Collection 1

November 12, 2014

A Prayer for Mirza Ja'far

The August sun burned down on the stone walls of 'Akka as the sailboat rocked roughly into the harbor. The Baha'is had come a long way. They were hot, hungry, and thirsty. But Mirza Ja'far was happy - he was with Baha'u'llah!

The townspeople yelled at them from the streets, from windows and doorways, as they passed. Mirza Ja'far had walked through hateful mobs before. He had been hungry, tired, and hot before. These things did not matter. He was happy.

The guards at the mighty stone prison gave them little to eat and drink. But Mirza Ja'far thanked God. His dark, narrow cell seemed like a sweet-smelling rose garden with Baha'u'llah close by.

Then, one day, Mirza Ja'far fell sick. How could it be? They had crossed deserts and climbed mountains together. Eager always to help, Mirza Ja'far never complained, and he never seemed to need rest. He was the one who went with 'Abdu'l-Baha to find supplies while others rested.

Now Mirza Ja'far grew more and more sick. The doctor turned away. He knew of nothing that would help his patient. Mirza Ja'far drew in his last breath.

Baha'u'llah's secretary rushed to tell Baha'u'llah that their beloved Mirza Ja'far was dead.

"Chant the prayer ... O Thou, the Healer," said Baha'u'llah, "and Mirza Ja'far will come alive."

Quickly, the Baha'is obeyed. Soon Mirza Ja'far's lifeless body grew warm. Next he began to move. Then he sat up, laughing and joking with his friends.

"Praise be to God!" Mirza Ja'far cried. He would live to serve Baha'u'llah for a long time to come! 
(Retold by Gail Radley from a story by 'Abdu'l-Baha, ‘Memorials of the Faithful’; The Central Figures, Baha’u’llah, Core Curriculum, vol.1)