The Dawn-Breakers Study Outline
6) Jump to the actual Chapters of The Dawn-Breakers:Intro.1 Intro.2 Preface 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Epilogue Other Sections
Introduction Preface 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Epilogue
For other sections, see the Contents page.
(269) Táhirih had been spreading the Faith in Karbilá, sharing His Súrih of Kawthar.
She had left Qazvín in order to await the signs foretold by Siyyid Kázim in Karbilá.
The Báb's response to her declaration animated her zeal and vastly increased her courage, moved her to spread His teachings, denouncing the corruption & perversity of her generation & advocating a revolution in people's habits.
(270) All were amazed by her character, eloquence, charm, personality & convictions.
She won Siyyid Kázim's widow to the Cause who regarded her as a spiritual guide and affectionate companion to the degree that, as narrated by Shaykh Sultán who praised the widow's character, she was reluctant to allow Táhirih to even briefly leave her presence. She died, however, 1 year after embracing the Cause.
Shaykh Sálih, an Arab, embraced the Faith as a result of Táhirih's efforts and became the 1st to shed his blood for the Faith in Tihrán. She praised him a great deal and through her, he boldly and assiduously promoted its interests and followed her instructions.
Shaykh Muhammad-i-Shibl (the father of Muhammad-Mustafá, an Arab native of Baghdád, who ranked high among the 'ulamá of Baghdád) was another admirer.
Táhirih responded to the call of the Báb to proceed to Khurásán. The 'ulamá of Karbilá sought in vain to dissuade her. She set forth her motives and exposed their dissimulation in an epistle.
Hájí Mullá Sálih, her father, had sent for her to return home to which she reluctantly consented and bade her companions return home (Shaykh Sultán, Shaykh Muhammad-i-Shibl and youthful son Muhammad-Mustafá, 'Ábid & his son Násir (Hájí 'Abbás), Siyyid Muhammad-i-Gulpáyigání (Tá'ir or Fata'l-Malíh)). Shaykh Sálih & Mullá Ibráhím-i-Gulpáyigání, both of whom were later martyred, stayed with her the entire way while Mírzá Muhammad- 'Alí (one of her kin), one of the Letters of the Living, her brother-in-law & Siyyid 'Abdu'l-Hádí (married to her daughter) travelled with her to Qazvín.
She replied to the proud son of Mullá Taqí who had sent ladies of his household to persuade Táhirih to transfer from her father's to his house that, if he had intended to be faithful mate and companion that he would have met and escorted her from Karbilá and she would have shown him the way of truth. They had separated 3 years ago and she sternly and unyieldingly stated she expressed that she could not be associated with him foreverŠin this world or the next.
After he & his father denounced her as a heretic & sought to undermine her position, she defended herself & exposed their character.
Her peace-loving father attempted in vain to solve this dispute.
Mullá 'Abdu'lláh, an admirer of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim arrived in Qazvín in 1847 and sought to investigate the Cause of the Báb. He saw a man being stripped of his head-dress and shoes, his turban wound around his neck and with it being dragged through the streets.
When he discovered that the man was being abused for publicly praising Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim, he refrained from hitting the instigator, Mullá Taqí in front of his disciples, instead resolved to stab him in the mouth to prevent him from saying such things any further, & purchased a dagger and spear-head to accomplish this.
Mullá 'Abdu'lláh quietly approached him while he was prostrated in prayer and stabbed him through the back of the neck with a spear (leading to a loud cry), threw him on his back, drove his dagger into his mouth, stabbed him in his breast and side, and left him bleeding.
He fled to the roof, watched a crowd transport him home and as they could not identify a murderer, they gratified their basest instincts by attacking and accusing one another. As many innocent people were thrown into prison, Mullá 'Abdu'lláh was moved to ask the governor whether he would free the innocent people, if he could deliver the murderer. He confessed once he was assured they would be freed. The governor did not believe him even after an old woman testified to having seen him until Mullá Taqí identified him in agitation on his death-bed, signaled for him to be taken away, and died.
Mullá 'Abdu'lláh was arrested, convicted of murder, and imprisoned though the other prisoners were not released.
The Sáhib-Díván, impressed by his candour & sincerity, arranged for his escape to the home of Ridá Khán-i-Sardár (recently married to sister of Sipah-Sálár) & was concealed until the struggle of Shaykh Tabarsí when he & his host set off for Mázindarán where they were martyred.
The heirs of Mullá Taqí had Táhirih confined under watch by women they charged with not allowing Táhirih to leave the room except for ablutions. These heirs accused Táhirih of being the supposed instigator of his assassination.
Those who had been arrested were conducted to Tihrán & incarcerated in one of the homes of one of the village headman of Tihrán. Mullá Taqí's heirs spread to denounce the captives & call for their execution.
Bahá'u'lláh heard of the prisoners' plight and decided to intervene in their behalf. The official sought to derive material advantage out of Bahá'u'lláh's generosity by exaggerating their plight in claiming their lack of basic necessities. Through His financial assistance, a few who were unable to bear its weight were relieved of the weight of their chains. The official then, out of greed, emphasised to his superiors that Bahá'u'lláh was supplying food and money to the prisoners.
Bahá'u'lláh was summoned and accused by these officials of complicity. Bahá'u'lláh then replied that the kad-khudá (village headman) had pleaded their cause, maintained their innocence & outlined their plight to which He readily responded & was now being threatened for it.
Bahá'u'lláh was not allowed home, marking His first affliction in the Cause and His first imprisonment for His loved ones.
He was captive for a few days then freed by Ja'far-Qulí Khán, the brother of Mírzá Áqá Khán-i-Núrí (later appointee as Grand Vazír) intervened by threatening the kad-khudá so as to effect His release, to the extent that they did not even extract any reward for complying & surrendered Him with profuse apologies.
This led them to abandon their hopes yet they declared Shaykh Sálih to be the murderer & put him to death as the first martyr on Persian soil.
He met his martyrdom with zeal and joy, meeting his executioner as a welcome friend, declaring triumph and hope and discounting the hopes and beliefs of men upon the recognition of Him.
The Vazír, swayed by the Sáhib-Díván, refused their further appeals though the arrogant Sadr-i-Ardibílí was made fearful of his own safety through the promptings of Mullá Taqí's heirs and sought successfully to persuade the Sháh to allow the captives to be led back to Qazvín by the heirs under the pretense that it would reestablish their credibility and with the assurance that they would not be harmed.
(281) After the prisoners were handed over, one of them, Hájí Asadu'lláh, a noted merchant known for his piety was put to death out of Qazvín, claiming that illness had caused his death.
Mullá Táhir-i-Shírází and Mullá Ibráhím-i-Mahallátí, esteemed for their learning and character, were put to death after arriving in Qazvín. The population had been instigated to clamor for their execution, upon which a band of them armed with knives, swords, spears, and axes tore them to pieces with such barbarity that their scattered members could not be found for burial.
Nabíl comments here on the irony of the presence in Qazvín of 100+ ecclesiastical leaders of Islám yet none could be found to protest this savagery or note its entire contradiction with the precepts of Islám. He also blames the generation for allowing these imáms, who must be pure in order for God to accept the congregation's prayers, to take over their Cause & master their destinies.
The news came to Tihrán and spread rapidly. Hájí Mírzá Áqásí and Muhammad Sháh expressed their disapproval, resulting in the banishment of the Sadr-i-Ardibílí, the Grand Vazír doing so largely because of the resultant removal of a threat to his authority.
The failure of the Sháh & government to punish the evil-doers encouraged them to seek the same fate for Táhirih. Táhirih wrote a letter to Mullá Muhammad declaring that she would be delivered in 9 days from his tyranny if her Lord's Cause was the Cause of truth which Mullá Muhammad ignored.
Bahá'u'lláh determined to establish the truth of her words by having her freed and brought to Tihrán. He had Muhammad-Hádíy-i-Farhádí deliver a sealed letter to his wife, Khátún-Ján who was to proceed disguised as a beggar to Táhirih's place of confinement with the letter, wait for her and leave with her to Tihrán.
She was well aware of the sacredness of the hospitality given her. (At this time, upon Vahíd's visit, with 'Abdu'l-Bahá on her lap, she called upon Vahíd to demonstrate his faith through deeds not words.) She recognized Him with the same intuitive knowledge that led her to recognize the Báb, alluding to her recognition even in 1844 and her confident prediction of her delivery during her confinement.
Bahá'u'lláh had Áqáy-i-Kalím ensure Táhirih's safe removal with her woman attendant, Qánitih, to a place outside the capital from where they were to later depart for Khurásán. He cautioned him to the utmost vigilance lest the guards who were not to allow women to pass without a permit might discover her identity.
The guards did not raise the slightest objection or questioning of their departure. They came upon a watered orchard with a seemingly abandoned house and found an old man watering his plants. He explained that a dispute arose between the owner and tenants leading to its abandonment and his custodianship until the resolution of the dispute. He agreed to guard Táhirih and the attendant while Áqáy-i-Kalím arranged for the requirements of her journey. He sent Mullá Báqir (a Letter of the Living) with an attendant to join her.
When Bahá'u'lláh was informed of her departure, He named the orchard "Bágh-i-Jannat" (Garden of Paradise) and stated that it had been providentially prepared for the loved ones of God. After 7 days, she left with Muhammad-Hasan-i-Qazvíní (Fatá) & a few others to Khurásán.
The Declaration of the Báb's Mission
(Condensed Summary of Chapter 15)
Cross-References for Chapter 15