[This text was prepared by the External Sacred Writings Proofreading
Project from a copy made by an OCR (scanner).  It has not been proofread.  
All footnotes are in English.  Extremely long footnotes also differ in this
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THE DAWN-BREAKERS
&NABIL'S NARRATIVE OF THE EARLY
DAYS OF THE &BAHA'I REVELATION
 
 
     "I stand, life in hand, ready; that perchance, through
     God's loving-kindness and grace, this revealed and
     manifest Letter may lay down his life as a sacrifice
     in the path of the Primal Point, the Most Exalted
     Word."  
                                             --&Baha'u'llah.  
 
 
 
          TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL PERSIAN
                     AND EDITED BY
                    SHOGHI EFFENDI
 
 
 
                 &BAHA'I PUBLISHING TRUST
                    WILMETTE, ILLINOIS
                           1970
 
 
 
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               COPYRIGHT, 1932, BY THE NATIONAL
             SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE &BAHA'IS OF
               THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 
             Library of Congress Catalog No. 32-8946
 
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                                    To
                           The Greatest Holy Leaf
              The Last Survivor of a Glorious and Heroic Age
                            I Dedicate This Work
                               in Token of a
                     Great Debt of Gratitude and Love
 
 
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                    TABLE OF PRINCIPAL CONTENTS OF
                           THE NARRATIVE
 
 
 
                    PART ONE:  PRE-REVELATION DAYS
 
           CHAPTER I:  THE MISSION OF &SHAYKH &AHMAD-I-AHSA'I
 
His departure from &Bahrayn to &Iraq     1
His visit to Najaf and &Karbila     2
His journey to &Shiraz     4
His stay in Yazd     5
     a.  His correspondence with &Fath-'Ali &Shah     5
     b.  His relations with &Haji &Abdu'l-Vahhab     6
     c.  The anecdote of &Mirza &Mahmud-i-Qamsari     8
     d.  The arrival of Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti     10
His pilgrimage to &Mashhad     12
His triumphal entry into &Tihran      13
His departure for &Kirmanshah     13
His return to &Karbila     17
His journey to Mecca and Medina, and his death     18
 
 
           CHAPTER II:  THE MISSION OF SIYYID &KAZIM-I-RASHTI
 
His relations with &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir-i-Rashti     19
His allusions to the Promised One     24
The anecdote of &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi     25
     a.  Siyyid &Kazim's visit to the &Bab     25
     b.  The &Bab's attendance at the teaching classes of Siyyid &Kazim     27
     c.  The &Bab's visit to the shrine of &Imam &Husayn     30
     d.  &Shaykh &Hasan's visit to &Shiraz and &Mah-Ku     30
     e.  His meeting with &Baha'u'llah in &Karbila     32
References to the Promised One in the works of Siyyid &Kazim     33
The siege of &Karbila     35
The allusions of Siyyid &Kazim to his unfaithful disciples     36
The account related by &Shaykh &Abu-Turab     39
The exhortations of Siyyid &Kazim to his disciples     40
The meeting of Siyyid &Kazim with the Arab shepherd     43
Death of Siyyid &Kazim     45
 
 
 
                PART TWO:  THE REVELATION OF THE &BAB
 
 
          CHAPTER III:  THE DECLARATION OF THE &BAB'S MISSION
 
The arrival of &Mulla &Husayn in &Karbila     47
Significance of the year '60     48
Departure of &Mulla &Husayn for Najaf and &Bushihr     50
Interview of &Mulla &Husayn with the &Bab in &Shiraz     52
Arrival of &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami and his companions in &Shiraz     66
 
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Arrival of &Quddus in &Shiraz     69
The early days of the &Bab     72
     a.  His birth     72
     b.  His school-days     75
     c.  His marriage     76
     d.  His stay in &Bushihr     77
Letters of the Living     80
Reference to &Tahirih     81
Explanation of the term &Bala-Sari     84
Dismissal of &Mulla &Husayn     85
Departure of &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami from &Shiraz     87
Story of &Abdu'l-Vahhab     87
Sufferings of &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami     89
The &Bab's farewell address to the Letters of the Living     92
The &Bab's parting words to &Mulla &Husayn      96
 
 
           CHAPTER IV:  &MULLA &HUSAYN'S JOURNEY TO &TIHRAN
                                                               
Visit of &Mulla &Husayn to &Isfahan     97
     a.  His relations with the disciples of &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir    97
     b.  Story of the Sifter of Wheat     99
     c.  Conversion of &Mulla &Sadiq-i-Khurasani     100
His stay in &Kashan and Qum     101
His experiences in &Tihran     101
     a.  His relations with &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Khurasani     102
     b.  His meeting with &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Nuri, and his message to  
              &Baha'u'llah     104
 
 
           CHAPTER V:  &BAHA'U'LLAH'S JOURNEY TO &MAZINDARAN
 
His reference to &Mirza Buzurg     109
His visit to &Nur prior to &Mulla &Husayn's arrival in &Tihran     111
     a.  His meeting with &Mirza &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Nuri     111
     b.  The two dreams of &Mirza &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Nuri     111
His visit to &Nur after &Mulla &Husayn's arrival in &Tihran    112
     a.  His relations with His uncle &Aziz     113
     b.  His meeting with &Mulla &Muhammad     113
     c.  His conversation with a dervish     117
     d.  The effects of &Baha'u'llah's visit to &Nur    118
The &Vazir's dream of &Baha'u'llah     119
The relations of &Baha'u'llah with &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi     120
  
 
           CHAPTER VI:  &MULLA &HUSAYN'S JOURNEY TO &KHURASAN
 
The instructions of the &Bab to the Letters of the Living     123
The first believers of &Khurasan     125
&Mulla &Husayn's letter to the &Bab     126
 
 
        CHAPTER VII:  THE &BAB'S PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA AND MEDINA
 
Incident related by &Haji &Abu'l-Hasan-i-Shirazi    130
Reference to Journey in the Persian &Bayan     130
Arrival at Jaddih, and an incident on the way to Mecca     132
The circumambulation of the &Ka'bih by the &Bab     134
His declaration to &Mirza &Muhit-i-Kirmani     134
His message to the Sherif of Mecca, and the account related by
     &Haji &Niyaz-i-Baghdadi     138
His visit to Medina     140
 
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     CHAPTER VIII:  THE &BAB'S STAY IN &SHIRAZ AFTER THE PILGRIMAGE
 
The &Bab's return to &Bushihr and farewell to &Quddus     142
Visit of &Quddus to the &Bab's maternal uncle in &Shiraz     143
Meeting of &Quddus with &Mulla &Sadiq-i-Khurasani     144
Afflictions which befell &Quddus and &Mulla &Sadiq     145
     a.  Interrogation by &Husayn &Khan of &Mulla &Sadiq     146
     b.  Account of an eye-witness regarding the persecution     147
Return of the &Bab to &Shiraz     150
     a.  Incident related by leader of the &Bab's escort     150
     b.  The &Bab's meeting with &Husayn &Khan     151
     c.  Declaration of the &Bab in the &Masjid-i-Vakil     154
Reference to those who embraced the Faith in &Shiraz     156
The &Bab's communication to the believers in &Karbila     158
Arrival of the believers at &Kangavar, and their  
     meeting with &Mulla &Husayn     159
Their departure with &Mulla &Husayn for &Isfahan     159
Departure of &Mulla &Husayn for &Shiraz     160
Arrival of six believers at &Shiraz     161
Account related by &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim-i-Qazvini     162
Meeting of &Nabil with &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim-i-Qazvini     169
 
 
     CHAPTER IX:  THE &BAB'S STAY IN &SHIRAZ AFTER THE PILGRIMAGE
                            (Continued)
 
Departure of &Mulla &Husayn for &Khurasan     170
Siyyid &Yahya's interviews with the &Bab     173
Conversion of &Mulla &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Zanjani     178
Visits of &Quddus to &Kirman, &Tihran, and &Mazindaran     179
     a.  His relations with &Haji Siyyid &Javad-i-Kirmani     180
     b.  His visit to &Tihran     182
     c.  His stay in &Barfurush     183
Visit of &Mulla &Sadiq to Yazd     184
     a.  His relations with &Mirza &Ahmad-i-Azghandi     184
     b.  His experience in the Masjid of Yazd    186
Sufferings of &Mulla &Yusuf-i-Ardibili and others     187
Reference to &Haji Siyyid &Javad-i-Karbila'i     189
Account related by Shaykh &Sultan-i-Karbila'i     190
Advent of the second &Naw-Ruz     191
References to the mother and to the wife of the &Bab     191
&Husayn &Khan's activities     194
     a.  Report of the chief of his emissaries     194
     b.  &Husayn &Khan's directions to &Abdu'l-Hamid &Khan     195
Arrest of the &Bab, and outbreak of the plague     196
     a.  Flight of &Husayn &Khan     196
     b.  Recovery of the son of &Abdu'l-Hamid &Khan     197
     c.  Release of the &Bab     197
Farewell of the &Bab to His relatives, and His departure from &Shiraz     198
 
 
            CHAPTER X:  THE &BAB'S SOJOURN IN &ISFAHAN
 
His letter to &Manuchihr &Khan     199
The welcome extended by the &Imam-Jum'ih     201
     a.  Honours accorded by the people to the &Bab     202
     b.  Deference shown the &Bab by the &Imam-Jum'ih     202
     c.  The &Bab's commentary on the &Surih of &Va'l-'Asr     202
     d.  The &Bab's interview with &Manuchihr &Khan     203
Fears of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi     204
 
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The &Bab's visit to &Manuchihr &Khan     205
Reference to &Mulla &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Hirati     208
Banquet offered to the &Bab by &Mirza &Ibrahim     208
Death warrant of the &Bab issued by the &ulamas of &Isfahan     209
The plan of &Manuchihr &Khan for the departure and return
     of the &Bab to &Isfahan     211
Meeting of the believers with the &Bab     212
The &Bab's prediction of the approaching death of &Manuchihr &Khan     213
Last days of &Manuchihr &Khan     214
Dismissal of the believers     214
&Gurgin &Khan's communication to &Muhammad &Shah     215
Departure of the &Bab for &Kashan     216
 
 
           CHAPTER XI:  THE &BAB'S STAY IN &KASHAN
 
Dream of &Haji &Mirza &Jani     217
The &Bab's three days at the home of &Haji &Mirza &Jani     219
     a.  Reference to Siyyid &Abdu'l-Baqir     221
     b.  The meeting of &Mihdi with the &Bab     221
 
 
   CHAPTER XII:  THE &BAB'S JOURNEY FROM &KASHAN TO &TABRIZ
 
His approach to Qum     223
His stay at the village of &Qummrud     224
His arrival at the fortress of &Kinar-Gird     225
His stay at the village of Kulayn     226
     a.  Arrival of a number of believers     227
     b.  Joy of the &Bab at the gift and message from &Baha'u'llah     227
     c.  An incident of the journey     228
     d.  &Muhammad &Shah's letter to the &Bab     229
     e.  Fears, designs, and Motives of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi     231
Last stage of the &Bab's journey to &Tabriz     235
     a.  Arrival of the believers at the village &Siyah-Dihan     235
     b.  Intervention of &Hujjat-i-Zanjani     236
     c.  The &Bab's farewell to His guards     236
     d.  The &Bab welcomed by His youthful disciple     237
The &Bab's arrival at &Tabriz     239
     a.  Enthusiastic reception by the people of &Tabriz     239
     b.  The &Bab's meeting with &Haji &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Milani
              and &Haji &Ali-'Askar     239
     c.  Account related by &Haji &Ali-'Askar     240
 
 
           CHAPTER XIII:  THE &BAB'S INCARCERATION IN THE
                         CASTLE OF &MAH-KU
 
Account related by Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi     243
Situation of &Mah-Ku, and character of its people     243
Attachment of inhabitants of &Mah-Ku to the &Bab     244
Arrival of &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi, and the &Bab's message to him     245
Dream of &Ali &Khan-i-Mah-Ku     247
Change in the attitude of &Ali &Khan     247
Reference to the Persian &Bayan     248
Visit of the &Bab's disciples to &Mah-Ku     250
Incidents in the life of the &Bab at &Mah-Ku     252
Dream of the &Bab prior to the declaration of His Mission     253
Misfortunes befall &Muhammad &Shah and his government     253
Departure of &Mulla &Husayn from &Mashhad on his pilgrimage to &Mah-Ku     254
     a.  Motive of his departure     254
 
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     b.  His visit to &Tihran     255
     c.  His arrival at &Mah-Ku and dream of &Ali &Khan     256
Words of the &Bab to &Mulla &Husayn     258
Accusation against &Ali &Khan, and the &Bab's consequent
     transference to &Chihriq     259
Farewell of the &Bab to &Mulla &Husayn     260
 
 
           CHAPTER XIV:  &MULLA &HUSAYN'S JOURNEY TO &MAZINDARAN
 
Departure of &Mulla &Husayn for &Tihran     261
His stay at the home of &Quddus in &Barfurush     261
Observations regarding &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi and &Mulla &Husayn     263   
Instructions of &Quddus to &Mulla &Husayn     265
Interview of &Mulla &Husayn with the &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'     266
Departure of &Mulla &Husayn, and his arrival at &Mashhad     267
 
 
           CHAPTER XV:  &TAHIRIH'S JOURNEY FROM &KARBILA TO &KHURASAN
 
Allusion to &Baha'u'llah     269          
Epistle of the &Bab to the believers     269
Response of &Tahirih to the appeal of the &Bab     260
     a.  Her Activities in &Karbila     270
     b.  Her activities in &Baghdad     271
     c.  Her stay in &Kirmanshah and &Hamadan     272
     d.  Her confinement in &Qazvin     273
         (1)  Her reply to &Mulla &Muhammad     273
         (2)  Arrival of &Mulla &Abdu'llah, and murder of &Mulla &Taqi     276
         (3)  Imprisonment of the accused in &Tihran, and intervention
                   and confinement of &Baha'u'llah     278
         (4)  Appeal to &Muhammad &Shah     280
         (5)  Execution of first &Baha'i martyr in Persia     280
         (6)  Attitude of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, and intervention
                   of &Sadr-i-Ardibili     280
         (7)  Massacre of &Qazvin     282
         (8)  Effects of the massacre in &Tihran     283
     e.  Her deliverance by &Baha'u'llah     284
         (1)  Her removal to &Tihran     284
         (2)  Effects of her departure from &Qazvin     285
         (3)  Her attitude towards the &Bab and &Baha'u'llah     285
     f.  Her departure for &Khurasan     286
         (1)  Instructions of &Baha'u'llah to &Aqay-i-Kalim     286
         (2)  Her departure from &Tihran     287
 
 
           CHAPTER XVI:  THE CONFERENCE OF &BADASHT
 
Departure of &Baha'u'llah from &Tihran     288
Departure of &Quddus for &Mazindaran     290
Meeting of &Baha'u'llah with &Quddus in &Shah-Rud     292
Their arrival at &Badasht     293
     a.  Significance of the gathering in &Badasht     293
     b.  Incident related by &Shaykh &Abu-Turab     293
     c.  Differences among the believers     297
     d.  Reconciliation achieved by &Baha'u'llah     297
     e.  Departure from &Badasht     298
The incident in &Niyala as related by &Baha'u'llah     299
Outcome of that incident     300
 
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           CHAPTER XVII:  THE &BAB'S INCARCERATION IN THE
                       CASTLE OF &CHIHRIQ
 
Attitude of the people of &Chihriq towards the &Bab     302
The &Bab's instructions to an attendant     303
Acceptance of the Message by uulamas and government officials     303
     a.  &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali and his brother     303
     b.  &Mirza &Asadu'llah     304
     c.  A dervish from India     305
Believers dismissed from &Chihriq     306
Incident concerning &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali     307
 
 
           CHAPTER XVIII:  EXAMINATION OF THE &BAB AT &TABRIZ
 
His visit to &Urumiyyih     309
His arrival at &Tabriz     311
His examination by the &ulamas     315
Indignity inflicted upon Him     319
His return to &Chihriq, and His epistle to &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi     323
 
 
           CHAPTER XIX:  THE &MAZINDARAN UPHEAVAL
 
&Mulla &Husayn's departure from &Mashhad     324
Death of &Muhammad &Shah     327
The &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama's appeal to the people of &Barfurush     328
Attack by the people of &Barfurush on &Mulla &Husayn and
     his companions     329
Repulse of the attack by &Mulla &Husayn     330
Account related by &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Furughi     332
Surrender of the people of &Barfurush     336
Renewed attempts by &Mulla &Husayn's companions to sound the &adhan     338
Sortie from the caravanserai of the &Sabzih-Maydan     338
Intercession of the notables of &Barfurush     339
Instructions given to &Khusraw-i-Qadi-Ka'la     339
Incident in the forest of &Mazindaran     342
Arrival at the shrine of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     343
Dream of the guardian of the shrine of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     344
Attack and repulse of the horsemen of &Qadi-Kala     345
Visit of &Baha'u'llah to the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     348
Liberation of &Quddus     350
Reference to the Black Standards     351
Confinement of &Quddus in the house of &Mirza &Muhammad-Taqi     351
Arrival of &Quddus at the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     352
Account related by &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Furughi     353
Incidents in the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi concerning &Quddus     355
The &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama's appeal to &Nasiri'd-Din &Shah     358
Encampment of the army of &Abdu'llah &Khan-i-Turkaman near the
     fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     360
First sortie from the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     362
Message of Prince &Mihdi-Quli &Mirza to &Mulla &Husayn     363
Second sortie from the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     366
Injury sustained by &Quddus     367
&Baha'u'llah's attempt to join the occupants of the fort of
     &Shaykh &Tabarsi     368
Reference to &Baha'u'llah's activities prior to the
     declaration of His Mission     372
 
 
           CHAPTER XX:  THE &MAZINDARAN UPHEAVAL (Continued)
 
Third sortie, and fall of &Mulla &Husayn     378
&Mulla &Husayn's last moments     379
 
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Reference to his burial and achievements     381
&Quddus' warning to his companions     382
Betrayal by Siyyid &Husayn-i-Mutavalli     384
Attack by &Abbas-Quli &Khan-i-Larijani     386
Fourth sortie, and complete rout of the enemy     387
Despatch of artillery from &Tihran     389
Distress of the besieged     389
Exhortations of &Quddus to his companions     391
Fifth sortie, and death of &Ja'far-Quli &Khan     394
Increasing distress of the companions     395
A declaration by &Quddus     396
Sixth and last sortie     396
Deliberation of the prince with chiefs of his staff     396
Incident related by &Aqay-i-Kalim     397
Desertion and capture of a number of the companions     398
Oath taken by the prince to ensure safety of the besieged     399
Abandonment of the fort     400
Capture of a number of the companions     403
General massacre     404
Fate of three of the companions     404
Martyrdom of &Quddus     410
List of the martyrs     414
 
 
           CHAPTER XXI:  THE SEVEN MARTYRS OF &TIHRAN
 
Effects of the &Mazindaran disaster on the &Bab     430
Despatch of &Sayyah to the Shrine of &Tabarsi     432
The visit of &Sayyah to &Tihran, and meeting with &Baha'u'llah     433
Account of &Nabil's early life     434
Execution of the Seven Martyrs     436
     a.  &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali     436
     b.  &Mirza &Qurban-'Ali     449
     c.  &Haji &Mulla &Isma'il-i-Qumi     453
     d.  Siyyid &Husayn-i-Turshizi     455
     e.  &Haji &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Kirmani     457
     f.  Siyyid &Murtada     458
     g.  &Muhammad-Husayn-i-Maraghi'i     458
Incidents related by &Baha'u'llah     459
Burial of the Seven Martyrs     463
 
 
           CHAPTER XXII:  THE &NAYRIZ UPHEAVAL
 
Journey of &Vahid to &Tihran and Yazd     465
Celebration of the Feast of &Naw-Ruz in Yazd     466
Activities of the &Navvab-i-Radavi     467
Tumult and dispersal of the enemy     469
Declaration of &Vahid to the people of Yazd     469
Repulse of the forces near the fort of &Narin     470
Proclamation of &Vahid to the inhabitants of Yazd     472
Sortie ordered by &Vahid     472
Departure of &Vahid's wife for her father's home     473
&Vahid's instructions to his servant &Hasan     474
&Vahid's departure for &Nayriz     474
&Vahid's appeal to the people of &Nayriz     479
First sortie from the fort of &Khajih     481
Second sortie from the fort of &Khajih     483
 
+Pxiv
Division of labour in the fort     483
Interception of &Zaynu'l-'Abidin &Khan's message     484
Renewed appeal to Prince &Firuz &Mirza     485
Third sortie from the fort of &Khajih     486
Names of martyrs     487
Oath taken by enemy to conclude peace     488
&Vahid's response to the enemy's invitation     489
&Vahid's message to his companions, and treachery
     of &Haji Siyyid &Abid     490
Capture of the companions     493
Martyrdom of &Vahid     494
Fate of &Vahid's companions     495
 
 
           CHAPTER XXIII:  MARTYRDOM OF THE &BAB
 
Motives of the &Amir-Nizam for execution of the &Bab     500
Order of the &Amir-Nizam to &Navvab &Hamzih &Mirza     504
Disposal by the &Bab of His documents     504
Arrival of the &Bab at &Tabriz     506
Order issued by the &Amir-Nizam     506
Confinement of the &Bab in the barracks     507
Incident related by Siyyid &Husayn     507
The &Bab's warning to the &Farrash-Bashi     509
&Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali's refusal to recant     509
Issue of the &Bab's death-warrants     510
&Sam &Khan's request from the &Bab     512
The &Bab's miraculous escape     513
Resignation of the &Farrash-Bashi     513
Resignation of &Sam &Khan     514
Renewed and final attempt on the &Bab's life     517
Account related by &Haji &Ali-'Askar     518
Transference of the &Bab's remains to &Tihran     519
Reference to &Mirza &Aqa &Khan-i-Nuri     522
Effects of the &Bab's martyrdom     523
 
 
           CHAPTER XXIV:  THE &ZANJAN UPHEAVAL
 
Reference to the &Bab's afflictions     527
Activities of &Hujjat prior to his conversion     529
&Hujjat's acceptance of the &Bab's Message     531
&Hujjat accused and summoned to &Tihran     531
The &Bab's message to &Hujjat     533
Renewed complaints against &Hujjat, and his transference to &Tihran     534
The &Bab's arrival at &Zanjan and departure for &Tabriz     534
&Hujjat's incarceration in &Tihran     537
&Hujjat's escape to &Zanjan     539
The occasion for the enemy's attack on &Hujjat and his companions     540
The enemy's preparation for renewed assault     543
&Hujjat's entry into the fort of &Ali-Mardan &Khan     545
Assault attempted by a siyyid     546
&Hujjat's admonitions to his companions     546
&Sadru'd-Dawlih commissioned by the &Amir-Nizam to
     lay siege to the fort     547
The sufferings, labours, and temptations of the besieged     548
Heroism of Zaynab, a village maiden     550
Effects of the shouted prayers of the companions     553
&Hujjat's petition to &Nasiri'd-Din &Shah     554
Arrest of bearer of petition, and despatch of reinforcements     555
Effect on the companions of the news of the &Bab's martyrdom     556
 
+Pxv
Despatch of the &Amir-Tuman with further reinforcements     556
Meeting of &Aziz &Khan-i-Mukri with &Hujjat     556
Storming of the fort     557
The &Amir-Nizam's warning to the &Amir-Tuman     558
Repulse of the combined forces of the enemy     558
Death of &Muhsin     560
Nuptial celebrations in the fort     561
Death of five sons of &Karbila'i &Abdu'l-Baqi     561
&Umm-i-Ashraf's heroism     562
Assistance rendered by the women     563
&Amir-Tuman's attempt to deceive the companions     564
&Hujjat's advice to his companions     567
Resumption of the enemy's offensive     567
Wound sustained by &Hujjat     569
Capture of the fort, and its effects upon the besieged     570
Repulse of further attacks on the companions     570
Consultation of the &Amir-Tuman with his staff     571
Driving of underground passages     572
Death of &Hujjat's wife and child     572
Death of &Hujjat, and his interment     573
Last encounter     573
Treatment of survivors     574
Indignities inflicted on &Hujjat's body, and fate of his kinsmen     578
Number of martyrs     580
Sources of information     580
 
 
           CHAPTER XXV:  &BAHA'U'LLAH'S JOURNEY TO &KARBILA
                           AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
 
Incidents related by &Baha'u'llah     582
&Nabil's meeting with &Mirza &Ahmad and &Baha'u'llah in &Kirmanshah     587
Reference to Siyyid &Basir-i-Hindi     588
Reason for &Baha'u'llah's departure for &Karbila     591
&Nabil's departure with &Mirza &Ahmad for &Tihran     592
&Baha'u'llah's activities in &Karbila     593
 
 
           CHAPTER XXVI:  ATTEMPT ON THE &SHAH'S LIFE,
                    AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
 
Death of the &Amir-Nizam     595
&Baha'u'llah's return to &Tihran     596
&Baha'u'llah's meeting with &Azim     599
Attempt on the &Shah's life     599
&Baha'u'llah's imprisonment in the &Siyah-Chal     607
Fate or would-be murderers     609
Reign of terror     610
Reference to &Haji &Sulayman &Khan     610
Reference to the &Amir-Nizam's repentance     614
Incident related by the Most Great Branch     616
&Haji &Sulayman &Khan's martyrdom     618
&Tahirih's martyrdom     626
Siyyid &Husayn's martyrdom     631
Incidents in the &Siyah-Chal, as related by &Baha'u'llah     631
Attempts to prove &Baha'u'llah's complicity     635
&Azim's confession and death     637
&Baha'u'llah's possessions plundered in &Mazindaran     637
Effects of the turmoil in Yazd and &Nayriz     637
&Baha'u'llah's release and banishment to &Baghdad     642
 
+Pxvi  
[Intentionally blank]
 
+Pxvii
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
 
FRONTISPIECE                                      The Inmost Shrine of the &Bab
 
FACSIMILE OF THE &BAB'S TABLETS WRITTEN TO THE NINETEEN LETTERS
 OF THE LIVING AND TO &BAHA'U'LLAH
 
   First Letter of the Living:        &Mulla &Husayn-i-Bushru'i
   Second Letter of the Living:       &Muhammad &Hasan (His Brother)
   Third Letter of the Living:        &Muhammad-Baqir (His Nephew)
   Fourth Letter of the Living:       &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami
   Fifth Letter of the Living:        &Mulla &Khuda-Bakhsh-i-Quchani  
                                       (later named &Mulla 'Ali)
   Sixth Letter of the Living:        &Mulla &Hasan-i-Bajistani
   Seventh Letter of the Living:      Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi
   Eighth Letter of the Living:       &Mirza &Muhammad &Rawdih-Khan-i-Yazdi
   Ninth Letter of the Living:        &Sa'id-i-Hindi
   Tenth Letter of the Living:        &Mulla &Mahmud-i-Khu'i
   Eleventh Letter of the Living:     &Mulla &Jalil-i-Urumi
   Twelfth Letter of the Living:      &Mulla &Ahmad-i-Ibdal-i-Maraghi'i
   Thirteenth Letter of the Living:   &Mulla &Baqir-i-Tabrizi
   Fourteenth Letter of the Living:   &Mulla &Yusif-i-Ardibili
   Fifteenth Letter of the Living:    &Mirza &Hadi  
                                       (Son of &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Qazvini)
   Sixteenth Letter of the Living:    &Mirza &Muhammad-i &Aliy-i-Qazvini
   Seventeenth Letter of the Living:  &Tahirih
   Eighteenth Letter of the Living:   &Quddus
   Nineteenth Letter of the Living:   The &Bab Himself
   Twentieth Letter of the Living:    &Baha'u'llah  "Him Who Will Be  
                                                     Made Manifest"
 
  
&Muhammad-i-Zarandi surnamed &Nabil-i-A'zam              Opposite page lxiii
&Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i                                  Opposite page 1
General View of Najaf     3
&Fath-'Ali &Shah and Sons     6
Painting of &Mirza Buzurg (Father of &Baha'u'llah)     11
View of &Karbila     26
Entrance to the Shrine of &Imam &Husayn in &Karbila     28
Shrine of &Imam &Husayn in &Karbila     29
View of &Kazimayn     41
Section of the &Masjid-i-Baratha     43
Site of Siyyid &Kazim's Resting Place (tombstone now removed)     44
Home of &Mulla &Husayn in &Bushruyih     49
Views of the &Masjid-i-Ilkhani     51
General View of &Shiraz     52
Room in the &Masjid-i-Ilkhani, &Shiraz, in which the &Bab
     and &Mulla &Husayn met     53
Orange Tree Planted by the &Bab in the Courtyard of His
     House in &Shiraz     54
The &Bab's Brazier and Samovar     55
The Room where the &Bab was born in &Shiraz     56
Outskirts of &Shiraz where the &Bab went to walk     58
Views of the Upper Room of the &Bab's House in &Shiraz where
     He Declared His Mission     58
Views of the &Bab's House in &Shiraz, showing His Bed Chamber,
     His Mother's Room, His Sitting Room     60
Views of the &Bab's House in &Shiraz where He Declared His Mission,
     showing Original Sash and Door, Entrance, and Steps Leading
     to the Declaration Chamber     64
Views of the Public Bath in &Shiraz, where the &Bab went as a Child     71
 
+Pxviii
Entrance Door and Ruins of the &Qahviy-i-Awliya, in &Shiraz,
     the School the &Bab attended     73
Grave of the &Bab's Wife in &Shah-Chiragh, &Shiraz     74
Tree Marking Resting Place of the &Bab's Infant Son in
     &Babi-Dukhtaran, &Shiraz     74
Facsimile of &Tahirih's Handwriting     78
Site of the &Kaziran Gate, &Shiraz     86
The Market-Street of &Vakil, &Shiraz     86
The Madrisih of &Nim-Avard, &Isfahan     95
Views of &Tihran     102
&Aqay-i-Kalim, Brother of &Baha'u'llah     103
Views of the House of &Baha'u'llah in &Tihran     105
Approach to the Ruins of &Baha'u'llah's Original Home
     in &Takur, &Mazindaran     110
Inscription placed by the &Vazir, &Mirza Buzurg, above
     Door of Home in &Takur     112
Views of the House Occupied by &Baha'u'llah in &Takur, &Mazindaran     115
Views of the Mosque of &Gawhar-Shad in &Mashhad, showing Pulpit
     where &Mulla &Husayn preached     124
View of the "&Babiyyih" in &Mashhad     127
Drawing of Mecca     129
Relics of the &Bab, showing Dress worn under the Jubbih (outer coat)     133
Relics of the &Bab, showing Cap around which the Turban was wound     134
Cloth Worn By the &Bab when Circumambulating the &Ka'bih     135
Drawing of Medina     139
Views of the Masjid-i-Naw     144
Views of the &Masjid-i-Vakil, &Shiraz, showing Section of
     the Interior, Pulpit from which the &Bab Addressed the
     Congregation, and Entrance Door     152
Views of the House of &Quddus' Father in &Barfurush     182
Siyyid &Javad-i-Karbila'i     189
Interior of &Haji &Mirza &Ali's House in &Shiraz,
     (the &Bab's Maternal Uncle)     192
View of &Isfahan     199
Views of the House of the &Imam-i-Jum'ih in &Isfahan, showing
     Entrance and Courtyard     200
Views of the &Masjid-i-Jum'ih in &Isfahan, showing Pulpit before
     which the &Bab Prayed     203
Views of the House of the &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih in &Isfahan     206
View of the &Imarat-i-Khurshid in &Isfahan, showing Ruins
     of the Section the &Bab Occupied     210
&Manuchihr &Khan, The &Mu'tamidu'd-i-Dawlih     211
View of &Kashan     217
Gate of &Attar, &Kashan     218
Views of the House of &Haji &Mirza &Jani in &Kashan, showing Room
     where the &Bab stayed     220
Views of Qum, showing the &Haram-i-Ma'Sumih     223
Village of &Qummrud     225
Ruins of the Fortress of &Kinar-Gird     225
Views of the Village of Kulayn     226
&Muhammad &Shah     229
&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi     233
Panorama of &Tabriz     238
The Ark (Citadel) of &Tabriz where the &Bab was Confined,
     showing Interior and Exterior (X) of Room He Occupied     238
Castle of &Mah-Ku     242
View of &Milan in &Adharbayjan     257
Houses in which &Tahirih lived in &Qazvin     274
&Tahirih's Library in her Father's House in &Qazvin     275
Village of &Shah-Rud     291
Hamlet of &Badasht     292
The Persian Howdah     296
Castle of &Chihriq     301
The House Occupied by the &Bab in &Urumiyyih, The &Bala-Khanih
     (X) showing Room in which He stayed     310
 
+Pxix
&Nasiri'd-Din &Shah as a Child, showing &Mirza &Abu'l-Qasim,
     the &Qa'im-Maqam on his right and &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi on
     his left, on extreme left (X) stands &Manuchihr &Khan,
     the &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih     314
&Nasiri'd-Din &Shah     315
&Nasiri'd-Din &Shah     316
Eminent Persian Mujtahids     317
The &Namaz-Khanih of &Shaykhu'l-Islam of &Tabriz, showing corner
     (X) where the &Bab was Bastinadoed     318
Village of &Nishapur     325
Views of the Village of Miyamay, showing Exterior and Interior
     of the Masjid where &Mulla &Husayn and his companions prayed     326
House of the &Sa'idu'l-Ulama' in &Barfurush, &Mazindaran     334
Views of the Caravanserai of &Sabzih-Maydan in &Mazindaran     335
The Shrine of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     343
Views of the Site of the Fort of &Tabarsi, showing the Tomb of
     the &Shaykh and the Site of the Fort that enclosed the Shrine     344
Entrance of the Shrine of &Shaykh &Tabarsi in &Mazindaran     345
Plans and Sketches of the Fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi     348
House of &Mirza &Muhammad-Taqi, the Mujtahid, in &Sari, &Mazindaran     350
Village of &Afra     360
Village of &Shir-Gah     362
Village of &Riz-Ab     364
Village of &Firuz-Kuh     364
Village of &Vas-Kas     364
View of &Amul     370
House of the Governor of &Amul     370
Views of the Masjid of &Amul, (X) showing the place where opening
     was made in Wall     373
Tree from which &Mulla &Husayn was shot     380
Village of &Dizva     401
Views of the Madrisih of &Mirza &Zaki, in &Barfurush,
   the Resting Place of &Quddus     412
&Muhammad &Rida, (One of the Companions of &Quddus, who survived the
     Struggle of &Shaykh &Tabarsi)     427
&Mirza &Abu-Talib (Companion of &Quddus who survived the
     Struggle of &Shaykh &Tabarsi)     428
Views of the &Masjid-i-Shah of &Tihran     438
The Madrisih of &Mirza &Salih in &Tihran     440
The &Madrisiy-i-Sadr in &Tihran, (X) showing
     Room &Baha'u'llah Occupied     442
The Madrisih of &Daru'sh-Shafay-i-Masjid-i-Shah in &Tihran     443
The &Sabzih-Maydan of &Tihran     457
Gate of Naw, &Tihran     457
Panorama of Yazd     462
&Vahid's House in Yazd     466
Views of the Fort of &Narin, Yazd     470
Panorama of &Nayriz     478
&Vahid's House in &Nayriz     479
The Fort of &Khajih     480
&Vahid's Room in the Fort     480
The &Masjid-i-Jami' at &Nayriz     492
Site of the Martyrdoms at &Nayriz     497
Graves of the Martyrs at &Nayriz     497
&Vahid's Resting-Place at &Nayriz     498
&Mirza &Taqi &Khan, the &Amir-Nizam     500
The &Bab's Prayer Beads and Signet Ring     503
&Qur'an belonging to the &Bab     503
Ruins of the House &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mamaqani, the Mujtahid of &Tabriz     509
The Barrack-Square in &Tabriz, where the &Bab suffered Martyrdom
     (X) showing place where He was Suspended and shot)     511
Site of the Moat that surrounded &Tabriz, where the &Bab's Body
     was thrown     517  
 
+Pxx
View of the &Imam-Zadih &Hasan at &Tihran, where the &Bab's Body
     was kept     520
View of &Zanjan     527
Views of the Masjid built for &Hujjat by his companions     528
The Caravanserai of &Mirza &Ma'sum-i-Tabib at &Zanjan,
     (X) showing Room the &Bab Occupied     535
Graves of &Ashraf (1) and his Mother (2)     562
Entrance to &Hujjat's ruined House at &Zanjan     571
Square in &Zanjan where &Hujjat's Body was left exposed for three days     578
&Haji &Imam (X) showing One of the survivors of the struggle of &Zanjan     579
Village of &Afchih near &Tihran (showing &Baha'u'llah's House  
     through trees)     597
&Murgh-Mahallih, &Baha'u'llah's Summer Residence in &Shimiran     598
View of &Niyavaran near &Tihran     602
The Russian Legation in the Village of &Zarkandih     604
Southern part of &Tihran where criminals were hanged and where many  
     &Baha'is were martyred, (X) indicates site of &Siyah-Chal     607
&Baha'i Family martyred in Persia     610
Believers gathered around the Body of a Martyr     611
The House of the Kalantar in &Tihran where &Tahirih was confined     623
Costumes worn by Persian Ladies in the middle of the 19th Century  
     (showing Indoor and Outdoor dress)     624
Site of the Garden of &Ilkhani where &Tahirih was Martyred     626
General View of &Takur in &Mazindaran     638
Ruins of &Baha'u'llah's House, originally belonging to the &Vazir,  
     His Father in &Takur, &Mazindaran     640
View of &Abadih     644
The &Hadiqatu'r-Rahman, where the Heads of the Martyrs of &Nayriz  
     Lie Buried     645
Views of &Baghdad     649
&Baha'u'llah's House in &Baghdad     662
View of the Illuminated Shrine of the &Bab on Mount Carmel     666
Map of Persia     677
 
+Pxxi
                FACSIMILE OF THE &BAB'S AUTOGRAPH
 
                   TABLETS ADDRESSED TO THE
                    LETTERS OF THE LIVING
                     AND TO &BAHA'U'LLAH

+Pxxii
[Intentionally blank]
 
[NOTE:  The next 20 leaves of the book which contain the facsimiles are
unnumbered pages.]  
 
+Pxxiii
                     INTRODUCTION
 
     The &Baha'i Movement is now well known throughout
the world, and the time has come when &Nabil's
unique narrative of its beginnings in darkest Persia
will interest many readers.  The record which he
sets down with such devoted care is in many respects extraordinary.  
It has its thrilling passages, and the splendour of
the central theme gives to the chronicle not only great historical
value but high moral power.  Its lights are strong;
and this effect is more intense because they seem like a sunburst
at midnight.  The tale is one of struggle and martyrdom;
its poignant scenes, its tragic incidents are many.  
Corruption, fanaticisms and cruelty gather against the cause
of reformation to destroy it, and the present volume closes
at the point where a riot of hate seems to have accomplished
its purpose and to have driven into exile or put to death
every man, woman, and child in Persia who dared to profess
a leaning towards the teaching of the &Bab.  
     &Nabil, himself a participant in some of the scenes which
he recites, took up his lonely pen to recite the truth about
men and women so mercilessly persecuted and a movement
so grievously traduced.  
     He writes with ease, and when his emotions are strongly
stirred his style becomes vigorous and trenchant.  He does
not present with any system the claims and teaching of
&Baha'u'llah and His Forerunner.  His purpose is the simple
one of rehearsing the beginnings of the &Baha'i Revelation
and of preserving the remembrance of the deeds of its early
champions.  He relates a series of incidents, punctiliously
quoting his authority for almost every item of information.  
His work in consequence, if less artistic and philosophic,
gains in value as a literal account of what he knew or could
from credible witnesses discover about the early history of
the Cause.  
     The main features of the narrative (the saintly heroic
 
+Pxxiv
figure of the &Bab, a leader so mild and so serene, yet eager,
resolute, and dominant; the devotion of his followers facing
oppression with unbroken courage and often with ecstasy;
the rage of a jealous priesthood inflaming for its own purpose
the passions of a bloodthirsty populace--these speak a language
which all may understand.  But it is not easy to
follow the narrative in its details, or to appreciate how stupendous
was the task undertaken by &Baha'u'llah and His
Forerunner, without some knowledge of the condition of
church and state in Persia and of the customs and mental
outlook of the people and their masters &Nabil took this
knowledge for granted.  He had himself travelled little if at
all beyond the boundary of the empires of the &Shah and the
&Sultan, and it did not occur to him to institute comparisons
between his own and foreign civilisations.  He was not addressing
the Western reader.  Though he was conscious that
the material he had collected was of more than national or
&Islamic importance and that it would before long spread
both eastward and westward until it encircled the globe, yet
he was an Oriental writing in an Oriental language for those
who used it, and the unique work which he so faithfully
accomplished was in itself a great and laborious task.  
     There exists in English, however, a literature about Persia
in the nineteenth century which will give the Western reader
ample information on the subject.  From Persian writings
which have already been translated, or from books of European
travellers like Lord Curzon, Sir J. Malcolm, and others
not a few, he will find a lifelike and vivid if unlovely picture
of the Augean conditions which the &Bab had to confront
when He inaugurated the Movement in the middle of the
nineteenth century.  
     All observers agree in representing Persia as a feeble and
backward nation divided against itself by corrupt practices
and ferocious bigotries.  Inefficiency and wretchedness, the
fruit of moral decay, filled the land.  From the highest to
the lowest there appeared neither the capacity to carry out
methods of reform nor even the will seriously to institute
them National conceit preached a grandiose self-content.  
A pall of immobility lay over all things, and a general paralysis
of mind made any development impossible.  
 
+Pxxv
     To a student of history the degeneracy of a nation once
so powerful and so illustrious seems pitiful in the extreme.  
&Abdu'l-Baha, who in spite of the cruelties heaped on &Baha'u'llah,
on the &Bab, and on Himself, yet loved His country,
called their degradation "the tragedy of a people"; and in
that work, "The Mysterious Forces of Civilisation," in which
He sought to stir the hearts of His compatriots to undertake
radical reforms, He uttered a poignant lament over the present
fate of a people who once had extended their conquests
east and west and had led the civilisation of mankind.  "In
former times," he writes, "Persia was verily the heart of the
world and shone among the nations like a lighted taper.  
Her glory and prosperity broke from the horizon of humanity
like the true dawn disseminating the light of knowledge and
illumining the nations of the East and West.  The fame of
her victorious kings reached the ears of the dwellers at the
poles of the earth.  The majesty of her king of kings humbled
the monarchs of Greece and Rome Her governing wisdom
filled the sages with awe, and the rulers of the continents
fashioned their laws upon her polity.  The Persians being
distinguished among the nations of the earth as a people of
conquerors, and justly admired for their civilisation and
learning, their country became the glorious centre of all the
sciences and arts, the mine of culture and a fount of virtues.
...How is it that this excellent country now, by reason of
our sloth, vanity, and indifference, from the lack of knowledge
and organisation, from the poverty of the zeal and ambition
of her people, has suffered the rays of her prosperity to be
darkened and well-nigh extinguished?"  
     Other writers describe fully those unhappy conditions to
which &Abdu'l-Baha refers.  
     At the time when the &Bab declared His Mission, the
government of the country was, in Lord Curzon's phrase,
"a Church-State."  Venal, cruel, and immoral as it was, it
was formally religious.  Muslim orthodoxy was its basis and
permeated to the core both it and the social lives of the
people.  But  otherwise there were no laws, statutes, or charters
to guide the direction of public affairs.  There was no
House of Lords nor Privy Council, no synod, no Parliament.  
The &Shah was despot, and his arbitrary rule was reflected
 
+Pxxvi
all down the official scale through every minister and governor
to the lowliest clerk or remotest headman.  No civil tribunal
existed to check or modify the power of the monarch or the
authority which he might choose to delegate to his subordinates.  
If there was a law, it was his word.  He could do as
he pleased.  It was his to appoint or to dismiss all ministers,
officials, officers, and judges.  He had power of life and death
without appeal over all members of his household and of his
court, whether civil or military.  The right to take life was
vested in him alone; and so were all the functions of government,
legislative, executive, and judicial.  His royal prerogative
was limited by no written restraint whatever.  
     Descendants of the &Shahs were thrust into the most lucrative
posts throughout the country, and as the generations
went by they filled innumerable minor posts too, far and
wide, till the land was burdened with this race of royal drones
who owed their position to nothing better than their blood
and who gave rise to the Persian saying that "camels, fleas,
and princes exist everywhere."  
     Even when a &Shah wished to make a just and wise decision
in any case that might be brought before him for
judgment, he found it difficult to do so, because he could
not rely on the information given him.  Critical facts would
be withheld, or the facts given would be distorted by the
influence of interested witnesses or venal ministers.  The system
of corruption had been carried so far in Persia that it
had become a recognised institution which Lord Curzon describes
in the following terms:  
     "I come now to that which is the cardinal and differentiating
feature of Iranian administration.  Government, nay,
life itself, in that country may be said to consist for the
most part of an interchange of presents.  Under its social
aspects this practice may be supposed to illustrate the generous
sentiments of an amiable people; though even here it
has a grimly unemotional side, as, for instance, when, congratulating
yourself upon being the recipient of a gift, you
find that not only must you make a return of equivalent
cost to the donor, but must also liberally remunerate the
bearer of the gift (to whom your return is very likely the
sole recognised means of subsistence) in a ratio proportionate
 
+Pxxvii
to its pecuniary value.  Under its political aspects, the practice
of gift-making, though consecrated in the adamantine
traditions of the East, is synonymous with the system elsewhere
described by less agreeable names.  This is the system
on which the government of Persia has been conducted for
centuries, and the maintenance of which opposes a solid
barrier to any real reform.  From the &Shah downwards, there
is scarcely an official who is not open to gifts, scarcely a post
which is not conferred in return for gifts, scarcely an income
which has not been amassed by the receipt of gifts.  Every
individual, with hardly an exception, in the official hierarchy
above mentioned, has only purchased his post by a money
present either to the &Shah, or to a minister, or to the superior
governor by whom he has been appointed.  If there are
several candidates for a post, in all probability the one who
makes the best offer will win.  
     "...The `&madakhil' is a cherished national institution
in Persia, the exaction of which, in a myriad different forms,
whose ingenuity is only equalled by their multiplicity, is the
crowning interest and delight of a Persian's existence.  This
remarkable word, for which Mr. Watson says there is no
precise English equivalent, may be variously translated as
commission, perquisite, douceur, consideration, pickings and
stealings, profit, according to the immediate context in which
it is employed.  Roughly speaking, it signifies that balance
of personal advantage, usually expressed in money form,
which can be squeezed out of any and every transaction.  A
negotiation, in which two parties are involved as donor and
recipient, as superior and subordinate, or even as equal contracting
agents, cannot take place in Persia without the party
who can be represented as the author of the favour or service
claiming and receiving a definite cash return for what he
has done or given.  It may of course be said that human
nature is much the same all the world over; that a similar
system exists under a different name in our own or other
countries, and that the philosophic critic will welcome in the
Persian a man and a brother.  To some extent this is true.  
But in no country that I have ever seen or heard of in the
world, is the system so open, so shameless, or so universal
as in Persia.  So far from being limited to the sphere of
 
+Pxxviii
domestic economy or to commercial transactions, it permeates
every walk and inspires most of the actions of life.  By its
operation, generosity or gratuitous service may be said to
have been erased in Persia from the category of social virtues,
and cupidity has been elevated into the guiding principle of
human conduct....  Hereby is instituted an arithmetical
progression of plunder from the sovereign to the subject,
each unit in the descending scale remunerating himself from
the unit next in rank below his, and the hapless peasant
being the ultimate victim.  It is not surprising, under these
circumstances, that office is the common avenue to wealth,
and that cases are frequent of men who, having started from
nothing, are found residing in magnificent houses, surrounded
by crowds of retainers and living in princely style.  `Make
what you can while you can' is the rule that most men set
before themselves in entering public life.  Nor does popular
spirit resent the act; the estimation of any one who, enjoying
the opportunity, has failed to line his own pockets, being the
reverse of complimentary to his sense.  No one turns a
thought to the sufferers from whom, in the last resort, the
material for these successive `&madakhils' has been derived,
and from the sweat of whose uncomplaining brow has been
wrung the wealth that is dissipated in luxurious country
houses, European curiosities and enormous retinues."  
     To read the foregoing is to perceive something of the
difficulty of the &Bab's mission; to read the following is to
understand the dangers he faced, and to be prepared for a
story of violence and heinous cruelty.  
     "Before I quit the subject of the Persian law and its
administration, let me add a few words upon the subject of
penalties and prisons.  Nothing is more shocking to the
European reader, in pursuing his way through the crime-stained
and bloody pages of Persian history during the last
and, in a happily less degree, during the present century,
than the record of savage punishments and abominable tortures,
testifying alternately to the callousness of the brute
and the ingenuity of the fiend.  The Persian character has
ever been fertile in device and indifferent to suffering; and
in the field of judicial executions it has found ample scope
for the exercise of both attainments.  Up till quite a recent
 
+Pxxix
period, well within the borders of the present reign, condemned
criminals have been crucified, blown from guns,
buried alive, impaled, shod like horses, torn asunder by being
bound to the heads of two trees bent together and then
allowed to spring back to their natural position, converted
into human torches, flayed while living.  
     "...Under a twofold governing system, such as that of
which I have now completed the description--namely, an
administration in which every actor is, in different aspects,
both the briber and the bribed; and a judicial procedure,
without either a law or a law court--it will readily be understood
that confidence in the Government is not likely to
exist, that there is no personal sense of duty or pride of honour,
no mutual trust or co-operation (except in the service of ill-doing),
no disgrace in exposure, no credit in virtue, above all
no national spirit or patriotism."  
     From the beginning the &Bab must have divined the reception
which would be accorded by His countrymen to His
teachings, and the fate which awaited Him at the hands of
the &mullas.  But He did not allow personal misgivings to
affect the frank enunciation of His claims nor the open presentation
of His Cause.  The innovations which He proclaimed,
though purely religious, were drastic; the announcement
of His own identity startling and tremendous.  He
made Himself known as the &Qa'im, the High Prophet or
Messiah so long promised, so eagerly expected by the &Muhammadan
world.  He added to this the declaration that he
was also the Gate (that is, the &Bab) through whom a greater
Manifestation than Himself was to enter the human realm.  
     Putting Himself thus in line with the traditions of &Islam,
and appearing as the fulfilment of prophecy, He came into
conflict with those who had fixed and ineradicable ideas
(different from His) as to what those prophecies and traditions
meant.  The two great Persian sects of &Islam, the
&shi'ah and the &sunnis, both attached vital importance to the
ancient deposit of their faith but did not agree as to its contents
or its import.  The &shi'ah, out of whose doctrines the
&Babi Movement rose, held that after the ascension of the
High Prophet &Muhammad He was succeeded by a line of
twelve &Imams.  Each of these, they held, was specially endowed
 
+Pxxx
by God with spiritual gifts and powers, and was
entitled to the whole-hearted obedience of the faithful.  Each
owed his appointment not to the popular choice but to his
nomination by his predecessor in office.  The twelfth and
last of these inspired guides was &Muhammad, called by the
&shi'ah "&Imam-Mihdi, &Hujjatu'llah [the Proof of God],
&Bagiyyatu'llah [the Remnant of God], and &Qa'im-i-Ali-Muhammad
[He who shall arise of the family of &Muhammad]."  
He assumed the functions of the &Imam in the year 260 of
the Hegira, but at once disappeared from view and communicated
with his followers only through a certain chosen intermediary
known as a Gate.  Four of these Gates followed one
another in order, each appointed by his predecessor with the
approval of the &Imam.  But when the fourth, &Abu'l-Hasan-Ali,
was asked by the faithful, before he died, to name his
successor, he declined to do so.  He said that God had another
plan.  On his death all communication between the
&Imam and his church therefore ceased.  And though, surrounded
by a band of followers, he still lives and waits in
some mysterious retreat, he will not resume relations with
his people until he comes forth in power to establish a millennium
throughout the world.  
     The &sunnis, on the other hand, take a less exalted view
of the office of those who have succeeded the High Prophet.  
They regard the vicegerency less as a spiritual than as a
practical matter.  The &Khalif is, in their eyes, the Defender
of the Faith, and he owes his appointment to the choice and
approval of the People.  
     Important as these differences are, both sects agree, however,
in expecting a twofold Manifestation.  The &shi'ahs look
for the &Qa'im, who is to come in the fulness of time, and also
for the return of the &Imam &Husayn.  The &sunnis await the
appearance of the &Mihdi and also "the return of Jesus Christ."  
When, at the beginning of his Mission, the &Bab, continuing
the tradition of the &shi'ahs, proclaimed His function under
the double title of, first, the &Qa'im and, second, the Gate,
or &Bab, some of the &Muhammadans misunderstood the latter
reference.  They imagined His meaning to be that He was a
fifth Gate In succession to &Abu'l-Hasan-'Ali.  His true meaning,
however, as He himself clearly announced, was very
 
+Pxxxi
different.  He was the &Qa'im; but the &Qa'im, though a High
Prophet, stood in relation to a succeeding and greater Manifestation
as did John the Baptist to the Christ.  He was the
Forerunner of One yet more mighty than Himself.  He was
to decrease; that Mighty One was to increase.  And as John
the Baptist had been the Herald or Gate of the Christ, so
was the &Bab the Herald or Gate of &Baha'u'llah.  
     There are many authentic traditions showing that the
&Qa'im on His appearance would bring new laws with Him
and would thus abrogate &Islam.  But this was not the
understanding of the established hierarchy.  They confidently expected
that the promised Advent would not substitute a new
and richer revelation for the old, but would endorse and
fortify the system of which they were the functionaries.  It
would enhance incalculably their personal prestige, would
extend their authority far and wide among the nations, and
would win for them the reluctant but abject homage of
mankind.  When the &Bab revealed His &Bayan, proclaimed a
new code of religious law, and by precept and example instituted
a profound moral and spiritual reform, the priests immediately
scented mortal danger.  They saw their monopoly
undermined, their ambitions threatened, their own lives and
conduct put to shame.  They rose against Him in sanctimonious
indignation.  They declared before the &Shah and all the
people that this upstart was an enemy of sound learning, a
subverter of &Islam, a traitor to &Muhammad, and a peril not
only to the holy church but to the social order and to the
State itself.  
     The cause of the rejection and persecution of the &Bab
was in its essence the same as that of the rejection and persecution
of the Christ.  If Jesus had not brought a New
Book, if He had not only reiterated the spiritual principles
taught by Moses but had continued Moses' rules and regulations
too, He might as a merely moral reformer have escaped
the vengeance of the Scribes and Pharisees.  But to claim
that any part of the Mosaic law, even such material ordinances
as those that dealt with divorce and the keeping of the
Sabbath, could be altered--and altered by an unordained
preacher from the village of Nazareth--this was to threaten
the interests of the Scribes and Pharisees themselves, and
 
+Pxxxii
since they were the representatives of Moses and of God, it
was blasphemy against the Most High.  As soon as the position
of Jesus was understood, His persecution began.  As
He refused to desist, He was put to death.  
     For reasons exactly parallel, the &Bab was from the beginning
opposed by the vested interests of the dominant
Church as an uprooter of the Faith.  Yet, even in that dark
and fanatical country, the &mullas (like the Scribes in Palestine
eighteen centuries before) did not find it very easy to put
forward a plausible pretext for destroying Him whom they
thought their enemy.  
     The only known record of the &Bab's having been seen by
a European belongs to the period of His persecution when
an English physician resident in &Tabriz, Dr. Cormick, was
called in by the Persian authorities to pronounce on the
&Bab's mental condition.  The doctor's letter, addressed to a
fellow practitioner in an American mission in Persia, is given
in Professor E. G. Browne's "Materials for the Study of the
&Babi Religion."  "You ask me," writes the doctor, "for some
particulars of my interview with the founder of the sect
known as &Babis.  Nothing of any importance transpired in
this interview, as the &Bab was aware of my having been
sent with two other Persian doctors to see whether he was
of sane mind or merely a madman, to decide the question
whether he was to be put to death or not.  With this knowledge
he was loth to answer any questions put to him.  To all
enquiries he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting
in a low melodious voice some hymns, I suppose.  Two other
siyyids, his intimate friends, were also present, who subsequently
were put to death with him, besides a couple of
government officials.  He only deigned to answer me, on my
saying that I was not a Musulman and was willing to know
something about his religion, as I might perhaps be inclined
to adopt it.  He regarded me very intently on my saying
this, and replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans
coming over to his religion.  Our report to the &Shah at that
time was of a nature to spare his life.  He was put to death
some time after by the order of the &Amir-Nizam, &Mirza &Taqi
&Khan.  On our report he merely got the bastinado, in which
operation a &farrash, whether intentionally or not, struck him
 
+Pxxxiii
across the face with the stick destined for his feet, which
produced a great wound and swelling of the face.  On being
asked whether a Persian surgeon should be brought to treat him,
he expressed a desire that I should be sent for, and I
accordingly treated him for a few days, but in the interviews
consequent on this I could never get him to have a confidential
chat with me, as some government people were always
present, he being a prisoner.  He was a very mild and delicate-looking
man, rather small in stature and very fair for a
Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much.  
Being a Siyyid, he was dressed in the habit of that sect, as
were also his two companions.  In fact his whole look and
deportment went far to dispose one in his favour.  Of his
doctrine I heard nothing from his own lips, although the idea
was that there existed in his religion a certain approach to
Christianity.  He was seen by some Armenian carpenters,
who were sent to make some repairs in his prison, reading
the Bible, and he took no pains to conceal it, but on the
contrary told them of it.  Most assuredly the Musulman
fanaticism does not exist in his religion, as applied to Christians,
nor is there that restraint of females that now exists."  
     Such was the impression made by the &Bab upon a cultivated
Englishman.  And as far as the influence of His character
and teaching have since spread through the West, no
other record is extant of His having been observed or seen
by European eyes.  
     His qualities were so rare in their nobility and beauty,
His personality so gentle and yet so forceful, and His natural
charm was combined with so much tact and judgment, that
after His Declaration He quickly became in Persia a widely
popular figure.  He would win over almost all with whom
He was brought into personal contact, often converting His
gaolers to His Faith and turning the ill-disposed into admiring
friends.  
     To silence such a man without incurring some degree of
public odium was not very easy even in the Persia of the
middle of last century.  But with the &Bab's followers it was
another matter.  
     The &mullas encountered here no cause for delay and
found little need for scheming.  The bigotry of the &Muhammadans
 
+Pxxxiv
from the &Shah downwards could be readily roused
against any religious development.  The &Babis could be accused
of disloyalty to the &Shah, and dark political motives
could be attributed to their activities.  Moreover, the &Bab's
followers were already numerous; many of them were well-to-do,
some were rich, and there were few but had some
possessions which covetous neighbours might be instigated to
desire.  Appealing to the fears of the authorities and to the
base national passions of fanaticism and cupidity, the &mullas
inaugurated a campaign of outrage and spoliation which they
maintained with relentless ferocity till they considered that
their purpose had been completely achieved.  
     Many of the incidents of this unhappy story are given
by &Nabil in his history, and among these the happenings at
&Mazindaran, &Nayriz, and &Zanjan stand out by reason of the
character of the episodes of the heroism of the &Babis when
thus brought to bay.  On these three occasions a number of
&Babis, driven to desperation, withdrew in concert from their
houses to a chosen retreat and, erecting defensive works
about them, defied in arms further pursuit.  To any impartial
witness it was evident that the &mullas' allegations of
a political motive were untrue.  The &Babis showed themselves
always ready--on an assurance that they would be no longer
molested for their religious beliefs--to return peacefully to
their civil occupations.  &Nabil emphasises their care to refrain
from aggression.  They would fight for their lives with determined
skill and strength; but they would not attack.  
Even in the midst of a fierce conflict they would not drive
home an advantage nor strike an unnecessary blow.  
     &Abdu'l-Baha is quoted in the "Traveller's Narrative,"
pp. 34-35, as making the following statement on the moral
aspect of their action:  
     "The minister (&Mirza &Taqi &Khan), with the utmost arbitrariness,
without receiving any instructions or asking permission,
sent forth commands in all directions to punish and
chastise the &Babis.  Governors and magistrates sought a pretext
for amassing wealth, and officials a means of acquiring
profits; celebrated doctors from the summits of their pulpits
incited men to make a general onslaught; the powers of the
religious and the civil law linked hands and strove to eradicate
 
+Pxxxv
and destroy this people.  Now this people had not yet
acquired such knowledge as was right and needful of the
fundamental principles and hidden doctrines of the &Bab's
teachings, and did not recognise their duties.  Their conceptions
and ideas were after the former fashion, and their conduct
and behaviour in correspondence with ancient usage.  
The way of approach to the &Bab was, moreover, closed, and
the flame of trouble visibly blazing on every side.  At the
decree of the most celebrated doctors, the government, and
indeed the common people, had, with irresistible power, inaugurated
rapine and plunder on all sides, and were engaged
in punishing and torturing, killing and despoiling, in order
that they might quench this fire and wither these poor souls.  
In towns where there were but a limited number, all of them
with bound hands became food for the sword, while in cities
where they were numerous, they arose in self-defence in
accordance with their former beliefs, since it was impossible
for them to make enquiry as to their duty, and all doors were
closed."  
     &Baha'u'llah, on proclaiming some years later His Mission,
left no room for uncertainty as to the law of His Dispensation
in such a predicament when He affirmed:  "It is better to be
killed than to kill."  
     Whatever resistance the &Babis offered, here or elsewhere,
proved ineffective.  They were overwhelmed by numbers.  
The &Bab Himself was taken from His cell and executed.  Of
His chief disciples who avowed their belief in Him, not one
soul was left alive save &Baha'u'llah, who with His family
and a handful of devoted followers was driven destitute into
exile and prison in a foreign land.  
     But the fire, though smothered, was not quenched.  It
burned in the hearts of the exiles who carried it from country
to country as they travelled.  Even in the homeland of
Persia it had penetrated too deeply to be extinguished by
physical violence, and still smouldered in the people's hearts,
needing only a breath from the spirit to be fanned into an
all-consuming conflagration.  
     The Second and greater Manifestation of God was proclaimed
in accordance with the prophecy of the &Bab at the
date which He had foretold.  Nine years after the beginning
 
+Pxxxvi
of the &Babi Dispensation--that is, in 1853--&Baha'u'llah, in
certain of His odes, alluded to His identity and His Mission,
and ten years later, while resident in &Baghdad, declared
Himself as the Promised One to His companions.  
     Now the great Movement for which the &Bab had prepared
the way began to show the full range and magnificence of its
power.  Though &Baha'u'llah Himself lived and died an exile
and a prisoner and was known to few Europeans, His epistles
proclaiming the new Advent were borne to the great rulers
of both hemispheres, from the &Shah of Persia to the Pope
and to the President of the United States.  After His passing,
His son &Abdu'l-Baha carried the tidings in person into Egypt
and far through the Western world.  &Abdu'l-Baha visited
England, France, Switzerland, Germany, and America, announcing
everywhere that once again the heavens had opened
and that a new Dispensation had come to bless the sons of
men.  He died in November, 1921; and to-day the fire that
once seemed to have been put out for ever, burns again in
every part of Persia, has established itself on the American
continent, and has laid hold of every country in the world.  
Around the sacred writings of &Baha'u'llah and the authoritative
exposition of &Abdu'l-Baha there is growing a large volume
of literature in comment or in witness.  The humanitarian
and spiritual principles enunciated decades ago in the
darkest East by &Baha'u'llah and moulded by Him into a
coherent scheme are one after the other being taken by a
world unconscious of their source as the marks of progressive
civilisation.  And the sense that mankind has broken with
the past and that the old guidance will not carry it through
the emergencies of the present has filled with uncertainty
and dismay all thoughtful men save those who have learned
to find in the story of &Baha'u'llah the meaning of all the
prodigies and portents of our time.  
     Nearly three generations have passed since the inception
of the Movement.  Any of its early adherents who escaped
the sword and the stake have long since passed away in the
course of nature.  The door of contemporary information as
to its two great leaders and their heroic disciples is closed
for ever.  The Chronicle of &Nabil as a careful collection of
facts made in the interests of truth and completed in the
 
+Pxxxvii
lifetime of &Baha'u'llah has now a unique value.  The author
was thirteen years old when the &Bab declared Himself, having
been born in the village of Zarand in Persia on the eighteenth
day of &Safar, 1247 A.H.  He was throughout his life closely
associated with the leaders of the Cause.  Though he was
but a boy at the time, he was preparing to leave for &Shaykh
&Tabarsi and join the party of &Mulla &Husayn when the news
of the treacherous massacre of the &Babis frustrated his design.  
He states in his narrative that he met, in &Tihran, &Haji &Mirza
Siyyid &Ali, a brother of the &Bab's mother, who had just returned
at the time from visiting the &Bab in the fortress of
&Chihriq; and for many years he was a close companion of
the &Bab's secretary, &Mirza &Ahmad.  
     He entered the presence of &Baha'u'llah in &Kirmanshah
and &Tihran before the date of the exile to &Iraq, and afterwards
was in attendance upon Him in &Baghdad and Adrianople
as well as in the prison-city of &Akka.  He was sent more
than once on missions to Persia to promote the Cause and
to encourage the scattered and persecuted believers, and he
was living in &Akka when &Baha'u'llah passed away in 1892 A.D.  
The manner of his death was pathetic and lamentable, for
he became so dreadfully affected by the death of the Great
Beloved that, overmastered by grief, he drowned himself in
the sea, and his dead body was found washed ashore near the
city of &Akka.  
     His chronicle was begun in 1888, when he had the personal
assistance of &Mirza &Musa, the brother of &Baha'u'llah.  It
was finished in about a year and a half, and parts of the
manuscript were reviewed and approved, some by &Baha'u'llah,
and others by &Abdu'l-Baha.  
     The complete work carries the history of the Movement
up to the death of &Baha'u'llah in 1892.  
     The first half of this narrative, closing with the expulsion
of &Baha'u'llah from Persia, is contained in the present volume.  
Its importance is evident.  It will be read less for the few
stirring passages of action which it contains, or even for its
many pictures of heroism and unwavering faith, than for the
abiding significance of those events of which it gives so unique
a record.  
 
+Pxxxviii
            PERSIA'S STATE OF DECADENCE IN THE MIDDLE
                   OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
 
                   A.  THE &QAJAR SOVEREIGNS
 
     "In theory the king may do what he pleases; his word
is law.  The saying that `The law of the Medes and Persians
altereth not' was merely an ancient periphrasis for the absolutism
of the sovereign.  He appoints and he may dismiss all
ministers, officers, officials, and judges.  Over his own family
and household, and over the civil or military functionaries
in his employ, he has power of life and death without reference
to any tribunal.  The property of any such individual,
if disgraced or executed, reverts to him.  The right to take
life in any case is vested in him alone, but can be delegated
to governors or deputies.  All property, not previously granted
by the crown or purchased--all property, in fact, to which a
legal title cannot be established--belongs to him, and can be
disposed of at his pleasure.  All rights or privileges, such as
the making of public works, the working of mines, the institution
of telegraphs, roads, railroads, tramways, etc., the
exploitation, in fact, of any of the resources of the country,
are vested in him, and must be purchased from him before
they can be assumed by others.  In his person are fused the
threefold functions of government, legislative, executive, and
judicial.  No obligation is imposed upon him beyond the
outward observance of the forms of the national religion.  He
is the pivot upon which turns the entire machinery of public
life.  
     "Such is, in theory, and was till lately in practice, the
character of the Persian monarchy.  Nor has a single one of
these high pretensions been overtly conceded.  The language
in which the &Shah addresses his subjects and is addressed by
them, recalls the proud tone in which an Artaxerxes or Darius
spoke to his tributary millions, and which may still be read
in the graven record of rock-wall and tomb.  He remains the
&Shahinshah, or King of Kings; the &Zillu'llah, or Shadow of
God; the &Qibliy-i-'Alam, or Centre of the Universe; `Exalted
like the planet Saturn; Well of Science; Footpath of Heaven;
Sublime Sovereign, whose standard is the Sun, whose splendour
is that of the Firmament; Monarch of armies numerous
 
+Pxxxix
as the stars.'  Still would the Persian subject endorse the
precept of &Sa'di, that `The vice approved by the king becomes
a virtue; to seek opposite counsel is to imbrue one's hands
in his own blood.'  The march of time has imposed upon him
neither religious council nor secular council, neither &ulama
nor senate.  Elective and representative institutions have not
yet intruded their irreverent features.  No written check
exists upon the royal prerogative.  
     "...Such is the divinity that doth hedge a throne in
Persia, that not merely does the &Shah never attend at state
dinners or eat with his subjects at table, with the exception
of a single banquet to his principal male relatives at &Naw-ruz,
but the attitude and language employed towards him even by
his confidential ministers are those of servile obeisance and
adulation.  `May I be your sacrifice, Asylum of the Universe,'
is the common mode of address adopted even by subjects of
the highest rank.  In his own surrounding there is no one
to tell him the truth or to give him dispassionate counsel.  
The foreign Ministers are probably almost the only source
from which he learns facts as they are, or receives unvarnished,
even if interested, advice.  With the best intentions in the
world for the undertaking of great plans and for the amelioration
of his country, he has little or no control over the execution
of an enterprise which has once passed out of his hands
and has become the sport of corrupt and self-seeking officials.  
Half the money voted with his consent never reaches its
destination, but sticks to every intervening pocket with which
a professional ingenuity can bring it into transient contact;
half the schemes authorised by him are never brought any
nearer to realisation, the minister or functionary in charge
trusting to the oblivious caprices of the sovereign to overlook
his dereliction of duty.  
     "...Only a century ago the abominable system prevailed
of blinding possible aspirants to the throne, of savage
mutilations and life-long captivities, of wanton slaughter and
systematic bloodshed.  Disgrace was not less sudden than
promotion, and death was a frequent concomitant of disgrace.  
     "...&Fath-'Ali &Shah ... and his successors after him,
have proved so extraordinarily prolific of male offspring that
the continuity of the dynasty has been assured; and there is
 
+Pxl
probably not a reigning family in the world that in the space
of one hundred years has swollen to such ample dimensions
as the royal race of Persia....  Neither in the number of
his wives nor in the extent of his progeny, can the &Shah,
although undeniably a family man, be compared with his
great-grandfather, &Fath-'Ali &Shah.  To the high opinion universally
held of the domestic capacities of that monarch
must, I imagine, be attributed the divergent estimates that
are to be found, in works about Persia, of the number of his
concubines and children.  Colonel Drouville, in 1813, credits
him with 700 wives, 64 sons, and 125 daughters.  Colonel
Stuart, who was in Persia in the year after &Fath-'Ali's death,
gives him 1,000 wives and 105 children....  Madame Dieulafoy
also names the 5,000 descendants, but as existing at an
epoch fifty years later (which has an air of greater probability)....  
The estimate which appears in the &Nasikhu't &Tavarikh,
a great modern Persian historical work, fixes the
number of &Fath-'Ali's wives as over 1,000, and of his offspring
as 260, 110 of whom survived their father.  Hence the familiar
Persian proverb `Camels, fleas, and princes exist everywhere.'
...No royal family has ever afforded a more exemplary
illustration of the Scriptural assurance, `Instead of thy fathers
thou shalt have children, whom thou mayest make princes in
all lands'; for there was scarcely a governorship or a post of
emolument in Persia that was not filled by one of this beehive
of princelings; and to this day the myriad brood of &Shah-zadihs,
or descendants of a king, is a perfect curse to the
country, although many of these luckless scions of royalty,
who consume a large portion of the revenue in annual allowances
and pensions, now occupy very inferior positions as
telegraph clerks, secretaries, etc.  Fraser drew a vivid picture
of the misery entailed upon the country fifty years ago (1842)
by this `race of royal drones,' who filled the governing posts
not merely of every province, but of every buluk or district,
city, and town; each of whom kept up a court, and a huge
harem, and who preyed upon the country like a swarm of
locusts....  Fraser, passing through &Adharbayjan in 1834,
and observing the calamitous results of the system under
which &Fath-'Ali &Shah distributed his colossal male progeny
in every Government post throughout the kingdom, remarked:  
 
+Pxli
`The most obvious consequence of this state of affairs is a
thorough and universal detestation of the &Qajar race, which
is a prevalent feeling in every heart and the theme of every
tongue.'  
     "...Just as, in the course of his [&Nasiri'd-Din &Shah's]
European travels, he picked up a vast number of what appeared,
to the Eastern mind, to be wonderful curiosities, but
which have since been stacked in the various apartments of
the palace, or put away and forgotten; so in the larger sphere
of public policy and administration he is continually taking
up and pushing some new scheme or invention which, when
the caprice has been gratified, is neglected or allowed to expire.  
One week it is gas; another it is electric lights.  Now it is a
staff college; anon, a military hospital.  To-day it is a Russian
uniform; yesterday it was a German man-of-war for the Persian
Gulf.  A new army warrant is issued this year; a new
code of law is promised for the next.  Nothing comes of any
of these brilliant schemes, and the lumber-rooms of the palace
are not more full of broken mechanism and discarded &bric-a-brac
than are the pigeon-holes of the government bureaux of
abortive reforms and dead fiascoes.  
     "...In an upper chamber of the same pavilion, &Mirza
&Abu'l-Qasim, the &Qa'im-Maqam, or Grand &Vazir, of &Muhammad
&Shah (the father of the present monarch), was strangled
in 1835, by order of his royal master, who therein followed
an example set him by his predecessor, and set one himself
that was duly followed by his son.  It must be rare in history
to find three successive sovereigns who have put to death,
from jealous motives only, the three ministers who have
either raised them to the throne or were at the time of their
fall filling the highest office in the State.  Such is the triple
distinction of &Fath-'Ali, &Muhammad, and &Nasiri'd-Din &Shahs."  
 
                    B.  THE GOVERNMENT
 
     "In a country so backward in constitutional progress, so
destitute of forms and statutes and charters, and so firmly
stereotyped in the immemorial traditions of the East, the
personal element, as might be expected, is largely in the
ascendant; and the government of Persia is little else than
the arbitrary exercise of authority by a series of units in a
 
+Pxlii
descending scale from the sovereign to the headman of a
petty village.  The only check that operates upon the lower
official grades is the fear of their superiors, which means can
usually be found to assuage; upon the higher ranks the fear
of the sovereign, who is not always closed against similar
methods of pacification; and upon the sovereign himself the
fear, not of native, but of foreign opinion, as represented by
the hostile criticism of the European Press....  The &Shah,
indeed, may be regarded at this moment as perhaps the best
existing specimen of a moderate despot; for within the limits
indicated he is practically irresponsible and omnipotent.  He
has absolute command over the life and property of every
one of his subJects.  His sons have no independent power,
and can be reduced to impotence or beggary in the twinkling
of an eye.  The ministers are elevated and degraded at the
royal pleasure.  The sovereign is the sole executive, and all
officials are his deputies.  No civil tribunals are in existence
to check or modify his prerogative.  
     "...Of the general character and accomplishments of
the ministers of the Persian Court, Sir J. Malcolm, in his
History, wrote as follows in the early years of the century:  
`The Ministers and chief officers of the Court are almost
always men of polished manners, well skilled in the business
of their respective departments, of pleasant conversation,
subdued temper, and very acute observation; but these agreeable
and useful qualities are, in general, all that they possess.  
Nor is virtue or liberal knowledge to be expected in men
whose lives are wasted in attending to forms; whose means
of subsistence are derived from the most corrupt sources;
whose occupation is in intrigues which have always the same
objects:  to preserve themselves or ruin others; who cannot,
without danger, speak any language but that of flattery and
deceit; and who are, in short, condemned by their condition
to be venal, artful, and false.  There have, no doubt, been
many ministers of Persia whom it would be injustice to class
under this general description; but even the most distinguished
for their virtues and talents have been forced in some degree
to accommodate their principles to their station; and, unless
where the confidence of their sovereign has placed them beyond
the fear of rivals, necessity has compelled them to
 
+Pxliii
practise a subserviency and dissimulation at variance with
the truth and integrity which can alone constitute a claim
to the respect all are disposed to grant to good and great
men.'  These observations are marked by the insight and
justice characteristic of their distinguished author, and it is
to be feared that to a large extent they hold as good of the
present as of the old generation."  
 
                    C.  THE PEOPLE
 
     "...I now come to that which is the cardinal and differentiating
feature of Iranian administration.  Government,
nay, life itself, in that country may be said to consist for the
most part of an interchange of presents.  Under its social
aspects this practice may be supposed to illustrate the generous
sentiments of an amiable people; though even here it has
a grimly unemotional side, as, for instance, when, congratulating
yourself upon being the recipient of a gift, you find
that not only must you make a return of equivalent cost to
the donor, but must also liberally remunerate the bearer of
the gift (to whom your return is very likely the sole recognised
means of subsistence) in a ratio proportionate to its
pecuniary value.  Under its political aspects, the practice of
gift-making, though consecrated in the adamantine traditions
of the East, is synonymous with the system elsewhere described
by less agreeable names.  This is the system on which
the government of Persia has been conducted for centuries,
and the maintenance of which opposes a solid barrier to any
real reform.  From the &Shah downwards, there is scarcely an
official who is not open to gifts, scarcely a post which is not
conferred in return for gifts, scarcely an income which has
not been amassed by the receipt of gifts.  Every individual,
with hardly an exception, in the official hierarchy above mentioned,
has only purchased his post by a money present
either to the &Shah, or to a minister, or to the superior governor
by whom he has been appointed.  If there are several candidates
for a post, in all probability the one who makes the
best offer will win.  
     "...The `&madakhil' is a cherished national institution
in Persia, the exaction of which, in a myriad different forms,
whose ingenuity is only equalled by their multiplicity, is the
 
+Pxliv
crowning interest and delight of a Persian's existence.  This
remarkable word, for which Mr. Watson says there is no
precise English equivalent, may be variously translated as
commission, perquisite, douceur, consideration, pickings and
stealings, profit, according to the immediate context in which
it is employed.  Roughly speaking, it signifies that balance
of personal advantage, usually expressed in money form,
which can be squeezed out of any and every transaction.  A
negotiation, in which two parties are involved as donor and
recipient, as superior and subordinate, or even as equal contracting
agents, cannot take place in Persia without the party
who can be represented as the author or the favour or service
claiming and receiving a definite cash return for what he has
done or given.  It may of course be said that human nature
is much the same all the world over; that a similar system
exists under a different name in our own or other countries,
and that the philosophic critic will welcome in the Persian
a man and a brother.  To some extent this is true.  But in
no country that I have ever seen or heard of in the world, is
the system so open, so shameless, or so universal as in Persia.  
So far from being limited to the sphere of domestic economy
or to commercial transactions, it permeates every walk and
inspires most of the actions of life.  By its operation, generosity
or gratuitous service may be said to have been erased
in Persia from the category of social virtues, and cupidity
has been elevated into the guiding principle of human conduct....  
Hereby is instituted an arithmetical progression
of plunder from the sovereign to the subject, each unit in the
descending scale remunerating himself from the unit next in
rank below him, and the hapless peasant being the ultimate
victim.  It is not surprising, under these circumstances, that
office is the common avenue to wealth, and that cases are
frequent of men who, having started from nothing, are found
residing in magnificent houses, surrounded by crowds of retainers
and living in princely style.  `Make what you can
while you can' is the rule that most men set before themselves
in entering public life.  Nor does popular spirit resent
the act; the estimation of any one who, enjoying the opportunity,
has failed to line his own pockets, being the reverse
of complimentary to his sense.  No one turns a thought to
 
+Pxlv
the sufferers from whom, in the last resort, the material for
these successive `&madakhils' has been derived, and from the
sweat of whose uncomplaining brow has been wrung the
wealth that is dissipated in luxurious country houses, European
curiosities, and enormous retinues.  
     "...Among the features of public life in Persia that
most quickly strike the stranger's eye, and that indirectly
arise from the same conditions, is the enormous number of
attendants and retainers that swarm round a minister, or
official of any description.  In the case of a functionary of
rank or position, these vary in number from 50 to 500.  
Benjamin says that the Prime Minister in his time kept 3,000.  
Now, the theory of social and ceremonial etiquette that prevails
in Persia, and indeed throughout the East, is to some
extent responsible for this phenomenon, personal importance
being, to a large extent, estimated by the public show which
it can make, and by the staff of servants whom on occasions
it can parade.  But it is the institution of `&Madakhil' and of
illicit pickings and stealings that is the root of the evil.  If
the governor or minister were bound to pay salaries to the
whole of this servile crew their ranks would speedily dwindle.  
The bulk of them are unpaid; they attach themselves to their
master because of the opportunities for extortion with which
that connection presents them, and they thrive and fatten
on plunder.  It may readily be conceived how great a drain
is this swarm of blood-suckers upon the resources of the
country.  They are true types of unproductive labourers, absorbing
but never creating wealth; and their existence is little
short of a national calamity....  It is a cardinal point of
Persian etiquette when you go out visiting to take as many
of your own establishment with you as possible, whether riding
or walking on foot; the number of such retinue being
accepted as an indication of the rank of the master."  
 
                    D.  THE ECCLESIASTICAL ORDER
 
     "Marvellously adapted alike to the climate, character,
and occupations of those countries upon which it has laid its
adamantine grip, &Islam holds its votary in complete thrall
from the cradle to the grave.  To him, it is not only religion,
it is government, philosophy, and science as well.  The &Muhammadan
 
+Pxlvi
conception is not so much that of a state church
as, if the phrase may be permitted, of a church state.  The
undergirders with which society itself is warped round are
not of civil, but of ecclesiastical, fabrication; and, wrapped
in this superb, if paralysing, creed, the Musulman lives in
contented surrender of all volition, deems it his highest duty
to worship God and to compel, or, where impossible, to despise
those who do not worship Him in the spirit, and then
dies in sure and certain hope of Paradise.  
     "...These Siyyids, or descendants of the Prophet, are
an intolerable nuisance to the country, deducing from their
alleged descent and from the prerogative of the green turban,
the right to an independence and insolence of bearing from
which their countrymen, no less than foreigners, are made to
suffer.  
     "...As a community, the Persian Jews are sunk in great
poverty and ignorance....  Throughout the Musulman
countries of the East these unhappy people have been subjected
to the persecution which custom has taught themselves,
as well as the world, to regard as their normal lot.  Usually
compelled to live apart in a Ghetto, or separate quarter of
the towns, they have from time immemorial suffered from
disabilities of occupation, dress, and habits, which have
marked them out as social pariahs from their fellow-creatures.
...In &Isfahan, where there are said to be 3,700, and where
they occupy a relatively better status than elsewhere in
Persia, they are not permitted to wear the `&kulah' or Persian
head-dress, to have shops in the bazaar, to build the walls of
their houses as high as a Muslim neighbour's, or to ride in
the streets....  As soon, however, as any outburst of bigotry
takes place in Persia or elsewhere, the Jews are apt to be
the first victims Every man's hand is then against them;
and woe betide the luckless Hebrew who is the first to encounter
a Persian street mob.  
     "...Perhaps the most extraordinary feature of &Mashhad
life, before I leave the subject of the shrine and the pilgrims,
is the provision that is made for the material solace of the
letter during their stay in the city.  In recognition of the
long journeys which they have made, of the hardships which
they have sustained, and of the distances by which they are
 
+Pxlvii
severed from family and home, they are permitted, with the
connivance of the ecclesiastical law and its officers, to contract
temporary marriages during their sojourn in the city.  There
is a large permanent population of wives suitable for the
purpose.  A &mulla is found, under whose sanction a contract
is drawn up and formally sealed by both parties, a fee is
paid, and the union is legally accomplished.  After the lapse
of a fortnight or a month, or whatever be the specified period,
the contract terminates; the temporary husband returns to
his own lares et penates in some distant clime, and the lady,
after an enforced celibacy of fourteen days' duration, resumes
her career of persevering matrimony.  In other words, a
gigantic system of prostitution, under the sanction of the
Church, prevails in &Mashhad.  There is probably not a more
immoral city in Asia; and I should be sorry to say how many
of the unmurmuring pilgrims who traverse seas and lands
to kiss the grating of the &Imam's tomb are not also encouraged
and consoled upon their march by the prospect of an agreeable
holiday and what might be described in the English
vernacular as `a good spree.'"
 
                    CONCLUSION
 
     "Before I quit the subject of the Persian law and its administration,
let me add a few words upon the subject of
penalties and prisons.  Nothing is more shocking to the European
reader, in pursuing his way through the crime-stained
and bloody pages of Persian history during the last and, in a
happily less degree, during the present century, than the
record of savage punishments and abominable tortures, testifying
alternately to the callousness of the brute and the
ingenuity of the fiend.  The Persian character has ever been
fertile in device and indifferent to suffering; and in the field
of judicial executions it has found ample scope for the exercise
of both attainments.  Up till quite a recent period, well
within the borders of the present reign, condemned criminals
have been crucified, blown from guns, buried alive, impaled,
shod like horses, torn asunder by being bound to the heads of
two trees bent together and then allowed to spring back to
their natural position, converted into human torches, flayed
while living.  
 
+Pxlviii
     "...Under a twofold governing system, such as that of
which I have now completed the description--namely, an
administration in which every actor is, in different aspects,
both the briber and the bribed; and a judicial procedure,
without either a law or a law court--it will readily be understood
that confidence in the Government is not likely to
exist, that there is no personal sense of duty or pride of
honour, no mutual trust or co-operation (except in the service
of ill-doing), no disgrace in exposure, no credit in virtue,
above all no national spirit or patriotism.  Those philosophers
are right who argue that moral must precede material, and
internal exterior, reform in Persia.  It is useless to graft new
shoots on to a stem whose own sap is exhausted or poisoned.  
We may give Persia roads and railroads; we may work her
mines and exploit her resources; we may drill her army and
clothe her artisans; but we shall not have brought her within
the pale of civilised nations until we have got at the core of
the people, and given a new and a radical twist to the national
character and institutions.  I have drawn this picture of
Persian administration, which I believe to be true, in order
that English readers may understand the system with which
reformers, whether foreigners or natives, have to contend,
and the iron wall of resistance, built up by all the most
selfish instincts in human nature, that is opposed to progressive
ideas.  The &Shah himself, however genuine his desire
for innovation, is to some extent enlisted on the side of this
pernicious system, seeing that he owes to it his private fortune;
while those who most loudly condemn it in private are
not behind their fellows in outwardly bowing their heads in
the temple of Rimmon.  In every rank below the sovereign,
the initiative is utterly wanting to start a rebellion against the
tyranny of immemorial custom; and if a strong man like the
present king can only tentatively undertake it, where is he
who shall preach the crusade?"  
     (Extracts from Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian
Question.")  
 
+Pxlix
          &BAHA'U'LLAH'S TRIBUTE TO THE &BAB AND HIS
                      CHIEF DISCIPLES
 
               EXTRACTS FROM THE &KITAB-IQAN
 
     "Though young and tender of age, and though the Cause
He revealed was contrary to the desire of all the peoples of
the earth, both high and low, rich and poor, exalted and
abased, king and subject, yet He arose and steadfastly proclaimed
it.  All have known and heard this.  He feared no
one; He was reckless of consequences.  Could such a thing
be made manifest except through the power of a Divine
Revelation, and the potency of God's invincible Will?  By
the righteousness of God!  Were anyone to entertain so great
a Revelation in his heart, the thought of such a declaration
would alone confound him!  Were the hearts of all men to be
crowded into his heart, he would still hesitate to venture
upon so awful an enterprise.  He could achieve it only by
the permission of God, only if the channel of his heart were
to be linked with the Source of Divine grace, and his soul
be assured of the unfailing sustenance of the Almighty.  To
what, We wonder, do they ascribe so great a daring?  Do
they accuse Him of madness as they accused the Prophets of
old?  Or do they maintain that His motive was none other
than leadership and the acquisition of earthly riches?  
     "Gracious God!  In His Book, which He hath entitled
`&Qayyumu'l-Asma' `--the first, the greatest, and mightiest of
all books--He prophesied His own martyrdom.  In it is this
passage:  `O Thou Remnant of God!  I have sacrificed myself
wholly for Thee; I have accepted curses for Thy sake; and
have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy
love.  Sufficient Witness unto me is God, the Exalted, the
Protector, the Ancient of Days!'  
     "...Could the Revealer of such utterance be regarded
as walking in any other way than the way of God, and as
having yearned for aught else except His good pleasure?  In
this very verse there lieth concealed a breath of detachment
for which, if it were breathed upon the world, all beings
would renounce their life, and sacrifice their soul.  
     "...And now consider how this Sadrih of the &Ridvan
of God hath, in the prime of youth, risen to proclaim the
 
+Pl
Cause of God.  Behold, what steadfastness He, the Beauty
of God, hath revealed!  The whole world rose to hinder Him,
yet it utterly failed!  The more severe the persecution they
inflicted on that Sadrih of Blessedness, the more His fervour
increased, and the brighter burned the flame of His love.  
All this is evident, and none disputeth its truth.  Finally,
He surrendered His soul, and winged His flight unto the
realms above.  
     "...No sooner had that eternal Beauty revealed Himself
in &Shiraz, in the year sixty, and rent asunder the veil of
concealment, than the signs of the ascendancy, the might,
the sovereignty, and power emanating from that Essence of
Essences and Sea of Seas, were manifest in every land.  So
much so, that from every city there appeared the signs, the
evidences, the tokens, and testimonies of that Divine Luminary.  
How many were those pure and kindly hearts which
faithfully reflected the light of that eternal Sun!  And how
manifold the emanations of knowledge from that Ocean of
Divine Wisdom which encompassed all beings!  ln every
city, all the divines and nobles rose to hinder and repress
them, and girded up the loins of malice, of envy, and tyranny
for their suppression.  How great the number of those holy
souls, those essences of justice, who, accused of tyranny, were
put to death!  And how many embodiments of purity, who
showed forth naught but true knowledge and stainless deeds,
suffered an agonising death!  Notwithstanding all this, each
of these holy beings, up to his last moment, breathed the
name of God and soared in the realm of submission and
resignation.  Such was the potency and transmuting influence
which He exercised over them, that they ceased to
cherish any desire but His Will, and wedded their souls to
His remembrance.  
     "Reflect:  Who in the world is able to manifest such transcendent
power, such pervading influence?  All these stainless
hearts and sanctified souls have, with absolute resignation,
responded to the summons of His decree.  Instead of making
complaint, they rendered thanks unto God, and, amidst the
darkness of their anguish, they revealed naught but radiant
acquiescence in His Will.  It is well known how relentless
was the hate, and how bitter the malice and enmity, entertained
 
+Pli
by all the peoples of the earth towards these Companions.  
The persecution and pain which they inflicted on
these holy and spiritual beings were regarded by them as
means unto salvation, prosperity, and everlasting success.  
Hath the world, since the days of Adam, witnessed such
tumult, such violent commotion?  Notwithstanding all the
torture they suffered, and the manifold afflictions they endured,
they became the object of universal opprobrium and
execration.  Methinks, patience was revealed only by virtue
of their fortitude, and faithfulness itself was begotten by
their deeds.  
     "Do thou ponder these momentous happenings in thine
heart, so that thou mayest apprehend the greatness of this
Revelation, and perceive its stupendous glory."  
 
          DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF &SHI'AH &ISLAM
 
     "The cardinal point wherein the &Shi'ahs (as well as the
other sects included under the more general term of &Imamites)
differ from the &Sunnis is the doctrine of the &Imamate.  According
to the belief of the latter, the vicegerency of the
Prophet (&Khilafat) is a matter to be determined by the choice
and election of his followers, and the visible head of the
Musulman world is qualified for the lofty position which he
holds less by any special divine grace than by a combination
of orthodoxy and administrative capacity.  According to the
&Imamite view, on the other hand, the vicegerency is a matter
altogether spiritual; an office conferred by God alone, first
by His Prophet, and afterwards by those who so succeeded
him, and having nothing to do with the popular choice or
approval.  In a word, the &Khalifih of the &Sunnis is merely
the outward and visible Defender of the Faith:  the &Imam of
the &Shi'ahs is the divinely ordained successor of the Prophet,
one endowed with all perfections and spiritual gifts, one whom
all the faithful must obey, whose decision is absolute and
final, whose wisdom is superhuman, and whose words are
authoritative.  The general term &Imamate is applicable to
all who hold this latter view without reference to the way in
which they trace the succession, and therefore includes such
sects as the &Baqiris and &Isma'ilis as well as the &Shi'ah or
 
+Plii
`Church of the Twelve' (&Madhhab-i-Ithna-'Ashariyyih), as
they are more specifically termed, with whom alone we are
here concerned.  According to these, twelve persons successively
held the office of &Imam.  These twelve are as follows:  
 
     1.  &Ali-ibn-i-Abi-Talib, the cousin and first disciple of the
            Prophet, assassinated by &Ibn-i-Muljam at &Kufih,
            A.H. 40 (A.D. 661).  
     2.  &Hasan, son of &Ali and &Fatimih, born A.H. 2, poisoned
            by order of &Mu'aviyih I, A.H. 50 (A.D. 670).  
     3.  &Husayn, son of &Ali and &Fatimih, born A.H. 4, killed at
            &Karbila on &Muharram 10, A.H. 61 (Oct. 10, A.D. 680).  
     4.  &Ali, son of &Husayn and &Shahribanu (daughter of Yazdigird,
            the last &Sasaniyan king), generally called
            &Imam &Zaynu'l-'Abidin, poisoned by &Valid.  
     5.  &Muhammad-Baqir, son of the above-mentioned &Zaynu'l-'Abidin
            and his cousin &Umm-i-'Abdu'llah, the daughter
            of &Imam &Hasan, poisoned by &Ibrahim &ibn-i-Valid.  
     6.  &Ja'far-i-Sadiq, son of &Imam &Muhammad-Baqir, poisoned
            by order of Mansur, the &Abbaside &Khalifih.  
     7.  &Musa-Kazim, son of &Imam &Ja'far-i-Sadiq, born A.H. 129,
            poisoned by order of &Harunu'r-Rashid, A.H. 183.  
     8.  &Ali-ibn-i-Musa'r-Rida, generally called &Imam &Rida,
            born A.H. 153, poisoned near &Tus, in &Khurasan, by
            order of the &Khalifih &Ma'mun, A.H. 203, and buried
            at &Mashhad, which derives its name and its sanctity
            from him.  
     9.  &Muhammad-Taqi, son of &Imam &Rida, born A.H. 195,
            poisoned by the &Khalifih &Mu'tasim at &Baghdad,
            A.H. 220.  
    10.  &Ali-Naqi, son of &Imam &Muhammad-Taqi, born A.H. 213,
            poisoned at &Surra-man-Ra'a, A.H. 254.  
    11.  &Hasan-i-'Askari, son of &Imam &Ali-Naqi, born A.H. 232,
            poisoned A.H. 260.  
    12.  &Muhammad, son of &Imam &Hasan-i-'Askari and &Nargis-Khatun,
            called by the &Shi'ahs `&Imam-Mihdi,' `&Hujjatu'llah'
            (the Proof of God), `&Baqiyyatu'llah' (the
            Remnant of God), and `&Qa'im-i-Al-i-Muhammad'
            (He who shall arise of the family of &Muhammad).  
            He bore not only the same name but the same
 
+Pliii
            kunyih--&Abu'l-Qasim--as the Prophet, and according
            to the &Shi'ahs it is not lawful for any other to
            bear this name and this kunyih together.  He was
            born at &Surra-man-Ra'a, A.H. 255, and succeeded
            his father in the &Imamate, A.H. 260.  
 
     "The &Shi'ahs hold that he did not die, but disappeared in
an underground passage in &Surra-man-Ra'a, A.H. 329; that
he still lives, surrounded by a chosen band of his followers,
in one of those mysterious cities, &Jabulqa and &Jabulsa; and
that when the fulness of time is come, when the earth is
filled with injustice, and the faithful are plunged in despair,
he will come forth, heralded by Jesus Christ, overthrow the
infidels, establish universal peace and justice, and inaugurate
a millennium of blessedness.  During the whole period of his
&Imamate, i.e. from A.H. 260 till the present day, the &Imam
&Mihdi has been invisible and inaccessible to the mass of his
followers, and this is what is signified by the term `Occultation'
(&Ghaybat).  After assuming the functions of &Imam and
presiding at the burial of his father and predecessor, the
&Imam &Hasan-i-'Askari, he disappeared from the sight of all
save a chosen few, who, one after the other, continued to act
as channels of communication between him and his followers.  
These persons were known as `Gates' (&Abvab).  The first of
them was &Abu-'Umar-'Uthman &ibn-i-Sa'id &Umari; the second
&Abu-Ja'far &Muhammad-ibn-i-'Uthman, son of the above;
the third &Husayn-ibn-i-Ruh &Naw-bakhti; the fourth &Abu'l-Hasan
&Ali-ibn-i-Muhammad &Simari.  Of these `Gates' the first was
appointed by the &Imam &Hasan-i-'Askari, the others by the
then acting `Gate' with the sanction and approval of the
&Imam &Mihdi.  This period--extending over 69 years--during
which the &Imam was still accessible by means of the `Gates,'
is known as the `Lesser' or `Minor Occultation' (&Ghaybat-i-Sughra).  
This was succeeded by the `Greater' or `Major
Occultation' (&Ghaybat-i-Kubra).  When &Abu'l-Hasan &Ali, the
last of the `Gates,' drew near to his latter end, he was urged
by the faithful (who contemplated with despair the prospect
of complete severance from the &Imam) to nominate a successor.  
This, however, he refused to do, saying, `God hath
a purpose which He will accomplish.'  So on his death all
 
+Pliv
communication between the &Imam and his Church ceased,
and the `Major Occultation' began and shall continue until
the Return of the &Imam take place in the fulness of time."  
(Excerpt from "A Traveller's Narrative," Note O, pp.
296-99.)  
 
                       GENEALOGY OF THE PROPHET &MUHAMMAD
 
                                    &Quraysh
                                        :  
                                  &Abd-i-Manaf
                            _____________________________
                           :                              :  
                        &Hashim                     &Abdu'l-sh-Shams
                           :                              :  
                   &Abdu'l-Muttalib                     Umayyih
                           :                              :  
                           :                         Umayyad Caliphs
         ______________________________________
        :                   :                  :  
   &Abdu'llah           &Abu-Talib          &Abbas
        :                   :  
   &Muhammad                :  
        :                   :  
     &Fatimih             &Ali
                   :  
        ____________________
      :                     :  
   &Hasan                &Husayn
 
 
 
 
          Umayyad Caliphs, 661-749 A.D.  
          &Abbasid Caliphs, 749-1258 A.D
          Fatimite Caliphs, 1258-1517 A.D.  
          Ottoman Caliphs, 1517-19 A.D.  
          Birth of &Muhammad, August 20th, 570 A.D.  
          Declaration of His Mission, 613-14 A.D.  
          His flight to Medina, 622 A.D.  
          &Abu-Bakri's-Siddiq-ibn-i-Abi-Quhafih, 632-34 A.D.  
          &Umar-ibn-i'l-Khattab 634-44 A.D.  
          &Uthman-ibn-i-'Affan, 644-56 A.D.  
          &Ali-ibn-i-Abi-Talib, 656-61 A.D.  
 
                    THEORY AND ADMINISTRATION OF LAW
                 IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
 
     "...The law in Persia, and, indeed, among Musulman
peoples in general, consists of two branches:  the religious,
and the common law that which is based upon the &Muhammadan
Scriptures, and that which is based on precedent; that
which is administered by ecclesiastical, and that which
 
+Plv
is administered by civil tribunals.  In Persia, the former is
known as the &Shar', the latter as the &Urf.  From the two is
evolved a jurisprudence which, although in no sense scientific,
is yet reasonably practical in application and is roughly accommodated
to the needs and circumstances of those for
whom it is dispensed.  The basis of authority in the case of
the &Shar', or Ecclesiastical Law, consists of the utterances of
the Prophet in the &Qur'an; of the opinions of the Twelve
Holy &Imams, whose voice in the judgment of the &Shi'ah
&Muhammadans is of scarcely inferior weight; and of the commentaries
of a school of pre-eminent ecclesiastical jurists.  
The latter have played much the same part in adding to the
volume of the national jurisprudence that the famous juris
consulti did with the Common Law of Rome, or the Talmudic
commentators with the Hebrew system.  The body of law
so framed has been roughly codified and divided into four
heads, dealing respectively with religious rites and duties,
with contracts and obligations, with personal affairs, and
with sumptuary rules and judicial procedure.  This law is
administered by an ecclesiastical court, consisting of &mullas,
i.e. lay priests and mujtahids, i.e. learned doctors of the
law, assisted sometimes by &qadis or judges, and under the
presidency of an official, known as the &Shaykhu'l-Islam, one
of whom is, as a rule, appointed to every large city by the
sovereign.  In olden days, the chief of this ecclesiastical
hierarchy was the &Sadru's-Sudur, or Pontifex Maximus, a
dignitary who was chosen by the king and placed over the
entire priesthood and judicial bench of the kingdom.  But
this office was abolished in his anti-clerical campaign by
&Nadir &Shah, and has never been renewed.  In smaller centres
of population and villages, the place of this court is taken
by the local &mulla or &mullas, who, for a consideration, are
always ready with a text from the &Qur'an.  In the case of
the higher courts, the decision is invariably written out,
along with the citation from the Scriptures, or the commentators,
upon which it is based.  Cases of extreme importance
are referred to the more eminent mujtahids, of whom there
is never a large number, who gain their position solely by
eminent learning or abilities, ratified by the popular approval,
and whose decisions are seldom impugned....  In works
 
+Plvi
upon the theory of the law in Persia, it is commonly written
that criminal cases are decided by the ecclesiastical, and civil
cases by the secular, courts.  In practice, however, there is
no such clear distinction; the functions and the prerogative
of the co-ordinate benches vary at different epochs, and
appear to be a matter of accident or choice rather than of
neCessity; and at the present time, though criminal cases of
difficulty may be submitted to the ecclesiastical court, yet it
is with civil matters that they are chiefly concerned.  Questions
of heresy or sacrilege are naturally referred to them;
they also take cognisance of adultery and divorce; and intoxication
as an offence, not against the common law (indeed,
if it were a matter of precedent, insobriety could present the
highest credentials in Persia), but against the &Qur'an, falls
within the scope of their judgment....  
     "From the &Shar', I pass to the &Urf, or Common Law.  
Nominally this is based on oral tradition, on precedent, and
on custom.  As such, it varies in different parts of the country.  
But, there being no written or recognised code, it is found
to vary still more in practice according to the character or
caprice of the individual who administers it....  The administrators
of the &Urf are the civil magistrates throughout
the kingdom, there being no secular court or bench of judges
after the Western model.  In a village the case will be brought
before the &kad-khuda, or headman; in a town before the
&darughih, or police magistrate.  To their judgment are submitted
all the petty offences that occupy a city police-court
or a bench of country magistrates in England.  The penalty
in the case of larceny, or assault, or such like offences, is, as
a rule, restitution, either in kind or in money value; while,
if lack of means renders this impossible, the criminal is soundly
thrashed.  All ordinary criminal cases are brought before the
&hakim, or governor of a town; the more important before
the provincial governor or governor-general.  The ultimate
court of appeal in each case is the king, of whose sovereign
authority these subordinate exercises of jurisdiction are
merely a delegation, although it is rare that a suppliant at
any distance from the capital call make his complaint heard
so far....  Justice, as dispensed in this fashion by the
officers of government in Persia, obeys no law and follows
 
+Plvii
no system.  Publicity is the sole guarantee for fairness; but
great is the scope, especially in the lower grades, for &pishkash
and the bribe.  The &darugis have the reputation of being
both harsh and venal, and there are some who go so far as
to say that there is not a sentence of an official in Persia,
even of the higher ranks, that cannot be swayed by a pecuniary
consideration.  
     (Excerpts from Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian
Question," vol. 1, pp. 452-55.)  
 
+Plviii
[Intentionally blank]  
[Fold-out genealogical chart of the &Bab bound between pages lviii and lix.]  
 
+Plix
                      KEY TO THE GENEALOGY OF THE &BAB
 
 1.  Descendant of the &Imam &Husayn, resident of &Shiraz.  
 2.  Wife of the &Bab.  
 3.  Surnamed "&Afnan-i-Kabir."  
 4.  Wife of &Mirza &Zaynu'l-Abidin.  
 5.  Known as "&Saqqa-Khani."  
 6.  Wife of &Haj &Mirza Siyyid &Hasan, son of &Mirza &Ali.  
 7.  Died at birth.  
 8.  Surnamed "&Khal-i-Asghar," to whom the &Kitab-i-Iqan
          was addressed.  
 9.  Surnamed "&Khal-i-A'zam," one of the Seven Martyrs
          of &Tihran.  
10.  Surnamed "&Vakilu'd-Dawlih," chief builder of the
          &Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in &Ishqabad.  
11.  Surnamed "&Vazir," native of &Nur in &Mazindaran;
          named &Abbas.  
12.  Named &Abbas.  
13.  Named &Ali-Muhammad.  
14.  Named &Husayn-'Ali.  
15.  Wife of &Vakilu'd-Dawlih, &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad-Taqi.  
16.  Only son of &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali.  
17.  &Abdu'l-Baha's son-in-law.  
18.  Descendant of the &Imam &Husayn, merchant and native
         of &Shiraz.  
19.  &Abdu'l-Baha's son-in-law.  
20.  Only child of &Mirza &Abu'l-Fath.  
 
+Plx
                      THE &QAJAR DYNASTY
 
            &Fath-'Ali &Shah,          1798-1834 A.D.  
            &Muhammad &Shah,           1835-48 A.D.  
            &Nasiri'd-Din &Shah,       1848-96 A.D.  
            &Muzaffari'd-Din &Shah,    1896-1907 A.D.  
            &Muhammad-'Ali &Shah,      1907-9 A.D.  
            &Ahmad &Shah,              1909-25 A.D.  
 
            &Mirza &Abu'l-Qasim-i-Qa'im-Maqam.  
            &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi.  
            &Mirza &Taqi &Khan &Amir-Nizam.  
            &Mirza &Aqa &Khan-i-Nuri.  
 
[Fold-out chart of the "Pedigree of the &Qajar Dynasty" between pages lx and
lxi.]  
 
+Plxi
              ACKNOWLEDGMENT
 
      Grateful acknowledgment is made to
Lady Blomfield for her valuable suggestions;
to an English correspondent for his
help in the preparation of the Introduction;
to Mrs. E. Hoagg for the typing of
the manuscript; to Miss Effie Baker for
the photographs used in illustrating this
book.  
                            --THE TRANSLATOR.  
 
+Plxii
[Illustration:  &MUHAMMAD-I-ZARANDI, SURNAMED &NABIL-I-A'ZAM]  
 
+Plxiii
      IT IS my intention, by the aid and assistance of
God, to devote the introductory pages of this narrative
to such accounts as I have been able to
obtain regarding those twin great lights, &Shaykh
&Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti, after which it is
my hope to recount, in their chronological order, the chief
events that have happened since the year '60,+F1 the year that
witnessed the declaration of the Faith by the &Bab, until the
present time, the year 1305 A.H.+F2  
      In certain instances I shall go into some detail, in others
I shall content myself with a brief summary of events.  I
shall place on record a description of the episodes I myself
have witnessed, as well as those that have been reported to
me by trustworthy and recognised informants, specifying in
every case their names and standing.  Those to whom I am
primarily indebted are the following:  &Mirza &Ahmad-i-Qazvini,
the &Bab's amanuensis; Siyyid &Isma'il-i-Dhabih; &Shaykh
&Hasan-i-Zunuzi; &Shaykh &Abu-Turab-i-Qazvini; and, last but
not least, &Mirza &Musa, &Aqay-i-Kalim, brother of &Baha'u'llah.  
     I render thanks to God for having assisted me in the
writing of these preliminary pages, and for having blessed
and honoured them with the approval of &Baha'u'llah, who
has graciously deigned to consider them and who signified,
through His amanuensis &Mirza &Aqa &Jan, who read them to
Him, His pleasure and acceptance.  I pray that the Almighty
may sustain and guide me lest I err and falter in the task I
have set myself to accomplish.  
 
                         &MUHAMMAD-I-ZARANDI.+F3  
&Akka, Palestine,
1305 A.H.  
 
+F1 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.).  
+F2 1887-8 A.D.  
+F3 His full title is &Nabil-i-A'zam.  
 
+Plxiv
[Illustration:  &SHAYKH &AHMAD-I-AHSA'I]  
 
+P1
                         THE DAWN-BREAKERS
 
                             CHAPTER I
               THE MISSION OF &SHAYKH &AHMAD-I-AHSA'I
 
     AT A time when the shining reality of the Faith of
&Muhammad had been obscured by the ignorance,
the fanaticism, and perversity of the contending
sects into which it had fallen, there appeared above
the horizon of the East+F1 that luminous Star of Divine guidance,
&Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i.+F2  He observed how those who
professed the Faith of &Islam had shattered its unity, sapped
its force, perverted its purpose, and degraded its holy name.  
His soul was filled with anguish at the sight of the corruption
and strife which characterised the &Shi'ah sect of &Islam.  Inspired
by the light that shone within him,+F3 he arose with
unerring vision, with fixed purpose, and sublime detachment
to utter his protest against the betrayal of the Faith by that
ignoble people.  Aglow with zeal and conscious of the sublimity
of his calling, he vehemently appealed not only to
&shi'ah &Islam but to all the followers of &Muhammad throughout
 
+F1 His genealogy, according to his son &Shaykh &Abdu'llah, is the following:  
+F1 "&Shaykh &Ahmad-ibn-i-Zaynu'd-Din-ibn-i-Ibrahim-ibn-i-Sakhr-ibn-i-Ibrahim-
+F1 ibn-i-Zahir-ibn-i-Ramadan-ibn-i-Rashid-ibn-i-Dahim-ibn-i-Shimrukh-
+F1 ibn-i-Sulih."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme" I, p. 1.)  
+F2 Born Rajab, 1166 A.H., 24th of April-24th of May, 1753, in town of &Ahsa in
+F2 district of &Ahsa, northeast of Arabian peninsula.  (A. L. M. Nicolas'
+F2 "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I, p. 1.)  Born a &shi'ah, though his ancestors
+F2 were &sunnis.  (Ibid., p. 2.)  According to E. G. Browne ("A Traveller's
+F2 Narrative," Note E, p. 235), &Shaykh &Ahmad was born in the year 1157 A.H.
+F2 and died in 1242.  
+F3   Siyyid &Kazim, in his book entitled "&Dalilu'l-Mutahayyirin," writes as
+F3 follows:  "Our master, one night, saw the &Imam &Hasan; upon him may the
+F3 blessing of God rest!  His Holiness put in his mouth his blessed tongue.  
+F3 From the adorable saliva of His Holiness he drew forth the sciences and the
+F3 assistance of God.  To the taste it was sweeter even than honey, more
+F3 perfumed than the musk.  It was also quite warm.  When he came to himself
+F3 and wakened from his dream, he inwardly radiated the light of divine
+F3 contemplation; his soul overflowed with the blessings of God and became
+F3 entirely severed from everything save God.  
+F3   "His faith, his trust in God and his resignation to the Will of the Most
+F3 High grew apace.  Because of a great love and an ardent desire which arose
+F3 in his heart, he forgot to eat or to clothe himself except barely enough to
+F3 sustain life."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I, p. 6.)  
 
+P2
the East, to awaken from the slumber of negligence and
to prepare the way for Him who must needs be made manifest
in the fulness of time, whose light alone could dissipate the
mists of prejudice and ignorance which had enveloped that
Faith.  Forsaking his home and kindred, on one of the islands
of Bahrayn, to the south of the Persian Gulf, he set out, as
bidden by an almighty Providence, to unravel the mysteries
of those verses of Islamic Scriptures which foreshadowed the
advent of a new Manifestation.  He was well aware of the
dangers and perils that beset his path; he fully realised the
crushing responsibility of his task.  There burned in his soul
the conviction that no reform, however drastic, within the
Faith of &Islam, could achieve the regeneration of this perverse
people.  He knew, and was destined by the Will of
God to demonstrate, that nothing short of a new and independent
Revelation, as attested and foreshadowed by the
sacred Scriptures of &Islam, could revive the fortunes and
restore the purity of that decadent Faith.+F1  
     Bereft of all earthly possessions, and detached from all
save God, he, in the early days of the thirteenth century of
the Hegira, when forty years of age, arose to dedicate the
remaining days of his life to the task he felt impelled to
shoulder.  He first proceeded to Najaf and &Karbila,+F2 where
in a few years he acquired familiarity with the prevailing
thoughts and standards current among the learned men of
&Islam.  There he came to be recognised as one of the authorised
expounders of the &Islamic Holy Writ, was declared
a mujtahid, and soon obtained an ascendancy over the rest
of his colleagues, who either visited or were residing in those
holy cities.  These came to regard him as one initiated into
the mysteries of Divine Revelation, and qualified to unravel
the abstruse utterances of &Muhammad and of the &imams of
the Faith.  As his influence increased, and the scope of his
 
+F1 "He [&Shaykh &Ahmad] knew full well that he was chosen of God to prepare
+F1 men's hearts for the reception of the more complete truth shortly to be
+F1 revealed, and that through him the way of access to the hidden twelfth
+F1 &Imam &Mihdi was reopened.  But he did not set this forth in clear and
+F1 unmistakable terms, lest `the unregenerate' should turn again and rend
+F1 him."  (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions,"
+F1 p. 15.)  
+F2 "&Karbila is about 55 miles S.W. of &Baghdad on the banks of the
+F2 Euphrates....  The tomb of &Husayn is in the centre of the city, and of his
+F2 brother &Abbas in the S.E. quarter are the chief buildings."  (C. R.
+F2 Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia,' p. 486.)  Najaf is
+F2 revered by the &shi'ahs, as it enshrines the tomb of &Imam &Ali.  
 
+P3
authority widened, he found himself besieged on every side
by an ever-increasing number of devoted enquirers who asked
to be enlightened regarding the intricacies of the Faith, all
of which he ably and fully expounded.  By his knowledge
and fearlessness he struck terror to the hearts of the &Sufis
and Neo-Platonists and other kindred schools of thought,+F1
who envied his learning and feared his ruthlessness.  Thereby
he acquired added favour in the eyes of those learned divines,
who looked upon these sects as the disseminators of obscure
and heretical doctrines.  Yet, great as was his fame and universal
as was the esteem in which he was regarded, he despised
all the honours which his admirers lavished upon him.  He
marvelled at their servile devotion to dignity and rank, and
refused resolutely to associate himself with the objects of their
pursuits and desires.  
 
+F1 "The chief peculiarities of &Shaykh &Ahmad's views seem to have been as
+F1 follows.  He declared that all knowledge and all sciences were contained in
+F1 the &Qur'an, and that therefore to understand the inner meanings of the
+F1 latter in their entirety, a knowledge of the former must be acquired.  To
+F1 develop this doctrine, he used to apply cabalistic methods of
+F1 interpretation to the sacred text, And exerted himself to acquire
+F1 familiarity with the various sciences known to the Muslim world.  He
+F1 entertained the most exaggerated veneration for the &Imams, especially the
+F1 &Imam &Ja'far-i-Sadiq, the sixth of them in succession, whose words he
+F1 would often quote....  About the future life, and the resurrection of the
+F1 body also, he held views which were generally considered to be heterodox,
+F1 as previously mentioned.  He declared that the body of man was composed of
+F1 different portions, derived from each of the four elements and the nine
+F1 heavens, and that the body wherewith he was raised in the resurrection
+F1 contained only the latter components, the former returning at death to
+F1 their original sources.  This subtle body, which alone escaped destruction,
+F1 he called &Jism-i-Huriqliya, the latter being supposed to be a Greek word.  
+F1 He asserted that it existed potentially in our present bodies, `like glass
+F1 in stone.'  Similarly he asserted that, in the case of the Night-ascent of
+F1 the Prophet to Heaven, it was this, and not his material body, which
+F1 performed the journey.  On account of these views, he was pronounced
+F1 unorthodox by the majority of the &ulamas, and accused of holding the
+F1 doctrines of &Mulla &Sadra, the greatest Persian philosopher of modern
+F1 times."  (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, article 12, pp.
+F1 890-91.)  
 
+P4
     Having achieved his purpose in those cities, and inhaling
the fragrance which wafted upon him from Persia, he felt
in his heart an irrepressible yearning to hasten to that country.  
He concealed from his friends, however, the real motive that
impelled him to direct his steps towards that land.  By way
of the Persian Gulf, he hastened unto the land of his heart's
desire, ostensibly for the purpose of visiting the shrine of the
&Imam &Rida in &Mashhad.+F1  He was filled with eagerness to
unburden his soul, and searched zealously for those to whom
he could deliver the secret which to no one he had as yet
divulged.  Upon his arrival at &Shiraz, the city which enshrined
that concealed Treasure of God, and from which the voice of
the Herald of a new Manifestation was destined to be proclaimed,
he repaired to the &Masjid-i-Jum'ih, a mosque which
in its style and shape bore a striking resemblance to the holy
shrine of Mecca.  Many a time did he, whilst gazing upon
that edifice, observe:  "Verily, this house of God betokens
such signs as only those who are endowed with understanding
can perceive.  Methinks he who conceived and built it was
inspired of God."+F2  How often and how passionately he extolled
that city!  Such was the praise he lavished upon it
that his hearers, who were only too familiar with its mediocrity,
were astonished at the tone of his language.  "Wonder
not," he said to those who were surprised, "for ere long the
secret of my words will be made manifest to you.  Among
 
+F1 In the ninth century the remains of the &Imam &Rida, son of the &Imam &Musa
+F1 and eighth of the twelve &Imams, were interred in &Mashhad.  
+F2 "In the country of &Fars, there is a Mosque in the center of which rises a
+F2 structure similar to the &Ka'bih, (&Masjid-i-Jum'ih).  It was built only as
+F2 a sign indicating the Manifestation of the Will of God through the erection
+F2 of the house in that land.  [Allusion to the new Mecca, i.e., the house of
+F2 the &Bab in &Shiraz.]  Blessed be he who worships God in that land; truly
+F2 we, too, worshipped God there, and prayed for him who had erected that
+F2 building."  ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 2, p. 151.)  
 
+P5
you there shall be a number who will live to behold the
glory of a Day which the prophets of old have yearned to
witness."  So great was his authority in the eyes of the
&ulamas who met and conversed with him, that they professed
themselves incapable of comprehending the meaning of his
mysterious allusions and ascribed their failure to their own
deficient understanding.  
     Having sown the seeds of Divine knowledge in the hearts
of those whom he found receptive to his call, &Shaykh &Ahmad
set out for Yazd, where he tarried awhile, engaged continually
in the dissemination of such truths as he felt urged to reveal.  
Most of his books and epistles were written in that city.+F1  
Such was the fame he acquired,+F2 that the ruler of Persia,
&Fath-'Ali &Shah, was moved to address to him from &Tihran a
written message,+F3 calling upon him to explain certain specific
questions related to the abstruse teachings of the Muslim
Faith, the meaning of which the leading &ulamas of his realm
had been unable to unfold.  To this he readily answered in
the form of an epistle to which he gave the name of "&Risaly-i-Sultaniyyih."  
The &Shah was so pleased with the tone and
subject matter of that epistle that he forthwith sent him a
second message, this time extending to him an invitation to
visit his court.  Replying to this second imperial message,
 
+F1 A. L. M. Nicolas, in Chapter 5 of his book, "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme,"
+F1 gives a list of no less than ninety-six volumes as representing the entire
+F1 literary output of this prolific writer.  Among them, the more important
+F1 are the following:  
      1.  Commentary on the &Ziyaratu'l &Jami'atu'l-Kabirih of &Shaykh &Hadi.  
      2.  Commentary on the verse "Qu'l &Huvallah-u-Ahad."  
      3.  &Risaly-i-Khaqaniyyih, in answer to &Fath-'Ali &Shah's question
             regarding the superiority of the &Qa'im over His ancestors.  
      4.  On dreams.  
      5.  Answer to &Shaykh &Musay-i-Bahrayni regarding the position and
             claims of the &Sahibu'z-Zaman.  
      6.  Answer to the &Sufis.  
      7.  Answer to &Mulla &Mihdiy-i-Astirabadi on the knowledge of the soul.  
      8.  On the joys and pains of the future life.  
      9.  Answer to &Mulla &Ali-Akbar on the best road to the attainment of
             God.  
     10.  On the Resurrection.  
+F2 "The news of his arrival caused a great stir and certain &Ulamas among the
+F2 most celebrated received him with reverence.  They accorded him great
+F2 consideration and the inhabitants of the town did likewise.  All of the
+F2 &Ulamas came to see him.  It was well known that he was the most learned
+F2 among the most learned."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme,"
+F2 p. 18.)  
+F3   A. L. M. Nicolas, in his book "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," pp. 19-20,
+F3 refers to a second letter addressed by the &Shah to &Shaykh &Ahmad:  
+F3     "The &Shah, forewarned, wrote again telling him that evidently it was
+F3 his duty, his, the King's, to go out of his way to come to Yazd to see the
+F3 illustrious and holy person whose feet were a blessing to the province upon
+F3 whose soil they had trodden, but because of political reasons of high
+F3 importance he could not, at this moment, leave the capital.  Besides it was
+F3 necessary, he said, in case of change of residence, to bring with him a
+F3 force of at least ten thousand men, and, as the town of Yazd was too small
+F3 to support such a large population, the arrival of so many troops would
+F3 most certainly occasion a famine.  `You would not wish such a calamity to
+F3 occur, I am quite certain, and I think therefore that, although I am of
+F3 very small importance compared to you, you will consent, nevertheless to
+F3 come to me.'"  
 
+P6
[Illustrations:  &FATH-'ALI &SHAH AND SONS]  
 
+P7
he wrote the following:  "As I had intended ever since my
departure from Najaf and &Karbila to visit and pay my
homage to the shrine of the &Imam &Rida in &Mashhad, I venture
to hope that your Imperial Majesty will graciously allow
me to fulfil the vow which I have made.  Later on, God
willing, it is my hope and purpose to avail myself of the
honour which your Imperial Majesty has deigned to confer
upon me.  
     Among those who, in the city of Yazd, were awakened
by the message of that bearer of the light of God, was &Haji
&Abdu'l-Vahhab, a man of great piety, upright and God-fearing.  
He visited &Shaykh &Ahmad each day in the company
of a certain &Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Yazdi, who was noted
for his authority and learning.  On certain occasions, however,
in order to talk confidentially with &Abdu'l-Vahhab,
&Shaykh &Ahmad, to the great surprise of the learned &Abdu'l-Khaliq,
would ask him to retire from his presence and leave
him alone with his chosen and favoured disciple.  This marked
preference shown to so modest and illiterate a man as &Abdu'l-Vahhab
was a cause of great surprise to his companion, who
was only too conscious of his own superiority and attainments.  
Later, however, when &Shaykh &Ahmad had departed from
Yazd, &Abdu'l-Vahhab retired from the society of men and
came to be regarded as a &Sufi.  By the orthodox leaders of
that community, however, such as the &Ni'matu'llah and
&Dhahabi, he was denounced as an intruder and was suspected
of a desire to rob them of their leadership.  &Abdu'l-Vahhab,
for whom the &Sufi doctrine had no special attraction, scorned
their false imputations and shunned their society.  He associated
with none except &Haji &Hasan-i-Nayini, whom he had
chosen as his intimate friend and to whom he confided the
secret with which he had been entrusted by his master.  
When &Abdu'l-Vahhab died, this friend, following his example,
continued to pursue the path which he had directed him to
tread, and announced to every receptive soul the tidings of
God's fast-approaching Revelation.  
 
+P8
     &Mirza &Mahmud-i-Qamsari, whom I met in &Kashan, and
who at that time was an old man over ninety years of age
and was greatly beloved and revered by all those who knew
him, related to me the following story:  "I recall when in
my youth, at the time when I was living in &Kashan, I heard
of a certain man in &Nayin who had arisen to announce the
tidings of a new Revelation, and under whose spell fell all
who heard him, whether scholars, officials of the government,
or the uneducated among the people.  His influence was such
that those who came in contact with him renounced the
world and despised its riches.  Curious to ascertain the truth,
I proceeded, unsuspected by my friends, to &Nayin, where I
was able to verify the statements that were current about
him.  His radiant countenance bespoke the light that had
been kindled in his soul.  I heard him, one day, after he had
offered his morning prayer, speak words such as these:  `Ere
long will the earth be turned into a paradise.  Ere long will
Persia be made the shrine round which will circle the peoples
of the earth.'  One morning, at the hour of dawn, I found
him fallen upon his face, repeating in wrapt devotion the
words `&Allah-u-Akbar.'+F1  To my great surprise he turned to
me and said:  `That which I have been announcing to you is
now revealed.  At this very hour the light of the promised
One has broken and is shedding illumination upon the world.  
O &Mahmud, verily I say, you shall live to behold that Day
of days.'  The words which that holy man addressed to me
kept ringing in my ears until the day when, in the year sixty,
I was privileged to hear the Call that arose from &Shiraz.  I
was, alas, unable, because of my infirmities, to hasten to that
city.  Later, when the &Bab, the herald of the new Revelation,
arrived in &Kashan and for three nights lived as a guest in
the house of &Haji &Mirza &Jani, I was unaware of His visit
and so missed the honour of attaining His presence.  Sometime
afterwards, whilst conversing with the followers of the
Faith, I was informed that the birthday of the &Bab fell on
the first day of the month of &Muharram of the year 1235 A.H.+F2  
I realised that the day to which &Haji &Hasan-i-Nayini had
referred did not correspond with this date, that there was
actually a difference of two years between them.  This thought
 
+F1 "God is Most Great."  
+F2 October 20, 1819 A.D.  
 
+P9
sorely perplexed me.  Long after, however, I met a certain
&Haji &Mirza &Kamalu'd-Din-i-Naraqi, who announced to me
the Revelation of &Baha'u'llah in &Baghdad, and who
shared with me a number of verses from the `&Qasidiy-i-Varqa'iyyih'
as well as certain passages of the Persian and Arabic `Hidden
Words.'  I was moved to the depths of my soul as I heard
him recite those sacred words.  The following I still vividly
remember:  `O Son of Being!  Thy heart is my home; sanctify
it for my descent.  Thy spirit is my place of revelation;
cleanse it for my manifestation.  O Son of Earth!  Wouldst
thou have me, seek none other than me; and wouldst thou
gaze upon my beauty, close thine eyes to the world and all
that is therein; for my will and the will of another than I,
even as fire and water, cannot dwell together in one heart.'  
I asked him the date of the birth of &Baha'u'llah.  `The dawn
of the second day of &Muharram,' he replied, `of the year
1233 A.H.'+F1  I immediately remembered the words of &Haji
&Hasan and recalled the day on which they were spoken.  
Instinctively I fell prostrate on the ground and exclaimed:  
`Glorified art Thou, O my God, for having enabled me to
attain unto this promised Day.  If now I be called to Thee,
I die content and assured.'"  That very year, the year
1274 A.H.,+F2 that venerable and radiant soul yielded his spirit
to God.  
     This account which I heard from the lips of &Mirza &Mahmud-i-Qamsari
himself, and which is still current amongst
the people, is assuredly a compelling evidence of the perspicacity
of the late &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and bears eloquent
testimony to the influence he exercised upon his immediate
disciples.  The promise he gave them was eventually
fulfilled, and the mystery with which he fired their souls was
unfolded in all its glory.  
     During those days when &Shaykh &Ahmad was preparing
to depart from Yazd, Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti,+F3 that other
luminary of Divine guidance, set out from his native province
of &Gilan with the object of visiting &Shaykh &Ahmad, ere the
 
+F1 November 12, 1817 A.D.  
+F2 1857-8 A.D.  
+F3 "His [Siyyid &Kazim's] family were merchants of repute.  If is father was
+F3 named &Aqa Siyyid &Qasim.  When twelve years old, he was living at &Ardibil
+F3 near the tomb of &Shaykh &Safi'u'd-Din &Ishaq, the descendant of the
+F3 seventh &Imam &Musa &Kazim and the ancestor of the &Safavi kings.  One
+F3 night in a dream it was signified to him by one of the illustrious
+F3 progenitors of the buried saint that he should put himself under the
+F3 spiritual guidance of &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, who was at this time
+F3 residing at Yazd.  He accordingly proceeded thither and enrolled himself
+F3 amongst the disciples of &Shaykh &Ahmad, in whose doctrine he attained such
+F3 eminence that on the &Shaykh's death he was unanimously recognised as the
+F3 leader of the &Shaykhi school."  ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note E, p.
+F3 238)  
 
+P10
latter undertook his pilgrimage to &Khurasan.  In the course
of his first interview with him, &Shaykh &Ahmad spoke these
words:  "I welcome you, O my friend!  How long and how
eagerly have I waited for you to come and deliver me from
the arrogance of this perverse people!  I am oppressed by
the shamelessness of their acts and the depravity of their
character.  `Verily, We proposed to the heavens, and to the
earth, and to the mountains, to receive the trust of God, but
they refused the burden, and they feared to receive it.  Man
undertook to bear it; and he, verily, hath proved unjust,
ignorant.'"
     This Siyyid &Kazim had already, from his early boyhood,
shown signs of remarkable intellectual power and spiritual
insight.  He was unique among those of his own rank and
age.  At the age of eleven, he had committed to memory the
whole of the &Qur'an.  At the age of fourteen, he had learned
by heart a prodigious number of prayers and recognised traditions
of &Muhammad.  At the age of eighteen, he had composed
a commentary on a verse of the &Qur'an known as the
&Ayatu'l-Kursi, which had excited the wonder and the admiration
of the most learned of his day.  His piety, the gentleness
of his character, and his humility were such that all who
knew him, whether young or old, were profoundly impressed.  
     In the year 1231 A.H.,+F1 when only twenty-two years old,
he, forsaking home, kindred, and friends, departed from &Gilan,
intent upon attaining the presence of him who had so nobly
arisen to announce the approaching dawn of a Divine Revelation.  
He had been in the company of &Shaykh &Ahmad for
only a few weeks, when the latter, turning to him one day,
addressed him in these words:  "Remain in your house and
cease attending my lectures.  Such of my disciples as may
feel perplexed will turn henceforth to you, and will seek to
obtain from you directly whatsoever assistance they may require.  
You will, through the knowledge which the Lord your
God has bestowed upon you, resolve their problems and tranquillise
 
+F1 1815-16 A.D.  
 
+P11
their hearts.  By the power of your utterance you
will help to revive the sorely neglected Faith of &Muhammad,
your illustrious ancestor."  These words addressed to Siyyid
&Kazim excited the resentment and kindled the envy of the
prominent disciples of &Shaykh &Ahmad, among whom figured
&Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mamaqani and &Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Yazdi.  
So compelling was the dignity of Siyyid &Kazim, however,
and so remarkable were the evidences of his knowledge
and wisdom, that these disciples were awed and felt compelled
to submit.  
     &Shaykh &Ahmad, having thus committed his disciples to
the care of Siyyid &Kazim, left for &Khurasan.  There he tarried
awhile, in the close vicinity of the holy shrine of the &Imam
 
+P12
&Rida in &Mashhad.  Within its precincts he pursued with undiminished
zest the course of his labours.  By resolving the
intricacies that agitated the minds of the seekers, he continued
to prepare the way for the advent of the coming Manifestation.  
In that city he became increasingly conscious that
the Day which was to witness the birth of the promised One
could not be far distant.  The promised hour, he felt, was
fast approaching.  From the direction of &Nur, in the province
of &Mazindaran, he was able to perceive the first glimmerings
that heralded the dawn of the promised Dispensation.  To
him the Revelation foreshadowed in these following traditional
utterances was at hand:  "Ere long shall ye behold
the countenance of your Lord resplendent as the moon in its
full glory.  And yet, ye shall fail to unite in acknowledging
His truth and embracing His Faith."  And "One of the most
mighty signs that shall signalise the advent of the promised
Hour is this:  `A woman shall give birth to One who shall be
her Lord.'"  
     &Shaykh &Ahmad therefore set his face towards &Nur and,
accompanied by Siyyid &Kazim and a number of his distinguished
disciples, proceeded to &Tihran.  The &Shah of Persia,
being informed of the approach of &Shaykh &Ahmad to his
capital, commanded the dignitaries and officials of &Tihran to
go out to meet him.  He directed them to extend a cordial
expression of welcome on his behalf.  The distinguished visitor
and his companions were royally entertained by the &Shah,
who visited him in person and declared him to be "the glory
of his nation and an ornament to his people."+F1  In those
days, there was born a Child in an ancient and noble family
of &Nur,+F2 whose father was &Mirza &Abbas, better known as
&Mirza Buzurg, a favoured minister of the Crown.  That Child
was &Baha'u'llah.+F3  At the hour of dawn, on the second day
 
+F1   "The &Shah felt his good will and respect for the &Shaykh grow
+F1 increasingly from day to day.  He felt obliged to obey him and would have
+F1 considered it an act of blasphemy to oppose him.  However, at this time, a
+F1 succession of earthquakes occurred in Rayy and many were destroyed.  
+F1   "The &Shah had a dream in which it was revealed to him that, if &Shaykh
+F1 &Ahmad had not been there, the entire city would have been destroyed and
+F1 all the inhabitants killed.  He awakened terrified and his faith in the
+F1 &Shaykh grew apace."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I,
+F1 p. 21.)  
+F2 &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl asserts in his writings that the genealogy of
+F2 &Baha'u'llah can be traced back to the ancient Prophets of Persia as well
+F2 as to its kings who ruled over the land prior to the Arab invasion.  
+F3 His name was &Mirza &Husayn-'Ali.  
 
+P13
of &Muharram, in the year 1233 A.H.+F1 the world, unaware of
its significance, witnessed the birth of Him who was destined
to confer upon it such incalculable blessings.  &Shaykh &Ahmad,
who recognised in its full measure the meaning of this auspicious
event, yearned to spend the remaining days of his life
within the precincts of the court of this Divine, this new-born
King.  But this was not to be.  His thirst unallayed, and
his yearning unsatisfied, he felt compelled to submit to God's
irrevocable decree, and, turning his face away from the city
of his Beloved, proceeded to &Kirmanshah.  
     The governor of &Kirmanshah, Prince &Muhammad-'Ali &Mirza,
the &Shah's eldest son and the ablest member of his
house, had already begged permission of his Imperial Majesty
to enable him to entertain and serve in person &Shaykh &Ahmad.+F2  
So favoured was the Prince in the eyes of the &Shah, that his
request was immediately granted.  Wholly resigned to his
destiny, &Shaykh &Ahmad bade farewell to &Tihran.  Ere his
departure from that city, he breathed a prayer that this
hidden Treasure of God, now born amongst his countrymen,
might be preserved and cherished by them, that they might
recognise the full measure of His blessedness and glory, and
might be enabled to proclaim His excellence to all nations
and peoples.  
     Upon his arrival in &Kirmanshah, &Shaykh &Ahmad decided
to select a number of the most receptive from among his
&shi'ah disciples, and, by devoting his special attention to their
enlightenment, to enable them to become the active supporters
of the Cause of the promised Revelation.  In the series of
books and epistles which he undertook to write, among which
figures his well-known work &Sharhu'z-Ziyarih, he extolled in
clear and vivid language the virtues of the &imams of the
Faith, and laid special stress upon the allusions which they
had made to the coming of the promised One.  By his repeated
references to &Husayn, he meant, however, none other
than the &Husayn who was yet to be revealed; and by his
allusions to the ever-recurrent name &Ali, he intended not the
 
+F1 November 12, 1817 A.D.  
+F2 "&Kirmanshah awaited him with great impatience.  The Prince Governor
+F2 &Muhammad-'Ali &Mirza had sent the entire town to meet him and they had
+F2 erected tents in which to receive him at &Chah-Qilan.  The Prince went even
+F2 beyond to the &Taj-Abad which lies four &farsakhs distant from the town."  
+F2 (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I, p. 30.)  
 
+P14
&Ali who had been slain, but the &Ali recently born.  To those
who questioned him regarding the signs that must needs
herald the advent of the &Qa'im, he emphatically asserted the
inevitableness of the promised Dispensation.  In the very
year the &Bab was born, &Shaykh &Ahmad suffered the loss of
his son, whose name was &Shaykh &Ali.  To his disciples who
mourned his loss he spoke these words of comfort:  "Grieve
not, O my friends, for I have offered up my son, my own
&Ali, as a sacrifice for the &Ali whose advent we all await.  
To this end have I reared and prepared him."  
     The &Bab, whose name was &Ali-Muhammad, was born in
&Shiraz, on the first of &Muharram, in the year 1235 A.H.  He
was the descendant of a house renowned for its nobility,
which traced its origin to &Muhammad Himself.  His father, Siyyid
&Muhammad-Rida, as well as His mother, were descendants
of the Prophet, and belonged to families of recognised
standing.  The date of His birth confirmed the truth
of the saying attributed to the &Imam &Ali, the Commander
of the Faithful:  "I am two years younger than my Lord."  
The mystery of this utterance, however, remained unrevealed
except to those who sought and recognised the truth of the
new Revelation.  It was He, the &Bab, who, in His first, His
most weighty and exalted Book, revealed this passage concerning
&Baha'u'llah:  "O Thou Remnant of God!  I have sacrificed
Myself wholly for Thee; I have consented to be cursed
for Thy sake; and have yearned for naught but martyrdom
in the path of Thy love.  Sufficient witness unto Me is God,
the Exalted, the Protector, the Ancient of Days!"  
     While &Shaykh &Ahmad was sojourning in &Kirmanshah, he
received so many evidences of ardent devotion from Prince
&Muhammad-'Ali &Mirza that on one occasion he was moved
to refer to the Prince in such terms:  "&Muhammad-'Ali I
regard as my own son, though he be a descendant of &Fath-'Ali."  
A considerable number of seekers and disciples thronged his
house and eagerly attended his lectures.  To none, however,
did he feel inclined to show the consideration and affectionate
regard which characterised his attitude towards Siyyid &Kazim.  
He seemed to have singled him out from among the multitude
that crowded to see him, and to be preparing him to carry
on with undiminished vigour his work after his death.  One
 
+P15
of his disciples, one day, questioned &Shaykh &Ahmad concerning
the Word which the promised One is expected to utter
in the fulness of time, a Word so appallingly tremendous
that the three hundred and thirteen chiefs and nobles of the
earth would each and all flee in consternation as if overwhelmed
by its stupendous weight.  To him &Shaykh &Ahmad
replied:  "How can you presume to sustain the weight of the
Word which the chieftains of the earth are incapable of
bearing?  Seek not to gratify an impossible desire.  Cease
asking me this question, and beseech forgiveness from God."  
That presumptuous questioner again pressed him to disclose
the nature of that Word.  At last &Shaykh &Ahmad replied:  
"Were you to attain that Day, were you to be told to repudiate
the guardianship of &Ali and to denounce its validity, what
would you say?"  "God forbid!" he exclaimed.  "Such things
can never be.  That such words should proceed out of the
mouth of the promised One is to me inconceivable."  How
grievous the mistake he made, and how pitiful his plight!  
His faith was weighed in the balance, and was found wanting,
inasmuch as he failed to recognise that He who must needs
be made manifest is endowed with that sovereign power which
no man dare question.  His is the right "to command whatsoever
He willeth, and to decree that which He pleaseth."  
Whoever hesitates, whoever, though it be for the twinkling
of an eye or less, questions His authority, is deprived of His
grace and is accounted of the fallen.  And yet few, if any,
among those who listened to &Shaykh &Ahmad in that city,
and heard him unfold the mysteries of the allusions in the
sacred Scriptures, were able to appreciate the significance of
his utterances or to apprehend their purpose.  Siyyid &Kazim,
his able and distinguished lieutenant, alone, could claim to
have understood his meaning.  
     After the death of Prince &Muhammad-'Ali &Mirza,+F1 &Shaykh
&Ahmad, freed from the urgent solicitations of the Prince to
extend his sojourn in &Kirmanshah, transferred his residence
to &Karbila.  Though to outward seeming he was circling round
the shrine of the &Siyyidu'sh-Shuhada',+F2 the &Imam &Husayn,
his heart, whilst he performed those rites, was set upon that
true &Husayn, the only object of his devotions.  A host of
 
+F1 1237.  A.H.  
+F2 "The Prince of Martyrs."  
 
+P16
the most distinguished &ulamas and mujtahids thronged to
see him.  Many began to envy his reputation, and a number
sought to undermine his authority.  However much they
strove, they failed to shake his position of undoubted preeminence
amongst the learned men of that city.  Eventually
that shining light was summoned to shed its radiance upon
the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.  Thither he journeyed,
there he pursued with unstinted devotion his labours, and
there he was laid to rest beneath the shadow of the Prophet's
sepulchre, for the understanding of whose Cause he had so
faithfully laboured.  
     Ere he departed from &Karbila, he confided to Siyyid &Kazim,
his chosen successor, the secret of his mission,+F1 and instructed
him to strive to kindle in every receptive heart the fire that
had burned so brightly within him.  However much Siyyid
&Kazim insisted on accompanying him as far as Najaf, &Shaykh
&Ahmad refused to comply with his request.  "You have no
time to lose," were the last words which he addressed to him.  
"Every fleeting hour should be fully and wisely utilised.  You
should gird up the loin of endeavour and strive day and
night to rend asunder, by the grace of God and by the hand
of wisdom and loving-kindness, those veils of heedlessness
that have blinded the eyes of men.  For verily I say, the
Hour is drawing nigh, the Hour I have besought God to
spare me from witnessing, for the earthquake of the Last
Hour will be tremendous.  You should pray to God to be
spared the overpowering trials of that Day, for neither of us
is capable of withstanding its sweeping force.  Others, of
greater endurance and power, have been destined to bear
this stupendous weight, men whose hearts are sanctified from
all earthly things, and whose strength is reinforced by the
potency of His power."  
     Having spoken these words, &Shaykh &Ahmad bade him
farewell, urged him to face valiantly the trials that must
needs afflict him, and committed him to the care of God.  
 
+F1 A. L. M. Nicolas, in his preface to "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I, quotes
+F1 the following as having been spoken by &Shaykh &Ahmad regarding Siyyid
+F1 &Kazim:  "There is only Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti who understands my objective
+F1 and no one but him understands it....  Seek the science after me from
+F1 Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti who has acquired it directly from me, who learned
+F1 it from the &Imams, who learned it from the Prophet to whom God had given
+F1 it....  He is the only one who understands me!"  
 
+P17
In &Karbila, Siyyid &Kazim devoted himself to the work initiated
by his master, expounded his teachings, defended his
Cause, and answered whatever questions perplexed the minds
of his disciples.  The vigour with which he prosecuted his
task inflamed the animosity of the ignorant and envious.  "For
forty years," they clamoured, "we have suffered the pretentious
teachings of &Shaykh &Ahmad to be spread with no opposition
whatever on our part.  We no longer can tolerate
similar pretensions on the part of his successor, who rejects
the belief in the resurrection of the body, who repudiates the
literal interpretation of the `&Mi'raj,'+F1 who regards the signs
of the coming Day as allegorical, and who preaches a doctrine
heretical in character and subversive of the best tenets of
orthodox &Islam."  The louder their clamour and protestations,
the firmer grew the determination of Siyyid &Kazim to
prosecute his mission and fulfil his trust.  He addressed an
epistle to &Shaykh &Ahmad, wherein he set forth at length the
calumnies that had been uttered against him, and acquainted him
with the character and extent of their opposition.  In
it he ventured to enquire as to how long he was destined to
submit to the unrelenting fanaticism of a stubborn and ignorant
people, and prayed to be enlightened regarding the time
when the promised One was to be made manifest.  To this
&Shaykh &Ahmad replied:  "Be assured of the grace of your God.  
Be not grieved at their doings.  The mystery of this Cause
must needs be made manifest, and the secret of this Message
must needs be divulged.+F2  I can say no more, I can appoint
 
+F1 "The Ascent" of &Muhammad to Heaven.  
+F2 The &Bab, Himself, refers to this passage and confirms it in the
+F2 "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih":  "The words of the revered &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i
+F2 are well known.  They contain numerous allusions to the subject of the
+F2 Manifestation.  For example, he has written with his own hand to Siyyid
+F2 &Kazim-i-Rashti:  `Just as it is necessary in order to build a house to
+F2 have suitable ground, so also for this Manifestation must the moment be
+F2 propitious.  But here one cannot give an answer clearly foretelling the
+F2 moment.  Soon we shall know it with certainty.'  That which you have heard
+F2 so often yourself from Siyyid &Kazim, is not that an explanation?  Did he
+F2 not reiterate every minute--`You do not wish then that I should go away so
+F2 that God may appear?'"  ("The Book of the Seven Proofs," translated by
+F2 A. L. M. Nicolas, p. 58.)  "There is also the anecdote referring to &Shaykh
+F2 &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i on his way to Mecca.  It has been proven that this anecdote
+F2 is authentic and hence there is something which is certain.  The disciples
+F2 of the deceased have related the sayings which they have heard and also
+F2 certain personages were mentioned such as &Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq and
+F2 &Murtada-Quli.  &Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq relates that the &Shaykh said to
+F2 them one day:  `Pray that you may not be present at the beginning of the
+F2 Manifestation and of the Return, as there will be many civil wars.'  He
+F2 added:  `If any one of you should still be living at that time, he shall
+F2 see strange things between the years sixty and sixty-seven.  And what
+F2 strange thing can be more strange than the very Being of the
+F2 Manifestation?  You will be there and you will witness another
+F2 extraordinary event; that is to say, God, in order to bring about the
+F2 victory of the Manifestation, will raise up a Being who will speak his own
+F2 thoughts without ever having been instructed by anyone.'"  (Ibid., pp.
+F2 59-60.)  
 
+P18
no time.  His Cause will be made known after &Hin.+F1  `Ask
me not of things which, if revealed unto you, might only
pain you.'"
     How great, how very great, is His Cause, that even to so
exalted a personage as Siyyid &Kazim words such as these
should have been addressed!  This answer of &Shaykh &Ahmad
imparted solace and strength to the heart of Siyyid &Kazim,
who, with redoubled determination, continued to withstand
the onslaught of an envious and insidious enemy.  
     &Shaykh &Ahmad died soon after,+F2 in the year 1242 A.H., at
the age of eighty-one, and was laid to rest in the cemetery
of &Baqi',+F3 in the close vicinity of the resting place of &Muhammad
in the holy city of Medina.  
 
+F1 According to the Abjad notation, the numerical value of the word "&Hin"
+F1 is 68.  It was in the year 1268 A.H. that &Baha'u'llah, while confined in
+F1 the &Siyah-Chal of &Tihran received the first intimations of His Divine
+F1 Mission.  Of this He hinted in the odes which He revealed in that year.  
+F2 He died in a place called &Haddih, in the neighbourhood of Medina.  
+F2 (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I, p. 60.)  
+F3   "His body was carried to Medina where it was buried in the Cemetery
+F3 &Baqi, behind the walls of the cupola of the Prophet, on the south side,
+F3 under the drain spout of &Mihrab.  They say that there also is to be found
+F3 the tomb of &Fatimih facing that of &Baytu'l-Hazan."  (A. L. M. Nicolas'
+F3 "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," I, pp. 60-61.)  
+F3   "The death of &Shaykh &Ahmad put an end for a few days to the conflict,
+F3 and the anger seemed appeased.  Moreover it was at this time that &Islam
+F3 received a terrible blow and that its power was broken.  The Russian
+F3 Emperor defeated the Moslem nations and most of the provinces, inhabited
+F3 by the Moslem peoples, fell into the hands of the Russian armies."  (A. L.
+F3 M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," II, p. 5.)  "On the other hand, it
+F3 was thought that &Shaykh &Ahmad being now dead, his doctrine would
+F3 definitely disappear with him.  Peace lasted for nearly two years; but the
+F3 &Muhammadans returned quickly to their former sentiments as soon as they
+F3 saw that the light of the doctrine of the deceased still radiated over the
+F3 world, thanks to Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti, the best, the most faithful
+F3 disciple of &Shaykh &Ahmad, and his successor."  (Ibid., pp. 5-6.)  
 
+P19
                                   CHAPTER II
                      THE MISSION OF SIYYID &KAZIM-I-RASHTI
 
     THE news of the passing of his beloved master brought
unspeakable sorrow to the heart of Siyyid &Kazim.  
Inspired by the verse of the &Qur'an, "Fain would
they put out God's light with their mouths; but
God only desireth to perfect His light, albeit the infidels
abhor it," he arose with unswerving purpose to consummate
the task with which &Shaykh &Ahmad had entrusted him.  He
found himself, after the removal of so distinguished a protector,
a victim of the slanderous tongue and unrelenting
enmity of the people around him.  They attacked his person,
scorned his teachings, and reviled his name.  At the instigation
of a powerful and notorious &shi'ah leader, Siyyid &Ibrahim-i-Qazvini,
the enemies of Siyyid &Kazim leagued together, and
determined to destroy him.  Thereupon Siyyid &Kazim conceived
the plan of securing the support and good will of one
of the most formidable and outstanding ecclesiastical dignitaries
of Persia, the renowned &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad &Baqir-i-Rashti,
who lived in &Isfahan and whose authority extended
far beyond the confines of that city.  This friendship and
sympathy, Siyyid &Kazim thought, would enable him to pursue
untrammelled the course of his activities, and would considerably
enhance the influence which he exercised over his
disciples.  "Would that one amongst you," he was often
heard to say to his followers, "could arise, and, with complete
detachment, journeyto &Isfahan, and deliver this message
from me to that learned Siyyid:  `Why is it that in the beginning
you showed such marked consideration and affection
for the late &Shaykh &Ahmad, and have now suddenly detached
yourself from the body of his chosen disciples?  Why is it
that you have abandoned us to the mercy of our opponents?'  
Would that such a messenger, putting his trust in God, might
arise to unravel whatever mysteries perplex the mind of that
learned Siyyid, and dispel such doubts as might have alienated
 
+P20
his sympathy.  Would that he were able to obtain from him
a solemn declaration testifying to the unquestioned authority
of &Shaykh &Ahmad, and to the truth and soundness of his
teachings.  Would that he also, after having secured such a
testimony, might visit &Mashhad and there obtain a similar
pronouncement from &Mirza &Askari, the foremost ecclesiastical
leader in that holy city, and then, having completed his mission,
might return in triumph to this place."  Again and
again did Siyyid &Kazim find opportunity to reiterate his
appeal.  None, however, ventured to respond to his call
except a certain &Mirza &Muhit-i-Kirmani, who expressed readiness
to undertake this mission.  To him Siyyid &Kazim replied:  
"Beware of touching the lion's tail.  Belittle not the delicacy
and difficulty of such a mission."  He then, turning his face
towards his youthful disciple, &Mulla &Husayn-i-Bushru'i, the
&Babu'l-Bab,+F1 addressed him in these words:  "Arise and perform
this mission, for I declare you equal to this task.  The
Almighty will graciously assist you, and will crown your
endeavours with success."  
     &Mulla &Husayn joyously sprang to his feet, kissed the hem
of his teacher's garment, vowed his loyalty to him, and
started forthwith on his journey.  With complete severance
and noble resolve, he set out to achieve his end.  Arriving in
&Isfahan, he sought immediately the presence of the learned
Siyyid.  Clad in mean attire, and laden with the dust of
travel, he appeared, amidst the vast and richly apparelled
company of the disciples of that distinguished leader, an insignificant
and negligible figure.  Unobserved and undaunted,
he advanced to a place which faced the seat occupied by
that renowned teacher.  Summoning to his aid all the courage
and confidence with which the instructions of Siyyid &Kazim
had inspired him, he addressed &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir
in these words:  "Hearken, O Siyyid, to my words, for
response to my plea will ensure the safety of the Faith of
the Prophet of God, and refusal to consider my message will
cause it grievous injury."  These bold and courageous words,
uttered with directness and force, produced a surprising impression
upon the Siyyid.  He suddenly interrupted his discourse,
and, ignoring his audience, listened with close attention
 
+F1 He was the first to believe in the &Bab, who gave him this title.  
 
+P21
to the message which this strange visitor had brought.  
His disciples, amazed at this extraordinary behaviour, rebuked
this sudden intruder and denounced his presumptuous
pretensions.  With extreme politeness, in firm and dignified
language, &Mulla &Husayn hinted at their discourtesy and shallowness,
and expressed surprise at their arrogance and vainglory.  
The Siyyid was highly pleased with the demeanour
and argument which the visitor so strikingly displayed.  He
deplored and apologised for the unseemly conduct of his own
disciples.  In order to compensate for their ingratitude, he
extended every conceivable kindness to that youth, assured
him of his support, and besought him to deliver his message.  
Thereupon, &Mulla &Husayn acquainted him with the nature
and object of the mission with which he had been entrusted.  
To this the learned Siyyid replied:  "As we in the beginning
believed that both &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim were
actuated by no desire except to advance the cause of knowledge
and safeguard the sacred interests of the Faith, we felt
prompted to extend to them our heartiest support and to
extol their teachings.  In later years, however, we have noticed
so many conflicting statements and obscure and mysterious
allusions in their writings, that we felt it advisable
to keep silent for a time, and to refrain from either censure
or applause."  To this &Mulla &Husayn replied:  "I cannot but
deplore such silence on your part, for I firmly believe that it
involves the loss of a splendid opportunity to advance the
cause of Truth.  It is for you to set forth specifically such
passages in their writings as appear to you mysterious or inconsistent
with the precepts of the Faith, and I will, with
the aid of God, undertake to expound their true meaning."  
The poise, the dignity and confidence, which characterised
the behaviour of this unexpected messenger, greatly impressed
&Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir.  He begged him not to press
the matter at this moment, but to wait until a later day,
when, in private converse, he might acquaint him with his own
doubts and misgivings.  &Mulla &Husayn, however, feeling
that delay might prove harmful to the cause he had at heart,
insisted upon an immediate conference with him about the
weighty problems which he felt impelled and able to resolve.  
The Siyyid was moved to tears by the youthful enthusiasm,
 
+P22
the sincerity and serene confidence to which the countenance
of &Mulla &Husayn so admirably testified.  He sent immediately
for some of the works written by &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid
&Kazim, and began to question &Mulla &Husayn regarding those
passages which had excited his disapproval and surprise.  To
each reference the messenger replied with characteristic
vigour, with masterly knowledge and befitting modesty.  
     He continued in this manner, in the presence of the
assembled disciples, to expound the teachings of &Shaykh
&Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim, to vindicate their truth, and to
defend their cause, until the time when the &Mu'adhdhin,
calling the faithful to prayer, suddenly interrupted the flow
of his argument.  The next day, he similarly, in the presence
of a large and representative assembly, and whilst facing
the Siyyid, resumed his eloquent defence of the high mission entrusted
by an almighty Providence to &Shaykh &Ahmad and
his successor.  A deep silence fell upon his hearers.  They
were seized with wonder at the cogency of his argument and
the tone an manner of his speech.  The Siyyid publicly
promised that on the following day he would himself issue a
written declaration wherein he would testify to the eminence
of the position held by both &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim,
and would pronounce whosoever deviated from their path as
one who had turned aside from the Faith of the Prophet
Himself.  He would likewise bear witness to their penetrative
insight, and their correct and profound understanding of the
mysteries which the Faith of &Muhammad enshrined.  The
Siyyid redeemed his pledge, and with his own hand penned
the promised declaration.  He wrote at length, and in the
course of his testimony paid a tribute to the character and
learning of &Mulla &Husayn.  He spoke in glowing terms of
Siyyid &Kazim, apologised for his former attitude, and expressed
the hope that in the days to come he might be enabled
to make amends for his past and regrettable conduct towards
him.  He read, himself, to his disciples the text of this written
testimony, and delivered it unsealed to &Mulla &Husayn, authorising
him to share its contents with whomsoever he pleased,
that all might know the extent of his devotion to Siyyid &Kazim.  
     No sooner had &Mulla &Husayn retired than the Siyyid
charged one of his trusted attendants to follow in the footsteps
 
+P23
of the visitor and find out the place where he was
residing.  The attendant followed him to a modest building,
which served as a madrisih,+F1 and saw him enter a room
which, except for a worn-out mat which covered its floor,
was devoid of furniture.  He watched him arrive, offer his
prayer of thanksgiving to God, and lie down upon that mat
with nothing to cover him except his &aba.+F2  Having reported
to his master all that he had observed, the attendant was
again instructed to deliver to &Mulla &Husayn the sum of a
hundred &tumans,+F3 and to express the sincere apologies of his
master for his inability to extend to so remarkable a messenger
a hospitality that befitted his station.  To this offer &Mulla
&Husayn sent the following reply:  "Tell your master that his
real gift to me is the spirit of fairness with which he received
me, and the open-mindedness which prompted him, despite
his exalted rank, to respond to the message which I, a lowly
stranger, brought him.  Return this money to your master,
for I, as a messenger, ask for neither recompense nor reward.  
`We nourish your souls for the sake of God; we seek from you
neither recompense nor thanks.'+F4  My prayer for your master
is that earthly leadership may never hinder him from acknowledging
and testifying to the Truth."+F5  &Haji Siyyid
&Muhammad-Baqir died before the year sixty A.H., the year
that witnessed the birth of the Faith proclaimed by the &Bab.  
 
+F1 "The Madrisih or Persian colleges are entirely in the hands of the clergy
+F1 and there are several in every large town.  They generally consist of a
+F1 court, surrounded by buildings containing chambers for students and
+F1 masters, with a gate on one side; and frequently a garden and a well in the
+F1 centre of the court....  Many of the madrisihs have been founded and
+F1 endowed by kings or pious persons."  (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of
+F1 the History of Persia," p. 365.)  
+F2 A loose outer garment, resembling a cloak, commonly made of camel's hair.  
+F3 Worth approximately one hundred dollars, a substantial sum in those days.  
+F4 &Qur'an, 76:9.  
+F5 The &Bab, in the "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," refers to &Mulla &Husayn in these
+F5 terms:  "You, especially, know who is the first witness of that faith.  You
+F5 know that the majority of the doctors of the &Shaykhi and the &Siyyidiyyih
+F5 and other sects admired his science and his talent.  When he came to
+F5 &Isfahan the urchins of the town cried out as he passed, `Ah!  Ah! a ragged
+F5 student has just arrived!'  But behold!  This man by his proofs and
+F5 arguments convinced a Siyyid, one known for his proven scientific
+F5 knowledge, &Muhammad-Baqir!  Truly that is one of the proofs of this
+F5 Manifestation, for after the death of the Siyyid, this personage went to
+F5 see most of the doctors of &Islam and found Truth only with the Master of
+F5 Truth.  It was then that he attained the destiny which had been determined
+F5 for him.  In truth the people of the beginning and of the end of this
+F5 Manifestation envy him and will envy him until the Day of Judgment.  And
+F5 who then can accuse this master-mind of mental weakness and infidelity?"  
+F5 ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, p. 54.)  
 
+P24
He remained to his last moment a staunch supporter and
fervent admirer of Siyyid &Kazim.  
     Having fulfilled the first part of his mission, &Mulla &Husayn
despatched this written testimony of &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir
to his master in &Karbila, and directed his steps towards
&Mashhad, determined to deliver, to the best of his ability
the message which he was charged to give to &Mirza &Askari.  
Immediately the letter, enclosing the Siyyid's written declaration,
was delivered to Siyyid &Kazim, the latter was so rejoiced
that he forthwith sent to &Mulla &Husayn his reply,
expressing his grateful appreciation of the exemplary manner
in which he had discharged his trust.  He was so delighted
with the answer he had received that, interrupting the course
of his lecture, he read out, to his disciples, both the letter of
&Mulla &Husayn and the written testimony enclosed in that
letter.  He afterwards shared with them the epistle which he
himself had written to &Mulla &Husayn in recognition of the
remarkable service he had rendered him.  In it Siyyid &Kazim
paid such a glowing tribute to his high attainments, to his
ability and character that a few among those who heard it
suspected that &Mulla &Husayn was that promised One to whom
their master unceasingly referred, the One whom he so often
declared to be living in their very midst and yet to have
remained unrecognised by them all.  That communication
enjoined upon &Mulla &Husayn the fear of God, urged him to
regard it as the most potent instrument with which to withstand
the onslaught of the enemy, and the distinguishing
feature of every true follower of the Faith.  It was couched
in such terms of tender affection, that no one who read it
could doubt that the writer was bidding farewell to his beloved
disciple, and that he entertained no hope of ever meeting
him again in this world.  
     In those days Siyyid &Kazim became increasingly aware of
the approach of the Hour at which the promised One was to
be revealed.+F1  He realised how dense were those veils that
 
+F1 The &Bab in this connection reveals the following in the
+F1 "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih":  "That which he was still saying at the time of his
+F1 last journey, that which you, yourself, have heard, is it not being spoken
+F1 of?  And likewise the account of &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Akhbari which
+F1 &Abdu'l-Husayn-i-Shushtari relates?  &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Akhbari, while at
+F1 &Kazimayn, one day asked of the venerable Siyyid when the &Imam would
+F1 manifest himself.  The Siyyid looked over the assembly and said:  `You will
+F1 see him.'  &Mulla &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Haravi also related this incident in
+F1 &Isfahan."  ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas,
+F1 p. 58.)  
 
+P25
hindered the seekers from apprehending the glory of the concealed
Manifestation.  He accordingly exerted his utmost endeavour
to remove gradually, with caution and wisdom, whatever
barriers might stand in the way of the full recognition
of that Hidden Treasure of God.  He repeatedly urged his
disciples to bear in mind the fact that He whose advent they
were expecting would appear neither from &Jabulqa nor from
&Jabulsa.'+F1  He even hinted at His presence in their very midst.  
"You behold Him with your own eyes," he often observed,
"and yet recognise Him not!"  To his disciples who questioned
him regarding the signs of the Manifestation, he would
say:  "He is of noble lineage.  He is a descendant of the
Prophet of God, of the family of &Hashim.  He is young in
age, and is possessed of innate knowledge.  His learning is
derived, not from the teachings of &Shaykh &Ahmad, but from
God.  My knowledge is but a drop compared with the immensity
of His knowledge; my attainments a speck of dust
in the face of the wonders of His grace and power.  Nay,
immeasurable is the difference.  He is of medium height, abstains
from smoking, and is of extreme devoutness and piety."+F2  
Certain of the Siyyid's disciples, despite the testimonies of
their master, believed him to be the promised One, for in
him they recognised the signs to which he was alluding.  
Among them was a certain &Mulla &Mihdiy-i-Khu'i, who went
so far as to make public this belief.  Whereupon the Siyyid
was sore displeased, and would have cast him out from the
company of his chosen followers had he not begged forgiveness
and expressed his repentance for his action.  
     &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi, himself, informed me that he too
entertained such doubts, that he prayed to God that if his
supposition was well founded he should be confirmed in his
belief, and if not that he should be delivered from such idle
fancy.  "I was so perturbed," he once related to me, "that
for days I could neither eat nor sleep.  My days were spent
in the service of Siyyid &Kazim, to whom I was greatly attached.  
One day, at the hour of dawn, I was suddenly
 
+F1 See note, at the beginning of the book, on "Distinguishing Features of
+F1 &Shi'ah &Islam."  
+F2 "There seems to be conclusive evidence that Siyyid &Kazim adverted often
+F2 near the close of life to the divine Manifestation which he believed to be
+F2 at hand.  He was fond of saying, `I see him as the rising sun.'"  (Dr.
+F2 T. K. Cheyne's the Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 19.)  
 
+P26
awakened by &Mulla &Naw-ruz, one of his intimate attendants,
who, in great excitement, bade me arise and follow him.  
We went to the house of Siyyid &Kazim, where we found him
fully dressed, wearing his &aba, and ready to leave his home.  
He asked me to accompany him.  `A highly esteemed and
distinguished Person,' he said, `has arrived.  I feel it incumbent
upon us both to visit Him.'  The morning light had
just broken when I found myself walking with him through
the streets of &Karbila.  We soon reached a house, at the door
of which stood a Youth, as if expectant to receive us.  He
wore a green turban, and His countenance revealed an expression
of humility and kindliness which I can never describe.  
He quietly approached us, extended His arms towards Siyyid
&Kazim, and lovingly embraced him.  His affability and loving-kindness
singularly contrasted with the sense of profound
reverence that characterised the attitude of Siyyid &Kazim
towards him.  Speechless and with bowed head, he received
the many expressions of affection and esteem with which that
Youth greeted him.  We were soon led by Him to the upper
floor of that house, and entered a chamber bedecked with
flowers and redolent of the loveliest perfume.  He bade us
 
+P27
be seated.  We knew not, however, what seats we actually
occupied, so overpowering was the sense of delight which
seized us.  We observed a silver cup which had been placed
in the centre of the room, which our youthful Host, soon
after we were seated, filled to overflowing, and handed to
Siyyid &Kazim, saying:  `A drink of a pure beverage shall
their Lord give them.'+F1  Siyyid &Kazim held the cup with
both hands and quaffed it.  A feeling of reverent joy filled
his being, a feeling which he could not suppress.  I too was
presented with a cupful of that beverage, though no words
were addressed to me.  All that was spoken at that memorable
gathering was the above-mentioned verse of the &Qur'an.  
Soon after, the Host arose from His seat and, accompanying
us to the threshold of the house, bade us farewell.  I was
mute with wonder, and knew not how to express the cordiality
of His welcome, the dignity of His bearing, the charm of
that face, and the delicious fragrance of that beverage.  How
great was my amazement when I saw my teacher quaff
without the least hesitation that holy draught from a silver
cup, the use of which, according to the precepts of &Islam, is
forbidden to the faithful.  I could not explain the motive
which could have induced the Siyyid to manifest such profound
reverence in the presence of that Youth--a reverence
which even the sight of the shrine of the &Siyyidu'sh-Shuhada'
had failed to excite.  Three days later, I saw that same
Youth arrive and take His seat in the midst of the company
of the assembled disciples of Siyyid &Kazim.  He sat close
to the threshold, and with the same modesty and dignity of
bearing listened to the discourse of the Siyyid.  As soon as
his eyes fell upon that Youth, the Siyyid discontinued his
address and held his peace.  Whereupon one of his disciples
begged him to resume the argument which he had left unfinished.  
`What more shall I say?' replied Siyyid &Kazim, as
he turned his face toward the &Bab.  `Lo, the Truth is more
manifest than the ray of light that has fallen upon that lap!'  
I immediately observed that the ray to which the Siyyid
referred had fallen upon the lap of that same Youth whom
we had recently visited.  `Why is it,' that questioner enquired,
`that you neither reveal His name nor identify His
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 76:21.  
 
+P28
person?'  To this the Siyyid replied by pointing with his
finger to his own throat, implying that were he to divulge
His name, they both would be put to death instantly.  This
added still further to my perplexity.  I had already heard my
teacher observe that so great is the perversity of this generation,
that were he to point with his finger to the promised
One and say:  `He indeed is the Beloved, the Desire of your
hearts and mine,' they would still fail to recognise and acknowledge
Him.  I saw the Siyyid actually point out with
his finger the ray of light that had fallen on that lap, and
yet none among those who were present seemed to apprehend
 
+P29
its meaning.  I, for my part, was convinced that the Siyyid
himself could never be the promised One, but that a mystery
inscrutable to us all, lay concealed in that strange and attractive
Youth.  Several times I ventured to approach Siyyid
&Kazim and seek from him an elucidation of this mystery.  
Every time I approached him, I was overcome by a sense of
awe which his personality so powerfully inspired.  Many a
time I heard him remark:  `O &Shaykh &Hasan, rejoice that
your name is &Hasan [praiseworthy]; &Hasan your beginning,
and &Hasan your end.  You have been privileged to attain
to the day of &Shaykh &Ahmad, you have been closely associated
 
+P30
with me, and in the days to come yours shall be the
inestimable joy of beholding "what eye hath seen not, ear
heard not, nor any heart conceived."'  
     "I often felt the urge to seek alone the presence of that
&Hashimite Youth and to endeavour to fathom His mystery.  
I watched Him several times as He stood in an attitude of
prayer at the doorway of the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn.  
So wrapt was He in His devotions that He seemed utterly
oblivious of those around Him.  Tears rained from His eyes,
and from His lips fell words of glorification and praise of
such power and beauty as even the noblest passages of our
Sacred Scriptures could not hope to surpass.  The words `O
God, my God, my Beloved, my heart's Desire' were uttered
with a frequency and ardour that those of the visiting pilgrims
who were near enough to hear Him instinctively interrupted
the course of their devotions, and marvelled at the
evidences of piety and veneration which that youthful countenance
evinced.  Like Him they were moved to tears, and
from Him they learned the lesson of true adoration.  Having
completed His prayers, that Youth, without crossing the
threshold of the shrine and without attempting to address
any words to those around Him, would quietly return to
His home.  I felt the impulse to address Him, but every
time I ventured an approach, a force that I could neither
explain nor resist, detained me.  My enquiries about Him
elicited the information that He was a resident of &Shiraz,
that He was a merchant by profession, and did not belong
to any of the ecclesiastical orders.  I was, moreover, informed
that He, and also His uncles and relatives, were among the
lovers and admirers of &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.  
Soon after, I learned that He had departed for Najaf on His
way to &Shiraz.  That Youth had set my heart aflame.  The
memory of that vision haunted me.  My soul was wedded to
His till the day when the call of a Youth from &Shiraz, proclaiming
Himself to be the &Bab, reached my ears.  The thought
instantly flashed through my mind that such a person could
be none other than that selfsame Youth whom I had seen in
&Karbila, the Youth of my heart's desire.  
     "When later on I journeyed from &Karbila to &Shiraz, I
found that He had set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca and
 
+P31
Medina.  I met Him on His return and endeavoured, despite
the many obstacles in my way, to remain in close association
with Him.  When subsequently He was incarcerated in the
fortress of &Mah-Ku, in the province of &Adhirbayjan, I was
engaged in transcribing the verses which He dictated to His
amanuensis.  Every night, for a period of nine months, during
which He was a prisoner in that fort, He revealed, after He
had offered His evening prayer, a commentary on a &juz'+F1 of
the &Qur'an.  At the end of each month a commentary on
the whole of that sacred Book was thus completed.  During
His incarceration in &Mah-Ku, nine commentaries on the whole
of the &Qur'an had been revealed by Him.  The texts of these
commentaries were entrusted, in &Tabriz, to the keeping of a
certain Siyyid &Ibrahim-i-Khalil, who was instructed to conceal
them until the time for their publication might arrive.  
Their fate is unknown until now.  
     "In connection with one of these commentaries, the &Bab
one day asked me:  `Which do you prefer, this commentary
which I have revealed, or the &Ahsanu'l-Qisas, My previous
commentary on the &Surih of Joseph?  Which of the two is
superior, in your estimation?'  `To me,' I replied, `the &Ahsanu'l-Qisas
seems to be endowed with greater power and charm.'
He smiled at my observation and said:  `You are as yet unfamiliar
with the tone and tenor of this later commentary.  
The truths enshrined in this will more speedily and effectively
enable the seeker to attain the object of his quest.'  
     "I continued to be closely associated with Him until that
great encounter of &Shaykh &Tabarsi.  When informed of that
event, the &Bab directed all His companions to hasten to that
spot, and extend every assistance in their power to &Quddus,
His heroic and distinguished disciple.  Addressing me one
day, He said:  `But for My incarceration in the &Jabal-i-Shadid,
the fortress of &Chihriq, it would have been incumbent
upon Me to lend My personal assistance to My beloved
&Quddus.  Participation in that struggle is not enjoined upon
you.  You should proceed to &Karbila and should abide in
that holy city, inasmuch as you are destined to behold, with
your own eyes, the beauteous countenance of the promised
&Husayn.  As you gaze upon that radiant face, do also remember
 
+F1 A &juz' is one-thirtieth of the &Qur'an.  
 
+P32
Me.  Convey to Him the expression of My loving
devotion.'  He again emphatically added these words:  `Verily
I say, I have entrusted you with a great mission.  Beware
lest your heart grow faint, lest you forget the glory with
which I have invested you.'  
     "Soon after, I journeyed to &Karbila and lived, as bidden,
in that holy city.  Fearing that my prolonged stay in that
centre of pilgrimage might excite suspicion, I decided to
marry.  I started to earn my livelihood as a scribe.  What
afflictions befell me at the hands of the &Shaykhis, those who
professed to be the followers of &Shaykh &Ahmad and yet failed
to recognise the &Bab!  Mindful of the counsels of that beloved
Youth, I patiently submitted to the indignities inflicted
upon me.  For two years I lived in that city.  Meanwhile
that holy Youth was released from His earthly prison and,
through His martyrdom, was delivered from the atrocious
cruelties that had beset the closing years of His life.  
     "Sixteen lunar months, less twenty and two days, had
elapsed since the day of the martyrdom of the &Bab, when,
on the day of &Arafih,+F1 in the year 1267 A.H.,+F2 while I was
passing by the gate of the inner courtyard of the shrine of
the &Imam &Husayn, my eyes, for the first time, fell upon
&Baha'u'llah.  What shall I recount regarding the countenance
which I beheld!  The beauty of that face, those exquisite
features which no pen or brush dare describe, His penetrating
glance, His kindly face, the majesty of His bearing, the sweetness
of His smile, the luxuriance of His jet-black flowing locks,
left an indelible impression upon my soul.  I was then an old
man, bowed with age.  How lovingly He advanced towards
me!  He took me by the hand and, in a tone which at once
betrayed power and beauty, addressed me in these words:  
`This very day I have purposed to make you known as a
&Babi throughout &Karbila.'  Still holding my hand in His, He
continued to converse with me.  He walked with me all along
the market-street, and in the end He said:  `Praise be to God
that you have remained in &Karbila, and have beheld with
your own eyes the countenance of the promised &Husayn.'  I
recalled instantly the promise which had been given me by
 
+F1 The ninth day of the month of &Dhi'l-Hijjih.  
+F2 October 5, 1851 A.D.  
 
+P33
the &Bab.  His words, which I had regarded as referring to a
remote future, I had not shared with anyone.  These words
of &Baha'u'llah moved me to the depths of my being.  I felt
impelled to proclaim to a heedless people, at that very moment
and with all my soul and power, the advent of the
promised &Husayn.  He bade me, however, repress my feelings
and conceal my emotions.  `Not yet,' He breathed into my
ears; `the appointed Hour is approaching.  It has not yet
struck.  Rest assured and be patient.'  From that moment
all my sorrows vanished.  My soul was flooded with joy.  In
those days I was so poor that most of the time I hungered
for food.  I felt so rich, however, that all the treasures of the
earth melted away into nothingness when compared with that
which I already possessed.  `Such is the grace of God; to
whom He will, He giveth it:  He, verily, is of immense
bounty.'"  
     I now return, after this digression, to my theme.  I had
been referring to the eagerness with which Siyyid &Kazim had
determined to rend asunder those veils which intervened between
the people of his day and the recognition of the promised
Manifestation.  In the introductory pages of his works, entitled
&Sharh-i-Qasidih and &Sharh-i-Khutbih,+F1 he, in veiled
language, alludes to the blessed name of &Baha'u'llah.  In a
booklet, the last he wrote, he explicitly mentions the name
of the &Bab by his reference to the term "&Dhikru'llah-i-A'zam."  
In it he writes:  "Addressing this noble `&Dhikr,'+F2 this mighty
voice of God, I say:  `I am apprehensive of the people, lest
they harm you.  I am apprehensive of my own self, lest I
too may hurt you.  I fear you, I tremble at your authority,
I dread the age in which you live.  Were I to treasure you
 
+F1 Chapter 2 of A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," II, is entirely
+F1 devoted to a detailed enumeration of the hundred and thirty-five works
+F1 composed by Siyyid &Kazim, among which the following are of outstanding
+F1 interest:  
          1.  &Sharh-i-Khutbiy-i-Tutunjiyyih.  
          2.  &Sharh-i-Qasidih.  
          3.  &Tafsirih &Ayatu'l-Kursi.  
          4.  Dar &Asrar-i-Shihihadat-i-Imam &Husayn.  
          5.  Cosmography.  
          6.  &Dalilu'l-Mutahayyirin.  
+F1 His works are said to exceed 300 volumes.  ("A Traveller's Narrative,"
+F1 Note E, p. 238.)  
+F2 "&Dhikr" means "mention," "remembrance."  
 
+P34
as the apple of my eye until the Day of Resurrection, I would
not sufficiently have proved my devotion to you.'"+F1  
     How grievously Siyyid &Kazim suffered at the hands of the
people of wickedness!  What harm that villainous generation
inflicted upon him!  For years he suffered silently, and endured
with heroic patience all the indignities, the calumnies,
the denunciations that were heaped upon him.  He was destined,
however, to witness, during the last years of his life,
how the avenging hand of God "destroyed with utter destruction"
those that opposed, vilified, and plotted against him.  
In those days the followers of Siyyid &Ibrahim, that notorious
enemy of Siyyid &Kazim, banded themselves together for the
purpose of stirring up sedition and mischief and endangering
the life of their formidable adversary.  By every means at
their disposal, they sought to poison the minds of his admirers
and friends, to undermine his authority, and to discredit his
name.  No voice was raised in protest against the agitation
that was being sedulously prepared by that ungodly and
treacherous people, each of whom professed to be the exponent
of true learning and the repository of the mysteries of the
 
+F1 A. L. M. Nicolas quotes in Chapter 3 of his "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," II,
+F1 p. 43, the following extract from the &Sharh-i-Qasidih of Siyyid &Kazim:  
+F1 "I have announced that every hundred years there are a chosen few who
+F1 spread and sow the precepts which explain that which is lawful and that
+F1 which is unlawful; who tell of the things that were hidden during the
+F1 hundred preceding years.  In other words, in every century a learned and
+F1 perfect man is found who causes the tree of religious law to revive and
+F1 bloom; who regenerates its trunk to such an extent that at last the book
+F1 of Creation comes to its end in a period of twelve hundred years.  At that
+F1 moment, a certain number of perfect men will appear who will reveal certain
+F1 very intimate things which were hidden....  Therefore, when the twelve
+F1 hundred years will have been completed, when the first cycle is ended,
+F1 which depended upon the appearance of the Sun of the Prophet and of the
+F1 Moon of the &Vilayat, then the influence of that cycle is ended and a
+F1 second cycle begins in which the intimate precepts and hidden meanings of
+F1 the former cycle are explained."  He himself then adds these words:  "In
+F1 other words, and in order to render clearer this amazing statement which
+F1 truly needs no interpretation, Siyyid &Kazim tells us that the first cycle
+F1 which lasts twelve hundred years is solely for the education of the bodies
+F1 and of the spirits which are dependent upon them.  It is like a child in
+F1 the womb of the mother.  The second cycle is for the education of the pure
+F1 spirits, the souls which have no relation to the world of matter.  It is
+F1 as though God wished to elevate the spirit by means of the performance of
+F1 its duty in this world.  Therefore, when the first cycle is completed, the
+F1 glory of which is the name of &Muhammad, comes the cycle of the education
+F1 of the intimates.  In this cycle the appearances obey the intimates, just
+F1 as in the preceding cycle the heavenly name of the Prophet, which is
+F1 &Ahmad, is the place of the appearance, the Master:  `But this name must
+F1 necessarily be found to be of the fruit of the best soil and of the purest
+F1 air.'"  Nicolas further adds in a footnote the following words:  "The name
+F1 of &Ahmad mentioned above would lead one to believe that it refers to
+F1 &Shaykh &Ahmad, but one cannot say, however, in speaking of &Lahca, that
+F1 it is the best of lands, or of the purest air.  We know, on the contrary,
+F1 that all the Persian poets sing the praises of &Shiraz and of its ideal
+F1 climate.  It is only necessary to see what &Shaykh &Ahmad himself said of
+F1 his country."  
 
+P35
Faith of God.  No one sought to warn or awaken them.  
They gathered such force and kindled such strife that they
succeeded in evicting from &Karbila, in a disgraceful manner,
the representative official of the Ottoman government, and
appropriated for their own sordid aims whatever revenues
accrued to him.  Their menacing attitude aroused the central
government at Constantinople, which despatched a military
official to the scene of agitation, with full instructions to
quench the fires of mischief.  With the force at his command,
that official besieged the city, and despatched a communication
to Siyyid &Kazim in which he entreated him to pacify the
minds of the excited populace.  He appealed to him to counsel
moderation to its inhabitants, to induce them to relax their
stubbornness, and to surrender voluntarily to his rule.  Were
they to heed his counsels, he promised that he would undertake
to ensure their safety and protection, would proclaim a
general amnesty, and would strive to promote their welfare.  
If they refused, however, to submit, he warned them that
their lives would be in danger, that a great calamity would
surely befall them.  
     Upon the receipt of this formal communication, Siyyid
&Kazim summoned to his presence the chief instigators of the
movement, and, with the utmost wisdom and affection, exhorted
them to cease their agitation and surrender their arms.  
He spoke with such persuasive eloquence, such sincerity and
detachment, that their hearts were softened and their resistance
was subdued.  They solemnly undertook to throw open,
the next morning, the gates of the citadel and to present
themselves, in the company of Siyyid &Kazim, to the officer
in command of the besieging forces.  It was agreed that the
Siyyid would intervene in their behalf, and secure for them
whatever would ensure their tranquillity and welfare.  No
sooner had they left the presence of the Siyyid than the
&ulamas, the chief instigators of the rebellion, unanimously
arose to frustrate this plan.  Fully aware that such intervention
on the part of the Siyyid, who had already excited their
envy, would serve to enhance his prestige and consolidate his
authority, they determined to persuade a number among the
foolish and excitable elements of the population to sally forth
at night and attack the forces of the enemy.  They assured
 
+P36
them of victory on the strength of a dream in which one of
their members had seen &Abbas,+F1 who had charged him to
incite his followers to wage holy war against the besiegers
and had given him the promise of ultimate success.  
     Deluded by this vain promise, they rejected the advice
tendered by that wise and judicious counsellor, and arose to
execute the designs of their foolish leaders.  Siyyid &Kazim,
who was well aware of the evil influence that actuated that
revolt, addressed a detailed and faithful report on the situation
to the Turkish commander, who again wrote to Siyyid
&Kazim and reiterated his appeal for a peaceful settlement of
the issue.  He, moreover, declared that at a given time he
would force the gates of the citadel, and would regard the
home of the Siyyid as the only place of refuge for a defeated
enemy.  This declaration the Siyyid caused to be spread
throughout the city.  It served only to excite the derision
and contempt of the population.  When informed of the reception
accorded that declaration, the Siyyid remarked:  
"Verily, that with which they are threatened is for the morning.  
Is not the morning near?"+F2  
     At daybreak, the appointed hour, the forces of the enemy
bombarded the ramparts of the citadel, demolished its walls,
entered the city, and pillaged and massacred a considerable
number of its population.  Many fled in consternation to the
courtyard of the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn.  Others sought
refuge in the sanctuary of &Abbas.  Those who loved and
honoured Siyyid &Kazim betook themselves to his home.  So
great was the crowd that hastened to the shelter of his residence,
that it was found necessary to appropriate a number
of the adjoining houses in order to accommodate the multitude
of refugees who pressed at his doors.  So vast and excited
was the concourse that thronged his house, that when once
the tumult had subsided, it was ascertained that no less than
twenty-two persons had been trampled to death.  
     What consternation seized the residents and visitors of
the holy city!  With what severity did the victors treat their
terrified enemy!  With what audacity they ignored those
sacred rights and prerogatives with which the piety of countless
Muslim pilgrims had invested the holy sites of &Karbila!  
 
+F1 Brother of the &Imam &Husayn.  
+F2 &Qur'an, 11:81.  
 
+P37
They refused to recognise alike the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn
and the sacred mausoleum of &Abbas as inviolable sanctuaries
for the thousands who fled before the avenging wrath of an
alien people.  The hallowed precincts of both these shrines
ran with the blood of the victims.  One place, and only one,
could assert its right of sanctuary to the innocent and faithful
among the population.  That place was the residence of
Siyyid &Kazim.  His house, with its dependencies, was regarded
as being endowed with such sanctity as even the most hallowed
shrine of &shi'ah &Islam had failed to retain.  That strange
manifestation of the avenging wrath of God was an object
lesson to those who were inclined to belittle the station of
that holy man.  That memorable event+F1 happened on the
eighth of &Dhi'l-Hijjih in the year 1258 A.H.+F2  
     It is admittedly evident that in every age and dispensation
those whose mission it is either to proclaim the Truth or to
prepare the way for its acceptance, have invariably been opposed
by a number of powerful adversaries, who challenged
their authority and attempted to pervert their teachings.  
These have, either by fraud or pretence, calumny or oppression,
succeeded for a time in beguiling the uninformed and in
 
+F1   A. L. M. Nicolas, in his "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," II, pp. 29-30,
+F1 describes the event as follows:  
+F1   "It was in the year 1258 (1842) that this event took place, on the day of
+F1 the Feast of Qadr.  The armies of &Baghdad, under the leadership of &Najib
+F1 &Pasha, took possession of &Karbila whose inhabitants they massacred and
+F1 whose rich Mosques they pillaged.  About nine thousand people were killed,
+F1 the majority of whom were Persians.  &Muhammad &Shah was seriously ill at
+F1 the time of this disaster and therefore his officials had kept the news
+F1 from him.  
+F1   "When the &Shah heard later on of these events, he grew furiously angry
+F1 and swore fierce vengeance, but the Russian and English representatives
+F1 intervened in order to quiet things.  Finally &Mirza &Ja'far &Khan
+F1 &Mushiru'd-Dawlih, on return from his ambassadorship at Constantinople, was
+F1 sent to Erzeroum there to meet the English, Russian and Ottoman delegates.  
+F1   "Having arrived at &Tabriz, the Persian plenipotentiary fell ill and
+F1 &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi appointed in his place &Mirza &Taqi &Khan-i-Farahani,
+F1 &Vazir &Nizam:  this man appeared in Erzeroum with two hundred officers.  
+F1   "The Turkish delegate was Anvar Effendi who showed himself both courteous
+F1 and conciliatory, but one of the men of the &Amir &Nizam committed an
+F1 offense against the Sunnite religion; the population then attacked the camp
+F1 of the Ambassador, two or three Persians were killed, everything was
+F1 pillaged and the &Amir &Nizam was saved only through the intervention of
+F1 &Badri &Pasha.  
+F1   "The Turkish Government expressed regret and paid an indemnity of 15,000
+F1 &tumans.  
+F1   "In his &Hidayatut-Talibin, &Karim &Khan asserts that during the sack of
+F1 &Karbila, the victorious troops respected the homes of the &Shaykhis.  All
+F1 those, he said, who sought refuge in them were saved, together with many
+F1 precious objects which were gathered there.  None of the companions of
+F1 Siyyid &Kazim were killed, while those who had sought refuge in the holy
+F1 sepulchres were massacred without mercy.  It is said that the &Pasha
+F1 entered on horseback within the sacred precincts."  
+F2 January 10, 1843 A.D.  
 
+P38
misleading the feeble.  Desirous of maintaining their hold
over the thoughts and consciences of men, they have, so long
as the Faith of God remained concealed, been able to enjoy
the fruits of a fleeting and precarious ascendancy.  No sooner
was the Faith proclaimed, however, than they found, to their
utter dismay, the effects of their dark plottings pale before
the dawning light of the new Day of God.  Before the fierce
rays of that rising Orb all their machinations and evil deeds
faded into nothingness and were soon a thing forgotten.  
     Around Siyyid &Kazim were likewise gathered a number of
vain and ignoble people who feigned devotion and attachment
to his person; who professed to be devout and pious, and who
claimed to be the sole repositories of the mysteries enshrined
in the utterances of &Shaykh &Ahmad and his successor.  They
occupied the seats of honour in the company of the assembled
disciples of Siyyid &Kazim.  To them he addressed his discourse,
and towards them he showed marked consideration
and courtesy.  And yet he often, in covert and subtle phrases,
I alluded to their blindness, their vainglory and utter inaptitude
for the apprehension of the mysteries of Divine utterance.  
Among his allusions were the following:  "None can comprehend
my language except him who is begotten of me."  Oftentimes
he quoted this saying:  "I am spellbound by the vision.  
I am mute with wonder, and behold the world bereft of the
power of hearing.  I am powerless to divulge the mystery,
and find the people incapable of bearing its weight."  On another
occasion he remarked:  "Many are those who claim to
have attained union with the Beloved, and yet that Beloved
refuses to acknowledge their claim.  By the tears which he
sheds for his loved One can the true lover be distinguished
from the false."  Many a time he observed:  "He who is
destined to be made manifest after me is of pure lineage, of
illustrious descent, of the seed of &Fatimih.  He is of medium
height, and is free from bodily deficiency."+F1  
 
+F1   A. L. M. Nicolas, in his "Essai sur le &Shaykhisme," Il, pp. 60-61, gives
+F1 the following extract from the writings of Siyyid &Kazim:  "You have
+F1 understood, I think, that the religious law and the precepts of morality
+F1 are the food of the Spirit.  It is then necessary that these religious laws
+F1 be diverse; it is necessary that sometimes the older regulations be
+F1 annulled; it is necessary that these precepts contain some things which are
+F1 doubtful and some things which are certain; some things general and some
+F1 things specific; some things absolute and some things finite; some of
+F1 appearances and some of inner realities, so that the child may reach
+F1 adolescence and may be perfect in his power and his capacity.  
+F1   "It is, at that time, that the &Qa'im will appear and after his
+F1 manifestation the length of his days will come to an end and he will be
+F1 martyred, and when he is martyred, the world will have reached its
+F1 eighteenth year."  
 
+P39
     I have heard &Shaykh &Abu-Turab+F1 recount the following:  
"I, together with a number of the disciples of Siyyid &Kazim,
regarded the allusions to these deficiencies, from which the
Siyyid declared the promised One to be free, as specifically
directed toward three individuals amongst our fellow-disciples.  
We even designated them by such appellations as indicated
their bodily defects.  One of them was &Haji &Mirza &Karim
&Khan,+F2 son of &Ibrahim &Khan-i-Qajar-i-Kirmani, who was both
one-eyed and sparsely bearded.  Another was &Mirza &Hasan-i-Gawhar,
an exceptionally corpulent man.  The third was
&Mirza &Muhit-i-Sha'ir-i-Kirmani, who was extraordinarily lean
and tall.  We felt convinced that these were none other than
those to whom the Siyyid constantly alluded as those vain
and faithless people who would eventually reveal their real
selves, and betray their ingratitude and folly.  As to &Haji
&Mirza &Karim &Khan, who for years sat at the feet of Siyyid
&Kazim and acquired from him all his so-called learning, in
the end he obtained leave from his master to settle in &Kirman,
and there engage in the promotion of the interests of &Islam
and the dissemination of those traditions that clustered round
the sacred memory of the &Imams of the Faith.  
     "I was present in the library of Siyyid &Kazim when, one
day, an attendant of &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan arrived, holding
a book in his hand, which he presented to the Siyyid on
behalf of his master, requesting him to peruse it and to signify
in his own handwriting his approval of its contents.  The
Siyyid read portions of that book, and returned it to the
attendant with this message:  `Tell your master that he,
better than anyone else, can estimate the value of his own
book.'  The attendant had retired when the Siyyid, with sorrowful
voice, remarked:  `Accursed be he!  For years he has
been associated with me, and now that he intends to depart,
his one aim, after so many years of study and companionship,
 
+F1 According to Samandar (p. 32), &Shaykh &Abu-Turab was a native of
+F1 &Ishhtihad, and ranked among the leading disciples of Siyyid &Kazim.  He
+F1 married the sister of &Mulla &Husayn.  He died while in prison in &Tihran.  
+F2 "The &Bab wrote to &Haji &Muhammad-Karim &Khan ... and invited him to
+F2 acknowledge his authority.  This the latter not only entirely refused to
+F2 do, but further wrote a treatise against the &Bab and his doctrines."  (P.
+F2 910.)  "At least two such treatises were written by &Haji &Muhammad-Karim
+F2 &Khan.  One of them was composed at a later date than this, probably after
+F2 the &Bab's death, at the special request of &Nasiri'd-Din &Shah.  Of these
+F2 two one has been printed, and is called `the crushing of falsehood'
+F2 (&Izhaqu'l-Batil)."  (Footnote 1, p. 910.)  (Journal of the Royal Asiatic
+F2 Society, 1889, article 12.)  
 
+P40
is to diffuse, through his book, such heretical and atheistic
doctrines as he now wishes me to endorse.  He has covenanted
with a number of self-seeking hypocrites with the view of
establishing himself in &Kirman, and in order to assume, after
my departure from this world, the reins of undisputed leadership.  
How grievously he erred in his judgment!  For the
breeze of divine Revelation, wafted from the Day-Spring
of guidance, will assuredly quench his light and destroy his influence.  
The tree of his endeavour will eventually yield
naught but the fruit of bitter disillusion and gnawing remorse.  
Verily I say, you shall behold this with your own eyes.  My
prayer for you is that you may be protected from the mischievous
influence which he, the antichrist of the promised
Revelation, will in future exercise.'  He bade me conceal this
prediction until the Day of Resurrection, the Day when the
Hand of Omnipotence will have disclosed the secrets which
are now hidden within the breasts of men.  `On that Day,'
he exhorted me, `arise with unswerving purpose and determination
for the triumph of the Faith of God.  Publish far and
wide all that you have heard and witnessed.'"  This same
&Shaykh &Abu-Turab, who in the early days of the Dispensation
proclaimed by the &Bab thought it wiser and better not
to identify himself with His Cause, cherished in his heart the
fondest love for the revealed Manifestation, and in his faith
remained firm and immovable as the rock.  Eventually that
smouldering fire blazed forth in his soul and was responsible
for such behaviour on his part as to cause him to suffer imprisonment
in &Tihran, in the same dungeon within which
&Baha'u'llah was confined.  He remained steadfast to the very
end, and crowned a life of loving sacrifice with the glory of
martyrdom.  
     And as the days of Siyyid &Kazim drew to a close, he, whenever
he met his disciples, whether in private converse or public
discourse, exhorted them, saying:  "O my beloved companions!  
Beware, beware, lest after me the world's fleeting vanities
beguile you.  Beware lest you wax haughty and forgetful of
God.  It is incumbent upon you to renounce all comfort,
all earthly possessions and kindred, in your quest of Him
who is the Desire of your hearts and of mine.  Scatter far
and wide, detach yourselves from all earthly things, and
 
+P41
humbly and prayerfully beseech your Lord to sustain and
guide you.  Never relax in your determination to seek and
find Him who is concealed behind the veils of glory.  Persevere
till the time when He, who is your true Guide and
Master, will graciously aid you and enable you to recognise
Him.  Be firm till the day when He will choose you as the
companions and the heroic supporters
of the promised &Qa'im.  
Well is it with every one of
you who will quaff the cup of
martyrdom in His path.  Those
of you whom God, in His wisdom,
will preserve and keep
to witness the setting of the
Star of Divine guidance, that
Harbinger of the Sun of Divine
Revelation, must needs be patient,
must remain assured and
steadfast.  Such ones amongst
you must neither falter nor
feel dismayed.  For soon after
the first trumpet-blast which
is to smite the earth with extermination
and death, there
shall be sounded again yet another
call, at which all things
will be quickened and revived.  
Then will the meaning of these
sacred verses be revealed:  `And
there was a blast on the trumpet,
and all who are in the heavens and all who are in
the earth expired, save those whom God permitted to live.  
Then was there sounded another blast, and, lo! arising, they
gazed around them.  And the earth shone with the light of
her Lord, and the Book was set, and the Prophets were
brought up, and the witnesses; and judgment was given between
them with equity; and none was wronged.'+F1  Verily I
say, after the &Qa'im the &Qayyum+F2 will be made manifest.  For
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 39:68.  
+F2 References to the &Bab and to &Baha'u'llah, respectively.  
 
+P42
when the star of the Former has set, the sun of the beauty
of &Husayn will rise and illuminate the whole world.  Then
will be unfolded in all its glory the `mystery' and the `secret'
spoken of by &Shaykh &Ahmad, who has said:  `The mystery
of this Cause must needs be made manifest, and the secret
of this Message must needs be divulged.'  To have attained
unto that Day of days is to have attained unto the crowning
glory of past generations, and one goodly deed performed in
that age is equal to the pious worship of countless centuries.  
How often has that venerable soul, &Shaykh &Ahmad, recited
those verses of the &Qur'an already referred to!  What stress
he laid upon their significance as foreshadowing the advent
of those twin Revelations which are to follow each other in
rapid succession, and each of which is destined to suffuse
the world with all its glory!  How many times did he exclaim:  
`Well is it with him who will recognise their significance and
behold their splendour!'  How often, addressing me, did he
remark:  `Neither of us shall live to gaze upon their effulgent
glory.  But many of the faithful among your disciples shall
witness the Day which we, alas, can never hope to behold!'  
O my beloved companions!  How great, how very great, is
the Cause!  How exalted the station to which I summon you!  
How great the mission for which I have trained and prepared
you!  Gird up the loins of endeavour, and fix your gaze upon
His promise.  I pray to God graciously to assist you to
weather the storms of tests and trials which must needs beset
you, to enable you to emerge, unscathed and triumphant,
from their midst, and to lead you to your high destiny."  
     Every year, in the month of &Dhi'l-Qa'dih, the Siyyid
would proceed from &Karbila to &Kazimayn+F1 in order to visit
the shrines of the &imams.  He would return to &Karbila in
time to visit, on the day of &Arafih, the shrine of the &Imam
&Husayn.  In that year, the last year of his life, he, faithful
to his custom, departed from &Karbila in the first days of the
month of &Dhi'l-Qa'dih, in the year 1259 A.H.,+F2 accompanied
by a number of his companions and friends.  On the fourth
day of that month he arrived at the &Masjid-i-Baratha, situated
 
+F1 The tombs of "the two &Kazims," the seventh &Imam &Musa &Kazim and the
+F1 ninth &Imam &Muhammad-Taqi, about three miles north of &Baghdad.  Around
+F1 them has grown up a considerable town, inhabited chiefly by Persians, known
+F1 as "&Kazimayn."  
+F2 November 23--December 23, 1843 A.D.  
 
+P43
on the highway between &Baghdad and &Kazimayn, in
time to offer up his noonday prayer.  He bade the &Muadhdhin
summon the faithful to gather and pray.  Standing beneath
the shade of a palm which faced the masjid, he joined the
congregation, and had just concluded his devotions when an
Arab suddenly appeared, approached the Siyyid, and embraced
him.  "Three days ago," he said, "I was shepherding
my flock in this adjoining pasture, when sleep suddenly fell
upon me.  In my dream I saw &Muhammad, the Apostle of
God, who addressed me in these words:  `Give ear, O shepherd,
to My words, and treasure them within your heart.  For
these words of Mine are the trust of God which I commit to
your keeping.  If you be faithful to them, great will be your
reward.  If you neglect them, grievous retribution will befall
you.  Hear Me; this is the trust with which I charge you:  
Stay within the precincts of the &Masjid-i-Baratha.  On the
third day after this dream, a scion of My house, Siyyid &Kazim
by name, will, accompanied by his friends and companions,
 
+P44
alight, at the hour of noon, beneath the shadow of the palm
in the vicinity of the masjid.  There he will offer his prayer.  
As soon as your eyes fall upon him, seek his presence and
convey to him My loving greetings.  Tell him, from Me:  
"Rejoice, for the hour of your departure is at hand.  When
you shall have performed your visits in &Kazimayn and shall
have returned to &Karbila, there, three days after your return,
on the day of &Arafih,+F1 you will wing your flight to Me.  Soon
after shall He who is the Truth be made manifest.  Then
 
+F1 December 31, 1843 A.D.  
 
+P45
shall the world be illuminated by the light of His face."'"  
A smile wreathed the countenance of Siyyid &Kazim upon the
completion of the description of the dream related by that
shepherd.  He said:  "Of the truth of the dream which you
have dreamt there is no doubt."  His companions were sorely
grieved.  Turning to them, he said:  "Is not your love for
me for the sake of that true One whose advent we all await?  
Would you not wish me to die, that the promised One may
be revealed?"  This episode, in its entirety, has been related
to me by no less than ten persons, all of whom were present
on that occasion, and who testified to its accuracy.  And yet
many of those who witnessed with their own eyes such marvellous
signs have rejected the Truth and repudiated His
Message!  
     This strange event was noised abroad.  It brought sadness
to the heart of the true lovers of Siyyid &Kazim.  To
these he, with infinite tenderness and joy, addressed words
of cheer and comfort.  He calmed their troubled hearts, fortified
their faith, and inflamed their zeal.  With dignity and
calm he completed his pilgrimage and returned to &Karbila.  
The very day of his arrival he fell ill, and was confined to bed.  
His enemies spread the rumour that he had been poisoned
by the Governor of &Baghdad.  This was sheer calumny and
downright falsehood, inasmuch as the Governor himself had
placed his unqualified confidence in Siyyid &Kazim, and had
always regarded him as a highly talented leader endowed
with keen perception and possessed of irreproachable character.+F1  
On the day of &Arafih, in the year 1259 A.H., at the
ripe age of sixty, Siyyid &Kazim, in accordance with the vision
of that lowly shepherd, bade farewell to this world, leaving
behind him a band of earnest and devoted disciples who,
purged of all worldly desire, set out in quest of their promised
Beloved.  His sacred remains were interred within the precincts
of the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn.+F2  His passing raised
 
+F1 "&Karim &Khan, regarding the taking of &Karbila, speaks emphatically of
+F1 the respect which the attacking troops showed to the &Shaykhis and to
+F1 Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti.  He declares, without the least hesitation, that it
+F1 is very likely that Siyyid &Kazim was poisoned in &Baghdad by this infamous
+F1 &Najib &Pasha who, he says, gave him a potion to drink which caused such
+F1 intense thirst that it brought about the death of Siyyid &Kazim.  It is
+F1 thus that the Persians record history!"  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le
+F1 &Shaykhisme," II, pp. 30-31.)  
+F2 "He was buried behind the window in the corridor of the tomb of the Lord
+F2 of the Confessors.  This tomb was built on an incline toward the interior
+F2 of the forbidden precincts."  (Ibid., p. 31.)  
 
+P46
a tumult in &Karbila similar to the agitation that seized its
people the preceding year,+F1 on the eve of the day of &Arafih,
when the victorious enemy forced the gates of the citadel and
massacred a considerable number of its besieged inhabitants.  
A year before, on that day, his house had been the one haven
of peace and security for the bereaved and homeless, whereas
now it had become a house of sorrow where those whom he had
befriended and succoured bewailed his passing and
mourned his loss.+F2  
 
+F1 "During the lifetime of Siyyid &Kazim, the doctrine of the &Shaykhis
+F1 spread over all Persia so well that in the Province of &Iraq alone there
+F1 were more than a hundred thousand &murids."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome
+F1 7, p. 463.)  
+F2 "Here ends the history of the establishment of &Shaykhism, or at least of
+F2 its unity, for, after the death of Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti, it became
+F2 divided into two branches.  One branch, under the name of &Babism, flowered
+F2 as foreshadowed by the strength of the movement created by &Shaykh &Ahmad,
+F2 thus fulfilling the expectations of the two masters, if one may believe
+F2 their predictions.  The other, under the leadership of &Karim
+F2 &Khan-i-Qajar-i-Kirmani, will continue its struggles against the &Shiite
+F2 sect, but will always seek security in affecting the outer appearance
+F2 &Ithna-'Asharisme.  If, according to &Karim &Khan, the &Bab and his
+F2 followers are infamous and impious, for the &Babis, &Karim &Khan is the
+F2 Anti-Christ or &Dajjal foretold by &Muhammad."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai
+F2 sur le &Shaykhisme," II, p. 31.)  
 
+P47
                         CHAPTER III
             THE DECLARATION OF THE &BAB'S MISSION
 
     THE death of Siyyid &Kazim was the signal for renewed
activity on the part of his enemies.  Athirst
for leadership, and emboldened by his removal and
the consequent dismay of his followers, they reasserted
their claims and prepared to realise their ambitions.  
For a time, fear and anxiety filled the hearts of Siyyid &Kazim's
faithful disciples, but with the return of &Mulla &Husayn-i-Bushru'i
from the highly successful mission with which he
had been entrusted by his teacher, their gloom was dispelled.+F1  
     It was on the first day of &Muharram, in the year 1260 A.H.,+F2
that &Mulla &Husayn came back to &Karbila.  He cheered and
strengthened the disconsolate disciples of his beloved chief,
reminded them of his unfailing promise, and pleaded for unrelaxing
vigilance and unremitting effort in their search for
the concealed Beloved.  Living in the close neighbourhood
of the house the Siyyid had occupied, he, for three days,
was engaged continually in receiving visits from a considerable
number of mourners who hastened to convey to him, as
the leading representative of the Siyyid's disciples, the expression
of their distress and sorrow.  He afterwards summoned
a group of his most distinguished and trusted fellow-disciples
and enquired about the expressed wishes and the
last exhortations of their departed leader.  They told him
that, repeatedly and emphatically, Siyyid &Kazim had bidden
them quit their homes, scatter far and wide, purge their
hearts from every idle desire, and dedicate themselves to the
quest of Him to whose advent he had so often alluded.  "He
told us," they said, "that the Object of our quest was now
 
+F1 "&Mulla &Husayn-i-Bushru'i was a man whose great learning and strength of
+F1 character were acknowledged even by his enemies.  He had devoted himself to
+F1 study from early childhood and his progress in theology and jurisprudence
+F1 had won him no little consideration."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions
+F1 et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 128.)  
+F2 January, 22, 1844 A.D.  
 
+P48
revealed.  The veils that intervened between you and Him
are such as only you can remove by your devoted search.  
Nothing short of prayerful endeavour, of purity of motive,
of singleness of mind, will enable you to tear them asunder.  
Has not God revealed in His Book:  `Whoso maketh efforts
for Us, in Our ways will We guide them'?"+F1  "Why, then,"
&Mulla &Husayn observed, "have you chosen to tarry in &Karbila?  
Why is it that you have not dispersed, and arisen to carry
out his earnest plea?"  "We acknowledge our failure," was
their reply; "to your greatness we all bear witness.  Such is
our confidence in you, that if you claim to be the promised
One, we shall all readily and unquestionably submit.  We
herein pledge our loyalty and obedience to whatever you bid
us perform."  "God forbid!" exclaimed &Mulla &Husayn.  "Far
be it from His glory that I, who am but dust, should be compared
to Him who is the Lord of Lords!  Had you been conversant
with the tone and language of Siyyid &Kazim, you
never would have uttered such words.  Your first obligation,
as well as mine, is to arise and carry out, both in the spirit
and in the letter, the dying message of our beloved chief."  
He arose instantly from his seat, and went directly to &Mirza
&Hasan-i-Gawhar, &Mirza &Muhit, and other well-known figures
among the disciples of Siyyid &Kazim.  To each and all he
fearlessly delivered the parting message of his chief, emphasised
the pressing character of their duty, and urged them to
arise and fulfil it.  To his plea they returned evasive and unworthy
answers.  "Our enemies," one of them remarked, "are
many and powerful.  We must remain in this city and guard
the vacant seat of our departed chief."  Another observed:  
"It is incumbent upon me to stay and care for the children
whom the Siyyid has left behind."  &Mulla &Husayn immediately
recognised the futility of his efforts.  Realising the degree
of their folly, their blindness and ingratitude, he spoke
to them no more.  He retired, leaving them to their idle
pursuits.  
     As the year sixty, the year that witnessed the birth of the
promised Revelation, had just dawned upon the world, it
would not seem inappropriate, at this juncture, to digress
from our theme, and to mention certain traditions of &Muhammad
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 29:69.  
 
+P49
and of the &imams of the Faith which bear specific
reference to that year.  &Imam &Ja'far, son of &Muhammad,
when questioned concerning the year in which the &Qa'im was
to be made manifest, replied as follows:  "Verily, in the year
sixty His Cause shall be revealed, and His name shall be
noised abroad."  In the works of the learned and far-famed
&Muhyi'd-Din-i-'Arabi, many references are to be found regarding
both the year of the advent and the name of the
promised Manifestation.  Among them are the following:  
"The ministers and upholders of His Faith shall be of the
people of Persia."  "In His name, the name of the Guardian
[&Ali] precedeth that of the Prophet [&Muhammad]."  "The
year of His Revelation is identical with half of that number
which is divisible by nine [2520]."  &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Akhbari,
in his poems relating to the year of the Manifestation,
 
+P50
makes the following prediction:  "In the year &Ghars
[the numerical value of the letters of which is 1260] the earth
shall be illumined by His light, and in &Gharasih [1265] the
world shall be suffused with its glory.  If thou livest until
the year &Gharasi [1270], thou shalt witness how the nations,
the rulers, the peoples, and the Faith of God shall all have
been renewed."  In a tradition ascribed to the &Imam &Ali,
the Commander of the Faithful, it is likewise recorded:  
"In &Ghars the Tree of Divine guidance shall be planted."  
     &Mulla &Husayn, having acquitted himself of the obligation
he felt to urge and awaken his fellow-disciples, set out from
&Karbila for Najaf.  With him were &Muhammad-Hasan, his
brother, and &Muhammad-Baqir, his nephew, both of whom
had accompanied him ever since his visit to his native town
of &Bushruyih, in the province of &Khurasan.  Arriving at the
&Masjid-i-Kufih, &Mulla &Husayn decided to spend forty days
in that place, where he led a life of retirement and prayer.  
By his fasts and vigils he prepared himself for the holy adventure
upon which he was soon to embark.  In the exercise
of these acts of worship, his brother alone was associated
with him, while his nephew, who attended to their daily
needs, observed the fasts, and in his hours of leisure joined
them in their devotions.  
     This cloistered calm with which they were surrounded
was, after a few days, unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival
of &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami, one of the foremost disciples of
Siyyid &Kazim.  He, together with twelve other companions,
arrived at the &Masjid-i-Kufih, where he found his fellow-disciple
&Mulla &Husayn immersed in contemplation and prayer.  
&Mulla &Ali was endowed with such vast learning, and was so
deeply conversant with the teachings of &Shaykh &Ahmad, that
many regarded him as even superior to &Mulla &Husayn.  On
several occasions he attempted to enquire from &Mulla &Husayn
as to his destination after the termination of the period of
his retirement.  Every time he approached him, he found
him so wrapt in his devotions that he felt it impossible to
venture a question.  He soon decided to retire, like him, for
forty days from the society of men.  All his companions followed
his example with the exception of three who acted as
their personal attendants.  
 
+P51
     Immediately after the completion of his forty days' retirement,
&Mulla &Husayn, together with his two companions,
departed for Najaf.  He left &Karbila by night, visited on his
way the shrine of Najaf, and proceeded directly to &Bushihr,
on the Persian Gulf.  There he started on his holy quest
after the Beloved of his heart's desire.  There, for the first
time, he inhaled the fragrance of Him who, for years, had
led in that city the life of a merchant and humble citizen.  
 
+P52
There he perceived the sweet savours of holiness with which
that Beloved's countless invocations had so richly impregnated
the atmosphere of that city.  
     He could not, however, tarry longer in &Bushihr.  Drawn
as if by a magnet which seemed to attract him irresistibly
towards the north, he proceeded to &Shiraz.  Arriving at the
gate of that city, he instructed his brother and his nephew
to proceed directly to the &Masjid-i-Ilkhani, and there to remain
until his arrival.  He expressed the hope that, God
willing, he would arrive in time to join them in their evening
prayer.  
     On that very day, a few hours before sunset, whilst walking
outside the gate of the city, his eyes fell suddenly upon a
Youth of radiant countenance, who wore a green turban and
who, advancing towards him, greeted him with a smile of
loving welcome.  He embraced &Mulla &Husayn with tender
affection as though he had been his intimate and lifelong
friend.  &Mulla &Husayn thought Him at first to be a disciple
of Siyyid &Kazim who, on being informed of his approach to
&Shiraz, had come out to welcome him.
     &Mirza &Ahmad-i-Qazvini, the martyr, who on several occasions
had heard &Mulla &Husayn recount to the early believers
the story of his moving and historic interview with the &Bab,
related to me the following:  "I have heard &Mulla &Husayn
repeatedly and graphically describe the circumstances of that
remarkable interview:  `The Youth who met me outside the
gate of &Shiraz overwhelmed me with expressions of affection
and loving-kindness.  He extended to me a warm invitation
to visit His home, and there refresh myself after the fatigues
of my journey.  I prayed to be excused, pleading that my
 
+P53
two companions had already arranged for my stay in that
city, and were now awaiting my return.  "Commit them to
the care of God," was His reply; "He will surely protect and
watch over them."  Having spoken these words, He bade me
follow Him.  I was profoundly impressed by the gentle yet
compelling manner in which that strange Youth spoke to me.  
As I followed Him, His gait, the charm of His voice, the
dignity of His bearing, served to enhance my first impressions
of this unexpected meeting.  
     "`We soon found ourselves standing at the gate of a house
of modest appearance.  He knocked at the door, which was
soon opened by an Ethiopian servant.  "Enter therein in
peace, secure,"+F1 were His words as He crossed the threshold
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 15:46.  
 
+P54
and motioned me to follow Him.  His invitation, uttered
with power and majesty, penetrated my soul.  I thought it a
good augury to be addressed in such words, standing as I
did on the threshold of the first house I was entering in
&Shiraz, a city the very atmosphere of which had produced
already an indescribable impression upon me.  Might not my
visit to this house, I thought to myself, enable me to draw
nearer to the Object of my quest?  Might it not hasten the
termination of a period of intense longing, of strenuous search,
of increasing anxiety, which such a quest involves?  As I entered
the house and followed my Host to His chamber, a
feeling of unutterable joy invaded my being.  Immediately
 
+P55
we were seated, He ordered a ewer of water to be brought,
and bade me wash away from my hands and feet the stains
of travel.  I pleaded permission to retire from His presence
and perform my ablutions in an adjoining room.  He refused
to grant my request, and proceeded to pour the water over
my hands.  He then gave me to drink of a refreshing beverage,
after which He asked for the samovar+F1 and Himself prepared
the tea which He offered me.  
     "`Overwhelmed with His acts of extreme kindness, I arose
to depart.  "The time for evening prayer is approaching," I
ventured to observe.  "I have promised my friends to join
them at that hour in the &Masjid-i-Ilkhani."  With extreme
courtesy and calm He replied:  "You must surely have made
the hour of your return conditional upon the will and pleasure
of God.  It seems that His will has decreed otherwise.  You
need have no fear of having broken your pledge."  His
dignity and self-assurance silenced me I renewed my ablutions
and prepared for prayer.  He, too, stood beside me
and prayed.  Whilst praying, I unburdened my soul, which
 
+F1 Tea-urn.  
 
+P56
was much oppressed, both by the mystery of this interview
and the strain and stress of my search.  I breathed this
prayer:  "I have striven with all my soul, O my God, and
until now have failed to find Thy promised Messenger.  I
testify that Thy word faileth not, and that Thy promise is
sure."  
     "`That night, that memorable night, was the eve preceding
the fifth day of &Jamadiyu'l-Avval, in the year 1260 A.H.+F1  
 
+F1 Corresponding with the evening of May 22, 1844 A.D.  The 23rd of May fell
+F1 on a Thursday.  
 
+P57
It was about an hour after sunset when my youthful Host
began to converse with me.  "Whom, after Siyyid &Kazim,"
He asked me, "do you regard as his successor and your
leader?"  "At the hour of his death," I replied, "our departed
teacher insistently exhorted us to forsake our homes, to
scatter far and wide, in quest of the promised Beloved.  I
have, accordingly, journeyed to Persia, have arisen to accomplish
his will, and am still engaged in my quest."  "Has your
teacher," He further enquired, "given you any detailed indications
as to the distinguishing features of the promised One?"  
"Yes," I replied, "He is of a pure lineage, is of illustrious
descent, and of the seed of &Fatimih.  As to His age, He is
more than twenty and less than thirty.  He is endowed with
innate knowledge.  He is of medium height, abstains from
smoking, and is free from bodily deficiency."  He paused for
a while and then with vibrant voice declared:  "Behold, all
these signs are manifest in Me!"  He then considered each
of the above-mentioned signs separately, and conclusively
demonstrated that each and all were applicable to His person.  
I was greatly surprised, and politely observed:  "He whose
advent we await is a Man of unsurpassed holiness, and the
Cause He is to reveal, a Cause of tremendous power.  Many
and diverse are the requirements which He who claims to be
its visible embodiment must needs fulfil.  How often has
Siyyid &Kazim referred to the vastness of the knowledge of
the promised One!  How often did he say:  `My own knowledge
is but a drop compared with that with which He has
been endowed.  All my attainments are but a speck of dust
in the face of the immensity of His knowledge.  Nay, immeasurable
is the difference!'"  No sooner had those words
dropped from my lips than I found myself seized with fear
and remorse, such as I could neither conceal nor explain.  I
bitterly reproved myself, and resolved at that very moment
to alter my attitude and to soften my tone.  I vowed to God
that should my Host again refer to the subject, I would, with
the utmost humility, answer and say:  "If you be willing to
substantiate your claim, you will most assuredly deliver me
from the anxiety and suspense which so heavily oppress my
soul.  I shall truly be indebted to you for such deliverance."  
When I first started upon my quest, I determined to regard
 
+P58
[Illustrations:  VIEWS OF THE UPPER ROOM OF THE &BAB'S HOUSE IN &SHIRAZ WHERE
HE DECLARED HIS MISSION.]  
 
+P59
the two following standards as those whereby I could ascertain
the truth of whosoever might claim to be the promised
&Qa'im.  The first was a treatise which I had myself composed,
bearing upon the abstruse and hidden teachings propounded
by &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.  Whoever seemed to
me capable of unravelling the mysterious allusions made in
that treatise, to him I would next submit my second request,
and would ask him to reveal, without the least hesitation or
reflection, a commentary on the &Surih of Joseph, in a style
and language entirely different from the prevailing standards
of the time.  I had previously requested Siyyid &Kazim, in
private, to write a commentary on that same &Surih, which
he refused, saying:  "This is, verily, beyond me.  He, that
great One, who comes after me will, unasked, reveal it for
you.  That commentary will constitute one of the weightiest
testimonies of His truth, and one of the clearest evidences
of the loftiness of His position."+F1  
     "`I was revolving these things in my mind, when my
distinguished Host again remarked:  "Observe attentively.  
Might not the Person intended by Siyyid &Kazim be none
other than I?"  I thereupon felt impelled to present to Him
a copy of the treatise which I had with me.  "Will you," I
asked Him, "read this book of mine and look at its pages
with indulgent eyes?  I pray you to overlook my weaknesses
and failings."  He graciously complied with my wish.  He
opened the book, glanced at certain passages, closed it, and
began to address me.  Within a few minutes He had, with
characteristic vigour and charm, unravelled all its mysteries
and resolved all its problems.  Having to my entire satisfaction
accomplished, within so short a time, the task I had
expected Him to perform, He further expounded to me certain
truths which could be found neither in the reported sayings
of the &imams of the Faith nor in the writings of &Shaykh
&Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.  These truths, which I had never
heard before, seemed to be endowed with refreshing vividness
and power.  "Had you not been My guest," He afterwards
 
+F1 "&Mulla &Husayn is reported to have said the following:  "One day, when I
+F1 was alone with the late Siyyid [&Kazim] in his library, I enquired the
+F1 reason why the &Suriy-i-Yusuf was entitled in the &Qur'an `the Best of
+F1 Stories,' to which he replied that it was not then the proper occasion for
+F1 explaining the reason.  This incident remained concealed in my mind,
+F1 neither had I mentioned it to anyone."  ("The &Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 39.)  
 
+P60
[Illustrations:  HIS BEDCHAMBER.  HIS MOTHER'S ROOM.  HIS SITTING ROOM.  
VIEWS OF THE &BAB'S HOUSE IN &SHIRAZ.]  
 
+P61
observed, "your position would indeed have been a grievous
one.  The all-encompassing grace of God has saved you.  It
is for God to test His servants, and not for His servants to
judge Him in accordance with their deficient standards.  Were
I to fail to resolve your perplexities, could the Reality that
shines within Me be regarded as powerless, or My knowledge
be accused as faulty?  Nay, by the righteousness of God!
it behoves, in this day, the peoples and nations of both the
East and the West to hasten to this threshold, and here seek
to obtain the reviving grace of the Merciful.  Whoso hesitates
will indeed be in grievous loss.  Do not the peoples of
the earth testify that the fundamental purpose of their creation
is the knowledge and adoration of God?  It behoves
them to arise, as earnestly and spontaneously as you have
arisen, and to seek with determination and constancy their
promised Beloved."  He then proceeded to say:  "Now is
the time to reveal the commentary on the &Surih of Joseph."  
He took up His pen and with incredible rapidity revealed
the entire &Surih of Mulk, the first chapter of His commentary
on the &Surih of Joseph.  The overpowering effect of the manner
in which He wrote was heightened by the gentle intonation
of His voice which accompanied His writing.  Not for one
moment did He interrupt the flow of the verses which streamed
from His pen.  Not once did He pause till the &Surih of Mulk
was finished.  I sat enraptured by the magic of His voice and
the sweeping force of His revelation.  At last I reluctantly
arose from my seat and begged leave to depart.  He smilingly
bade me be seated, and said:  "If you leave in such a state,
whoever sees you will assuredly say:  `This poor youth has
lost his mind.'"  At that moment the clock registered two
hours and eleven minutes after sunset.+F1  That night, the eve
of the fifth day of &Jamadiyu'l-Avval, in the year 1260 A.H.,
corresponded with the eve preceding the sixty-fifth day after
&Naw-ruz, which was also the eve of the sixth day of &Khurdad,
of the year Nahang.  "This night," He declared, "this very
hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the
greatest and most significant of all festivals.  Render thanks
 
+F1 The date of the Manifestation is fixed by the following passage in the
+F1 Persian &Bayan [&Vahid 2, &Bab 7):  "The beginning thereof was when two
+F1 hours and eleven minutes [had passed] from the evening preceding the fifth
+F1 of &Jamadiyu'l-Ula, 1260 [A.H.], which is the year 1270 of the mission [of
+F1 &Muhammad]."  (From manuscript copy of &Bayan written by the hand of Siyyid
+F1 &Husayn, amanuensis and companion of the &Bab.)  
 
+P62
to God for having graciously assisted you to attain your
heart's desire, and for having quaffed from the sealed wine of
His utterance.  `Well is it with them that attain thereunto.'"+F1  
     "`At the third hour after sunset, my Host ordered the
dinner to be served.  That same Ethiopian servant appeared
again and spread before us the choicest food.  That holy
repast refreshed alike my body and soul.  In the presence
of my Host, at that hour, I felt as though I were feeding upon
the fruits of Paradise.  I could not but marvel at the manners
and the devoted attentions of that Ethiopian servant whose
very life seemed to have been transformed by the regenerating
influence of his Master.  I then, for the first time, recognised
the significance of this well-known traditional utterance
ascribed to &Muhammad:  "I have prepared for the godly and
righteous among My servants what eye hath seen not, ear
heard not, nor human heart conceived."  Had my youthful
Host no other claim to greatness, this were sufficient---that
He received me with that quality of hospitality and loving-kindness
which I was convinced no other human being could
possibly reveal.  
     "`I sat spellbound by His utterance, oblivious of time and
of those who awaited me.  Suddenly the call of the &muadhdhin,
summoning the faithful to their morning prayer, awakened
me from the state of ecstasy into which I seemed to have
fallen.  All the delights, all the ineffable glories, which the
Almighty has recounted in His Book as the priceless possessions
of the people of Paradise--these I seemed to be experiencing
that night.  Methinks I was in a place of which
it could be truly said:  "Therein no toil shall reach us, and
therein no weariness shall touch us"; "No vain discourse
shall they hear therein, nor any falsehood, but only the cry,
`Peace!  Peace!'"; "Their cry therein shall be, `Glory be
to Thee, O God!' and their salutation therein, `Peace!'  And
the close of their cry, `Praise be to God, Lord of all creatures!'"+F2  
     "`Sleep had departed from me that night.  I was enthralled
by the music of that voice which rose and fell as He
 
+F1 A. L. M. Nicolas quotes the following from the &Kitabu'l-Haramayn:  "In
+F1 truth, the first day that the Spirit descended in the heart of this Slave
+F1 was the fifteenth of the month of &Rabi'u'l-Avval."  (A. L. M. Nicolas'
+F1 "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 206.)  
+F2 Quotations from the &Qur'an.  
 
+P63
chanted; now swelling forth as He revealed verses of the
&Qayyumu'l-Asma',+F1 again acquiring ethereal, subtle harmonies
as He uttered the prayers He was revealing.+F2  At
the end of each invocation, He would repeat this verse:  "Far
from the glory of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, be that which
His creatures affirm of Him!  And peace be upon His Messengers!  
And praise be to God, the Lord of all beings!"+F3  
     "`He then addressed me in these words:  "O thou who art
the first to believe in Me!  Verily I say, I am the &Bab, the
Gate of God, and thou art the &Babu'l-Bab, the gate of that
Gate.  Eighteen souls must, in the beginning, spontaneously
and of their own accord, accept Me and recognise the truth
of My Revelation.  Unwarned and uninvited, each of these
must seek independently to find Me.  And when their number
is complete, one of them must needs be chosen to accompany
Me on My pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.  There I shall
deliver the Message of God to the &Sharif of Mecca.  I then
shall return to &Kufih, where again, in the Masjid of that
holy city, I shall manifest His Cause.  It is incumbent upon
you not to divulge, either to your companions or to any
other soul, that which you have seen and heard.  Be engaged
in the &Masjid-i-Ilkhani in prayer and in teaching.  I, too,
will there join you in congregational prayer.  Beware lest
your attitude towards Me betray the secret of your faith.  
You should continue in this occupation and maintain this
attitude until our departure for &Hijaz.  Ere we depart, we
shall appoint unto each of the eighteen souls his special
mission, and shall send them forth to accomplish their task.  
We shall instruct them to teach the Word of God and to
quicken the souls of men."  Having spoken these words to
me, He dismissed me from His presence.  Accompanying
 
+F1 The &Bab's commentary on the &Surih of Joseph.  
+F2 "In the first of his books he was, above all, pious and mystical; in the
+F2 second, polemics and dialectics held an important place, and his listeners
+F2 noticed that he unfolded, from a chapter in the Book of God which he had
+F2 chosen, a new meaning which no one had heretofore perceived and especially
+F2 that he drew from it doctrines and information wholly unexpected.  That
+F2 which one never tired of admiring was the elegance and beauty of the Arabic
+F2 style used in those writings.  They soon had enthusiastic admirers who did
+F2 not fear to prefer them to the finest passages in the &Qur'an."  (Comte de
+F2 Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p.
+F2 120.)  
+F3 &Qur'an, 37:180.  
 
+P64
[Illustrations:  ORIGINAL WINDOW SASH AND DOOR.  STEPS LEADING TO THE
DECLARATION CHAMBER.  ENTRANCE.  VIEWS OF THE &BAB'S HOUSE IN &SHIRAZ WHERE
HE DECLARED HIS MISSION.]  
 
+P65
me to the door of the house, He committed me to the care of
God.  
     "`This Revelation, so suddenly and impetuously thrust
upon me, came as a thunderbolt which, for a time, seemed
to have benumbed my faculties.+F1  I was blinded by its dazzling
splendour and overwhelmed by its crushing force.  Excitement,
joy, awe, and wonder stirred the depths of my soul.  
Predominant among these emotions was a sense of gladness
and strength which seemed to have transfigured me.  How
feeble and impotent, how dejected and timid, I had felt
previously!  Then I could neither write nor walk, so tremulous
were my hands and feet.  Now, however, the knowledge of
His Revelation had galvanised my being.  I felt possessed
of such courage and power that were the world, all its peoples
and its potentates, to rise against me, I would, alone
and undaunted, withstand their onslaught.  The universe seemed
but a handful of dust in my grasp.  I seemed to be the Voice
of Gabriel personified, calling unto all mankind:  "Awake, for
lo! the morning Light has broken.  Arise, for His Cause is
made manifest.  The portal of His grace is open wide; enter
therein, O peoples of the world!  For He who is your promised
One is come!"  
     "`In such a state I left His house and joined my brother
and nephew.  A large number of the followers of &Shaykh
&Ahmad, who had heard of my arrival, had gathered in the
&Masjid-i-Ilkhani to meet me.  Faithful to the directions of
my newly found Beloved, I immediately set myself to carry
out His wishes.  As I began to organise my classes and
perform my devotions, a vast concourse of people gathered
gradually about me.  Ecclesiastical dignitaries and officials
of the city also came to visit me.  They marvelled at the
spirit which my lectures revealed, unaware that the Source
 
+F1 "It is related in the `&Biharu'l-Anvar,' the `&Avalim,' and the `&Yanbu" of
+F1 &Sadiq, son of &Muhammad, that he spoke these words:  `Knowledge is seven
+F1 and twenty letters.  All that the Prophets have revealed are two letters
+F1 thereof.  None thus far hath known any besides these two letters.  But when
+F1 the &Qa'im shall arise, He will cause the remaining five and twenty letters
+F1 to be made manifest.'  Consider:  he hath declared Knowledge to consist of
+F1 seven and twenty letters, and regarded all the Prophets, from Adam even
+F1 unto the `Seal,' as Expounders of only two letters thereof, and as having
+F1 been sent down with these two letters.  He also saith that the &Qa'im will
+F1 reveal all the remaining five and twenty letters.  Behold from this
+F1 utterance how great and lofty is His station.  His rank excelleth that of
+F1 all the Prophets, and His Revelation transcendeth the comprehension and
+F1 understanding of all their chosen ones."  ("The &Kitab-i-Iqan," p. 205.)  
 
+P66
whence my knowledge flowed was none other than He whose
advent they, for the most part, were eagerly awaiting.  
     "`During those days I was, on several occasions, summoned
by the &Bab to visit Him.  He would send at night-time
that same Ethiopian servant to the masjid, bearing to
me His most loving message of welcome.  Every time I
visited Him, I spent the entire night in His presence.  Wakeful
until the dawn, I sat at His feet fascinated by the charm
of His utterance and oblivious of the world and its cares and
pursuits.  How rapidly those precious hours flew by!  At
daybreak I reluctantly withdrew from His presence.  How
eagerly in those days I looked forward to the approach of the
evening hour!  With what feelings of sadness and regret I
beheld the dawning of day!  In the course of one of these
nightly visits, my Host addressed me in these words:  "To-morrow
thirteen of your companions will arrive.  To each
of them extend the utmost loving-kindness.  Leave them
not to themselves, for they have dedicated their lives to the
quest of their Beloved.  Pray to God that He may graciously
enable them to walk securely in that path which is finer than
a hair and keener than a sword.  Certain ones among them
will be accounted, in the sight of God, as His chosen and
favoured disciples.  As to others, they will tread the middle
way.  The fate of the rest will remain undeclared until the
hour when all that is hidden shall be made manifest."+F1  
     "`That same morning, at sunrise, soon after my return
from the home of the &Bab, &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami, accompanied
by the same number of companions as indicated to
me, arrived at the &Masjid-i-Ilkhani.  I immediately set about
to provide the means for their comfort.  One night, a few
days after their arrival, &Mulla &Ali, as the spokesman of his
companions, gave vent to feelings which he could no longer
repress.  "You know well," he said, "how great is our confidence
in you.  We bear you such loyalty that if you should
claim to be the promised &Qa'im we would all unhesitatingly
submit.  Obedient to your summons, we have forsaken our
 
+F1 "Understand in the same way the beginning of the manifestation of the
+F1 &Bayan during forty days no one but the letter &Sin believed in B.  It was
+F1 only, little by little, that the &Bismi'llahu'l-Amna'u'l-Aqdas clothed
+F1 themselves with the garment of faith until finally the Primal Unity was
+F1 completed.  Witness then how it has increased until our day."  ("Le &Bayan
+F1 Persan," vol. 4, p. 119.)  
 
+P67
homes and have gone forth in search of our promised Beloved.  
You were the first to set us all this noble example.  We have
followed in your footsteps.  We have determined not to
relax in our efforts until we find the Object of our quest.  
We have followed you to this place, ready to acknowledge
whomsoever you accept, in the hope of seeking the shelter
of His protection and of passing successfully through the
tumult and agitation that must needs signalise the last Hour.  
How is it that we now see you teaching the people and conducting
their prayers and devotions with the utmost tranquillity?  
Those evidences of agitation and expectancy seem
to have vanished from your countenance.  Tell us, we beseech
you, the reason, that we too may be delivered from
our present state of suspense and doubt."  "Your companions,"
I gently observed, "may naturally attribute my
peace and composure to the ascendancy which I seem to have
acquired in this city.  The truth is far from that.  The
world, I assure you, with all its pomp and seductions, can
never lure away this &Husayn of &Bushruyih from his Beloved.  
Ever since the beginning of this holy enterprise upon which
I have embarked, I have vowed to seal, with my life-blood,
my own destiny.  For His sake I have welcomed immersion
in an ocean of tribulation.  I yearn not for the things of this
world.  I crave only the good pleasure of my Beloved.  Not
until I shed my blood for His name will the fire that glows
within me be quenched.  Please God you may live to witness
that day.  Might not your companions have thought that,
because of the intensity of his longing and the constancy of
his endeavours, God has, in His infinite mercy, graciously
deigned to unlock before the face of &Mulla &Husayn the Gate
of His grace, and, wishing, according to His inscrutable wisdom,
to conceal this fact, has bidden him engage in such
pursuits?"  These words stirred the soul of &Mulla &Ali.  He
at once perceived their meaning.  With tearful eyes he entreated
me to disclose the identity of Him who had turned
my agitation into peace and converted my anxiety into certitude.  
"I adjure you," he pleaded, "to bestow upon me a
portion of that holy draught which the Hand of mercy has
given you to drink, for it will assuredly allay my thirst, and
ease the pain of longing in my heart."  "Beseech me not,"
 
+P68
I replied, "to grant you this favour.  Let your trust be in
Him, for He will surely guide your steps, and appease the
tumult of your heart."'"
     &Mulla &Ali hastened to his companions and acquainted
them with the nature of his conversation with &Mulla &Husayn.  
Ablaze with the fire which the account of that conversation
had kindled in their hearts, they immediately dispersed, and,
seeking the seclusion of their cells, besought, through fasting
and prayer, the early removal of the veil that intervened
between them and the recognition of their Beloved.  They
prayed while keeping their vigils:  "O God, our God!  Thee
only do we worship, and to Thee do we cry for help.  Guide
us, we beseech Thee, on the straight Path, O Lord our God!  
Fulfil what Thou hast promised unto us by Thine Apostles,
and put us not to shame on the Day of Resurrection.  Verily,
Thou wilt not break Thy promise."  
     On the third night of his retirement, whilst wrapt in
prayer, &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami had a vision.  There appeared
before his eyes a light, and, lo! that light moved off before
him.  Allured by its splendour, he followed it, till at last it
led him to his promised Beloved.  At that very hour, in the
mid-watches of the night, he arose and, exultant with joy
and radiant with gladness, opened the door of his chamber
and hastened to &Mulla &Husayn.  He threw himself into the
arms of his revered companion.  &Mulla &Husayn most lovingly
embraced him and said:  "Praise be to God who hath guided
us hither!  We had not been guided had not God guided us!"  
     That very morning, at break of day, &Mulla &Husayn, followed
by &Mulla &Ali, hastened to the residence of the &Bab.  
At the entrance of His house they met the faithful Ethiopian
servant, who immediately recognised them and greeted them
in these words:  "Ere break of day, I was summoned to the
presence of my Master, who instructed me to open the door
of the house and to stand expectant at its threshold.  `Two
guests,' He said, `are to arrive early this morning.  Extend
to them in My name a warm welcome.  Say to them from
Me:  "Enter therein in the name of God."'"
     The first meeting of &Mulla &Ali with the &Bab, which was
analogous to the meeting with &Mulla &Husayn, differed only
in this respect, that whereas at the previous meeting the
 
+P69
proofs and testimonies of the &Bab's mission had been critically
scrutinised and expounded, at this one all argument
had been set aside and nothing but the spirit of intense adoration
and of close and ardent fellowship prevailed.  The entire
chamber seemed to have been vitalised by that celestial potency
which emanated from His inspired utterance.  Everything
in that room seemed to be vibrating with this testimony:  
"Verily, verily, the dawn of a new Day has broken.  The
promised One is enthroned in the hearts of men.  In His
hand He holds the mystic cup, the chalice of immortality.  
Blessed are they who drink therefrom!"  
     Each of the twelve companions of &Mulla &Ali, in his turn
and by his own unaided efforts, sought and found his Beloved.  
Some in sleep, others in waking, a few whilst in prayer, and
still others in their moments of contemplation, experienced
the light of this Divine Revelation and were led to recognise
the power of its glory.  After the manner of &Mulla &Ali,
these, and a few others, accompanied by &Mulla &Husayn, attained
the presence of the &Bab and were declared "Letters
of the Living."  Seventeen Letters were gradually enrolled
in the preserved Tablet of God, and were appointed as the
chosen Apostles of the &Bab, the ministers of His Faith, and
the diffusers of His light.  
     One night, in the course of His conversation with &Mulla
&Husayn; the &Bab spoke these words:  "Seventeen Letters have
thus far enlisted under the standard of the Faith of God.  
There remains one more to complete the number.  These
Letters of the Living shall arise to proclaim My Cause and to
establish My Faith.  To-morrow night the remaining Letter
will arrive and will complete the number of My chosen disciples."  
The next day, in the evening hour, as the &Bab, followed
by &Mulla &Husayn, was returning to His home, there
appeared a youth dishevelled and travel-stained.  He approached
&Mulla &Husayn, embraced him, and asked him
whether he had attained his goal.  &Mulla &Husayn tried at
first to calm his agitation and advised him to rest for the
moment, promising that he would subsequently enlighten
him.  That youth, however, refused to heed his advice.  Fixing
his gaze upon the &Bab, he said to &Mulla &Husayn:  "Why
seek you to hide Him from me?  I can recognise Him by His
 
+P70
gait.  I confidently testify that none besides Him, whether
in the East or in the West, can claim to be the Truth.  None
other can manifest the power and majesty that radiate from
His holy person."  &Mulla &Husayn marvelled at his words.  
He pleaded to be excused, however, and induced him to
restrain his feelings until such time as he would be able to
acquaint him with the truth.  Leaving him, he hastened to
join the &Bab, and informed Him of his conversation with that
youth.  "Marvel not," observed the &Bab, "at his strange
behaviour.  We have in the world of the spirit been communing
with that youth.  We know him already.  We indeed
awaited his coming.  Go to him and summon him forthwith
to Our presence."  &Mulla &Husayn was instantly reminded by
these words of the &Bab of the following traditional utterance:  
"On the last Day, the Men of the Unseen shall, on the wings
of the spirit, traverse the immensity of the earth, shall attain
the presence of the promised &Qa'im, and shall seek from Him
the secret that will resolve their problems and remove their
perplexities."  
     Though distant in body, these heroic souls are engaged in
daily communion with their Beloved, partake of the bounty
of His utterance, and share the supreme privilege of His
companionship.  Otherwise how could &Shaykh &Ahmad and
Siyyid &Kazim have known of the &Bab?  How could they have
perceived the significance of the secret which lay hidden in
Him?  How could the &Bab Himself, how could &Quddus,
His beloved disciple, have written in such terms, had not the
mystic bond of the spirit linked their souls together?  Did
not the &Bab, in the earliest days of His Mission, allude, in the
opening passages of the &Qayyumu'l-Asma', His commentary
on the &Surih of Joseph, to the glory and significance of the
Revelation of &Baha'u'llah?  Was it not His purpose, by
dwelling upon the ingratitude and malice which characterised
the treatment of Joseph by his brethren, to predict
what &Baha'u'llah was destined to suffer at the hands of His
brother and kindred?  Was not &Quddus, although besieged
within the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi by the battalions and fire
of a relentless enemy, engaged, both in the daytime and in
the night-season, in the completion of his eulogy of &Baha'u'llah
--that immortal commentary on the &Sad of &Samad which
 
+P71
had already assumed the dimensions of five hundred thousand
verses?  Every verse of the &Qayyumu'l-Asma', every word of
the aforementioned commentary of &Quddus, will, if dispassionately
examined, bear eloquent testimony to this truth.  
     The acceptance by &Quddus of the truth of the &Bab's
Revelation completed the assigned number of His chose
disciples.  &Quddus, whose name was &Muhammad-'Ali, was,
through his mother, a direct descendant of the &Imam &Hasan,
the grandson of the Prophet &Muhammad.+F1  He was born
in &Barfurush, in the province of &Mazindaran.  It has been
reported by those who attended the lectures of Siyyid &Kazim
that in the last years of the latter' life, &Quddus enrolled himself
 
+F1 The father of &Quddus, according to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'," died several
+F1 years before the Manifestation of the &Bab.  At the time of the death of
+F1 his father, &Quddus was still a boy studying in &Mashhad in the school of
+F1 &Mirza &Ja'far.  (P. 227, note 1.)  
 
+P72
as one of the Siyyid's disciples.  He was the last to arrive,
and invariably occupied the lowliest seat in the assembly.  
He was the first to depart upon the conclusion of every
meeting.  The silence he observed and the modesty of his
behaviour distinguished him from the rest of his companions.  
Siyyid &Kazim was often heard to remark that certain ones
among his disciples, though they occupied the lowliest of
seats, and observed the strictest silence, were none the less
so exalted in the sight of God that he himself felt unworthy
to rank among their servants.  His disciples, although they
observed the humility of &Quddus and acknowledged the
exemplary character of his behaviour, remained unaware of
the purpose of Siyyid &Kazim.  When &Quddus arrived in
&Shiraz and embraced the Faith declared by the &Bab, he was
only twenty-two years of age.  Though young in years, he
showed that indomitable courage and faith which none among
the disciples of his master could exceed.  He exemplified by
his life and glorious martyrdom the truth of this tradition:  
"Whoso seeketh Me, shall find Me.  Whoso findeth Me, shall
be drawn towards Me.  Whoso draweth nigh unto Me, shall
love Me.  Whoso loveth Me, him shall I also love.  He who
is beloved of Me, him shall I slay.  He who is slain by Me,
I Myself shall be his ransom."  
     The &Bab, whose name was Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad,+F1 was
born in the city of &Shiraz, on the first day of &Muharram, in
the year 1235 A.H.+F2  He belonged to a house which was renowned
for its nobility and which traced its origin to &Muhammad
Himself.  The date of His birth confirmed the truth
of the prophecy traditionally attributed to the &Imam &Ali:  
"I am two years younger than my Lord."  Twenty-five years,
four months, and four days had elapsed since the day of His
birth, when he declared His Mission.  In His early childhood
He lost His father, Siyyid &Muhammad-Rida,+F3 a man
who was known throughout the province of &Fars for his piety
 
+F1 He is also known by the following designations:  
          &Siyyid-i-Dhikr
          &Abdu'dh-Dhikr
          &Babu'llah
          &Nuqtiy-i-Ula
          &Tal'at-i-A'la
          &Hadrat-i-A'la
          &Rabb-i-A'la
          &Nuqity-i-Bayan
          &Siyyid-i-Bab
+F2 October 20, 1819 A.D.  
+F3 According to &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl (manuscript on history of the Cause, p. 3),
+F3 the &Bab was still an infant, and had not yet been weaned, when His father
+F3 passed away.  
 
+P73
[Illustrations:  THE RUINS OF THE &QAHVIYIH-AWLIYA THE &BAB ATTENDED IN
&SHIRAZ.  ENTRANCE DOOR OF RUINS OF THE &QAHVIYIH-AWLIYA.]  
 
+P74
[Illustrations:  TREE MARKING THE RESTING PLACE OF THE &BAB'S INFANT SON
IN &BABI-DUKHTARAN, &SHIRAZ.  GRAVE OF THE &BAB'S WIFE IN &SHAH-CHIRAGH,
&SHIRAZ.]  
 
+P75
and virtue, and was held in high esteem and honour.  Both
His father and His mother were descendants of the Prophet,
both were loved and respected by the people.  He was reared
by His maternal uncle, &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, a martyr to
the Faith, who placed Him, while still a child, under the care
of a tutor named &Shaykh &Abid.+F1  The &Bab, though not
inclined to study, submitted to His uncle's will and directions.  
     &Shaykh &Abid, known by his pupils as &Shaykhuna, was
a man of piety and learning.  He had been a disciple of both
&Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.  "One day," he related,
"I asked the &Bab to recite the opening words of the &Qur'an:
`&Bismi'llahi'r-Rahmani'r-Rahim.'+F2  He hesitated, pleading
that unless He were told what these words signified, He would
in no wise attempt to pronounce them.  I pretended not to
know their meaning.  `I know what these words signify,'
observed my pupil; `by your leave, I will explain them.'  
He spoke with such knowledge and fluency that I was struck
with amazement.  He expounded the meaning of `&Allah,'
of `&Rahman,' and `&Rahim,' in terms such as I had neither
read nor heard.  The sweetness of His utterance still lingers
in my memory.  I felt impelled to take Him back to His
uncle and to deliver into his hands the Trust he had committed
to my care.  I determined to tell him how unworthy
I felt to teach so remarkable a child.  I found His uncle
alone in his office.  `I have brought Him back to you,' I
said, `and commit Him to your vigilant protection.  He is
not to be treated as a mere child, for in Him I can already
discern evidences of that mysterious power which the Revelation
of the &Sahibu'z-Zaman+F3 alone can reveal.  It is incumbent
upon you to surround Him with your most loving care.  Keep
Him in your house, for He, verily, stands in no need of teachers
such as I.'  &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali sternly rebuked the &Bab.  
`Have You forgotten my instructions?' he said.  `Have I
not already admonished You to follow the example of Your
 
+F1 According to &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl (manuscript, p. 41,) the &Bab was six or
+F1 seven years of age when He entered the school of &Shaykh &Abid.  The school
+F1 was known by the name of "&Qahviyih-Awliya."  The &Bab remained five years
+F1 at that school where He was taught the rudiments of Persian.  On the first
+F1 day of the month of &Rabi'u'l-Avval, in the year 1257 A.H., He left for
+F1 Najaf and &Karbila, returning seven months after to His native province of
+F1 &Fars.  
+F2 In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.  
+F3 "The Lord of the Age," one of the titles of the promised &Qa'im.  
 
+P76
fellow-pupils, to observe silence, and to listen attentively
to every word spoken by Your teacher?'  Having obtained
His promise to abide faithfully by his instructions, he bade
the &Bab return to His school.  The soul of that child could
not, however, be restrained by the stern admonitions of His
uncle.  No discipline could repress the flow of His intuitive
knowledge.  Day after day He continued to manifest such
remarkable evidences of superhuman wisdom as I am powerless
to recount."  At last His uncle was induced to take Him
away from the school of &Shaykh &Abid, and to associate
Him with himself in his own profession.+F1  There, too, He revealed
signs of a power and greatness that few could approach and
none could rival.  
     Some years later+F2 the &Bab was united in wedlock with the
sister of &Mirza Siyyid &Hasan and &Mirza &Abu'l-Qasim.+F3  The
child which resulted from this union, He named &Ahmad.+F4  
He died in the year 1259 A.D.,+F5 the year preceding the declaration
of the Faith by the &Bab.  The Father did not lament
his loss.  He consecrated his death by words such as these:  
 
+F1 According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 37), the &Bab
+F1 assumed, at the age of twenty, the independent direction of His business
+F1 affairs.  "Orphaned at an early age, he was placed under the tutelage of
+F1 his maternal uncle, &Aqa Siyyid &Ali, under whose direction he entered the
+F1 same trade in which his father had been engaged (that is to say, the
+F1 mercantile business)."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le
+F1 &Bab," p. 189.)  
+F2 According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 37), the &Bab's
+F2 marriage took place when He was twenty-two years of age.  
+F3   The &Bab refers to her in his commentary on the &Surih of Joseph (&Surih
+F3 of &Qarabat).  The following is A. L. M. Nicolas' translation of the
+F3 passage in question:  "In truth I have become betrothed before the throne
+F3 of God with &Sara, that is to say, the dearly beloved, because `dearly
+F3 beloved' is derived from Dearly Beloved (the Dearly Beloved is &Muhammad
+F3 which signifies that &Sara was a Siyyid).  In truth I have taken the angels
+F3 of heaven and those who dwell in Paradise as witnesses of our betrothal.  
+F3   "Know that the benevolence of the &Dhikr Sublime is great, O dearly
+F3 beloved!  Because it is the benevolence which comes from God, the Beloved.  
+F3 Thou art not like other women if thou obeyest God with regard to the &Dhikr
+F3 Sublime.  Know the great truth of the Holy Word and glory within thyself
+F3 that thou art seated with the friend who is the Favorite of the Most High
+F3 God.  Truly the glory comes to thee from God, the Wise.  Be patient in the
+F3 command which comes from God concerning the &Bab and his family.  Verily,
+F3 thy son &Ahmad has a refuge in the blessed heaven close to the great
+F3 &Fatimih!"  (Preface to A. L. M. Nicolas' "Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 2,
+F3 pp. 10-11.)  
+F4 The &Bab refers to his son in his commentary on the &Surih of Joseph.  
+F4 The following is A. L. M. Nicolas' translation:  "In truth, thy son &Ahmad
+F4 has a refuge in the Blessed Paradise near to the Great &Fatimih."  (&Surih
+F4 of &Qarabat.)  "Glory be to God Who in truth has given to the `Delight of
+F4 the Eyes,' in her youth, a son who is named &Ahmad.  Verily, we have reared
+F4 this child toward God!"  (&Surih of &Abd.)  (Preface A. L. M. Nicolas' "Le
+F4 &Bayan Persan," vol. 2, p. II.)  
+F5 1843 A.D.  
 
+P77
"O God, my God!  Would that a thousand Ishmaels were
given Me, this Abraham of Thine, that I might have offered
them, each and all, as a loving sacrifice unto Thee.  O my
Beloved, my heart's Desire!  The sacrifice of this &Ahmad
whom Thy servant &Ali-Muhammad hath offered up on the
altar of Thy love can never suffice to quench the flame of
longing in His heart.  Not until He immolates His own heart
at Thy feet, not until His whole body falls a victim to the
cruelest tyranny in Thy path, not until His breast is made a
target for countless darts for Thy sake, will the tumult of
His soul be stilled.  O my God, my only Desire!  Grant
that the sacrifice of My son, My only son, may be acceptable
unto Thee.  Grant that it be a prelude to the sacrifice of
My own, My entire self, in the path of Thy good pleasure.  
Endue with Thy grace My life-blood which I yearn to shed
in Thy path.  Cause it to water and nourish the seed of Thy
Faith.  Endow it with Thy celestial potency, that this infant
seed of God may soon germinate in the hearts of men, that
it may thrive and prosper, that it may grow to become a
mighty tree, beneath the shadow of which all the peoples
and kindreds of the earth may gather.  Answer Thou My
prayer, O God, and fulfil My most cherished desire.  Thou
art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful."+F1  
     The days which the &Bab devoted to commercial pursuits
were mostly spent in &Bushihr.+F2  The oppressive heat of the
summer did not deter Him from devoting, each Friday,
several hours to continuous worship upon the roof of His
house.  Though exposed to the fierce rays of the noontide
sun, He, turning His heart to His Beloved, continued to
commune with Him, unmindful of the intensity of the heat
 
+F1 "He left &Shiraz for &Bushihr at the age of 17, and remained there for five
+F1 years engaged in commercial pursuits.  During this time he won the esteem
+F1 of all the merchants with whom he was brought in contact, by his integrity
+F1 and piety.  He was extremely attentive to his religious duties, and gave
+F1 away large sums to charity.  On one occasion he gave 70 &tumans [about &22]
+F1 to a poor neighbour."  (Appendix 2 of &Tarikh-i-Jadid:  &Haji &Mirza
+F1 &Jani's History, pp. 343-4.)  
+F2 "He was already predisposed to meditation and inclined to be silent, while
+F2 his fine face, the radiance of his glance as well as his modest and
+F2 contemplative mien drew, even at that early date, the attention of his
+F2 fellow-citizens.  Though very young, he felt an invincible attraction to
+F2 matters of religion, for he was barely nineteen when he wrote his first
+F2 work, the `&risaliy-i-Fiqhiyyih' in which he reveals a true piety and an
+F2 Islamic effusion, which seemed to predict a brilliant future within the law
+F2 of &Shiite orthodoxy.  It is probable that this work was written at
+F2 &Bushihr, for he was sent there by his uncle at the age of eighteen or
+F2 nineteen to look after his business interests."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid
+F2 &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 188-189.)  
 
+P78
and oblivious of the world around Him.  From early dawn
till sunrise, and from midday till late in the afternoon, He
dedicated His time to meditation and pious worship.  Turning
His gaze towards the north, in the direction of &Tihran, He,
at every break of day, greeted, with a heart overflowing with
love and joy, the rising, sun, which to Him was a sign and
symbol of that Day-Star of Truth that was soon to dawn upon
the world.  As a lover who beholds the face of his beloved,
He gazed upon the rising orb with steadfastness and longing.  
He seemed to be addressing, in mystic language, that shining
luminary, and to be entrusting it with His, message of yearning
and love to His concealed Beloved.  With such transports
of delight He greeted its beaming rays, that the heedless and
 
+P79
ignorant around Him thought Him to be enamoured with the
sun itself.+F1  
     I have heard &Haji Siyyid &Javad-i-Karbila'i+F2 recount the
following:  "Whilst journeying to India, I passed through
&Bushihr.  As I was already acquainted with &Haji &Mirza
Siyyid &Ali, I was enabled to meet the &Bab on several occasions.  
Every time I met Him, I found Him in such a
state of humility and lowliness as words fail me to describe.  
His downcast eyes, His extreme courtesy, and the serene
expression of His face made an indelible impression upon my
soul.+F3  I often heard those who were closely associated with
Him testify to the purity of His character, to the charm
of His manners, to His self-effacement, to His high integrity,
and to His extreme devotion to God.+F4  A certain man confided
to His care a trust, requesting Him to dispose of it at
a fixed price.  When the &Bab sent him the value of that
article, the man found that the sum which he had been
offered considerably exceeded the limit which he had fixed.  
He immediately wrote to the &Bab, requesting Him to explain
the reason.  The &Bab replied:  `What I have sent you is entirely
your due.  There is not a single farthing in excess of
 
+F1 "In society he held converse preferably with the learned or listened to
+F1 the tales of travelers who congregated in this commercial city.  This is
+F1 why he was generally considered to be one of the followers of &Tariqat who
+F1 were held in high esteem by the people."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7,
+F1 p. 335.)  
+F2 "The &Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" gives the following particulars regarding this
+F2 remarkable person:  "&Haji Siyyid &Javad himself informed me that he was a
+F2 resident of &Karbila, that his cousins were well known among the recognised
+F2 &ulamas and doctors of the law in that city and belonged to the
+F2 &Ithna-'Ashari sect of &Shi'ah &Islam.  In his youth he met
+F2 &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, but was never regarded as his disciple.  He was,
+F2 however, an avowed follower and supporter of Siyyid &Kazim, and ranked
+F2 among his foremost adherents.  He met the &Bab in &Shiraz, long before the  
+F2 date ofthe latter's Manifestation.  He saw Him on several occasions which
+F2 the &Bab was only eight or nine years old, in the house of His maternal
+F2 uncle.  He subsequently met Him in &Bushihr and stayed for about six months
+F2 in the same &khan in which the &Bab and His maternal uncle were residing.  
+F2 &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami, one of the Letters of the Living, acquainted him
+F2 with the Message of the &Bab, while in &Karbila, from which city he
+F2 proceeded to &Shiraz in order to inform himself more fully of the nature of
+F2 His Revelation."  (Pp- 55-7.)  
+F3 "[The] &Bab possessed a mild and benignant countenance, his manners
+F3 were composed and dignified, his eloquence was impressive, and he wrote
+F3 rapidly and well."  (Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia,"
+F3 p. 178.)  
+F4   "Withdrawn within himself, always absorbed in pious practices, of
+F4 extreme simplicity of manner, of a fascinating gentleness, those gifts
+F4 further heightened by his great youth and his marvellous charm, he drew
+F4 about himself a number of persons who were deeply edified.  People then
+F4 began to speak of his science and of the penetrating eloquence of his
+F4 discourses.  He could not open his lips (we are assured by those who knew
+F4 him) without stirring the hearts to their very depths.  
+F4   "Speaking, moreover, with a profound reverence regarding the Prophet, the
+F4 &Imams and their holy companions, he fascinated the severely orthodox
+F4 while, at the same time, in more intimate addresses, the more ardent and
+F4 eager minds were happy to find that there was no rigidity in his profession
+F4 of traditional opinions which they would have found boring.  His
+F4 conversations, on the contrary, opened before them unlimited horizons,
+F4 varied, colored, mysterious, with shadows broken here and there by patches
+F4 of blinding light which transported those imaginative people of Persia into
+F4 a state of ecstasy."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les
+F4 Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 118.)  
 
+P80
what is your right.  there was a time when the trust you had
delivered to Me had attained this value.  Failing to sell it
at that price, I now feel it My duty to offer you the whole of
that sum.'  However much the &Bab's client entreated Him
to receive back the sum in excess, the &Bab persisted in refusing.  
     "With what assiduous care He attended those gatherings
at which the virtues of the &Siyyidu'sh-Shuhada', the &Imam
&Husayn, were being extolled!  With what attention He
listened to the chanting of the eulogies!  What tenderness
and devotion He showed at those scenes of lamentation and
prayer!  Tears rained from His eyes as His trembling lips
murmured words of prayer and praise.  How compelling was
His dignity, how tender the sentiments which His countenance
inspired!"  
     As to those whose supreme privilege it was to be enrolled
by the &Bab in the Book of His Revelation as His chosen Letters
of the Living, their names are as follows:  
 
     &Mulla &Husayn-i-Bushru'i,
     &Muhammad-Hasan, his brother,
     &Muhammad-Baqir, his nephew,
     &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami,
     &Mulla &Khuda-Bakhsh-i-Quchani, later named &Mulla &Ali
     &Mulla &Hasan-i-Bajistani,
     Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi,
     &Mirza &Muhammad &Rawdih-Khan-i-Yazdi,
     &Sa'id-i-Hindi,
     &Mulla &Mahmud-i-Khu'i,
     &Mulla &Jalil-i-Urumi,
     &Mulla &Ahmad-i-Ibdal-i-Maraghi'i,
     &Mulla &Baqir-i-Tabrizi,
     &Mulla &Yusif-i-Ardibili,
     &Mirza &Hadi, son of &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Qazvini,
 
+P81
     &Mirza &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Qazvini.+F1  
     &Tahirih,+F2  
     &Quddus.  
 
     These all, with the single exception of &Tahirih, attained
the presence of the &Bab, and were personally invested by
Him with the distinction of this rank.  It was she who, having
learned of the intended departure of her sister's husband,
&Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali, from &Qazvin, entrusted him with a
sealed letter, requesting that he deliver it to that promised
One whom she said he was sure to meet in the course of his
journey.  "Say to Him, from me," she added, "`The effulgence
of Thy face flashed forth, and the rays of Thy visage
arose on high.  Then speak the word, "Am I not your
 
+F1 According to Samandar, who was one of the early believers of &Qazvin
+F1 (manuscript, p. 15), &Tahirih's sister, &Mardiyyih, was the wife of &Mirza
+F1 &Muhammad-'Ali, who was one of the Letters of the Living, and who suffered
+F1 martyrdom at &Shaykh &Tabarsi.  &Mardiyyih appears to have recognised and
+F1 embraced the Message of the &Bab (p. 5).  &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali was the son
+F1 of &Haji &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab, to whom the &Bab addressed a Tablet while
+F1 in the neighbourhood of &Qazvin.  
+F2 According to the "Memorials of the Faithful" (pp. 291-8), &Tahirih had two
+F2 sons and one daughter, none of whom recognised the truth of the Cause.  
+F2 Such was the degree of her knowledge and attainment, that her father, &Haji
+F2 &Mulla &Salih often expressed his regret in the following terms:  "Would
+F2 that she had been a boy for he would have shed illumination upon my
+F2 household, and would have succeeded me!"  She became acquainted with the
+F2 writings of &Shaykh &Ahmad while staying in the home of her cousin, &Mulla
+F2 &Javad, from whose library she borrowed these books, and took them over to
+F2 her home.  Her father raised violent objections to her action and, in his
+F2 heated discussions with her, denounced and criticised the teachings of
+F2 &Shaykh &Ahmad.  &Tahirih refused to heed the counsels of her father, and
+F2 engaged in secret correspondence with Siyyid &Kazim, who conferred upon her
+F2 the name of "&Qurratu'l-'Ayn."  The title of "&Tahirih" was first
+F2 associated with her name while she was staying in &Badasht, and was
+F2 subsequently approved by the &Bab.  From &Qazvin she left for &Karbila,
+F2 hoping to meet Siyyid &Kazim, but arrived too late, the Siyyid having
+F2 passed away ten days before her arrival.  She joined the companions of the
+F2 departed leader, and spent her time in prayer and meditation, eagerly
+F2 expecting the appearance of Him whose advent Siyyid &Kazim had foretold.  
+F2 While in that city, she dreamed a dream.  A youth, a Siyyid, wearing a
+F2 black cloak and a green turban, appeared to her in the heavens, who with
+F2 upraised hands was reciting certain verses, one of which she noted down
+F2 in her book.  She awoke from her dream greatly impressed by her strange
+F2 experience.  When, later on, a copy of the "&Ahsanu'l-Qisas," the
+F2 &Bab's commentary on the &Surih of Joseph, reached her, she, to her intense
+F2 delight, discovered that same verse which she had heard in her dream in
+F2 that book.  That discovery assured her of the truth of the Message which
+F2 the Author of that work had proclaimed.  She herself undertook the
+F2 translation of the "&Ahsanu'l-Qisas" into Persian, and exerted the utmost
+F2 effort for its spread and interpretation.  For three months her house in
+F2 &Karbila was besieged by the guards whom the Governor had appointed to
+F2 watch and prevent her from associating with the people.  From &Karbila
+F2 she proceeded to &Baghdad, and lived for a time the house of &Shaykh
+F2 &Muhammad-i-Shibl, from which place she transferred her residence to
+F2 another quarter, and was eventually taken to the home of the &Mufti, where
+F2 she stayed for about three months.  
 
+P82
Lord?" and "Thou art, Thou art!" we will all reply.'"+F1  
     &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali eventually met and recognised
the &Bab and conveyed to Him both the letter and the message
of &Tahirih.  The &Bab forthwith declared her one of the
Letters of the Living.  Her father, &Haji &Mulla &Salih-i-Qazvini,
and his brother, &Mulla &Taqi, were both mujtahids of
great renown,+F2 were skilled in the traditions of Muslim law,
and were universally respected by the people of &Tihran,
&Qazvin, and other leading cities of Persia.  She was married
to &Mulla &Muhammad, son of &Mulla &Taqi, her uncle, whom
 
+F1 According to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" (p. 93), &Tahirih was informed of the
+F1 Message of the &Bab by &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami, who visited &Karbila in the
+F1 year 1260 A.H., after his return from &Shiraz.  
+F2   "One of the most distinguished families of &Qazvin--and by this I mean
+F2 most distinguished by the number of high offices which their various
+F2 members held in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, as well as by their
+F2 reputation for science--was, without doubt, the family of &Haji &Mulla
+F2 &Salih-i-Baraqani who received after his death the title of
+F2 `&Shahid-i-Thalith', that is to say, `the third martyr.'  We shall review
+F2 their early history in order to make clear the role which they played in
+F2 the religious dissensions of Persia, as well as in the catastrophe which
+F2 was fatally to develop the arrogant character of the brother of &Mulla
+F2 &Salih.  When the great Mujtahid &Aqa Siyyid &Muhammad arrived at &Qazvin,
+F2 someone asked him if &Haji &Mulla &Salih-i-Baraqani was a Mujtahid.  
+F2 `Assuredly,' replied the Siyyid, and that all the more so since &Salih was
+F2 one of his former students who towards the last had followed the teachings
+F2 of &Aqa Siyyid &Ali.  `Very well,' replied his questioner, `but his brother
+F2 &Muhammad-Taqi, is he also worthy of the sacred title?'  &Aqa Siyyid
+F2 &Muhammad replied by praising the qualities and the science of &Taqi but
+F2 avoiding a precise answer to the direct question put to him.  However, this
+F2 did not prevent the questioner from spreading abroad in the city the news
+F2 that Siyyid &Muhammad himself acknowledged &Taqi as a Master whom he had
+F2 declared Mujtahid in his presence.  
+F2   "Now Siyyid &Muhammad had gone to live with one of his colleagues, &Haji
+F2 &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab.  The latter learned quickly of the news which was
+F2 thus noised abroad and he immediately summoned before him the questioner of
+F2 the Siyyid whom he reproached severely in the presence of witnesses.  
+F2 Naturally, the rumor spread from tongue to tongue until it reached &Taqi,
+F2 who became furious and declared each time he heard the name of &Mulla
+F2 &Abdu'l-Vahhab,--`I only respect him because he is the son of my blessed
+F2 Master.'  
+F2   "Siyyid &Muhammad, having been informed of all these incidents and of all
+F2 the rumors, and realizing that he had saddened the heart of &Taqi, came one
+F2 day to invite him to luncheon; he treated him with great respect, wrote for
+F2 him his brevet of Mujtahid and, this same day, accompanied him to the
+F2 Mosque.  The prayer over, he sat down on the steps of the pulpit where he
+F2 spoke the praises of &Taqi and confirmed him in his new dignity, in the
+F2 presence of the entire assembly.  It happened that, a little later, &Shaykh
+F2 &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i passed through &Qazvin.  This personage, said to be the
+F2 very pious author of `&Qisasu'l-'Ulama,' was declared impious because he
+F2 had endeavored to reconcile philosophy and religious law, `and everyone
+F2 knows that in most cases to try to blend religious law with intelligence
+F2 is an impossibility.'  Be that as it may, &Shaykh &Ahmad rose high above
+F2 his contemporaries, many men sharing his opinions.  He had followers in
+F2 all the cities of Persia and the &Shah &Fath-'Ali treated him with great
+F2 deference, while &Akhund &Mulla &Ali said of him, `He is an ignorant man
+F2 with a pure heart.'  
+F2   "While in &Qazvin, he sojourned in the house of &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab who
+F2 was henceforth to be the enemy of the &Baraqani family.  He went to
+F2 worship in the Mosque of the parish and the &ulamas of &Qazvin came to
+F2 pray under his guidance.  He naturally returned all the visits and
+F2 courtesies extended to him by these holy men, was on good terms with them
+F2 and soon it became known that his host was one of his disciples.  One day
+F2 he went to call upon &Haji &Mulla &Taqi-i-Baraqani who received him
+F2 apparently with profound respect, but took advantage of the opportunity
+F2 to ask him some insidious questions.  `Regarding the resurrection of the
+F2 dead on the Day of Judgment,' he asked, `do you share the opinion of
+F2 &Mulla &Sadra?'  `No,' replied &Shaykh &Ahmad.  Then &Taqi, calling his
+F2 youngest brother &Haji &Mulla &Ali, said:  `Go to my library and bring me
+F2 the &Shavahid-i-Rububiyyih of &Mulla &Sadra.'  Then, as &Haji &Mulla was
+F2 slow to return, he said to &Shaykh &Ahmad:  `Although I do not agree with
+F2 you on this subject, I am nevertheless curious to know your opinion on
+F2 the matter.'  The &Shaykh replied, `Nothing would be easier.  My
+F2 conviction is that the resurrection will not take place with our material
+F2 bodies but with their essence, and by essence I mean, for example, the
+F2 glass which is potentially in the stone.'  
+F2   "Excuse me,' &Taqi replied maliciously, `but this essence is different
+F2 from the material body and you know that it is a dogma in our holy
+F2 religion to believe in the resurrection of the material body.'  The
+F2 &Shaykh remained silent and it was in vain that one of his pupils, a
+F2 native of &Turkistan, endeavored to divert the conversation by starting
+F2 a discussion which was likely to be a lengthy one, but the blow was dealt
+F2 and &Shaykh &Ahmad withdrew, convinced that he had been compromised.  It
+F2 was not long before he realized that his conversation had been carefully
+F2 related by &Taqi for, that very day, when he went to the Mosque to pray
+F2 he was followed only by &Abdu'l-Vahhab.  A misunderstanding was broiling
+F2 and threatened to break, but &Abdu'l-Vahhab, thinking he had found a way
+F2 to smooth things over and remove all the difficulties, entreated his
+F2 Master to write and publish a book in which he would affirm the
+F2 resurrection of the material body.  But he had not taken into account
+F2 the hatred of &Taqi.  In fact, &Shaykh &Ahmad did write the treatise,
+F2 which still may be found in his book entitled `&Ajvibatu'l-Masa'il' but
+F2 no one cared to read it and his impiety was noised abroad increasingly
+F2 from day to day.  It came to the point where the Governor of the city,
+F2 Prince &Ali-Naqi &Mirza &Ruknu'd-Dawlih, considering the importance of
+F2 the personages involved in the controversy and afraid being blamed for
+F2 allowing this dissension to grow, resolved to bring about an agreement.  
+F2   "One night, he invited all the celebrated &Ulamas of the city to a great
+F2 banquet.  &Shaykh &Ahmad was given the seat of honor and close to him,
+F2 only separated by one person, was &Taqi.  Platters were brought, prepared
+F2 for three people, so that the two enemies found that they were obliged to
+F2 eat together, but the irreconcilable &Taqi turned toward the platter of his
+F2 neighbors on his right hand and to the great consternation of the Prince,
+F2 he placed his left hand over the left side of his face in such a manner
+F2 that he could not possibly see &Shaykh &Ahmad.  After the banquet which
+F2 proved rather dull, the Prince, still determined to reconcile the two
+F2 adversaries, bestowed great praise on &Shaykh &Ahmad, acknowledging him
+F2 as the great Arabian and Persian Doctor and saying that &Taqi should show
+F2 him the greatest respect; that it was not proper for him to give ear to
+F2 the gossip of men eager to create conflict between two exceptional minds.  
+F2 &Taqi interrupted him violently and declared with great contempt, `There
+F2 can be no peace between impiety and faith!  Concerning the resurrection
+F2 the &Shaykh holds a doctrine opposed to the religion of &Islam, (&Islamic
+F2 law) therefore, whoever holds such a doctrine is an impious one and what
+F2 can such a rebel and I have in common?'  
+F2   "The Prince insisted and entreated in vain, but &Taqi refused to yield
+F2 and they all adjourned."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le
+F2 &Bab," pp. 263-267.)  
 
+P83
the &shi'ahs styled &Shahid-i-Thalith.+F1  Although her family
belonged to the &Bala-Sari, &Tahirih alone showed, from the
very beginning, a marked sympathy and devotion to Siyyid
&Kazim.  As an evidence of her personal admiration for him,
she wrote an apology in defence and justification of the
teachings of &Shaykh &Ahmad and presented it to him.  To
this she soon received a reply, couched in the most affectionate
terms, in the opening passages of which the Siyyid thus addressed
her:  "O thou who art the solace of mine eyes (&Ya
&Qurrat-i-'Ayni!), and the joy of my heart!"  Ever since that
time she has been known as &Qurratu'l-'Ayn.  After the historic
 
+F1 Third Martyr.  
 
+P84
gathering of &Badasht, a number of those who attended were
so amazed at the fearlessness and outspoken language of that
heroine, that they felt it their duty to acquaint the &Bab with
the character of her startling and unprecedented behaviour.  
They strove to tarnish the purity of her name.  To their
accusations the &Bab replied:  "What am I to say regarding
her whom the Tongue of Power and Glory has named &Tahirih
[the Pure One]?"  These words proved sufficient to silence
those who had endeavoured to undermine her position.  From
that time onwards she was designated by the believers as
&Tahirih.  
     A word should now be said in explanation of the term
&Bala-Sari.  &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim, as well as
their followers, when visiting the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn
in &Karbila, invariably occupied, as a mark of reverence, the
lower end of the sepulchre.  They never advanced beyond
it, whereas other worshippers, the &Bala-Sari, recited their
prayers in the upper section of that shrine.  The &Shaykhis,
believing, as they did, that "every true believer lives both in
this world and in the next," felt it unseemly and improper
to step beyond the limits of the lower sections of the shrine
 
+F1   "&Mulla &Salih had among his children a daughter, &Zarrin-Taj (Crown of
+F1 Gold), who had attracted attention from early childhood.  Instead of taking
+F1 part in games and amusements like her companions, she passed hours at a
+F1 time listening to her parents discuss religious matters.  Her keen
+F1 intelligence quickly perceived the fallacies of &Islamic science without
+F1 succumbing to it and soon she was able to discuss points which were most
+F1 obscure and confusing.  The &Hadiths (traditions) held no secrets for her.  
+F1 Her reputation soon became widely known in the city and her fellow-citizens
+F1 considered her a prodigy, and justly so.  A prodigy in science, also a
+F1 prodigy of beauty, for the child, as she grew to girlhood, possessed a face
+F1 which shone with such radiant beauty that they named her
+F1 `&Qurratu'l-'Ayn', which M. de Gobineau translates as `The Consolation of
+F1 the Eyes.'  Her brother &Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Qazvini who inherited the learning
+F1 and reputation of his father, himself relates, in spite of the fact that he
+F1 remained, at least in appearance, a &Muhammadan:  `None of us, her brothers
+F1 or her cousins dared to speak in her presence, her learning so intimidated
+F1 us, and if we ventured to express some hypothesis upon a disputed point of
+F1 doctrine, she demonstrated in such a clear, precise and conclusive manner
+F1 that we were going astray, that we instantly withdrew confused.'  
+F1   "She was present at her father's and uncle's classes, in the same room
+F1 with two or three hundred students, but always concealed behind a curtain,
+F1 and more than once she refuted the explanation that these two elderly men
+F1 offered upon such and such a question.  Her reputation became universal
+F1 throughout all Persia, and the most haughty &Ulamas consented to adopt some
+F1 of her hypotheses and opinions.  This fact is all the more extraordinary
+F1 because the &Shiite &Muhammadan religion relegates the woman almost to the
+F1 level of the animal.  They consider that she has no soul and exists merely
+F1 for reproduction.  
+F1   "&Qurratu'l-'Ayn married, when still quite young, the son of her uncle,
+F1 &Muhammad-i-Qazvini who was the &Imam-Jum'ih of the city and later she went
+F1 to &Karbila where she attended the classes of Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti.  She
+F1 shared with enthusiasm the ideas of her Master, ideas with which she was
+F1 already familiar, the city of &Qazvin having become a center for the
+F1 &Shaykhi doctrine.  
+F1   "She was, as we shall see later, of an ardent temperament, of a precise
+F1 and clear intelligence, of a marvellous presence of mind and indomitable
+F1 courage.  All of these qualities combined were to bring her to take
+F1 interest in the &Bab whom she heard speak immediately after his return to
+F1 &Qazvin.  That which she learned interested her so vitally that she began
+F1 corresponding with the Reformer and soon, convinced by him, she made known
+F1 her conversion urbi et orbi.  The scandal was very great and the clergy
+F1 were shocked.  In vain, her husband, her father and her brothers pleaded
+F1 with her to renounce this dangerous madness, but she remained inflexible
+F1 and proclaimed resolutely her faith."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid
+F1 &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 273-274.)  
 
+P85
of the &Imam &Husayn, who in their eyes was the very incarnation
of the most perfect believer.+F1  
     &Mulla &Husayn, who anticipated being the chosen companion
of the &Bab during His pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina,
was, as soon as the latter decided to depart from &Shiraz,
summoned to the presence of his Master, who gave him the
following instructions:  "The days of our companionship are
approaching their end.  My Covenant with you is now accomplished.  
Gird up the loins of endeavour, and arise to
diffuse My Cause.  Be not dismayed at the sight of the degeneracy
and perversity of this generation, for the Lord
of the Covenant shall assuredly assist you.  Verily, He shall
surround you with His loving protection, and shall lead you
from victory to victory.  Even as the cloud that rains its
bounty upon the earth, traverse the land from end to end,
and shower upon its people the blessings which the Almighty,
in His mercy, has deigned to confer upon you.  Forbear with
the &ulamas, and resign yourself to the will of God.  Raise
the cry:  `Awake, awake, for, lo! the Gate of God is open, and
the morning Light is shedding its radiance upon all mankind!  
The promised One is made manifest; prepare the way for
Him, O people of the earth!  Deprive not yourselves of its
redeeming grace, nor close your eyes to its effulgent glory.'  
Those whom you find receptive to your call, share with them
the epistles and tablets We have revealed for you, that,
perchance, these wondrous words may cause them to turn
away from the slough of heedlessness, and soar into the realm
 
+F1 "`This name comes to them,' said &Haji &Karim &Khan in his
+F1 &Hidayatu't-Talibin, `from the fact that the late &Shaykh &Ahmad, being at
+F1 &Karbila during his pilgrimages to the holy tombs, and out of respect for
+F1 the &Imams, recited his prayers standing behind the &Imam, that is to say,
+F1 at his feet.  In fact, for him there was no difference between the respect
+F1 to be tendered to a dead &Imam or a living &Imam.  The Persians, on the
+F1 contrary, when entering into the tomb, placed themselves at the head of the
+F1 &Imam and consequently turned their backs to him when they prayed because
+F1 the dead saints are buried with their heads towards the Qiblih.  This is a
+F1 disgrace and a lie!  The apostles of Jesus pretending to have come to the
+F1 assistance of God, were called `&Nasara,' a name which was given to all
+F1 those who followed in their footsteps.  It is thus that the name of
+F1 &Bala-Sari extended to all that follow the doctrine of those who pray
+F1 standing at the head of the &Imam.'"  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le
+F1 &Shaykhisme," I, preface, pp. 5-6.)  
 
+P86
of the Divine presence.  In this pilgrimage upon which We
are soon to embark, We have chosen &Quddus as Our companion.  
We have left you behind to face the onslaught of a
fierce and relentless enemy.  Rest assured, however, that a
bounty unspeakably glorious shall be conferred upon you.  
Follow the course of your journey towards the north, and
visit on your way &Isfahan, &Kashan, Qum, and &Tihran.  Beseech
almighty Providence that He may graciously enable
you to attain, in that capital, the seat of true sovereignty,
and to enter the mansion of the Beloved.  A secret lies hidden
in that city.  When made manifest, it shall turn the earth
into paradise.  My hope is that you may partake of its grace
and recognise its splendour.  From &Tihran proceed to &Khurasan,
and there proclaim anew the Call.  From thence
return to Najaf and &Karbila, and there await the summons
 
+P87
of your Lord.  Be assured that the high mission for which
you have been created will, in its entirety, be accomplished
by you.  Until you have consummated your work, if all the
darts of an unbelieving world be directed against you, they
will be powerless to hurt a single hair of your head.  All
things are imprisoned within His mighty grasp.  He, verily,
is the Almighty, the All-Subduing."  
     The &Bab then summoned to His presence &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami,
and addressed to him words of cheer and loving-kindness.  
He instructed him to proceed directly to Najaf
and &Karbila, alluded to the severe trials and afflictions that
would befall him, and enjoined him to be steadfast till the
end.  "Your faith," He told him, "must be immovable as the
rock, must weather every storm and survive every calamity.  
Suffer not the denunciations of the foolish and the calumnies
of the clergy to afflict you, or to turn you from your purpose.  
For you are called to partake of the celestial banquet prepared
for you in the immortal Realm.  You are the first to
leave the House of God, and to suffer for His sake.  If you
be slain in His path, remember that great will be your reward,
and goodly the gift which will be bestowed upon you."  
     No sooner were these words uttered than &Mulla &Ali
arose from his seat and set out to prosecute his mission.  At
about a farsang's distance from &Shiraz he was overtaken by
a youth who, flushed with excitement, impatiently asked to
speak to him.  His name was &Abdu'l-Vahhab.  "I beseech
you," he tearfully entreated &Mulla &Ali, "to allow me to accompany
you on your journey.  Perplexities oppress my
heart; I pray you to guide my steps in the way of Truth.  
Last night, in my dream, I heard the crier announce in the
market-street of &Shiraz the appearance of the &Imam &Ali,
the Commander of the Faithful.  He called to the multitude:  
`Arise and seek him.  Behold, he plucks out of the burning
fire charters of liberty and is distributing them to the people.  
Hasten to him, for whoever receives them from his hands
will be secure from penal suffering, and whoever fails to obtain
them from him, will be bereft of the blessings of Paradise.'  
Immediately I heard the voice of the crier, I arose and, abandoning
my shop, ran across the market-street of &Vakil to a
place where my eyes beheld you standing and distributing
 
+P88
those same charters to the people.  To everyone who approached
to receive them from your hands, you would whisper
in his ear a few words which instantly caused him to flee in
consternation and exclaim:  `Woe betide me, for I am deprived
of the blessings of &Ali and his kindred!  Ah, miserable me,
that I am accounted among the outcast and fallen !'  I awoke
from my dream and, immersed in an ocean of thought, regained
my shop.  Suddenly I saw you pass, accompanied
by a man who wore a turban, and who was conversing with
you.  I sprang from my seat and, impelled by a power which
I could not repress, ran to overtake you.  To my utter amazement,
I found you standing upon the very site which I had
witnessed in my dream, engaged in the recital of traditions
and verses.  Standing aside, at a distance, I kept watching
you, wholly unobserved by you and your friend.  I heard
the man whom you were addressing, impetuously protest:  
`Easier is it for me to be devoured by the flames of hell than
to acknowledge the truth of your words, the weight of which
mountains are unable to sustain!'  To his contemptuous
rejection you returned this answer:  `Were all the universe
to repudiate His truth, it could never tarnish the unsullied
purity of His robe of grandeur.'  Departing from him, you
directed your steps towards the gate of &Kaziran.  I continued
to follow you until I reached this place."  
     &Mulla &Ali tried to appease his troubled heart and to
persuade him to return to his shop and resume his daily
work.  "Your association with me," he urged, "would involve
me in difficulties.  Return to &Shiraz and rest assured,
for you are accounted of the people of salvation.  Far be it
from the justice of God to withhold from so ardent and devoted
a seeker the cup of His grace, or to deprive a soul so
athirst from the billowing ocean of His Revelation."  The
words of &Mulla &Ali proved of no avail.  The more he insisted
upon the return of &Abdu'l-Vahhab, the louder grew his
lamentation and weeping.  &Mulla &Ali finally felt compelled
to comply with his wish, resigning himself to the will of God.  
&Haji &Abdu'l-Majid, the father of &Abdu'l-Vahhab, has
often been heard to recount, with eyes filled with tears, this
story:  "How deeply," he said, "I regret the deed I committed.  
Pray that God may grant me the remission of my sin.  I
 
+P89
was one among the favoured in the court of the sons of the
&Farman-Farma, the governor of the province of &Fars.  Such
was my position that none dared to oppose or harm me.  No
one questioned my authority or ventured to interfere with
my freedom.  Immediately I heard that my son &Abdu'l-Vahhab
had forsaken his shop and left the city, I ran out
in the direction of the &Kaziran gate to overtake him.  Armed
with a club with which I intended to beat him, I enquired as
to the road he had taken.  I was told that a man wearing a
turban had just crossed the street and that my son was seen
following him.  They seemed to have agreed to leave the
city together.  This excited my anger and indignation.  How
could I tolerate, I thought to myself, such unseemly behaviour
on the part of my son, I, who already hold so privileged a
position in the court of the sons of the &Farman-Farma?  
Nothing but the severest chastisement, I felt, could wipe
away the effect of my son's disgraceful conduct.  
     "I continued my search until I reached them.  Seized
with a savage fury, I inflicted upon &Mulla &Ali unspeakable
injuries.  To the strokes that fell heavily upon him, he, with
extraordinary serenity, returned this answer:  `Stay your
hand, O &Abdu'l-Majid, for the eye of God is observing you.  
I take Him as my witness, that I am in no wise responsible
for the conduct of your son.  I mind not the tortures you
inflict upon me, for I stand prepared for the most grievous
afflictions in the path I have chosen to follow.  Your injuries,
compared to what is destined to befall me in future, are as a
drop compared to the ocean.  Verily, I say, you shall survive
me, and will come to recognise my innocence.  Great will
then be your remorse, and deep your sorrow.'  Scorning his
remarks, and heedless of his appeal, I continued to beat him
until I was exhausted.  Silently and heroically he endured
this most undeserved chastisement at my hands.  Finally,
I ordered my son to follow me, and left &Mulla &Ali to himself.  
"On our way back to &Shiraz, my son related to me the
dream he had dreamt.  A feeling of profound regret gradually
seized me.  The blamelessness of &Mulla &Ali was vindicated
in my eyes, and the memory of my cruelty to him continued
long to oppress my soul.  Its bitterness lingered in my heart
until the time when I felt obliged to transfer my residence
 
+P90
from &Shiraz to &Baghdad.  From &Baghdad I moved to &Kazimayn,
where &Abdu'l-Vahhab established his business.  A
strange mystery brooded over his youthful face.  He seemed
to be concealing from me a secret which appeared to have
transformed his life.  And when, in the year 1267 A.H.,+F1
&Baha'u'llah journeyed to &Iraq and visited &Kazimayn, &Abdu'l-Vahhab
fell immediately under the spell of His charm
and pledged his undying devotion to Him.  A few years later,
when my son had suffered martyrdom in &Tihran and &Baha'u'llah
had been exiled to &Baghdad, He, with infinite loving-kindness
and mercy, awakened me from the sleep of heedlessness,
and Himself taught me the message of the New
Day, washing away with the waters of Divine forgiveness
the stains of that cruel act."  
     This episode marks the first affliction which befell a disciple
of the &Bab after the declaration of His mission.  &Mulla
&Ali realised from this experience how steep and thorny was
the path leading to his eventual attainment of the promise
given him by his Master.  Wholly resigned to His will, and
prepared to shed his life-blood for His Cause, he resumed his
journey until he arrived at Najaf.  In the presence of &Shaykh
&Muhammad-Hasan, one of the most celebrated ecclesiastics
of &shi'ah &Islam, and in the face of a distinguished company
of his disciples, &Mulla &Ali announced fearlessly the manifestation
of the &Bab, the Gate whose advent they were eagerly
awaiting.  "His proof," he declared, "is His Word; His testimony,
none other than the testimony with which &Islam seeks
to vindicate its truth.  From the pen of this unschooled
&Hashimite Youth of Persia there have streamed, within the
space of forty-eight hours, as great a number of verses, of
prayers, of homilies, and scientific treatises, as would equal
in volume the whole of the &Qur'an, which it took &Muhammad,
the Prophet of God, twenty-three years to reveal!"  That
proud and fanatic leader, instead of welcoming, in an age of
darkness and prejudice, these life-giving evidences of a new-born
Revelation, forthwith pronounced &Mulla &Ali a heretic
and expelled him from the assembly.  His disciples and followers,
even the &Shaykhis, who already testified to &Mulla
&Ali's piety, sincerity, and learning, endorsed, unhesitatingly,
 
+F1 1850-51 A.D.  
 
+P91
the judgment against him.  The disciples of &Shaykh &Muhammad-Hasan,
joining hands with their adversaries, heaped
upon him untold indignities.  They eventually delivered him,
his hands bound in chains, to an official of the Ottoman government,
arraigning him as a wrecker of &Islam, a calumniator
of the Prophet, an instigator of mischief, a disgrace to the
Faith, and worthy of the penalty of death.  He was taken
to &Baghdad under the escort of government officials, and
was cast into prison by the governor of that city.  
      &Haji &Hashim, surnamed &Attar, a prominent merchant,
who was well versed in the Scriptures of &Islam, recounted
the following:  "I was present at Government House on one
occasion when &Mulla &Ali was summoned to the presence of
the assembled notables and government officials of that city.  
He was publicly accused of being an infidel, an abrogator of
the laws of &Islam, and a repudiator of its rituals and accepted
standards.  When his alleged offences and misdeeds had been
enumerated, the &Mufti, the chief exponent of the law of
&Islam in that city, turned to him and said:  `O enemy of God!'  
As I was occupying a seat beside the &Mufti, I whispered in
his ear:  `You are as yet unacquainted with this unfortunate
stranger.  Why address him in such terms?  Do you not
realise that such words as you have addressed to him will
excite the anger of the populace against him?  It behoves
you to disregard the unsupported charges these busybodies
have brought against him, to question him yourself, and
to judge him according to the accepted standards of justice
inculcated by the Faith of &Islam.'  The &Mufti was sore displeased,
arose from his seat, and left the gathering.  &Mulla
&Ali was again thrown into prison.  A few days later, I enquired
about him, hoping to achieve his deliverance.  I was
informed that, on the night of that same day, he had been
deported to Constantinople.  I made further enquiries and
endeavoured to find out what eventually befell him.  I could
not, however, ascertain the truth.  A few believed that on
his way to Constantinople he had fallen ill and died.  Others
maintained that he had suffered martyrdom."+F1  Whatever
 
+F1 According to &Muhammad &Mustafa (p. 106), &Mulla &Ali suffered six months'
+F1 imprisonment in &Baghdad by order of &Najib &Pasha, the governor of the
+F1 city.  He was thence ordered to leave for Constantinople, according to
+F1 instructions received from the Ottoman government.  He passed through
+F1 Mosul, where he was able to awaken interest in the new Revelation.  His
+F1 friends were, however, unable to discover whether he eventually reached his
+F1 destination.  
 
+P92
his end, &Mulla &Ali had by his life and death earned the immortal
distinction of having been the first sufferer in the
path of this new Faith of God, the first to have laid down his
life as an offering on the Altar of Sacrifice.  
     Having sent forth &Mulla &Ali on his mission, the &Bab
summoned to His presence the remaining Letters of the
Living, and to each severally He gave a special command and
appointed a special task.  He addressed to them these parting
words:  "O My beloved friends!  You are the bearers of the
name of God in this Day.  You have been chosen as the repositories
of His mystery.  It behoves each one of you to
manifest the attributes of God, and to exemplify by your
deeds and words the signs of His righteousness, His power
and glory.  The very members of your body must bear witness
to the loftiness of your purpose, the integrity of your life, the
reality of your faith, and the exalted character of your devotion.  
For verily I say, this is the Day spoken of by God in
His Book:+F1  `On that day will We set a seal upon their mouths
yet shall their hands speak unto Us, and their feet shall bear
witness to that which they shall have done.'  Ponder the
words of Jesus addressed to His disciples, as He sent them forth
to propagate the Cause of God.  In words such as these, He
bade them arise and fulfil their mission:  `Ye are even as the
fire which in the darkness of the night has been kindled upon
the mountain-top.  Let your light shine before the eyes of
men.  Such must be the purity of your character and the
degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may
through you recognise and be drawn closer to the heavenly
Father who is the Source of purity and grace.  For none has
seen the Father who is in heaven.  You who are His spiritual
children must by your deeds exemplify His virtues, and witness
to His glory.  You are the salt of the earth, but if the
salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  Such
must be the degree of your detachment, that into whatever
city you enter to proclaim and teach the Cause of God, you
should in no wise expect either meat or reward from its people.  
Nay, when you depart out of that city, you should shake
the dust from off your feet.  As you have entered it pure and
 
+F1 The &Qur'an.  
 
+P93
undefiled, so must you depart from that city.  For verily I
say, the heavenly Father is ever with you and keeps watch
over you.  If you be faithful to Him, He will assuredly deliver
into your hands all the treasures of the earth, and will exalt
you above all the rulers and kings of the world.'  O My
Letters!  Verily I say, immensely exalted is this Day above
the days of the Apostles of old.  Nay, immeasurable is the
difference!  You are the witnesses of the Dawn of the promised
Day of God.  You are the partakers of the mystic chalice of
His Revelation.  Gird up the loins of endeavour, and be
mindful of the words of God as revealed in His Book:+F1  `Lo,
the Lord thy God is come, and with Him is the company of
His angels arrayed before Him!'  Purge your hearts of worldly
desires, and let angelic virtues be your adorning.  Strive
that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these
words of God, and beware lest, by `turning back,'  He may
`change you for another people,' who `shall not be your like,'
and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God.  The days
when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended.  The time
is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by
deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the
Most High and be acceptable unto Him.  `The good word
riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to
be exalted before Him.'  You are the lowly, of whom God has
thus spoken in His Book:+F2  "And We desire to show favour to
those who were brought low in the land, and to make them
spiritual leaders among men, and to make them Our heirs.'  
You have been called to this station; you will attain to it,
only if you arise to trample beneath your feet every earthly
desire, and endeavour to become those `honoured servants of
His who speak not till He hath spoken, and who do His
bidding.'  You are the first Letters that have been generated
from the Primal Point,+F3 the first Springs that have welled
out from the Source of this Revelation.  Beseech the Lord
your God to grant that no earthly entanglements, no worldly
affections, no ephemeral pursuits, may tarnish the purity,
or embitter the sweetness, of that grace which flows through
you.  I am preparing you for the advent of a mighty Day.  
Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I,
who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of
 
+F1 The &Qur'an.  
+F2 The &Qur'an.  
+F3 One of the &Bab's titles.  
 
+P94
God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements.  
The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed.  It
can neither be divulged nor estimated.  The newly born babe
of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this
time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall
surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished
divines of this age.  Scatter throughout the length and
breadth of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified
hearts, prepare the way for His coming.  Heed not your
weaknesses and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible
power of the Lord, your God, the Almighty.  Has He not, in
past days, caused Abraham, in spite of His seeming helplessness,
to triumph over the forces of Nimrod?  Has He not
enabled Moses, whose staff was His only companion, to
vanquish Pharaoh and his hosts?  Has He not established
the ascendancy of Jesus, poor and lowly as He was in the
eyes of men, over the combined forces of the Jewish people?  
Has He not subjected the barbarous and militant tribes of
Arabia to the holy and transforming discipline of &Muhammad,
His Prophet?  Arise in His name, put your trust wholly in
Him, and be assured of ultimate victory.'+F1  
     With such words the &Bab quickened the faith of His
disciples and launched them upon their mission.  To each
He assigned his own native province as the field of his labours.  
He directed them each and all to refrain from specific references
to His own name and person.+F2  He instructed them
to raise the call that the Gate to the Promised One has been
opened, that His proof is irrefutable, and that His testimony
is complete.  He bade them declare that whoever believes
in Him has believed in all the prophets of God, and that
whoever denies Him has denied all His saints and His chosen
 
+F1 The &Bab refers to the Letters of the Living in the Persian &Bayan (&Vahid
+F1 I, &Bab 2) in the following terms:  "All of these formed the name of the
+F1 Living One, for these are the names that are the nearest to God; the others
+F1 are guided by their clear and significant actions, for God began the
+F1 creation of the &Bayan through them, and it is to them that the creation of
+F1 the &Bayan will again return.  They are the lights which in the past have
+F1 eternally prostrated themselves and will prostrate themselves eternally in
+F1 the future, before the celestial throne."  ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 1, pp.
+F1 24-25.)  
+F2 A. L. M. Nicolas, in his introduction to volume I of "Le &Bayan Persan"
+F2 (pp. 3-5), writes as follows:  "Everyone agrees in acknowledging that it
+F2 would be absolutely impossible for him to proclaim loudly his doctrine or
+F2 to spread it among men.  He had to act as does a physician to children, who
+F2 must disguise a bitter medicine in a sweet coating in order to win over his
+F2 young patients.  The people in the midst of whom he appeared were, and
+F2 still are, alas, more fanatical than the Jews were at the time of Jesus,  
+F2 when the majesty of Roman peace was no longer there to put a stop to the
+F2 furious excesses of religious madness of an over-excited people.  
+F2 Therefore, if Christ, in spite of the relative calm of the surroundings in
+F2 which He preached, thought it necessary to employ the parable, Siyyid
+F2 &Ali-Muhammad, a fortiori, was obliged to disguise his thought in numerous
+F2 circuitous ways and only pour out, one drop at a time, the filter of his  
+F2 divine truths.  He brings up his child, Humanity; he guides it, endeavoring
+F2 always not to frighten it and directs its first steps on a path which leads
+F2 it slowly but surely, so that, as soon as it can proceed alone, it reaches
+F2 the goal pre-ordained for it from all eternity."  
 
+P95
[Illustration:  THE MADRISH OF &NIM-AVARD, &ISFAHAN]  
 
+P96
ones.  With these instructions He dismissed them from His
presence and committed them to the care of God.  Of these
Letters of the Living, whom He thus addressed, there remained
with Him in &Shiraz &Mulla &Husayn, the first of these
Letters, and &Quddus, the last.  The rest, fourteen in number,
set out, at the hour of dawn, from &Shiraz, each resolved to
carry out, in its entirety, the task with which he had been
entrusted.  
     To &Mulla &Husayn, as the hour of his departure approached,
the &Bab addressed these words:  "Grieve not that you have
not been chosen to accompany Me on My pilgrimage to
&Hijaz.  I shall, instead, direct your steps to that city which
enshrines a Mystery of such transcendent holiness as neither
&Hijaz nor &Shiraz can hope to rival.  My hope is that you may,
by the aid of God, be enabled to remove the veils from the
eyes of the wayward and to cleanse the minds of the malevolent.  
Visit, on your way, &Isfahan, &Kashan, &Tihran, and
&Khurasan.  Proceed thence to &Iraq, and there await the
summons of your Lord, who will keep watch over you and
will direct you to whatsoever is His will and desire.  As to
Myself, I shall, accompanied by &Quddus and My Ethiopian
servant, proceed on My pilgrimage to &Hijaz.  I shall join the
company of the pilgrims of &Fars, who will shortly be sailing
for that land.  I shall visit Mecca and Medina, and there
fulfil the mission with which God has entrusted Me.  God
willing, I shall return hither by the way of &Kufih, in which
place I hope to meet you.  If it be decreed otherwise, I shall
ask you to join Me in &Shiraz.  The hosts of the invisible Kingdom,
be assured, will sustain and reinforce your efforts.  The
essence of power is now dwelling in you, and the company
of His chosen angels revolves around you.  His almighty arms
will surround you, and His unfailing Spirit will ever continue to
guide your steps.  He that loves you, loves God; and whoever
opposes you, has opposed God.  Whoso befriends you, him will
God befriend; and whoso rejects you, him will God reject."  
 
+P97
                    CHAPTER IV
          &MULLA &HUSAYN'S JOURNEY TO &TIHRAN
 
     WITH these noble words ringing in his ears, &Mulla
&Husayn embarked upon his perilous enterprise.  
Wherever he went, to whatever class of people
he addressed himself, he delivered fearlessly and
without reserve the Message with which his beloved Master
had entrusted him.  Arriving in &Isfahan, he established himself
in the madrisih of &Nim-Avard.  Around him gathered
those who on his previous visit to that city had known him
as the favoured messenger of Siyyid &Kazim to the eminent
mujtahid, &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir.+F1  He, being now
dead, had been succeeded by his son, who had just returned
from Najaf and was now established upon the seat of his
father.  &Haji &Muhammad-Ibrahim-i-Kalbasi had also fallen
seriously ill, and was on the verge of death.  The disciples
of the late &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir, now freed from
the restraining influence of their departed teacher, and
alarmed at the strange doctrines which &Mulla &Husayn was
propounding, vehemently denounced him to &Haji Siyyid
&Asadu'llah, the son of the late &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir.  
"&Mulla &Husayn," they complained, "was able, in the
course of his last visit, to win the support of your illustrious
father to the cause of &Shaykh &Ahmad.  No one among the
Siyyid's helpless disciples dared to oppose him.  He now
comes as the upholder of a still more formidable opponent
and is pleading His Cause with still greater vehemence and
vigour.  He is persistently claiming that He whose Cause he
now champions is the Revealer of a Book which is divinely
inspired, and which bears a striking resemblance to the tone
 
+F1 "In crowds they gathered to hear the teacher.  He occupied in turn all the
+F1 pulpits of &Isfahan where he was free to speak publicly and to announce
+F1 that &Mirza &Ali-Muhammad was the twelfth &Imam, the &Imam &Mihdi.  He
+F1 displayed and read his Master's books and would reveal their eloquence
+F1 and their depth, emphasizing the extreme youthfulness of the seer and
+F1 telling of his miracles."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les
+F1 Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 130.)  
 
+P98
and language of the &Qur'an.  In the face of the people of this
city, he has flung these challenging words:  `Produce one like
it, if you are men of truth.'  The day is fast approaching when
the whole of &Isfahan will have embraced his Cause!"  &Haji
Siyyid &Asadu'llah returned evasive answers to their complaints.  
"What am I to say?" he was at last forced to reply.  
Do you not yourselves admit that &Mulla &Husayn has, by
his eloquence and the cogency of his argument, silenced a
man no less great than my illustrious father?  How can I,
then, who am so inferior to him in merit and knowledge,
presume to challenge what he has already approved?  Let
each man dispassionately examine these claims.  If he be
satisfied, well and good; if not, let him observe silence, and
not incur the risk of discrediting the fair name of our Faith."  
     Finding that their efforts had failed to influence &Haji
Siyyid &Asadu'llah, his disciples referred the matter to &Haji
&Muhammad-Ibrahim-i-Kalbasi.  "Woe betide us," they loudly
protested, "for the enemy has risen to disrupt the holy Faith
of &Islam.  ln lurid and exaggerated language, they stressed
the challenging character of the ideas propounded by &Mulla
&Husayn.  "Hold your peace," replied &Haji &Muhammad-Ibrahim.  
"&Mulla &Husayn is not the person to be duped by
anyone, nor can he fall a victim to dangerous heresies.  If
your contention be true, if &Mulla &Husayn has indeed espoused
a new Faith, it is unquestionably your first obligation
to enquire dispassionately into the character of his teachings,
and to refrain from denouncing him without previous and
careful scrutiny.  If my health and strength be restored, it
is my intention, God willing, to investigate the matter myself,
and to ascertain the truth."  
     This severe rebuke, pronounced by &Haji &Kalbasi, greatly
disconcerted the disciples of &Haji Siyyid &Asadu'llah.  In
their dismay they appealed to &Manuchihr &Khan, the &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih,
the governor of the city.  That wise and
judicious ruler refused to interfere in these matters, which
he said fell exclusively within the jurisdiction of the &ulamas.  
He warned them to abstain from mischief and to cease disturbing
the peace and tranquillity of the messenger.  His
trenchant words shattered the hopes of the mischief-makers.  
&Mulla &Husayn was thereby relieved from the machinations
 
+P99
of his enemies, and, for a time, pursued untrammelled the
course of his labours.  
     The first to embrace the Cause of the &Bab in that city
was a man, a sifter of wheat, who, as soon as the Call reached
his ears, unreservedly accepted the Message.  With marvellous
devotion he served &Mulla &Husayn, and through his
close association with him became a zealous advocate of the
new Revelation.  A few years later, when the soul-stirring
details of the siege of the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi were being
recounted to him, he felt an irresistible impulse to throw in
his lot with those heroic companions of the &Bab who had
risen for the defence of their Faith.  Carrying his sieve in
his hand, he immediately arose and set out to reach the scene
of that memorable encounter.  "Why leave so hurriedly?"
his friends asked him, as they saw him running in a state of
intense excitement through the bazaars of &Isfahan.  "I have
risen," he replied, "to join the glorious company of the defenders
of the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi!  With this sieve which
I carry with me, I intend to sift the people in every city
through which I pass.  Whomsoever I find ready to espouse
the Cause I have embraced, I will ask to join me and hasten
forthwith to the field of martyrdom."  Such was the devotion
of this youth, that the &Bab, in the Persian &Bayan, refers to
him in such terms:  "&Isfahan, that outstanding city, is distinguished
by the religious fervour of its &shi'ah inhabitants,
by the learning of its divines, and by the keen expectation,
shared by high and low alike, of the imminent coming of the
&Sahibu'z-Zaman.  In every quarter of that city, religious
institutions have been established.  And yet, when the Messenger
of God had been made manifest, they who claimed
to be the repositories of learning and the expounders of the
mysteries of the Faith of God rejected His Message.  Of all
the inhabitants of that seat of learning, only one person, a
sifter of wheat, was found to recognise the Truth, and was
invested with the robe of Divine virtue!"+F1  
 
+F1 `Behold the land of &Sad (&Isfahan) which in this world of appearances is
+F1 the greatest of lands.  In every one of its schools, numerous slaves are
+F1 found who bear the name of savants and contestants.  At the time of the
+F1 election of members, even a sifter of grain may put on the garb of primacy
+F1 (above the others).  It is here that the secret of the word of the &Imams,
+F1 regarding the Manifestation, shines forth:  "The lowliest of the creatures
+F1 shall become the most exalted, and the most exalted shall become the most
+F1 debased.'"  ("The &Bayan Persan," vol. 4, p. 113.)  
 
+P100
     Among the siyyids of &Isfahan, a few, such as &Mirza
&Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Nahri, whose daughter was subsequently
joined in wedlock with the Most Great Branch,+F1 &Mirza &Hadi,
the brother of &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali, and &Mirza &Muhammad-Riday-i-Pa-Qal'iyi,
recognised the truth of the Cause.  
&Mulla &Sadiq-i-Khurasani, formerly known as Muqaddas, and
surnamed by &Baha'u'llah, &Ismu'llahu'l-Asdaq, who, according
to the instructions of Siyyid &Kazim, had during the last five
years been residing in &Isfahan and had been preparing the
way for the advent of the new Revelation, was also among
the first believers who identified themselves with the Message
proclaimed by the &Bab.+F2  As Soon as he learned of the arrival
of &Mulla &Husayn in &Isfahan, he hastened to meet him.  He
gives the following account of his first interview, which took
place at night in the home of &Mirza &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Nahri:  
"I asked &Mulla &Husayn to divulge the name of Him
who claimed to be the promised Manifestation.  He replied:  
`To enquire about that name and to divulge it are alike
forbidden.'  `Would it, then, be possible,' I asked, `for me,
even as the Letters of the Living, to seek independently the
grace of the All-Merciful and, through prayer, to discover
His identity?'  `The door of His grace,' he replied, `is never
closed before the face of him who seeks to find Him.'  I immediately
retired from his presence, and requested his host
to allow me the privacy of a room in his house where, alone
and undisturbed, I could commune with God.  In the midst
of my contemplation, I suddenly remembered the face of a
Youth whom I had often observed while in &Karbila, standing
in an attitude of prayer, with His face bathed in tears at the
entrance of the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn.  That same countenance
now reappeared before my eyes.  In my vision I
seemed to behold that same face, those same features, expressive
of such joy as I could never describe.  He smiled
as He gazed at me.  I went towards Him, ready to throw
myself at His feet.  I was bending towards the ground,
when, lo! that radiant figure vanished from before me.  Overpowered
with joy and gladness, I ran out to meet &Mulla
 
+F1 Reference to &Abdu'l-Baha's marriage with &Munirih &Khanum.  
+F2 Gobineau (p. 129) mentions &Mulla &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Harati, a well-known
+F2 juris-consult, as one of the earliest converts to the Faith.  
 
+P101
&Husayn, who with transport received me and assured me
that I had, at last, attained the object of my desire.  He
bade me, however, repress my feelings.  `Declare not your
vision to anyone,' he urged me; `the time for it has not yet
arrived.  You have reaped the fruit of your patient waiting
in &Isfahan.  You should now proceed to &Kirman, and there
acquaint &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan with this Message.  From
that place you should travel to &Shiraz and endeavour to rouse
the people of that city from their heedlessness.  I hope to
join you in &Shiraz and share with you the blessings of a joyous
reunion with our Beloved.'"+F1  
     From &Isfahan, &Mulla &Husayn proceeded to &Kashan.  The
first to be enrolled in that city among the company of the
faithful was a certain &Haji &Mirza &Jani, surnamed &Par-Pa,
who was a merchant of note.+F2  Among the friends of &Mulla
&Husayn was a well-known divine, Siyyid &Abdu'l-Baqi, a
resident of &Kashan and a member of the &shaykhi community.  
Although intimately associated with &Mulla &Husayn during
his stay in Najaf and &Karbila, the Siyyid felt unable to sacrifice
rank and leadership for the Message which his friend had
brought him.  
     Arriving in Qum, &Mulla &Husayn found its people utterly
unprepared to heed his call.  The seeds he sowed among them
did not germinate until the time when &Baha'u'llah was exiled
to &Baghdad.  In those days &Haji &Mirza &Musa, a native of
Qum, embraced the Faith, journeyed to &Baghdad, and there
met &Baha'u'llah.  He eventually quaffed the cup of martyrdom
in His path.  
     From Qum, &Mulla &Husayn proceeded directly to &Tihran.  
He lived, during his stay in the capital, in one of the rooms
 
+F1 "The sojourn of &Bushru'i in &Isfahan proved a triumph for the &Bab.  The
+F1 conversions that he performed were numerous and brilliant; but, such are
+F1 the ways of the world, that they drew down upon him the fierce hatred of
+F1 the official clergy to which he was obliged to yield and he withdrew from
+F1 that city.  In fact, the conversion of &Mulla &Muhammad &Taqi-i-Hirati, a
+F1 jurist of the first rank, brought their fury to a climax, because
+F1 over-flowing with zeal as he was, he would go every day to the mambar where
+F1 he talked to men openly of the greatness of the &Bab to whom he gave the
+F1 rank of &Na'ib-i-khass of the twelfth &Imam."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid
+F1 &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 255.)  
+F2 According to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" (pp. 42-5), &Haji &Mirza &Jani was
+F2 known by the people of &Kashan as &Haji &Mirza &Janiy-i-Buzurg in order to
+F2 distinguish him from his namesake, who was also a merchant of &Kashan,
+F2 known by the name of &Haji &Mirza &Janiy-i-Turk, or &Kuchiq.  The former
+F2 had three brothers the eldest was named &Haji &Muhammad-Isma'il-i-Dhabih,
+F2 the second &Haji &Mirza &Ahmad, the third &Haji &Ali-Akbar.  
 
+P102
which belonged to the madrisih of &Mirza &Salih, better
known as the madrisih of &Pay-i-Minar.  &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Khurasani,
the leader of the &shaykhi community of
&Tihran, who acted as an instructor in that institution, was
approached by &Mulla &Husayn but failed to respond to his
motivation to accept the Message.  "We had cherished the
hope he said to &Mulla &Husayn, "that after the death of
Siyyid &Kazim you would strive to promote the best interests
of the &shaykhi community and would deliver it from the
 
+P103
obscurity into which it has sunk.  You seem, however, to
have betrayed its cause.  You have shattered our fondest
expectations.  If you persist in disseminating these subversive
doctrines, you will eventually extinguish the remnants
of the &shaykhis in this city."  &Mulla &Husayn assured him
that he had no intention of prolonging his stay in &Tihran,
that his aim was in no wise to abase or suppress the teachings
inculcated by &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.+F1  
     During his stay in &Tihran, &Mulla &Husayn each day would
leave his room early in the morning and would return to it
only an hour after sunset.  Upon his return he would quietly
and alone re-enter his room, close the door behind him, and
 
+F1 "He passed several days in that capital but he did not appear in public.  
+F1 He limited himself to confidential conversations with those who visited
+F1 him.  He thus received many and won over to his doctrine a fairly large
+F1 number of enquirers.  Each one wished to see him, or to have seen him, and
+F1 the King, &Muhammad &Shah and his Minister, &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, true
+F1 Persians as they were, did not fail to have him brought before them.  He
+F1 laid before them his doctrine and gave to them the Books of the Master."  
+F1 (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie
+F1 Centrale," p. 131.)  
 
+P104
remain in the privacy of his cell until the next day.+F1  &Mirza
&Musa, &Aqay-i-Kalim, the brother of &Baha'u'llah, recounted
to me the following:  "I have heard &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mu'allim,
a native of &Nur, in the province of &Mazindaran,
who was a fervent admirer of both &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid
&Kazim, relate this story:  `I was in those days recognised as
one of the favoured disciples of &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad, and
lived in the same school in which he taught.  My room adjoined
his room, and we were closely associated together.  
On the day that he was engaged in discussion with &Mulla
&Husayn, I overheard their conversation from beginning to
end, and was deeply affected by the ardour, the fluency, and
learning of that youthful stranger.  I was surprised at the
evasive answers, the arrogance, and contemptuous behaviour
of &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad.  That day I felt strongly attracted
by the charm of that youth, and deeply resented the
unseemly conduct of my teacher towards him.  I concealed
my feelings, however, and pretended to ignore his discussions
with &Mulla &Husayn.  I was seized with a passionate desire
to meet the latter, and ventured, at the hour of midnight,
to visit him.  He did not expect me, but I knocked at his door,
and found him awake seated beside his lamp.  He received
me affectionately, and spoke to me with extreme courtesy and
tenderness.  I unburdened my heart to him, and as I was
addressing him, tears, which I could not repress, flowed
from my eyes.  "I can now see," he said, "the reason why I
have chosen to dwell in this place.  Your teacher has contemptuously
rejected this Message and despised its Author.  
My hope is that his pupil may, unlike his master, recognise
its truth.  What is your name, and which city is your home?"  
"My name," I replied, "is &Mulla &Muhammad, and my surname
&Mu'allim.  My home is &Nur, in the province of &Mazindaran."  
"Tell me," further enquired &Mulla &Husayn, "is
there to-day among the family of the late &Mirza &Buzurg-i-Nuri,
who was so renowned for his character, his charm, and
artistic and intellectual attainments, anyone who has proved
himself capable of maintaining the high traditions of that
 
+F1 According to Samandar (manuscript, p. 2), &Mulla &Husayn, on his way from
+F1 &Shiraz to &Tihran in the year 1260 A.H., was the bearer of a Tablet
+F1 revealed by the &Bab for &Muhammad &Shah.  
 
+P105
illustrious house?"  "Yea," I replied, "among his sons now
living, one has distinguished Himself by the very traits which
characterised His father.  By His virtuous life, His high
attainments, His loving-kindness and liberality, He has proved
Himself a noble descendant of a noble father."  "What is
His occupation?" he asked me.  "He cheers the disconsolate
 
+P106
and feeds the hungry," I replied.  "What of His rank and
position?"  "He has none," I said, "apart from befriending
the poor and the stranger."  "What is His name?"  "&Husayn-'Ali."  
"In which of the scripts of His father does He excel?"  
"His favourite script is &shikastih-nasta'liq."  "How does He
spend His time?"  "He roams the woods and delights in the
beauties of the countryside."+F1  "What is His age?"  "Eight
and twenty."  The eagerness with which &Mulla &Husayn
questioned me, and the sense of delight with which he welcomed
every particular I gave him, greatly surprised me.  
Turning to me, with his face beaming with satisfaction and
joy, he once more enquired:  "I presume you often meet Him?"  
"I frequently visit His home," I replied.  "Will you," he
said, "deliver into His hands a trust from me?"  "Most assuredly,"
was my reply.  He then gave me a scroll wrapped
in a piece of cloth, and requested me to hand it to Him the
next day at the hour of dawn.  "Should He deign to answer
me," he added, "will you be kind enough to acquaint me with
His reply.  I received the scroll from him and, at break of
day, arose to carry out his desire.  
     "`As I approached the house of &Baha'u'llah, I recognised
His brother &Mirza &Musa, who was standing at the gate, and
to whom I communicated the object of my visit.  He went
into the house and soon reappeared bearing a message of
welcome.  I was ushered into His presence, and presented the
scroll to &Mirza &Musa, who laid it before &Baha'u'llah.  He
bade us both be seated.  Unfolding the scroll, He glanced at
its contents and began to read aloud to us certain of its passages.  
I sat enraptured as I listened to the sound of His
 
+F1 "On one occasion," writes Dr. J. E. Esslemont, "&Abdu'l-Baha, the eldest
+F1 son of &Baha'u'llah, related to the writer the following particulars about
+F1 His Father's early days:  `From childhood He was extremely kind and
+F1 generous.  He was a great lover of outdoor life, most of His time being
+F1 spent in the garden or the fields.  He had an extraordinary power of
+F1 attraction, which was felt by all.  People always crowded around Him.  
+F1 Ministers and people of the Court would surround Him, and the children also
+F1 were devoted to Him.  When He was only thirteen or fourteen years old He
+F1 became renowned for His learning....  When &Baha'u'llah was twenty-two
+F1 years old, His father died, and the Government wished Him to succeed to His
+F1 father's position in the Ministry as was customary in Persia, but
+F1 &Baha'u'llah did not accept the offer.  Then the Prime Minister said:  
+F1 "Leave him to himself.  Such a position is unworthy of him.  He has some
+F1 higher aim in view.  I cannot understand him, but I am convinced that he is
+F1 destined for some lofty career.  His thoughts are not like ours.  Let him
+F1 alone."'"  ("&Baha'u'llah and the New Era," pp. 29-30.)  
 
+P107
voice and the sweetness of its melody.  He had read a page
of the scroll when, turning to His brother, He said:  "&Musa,
what have you to say?  Verily I say, whoso believes in the
&Qur'an and recognises its Divine origin, and yet hesitates,
though it be for a moment, to admit that these soul-stirring
words are endowed with the same regenerating power, has
most assuredly erred in his judgment and has strayed far
from the path of justice."  He spoke no more.  Dismissing
me from His presence, He charged me to take to &Mulla &Husayn,
as a gift from Him, a loaf of Russian sugar and a package
of tea,+F1 and to convey to him the expression of His appreciation
and love.  
     "`I arose and, filled with joy, hastened back to &Mulla
&Husayn, and delivered to him the gift and message of &Baha'u'llah.  
With what joy and exultation he received them from
me!  Words fail me to describe the intensity of his emotion.  
He started to his feet, received with bowed head the gift
from my hand, and fervently kissed it.  He then took me in
his arms, kissed my eyes, and said:  "My dearly beloved
friend!  I pray that even as you have rejoiced my heart,
God may grant you eternal felicity and fill your heart with
imperishable gladness."  I was amazed at the behaviour of
&Mulla &Husayn.  What could be, I thought to myself, the
nature of the bond that unites these two souls?  What could
have kindled so fervid a fellowship in their hearts?  Why
should &Mulla &Husayn, in whose sight the pomp and circumstance
of royalty were the merest trifle, have evinced such
gladness at the sight of so inconsiderable a gift from the
hands of &Baha'u'llah?  I was puzzled by this thought and
could not unravel its mystery.  
     "`A few days later, &Mulla &Husayn left for &Khurasan.  
As he bade me farewell, he said:  "Breathe not to anyone what
you have heard and witnessed.  Let this be a secret hidden
within your breast.  Divulge not His name, for they who envy
His position will arise to harm Him.  In your moments of
meditation, pray that the Almighty may protect Him, that,
through Him, He may exalt the downtrodden, enrich the poor,
 
+F1 Tea and that variety of sugar being extremely rare in Persia at that time,
+F1 both were used as gifts among the higher classes of the population.  
 
+P108
and redeem the fallen.  The secret of things is concealed from
our eyes.  Ours is the duty to raise the call of the New Day
and to proclaim this Divine Message unto all people.  Many
a soul will, in this city, shed his blood in this path.  That
blood will water the Tree of God, will cause it to flourish,
and to overshadow all mankind."'"
 
+P109
                         CHAPTER V
           &BAHA'U'LLAH'S JOURNEY TO &MAZINDARAN
 
     THE first journey &Baha'u'llah undertook for the purpose
of promoting the Revelation announced by
the &Bab was to His ancestral home in &Nur, in the
province of &Mazindaran.  He set out for the village
of &Takur, the personal estate of His father, where He owned a
vast mansion, royally furnished and superbly situated.  It
was my privilege to hear &Baha'u'llah Himself, one day, recount
the following:  "The late &Vazir, My father, enjoyed a most
enviable position among his countrymen.  His vast wealth,
his noble ancestry, his artistic attainments, his unrivalled
prestige and exalted rank made him the object of the admiration
of all who knew him.  For a period of over twenty years,
no one among the wide circle of his family and kindred, which
extended over &Nur and &Tihran, suffered distress, injury, or
illness.  They enjoyed, during a long and uninterrupted period,
rich and manifold blessings.  Quite suddenly, however, this
prosperity and glory gave way to a series of calamities which
severely shook the foundations of his material prosperity.  The
first loss he suffered was occasioned by a great flood which,
rising in the mountains of &Mazindaran, swept with great
violence over the village of &Takur, and utterly destroyed half
the mansion of the &Vazir, situated above the fortress of that
village.  The best part of that house, which had been known
for the solidity of its foundations, was utterly wiped away
by the fury of the roaring torrent.  Its precious articles of
furniture were destroyed, and its elaborate ornamentation
irretrievably ruined.  This was shortly followed by the loss
of various State positions which the &Vazir occupied, and by
the repeated assaults directed against him by his envious
adversaries.  Despite this sudden change of fortune, the
&Vazir maintained his dignity and calm, and continued, within
the restricted limits of his means, his acts of benevolence and
charity.  He continued to exercise towards his faithless associates
 
+P110
[Illustrations:  APPROACH TO, AND RUINS OF, &BAHA'U'LLAH'S ORIGINAL HOME
IN &TAKUR, &MAZINDARAN]  
 
+P111
that same courtesy and kindness that had characterised
his dealings with his fellow-men.  With splendid
fortitude he grappled, until the last hour of his life, with the
adversities that weighed so heavily upon him."  
     &Baha'u'llah had already, prior to the declaration of the
&Bab, visited the district of &Nur, at a time when the celebrated
mujtahid &Mirza &Muhammad &Taqiy-i-Nuri was at the height
of his authority and influence.  Such was the eminence of his
position, that they who sat at his feet regarded themselves
each as the authorised exponent of the Faith and Law of
&Islam.  The mujtahid was addressing a company of over
two hundred of such disciples, and was expatiating upon a
dark passage of the reported utterances of the &imams, when
&Baha'u'llah, followed by a number of His companions, passed
by that place, and paused for a while to listen to his discourse.  
The mujtahid asked his disciples to elucidate an abstruse
theory relating to the metaphysical aspects of the Islamic
teachings.  As they all confessed their inability to explain
it, &Baha'u'llah was moved to give, in brief but convincing
language, a lucid exposition of that theory.  The mujtahid
was greatly annoyed at the incompetence of his disciples.  
"For years I have been instructing you," he angrily exclaimed,
"and have patiently striven to instil into your minds
the profoundest truths and the noblest principles of the
Faith.  And yet you allow, after all these years of persistent
study, this youth, a wearer of the &kulah,+F1 who has had no
share in scholarly training, and who is entirely unfamiliar
with your academic learning, to demonstrate his superiority
over you!  
     Later on, when &Baha'u'llah had departed, the mujtahid
related to his disciples two of his recent dreams, the circumstances
of which he believed were of the utmost significance.  
"In my first dream," he said, "I was standing in the midst
of a vast concourse of people, all of whom seemed to be
pointing to a certain house in which they said the &Sahibu'z-Zaman
dwelt.  Frantic with joy, I hastened in my dream
to attain His presence.  When I reached the house, I was,
to my great surprise, refused admittance.  `The promised
 
+F1 The &kulah, a lambskin hat, differentiated the clergy from the laity, and
+F1 was worn invariably by State officials.  
 
+P112
&Qa'im,' I was informed, `is engaged in private conversation
with another Person.  Access to them is strictly forbidden.'  
From the guards who were standing beside the door, I gathered
that that Person was none other than &Baha'u'llah.  
     "In my second dream," the mujtahid continued, "I found
myself in a place where I beheld around me a number of coffers,
each of which, it was stated, belonged to &Baha'u'llah.  As
I opened them, I found them to be filled with books.  Every
word and letter recorded in these books was set with the most
exquisite jewels.  Their radiance dazzled me.  I was so overpowered
by their brilliance that I awoke suddenly from my
dream."  
     When, in the year '60, &Baha'u'llah arrived in &Nur, He
discovered that the celebrated mujtahid who on His previous
visit had wielded such immense power had passed away.  
The vast number of his devotees had shrunk into a mere
handful of dejected disciples who, under the leadership of
his successor, &Mulla &Muhammad, were striving to uphold
the traditions of their departed leader.  The enthusiasm which
greeted &Baha'u'llah's arrival sharply contrasted with the
 
+P113
gloom that had settled upon the remnants of that once
flourishing community.  A large number of the officials and
notables in that neighbourhood called upon Him and, with
every mark of affection and respect, accorded Him a befitting
welcome.  They were eager, in view of the social position He
occupied, to learn from Him all the news regarding the life
of the &Shah, the activities of his ministers, and the affairs of
his government.  To their enquiries &Baha'u'llah replied with
extreme indifference, and seemed to reveal very little interest
or concern.  With persuasive eloquence He pleaded the cause
of the new Revelation, and directed their attention to the
immeasurable benefits which it was destined to confer upon
their country.+F1  Those who heard Him marvelled at the keen
interest which a man of His position and age evinced for
truths which primarily concerned the divines and theologians
of &Islam.  They felt powerless to challenge the soundness of
His arguments or to belittle the Cause which He so ably expounded.  
They admired the loftiness of His enthusiasm and
the profundity of His thoughts, and were deeply impressed
by His detachment and self-effacement.  
     None dared to contend with His views except His uncle
&Aziz, who ventured to oppose Him, challenging His statements
and aspersing their truth.  When those who heard
him sought to silence this opponent and to injure him, &Baha'u'llah
intervened in his behalf, and advised them to leave
him in the hands of God.  Alarmed, he sought the aid of the
mujtahid of &Nur, &Mulla &Muhammad, and appealed to him
to lend him immediate assistance.  "O vicegerent of the
Prophet of God!" he said.  "Behold what has befallen the
Faith.  A youth, a layman, attired in the garb of nobility,
has come to &Nur, has invaded the strongholds of orthodoxy,
and disrupted the holy Faith of &Islam.  Arise, and resist his
onslaught.  Whoever attains his presence falls immediately
under his spell, and is enthralled by the power of his utterance.  
I know not whether he is a sorcerer, or whether he mixes
with his tea some mysterious substance that makes every
man who drinks the tea fall a victim to its charm."  The
 
+F1 "His [&Baha'u'llah's] speech was like a `rushing torrent' and his clearness
+F1 in exposition brought the most learned divines to his feet."  (Dr. T. K.
+F1 Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 120.)  
 
+P114
mujtahid, notwithstanding his own lack of comprehension,
was able to realise the folly of such remarks.  Jestingly he
observed:  "Have you not partaken of his tea, or heard him
address his companions?"  "I have," he replied, "but,
thanks to your loving protection, I have remained immune
from the effect of his mysterious power."  The mujtahid,
finding himself unequal to the task of arousing the populace
against &Baha'u'llah, and of combating directly the ideas
which so powerful an opponent was fearlessly spreading, contented
himself with a written statement in which he declared:  
"O &Aziz, be not afraid, no one will dare molest you."  In
writing this, the mujtahid had, through a grammatical error,
so perverted the purport of his statement, that those who read
it among the notables of the village of &Takur were scandalised
by its meaning, and vilified both the bearer and the author
of that statement.  
     Those who attained the presence of &Baha'u'llah and heard
Him expound the Message proclaimed by the &Bab were so
much impressed by the earnestness of His appeal that they
forthwith arose to disseminate that same Message among
the people of &Nur and to extol the virtues of its distinguished
Promoter.  The disciples of &Mulla &Muhammad meanwhile
endeavoured to persuade their teacher to proceed to &Takur,
to visit &Baha'u'llah in person, to ascertain from Him the nature
of this new Revelation, and to enlighten his followers regarding
its character and purpose.  To their earnest entreaty the
mujtahid returned an evasive answer.  His disciples, however,
refused to admit the validity of the objections he raised.  
They urged that the first obligation imposed upon a man of
his position, whose function was to preserve the integrity of
&shi'ah &Islam, was to enquire into the nature of every movement
that tended to affect the interests of their Faith.  &Mulla
&Muhammad eventually decided to delegate two of his eminent
lieutenants, &Mulla &Abbas and &Mirza &Abu'l-Qasim, both
sons-in-law and trusted disciples of the late mujtahid, &Mirza
&Muhammad-Taqi, to visit &Baha'u'llah and to determine the
true character of the Message He had brought.  He pledged
himself to endorse unreservedly whatever conclusions they
might arrive at, and to recognise their decision in such matters
as final.  
 
+P115
[Illustrations:  EXTERIOR OF THE ROOM OCCUPIED BY &BAHA'U'LLAH IN &TAKUR,
&MAZINDARAN; INTERIOR OF &BAHA'U'LLAH'S ROOM KEPT IN ITS ORIGINAL CONDITION;
EXTERIOR OF THE ROOM OCCUPIED BY &ABDU'L-BAHA IN &TAKUR, &MAZINDARAN;
INTERIOR OF THE ROOM OCCUPIED BY &ABDU'L-BAHA]  
 
+P116
     On being informed, upon their arrival in &Takur, that &Baha'u'llah
had departed for His winter resort, the representatives
of &Mulla &Muhammad decided to leave for that place.  When
they arrived, they found &Baha'u'llah engaged in revealing a
commentary on the opening &Surih of the &Qur'an, entitled
"The Seven Verses of Repetition."  As they sat and listened
to His discourse, the loftiness of the theme, the persuasive
eloquence which characterised its presentation, as well as the
extraordinary manner of its delivery, profoundly impressed
them.  &Mulla &Abbas, unable to contain himself, arose from
his seat and, urged by an impulse he could not resist, walked
back and stood still beside the door in an attitude of reverent
submissiveness.  The charm of the discourse to which he was
listening had fascinated him.  "You behold my condition,"
he told his companion as he stood trembling with emotion
and with eyes full of tears.  "I am powerless to question
&Baha'u'llah.  The questions I had planned to ask Him have
vanished suddenly from my memory.  You are free either
to proceed with your enquiry or to return alone to our teacher
and inform him of the state in which I find myself.  Tell
him from me that &Abbas can never again return to him.  
He can no longer forsake this threshold."  &Mirza &Abu'l-Qasim
was likewise moved to follow the example of his companion.  
"I have ceased to recognise my teacher," was his reply.  "This
very moment, I have vowed to God to dedicate the remaining
days of my life to the service of &Baha'u'llah, my true and
only Master."  
     The news of the sudden conversion of the chosen envoys
of the mujtahid of &Nur spread with bewildering rapidity
throughout the district.  It roused the people from their
lethargy.  Ecclesiastical dignitaries, State officials, traders,
and peasants all flocked to the residence of &Baha'u'llah.  A
considerable number among them willingly espoused His
Cause.  In their admiration for Him, a number of the most
distinguished among them remarked:  "We see how the
people of &Nur have risen and rallied round you.  We witness
on every side evidences of their exultation.  If &Mulla &Muhammad
were also to join them, the triumph of this Faith
would be completely assured."  "I am come to &Nur," &Baha'u'llah
replied, "solely for the purpose of proclaiming the
 
+P117
Cause of God.  I cherish no other intention.  If I were told
that at a distance of a hundred leagues a seeker yearned for
the Truth and was unable to meet Me, I would, gladly and
unhesitatingly, hasten to his abode, and would Myself satisfy
his hunger.  &Mulla &Muhammad, I am told, lives in &Sa'adat-Abad,
a village not far distant from this place.  It is My
purpose to visit him and deliver to him the Message of God."  
     Desirous of giving effect to His words, &Baha'u'llah, accompanied
by a number of His companions, proceeded immediately
to that village.  &Mulla &Muhammad most ceremoniously
received Him.  "I have not come to this place,"
&Baha'u'llah observed, "to pay you an official or formal visit.  
My purpose is to enlighten you regarding a new and wondrous
Message, divinely inspired and fulfilling the promise given to
&Islam.  Whosoever has inclined his ear to this Message has
felt its irresistible power, and has been transformed by the
potency of its grace.  Tell Me whatsoever perplexes your
mind, or hinders you from recognising the Truth."  &Mulla
&Muhammad disparagingly remarked:  "I undertake no action
unless I first consult the &Qur'an.  I have invariably, on such
occasions, followed the practice of invoking the aid of God
and His blessings; of opening at random His sacred Book,
and of consulting the first verse of the particular page upon
which my eyes chance to fall.  From the nature of that
verse I can judge the wisdom and the advisability of my
contemplated course of action."  Finding that &Baha'u'llah
was not inclined to refuse him his request, the mujtahid called
for a copy of the &Qur'an, opened and closed it again, refusing
to reveal the nature of the verse to those who were present.  
All he said was this:  "I have consulted the Book of God, and
deem it inadvisable to proceed further with this matter."  
A few agreed with him; the rest, for the most part, did not
fail to recognise the fear which those words implied.  &Baha'u'llah,
disinclined to cause him further embarrassment, arose
and, asking to be excused, bade him a cordial farewell.  
     One day, in the course of one of His riding excursions into
the country, &Baha'u'llah, accompanied by His companions,
saw, seated by Me roadside, a lonely youth.  His hair was
dishevelled, and he wore the dress of a dervish.  By the side
of a brook he had kindled a fire, and was cooking his food
 
+P118
and eating it.  Approaching him, &Baha'u'llah most lovingly
enquired:  "Tell Me, dervish, what is it that you are doing?"  
"I am engaged in eating God," he bluntly replied.  "I am
cooking God and am burning Him."  The unaffected simplicity
of his manners and the candour of his reply pleased
&Baha'u'llah extremely.  He smiled at his remark and began
to converse with him with unrestrained tenderness and freedom.  
Within a short space of time, &Baha'u'llah had changed
him completely.  Enlightened as to the true nature of God,
and with a mind purged from the idle fancy of his own people,
he immediately recognised the Light which that loving Stranger
had so unexpectedly brought him.  That dervish, whose
name was &Mustafa, became so enamoured with the teachings
which had been instilled into his mind that, leaving his
cooking utensils behind, he straightway arose and followed
&Baha'u'llah.  On foot, behind His horse, and inflamed with
the fire of His love, he chanted merrily verses of a love-song
which he had composed on the spur of the moment and had
dedicated to his Beloved.  "Thou art the Day-Star of guidance,"
ran its glad refrain.  "Thou art the Light of Truth.  
Unveil Thyself to men, O Revealer of the Truth."  Although,
in later years, that poem obtained wide circulation among
his people, and it became known that a certain dervish, surnamed
&Majdhub, and whose name was &Mustafa &Big-i-Sanandaji,
had, without premeditation, composed it in praise
of his Beloved, none seemed to be aware to whom it actually
referred, nor did anyone suspect, at a time when &Baha'u'llah
was still veiled from the eyes of men, that this dervish alone
had recognised His station and discovered His glory.  
     &Baha'u'llah's visit to &Nur had produced the most far-reaching
results, and had lent a remarkable impetus to the
spread of the new-born Revelation.  By His magnetic eloquence,
by the purity of His life, by the dignity of His bearing,
by the unanswerable logic of His argument, and by the many
evidences of His loving-kindness, &Baha'u'llah had won the
hearts of the people of &Nur, had stirred their souls, and had
enrolled them under the standard of the Faith.  Such was
the effect of words and deeds, as He went about preaching
the Cause and revealing its glory to His countrymen in &Nur,
that the very stones and trees of that district seemed to have
 
+P119
been quickened by the waves of spiritual power which emanated
from His person.  All things seemed to be endowed
with a new and more abundant life, all things seemed to be
proclaiming aloud:  "Behold, the Beauty of God has been
made manifest!  Arise, for He has come in all His glory."  
The people of &Nur, when &Baha'u'llah had departed from out
their midst, continued to propagate the Cause and to consolidate
its foundations.  A number of them endured the
severest afflictions for His sake; others quaffed with gladness
the cup of martyrdom in His path.  &Mazindaran in general,
and &Nur in particular, were thus distinguished from the
other provinces and districts of Persia, as being the first to
have eagerly embraced the Divine Message.  The district of
&Nur, literally meaning "light," which lay embedded within
the mountains of &Mazindaran, was the first to catch the rays
of the Sun that had arisen in &Shiraz, the first to proclaim
to the rest of Persia, which still lay enveloped in the shadow
of the vale of heedlessness, that the Day-Star of heavenly guidance
had at length arisen to warm and illuminate the whole
land.  
     When &Baha'u'llah was still a child, the &Vazir, His father,
dreamed a dream.  &Baha'u'llah appeared to him swimming
in a vast, limitless ocean.  His body shone upon the waters
with a radiance that illumined the sea.  Around His head,
which could distinctly be seen above the waters, there radiated,
in all directions, His long, jet-black locks, floating in
great profusion above the waves.  As he dreamed, a multitude
of fishes gathered round Him, each holding fast to the
extremity of one hair.  Fascinated by the effulgence of His
face, they followed Him in whatever direction He swam.  
Great as was their number, and however firmly they clung
to His locks, not one single hair seemed to have been detached
from His head, nor did the least injury affect His
person.  Free and unrestrained, He moved above the waters
and they all followed Him.  
     The &Vazir, greatly impressed by this dream, summoned
a soothsayer, who had achieved fame in that region, and
asked him to interpret it for him.  This man, as if inspired
by a premonition of the future glory of &Baha'u'llah, declared:  
"The limitless ocean that you have seen in your dream, O
 
+P120
&Vazir, is none other than the world of being.  Single-handed
and alone, your son will achieve supreme ascendancy over it.  
Wherever He may please, He will proceed unhindered.  No
one will resist His march, no one will hinder His progress.  
The multitude of fishes signifies the turmoil which He will
arouse amidst the peoples and kindreds of the earth.  Around
Him will they gather, and to Him will they cling.  Assured
of the unfailing protection of the Almighty, this tumult will
never harm His person, nor will His loneliness upon the sea
of life endanger His safety."  
     That soothsayer was subsequently taken to see &Baha'u'llah.  
He looked intently upon His face, and examined carefully
His features.  He was charmed by His appearance, and
extolled every trait of His countenance.  Every expression
in that face revealed to his eyes a sign of His concealed glory.  
So great was his admiration, and so profuse his praise of
&Baha'u'llah, that the &Vazir, from that day, became even
more passionately devoted to his son.  The words spoken by
that soothsayer served to fortify his hopes and confidence
in Him.  Like Jacob, he desired only to ensure the welfare
of his beloved Joseph, and to surround Him with his loving
protection.  
     &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, the Grand &Vazir of &Muhammad &Shah,
though completely alienated from &Baha'u'llah's father, showed
his son every mark of consideration and favour.  So great
was the esteem which the &Haji professed for Him, that &Mirza
&Aqa &Khan-i-Nuri, the &I'timadu'd-Dawlih, who afterwards
succeeded &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, felt envious.  He resented the
superiority which &Baha'u'llah, as a mere youth, was accorded
over him.  The seeds of jealousy were, from that time, implanted
in his breast.  Though still a youth, and while his
father is yet alive, he thought, he is given precedence in the
presence of the Grand &Vazir.  What will, I wonder, happen
to me when this young man shall have succeeded his father?  
     After the death of the &Vazir, &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi continued
to show the utmost consideration to &Baha'u'llah.  He would
visit Him in His home, and would address Him as though
He were his own son.  The sincerity of his devotion, however,
was very soon put to the test.  One day, as he was passing
through the village of &Quch-Hisar, which belonged to &Baha'u'llah,
 
+P121
he was so impressed by the charm and beauty of that
place and the abundance of its water that he conceived the
idea of becoming its owner.  &Baha'u'llah, whom he had summoned
to effect the immediate purchase of that village, observed:  
"Had this property been exclusively mine own, I
would willingly have complied with your desire.  This transitory
life, with all its sordid possessions, is worthy of no
attachment in my eyes, how much less this small and insignificant
estate.  As a number of other people, both rich
and poor, some of full age and some still minors, share with
me the ownership of this property, I would request you to
refer this matter to them, and to seek their consent."  Unsatisfied
with this reply, &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi sought, through
fraudulent means, to achieve his purpose.  So soon as &Baha'u'llah
was informed of his evil designs, He, with the consent
of all concerned, immediately transferred the title of the
property to the name of the sister of &Muhammad &Shah, who
had already repeatedly expressed her desire to become its
owner.  The &Haji, furious at this transaction, ordered that
the estate should be forcibly seized, claiming that he already
had purchased it from its original possessor.  The representatives
of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi were severely rebuked by the
agents of the sister of the &Shah, and were requested to inform
their master of the determination of that lady to assert her
rights.  The &Haji referred the case to &Muhammad &Shah,
and complained of the unjust treatment to which he had been
subjected.  That very night, the &Shah's sister had acquainted
him with the nature of the transaction.  "Many a time,"
she said to her brother, "your Imperial Majesty has graciously
signified your desire that I should dispose of the jewels with
which I am wont to adorn myself in your presence, and with
the proceeds purchase some property.  I have at last succeeded
in fulfilling your desire.  &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, however, is now
fully determined to seize it forcibly from me."  The &Shah
reassured his sister, and commanded the &Haji to forgo his
claim.  The latter, in his despair, summoned &Baha'u'llah to
his presence and, by every artifice, strove to discredit His
name.  To the charges he brought against Him, &Baha'u'llah
vigorously replied, and succeeded in establishing His innocence.  
In his impotent rage, the Grand &Vazir exclaimed:  
 
+P122
"What is the purpose of all this feasting and banqueting
in which you seem to delight?  I, who am the Prime Minister
of the &Shahinshah of Persia, never receive the number and
variety of guests that crowd around your table every night.  
Why all this extravagance and vanity?  You surely must be
meditating a plot against me."  "Gracious God!" &Baha'u'llah
replied.  "Is the man who, out of the abundance of his
heart, shares his bread with his fellow-men, to be accused of
harbouring criminal intentions?"  &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi was
utterly confounded.  He dared no reply.  Though supported
by the combined ecclesiastical and civil powers of Persia,
he eventually found himself, in every contest he ventured
against &Baha'u'llah, completely defeated.  
     On a number of other occasions, &Baha'u'llah's ascendancy
over His opponents was likewise vindicated and recognised.  
These personal triumphs achieved by Him served to enhance
His position, and spread abroad His fame.  All classes of
men marvelled at His miraculous success in emerging unscathed
from the most perilous encounters.  Nothing short
of Divine protection, they thought, could have ensured His
safety on such occasions.  Not once did &Baha'u'llah, beset
though He was by the gravest perils, submit to the arrogance,
the greed, and the treachery of those around Him.  In His
constant association, during those days, with the highest
dignitaries of the realm, whether ecclesiastical or State officials,
He was never content simply to accede to the views
they expressed or the claims they advanced.  He would, at
their gatherings, fearlessly champion the cause of truth,
would assert the rights of the downtrodden, defending the
weak and protecting the innocent.  
 
+P123
                         CHAPTER VI
            &MULLA &HUSAYN'S JOURNEY TO &KHURASAN
 
     AS THE &Bab bade farewell to the Letters of the
Living, He instructed them, each and all, to record
separately the name of every believer who embraced
the Faith and identified himself with its
teachings.  The list of these believers He bade them enclose
in sealed letters, and address them to His maternal uncle,
&Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, in &Shiraz, who would in turn deliver
them to Him.  "I shall classify these lists," He told them,
"into eighteen sets of nineteen names each.  Each set will
constitute one &vahid.+F1  All these names, in these eighteen
sets, will, together with the first &vahid, consisting of My own
name and those of the eighteen Letters of the Living, constitute
the number of &Kull-i-Shay'.+F2  Of all these believers
I shall make mention in the Tablet of God, so that upon
each one of them the Beloved of our hearts may, in the
Day when He shall have ascended the throne of glory, confer
His inestimable blessings, and declare them the dwellers of
His Paradise."  
     To &Mulla &Husayn, more particularly, the &Bab gave
definite injunctions to send Him a written report on the
nature and progress of his activities in &Isfahan, in &Tihran,
and in &Khurasan.  He urged him to inform Him of those
who accepted and submitted to the Faith, as well as of those
who rejected and repudiated its truth.  "Not until I receive
your letter from &Khurasan," He said, "shall I be ready to
set out from this city on My pilgrimage to &Hijaz."  
     &Mulla &Husayn, refreshed and fortified by the experience
of his intercourse with &Baha'u'llah, set out on his journey to
&Khurasan.  During his visit to that province, he exhibited
in an astonishing manner the effects of that regenerating
power with which the parting words of the &Bab had invested
 
+F1 The numerical value of the word "&vahid," which means "unity," is 19.  
+F2 The numerical value of "&Kull-i-Shay'," which means "all things," is 361,
+F2 or 19 X 19.  
 
+P124
[Illustrations:  VIEWS OF THE MOSQUE OF &GAWHAR-SHAD IN &MASHHAD SHOWING
PULPIT WHERE &MULLA &HUSAYN PREACHED]  
 
+P125
him.+F1  The first to embrace the Faith in &Khurasan was
&Mirza &Ahmad-i-Azghandi, the most learned, the wisest, and
the most eminent among the &ulamas of that province.  In
whatever gathering he appeared, no matter how great the
number or representative the character of the divines who
were present, he alone was invariably the chief speaker.  The
high traits of his character, as well as his extreme devoutness,
had ennobled the reputation which he had already acquired
through his erudition, his ability and wisdom.  The next to
embrace the Faith among the &shaykhis of &Khurasan was
&Mulla &Ahmad-i-Mu'allim, who, while in &Karbila, had been
the instructor of the children of Siyyid &Kazim.  Next to him
came &Mulla &Shaykh &Ali, whom the &Bab surnamed &Azim,
and then &Mulla &Mirza &Muhammad-i-Furughi, whose learning
was unsurpassed except by that of &Mirza &Ahmad.  No one
apart from these outstanding figures among the ecclesiastical
leaders of &Khurasan exercised sufficient authority or possessed
the necessary knowledge to challenge the arguments of &Mulla
&Husayn.  
     &Mirza &Muhammad &Baqir-i-Qa'ini, who, for the remaining
years of his life, had established his residence in &Mashhad,
was the next to embrace the Message.  The love of the &Bab
inflamed his soul with such a consuming passion, that no
one could resist its force or could belittle its influence.  His
fearlessness, his unsparing energy, his unswerving loyalty,
and the integrity of his life, all combined to make him the
terror of his enemies and a source of inspiration to his friends.  
 
+F1   "The pilgrim, as was customary with him, would make the most of his stay
+F1 which he would prolong if need be, in the villages, towns and cities on his
+F1 way, in order to hold conferences, to speak against the &Mullas, to make
+F1 known the Books of the &Bab and to preach his doctrines.  He was summoned
+F1 everywhere and waited for impatiently; he was sought after with curiosity,
+F1 listened to eagerly and believed with little difficulty.  
+F1   "It was at &Nishapur above all, that he made two important conversions in
+F1 the persons of &Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq of Yazd, and of &Mulla &Ali the
+F1 Young.  The first of these Doctors had been the pupil of &Shaykh
+F1 &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i.  He was a person celebrated for his science, for his
+F1 eloquence and for his standing among the people.  The other, a &Shaykh like
+F1 the first, a man of strict ethics and high understanding, held the
+F1 important position of the principal mujtahid of the city.  Both became
+F1 ardent &Babis.  They made the pulpits of the Mosques resound with violent
+F1 denunciations of &Islam.  
+F1   "During several weeks, it seemed as though the old religion had been
+F1 completely defeated.  The clergy, demoralized by the defection of their
+F1 chief and frightened by the public addresses which did not spare them,
+F1 either dared not show themselves or had taken flight.  When &Mulla
+F1 &Husayn-i-Bushru'i came to &Mashhad he found, on the one hand, the
+F1 population stirred up and divided about him, on the other hand, the clergy
+F1 forewarned and very anxious, but exasperated and determined to oppose a
+F1 vigorous resistance to the attacks about to be launched against them."  
+F1 (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie
+F1 Centrale," pp. 139-140.)  
 
+P126
He placed his home at the disposal of &Mulla &Husayn, arranged
for separate interviews between him and the &ulamas of
&Mashhad, and continued to endeavour, to the utmost of
his power, to remove every obstacle that might impede the
progress of the Faith.  He was untiring in his efforts, undeviating
in his purpose, and inexhaustible in his energy.  He continued
to labour indefatigably for his beloved Cause until
the last hour of his life, when he fell a martyr at the fort of
&Shaykh &Tabarsi.  In his last days he was bidden by &Quddus,
after the tragic death of &Mulla &Husayn, to assume the leadership
of the heroic defenders of that fort.  He acquitted himself
gloriously of his task.  His home, situated in &Bala-Khiyaban,
in the city of &Mashhad, is up to the present time known by
the name of &Babiyyih.  Whoever enters it can never escape
the accusation of being a &Babi.  May his soul rest in peace!  
     &Mulla &Husayn, as soon as he had won to the Cause such
able and devoted supporters, decided to address a written
report concerning his activities to the &Bab.  In his communication
he referred at length to his sojourn in &Isfahan and
&Kashan, described the account of his experience with &Baha'u'llah,
referred to the departure of the latter for &Mazindaran,
related the events of &Nur, and informed Him of the success
which had attended his own efforts in &Khurasan.  In it he
enclosed a list of the names of those who had responded to
his call, and of whose steadfastness and sincerity he was
assured.  He sent his letter by way of Yazd, through the
trustworthy partners of the &Bab's maternal uncle who were
at that time residing in &Tabas.  That letter reached the &Bab
on the night preceding the twenty-seventh day of &Ramadan,+F1
a night held in great reverence by all the sects of &Islam
and regarded by many as rivalling in sacredness the Laylatu'l-Qadr
itself, the night which, in the words of the &Qur'an,
"excelleth a thousand months."+F2  The only companion of the
&Bab, when that letter reached Him that night, was &Quddus,
with whom He shared a number of its passages.  
     I have heard &Mirza &Ahmad relate the following:  "The
&Bab's maternal uncle himself described to me the circumstances
 
+F1 Corresponding with the night preceding the 10th of October, 1844 A.D.  
+F2 The Laylatu'l-Qadr, meaning literally "Night of Power," is one of the last
+F2 ten nights of &Ramadan, and, as is commonly believed, the seventh of those
+F2 nights reckoning backward.  
 
+P127
attending the receipt of &Mulla &Husayn's letter by the
&Bab:  `That night I saw such evidences of joy and gladness
on the faces of the &Bab and of &Quddus as I am unable to
describe.  I often heard the &Bab, in those days, exultingly
repeat the words, "How marvellous, how exceedingly marvellous,
is that which has occurred between the months of
&Jamadi and &Rajab!"  As He was reading the communication
addressed to Him by &Mulla &Husayn, He turned to &Quddus
and, showing him certain passages of that letter, explained
the reason for His joyous expressions of surprise.  I, for my
part, remained completely unaware of the nature of that
explanation.'"
     &Mirza &Ahmad, upon whom the account of this incident
had produced a profound impression, was determined to
fathom its mystery.  "Not until I met &Mulla &Husayn in
&Shiraz," he told me, "was I able to satisfy my curiosity.  
When I repeated to him the account described to me by the
&Bab's uncle, he smiled and said how well he remembered that
 
+P128
between the months of &Jamadi and &Rajab he chanced to be
in &Tihran.  He gave no further explanation, and contented
himself with this brief remark.  This was sufficient, however,
to convince me that in the city of &Tihran there lay hidden a
Mystery which, when revealed to the world, would bring unspeakable
joy to the hearts of both the &Bab and &Quddus."  
     The references in &Mulla &Husayn's letter to &Baha'u'llah's
immediate response to the Divine Message, to the vigorous
campaign which He had boldly initiated in &Nur, and to the
marvellous success which had attended His efforts, cheered
and gladdened the &Bab, and reinforced His confidence in the
ultimate victory of His Cause.  He felt assured that if now
He were to fall suddenly a victim to the tyranny of His foes
and depart from this world, the Cause which He had revealed
would live; would, under the direction of &Baha'u'llah, continue
to develop and flourish, and would yield eventually its
choicest fruit.  The master-hand of &Baha'u'llah would steer
its course, and the pervading influence of His love would
establish it in the hearts of men.  Such a conviction fortified
His spirit and filled Him with hope.  From that moment
His fears of the imminence of peril or danger entirely forsook
Him.  Phoenix-like He welcomed with joy the fire of adversity,
and gloried in the glow and heat of its flame.  
 
+P129
                         CHAPTER VII
           THE &BAB'S PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA AND MEDINA
 
     THE letter of &Mulla &Husayn decided the &Bab to
undertake His contemplated pilgrimage to &Hijaz.  
Entrusting His wife to His mother, and committing
them both to the care and protection of His maternal
uncle, He joined the company of the pilgrims of &Fars
who were preparing to leave &Shiraz for Mecca and Medina.+F1  
&Quddus was His only companion, and the Ethiopian servant
His personal attendant.  He first proceeded to &Bushihr, the
seat of His uncle's business, where in former days He, in
close association with him, had lived the life of a humble
merchant.  Having there completed the preliminary arrangements
for His long and arduous voyage, He embarked on a
sailing vessel, which, after two months of slow, stormy, and
unsteady sailing, landed Him upon the shores of that sacred
land.+F2  High seas and the complete absence of comfort could
 
+F1 According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 72), the &Bab set
+F1 out on His pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in the month of &Shavval, 1260
+F1 A.H. (Oct., 1844 A.D.).  
+F2   "He retained the most disagreeable impression of his voyage.  `Know that
+F2 the sea voyages are hard.  We do not favor them for the faithful; travel by
+F2 land,' he wrote in the &Kitab-i-Baynu'l-Haramayn in addressing himself to
+F2 his uncle, as we shall soon see.  He elaborates upon this subject also in
+F2 the &Bayan.  Do not consider this childish, the feelings which moved the
+F2 &Bab in his horror of the sea are far more noble.  
+F2   "Struck by the selfishness of the pilgrims which was heightened by the
+F2 discomforts of a long and dangerous sea voyage, equally shocked by the
+F2 unclean conditions that the pilgrims were obliged to endure on board, he
+F2 wished to prevent men from yielding to their lower instincts and treating
+F2 one another harshly.  We know that the &Bab especially commended politeness
+F2 and the most refined courtesy in all social relations.  `Never sadden
+F2 anyone, no matter whom, for no matter what,' he enjoined, and during this
+F2 voyage he experienced the meanness of man and his brutality when in the
+F2 presence of difficulties.  `The saddest thing that I saw on my pilgrimage
+F2 to Mecca was the constant disputes of the pilgrims between themselves,
+F2 disputes which took away the moral benefit of the pilgrimage.'  (&Bayan,
+F2 4:16.)  
+F2   "In time he arrived at Mascate where he rested for several days during
+F2 which he sought to convert the people of that country but without success.  
+F2 He spoke to one among them, a religious man probably, one of high rank,
+F2 whose conversion might also have been followed by that of his fellow
+F2 citizens, at least so I believe, though he gives us no details upon this
+F2 subject.  Evidently he did not attempt to convert the first comer who would
+F2 have had no influence on the other inhabitants of the city.  That he
+F2 attempted a conversion and did not succeed is an indisputable fact because
+F2 he himself affirms it:  `The mention of God, in truth, descended upon the
+F2 earth of Mascate and made the way of God come to one of the inhabitants of
+F2 the country.  It may be possible that he understood our verses and became
+F2 one of those who are guided.  Say:  This man obeyed his passions after
+F2 having read our verses and in truth this man is by the rules of the Book,
+F2 among the transgressors.  Say:  We have not seen in Mascate men of the Book
+F2 willing to help him, because they are lost in ignorance.  And the same was
+F2 true of all these voyagers on the boat with the exception of one who
+F2 believed in our verses and became one of those who fear God.'" (A. L. M.
+F2 Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 207-208.)  
 
+P130
neither interfere with the regularity of His devotions nor perturb
the peacefulness of His meditations and prayers.  Oblivious
of the storm that raged about Him, and undeterred by
the sickness which had seized His fellow-pilgrims, He continued
to occupy His time in dictating to &Quddus such prayers
and epistles as He felt inspired to reveal.  
     I have heard &Haji &Abu'l-Hasan-i-Shirazi, who was travelling
in the same vessel as the &Bab, describe the circumstances
of that memorable voyage:  "During the entire period of approximately
two months," he asserted, "from the day we
embarked at &Bushihr to the day when we landed at Jaddih,
the port of &Hijaz, whenever by day or night I chanced to
meet either the &Bab or &Quddus, I invariably found them
together, both absorbed in their work.  The &Bab seemed to
be dictating, and &Quddus was busily engaged in taking down
whatever fell from His lips.  Even at a time when panic
seemed to have seized the passengers of that storm-tossed
vessel, they would be seen pursuing their labours with unperturbed
confidence and calm.  Neither the violence of the
elements nor the tumult of the people around them could
either ruffle the serenity of their countenance or turn them
from their purpose."  
     The &Bab Himself, in the Persian &Bayan,+F1 refers to the
 
+F1   "It is thus that I myself saw, on the voyage to Mecca, a notable who was
+F1 spending considerable sums of money but who hesitated to spend the price of
+F1 a glass of water for his fellow-traveler.  This happened on the boat where
+F1 the water was scarce, so scarce in fact, during the voyage from &Bushihr
+F1 to Mascate, which lasted twelve days with no opportunity to get water, that
+F1 I had to content myself with sweet lemons."  ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 2,
+F1 p. 154.)  
+F1   "One cannot imagine on the sea anything but discomfort.  One cannot have
+F1 all the necessities as in land travel.  The mariners are obliged to live
+F1 thus but by their services they come nearer to God, and God rewards actions
+F1 performed on the land and on the sea but He grants a two-fold recompense
+F1 for those services accomplished by one of the servants on the sea, because
+F1 their work is more arduous."  (Ibid., pp. 155-156.)  
+F1   "I have seen (on the way to Mecca) acts of the vilest kind, in the eyes
+F1 of God, which were sufficient to undo the good resulting from the
+F1 pilgrimage.  These were the quarrels among the pilgrims!  Verily, the House
+F1 of God has no need of such people!"  (Ibid., p. 155.)  
 
+P131
hardships of that voyage.  "For days," He wrote, "we suffered
from the scarcity of water.  I had to content myself with the
juice of the sweet lemon."  Because of this experience, He
supplicated the Almighty to grant that the means of ocean
travel might soon be speedily improved, that its hardships
might be reduced, and its perils be entirely eliminated.  
Within a short space of time, since that prayer was offered,
the evidences of a remarkable improvement in all forms of
maritime transport have greatly multiplied, and the Persian
Gulf, which in those days hardly possessed a single steam-driven
vessel, now boasts a fleet of ocean liners that can,
within the range of a few days and in the utmost comfort,
carry the people of &Fars on their annual pilgrimage to &Hijaz.  
     The peoples of the West, among whom the first evidences
of this great Industrial Revolution have appeared, are, alas,
as yet wholly unaware of the Source whence this mighty
stream, this great motive power, proceeds--a force that has
revolutionised every aspect of their material life.  Their own
history testifies to the fact that in the year which witnessed
the dawn of this glorious Revelation, there suddenly appeared
evidences of an industrial and economic revolution that the
people themselves declare to have been unprecedented in the
history of mankind.  In their concern for the details of the
working and adjustments of this newly conceived machinery,
they have gradually lost sight of the Source and object of
this tremendous power which the Almighty has committed to
their charge.  They seem to have sorely misused this power
and misunderstood its function.  Designed to confer upon
the people of the West the blessings of peace and of happiness,
it has been utilised by them to promote the interests of destruction
and war.  
 
+P132
     Upon His arrival in Jaddih, the &Bab donned the pilgrim's
garb, mounted a camel, and set out on His journey to Mecca.  
&Quddus, however, notwithstanding the repeatedly expressed
desire of his Master, preferred to accompany Him on foot
all the way from Jaddih to that holy city.  Holding in his
hand the bridle of the camel upon which the &Bab was riding,
he walked along joyously and prayerfully, ministering to his
Master's needs, wholly indifferent to the fatigues of his
arduous march.  Every night, from eventide until the break
of day, &Quddus, sacrificing comfort and sleep, would continue
with unrelaxing vigilance to watch beside his Beloved, ready
to provide for His wants and to ensure the means of His
protection and safety.  
     One day, when the &Bab had dismounted close to a well
in order to offer His morning prayer, a roving Bedouin suddenly
appeared on the horizon, drew near to Him, and,
snatching the saddlebag that had been lying on the ground
beside Him, and which contained His writings and papers,
vanished into the unknown desert.  His Ethiopian servant
set out to pursue him, but was prevented by his Master, who,
as He was praying, motioned to him with His hand to give
up his pursuit.  "Had I allowed you," the &Bab later on affectionately
assured him, "you would surely have overtaken
and punished him.  But this was not to be.  The papers and
writings which that bag contained are destined to reach,
through the instrumentality of this Arab, such places as we
could never have succeeded in attaining.  Grieve not, therefore,
at his action, for this was decreed by God, the Ordainer,
the Almighty."  Many a time afterwards did the &Bab on
similar occasions seek to comfort His friends by such reflections.  
By words such as these He turned the bitterness of
regret and of resentment into radiant acquiescence in the
Divine purpose and into joyous submission to God's will.  
     On the day of &Arafat,+F1 the &Bab, seeking the quiet seclusion
of His cell, devoted His whole time to meditation and
worship.  On the following day, the day of Nahr, after He
had offered the feast-day prayer, He proceeded to &Muna,
where, according to ancient custom, He purchased nineteen
lambs of the choicest breed, of which He sacrificed nine in
 
+F1 The day preceding the festival.  
 
+P133
His own name, seven in the name of &Quddus, and three in
the name of His Ethiopian servant.  He refused to partake
of the meat of this consecrated sacrifice, preferring instead
to distribute it freely among the poor and needy of that
neighbourhood.  
     Although the month of &Dhi'l-Hijjih,+F1 the month of pilgrimage
to Mecca and Medina, coincided in that year with
the first month of the winter season, yet so intense was the
heat in that region that the pilgrims who made the circuit of
 
+F1 December, 1844 A.D.  
 
+P134
the sacred shrine were unable
to perform that rite in their
usual garments.  Draped in a
light, loose-fitting tunic, they
joined in the celebration of the
festival.  The &Bab, however,
refused, as a mark of deference,
to discard either His turban or
cloak.  Dressed in His usual
attire, He, with the utmost
dignity and calm, and with extreme
simplicity and reverence,
compassed the &Ka'bih and performed
all the prescribed rites of worship.  
     On the last day of His pilgrimage
to Mecca, the &Bab met &Mirza &Muhit-i-Kirmani.  
He stood facing the Black Stone, when the &Bab approached
him and, taking his hand in His, addressed him in these
words:  "O &Muhit!  You regard yourself as one of the most
outstanding figures of the &shaykhi community and a distinguished
exponent of its teachings.  In your heart you
even claim to be one of the direct successors and rightful
inheritors of those twin great Lights, those Stars that have
heralded the morn of Divine guidance.  Behold, we are both
now standing within this most sacred shrine.  Within its
hallowed precincts, He whose Spirit dwells in this place can
cause Truth immediately to be known and distinguished
from falsehood, and righteousness from error.  Verily I
declare, none besides Me in this day, whether in the East
or in the West, can claim to be the Gate that leads men to
the knowledge of God.  My proof is none other than that
proof whereby the truth of the Prophet &Muhammad was
established.  Ask Me whatsoever you please; now, at this
very moment, I pledge Myself to reveal such verses as can
demonstrate the truth of My mission.  You must choose
either to submit yourself unreservedly to My Cause or to
repudiate it entirely.  You have no other alternative.  If
you choose to reject My message, I will not let go your hand
until you pledge your word to declare publicly your repudiation
 
+P135
of the Truth which I have proclaimed.  Thus shall He
who speaks the Truth be made known, and he that speaks
falsely shall be condemned to eternal misery and shame.  
Then shall the way of Truth be revealed and made manifest
to all men."  
     This peremptory challenge, thrust so unexpectedly by the
&Bab upon &Mirza &Muhit-i-Kirmani, profoundly distressed
him.  He was overpowered by its directness, its compelling
 
+P136
majesty and force.  In the presence of that Youth, he, notwithstanding
his age, his authority and learning, felt as a
helpless bird prisoned in the grasp of a mighty eagle.  Confused
and full of fear, he replied:  "My Lord, my Master!  
Ever since the day on which my eyes beheld You in &Karbila,
I seemed at last to have found and recognised Him who had
been the object of my quest.  I renounce whosoever has failed
to recognise You, and despise him in whose heart may yet
linger the faintest misgivings as to Your purity and holiness.  
I pray You to overlook my weakness, and entreat You to
answer me in my perplexity.  Please God I may, at this
very place, within the precincts of this hallowed shrine,
swear my fealty to You, and arise for the triumph of Your
Cause.  If I be insincere in what I declare, if in my heart I
should disbelieve what my lips proclaim, I would deem
myself utterly unworthy of the grace of the Prophet of God,
and regard my action as an act of manifest disloyalty to &Ali,
His chosen successor."  
     The &Bab, who listened attentively to his words, and who
was well aware of his helplessness and poverty of soul, answered
and said:  "Verily I say, the Truth is even now known
and distinguished from falsehood.  O shrine of the Prophet
of God, and you, O &Quddus, who have believed in Me!  I
take you both, in this hour, as My witnesses.  You have
seen and heard that which has come to pass between Me and
him.  I call upon you to testify thereunto, and God, verily,
is, beyond and above you, My sure and ultimate Witness.  
He is the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.  O
&Muhit!  Set forth whatsoever perplexes your mind, and I
will, by the aid of God, unloose My tongue and undertake to
resolve your problems, so that you may testify to the excellence
of My utterance and realise that no one besides Me
is able to manifest My wisdom."  
     &Mirza &Muhit responded to the invitation of the &Bab and
submitted to Him his questions.  Pleading the necessity of
his immediate departure for Medina, he expressed the hope
of receiving, ere his departure from that city, the text of the
promised reply.  "I will grant your request," the &Bab assured
him.  On My way to Medina I shall, with the assistance
of God, reveal My answer to your questions.  If I meet you
 
+P137
not in that city, My reply will surely reach you immediately
after your arrival at &Karbila.  Whatever justice and fairness
may dictate, the same shall I expect you to fulfil.  `If ye do
well, to your own behoof will ye do well:  and if ye do evil,
against yourselves will ye do it.'  `God is verily independent
of all His creatures.'"+F1  
     &Mirza &Muhit, ere his departure, again expressed his firm
resolve to redeem his solemn pledge.  "I shall never depart
from Medina," he assured the &Bab, "whatever may betide,
until I have fulfilled my covenant with You."  As the mote
which is driven before the gale, he, unable to withstand the
sweeping majesty of the Revelation proclaimed by the &Bab,
fled in terror from before His face.  He tarried awhile in Medina
and, faithless to his pledge and disregardful of the admonitions
of his conscience, left for &Karbila.  
     The &Bab, faithful to His promise, revealed, on His way
from Mecca to Medina, His written reply to the questions
that had perplexed the mind of &Mirza &Muhit, and gave it the
name of &Sahifiyi-i-Baynu'l-Haramayn.+F2  &Mirza &Muhit, who
received it in the early days of his arrival in &Karbila, remained
unmoved by its tone and refused to recognise the precepts
which it inculcated.  His attitude towards the Faith was one
of concealed and persistent opposition.  At times he professed
to be a follower and supporter of that notorious adversary of
the &Bab, &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan, and occasionally claimed
for himself the station of an independent leader.  Nearing
the end of his days, whilst residing in &Iraq, he, feigning submission
to &Baha'u'llah, expressed, through one of the Persian
princes who dwelt in &Baghdad, a desire to meet Him.  He
requested that his proposed interview be regarded as strictly
confidential.  "Tell him," was &Baha'u'llah's reply, "that in
the days of My retirement in the mountains of &Sulaymaniyyih,
I, in a certain ode which I composed, set forth the essential
requirements from every wayfarer who treads the path of
search in his quest of Truth.  Share with him this verse from
that ode:  `If thine aim be to cherish thy life, approach not
our court; but if sacrifice be thy heart's desire, come and let
others come with thee.  For such is the way of Faith, if in
 
+F1 Verses of the &Qur'an.  
+F2 "The Epistle between the Two Shrines."  
 
+P138
thy heart thou seekest reunion with &Baha; shouldst thou
refuse to tread this path, why trouble us?  Begone!'  If he
be willing, he will openly and unreservedly hasten to meet
Me; if not, I refuse to see him."  &Baha'u'llah's unequivocal
answer disconcerted &Mirza &Muhit.  Unable to resist and
unwilling to comply, he departed for his home in &Karbila
the very day he received that message.  As soon as he arrived,
he sickened, and, three days later, he died.  
     No sooner had the &Bab performed the last of the observances
in connection with His pilgrimage to Mecca than
he addressed an epistle to the Sherif of that holy city, wherein
He set forth, in clear and unmistakable terms, the distinguishing
features of His mission, and called upon him to arise
and embrace His Cause.  This epistle, together with selections
from His other writings, He delivered to &Quddus, and instructed
him to present them to the Sherif.  The latter, however,
too absorbed in his own material pursuits to incline his
ear to the words which had been addressed to him by the
&Bab, failed to respond to the call of the Divine Message.  
&Haji &Niyaz-i-Baghdadi has been heard to relate the following:  
"In the year 1267 A.H.,+F1  I undertook a pilgrimage to that
holy city, where I was privileged to meet the Sherif.  In the
course of his conversation with me, he said:  `I recollect that
in the year '60, during the season of pilgrimage, a youth came
to visit me.  He presented to me a sealed book which I
readily accepted but was too much occupied at that time to
read.  A few days later I met again that same youth, who
asked me whether I had any reply to make to his offer.  
Pressure of work had again detained me from considering
the contents of that book.  I was therefore unable to give him
a satisfactory reply.  When the season of pilgrimage was
over, one day, as I was sorting out my letters, my eyes fell
accidentally upon that book.  I opened it and found, in its
introductory pages, a moving and exquisitely written homily
which was followed by verses the tone and language of which
bore a striking resemblance to the &Qur'an.  All that I gathered
from the perusal of the book was that among the people of
Persia a man of the seed of &Fatimih and descendant of the
family of &Hashim, had raised a new call, and was announcing
 
+F1 1850-51 A.D.  
 
+P139
 
to all people the appearance of the promised &Qa'im.  I remained,
however, ignorant of the name of the author of that
book, nor was I informed of the circumstances attending
that call.'  `A great commotion,' I remarked, `has indeed
seized that land during the last few years.  A Youth, a
descendant of the Prophet and a merchant by profession,
has claimed that His utterance was the Voice of Divine inspiration.  
He has publicly asserted that, within the space
of a few days, there could stream from His tongue verses of
such number and excellence as would surpass in volume and
beauty the &Qur'an itself--a work which it took &Muhammad
no less than twenty-three years to reveal.  A multitude of
people, both high and low, civil and ecclesiastical, among the
inhabitants of Persia, have rallied round His standard and
have willingly sacrificed themselves in His path.  That
Youth has, during the past year, in the last days of the month
of &Sha'ban,+F1 suffered martyrdom in &Tabriz, in the province
of &Adhirbayjan.  They who persecuted Him sought by this
means to extinguish the light which He kindled in that land.  
Since His martyrdom, however, His influence has pervaded
all classes of people.'  The Sherif, who was listening attentively,
expressed his indignation at the behaviour of those
 
+F1 July, 1850 A.D.  
 
+P140
who had persecuted the &Bab.  `The malediction of God be
upon these evil people,' he exclaimed, `a people who, in days
past, treated in the same manner our holy and illustrious
ancestors!'  With these words the Sherif concluded his conversation
with me."  
     From Mecca the &Bab proceeded to Medina.  It was the
first day of the month of &Muharram, in the year 1261 A.H.,+F1
when He found Himself on the way to that holy city.  As
He approached it, He called to mind the stirring events that
had immortalised the name of Him who had lived and died
within its walls.  Those scenes which bore eloquent testimony
to the creative power of that immortal Genius seemed to be
re-enacted, with undiminished splendour, before His eyes.  
He prayed as He drew nigh unto that holy sepulchre which
enshrined the mortal remains of the Prophet of God.  He
also remembered, as He trod that holy ground, that shining
Herald of His own Dispensation.  He knew that in the
cemetery of &Baqi', in a place not far distant from the shrine
of &Muhammad, there had been laid to rest &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i,
the harbinger of His own Revelation, who, after a
life of onerous service, had decided to spend the evening of
his days within the precincts of that hallowed shrine.  There
came to Him also the vision of those holy men, those pioneers
and martyrs of the Faith, who had fallen gloriously on the
field of battle, and who, with their life-blood, had sealed the
triumph of the Cause of God.  Their sacred dust seemed as
if reanimated by the gentle tread of His feet.  Their shades
seemed to have been stirred by the reviving breath of His
presence.  They looked to Him as if they had arisen at His
approach, were hastening towards Him, and were voicing their
welcome.  They seemed to be addressing to Him this fervent
plea:  `Repair not unto Thy native land, we beseech Thee,
O Thou Beloved of our hearts!  Abide Thou in our midst,
for here, far from the tumult of Thine enemies who are lying
in wait for Thee, Thou shalt be safe and secure.  We are
fearful for Thee.  We dread the plottings and machinations
of Thy foes.  We tremble at the thought that their deeds
might bring eternal damnation to their souls."  "Fear not,"
the &Bab's indomitable Spirit replied:  "I am come into this
 
+F1 Friday, January 30, 1845 A.D.  
 
+P141
world to bear witness to the glory of sacrifice.  You are aware
of the intensity of My longing; you realise the degree of My
renunciation.  Nay, beseech the Lord your God to hasten
the hour of My martyrdom and to accept My sacrifice.  Rejoice,
for both I and &Quddus will be slain on the altar of our
devotion to the King of Glory.  The blood which we are
destined to shed in His path will water and revive the garden
of our immortal felicity.  The drops of this consecrated blood
will be the seed out of which will arise the mighty Tree of
God, the Tree that will gather beneath its all-embracing
shadow the peoples and kindreds of the earth.  Grieve not,
therefore, if I depart from this land, for I am hastening to
fulfil My destiny."  
 
+P142
                         CHAPTER VIII
              THE &BAB'S STAY IN &SHIRAZ AFTER THE
                         PILGRIMAGE
 
     THE visit of the &Bab to Medina marked the concluding
stage of His pilgrimage to &Hijaz.  From thence
He returned to Jaddih, and by way of the sea
regained His native land.  He landed at &Bushihr
nine lunar months after He had embarked on His pilgrimage
from that port.  In the same &khan+F1 which He had previously
occupied, He received His friends and relatives, who had
come to greet and welcome Him.  While still in &Bushihr, He
summoned &Quddus to His presence and with the utmost
kindness bade him depart for &Shiraz.  "The days of your
companionship with Me," He told him, "are drawing to a
close.  The hour of separation has struck, a separation which
no reunion will follow except in the Kingdom of God, in the
presence of the King of Glory.  In this world of dust, no
more than nine fleeting months of association with Me have
been allotted to you.  On the shores of the Great Beyond,
however, in the realm of immortality, joy of eternal reunion
awaits us.  The hand of destiny will ere long plunge you
into an ocean of tribulation for His sake.  I, too, will follow
you; I, too, will be immersed beneath its depths.  Rejoice
with exceeding gladness, for you have been chosen as the
standard-bearer of the host of affliction, and are standing
in the vanguard of the noble army that will suffer martyrdom
in His name.  In the streets of &Shiraz, indignities will be
heaped upon you, and the severest injuries will afflict your
body.  You will survive the ignominious behaviour of your
foes, and will attain the presence of Him who is the one object
of our adoration and love.  In His presence you will forget
all the harm and disgrace that shall have befallen you.  The
hosts of the Unseen will hasten forth to assist you, and will
 
+F1 Similar to a caravanserai.  
 
+P143
proclaim to all the world your heroism and glory.  Yours
will be the ineffable joy of quaffing the cup of martyrdom for
His sake.  I, too, shall tread the path of sacrifice, and will
join you in the realm of eternity."  The &Bab then delivered
into his hands a letter He had written to &Haji &Mirza Siyyid
&Ali, His maternal uncle, in which He had informed him of
His safe return to &Bushihr.  He also entrusted him with a copy
of the &Khasa'il-i-Sab'ih,+F1 a treatise in which He had set
forth the essential requirements from those who had attained
to the knowledge of the new Revelation and had recognised
its claim.  As He bade &Quddus His last farewell, He asked
him to convey His greetings to each of His loved ones in
&Shiraz.  
     &Quddus, with feelings of unshakable determination to
carry out the expressed wishes of his Master, set out from
&Bushihr.  Arriving at &Shiraz, he was affectionately welcomed
by &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, who received him in his own home
and eagerly enquired after the health and doings of his
beloved Kinsman.  Finding him receptive to the call of the
new Message, &Quddus acquainted him with the nature of
the Revelation with which that Youth had already fired his
soul.  The &Bab's maternal uncle, as a result of the endeavours
exerted by &Quddus, was the first, after the Letters of the
Living, to embrace the Cause in &Shiraz.  As the full significance
of the new-born Faith had remained as yet undivulged,
he was unaware of the full extent of its implications and
glory.  His conversation with &Quddus, however, removed
the veil from his eyes.  So steadfast became his faith, and so
profound grew his love for the &Bab, that he consecrated his
whole life to His service.  With unrelaxing vigilance he arose
to defend His Cause and to shield His person.  In his sustained
endeavours, he scorned fatigue and was disdainful of
death.  Though recognised as an outstanding figure among
the business men of that city, he never allowed material considerations
to interfere with his spiritual responsibility of safeguarding
the person, and advancing the Cause, of his beloved
Kinsman.  He persevered in his task until the hour when, joining
the company of the Seven Martyrs of &Tihran, he, in circumstances
of exceptional heroism, laid down his life for Him.  
 
+F1 Literally meaning "The Seven Qualifications."  
 
+P144
     The next person whom &Quddus met in &Shiraz was &Ismu'llahu'l-Asdaq,
&Mulla &Sadiq-i-Khurasani, to whom he entrusted
the copy of the &Khasa'il-i-Sab'ih, and stressed the necessity
of putting into effect immediately all its provisions.  Among
its precepts was the emphatic injunction of the &Bab to every
loyal believer to add the following words to the traditional
formula of the &adhan:+F1  "I bear witness that He whose name
is &Ali-Qabl-i-Muhammad+F2 is the servant of the &Baqiyyatu'llah."+F3  
&Mulla &Sadiq, who in those days had been extolling
from the pulpit-top to large audiences the virtues of the
&imams of the Faith, was so enraptured by the theme and
language of that treatise that he unhesitatingly resolved to
carry out all the observances it ordained.  Driven by the
impelling force inherent in that Tablet, he, one day as he
was leading his congregation in prayer in the Masjid-i-Naw,
suddenly proclaimed, as he was sounding the &adhan,
the additional words prescribed by the &Bab.  The multitude that
 
+F1 Refer to Glossary.  
+F2 Reference to the name of the &Bab.  
+F3 Reference to &Baha'u'llah.  Refer to Glossary.  
 
+P145
heard him was astounded by his cry.  Dismay and consternation
seized the entire congregation.  The distinguished
divines, who occupied the front seats and who were greatly
revered for their pious orthodoxy, raised a clamour, loudly
protesting:  "Woe betide us, the guardians and protectors of
the Faith of God!  Behold, this man has hoisted the standard
of heresy.  Down with this infamous traitor!  He has spoken
blasphemy.  Arrest him, for he is a disgrace to our Faith."  
"Who," they angrily exclaimed, "dared authorised such grave
departure from the established precepts of &Islam?  Who has
presumed to arrogate to himself this supreme prerogative?"  
     The populace re-echoed the protestations of these divines,
and arose to reinforce their clamour.  The whole city had
been aroused, and public order was, as a result, seriously
threatened.  The governor of the province of &Fars, &Husayn
&Khan-i-Iravani, surnamed &Ajudan-Bashi, and generally designated
in those days as &Sahib-Ikhtiyar,+F1 found it necessary
to intervene and to enquire into the cause of this sudden
commotion.  He was informed that a disciple of a young
man named &Siyyid-i-Bab, who had just returned from His
pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and was now living in
&Bushihr, had arrived in &Shiraz and was propagating the
teachings of his Master.  "This disciple," &Husayn &Khan was
further informed, "claims that his teacher is the author of a
new revelation and is the revealer of a book which he asserts
is divinely inspired.  &Mulla &Sadiq-i-Khurasani has embraced
that faith, and is fearlessly summoning the multitude to the
acceptance of that message.  He declares its recognition to
be the first obligation of every loyal and pious follower of
&shi'ah &Islam."  
     &Husayn &Khan ordered the arrest of both &Quddus and
&Mulla &Sadiq.  The police authorities, to whom they were
delivered, were instructed to bring them handcuffed into the
presence of the governor.  The police also delivered into the
hands of &Husayn &Khan the copy of the &Qayyumu'l-Asma',
which they had seized from &Mulla &Sadiq while he was reading
aloud its passages to an excited congregation.  &Quddus,
owing to his youthful appearance and unconventional dress,
was at first ignored by &Husayn &Khan, who preferred to direct
 
+F1 According to the "&Tarikh-i-Jadid" (p. 204), he was also styled
+F1 "&Nizamu'd-Dawlih."  
 
+P146
his remarks to his more dignified and elderly companion.  
"Tell me," angrily asked the governor, as he turned to &Mulla
&Sadiq, "if you are aware of the opening passage of the &Qayyumu'l-Asma'
wherein the &Siyyid-i-Bab addresses the rulers
and kings of the earth in these terms:  `Divest yourselves of
the robe of sovereignty, for He who is the King in truth, hath
been made manifest!  The Kingdom is God's, the Most Exalted.  
Thus hath the Pen of the Most High decreed!'  If
this be true, it must necessarily apply to my sovereign, &Muhammad
&Shah, of the &Qajar dynasty,+F1 whom I represent as
the chief magistrate of this province.  Must &Muhammad
&Shah, according to this behest, lay down his crown and
abandon his sovereignty?  Must I, too, abdicate my power
and relinquish my position?"  &Mulla &Sadiq unhesitatingly
replied:  "When once the truth of the Revelation announced
by the Author of these words shall have been definitely established,
the truth of whatsoever has fallen from His lips
will likewise be vindicated.  If these words be the Word of
God, the abdication of &Muhammad &Shah and his like can
matter but little.  It can in no wise turn aside the Divine
purpose, nor alter the sovereignty of the almighty and eternal
King."+F2  
     That cruel and impious ruler was sorely displeased with
such an answer.  He reviled and cursed him, ordered his
attendants to strip him of his garments and to scourge him
with a thousand lashes.  He then commanded that the
beards of both &Quddus and &Mulla &Sadiq should be burned,
their noses be pierced, that through this incision a cord should
be passed, and with this halter they should be led through
the streets of the city.+F3  "It will be an object lesson to the
people of &Shiraz," &Husayn &Khan declared, "who will know
what the penalty of heresy will be."  &Mulla &Sadiq, calm and
self-possessed and with eyes upraised to heaven, was heard
reciting this prayer:  "O Lord, our God!  We have indeed
heard the voice of One that called.  He called us to the
 
+F1 "One of the tribes of &Turan, a Turkish family, called the &Qajar, which
+F1 first appeared in Persia in the invading army of &Changiz &Khan."  (C. R.
+F1 Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," p. 339.)  
+F2 According to A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab" (footnote
+F2 175, p. 225), this meeting took place on August 6, 1845 A.D.  
+F3 According to the "Traveller's Narrative" (p. 5), a certain &Mulla
+F3 &Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani was, together with them, subjected to the same
+F3 persecution.  
 
+P147
Faith--`Believe ye on the Lord your God!'--and we have
believed.  O God, our God!  Forgive us, then, our sins, and
hide away from us our evil deeds, and cause us to die with
the righteous."+F1  With magnificent fortitude both resigned
themselves to their fate.  Those who had been instructed to
inflict this savage punishment performed their task with
alacrity and vigour.  None intervened in behalf of these
sufferers, none was inclined to plead their cause.  Soon after
this, they were both expelled from &Shiraz.  Before their expulsion,
they were warned that if they ever attempted to return to
this city, they would both be crucified.  By their
sufferings they earned the immortal distinction of having
been the first to be persecuted on Persian soil for the sake
of their Faith.  &Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami, though the first to
fall a victim to the relentless hate of the enemy, underwent
his persecution in &Iraq, which lay beyond the confines of
Persia.  Nor did his sufferings, intense as they were, compare
with the hideousness and the barbaric cruelty which characterised
the torture inflicted upon &Quddus and &Mulla &Sadiq.  
     An eye-witness of this revolting episode, an unbeliever
residing in &Shiraz, related to me the following:  "I was present
when &Mulla &Sadiq was being scourged.  I watched his persecutors
each in turn apply the lash to his bleeding shoulders,
and continue the strokes until he became exhausted.  No
one believed that &Mulla &Sadiq, so advanced in age and so
frail in body, could possibly survive fifty such savage strokes.  
We marvelled at his fortitude when we found that, although
the number of the strokes of the scourge he had received had
already exceeded nine hundred, his face still retained its
original serenity and calm.  A smile was upon his face, as
he held his hand before his mouth.  He seemed utterly indifferent
to the blows that were being showered upon him.  
When he was being expelled from the city, I succeeded in
approaching him, and asked him why he held his hand before
his mouth.  I expressed surprise at the smile upon his countenance.  
He emphatically replied:  `The first seven strokes
were severely painful; to the rest I seemed to have grown
indifferent.  I was wondering whether the strokes that followed
were being actually applied to my own body.  A feeling
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 3:193.  
 
+P148
of joyous exultation had invaded my soul.  I was trying to
repress my feelings and to restrain my laughter.  I can now
realise how the almighty Deliverer is able, in the twinkling
of an eye, to turn pain into ease, and sorrow into gladness.  
Immensely exalted is His power above and beyond the idle
fancy of His mortal creatures.'"  &Mulla &Sadiq, whom I met
years after, confirmed every detail of this moving episode.  
     &Husayn &Khan's anger was not appeased by this atrocious
and most undeserved chastisement.  His wanton and capricious
cruelty found further vent in the assault which he
now directed against the person of the &Bab.+F1  He despatched
to &Bushihr a mounted escort of his own trusted guard, with
emphatic instructions to arrest the &Bab and to bring Him in
chains to &Shiraz.  The leader of that escort, a member of the
&Nusayri community, better known as the sect of &Aliyu'llahi,
related the following:  "Having completed the third
stage of our journey to &Bushihr, we encountered, in the
midst of the wilderness a youth who wore a green sash and
a small turban after the manner of the siyyids who are in
the trading profession.  He was on horseback, and was followed
by an Ethiopian servant who was in charge of his
belongings.  As we approached him, he saluted us and enquired
as to our destination.  I thought it best to conceal
from him the truth, and replied that in this vicinity we had
been commanded by the governor of &Fars to conduct a certain
enquiry.  He smilingly observed:  `The governor has sent you
to arrest Me.  Here am I; do with Me as you please.  By
 
+F1 "This city became the arena for passionate discussions which profoundly
+F1 troubled the general peace.  The curious, the pilgrims, the scandal-mongers
+F1 met there commenting upon the news, approving or blaming, exalting the
+F1 young Siyyid, or, on the contrary, heaping upon him maledictions and
+F1 insults.  Everyone was excited and enervated.  The &Mullas saw with bitter
+F1 anxiety the growing number of adherents to the new doctrine and their
+F1 resources diminished correspondingly.  It became necessary to act, as
+F1 prolonged tolerance would empty the Mosques of their believers who were
+F1 convinced that since &Islam did not defend itself, it acknowledged defeat.  
+F1 On the other hand, &Husayn &Khan, governor of &Shiraz, &Nizamu'd-Dawlih,
+F1 feared that, in letting things drift, the scandal would become such that
+F1 later it would be impossible to suppress it; that would be to court
+F1 disgrace.  Besides, the &Bab did not content himself with preaching, he
+F1 called to himself men of good-will.  `He who knows the Word of God and does
+F1 not come to His assistance in the days of violence is exactly like those
+F1 who turned away from the testimony of his holiness &Husayn, son of &Ali, at
+F1 &Karbila.  Those are the impious ones!'  (&Kitab-i-Baynu'l-Haramayn.)  The
+F1 civil interests concurring with the interests of heaven, &Nizamu'd-Dawlih
+F1 and &Shaykh &Abu-Turab, the &Imam-Jum'ih agreed that humiliation should be
+F1 inflicted upon the innovator such as would discredit him in the eyes of the
+F1 populace; perhaps thus they might succeed in quieting things."  (A. L. M.
+F1 Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 229-230.)  
 
+P149
coming out to meet you, I have curtailed the length of your
march, and have made it easier for you to find Me.'  I was
startled by his remarks and marvelled at his candour and
straightforwardness.  I could not explain, however, his readiness
to subject himself, of his own accord, to the severe discipline
of government officials, and to risk thereby his own
life and safety.  I tried to ignore him, and was preparing
to leave, when he approached me and said:  `I swear by the
righteousness of Him who created man, distinguished him
from among the rest of His creatures, and caused his heart
to be made the seat of His sovereignty and knowledge, that
all My life I have uttered no word but the truth, and had no
other desire except the welfare and advancement of My
fellow-men.  I have disdained My own ease and have avoided
being the cause of pain or sorrow to anyone.  I know that
you are seeking Me.  I prefer to deliver Myself into your
hands, rather than subject you and your companions to unnecessary
annoyance for My sake.'  These words moved me
profoundly.  I instinctively dismounted from my horse, and,
kissing his stirrups, addressed him in these words:  `O light
of the eyes of the Prophet of God!  I adjure you, by Him
who has created you and endowed you with such loftiness
and power, to grant my request and to answer my prayer.  
I beseech you to escape from this place and to flee from before
the face of &Husayn &Khan, the ruthless and despicable governor
of this province.  I dread his machinations against you;
I rebel at the idea of being made the instrument of his malignant
designs against so innocent and noble a descendant
of the Prophet of God.  My companions are all honourable
men.  Their word is their bond.  They will pledge themselves
not to betray your flight.  I pray you, betake yourself
to the city of &Mashhad in &Khurasan, and avoid falling a
victim to the brutality of this remorseless wolf.'  To my
earnest entreaty he gave this answer:  `May the Lord your
God requite you for your magnanimity and noble intention.  
No one knows the mystery of My Cause; no one can fathom
its secrets.  Never will I turn My face away from the decree
of God.  He alone is My sure Stronghold, My Stay and My
Refuge.  Until My last hour is at hand, none dare assail Me,
none can frustrate the plan of the Almighty.  And when
 
+P150
My hour is come, how great will be My joy to quaff the cup
of martyrdom in His name!  Here am I; deliver Me into the
hands of your master.  Be not afraid, for no one will blame
you.'  I bowed my consent and carried out his desire."  
     The &Bab straightway resumed His journey to &Shiraz.  
Free and unfettered, He went before His escort, which followed
Him in an attitude of respectful devotion.  By the
magic of His words, He had disarmed the hostility of His
guards and transmuted their proud arrogance into humility
and love.  Reaching the city, they proceeded directly to the
seat of the government.  Whosoever observed the cavalcade
marching through the streets could not help but marvel at
this most unusual spectacle.  Immediately &Husayn &Khan
was informed of the arrival of the &Bab, he summoned Him
to his presence.  He received Him with the utmost insolence
and bade Him occupy a seat facing him in the centre of the
room.  He publicly rebuked Him, and in abusive language
denounced His conduct.  "Do you realise," he angrily protested,
"what a great mischief you have kindled?  Are you
aware what a disgrace you have become to the holy Faith of
&Islam and to the august person of our sovereign?  Are you
not the man who claims to be the author of a new revelation
which annuls the sacred precepts of the &Qur'an?"  The &Bab
calmly replied:  "`If any bad man come unto you with
news, clear up the matter at once, lest through ignorance ye
harm others, and be speedily constrained to repent of what
ye have done.'"+F1  These words inflamed the wrath of &Husayn
&Khan.  "What!" he exclaimed.  "Dare you ascribe to us
evil, ignorance, and folly?"  Turning to his attendant, he
bade him strike the &Bab in the face.  So violent was the
blow, that the &Bab's turban fell to the ground.  &Shaykh
&Abu-Turab, the &Imam-Jum'ih of &Shiraz, who was present
at that meeting and who strongly disapproved of the conduct
of &Husayn &Khan, ordered that the &Bab's turban be replaced
upon His head, and invited Him to be seated by his side.  
Turning to the governor, the &Imam-Jum'ih explained to him
the circumstances connected with the revelation of the verse
of the &Qur'an which the &Bab had quoted, and sought by this
means to calm his fury.  "This verse which this youth has
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 49:6.  
 
+P151
quoted," he told him, "has made a profound impression upon
me.  The wise course, I feel, is to enquire into this matter
with great care, and to judge him according to the precepts
of the holy Book."  &Husayn &Khan readily consented; whereupon
&Shaykh &Abu-Turab questioned the &Bab regarding the
nature and character of His Revelation.  The &Bab denied
the claim of being either the representative of the promised
&Qa'im or the intermediary between Him and the faithful.  
"We are completely satisfied," replied the &Imam-Jum'ih;
"we shall request you to present yourself on Friday in the
&Masjid-i-Vakil, and to proclaim publicly your denial."  As
&Shaykh &Abu-Turab arose to depart in the hope of terminating
the proceedings, &Husayn &Khan intervened and said:  "We
shall require a person of recognised standing to give bail and
surety for him, and to pledge his word in writing that if ever
in future this youth should attempt by word or deed to prejudice
the interests either of the Faith of &Islam or of the government
of this land, he would straightway deliver him into our
hands, and regard himself under all circumstances responsible
for his behaviour."  &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, the &Bab's maternal
uncle, who was present at that meeting, consented to
act as the sponsor of his Nephew.  In his own handwriting
he wrote the pledge, affixed to it his seal, confirmed it by the
signature of a number of witnesses, and delivered it to the
governor; whereupon &Husayn &Khan ordered that the &Bab
be entrusted to the care of His uncle, with the condition that
at whatever time the governor should deem it advisable,
&Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali would at once deliver the &Bab into
his hands.  
     &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, his heart filled with gratitude to
God, conducted the &Bab to His home and committed Him
to the loving care of His revered mother.  He rejoiced at
this family reunion and was greatly relieved by the deliverance
of his dear and precious Kinsman from the grasp of that
malignant tyrant.  In the quiet of His own home, the &Bab
led for a time a life of undisturbed retirement.  No one except
His wife, His mother, and His uncles had any intercourse
with Him.  Meanwhile the mischief-makers were busily
pressing &Shaykh &Abu-Turab to summon the &Bab to the
&Masjid-i-Vakil and to call upon Him to fulfil His pledge.  
 
+P152
[Illustrations:  VIEWS OF THE &MASJID-I-VAKIL, &SHIRAZ.  SECTION OF THE
INTERIOR; PULPIT FROM WHICH THE &BAB ADDRESSED THE CONGREGATION; ENTRANCE
DOOR]  
 
+P153
&Shaykh &Abu-Turab was known to be a man of kindly disposition,
and of a temperament and nature which bore a
striking resemblance to the character of the late &Mirza
&Abu'l-Qasim, the &Imam-Jum'ih of &Tihran.  He was extremely
reluctant to treat with contumely persons of recognised
standing, particularly if these were residents of &Shiraz.  Instinctively
he felt this to be his duty, observed it conscientiously,
and was as a result universally esteemed by the people
of that city.  He therefore sought, through evasive answers
and repeated postponements, to appease the indignation of
the multitude.  He found, however, that the stirrers-up of
mischief and sedition were bending every effort further to
inflame the feelings of general resentment which had seized
the masses.  He at length felt compelled to address a confidential
message to &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, requesting him
to bring the &Bab with him on Friday to the &Masjid-i-Vakil,
that He might fulfil the pledge He had given.  "My hope,"
he added, "is that by the aid of God the statements of your
nephew may ease the tenseness of the situation and may
lead to your tranquillity as well as to our own."  
     The &Bab, accompanied by &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, arrived
at the Masjid at a time when the &Imam-Jum'ih had just
ascended the pulpit and was preparing to deliver his sermon.  
As soon as his eyes fell upon the &Bab, he publicly welcomed
Him, requested Him to ascend the pulpit, and called upon
Him to address the congregation.  The &Bab, responding to
his invitation, advanced towards him and, standing on the
first step of the staircase, prepared to address the people.  
"Come up higher," interjected the &Imam-Jum'ih.  Complying
with his wish, the &Bab ascended two more steps.  As He was
standing, His head hid the breast of &Shaykh &Abu-Turab,
who was occupying the pulpit-top.  He began by prefacing
His public declaration with an introductory discourse.  No
sooner had He uttered the opening words of "Praise be to
God, who hath in truth created the heavens and the earth,"
than a certain siyyid known as &Siyyidi-Shish-Pari, whose
function was to carry the mace before the &Imam-Jum'ih,
insolently shouted:  "Enough of this idle chatter!  Declare,
now and immediately, the thing you intend to say."  The
&Imam-Jum'ih greatly resented the rudeness of the siyyid's
 
+P154
remark.  "Hold your peace," he rebuked him, "and be
ashamed of your impertinence."  He then, turning to the
&Bab, asked Him to be brief, as this, he said, would allay the
excitement of the people.  The &Bab, as He faced the congregation,
declared:  "The condemnation of God be upon him
who regards me either as a representative of the &Imam or
the gate thereof.  The condemnation of God be also upon
whosoever imputes to me the charge of having denied the
unity of God, of having repudiated the prophethood of
&Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, of having rejected the
truth of any of the messengers of old, or of having refused to
recognise the guardianship of &Ali, the Commander of the
Faithful, or of any of the &imams who have succeeded him."  
He then ascended to the top of the staircase, embraced the
&Imam-Jum'ih, and, descending to the floor of the Masjid,
joined the congregation for the observance of the Friday
prayer.  The &Imam-Jum'ih intervened and requested Him
to retire.  "Your family," he said, "is anxiously awaiting
your return.  All are apprehensive lest any harm befall you.  
Repair to your house and there offer your prayer; of greater
merit shall this deed be in the sight of God."  &Haji &Mirza
Siyyid &Ali also was, at the request of the &Imam-Jum'ih,
asked to accompany his nephew to his home.  This precautionary
measure which &Shaykh &Abu-Turab thought it
wise to observe was actuated by the fear lest, after the dispersion
of the congregation, a few of the evil-minded among
the crowd might still attempt to injure the person of the
&Bab or endanger His life.  But for the sagacity, the sympathy,
and the careful attention which the &Imam-Jum'ih so strikingly
displayed on a number of such occasions, the infuriated mob
would doubtless have been led to gratify its savage desire,
and would have committed the most abominable of excesses.  
He seemed to have been the instrument of the invisible Hand
appointed to protect both the person and the Mission of that
Youth.+F1  
 
+F1 "Following this public seance provoked by the folly of the &Mullas and
+F1 which won for him numerous partisans, the trouble became serious in all the
+F1 provinces of Persia; the dispute grew into such a grave situation that
+F1 &Muhammad &Shah sent to &Shiraz a man in whom he had complete confidence,
+F1 instructing him to make a report of everything he saw and understood.  
+F1 This envoy was Siyyid &Yahyay-i-Darabi."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' Siyyid
+F1 &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 232-233.)  
 
+P155
     The &Bab regained His home and for some time was able
to lead, in the privacy of His house, and in close association
with His family and kinsmen, a life of comparative tranquillity.  
In those days He celebrated the advent of the
first &Naw-Ruz since He had declared His Mission.  That
festival fell, in that year, on the tenth day of the month of
&Rabi'u'l-Avval, 1261 A.H.+F1  
     A few among those who were present on that memorable
occasion in the &Masjid-i-Vakil, and had listened to the statements
of the &Bab, were greatly impressed by the masterly
manner in which that Youth had, by His unaided efforts,
succeeded in silencing His formidable opponents.  Soon after
this event, they were each led to apprehend the reality of
His Mission and to recognise its glory.  Among them was
&Shaykh &Ali &Mirza, the nephew of this same &Imam-Jum'ih,
a young man who had just attained the age of maturity.  
The seed implanted in his heart grew and developed, until
in the year 1267 A.H.+F2 he was privileged to meet &Baha'u'llah
in &Iraq.  That visit filled him with enthusiasm and joy.  
Returning greatly refreshed to his native land, he resumed
with redoubled energy his labours for the Cause.  From that
year until the present time, he has persevered in his task,
and has achieved distinction by the uprightness of his character
and whole-hearted devotion to his government and
country.  Recently a letter addressed by him to &Baha'u'llah
has reached the Holy Land, in which he expresses his keen
satisfaction at the progress of the Cause in Persia.  "I am
mute with wonder," he writes, "when I behold the evidences
of God's unconquerable power manifested among the people
of my country.  In a land which has for years so savagely
persecuted the Faith, a man who for forty years has been
known throughout Persia as a &Babi, has been made the sole
arbitrator in a case of dispute which involves, on the one
hand, the &Zillu's-Sultan, the tyrannical son of the &Shah and a
sworn enemy of the Cause, and, on the other, &Mirza &Fath-'Ali
&Khan, the &Sahib-i-Divan.  It has been publicly announced
that whatsoever be the verdict of this &Babi, the same should
be unreservedly accepted by both parties and should be unhesitatingly
enforced."  
 
+F1 March, 1845 A.D.  
+F2 1850-51 A.D.  
 
+P156
     A certain &Muhammad-Karim who was among the congregation
that Friday was likewise attracted by the &Bab's
remarkable behaviour on that occasion.  What he saw and
heard on that day brought about his immediate conversion.  
Persecution drove him out of Persia to &Iraq, where, in the
presence of &Baha'u'llah, he continually deepened his understanding
and faith.  Later on he was bidden by Him to return
to &Shiraz and to endeavour to the best of his ability to propagate
the Cause.  There he remained and laboured to the end
of his life.  
     Still another was &Mirza &Aqay-i-Rikab-Saz.  He became
so enamoured of the &Bab on that day that no persecution,
however severe and prolonged, was able either to shake his
convictions or to obscure the radiance of his love.  He, too,
attained the presence of &Baha'u'llah in &Iraq.  In answer to
the questions which he asked regarding the interpretation of
the Disconnected Letters of the &Qur'an and the meaning of
the Verse of &Nur, he was favoured with an expressly written
Tablet revealed by the pen of &Baha'u'llah.  In His path he
eventually suffered martyrdom.  
     Among them also was &Mirza &Rahim-i-Khabbaz, who distinguished
himself by his fearlessness and fiery ardour.  He
relaxed not in his efforts until the hour of his death.  
     &Haji &Abu'l-Hasan-i-Bazzaz, who, as a fellow-traveller of
the &Bab during His pilgrimage to &Hijaz, had but dimly recognised
the overpowering majesty of His Mission, was, on that
memorable Friday, profoundly shaken and completely transformed.  
He bore the &Bab such love that tears of an overpowering
devotion continually flowed from his eyes.  All who
knew him admired the uprightness of his conduct and praised
his benevolence and candour.  He, as well as his two sons,
has proved by his deeds the tenacity of his faith, and has won
the esteem of his fellow-believers.  
     And yet another of those who felt the fascination of the
&Bab on that day was the late &Haji &Muhammad-Bisat, a man
well-versed in the metaphysical teachings of &Islam and a
great admirer of both &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.  
He was of a kindly disposition and was gifted with a keen
sense of humour.  He had won the friendship of the &Imam-Jum'ih,
 
+P157
was intimately associated with him, and was a
faithful attendant at the Friday congregational prayer.  
     The &Naw-Ruz of that year, which heralded the advent
of a new springtime, was also symbolic of that spiritual rebirth,
the first stirring of which could already be discerned
throughout the length and breadth of the land.  A number of
the most eminent and learned among the people of that
country emerged from the wintry desolation of heedlessness,
and were quickened by the reviving breath of the new-born
Revelation.  The seeds which the Hand of Omnipotence had
implanted in their hearts germinated into blossoms of the
purest and loveliest fragrance.+F1  As the breeze of His loving-kindness
and tender mercy wafted over these blossoms, the
penetrating power of their perfume spread far and wide over
the face of all that land.  It diffused itself even beyond
the confines of Persia.  It reached &Karbila and reanimated the
souls of those who were waiting in expectation for the return
 
+F1   "Be that as it may, the resultant impression was immense in &Shiraz and
+F1 all the learned and religious gathered around &Ali-Muhammad.  As soon as he
+F1 appeared in the Mosque, they surrounded him and, as soon as he was seated
+F1 in the pulpit, everyone was silent in order to listen to him.  His public
+F1 talks never attacked the essentials of the Faith of &Islam, they respected
+F1 most of its ritual; in fact, the &Kitman dominated.  Nevertheless, they
+F1 were daring discourses.  The clergy was not spared; its vices were cruelly
+F1 lashed.  The sad and painful destiny of humanity was generally the theme.  
+F1 Here and there, certain allusions, the obscurity of which irritated the
+F1 passions of some while it flattered the pride of others already initiated
+F1 as a whole or only in part, gave to his prophecies such a bitter truth that
+F1 the crowd was growing day by day and so, in all Persia, they were beginning
+F1 to talk of &Ali-Muhammad.  
+F1   "The &Mullas of &Shiraz had not waited for all this agitation to unite
+F1 against this young detractor.  From his first public appearances, they sent
+F1 to him their most able &Mullas to argue with him and confuse him, and these
+F1 public debates were held either in the Mosques or in the colleges in the
+F1 presence of the Governor, the military chiefs, the clergy, the people, in
+F1 fact before everyone.  But, instead of benefiting the clergy, they
+F1 contributed quite a little to spread and exalt, at their own expense, the
+F1 renown of this enthusiastic teacher.  It is a fact that he defeated his
+F1 adversaries, he condemned them--which was not very difficult--with the
+F1 &Qur'an in hand.  It was an easy matter for him to show before all these
+F1 crowds who knew the &Mullas well, at which point their conduct, their
+F1 precepts, and to what extent their beliefs, even their theology, were in
+F1 flagrant contradiction with the Book, which they could not deny.  
+F1   "Possessed of extraordinary daring and exaltation, he flayed unsparingly
+F1 the vices of his antagonists, disregarding all ordinary conventions.  After
+F1 having proven their infidelity to their own doctrine, he shamed them in
+F1 their lives and threw them at pitch and toss to the indignation or the
+F1 contempt of the auditors.  
+F1   "At &Shiraz, his first appearances, when he preached, were so profoundly
+F1 moving that even the orthodox &Muhammadans who were present have retained
+F1 an indelible memory of them and never recall them without a sort of
+F1 terror.  They agreed unanimously that the eloquence of &Ali-Muhammad was of
+F1 an incomparable kind, such that, without having been an eye-witness, one
+F1 could not possibly imagine.  Soon the young theologian no longer appeared
+F1 in public without being surrounded with many partisans.  His house was
+F1 always filled with them and he not only taught in the Mosques and in the
+F1 colleges, but it was principally at his house and in the evenings that,
+F1 withdrawn in a room with the elite of his admirers, he lifted for them
+F1 the veils of a doctrine which even for himself he had not yet fully
+F1 established.  
+F1   "It seemed in these early days that he was occupied with polemics rather
+F1 than with dogmatic statements and nothing is more natural.  In these secret
+F1 talks, his bold declarations which were much more frequent than in the
+F1 public addresses, grew each day and tended so clearly to a complete
+F1 overthrow of &Islam that they were a prelude to a new profession of Faith.  
+F1 The little congregation was ardent, brave, carried away, ready for
+F1 anything; they were fanatical in the true and noble sense of the word, that
+F1 is to say, that every one of its members thought himself of no importance
+F1 and burned with a desire to sacrifice his life-blood and his belongings for
+F1 the cause of Truth."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les
+F1 Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 120, 122.)  
+F1   "These ethics taught by a young man at an age when passions were intense,
+F1 deeply impressed an audience, religious to the point of fanaticism, above
+F1 all when the words of the preacher were in perfect harmony with his
+F1 conduct.  No one doubted the continence and the firmness of &Karbila'i
+F1 Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad; he spoke little, meditated constantly and most of
+F1 the time fled from the presence of men, which all the more aroused their
+F1 curiosity.  He was sought after everywhere."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866,
+F1 tome 7, p. 341.)  
+F1   "By the uprightness of his life the young Siyyid served as an example to
+F1 those about him.  He was willingly listened to when, in his ambiguous and
+F1 interrupted talks, he condemned the abuses evident in all classes of
+F1 society.  His words were repeated and elaborated upon and they spoke of him
+F1 as the true Master and gave themselves to him unreservedly."  (Ibid.)  
 
+P158
of the &Bab to their city.  Soon after &Naw-Ruz, an epistle
reached them by way of Basrih, in which the &Bab, who had
intended to return from &Hijaz to Persia by way of &Karbila,
informed them of the change in His plan and of His consequent
inability to fulfil His promise.  He directed them to
proceed to &Isfahan and remain there until the receipt of
further instructions.  "Should it be deemed advisable," He
added, "We shall request you to proceed to &Shiraz; if not,
tarry in &Isfahan until such time as God may make known
to you His will and guidance."  
     The receipt of this unexpected intelligence created a considerable
stir among those who had been eagerly awaiting
the arrival of the &Bab at &Karbila.  It agitated their minds
and tested their loyalty.  "What of His promise to us?"
whispered a few of the discontented among them.  "Does
He regard the breaking of His pledge as the interposition of
the will of God?"  The others, unlike those waverers, became
more steadfast in their faith and clung with added determination
to the Cause.  Faithful to their Master, they joyously
responded to His invitation, ignoring entirely the criticisms
and protestations of those who had faltered in their faith.  
 
+P159
They set out for &Isfahan, determined to abide by whatsoever
might be the will and desire of their Beloved.  They were
joined by a few of their companions, who, though gravely
shaken in their belief, concealed their feelings.  &Mirza
&Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Nahri, whose daughter was subsequently
joined in wedlock with the Most Great Branch, and &Mirza
&Hadi, the brother of &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali, both residents
of &Isfahan, were among those companions whose vision of
the glory and sublimity of the Faith the expressed misgivings
of the evil whisperers had failed to obscure.  Among them,
too, was a certain &Muhammad-i-Hana-Sab, also a resident of
&Isfahan, who is now serving in the home of &Baha'u'llah.  A
number of these staunch companions of the &Bab participated
in the great struggle of &Shaykh &Tabarsi and miraculously
escaped the tragic fate of their fallen brethren.  
     On their way to &Isfahan they met, in the city of &Kangavar,
&Mulla &Husayn with his brother and nephew, who were his
companions on his previous visit to &Shiraz, and who were
proceeding to &Karbila.  They were greatly delighted by this
unexpected encounter, and requested &Mulla &Husayn to prolong
his stay in &Kangavar, with which request he readily
complied.  &Mulla &Husayn, who, while in that city, led the
companions of the &Bab in the Friday congregational prayer,
was held in such esteem and reverence by his fellow-disciples
that a number of those present, who later on, in &Shiraz, revealed
their disloyalty to the Faith, were moved with envy.  
Among them were &Mulla &Javad-i-Baraghani and &Mulla
&Abdu'l-'Aliy-i-Harati, both of whom feigned submission
to the Revelation of the &Bab in the hope of satisfying their
ambition for leadership.  They both strove secretly to undermine
the enviable position achieved by &Mulla &Husayn.  
Through their hints and insinuations, they persistently endeavoured
to challenge his authority and disgrace his name.  
     I have heard &Mirza &Ahmad-i-Katib, better known in those
days as &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim, who had been the travelling
companion of &Mulla &Javad from &Qazvin, relate the following:  
"&Mulla &Javad often alluded in his conversation with me to
&Mulla &Husayn.  His repeated and disparaging remarks,
couched in artful language, impelled me to cease my association
with him.  Every time I determined to sever my
 
+P160
intercourse with &Mulla &Javad, I was prevented by &Mulla
&Husayn, who, discovering my intention, counselled me to
exercise forbearance towards him.  &Mulla &Husayn's association
with the loyal companions of the &Bab greatly added to
their zeal and enthusiasm.  They were edified by his example
and were lost in admiration for the brilliant qualities of mind
and heart which distinguished so eminent a fellow-disciple."  
     &Mulla &Husayn decided to join the company of his friends
and to proceed with them to &Isfahan.  Travelling alone, at
about a &farsakh's+F1 distance in advance of his companions, he,
as soon as he paused at nightfall to offer his prayer, would
be overtaken by them and would, in their company, complete
his devotions.  He would be the first to resume the journey,
and would again be joined by that devoted band at the hour
of dawn, when he once more would break his march to offer
his prayer.  Only when pressed by his friends would he
consent to observe the congregational form of worship.  On
such occasions he would sometimes follow the lead of one of
his companions.  Such was the devotion which he had kindled
in those hearts that a number of his fellow-travellers would
dismount from their steeds and, offering them to those who
were journeying on foot, would themselves follow him,
utterly indifferent to the strain and fatigues of the march.  
     As they approached the outskirts of &Isfahan, &Mulla &Husayn,
fearing that the sudden entry of so large a group of
people might excite the curiosity and suspicion of its inhabitants,
advised those who were travelling with him to disperse
and to enter the gates in small and inconspicuous numbers.  
A few days after their arrival, there reached them the news
that &Shiraz was in a state of violent agitation, that all manner
of intercourse with the &Bab had been forbidden, and that their
projected visit to that city would be fraught with the gravest
danger.  &Mulla &Husayn, quite undaunted by this sudden
intelligence, decided to proceed to &Shiraz.  He acquainted
only a few of his trusted companions with his intention.  Discarding
his robes and turban, and wearing the jubbih+F2 and
&kulah of the people of &Khurasan, he, disguising himself as a
horseman of &Hizarih and &Quchan and accompanied by his
brother and nephew, set out at an unexpected hour for the
 
+F1 Refer to Glossary.  
+F2 Refer to Glossary.  
 
+P161
city of his Beloved.  As he approached its gate, he instructed
his brother to proceed in the dead of night to the house of
the &Bab's maternal uncle and to request him to inform the
&Bab of his arrival.  &Mulla &Husayn received, the next day,
the welcome news that &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali was expecting
him an hour after sunset outside the gate of the city.  &Mulla
&Husayn met him at the appointed hour and was conducted
to his home.  Several times at night did the &Bab honour
that house with His presence, and continue in close association
with &Mulla &Husayn until the break of day.  Soon after this,
He gave permission to His companions who had gathered in
&Isfahan, to leave gradually for &Shiraz, and there to wait
until it should be feasible for Him to meet them.  He cautioned
them to exercise the utmost vigilance, instructed them
to enter, a few at a time, the gate of the city, and bade them
disperse, immediately upon their arrival, into such quarters
as were reserved for travellers, and accept whatever employment
they could find.  
     The first group to reach the city and meet the &Bab, a few
days after the arrival of &Mulla &Husayn, consisted of &Mirza
&Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Nahri, &Mirza &Hadi, his brother; &Mulla
&Abdu'l-Karim-i-Qazvini, &Mulla &Javad-i-Baraghani, &Mulla
&Abdu'l-'Aliy-i-Harati, and &Mirza &Ibrahim-i-Shirazi.  In the
course of their association with Him, the last three of the
group gradually betrayed their blindness of heart and demonstrated
the baseness of their character.  The manifold evidences
of the &Bab's increasing favour towards &Mulla &Husayn
aroused their anger and excited the smouldering fire of their
jealousy.  In their impotent rage, they resorted to the abject
weapons of fraud and of calumny.  Unable at first to manifest
openly their hostility to &Mulla &Husayn, they sought by every
crafty device to beguile the minds and damp the affections
of his devoted admirers.  Their unseemly behaviour alienated
the sympathy of the believers and precipitated their separation
from the company of the faithful.  Expelled by their
very acts from the bosom of the Faith, they leagued themselves
with its avowed enemies and proclaimed their utter
rejection of its claims and principles.  So great was the mischief
which they stirred up among the people of that city
that they were eventually expelled by the civil authorities,
 
+P162
who alike despised and feared their plottings.  The &Bab has
in a Tablet, in which He expatiates upon their machinations
and misdeeds, compared them to the calf of the &Samiri, the
calf that had neither voice nor soul, which was both the abject
handiwork and the object of the adoration of a wayward
people.  "May Thy condemnation, O God!" He wrote, with
reference to &Mulla &Javad and &Mulla &Abdu'l-'Ali, "rest upon
the Jibt and &Taghut,+F1 the twin idols of this perverse people."  
All three subsequently proceeded to &Kirman and joined forces
with &Haji &Mirza &Muhammad &Karim &Khan, whose designs
they furthered and the vehemence of whose denunciations
they strove to reinforce.  
     One night after their expulsion from &Shiraz, the &Bab, who
was visiting the home of &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, where He
had summoned to meet Him &Mirza &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Nahri,
&Mirza &Hadi, and &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim-i-Qazvini,
turned suddenly to the last-named and said:  "&Abdu'l-Karim,
are you seeking the Manifestation?"  These words,
uttered with calm and extreme gentleness, had a startling
effect upon him.  He paled at this sudden interrogation and
burst into tears.  He threw himself at the feet of the &Bab
in a state of profound agitation.  The &Bab took him lovingly
in His arms, kissed his forehead, and invited him to be seated
by His side.  In a tone of tender affection, He succeeded in
appeasing the tumult of his heart.  
     As soon as they had regained their home, &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali
and his brother enquired of &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim
the reason for the violent perturbation which had
suddenly seized him.  "Hear me," he answered; "I will relate
to you the tale of a strange experience, a tale which I have
shared with no one until now.  When I attained the age of
maturity, I felt, while I lived in &Qazvin, a profound yearning
to unravel the mystery of God and to apprehend the nature
of His saints and prophets.  Nothing short of the acquisition
of learning, I realised, could enable me to achieve my goal.  
I succeeded in obtaining the consent of my father and uncles
to the abandonment of my business, and plunged immediately
into study and research.  I occupied a room in one of
the madrisihs of &Qazvin, and concentrated my efforts on the
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 4:50.  
 
+P163
acquisition of every available branch of human learning.  I
often discussed the knowledge which I acquired with my
fellow-disciples, and sought by this means to enrich my experience.  
At night, I would retire to my home, and, in the
seclusion of my library, would devote many an hour to undisturbed
study.  I was so immersed in my labours that I
grew indifferent to both sleep and hunger.  Within two years
I had resolved to master the intricacies of Muslim jurisprudence
and theology.  I was a faithful attendant at the
lectures given by &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim-i-Iravani, who, in
those days, ranked as the most outstanding divine of &Qazvin.  
I greatly admired his vast erudition, his piety and virtue.  
Every night during the period that I was his disciple, I devoted
my time to the writing of a treatise which I submitted
to him and which he revised with care and interest.  He
seemed to be greatly pleased with my progress, and often
extolled my high attainments.  One day, in the presence of
his assembled disciples, he declared:  `The learned and sagacious
&Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim has qualified himself to expound
authoritatively the sacred Scriptures of &Islam.  He no longer
needs to attend either my classes or those of my equals.  I
shall, please God, celebrate his elevation to the rank of a
mujtahid on the morning of the coming Friday, and will
deliver his certificate to him after the congregational prayer.'  
     "No sooner had &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim spoken these words
and departed than his disciples came forward and heartily
congratulated me on my accomplishments.  I returned,
greatly elated, to my home.  Upon my arrival I discovered
that both my father and my elder uncle, &Haji &Husayn-'Ali,
both of whom were greatly esteemed throughout &Qazvin,
were preparing a feast in my honour, with which they intended
to celebrate the completion of my studies.  I requested them
to postpone the invitation they had extended to the notables
of &Qazvin until further notice from me.  They gladly consented,
believing that in my eagerness for such a festival I
would not unduly postpone it.  That night I repaired to my
library and, in the privacy of my cell, pondered the following
thoughts in my heart:  Had you not fondly imagined, I said
to myself, that only the sanctified in spirit could ever hope
to attain the station of an authoritative expounder of the
 
+P164
sacred Scriptures of &Islam?  Was it not your belief that whoso
attained this station would be immune from error?  Are you
not already accounted among those who enjoy that rank?  
Has not &Qazvin's most distinguished divine recognised and
declared you to be such?  Be fair.  Do you in your own
heart regard yourself as having attained that state of purity
and sublime detachment which you, in days past, considered
the requisites for one who aspires to reach that exalted position?  
Think you yourself to be free from every taint of
selfish desire?  As I sat musing, a feeling of my own unworthiness
gradually overpowered me.  I recognised myself as still
a victim of cares and perplexities, of temptations and doubts.  
I was oppressed by such thoughts as to how I should conduct
my classes, how to lead my congregation in prayer, how to
enforce the laws and precepts of the Faith.  I felt continually
anxious as to how I should discharge my duties, how to
ensure the superiority of my achievements over those who
had preceded me.  I was overcome with such a sense of
humiliation that I felt impelled to seek forgiveness from God.  
Your aim in acquiring all this learning, I thought to myself,
has been to unravel the mystery of God and to attain the
state of certitude.  Be fair.  Are you sure of your own interpretation
of the &Qur'an?  Are you certain that the laws
which you promulgate reflect the will of God?  The consciousness
of error suddenly dawned upon me.  I realised for
the first time how the rust of learning had corroded my soul
and had obscured my vision.  I lamented my past, and deplored
the futility of my endeavours.  I knew that the people
of my own rank were subject to the same afflictions.  As
soon as they had acquired this so-called learning, they would
claim to be the exponents of the law of &Islam and would
arrogate to themselves the exclusive privilege of pronouncing
upon its doctrine.  
     "I remained absorbed in my thoughts until dawn.  That
night I neither ate nor slept.  At times I would commune
with God:  `Thou seest me, O my Lord, and Thou beholdest
my plight.  Thou knowest that I cherish no other desire except
Thy holy will and pleasure.  I am lost in bewilderment
at the thought of the multitude of sects into which Thy holy
Faith hath fallen.  I am deeply perplexed when I behold the
 
+P165
schisms that have torn the religions of the past.  Wilt Thou
guide me in my perplexities, and relieve me of my doubts?  
Whither am I to turn for consolation and guidance?'  I wept
so bitterly that night that I seemed to have lost consciousness.  
There suddenly came to me the vision of a great gathering of
people, the expression of whose shining faces greatly impressed
me.  A noble figure, attired in the garb of a siyyid,
occupied a seat on the pulpit facing the congregation.  He
was expounding the meaning of this sacred verse of the &Qur'an:  
`Whoso maketh efforts for Us, in Our ways will We guide
them.'  I was fascinated by his face.  I arose, advanced
towards him, and was on the point of throwing myself at his
feet when that vision suddenly vanished.  My heart was
flooded with light.  My joy was indescribable.  
     "I immediately decided to consult &Haji &Allah-Vardi,
father of &Muhammad-Javad-i-Farhadi, a man known throughout
&Qazvin for his deep spiritual insight.  When I related
to him my vision, he smiled and with extraordinary precision
described to me the distinguishing features of the siyyid who
had appeared to me.  `That noble figure,' he added, `was
none other than &Haji Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti, who is now in
&Karbila and who may be seen expounding every day to his
disciples the sacred teachings of &Islam.  Those who listen
to his discourse are refreshed and edified by his utterance.  
I can never describe the impression which his words exert
upon his hearers.'  I joyously arose and, expressing to him
my feelings of profound appreciation, retired to my home and
started forthwith on my journey to &Karbila.  My old fellow-disciples
came and entreated me either to call in person on
the learned &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim, who had expressed a desire
to meet me, or to allow him to come to my house.  `I feel
the impulse,' I replied, `to visit the shrine of the &Imam &Husayn
at &Karbila.  I have vowed to start immediately on that
pilgrimage.  I cannot postpone my departure.  I will, if
possible, visit him for a few moments when I start to leave
the city.  If I cannot, I would beg him to excuse me and to
pray in my behalf that I may be guided on the straight path.'  
     "I confidentially acquainted my relatives with the nature
of my vision and its interpretation.  I informed them of my
projected visit to &Karbila.  My words to them that very day
 
+P166
instilled the love of Siyyid &Kazim in their hearts.  They felt
greatly drawn to &Haji &Allah-Vardi, freely associated with
him, and became his fervent admirers.  
     "My brother, &Abdu'l-Hamid [who later quaffed the cup
of martyrdom in &Tihran], accompanied me on my journey
to &Karbila.  There I met Siyyid &Kazim and was amazed to
hear him discourse to his assembled disciples under exactly
the same circumstances as he had appeared to me in my
vision.  I was astounded when I discovered, upon my arrival,
that he was expounding the meaning of the same verse which
he, when he appeared to me, was explaining to his disciples.  
As I sat and listened to him, I was greatly impressed by the
force of his argument and the profundity of his thoughts.  
He graciously received me and showed me the utmost kindness.  
My brother and I both felt an inner joy we had never
before experienced.  At the hour of dawn we would hasten
to his home, and would accompany him on his visit to the
shrine of the &Imam &Husayn.  
     "I spent the entire winter in close companionship with
him.  During the whole of that period, I faithfully attended
his classes.  Every time I listened to his speech, I heard him
describe a particular aspect of the manifestation of the promised
&Qa'im.  This theme constituted the sole subject of his
discourses.  Whichever verse or tradition he happened to
be expounding, he would invariably conclude his commentary
on it with a particular reference to the advent of the promised
Revelation.  `The promised One,' he would openly and repeatedly
declare, lives in the midst of this people.  The appointed
time for His appearance is fast approaching.  Prepare
the way for Him, and purify yourselves so that you may recognise
His beauty.  Not until I depart from this world will the
day-star of His countenance be revealed.  It behoves you
after my departure to arise and seek Him.  You should not
rest for one moment until you find Him.'  
     "After the celebration of &Naw-Ruz, Siyyid &Kazim bade
me depart from &Karbila.  `Rest assured, O &Abdu'l-Karim,'
he told me as he bade me farewell, `you are of those who, in
the Day of His Revelation, will arise for the triumph of His
Cause.  You will, I hope, remember me on that blessed Day.'  
I besought him to allow me to remain in &Karbila, pleading
 
+P167
that my return to &Qazvin would arouse the enmity of the
&mullas of that city.  `Let your trust be wholly in God,' was
his reply.  `Ignore entirely their machinations.  Engage in
trade, and rest assured that their protestations will never
succeed in harming you.'  I followed his advice, and together
with my brother set out for &Qazvin.  
     "Immediately upon my arrival, I undertook to carry out
the counsel of Siyyid &Kazim.  With the instructions he had
given me, I was able to silence every malicious opposer.  I
devoted my days to the transaction of my business; at night
I would regain my home and, in the quiet of my chamber,
would consecrate my time to meditation and prayer.  With
tearful eyes I would commune with God and would beseech
Him, saying:  `Thou hast, by the mouth of Thine inspired
servant, promised that I shall attain unto Thy Day, and shall
behold Thy Revelation.  Thou hast, through him, assured
me that I shall be among those who will arise for the triumph
of Thy Cause.  How long wilt Thou withhold from me Thy
promise?  When will the hand of Thy loving-kindness unlock
to me the door of Thy grace, and confer upon me Thy everlasting
bounty?'  Every night I would renew this prayer and
would continue in my supplications until the break of day.  
     "One night, on the eve of the day of &Arafih, in the year
1255 A.H.,+F1 I was so wrapt in prayer that I seemed to have
fallen into a trance.  There appeared before me a bird, white
as the snow, which hovered above my head and alighted upon
the twig of a tree beside me.  In accents of indescribable
sweetness, that bird voiced these words:  `Are you seeking
the Manifestation, O &Abdu'l-Karim?  Lo, the year '60.'  
Immediately after, the bird flew away and vanished.  The
mystery of those words greatly agitated me.  The memory
of the beauty of that vision lingered long in my mind.  I
seemed to have tasted all the delights of Paradise.  My joy
was irrepressible.  
     "The mystic message of that bird had penetrated my
soul and was continually on my lips.  I revolved it constantly
in my mind.  I shared it with no one, fearing lest its sweetness
forsake me.  A few years later, the Call from &Shiraz reached
my ears.  The day I heard it, I hastened to that city.  On
 
+F1 The night preceding February 13, 1840 A.D.  
 
+P168
my way I met, in &Tihran, &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mu'allim,
who acquainted me with the nature of this Call, and informed
me that those who had acknowledged it had gathered in
&Karbila and were awaiting the return of their Leader from
&Hijaz.  I immediately departed for that city.  From &Hamadan,
&Mulla &Javad-i-Baraghani, to my great distress, accompanied
me to &Karbila, where I was privileged to meet you as
well as the rest of the believers.  I continued to treasure
within my heart the strange message conveyed to me by that
bird.  When I subsequently attained the presence of the &Bab
and heard from His lips those same words, spoken in the same
tone and language as I had heard them, I realised their significance.  
I was so overwhelmed by their power and glory
that I instinctively fell at His feet and magnified His name."  
     In the early days of the year 1265 A.H.,+F1 I set out, at the
age of eighteen, from my native village of Zarand for Qum,
where I chanced to meet Siyyid &Isma'il-i-Zavari'i, surnamed
&Dhabih, who later on, while in &Baghdad, offered up his life
as a sacrifice in the path of &Baha'u'llah.  Through him I was
led to recognise the new Revelation.  He was then preparing
to leave for &Mazindaran and had determined to join the
heroic defenders of the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi.  He had intended
to take me with him, together with &Mirza &Fathu'llah-i-Hakkak,
a lad of my age, who was a resident of Qum.  As
circumstances interfered with his plan, he promised before
his departure that he would communicate with us from
&Tihran and would ask us to join him.  In the course of his
conversation with &Mirza &Fathu'llah and me, he related to
us the account of &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim's marvellous experience.  
I was seized with an ardent desire to meet him.  When
I subsequently arrived at &Tihran and met Siyyid &Isma'il in
the &Madrisiy-i-Daru'sh-Shafay-i-Masjid-i-Shah, I was introduced
by him to this same &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim, who was
then living in that same madrisih.  In those days we were
informed that the struggle of &Shaykh &Tabarsi had come to
an end, and that those companions of the &Bab who had
gathered in &Tihran and were contemplating joining their
brethren had each returned to his own province unable to
achieve his goal.  &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim remained in the
 
+F1 1848 A.D.  
 
+P169
capital, where he devoted his time to transcribing the Persian
&Bayan.  My close association with him at that time served
to deepen my love and admiration for him.  I still feel, after
the lapse of eight and thirty years since our first interview in
&Tihran, the warmth of his friendship and the fervour of his
faith.  My feelings of affectionate regard for him prompted
me to dwell at length upon the circumstances of his early
life, culminating in what may be regarded as the turning
point of his whole career.  May it in turn serve to awaken
the reader to the glory of this momentous Revelation.  
 
+P170
                         CHAPTER IX
              THE &BAB'S STAY IN &SHIRAZ AFTER
                       THE PILGRIMAGE
                         (Continued)
 
     SOON after the arrival of &Mulla &Husayn at &Shiraz,
the voice of the people rose again in protest against
him.  The fear and indignation of the multitude
were excited by the knowledge of his continued
and intimate intercourse with the &Bab.  "He again has come
to our city," they clamoured; "he again has raised the standard
of revolt and is, together with his chief, contemplating
a still fiercer onslaught upon our time-honoured institutions."  
So grave and menacing became the situation that the &Bab
instructed &Mulla &Husayn to regain, by way of Yazd, his native
province of &Khurasan.  He likewise dismissed the rest of
His companions who had gathered in &Shiraz, and bade them
return to &Isfahan.  He retained &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim, to
whom He assigned the duty of transcribing His writings.  
     These precautionary measures which the &Bab deemed
wise to undertake, relieved Him from the immediate danger
of violence from the infuriated people of &Shiraz, and served
to lend a fresh impetus to the propagation of His Faith beyond
the limits of that city.  His disciples, who had spread throughout
the length and breadth of the country, fearlessly proclaimed
to the multitude of their countrymen the regenerating
power of the new-born Revelation.  The fame of the &Bab
had been noised abroad and had reached the ears of those
who held the highest seats of authority, both in the capital
and throughout the provinces.+F1  A wave of passionate enquiry
swayed the minds and hearts of both the leaders and the
 
+F1 "&Babism had many adepts in all classes of society, and many among them
+F1 were of important standing; great lords, members of the clergy, military
+F1 men and merchants had accepted this doctrine."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866,
+F1 tome 8, p. 251.)  
 
+P171
masses of the people.  Amazement and wonder had seized
those who had heard from the lips of the immediate messengers
of the &Bab the tales of those signs and testimonies
which had heralded the birth of His Manifestation.  The
dignitaries of State and Church either attended in person or
delegated their ablest representatives to enquire into the
truth and character of this remarkable Movement.  
    &Muhammad &Shah+F1 himself was moved to ascertain the
veracity of these reports and to enquire into their nature.  
He delegated Siyyid &Yahyay-i-Darabi,+F2 the most learned, the
most eloquent, and the most influential of his subjects, to
interview the &Bab and to report to him the results of his investigations.  
The &Shah had implicit confidence in his impartiality,
in his competence and profound spiritual insight.  
He occupied a position of such pre-eminence among the
leading figures in Persia that at whatever meeting he happened
to be present, no matter how great the number of the
ecclesiastical leaders who attended it, he was invariably its
chief speaker.  None would dare to assert his views in his
presence.  They all reverently observed silence before him;
all testified to his sagacity, his unsurpassed knowledge and
mature wisdom.  
 
+F1 Refer to "Pedigree of the &Qajar Dynasty" at the beginning of the book.  
+F2   Concerning him, &Abdu'l-Baha has written the following:  "This
+F2 remarkable man, this precious soul, had committed to memory no less than
+F2 thirty thousand traditions, and was highly esteemed and admired by all
+F2 classes of people.  He had achieved universal renown in Persia, and his
+F2 authority and erudition were widely and fully recognized."  (From
+F2 manuscript relating to martyrdoms in Persia.)  
+F2   "This personage was, as his name indicates, born at &Darab near &Shiraz;
+F2 his father, Siyyid &Ja'far, surnamed &Kashfi, was one of the greatest and
+F2 most celebrated &Ulamas of that period.  His high moral character, his
+F2 righteous ways had attracted to him universal esteem and consideration.  
+F2 His science had won for him the glorious name of &Kashfi, that is to say,
+F2 one who discovers and explains the divine secrets.  Brought up by him, his
+F2 son was not slow to equal him in every way and he enjoyed the public favor
+F2 bestowed on his father.  When he went to &Tihran, he was preceded by his
+F2 fame and popularity.  He became the regular guest of Prince &Tahmasp
+F2 &Mirza, &Mu'ayyadu'd-Dawlih, grandson of &Fath-'Ali &Shah by his father
+F2 &Muhammad-'Ali &Mirza.  The government itself paid homage to his science
+F2 and to his merit and he was consulted more than once in trying
+F2 circumstances.  It was of him that &Muhammad &Shahet &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi
+F2 thought when they wished to find an honest emissary whose faithfulness
+F2 could not be questioned."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le
+F2 &Bab," p. 233.)  
+F2   "While these events were taking place in the north of Persia, the central
+F2 and southern provinces were deeply roused by the fiery eloquence of the
+F2 missionaries of the new doctrine.  The people, light, credulous, ignorant,
+F2 superstitious in the extreme, were struck dumb by the incessant miracles
+F2 which they heard related every moment; the anxious priests, feeling their
+F2 flock quivering with impatience and ready to escape their control,
+F2 redoubled their slanders and infamous imputations; the grossest lies, the
+F2 most bloody fictions were spread among the bewildered populace, torn
+F2 between horror and admiration....  Siyyid &Ja'far was unacquainted with the
+F2 doctrine of the &Shaykhis as he was with those of &Mulla &Sadra.  
+F2 Nevertheless, his burning zeal and his ardent imagination had carried him,
+F2 towards the end of his life, out of the ways of the orthodox &Shiite.  He
+F2 interpreted the `&hadiths' differently from his colleagues and claimed
+F2 even, so they said, to have fathomed the seventy inner meanings of the
+F2 &Qur'an.  His son, who was to outdo these oddities, was at that time about
+F2 thirty-five years of age.  After the completion of his studies, he came to
+F2 &Tihran where he became intimately associated with all that the court
+F2 counted of great personages and distinguished men.  It was upon him that
+F2 the choice of His Majesty fell.  He was, therefore, commissioned to go to
+F2 &Shiraz to make contact with the &Bab and to inform the central authority,
+F2 as exactly as possible, of the political consequences which would result
+F2 from a reform which seemed likely unsettle heart of the country."  (A. L.
+F2 M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 387-388.)  
 
+P172
     In those days Siyyid &Yahya was residing in &Tihran in the
house of &Mirza &Lutf-'Ali, the Master of Ceremonies to the
&Shah, as the honoured guest of his Imperial Majesty.  The
&Shah confidentially signified through &Mirza &Lutf-'Ali his
desire and pleasure that Siyyid &Yahya should proceed to
&Shiraz and investigate the matter in person.  "Tell him from
us, commanded the sovereign, "that inasmuch as we repose
the utmost confidence in his integrity, and admire his moral
and intellectual standards, and regard him as the most suitable
among the divines of our realm, we expect him to proceed
to &Shiraz, to enquire thoroughly into the episode of the
&Siyyid-i-Bab, and to inform us of the results of his investigations;
We shall then know what measures it behoves us to
take."  
     Siyyid &Yahya had been himself desirous of obtaining
first-hand knowledge of the claims of the &Bab, but had been
unable, owing to adverse circumstances, to undertake the
journey to &Fars.  The message of &Muhammad &Shah decided
him to carry out his long-cherished intention.  Assuring his
sovereign of his readiness to comply with his wish, he immediately
set out for &Shiraz.  
     On his way, he conceived the various questions which he
thought he would submit to the &Bab.  Upon the replies which
the latter gave to these questions would, in his view, depend
the truth and validity of His mission.  Upon his arrival at
&Shiraz, he met &Mulla &Shaykh &Ali, surnamed &Azim, with
whom he had been intimately associated while in &Khurasan.  
He asked him whether he was satisfied with his interview
with the &Bab.  "You should meet Him," &Azim replied, "and
seek independently to acquaint yourself with His Mission.  
As a friend, I would advise you to exercise the utmost consideration
 
+P173
in your conversations with Him, lest you, too, in
the end should be obliged to deplore any act of discourtesy
towards Him."  
     Siyyid &Yahya met the &Bab at the home of &Haji &Mirza
Siyyid &Ali, and exercised in his attitude towards Him the
courtesy which &Azim had counselled him to observe.  For
about two hours he directed the attention of the &Bab to the
most abstruse and bewildering themes in the metaphysical
teachings of &Islam, to the obscurest passages of the &Qur'an,
and to the mysterious traditions and prophecies of the &imams
of the Faith.  The &Bab at first listened to his learned references
to the law and prophecies of &Islam, noted all his
questions, and began to give to each a brief but persuasive
reply.  The conciseness and lucidity of His answers excited
the wonder and admiration of Siyyid &Yahya.  He was overpowered
by a sense of humiliation at his own presumptuousness
and pride.  His sense of superiority completely vanished.  
As he arose to depart, he addressed the &Bab in these words:  
"Please God, I shall, in the course of my next audience with
You, submit the rest of my questions and with them shall
conclude my enquiry."  As soon as he retired, he joined
&Azim, to whom he related the account of his interview.  "I
have in His presence," he told him, "expatiated unduly upon
my own learning.  He was able in a few words to answer my
questions and to resolve my perplexities.  I felt so abased
before Him that I hurriedly begged leave to retire."  &Azim
reminded him of his counsel, and begged him not to forget
this time the advice he had given him.  
     In the course of his second interview, Siyyid &Yahya, to
his amazement, discovered that all the questions which he
had intended to submit to the &Bab had vanished from his
memory.  He contented himself with matters that seemed
irrelevant to the object of his enquiry.  He soon found, to
his still greater surprise, that the &Bab was answering, with the
same lucidity and conciseness that had characterised His
previous replies, those same questions which he had momentarily
forgotten.  "I seemed to have fallen fast asleep,"
he later observed.  "His words, His answers to questions
which I had forgotten to ask, reawakened me.  A voice still
kept whispering in my ear:  `Might not this, after all, have
 
+P174
been an accidental coincidence?'  I was too agitated to collect
my thoughts.  I again begged leave to retire.  &Azim, whom I
subsequently met, received me with cold indifference, and
sternly remarked:  `Would that schools had been utterly
abolished, and that neither of us had entered one!  Through
our little-mindedness and conceit, we are withholding from
ourselves the redeeming grace of God, and are causing pain
to Him who is the Fountain thereof.  Will you not this time
beseech God to grant that you may be enabled to attain His
presence with becoming humility and detachment, that perchance
He may graciously relieve you from the oppression of
uncertainty and doubt?'  
     "I resolved that in my third interview with the &Bab I
would in my inmost heart request Him to reveal for me a
commentary on the &Surih of &Kawthar.+F1  I determined not
to breathe that request in His presence.  Should he, unasked
by me, reveal this commentary in a manner that would immediately
distinguish it in my eyes from the prevailing standards
current among the commentators on the &Qur'an, I
then would be convinced of the Divine character of His
Mission, and would readily embrace His Cause.  If not, I
would refuse to acknowledge Him.  As soon as I was ushered
into His presence, a sense of fear, for which I could not account,
suddenly seized me.  My limbs quivered as I beheld
His face.  I, who on repeated occasions had been introduced
into the presence of the &Shah and had never discovered the
slightest trace of timidity in myself, was now so awed and
shaken that I could not remain standing on my feet.  The
&Bab, beholding my plight, arose from His seat, advanced
towards me, and, taking hold of my hand, seated me beside
Him.  `Seek from Me,' He said, `whatever is your heart's
desire.  I will readily reveal it to you.'  I was speechless with
wonder.  Like a babe that can neither understand nor speak,
I felt powerless to respond.  He smiled as He gazed at me and
said:  `Were I to reveal for you the commentary on the &Surih
of &Kawthar, would you acknowledge that My words are
born of the Spirit of God?  Would you recognise that My
utterance can in no wise be associated with sorcery or magic?'  
Tears flowed from my eyes as I heard Him speak these words.  
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 108.  
 
+P175
All I was able to utter was this verse of the &Qur'an:  `O our
Lord, with ourselves have we dealt unjustly:  if Thou forgive
us not and have not pity on us, we shall surely be of those
who perish.'  
     "It was still early in the afternoon when the &Bab requested
&Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali to bring His pen-case and some paper.  
He then started to reveal His commentary on the &Surih of
&Kawthar.  How am I to describe this scene of inexpressible
majesty?  Verses streamed from His pen with a rapidity that
was truly astounding.  The incredible swiftness of His writing,+F1
the soft and gentle murmur of His voice, and the stupendous
force of His style, amazed and bewildered me.  He
continued in this manner until the approach of sunset.  He
did not pause until the entire commentary of the &Surih was
completed.  He then laid down His pen and asked for tea.  
Soon after, He began to read it aloud in my presence.  My
heart leaped madly as I heard Him pour out, in accents of
unutterable sweetness, those treasures enshrined in that
sublime commentary.+F2  I was so entranced by its beauty
that three times over I was on the verge of fainting.  He
sought to revive my failing strength with a few drops of rose-water
which He caused to be sprinkled on my face.  This
 
+F1   According to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (p. 81), no less than two thousand
+F1 verses were revealed on that occasion by the &Bab.  The bewildering
+F1 rapidity of this revelation was no less remarkable in the eyes of Siyyid
+F1 &Yahya than the matchless beauty and profound meaning of the verses in that
+F1 commentary.  
+F1   "Within five hours' time he revealed two thousand verses, that is, he
+F1 spoke as fast as the scribe could write.  One can judge thereby that, if he
+F1 had been left free, how many of his works from the beginning of his
+F1 manifestation until today would have been spread abroad among men."  ("Le
+F1 &Bayan Persan," vol. I, p. 43.)  
+F1   "God had given him such power and such fluency of expression that, if a
+F1 scribe wrote with the most extreme rapidity during two days and two nights
+F1 without interruption, he would reveal, out of this mine of eloquence, the
+F1 equivalent of the &Qur'an."  (Ibid., vol. 2, p. 132.)  
+F2 "Certainly the fact of writing, currente calamo, a new commentary on a
+F2 &surih whose meaning is so obscure, should deeply astonish the Siyyid
+F2 &Yahya, but that which surprised him even more was to find, in this
+F2 commentary, the explanation that he, himself, had found in his meditation
+F2 on these three verses.  Thus he found himself in agreement with the
+F2 Reformer in the interpretation that he had believed himself to be the
+F2 only one to have reached and that he had not made known to anyone."  
+F2 (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 234.)  
 
+P176
restored my vigour and enabled me to follow His reading to
the end.  
     "When He had completed His recital, the &Bab arose to
depart.  He entrusted me, as He left, to the care of His maternal
uncle.  `He is to be your guest,' He told him, `until
the time when he, in collaboration with &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim,
shall have finished transcribing this newly revealed
commentary, and shall have verified the correctness of the
transcribed copy.'  &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim and I devoted three
days and three nights to this work.  We would in turn read
aloud to each other a portion of the commentary until the
whole of it had been transcribed.  We verified all the traditions
in the text and found them to be entirely accurate.  
Such was the state of certitude to which I had attained that
if all the powers of the earth were to be leagued against me
they would be powerless to shake my confidence in the
greatness of His Cause.+F1  
     "As I had, since my arrival at &Shiraz, been living in the
home of &Husayn &Khan, the governor of &Fars, I felt that my
prolonged absence from his house might excite his suspicion
and inflame his anger.  I therefore determined to take leave
of &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali and &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim and to
regain the residence of the governor.  On my arrival I found
that &Husayn &Khan, who in the meantime had been searching
for me, was eager to know whether I had fallen a victim to
the &Bab's magic influence.  `No one but God,' I replied, `who
alone can change the hearts of men, is able to captivate the
heart of Siyyid &Yahya.  Whoso can ensnare his heart is of
God, and His word unquestionably the voice of Truth.'  
My answer silenced the governor.  In his conversation with
others, I subsequently learned, he had expressed the view
that I too had fallen a hopeless victim to the charm of that
Youth.  He had even written to &Muhammad &Shah and complained
that during my stay in &Shiraz I had refused all manner
of intercourse with the &ulamas of the city.  `Though nominally
my guest,' he wrote to his sovereign, `he frequently
 
+F1 "It was a strange circumstance," writes Lady Sheil, "that among those who
+F1 adopted [the] &Bab's doctrine there should have been a large number of
+F1 &mullas, and even mujtahids, who hold a high rank as expounders of the law
+F1 in the &Muhammadan church.  Many or these men sealed their faith with their
+F1 blood."  ("Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," pp. 178-9.)  
 
+P177
absents himself for a number of consecutive days and nights
from my house.  That he has become a &Babi, that he has been
heart and soul enslaved by the will of the &Siyyid-i-Bab, I
have ceased to entertain any doubt.'  
     "&Muhammad &Shah himself, at one of the state functions
in his capital, was reported to have addressed these words
to &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi:  `We have been lately informed+F1 that
Siyyid &Yahyay-i-Darabi has become a &Babi.  If this be true,
it behoves us to cease belittling the cause of that siyyid.'  
&Husayn &Khan, on his part, received the following imperial
command:  `It is strictly forbidden to any one of our subjects
to utter such words as would tend to detract from the exalted
rank of Siyyid &Yahyay-i-Darabi.  He is of noble lineage, a
man of great learning, of perfect and consummate virtue.  
He will under no circumstances incline his ear to any cause
unless he believes it to be conducive to the advancement
of the best interests of our realm and to the well-being of the
Faith of &Islam.'  
     "Upon the receipt of this imperial injunction, &Husayn
&Khan, unable to resist me openly, strove privily to undermine
my authority.  His face betrayed an implacable enmity and
hate.  He failed, however, in view of the marked favours
bestowed upon me by the &Shah, either to harm my person or
to discredit my name.  
     "I was subsequently commanded by the &Bab to journey to
&Burujird, and there acquaint my father+F2 with the new Message.  
He urged me to exercise towards him the utmost forbearance
and consideration.  From my confidential conversations with
him I gathered that he was unwilling to repudiate the truth
of the Message I had brought him.  He preferred, however,
to be left alone and to be allowed to pursue his own way."  
     Another dignitary of the realm who dispassionately investigated
and ultimately embraced the Message of the &Bab
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 8), Siyyid &Yahya "wrote
+F1 without fear or care a detailed account of his observations to &Mirza
+F1 &Lutf-'Ali, the chamberlain, in order that the latter might submit it to
+F1 the notice of the late king, while he himself journeyed to all parts of
+F1 Persia, and in every town and station summoned the people from the
+F1 pulpit-tops in such wise that other learned doctors decided that he must
+F1 be mad, accounting it a sure case of bewitchment."  
+F2 His name was Siyyid &Ja'far, known as &Kashfi "the Discloser," because
+F2 of his skill in the interpretation of the &Qur'an and the visions which he
+F2 claimed to have.  
 
+P178
was &Mulla &Muhammad-'Ali,+F1 a native of &Zanjan, whom the
&Bab surnamed &Hujjat-i-Zanjani.  He was a man of independent
mind, noted for extreme originality and freedom from
all forms of traditional restraint.  He denounced the whole
hierarchy of the ecclesiastical leaders of his country, from
the &Abvab-i-Arba'ih+F2 down to the humblest &mulla among
his contemporaries.  He despised their character, deplored
their degeneracy, and expatiated upon their vices.  He even,
prior to his conversion, betrayed an attitude of careless contempt
for &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti.+F3  
He was so filled with horror at the misdeeds that
had stained the history of &shi'ah &Islam that whoever belonged
to that sect, no matter how high his personal attainments,
was regarded by him as unworthy of his consideration.  Not
infrequently did cases of fierce controversy arise between
him and the divines of &Zanjan which, but for the personal
intervention of the &Shah, would have led to grave disorder
and bloodshed.  He was eventually summoned to the capital
and, in the presence of his opponents, representatives of the
ecclesiastical heads of &Tihran and other cities, was called
upon to vindicate his claim.  Single-handed and alone he
would establish his superiority over his adversaries and
would silence their clamour.  Although in their hearts they
dissented from his views and condemned his conduct, they
were compelled to acknowledge outwardly his authority and
to confirm his opinion.  
     As soon as the Call from &Shiraz reached his ears, &Hujjat
deputed one of his disciples, &Mulla Iskandar, in whom he
reposed the fullest confidence, to enquire into the whole
matter and to report to him the result of his investigations.  
Utterly indifferent to the praise and censure of his countrymen,
whose integrity he suspected and whose judgment he
disdained, he sent his delegate to &Shiraz with explicit instructions
to conduct a minute and independent enquiry.  &Mulla
Iskandar attained the presence of the &Bab and felt immediately
the regenerating power of His influence.  He tarried
 
+F1 He was styled &Hujjatu'l-Islam.  
+F2 Literally meaning "The Four Gates," each of whom claimed to be an
+F2 intermediary between the absent &Imam and his followers.  
+F3 He was an &Akhbari.  For an account of the &Akhbaris, see Gobineau's
+F3 "Les Religions et Les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 23 et seq.  
 
+P179
forty days in &Shiraz, during which time he imbibed the
principles of the Faith and acquired, according to his capacity,
a knowledge of the measure of its glory.  
     With the approval of the &Bab, he returned to &Zanjan.  
He arrived at a time when all the leading &ulamas of the city
had assembled in the presence of &Hujjat.  As soon as he appeared,
&Hujjat enquired whether he believed in, or rejected,
the new Revelation.  &Mulla Iskandar submitted the writings
of the &Bab which he had brought with him, and asserted that
whatever should be the verdict of his master, the same would
he deem it his obligation to follow.  "What!" angrily exclaimed
&Hujjat.  "But for the presence of this distinguished
company; I would have chastised you severely.  How dare
you consider matters of belief to be dependent upon the
approbation or rejection of others?"  Receiving from the
hand of his messenger the copy of the &Qayyumu'l-Asma',
he, as soon as he had perused a page of that book, fell prostrate
upon the ground and exclaimed "I bear witness that
these words which I have read proceed from the same Source
as that of the &Qur'an.  Whoso has recognised the truth of
that sacred Book must needs testify to the Divine origin of
these words, and must needs submit to the precepts inculcated
by their Author.  I take you, members of this assembly, as
my witnesses:  I pledge such allegiance to the Author of this
Revelation that should He ever pronounce the night to be the
day, and declare the sun to be a shadow, I would unreservedly
submit to His judgment, and would regard His
verdict as the voice of Truth.  Whoso denies Him, him will
I regard as the repudiator of God Himself."  With these
words he terminated the proceedings of that gathering.+F1  
     We have, in the preceding pages, referred to the expulsion
of &Quddus and of &Mulla &Sadiq from &Shiraz, and have attempted
to describe, however inadequately, the chastisement
inflicted upon them by the tyrannical and rapacious &Husayn
 
+F1 "`I met him [&Mulla &Muhammad-'Ali],' says &Mirza &Jani, `in &Tihran, in
+F1 the house of &Mahmud &Khan, the kalantar, where he was confined because of
+F1 his devotion to His Holiness.  He said:  `I was a &mulla, so proud and
+F1 masterful that I would abase myself to no one, not even the late &Haji
+F1 Siyyid &Baqir &Rasht, who was regarded as the `Proof of &Islam' and the
+F1 most learned of doctors.  My doctrines being after the Akhbari school, I
+F1 differed in certain questions with the mass of the clergy.  People
+F1 complained of me, and &Muhammad &Shah summoned me to &Tihran.  I came, and
+F1 he perused my books and informed himself of their purport.  I asked him to
+F1 summon the siyyid [i.e. Siyyid &Baqir of &Rasht] also, that we might
+F1 dispute.  At first he intended to do so, but afterwards, having considered
+F1 the mischief which might result, suspended the proposed discussion.  To be
+F1 brief, notwithstanding all this self-sufficiency, as soon as news of the
+F1 Manifestation of His Holiness reached me, and I had perused a small page of
+F1 the verses of that Point of the &Furqan, I became as one beside himself,
+F1 and involuntarily, yet with full option, confessed the truth of His claim,
+F1 and became His devoted slave; for I beheld in Him the most noble of the
+F1 Prophet's miracles, and, had I rejected it, I should have rejected the
+F1 truth of the religion of &Islam."'"  (&Haji &Mirza &Jani's History:  
+F1 Appendix 2 of "&Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 349-50.)  
 
+P180
&Khan.  A word should now be said regarding the nature of
their activities after their expulsion from that city.  For a
few days they continued to journey together, after which
they separated, &Quddus departing for &Kirman in order to
interview &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan, and &Mulla &Sadiq directing
his steps towards Yazd with the intention of pursuing among
the &ulamas of that province the work which he had been
so cruelly forced to abandon in &Fars.  &Quddus was received,
upon his arrival, at the home of &Haji Siyyid &Javad-i-Kirmani,
whom he had known in &Karbila and whose scholarship, skill,
and competence were universally recognised by the people
of &Kirman.  At all the gatherings held in his home, he invariably
assigned to his youthful guest the seat of honour
and treated him with extreme deference and courtesy.  So
marked a preference for so young and seemingly mediocre a
person kindled the envy of the disciples of &Haji &Mirza &Karim
&Khan, who, describing in vivid and exaggerated language
the honours which were being lavished upon &Quddus, sought
to excite the dormant hostility of their chief.  "Behold,"
they whispered in his ears, "he who is the best beloved, the
trusted and most intimate companion of the &Siyyid-i-Bab,
is now the honoured guest of one who is admittedly the most
powerful inhabitant of &Kirman.  If he be allowed to live in
close companionship with &Haji Siyyid &Javad, he will no doubt
instil his poison into his soul, and will fashion him as the
instrument whereby he will succeed in disrupting your authority
and in extinguishing your fame."  Alarmed by these
evil whisperings, the cowardly &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan appealed
to the governor and induced him to call in person upon
&Haji Siyyid &Javad and demand that he terminate that dangerous
association.  The representations of the governor inflamed
the wrath of the intemperate &Haji Siyyid &Javad.  
"How often," he violently protested, "have I advised you
 
+P181
to ignore the whisperings of this evil plotter!  My forbearance
has emboldened him.  Let him beware lest he overstep his
bounds.  Does he desire to usurp my position?  Is he not the
man who receives into his home thousands of abject and
ignoble people and overwhelms them with servile flattery?  
Has he not, again and again, striven to exalt the ungodly and
to silence the innocent?  Has he not, year after year, by
reinforcing the hand of the evil-doer, sought to ally himself
with him and gratify his carnal desires?  Does he not until
this day persist in uttering his blasphemies against all that
is pure and holy in &Islam?  My silence seems to have added
to his temerity and insolence.  He gives himself the liberty
of committing the foulest deeds, and refuses to allow me
to receive and honour in my own home a man of such integrity,
such learning and nobleness.  Should he refuse to
desist from his practice, let him be warned that the worst
elements of the city will, at my instigation, expel him from
&Kirman."  Disconcerted by such vehement denunciations,
the governor apologised for his action.  Ere he retired, he
assured &Haji Siyyid &Javad that he need entertain no fear,
that he himself would endeavour to awaken &Haji &Mirza
&Karim &Khan to the folly of his behaviour, and would induce
him to repent.  
     The siyyid's message stung &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan.  
Convulsed by a feeling of intense resentment which he could
neither suppress nor gratify, he relinquished all hopes of
acquiring the undisputed leadership of the people of &Kirman.  
That open challenge sounded the death-knell of his cherished
ambitions.  
     In the privacy of his home, &Haji Siyyid &Javad heard &Quddus
recount all the details of his activities from the day of his
departure from &Karbila until his arrival at &Kirman.  The
circumstances of his conversion and his subsequent pilgrimage
with the &Bab stirred the imagination and kindled the flame
of faith in the heart of his host, who preferred, however,
to conceal his belief, in the hope of being able to guard more
effectively the interests of the newly established community.  
"Your noble resolve," &Quddus lovingly assured him, "will
in itself be regarded as a notable service rendered to the
 
+P182
Cause of God.  The Almighty will reinforce your efforts
and will establish for all time your ascendancy over your
opponents."  
     The incident was related to me by a certain &Mirza &Abdu'llah-i-Ghawgka,
who, while in &Kirman, had heard it from the
lips of &Haji Siyyid &Javad himself.  The sincerity of the expressed
intentions of the siyyid has been fully vindicated by
the splendid manner in which, as a result of his endeavours,
he succeeded in resisting the encroachments of the insidious
&Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan, who, had he remained unchallenged,
would have caused incalculable harm to the Faith.  
     From &Kirman, &Quddus decided to leave for Yazd, and
from thence to proceed to &Ardikan, &Nayin, &Ardistan, &Isfahan,
&Kashan, Qum, and &Tihran.  In each of these cities, notwithstanding
the obstacles that beset his path, he succeeded
in instilling into the understanding of his hearers the principles
which he had so bravely risen to advocate.  I have
 
+P183
heard &Aqay-i-Kalim, the brother of &Baha'u'llah, describe in
the following terms his meeting with &Quddus in &Tihran:  
"The charm of his person, his extreme affability, combined
with a dignity of bearing, appealed to even the most careless
observer.  Whoever was intimately associated with him was
seized with an insatiable admiration for the charm of that
youth.  We watched him one day perform his ablutions, and
were struck by the gracefulness which distinguished him from
the rest of the worshippers in the performance of so ordinary
a rite.  He seemed, in our eyes, to be the very incarnation of
purity and grace."  
     In &Tihran, &Quddus was admitted into the presence of
&Baha'u'llah after which he proceeded to &Mazindaran, where,
in his native town of &Barfurush, in the home of his father, he
lived for about two years, during which time he was surrounded
by the loving devotion of his family and kindred.  
His father had married, on the death of his first wife, a lady
who treated &Quddus with a kindness and care that no mother
could have hoped to surpass.  She longed to witness his wedding,
and was often heard to express her fears lest she should
have to carry with her to the grave the "supreme joy of her
heart."  "The day of my wedding," &Quddus observed, "is
not yet come.  That day will be unspeakably glorious.  Not
within the confines of this house, but out in the open air,
under the vault of heaven, in the midst of the &Sabzih-Maydan,
before the gaze of the multitude, there shall I celebrate my
nuptials and witness the consummation of my hopes."  Three
years later, when that lady learned of the circumstances attending
the martyrdom of &Quddus in the &Sabzih-Maydan,
she recalled his prophetic words and understood their meaning.+F1  
&Quddus remained in &Barfurush until the time when
he was joined by &Mulla &Husayn after the latter's return from
his visit to the &Bab in the castle of &Mah-Ku.  From &Barfurush
they set out for &Khurasan, a journey rendered memorable
by deeds so heroic that none of their countrymen
could hope to rival them.  
     As to &Mulla &Sadiq, as soon as he arrived at Yazd, he
enquired of a trusted friend, a native of &Khurasan, about the
 
+F1 A similar statement is reported in the "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (p. 227).  Such
+F1 a statement, the author declares, was made to him by several residents of
+F1 the province of &Mazindaran.  
 
+P184
latest developments connected with the progress of the
Cause in that province.  He was particularly anxious to be
enlightened concerning the activities of &Mirza &Ahmad-i-Azghandi,
and expressed his surprise at the seeming inactivity
of one who, at a time when the mystery of the Faith
was still undivulged, had displayed such conspicuous zeal
in preparing the people for the acceptance of the expected
Manifestation.  
     "&Mirza &Ahmad," he was told, "secluded himself for a
considerable period of time in his own home, and there concentrated
his energies upon the preparation of a learned and
voluminous compilation of &Islamic traditions and prophecies
relating to the time and the character of the promised Dispensation.  
He collected more than twelve thousand traditions
of the most explicit character, the authenticity of which
was universally recognised; and resolved to take whatever
steps were required for the copying and the dissemination of
that book.  By encouraging his fellow-disciples to quote publicly
from its contents, in all congregations and gatherings,
he hoped he would be able to remove such hindrances as might
impede the progress of the Cause he had at heart.  
     "When he arrived at Yazd, he was warmly welcomed by
his maternal uncle, Siyyid &Husayn-i-Azghandi, the foremost
mujtahid of that city, who, a few days before the arrival of
his nephew, had sent him a written request to hasten to
Yazd and deliver him from the machinations of &Haji &Mirza
&Karim &Khan, whom he regarded as a dangerous though unavowed
enemy of &Islam.  The mujtahid called upon &Mirza
&Ahmad to combat by every means in his power &Haji &Mirza
&Khan's pernicious influence; and wished him to establish
permanently his residence in that city, that he might, through
incessant exhortations and appeals, succeed in enlightening
the minds of the people as to the true aims and intentions
cherished by that malignant enemy.  
     "&Mirza &Ahmad, concealing from his uncle his original
intention to leave for &Shiraz, decided to prolong his stay in
Yazd.  He showed him the book which he had compiled, and
shared its contents with the &ulamas who thronged from every
quarter of the city to meet him.  All were greatly impressed
 
+P185
by the industry, the erudition, and the zeal which the compiler
of that celebrated work had demonstrated.  
     "Among those who came to visit &Mirza &Ahmad was a
certain &Mirza &Taqi, a man who was wicked, ambitious, and
haughty, who had recently returned from Najaf, where he
had completed his studies and had been elevated to the
rank of mujtahid.  In the course of his conversation with
&Mirza &Ahmad, he expressed a desire to peruse that book, and
to be allowed to retain it for a few days, that he might acquire
a fuller understanding of its contents.  Siyyid &Husayn and
his nephew both acceded to his wish.  &Mirza &Taqi, who was
to have returned the book, failed to redeem his promise.  
&Mirza &Ahmad, who had already suspected the insincerity of
&Mirza &Taqi's intentions, urged his uncle to remind the borrower
of the pledge he had given.  `Tell your master,' was
the insolent reply to the messenger sent to claim the book,
`that after having satisfied myself as to the mischievous character
of that compilation, I decided to destroy it.  Last night
I threw it into the pond, thereby obliterating its pages.'  
     "Moved by deep and determined indignation at such
deceitfulness and impertinence, Siyyid &Husayn resolved to
wreak his vengeance upon him.  &Mirza &Ahmad succeeded,
however, by his wise counsels, in pacifying the anger of his
infuriated uncle and in dissuading him from carrying out the
measures which he proposed to take.  `This punishment,'
he urged, `which you contemplate will excite the agitation of the
people, and will stir up mischief and sedition.  It will gravely
interfere with the efforts which you wish me to exert in order
to extinguish the influence of &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan.  He
will undoubtedly seize the occasion to denounce you as a
&Babi, and will hold me responsible for having been the cause
of your conversion.  By this means he will both undermine
your authority and earn the esteem and gratitude of the
people.  Leave him in the hands of God.'"
     &Mulla &Sadiq was greatly pleased to learn from the account
of this incident that &Mirza &Ahmad was actually residing in
Yazd, and that no obstacles stood in the way of his meeting
with him.  He went immediately to the masjid in which Siyyid
&Husayn was leading the congregational prayer and in which
 
+P186
&Mirza &Ahmad delivered the sermon.  Taking his seat in the
first row among the worshippers, he joined them in prayer,
after which he went straight to Siyyid &Husayn and publicly
embraced him.  Uninvited, he immediately afterwards ascended
the pulpit and prepared to address the faithful
Siyyid &Husayn, though at first startled, preferred to raise no
objection, being curious to discover the motive, and ascertain
the degree of the learning, of this sudden intruder.  He motioned
to his nephew to refrain from opposing him.  
     &Mulla &Sadiq prefaced his discourse with one of the best-known
and most exquisitely written homilies of the &Bab,
after which he addressed the congregation in these terms:  
"Render thanks to God, O people of learning, for, behold, the
Gate of Divine Knowledge, which you deem to have been
closed, is now wide open.  The River of everlasting life has
streamed forth from the city of &Shiraz, and is conferring untold
blessings upon the people of this land.  Whoever has
partaken of one drop from this Ocean of heavenly grace, no
matter how humble and unlettered, has discovered in himself
the power to unravel the profoundest mysteries, and has felt
capable of expounding the most abstruse themes of ancient
wisdom.  And whoever,though he be the most learned expounder
of the Faith of &Islam, has chosen to rely upon his
own competence and power and has disdained the Message
of God, has condemned himself to irretrievable degradation
and loss."  
     A wave of indignation and dismay swept over the entire
congregation as these words of &Mulla &Sadiq pealed out this
momentous announcement.  The masjid rang with cries of
"Blasphemy!" which an infuriated congregation shouted in
horror against the speaker.  "Descend from the pulpit,"
rose the voice of Siyyid &Husayn amid the clamour and tumult
of the people, as he motioned to &Mulla &Sadiq to hold his
peace and to retire.  No sooner had he regained the floor of
the masjid than the whole company of the assembled worshippers
rushed upon him and overwhelmed him with blows.  
Siyyid &Husayn immediately intervened, vigorously dispersed
the crowd, and, seizing the hand of &Mulla &Sadiq, forcibly
drew him to his side.  "Withhold your hands," he appealed
to the multitude; "leave him in my custody.  I will take him
 
+P187
to my home, and will closely investigate the matter.  A
sudden fit of madness may have caused him to utter these
words.  I will myself examine him.  If I find that his utterances
are premeditated and that he himself firmly believes
in the things which he has declared, I will, with my own hands,
inflict upon him the punishment imposed by the law of
&Islam."  
     By this solemn assurance, &Mulla &Sadiq was delivered from
the savage attacks of his assailants.  Divested of his &aba+F1
and turban, deprived of his sandals and staff, bruised and
shaken by the injuries he had received, he was entrusted to
the care of Siyyid &Husayn's attendants, who, as they forced
their passage among the crowd, succeeded eventually in
conducting him to the home of their master.  
     &Mulla &Yusuf-i-Ardibili, likewise, was subjected in those
days to a persecution fiercer and more determined than the
savage onslaught which the people of Yazd had directed
against &Mulla &Sadiq.  But for the intervention of &Mirza
&Ahmad and the assistance of his uncle, he would have fallen
a victim to the wrath of a ferocious enemy.  
     When &Mulla &Sadiq and &Mulla &Yusuf-i-Ardibili arrived at
&Kirman, they again had to submit to similar indignities and
to suffer similar afflictions at the hands of &Haji &Mirza &Karim
&Khan and his associates.+F2  &Haji Siyyid &Javad's persistent
exertions freed them eventually from the grasp of their
persecutors, and enabled them to proceed to &Khurasan.  
     Though hunted and harassed by their foes, the &Bab's
immediate disciples, together with their companions in different
parts of Persia, were undeterred by such criminal acts
 
+F1 Refer to Glossary.  
+F2   "A bitter struggle broke out between the Muqaddas and &Karim &Khan who,
+F2 as it is known, had taken the rank of chief of the &Shaykhi sect, after the
+F2 death of &Kazim.  The discussion took place in the presence of many people
+F2 and &Karim challenged his opponent to prove the truth of the mission of the
+F2 &Bab.  `If you succeed,' he said to him, `I will be converted and my pupils
+F2 with me; but if you fail, I shall have it proclaimed in the bazaars:  
+F2 "Behold the one who tramples under foot the Holy Law of &Islam!'"  `I know
+F2 who you are, &Karim,' replied Muqaddas to him.  `Do you not remember your
+F2 Master Siyyid &Kazim and that which he told you:  "Dog, do you not wish
+F2 that I should die that, after me, may appear the absolute truth?"  Witness
+F2 how today, urged on by your passion for riches and for glory, you lie to
+F2 yourself!'  
+F2   "Begun in this vein, the discussion was bound to be brief.  Instantly,
+F2 the pupils of &Karim drew their knives and threw themselves upon him who
+F2 was insulting their chief.  Fortunately, the governor of the city
+F2 interposed; Muqaddas arrested and brought to his house where he kept him
+F2 for a while and, when the excitement had subsided, he sent him away by
+F2 night, escorted for several miles by ten mounted men."  (A. L. M. Nicolas'
+F2 "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 228-229.)  
 
+P188
from the accomplishment of their task.  Unswerving in their
purpose and immovable in their convictions, they continued
to battle with the dark forces that assailed them every step
of their path.  By their unstinted devotion and unexampled
fortitude, they were able to demonstrate to many of their
countrymen the ennobling influence of the Faith they had
arisen to champion.  
     While &Vahid+F1 was still in &Shiraz, &Haji Siyyid &Javad-i-Karbila'i+F2
arrived and was introduced by &Haji &Mirza Siyyid
&Ali into the presence of the &Bab.  In a Tablet which He
addressed to &Vahid and &Haji Siyyid &Javad, the &Bab extolled
the firmness of their faith and stressed the unalterable character
of their devotion.  The latter had met and known the
&Bab before the declaration of His Mission, and had been a
fervent admirer of those extraordinary traits of character
which had distinguished Him ever since His childhood.  At
a later time, he met &Baha'u'llah in &Baghdad and became the
recipient of His special favour.  When, a few years afterwards,
&Baha'u'llah was exiled to Adrianople, he, already much advanced
in years, returned to Persia, tarried awhile in the
province of &Iraq, and thence proceeded to &Khurasan.  His
kindly disposition, extreme forbearance, and unaffected simplicity
earned him the appellation of the &Siyyid-i-Nur.+F3  
     &Haji Siyyid &Javad, one day, while crossing a street in
&Tihran, suddenly saw the &Shah as he was passing on horseback.  
Undisturbed by the presence of his sovereign, he
calmly approached and greeted him.  His venerable figure
and dignity of bearing pleased the &Shah immensely.  He
acknowledged his salute and invited him to come and see
him.  Such was the reception accorded him that the courtiers
of the &Shah were moved with envy.  "Does not your Imperial
Majesty realise," they protested, "that this &Haji
 
+F1 Title given by the &Bab to Siyyid &Yahyay-i-Darabi.  
+F2 The remarkable circumstances attending the conversion of &Haji Siyyid
+F2 &Javad-i-Karbila'i are fully related in the "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (pp. 70-77),
+F2 and reference is made to a significant Tablet revealed to him by
+F2 &Baha'u'llah (p. 63), in which the importance of the &Kitab-i-Aqdas is
+F2 fully stressed, and the necessity of exercising the utmost caution and
+F2 moderation in the application and execution of its precepts emphasised.  
+F2 The text of this Tablet is found on pp. 64-70 of the same book.  The
+F2 following passage of the "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih" refers to the conversion of
+F2 &Haji Siyyid &Javad:  "&Aqa Siyyid &Javad-i-Karbila'i a dit qu'avant la
+F2 manifestation, un indien lui avait ecrit le nom de celui qui serait
+F2 manifeste."  ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," traduction par A. L. M. Nicolas,
+F2 p. 59.)  
+F3 Literally meaning "radiant siyyid."  
 
+P189
Siyyid &Javad is none other
than the man who, even prior
to the declaration of the &Siyyid-i-Bab,
had proclaimed
himself a &Babi, and had
pledged his undying loyalty to
his person?"  The &Shah, perceiving
the malice which actuated
their accusation, was
sorely displeased, and rebuked
them for their temerity and
low-mindedness.  "How
strange!" he is reported to
have exclaimed; "whoever is
distinguished by the uprightness
of his conduct and the
courtesy of his manners, my
people forthwith denounce
him as a &Babi and regard
him as an object worthy of
my condemnation!"  
     &Haji Siyyid &Javad spent the
last days of his life in &Kirman
and remained until his last hour a staunch supporter of the
Faith.  He never wavered in his convictions nor relaxed in
his unsparing endeavours for the diffusion of the Cause.  
     &Shaykh &Sultan-i-Karbila'i, whose ancestors ranked among
the leading &ulamas of &Karbila, and who himself had been a
firm supporter and intimate companion of Siyyid &Kazim,
was also among those who, in those days, had met the &Bab
in &Shiraz.  It was he who, at a later time, proceeded to
&Sulaymaniyyih in search of &Baha'u'llah, and whose daughter
was subsequently given in marriage to &Aqay-i-Kalim.  When
he arrived at &Shiraz, he was accompanied by &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi,
to whom we have referred in the early pages of this
narrative.  To him the &Bab assigned the task of transcribing,
in collaboration with &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim, the Tablets
which He had lately revealed.  &Shaykh &Sultan, who had been
too ill, at the time of his arrival, to meet the &Bab, received
one night, while still on his sick-bed, a message from his
 
+P190
Beloved, informing him that at about two hours after sunset
He would Himself visit him.  That night the Ethiopian
servant, who was acting as lantern-bearer to his Master, was
instructed to walk in advance at a distance which would keep
away the attention of the people from Him, and to extinguish
the lantern as soon as he reached his destination.  
     I have heard &Shaykh &Sultan himself describe that nocturnal
visit:  "The &Bab, who had bidden me extinguish the
lamp in my room ere He arrived, came straight to my bedside.  
In the midst of the darkness which enveloped us, I was
holding fast to the hem of His garment and was imploring
Him:  `Fulfil my desire, O Beloved of my heart, and allow me
to sacrifice myself for Thee; for no one else except Thee is
able to confer upon me this favour.'  `O &Shaykh!' the &Bab
replied, `I too yearn to immolate Myself upon the altar of
sacrifice.  It behoves us both to cling to the garment of the
Best-Beloved and to seek from Him the joy and glory of
martyrdom in His path.  Rest assured I will, in your behalf,
supplicate the Almighty to enable you to attain His presence.  
Remember Me on that Day, a Day such as the world has never
seen before.'  As the hour of parting approached, he placed
in my hand a gift which He asked me to expend for myself.  
I tried to refuse; but He begged me to accept it.  Finally
I acceded to His wish; whereupon He arose and departed.  
     "The allusion of the &Bab that night to His `Best-Beloved'
excited my wonder and curiosity.  In the years that followed
I oftentimes believed that the one to whom the &Bab had
referred was none other than &Tahirih.  I even imagined
&Siyyid-i-'Uluvv to be that person.  I was sorely perplexed,
and knew not how to unravel this mystery.  When I reached
&Karbila and attained the presence of &Baha'u'llah, I became
firmly convinced that He alone could claim such affection
from the &Bab, that He, and only He, could be worthy of
such adoration."  
     The second &Naw-Ruz after the declaration of the &Bab's
Mission, which fell on the twenty-first day of the month of
&Rabi'u'l-Avval, in the year 1262 A.H.,+F1 found the &Bab still
in &Shiraz enjoying, under circumstances of comparative tranquillity
and ease, the blessings of undisturbed association
 
+F1 1846 A.D.  
 
+P191
with His family and kindred.  Quietly and unceremoniously,
He celebrated the festival of &Naw-Ruz in His own home, and,
in accordance with His invariable custom, bountifully conferred
upon both His mother and His wife the marks of His
affection and favour.  By the wisdom of His counsels and
the tenderness of His love, He cheered their hearts and dispelled
their apprehensions.  He bequeathed to them all His
possessions and transferred to their names the title to His
property.  In a document which He Himself wrote and
signed, He directed that His house and its furniture, as well
as the rest of His estate, should be regarded as the exclusive
property of His mother and His wife; and that upon the death
of the former, her share of the property should revert to His
wife.  
     The mother of the &Bab failed at first to realise the significance
of the Mission proclaimed by her Son.  She remained
for a time unaware of the magnitude of the forces
latent in His Revelation.  As she approached the end of her
life, however, she was able to perceive the inestimable quality
of that Treasure which she had conceived and given to the
world.  It was &Baha'u'llah who eventually enabled her to
discover the value of that hidden Treasure which had lain
for so many years concealed from her eyes.  She was living
in &Iraq, where she hoped to spend the remaining days of her
life, when &Baha'u'llah instructed two of His devoted followers,
&Haji Siyyid &Javad-i-Karbila'i and the wife of &Haji
&Abdu'l-Majid-i-Shirazi, both of whom were already intimately
acquainted with her, to instruct her in the principles of the
Faith.  She acknowledged the truth of the Cause and remained,
until the closing years of the thirteenth century
A.H.,+F1 when she departed this life, fully aware of the bountiful
gifts which the Almighty had chosen to confer upon her.  
     The wife of the &Bab, unlike His mother, perceived at the
earliest dawn of His Revelation the glory and uniqueness of
His Mission and felt from the very beginning the intensity
of its force.  No one except &Tahirih, among the women of her
generation, surpassed her in the spontaneous character of
her devotion nor excelled the fervor of her faith.  To her
the &Bab confided the secret of His future sufferings, and unfolded
 
+F1 The thirteenth century A.H. ended in October, 1882 A.D.  
 
+P192
to her eyes the significance of the events that were to
transpire in His Day.  He bade her not to divulge this secret
to His mother and counselled her to be patient and resigned
to the will of God.  He entrusted her with a special prayer,
revealed and written by Himself, the reading of which, He
assured her, would remove her difficulties and lighten the
burden of her woes.  "In the hour of your perplexity," He
directed her, "recite this prayer ere you go to sleep.  I Myself
will appear to you and will banish your anxiety."  Faithful
to His advice, every time she turned to Him in prayer, the
light of His unfailing guidance illumined her path and resolved
her problems.+F1  
     After the &Bab had settled the affairs of His household
and provided for the future maintenance of both His mother
and His wife, He transferred His residence from His own
home to that of &Haji &Mirza
Siyyid &Ali.  There He awaited
the approaching hour of His
sufferings.  He knew that the
afflictions which were in store
for Him could no longer be
delayed, that He was soon to
be caught in a whirlwind of
adversity which would carry
Him swiftly to the field of
martyrdom, the crowning object
of His life.  He bade those
of His disciples who had settled
in &Shiraz, among whom were
&Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim
and &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi,
to proceed to &Isfahan and
there await His further instructions.  
Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi,
 
+F1 "The &Bab's widow survived till A.H.
+F1 1300, only six years ago.  She was the sister
+F1 of my friend's maternal grandfather.  The
+F1 above particulars are derived from an old
+F1 lady of the same family, so that there is
+F1 every reason to regard them as reliable."  
+F1 (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889,
+F1 p. 993.)  
 
+P193
one of the Letters of the Living, who had recently
arrived at &Shiraz, was likewise instructed to proceed to &Isfahan
and to join the company of his fellow-disciples in that
city.  
     Meanwhile &Husayn &Khan, the governor of &Fars, was
bending every effort to involve the &Bab in fresh embarrassments
and to degrade Him still further in the eyes of the
public.  The smouldering fire of his hostility was fanned to
flame by the knowledge that the &Bab was allowed to pursue
unmolested the course of His activities, that He was still
able to associate with certain of His companions, and that
He continued to enjoy the benefits of unrestrained fellowship
with His family and kindred.+F1  By the aid of his secret
agents, he succeeded in obtaining accurate information regarding
 
+F1 "Meanwhile the turmoil, the intense discussions, the scandal continued in
+F1 &Shiraz, so much so that, annoyed by all this uproar and fearful of the
+F1 outcome, &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi ordered &Husayn &Khan &Nizamu'd-Dawlih to be
+F1 done with the Reformer and to have him killed immediately and secretly."  
+F1 (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 235.)  
 
+P194
the character and influence of the Movement which
the &Bab had initiated.  He had secretly watched His movements,
ascertained the degree of enthusiasm which He had
aroused, and scrutinised the motives, the conduct, and the
number of those who had embraced His Cause.  
     One night there came to &Husayn &Khan the chief of his
emissaries with the report that the number of those who
were crowding to see the &Bab had assumed such proportions
as to necessitate immediate action on the part of those whose
function it was to guard the security of the city.  "The
eager crowd that gathers every night to visit the &Bab," he
remarked, "surpasses in number the multitude of people
that throngs every day before the gates of the seat of your
government.  Among them are to be seen men celebrated
alike for their exalted rank and extensive learning.+F1  Such
are the tact and lavish generosity which his maternal uncle
displays in his attitude towards the officials of your government
that no one among your subordinates is inclined to
acquaint you with the reality of the situation.  If you would
permit me, I will, with the aid of a number of your attendants,
surprise the &Bab at the hour of midnight and will deliver,
handcuffed, into your hands certain of his associates
who will enlighten you concerning his activities, and who
will confirm the truth of my statements."  &Husayn &Khan
refused to comply with his wish.  "I can tell better than
 
+F1   "Extremely irritated, discontented and worried, the &Mullas of &Fars,
+F1 unable to foresee the heights that popular indignation against them might
+F1 reach were not the only ones to be perplexed.  The authorities of the town
+F1 and of the province understood only too well that the people, who were
+F1 under their care but who were never very much under their control, this
+F1 time were quite independent of it.  The men of &Shiraz, superficial,
+F1 mockers, noisome, quarrelsome, rebellious, insolent in the extreme,
+F1 perfectly indifferent toward the &Qajar dynasty, were never easy to govern
+F1 and their administrators often passed wearisome days.  What then would be
+F1 the position of these administrators if the real chief of the city and of
+F1 the country, the arbiter of their thoughts, their idol, were to be a young
+F1 man who, undaunted, with no ties whatsoever, and no love of personal gain,
+F1 made a pedestal of his independence and took advantage of it by impudently
+F1 and publicly attacking every day all that which, until now, had been
+F1 considered as strong and respected in the city?  
+F1   "In truth, the court, the government and its policies had not as yet been
+F1 the object of any of the violent denunciations of the Innovator, but, in
+F1 view of the fact that he was so rigid in his habits, so unrelenting against
+F1 intellectual dishonesty and the plundering practices of the clergy, it was
+F1 unlikely that he would approve the same rapaciousness so flagrant in the
+F1 public officials.  One could well believe that the day when they would fall
+F1 under his scrutiny, he would not fail to see and violently condemn the
+F1 abuses which could no longer be concealed."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les
+F1 Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 122-123.)  
 
+P195
you," was his answer, "what the interests of the State require.  
Watch me from a distance; I shall know how to
deal with him."  
     That very moment, the governor summoned &Abdu'l-Hamid
&Khan, the chief constable of the city.  "Proceed immediately,"
he commanded him, "to the house of &Haji &Mirza
Siyyid &Ali.  Quietly and unobserved, scale the wall and
ascend to the roof, and from there suddenly enter his home.  
Arrest the &Siyyid-i-Bab immediately, and conduct him to
this place together with any of the visitors who may be
present with him at that time.  Confiscate whatever books
and documents you are able to find in that house.  As to
&Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali, it is my intention to impose upon
him, the following day, the penalty for having failed to
redeem his promise.  I swear by the imperial diadem of
&Muhammad &Shah that this very night I shall have the
&Siyyid-i-Bab executed together with his wretched companions.  
Their ignominious death will quench the flame
they have kindled, and will awaken every would-be follower
of that creed to the danger that awaits every disturber of
the peace of this realm.  By this act I shall have extirpated
a heresy the continuance of which constitutes the gravest
menace to the interests of the State."  
     &Abdu'l-Hamid &Khan retired to execute his task.  He,
together with his assistants, broke into the house of &Haji
&Mirza Siyyid &Ali+F1 and found the &Bab in the company of
His maternal uncle and a certain Siyyid &Kazim-i-Zanjani,
who was later martyred in &Mazindaran, and whose brother,
Siyyid &Murtada, was one of the Seven Martyrs of &Tihran.  
He immediately arrested them, collected whatever documents
he could find, ordered &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali to remain in
his house, and conducted the rest to the seat of government.  
The &Bab, undaunted and self-possessed, was heard to repeat
this verse of the &Qur'an:  "That with which they are threatened
is for the morning.  Is not the morning near?"  
No sooner had the chief constable reached the marketplace
than he discovered, to his amazement, that the people
of the city were fleeing from every side in consternation,
as if overtaken by an appalling calamity.  He was struck
 
+F1 September 23,1845 A.D.  See "&Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 204.  
 
+P196
with horror when he witnessed the long train of coffins being
hurriedly transported through the streets, each followed by
a procession of men and women loudly uttering shrieks of
agony and pain.  This sudden tumult, the lamentations, the
affrighted countenances, the imprecations of the multitude
distressed and bewildered him.  He enquired as to the reason.  
"This very night," he was told, "a plague+F1 of exceptional
virulence has broken out.  We are smitten by its
devastating power.  Already since the hour of midnight it
has extinguished the lives of over a hundred people.  Alarm
and despair reign in every house.  The people are abandoning
their homes, and in their plight are invoking the aid of the
Almighty."+F2  
     &Abdu'l-Hamid &Khan, terrified by this dreadful intelligence,
ran to the home of &Husayn &Khan.  An old man who
guarded his house and was acting as door-keeper informed
him that the house of his master was deserted, that the
ravages of the pestilence had devastated his home and afflicted
the members of his household.  "Two of his Ethiopian
maids," he was told, "and a man-servant have already fallen
victims to this scourge, and members of his own family are
now dangerously ill.  In his despair, my master has abandoned
his home and, leaving the dead unburied, has fled
with the rest of his family to the &Bagh-i-Takht."+F3  
     &Abdu'l-Hamid &Khan decided to conduct the &Bab to his
own home and keep Him in his custody pending instructions
from the governor.  As he was approaching his house, he
was struck by the sound of weeping and wailing of the members
of his household.  His son had been attacked by the
plague and was hovering on the brink of death.  In his
despair, he threw himself at the feet of the &Bab and tearfully
implored Him to save the life of his son.  He begged
Him to forgive his past transgressions and misdeeds.  "I
adjure you," he entreated the &Bab as he clung to the hem
of His garment, "by Him who has elevated you to this exalted
 
+F1 Outbreak of cholera.  
+F2 The &Bab refers to this incident in the "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih" in the
+F2 following terms:  "Recall the first days of the Manifestation, how many
+F2 people died of cholera!  That was one of the wonders of the Manifestation
+F2 yet no one understood it.  During four years the scourge raged among the
+F2 &Muhammadan &Shiites without anyone grasping its true significance."  ("Le
+F2 Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, pp. 61-62.)  
+F3 A garden in the outskirts of &Shiraz.  
 
+P197
position, to intercede in my behalf and to offer a prayer
for the recovery of my son.  Suffer not that he, in the prime
of youth, be taken away from me.  Punish him not for the
guilt which his father has committed.  I repent of what I
have done, and at this moment resign my post.  I solemnly
pledge my word that never again will I accept such a position
even though I perish of hunger."  
     The &Bab, who was in the act of performing His ablutions
and was preparing to offer the prayer of dawn, directed him
to take some of the water with which He was washing His
face to his son and request him to drink it.  This He said
would save his life.  
     No sooner had &Abdu'l-Hamid &Khan witnessed the signs
of the recovery of his son than he wrote a letter to the governor
in which he acquainted him with the whole situation
and begged him to cease his attacks on the &Bab.  "Have
pity on yourself," he wrote him, "as well as on those whom
Providence has committed to your care.  Should the fury of
this plague continue its fatal course, no one in this city, I
fear, will by the end of this day have survived the horror
of its attack."  &Husayn &Khan replied that the &Bab should
be immediately released and given freedom to go wherever
He might please.+F1  
     As soon as an account of these happenings reached &Tihran
and was brought to the attention of the &Shah, an imperial
edict dismissing &Husayn &Khan from office was issued and
sent to &Shiraz.  From the day of his dismissal, that shameless
tyrant fell a victim to countless misfortunes, and was
in the end unable to earn even his daily bread.  No one
seemed willing or able to save him from his evil plight.  
When, at a later time, &Baha'u'llah had been banished to
&Baghdad, &Husayn &Khan sent Him a letter in which he expressed
repentance and promised to atone for his past misdeeds
on condition that he should regain his former position.  
&Baha'u'llah refused to answer him.  Sunk in misery and
shame, he languished until his death.  
     The &Bab, who was staying at the home of &Abdu'l-Hamid
&Khan, sent Siyyid &Kazim to request &Haji &Mirza Siyyid &Ali to
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 11), "&Husayn &Khan released
+F1 the &Bab on condition of his quitting the city."  
 
+P198
come and see Him.  He informed His uncle of His intended
departure from &Shiraz, entrusted both His mother and His
wife to his care, and charged him to convey to each the
expression of His affection and the assurance of God's unfailing
assistance.  "Wherever they may be," He told His
uncle, as He bade him farewell, "God's all-encompassing love
and protection will surround them.  I will again meet you
amid the mountains of &Adhirbayjan, from whence I will
send you forth to obtain the crown of martyrdom.  I Myself
will follow you, together with one of My loyal disciples, and
will join you in the realm of eternity."  
 
+P199
                         CHAPTER X
               THE &BAB'S SOJOURN IN &ISFAHAN
 
     THE summer of the year 1262 A.H.+F1 was drawing to
a close when the &Bab bade His last farewell to
His native city of &Shiraz, and proceeded to &Isfahan.  
Siyyid &Kazim-i-Zanjani accompanied Him on that
journey.  As He approached the outskirts of the city, He
wrote a letter to the governor of the province, &Manuchihr
&Khan, the &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih,+F2 in which He requested
him to signify his wish as to the place where He could dwell.  
The letter, which He entrusted to Siyyid &Kazim, was expressive
of such courtesy and revealed such exquisite penmanship
that the &Mu'tamid was moved to instruct the
&Sultanu'l-'Ulama, the &Imam-Jum'ih of &Isfahan,'+F3 the foremost
ecclesiastical authority of that province, to receive the &Bab
in his own home and to accord Him a kindly and generous
 
+F1 1846 A.D.  
+F2 "He [&Manuchihr &Khan] was a man of energy and courage and in 1841
+F2 completely crushed the &Bakhtiyari tribes, which had risen in rebellion.  
+F2 His vigorous though severe administration secured to the people of &Isfahan
+F2 some little justice."  (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of
+F2 Persia," p. 487.)  
+F3 According to &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl (manuscript, p. 66), the name of the
+F3 &Imam-Jum'ih of &Isfahan was &Mir Siyyid &Muhammad, and his title
+F3 "&Sultanu'l-'Ulama'."  "The office of &Sadru's-Sudur, or chief priest of
+F3 &Safavi times, was abolished by &Nadir &Shah, and the &Imam-Jum'ih of
+F3 &Isfahan is now the principal ecclesiastical dignitary of Persia."  (C. R.
+F3 Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," p. 365.)  
 
+P200
reception.  In addition to his message, the governor sent the
&Imam-Jum'ih the letter he had received from the &Bab.  The
&Sultanu'l-'Ulama accordingly bade his own brother, whose
savage cruelty in later years earned him the appellation of
 
+P201
&Raqsha'+F1 from &Baha'u'llah, to proceed with a number of his
favourite companions to meet and escort the expected Visitor
to the gate of the city.  As the &Bab approached, the &Imam-Jum'ih
went out to welcome Him in person, and conducted
Him ceremoniously to his house.  
     Such were the honours accorded to the &Bab in those days
that when, on a certain Friday, He was returning from the
public bath to the house, a multitude of people were seen
eagerly clamouring for the water which He had used for His
ablutions.  His fervent admirers firmly believed in its unfailng
virtue and power to heal their sicknesses and ailments.  
The &Imam-Jum'ih himself had, from the very first night,
become so enamoured with Him who was the object of such
devotion, that, assuming the functions of an attendant,
he undertook to minister to the needs and wants of his beloved
Guest.  Seizing the ewer from the hand of the chief
steward and utterly ignoring the customary dignity of his
rank, he proceeded to pour out the water over the hands of
the &Bab.  
     One night, after supper, the &Imam-Jum'ih, whose curiosity
had been excited by the extraordinary traits of character
which his youthful Guest had revealed, ventured to request
Him to reveal a commentary on the &Surih of &Va'l-'Asr.+F2  
His request was readily granted.  Calling for pen and paper,
the &Bab, with astonishing rapidity and without the least
premeditation, began to reveal, in the presence of His host,
a most illuminating interpretation of the aforementioned
&Surih.  It was nearing midnight when the &Bab found Himself
engaged in the exposition of the manifold implications involved
in the first letter of that &Surih.  That letter, the letter
`&vav' upon which &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i had already laid such
emphasis in his writings, symbolised for the &Bab the advent
of a new cycle of Divine Revelation, and has since been
alluded to by &Baha'u'llah in the "Kitab-i-Aqdas" in such
passages as "the mastery of the Great Reversal" and "the
Sign of the Sovereign."  The &Bab soon after began to chant,
in the presence of His host and his companions, the homily
with which He had prefaced His commentary on the &Surih.  
Those words of power confounded His hearers with wonder.  
 
+F1 Meaning female serpent.  
+F2 &Qur'an, 103.  
 
+P202
They seemed as if bewitched by the magic of His voice.  
Instinctively they started to their feet and, together with
the &Imam-Jum'ih, reverently kissed the hem of His garment.  
&Mulla &Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Harati, an eminent mujtahid,
broke out into a sudden expression of exultation and praise.  
"Peerless and unique," he exclaimed, "as are the words
which have streamed from this pen, to be able to reveal,
within so short a time and in so legible a writing, so great
a number of verses as to equal a fourth, nay a third, of the
&Qur'an, is in itself an achievement such as no mortal, without
the intervention of God, could hope to perform.  Neither
the cleaving of the moon nor the quickening of the pebbles
of the sea can compare with so mighty an act."  
     As the &Bab's fame was being gradually diffused over the
entire city of &Isfahan, an unceasing stream of visitors flowed
from every quarter to the house of the &Imam-Jum'ih:  a few
to satisfy their curiosity, others to obtain a deeper understanding
of the fundamental verities of His Faith, and still
others to seek the remedy for their ills and sufferings.  The
&Mu'tamid himself came one day to visit the &Bab and, while
seated in the midst of an assemblage of the most brilliant
and accomplished divines of &Isfahan, requested Him to expound
the nature and demonstrate the validity of the &Nubuvvat-i-Khassih.+F1  
He had previously, in that same gathering,
called upon those who were present to adduce such
proofs and evidences in support of this fundamental article
of their Faith as would constitute an unanswerable testimony
for those who were inclined to repudiate its truth.  No one,
however, seemed capable of responding to his invitation.  
"Which do you prefer," asked the &Bab, "a verbal or a written
answer to your question?"  "A written reply," he answered,
"not only would please those who are present at this meeting,
but would edify and instruct both the present and future
generations."  
     The &Bab instantly took up His pen and began to write.  
In less than two hours, He had filled about fifty pages with
a most refreshing and circumstantial enquiry into the origin,
the character, and the pervasive influence of &Islam.  The
originality of His dissertation, the vigour and vividness of
 
+F1 &Muhammad's "Specific Mission."  
 
+P203
its style, the accuracy of its minutest details, invested His
treatment of that noble theme with an excellence which no
one among those who were present on that occasion could
have failed to perceive.  With masterly insight, He linked
the central idea in the concluding passages of this exposition
with the advent of the promised &Qa'im and the expected
"Return" of the &Imam &Husayn.+F1  He argued with such force
 
+F1 Reference to His own Mission and to &Baha'u'llah's subsequent Revelation.  
 
+P204
and courage that those who heard Him recite its verses
were astounded by the magnitude of His revelation.  No
one dared to insinuate the slightest objection--much less,
openly to challenge His statements.  The &Mu'tamid could
not help giving vent to his enthusiasm and joy.  "Hear
me!" he exclaimed.  "Members of this revered assembly, I
take you as my witnesses.  Never until this day have I in
my heart been firmly convinced of the truth of &Islam.  I
can henceforth, thanks to this exposition penned by this
Youth, declare myself a firm believer in the Faith proclaimed
by the Apostle of God.  I solemnly testify to my belief in
the reality of the superhuman power with which this Youth
is endowed, a power which no amount of learning can ever
impart."  With these words he brought the meeting to an end.  
     The growing popularity of the &Bab aroused the resentment
of the ecclesiastical authorities of &Isfahan, who viewed
with concern and envy the ascendancy which an unlearned
Youth was slowly acquiring over the thoughts and consciences
of their followers.  They firmly believed that unless they
rose to stem the tide of popular enthusiasm, the very foundations
of their existence would be undermined.  A few of the
more sagacious among them thought it wise to abstain from
acts of direct hostility to either the person or the teachings
of the &Bab, as such action, they felt, would serve only to
enhance His prestige and consolidate His position.  The
mischief-makers, however, were busily engaged in disseminating
the wildest reports concerning the character and
claims of the &Bab.  These reports soon reached &Tihran
and were brought to the attention of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, the
Grand &Vazir of &Muhammad &Shah.  This haughty and overbearing
minister viewed with apprehension the possibility
that his sovereign might one day feel inclined to befriend
the &Bab, an inclination which he felt sure would precipitate
his own downfall.  The &Haji was, moreover, apprehensive
lest the &Mu'tamid, who enjoyed the confidence of the &Shah,
should succeed in arranging an interview between the sovereign
and the &Bab.  He was well aware that should such an
interview take place, the impressionable and tender-hearted
&Muhammad &Shah would be completely won over by the
attractiveness and novelty of that creed.  Spurred on by
 
+P205
such reflections, he addressed a strongly worded communication
to the &Imam-Jum'ih, in which he upbraided him for
his grave neglect of the obligation imposed upon him to
safeguard the interests of &Islam.  "We have expected you,"
&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi wrote him, "to resist with all your power
every cause which conflicts with the best interests of the
government and people of this land.  You seem instead to
have befriended, nay to have glorified, the author of this
obscure and contemptible movement."  He likewise wrote a
number of encouraging letters to the &ulamas of &Isfahan,
whom he had previously ignored but upon whom he now
lavished his special favours.  The &Imam-Jum'ih, while refusing
to alter his respectful attitude towards his Guest, was
induced by the tone of the message he had received from the
Grand &Vazir, to instruct his associates to devise such means
as would tend to lessen the ever-increasing number of visitors
who thronged each day to the presence of the &Bab.  &Muhammad-Mihdi,
surnamed the &Safihu'l-'Ulama', son of the
late &Haji &Kalbasi, in his desire to gratify the wish and to
earn the esteem of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, began to calumniate
the &Bab from the pulpit in the most unseemly language.  
     As soon as the &Mu'tamid was informed of these developments,
he sent a message to the &Imam-Jum'ih in which he
reminded him of the visit he as governor had paid to the
&Bab, and extended to him as well as to his Guest an invitation
to his home.  The &Mu'tamid invited &Haji Siyyid &Asadu'llah,
son of the late &Haji Siyyid &Muhammad &Baqir-i-Rashti,
&Haji &Muhammad-Ja'far-i-Abadiyi, &Muhammad-Mihdi, &Mirza
&Hasan-i-Nuri, and a few others to be present at that meeting.  
&Haji Siyyid &Asadu'llah refused the invitation and endeavoured
to dissuade those who had been invited, from participating
in that gathering.  "I have sought to excuse myself," he
informed them, "and I would most certainly urge you to do
the same.  I regard it as most unwise of you to meet the
&Siyyid-i-Bab face to face.  He will, no doubt, reassert his
claim and will, in support of his argument, adduce whatever
proof you may desire him to give, and, without the least
hesitation, will reveal as a testimony to the truth he bears,
verses of such a number as would equal half the &Qur'an.  In
the end he will challenge you in these words:  `Produce likewise,
 
+P206
if ye are men of truth.'  We can in no wise successfully
resist him.  If we disdain to answer him, our impotence will
have been exposed.  If we, on the other hand, submit to his
claim, we shall not only be forfeiting our own reputation,
our own prerogatives and rights, but will have committed
 
+P207
ourselves to acknowledge any further claims that he may feel
inclined to make in the future."  
     &Haji &Muhammad-Ja'far heeded this counsel and refused
to accept the invitation of the governor.  &Muhammad &Mihdi,
&Mirza &Hasan-i-Nuri, and a few others who disdained such
advice, presented themselves at the appointed hour at the
home of the &Mu'tamid.  At the invitation of the host, &Mirza
&Hasan, a noted Platonist, requested the &Bab to elucidate
certain abstruse philosophical doctrines connected with the
&Arshiyyih of &Mulla &Sadra,+F1 the meaning of which only a
few had been able to unravel.+F2  In simple and unconventional
language, the &Bab replied to each of his questions.  
&Mirza &Hasan, though unable to apprehend the meaning of
the answers which he had received, realised how inferior
was the learning of the so-called exponents of the Platonic
and the Aristotelian schools of thought of his day to the
knowledge displayed by that Youth.  &Muhammad &Mihdi
ventured in his turn to question the &Bab regarding certain
aspects of the &Islamic law.  Dissatisfied with the explanation
he received, he began to contend idly with the &Bab.  He was
soon silenced by the &Mu'tamid, who, cutting short his conversation,
turned to an attendant and, bidding him light the
lantern, gave the order that &Muhammad &Mihdi be immediately
conducted to his home.  The &Mu'tamid subsequently
 
+F1 See Note K, "A Traveller's Narrative," and Gobineau, pp. 65-73.  
+F2   "&Muhammad having grown silent, &Mirza &Muhammad-Hasan, who followed the
+F2 philosophical doctrine of &Mulla &Sadra, questioned the &Bab in order to
+F2 induce him to explain three miracles which it would suffice to relate in
+F2 order to enlighten the reader.  The first one was the &Tiyyu'l-Ard, or the
+F2 immediate transfer of a human being from one part of the world to another
+F2 very distant point.  The Shiites are convinced that the third &Imam,
+F2 &Javad, had adopted this easy and economical way of traveling.  For
+F2 example, he betook himself, in the twinkling of an eye, from Medina in
+F2 Arabia to &Tus in &Khurasan.  
+F2   "The second miracle was the multiple and simultaneous presence of the
+F2 same person in many different places.  &Ali was, at the same moment, host
+F2 to sixty different people.  
+F2   "The third miracle was a problem of cosmography which I submit to our
+F2 astronomers who will certainly relish it.  It is said that, during the
+F2 reign of a tyrant, the heavens revolve rapidly, while during that of an
+F2 &Imam they revolve slowly.  First, how could the heavens have two movements
+F2 and then, what were they doing during the reign of the &Umayyads and the
+F2 Abbassids?  It was the solution of these insanities that they proposed to
+F2 the &Bab!  
+F2   "I shall not dwell on them any longer but I believe I must here make
+F2 clear the mentality of the learned Moslems of Persia.  And if one should
+F2 consider that, for nearly one thousand years, the science of &Iran rests
+F2 upon such trash, that men exhaust themselves in continuous research upon
+F2 such matters, one will easily understand the emptiness and arrogance of all
+F2 these minds.  
+F2   "Be that as it may, the reunion was interrupted by the announcement of
+F2 dinner of which each one partook, after which they returned to their
+F2 respective homes."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab,"
+F2 pp. 239-240.)  
 
+P208
confided his apprehensions to the &Imam-Jum'ih.  "I fear the
machinations of the enemies of the &Siyyid-i-Bab," he told
him.  "The &Shah has summoned Him to &Tihran.  I am commanded
to arrange for His departure.  I deem it more advisable
for Him to stay in my home until such time as He
can leave this city."  The &Imam-Jum'ih acceded to his request
and returned alone to his house.  
     The &Bab had tarried forty days at the residence of the
&Imam-Jum'ih.  While He was still there, a certain &Mulla
&Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Harati, who was privileged to meet the
&Bab every day, undertook, with His consent, to translate
one of His works, entitled &Risaliy-i-Furu'-i-'Adliyyih, from
the original Arabic into Persian.  The service he thereby
rendered to the Persian believers was marred, however, by
his subsequent behaviour.  Fear suddenly seized him, and
he was induced eventually to sever his connection with his
fellow-believers.  
     Ere the &Bab had transferred His residence to the house
of the &Mu'tamid, &Mirza &Ibrahim, father of the &Sultanu'sh-Shuhada'
and elder brother of &Mirza &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Nahri,
to whom we have already referred, invited the &Bab
to his home one night.  &Mirza &Ibrahim was a friend of the
&Imam-Jum'ih, was intimately associated with him, and controlled
the management of all his affairs.  The banquet which
was spread for the &Bab that night was one of unsurpassed
magnificence.  It was commonly observed that neither the
officials nor the notables of the city had offered a feast of
such magnitude and splendour.  The &Sultanu'sh-Shuhada'
and his brother, the &Mahbubu'sh-Shuhada', who were lads
of nine and eleven, respectively, served at that banquet and
received special attention from the &Bab.  That night, during
dinner, &Mirza &Ibrahim turned to his Guest and said:  "My
brother, &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali, has no child.  I beg You
to intercede in his behalf and to grant his heart's desire."  
The &Bab took a portion of the food with which He had been
served, placed it with His own hands on a platter, and handed
it to His host, asking him to take it to &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali
and his wife.  "Let them both partake of this," He said;
"their wish will be fulfilled."  By virtue of that portion which
the &Bab had chosen to bestow upon her, the wife of &Mirza
 
+P209
&Muhammad-'Ali conceived and in due time gave birth to a
girl, who eventually was joined in wedlock with the Most
Great Branch,+F1 a union that came to be regarded as the consummation
of the hopes entertained by her parents.  
     The high honours accorded to the &Bab served further to
inflame the hostility of the &ulamas of &Isfahan.  With feelings
of dismay, they beheld on every side evidences of His all-pervasive
influence invading the stronghold of orthodoxy and
subverting their foundations.  They summoned a gathering,
at which they issued a written document, signed and sealed
by all the ecclesiastical leaders of the city, condemning the
&Bab to death.+F2  They all concurred in this condemnation
with the exception of &Haji Siyyid &Asadu'llah and &Haji
&Muhammad-Ja'far-i-Abadiyi, both of whom refused to associate
themselves with the contents of so glaringly abusive a document.  
The &Imam-Jum'ih, though declining to endorse the
death-warrant of the &Bab, was induced, by reason of his
extreme cowardice and ambition, to add to that document,
in his own handwriting, the following testimony:  "I testify
that in the course of my association with this youth I have
been unable to discover any act that would in any way
betray his repudiation of the doctrines of &Islam.  On the
contrary, I have known him as a pious and loyal observer
of its precepts.  The extravagance of his claims, however,
and his disdainful contempt for the things of the world,
incline me to believe that he is devoid of reason and judgment."  
     No sooner had the &Mu'tamid been informed of the condemnation
pronounced by the &ulamas of &Isfahan than he
determined, by a plan which he himself conceived, to nullify
the effects of that cruel verdict.  He issued immediate instructions
that towards the hour of sunset the &Bab, escorted
by five hundred horsemen of the governor's own mounted
body-guard, should leave the gate of the city and proceed
in the direction of &Tihran.  Imperative orders had been
given that at the completion of each farsang+F3 one hundred
of this mounted escort should return directly to &Isfahan.  
 
+F1 Reference to &Munirih &Khanum's marriage with &Abdu'l-Baha.  
+F2 According to &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl, about seventy eminent &ulamas and notables
+F2 had set their seal to a document which condemned the &Bab as a heretic, and
+F2 which declared Him to be deserving of the penalty of death.  
+F3 Refer to Glossary.  
 
+P210
To the chief of the last remaining contingent, a man in whom
he placed implicit confidence, the &Mu'tamid confidentially
intimated his desire that at every &maydan+F1 twenty of the
 
+F1 &Maydan:  A subdivision of a &farsakh.  A square or open place.  
 
+P211
remaining hundred should likewise be
ordered by him to return to the city.  
Of the twenty remaining horsemen, the
&Mu'tamid directed that ten should be
despatched to &Ardistan for the purpose
of collecting the taxes levied by the
government, and that the rest, all of
whom should be of his tried and most
reliable men, should, by an unfrequented
route, bring the &Bab back in
disguise to &Isfahan.+F1  They were, moreover,
instructed so to regulate their
march that before dawn of the ensuing
day the &Bab should have arrived at
&Isfahan and should have been delivered
into his custody.  This plan was
immediately taken in hand and duly
executed.  At an unsuspected hour the
&Bab re-entered the city, was directly
conducted to the private residence of
the &Mu'tamid, known by the name of
&Imarat-i-Khurshid,+F2 and was introduced,
through a side entrance reserved
for the &Mu'tamid himself, into his private
apartments.  The governor waited
in person on the &Bab, served His meals,
and provided whatever was required
for His comfort and safety.+F3  
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 13), the
+F1 &Mu'tamid gave secret orders that when the &Bab reached
+F1 &Murchih-Khar (the second stage out from &Isfahan on
+F1 the north road, distant about 35 miles therefrom), He
+F1 should return to &Isfahan.  
+F2 "Thus this room (in which I find myself) which has neither doors nor
+F2 definite limits, is today the highest of the dwellings of Paradise, for the
+F2 Tree of Truth lives herein.  It would seem that all the atoms of the room,
+F2 all sing in one voice, `In truth, I am God!  There is no other God beside
+F2 Me, the Lord of all things.'  And they sing above all the rooms of the
+F2 earth, even above those adorned with mirrors of gold.  If, however, the
+F2 Tree of Truth abides in one of these ornamented rooms, then the atoms of
+F2 their mirrors sing that song as did and do the atoms of the mirrors of the
+F2 Palace &Sadri, for in the days of &Sad (&Isfahan) he abided therein."  
+F2 ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 1, p. 128.)  
+F3 According to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 13, the &Bab remained four
+F3 months in that house.  
 
+P212
     Meanwhile the wildest conjectures obtained currency in
the city regarding the journey of the &Bab to &Tihran, the sufferings
which He was made to endure on His way to the
capital, the verdict which had been pronounced against Him,
and the penalty which He had suffered.  These rumours
greatly distressed the believers who were residing in &Isfahan.  
The &Mu'tamid, who was well aware of their grief and anxiety,
interceded with the &Bab in their behalf and begged to be
allowed to introduce them into His presence.  The &Bab addressed
a few words in His own handwriting to &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim-i-Qazvini,
who had taken up his quarters in the
madrisih of &Nim-Avard, and instructed the &Mu'tamid to
send it to him by a trusted messenger.  An hour later, &Mulla
&Abdu'l-Karim was ushered into the presence of the &Bab.  
Of his arrival no one except the &Mu'tamid was informed.  
He received from his Master some of His writings, and was
instructed to transcribe them in collaboration with Siyyid
&Husayn-i-Yazdi and &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi.  To these he
soon returned, bearing the welcome news of the &Bab's well-being
and safety.  Of all the believers residing in &Isfahan,
these three alone were allowed to see Him.  
     One day, while seated with the &Bab in his private garden
within the courtyard of his house, the &Mu'tamid, taking his
Guest into his confidence, addressed Him in these words:  
"The almighty Giver has endowed me with great riches.+F1  I
know not how best to use them.  Now that I have, by the
aid of God, been led to recognise this Revelation, it is my
ardent desire to consecrate all my possessions to the furtherance
of its interests and the spread of its fame.  It is my
intention to proceed, by Your leave, to &Tihran, and to do
my best to win to this Cause &Muhammad &Shah, whose confidence
in me is firm and unshaken.  I am certain that he
will eagerly embrace it, and will arise to promote it far and
wide.  I will also endeavour to induce the &Shah to dismiss
the profligate &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, the folly of whose administration
has well-nigh brought this land to the verge of ruin.  
Next, I will strive to obtain for You the hand of one of the
 
+F1 "On the fourth of March, 1847, Monsieur de Bonniere wrote to the Secretary
+F1 of Foreign Affairs of France:  `&Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih, governor of &Isfahan,
+F1 has just died leaving a fortune appraised at forty million francs.'"  
+F1 (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 242, note 192.)  
 
+P213
sisters of the &Shah, and will myself undertake the preparation
of Your nuptials.  Finally, I hope to be enabled to
incline the hearts of the rulers and kings of the earth to this
most wondrous Cause and to extirpate every lingering trace
of that corrupt ecclesiastical hierarchy that has stained the
fair name of &Islam."  "May God requite you for your noble
intentions," the &Bab replied.  "So lofty a purpose is to Me
even more precious than the act itself.  Your days and Mine
are numbered, however; they are too short to enable Me to
witness, and allow you to achieve, the realisation of your
hopes.  Not by the means which you fondly imagine will an
almighty Providence accomplish the triumph of His Faith.  
Through the poor and lowly of this land, by the blood which
these shall have shed in His path, will the omnipotent Sovereign
ensure the preservation and consolidate the foundation
of His Cause.  That same God will, in the world to come,
place upon your head the crown of immortal glory, and will
shower upon you His inestimable blessings.  Of the span of
your earthly life there remain only three months and nine
days, after which you shall, with faith and certitude, hasten
to your eternal abode."  The &Mu'tamid greatly rejoiced at
these words.  Resigned to the will of God, he prepared
himself for the departure which the words of the &Bab had
so clearly foreshadowed.  He wrote his testament, settled
his private affairs, and bequeathed whatever he possessed
to the &Bab.  Immediately after his death, however, his
nephew, the rapacious &Gurgin &Khan, discovered and destroyed
his will, seized his property, and contemptuously
ignored his wishes.  
     As the days of his earthly life were drawing to a close,
the &Mu'tamid increasingly sought the presence of the &Bab,
and, in his hours of intimate fellowship with Him, obtained
a deeper realisation of the spirit which animated His Faith.  
"As the hour of my departure approaches," he one day told
the &Bab, "I feel an undefinable joy pervading my soul.  But
I am apprehensive for You, I tremble at the thought of
being compelled to leave You to the mercy of so ruthless a
successor as &Gurgin &Khan.  He will, no doubt, discover
Your presence in this home, and will, I fear, grievously ill-treat
You."  "Fear not," remonstrated the &Bab; "I have
 
+P214
committed Myself into the hands of God.  My trust is in
Him.  Such is the power which He has bestowed upon Me
that if it be My wish, I can convert these very stones into
gems of inestimable value, and can instil into the heart of
the most wicked criminal the loftiest conceptions of uprightness
and duty.  Of My own will have I chosen to be afflicted
by My enemies, `that God might accomplish the thing destined
to be done.'"+F1  As those precious hours flew by, a
sense of overpowering devotion, of increased consciousness of
nearness to God, filled the heart of the &Mu'tamid.  In his
eyes the world's pomp and pageantry melted away into insignificance
when brought face to face with the eternal realities
enshrined in the Revelation of the &Bab.  His vision of its
glories, its infinite potentialities, its incalculable blessings
grew in vividness as he increasingly realised the vanity of
earthly ambition and the limitations of human endeavour.  
He continued to ponder these thoughts in his heart, until
the time when a slight attack of fever, which lasted but one
night, suddenly terminated his life.  Serene and confident,
he winged his flight to the Great Beyond.+F2  
     As the life of the &Mu'tamid was approaching its end, the
&Bab summoned to His presence Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi and
&Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim, acquainted them with the nature of
His prediction to His host, and bade them tell the believers
who had gathered in the city, to scatter throughout &Kashan,
Qum, and &Tihran, and await whatever Providence, in His
wisdom, might choose to decree.  
     A few days after the death of the &Mu'tamid, a certain
person who was aware of the design which he had conceived
and carried out for the protection of the &Bab, informed his
successor, &Gurgin &Khan,+F3 of the actual residence of the &Bab
in the &Imarat-i-Khurshid, and described to him the honours
which his predecessor had lavished upon his Guest in the
privacy of his own home.  On the receipt of this unexpected
intelligence, &Gurgin &Khan despatched his messenger to
&Tihran and instructed him to deliver in person the following
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 8:42.  
+F2 He died, according to E. G. Browne ("A Traveller's Narrative,' Note L, p.
+F2 227), in the month of &Rabi'u'l-Avval of the year 1263 A.H. (Feb.-March,
+F2 1847 A.D.).  
+F3 According to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 13, he was the nephew of the
+F3 &Mu'tamid.  
 
+P215
message to &Muhammad &Shah:  "Four months ago it was
generally believed in &Isfahan that, in pursuance of your
Majesty's imperial summons, the &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih, my
predecessor, had sent the &Siyyid-i-Bab to the seat of your
Majesty's government.  It has now been disclosed that this
same siyyid is actually occupying the &Imarat-i-Khurshid,
the private residence of the &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih.  It has
been ascertained that my predecessor himself extended the
hospitality of his home to the &Siyyid-i-Bab and sedulously
guarded that secret from both the people and the officials of
this city.  Whatever it pleases your Majesty to decree, I
unhesitatingly pledge myself to perform."  
     The &Shah, who was firmly convinced of the loyalty of
the &Mu'tamid, realised, when he received this message, that
the late governor's sincere intention had been to await a
favourable occasion when he could arrange a meeting between
him and the &Bab, and that his sudden death had interfered
with the execution of that plan.  He issued an imperial mandate
summoning the &Bab to the capital.  In his written
message to &Gurgin &Khan, the &Shah commanded him to send
the &Bab in disguise, in the company of a mounted escort+F1
headed by &Muhammad &Big-i-Chaparchi,+F2 of the sect of the
&Aliyu'llahi, to &Tihran; to exercise the utmost consideration
towards Him in the course of His journey, and strictly to
maintain the secrecy of His departure.+F3  
     &Gurgin &Khan went immediately to the &Bab and delivered
into His hands the written mandate of the sovereign.  He
then summoned &Muhammad Big, conveyed to him the behests
of &Muhammad &Shah, and ordered him to undertake
immediate preparations for the journey.  "Beware," he
warned him, "lest anyone discover his identity or suspect
the nature of your mission.  No one but you, not even the
members of his escort, should be allowed to recognise him.  
Should anyone question you concerning him, say that he is
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 14, the members of the escort
+F1 were &Nusayri horsemen.  See note 1, p. 14.  
+F2 &Chaparchi means "courier."  
+F3 "The &Shah, whimsical and fickle, forgetting that he had, a short time
+F3 before, ordered the murder of the Reformer, felt the desire of seeing, at
+F3 last, the man who aroused such universal interest; he therefore gave the
+F3 order to &Gurgin &Khan to send the &Bab to him in &Tihran."  (A. L. M.
+F3 Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 242.)  
 
+P216
a merchant whom we have been instructed to conduct to the
capital and of whose identity we are completely ignorant."  
Soon after midnight, the &Bab, in accordance with those instructions,
set out from the city and proceeded in the direction of &Tihran.  
 
+P217
                         CHAPTER XI
                 THE &BAB'S STAY IN &KASHAN
 
     ON THE eve of the &Bab's arrival at &Kashan, &Haji
&Mirza &Jani, surnamed Parpa, a noted resident of
that city, dreamed that he was standing at a late
hour in the afternoon at the gate of &Attar, one
of the gates of the city, when his eyes suddenly beheld the
&Bab on horseback wearing, instead of His customary turban,
the &kulah+F1 usually worn by the merchants of Persia.  Before
Him, as well as behind Him, marched a number of horsemen
into whose custody He seemed to have been delivered.  As
they approached the gate, the &Bab saluted him and said:  
"&Haji &Mirza &Jani, We are to be your Guest for three nights.  
Prepare yourself to receive Us."  
     When he awoke, the vividness of his dream convinced
him of the reality of his vision.  This unexpected apparition
constituted in his eyes a providential warning which he felt
it his duty to heed and observe.  He accordingly set out
to prepare his house for the reception of the Visitor, and to
provide whatever seemed necessary for His comfort.  As soon
as he had completed the preliminary arrangements for the
banquet which he had decided to offer the &Bab that night,
&Haji &Mirza &Jani proceeded to the gate of &Attar, and there
waited for the signs of the &Bab's expected arrival.  At the
appointed hour, as he was scanning the horizon, he descried
in the distance what seemed to him a company of horsemen
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P218
approaching the gate of the city.  As he hastened to meet
them, his eyes recognised the &Bab surrounded by His escort
dressed in the same clothes and wearing the same expression
as he had seen the night before in his dream.  &Haji &Mirza
&Jani joyously approached Him and bent to kiss His stirrups.  
The &Bab prevented him, saying:  "We are to be your Guest
for three nights.  To-morrow is the day of &Naw-Ruz; we
shall celebrate it together in your home."  &Muhammad Big,
who had been riding close to the &Bab, thought Him to be
an intimate acquaintance of &Haji &Mirza &Jani.  Turning to
him, he said:  "I am ready to abide by whatever is the desire
of the &Siyyid-i-Bab.  I would ask you, however, to obtain
the approval of my colleague who shares with me the charge
of conducting the &Siyyid-i-Bab to &Tihran."  &Haji &Mirza &Jani
submitted his request and was met with a flat refusal.  "I
decline your suggestion," he was told.  "I have been most
emphatically instructed not to allow this youth to enter any
city until his arrival at the capital.  I have been particularly
commanded to spend the night outside the gate of the city,
 
+P219
to break my march at the hour of sunset, and to resume it
the next day at the hour of dawn.  I cannot depart from the
orders that have been given to me."  This gave rise to a
heated altercation which was eventually settled in favour of
&Muhammad Big, who succeeded in inducing his opponent to
deliver the &Bab into the custody of &Haji &Mirza &Jani with the
express understanding that on the third morning he should
safely deliver back his Guest into their hands.  &Haji &Mirza
&Jani, who had intended to invite to his home the entire
escort of the &Bab, was advised by Him to abandon this
intention.  "No one but you," He urged, "should accompany
Me to your home."  &Haji &Mirza &Jani requested to be allowed
to defray the expense of the horsemen's three days' stay in
&Kashan.  "It is unnecessary," observed the &Bab; "but for
My will, nothing whatever could have induced them to deliver
Me into your hands.  All things lie prisoned within
the grasp of His might.  Nothing is impossible to Him.  He
removes every difficulty and surmounts every obstacle."  
The horsemen were lodged in a caravanserai in the immediate
neighbourhood of the gate of the city.  &Muhammad Big,
following the instructions of the &Bab, accompanied Him
until they drew near the house of &Haji &Mirza &Jani.  Having
ascertained the actual situation of the house, he returned
and joined his companions.  
     The night the &Bab arrived at &Kashan coincided with the
eve preceding the third &Naw-Ruz, after the declaration of
His Mission, which fell on the second day of the month of
&Rabi'u'th-Thani, in the year 1263 A.H.+F1  On that same night,
Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi, who had previously, in accordance
with the directions of the &Bab, come to &Kashan, was invited
to the house of &Haji &Mirza &Jani and introduced into the
presence of his Master.  The &Bab was dictating to him a
Tablet in honour of His host, when a friend of the latter, a
certain Siyyid &Abdu'l-Baqi, who was noted in &Kashan for
his learning, arrived.  The &Bab invited him to enter, permitted
him to hear the verses which He was revealing, but
refused to disclose His identity.  In the concluding passages
of the Tablet which He was addressing to &Haji &Mirza &Jani,
He prayed in his behalf, supplicated the Almighty to illumine
 
+F1 1847 A.D.  
 
+P220
[Illustrations:  VIEWS OF THE HOUSE OF &HAJI &MIRZA &JANI IN &KASHAN, SHOWING
THE ROOM WHERE THE &BAB STAYED]  
 
+P221
his heart with the light of Divine knowledge, and to unloose
his tongue for the service and proclamation of His Cause.  
Unschooled and unlettered though he was, &Haji &Mirza &Jani
was able, by virtue of this prayer, to impress with his speech
even the most accomplished divine of &Kashan.  He became
endowed with such power that he was able to silence every
idle pretender who dared to challenge the precepts of his
Faith.  Even the haughty and imperious &Mulla &Ja'far-i-Naraqi
was unable, despite his consummate eloquence, to
resist the force of his argument, and was compelled to acknowledge
outwardly the merits of the Cause of his adversary,
though at heart he refused to believe in its truth.  
     Siyyid &Abdu'l-Baqi sat and listened to the &Bab.  He
heard His voice, watched His movements, looked upon the
expression of His face, and noted the words which streamed
unceasingly from His lips, and yet failed to be moved by
their majesty and power.  Wrapt in the veils of his own idle
fancy and learning, he was powerless to appreciate the meaning
of the utterances of the &Bab.  He did not even trouble
to enquire the name or the character of the Guest into whose
presence he had been introduced.  Unmoved by the things
he had heard and seen, he retired from that presence, unaware
of the unique opportunity which, through his apathy, he had
irretrievably lost.  A few days later, when informed of the
name of the Youth whom he had treated with such careless
indifference, he was filled with chagrin and remorse.  It was
too late, however, for him to seek His presence and atone
for his conduct, for the &Bab had already departed from
&Kashan.  In his grief, he renounced the society of his fellowmen,
and led, to the end of his days, a life of unrelieved
seclusion.  
     Among those who were privileged to meet the &Bab in the
home of &Haji &Mirza &Jani was a man named &Mihdi, who was
destined at a later time, in the year 1268 A.H.,+F1 to suffer
martyrdom in &Tihran.  He and a few others were, during
those three days, affectionately entertained by &Haji &Mirza
&Jani, whose lavish hospitality earned him the praise and
commendation of his Master.  To even the members of the
&Bab's escort he extended the same loving-kindness, and, by
 
+F1 1851-2 A.D.  
 
+P222
his liberality and charm of manner, won their lasting gratitude.  
On the morning of the second day after &Naw-Ruz, he,
mindful of his pledge, delivered the Prisoner into their hands,
and, with a heart overflowing with grief, bade Him a last
and touching farewell.  
 
+P223
                         CHAPTER XII
            THE &BAB'S JOURNEY FROM &KASHAN TO &TABRIZ
 
     ATTENDED by His escort, the &Bab proceeded in
the direction of Qum.+F1  His alluring charm, combined
with a compelling dignity and unfailing
benevolence, had, by this time, completely disarmed
and transformed His guards.  They seemed to have
abdicated all their rights and duties and to have resigned
themselves to His will and pleasure.  In their eagerness to
 
+F1 The site of the second most sacred shrine in Persia, and the burial-place
+F1 of many of her kings, among them &Fath-'Ali and &Muhammad &Shah.  
 
+P224
serve and please Him, they, one day, remarked:  "We are
strictly forbidden by the government to allow You to enter
the city of Qum, and have been ordered to proceed by an
unfrequented route directly to &Tihran.  We have been particularly
directed to keep away from the &Haram-i-Ma'sumih,+F1
that inviolable sanctuary under whose shelter the most
notorious criminals are immune from arrest.  We are ready,
however, to ignore utterly for Your sake whatever instructions
we have received.  If it be Your wish, we shall unhesitatingly
conduct You through the streets of Qum and enable
You to visit its holy shrine."  "`The heart of the true believer
is the throne of God,'" observed the &Bab.  "He who
is the ark of salvation and the Almighty's impregnable stronghold
is now journeying with you through this wilderness.  I
prefer the way of the country rather than to enter this unholy
city.  The immaculate one whose remains are interred within
this shrine, her brother, and her illustrious ancestors no doubt
bewail the plight of this wicked people.  With their lips they
pay homage to her; by their acts they heap dishonour upon
her name.  Outwardly they serve and reverence her shrine;
inwardly they disgrace her dignity."  
     Such lofty sentiments had instilled such confidence in the
hearts of those who accompanied the &Bab that had He at
any time chosen to turn away suddenly and leave them, no
one among His guards would have felt in the least perturbed
or would have attempted to pursue Him.  Proceeding by a
route that skirted the northern end of the city of Qum, they
halted at the village of &Qumrud, which was owned by a
relative of &Muhammad Big, and the inhabitants of which all
belonged to the sect of the &Aliyu'llahi.  At the invitation
of the headman of the village, the &Bab tarried one night in
that place and was touched by the warmth and spontaneity
of the reception which those simple folk had accorded Him.  
Ere He resumed His journey, He invoked the blessings of
 
+F1 "At Qum are deposited the remains of his [&Imam &Rida's] sister,
+F1 &Fatimiy-i-Ma'sumih, i.e. the Immaculate, who, according to one account,
+F1 lived and died here, having fled from &Baghdad to escape the persecution of
+F1 the &Khalifs; according to another, sickened and died at Qum, on her way to
+F1 see her brother at &Tus.  He, for his part, is believed by the pious
+F1 &Shi'ahs to return the compliment by paying her a visit every Friday from
+F1 his shrine at &Mashhad."  Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question,"
+F1 vol. 2, p. 8.)  
 
+P225
the Almighty in their behalf and cheered their hearts with
assurances of His appreciation and love.  
     After a march of two days from that village, they arrived,
on the afternoon of the eighth day after &Naw-Ruz, at the
fortress of &Kinar-Gird,+F1 which lies six farsangs to the south
of &Tihran.  They were planning to reach the capital on the
 
+F1 A station on the old &Tsfahan road, distant about 28 miles from &Tihran.  
+F1 ("A Traveller's Narrative," p. 14, note 2.)  
 
+P226
ensuing day, and had decided to spend the night in the neighbourhood
of that fortress, when a messenger unexpectedly
arrived from &Tihran, bearing a written order from &Haji &Mirza
&Aqasi to &Muhammad Big.  That message instructed him to
proceed immediately with the &Bab to the village of Kulayn,+F1
where &Shaykh-i-Kulayni, &Muhammad-ibn-i-Ya'qub, the author
of the &Usul-i-Kafi, who was born in that place, had
been laid to rest with his father, and whose shrines are greatly
 
+F1 See "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 14, note 3.  
 
+P227
honoured by the people of that neighbourhood.+F1  &Muhammad
Big was commanded, in view of the unsuitability of the
houses in that village, to pitch a special tent for the &Bab
and keep the escort in its neighbourhood pending the receipt
of further instructions.  On the morning of the ninth day
after &Naw-Ruz, the eleventh day of the month of &Rabi'u'th-Thani,
in the year 1263 A.H.,+F2 in the immediate vicinity of
that village, which belonged to &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, a tent
which had served for his own use whenever he visited that
place was erected for the &Bab, on the slopes of a hill pleasantly
situated amid wide stretches of orchards and smiling
meadows.  The peacefulness of that spot, the luxuriance of
its vegetation, and the unceasing murmur of its streams
greatly pleased the &Bab.  He was joined two days after by
Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi, Siyyid &Hasan, his brother; &Mulla
&Abdu'l-Karim, and &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi, all of whom
were invited to lodge in the immediate surroundings of His
tent.  On the fourteenth day of the month of &Rabi'u'th-Thani,+F3
the twelfth day after &Naw-Ruz, &Mulla &Mihdiy-i-Khu'i
and &Mulla &Muhammad-Mihdiy-i-Kandi arrived from
&Tihran.  The latter, who had been closely associated with
&Baha'u'llah in &Tihran, had been commissioned by Him to
present to the &Bab a sealed letter together with certain gifts
which, as soon as they were delivered into His hands, provoked
in His soul sentiments of unusual delight.  His face
glowed with joy as He overwhelmed the bearer with marks
of His gratitude and favour.  
     That message, received at an hour of uncertainty and
suspense, imparted solace and strength to the &Bab.  It dispelled
the gloom that had settled upon His heart, and imbued
His soul with the certainty of victory.  The sadness which
had long lingered upon His face, and which the perils of His
captivity had served to aggravate, visibly diminished.  He
no longer shed those tears of anguish which had streamed
so profusely from His eyes ever since the days of His arrest
and departure from &Shiraz.  The cry "Beloved, My Well-Beloved,"
 
+F1 "As the order of the prime minister &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi became generally
+F1 known, it was impossible to carry it out.  From &Isfahan to &Tihran,
+F1 everyone spoke of the iniquity of the clergy and of the government towards
+F1 the &Bab; everywhere the people muttered and exclaimed against such an
+F1 injustice."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 355.)  
+F2 March 29, 1847 A.D.  
+F3 April 1, 1847 A.D.  
 
+P228
which in His bitter grief and loneliness He was
wont to utter, gave way to expressions of thanksgiving and
praise, of hope and triumph.  The exultation which glowed
upon His face never forsook Him until the day when the
news of the great disaster which befell the heroes of &Shaykh
&Tabarsi again beclouded the radiance of His countenance
and dimmed the joy of His heart.  
     I have heard &Mulla &Abdu'l-Karim recount the following
incident:  "My companions and I were fast asleep in the
vicinity of the tent of the &Bab when the trampling of horsemen
suddenly awakened us.  We were soon informed that
the tent of the &Bab was vacant and that those who had
gone out in search of Him had failed to find Him.  We heard
&Muhammad Big remonstrate with the guards.  `Why feel
disturbed?' he pleaded.  `Are not His magnanimity and
nobleness of soul sufficiently established in your eyes to
convince you that He will never, for the sake of His own
safety, consent to involve others in embarrassment?  He, no
doubt, must have retired, in the silence of this moonlit night,
to a place where He can seek undisturbed communion with
God.  He will unquestionably return to His tent.  He will
never desert us.'  In his eagerness to reassure his colleagues,
&Muhammad Big set out on foot along the road leading to
&Tihran.  I, too, with my companions, followed him.  Shortly
after, the rest of the guards were seen, each on horseback,
marching behind us.  We had covered about a &maydan+F1
when, by the dim light of the early dawn, we discerned in
the distance the lonely figure of the &Bab.  He was coming
towards us from the direction of &Tihran.  `Did you believe
Me to have escaped?' were His words to &Muhammad Big
as He approached him.  `Far be it from me,' was the instant
reply as he flung himself at the feet of the &Bab, `to entertain
such thoughts.'  &Muhammad Big was too much awed by the
serene majesty which that radiant face revealed that morning
to venture any further remark.  A look of confidence
had settled upon His countenance, His words were invested
with such transcendent power, that a feeling of profound
reverence wrapped our very souls.  No one dared to question
Him as to the cause of so remarkable a change in His speech
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P229
and demeanour.  Nor did He Himself choose to allay our
curiosity and wonder."  
     For a fortnight+F1 the &Bab tarried in that spot.  The tranquillity
which He enjoyed amidst those lovely surroundings
was rudely disturbed by the receipt of a letter which &Muhammad
&Shah+F2 himself addressed to the &Bab and which was
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 14), the &Bab remained in the
+F1 village of Kulayn for a period of twenty days.  
+F2   "&Muhammad &Shah," writes Gobineau, "was a prince of peculiar
+F2 temperament, a type often seen in Asia but not often discovered or
+F2 understood by Europeans.  Although he reigned during a period when
+F2 political practices were rather harsh, he was kind and patient and his
+F2 tolerance extended even to the discords of his harem which were of such
+F2 a nature as normally to cause grave annoyance; for, even in the days of
+F2 &Fath-'Ali &Shah, the laisser-aller, the whims and fancies were never
+F2 carried to such an extreme.  The following words which our 18th century
+F2 might recognize as its own are attributed to him:  `Why are you not more
+F2 discreet, Madam?  I do not wish to hinder you from enjoying yourself.'  
+F2   "But, in his case, it was not affected indifference, but fatigue and
+F2 boredom.  His health had always been wretched; seriously ill with gout, he
+F2 was hardly ever free from pain.  His disposition naturally weak, had become
+F2 very melancholy and, as he craved love and could not find it in his family
+F2 either with his wives or children, he had centered all his affection upon
+F2 the aged &Mulla, his tutor.  He had made of him his only friend, his
+F2 confidant, then his first and all-powerful minister, even his god!  Brought
+F2 up by this idol with very irreverent sentiments toward &Islam, he was
+F2 equally as indifferent toward the dogmas of the Prophet as toward the
+F2 Prophet himself.  He cared little for the &Imams and, if he had any regard
+F2 for &Ali, it is because the Persian mind is wont to identify this venerable
+F2 personage with the nation itself.  
+F2   "But in brief, &Muhammad &Shah was no better &Muhammadan than he was
+F2 Christian or Jew.  He believed that the Divine Essence incarnates Itself in
+F2 the Sages with all Its power, and, as he considered &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi a
+F2 Sage par excellence, he felt certain that he was God and he would piously
+F2 ask him to perform miracles.  Often he said to his officers with
+F2 earnestness and conviction, `The &Haji has promised me a miracle for
+F2 tonight, you shall see!'  As long as the character of the &Haji was not
+F2 involved, &Muhammad &Shah was completely indifferent regarding the success
+F2 or failure of this or that religious doctrine; he was rather pleased to
+F2 witness the conflict of opinions which were proof to him of the universal
+F2 blindness."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans
+F2 l'Asie Centrale,' pp. 131-132.)  
 
+P230
composed in these terms:+F1  "Much as we desire to meet you,
we find ourself unable, in view of our immediate departure
from our capital, to receive you befittingly in &Tihran.  We
have signified our desire that you be conducted to &Mah-Ku,
and have issued the necessary instructions to &Ali &Khan, the
warden of the castle, to treat you with respect and consideration.  
It is our hope and intention to summon you to this
place upon our return to the seat of our government, at
 
+F1   According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 14), the &Bab "forwarded a
+F1 letter to the Royal Presence craving audience to set forth the truth of His
+F1 condition, expecting this to be a means for the attainment of great
+F1 advantages."  Regarding this letter, Gobineau writes as follows:  
+F1 "&Ali-Muhammad wrote personally to the Court and his letter and the
+F1 accusations of his adversaries all arrived at the same time.  Without
+F1 assuming an aggressive attitude toward the king, but trusting on the
+F1 contrary to his authority and justice, he represented to them that the
+F1 depravity of the clergy in Persia had been well known for many years; that
+F1 not only morals were thereby corrupted and the well-being of the nation
+F1 affected, but that religion itself, poisoned by the sins of so many, was
+F1 in great danger and was about to disappear leaving the people in perilous
+F1 darkness.  
+F1   "As for himself, called by God, in virtue of a special mission, to
+F1 prevent such an evil, he had already begun to apprise the people of &Fars
+F1 that the true doctrine had made evident and rapid progress; that all its
+F1 adversaries had been confounded and were now powerless and universally
+F1 despised; but that this was only a beginning.  
+F1   "The &Bab, confident of the magnanimity of the king, requested the
+F1 permission to come to the capital with his principal disciples and there
+F1 hold conferences with all the &Mullas of the Empire, in the presence of the
+F1 Sovereign, the nobles and the people, convinced that he would shame them by
+F1 exposing their faithlessness.  He would accept beforehand the judgment of
+F1 the king and, in case of failure, was ready to sacrifice his head and that
+F1 of each one of his followers."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les
+F1 Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 124.)  
 
+P231
which time we shall definitely pronounce our judgment.  We
trust that we have caused you no disappointment, and that
you will at no time hesitate to inform us in case any grievances
befall you.  We fain would hope that you will continue to pray
for our well-being and for the prosperity of our
realm."  (Dated &Rabi'u'th-Thani, 1263 A.H.)+F1  
     &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi+F2 was no doubt responsible for having
induced &Muhammad &Shah to address such a communication
to the &Bab.  He was actuated solely by a sense of fear+F3 lest
 
+F1 March 19-April 17, 1847 A.D.  
+F2   According to &Hidayat in the "&Majma'u'l-Fusaha'," the name of &Haji
+F2 &Mirza &Aqasi was &Abbas-'Ali.  He was the son of &Mirza Muslim, one of
+F2 the well-known divines of &Iravan.  His son, &Abbas-'Ali, was a pupil,
+F2 while in &Karbila, of &Fahkru'd-Din &Abdu's-Samad-i-Hamadani.  From
+F2 &Karbila he proceeded to &Hamadan, visited &Adhirbayjan, and from there
+F2 undertook a pilgrimage to Mecca.  Returning, in circumstances of extreme
+F2 poverty, to &Adhirbayjan, he succeeded in gradually improving his position,
+F2 and was made the tutor of the children of &Mirza &Musa &Khan, the brother
+F2 of the late &Mirza &Abu'l-Qasim, the &Qa'im-Maqam.  &Muhammad &Mirza, to
+F2 whom he had announced his eventual accession to the throne of Persia, was
+F2 greatly devoted to him.  He eventually was appointed his prime minister,
+F2 and retired after the death of the monarch to &Karbila, where he died in
+F2 &Ramadan, 1265 A.H.  (Notes of &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl.)
+F2   According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 220), &Haji &Mirza
+F2 &Aqasi was born in &Mah-Ku, where his parents had been residing after their
+F2 departure from &Iravan, in the Caucasus.  "&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, native of
+F2 &Iravan, attained unlimited influence over his weak-minded master, formerly
+F2 his tutor, and professed &Sufi doctrine.  A quizzical old gentleman, with a
+F2 long nose, whose countenance betokened the oddity and self-sufficiency of
+F2 his character."  (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of
+F2 Persia" p. 473.)
+F2   "As for the &Haji, he was a very special kind of god.  It was not
+F2 absolutely certain that he did himself believe that of which the &Shah was
+F2 convinced.  In any case, he preferred the same general principles as the
+F2 King and he had taught them to him in good faith.  He could nevertheless be
+F2 a buffoon; jesting was the policy, the rule of his conduct and of his
+F2 life.  He pretended to take nothing seriously, not even himself.  
+F2   "`I am not a prime minister,' he often said, especially to those whom he
+F2 mistreated; `I am an old &Mulla of humble birth and without merit and, if I
+F2 find myself in this high office, it is because it is the wish of the
+F2 King.'  
+F2   "He never referred to his sons without calling them `sons of hussies and
+F2 sons of dogs.'  It is in these terms that he enquired of them or sent them
+F2 orders by his officers, when they were away.  His greatest delight was to
+F2 pass in review units of cavalry in which he would assemble, in their most
+F2 gorgeous trappings, all the nomad &Khans of Persia.  When these warlike
+F2 tribes were gathered in the valley, the &Haji would appear, dressed like a
+F2 beggar, with a threadbare and shapeless cap, a sword dangling awkwardly at
+F2 his side and riding a small donkey.  Then he would draw up the horsemen
+F2 about him, call them fools, make fun of their attire, show their
+F2 worthlessness, and then send them home with presents; for his sarcasm was
+F2 always tempered with generosity."  (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et
+F2 les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 132-133.)  
+F3   "An anecdote shows the real motive of the prime minister in the
+F3 suggestions he made to the &Shah concerning the &Bab.  The Prince &Farhad
+F3 &Mirza, still young, was the pupil of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi.  The latter
+F3 related the following story:  
+F3    "When His Majesty, after consulting the prime minister, had written to
+F3 the &Bab to betake himself to &Mah-Ku, we went with &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi to
+F3 spend a few days at &Yaft-Abad, in the neighborhood of &Tihran, in the park
+F3 which he had created there.  I was very desirous of questioning my master
+F3 regarding the recent happenings but I feared to do so publicly.  One day,
+F3 while I was walking with him in the garden and he was in a good humor, I
+F3 made bold to ask him:  "&Haji, why have you sent the &Bab to &Mah-Ku?"  He
+F3 replied,--"You are still too young to understand certain things, but know
+F3 that had he come to &Tihran.  you and I would not be, at this moment,
+F3 walking free from care in this cool shade."'"  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid
+F3 &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 243-244)  
+F3    According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 129), the chief
+F3 motive which actuated &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi to urge &Muhammad &Shah to order
+F3 the banishment of the &Bab to &Adhirbayjan was the fear lest the promise
+F3 which the &Bab had given to the sovereign that He would cure him of his
+F3 illness, were he to allow Him to be received in &Tihran, should be
+F3 fulfilled.  He felt sure that should the &Bab be able to effect such a
+F3 cure, the &Shah would fall under the influence of his Prisoner and would
+F3 cease to confer upon his prime minister the honours and benefits which he
+F3 exclusively enjoyed.  
 
+P232
the contemplated interview should rob him of his position
of unquestioned pre-eminence in the affairs of the State and
should lead eventually to his overthrow from power.  He
entertained no feelings of malice or resentment toward the
&Bab.  He finally succeeded+F1 in persuading his sovereign to
transfer so dreaded an opponent to a remote and sequestered
corner of his realm, and was thus able to relieve his mind
of a thought that continually obsessed him.+F2  How stupendous
was his mistake, how grievous his blunder!  Little did he
realise, at that moment, that by his incessant intrigues he
was withholding from his king and country the incomparable
benefits of a Divine Revelation which alone had the power
to deliver the land from the appalling state of degradation
into which it had fallen.  By his act that short-sighted minister
did not only withhold from &Muhammad &Shah the supreme
instrument with which he could have rehabilitated a fast-declining
empire, but also deprived him of that spiritual
Agency which could have enabled him to establish his undisputed
ascendancy over the peoples and nations of the earth.  
By his folly, his extravagance and perfidious counsels, he
undermined the foundations of the State, lowered its prestige,
sapped the loyalty of his subjects, and plunged them into
 
+F1 According to &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl, &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi sought, by his
+F1 reference to the rebellion of &Muhammad &Hasan &Khan, the &Salar, in
+F1 &Khurasan, and the revolt of &Aqa &Khan-i-Isma'ili, in &Kirman, to induce
+F1 the sovereign to abandon the project of summoning the &Bab to the capital,
+F1 and to send Him instead to the remote province of &Adhirbayjan.  
+F2 "Nevertheless, on this occasion, his expectations did not materialize.  
+F2 Fearing that the presence of the &Bab in &Tihran would occasion new
+F2 disturbances (there were plenty of them due to his whims and his poor
+F2 administration), he altered his plans and the escort, charged to take the
+F2 &Bab from &Isfahan to &Tihran, received, when about thirty kilometers from
+F2 the city, the order to take the prisoner directly to &Mah-Ku.  This town,
+F2 in the mind of the prime minister, would offer nothing to the impostor
+F2 because its inhabitants, out of gratitude for the favors and protection
+F2 they had received from him, would take steps to suppress any disturbances
+F2 which might break out."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 356.)  
 
+P233
an abyss of misery.+F1  Incapable of being admonished by the
example of his predecessors, he contemptuously ignored the
demands and interests of the people, pursued, with unremitting
zeal, his designs for personal aggrandisement, and by
his profligacy and extravagance involved his country in
ruinous wars with its neighbours.  &Sa'd-i-Ma'adh, who was
neither of royal blood nor invested with authority, attained,
through the uprightness of his conduct and his unsparing
 
+F1 "The state of Persia, however, was not satisfactory; for &Haji &Mirza
+F1 &Aqasi, who had been its virtual ruler for thirteen years, `was utterly
+F1 ignorant of statesmanship or of military science, yet too vain to receive
+F1 instruction and too jealous to admit of a coadjutor; brutal in his
+F1 language; insolent in his demeanour; indolent in his habits; he brought the
+F1 exchequer to the verge of bankruptcy and the country to the brink of
+F1 revolution.  The pay of the army was generally from three to five years in
+F1 arrears.  `The cavalry of the tribes was a almost annihilated.'  Such--to
+F1 adopt the weighty words of Rawlinson--was the condition of Persia in the
+F1 middle of the nineteenth century."  (P. M. Sykes' "A History of Persia,"
+F1 vol. 2, pp. 439-40.)  
 
+P234
devotion to the Cause of &Muhammad, so exalted a station
that to the present day the chiefs and rulers of &Islam have
continued to reverence his memory and to praise his virtues;
whereas Buzurg-Mihr, the ablest, the wisest and most experienced
administrator among the &vazirs of &Nushiravan-i-'Adil,
in spite of his commanding position, eventually was
publicly disgraced, was thrown into a pit, and became the
object of the contempt and the ridicule of the people.  He
bewailed his plight and wept so bitterly that he finally lost
his sight.  Neither the example of the former nor the fate
of the latter seemed to have awakened that self-confident
minister to the perils of his own position.  He persisted in
his thoughts until he too forfeited his rank, lost his riches,+F1
and sank into abasement and shame.  The numerous properties
which he forcibly seized from the humble and law-abiding
subjects of the &Shah, the costly furnitures with
which he embellished them, the vast expenditures of labour
and treasure which he ordered for their improvement--all
were irretrievably lost two years after he had issued his
decree condemning the &Bab to a cruel incarceration in the
inhospitable mountains of &Adhirbayjan.  All his possessions
were confiscated by the State.  He himself was disgraced by
his sovereign, was ignominiously expelled from &Tihran, and
fell a prey to disease and poverty.  Bereft of hope and sunk
in misery, he languished in &Karbila until the hour of his
death.+F2  
 
+F1 "&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, the half crazy old Prime Minister, had the whole
+F1 administration in his hands, and obtained complete control over the &Shah.  
+F1 The misgovernment of the country grew worse and worse, while the people
+F1 starved, and cursed the &Qajar dynasty....  The condition of the province
+F1 was deplorable and every man with any pretension to talent or patriotism
+F1 was driven into exile by the old haji, who was sedulously collecting wealth
+F1 for himself at &Tihran, at the expense of the wretched country.  The
+F1 governorships of provinces were sold to the highest bidders, who oppressed
+F1 the people in a fearful manner."  (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the
+F1 History of Persia," pp. 486-7.)  
+F2   Gobineau writes regarding his fall:  "&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, robbed of the
+F2 power which he had constantly ridiculed, had retired to &Karbila and he
+F2 spent his remaining days playing tricks on the &Mullas and scoffing even at
+F2 the holy martyrs."  ("Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie
+F2 Centrale," p. 160.)  
+F2   "This shrewd man had gained such power over the late &Shah that one could
+F2 truly say that the minister was the real sovereign; he could not therefore
+F2 survive the loss of his good fortune.  At the death of &Muhammad &Shah, he
+F2 had disappeared and had gone to &Karbila where, under the protection of the
+F2 sainted &Imam, even a state criminal could find an inviolable asylum.  He
+F2 was soon overcome by gnawing grief which, more than his remorse; shortened
+F2 his life."  (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, pp. 367-368.)  
 
+P235
     The &Bab was accordingly ordered to proceed to &Tabriz.+F1  
The same escort, under the command of &Muhammad Big,
attended Him on His journey to the northwestern province
of &Adhirbayjan.  He was allowed to select one companion
and one attendant from among His followers to be with Him
during His sojourn in that province.  He selected Siyyid
&Husayn-i-Yazdi and Siyyid &Hasan, his brother.  He refused
to expend on Himself the funds provided by the government
for the expense of that journey.  All the allowances that
were given by the State He bestowed upon the poor and
needy, and devoted to His own private needs the money
which He, as a merchant, had earned in &Bushihr and &Shiraz.  
As orders had been given to avoid entering the towns in
the course of the journey to &Tabriz, a number of the believers
of &Qazvin, informed of the approach of their beloved
Leader, set out for the village of &Siyah-Dihan+F2 and were
there able to meet Him.  
     One of them was &Mulla Iskandar, who had been delegated
by &Hujjat to visit the &Bab in &Shiraz, and to investigate
His Cause.  The &Bab commissioned him to deliver the following
message to &Sulayman &Khan-i-Afshar, who was a great
admirer of the late Siyyid &Kazim:  "He whose virtues the
late siyyid unceasingly extolled, and to the approach of whose
Revelation he continually alluded, is now revealed.  I am
that promised One.  Arise and deliver Me from the hand of
the oppressor."  When the &Bab entrusted this message to
&Mulla Iskandar, &Sulayman &Khan was in &Zanjan and was
preparing to leave for &Tihran.  Within the space of three
days, that message reached him.  He failed, however, to
respond to that appeal.  
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 16), the &Bab "wrote a letter,
+F1 in the course of the journey, to the Prime Minister, saying:  `You summoned
+F1 me from &Isfahan to meet the doctors and for the attainment of a decisive
+F1 settlement.  What has happened now that this excellent intention has been
+F1 changed for &Mah-Kuh and &Tabriz?'"
+F2 According to Samandar (manuscript, pp. 45), the &Bab tarried in the village
+F2 of &Siyah-Dihan, in the neighbourhood of &Qazvin, on His way to
+F2 &Adhirbayjan.  In the course of that journey, He is reported to have
+F2 revealed several Tablets addressed to the leading &ulamas in &Qazvin among
+F2 whom were the following:  &Haji &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab, &Haji &Mulla &Salih,
+F2 &Haji &Mulla &Taqi, and &Haji Siyyid &Taqi.  These Tablets were conveyed to
+F2 their recipients through &Haji &Mulla &Ahmad-i-Ibdal.  Several believers,
+F2 among whom were the two sons of &Haji &Mulla &Abdu'l-Vahhab were able to
+F2 meet the &Bab during the night He spent in that village.  It is from this
+F2 village that the &Bab is reported to have addressed His epistle to &Haji
+F2 &Mirza &Aqasi.  
 
+P236
     Two days later, a friend of &Mulla Iskandar had acquainted
&Hujjat, who, at the instigation of the &ulamas of &Zanjan, had
been incarcerated in the capital, with the appeal of the &Bab.  
&Hujjat immediately instructed the believers of his native
city to undertake whatever preparations were required and
to collect the necessary forces to achieve the deliverance of
their Master.  He urged them to proceed with caution and
to attempt, at an appropriate moment, to seize and carry
Him away to whatever place He might desire.  These were
shortly joined by a number of believers from &Qazvin
and &Tihran, who set out, according to the directions of &Hujjat,
to execute the plan.  They overtook the guards at the hour
of midnight and, finding them fast asleep, approached the
&Bab and begged Him to flee.  "The mountains of &Adhirbayjan
too have their claims," was His confident reply as He lovingly
advised them to abandon their project and return to their
homes.+F1  
     Approaching the gate of &Tabriz, &Muhammad Big, feeling
that the hour of his separation from his Prisoner was at
hand, besought His presence and with tearful eyes begged
Him to overlook his shortcomings and transgressions.  "The
journey from &Isfahan," he said, "has been long and arduous.  
I have failed to do my duty and to serve You as I ought.  
I crave Your forgiveness, and pray You to vouchsafe me
Your blessings."  "Be assured," the &Bab replied, "I account
you a member of My fold.  They who embrace My Cause
will eternally bless and glorify you, will extol your conduct
and exalt your name."+F2  The rest of the guards followed the
 
+F1 In the "&Tarikh-i-Jadid," &Muhammad Big is reported to have related the
+F1 following account to &Haji &Mirza &Jani:  "So we mounted and rode on till
+F1 we came to a brick caravanserai distant two parsangs from the city.  Thence
+F1 we proceeded to &Milan, where many of the inhabitants came to see His
+F1 Holiness, and were filled with wonder at the majesty and dignity of that
+F1 Lord of mankind.  In the morning, as we were setting out from &Milan, an
+F1 old woman brought a scald-headed child, whose head was so covered with
+F1 scabs that it was white down to the neck, and entreated His Holiness to
+F1 heal him.  The guards would have forbidden her but His Holiness prevented
+F1 them, and called the child to Him.  Then He drew a handkerchief over its
+F1 head and repeated certain words; which he had no sooner done than the child
+F1 was healed.  And in that place about two hundred persons believed and
+F1 underwent a true and sincere conversion."  (Pp. 222-21.)  
+F2 &Mirza &Abu'l-Fadl states in his writings that he himself, while in
+F2 &Tihran, met the son of &Muhammad Big, and heard him recount the remarkable
+F2 experiences his father had had in the course of his journey to &Tabriz in
+F2 the company of the &Bab.  &Ali-Akbar Big was a fervent believer in the
+F2 Cause of &Baha'u'llah and was known as such by the &Baha'is of Persia.  
 
+P237
example of their chief, implored the blessings of their Prisoner,
kissed His feet, and with tears in their eyes bade Him
a last farewell.  To each the &Bab expressed His appreciation
of his devoted attentions and assured him of His prayers in
his behalf.  Reluctantly they delivered Him into the hands
of the governor of &Tabriz, the heir to the throne of &Muhammad
&Shah.  To those with whom they were subsequently brought
in contact, these devoted attendants of the &Bab and eye-witnesses
of His superhuman wisdom and power, recounted
with awe and admiration the tale of those wonders which they
had seen and heard, and by this means helped to diffuse in
their own way the knowledge of the new Revelation.  
     The news of the approaching arrival of the &Bab at &Tabriz
bestirred the believers in that city.  They all set out to meet
Him, eager to extend to so beloved a Leader their welcome.  
The officials of the government into whose custody the &Bab
was to be delivered refused to allow them to draw near and
to receive His blessings.  One youth, however, unable to restrain
himself, rushed forth barefooted, through the gate of
the city, and, in his impatience to gaze upon the face of his
Beloved, ran out a distance of half a farsang+F1 towards Him.  
As he approached the horsemen who were marching in advance
of the &Bab, he joyously welcomed them and, seizing
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P238
the hem of the garment of one among them, devoutly kissed
his stirrups.  "Ye are the companions of my Well-Beloved,"
he tearfully exclaimed.  "I cherish you as the apple of my
eye."  His extraordinary behaviour, the intensity of his emotion,
amazed them.  They immediately granted him his
request to attain the presence of his Master.  As soon as
his eyes fell upon Him, a cry of exultation broke from his
lips.  He fell upon his face and wept profusely.  The &Bab
dismounted from His horse, put His arms around him, wiped
away his tears, and soothed the agitation of his heart.  Of
all the believers of &Tabriz, that youth alone succeeded in
offering his homage to the &Bab and in being blessed by the
touch of His hand.  All the others had perforce to content
themselves with a distant glimpse of their Beloved, and with
that view sought to satisfy their longing.  
     When the &Bab arrived at &Tabriz, He was conducted to
one of the chief houses in that city, which had been reserved
 
+P239
for His confinement.+F1  A detachment of the &Nasiri regiment
stood guard at the entrance of His house.  With the exception
of Siyyid &Husayn and his brother, neither the public nor
His followers were allowed to meet Him.  This same regiment,
which had been recruited from among the inhabitants
of &Khamsih, and upon which special honours had been conferred,
was subsequently chosen to discharge the volley that
caused His death.  The circumstances of His arrival had
stirred the people in &Tabriz profoundly.  A tumultuous concourse
of people had gathered to witness His entry into the
city.+F2  Some were impelled by curiosity, others were earnestly
desirous of ascertaining the veracity of the wild reports that
were current about Him, and still others were moved by
their faith and devotion to attain His presence and to assure
Him of their loyalty.  As He walked along the streets, the
acclamations of the multitude resounded on every side.  The
great majority of the people who beheld His face greeted
Him with the shout of "&Allah-u-Akbar,"+F3 others loudly
glorified and cheered Him, a few invoked upon Him the
blessings of the Almighty, others were seen to kiss reverently
the dust of His footsteps.  Such was the clamour which His
arrival had raised that a crier was ordered to warn the populace
of the danger that awaited those who ventured to seek
His presence.  "Whosoever shall make any attempt to approach
the &Siyyid-i-Bab," went forth the cry, "or seek to
meet him, all his possessions shall forthwith be seized and
he himself condemned to perpetual imprisonment."  
     On the day after the &Bab's arrival, &Haji
&Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Milani, a noted merchant of the city, ventured,
together with &Haji &Ali-'Askar, to interview the &Bab.  They
were warned by their friends and well-wishers that by such
an attempt they would not only be risking the loss of their
 
+F1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 16), the &Bab remained forty
+F1 days in &Tabriz.  According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's manuscript
+F1 (p. 138), the &Bab spent the first night, on His arrival in &Tabriz, in the
+F1 home of &Muhammad Big.  From there He was transferred to a room in the
+F1 Citadel (the Ark) which adjoined the &Masjid-i-'Ali &Shah.  
+F2 "The success of this energetic man, &Mulla &Yusuf-i-Ardibili, was so great
+F2 and so swift that, at the very gates of Tauris (&Tabriz), the inhabitants
+F2 of this populous village acknowledged him as their leader and took the name
+F2 of &Babi's.  Needless to say that, in the town itself, the &Babi's were
+F2 quite numerous, even though the government was taking steps to convict the
+F2 &Bab, to punish him and thereby justify itself in the eyes of the people."  
+F2 (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, pp. 357-358.)  
+F3 `God is the Most Great."  
 
+P240
possessions but would also be endangering their lives.  They
refused, however, to heed such counsels.  As they approached
the door of the house in which the &Bab was confined, they
were immediately arrested.  Siyyid &Hasan, who at that moment
was coming out from the presence of the &Bab, instantly
intervened.  "I am commanded by the &Siyyid-i-Bab," he
vehemently protested, "to convey to you this message:  
`Suffer these visitors to enter, inasmuch as I Myself have
invited them to meet Me.'"  I have heard &Haji &Ali-'Askar
testify to the following:  "This message immediately silenced
the opposers.  We were straightway ushered into His presence.  
He greeted us with these words:  `These miserable
wretches who watch at the gate of My house have been
destined by Me as a protection against the inrush of the
multitude who throng around the house.  They are powerless
to prevent those whom I desire to meet from attaining My
presence.'  For about two hours, we tarried with Him.  As
He dismissed us, He entrusted me with two cornelian ringstones,
instructing me to have carved on them the two verses
which He had previously given to me; to have them mounted
and brought to Him as soon as they were ready.  He assured
us that at whatever time we desired to meet Him, no one
would hinder our admittance to His presence.  Several times
I ventured to go to Him in order to ascertain His wish regarding
certain details connected with the commission with
which He had entrusted me.  Not once did I encounter the
slightest opposition on the part of those who were guarding
the entrance of His house.  Not one offensive word did they
utter against me, nor did they seem to expect the slightest
remuneration for their indulgence.  
     "I recall how, in the course of my association with &Mulla
&Husayn, I was impressed by the many evidences of his
perspicacity and extraordinary power.  I was privileged to
accompany him on his journey from &Shiraz to &Mashhad, and
visited with him the towns of Yazd, &Tabas, &Bushruyih, and
Turbat.  I deplored in those days the sadness of my failure
to meet the &Bab in &Shiraz.  `Grieve not,' &Mulla &Husayn
confidently assured me; `the Almighty is no doubt able to
compensate you in &Tabriz for the loss you have sustained
in &Shiraz.  Not once, but seven times, can He enable you
 
+P241
to partake of the joy of His presence, in return for the one
visit which you have missed.'  I was amazed at the confidence
with which he uttered those words.  Not until the time
of my visit to the &Bab in &Tabriz, when, despite adverse circumstances,
I was, on several occasions, admitted into His
presence, did I recall those words of &Mulla &Husayn and
marvel at his remarkable foresight.  How great was my surprise
when, on my seventh visit to the &Bab, I heard Him
speak these words:  `Praise be to God, who has enabled you
to complete the number of your visits and who has extended
to you His loving protection.'"
 
+P242
[Illustration:  THE CASTLE OF &MAH-KU]  
 
+P243
                         CHAPTER XIII
                THE &BAB'S INCARCERATION IN THE
                       CASTLE OF &MAH-KU
 
     SIYYID &HUSAYN-I-YAZDI has been heard to relate
the following:  "During the first ten days of
the &Bab's incarceration in &Tabriz, no one knew
what would next befall Him.  The wildest conjectures
were current in the city.  One day I ventured to ask
Him whether He would continue to remain where He was or
would be transferred to still another place.  `Have you forgotten,'
was His immediate reply, `the question you asked
me in &Isfahan?  For a period of no less than nine months,
we shall remain confined in the &Jabal-i-Basit,+F1 from whence
we shall be transferred to the &Jabal-i-Shadid.+F2  Both these
places are among the mountains of &Khuy and are situated
on either side of the town bearing that name.'  Five days
after the &Bab had uttered this prediction, orders were issued
to transfer Him and me to the castle of &Mah-Ku and to
deliver us into the custody of &Ali &Khan-i-Mah-Ku'i."  
     The castle, a solid, four-towered stone edifice, occupies
the summit of a mountain at the foot of which lies the town
of &Mah-Ku.  The only road that leads from it passes into
that town, ending at a gate which adjoins the seat of government
and is invariably kept closed.  This gate is distinct
from that of the castle itself.  Situated on the confines of
both the Ottoman and Russian empires, this castle has been
used, in view of its commanding position and strategic advantages,
as a centre for reconnoitring purposes.  The officer
in charge of that station observed, in time of war, the movements
of the enemy, surveyed the surrounding regions, and
reported to his government such cases of emergency as came
 
+F1 Literally "the Open Mountain," allusion to &Mah-Ku.  The numerical value of
+F1 "&Jabal-i-Basit equivalent to that of "&Mah-Ku."  
+F2 Literally "the Grievous Mountain," allusion to &Chihrig.  The numerical
+F2 value of "&Jabal-i-Shadid" is equivalent to that of "&Chihrig."  
 
+P244
under his observation.  The castle is bounded on the west
by the river Araxes, which marks the frontier between the
territory of the &Shah and the Russian empire.  To the south
extends the territory of the &Sultan of Turkey; the frontier
town of &Bayazid being at a distance of only four farsangs+F1
from the mountain of &Mah-Ku.  The frontier officer, in
charge of the castle, was a man named &Ali &Khan.  The residents
of the town are all Kurds and belong to the &sunni
sect of &Islam.+F2  The &shi'ahs, who constitute the vast majority
of the inhabitants of Persia, have always been their avowed
and bitter enemies.  These Kurds particularly abhor
the siyyids of the &shi'ah denomination, whom they regard as the
spiritual leaders and chief agitators among their opponents.  
&Ali &Khan's mother being a Kurd, the son was held in great
esteem and was implicitly obeyed by the people of &Mah-Ku.  
They regarded him as a member of their own community
and placed the utmost confidence in him.  
     &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi had deliberately contrived to relegate
the &Bab to so remote, so inhospitable and dangerously situated
a corner of the territory of the &Shah, with the sole purpose
of stemming the tide of His rising influence and of
severing every tie that bound Him to the body of His disciples
throughout the country.  Confident that few, if any,
would venture to penetrate that wild and turbulent region,
occupied by so rebellious a people, he fondly imagined that
this forced seclusion of his Captive from the pursuits and
interests of His followers would gradually tend to stifle the
Movement at its very birth and would lead to its final extinction.+F3  
He was soon made to realise, however, that he
had gravely mistaken the nature of the Revelation of the
&Bab and had underrated the force of its influence.  The
turbulent spirits of this unruly people were soon subdued by
the gentle manners of the &Bab, and their hearts were softened
 
+F1 Refer to Glossary.  
+F2 "He dwells in a mountain of which the inhabitants could not even pronounce
+F2 the name `Jannat' (Paradise) which is an Arabic word; how then could they
+F2 understand its meaning?  Imagine then what can happen in the matter of the
+F2 essential truths!"  ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 4, p. 14.)  
+F3 "The country of the first minister on the &Adhirbayjan frontier, this
+F3 village was lifted out of obscurity under the administration of this
+F3 minister and many citizens of &Mah-Ku were raised to the highest offices in
+F3 the state, because of their slavish attitude toward &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi."  
+F3 (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 356, note 1.)  
 
+P245
by the ennobling influence of His love.  Their pride was
humbled by His unexampled modesty, and their unreasoning
arrogance mellowed by the wisdom of His words.  Such was
the fervour which the &Bab had kindled in those hearts that
their first act, every morning, was to seek a place whence
they could catch a glimpse of His face, where they could
commune with Him and beseech His blessings upon their
daily work.  In cases of dispute, they would instinctively
hasten to that spot and, with their gaze fixed upon His
prison, would invoke His name and adjure one another to
declare the truth.  &Ali &Khan several times attempted to
induce them to desist from this practice but found himself
powerless to restrain their enthusiasm.  He discharged his
functions with the utmost severity and refused to allow any
of the avowed disciples of the &Bab to reside, even for one
night, in the town of &Mah-Ku.+F1  
     "For the first two weeks," Siyyid &Husayn further related,
"no one was permitted to visit the &Bab.  My brother and I
alone were admitted to His presence.  Siyyid &Hasan would,
every day, accompanied by one of the guards, descend to
the town and purchase our daily necessities.  &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi,
who had arrived at &Mah-Ku, spent the nights in a
masjid outside the gate of the town.  He acted as an intermediary
between those of the followers of the &Bab who
occasionally visited &Mah-Ku and Siyyid &Hasan, my brother,
who would in turn submit the petitions of the believers to
their Master and would acquaint &Shaykh &Hasan with His
reply.  
 
+F1   "The &Bab himself tells us how he spent his days in the prison in which
+F1 he was held captive.  His lamentations, so frequent in the &Bayan, were, I
+F1 believe, due to the discipline which, from time to time, grew more severe
+F1 at the command from &Tihran.  All the historians, in fact, &Babis as well
+F1 as Moslem, tell us that in spite of the strict orders to keep the &Bab from
+F1 communicating with the outer world, the &Bab received great numbers of
+F1 disciples and strangers in his prison.  (The author of &Mutanabbiyyin
+F1 writes:  `The &Babis from all parts of the earth went to &Adhirbayjan on a
+F1 pilgrimage to their chief.')  
+F1   "`Oh!  How great is your blindness, O my children !  That which you do,
+F1 you do believing to please me!  And in spite of these verses which prove my
+F1 being, these verses which flow from my power, the treasure of which is the
+F1 very being of this personage (the &Bab), in spite of these verses which
+F1 come from his lips only by my permission, behold that, without any right
+F1 whatsoever, you have placed him on the summit of a mountain whose
+F1 inhabitants are not even worthy of mention.  Close to him, which is close
+F1 to me, there is no one except one of the Letters of the Living of my book.  
+F1 In his hands, which are my hands, there is not even a servant to light the
+F1 lamp at night.  And behold!  The men who are upon the earth have been
+F1 created only for his own existence:  it is through his good will that has
+F1 come all their joy and they do not give him even a light!'  (&Unite 2,
+F1 porte 1.)  
+F1   "`The fruit of the religion of &Islam is faith in the Manifestation (of
+F1 the &Bab) and behold they imprison him in &Mah-Ku!'  (&Unite 2, porte 7.)  
+F1 `All that belongs to the divinely Chosen One is in heaven.  This solitary
+F1 room (wherein I am) which has not even a door, is today the greatest of the
+F1 gardens of Paradise, for the Tree of Truth is planted herein.  All the
+F1 atoms of which it is composed cry out, "In truth, there is no other God but
+F1 God, and there is no other God beside me, the Lord of the Universe!"'  
+F1 (&Unite 2, porte 16.)  
+F1   "`The fruit of this door is that men, seeing that it is permitted to do
+F1 all that for the &Bayan (that is, spend so much money) which is only the
+F1 foreshadowing of Him whom God shall make manifest, must realize what should
+F1 be done for Him whom God shall make manifest, when he will appear, so that
+F1 he will be spared what is happening to me on this day.  That is to say,
+F1 that there are throughout the world many &Qur'ans worth thousands of
+F1 &tumans, while He who has showered verses (the &Bab) is imprisoned on a
+F1 mountain, in a room built of bricks baked in the sun.  And,
+F1 notwithstanding, that room is the Arch itself (9th heaven, the abode of
+F1 Divinity).  Let this be an example to the &Bayanis so that they may not act
+F1 toward Him as the believers in the &Qur'an have acted toward me.'  (Unite
+F1 3, porte 19.)"  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp.
+F1 365-367.)  
+F1   "All believe in Him, and still they have imprisoned him on a mountain!  
+F1 All are made glad in Him and they have abandoned him!  No fire is fiercer
+F1 for those who have acted thus than their very works; likewise for the
+F1 believers no heaven is higher than their own faith!"  ("Le &Bayan Persan,"
+F1 vol. 1, pp. 126-127.)  
 
+P246
     "One day the &Bab charged my brother to inform &Shaykh
&Hasan that He would Himself request &Ali &Khan to alter
his attitude towards the believers who visited &Mah-Ku and
to abandon his severity.  `Tell him,' He added, `I will to-morrow
instruct the warden to conduct him to this place.'  
I was greatly surprised at such a message.  How could the
domineering and self-willed &Ali &Khan, I thought to myself,
be induced to relax the severity of his discipline?  Early the
next day, the gate of the castle being still closed, we were
surprised by a sudden knock at the door, knowing full well
that orders had been given that no one was to be admitted
before the hour of sunrise.  We recognised the voice of &Ali
&Khan, who seemed to be expostulating with the guards, one
of whom presently came in and informed me that the warden
of the castle insisted on being allowed admittance into the
presence of the &Bab.  I conveyed his message and was commanded
to usher him at once into His presence.  As I was
stepping out of the door of His antechamber, I found &Ali
&Khan standing at the threshold in an attitude of complete
submission, his face betraying an expression of unusual humility
and wonder.  His self-assertiveness and pride seemed
to have entirely vanished.  Humbly and with extreme courtesy,
he returned my salute and begged me to allow him to
enter the presence of the &Bab.  I conducted him to the room
which my Master occupied.  His limbs trembled as he followed
me.  An inner agitation which he could not conceal
 
+P247
brooded over his face.  The &Bab arose from His seat and
welcomed him.  Bowing reverently, &Ali &Khan approached
and flung himself at His feet.  `Deliver me,' he pleaded, `from
my perplexity.  I adjure You, by the Prophet of God, Your
illustrious Ancestor, to dissipate my doubts, for their weight
has well-nigh crushed my heart.  I was riding through the
wilderness and was approaching the gate of the town, when,
it being the hour of dawn, my eyes suddenly beheld You
standing by the side of the river engaged in offering Your
prayer.  With outstretched arms and upraised eyes, You were
invoking the name of God.  I stood still and watched You.  
I was waiting for You to terminate Your devotions that I
might approach and rebuke You for having ventured to leave
the castle without my leave.  In Your communion with God,
You seemed so wrapt in worship that You were utterly forgetful
of Yourself.  I quietly approached You; in Your state
of rapture, You remained wholly unaware of my presence.  
I was suddenly seized with great fear and recoiled at the
thought of awakening You from Your ecstasy.  I decided to
leave You, to proceed to the guards and to reprove them for
their negligent conduct.  I soon found out, to my amazement,
that both the outer and inner gates were closed.  They were
opened at my request, I was ushered into Your presence, and
now find You, to my wonder, seated before me.  I am utterly
confounded.  I know not whether my reason has deserted
me.'  The &Bab answered and said:  `What you have witnessed
is true and undeniable.  You belittled this Revelation
and have contemptuously disdained its Author.  God, the
All-Merciful, desiring not to afflict you with His punishment,
has willed to reveal to your eyes the Truth.  By His Divine
interposition, He has instilled into your heart the love of
His chosen One, and caused you to recognise the unconquerable
power of His Faith.'"
     This marvellous experience completely changed the heart
of &Ali &Khan.  Those words had calmed his agitation and
subdued the fierceness of his animosity.  By every means in
his power, he determined to atone for his past behaviour.  
`A poor man, a &shaykh, he hastily informed the &Bab, "is
yearning to attain Your presence.  He lives in a masjid
outside the gate of &Mah-Ku.  I pray You that I myself be
 
+P248
allowed to bring him to this place that he may meet You.  
By this act I hope that my evil deeds may be forgiven, that
I may be enabled to wash away the stains of my cruel behaviour
toward Your friends."  His request was granted,
whereupon he went straightway to &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi
and conducted him into the presence of his Master.  
     &Ali &Khan set out, within the limits imposed upon him,
to provide whatever would tend to alleviate the rigour of
the captivity of the &Bab.  At night the gate of the castle
was still closed; in the daytime, however, those whom the
&Bab desired to see were allowed to enter His presence, were
able to converse with Him and to receive His instructions.  
     As He lay confined within the walls of the castle, He devoted
His time to the composition of the Persian &Bayan, the
most weighty, the most illuminating and comprehensive of all
His works.+F1  In it He laid down the laws and precepts of
His Dispensation, plainly and emphatically announced the
advent of a subsequent Revelation, and persistently urged
His followers to seek and find "Him whom God would make
manifest,"+F2 warning them lest they allow the mysteries and
allusions in the &Bayan to interfere with their recognition of
His Cause.+F3  
 
+F1   So great multitudes continued to come from all quarters to visit the
+F1 &Bab, and the writings which emanated from His inspired pen during this
+F1 period were so numerous that they amounted in all to more than a hundred
+F1 thousand verses."  (The "&Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 238.)  
+F1   "Behold, that about one hundred thousand lines similar to these verses
+F1 have been scattered among men not to mention the prayers and questions of
+F1 science and philosophy."  ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 1, p. 43.)  "Consider
+F1 also the Point of the &Bayan.  Those who are familiar with it know how
+F1 great its importance was before the manifestation; but thereafter, and
+F1 although it has revealed more than five hundred thousand verses upon
+F1 diverse subjects, attacks are made upon it which are so violent that no
+F1 writer would wish to relate them."  ("Le &Bayan Persan," vol. 3, p. 113.)  
+F1   "The verses which have rained from this Cloud of Divine mercy [the &Bab]
+F1 have been so abundant that none hath yet been able to estimate their
+F1 number.  A score of volumes are now available.  How many still remain
+F1 beyond our reach!  How many have been plundered and have fallen into the
+F1 hands of the enemy, the fate of which none knoweth!"  (The "&Kitab-i-Iqan,"
+F1 pp. 182-3.)  
+F2 Allusion to &Baha'u'llah.  "To &Mulla &Baqir, one of the Letters of the
+F2 Living--the glory and favour of God be upon him--He [the &Bab] addresses
+F2 these words:  `Haply, in the eighth year, the Day of His Manifestation,
+F2 thou mayest attain His presence.'"  ("The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,"
+F2 p.  129.)  
+F3   "It is always in the same line of thought that when imprisoned in &Mah-Ku
+F3 he addressed a long letter to the &Shah (&Muhammad &Shah) which we are
+F3 about to analyze here.  The document begins like nearly all the literary
+F3 documents of the &Bab with exalted praise of Divine Unity.  The &Bab
+F3 continues in praising, as is fitting, &Muhammad, the twelve &Imams, who, as
+F3 we shall see in the second volume of this work, are cornerstones of the
+F3 &Bayan edifice.  `I affirm,' he exclaims, `that everything which is in this
+F3 world of possibilities other than they, is, in comparison, as absolute
+F3 nothingness, and if one could express it at all, all that is but a shadow
+F3 of a shadow.  I ask God to pardon me for assigning to them such limits.  In
+F3 truth, the highest degree of praise which one can confer upon them is to
+F3 confess in their very presence that it is impossible to praise them....  
+F3   "`This is why God has created me out of a clay from which no one else has
+F3 been created.  And God has given me what the learned, with all their
+F3 science, are unable to understand, what no one can know unless he be
+F3 completely humbled before my revelation....  Know then in truth, I am a
+F3 pillar of the first word; whosoever knows that first word has known God
+F3 wholly, and has entered into the universal good.  Whosoever has refused to
+F3 know it has remained in ignorance of God and has entered into the universal
+F3 evil.  
+F3   "`I take God as witness, the Master of the two worlds, he who here below
+F3 lives as long as nature permits and remains all his life the servant of God
+F3 in all the works prescribed by true religion, if he entertains in his heart
+F3 any enmity towards me, even so little that God alone might be aware of it,
+F3 he is useless and God will prepare for him a punishment; he will be among
+F3 those destined to die.  God has determined the good which is implied in
+F3 obedience to me, and all the evil which follows disobedience to my
+F3 commands.  In truth, today I see all that I have just said; I see the
+F3 children of my love, the obedient ones in the highest heaven, while my
+F3 enemies are thrust into the depths of eternal fire!  
+F3   "`By my life, I swear, if I had not been obliged to accept the station of
+F3 the &Hujjat of God, I would not have warned you!'...  
+F3   "It is evident that the &Bab re-states his affirmations made in the
+F3 &Kitab-i-baynu'i-Haramayn without addition or retraction.  `I am,' he says,
+F3 `the Point from which all being flows.  I am that Face of God which never
+F3 dies!  I am that Light which is never extinguished!  He who knows me is
+F3 accompanied with all good, he who rejects me is pursued by evil.  In truth,
+F3 when Moses besought God that he might gaze upon Him, God radiated upon the
+F3 mountain and as the &hadith explains, "this light, I solemnly affirm was my
+F3 light."  Do you not see that the numerical value of the letters which make
+F3 up my name is equal to the value of those which compose the word Rabb
+F3 (Lord)?  But has not God said in the &Qur'an, "And when your Rabb radiates
+F3 upon the mountain"?'  
+F3   "The &Bab continues with a study of the prophecies contained in the
+F3 &Qur'an and in some of the &hadiths concerning the manifestation of the
+F3 &Mihdi.  He relates the celebrated &hadith of &Mufaddal which is one of the
+F3 strongest arguments in favor of the truth of his mission.  
+F3   "It is said in the &Qur'an, chapter 32, verse 4:  `From the heaven to the
+F3 earth, He governeth all things; hereafter shall they come up to Him on a
+F3 day whose length shall be a thousand of such years as ye reckon.'  (Note:  
+F3 J. M. Rodwell's translation.)  
+F3   "On the other hand, the last &Imam disappeared in the year 260 of the
+F3 Hegira; it is at that time that the prophetic manifestation is completed
+F3 and that `The door of science is closed.'  But &Mufaddal questioned the
+F3 &Imam &Sadiq as to the signs of the coming of the &Mihdi and the &Imam
+F3 answered:  `He will appear in the year sixty and his name will be
+F3 glorified.'  This means in the year 1260 which is precisely the year of the
+F3 manifestation of the &Bab.  
+F3   "On this subject Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad said:  `I declare before God I have
+F3 never been taught and my education has been that of a merchant.  In the
+F3 year sixty, I felt my heart filled with potent verses, with true knowledge
+F3 and with the testimony of God and I proclaimed my mission that very
+F3 year....  That same year I sent you a messenger (&Mulla &Husayn-i-Bushru'i)
+F3 carrying a Book, so that the government might fulfill its duty towards the
+F3 &Hujjat.  But the will of God being that civil war should break out which
+F3 would deafen the ears of men, blind their eyes and crush their hardened
+F3 hearts, the messenger was not permitted to reach you.  Those who considered
+F3 themselves patriots intervened and, even today, after a lapse of four
+F3 years, no one has told you the truth regarding this occurrence.  And now as
+F3 my time is near and my work is not human but divine, I have written briefly
+F3 to you.  
+F3   "`If you could know how during these four years your officials and
+F3 delegates have treated me!  If you knew, the fear of God would choke you
+F3 unless you would decide immediately to obey the &Hujjat and make amends for
+F3 the harm done.  
+F3   "`I was in &Shiraz and I suffered from this evil and accursed governor
+F3 such tyrannies that, if you knew even the least of them, your sense of
+F3 justice would exact revenge, because his cruelty has drawn the punishment
+F3 of heaven even unto the judgment day on the entire empire.  This man, very
+F3 proud and always inebriated, never gave an intelligent order.  I was forced
+F3 to leave &Shiraz and was on my way to visit you in &Tihran, but the late
+F3 &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih understood my mission and did what respect for God's
+F3 elect demands.  The ignorant of the city started an uprising and I,
+F3 therefore, hid myself in the Palace of &Sadr until the death of
+F3 &Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih.  May God reward him!  There is no doubt that his
+F3 salvation from eternal fire is due to what he has done for me.  Then
+F3 &Gurgin forced me to travel during seven nights with five other men,
+F3 exposed to every discomfort and brutality and deprived of every
+F3 necessity.  At last, the &Sultan ordered that I should be taken to &Mah-Ku
+F3 without even providing me with a mount.  I finally reached that village
+F3 whose inhabitants are ignorant and coarse.  I affirm before God, if you
+F3 knew in what place I dwell, you would be the first to pity me.  It is a
+F3 dungeon on a mountain top and I owe that to your kindness!  My companions
+F3 are two men and four dogs.  Imagine how I spend my days!  I thank God as He
+F3 should be thanked, and I declare before God that he who has thus imprisoned
+F3 me is satisfied with himself.  And if he only knew who it is he has so
+F3 treated he would never again taste happiness!  
+F3   "`And now I reveal a secret to you!  This man in imprisoning me has
+F3 imprisoned all of the prophets, all the saints and him who is filled with
+F3 divine wisdom.  There is no sin which has not brought me affliction.  When
+F3 I learned of your command (to take me to &Mah-Ku) I wrote to
+F3 &Sadr-i-A'zam:  "Kill me and send my head wherever you please, because to
+F3 live without sin among sinners does not please me."  He did not reply and I
+F3 am convinced that he did not understand the matter, because to sadden
+F3 without reason the hearts of the believers is worse than to destroy the
+F3 very house of God; but I declare that it is I who am today the house of
+F3 God!  Reward comes to him who is good to me; it is as though he were good
+F3 to God, to His angels and to His saints.  But perhaps God and His saints
+F3 are too high above us for the good or evil of men to reach their threshold,
+F3 but what happens to God, happens to me.  I declare before God that he who
+F3 has imprisoned me has imprisoned himself; only that which is the will of
+F3 God can happen to me.  Woe to him whose hand works evil!  Blessed is he who
+F3 scatters good!  
+F3   "`At last, to sum up this letter already too long:  The late &Mu'tamid,
+F3 one night, dismissed all his guests to retire, even &Haji &Mulla &Ahmad,
+F3 and then he said to me:  "I know very well that all I have acquired has
+F3 been obtained through force and all that I have belongs to the
+F3 &Sahibu'z-Zaman.  I therefore give it all to thee, thou art the Master of
+F3 Truth and I ask of thee the privilege of ownership."  He even took the ring
+F3 off his finger and gave it to me.  I took it and gave it back to him and I
+F3 sent him away in possession of all his goods.  God is witness of the truth
+F3 of this testimony.  I do not wish for a &dinar of his wealth, that is for
+F3 you to dispose of; but as, in any dispute, God requires the testimony of
+F3 two witnesses, from the midst of all the learned, call Siyyid &Yahya and
+F3 &Akhund &Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq.  They will show you and will explain my
+F3 verses and the truth of my testimony will appear.  
+F3   "`Of these two personages, one knew me before the manifestation, the
+F3 other afterward; I have chosen them because they both know me well!'  
+F3   "The letter ends with cabalistic proofs and some &hadiths.  It is clear
+F3 therefore that the &Bab was very unhappy in his prison.  He evidently
+F3 remained there a long time, as the document which we have quoted dates back
+F3 to 1264, and the execution of the martyr took place only on the
+F3 twenty-seventh of &Sha'ban of the year 1266 (July 8, 1850)."  (A. L. M.
+F3 Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 367-373.)  
 
+P249
     I have heard &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi bear witness to the
following:  "The voice of the &Bab, as He dictated the teachings
and principles of His Faith, could be clearly heard by
those who were dwelling at the foot of the mountain.  The
melody of His chanting, the rhythmic flow of the verses
which streamed from His lips caught our ears and penetrated
into our very souls.  Mountain and valley re-echoed the
majesty of His voice.  Our hearts vibrated in their depths
to the appeal of His utterance."+F1  
 
+F1   This is the prayer which the &Bab Himself quotes in the
+F1 "&Dalia'il-i-Sab'ih" as His supplication during the months of His captivity
+F1 in the castle of &Mah-Ku:  
+F1   "O my God!  Grant to him, to his descendants, to his family, to his
+F1 friends, to his subjects, to his relatives and all the inhabitants of the
+F1 earth the light which will clarify their vision and facilitate their task;
+F1 grant that they may partake of the noblest works here and hereafter!  
+F1   "In truth, nothing is impossible to Thee.  
+F1   "O my God! give him the power to bring about a revival of Thy religion
+F1 and give life by him to what Thou hast changed in Thy Book.  Manifest
+F1 through him Thy new commandments so that through him Thy religion may
+F1 blossom again!  Put into his hands a new Book, pure and holy, that this
+F1 Book may be free from all doubt and uncertainty and that no one may be able
+F1 to alter or destroy it.  
+F1   "O my God!  Dispel through Thy splendor all darkness and through his
+F1 evident power do away with the antiquated laws.  By his preeminence ruin
+F1 those who have not followed the ways of God.  Through him destroy all
+F1 tyrants, put an end, through his sword, to all discord; annihilate, through
+F1 his justice, all forms of oppression; render the rulers obedient to his
+F1 commandments; subordinate all the empires of the world to his empire!  
+F1   "O my God!  Humble everyone who desires to humble him; destroy all his
+F1 enemies; deny anyone who denies him and confuse anyone who spurns the
+F1 truth, resists his orders, endeavors to darken his light and blot his
+F1 name!"  
+F1   The &Bab then adds these words:  
+F1   "Repeat these benedictions often and, if time to recite them all be
+F1 lacking, do not fail to say at least the last.  Be awake on the day of the
+F1 apparition of Him whom God will manifest because this prayer has come down
+F1 from heaven for Him, although I hope no sorrow awaits Him; I have taught
+F1 the believers in my religion never to rejoice over the misfortune of
+F1 anyone.  It is possible therefore that at the time of the appearance of the
+F1 Sun of Truth no suffering may fall upon Him."  ("Le Livre des Sept
+F1 Preuves," translation of A. L. M. Nicolas, pp. 64-65.)  
 
+P250
     The gradual relaxation of the stern discipline imposed
upon the &Bab encouraged an increasing number of His disciples
from the different provinces of Persia to visit Him in
the castle of &Mah-Ku.  An unceasing stream of eager and
devout pilgrims was directed to its gates through the gentleness
and leniency of &Ali &Khan.+F1  After a stay of three days,
they would invariably be dismissed by the &Bab, with instructions
to return to their respective fields of service and to
resume their labours for the consolidation of His Faith.  &Ali
 
+F1 "L'auteur du &Mutanabiyyin &ecrit:  `Les &Babi de toutes les parties de la
+F1 terre se rendaient en &Adhirbayjan, en &pelerinage &aupres de leur chef.'"  
+F1 (Prince &Ali-Quli &Mirza, &I'tidadu's-Saltanih being the author.)  (A. L.
+F1 M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 365, note 227.)  
 
+P251
&Khan himself never failed to pay his respects to the &Bab
each Friday, and to assure Him of his unswerving loyalty
and devotion.  He often presented Him with the rarest and
choicest fruit available in the neighbourhood of &Mah-Ku,
and would continually offer Him such delicacies as he thought
would prove agreeable to His taste and liking.  
     In this manner the &Bab spent the summer and autumn
within the walls of that castle.  A winter followed of such
 
+P252
exceptional severity that even the copper implements were
affected by the intensity of the cold.  The beginning of that
season coincided with the month of &Muharram of the year
1264 A.H.+F1  The water which the &Bab used for His ablutions
was of such icy coldness that its drops glistened as they froze
upon His face.  He would invariably, after the termination
of each prayer, summon Siyyid &Husayn to His presence and
would request him to read aloud to Him a passage from the
&Muhriqu'l-Qulub, a work composed by the late &Haji &Mulla
&Mihdi, the great-grandfather of &Haji &Mirza &Kamalu'd-Din-i-Naraqi,
in which the author extols the virtues, laments the
death, and narrates the circumstances of the martyrdom of
the &Imam &Husayn.  The recital of those sufferings would
provoke intense emotion in the heart of the &Bab.  His tears
would keep flowing as He listened to the tale of the unutterable
indignities heaped upon him, and of the agonising pain
which he was made to suffer at the hands of a perfidious
enemy.  As the circumstances of that tragic life were unfolded
before Him, the &Bab was continually reminded of that
still greater tragedy which was destined to signalise the advent
of the promised &Husayn.  To Him those past atrocities
were but a symbol which foreshadowed the bitter afflictions
which His own beloved &Husayn was soon to suffer at the
hands of His countrymen.  He wept as He pictured in His
mind those calamities which He who was to be made manifest
was predestined to suffer, calamities such as the &Imam
&Husayn, even in the midst of his agonies, was never made
to endure.+F2  
 
+F1 December 9, 1847-January 8, 1848 A.D.  
+F2   "During his sojourn in &Mah-Ku, the &Bab composed a great number of
+F2 works amongst the most important of which may be especially mentioned the
+F2 Persian &Bayan and the Seven Proofs, (&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih) both of which
+F2 contain ample internal evidence of having been written at this period.  
+F2 Indeed, if we may credit a statement made in the &Tarikh-i-Jadid, on the
+F2 authority of &Mirza &Abdu'l-Vahhab, the various writings of the &Bab,
+F2 current in &Tabriz alone, amounted in all to not less than a million
+F2 verses!"  ("A Traveller's Narrative" Note L, p. 200.)  
+F2   Regarding the "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," Nicolas writes as follows:  "`The Book
+F2 of Seven Proofs' is the most important of the polemical works from the pen
+F2 of Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad, dit le &Bab."  (Preface, page 1.)  
+F2   "His correspondent evidently asked him for the proofs of his mission and
+F2 his answer is admirable for its precision and clearness.  It rests upon two
+F2 verses of the &Qur'an; according to the first, no one can reveal verses
+F2 even though assisted by the entire world of men and evil spirits; according
+F2 to the second, no one can understand the meaning of the verses of the
+F2 &Qur'an except God, and men of solid learning."  (Preface, p. 5.)  
+F2   "Clearly the arguments of the &Bab are new and original and one can see,
+F2 by this brief reference, of what profound interest must be his literary
+F2 work.  The scope of my work does not permit me to expound, even briefly,
+F2 the principal dogmas of a bold doctrine the form of which is both brilliant
+F2 and attractive.  I hope to do so in the future but I wish to make another
+F2 comment upon the `Book of the Seven Proofs':  toward the end of his book,
+F2 the &Bab speaks of the miracles which have accompanied his manifestation.  
+F2 This will probably astonish the readers, as we have seen the new apostle
+F2 deny clearly the truth of the physical miracles which the &Muhammadan
+F2 imagination attributes to &Muhammad.  He affirms that, for himself as well
+F2 as for the Arabian Prophet, the only proof of his mission was the
+F2 outpouring of the verses.  He offers no other proof, not because he is
+F2 unable to perform miracles, (God being all-powerful) but simply because
+F2 physical marvels are of inferior order in comparison with spiritual
+F2 miracles."  (Preface, pp. 12-13.)  ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves,"
+F2 translation by A. L. M. Nicolas.)  
 
+P253
     In one of His writings revealed in the year '60 A.H., the
&Bab declares the following:  "The spirit of prayer which animates
My soul is the direct consequence of a dream which
I had in the year before the declaration of My Mission.  In
My vision I saw the head of the &Imam &Husayn, the &Siyyidu'sh-Shuhada',
which was hanging upon a tree.  Drops of
blood dripped profusely from His lacerated throat.  With
feelings of unsurpassed delight, I approached that tree and,
stretching forth My hands, gathered a few drops of that
sacred blood, and drank them devoutly.  When I awoke, I
felt that the Spirit of God had permeated and taken possession
of My soul.  My heart was thrilled with the joy of His
Divine presence, and the mysteries of His Revelation were
unfolded before My eyes in all their glory."  
     No sooner had &Muhammad &Shah condemned the &Bab to
captivity amid the mountain fastnesses of &Adhirbayjan than
he became afflicted with a sudden reverse of fortune, such
as he had never known before and which struck at the very
foundations of his State.  Appalling disaster surprised his
forces that were engaged in maintaining internal order
throughout the provinces.+F1  The standard of rebellion was
 
+F1   "The province had been for some years the scene of serious uprisings.  
+F1 At the end of 1844 or at the beginning of 1845, the governor of &Bujnurd
+F1 had revolted against the authority of the &Shah and had made an alliance
+F1 with the Turkomans against Persia.  The Prince &Asifu'd-Dawlih, governor of
+F1 &Khurasan, asked the capital for assistance.  The general &Khan &Baba
+F1 &Khan, commander-in-chief of the Persian army, was ordered to send a
+F1 thousand men against the rebels but the scarcity of public funds prevented
+F1 the expedition.  The &Shah, therefore, planned to head personally a
+F1 campaign in the spring.  The preparations began immediately.  Soon ten
+F1 battalions, of one thousand men each, were ready awaiting the arrival of
+F1 Prince &Hamzih &Mirza, appointed general-in-chief of the expedition.  All
+F1 of a sudden, the governor of &Khurasan, &Asifu'd-Dawlih, brother of the
+F1 King's mother, feeling that his security was threatened by the suspicions
+F1 of the authorities at &Tihran, arrived at the Court humbly to protest at
+F1 the feet of the King and to assure him of his complete devotion, and demand
+F1 that his defamers be punished.  
+F1   "It so happened that the principal one among his adversaries was &Haji
+F1 &Mirza &Aqasi, the all-powerful prime minister.  A long trial took place
+F1 which ended with the defeat of the governor and he was ordered to go on a
+F1 pilgrimage to Mecca with the mother of the King.  
+F1   "The son of &Asifu'd-Dawlih, &Salar, guardian of the mosque at &Mashhad,
+F1 wealthy in his own right, confident because of his alliance with the chief
+F1 Kurd, &Ja'far-Quli &Khan, &Ilkhahni of the tribe of &Qajar, assumed a
+F1 hostile attitude.  Thereupon 3000 men and 12 pieces of artillery were sent
+F1 in retaliation and the government of &Khurasan was given into the hands of
+F1 &Hamzih &Mirza.  
+F1   "The news that &Ja'far-Quli &Khan, heading a large troop of cavalry, had
+F1 attacked the royal expedition, caused five more regiments and eighteen
+F1 additional field pieces to be sent.  On the twenty-eighth of October, 1847,
+F1 this uprising was completely crushed, through the victory of &Shah-rud
+F1 (September 15) and the defeat and flight of &Ja'far-Quli-Khan and of
+F1 &Salar."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp.
+F1 257-258.)  
 
+P254
hoisted in &Khurasan, and so great was the consternation
provoked by that rising that the projected campaign of the
&Shah to &Hirat was immediately abandoned.  &Haji &Mirza
&Aqasi's recklessness and prodigality had fanned into flame
the smouldering fires of discontent, had exasperated the
masses and encouraged them to stir up sedition and mischief.  
The most turbulent elements in &Khurasan that inhabited the
regions of &Quchan, &Bujnurd, and &Shiravan leagued themselves
with the &Salar, son of the &Asifu'd-Dawlih, the elder
maternal uncle of the &Shah and governor of the province,
and repudiated the authority of the central government.  
Whatever forces were despatched from the capital met with
immediate defeat at the hands of the chief instigators of the
rebellion.  &Ja'far-Quli &Khan-i-Namdar and &Amir &Arslan &Khan,
son of the &Salar, who conducted the operations against the
forces of the &Shah, displayed the utmost cruelty and, having
repulsed the attacks of the enemy, mercilessly put their
captives to death.  
     &Mulla &Husayn was at that time residing at &Mashhad,+F1
and was endeavouring, despite the tumult which that revolt
had occasioned, to spread the knowledge of the new Revelation.  
No sooner had he discovered that the &Salar, in his
desire to extend the scope of the rebellion, had determined
to approach him and obtain his support, than he promptly
decided to leave the city in order to avoid implicating himself
 
+F1   "&Mashhad is the greatest place of pilgrimage in all Persia, &Karbila
+F1 being, as everyone knows in Ottoman territory.  It is in &Mashhad that the
+F1 holy shrine of the &Imam &Rida is located.  I shall not enlarge upon the
+F1 hundreds of miracles that have taken place and still take place at this
+F1 shrine; it is enough to know that every year thousands of pilgrims visit
+F1 the tomb and return home only after the shrewd exploiters of that
+F1 productive business have separated them from their last penny.  The stream
+F1 of gold flows on and on for the benefit of the greedy officials; but these
+F1 officials need the cooperation of many partners to catch their innumerable
+F1 dupes in their nets.  This is, without doubt, the best organized industry
+F1 in Persia.  If one half of the city derives its living from the Mosque, the
+F1 other half is likewise keenly interested in the great concourse of
+F1 pilgrims.  The merchants, the restaurant and hotel keepers, even the young
+F1 women who find among the visitors an abundant supply of `husbands for a
+F1 day'!  
+F1   "All these people were naturally allied against a missionary whose
+F1 teachings were threatening their livelihood.  To denounce these abuses in
+F1 any other city was tolerable but it was quite improper to denounce them
+F1 where everyone of every class was thriving upon them.  The &Imam &Mihdi had
+F1 undoubtedly the right to come but he certainly was a public nuisance.  It
+F1 may have been very thrilling to undertake with him the conquest of the
+F1 world, but there was fatigue, risk and danger in the enterprise while now
+F1 they were enjoying perfect peace in a fine city where one could earn a
+F1 living with ease and security."  (Ibid., pp. 258-259.)  
 
+P255
self in the plots of that proud and rebellious chief.  In the
dead of night, with only &Qambar-'Ali as his attendant, he
proceeded on foot in the direction of &Tihran, from which
place he was determined to visit &Adhirbayjan, where he
hoped to meet the &Bab.  His friends, when they learned of
the manner of his departure, immediately provided whatever
would be conducive to the comforts of his long and arduous
journey and hastened to overtake him.  &Mulla &Husayn declined
their help.  "I have vowed," he said, "to walk the
whole distance that separates me from my Beloved.  I shall
not relax in my resolve until I shall have reached my destination."  
He even tried to induce &Qambar-'Ali to return
to &Mashhad, but was finally obliged to yield to his entreaty
to allow him to act as his servant throughout his pilgrimage to
&Adhirbayjan.  
     On his way to &Tihran, &Mulla &Husayn was enthusiastically
greeted by the believers in the different towns through which
he passed.  They addressed to him the same request and
received from him the same reply.  I have heard the following
testimony from the lips of &Aqay-i-Kalim:  "When &Mulla
&Husayn arrived at &Tihran, I, together with a large number
of believers, went to visit him.  He seemed to us the very
embodiment of constancy, of piety and virtue.  He inspired
us with his rectitude of conduct and passionate loyalty.  
Such were the force of his character and the ardour of his
faith that we felt convinced that he, unaided and alone,
would be capable of achieving the triumph of the Faith of
God."  He was, with secrecy, ushered into the presence of
&Baha'u'llah, and, soon after his interview, proceeded to
&Adhirbayjan.  
     The night before his arrival at &Mah-Ku, which was the
eve of the fourth &Naw-Ruz after the declaration of the
 
+P256
Mission of the &Bab, and which fell in that year, the year
1264 A.H.,+F1 on the thirteenth of the month of &Rabi'u'th-Thani,
&Ali &Khan dreamed a dream.  "In my sleep," he
thus relates his story, "I was startled by the sudden intelligence
that &Muhammad, the Prophet of God, was soon to
arrive at &Mah-Ku, that He was to proceed directly to the
castle in order to visit the &Bab and to offer Him His congratulations
on the advent of the &Naw-Ruz festival.  In my
dream, I ran out to meet Him, eager to extend to so holy a
Visitor the expression of my humble welcome.  In a state
of indescribable gladness, I hastened on foot in the direction
of the river, and as I reached the bridge, which lay at a
distance of a &maydan+F2 from the town of &Mah-Ku, I saw two
men advancing towards me.  I thought one of them to be
the Prophet Himself, while the other who walked behind
Him I supposed to be one of His distinguished companions.  
I hastened to throw myself at His feet, and was bending to
kiss the hem of His robe, when I suddenly awoke.  A great
joy had flooded my soul.  I felt as if Paradise itself, with all
its delights, had been crowded into my heart.  Convinced of
the reality of my vision, I performed my ablutions, offered
my prayer, arrayed myself in my richest attire, anointed
myself with perfume, and proceeded to the spot where, the
night before in my dream, I had gazed upon the countenance
of the Prophet.  I had instructed my attendants to saddle
three of my best and swiftest steeds and to conduct them
immediately to the bridge.  The sun had just risen when,
alone and unescorted, I walked out of the town of &Mah-Ku
in the direction of the river.  As I approached the bridge, I
discovered, with a throb of wonder, the two men whom I
had seen in my dream walking one behind the other, and
advancing towards me.  Instinctively I fell at the feet of
the one whom I believed to be the Prophet, and devoutly
kissed them.  I begged Him and His companion to mount
the horses which I had prepared for their entry into &Mah-Ku.  
`Nay,' was His reply, `I have vowed to accomplish the whole
of my journey on foot.  I will walk to the summit of this
mountain and will there visit your Prisoner.'"
     This strange experience of &Ali &Khan brought about a
 
+F1 1848 A.D.  
+F2 See Glossary.  
 
+P257
deepening of reverence in his attitude towards the &Bab.  His
faith in the potency of His Revelation became even greater,
and his devotion to Him was vastly increased.  In an attitude
of humble surrender, he followed &Mulla &Husayn until
they reached the gate of the castle.  As soon as the eyes of
&Mulla &Husayn fell upon the countenance of his Master, who
was seen standing at the threshold of the gate, he halted
instantly and, bowing low before Him, stood motionless by
His side.  The &Bab stretched forth His arms and affectionately
embraced him.  Taking him by the hand, He conducted
him to His chamber.  He then summoned His friends into
His presence and celebrated in their company the feast of
&Naw-Ruz.  Dishes of sweetmeats and of the choicest fruits
had been spread before Him.  He distributed them among
His assembled friends, and as He offered some of the quinces
and apples to &Mulla &Husayn, He said:  "These luscious fruits
have come to us from &Milan, the &Ard-i-Jannat,+F1 and have
been specially plucked and consecrated to this feast by the
&Ismu'llahu'l-Fatiq, &Muhammad-Taqi."  
     Until that time no one of the disciples of the &Bab but
Siyyid &Husayn-i-Yazdi and his brother had been allowed to
spend the night within the castle.  That day &Ali &Khan
went to the &Bab and said:  "If it be Your desire to retain
 
+F1 Literally "Land of Paradise."  
 
+P258
&Mulla &Husayn with You this night, I am ready to abide
by Your wish, for I have no will of my own.  However long
You desire him to stay with You, I pledge myself to carry
out Your command."  The disciples of the &Bab continued
to arrive in increasing numbers at &Mah-Ku, and were immediately
and without the least restriction admitted to His
presence.  
     One day, as the &Bab, in the company of &Mulla &Husayn,
was looking out over the landscape of the surrounding country
from the roof of the castle, He gazed towards the west and,
as He saw the Araxes winding its course far away below
Him, turned to &Mulla &Husayn and said:  "That is the river,
and this is the bank thereof, of which the poet &Hafiz has
thus written:  `O zephyr, shouldst thou pass by the banks
of the Araxes, implant a kiss on the earth of that valley and
make fragrant thy breath.  Hail, a thousand times hail, to
thee, O abode of &Salma!  How dear is the voice of thy camel-drivers,
how sweet the jingling of thy bells!'+F1  The days of
your stay in this country are approaching their end.  But
for the shortness of your stay, we would have shown you
the `abode of &Salma,' even as we have revealed to your eyes
the `banks of the Araxes.'"  By the "abode of &Salma" the
&Bab meant the town of &Salmas, which is situated in the
neighbourhood of &Chihriq and which the Turks designate as
&Salmas.  Continuing His remarks, the &Bab said:  "It is the
immediate influence of the Holy Spirit that causes words
such as these to stream from the tongue of poets, the significance
of which they themselves are oftentimes unable to
apprehend.  The following verse is also divinely inspired:  
`&Shiraz will be thrown into a tumult; a Youth of sugar-tongue
will appear.  I fear lest the breath of His mouth should
agitate and upset &Baghdad.'  The mystery enshrined
within this verse is now concealed; it will be revealed in the
year after &Hin."+F2  The &Bab subsequently quoted this well-known
tradition:  "Treasures lie hidden beneath the throne
 
+F1 According to &Haji &Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (pp. 67-8), &Mirza
+F1 &Habib-i-Shirazi better known by the name of &Qa'ini, one of the most
+F1 eminent poets of Persia, was the first to sing the praise of the &Bab and
+F1 to extol the loftiness of His station.  A manuscript copy of &Qa'ini's
+F1 poems, containing these verses, was shown to the author of the narrative.  
+F1 The following words, he says, were written at the head of the eulogy:  `In
+F1 praise of the manifestation of the &Siyyid-i-Bab.'  
+F2 See note 1, page 18.  
 
+P259
of God; the key to those treasures is the tongue of poets."  
He then, one after the other, related to &Mulla &Husayn those
events which must needs transpire in the future, and bade
him not to mention them to anyone.+F1  "A few days after
your departure from this place," the &Bab informed him,
"they will transfer Us to another mountain.  Ere you arrive
at your destination, the news of Our departure from &Mah-Ku
will have reached you."  
     The prediction which the &Bab had uttered was promptly
fulfilled.  Those who had been charged to watch secretly
the movements and conduct of &Ali &Khan submitted to
&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi a detailed report in which they expatiated
upon his extreme devotion to his Prisoner and described such
incidents as tended to confirm their statements.  "Day and
night," they wrote him, "the warden of the castle of &Mah-Ku
is to be seen associating with his captive in conditions of
unrestrained freedom and friendliness.  &Ali &Khan, who obstinately
refused to wed his daughter with the heir to the
throne of Persia, pleading that such an act would so infuriate
the &sunni relatives of his mother that they would unhesitatingly
put him and his daughter to death, now with the keenest
eagerness desires that same daughter to be espoused to the
&Bab.  The latter has refused, but &Ali &Khan still persists in
his entreaty.  But for the prisoner's refusal, the nuptials of
the maiden would have been already celebrated."  &Ali &Khan
had actually made such a request and had even begged &Mulla
&Husayn to intercede in his behalf with the &Bab but had
failed to obtain His consent.  
     These malevolent reports had an immediate influence
upon &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi.  Fear and resentment again impelled
that capricious minister to issue a peremptory order for the
transference of the &Bab to the castle of &Chihriq.  
     Twenty days after &Naw-Ruz, the &Bab bade farewell to
the people of &Mah-Ku, who, in the course of His nine months'
captivity, had recognised to a remarkable degree the power
 
+F1 In the "&Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," the &Bab reveals the following:  "The &hadith
+F1 `&Adhirbayjan' referring to this matter says:  `The things which will
+F1 happen in &Adhirbayjan are necessary for us, nothing can prevent their
+F1 occurrence.  Remain therefore in your homes, but if you hear that an
+F1 agitator has appeared then hasten towards him.'  And the &hadith continues,
+F1 saying:  `Woe to the Arabs, for the civil war is near!'  If, in speaking
+F1 these last words, the Prophet had intended to refer to his own mission, his
+F1 statement would have been vain and worthless."  ("The Book of Seven
+F1 Proofs," Nicolas' translation, p. 47.)  
 
+P260
of His personality and the greatness of His character.  &Mulla
&Husayn, who had already, at the bidding of the &Bab, departed
from &Mah-Ku, was still in &Tabriz when the news of his
Master's predicted transference to &Chihriq reached him.  As
the &Bab bade His last farewell to &Mulla &Husayn, He addressed
him in these words:  "You have walked on foot all the way
from your native province to this place.  On foot you likewise
must return until you reach your destination; for your
days of horsemanship are yet to come.  You are destined
to exhibit such courage, such skill and heroism as shall
eclipse the mightiest deeds of the heroes of old.  Your daring
exploits will win the praise and admiration of the dwellers
in the eternal Kingdom.  You should visit, on your way, the
believers of &Khuy, of &Urumiyyih, of &Maraghih, of &Milan, of
&Tabriz, of &Zanjan, of &Qazvin, and of &Tihran.  To each you
will convey the expression of My love and tender affection.  
You will strive to inflame their hearts anew with the fire of
the love of the Beauty of God, and will endeavour to fortify
their faith in His Revelation.  From &Tihran you should proceed
to &Mazindaran, where God's hidden treasure will be
made manifest to you.  You will be called upon to perform
deeds so great as will dwarf the mightiest achievements of
the past.  The nature of your task will, in that place, be
revealed to you, and strength and guidance will be bestowed
upon you that you may be fitted to render your service to
His Cause."  
     On the morning of the ninth day after &Naw-Ruz, &Mulla
&Husayn set forth, as bidden by his Master, on his journey
to &Mazindaran.  To &Qambar-'Ali the &Bab addressed these
parting words:  "The &Qambar-'Ali of a bygone age would
glory in that his namesake has lived to witness a Day for
which even He+F1 who was the Lord of his lord sighed in
vain; of which He, with keen longing, has spoken:  `Would
that My eyes could behold the faces of My brethren who
have been privileged to attain unto His Day!'"
 
+F1 Reference to the Prophet &Muhammad.  
 
+P261
                         CHAPTER XIV
           &MULLA &HUSAYN'S JOURNEY TO &MAZINDARAN
 
     &ALI &KHAN cordially invited &Mulla &Husayn to tarry
a few days in his home before his departure from
&Mah-Ku.  He expressed a keen desire to provide
every facility for his journey to &Mazindaran.  The
latter, however, refused to delay his departure or to avail
himself of the means of comfort which &Ali &Khan had so
devotedly placed at his disposal.  
     He, faithful to the instructions he had received, stopped
at every town and village that the &Bab had directed him to
visit, gathered the faithful, conveyed to them the love, the
greetings, and the assurances of their beloved Master, quickened
afresh their zeal, and exhorted them to remain steadfast
in His way.  In &Tihran he was again privileged to enter the
presence of &Baha'u'llah and to receive from His hands that
spiritual sustenance which enabled him, with such undaunted
courage, to brave the perils that so fiercely assailed the closing
days of his life.  
     From &Tihran &Mulla &Husayn proceeded to &Mazindaran in
eager expectation of witnessing the revelation of the hidden
treasure promised to him by his Master.  &Quddus was at
that time living in &Barfurush in the home which had originally
belonged to his own father.  He freely associated with all
classes of people, and by the gentleness of his character and
the wide range of his learning had won the affection and
unqualified admiration of the inhabitants of that town.  Upon
his arrival in that city, &Mulla &Husayn went directly to the
home of &Quddus and was affectionately received by him.  
&Quddus himself waited upon his guest, and did his utmost
to provide whatever seemed necessary for his comfort.  With
his own hands he removed the dust, and washed the blistered
skin of his feet.  He offered him the seat of honour in
the company of his assembled friends, and introduced, with
 
+P262
extreme reverence, each of the believers who had gathered
to meet him.  
     On the night of his arrival, as soon as the believers who
had been invited to dinner to meet &Mulla &Husayn had returned
to their homes, the host, turning to his guest, enquired
whether he would enlighten him more particularly regarding
his intimate experiences with the &Bab in the castle of &Mah-Ku.  
"Many and diverse," replied &Mulla &Husayn, "were the things
which I heard and witnessed in the course of my nine days'
association with Him.  He spoke to me of things relating
both directly and indirectly to His Faith.  He gave me,
however, no definite directions as to the course I should
pursue for the propagation of His Cause.  All He told me
was this:  `On your way to &Tihran, you should visit the
believers in every town and village through which you pass.  
From &Tihran you should proceed to &Mazindaran, for there
lies a hidden treasure which shall be revealed to you, a treasure
which will unveil to your eyes the character of the task
you are destined to perform.'  By His allusions I could,
however dimly, perceive the glory of His Revelation and was
able to discern the signs of the future ascendancy of His
Cause.  From His words I gathered that I should eventually
be called upon to sacrifice my unworthy self in His path.  
For on previous occasions, whenever dismissing me from His
presence, the &Bab would invariably assure me that I should
again be summoned to meet Him.  This time, however, as
He spoke to me His parting words, He gave me no such
promise, nor did He allude to the possibility of my ever
meeting Him again face to face in this world.  `The Feast
of Sacrifice,' were His last words to me, `is fast approaching.  
Arise and gird up the loin of endeavour, and let nothing
detain you from achieving your destiny.  Having attained
your destination, prepare yourself to receive Us, for We too
shall ere long follow you.'"
     &Quddus enquired whether he had brought with him any
of his Master's writings, and, on being informed that he had
none with him, presented his guest with the pages of a
manuscript which he had in his possession, and requested
him to read certain of its passages.  As soon as he had read
a page of that manuscript, his countenance underwent a
 
+P263
sudden and complete change.  His features betrayed an
undefinable expression of admiration and surprise.  The loftiness,
the profundity--above all, the penetrating influence of
the words he had read, provoked intense agitation in his
heart and called forth the utmost praise from his lips.  Laying
down the manuscript, he said:  "I can well realise that the
Author of these words has drawn His inspiration from that
Fountainhead which stands immeasurably superior to the
sources whence the learning of men is ordinarily derived.  I
hereby testify to my whole-hearted recognition of the sublimity
of these words and to my unquestioned acceptance
of the truth which they reveal."  From the silence which
&Quddus observed, as well as from the expression which his
countenance betokened, &Mulla &Husayn concluded that no
one else except his host could have penned those words.  He
instantly arose from his seat and, standing with bowed head
at the threshold of the door, reverently declared:  "The
hidden treasure of which the &Bab has spoken, now lies unveiled
before my eyes.  Its light has dispelled the gloom of
perplexity and doubt.  Though my Master be now hidden
amid the mountain fastnesses of &Adhirbayjan, the sign of
His splendour and the revelation of His might stand manifest
before me.  I have found in &Mazindaran the reflection of
His glory."  
     How grave, how appalling the mistake of &Haji &Mirza
&Aqasi!  This foolish minister had vainly imagined that by
condemning the &Bab to a life of hopeless exile in a remote
and sequestered corner of &Adhirbayjan, he would succeed in
concealing from the eyes of his countrymen that Flame of
God's undying Fire.  Little did he perceive that by setting
up the Light of God upon a hill, he was helping to diffuse
its radiance and to proclaim its glory.  By his own acts, by
his amazing miscalculations, instead of hiding that heavenly
Flame from the eyes of men, he gave it still further prominence
and helped to excite its glow.  How fair, on the other
hand, was &Mulla &Husayn, and how keen and sure his judgment!  
Of those who had known and seen him, none could
for one moment question the erudition of this youth, his
charm, his high integrity and amazing courage.  Had he,
after the death of Siyyid &Kazim, declared himself the promised
 
+P264
&Qa'im, the most distinguished among his fellow-disciples
would have unanimously acknowledged his claim and submitted
to his authority.  Had not &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mamaqani,
that noted and learned disciple of &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i,
after he was made acquainted in &Tabriz by &Mulla
&Husayn with the claims of the new Revelation, declared:  "I
take God as my witness!  Had this claim which the &Siyyid-i-Bab
has made been advanced by this same &Mulla &Husayn
I would, in view of his remarkable traits of character and
breadth of knowledge, have been the first to champion his
cause and to proclaim it to all people.  As he, however, has
chosen to subordinate himself to another person, I have
ceased to have any confidence in his words and have refused
to respond to his appeal."  Had not Siyyid &Muhammad-Baqir-i-Rashti,
when he heard &Mulla &Husayn so ably resolve
the perplexities which had long afflicted his mind, testified
in such glowing terms to his high attainments:  "I, who
fondly imagined myself capable of confounding and silencing
Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti, realised, when I first met and conversed
with him who claims to be only his humble disciple,
how grievously I had erred in my judgment.  Such is the
strength with which this youth seems endowed that if he
were to declare the day to be night, I would still believe
him able to deduce such proofs as would conclusively demonstrate,
in the eyes of the learned divines, the truth of his
statement."  
     On the very night he was brought in contact with the
&Bab, &Mulla &Husayn, though at first conscious of his own
infinite superiority and predisposed to belittle the claims
advanced by the son of an obscure merchant of &Shiraz, did
not fail to perceive, as soon as his Host had begun to unfold
His theme, the incalculable benefits latent in His Revelation.  
He eagerly embraced His Cause and disdainfully abandoned
whatever might hamper his own efforts for the proper understanding
and the effective promotion of its interests.  And
when, in due course, &Mulla &Husayn was given the opportunity
of appreciating the transcendent sublimity of the writings of
&Quddus, he, with his usual sagacity and unerring judgment,
was likewise able to estimate the true worth and merit of
those special gifts with which both the person and the utterance
 
+P265
of &Quddus were endowed.  The vastness of his own
acquired knowledge dwindled into insignificance before the
all-encompassing, the God-given virtues which the spirit of
this youth displayed.  That very moment, he pledged his
undying loyalty to him who so powerfully mirrored forth the
radiance of his own beloved Master.  He felt it to be his first
obligation to subordinate himself entirely to &Quddus, to follow
in his footsteps, to abide by his will, and to ensure by
every means in his power his welfare and safety.  Until the
hour of his martyrdom, &Mulla &Husayn remained faithful to
his pledge.  In the extreme deference which he henceforth
showed to &Quddus, he was solely actuated by a firm and
unalterable conviction of the reality of those supernatural
gifts which so clearly distinguished him from the rest of his
fellow-disciples.  No other consideration induced him to show
such deference and humility in his behaviour towards one who
seemed to be but his equal.  &Mulla &Husayn's keen
insight swiftly apprehended the magnitude of the power that
lay latent in him, and the nobility of his character impelled
him to demonstrate befittingly his recognition of that truth.  
     Such was the transformation wrought in the attitude of
&Mulla &Husayn towards &Quddus that the believers who gathered
the next morning at his house were extremely surprised
to find that the guest who the night before had occupied
the seat of honour, and upon whom had been lavished such
kindness and hospitality, had given his seat to his host and
was now standing, in his place, at the threshold in an attitude
of complete humility.  The first words which, in the company
of the assembled believers, &Quddus addressed to &Mulla
&Husayn were the following:  "Now, at this very hour, you
should arise and, armed with the rod of wisdom and of might,
silence the host of evil plotters who strive to discredit the
fair name of the Faith of God.  You should face that multitude
and confound their forces.  You should place your
reliance upon the grace of God, and should regard their
machinations as a futile attempt to obscure the radiance of
the Cause.  You should interview the &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama', that
notorious and false-hearted tyrant, and should fearlessly disclose
to his eyes the distinguishing features of this Revelation.  
From thence you should proceed to &Khurasan.  In the town
 
+P266
of &Mashhad, you should build a house so designed as both
to serve for our private residence and at the same time
afford adequate facilities for the reception of our guests.  
Thither we shall shortly journey, and in that house we shall
dwell.  To it you shall invite every receptive soul who we
hope may be guided to the River of everlasting life.  We
shall prepare and admonish them to band themselves together
and proclaim the Cause of God."  
     &Mulla &Husayn set out the next day at the hour of sunrise
to interview the &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'.  Alone and unaided, he
sought his presence and conveyed to him, as bidden by
&Quddus, the Message of the new Day.  With fearlessness
and eloquence, he pleaded, in the midst of the assembled
disciples, the Cause of his beloved Master, called upon him
to demolish those idols which his own idle fancy had carved
and to plant upon their shattered fragments the standard of
Divine guidance.  He appealed to him to disentangle his
mind from the fettering creeds of the past, and to hasten,
free and untrammelled, to the shores of eternal salvation.  
With characteristic vigour, he defeated every argument with
which that specious sorcerer sought to refute the truth of
the Divine Message, and exposed, by means of his unanswerable
logic, the fallacies of every doctrine that he endeavoured
to propound.  Assailed by the fear lest the congregation of
his disciples should unanimously rally round the person of
&Mulla &Husayn, the &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama' had recourse to the
meanest of devices, and indulged in the most abusive language
in the hope of safeguarding the integrity of his position.  
He hurled his calumnies into the face of &Mulla &Husayn,
and, contemptuously ignoring the proofs and testimonies
adduced by his opponent, confidently asserted, without the
least justification on his part, the futility of the Cause he
had been summoned to embrace.  No sooner had &Mulla
&Husayn realised his utter incapacity to apprehend the significance
of the Message he had brought him than he arose
from his seat and said:  "My argument has failed to rouse
you from your sleep of negligence.  My deeds will in the
days to come prove to you the power of the Message you
have chosen to despise."  He spoke with such vehemence
and emotion that the &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama' was utterly confounded.  
 
+P267
Such was the consternation of his soul that he was unable
to reply.  &Mulla &Husayn then turned to a member of that
audience who seemed to have felt the influence of his words,
and charged him to relate to &Quddus the circumstances of
this interview.  "Say to him," he added:  "`Inasmuch as
you did not specifically command me to seek your presence,
I have determined to set out immediately for &Khurasan.  I
proceed to carry out in their entirety those things which
you have instructed me to perform.'"
     Alone and with a heart wholly detached from all else
but God, &Mulla &Husayn set out on his journey to &Mashhad.  
His only companion, as he trod his way to &Khurasan, was
the thought of accomplishing faithfully the wishes of &Quddus,
and his one sustenance the consciousness of his unfailing
promise.  He went directly to the home of &Mirza &Muhammad-Baqir-i-Qa'ini,
and was soon able to buy, in the neighbourhood
of that house in &Bala-Khiyaban, a tract of land on
which he began to erect the house which he had been commanded
to build, and to which he gave the name of &Babiyyih,
a name that it bears to the present day.  Shortly after it
was completed, &Quddus arrived at &Mashhad and abode in
that house.  A steady stream of visitors, whom the energy
and zeal of &Mulla &Husayn had prepared for the acceptance
of the Faith, poured into the presence of &Quddus, acknowledged
the claim of the Cause, and willingly enlisted under
its banner.  The all-observing vigilance with which &Mulla
&Husayn laboured to diffuse the knowledge of the new Revelation,
and the masterly manner in which &Quddus edified its
ever-increasing adherents, gave rise to a wave of enthusiasm
which swept over the entire city of &Mashhad, and the effects
of which spread rapidly beyond the confines of &Khurasan.  
The house of &Babiyyih was soon converted into a rallying
centre for a multitude of devotees who were fired with an
inflexible resolve to demonstrate, by every means in their
power, the great inherent energies of their Faith.  
 
+P268
                         CHAPTER XV
                  &TAHIRIH'S JOURNEY FROM
                   &KARBILA TO &KHURASAN
 
     AS THE appointed hour approached when, according
to the dispensations of Providence, the veil which
still concealed the fundamental verities of the Faith
was to be rent asunder, there blazed forth in the
heart of &Khurasan a flame of such consuming intensity that
the most formidable obstacles standing in the way of the
ultimate recognition of the Cause melted away and vanished.+F1  
That fire caused such a conflagration in the hearts of men
that the effects of its quickening power were felt in the most
outlying provinces of Persia.  It obliterated every trace of
the misgivings and doubts which had still lingered in the
hearts of the believers, and had hitherto hindered them from
apprehending the full measure of its glory.  The decree of
the enemy had condemned to perpetual isolation Him who
was the embodiment of the beauty of God, and sought thereby
to quench for all time the flame of His love.  The hand of
Omnipotence, however, was busily engaged, at a time when
the host of evil-doers were darkly plotting against Him, in
confounding their schemes and in nullifying their efforts.  In
the easternmost province of Persia, the Almighty had, through
the hand of &Quddus, lit a fire that glowed with the hottest
flame in the breasts of the people of &Khurasan.  And in
&Karbila, beyond the western confines of that land, He had
kindled the light of &Tahirih, a light that was destined to
shed its radiance upon the whole of Persia.  From the east
 
+F1 "It will surprise no one to learn," writes Clement Huart, "that the new
+F1 sect spread more rapidly in &Khurasan than it had anywhere else.  
+F1 &Khurasan has been singularly fortunate in that she has always offered to
+F1 new ideas the most propitious field.  It is out of this province that came
+F1 many evolutions which caused fundamental changes in the &Muhammadan
+F1 Orient.  It is enough to recall that in &Khurasan the idea of the Persian
+F1 renovation originated after the Arabian conquest.  It was there likewise
+F1 that the army was organized which, under the orders of &Abu-Muslim placed
+F1 the Abbassides upon the throne of the &Khalifs by overthrowing the
+F1 aristocracy of Mecca which had occupied it since the accession of the
+F1 Umayyads."  ("La Religion de &Bab," pp. 18-19.)  
 
+P269
and from the west of that country, the voice of the Unseen
summoned those twin great lights to hasten to the land of
&Ta,+F1 the day-spring of glory, the home of &Baha'u'llah.  He
bade them each seek the presence, and revolve round the
person of that Day-Star of Truth, to seek His advice, to
reinforce His efforts, and to prepare the way for His coming
Revelation.  
     In pursuance of the Divine decree, in the days when
&Quddus was still residing in &Mashhad, there was revealed
from the pen of the &Bab a Tablet addressed to all the believers
of Persia, in which every loyal adherent of the Faith
was enjoined to "hasten to the Land of &Kha," the province
of &Khurasan.+F2  The news of this high injunction spread with
marvellous rapidity and aroused universal enthusiasm.  It
reached the ears of &Tahirih, who, at that time, was residing
in &Karbila and was bending every effort to extend the scope
of the Faith she had espoused.+F3  She had left her native
town of &Qazvin and had arrived, after the death of Siyyid
&Kazim, at that holy city, in eager expectation of witnessing
the signs which the departed siyyid had foretold.  In the
foregoing pages we have seen how instinctively she had been
led to discover the Revelation of the &Bab and how spontaneously
she had acknowledged its truth.  Unwarned and uninvited,
she perceived the dawning light of the promised Revelation
breaking upon the city of &Shiraz, and was prompted
to pen her message and plead her fidelity to Him who was
the Revealer of that light.  
     The &Bab's immediate response to her declaration of faith
which, without attaining His presence, she was moved to
make, animated her zeal and vastly increased her courage.  
She arose to spread abroad His teachings, vehemently denounced
the corruption and perversity of her generation, and
fearlessly advocated a fundamental revolution in the habits
 
+F1 &Tihran.  
+F2 "It is believed," writes Lieut.-Col. P. M. Sykes, "that the twelfth &Imam
+F2 never died, but in A.H. 260 (873) disappeared into miraculous concealment,
+F2 from which he will reappear on the Day of Judgment in the mosque of
+F2 &Gawhar-Shad at &Mashhad, to be hailed as the &Mihdi or `Guide' and to fill
+F2 the earth with justice."  ("A History of Persia," vol. 2, p. 45.)  
+F3 According to &Muhammad &Mustafa (p. 108), &Tahirih arrived in &Karbila in
+F3 the year 1263 A.H.  She visited &Kufih and the surrounding district, and
+F3 was engaged in spreading the teachings of the &Bab.  She shared with the
+F3 people whom she met the writings of her Master, among which was His
+F3 commentary on the &Surih of &Kawthar.  
 
+P270
and manners of her people.'  Her indomitable spirit was
quickened by the fire of her love for the &Bab, and the glory
of her vision was further enhanced by the discovery of the
inestimable blessings latent in His Revelation.  The innate
fearlessness and the strength of her character were reinforced
a hundredfold by her immovable conviction of the ultimate
victory of the Cause she had embraced; and her boundless
energy was revitalised by her recognition of the abiding value
of the Mission she had risen to champion.  All who met her
in &Karbila were ensnared by her bewitching eloquence and
felt the fascination of her words.  None could resist her
charm; few could escape the contagion of her belief.  All
testified to the extraordinary traits of her character, marvelled
at her amazing personality, and were convinced of the sincerity
of her convictions.  
     She was able to win to the Cause the revered widow of
Siyyid &Kazim, who was born in &Shiraz, and was the first
among the women of &Karbila to recognise its truth.  I have
heard &Shaykh &Sultan describe her extreme devotion to
&Tahirih, whom she revered as her spiritual guide and esteemed
as her affectionate companion.  He was also a fervent admirer
of the character of the widow of the Siyyid, to whose
gentleness of manner he often paid a glowing tribute.  "Such
was her attachment to &Tahirih," &Shaykh &Sultan was often
heard to remark, "that she was extremely reluctant to allow
that heroine who was a guest in her house to absent herself,
though it were for an hour, from her presence.  So great an
attachment on her part did not fail to excite the curiosity
and quicken the faith of her women friends, both Persian
and Arab, who were constant visitors in her home.  In the
first year of her acceptance of the Message, she suddenly
 
+F1 "It was in her own family that she heard, for the first time, of the
+F1 preaching of the &Bab at &Shiraz and learned the meaning of his doctrines.  
+F1 This knowledge, even incomplete and imperfect as it was, pleased her
+F1 extremely; she began to correspond with the &Bab and soon espoused all his
+F1 ideas.  She did not content herself with a passive sympathy but confessed
+F1 openly the faith of her Master.  She denounced not only polygamy but the
+F1 use of the veil and showed her face uncovered in public to the great
+F1 amazement and scandal of her family and of all the sincere Mussulmans but
+F1 to the applause of many other fellow citizens who shared her enthusiasm and
+F1 whose numbers grew as a result of her preaching.  Her uncle the doctor, her
+F1 father the jurist, and her husband tried in every way to bring her back at
+F1 least to a conduct more calm and more reserved.  She rebuffed them with
+F1 arguments inspired by a faith incapable of placid resignation."  (Comte de
+F1 Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp.
+F1 137-138.)  
 
+P271
fell ill, and after the lapse of three days, as had been
the case with Siyyid &Kazim, she departed this life."  
     Among the men who in &Karbila eagerly embraced, through
the efforts of &Tahirih, the Cause of the &Bab, was a certain
&Shaykh &Salih, an Arab resident of that city who was the
first to shed his blood in the path of the Faith, in &Tihran.  
She was so profuse in her praise of &Shaykh &Salih that a few
suspected him of being equal in rank to &Quddus.  &Shaykh
&Sultan was also among those who fell under the spell of
&Tahirih.  On his return from &Shiraz, he identified himself
with the Faith, boldly and assiduously promoted its interests,
and did his utmost to execute her instructions and wishes.  
Another admirer was &Shaykh &Muhammad-i-Shibl, the father
of &Muhammad-Mustafa, an Arab native of &Baghdad who
ranked high among the &ulamas of that city.  By the aid of
this chosen band of staunch and able supporters, &Tahirih
was able to fire the imagination and to enlist the allegiance
of a considerable number of the Persian and Arab inhabitants
of &Iraq, most of whom were led by her to join forces with
those of their brethren in Persia who were soon to be called
upon to shape by their deeds the destiny, and to seal with
their life-blood the triumph, of the Cause of God.  
     The &Bab's appeal, which was originally addressed to His
followers in Persia, was soon transmitted to the adherents of
His Faith in &Iraq.  &Tahirih gloriously responded.  Her example
was followed immediately by a large number of her
faithful admirers, all of whom expressed their readiness to
journey forthwith to &Khurasan.  The &ulamas of &Karbila
sought to dissuade her from undertaking that journey.  Perceiving
immediately the motive which prompted them to
tender her such advice, and aware of their malignant design,
she addressed to each of these sophists a lengthy epistle in
which she set forth her motives and exposed their dissimulation.+F1  
 
+F1 According to Samandar (manuscript, p. 9), the main reason for the agitation
+F1 of the people of &Karbila which induced them to accuse &Tahirih before the
+F1 governor of &Baghdad was her bold action in disregarding the anniversary
+F1 of the martyrdom of &Husayn which was being commemorated in the early days
+F1 of the month of &Muharram in the house of the late Siyyid &Kazim in
+F1 &Karbila, and in celebrating instead the anniversary of the birthday of
+F1 the &Bab, which fell on the first day of that month.  She is reported to
+F1 have asked her sister and relatives to discard their mourning garb and wear
+F1 instead gay attire, in open defiance of the customs and traditions of the
+F1 people on that occasion.  
 
+P272
     From &Karbila she proceeded to &Baghdad.+F1  A representative
delegation, consisting of the ablest leaders among the
&shi'ah, the &sunni, the Christian and Jewish communities of
that city, sought her presence and endeavoured to convince
her of the folly of her actions.  She was able, however, to
silence their protestations, and astounded them with the
force of her argument.  Disillusioned and confused, they
retired, deeply conscious of their own impotence.+F2  
     The &ulamas of &Kirmanshah respectfully received her and
presented her with various tokens of their esteem and admiration.+F3  
In &Hamadan,+F4 however, the ecclesiastical leaders
 
+F1 According to &Muhammad &Mustafa (pp. 108-9), the following disciples and
+F1 companions were with &Tahirih when she arrived in &Baghdad:  &Mulla
+F1 &Ibrahim-i-Mahallati, &Shaykh &Salih-i-Karimi, Siyyid &Ahmad-i-Yazdi
+F1 (father of Siyyid &Husayn, the amanuensis of the &Bab) Siyyid
+f1 &Muhammad-i-Bayigani, &Shaykh &Sultan-i-Karbila'i, the mother of &Mulla
+F1 &Husayn and her daughter, the wife of &Mirza &Hadiy-i-Nahri and his
+F1 mother.  According to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (p. 94), the mother and sister
+F1 of &Mulla &Husayn were among the ladies and disciples who accompanied
+F1 &Tahirih on her journey from &Karbila to &Baghdad.  On their arrival they
+F1 took up their quarters in the house of &Shaykh
+F1 &Muhammad-ibn-i-Shiblu'l-'Araqi, after which they were transferred, by
+F1 order of the governor of &Baghdad to the house of the &Mufti Siyyid
+F1 &Mahmud-i-Aluri, the well known author of the celebrated commentary
+F1 entitled "&Ruhu'-Ma'ani," pending the receipt of fresh instructions from
+F1 the &Sultan in Constantinople.  The "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'" further adds (p. 96)
+F1 that in the "&Ruhu'l-Ma'ani" references are reported to have been found to
+F1 the conversations which the &Mufti had had with &Tahirih, to whom, it is
+F1 reported, he addressed these words:  "O &Qurratu'l-'Ayn!  I swear by God
+F1 that I share in thy belief.  I am apprehensive, however, of the swords of
+F1 the family of &Uthman."  "She proceeded directly to the house of the chief
+F1 &Mufti, before whom she defended her creed and her conduct with great
+F1 ability.  The question whether she should be allowed to continue her
+F1 teaching was submitted first to the &Pasha of &Baghdad and then to the
+F1 central government, the result being that she was ordered to leave Turkish
+F1 territory."  ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note Q.  p.  310.)  
+F2 According to &Muhammad &Mustafa (p. 111), the following accompanied
+F2 &Tahirih from &Khaniqin (on the Persian frontier) to &Kirmanshah:  &Shaykh
+F2 &Salih-i-Karimi, &Shaykh &Muhammad-i-Shibl, &Shaykh &Sultan-i-Karbila'i,
+F2 Siyyid &Ahmad-i-Yazdi, Siyyid &Muhammad-i-Bayigani, Siyyid
+F2 &Muhsin-i-Kazimi, &Mulla &Ibrahim-i-Mahallati, and about thirty Arab
+F2 believers.  They tarried three days in the village of Karand, where
+F2 &Tahirih fearlessly proclaimed the teachings of the &Bab and was highly
+f2 successful in awakening the interest of all classes of people in the new
+F2 Revelation.  Twelve hundred persons are reported to have volunteered to
+F2 follow her and do her bidding.  
+F3 According to &Muhammad &Mustafa (p. 112), an enthusiastic reception was
+F3 accorded her on her arrival in &Kirmanshah.  Princes, &ulamas, and
+F3 government officials hastened to visit her, and were greatly impressed by
+F3 her eloquence, her fearlessness, her extensive knowledge, and the force of
+F3 her character.  The commentary on the &Surih of &Kawthar, revealed by the
+F3 &Bab, was publicly read and translated.  The wife of the &Amir, the
+F3 governor of &Kirmanshah, was among the ladies who met &Tahirih and heard
+F3 her expound the sacred teachings.  The &Amir himself, together with his
+F3 family, acknowledged the truth of the Cause and testified to their
+F3 admiration and love for &Tahirih.  According to &Muhammad &Mustafa
+F3 (p. 116), &Tahirih tarried two days in the village of &Sahnih on her way to
+F3 &Hamadan, where she was accorded a reception no less enthusiastic than the
+F3 one which had greeted her in the village of Karand.  The inhabitants of the
+F3 village begged to be allowed to gather together the members of their
+F3 community and to join hands with the body of her followers for the spread
+F3 and promotion of the Cause.  She advised them, however, to remain, extolled
+F3 and blessed their efforts, and proceeded to &Hamadan.  
+F4 According to the "Memorials of the Faithful" (p. 275), &Tahirih tarried
+F4 two months in &Hamadan.  
 
+P273
of the city were divided in their attitude towards her.  A
few sought privily to provoke the people and undermine her
prestige; others were moved to extol openly her virtues and
applaud her courage.  "It behoves us," these friends declared
from their pulpits, "to follow her noble example and reverently
to ask her to unravel for us the mysteries of the &Qur'an
and to resolve the intricacies of the holy Book.  For our
highest attainments are but a drop compared to the immensity
of her knowledge."  While in &Hamadan, &Tahirih was met by
those whom her father, &Haji &Mulla &Salih, had sent from
&Qazvin to welcome and urge her, on his behalf, to visit her
native town and prolong her stay in their midst.+F1  She reluctantly
consented.  Ere she departed, she bade those who
had accompanied her from &Iraq to proceed to their native
land.  Among them were &Shaykh &Sultan, &Shaykh &Muhammad-i-Shibl
and his youthful son, &Muhammad-Mustafa, &Abid
and his son &Nasir, who subsequently was given the name of
&Haji &Abbas.  Those of her companions who had been living
in Persia, such as Siyyid &Muhammad-i-Gulpaygani, whose
pen-name was &Ta'ir, and whom &Tahirih had styled &Fata'l-Malih,
and others were also bidden to return to their homes.  
Only two of her companions remained with her--&Shaykh
&Salih and &Mulla &Ibrahim-i-Gulpaygani, both of whom quaffed
the cup of martyrdom, the first in &Tihran and the other in
&Qazvin.  Of her own kinsmen, &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali, one
of the Letters of the Living and her brother-in-law, and
Siyyid &Abdu'l-Hadi, who had been betrothed to her daughter,
travelled with her all the way from &Karbila to &Qazvin.  
     On her arrival at the house of her father, her cousin, the
haughty and false-hearted &Mulla &Muhammad, son of &Mulla
&Taqi, who esteemed himself, next to his father and his uncle,
the most accomplished of all the mujtahids of Persia, sent
certain ladies of his own household to persuade &Tahirih to
transfer her residence from her father's house to his own.  
"Say to my presumptuous and arrogant kinsman," was her
bold reply to the messengers:  "`If your desire had really
been to be a faithful mate and companion to me, you would
have hastened to meet me in &Karbila and would on foot have
 
+F1 According to &Muhammad &Mustafa (p. 117), among those who had been sent
+F1 from &Qazvin were the brothers of &Tahirih.  
 
+P274
[Illustrations:  HOUSES IN WHICH &TAHIRIH LIVED IN &QAZVIN]  
 
+P275
guided my howdah+F1 all the way to &Qazvin.  I would, while
journeying with you, have aroused you from your sleep of
heedlessness and would have shown you the way of truth.  
But this was not to be.  Three years have elapsed since our
separation.  Neither in this world nor in the next can I ever
be associated with you.  I have cast you out of my life for
ever.'"
     So stern and unyielding a reply roused both &Mulla &Muhammad
and his father to a burst of fury.  They immediately
pronounced her a heretic, and strove day and night to undermine
her position and to sully her fame.  &Tahirih vehemently
defended herself and persisted in exposing the depravity of
their character.+F2  Her father, a peace-loving and fair-minded
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
+F2 "How could it be that a woman, in Persia where woman is considered so weak
+F2 a creature, and above all in a city like &Qazvin, where the clergy
+F2 possessed so great an influence, where the &Ulamas, by their number and
+F2 importance attracted the attention of the government and of the people,--
+F2 how could it be that there, precisely under such untoward circumstances, a
+F2 woman could have organized so strong a group of heretics?  There lies a
+F2 question which puzzles even the Persian historian, Sipihr, for such an
+F2 occurrence was without precedent!"  (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p.
+F2 474.)  
 
+P276
man, deplored this acrimonious dispute and endeavoured to
bring about a reconciliation and harmony between them, but
failed in his efforts.  
     This state of tension continued until the time when a
certain &Mulla &Abdu'llah, a native of &Shiraz and fervent admirer
of both &Shaykh &Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim, arrived in
&Qazvin at the beginning of the month of &Ramadan, in the
year 1263 A.H.+F1  Subsequently, in the course of his trial in
&Tihran, in the presence of the &Sahib-Divan, this same &Mulla
&Abdu'llah recounted the following:  "I have never been a
convinced &Babi.  When I arrived at &Qazvin, I was on my
way to &Mah-Ku, intending to visit the &Bab and investigate
the nature of His Cause.  On the day of my arrival at &Qazvin,
I became aware that the town was in a great state of turmoil.  
As I was passing through the market-place, I saw a crowd of
ruffians who had stripped a man of his head-dress and shoes,
had wound his turban around his neck, and by it were dragging
him through the streets.  An angry multitude was tormenting
him with their threats, their blows and curses.  `His
unpardonable guilt,'  I was told in answer to my enquiry,
`is that he has dared to extol in public the virtues of &Shaykh
&Ahmad and Siyyid &Kazim.  Accordingly, &Haji &Mulla &Taqi,
the &Hujjatu'l-Islam, has pronounced him a heretic and decreed
his expulsion from the town.'"  
     I was amazed at the explanation given me.  How could
a &shaykhi, I thought to myself, be regarded as a heretic and
be deemed worthy of such cruel treatment?  Desirous of
ascertaining from &Mulla &Taqi himself the truth of this report,
I betook myself to his school and asked whether he
had actually pronounced such a condemnation against him.  
`Yes,' he bluntly replied, `the god whom the late &Shaykh
&Ahmad-i-Bahrayni worshipped is a god in whom I can never
believe.  Him as well as his followers I regard as the very
embodiments of error.'  I was moved that very moment to
smite his face in the presence of his assembled disciples.  I
restrained myself, however, and vowed that, God willing, I
would pierce his lips with my spear so that he would never
be again able to utter such blasphemy.  
     "I straightway left his presence and directed my steps
 
+F1 August 13-September 12, 1847 A.D.  
 
+P277
towards the market, where I bought a dagger and a spear-head
of the sharpest and finest steel.  I concealed them in
my bosom, ready to gratify the passion that burned within
me.  I was waiting for my opportunity when, one night, I
entered the masjid in which he was wont to lead the congregation
in prayer.  I waited until the hour of dawn, at which
time I saw an old woman enter the masjid, carrying with her
a rug, which she spread over the floor of the &mihrab.+F1  Soon
after, I saw &Mulla &Taqi enter alone, walk to the &mihrab, and
offer his prayer.  Cautiously and quietly, I followed him and
stood behind him.  He was prostrating himself on the floor,
when I rushed upon him, drew out my spear-head, and
plunged it into the back of his neck.  He uttered a loud cry.  
I threw him on his back and, unsheathing my dagger, drove
it hilt-deep into his mouth.  With the same dagger, I struck
him at several places in his breast and side, and left him
bleeding in the &mihrab.  
     "I ascended immediately the roof of the masjid and
watched the frenzy and agitation of the multitude.  A crowd
rushed in and, placing him upon a litter, transported him
to his house.  Unable to identify the murderer, the people
seized the occasion to gratify their basest instincts.  They
rushed at one another's throats, violently attacked and
mutually accused one another in the presence of the governor.  
Finding out that a large number of innocent people
had been gravely molested and thrown into prison, I was
impelled by the voice of my conscience to confess my act.  
I accordingly besought the presence of the governor and said
to him:  `If I deliver into your hands the author of this
murder, will you promise me to set free all the innocent
people who are suffering his place?'  No sooner had I obtained
from him the necessary assurance than I confessed
to him that I had committed the deed.  He was not disposed
at first to believe me.  At my request, he summoned
the old woman who had spread the rug in the &mihrab, but
refused to be convinced by the evidence which she gave.  I
was finally conducted to the bedside of &Mulla &Taqi, who was
on the point of death.  As soon as he saw me, he recognised
my features.  In his agitation, he pointed with his finger to
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P278
me, indicating that I had attacked him.  He signified his
desire that I be taken away from his presence.  Shortly after,
he expired.  I was immediately arrested, was convicted of
murder, and thrown into prison.  The governor, however,
failed to keep his promise and refused to release the prisoners."  
     The candour and sincerity of &Mulla &Abdu'llah greatly
pleased the &Sahib-Divan.  He gave secret orders to his attendants
to enable him to escape from prison.  At the hour
of midnight, the prisoner took refuge in the home of &Rida
&Khan-i-Sardar, who had recently been married to the sister
of the &Sipah-Salar, and remained concealed in that house
until the great struggle or &Shaykh &Tabarsi, when he determined
to throw in his lot with the heroic defenders of the
fort.  He, as well as &Rida &Khan, who followed him to &Mazindaran,
quaffed eventually the cup of martyrdom.  
     The circumstances of the murder fanned to fury the
wrath of the lawful heirs of &Mulla &Taqi, who now determined
to wreak their vengeance upon &Tahirih.  They succeeded in
having her placed in the strictest confinement in the house
of her father, and charged those women whom they had
selected to watch over her, not to allow their captive to
leave her room except for the purpose of performing her daily
ablutions.  They accused her of really being the instigator
of the crime.  "No one else but you," they asserted, "is
guilty of the murder of our father.  You issued the order
for his assassination."  Those whom they had arrested and
confined were conducted by them to &Tihran and were incarcerated
in the home of one of the &kad-khudas+F1 of the
capital.  The friends and heirs of &Mulla &Taqi scattered themselves
in all directions, denouncing their captives as the repudiators
of the law of &Islam and demanding that they be
immediately put to death.  
     &Baha'u'llah who was at that time residing in &Tihran, was
informed of the plight of these prisoners who had been the
companions and supporters of &Tahirih.  As He was already
acquainted with the &kad-khuda in whose home they were incarcerated,
He decided to visit them and intervene in their
behalf.  That avaricious and deceitful official, who was fully
aware of the extreme generosity of &Baha'u'llah, greatly exaggerated
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P279
in the hope of deriving a substantial pecuniary
advantage for himself, the misfortune that had befallen the
unhappy captives.  "They are destitute of the barest necessities
of life," urged the &kad-khuda.  "They hunger for food,
and their clothing is wretchedly scanty."  &Baha'u'llah extended
immediate financial assistance for their relief, and
urged the &kad-khuda to relax the severity of the rule under
which they were confined.  The latter consented to relieve a
few who were unable to support the oppressive weight of their
chains, and for the rest did whatever he could to alleviate
the rigour of their confinement.  Prompted by greed, he informed
his superiors of the situation, and emphasised the
fact that both food and money were being regularly supplied
by &Baha'u'llah for those who were imprisoned in his house.  
     These officials were in their turn tempted to derive every
possible advantage from the liberality of &Baha'u'llah.  They
summoned Him to their presence, protested against His action,
and accused Him of complicity in the act for which
the captives had been condemned.  "The &kad-khuda," replied
&Baha'u'llah, "pleaded their cause before Me and enlarged
upon their sufferings and needs.  He himself bore
witness to their innocence and appealed to Me for help.  In
return for the aid which, in response to his invitation, I was
impelled to extend, you now charge Me with a crime of
which I am innocent."  Hoping to intimidate &Baha'u'llah by
threatening immediate punishment, they refused to allow
Him to return to His home.  The confinement to which He
was subjected was the first affliction that befell &Baha'u'llah
in the path of the Cause of God; the first imprisonment He
suffered for the sake of His loved ones.  He remained in
captivity for a few days, until &Ja'far-Quli &Khan, the brother
of &Mirza &Aqa &Khan-i-Nuri, who at a later time was appointed
Grand &Vazir of the &Shah, and a number of other friends intervened
in His behalf and, threatening the &kad-khuda in severe
a language, were able to effect His release.  Those who had
been responsible for His confinement had confidently hoped
to receive, in return for His deliverance, the sum of one
thousand &tumans,+F1 but they soon found out that they were
forced to comply with the wishes of &Ja'far-Quli &Khan without
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P280
the hope of receiving, either from him or from &Baha'u'llah,
the slightest reward.  With profuse apologies and with the
utmost regret, they surrendered their Captive into his hands.  
     The heirs of &Mulla &Taqi were in the meantime bending
every effort to avenge the blood of their distinguished kinsman.  
Unsatisfied with what they had already accomplished,
they directed their appeal to &Muhammad &Shah himself, and
endeavoured to win his sympathy to their cause.  The &Shah
is reported to have returned this answer:  "Your father, &Mulla
&Taqi, surely could not have claimed to be superior to the
&Imam &Ali, the Commander of the Faithful.  Did not the
latter instruct his disciples that, should he fall a victim to the
sword of &Ibn-i-Muljam, the murderer alone should, by his
death, be made to atone for his act, that no one else but
he should be put to death?  Why should not the murder of
your father be similarly avenged?  Declare to me his murderer,
and I will issue my orders that he be delivered into
your hands in order that you may inflict upon him the punishment
which he deserves."  
     The uncompromising attitude of the &Shah induced them
to abandon the hopes which they had cherished.  They declared
&Shaykh &Salih to be the murderer of their father, obtained
his arrest, and ignominiously put him to death.  He
was the first to shed his blood on Persian soil in the path of
the Cause of God; the first of that glorious company destined
to seal with their life-blood the triumph of God's holy Faith.  
As he was being conducted to the scene of his martyrdom, his
face glowed with zeal and joy.  He hastened to the foot of
the gallows and met his executioner as if he were welcoming
a dear and lifelong friend.  Words of triumph and hope fell
unceasingly from his lips.  "I discarded," he cried, with
exultation, as his end approached, "the hopes and the beliefs
of men from the moment I recognised Thee, Thou who art
my Hope and my Belief!"  His remains were interred in the
courtyard of the shrine of the &Imam-Zadih Zayd in &Tihran.  
     The unsatiable hatred that animated those who had been
responsible for the martyrdom of &Shaykh &Salih impelled them
to seek additional instruments for the furtherance of their
designs.  &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, whom the &Sahib-Divan had succeeded
in convincing of the treacherous conduct of the heirs
 
+P281
of &Mulla &Taqi, refused to entertain their appeal.  Undeterred
by his refusal, they submitted their case to the &Sadr-i-Ardibili,
a man notoriously presumptuous and one of the most arrogant
among the ecclesiastical leaders of Persia.  "Behold,"
they pleaded, "the indignity that has been inflicted upon
those whose supreme function it is to keep guard over the
integrity of the Law.  How can you, who are its chief and
illustrious exponent, allow so grave an affront to its dignity
to remain unpunished?  Are you really incapable of avenging
the blood of that slaughtered minister of the Prophet of
God?  Do you not realise that to tolerate such a heinous
crime would in itself unloose a flood of calumny against those
who are the chief repositories of the teachings and principles
of our Faith?  Will not your silence embolden the enemies
of &Islam to shatter the structure which your own hands have
reared?  As a result, will not your own life be endangered?"  
     The &Sadr-i-Ardibili was sore afraid, and in his impotence
sought to beguile his sovereign.  He addressed the following
request to &Muhammad &Shah:  "I would humbly implore your
Majesty to allow the captives to accompany the heirs of that
martyred leader on their return to &Qazvin, that these may,
of their own accord, forgive them publicly their action, and
enable them to recover their freedom.  Such a gesture on
their part will considerably enhance their position and will
win them the esteem of their countrymen."  The &Shah,
wholly unaware of the mischievous designs of that crafty
plotter, immediately granted his request, on the express condition
that a written statement be sent to him from &Qazvin
assuring him that the condition of the prisoners after their
freedom was entirely satisfactory, and that no harm was
likely to befall them in the future.  
     No sooner were the captives delivered into the hands of
the mischief-makers than they set about gratifying their feelings
of implacable hatred towards them.  On the first night
after they had been handed over to their enemies, &Haji
&Asadu'llah, the brother of &Haji &Allah-Vardi and paternal
uncle of &Muhammad-Hadi and &Muhammad-Javad-i-Farhadi,
a noted merchant of &Qazvin who had acquired a reputation
for piety and uprightness which stood as high as that of his
illustrious brother, was mercilessly put to death.  Knowing
 
+P282
full well that in his own native town they would be unable
to inflict upon him the punishment they desired, they determined
to take his life whilst in &Tihran in a manner that
would protect them from the suspicion of murder.  At the
hour of midnight, they perpetrated the shameful act, and,
the next morning, announced that illness had been the cause
of his death.  His friends and acquaintances, mostly natives
of &Qazvin, none of whom had been able to detect the crime
that had extinguished such a noble life, accorded him a
burial that befitted his station.  
     The rest of his companions, among whom were &Mulla
&Tahir-i-Shirazi and &Mulla &Ibrahim-i-Mahallati, both of whom
were greatly esteemed for their learning and character, were
savagely put to death immediately after their arrival at
&Qazvin.  The entire population, which had been sedulously
instigated beforehand, clamoured for their immediate execution.  
A band of shameless scoundrels, armed with knives,
swords, spears, and axes, fell upon them and tore them to
pieces.  They mutilated their bodies with such wanton barbarity
that no fragment of their scattered members could
be found for burial.  
     Gracious God!  Acts of such incredible savagery have
been perpetrated in a town like &Qazvin, which prides itself
on the fact that no less than a hundred of the highest ecclesiastical
leaders of &Islam dwell within its gates, and yet none
could be found among all its inhabitants to raise his voice
in protest against such revolting murders!  No one seemed
to question their right to perpetrate such iniquitous and
shameless deeds.  No one seemed to be aware of the utter
incompatibility between such ferocious deeds committed by
those who claimed to be the sole repositories of the mysteries
of &Islam, and the exemplary conduct of those who first manifested
its light to the world.  No one was moved to exclaim
indignantly:  "O evil and perverse generation!  To what
depths of infamy and shame you have sunk!  Have not the
abominations which you have wrought surpassed in their
ruthlessness the acts of the basest of men?  Will you not
recognise that neither the beasts of the field nor any moving
thing on earth has ever equalled the ferociousness of your
acts?  How long is your heedlessness to last?  Is it not your
 
+P283
belief that the efficacy of every congregational prayer is dependent
upon the integrity of him who leads that prayer?  
Have you not again and again declared that no such prayer
is acceptable in the sight of God until and unless the &imam
who leads the congregation has purged his heart from every
trace of malice?  And yet you deem those who instigate and
share in the performance of such atrocities to be the true
leaders of your Faith, the very embodiments of fairness and
justice.  Have you not committed to their hands the reins
of your Cause and regarded them as the masters of your
destinies?"  
     The news of this outrage reached &Tihran and spread with
bewildering rapidity throughout the city.  &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi
vehemently protested.  "In what passage of the &Qur'an," he
is reported to have exclaimed, "in which tradition of &Muhammad,
has the massacre of a number of people been justified
in order to avenge the murder of a single person?"  
&Muhammad &Shah also expressed his strong disapproval of
the treacherous conduct of the &Sadr-i-Ardibili and his confederates.  
He denounced his cowardice, banished him from
the capital, and condemned him to a life of obscurity in
Qum.  His degradation from office pleased immensely the
Grand &Vazir, who had hitherto laboured in vain to bring
about his downfall, and whom his sudden removal from
&Tihran relieved of the apprehensions which the extension of
his authority had inspired.  His own denunciation of the
massacre of &Qazvin was prompted, not so much by his sympathy
with the Cause of the defenceless victims, as by his
hope of involving the &Sadr-i-Ardibili in such embarrassments
as would inevitably disgrace him in the eyes of his sovereign.  
     The failure of the &Shah and of his government to inflict
immediate punishment upon the malefactors encouraged
them to seek further means for the gratification of their relentless
hatred towards their opponents.  They now directed
their attention to &Tahirih herself, and resolved that she
should suffer at their hands the same fate that had befallen
her companions.  While still in confinement, &Tahirih, as soon
as she was informed of the designs of her enemies, addressed
the following message to &Mulla &Muhammad, who had succeeded
to the position of his father and was now recognised
 
+P284
as the &Imam-Jum'ih of &Qazvin:  "`Fain would they put out
God's light with their mouths:  but God only desireth to
perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it.'+F1  If my Cause
be the Cause of Truth, if the Lord whom I worship be none
other than the one true God, He will, ere nine days have
elapsed, deliver me from the yoke of your tyranny.  Should
He fail to achieve my deliverance, you are free to act as you
desire.  You will have irrevocably established the falsity of
my belief."  &Mulla &Muhammad, recognising his inability to
accept so bold a challenge, chose to ignore entirely her message,
and sought by every cunning device to accomplish his
purpose.  
     In those days, ere the hour which &Tahirih had fixed for
her deliverance had struck, &Baha'u'llah signified His wish
that she should be delivered from her captivity and brought
to &Tihran.  He determined to establish, in the eyes of the
adversary, the truth of her words, and to frustrate the schemes
which her enemies had conceived for her death.  &Muhammad-Hadiy-i-Farhadi
was accordingly summoned by Him and was
entrusted with the task of effecting her immediate transference
to His own home in &Tihran.  &Muhammad-Hadi was
charged to deliver a sealed letter to his wife, &Khatun-Jan,
and instruct her to proceed, in the guise of a beggar, to the
house where &Tahirih was confined; to deliver the letter into
her hands; to wait awhile at the entrance of her house, until
she should join her, and then to hasten with her and commit
her to his care.  "As soon as &Tahirih has joined you,"
&Baha'u'llah urged the emissary, "start immediately for
&Tihran.  This very night, I shall despatch to the neighbourhood
of the gate of &Qazvin an attendant, with three horses,
that you will take with you and station at a place that you
will appoint outside the walls of &Qazvin.  You will conduct
&Tahirih to that spot, will mount the horses, and will, by an
unfrequented route, endeavour to reach at daybreak the outskirts
of the capital.  As soon as the gates are opened, you
must enter the city and proceed immediately to My house.  
You should exercise the utmost caution lest her identity be
disclosed.  The Almighty will assuredly guide your steps and
will surround you with His unfailing protection."  
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 9:33.  
 
+P285
     Fortified by the assurance of &Baha'u'llah, &Muhammad-Hadi
set out immediately to carry out the instructions he had
received.  Unhampered by any obstacle, he, ably and faithfully,
acquitted himself of his task, and was able to conduct
&Tahirih safely, at the appointed hour, to the home of his
Master.  Her sudden and mysterious removal from &Qazvin
filled her friends and foes alike with consternation.  The
whole night, they searched the houses and were baffled in
their efforts to find her.  The fulfilment of the prediction
she had uttered astounded even the most sceptical among
her opponents.  A few were made to realise the supernatural
character of the Faith she had espoused, and submitted willingly
to its claims.  &Mirza &Abdu'l-Vahhab, her own brother,
acknowledged, that very day, the truth of the Revelation,
but failed to demonstrate subsequently by his acts the sincerity
of his belief.+F1  
     The hour which &Tahirih had fixed for her deliverance
found her already securely established under the sheltering
shadow of &Baha'u'llah.  She knew full well into whose presence
she had been admitted; she was profoundly aware of
the sacredness of the hospitality she had been so graciously
accorded.+F2  As it was with her acceptance of the Faith proclaimed
by the &Bab when she, unwarned and unsummoned,
had hailed His Message and recognised its truth, so did she
perceive through her own intuitive knowledge the future glory
of &Baha'u'llah.  It was in the year '60, while in &Karbila, that
she alluded in her odes to her recognition of the Truth He
was to reveal.  I have myself been shown in &Tihran, in the
 
+F1 According to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" (p. 110), &Mulla &Husayn is reported by
+F1 &Mulla &Ja'far-i-Va'iz-i-Qazvini to have met &Tahirih in &Qazvin at the
+F1 home of &Aqa &Hadi, who is probably none other than &Muhammad
+F1 &Hadiy-i-Farhadi, who was commissioned by &Baha'u'llah to conduct &Tahirih
+F1 to &Tihran.  The meeting is stated to have taken place prior to the murder
+F1 of &Mulla &Taqi.  
+F2 &Abdu'l-Baha relates, in the "Memorials of the Faithful" (p. 306), the
+F2 circumstances of a visit paid by &Vahid to &Tahirih, while the latter was
+F2 staying in the home of &Baha'u'llah in &Tihran.  "&Tahirih," He writes,
+F2 "was listening from behind the veil to the utterances of &Vahid, who was
+F2 discoursing with fervour and eloquence on the signs and verses that bore
+F2 witness to the advent of the new Manifestation.  I was then a child and was
+F2 sitting on her lap, as she followed the recital of the remarkable
+F2 testimonies which flowed ceaselessly from the lips of that learned man.  I
+F2 well remember interrupted him, and, raising her voice, vehemently
+F2 declared:  `O &Yahya!  Let deeds, not words, testify to thy faith, if thou
+F2 art a man of true learning.  Cease idly repeating the traditions of the
+F2 past, for the day of service, of steadfast action, is come.  Now is the
+F2 time to show forth the true signs of God, to rend asunder the veils of idle
+F2 fancy, to promote the Word of God, and to sacrifice ourselves in His path.  
+F2 Let deeds, not words, be our adorning.'"
 
+P286
home of Siyyid &Muhammad, whom &Tahirih had styled &Fata'l-Malih,
the verses which she, in her own handwriting, had
penned, every letter of which bore eloquent testimony to her
faith in the exalted Missions of both the &Bab and &Baha'u'llah.  
In that ode the following verse occurs:  "The effulgence of
the &Abha Beauty hath pierced the veil of night; behold the
souls of His lovers dancing, moth-like, in the light that has
flashed from His face!"  It was her steadfast conviction in
the unconquerable power of &Baha'u'llah that prompted her
to utter her prediction with such confidence, and to fling
her challenge so boldly in the face of her enemies.  Nothing
short of an immovable faith in the unfailing efficacy of that
power could have induced her, in the darkest hours of her
captivity, to assert with such courage and assurance the approach
of her victory.  
     A few days after &Tahirih's arrival at &Tihran, &Baha'u'llah
decided to send her to &Khurasan in the company of the believers
who were preparing to depart for that province.  He
too had determined to leave the capital and take the same
direction a few days later.  He accordingly summoned
&Aqay-i-Kalim and instructed him to take immediately the
necessary measures to ensure the removal of &Tahirih, together
with her woman attendant, &Qanitih, to a place outside the
gate of the capital, from whence they were, later on, to proceed
to &Khurasan.  He cautioned him to exercise the utmost
care and vigilance lest the guards who were stationed at the
entrance of the city, and who had been ordered to refuse the
passage of women through the gates without a permit, should
discover her identity and prevent her departure.  
     I have heard &Aqay-i-Kalim recount the following:  "Putting
our trust in God, we rode out, &Tahirih, her attendant,
and I, to a place in the vicinity of the capital.  None of the
guards who were stationed at the gate of &Shimiran raised
the slightest objection, nor did they enquire regarding our
destination.  At a distance of two farsangs+F1 from the capital,
we alighted in the midst of an orchard abundantly watered
and situated at the foot of a mountain, in the centre of which
was a house that seemed completely deserted.  As I went
about in search of the proprietor, I chanced to meet an old
 
+F1 See Glossary.  
 
+P287
man who was watering his plants.  In answer to my enquiry,
he explained that a dispute had arisen between the owner
and his tenants, as a result of which those who occupied the
place had deserted it.  `I have been asked by the owner,' he
added, `to keep guard over this property until the settlement
of the dispute.'  I was greatly delighted with the information
he gave me, and asked him to share with us our luncheon.  
When, later in the day, I decided to depart for &Tihran, I
found him willing to watch over and guard &Tahirih and her
attendant.  As I committed them to his care, I assured him
that I would either myself return that evening or send a
trusted attendant whom I would follow the next morning
with all the necessary requirements for the journey to
&Khurasan.  
     "Upon my arrival at &Tihran, I despatched &Mulla &Baqir,
one of the Letters of the Living, together with an attendant,
to join &Tahirih.  I informed &Baha'u'llah of her safe departure
from the capital.  He was greatly pleased at the information
I gave Him, and named that orchard `&Bagh-i-Jannat.'+F1  `That
house,' He remarked, `has been providentially prepared for
your reception, that you may entertain in it the loved ones
of God.'  
     "&Tahirih tarried seven days in that spot, after which she
set out, accompanied by &Muhammad-Hasan-i-Qazvini, surnamed
&Fata, and a few others, in the direction of &Khurasan.  
I was commanded by &Baha'u'llah to arrange for her departure
and to provide whatever might be required for her journey."  
 
+F1 "Garden of Paradise."  
 
+P289
                         CHAPTER XVI
                  THE CONFERENCE OF &BADASHT
 
     SOON after &Tahirih had started on her journey,
&Baha'u'llah instructed &Aqay-i-Kalim to complete
the necessary preparations for His contemplated
departure for &Khurasan.  He committed to his
care His family and asked him to provide whatever might
be conducive to their well-being and safety.  
     When He arrived at &Shah-Rud, He was met by &Quddus,
who had left &Mashhad, where he had been residing, and had
come to welcome Him as soon as he had heard of His approach.  
The whole province of &Khurasan was in those days
in the throes of a violent agitation.  The activities which
&Quddus and &Mulla &Husayn had initiated, their zeal, their
courage, their outspoken language, had aroused the people
from their lethargy, had kindled in the hearts of some the
noblest sentiments of faith and devotion, and had provoked
in the breasts of others the instincts of passionate fanaticism
and malice.  A multitude of seekers constantly poured from
every direction into &Mashhad, eagerly sought the residence
of &Mulla &Husayn, and through him were ushered into the
presence of &Quddus.  
     Their numbers soon swelled to such proportions as to
excite the apprehension of the authorities.  The chief constable
viewed with concern and dismay the crowds of agitated
people who streamed unceasingly into every quarter of the
holy City.  In his desire to assert his rights, intimidate &Mulla
&Husayn, and induce him to curtail the scope of his activities,
he issued orders to arrest immediately the latter's special
attendant, whose name was &Hasan, and subject him to cruel
and shameful treatment.  They pierced his nose, passed a
cord through the incision, and with this halter led and paraded
him through the streets.  
     &Mulla &Husayn was in the presence of &Quddus when the
news of the disgraceful affliction that had befallen his servant
 
+P289
reached him.  Fearing lest this sad intelligence might grieve
the heart of his beloved chief, he arose and quietly retired.  
His companions soon gathered round him, expressed their
indignation at this outrageous assault upon so innocent a
follower of their Faith, and urged him to avenge the insult.  
&Mulla &Husayn tried to appease their anger.  "Let not," he
pleaded, "the indignity that has befallen &Hasan afflict and
disturb you, for &Husayn is still with you and will safely
deliver him back into your hands to-morrow."  
     In the face of so solemn an assurance, his companions
ventured no further remarks.  Their hearts, however, burned
with impatience to redress that bitter injury.  A number of
them eventually decided to band themselves together and
loudly raise, through the streets of &Mashhad, the cry of
"&Ya &Sahibu'z-Zaman!"+F1 as a protest against this sudden affront
to the dignity of their Faith.  That cry was the first of its
kind to be raised in &Khurasan in the name of the Cause of
God.  The city re-echoed with the sound of those voices.  
The reverberations of their shouts reached even the most
outlying regions of the province, raised a great tumult in
the hearts of the people, and were the signal for the tremendous
happenings that were destined to transpire in the future.  
     In the midst of the confusion that ensued, those who
were holding the halter with which they dragged &Hasan
through the streets, perished by the sword.  The companions
of &Mulla &Husayn conducted the released captive into the
presence of their leader and informed him of the fate that
had befallen the oppressor.  "You have refused," &Mulla
&Husayn is reported to have remarked, "to tolerate the trials
to which &Hasan has been subjected; how can you reconcile
yourselves to the martyrdom of &Husayn?"+F2  
     The city of &Mashhad, which had just recovered its peace
and tranquillity after the rebellion that the &Salar had provoked,
was plunged again into confusion and distress.  Prince
&Hamzih &Mirza was stationed with his men and munitions at
a distance of four farsangs+F3 from the city, ready to face
whatever emergency might arise when the news of these
fresh disturbances suddenly reached him.  He immediately
 
+F1 "O Lord of the Age!" one of the titles of the promised &Qa'im.  
+F2 Allusion to his own martyrdom.  
+F3 See Glossary.  
 
+P290
despatched a detachment to the city with instructions to
obtain the assistance of the governor for the arrest of &Mulla
&Husayn, and to conduct him into his presence.  &Abdu'l-'Ali
&Khan-i-Maraghiyi, the captain of the prince's artillery, immediately
intervened.  "I deem myself," he pleaded, "one
among the lovers and admirers of &Mulla &Husayn.  If you
contemplate inflicting any harm upon him, I pray you to
take my life and then to proceed to execute your design; for
I cannot, so long as I live, tolerate the least disrespect towards
him."  
     The prince, who knew full well how much he stood in
need of that officer, was greatly embarrassed at this unexpected
declaration.  "I too have met &Mulla &Husayn," was
his reply as he tried to remove the apprehension of &Abdu'l-'Ali
&Khan.  "I too cherish the utmost devotion to him.  By
summoning him to my camp, I am hoping to restrict the
scope of the mischief which has been kindled and to safeguard
his person."  The prince then addressed in his own
handwriting a letter to &Mulla &Husayn in which he urged the
extreme desirability of his transferring his residence for a
few days to his headquarters, and assured him of his sincere
desire to shield him from the attacks of his infuriated opponents.  
He gave orders that his own highly ornamented
tent be pitched in the vicinity of his camp and be reserved
for the reception of his expected guest.  
     On the receipt of this communication, &Mulla &Husayn
presented it to &Quddus, who advised him to respond to the
invitation of the prince.  "No harm can befall you," &Quddus
assured him.  "As to me, I shall this very night set out in
the company of &Mirza &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Qazvini, one of
the Letters of the Living, for &Mazindaran.  Please God, you
too, later on, at the head of a large company of the faithful
and preceded by the `Black Standards,' will depart from
&Mashhad and join me.  We shall meet at whatever place the
Almighty will have decreed."  
     &Mulla &Husayn joyously responded.  He threw himself at
the feet of &Quddus and assured him of his firm determination
to discharge with fidelity the obligations which he had imposed
upon him.  &Quddus lovingly took him in his arms and,
kissing his eyes and his forehead, committed him to the
 
+P291
Almighty's unfailing protection.  Early that same afternoon,
&Mulla &Husayn mounted his steed and rode out with dignity
and calm to the encampment of Prince &Hamzih &Mirza, and
was ceremoniously conducted by &Abdu'l-'Ali &Khan, who,
together with a number of officers, had been appointed by
the prince to go out and welcome him, to the tent that had
been specially erected for his use.  
     That very night, &Quddus summoned to his presence
&Mirza &Muhammad-Baqir-i-Qa'ini, who had built the &Babiyyih,
together with a number of the most prominent among his
companions, and enjoined upon them to bear unquestioned
allegiance to &Mulla &Husayn and to obey implicitly whatever
he might wish them to do.  "Tempestuous are the storms
which lie ahead of us," he told them.  "The days of stress
and violent commotion are fast approaching.  Cleave to him,
for in obedience to his command lies your salvation."  
     With these words, &Quddus bade farewell to his companions
and, accompanied by &Mirza &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Qazvini, departed
from &Mashhad.  A few days later, he encountered
&Mirza &Sulayman-i-Nuri, who informed him of the circumstances
attending the deliverance of &Tahirih from her confinement
in &Qazvin, of her journey in the direction of
&Khurasan, and of &Baha'u'llah's subsequent departure from
the capital.  &Mirza &Sulayman, as well as &Mirza &Muhammad-&Ali,  
 
+P292
remained in the company of &Quddus until their arrival
at &Badasht.  They reached that hamlet at the hour of dawn
and found there assembled a large gathering of people whom
they recognised as their fellow-believers.  They decided,
however, to resume their journey, and proceeded directly to
&Shah-Rud.  As they were approaching that village, &Mirza
&Sulayman, who was following at a distance behind them,
encountered &Muhammad-i-Hana-Sab, who was on his way
to &Badasht.  In answer to his enquiry as to the object of
that gathering, &Mirza &Sulayman was informed that &Baha'u'llah
and &Tahirih had, a few days before, left &Shah-Rud for
that hamlet; that a large number of believers had already
arrived from &Isfahan, &Qazvin, and other towns of Persia,
and were waiting to accompany &Baha'u'llah on His intended
journey to &Khurasan.  "Tell &Mulla &Ahmad-i-Ibdal, who is
now in &Badasht," &Mirza &Sulayman remarked, "that this very
morning a light has shone upon you, the radiance of which
you have failed to recognise."+F1  
     No sooner had &Baha'u'llah been informed by &Muhammad-i-Hana-Sab
of the arrival of &Quddus at &Shah-Rud than He
decided to join him.  Attended by &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mu'allim-i-Nuri,
He set out on horseback that same evening
for that village, and had returned with &Quddus to
&Badasht the next morning at the hour of sunrise.  
     It was then the beginning of summer.  Upon His arrival,
&Baha'u'llah rented three gardens, one of which He assigned
exclusively to the use of &Quddus, another He set apart for
&Tahirih and her attendant, and reserved the third for Himself.  
 
+F1 Allusion to &Quddus.  
 
+P293
Those who had gathered in &Badasht were eighty-one in number,
all of whom, from the time of their arrival to the day
of their dispersion, were the guests of &Baha'u'llah.  Every
day, He revealed a Tablet which &Mirza &Sulayman-i-Nuri
chanted in the presence of the assembled believers.  Upon
each He bestowed a new name.  He Himself was henceforth
designated by the name of &Baha; upon the Last Letter of
the Living was conferred the appellation of &Quddus, and to
&Qurratu'l-'Ayn was given the title of &Tahirih.  To each of
those who had convened at &Badasht a special Tablet was
subsequently revealed by the &Bab, each of whom He addressed
by the name recently conferred upon him.  When,
at a later time, a number of the more rigid and conservative
among her fellow-disciples chose to accuse &Tahirih of indiscreetly
rejecting the time-honoured traditions of the past,
the &Bab, to whom these complaints had been addressed, replied
in the following terms:  "What am I to say regarding
her whom the Tongue of Power of Glory has named &Tahirih
[the Pure One]?"  
     Each day of that memorable gathering witnessed the
abrogation of a new law and the repudiation of a long-established
tradition.  The veils that guarded the sanctity
of the ordinances of &Islam were sternly rent asunder, and
the idols that had so long claimed the adoration of their
blind worshippers were rudely demolished.  No one knew,
however, the Source whence these bold and defiant innovations
proceeded, no one suspected the Hand which steadily
and unerringly steered their course.  Even the identity of
Him who had bestowed a new name upon each of those who
had congregated in that hamlet remained unknown to those
who had received them.  Each conjectured according to his
own degree of understanding.  Few, if any, dimly surmised
that &Baha'u'llah was the Author of the far-reaching changes
which were being so fearlessly introduced.  
     &Shaykh &Abu-Turab, one of the best-informed as to the
nature of the developments in &Badasht, is reported to have
related the following incident:  "Illness, one day, confined
&Baha'u'llah to His bed.  &Quddus, as soon as he heard of
His indisposition, hastened to visit Him.  He seated himself,
when ushered into His presence, on the right hand of
 
+P294
&Baha'u'llah.  The rest of the companions were gradually
admitted to His presence, and grouped themselves around
Him.  No sooner had they assembled than &Muhammad-Hasan-i-Qazvini,
the messenger of &Tahirih, upon whom the
name of &Fata'l-Qazvini had been newly conferred, suddenly
came in and conveyed to &Quddus a pressing invitation from
&Tahirih to visit her in her own garden.  `I have severed
myself entirely from her,' he boldly and decisively replied.  
`I refuse to meet her.'+F1  The messenger retired immediately,
and soon returned, reiterating the same message and appealing
to him to heed her urgent call.  `She insists on your
visit,' were his words.  `If you persist in your refusal, she
herself will come to you.'  Perceiving his unyielding attitude,
the messenger unsheathed his sword, laid it at the feet of
&Quddus, and said:  `I refuse to go without you.  Either
choose to accompany me to the presence of &Tahirih or cut
off my head with this sword.'  `I have already declared my
intention not to visit &Tahirih,' &Quddus angrily retorted.  `I
am willing to comply with the alternative which you have
chosen to put before me.'  
     "&Muhammad-Hasan, who had seated himself at the feet
of &Quddus, had stretched forth his neck to receive the fatal
blow, when suddenly the figure of &Tahirih, adorned and
unveiled, appeared before the eyes of the assembled companions.  
Consternation immediately seized the entire gathering.+F2  
All stood aghast before this sudden and most unexpected
 
+F1 According to the "&Kashfu'l-Ghita'," a decision had been previously arrived
+F1 at between &Quddus and &Tahirih, in accordance with which the latter was
+F1 to proclaim publicly the independent character of the Revelation of the
+F1 &Bab, and to emphasise the abrogation of the laws and ordinances of the
+F1 previous Dispensation.  &Quddus, on the other hand, was expected to oppose
+F1 her contention and strenuously to reject her views.  This arrangement was
+F1 made for the purpose of mitigating the effects of such a challenging and
+F1 far-reaching proclamation, and of averting the dangers and perils which
+F1 such a startling innovation was sure to produce.  (P. 211.)  &Baha'u'llah
+F1 appears to have taken a neutral attitude in this controversy, though
+F1 actually He was the prime mover and the controlling and directing
+F1 influence throughout the different stages of that memorable episode.  
+F2 "But the effect produced had been astounding!  The assembly was as if
+F2 struck by lightning.  Some hid their faces with their hands, others,
+F2 prostrated themselves, others covered their heads with their garments so
+F2 that they could not see the features of her Highness, the Pure One.  If it
+F2 was a grievous sin to look upon the face of an unknown woman who might pass
+F2 by, what a crime to let one's eyes fall upon her who was so saintly!  The
+F2 meeting was broken up in the midst of an indescribable tumult.  Insults
+F2 fell upon her whom they thought so indecent as to appear thus with her face
+F2 uncovered.  Some armed that she had lost her mind, others that she was
+F2 shameless, and some, very few, took up her defense."  (A. L. M. Nicolas'
+F2 "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," pp. 283-284.)  
 
+P295
apparition.  To behold her face unveiled was to them
inconceivable.  Even to gaze at her shadow was a thing
which they deemed improper, inasmuch as they regarded
her as the very incarnation of &Fatimih,+F1 the noblest emblem
of chastity in their eyes.  
     "Quietly, silently, and with the utmost dignity, &Tahirih
stepped forward and, advancing towards &Quddus, seated
herself on his right-hand side.  Her unruffled serenity sharply
contrasted with the affrighted countenances of those who
were gazing upon her face.  Fear, anger, and bewilderment
stirred the depths of their souls.  That sudden revelation
seemed to have stunned their faculties.  &Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Isfahani
was so gravely shaken that he cut his throat with
his own hands.  Covered with blood and shrieking with
excitement, he fled away from the face of &Tahirih.  A few,
following his example, abandoned their companions and forsook
their Faith.  A number were seen standing speechless
before her, confounded with wonder.  &Quddus, meanwhile,
had remained seated in his place, holding the unsheathed
sword in his hand, his face betraying a feeling of inexpressible
anger.  It seemed as if he were waiting for the moment when
he could strike his fatal blow at &Tahirih.  
     "His threatening attitude failed, however, to move her.  
Her countenance displayed that same dignity and confidence
which she had evinced at the first moment of her appearance
before the assembled believers.  A feeling of joy and
triumph had now illumined her face.  She rose from her
seat and, undeterred by the tumult that she had raised in
the hearts of her companions, began to address the remnant
of that assembly.  Without the least premeditation, and in
language which bore a striking resemblance to that of the
&Qur'an, she delivered her appeal with matchless eloquence
and profound fervour.  She concluded her address with this
verse of the &Qur'an:  `Verily, amid gardens and rivers shall
the pious dwell in the seat of truth, in the presence of the
potent King.'  As she uttered these words, she cast a furtive
glance towards both &Baha'u'llah and &Quddus in such a
manner that those who were watching her were unable to
tell to which of the two she was alluding.  Immediately
 
+F1 Daughter of &Muhammad, and wife of the &Imam &Ali.  
 
+P296
after, she declared:  `I am the Word which the &Qa'im is to
utter, the Word which shall put to flight the chiefs and
nobles of the earth!'+F1  
     "She then turned her face towards &Quddus and rebuked
him for having failed to perform in &Khurasan those things
which she deemed essential to the welfare of the Faith.  `I
am free to follow the promptings of my own conscience,'
retorted &Quddus.  `I am not subject to the will and pleasure
of my fellow-disciples.'  Turning away her eyes from him,
&Tahirih invited those who were present to celebrate befittingly
this great occasion.  `This day is the day of festivity
and universal rejoicing,' she added, `the day on which the
fetters of the past are burst asunder.  Let those who have
shared in this great achievement arise and embrace each
other.'"
     That memorable day and those which immediately followed
it witnessed the most revolutionary changes in the
life and habits of the assembled followers of the &Bab.  Their
manner of worship underwent a sudden and fundamental
transformation.  The prayers and ceremonials by which those
devout worshippers had been disciplined were irrevocably
 
+F1 Refer to page 15.  
 
+P297
discarded.  A great confusion, however, prevailed among
those who had so zealously arisen to advocate these reforms.  
A few condemned so radical a change as being the essence
of heresy, and refused to annul what they regarded as the
inviolable precepts of &Islam.  Some regarded &Tahirih as the
sole judge in such matters and the only person qualified to
claim implicit obedience from the faithful.  Others who denounced
her behaviour held to &Quddus, whom they regarded
as the sole representative of the &Bab, the only one who had
the right to pronounce upon such weighty matters.  Still
others who recognised the authority of both &Tahirih and
&Quddus viewed the whole episode as a God-sent test designed
to separate the true from the false and distinguish the faithful
from the disloyal.  
     &Tahirih herself ventured on a few occasions to repudiate
the authority of &Quddus.  "I deem him," she is reported to
have declared, "a pupil whom the &Bab has sent me to edify
and instruct.  I regard him in no other light."  &Quddus did
not fail, on his part, to denounce &Tahirih as "the author of
heresy," and stigmatised those who advocated her views as
"the victims of error."  This state of tension persisted for a
few days until &Baha'u'llah intervened and, in His masterly
manner, effected a complete reconciliation between them.  
He healed the wounds which that sharp controversy had
caused, and directed the efforts of both along the path of
constructive service.+F1  
     The object of that memorable gathering had been attained.+F2  
The clarion-call of the new Order had been sounded.  
 
+F1 "It was this bold act of &Qurratu'l-'Ayn which shook the foundations of a
+F1 literal belief in &Islamic doctrines among the Persians.  It may be added
+F1 that the first-fruits of qurratu'l-'Ayn's teaching was no less than the
+F1 heroic &Quddus, and that the eloquent teacher herself owed her insight
+F1 probably to &Baha'u'llah.  Of course, the supposition that her greatest
+F1 friend might censure her is merely a delightful piece of irony."  (Dr.
+F1 T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 103-4.)  
+F2 "It has been suggested that the true cause of the summoning of that
+F2 assembly was anxiety for the &Bab, and a desire to carry him off to a place
+F2 of safety.  But the more accepted view--that the subject before the Council
+F2 was the relation of the &Babis to the &Islamic laws--is also the more
+F2 probable."  (Ibid., p. 80.)  "The object of the conference was to correct a
+F2 widespread misunderstanding.  There were many who thought that the new
+F2 leader came, in the most literal sense, to fulfil &Islamic Law.  They
+F2 realised, indeed, that the object of &Muhammad was to bring about an
+F2 universal kingdom of righteousness and peace, but they thought this was to
+F2 be effected by wading through streams of blood, and with the help of the
+F2 divine judgments.  The &Bab, on the other hand, though not always
+F2 consistent, was moving, with some of his disciples, in the direction of
+F2 moral suasion; his only weapon was `the sword of the Spirit, which is the
+F2 word of God.'  When the &Qa'im appeared all things would be renewed.  But
+F2 the &Qa'im was on the point of appearing, and all that remained was to
+F2 prepare for his Coming.  No more should there be any distinction between
+F2 higher and lower races, or between male and female.  No more should the
+F2 long, enveloping veil be the badge of woman's inferiority.  The gifted
+F2 woman before us had her characteristic solution of the problem...  It is
+F2 said in one form of tradition, that &Qurratu'l-'Ayn herself attended the
+F2 conference with a veil on.  If so, she lost no time in discarding it, and
+F2 broke out (we are told) into the fervid exclamation, `I am the blast of the
+F2 trumpet, I am the call of the bugle,' i.e. `Like Gabriel, I would awaken
+F2 sleeping souls.'  It is said, too, that this short speech of the brave
+F2 woman was followed by the recitation by &Baha'u'llah of the &Surih of the
+F2 Resurrection (75).  Such recitations often have an overpowering effect.  
+F2 The inner meaning of this was that mankind was about to pass into a new
+F2 cosmic cycle, for which a new set of laws and customs would be
+F2 indispensable."  (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and
+F2 Religions," pp. 101-3.)  
 
+P298
The obsolete conventions which had fettered the consciences
of men were boldly challenged and fearlessly swept away.  
The way was clear for the proclamation of the laws and
precepts that were destined to usher in the new Dispensation.  
The remnant of the companions who had gathered in
&Badasht accordingly decided to depart for &Mazindaran.  
&Quddus and &Tahirih seated themselves in the same howdah+F1
which had been prepared for their journey by &Baha'u'llah.  
On their way, &Tahirih each day composed an ode which she
instructed those who accompanied her to chant as they followed
her howdah.  Mountain and valley re-echoed the
shouts with which that enthusiastic band, as they journeyed
to &Mazindaran, hailed the extinction of the old, and the
birth of the new Day.  
     &Baha'u'llah's sojourn in &Badasht lasted two and twenty
days.  In the course of their journey to &Mazindaran, a few
of the followers of the &Bab sought to abuse the liberty which
the repudiation of the laws and sanctions of an outgrown
Faith had conferred upon them.  They viewed the unprecedented
action of &Tahirih in discarding the veil as a signal
to transgress the bounds of moderation and to gratify their
selfish desires.  The excesses in which a few indulged provoked
the wrath of the Almighty and caused their immediate
dispersion.  In the village of &Niyala, they were grievously
tested and suffered severe injuries at the hands of their
enemies.  This scattering extinguished the mischief which a
few of the irresponsible among the adherents of the Faith
had sought to kindle, and preserved untarnished its honour
and dignity.  
     I have heard &Baha'u'llah Himself describe that incident:  
 
+F1 Refer to Glossary.  
 
+P299
"We were all gathered in the village of &Niyala and were
resting at the foot of a mountain, when, at the hour of dawn,
we were suddenly awakened by the stones which the people
of the neighbourhood were hurling upon us from the top of
the mountain.  The fierceness of their attack induced our
companions to flee in terror and consternation.  I clothed
&Quddus in my own garments and despatched him to a place
of safety, where I intended to join him.  When I arrived, I
found that he had gone.  None of our companions had remained
in &Niyala except &Tahirih and a young man from
&Shiraz, &Mirza &Abdu'llah.  The violence with which we were
assailed had brought desolation into our camp.  I found no
one into whose custody I could deliver &Tahirih except that
young man, who displayed on that occasion a courage and
determination that were truly surprising.  Sword in hand,
undaunted by the savage assault of the inhabitants of the
village, who had rushed to plunder our property, he sprang
forward to stay the hand of the assailants.  Though himself
wounded in several parts of his body, he risked his life to
protect our property.  I bade him desist from his act.  When
the tumult had subsided, I approached a number of the
inhabitants of the village and was able to convince them
of the cruelty and shamefulness of their behaviour.  I subsequently
succeeded in restoring a part of our plundered
property."  
     &Baha'u'llah, accompanied by &Tahirih and her attendant,
proceeded to &Nur.  He appointed &Shaykh &Abu-Turab to
watch over her and ensure her protection and safety.  Meanwhile
the mischief-makers were endeavouring to kindle the
anger of &Muhammad &Shah against &Baha'u'llah, and, by representing
Him as the prime mover of the disturbances of
&Shah-Rud and &Mazindaran, succeeded eventually in inducing
the sovereign to have Him arrested.  "I have hitherto," the
&Shah is reported to have angrily remarked, "refused to countenance
whatever has been said against him.  My indulgence
has been actuated by my recognition of the services rendered
to my country by his father.  This time, however, I am
determined to put him to death."  
     He accordingly commanded one of his officers in &Tihran
to instruct his son who was residing in &Mazindaran to arrest
 
+P300
&Baha'u'llah and to conduct Him to the capital.  The son of
this officer received the communication on the very day
preceding the reception which he had prepared to offer to
&Baha'u'llah, to whom he was devotedly attached.  He was
greatly distressed and did not divulge the news to anyone.  
&Baha'u'llah, however, perceived his sadness and advised him
to put his trust in God.  The next day, as He was being
accompanied by His friend to his home, they encountered a
horseman who was coming from the direction of &Tihran.  
"&Muhammad &Shah is dead!" that friend exclaimed in the
&Mazindarani dialect, as he hastened to rejoin Him after a
brief conversation with the messenger.  He drew out the
imperial summons and showed it to Him.  The document
had lost its efficacy.  That night was spent in the company
of his guest in an atmosphere of undisturbed calm and gladness.  
     &Quddus had in the meantime fallen into the hands of his
opponents, and was confined in &Sari in the home of &Mirza
&Muhammad-Taqi, the leading mujtahid of that town.  The
rest of his companions, after their dispersal in &Niyala, had
scattered in different directions, each carrying with him to
his fellow-believers the news of the momentous happenings
of &Badasht.  
 
+P301
                         CHAPTER XVII
                THE &BAB'S INCARCERATION IN THE
                      CASTLE OF &CHIHRIQ
 
     THE incident of &Niyala occurred in the middle of
the month of &Sha'ban, in the year 1264 A.H.+F1  
Towards the end of that same month, the &Bab
was brought to &Tabriz, where He suffered at the
hands of His oppressors a severe and humiliating injury.  
That deliberate affront to His dignity almost synchronised
with the attack which the inhabitants of &Niyala directed
against &Baha'u'llah and His companions.  The one was
pelted with stones by an ignorant and pugnacious people;
the other was afflicted with stripes by a cruel and treacherous
enemy.  
     I shall now relate the circumstances that led to that
odious indignity which the persecutors of the &Bab chose to
inflict upon Him.  He had, in pursuance of the orders issued
by &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, been transferred to the castle of
&Chihriq+F2 and consigned to the keeping of &Yahya &Khan-i-Kurd,
whose sister was the wife of &Muhammad &Shah, the mother
of the &Nayibu's-Saltanih.  Strict and explicit instructions
 
+F1 July 3-August 1, 1848 A.D.  
+F2 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 18) the &Bab remained for three
+F2 months in the castle of &Chihriq before He was taken to &Tabriz to be
+F2 examined.  
 
+P302
had been given by the Grand &Vazir to &Yahya &Khan, enjoining
him not to allow anyone to enter the presence of his
Prisoner.  He was particularly warned not to follow the
example of &Ali &Khan-i-Mah-Ku'i, who had gradually been
led to disregard the orders he had received.+F1  
     Despite the emphatic character of that injunction, and in
the face of the unyielding opposition of the all-powerful
&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, &Yahya &Khan found himself powerless to
abide by those instructions.  He, too, soon came to feel the
fascination of his Prisoner; he, too, forgot, as soon as he
came into contact with His spirit, the duty he was expected
to perform.  At the very outset, the love of the &Bab penetrated
his heart and claimed his entire being.  The Kurds
who lived in &Chihriq, and whose fanaticism and hatred of
the &shi'ahs exceeded the aversion which the inhabitants of
&Mah-Ku entertained for that people, were likewise subjected
to the transforming influence of the &Bab.  Such was the love
He had kindled in their hearts that every morning, ere they
started for their daily work, they directed their steps towards
His prison and, gazing from afar at the castle which contained
His beloved self, invoked His name and besought His
blessings.  They would prostrate themselves on the ground
and seek to refresh their souls with remembrance of Him.  
To one another they would freely relate the wonders of His
power and glory, and would recount such dreams as bore
witness to the creative power of His influence.  To no one
would &Yahya &Khan refuse admittance to the castle.+F2  As
&Chihriq itself was unable to accommodate the increasing
number of visitors who flocked to its gates, they were enabled
to obtain the necessary lodgings in &Iski-Shahr, the old
&Chihriq, which was situated at an hour's distance from the
 
+F1 "The &Bab was subjected to a closer and more rigorous confinement at
+F1 &Chihriq than he had been at &Mah-Ku.  Hence he used to call the former
+F1 `the Grievous Mountain' (&Jabal-i-Shadid the numerical value of the word
+F1 `&Shadid'--318--being the same as that of the name &Chihriq), and the
+F1 latter `the Open Mountain' (&Jabal-i-Basit)."  ("A Traveller's Narrative,"
+F1 Note L, p. 276.)  
+F2 "There like everywhere else, the people crowded around him.  M. Mochenin
+F2 says in his memoirs concerning the &Bab:  `In the month of June, 1850, (is
+F2 this not more likely to be 1849?), having gone to &Chihriq on duty, I saw
+F2 the &Bala-Khanih from the heights of which the &Bab taught his doctrine.  
+F2 The multitude of hearers was so great that the court was not large enough
+F2 to hold them all; most of them stayed in the streets and listened with
+F2 religious rapture to the verses of the new &Qur'an.  Very soon after the
+F2 &Bab was transferred to Tauris (&Tabriz) to be condemned to death.'"  
+F2 (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 371.)  
 
+P303
castle.  Whatever provisions were required for the &Bab were
purchased in the old town and transported to His prison.  
     One day the &Bab asked that some honey be purchased
for Him.  The price at which it had been bought seemed to
Him exorbitant.  He refused it and said:  "Honey of a
superior quality could no doubt have been purchased at a
lower price.  I who am your example have been a merchant
by profession.  It behoves you in all your transactions to
follow in My way.  You must neither defraud your neighbour
nor allow him to defraud you.  Such was the way of
your Master.  The shrewdest and ablest of men were unable
to deceive Him, nor did He on His part choose to act ungenerously
towards the meanest and most helpless of creatures."  
He insisted that the attendant who had made that
purchase should return and bring back to Him a honey
superior in quality and cheaper in price.  
     During the &Bab's captivity in the castle of &Chihriq, events
of a startling character caused grave perturbation to the
government.  It soon became evident that a number of the
most eminent among the siyyids, the &ulamas, and the government
officials of &Khuy had espoused the Cause of the
Prisoner and had completely identified themselves with His
Faith.  Among them figured &Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali and his
brother &Buyuk-Aqa, both siyyids of distinguished merit who
had risen with fevered earnestness to proclaim their Faith
to all sorts and conditions of people among their countrymen.  
A continuous stream of seekers and confirmed believers flowed
back and forth, as the result of such activities, between &Khuy
and &Chihriq.  
     It came to pass at that time that a prominent official of
high literary ability, &Mirza &Asadu'llah, who was later surnamed
&Dayyan by the &Bab and whose vehement denunciations
of His Message had baffled those who had endeavoured
to convert him, dreamed a dream.  When he awoke, he determined
not to recount it to anyone, and, fixing his choice
on two verses of the &Qur'an, he addressed the following
request to the &Bab:  "I have conceived three definite things
in my mind.  I request you to reveal to me their nature."  
&Mirza &Muhammad-'Ali was asked to submit this written
request to the &Bab.  A few days later, he received a reply
 
+P304
penned in the &Bab's handwriting, in which He set forth in
their entirety the circumstances of that dream and revealed
a the exact texts of those verses.  The accuracy of that reply
brought about a sudden conversion.  Though unused to
walking, &Mirza &Asadu'llah hastened on foot along that steep
and stony path which led from &Khuy to the castle.  His
friends tried to induce him to proceed on horseback to
&Chihriq, but he refused their offer.  His meeting with the
&Bab confirmed him in his belief and excited that fiery ardour
which he continued to manifest to the end of his life.  
     That same year the &Bab had expressed His desire that
forty of His companions should each undertake to compose
a treatise and seek, by the aid of verses and traditions, to
establish the validity of His Mission.  His wishes were instantly
obeyed, and the result of their labours was duly
submitted to His presence.  &Mirza &Asadu'llah's treatise won
the unqualified admiration of the &Bab and ranked highest
in His estimation.  He bestowed on him the name &Dayyan
and revealed in his honour the &Lawh-i-Hurufat+F1 in which He
made the following statement:  "Had the Point of the &Bayan+F2
no other testimony with which to establish His truth, this
were sufficient--that He revealed a Tablet such as this, a
Tablet such as no amount of learning could produce."  
     The people of the &Bayan, who utterly misconceived the
purpose underlying that Tablet, thought it to be a mere
exposition of the science of Jafr.+F3  When, at a later time,
in the early years of &Baha'u'llah's incarceration in the prison
city of &Akka, &Jinab-i-Muballigh made, from &Shiraz, his request
that He unravel the mysteries of that Tablet, there
was revealed from His pen an explanation which they who
misconceived the words of the &Bab might do well to ponder.  
&Baha'u'llah adduced from the statements of the &Bab irrefutable
evidence proving that the appearance of the &Man-Yuzhiruhu'llah+F4
must needs occur no less than nineteen years
after the Declaration of the &Bab.  The mystery of the
&Mustaghath+F5 had long baffled the most searching minds
among the people of the &Bayan and had proved an unsurmountable
 
+F1 Literally "Tablet of the Letters."  
+F2 One of the titles of the &Bab.  
+F3 Science of divination.  
+F4 Reference to &Baha'u'llah.  See Glossary.  
+F5 See Glossary.  
 
+P305
obstacle to their recognition of the promised One.  
The &Bab had Himself in that Tablet unravelled that mystery;
no one, however, was able to understand the explanation
which He had given.  It was left to &Baha'u'llah to unveil it
to the eyes of all men.  
     The untiring zeal which &Mirza &Asadu'llah displayed induced
his father, who was an intimate friend of &Haji &Mirza
&Aqasi, to report to him the circumstances which led to the
conversion of his son, and to inform him of his negligence in
carrying out the duties which the State had imposed upon
him.  He expatiated upon the eagerness with which so able
a servant of the government had risen to serve his new
Master, and the success which had attended his efforts.  
     A further cause for apprehension on the part of the government
authorities was supplied by the arrival at &Chihriq
of a dervish who had come from India and who, as soon as
he met the &Bab, acknowledged the truth of His Mission.  
All who met that dervish, whom the &Bab had named &Qahru'llah,
during his sojourn at &Iski-Shahr, felt the warmth of
his enthusiasm and were deeply impressed by the tenacity
of his conviction.  An increasing number of people became
enamoured of the charm of his personality and willingly
acknowledged the compelling power of his Faith.  Such was
the influence which he exercised over them that a few among
the believers were inclined to regard him as an exponent of
Divine Revelation, although he altogether disclaimed such
pretensions.  He was often heard to relate the following:  
"In the days when I occupied the exalted position of a &navvab
in India, the &Bab appeared to me in a vision.  He gazed at
me and won my heart completely.  I arose, and had started
to follow Him, when He looked at me intently and said:  
`Divest yourself of your gorgeous attire, depart from your
native land, and hasten on foot to meet Me in &Adhirbayjan.  
In &Chihriq you will attain your heart's desire.'  I followed
His directions and have now reached my goal."  
     The news of the turmoil which that lowly dervish had
been able to raise among the Kurdish leaders in &Chihriq
reached &Tabriz and was thence communicated to &Tihran.  
No sooner had the news reached the capital than orders
 
+P306
were issued to transfer the &Bab immediately to &Tabriz in
the hope of allaying the excitement which His continued residence
in that locality had provoked.  Before the news of
this fresh order had reached &Chihriq, the &Bab had charged
&Azim to inform &Qahru'llah of His desire that he return to
India and there consecrate his life to the service of His Cause.  
"Alone and on foot," He commanded him, "he should return
whence he came.  With the same ardour and detachment
with which he performed his pilgrimage to this country, he
must now repair to his native land and unceasingly labour
to advance the interests of the Cause."  He also bade him
instruct &Mirza &Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Turshizi, who was living in
&Khuy, to proceed immediately to &Urumiyyih, where He said
He would soon join him.  &Azim himself was directed to
leave for &Tabriz and there inform Siyyid &Ibrahim-i-Khalil
of His approaching arrival at that city.  "Tell him," the
&Bab added, "that the fire of Nimrod will shortly be kindled
in &Tabriz, but despite the intensity of its flame no harm will
befall our friends."  
     No sooner had &Qahru'llah received the message from his
Master than he arose to carry out His wishes.  To anyone
who wished to accompany him, he would say:  "You can
never endure the trials of this journey.  Abandon the thought
of coming with me.  You would surely perish on your way,
inasmuch as the &Bab has commanded me to return alone
to my native land."  The compelling force of his reply silenced
those who begged to be allowed to journey with him.  
He refused to accept either money or clothing from anyone.  
Alone, clad in the meanest attire, staff in hand, he walked
all the way back to his country.  No one knows what ultimately
befell him.  
    &Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Zunuzi, surnamed &Anis, was among
those who heard of the message from the &Bab in &Tabriz,
and was fired with the desire to hasten to &Chihriq and attain
His presence.  Those words had kindled in him an irrepressible
longing to sacrifice himself in His path.  Siyyid &Aliy-i-Zunuzi,
his stepfather, a notable of &Tabriz, strenuously objected
to his leaving the city, and was at last induced to
confine him in his house and strictly watch over him.  His
 
+P307
Son languished in his confinement until the time when his
Beloved had reached &Tabriz and had been taken back again
to His prison in &Chihriq.  
     I have heard &Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi relate the following:  
"At about the same time that the &Bab dismissed &Azim from
His presence, I was instructed by Him to collect all the available
Tablets that He had revealed during His incarceration
in the castles of &Mah-Ku and &Chihriq, and to deliver them
into the hands of Siyyid &Ibrahim-i-Khalil, who was then
living in &Tabriz, and urge him to conceal and preserve them
with the utmost care.  
     "During my stay in that city, I often visited Siyyid
&Aliy-i-Zunuzi, who was related to me, and frequently heard
him deplore the sad fate of his son.  `He seems to have lost
his reason,' he bitterly complained.  `He has, by his behaviour,
brought reproach and shame upon me.  Try to calm the
agitation of his heart and induce him to conceal his convictions.'  
Every day I visited him, I witnessed the tears that
continually rained from his eyes.  After the &Bab had departed
from &Tabriz, one day as I went to see him, I was surprised
to note the joy and gladness which had illumined his countenance.  
His handsome face was wreathed in smiles as he
stepped forward to receive me.  `The eyes of my Beloved,'
he said, as he embraced me, `have beheld this face, and
these eyes have gazed upon His countenance.'  `Let me,' he
added, `tell you the secret of my happiness.  After the &Bab
had been taken back to &Chihriq, one day, as I lay confined
in my cell, I turned my heart to Him and besought Him in
these words:  "Thou beholdest, O my Best-Beloved, my
captivity and helplessness, and knowest how eagerly I yearn
to look upon Thy face.  Dispel the gloom that oppresses
my heart, with the light of Thy countenance."  What tears
of agonising pain I shed that hour!  I was so overcome with
emotion that I seemed to have lost consciousness.  Suddenly
I heard the voice of the &Bab, and, lo! He was calling me.  
He bade me arise.  I beheld the majesty of His countenance
as He appeared before me.  He smiled as He looked into my
eyes.  I rushed forward and flung myself at His feet.  "Rejoice,"
He said; "the hour is approaching when, in this very
city, I shall be suspended before the eyes of the multitude
 
+P308
and shall fall a victim to the fire of the enemy.  I shall choose
no one except you to share with Me the cup of martyrdom.  
Rest assured that this promise which I give you shall be
fulfilled."  I was entranced by the beauty of that vision.  
When I recovered, I found myself immersed in an ocean of
joy, a joy the radiance of which all the sorrows of the world
could never obscure.  That voice keeps ringing in my ears.  
That vision haunts me both in the daytime and in the night-season.  
The memory of that ineffable smile has dissipated
the loneliness of my confinement.  I am firmly convinced
that the hour at which His pledge is to be fulfilled can no
longer be delayed.'  I exhorted him to be patient and to
conceal his emotions.  He promised me not to divulge that
secret, and undertook to exercise the utmost forbearance
towards Siyyid &Ali.  I hastened to assure the father of his
determination, and succeeded in obtaining his release from
his confinement.  That youth continued until the day of his
martyrdom to associate, in a state of complete serenity and
joy, with his parents and kinsmen.  Such was his behaviour
towards his friends and relatives that, on the day he laid
down his life for his Beloved, the people of &Tabriz all wept
and bewailed him."  
 
+P309
                         CHAPTER XVIII
                EXAMINATION OF THE &BAB AT &TABRIZ
 
     THE &Bab, in anticipation of the approaching hour
of His affliction, had dispersed His disciples who
had gathered in &Chihriq and awaited with calm
resignation the order which was to summon Him
to &Tabriz.  Those into whose custody He was delivered
thought it inadvisable to pass through the town of &Khuy,
which lay on their route to the capital of &Adhirbayjan.  
They decided to go by way of &Urumiyyih and thus avoid
the demonstrations which the excited populace in &Khuy were
likely to make as a protest against the tyranny of the government.  
When the &Bab arrived at &Urumiyyih, Malik &Qasim
&Mirza ceremoniously received Him and accorded Him the
warmest hospitality.  In His presence, the prince acted with
extraordinary deference and refused to allow the least disrespect
on the part of those who were allowed to meet Him.  
     On a certain Friday when the &Bab was going to the
public bath, the prince, who was curious to test the courage
and power of his Guest, ordered his groom to offer Him
one of his wildest horses to ride.  Apprehensive lest the
&Bab might suffer any harm, the attendant secretly approached
Him and tried to induce Him to refuse to mount a horse that
had already overthrown the bravest and most skilful of
horsemen.  "Fear not," was His reply.  "Do as you have
been bidden, and commit Us to the care of the Almighty."  
The inhabitants of &Urumiyyih, who had been informed of
the intention of the prince, had filled the public square,
eager to witness what might befall the &Bab.  As soon as
the horse was brought to Him, He quietly approached it
and, taking hold of the bridle which the groom had offered
Him, gently caressed it and placed His foot in the stirrup.  
The horse stood still and motionless beside Him as if conscious
of the power which was dominating it.  The multitude
that watched this most unusual spectacle marvelled at the
 
+P310
[Illustration:  THE HOUSE OCCUPIED BY THE &BAB IN &URUMIYYIH.  THE &BALA-KHANIH
(UPPER ROOM) MARKED X IS THE ROOM IN WHICH HE STAYED]  
 
+P311
behaviour of the animal.  To their simple minds this extraordinary
incident appeared little short of a miracle.  They
hastened in their enthusiasm to kiss the stirrups of the &Bab,
but were prevented by the attendants of the prince, who
feared lest so great an onrush of people might harm Him.  
The prince himself, who had accompanied his Guest on foot
as far as the vicinity of the bath, was bidden by Him, ere
they reached its entrance, to return to his residence.  All the
way, the prince's footmen were endeavouring to restrain the
people who, from every side, were pressing forward to catch
a glimpse of the &Bab.  Upon His arrival, He dismissed all
those who had accompanied Him except the prince's private
attendant and Siyyid &Hasan, who waited in the antechamber
and aided Him in undressing.  On His return from the bath,
He again mounted the same horse and was acclaimed by the
same multitude.  The prince came on foot to meet Him,
and escorted Him back to his residence.  
     No sooner had the &Bab left the bath than the people of
&Urumiyyih rushed to take away, to the last drop, the water
which had served for His ablutions.  Great excitement prevailed
on that day.  The &Bab, as He observed these evidences
of unrestrained enthusiasm, was reminded of the well-known
tradition, commonly ascribed to the &Imam &Ali, the Commander
of the Faithful, which specifically referred to &Adhirbayjan.  
The lake of &Urumiyyih, that same tradition asserts
in its concluding passages, will boil up, will overrun its banks,
and inundate the town.  When He was subsequently informed
how the overwhelming majority of the people had spontaneously
arisen to proclaim their undivided allegiance to His
Cause, He calmly observed:  "Think men that when they
say, `We believe,' they shall be let alone and not be put to
the proof?"+F1  This comment was fully justified by the attitude
which that same people assumed towards Him when
the news of the dreadful treatment meted out to Him in
&Tabriz reached them.  Hardly a handful among those who
had so ostentatiously professed their faith in Him persevered,
in the hour of trial, in their allegiance to His Cause.  Foremost
among these was &Mulla &Imam-Vardi, the tenacity of
whose faith no one except &Mulla &Jalil-i-Urumi, a native of
 
+F1 &Qur'an, 29:2.  
 
+P312
&Urumiyyih and one of the Letters of the Living, could surpass.  
Adversity served but to intensify the ardour of his
devotion and to reinforce his belief in the righteousness of
the Cause he had embraced.  He subsequently attained the
presence of &Baha'u'llah, the truth of whose Mission he readily
recognised, and for the advancement of which he strove with
the same fevered earnestness that had characterised his earlier
strivings for the promotion of the Cause of the &Bab.  In
recognition of his long-standing services, he, and also his
family, were honoured with numerous Tablets from the pen
of &Baha'u'llah in which He extolled his achievements and
invoked the blessings of the Almighty upon his efforts.  With
unflinching determination, he continued to labour for the
furtherance of the Faith until past eighty years of age, when
he departed this life.  
     The tales of the signs and wonders which the &Bab's
unnumbered admirers had witnessed were soon transmitted
from mouth to mouth, and gave rise to a wave of unprecedented
enthusiasm which spread with bewildering rapidity
over the entire country.  It swept over &Tihran and roused
the ecclesiastical dignitaries of the realm to fresh exertions
against Him.  They trembled at the progress of a Movement
which, if allowed to run its course, they felt certain would
soon engulf the institutions upon which their authority, nay
their very existence, depended.  They saw on every side
increasing evidences of a faith and devotion such as they
themselves had been powerless to evoke, of a loyalty which
struck at the very root of the fabric which their own hands
had reared and which all the resources at their command
had as yet failed to undermine.  
     &Tabriz, in particular, was in the throes of the wildcat
excitement.  The news of the impending arrival of the &Bab
had inflamed the imagination of its inhabitants and had
kindled the fiercest animosity in the hearts of the ecclesiastical
leaders of &Adhirbayjan.  These alone, of all the people
of &Tabriz, abstained from sharing in the demonstrations with
which a grateful population hailed the return of the &Bab to
their city.  Such was the fervour of popular enthusiasm which
that news had evoked that the authorities decided to house
the &Bab in a place outside the gates of the city.  Only those
 
+P313
whom He desired to meet were allowed the privilege of approaching
Him.  All others were strictly refused admittance.  
     On the second night after His arrival, the &Bab summoned
&Azim to His presence and, in the course of His conversation
with him, asserted emphatically His claim to be none other
than the promised &Qa'im.  He found him, however, reluctant
to acknowledge this claim unreservedly.  Perceiving his inner
agitation, He said:  "To-morrow I shall, in the presence of
the &Vali-'Ahd,+F1 and in the midst of the assembled &ulamas
and notables of the city, proclaim My Mission.  Whoso may
feel inclined to require from Me any other testimony besides
the verses which I have revealed, let him seek satisfaction
from the &Qa'im of his idle fancy."  
     I have heard &Azim testify to the following:  "That night
I was in a state of great perturbation.  I remained awake
and restless until the hour of sunrise.  As soon as I had
offered my morning prayer, however, I realised that a great
change had come over me.  A new door seemed to have been
unlocked and set open before my face.  The conviction soon
dawned upon me that if I were loyal to my faith in
&Muhammad, the Apostle of God, I must needs also unreservedly
acknowledge the claims advanced by the &Bab, and
must submit without fear or hesitation to whatever He
might choose to decree.  This conclusion allayed the agitation
of my heart.  I hastened to the &Bab and begged His
forgiveness.  `It is a further evidence of the greatness of
this Cause,' He remarked, `that even &Azim+F2 should have felt
so exceedingly troubled and shaken by its power and the
immensity of its claim.'  `Rest assured,' He added, `the grace
of the Almighty shall enable you to fortify the faint in heart
and to make firm the step of the waverer.  So great shall be
your faith that should the enemy mutilate and tear your
body to pieces, in the hope of lessening by one jot or tittle
the ardour of your love, he would fail to attain his object.  
You will, no doubt, in the days to come, meet face to face
Him who is the Lord of all the worlds, and will partake of
the joy of His presence.'  These words dispelled the gloom
of my apprehensions.  From that day onward, no trace of
either fear or agitation ever again cast its shadow upon me."  
 
+F1 The heir to the throne.  
+F2 Literally meaning "great."

+P314
     The detention of the &Bab outside the gate of &Tabriz
failed to allay the excitement which reigned in the city.  
Every measure of precaution, every restriction, which the
authorities had imposed, served only to aggravate a situation
which had already become ominous and menacing.  
&Haji &Mirza &Aqasi issued his orders for the immediate convocation
of the ecclesiastical dignitaries of &Tabriz in the
official residence of the governor of &Adhirbayjan for the
express purpose of arraigning the &Bab and of seeking the
most effective means for the extinction of His influence.  
&Haji &Mulla &Mahmud, entitled the &Nizamu'l-'Ulama', who
was the tutor of &Nasiri'd-Din &Mirza the &Vali-'Ahd,+F1 &Mulla
&Muhammad-i-Mamaqani, &Mirza &Ali-Asghar the &Shaykhu'l-Islam,
and a number of the most distinguished &shaykhis and
doctors of divinity were among those who had convened for
that purpose.+F2  &Nasiri'd-Din &Mirza himself attended that
 
+F1 Born July 17, 1831; began to reign September, 1848, died 1896.  "This
+F1 Prince left &Tihran to return to his government the twenty-third of
+F1 January, 1848.  His father having died the fourth of September, he returned
+F1 to assume the title of &Shah on the eighteenth of September of the same
+F1 year."  (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 243, note
+F1 195.)  
+F2 "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 19) mentions in addition the name &Mirza
+F2 &Ahmad, the &Imam-Jum'ih.  
 
+P315
gathering.  The presidency belonged to the &Nizamu'l-'Ulama',
who, as soon as the proceedings had begun, in the name of
the assembly commissioned an officer of the army to introduce
the &Bab into their presence.  A multitude of people
had meanwhile besieged the entrance of the hall and were
impatiently awaiting the time when they could catch a
glimpse of His face.  They were pressing forward in such
large numbers that a passage had to be forced for Him
through the crowd that had collected before the gate.  
     Upon His arrival, the &Bab observed that every seat in
that hall was occupied except one which had been reserved
for the &Vali-'Ahd.  He greeted the assembly and, without
the slightest hesitation, proceeded to occupy that vacant
seat.  The majesty of His
gait, the expression of overpowering
confidence which
sat upon His brow--above
all, the spirit of power which
shone from His whole being,
appeared to have for a moment
crushed the soul out
of the body of those whom
He had greeted.  A deep, a
mysterious silence, suddenly
fell upon them.  Not one
soul in that distinguished
assembly dared breathe a
single word.  At last the
stillness which brooded over
them was broken by the
&Nizamu'l-'Ulama'.  "Whom
do you claim to be," he
asked the &Bab, "and what
is the message which you
have brought?"  "I am,"
thrice exclaimed the &Bab,
"I am, I am, the promised
One!  I am the One whose
name you have for a thousand
years invoked, at whose
 
+P316
mention you have risen,
whose advent you have
longed to witness, and the
hour of whose Revelation
you have prayed God to
hasten.  Verily I say, it is
incumbent upon the peoples
of both the East and the
West to obey My word and
to pledge allegiance to My
person."  No one ventured
to reply except &Mulla
&Muhammad-i-Mamaqani, a
leader of the &Shaykhi community
who had been himself
a disciple of Siyyid &Kazim.  
It was he on whose unfaithfulness
and insincerity the
siyyid had tearfully remarked,
and the perversity
of whose nature he had deplored.  
&Shaykh &Hasan-i-Zunuzi, who had heard Siyyid
&Kazim make these criticisms, recounted to me the following:  
"I was greatly surprised at the tone of his reference to
&Mulla &Muhammad, and was curious to know what his
future behaviour would be so as to merit such expressions
of pity and condemnation from his master.  Not until I
discovered his attitude that day towards the &Bab did I
realise the extent of his arrogance and blindness.  I was
standing together with other people outside the hall, and
was able to follow the conversation of those who were within.  
&Mulla &Muhammad was seated on the left hand of the &Vali-'Ahd.  
The &Bab was occupying a seat between them.  Immediately
after He had declared Himself to be the promised
One, a feeling of awe seized those who were present.  They
had dropped their heads in silent confusion.  The pallor
of their faces betrayed the agitation of their hearts.  &Mulla
&Muhammad, that one-eyed and white-bearded renegade, insolently
reprimanded Him, saying:  `You wretched and
immature lad of &Shiraz!  You have already convulsed and
 
+P317
subverted &Iraq; do you now wish to arouse a like turmoil in
&Adhirbayjan?'  `Your Honour,' replied the &Bab, `I have not
come hither of My own accord.  I have been summoned to
this place.'  `Hold your peace,' furiously retorted &Mulla
&Muhammad, `you perverse and contemptible follower of
Satan!'  `Your Honour,' the &Bab again answered, `I maintain
what I have already declared.'  
     "The &Nizamu'l-'Ulama' uthought it best to challenge His
Mission openly.  `The claim which you have advanced,' he
told the &Bab, `is a stupendous one; it must needs be supported
by the most incontrovertible evidence.'  `The mightiest,
the most convincing evidence of the truth of the Mission
of the Prophet of God,' the &Bab replied, `is admittedly His
own Word.  He Himself testifies to this truth:  "Is it not
enough for them that We have sent down to Thee the Book?"+F1  
The power to produce such evidence has been given to Me
by God.  Within the space of two days and two nights, I
declare Myself able to reveal verses of such number as will
equal the whole of the &Qur'an.'  `Describe orally, if you
speak the truth,' the &Nizamu'l-'Ulama' requested, `the proceedings
of this gathering in language that will resemble the
phraseology of the verses of the &Qur'an so that the &Vali-'Ahd
and the assembled divines may bear witness to the truth of
your claim.'  The &Bab readily acceded to his wish.  No
sooner had He uttered the words, `In the name of God, the
Merciful, the Compassionate, praise be to Him who has
 
+F1 &Qur'an 29:51.  
 
+P318
created the heaven and the earth,' than &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mamaqani
interrupted and called His attention to all infraction
of the rules of grammar.  `This self-appointed &Qa'im of
ours,' he cried in haughty scorn, `has at the very start of his
address betrayed his ignorance of the most rudimentary rules
of grammar!'  `The &Qur'an itself,' pleaded the &Bab, `does in
no wise accord with the rules and conventions current amongst
men.  The Word of God can never be subject to the limitations
 
+P319
of His creatures.  Nay, the rules and canons which
men have adopted have been deduced from the text of the
Word of God and are based upon it.  These men have, in
the very texts of that holy Book, discovered no less than
three hundred instances of grammatical error, such as the
one you now criticise.  Inasmuch as it was the Word of
God, they had no other alternative except to resign themselves
to His will.'+F1
     "He then repeated the same-words He had uttered, to
which &Mulla &Muhammad raised again the same objection.  
Shortly after, another person ventured to put this question
to the &Bab:  `To which tense does the word &Ishtartanna
belong?'  In answer to him, the &Bab quoted this verse of
the &Qur'an:  `Far be the glory of thy Lord, the Lord of all
greatness, from what they impute to Him, and peace be
upon His Apostles!  And praise be to God, the Lord of the
worlds.'  Immediately after, He arose and left the gathering."+F2  
     The &Nizamu'l-'Ulama' was sorely displeased at the manner
in which the meeting had been conducted.  "How shameful,"
he was heard to exclaim later, "is the discourtesy of
the people of &Tabriz!  What could possibly be the connection
between these idle remarks and the consideration of such
weighty, such momentous issues?"  A few others were likewise
 
+F1 "If anyone should raise an objection to the grammar or syntax of these
+F1 verses, this objection is vain, because the rules of grammar should be
+F1 taken from the verses and not the verses written in compliance with the
+F1 rules of grammar.  There is no doubt that the Master of these verses denied
+F1 these rules, denied that he, himself, was ever aware of them."  ("Le &Bayan
+F1 Persan," vol. 1, pp. 45-46.)  
+F2 "And as for the Muslim accounts, those which we have before us do not bear
+F2 the stamp of truth:  they seem to be forgeries.  Knowing what we do of the
+F2 &Bab it is probable that he had the best of the argument and that the
+F2 doctors and functionaries who attended the meeting were unwilling to put
+F2 upon record their own fiasco."  (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of
+F2 Race and Religions," p. 62.)  "It is difficult to decide to what measure of
+F2 credence the above narrative [the &Muhammadan version of the examination of
+F2 the &Bab at &Tabriz] is entitled Very probably such questions as are there
+F2 recorded--and assuredly some of them are sufficiently frivolous and even
+F2 indecent--were asked; but, even though the &Bab may have been unable to
+F2 answer them, it is far more likely that, as stated in the `&Tarikh-i-Jadid'
+F2 he preserved a dignified silence than that he gave utterance to the
+F2 absurdities attributed to him by the &Muhammadan writers.  These, indeed,
+F2 spoil their own case; for desiring to prove that the &Bab was not endowed
+F2 with superhuman wisdom, they represent him as displaying an ignorance which
+F2 we can scarcely credit.  That the whole examination was a farce throughout,
+F2 that the sentence was a foregone conclusion, that no serious attempt to
+F2 apprehend the nature and evidence of the &Bab's claim and doctrine was made
+F2 that from first to last a systematic course of browbeating, irony, and
+F2 mockery was pursued appear to me to be facts proved no less by the
+F2 &Muhammadan than by the &Babi accounts of these inquisitorial proceedings"
+F2 ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note M, p. 290.)  
 
+P320
inclined to denounce the disgraceful treatment meted
out to the &Bab on that occasion.  &Mulla &Muhammad-i-Mamaqani,
however, persisted in his vehement denunciations.  
"I warn you," he loudly protested, "if you allow this youth
to pursue unhampered the course of his activities, the day
will come when the entire population of &Tabriz will have
flocked to his standard.  Should he, when that day arrives,
signify his wish that all the &ulamas of &Tabriz, that the
&Vali-'Ahd himself, should be expelled from the city and that
he should alone assume the reins of civil and ecclesiastical
authority, no one of you, who now view with apathy his
cause, will feel able to oppose him effectually.  The entire
city, nay the whole province of &Adhirbayjan, will on that
day unanimously support him."  
     The persistent denunciations of that evil plotter excited
the apprehensions of the authorities of &Tabriz.  Those who
held the reins of power in their grasp took counsel together
as to the most effective measures to be taken to resist the
progress of His Faith.  Some urged that in view of the marked
disrespect which the &Bab had shown to the &Vali-'Ahd in
occupying his seat without his leave, and because of His
failure to obtain the consent of the chairman of that gathering
when He arose to depart, He should be summoned again
to a like gathering and should receive from the hands of
its members a humiliating punishment.  &Nasiri'd-Din &Mirza,
however, refused to entertain this proposal.  Finally it was
decided that the &Bab should be brought to the home of
&Mirza &Ali-Asghar, who was both the &Shaykhu'l-Islam of
&Tabriz and a siyyid, and should receive at the hands of the
governor's bodyguard the chastisement which He deserved.  
The guard refused to accede to this request, preferring not
to interfere in a matter which they regarded as the sole
concern of the &ulamas of the city.  The &Shaykhu'l-Islam
himself decided to inflict the punishment.  He summoned
the &Bab to his home, and with his hand eleven times applied
the rods to His feet.+F1  
 
+F1   The following is Dr. Cormick's account of his personal impressions of
+F1 &Mirza &Ali-Muhammad the &Bab, extracted from letters written by him to the
+F1 Rev. Benjamin Labaree, D.D.  (Dr. Cormick was an English physician long
+F1 resident in &Tabriz, where he was highly respected.  The document was
+F1 communicated to Professor E. G. Browne of Cambridge University, by Mr.
+F1 W. A. Shedd, who wrote concerning it, in a letter dated March 1, 1911:  
+F1 "Dear Professor Browne, In going over papers of my father (the late Rev.
+F1 J. H. Shedd, D.D., of the American Mission at &Urumiyyih, Persia, of the
+F1 same mission as Dr. Benjamin Labaree), I found something which I think may
+F1 be of value from a historical point of view.  I have no books here, nor are
+F1 any accessible here, to be certain whether this bit of testimony has been
+F1 used or not.  I think probably not, and I am sure that I can do nothing
+F1 better than send them to you, with the wish that you may use them as you
+F1 think best.  Of the authenticity of the papers there can be no doubt.")  
+F1   "You ask me for some particulars of my interview with the founder of the
+F1 sect known as &Babis.  Nothing of any importance transpired in this
+F1 interview, as the &Bab was aware of my having been sent with two other
+F1 Persian doctors to see whether he was of sane mind or merely a madman, to
+F1 decide the question whether to put him to death or not.  With this
+F1 knowledge he was loth to answer any questions put to him.  To all enquiries
+F1 he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting in a low melodious voice
+F1 some hymns, I suppose.  Two other Siyyids, his intimate friends, were also
+F1 present, who subsequently were put to death with him, besides a couple of
+F1 government officials.  He only once deigned to answer me, on my saying that
+F1 I was not a Musulman and was willing to know something about his religion,
+F1 as I might perhaps be inclined to adopt it.  He regarded me very intently
+F1 on my saying this, and replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans coming
+F1 over to his religion.  Our report to the &Shah at that time was of a nature
+F1 to spare his life.  He was put to death some time after by the order of the
+F1 &Amir-Nizam &Mirza &Taqi &Khan.  On our report he merely got the bastinado,
+F1 in which operation a &farrash, whether intentionally or not, struck him
+F1 across the face with the stick destined for his feet, which produced a
+F1 great wound and swelling of the face.  On being asked whether a Persian
+F1 surgeon should be brought to treat him, he expressed a desire that I should
+F1 be sent for, and I accordingly treated him for a few days, but in the
+F1 interviews consequent on this I could never get him to have a confidential
+F1 chat with me, as some government people were always present, he being a
+F1 prisoner.  He was very thankful for my attentions to him.  He was a very
+F1 mild and delicate-looking man, rather small in stature and very fair for a
+F1 Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much.  Being a
+F1 Siyyid, he was dressed in the habit of that sect, as were also his two
+F1 companions.  In fact his whole look and deportment went far to dispose on
+F1 in his favour.  Of his doctrine I heard nothing from his own lips, although
+F1 the idea was that there existed in his religion a certain approach to
+F1 Christianity.  He was seen by some Armenian carpenters, who were sent to
+F1 make some repairs to his prison, reading the Bible, and he took no pains to
+F1 conceal it, but on the contrary told them of it.  Most assuredly the
+F1 Mussulman fanaticism does not exist in his religion, as applied to
+F1 Christians, nor is there that restraint of females that now exists."  
+F1 In connection with this document, Professor Browne writes as follows:  
+F1 "The first of these two documents is very valuable as giving the personal
+F1 impression produced by the &Bab, during the period of his imprisonment and
+F1 suffering, on a cultivated and impartial Western mind.  Very few Western
+F1 Christians can have had the opportunity of seeing, still less of conversing
+F1 with, the &Bab, and I do not know of any other who has recorded his
+F1 impressions."  (E. G. Browne's Materials for the Study of the &Babi
+F1 Religion," pp. 260-62, 264.)  
 
+P321
     That same year this insolent tyrant was struck with
paralysis, and, after enduring the most excruciating pain,
died a miserable death.  His treacherous, avaricious, and
self-seeking character was universally recognised by the
people of &Tabriz.  Notoriously cruel and sordid, he was
feared and despised by the people who groaned under his
yoke and prayed for deliverance.  The abject circumstances
of his death reminded both his friends and his opponents
of the punishment which must necessarily await those whom
neither the fear of God nor the voice of conscience can deter
from behaving with such perfidious cruelty towards their
fellow men.  After his death the functions of the &Shaykhu'l-Islam
were abolished in &Tabriz.  Such was his infamy that
the very name of the institution with which he had been
associated came to be abhorred by the people.  
     And yet his behaviour, base and treacherous as it was,
was only one instance of the villainous conduct which characterised
the attitude of the ecclesiastical leaders among his
countrymen towards the &Bab.  How far and how grievously
have these erred from the path of fairness and justice!  How
contemptuously have they cast away the counsels of the
Prophet of God and the admonitions of the &imams of the
Faith!  Have not these explicitly declared that "should a
 
+P322
Youth from &Bani-Hashim+F1 be made manifest and summon
the people to a new Book and to new laws, all should hasten
to Him and embrace His Cause"?  Although these same
&imams have clearly stated that "most of His enemies shall
be the &ulamas," yet these blind and ignoble people have
chosen to follow the example of their leaders and to regard
their conduct as the pattern of righteousness and justice.  
They walk in their footsteps, implicitly obey their orders,
and deem themselves the "people of salvation," the "chosen
of God," and the "custodians of His Truth."  
     From &Tabriz the &Bab was taken back to &Chihriq, where
He was again entrusted to the keeping of &Yahya &Khan.  
His persecutors had fondly imagined that by summoning
Him to their presence they would, through threats and intimidation,
induce Him to abandon His Mission.  That gathering
enabled the &Bab to set forth emphatically, in the presence
of the most illustrious dignitaries assembled in the capital
of &Adhirbayjan, the distinguishing features of His claim,
and to confute, in brief and convincing language, the arguments
of His adversaries.  The news of that momentous
declaration, fraught with such far-reaching consequences,
spread rapidly throughout Persia and stirred again more
deeply the feelings of the disciples of the &Bab.  It reanimated
their zeal, reinforced their position, and was a signal for
the tremendous happenings that were soon to convulse that
land.  
 
+F1 &Hashim was the great-grandfather of &Muhammad.  
 
+P323
     No sooner had the &Bab returned to &Chihriq than He wrote
in bold and moving language a denunciation of the character
and action of &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi.  In the opening passages
of that epistle, which was given the name of the &Khutbiy-i-Qahriyyih,+F1
the Author addresses the Grand &Vazir of &Muhammad
&Shah in these terms:  "O thou who hast disbelieved
in God and hast turned thy face away from His signs!"  
That lengthy epistle was forwarded to &Hujjat, who, in those
days, was confined in &Tihran.  He was instructed to deliver
it in person to &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi.  
     I was privileged to hear the following account from the
lips of &Baha'u'llah while in the prison-city of &Akka:  "&Mulla
&Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Zanjani, soon after he had delivered that
Tablet to &Haji &Mirza &Aqasi, came and visited me.  I was
in the company of &Mirza &Masih-i-Nuri and a number of
other believers when he arrived.  He recounted the circumstances
attending the delivery of the Tablet, and recited
before us the entire text, which was about three pages in
length, and which he had committed to memory."  The tone
of &Baha'u'llah's reference to &Hujjat indicated how greatly
pleased He was with the purity and nobleness of his life,
and how much He admired his undaunted courage, his indomitable
will, his unworldliness, and his unwavering constancy.  
 
+F1 Literally "Sermon of Wrath."  
 
+P324
                         CHAPTER XIX
                  THE &MAZINDARAN UPHEAVAL
 
     IN THE same month of &Sha'ban that witnessed the
indignities inflicted upon the &Bab in &Tabriz, and
the afflictions which befell &Baha'u'llah and His
companions in &Niyala, &Mulla &Husayn returned from
the camp of Prince &Hamzih &Mirza to &Mashhad, from which
place he was to proceed seven days later to &Karbila accompanied
by whomsoever he might desire.  The prince offered
him a sum to defray the expenses of his journey, an offer
that he declined, sending the money back with a message
requesting him to expend it for the relief of the poor and
needy.  &Abdu'l-'Ali &Khan likewise volunteered to provide
all the requirements of &Mulla &Husayn's intended pilgrimage,
and expressed his eagerness to pay also the expenses of
whomsoever he might choose to accompany him.  All that
he accepted from him was a sword and a horse, both of
which he was destined to utilise with consummate bravery
and skill in repulsing the assaults of a treacherous enemy.  
     My pen can never adequately describe the devotion which
&Mulla &Husayn had kindled in the hearts of the people of
&Mashhad, nor can it seek to fathom the extent of his influence.  
His house, in those days, was continually besieged
by crowds of eager people who begged to be allowed to
accompany him on his contemplated journey.  Mothers
brought their sons, and sisters their brothers, and tearfully
implored him to accept them as their most cherished offerings
on the Altar of Sacrifice.  
     &Mulla &Husayn was still in &Mashhad when a messenger
arrived bearing to him the &Bab's turban and conveying the
news that a new name, that of Siyyid &Ali, had been conferred
upon him by his Master.  "Adorn your head," was
the message, "with My green turban, the emblem of My
lineage, and, with the Black Standard+F1 unfurled before you,
 
+F1 Refer to p. 351.  
 
+P325
hasten to the &Jaziriy-i-Khadra',+F1 and lend your assistance to
My beloved &Quddus."  
     As soon as that message reached him, &Mulla &Husayn
arose to execute the wishes of his Master.  Leaving &Mashhad
for a place situated at a farsang's+F2 distance from the city,
he hoisted the Black Standard, placed the turban of the
&Bab upon his head, assembled his companions, mounted
his steed, and gave the signal for their march to the &Jaziriy-i-Khadra'.  
His companions, who were two hundred and two
in number, enthusiastically followed him.  That memorable
day was the nineteenth of &Sha'ban, in the year 1264 A.H.+F3  
Wherever they tarried, at every village and hamlet through
which they passed, &Mulla &Husayn and his fellow-disciples
would fearlessly proclaim the message of the New Day,
would invite the people to embrace its truth, and would
select from among those who responded to their call a few
whom they would ask to join them on their journey.  
     In the town of &Nishapur, &Haji &Abdu'l-Majid, the father
of &Badi',+F4 who was a merchant of note, enlisted under the
banner of &Mulla &Husayn.  Though his father enjoyed an
unrivalled prestige as the owner of the best-known turquoise
mine of &Nishapur, he, forsaking all the honours and material
benefits that his native town had conferred upon him, pledged
his undivided loyalty to &Mulla &Husayn.  In the village of
&Miyamay, thirty among its inhabitants declared their faith
 
+F1 Literally "Verdant Isle."  
+F2 Refer to Glossary.  
+F3 July 21, 1848 A.D.  
+F4 Bearer of &Baha'u'llah's Tablet to &Nasiri'd-Din &Shah.  
 
+P326
and joined that company.  All of them with the exception of
&Mulla &Isa, fell martyrs in the fort of &Shaykh &Tabarsi.+F1  
     Arriving at &Chashmih-'Ali, a place situated near the town
of &Damghan and on the highroad to &Mazindaran, &Mulla
&Husayn decided to break his journey and to tarry there for
a few days.  He encamped under the shadow of a big tree,
by the side of a running stream.  "We stand at the parting
of the ways," he told his companions.  "We shall await His
decree as to which direction we should take."  Towards the
end of the month of &Shavval,+F2 a fierce gale arose and struck
down a large branch of that tree; whereupon &Mulla &Husayn
observed:  "The tree of the sovereignty of &Muhammad &Shah
has, by the will of God, been uprooted and hurled to the
ground."  On the third day after he had uttered that prediction,
a messenger, who was on his way to &Mashhad,
arrived from &Tihran and reported the death of his sovereign.+F3  
The following day, the company determined to leave for
&Mazindaran.  As their leader arose to depart, he pointed in
the direction of &Mazindaran and said:  "This is the way
that leads to our &Karbila.  Whoever is unprepared for the
great trials that lie before us, let him now repair to his home
and give up the journey."  He several times repeated that
warning, and, as he approached &Savad-Kuh, explicitly declared:  
"I, together with seventy-two of my companions,
shall suffer death for the sake of the Well-Beloved.  Whoso
is unable to renounce the world, let him now at this very
moment, depart, for later on he will be unable to escape."  
Twenty of his companions chose to return, feeling themselves
powerless to withstand the trials to which their chief continually
alluded.  
 
+F1   "He (&Mulla &Husayn) arrived first at &Miyamay where he rejoined thirty
+F1 &Babis whose chief, &Mirza &Zaynu'l-'Abidin, pupil of the late &Shaykh
+F1 &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, was an elderly, pious and respected gentleman.  His zeal
+F1 was so intense that he brought with him his son-in-law, a young man of
+F1 eighteen years, who had been married to his daughter only a few days.  
+F1 `Come,' he said to him, `Come with me on my last journey.  Come, because
+F1 I must be a true father to you and make you partake of the joy of
+F1 salvation!'  
+F1   "They departed therefore, and it was on foot that the aged man desired to
+F1 travel the road which was to lead him to martyrdom."  (A. L. M. Nicolas'
+F1 "Siyyid &Ali-Muhammad dit le &Bab," p. 290.)  
+F2 August 31-September 29, 1848 A.D.  
+F3 &Muhammad &Shah died on the eve of the sixth of &Shavval (September 4, 1848
+F3 A.D.).  "There was an interregnum of about two months.  A provisional
+F3 government was formed comprising four administrators under the presidency
+F3 of the widow of the deceased &Shah.  Finally after much hesitation, the
+F3 lawful heir, the young Prince &Nasiri'd-Din &Mirza, governor of
+F3 &Adhirbayjan was permitted to ascend the throne."  (Journal Asiatique,
+F3 1866, tome 7, p. 367.)  
 
+P327
[Illustrations:  VIEW OF THE VILLAGE OF &MIYAMAY; EXTERIOR OF THE MASJID;
INTERIOR OF THE MASJID, WHERE &MULLA &HUSAYN AND HIS COMPANIONS PRAYED]  
 
+P328
     The news of their approach to the town of &Barfurush
alarmed the &Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'.  The widespread and growing
popularity of &Mulla &Husayn, the circumstances attending
his departure from &Mashhad, the Black Standard which
waved before him--above all, the number, the discipline,
and the enthusiasm of his companions, combined to arouse
the implacable hatred of that cruel and overbearing mujtahid.  
He bade the crier summon the people of &Barfurush to the
masjid and announce that a sermon of such momentous consequence
was to be delivered by him that no loyal adherent
of &Islam in that neighbourhood could afford to ignore it.  
An immense crowd of men and women thronged the masjid,
saw him ascend the pulpit, fling his turban to the ground,
tear open the neck of his shirt, and bewail the plight into
which the Faith had fallen.  "Awake," he thundered from
the pulpit, for our enemies stand at our very doors, ready
to wipe out all that we cherish as pure and holy in &Islam!  
Should we fail to resist them, none will be left to survive
their onslaught.  He who is the leader of that band came
alone, one day, and attended my classes.  He utterly ignored
me and treated me with marked disdain in the presence of
my assembled disciples.  As I refused to accord him the
honours which he expected, he angrily arose and flung me
his challenge.  This man had the temerity, at a time when
&Muhammad &Shah was seated upon his throne and was at
the height of his power, to assail me with so much bitterness.  
What excesses this stirrer-up of mischief, who is now advancing
at the head of his savage band, will not commit now
that the protecting hand of &Muhammad &Shah has been suddenly
withdrawn!  It is the duty of all the inhabitants of
&Barfurush, both young and old, both men and women, to
arm themselves against these contemptible wreckers of &Islam,
and by every means in their power to resist their onset.  
To-morrow, at the hour of dawn, let all of you arise and
march out to exterminate their forces."  
     The entire congregation arose in response to his call.  
His passionate eloquence, the undisputed authority he exercised
over them, and the dread of the loss of their own lives
and property, combined to induce the inhabitants of that
town to make every possible preparation for the coming
 
+P329
encounter.  They armed themselves with every weapon which
they could either find or devise, and set out at break of day
from the town of &Barfurush, fully determined to face and
slay the enemies of their Faith and to plunder their property.+F1  
     As soon as &Mulla &Husayn had determined to pursue the
way that led to &Mazindaran, he, immediately after he had
offered his morning prayer, bade