E. G. Browne's "A Traveller's Narrative:" Note W
NOTE W.

MÍRZÁ YAHYÁ "SUBH-I-EZEL."


        After the Báb himself, Behá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Ezel are without doubt the most important figures in the history of Bábísm. To the words and deeds of the former a large


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portion of the present work is devoted, while the latter, when mentioned, is spoken of slightingly as a mere "man of straw." One whose knowledge of Bábí history should be limited to the account given in this Traveller's Narrative would, therefore, by no means properly apprehend the importance of the part actually played by Subh-i-Ezel. In my opinion it is proved beyond all doubt that the Báb ere his death chose him as his successor, duly appointing him as such by the form of words which I published at pp. 996-997 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, and that during the period which elapsed from the Báb's death till the advancement of Behá'u'lláh's claim to be "Him whom God shall manifest" (i.e. from 1850 to 1864 at any rate) he was recognized by all the Bábís as their spiritual chief. Even now the number of his followers, though small in comparison to that of the Behá'ís, is considerable; and since, in addition to all this, the old Bábí doctrines and traditions, which have undergone considerable modification at the hands of Behá'u'lláh, are preserved intact by Subh-i-Ezel, I have considered it incumbent on me to embody in a separate note all the more important facts relating to him which I have been able to ascertain, together with a complete account of the Bábís exiled to Cyprus based on the most authentic documents.

        The sources from which my information is derived are, broadly speaking, four in number, as follows:-

        (1) Letters received from Subh-i-Ezel himself between August 1889 and the present time, the correspondence still continuing. In only one or two of these letters, however, does he speak of his own adventures and circumstances with any approach to freedom.

        (2) Conversations between Captain Young or myself on the one hand and Subh-i-Ezel or his sons on the other. In the numerous and protracted interviews which I had with Subh-i-Ezel between March 22nd and April 4th, 1890, I was able to recur for my own satisfaction to almost every point which the preliminary enquiries kindly undertaken by Captain Young had first elicited.

        (3) Offical documents relative to the exiles preserved in the archives of the Cyprus government. Sir Henry Bulwer, with a kindness and courtesy for which I cannot


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sufficiently express my gratitude, permitted me freely to inspect and copy all the more important of these documents, and, with one exception, to make use of the information therein contained, as has been set forth in detail in the Introduction.

        (4) A bulky MS. of a hitherto unknown Ezelí controversial work entitled Hasht Bihisht ("The Eight Paradises"), which I was fortunate enough to obtain a few days ago (February 2nd, 1891) from a learned Ezelí resident in Constantinople. The whole of this work is not at present in my possession, 10 fasciculi (160 pp.) out of the middle having unfortunately fallen into the hands of the Philistines after they had been written out by the scribe. The original MS. is, however, in safe keeping, and in the course of a month or two I hope to receive a fresh transcript of the missing portion, which extends from p. 128 to p. 329 inclusive1. The whole work contains nearly 450 pp., and deals chiefly with the philosophical basis of Bábíism, its superiority to other religions, and the proofs of its divine origin; but a great deal of information is also given about the history, especially the later history, of the movement. The account given of the schism which separated the Behá'ís from the Ezelís is, especially when taken in conjunction with the version given in this present work, extremely instructive; and the polemical portion, wherein the claims of Behá are attacked, and those of Subh-i-Ezel defended, is full of interest. At some future date I hope to give a fuller notice of this valuable work, but for the present I must needs content myself with extracting from it the chief facts recorded concerning the life of Subh-i-Ezel.

        How best to deal with the information scattered through these numerous documents, notes, and letters in manner which shall combine reasonable brevity with sufficient fullness is a matter which has cost me considerable thought. The plan which I have finally decided to follow is to give firstly, a full and literal translation of a short section of the Hasht Bihisht entitled Sharh-i-hál-i-Hazrat-i-Thamara-i-

       1 The fresh transcript of the missing portion reached me on March 23rd, 1891.


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Beyán ("Elucidation of the circumstances of His Highness the Fruit of the Beyán"); secondly, a brief abstract of the account given in the same work of the origin and progress of the schism; thirdly, an epitome of the information derived directly from Subh-i-Ezel, either by letter or in conversation; and lastly, a resumé of the official documents preserved in the archives of the Cyprus government.

I.         Translation from Hasht Bihisht.


        "Now during the two last years [of the Báb's mission], when the five years' cycle1 of the 'Minor Resurrection' had come to an end, the manifestation of His Highness the Eternal (Hazrat-i-Ezel) took place. And he, being then nineteen years of age, appeared in the hamlet of Takúr in [the district of] Núr of Mázandarán, and began with untaught tongue (lisán-i-ummí) to utter the Innate Word (kalima-i-zátí) and spontaneous verses (áyát-i-fit). When the first letter from him was conveyed by means of Mírzá 'Alí Sayyáh. to His Highness the Point [i.e. the Báb], the latter instantly prostrated himself to the earth in thankfulness, saying, 'Blessed be God for this mighty Luminary which hath dawned and this noble Spathe which hath arisen in the night2,' testifying of him that he spoke spontaneously and by the Self-Shining Light, which is the Innate Word, the Natural Reason ('akl-i-fit), the Holy Spirit, the Immediate Knowledge ('ilm-i-laduní), the Suffi

       1 A passage in the Dalá'il-i-sab'a ("Seven Proofs"), to which I referred at p. 913 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, affords confirmatory evidence of what is here alleged concerning the date of Subh-i-Ezel's first appearance. This passage runs as follows: [six lines of Persian/Arabic text].
       2 [one line of Persian/Arabic text]



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cing Light (núr-i-mustakfí), or, after another manner of speech, by Inspiration (wahy), Revelation (tanzíl), and Illumination (fardáb ú fartáb).

        "At this time His Highness the Point was imprisoned on the mountain of Makú, and he therefore sent the writings of His Highness the Eternal for each of the Letters of the Living and the chief believers, testifying to his [i.e. Hazrat or Subh-i-Ezel's] innate capacity (fitrat), and calling him by the names of 'Fruit of the Beyán' (Thamara-i-Beyán), 'Morning of Eternity' (Subh-i-Ezel), 'Countenance' (Wajh), 'Splendour of God' (Behá'u'lláh), 'Mirror' (Mir'at), 'Crystal' (Bellúr), 'Essence of Sweet Perfume' (Jawhar-i-Káfúr)1, 'Sun of Eternity' (Shams-i-Ezel), 'Second Point' (Nukta-i-thání), 'One' (Wahíd)2, 'the Living, the Speaking' (Hayy3, see Gobineau, p. 320. Subh-i-Ezel's name Yah not only contains the root hayy (indeed by merely altering the vowel-points it becomes Yuh, "he quickens," or "gives life"), but is also, as has just been pointed out, numerically equivalent to Wahíd "One," another word of singular virtue.]-i-Nátik), and sundry other titles. Having designated Hazrat-i-Ezel as his successor, he made over to him generally and particularly all the affairs of the Beyán, even transferring to him the [right of] disclosing the eight 'paths' (manhaj) of the Beyánic ordinances4 which had [hitherto] remained con-

       1 Cf. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, Book i, part vii, p. 2622, col. 3, s. v. ~~~, and Kur'án, lxxvi, 5. For an instance of the employment of this expression (which occurs repeatedly in the Báb's writings), see Mirza Kazem-Beg's last article in the Bábís in the Journal Asiatique for 1866 (sixième série, vol. viii) p. 501, last line.
       2 The numerical equivalent of Wahíd (28) is the same as that of Yah. [See my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S for 1889, pp. 996-997.]
       3 Concerning the sacred nature of the word ~~~.
       4 By these 'eight paths' of the Beyán are evidently intended the unrevealed hids. Gobineau, whose penetration suffered nothing to escape him, has not failed to notice that the Beyán - or rather Beyáns, for, as has been pointed out, there are several - are purposely left incomplete. I cannot do better than quote his own words (p. 332):- "Le Biyyan étant le livre divin par excellence, doit nécessairement être constitué sur le nombre divin, [footnote goes onto page 354] c'est-à-dire sur le nombre 19. Il est donc composé, en principe, de 19 unités ou divisions principales, qui, à leur tour, se subdivisent chacune en 19 paragraphes. Mais le Bâb n'a écrit que onze de ces unités, et il a laissé les huit autres au véritable et grand Révélateur, à celui qui complétera la doctrine, et à l'égard duquel le Bâb n'est autre chose que ce qu'était saint Jean-Baptiste devant Notre-Seigneur."



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cealed within the Divine Volition (whereon their disclosure depended), in case the time should demand this.

        "In short, during the two last years [of the Báb's life and mission] all that emanated from the Supreme Pen bore reference to His Highness the Fruit [of the Beyán], whom he [i.e. the Báb] recommended to all the people of the Beyán, saying that should they bring sorrow, even to the extent of the mention of aught, on his holy heart, all their good works and devotions would become as scattered dust. Of the words of His Highness the Point [i.e. the Báb] still extant at the present day, what bears reference to the Fruit [of the Beyán, i.e. Subh-i-Ezel] exceeds 20,000 verses, not counting what has disappeared. And for ten years after [the death of] His Highness the Point all the people of the Beyán were unanimous and agreed as to the bestowal of the successorship on His Highness the Eternal [i.e. Subh-i-Ezel]. And he abode for more than two years in Teherán and Shimírán, whence he departed into Mázandarán, whence again (because men had been stirred up on behalf of the government to seek him out) he set out disguised in the garb of a dervish for Hamadán and Kirmánsháhán1. Thence he proceeded to the Abode of Peace of Baghdad2, and in reference to this the 'Tongue of the Unseen' [i.e. the poet Háfiz] says:-

       1 Cf. pp. 51-52 supra.
       2 Dáru's-salám ("the Abode of Peace") is the official title of Baghdad, just as Teherán is called Dáru'l-khiláfat ("the Abode of the Caliphate"), Isfahán Dáru 's-saltanat ("the Abode of the Sovereignty"), Shíráz Dáru 'l-'ilm ("the Abode of Knowledge"), Yezd Dáru 'l-'ibádat ("the Abode of Worship"), Kirmán Dáru 'l-amán ("the Abode of Security"), and the like. The Bábís, so prone to regard such coincidences, attach great importance to this title of Baghdad (which for eleven or twelve years was their head-quarters and rallying-point and the home of their chiefs), and quote as prophetic Kur'án vi, 127:- ~~~ [footnote goes onto page 355] ~~~ ("Theirs is an Abode of Peace beside their Lord, and He is their Protector by reason of that which they have done").



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(Couplet)

        "At this juncture Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [i.e. Behá'u'lláh], the elder brother of His Highness [Subh-i-Ezel], came to Baghdad with two other brothers and several of the believers, and these gathered round that Most Mighty Light, who, in accordance with instructions which His Highness the Point of Revelation [i.e. the Báb] had given him, passed his nights and days behind the curtains of seclusion apart from believers and others-

(Couplet)

and none approached him save his brothers and certain favoured followers. But from behind that veil issued forth letters, epistles (alwáh), and books [written] in reply to men's questions and petitions."

        Here ends that section of the Hasht Bihisht which I deemed it desirable to translate in full. It is followed by a section entitled Sharh-i-hál-i-'ijl ú Sámirí ("Elucidation of the circumstances of the Calf and Sámirí")2, which in

       1 This verse I have generally heard somewhat differently quoted; see B. ii, pp. 993-994 and note 2 at foot of former page. My MS. of the Hasht Bihisht puts "Ahwáz" in the margin as an alternative reading for "Shíráz." The couplet is not to be found in the Díván of Háfiz. - at least in any of the copies which I have seen.
       2 Allusion is made to the Golden Calf which the Children of Israel were misled by Sámirí into worshipping. (See Kur'án, vii, 146; xx, 87, et seq.; and numerous other passages.) By 'the Calf' the Ezelí controversialist, of course, means Behá'u'lláh (or, [footnote goes onto page 356] as he calls him throughout, Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí), and by 'Sámirí,' Áká Mírzá Áká Jan (abusively designated as the "scald-headed soap-seller of Káshán"), to whom he attributes a rôle similar to that wherewith Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán is credited by the Behá'ís at pp. 93-98 of the present work. Concerning Áká Mírzá Áká Ján (called by the Behá'ís Jenáb-i-Khádimu 'lláh, "His Excellency the Servant of God") see Introduction, and also B. i, p. 519.



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turn is succeeded by another entitled Sharh-i-hál-i-fitné-i-saylam ("Elucidation of the Direful Mischief"), by which is meant the succession (according to the Ezelí view) of Behá and his followers. These sections occupy many pages, are of a violently polemical character, and contain grave charges against the Behá'ís and vehement attacks on their position and doctrines. The gist of their contents is given in the following abstract.

II.         Abstract from Hasht Bihisht.


        Subh-i-Ezel having retired into a seclusion inviolable save to a chosen few, his elder brother Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [Behá'u'lláh] found the practical direction of affairs in his own hands. Now he was a man who from his youth upwards had associated and mixed with men of every class, whereby he had acquired a certain "breadth of disposition" (was'at-i-mashrab) and "religious pliability" (rakháwat-i-maz-hab) which attracted round him men of like mind, to whom some slackening of the severer code of the Beyán was not unwelcome. Certain of the old school of Bábís, such as Mullá Muhammad Ja'far of Nirák, Mullá Rajab 'Alí "Kahír," Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán1, Hájí Seyyid Jawád of Kerbelá, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad-i-Kátib2, the Mutawallí-báshí (Chief Custodian of the Shrine) of Kum, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad Rizá, and others, perceiving this tendency to innovation and relaxation, remonstrated so vigorously with Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí that he left Baghdad in

       1 See pp. 93-98 supra.
       2 Mullá 'Abdu'l-Karím of Kazvín is generally designated by this title (see supra, pp. 41-42, and footnote to former), but, as he was killed at Teherán in 1852, either this must be a mistake, or some other person bearing the same name must be intended.



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wrath and went towards Suleymániyyé, in the neighbourhood of which he abode amongst the Kurds for nearly two years1 During all this period his whereabouts was unknown to the Bábís at Baghdad. When at length it became known, Subh-i-Ezel wrote a letter to him inviting him to return.

        About this time Mírzá Asadu'lláh entitled "Deyyán2" (one of the second group of "Letters of the Living" or "Second Unity"), called by the author of the Hasht Bihisht "the Judas Iscariot of this people," who had been appointed by the Báb amanuensis to Subh-i-Ezel, and who was learned in the Hebrew and Syriac languages, declared himself to be "He whom God shall manifest"; and one Mírzá Ibráhím forthwith believed in him. Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [Behá'u'lláh], after a protracted discussion with him, instructed his servant Mírzá Muhammad of Mázandarán to slay him, which was accordingly done. Shortly after this, Mírzá 'Abdu'lláh called Ghawghá ["Conflict"] advanced the very same claim; and he in turn was followed by Huseyn of Mílán, commonly known as "Huseyn Ján," who made the same pretension in Teherán4 The matter did not end even here, for these pretenders were followed by Seyyid Huseyn of Isfahán4, and Mírzá Muhammad "Nabíl" of Zarand, called "the tongue-tied" (akhras)5;

       1 Cf. pp. 64-65 supra, and verse 6 of Nabíl's chronological poem at pp. 983 and 987 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889. Subh-i-Ezel also mentioned that Behá'u'lláh withdrew for some while from Baghdad because he "got angry" (kahr kard).
       2 See Gobineau, pp. 277-278. The passage is quoted in full on p. 365 infra.
       3 See supra, pp. 330-331. If Huseyn of Mílán was killed at Teherán in 1852, it is evident that whatever claim he advanced was long anterior to this period, for, according to Nabíl's chronological poem (B. ii, pp. 983-984 and 987, verses 6 and 7), Behá'u'lláh was 40 years old when he returned from Kurdistán to Baghdad, which, as he was born in A.H. 1233, must have been in A.H. 1273 (= A.D. 1856-7).
       4 Or of Hindiyán. See p. 331 supra, and cf. Gobineau, p. 278.
       5 The same Nabíl who is now at Acre, and who wrote the chronological poem referred to in the last footnote but one. Some poems attributed to him and written apparently during the [footnote goes onto page 358] period of his claim are in my possession. In one of them the following verse occurs:-

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until, to quote verbatim from the Hasht Bihisht, "the matter came to such a pass that everyone on awakening from his first sleep in the morning adorned his body with this pretension."

        Now when Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí beheld matters in this disordered state, he bethought himself of advancing the same claim himself (considering that from the prominent position which he had long held as practical director of affairs, he stood a better chance of success than any previous claimant), and in this idea he was greatly encouraged by Áká Mírzá Áká Ján of Káshán. Little by little his resolution took more definite shape, and he fell to thinking how he might compass the destruction of such of the Bábís as were likely to oppose his contemplated action.

        About this time the Muhammadan clergy of Baghdad, Kerbelá, and Nejef began to complain loudly because of the large number of Bábís who continued to flock thither from Persia, and the Persian Government accordingly instructed Mírzá Huseyn Khán Mushíru'd-dawla, its representative at the court of the Ottoman Sultan, to petition the Turkish authorities for the removal of the Bábís to some part of their dominions remote from the Persian frontier1. To this request the Turkish authorities, anxious to put a stop to the quarrels which were continually arising between the Bábís and Muhammadans, acceded. The Bábís were summoned to Constantinople; whence, four months after their arrival, they were sent to Adrianople. On their arrival in that city, Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, still instigated and

       1 Cf. pp. 82-89 supra.


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encouraged by Áká Mírzá Áká Ján, gradually made public his claim to be, not only "He whom God shall manifest," but an Incarnation of the Deity Himself, and began to send letters and epistles in all directions. And now, according to the Ezelí historian, began a series of assassinations on the part of the Behá'ís. All prominent supporters of Subh-i-Ezel who withstood Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí's claim were marked out for death, and in Baghdad Mullá Rajab 'Alí "Kahír" and his brother, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad Rizá, and several others fell one by one by the knife or bullet of the assassin1. But the author of the Hasht Bihisht brings a yet graver charge against Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, and asserts that he caused poison to be placed in one side of a dish of food which was to be set before himself and Subh-i-Ezel, giving instructions that the poisoned side was to be turned towards his brother. As it happened, however, the food had been flavoured with onions, and Subh-i-Ezel, disliking this flavour, refused to partake of the dish. Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, fancying that his brother suspected his design, ate some of the food from his side of the plate; but, the poison having diffused itself to some extent through the whole mass, he was presently attacked with vomiting and other symptoms of poisoning. Thereupon he assembled his own followers and intimates, and declared that Subh-i-Ezel had attempted to poison him2.

        Shortly after this, according to the Ezelí writer, another plot was laid against Subh-i-Ezel's life, and it was arranged that Muhammad 'Alí the barber should cut his throat while shaving him in the bath. On the approach of the barber, however, Subh-i-Ezel divined his design, refused to allow him to come near, and, on leaving the bath, instantly

       1 Cf. B. i, p. 517, and B. ii, pp. 995-6.
       2 The Behá'ís reverse this story as well as the following in every particular, declaring the Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezelattempted to poison Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh, and after his failure spread abroad the report that the attempt had been made on himself. Behá'u'lláh's version will be found in the Súra-i-Heykalat pp. 154-155 of Baron V. Rosen's forthcoming work. The text and translation of this passage, which Baron Rosen has most kindly permitted me to copy from the proof-sheets of his still unpublished work, will be found a few pages further on.



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took another lodging in Adrianople and separated himself entirely from Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí and his followers.

        Some while after this, says the author of the Hasht Bihisht, Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí devised a new stratagem. A number of letters were written in different handwritings by Áká Mírzá Áká Ján, Mushkín Kalam, 'Abbás Efendí, and other partisans of Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí to sundry Turkish statesmen and officials to the following effect:- "About thirty thousand of us Bábís are concealed in disguise in and around Constantinople, and in a short while we shall rise. We shall first capture Constantinople, and, if Sultán 'Abdu'l-'Azíz and his ministers do not believe [in our religion], we shall depose and dismiss them from their rule and administration. And our King is Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezel." These letters were left by night at the Sultán's palace and the houses of the different ministers by Mushkín Kalam and other partisans of Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí resident in Constantinople. When next day these letters were discovered, the Turkish Government, which had treated the Bábís with kindness, and afforded them shelter and hospitality, was naturally greatly incensed. The letters were forthwith laid before the Persian Ambassador, and, at a joint assembly of Turkish and Persian officials, it was decided to exile the Bábí chiefs to some remote island or fortress on the coast1.

        Meanwhile Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán, a philosopher of note, and Áká Ján Bey, nicknamed Kaj-kuláh ("Skew-cap")2, who held the rank of lieutenant-colonel (ká'im-makám) in the Turkish army, discovered how matters stood, and made known to the Ottoman authorities the hostility which existed between the two brothers at Adrianople. The only good result which followed from their intervention was that it was decided by the Turkish government to exile Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezel and Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh not to the same but to two different places; the former was ordered to be sent with his

       1 Cf. the Behá'í account of the events which led to the removal of the Bábí chiefs from Adrianople at pp. 98-99 supra, and Subh-i-Ezel's account in note 1 at the foot of the latter page.
       2 See B. i, p. 517, and note 1 at foot of p. 99 supra.



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family and four of Behá'u'lláh's followers, to wit Mushkín-Kalam1, Mírzá 'Alí Sayyah, [Muhammad]kir, and 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár, to Famagusta [Mághúsá] in Cyprus; the latter, with his family, about 80 of his adherents, and four of Subh-i-Ezel's followers, to wit Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán, Áká Ján Bey, Mírzá Rizá-Kulí of Tafrísh, and his brother Áká Mírzá Nasru'lláh, to Acre ['Akká] in Syria. Before the transfer was actually effected, however, Mírzá Nasru'lláh was poisoned by Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí at Adrianople. The other three Ezelís were assassinated shortly after their arrival at Acre in a house which they occupied near the barracks, the assassins being 'Abdu'l-Karím, Muhammad 'Alí the barber, Huseyn the water-carrier, and Muhammad Jawád of Kazvín.

        After remarking that Adrianople is called "the Land of the Mystery" (~~~)2 because therein took place the separation between the Light and the Fire, the People of the Right Hand and the People of the Left Hand, the Good and the Evil, the True and the False, the Ezelí historian proceeds to describe, with much censure and animadversion, the propaganda by letters and missionaries set on foot throughout Persia by Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, the extravagant claims advanced by him, and the high-sounding titles conferred on his wives, sons, and chief followers. Amongst the titles so conferred are enumerated the following:- (on his wives) Mahd-i-'Ulyá("the Supreme Cradle" - a title reserved for the Queen-mother in Persia); Waraka-i-'Ulyá ("the Supreme Leaf"); (on his sons) Ghusn-i-A'zam ("the Most Mighty Branch"); Ghusn-i-Akbar3 ("the Most Great Branch"); Ghusn-i-At-har ("the Most Pure Branch"); (on Áká Mírzá Áká Ján of Káshán) Avvalu man ámana ("the First to believe") and Jenáb-

       1 See B. i, p. 516, and B. ii, p. 994. Fuller particulars concerning all of these will be found at the end of this Note.
       2 Moreover the sum of the letters in the word (~~~) (Mystery) is the same as in the word (~~~) (Adrianople), viz. 260.
       3 See B. i, p. 518.



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i-Khádimu'lláh ("His Excellency the Servant of God")1; (on others of his followers) Mushkín-i-Iláhí("Divinely Fragrant"); Zeynu'l-Mukarrabín2 ("the Ornament of the Favoured"); Ghulámu'l-Khuld ("the Servant of Paradise"); Jabrá'íl-i-Amín ("Gabriel the Trusty"); Kannádu's-Samadániyyat ("the Confectioner of the Divine Eternity"); Khabbázu'l-Wáhidiyyat ("the Baker of the Divine Unity"); Dalláku'l-Hakíkat ("the Barber of the Truth"); Malláhu'l-Kuds ("the Sailor of Sanctity"); and the like.

        The author of the Hasht Bihisht, after indulging in a good deal of strong invective, garnished with many allusions to Pharaoh, the Golden Calf, and Sámirí, brings forward further charges against the Behá'ís. Certain persons, he says, who had at first been inclined to follow Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, subsequently withdrew and separated themselves from him. Some of these, such as Áká 'Abdu'l-Ahad, Áká Muhammad 'Alí of Isfahán, Hájí Áká of Tabríz, and the son of Hájí Fattáh, fled from Acre; but the Khayyát-báshí (chief tailor) and Hájí Ibrahím were assassinated in the Caravansaray of the corn-sellers (Khán-i-gandum-firúshán) and buried in quick-lime under the platform, which was duly mortared up over their bodies. After a while, however, the smell of the decomposing corpses became so offensive that the other inhabitants of the caravansaray complained to the local authorities, who instituted a search and discovered the bodies. Without mentioning what further action was taken by the Turkish government in the matter (a point certainly demanding elucidation, for we cannot suppose that, if what the Ezelí historian relates be true, they took no action at all to punish the murderers) the author proceeds with his indictment. Hájí Ja'far, says he, had a claim of 1200 pounds against Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, and demanded the payment of this debt with some violence and importunity. Mírzá Áká Ján of Káshán thereupon instructed one 'Alí of Kazvín to slay the old man and throw his body out of the window of the upper room which

       1 See Introduction, and B. i, p. 519.
       2 The writer of the MS. from which the fac-simile forming vol. i of the present work is taken. See Note Z, infra.



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he occupied into the courtyard of the caravansaray. It was then put about that he had "cast himself out and died, yielding up his life to the Beloved." Another disappointed creditor, a native of Khurásán, is said to have gone mad in Acre from chagrin and deferred hope. Other assassinations in other places are alleged, the following being specially notified:- Áká Seyyid 'Alí the Arab, one of the original "Letters of the Living," was killed in Tabríz by Mírzá Mustafá of Nirák. and Sheykh [name omitted] of Khurásán; Mullá Rajab 'Alí Kahír, also one of the "Letters," was killed at Kerbelá by Násir the Arab; his brother Áká 'Alí Muhammad was killed in Baghdad by 'Abdu'l-Karím; and, in short, if we are to believe the Ezelí writer, most of the more prominent Bábís who withstood Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí's pretensions were sought out and slain wherever they chanced to be, amongst these being Hájí Áká of Tabríz.

        The indictment does not stop here. Amongst those who had at first inclined to follow Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí was, according to the Hasht Bihisht, a merchant named Áká Muhammad 'Alí of Isfahán, who at this time resided in Constantinople. Owing to certain discoveries which he had made, however, his faith had undergone considerable abatement, and signs of coolness had been observed in him. Mírzá Abú'l-Kásim the Bakhtiyárí robber was consequently despatched from Acre with instructions to "bleed that block of heedlessness whose blood is in excess." On his arrival in Constantinople he took up his lodging with the unsuspecting merchant in the Khán-i-Sharkí. Here he remained till one day he found opportunity to break open his host's private safe and abstract therefrom 350. A part of this sum he retained for himself; with the remainder he bought clothes, stuffs, and other goods which he sent to Acre. In return for this service he received the following epistle:- "O phlebotomist of the Divine Unity! Throb like the artery in the body of the Contingent World, and drink of the blood of the 'Block of Heedlessness' for that he turned aside from the aspect of thy Lord the Merciful1!" Here

       1 The original text of this epistle stands as follows in the Hasht Bihisht:- [footnote goes onto page 364] ~~~


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ends the list of charges alleged against the Behá'ís by the Ezelís, and what follows is of a purely controversial nature, consisting of refutations of the claims advanced by Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh, and arguments to prove the rights of Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezel. This controversial portion, interesting as it is, I am forced to omit here for lack of space.

        It is with great reluctance that I have set down the grave accusations brought by the author of the Hash Bihisht against the Behá'ís. It seemed to me a kind of ingratitude even to repeat such charges against those from whom I myself have experienced nothing but kindness, and in most of whom the outward signs of virtue and disinterested benevolence were apparent in a high degree. Yet no feeling of personal gratitude or friendship can justify the historian (whose sole desire should be to sift and assort all statements with a view to eliciting the truth) in the suppression of any important document which may throw light on the object of his study. Such an action would be worse than ingratitude; it would be treason to Truth. These charges are either true or false. If they be true (which I ardently hope is not the case) our whole view of the tendencies and probable influences of Behá's teaching must necessarily be greatly modified, for of what use are the noblest and most humane utterances if they be associated with deeds such as are here alleged? If, on the other hand, they be false, further investigation will without doubt conclusively prove their falsity, and make it impossible that their shadow should hereafter darken the page of Bábí history. In either case it is of the utmost importance that they should be confronted, and, to this end, that they should be fully stated. Inasmuch as the Hasht Bihisht only fell into my hands as I was beginning to write this note, and as several of the charges alleged in it against the Behá'ís are new to me, I regret that I cannot at present offer any important evidence either for their support or


[page 365]

their refutation. Certain points, however, which are connected with the narrative of the Ezelí controversialist and can be checked by other testimony are as follows:-

        (1) For the claim advanced by Mírzá Asadu'lláh "Deyyán" of Tabríz, and the fate which it brought down upon him, we have Gobineau's testimony, given (at pp. 277-278 of his work) in the following words:- "L'élection [c-à-d. de Hezret-è-Ezel] avait été toute spontanée et elle fut reconnue immédiatement par les bâbys. Cependant, un des membres de l'Unité, qui n'était pas à Téhéran au moment où elle eut lieu, et qui se nommait Mirza-Asad-Oullah, de Tebriz, surnommé Deyyân, ou 'le Juge suprème,' personnage très-important et membre de l'Unité prophétique, entreprit de se faire reconnaître lui-même pour le nouveau Bâb. Il courut dans l'Arabistan et cheracha à y réunir un parti. Mais les religionnaires se mettant sur ses traces, l'atteignirent près de la frontière turke, et lui attachant des pierres au cou, le noyèrent dans le Shât-el-Arâb. Cette tentative malheureuse n'encouragea pas les dissidents." From Gobineau's account we are led to infer that this episode occurred very soon after the death of the Báb and the election of Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezel, that is to say some time before the Baghdad period.

        (2) For the claim advanced by Huseyn of Mílán we have Subh-i-Ezel's evidence (see Note T, p. 331 supra), but since, as has been already pointed out, this Huseyn was amongst the Bábís killed at Teherán in 1852, this event has no more connection than the last with the Baghdad period.

        (3) That Nabíl advanced a similar claim which he subsequently withdrew is a statement which I have heard made once if not oftener by Bábís (of the Behá'í sect) in Persia. Some of the poems attributed to him, if really his, afford confirmatory evidence, as has been already observed (p. 357, note 5, supra).

        (4) The assertion that Behá'u'lláh alleges against Subh-i-Ezel an attempted fratricide, of which, according to the Ezelí writer, he was in reality himself the author, is fully borne out by the following passage in the earlier part of the Súra-i-Heykal, which Baron Rosen has most kindly permitted me to quote from his still unpublished work:-


[page 366]

[one page of Persian/Arabic text]




[page 367]

[one page of Persian/Arabic text]




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[three lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        "Then tell them that we chose out one from amongst our brethren, and sprinkled upon him drops from the depths of the Ocean of Knowledge; then we arrayed him in the raiment of one of the [Divine] Names1, and upraised him unto [such] a station that all arose to praise him; and we preserved him from the hurt of every hurtful thing in such wise as [even] the powerful cannot do. We were alone against the dwellers in the heavens and the earth in the days when all men arose to slay me, and we were in their midst, speaking in commemoration of God and His praise, and steadfast in His affair, until the Word of God was realized amongst His creatures, and its tokens became public, and its power waxed high, and its dominion shone forth; whereunto testify favoured servants. Verily my brother, when he saw that the matter had waxed high, discovered in himself pride and error; then he came forth [from] behind the veils, and warred with me, and contended with my signs, and denied my proof, and repudiated my tokens; neither was the belly of the glutton sated till that he desired to eat my flesh and drink my blood, whereunto bear witness those servants who fled into exile with God, and beyond them those brought nigh. And herein he took counsel with one of my attendants, tempting him unto this. Then God helped me with the hosts of the Invisible and the Visible, and preserved me by the truth, and revealed unto me that which withheld him from what he purposed, and brought to naught the device of those who denied the signs of the Merciful [God]: are they not a people unbelieving? And when that whereunto his passion [had] seduced him was divulged, and those who [had] fled into exile became aware thereof, outcry arose from these,

       1 Cf. pp. 95-96 supra, and footnotes thereon.


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and attained such a pitch that it was within a little of being published throughout the city. Then we restrained them, and revealed unto them the word of patience, that they might be of those who are patient; and by God, than whom there is none other god, we were assuredly patient in this, and enjoined patience and self-restraint on [God's] servants, and went out from amongst these, and dwelt in another house, that the fire of hatred might be quenched in his bosom and he might become of those rightly directed. Neither did we interfere with him nor see him afterwards; we sat alone in the house watching for the Grace of God, the Protector, the Self-subsistent. But he, when he became aware that the matter had become publicly known, took the pen of falsehood, and wrote unto the people, and attributed all that he had done to my peerless and wronged Beauty, seeking mischief in himself, and the introduction of hatred into the breasts of those who [had] believed in God the Mighty, the Loving. By Him in whose hand is my soul, we are amazed at his device, nay rather all being, invisible and visible, is amazed! Yet withal he rested not in himself till be committed that which the pen cannot set down, that whereby he dishonoured me, and God, the Potent, the Mighty, the Praised. Should I describe that which he did unto me, the seas of the earth would not complete it were God to make them ink, neither would all things exhaust it were God to turn them into pens. Thus do we reveal that which hath befallen us, if ye [will] know it."

        I never heard Subh-i-Ezel himself allude to the events in question, for he is little addicted to complaints, and reticent as to all that concerns his brother Behá'u'lláh, but his son 'Abdu'l-'Alí gave me the same account as is set forth in the Hasht Bihisht.

        (5) The account of the forged letters circulated by the Behá'ís is improbable in itself (for the catastrophe which they were intended to produce was bound to involve all the Bábís at Adrianople), and is at variance with the versions given by Behá'u'lláh (supra, pp. 98-99) and Subh-i-Ezel (supra, pp. 99, note 1).

        (6) The names of the Behá'ís exiled with Subh-i-Ezel to Famagusta are stated correctly, as proved by the documents of the Cyprus Government shortly to be cited.


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        (7) As to the assassination of the three Ezelís, Áká Ján Bey, Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán, and Mírzá Rizá-Kulí of Tafrísh, by some of Behá's followers at Acre, there can, I fear, be but little doubt; for the account of this event which I published at p. 517 of my first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889 was given to me by a Behá'í who had during his visit to Acre seen, and, I think, conversed with some of the perpetrators of this deed. It is curious that he, so far from attempting to minimize the matter, raised the number of the victims and assassins from three and four to seven and twelve respectively. Subh-i-Ezel's account (B. ii, pp. 995-6) agrees with that contained in the Hasht Bihisht. There is, however, no evidence to prove that the assassins acted under orders, though the passage in the Kitáb-i-Akdas alluding (apparently) to Hájí Seyyid Muhammad's death, which is quoted at the foot of p. 93 supra, proves that Behá'u'lláh regarded this event with some complaisance. His son 'Abbás Efendí would also seem to have interceded for the murderers (B. i, p. 517). Mr Oliphant in his work entitled Haifa (see supra, pp. 209-210), after speaking of the mystery which surrounds Behá'u'lláh and the difficulty of seeing him, says, in a passage which appears to bear reference to these assassinations (op. cit., p. 107):-

        "Not long ago, however, public curiosity was gratified, for one of his [i.e. Behá'u'lláh's] Persian followers stabbed another for having been unworthy of some religious trust, and the great man himself was summoned as a witness.

        "'Will you tell the court who and what you are?' was the first question put.

        "'I will begin,' he replied, 'by telling you who I am not. I am not a camel-driver' - this was an allusion to the Prophet Mohammad - 'nor am I the son of a carpenter' - this in allusion to Christ. 'This is as much as I can tell you to-day. If you will now let me retire, I will tell you tomorrow who I am.'

        "Upon this promise he was let go; but the morrow never came. With an enormous bribe he had in the interval purchased an exemption from all further attendance at court."

        Since these assassinations took place within the last


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23 years, it is not too much to hope that further investigation may serve to throw fuller light on the matter. The examination of Turkish official records (should this be possible) would probably do more than anything else to elicit the truth.

        Of the other assassinations alleged by the author of the Hasht Bihisht, those of the following persons were independently mentioned by Subh-i-Ezel:- Mullá Rajab 'Alí Kahír; Áká 'Alí Muhammad of Isfahán, brother of the above; Mírzá Nasru'lláh; Hájí Mírzá Ahmad, brother of Mírzá Jání (see Note T, p. 332 supra); Hájí Ibrahím. The last was stated to have been at first a fanatical Behá'í, and to have cruelly beaten Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán the Ezelí on board the ship which bore the exiles to Acre, of which action he subsequently repented sincerely. The following three persons, not mentioned in the Hasht Bihisht, were also stated by Subh-i-Ezel to have been assassinated:- Huseyn 'Alí and Áká 'Abdu'l-Kásim of Káshán; Mírzá Buzurg of Kirmánsháh. This raises the total number of alleged assassinations of Ezelís to sixteen (unless, as appears probable, one of the last three be identical with the "Khayyát-báshí" mentioned in the Hasht Bihisht), which agrees pretty well with Subh-i-Ezel's statement to Captain Young (B. ii, p. 996) that about twenty of his followers were killed by the Behá'ís1.

        It should be borne in mind, however, that the removal of persons inimical to a religious movement by violent means, or in other words religious assassination, is a thing far less repugnant to the Eastern than to the Western mind. Since the first beginning of Islám (not to go further back) it has been freely practised; and the Prophet Muhammad gave to it the sanction of his example on numerous occasions. Nothing can illustrate in a more striking manner the difference between the Oriental and the Occidental attitude of mind than a narrative given by

       1 The words "at Acre" added to this statement are clearly due to a misapprehension of the interpreter, and should read "of Acre," for Subh-i-Ezel distinctly and repeatedly alluded to the majority of these assassinations as having taken place at Baghdad and elsewhere.


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Ibn Hishám in his Life of Muhammad (ed. Wüstenfeld, pp. 553-555) to which my attention was first called by my friend Mr A. A. Bevan. This narrative is briefly as follows. There were in the time of Muhammad two brothers, of whom the younger, named Muhayyisa, had embraced Islám, while Huwayyisa, the elder, still remained a pagan. Muhayyisa, at the command of the Prophet, assassinated a Jewish merchant named Suneyna (or Subeyna) with whom Huwayyisa was on terms of friendship. Huwayyísa, on hearing of this, fell upon his younger brother with blows and reproaches, saying, "O enemy of God, hast thou slain him? By God, many a fat morsel of his wealth has gone into thy maw!" To this the other replied, "By God, I was ordered to kill him by one at whose command I would smite off thy head were he so to direct me!" "Would'st thou indeed slay me if Muhammad should order it?" asked Huwayyisa. "Yes," answered the other, "by Alláh, were he to command me to cut off thy head I would assuredly do so." "By Alláh," said the elder brother, "a religion which hath brought thee to this is assuredly a marvellous thing!" and he thereupon adopted the Muhammadan faith. The legend of Khizr and Moses in the Kur'án (súra xviii, v. 64-81), and the first story in the Masnaví of Jalálu'd-Dín Rúmí (well styled by Jámí "the Kur'án in the Persian language"), which describes with the utmost nonchalance how a poor goldsmith is slowly poisoned by a saintly personage to gratify the ignoble passions of a king, afford further illustration of this attitude of mind, which also revealed itself to me very clearly in a conversation which I had with a Bábí Seyyid of Shíráz with whom I was disputing about the divine origin of Islám. In the course of the discussion I animadverted on the bloodshed and violence resorted to by Muhammad and his followers for the propagation of their religion. "Surely," replied the Seyyid, with a look of extreme surprise, "you cannot pretend to deny that a prophet, who is an incarnation of the Universal Intelligence, has as much right to remove anyone whom he perceives to be an enemy to religion and a danger to the welfare of mankind as a surgeon has to amputate a gangrened limb?"

        I have insisted thus strongly on this point because we


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cannot properly estimate the probability or improbability of an action alleged but not proved to have been committed by a given body of men unless we are in a position to form a just judgement on their opinions as well as their character. The idea of secret assassination is so repugnant to us, and so incompatible with our notions of virtue and moral rectitude, that we naturally shrink from imputing it without the clearest evidence to a man or body of men of whose character and qualities we have otherwise formed a high opinion. But in Asia, where human life is held cheap, and religious fervour runs high, a different standard of morality prevails in this matter; and we must beware of being unduly influenced in our judgement by our own sentiments.

III.                 Additional information derived directly from Subh-i-Ezel.


        Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezel is the son of Mírzá 'Abbás (better known as Mírzá Buzurg) of the district of Núr in Mázandarán, and the half-brother of Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh (see note 2 on p. 56 supra), to whom he is junior by 13 years1. He was born in Teherán about the year A.D. 18302. His father died when he was 7 years old.

       1 This is according to the first statement made to Captain Young, but on another occasion the difference was stated as 11 or 12 years. Since, however, Behá'u'lláh was, according to Nabíl (see B. i, p. 521, and B. ii, pp. 983 and 986), born in the year A.D. 1817, and since Subh-i-Ezel would seem to have been born in A.D. 1830 or 1831, thirteen years is the probable difference between their ages.
       2 The Persians are, as a rule, very careless about dates, and even well-educated men are often unable to state their exact age. To this rule Subh-i-Ezel is no exception. Thus in November 1884 (according to official documents) he gave his age as 56, while in October 1889 he informed Captain Young that he was 58 or 59 years old. Perhaps, however, the former figure may be due to a misunderstanding on the part of the official engaged in drawing up the report on the exiles, for several remarks which Subh-i-Ezel made to me point to the correctness of the latter. Thus on one occasion he said, pointing to his son 'Abdu'l-Wahíd (a youth of apparently about 17 years of age), "I was quite young [footnote goes onto page 374] like him when I left Persia" (in A.D. 1852). "About seventeen?" I enquired. "No," he answered, "more than that; about 20 or 21." A Turkish dervish who, impelled by curiosity to see so celebrated a heresiarch, visited him soon after his arrival in Cyprus, remarked with surprise ~~~ "He is still but a child!" Gobineau (p. 277) makes his age only 16 at the time of the Báb's death (A.D. 1850), but it is more probable that this was his age when he was designated by the Báb as his successor, in which case he would be about 19 when he actually succeeded. Bearing in mind the extraordinary virtue attributed by the Bábís to this mystical number, we may well believe that such a coincidence would strongly influence the choice of the faithful in his favour.



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When and how he was brought to embrace the Bábí doctrines I have not been able to ascertain, but he was appointed by the Báb as his successor after the deaths of Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh and Mullá Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh (who was killed in the summer of A.D. 1849), the appointment (for text and translation of which see B. ii, pp. 996-997) being written from Chihrík. From that time until A.D. 1852 he generally resided during the summer at Teherán or Shimrán, and during the winter in the district of Núr in Mázandarán, being continually occupied in teaching and diffusing the Bábí doctrines. At the time of the Báb's martyrdom (July 1850) he was residing at the village of Zargandé near Teherán. Mírzá Áká Khán of Núr, who succeeded Mírzá Takí Khán as Prime Minister at the end of A.D. 1851 under the title of Sadr-i-A'zím, was related to Subh-i-Ezel. Although formerly, when living in retirement at Káshán, he had pretended to be favourably disposed towards the Bábís, and had even had several interviews with Mullá Sheykh 'Alí Jenáb-i-'Azím, he now shewed the utmost hostility towards them especially towards Subh-i-Ezel. Indeed his brother, Ja'far-Kulí Khán, who was on extremely had terms with him, strongly advised Subh-i-Ezel to keep out of his power, and, if possible, to avoid both Teherán and Núr.

        When the attempt on the Sháh's life was made in August 1852, Subh-i-Ezel was at Núr, and so escaped arrest, though the Sháh offered a reward of 1000 túmáns


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for his capture, and though on one occasion he actually met and conversed with an Arab who had been sent to apprehend him but failed to recognize him. It was probably immediately after this that he set out, disguised as a dervish (pp. 51-52 and p. 354 supra), for Baghdad, where he arrived, according to his own statement, "in the year A.H. 1268, a few days after the arrival of Behá'u'lláh" Since, however, Behá'u'lláh was imprisoned in Teherán for four months after the attempt on the Sháh's life, i.e. till December 1852, and since the year A.H. 1268 ended on October 14th, 1852, this date would appear to be erroneous.

        Forty days after the attack on the Sháh, after Subh-i-Ezel had fled in disguise as above described, a raid was made on Núr by two regiments of soldiers under the command of Mírzá Abú Tálib Khán. It appears that the Sháh was induced to sanction this raid by representations made by Mírzá Áká Khán the Sadr-i-A'zam to the effect that Subh-i-Ezel had "arrived there, declared himself to be the Imám-Mahdí, and collected about a thousand followers." Mírzá Abú Tálib Khán, though related to Subh-i-Ezel by marriage (his sister being wedded to Subh-i-Ezel's eldest brother), shewed no compunction in carrying out the designs of his uncle the Sadr-i-A'zam with the utmost rigour, and, indeed, totally disregarded the remonstrances and pleas for mercy which some of his subordinate officers ventured to advance on its appearing that, so far from there being any rising, such of the inhabitants of the doomed village as had not fled into the mountains were unarmed and entirely unprepared for resistance. The village (containing some sixty houses) was sacked and plundered; two of its inhabitants, who were Bábís, were killed; Subh-i-Ezel's house was occupied by the principal officers; and his female relatives were confined to the upper rooms. A day or two after this a pursuit of the fugitives was organized; a shepherd betrayed their retreat; and the soldiers, falling upon them unawares, killed some (including Mírzá Muhammad Taki Khán), wounded others (including Mullá Fattáh, who subsequently died in prison), and carried off 26 or 27 (amongst whom were two women) to Teherán as captives. These captives, except the two women, were compelled to perform the journey on foot and in chains. On their


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arrival at Teherán they happened to meet the Russian Ambassador, who was moved with compassion at the sight of their misfortunes, and addressed a remonstrance to the Sháh. He, finding on enquiry that there had been no insurrection at all, ordered them to be set at liberty; but the Sadr-i-A'zam contrived to detain them in prison on various pretexts, and there most of them died of erysipelas, gaol-fever, and other diseases which rage in Persian prisons, or were secretly made away with. The ravaged district of Núr was made over to the Sadr-i-A'zam, and one of the two houses possessed by Subh-i-Ezel in Teherán was confiscated by the Sháh, the other being sold by Behá'u'lláh.

        As I have embodied in previous footnotes all the more important particulars which I learned from Subh-i-Ezel relative to the expulsion of the Bábís from Baghdad (p. 84, note 2 supra), the journey from Baghdad to Constantinople (p. 90, note 1 supra), and the expulsion of the Bábís from Adrianople (p. 99, note 1 supra); and as the Ezelí version of the state of things which prevailed in the Bábí community at Baghdad and Adrianople is sufficiently set forth in the earlier portion of this note, I may now pass on to consider the evidence afforded by the state archives preserved in Cyprus.

IV.         State papers preserved by the Cyprus Government.


        These documents, to which, as explained in the Introduction, the kindness and courtesy of Sir Henry Bulwer allowed me so free an access during my stay in Cyprus, are very numerous, and range from August 1878 (the year of the English occupation) to June 1889. The majority of them are written in English, and to those written in Turkish English translations are always appended. All the papers of importance bearing on the subject, with the exception of certain despatches, were placed at my disposal, and during the four days for which they remained in my hands I was able to make a complete transcript of them. This transcript occupies 32 pages of foolscap.

        With these documents a desire to avoid undue prolixity compels me to deal as briefly as may be. Many of them,


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indeed, would not be worth reproducing in full in any case, while others are abrogated by fuller and later reports, and there are naturally a good many repetitions, besides discussions of the basis whereon the pensions of the exiles are to be calculated, which may well be omitted or abbreviated; but, were space of no object, there are several which I would fain have inserted in full. As it is, I can only give the substance and not the form of the papers; while, to save explanations and prevent confusion, I have normalized the spelling of names in accordance with the system adopted throughout this work, besides correcting obvious errors. With these preliminary observations I proceed to the examination of the documents in question.

        When the Turks evacuated Cyprus in 1878 they left behind them certain prisoners who had been interned in the fortress of Famagusta. In August of that year the Chief Secretary requested the Commissioner of that town to report on the number of these prisoners, their terms of imprisonment, their offences, and the like. The Commissioner of Famagusta stated in a brief reply (dated August 8th, 1878) that the prisoners in question were five in number, to wit (1) a Greek named Kátirjí Yání, sentenced for life for robberies committed in Syria; (2) a Bosnian named Mustafá, (3) a Turk named Yúsuf, sentenced for life for "speaking against the Turkish religion," and two Persians, (4) Subh-i-Ezel, and (5) Mushkín Kalam, whose crime and punishment are described as follows:- "They wished to invent some new religion, and, when pressed, fled from Persia and settled in Turkey. After a time they again tried to carry out their madness, and were consequently condemned by the Turkish authorities to imprisonment for life."

        Nearly three months after this date further information concerning the prisoners was demanded by the Chief Secretary, with the especial object of determining the amounts of the pensions or allowances which they were drawing. In his reply (dated November 5th, 1878) the Commissioner of Famagusta states that he "cannot get any official information about them. The Kází says if there were any papers about them the late Ká'im-makám destroyed them, or his secretary lost them, for there are none forthcoming


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now." He then proceeds to speak of the two Persian prisoners as follows, premising that all the information which he has been able to obtain was "gathered from the men themselves":-

        "1st, Subh-i-Ezel. Handsome, well-bred looking man, apparently about 50. In receipt of pias. 1193 per month (the Kází only gets pias. 1020). States that he was for a long time at the Persian Court, where his brother1 was next officer in rank to the vizier. He afterwards went to Stamboul and then to Adrianople, where he was accused of plotting against the Porte and the religion of Islám. Sentence - for life. Been here for 11 years.

        "2nd, Mushkín Kalam. From Khurásán. Allowed pias. 660 per month. Sentence - for life. Been here 11 years. Came here at same time as Subh-i-Ezel. Sentenced for religious offence against Porte. Is 53 years old. Has two families, one here, and one in Persia. In appearance is a dried-up, shrivelled old man, with long hair almost to the waist." Similar accounts of the other prisoners follow, and the report concludes with the statement that the late Ká'im-makám had left some old books, which, being alleged to contain only accounts for past years, were used in the office as Account and Military Police books, but that some old books still left would be searched for further particulars.

        The next document of interest is a petition from Mushkín-Kalam addressed to "His Excellency the High Commissioner of Cyprus" and dated August 15th, 1879. The original of this petition (apparently written by Mushkín Kalam himself) is in Turkish, but an English translation is appended. In it Mushkín Kalam states that he is a native of Khurásán; that, having proceeded to Mecca by way of Diyár Bekr, he had extended his journey to Adrianople to see his "Sheykh" Mírzá Huesyn 'Alí [Behá'u'lláh]; that, after accomplishing this object, he was arrested in A.H. 1284 ("A.D. 1867")2 and exiled to Famagusta, where he had now

       1 Probably this is a mistake for "father," as Subh-i-Ezel repeatedly described the position of his father Mírzá Buzurg in these very words.
       2 A report from the Muhásébéjí's (Accountant's) Office dated December 10th, 1884, states that, although the original fermán of [footnote goes onto page 379] banishment cannot be found, an unofficial copy of it, received at the time, gives the date of their banishment as Rabí'ul-Ákhir 5th A.H. 1285 (July 26th, A.D. 1868), and there is no doubt that this is the correct date. The reckoning called Rúmí (Turkish), which is more than a year behind the hijra, was probably used by Mushkín Kalam, and misapprehended by the translator.



[page 379]

resided for 12 years; and that he has suffered much grief by reason of his long banishment and separation from his family. In conclusion, he begs the High Commissioner "to pity his position, deprived so long of his family, and to deliver him from such a hard punishment." The immediate effect of this petition was to call forth another demand for fuller information from the Chief Secretary, who desired especially to be informed on what authority Mushkín Kalam had been permitted to reside outside Famagusta (his petition having been sent in from Nicosia). The Commissioner of Famagusta replied that the permission in question had been granted by a letter from the Chief Secretary dated June 20th, 1879, and that, in the absence of any official Turkish register, a report based on the statements of the prisoners themselves and information supplied by the Turkish Ká'im-makám had been compiled by the Local Commandant of Military Police. This report discusses the cases of seven "prisoners," to wit those five previously mentioned, a woman named Khadíja charged with incendiarism, and an old blind man named Khudáverdí, formerly in the Turkish artillery, who proved not to be a prisoner at all but a pensioner! That portion of the report which deals with the cases of Subh-i-Ezel and Mushkín Kalam is as follows:-

        "No. 3. Subh-i-Ezel of Írán. Trade? Nil. Crime? Falsely accused of preaching against the Turkish religion. Where? Adrianople. Who was charge made by? A man of Írán. By whom tried? Came from Baghdad and went to Adrianople where charge was made. Válí of Adrianople ordered him to Constantinople, where he was examined by Kámil Páshá (Prime Minister). When? Twelve years ago. Previous imprisonment before coming here? Five months in Constantinople, before coming here under arrest, five years at Adrianople. Undergone here? Twelve years.


[page 380]

Pension? 38½ piastres a day current. Do. before? 38½ piastres a day Government exchange. Has a family of 17. His father was Chief Secretary of State to the present Sháh of Persia (Násiru'd-Dín Sháh).

        "No. 4. Mushkín Kalam Efendí. Trade? Writer. Crime? Being in company with a preacher against Mahometanism who came from Persia and Acre in Syria. Where? Constantinople. Punishment? Transported for life, and to be imprisoned in Famagusta fortress. By whom? Authority of Sultán 'Azíz. Date? November A.H. 1284 (A.D. 1868)1 [In the original document the corresponding Christian year is erroneously given as "A.D. 1876"]. Previous Imprisonment? Six months in Constantinople. Has undergone? Twelve years. Any lodging? The fermán ordering banishment stated that he was to get free lodging, but he has not had any [sc.free] lodging. This man has sent a petition to government about a week ago. 23/6/'79."

        A document based on records of the Temyíz Court and dated March 8th, 1880, first mentions Bábíism ("i.e." it explains, "communism") as the crime with which Subh-i-Ezel and Mushkín Kalam were charged. It is further stated that they were deported under Imperial Fermán, and not sentenced by a judicial tribunal. The next document (undated), embodying the results of further enquiries at Famagusta, gives the date of their arrival in the Island as August 24th, A.H. 1284. [As the month and year are seemingly given according to the Turkish style, this would correspond to September 5th, A.D. 1868.] In this document mention is first made of Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh, who arrived as an exile at Famagusta, accompanied by his wife and five children, in A.H. 1285 (A.D. 1869-70)[footnote 1 repeated]. He died2 on July

       1 See preceding footnote.
       2 According to a statement made to me by Subh-i-Ezel, Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh. (who was only about 35 years old) died very suddenly as though from poison, scarcely having time to summon his wife to his side ere he expired. He was arrested in company with 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár and Muhammad Bákir (immediately to be mentioned), and banished with them to Famagusta. He continued till his death to profess friendship towards Subh-i-Ezel, declaring that his only object in keeping on good terms with the [footnote goes onto page 381] Behá'ís was to endeavour to bring about a reconciliation and heal the schism. Subh-i-Ezel, however, held aloof from him, and disregarded his overtures. From the Hasht Bihisht (see p. 352, supra) it would appear that the first communications between the Báb and Subh-i-Ezel passed through him.

[page 381]

22nd, A.H. 1287 ("August 4th, A.D. 18711"), and an allowance of 2½ piastres a day to his widow and each of his children was made by the government. Mushkín Kalam subsequently married the widow, and drew her pension in addition to his own. At the end of this document it is mentioned that "a note in the Register of Orders in the Muhásebéjís[Accountant's] office states that an allowance of 4 piastres a day for 14 persons in all, and 2 servants at 5 piastres the two" was granted to Subh-i-Ezel, Sheykh 'Alí Sayyah. Mushkín Kalam, and their respective families.

        The next document of importance is a report in Turkish, dated March 11th, 1880, from the Muhásebéjí's office, to which an English translation is appended. From this it appears that the original number of Bábí exiles sent to Famagusta was 14; that these were accompanied by 2 servants; that to each of the former 4 piastres a day and to each of the latter 2½ piastres a day (making a total of 61 piastres a day) were allowed; that 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár succeeded in effecting his escape from the Island on September 17th, A.H. 1286[footnote 1 repeated] ("Sept. 29th, A.D. 1870"); that [Sheykh] 'Alí Sayyáh of Kára-Bágh died on July 22nd, A.H. 1287 (see preceding paragraph); that Fátima, one of Subh-i-Ezel's daughters, died on August 17th, A.H. 1287 ("Aug. 29th, A.D. 1871"); and that Muhammad Bákir died on November 10th, A.H. 1288 ("Nov. 22nd, A.D. 1872"); that in consequence of this diminution in the number of the exiles a deduction of 16 piastres a day was made, thus reducing the daily allowance to 45 piastres; but that subsequently, by an order dated September 25th, A.H. 1289 (?Oct. 7th, A.D. 1873), 2½ piastres a day were allowed to

       1 In this and the succeeding dates wherein Christian months are combined with Muhammadan years the Turkish reckoning (which, as already noted, is more than a year behind the normal Muhammadan reckoning) seems to be employed. The Christian dates here given in inverted commas are derived from another document dated October 13th, 1884.


[page 382]

the widow and each of the five children of Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh, thus raising the daily allowance of the exiles again to 60 piastres1.

        The following document in Mr Cobham's handwriting, dated March 11th, 1880, gives some additional statements made by Mushkín Kalam about himself:-

        "It appears that in 1867 Mushkín Kalam Efendí came from Mesh-hed in Khurásán to Constantinople. His fame as a scribe had preceded him, and Fu'ád and 'Alí Páshás asked him to remain in Constantinople. He refused both pension and presents offered him by [Sultán] 'Abdu'l-'Azíz, for whom he executed some illuminations.

        "Presently he was accused by one Subh-i-Ezel, a Persian then at Adrianople, himself a member of some schismatic sect, of heresy. He had lived six months at Constantinople, where he was imprisoned, without question or trial, for another six months, and then sent to Famagusta.

        "Subh-i-Ezel was exiled at the same time on a similar charge of heresy."

        The next document of importance is a petition in Turkish addressed by Subh-i-Ezel to the Commissioner of Famagusta, bearing the date April 27th, A.D. 1881. From this it appears that on the 24th of the preceding month Subh-i-Ezel had been informed that he might consider himself free to go where he pleased. For this permission he expresses the warmest gratitude, and further prays that, if it be possible, he may become an English subject, or be taken under English protection, so that he may with safety return to his own country or to Turkey. To this request, however, the Government did not see fit to accede.

        The next group of documents belong to the latter part of the year 1884, when a fresh attempt was made to

       1 It appears that Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh's wife and five children (or such of them as were then born) joined him in Cyprus some time subsequently to his banishment, and hence were not included in the enumeration of the original exiles, and were not entitled to a pension. But in any case the rule appears to be that, unless specially continued by the Government, pensions to the families of exiles cease on the death of their head.


[page 383]

establish the amount of the pension paid to the exiles on a definite basis. To this end it became important to discover (1) who were the original exiles; (2) which of them had died or quitted the island, and when; (3) which of their children had been born previously to and which subsequently to their banishment. For the elucidation of these points several lengthy reports were compiled in the Muhasebéjí's (Accountant's) office. As it was also decided that any one of the exiles entitled to a pension lost that pension on quitting the island, but might recover it on returning thither, their subsequent movements were carefully recorded. The details of apportionment of these pensions are of little historic interest, and I therefore omit them; but it is a most fortunate circumstance that they were apportioned in this way, inasmuch as the full record of facts embodied in these documents is entirely due to this circumstance. These various reports and tables I have striven to combine in the following tabular form, wherein is incorporated also information derived from Captain Young and Mr Houston independently of the reports. The names of the original exiles (described as 14 "masters" and 2 servants) are printed in italics, and after each of these is placed in heavier type the number which they bear on the pension-roll. The names of those who subsequently settled or were born in the island are printed in ordinary type. To the names of all alike ordinal numbers are prefixed.


[page 384]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in 1884. Remarks.
1. Subh-i-Ezel 1. Head. 56  
2. tima. 9. Wife. -- Died, apparently soon after arrival.
3. Rukayya. 10. " 48 Appears also to bear the name of Badr-i-Jihán, since a petition written in Greek to the Commissioner of Famagusta on September 13th, 1886, is signed "[Greek text]." In this petition the writer asks leave for herself and her two daughters Tal'at and Safiyya to go to Constantinople. In reply she is informed that only her husband [Subh-i-Ezel] is a State prisoner, and that she is free to go where she pleases.
4. Núru'lláh -- Son. -- Was residing in Persia in 1889, and seems never to have been included amongst the exiles (probably because he parted from Subh-i-Ezel previously to 1868), as his name nowhere appears. It is only from information given to Captain Young by Subh-i-Ezel that his existence is known to me. He has thrice visited his father in Cyprus, once before, and twice since the English occupation. The last time is said to have been in 1878.



[page 385]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in 1884. Remarks.
5. Hádí. -- Son. -- Also lives in Persia. The first portion of the preceding remarks applies to him also.
6. Ahmad. 2. Son. 31 Left for Constantinople on May 3rd 1884. Seems to have visited his father since then.
7. 'Abdu'l-'Alí. 3. " 27 Resident in Famagusta. See Introduction.
8. Safiyya. 5. Daughter. 23 Named in some of the documents "Rekié" (~~~) and "Refié" (~~~), but, as it would seem, incorrectly. She went to Constantinople on September 21st 1886, married a man named Hasan 'Abdu'r-Rahmán Efendí, and returned without her husband to Cyprus on December 12th 1888.
9. Behjat Raf'at 6. " 22 Also called in some documents "Bákir," on which the following comment is made by the Local Commandant of Police:- "Bákir" means in Turkish a virgin or girl. Subh-i-Ezel has no daughter called Bákir."
10. Rizván 'Alí. 4. Son. 21 Resident in Famagusta. See Introduction.
11. Tal'at 7. Daughter. 20 Accompanied her sister Safiyya to Constantinople, and returned thence with her (see above). Described as "either a widow, or left by her husband."



[page 386]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in 1884. Remarks.
12. tima. 8. Daughter. -- Died on August 29th 1871.
13. Muhammad. -- Son. 17 Though the names of these occur on nearly all the lists, I could discover no
14. Fu'ád. -- " 15 other trace of their existence.
15. 'Abdu'l-Wahíd -- " 13 Called in some of the documents 'Abdu'r-Rashíd.
16. Maryam. -- Daughter. 11
17. Takiyyu'd-Dín -- Son. 8 Called in some of the documents Ziyá'u'd-Dín. From an undated Turkish document preserved at Famagusta it appears that the last three are the children of Badr-i-Jihán (see No. 3 supra). From this document the following particulars are also derived.
18. tima. -- Daughter-in-law. 21 Wife of Ahmad (see No. 6 supra).
19. 'Ádila. -- Grand-daughter 4 Daughter of Ahmad and Fátima.
20. Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh, of Kára-Bágh 11. Head. See p. 380 supra. Died August 4th 1871. See pp. 380-381 supra, and note 2 on former.



[page 387]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in 1884. Remarks.
21. tima. -- Wife. 47 After the death of Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh. married Mushkín Kalam, and was with him at Nicosia in 1884. It does not appear that she accompanied him to Acre in 1886.
22. Jalálu'd-Dín. -- Son. 25 Was employed as Land Registry clerk at Kyrenia in 1889.
23. Jamálu'd-Dín.   " 23 Was employed as a trooper in the Cyprus Military Police in 1889.
24. Kamálu'd-Dín.   " 21 Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh's family are described as having arrived "from Babylon" in a
25. Jamáliyya. -- Daughter. 16 state of destitution. No allowance seems
26. Rukayya. -- Servant. 47 to have been made to them till two years after his death, i.e. in October 1873. This allowance was stopped in the case of the sons on April 1st 1884, but the allowance to the widow and daughter was continued, and thus went to increase Mushkín Kalam's pension, which, in 1884-5, amounted to £58.17.0. As the estimates for 1889-90 still shew a sum of £20.13.0 payable to Mushkín Kalam's family, and as he lost his pension on leaving Cyprus for Acre in September 1886, while his sons' pensions ceased in 1884, it would appear certain that Fátima, Jamáliyya, and the servant Rukayya. remained in Cyprus.



[page 388]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in 1884. Remarks.
27. Mushkín-Kalam, of Khurásán. 12. Head. -- From the colophon of a MS. transcribed by Mushkín Kalam and presented by him to Mr Cobham on his departure for Acre, it appears that in the year [A.H. 12]91 (=A.D. 1874) he was still, to use his own phrase, "imprisoned for the love of God" (~~~) at Famagusta. He subsequently went to Nicosia, and thence to Larnaca, where he was in 1884. His final departure from Cyprus is notified by Mr Cobham in a letter dated September 18th 1886:- "The Persian heresiarch and calligraphist Mushkín Kalam left Cyprus for St. Jean d'Acre on the night of Tuesday September 14-15, renouncing his pittances and the protection of the Island Government. He found an unwonted opportunity in a Syrian vessel going direct to Acre, the head quarters of the Báb [sc Behá'u'lláh]... I am extremely sorry to lose him as a Persian munshí." He was still in April 1890 at Acre, where I met him (see Introduction).
28. (Name not given). -- Servant.   After his marriage with Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh's widow, Mushkín Kalam obtained



[page 389]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in 1884. Remarks.
possession of both the servants allotted to the exiles. "It is not clear," observes the Receiver General, "why Mushkín Kalam should have both the servants, but Government need not, I think, object to the arrangement if Subh-i-Ezel consents, which I doubt his doing."
29. 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár. 13. Head. -- Escaped from Cyprus on September 29th 1870, during the fair held at Famagusta, in company with two other prisoners. According to Subh-i-Ezel he went to Acre, but, though a Behá'í, was somewhat coldly received. He subsequently settled in Beyrout and changed his name.
30. Muhammad Bákir, of Isfahán. 14. Head. -- Died at an advanced age on November 22nd 1872.
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