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.
He was met by Quddús in Sháh-Rúd when he heard of His approach.
The activities of Quddús and Mullá Husayn had stirred people from lethargy into faith and devotion and provoked fanaticism and malice from others.
Their numbers swelled to the degree of alarming the authorities.
The chief constable, in witnessing the steady streams of crowds and in wishing to assert his rights and intimidate Mullá Husayn, ordered the arrest of his attendant, Hasan. They pierced his nose, passed a cord through & led him through streets by a halter.
Upon hearing of this news and so as not to disturb Quddús, Mullá Husayn retired quietly from his presence. His companions gathered around him & urged revenge. He enjoined them not to be disturbed by his affliction and assured them he would deliver Hasan the next day.
They burned with impatience, however, & cried "Yá Sáhibu'z-Zamán!" as their voices reverberated throughout the region, signalling the tremendous events to come, killed those holding the halter of Hasan with swords & brought Hasan into Mullá Husayn's presence. Mullá Husayn noted if they couldn't tolerate Hasan's trials, how could they accept Husayn's martyrdom (his own).
Sálár's rebellion had just ended, but the city was brought again into turmoil. Prince Hamzih Mírzá was stationed with his men and munitions 12-15 miles outside of the city in case of an emergency when he was called to assist in Mullá Husayn's arrest and deliverance to the governor.
'Abdu'l-'Alí Khán-i-Marághiyí, the captain of the prince's artillery intervened and asked him to kill him if he had any intentions of harming Mullá Husayn, since he could not live with tolerating any disrespect towards him.
The prince, who recognized his need for this officer, was embarrassed at his declaration & assured him of his devotion to Mullá Husayn & intent to restrict the mischief caused & protect him. He wrote a letter expressing his wish that Mullá Husayn be transferred to his headquarters to be protected from attacks of his opponents. He ordered for his own tent to be placed to receive him.
Quddús assured him no harm could befall him & declared his leaving that night with Mírzá Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Qazvíní (one of the Letters) for Mázindarán. He said that by the will of God Mullá Husayn would later join him at the head of a large company of the faithful preceded by the "Black Standards" & depart from Mashhad & join him wherever the Almighty decrees.
With joy Mullá Husayn threw himself at his feet & assured him of his resolve to discharge his obligations. Quddús took him in his arms, kissed his eyes & forehead, and committed him to the Almighty's protection.
With dignity & calm Mullá Husayn set out that afternoon on horse to the prince's camp, was ceremoniously conducted by his captain with a number of officers appointed by the prince to welcome him to the tent set aside for him. (cont. on p. 324)
Quddús summoned Mírzá Muhammad-Báqir-i-Qá'iní (who built the Bábíyyih) with a number of most prominent of his companions and enjoined them to bear unquestioned allegiance to Mullá Husayn and obey him implicitly in anything he wished. He foretold the immanent days of stress and violence, & warned them to cleave to him and obey him in order to be saved.
With these words he bade farewell & left Mashhad. A few days later he met Mírzá Sulaymán-i-Núrí who informed him of Táhirih's deliverance & her & Bahá'u'lláh's departure. He along with his companion remained with Quddús until they arrived at Badasht where they met at dawn a a large gathering of fellow-believers. They continued on to Sháh-Rúd when Mírzá Sulaymán, following behind them, met Muhammad-i-Haná-Sáb on his way to Badasht who informed him of Bahá'u'lláh & Táhirih's departure from Sháh-Rud for that hamlet & the arrival of a large number of believers from assorted towns to accompany Him on His journey to Khurásán. Mullá Sulaymán had him tell Mullá Ahmad-i-Ibdál who was in Badasht that he had failed to recognize the light (Quddús) which had shone upon him this morning.
(292) It was the beginning of summer. Bahá'u'lláh rented 3 gardens, one for Quddús, one for Táhirih and her attendant, one one for Himself. 81 guests were hosted by Bahá'u'lláh during this conference. Every day He revealed a Tablet which Mírzá Sulaymán-i-Núrí chanted to the assembled believers. He bestowed a new name on each, upon Himself the name Bahá, upon the Last Letter, Quddús, and to Qurratu'l-'Ayn, Táhirih. The Báb also later revealed a Tablet for each of them using the recently given names. When later some of the more rigid and conservative accused Táhirih of indiscreetly rejecting time-honoured traditions, the Báb replied "What am I to say regarding her whom the Tongue of Power and Glory has named Táhirih [the Pure One]?"
He relates that Bahá'u'lláh had been confined to bed one day & immediate visit of Quddús upon hearing of this. He seated himself on His right hand. The other companions came in and gathered around Him. As soon as they had assembled, Muhammad-i-Hasan-i-Qazvíní, Táhirih's messenger (now named Fata'l-Qazvíní) came in suddenly with a pressing invitation from her for Quddús to visit her in her own garden. Quddús boldly replied that he had severed himself from her & refused to meet her. The messenger left and returned with the same message and appealed to him to heed her urgent call as she was going to come herself if he did not. The messenger unsheathed his sword, laid it at Quddús' feet, refused to go, and demanded Quddús either join him or cut his head off. Quddús angrily retorted he had already stated his decision and that he was willing to comply with his alternative.
As Muhammad-Hasan stretched his neck for this purpose, Táhirih came in adorned & unveiled, shocking the gathering as they had felt that to look upon her, whom they regarded as the incarnation of Fátimih (the daughter of Muhammad and noblest emblem of chastity to them), or even upon her shadow was improper. Some were reported to have hid their faces with their hands, others prostrated themselves, others covered their heads with their garments so as to avoid seeing her features. Insults came upon her accusing her of indecency, shamelessness & losing her mind, while few defended her.
With dignity she quietly stepped forward toward him and seated herself on his right-hand side. Her serenity contrasted with the fearfulness of those around. 'Abdu'l-Kháliq-i-Isfáhání was so shaken he cut his throat with his own hands, & covered with blood and shrieking, he fled from her face. He was followed by other companions who forsook their Faith. A few others were standing speechless before her in wonder. Quddús remained seated holding the unsheathed sword, with his face showing inexpressible anger, seeming to wait for a moment to strike her.
She was unmoved by his threatening attitude but showed joy and triumph on her face. She addressed the remnant of the assembly and eloquently declared that the pious would dwell amid gardens and rivers in the presence of the potent King, while glancing furtively in the direction of Bahá'u'lláh and Quddús, making unclear to whom she was referring. She then declared herself the Word which the Qá'im is to utter which will put to flight the chiefs and nobles of the earth.
(It was also reported that Táhirih had first attended the conference veiled, but discarded it shortly afterwards and exclaimed herself to be the trumpet blast, the bugle's call to awaken the sleeping souls. Bahá'u'lláh reportedly recited the Súrih of Resurrection after her declaration. See footnote on p. 297)
She rebuked Quddús for not having performed what she felt he should have in Khurásán for the Faith. He responded that he was not subject to the will of his fellow-disciples. She then turned toward the others and announced that this day was for festivity and rejoicing, calling for everyone to embrace in the achievement of breaking from the fetters of the past.
Afterwards, the followers underwent a transformation in their manner of worship. The prayers & ceremony in which they had been disciplined were discarded.
Táhirih had herself claimed to repudiate Quddús' authority as a pupil whom the Báb wished her to instruct, while Quddús denounced her as the author of heresy and her followers the victims of error.
Bahá'u'lláh intervened after a few days, effected a reconciliation, healed the wounds the controversy had caused, & directed their efforts toward service.
Dr. Cheyne suggests that Táhirih received her insight from Bahá'u'lláh and instructed the heroic Quddús while maintaining that her quarrel with her greatest friend was merely delightful irony.
Many had expected that Muhammad's successor was to bring about righteousness and peace through blood and divine judgements while the Báb dealt largely with moral suasion.
Bahá'u'lláh's stay lasted 22 days. On their journey to Mázindarán, a few followers sought to abuse their liberty and indulge their selfish desires. Their excesses brought about severe tests and injuries at their enemies' hands in Níyálá, thereby extinguishing those seeking to tarnish the Faith's honour.
He related that they were pelted by stones from those on a mountain causing His companions to flee in terror. He clothed Quddús in His own garments & dispatched him to a place where He intended to join Him. However, only Táhirih and the young Mírzá 'Abdu'lláh could be found. The young man with determined courage had his sword in hand and attempted to prevent the plunder of their property though he had been wounded. Bahá'u'lláh had him stop, convinced the villagers of their cruelty and shameful behaviour, and restored part of their property.
Bahá'u'lláh went with Táhirih and her attendant to Núr and appointed Shaykh Abú-Turáb to watch over and protect her.
(299) The mischief-makers sought to anger Muhammad Sháh against Bahá'u'lláh as the instigator of the commotion in Shah-Rúd and Mázindarán, induced him to have Him arrested. The Sháh claimed to have given Bahá'u'lláh the benefit of the doubt because of His father's services, but was now resolved to put Him to death.
He instructed one his officers to Tihrán to have his son arrest Him & bring Him to the capital. This son had prepared a reception for Bahá'u'lláh, was attached to Him, and with distress withheld this news. Bahá'u'lláh perceived his grief & advised Him to trust in God. The next day, while with His friend, a horseman came with news that Muhammad Sháh was dead. The friend exclaimed this to Him after briefly meeting with the messenger. The summons had lost its efficacy and the night was spent in calm and gladness.
Quddús had fallen into hands of opponents in Sárí in Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí's home, the leading mujtahid of Sárí. The other companions had scattered with news of Badasht after being dispersed in Níyálá.
The Declaration of the Báb's Mission
(Condensed Summary of Chapter 16)
Cross-References for Chapter 16