Born ʻAbbás Effendi, the eldest son and third child of Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alí (later known as Bahá’u’lláh, “the Glory of God”) and His wife, Ásíyih Khánum. ʻAbdu’l-Baháserved as head of the Baháʼí Faith from 1892 until 1921.
Upon Bahá’u’lláh’s release from imprisonment, Bahá’u’lláh accompanied by His wife Navváb, (Who was six weeks from giving birth upon departure.) His eldest son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá , Bahíyyih Khánum and two of Baha’u’llah’s brothers, Mírzá Músá and Mírzá Muhammad-Qulí. Mírzá Mihdí , was very delicate and so was left behind with the grandmother of Àsíyih Khánum. They were escorted by an officer of the Persian imperial bodyguard and an official representing the Russian legation. were exiled from Iran to Baghdad . During the three-month journey, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá suffered frostbite and grieved over the separation from his baby brother, Mihdí, who was not well enough to make the grueling journey.
Just over a year after arriving in Baghdad, Bahá’u’lláh withdrew to the mountainous wilderness of Kurdistan, where He lived alone for two years. He spent His time reflecting on the implications of the divine purpose to which He had been called. The period is reminiscent of Moses’ withdrawal to Mount Sinai, Jesus’ 40 days and nights in the desert, and Muhammad’s retreat to the cave on Mount Hira. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá occupied His time reading and meditating upon the Writings of the Báb.
At the age of eight, ʻAbdu’l-Bahá watched His Father, Bahá’u’lláh imprisoned and suffer in the Síyáh-Chál( Black Pit ). The Báb was executed in 1850 and nearly all the leading exponents of His religion were killed by fanatical clergy and government troops. Bahá’u’lláh was spared the fate of His companions but was falsely charged, in 1852, with complicity in an attempt on the life of the Shah. He was at the village of Afchih, near Tehran, when a warrant was issued for His arrest and detention. No food or drink was given to Bahá’u’lláh for three days and nights. There was also an attempt on Bahá’u’lláh’s life. In the Síyáh-Chál, God made known to Bahá’u’lláh His great Station. Wrapped in gloom, breathing the foulest of air, His feet in stocks, and His neck weighed down by a mighty chain, Bahá’u’lláh received the first stirrings of God’s Revelation within His soul. Under these dreadful circumstances, the “Most Great Spirit” revealed itself to Him, bidding Him to arise and speak…
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