One problem I had after my expulsion was visiting the shrines. Not wanting to be a cause of trouble I read the ‘ziyaratnameh’ (prayer chanted at the shrine) from a quiet street south of the Shrine of the Bab. Abdul Baha was my example. During their time at the citadel of Acre, he would climb a wall where he could face Bahji from a distance and chant the ‘ziyaratnameh’ from there. One day, I wanted to visit the shrine at Bahji. It was summer and Shoghi Effendi and Ruhiyyih Khanum were in Europe. I took the opportunity and went early one morning. Upon arrival I requested the doorman to grant me entrance, which he did. For one hour or more I was alone at the shrine, crying and pouring out my heart, seeking forgiveness from Baha’u’llah for my sins and shortcomings. Sometime later, Mr. Mansour came to my house with the message from Ruhiyyih Khanum telling me that if I went to the Shrine again orders had been given to beat me and throw me out. I do not believe that in any faith excepting Catholicism, is an excommunicated person forbidden to enter a place of worship to pray.
By RUHI MOHSEN AFNAN (Grandson of Abdul Baha)
Written in 1970