Mr. Youness Afroukhteh recounts in his memoirs that during a certain time, the difficulties and tests were exceptionally great and burdened the Master very much. Mr. Youness Afroukhteh took several opportunities to plead the Master to do something to lessen the difficulties. One day, while being with the Master in Akka, he took the opportunity to plead once more.

One day, …, I took advantage of the opportunity to entreat Him [the Master] further. Expressing my deep sorrow, I made several remarks in the hope that He might at last be persuaded to intercede, or that He might seek from the depths of His own heart an end to this cup of tribulation.

He was unsuccessful and when he returned, he told Mirza Heydar-Ali of what had happened and expressed to him his concerns for the well-being of the Master. Mirza Heydar Ali agreed to raise this issue with the Master when appropriate, as perhaps his pleadings will have more effect.

One day, when a tremendous storm had brought heavy rain, he was summoned to the presence of ‘Abdu’l‑Baha to accompany Him in a walk through the streets of ‘Akka. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Haji opened the subject and humbly communicated, in some detail, his appeal to the Master. ‘Abdu’l‑Baha replied, “Jinab‑i‑Mirza, have you noticed the intensity of the rain?” “Yes, Beloved, I have,” replied Mirza. “Have you seen how much water flooded the area? Now, even with all this water, if you dig into the ground to the depth of one finger‑joint, you will find it dry. We are the same way; these storms of tribulations have no effect on the reality of our existence.” Mirza became convinced and did not bring up the issue again. And indeed, while all such calamities and tragedies had no effect on the reality of ‘Abdu’l‑Baha’s being, whenever He observed any trace of sorrow or distress in the friends He spoke about happy things and told delightfully humorous stories changing their mood.

Mr. Mr. Youness Afroukhteh continues to recount an episode during with calamities were of such abundance, that the Master had not visited the friends and pilgrims for some days. Then,

[o]ne night the Master was present in the biruni reception room as the friends, somewhat subdued, waited longingly for Him to break the dark shadow of silence with the heavenly melody of His utterance. Aqa Riday‑i‑Qannad, one of the old and experienced believers who had been one of the original prisoners and emigrants, knew the source of the problem. No longer able to bear the pain, he suddenly broke the wall of silence. Tearing down the veil of meditation and reflection, he spoke out boldly: “Beloved, we cannot endure this any longer.

Patience and forbearance are fine. But till when? Why is it the ocean of divine wrath has not surged? Why is it that the avenging sword of God has not left its scabbard? Why does Master show so much forbearance? Why is this happening?

He continued in this vein until his inner fire blazed fiercely that his tears began to flow uncontrollably, so easing the intensity of his emotions. The Master, who had serene and attentively listened to this emotional plea, broke His silence at last and with a heartwarming smile said , “Yes, in the path of the Blessed Beauty one must drink heartily from the overflowing cup of difficulties and afflictions in order to experience its consummate intoxicating effect. One type adversity only does not have the same effect; it does no bestow that inebriating pleasure. Wines of diverse flavour must be consumed in this divine banquet, until one is utterly intoxicated.” He uttered these words with such joy and ardour that every atom of our beings soared with a sense of ecstasy and rapture. Then He added, “But you have never attended drinking party. To get completely drunk and ultimately lose all sense of himself, a drinker mixes his drinks. For instance, in one round they drink wine; in the following round they drink araq; this is then followed by a round of cognac, then by rounds of rum, whisky and champagne until they drink themselves into a stupor. We, too, must drink various tastes from the cup of tribulation.” Suddenly, in a booming voice He asked, “Jinab‑i‑Khan, is that not so?”

All eyes were focused on me. And I without a moment’s hesitation replied, “Yes, Beloved, that is so. By the way, they drink something else too.”

“What is that, then?” asked ‘Abdu’l‑Baha.

“They mix sharaq [wine] and araq [wiskey] and say, we are drinking ‘sharaq’!”

Suddenly His laughter rang out, His tearful eyes looked heavenward, and with a smile He said, “We, too, as the Khan says, drink sharaq, drink sharaq!”

Memories of Nine Years in Akka by Youness Afroukhteh page 183-184

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