Bahá’u’lláh - Sulaymaniyyih

One day, near a village in the mountains, Bahá’u’lláh saw a young boy weeping bitterly. My father, always compassionate for anyone in sorrow, especially if it were a child, said, "Little man, why art thou weeping?" The boy looked up at the one who spoke, and saw a dervish! "Oh Sir!" and he fell to weeping afresh. "The schoolmaster has punished me for writing so badly. I cannot write, and now I have no copy! I dare not go back to school" "Weep no longer. I will set a copy for thee, and show thee how to imitate it. And now thou canst take this; show it to thy schoolmaster.' When the schoolmaster saw the writing which the boy had brought, he was astonished, for he recognized it as of the royal penmanship, this amazing script. "Who gave this to thee?" said the master. "He wrote it for me, the dervish on the mountain." "He is no dervish the writer of this, but a royal personage," said the schoolmaster. This story being noised abroad, caused certain of the people to set out to find this one, of whom many wonderful things were said. So great was the throng which pressed in upon him, that he had to go further away; again and again, he moved from place to place, hiding himself from the crowds, in the caves of the mountains, and in the desert places of that desolate land.

Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway

A boy attending a village school had been flogged and sent out for failure in his writing. While he was weeping outside the schoolroom, this holy man came by and asked the cause of his grief. When the lad had explained his trouble the Dervish said: 'Do not grieve. I will set you another copy, and teach you to write well.' He then took the boy's slate and wrote some words in very beautiful characters. The boy was delighted; and showing his slate in pride at now having a better master than he had had in the school, the people were astonished, Dervishes being commonly illiterate. They then began to follow the Dervish; who, wishing to meditate and pray in solitude, left that place for another. When we heard these things, we were convinced that this Dervish was in truth our beloved one. But having no means to send him any word, or to hear further of him, we were very sad.

Myron Henry Phelps and Bahiyyih Khánum, Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi, p. 21-22

After my father's departure many months passed; he did not return, nor had we any word from him or about him. We were all in great sorrow, and made constant inquiries, hoping to hear some rumour which would enable us to trace him. There was an old physician at Baghdad who had been called upon to attend the family, and who had become our friend. He sympathised much with us, and undertook on his own account to make inquiries for my father. He at length thought that he had traced him to a certain locality, quite distant from Baghdad, in the mountains; and thereafter was accustomed to ask all persons whom he met from that region for such a man. These inquiries were long without definite result, but at length a certain traveller to whom he had described my father, said that he had heard of a man answering to that description, evidently of high rank, but calling himself a dervish, living in caves in the mountains. He was, he said, reputed to be so wise and wonderful in his speech on religious things that when people heard him they would follow him; whereupon, wishing to be alone, he would change his residence to a cave in some other locality.

Myron Henry Phelps and Bahiyyih Khánum, Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi, p. 21-22

During the night following the next day, however, my father walked into the house. We hardly knew him; his beard and hair were long and matted - he really was a Dervish in appearance. The meeting between my brother and his father was the most touching and pathetic sight I have ever seen. Abbas Effendi threw himself on the floor before him and kissed and embraced his feet, weeping and crying, 'Why did you leave us, why did you leave us?' while the great uncouth Dervish wept over his boy. The scene carried a weight not to be expressed in words.

Myron Henry Phelps and Bahiyyih Khánum, Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi, p. 23-24

There was then in Baghdad an earnest Bábí, formerly a pupil of Kurratu I'Aeyn (Tahirih, a woman famous for her beauty and learning, who was one of the disciples of the Báb, and a martyr). This man said to us that as he had no ties and did not care for his life, he desired no greater happiness than to be allowed to seek for him whom all loved so much, and that he would not return without him. He was, however, very poor, not being able even to provide an ass for the journey; and he was besides not very strong, and therefore not able to go on foot. We had no money for the purpose, nor anything of value by the sale of which money could be procured, with the exception of a single rug, upon which we all slept. This we sold and with the proceeds bought an ass for this friend, who thereupon set out upon the search. Time passed; we heard nothing, and fell into the deepest dejection and despair. Finally, four months having elapsed since our friend had departed, a message was one day received from him saying that he would bring my father home on the next day. The other members of the family could not credit the truth of this news, but it seemed to electrify my brother. He minutely questioned and examined the messenger, and became much excited. He quite believed that his father would return, but no one else did.

Myron Henry Phelps and Bahiyyih Khánum, Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi, p. 23-24

Many were the incidents of that two years' sojourn in the wilderness, which were told to us; we were never tired of listening. The food was easy to describe - coarse bread, a little cheese was the usual diet; sometimes, but very rarely, a cup of milk; into this would be put some rice, and a tiny bit of sugar. When boiled together, these scanty rations provided the great treat of a sort of rice pudding.

Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway