Dedicated to the Hands of the Cause of God

Dedicated to the Hands of the Cause of God

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Hand of the Cause of God Haji Amin

The Hand of the Cause of God Hájí Amín

Early during the days of Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment in Akka, when few of the Bahá'ís even knew where Bahá'u'lláh was, the first believer to enter His presence was Hájí Amín.  He saw Him in the public bath, and was so overwhelmed that he lost consciousness and injured his head.

Mr. Balyuzi writes (“`Abdu'l-Bahá - The Centre of the Covenant,” p. 29):

“A few others succeeded in passing the ranks of guards and arrived at the Most Great Prison. Hájí Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardakani, the renowned Hájí Amín* of later years, was one of those intrepid men.”
*[So known, because Bahá'u'lláh conferred on him the title of Amín-i-Ilahi “Trusted of God”]

Dr. David Ruhe writes:

“It seems likely that Hájí Amín-i-Ilahi arrived in 'Akká early in the year 1869, accompanied by Hájí Shah-Muhammad. The bath built by al-Jazzar, to which the prisoners were taken weekly on Fridays, comprised a chain of rooms, in the largest of which Hájí Amín and his friend were enabled surreptitiously to see Bahá'u'lláh. However, Hájí Amín was so overcome with emotion at being in the presence of Him Who was the Object of his veneration that he fainted, striking his head and bleeding from the wound. Bahá'u'lláh later penned Tablets to Hájí Amin, honouring him as the first to visit 'This Wronged One', and saying in one of them:
Thou art the first one to attain the divine presence in His mighty, His Most Great Prison. Take heed lest what thou hast heard from the tongue of thy Lord, the Potent, the Powerful, be obliterated from thy heart. Make thou mention of Him all the time and call to mind the days when thou didst enter the most desolate of the cities until thou didst present thyself before the face of thy Lord, the Ruler of the Day of Judgement, and achieved that which is ordained for thee in His Preserved Tablet.  
(Baha'u'llah, quoted in “Door of Hope”, First Edition, pp. 33-34)

Mr. Taherzadeh writes:

Returning to the story of Hájí Amín, he lived a long life and was Trustee of the Huqúq'u'lláh [“Right of God”--a certain Bahá'í fund] during the ministries of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá and during part of the ministry of Shoghi Effendi. During his long and turbulent life he was a source of inspiration and loving guidance for all the believers. He often visited their homes and urged them to become detached from the things of the world and to follow the path of modesty in all aspects of life. He disliked extravagance, as it would lessen the ability of the believers to contribute all they could to the Cause of God. So much was he against extravagance that whenever the friends invited him to dinner, they knew that Hájí Amín would be most unhappy if they entertained him lavishly with various dishes at the table. He insisted that there be only one dish and that it consist of the simplest food. He often urged the host to add some extra water to the pot for his share of the food, and this recipe of adding extra water is widely known among the Persian believers as 'The soup of Hájí Amín'!
      There are many heartwarming stories about the way he conducted his life and the sacrifices he made in order to serve His Lord. These stories, ranging from trifling anecdotes to highly interesting and instructive comments made by him are entertaining and popular, but must be left out here, because to appreciate them the reader needs to be familiar with the customs and way of life at that time in the Middle East.
      Hájí Amín suffered many persecutions in his long life of service. Among them was his imprisonment first in Tihran and then in Qazvin in the year AH 1308 (AD 1891) along with Mulla 'Ali-Akbar-i-Shahmirzad, known as Hájí Akhund, one of the Hands of the Cause of God appointed by Bahá'u'lláh. These two heroes of God were imprisoned by the orders of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh and his son Kamran Mirza, the Governor of Tihran.
      Their imprisonment in Qazvin lasted about eighteen months, after which Hájí Akhund was released but Hájí Amín was transferred to a prison in Tihran where he remained for a further year. During this period their feet were kept in stocks and their necks placed in chains. When in the prison of Qazvin, a photographer was specially sent to take their photograph for the monarch to see. This photograph, showing the two in chains sitting with absolute resignation and calm, is widely in circulation among the believers. It was placed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the hallway of His house opposite His room. He gazed upon it many times and rejoiced in His heart at beholding the faces of the two who were chained and fettered in the path of Bahá'u'lláh and were the embodiment of steadfastness and faith among the believers.”
(Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 3, p. 84)

Writing of these two Hands of the Cause in this photograph, Hájí Akhund and Hájí Amín, Abdu'l-Bahá says:

Again and again he was bound with chains, jailed, and threatened with the sword. The photograph of this blessed individual, together with that of the great Amín, taken of them in their chains, will serve as an example to whoever has eyes to see. There they sit, those two distinguished men, hung with chains, shackled, yet composed, acquiescent, undisturbed. 
(Memorials of the Faithful, p. 10)

A copy of that photograph, from page 60 of Volume 3 of Mr. Taherzadeh's series “The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh,” is found here .

Hájí Amín is mentioned at the beginning of the Tablet of the World, following which Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Prayer for the Hands of the Cause of God:

Praise and thanksgiving beseem the Lord of manifest dominion Who hath adorned the mighty prison with the presence of their honours Ali-Akbar and Amín, and hath illumined it with the light of certitude, constancy and assurance. The glory of God and the glory of all that are in the heavens and on the earth be upon them.
    Light and glory, greeting and praise be upon the Hands of His Cause, through whom the light of fortitude hath shone forth and the truth hath been established that the authority to choose rests with God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Unconstrained, through whom the ocean of bounty hath surged and the fragrance of the gracious favours of God, the Lord of mankind, hath been diffused. We beseech Him -- exalted is He -- to shield them through the power of His hosts, to protect them through the potency of His dominion and to aid them through His indomitable strength which prevaileth over all created things. Sovereignty is God's, the Creator of the heavens and the Lord of the Kingdom of Names.

(Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 82-83)

At the time Bahá'u'lláh revealed this, of the two men, only Hájí Akhund was a Hand of the Cause of God.  Decades later when Hájí Amín passed away, Shoghi Effendi posthumously elevated him to the station of Hand of the Cause. Here is a photograph of the young Shoghi Effendi seated next to Hájí Amín.  Bahá'u'lláh had therefore foretold that Hájí Amín would be designated a Hand of the Cause; which Shoghi Effendi fulfilled, decades later.

Marzieh Gail writes of Hájí Amín's visit to her home in Europe when she was a girl, titling him “The Man Who Lived Nowhere:”

The legendary Hájí Amín called on the family and said to Khan [Ali-Kuli Khan, Marzieh's father] of his faith, 'You have composure of the heart. You have a well-assured heart, and God brings about the impossible for those whom He loves and chooses.' He said Khan's rank had become very lofty, very great.

          Hájí Amín was the old man who lived nowhere, but journeyed here and there on his donkey, staying briefly with the believers in their homes. Loved and revered, the trustee of the Huququ'lláh, he was the keeper of the purse, his duty being to collect funds for the Faith. Florence [Marzieh's mother] had met him in 1906, and remembered that he had made nineteen pilgrimages to the Holy Land. She said he was now, in 1922, eighty-six years old. Feeble, but his spirit and presence like the freshest rose, and his eyes as shining as a boy's.
        He had now served the Faith some fifty-nine years. When he first came into the presence of Bahá'u'lláh he gave up his entire fortune and all the rest of his life to the Manifestation. Homeless now, he was told by 'Abdu'l-Bahá that his nest was everywhere, and wherever he served and taught he would eat and sleep. All his children and grandchildren had prospered, and they would send him thousands of tumans for the Faith.
       On this visit, for the New Year's recently past, Hájí Amín gave Florence and the girls three large gold coins, together with yards, for each, of Persian silk. When the believers heard of it, they smiled. 'From us he takes,' they said, 'to you he gives.'
        Khan's sister Marzieh, a devout Muslim living in her own part of the compound, saying her obligatory prayers and blowing other prayers to the six directions of the world (right, left, before, behind, up, down) entertaining the girls and telling them ancient tales, limped out to converse with the distinguished visitor. There was some bit of theological discussion between the two old people and finally she asked him what the next world was like. 'Old woman,' he cried, 'I haven't been there!'
(Marzieh Gail, Arches of the Years, p. 225)

The Universal House of Justice writes:

Bahá'u'lláh instructed that, following the passing of Amínu'l-Bayan, the office of Trustee of Huququ'lláh should be conferred upon his loyal assistant and companion, Hájí Abu'l-Hasan, who was subsequently entitled Amín (the Trusted One) or Jinab-i-Hájí Amín.
          Jinab-i-Hájí Amín was a shining star who served the Cause as the Trustee of Huququ'lláh for forty-seven years with eagerness and zeal, showing magnanimity, courage and incredible steadfastness. During the Ministry of Bahá'u'lláh he was imprisoned twice, by order of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh and his son Kamran Mirza. In the course of his second imprisonment, in the prison of Qazvin, referred to as Sijn-i-Matin (the Mighty Prison) by Bahá'u'lláh in the opening verses of the Tablet of the World, he was with the Hand of the Cause Jinab-i-Hájí Akhund. Here, Jinab-i-Hájí Amín suffered gravely, his legs in fetters and a chain around his neck. His jailers, in order to torment him, would add castor oil to his food. With manifest resignation and submission, he would neither complain nor refuse the food, eating as though nothing were amiss. He was a symbol of magnanimity and detachment. He had no worldly possessions, no home or shelter of his own. His habitation was in the hearts and souls of the Bahá'í friends who would receive and entertain him with warmth and love. Each one would impatiently await his arrival, to enjoy the sweet melody of his prayers and chanting of the Tablets, and the glad-tidings and encouragement he would bring. Every day he would bid goodbye to one family to spend the night in another household, illumining another gathering with his presence. He was continually on the move, travelling to most Iranian cities and being the trusted adviser of many Bahá'í friends in their personal affairs.
          Among the countless journeys that Jinab-i-Hájí Amín made was one to Paris where he attained the presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. During his long life he witnessed the last eleven years of the Ministry of Bahá'u'lláh, the twenty-nine years of the Ministry of the Centre of the Covenant, and seven years of the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi. Towards the end of his life he became ill and frail and was confined to bed, living in the home of his friend and assistant, Hájí Ghulam Rida, who, at the express desire of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, had been appointed his successor as Trustee of Huququ'lláh. Upon his passing in 1928, Jinab-i-Hájí Amín was named by the beloved Guardian a Hand of the Cause of God.
(The Universal House of Justice, letter dated 30 July 2002, Revised - Development of the Institution of Huququ'llah)

A number of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh regarding the Right of God were revealed in honor of Hájí Amín.  The Universal House of Justice writes:

In order to respect its sanctity, Bahá'u'lláh strongly forbids soliciting Huququ'lláh. No individual or institution is authorized to demand it. Whenever it is necessary to bring the importance of this obligation to the attention of the believers, it should be mentioned as a general reminder. Spiritual maturity must stir the conscience of the believers and, nothing else. In a Tablet addressed to Hájí Amín the second Trustee of Huququ'lláh, Bahá'u'lláh says:

"No one should demand the Huququ'lláh. Its payment should depend on the volition of the individuals themselves...
(From the Compilation on Huququ'llah)

And again:

"...Ye may relinquish the whole world but must not allow the detraction of even one jot or tittle from the dignity of the Cause of God. Jinab-i-Amin -- upon him be My glory -- must also refrain from mentioning this matter, for it is entirely dependent upon the willingness of the individuals themselves. They are well acquainted with the commandment of God and are familiar with that which was revealed in the Book. Led him who wisheth observe it, and led him who wisheth ignore it...." (Six Year Plan Messages, p. 43)

Additional Tablets revealed in honor of Hájí Amín are:

O Abu'l Hasan: May my Glory rest upon thee! Fix thy gaze upon the glory of the Cause. Speak forth that which will attract the hearts and the minds. To demand the Huquq is in no wise permissible. This command was revealed in the Book of God for various necessary matters ordained by God to be dependent upon material means. Therefore, if someone, with utmost pleasure and gladness, nay with insistence, wisheth to partake of this blessing thou mayest accept. Otherwise, acceptance is not permissible.

(Baha'u'llah, quoted in Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 396)

We must impose a fine upon Jinab-i-Amin! We have one treasurer and he is bankrupt! Gracious God, there is one treasury belonging to God and that is empty of funds. Indeed, by virtue of its exalted station, such a treasury ought to be freed and sanctified from earthly things and not be confused with the treasuries of the world.
(Baha'u'llah, quoted in Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 397)

Mr. Balyuzi writes:

Hájí Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardakani, better known as Hájí Amín arrived [in London] from Paris on December 19th [1911]. This well-tried veteran of the Faith had seen some of its darkest days. His visit to London was nearly miraculous and provided an incident which greatly amused 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Hájí Amín's first attempt to reach London from Paris had ended when, in some inexplicable way, he found himself back in the French capital after crossing the Channel. Of course he could not speak either English or French, nor for that matter any other European language. He had names and addresses written out for him to show to officials and conductors, to help him on his journey. When, at last, Hájí Amín arrived in London, 'Abdu'l-Bahá laughingly told him that no doubt the Hájí could not forsake the delights of Paris and had to hurry back there.
(Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Bahá - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 346)

Abdu'l-Bahá immortalized Hájí Amín by naming one of the doors of the Shrine of the Bab after him—the center western door. 
(Ugo Giachery, “Shoghi Effendi - Recollections,” p. 216)

Finally, here is a photograph of the Hand of the Cause of God Hájí Amín, a humble and blessed soul of the highest rank.

No comments:

Post a Comment