“His arrival at the penal colony of ‘Akká, far from proving the end of His afflictions, was but the beginning of a major crisis, characterized by bitter suffering, severe restrictions, and intense turmoil, which, in its gravity, surpassed even the agonies of the Síyáh-Ch
ál of Tihrán, and to which no other event, in the history of the entire century can compare, except the internal convulsion that rocked the Faith in Adrianople. ‘Know thou,’ Bahá’u’lláh, wishing to emphasize the criticalness of the first nine years of His banishment to that prison-city, has written, ‘that upon Our arrival at this Spot, We chose to designate it as the “Most Great Prison.” Though previously subjected in another land (Tihrán) to chains and fetters, We yet refused to call it by that name. Say: Ponder thereon, O ye endued with understanding!’
Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 185.
“Having, after a miserable voyage, disembarked at ‘Akká, all the exiles, men, women and children, were, under the eyes of a curious and callous population that had assembled at the port to behold the ‘God of the Persians,’ conducted to the army barracks, where they were locked in, and sentinels detailed to guard them. ‘The first night,’ Bahá’u’lláh testifies in the Lawh-i-Ra’ís, ‘all were deprived of either food or drink . . . They even begged for water, and were refused.’
Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 186–187.