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Title: The Bab: The Herald of the Day of Days
Author: Balyuzi, H.M. (Hasan Muvaqqar)
Language: English
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                                THE BÁB

                             The Herald of
                            the Day of Days

_By the same author_

  The Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh

  The King of Glory

  A brief life, followed by an essay entitled THE WORD MADE FLESH

  The Wife of the Báb




                                THE BÁB

                    _The Herald of the Day of Days_

                            H. M. BALYUZI

                            GEORGE RONALD

                First published 1973 by George Ronald
             46 High Street, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 2DN
                       Reprinted 1973 and 1974
                          Paper edition 1975
                            Reprinted 1994

                         © H. M. BALYUZI 1973

                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

     This book is copyright under the Berne Convention. It may
     not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form (except
     for fair dealing for the purposes of private study,
     research, criticism or review as permitted under the
     Copyright Act, 1956) without written permission from the

                          ISBN 0 85398 054 3


  Nabíl, _The Dawn-Breakers_
  Copyright © 1932 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís
  of the United States

  Shoghi Effendi, _God Passes By_
  Copyright © 1944, 1971 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís
  of the United States

  WORLD ORDER, A Bahá'í Magazine
  Copyright © 1966 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís
  of the United States

                      Printed by The Cromwell Press,
                       Broughton Gifford, Melksham,
                            Wiltshire SN12 8PH


  Foreword                                                           ix

  A Note on the Construction of Persian Names                        xi

  Prologue                                                            1

  1. All Hail [_Sh_]íráz                                             15

  2. He Whom They Sought                                             32

  3. Ṭihrán                                                          48

  4. The First Martyr                                                58

  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca                                             69

  6. Forces of Opposition Arrayed                                    76

  7. Belief and Denial                                               85

  8. The City of `Abbás the Great                                   106

  9. The Antichrist of the Bábí Revelation                          117

  10. Where the Aras Flows                                          124

  11. The Grievous Mountain                                         134

  12. That Midsummer Noon                                           148

  13. The Dawn-Breakers                                             161

  Epilogue                                                          189


  1. The Siege of Karbilá                                           193

  2. The Martyrdom of the Báb                                       202

  3. Prelude to the Episode of Nayríz                               204

  4. The Seven Martyrs of Ṭihrán                                    206

  5. The Episode of Zanján                                          209

  6. Lord Palmerston's Enquiry                                      214

  7. Myth-Making                                                    217

  Bibliography                                                      225

  Notes                                                             229

  Index                                                             243

                          THE SHINING MEMORY
                        A LONE AND NOBLE WOMAN
                       WHO SUFFERED IN SILENCE
                           FOR FORTY YEARS
                             IS DEDICATED


The present book completes the trilogy on the lives of the Founders of
the Bahá'í Faith. However, now that additional material is at my
disposal, it is my hope to expand at a future date the volume on the
life of Bahá'u'lláh, and also to write a supplement to the volume on
the life of `Abdu'l-Bahá.

This book is the first in the range of Bahá'í literature to make
extensive use of official documents from governmental archives. I am
greatly indebted to Moojan Momen who has generously shared with me the
results of his able research in the Public Record Office of London and

The two British Foreign Secretaries who received news and dispatches
regarding the Báb and the Bábís were the Earl of Aberdeen, who held
office from September 1841 to July 1846, under Sir Robert Peel; and
Viscount Palmerston, whose tenure of office extended from July 1846 to
January 1852, under Lord John Russell. The British envoy chiefly
involved in forwarding such reports to London was Lt.-Col. (later Sir
Justin) Sheil, the Minister in Ṭihrán. Lord Palmerston's letters to
him (F.O. 248/134) state that his dispatches concerning the Báb and
the Bábís were 'laid before the Queen'.

My deep gratitude goes to Abul-Qasim Afnan, who has unstintingly made
available to me the chronicle-history and the autobiography of his
father, the late Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh, as well as letters
written by and to the relatives of the Báb, together with many other
documents of inestimable value.

It should be borne in mind that apart from quotations from the Writings
of the Báb, speeches attributed to Him or to anyone else in these pages
must not be taken as exact reportage of words spoken at the time. They
only convey the sense and purport of what was said on those occasions.
Obviously no one was taking notes. It is possible, however, that a few
short sentences here and there, which immediately engrave themselves on
the mind, are exact utterances, the very words spoken.

As the bibliography indicates I have consulted a number of books; but
of printed works, the main sources have been _God Passes By_ and
Nabíl's Narrative, _The Dawn-Breakers_. I am much indebted to the
Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois, for permission to quote
from these and other sources, as well as to Cambridge University
Press, the Public Record Office, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., A. & C.
Black Ltd., Faber & Faber Ltd., William Heinemann Ltd., Methuen & Co.
Ltd., and _World Order_, A Bahá'í Magazine. Full acknowledgment is
made in the bibliography and notes.

I am profoundly grateful to the Hands of the Cause Paul Haney and
Abul-Qasim Faizi for reading the manuscript and for their review and
advice. As in the past Marion Hofman's generous help has smoothed the
path to publication. My indebtedness to her is immense. And without my
wife's assistance and support I could not have completed my task.

I should also like to thank Miss Dorothy Wigington, Mr. Farhang Afnan
and Mr. Rustom Sabit for their care in reading the proofs, and Mr.
Horst W. Kolodziej for his excellent reproduction of a number of old
documents and photographs.

Finally, a word as to the Prologue; this in my view provides a
necessary background for the story of the Báb. But should the reader
find in it too many unfamiliar facts, he may turn immediately to the
first chapter.

                                                       H. M. BALYUZI
    _October 1972_

_A Note on the Construction of Persian Names_

In times past the people of Persia had no surnames, but in many
instances they were known by the name of the district, city, town, or
even the village from which they came: for example, [_Kh_]urásání,
Mázindarání, Ṭihrání, Iṣfahání, and [_Sh_]írází.

There were also various honorific prefixes and suffixes by which a
person was distinguished. A descendant of the Prophet Muḥammad had
(and has) the prefix of 'Siyyid'. At times, 'Mírzá' took the place of
'Siyyid', and at times the two were used together. 'Mírzá' by itself
did not denote any particular ancestry, except when placed after a
proper name to mark royal descent.

The suffix '[_Kh_]án' served at one time as a title, but with passing
years, it became merely honorific, even meaningless, and at no time
was it a surname.

The prefix 'Ḥájí' or 'Ḥáj' indicated then, as now, one who had
made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Ma[_sh_]hadí and Karbilá'í, as prefixes,
marked pilgrimage to Ma[_sh_]had or Karbilá, but as suffixes pointed
out nativity.

There were also innumerable titles conferred by the sovereign in Írán,
consisting of diverse combinations, sometimes ludicrous, sometimes
grammatically impossible. Occasionally they indicated a definite rank
and profession. As time passed, these titles multiplied absurdly,
until they were swept away by legislation in the 1920's.

Finally, a person was often distinguished from others by a combination
of prefixes and suffixes attached to his name which, if omitted, might
cause him to be taken for another person.

Today the situation is much changed, but for the period described in
this book, the author can identify people only by the names they then
used, however difficult they may be.

       *       *       *       *       *

Quotations are reproduced in their original form, even though
differing from the spelling and transliteration of Persian words
adopted in this book. Translations from Persian sources are by the
author unless otherwise attributed.

The text of the Authorised Version of the Bible is Crown copyright and
the extracts used herein are reproduced by permission.

       *       *       *       *       *

      The Báb, the Exalted One, is the Morn of Truth,
      Whose Light shineth throughout all regions.

      O people of the Báb! sorely persecuted,
      compelled to silence, but steadfast now as at
      Sheykh Ṭabarsí and Zanján, what destiny is
      concealed for you behind the veil of the Future?
                               EDWARD GRANVILLE BROWNE



About the time that the thirteen colonies of North America were
gaining their independence to form the nucleus of the mighty Republic
of the West, France was inching her way towards a revolution such as
the world had never seen, and Britain was striding along the road to a
revolution of a different kind, industrial, agrarian and economic in
nature, a cleric of the Islamic [_Sh_]í`ah persuasion left his
island-home in the Persian Gulf for the great centres of [_Sh_]í`ah
learning and [_Sh_]í`ah devotion in `Iráq. His purpose was to find a
much larger audience in order to give voice to thoughts and
presentiments that had developed with his years.

[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad-i-Aḥsá'í (1743-1826), the founder of the
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í school, belonged to the ancient tribe of
Banú-Ṣa[_kh_]r, and his family originated from the region of
Aḥsá on the Arabian mainland. His father's name was [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Zayni'd-Dín, and Baḥrayn had been their home. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Aḥmad first visited Najaf, where the Tomb of `Alí, the first Imám,
cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muḥammad, is situated. Then in
Karbilá, close by the Shrine of the martyred Ḥusayn, the third
Imám, he began to preach and a circle of earnest students gathered
round him. He asked the leading [_Sh_]í`ah divines of the holy cities
of `Iráq to issue him a licence which would give him recognition as a
mujtahid in his own right, that is, a divine empowered to interpret
and prescribe. They all declared that they considered [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Aḥmad to be a man of knowledge and talent superior to their own,
and that their testimonial was written solely at his request.

The fame of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad soon spread throughout Írán. Fatḥ-`Alí
[_Sh_]áh (reigned 1797-1834) and Muḥammad-`Alí Mírzá,[A] a son of the
[_Sh_]áh who held the life-long tenure of the governorship of
Kirmán[_sh_]áh, were particularly desirous to meet him. But
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad preferred to go to Írán by way of Bú[_sh_]ihr
(Bushire) in the south, rather than by the nearer and more accessible
route of Kirmán[_sh_]áh in the west. From Bú[_sh_]ihr he went to
[_Sh_]íráz and thence to Yazd, where he stayed for a number of years.
Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, a young man barely out of his teens, who
shared the same views, joined him there (sometime in 1231 A.H.:
1815-16). [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad was then making his final arrangements to
go on pilgrimage to the holy city of Ma[_sh_]had,[B] prior to his visit
to Ṭihrán. He received Siyyid Káẓim with great affection and asked him
to remain at Yazd to take up his own patient work of many years. In
Ma[_sh_]had and later in Ṭihrán, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad was shown every
mark of high respect and reverence.

    [Footnote A: The Rukni'd-Dawlih.]

    [Footnote B: Ma[_sh_]had (Meshed) contains the Shrine of Imám
    Riḍá, the eighth Imám.]

Eventually Siyyid Káẓim travelled north to be in his company, and
together they went to Kirmán[_sh_]áh, as the Prince-Governor had been
urgently begging his father to let [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad visit him.
They stayed in Kirmán[_sh_]áh as long as the Governor lived. After his
premature death, they departed for Karbilá, where [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Aḥmad, his zeal unabated and his powers untouched by advancing
years, preached and taught. He was in his early eighties when he took
the road to Mecca and Medina. From that journey he did not return and
lies buried in the famed cemetery of Baqi`, in the vicinity of the
Tomb of the Prophet Muḥammad.

[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad's constant theme was the near advent of the
Deliverer of the Latter Days, promised to the world of Islám, the Qá'im
of the House of Muḥammad or the Mihdí (Mahdí).[1] In the course of his
last pilgrimage to the holy cities of Arabia, he told a merchant from
Iṣfahán[C] who was with him: 'You will attain the presence of the Báb;
salute Him on my behalf.'[2] [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad did not believe in
physical resurrection nor in the physical ascent (Mi`ráj)[D] of the
Prophet Muḥammad to heaven on the night that the Angel Gabriel took Him
to view the celestial world. Mi`ráj was an experience of the spirit,
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad maintained. Moreover he asserted that the signs and
portents of the coming of the Qá'im, given by the Prophet and the Imáms,
were allegorical. These and similar doctrines were anathema to the
orthodox, but while [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad lived, royal patronage muted
their hostile criticism.

    [Footnote C: Ḥájí Muḥammad-Ismá`íl-i-Gulpáygání.]

    [Footnote D: The following verse in the Qur'án (xvii, 4)
    refers to the Mi`ráj:

      Glory be to Him, who carried His servant by night
        from the Holy Mosque to the Further Mosque
        the precincts of which We have blessed,
        that We might show him some of Our signs.
        He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.
                  --Arberry, _The Koran Interpreted_

    The Holy Mosque (Masjid-al-Ḥarám) is the Ka`bah in Mecca;
    the Further Mosque (Masjid-al-Aqṣá) is in Jerusalem.]

Siyyid Káẓim (1793-1843), who, in accordance with the will of
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad, succeeded him in guiding his disciples, was the
son of Siyyid Qásim of Ra[_sh_]t, a town in northern Írán close to the
Caspian Sea. He came from a family of well-known merchants and was no
more than thirty-three years old when he occupied the seat of authority.
The orthodox divines now began their vitriolic assaults in earnest
until, at last, Siyyid Káẓim felt that he needed solid support in Írán
from the ranks of the orthodox. For that purpose he chose one of his
ablest disciples, Mullá Ḥusayn, a native of the small town of
Bu[_sh_]rúyih in [_Kh_]urásán, to go to Iṣfahán and secure the aid of
Ḥájí Siyyid Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, a noted divine whose influence
was felt far and wide. Mullá Ḥusayn succeeded brilliantly in
accomplishing the mission entrusted to him, obtained the support of that
famous man in writing, and then proceeded to Ma[_sh_]had to acquire a
similar pledge from yet another powerful divine.

In the meantime not only did Siyyid Káẓim suffer from the intrigues
and onslaughts of his adversaries headed by Siyyid Ibráhím-i-Qazvíní,
but the whole of Karbilá was thrown into turmoil. These disorders were
of long standing and gradually the authority of the Ottoman government
had ceased to exist. Within the town there were several factions at
odds with one another, but all determined to resist the
re-establishment of Ottoman power. Two successive Válís
(governor-generals) of `Iráq tried to force the people of Karbilá to
submission, but failed conspicuously. However, in the closing months
of the year 1842, Najíb Pá[_sh_]á, a man resolute and even obstinate,
came to occupy the post of Válí. Affairs in Karbilá had gradually gone
from bad to worse. Lawlessness had increased and mob rule prevailed.
Najíb Pá[_sh_]á's first thought was to resolve this problem which had
baffled his predecessors. He tried to negotiate a settlement, but
neither he nor the rebels of Karbilá could really trust one another.
Najíb Pá[_sh_]á moved near-by to Musayyib and sent Sar`askar (Colonel)
Sa`du'lláh Pá[_sh_]á with a small force to reduce the town.
Negotiations proceeded apace. Emissaries came and went. Persian
princes, who lived in Karbilá, took part in the negotiations, but
nothing was achieved.

During those fatal weeks, at the end of the year 1842 and the beginning
of 1843, Siyyid Káẓim, who was greatly respected both for his wisdom
and humanity,[E] took a leading role, urging all parties to act with
moderation and in a spirit of conciliation. Twice, in company with a
small delegation, he visited the camps of Najíb Pá[_sh_]á and Sa`du'lláh
Pá[_sh_]á outside Karbilá. Lieutenant-Colonel Farrant, the British
Special Commissioner, reported his efforts to Constantinople:

     The Chief Priest Hajee Seid Kausem did all in his power to
     prevent hostilities, he preached against their proceedings,
     he was abused and threatened, they would not listen to
     him--this I have heard from many people at Kerbella--at this
     time all were unanimous in defending the place

     ... to the very last he entreated them to listen to the
     Pacha but without avail, he shewed great courage on the
     occasion, as he had all the chief Geramees[F] and Mollahs
     against him.[4]

    [Footnote E: `Abdu'l-Bahá has related this story of Siyyid
    Káẓim's works of charity: '`Alí-[_Sh_]áh [the
    Ẓillu's-Sulṭán, see Prologue II, p. 10] claimed the
    throne of Írán. He showed great benevolence towards the
    divines of Karbilá and Najaf, sent them money and stood up
    for them. However, he was unsuccessful and betook himself to
    Karbilá. There he fell on hard times and suffered poverty. He
    expected the divines to come to his help and applied to them,
    one by one. But none heeded him. One night he and his family
    had to go to bed hungry. At midnight he heard a knock on his
    door. When he opened it he found someone, who had pulled his
    `abá over his head so as to hide his face. This man put a
    purse with money in it into his hands and went away.

    'Time passed. Indigence and want recurred. Again the same
    person, head covered with `abá, came at midnight, handed a
    sum of money and went away without a word. To the repeated
    question "who are you?" he gave no answer. Then, that man
    came a third time with a purse containing money. This time
    `Alí-[_Sh_]áh followed him and saw him enter the house of
    Ḥájí Siyyid Káẓim and shut the door. `Alí-[_Sh_]áh
    related this event in many gatherings. He used to say: "O
    people! I am not a [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í, but this deed is the work
    of righteousness. None but a man of truth would act in this

    [Footnote F: Probably 'yárámáz', meaning 'good-for-nothing'.]

Unhappily, his counsel was ignored by both rebels and Turks. In
January 1843, after a siege of twenty-four days, the holy city was
taken by assault, causing great suffering to the innocent inhabitants.
The files of the Public Record Office in London contain several
documents that throw light on this episode, as well as on the central
part played by Siyyid Káẓim. (See Appendix I.)

During the siege Ḥájí Siyyid Káẓim had spent himself in an
effort to forestall violence and protect all parties to the conflict.
Although only fifty years of age, he became aware that his life was
nearing its close. He was warned of this, we are told, by the dream of
an Arab shepherd who recounted it to him. When his disciples expressed
their distress, Siyyid Káẓim replied:

     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?[5]

The year 1844 was about to dawn when Siyyid Káẓim breathed his last
and was laid to rest near the tomb of Imám Ḥusayn. His death was
reported by Farrant, who wrote on January 24th 1844 to Sir Stratford
Canning, sending a copy in February to Lt.-Col. (later Sir) Justin
Sheil,[6] the British chargé d'affaires in Ṭihrán:

     Hajee Seid Kausem one of the Chief Priests of Kerbella died
     lately on his return from a visit to Samerrah--Seid Ibrahim
     Kasveenee the other Chief Priest who was greatly opposed to
     him, will now enjoy full power, and all contention between
     the two religious parties will cease.[7]

When Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í returned to Karbilá from his
highly successful mission in Írán, his teacher was dead. He had not
appointed anyone to succeed him.


To follow the events of this narrative, it may be helpful to consider
their background in some aspects of Iranian history.[G]

    [Footnote G: For other aspects the reader is referred to the
    Introduction of Nabíl's _The Dawn-Breakers_.]

Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, the third monarch of the Qájár dynasty, ruled
the land in 1843, but real power rested in the hands of Ḥájí Mírzá
Áqásí, his unprepossessing Grand Vizier. The Qájárs were a tribe of
Turkish origin. Áqá Muḥammad [_Kh_]án, a eunuch chieftain of this
tribe, arose in the year 1779 to carve out a kingdom for himself.
Fifteen years later he finally won the crown of Írán when he captured
and brutally murdered Luṭf-`Alí [_Kh_]án, the last ruler of the
Zand dynasty, who was brave and high-minded but piteously young. The
eunuch king was utterly and savagely ruthless, and he managed to hold
off the Russians in the area of the Caucasus until 1797 when he was
struck down by three assassins. He was succeeded by his nephew,
Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh, a man of soft heart and weak will, who was
highly uxorious. At his death in 1834, fifty-three sons and forty-six
daughters survived him.

During the reign of Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh, Írán lost heavily to Russia
in a series of disastrous wars. Her ministers, comfortably cocooned in
their isolation from the currents of world affairs, and totally
ignorant of the realities of the European situation, believed that
with the aid of the Emperor of France the Russian menace could be
thwarted. Hard on the heels of General Gardanne, Bonaparte's envoy,
not one but two envoys from the more familiar 'Ingríz' (English) came
in 1808. Sir Harford Jones had been dispatched from the court of King
George III and Sir John Malcolm from India. In 1801 the latter, on
behalf of the Marquis of Wellesley, Governor-General of India,
concluded an abortive treaty with the shrewd and immensely ambitious
Grand Vizier[H] of Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh. But in the intervening years
Bonaparte, subsequent to his _débacle_ in Egypt and Syria, showered
his dubious favours on the Persians, and the British connexion was
conveniently ignored by the ministers of Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh, who
had entered into the Treaty of Finkenstein (1807) with the French.
Moreover, in the same period, the most capable Ḥájí Ibráhím
[_Kh_]án, who had contributed more than anyone to the downfall of the
Zand dynasty and the ensuing victories of the eunuch king, fell from
power and, as legend has it, met his death in a boiling cauldron.

    [Footnote H: Ḥájí Ibráhím [_Kh_]án (the

Indeed, high hopes centred on what the Emperor of France would do for
Írán, only to be dashed by Bonaparte's change of policy; when he met
Tsar Alexander I at Tilsit (1807) he did not remember any of his
promises. And so General Gardanne was ignominiously ousted from
Ṭihrán, and Sir Harford Jones and Sir John Malcolm were left at
peace, to glower at each other, much to the amusement and also
surprise and embarrassment of the Persian ministers. But as Napoleon's
star waned, so did the interest of the British in Persian affairs. The
wars with Russia went on until the Persians acknowledged defeat in the
Treaty of Gulistán of 1813.

Amidst abysmal ignorance, nepotism and malpractice which abounded in
the realm, there stood two men in particular, untouched by corruption,
who were fully aware of the needs of their country: Prince `Abbás
Mírzá, the heir to the throne, and his vizier, Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim,
Qá'im-Maqám-i-Faráhání. But their attempts at reform could not obtain
the success they deserved because of the obscurantism surrounding the
person of the sovereign. It was this Crown Prince who sent the first
group of Iranian students to Britain to learn the crafts of the West.
Their story, which does no credit to the government in London, is
preserved in a number of documents lodged in the Public Record Office.
Incidentally, one of these men, a student of medicine, was named Mírzá
Ḥájí Bábá, the eponym of the chief character of James Morier's
well-known satire.

Prince `Abbás Mírzá, worsted in the field by the Russians, now tried
to provide his country with a modern army and engaged British
instructors. As in the past, Ṭihrán gave him little help. Yet he
was under constant pressure to resume hostilities. The divines,
particularly, were urging it.[I] Yet Russia had no desire to fight;
nor had Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh: war was too expensive. Prince Menchikov
arrived from St. Petersburg (the present-day Leningrad) not to dictate
but to negotiate. But the demands of those who sought war--the clerics
and the powerful court faction of Alláh-Yár [_Kh_]án[J]--proved
irresistible; Menchikov returned to St. Petersburg.

    [Footnote I: This incident is referred to by Bahá'u'lláh in
    His Tablet to Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh.]

    [Footnote J: The Áṣafu'd-Dawlih, who later rose in
    rebellion against the central government during the reign of
    Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh.]

In the war that soon followed the Persians were soundly beaten and
Russian forces surged forward to occupy the city of Tabríz. The first
to abandon the field was a group of clerics, who, with raised
standards, had accompanied the army. By the Treaty of Turkuman[_ch_]áy
(1828), onerous and humiliating in the extreme, Írán was excluded from
the Caucasus. In addition to the payment of heavy indemnities, she
lost her rights in the Caspian Sea and the frontier between Russia and
Írán was fixed on the river Aras.

Prince `Abbás Mírzá was now a sad and broken man. Rash actions forced
upon him had brought total desolation. His modern army was shattered.
Because he knew of the intrigues that plagued his father's court, and
to make certain that his eldest son would not be left undefended, he
asked for guarantees from the Tsar, which were readily given. After
this ordeal of defeat and submission Prince `Abbás Mírzá did not live
long. He died at the age of forty-five, and a year later his father
followed him to the grave.

The eldest son of `Abbás Mírzá, named heir-apparent by Fatḥ-`Alí
[_Sh_]áh, came into his heritage by a combination of the assured
support of Britain and Russia, and the wise strategy of Qá'im-Maqám.
Sir John Campbell, the British Minister in Ṭihrán, and Sir Henry
Lindesay Bethune, who took command of the forces loyal to the son of
`Abbás Mírzá, brought him safely from Tabríz to Ṭihrán.
Qá'im-Maqám, in the meantime, secured the backing of influential men
in the capital, where another son of the late king had styled himself
`Adil [_Sh_]áh[K] and was claiming the throne. But his reign was
brief, and soon Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, the heir-apparent, was well
entrenched in Ṭihrán, for Sir Henry Lindesay Bethune (whom a
Persian historian calls Mr. Lenzi) easily routed other pretenders.[8]

    [Footnote K: In reality `Alí-[_Sh_]áh, the
    Ẓillu's-Sulṭán, not to be confused with Prince
    Sulṭán Mas`úd Mírzá, the Governor-General of Iṣfahán,
    who had the same title in later years.]

Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh did not wish to seem beholden to the British officials
who had helped him to his throne, nor did he show much gratitude to
Qá'im-Maqám, the architect of his victory. Within a year he contrived
the death of that great minister who had served him and his father so
well. By the death of Qá'im-Maqám, treacherously designed, Írán
sustained a tremendous and irreparable loss. Qá'im-Maqám was not only a
brilliant statesman, but also a master of prose whose style rescued the
language from encrusted artificialities.[L]

    [Footnote L: See Balyuzi, _`Abdu'l-Bahá_, p. 373 and note.]

His successor as the Grand Vizier was Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí, a man
ignorant and devoid of all graces, affecting deep piety. This is how
Sir Henry Layard[9] saw him in 1840:

     We waited upon the Prime Minister, the Haji Mirza Agasi, who
     was then the man of the greatest influence, power and
     authority in Persia. The Shah had committed to him almost
     the entire government of his kingdom, occupying himself but
     little with public affairs, aware of his own incapacity for
     conducting them. 'The Haji'--the name by which he was
     familiarly known--was, by all accounts, a statesman of craft
     and cunning, but of limited abilities. He was cruel and
     treacherous, proud and overbearing, although he affected the
     humility of a pious mulla who had performed the pilgrimage
     to Mecca and the holy shrines of the Imaums. The religious
     character which he had assumed made him intolerant and
     bigoted, and he was known to be a fanatical hater of
     Christians. He had been the Shah's tutor and instructor in
     the Koran, and had acquired a great influence over his
     pupil, who had raised him to the lofty position which he
     then held. He had the reputation of being an accomplished
     Persian and Arabic scholar, but he was entirely ignorant of
     all European languages. His misgovernment, and the
     corruption and general oppression which everywhere existed
     had brought Persia to the verge of ruin. Distress, misery,
     and discontent prevailed to an extent previously unknown. He
     was universally execrated as the cause of the misfortunes
     and misery from which the people and the State were
     suffering. We found him seated on his hams, in the Persian
     fashion, on a fine Kurdish carpet spread in a handsome hall.
     Before him was a large tray filled with ices and a variety
     of fruit.... He was a man of small stature, with sharp and
     somewhat mean and forbidding features, and a loud shrill
     voice. His dress was simple--almost shabby--as became a
     mulla and a man devoted to religious life.... It was evident
     that the Haji suspected that we were spies and agents of the
     British Government. However, he declared that the Shah was
     willing that we should visit any part of his territories
     where we could travel in safety, and that orders had been
     issued for the preparation of our farman [royal decree]; for
     his Majesty had said that we belonged to a friendly nation,
     and his quarrel was not with England but with Lord
     Palmerston, who had treated Persia ill, and had recalled the
     Queen's Ambassador[10] without sufficient cause....

Nor was Írán on good terms with the Ottomans. Layard's book, _Early
Adventures_, indicates the considerable extent of the incursions which
the Turks had made into Iranian territory. The meeting between Layard
and Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí in 1840 took place in Hamadán, not far from
the frontier, where Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh was encamped with his army.
The relations between the Ottoman and Iranian governments were further
strained by the storming and sacking of Karbilá in January 1843, where
the chief sufferers were Persian. We have seen how the Persian princes
living in Karbilá at the time of its investment by the troops of Najíb
Pá[_sh_]á took a hand in negotiations. They were exiles and fugitives
who had contested with Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh and offended him, and
senior among them was `Alí-[_Sh_]áh, the Ẓillu's-Sulṭán.

Yet another issue reared its ugly head to exacerbate relations between
Írán and the Ottoman Empire, that of [_Sh_]í`ah against Sunní. Sheil,
the British Minister in Ṭihrán, reported to the Foreign Secretary,
the Earl of Aberdeen:

     If the Moollahs, and in particular the chief priest of
     Ispahan, Hajee Syed Moollah Mahomed Baukir, whose religious
     influence in Persia is powerful, should use the present
     opportunity for regaining their former position by exerting
     their authority among the people, and preaching a crusade
     against the rival branch of Mahommedanism, it is not easy to
     foresee the consequences.[11]

Indeed, reported Sheil, the Persian Foreign Minister and Ḥájí Mírzá
Áqásí were considering the possibility of war.[12]

This chief priest of Iṣfahán, mentioned by Sheil, was the same
divine from whom Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í obtained unqualified
support for Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí.

It is helpful to compare the authority of the divines of these two
great branches of Islám. The [_Sh_]í`ah divine in contradistinction to
the Sunní has the power of 'Ijtihád', that is, issuing _ex cathedra_
decrees and judgments. His position is, in a sense, analogous to that
of the English judge who can, within the boundaries of equity and
common law, establish precedents. The Sunní divine belongs to one of
the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence: the Ḥanafí, the
[_Sh_]áfi`í, the Málikí and the Ḥanbalí. The jurisconsults, who
founded these four schools or rites, which are named after them, set
certain standards from which the Sunní divine cannot deviate. The
[_Sh_]í`ah divine, on the other hand, relies exclusively on the text
of the Qur'án and the Traditions ascribed to the Prophet and the
Imáms, all of which are wide open to interpretation. Moreover, the
[_Sh_]í`ah mujtahid--the divine who pronounces _ex cathedra_--does so,
it is understood, as the deputy of the Ṣáḥibu'z-Zamán, the Lord
of the Age.



      All hail, [_Sh_]iraz, hail! Oh site without peer!
      May God be the Watchman before thy gate,
      That the feet of Misfortune enter not here!
      Lest my Ruknabad be left desolate....

In the afternoon of May 22nd 1844 a traveller stood outside the gates
of [_Sh_]íráz. He had come from Karbilá, on a spiritual quest to his
native land of Írán. A boat had taken him to Bú[_sh_]ihr on the
Persian Gulf. From that insalubrious port his route had lain over
forbidding mountains to the renowned city of [_Sh_]íráz. He was
accompanied by his brother and his nephew, both barely twenty years
old, and he himself but in his early thirties. They had undertaken
this journey for a purpose which to many seemed fantastic. But for
themselves and many more like them it was real and urgent.

This traveller was the same Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í, who, after
the accomplishment of his highly fruitful mission in Írán on behalf of
Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, had reached Karbilá only to find his
teacher dead. He had learned that Siyyid Káẓim's parting counsel to
his disciples had been to leave their homes and their cloisters, to
abandon their studies and their debates and go out into the world to
seek 'the Lord of the Age' (Ṣáḥibu'z-Zamán) whose advent had for
centuries been the hope of countless millions. His supernal light
would soon break upon the world, Siyyid Káẓim had said. Mullá
Ḥusayn together with a number of Siyyid Káẓim's disciples kept
vigil for forty days in the old mosque of Kúfih, nearly in ruins, and
then set out on different routes to do their master's bidding.

Mullá Ḥusayn was a man of profound scholarship and unbending will.
Nothing daunted him. Now, reaching the gates of [_Sh_]íráz, he sent
his companions into the city to obtain lodgings, but he himself
tarried for a while in the fields. His mind was occupied with the
object of his quest, a quest that had brought him all those wearisome
miles to [_Sh_]íráz, the home and the resting-place of two of the
greatest poets of Írán. Here, some five hundred years before,
Ḥáfiẓ had composed his superb, ethereal lyrics. Here Sa`dí had
lived a good part of his life and had written his lucid prose, his
lambent verse. Here had worked and died a host of men celebrated both
in their own days and thereafter. The air of [_Sh_]íráz, the plain of
[_Sh_]íráz, the roses of [_Sh_]íráz, the cypresses of [_Sh_]íráz, have
all been lavishly praised.

Forty-four years later, the young Edward Granville Browne, the future
eminent orientalist of the University of Cambridge, looked at the
plain of [_Sh_]íráz from the heights facing the road to Bú[_sh_]ihr,
that mountain pass which is named Alláh-u-Akbar (God is the Greatest)
because the traveller thus expresses his wonderment at beholding such
a beauteous plain. Browne wrote:

     Words cannot describe the rapture which overcame me as,
     after many a weary march, I gazed at length on the reality
     of that whereof I had so long dreamed, and found the reality
     not merely equal to, but far surpassing, the ideal which I
     had conceived. It is seldom enough in one's life that this
     occurs. When it does, one's innermost being is stirred with
     an emotion which baffles description, and which the most
     eloquent words can but dimly shadow forth.[1]

This was the city that Mullá Ḥusayn was about to enter. It was as
if a magnet had drawn him, with his brother and his nephew, to
[_Sh_]íráz. Nor were they alone in being thus drawn.

On this hot afternoon of May 22nd, Mullá Ḥusayn was fatigued after
the trying journey from the coast up the precipitous tracks of the
rising plateau. But his mind was alert and his soul yearned for that
peace which the attainment of his goal would bring him. As he walked
and pondered he came face to face with a Youth of striking appearance.
That young Man, who was gentle and gracious and whose turban
proclaimed His descent from the Prophet Muḥammad, greeted him with
great kindness. Mullá Ḥusayn was amazed and overwhelmed by the
warmth of this unexpected welcome. It was the courtesy coupled with
the dignified mien of this young Siyyid[M] which particularly
impressed him. Then the young Man invited him to be His guest and to
partake of the evening meal at His house. Mullá Ḥusayn mentioned
that his companions had gone ahead and would be awaiting him, to which
the young Siyyid replied: 'Commit them to the care of God; He will
surely protect and watch over them'.[N]

    [Footnote M: A descendant of the Prophet Muḥammad.]

    [Footnote N: The quotations in this chapter without reference
    numbers are taken from Nabíl, _The Dawn-Breakers_, ch. iii.]

'We soon found ourselves standing at the gate of a house of modest
appearance,' Mullá Ḥusayn has recounted. 'He knocked at the door,
which was soon opened by an Ethiopian servant. "Enter therein in
peace, secure,"[O] were His words as He crossed the threshold 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 [_Sh_]íráz, a city the very atmosphere
of which had produced already an indescribable impression upon me.'

    [Footnote O: Qur'án xv, 46.]

[_Sh_]íráz had cast its spell upon Mullá Ḥusayn. But little did he
think that his youthful Host, whose utterance rang with authority, was
that 'Lord of the Age', that 'Qá'im of the House of Muḥammad' whom
he was seeking. Yet he could not escape the feeling that the
unexpected encounter might in some way bring him near the end of his
quest. At the same time he was uneasy at having left his brother and
nephew with no news of himself. He further recounts: '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-Íl[_kh_]ání".[P]
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."' Such undoubted assurance should have made
Mullá Ḥusayn aware that he was about to experience the supreme test
of his life.

    [Footnote P: A well-known mosque in [_Sh_]íráz.]

They prayed together. They sat down to converse. And suddenly his Host
asked Mullá Ḥusayn: 'Whom, after Siyyid Káẓim, do you regard as
his successor and your leader?' Furthermore, He asked: 'Has your
teacher given you any detailed indications as to the distinguishing
features of the promised One?' Mullá Ḥusayn replied that Siyyid
Káẓim had laid the injunction upon his disciples to disperse after
his death and seek 'the Lord of the Age', and indeed he had given them
indications by which they could come to recognize Him. 'He is of a
pure lineage, is of illustrious descent,' said Mullá Ḥusayn, 'and
of the seed of Fáṭimih.[Q] As to His age, He is more than twenty
and less than thirty. He is endowed with innate knowledge, ...
abstains from smoking, and is free from bodily deficiency.'

    [Footnote Q: The daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad, and the
    wife of `Alí, the first Imám.]

There was silence--the pause that precedes the breaking of the dawn.
Mullá Ḥusayn has told us that the silence was broken with 'vibrant
voice' by his Host who declared to him:

      Behold, all these signs are manifest in Me.

Mullá Ḥusayn was for the moment shocked and bewildered. He tried to
resist a claim so breath-taking. But Truth looked him in the face. He
marshalled arguments. But Truth is its own argument.

Mullá Ḥusayn said: 'He whose advent we await is a Man of
unsurpassed holiness, and the Cause He is to reveal [is] 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 Káẓim 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!"'

In days gone by Mullá Ḥusayn had written a dissertation on some of
the abstruse doctrines and teachings which [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad and
Siyyid Káẓim had enunciated. He carried a copy of this treatise
with him. He now presented it to his Host and asked Him to peruse it,
and elucidate the mysteries which it contained. Not only did his Host
after a rapid look through that treatise shed light upon it, He went
far beyond it. Then Mullá Ḥusayn was given the proof of which he
had ample knowledge. There is a Súrih (Arabic 'Súrah': chapter) in the
Qur'án entitled the Súrih of Joseph.[R] It tells the story of Joseph,
the son of Jacob, he whom his brothers betrayed and sold into slavery,
who suffered imprisonment in Egypt, but rose to rule that land. It is
highly allegorical. Siyyid Káẓim had told Mullá Ḥusayn, when
requested by him to write a commentary on that chapter of the Qur'án:
'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.'

    [Footnote R: Súrih xii.]

Mullá Ḥusayn's Host told him: 'Now is the time to reveal the
commentary on the Súrih of Joseph.'

'He took up His pen,' Mullá Ḥusayn related, 'and with incredible
rapidity revealed the entire Súrih of Mulk, the first chapter of His
commentary on the Súrih 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 Súrih of Mulk was finished. I sat enraptured by
the magic of His voice and the sweeping force of His revelation.'

But Mullá Ḥusayn was anxious to rejoin his companions. Since that
afternoon--and long ago it seemed--when he had sent them into the city
and had himself lingered outside the city-gates, he had had no news of
them nor they of him. So he rose and asked to be permitted to depart.
His Host smilingly told him: 'If you leave in such a state, whoever
sees you will assuredly say: "This poor youth has lost his mind."' 'At
that moment,' Mullá Ḥusayn has said, 'the clock registered two
hours and eleven minutes after sunset.'

In that moment a new Dispensation was born.

'This night,' said He who ushered in the new Dispensation, He who was to
herald a new cycle, 'this very hour will, in the days to come, be
celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all

    [Footnote S: Today that night and that hour are celebrated
    with joy and reverence and gratitude all over the world.]

The evening meal was now served. Mullá Ḥusayn afterwards recalled:
'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.... 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.... Sleep had departed from me that night. I was enthralled
by the music of that voice which rose and fell as He chanted; now
swelling forth as He revealed verses of the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá',[T] again
acquiring ethereal, subtle harmonies as He uttered the prayers He was
revealing. 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!"[U]' Such was Mullá Ḥusayn's
recollection of that momentous night.

    [Footnote T: The commentary on the Súrih of Joseph.]

    [Footnote U: Qur'án xxxvii, 180.]

Then He who stood as the Vicegerent of God on earth thus addressed
Mullá Ḥusayn, who only a few hours before had been so anxious,
tormented and unsure:

     O thou who art the first to believe in Me! Verily I say, I
     am the Báb, the Gate of God, and thou art the Bábu'l-Báb,
     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 [_Sh_]aríf
     of Mecca.

And then He laid this injunction upon 'the first to believe' in Him:
'It is incumbent upon you not to divulge, either to your companions or
to any other soul, that which you have seen and heard.'

'This Revelation,' Mullá Ḥusayn has further related, 'so suddenly
and impetuously thrust upon me, came as a thunderbolt which, for a
time, seemed to have benumbed my faculties. 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.'

On that early morning of May 23rd 1844 when Mullá Ḥusayn stepped
out into the streets of [_Sh_]íráz, his heart brimming with joy, he
abandoned a priestly career which would have brought him high honours.
He abandoned it willingly and knowingly for a task which, though great
and noble, would bring him jeers and humiliation. He was well-known
amongst the circle of the divines who exercised authority. He had the
capacity, the intelligence and the learning which would have placed
him in years to come in the forefront of the spiritual guides of the
nation. Power and riches would have been his. But by giving his
allegiance to the young Siyyid of [_Sh_]íráz whom he had met under
such strange circumstances, Mullá Ḥusayn renounced all this, and
chose a path in the opposite direction.

Mullá Ḥusayn was not alone in his high resolve. Others with
similar prospects of a clerical vocation journeyed to [_Sh_]íráz in
search of light and truth. They too had set out at the bidding of
Siyyid Káẓim. As if by a magnet, they were drawn to [_Sh_]íráz. How
can one explain it otherwise? They had no intimation that in this city
lived the One whom they sought. A force far greater than themselves
led their steps to [_Sh_]íráz, to their journey's end. As ordained by
the Báb, they found Him, each one, independently. They were true,
sincere and eager and they had their reward.

The last to arrive was a youth of twenty-two, whose home was in
Bárfurú[_sh_][V] in the province of Mázindarán which borders the
Caspian Sea. When he was a boy in his early teens, his father, Áqá
Muḥammad-Ṣáliḥ, had died. Devoting himself to the pursuit of
learning he had joined the circle of Siyyid Káẓim in Karbilá.
Eventually, he became an outstanding disciple of that remarkable
teacher. It is recorded that the night before this youth, whose name
was Mullá Muḥammad-`Ali, reached [_Sh_]íráz, the Báb told Mullá
Ḥusayn that on the following day one would arrive whose acceptance
of the new theophany would 'complete the number of My chosen
disciples'. Next evening as the Báb, accompanied by Mullá Ḥusayn,
was going towards His house, they encountered a young man whose dress
and appearance showed the effects of a long journey. The newcomer went
to Mullá Ḥusayn whom he knew well as a fellow-disciple of Siyyid
Káẓim, greeted him and immediately asked whether he had found the
object of his quest. Mullá Ḥusayn was not at liberty to divulge the
fact that he had, and he tried to pacify his friend and avoid the
subject. It was useless, for that youth had seen the Báb. His retort
to Mullá Ḥusayn was astounding: 'Why seek you to hide Him from me?
I can recognise Him by His 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.' Mullá Ḥusayn was amazed, and leaving the
newcomer he walked on and told the Báb what had transpired. Having
already anticipated the arrival of that youth, although he had
certainly not received any word from him, the Báb observed: 'Marvel
not at his strange behaviour. We have in the world of the spirit been
communing with that youth. We know him already.... Go to him
and summon him forthwith to Our presence.' Thus did Mullá
Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Bárfurú[_sh_]í, whom the Báb honoured with the
title of Quddús (the Most Holy), attain his heart's desire.

    [Footnote V: Now named Bábul.]

These disciples of the Báb are called the Letters of the Living.[W]
All but one met the Báb face to face, and recognized in Him the Lord
of the Age whom they sought. That single exception was a gifted woman,
an accomplished writer of verse, courageous, a total stranger to fear,
of whom Lord Curzon says:

     Beauty and the female sex also lent their consecration to
     the new creed, and the heroism of the lovely but ill-fated
     poetess of Kazvin, Zerin Taj[X] (Crown of Gold), or
     Kurrat-el-Ain (Solace of the Eyes), who, throwing off the
     veil, carried the missionary torch far and wide, is one of
     the most affecting episodes in modern history.[2]

    [Footnote W: Ḥurúf-i-Ḥayy. Ḥayy (the Living) is an
    Arabic word, numerically equivalent to eighteen.]

    [Footnote X: Zarrín-Táj.]

And here is the tribute of another eminent Englishman, Edward
Granville Browne, to this unique woman:

     The appearance of such a woman as Ḳurratu'l-`Ayn is in
     any country and any age a rare phenomenon, but in such a
     country as Persia it is a prodigy--nay, almost a miracle.
     Alike in virtue of her marvellous beauty, her rare
     intellectual gifts, her fervid eloquence, her fearless
     devotion and her glorious martyrdom, she stands forth
     incomparable and immortal amidst her countrywomen. Had the
     Bábí religion no other claim to greatness, this were
     sufficient--that it produced a heroine like

Qurratu'l-`Ayn belonged to a family famed for its learning. Her
father, Ḥájí Mullá Ṣáliḥ, and her uncle, Ḥájí Mullá
Muḥammad-Taqí,[4] were both leading figures among the clergy. But
they were far too orthodox for this great woman's spiritual
susceptibilities, although a younger uncle, Ḥájí Mullá `Alí, had
become a supporter of the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í school.[Y] Qurratu'l-`Ayn
was married to the son of Ḥájí Mullá Muḥammad-Taqí--her cousin,
Mullá Muḥammad. They had children, but their marriage was
disastrous. Mullá Muḥammad was even more fanatical and
narrow-minded than his father and a wide gulf yawned between husband
and wife.

    [Footnote Y: The school of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad.]

Qurratu'l-`Ayn had another cousin, Mullá Javád, who had accepted the
rational views of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad and Siyyid Káẓim. Having
learned in this cousin's library of the teaching of the illustrious
sage of Karbilá who had gone far beyond the limits of orthodoxy,
Qurratu'l-`Ayn corresponded with Siyyid Káẓim and gave him her
allegiance. From him she received the name Qurratu'l-`Ayn. In vain did
her elders attempt to dampen her enthusiasm. No persuasion or threat
could stop the tide of her newly-found devotion. And when she decided
to leave her home and her family and join the circle of Siyyid
Káẓim, nothing could thwart her purpose. To appreciate the boldness
and gravity of her action, one must realize how sheltered were the
Eastern women of those days; her behaviour could be seen only as
scandalous and almost unprecedented. However, she reached Karbilá too
late. Ten days prior to her arrival Siyyid Káẓim had passed away.
Qurratu'l-`Ayn remained in Karbilá. She was convinced that before long
the One promised to them would appear. Now, many of the disciples of
Siyyid Káẓim were setting out on their search. One of them was
Qurratu'l-`Ayn's brother-in-law, the husband of her younger sister
Marḍíyyih. She gave this relative, Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí, a sealed
letter and told him to deliver it to the One whom they expected and
sought. A verbal message in verse was added to the letter: 'Say to
Him, from me,' she said,

      'The effulgence of thy face flashed forth and
          the rays of thy visage arose on high;
      Then speak the word, "Am I not your
          Lord?" and "Thou art, Thou art!"
          we will all reply.'[5]

When Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí reached the presence of the Báb, he gave Him
the letter and the message; and the Báb numbered her among the Letters
of the Living. Thus it was that this fearless, eloquent pioneer of
woman's emancipation joined the ranks of the first disciples of the Báb.
Qurratu'l-`Ayn is better known as Ṭáhirih--the Pure One--a designation
by which she will ever be remembered.[Z]

    [Footnote Z: We shall see on p. 163 how she acquired this

       *       *       *       *       *

The Letters of the Living, the eighteen disciples who found the Báb
'independently and of their own accord', were:

  _Mullá Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Bárfurú[_sh_]í_, entitled Quddús.

  _Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í_, entitled Bábu'l-Báb.

  _Mírzá Muḥammad-Ḥasan-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í_, brother of Mullá

  _Mírzá Muḥammad-Báqir_, nephew of Mullá Ḥusayn.

  _Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Qazvíní_, brother-in-law of

  _Mullá Aḥmad-i-Ibdál-i-Mará[_gh_]i'í_.

  _Mullá Yúsuf-i-Ardibílí._

  _Mullá Jalíl-i-Urúmí._

  _Mullá Maḥmúd-i-[_Kh_]u'í._

These nine were martyrs who fell during 'the Mázindarán upheaval' (see
p. 175).

  _Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí_, the first martyr of the Bábí
     Dispensation. He was put to death somewhere in `Iráq.

  _Qurratu'l-`Ayn, Ṭáhirih_, whose original name was

  _Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí_, known as Kátib (the Amanuensis),
     and also `Azíz.

     Ṭáhirih and Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí suffered
     martyrdom in the holocaust of August 1852, subsequent to the
     attempt made by two Bábís on the life of Náṣiri'd-Dín

  _[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Sa`íd-i-Hindí_ (the Indian). He met his death
     somewhere in India, though no one knows how and where.

  _Mullá Báqir-i-Tabrízí_. He lived on to the advent of
     Bahá'u'lláh and believed in Him.

  _Mírzá Hádíy-i-Qazvíní_, son of Ḥájí Mírzá `Abdu'l-Vahháb,
     and brother of Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí (the fifth name
     above). Mírzá Hádí remained apart from other Bábís and
     taught the Faith with caution.

  _Mírzá Muḥammad Rawḍih-[_Kh_]án-i-Yazdí_. He too remained
     apart from other Bábís and was generally known as a
     [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í. But he never renounced his faith and taught
     it whenever he could.

  _Mullá [_Kh_]udá-Ba[_kh_][_sh_]-i-Qú[_ch_]ání_, later known as
     Mullá `Alíy-i-Rází. He died a natural death, but his son
     Ma[_sh_]íyyatu'lláh later met with martyrdom in his youth.

  _Mullá Ḥasan-i-Bajistání_. Doubts assailed him after the
     martyrdom of the Báb, because he did not consider himself
     worthy of the station given to him. Forced to leave his
     home, he went to `Iráq and attained the presence of

Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí was given the mission to return to `Iráq and
inform the people in that heartland of the [_Sh_]í`ah persuasion that
the Báb had appeared, but not to divulge, as yet, any particulars that
might reveal His identity. To him the Báb said:

     Your faith 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.

Mullá `Alí was soon on his way to `Iráq. Then the Báb called together
the other sixteen disciples and spoke to them, adjuring them to go out
into the world and serve their God in the light of the faith given to

     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:
     '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.'[AA] 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 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: 'Lo, the Lord thy God is come, and with Him is the
     company of His angels arrayed before Him!'[AB] 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',[AC] He may 'change you for another
     people',[AC] who 'shall not be your like',[AD] 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.'[AD] You are the lowly, of whom God has thus
     spoken in His Book: '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.'[AE] 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 [the Báb], 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
     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 Muḥammad, His
     Prophet? Arise in His name, put your trust wholly in Him,
     and be assured of ultimate victory.

    [Footnote AA: Qur'án xxxvi, 65.]

    [Footnote AB: Qur'án lxxxix, 23.]

    [Footnote AC: _ibid._, xlvii.]

    [Footnote AD: Qur'án.]

    [Footnote AE: _ibid._, xxviii, 4.]



     The gentle spirit of the Bāb is surely high up in the
     cycles of eternity. Who can fail, as Prof. Browne says, to
     be attracted by him?

                                       --T. K. Cheyne, D.Litt., D.D.

Siyyid (or Mírzá) `Alí-Muḥammad, known to history as the Báb, was
the son of Siyyid (or Mír) Muḥammad-Riḍá, a mercer of
[_Sh_]íráz.[1] He was born on October 20th 1819 (Muḥarram 1st, 1235
A.H.). Through both His father and His mother He was descended from
Imám Ḥusayn,[AF] the third Imám. Thus He stood in direct line of
descent from the Prophet Muḥammad. According to Mírzá
Abu'l-Faḍl-i-Gulpáygání, Siyyid Muḥammad-Riḍá, the Báb's
father, died when his only child was an infant, unweaned. Then the
care of the child devolved upon a maternal uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid
`Alí. He was the only relative of the Báb to espouse His Cause openly
during His lifetime and, as will be seen, to accept martyrdom for His
sake. But according to a manuscript history of the Bábí-Bahá'í Faith
in [_Sh_]íráz by Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh-i-Afnán,[AG] Siyyid
Muḥammad-Riḍá passed away when his son was nine years old, and
`Abdu'l-Bahá appears to confirm this account.[AH]

    [Footnote AF: He was the son of Fáṭimih and `Alí.]

    [Footnote AG: Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh's father, Áqá
    Mírzá-Áqá, was a nephew of the wife of the Báb, and his
    paternal grandfather, Áqá Mírzá Zaynu'l-`Ábidín, was a
    paternal cousin of the father of the Báb. (See Foreword for
    other details of the manuscript.)]

    [Footnote AH: Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol.
    II, p. 2.]

Two of Siyyid Muḥammad-Riḍa's paternal cousins rose to eminence in the
ranks of the [_Sh_]í`ah divines, and both bore allegiance, in strict
secrecy, to their kinsman when His claim to be 'the Qá'im of the House
of Muḥammad' became publicly known. Of the two, the more famed and
distinguished was Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad-Ḥasan (1815-95), known as
Mírzáy-i-[_Sh_]írází, who, like all the leading [_Sh_]í`ah divines,
resided in `Iráq. He was the most influential ecclesiastic of his time,
powerful enough to wreck the Tobacco Régie, the monopoly concession
which Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh (reigned 1848-96) gave to Major Gerald F.
Talbot, a British citizen, in the summer of 1889.[2]
Mírzáy-i-[_Sh_]írází put the use of tobacco under an interdict and the
people of Írán, even the women in the [_Sh_]áh's harem, ceased to use
it. Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh was forced early in 1892 to cancel the
concession and pay the Tobacco Corporation an indemnity of £500,000. The
father of Mírzáy-i-[_Sh_]írází, named Mírzá Maḥmúd, was a noted
calligraphist, and was uncle to the father of the Báb.

The other celebrated ecclesiastic, cousin to Siyyid
Muḥammad-Riḍá, was Ḥájí Siyyid Javád, the Imám-Jum`ih[AI] of
Kirmán. It was Quddús who gave this dignitary the news of the advent
of the Báb. Ḥájí Siyyid Javád extended his protection to Quddús,
despite the clamour of his adversaries.

    [Footnote AI: Literally, 'The Leader of Friday'--the leading
    imám (he who leads the congregation in prayer) in a town or

The mother of the Báb was Fáṭimih-Bagum. She was the daughter of
Mírzá Muḥammad-Ḥusayn, a merchant of [_Sh_]íráz, and had three
brothers. Of these, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí became the guardian of
the Báb, while Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad and Ḥájí Mírzá
Ḥasan-`Alí, although not enlisted in the ranks of the followers of
their illustrious Nephew, feature in His story.

Every account that we have of Siyyid `Alí-Muḥammad's childhood
indicates that He was not an ordinary child. When He was sent to
school, He so surprised the schoolmaster, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid, with
His wisdom and intelligence that the bewildered man took the child
back to His uncle, and said that he had nothing to teach this gifted
pupil: 'He, verily, stands in no need of teachers such as I.' The
uncle had already noticed the remarkable qualities of his ward, and it
is recorded that on this occasion he was very stern with Him: 'Have
You forgotten my instructions? Have I not already admonished You to
follow the example of Your fellow-pupils, to observe silence, and to
listen attentively to every word spoken by Your teacher?' It was
totally alien to the nature of that gentle child to disregard the
wishes of His guardian. He returned to school and conducted Himself on
the pattern of other children. Nothing, however, could restrain the
superior mind and intelligence possessed by that exceptional boy. As
time went on, the schoolmaster became convinced that he could not help
his student; in the role of instructor he felt as the instructed.

It should also be said that schools such as that attended by Siyyid
`Alí-Muḥammad, which were common in those days, were one-man
affairs and matters taught were elementary, although pupils were
trained to read the Qur'án, even if they could not possibly understand
the meaning of the sacred text which is of course in Arabic. The Báb
did not go beyond this school nor the tuition of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid.
Thus His schooling was meagre.

The Báb was only five years old when He was sent to receive tuition
from [_Sh_]ay[_kh _] `Ábid. Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh's narrative
contains an account of His first day at school, related by Áqá
Muḥammad-Ibráhím-i-Ismá`íl Bag, a well-known merchant of
[_Sh_]íráz, who was a fellow-scholar at the age of twelve. The Báb had
taken a seat, with great courtesy, in between this boy and another
pupil who was also much older than Himself. His head was bowed over
the primer put in front of Him, the first lines of which He had been
taught to repeat. But He would not utter a word. When asked why He did
not read aloud as other boys were doing He made no reply. Just then
two boys, sitting near them, were heard to recite a couplet from
Ḥáfiẓ, which runs thus:

      From the pinnacles of Heaven they call out unto thee;
      I know not what hath thee here entrapped.[3]

'That is your answer,' said the Báb, turning to Áqá

Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh also tells us that, apart from teaching
boys, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid had a regular class for theological
students. On one occasion some of these students posed a question
which after a long period of discussion remained unresolved.
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid told them that he would consult some
authoritative works that same night and on the morrow present them
with the solution. Just then the Báb, who had been listening, spoke
and with sound reasoning propounded the answer which they sought. They
were wonder-struck, for they had no recollection of discussing that
particular subject within earshot of the Báb, who might then have
looked up references in books and memorized them to repeat
parrot-wise. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid asked Him where He had gained that
knowledge. The boy replied smilingly with a couplet from Ḥáfiẓ:

      Should the grace of the Holy Spirit once again deign to assist,
      Others will also do what Christ could perform.[3]

Not only did the mental faculties of the Báb astound the schoolmaster;
the nobility of His character impressed him even more. Indeed all
those who were close or near to His person could not but yield to the
charm of His being. Years later, when the Báb had raised the call of a
new theophany, the schoolmaster casting his mind over the past told
Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í, a learned scion of a celebrated
priestly family (the Baḥru'l-`Ulúm[AJ]), that Siyyid
`Alí-Muḥammad was always dignified and serene, that He was very
handsome and cared little for the pastimes of other boys. Some
mornings, the schoolmaster recalled, He was late coming to school and
when asked the reason He remained silent. On occasions [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
`Ábid sent other pupils to call at His home and ask Him to come to
school. They would return to say that they had found Him at His
devotions. One day, when He had come late to school and was questioned
by [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid, the Báb said quietly that He had been in the
house of His 'Grandfather'. Thus do the Siyyids refer to their
ancestor the Prophet Muḥammad. To the schoolmaster's remonstrances
that He was only a child of ten from whom such rigorous attention to
devotions was not demanded, He replied quietly again, 'I wish to be
like My Grandfather'. At that time, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid said, he had
taken the words of Siyyid `Alí-Muḥammad as childish _naïveté_.[4]

    [Footnote AJ: Literally, the 'Sea of All Knowledge'.]

A certain book-binder of [_Sh_]íráz named Siyyid Muḥammad, whose
house neighboured that of the Báb's, but who in later years removed to
Saráy-i-Amír[AK] in Ṭihrán to ply his trade, had heard
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid relate that it was customary, when the season was
clement, for the boys to invite their teacher and their fellow-pupils
on Fridays (the day of rest) to an outing in one of the numerous
gardens which bordered the city of [_Sh_]íráz. At times they would
find that the Báb had betaken Himself to a shaded, secluded spot in a
corner of the orchard to pray and meditate.

    [Footnote AK: A well-known inn (caravanserai).]

Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í had himself encountered the Báb in
the years of His childhood. He was normally a resident of Karbilá and
had attended regularly the discourses of Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí,
eventually becoming one of his ardent disciples. But he was also a man
of travel who embarked now and then on long journeys. Twice he went
on pilgrimage to Mecca and spent some time there teaching and
discoursing. He visited India and stayed in Bombay for a while. One of
his journeys took him to [_Sh_]íráz, at a time when the Báb was about
nine years old. Being well acquainted with Ḥájí Siyyid Muḥammad
(one of the Báb's maternal uncles), Ḥájí Siyyid Javád visited him
occasionally. Decades later he recalled that on one of these visits he
could hear the intonations of a melodious, enraptured voice, coming
from the direction of the alcove reserved for devotions. Before long a
boy stepped out of the recess and Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad
introduced Him as his nephew who was orphaned. Another visit coincided
with the Báb's return from school. Ḥájí Siyyid Javád noticed that
He held a batch of papers and asked what they were. Very courteously
the boy replied that they were His calligraphic exercises. When
Ḥájí Siyyid Javád inspected them he marvelled at their excellence.

On yet another and later occasion, when the Báb was for a time engaged
in trading in the port of Bú[_sh_]ihr, Ḥájí Siyyid Javád spent six
months in that town, living in the same inn as the Báb. Thus they
often met. Still later, in Karbilá, Ḥájí Siyyid Javád again met the
Báb, who by then was in His early twenties.

When Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí reached `Iráq with the tidings of the
advent of the Báb, the news spread rapidly among the divines and the
students of theology. Ḥájí Siyyid Javád was one of those
particularly attracted, and he often urged Mullá `Alí to divulge the
name of Him who had put forth such a tremendous claim. But the Báb had
emphatically forbidden Mullá `Alí to mention His name or give any clue
to His identity. To all insistent requests Mullá `Alí merely said that
before long His identity would be revealed to them. No one, according
to the testimony of Ḥájí Siyyid Javád, suspected that the Báb could
be the young merchant of [_Sh_]íráz who had only recently lived among
them. Most of the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]ís believed that the Báb must be one
of the close disciples of Siyyid Káẓim.

Then it occurred to Ḥájí Siyyid Javád to invite Mullá `Alí to his
own home and question him more closely. Seated on the roof of the
house, in the neighbourhood of the Shrine of Imám Ḥusayn, the two
of them conversed at length about the 'Great Event', but no matter how
hard he tried, Ḥájí Siyyid Javád could not induce his guest to
disclose the secret which he had been bidden to withhold. So
frustrated did he feel that, on his own admission, Ḥájí Siyyid
Javád gripped the arms of Mullá `Alí, pushed him hard against the wall
and exclaimed: 'What am I to do with you, Mullá `Alí! Kill you? Won't
you say who that wondrous Being is? Won't you relieve us of this
misery?' Gasping for breath, Mullá `Alí replied: 'Siyyid Javád! It is
forbidden. You yourself are a man of learning. You should know better.
It is forbidden.' And then quite unexpectedly and without knowing why,
Mullá `Alí added that the Báb had specially mentioned that all His
letters extant in `Iráq, whoever the recipient might have been, ought
to be sent to [_Sh_]íráz. No sooner had Mullá `Alí spoken than Ḥájí
Siyyid Javád had, in a flash, a mental picture of Siyyid
`Alí-Muḥammad, whom he had known and admired since His childhood.
He ran down the stairs to the room where he kept his papers, gathered
up the letters he had received from Siyyid `Alí-Muḥammad and
hurried back to the roof. The moment Mullá `Alí caught sight of the
seal on those letters he burst into tears, and so did Ḥájí Siyyid
Javád. They wept for joy, and between his sobs Mullá `Alí kept
repeating: `Áqá Siyyid Javád! Áqá Siyyid Javád! I did not mention any
name to you. It is forbidden to mention His blessed name. Don't
mention His name to anyone.'[5]

Thus did Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í find his new Faith, to which
he remained steadfastly loyal throughout his long life. We shall hear
later a good deal more of this remarkable man.

       *       *       *       *       *

Siyyid `Alí-Muḥammad had some six to seven years of schooling with
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid. In all probability He left the school at the
Qahviy-i-Awlíyá' before He was thirteen. According to Ḥájí Mírzá
Ḥabíbu'lláh's narrative, He joined Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, His
uncle-guardian, in business when He was fifteen years old,[AL] and
shortly afterwards moved to Bú[_sh_]ihr. Pages of commercial accounts
which He kept put it beyond doubt that the Báb left [_Sh_]íráz for
Bú[_sh_]ihr when He was nearly sixteen. There can be little doubt that
at an early age the Báb took over the complete management of the
trading-house in Bú[_sh_]ihr. His scrupulous attention to detail and His
undeviating fairness in transactions became widely known in the region.
A man who had consigned to Him some goods to sell was astonished to
find, when he received his money, that it was more than could be
obtained at current prices. He wanted to return some of it. The Báb told
him that it was only fair and just that he should be given that
particular sum, because his goods would have fetched exactly that amount
had they been offered for sale when the market was at its best.

    [Footnote AL: Islamic law specifies fifteen as the age of

A.-L.-M. Nicolas maintains that the Báb was also engaged in writing
and composing, during this period of His sojourn in Bú[_sh_]ihr. He
mentions a treatise, the _Risáliy-i-Fiqhíyyih_, as having come from
the pen of the Báb during those years.[6] His statement is
corroborated by Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh's narrative:

     One day in Egypt during the time when Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl
     was occupied with writing his book, the _Fará'id_, we came
     to talk about the early years of the Báb, prior to His
     declaration, and the period when He was engaged in trading.
     Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl related the following to me: 'I myself
     heard the late Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í say that
     when the Báb was pursuing the career of a merchant in
     Bú[_sh_]ihr, he ... because of his friendship with the
     uncles of the Báb used to stay with them whenever he visited
     either [_Sh_]íráz or Bú[_sh_]ihr. One day Ḥájí Mírzá
     Siyyid Muḥammad came to him with a request. "Give some
     good counsel to my nephew ... tell Him not to write certain
     things which can only arouse the jealousy of some people:
     these people cannot bear to see a young merchant of little
     schooling show such erudition, they feel envious." Ḥájí
     Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad had been very insistent that
     Ḥájí Siyyid Javád should counsel the Báb to desist from
     writing. Ḥájí Siyyid Javád had however replied with these
     lines of verse: "The fair of face cannot put up with the
     veil; Shut him in, and out of the window will he show his
     visage," and had added: "We are earth-bound and He is
     celestial. Our counsel is of no use to Him."'

Mullá Muḥammad-i-Zarandí, Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, lays particular stress
on the Báb's strict regard for His devotions on Fridays. Even the
torrid conditions of Bú[_sh_]ihr, he states, did not deter the Báb.
Writers of such histories as the _Nási[_kh_]u't-Tavárí[_kh_]_,[7]
hostile to the Báb, have alleged that long exposure to the severe heat
of the sun in that seaport, while engaged in prayers, affected His
mind. They have gone on to assert that it was this derangement of mind
which led Him to make extravagant claims. But Ḥájí Mírzá Jání of
Ká[_sh_]án refutes any suggestion that the Báb deliberately practised
austerities, or that He found Himself a 'mur[_sh_]id' (spiritual
guide) to direct Him along such lines.

Unfortunately records of the years that the Báb spent in Bú[_sh_]ihr
are scant. We cannot be certain as to the exact dates when He took
over the complete management of the trading-house and when He
retired. Ḥájí Mu`ínu's-Salṭanih of Tabríz states in his
chronicle that the Báb assumed direct responsibility at the age of
twenty. If that statement be correct, the period during which He acted
on His own was quite brief. According to Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl of
Gulpáygán, He journeyed to the holy cities of `Iráq in the spring of
1841, stayed in `Iráq for nearly seven months and returned to His
'native province of Fárs' in the autumn of that year. Ḥájí Mírzá
Ḥabíbu'lláh states that the Báb's sojourn in Bú[_sh_]ihr lasted six
years. According to him, when the Báb decided to go on pilgrimage to
the holy cities of `Iráq, He wrote to His uncles in [_Sh_]íráz asking
them to come and take over the business from Him. His uncles, however,
procrastinated, whereupon the Báb settled all the outstanding matters
in Bú[_sh_]ihr Himself, brought His books up to date, locked and
sealed the door of the office and left the keys with the gatekeeper of
the caravanserai, to be handed over to any one of His uncles. He
informed His uncles of what He had done and explained that since they
had not heeded His repeated pleas He had no other alternative,
determined as He was to go on pilgrimage to the holy cities.[AM]
Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad was greatly perturbed lest their
credit be damaged and their clients suffer serious loss. But Ḥájí
Mírzá Siyyid `Alí assured him that their nephew would never do
anything to compromise them and that all accounts would be found in
perfect order. Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad hurried to Bú[_sh_]ihr
where a close inspection of the books satisfied him that nothing had
been left to chance.

    [Footnote AM: The holy cities of `Íráq are: (1) Najaf and (2)
    Karbilá (both already mentioned), which have within them the
    shrines of the first and the third Imáms, respectively; (3)
    Káẓimayn, in the close vicinity of Ba[_gh_]dád, which
    harbours the shrines of Imám Músá al-Káẓim, the seventh
    Imám, and Imám Muḥammad al-Taqí, the ninth Imám; (4)
    Sámarrá, where the shrines of the tenth and the eleventh
    Imáms, `Alí an-Naqí and Ḥasan al-`Askarí, are situated.]

While in Karbilá the Báb visited Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí and attended
his discourses. But these occasional visits did not and could not make
Him a pupil or disciple of Siyyid Káẓim. His adversaries have alleged
that He sat at the feet of Siyyid Káẓim for months on end to learn from
him. But accounts that we have from close associates of Siyyid Káẓim all
indicate that the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í leader welcomed and received Siyyid
`Alí-Muḥammad, on every occasion, with great reverence. Here is a long
account by [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí:

     My days were spent in the service of Siyyid Káẓim, to
     whom I was greatly attached. One day, at the hour of dawn, I
     was suddenly awakened by Mullá Naw-rúz, one of his intimate
     attendants, who, in great excitement, bade me arise and
     follow him. We went to the house of Siyyid Káẓim, where
     we found him fully dressed, wearing his `abá, 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 Karbilá. 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 Káẓim, and lovingly embraced him. His
     affability and loving-kindness singularly contrasted with
     the sense of profound reverence that characterised the
     attitude of Siyyid Káẓim 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 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 Káẓim, saying: 'A drink
     of a pure beverage shall their Lord give them.'[AN] Siyyid
     Káẓim 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'án. 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 Islám, 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_]-[_Sh_]uhadá'[AO]
     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 Káẓim. 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
     Káẓim, as he turned his face toward the Báb. '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 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 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 Káẓim 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.[8]

    [Footnote AN: Qur'án lxxvi, 21.]

    [Footnote AO: 'Siyyidu'[_sh_]-[_Sh_]uhadá'' can be variously
    translated as the 'Head', the 'Chief', the 'Master' or
    'Prince of the Martyrs'. It is applied to Imám Ḥusayn (the
    grandson of the Prophet Muḥammad) who was the third Imám.]

[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí has gone on to relate:

     I often felt the urge to seek alone the presence of that
     Há[_sh_]imite[AP] 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 Imám
     Ḥusayn. 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 inquiries about
     Him elicited the information that He was a resident of
     [_Sh_]íráz, 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
     [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad and Siyyid Káẓim. I learned that
     He had departed for Najaf on His way to [_Sh_]iraz. 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 [_Sh_]íráz, proclaiming Himself to be
     the Báb, 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 Karbilá, the Youth of
     my heart's desire.[9]

    [Footnote AP: Há[_sh_]im was the great-grandfather of the
    Prophet Muḥammad.]

According to Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh's narrative, as the sojourn of the
Báb in the holy cities lengthened into months, His mother, anxious to
have her only son back in [_Sh_]íráz, asked her brother, Ḥájí Mírzá
Siyyid `Alí, to go to `Iráq and persuade Him to return. He could not
deny his sister's request, but when he reached `Iráq he found that his
nephew, who had once been his ward, was unwilling to leave the holy
cities. Thereupon he appealed to Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í for help,
who was at first reluctant to lend his support, not wishing to lose the
company of the young [_Sh_]írází Siyyid whom he had over the course of
years so tremendously admired. However, when he learned that His mother
was greatly concerned, he consented to intervene. At last the Báb
complied with their request and agreed to return. After a few months in
[_Sh_]íráz He declared His intention of going once again to `Iráq. His
mother, alarmed and agitated by this decision, once more sought the aid
of her brother. Their efforts resulted in the marriage of the Báb to
[_Kh_]adíjih-Bagum, daughter of Ḥájí Mírzá `Alí,[10] the paternal uncle
of His mother. The marriage took place in August 1842.
[_Kh_]adíjih-Bagum had two brothers: Ḥájí Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim and Ḥájí
Mírzá Siyyid Ḥasan, and both of them, though not counted among His
followers in His lifetime, have a place in the story of the Báb. The
descendants of these two brothers-in-law of the Báb, and the descendants
of His maternal uncles, are known as the Afnán (the Twigs).

A son was born to Siyyid `Alí-Muḥammad and [_Kh_]adíjih-Bagum in
the year 1843, whom they named Aḥmad, but he did not live long.
Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh states that the child was still-born. The
Báb notes the birth of Aḥmad in the _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_, His
commentary on the Súrih of Yúsuf (Joseph). Speaking of His wedding
with His well-beloved, who was herself descended from the Well-Beloved
(Muḥammad is known as Ḥabíbu'lláh--the Well-Beloved of God), and
relating how He had called upon the angels of Heaven and the cohorts
of Paradise to witness that wedding, the Báb then addresses His wife:

     O well-beloved! Value highly the grace of [_Dh_]ikr [the
     Bab],[11] the Greatest, for it comes from God, the Loved
     One. Thou shalt not be a woman, like other women, if thou
     obeyest God in the Cause of Truth ... and take pride in
     being the consort of the Well-Beloved, who is loved by God
     the Greatest. Sufficient unto thee is this glory which
     cometh unto thee from God, the All-Wise, the All-Praised. Be
     patient in all that God hath ordained concerning the Báb and
     His Family. Verily, thy son, Aḥmad, is with
     Fáṭimih,[AQ] the Sublime, in the sanctified Paradise.[12]

    [Footnote AQ: The daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad.]

And there is this further reference to Ahmad in the _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_:

     All praise be to God Who bestowed upon the Solace of the
     Eyes,[AR] in His youth, Aḥmad. We did verily raise him up
     unto God.... O Solace of the Eyes! Be patient in what thy
     God hath ordained for thee. Verily He doeth whatsoever He
     willeth. He is the All-Wise in the exercise of His justice.
     He is thy Lord, the Ancient of Days, and praised be He in
     whatever He ordereth.[12]

    [Footnote AR: The Báb refers to Himself time and again in
    this Book as 'Qurratu'l-`Ayn'--the Solace of the Eyes.]



     Rejoice with great joy, for God hath made thee 'the
     Day-Spring of His light', inasmuch as within thee was born
     the Manifestation of His Glory. Be thou glad for this name
     that hath been conferred upon thee--a name through which the
     Day-Star of grace hath shed its splendour, through which
     both earth and heaven have been illumined.

                     --Bahá'u'lláh, addressing the city of Ṭihrán

     ... We stand, life in hand, wholly resigned to His will;
     that perchance, through God's loving kindness and His grace,
     this revealed and manifest Letter may lay down His life as a
     sacrifice in the path of the Primal Point,[AS] the most
     exalted Word.

                         --Bahá'u'lláh, from the _Kitáb-i-Íqán_

    [Footnote AS: 'Nuqṭiy-i-Úlá'--the Báb.]

Mullá Ḥusayn was sorely disappointed when he realized that he was
not to be the companion of the Báb, on His pilgrimage to Mecca. But
for the man who was the first to find Him and believe in Him the Báb
had marked out a task infinitely glorious. Mullá Ḥusayn was to go
from [_Sh_]íráz to Ṭihrán, where the fulfilment of that task
awaited him. He had travelled to [_Sh_]íráz on a quest. There he had
reached its end, had found the Qá'im of the House of Muḥammad. Now
he was to undertake another quest, and he was not entirely aware of
the consequences that would attend its success. To him the Báb said:

     In this pilgrimage upon which We are soon to embark, We have
     chosen Quddús 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 Iṣfahán,
     Ká[_sh_]án, Qum, and Ṭihrán. 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 Ṭihrán proceed to [_Kh_]urásán, and
     there proclaim anew the Call. From thence return to Najaf
     and Karbilá and there await the summons 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.[1]

When the time came for Mullá Ḥusayn to leave [_Sh_]íráz, the Báb
told him:

     Grieve not that you have not been chosen to accompany Me on
     My pilgrimage to Ḥijáz. I shall, instead, direct your
     steps to that city which enshrines a Mystery of such
     transcendent holiness as neither Ḥijáz nor [_Sh_]íráz 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, Iṣfahán, Ká[_sh_]án, Ṭihrán, and [_Kh_]urásán.
     Proceed thence to `Iráq, 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 Quddús and My Ethiopian servant,[AT] proceed
     on My pilgrimage to Ḥijáz. I shall join the company of
     the pilgrims of Fárs, who will shortly be sailing for that
     land. I shall visit Mecca and Medina, and there fulfil the
     mission[AU] with which God has entrusted Me. God willing, I
     shall return hither by the way of Kúfih, in which place I
     hope to meet you. If it be decreed otherwise, I shall ask
     you to join Me in [_Sh_]íráz. 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.[2]

    [Footnote AT: His name was Mubárak.]

    [Footnote AU: To raise the Call of the Qá'im.]

Mullá Ḥusayn was known in Iṣfahán, for there he had
obtained testimonials from the great mujtahid, Ḥájí Siyyid
Muḥammad-Báqir, in support of Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí. That
eminent divine was now dead, but his son, Ḥájí Siyyid Asadu'lláh,
walking in the footsteps of his illustrious father, refused to
associate himself with the adversaries of Mullá Ḥusayn. Another
noted divine, Ḥájí Muḥammad-Ibráhím-i-Kalbásí, did likewise, and
sternly admonished those who opposed Mullá Ḥusayn to cease their
clamouring and investigate dispassionately whatever he was advocating.
The Governor, Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án, the Mu`tamidu'd-Dawlih,
similarly declined to heed their strictures.

The first person in Iṣfahán to embrace the new Faith was a youth, a
sifter of wheat. The Báb immortalizes his memory in the Persian

     Iṣfahán, that outstanding city, is distinguished by the
     religious fervour of its [_sh_]i`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
     Ṣáḥibu'z-Zamán.[AV] 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

    [Footnote AV: The Lord of the Age.]

Others eventually followed the example of that youth,[AW]
among them Mírzá Muḥammad `Alíy-i-Nahrí and his brother,
Mírzá Hádí, who were Siyyids and highly respected. Mullá
Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-[_Kh_]urásání was another convert. Siyyid
Káẓim had told Mullá Ṣádiq to establish his residence in
Iṣfahán and pave the way for the coming of the Qá'im. That man of
iron courage (whom we shall encounter again in the course
of this story) met Mullá Ḥusayn in the home of Mírzá
Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Nahrí. Mullá Ṣádiq himself relates:

     I asked Mullá Ḥusayn 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 Karbilá, standing
     in an attitude of prayer, with His face bathed in tears, at
     the entrance of the shrine of the Imám Ḥusayn. 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 Mullá Ḥusayn,
     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 Iṣfahán. You
     should now proceed to Kirmán, and there acquaint Ḥájí
     Mírzá Karím [_Kh_]án with this Message.[AX] From that place
     you should travel to [_Sh_]íráz and endeavour to rouse the
     people of that city from their heedlessness. I hope to join
     you in [_Sh_]íráz and share with you the blessings of a
     joyous reunion with our Beloved.'[5]

    [Footnote AW: He is usually known as Gandum-Pák-Kun (the
    Sifter of Wheat); his name was Mullá Ja`far. He was one of
    the martyrs of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí.]

    [Footnote AX: Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad-Karím
    [_Kh_]án-i-Kirmání considered himself to be the successor to
    Siyyid Káẓim. He fostered bitter opposition to the Báb
    within the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í school.]

In Ká[_sh_]án, Mullá Ḥusayn found a responsive and eager heart in a
well-known merchant of that town, named Ḥájí Mírzá Jání.[AY] He too
features prominently in the story of the Báb. The next stage in Mullá
Ḥusayn's journey was the city of Qum, where the shrine of
Ma'ṣúmih, the sister of Imám Riḍá, the eighth Imám, is situated.
He found no attentive ears in Qum. Then came the crucial stage of his
journey, when he entered the capital city of Írán, for there lay the
'Mystery' which the Báb had mentioned.

    [Footnote AY: He was the first to attempt to write a history
    of the new theophany.]

In Ṭihrán Mullá Ḥusayn took a room in a theological institution
called the madrisih (school) of Mírzá Ṣáliḥ, alternatively the
madrisih of Páminár.[AZ] The director of the institution, Ḥájí
Mírzá Muḥammad-i-[_Kh_]urásání, was the leading [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í in
the capital. He not only refused to heed what Mullá Ḥusayn
imparted, but severely remonstrated with him and accused him of having
betrayed the trust of Siyyid Káẓim. Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad made
it clear that in his view Mullá Ḥusayn's presence in Ṭihrán
posed a threat to the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í community. Mullá Ḥusayn
replied that he did not intend to stay long in Ṭihrán, nor had he
done or said anything which detracted from the position of the
founders of the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í school.

    [Footnote AZ: Páy-i-Minár, named after the quarter of the
    city where it was located.]

As far as he could, Mullá Ḥusayn kept away from the madrisih of
Mírzá Ṣáliḥ. He went out early in the mornings and returned
after sunset. Mullá Muḥammad-i-Mu`allim,[BA] a native of the
district of Núr in Mázindarán, has described how Mullá Ḥusayn
accomplished his mission:

     I was in those days recognised as one of the favoured
     disciples of Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad, 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 Mullá Ḥusayn, 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 Ḥájí Mírzá
     Muḥammad. 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 Mullá
     Ḥusayn. 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 Mullá Muḥammad, and
     my surname Mu`allim. My home is Núr, in the province of
     Mázindarán.' 'Tell me,' further inquired Mullá Ḥusayn,
     'is there to-day among the family of the late Mírzá
     Buzurg-i-Núrí, 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 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 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?' 'Ḥusayn-`Alí.' 'In which of the scripts of His
     father does He excel?'[BB] 'His favourite script is
     [_sh_]ikastih-nasta`líq.' 'How does He spend His time?' 'He
     roams the woods and delights in the beauties of the
     countryside.' 'What is His age?' 'Eight and twenty.' The
     eagerness with which Mullá Ḥusayn 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

     As I approached the house of Bahá'u'lláh, I recognised His
     brother Mírzá Músá, 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
     Mírzá Músá, who laid it before Bahá'u'lláh. 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 voice and the
     sweetness of its melody. He had read a page of the scroll
     when, turning to His brother, He said: 'Músá, what have you
     to say? Verily I say, whoso believes in the Qur'án 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 Mullá Ḥusayn, as a gift from
     Him, a loaf of Russian sugar and a package of tea, and to
     convey to him the expression of His appreciation and love.

     I arose and, filled with joy, hastened back to Mullá
     Ḥusayn, and delivered to him the gift and message of
     Bahá'u'lláh. 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
     Mullá Ḥusayn. 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 Mullá Ḥusayn, 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 Bahá'u'lláh? I was puzzled by this thought and
     could not unravel its mystery.

     A few days later, Mullá Ḥusayn left for [_Kh_]urásán. 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,
     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.'[6]

    [Footnote BA: Teacher or tutor.]

    [Footnote BB: Bahá'u'lláh's father was famed for his

From Ma[_sh_]had, the holy city that has within it the Shrine of the
eighth Imám, Mullá Ḥusayn addressed his first letter to the Báb. He
gave, as instructed by Him, the full details of his journey from
[_Sh_]íráz to [_Kh_]urásán. He presented the list of names of those
who had responded to the call of the new theophany: a list which had
become further enriched in [_Kh_]urásán by the enrolment of Mírzá
Aḥmad-i-Az[_gh_]andí, the most learned of the divines of that
renowned province; Mullá Mírzá Muḥammad-i-Furú[_gh_]í, another
divine of immense learning; Mírzá Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Qá'iní, whose
house in Ma[_sh_]had was to gain the distinction of being known as the
Bábíyyih, since its doors would be always open to those who sought
Mullá Ḥusayn and to all the Bábís; Mullá Aḥmad-i-Mu`allim, who
had been a tutor to the sons of Siyyid Káẓim; and Mullá
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Alí, to whom the Báb gave the title of `Aẓím
(Great). But above all, Mullá Ḥusayn recounted what had transpired
in Ṭihrán, culminating in the gracious response of the nobleman of
Núr. He sent his letter, again as instructed by the Báb, to Ṭabas
(a town in the province of [_Kh_]urásán) where agents of Ḥájí Mírzá
Siyyid `Alí received it and dispatched it to Yazd, whence it reached
[_Sh_]íráz. The arrival of Mullá Ḥusayn's letter and the tidings
which it conveyed brought unbounded joy to the Báb. Soon after, in the
month of September, He left [_Sh_]íráz, accompanied by Quddús, and the
faithful Ethiopian servant, Mubárak.

From Bú[_sh_]ihr, while waiting to take the boat to Jiddah (Jaddah),
the Báb wrote His first letter to His wife. It opens with these moving

     'In the Name of God, exalted is He. My sweet love, may God
     preserve thee.' 'God is my witness,' He continues, 'that
     since the time of separation sorrow has been so intense that
     it cannot be described,' and adds His hope that God, 'the
     Lord of the world,' may 'facilitate the return journey in
     the best manner.' Two days previously He had reached
     Bú[_sh_]ihr, and informs His wife that 'the weather is
     exceedingly hot, but God, the Lord of the world, is the
     Protector.' The boat, it seemed, would be sailing the same
     month; 'God, the Lord of the world, will provide protection
     by His grace.' He had not been able to see His mother at the
     time of His departure, and asks His wife to give her His
     salutation (salám) and request her prayers. He would write
     to Bombay for the goods required. And the letter ends thus:
     'God willing, that which is decreed will come to pass. Peace
     be upon thee and the mercy of God and His blessings.'[7]

The ship, bearing pilgrims to Jiddah, set sail on the nineteenth day
of Ramaḍán 1260--October 2nd 1844.[8]



      The world turns and the world changes,
      But one thing does not change.
      In all of my years, one thing does not change.
      However you disguise it, this thing does not change:
      The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil.
                                            --T. S. Eliot

Lady Sheil, whose husband was the British envoy in Ṭihrán,[BC]
states in her book, _Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia_, that the
Báb declared His mission in Káẓimayn, near Ba[_gh_]dád, and that
'Incensed at this blasphemy, the Turkish authorities issued orders for
his execution, but he was claimed by the Persian consul as a subject
of the Shah, and sent to his native place'.[1] Obviously Lady Sheil
was confused. She had heard of the arrest of Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí
in `Iráq and of his imprisonment. She mistook him for the Báb.

    [Footnote BC: See note 6, Prologue.]

Mullá `Alí, as we have seen, was directed to `Iráq by the Báb, and took
with him a copy of the _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_, the commentary on the Súrih of
Yúsuf (Joseph). The news and the message that he gave aroused eager
interest and ready response from his hearers. But hostile reaction was
also swift. It was Mullá `Alí who, in Karbilá, informed Qurratu'l-`Ayn
of the advent of the Báb. He was not at liberty to mention His Name. We
do not know whether, in view of the fact that Qurratu'l-`Ayn had been
elevated to the high and honoured position of a Letter of the Living,
Mullá `Alí gave her any information other than the tidings of the
appearance of the Báb. The disciples of Siyyid Káẓim were in a much
stronger position there than in Najaf, in spite of the fact that in
Karbilá they had a redoubtable opponent in the person of Siyyid
Ibráhím-i-Qazvíní. There in Karbilá, Mullá `Alí remained safe. But the
story was different in Najaf. Nabíl-i-A`ẓam writes:

     In the presence of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad-Ḥasan, one
     of the most celebrated ecclesiastics of [_sh_]í`ah Islám,
     and in the face of a distinguished company of his disciples,
     Mullá `Alí announced fearlessly the manifestation of the
     Báb, the Gate whose advent they were eagerly awaiting. 'His
     proof,' he declared, 'is His Word; His testimony, none other
     than the testimony with which Islám seeks to vindicate its
     truth. From the pen of this unschooled Há[_sh_]imite 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'án, which it took Muḥammad,
     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 Mullá `Alí a
     heretic and expelled him from the assembly. His disciples
     and followers, even the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]ís, who already
     testified to Mullá `Alí's piety, sincerity, and learning,
     endorsed, unhesitatingly, the judgment against him. The
     disciples of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad-Ḥasan, 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 Islám, 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
     Ba[_gh_]dád under the escort of government officials, and
     was cast into prison by the governor of that city.[2]

Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafáy-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí,[3] in a short
autobiography which he wrote at the instance of Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍí,
describes Mullá `Alí's arrival in `Iráq and the events which followed:

     The messenger, Mullá `Alí al-Basṭámí,[BD] reached Kúfih
     in the year A.H. 1260 [A.D. 1844] and distributed books,
     treatises and tablets amongst the divines. Due to this a
     body of the divines in Najaf and Karbilá were seized with
     consternation. They arose in opposition and stirred
     themselves to vociferous denunciation. The Government
     hearing of what had transpired, became concerned lest
     disorders might ensue, and deemed it politic to imprison the
     messenger, confiscate the books and tablets in his
     possession and send him to the seat of the province, that is
     Ba[_gh_]dád. The Válí, at that time, was Najíb Pá[_sh_]á,
     the same man who captured Karbilá....[BE]

     When the messenger reached Ba[_gh_]dád the Válí kept him in
     prison and placed the books and the treatises in the
     council-chamber. My father, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad,
     visited the messenger every day in the prison, and heard the
     Word of God from him for three months. Whatever he heard he
     imparted to those who were seekers, so that, during this
     short time, a large number of people came to believe.
     [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ba[_sh_]ír an-Najafí was one of them, a
     mujtahid seventy-five years old. Then there were
     [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Sulṭán al-Karbilá'í and a group with him
     in Karbilá; Siyyid Muḥammad-Ja`far, Siyyid Ḥasan
     Ja`far, and Siyyid `Alí Bi[_sh_]r and a group with him in
     the town of Káẓimíyyah; [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad
     [_Sh_]ibl [the author's father], Siyyid Muḥsin
     al-Káẓimí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṣáliḥ al-Karímí and a
     group with them of villagers like [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Abbás,
     Mullá Maḥmúd, `Abdu'l-Hádí and Mihdí....

     When the Government noticed that the Cause was gaining
     ground day by day, the afore-mentioned Válí, Najíb
     Pá[_sh_]á, ordered the divines of all the regions to come to
     Ba[_gh_]dád....[4] They summoned my father, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
     Muḥammad, to present himself. But my father left
     Ba[_gh_]dád in disguise, because he had learned that the
     Válí intended to make him give witness against the Cause of
     the Day of Judgment. They brought the messenger to this
     terrible assembly and asked him who the Lord of the Cause
     was. He answered: 'The awaited Spirit of Truth hath come. He
     is the One promised in the Books of God.' Then he read them
     some verses and prayers and called upon them to believe. It
     went hard with them to accept the Cause. They arose to deny
     and to reject it, full of haughtiness. They agreed to
     denounce the messenger as a heretic and passed the sentence
     of death upon him, and thus ended that assemblage of ill
     omen. The Válí sent the account of the proceedings to the
     Sublime Porte, whence came the orders that the messenger
     should be sent in fetters, together with his books, to the
     capital. The messenger languished for six months in the gaol
     of Ba[_gh_]dád and was then dispatched to the Sublime Porte,
     under escort, by way of Mosul. The fame of the Cause was
     noised abroad in Mosul, and when he passed Mosul nothing
     more was heard of him.[5]

    [Footnote BD: Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá wrote in Arabic.]

    [Footnote BE: See Prologue I.]

The circumstances of Mullá `Alí's arrest were also noted by Major
Henry Rawlinson,[6] then British Political Agent in Ba[_gh_]dád, who,
on January 8th 1845, reported to Sir Stratford Canning, the Ambassador
in Istanbul:

     I have the honor to report for Your Excellency's information
     the following circumstances which are at present causing
     much excitement at this place, and which threaten in their
     consequences to give rise to renewed misunderstanding
     between the Persian & Turkish Govts.

     About three months ago, an inferior priest of Shiraz
     appeared in Kerbela, bearing a copy of the Koran, which he
     stated to have been delivered to him, by the forerunner of
     the Imam Mehdi, to be exhibited in token of his approaching
     advent. The book proved on examination to have been altered
     and interpolated in many essential passages, the object
     being, to prepare the Mohammedan world for the immediate
     manifestation of the Imam, and to identify the individual to
     whom the emendations of the text were declared to have been
     revealed, as his inspired & true precursor. It was in
     consequence pronounced by a part of the Sheeah divines at
     Nejef and Kerbela, to be a blasphemous production, and the
     priest of Shiraz was warned by them of the danger; which he
     incurred in giving currency to its contents--but a
     considerable section nevertheless of the Sheeahs of Nejef,
     who under the name of _Usúlí_, or 'Transcendentalists', have
     lately risen into notice as the disciples of the High Priest
     Sheikh Kazem, and who are in avowed expectation of the
     speedy advent of the Imam, adopted the proposed readings,
     and declared themselves ready to join the Precursor; as soon
     as he should appear amongst them--These parties owing to
     local dissensions, were shortly afterwards denounced to the
     Govt. by the orthodox Sheeas as heretics, and attention
     being thus drawn to the perverted copy of the Koran, upon
     which they rested their belief, the volume was seized & its
     bearer being brought to Bagdad, was cast into prison, as a
     blasphemer against Islam and a disturber of the public

    [Footnote BF: Major Rawlinson nowhere mentions the name of
    the priest who is alleged to have been the possessor of a
    'spurious' version of the Qur'án. It is obvious that the
    priest, about whom he was writing, could have been none other
    than Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí, whom he wrongly designated as
    'Shirazee' for the simple reason that he had come from
    [_Sh_]íráz. His frequent references to the disciples of
    Siyyid Káẓim as '_Usúlí_' indicate that his knowledge of
    the issue was meagre, for these disciples were known as
    [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]ís. The term could have been more appropriately
    applied to the opponents of Siyyid Káẓim. They and their
    counterpart, the 'A[_kh_]bárís', followed different methods
    of interpretation within the [_Sh_]í`ah fold. For a
    description of these schools of thought, see Browne, _A
    Literary History of Persia_, Vol. IV, pp. 374-6.]

Mullá `Alí was the first martyr of the Bábí Faith. Though his arrest
and sufferings lasted only a few months, he was the centre of
conjecture, the subject of official report, and the cause of increased
rancour between the Sunní and [_Sh_]í`ah sects, and the Ottoman and
Iranian governments. European officials who were drawn into this
obscure drama included Major Rawlinson, who submitted frequent and
lengthy reports to Sir Stratford Canning in Istanbul and Lt.-Col.
Sheil in Ṭihrán, and received their advice and instructions; M. de
Titow, Russian envoy in Istanbul who joined Canning in urging the
Sublime Porte to restrain Najíb Pá[_sh_]á from putting 'the Persian
Priest' to death, and instead to inflict on him only 'the mildest
punishment consistent with the public tranquillity'; and Lord
Aberdeen, the British Foreign Secretary in London, who was apprised of
the final outcome.

Although the dispatches of Major Rawlinson are in certain aspects
subject to grave reservations, for his knowledge was sometimes meagre
and at second hand, even inaccurate, they do portray the agitation,
confusion and opposition created by the claim of the Báb and the
teaching of Mullá `Alí. Thus he wrote to Canning:

     The Soonnee Priesthood have taken up the case in a rancorous
     spirit of bigotry, and their inveteracy has enlisted the
     sympathies of the entire Sheeah sect, in favor of the
     imprisoned Persian ... the question has now become one of
     virulent contest, between the Soonee & Sheeah sects, or
     which is the same thing in this part of the Ottoman Empire,
     between the Turkish & Persian population....[8]

It was the Governor (Válí) of Ba[_gh_]dád, Najíb Pá[_sh_]á, who bore
the responsibility of controlling these passions; but being himself a
fanatical Sunní, he was resolved that the [_Sh_]í`ahs should submit to
the Sunní authority, and determined to bar any intrusions of the
Persians into the affairs of his Pá[_sh_]álik.[BG] Nevertheless, as
reported by Rawlinson:

     Nejib Pasha at the same time, to give all due formality to
     his proceedings, and to divest the affair of the appearance
     of mere sectarian persecution, has brought in the chief
     Priests from Nejef & Kerbela, to hold a solemn Court of
     Inquisition in conjunction with the heads of the Soonnee
     religion in Bagdad, but I do not anticipate much benefit
     from this compulsory & most unwilling attendance of the
     former parties--They will probably make an effort to save
     the life of their unfortunate countryman, proposing the
     banishment of the messenger and of the heads of the _Usúlí_
     sect, as the simplest method of suppressing the heresy, but
     they will be intimidated & overruled....[9]

    [Footnote BG: His province.]

Indeed, such an unwieldy court of Sunní and [_Sh_]í`ah divines could
come to no agreement about Mullá `Alí's punishment. On January 16th
1845, Rawlinson wrote to Sheil, in Ṭihrán:

     The Court of Inquisition convened for the trial of the
     Persian priest, was held on Monday last [January 13th], H.E.
     Nejib Pasha presiding, and Moola Abdool Azeez being also
     present, to afford his countenance to the accused--The
     perverted copy of the Koran being produced in Court, was
     unanimously condemned as a blasphemous production, and
     parties avowing a belief in the readings which it continued
     [sic], were declared to be liable to the punishment of
     death--It was then argued whether or not the Shirazee had
     thus avowed his belief in a blasphemous production--he
     himself distinctly repudiated the charge, and although
     witnesses were brought forward, who stated that he had in
     their presence declared his adoption of the spurious text,
     of which he was the bearer, yet as there was reason to
     suspect the fidelity of their evidence, the Sheeah divines
     were disposed to give him the benefit of his present
     disavowal--After much discussion the Soonee law-officers
     adjudged the culprit to be convicted of blasphemy & passed
     sentence of death on him accordingly, while the Sheeahs
     returned a verdict, that he was only guilty of the
     dissemination of blasphemy, & liable in consequence to no
     heavier punishment than imprisonment or banishment....

To this Rawlinson added:

     I understand that considerable uneasiness is beginning to
     display itself at Kerbela & Nejef, in regard to the expected
     manifestation of the Imam, and I am apprehensive that the
     measures now in progress will rather increase than allay the

    [Footnote BH: Rawlinson's letter to Sheil carries the
    statement that Mullá `Alí abjured his faith. Apart from the
    evidence of the devotion and heroism of the disciples of the
    Báb, which history amply provides, several factors must be
    considered. Major Rawlinson was not present at that meeting
    of the divines, which he termed 'the Court of Inquisition'.
    Therefore his information was secondhand. The emergence of
    Sunní-[_Sh_]í`ah antagonism was another factor which would
    certainly have clouded the issue. The 'advent of the Imam'
    need not, necessarily, have troubled the Sunní conscience,
    because Sunnís have never believed in the Imámate and the
    occultation of the Twelfth Imám. Furthermore, that which
    Mullá `Alí is supposed to have rejected, according to
    Rawlinson, was a 'perverted copy of the Koran'. Would Mullá
    `Alí ever have an interpolated copy of the Qur'án to announce
    the message he had to give, or to prove it? And then the
    question must also be asked: if Mullá `Alí, the man who
    brought the news of the advent of the Báb, had recanted, how
    was it that 'considerable uneasiness' was becoming
    perceptible in Karbilá and Najaf, 'in regard to the expected
    manifestation of the Imam'?]

The personal intervention of Najíb Pá[_sh_]á had served also to
influence the course of events in another way. By referring the matter
to the Sublime Porte, he prevented the extradition of the Persian
prisoner to his native land, as requested by the Iranian Prime
Minister, Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí.

A similar request for the transfer of Mullá `Alí to Persian
jurisdiction was made to Major Rawlinson by the Governor of
Kirmán[_sh_]áh, Muḥibb-`Alí [_Kh_]án, for, as he wrote:

     In the first place it is improper to arrest and imprison
     anyone on a mere accusation, which may be true or
     false,--and in the second place, supposing that he (the
     Shirázee) were guilty; as a subject of the exalted Govt. of
     Persia, he ought not to be subject to arrest--if his crime
     were proved, his punishment should be that of banishment
     from the Turkish territory--I have therefore considered it
     necessary to represent this matter to you my friend, and to
     request that, as a well wisher to the preservation of
     friendship between the two Governments, You will communicate
     with H. Excy. Nejib Pasha on the subject, and will suggest
     to him, that if the guilt of the Persian be fully
     substantiated, he may be sent to Kermanshah, in order that I
     may transfer him to Tehran for punishment--and if on the
     other hand, the accusations against him prove to be
     malicious and without foundation, he may be at once released
     and set at liberty.

     Under any circumstances his continued imprisonment is
     unbecoming and contrary (to custom).[11]

This request was duly submitted by Rawlinson to Najíb Pá[_sh_]á but,
as the Governor had already referred the matter to the Sublime Porte
after the religious court's examination, the prisoner remained in
Turkish custody.

It was on April 15th that Rawlinson reported to Canning that 'Nejib
Pasha received orders by yesterday's post to transmit to Constantinople
the Persian priest who has been in confinement for the last 3 months at
Bagdad.... His Excy. is preparing to obey these instructions with all
available despatch.' He also says in the same letter:

     ... [the] more in fact these Mujtiheds[BI] are degraded by
     the Turkish Govt., the more complete, I think, will be their
     ascendancy over the minds of their disciples and the only
     results, therefore, which are likely to attend the
     proscription of their public duties, are the more complete
     isolation of the Persian community of this province, and an
     increase of the rancorous feeling with which the dominant
     Soonee party is regarded--[12]

    [Footnote BI: [_Sh_]í`ah divines.]

On the last day of April, Rawlinson wrote once more to Canning:

     I take this opportunity of reporting that the Persian priest
     of Shiraz so long detained in confinement at this place, was
     sent a prisoner to Constantinople in company with the
     Tartar[BJ] who conveyed the last Bagdad post.[13]

    [Footnote BJ: Official courier.]

Meanwhile, as early as February, Major Rawlinson came to an erroneous
conclusion about the Báb, which subsequent events belied. He wrote to
Canning on the 18th:

     ... the excitement which has been for some time prevalent in
     this vicinity among the Sheeah sect in connection with the
     expected manifestation of the Imam Mehdi, is beginning
     gradually to subside, the impostor who personated the
     character of the forerunner of the Imam ... having been
     deterred by a sense of personal danger from a further
     prosecution of the agitation, which he set on foot at
     Kerbela in the Autumn on his passage from Persia to

He was also in error in stating to Sheil, ten days later, that 'the
impostor ... joined as a private individual the Caravan of pilgrims
which is travelling to Persia by the route of Damascus and Aleppo'.[15]

In considering this episode of the arrest, imprisonment and banishment
of the first Bábí martyr, there are four aspects which deserve special
note. First is the fact that while the Bábís in [_Sh_]íráz were being
punished by Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, Governor of the province of Fárs,[BK]
the Persian Government was trying to rescue Mullá `Alí in Ba[_gh_]dád.
Secondly, whereas the [_Sh_]í`ah divines were demanding a light
punishment, the Sunnís were clamouring for the death penalty. A third
point, important to students of the Bábí Faith, is that from the
earliest stage of its history rumours and misinformation about the Báb
abounded. It is also of considerable interest that this episode was
reported to Lord Aberdeen, the British Foreign Secretary in London.

    [Footnote BK: Mullá `Alí was before long caught up in a
    furore of agitation and oppression, was apprehended, put on
    trial and condemned to death. It has always been assumed that
    he was put to death somewhere in `Iráq (either in Mosul or
    beyond), while being taken to Istanbul, because nothing more
    was ever heard of him after he reached Mosul. But recent
    research in official archives has established the fact that
    he arrived in the Ottoman capital, was once again put on
    trial and was condemned to hard labour in the dockyards,
    where he died towards the end of 1846. (For most of this
    information the author is much indebted to Mr Sami

As to Mullá `Alí, what precisely happened to him, how and where he
died and where he was interred, have all remained mysteries. It has
been said that he died in the prison of Karkúk, but no definite proof
exists. He was the first of the concourse of martyrs whose numbers
were soon to swell into hundreds and thousands.



      Vaunt not thyself, O thou who leadeth the pilgrims on their way,
      That which thou seest is the House, and that which I see is the
                           Lord of that House.

The Báb embarked for Jiddah, probably on an Arab sailing-boat named
_Futúḥ-ar-Rasúl_--Victories of the Messenger. If so, He had as
fellow-passenger a maternal uncle of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh,
Muḥammad-Báqir [_Kh_]án, the Biglarbagí[BL] of Ṭihrán, who was
attended by [_Sh_]ukru'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Núrí, a prominent official of
the province of Fárs. We know for certain that two of His
fellow-townsmen on the boat were Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan, who pursued
the same trade as the Báb's father, and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Há[_sh_]im,
brother of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb, the Imám-Jum`ih of [_Sh_]íráz.
The former was captivated by the charm and the sublime bearing of his
compatriot, the young Siyyid of whose claim he was unaware, and gave
Him his allegiance without the slightest hesitation when he learned of
His claim. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Há[_sh_]im, however, was already jealous
of the respect commanded by the Báb and became His implacable enemy,
even though his brother, the Imám-Jum`ih, served the interests of the
Báb to the best of his ability.[1]

    [Footnote BL: The principal official responsible for public
    order in a town or city.]

Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan has related[2] that during the voyage
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Há[_sh_]im became daily more arrogant and
quarrelsome, molesting the passengers and making the young Siyyid a
particular target for his invective. When the Arab captain could no
longer tolerate his insolent behaviour, he ordered him to be seized
and thrown into the sea. According to Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan, it was
the Báb who stepped forward to intercede for him. However, the captain
was determined to be rid of the troublesome [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]. And when
the Báb noticed that the sailors were about to throw [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Abú-Há[_sh_]im overboard, He hurled Himself upon him, caught hold of
him and earnestly requested the captain to pardon the wrong-doer. The
Arab captain was astonished, because it had been the young Siyyid who
had suffered most from the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]'s malice. But the Báb
replied that, since people who behaved in that manner harmed only
themselves, one should be tolerant and forgiving.

The rites of the Ḥajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) are to be performed on
the ninth and tenth days of the month of [_Dh_]i'l-Ḥijjah, the last
month of the Muslim lunar year. On the tenth day the `Íd-al-Aḍḥá
(the Festival of Sacrifices) is celebrated throughout the Muslim
world.[BM] It commemorates the sacrifice offered by Abraham of His
son. Whenever the `Íd-al-Aḍḥá falls on a Friday, the Ḥajj of
that year is termed the Ḥajj-i-Akbar (the Greatest Ḥajj). In the
year 1260, the tenth of [_Dh_]i'l-Ḥijjah was a Friday (December
20th 1844), and therefore the number of pilgrims was commensurately
greater. An Islamic tradition points to the appearance of the Qá'im in
a year of the Ḥajj-i-Akbar.

    [Footnote BM: In Persia this Feast is usually called

Another particularly notable pilgrim in that year 1260 was a divine of
high repute, Siyyid Ja`far-i-Ka[_sh_]fí, whose son Siyyid Yaḥyá
(later known as Vaḥíd) was to become one of the most distinguished
followers of the Báb.

The journey to Jiddah was long, tedious and exhausting. Seas were
rough and storms frequent. An Arab sailing-boat did not afford much
comfort. 'For days we suffered from the scarcity of water. I had to
content myself with the juice of sweet lemon,' the Báb writes in the
Persian _Bayán_.[3] Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan recounts:

     During the entire period of approximately two months, from
     the day we embarked at Bú[_sh_]ihr to the day when we landed
     at Jaddih, the port of Ḥijáz, whenever by day or night I
     chanced to meet either the Báb or Quddús, I invariably found
     them together, both absorbed in their work. The Báb seemed
     to be dictating, and Quddús 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.[4]

At Jiddah the Báb and His companions put on the iḥrám,[BN] the garb
of the pilgrim. He travelled to Mecca on a camel, but Quddús would not
mount and walked all the way, keeping pace with it. On the tenth day
of [_Dh_]i'l-Ḥijjah the Báb offered the prescribed sacrifice. The
meat of the nineteen lambs which He bought was all given to the poor
and the needy; nine of the animals were sacrificed on His own behalf,
seven on behalf of Quddús and three for Mubárak.[5]

    [Footnote BN: sheet of cloth, unstitched.]

Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh-i-Afnán, quoting Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan,
relates in his chronicle that after the completion of the rites of the
Ḥajj, at a time when the court of the House of Ka`bah and the roofs
of adjoining houses teemed with pilgrims, the Báb stood against the
structure of the Ka`bah, laid hold of the ring on its door and thrice
repeated, in a clear voice:

      I am that Qá'im whose advent you have been awaiting.

Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan recalled, many years later, that a sudden hush fell
upon the audience. The full implication of those momentous words must,
at the time, have eluded that vast concourse of people. But the news of
the claim of the young Siyyid soon spread in an ever-widening circle.

One day in Mecca, the Báb came face to face with Mírzá
Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Kirmání, known as Muḥíṭ.[BO] They
happened to meet close by the sacred Black Stone (Ḥajar al-Aswad).
The Báb took Muḥíṭ's hand, saying:

     O Muḥíṭ! You regard yourself as one of the most
     outstanding figures of the [_sh_]ay[_kh_]í 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 Muḥammad 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 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.

    [Footnote BO: He had pretensions to leadership of the
    [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í sect after the death of Siyyid Káẓim.]

Muḥíṭ was taken by surprise and was overwhelmed. He replied to
the Báb:

     My Lord, my Master! Ever since the day on which my eyes
     beheld You in Karbilá, 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 `Alí, His chosen successor.

The Báb knew how vacillating Muḥíṭ was, and answered:

     Verily I say, the Truth is even now known and distinguished
     from falsehood. O shrine of the Prophet of God, and you, O
     Quddús, 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 Muḥíṭ! 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.[6]

Muḥíṭ presented his questions and then departed
hurriedly for Medina. The Báb, in answer to them, revealed the
_Ṣaḥífiy-i-Baynu'l-Ḥaramayn_, which, as its name 'The Epistle
Between the Two Shrines' indicates, was composed on the road to the
city of the Prophet (Medina). Muḥíṭ, contrary to his promise,
did not remain long in Medina, but received the Báb's treatise in
Karbilá. To the end of his days, Muḥíṭ was shifty and
irresolute, and the headship of the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í community did not
go to him, but to Ḥájí Muḥammad-Karím [_Kh_]án-i-Kirmání.

The last act of the Báb in Mecca was to address a Tablet to the
[_Sh_]aríf (Sherif) of Mecca, in which He proclaimed His advent and His
Divine mandate. Quddús delivered it together with a volume of the
Writings of the Báb. But the [_Sh_]aríf was preoccupied and ignored the
communication put in his hands. Ḥájí Níyáz-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí recounts:

     In the year 1267 A.H. [A.D. 1850-51], 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'án. All that I gathered from the perusal of the book
     was that among the people of Persia a man of the seed of
     Fáṭimih and descendant of the family of Há[_sh_]im, had
     raised a new call, and was announcing to all people the
     appearance of the promised Qá'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'án
     itself--a work which it took Muḥammad 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
     [_Sh_]a`bán [July 1850], suffered martyrdom in Tabríz, in
     the province of Á[_dh_]irbáyján. 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 who had persecuted the Báb. '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.[7]

The Báb reached Medina on the first day of the year A.H. 1261: Friday,
January 10th 1845.[8] It was the first of Muḥarram and the day of
His birth. From Medina He proceeded to Jiddah, where He took a boat
bound for the port of Bú[_sh_]ihr.



            But man, proud man,
      Drest in a little brief authority,
      Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
      His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
      Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
      As makes the angels weep....

The London _Times_ of Wednesday, November 19th 1845, carried this item
of news on its third page, taken from the _Literary Gazette_ of the
preceding Saturday:

     MAHOMETAN SCHISM.--A new sect has lately set itself up in
     Persia, at the head of which is a merchant who had returned
     from a pilgrimage to Mecca, and proclaimed himself a
     successor of the Prophet. The way they treat such matters at
     Shiraz appears in the following account (June 23):--Four
     persons being heard repeating their profession of faith
     according to the form prescribed by the impostor, were
     apprehended, tried, and found guilty of unpardonable
     blasphemy. They were sentenced to lose their beards by fire
     being set to them. The sentence was put into execution with
     all the zeal and fanaticism becoming a true believer in
     Mahomet. Not deeming the loss of beards a sufficient
     punishment, they were further sentenced the next day, to
     have their faces blacked and exposed through the city. Each
     of them was led by a mirgazah[BP] (executioner), who had
     made a hole in his nose and passed through it a string,
     which he sometimes pulled with such violence that the
     unfortunate fellows cried out alternately for mercy from the
     executioner and for vengeance from Heaven. It is the custom
     in Persia on such occasions for the executioners to collect
     money from the spectators, and particularly from the
     shopkeepers in the bazaar. In the evening when the pockets
     of the executioners were well filled with money, they led
     the unfortunate fellows to the city gate, and there turned
     them adrift. After which the mollahs at Shiraz sent men to
     Bushire, with power to seize the impostor, and take him to
     Shiraz, where, on being tried, he very wisely denied the
     charge of apostacy laid against him, and thus escaped from

    [Footnote BP: Mír-[_Gh_]aḍab.]

An American quarterly, the _Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature,
Science, and Art_,[1] in its issue of January-April 1846, reproduced
the same item of news which was again taken in full from the _Literary
Gazette_ of London. As far as is known, these were the earliest
references to the Faith of the Báb in any Western publication. British
merchants, who then happened to be in [_Sh_]íráz, were responsible for
that report, which, as we shall see, although correct in its
essentials, was not devoid of error.

The Báb, returning from His pilgrimage to Mecca, arrived at
Bú[_sh_]ihr sometime in the month of Ṣafar 1261 A.H.
(February-March 1845). There He parted from Quddús, saying:

     The days of your companionship with Me 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.[2]

Quddús left for [_Sh_]íráz and took with him a letter from the Báb
addressed to His uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí. Meeting Quddús and
hearing all he had to impart convinced Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí of
the truth of the Cause of his Nephew, and he immediately pledged Him
his unqualified allegiance.

Mullá Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas now reached [_Sh_]íráz, accompanied by Mullá
`Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání, who had once been his pupil in Iṣfahán.
Mullá Ṣádiq established himself in a mosque known as Báqir-Ábád,
where he led the congregation in prayer. But as soon as he received a
Tablet from the Báb, sent from Bú[_sh_]ihr, he moved to the mosque
adjoining His house. There he carried out the specific instruction of
the Báb to include in the traditional Islamic Call to Prayer--the
A[_dh_]án--these additional words: 'I bear witness that He whose name
is `Alí Qabl-i-Muḥammad [`Alí preceding Muḥammad, the Báb] is
the servant of Baqíyyatu'lláh [the Remnant of God, Bahá'u'lláh].'[3]

Then the storm broke. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Há[_sh_]im, notorious for his
behaviour on the pilgrim boat, had already written to his compatriots
in [_Sh_]íráz to arouse their fury. Now the divines of that city, led
by [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥusayn-i-`Arab,[BQ] Ḥájí [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Mihdíy-i-Kujúrí and Mullá Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Maḥallátí, were
demanding blood. Quddús, Muqaddas and Mullá `Alí-Akbar were arrested,
hauled before the Governor-General, and mercilessly beaten, after
which they suffered the punishments and indignities described in the
London report already quoted (see p. 76). But there were three of
them, not four.[BR]

    [Footnote BQ: The Názimu'[_sh_]-[_Sh_]arí`ih, who universally
    earned the epithet of 'Ẓálim', the Tyrant.]

    [Footnote BR: _Tárí[_kh_]-i-Jadíd_ (p. 202) names a fourth
    person, a certain Mullá Abú-Ṭálib, a friend of Mullá
    Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas. His identity is unknown. A letter
    exists, written by Mullá `Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání to the Báb,
    when he was seeking permission to visit Him. Since their
    chastisement, he says, he had been living in ruins outside
    [_Sh_]íráz. The letter makes it absolutely certain that he
    was the only one who had remained and that both Quddús and
    Muqaddas had gone.]

The Governor-General of the province of Fárs was Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án,
who was called Ájúdán-Bá[_sh_]í (the adjutant-major), and had also the
titles of Ṣáḥib-I[_kh_]tíyár and Niẓámu'd-Dawlih. Ḥusayn
[_Kh_]án was a native of Mará[_gh_]ih in Á[_dh_]arbáyján, and had
served as Persian envoy both to London and Paris. In London, in June
1839, Lord Palmerston was at first inclined not to meet him, but then
decided to receive him unofficially. At that time relations between
Britain and Írán had reached a low point. Captain Hennell, the British
Political Agent, had been forced to withdraw from Bú[_sh_]ihr, and at
the same time a British naval force had occupied the island of
[_Kh_]árg (Karrack). Palmerston thundered at Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án: 'Had
the Admiral on arriving on board turned his guns upon the town
[Bú[_sh_]ihr] and knocked it about their ears, in my opinion he would
have been justified in so doing'.[4] When the envoy returned home,
Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh was so displeased that he had him severely
bastinadoed. Nor had Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án's mission to France, it would
seem, been any more successful, although some obscurity surrounds his
dealings with the French. In Paris he engaged a number of officers to
train the Persian army, and there were irregularities in the matter of
their travelling expenses. But more serious issues were involved,
which are described by Sir Henry Layard[BS] in the following passage:

     M. Boré,[BT] with all his learning and enlightenment, was a
     religious fanatic and profoundly intolerant of heretics.
     After residing with him for a fortnight, and having been
     treated by him with great kindness and hospitality, I found
     myself compelled, to my great sorrow, to leave his house
     [in 1840] under the following circumstances. The Embassy
     which the King of the French[BU] had sent to the Shah had
     not succeeded in obtaining the object of its mission, and
     had left Persia much irritated at its failure, which was
     mainly attributed by it and the French Government to English
     intrigues. The truth was, I believe, that they had been
     duped by Hussein Khan, who had been sent as ambassador to
     Paris. The subject was an unpleasant one for me to discuss,
     and I avoided it in conversation with my host. One day,
     however, at dinner, it was raised by M. Flandin,[5] the
     French artist, who denounced my country and countrymen in
     very offensive terms, M. Boré himself joining in the abuse.
     They accused the English Government and English agents of
     having had recourse to poison to prevent Frenchmen from
     establishing themselves and gaining influence in Persia, and
     of having actually engaged assassins to murder M. Outray,
     when on his way on a diplomatic mission to Tehran. I denied,
     with indignation, these ridiculous and calumnious charges,
     and high words having ensued, I moved from M. Boré's house
     to a ruined building occupied by Mr. Burgess.[BV][6]

    [Footnote BS: See note 9, Prologue.]

    [Footnote BT: M. Boré resided in Julfa, Iṣfahán. He was a
    layman sent by the French Government to obtain a foothold for
    the French in Írán. Later he became a Jesuit priest, and was
    the head of a Jesuit establishment in Galata when Layard met
    him in Constantinople. It is likely he sent copious notes to
    his superiors about the Báb and the Bábís.]

    [Footnote BU: Louis-Philippe.]

    [Footnote BV: An English merchant in Tabríz.]

Failure in London and tortuosity in Paris did not commend themselves
to Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh; and so, for the next few years, Ḥusayn
[_Kh_]án lived under a cloud. But in 1845 we find him riding high in
the province of Fárs. He had been given that governorship because he
was reputed to be a man stern in his judgments, and Fárs needed an
iron hand.

Indeed Fárs had been in a terrifying plight. The people of [_Sh_]íráz,
high and low alike, had effectively played cat and mouse with the
governors sent from Ṭihrán to rule over them. Firaydún Mírzá, the
Farmán-Farmá, Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh's own brother, much favoured by
Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí and much detested by the [_Sh_]írázís, was ousted
by a combination of the grandees and the mob.

Mírzá Nabí [_Kh_]án-i-Qazvíní, the Amír-i-Díván,[7] was also forced
out, not once, but twice. On the second occasion many leading
citizens--headed by Ḥájí Qavámu'l-Mulk[8] and Muḥammad-Qulí
[_Kh_]án-i-Ílbagí, a powerful chieftain of the Qa[_sh_]qá'í
tribe--went to Ṭihrán, to demand the reinstatement of Firaydún
Mírzá, whom they had previously challenged and maligned. Muḥammad
[_Sh_]áh kept them waiting in the capital. Mírzá Riḍá (Meerza
Reza), the acting British Agent in Shíráz, reported on August 7th 1844
to Captain Hennell in Bú[_sh_]ihr:

     On the Evening of the 11th Rajab [July 28th] one of the
     King's Chapurs [couriers] arrived at Shiraz, bringing two
     Royal Firmans [edicts] which had been issued at the instance
     of His Excellency Colonel Sheil, to be published at Shiraz
     and Bushire....

     One day the people, consisting of the principal and
     respectable Inhabitants and Merchants, were assembled in the
     Mosque, in order to hear the Firman from the Pulpit, when
     the turbulent and evil [sic] disposed tumultuously rushed in
     to prevent its being read, because addressed to the Ameer
     [Amír, the Governor]; These were of the followers of the
     Hajee Kuwaum [Ḥájí Qavám]. The Ameer then gave the Shiraz
     Firman into the hands of Resheed Khan, Surteep [Ra[_sh_]íd
     [_Kh_]án-i-Sartíp], who took it to the New Mosque in the
     Naamutee [Ni`matí-[_Kh_]ánih] Quarter,[9] where it was
     published from the Reading Desks to the assembled Moollahs,
     respectable Inhabitants, and Merchants.

     On the following day when the Ameer directed that the Firman
     should be read in the Dewan Khaneh [Díván-[_Kh_]ánih--the
     Court], the rioters fully armed again rushed in impetuously.
     Syed Hussein Khan and Resheed Khan then assembled their
     followers and topchees [túp[_ch_]í: gunner], and complaining
     bitterly, requested permission to meet them ... nor was it
     without difficulty and much persuasion that the Ameer could
     induce them to desist pending instructions from the Capital.

     The several Quarters of Shiraz are for the most part at
     feud--Thieving and disturbance are on the increase--The
     Ameer has not been dismissed nor has a new Governor been

And matters went from bad to worse. Mírzá Riḍá's report to his
chief, the following November 24th, was one long catalogue of woes,
not totally devoid of amusing points:

     Last Friday, from the ten Quarters of Hyedree [Ḥaydarí]
     and Naamutte [Ni`matí] a Mob and Crowd was again collected
     in the open plain, which has ever been the scene of their
     conflicts, for the purpose of fighting. From Midday to
     Sunset they fought with slings and stones, sticks and
     arms.... As Meerza Mahomed Ali, the secretary of Hajee Kuwam
     [Ḥájí Qavám], a fine intelligent youth, was leaving his
     dwelling about midday upon some business, a drunken
     lootee,[BW] without reason or previous quarrel, plunged a
     dagger into his right side ... two cousins, both young, in a
     state of Drunkenness, were disputing regarding a woman, no
     person not even the woman being present, when one struck a
     dagger into the thigh of the other, who expired two days
     after ... some men of the Fehlee[BX] Tribe were sitting
     together one night, talking over occurrences of former
     years, when ... an excellent horseman, was shot in the side
     with a pistol, and immediately yielded his life.[11]

    [Footnote BW: 'Lúṭí': mobster, bravo.]

    [Footnote BX: Faylí: a clan of the Qa[_sh_]qá'ís.]

Qubád [_Kh_]án, a nephew of the Íl[_kh_]ání (the supreme head of the
Qa[_sh_]qá'í tribe), who governed Fírúzábád in the heart of the
Qa[_sh_]qá'í terrain, had, for a financial consideration, put armed
men at the disposal of some headmen of the village of Maymand to
settle a vendetta--and so the story trails on.

Towards the end of the year 1844 Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án was given the
governorship of Fárs, but as late as December 21st and December 24th
Mírzá Riḍá was still pouring out tales of woe to Captain Hennell in
Bú[_sh_]ihr. Matters had reached such a pitch, he said, that people
were stripped naked in plain daylight in public thoroughfares, and if
anyone offered resistance he was repeatedly stabbed; at night so many
matchlocks were fired at random that no sleep was possible, and in any
case people had to keep awake to guard their homes. The unpleasant yet
humorous experience of a physician clearly shows the breakdown of law
in [_Sh_]íráz at that time:

     ... some of the Alwat[BY] brought a horse to the door of a
     Physician's Dispensary, whose equipment and clothes were of
     the best, saying, 'We have an invalid who is very ill, take
     the trouble to come to him and we will attend you.' The Poor
     Physician starts for the sickman's [sic] dwelling, and they
     take him through two or three streets when they desire him
     to be so good as to dismount from the horse; he does so, and
     they strip him from head to foot and go their way.[12]

    [Footnote BY: 'Alváṭ': plural of 'Lúṭí'.]

During that period of anarchy the Báb was on pilgrimage and absent
from [_Sh_]íráz. Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án arrived at his post in the early
part of 1845, when the Báb was about halfway back to His native land.
The new Governor set about with all dispatch to give the [_Sh_]írázís
a lesson which he was certain they would take to heart. There were
mutilations and executions until order was finally restored. But in
little more than three years when Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh died,
[_Sh_]írázís, headed once again by the astute Ḥájí Qavámu'l-Mulk
and the headstrong Muḥammad-Qulí [_Kh_]án (the Ílbagí[BZ] of the
Qa[_sh_]qá'ís), rebelled and forced the dismissal of Ḥusayn

    [Footnote BZ: The chieftain next in rank to the Íl[_kh_]ání.
    The central government made these appointments.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án was the first official in Persia to raise his hand
against the Báb and His people. Having meted out cruel punishments to
Quddús and the other two Bábís, and having acquainted himself with the
identity of the Báb and ascertained that He had arrived at
Bú[_sh_]ihr, Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án commissioned a body of horsemen to go
to that port, arrest the Báb and bring Him to [_Sh_]íráz. In the
meantime the Báb had completed His arrangements to return to the city
of His birth.

At Dálakí, some forty miles to the north-east of Bú[_sh_]ihr, where
the coastal plain ends and the plateau begins to rise, Ḥusayn
[_Kh_]án's horsemen encountered the Báb. He was the first to notice
them and sent His Ethiopian servant to call them to Him. They were
reluctant to approach Him, but Aṣlán [_Kh_]án, a man senior in
their ranks, accepted the invitation. However, to the Báb's query
regarding the purpose of their mission they evasively replied that the
Governor had sent them to make some investigation in that
neighbourhood. But the Báb said to them:

     The governor has sent you to arrest Me. Here am I; do with
     Me as you please. By coming out to meet you, I have
     curtailed the length of your march, and have made it easier
     for you to find Me.[13]



      Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
      The proper study of Mankind is Man.
      Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
      A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
                * * *
      Created half to rise, and half to fall;
      Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
      Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
      The glory, jest and riddle of the world!
                                     --Alexander Pope

The Báb was now a captive, and a captive, apart from a few short
months, He remained to the very end. The escort, which should have
arrested Him and taken Him in chains to the city of His birth, was
subdued and reverent. He rode to [_Sh_]íráz almost in triumph. It
would have been feasible to avoid Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án's horsemen and
seek a safe retreat; but He Himself chose to reveal Himself to His
would-be captors. Even more, He said to their spokesman who was
enthralled by His unrivalled act, and was entreating Him to take the
road to safety, to go to Ma[_sh_]had and find refuge in the shrine of
the eighth Imám:

     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 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

When the identity of the Báb became known some members of His family
felt concern, even alarm, lest great harm might come to Him, and they
themselves suffer in the process. Only one uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid
`Ali, His former guardian, who had reared Him and established Him in
the world of commerce, believed in His Divine Mission. So did His
wife. But the rest, even His mother, were sceptical and one or two
were definitely antagonistic.

When Muḥammad, the Arabian Prophet, refused to bend to the dictates
of His tribe, the elders of Quray[_sh_] went to His aged uncle,
Abú-Ṭálib, in whose home He had grown to manhood, and demanded that
Muḥammad be put under restraint. Abú-Ṭálib urged his Nephew to
be moderate, but finding Muḥammad determined to pursue His course,
assured Him that his protection would never waver. The elders of
Quray[_sh_] then decided on a stratagem to erode the support that
Muḥammad received from His clan--the Banú-Há[_sh_]im. A boycott was
ordered, but the descendants of Há[_sh_]im, with the solitary
exception of Abú-Lahab,[CA] one of the several uncles of the Prophet,
moved to a section at the edge of the town and lived for three years
in a state of siege, in defence of Muḥammad, although most of them
still worshipped their old idols.

    [Footnote CA: Such was the verdict of the Qur'án (cxi) on

        Perish the hands of Abú Lahab, and perish he!
      His wealth avails him not, neither what he has earned;
                he shall roast at a flaming fire
            and his wife, the carrier of the firewood,
              upon her neck a rope of palm-fibre.[2]]

The relatives of the Báb did as Muḥammad's relatives before them.
Whatever doubts they may have had, they stood by Him.

Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad, another maternal uncle of the Báb, did not
come to believe in his Nephew as the Qá'im of the House of Muḥammad
until more than a decade later, when he presented his questions and his
doubts to Bahá'u'lláh and received in answer the _Kitáb-i-Íqán_--_The
Book of Certitude_. Yet, such were the magnetic powers of the Báb that
when He reached Bú[_sh_]ihr and was welcomed by this uncle, the latter
wrote in these terms to his family in [_Sh_]íráz:

     It has gladdened our hearts that His Honour the Ḥájí [the
     Báb] has arrived safely and is in good health. I am at His
     service and honoured to be in His company. It is deemed
     advisable that He should stay here for a while. God willing,
     He will, before long, honour those parts with His presence,
     be assured.... His blessed Person is our glory. Be certain
     of His Cause and do not let people's idle talk cause doubts
     to creep into your hearts. And have no fear whatsoever. The
     Lord of the world is His Protector and gives Him victory....

At the end of his letter Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad sent a
message, on behalf of his wife, to the mother of the wife of the Báb:
'You have a son-in-law who is peerless in the world. All the peoples
of the world ought to obey Him.'[3]

And in a letter written shortly after, to Ḥájí Mírzá
Muḥammad-`Ali, one of his sons, the same Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid
Muḥammad quoted the Báb as saying: My proof is My Book--let him who
can, produce the like of these verses.

Similarly, Muḥammad had said in the Qur'án:[4]

      Say: 'Bring a Book from God that gives
      better guidance than these, and follow it,
          if you speak truly.'

      Then if they do not answer thee, know that
      they are only following their caprices;
      and who is further astray than he who
      follows his caprice without guidance from
      God? Surely God guides not the people
          of the evildoers.
                               --xxviii, 49-50.

      Those are the signs of God that We recite to thee in truth;
      in what manner of discourse then, after God and His signs,
                        will they believe?
                                               --xlv, 5.

The Báb's entry into [_Sh_]íráz was truly majestic. It bore no
resemblance to the condition envisaged by the Governor. He had ordered
the Báb to be brought to [_Sh_]íráz in chains. Instead, there was the
Báb riding, calm and serene, at the head of the horsemen. They went
straight to the citadel where the Governor resided. Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án
received the Báb with overbearing insolence: 'Do you realise what a
great mischief you have kindled? Are you aware what a disgrace you
have become to the holy Faith of Islám 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'án?'[5] The Báb
spoke in reply these words from the Qur'án:[6]

      O believers, if an ungodly man
      comes to you with a tiding, make
      clear,[CB] lest you afflict a people
      unwittingly, and then repent of
            what you have done.
                                   --xlix, 6.

    [Footnote CB: Rodwell translates this as 'clear it up at

Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án was beside himself with rage, and ordered an
attendant to strike the Báb's face. His turban fell off but was
replaced gently by [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb, the Imám-Jum`ih, who
treated the Báb with respect and consideration. On the other hand,
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥusayn-i-`Arab, the Tyrant, who was also present,
following the example set by the arrogant Governor of Fárs, assailed
the Báb vehemently both with hand and tongue. In the meantime news had
reached the mother of the Báb of this shameless behaviour towards her
Son. Moved by her pleadings, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí hurried to the
citadel to demand the release of his Nephew. Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án agreed
to let the Báb go to His home, if His uncle would promise that apart
from the members of His family no one else would be allowed to meet
Him. Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Ali protested that he himself was a
well-known merchant of the city, with many connections and a host of
friends and acquaintances, all of whom would wish to visit his Nephew,
who had just returned from pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and
Medina. Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, realizing that an immediate ban was not
possible, set a time limit of three days, after which the Báb should
be kept incommunicado.

The months during which the Báb lived under surveillance in His native
town saw the birth of the Bábí community. Hitherto His identity had
remained unrevealed, and only individuals, here and there and
unrelated to one another, were Bábís. Apart from the first few months
of His Ministry, when the body of the Letters of the Living was
gradually forming, the Báb had not had a group of disciples around
Him. Even then, because of the condition which the Báb had laid down
for the attainment of those who were to be the first believers,[CC]
cohesion as one firmly-knit body was not feasible. And as soon as the
requisite number was enrolled, the Báb sent them out into the world
to spread the glad tidings of the New Day. But, once again in
[_Sh_]íráz, despite the oppressive measures of Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, an
appreciable number of Bábís came into the presence of the Báb,
consorted with Him and received instruction and Tablets from Him.
Viewed in this light, this [_Sh_]íráz episode would seem the most
fecund period in the short Ministry of the Báb.

    [Footnote CC: They were to find Him 'independently and of
    their own accord'.]

Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í, who, as we have seen, had known the Báb
from His childhood, now hurried to [_Sh_]íráz; and soon after came a man
destined to achieve high fame in the ranks of the 'Dawn-Breakers'. He
was Siyyid Yaḥyá of Dáráb, the son of the same greatly-revered Siyyid
Ja`fari-Ka[_sh_]fí, whom we noted before as a fellow-pilgrim of the Báb.
Siyyid Yaḥyá was a divine of great erudition, and he thought that he
could easily overcome the Báb in argument. As he lived in Ṭihrán, close
to royal circles, Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh asked Siyyid Yaḥyá to go to
[_Sh_]íráz and investigate the claim of the Báb. In [_Sh_]íráz he was
the guest of the Governor. Ḥájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í arranged a
meeting between the Báb and Siyyid Yaḥyá in the house of Ḥájí Mírzá
Siyyid `Ali. At that first encounter Siyyid Yaḥyá, proud of his vast
knowledge, brought out one abstruse point after another from the Qur'án,
from Traditions, from learned works. To all of them the Báb listened
calmly, and gave answers concise and convincing. Siyyid Yaḥyá was
subdued, but still he searched for a test which would relieve him from
the necessity of giving his allegiance to the Báb. He told Ḥájí Siyyid
Javád-i-Karbilá'í that if only the Báb would show forth a miracle, his
lingering doubts would vanish, to which Ḥájí Siyyid Javád replied that
to demand the performance of a miracle, when faced with the brilliance
of the Sun of Truth, was tantamount to seeking light from a flickering
candle. Siyyid Yaḥyá has himself related:

     I resolved that in my third interview with the Báb I would
     in my inmost heart request Him to reveal for me a
     commentary on the Súrih of Kaw[_th_]ar.[CD] 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'án, 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 [_Sh_]áh 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
     Báb, 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
     Súrih of Kaw[_th_]ar, 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. All I was able to utter was this verse of the Qur'án:
     '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 Báb requested
     Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí to bring His pen-case and some
     paper. He then started to reveal His commentary on the Súrih
     of Kaw[_th_]ar. 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, 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
     Súrih 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. 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 restored my
     vigour and enabled me to follow His reading to the end.[7]

    [Footnote CD: Qur'án, cviii. Kaw[_th_]ar is said to be a
    river in Paradise.]

The Báb's conquest of Siyyid Yaḥyá was total. That night and the
two following nights, as instructed by the Báb, Siyyid Yaḥyá
remained a guest in the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, until he
himself and Mullá `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní, the scribe, (later known as
Mírzá Aḥmad-i-Kátib), completed the transcription of the Báb's
commentary. Siyyid Yaḥyá has stated:

     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.[8]

Siyyid Yaḥyá had stayed away for such a long time from the
Governor's residence that Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án's suspicions were
aroused. To his impatient queries, Siyyid Yaḥyá replied:

     No one but God, who alone can change the hearts of men, is
     able to captivate the heart of Siyyid Yaḥyá. Whoso can
     ensnare his heart is of God, and His word unquestionably the
     voice of Truth.[9]

Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án was nonplussed and, for the moment, could only hold
his peace; but he wrote bitterly to Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh to denounce
Siyyid Yaḥyá. Nabíl-i-A`ẓam states that Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh
reprimanded his Governor, replying:

     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 Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí. 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 Islám.[10]

Nabíl has also recorded that

     Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh ... was reported to have addressed
     these words to Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí: 'We have been lately
     informed that Siyyid Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí has become a Bábí.
     If this be true, it behoves us to cease belittling the cause
     of that siyyid.'[10]

`Abdu'l-Bahá has stated that Siyyid Yaḥyá

     wrote without fear or care a detailed account of his
     observations to Mírzá Luṭf-`Alí, the chamberlain in order
     that the latter might submit it to the notice of the late
     king, while he himself journeyed to all parts of Persia, and
     in every town and station summoned the people from the
     pulpit-tops in such wise that other learned doctors decided
     that he must be mad, accounting it a sure case of

At the bidding of the Báb, Siyyid Yaḥyá went first to Burújird in
the province of Luristán, where his father lived, to give that
much-revered divine the tidings of the New Day. The Báb expressly
told him to treat his father with great gentleness. Siyyid
Ja`far-i-Ka[_sh_]fí[CE] did not wholly turn away from the Faith which
his illustrious son was fervently professing and advocating, but
showed no desire to identify himself with it. Siyyid Yaḥyá, as
commanded by the Báb, did not burden his father more and went his own
way which he had gladly chosen--the way that was to lead him to
martyrdom. Siyyid Yaḥyá is known as Vaḥíd--the Unique One--a
designation given to him by the Báb.[CF]

    [Footnote CE: 'The Discloser': he was called 'Ka[_sh_]fí'
    because of the powers of divination attributed to him.]

    [Footnote CF: A letter has survived in the handwriting of
    Vaḥíd, addressed to Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad, the
    uncle of the Báb. Therein Vaḥíd presents proof to convince
    him of the truth of the claim of his Nephew. See Plate facing
    p. 81 for an example of Vaḥíd's handwriting.]

The divines of [_Sh_]íráz were insistent that the Báb should attend a
Friday gathering in one of the mosques and clarify his position. What
they really demanded was the complete renunciation of any claim. This
attendance in a mosque on a Friday did take place, but the date of it
is not known.

Nabíl-i-A`ẓam thus describes the summoning of the Báb to the Mosque
of Vakíl:[12]

     The Báb, accompanied by Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, arrived
     at the Masjid at a time when the Imám-Jum`ih had just
     ascended the pulpit and was preparing to deliver his sermon.
     As soon as his eyes fell upon the Báb, he publicly welcomed
     Him, requested Him to ascend the pulpit, and called upon Him
     to address the congregation. The Báb, 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 Imám-Jum`ih. Complying with his
     wish, the Báb ascended two more steps. As He was standing,
     His head hid the breast of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb, 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 Siyyid-i-[_Sh_]i[_sh_]-Parí, whose function
     was to carry the mace before the Imám-Jum`ih, insolently
     shouted: 'Enough of this idle chatter! Declare, now and
     immediately, the thing you intend to say.' The Imám-Jum`ih
     greatly resented the rudeness of the siyyid's remark. 'Hold
     your peace,' he rebuked him, 'and be ashamed of your
     impertinence.' He then, turning to the Báb, asked Him to be
     brief, as this, he said, would allay the excitement of the
     people. The Báb, as He faced the congregation, declared:
     'The condemnation of God be upon him who regards me either
     as a representative of the Imám 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 Muḥammad, 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 `Alí, the Commander of the Faithful, or of
     any of the imáms who have succeeded him.' He then ascended
     to the top of the staircase, embraced the Imám-Jum`ih, and,
     descending to the floor of the Masjid, joined the
     congregation for the observance of the Friday prayer. The
     Imám-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.' Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí
     also was, at the request of the Imám-Jum`ih, asked to
     accompany his nephew to his home. This precautionary measure
     which [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb 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 Báb or endanger
     His life. But for the sagacity, the sympathy, and the
     careful attention which the Imám-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

Regarding that gathering in the Mosque of Vakíl, `Abdu'l-Bahá has

     One day they summoned him to the mosque urging and
     constraining him to recant, but he discoursed from the
     pulpit in such wise as to silence and subdue those present
     and to stablish and strengthen his followers. It was then
     supposed that he claimed to be the medium of grace from His
     Highness the Lord of the Age[CG] (upon him be peace); but
     afterwards it became known and evident that his meaning was
     the Gate-hood [_Bábiyyat_] of another city and the
     mediumship of the graces of another person whose qualities
     and attributes were contained in his books and

    [Footnote CG: Ṣaḥibu'z-Zamán, i.e., the Qá'im, the
    Mihdí (Mahdí).]

Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh-i-Afnán has this record in his chronicle:

'The late Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad-Sádiq-i-Mu`allim [Teacher], who
was a man of good repute, was relating the story of that day for the
late `Andalíb.[15] My brother, Ḥájí Mírzá Buzurg, and I were
present. This is the summary of what he said: "I was about twenty-five
years old and able to judge an issue. It was noised abroad that the
Governor, by the request of the divines, had ordered that the people
of [_Sh_]íráz, of all classes, should gather in the Masjid-i-Vakíl, as
the Siyyid-i-Báb was going to renounce His claim. I too went to the
mosque to find a place near [the pulpit] so that I might hear well
all that He had to say. From the morning onwards, people, group by
group, thronged the mosque. Three hours before sunset there was such a
press of people in the mosque that the cloisters and the courtyard and
the roofs, even the minarets, were fully crowded. The Governor, the
divines, the merchants and the notables were sitting in the cloisters,
near the stone pulpit. (This is a pulpit carved out of one piece of
marble. It has fourteen steps.) I was also sitting near it. Voices
were heard in the courtyard, saying: 'He is coming.' He came through
the gate, accompanied by ten footmen and `Abdu'l-Ḥamíd
[_Kh_]án-i-Dárú[_gh_]ih [chief of police], and approached the pulpit.
He had His turban on and an `abá on His shoulders. He displayed such
power and dignity and His bearing was so sublime that I cannot
describe it adequately. That vast gathering seemed as naught to Him.
He paid no heed to that assemblage of the people. He addressed
Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án and the divines: 'What is your intention in asking
Me to come here?' They answered: 'The intention is that you should
ascend this pulpit and repudiate your false claim so that this
commotion and unrest will subside.' He said nothing and went up to the
third step of the pulpit. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥusayn, the Tyrant, said
with utmost vehemence: 'Go to the top of the pulpit so that all may
see and hear you.' The Báb ascended the pulpit and sat down at the
top. All of a sudden, silence fell upon that assemblage. It seemed as
if there was not a soul in the mosque. The whole concourse of people
strained their ears. He began to recite at the start a homily in
Arabic on Divine Unity. It was delivered with utmost eloquence, with
majesty and power. It lasted about half an hour, and the concourse of
people, high and low, learned and illiterate alike, listened
attentively and were fascinated. The people's silence infuriated
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥusayn, who turned to the Governor and said: 'Did
you bring this Siyyid here, into the presence of all these people, to
prove His Cause, or did you bring Him to recant and renounce His
false claim? He will soon with these words win over all these people
to His side. Tell Him to say what He has to say. What are all these
idle tales?' Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, the Ṣáḥib-I[_kh_]tiyár, told
the Báb: 'O Siyyid! say what you have been told to say. What is this
idle chatter?' The Báb was silent for a moment and then He addressed
the crowd: 'O people! Know this well that I speak what My Grandfather,
the Messenger of God, spoke twelve hundred and sixty years ago, and I
do not speak what My Grandfather did not. "What Muḥammad made
lawful remains lawful unto the Day of Resurrection and what He forbade
remains forbidden unto the Day of Resurrection",[CH] and according to
the Tradition that has come down from the Imáms, "Whenever the Qá'im
arises that will be the Day of Resurrection".' The Báb, having spoken
those words, descended from the pulpit. Some of the people, who had
been inimical and hostile, that day foreswore their antagonism. But
when the Báb came face to face with [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥusayn, that
enemy raised his walking-stick to strike Him. The late Mírzá
Abu'l-Ḥasan [_Kh_]án, the Mu[_sh_]íru'l-Mulk,[CI] who was then a
young man, brought forward his shoulder to ward off the attack, and it
was his shoulder that was hit."

    [Footnote CH: The Báb was quoting a Muslim Tradition.]

    [Footnote CI: He and his father, Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí, the
    first Mu[_sh_]íru'l-Mulk, were the Viziers of Fárs, in
    succession, over a period of forty years.]

'That Ḥájí [Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad-Ṣádiq], who was not a
believer but a well-wisher, related this story to the late `Andalíb.
His meaning was that the Báb, on that occasion, affirmed His Cause and
completed His proof before the concourse of people.'

Ḥájí Mírzá Habíbu'lláh goes on to say: 'Then the divines came together
and passed a sentence of death on the Báb. They wrote out their verdict
and affixed their seals to it. The instigator of this move and the
source of all mischief was [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥusayn, the Tyrant, who held
the title of Náẓim'u[_sh_]-[_Sh_]aríy`ih. Their numbers included
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Há[_sh_]im, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Asadu'lláh, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Mihdíy-i-Kujúrí and Mullá Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Maḥallátí. Next they took
what they had written and sealed to the late [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb,
the Imám-Jum`ih, because he had refused to heed their pleas and had
declined to attend their meeting. Now they presented their paper to the
Imám-Jum`ih and asked him to put his seal on it that "we may finish off
this Siyyid". [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb, on perusing the verdict, became
very angry, threw that piece of paper on the ground and said, "Have you
gone out of your minds? I will never put my seal on this paper, because
I have no doubts about the lineage, integrity, piety, nobility and
honesty of this Siyyid. I see that this young Man is possessed of all
the virtues of Islám and humanity and of all the faculties of intellect.
There can be only two sides to this question: He either speaks the
truth, or He is, as you allege, a liar. If He be truthful I cannot
endorse such a verdict on a man of truth, and if He be a liar, as you
aver, tell me which one of us present here is so strictly truthful as to
sit in judgment upon this Siyyid. Away with you and your false
imaginings, away, away!" No matter how hard they tried and how much they
insisted, the late [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Abú-Turáb did not grant them their
wish; and because he declined to put his seal on their paper, their plan
was brought to naught and they did not succeed in achieving their

According to Nicolas, Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh asked Siyyid
Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí to go to [_Sh_]íráz and investigate the Cause of
the Báb, when the account of the gathering in the Mosque of Vakíl was
presented to him.[16]

     `Abdu'l-Bahá tells us that when the news of the journeys of
     Siyyid Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí and the anger provoked by them
     reached Zanján, Mullá Muḥammad `Alí the divine, who was
     a man of mark possessed of penetrating speech, sent one of
     those on whom he could rely to Shíráz to investigate this
     matter. This person, having acquainted himself with the
     details of these occurrences in such wise as was necessary
     and proper, returned with some [of the Báb's] writings. When
     the divine heard how matters were and had made himself
     acquainted with the writings, notwithstanding that he was a
     man expert in knowledge and noted for profound research, he
     went mad and became crazed as was predestined: he gathered
     up his books in the lecture-room saying, 'The season of
     spring and wine has arrived,' and uttered this
     sentence:-'_Search for knowledge after reaching the known is
     culpable._' Then from the summit of the pulpit he summoned
     and directed all his disciples [to embrace the doctrine],
     and wrote to the Báb his own declaration and confession....

     Although the doctors of Zanján arose with heart and soul to
     exhort and admonish the people they could effect nothing.
     Finally they were compelled to go to Teherán and made their
     complaint before the late king Muḥammad Sháh, requesting
     that Mullá Muḥammad `Alí be summoned to Teherán.

     Now when he came to Teherán they brought him before a
     conclave of the doctors ... after many controversies and
     disputations nought was effected with him in that assembly.
     The late king therefore bestowed on him a staff and fifty
     _túmáns_ for his expenses, and gave him permission to

The confidant whom Mullá Muḥammad-`Alí of Zanján, better known as Ḥujjat
(the Proof),[CJ] sent to [_Sh_]íráz to investigate the Cause of the Báb
was named Mullá Iskandar. Nabíl-i-A`ẓam describes his return:

     He arrived at a time when all the leading `ulamás of the
     city had assembled in the presence of Ḥujjat. As soon as
     he appeared, Ḥujjat enquired whether he believed in, or
     rejected, the new Revelation. Mullá Iskandar submitted the
     writings of the Báb ... and asserted that whatever should be
     the verdict of his master, the same would he deem it his
     obligation to follow. 'What!' angrily exclaimed Ḥujjat.
     '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 Qayyúmu'l-Asmá', 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'án.
     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.'[18]

    [Footnote CJ: He was called Ḥujjatu'l-Islám (The Proof of
    Islám), an appellation given to highly-placed and
    well-recognized divines. The Báb gave him the designation:

Mullá Muḥammad-`Alí of Zanján, who, like Siyyid Yaḥyá of Dáráb,
was destined to become a brilliant star in the Bábí firmament, was a
practitioner of the A[_kh_]bárí school,[19] and that had placed him
oftentimes at odds with other divines of his rank and station. Beyond
that variance Mullá Muḥammad-`Alí was always very forceful and
emphatic in the expression of his views. That forthrightness,
sustained by his vast knowledge and lucid speech, had led to serious
disputations with his peers. Time and again the mediation of no less a
person than the monarch himself had saved the situation from
deterioration into violence. He had once before been summoned to
Ṭihrán, where, in the presence of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, he had
worsted his opponents. As the common parlance has it, he was not a man
to mince his words.

       *       *       *       *       *

There were a number of Bábís in Karbilá eagerly awaiting the arrival
of the Báb. The news that the Báb had changed His route shook the
faith of a few of them. As instructed by the Báb Himself, these Bábís
left Karbilá for Iṣfahán. At Kangávar, situated between
Kirmán[_sh_]áh and Hamadán, they encountered Mullá Ḥusayn, the
Bábu'l-Báb, and his brother and nephew, whose destination was Karbilá.
But, hearing what had happened, Mullá Ḥusayn decided to accompany
them to Iṣfahán. There he received the news from [_Sh_]íráz that
the Báb was under constraint. He determined to continue on to
[_Sh_]íráz, accompanied, as before, by his brother and nephew. He took
off his turban and clerical robes and put on the accoutrements of a
horseman of the Hizárih tribe in [_Kh_]urásán. Thus he entered the
gate of [_Sh_]íráz and reached the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí.
Some days later Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Nahrí with his brother Mírzá
Hádí, and Mullá `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní arrived at [_Sh_]íráz,
and with them were Mullá `Abdu'l-`Alíy-i-Hirátí and Mullá
Javád-i-Bara[_gh_]ání, who were fickle and deeply jealous of Mullá
Ḥusayn. In spite of Mullá Ḥusayn's disguise, the enemies of the
Báb soon recognized him, and the cry went up denouncing his presence
in [_Sh_]íráz. Then the Báb directed Mullá Ḥusayn to Yazd, whence
he was to proceed to [_Kh_]urásán. Others He also told to leave; only
Mullá `Abdu'l-Karím remained to be His scribe. Those who had professed
the Faith of the Báb to gain their own ends, such as Mullá
`Abdu'l-`Alíy-i-Hirátí, went to Kirmán and attached themselves to
Ḥájí Muḥammad-Karím [_Kh_]án-i-Kirmání, who, by this date, had
assumed the leadership of the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í community.

A number of other Bábís, as previously mentioned, also repaired to
[_Sh_]íráz and attained the presence of the Báb. One of them was Mullá
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Alí of [_Kh_]urásán, whom the Báb designated as
`Aẓím[CK] (Great). He was still in [_Sh_]íráz when Siyyid
Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí came to make his investigation. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí was another. Moreover, [_Sh_]íráz itself had by this
time a group of native Bábís. Ḥájí Abu'l-Ḥasan, the Báb's
fellow-pilgrim, was one; another was a nephew of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Abú-Turáb, the Imám-Jum`ih, a youth named [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]-`Alí Mírzá;
yet another, Ḥájí Muḥammad-Bisát, a close friend of the same
Imám-Jum`ih; and to name a few more: Mírzá-Áqáy-i-Rikáb-Sáz
(Stirrup-maker), destined to fall a martyr, one of the very few who
quaffed the cup of martyrdom in [_Sh_]íráz itself; Luṭf-`Alí Mírzá,
a descendant of the Af[_sh_]ár kings (1736-95), whom we shall meet in
a subsequent chapter; Áqá Muḥammad-Karím, a merchant, who was
eventually compelled by continued persecution to abandon his native
city; Mírzá Raḥím, a baker, who became an ardent teacher of the
Faith; Mírzá `Abdu'l-Karím, who had the office of key-holder to the
shrine known as [_Sh_]áh-[_Ch_]irá[_gh_][CL] (King of the Lamp) where
Mír Aḥmad, a brother of the eighth Imám, is buried; Ma[_sh_]hadí
Abu'l-Qásim-i-Labbáf (Quilt-maker), whose son Ḥi[_sh_]mat achieved
fame as a poet; Mírzá Mihdí, a poet of note, whose soubriquet was
Ṣábir (Patient), and his son, Mírzá `Alí-Akbar. Most of these
native Bábís of [_Sh_]íráz embraced the Faith after hearing the Báb
from the pulpit of the Mosque of Vakíl.

    [Footnote CK: `Aẓím is numerically equivalent to
    [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Alí.]

    [Footnote CL: Many of the relatives of the Báb, including His
    uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad, were buried inside
    this shrine.]

By the summer of 1846, the Báb had cleared the way for another chapter
in the progress of His Ministry. He bequeathed all His property
jointly to His mother and to His wife, who was to inherit subsequently
the whole estate.[CM] Then He took up His residence in the house of
His uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí. That was the house where He was
born and where He had spent much of His childhood. At the time of this
move, He told those of His followers who had come to make their home
in [_Sh_]íráz to go to Iṣfahán. Included in that group were Siyyid
Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí, one of the Letters of the Living, who later became
the amanuensis of the Báb, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí and Mullá
`Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní, the scribe.

    [Footnote CM: See Plate facing p. 193.]

One evening it was reported to the Governor that a large number of
Bábís had gathered in the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí.
Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án ordered `Abdu'l-Ḥamíd [_Kh_]án, the Dárú[_gh_]ih
(chief constable) of [_Sh_]íráz, to rush the house of the uncle of the
Báb, surprise its occupants and arrest everyone he found there.
According to Nicolas, Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí had instructed the Governor
to put the Báb to death in secret. It was apparently Ḥusayn
[_Kh_]án's intention to carry out the orders of the Grand Vizier that
night. However, that very night a severe cholera epidemic swept the
city,[CN] and Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án fled precipitately. The chief
constable and his men entered Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí's house by way
of the roof-top, but found no one with the Báb, except His uncle and
one disciple, Siyyid Káẓim-i-Zanjání. With the Governor gone, the
chief constable decided to take the Báb to his own house. Reaching his
home, `Abdu'l-Ḥamíd [_Kh_]án found, to his horror and distress,
that within the few hours of his absence his sons had been struck by
cholera. He pleaded with the Báb for their recovery. It was now the
hour of dawn and the Báb was preparing to say His morning prayer. He
gave `Abdu'l-Hamíd [_Kh_]án some of the water with which He was making
His ablutions and told him to take it to his sons to drink; they would
recover, the Báb assured the chief constable. They recovered indeed,
and `Abdu'l-Hamíd [_Kh_]án was so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude
that he sought out the Governor and begged Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án to
permit him to release the Báb. `Abdu'l-Bahá states in _A Traveller's
Narrative_ that Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án consented on condition that the Báb
agreed to depart from [_Sh_]íráz.[20]

    [Footnote CN: On October 15th 1846, Major Hennell reported
    from Bú[_sh_]ihr to Sheil in Ṭihrán that cholera reached
    [_Sh_]íráz about September 22nd, and that 'immediately the
    fact was ascertained' Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án left [_Sh_]íráz and
    went well away. At the time of his writing, Hennell states,
    the Governor had come back, to Bá[_gh_]-i-Ta[_kh_]t, a garden
    and palace on the northern heights overlooking [_Sh_]íráz. On
    November 16th, Hennell reported that 'the cholera has ceased
    its ravages at Shiraz', that it had spread as far away as
    Fasá and Jahrum, that there had been no fatal cases in
    Bú[_sh_]ihr, and that Baṣrah and Ba[_gh_]dád in Turkish
    domains had suffered most, deaths numbering up to 200 a day
    in Baṣrah. (F.O. 268/113.)]


When this book had reached the stage of paginated proofs, the writer
received a number of very important documents, one of which is a
historical find of prime importance. It is a letter from the Báb to His
uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, written at Kunár-Ta[_kh_]tih, a stage
further from Dálakí, on the Bú[_sh_]ihr-[_Sh_]íráz road. It was at
Dálakí that He encountered the horsemen sent to arrest Him. He mentions
the esteem shown to Him by those horsemen. But the importance of this
letter lies in the fact that it is precisely dated: 24th of the 2nd
Jamádí 1261, which corresponds to June 30th 1845. The date of the Báb's
departure from Bú[_sh_]ihr had nowhere been recorded and had remained
unknown. It must have taken Him another week, at least, to reach
[_Sh_]íráz. Departing for Iṣfahán in the last days of September 1846,
His sojurn in His native city was, thus, less than fifteen months.



      The garlands wither on your brow,
        Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
      Upon Death's purple altar now
        See where the victor-victim bleeds:
            Your heads must come
            To the cold tomb;
      Only the actions of the just
      Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
                                 --James Shirley

Autumn was setting in when the Báb left the house of `Abdu'l-Ḥamíd
[_Kh_]án, turned His back on [_Sh_]íráz and took the road to
Iṣfahán. He was attended by Siyyid Káẓim-i-Zanjání.[1] No
opportunity had there been for Him to see His mother and His wife, and
they never met again. But He said farewell to His uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá
Siyyid `Alí.

His family was in great distress, and the confounded and frustrated
Governor turned upon them to give vent to his fury. First he seized
and chastised the venerable Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, then had his
men break into the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim, the
brother-in-law of the Báb, who was dangerously ill in bed. He was
dragged out, carried to the Governor's residence, threatened, reviled
and fined. Porters took him back to his house, slinging him over their
shoulders since he was unable to walk. The people of [_Sh_]íráz were
warned that if a single sheet of the writings of the Báb was found in
their possession, they would be severely punished. In their panic,
scores dashed to the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim with bundles
of the writings of the Báb, all written in His own hand, threw them
into the open portico of the house and dashed away, lest they might be
seen with the incriminating material. Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí
advised the members of that household to wash away the ink and bury
the sodden paper.[CO]

    [Footnote CO: The present writer remembers hearing from his
    mother her recollections of her paternal grandmother, the
    wife of Ḥájí Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim, which included an account
    of the washing away of the writings of the Báb. Huge copper
    collanders were used for the purpose. The paper was either
    buried or thrown into wells.]

A day or two before the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí was raided,
Ḥájí Mírzá Abu'l-Qásim wrote to Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad,
who was still in Bú[_sh_]ihr, in tones of great dismay: opposition was
mounting, even a relative by marriage was vociferously denouncing the
Báb (whom he names as Ḥájí Mírzá `Alí-Muḥammad throughout his
letter) and Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí. As there were certain matters
which Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí could not manage by himself, he
desired Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad to come as soon as possible
from Bú[_sh_]ihr, to do all that was needed to settle their affairs.
'Some people may feel ashamed and keep within bounds when they see
you,' he wrote. He wanted to be freed of their trading engagements so
that he could take his family and leave [_Sh_]íráz, to avoid any
further injustices.

       *       *       *       *       *

Iṣfahán, towards which the Báb set His face, was and is, _par
excellence_, the city of `Abbás the Great, the most illustrious of the
Ṣafavid monarchs (1501-1732), who is best known in the West because
of his association with the Sherley brothers and the East India
Company, with whose aid he drove the Portuguese out of the Persian
Gulf. He is 'The Great Sophy' of Shakespeare. Iṣfahán had been the
capital of the Saljúqs (Seljucids), centuries before, but it had
suffered neglect in the intervening years. [_Sh_]ah `Abbás moved his
capital from Qazvín to Iṣfahán, and began restoring the city which
was to be styled, erelong, Niṣf-i-Jahán--Half-the-World.
Magnificent mosques and colleges and pavilions, and the largest public
square in the world, are prominent among that great ruler's works, and
are there today to inspire wonder and admiration. But with the decline
and eventual fall of the Ṣafavids, Iṣfahán, too, declined and
met with repeated misfortunes in the days of the Qájárs, who pulled
down or painted over Ṣafavid buildings.

In that autumn of 1846, the Governor-General of Iṣfahán was a
Georgian eunuch: Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án, the Mu`tamidu'd-Dawlih. He
had been, writes Layard,

     purchased in his childhood as a slave, had been brought up a
     Musulman, and reduced to his unhappy condition. Like many of
     his kind, he was employed when young in the public service,
     and had by his remarkable abilities risen to the highest
     posts. He had for many years enjoyed the confidence and the
     favour of the Shah. Considered the best administrator in the
     kingdom, he had been sent to govern the great province of
     Isfahan, which included within its limits the wild and
     lawless tribes of the Lurs and Bakhtiyari, generally in
     rebellion, and the semi-independent Arab population of the
     plains between the Luristan Mountains and the Euphrates. He
     was hated and feared for his cruelty, but it was generally
     admitted that he ruled justly, that he protected the weak
     from oppression by the strong, and that where he was able to
     enforce his authority life and property were secure.[2]

Layard established a close friendship with Muḥammad-Taqí [_Kh_]án,
the chieftain of the [_Ch_]ahár-Lang section of the Ba[_kh_]tíyárís.
Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án captured this chieftain, after lengthy
manoeuvres, and sent him with his family to Ṭihrán, where he died.
Chiefly for that reason Layard is not at all complimentary in his
copious writings about Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án. There is no doubt that
the Ba[_kh_]tíyárí chieftain was in rebellion against the central
government and even intended to take himself and his territory out of
its jurisdiction. The proof is afforded by the fact that he sent Henry
Layard to the island of [_Kh_]árg, then occupied by British forces, to
sound the British authorities for support. Hennell told Layard that
although Britain was in a state bordering on war with Írán, she would
not countenance or encourage insurrection or secession.

Disregarding Layard's prejudices, the fact remains that historical
evidence exists in plenty to prove that Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án had, in
the company of his peers, his ample share of avarice and cruelty. He
had been a faithful servant of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, had fought
battles for him to make his throne secure, and had, in successive
appointments, pacified a vast area of the country, stretching from
Kirmán[_sh_]áh in the west to Iṣfahán in the central regions, and
to the waters of the Persian Gulf in the south. When he served as the
Vizier of the province of Fárs, he put down an uprising, brought some
seventy to eighty prisoners with him to [_Sh_]íráz, and outside the
gate of Bá[_gh_]-i-[_Sh_]áh had a tower erected with their living
bodies, which was held firm by mortar.

The Báb, as He approached Iṣfahán, wrote a letter to Manú[_ch_]ihr
[_Kh_]án in which he asked for shelter. Siyyid Káẓim-i-Zanjání took the
letter to the Governor, who, greatly impressed by it, sent it on to
Siyyid Muḥammad, the Sulṭánu'l-`Ulamá, the Imám-Jum`ih of Iṣfahán, and
requested that high dignitary to open his home to the Báb. The
Imám-Jum`ih dispatched a number of people close to himself, amongst them
his brother,[CP] some distance out of the city to escort the Báb to
Iṣfahán, and at the city-limits he himself welcomed the Visitor with
respect and reverence. He went far beyond the usual marks of cordial
hospitality, even to the extent of pouring water from a ewer over the
hands of the Báb, a task normally performed by attendants.

    [Footnote CP: This man in future years proved so hostile,
    bloodthirsty and rapacious that Bahá'u'lláh designated him as
    'Raq[_sh_]á', the She-Serpent.]

There were, by this time, an appreciable number of Bábís in
Iṣfahán, many of them natives of the city and some directed there
by the Báb Himself. Amongst the wider public the fame of the Báb
spread rapidly. There was one occasion when people came to take away
the water He had used for His ablutions, so greatly did they value it.
His host was enthralled by the Báb. One night, after the evening meal,
he asked his Guest to write for him a commentary on the Súrih of
V'al-`Aṣr (Afternoon--Qur'án ciii), one of the shortest Súrihs:

                    By the afternoon!
            Surely Man is in the way of loss,
      save those who believe, and do righteous deeds,
          and counsel each other unto the truth,
          and counsel each other to be steadfast.[3]

The Báb took up His pen and wrote His commentary, there and
then, to the astonishment and delight of all who were present.
It was past midnight when the assemblage broke up. Mullá
Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Hirátí, one of the divines of Iṣfahán, was so
overcome by the power of the Báb's pen and voice that he said with
great feeling:

     Peerless and unique 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'án, is in itself
     an achievement such as no mortal, without the intervention
     of God, could hope to perform.[4]

People of all ranks flocked to the house of the Imám-Jum`ih.
Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án himself called there to meet the Báb. He was a
proud man and a powerful Governor, ruling over an important section of
the realm. His visit to a young Siyyid, hitherto unknown, indicates the
measure of change wrought in him by that one letter which he had
received from the Báb. Indeed, Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án was to become a
changed man under the influence of the Báb, who had been a fugitive and
an exile at his door. He now asked the Báb for a treatise on
'Nubuvvat-i-[_Kh_]áṣṣih'--the specific station and mission of the
Prophet Muḥammad. Again surrounded by a number of the leading divines of
Iṣfahán, the Báb wrote instantaneously the treatise which the Governor
desired. Within two hours He produced a disquisition of fifty pages,
superbly reasoned, proving unassailably the claim and the achievement of
Islám, and ending His theme on the subject of the advent of the Qá'im
and the Return of Imám Ḥusayn (Rij`at-i-Ḥusayní). Manú[_ch_]ihr
[_Kh_]án's immediate response was:

     Hear me! 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 Islám. 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

It was inevitable that soon the jealousy of the clergy would be
aroused. Áqá Muḥammad-Mihdí,[CQ] the son of the renowned Ḥájí
Muḥammad-Ibráhím-i-Kalbásí, began to use the pulpit to insult and
disparage the Báb. When Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí heard of the situation in
Iṣfahán, he wrote to upbraid the Imám-Jum`ih for having harboured
the Báb. The Grand Vizier was afraid that Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án,
because of the confidence that Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh reposed in him,
might succeed in arranging a meeting between the Báb and the monarch.
The hold which Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí had on Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh was
chiefly due to the quasi-religious nature of their relationship. He
was the mur[_sh_]id (spiritual guide) and his king was the muríd
(disciple). The Imám-Jum`ih, still loyal, took no step in opposition,
but endeavoured to reduce the number of visitors.

    [Footnote CQ: Because of his stupidity Áqá Muḥammad-Mihdí
    was mockingly called Safíhu'l-`Ulamá--the Foolish One of the

As the clamour of the opponents increased, Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án
thought of a scheme to silence them. He invited the leading divines to
meet the Báb at his home and argue their case. Ḥájí
Siyyid Asadu'lláh, the son of the celebrated Ḥájí Siyyid
Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, declined the invitation and advised
the rest to do the same:

     I have sought to excuse myself and I would most certainly
     urge you to do the same. I regard it as most unwise of you
     to meet the Siyyid-i-Báb 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'án. In the end he will challenge you in these
     words: 'Produce likewise, 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 ourselves to acknowledge any
     further claims that he may feel inclined to make in the

Only Ḥájí Muḥammad-Ja`far-i-Ábádi'í took Ḥájí Siyyid
Asadu'lláh's advice and kept away. In the presence of Manú[_ch_]ihr
[_Kh_]án, Mírzá Ḥasan-i-Núrí was the first to pose a question.
Mírzá Ḥasan was a follower of the I[_sh_]ráqí school (Platonism),
and his question concerned certain elements of the philosophy
of Mullá Ṣadrá contained in his celebrated work: the
_Ḥikmatu'l-`Ar[_sh_]íyyah_ (Celestial or Divine Philosophy).[7] The
Báb's answers, even though couched in simple terms, were beyond the
grasp of Mírzá Ḥasan's mind. 'The Foolish One of the Learned' was
the next to face the Báb, and he began to probe into points of Islamic
jurisprudence. Unable to withstand the force of the Báb's exposition
he started a verbal assault which the Governor quickly brought to an
end. Sensing the mood of the audience, Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án deemed
it prudent that the Báb should stay under the protection of his roof
and not return to the house of the Imám-Jum`ih, where he had been a
guest for forty days.

The next move came from the divines. Like their compatriots in
[_Sh_]íráz, they gathered together and passed a verdict on the Báb
which carried with it the sentence of death. Both Ḥájí Siyyid
Asadu'lláh-i-Ra[_sh_]tí and Ḥájí Muḥammad-Ja`far-i-Ábádi'í
refused to be identified with it, but the Imám-Jum`ih, with an eye to
his position, wrote:

     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

Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh had already instructed Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án to
send the Báb to Ṭihrán. The transforming power of the Báb can now
be discerned. Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án had served the Qájár monarch
faithfully at all times. His generalship had helped to secure
Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh's position. But, once conquered by the Báb and
won over to His Cause, Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án unhesitatingly availed
himself of the [_Sh_]áh's command, not to send the Báb immediately to
the capital which would have put Him at the mercy of Ḥájí Mírzá
Áqásí, but to shield Him from His enemies. Under public gaze the Báb
was escorted out of Iṣfahán, guarded by five hundred horsemen.
Nabíl-i-A`ẓam writes:

     Imperative orders had been given that at the completion of
     each farsang[CR] one hundred of this mounted escort should
     return directly to Iṣfahán. 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 maydán[CS] twenty of the 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 Ardistán 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 Báb back in
     disguise to Iṣfahán. They were, moreover, instructed so
     to regulate their march that before dawn of the ensuing day
     the Báb should have arrived at Iṣfahán and should have
     been delivered into his custody.... At an unsuspected hour,
     the Báb re-entered the city, was directly conducted to the
     private residence of the Mu`tamid, known by the name of
     `Imárat-i-[_Kh_]ur[_sh_]íd [the Sun-House], and was
     introduced, through a side entrance reserved for the
     Mu`tamid himself, into his private apartments. The governor
     waited in person on the Báb, served His meals, and provided
     whatever was required for His comfort and safety.[9]

    [Footnote CR: Three miles roughly to a farsang or

    [Footnote CS: Maydán is a public square or an arena; as a
    measure of distance it was an indeterminate sub-division of a

`Abdu'l-Bahá states in _A Traveller's Narrative_ that Manú[_ch_]ihr
[_Kh_]án gave secret orders for the return of the Báb when He and His
escort had reached Múr[_ch_]ih-[_Kh_]ár, some thirty-five miles to the
north of Iṣfahán.[10]

Wild rumours began to circulate regarding the fate of the Báb. It was
believed that He had been executed in Ṭihrán. To allay the fears of
the Bábís of Iṣfahán the Báb allowed Mullá `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní,
Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí to be
brought to meet Him. He entrusted them with the task of transcribing
His Writings. Not long afterwards, He instructed them to tell the
other Bábís who had moved to Iṣfahán to leave the city and go
northwards, to Ká[_sh_]án, or Qum or Ṭihrán.

Not long before his death, Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án offered the Báb all
his immense fortune,[CT] and the resources of his army which were
considerable, that they might march to Ṭihrán and approach the
person of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh. Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án was certain
that the monarch, who trusted him completely, would listen to his
plea, recognize the truth of the Revelation of the Báb, and
whole-heartedly lend his support to the promotion of the new Faith.
And Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án looked even beyond the frontiers of Írán,
for he told the Báb: '... I hope to be enabled to incline the hearts
of the rulers and kings of the earth to this most wondrous Cause...'
To this the Báb replied:

     May God requite you for your noble intentions. 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.[12]

    [Footnote CT: According to Nicolas, the French envoy in
    Ṭihrán (M. de Bonnière) wrote to the Ministry of Foreign
    Affairs in Paris, on March 4th 1847, that Mu`tamidu'd-Dawlih,
    the Governor of Iṣfahán, had died, leaving a fortune
    estimated at 40 million francs.[11]]

The Báb, in His Tablet addressed to Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, states that
He foretold, in a letter to two divines in Yazd, the date of the death
of Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án, eighty-seven days before it occurred. And
He mentions that Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án had offered Him all that he
possessed, even taking off his rings and placing them before Him.

Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án had come to realize that his wealth was the
product of oppression. The Báb accepted both his repentance and his
wealth, then returned to him his riches for his use until his death,
which occurred in the month of Rabí`u'l-Avval 1263 A.H.
(February-March 1847 A.D.)

Even though in his will Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án left all his property
to the Báb, his nephew and successor, Gurgín [_Kh_]án, appropriated
everything after his death, and informed Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh that the
Báb was in Iṣfahán, having been kept, well-protected, by the late
Governor in the seclusion of `Imárat-i-[_Kh_]ur[_sh_]íd. Muḥammad
[_Sh_]áh's trust in Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án was not shaken. He felt
certain that that wise man and faithful servant had guarded the Báb
against all possible harm until an opportune time when a meeting
between himself and the Báb could be arranged. He issued orders for
the removal of the Báb to the capital in such wise that He should not
be recognized _en route_.

Those four months in the private residence of the Governor of
Iṣfahán were the calmest that the Báb was to experience throughout
His Ministry.[13]



                      No! by heav'n, which He
      Holds, and the abyss and the immensity
      Of worlds and life, which I hold with Him--No!
      I have a victor, true, but no superior.
      Homage he has from all, but none from me.
      I battle it against Him, as I battled
      In highest heav'n. Through all eternity
      And the unfathomable gulfs of Hades
      And the interminable realms of space
      And the infinity of endless ages,
      All, all, will I dispute. And world by world
      And star by star and universe by universe
      Shall tremble in the balance, till the great
      Conflict shall cease, if ever it shall cease....
                      --Lucifer in _Cain_ by Lord Byron

Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí, the Grand Vizier and the spiritual guide of
Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, has been called the Antichrist of the Bábí
Revelation.[1] He was a man bankrupt of ideas and bereft of graces. A
native of Íraván[CU] in the Caucasus, his real name was Mírzá `Abbás.
From the day he learned of the advent of the Báb, he bore Him intense
enmity which never abated. It was he who prevented a meeting between
the Báb and Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, when, by the direct order of the
[_Sh_]áh himself, the Báb was moved from Iṣfahán and it seemed that
the cherished hope of Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án for their meeting would
at last be realized.

    [Footnote CU: Yerevan or Erivan, today the capital of the
    Armenian Socialist Soviet Republic.]

Following the instructions of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, Gurgín [_Kh_]án gave
the custody of the Báb to Muḥammad Big-i-[_Ch_]ápár[_ch_]í (the chief
courier). Muḥammad Big belonged to the sect of Ahl-i-Ḥaqq (the People of
Truth), commonly known as the `Alíyu'lláhí, who have had a long
tradition of tolerance, liberalism and rectitude.[2] `Abdu'l-Bahá states
in _A Traveller's Narrative_ that the guards who escorted the Báb, on
this journey to the north, were Nuṣayrí horsemen. Nuṣayrís and
`Alíyu'lláhís are almost identical.

The first town on their road to the capital was Ká[_sh_]án. Ḥájí
Mírzá Jání, the Bábí merchant of that town, had dreamt that he beheld
the Báb approaching Ká[_sh_]án by the `Aṭṭár (Druggist) Gate.
Keeping watch by that gate, on the eve of Naw-Rúz, he saw his dream
fulfilled, for there was the Báb on horseback coming towards
Ká[_sh_]án. As he went forward to kiss His stirrup, the Báb told him:
'We are to be your Guest for three nights.'[3] This was exactly what
he had heard the Báb say to him in his dream. Muḥammad Big,
noticing the warmth of their greeting, thought that the young Siyyid
in his charge and the citizen of Ká[_sh_]án were friends of long
standing, and he readily agreed to let the Báb stay in the house of
Ḥájí Mírzá Jání. A colleague, however, refused to give his consent;
he had been told, he said, not to allow the Báb to enter any city _en
route_. After a lengthy argument Muḥammad Big succeeded in
persuading this colleague to withdraw his objection. Ḥájí Mírzá
Jání was prepared to invite the whole escort to be his guests, but the
Báb did not permit it. Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí, who had already
proceeded to Ká[_sh_]án as bidden by the Báb, that night attained His
presence. While the Báb was dictating a Tablet to Siyyid Ḥusayn, in
honour of Ḥájí Mírzá Jání, a friend of the Ká[_sh_]ání merchant was
announced. His name was Siyyid `Abdu'l-Báqí, and he was reputed for
his erudition; he sat and listened to the Báb, but failed to be moved
by what he heard and noticed. Some days after the Báb left Ká[_sh_]án
he learned who that young Siyyid was. He was sorrow-stricken that he
had not recognized the powers of the Báb and withdrew from society for
the rest of his life.

On the second day after Naw-Rúz the Báb rejoined His escort to journey
towards Qum,[CV] the next city on the road to Ṭihrán. They did not
enter Qum but went on to the village of Qumrúd, where the entire
population was `Alíyu'lláhí. Nabíl-i-A`ẓam writes:

     At the invitation of the headman of the village, the Báb
     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 the Almighty in their behalf and
     cheered their hearts with assurances of His appreciation and

    [Footnote CV: Qum is the second holy city of Írán.
    Ma[_sh_]had which holds the Shrine of Imám Riḍá has pride
    of place.]

Two days later, in the afternoon of March 28th, they reached the
fortress of Kinár-Gird, only twenty-eight miles from Ṭihrán. The
long journey from Iṣfahán was almost over. But here Ḥájí Mírzá
Áqásí intervened and sent instructions to Muḥammad Big to take the
Báb to the village of Kulayn, where the great [_Sh_]í`ah jurisconsult,
Muḥammad ibn-i-Ya`qúb was born and is buried.[CW] Ḥájí Mírzá
Áqásí himself was the owner of Kulayn, and a tent which belonged to
him was pitched outside the village to accommodate the Báb. It was a
delectable spot with lush vegetation, orchards and running brooks. The
Báb was delighted, but uncertainties of the future overshadowed Him.
Days passed without further instruction from Ṭihrán. Siyyid
Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí and his brother Siyyid Ḥasan, as well as Mullá
`Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí, came to
Kulayn to attend the Báb. And from Ṭihrán came Mullá
Mihdíy-i-[_Kh_]u'í accompanied by Mullá Muḥammad-Mihdíy-i-Kindí,
the latter bearing a letter and presents from Bahá'u'lláh. Receiving
them brought the Báb untold joy.[5]

    [Footnote CW: Commonly known as al-Kulayní, he died in A.D.
    941. He was the author of _Uṣúl al-Káfí_ (_Uṣúl-i-Káfí_
    in Persian usage), one of the four books that form the
    compendium of the belief and practice of
    I[_th_]ná-`A[_sh_]arís ('Twelvers'). These are the
    [_Sh_]í`ahs who believe in the major occultation of the
    Twelfth Imám, Muḥammad ibn-i-Ḥasan al-`Askarí.]

According to _A Traveller's Narrative_ the Báb's sojourn in Kulayn was
lengthened into twenty days.[6] During this time a remarkable incident
occurred which Mullá `Abdu'l-Karím has thus related:

     My companions and I were fast asleep in the vicinity of the
     tent of the Báb when the trampling of horsemen suddenly
     awakened us. We were soon informed that the tent of the Báb
     was vacant and that those who had gone out in search of Him
     had failed to find Him. We heard Muḥammad 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, Muḥammad Big set
     out on foot along the road leading to Ṭihrán. 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 maydán when, by the dim light of the
     early dawn, we discerned in the distance the lonely figure
     of the Báb. He was coming towards us from the direction of
     Ṭihrán. 'Did you believe Me to have escaped?' were His
     words to Muḥammad Big as He approached him. 'Far be it
     from me,' was the instant reply as he flung himself at the
     feet of the Báb, 'to entertain such thoughts.' Muḥammad
     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 course of so
     remarkable a change in His speech and demeanour. Nor did He
     Himself choose to allay our curiosity and wonder.[7]

Nearly three weeks had passed since His arrival at Kulayn when the Báb
wrote to Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh to ask for a meeting. And now Ḥájí
Mírzá Áqásí made the move which consigned the Báb to prison for the
rest of his days. According to _A Traveller's Narrative_, he
persuasively told Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh:

     The royal cavalcade is on the point of starting, and to
     engage in such matters as the present will conduce to the
     disruption of the kingdom. Neither is there any doubt that
     the most notable doctors of the capital also will behave
     after the fashion of the doctors of Isfahán, which thing
     will be the cause of a popular outbreak, or that, according
     to the religion of the immaculate Imám, they will regard the
     blood of this Seyyid as of no account, yea, as more lawful
     than mother's milk. The imperial train is prepared for
     travel, neither is there hindrance or impediment in view.
     There is no doubt that the presence of the Báb will be the
     cause of the gravest trouble and the greatest mischief.
     Therefore, on the spur of the moment, the wisest plan is
     this:--to place this person in the Castle of Mákú during the
     period of absence of the royal train from the seat of the
     imperial throne, and to defer the obtaining of an audience
     to the time of return.[8]

Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl states that Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí played on the
fears of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh by instancing in particular the
rebellion in [_Kh_]urásán of Muḥammad-Ḥasan [_Kh_]án, the Sálár,
and the earlier defiance of the central government by Ḥasan-`Ali
[_Kh_]án, Aga Khan I.[CX] Whatever arguments the Grand Vizier used, he
succeeded in preventing a meeting between the Báb and Muḥammad
[_Sh_]áh in that spring of 1847. And it was never to take place.

    [Footnote CX: In the opinion of the present writer, the
    second revolt of the Aga Khan, in 1840, was entirely due to
    the tortuous policies and the maladroitness of Ḥájí Mírzá
    Áqásí himself.]

In April, the [_Sh_]áh sent a reply to the letter of the Báb which,
according to _A Traveller's Narrative_, was couched in these terms:

     Since the royal train is on the verge of departure from
     Teherán, to meet in a befitting manner is impossible. Do you
     go to Mákú and there abide and rest for a while, engaged in
     praying for our victorious state; and we have arranged that
     under all circumstances they shall shew you attention and
     respect. When we return from travel we will summon you

Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, in his narrative, gives this version of the contents
of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh's letter:

     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 Ṭihrán. We have signified our desire
     that you be conducted to Máh-Kú, and have issued the
     necessary instructions to `Alí [_Kh_]án, 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 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.[10]

Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, the Governor of Fárs, was attending the [_Sh_]áh
in the capital at the very time that Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí blocked the
path of the Báb and prevented His entry into Ṭihrán.



      Over the banks of Aras shouldst thou, O Zephyr, pass,
      Kiss the earth of that vale and refreshen thy breath thereby.

Máh-Kú,[CY] a town of the province of Á[_dh_]arbáyján, is in the
extreme north-west of Írán, close to the point where the Russo-Turkish
frontiers meet. Within a short distance of the town of Máh-Kú and its
bleak fortress perched on a mountain peak above, the Aras flows, the
Araxes of the Greeks. Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí contrived to have the Báb
banished to this remote corner of the land, well away from the
capital, and well away from the areas where His Faith was born and
nurtured. But the road to Máh-Kú was through Tabríz, the second city
of the realm and the seat of the Crown Prince.

    [Footnote CY: Also Mákú or Má-Kúh.]

The same horsemen, still under the command of Muḥammad Big, were
given the task of escorting the Báb to Tabríz. They had, by then,
become greatly devoted to Him. His utter kindness coupled with His
majesty of bearing had totally captivated them. Two of the followers
of the Báb were allowed to remain with Him: Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí
and his brother, Siyyid Ḥasan.

On the road north, one of the halting-places was the village of
Síyáh-Dihán, close by Qazvín. There the Báb addressed a letter to the
Grand Vizier, and also wrote to some of the leading divines of Qazvín,
including the father and the uncle of Qurratu'l-`Ayn. A number of the
Bábís attained His presence in the village of Síyáh-Dihán during His
one night there, and among these was Mullá Iskandar of Zanján, the
same man who had visited [_Sh_]íráz as Ḥujjat's emissary to learn
what he could about the Báb. Now the Báb entrusted to him a letter for
Ḥájí Sulaymán [_Kh_]án-i-Af[_sh_]ár, who happened to be in Zanján;
he had been a fervent supporter of Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí. To
him the Báb wrote:

     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.[1]

Ḥájí Sulaymán [_Kh_]án received the letter within three days, but
did not heed it and left for the capital.

At that time Hujjat[CZ] was in Ṭihrán, kept there under
surveillance. But the moment he heard of the Báb's letter to Sulaymán
[_Kh_]án, he sent a message to the Bábís of Zanján to march out and
rescue the Báb. A sizable number of Bábís from Ḥujjat's native town
and from Qazvín and Ṭihrán came together and made a concerted
effort to carry out their daring scheme. At midnight they reached the
spot where the Báb and His escort were bivouacked. The guards were
asleep and there was every opportunity to escape. But the Báb told His
would-be rescuers that He would not run away. 'The mountains of
A[_dh_]irbáyján too have their claims.'[2]

    [Footnote CZ: See pp. 100-102.]

Before His mission reached its end Muḥammad Big came to believe in the
Báb.[DA] Grief-stricken he went to the Báb and asked to be forgiven:
'The journey from Iṣfahán 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.' To this the Báb replied: 'Be
assured. 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.'[3] Later, Muḥammad Big met Ḥájí Mírzá Jání once again, and
recounted for him the story of that journey to Tabríz. The Ká[_sh_]ání
merchant included Muḥammad Big's story in his chronicle, and Mírzá
Ḥusayn-i-Hamadání, the author of the _Táríkh-i-Jadíd_ (_The New
History_) in turn made use of it in his own work:

     ... we proceeded to Mílán,[DB] where many of the inhabitants
     came to see His Holiness, and were filled with wonder at the
     majesty and dignity of that Lord of mankind. In the morning,
     as we were setting out from Mílán, an old woman brought a
     scald-headed child, whose head was so covered with scabs
     that it was white down to the neck, and entreated His
     Holiness to heal him. The guards would have forbidden her,
     but His Holiness prevented them, and called the child to
     him. Then he drew a handkerchief over its head and repeated
     certain words; which he had no sooner done than the child
     was healed. And in that place about two hundred persons
     believed and underwent a true and sincere conversion ... on
     leaving Mílán, while we were on the road His Holiness
     suddenly urged his horse into so swift a gallop that all the
     horsemen composing the escort were filled with amazement,
     seeing that his steed was the leanest of all. We galloped
     after him as hard as we could, but were unable to come up
     with him, though the horsemen were filled with apprehension
     lest he should effect his escape. Presently he reined in his
     horse of his own accord, and, so soon as we came up to him,
     said with a smile, 'Were I desirous of escaping, you could
     not prevent me.' And indeed it was even as he said; had he
     desired in the least degree to escape, none could have
     prevented him, and under all circumstances he shewed himself
     endowed with more than human strength. For example, we were
     all practised horsemen inured to travel, yet, by reason of
     the cold and our weariness, we were at times hardly able to
     keep our saddles, while he, on the other hand, during all
     this period shewed no sign of faintness or weariness, but,
     from the time when he mounted till he alighted at the end of
     the stage, would not so much as change his posture or shift
     his seat.[4]

    [Footnote DA: Muḥammad Big's son, named `Alí-Akbar Big,
    became, in future years, a follower of Bahá'u'lláh. Mírzá
    Abu'l-Faḍl met him in Ṭihrán and heard from him how it
    happened that his father came to accept the Báb.]

    [Footnote DB: A village in the vicinity of Tabríz.]

The stage beyond the village of Mílán was the city of Tabríz itself.
As the news spread that the Báb was approaching the city, the Bábís
there tried to go out to meet him, but they were stopped and sent
back. Only a youth managed to break through the cordon of guards and
soldiers. Barefooted, he ran more than a mile till he reached the Báb
and His escort. Such was the state of his ecstasy that he flung
himself forward in the path of one of the horsemen, caught the hem of
his cloak and eagerly and fervently kissed his stirrup. Addressing
them all, he cried out: 'Ye are the companions of my Well-Beloved. I
cherish you as the apple of my eye.'[5] And when he came into the
presence of the Báb, he fell prostrate on the ground and
unrestrainedly wept. The Báb dismounted, raised him up, embraced him
and wiped his tears.

The Báb's entry into Tabríz, the scene three years later of His
martyrdom in its public square, bears close resemblance to the entry
of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, less than a week before He was
led to Golgotha to be crucified.

     And they that went before, and they that followed, cried,
     saying, Hosanna! Blessed _is_ he that cometh in the name of
     the Lord!

     Blessed _be_ the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in
     the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest![DC]

    [Footnote DC: Mark xi, 9-10.]

That is how St. Mark recounts the joy of the people who gave Jesus a
regal welcome into Jerusalem.

When the Báb was brought into Tabríz the streets were crowded, and
amongst the surging mass were Bábís who had been deprived of coming
close to their Master; but vast numbers were there who were not His
followers. Those narrow thoroughfares echoed with the cry of
`Alláh-u-Akbar'--God is the Greatest--the opening line of the
A[_dh_]án, the call to prayer which every devout Muslim repeats time
and again in the course of his devotions. Officials were alarmed by
this wonderful and unprecedented reception, and sent town criers to
warn the people against attempting to gain access to the Siyyid-i-Báb.

`Abdu'l-Bahá states that the Báb was kept for forty days in Tabríz.[6]
During that time He was strictly secluded, and His only visitors were
Ḥájí Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Mílání, a well-known merchant, and Ḥájí
`Alí-`Askar.[DD] When they first approached the house where the Báb
was lodged, guards stopped them, but Siyyid Hasan asserted the
authority of the Báb and gained them admittance. After that no one
ever tried to bar their way, and they attained the presence of the Báb
several times.

    [Footnote DD: Persecution forced him to abandon Tabríz. With
    his family he went to Adrianople and was exiled in the
    company of Bahá'u'lláh to `Akká. He features in the
    _Memorials of the Faithful_ by `Abdu'l-Bahá (pp. 161-4).]

At last came the orders for the removal of the Báb to Máh-Kú. That
town was the birthplace of Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí, although he is
generally known as Íravání[DE] because his family originated there.
The vast majority of the inhabitants of Máh-Kú and its environs were
Kurds who were Sunní by persuasion. `Alí [_Kh_]án, the warden of the
castle, was a Kurd, simple, rough and uncouth. He was arrogantly
unbending at the start of the Báb's incarceration, and would not allow
any follower of the Báb to stay in the town, even for one night. When
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí reached Máh-Kú he found that the only
shelter available to him was a mosque outside the town. But he was
able to meet and exchange letters and messages with Siyyid Ḥasan,
who came into the town each day with a guard to buy provisions, and
thus for a while he maintained a link between the Báb and His people.

    [Footnote DE: From Íraván. See p. 117 and note.]

But one day the Báb advised Siyyid Ḥasan that these secret contacts
with [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan were to end; He Himself would tell `Ali
[_Kh_]án to permit visitors to come and go in peace. Both men were
greatly astonished, since they knew well the character and attitude of
the warden, who had even tried to prevent the people of Máh-Kú from
coming to the foot of the mountain to obtain a glimpse of the Báb. By
now the Báb had won the love and esteem of these hardened
frontiersmen, who had shown such marked hostility when He was first
brought to their fortress, nor could `Ali [_Kh_]án prevent their
gathering daily at the mountain's base to gaze upwards in the hope of
receiving His blessing.

At an early hour on the morning following the Báb's advice to Siyyid
Ḥasan, the inmates of the castle were startled by an incessant and
agitated knocking. It was `Ali [_Kh_]án, peremptorily pounding the gate
and shouting at the guardsmen for admittance. A guard rushed in to say
that the warden wished to come immediately into the presence of the Báb.
Siyyid Ḥusayn presented the request, and the Báb replied that He would
receive `Ali [_Kh_]án at once. The warden was visibly shaking, obviously
caught up by some tremendous emotion. He threw himself at the feet of
the Báb and begged to be relieved of his misery:

     'Deliver me 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 Báb 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.'[7]

All the arrogance of the warden left him. He was totally conquered. He
became humble. The first words that he uttered were:

     A poor man, a [_sh_]ay[_kh_], is yearning to attain Your
     presence. He lives in a masjid [mosque] outside the gate of
     Máh-Kú. I pray You that I myself be 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

He went away and returned with [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí.

`Alí [_Kh_]án's change of heart and attitude radically altered the
situation. The prison gates no longer barred the Báb from His
followers. Bábís came from everywhere to attain the presence of their
Lord, among them Mullá Ḥusayn, the Bábu'l-Báb. The Báb received him
at the gate of the castle and celebrated the Feast of Naw-Rúz with
him. Ere his departure, the Báb directed him to visit Tabríz and other
towns of the province of Á[_dh_]arbáyján, and then proceed to Zanján,
Qazvín, Ṭihrán, and finally to the province of Mázindarán.

`Alí [_Kh_]án's devotion to the person of the Báb increased day by
day. He did everything possible to mitigate the rigours of prison
life. Every Friday he came up the mountain to offer his homage.
Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí was alarmed by the news reaching him from Máh-Kú,
and so was the Russian Minister in Ṭihrán, Prince Dimitri Ivanovich
Dolgorukov. In dispatches to Count Nesselrode, the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, dated February 4th and December 24th 1848, he mentions that,
in the previous year, the Báb had been removed from the vicinity of
the Russian border by his demand.[9] This assertion is borne out by a
letter of Mullá Aḥmad-i-Ibdál, one of the Letters of the Living,
written when he was in Káẓimayn, close to Ba[_gh_]dád. It is not
clear to whom the letter is addressed, most probably to one of the
uncles of the Báb.[10] Mullá Aḥmad writes:

     These days, God willing, I intend to go and attain the
     presence of my Lord.... These days pilgrims arrived here
     from Urúmíyyih. I sought the news of my Lord from them. They
     said that He was in a district of Urúmíyyih, called
     [_Ch_]ihrúm [[_Ch_]ihríq?]. The Governor of Urúmíyyih
     wished, at first, to keep Him in the town itself, but the
     clerics had taken fright lest disturbances might arise, and
     had refused their consent; curses of God rest upon them. It
     is said that the Governor is acting with kindness, and from
     the towns of A[_dh_]arbáyján people come in large groups,
     attain His presence and return believers. According to what
     has been related there is a tremendous upsurge, that is to
     say, many, many people have become devoted to Him.... And as
     to the reason for the departure of [_Dh_]ikr, on Him be
     peace from Máh-Kú, it is this, that the Russian Envoy had
     heard that He was in Máh-Kú, and, being afraid of
     disturbance, told the Vizier, Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí: 'Send the
     [_Dh_]ikr, on whom be peace, to some other area of your
     realms, because Máh-Kú is on the frontier and close to our
     territory, and we are afraid of disturbances; a few years
     ago, a certain Mullá Ṣádiq claimed to be the deputy [of
     the Imám] and within a month gathered 30,000 followers round
     him.' Russians had witnessed that and had taken fright.

`Abdu'l-Bahá states that the Báb's incarceration in the castle of
Máh-Kú lasted nine months. According to Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, on the
twentieth day after Naw-Rúz (April 9th 1848), He left that mountain
fastness on the Russian and Turkish frontiers.[11]

At Máh-Kú the Báb revealed the _Dalá'il-i-Sab`ih_ (The Seven Proofs)
and began the composition of the Persian _Bayán_[DF] (Exposition or
Utterance). Nabíl-i-A`ẓam writes:

     I have heard [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí bear witness
     to the following: 'The voice of the Báb, 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.'[12]

    [Footnote DF: A copy of the Persian _Bayán_, in the
    handwriting of Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí, to whom He dictated
    it, exists in the International Archives of the Bahá'í



      Our little systems have their day;
        They have their day and cease to be:
        They are but broken lights of thee,
      And thou, O Lord, art more than they.
                      --Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The man chosen by Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí to take the Báb away from the
castle of Máh-Kú was Riḍá-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Af[_sh_]ár, an officer
with the rank of Sartíp (brigadier, in today's usage). He was the son
of Ḥájí Sulaymán [_Kh_]án, the official who, in Zanján, failed to
heed the Báb's message to him. Ḥájí Sulaymán [_Kh_]án was intensely
devoted to Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, who had told him that he
would live to see the advent of the Qá'im; he often expressed surprise
that the Qá'im had not appeared for him to recognize, despite this
unequivocal promise. Although he met the Báb in Mecca, he attached
himself to Ḥájí Muḥammad-Karím [_Kh_]án-i-Kirmání and refused to
listen to the Bábís. His devotion to Siyyid Káẓim was of such a
character that, having obtained the hand of a daughter of Siyyid
Káẓim for his son, he began his day by paying his respects in
person to his daughter-in-law. It was this son who was entrusted with
the task of moving the Báb from Máh-Kú to Urúmíyyih and
[_Ch_]ihríq.[DG] And soon he too became captivated by the Prisoner in
his charge. Eventually, Riḍá-Qulí [_Kh_]án became an avowed,
zealous Bábí, and broke away from his father, who persisted in his
hostility to the Báb.

    [Footnote DG: The Báb named [_Ch_]ihríq
    `Jabal-i-[_Sh_]adíd'--the Grievous Mountain. '[_Sh_]adíd' is
    numerically equal to [_Ch_]ihríq. He called Máh-Kú
    'Jabal-i-Básiṭ'--the Open Mountain. 'Básiṭ' is
    numerically equal to Máh-Kú.]

The castle of [_Ch_]ihríq is in the neighbourhood of Urúmíyyih, known
today as Riḍá'íyyih. Its warden, Yaḥyá [_Kh_]án, was a Kurdish
chieftain, whose sister was married to Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh. The son of
this union was called `Abbás Mírzá, after the [_Sh_]áh's own father, and
bore also his title, Náyibu's-Salṭanih (Viceroy or Regent). Because this
child was such a favourite of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, the mother of the heir
to the throne, Náṣiri'd-Dín Mírzá, was exceedingly jealous of him. Her
jealousy put his life in jeopardy after the death of his father, but
Colonel Farrant's intervention saved him.[DH] He was exiled to Qum, but
even then he was not secure, for he was accused of being in league with
the Bábís. Mírzá Ḥusayn-i-Mutavallí (Custodian) of Qum was forced, under
torture, to sign a confession implicating `Abbás Mírzá in faked Bábí
plots.[DI] This unfortunate prince spent many years of his life in
exile, mostly in `Iráq. He was eventually allowed to return to Írán and
was given the title of Mulk-Árá; but he was always close to misfortune
and danger.

    [Footnote DH: `Abbás Mírzá was then nine years old. Farrant
    was the British chargé d'affaires in the absence of Sheil.]

    [Footnote DI: This man was in the fortress of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
    Ṭabarsí and betrayed his fellow-believers. Some years
    later in Ba[_gh_]dád he fell on evil days and Bahá'u'lláh
    gave him a monthly allowance.]

Yaḥyá [_Kh_]án, the warden of [_Ch_]ihríq, was harsh and unpredictable,
but before long he too felt unable to keep the gates of his castle
closed against the Bábís. The same power, which had held `Alí [_Kh_]án
of Máh-Kú spellbound, captured the heart of Yaḥyá [_Kh_]án. So many
Bábís came to [_Ch_]ihríq that it was impossible to house them and rooms
had to be found for them in Iskí-[_Sh_]ahr, which was not far away. Food
and all other necessities were purchased in Iskí-[_Sh_]ahr. Once some
honey was bought there for the Báb, but He found the quality to be
inferior and the price exorbitant and had it returned.

     Honey of a superior quality [He said] 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

[_Kh_]uy was another town of Á[_dh_]arbáyján which was not far from
[_Ch_]ihríq. Not long had passed since the Báb's arrival at
[_Ch_]ihríq when [_Kh_]uy became aware that a number of its prominent
citizens among the siyyids, divines and officials had become Bábís.
Mírzá Asadu'lláh, on whom the Báb conferred the designation of
Dayyán,[2] was one of them. Dayyán means the conqueror or the judge.
Mírzá Asadu'lláh, a proud man, high in the service of the government,
and a man of vast learning who wielded a fluent pen,[DJ] had for long
withstood the attempts of the Bábís to convert him. Not only did he
refuse to yield any ground to them, he also proved a vociferous
antagonist. Then he had a dream which induced him to write to the Báb.
And when he received the answer to his letter he gave the Báb his
allegiance with a zeal and fervour that thoroughly alarmed his father,
who was a personal friend of the Grand Vizier. He wrote to Ḥájí
Mírzá Áqásí, expatiating on his son's bewitchment and deploring his
grave aberrations.[DK]

    [Footnote DJ: He was a master of Persian, Arabic, Turkish,
    Hebrew and Syriac.]

    [Footnote DK: The Báb revealed the _Lawḥ-i-Ḥurúfát_
    (Tablet of the Letters) in honour of Mírzá Asadu'lláh. 'Had
    the Point of the Bayán [Nuqṭiy-i-Bayán] no other testimony
    with which to establish His truth,' He states, 'this were
    sufficient--that He revealed a Tablet such as this, a Tablet
    such as no amount of learning could produce.'[3]]

Once again Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí found himself thwarted. The Faith of
the Báb was spreading and he could not contain it. And now the Grand
Vizier had the additional anxiety of watching the rapid deterioration
of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh's health. The monarch was only forty years
old, but as a sufferer from gout his malady was wearing him down.

At [_Ch_]ihríq itself a dervish arrived from India. Who he truly was,
no one knew and no one knows even now. The Báb gave him the name
Qahru'lláh (the Wrath of God). All that this dervish would say about
himself was:

     In the days when I occupied the exalted position of a navváb
     in India, the Báb 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 Á[_dh_]irbáyján. In
     [_Ch_]ihríq you will attain your heart's desire.' I followed
     His directions and have now reached my goal.[4]

The Báb instructed him to go back to his native land, the same way he
had come, as a dervish and on foot. Qahru'lláh would have no companion
on that long journey back. His fate remains a mystery, just as does
the fate of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Sa`íd, the Indian Letter of the Living.

The Báb had been in [_Ch_]ihríq for three months when Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí
decided He should be taken, once more, to Tabríz. Before the summons
came, the Báb sent away those Bábís who had congregated in and around
[_Ch_]ihríq; among them was the redoubtable `Aẓím.[DL] At the same time,
He commissioned [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí to collect the Writings
He had revealed in the two castles, and hand them for safe-keeping to
Siyyid Ibráhím-i-[_Kh_]alíl, who resided in Tabríz.

    [Footnote DL: See p. 103.]

When the Báb reached Urúmíyyih, on his way to Tabríz, the Governor,
Malik Qásim Mírzá, a descendant of Faṭh-`Alí [_Sh_]áh, received Him
reverently. Nevertheless, he decided to pose a test for his Guest. On
a Friday, when the Báb planned to go to the public bath, he directed
that a particularly unruly horse be brought to convey Him. Those who
knew of his plan awaited the outcome with bated breath. Miraculously,
the horse stood quietly for the Báb, who mounted and rode it to the
bath with perfect control. The Prince-Governor, ashamed and abashed,
walked on foot beside the Báb's steed nearly to His destination, until
the Báb asked him to return to his house. The news spread and stunned
the town. When the Báb came out of the bath and mounted the same horse
again, men, women and children rushed in to take away every drop of
the water He had used.

From now on the Governor's residence was thronged daily by people who
wished to meet the Báb or just to catch a glimpse of Him. During this
time, Áqá-Bálá Big, the Naqqá[_sh_]-Bá[_sh_]í (Chief Painter) made a
portrait of the Báb, the only one ever drawn of Him; its story is of
tremendous interest.

Áqá-Bálá Big was a native of [_Sh_]íshván, a village on the banks of
Lake Urúmíyyih. Like scores of others, he was attracted to Government
House to see the Báb. Years later he related his experience to Varqá,
the Bahá'í martyr-poet. He had noticed that as soon as the Báb's eyes
alighted on him He arranged His `abá neatly and looked at him
intently. This happened again the next day, and Áqá-Bálá Big realized
that the Báb was giving him a sign that he might draw His portrait.
The painter made a rough sketch there and then. Later, he composed the
portrait in black and white. When Varqá informed Bahá'u'lláh of this,
he was instructed to ask the painter to make two copies of the
portrait in water colour, one to be sent to the Holy Land and one to
be kept by Varqá himself. The copy taken to the Holy Land is in the
International Archives of the Bahá'í Faith. The copy which the
martyr-poet held was among his possessions, looted at the time of his
arrest. The original black and white portrait was discovered years
later by Siyyid Asadu'lláh-i-Qumí, who conveyed it to the Holy Land
and presented it to `Abdu'l-Bahá.[DM]

    [Footnote DM: The present writer heard this account from
    Valíyu'lláh Varqá, the son of the martyr-poet, who had the
    rank of a Hand of the Cause by appointment of the Guardian of
    the Bahá'í Faith.]

The Báb must have reached Tabríz in the last week of July 1848.
Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh's illness was, by then, giving concern to Ḥájí
Mírzá Áqásí, and the wily old Grand Vizier, conscious of his
approaching downfall, was already seeking ways and means of softening
the blow. Over the course of years he had grown to be a very rich man,
owning villages and farmlands and urban property. He knew that with
the death of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh he would lose not only his position
and power, but also his enormous wealth. When Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh was
dying, Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí was no longer to be seen within the
precincts of the palace, for his powerful enemies in the Court, whom
he had not been able to destroy,[DN] were ready to pounce on him. He
retired to his village of `Abbásábád. There his body-guard, recruited
from his home town of Máh-Kú, disintegrated. The people of Ṭihrán
who had suffered so much at their hands now found opportunities to
avenge themselves, and Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí found himself in such
straits that he felt constrained to write to the boy-prince, `Abbás
Mírzá, and a number of prominent courtiers, to plead for harmony and
friendship. As no response was forthcoming from these quarters, he
put on a bold face and tried to regain his residence in Ṭihrán. But
the artillery General, who commanded the royal guard at the citadel,
let him know that his stay in Ṭihrán was undesirable. So he tried
to reach Á[_dh_]arbáyján, the province to which he had exiled the Báb,
to take refuge with the inhabitants of his native town. He had not
gone far from the capital when he was turned back. Deserted and
mocked, he had no course open but to seek sanctuary in the shrine of
[_Sh_]áh `Abdu'l-`Aẓím. Such was the end of all power for Ḥájí
Mírzá Áqásí, the Antichrist of the Bábí Revelation.

    [Footnote DN: They included men such as Mírzá Yúsuf, the
    Mustawfíu'l-Mamálik and `Abbás-Qulí

In Tabríz the Báb was brought before the Crown Prince, Náṣiri'd-Dín
Mírzá, who was only seventeen years old and had recently been given
the governorship of Á[_dh_]arbáyján. A panel of the prominent divines
of Tabríz gathered to examine the Báb. The leading men of that panel
were: Ḥájí Mírzá Maḥmúd, the Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá, who was the
chief tutor of the Crown Prince; Mullá Muḥammad-i-Mámaqání, a
disciple of Siyyid Káẓim and an outstanding figure among
the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]ís; Ḥájí Murtiḍá-Qulíy-i-Marandí,
the `Alamu'l-Hudá; Ḥájí Mírzá `Alí-Aṣ[_gh_]ar, the
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám;[DO] and Mírzá Aḥmad, the Imám-Jum`ih. The
procedures of that high tribunal were frivolous from beginning to end.
Here were the shining lights of the religious hierarchy of Tabríz,
assembled to learn from a young Siyyid, who claimed to be the bearer
of a Message from God, what the nature of His claim was and what
proofs He could adduce to substantiate it. That they failed miserably
to be just and to apply themselves to the problem before them need not
be sought in the evidence of the followers of the Báb. Two of the best
known Persian histories of the time plentifully provide that
evidence. These are the _Nási[_kh_]u't-Tavárí[_kh_]_ by
Muḥammad-Taqí [_Kh_]án of Ká[_sh_]án[5] and the Supplement to the
_Rawḍatu'ṣ-Ṣafá_ of Mír[_kh_]und[DP] by Riḍá-Qulí
[_Kh_]án-i-Hidáyat; both works were written during the reign of
Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh. From these two histories, Edward Granville
Browne prepared a version of the procès-verbal of that infamous
tribunal for the Appendices to his translation of _A Traveller's
Narrative_. He also used another book, the _Qiṣaṣu'l-`Ulamá_
(Chronicles of the Divines) written in 1873. Typical are these two
questions, said to have been put to the Báb by Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá:

     'As the Prophet or some other wise man hath said "Knowledge
     is twofold--knowledge of bodies, and knowledge of
     religions"; I ask, then, in Medicine, what occurs in the
     stomach when a person suffers from indigestion? Why are some
     cases amenable to treatment? And why do some go on to
     permanent dyspepsia or syncope [swooning], or terminate in

       *       *       *       *       *

     'The science of "Applications" is elucidated from the Book
     and the Code, and the understanding of the Book and the Code
     [the Qur'án and the Traditions] depends on many sciences,
     such as Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic. Do you who are the Báb
     conjugate _Ḳála_?'[DQ]

    [Footnote DO: Like the Imám-Jum`ih, the
    [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám was a leading divine of a city, who
    enjoyed certain privileges. Although the sovereign appointed
    the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám, there were many instances when
    the position passed from father to son.]

    [Footnote DP: Also, Mír[_kh_]wand. He died A.H. 903, A.D.

    [Footnote DQ: Qála, the third person singular of 'to say'.]

The Báb is alleged to have replied that He had learned to conjugate
Arabic words in His childhood, but had forgotten the rules. This is
supposed to have been the answer of a Person who had revealed the
_Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_, the _Commentary on the Súrih of Kaw[_th_]ar_, the
_Commentary on the Súrih of V'al-`Aṣr_--all in Arabic.

When the Báb stated clearly: 'I am that person for whose appearance
ye have waited a thousand years,' Nizámu'l-`Ulamá retorted:

'That is to say you are the Mahdí, the Lord of Religion?'

'Yes,' answered the Báb.

'The same in person, or generically?'

'In person.'

'What is your name, and what are the names of your father and mother?
Where is your birthplace? And how old are you?'

'My name is `Alí Muḥammad,' answered the Báb. 'My mother was named
Khadíja and my father Mírzá Riẓá the cloth-seller; my birth-place is
Shíráz; and of my life, behold, thirty-five years have elapsed.'[DR]

    [Footnote DR: Critics such as Mírzá Káẓim Big (Kazem-Beg)
    have observed that giving the age of the Báb as thirty-five
    indicates that the whole account is spurious. Furthermore, it
    was not the mother of the Báb who was named [_Kh_]adíjih, but
    His wife.]

'The name of the Lord of Religion is Muḥammad; his father was named
Ḥasan and his mother Narjis; his birthplace was Surra-man-Ra'a; and
his age is more than a thousand years. There is the most complete
variance. And besides I did not send you.'

'Do you claim to be God?' asked the Báb.

'Such an Imám is worthy of such a God,' replied Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá.

'I can in one day write two thousand verses. Who else can do this?'

'When I resided at the Supreme Shrines I had a secretary who used to
write two thousand verses a day. Eventually he became blind. You must
certainly give up this occupation, or else you too will go blind.'[6]

Even from these few quotations the absurdity of the trial may be seen.

The authors of _Nási[_kh_]u't-Tavárí[_kh_]_, the Supplement to
_Rawḍatu'ṣ-Ṣafá and Qiṣaṣu'l-`Ulamá_ took their
material from a tract written by the same Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá who
presided over the tribunal in Tabríz. But [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Muḥammad-Taqí, the son of Mullá Muḥammad-i-Mámaqání, and no less
an opponent of the Faith of the Báb than his father, in a book written
specifically to refute that Faith, took Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá to task for
having perverted the truth. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad-Taqí was
himself present at the tribunal; in his book he underlined, one by
one, Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá's misrepresentations. His testimony to
the powers of the Báb, which he recorded despite his avowed,
unrelenting antagonism, has recently been reprinted. Eventually,
Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá collected as many copies as he could of his own
tract and destroyed them.

Nabíl-i-A`ẓam states, on the authority of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí,
that the person most insolent in the course of that mock trial was Mullá
Muḥammad-i-Mámaqání.[DS] The Báb was sitting between him and the Crown
Prince, and when He affirmed that He was the Qá'im, whose advent they
expected, Mullá Muḥammad called out in anger:

    [Footnote DS: It is of interest that another son of Mullá
    Muḥammad, named Mírzá Ismá`íl, embraced the new

'You wretched and immature lad of [_Sh_]íráz! You have already
convulsed and subverted `Iráq; do you now wish to arouse a like
turmoil in Á[_dh_]irbáyján?'

The Báb's answer to his outburst was only this: 'Your Honour, I have
not come hither of My own accord. I have been summoned to this place.'

Mullá Muḥammad, yet more haughty and disdainful, shouted back:
'Hold your peace, you perverse and contemptible follower of Satan!'

And the Báb replied serenely: 'Your Honour, I maintain what I have
already declared.'

Then, according to Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá posed this

'The claim which you have advanced is a stupendous one; it must needs
be supported by the most incontrovertible evidence.'

'His own word,' said the Báb, 'is the most convincing evidence of the
truth of the Mission of the Prophet of God.' And He quoted from the
Qur'án a verse in support of His argument: '"Is it not enough for them
that We have sent down to Thee the Book?"'[DT]

    [Footnote DT: Qur'án xxix, 51.]

Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá rejoined: 'Describe orally, if you speak the truth,
the proceedings of this gathering in language that will resemble the
phraseology of the verses of the Qur'án so that the Valí-`Ahd [Crown
Prince] and the assembled divines may bear witness to the truth of
your claim.'

The Báb had spoken no more than a few words in response to this
request when Mullá Muḥammad rudely intervened:

'This self-appointed Qá'im of ours has at the very start of his
address betrayed his ignorance of the most rudimentary rules of

'The Qur'án itself does in no wise accord with the rules and
conventions current amongst men,' said the Báb. 'The Word of God can
never be subject to the limitations 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.'

But Mullá Muḥammad turned a deaf ear to the Báb, and another divine
interrupted with an absurd question about the tense of a verb. Then the
Báb spoke this verse of the Qur'án: '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 He rose up from His seat and walked out.[DU][7]

    [Footnote DU: An undated letter has come to light in the
    handwriting of Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh, written during the
    Ministry of Bahá'u'lláh, and addressed to `Aláu'd-Dawlih, a
    governor of Ṭihrán. The [_Sh_]áh instructed the Governor
    to put certain questions to the 'Bábís' arrested by
    Amínu's-Sulṭán, including Áqá Jamál-i-Burújirdí, the only
    one he mentions by name. Only Amínu's-Sulṭán and Ḥájí
    Áqá Muḥammad, a divine, should be present for the
    questioning, he instructed, and the replies of the Bábís were
    to be recorded and presented to him. He himself, he said,
    might then have to meet these 'Bábís', to determine exactly
    what their aims and purposes were.

    Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh's language was abusive, but two
    points are particularly worth noting in this long tirade:
    first, his admission that, before the tribunal in Tabríz, the
    Báb stood firmly by His claim that He was the Qá'im; second,
    his insistence that he wanted to know what were the beliefs
    and intentions of the 'Bábís'.

    During the governorship of `Aláu'd-Dawlih, Áqá Najaf-`Alí, a
    Bahá'í of Tabríz, was arrested, resulting in the apprehension
    of a number of Bahá'ís in Ṭihrán. Áqá Najaf-`Alí had
    recently returned from `Akká and was the bearer of a number
    of Tablets. He lost his life but the other Bahá'ís were
    eventually freed.]

Shortly after these proceedings, it was decided to inflict corporal
punishment upon the Báb, and He was taken to the house of
Muḥammad-Káẓim [_Kh_]án, the farrá[_sh_]-bá[_sh_]í.[DV] As the
guards refused to carry out the sentence, Mírzá `Alí-Aṣ[_gh_]ar,
the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám, personally administered the bastinado.
When the news reached Urúmíyyih that the Báb had been subjected to
such indignity, many of those who had been attracted to His Faith
abandoned it. In Tabríz, the Báb was seen by Dr. Cormick, an English
physician, the only Westerner ever to have met Him. The Reverend
Benjamin Labaree, D.D., of the American Presbyterian Mission at
Urúmíyyih, asked Dr. Cormick for the particulars of his visit. The
English physician wrote in answer:

     You ask me for some particulars of my interview with the
     founder of the sect known as Bábís. Nothing of any
     importance transpired in this interview, as the Báb 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 to put him 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 _Sayyids_, his intimate friends, were
     also present, who subsequently were put to death with
     him,[DW] besides a couple of government officials. He only
     once deigned to answer me, on my saying that I was not a
     Musulmán 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 [_Sh_]áh at that time was of a
     nature to spare his life. He was put to death some time
     after by the order of the _Amír-i-Niẓám_ Mírzá Taqí Khán.
     On our report he merely got the bastinado, in which
     operation a _farrásh_, whether intentionally or not, struck
     him 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 very thankful for my attentions to him. 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 Sayyid, he was dressed in the
     habits 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 Musulmán fanaticism does not exist in his
     religion, as applied to Christians, nor is there that
     restraint of females that now exists.[8]

    [Footnote DV: Literally, 'chief-lictor', a Roman officer who
    executed sentences on offenders.]

    [Footnote DW: This is a mistake. The two brothers, Siyyid
    Ḥasan and Siyyid Ḥusayn, were not put to death with the
    Báb, contrary to Browne's note accompanying this account.]

It must have been sometime in the first days of August 1848 that the
Báb was restored to [_Ch_]ihríq. From there, He addressed a letter to
Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí:

     O thou who hast disbelieved in God, and hast turned thy face
     away from His signs![9]

That letter, stern and unsparing, is known as the
_[_Kh_]uṭbiy-i-Qahríyyih_ (Sermon of Wrath). The Báb sent it to
Ḥujjat, who was still in Ṭihrán unable to return to his native
town, to give it in person to the Grand Vizier. Hujjat carried out the
task entrusted to him. By then Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí had fallen from
power, to end his days in obscurity in `Iráq.

Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh died on September 4th 1848.[DX] Less than a year
later, Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí followed him to the grave.

    [Footnote DX: There was a certain Ḥájí Riḍáy-i-Qásí[10]
    in [_Sh_]íráz, always ready to start a riot or head a revolt.
    The present writer recalls being told by his paternal
    grandmother that one day, at dawn, Ḥájí Qásí came
    galloping past their door, rattling a long stick (or a lance)
    in a hole in the wall, shouting: 'O house of the Siyyids, may
    you rest in safety, Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh has gone to hell.'
    She remembered that incident very well, although at the time
    she was no more than seven or eight years old.]



      Transcendent Star, past mortal ken
      The glory of your Life through all the spheres
      Bathes the unending vista of the years.
      The radiance of the Light you brought to men
      Has purified the planet's heart anew!
      Your blood was poured upon its dearth like dew,
      Ichor of God's decree, let each drop shed
      Raise up the nations, and the living dead,
      Revive the vision of the spirit's youth:
      Auroral is the fountain of your Truth.
                                    --Beatrice Irwin

The death of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh and the downfall of Ḥájí Mírzá
Áqásí were events of far-reaching consequence. The new monarch was
very young and inexperienced, while the man who now occupied the seat
left vacant by the disappearance of Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí was capable
and uncorrupted, but self-willed and headstrong. Mírzá Taqí [_Kh_]án,
the Amír-Niẓám (better known by his later title Amír-i-Kabír) had
by sheer force of his abilities raised himself from humble origins to
a position of power. His father had been a cook in the employment of
the illustrious Qá'im-Maqám. And it had been that great minister who
had first noticed high promise in the young Taqí. Although
Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh now reigned over Írán, it was Mírzá Taqí
[_Kh_]án who ruled it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Once again, within the confines of [_Ch_]ihríq, the Báb had
uninterrupted communication with His followers. Mullá Ádí Guzal, a
native of Mará[_gh_]ih (Á[_dh_]-rbáyján), acted as a courier, often
traversing vast distances on foot. Decades later `Abdu'l-Bahá recalled
a day when this indefatigable man arrived at Ṭihrán, dressed as a
dervish and much travel-stained. Vaḥíd, on learning who he was and
from whence he had come, bent low and kissed the mud-encrusted feet of
the courier, for he had been in the presence of the Beloved.

One of this courier's journeys took him to Quddús, with the gift of a
valuable pen-case and a silk turban sent by the Báb. And when Quddús
and Mullá Ḥusayn and their companions died as martyrs in
Mázindarán, the Báb chose this same faithful courier to go on
pilgrimage in His stead to the land drenched with their blood. Thus
Mullá Ádí Guzal was the first Bábí to set eyes on the scenes of that
carnage. He was also, for two months, the Báb's personal attendant in
the castle of [_Ch_]ihríq.[1]

Sulaymán [_Kh_]án, the son of Yaḥyá [_Kh_]án of Tabríz, was one of
the prominent followers of the Báb who attained His presence in this
castle, after making the journey in disguise.[DY] He had no liking for
service at court, and had gone to `Iráq, to live under the shadow of
the Shrine of Imám Ḥusayn. There he found himself attracted to the
teachings of Siyyid Káẓim and, hearing later of the advent of the
Báb, gave Him his allegiance. The news of the plight of his
fellow-believers, who were hounded and besieged in Mázindarán, drew
him back to his native land. He reached Ṭihrán dressed as a cleric.
Mírzá Taqí [_Kh_]án, however, made him discard his turban and long
cloak, and forced him to wear a military uniform. But he could not
prevail upon him to enter the service of the Government. Sulaymán
[_Kh_]án's primary purpose remained unfulfilled: to give aid to Quddús
and the Bábu'l-Báb proved impossible, but his sudden departure from
Karbilá was not to be in vain, or barren of significant result.

    [Footnote DY: The father of Sulaymán [_Kh_]án was an
    attendant of `Abbás Mírzá, and then of his son, Muḥammad

Another visitor to [_Ch_]ihríq during the closing months of the life
of the Báb was His uncle, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí. His life too was
nearing its end, to be laid down in the path of his Nephew. Two years
had passed since the day his Nephew bade him farewell in [_Sh_]íráz,
and Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí could no longer bear the pangs of
separation. He settled his accounts, closed his books and took the
road to Á[_dh_]arbáyján. Having attained his heart's desire, he wrote
to his brother, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad, to help him see the
truth of their Nephew's mission. His letter was written on the fifth
day of Jamádíu'l-Úlá--the anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb.
'On such a day,' he told his brother, 'the resplendent Light of God
shone forth.... This is the day of Resurrection ... the day to behold
the Visage of God.'[2] The One promised, expected and awaited had
indeed come, he asserted, and come with verses constituting the primal
proof of all the Manifestations of God. He desired all the members of
his family to see his letter. One cannot but marvel at the quality of
devotion and certainty that this letter reveals.

To meet, after such a long interval, the uncle who had stood _in loco
parentis_ to Him when He was orphaned, must have given the Báb intense
joy. But within a few months[DZ] of His uncle's visit, news came that
brought Him unbearable sorrow. At [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí in
Mázindarán a large number of His followers had been massacred,
including nine of His first disciples, the Letters of the Living;
amongst them were the Bábu'l-Báb who had first believed in Him, and
Quddús, His companion on the journey to Ḥijáz, the beloved disciple
whose primacy was unquestioned.

    [Footnote DZ: Towards the end of June 1849.]

According to His amanuensis:

     The Báb was heart-broken at the receipt of this unexpected
     intelligence. He was crushed with grief, a grief that
     stilled His voice and silenced His pen. For nine days He
     refused to meet any of His friends. I myself, though His
     close and constant attendant, was refused admittance.
     Whatever meat or drink we offered Him, He was disinclined to
     touch. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and
     expressions of anguish dropped unceasingly from His lips. I
     could hear Him, from behind the curtain, give vent to His
     feelings of sadness as He communed, in the privacy of His
     cell, with His Beloved. I attempted to jot down the
     effusions of His sorrow as they poured forth from His
     wounded heart. Suspecting that I was attempting to preserve
     the lamentations He uttered, He bade me destroy whatever I
     had recorded. Nothing remains of the moans and cries with
     which that heavy-laden heart sought to relieve itself of the
     pangs that had seized it. For a period of five months He
     languished, immersed in an ocean of despondency and

Conscious that His own life was fast approaching its end, the Báb put
all His Writings, His pen-case, His seals and rings in a box which He
entrusted to Mullá Báqir-i-Tabrízí, one of the Letters of the Living,
with instructions to deliver it, together with a letter, to Mírzá
Aḥmad-i-Kátib (Mullá `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní). Nabíl-i-A`ẓam writes:

     Mullá Báqir departed forthwith for Qazvín. Within eighteen
     days he reached that town and was informed that Mírzá
     Aḥmad had departed for Qum. He left immediately for that
     destination and arrived towards the middle of the month of
     [_Sh_]a`bán.[EA] I was then in Qum.... I was living in the
     same house with Mírzá Aḥmad.... In those days
     [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Aẓím, Siyyid Ismá`íl, and a number of
     other companions likewise were dwelling with us. Mullá Báqir
     delivered the trust into the hands of Mírzá Aḥmad, who,
     at the insistence of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Aẓím, opened it
     before us. We marvelled when we beheld, among the things
     which that coffer contained, a scroll of blue paper, of the
     most delicate texture, on which the Báb, in His own
     exquisite handwriting, which was a fine [_sh_]ikastih
     script, had penned, in the form of a pentacle, what numbered
     about five hundred verses, all consisting of derivatives
     from the word 'Bahá'.[EB] That scroll was in a state of
     perfect preservation, was spotlessly clean.... So fine and
     intricate was the penmanship that, viewed at a distance, the
     writing appeared as a single wash of ink on the paper. We
     were overcome with admiration as we gazed upon a masterpiece
     which no calligraphist, we believed, could rival. That
     scroll was replaced in the coffer and handed back to Mírzá
     Aḥmad, who, on the very day he received it, proceeded to
     Ṭihrán. Ere he departed, he informed us that all he could
     divulge of that letter was the injunction that the trust was
     to be delivered into the hands of Jináb-i-Bahá[EC] in

    [Footnote EA: Towards the end of June 1850.]

    [Footnote EB: There were 360 derivatives. (Browne, ed., _A
    Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 42.)]

    [Footnote EC: Bahá'u'lláh.]

It was also during the last few months of His life that the Báb
composed the Arabic _Bayán_, which, in the estimation of Nicolas, is
the epitome of the teachings of the Báb.

       *       *       *       *       *

The man who took the decision to have the Báb executed was Mírzá Taqí
[_Kh_]án, the Grand Vizier of Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh. His obdurate
nature brooked no opposition. Mírzá Áqá [_Kh_]án-i-Núrí, who had a
ministerial post, made a faint protest, but his voice went unheeded.
Orders were sent to Ḥamzih Mírzá, the Ḥi[_sh_]matu'd-Dawlih,
Governor-General of Á[_dh_]arbáyján, to bring the Báb to Tabríz. When
these were carried out further orders came from the Grand Vizier,
brought by no less a person than his brother, Mírzá Ḥasan
[_Kh_]án, the Vazír Nizám. They were to the effect that the Báb
should be executed by a firing squad, in full public view.
Ḥi[_sh_]matu'd-Dawlih refused absolutely to be associated in any
way with such a dastardly action. His response was: 'I am neither
Ibn-i-Zíyád nor Ibn-i-Sa`d[ED] that he should call upon me to slay an
innocent descendant of the Prophet of God.'[5]

    [Footnote ED: Men responsible for the tragedy of Karbilá, and
    the martyrdom of Imám Ḥusayn.]

The Grand Vizier, on being informed by Mírzá Ḥasan [_Kh_]án of this
refusal, instructed his brother to carry out the orders under his own
authority. Divested of His turban and sash which indicated His lineage,
the Báb and His attendants were taken on foot to the barracks, from the
house which the Governor had put at their disposal. On the way to the
citadel, a youth, barefoot and dishevelled, threw himself at the feet of
the Báb, beseeching Him: 'Send me not from Thee, O Master. Wherever Thou
goest, suffer me to follow Thee.' To this the Báb replied:
'Muḥammad-`Alí, arise, and rest assured that you will be with Me.
Tomorrow you shall witness what God has decreed.'[6]

This youth, Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Zunúzí, had long been devoted to the
Báb, but his stepfather[EE] had used every subterfuge to prevent him
from meeting the Báb and voicing his allegiance, even going to the
length of locking him up in his own house. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí
was related to the family, and thus had access to Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí.
Visiting him one day, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan found the youth transformed,
no longer wretched and bemoaning his fate, but happy and at peace. 'The
eyes of my Beloved,' he told [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan, 'have beheld this
face, and these eyes have gazed upon His countenance.' He then recounted
an experience he had had:

     Let me tell you the secret of my happiness. After the Báb
     had been taken back to [_Ch_]ihríq,[EF] 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 Báb, 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 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

    [Footnote EE: Siyyid `Alíy-i-Zunúzí.]

    [Footnote EF: Following his examination in the summer of

Now, two years later, in a thoroughfare of Tabríz, Mírzá
Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Zunúzí received the same promise and assurance
from the Báb.

That night the Báb was joyous. He knew that on the following day He
would quaff the cup of martyrdom. He also knew that His Mission on
this earth was totally accomplished, despite fierce opposition mounted
by the divines and rulers of the land, and despite the tyrannies and
indignities to which He had been mercilessly subjected. No power had
succeeded in quenching the flame of faith which His Word had set
ablaze. He had knowingly sacrificed His life for the sake of the
Redeemer promised unto all Faiths. The near advent of 'Him Whom God
shall make manifest' (Man-Yuẓhiruhu'lláh) had been His constant
theme. He had made the acceptance of His own Book--the mighty
_Bayán_--dependent upon the good pleasure of 'Him Whom God shall make
manifest', Whom He had addressed in the early days of His Ministry:

     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.[8]

And now on this night--His last on earth--He was happy and contented. He
told the faithful disciples who were with Him that He preferred to meet
His death at the hand of a friend rather than at the hands of enemies,
and invited them to fulfil His wish. Among those men who so dearly loved
Him, only Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí dared to undertake that fearsome task, but
his companions restrained him. 'This same youth who has risen to comply
with My wish,' the Báb said, 'will, together with Me, suffer martyrdom.
Him will I choose to share with Me its crown.' And He added: 'Verily
Muḥammad-`Alí will be with Us in Paradise.'[9]

Jesus was crucified with two criminals, and St. Luke tells us:

     And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him,
     saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

     But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou
     fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

     And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our
     deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

     And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest
     into thy kingdom.

     And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day
     shalt thou be with me in paradise.[EG]

    [Footnote EG: xxiii, 39-43.]

In the morning they took the Báb to the homes of the leading divines:
Mullá Muḥammad-i-Mámaqání, Mullá Murtiḍá-Qulíy-i-Marandí and
Mírzá Báqir, to obtain the death-warrants. These men needed no
inducement: they had the warrants written, signed and sealed, ready
to deliver to the farrá[_sh_]-bá[_sh_]í, and did not even deign to
show their faces to the Prisoner.

Again we are reminded of St. Luke:

     And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote _him_.

     And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the
     face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote

     And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.

     And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the
     chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him
     into their council, saying,

     Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I
     tell you, ye will not believe:

     And if I also ask _you_, ye will not answer me, nor let _me_

     Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the
     power of God.

     Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he
     said unto them, Ye say that I am.

     And they said, What need we any further witness? for we
     ourselves have heard of his own mouth.[EH]

    [Footnote EH: xxii, 63-71.]

The stepfather of Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí now made an attempt to save
him. Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí and his brother, at the instructions of
the Báb Himself, had recanted so that they could take to the followers
of the Báb His last words and wishes. Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí refused
all blandishments, declared his desire to die with his Master, and
told Mullá Muḥammad-i-Mámaqání to his face: 'I am not mad. Such a
charge should rather be brought against you who have sentenced to
death a man no less holy than the promised Qá'im. He is not a fool who
has embraced His Faith and is longing to shed his blood in His
path.'[10] His young child was brought to him. They thought that,
perchance, the sight of the boy might soften his heart. But Mírzá
Muḥammad-`Alí's resolve remained unshaken. God would provide for
his child and protect him.

So at noon they led the Báb and His disciple to the square in front of
the citadel of Tabríz. Sám [_Kh_]án, the commander of the Armenian
regiment detailed to execute them, was ill at ease. The Prisoner looked
kind and compassionate. For what crime was He to be put to death? Unable
to still the voice of his conscience, Sám [_Kh_]án approached the Báb:
'I profess the Christian Faith and entertain no ill will against you. If
your Cause be the Cause of Truth, enable me to free myself from the
obligation to shed your blood.' To this the Báb replied: 'Follow your
instructions, and if your intention be sincere, the Almighty is surely
able to relieve you from your perplexity.'[11]

The Báb and His disciple were suspended by ropes from a nail in the
wall, the head of Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí resting on the breast of the
Báb. Seven hundred and fifty soldiers were positioned in three files.
Roofs of the buildings around teemed with spectators.

Each row of soldiers fired in turn. The smoke from so many rifles
clouded the scene. When it lifted the Báb was not there. Only His
disciple could be seen, standing under the nail in the wall, smiling
and unconcerned. Bullets had only severed the ropes with which they
were suspended. Cries rang out from the onlookers: 'The Siyyid-i-Báb
has gone from our sight!'

A frantic search followed. The Báb was found, sitting in the same room
where He had been lodged the night before, in conversation with His
amanuensis. That conversation had been interrupted earlier in the day.
Now it was finished and He told the farrá[_sh_]-bá[_sh_]í to carry out
his duty. But the farrá[_sh_]-bá[_sh_]í was terror-stricken and ran
away, nor did he ever return to his post. Sám [_Kh_]án, for his part,
told his superiors that he had carried out the task given to him; he
would not attempt it a second time. So Áqá Ján [_Kh_]án-i-[_Kh_]amsih
and his Náṣirí regiment replaced the Armenians, and the Báb and His
disciple were suspended once again at the same spot.

Now the Báb addressed the multitude gathered to see Him die:

     Had you believed in Me, O wayward generation, every one of
     you would have followed the example of this youth, who stood
     in rank above most of you, and willingly would have
     sacrificed himself in My path. The day will come when you
     will have recognised Me; that day I shall have ceased to be
     with you.[12]

And St. Luke relates:

     And there followed him a great company of people, and of
     women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

     But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem,
     weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your

     For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall
     say, Blessed _are_ the barren, and the wombs that never
     bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

     Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us;
     and to the hills, Cover us.[EI]

    [Footnote EI: xxiii, 27-30.]

The Náṣirí regiment fired. The bodies of the Báb and His disciple
were shattered, and their flesh was united. But the face of the Báb
was untouched. Then a storm descended upon Tabríz. Tempestuous winds
blew and dust darkened the skies, and the skies remained dark, until
the darkness of the day merged into the darkness of the night.

     And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness
     over all the earth until the ninth hour.

     And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was
     rent in the midst.

     And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father,
     into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he
     gave up the ghost.[EJ]

    [Footnote EJ: Luke xxiii, 44-6.]

Thus at noon, one midsummer day--Sunday July 9th 1850[EK]--they put to
death a Manifestation of God, just as at noon, centuries before,
another Manifestation of God was slain.

    [Footnote EK: [_Sh_]a`bán 28th, 1266 A.H.]

When night fell, they dragged the bodies through the streets of
Tabríz, and threw them on the edge of the moat surrounding the city.
Soldiers were stationed there to guard over them, lest the Bábís
attempt to retrieve the precious remains. Not far away, two Bábís,
feigning madness, kept vigil throughout the night.

Next morning the Russian Consul took an artist with him to make a
drawing of the remains of the Báb.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sulaymán [_Kh_]án, that loyal disciple who attained the presence of
the Báb in [_Ch_]ihríq, reached Tabríz the day after His martyrdom. He
had intended to rescue his Master. But that was not to be. Now, he
went straightway to Ḥájí Mírzá Mihdí [_Kh_]án, the Kalántar (Mayor)
of Tabríz, who was a friend of long standing, and told him that he had
decided to dare everything that very night and carry the bodies away
by a surprise attack on the soldiers guarding them on the edge of the
moat. The Kalántar told Sulaymán [_Kh_]án to withdraw for the moment
and assured him that there was a much safer and more reliable way to
achieve his purpose.

There was in Tabríz a certain Ḥájí Alláh-Yár, a confidant of the
Kalántar, well-known for his exploits. Instructed by the Kalántar,
Ḥájí Alláh-Yár used such means as he knew best to take the bodies
away from under the eyes of the soldiers. He delivered the remains to
Sulaymán [_Kh_]án, who had them moved to the silk factory of Ḥájí
Aḥmad, a Bábí of Mílán. There they were enshrouded and hidden under
the bales of silk. Next day a casket was made to contain them, and
they were sent away to safety. Ḥájí Alláh-Yár refused to accept any
reward for his service.[13]

Soldiers reported the disappearance of the bodies. Wild beasts had
devoured the remains, they alleged, while they slept. And the divines
gave credence to that story and shouted for joy. What better proof
could there be to show how false the Siyyid-i-Báb was? Beasts do not,
cannot consume the remains of the Imám.[EL]

    [Footnote EL: See Appendix 2 for extracts from British
    official documents which report the execution and the
    disposition of the bodies.]



      Knowest thou what the seekers of life should seek?
      Death--and submitting cast their lives at the
              Beloved's feet.
      He who towards Ka`bah his steps directs
      Should not heed the wounding thorn in deserts forlorn.
                                  --`Azízu'lláh Miṣbáḥ

The Báb appeared in a country renowned for a glorious and envied past;
but since the beginning of the nineteenth century Írán had declined
rapidly. The structure of the State had begun to falter under the
Ṣafavid dynasty (1501-1732), enjoying only a brief revival in the
next two reigns.[EM] But by the middle of the nineteenth century,
Persia was materially impoverished, intellectually stagnant,
spiritually moribund. The condition of the peasantry was appalling.
Corruption had eaten deep into the vitals of the nation and oppression
and tyranny were widespread. It is said that every man has his price;
the adage was particularly true of the Persians of the mid-nineteenth
century. Offices of State and governorships were shamelessly bought
and sold. Taxes and customs revenues were farmed. Bribery, peculation
and extortion were legitimized under the respectable name of
Madá[_kh_]il (Perquisites). Historic cities and buildings were falling
into ruin. Many a traveller has remarked on the magnificent aspect of
famous cities, towns and villages when seen from afar, with their
domes and minarets, citadels and gateways, groves and orchards; but
how miserable and dilapidated they were found to be when one entered
them. The toll of disease and neglect and insecurity had reduced the
population of a country with an area the size of Western Europe to
well below ten million.

    [Footnote EM: Af[_sh_]árid Nádir [_Sh_]áh (1736-47) and the
    Zand ruler, Karím [_Kh_]án (1750-79).]

The burden of a semi-feudal state was indeed onerous, and no less so was
the burden of the dominance established by the divines. Certainly, they
had in their ranks men of the calibre and quality of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Aḥmad-i-Aḥsá'í, Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, Ḥájí Siyyid
Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Ra[_sh_]tí[EN] and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Murtiḍáy-i-Anṣárí,
men who had high regard for truth and righteousness; just as there were
in the service of the State men of enlightened vision and shining
integrity. But collectively the divines abused the power they had
obtained with the advent of the Ṣafavid dynasty.

    [Footnote EN: Known both as Ra[_sh_]tí and [_Sh_]aftí.]

The fall of a nation from the pinnacle of achievement is more marked
than the decline from lesser heights.

The Call to a New Day

The Call of the Báb was a call to awakening, a claim that a New Day had
dawned. But the magnitude of this claim was not easily realized; one of
the first to do so was Qurratu'l-`Ayn. When Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí was
condemned and imprisoned in Ba[_gh_]dád, she was still at Karbilá.
Because of complaints by the [_Sh_]í`ah divines, the Government sent her
back to Ba[_gh_]dád, where she lodged in the house of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Muḥammad [_Sh_]ibl, the father of Áqá Muḥammad Muṣṭafáy-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí,
until the Government moved her to the house of the Muftí of
Ba[_gh_]dád.[EO] So outspoken was she in her public statements that some
of her fellow-believers from Káẓimayn were alarmed and, according to Áqá
Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá, agitated against her. Siyyid `Alí Bi[_sh_]r, the most
learned of them, wrote a letter on their behalf to the Báb, which
Nawrúz-`Alí, once an attendant of Siyyid Káẓim, took to Him in Máh-Kú,
returning with His answer which rang with high praise of Qurratu'l-`Ayn.
It caused Siyyid `Alí Bi[_sh_]r and his party from Káẓimayn[EP] to
withdraw from the Faith they had previously espoused with enthusiasm.
The Báb described Qurratu'l-`Ayn, in that Epistle, as Ṭáhirih, the Pure,
and Ṣiddíqih, the Truthful, and laid an injunction on His followers in
`Iráq to accept without question whatever she might pronounce, for they
were not in a position to understand and appreciate her station. By this
time a large number of Bábís had assembled in Ba[_gh_]dád, and
Qurratu'l-`Ayn was constantly and openly teaching the Faith. She had
received a copy of the _Commentary on the Súrih of Kaw[_th_]ar_, which
the Báb had revealed for Vaḥíd, and she made full use of it, driving the
opposing divines to desperation. When she threw down a challenge to them
to debate the issue with her, their only reply was vehement

    [Footnote EO: In a book which the Muftí, Maḥmúd al-Álúsí,
    wrote, he spoke of Qurratu'l-`Ayn with great admiration.]

    [Footnote EP: These included Siyyid Ṭáhá and Siyyid

Najíb Pá[_sh_]á was still at his post as Válí of Ba[_gh_]dád, but he was
now a chastened man. Moreover, the opponents of Qurratu'l-`Ayn were the
[_Sh_]í`ah divines and Najíb Pá[_sh_]á, being a Sunní, would take no
action to please them, but he reported to the Sublime Porte that
Qurratu'l-`Ayn had challenged them. The authorities in Constantinople
were also not prepared to give comfort to [_Sh_]í`ahs by making a martyr
of Qurratu'l-`Ayn. At the same time they had no wish to champion her
cause. They told Najíb Pá[_sh_]á that, as Qurratu'l-`Ayn was Persian,
she should confine her challenge to the divines of her native land; she
should be sent to Persia.[EQ] So Qurratu'l-`Ayn (or Ṭáhirih as we shall
call her), accompanied by a number of ardent and prominent Bábís,[1]
quitted Ba[_gh_]dád and was escorted to the frontier by Muḥammad Áqá
Yávar, an officer in the service of Najíb Pá[_sh_]á, who became
attracted to the Cause she was advocating.

    [Footnote EQ: Yet only two years before they had refused to
    hand over Mullá `Alí to the Persian Government, that he might
    reach safety.]

Various eventful stops were made by Ṭáhirih and her companions in
their journey across Persia to Qazvín. In the small town of Kirand,
her eloquence and the clarity of her disquisition so impressed the
chiefs of that area that they offered to place twelve thousand men
under her command, to follow her wherever she went. The great majority
(if not all) of the inhabitants of Kirand and its neighbourhood were
`Alíyu'lláhís. Ṭáhirih gave them her blessing, told them to keep to
their homes, and moved on to Kirmán[_sh_]áh. The challenge she
presented to Áqá `Abdu'lláh-i-Bihbihání, the leading divine of that
town, thoroughly discomfited him. With the populace clamouring for a
positive answer, and the Governor treating Ṭáhirih with great
respect, the cornered divine sought to free himself from his
dilemma by writing to her father in Qazvín, asking him to send
some of his close relatives to remove her from Kirmán[_sh_]áh. Áqá
Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá, himself an eye-witness, vividly describes
how four men came from Qazvín, joined forces with a Qazvíní officer
stationed in Kirmán[_sh_]áh, invaded the house where Ṭáhirih's
companions resided, and beat and robbed them of all they possessed.
When the Governor learned what had happened, he ordered the arrest of
the culprits and restored to the Bábís their property. It was soon
known that Áqá `Abdu'lláh had conspired to bring about this situation.

From Kirmán[_sh_]áh, Ṭáhirih and her companions moved on to fresh scenes
of triumph in the small town of Ṣaḥnih, before reaching Hamadán. Here
her brothers arrived from Qazvín to beg her to return with them to their
native place. She agreed on condition that she should stay in Hamadán
long enough to make the public cognizant of the Faith of the Báb. During
her days in Hamadán, she issued a challenge to Ra'ísu'l-`Ulamá, the
leading divine of the city, whose response was to have the bearer of her
treatise, Mullá Ibráhím-i-Maḥallátí, himself a distinguished divine,
beaten and thrown out of his house. Mullá Ibráhím lingered between life
and death for some days, and although he recovered, his martyrdom was
not far off. This reverse was outweighed by Ṭáhirih's success in
converting two ladies of the Royal Family, married to scions of the
aristocracy of Hamadán, and even more significant were her talks with
two of the most learned Jewish rabbis,[ER] which led to attracting
members of the Jewish Faith to the Bábí fold.[ES] Hamadán, flourishing
on the site of ancient Ecbatana, is the city where the tombs of Esther
and Mordecai are situated.

    [Footnote ER: Mullá Ilyáhú and Mullá Lálizár.]

    [Footnote ES: The first Jewish Bahá'í was Ḥakím Masíḥ,
    a doctor (later to become court physician to Muhammad
    [_Sh_]áh) who met Ṭáhirih in Ba[_gh_]dád, and was deeply
    impressed by her eloquence and masterly exposition. Years
    later, while attending his son, he met Mullá
    Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas, a survivor of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí,
    to whom Bahá'u'lláh had given the designation of
    Ismu'lláhu'l-Aṣdaq (the Name of God, the Most Truthful).
    This encounter led Ḥakím Masíḥ to embrace the Bahá'í
    Faith. He was the grandfather of Dr. Luṭfu'lláh Ḥakím.
    (See Balyuzi, _`Abdu'l-Bahá_, p. 78n.)]

As promised, Ṭáhirih then left for Qazvín in the company of her
brothers. Before departing, she asked most of the Arab Bábís, who were
with her, to return to `Iráq. Only a few stayed behind, to join her
later in Qazvín, but within a month she requested all of her
fellow-believers, Arab and Persian alike, who had travelled with her,
to leave her native town. Of the large company who had come from
`Iráq, attending and supporting her, only Mullá Ibráhím-i-Maḥallátí
and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṣáliḥ-al-Karímí remained with her in Qazvín.

Three of the others[ET] went on to Ṭihrán, where they met the
Bábu'l-Báb. In April 1890, Edward Granville Browne, returning from
`Akká, met one of them, Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá, in Beirut and
inquired about that meeting and the appearance of Mullá Ḥusayn. He
learned that the Bábu'l-Báb was

     Lean and fragile to look at, but keen and bright as the
     sword which never left his side.[EU] For the rest, he was
     not more than thirty or thirty-five years old, and his
     raiment was white.[2]

    [Footnote ET: They were [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad [_Sh_]ibl
    and his son, Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá, and
    [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Sulṭán-i-Karbilá'í.]

    [Footnote EU: Mullá Ḥusayn's sword is in the International
    Archives of the Bahá'í Faith.]

At Qazvín, Ṭáhirih refused to be reunited with her husband and went
to her father's house. Her impetuous uncle, Ḥájí Mullá Taqí, felt
greatly insulted and his wrath knew no bounds. His denunciation of
those whom he considered to be responsible for his daughter-in-law's
waywardness became fiercer than ever before. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad
and Siyyid Káẓim were the particular targets of his vilification.
Then, one morning at dawn, he was found in the mosque, fatally
stabbed. Immediately the Bábís were accused of his murder, and even
Ṭáhirih was considered guilty, was kept under close watch, and her
life was in danger. Although a [_Sh_]írází[3] confessed that he had
slain Ḥájí Mullá Taqí because of his rabid animosity towards
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad and Siyyid Káẓim, three Bábís, totally
innocent of the crime, were put to death--[_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Ṣáliḥ-al-Karímí in Ṭihrán, and Mullá Ibráhím-i-Maḥallatí
and Mullá Ṭáhir in Qazvín. These three were the first martyrs of
the Bábí Faith in Persia itself, and their deaths constituted the
first public execution of Bábís.[EV] Ḥájí Asadu'lláh, a well-known
merchant of the Farhádí family, was also martyred, while in prison, by
partisans of Ṭáhirih's husband, the Imám-Jum`ih of Qazvín, and a
report was circulated that he had died from natural causes.

    [Footnote EV: It is of interest that [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
    Ṣáliḥ, martyred in Persia, was a native of `Iráq, while
    the first martyr of the Bábí Faith, Mullá `Alíy-i-Basṭámí,
    was a Persian who met his death in `Iráq.]

Ṭáhirih was now totally isolated. Bahá'u'lláh gave the task of rescuing
her to Mírzá Hádí, the nephew of the martyred Ḥájí Asadu'lláh. This
young man, who had left Qazvín at the outset of agitation against the
Bábís, returned at the risk of his life and successfully carried out his
mission. Ṭáhirih reached Ṭihrán in safety. Thus it was that she could be
at the conference of Bada[_sh_]t, where she rendered her most signal
service to the Faith of the Báb.

The Conference of Bada[_sh_]t

The gathering of the Bábís at Bada[_sh_]t coincided with the removal of
the Báb, from the castle of [_Ch_]ihríq to Tabríz, for His public
examination. Contrary to certain allegations, the Bábís did not
congregate in Bada[_sh_]t to concert plans to rescue Him. They came
there, guided by Bahá'u'lláh, to settle a vital and cardinal issue: was
this persuasion of theirs just an offshoot of Islám, or was it an
independent Faith? Until then no public claim had been made that the
Báb, as the Qá'im of the House of Muḥammad, was an Inaugurator of a new
theophany. Strange it seems, in perspective, that about the time when a
decision was being reached in a tiny hamlet on the edge of [_Kh_]urásán,
hundreds of miles away in the city of Tabríz, the Báb was announcing His
station before a tribunal summoned to question Him.[EW]

    [Footnote EW: The station of the Báb is discussed and defined
    by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, in _The
    Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh_, reprinted in the collection of
    his writings entitled _The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh_, to
    which the reader is referred.]

`Abdu'l-Bahá states that Bahá'u'lláh and Quddús had agreed that the
time had come to declare the advent of a new Dispensation.[4] However,
there were faint hearts in the Bábí ranks, as events were to prove.
Ṭáhirih had met opposition from fellow-Bábís because she had always
been bold enough to assert that this was indeed a new day. Any
announcement at Bada[_sh_]t would have to be emphatic and unhedged, to
make a persuasive impact. And this it was, in a most dramatic way.

Bahá'u'lláh had rented three gardens in Bada[_sh_]t: Quddús lived in
one, Ṭáhirih in the second, and Bahá'u'lláh had a tent pitched in
the third. Other Bábís, among whom were a number of the Letters of the
Living such as Mírzá Muḥammad-`Alí, the brother-in-law of
Ṭáhirih, and Mullá Báqir-i-Tabrízí, lived under tents in the
grounds facing the three gardens.[EX]

    [Footnote EX: Mullá Ḥusayn was prevented from reaching

During the three weeks of the conference, argument and
counter-argument were put forward, and differences of view and
approach arose between Quddús and Ṭáhirih. At last it was
Ṭáhirih's unheard-of gesture, courageous beyond belief and
description, followed by Bahá'u'lláh's decisive intervention, which
made clear to all that a new Dispensation had begun. Ṭáhirih's
brave act was to cast aside her veil. Men were shaken to the depths of
their being to see her thus. Some fled with horror from the scene.
One, in desperation, tried to cut his throat. When the uproar
subsided, Bahá'u'lláh called for a copy of the Qur'án and directed a
reciter to read the fifty-sixth súrih, 'al-Wáqi`a':[EY]

     When the inevitable day of judgment shall suddenly come, no
     soul shall charge the prediction of its coming with
     falsehood: it will abase some, and exalt others. When the
     earth shall be shaken with a violent shock; and the
     mountains shall be dashed in pieces, and shall become as
     dust scattered abroad; and ye shall be separated into three
     distinct classes: the companions of the right hand (how
     happy shall the companions of the right hand be!), and the
     companions of the left hand (how miserable shall the
     companions of the left hand be!), and those who have
     preceded others in the faith shall precede them to paradise.
     These are they who shall approach near unto God: they shall
     dwell in gardens of delight.

    [Footnote EY: Literally, 'The Event'; Professor Arberry has
    translated it as 'Terror' and George Sale as 'The
    Inevitable'. The present writer prefers in this instance
    Sale's rendering of the whole súrih to Arberry's; verses 1-12
    are quoted. The incident is taken from `Abdu'l-Bahá, _The
    Memorials of The Faithful_, p. 201, and Cheyne, _The
    Reconciliation of Races and Religions_, pp. 101-3.]

At Bada[_sh_]t the faint-hearted fell away. And when those who had
remained steadfast left the hamlet it was to go out into a world, for
them, greatly changed. That change was in a sense a reflection of the
transformation they had experienced. They were determined to assert
their freedom from the fetters of the past. In a country tightly
wedded to blind, rigid orthodoxy, the deportment of the Bábís would
arouse bitter hostility. There were Bábís, undoubtedly, who in their
newly-found consciousness of emancipation, committed repellent
excesses, and they deserved rejection by their fellow-countrymen. But
for the majority, the animosity now directed against them created a
situation which was new, and in turn required counter-measures to
ensure their very existence. The opposition they had met in the past
was sporadic, and not nation-wide, depending on the character,
influence and power of the leaders, directors and instigators of such
opposition, in any particular locality. The open welcome which the Bab
had received when He reached Iṣfahán, following the barbaric
treatment He had suffered at the hands of the Governor-General and the
divines of Fárs; the enthusiasm and eagerness with which the people
had, at first, greeted Him both in Tabríz and Urúmíyyih; the friendly
reception which Quddús had found in Kirmán, after being humiliated in
[_Sh_]íráz; the reverence shown conspicuously to Ṭáhirih in Kirand
and Kirmán[_sh_]áh; the respect and kindly attention accorded
to the Bábu'l-Báb by Ḥamzih Mírzá, the Governor-General of
[_Kh_]urásán[EZ]--all were to become only memories, sadly lacking
counterparts in the era whose opening was marked by the Báb's public
declaration of His station as the promised Qá'im during His
examination at Tabríz, the echoing affirmation of the dawning of a new
and independent religious Dispensation at the conference of
Bada[_sh_]t, and by the death of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh.

    [Footnote EZ: Also known as Ḥi[_sh_]matu'd-Dawlih, the
    brother of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, who, at a later date, was
    the Governor-General of Á[_dh_]arbáyján, and refused to
    superintend the execution of the Bab.]

Hardly had the conference of Bada[_sh_]t ended when the people of the
village of Níyálá attacked the Bábís. Nabíl-i-A`ẓam heard the story
from Bahá'u'lláh Himself:

     We were all gathered in the village of Níyálá 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 Quddús 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 Níyálá except Ṭáhirih and a young man
     from [_Sh_]íráz, Mírzá `Abdu'lláh. The violence with which
     we were assailed had brought desolation into our camp. I
     found no one into whose custody I could deliver Ṭáhirih
     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

The Episode of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí

It was mid-July 1848 when the Bábís were scattered by the assault of
the villagers of Níyálá. They took different routes, but many of them
came together again. Bahá'u'lláh travelled to Núr, His home in
Mázindarán. Quddús was arrested and taken to the town of Sárí, also in
Mázindarán, where he was lodged, under restraint, in the home of Mírzá
Muḥammad-Taqí, the leading divine. Ṭáhirih also went to the same
province, and she too was arrested. Later, she was sent to the capital
and was given into the charge of Maḥmúd [_Kh_]án, the Kalántar
(Mayor) of Ṭihrán, who detained her until the hour of her martyrdom
in August 1852.

Mullá Ḥusayn, whose visit to the camp of Ḥamzih Mírzá had
prevented him from attending the conference of Bada[_sh_]t, had in the
meantime returned to Ma[_sh_]had, and intended to go to Karbilá. But
an emissary of the Báb overtook him with an urgent message. The Báb
had conferred on him the name of Siyyid `Alí, had sent him a green
turban of His own to wear, and had instructed him to go to the aid of
Quddús with the Black Standard unfurled before him--the Standard of
which the Prophet Muḥammad had said:

     Should your eyes behold the Black Standards proceeding from
     [_Kh_]urásán, hasten ye towards them, even though ye should
     have to crawl over the snow, inasmuch as they proclaim the
     advent of the promised Mihdí, the Vicegerent of God.[6]

Mullá Ḥusayn began his long march to Mázindarán to rescue Quddús,
accompanied by many of the Bábís who had scattered after the incident
in Níyálá, and some of the newly-converted who ranged themselves
behind the Black Standard. Their numbers, on that journey, swelled
into hundreds. On their way they raised the call of the New Day,
finding eager supporters, but also such venomous hostility that they
could not take residence in any town or village. Yet they did not
intend to engage in combat with anyone, let alone the forces of the
State. They were only demonstrating their belief and their vision.

As they approached Bárfurú[_sh_], its leading divine, Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá,
was so vituperative in denouncing Mullá Ḥusayn that the whole town
rose up to oppose the Bábís. Clashes and casualties were inevitable.
Mullá Ḥusayn himself, in the fray, cut through the trunk of a tree
and the barrel of a gun, in one stroke of his sword, to fell an
adversary.[FA] The people of Bárfurú[_sh_] were worsted and asked for
a truce, and because of their unrest, their leaders begged
Mullá Ḥusayn to leave on the morrow for Ámul. `Abbás-Qulí
[_Kh_]án-i-Láríjání, whom Nicolas names as 'the chief military
personage of the province,'[7] gave Mullá Ḥusayn a solemn promise,
fortified by an oath on the Qur'án, that [_Kh_]usraw-i-Qádí-Kalá'í and
his horsemen would escort the Bábís to safety through the forests.
This military chief impressed on [_Kh_]usraw the need to do his duty
by Mullá Ḥusayn, and to show him respect and consideration. But
Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá corrupted [_Kh_]usraw by telling him that he
personally would accept responsibility before God and man for any
injury, or even death, that might be inflicted on the Bábís. Once in
the depths of the forest, [_Kh_]usraw and his hundred men
treacherously attacked the Bábís. He received his desert at the hands
of a man[FB] of learning, not a hardened trooper, who at the first
opportunity stabbed and killed [_Kh_]usraw with a dagger.

    [Footnote FA: The fame of this feat spread far and wide.
    Later, when the Grand Vizier reprimanded Prince Mihdí-Qulí
    Mírzá, commander of an army sent against the defenders of
    [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, because he had fled before them,
    the Prince sent him pieces of the musket-barrel smashed by
    the sword of Mullá Ḥusayn, with this message: 'Such is the
    contemptible strength of an adversary who, with a single
    stroke of his sword, has shattered into six pieces the tree,
    the musket, and its holder.'[8]]

    [Footnote FB: Mírzá Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Juvayní.]

The Grand Vizier was particularly irked and infuriated that the Bábís
could defeat and put to flight his force, although, for the most part,
they were untrained in the arts of war. True, one could find in their
ranks men such as Riḍá [_Kh_]án-i-Turkamán,[FC] an accomplished
young courtier, whose father was the Master of the Horse in the royal
establishment. But these were exceptions. The vast majority were
artisans, small traders, merchants, students of theology, divines.

    [Footnote FC: A martyr of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí.]

[_Kh_]usraw's treachery and death, and raids by hostile villagers on
the exposed flanks of the Bábí camp, forced Mullá Ḥusayn to
seek a place where the Bábís could be safely lodged. Arriving
on October 12th 1848 at the shrine of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad
ibn-i-Abí-Ṭálib-i-Ṭabarsí, about fourteen miles south-east of
Bárfurú[_sh_], he gave orders for the construction of a fortress round
the shrine, under the supervision of the builder of the Bábíyyih in
Ma[_sh_]had (see p. 56). They were harassed at every stage by
neighbouring villagers and had often to defend themselves. No sooner
was their work finished than they received a visit from Bahá'u'lláh,
who advised Mullá Ḥusayn to seek the release of Quddús, that he
might be with them. This mission was soon accomplished and, towards
the end of that year, Quddús joined them in the newly-built fortress,
to be acknowledged by Mullá Ḥusayn as above him in rank.

On January 30th 1849, Lt.-Col. Farrant, then chargé d'affaires in
Ṭihrán, reported to Lord Palmerston that some five hundred persons,
'disciples of a Fanatic, who calls himself the door, or gate of the
true Mahomedan Religion', had assembled in Mázindarán, that fighting
had broken out, and that `Abbás-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Láríjání had been
ordered to proceed to that province and arrest the leaders.[9]

The Bábís would gladly have lived peacefully within the four walls
they had erected around the shrine of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí. But
the continuous clamouring of the divines, led by Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá of
Bárfurú[_sh_], and the despotic, obstinate and haughty nature of the
Grand Vizier, combined to deny them peace and security. One army after
another was sent to reduce them. In sorties from their fortress they
inflicted heavy losses on the besieging forces, causing commanders to
flee for their lives. Some of the commanders[FD] died on the
battlefield, while Quddús, during one of the sorties, received a
bullet wound in his mouth.

    [Footnote FD: Such as `Abdu'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Turkamán and
    Ḥabíbu'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Af[_gh_]án.]

Bahá'u'lláh, accompanied by His brother Mírzá Yaḥyá, with Ḥájí
Mírzá Jání of Ká[_sh_]án, and Mullá Báqir of Tabríz (one of the
Letters of the Living), set out from Ṭihrán to join the defenders
of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, but they were intercepted and taken to
Ámul. Bahá'u'lláh offered to bear the punishment intended for the
others, and was bastinadoed.

At dawn of February 2nd 1849, Mullá Ḥusayn led his last sortie.
`Abbás-Qulí [_Kh_]án, in joint command of the Government forces, had
climbed a tree and, picking out the figure of Mullá Ḥusayn on
horseback, shot him in the chest. He did not know whom he had mortally
wounded, until a timorous siyyid from Qum[FE] turned traitor and
informed him. Mullá Ḥusayn was carried by his companions to
the fort, where he died and was buried inside the shrine. He
was thirty-five years old. Bahá'u'lláh wrote of him in the
_Kitáb-i-Íqán--The Book of Certitude_:--'But for him, God would not
have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the
throne of eternal glory.'[10]

    [Footnote FE: Mírzá Ḥusayn-i-Mutavallí.]

Now Mírzá Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Qá'iní replaced Mullá Ḥusayn in
leading the companions. But the end could not be far off. Of the three
hundred and thirteen defenders of the fortress, a number had died,
many were wounded, and a few wavered in their resolve. The pressure of
the forces arrayed against them increased. Cannon were levelled at
them. Food became scarce and they ate grass, leaves of trees, the skin
and ground bone of their slaughtered horses, the boiled leather of
their saddles. `Abdu'l-Bahá speaks of their sufferings in the
_Memorials of the Faithful_:

     For eighteen days they remained without food. They lived on
     the leather of their shoes. This too was soon consumed, and
     they had nothing left but water. They drank a mouthful every
     morning, and lay famished and exhausted in their fort. When
     attacked, however, they would instantly spring to their
     feet, and manifest in the face of the enemy a magnificent
     courage and astonishing resistance.... Under such
     circumstances to maintain an unwavering faith and patience
     is extremely difficult, and to endure such dire afflictions
     a rare phenomenon.[11]

The end came not through abject surrender, but through the perfidy of
the foe. Prince Mihdí-Qulí Mírzá, brother of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, took a
solemn oath on the Qur'án that their lives and property would be
inviolate should they come out of the fortress and disperse in peace. A
horse was sent for Quddús to take him to the camp of the Prince. But
once the companions had been lured out of the fortress, the oath was
conveniently forgotten. The Bábís were massacred, the fortress was
pillaged and razed to the ground. Hideous outrages were committed upon
the corpses of the slain, and a vast area of the forest was strewn with
their remains: disembowelled, hacked to pieces, burned. Survivors were
few. No more than three or four were kept to be heavily ransomed. A few
who were left for dead recovered. Still a few others were sold into
slavery and eventually found their way back to the company of their
fellow-believers. All the dead were Persians except two Arabs of
Ba[_gh_]dád who had come out with Ṭáhirih from `Iráq.[12]

Quddús was taken to Bárfurú[_sh_], his native town, where
Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá, his pitiless foe, awaited him. Prince Mihdí-Qulí
Mírzá, oblivious to his pledge, forsook Quddús and gave him into the
hands of that bloodthirsty priest. Imprecations were heaped upon the
head of the captive. He was made to suffer refined tortures and
searing agonies which an insanely jealous adversary had devised for
him. At the height of his torments he was heard to say:

     Forgive, O my God, the trespasses of this people. Deal with
     them in Thy mercy, for they know not what we already have
     discovered and cherish.[13]

In the public square of Bárfurú[_sh_] (the Sabzih-Maydán),
Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá struck Quddús down with an axe, and any instrument which
a frenzied mob could lay its hands on was used to tear his flesh and
dismember him. Then they threw his shattered, mutilated body onto a
blazing fire lit in the square. That night, when all were gone, Ḥájí
Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Ḥamzih, a divine, humane and compassionate, universally
acclaimed for his integrity, collected from the dying embers what
remained of the body of the martyr, and reverently buried it.

The martyrdom of Quddús took place in the month of May 1849, seven
months after his fellow-Bábís had first taken refuge in the fort of
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí.[14] It marked the end of an episode which
had begun, eleven months before, with the raising of the Black
Standard on the plain of [_Kh_]urásán; during which deeds of
incredible heroism by some three hundred Bábís had stunned and
humiliated opposition forces vastly outnumbering them; which had
witnessed the deaths of half the Letters of the Living, including the
first, the Bábu'l-Báb, and Quddús, the last and greatest; and which
closed with acts of treachery and atrocious cruelty. Words which
Quddús spoke during their occupation of the fort are a fitting
commentary upon the spirit of those who defended it:

     Never ... have we under any circumstances attempted to
     direct any offensive against our opponents. Not until they
     unchained their attack upon us did we arise to defend our
     lives. Had we cherished the ambition of waging holy war
     against them, had we harboured the least intention of
     achieving ascendancy through the power of our arms over the
     unbelievers, we should not, until this day, have remained
     besieged within these walls. The force of our arms would
     have by now, as was the case with the companions of
     Muḥammad in days past, convulsed the nations of the earth
     and prepared them for the acceptance of our Message. Such is
     not our way, however, which we have chosen to tread. Ever
     since we repaired to this fort, our sole, our unalterable
     purpose has been the vindication, by our deeds and by our
     readiness to shed our blood in the path of our Faith, of the
     exalted character of our mission. The hour is fast
     approaching when we shall be able to consummate this

The Year 1850

While Quddús and his companions were defending themselves at
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, Bábís in other parts of Persia were
increasingly the victims of an intense and systematic persecution on
the part of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities. The reason was
not far to seek and was stated by Sheil, once more at his post in
Ṭihrán after a long period of absence, when he addressed Lord
Palmerston on February 12th 1850:

     ... unluckily the proselytes are all of the Mahommedan
     faith, which is inflexible in the punishment of a relapsed
     Mussulman. Thus both the temporal and religious authorities
     have an interest in the extermination of this sect.

     It is conjectured that in Teheran this religion has acquired
     votaries in every class, not even excluding the artillery
     and regular Infantry--Their numbers in this city, it is
     supposed, may amount to about two thousand.[16]

Sheil's dispatches took note of four occurrences in particular, in the
year 1850: the execution of the Báb,[FF] the episodes of Nayríz and
Zanján, and the public martyrdom of seven Bábís in Ṭihrán.

    [Footnote FF: See ch. 12.]

The Episode of Nayríz

The incomparable Vaḥíd--Siyyid Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí--the trusted emissary
whom Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh had sent to investigate the claims of the Báb and
who had returned His devoted supporter--was in Yazd in the early weeks
of 1850, fearlessly proclaiming the advent of the Qá'im in the person of
the Báb. Unwise acts by a purported fellow-believer put his life in
danger in that city, and he was forced to leave secretly for Nayríz in
the province of Fárs.[FG] On hearing of his approach, the people of his
native quarter of [_Ch_]inár Sú[_kh_]tih who loved and honoured Vaḥíd,
together with a number of the notables of Nayríz, went out to meet him,
thus bringing on their families threats of dire punishment by the
Governor of Nayríz, Zaynu'l-`Ábidín [_Kh_]án, who was fearful and
desired to prevent Vaḥíd's entry to the town.[17] But these warnings
went unheeded; Vaḥíd continued his journey and on arrival at his native
quarter, went straight to the Masjid-i-Jum`ih where, ascending the
pulpit, he addressed a congregation estimated to have numbered fifteen
hundred. He said:

     My sole purpose in coming to Nayríz is to proclaim the Cause
     of God. I thank and glorify Him for having enabled me to
     touch your hearts with His Message. No need for me to tarry
     any longer in your midst, for if I prolong my stay, I fear
     that the governor will ill-treat you because of me. He may
     seek reinforcement from [_Sh_]íráz and destroy your homes
     and subject you to untold indignities.[18]

    [Footnote FG: See Appendix 3. Vaḥíd, as a man of
    influence, possessed houses in Yazd, Nayríz, and his native
    town of Dáráb.]

But the people refused to let him go, for they were willing and
prepared, they assured him, to meet any misfortune and hardship that
might overtake them.

Zaynu'l-`Ábidín [_Kh_]án, thwarted in his efforts to prevent Vaḥíd's
entrance into Nayríz, and aroused to fury by the influence he was
exerting on the populace, schemed to entrap and arrest him. For this
purpose he recruited a thousand trained soldiers. Some of those who had
joined Vaḥíd now broke away and forsook him, thus adding to the strength
of his opponents. The menace posed by the Governor became so severe that
Vaḥíd could find no way to secure the safety of his people and himself,
other than by taking refuge with seventy-two of his companions in the
fort of [_Kh_]ájih outside Nayríz. The Governor sent his brother,
`Alí-Aṣ[_gh_]ar [_Kh_]án, to attack this small band with the force he
had gathered. They did not succeed, but his brother was killed in the
engagement. The Bábís now lived under conditions of siege, and their
water supply was cut off. They built a water-cistern, strengthened their
fort, and were reinforced by additional residents of Nayríz. Meanwhile,
appeals were being made by Zaynu'l-`Ábidín [_Kh_]án for assistance from
[_Sh_]íráz, until the Governor-General of Fárs, Prince Fírúz Mírzá (the
Nuṣratu'd-Dawlih), who had ordered the extermination of the besieged
Bábís, sent an army to conclude the affair.[19] Even this large force
could not overcome the resistance of the defenders of the fortress. Not
only did victory elude it, but heavy losses were suffered.[FH]

    [Footnote FH: Sheil, reporting to Lord Palmerston on July
    22nd 1850, stated that the defenders 'twice repulsed the
    Shah's troops.' (F.O. 60/152.)]

What had happened at [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí was now reenacted in
Nayríz. Zaynu'l-`Ábidín [_Kh_]án and his associates resorted to fraud
to overcome the Bábís. They suspended their attack and sent a written
message to Vaḥíd, which said, in effect:

     Hitherto, as we were ignorant of the true character of your
     Faith, we have allowed the mischief-makers to induce us to
     believe that every one of you has violated the sacred
     precepts of Islám. Therefore did we arise against you, and
     have endeavoured to extirpate your Faith. During the last
     few days, we have been made aware of the fact that your
     activities are untinged by any political motive, that none
     of you cherish any inclination to subvert the foundations of
     the State. We also have been convinced of the fact that your
     teachings do not involve any grave departure from the
     fundamental teachings of Islám. All that you seem to uphold
     is the claim that a man has appeared whose words are
     inspired and whose testimony is certain, and whom all the
     followers of Islám must recognise and support. We can in no
     wise be convinced of the validity of this claim unless you
     consent to repose the utmost confidence in our sincerity,
     and accept our request to allow certain of your
     representatives to emerge from the fort and meet us in this
     camp, where we can, within the space of a few days,
     ascertain the character of your belief. If you prove
     yourselves able to demonstrate the true claims of your
     Faith, we too will readily embrace it, for we are not the
     enemies of Truth, and none of us wish to deny it. Your
     leader we have always recognised as one of the ablest
     champions of Islám, and we regard him as our example and
     guide. This Qur'án, to which we affix our seals, is the
     witness to the integrity of our purpose. Let that holy Book
     decide whether the claim you advance is true or false. The
     malediction of God and His Prophet rest upon us if we should
     attempt to deceive you. Your acceptance of our invitation
     will save a whole army from destruction, whilst your refusal
     will leave them in suspense and doubt. We pledge our word
     that as soon as we are convinced of the truth of your
     Message, we shall strive to display the same zeal and
     devotion you already have so strikingly manifested. Your
     friends will be our friends, and your enemies our enemies.
     Whatever your leader may choose to command, the same we
     pledge ourselves to obey. On the other hand, if we fail to
     be convinced of the truth of your claim, we solemnly promise
     that we shall in no wise interfere with your safe return to
     the fort, and shall be willing to resume our contest against
     you. We entreat you to refuse to shed more blood before
     attempting to establish the truth of your Cause.[20]

Vaḥíd was well aware of the dishonesty of this message;
nevertheless, he walked out in person, with five attendants, into the
camp of his enemies, where he was received for three days with great
ceremony. But all the while they were planning a stratagem to overcome
the occupants of the fort. Under duress, they compelled Vaḥíd to
write a letter to his people, assuring them that a settlement had been
reached, and that they should abandon the fortress and return to their
homes. Vaḥíd attempted to caution his companions against this
treachery in a second letter which was never delivered to them. Thus,
within a month, did the defenders of the fort of [_Kh_]ájih meet the
same fate as the defenders of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí.

Four years later, a divine of Nayríz,[FI] a man who was just and
truthful and courageous, wrote the whole story of that episode high on
an inner wall of the Masjid-i-Jum`ih in the Bázár quarter. Although he
had to write with circumspection to avoid being denounced, he composed
his narrative in such a way that one can, without difficulty, read
more of it between the lines. His account bears out the fact that
Vaḥíd was given solemn assurances, that he was received with great
esteem and reverence, that those who had pledged their word broke
their pledges, that the quarter of [_Ch_]inár-Sú[_kh_]tih, which was
then a stronghold of the Bábís of Nayríz,[FJ] and the quarter of the
Bázár were sacked, that houses were demolished, huge sums of money
extorted, and Nayríz was reduced to a state of desolation.

    [Footnote FI: Siyyid Ibráhím, the son of Siyyid Ḥusayn.]

    [Footnote FJ: It is populated today by Bahá'ís.]

The circumstances of Vaḥíd's martyrdom recall the tragedy of
Karbilá. All alone, he was assailed in the streets of Nayríz, as Imám
Ḥusayn, whose descendant he was, had been assailed on the Euphrates
plain. There the body of the Imám had been trampled into the dust by
the hooves of horses, and in Nayríz the corpse of Vaḥíd suffered
similar indignities. When the victorious army marched back to
[_Sh_]íráz, it took as prisoners women and children, with the heads of
the martyrs of Nayríz raised aloft on lances. Damascus had witnessed a
similar scene centuries before, when the family of the martyred
Ḥusayn, which included his only surviving son, was paraded in its
streets, to be led into the court of the tyrant Yazíd, preceded by the
head of the Imám and those of his sons and brothers and nephews--the
flower of the House of Muḥammad.

The Seven Martyrs of Ṭihrán

At the beginning of 1850, seven Bábís were arrested in Ṭihrán,
charged with plotting to assassinate the Grand Vizier. They are known
as the Seven Martyrs of Ṭihrán. The accusation was palpably false.
There were many Bábís in Ṭihrán better equipped to engage in such
an exercise. But more significant, all seven were men of outstanding
character and repute, and respected by their countrymen. The real
reason for their arrest was their espousal of the Faith of the Báb.
Although efforts were made by men high in the professions they
represented, to persuade them to give lip-denial to their most sacred
beliefs, they steadfastly refused and were beheaded.

The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith has vividly described this terrible
scene, which was enacted in a public square of Ṭihrán (the

     The defiant answers which they flung at their persecutors;
     the ecstatic joy which seized them as they drew near the
     scene of their death; the jubilant shouts they raised as
     they faced their executioner; the poignancy of the verses
     which, in their last moments, some of them recited; the
     appeals and challenges they addressed to the multitude of
     onlookers who gazed with stupefaction upon them; the
     eagerness with which the last three victims strove to
     precede one another in sealing their faith with their blood;
     and lastly, the atrocities which a bloodthirsty foe degraded
     itself by inflicting upon their dead bodies which lay
     unburied for three days and three nights in the
     Sabzih-Maydán, during which time thousands of so-called
     devout [_Sh_]í`ahs kicked their corpses, spat upon their
     faces, pelted, cursed, derided, and heaped refuse upon
     them--these were the chief features of the tragedy of the
     Seven Martyrs of Ṭihrán, a tragedy which stands out as
     one of the grimmest scenes witnessed in the course of the
     early unfoldment of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.[21]

Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, the uncle of the Báb, was one of these
martyrs. He had recently returned from his visit to the Báb in
[_Ch_]ihríq (see p. 150) and could easily have left the capital, when
rumours were rife following the events of Mázindarán and Yazd. But he
fearlessly stayed on, spurned all efforts made to induce him to
recant, and met death gladly in the path of his Nephew.

The other six were: Mírzá Qurbán-`Alí of Bárfurú[_sh_], Ḥájí Mullá
Ismá`íl-i-Qumí, Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Tur[_sh_]ízí, Ḥájí
Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Kirmání, Siyyid Murtaḍáy-i-Zanjání and Áqá

Mírzá Qurbán-`Alí had been a Ni`matu'lláhí dervish, and a leading figure
of that mystic order. He was well-known in the ruling circles of the
capital and greatly respected. Mírzá Taqí [_Kh_]án (the Grand Vizier)
particularly wished to save him, but the faith of the dervish remained
unshakable. At his execution, the first blow of the executioner's sword
only knocked his turban off his head, whereupon he recited aloud:

      Happy he whom love's intoxication
      So hath overcome that scarce he knows
      Whether at the feet of the Beloved
      It be head or turban which he throws![22]

Ḥájí Mullá Ismá`íl had been a disciple of Siyyid Káẓim. Even at
the moment of his execution, someone came up to him with a message
from a friend, pleading with him to recant, but his answer was:

      Zephyr, prythee bear for me a message
      To that Ishmael[FK] who was not slain,
      'Living from the street of the Beloved
      Love permits not to return again.'[23]

    [Footnote FK: Ishmael (Ismá`íl), the son of Abraham, by

Ḥájí Muḥammad-Taqí and Siyyid Murtaḍá were merchants of note,
and Siyyid Ḥusayn had been a divine famed for his piety. Siyyid
Murtaḍá was a brother of that Siyyid Káẓim-i-Zanjání who
attended the Báb during His journey to Iṣfahán and later fell a
martyr at [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí. Áqá Muḥammad-Ḥusayn had
been tortured to betray his companions, but he would not implicate
innocent men in fictitious plots.

The Báb, from his remote prison in [_Ch_]ihríq and already overwhelmed
by calamity, eulogized these heroic men as the 'Seven Goats' of
Islamic tradition, who would precede the promised Qá'im, their true
Shepherd, to His own martyrdom.[FL]

    [Footnote FL: See Appendix 4.]

The Episode of Zanján

The fiercest and most devastating of the three military actions
against the Bábís began in Zanján, in May 1850, after the return of
Ḥujjat from his detention in Ṭihrán. (See p. 125.) Although he
had enjoyed the protection of Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh in his defence of
the Faith of the Báb, he was feared and hated as an infidel by the
divines of Zanján. With the death of the [_Sh_]áh and the accession to
power of Mírzá Taqí [_Kh_]án under the succeeding reign, he was the
object of a concealed hostility on the part of the authorities, while
enjoying the devoted loyalty and affection of countless men and women
of his native town.

A small quarrel between children, in which Ḥujjat intervened to
save the Bábí child, sparked into flame the smouldering animosity
against Ḥujjat and a plan was made to seize and bring him before
the Governor. Failing in this, his opponents subjected one of his
companions to painful injury and death. Then, by the Governor's
decree, Zanján was split into two opposing camps, a large number of
men were recruited from surrounding villages, and Ḥujjat and his
companions were forced to seek safety in the nearby fort of
`Alí-Mardán [_Kh_]án. Counting women and children, about three
thousand of Ḥujjat's supporters entered the fort, which they held
against repeated attack and siege for almost nine months.

Edward Granville Browne, who visited Zanján nearly forty years later,
could find no natural advantages in the fort to account for the
'desperate resistance offered by the Bábís', and concluded that their
success in holding off the vastly superior regiments of the [_Sh_]áh
should 'be attributed less to the strength of the position which they
occupied than to the extraordinary valour with which they defended
themselves'.[24] They were sustained in their cruel ordeal by the
indomitable Ḥujjat, whom no calamity could overcome, and by the tenacity
of their own devotion to the Báb, their promised Qá'im. A British
observer in the 'Persian camp before Zenjan' reported to Sheil in

     They [the Bábís] fight in the most obstinate and spirited
     manner, the women even, of whom several have been killed,
     engaging in the strife--and they are such excellent marksmen
     that up to this time a good many have fallen of the
     Government troops.[25]

The most celebrated of the women was a village girl, Zaynab, who
dressed as a man and, for five months until her death in the struggle,
guarded the ramparts with the men. Ḥujjat gave her the name of

Finding that all efforts to defeat the Bábís were fruitless, the
commander determined to adopt the same treacherous tactics as had
succeeded at Ṭabarsí and Nayríz. He drew up a proposal for peace,
assuring the defenders of the forgiveness of the [_Sh_]áh and pledging
with a sealed copy of the Qur'án the safety of all who would leave the
fort. Ḥujjat, fully conscious of their intentions but honouring the
Qur'án, sent a delegation of nine young children and men over eighty to
the camp of the commander. They were insolently received and most were
thrown into a dungeon. It was the signal for a final month-long siege,
in which some eighteen regiments were brought into action, subjecting
the now famished and depleted Bábís to a constant bombardment of cannon.
With the wounding of Ḥujjat, the fort was captured, but its occupants
continued their struggle from nearby houses, throwing the opposing army
into despair. Then Ḥujjat's wife and baby son were killed, and a few
days later he himself died of his wounds. There were left of the Bábís
only two hundred able-bodied men who were struck down in a fierce
attack. When the survivors had been inhumanly tortured, killed and their
bodies mutilated, the body of Ḥujjat was discovered and exposed for
three days to dishonour in the public square. Hands unknown rescued and
carried it away. Already Ḥujjat's eight-year-old son had been 'literally
cut into small pieces', and the wives and daughters of the Bábís were
handed over to the soldiers.[26][FM]

    [Footnote FM: See Appendix 5.]

Yet never had the martyrs of Zanján sought a holy war, nor
contemplated disloyalty to their country and sovereign. Assailed by
enemies who purposed only their destruction, they had courageously
defended themselves. The spirit of their defence shines in these words
of Ḥujjat in his last days:

     The day whereon I found Thy beloved One, O my God, and
     recognised in Him the Manifestation of Thy eternal Spirit, I
     foresaw the woes that I should suffer for Thee.... Would
     that a myriad lives were mine, would that I possessed the
     riches of the whole earth and its glory, that I might resign
     them all freely and joyously in Thy path.[27]

On January 6th 1851 Sheil closed his reports on Zanján:

     For the present, the doctrines of Bâb have received a
     check--In every part of Persia his disciples have been
     crushed or scattered--But though there is a cessation of
     the open promulgation of his tenets, it is believed that in
     secret they are not the less cherished....[28]

The Dawn-Breakers had paid dearly with their lives that the Faith of
the Báb might live on. And it did live on, to attain its efflorescence
in the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh.


     _I am the Primal Point from which have been generated all
     created things.... I am the Countenance of God Whose
     splendour can never be obscured, the Light of God Whose
     radiance can never fade.... I am one of the sustaining
     pillars of the Primal Word of God. Whosoever hath recognised
     Me, hath known all that is true and right, and hath attained
     all that is good and seemly._
                                           --The Báb

On the third day after the martyrdom of the Báb, His remains,
inextricably united with those of His heroic, faithful disciple, were
placed in a casket and taken to a locality which was safe and secure.

What happened, during the next fifty years, to the remains of the Báb
cannot be better summarized than in the words of Shoghi Effendi, the
Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith:

     Subsequently, according to Bahá'u'lláh's instructions, they
     were transported to Ṭihrán and placed in the shrine of
     Imám-Zádih Ḥasan. They were later removed to the
     residence of Ḥájí Sulaymán [_Kh_]án[FN] himself in the
     Sar-[_Ch_]a[_sh_]mih quarter of the city, and from his house
     were taken to the shrine of Imám-Zádih Ma`ṣúm, where they
     remained concealed until the year 1284 A.H. (1867-1868),
     when a Tablet, revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople,
     directed Mullá `Alí-Akbar-i-[_Sh_]ahmírzádí[FO] and
     Jamál-i-Burújirdí to transfer them without delay to some
     other spot, an instruction which, in view of the subsequent
     reconstruction of that shrine, proved to have been

     Unable to find a suitable place in the suburb of [_Sh_]áh
     `Abdu'l-`Aẓím, Mullá `Alí-Akbar and his companion
     continued their search until, on the road leading to
     [_Ch_]a[_sh_]mih-`Alí [the `Alí Springs], they came upon the
     abandoned and dilapidated Masjíd-i-Ma[_sh_]á'u'lláh, where
     they deposited, within one of its walls, after dark, their
     precious burden, having first re-wrapt the remains in a
     silken shroud brought by them for that purpose. Finding the
     next day to their consternation that the hiding-place had
     been discovered,[FP] they clandestinely carried the casket
     through the gate of the capital direct to the house of Mírzá
     Ḥasan-i-Vazír, a believer and son-in-law of Ḥájí Mírzá
     Siyyid `Alíy-i-Tafri[_sh_]í, the Majdu'l-A[_sh_]ráf, where
     it remained for no less than fourteen months.[FQ] The
     long-guarded secret of its whereabouts becoming known to the
     believers, they began to visit the house in such numbers
     that a communication had to be addressed by Mullá `Alí-Akbar
     to Bahá'u'lláh, begging for guidance in the matter. Ḥájí
     [_Sh_]áh Muḥammad-i-Man[_sh_]ádí, surnamed Amínu'l-Bayán,
     was accordingly commissioned to receive the Trust from him,
     and bidden to exercise the utmost secrecy as to its

     Assisted by another believer, Ḥájí [_Sh_]áh Muḥammad
     buried the casket beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary
     of the shrine of Imám-Zádih Zayd, where it lay undetected
     until Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Iṣfahání was informed of its
     exact location through a chart forwarded to him by
     Bahá'u'lláh. Instructed by Bahá'u'lláh to conceal it
     elsewhere, he first removed the remains to his own house in
     Ṭihrán, after which they were deposited in several other
     localities such as the house of
     Ḥusayn-`Alíy-i-Iṣfahání and that of
     Muḥammad-Karím-i-`Aṭṭár, where they remained hidden
     until the year 1316 (1899) A.H., when, in pursuance of
     directions issued by `Abdu'l-Bahá, this same Mírzá
     Asadu'lláh, together with a number of other believers,
     transported them by way of Iṣfahán, Kirmán[_sh_]áh,
     Ba[_gh_]dád and Damascus, to Beirut and thence by sea to
     `Akká, arriving at their destination on the 19th of the
     month of Ramaḍán 1316 A.H. (January 31, 1899), fifty
     lunar years after the Báb's execution in Tabríz.[1]

    [Footnote FN: He was, as we have seen, instrumental in
    rescuing the remains of the Báb.]

    [Footnote FO: Also known generally as Ḥájí Á[_kh_]und. He
    was a Hand of the Cause, appointed by Bahá'u'lláh.]

    [Footnote FP: Thieves must have seen Ḥájí Á[_kh_]und and
    Jamál-i-Burújirdí place the casket in a niche and brick it
    up. Whoever they were, they moved some of the bricks and
    broke open the casket, but finding that it did not contain
    any valuables they left it alone.]

    [Footnote FQ: In the house of Mírzá Ḥasan-i-Vazír, the
    remains were either deposited in a new casket, or the
    original broken casket was put inside a larger one. Some
    pieces of blood-stained and torn linen must have fallen out,
    when the remains were being secured. Many years later, Dr.
    Yúnis [_Kh_]án-i-Afrú[_kh_]tih, in the course of professional
    attendance upon the family of Majdu'l-A[_sh_]ráf, learned
    that they had in their possession pieces of linen soaked with
    the blood of the Báb. Dr. Afrú[_kh_]tih persuaded them to
    part with those precious relics. They are now in the
    International Archives of the Bahá'í Faith.]

Forty years after the martyrdom of the Báb, on a day in spring,
Bahá'u'lláh was standing under the shade of a cluster of cypress trees
on the slopes of Mount Carmel. In front of Him stretched the curve of
the Bay of Haifa, beyond which loomed a sinister sight, the grim
citadel of `Akká--His first abode when He was brought, a Prisoner and
an Exile, to the Holy Land. In darkest days He had told His people not
to grieve, the prison gates would open and He would raise His tent on
the fair mountain across the bay.

He it was Whose advent the Báb had come to herald. For Him--He Whom
God shall make manifest--the young Martyr-Prophet had suffered
tribulations, had sacrificed His life. In His Dispensation, the
Dispensation of His Forerunner had found its fulfilment, regained its
splendour. And now as Bahá'u'lláh--the Lord of Hosts--looked at the
expanse of rock below those cypress trees (which today still stand,
firm and proud), He told His Son, `Abdu'l-Bahá, who would shortly
wield authority in His Name, that a mausoleum should be raised on
that mountain-mass to receive the remains of the Báb.

A decade went by before `Abdu'l-Bahá could carry out that command. The
sons of Bahá'u'lláh, who had strayed away from His Covenant, strove
hard to block the enterprise. But at last the land was secured, the
access route was obtained, the foundation-stone was laid, and
construction work had begun. Then the mischief wrought by those
violators of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh led to the incarceration of
`Abdu'l-Bahá within the walls of `Akká. His life was in peril, but
though, for a while, all His activities were either curtailed or
stopped, the work of constructing that mausoleum on Mount Carmel was
never allowed to lapse.

In the year 1908, the despotism of the Ottoman rulers came to an end,
and `Abdu'l-Bahá found His freedom. The next year on Naw-Rúz
Day--March 21st--in a vault beneath the building which He had raised
with undaunted resolution and with heart-ache, He deposited the casket
containing the remains of the Báb within a marble sarcophagus, the
gift of the Bahá'ís of Rangoon. Nearly forty years later, Shoghi
Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, undertook to adorn the
Shrine of the Báb with a superstructure, both strong and beautiful,
crowned with a golden dome. Today it shines dazzlingly in the heart of
Mount Carmel--the Mountain of God--a spiritual home for a flourishing
world community and a beacon of hope for the whole of mankind.



The best and fullest account of the upheavals in Karbilá is contained
in a sixty-six-page dispatch from Lt.-Col. Farrant, the British
Special Commissioner, to Sir Stratford Canning (later Viscount
Stratford de Redcliffe), the British Ambassador in Istanbul.[1] His
description of the position and the condition of Karbilá is
particularly worthy of note:

'The town of Kerbella is situated about four hours distance from the
right bank of the Euphrates on the confines of the Syrian desert, south
south west of Bagdad about 55 miles distant, and is about 1-3/4 miles in
circumference, surrounded by a brick wall about 24 feet high with twenty
nine bastions each of which is capable of containing one gun--it
contains 3400 houses of a very inferior description; the houses closely
crowded together approach within three yards of the wall--the streets
are very narrow, the tops of the houses are surrounded by a brick
parapet and can be fired from without exposure, it has six gates three
of which are very small--The tomb of Imaum Hossein is a fine building
and stands nearly in the centre of the town, that of his brother Abbas
in the South East quarter about two hundred and fifty yards from the
Najif gate. The town is surrounded by gardens which approach close to
the walls, leaving only a small footpath. The gardens are filled with
huge date trees, intersected with numerous ditches, and extend to some
distance from the town which is not perceptible until you are close
under the walls. Its strength consists in its situation, but it
appeared to me that a few good troops ought to be able to take it in a
short time. The houses mostly belonged to Persians who have left their
country and settled there for generations. Many of the rich men in
Persia have houses and land there, that in time of need they may have a
safe place of refuge, or wishing in their old age to retire to a place
held in such veneration by them--

'The population varies from ten thousand to twenty thousand and eighty
thousand, it is always fluctuating, and I was informed that during the
time the pilgrims arrive, the streets are almost impassable--The
houses are mostly divided into several small courts, occasionally one
hundred persons are crowded into one of these houses, which to outward
appearance could with difficulty contain half that number--The poorer
pilgrims take up their abodes in the Courts of the Mosques--

'The working classes at Kerbella viz Bakers small shopkeepers day
labourers &c were all Persians.'

Najíb Pá[_sh_]á had warned the Persian, the British and the French
Agents that he intended to attack Karbilá. In a long letter addressed
to the Persian Agent in Ba[_gh_]dád dated [_Sh_]avvál 16th 1258
(November 18th 1842), he had, after detailing the history of the
rebellion in Karbilá and its consequences, uttered this clear warning:

'Being, however, near the shrines of Ali & Hoosein [Ḥusayn] I
thought it my duty to visit them; with this auspicious determination I
proceeded thither, when the rebel above named [Ibráhím Za`farání][FR]
declared that if I came with troops he would not permit my entrance;
and I ascertained that he had also prepared the means of opposition.
To withdraw in this position of affairs from my publickly announced
purpose was a difficult step; & should the report of it spread abroad,
it might, God forbid, affect the whole order of government, the
rejection, too, of the petitions of loyal & suffering subjects, who
are the most sacred charge of the deity to us, is contrary to all the
rules & requirements of justice; I therefore, determined to proceed,
under the Imperial shadow, and the aid of the Almighty to the
punishment of the rebels, as a warning example to his equals; & if, as
I hear, he is prepared for resistance he shall submit to my entrance
by force. There are many subjects of Iran in the town alluded to; let
there hereafter be no claims, on the part of that high power, in
behalf of these persons; let them come out with their children,
families and property ... in fact they must not be in that town in the
hour of hostility, as this is quite inconsistent with the state of the
town & place. You must therefore in compliance with your duty in such
cases, without delay, inform, all those whom it may concern, of these
facts; for which friendly aid this letter is written and despatched;
and, please God you will doubtless thus act on the receipt thereof, &
without delay favour me with a reply to the same.'[2]

    [Footnote FR: In the dispatch, his name is spelt Ibrahim

However, no warning was given to the Persians to quit Karbilá as
Farrant's report makes clear: 'The Mollahs also excited the religious
feelings of the peoples, making them believe it was a common cause, a
religious war, a Persian seyd who was present, stated to me that many
of the Persians fought or gave assistance, that he amongst many did
not leave the town, thinking it would not be taken, and rumours were
spread that the Shah was sending a large force to their assistance, he
also stated that those Persians who were unfitted or refused to bear
arms were obliged to give money ... likewise they considered
themselves safe, as their Consul did not come to order them away.'

Instead, Farrant reports: 'The Persian Consul in reply to the Pacha
begged him to postpone his intended attack, that if the town was taken
by assault many innocent people (Persian subjects) would suffer, who
at present were unable to come away ... that if he would delay his
expedition for four or six months to give the Persians time to arrange
their affairs, he would proceed to Kerbella, and bring the Persians
away, and arrange everything for him.

'Three days before receiving the Pacha's letter, the Consul asserts he
wrote privately to the Chief Priest Hajee Seid Kausem saying "we hear
the Pacha will move on Kerbella, and if he is determined, he will
certainly come, he is not an Ali Pacha--tell the Persians they had
better come out--" After the receipt of the Pacha's official letter he
again wrote to the Chief Priest [Siyyid Káẓim] of the Pacha's fixed
determination, and requested him to tell all the Persians to quit the
town--This letter he sent by a confidential person, but it appears it
never reached, as the Chief Priest declares he never wrote to him,
although he requested him to come to Kerbella--'

Farrant goes on to say: 'The Pacha would not listen to the
propositions of the Consul--H.R.H. The Zel-i Sultan (son of the late
Shah of Persia, a refugee) accompanied by Hajee Seid Kausem Chief
Priest, Seid Wahab Governor[FS] of Kerbella, Seid Hossainee and Seid
Nasseroola [Siyyid Naṣru'lláh], influential people of Kerbella,
came to the Pacha's camp at Mossaib and remained four days--The Pacha
told them he did not wish to injure the people, that Kerbella was in
rebellion and belonged to the Sultan...' However, he was willing to
make concessions, should the people of Karbilá submit to his rule and
let soldiers be stationed in their city.

    [Footnote FS: The nominal Governor. He was either willingly
    or by force of circumstances allied to the rebels.]

Farrant further relates: 'The Pacha told His R.H. the Zel i Sultan and
Chief Priest before leaving his camp to warn all Persians to separate
themselves from the Geramees (and gave the Prince a paper to that
effect) that if they could not leave the town, they should retire
altogether to one quarter of it, or else with their families and
property seek protection in the Courts of the tombs of Hoossein and
Abbas, for he was determined to proceed to extremities if the
Kerbellai's refused to submit to his orders...'

Farrant reports a second excursion by Ḥájí Siyyid Káẓim and
`Alí-[_Sh_]áh, the Ẓillu's-Sulṭán, on behalf of the people of
Karbilá, this time to the camp of Sa`du'lláh Pá[_sh_]á, the Colonel
commissioned by Najíb Pá[_sh_]á to invest the city. 'About the 1st
January [1843],' writes Farrant, 'the Persian Consul accompanied by
Seid Ibrahim Kasveenee[FT] arrived at Najib Pacha's camp at Mossaib
from Bagdad--The army had now been eleven days before Kerbella and
much fighting had taken place, and many on both sides had been
killed.' The talks which Mullá `Abdu'l-`Azíz (Persian Consul) and
Siyyid Ibráhím had with Najíb Pá[_sh_]á bore no result, and as Farrant
reports: 'The Consul and Chief Priest returned to Bagdad, they had
been four or five days in the Pacha's camp--The Chief Priest in
Kerbella Hajee Seid Kausem it is said (he told me also the same thing)
wrote to the Persian Consul and Seid Ibrahim Kasveenee begging the
former to come on to Kerbella, that "his presence was necessary, it
was the hour of danger"--This letter was received by them after they
had quitted the Pacha's camp about two hours. Rumours in the town were
very prevalent, that the Shah of Persia was sending an army of twenty
thousand men to their assistance, which gave great confidence to the
Persians inside--Persians have informed me that they heard these
reports and many believed them, also they have most positively assured
me that their Consul never wrote or communicated with them, and on
learning, that he had returned to Bagdad, did not consider there was
any danger. The Consul asserts he wrote to the Chief Priest Hajee Seid
Kausem, which the latter most positively denies....

    [Footnote FT: Siyyid Ibráhím-i-Qazvíní, the adversary of
    Siyyid Káẓim, who had left Karbilá altogether during this
    turbulent period.]

'... The walls were daily crowded,' Farrant writes, 'by the
inhabitants who vented the grossest abuse on the Sultan, and cursed
the soldiers and their religion. The chief people in Kerbella did all
in their power to excite the religious feelings of the Sheeahs against
the Soonies, the Priests also were most active, I have been told, and
as they could not fight, repaired any damages the walls might receive.
They prayed also in the Mosques encouraging and exciting the people by
telling them it was a religious war.'

And then came the final assault. Farrant reports: 'Before daylight on
the 13 January the storming party moved from Camp accompanied by the
main body which halted at the battery, a soldier advanced and clambered
up the breach, observing that the guards had left their posts, and the
few who remained were asleep at the bottom of the wall round a fire--he
returned to the Seraskier and reported what he had seen--

'The storming party was then ordered to move forward...'

There was panic and slaughter. Farrant states that the sanctuary of the
tomb of `Abbás was violated, but Sa`du'lláh Pá[_sh_]á personally
intervened to prevent the desecration of the Shrine of Imám Ḥusayn. The
boastful leaders fled the city and as Farrant puts it: 'The principal
cause of the late affair at Kerbella may be ascribed to the chiefs of
that place who supported the Geramees in opposition to the Government,
and in the time of danger withdrew from the contest and left the
innocent and helpless to the fury of the soldiers.' 'Many flung
themselves over the walls and were dashed to pieces,' Farrant reports,
'whilst others sought shelter in the houses of H.R.H. The Zil i Sultan
and Hajee Seid Kausem [Siyyid Káẓim] Chief Priest, the latter shewed me
a court in his house where 66 persons of all ages and sexes were
suffocated, or crushed to death flying from the fury of the

Farrant further reports: 'No Prince of the Royal blood nor any Persian
of rank were [sic] killed, the sufferers were all of the poorer
classes, small shopkeepers and labourers, also a few learned men--The
wife of Prince Holakoo Meerza [Hulákú Mírzá] was severely wounded by a
soldier (she is closely connected with the Shah of Persia being a
daughter of the late Hoossein Ali Meerza Prince Governor of Fars)....
The Secretary of Seid Ibrahim Kasveenee Chief Priest; Seid Mahomed Ali
Moosvee [Siyyid Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Músaví] was seized by the soldiers
and forced to carry outside the walls some plunder for them, he stated
who he was, but it was of no avail, on arriving outside the gate, they
cut off his head and took it to the cashier of the Seraskier Pacha for
a reward--he was a young man much respected.... The house of Alee
Werdee Khan [`Alí-Virdí [_Kh_]án] (an uncle of the present Shah) was
also entered by the soldiers, this house was defended by the Arabs.
The Khan jumped into a well to save his life, one of his servants went
and informed the Seraskier who immediately sent some men to his
relief--The Khan was taken to the Seraskier nearly dead with cold, who
sent him into the haram [Shrine] of Hoossein for safety--Why the Khan
did not leave the town before the siege is a mystery, it is said that
he was very active in advising the Persians to remain in the town--'

The exaggerated reports from Mullá `Abdu'l-`Azíz, the Persian Agent in
Ba[_gh_]dád, had served to heighten the crisis. He had apparently been
slack in the exercise of his duties and when the siege was over,
alarmed by the magnitude of the disaster, he endeavoured to make a
quick getaway from Ba[_gh_]dád. Although the following report which he
made to the Prime Minister of Írán, Ḥájí Mírzá Áqásí, is unreliable
and highly-coloured, it is of sufficient interest to reproduce.

'In short,' he wrote, 'there is no one left in Kerbelah, and of those
who are alive, they are either wounded, naked or destitute of
property. According to what is described, about 5,000 persons were
killed in the shrine of Abbass,[FU] and property pillaged is beyond
estimate--no one has anything left. Whatever the people of Persia
possessed was brought to this place; afterwards it will become known,
what quantity of Persian property was there.... Whatever Ali Nakee
Meerza [`Alí-Naqí Mírzá] and Imam Verdee Meerza [Imám-Virdí Mírzá]
(sons of Fatteh Ali Shah [Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh]) possessed was
plundered even to the stripping naked their wives.... The wives of the
people who were not killed were made captives.... Moollah Ali a person
belonging to Ali Pasha, who is at present in the service of Mahomed
Nejeeb Pasha, interceded for the women--Sadoollah Pasha (Colonel)
replied, that "the troops being without women, they must remain some
nights with them, after which we will dismiss them"...

    [Footnote FU: `Abbás was a brother of Imám Ḥusayn.]

'Besides what I have related, the two shrines were converted into
barracks, and all the troops which are in Kerbelah have been quartered
in the two shrines with their horses and cattle--They have tied their
cattle in the apartments of the shrine and the college, and the troops
have made their own quarters in the corridor and private apartments,
and twice a day their drums and band play within the shrine--On
whatever persons they wish to inflict punishment, it is done within
the shrine of Imam Hoossein.... The remainder of the Sheeahs, who are
in Nejeff, Hillah, Kazimeyn and Bagdad are dispirited to such a
degree, that they have not the courage to weep at this calamity--

'All those who were in the private apartments of Hajee Syed Kazim
(Chief Priest) and in the house of Ali Shah (Zil.e.Sultan) remained in
safety--at the most about 200 persons were killed in the outer
apartments of Hajee Syed Kazim....

'From the commencement to the close of the siege occupied 24 days--and
from the day that the Pasha informed me, he would send troops against
Kerbelah until they arrived there occupied 15 days, and
notwithstanding my wishes that he would delay, until the people of
Persia should quit Kerbelah, he neither gave any delay nor opportunity
for their doing so....

'On account of these circumstances, the stay of your devoted servant in
Bagdad is needless--As yet I have received no money from Kermanshah, if
you were graciously pleased to grant it, and wrote to the Shoojah ood.
dowleh [[_Sh_]ujá`u'd-Dawlih], to send some money speedily to me your
devoted servant, to pay some of my debts,[FV] it is possible that I
might be able to bring the Zil.i.Sultan[FW] along with me.'[3]

    [Footnote FV: Mullá `Abdu'l-`Azíz dared not go to Karbilá
    because he feared his creditors. Siyyid Káẓim had urged
    him to visit the holy city.]

    [Footnote FW: Ẓillu's-Sulṭán was not in a distressed
    condition, and his presence in Írán was not welcomed.]

       *       *       *       *       *

'The latest accounts from Kerbella,' wrote Lt.-Col. Farrant at the end
of his long report on the siege, 'state the town to be perfectly quiet
and its population daily increasing.'



The martyrdom of the Báb was reported by Lt.-Col. Sheil to Lord
Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary, on July 22nd 1850:

'The founder of this sect has been executed at Tabreez--He was killed by
a volley of musketry, and his death was on the point of giving his
religion a lustre which would have largely increased its proselytes.
When the smoke and dust cleared away after the volley, Báb was not to be
seen, and the populace proclaimed that he had ascended to the skies--The
balls had broken the ropes by which he was bound, but he was dragged
from the recess where after some search, he was discovered, and shot.

'His death according to the belief of his disciples will make no
difference, as Bâb must always exist.'[1]

At the time of the martyrdom of the Báb, R. W. Stevens, the British
Consul, was absent from Tabríz, and his brother, George, was left in
charge of the Consulate. The latter had failed to report the event to
Sheil. On July 24th, R. W. Stevens, back at his post, rectified that
omission and added that the body of the Báb and His disciple had been
'thrown into the Town ditch where they were devoured by dogs.'[2] Sheil
wrote to Palmerston, on August 15th, that 'Although the advice and
opinions of foreign agents are generally unpalatable to the Persian
Minister, I nevertheless think it my duty to bring under his observation
any flagrant abuse or outrage that reaches my knowledge. I persuade
myself that on such occasions notwithstanding the absence of
acknowledgement on the part of the Ameer-i-Nizam [Mírzá Taqí [_Kh_]án,
the Grand Vizier], he may perhaps privately take steps for applying a
remedy.' He went on to say that the Consul at Tabríz had reported that
the body of the Báb, 'by order of the Ameer-i-Nizam's brother, was
thrown into the ditch of the town to be devoured by dogs, which actually
happened.'[3] He enclosed the copy of the letter he had written to the
Grand Vizier on this subject. This is what he wrote to Mírzá Taqí

'Your Excellency is aware of the warm interest taken by the British
Government in all that concerns the honor, respectability and credit of
this Government, and it is on this account I make you acquainted with a
recent occurrence in Tabreez which perhaps has not been brought to Your
Excellency's knowledge--The execution of the Pretender Bab in that city
was accompanied by a circumstance which if published in the Gazettes of
Europe would throw the utmost discredit on the Persian Ministers. After
that person was put to death, his body by orders of the Vezeer.i.Nizam
was thrown into the ditch of the town to be devoured by dogs, which
actually happened--This act resembles the deeds of bye gone ages, and
could not I believe now occur in any country between China and
England--Feeling satisfied that it did not receive Your Excellency's
sanction, and knowing what sentiments it would excite in Europe, I have
thought it proper to write this friendly communication, not to let you
remain in ignorance of the occurrence.'[4]

Palmerston wrote back on October 8th: '... Her Majesty's Government
approve of your having called the attention of the Ameer-i-Nizam ...
to the manner in which the corpse of the Pretender Bâb was treated
after his execution at Tabreez.'[5]



On February 12th 1850, Lt.-Col. Sheil, back at his post in Ṭihrán
after a long leave of absence, reported to Lord Palmerston:

'... a serious outbreak lately took place at Yezd, which however the
Governor of that city with the assistance of the priesthood succeeded
in quelling--

'The exciters of the insurrection were the partizans of the new Sect
called Babee, who assembled in such numbers as to force the Governor to
take refuge in the citadel, to which they laid siege--The Moollas
conscious that the progress of Babeeism is the decay of their own
supremacy determined to rescue the Governor, and summoning the populace
in the name of religion to attack this new Sect of infidels, the Babees
were overthrown and forced to take flight to the adjoining province of

'The tenets of this new religion seem to be spreading in Persia--Bab
the founder, a native of Sheeraz, who has assumed this fictitious
name, is imprisoned in Azerbijan, but in every large town he has
disciples, who with the fanaticism or fortitude so often seen among
the adherents of new doctrines, are ready to meet death.... Bab
declares himself to be Imam Mehdee, the last Imam, who disappeared
from human sight but is to reappear on earth--His decrees supersede
the Koran among his disciples, who not only revere him as the head of
their faith, but also obey him as the temporal Sovereign of the world,
to whom all other monarchs must submit--Besides this inconvenient
doctrine, they have adopted other tenets pernicious to society....

'Conversion by the sword is not yet avowed, argument and inspiration
from heaven being the present means of instilling or attaining faith
in the Mission of Bab--If left to their own merits the not novel
doctrines of this Preacher will doubtless sink into insignificancy, it
is persecution only which can save them from neglect and contempt, and
unluckily the proselytes are all of the Mahommedan faith, which is
inflexible in the punishment of a relapsed Mussulman--Thus both the
temporal and religious authorities have an interest in the
extermination of this Sect.

'It is conjectured that in Teheran this religion has acquired votaries
in every class, not even excluding the artillery and regular
Infantry--Their numbers in this city, it is supposed, may amount to
about two thousand.'[1][FX]

    [Footnote FX: Part of this passage is also quoted on p. 178.]

The incident at Yazd, which the British Minister was reporting to the
Foreign Secretary, concerned the activities of a man named
Muḥammad-`Abdu'lláh, who professed belief in the new Revelation.
Vaḥíd was in Yazd at the time, fearlessly proclaiming the advent of
the Qá'im. Navváb-i-Raḍaví, an influential man of the city, who
hated Vaḥíd as much as Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá had hated Quddús,[FY] was
plotting to destroy him. Despite Vaḥíd's injunction,
Muḥammad-`Abdu'lláh went ahead with his own schemes which resulted
in clashes with the civil authority, and his own death. Vaḥíd was
forced to leave Yazd in the dead of night, on foot. His house in Yazd
was pillaged, and his servant Ḥasan was seized and put to death.
While horsemen sent by his adversaries were searching for him, he hid
in the mountains; and by mountain tracks made his way to Bavánát in
the province of Fárs. There were many in that area who gave him
whole-hearted support, among them the renowned Ḥájí Siyyid Ismá`íl,
the [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám of Bavánát. Then by way of Fasá he
approached the city of Nayríz.

    [Footnote FY: See p. 176.]



In the course of 1849, Prince Dolgorukov, the Russian Minister in
Ṭihrán, had protested to the Persian Government that while going
into the presence of the [_Sh_]áh he had been forced to witness the
dragging away of the writhing corpses of eight criminals, executed in
front of the [_Sh_]áh. Dolgorukov considered it an affront to him, the
envoy of the Tsar, to be presented with such a spectacle. Sheil had
backed Dolgorukov's protest.[1] Palmerston had, in turn, approved
Sheil's action. On February 12th 1850, Prince Dolgorukov sent this
report to Count Nesselrode in St. Petersburg:

'Minds are in an extraordinarily excited state due to the execution
which has just taken place in the great square of Tihran. I have
already once expressed my opinion that the method by which last year
the troops of the Shah under the command of Prince Mahdi Quli Mirza
exterminated the Babis will not lessen their fanaticism.

'From that time on the Government has learned that Tihran is full of
these dangerous sectaries who do not recognize civil statutes and
preach the partitioning of the property of those who do not join their
doctrine. Becoming fearful for the social peace, the ministers of
Persia decided to arrest some of these sectaries and, according to the
common version, having received during the interrogation their
confession of their faith, executed them. These persons, numbering
seven, and arrested at random, since the Babis are counted already by
thousands within the very capital, would by no means deny their faith
and met death with an exultation which could only be explained as
fanaticism brought to its extreme limit. The Assistant Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Mirza Muhammad Ali, on the contrary affirms that
those people have confessed nothing and that their silence was
interpreted as a sufficient proof of their guilt.

'One can only regret the blindness of the Shah's authorities who
imagine that such measures could extinguish religious fanaticism, as
well as the injustice which guides their actions when examples of
cruelty, with which they are trying to frighten the people, are
committed without distinction against the first passer-by who falls
into their hands...'[2]

Ten days later (February 22nd 1850), Sheil wrote to Palmerston that
apparently the advice tendered by Her Majesty's Government that
criminals should not be executed in the presence of the Sovereign had
had some effect, because a few days before, seven Bábís, accused of
conspiring to assassinate the Grand Vizier, had been put to death in
public with no untoward incident. Sheil asserted that this fact proved
the feasibility of public executions. Mírzá Taqí [_Kh_]án had earlier
stated that with executions in public there was the risk of a
malefactor being snatched and spirited away. Sheil felt, however, that
on this occasion there was sympathy for the executed, because the
story of a conspiracy to murder the Grand Vizier was not generally
believed. He further observed that the Bábís had been offered their
lives, were they to recant, and they had firmly refused to do so. His
own comment to the Grand Vizier had been that executing the Bábís was
the surest way of propagating their doctrines.[3]

Lord Palmerston in answer to Sheil stated that Her Majesty's Government
was pleased to learn that Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh had agreed with the
advice not to have executions carried out in his presence, but added,
'the punishment of men for religious belief, besides being unjust and
cruel, is also an erroneous practice, and tends to encourage and
propagate the belief which it is intended to suppress.'[4]



The episode of Zanján covered the period from May to December 1850,
and much engaged the attention of the British and Russian envoys. On
May 25th Sheil reported to Palmerston: 'At Zenjan ... an attempt at
insurrection was made by the Sect of the Babees whose leader is the
chief priest of the town--Five hours after the receipt of this
intelligence a Battalion of Infantry 400 horse and three guns marched
towards Zenjan--This is an instance unexampled in Persia of military
celerity, which perhaps would not be surpassed in many countries of
Europe.'[1] A month later, Sheil reported: 'The insurrection at Zenjan
has not yet been quelled. The Bâbees of that city continue to defend
themselves with the zeal of proselytes and the contempt of life
inculcated by their faith...'[2]

Prince Dolgorukov, the Russian Minister, commented on July 31st: 'The
Government has exhausted all possible means to compel the Babis to
submit voluntarily. Muhammad Ali who heads the two or three hundred of
these fanatics in Zanjan, has fortified himself in one of the quarters
of the said town and terrifies the inhabitants. The Amir was finally
forced to take energetic measures, and the former beglerbegi of
Tabriz, Muhammad Khan, has just been sent against them with an army of
2000 men and four cannons.'[3] Dolgorukov had grossly underestimated
the number of the Bábís. (See pp. 185-6.)

Sheil wrote on August 22nd: 'The Bâbees of Zenjan still continue to
maintain that nearly defenceless city against the Shah's troops.'[4]
On September 5th he reported: '... these fanatics are reduced to a few
hundred fighting men, they continue to maintain a hopeless contest,
with undaunted resolution, refusing submission on any terms...'[5]

Dolgorukov reported on September 14th: 'The Babis, who are engaged
there in a life and death struggle against the troops of the Shah, are
still resisting the attacks of Muhammad Khan, and one can only wonder
at the fierceness with which they meet the danger of their situation.
Their leader Mulla Muhammad Ali, has appealed to the Turkish Minister,
Sami Effendi, and also to Colonel Sheil for their mediation. However,
my English colleague is of the opinion that it would be very difficult
to force the Persian Government to consent to foreign intervention in
favor of the above mentioned sectaries.'[6] On October 6th, the
Russian Minister was in a petulant mood: 'I think it would have been
better if they [the Persian Government] had given more serious
attention to the affairs of Zanjan. The Babis have been fighting
against 6000 of the Shah's best troops for almost five months now, and
Muhammad Khan, who is already master of three quarters of the city,
cannot take the quarter which they have fortified themselves and are
defending ... with a heroism and a fury worthy of a better
application.'[7] In his dispatch of November 9th, Dolgorukov wrote:
'New military units have just been dispatched against the Babis of
Zanjan. This time the Governor of that city, a brother of the Shah's
mother, Amir Aslan Khan, is accused of provoking the resistance, which
the Babis offer the Shah's army, by his incautious behavior.'[8] And,
at last, on December 26th Dolgorukov could report: 'The Zanjan
disturbances have ended. After a siege which lasted for almost six
months the Shah's troops have destroyed the center of the rebellion.
The Babis who defended themselves to the last, and whose numbers were
finally reduced to twenty men, who sought refuge in a cellar, were
torn to pieces. In addition to monetary expenditures, this struggle
has cost Persia 1500 in killed and disabled.'[9]

Meanwhile Sheil had been reporting on September 25th: 'The disciples
of Bâb have barricaded a portion of that town, from which they cannot
be expelled without a greater loss of life than the assailants seem
willing to encounter.'[10] And he wrote on October 25th: 'Contrary to
all rational expectation the small portion of Zenjan occupied by the
Bâbees continues to set at defiance the efforts of the Shah's troops
to expel that sect from the City.' In the same dispatch he stated that
'General Sir Henry Bethune who visited the scene of operations,
expressed a conviction that three hours with ordinary troops would
finish the affair...'[11] Bethune was the man who had helped
Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh to his throne. Sheil seems to have become wearied
of reporting on Zanján, for on November 23rd he wrote: 'I continue
unable to make any variation in my reports relative to Zenjan--The
same feeble ineffectual attempts at assault, the same repulses still
mark the progress of the siege.' Then he made the extraordinary
assertion that it had been affirmed that the defenders of Zanján were
not Bábís at all, that they had been heard to 'proclaim from the walls
in hearing of the troops, the creed that "there is no God but God, and
Mahomed is his prophet."' Those men were fighting, it was said,
because of the enormities perpetrated by the troops. Even more
extraordinary is this fantastic and incredibly false statement in that
same dispatch of November 23rd: 'Moolla Mahomed Ali, their chief, has
the reputation of having proclaimed himself to be the true Bâb, and
his predecessor to have been an impostor.'[12] On December 16th Sheil
wrote to Palmerston: 'Her Majesty's Consul at Tabreez having informed
me that great atrocities are committed at Zenjan by the soldiery
particularly by their shocking treatment of such women as have been
captured, I brought the circumstances to the knowledge of the Persian
Minister--The Ameer-i.Nizam thanked me for the information, and said
he would take immediate steps for preventing such barbarous
proceedings, which are entirely opposed to his sentiments and
feelings--' '... the mode in which my communication was received by
the Ameer. i. Nizam shows an improvement in his tone, and in the
temper with which he listens to suggestions of the above nature.'[13]

On December 24th, Sheil reported to Palmerston: 'This protracted siege,
if siege it can be called, is inexplicable--An English gentleman who
lately passed through Zenjan informed me a few days ago that the portion
of the town occupied by the Bâbees is confined to three or four houses,
and that their numbers are utterly insignificant--They have adopted a
mode of defence which seems to exceed the military skill of the Persian
commanders--The entire of the space included within these houses is
mined or excavated and connected by passages. Here the Bâbees live in
safety from the shot and shells of the assailants, who evidently have no
predilection for underground warfare.'[14]

Lord Palmerston on February 11th 1851 wrote to Sheil that '... Her
Majesty's Government approve of your having called the attention of
the Ameer-i-Nizam ... to the acts of violence committed by the Persian
Troops against Zenjan.'[15]

And finally, here is the last report of Sheil on the episode of Zanján.
It is dated January 6th 1851. 'I have the honor to report to Your
Lordship that Zenjan has been at length captured--Moolla Mahomed Ali,
the leader of the insurgents, had received a wound in the arm, which
terminated in his death--His followers dismayed by the loss of their
chief, yielded to an assault which their relaxation in the energy of
their defence encouraged the commander of the Shah's troops to
make--This success was followed by a great atrocity--The pusillanimity
of the troops, which the events of this siege had rendered so notorious,
was equalled by their ferocity--All the captives were bayonetted by the
soldiers in cold blood, to avenge ... the slaughter of their
comrades--Religious hatred may have conspired with the feelings excited
by a blood feud, which among the tribes are very strong, to cause this
ruthless act--Four hundred persons are said to have perished in this
way, among whom it is believed were some women and children--Of the fact
itself there can be no doubt, as it is admitted by the Government in its
notification of the reduction of the city, though it may be presumed
that in the number there is exaggeration.'[16]



Lord Palmerston wrote to Sheil on May 2nd 1850:

'I have to instruct you to furnish me with a more detailed account
than that contained in your despatch No. 20, of the 12th of February,
of the difference between the tenets of the new sect of Bab, and those
of the established religion of Persia.'[1]

Sheil answered Lord Palmerston on June 21st:

'In conformity with Your Lordship's instructions I have the honor to
enclose an account of the new Sect of Bab--The statement contained in
the enclosure numbered No. 1 is taken from an account given to me by a
disciple of Bab, and which I have no doubt is correct. The other is
extracted from a letter from a chief Priest in Yezd, and cannot be

'This is the simplest of religions. Its tenets are summed up in
materialism, communism, and the absolute indifference of good and
evil, and of all human actions.'[2]

Unfortunately both accounts sent to Palmerston are highly inaccurate.
Moreover, Sheil's own comments indicate that he himself did not have
an open mind. Plainly the account given to him, as he had stated, 'by
a disciple of Bab', was not a verbatim rendering into English, but a
reconstruction with interpolations, as witnessed by these two
sentences: 'They believe in Mahomed as a Prophet and in the divine
origin of the Koran: but Bâb contends that until this moment only the
apparent meaning of the Koran was understood and that he has come to
explain the real secret and divine essence of God's word. But it will
be seen in a subsequent part of this account that the words _Prophet_
and _Divine origin_ have no signification.' Further evidence is
provided by Sheil's rough notes with marginal additions[3] from which
the account by a Bábí is drawn.

What disciple of the Báb would say: 'The intercourse of the sexes is
very nearly promiscuous--There is no form of marriage; a man and woman
live together as long as they please and no longer, and if another man
desires to have possession of that woman, it rests with her, not with
the man who has been her husband, if he can be so termed:--A man may
have wives without limit; a woman has a similar licence.' This Bábí,
unless his account was garnished, was either a nihilist of sorts, or
totally ignorant of what the teaching of the Báb was.

Equally extraordinary, confused and contrary to the Writings of the
Báb in the Persian and Arabic _Bayán_ are the following lines in that
account by a Bábí: 'There is no hell or heaven, therefore there is no
hereafter--annihilation is man's doom in fact--he with every living
and vegetable thing, in short everything whatever, will be absorbed in
the Divinity--Everything is God, and therefore _absorbed_, which is
the phrase of the Soofees, who consider every thing is a reflection of
God--Hell is suffered and heaven is enjoyed in this world; but there
is no such thing as crime, nor of course virtue, only as they concern
the relations of man and man in this world. A man's will is his Law in
all things....

'The most absolute materialism seems to form the essence of their
belief--God is one--Every individual substance and particle, living or
not, is God, and the whole is God--and every individual thing, always
was, always is, and always will be.'[4]

The account by the Chief Priest of Yazd, which was a vitriolic attack
on the Báb and Vaḥíd, and which Sheil had ruled out in his letter
to the Foreign Secretary as 'cannot be trusted', was not dissimilar,
in some respects, to the account by 'a disciple of Bab'.

These extracts make it clear how misinformed was Lord Palmerston, the
British Foreign Secretary, by the reports of his representative in



The volume of writing in the West about the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths is
not insignificant. There are copious scholarly works on the subject in
Russian, French and English. We have the works of Alexander Toumansky,
Baron Rosen, Mírzá Kazem-Beg, Count Gobineau, A.-L.-M. Nicolas, and
Edward Granville Browne. We also have attacks and refutations, but
these latter categories belong to more recent years, when the Bahá'í
Faith has been making considerable headway in the Western world.

There is another genre of writing which merits attention, if only for a
negative reason. These writings do not enlighten; they create myths.
Generally speaking, remarks by travellers and casual visitors to Írán
fall within this category, but are by no means confined to such writers.

A sizable book could be compiled of the remarks and observations which
are myth-making. Here we must be content with only a few extracts.
Some of these solemn pronunciations are highly amusing, as with the
following which is taken from a book by Arthur Arnold:[FZ]

    [Footnote FZ: 1833-1902, a radical politician and writer.
    M.P. for Salford and editor of _Echo_.]

'The measure of injustice and oppression which these courts of the
Koran inflict upon the Christians may seem mild, in comparison with
the treatment by which they suppress nonconformity within the pale of
their own community. We have seen an example in the sentence
of "a hundred sticks", which the incautious expression of
liberal views brought upon the friend of the Zil-i-Sultan
[Ẓillu's-Sulṭán],[GA] who added to free speech the wickedness of
wearing trousers of European cut. There is, however, in Ispahan a
surviving heresy, the most notable in Persia, which, when proved
against a man, is almost a death warrant.[GB]

    [Footnote GA: Prince Sulṭán Mas`úd Mírzá, the eldest son
    of Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh, Governor-General of Iṣfahán
    and the adjoining provinces.]

    [Footnote GB: At the time of Arnold's visit, Mírzá Asadu'lláh
    [_Kh_]án, a Bahá'í, was the Vizier of Iṣfahán.]

'Early in the present century, a boy was born at Shiraz, the son of a
grocer, whose name has not been preserved. Arrived at manhood, this
grocer's son expounded his idea of a religion even more indulgent than
that of Mahommed. He is known by the name of Bāb (the gate), and
his followers are called Bābis. In 1850, Bāb had established
some reputation as a prophet, and was surrounded by followers as ready
to shed their blood in his defence as any who formed the body-guard of
Mahommed in those early days at Medina, when he had gained no fame in
battle, and had not conceived the plan of the Koran. Bāb was
attacked as an enemy of God and man, and at last taken prisoner by the
Persian Government, and sentenced to death. He was to be shot. Tied to
a stake in Tabriz, he confronted the firing party and awaited death.
The report of the muskets was heard, and Bāb felt himself wounded,
but at liberty. He was not seriously hurt, and the bullets had cut the
cord which bound him. Clouds of smoke hung about the spot where he
stood, and probably he felt a gleam of hope that he might escape when
he rushed from the stake into a neighbouring guardhouse. He had a
great reputation, and very little was necessary to make soldiers and
people believe that his life had been spared by a genuine miracle.
Half the population of Persia would perhaps have become Bābis, had
that guardhouse contained the entrance to a safe hiding place. But
there was nothing of the sort. The poor wretch was only a man, and the
soldiers saw he had no supernatural powers whatever. He was dragged
again to the firing place and killed. But dissent is not to be
suppressed by punishment, and of course Bābism did not die with
him. Two years afterwards, when the present Shah was enjoying his
favourite sport, and was somewhat in advance of his followers, three
men rushed upon his Majesty and wounded him in an attempted
assassination. The life of Nazr-ed-deen [Náṣiri'd-Dín] Shah, Kajar,
was saved by his own quickness and by the arrival of his followers,
who made prisoners of the assassins. They declared themselves
Bābis, and gloried in their attempt to avenge the death of their
leader and to propagate their doctrines by the murder of the Shah. The
baffled criminals were put to death with the cruelty which the
offences of this sect always meet with. Lighted candles were inserted
in slits cut in their living bodies, and, after lingering long in
agony, their tortured frames were hewn in pieces with hatchets.

'In most countries, the theory of punishment is, that the State, on
behalf of the community, must take vengeance upon the offender. But in
Persia it is otherwise. There, in accordance with the teaching of the
Koran, the theory and basis of punishment is, that the relations of
the victim must take revenge upon the actual or would-be murderers. In
conformity with this idea, the Shah's chamberlain executed on his
Majesty's behalf, and with his own hand, one of the conspirators. Yet
the Bābis remain the terror and trouble of the Government of
Ispahan, where the sect is reputed to number more followers than
anywhere else in Persia. But many of them have, in the present day,
transferred their allegiance from Bāb to Behar, a man who was
lately, and may be at present, imprisoned at Acca, in Arabia, by the
Turkish Government. Behar represents himself as God the Father in
human form, and declares that Bāb occupies the same position, in
regard to himself, that John the Baptist held to Jesus Christ. We were
assured that there were respectable families in Ispahan who worship
this imprisoned fanatic, who endanger their property and their lives
by a secret devotion, which, if known, would bring them to
destitution, and probably to a cruel death.'[1]

       *       *       *       *       *

Our second extract is from a much weightier book written by an
American diplomat, Mr. S. G. W. Benjamin, the first United States
Minister accredited to Írán:[GC]

    [Footnote GC: 'In the winter of 1882-1883 the author was
    appointed by President Arthur to the Legation in Persia, just
    created by Act of Congress. In 1885, with the accession of
    the Democratic party to power, he returned to private life,
    in accordance with the practice of the diplomatic service of
    the United States.'[2]]

'But the most remarkable sect now in Persia is probably that of the
Bâbees, or followers of the Bâb. Their importance is not so much due
to their numbers or political influence, as to the fact that the sect
is of recent origin, full of proselyting zeal, and gaining converts
every day in all parts of Persia, and latterly also in Turkey. The
Bâbees present one of the most important religious phenomena of the
age. It must be admitted, however, that they very strongly resemble in
their communistic views the doctrines enounced [sic] by the famous
Mazdâk [Mazdak], who was executed by Chosroes I after bringing the
empire to the verge of destruction by the spread of his anarchical

'In 1810 was born Seyed Alee Mohammed, at Shirâz.... Like all the
founders of oriental religions, he began his career with a period of
seclusion and meditation. He accepted Mahomet and Alee in the creed
which he considered himself predestined to proclaim; but he added to
this the declaration that their spirits had in turn entered into his
own soul, and that he was therefore a great prophet,--the Bâb, who was
to bring their gospel to a legitimate conclusion. It became his
mission, therefore, to announce that all things were divine, and that
he, the Bâb, was the incarnate presentment of the universal life. To
this doctrine was added a socialism which formulated the equality of
all, sweeping away social classes and distinctions, and ordaining a
community of property, and also, at first, of wives. The new doctrines
took hold of the heart of the masses; men and women of all ranks
hastened to proclaim their yearning for something that promised to
better their condition, by embracing the wild teachings of the Bâb ...
the Government could not long remain blind to the possible results if
the movement were allowed to spread unchecked. Therefore, after
several serious tumults, the Bâb was seized and executed at Tabreez.
This only served to add fuel to the fire. A fierce persecution broke
forth; but the Bâbees were not willing to submit tamely to
suppression.... The Bâbees are now obliged to practise their faith in
secret, all of those in Persia being outwardly of the Sheäh sect. But
their activity does not cease, and their numbers are increasing
rapidly. The sect has also extended to Turkey. The leader of the
Turkish branch resides at Constantinople.

'In Persia the title of the present head of the sect is Sob-e-Azêl
[Ṣubḥ-i-Azal]. As his belief in the Bâb is a secret, his name is
not mentioned in this connection.... Just now there seems to be
unusual activity among the Bâbees, emissaries or missionaries are
secretly pervading the country, not only seeking to make proselytes
but also presenting modifications in belief. The community in wives is
no longer a practised tenet of the Bâb sect, while it is proclaimed
with increasing emphasis that the Bâb is none other than God himself
made manifest in the flesh.'[3]

       *       *       *       *       *

The next extract is by another diplomat, General Sir Thomas Edward
Gordon, who had once been the Military Attaché and Oriental Secretary
of Queen Victoria's Legation in Ṭihrán, and wrote his book after a
second visit to Írán:

'The Babi sect of Mohammedans, regarded as seceders from Islam, but who
assert their claim to be only the advocates for Mohammedan Church
reform, are at last better understood and more leniently
treated--certainly at Tehran. They have long been persecuted and
punished in the cruellest fashion, even to torture and death, under the
belief that they were a dangerous body which aimed at the subversion of
the State as well as the Church. But better counsels now prevail, to
show that the time has come to cease from persecuting these sectarians,
who, at all events in the present day, show no hostility to the
Government; and the Government has probably discovered the truth of the
Babi saying, that one martyr makes many proselytes....

'An acknowledged authority on the Bab, the founder of this creed, has
written that he "directed the thoughts and hopes of his disciples to
this world, not to an unseen world." From this it was inferred he did
not believe in a future state, nor in anything beyond this life. Of
course, among the followers of a new faith, liberal and broad in its
views, continued fresh developments of belief must be expected; and
with reference to the idea that the Babis think not of a hereafter, I
was told that they believe in the reincarnation of the soul, the good
after death returning to life and happiness, the bad to unhappiness. A
Babi, in speaking of individual pre-existence, said to me, "You
believe in a future state; why, then, should you not believe in a
pre-existent state? Eternity is without beginning and without end."
This idea of re-incarnation, generally affecting all Babis, is, of
course, an extension of the original belief regarding the
re-incarnation of the Bab, and the eighteen disciple-prophets who
compose the sacred college of the sect....

'The Babi reform manifests an important advance upon all previous
modern Oriental systems in its treatment of woman. Polygamy and
concubinage are forbidden, the use of the veil is discouraged, and the
equality of the sexes is so thoroughly recognised that one, at least,
of the nineteen sovereign prophets must always be a female. This is a
return to the position of woman in early Persia, of which Malcolm
speaks when he says that Quintus Curtius told of Alexander not seating
himself in the presence of Sisygambis till told to do so by that
matron, because it was not the custom in Persia for sons to sit in
presence of their mother.'[4]

It must be said that Sir Thomas Gordon's long account of the Bábís
(from which only a few passages are taken) is good in many respects;
nevertheless, it perpetuates myths.

       *       *       *       *       *

Finally, here are two extracts from a book[GD] so highly rated that,
when it was published in 1915, it was put on the 'Secret List' of the
British Foreign Office, and kept there for more than a decade:

    [Footnote GD: Lorimer, _Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf_.
    Gordon Lorimer was one of the ablest members of the Indian
    Political Department, and held various posts in the area of
    the Persian Gulf. In 1904, he was commissioned by the
    Government of India to prepare the Gazetteer. At the end of
    1913, Lorimer replaced Sir Percy Z. Cox as Consul-General in
    Bú[_sh_]ihr and Political Resident in the Persian Gulf. In
    February a mishap with a revolver caused his untimely death.
    The present writer well remembers the event. The Gazetteer
    was made ready for publication by Capt. R. L. Birdwood.]

'A religious heresy which was destined to produce serious political
consequences in Persia made its appearance during the later years of
Muhammad Shāh: this was Bābism, the creed of the Bābis or
followers of the Bāb. The founder was Saiyid `Ali Muhammad, the son
of a grocer of Shīrāz, who, being sent as a youth to represent
his father at Būshehr, soon left that place on pilgrimage to Makkah
and afterwards sat as a student at the feet of Hāji Saiyid
Kāzim, the greatest Mujtahid of the day at Karbala. On the death
of his teacher he returned to Būshehr, where he proclaimed himself
a prophet, the 23rd May 1844 being accounted the date of his
manifestation in that character.

'"He now assumed the title of the _Bāb_, or gate, through whom
knowledge of the Twelfth Imam Mahdi could alone be attained. His
pretensions undoubtedly became more extravagant as time proceeded, and
he successfully announced himself as the Mahdi, as a re-incarnation of
the prophet, and as a Revelation or Incarnation of God himself."[GE]
The Bābi faith was ecclesiastically proscribed throughout Persia;
and massacres of its adherents, with counter-assassinations of leading
persecutors, became the order of the day.'

    [Footnote GE: Curzon, _Persia and the Persian Question_, Vol.
    I, p. 497.]

       *       *       *       *       *

'The new Bābi religion in Persia, of which the institution may be dated
from 1844, the year in which Mīrza `Ali Muhammad, commonly known as the
Bāb, declared his mission, does not appear to have obtained as yet much
hold on the coast of the Persian Gulf, notwithstanding that the Bāb
visited Būshehr at an early stage in his public career. It was reported
that at Būshehr there were in 1905 only about 50 Bābis, chiefly employed
in the Customs Department or in the Artillery; a very few others were
found at the ports of Bandar `Abbas and Lingeh, and possibly at
Shehr-i-Vīrān in the Līrāvi district; but at Baghdād, which was the
headquarters of the Bābi religion from 1853 to 1864, it did not appear
that there are any. It is probable, however, that Bābis are to be found
in places where their existence has not been ascertained.'[5]


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  LAYARD, SIR HENRY. _Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and
     Babylonia._ In two volumes. London: John Murray, 1887.

  LORIMER, J. G. _Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, 'Oman, and
     Central Arabia._ In two volumes. Calcutta, 1915 and 1908.
     Repr. Farnborough, Hants. and Shannon, Ireland: Gregg
     International Publishers Ltd and Irish University Press,

  NABÍL-I-A`ẒAM (Muḥammad-i-Zarandí). _The Dawn-Breakers._
     Nabíl's Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá'í
     Revelation. Wilmette, Illinois: Bahá'í Publishing Trust,
     1932; Repr. 1953. London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1953.

  NICOLAS, A.-L.-M. _Seyyèd Ali Mohammed dit le Bâb._ Paris:
     Dujarric & Cie., 1905.

  SALE, GEORGE (ed.) _The Korân._ Trans. into English from the
     Original Arabic, with Explanatory Notes. London: Frederick
     Warne and Co. Ltd., 1927.

  SHEIL, LADY MARY LEONORA. _Glimpses of Life and Manners in
     Persia._ London: John Murray, 1856.

  SHOGHI EFFENDI. _God Passes By._ Wilmette, Illinois: Bahá'í
     Publishing Trust, 1944; 5th repr. 1965.

  ---- _The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh._ Wilmette, Illinois:
     Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1938; rev. 1955; 2nd imp. 1965.

  SOHRÁB, AḤMAD. _Risáliy-i-Tis`a-`A[_sh_]aríyyih._ Nineteen
     Discourses on the Báb and His two heralds: [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
     Aḥmad-i-Aḥsá'í and Siyyid Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí.
     Cairo, 1919.

The reader is also referred to bibliographies contained in the
following works (listed above):

  Balyuzi, _Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith_, pp.

  Browne, _Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion_, Sec.
     III, pp. 175-243.

  Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, Note A, pp.

  Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 491-3 (Brit.), pp.
     669-71 (U.S.).


Full details of authors and titles are given in the bibliography. Page
numbers are given for the American and British editions of
Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, _The Dawn-Breakers_. All Foreign Office documents
(reference F.O.) are held by the Public Record Office, London. They
are Crown copyright and appear verbatim by kind permission of the
Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.


[1] See Sohráb, _Risáliy-i-Tis`a-`A[_sh_]aríyyih_, p. 13, for an
account of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad's discourses. (This source is
discussed in Balyuzi, _`Abdu'l-Bahá_, p. 417.)

[2] _ibid._, p. 14.

[3] See note 1 above, pp. 19-20.

[4] F.O. 248/108 of May 15th 1843, enclosed in letter of May 20th 1843
to Sheil.

[5] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 33 (Brit.), p. 45 (U.S.).

[6] Sheil served as the British Minister in Ṭihrán from August 1842
to February 1853, except for a period of leave from October 1847 to
November 1849, when Col. Farrant deputised for him. Sheil was knighted
in 1855.

[7] F.O. 248/113.

[8] The other pretenders were Ḥusayn-`Alí Mírzá, the
Farmán-Farmá, Governor-General of Fárs, and Ḥasan-`Alí Mírzá, the
[_Sh_]ujá`u's-Salṭanih, Governor General of Kirmán, both sons of
Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh. Three of the sons of the Farmán-Farmá managed
to take themselves to London.

[9] Sir Henry Layard (1817-1894) was the discoverer of the ancient
city of Nineveh. He was elected to the British parliament as a
Liberal, and served a term as the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs. In 1877 he was appointed Ambassador in Constantinople. His
account is taken from _Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and
Babylonia_, Vol. I, pp. 257-61.

[10] The Ambassador recalled was Sir John MacNeill and the quarrel
between Írán and Britain was over the city of Hirát. This beautiful
city had always been considered an integral part of the province of
[_Kh_]urásán, but since the assassination of Nádir [_Sh_]áh, the
Af[_sh_]ár king, in 1747, Hirát had passed into possession of
Af[_gh_]án rulers. Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh was intent on regaining
Ḥirát, but Anglo-Russian rivalry and the British fear of Russian
designs on India, hitherto almost non-existent, had become dominant
factors in the international scene, bound to shadow the destiny
of Írán; the British believed that the acquisition of Hirát by
the Persians would, in the main, benefit Russia. They took
counter-measures in the Persian Gulf and occupied the island of
[_Kh_]árg, close to Bú[_sh_]ihr.

[11] F.O. 60/95 of February 14th 1843.

[12] _ibid._


Opening quotation: Gertrude Lowthian Bell (1868-1926), _Poems from the
Divan of Hafiz_, Wm. Heinemann Ltd., London, 1897, No. xxx.

[1] Browne, _A Year Amongst the Persians_, (1926 ed.), p. 284.

[2] Curzon, _Persia and the Persian Question_, Vol. I, p. 497, n. 2.

[3] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 309.

[4] Since they originated from the small town of Bara[_gh_]án, they
were known as Bara[_gh_]ání.

[5] Qurratu'l-`Ayn's words are quoted in _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 56
(Brit.), pp. 81-2 (U.S.); and in verse form in _A Persian Anthology_,
trans. by E. G. Browne, ed. by E. Denison Ross, Methuen & Co., London,
1927, p. 72.


Opening quotation: T. K. Cheyne, _The Reconciliation of Races and
Religions_, p. 74.

[1] Mír Muḥammad-Riḍá's father was named Mír Naṣru'lláh, his
grandfather Mír Fatḥu'lláh, and his great-grandfather Mír Ibráhím.

[2] For details of this unedifying transaction, see Kazemzadeh,
_Russia and Britain in Persia, 1864-1914_, ch. 4. The contract was
signed on March 8th 1890.

[3] Translated by H. M. Balyuzi.

[4] [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad was known as [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid, and
also as [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]uná and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]-i-Anám. That his real
name was Muḥammad is attested by this verse in the Arabic _Bayán_,
one of the last works of the Báb: 'Say O Muḥammad, My teacher, do
not beat me ere my years have gone beyond five.'

His school was in the quarter called Bázár-i-Mur[_gh_] (Poultry
Market), housed in a mosque-like structure which went by the name of
Qahviy-i-Awlíyá'. It was close to the house of Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid
`Alí, the uncle-guardian of the Báb. In its courtyard were a number of
graves: three were particularly revered as those of saintly
personages, one of whom was called Awlíyá'--though no one really knew
whose were the graves.

It is known that [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid wrote a monograph on the
childhood of the Báb, but the manuscript has always been in the
possession of people not well-disposed to the Faith of the Báb and
Bahá'u'lláh, and they have persistently refused to give it up or to
divulge its contents. [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid was also destined in later
years to accept the Faith proclaimed by his former Pupil.

[5] Account taken from Mírzá Abu'l Faḍl's unpublished writings.

[6] Nicolas, _Seyyèd Ali Mohammed Dit le Bâb_, pp. 189-90.

[7] Written in several volumes during the reign of Náṣiri'd-Dín
[_Sh_]áh by Lisánu'l-Mulk of Ká[_sh_]án, whose soubriquet was Sipihr.

[8] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 20-2 (Brit.), pp. 25-9 (U.S.).

[9] _ibid._, pp. 22-3 (Brit.), p. 30 (U.S.).

[10] Ḥájí Mírzá `Alí's father was named Mírzá `Ábid.

[11] By [_Dh_]ikr, he means Himself. Repeatedly in the
_Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_, the Báb refers to Himself as [_Dh_]ikr, and was
known to His followers as [_Dh_]ikru'lláh-al-A`ẓam (Mention of God,
the Most Great), or [_Dh_]ikru'lláh-al-Akbar (Mention of God, the
Greatest), and sometimes as Ḥaḍrat-i-[_Dh_]ikr. 'Ḥaḍrat'
prefixed to the name of a Manifestation of God has been translated as
'His Holiness'. But this English rendering is totally inadequate, for
'Ḥaḍrat' has no English equivalent when placed prior to the name
of a Manifestation of God. It conveys also the sense of His Honour,
His Eminence, His Excellency, and the like.

[12] From the _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_, translated by H. M. Balyuzi.


Opening quotations: Bahá'u'lláh, (1) _Gleanings_, LVI (2)
_Kitáb-i-Íqán_, p. 161 (Brit.), p. 252 (U.S.).

[1] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 58 (Brit.), pp. 86-7 (U.S.).

[2] _ibid._, p. 66 (Brit.), p. 96 (U.S.).

[3] Two works of the Báb are entitled _Bayán_ (Utterance): the larger
one is in Persian, and the other which is much shorter is in Arabic.

[4] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 69 (Brit.), p. 99 (U.S.).

[5] _ibid._, p. 70 (Brit.), pp. 100-1 (U.S.).

[6] _ibid._, pp. 71-4 (Brit.), pp. 104-8 (U.S.).

[7] See Foreword, paragraph 4.

[8] Shoghi Effendi, _God Passes By_, p. 9.


Opening quotation: T. S. Eliot, 'Choruses from _The Rock_', I. 'The
Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven'. _Collected Poems 1909-1962_,
Faber & Faber Ltd., London, 1963.

[1] London 1856, p. 177.

[2] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 61-2 (Brit.), pp. 90-1 (U.S.).

[3] Throughout his life Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá served the Faith which he
had embraced, with zeal and distinction. He spent many years in Beirut
where he attended to the needs and requirements of pilgrims. His son,
Áqá Ḥusayn Iqbál, did the same in subsequent years, with great devotion.
Another son, Dr. Zia Bagdadi (Dr. Ḍíyá Ba[_gh_]dádí) resided in the
United States, where his services were inestimable.

[4] 'There gathered [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Najaf, the son of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]
Ja`far, and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Músá from Najaf; Siyyid Ibráhím al-Qazvíní
from Karbilá; [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad-Ḥasan Yásín and
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan Asadu'lláh from Káẓimíyyah; Siyyid
Muḥammad al-Álúsí and Siyyid `Alí, the Naqíb-al-A[_sh_]ráf, and
Muḥammad-Amín al-Wá`iz and [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad-Sa`íd, the
[_Sh_]áfi`í Muftí from Ba[_gh_]dád. There were others also besides
these.' (Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafáy-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí.)

[5] Translated by H. M. Balyuzi. Áqá
Muḥammad-Muṣṭafáy-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí's autobiography is no more
than 24 pages long. It is the second of two booklets printed together
in Cairo. There is no publication date.

[6] Major-General Sir Henry Rawlinson (1810-95) was one of the
outstanding European figures in the nineteenth century. It was he who
transcribed the cuneiform inscriptions on the rocks of Bísitún in
Western Írán, which record the achievements of the great Darius. He
discovered the key to decipher them. Like Sir John Malcolm, he
entered the service of the East India Company at the age of seventeen.
Six years later, he went with two other British officers to train the
Persian army, but after two years he was dismissed because Muḥammad
[_Sh_]áh had begun to quarrel with the British. Next he served in
Qandahár. By his own wish he was transferred to `Iráq, because he
wanted to be close to Western Írán and continue his research. He also
continued the unfinished work of Layard at Nineveh. The British Museum
has a wealth of archaeological finds donated by him. From 1859-60, he
briefly occupied the post of British Minister in Ṭihrán. Then to
the end of his life he served on the India Council in London and
devoted his time to writing and to scientific pursuits. From 1870-84,
the Trustees of the British Museum issued four volumes of cuneiform
inscriptions under his close supervision.

[7] F.O. 248/114 of January 8th 1845, enclosed in Rawlinson's letter
to Sheil of January 16th 1845.

[8] _ibid._

[9] _ibid._

[10] F.O. 248/114 of January 16th 1845.

[11] F.O. 248/114 (undated). Translation by Rawlinson, enclosed in his
letter to Sheil of January 16th 1845.

[12] F.O. 195/237 of April 15th 1845.

[13] F.O. 195/237 of April 30th 1845.

[14] F.O. 195/237 of February 18th 1845.

[15] F.O. 248/114 of February 28th 1845.


Opening quotation: translation by H. M. Balyuzi.

[1] His son, Ḥájí [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Yaḥyá, succeeded him as
Imám-Jum`ih, and lived till 1919 to an advanced age. He extended his
protection to the Bahá'ís on every possible occasion.

[2] Ḥájí Mírzá Ḥabíbu'lláh's narrative.

[3] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 91 (Brit.), p. 131 (U.S.).

[4] _ibid._, pp. 90-1 (Brit.), p. 130 (U.S.).

[5] _ibid._, p. 92 (Brit.), pp. 132-3 (U.S.).

[6] _ibid._, pp. 93-5 (Brit.), pp. 134-6 (U.S.).

[7] _ibid._, pp. 96-7 (Brit.), pp. 138-40 (U.S.).

[8] _ibid._, p. 97 (Brit.), p. 140 (U.S.).


Opening quotation: Isabella in _Measure for Measure_, Act II, sc. ii.

[1] Published by Leavitt, Trow & Co., New York & Philadelphia.

[2] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 99 (Brit.), p. 142 (U.S.).

[3] _ibid._, pp. 100-1 (Brit.), p. 144 (U.S.).

[4] Cited Kelly, _Britain and the Persian Gulf_, p. 310.

[5] Eugène-Napoléon Flandin (1809-76) was an archaeologist and
painter of note. He and Coste, an architect, were members of the
suite of M. de Sercey, Louis-Philippe's envoy to the Court of
Muḥammad-[_Sh_]áh. They stayed in Írán, after the envoy's
departure, to draw her ancient monuments. The result of their labours,
_Voyage en Perse_, was published in 1851 by the French Government.

[6] _Early Adventures in Persia_, Vol. I, pp. 326-8.

[7] Father of Mírzá Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, the Mu[_sh_]íru'd-Dawlih and
Sipahsálár, who was the Persian ambassador in Constantinople in 1863,
at the time of Bahá'u'lláh's exile to Adrianople. Mírzá Ḥusayn
[_Kh_]án later rose to be the Ṣadr-i-A`ẓam (Grand Vizier).

[8] Ḥájí Mírzá `Alí-Akbar, the Qavámu'l-Mulk, was a younger son of
Ḥájí Ibráhím [_Kh_]án, the Grand Vizier who concluded a treaty with
Sir John Malcolm, and later fell into disgrace and was barbarously put
to death by Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh. Most of his family perished with
him. However, the young Mírzá `Alí-Akbar survived to be restored to
favour in later years and given the title of Qavámu'l-Mulk. He and his
descendants, over several generations, greatly influenced the
destinies of the inhabitants of Fárs.

[9] Sartíp was a high rank in those days both in the civil and the
military establishment; today it means brigadier. The Farmán (Firman)
was to be read in the Masjid-i-Naw. Quarters of a city either belonged
to the Ni`matí-[_Kh_]ánih or the Haydarí-[_Kh_]ánih.

[10] F.O. 248/113 of August 7th 1844, enclosed in a letter of August
14th 1844, from Hennell to Sheil.

[11] F.O. 248/113 of November 24th 1844, enclosed in Hennell's letter
to Sheil of December 11th 1844.

[12] F.O. 248/113 of December 24th 1844, enclosed in Hennell's letter
to Sheil of January 4th 1845.

[13] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 104 (Brit.), pp. 148-9 (U.S.).


Opening quotation: _An Essay on Man_, Epistle II.

[1] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 105 (Brit.), pp. 149-50 (U.S.).

[2] Arberry (ed.), _The Koran Interpreted_.

[3] See Foreword, paragraph 4.

[4] Arberry (ed.), _The Koran Interpreted_. Verse numbers for the
first extract are 49-50, although Arberry gives 50-1.

[5] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 105-6 (Brit.), p. 150 (U.S.).

[6] Arberry (ed.), _The Koran Interpreted_.

[7] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 125-6 (Brit.), pp. 174-6 (U.S.).

[8] _ibid._, p. 126 (Brit.), p. 176 (U.S.).

[9] _ibid._, pp. 126-7 (Brit.), p. 176 (U.S.).

[10] _ibid._, p. 127 (Brit.), p. 177 (U.S.).

[11] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 8.

[12] Masjid-i-Vakíl: built by Karím [_Kh_]án-i-Vakíl, the founder of
the Zand dynasty.

[13] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 107-9 (Brit.), pp. 153-4 (U.S.).

[14] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 7.

[15] `Andalíb (Nightingale) was the soubriquet of Mírzá
`Alí-A[_sh_]raf of Láhíján in the Caspian province of Gílán. `Andalíb
was a poet of superb accomplishment and an eloquent teacher. He met
Edward Granville Browne in Yazd in the year 1888. A very long letter
exists, in his handwriting, addressed to Edward Browne, in which he
cites proofs from the Bible, in support of the Bahá'í Faith, and
encourages Browne to visit Bahá'u'lláh in `Akká. It is not known
whether a copy of the letter ever reached Browne.

[16] Nicolas, _Seyyèd Ali Mohammed dit le Bâb_, p. 233.

[17] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, pp. 9-10.

[18] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 128-9 (Brit.), p. 179 (U.S.).

[19] See footnote ch. 4, p. 62.

[20] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 11.


Opening quotation: _The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses_, 1659.

[1] It has been stated by one writer that Áqá
Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Ardistání was also with the Báb on this journey.

[2] Layard, _Early Adventures in Persia_, Vol. I, pp. 311-12.

[3] Arberry (ed.), _The Koran Interpreted_.

[4] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 145 (Brit.), p. 202 (U.S.).

[5] _ibid._, p. 146 (Brit.), p. 204 (U.S.).

[6] _ibid._, p. 148 (Brit.), pp. 205-7 (U.S.).

[7] Ṣadru'd-Dín Muḥammad of [_Sh_]íráz, who died in the year
A.H. 1050 (A.D. 1640-1) is generally known as Mullá Ṣadrá.
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Aḥmad-i-Aḥsá'í wrote commentaries on two of his
works: _Ḥikmatu'l-`Ar[_sh_]íyyah_ (Divine Philosophy) and
_Ma[_sh_]á`ir_ (Faculties).

[8] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 150 (Brit.), p. 209 (U.S.).

[9] _ibid._, pp. 150-1 (Brit.), pp. 209-11 (U.S.).

[10] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 13.

[11] Nicolas, _Seyyèd Ali Mohammed Dit le Bâb_, p. 242, n. 192.

[12] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 152-3 (Brit.), p. 213 (U.S.).

[13] `Abdu'l-Bahá states in _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 13,
that the Báb's sojourn in the private residence of Manú[_ch_]ihr
[_Kh_]án lasted four months.


Opening quotation: Act II, sc. ii.

[1] See Shoghi Effendi, _God Passes By_, p. 164.

[2] In the early days of Islám, these people were ranked with those
groups of zealots who had earned the generic term of [_Gh_]ulát
(Extremists, or 'those who exaggerate'). They identified `Alí, the
first Imám, with the Godhead. `Abdu'lláh Ibn-Sabá, a Jewish convert to
Islám who originated this doctrine, was put to death by `Alí himself.
'`Alí is not God but is not separate from Him either' is the statement
attributed to them today.

[3] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 156 (Brit.), p. 217 (U.S.).

[4] _ibid._, p. 161 (Brit.), pp. 224-5 (U.S.).

[5] The account of this journey is given in _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp.
156-62 (Brit.), pp. 217-27 (U.S.).

[6] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 14.

[7] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 162-3 (Brit.), pp. 228-9 (U.S.).

[8] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, pp. 14-15.

[9] _ibid._, pp. 15-16.

[10] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 163 (Brit.), pp. 230-1 (U.S.).


Opening quotation: translation by H. M. Balyuzi.

[1] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 165-6 (Brit.), p. 235 (U.S.).

[2] _ibid._, p. 166 (Brit.), p. 236 (U.S.).

[3] _ibid._

[4] Browne (ed.), _The Táríkh-i-Jadíd_, pp. 220-1.

[5] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 167 (Brit.), p. 238 (U.S.).

[6] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 16.

[7] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 173-4 (Brit.), p. 247 (U.S.).

[8] _ibid._, p. 174 (Brit.), pp. 247-8 (U.S.).

[9] Dossier No. 177, Ṭihrán, 1848, pp. 49-50 and p. 360. See
Appendix 5, n. 2.

[10] See Foreword, paragraph 4.

[11] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, p. 16.

[12] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 175 (Brit.), p. 249 (U.S.).


Opening quotation: _In Memoriam A.H.H._ (Prologue, v. 5.)

[1] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 219 (Brit.), p. 303 (U.S.).

[2] After the martyrdom of the Báb, a number of His followers turned to
Dayyán for guidance. They were known as 'Dayyáníyyih'. Most of them
lived in the provinces of Á[_dh_]arbáyján and Gílán. It has been thought
that Dayyán claimed to be 'He Whom God shall make manifest', but
Bahá'u'lláh refuted this in his _Kitáb-i-Badí`_. When Dayyán came into
the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in `Iráq, He fully recognized His station.

[3] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 220 (Brit.), p. 304 (U.S.).

[4] _ibid._, pp. 21-2 (Brit.), p. 305 (U.S.).

[5] See ch. 2, n. 7.

[6] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, pp. 278-89. The
questions and replies are extracted from this much longer report of
the trial.

[7] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 230-1 (Brit.), pp. 316-19 (U.S.). The
quotations are taken from these pages; one reply of the Báb is

[8] Browne, _Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion_, pp. 260-2.

[9] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 234 (Brit.), p. 323 (U.S.).

[10] Ḥájí Qásí's end was sad. Some seventeen years later, in spite
of assurances given to him, he was strangled on the platform of
Persepolis, and his corpse was left dangling there, by the orders of
an uncle of Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh, Ḥájí Sulṭán Murád Mírzá,
the Ḥisámu's-Salṭanih, who was on his way to take up the reins
of governorship in [_Sh_]íráz.


Opening quotation: 'The Báb' in _The Bahá'í World_, Vol. VIII, p. 945.
Beatrice Irwin (1877-1956) was a British Bahá'í of Irish descent, who
lived a good part of her life in the United States, but travelled both
in her work and as a Bahá'í teacher to many parts of the world.
Educated at Cheltenham College and Oxford, she was a pioneer in the
field of lighting engineering, and also devoted much of her life to
advancing the cause of world peace. Her writings include _The Gates of
Light_, _The New Science of Colour_, and _Heralds of Peace_.

[1] In later years he became known as Mírzá `Alíy-i-Sayyaḥ
(Traveller), married a daughter of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí
and made his home in Karbilá. He was one of the four Bahá'ís sent with
Ṣubḥ-i-Azal to Cyprus, by the Ottoman Government. He died there
on August 4th 1871.

[2] See Foreword, paragraph 4.

[3] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 314 (Brit.), pp. 430-1 (U.S.). Account of
Siyyid Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí (or `Azíz).

[4] _ibid._, pp. 370-1 (Brit.), p. 505 (U.S.).

[5] _ibid._, p. 371 (Brit.), p. 506 (U.S.).

[6] _ibid._, p. 372 (Brit.), p. 507 (U.S.).

[7] _ibid._, pp. 223-4 (Brit.), pp. 307-8 (U.S.).

[8] Cited Shoghi Effendi, _The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh_, p. 101.

[9] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 373 (Brit.), p. 508 (U.S.), and Sohráb,
_Risáliy-i-Tis`a-`A[_sh_]aríyyih_, p. 74.

[10] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 374 (Brit.), pp. 509-10 (U.S.).

[11] _ibid._, p. 375 (Brit.), p. 512 (U.S.).

[12] _ibid._, p. 376 (Brit.), p. 514 (U.S.).

[13] _ibid._, p. 378 (Brit.), pp. 518-19 (U.S.).


Opening quotation: _Díván-i-Miṣbáḥ_. `Azízu'lláh Miṣbáḥ (1876-1945),
poet, educationalist, master of _belles-lettres_, was an eminent Bahá'í
of Írán. A book of his prose: _Mun[_sh_]i'át-i-Miṣbáḥ_, reprinted many
times, became a textbook, for use in schools.

[1] [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Muḥammad [_Sh_]ibl and his son, Áqá Muḥammad-Muṣṭafá
(then about ten years old); [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Sulṭán-i-Karbilá'í; Siyyid
Aḥmad-i-Yazdí, the father of Siyyid Ḥusayn (the amanuensis of the Báb);
[_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṣaliḥ-i-Karímí and Mullá Ibráhím-i-Maḥallátí were of that

[2] Browne (ed.), _A Traveller's Narrative_, Vol. II, xliii.

[3] He was variously named as Mullá `Abdu'lláh, Mírzá Ṣálih, and
Mírzá Ṭáhir, the Baker.

[4] `Abdu'l-Bahá, _Memorials of the Faithful_, p. 201.

[5] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 215-16 (Brit.), p. 299 (U.S.).

[6] _ibid._, p. 253 (Brit.), p. 351 (U.S.).

[7] Nicolas, _Seyyèd Ali Mohammed dit le Bâb_, p. 296.

[8] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 240 (Brit.), p. 332 (U.S.).

[9] F.O. 60/144.

[10] Bahá'u'lláh, _Kitáb-i-Íqán_, p. 142 (Brit.), p. 223 (U.S.).

[11] Cited _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 284n (Brit.), p. 395n. (U.S.). Also
in another translation in `Abdu'l-Bahá's _Memorials of the Faithful_,
p. 7.

[12] They were al-Ḥáj Muḥammad al-Karradí and Sa`íd al-Jabbáwí.
Ḥájí Muḥammad was nearly eighty years old. In his younger days,
he had led a hundred men in the war between the Ottomans and Ibráhím
Pá[_sh_]á, son of the celebrated Muḥammad-`Alí Pá[_sh_]á of Egypt.

[13] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 298 (Brit.), p. 411 (U.S.).

[14] In 1970, the present writer received, through the good offices of
his cousin, Abu'l-Qásim Afnán, the photostatically-produced copy of a
manuscript describing this episode in Bábí history. It is in the
handwriting of Áqá Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Ṭihrání, a merchant, whose
brother, Mu[_sh_]iru't-Tujjár, was one of the 'Five Martyrs' of Sárí.
(These five were murdered in the early years of the Constitutional
Movement in Persia: see Balyuzi, _Edward Granville Browne and the
Bahá'í Faith_.) Áqá Muḥammad-Báqir states, in a short introduction,
that he visited Bárfurú[_sh_] sometime in the year 1319 A.H. (April
20th 1901-April 9th 1902), where he chanced upon a manuscript of the
history of the Bábís at [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, written by one of
them, which he copied for himself and the benefit of others. He does
not mention the name of the owner of the original. This history begins
with an account of the author joining Mullá Ḥusayn; by this he can
be identified, although he nowhere names himself. There is no doubt
that he was Mírzá Luṭf-`Alí or Luṭf-`Alí Mírzá of [_Sh_]íráz, a
descendant of the Af[_sh_]árid monarchs of the 18th century A.D. He
was one of the few survivors of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, who managed
to escape in the company of Mullá Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-[_Kh_]urásání,
but in the holocaust of August 1852 (see Balyuzi, _Bahá'u'lláh_, p.
18) he died a martyr's death.

On receiving and examining this chronicle, the present writer recalled
that E. G. Browne mentions, in his _Materials for the Study of the Bábí
Religion_, a manuscript history of the episode of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí
by Luṭf-`Alí Mírzá, sent to him by Mírzá Muṣṭafá, the Azalí scribe. As
this manuscript is now in Cambridge University Library, a photostatic
reproduction was obtained by the kindness of the Librarian. According to
the scribe (whose real name was Ismá`íl-i-Ṣabbá[_gh_]-i-Sidihí), the
manuscript which he copied for Prof. Browne was faulty, but he could
find no other for comparison.

Luṭf-`Alí Mírzá's chronicle ends abruptly, and Áqá
Muḥammad-Báqir, the copyist, incorrectly concludes that the author
must have died of starvation, since the last lines of his chronicle
describe the state of famine caused by the siege.

The present writer is currently engaged in collating the two

[15] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 285 (Brit.), p. 396 (U.S.).

[16] F.O. 60/150, See Appendix 3.

[17] Mullá Báqir, the imám of the [_Ch_]inár-Sú[_kh_]tih quarter; Mírzá
Ḥusayn-i-Qutb, the Kad [_Kh_]udá (Headman) of the Bázár quarter; and
Ḥájí Muḥammad-Taqí, a prominent and wealthy merchant, who later earned
the surname of Ayyúb (Job) from Bahá'u'lláh, because of his intense
sufferings, his patience in tribulation and his steadfastness--these
were among the notables who went out to the village of Runíz in the
district of Fasá to meet Vaḥíd.

[18] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 353-4 (Brit.), pp. 479-80 (U.S.).

[19] They were commanded by Mihr-`Alí [_Kh_]án-i-Núrí, the
[_Sh_]ujá`u'l-Mulk, and Muṣṭafá-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Qaráguzlú, the

[20] _The Dawn-Breakers_, pp. 361-2 (Brit.), pp. 488-9 (U.S.).

[21] Shoghi Effendi, _God Passes By_, p. 47.

[22] Browne (ed.), _The Táríkh-i-Jadíd_, p. 255.

[23] _ibid._, p. 253.

[24] Browne, _A Year Amongst the Persians_, p. 81. (1926 ed.).

[25] F. O. 60/153. K. W. Abbott's dispatch of August 30th 1850,
enclosed with Sheil's report of September 5th 1850 to Palmerston.

[26] F. O. 248/142 of December 9th 1850, R. W. Stevens, Consul at
Tabríz to Sheil.

[27] _The Dawn-Breakers_, p. 419 (Brit.), p. 572 (U.S.).

[28] F.O. 60/158 of January 6th 1851.


[1] Shoghi Effendi, _God Passes By_, pp. 273-4.


[1] F.O. 248/108, of May 15th 1843, enclosed in Farrant's letter to
Sheil of May 20th 1843. All quotations unidentified by a number in
this Appendix are taken from this document.

[2] F.O. 248/108, of November 18th 1842, enclosed in Farrant's letter
to Sheil of May 2nd 1843.

[3] F.O. 60/95 (undated), enclosed in Sheil's letter to Aberdeen of
February 4th 1843.


[1] F.O. 60/152.

[2] F.O. 248/142, of July 24th 1850.

[3] F.O. 60/153.

[4] F.O. 60/153, of August 3rd 1850, translated by Taylour Thomson.

[5] F.O. 248/140.


[1] F.O. 60/150, of February 12th 1850.


[1] F.O. 60/145, of July 27th 1849.

[2] Dossier No. 133, Ṭihrán, 1850; pp. 100-5. Translation by Dr.
Firuz Kazemzadeh in 'Excerpts from Dispatches Written During
1848-1852' by Prince Dolgorukov, Russian Minister to Persia; quoted by
kind permission of _World Order_, A Bahá'í Magazine, Vol. I, No. 1,
1966. The dispatches were published as an appendix to M. S. Ivanov's
book, _The Babi Uprisings in Iran_.

[3] F.O. 60/150. See Appendix 3.

[4] F.O. 248/140, of May 2nd 1850.


[1] F.O. 60/151, of May 25th 1850.

[2] F.O. 60/152, of June 25th 1850.

[3] Dossier No. 133, Ṭihrán, 1850; pp. 470-1. See Appendix 4, note
2, for details.

[4] F.O. 60/153.

[5] _ibid._

[6] Dossier No. 134, Ṭihrán, 1850; p. 562. See Appendix 4, note 2,
for details.

[7] Dossier No. 133, Ṭihrán, 1850; p. 582. _op. cit._

[8] Dossier No. 134, Ṭihrán, 1850; p. 99. _op. cit._

[9] Dossier No. 134, Ṭihrán, 1851; p. 156. _op. cit._

[10] F.O. 60/153.

[11] _ibid._

[12] F.O. 60/154.

[13] _ibid._, of December 16th 1850.

[14] _ibid._, of December 24th 1850.

[15] F.O. 248/143.

[16] F.O. 60/158.


[1] F.O. 248/140.

[2] F.O. 60/152.

[3] F.O. 248/141.

[4] F.O. 60/152, enclosed with Sheil's letter to Palmerston.


[1] Arnold, _Through Persia by Caravan_, Vol. II, pp. 32-5.

[2] Benjamin, _Persia and the Persians_, Preface.

[3] _ibid._, pp. 353-5.

[4] Gordon, _Persia Revisited_, pp. 81-91.

[5] Lorimer, _Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf_, Vol. I, part 2, pp.
1966-7 and 2384.


  `Abá, 5, 138

  `Abbas (`Abbás), brother of Imám Ḥusayn, 193, 197, 198, 200

  `Abbás the Great, [_Sh_]áh, 106, 107

  `Abbás, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], of `Iráq, 60

  `Abbás Effendi, _see_ `Abdu'l-Bahá

  `Abbás Mírzá, Prince (the Náyibu's-Salṭanih), 8, 9, 10, 149

  `Abbás Mírzá Mulk-Árá (the Náyibu's-Salṭanih), 135, 139

  `Abbás-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Láríjání, 172, 174

  `Abbásábád, 139

  `Abdu'l-`Alíy-i-Hirátí, Mullá, 102

  `Abdu'l-`Azíz, Mullá, 64, 197, 199, 201

  `Abdu'l-Bahá (`Abbás Effendi), 5, 32, 93, 95, 96, 99, 105, 114, 118,
      128, 132, 139, 149, 167, 168, 175, 191, 192

  `Abdu'l-Báqí, Siyyid, 118

  `Abdu'l-Hádí, of `Iráq, 60

  `Abdu'l-Ḥamíd [_Kh_]án-i-Dárú[_gh_]ih, 97, 104, 105

  `Abdu'l-Karím, Mírzá, of [_Sh_]íráz, 103

  `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní, Mullá (Mírzá Aḥmad-i-Kátib), 92, 102, 104,
      115, 120, 151, 152

  `Abdu'l-Vahháb, Hájí Mírzá, 27

  `Abdu'lláh, Mírzá, of [_Sh_]íráz, 170

  `Abdu'lláh Ibn-Sabá, 236

  `Abdu'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Turkaman, 174

  `Abdu'lláh-i-Bihbihání, Áqá, 164

  Aberdeen, the Earl of, xi, 12, 63, 68

  `Ábid, Mírzá (grandfather of the Báb's wife), 231

  `Ábid, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 34, 35, 36, 230, 231

  Abraham, 31, 70, 184

  Abú-Há[_sh_]im, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 69, 70, 78, 99

  Abú-Lahab, 86

  Abú-Ṭálib (uncle of the Prophet Muḥammad), 86

  Abú-Ṭalib, Mullá, 78

  Abú-Turáb, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] (Imám-Jum`ih, of [_Sh_]íráz), 69, 89, 94,
      95, 99, 103

  Abu'l-Faḍl-i-Gulpáygání, Mírzá, 32, 39, 125, 231

  Abu'l-Ḥasan, Ḥájí, 69, 70, 71, 103

  Abu'l-Ḥasan [_Kh_]án, Mírzá (the 2nd Mu[_sh_]íru'l-Mulk), 98

  Abu'l-Qásim, Ḥájí Mírzá (brother-in-law of the Báb), 46, 106, 107

  Abu'l-Qásim, Mírzá (Qá'im-Maqám-i-Faráhání), _see_ Qá'im-Maqám

  Abu'l-Qásim-i-Labbáf, Ma[_sh_]hadí, 103

  A[_dh_]án, 78, 128

  Á[_dh_]arbáyján, 79, 124, 125, 131, 132, 136, 137, 140, 143, 149, 152,
      170, 204, 237

  Ádí Guzal, Mullá (Mírzá `Alíy-i-Sayyáḥ), 149, 238

  `Ádil [_Sh_]áh, _see_ `Alí-[_Sh_]áh

  Adrianople, 128, 189, 234

  Af[_gh_]án, 230

  Afnán, 46

  Af[_sh_]ár, Af[_sh_]árid (kings), 103, 161, 230, 239

  Aga Khan I (Haṣan-`Alí [_Kh_]án), 122

  Ahl-i-Ḥaqq, 118

  Aḥmad (son of the Báb), 46, 47

  Aḥmad, Ḥájí, of Mílán, 160

  Aḥmad, Mírzá (Imám-Jum`ih, of Tabríz), 140

  Aḥmad, Siyyid Mír (brother of 8th Imám), 103

  Aḥmad-i-Aḥsá'í, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] (founder of [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]i sect):
    early years, 1;
    pilgrimage and death, 2;
    teaching, 19, 162, 166, 229, 236

  Aḥmad-i-Az[_gh_]andí, Mírzá, 56

  Aḥmad-i-Ibdál-i-Mará[_gh_]i'í, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 26, 131

  Aḥmad-i-Kátib, Mírzá, _see_ Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní, Mullá

  Aḥmad-i-Mu`allim, Mullá, 56

  Aḥsá, 1

  Ájúdán-Bá[_sh_]í, _see_ Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án

  A[_kh_]bárí, 62, 101

  A[_kh_]und, Ḥájí, 189, 190

  `Akká, 128, 145, 166, 191, 192, 219, 235

  `Aláu'd-Dawlih, 145

  Aleppo, 68

  Alexander, 223

  Alexander I, Tsar, 8

  `Alí (`Alí ibn Abí Ṭalib, the first Imám), 18, 95, 194, 200, 236

  `Alí, Ḥájí Mírzá (father of the Báb's wife), 46

  `Alí, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid (uncle of the Báb), 33, 105, 150, 183-4, 231

  `Alí, Ḥájí Mullá, 25

  `Alí an-Naqí, Imám, 41

  `Alí Bi[_sh_]r, Siyyid, 60, 162, 163

  `Alí [_Kh_]án (warden of Máh-Kú), 122, 128, 129, 131, 135

  Ali Pasha, 200

  `Alí-Qabl-i-Muḥammad (the Báb), 78

  `Alí-Akbar, Mírzá, of [_Sh_]íráz, 103

  `Alí-Akbar Big, 125

  `Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání, Mullá, 78

  `Alí-Akbar-i-[_Sh_]ahmírzádí, Ḥájí Mullá (Ḥájí Á[_kh_]und), 189, 190

  `Alí-Aṣ[_gh_]ar, Mírzá ([_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám, of Tabríz), 140, 145

  `Alí-Aṣ[_gh_]ar [_Kh_]án, of Nayríz, 179

  `Alí-A[_sh_]raf, Mírzá, _see_ `Andalíb

  `Alí-`Askar, Ḥájí, 128

  `Alí-Mardán [_Kh_]án, fort of, 185

  `Alí-Naqí, Mírzá, 200

  `Alí-[_Sh_]áh (the Ẓillu's-Sulṭán), 5, 10, 12, 196-8, 200, 201, 218

  `Alí Virdí [_Kh_]án, 199

  `Alíy-i-Basṭámí, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 27, 28, 37-8, ch. 4,
      162, 166, 232

  `Alíy-i-Rází, Mullá, _see_ [_Kh_]udá-Ba[_kh_][_sh_]-i-Qú[_ch_]ání, Mullá

  `Alíy-i-Sayyáḥ, Mírzá, _see_ Ádí Guzal, Mullá

  `Alíy-i-Tafri[_sh_]í, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid (the Majdu'l-A[_sh_]ráf), 190

  `Alíy-i-Zunúzí, Siyyid, 153

  `Alíyu'lláhís, 118, 164

  Alláh-u-Akbar, pass of, 16;
    invocation, 128

  Alláh-Yár, Ḥájí, 159

  Alláh-Yár [_Kh_]án (Áṣafu'd-Dawlih), 9

  Alváṭ (pl. of Lúṭí), 83

  America, American, 1, 77, 145, 220

  Amínu's-Sulṭán, 145

  Amír Niẓám, _see_ Taqí [_Kh_]án, Mírzá

  Amír-i-Díván, _see_ Nabí [_Kh_]án-i-Qazvíní, Mírzá

  Amír-i-Kabír, _see_ Taqí [_Kh_]án, Mírzá

  Ámul, 172, 174

  `Andalíb (Mírzá `Alí-A[_sh_]raf of Láhíján, poet), 96, 235

  Antichrist, of the Bábí Revelation, 117, 140;
    _see also_ Áqásí, Ḥájí Mírzá

  Applications, science of, 141

  Áqá Ján [_Kh_]án-i-[_Kh_]amsih, 158

  Áqá Muḥammad [_Kh_]án, 7

  Áqá-Bálá Big (the Naqqá[_sh_]-Bá[_sh_]í), 138

  Áqáy-i-Kalím, _see_ Músá, Mírzá

  Áqásí, Ḥájí Mírzá (Grand Vizier), 11-12, 13, 93, 111-112, 114, 117,
      119, 121-3, 128, 131, 132, 136, 137, 139-40, 147, 148, 199

  Arab, Arabic, 108, 136, 141, 165, 176

  Arabia, 219

  Aras (Araxes, river), 9, 124

  Arberry, Prof. A. J., 3

  Archives, _see_ International Archives

  Ardistán, 114

  Armenians, 147, 158

  Armenian Socialist Soviet Republic, 117

  Arnold, Arthur, 217, 218

  Arthur, President, of the U.S.A., 220

  Asadu'lláh, Ḥájí, 167

  Asadu'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Vazír, Mírzá, 218

  Asadu'lláh, Mírzá, of [_Kh_]uy, _see_ Dayyán

  Asadu'lláh, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], of [_Sh_]íráz, 99

  Asadu'lláh-i-Iṣfahání, Mírzá, 191

  Asadu'lláh-i-Qumí, Siyyid, 139

  Asadu'lláh-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, Ḥájí Siyyid, 50, 112, 113

  Aṣlán [_Kh_]án, 84

  `Aṭṭár, gate, 118

  Azalí scribe, 240

  `Aẓím, _see_ [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Alí, Mullá, of [_Kh_]urásán

  Báb, The (Siyyid `Alí-Muḥammad):
    meeting with Mullá Ḥusayn and declaration, 17-22;
    arrival of Quddús, 23-4;
    accepts Qurratu'l-`Ayn, 24-6;
    His disciples, 24, 26-7;
    sends Mullá `Alí to `Iráq, 28;
    addresses Letters of Living, 28-31;
    family, youth, education, 32-7;
    merchant in Bu[_sh_]ihr, 37, 39-41;
    journey to holy cities and meeting with Siyyid Káẓim, 41-6;
    marriage and son, 46-7;
    sends Mullá Ḥusayn to Bahá'u'lláh, 48-50, 52-7;
    letter to wife, 57;
    pilgrimage to Mecca, 57, 69-71;
    declaration in Mecca, 71;
    challenge to Muḥit, 72-4;
    Tablet to [_Sh_]arif of Mecca, 74-5;
    returns to Irán, 77;
    advance contacts with [_Sh_]íráz, 77-8;
    arrest at Dálakí, 84, 105;
    returns to [_Sh_]íráz, 85, 88-9;
    birth of Bábí community, 89-90, 103;
    Vaḥhíd accepts, 90-4;
    at Vakíl mosque, 94-8;
    Ḥujjat accepts, 100-1;
    leaves [_Sh_]íráz, 104-6;
    resides at Iṣfahán, 109-16;
    [_Sh_]áh calls to Ṭihrán, 116, 118;
    stops at Ká[_sh_]án, 118-19,
      Qumrúd, 119,
      Kulayn, 119-21;
    receives communication from Bahá'u'lláh, 120;
    meeting with [_Sh_]áh prevented, 121-3;
    consigned to Máh-Kú, 122, 124, 128;
    arrives Mílán, 126-7;
    stays at Tabríz, 127-8;
    events at Máh-Kú, 128-33;
    removal to [_Ch_]ihríq, 131-2, 134-7;
    summoned to Tabríz, 137;
    stops in Urúmíyyih, 138;
    His portrait, 138-9;
    examination at Tabríz, 140-5;
    bastinadoed, 145-7;
    returned to [_Ch_]ihríq, 147-8;
    followers visit, 148-50;
    receives news of persecutions, 150-1;
    sends Writings, etc., to Bahá'u'lláh, 151-2;
    composes Arabic _Bayán_, 152;
    martyrdom, 152-9, 202;
    remains rescued, concealed, 159-60, 189-91;
    final mission to Mullá Ḥusayn, 171;
    anticipates 'Seven Martyrs', 185;
    His Shrine, 191-2;
    inaccurate reports of life, teachings, 203, 204-5, 214-16,
        appendix 7;
    claim and station, 18-19, 71, 141-2, 143-4, 167, 189;
    Writings, 20, 39, 73, 91-2, 110, 132, 136, 141, 147, 163, _see_
        index for _Bayán_, _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_

  Bábís, 26-7, 89-90, 134-6, 145, 146, 159, 164-7, 169-78, 180-7
      _passim_, 204-12 _passim_, 215, 219-24, 239

  Bábí Faith, 224

  Bábíyyat (Gatehood), 96

  Bábíyyih, 56, 173

  Bábul, _see_ Bárfurú[_sh_]

  Bábu'l-Báb, _see_ Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í, Mullá

  Bada[_sh_]t, conference of, 167-71

  Bagdadi, Dr. Zia (Ba[_gh_]dádí, Ḍíyá), 232

  Ba[_gh_]dád, 41, 59, 60-1, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68, 131, 135, 162, 163,
      164, 176, 191, 193, 197, 199-201, 224, 232

  Bá[_gh_]-i-[_Sh_]áh, gate, 109

  Bá[_gh_]-i-Ta[_kh_]t, palace, 104

  Bahá, 152;
    _see also_ Bahá'u'lláh

  Bahá'í, Bahá'ís, 138, 145, 182, 192, 218, 233, 238

  Bahá'í Faith, 235

  Bahá'u'lláh (Mírzá Ḥusayn `Alí):
    receives communication from Báb, 55, 152;
    sends message to Báb, 120;
    rescues Ṭáhirih, 167;
    arranges Bada[_sh_]t conference, 167-8;
    attacked at Níyálá, 170-1;
    goes to Núr, 171;
    visits [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, 173;
    attempts to join defenders, 174;
    protects remains of Báb, 189-91;
    chooses site for Shrine of Báb, 191-2;
    quotations from, 48, 174-5;
    mentioned, 9, 27, 56, 78, 109, 120, 125, 128, 135, 138, 145, 154,
        165, 183, 188, 235, 237, 240;
    _see also_ 'He Whom God shall manifest'

  Baḥrayn, 1

  Baḥru'l-`Ulúm, 36

  Ba[_kh_]tíyárí, 108, 109

  Bandar-`Abbás, 224

  Banú-Sa[_kh_]r, 1

  Báqir-Ábád, mosque, 78

  Báqir, Mírzá, of Tabríz, 155

  Báqir, Mullá, imám, 240

  Báqir-i-Tabrízí, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 27, 151, 168, 174

  Baqíyatu'lláh (Remnant of God), 78, 155

  Bara[_gh_]án, 230

  Bárfurú[_sh_] (Bábul), 23, 172, 173, 176, 184, 239

  Ba[_sh_]ír an-Najafí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 60

  Baṣrah, 104

  Bavánát, 205

  _Bayán_: Arabic, 152, 215, 231, 232;
    Persian, 50, 71, 132, 154, 215, 232

  Bázár-i-Mur[_gh_], 231

  Bázár quarter, of Nayríz, 182

  Beirut, 166, 191

  Bell, Gertrude Lowthian, 230

  Benjamin, S. G. W., 220

  Bethune, Sir Henry Lindesay, 10, 211

  Bible, 147, 235;
    New Testament quoted, 127, 155, 156, 158-9

  Birdwood, Capt. R. L., 223

  Bísitún, 232

  Black Standard, 171, 172, 176

  Bombay, 37, 57

  Bonaparte (Napoleon I), 7, 8

  Bonnière, M. de, 115

  Boré, M., 79, 80

  British Museum, 233

  Britain, British, 1, 8-10, 12, 58, 61, 63, 77, 79, 109, 186, 193, 194,
      202, 203, 205, 209, 216, 223, 230, 233;
    _see also_ England

  Browne, Edward Granville, 16, 141, 146, 152, 166, 186, 217, 235, 239,

  Burgess, Mr., 80

  Burújird, 93

  Bú[_sh_]ihr (Bushire), 2, 15, 16, 37, 39-41, 57, 71, 75, 77, 78, 79,
      81, 83, 84, 87, 104, 105, 107, 223, 224, 230

  Bu[_sh_]rúyih, 4

  Buzurg, Ḥájí Mírzá, 96

  Buzurg-i-Núrí, Mírzá (Mírzá `Abbás, father of Bahá'u'lláh), 54

  Byron, Lord, 117

  _Cain_ (by Byron), 117

  Campbell, Sir John, 10

  Canning, Sir Stratford (first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe), 6, 61,
      63, 66, 67, 193

  Carmel, Mount, 191, 192

  Caspian Sea, 3, 9

  Caucasus, 9, 117

  [_Ch_]ahár-Lang, 108

  [_Ch_]a[_sh_]mih-`Alí (tribe), 190

  Cheltenham College, 238

  Cheyne, T. K., 32, 168, 230

  [_Ch_]ihríq, 132, 134-7, 147-50, 153, 159, 167, 183, 185

  China, 203

  [_Ch_]inár Sú[_kh_]tih (quarter of Nayríz), 178, 182

  Cholera, 104, 105

  Chosroes I, 220

  Christ, _see_ Jesus

  Christian, 147, 217

  Communism (-istic), 214, 220

  Congress, Act of (U.S.A.), 220

  Constantinople (Istanbul), 5, 63, 66, 67, 79, 163, 193, 221, 234

  Cormick, Dr., 145

  Cox, Sir Percy Z., 223

  Cyprus, 238

  _Dalá'il-i-Sab`ib_ (The Seven Proofs), 132

  Dálakí, 84, 105

  Damascus, 68, 182, 191

  Dáráb, 90, 101, 178

  Darius, 232

  David, 127

  Dawn-Breakers (followers of the Báb), 90, 161, 188

  Dayyán (Asadu'lláh, Mírzá, of [_Kh_]uy), 136, 237

  Dayyáníyyih, 237

  Declaration, of the Báb (anniversary), 20, 150

  'Deliverer of the Latter Days', 3

  Democratic Party (U.S.A.), 220

  [_Dh_]ikr (the Báb, also [_Dh_]ikru'lláh-al-A`ẓam,
      [_Dh_]ikru'lláh-al-Akbar, Ḥaḍrat-i-[_Dh_]ikr), 46, 132, 231

  [_Dh_]i'l-Ḥijjah, month of, 70, 71

  _Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, The_, 167

  Díván-[_Kh_]ánih (the Court), 81

  Divine origin, Divinity, 215

  Dolgorukov, Prince Dimitri Ivanovich, 131, 206, 209, 210, 241

  East India Company, 233

  Ecbatana, _see_ Ḥamadán

  _Echo_ (English publication), 217

  _Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art_, 77

  Eliot, T. S., 58

  England, English, 80, 145, 203, 210, 214, 217;
    _see also_ Britain

  Erivan, _see_ Íraván

  Esther, 165

  Ethiopian servant, of the Báb, 17, 49, 57, 71, 84

  Euphrates, 108, 182, 193

  Europe, European, 146, 209, 217

  _Fará'id_ (by Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl), 39

  Farmán-Farmá, _see_ Firaydún Mírzá and Ḥusayn-`Alí Mírzá

  Farrant, Lt.-Col. T., 5, 135, 173, 193, 195-9, 201, 229

  Farrá[_sh_] (farrá[_sh_]-bá[_sh_]í, lictor), 145, 146, 156, 157

  Fárs, 49, 109, 169, 178, 199, 205, 234

  Farsa[_kh_] (farsang), 114

  Fasá, 104, 205, 240

  Fatḥ-`Alí [_Sh_]áh, 7, 8, 9, 138, 200, 229, 234

  Fatḥu'lláh, Mír (great-grandfather of the Báb), 230

  Fáṭimih (daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad), 47, 74

  Fáṭimih-Bagum (mother of the Báb), 33, 103

  Faylí (a clan), 82

  Finkenstein, treaty of, 8

  Firaydún Mírzá (the Farmán-Farmá), 80, 81

  Firman (royal edict), 81, 234

  Fírúz Mírzá, Prince (the Nuṣratu'd-Dawlih), 180

  Fírúzábád, 82

  'Five Martyrs', of Sárí, 239

  Flandin, M., 80, 234

  Foreign Ministers, British, _see_ Aberdeen, Palmerston

  France, French, 1, 7, 8, 79, 80, 194, 217, 234

  _Futúḥ-ar-Rasúl_ (boat), 69

  Galata, 79

  Gandum-Pák-Kun, _see_ Ja`far, Mullá

  Gardanne, General, 7, 8

  _Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf_, 223

  George III, 8

  Georgian, 108

  'Geramees', 6, 196, 198

  [_Gh_]ulát, 236

  Gílán, 237

  Gobineau, Count, 217

  Golgotha, 127

  Gordon, Sir Thomas Edward, 221, 223

  'Great Sophy', 107

  Greeks, 124

  Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, _see_ Shoghi Effendi

  Gulistán, treaty of, 8

  Gulpáygán, 4

  Gurgín [_Kh_]án, 116, 117

  Ḥabíbu'lláh (the Prophet Muḥammad), 46

  Ḥabíbu'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Af[_gh_]án, 174

  Ḥabíbu'lláh-i-Afnán, Ḥájí Mírzá, 32, 34, 35, 39, 41, 45, 71, 96, 98

  Hádí, Mírzá, 167

  Hádíy-i-Nahrí, Mírzá, 51, 102

  Hádíy-i-Qazvíní, Mírzá (Letter of the Living), 27

  Ḥaḍrat, 231

  Ḥáfiẓ, 15, 16, 35, 69, 124

  Hagar, 184

  Haifa, 191

  Ḥajar al-Aswad (The Black Stone), 72

  Ḥájí (the Báb), 87

  Ḥájí-Bábáy-i-Af[_sh_]ár, Mírz (Ḥááíj Bábá, Mírzá), 9

  Ḥajj, 70, 71

  Ḥajj-i-Akbar, 70

  Ḥakím, Dr. Lutfu'lláh, 165

  Ḥakím Masíḥ, 165

  Hamadán, 12, 102, 164, 165

  Ḥamzih Mírzá (the Ḥi[_sh_]matu'd-Dawlih), 152, 153, 170, 171, 172

  Ḥanafí, 13

  Ḥanbalí, 13

  Hand of the Cause, 139, 189

  Ḥaram, _see_ Masjid

  Ḥasan, servant of Vaḥíd, 205

  Ḥasan, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid (brother-in-law of the Báb), 46

  Ḥasan, Siyyid, 124, 128, 129, 146, 156

  Ḥasan al-`Askarí, Imám, 41, 119, 142

  Ḥasan Ja`far, Siyyid, 60

  Ḥasan-`Alí, Ḥájí Mírzá (uncle of the Báb), 33

  Ḥasan-`Alí [_Kh_]án (Aga Khan I), 122

  Ḥasan-`Alí Mírzá (the [_Sh_]uja`u's-Salṭanih), 229

  Ḥasan-i-Bajistání, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 27

  Ḥasan-i-Núrí, Mírzá, 112

  Ḥasan-i-Vazír, Mírzá, 190

  Ḥasan-i-Zunúzí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 103, 104, 115, 120, 129, 132, 137,
      143, 153

  Há[_sh_]im, Há[_sh_]imite, 44, 59, 74, 86

  Ḥaydarí (Ḥaydarí-[_Kh_]ánih), 82, 234

  'He (Him) Whom God shall make manifest' (Man-Yuẓhiruhu'lláh), 154,
      191, 237;
    _see also_ Bahá'u'lláh

  Hebrew, 136

  Hennell, Captain (later Colonel) Samuel, 79, 81, 83, 104, 109

  Ḥijáz, 49

  _Ḥikmatu'l-`Ar[_sh_]íyyah_, 113, 236

  Ḥillah, 200

  Hirát, 230

  Ḥi[_sh_]mat, poet, 103

  Hizárih, tribe, 102

  Holy Land, 139, 191

  Ḥujjat (Ḥujjat-i-Zanjání, Ḥujjatu'l-Islám), 100, 125, 147, 185-7,

  Hulákú Mírzá, Prince, 199

  Ḥurúf-i-Ḥayy (Letters of the Living), 24;
    _see also_ Letters of the Living

  Ḥusayn, Imám, 1, 6, 32, 41, 43, 111, 182, 193, 194, 197-200

  Ḥusayn, Siyyid, of Nayríz, 182

  Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án (Ájúdán-Bá[_sh_]í, Niẓamu'd-Dawlih,
      Ṣaḥib-I[_kh_]tíyár), 68, 79, 83, 85, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 97,
      98, 104, 105, 123

  Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, Mírzá (the Mu[_sh_]íru'd-Dawlih), 234

  Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án, Siyyid (Syed Hussein Khan), 81

  Ḥusayn-`Alí, Mírzá, _see_ Bahá'u'lláh

  Ḥusayn-`Alí Mírzá (Hoosein Ali Meerza, the Farmán-Farmá), 199, 229

  Ḥusayn-`Alíy-i-Iṣfahání, 191

  Ḥusayn-i-`Arab, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] (the Náẓi-mu'[_sh_]-[_Sh_]árí`ih,
      Ẓálim), 78, 89, 97, 98, 99

  Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í, Mullá (Bábu'l-Báb):
    mission from Siyyid Káẓim, 4, 7, 13, 15, 16;
    meeting with Báb and His declaration, 17-22;
    encounters Quddús, 23-4;
    Letter of the Living, 26;
    mission to Bahá'u'lláh, ch. 3;
    returns to [_Sh_]iráz, 102;
    visits Máh-Kú, 131;
    description of, 166;
    Báb sends to rescue Quddús, 171-3;
    besieged at [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, 173-4;
    death and Bahá'u'lláh's tribute, 174-5;
    mentioned, 149, 150, 168, 170, 239

  Ḥusayn-i-Hamadání, Mírzá, 126

  Ḥusayn-i-Mutavallí, Mírzá, of Qum, 135, 174

  Ḥusayn-i-Qutb, Mullá, of Nayríz, 240

  Ḥusayn-i-Tur[_sh_]ízí, Siyyid, 184

  Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí, Siyyid (also Kátib, `Azíz; Letter of the Living),
      27, 115, 118, 124, 129, 132, 146, 156

  Ḥusayní, Siyyid (Seid Hossainee), 196

  Ibn-i-Sa`d, 153

  Ibn-i-Zíyád, 153

  Ibráhím, Mír (great-great-grandfather of the Báb), 230

  Ibráhím, Siyyid, of Nayríz, 182

  Ibráhím [_Kh_]an, Ḥájí (the I`timádu'd-Dawlih), 8, 234

  Ibráhím Pá[_sh_]á, 239

  Ibráhím-i-[_Kh_]alíl, Siyyid, 138

  Ibráhím-i-Maḥallátí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 165, 166

  Ibráhím-i-Qazvíní, Siyyid, 6, 59, 197, 199

  `Íd-al-Aḍḥá (`Íd-i-Qurbán), 70

  Iḥrám, 71

  Ijtihád, 13

  Ílbagí, 84

  Íl[_kh_]ání, 82, 84

  Ilyáhú, Mullá, 165

  Imám(s), 11, 13, 41, 62, 65, 95, 98, 119, 121, 132, 142, 160, 194,
      200, 236;
    _see also_ Ḥusayn, Riḍá, Imáms

  Imámate, 65

    of Iṣfahán, 109-13 _passim_;
    of Kirmán, 33;
    of [_Sh_]íráz, 233, _see_ Abú-Turáb, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_];
    of Tabríz, 140

  Imám Mehdi (Mihdí), 67;
    _see also_ Mihdí

  Imám-Virdí Mírzá, 200

  Imám-Zádih Ḥasan, shrine of, 189

  Imám-Zádih Ma`ṣum, shrine of, 189

  Imám-Zádih Zayd, shrine of, 191

  `Imárat-i-[_Kh_]ur[_sh_]íd, 116

  India, 27, 37, 137, 223, 230

  International Archives, of the Bahá'í Faith, 132, 139, 166, 190

  Iqbál, Áqá Ḥusayn, 232

  Írán, 3, 113, 161, 166, 194, 199, 201, 204, 206, 209, 217-21, 223,
      224, 230, 233, 238

  `Iráq, 1, 4, 27, 28, 37, 41, 45, 58, 60, 135, 147, 163, 165, 166, 176,

  Íraván (Erivan), 117, 128

  Irish, 238

  Irwin, Beatrice, 148, 238

  Iṣfahán (Ispahan), 49, 50, 105, 106-11, 114-17 _passim_, 169, 191,
      218-20 _passim_

  Ishmael (Ismá`íl), 184

  I[_sh_]ráqí School (Platonism), 112

  Iskandar, Mullá, 100, 101, 125

  Iskí-[_Sh_]ahr, 135

  Islám, Islamic, 13, 78, 88, 93, 99, 111, 167, 180, 181, 182, 185, 236

  Ismá`íl, Ḥájí Siyyid ([_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám of Bavánát), 205

  Ismá`íl, Mírzá (Mámaqání), 143

  Ismá`íl, Siyyid, 151

  Ismá`íl-i-Qumí, Hájí Mullá, 184

  Ismá`íl-i-Sabba[_gh_]-i-Sidihí (Muṣṭafá, Mírzá), 240

  Ismu'lláhu'l-Aṣdaq, _see_ Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas, Mullá

  Istanbul, _see_ Constantinople

  I[_th_]ná-`A[_sh_]arís (Twelvers), 119

  Jabal-i-Básiṭ (Máh-Kú), 134

  Jabal-i-[_Sh_]adíd ([_Ch_]ihríq), 134

  al-Jabbáwí, Sa`íd, 239

  Jacob, 19

  Jaddih, _see_ Jiddah

  Ja`far, Mullá (Gandum-Pák-Kun, the 'Sifter of Wheat'), 51

  Ja`far-i-Ka[_sh_]fí, Siyyid, 70, 90, 94

  Jalíl-i-Urúmí, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 27

  Jamádíu'l-Úlá, month of, 150

  Jamál-i-Burújirdí, Áqá, 145, 189, 190

  Jání, Ḥájí Mírzá, 40, 52, 118, 126, 174

  Javád, Ḥájí Siyyid (Imám-Jum`ih of Kirmán), 33

  Javád, Mullá (cousin of Ṭáhirih), 25

  Javád-i-Bara[_gh_]ání, Mullá, 102

  Javád-i-Karbilá'í, Ḥájí Siyyid, 35-40 _passim_, 46, 90

  Javán[_sh_]ír, `Abbás-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-, 139

  Jerusalem, 3, 127, 128, 158

  Jesuit, 79

  Jesus, 31, 35, 127, 128, 155, 156, 158, 159, 220

  Jewish, 31, 165

  Jiddah (Jaddih), 57, 69, 75

  John, the Baptist, 220

  Jones, Sir Harford, 8

  Joseph, Súrih of, _see_ _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_

  Julfa, 79

  Ka`bih (Ka`bah), 69, 71

  Kalántar, Maḥmúd [_Kh_]án-i-, 171

  Kangávar, 102

  Karbilá, 1-7 _passim_, 12, 15, 23, 25, 26, 36, 37, 41, 42, 51, 58-65
      _passim_, 73, 74, 102, 150, 162, 171, 224, 238;
    siege of, 193-201;
    tragedy of (martyrdom of Imám Ḥusayn), 153, 182

  Karím [_Kh_]án. Zand ruler, 161

  Karkúk, 68

  al-Karrádí, al-Ḥáj Muḥammad, 239

  Ká[_sh_]án, 49, 52, 118

  Ka[_sh_]fí, _see_ Ja`far-i-, Siyyid

  Kátib, _see_ Ḥusayn-i-Yazdí, Siyyid

  _Kaw[_th_]ar, Súrih of_, the Báb's commentary on, 91-2, 141, 163

  Káẓim Big, Mírzá (Kazem-Beg), 142

  Káẓim-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, Siyyid:
    joins [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ahmad and succeeds him, 2, 3;
    role in siege of Karbilá, and death, 4-7;
    anticipates Promised One, 15, 18, 19, 23, 134;
    Qurratu'l-`Ayn contacts, 25-6;
    mentioned, 13, 36, 50, 59, 140, 162, 166, 184, 201, 223-4

  Káẓim-i-Zanjání, Siyyid, 104, 106, 109, 185

  Káẓimayn (Káẓimíyyah), 41, 58, 60, 131, 162, 200

  [_Kh_]adíjih-Bagum (wife of the Báb), 46, 103, 142

  [_Kh_]ájih, fort of, 179, 181

  [_Kh_]árg (Karrack), 79, 109, 230

  [_Kh_]udá-Ba[_kh_][_sh_]-i-Qú[_ch_]ání, Mullá (`Alíy-i-Rází, Mullá,
      Letter of the Living), 27

  [_Kh_]urásán, 4, 49, 56, 122, 167, 170, 171, 176, 230

  [_Kh_]usraw-i-Qádí-Kalá'í, 172, 173

  _[_Kh_]uṭbiy-i-Qahríyyih_ (Sermon of Wrath), 147

  [_Kh_]uy, 136

  Kinár-Gird, 119

  Kirand, 164, 169

  Kirmán, 33, 169, 204

  Kirmán[_sh_]áh, 2, 102, 164, 169, 191, 201

  _Kitáb-i-Íqán_ (The Book of Certitude), 48, 87, 174

  Koran, _see_ Qur'án

  Kúfih, 16, 50, 60

  Kulayn, 119, 120, 121

  al-Kulayní, Muhammad ibn Ya`qúb, 119

  Kunár-Ta[_kh_]tih, 105

  Kurds, Kurdish, 11, 128, 135

  Labaree, Rev. Benjamin, 145

  Lálizár, Mullá, 165

  _Lawḥ-i-Ḥurúfát_ (Tablet of the Letters), 136

  Layard, Sir Henry, 11, 79, 108, 109, 230, 233

  Letters of the Living (Ḥurúf-i-Ḥayy):
    meaning, 24;
    list of names, 26-7;
    _also_ 51, 89, 104, 131, 150, 151, 168, 174, 177

  Lingeh (Lingih), 224

  Líráví, district, 224

  _Literary Gazette, The_, 76, 77

  London, 68, 79

  Lord of Hosts, 191;
    of the Age, or Religion, _see_ Ṣáḥibu'z-Zamán

  Lorimer, Gordon, 223

  Louis-Philippe, French king, 80, 234

  Lucifer, 117

  Luke, St., 155, 156, 158, 159

  Luristán, 93, 108

  Luṭf-`Alí, Mírzá (chamberlain), 93

  Luṭf-`Alí [_Kh_]án, Zand ruler, 7

  Luṭf-`Alí Mírzá, 103, 239, 240

  Lúṭí, 82

  Macneill, Sir John, 230

  Madá[_kh_]il (perquisites), 161

  Madrisih (school), of Páminár, 53;
    of Mírzá Ṣálih, 52

  Máh-Kú (Mákú), 121, 122, 124, 128-35 _passim_, 139, 163

  Maḥmúd, Ḥájí Mullá (the Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá), 140-44 _passim_

  Maḥmúd, Mírzá (uncle of the Báb's father), 33

  Maḥmúd, Mullá, of `Iráq, 60

  Maḥmúd al-Álúsí (Muftí of Ba[_gh_]dád), 162

  Maḥmúd-i-[_Kh_]u'í, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 27

  Mahomet, _see_ Muḥammad

  'Mahometan schism', 76

  Makkah, _see_ Mecca

  Malcolm, Sir John, 8, 223, 233, 234

  Malik Qásim Mírzá, 138

  Málikí, 13

  Man-Yuẓhiruhu'lláh, _see_ 'He Whom God shall manifest'

  Manifestations of God, 150

  Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án (the Mu`tamidu'd-Dawlih), 50, 108-17 _passim_

  Mará[_gh_]ih, 79, 149

  Marḍíyyih (sister of Ṭáhirih), 26

  Mark, St., 127, 128

  _Ma[_sh_]á`ir_ (by Mullá Ṣadrá), 236

  Ma[_sh_]had (Meshed), 2, 56, 85, 119, 171

  Ma[_sh_]íyyatu'lláh (martyr), 27

    al-Aqṣá, 3;
    al-Ḥarám, 3;
    i-Íl[_kh_]ání, 18;
    i-Jum`ih (of Nayríz), 179, 182;
    i-Má[_sh_]á'u'lláh, 190;
    i-Naw, 234;
    i-Vakíl (of [_Sh_]íráz), 94, 96, 99

  Mas`úd Mírzá, Prince Sulṭán (Ẓillu's-Sulṭán), 10, 218

  Ma`ṣúmih (sister of Imám Riḍá), 52

  Materialism, 214

  Maydán, 114

  Maymand, 83

  Mazdak, 220

  Mázindarán, 27, 131, 149, 150, 171, 174, 184

  Mecca, 2, 21, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 77, 89, 134, 223

  Medina, 2, 21, 73, 74, 75, 89, 218

  _Memorials of the Faithful_, 128, 168, 175

  Menchikov, Prince, 9

  Messenger of God (Rasúlu'lláh), _see_

  Muḥammad (The Prophet)

  Mihdí (Mahdí), 3, 61, 67, 96, 142, 171, 204, 224

  Mihdí (Bábí of `Iráq), 60

  Mihdí, Mírzá (Ṣábir, the poet), 103

  Mihdí [_Kh_]án, Ḥájí Mírzá, 159, 160

  Mihdíy-i-[_Kh_]u'í, Mullá, 120

  Mihdíy-i-Kujúrí, Ḥájí [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 78, 99

  Mihdí-Qulí Mírzá, Prince, 172, 175, 176, 206

  Mihr-`Alí [_Kh_]án-i-Núrí (the [_Sh_]uja`u'l-Mulk), 240

  Mílán, 126, 127

  Mír-[_Gh_]aḍab (executioner), 76

  Mi`ráj, 3

  Mír[_kh_]und (Mír[_kh_]wand), 141

  Mírzá Áqá [_Kh_]án-i-Núrí, 152

  Mírzá-Áqá, Áqá (nephew of wife of the Báb), 32

  Mírzá-Áqáy-i-Rikáb-Sáz, 103

  Mírzáy-i-[_Sh_]írází, _see_ Muḥammad-Ḥasan, Ḥájí Mírzá

  Miṣbáh, `Azízu'lláh, 161, 238

  Mohammedans, _see_ Muslims

  Mordecai, 165

  Morier, James, 9

  Moses, 31

  Mosul, 61

  Mubárak, _see_ Ethiopian servant

  Muḥammad, the Prophet, 3, 44-8 _passim_, 86, 95, 98, 111, 167, 171,
      177, 181, 182, 211, 214, 218, 220

  Muḥammad, Ḥájí Áqá, 145

  Muḥammad, Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid (uncle of the Báb), 33, 40, 107

  Muḥammad, Mullá (husband of Ṭáhirih), 25

  Muḥammad, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], _see_ [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Ábid

  Muḥammad, Siyyid, of [_Sh_]íráz, 36

  Muḥammad, Siyyid (Sulṭánu'l-`Ulamá), _see_ Imám-Jum`ih, of Iṣfahán

  Muḥammad-`Abdu'lláh, 205

  Muḥammad Ali, Mirza (Persian minister), 207

  Muḥammad-`Alí, Ḥájí Mírzá (cousin of the Báb), 87

  Muḥammad-`Alí, Mírzá (1st Mu[_sh_]íru'l-Mulk), 98

  Muḥammad-`Alí, Mírzá (secretary of Ḥájí Qavám), 82

  Muḥammad-`Alí, Mullá, of Zanján, _see_ Ḥujjat

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Bárfurú[_sh_]í, Ḥájí Mullá, _see_ Quddús

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Ḥamzih, Ḥájí, 176

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Maḥallátí, Mullá, 78, 99

  Muḥammad-`Alí Mírzá (Rukni'd-Dawlih), 2

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Músáví, Siyyid, 199

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Nahrí, Mírzá, 51, 102

  Muḥammad-`Alí Pá[_sh_]á, 239

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Qazvíní, Mírzá (Letter of the Living), 26, 168

  Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Zunúzí, Mírzá, 153-8

  Muḥammad Áqá Yávar, 164

  Muḥammad-Báqir, Mírzá (Letter of the Living), 26

  Muḥammad-Báqir [_Kh_]án (the Biglarbagí), 69

  Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Qá'iní, Mírzá, 56, 173, 175

  Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Ra[_sh_]tí, Ḥájí Siyyid, 4, 13, 50, 162

  Muḥammad-Báqir-i-Ṭihrání, Áqá, 239, 240

  Muḥammad Big-i-[_Ch_]ápár[_ch_]í, 118, 120, 121, 124-6

  Muḥammad-Bisáṭ, Ḥájí, 103

  Muḥammad-i-Furú[_gh_]í, Mullá Mírzá, 56

  Muḥammad-Ḥasan, Ḥájí Mírzá (Mírzáy-i-[_Sh_]írází), 33

  Muḥammad ibn-i Ḥasan al-`Askarí, _see_ Twelfth Imám

  Muḥammad-Ḥasan-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í, Mírzá (Letter of the Living), 26

  Muḥammad-Ḥasan [_Kh_]án (the Sálár), 122

  Muḥammad-Ḥasan-i-Najafí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 59

  Muḥammad-Ḥusayn, Mírzá (father of the Báb's mother), 33

  Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Ardistání, Áqá, 235

  Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Kirmání, Mírzá, _see_ Muḥít-i-Kirmání

  Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Mará[_gh_]i'í, Áqá, 184, 185

  Muḥammad-Ibráhím-i-Ismá`íl Bag, Áqá, 34, 35

  Muḥammad-Ibráhím-i-Kalbásí, Ḥájí, 50

  Muḥammad-Ismá`íl-i-Gulpáygání, Ḥájí, 3

  Muḥammad-Ja`far, Siyyid, 60, 163

  Muḥammad-Ja`far-i-Ábádi'í, Ḥájí, 112, 113

  Muḥammad-Karím, Áqá, of [_Sh_]íráz, 103

  Muḥammad-Karím-i-`Aṭṭár, 191

  Muḥammad-Karím [_Kh_]án-i-Kirmání, Ḥájí Mírzá, 52, 102, 134

  Muḥammad-Káẓim [_Kh_]án (farrá[_sh_]-bá[_sh_]í), 145

  Muḥammad [_Kh_]án (former Biglarbagí of Tabríz), 209, 210

  Muḥammad-i-[_Kh_]urásání, Ḥájí Mírzá, 53

  Muḥammad-i-Mámaqání, Mullá, 140, 143, 144, 155, 156

  Muḥammad-Mihdí, Áqá, 111

  Muḥammad-Mihdíy-i-Kindí, Mullá, 120

  Muḥammad Mu`allim-i-Núrí, Mullá, 53

  Muḥammad-Muṣṭafáy-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí, Áqá, 60, 162, 166, 232

  Muḥammad-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Ílbagí, 81, 84

  Muḥammad Rawḍih-[_Kh_]án-i-Yazdí, Mírzá (Letter of the Living), 27

  Muḥammad-Riḍá, Siyyid (or Mír, father of the Báb), 32, 33, 142, 230

  Muḥammad-Ṣádiq-i-Mu`allim, Ḥájí Mírzá, 96, 98

  Muḥammad-Ṣáliḥ, Áqá, 23

  Muḥammad [_Sh_]áh, 10, 12, 80, 81, 83, 90, 93, 99, 100, 102, 109,
      112, 113, 115, 117, 121, 122-3 (letter to the Báb), 135, 137, 139,
      147, 148, 149, 165, 170, 175, 178, 185, 211, 221, 230, 233

  Muḥammad [_Sh_]ibl, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 60, 162, 166

  Muḥammad-Taqí, Ḥájí Mullá (uncle of Ṭáhirih), 25, 166

  Muḥammad at-Taqí, Imám, 41

  Muḥammad-Taqí, Mírzá, of Sárí, 171

  Muḥammad-Taqí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] (Mámaqání), 143

  Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Ayyúb, Ḥájí, 240

  Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Hirátí, Mullá, 110

  Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Juvayní, Mírzá, 173

  Muḥammad-Taqí [_Kh_]án (Ba[_kh_]tíyárí chief), 108

  Muḥammad-Taqí [_Kh_]án (Lisánu'l-Mulk-i-Sipihr), 141, 231

  Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Kirmání, Ḥájí, 184

  Muḥammad-Taqíy-i-Mílání, Ḥájí, 128

  Muḥammad-i-Zarandí, Mullá (Nabíl-i-A`ẓam), 40, 93, 94, 100, 114,
      119, 122, 132

  Muḥarram, month of, 32, 71

  Muḥibb-`Alí [_Kh_]án, 66

  Muḥít-i-Kirmání, Mírzá (Muḥammad-Ḥusayn, Mírzá), 72, 73, 74

  Muḥsin al-Káẓimí, Siyyid, 60

  Mu`ínu's-Salṭanih, Ḥájí, 41

  Mujtahid, 1, 50, 60, 67, 224

  _Mulk, Súrih of_, 20

  Mulk-Árá, _see_ `Abbás Mírzá

  Muqaddas, _see_ Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-[_Kh_]urásání, Mullá

  Murád Mírzá, Ḥájí Sulṭán (Ḥisámu's-Salṭanih), 237

  Múr[_ch_]ih-[_Kh_]ár, 115

  Muríd (disciple), 112

  Mur[_sh_]id (guide), 40, 112

  Murtaḍáy-i-Zanjání, Siyyid, 184, 185

  Murtiḍáy-i-Anṣárí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 162

  Murtiḍá-Qulíy-i-Marandí, Mullá (`Alamu'l-Hudá), 140, 155

  Músá, Mírzá (Áqáy-i-Kalím, brother of Bahá'u'lláh), 55

  Músá al-Káẓim, Imám, 41

  Musayyib, 4, 196, 197

  Mu[_sh_]íru'l-Mulk, 98

  Mu[_sh_]íru't-Tujjár, 239

  Muslim (Musulman), 98, 108, 146, 147, 178, 205, 222

  Muṣṭafá, Mírzá (Ismá`íl-i-Sabbá[_gh_]-i-Sidihí), 240

  Muṣṭafá-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Qaráguzlú (I`timadu's-Salṭanih), 240

  Mu`tamid, _see_ Manú[_ch_]ihr [_Kh_]án

  Nabí [_Kh_]án-i-Qazvíní, Mírzá (Amír-i-Díván), 81, 82

  Nabíl-i-A`ẓam, _see_ Muḥammad-i-Zarandí, Mullá

  Nádir [_Sh_]áh, 161, 230

  Najaf, 1, 41, 45, 49, 59, 60, 64, 65, 193, 200

  Najaf-`Alí, Áqá, 145

  Najíb Pá[_sh_]á, 4, 5, 12, 60, 63, 64, 66, 163, 194, 196, 197, 200

  Narjis (mother of 12th Imám), 142

  _Nási[_kh_]u't-Tavárí[_kh_]_, 40, 141, 142

  Náṣirí regiment, 158

  Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh, 9, 33, 135, 140, 141, 145, 148, 152, 207,
      218, 219, 237

  Naṣru'lláh, Mír (grandfather of the Báb), 230

  Naṣru'lláh, Siyyid, 196

  Navváb-i-Raḍaví, 205

  Naw-Rúz, 118, 119, 131, 132, 192

  Nawrúz-`Alí, 163

  Náyibu's-Salṭanih, _see_ `Abbás Mírzá, Prince, and `Abbás Mírzá

  Nayríz, 178-82, 186, 204-5

  Názimu'[_sh_]-[_Sh_]arí`ih, _see_ Ḥusayn-i-`Arab, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]

  Nesselrode, Count, 131, 206

  New Day, Dispensation, 20, 90, 162, 172

  Nicolas, A.-L.-M., 39, 99, 104, 115, 152, 172, 217

  Ni`matí-[_Kh_]ánih, 81, 234

  Ni`matu'lláhí dervish, 184

  Nimrod, 31

  Nineveh, 229, 233

  Niṣf-i-Jahán, 108;
    _see also_ Iṣfahán Níyálá, 170-2 _passim_

  Níyáz-i-Ba[_gh_]dádí, Ḥájí, 74

  Niẓámu'd-Dawlih, _see_ Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án

  Niẓámu'l-`Ulamá, _see_ Maḥmúd, Ḥájí Mullá

  Nubuvvat-i-[_Kh_]áṣṣih, 111

  Nuqṭiy-i-Bayán, 137;
    -i-Úlá, 48 (The Báb)

  Núr, 53, 171

  Nuṣayrí, 118

  Ottoman, 12, 59, 63, 238, 239

  Outray, M., 80

  Oxford, 238

  Palm Sunday, 127

  Palmerston, Viscount, xi, 12, 79, 173, 178, 180, 202, 204, 206, 207,
      209, 211, 212, 214, 216

  Páminár (Páy-i-Minár), 53

  Paris, 79, 80

  Peel, Sir Robert, xi

  Persepolis, 237

  Persia, _see_ Írán

  Persian(s), 136, 140, 146, 147, 163, 165, 176, 194-7, 199, 206,
      210-12, 218, 230, 234

  Persian Gulf, 109, 223, 230

  Platonism, 113

  Polygamy, 223

  Pope, Alexander, 85

  Portuguese, 107

  Presbyterian Mission, American, 145

  Primal Point (The Báb), 189

  Qahru'lláh (a dervish), 137

  Qahviy-i-Awlíyá', 39, 231

  Qá'im, 3, 18, 33, 48, 50, 51, 70, 71 (Báb's declaration in Mecca), 74,
      87, 96, 98, 111, 134, 143, 144, 145, 156, 167, 170, 178, 185, 186,

  Qá'im-Maqám (Abu'l-Qásim, Mírzá), 8-9, 10, 148

  Qájár, 7, 108, 113, 219

  Qandahár, 233

  Qa[_sh_]qá'í, tribe, 81, 82, 84

  Qásim, Siyyid, of Ra[_sh_]t, 3

  Qavámu'l-Mulk, Ḥájí, 81, 82, 84, 234

  _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_ (Commentary on Súrih of Joseph), 19, 20, 21, 46, 47,
      58, 99, 101, 141, 211

  Qazvín, 108, 124, 125, 131, 164-7

  _Qiṣaṣu'l-`Ulamá_ (Chronicles of the Divines), 141, 142

  Qubád [_Kh_]án, 82

  Quddús (Muḥammad-`Alíy-i-Bárfurú[_sh_]í, Ḥájí Mullá), Letter of
      the Living: recognises the Báb, 23-4, 26, 33;
    accompanies Him to Mecca, 48-9, 71, 74;
    is separated from Him, 77, 78, 149, 150;
    at Bada[_sh_]t, 167-70;
    arrest, 171;
    at [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] Ṭabarsí, 173, 175, 177;
    martyrdom, 150, 176, 205

  Quintus Curtius, 223

  Qum, 49, 51, 119, 135, 151, 174

  Qumrúd, 119

  Qur'án (Koran), 13, 28, 29, 30, 61, 62, 64, 65, 74, 75, 87, 88, 90,
      91, 101, 110, 141, 144, 172, 175, 181, 186, 204, 214, 217, 218,

  Quray[_sh_], 86

  Qurbán-`Alí, Mírzá, 184

  Qurratu'l-`Ayn (the Báb), 47

  Qurratu'l-`Ayn, _see_ Ṭáhirih

  Rabí`u'l-Avval, month of, 116

  Raḥím, Mírzá, of [_Sh_]íráz, 103

  Ra'ísu'l-`Ulamá, of Hamadán, 165

  Ramaḍán, month of, 57, 191

  Rangoon, 192

  Raq[_sh_]á' ('She-Serpent'), 109

  Ra[_sh_]íd [_Kh_]án-i-Sartíp, 81

  Ra[_sh_]t, Ra[_sh_]tí, 3, 162

  _Rawḍatu'ṣ-Ṣafá_, Supplement to, 141, 142

  Rawlinson, Sir Henry, 61-7, 232

  'Remnant of God', _see_ Baqíyatu'lláh

  Resurrection, Day of, 98, 150

  Riḍá, Imám, 52, 56, 85, 103, 119

  Riḍá, Mírzá (British Agent), 81, 82, 83

  Riḍá [_Kh_]án-i-Turkamán, 173

  Riḍáy-i-Qásí, Ḥájí, 147, 237

  Riḍá-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Af[_sh_]ár, 134

  Riḍá-Qulí [_Kh_]án-i-Hidáyat, 141

  Riḍá'íyyih, 135;
    _see_ Urúmíyyih

  _Risáliy-i-Fiqhíyyih_, 39

  _Risáliy-i-Tis`a-`A[_sh_]aríyyih_ (Nineteen Discourses), 229, 238

  Rodwell, J. M., 88

  Rosen, Baron, 217

  Ruknábád (fountain overlooking [_Sh_]íráz), 15

  Rukni'd-Dawlih (Muḥammad-`Alí Mírzá), 2

  Runíz (Fárs), 240

  Russell, Lord John, xi

  Russia, Russian, 7-10, 124, 131, 132, 159, 206, 209, 210, 217, 230

  Rustam-`Alí _see_ Zaynab

  Ṣábir, _see_ Mihdí, Mírzá

  Sabzih-Maydán, of Bárfurú[_sh_], 176;
    of Ṭihrán, 183

  Sa`dí, 16

  Ṣádiq, Mullá (a pretender), 132

  Ṣádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-[_Kh_]urásání, Mullá, 51, 78, 165, 239

  Ṣadrá, Mullá, 113, 236

  Ṣadr-i-A`ẓam, _see_ Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án

  Sa`du'lláh Pá[_sh_]á, Sar`askar, 4, 5, 197-200

  Ṣafar, month of, 77

  Ṣafavid, 107, 108, 161, 162

  Safíhu'l-`Ulamá, _see_ Muḥammad-Mihdí, Áqá

  Ṣáhib-I[_kh_]tíyár, _see_ Ḥusayn [_Kh_]án

  Ṣáhibu'z-Zamán (Lord of the Age, or Religion), 13, 15, 18, 24, 50,
      96, 142

  _Ṣaḥífiy-i-Baynu'l-Ḥaramayn_ (Epistle between the Two Shrines), 73

  Ṣaḥnih, 164

  Sa`íd-i-Hindí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] (Letter of the Living), 27, 137

  Sa`ídu'l-`Ulamá, of Bárfurú[_sh_], 172, 174, 176

  St. Petersburg (Leningrad), 9

  Sale, George, 168

  Salford, 217

  Ṣáliḥ, Hájí Mullá, 25

  Ṣáliḥ, Mírzá, 239

  Ṣáliḥ-al-Karímí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 60, 165, 166

  Saljúqs (Seljucids), 107

  Sám [_Kh_]án, 157

  Sámarrá, 41, 142

  Sami Effendi (Turkish minister), 210

  Sar-[_Ch_]i[_sh_]mih, 189

  Saráy-i-Amír (a caravanserai), 36

  Sárí, 171

  Sartíp, 134, 234

  'Seal of the Prophets' (Muḥammad), 95

  Sercey, M. de, 234

  'Seven Goats', _see_ 'Seven Martyrs'

  'Seven Martyrs of Ṭihrán', 182-5, 206-8

  [_Sh_]a`bán, month of, 75, 151

  [_Sh_]áfi`í, 13

  [_Sh_]aftí, 162

  [_Sh_]áh `Abdu'l-`Aẓím, 140, 190

  [_Sh_]áh [_Ch_]irá[_gh_] (a shrine), 103

  [_Sh_]áh Muḥammad-i-Man[_sh_]ádí, Ḥájí (Amínu'l-Bayán), 190, 191

  [_Sh_]ahr (Shehr)-i-Vírán, 224

  Shakespeare, 76, 107

  [_Sh_]aríf (Sherif), of Mecca, 21, 74, 75

  [_Sh_]avvál, month of, 194

  [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] `Alí, Mullá, of [_Kh_]urásán (`Aẓím), 57, 103, 137, 151

  [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]-`Alí Mírzá, 103

  [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]-i-Anám, _see_ `Ábid, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]; 231

  [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]í, 1, 5, 38, 42, 53, 59, 62, 72, 74, 140

  [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]u'l-Islám, of Tabríz, 140

  [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]uná, _see_ `Ábid, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]; 231

  Sheil, Lady, 58

  Sheil, Lt.-Col. (later Sir Justin), 63, 64, 81, 135, 177, 180, 186,
      187, 202-15 _passim_, 229

  Sherley brothers, 107

  [_Sh_]i`ah, 1, 12, 13, 33, 50, 59, 62-8 _passim_, 162, 163, 198, 200,

  [_Sh_]ikastih Nasta`líq (a script), 54

  [_Sh_]íráz, [_Sh_]írází, 2, 16-18 _passim_, 22, 23, 32-40 _passim_,
      45, 46, 48-52 _passim_, 56, 57, 61, 62, 67-9 _passim_, 76-88
      _passim_, 90, 94, 99-107 _passim_, 143, 147, 150, 166, 169, 170,
      179, 182, 204, 220, 223, 237, 239

  Shirley, James, 106

  [_Sh_]i[_sh_]-Parí, Siyyid-i-, 95

  [_Sh_]í[_sh_]ván, 138

  Shoghi Effendi (Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith), 139, 167, 183, 189, 192

  [_Sh_]ujá`u'd-Dawlih, 201

  [_Sh_]ukru'lláh [_Kh_]án-i-Núrí, 69

  Ṣiddíqih (the Truthful), 163;
    _see also_ Ṭáhirih

  Sipihr, _see_ Muḥammad-Taqí [_Kh_]án

  Sisygambis, 223

  Síyáh-Dahán, 124

  Siyyid, 17, 23, 51, 70, 72, 99, 121, 136, 140, 146, 147

  Siyyid `Alí, 171;
    _see also_ Ḥusayn-i-Bu[_sh_]rú'í, Mullá

  Siyyidu'[_sh_]-[_Sh_]uhadá, _see_ Ḥusayn, Imám

  Stevens, R. W., 202

  Ṣubḥ-i-Azal, _see_ Yaḥyá, Mírzá

  Sublime Porte, 61, 63, 66, 163

  Ṣúfí, 215

  Sulaymán [_Kh_]án, of Tabríz, 149, 159, 160, 189

  Sulaymán [_Kh_]án-i-Af[_sh_]ár, Ḥájí, 125, 134

  Sulṭán al-Karbilá'í, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 60, 166

  Sulṭánu'l-`Ulamá, _see_ Imám-Jum`ih, of Iṣfahán

  Sunní, 12, 13, 63, 64, 65, 68, 163, 198

  Surra-man-Ra'a, _see_ Sámarrá

  Súrih (Súrah), 19;
    _see also_ (Súrihs of) Joseph, Kaw[_th_]ar, V'al-`Aṣr, `al-Wáqi`ah

  Syria, Syrians, 8, 193

  Syriac, 136

  Ṭabarsí, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 29, 51, 135, 150, 165, 171-7, 180, 185,
      186, 239

  Ṭabas, 57

  Tabríz, 10, 124, 126-8, 138, 140, 145, 152, 154, 157-9, 167, 169, 202,
      203, 209, 211, 218, 221

  Ṭahá, Siyyid, 163

  Ṭáhir, Mírzá (the Baker), 239

  Ṭáhir, Mullá, 166

  Ṭáhirih (Qurratu'l-`Ayn, Letter of the Living), 24-7, 58, 124,
      162-71, 176, 230

  Talbot, Major Gerald F., 33

  Taqí [_Kh_]án, Mírzá (Amír Niẓám, Amír-i-Kabír), 146, 148, 152,
      184, 185, 203, 207, 209, 212

  _Táríkh-i-Jadíd_ (New History of the Báb), 78, 126

  Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 134

  Ṭihrán, 26, 36, ch. 3, 63, 66, 69, 81, 90, 102, 104, 113, 115,
      119-25 _passim_, 131, 140, 145, 147, 149, 152, 166, 167, 177, 178,
      183, 185, 189, 205, 222, 233

  Tilsit, 8

  _Times, The_ (London), 77

  Titow, M. de, 63

  Tobacco Régie, 33

  Toumansky, Alexander, 217

  Traditions, of Islám, 13, 90, 98, 141

  _Traveller's Narrative, A_, 105, 114, 118, 120, 121, 141, 152

  Tsar, of Russia, 8, 10, 206

  Túp[_ch_]í (gunner), 81

  Turkuman[_ch_]áy, treaty of, 9

  Turkey, Turkish, 63, 104, 124, 132, 136, 210, 219-21 _passim_;
    _see also_ Ottoman

  Twelfth Imám, 65, 119

  Umm-Salamih, _see_ Ṭáhirih

  United States, 220, 238

  Urúmíyyih (Riḍá'íyyih), 131-5 _passim_, 138, 145, 169

  Uṣúl-i(al)-Káfí, 119

  Uṣúlís, 62, 64

  Vaḥíd (Siyyid Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí), 70, 90-4, 99, 101, 103, 178-82,
      205, 215, 240

  Vakíl, mosque of ([_Sh_]íráz), 94, 96, 99, 103

  _V'al-`Aṣr, Súrih of_, Commentary on, 110, 141

  Valí-`Ahd (Crown Prince), 144;
    _see also_ Náṣiri'd-Dín [_Sh_]áh

  Varqá (martyr-poet), 138

  Varqá, Valíyu'lláh, 139

  Vazír Nizám (Mírzá Hasan [_Kh_]án), 152, 153, 203

  Vicegerent of God, 21

  Victoria, Queen, 221

  Wahab, Siyyid (Seid Wahab), 196

  _`al-Wáqi`ah, Súrih of_ (The Event), 168

  Wellesley, Marquis of, 8

  _World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, The_, 167

  Yaḥyá, Ḥájí [_Sh_]ay[_kh_] (Imám-Jum`ih, of [_Sh_]iráz), 233

  Yaḥyá, Mírzá (Ṣubḥ-i-Azal), 174, 238

  Yaḥyá [_Kh_]án (warden of [_Ch_]ihríq), 135

  Yaḥyá [_Kh_]án, of Tabríz, 149

  Yaḥyáy-i-Dárábí, Siyyid, _see_ Vaḥíd

  Yazd, 4, 102, 116, 178, 184, 205, 214, 215

  Yazíd, 182

  Yúnis [_Kh_]án-i-Afrú[_kh_]tih, Dr., 190

  Yúsuf, Mírzá (the Mustawfíu'l-Mamálik), 139

  Yúsuf-i-Ardibílí, Mullá (Letter of the Living), 27

  _Yúsuf, Súrih of_, see _Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'_

  Za`farání, Ibráhím, 194

  Ẓálim, _see_ Ḥusayn-i-`Arab, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_]

  Zand, 7, 161

  Zanján, 100, 101, 125, 131, 134, 178, 185-8, 209-13

  Zarrín-Táj, _see_ Ṭáhirih

  Zaynab (Rustam-`Alí), 186

  Zayni'd-Dín, [_Sh_]ay[_kh_], 1

  Zaynu'l-`Ábidín, Áqá Mírzá (cousin of the Báb's father), 32

  Zaynu'l-`Ábidín [_Kh_]án, 178-80

  Ẓillu's-Sulṭán, _see_ `Ali-[_Sh_]áh and Mas`úd Mírzá, Prince Sulṭán

The writer is very grateful to Farhang Afnan for his valuable help in
compiling the index.

Transcriber's Notes:

The following conventions are used in this e-text:
  - Words surrounded by underscores are italicized, e.g. _text_;
  - Words surrounded by square brackets and underscores are underlined,
    e.g. [_text_];
  - Small capitals are presented as all capitals;

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent
spellings have been kept, including inconsistent use of hyphen (e.g.
"above mentioned" and "above-mentioned"), diacritical marks (e.g.
"Shiraz" and "Shíráz"), and proper name (e.g. "Zil.i.Sultan" and

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