July 6, 2010

Some religious references to the city of 'Akka

'Akká had achieved fame more than once in its long history. It had refused to bow to mighty conquerors. Prophets of Israel as well as the Prophet of Arabia had alluded to it in terms that exalted it above other towns and cities of glittering splendour. Hosea had said that 'Akká was 'a door of hope'. Ezekiel had referred to it as 'the gate that looketh toward the east' to which 'the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east' It was Ptolemais in the days when Jesus walked the Mediterranean shore. And Muhammad had said: 'Blessed the man that hath visited 'Akká, and blessed he that hath visited the visitor of 'Akká . . . A month in 'Akká is better than a thousand years elsewhere.' (Balyuzi, ‘Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant’, p. 25; citations from God Passes By, p. 187. See also Hosea ii. I5, and Ezekiel xliii. I-2. Hosea refers to it as ‘the valley of Achor’.)