Memorials of the Faithful
`Abdu'l-Ghaffar of Isfahán
Another of those who left
their homeland to become
our neighbors and fellow prisoners was `Abdu'l-Ghaffar of
Isfahán. He was a highly perceptive individual who, on
commercial business, had traveled about Asia Minor for
many years. He made a journey to `Iráq, where Áqá Muhammad-`Alí
of Sád (Isfahán) brought him into the shelter
of the Faith. He soon ripped off the bandage of illusions
that had blinded his eyes before, and he rose up,
winging to salvation in the Heaven of Divine love. With
him, the veil had been thin, almost transparent, and that
is why, as the first word was imparted, he was immediately
released from the world of idle imaginings and attached
himself to the One Who is clear to see.
On the journey from `Iráq to the Great City, Constantinople,
`Abdu'l-Ghaffar was a close and agreeable companion.
He served as interpreter for the entire company,
for he spoke excellent Turkish, a language in which none
of the friends was proficient. The journey came peacefully
to an end and then, in the Great City, he continued on, as
a companion and friend. The same was true in Adrianople
and also when, as one of the prisoners, he accompanied us
to the city of Haifa.
Here, the oppressors determined to send him to Cyprus.
He was terrified and shouted for help, for he longed to be
with us in the Most Great Prison.
When they held him
back by force, from high up on the ship he threw himself
into the sea. This had no effect whatever on the brutal officers.
After dragging him from the water they held him
prisoner on the ship, cruelly restraining him, and carrying
him away by force to Cyprus. He was jailed in Famagusta,
but one way or another managed to escape and hastened to
Akká. Here, protecting himself from the malevolence of
our oppressors, he changed his name to `Abdu'lláh. Sheltered
within the loving-kindness of Bahá'u'lláh, he passed
his days at ease, and happy.
But when the world's great Light had set, to shine on
forever from the All-Luminous Horizon, `Abdu'l-Ghaffar
was beside himself and a prey to anguish. He no longer
had a home. He left for Damascus and spent some time
there, pent up in his sorrow, mourning by day and night.
He grew weaker and weaker. We despatched Hájí Abbás
there, to nurse him and give him treatment and care, and
send back word of him every day. But `Abdu'l-Ghaffar
would do nothing but talk, unceasingly, at every hour,
with his nurse, and tell how he longed to go his way, into
the mysterious country beyond. And at the end, far from
home, exiled from his Love, he set out for the Holy
Threshold of Bahá'u'lláh.
He was truly a man long-suffering, and mild; a man of
good character, good acts, and goodly words. Greetings and
praise be unto him, and the glory of the All-Glorious. His
sweet-scented tomb is in Damascus.
1. [Mírzá Yahyá had not been banished from Persia. Now, however, he was being exiled from Adrianople to Cyprus, and `Abdu'l-Ghaffar was one of the four companions condemned to go with him. Cf. Bahá'u'lláh's Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 166, and God Passes By, p. 182.]