This man, a carpenter and a master craftsman, came from Káshán. For faith and certitude, he was like a sword drawn from the scabbard. He was well known in his own city as a man righteous, true and worthy of trust. He was high-minded, abstemious and chaste. When he became a believer, his urgent longing to meet Bahá’u’lláh could not be stilled; full of joyous love, he went out of the Land of Káf (Káshán) and traveled to Iraq, where he beheld the splendor of the rising Sun.
He was a mild man, patient, quiet, mostly keeping to himself. In Baghdad, he worked at his craft, was in touch with the friends, and sustained by the presence of Bahá’u’lláh. For some time he lived in utter happiness and peace. Then those who had been taken prisoner were sent away to Mosul, and he was among the victims and like them exposed to the wrath of the oppressors. He remained in captivity for quite a while and when freed came to ‘Akká. Here too he was a friend to the prisoners and in the Fortress he continued to practice his skill. As usual he was inclined to solitude, apt to stay apart from friend and stranger alike, and much of the time lived by himself.
Then the supreme ordeal, the great desolation, came upon us. Qulám-‘Alí took on the carpentry work of the Holy Tomb, exerting all his sure powers. To this day, the glass roof which is over the inner courtyard of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh remains as the product of his skill. He was a man crystal clear of heart. His face shone; his inner condition was constant; at no time was he changeable or unstable. He was staunch, loving, and true till his last breath.
After some years in this neighborhood, he rose upward to the neighborhood of the all-embracing mercy of God, and became a friend to those who dwell in the high Heavens. He had the honor of meeting Bahá’u’lláh in both worlds. This is the most precious bestowal, the costliest of all gifts. To him be salutations and praise. His bright grave is in ‘Akká.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Memorials of the Faithful. Bahai.org.
Artwork by Mr. Mehrdad Mike Iman