Longing

One of the emigrants who died along the way to the Holy Land was Zaynu’l-‘Abidin of Yazd. When, in Manshad, this devoted man first heard the cry of God, he was awakened to restless life. A holy passion stirred him, his soul was made new. The light of guidance flamed from the lamp of his heart; the love of God sparked a revolution in the country of his inner self. Carried away by love for the Loved One’s beauty, he left the home that was dear to him and set out for the Desired Land. As he traveled along with his two sons, gladdened by hopes of the meeting that would be his, he paused on every hilltop, in every plain, village and hamlet to visit with the friends. But the great distance stretching out before him changed to a sea of troubles, and although his spirit yearned, his body weakened, and at the end he sickened and turned helpless; all this when he was without a home. Sick as he was, he did not renounce the journey, nor fail in his resolve; he had amazing strength of will, and was determined to keep on; but the illness worsened with every passing day, until at last he winged his way to the mercy of God, and yielded up his soul in a longing unfulfilled. Although to outward eyes he never drained the cup of meeting, never gazed upon the beauty of Bahá’u’lláh, still he achieved the very spirit of spiritual communion; he is accounted as one of those who attained the Presence, and for him the reward of those who reached that Presence is fixed and ordained.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 83-84)