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‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982 reprint
  • Pages:
  • 127
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Pages 117-119

‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd’s Committee

“One year before ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd was dethroned, he sent an extremely overbearing, treacherous and insulting committee of investigation. 118 The chairman was one of the governor’s staff, Árif Bey, and with him were three army commanders varying in rank.
“Immediately upon his arrival, Árif Bey proceeded to denounce me and tried to get proof strong enough to warrant sending me to Fizán, or throwing me into the sea. Fizán is a caravan station on the boundary of Tripoli where there are no houses and no water. It is a month’s journey by camel route from ‘Akká.
“The committee twice sent for me to hear what I had to say in my own defence and twice I sent back word: ‘I know your purpose, I have nothing to say.’
“This so infuriated Árif Bey that he declared he would return to Constantinople and bring back an order from the Sulṭán to have me hanged at the gate of ‘Akká. He and his committee set sail with their report containing the following accusations:—‘Abdu’l-Bahá is establishing a new nation of which he is to be the king; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is uplifting the banner of a new religion; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has built or caused to be built fortifications in Haifa, a neighbouring village, and is buying up all the surrounding lands.’
“About this time an Italian ship appeared in the harbour sent by order of the Italian Consul. It had been planned that I was to escape on it by night. The Bahá’ís in ‘Akká implored me to go but I sent this message to the captain: ‘The Báb did not run away: Bahá’u’lláh did not run away; I shall not run away, so the ship sailed away after waiting three days and three nights. 119
“It was while the Sulṭán’s committee of investigation was homeward bound that the first shell was dropped into ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd’s camp and the first gun of freedom was fired into the home of despotism. That was God’s gun,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, with one of his wonderful smiles.
“When the committee reached the Turkish capital, they had more urgent things to think of. The city was in a state of uproar and rebellion, and the committee, as members of the government staff, were delegated to investigate the insurrection. Meanwhile the people were establishing a constitutional government and ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd was given no chance to act.”