Abdu’l-Baha on Baha’i Persecutions in 1903 (part 7)

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BSREditor’s Note:  This is the final instalment in Abdu’l-Baha’s remarkable report about the persecution of the Baha’is in Isfahan, Yazd and the surrounding areas.  Previous segments are available at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

By: Abdu’l-Baha

Jesus – may the spirits of both worlds be a sacrifice unto Him! – has plainly pointed out the pathway to the Kingdom, showing clearly the shortest and surest road. That straight path is the field of self-sacrifice. Therefore these sanctified souls have but followed that Effulgent Source [Christ], and through this path have they proceeded to the Kingdom of Mysteries. For the sake of such as these He said: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.’ ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ ‘Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake.’[19] Similarly, in the Tablet of Aqdas it is revealed:

Blessed the slumberer who is awakened by My Breeze. Blessed the lifeless one who is quickened through My reviving breaths. Blessed the eye that is solaced by gazing at My beauty. Blessed the wayfarer who directeth his steps towards the Tabernacle of My glory and majesty. Blessed the distressed one who seeketh refuge beneath the shadow of My canopy. Blessed the sore athirst who hasteneth to the soft-flowing waters of My loving-kindness. Blessed the insatiate soul who casteth away his selfish desires for love of Me and taketh his place at the banquet table which I have sent down from the heaven of divine bounty for My chosen ones. Blessed the abased one who layeth fast hold on the cord of My glory; and the needy one who entereth beneath the shadow of the Tabernacle of My wealth. Blessed the ignorant one who seeketh the fountain of My knowledge; and the heedless one who cleaveth to the cord of My remembrance.  Blessed the soul that hath been raised to life through My quickening breath and hath gained admittance into My heavenly Kingdom. Blessed the man whom the sweet savours of reunion with Me have stirred and caused to draw nigh unto the Dayspring of My Revelation. Blessed the ear that hath heard and the tongue that hath borne witness and the eye that hath seen and recognized the Lord Himself, in His great glory and majesty, invested with grandeur and dominion. Blessed are they that have attained His presence. Blessed the man who hath sought enlightenment from the Day-Star of My Word. Blessed he who hath attired his head with the diadem of My love. Blessed is he who hath heard of My grief and hath arisen to aid Me among My people. Blessed is he who hath laid down his life in My path and hath borne manifold hardships for the sake of My Name. Blessed the man who, assured of My Word, hath arisen from among the dead to celebrate My praise. Blessed is he that hath been enraptured by My wondrous melodies and hath rent the veils asunder through the potency of My might. Blessed is he who hath remained faithful to My Covenant, and whom the things of the world have not kept back from attaining My Court of holiness. Blessed is the man who hath detached himself from all else but Me, hath soared in the atmosphere of My love, hath gained admittance into My Kingdom, gazed upon My realms of glory, quaffed the living waters of My bounty, hath drunk his fill from the heavenly river of My loving providence, acquainted himself with My Cause, apprehended that which I concealed within the treasury of My Words, and hath shone forth from the horizon of divine knowledge engaged in My praise and glorification. Verily, he is of Me. Upon him rest My mercy, My loving-kindness, My bounty and My glory.[20]

This is the ransom for the blood of the martyrs! This is the utmost desire of the near ones! This is the eternal life of the spiritual ones! This is the pathway of Jesus! This is the way of the Divine Manifestations of both ancient and modern ages! In a Tablet addressed to the Wolf, the father of Shaykh Taqi, [Baha’u’llah] wrote:

Thinkest thou that We fear thy cruelty? Know thou and be well assured that from the first day whereon the voice of the Most Sublime Pen was raised betwixt earth and heaven We offered up Our souls, and Our bodies, and Our sons, and Our possessions in the path of God, the Exalted, the Great, and We glory therein amongst all created things and the Concourse on high. Unto this testify the things which have befallen Us in this straight Path. By God! Our hearts were consumed, and Our bodies were crucified, and Our blood was spilt, while Our eyes were fixed on the horizon of the loving-kindness of their Lord, the Witness, the All-Seeing. The more grievous their woes, the greater waxed the love of the people of Baha. Unto their sincerity hath borne witness what the All-Merciful hath sent down in the Qur’an. He saith: ‘Wish ye, then, for death, if ye are sincere.’ Who is to be preferred, he that hath sheltered himself behind curtains, or he that hath offered himself in the path of God? Judge thou fairly, and be not of them that rove distraught in the wilderness of falsehood. So carried away have they been by the living waters of the love of the Most Merciful, that neither the arms of the world nor the swords of the nations have deterred them from setting their faces towards the ocean of the bounty of their Lord, the Giver, the Generous.

By God! Troubles have failed to unnerve Me, and the repudiation of the divines hath been powerless to weaken Me. I have spoken, and still speak forth before the face of men: ‘The door of grace hath been unlocked and He Who is the Dayspring of Justice is come with perspicuous signs and evident testimonies, from God, the Lord of strength and of might!’[21]

 

[19] Matthew 5:10, 5:8, 5:11 respectively

[20] The text of the Tablet of Aqdas quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Baha is at variance with the published version in Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas (Wilmette, Ill.: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1988) 16-17. A discussion of these differences is beyond the scope of the present study and is left for another occasion. For the purpose of the present translation, the version in Tablets of Baha’u’llah is employed.

[21] The passage cited by ‘Abdu’l-Baha is from Baha’u’llah’s Lawh Burhan. However, a comparison of the version in Makatib 3:145-6 with Lawh Burhan in the original text of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Lawh Mubarak khitab bih Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Mujtahif Isfahani ma’ruf bih Najafi (Langenhain: Baha’i-Verlag, 138 BE/1981) p. 57, suggests some discrepancies. For the purpose of this translation, reliance has been placed on Shoghi Effendi’s translation of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Wilmette, Ill.: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1988) 84-6

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3 Responses

  1. Rob

    August 11, 2009 12:16 am

    Sorry for my repetition where to find this treatise of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in PDF form on H-Bahai.

    A more recent treatise on the oppression of the Baha’is in Iran durig the period of 1979 onward is the book “Human Rights , the UN and the Baha’is in Iran” by Nazila Ghanea (Oxford: George Ronald, 2002) .

    “Nazila Ghanea’s study provides the scene, the setting and the actors in this legal, political, social, cultural and religious drama, all observed within the United Nations human rights system…”

    Reply

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