E. G. Browne's "A Traveller's Narrative:" Note A
[page 171]


[page 172]


[page 173]




        Four works, besides the present, written in the Persian language treat more or less fully of the history of the Bábí movement. Two of these, the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh and the Rawzatu's-Safá, are general histories compiled by Musulmán historians; one, the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, is a monograph on the said movement, whereof the author, if not actually a Bábí, at least sympathised warmly with the reformers; one, the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá, is a biography of Shi'ite divines, which deals incidentally at some length with the Bábí doctrines and the history of their originator and his precursors. Each of these works I shall now consider in detail.

1.         The Násikhu't- Tawáríkh.

        This is a general history of the world, intended, as its name implies, to supersede all preceding works of a similar character. Its author is Mírzá Takí Mustawfí, better known by his poetical nom-de-guerre of Sipihr and his official title of Lisánu'l-Mulk ('The Tongue of the Kingdom'). Gobineau, at p. 454 of his interesting work Trois Ans en Asie (Paris, 1859), gives a description of the social aspects of this historian (to whom he is indebted for the greater part of the facts relating to the Bábí movement so graphically pourtrayed in his Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale), and of Rizá- Kulí Khán, the author of the work to be next mentioned. The Násikhu't-Tawáríkh consists of a series of large volumes, each of which deals

[page 174]

with a particular period of history. The last volume is entirely devoted to the Kájár dynasty, and with it alone are we here concerned. It is divided into three parts, of which the first treats of the origin and rise of the Kájárs and the reigns of Áká Muhammad and Fath-'Alí Sháh; the second of the reign of Muhammad Sháh; and the third of the reign of Násiru'd-Dín, the present Sháh, down to the year A.H. 1267 (A.D. 1850-1851). A further supplement published separately carries the history down to the year A.H. 1273 (A.D. 1856-1857). All that relates to the Bábís is contained in the second and third parts of the main volume and in the supplement, of the contents of which I shall immediately give a brief abstract. My intention was to have made this abstract a complete index of contents, but, having already written more than half of it, I perceived that it would occupy more space than could conveniently be spared, and I was therefore compelled to confine myself to a mere summary of the chief heads of the narrative, deferring a fuller presentation thereof till some future occasion. This is the less to be regretted, inasmuch as almost everything relating to the subject before us which is contained in this history has been embodied in the works of Gobineau and Kazem-Beg. The whole of the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh has been lithographed at Teherán, but unfortunately the pages are unnumbered and there is no index save occasional marginal references to the chief events narrated in the text. The numeration of the pages here given is supplied by myself. It is re-commenced for each part and for the supplement, but, inasmuch as my copy of the latter has no title-page and appears to be incomplete, it cannot in this case be regarded as having more than a relative value.

Contents of Part ii of the Kájáriyya volume in
so far as they relate to the Bábís.

        P. 130. Events of the year A.H. 1260 (A.D. 1844). Appearance of the Báb - His parentage, education, and character - Development of his claims - Peculiarities of his doctrines and ordinances - Reception accorded to him by different classes.

[page 175]

        P. 131. Proofs advanced by the Báb - His innovations in matters of religion - Accusations against the chastity and temperance of his followers - The Báb's pilgrimage to Mecca and return to Bushire - Action taken against him and his missionaries by Huseyn Khán Ajudán-báshí the governor of Fárs - The Báb confined to his house.

        P. 132. The Báb is entrapped by a stratagem of Huseyn Khán's into a too free enunciation of his doctrines - He is punished, and imprisoned with greater rigour for six months - Minúchihr Khán Mu'tamadu'd-Dawla, the governor of Isfahán, succeeds in effecting the Báb's release and bringing him to Isfahán, where he treats him with consideration and kindness.

        P. 133. Huseyn Khán expels Seyyid Yahyá and other prominent Bábís from Shíráz - Minúchihr Khán, anxious to test the Báb's knowledge, summons a number of learned men to confer and dispute with him. [See Note J, infra.]

        P. 134. [first 7 lines]. Conclusion of this conference - Minúchihr Khán conceals the Báb in his house and sets afloat a rumour that he has sent him to Teherán.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 175 [last 3 lines]. Account of the Báb's first examination before the clergy of Tabríz in A.H. 1263 (A.D. 1847).

        P. 176. Continuation of the same. [See note M, infra.]

        P. 177. Continuation of the same.                         "

        P. 178 [first 9 lines]. Conclusion of the same - The Báb is bastinadoed until he recants.

Contents of Part iii of the Kájáriyya volume in
so far as they relate to the Bábís.

        P. 45. Events of the year A.H. 1264 (A.D. 1848). Kurratu'l-'Ayn, her parentage, education, beauty, learning and eloquence - She embraces the Bábí doctrines.

        P. 46 [first 12 lines]. The devotion inspired by Kurratu'l-'Ayn in her followers - She discards the veil, and openly preaches the new doctrines - Anger of her uncle, Mullá Muhammad Takí - He drives her from his house - He is assassinated by Bábís - Kurratu'l-'Ayn flies from

[page 176]

Kazvín, but continues her propaganda elsewhere. [See Note Q, infra.]

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 53 [last line]. Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh and the Bábí insurrection in Mázandarán.

        P. 54. Mullá Huseyn is converted to Bábíism - His missionary journey - His reception and adventures in Isfahán, Káshán, and Teherán.

        P. 55. Mullá Huseyn attempts to attach Muhammad Sháh and Hájí Mírzá Ákásí to the Báb's cause - He is compelled by threats to leave Teherán - He proceeds to Khurásán - Conversions to Bábíism - Measures adopted against the Bábís - Hamzé Mírzá imprisons Mullá Huseyn in his camp at Rádagán - Escape of Mullá Huseyn from custody - His journey westward, successes, and rebuffs.

        P. 56. Continuation of Mullá Huseyn's journey towards Mázandarán - Encounter with the populace at Miyámí and defeat of the Bábís - Altercation with Mullá Muhammad Kázim, the mujtahid of Sháhrúd - Death of Muhammad Sháh - Account of Hájí Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh - He falls in with the Báb on the pilgrimage to Mecca and embraces his doctrines - He returns to Bárfurúsh - He joins Mullá Huseyn at Mash- had - Returns thence on the arrest of his colleague - At Badasht near Bistám meets Kurratu'l-'Ayn and her followers who have arrived from Kazvín.

        P. 57. Kurratu'l-'Ayn's address - Its effect on the audience - She returns with Hájí Muhammad 'Alí towards Mázandarán - Imputations on the conduct of Kurratu'l- 'Ayn and Hájí Muhammad 'Alí - They are attacked by the people of Hazár-Jaríb - They separate, he returning to Bárfurúsh, and she continuing to wander through Mázandarán preaching - Mullá Huseyn joins his colleague at Bárfurúsh - Success of the Bábí propaganda - Enmity of the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá - Preparations for battle - Khánlar Mírzá's aid invoked by the orthodox party to put down the innovators.

        P. 58. The Bábís retreat from, but return to, Bárfurúsh - 'Abbás-Kulí Khán of Láriján interferes - Collision between the two parties in the city - Terms offered by the

[page 177]

Bábís and accepted by 'Abbás-Kulí Khán - The Bábís retire accompanied by an escort sent by 'Abbás- Kulí Khán - After the escort leaves them they are attacked at Khusraw of Kádí-Kalá at the head of a band of plunderers - Khusraw is killed and his followers routed - The Bábís take up their quarters at the Tomb of Sheykh Tabarsí.

        P. 59. The Bábís fortify their position strongly without let or hindrance, most of the nobles and chiefs of the province having gone to assist at the Sháh's coronation at Teherán - Description of these fortifications - Garrison and commissariat of the Bábís - Mullá Huseyn continues his propaganda - Extreme veneration paid to Hájí Muhammad 'Alí by the Bábís - Mullá Huseyn's encouragements and exhortations to his followers.

        P. 60. A letter arrives from the Báb containing this passage: -

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        'They [the Bábís] shall descend from the Green Isle [Mázandarán] unto the foot of the mountain of Zawrá [Teherán], and shall slay about twelve thousand of the Turks' - The Government, informed of the Bábís' proceedings, instructs the Mázandarání chiefs to take action against them - Áká 'Abdu'lláh marches against Sheykh Tabarsí with some Afghan, Kurdish, and Turkish tribesmen and volunteers from Kádí-Kalá - Mullá Huseyn makes a night-attack on the besiegers.

        P. 61. Áká 'Abdu'lláh is slain and his force routed with a loss of thirty killed - The fugitives flee to the village of Farrá, which is sacked, burned, and razed to the ground by the Bábís, and its inhabitants put to the sword - Rage of Násiru'd-Dín Sháh on hearing this news - Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá is ordered to proceed against the Bábís with all speed and exterminate them - He quits Teherán at the end of Muharram [A.H. 1265 = Christmas, A.D. 1848] for Mázandarán - 'Abbás-Kulí Khán marches by another route to join him - The Prince takes up his quarters at Vásaks

[page 178]

near 'Alí-ábád - His negligence - Stormy weather and snow come on.

        P. 62. Mullá Huseyn makes a sortie with 300 resolute men before dawn on Safar 15th [A.H. 1265 = January 10th A.D. 1849] - By means of a stratagem he enters Vásaks, surrounds and fires the Prince's quarters, and defeats and disperses the enemy, of whom many are killed, including two princes, Sultán Huseyn Mírzá and Dá'úd Mírzá - Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá escapes with difficulty - Hájí Muhammad 'Alí is wounded in the mouth

        P. 63. Courageous stand made by the men of Ashraf against the Bábís - Cowardice of the other troops - Triumphant return of the Bábís to their fortress - The Prince is discovered and harboured by a peasant, and his troops gradually re-assembled - He declines to risk another encounter - Arrival of 'Abbás-Kulí Khán with his troops before Sheykh Tabarsí - His foolhardiness and negligence - Mullá Huseyn at the head of 400 Bábís makes a sortie before dawn on Rabí'u'l-Avval 10th [A.H. 1265 = February 3rd A.D. 1849].

        P. 64. Description of the engagement - Rout of the besiegers - Mullá Huseyn is mortally wounded - The Bábís retire in good order to their stronghold - After their departure and the dawn of day some of the scattered besiegers return, bury their own dead, decapitate the Bábí corpses, and retire.

        P. 65. How the news of the defeat is communicated to Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá - Death of Mullá Huseyn after re-entering Sheykh Tabarsí - His dying injunctions - His burial in the shrine - Thirty other Bábís die of their wounds - The Bábís go out to bury their dead, find them decapitated, and in retaliation exhume and decapitate the Musulmán corpses and fix their heads on posts round the gate of the fortress - How the news of the defeat is received by the Prince - After much hesitation he advances against the Bábís and encamps at Kiyá-Kalá.

        P. 66. On reaching Sheykh Tabarsí the Prince's courage fails him - He retires to Kásht, and there meets 'Abbás- Kulí Khán - Preparations for the siege of Sheykh Tabarsí - Arrival of artillery - Discontent and insubordination amongst the besieging troops caused by the wilfulness and incapacity of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá.

[page 179]

        P. 67. Sortie of 200 Bábís - They capture one of the towers erected by the besiegers - Cruelty of Mahdí- Kulí Mírzá to one of his wounded officers - Renewed anger of the Sháh because the siege has lasted for four months without any decisive advantage have been gained - Threats and reproaches addressed by the Sháh to the besiegers.

        P. 68. Suleymán Khán Afshár is sent from Teherán to superintend the siege - Revival of the courage of the besiegers - A breach is effected in the Bábí fortifications by means of a mine sprung under the western tower of the fortress - A vigorous attempt to storm the breach fails, once again through the incapacity of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá - Desertions from the Bábí camp - Fate of Aká Rasúl and thirty other deserters.

        P. 69. Desertion of Rizá Khán and some others from the Bábís - They receive promises of pardon from the Prince - They are placed in the custody of Hádí Khán of Núr - The Bábís, having consumed all their provisions, are reduced to eating grass, leaves, boiled leather, and broth made from the bones of dead horses - They make another desperate sortie, and attempt, but fail, to capture the tower erected by the besiegers against the western gate - The Bábís capitulate on receiving a written promise, signed and sealed by the Prince, that their lives shall be spared.

        P. 70. Evacuation of Sheykh Tabarsí and entry of the surviving Bábís (216 in number) into the royalist camp - They are reassured by the manner in which they are at first received, but on the following day are perfidiously massacred, except Hájí Muhammad 'Alí and some of the other chiefs, who are reserved to grace the Prince's triumphal entry into Bárfurúsh - The Prince visits the deserted fortress, marvels at the skill displayed in its construction, and carries off the spoils accumulated by the Bábís - Execution of Hájí Muhammad 'Alí and the other Bábí chiefs by command of the Musulmán clergy - During the whole war in Mázandarán 1500 Bábís and 500 soldiers perished.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 83 [last 12 lines]. Troubles at Zanján - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí Zanjání - His character and previous career - His innovations, and disagreements with the other clergy.

[page 180]

        P. 84. He is summoned to Teherán by Muhummad Sháh and forbidden to return to Zanján - On the death of that king he escapes in disguise and returns home - He is received with acclamation by his admirers - He begins to preach the Bábí doctrines, and soon gains 15,000 adherents - Action is taken against him by the government - Collision between him and Aslán-Khán the governor of Zanján.

        P. 85. The Bábís assume the offensive - Their organization and preparations - Fighting begins on Rajab 5th [A.H. 1266 = May 17th, A.D. 1850. In the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh these events are described under the year A.H. 1265, but this is an error, as proved by the accounts of Watson and Lady Sheil] - Names of some of the killed and wounded, who number about forty in all - Execution of a Bábí prisoner named Sheykhí remarkable for his valour - Attack on Aslán Khán's residence by a party of Bábís led by one Mír Sálih. - Repulse of the Bábís and death of their leader - Names of some of the killed and wounded.

        P. 86. Arrival of Sadru'd-Dawla on Rajab 20th [June 3rd], and of Seyyid 'Alí Khán of Fírúzkúh, Shahbáz Khán of Marágha, Muhammad 'Alí Khán Shahsívan, Kázim Khán Afshár, and Mahmúd Khán of Khúy with large reinforcements of cavalry and artilllery [sic] on Sha'bán 2nd-5th [June 13th-16th] - Capture of a Bábí position held by Mashhadí Pírí on Sha'bán 20th [July 1st] - Impatience of the Government - Mustafá Khán Kájár, colonel of the 16th (Shakákí) regiment, is sent to join the besiegers - Capture of a Bábí position held by Mírzá Faraju'lláh after a desperate struggle on Ramazán 15th [July 25th] - Besiegers further reinforced by Násiriyya regiment and a corps of picked marksmen, and threatened with severe punishment unless they quickly bring the siege to a close - General attack on the Bábís on Ramazán 25th [August 4th].

        P. 87. The day goes against the Bábís till Mullá Muhummad 'Alí creates a diversion by setting fire to the bazaar - On Shawwál 8th [August 17th] the besiegers are further reinforced by Muhammad Khán Begler-begí with 3000 troops, 6 cannons, and 2 mortars - On the same day the Násiriyya and Shakákí regiments are ordered to attack

[page 181]

the Bábís - The stratagem whereby Mullá Muhammad 'Alí throws the Násiriyya regiment into confusion - Description of the Bábí defences - The Begler-begí tries conciliatory measures, wherein he is seconded by 'Azíz Khán Ajúdán-báshí and Mírzá Hasan Khán the Amír-Nizám's brother, both of whom happen to pass through Zanján at this time - Conciliation failing, a fresh attack is made.

        P. 88. Failure of this attack - Punishment inflicted on certain officers - The Sadru'd-Dawla is replaced by Farrukh Khán (the son of Yahyá Khán of Tabríz and the brother of Suleymán Khán the Bábí), who reaches Zanján on Zi'l-Ka'da 4th [September 11th] - Arrival of fresh reinforcements - A way of escape is intentionally left open for the Bábís - The Bábís again turn to account the covetousness of the troops of inflict on them fresh losses - Extraordinary courage of the Bábí women - Letter from the Amír-Nizám to Farrukh Khán - The stratagem whereby the Bábís decoy Farrukh Khán to his destruction.

        P. 89. Capture of Farrukh Khán by the Bábís - He and two renegades are tortured to death and their heads cast into the camp of the besiegers - Anger of the King at this news - More artillery is sent against Zanján - Renewed attack on the Bábís - Capture of the Castle of 'Alí-Mardán Khán and other Bábí positions - Twenty Bábís taken prisoners.

P. 90. Execution of these prisoners - Desertion and capture of twenty-five Bábís - Their ultimate fate - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí is wounded - He survives his wound for one week - His dying instructions - His death and burial - His followers capitulate on receiving promise of pardon - Entry of the royal troops into Zanján - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí's body is exhumed and dishonoured - Bad faith of the royalist leaders - Plunder of the Bábí quarter - Massacre of the Bábí prisoners on the third day after the surrender.

P. 91 [first 7 lines]. Hájí Kázim Kaltúkí and Mashhadí Suleymán the cloth- maker are blown from the mouths of mortars - Approval of the Sháh - Some of the Bábí chiefs are brought to Teherán - Mírzá Rizá, Hájí Muhammad 'Alí, and Hájí Muhsin are put to death at the command of the Amír-Nizám, while the rest are cast into prison. * *

[Fourth and third lines from the bottom.] Suleymán

[page 182]

Khán Afshár arrives at Tabríz with the death-warrant of the Báb.

        *         *         *         *         *        

P. 93. Mírzá Taki Khán the Amír- Nizám advises Násiru'd-Dín Sháh to order the Báb to be put to death - Discussion between the King and the Minister - The Báb's execution is finally decided on - Suleymán Khán Afshár is sent to Tabríz with the Báb's death-warrant and instructions to Hamzé Mírzá, the Prince-Governor of Ázarbaiján, as to the method of procedure - The Báb and his amanuensis, Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd, are brought from Chihrík. to Tabríz - Áká [here called Mullá] Muhammad 'Alí of Tabríz is also arrested - His brother, Áká 'Abdu'lláh, unsuccessfully attempts to induce him to recant - Hamzé Mírzá desires the clergy of Tabríz to dispute with and confute the Báb - They decline.

P. 94. The Báb is brought before Hamzé Mírzá, Mírzá Hasan, Hájí Mírzá 'Alí, and Suleymán Khán Afshár by night - Hamzé Mírzá asks him to recite verses concerning a crystal candlestick - The Báb complies, and these verses are written down - Hamzé Mírzá requests the Báb to repeat these verses - They are repeated differently - It is decided to kill the Báb with the utmost publicity - He is taken to the houses of three prominent members of the clergy, Hájí Mírzá Bákir, Mullá Muhammad Mámakání, and Áká Seyyid Zanvazí, who ratify the sentence of death - Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd recants - The steadfastness of Áká Muhammad 'Alí - The execution takes place on Sha'bán 27th [A.H. 1266, not 1265 as stated by Sipihr and Kazem-Beg. See pp. 45 and 186 - 187] - The firing-party is formed of Christian soldiers - At the first volley Áká Muhammad 'Alí is killed, but the Báb, released from his bonds by the bullets, falls uninjured to the ground - He takes refuge in the rooms of one of the soldiers.

P. 95 [first 9 lines]. Reflections on his strange occurrence - The Báb is dragged forth from his retreat by Kúch 'Alí Sultán, again bound, and once more fired on by the

[page 183]

soldiers - This time he is killed - Indignities offered to his body.

        *         *         *         *         *        

P. 112 [last half]. The insurrection at Níríz - Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb - His character, and that of his father Áká Seyyid Ja'far-i- Kashfí - Seyyid Yahyá is converted to the Bábí doctrines - He goes to Teherán to preach the new faith - He goes to Yezd - The Yezd insurrection and its failure - Seyyid Yahyá goes to Fasá in Fárs - Bahrám Mírzá having been dismissed from the government of Fárs, and Fírúz Mírzá not having yet arrived to take his place, Mírzá Fazlu'lláh Nasíru'l-Mulk is the supreme authority in the province - The nobles of Fasá request him to put a stop to Seyyid Yahyá's propaganda.

P. 113. The Nasíru'l-Mulk writes a letter to Seyyid Yahyá - He receives a reassuring reply - Fresh complaints are made - Another message to Seyyid Yahyá proves equally ineffectual - Seyyid Yahyá goes to Níríz with the force which he has collected - Disaffection of Níríz, and unpopularity of its governor, Zeynu'l- 'Ábidín Khán - Seyyid Yahyá, with 300 followers, occupies an old castle near Níríz - The Nasíru'l-Mulk sends him a third message - His answer - He makes a night attack on Níríz, sacks the town, and puts Zeynu'l- 'Ábidín Khán to flight - Hereupon many recruits join the Bábís, so that their forces amount to more than 2000 men.

P. 114. Fírúz Mírzá the new governor, when distant four stages from Shíráz, receives news of the success of the Níríz insurgents - He sends a messenger to Shíráz instructing Mihr 'Ali Khán Núrí Shujá'ul-Mulk and Mustafá-Kulí Khán to proceed against Seyyid Yahyá with two Káragúzlú regiments - The Nasíru'l-Mulk writes to Zeynu'l'Ábidin Khán the fugitive governor of Níríz ordering him to collect what forces he can and join the attacking force - The royalist forces combine and proceed to Níríz - Preliminary skirmish - Siege operations commenced - Failure of Mustafá-Kulí Khán's attempts to bring about a peaceable settlement - Seyyid Yahyá supplies his followers with amulets - Sortie of 300 Bábís - Failure of the sortie

[page 184]

after prolonged fighting, during which 150 Bábís and four soldiers are slain - Desertions amongst the Bábís - Second sortie of the Bábís.

P. 115 [first half]. Repulse of Bábí sortie - Valí Khán is sent with reinforcements from Shíráz - Seyyid Yahyá is induced to quit his fortress, and, accompanied by one attendant, to return to his house in Níríz - On his way thither he is met by the sons of 'Alí 'Askar Khán who kill him in revenge for their father's death - Seyyid Yahyá's two sons and thirty of his followers are brought to Shíráz - The former are spared in consideration of their being seyyids, but the latter are put to death by order of Fírúz Mírzá.

Contents of the Supplement to the Kájáriyya volume
in so far as they relate to the Bábís.

P. 22. Events of the year A.H. 1268 [A.D. 1852]. Imám- Kuli Mírzá is appointed governor of Kirmánsháh - His energy in restoring order to his province - He arrests Mullá 'Alí Asghar, a Bábí missionary, and sends him in chains to Teherán - One Teymúr1 of Kal'a- Zanjírí claims to be the vicegerent of the Absent Imám and draws to himself a great number of people - He is seized and put to death by Imám- Kulí Mírzá - Account of the attempt on the Sháh's life - Digression on the character and doctrines of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í.

        P. 23. Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht succeeds Sheykh Ahmad - Dissensions amongst his followers after his death - Mullá Huseyn persuades many of the Sheykhís to follow Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb - His journey to Khurásán - Mullá Sheykh 'Alí [whom the Bábís entitle Jenáb-i-'Azím] becomes a Bábí and engages in active propaganda - He goes from Kerbelá to Káshán, where he sees and attempts to

        1 Subh-i-Ezel informed me that this Teymúr was not a Bábí but advanced a claim on his own account. After his death, however, a youth calling himself Seyfúr, who was a Bábí, appeared, and used to declare that he was Teymúr returned again from the dead.

[page 185]

convert Mírzá Áká Khán of Núr, afterwards Sadr-i-A'zam (Prime Minister) - He goes to Teherán, where, under various names and in diverse disguises, he continues his attempts at proselytizing - During the ministry of the Amír- Nizám he mediates a rising to be inaugurated by the slaughter of Mírzá Abú'l Kásim the Imám Jum'a - This plot is discovered by government spies and reported to the Amír- Nizám - Mírzá 'Abdu'r-Rahím, the brother of Mullá Muhammad Takí of Herát, one of the disciples of Mullá Sheykh 'Alí, is arrested.

        P. 24. Mírzá 'Abdu'r- Rahím refuses to betray his confederates - Mírzá Táhir, fellow-lodger of the above, is questioned - Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán is beguiled by a forged letter into revealing Mullá Sheykh 'Alí's abode - A servant of Mullá Sheykh 'Alí's is arrested and tortured, but discloses nothing - He is put to death, but Mírzá 'Abdu'r-Rahím's life is spared - Mullá Sheykh 'Alí escapes and takes refuge in Sháh 'Abdu'l- 'Azím, whence he presently flies to Ázarbaiján - On the fall of the Amír-Nizám, Mullá Sheykh 'Alí returns to Teherán and begins to organize the conspiracy against the Sháh's life - The house of Hájí Suleymán Khán of Tabríz becomes the meeting-place of the conspirators, and there Mullá Sheykh 'Alí takes up his quarters - Seventy persons are involved in the conspiracy - Nature of the plot - Twelve Bábís volunteer for the attempt, amongst them being Muhammad Sádik. [of Zanján], Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Wahháb of Shíráz, Mullá Fathu'lláh of Kum, and Muhammad Bákir of Najafábád.

        P. 25. The attempt on the Sháh's life is made on Sunday, Shawwál 28th [A.H. 1268 = August 15th, 1852] - Account of the attempt and its failure. [See infra, Note T.]

        P. 26. Fate of the assassins - Consternation of the ministers - Conjectures as to the originators of the plot - Firmness of the Prime Minister (Sadr-i-A'zam).

        P. 27. Messengers despatched to all parts of the kingdom to announce the Sháh's safety - The search for the Bábís begins - Arrest of Hájí Suleymán Khán and twelve of his confederates - On information obtained from some of these prisoners 36 Bábís are captured, amongst whom is Mullá Sheykh 'Alí.

        P. 28. The Hájibu'd Dawla cuts off Mullá Sheykh

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'Alí's ear - Examination of the prisoners - Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Núrí [apparently Behá'u'lláh himself], Mírzá Suleymán-Kulí, Mírzá Mahmúd, Áká 'Abdu'lláh, Mírzá Jawád of Khurásán, and Mírzá Huseyn of Kum are imprisoned, there not being sufficient evidence to incriminate them in the plot: the other Bábí prisoners are apportioned amongst the different departments and classes each to be slain in such fashion as shall please those to whom he has been assigned - The slaughter takes place on the last day of Zi'l-Ka'da [A.H. 1268 = September 15th, A.D 1852] - Account of the executions [see infra, Note T].

        P. 29. Account of the executions continued, including that of Kurratu'l-'Ayn [see infra, Notes Q and T] - Public rejoicings.

        Whoever carefully examines the arrangement of matter in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh as indicated in the above table of contents will perceive that this arrangement is not strictly chronological, although ostensibly intended to be so. A desire not to interrupt the continuity of the narrative in relating an episode often induces the historian to include under the year in which the episode which he is describing first began, events properly belonging to subsequent years. Thus the first public appearance of the Báb was in the year A.H. 1260, but the narrative is carried on without interruption not only to the time of his return from Mecca to Bushire, which certainly did not occur till A.H. 1261, but to the period of his concealment by the Mu'tamadu'd-Dawla in Isfahán, which belongs to the year A.H. 1262. So likewise the beginning of the insurrection in Mázandarán was in A.H. 1264, while its final suppression did not take place till A.H. 1265; yet the whole insurrection from its earliest beginning to its ultimate conclusion is described under the year A.H. 1264, the only indication of a change of year being afforded by the rotation of the months. Other instances might be adduced, but these are sufficient to prove a fact which it is most important to bear in mind. The erroneous dates given for the siege of Zanján and the Báb's martyrdom (of which events, according to all testimony, the latter took place during the

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former) cannot, however, be satisfactorily accounted for in this way; and I am forced to suppose that in this case the Lisánu'l Mulk has committed a positive error, which, as it has been copied and reproduced by Kazem-Beg and a number of writers who have followed him, it is necessary to expose in the clearest manner possible. This I strove to do in my first paper on the Bábis in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1889 (pp. 511-513), where I attempted to prove that both of the events in question were to be assigned, not, as stated in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh and repeated by those who have unreservedly followed it, to the year A.H. 1265 (A.D. 1849), but to the year A.H. 1266 (A.D. 1850). It is unnecessary for me to repeat in this place the arguments there adduced to support an opinion in which further study of the matter serves but to confirm me; I will only observe that further corroboration of that opinion is afforded not only by the present work (supra, pp. 44-45) and the Rawzatu's- Safá, but also by Dr A. H. Wright's memoir contributed to the Z. D. M. G. in 1851, wherein the Báb's execution is described (p. 385) as having occurred "last year," and by Binning (Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia &c., London, 1857, vol. i, p. 407), who, in a passage written in 1850 or early in 1851, remarks, after describing the Báb's execution, that "a large number of them [i.e. the Bábís] are now up in arms in Zenjân."

        Complete impartiality is a quality we could not reasonably expect to find in the court historian of a despot whose ears must hear what is pleasant rather than what is true, and whose actions must be not only justified but extolled as models of wisdom and virtue. When we consider that, apart from this, the Lisánu'l-Mulk, as a presumably orthodox Shi'ite Muhammadan, was bound to disparage and traduce in every way possible those whose object was nothing less than the complete overthrow of Islám and the abrogation of its ordinances, we cannot but admire the candour which he displays; for if, on the one hand, he brings against the Bábís many unfounded and absurd accusations, on the other hand he pourtrays with a fidelity scarcely surpassed by the witty and sarcastic Comte de Gobineau the cowardice, incapacity, and treachery of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá, the courage of Mullá Huseyn of Bush-

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reweyh, the constancy of Áká Muhammad 'Alí of Tabríz, and the heroism of the Bábí women of Zanján.

        Each page of the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh consists of 29 lines containing on an average 21 words each, so that a page is equivalent to about 600 words. That portion of the narrative which refers to the Bábís occupies in all not less than 46 pages, and cannot contain fewer than 27,000 words.

2. The Rawzatu's-Safá.

        The Teherán lithographed edition of this work, whereof the publication was completed in Rabí'u'l-Avval A.H. 1274 (Oct-Nov., A.D. 1857), consists of ten volumes bound in two. Of these ten volumes the first six composed by Mírkhwánd (d. A.D. 1498) and the seventh composed by his grandson Khwándamír (d. A.D. 1534) constitute the whole of what is generally understood by European writers when they speak of the Rawzatu's-Safá. The three last (eighth, ninth, and tenth) volumes, which supplement the older work and bring the narrative down to our own days, were written by that most talented and learned scholar Rizá- Kulí Khán 'Lelé-Báshí,' of whose life and works a most valuable account from the pen of Mr Sidney Churchill will be found in vol. xviii (New Series) of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, pp. 196-206. All that relates to the Bábís is contained in the last (tenth) volume, with which alone, therefore, we are here concerned. The numeration of the pages in this volume is supplied by my hand, the pages in the original being unnumbered. As the narrative of the Bábí movement here given agrees very closely for the most part with that contained in the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh, I shall in the summary of its contents about to be given indicate very briefly that portion of it dealt with in each page, except in cases where some fact is added or differently stated.

Contents of vol. x of the Rawzatu's- Safá
in so far as they relate to the Bábís.

        P. 69 [last 17 lines]. From the first appearance of the

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Báb to the stratagem whereby Huseyn Khán Ajúdán-Báshí induces him to expose his ideas without reserve.

        P. 70 [first 18 lines]. From the Báb's disputation with the clergy of Shíráz to the death of Minúchihr Khán in Rabí'u'l-Avval A.H. 1263 and the Báb's removal to Chihrík. Reflections on the causes which led to the rapid spread of his doctrines. He is accused of holding and teaching the doctrine of metempsychosis.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 118 [first 26 lines]. From the beginning of Mullá Huseyn's propaganda to his escape from Mash-had and advance on Mázandarán with 300 or 400 followers. It is stated that his original intention was to proceed to Chihrík. and liberate the Báb. The last three lines of this page begin the account of the Báb's first examination (A.H. 1263=A.D. 1847) by the clergy of Tabríz presided over by the present Sháh, at that time Crown-Prince. The account of the proceedings of this assembly is professedly copied "without favour or enmity" from the report written by Hájí Mullá Mahmúd the Nizámu'l-'Ulamá. Concerning this conference see supra, pp. 18-21, and infra, Note M.

        P. 119. Account of the conference continued.

        P. 120. Account of the conference continued.

        P. 121. Conclusion of the conference, and punishment of the Báb, who is afterwards sent back to Chihrík. - Exasperation of the Bábís on hearing what indignities have been offered to their master - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh - Kurratu'l-'Ayn - The meeting of Badasht - The attack on the Bábís at Hazár-Jaríb - The death of Muhammad Sháh (Shawwál, A.H. 1264=August 31st - September 28th, A.D. 18481) - Beginning of the Mázandarán insurrection.

        P. 122. Recapitulation of Mullá Huseyn's earlier adventures and behaviour - Narrative of events from the collision between Mullá Huseyn's 700 or 800 white-robed, white- turbaned followers and the Musulmáns of Bárfurúsh to the occupation of Sheykh Tabarsí by the former - Description of the Bábí fortress.

        1 According to Watson (History of Persia, p. 354), the death of Muhammad Sháh took place on September 4th, 1848.]

[page 190]

        P. 123. Continuation of narrative of the Mázandarán insurrection to the surprise and discomfiture of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá by the Bábís at Vásaks.

        P. 124. Continuation of narrative to the night attack of the Bábís led by Mullá Huseyn on 'Abbás- Kulí Khán's army. The date of this event is here stated as Rabí'u'l-Avval 10th A.H. 1266 (January 24th, A.D. 1850), which is a mistake. The correct date, Rabí'u'l-Avval (10th) A.H. 1265 (February 3rd, A.D. 1849) is given in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh.

        P. 125. From the death of Mullá Huseyn to the second advance of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá against Sheykh Tabarsí.

        P. 126. Continuation of the narrative to the arrival of Ja'far-Kulí Khán and Tahmásp Kulí Khán with reinforcements for the besiegers.

        P. 127. Continuation of the narrative to the Bábí sortie, which results directly in the death of Tahmásp-Kulí Khán, and indirectly in that of his uncle Ja'far-Kulí Khán through the wanton and inconsiderate cruelty of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá.

        P. 128. Conclusion of the narrative of the Mázandarán insurrection. Beginning of the narrative of the Zanján insurrection.

        P. 129. Continuation of the narrative to Seyyid 'Alí Khán's unsuccessful attempt at pacification.

        P. 130. Continuation of the narrative to Farrukh Khán's capture and terrible fate.

        P. 131. Continuation of the narrative to Hasan Khán's unsuccessful attempt at pacification. (According to the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh this event preceded the last, and this version is on the face of it more probable.)

        P. 132. Conclusion of the narrative of the Zanján insurrection - Brief account of the execution of the Báb at Tabríz. (The date of this event is here correctly stated as A.H. 1266. The account itself is most meagre, amounting in substance merely to this: that the Báb was brought from Chihrík. to Tabríz, condemned to death by the clergy of that city, and suspended and shot, together with two of his disciples, by the Christian regiment, his body being afterwards cast outside the city as food for wolves and dogs.

[page 191]

No mention is made of his miraculous escape from the first volley by the soldiers) - Beginning of the narrative of the Níríz insurrection.

        P. 133. Conclusion of the narrative of the Níríz insurrection. (According to this account, Aká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb the insurgent leader was brought to Shíráz and there put to death. Allusion is also made to the second Bábí rising at Níríz and the assassination of the governor Zeynu'l-'Ábidín Khán, which events occurred about two years later. See Note H, infra.)

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 167 [last 21 lines]. The attempt on the Sháh's life (see Note T, infra). Preliminary recapitulation of similar attempts on the lives of kings and ministers made by members of heretical sects - Eulogies of Násiru'd-Dín Sháh.

        P. 168. After the death of the Báb a new leader (whom the author of this history apparently believes to have been Mullá Sheykh 'Alí 'Jenáb-i-'Azím') is chosen by his followers - The Bábí conspiracy - The assassination is planned by twelve Bábís, who arrange that the attempt shall take place on the morning of Sunday the 28th of Shawwál A.H. 1268 (August 15th, A.D. 1852) as the Sháh is riding out on a hunting expedition from his summer residence at Niyávarán - Description of the Royal Cavalcade and the approach of the conspirators in the guise of suppliants.

        P. 169. Of the twelve assassins, six fail to arrive in time, while three lag behind - The three who are ready approach the Sháh as petitioners, surround him, and fire two shots at him - The Sháh's retainers come up and kill one of the conspirators - Another shot is fired wounding the Sháh in the shoulder - The two surviving conspirators are seized and retained for examination - The Sháh wishes to continue his expedition, but is dissuaded by the Prime Minister - Panic in Teherán - The Sháh holds a public reception on the following day.

        P. 170. Messengers are despatched in all directions to announce the Sháh's safety - Certain malicious persons strive unsuccessfully to cast suspicion on the Prime Minister and Muhammad Hasan Khán of Erivan - It is

[page 192]

discovered that 70 Bábís are in the habit of resorting to the house of Hájí Suleymán Khán, on which accordingly a raid is made, resulting in the capture of Suleymán Khán and twelve others - Mullá Sheykh 'Alí and thirty-six other Bábís are also arrested - Account of the execution of these - The Sháh returns to Teherán from Niyávarán amidst general rejoicings on Friday, Zi'l-Ka'da 17th, A.H. 1268 (September 2nd, A.D. 1852).

        Rizá-Kulí Khán's narrative substantially agrees with that of the Lisánu'l-Mulk, but is on the whole less full, more bombastic, and more vituperative, execrations and curses on the Bábís severally and generally being freely introduced throughout. Some new dates are added, and some, such as that of the Zanján troubles, which are erroneously stated in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh, are here correctly given; but, on the other hand, some fresh chronological errors, notably in the case of Mullá Huseyn's last sortie and death, are introduced. The account given of the Báb's death is extremely meagre; and in other parts of the narrative we miss that abundance of detail and fulness of description which render the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh so readable and so graphic.

        Each page of the Rawzatu's- Safá contains 33 lines, and each line an average of 26 words, making about 858 words to the page. The number of pages devoted to the Bábís is in all twenty and a half, so that the whole narrative above summarized contains not fewer than 17,500 words, and is about two-thirds of the length of the account given in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh.

3.         The Táríkh-i- Jadíd.

        Of this work, which exists only in manuscript, two copies only, so far as I know, have reached Europe1. One,

        1 Quite recently, as I have learned from Baron Rosen, another MS. of this work, obtained by M. Tumanski at Ishkábád, has been added to the library of the Institut des Langues Orientales of St Petersburg.

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obtained by Mr Sidney Churchill, is in the library of the British Museum, and is numbered Or. 2942. The other is in my own possession, and is briefly described at p. 496 of my first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, and at pp. 1002-1003 of my second paper in the same volume. Of the manner in which I first became acquainted with this work, of the means whereby I obtained the MS. now in my possession, of my intention of publishing it, and of the causes which led me to lay aside (I trust but for a season) the text and translation on which I was engaged in favour of the present work, I have already spoken in the Introduction. As the Táríkh-i-Jadíd is not at present generally available to scholars, I shall confine myself to giving a brief statement of its contents based on my own MS. Before doing so, however, a few words must be said concerning the British Museum codex, which is superior alike in accuracy, neatness, and calligraphy to my own.

        In the MS. catalogue of recent acquisitions the MS. in question is described thus:-

        "Or. 2942. Táríkh-i-Jadíd. A history of the Bábís. A.H. 1298 (1881). Persian."

        On its cover it bears the following inscription:-

OR. 2942

        Inside the cover is written:-

~~~ (sic)

        The blank leaf at the beginning bears the name of the work (~~~) both in Arabic and English characters, the date July 1882, and Mr Sidney Churchill's signature, substituted for that of Hr Henry Churchill through which a pen has been drawn.

        At the end of the text is the following colophon:-


        (Rajab A.H. 1298 = May 30th - June 28th A.D. 1881).

[page 194]

        A final note states that the MS. was bought of [sic] Mr S. Churchill on October 10th, 1885. It consists of 177 fol. (354 pp.). Quotations, headings, and the initial words of sentences are sometimes written in red. The paper is of a bluish colour. The text, so far as I have collated it, offers a good many variants from, and some additions to, my MS., and its readings are generally preferable.

        My MS. consists of 374 pp., each of which contains 19 lines numbering on an average 10 words apiece. The whole history may be estimated to contain over 70,000 words.

        As regards the authorship of the work, it is concealed for obvious reasons; and indeed the author goes out of his way to describe himself as a traveller who, having visited all parts of Europe and India, undertook a journey to Persia for scientific purposes and especially geographical research. He expresses thankfulness to God that he does not belong to the Persian nation, whose faults he exposes unsparingly. He pourtrays himself as a non-Muhammadan open to conviction on matters of religion and associating freely with all sects. And at the conclusion of his work he apologizes for his lack of literary style, advances as an excuse the statement that Persian is not his native tongue, and alludes to a "treatise written in his own language in French writing" wherein the matter in hand is more eloquently set forth. Now that any European should have been capable or desirous of composing such a work is on the face of it extremely improbable, and there can be little doubt that the author advanced the statements above alluded to merely as a blind. Of the Bábís whom I have questioned on the subject some attribute the authorship of the work to a certain well- known and widely-travelled resident in the Persian capital, whom, as he is still living, I do not feel myself justified in indicating more particularly; others to his mírzá or secretary, now dead. It appears not improbable that it was the joint product of these two. Whoever the author or authors may have been, the information set forth is so detailed and so minute that it must have been derived for the most part from persons who had conversed with actual eye-witnesses of the events described, if not from eye-witnesses themselves. The author, whether

[page 195]

he had really embraced the Bábí faith or not, was, on his showing, a warm admirer of the Báb and his apostles and disciples, and was during the composition of his work in continual communication with certain prominent members of the sect. Yet the work when completed - perhaps because of the violence wherewith it denounces the Musulmán clergy and reproaches the Persian nation, perhaps because of the slight mention which it makes of Behá'u'lláh (of Subh-i-Ezel it makes no mention at all) and the exaggerated veneration paid to the Báb - did not meet with the approval of the Bábí chiefs in Acre, and as early as the spring of 1888 I learned in Shíráz that instructions had been issued for the compilation of a new history more in accordance with the views entertained by those chiefs. Of these instructions the history now offered to the public is the outcome.

Summary of the contents of the

        Pp. 1-381. Introduction.

        "         39-40. Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht foretells the approaching 'manifestation' and dies.

        Pp. 41-47. Conversion of Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh.

        Pp. 48-50. Conversions of Hájí Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh ('Jenáb-i- Kuddús'), Mullá Muhammad Sádik. of Khurásán ('Mukaddas'), and others.

        Pp. 51-55. From Mullá Huseyn's journey to Khurásán to his entry into Bárfurúsh with Hájí Muhammad 'Alí and their combined followers.

        Pp. 56-114. From the first collision between the Bábís and the Musulmáns in Bárfurúsh to the fall of the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí.

        Pp. 115-132. Biographies of certain eminent Bábís who suffered martyrdom in Mázandarán, with some reflections on the heroism displayed by the besieged.

        Pp. 133-155. The struggle at Níríz, and reflections thereon. (See Note H, infra.)

        1: The pagination refers to my own MS., not to the British Museum Codex.

[page 196]

        Pp. 156-163. The siege of Zanján.

        Pp. 164-166. Reflections thereon.

        "         167-176. Account of a disputation between a learned Bábí and an assembly of Musulmán divines.

        Pp. 177-201. The decadence of the Persian empire and the deterioration of its people traced to the complete ascendancy obtained by the clergy, whose ignorance, wickedness, and arrogance are unsparingly exposed.

        Pp. 202-222. Personal history of the Báb from the beginning of his mission until his exile to Mákú.

        Pp. 223-236. Sufficiency of the testimony given by a host of martyrs of every class to the truth of Bábíism. Objections answered.

        Pp. 237-240. Personal history of the Báb continued until his removal from Mákú to Chihrík.

        Pp. 241-243. History of the 'Indian believer' (~~~)

        Pp. 244-246. History of Seyyid Basír the Indian.

        "         247-249. Eulogy on the devotion and self-sacrifice of the Bábís.

        Pp. 250-261. History of the 'Seven Martyrs' (See Note B, infra.)

        Pp. 262-264. Reflections thereon.

        "         265-277. History of Kurratu'l-'Ayn. (See Note Q, infra.)

        Pp. 278-280. First examination of the Báb at Tabríz. (See Note M, infra.)

        Pp. 281-286. Reflections on the unfairness of the proceedings.

        Pp. 287-300. Personal history of the Báb until his martyrdom.

        Pp. 301-305. Review of former prophetic dispensations and comparison of these with the present 'manifestation.'

        Pp. 306-322. Discussion of the kind of proof necessary to establish the truth of a new revelation, and reflections on the hard-heartedness, obstinacy, and stiff-neckedness of the Musulmáns in general and their clergy in particular, together with further proofs of their want of

[page 197]

fairness illustrated by additional details concerning the conference at Isfahán. (See Note J, infra.)

        Pp. 323-331. The irrational beliefs, absurd traditions, and gross ignorance of the generality of Shi'ite divines.

        Pp. 332-369. Account of a discussion which took place in the author's presence between a Bábí and a mujtahid, and discomfiture of the latter.

        Pp. 370-372. Refutation of certain charges falsely alleged against the Bábís.

        Pp. 373-374. Conclusion.

4.         The Kisasu'l- 'Ulamá.

        This is a work of 350 pages containing biographical notices of 153 eminent Shi'ite divines, amongst whom the author, Mírzá Muhammad ibn Suleymán-i-Tanakábuní, includes himself. It was published for the second time at Teherán in A.H. 1304 (A.D. 1886-7), together with two treatises composed by Seyyid Murtazá ''Ilmu'l-Hudá,' which are included in the same volume. The second biography in this volume, extending from p. 12 to p. 43, is devoted to Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí ibn Muhammad al-Burghání al-Kazvíní, called by the Shi'ites Shahíd-i-Thálith ('the Third Martyr'), and treats incidentally at some length of the Bábís, with whom the subject of the memoir in question came into such fatal collision. Of the book under consideration we are here concerned with this section alone, and indeed only with a part of that.

        Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí was the eldest of three brothers, of whom the second, Hájí Mullá Muhammad Sálih, was also a divine and jurisconsult, while the third, Hájí Mullá 'Alí, was first a disciple of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í and afterwards a partisan of the Báb. Now Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí detested Sheykh Ahmad and his doctrines, and was indeed the first amongst the Shi'ite clergy to denounce him as a dangerous heretic; but if his detestation of the Sheykhís was great, much bitterer and more violent was his hatred of the Bábís. The fact that not only his youngest brother Hájí Mullá 'Alí, but also his niece and daughter- in-law Zarrín-Táj (or, to give her the title whereby she has become for ever famous, Kurratu'l-

[page 198]

'Ayn), had embraced the doctrines which he so abhorred, must have greatly conduced to an intensification of this hatred, which rose to such a pitch that, as we learn from the present work, he was during the last year of his life chiefly engaged in violent public denunciation of the Báb and his religion. This cost him his life; for at length certain Bábís, stung by his words into uncontrollable anger, fell upon him early one morning as he was praying in the mosque, and with knives and daggers inflicted on him eight wounds, from the effects of which he expired two days later. He was buried at Kazvín in the precincts of Sháhzádé Huseyn.

Contents of the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá in so far as they
relate to the Bábís.

        P. 20. Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí first denounces Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í as a heretic - Account of Sheykh Ahmad.

        Pp. 21-30. Account of Sheykh Ahmad and Hájí Seyyid Kázim - Exposition and refutation of their doctrines. (See Note E, infra, and B. ii, pp. 890-892.)

        Pp. 30-35. Account of Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán of Kírmán - Further remarks on the Sheykhí doctrines.

        P. 36. Account of the assassination of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí by certain Bábís in A.H. 1264 (A.D. 1848).

        P. 37. Account of Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb - His diligent attendance at Hájí Seyyid Kázim's lectures. (See B. ii, p. 894.)         P. 38. How the attention of the author was first drawn to the Báb (see B. ii, pp. 894, 895) - The Báb returned to Bushire and begins to practise austerities - He composes a 'Kur'án' - The heresy of his doctrines exposed.

        P. 39. Imprisonment of the Báb at Chihrík. - His first examination before the clergy of Tabríz. (See Note M, infra.)

        Pp. 40, 41. Account of the Báb's examination continued and concluded - He is bastinadoed - Further particulars concerning Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán.

        Pp. 42, 43. Disparagement of Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán, and proofs of his lack of scholarship.

[page 199]


        Besides the Persian works above noticed which bear directly on the history of the Bábí movement, we may observe that the Persian poet Ká'ání has two kasídas written to celebrate the Sháh's escape from the attempt on his life1. These, however, as one would naturally expect, throw very little new light on the facts of the case. It is said that Ká'ání was at first disposed to regard the Báb with favour, and that the kasída beginning:-

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

"The ensample of men and jinn hath appeared,
The leader of these and those hath appeared,"

was written in his honour. If this be so, it is by no means the only instance of inconsistency wherewith this talented but fickle poet can be taxed.

        In Arabic there is an article on Bábíism in the Encyclopaedia (~~~) of Butrusu'l-Bustání (Beyrout, 1881) which contributes some important facts not previously published, but also contains one or two grave errors. It comprises about 1600 words, and is based on information communicated by Seyyid Jemálu'd-Din al-Afghán. Of a portion of this I published a translation in my second paper on the Bábís (J. R. A. S. for 1889, pp. 942-943).

        In Turkish a short article of about 240 words in vol. ii of Sámí Bey's Dictionnaire Universel d'Histoire et de Géographie (~~~, Constantinople, A.H. 1307) contains no new facts, but several new errors.

1: See infra, Note T

[page 200]


        Numerous accounts of the Báb and his religion have been published in Europe, and these, so far as they are known to me, I shall now enumerate in the order of their publication, noting as far as possible whence each work derives the information which it embodies. A mere casual remark of some traveller often sheds a fresh ray of light on the matter, or helps to decide some doubtful date, and therefore I shall include in my list several works wherein only a few paragraphs are devoted to the Bábís; while on the other hand I do not consider it necessary to refer to all of the numerous articles on the subject which have appeared in various encyclopaedias and magazines, since these for the most part merely repeat more or less fully and eloquently the facts recorded by other writers.

        [A.D. 1851.] Bâb und seine Secte in Persien, by A. H. Wright of the American Mission at Urúmiyya, Persia, contributed by J. Perkins, also of the aforesaid Mission, to the German Oriental Society, and published in Vol. v of the Z. D. M. G. (Leipzig, 1851, pp. 384-385). From a note appended by the Editor we learn that the MS. of this article, dated March 31, 1851, was forwarded with a letter from Mr Perkins dated March 29, and that another copy of the same article was sent to the American Oriental Society. From the Journal of the last-named society it appears that this paper was read at one of their meetings, but, so far as I can discover, it was not published, so that we have it only in its German dress. This document is of capital importance, and I have more than once had occasion to refer to it in my notes.

        [A.D. 1856.] Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia, by Lady Sheil (London, 1856). The authoress of this work also was resident in Persia during the Bábí troubles, and much valuable information is supplied by her. That this information was derived for the most part, if not entirely, from bitter enemies of the new faith, or in other words from persons attached to the Persian Court, is sufficiently

[page 201]

evident. Some of the statements advanced seem to be traceable to one or other of the Court historians whose works have already been noticed. Others - especially one to the effect that the Báb, while resident at Baghdad or Kerbelá, was arrested by the Turkish authorities, and only saved from execution at their hands by the intervention of the Persian consul (p. 177) - stand alone, and are unsupported by other testimony. What relates to the Bábís in this work is as follows:

        P. 176. Origin of the sect.

        P. 177. Personal history of the Báb until his death.

        P. 178. Confessions of ex- Bábís.

        P. 179. Bábí doctrines exposed.

        P. 180. Bábís compared to Assassins and Mazdakites - Mázandarán and Yezd insurrections - Execution of the 'Seven Martyrs'

        P. 181. Rising at Zanján - Probability that the Bábí faith is spreading.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        Pp. 273-282. Accounts of the attempt on the Sháh's life and of the Bábí executions which followed it, the latter translated from the 'Teherán Gazette' in which it appeared.

        [A.D. 1857.] Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia, Ceylon, etc., by Robert B. M. Binning, Esq., of the Madras Civil Service (London, 1857, 2 vols). Some few pages of the twentieth chapter of this work (vol. i, pp. 403-408) are devoted to the Bábís. Of all accounts which I have read, not excluding those given by the Musulmán historians, this is the most hostile, the most unfair - I had almost said the most libellous. The writer, not content with likening the Bábís to Mormons and Sadducees and describing their Founder as a kind of oriental Joe Smith, casts aspersions on the Báb's honesty, and almost accuses him of theft in so many words. This should not, perhaps, cause us much surprise in one who considers that the Gospel of Christ would be best commended to the people of Persia by the annexation of their country by some "Christian State," and who thinks that King Núshírván acted "very properly" in ordering the massacre of Mazdak and his adherents. In

[page 202]

point of accuracy, too, this account leaves much to be desired. Thus the author, writing in 1850-1851, describes the Níríz insurrection and the death of Seyyid Yahyá as having occurred "about five years ago," and states that the Báb himself travelled into Mázandarán, evidently confusing him with Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh. Yet, open to criticism as it is, Mr Binning's narrative has its value, and, as I have shown above (p. 187), helps to determine some doubtful points of chronology. Mr Binning appears to have left Persia by way of Bushire on February 7, 1852, having learned, almost at the moment of his departure, the tragic fate of Mírzá Takí Khán Amír-Nizám, which befel in January of that year.

        [A.D. 1864,65.] In the Bulletin de l'Académie Impériale de St Pétersbourg, dated December 22, 1864 (vol. viii, pp. 247-248), is a most valuable article by Dorn on certain Bábí MSS. belonging to the St Petersburg collection. One of these - described as "the Koran of the Bábís" - derives special value from the fact that it was written by the Báb's own secretary, and by him placed in European hands. A portion of this text given by Dorn as a specimen was pronounced by Subh-i-Ezel (to whom I submitted it) an extract from the Book of Names (~~~). The other MS. described is a history of the Mázandarán insurrection composed in the Mázandarání dialect, and was obtained by Dorn during his sojourn in that province in 1860. From the abstract given of its contents it would appear to be of the highest interest, even though it be not in all respects worthy of credence. A short postscript referring to the authenticity of these two MSS. is added in the Bulletin for February 8, 1865. Concerning the occurrences in Mázandarán, Dorn also refers to a previous article of his at p. 353 of vol. iv of the Bulletin (Mélanges Asiatiques, vol. iv, p. 442), but this I have not seen.

        [A.D. 1865.] Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, by M. le Comte de Gobineau (Paris, 1865 and 1866). This most brilliant, most graphic, and most charming work is too well known to need any detailed description.

[page 203]

Though largely based on the Lisánu'l-Mulk's account of the Bábí movement, it embodies also many statements derived from Bábí sources; and not only are the facts thus obtained sifted with rare judgment and arranged with consummate skill, but the characters and scenes of this stirring drama are depicted in a manner so fresh, so vivid, and so lifelike that the work in question must ever remain a classic unsurpassed and indeed unapproached in the subject whereof it treats. The account of the Bábí books and doctrines (occupying 50 pages) is of the utmost value, being based on Bábí MSS. (now in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris) obtained by the author; and the translation of the Book of Precepts (~~~), which forms an Appendix of 82 pages, is still the only complete translation into any European language of a Bábí sacred book. Of the 543 pages composing this volume, 299 are devoted to the Bábís.

        [A.D. 1865.] Persien. Das Land und seine Bewohner, by Dr Jakob Eduard Polak, formerly Physician to the Sháh of Persia and Professor at the Medical College of Teherán (Leipzig, 1865, 2 vols). This work, embodying as it does researches into every phase of Persian life made by one whose position gave him rare opportunities of observing facts which his scientific training enabled him to describe with precision and accuracy, is also of the highest value. What relates to the Bábís occupies only four pages (pp. 350-353) of the first volume. Of these four pages the contents are briefly as follows:-

        P. 350. The Báb and his teaching - Its rapid spread, especially amongst Seyyids, men of learning, and women of the most cultured class - Kurratu'l-'Ayn - Alleged use of narcotics such as hashísh by the Bábís - Determination of the Amír-Nizám to put the Báb to death.

        P. 351. Execution of the Báb - Insurrections in Mázandarán and Zanján. [Both of these risings are here described as having taken place subsequently to the Báb's death, whereas in fact the former had terminated and the latter was in progress when this event occurred.] - Attempt on the Sháh's life in 1852.

[page 204]

        P. 352. Attempt on the Sháh's life - Persons suspected - "Macchiavellian means" adopted for the extirpation of the Bábís - Hájí 'Alí Khán the Farrásh-Báshí - His cruel disposition - Partition of the Bábí prisoners.

        P. 353. Horrible cruelties perpetrated on the Bábís - Their extraordinary fortitude - The tortures inflicted on the beautiful Kurratu'l-'Ayn, and the "superhuman courage" wherewith she endured her lingering death. [Of this execution Dr Polak was himself a witness] - Persecutions in the provinces - Activity of the Bábís continued, though concealed.

        [A.D. 1865.] Journey from London to Persepolis, by John Ussher, F.R.G.S. (London, 1865). This work contains (pp. 627-629) some mention of the Bábís, and depicts in vivid colours the reign of terror which succeeded the attempt on the Sháh's life. A portion of this description is quoted in a footnote on p. 120, supra.

        [A.D. 1866.] Bab et les Babis, an article - or rather a series of five articles - communicated to the Journal Asiatique for 1866 by Mirza Kazem-Beg. The Journal Asiatique for each year being divided into two volumes in the second of which the pagination is recommended, I have, for the sake of brevity, denoted all that portion of Mirza Kazem- Beg's article which occurs in vol. vii (6th series) by the abbreviation 'Kazem-Beg i,' and that which occurs in vol. viii by 'Kazem-Beg ii,' whenever I have had occasion to refer to them. The whole article amounts to 251 pages distributed in the two volumes as follows:-

        Vol. vii (sixième série), pp. 329-384. Preface, and biography of the Báb in 16 sections.

        Pp. 457-522. The Sheykhí doctrines. History of the Bábís, until the final suppression of the Mázandarán insurrection.

        Vol. viii (sixième série), pp. 196-252. History of the Bábís concluded. (Insurrections of Zanján and Níríz, attempt on the Sháh, persecution of A.D. 1852.)

        Pp. 357-400. The doctrine of the Bábís, and its antecedents.

        Pp. 473-507. Two letters from a Bábí Seyyid -

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Changes in the original doctrine of the Báb wrought by his followers - Translations from a Bábí work of a devotional character. [This work, as I have attempted to show on pp. 897-899 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S., is none other than the Ziyárat-náma - the so-called "Récit du Pèlerinage" - composed by the Báb.] - Conclusion.

        The sources from which Mirza Kazem-Beg drew his information are, as stated by himself in a note on p. 332 (vol. vii), the following:-

        (() The Násikhu't- Tawáríkh.

        (() The MS. History in the Mázandarání dialect described by Dorn (see p. 202, supra). Its author calls himself Sheykhu'l-'Ajam. Kazem-Beg describes the work in question as "full of inexactitudes," "of no historic value," and "curious only because composed in the dialect of Mázandarán."

        (() A memoir on the Bábís by M. Sévruguin, who resided for twenty years in Persia.

        (() Another memoir by M. Mochenin, who was in Persia at the time of the Bábí troubles, and who (vol. vii, p. 371) was so fortunate as to be at Chihrík. in June 1850, and even, as it would appear, to see the Báb addressing the multitudes who flocked thither.

        Some of Kazem-Beg's dates and facts I have already had occasion to criticize (though in almost all such cases it is the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh which is ultimately responsible); neither can I concur in several of the views which he advances (especially his estimate of the characters of Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd and Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb and his theory of the passive part taken by the Báb in the formation of the new doctrines); but, whatever new light further research may throw on the subject treated of by Mirza Kazem-Beg, there is no doubt that his work will always remain one of the chief authorities thereon.

        [A.D. 1866.] History of Persia from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century to the Year 1858, by Robert Grant Watson, formerly attached to Her Majesty's Legation at the Court of Persia (London, 1866). This work is also of the utmost value, since the author, from the position which

[page 206]

he occupied, had at his disposal the best means for arriving at the truth of matters of historical fact (especially of chronology), and was, moreover, by no means disposed unreservedly to follow the Musulmán historians, of whose unreliability he was well aware. What refers to the Bábís in this work is as follows:-

        Pp. 347-352. Origin of the movement - Early life of the Báb - The treatment experienced by him at the hands of Huseyn Khán - Edicts against the Bábís.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        Pp. 360-362. Rising at Yezd (not described in this passage as Bábí).

        P. 385. Yezd rising described as a Bábí movement.

        P. 386. Account of the 'Seven Martyrs'

        P. 387. Siege of Zanján.

        Pp. 388-392. Execution of the Báb - Fall of Zanján.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        Pp. 407-410. Attempt on Sháh's life - Executions of Bábís.

        [A.D. 1867.] Meine Wanderungen und Erlebnisse in Persien, by Hermann Vámbéry (Pest, 1867). This well-known traveller, à propos of a conversation which he had during his passage through Mázandarán with some of the inhabitants of 'Alí-ábád, in whose minds the recollection of the siege of Sheykh Tabarsí was still fresh, gives a dissertation on the Bábís which extends from p. 286 to p. 303 of this work. This account seems to be based almost entirely on what be [sic] was able to learn from the Persians, though Gobineau's work is occasionally quoted. The details here given concerning Suleymán Khán's martyrdom (which differ somewhat from those embodied in other traditions) will be referred to in Note T, infra.

        [A.D. 1868.] Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des Islams, by Baron Alfred von Kremer (Leipzig, 1868). Twenty pages of this work (pp. 202-222) are devoted to Bâb und seine Lehre, which article constitutes sect. vii of Book ii. One of the Bábí MSS. in the British Museum (Or. 3114) was, as appears from a note on the first page, bought from

[page 207]

Baron von Kremer, and contains a short note in pencil in his handwriting, but it does not seem that he made use of this in the compilation of the article in question.

        [A.D. 1869.] L'Année Philosophique for this year contains an article by F. Pillon referred to with approbation in the last edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (vol. iii, s. v. Bâbi).

        [A.D. 1872.] Essays und Studien, by Dr Hermann Ethé (Berlin, 1872). Of this work 61 pages (pp. 301-362) are occupied by an essay on the Báb and his doctrine entitled Ein moderner Prophet des Morgenlandes and based on the works of Gobineau, Kazem- Beg, Vámbéry, and Perkins. This essay is written in a sympathetic spirit, and the Bábí doctrines are expounded in a very lucid and logical manner.

        [A.D. 1873.] The Journal Asiatique for this year (7th series, vol. ii, pp. 393-395) contains an article "Sur les sectes dans le Kurdistan" by M. t. Gilbert wherein is included a short notice of the Bábís. After briefly describing the beliefs attributed to them by their neighbours, M. Gilbert estimates the number of those settled in Kurdistán at about five thousand.

        [A.D. 1874.] Persia - Ancient and Modern, by John Piggot, F.SA., F.G.S, F.R.G.S. (London, 1874). The account of the Bábí movement given in this work is full of inaccuracies. Thus, on p. 104, speaking of the Bábís up in arms at Yezd in May 1850, the writer says, "failing in this" (i.e. their attempt to capture the citadel) "they retired to Zinjan"; and he further describes the Báb as having been present in person amongst the besieged in that city, and as having been captured "in one of the assaults of the Sháh's troops" and executed there.

        [A.D. 1874.] Gurret- ül-Eyn: Ein Bild aus Persiens Neuzeit, by Marie von Najmájer (Vienna, 1874). This is a poem in six cantos in honour of the Bábí heroine Kurratu'l-'Ayn, which, if not possessing much historic value, is at

[page 208]

least a graceful and pleasing tribute to the memory of a noble woman.

        [A.D. 1875.] Journey in the Caucasus, Persia, and Turkey in Asia, by Lieut. Baron Max von Thielmann, translated into English by Charles Henneage, F.R.G.S. (London, 1875, 2 vols). The first volume of this work contains (at p. 262) a brief reference to the Bábís à propos of 'Muridism.' The second volume contains (at p. 52) an allusion to the Báb's execution in the citadel (arg) of Tabríz, which event is wrongly described as having occurred in A.D. 1843; and (at pp. 90-91) an interesting account of a Bábí named Hájí Muhammad Ja'far[footnote 1: Baron von Thielmann's fellow-traveller is very probably identical with the Hájí Muhammad Ja'far mentioned on p. 100, supra, and in note 1 on the same page.] who was the author's fellow-traveller from Tabríz to Mosul.

        [A.D. 1877.] Collections Scientifiques de l'Institut des Langues Orientales, vol. i, Manuscrits Arabes, by Baron Victor Rosen (St. Petersburg, 1886). To this most valuable contribution to our knowledge I have had occasion to refer frequently, both in my second paper on the Bábís (pp. 886, 905-909, 954-960, &c.), and in the present work. Of the two Bábí MSS. described, the first is conjectured by Baron Rosen (and there can hardly be a doubt that his conjecture is right) to be the Commentary on the Súra of Joseph (~~~) composed by the Báb at the beginning of his mission; the second, concerning which I was unable to arrive at a definite conclusion in my second paper on the Bábís (p. 954-958), has since been proved beyond all question to be a copy of Behá's Súra-i-Heykal, whereof the Epistles to the Kings (including the Epistle to the Sháh, a complete translation of which is given in the present work[footnote 2: See pp. 108-151, supra, and Note X, infra. The latter contains a translation of that portion of the Arabic exordium which is not cited in the Persian text.]) form a portion. Baron Rosen's convincing arguments (which he has kindly allowed me to see in proof) are prefixed to the text of the MS., which will be published in

[page 209]

extenso in vol. vi of the Collections Scientifiques &c., shortly to appear (p. 145 et seq.).

        [A.D. 1879.] The Deutsche Rundschau (vol. xviii, pp. 284-291) contains an article entitled Orientalischer Socialismus by Professor t. Nšldeke, in which the tenets of the Bábís are briefly discussed, and compared with those of the Mazdakites.

        [A.D. 1886.] Collections Scientifiques &c., vol. iii, Manuscrits Persans, by Baron Rosen (St Petersburg, 1886). This volume, equally valuable with the other, contains descriptions of MSS. of the Persian Beyán (pp. 1-32) and the Íkán (pp. 33-51).

        [A.D. 1887.] The Revue Critique d'Histoire et de Littérature for April 18th of this year contains (pp. 297-298) a review of Baron Rosen's Manuscrits Persans by M. E. Fagnan. Special notice is taken of the Bábí MSS. described by Baron Rosen, and some valuable information is given concerning the five Bábí MSS. brought by Gobineau from Persia, which, on the death of their owner, were bought by the Bibliothèque Nationale.

        [A.D. 1887.] Haifa, or Life in Modern Palestine, by Laurence Oliphant (Edinburgh and London, 1887). This work consists of a series of letters or essays on different subjects connected with the Holy Land, of which the twenty-first, entitled "the Babs and their Prophet" (pp. 103-107), gives an account of a visit paid by the writer to one of Behá's gardens in the vicinity of Acre, together with such information as to the history of the Báb and the Bábís and the personal character and claims of Behá as he was able to collect. This account is very noteworthy, since it is, so far as I know, the first published notice of Behá and the Bábí colony at Acre. Several erroneous statements are made, especially one to the effect that Behá "is visible only to women or men of the poorest class," and that "his own disciples who visit him are only allowed a glimpse of his august back." I myself, during the week which I spent at Acre (April 13th-20th, 1890), was

[page 210]

admitted to the august presence four times, each interview lasting about 20 minutes; besides which on one occasion I saw Behá walking in his garden of Janayn surrounded by a dozen or so of his chief disciples. Not a day passes but numerous Bábís of all classes are permitted to wait upon him.

        [A.D. 1887.] Note sur trois ouvrages Bâbis communicated by M. Clément Huart to the Journal Asiatique for 1887 (eighth series, vol. x, pp. 133-144). Of the first of the three MSS. described I submitted an extract to Subh-i-Ezel, who pronounced it to be (as M. Huart had conjectured) from his own work the Kitáb-i-Núr ('Book of Light'), or rather from one of the two works which go by that name. The translation of Subh-i-Ezel's words (contained in a letter written at the end of September 1889) will be found in Note U infra. The other two MSS. described by M. Huart appear to be from the same source. Baron Rosen alludes to another article about these MSS. by M. Huart in the Revue de l'Histoire des Religions (vol. xviii, p. 279-296), which I have not seen.

        [A.D. 1889.] La Religion de Bab, a little volume of 64 pages, also by M. Huart, forming one of the series known as the Bibliothèque Orientale Elzévirienne (Paris, 1889). This contains some translations from the above MSS. The historical portion supplies us with no new facts.

        [A.D. 1889.] The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society [New Series] vol. XXI contains my two papers on the Bábís, whereof the first (throughout this work referred to as B. i) is entitled The Bábís of Persia. I. Sketch of their History and Personal Experiences amongst them, and the second (referred to as B. ii) The Bábís of Persia. II. Their Literature and Doctrines. These two papers embody the results of my investigations on this subject during the year which I spent in Persia (1887-1888).

        [A.D. 1889.] Baron Rosen's Zapiski (vol. iv, parts 1 and 2, pp. 112-114) contains a short account of four Bábí works recently brought to St Petersburg. These four

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works are:- (1) A MS. of the ~~~; (2) A copy of the Bombay lithographed edition of the ~~~; (3) A MS. of the ~~~ (which work I wrongly named ~~~ in my papers on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S.); (4) A MS. of the ~~~ (or ~~~). A much fuller description of all these will be found in vol. vi of the Collections Scientifiques when it appears. See immediately below.

        [To appear shortly.] Collections Scientifiques, vol. vi, by Baron Rosen. Although this volume is not yet published, the kindness of the learned author in sending me the proof-sheets as they were printed off has enabled me to make reference to it when occasion required. It will contain, amongst much other valuable matter, the complete text of the Súra-i- Heykal.

        See also articles in the Encyclopaedia Britannica sv. Bâbi (vol. iii, 1875, pp. 180-181), Persia, Modern History (vol. xviii, 1885, pp. 650-651), and Sunnites and Shí'ites (vol. xxii, 1887, p. 665); and articles in the following periodicals:- Contemporary Review (vol. xi, p. 581; vol. xii, p. 245), Chambers' Journal (vol. xxix, p. 45), All the Year Round (vol. xxii, p. 149), Hours at Home (vol. viii, p. 210), and (vol. ii, p. 793).

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