[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Khabarnavard

[Date:] 3 Esfand 1389 [22 February 2011]


Written by the Wife of Behzad Zabihi, One of the Baha’i Citizens Arrested in Sari!

Sahar Towdeie, Behzad Zabihi’s wife, after the raid on their house, wrote this text:

Love for Abdu’l-Baha

That morning, Reyyan, the three-year-old toddler, was playing with his toys as usual. It was 11:00 a.m. and the doorbell rang. He had seen his father on the iPhone and, as always, eagerly anticipated the arrival of his father, until he saw him together with four unfamiliar men. He was worried in his heart about whether those strangers were his father’s friends. He always considered his father’s friends to be kind and considered them his uncles. Were they really his uncles, too? Were they kind, too?

He faced these questions and watched them and their actions. You could see books, movies and home CDs were put in bags and they were taping the boxes closed. They even took and packed the prayer books with which he would pray and commune with God. The mother saw that one of them carelessly removed the beloved image of Abdu’l-Baha from the frame, destroying it [in the process], and placed it in the bag, but the baby did not see this sad sight until the loud noises caught his attention. He heard those who he thought were his uncles being aggressive and speaking loudly to his father. He immediately went to his father and snuggled into his arms. He never considered a loud voice as a sign of love. So, at that moment he got the answers to his mental questions. No, they could not be his uncles, because they were not kind. The baby kept shouting, “Do not fight, do not fight,” but in that commotion, no one paid attention to the sad little baby.

At that moment, three more people joined the other four. The house was full of unkind strangers. The baby could not justify his father’s respectful and loving behaviour towards them and the disrespect and violence of others in his mind. But why? In the midst of this confusion, everyone finally left the house with those bags and packages of books and other things. The wandering baby was walking around the house trying to calm down the restless moments of the house when suddenly his eyes fell on the empty frame that had contained the picture of Abdu’l-Baha. Tears welled up in his eyes, and a cry rose from the depths of his heart: “Where is my Abdu’l-Baha? Who took him away from me? The mother said, “My darling, do not worry, Abdu’l-Baha is always with you, he is in your heart.” The baby was still crying. What should the mother have said? Should she have told him the truth―that they were bad people who took the beloved picture along with them? No, in this way the seeds of hatred and enmity would have been planted in the child’s heart, and she never wanted that.

She turned to the child and said, “My darling, the uncles who came to our house in the morning wanted to take this picture with them, so [your] father and I decided to give it to them as a gift.” But the child did not calm down; he cried from the depths of his being and asked for his Abdu’l-Baha. He would pray every night for the pleasure of Abdu’l-Baha and feel his affection and contentment from his blessed face. Then what could he have filled that empty space with?

After crying for a while, the baby calmed down, until a few hours later his five-year-old sister Nafhe, who had not been home these several hours, arrived. As soon as she entered, she saw the frame with the missing picture and came into the room with tears in her eyes. She said, “Who took my Abdu’l-Baha? Where is He?” Mother said, “Do not cry my love, while you were not here, some of your father’s friends came to our house and wanted to take it with them. We gave them that dear picture.” But the little girl cried louder and said, “This means stealing.” Mother said, “No darling, they took it with our permission.” Then she said, “This means begging. This means stealing and begging. You should not have allowed them to take away my Abdu’l-Baha.” Now the two little children were in common grief and whispering to each other. One said that they were very bad men who took Abdu’l-Baha with them, and the other confirmed her brother’s words and cried.

At that moment, the doorbell rang again. It was one of the father’s friends. He was familiar and kind, just like the angels. The kind uncle reached into his briefcase and gave beautiful pictures of Abdu’l-Baha to the sad children as gifts. Their hearts were filled with joy, and with extreme happiness, they took the small pictures to their room and thanked God from the depths of their being. Their hearts calmed down because they could still see the beautiful face of Abdu’l-Baha again.

Abdu’l-Baha is the name of the son and successor of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Whose images are usually found in the Baha’i homes around the world, and Whose teachings, writings, and conduct symbolize love, service, and forgiveness to all human beings regardless of any thought, religion, race or gender.