Declaration of the Bab II Munirih Khanum

The steamer entered the port of 'Akka half an hour before sunset. 'Abdu'l-Ahad did not come. All the passengers disembarked, and the steamer's cargo was unloaded. But still he did not appear. We were anxiously on the look out for him. My brother said, "Sister, it seems that we will have to return."

I replied, "My brother, of course we will obey. In the Lawh-i Madinatu'l-Rida (Tablet of the City of Resignation) He states: "The paradise of resignation is better than the paradise of My presence."

Night fell and the gang plank was raised. We were completely hopeless. shaykh Salman bellowed out constantly. Suddenly, 'Abdu'l-Ahad's voice reached us like the trumpet of heaven, or a revelation from the All-Merciful. He came to the steamer in a private boat, the gang plank was lowered, and we descended into the boat. It was very dark, and nobody was on the landing when we arrived there except for Jinab-i Kalim [1] and Khajih 'Abbud, the owner of the house in which the Blessed Beauty lived. Later, the Greatest Holy Leaf told me that the Master, 'Abdu'l-Baha, had also come to the landing place at Baha'u'llah's instruction, but I did not see Him. [1 Usually known as Aqay-i Kalim, or Mirza Musa, the younger brother of Baha'u'llah who accompanied Him in His exiles.]

Together with Jinab-i Kalim, we went to the Khan-i Jurayni.[1] The next morning all the women of the Household came to visit us in Jinab-i Kalim's house, and we accompanied them into the presence of the Blessed Beauty. [1 caravanserai, also known as Khan-i 'Umdan.]

With what words can I describe that meeting? His first utterance to me was: "We have received you into this prison at a time when the prison door is closed to all the believers, so that the power of God may become clear and evident to all."

For five months we remained in Jinab-i Kalim's house. On some days we would attain His [Baha'u'llah's] Presence and then return to our home. Whenever Jinab-i Kalim visited Baha'u'llah, he would return and convey His infinite bounties as well as some gift. One day he returned saying, "I have brought you a wonderful gift. You have been renamed Munirih (Luminous) by Him."

Instantly I remembered Baha'u'llah's dream related to us in Isfahan by Sayyid Mihdi Dahiji. The Blessed Beauty had said: "I dreamt that I saw the daughter of my brother Mirza Hasan become sick. Her color changed, and she gradually became weaker and more faded until she left this world. Then another girl appeared whose face was luminous and whose heart was luminous. I have chosen her for the Most Great Branch."

We continued to live in the house of Jinab-i Kalim for five months because of a lack of housing. Finally, Khajih 'Abbud questioned Jinab-i Kalim about this matter and asked why the marriage had been delayed. Jinab-i Kalim did not give him a clear answer, until 'Abbud himself realized that the problem was the lack of a room. Khajih 'Abbud then opened a room from his own house, when adjoined the private quarters of the holy Household. He furnished the room with the utmost simplicity and purity, and then went to the Blessed Beauty to request Him to accept this room as he had prepared it for the Master. His request was accepted, and the night of union -- preferable to a hundred thousand years -- drew near.

On that night, I wore a white dress given to me by the Greatest Holy Leaf, and which was more precious than all the silks and brocades of paradise. At about three hours after sunset on that night of power, the life-giving voice of the incomparable Beloved could be heard from the Supreme Source. I was summoned to the presence of the Blessed Beauty, attended by Hadrat-i Khanum.[1] [1 Asiyih Khanum, the Most Exalted Leaf, the wife of Baha'u'llah and the mother of 'Abdu'l-Baha.]

The Ancient Beauty was seated under a mosquito net. He said, "You have come! You are welcome!" Then he addressed me thus: "O My Leaf and My Handmaiden! Verily, we chose thee and accept thee to serve my Most Great Branch, and this is by my grace, which is not equalled by all the treasures of earth and heaven." After bestowing numerous favors, He said, "How many were the girls in Baghdad and Adrianople, and in this Most Great Prison who hoped to attain to this bounty, and whose hopes were not fulfilled. You must be thankful for this most great bestowal and great favor." Then He dismissed me and bade me to withdraw "under the protection of God." After hearing these heavenly words and observing such divine bestowals, you can imagine how I felt and what a world was before my eyes.

Said the Heavens to the earth: "If the Resurrection thou hast never seen, then behold!"

After that blessed and happy hour, I entered that sheltering paradise, immersed in worlds of ardent desire, attraction, effacement, and absolute nothingness. How blessed and exalted was that time! How joyous that hour in that room! There I observed the Most Great Branch in utmost grace, bounty, and majesty. Only God knows what happened at that time. After an hour or so, the Master's mother, the wife of Aqay-i Kalim, the wife of the landlord, and their daughters all entered the room. The mother of Mirza Muhammad 'Ali had brought Tablets used especially for celebrating holy days and festive occasions. She handed me the Tablet that begins: "The gates of paradise are opened and the celestial youth hath appeared"[1] and told me to recite it. Without further ceremony, I took it and intoned it in a loud and melodious voice. From then on, whenever the wife of Khajih 'Abbud saw me she would say: "I shall never forget that night and that meeting; the sweetness of your voice still rings in my ears. No bride had ever chanted so at her own wedding!" [1 Lawh-i ghulamu'l-khuld (Tablet of the Youth of Paradise). See The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, vol. 1, p. 213ff.]

Such were the events that took place in the Holy Land, and on my journey there -- and of the dream before I arrived there, as well as my meeting with the wife of the Bab. Should I wish to write an account of the fifty years spent in the Presence of the Beloved of the Worlds ['Abdu'l-Baha], I would need fifty years to do so, the seas would have to turn to ink and the trees into pens. All I can do is supplicate at the Threshold of Oneness, and beseech Him not to deny me His favors and bounties in all His worlds.

O Lord, I ask of Thee that the end of all affairs will be filled with goodness, honor and happiness. O Lord of the Worlds and Most Merciful of the Merciful!

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