The translation of the last of Mahmud’s letters, of which the Arabic text was communicated to me, is as follows:
" I inform you also of an event which happened in these days, which is that Husayn the Confectioner (Shakarji), who has a shop opposite to the Government House at Hayfa, as you will remember, died of poison on the eve of Saturday, the 28th of Ramazan' 1 in the house of His Holiness the Most Mighty Branch'2. He was seen by the municipal doctor who reported that he died of poison. This is as much as we have heard hitherto should we obtain more detailed information, we will, please God, communicate it to you.
" He who prays for you, Mahmud.—January 30th,1901. It is my good fortune to possess a copy of Hajji Mirza Hasan-i-Khurasani’s pamphlet above mentioned, which was sent to me on March 12, 1901, by lbrahim Khayru'llah . It contains only 27 pages measuring 5 ½ by 3 ½ inches, is entitled Risala-I-Bushra wa Aya-I-Kubra ("the Tract of Good Tidings and the Most Great Sign"), was printed at the Hindiyya Press in Egypt, and was completed on Rajab 9, 1316 (November 23, 1898). My copy is signed and sealed on the last page by the author, so that there is no doubt in its authenticity. It opens with a brief doxology, in which Abbas Efendi .is spoken of as "the Lord of the World and Goal of the peoples, the most Noble mystery of God' 3, the Most Mighty Branch of God and His Enduring Proof in the World" designated to succeed himself by Baha'ullah since "God, great is His glory, arrived in the luminous city of Akka." Texts from Kitab-I-Aqdas and from from Baha's Testament are cited in proof o this assertion, and the action of those who " broke the Covenant" (i.e. who sided with 'Abbas Efendi's half-brother, Muhammad 'Ali) is deplored and denounced. "Our object at present," continues the author," is not, however to. discuss these matters, which are not hidden or concealed from any one, but to gladden the Friends of God with good tidings of a wonderful event which happened in the city of Jedda, and of a clear sign and evident miracle from the writings of the holy pen of His Holiness 'Abdul Baha...(May the Life of the Worlds sacrifice to the dust of his footsteps'!)." After this brief introduction, the author proceeds to describe as follows the life and death of Mirza Yahya of lsfahan and the words of Abbas Efendi wherein that death was foreshadowed. "'This Mirza. Yahya was originally an Azali, but in the year of. Baha'u'llah's "Ascension '' (i.e. death), 1892, he came to Akka, met 'Abbas Efendi, by whom he was very well received and wrote a refutation of Subh-i-Azal. After a while he departed to Jedda (the port of Mecca on the Red Sea), where he became intimate with a well known Baha’I named Hajji Mirza Husayn of Lar), whose daughter he presently asked and received in marriage. When the dispute between 'Abbas Efendi and his half'-brother Muhammad 'Ali became acute, and the Baha'i community was rent asunder by this schism, Mirza Yahya became the trusted agent and fervent supporter of Muhammad 'Ali, in whose favour he carried on an active; propaganda. It is a curious fact, observed the author, that the: Covenant breakers (Naqizin) become the devoted admirers and faithful friends of every atheist, Azali and Sophist, and of such as deny God's Holy Law and disobey His command, and are the kind friends and congenial intimates of every party except the true believers -.--, so that the truth of the tradition, ' Infidelity constitutes a single church4" might become apparent and manifest." So Yahya. grew ever bolder in his opposition to 'Abbas Efendi, the Great Mystery of God and the Branch derive from the" Ancient Stock," until God's patience was exhausted and His Anger moved to destroy the offender, and a tablet was send by Abbas Efendi to Hajji Mulla Husayn of Lar, of which a copy was forwarded to the author enclosed in a letter dated 2nd of Jumada 1, 1316, (September 1898).
Ghusnul-Azam, i.e. 'Abbas Efendi 'Abdul Baha
2. The year of the Hijras not mentioned, but Jan. 19, 1901, appears to be the date indicated
3. Siru’llah, one of the titles often given to Abbas Efendi
4. i.e all believers have a natural sympathy for one another, and form, as it were, a coherent