the ship in tears. Then the S. S. Cedric, an Italian liner from the White Star Line, set sail, honored to be the means of transporting the Most Holy Being and becoming the focus of the envy of the whole earth.

The ship left the port of Alexandria with a burst of steam and great fanfare. ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's companions numbered six: Shoghi Effendi, Siyyid Asadu'lláh-i-Qumí, Dr Amínu'lláh Faríd, Mírzá Munír-i-Zayn, Áqá Khusraw and this servant, Mahmúd-i-Zarqání. After the ship left, `Abdu'l-Bahá went to the first class dining room and gave permission to His companions to have lunch with Him. 
(Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání, ‘Muhmud’s Diary’)

November 23, 2014

Shoghi Effendi had vivid and significant dreams during childhood

Shoghi Effendi was sometimes subject to vivid and significant dreams, both pleasant and unpleasant. It is reported that in his babyhood he woke one night crying and the Master told his nurse to bring Shoghi Effendi to Him so that He could comfort him; the Master said to His sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf, "See, already he has dreams!"
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, 'The Priceless Pearl')

November 9, 2014

Being in the presence of Baha’u’llah at the time of revelation

It was during one of his visits to 'Akká that Haji Mirza Haydar-'Ali was allowed to enter the presence of Bahá'u'lláh at the time of revelation. He has left to posterity the following brief account of that memorable occasion: 

...When permission was granted and the curtain was withdrawn, I entered the room where the King of kings and the Ruler of this world and the next, nay rather the Ruler of all the worlds of God, was with great authority seated on His couch. The verses of God were being revealed and the words streamed forth as in a copious rain. Methought the door, the wall, the carpet, the ceiling, the floor and the air were all perfumed and illumined. They all had been transformed, each and every one, into ears and were filled with a spirit of joy and ecstasy. Each object had become refreshed and was pulsating with life... To which worlds I was transported and in what state I was, no one who has not experienced such as this can ever know. 
(Adib Taherzadeh, ‘The Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol. 1) 

November 2, 2014

Opposition to 'Abdu'l-Baha's proposed marriage

Bahá'u'lláh intended to give His niece, Shahr-Banu Khanum, in marriage to His eldest Son, ‘Abdu’l-Baha. She was the daughter of His faithful older half-brother, Mirza Muhammad-Hasan. That was also the great hope of Mirza Muhammad-Hasan who hurried to Baghdad and pleaded with Bahá'u'lláh to bring about this union. But Mirza Muhammad-Hasan passed away before the Most Great Branch came of age.

When Bahá'u'lláh and His family were exiled to Iraq, Shahr-Banu Khanum remained in the district of Nur in Mazindaran, until in 1285 A.H. (1868) when Bahá'u'lláh instructed His uncle, Mulla Zaynu'l-'Abidin, to escort her to Tihran and from there to arrange her journey to Adrianople.

No sooner had this news reached Shah Sultan Khanum, a half-sister of Bahá'u'lláh and a follower of Mirza Yahya, than she arose in enmity and with the assistance of Mirza Rida-Quli, a half-brother of Baha’u’llah, and prevented the marriage from taking place. Mirza Rida-Quli, who had stood as father to Shahr-Banu Khanum after the death of her father, Mirza Muhammad-Hasan, was afraid that Násiri'd-Dín Sháh and his ministers would frown on this marriage and take him to task.

Shah Sultan Khanum took Shahr-Banu Khanum to her home in Tihran and practically forced her to marry instead Mirza Ali-Khan-i-Nuri, the son of the Prime Minister. Bahá'u'lláh has referred to this in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. This marriage, so rudely imposed upon her, plunged Shahr-Banu Khanum into a state of perpetual grief and misery. Her youngest brother, Mirza Nizamu'l-Mulk, a faithful and devoted follower of Bahá'u'lláh, has recorded in his memoirs that after her marriage Shahr-Banu Khanum prayed fervently to God for her deliverance from her tragic plight. It seems that her prayers were answered, as shortly afterwards she became afflicted with tuberculosis and died. 
(Adapted from ‘Baha’u’llah The King of Glory’, by Hassan Balyuzi, and ‘The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, vol. 2’, by Adib Taherzadeh)