August 15, 2013

“calamities in the path of God will cause His truth to become more apparent”

Akka, 1901

When this blessed Cause was manifested in Persia some of the divines and famous learned men became believers and were martyred. The people murdered the Báb thinking they had ended the Holy Cause. They annihilated thousands of families, plundered the goods of the believers, killed men and captured women and children. However it was found that this had no destructive effect upon the Cause but that the flaming fire of God was kindled the more. The lamp of God became more brilliant, waves of the sea of bounty increased, the breeze of God blew stronger, and the fragrance of the Holy Spirit became more powerful. And after imprisoning the Blessed Perfection the government decided to banish Him to Baghdad thinking that through this banishment the work of the Cause would be destroyed. As it took one month to go from Teheran to Baghdad it was thought by the people that all trace of the Cause would be lost. On the contrary, the Cause of God became more powerful, His words more widely spread, His proclamation more generally heard and the power of His Cause is stronger. Consequently the government decided to send the Blessed Perfection from Baghdad to Constantinople. As Constantinople was a large city and as there were many Persians in the city who traveled freely this plan also proved fruitless. Through the power of the Persian government the Blessed Perfection was then sent to Adrianople, in Rumelia, a country very far from Persia and a possession of Turkey. Because there was no railway there was very little travel by the Persians to and from Adrianople, and therefore it was thought by the learned men of Persia that the Cause of God would have no effect upon the Persians. However it was soon learned that these places were not places of banishment for the Blessed Perfection, glory be to Him. And it was therefore decided that He should be sent to some small place, a place were murderers were confined, where robbers were imprisoned so that His cause would be weakened.

Accordingly the clergy or learned men of Persia being hostile to this Holy Cause so arranged that the Blessed Perfection was sent from Adrianople, the land of mystery, to Acca, Syria. In this prison, Acca, the flag of the Garden of God was raised, the greatness of the Word of God appeared, and the Sun of Truth shown in such a degree that all the horizons became clear. Praise be to God, the promises about the Holy Land were fulfilled and the Glad Tidings uttered through the tongues of the Prophets of God were realized. For the enemies caused the Blessed Perfection to be sent to the Holy Land and to have his residence in the Promised Land.

Therefore the faithful followers of God must know that calamities in the path of God will cause His truth to become more apparent. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the means of spreading the Light of the Cause of God. And the martyrdom of His disciples resulted in eternal greatness of the Cause. The disciples were like torches which so burn by the fire of the hostility of the people yet they enlighten the world. Therefore the believers must not be sorrowful for this weak confinement and for these new calamities. But they must be more attracted and kindled in cutting themselves from the world.
~ ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (from a table talk; excerpt from the transcript of a talk given by William Copeland Dodge relating the account of his pilgrimage to ‘Akka in 1901) (To listen to and read the entire talk please visit Baha’i Talks, Messagesand Articles)