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|1892 3 Sep
||Nabíl, inconsolable at the death of Bahá'u'lláh, committed suicide by drowning himself in the sea. [AB56; BBD167; BKG265-268, , 427–8; MF32-37; DH81; EB268-270; GPB222; Rob1p201-206]
He left a note paying homage to `Abdu'l-Bahá, writing the date of his death in the single Arabic word `Gharíq' (drowned), the numerical value of which is AH 1310 (AD 1892–3). [MF35; RB1:205]
See OPOP86 for "Pilgrim's Note" concerning what Jináb-i-Fádil said that 'Abdu'l-Bahá said about Nabil's suicide.
See DH81 for his own epitaph.
He was buried in the Muslim Cemetery near `Akká. [DH81]
He was one of 19 Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh designated by Shoghi Effendi in recognition of distinguished services that those nineteen loyal and devoted Persian Bahá'ís have rendered to their faith. [BW3p80-81]
Nabíl was born in the village of Zarand on the 29th of July, 1831. He had become a Bábí around 1847 after over-hearing a conversation between two men about the Báb. He accepted the faith of Bahá'u'lláh in 1858. During his years as a Bábí, Nabil traveled to Lorestan, Kermanshah, Tehran, and Khorasan; he met with the Bábís and Bábí leaders in those provinces to foster the Bábí ideology and inspire the believers to arise, consolidate, and expand the new Bábí communities. He also transcribed and distributed Bábí literature among the rank and file of the society to promote the Bábí faith. He was jailed in Sāva for four months because of his pro-Bábí activities. In September 1854, he set out for Baghdad and Karbala, where he stayed until October 1856. During late 1856 to July 1858, he traveled to Hamadan, his hometown Zarand, and many major Babi communities in the capital province and returned to Baghdad on 19 July 1858.
Nabil’s life as a Bahá'í is summed up in his extensive travels throughout Iran, Iraq, Turkey, the Caucasus, Egypt, and Palestine. In his early travels as a Bahá'í, he met with the Bábí communities to invite them to the Bahá'í faith; he attracted the Bábi leaders to the recognition of Bahá'u'lláh as the fulfillment of the Báb’s prophecies concerning the promised messianic figure and helped reinforce the belief of the new Bahá'ís in the teachings and principles that were being advanced by Bahá'u'lláh. Through these activities, Nabíl became an outstanding teacher, defender, and promulgator of the Bahá'í faith.
[Dawn over Mount Hira, "The Poet Laureate" p19-104, or p85-98, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica, DB434-435]
Although known primarily as an historian in the West he was a gifted and prolific poet who devoted most of his poetry to the historical events in the Bábí and Bahá'í faiths. His most famous poem in couplet form about the history of the Bahá'í faith was published as Maṯnawi-e Nabil Zarandi in Cairo in 1924 in 65 pages and reprinted in Langenhain in 1995. In this poem he describes major historical events from the early days of the Bábí movement to the year 1869. His second poem, in 666 verses, deals with Bahá'u'llāh’s banishment from Edirne to Akka. Other historical poetry of Nabil consists of his poem titled “Maṯnawi-e weṣāl wa hejr” in 175 verses (pub. in Rafati, 2014, Chap. 6; Ḏokāʾi, p. 416) and his poem on the life of Āqā Moḥammad Nabil Akbar Qāʾeni in 303 verses (Ḵušahā-i az ḵarman-e adab wa honar 13, pp. 108-16). In addition to those poems, Nabil left behind a great collection of poetry in different forms, only a fraction of which has been published.
His other works in prose included a treatise on the Bábí-Bahá'í calendar, a treatise on Bahá'í inheritance laws (Fāżel Māzandarāni, IV pp. 1, 214), and his account on the event of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh (Nabil Zarandi, Maṯnawi-e Nabil Zarandi, Langenhain, 1995, pp. 67-108). But Nabil’s most celebrated work is Maṭāleʿ al-anwār, an extensive historical narrative of the Bábí faith, written in Akka in 1888-90, which was edited and translated into English by Shoghi Effendi as The Dawn-Breakers. The work was first published in the United States in 1932. [“Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica; DB434-435]
|Akka; Zarand; Sava; Baghdad; Karbala; Cairo; Erdine; Turkey
||Nabil-i-Azam; Suicide; Apostles of Bahaullah; Births and deaths; Cemeteries and graves
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