KHAYRU'LLAH AND A PARTY OF AMERICANS VISIT AKKA.
After this he traveled alone from Paris making for 'Akka. He disembarked at Alexandria in Egypt to visit his two daughters, who were living there at that time with their grandmother, stayed with them three weeks, preached the Doctrine to them and converted them. Thence they followed him to 'Akka to perform a visitation. So likewise Mrs. Hearst and those who accompanied her arrived in successive parties, one after another, at Akka, the total number of American visitors1 together with his own family amounting to sixteen persons.
Ibrahim Khayru'llah's stay in 'Akka and Hayfa somewhat exceeded six months, in the course of which important events happened, some of which it is necessary to mention for the making plain of the truth.
RECEPTION OF KHAYRU'LLAH BY ABBAS EFENDI.
About twenty-four hours after he had disembarked, he set off from Hayfa in a carriage with *Husayn the Persian, of the village of Khamna, a dependency of Tabriz, who had been appointed by Abbas Efendi to meet the pilgrims and the two went together to Akka and alighted at the house where dwelt His Holiness 'Abbas Efendi. There, in the reception-room on the upper floor, 'Abbas Efendi entered and greeted Khayru'llah, saying, " Welcome to the friend ! " Then he clasped him to his breast and kissed him, saying, "Welcome to thee, O Baha's Peter, O second Columbus, Conqueror of America!" Then he sat down talking to him kindly and affectionately, and asking him about the pilgrims who went coming from America, and about the believers there. Then he asked him to stay with him in the house, and he agreed thereto and stayed there. And on the next day a military officer came and put a fez on Khayru'llah's head instead of a hat, saying to him, "Verily Abbas Efendi has ordered this fez for Baha's Peter, Columbus the Second, the Conqueror of America." After this the believers there began to send congratulations on this distinction, calling him at one time Columbus the Second, Conqueror of America, and at another Baha's Peter.
When Abbas Efendi brought Khayru'llah into the room wherein was deposited the body of His Holiness our Master Baha'u'llah, he told him that he was the first pilgrim to whom the door of this chamber had been opened for entrance" thereunto and to perform the ceremonies prescribed for the visitation. And thereafter he begun to open it for the entrance of other pilgrims.
KHAYRU''LLAH HELPS TO LAY THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THE BAB'S MAUSOLEUM.
Another of the distinctions which he enjoyed was the that, one day Abbas Efendi came to Hayfa and alighted at the house in which Khayru'llah was lodging with his family, and invited him to accompany him to Mount Carmel to participate with him in laying the foundation-stone of the mausoleum which was to be erected to receive the body of the " First Point " His Holiness the Bab, this honour being assigned to him instead of to Abbas Efendi's brother "the Most Great Branch" Muhammad Ali Efendi.
*So they went together, and then on Mount Carmel Abbas Efendi took a pick-axe and gave Khayru'llah another pick-axe, which one of the attendants had brought for this purpose, and, after asking help from God, they both began to dig the foundations, while the servant who was present removed the excavated earth. Thus the Work continued for a few minutes, when Abbas Efendi laid aside his pick-axe and ordered Khayru'llah to do likewise. Then he said to him, "This is an honour which none of the believers except thee has enjoyed." And he kept praising his action and his instruction of the Americans before the assembly of the believers and often did he make mention thereof in his writings. He also entitled him "the Shepherd of God's flocks in America," and presented him with the works of His Holiness Baha (to whom be glory !). As for Abbas Efendi's followers they, treated Khayru'llah with all kindness and affection.
It is worth mentioning here that Her Holiness Bahiyya Khanim "the Blessed Leaf," the sister of Abbas Efendi, gave Khayrullah her book, which was written in a beautiful hand and contained a number of Holy Tablets revealed by the Supreme Pen; and told him that it was a present from her to Baha's Peter, the Conqueror of America, who had wrought for the extension of the Faith what no other of the missionaries had achieved. And he thanked her, and put it by with other precious Writings.
Notwithstanding that Khayru'llah had repeatedly begged His Holiness Abbas Efendi before he went to visit him to send him a volume of the Holy Verses which had been revealed by the Supreme Pen so that he might compare them with his teachings, in order to guard against the incidence of error, and His Holiness Abbas Efendi had promised him this, yet he sent him nothing of what he had demanded. So Khayru'llah determined when he went to Akka to attain this supreme aim, to wit the acquisition of knowledge at first hand; and, whenever he foregathered with Abbas Efendi he used *to explain to him the teachings which he gave to the Americans, even translating lengthy sections thereof, and asking His Holiness to correct what was erroneous. But His Holiness confirmed them and praised them publicly before all the believers, both Easterns and Americans. He repeatedly declared explicitly to the American pilgrims that all which Khayru'llah had taught was correct; but whenever he had explained to the Americans any matter, and afterwards understood that his explanation was not in accordance with that given by Khayru'llah, be used to avoid disagreement saying that everything had two meanings one spiritual and the other material, and that the explanations given to them-by himself and by Khayru'llah were both correct.
1. "Of visitors who were originally Christians." Op. Cit., p.172..
Stumbling Blocks Biographical Sketch Conversion to faith Evangelizing Akka Disrepancies Estrangement Precautions and Prejudice Deceit Prophecies Alleged Duplicity Khayrullah renounces Abbas Effendi