This is the eleventh and final post in a series of posts telling the life story of Zaynu’l-Muqarrabín.
After the Ascension of the Blessed Beauty, Jináb-i-Zayn remained faithful to the Covenant. During the Ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the pilgrims increased considerably. Year after year some 70 to 80 friends came on pilgrimage from different countries, wearing different types of clothes and speaking a multitude of languages. It was quite common that some ten pilgrims would be dismissed and asked to leave in the morning, and on the same evening, a new group of 10 or sometimes more pilgrims would enter ‘Akká. Oftentimes the Master, regardless of the season, would come to the Khan-i-Avamid and visit the pilgrims in the morning (sometimes even before sunrise). During these visits, which brought so much joy to the friends, they would recite from the Holy Writings, pray, listen to the Master and be blessed with His presence.
Youness Afroukhteh writes in his memoirs that, “The pilgrim house [the rooms rented for this purpose in Khan-i-Avamid] was now in a buzz: loyal and steadfast friends were appearing from every direction. The atmosphere of love and unity infused a spirit of joy and elation into the hearts of all the believers, washing away the bitter anguish of the renewal of incarceration. Signs of happiness and gaiety were evident in every face. At times the pilgrims from the West and the East openly associated with each other. The letters from the West brought many happy tidings; some of them were read aloud in the pilgrim house. At times the Master visited the pilgrims. Mirza Haydar-‘Ali, the anchor of the pilgrim house, shared loving and fatherly counsel with the newcomers, helping them to orient themselves in this happy paradise. Zaynu’l-Muqarrabin was the soul of the pilgrim house, while the wonderful Mishkin-Qalam brought delight and cheer to the hearts.”
Jináb-i-Zayn continued to serve in any capacity he could. He was asked by the Master to render services such as teaching Arabic and Bahá’í Writings to children. Again Youness Afroukhteh writes, “The children enjoyed quite a few benefits in their training, appropriate to the prevailing conditions of austerity and hardship in the Most Great Prison. In addition to the study of Persian, English, mathematics and other lessons, they had to master a trade or vocation. Despite a rampant scarcity of all goods, each child had to have a desk. Training in shoe-making, carpentry, and tailoring were more readily available to the children and therefore most of them were already engaged as apprentices in these trades. The Master paid a great deal of attention to all facets of education of the young. Each and every one of them, regardless of age or any other consideration was educated under His direct and close supervision. The young men, some loyal to the Faith and some violators of the Covenant, also received the same education. And while in their childhood they had been deprived of the opportunity to study foreign languages, here they received training in Arabic, literature, calligraphy and penmanship. The late Mishkín-Qalam taught penmanship. Even the great Zaynul-Muqarrabin had been assigned to teach Arabic and Bahá’í Writings.”
Along the many services he rendered, he continued to transcribe the Holy Writings to the end of his life.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes, “From his early years till his last breath, this eminent man never failed in service to the Manifestation. After the ascension he was consumed with such grieving, such constant tears and anguish, that as the days passed by, he wasted away. He remained faithful to the Covenant, and was a close companion to this servant of the Light of the World, but he longed to rise out of this life, and awaited his departure from day to day. At last, serene and happy, rejoicing in the tidings of the Kingdom, he soared away to that mysterious land. There he was loosed from every sorrow, and in the gathering-place of splendors he was immersed in light.”
In 1321 (1903), at the age of 88, after being bedridden for about three weeks due to illness, his soul was finally released from this earthly life. He was and is still buried in the Bahá’í Cemetery of ‘Akká.
That the term “sun” hath been applied to the leaders of religion is due to their lofty position, their fame, and renown. Such are the universally recognized divines of every age, who speak with authority, and whose fame is securely established. If they be in the likeness of the Sun of Truth, they will surely be accounted as the most exalted of all luminaries … [Kitáb-i-Iqán]