Pilgrimage with ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Dr Youness Afroukhteh describes the experience of visiting the shrine of Baha’u’llah in the presence of Abdu’l Bahá. Taken from  “Memories of Nine Years in Akka” (page 25-26).

 Abdu'l-Baha-portrait

 Sometimes ‘Abdu’l-Baha travelled by carriage, but most of often on foot. Arriving in Bahji, He would rest briefly in the room adjoining the Shrine and then summon the friends inside, where in complete silence He would disperse rosewater on each and every visitor. After kneeling to kiss the threshold, He would rise to chant the Tablet of Visitation. As I write these words I can see with the eye of the spirit ‘Abdu’l-Baha standing before the threshold in supplication and I can hear His sublime powerful voice chanting the beautiful verses. Here memory plays no part, for it is the heart and the soul that in a state of utter attraction commit to the treasury of the spirit every word that leaves the blessed lips of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. My feeble heart trembles at the vibrations of His blessed voice as if there were a direct connection between that celestial chant and the nerve centre of my heart.

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God Willing

In “Portals to Freedom” Howard Colby Ives describes how Abdu’l Bahá would make plans wholly trusting in God 

“We should count time by heart throbs.” When I recall that all so far recounted occurred within the first three weeks after my meeting with Abdu’l-Bahá it seems incredible. In those few days life had taken on an entirely new meaning. I felt like a spiritual Columbus exploring the uncharted oceans of God. New lands had been discovered upon which I hardly had courage to set foot. Heights and depths of inner experience had been touched of which heretofore I had never dreamed. Truly, many times I had “packed eternity into an hour, or stretched an hour to eternity.”

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Meeting Abdu’l-Bahá

Howard Colby Ives in “Portals to Freedom” (page 30 – 33) recollects the experience of meeting with with Abdu’l Baha all alone. 

Abdu'l Baha

A door was opening far across from me and a group was emerging and Abdu’l-Bahá appeared saying farewell. None had any eyes save for Him. Again I had the impression of a unique dignity and courtesy and love. The morning sunlight flooded the room to center on His robe. His fez was slightly tilted and as I gazed. His hand, with a gesture evidently characteristic, raised and, touching, restored it to its proper place. His eyes met mine as my fascinated glance was on Him. He smiled and, with a gesture which no word but “lordly” can describe. He beckoned me.

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