pp. 178-179: “It was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s habit to find relief from one tiring occupation by engaging
Himself in another. For example, whenever He grew tired of writing, He would turn to the
dictation of Tablets, and when He grew weary of this, He would summon the pilgrims and impart
to them words of counsel and admonition. Once He felt tired out by writing, dictation or
speaking, He would take long walks in the narrow winding streets of the Most Great Prison, and if
in the process He encountered a believer or a non-believer, friend or foe, He would stop and spend
a few minutes talking to him of matters of interest to that person. Thus, as He simply strolled
down the streets of ‘Akká, ‘Abdu’l-Baha actually performed the important task of attending to
great many side issues.
If He felt any weariness, He visited the sick and the poor. The sick received His prayers and
blessings, and the needy the contents of his moneybag. As soon as the famous moneybag emerged
from His pocket, the whole household would circle around that heavenly Personage like moths.
The older ones received majidis and beshliks and the younger ones a few metliks.
As soon as the moneybag was empty He would return home. If there was any daylight left, He
would summon Mirza Nuru’d-Din and pick up where He had left off. If it was early evening, and
the chanter of the Qur’an was already in the biruni reception area, He would listen to the chant and
permit some of the friends and certain others to attain His presence at the same time. If it were
late at night, He would visit those pilgrims and residents who were gathered in the biruni area
waiting for Him to come, and bestow upon them the expressions of His loving-kindness. He
would then ask someone to chant a prayer, and afterwards he would retire to the andaruni where
He busied Himself with managing the affairs of the house and attending to the education of each
member of the blessed household.
After a short rest, He would be up before the first light of dawn and engaged in prayer and the
revelation of divine verses until sunrise, when He would begin His busy day. Thus the only
temporary respite and comfort for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was the time He spent at the dinner table – and
even that time was taken up by the many questions of the Western friends. These required a
variety of answers ranging from philosophical explanations to logical proofs, from abstract and
traditional references to theological topics. Mr. Phelps’s book, Some Answered Questions, and
many others were revealed at the dinner table.
Memories of Nine Years in Akká by Dr. Youness Afroukhteh,