Sunday, 17 November 2013

Peter of Baha

Peter of Baha, Ibrahim George Khairullah

Ibrahim George Khairullah was born in November 11, 1849, at Behemdoun, a village in Lebanon. In 1870 he was graduated in B.A from American Collage in Beirut, he was one of the few persons who first graduated from that renowned collage.
In 1872 he left Syria for Egypt, where he stayed for about 21 years. Here he met with the late Jajji Abdul kareem Tehrani, one of the followers of Baha’u’llah, who preached him the news of this great manifestation. In 1890 he accepted the faith.
In June 19, 1892 he travelled to St. Petersburg for some special business. He stayed in America and started preaching the faith to America, he travelled to England and France and made remarkable teaching.

During all this time, Ibrahim George Khairullah did not take anything for the teachings, even he refused the presents that were offered to him, and so he put this rule on all the preachers whome he sent to the other parts of United States. He used to spent his own earning and some time used to pay to get meeting place for the believers.
In the mid of June 1898 he decided to pay a visit to Acca. After landing at Haifa, he went in a carriage to Acca accompanied by Hossein Irani, who was appointed by Abbas Effendi for the meeting of the visitors.
Here we bring from the book of Mirza Jawad Qazvini about his meeting and stay in Acca.

From page 82

On reaching Acca they went to the house of Abbas Effendi where they were shown to the drawing room in the upper story. When Abbas Effendi entered he embraced Khaeiralla to his bosom and greeted him saying, “Welcome, O Beloved ! O Peter of Beha, O Second Columbus”, and he sat by his side and spoke to him with kindness and love. He questioned him of the visitors who were coming from America, and of the believers there, and asked him to remain in his house and be his guest. Kheiralla accepted the invitation. On the next day a military officer visited him and placed on his head a Turkish Fez instead of the hat that he wore , saying that Abbas Effendi has ordered this cap for Peter of Baha, the Second Columbus, and discoverer of America. Hence forward all the believers congratulated Kheiralla for this distinction and called him with the names of Columbus the Second, discoverer of America, and Peter of Baha.

On Abbas Effendi’s allowing Kheiralla to enter the room in which Sacred Remains of Beha’u’llah are carted, he declared to him that he was the first visitor who ever entered that room for prayer. After ward it was allowed to the believers to enter it.
One day Abbas Effendi came to Haifa to the house in which Kheirallah was staying with his family, and asked him to accompany him to Mount Carmel to help in placing the first stone of the building he intended to erect for the burial of the Sacred Remains of the Bab. Here Kheiralla was to represent Abbas Effendi’s eldest brother the Mightiest Branch, Mohammed Ali Effendi. They went together, and there upon the Mount they were furnished with a pickaxe each, and began to dig out the ground, whilst a servant was removing the earth. After a few minutes work, Abbas Effendi ceased digging and ordered Kheiralla to do so. At the same time informing him that none of the believers has had this honor. In brief he used to praise Kheiralla’s teaching to the Americans in the presence of the believers.

When still in America Kheiralla asked Abbas Effendi to furnish him with a book of the writings of Beha’u’llah to compare his teachings with what was revealed by the Supreme Pen, in order to avoid error. Abbas Effendi promised to send him one, but never fulfilled his promise. So Kheiralla decided to get this greatest aim during his stay a Acca. Whenever he met Abbas Effendi he explained to him his teachings to the Americans, and many times translated for him large chapters asking him to revise and correct the mistakes that may be therein. But Abbas Effendi signed his teachings and praised them in the presence of the Oriental and Amerrican believers.

Many a times Abbas Effendi declared to the Americans that Kheiralla’s teaching were right. But when he chanced to explain a subject to them, finding that it was contrary to Kheiralla’s explanation, he used to say that “Every subject has two meanings, one spiritual, the other literal, so what I explained to you is right and what Kheiralla explained is also right.”

As Abbas Effendi postponed giving answers to Kheiralla’s questions apologizing that he was very busy, Kheiralla was obliged to question the other preachers who were present at Acca as Ibn Abhar and the like. They differed in many points such as “The duration of the soul”, “The Reincarnation” and so on. To Clear up the discussion between the two parties, Abbas Effendi appointed a time to hear their claims and judge between them.

After a great many conversations, Abbas Effendi said to Kheiralla that “The proofs you brought are all right; God is finite Himself by Himself is wrong.” Kheiralla demanded a proof saying: “As every subject known is finite, and as God knows everything, and certainly is known to Himself by Himself, so we can without undergoing an error say that God is Finite Himself by Himself because He is known to Himself.” Abbas Effendi rejoined that “ There must be no difference between you and doctors of Persia, so you have to say that God is Infinite, and that He is free from all His creature.”

Kheiralla retorted “Is not the saying that God is free from all His creature a kind of limitation also..? On hearing this Abbas Effendi looked at Kheiralla frowning, then smiled and rose up saying, “We shall come to this conversation in another time”. So ended the first and last meetings on these subjects.

After this meeting there appeared to be a great change in the conduct of the Persian Preachers and the American visitors towards Kheiralla. Among these was also Kheiralla’s wife who accompanied him from America. Whenever he used to question one of the preachers as to a subject he used to decline saying Abbas Effendi alone was able to explain such subjects. When he used to question Abbas Effendi himself, his answer was to wait for a better opportunity.

When still in Acca Ibrahim Kheiralla fervently asked Abbas Effendi to furnish him with a copy of the Sacred Books which were printed in Bombay (India), by order of Beha’u’llah, Abbas Effendi claimed that no copies of those books were to be found in Acca. But on his way back to America, Kheiralla got the said books in Egypt.

Beside the above mentioned events which occurred during Kheiralla’s visit to Acca, many others of the same sort tool place. Though these events did not shake and deviate Kheiralla and his daughters from the right path, nor they caused them grief and wonder from the conduct of Abbas Effendi.

Points from the passage

1   Khairullah was welcomed by Abbas Effendi in pomp and glory and given privilege over other believers and accommodated a special guest, but when he started about teachings of Baha’u’llah he came under the bad book.

2.     If he should have asked for the teachings and claims of Abbas Effendi, he would have been his followers and more blessings would have been showered on him.

3.     He cross examined Abbas Effendi in matter of teaching of Baha’u’llah which contradicted from the teachings of Abbas Effendi, which raised eyebrow of Abbas Effendi.

4.     He was not given any holy writings or teaching of Baha’u’llah, he was educated person, he realized the aims and object of Abbas Effendi, hence left Acca to America.

From Page 85-91.

After their return to America, God opened their sight and they perceived the Truth as it is. Hence they began to think over the past events, and wonder how they did not for see them. Then they knew that it needs time and patience to comprehend and release facts.
To show the truth, Kheiralla relates some of those events, and throws a veil on the rest.
One of the policies of Abbas Effendi is, when a visitor comes to him, he is surrounded by the people of his sect appointed by him for the sole purpose of consorting with him in a very loyal and tender way, and accompanying him wherever he goes, in order to prevent his meeting with any of the members of the Holy Household. So the visitor returns to his abode without ever knowing the real cause of dissension between Abbas Effendi and Mohammed Ali Effendi.

If perchance a visitor dares and asks leave of Abbas Effendi to visit his brother Mohammed Ali Effendi, or any of his sect, he permits him with a smile and shows his longing to be on good terms with his brother, at the same time explains to the visitor the utter uselessness of his visit. He also orders his followers to make the visitor understand that a meeting with Mohammed Ali Effendi or any of his sect is a great mistake and the visitor understand that a meeting with Mohammed Ali Effendi or any of his sect is a great mistake and which grieves Abbas Effendi. Then the visitor refrains from meeting Mohammed Ali Effendi, or any of his followers. The same occurred to Kheiralla himself when the Branch Bedi’u’llah Effendi visited him in the hotel at Haifa. Haeiralla refused to meet him because of what he saw and heard from Abbas Effendi and his followers.

Because of the above mentioned facts none of the American visitors visited Mohammed Ali Effendi, or Her Grace the Mother of the Branches.

Many a time did Abbas Effendi speak to his followers and servants in the presence of Kheiralla and the American visitors, explaining to them his oppression, and the troubles and hardships he undergoes from the government, ascribing all these to his brother Mohammed Ali Effendi’s  intrigues. Thus he incites them against his brother. He used to sow the seeds of hatred and rancor in their hearts and speak to them untrue stories against the Holy Household. Stories that one dislikes to hear. So also his followers follow his steps and speak to the visitors the untrue stories they ascribe to the members of the Holy Household. Some of the American after their return to America spread among the believers there what they heard from Abbas Effendi and his followers against the Holy Household.

Are not these actions contrary to the true Sprit of Behaism, Christianity, and against the Sprit of all the Prophets and Apsotles..?

The crafty policy of Abbas Effendi, and the manner in which he meets his visitors by showing them great kindness and love, and awarding them distinctions, also his teaching his followers to show absolute submission and loyalty to him and to his visitors bestowed upon him an absolute power over the minds of the visitors and made them strongly believe in him. Thus looked towards him with great wonder and satisfaction. So much he had won their faith in him, that if he would order them to do what God has forbidden, they would not refrain, but undergo willingly without understanding what they do. Thus, for example, once Abbas Effendi invited Bedri Bey, a Turkish military officer to dine at his table with some American visitors. Before entering the dining room, Abbas Effendi ordered the American believers, by means of Kheiralla’s daughter, Nabeehah, who was their interpreter, to deny knowledge of the French language if Bedri Bey sould ask them to speak with it. When they sat at the table, bedri Bey asked whether any of the ladies knew French, because he did not know English. According to the wish of Abbas Effendi they denied, though four of the ladies, i.e Mrs. Hearst, Mrs. Kruper, Mrs. Thornbourg, and Mrs. Aberson could speak French fairly well.

God and His people do not teach their followers to deny the truth. Lying is detestable by God, and whatever the cause may be it will not be permitted.

One of the events that can be scarcely believed is that one day, whilst at the dining table, Abbas Effendi began to speak to some of the American visitors about the important events that occurred to them in their past days. He knew these events by means of one of the Amerrican visitors who had written and given them to be translated into Arabic for Abbas Effendi. Then Abbas Effendi spoke to one of the reverent ladies and prophesied about her son’s future saying, “After ten thousand years his paper will be sent as a present from a king to another”. When they left the table Kheiralla showed his displeasure of what had happened. Abbas Effendi laid his hand on Kheiralla’s shoulder and smiled saying: “There is a wisdom in which you do not understand at present”.

Again, whilst at the table, one of the Americans asked leave of Abbas Effendi to atake his photograph, because he was only photographed when 27 years old, i.e, 1867. He refused and said that he will not be photographed until he puts on his head his Father’s Fez, and be led to the field of martyrdom, where thousands of bullets pierce his body. His speech had such a great effect on those present, that some of them cried and wept bitterly. Thus in most of his writings he mentioned again and again the hardship and dicciculties he undergoes for the sake of God, and all these he does to attract the hearts to himself and arouse in them the sentiments of pity, and feelings of partiality.

Among the cause which awakened Kheiralla was that when they reached Port Said, on their way back to America, his wife left them without even bidding him and his daughters farewell. Those who were present wondered over this action, because they had heard Abbas Effendi, on the day of their departure bid Kheiralla and his wife to live in peace and love with each other.

Two months after his arrival in America, Kheiralla received a letter from Abbas Effendi in his own handwriting and signed by his own signature of (A.A) (E.E). This letter, which is preserved by Kheiralla, was in answer to a letter which he sent to Abbas Effendi from Paris asking him to mentioned how he would send him the sum of money that Mrs. Hearst was wanting to send him.

So Abbas Effendi sent him the answer in which he praised Kheiralla and ascribed to him what can be only ascribed to the Manifestation of God. The following are some of his words. “That thou art the center of the circle of God’s love, and the axis of beseeching of and supplication of God”.

The people of God do not care for the world and what is therein, and if any of them passes by a mount of pure gold he will not stretch his hand to take any of it. Thus it is difficult to say that money has caused him to write such praises, that threw asunder the veil from the eyes of Kheiralla, and he perceived the Truth and understood the two faced policy of Abbas Effendi. Especially when he knew that before sending this letter of praises, Abbas Effendi had written an epistle blaming Kheiralla and had given it to some of the American visitors who were present there and who spread its contents in America after their arrival there, as he had told them to do.

Since then Kheiralla began to read the Sacred Text and compare them with Abbas Effendi’s claims, deeds and teachings. He began to weigh them in the scales of understanding and measure them with the measure of the Sacred Law, that was revealed by the Supreme Pen. He could not then, but leave the Greatest Branch, Abbas Effendi and look towards the Mightiest Branch, Mohammed Ali Effendi according to the order of “Kitab-i-Ahdi” (The Book of My Covenant).

It was but seven months after the visit to Acca, that Kheiralla joined Mohammed Ali Effendi, followed by nearly three hundred of the believers of Chicago and Kenosha, alos by some of the believers in other towns. But most of the believes remained with Abbas Effendi.

Regarding the persons who were sent by Abbas Effendi to restore Kheiralla to him, and the persecutions and sufferings he met from them and his American followers, Kheiralla will undertake to write a separate pamphlet to be as a souvenir diffusing the odor of patience and steadfastness in the cause of God, and bearing the hardships and persecutions in His Way. Among those who were sent by Abbas Effendi to America were: Hadji Abdul Karim Tehrani, Asad’u’llah Isphani, Hadi Mirza Hassan El Khorassani, and Mirza Abdul fadl el Gholpayghani. Kheiralla will also mention these the cause that made him leave the Greates Branch Branch, Abbas Effendi and go to the Mightiest Branch Mohammad Ali Effendi.

The Following are the causes:

1st. Abbas Effendi’s claim to be God, calling himself “Manisfestation of Servitude”, which is the greatest Manifestation and belongs only to the Father, the Lord of Hosts, jehova, and none of the Manifestation save Beha’u’llah (Glosry be to Him), claimed it. He (Beha, Glory be to Him), plainly stated in many of His Tablets that He is the Servant, the Face of natul-Ezel (Eternity) and Eternity itself.

Also his claim to be the Expounder (the Mohayen) and the Expounder is God Himself as the Supreme Pen plainly stated in divers places. Abbas Effendi also claims to be “The Center of Covenant:, and “The Center of Covenant” is God alone, the Beha who has taken His Covenant Himself before the creation of the Heavens and Earths, not to worship besides God as in His saying: “The Covenant has been taken since the time of Illumination from those who have believed not to worship any but God.” Besides these a great many claims which we need not mention.

2nd. Abbas Effendi’s teachings are contrary to Beha’s in all ways, and are unreasonable.

3rd. The conduct and manners of Abbas Effendi are those of a two faced man, and this is prohibited in the book.

4th. Beha’u’llah (Glory be to Him), in many of His writings and in His Last Will strictly ordered this sect to remove all dissensions and put out the burning fire of religious hatred and rancor, and consort with people  of different religions with love, kindness and spirituality. Abbas Effendi has contradicted this gift, and most high aim by founding hatred and dissension in the hearts of the people of Beha, for his own purposes. Thus separating between the brother and his sister, the husband and his wife, the father and his son.

May God keep us in safety.
End of the Book

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