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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 58-59

Turkish Commissions of Investigation

In 1904 and 1907 commissions were appointed by the Turkish Government to inquire into the charges against ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and lying witnesses gave evidence against Him. 59 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, while refuting the charges, expressed His entire readiness to submit to any sentence the tribunal chose to impose. He declared that if they should throw Him into jail, drag Him through the streets, curse Him, spit upon Him, stone Him, heap upon Him all sort of ignominy, hang Him or shoot Him, He would still be happy.
Between the sittings of the Commissions of Investigation He pursued His ordinary life with the utmost serenity, planting fruit trees in a garden and presiding at a marriage feast with the dignity and radiance of spiritual freedom. The Spanish Consul offered to provide Him a safe passage to any foreign port He cared to select, but this offer He gratefully but firmly refused, saying that whatever the consequences, He must follow in the footsteps of the Báb and the Blessed Perfection, Who never tried to save Themselves or run away from Their enemies. He encouraged most of the Bahá’ís, however, to leave the neighborhood of ‘Akká, which had become very dangerous for them, and remained alone, with a few of the faithful, to await His destiny.
The four corrupt officials who constituted the last investigating commission arrived in ‘Akká in the early part of the winter of 1907, stayed one month, and departed for Constantinople, after finishing their so-called “investigation,” prepared to report that the charges against ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been substantiated and to recommend His exile or execution. No sooner had they got back to Turkey, however, than the Revolution broke out there and the four commissioners, who belonged to the old regime, had to flee for their lives. The Young Turks established their supremacy, and all political and religious prisoners in the Ottoman Empire were set free. In September 1980 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was released was prison, and in the following year ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd, the Sulṭán, became himself a prisoner.