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

West.



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

drawing room.



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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