Monday, February 6, 2017

Dissimulation is condemned in Bahá'u'lláh's writings!?

At this time, not unlike the period of the incarceration of Bahá'u'lláh, those friends who desperately longed to attain the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá would have been satisfied to travel long distances from far-off lands so that, standing outside the gates of the city, they too could gaze unwaveringly at the wall of the prison fortress and focus their adoring glances on the window of His cell which overlooked the open fields and the moat circling the fortress, that perchance they might steal one glimpse of the Beloved and then return to their homes.

But praise be to God, hardship had not as yet reached that level of intensity. The grandeur and glory of the Head of the Cause was intact and the gates of 'Akka were open to all; no one expressed any discourtesy towards the followers of 'Abbas Effendi unless they were foreigners, or unless the Covenant-breakers had discovered their identity and informed the authorities at Beirut or the government headquarters at Istanbul. Therefore, if rarely one of the Western friends arrived in an Ottoman-style fez and stayed only briefly, the time would be too short for the Covenant-breakers to initiate any mischief. And so, every so often one of the Western friends, having fervently implored 'Abdu'l-Bahá to attain His presence, and having applied endlessly and persistently for that precious opportunity, would be granted permission to make the journey. Once at Port Said, he would receive proper instructions and a report on the situation in 'Akka; armed with that information and a fez in the Ottoman style, he would arrive at Haifa, and avoiding contact with foreign guests at any of the hotels, he would cautiously travel directly to 'Akka. For a period of one or two days he would attain the presence of the Master without meeting anyone else. After that, happy and contented, and with great caution, he would return to Port Said. Thus rejuvenated and filled with heavenly joy, he would become the bearer of glad-tidings of the well-being of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the friends of the West. But the journey of the ladies was uncomplicated. Firstly, these visitors were dressed in the habit of the Christian women of 'Akka; secondly, they never left the Master's House unless accompanied by the ladies of the household, and then only to visit the Most Holy Shrine; third, if someone recognized them, the position of English teacher was an obvious and acceptable explanation to justify their presence.

Examples of these were Mrs. Lua Getsinger, Mrs. Jackson, Amatu'l-Baha Miss Barney, and others who in recent years had come quite frequently and stayed in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's residence for long periods. But the men were not received in this manner, since at the Covenant-breakers' instigation they could easily become objects of suspicion. Spying and political conspiracy were the most frequent charges on which they could be accused. These suspicions and accusations had grown to such far-fetched levels that they [the Covenant-breakers] had tried to convince the Ottoman authorities that the Shrine of the Bab was in fact a storehouse for military arms.

Memories of Nine Years in Akka by Youness Afroukhteh Page 214 - 215

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