Almustafa’s equanimity under the duress of unjust confinement reminded me of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who led the Bahá’í Faith from 1892 to 1921. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh, spent most of his life as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire, starting in his childhood, when in 1853 his family was banished from their homeland of Persia (Iran), until 1908 when the Young Turks revolted.
Bahá’u’lláh and his family were punished for the crime of believing God continued to speak to humanity. They were prisoners of faith—prisoners of conscience.
During his decades of confinement, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá suffered intense privations. Even after his imprisonment ended, his life was still “under a sword hanging on a thread”—for example, in 1918, Turkish commander Cemal Paşa threatened to crucify him. Nevertheless, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remained utterly reliant on God; as he wrote,