Some Of The Experiences Of His Forty Years Imprisonment
In an apartment in Cadogan Gardens sits a spiritually illumined Oriental,
whose recent advent in London marks the latest junction of the East and
The teaching of 'Abdu'l-Baha has already brought about the commingling of
thousands of Englishmen and Englishwomen with Orientals from every quarter
of the East. Upon the basis of mutual help and friendship and the worship
of God, regardless of creed and denomination, they have joined hands with
an earnestness and brotherly love contrary to the theories of certain
cynical poets and philosophers.
Most of 'Abdu'l-Baha's life has been spent in an Eastern prison, which he
gladly endured rather than abjure his faith, one of the tenets of which is
the absolute equality of souls regardless of physical differences, such as
sex and colour. He recognizes no class distinctions except those conferred
by service and the spirit of brotherly love. For this and other like
doctrines he was held prisoner for forty years in the fortress city of
Akka, in Palestine. When I requested to talk with him, I was told to come
early, and called, according, at nine o'clock, for an interview. It was
already mid-day to 'Abdu'l-Baha who rises at four, and who had seen
eighteen people before his breakfast at half-past six.
Representatives of many languages and nationalities awaited him in the
We sat in a circle facing 'Abdu'l-Baha who inquired if there were any
questions we would like to ask. I said my editor had sent me to ascertain
something of his prison life, and 'Abdu'l-Baha at once related in a simple
impersonal way one of the most remarkable stories conceivable.
At nine years of age, I accompanied my father, Baha'u'llah, in his
journey of exile to Baghdad, seventy of his disciples going with us.
This decree of exile, after persistent persecution, was intended to
effectively stamp out of Persia what the authorities considered a
dangerous religion. Baha'u'llah, with his family and followers, was
banished, and travelled from one place to another. When I was about
twenty-five years old, we were moved from Constantinople to Adrianople,
and from there went with a guard of soldiers to the fortressed city of
Akka, where we were imprisoned and closely guarded.
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