My Memories of Bahá'u'lláh

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When Bahá'u'lláh was banished from Baghdad in 1863, a few steadfast companions were chosen to accompany Him in this new exile. Among these was Ustád Muhammad-'Alíy-i Salmání, who served as his barber. In this short memoir Salmání tells his story and gives us a precious and intimate glimpse of the beginnings of the Bahá'í Faith.

He begins with his early conversion to the Bábí Faith in Isfahan, his persecution in that city, and his discovery of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad. He tells us of the march from Baghdad to Istanbul, and of the life of the exiles in the Ottoman capital. He recounts the story of the further banishment to Edirne (Adrianople), and the troubles experienced there. Sent to Istanbul by his Lord, Salmání was arrested and returned to Iran in chains. But his love for Bahá'u'lláh could not be contained. He immediately made his way on foot to 'Akká to share the imprisonment there.

Salmání was a rough and simple man. His memories of life with Bahá'u'lláh wander from episode to episode, and should be understood to be nothing more than his own fascinating pilgrim notes. Together they give us a powerful appreciation of his devotion to his Beloved. The selection of the barber's poems, translated at the end of the book, allows us to experience something of the joy of nearness that he knew.

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