The Dawn-Breakers Study Outline

Chapter 19

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3) Jump to the Condensed Summary for Chapter 19.

4) Jump to the Chapter 19 Cross-References to The Dawn-Breakers and A Traveler's Narrative

5) Jump to the Condensed and Extended Contents for the following chapters:
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
6) Jump to the actual Chapters of The Dawn-Breakers:
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
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Condensed Contents View

Note: the text below links to the study outline. The page number, however, links to the actual text.


    Extended Contents View with Summaries


    The Declaration of the Báb's Mission

    (Condensed Summary of Chapter 19)

    I. After having inspired the believers in Mashhad, Mullá Husayn followed orders of the Báb to wear His turban, unfurl the Black Standard, and go to assist Quddús. Along the way, many were brought into the Cause and a few were allowed to join them. Upon receiving news of Muhammad Sháh's death, Mullá Husayn announced his sovereignty had been uprooted, warned them of the perils they would face, and a few were compelled to leave.

    II. Out of jealosy and fear, the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá' instigated the people against them. Mullá Husayn had his followers discard their earthly possessions to demonstrate their detachment. When the people attacked them, Mullá Husayn allowed some of his men to be killed and then prayed to God and expressed his intention to guide the people, but readiness to obey His command to defend themselves. He then charged forth and cut his assailant, musket, & tree behind which he was hiding all in half with 1 stroke.
    A. Mírzá Taqí Khán blamed the prince for not decimating the weak students, but the prince showed him the musket and induced him to determine to annihilate them (Though this only worked through treachery & swearing falsely on the Qur'án.) Many including poets diffused this news. A long-time friend of his related how Mullá Husayn had no training with swords and had difficulty writing, let alone wielding a weapon.

    B. Mullá Husayn rushed after this to the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá's house, killing those who opposed him on the way with 1 stroke, circled the house, and cried for the instigator to demonstrate his words in action. His cry induced the enemy to call for peace. His companions made the cry, scaring the enemy, were amazed to find him alive, and approached him with reverence and kissed his stirrups. He questioned the basis of the enemy's attack on them & claimed that their victory was only through God's will.

    C. They returned empty-handed to the caravanserai, resigned to God's will. Mullá Husayn successively called 3 youth to sound the call to prayer, and each was shot & killed by the enemy as they recited a part of it. Mullá Husayn then had them leave the fort and repulse the enemy, killing all besides those who called for peace. The nobles of the villages interceded and secured a tentative peace with Mullá Husayn. They were promised a safe passage through the forest by Khusraw. The Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá', however, induced the head guard to confiscate their possessions and kill them, accepting responsibility for his actions. Despite Mullá Husayn's warning to Khusraw, he proceeded to attack his friends (riding behind him). Mullá Husayn refused to drop his weapon & continued with his devotions.

    D. Mírzá Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Juvayníy-i-Sabzivárí asked an attendant to be able to take Khusraw's water pipe to him personally, then stabbed him in his gut. The companions killed all but the attendant who, in wishing to serve them, was told to return to the notables bringing this water pipe and that nothing could disarm him until his purpose was achieved.

    E. They proceeded to the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsí without taking, per Mullá Husayn's orders, any of Khusraw's men's possessions they left behind. The guardian of the fort eagerly joined them after he had dreamt of their arrival, the heroic battles they were to fight, and that the Prophet Himself was to visit the shrine. As they began to build a fort there, they were attacked by the horsemen seeking revenge for Khusraw's death. They repelled these horsemen and at the command of Mírzá Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Juvayní (approved by Mullá Husayn), they pursued them into the forest. In what turned out to be the wrong village, they attacked and, in the dark, confused night, accidentally killed the village owner's mother. The village owner, upon hearing the sincere apologies of the commander, emerged from hiding, learned of the Cause, and sought to find out more, despite his loss. On hearing Mullá Husayn's recitation of the congregational prayer and Mullá Husayn's comforting words, he became enamored of the Faith and joined the companions.

    III. They were constantly disturbed by villagers instigated by the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá' but withstood them, and completed the fort. Upon its completion, Bahá'u'lláh visited the fort, was reverently and joyously received by Mullá Husayn (though none else truly recognized Him then) approved its construction, called for a delegation to free Quddús, assured them of his deliverance, indicated His future return, assured them of victory, and left for Núr and Tihrán.
    A. Quddús had been confined 95 days, though his gentleness and prodigious writings impressed his host to the extent that he allowed him to leave when his friends arrived although this host later cruelly killed the fort's inhabitiants. Mullá Husayn prepared the friends to receive him befittingly and enjoined them to respect him infinitely more than they did himself. They met him on foot holding 2 candles lit by Mullá Husayn in each hand, surrounding him (he was on horse), and reciting hymns that echoed in the forest as they approached the shrine.

    B. Upon arrival, Quddús leaned against the shrine and said "The Baqíyyatu'lláh will be best for you if ye are of those who believe." from the Qur'án, fulfilling the tradition that foretold what the Mihdí would say to His 313 followers, then implying Bahá'u'lláh was the one by asking of Him. Mullá Husayn enjoined Mullá Mírzá Muhammad to arise for martyrdom, cease seeking tounravel the mystery of Quddús references to Bahá'u'lláh as they would become clear in the year '80 (1863). Quddús had the number of followers counted, when a youth burst in begging to join them, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of 313, for the truth to be established to the divines.

    C. Quddús would listen to verses from the Qur'án and the Báb read to them & comment on their meaning, and proceed calmly with his devotions despite the attacks of the enemy. His extremely prodigious and insightful writings and behavior won the esteem of Mullá Husayn's companions.

    D. Upon the fort's completion, the friends gained zeal and villagers even wished to join them, though they were not allowed after 313 had entered. As the villagers provided for their basic needs just when hope seemed lost and the fort was being praised by the villagers, the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá' was enraged and appealed to the Sháh claiming that they intended to subvert his rule and that they would eventually succeed, if they weren't crushed. The Sháh sent some of his army to crush them. 'Abdu'lláh Khán was called on, and he raised an army of 12,000 for this.

    E. Upon complaints that they could not leave and their water supply was to be taken over, Quddús prayed for a rain storm & snowfall to act in their favor. These occured and Quddús praised God as the rain had ruined much of the enemy's ammunition, and gave them their needed water while the snow had hampered the enemy. As the enemy prepared its attack, Quddús rode out with Mullá Husayn, 3 others, and the rest on foot, and, with their cries, routed the enemy who left their belongings. In 45 minutes, they had killed the chief officer, 2 other officers, and 430 other men. As Mullá Husayn pursued them, Quddús called him back to the fort as their purpose had been achieved, and had them begin construction of a moat. This lasted 19 days and the men joyfully worked for its completion.

    F. Prince Mihdí-Qulí Mírzá arrived in a neighboring village, informed Mullá Husayn of his orders & inquired into his purpose. Mullá Husayn explained his intention not to subvert the monarchy, and expressed a willingness to demonstrate its truth among the 'ulamá subject to the prince's judgement. Though the messenger was moved by his sincerity and promised his wish would be fulfilled, the prince instead attacked them.

    G. Quddús called "Mount your steeds, O heroes of God!" before daybreak as they charged, despite the mud and snow on the roads and bullets upon them, all the way to prince's private apartments. Despite their numbers and resources, the prince and his army fled. The companions did not take any of the gold & silver coffers they found, but only brought back the prince's sword and a pot of gunpowder. Mullá Husayn was using Quddús' sword as his had been shot with a bullet. Mullá Husayn gathered the friends around Quddús when they were attacked and divided. The group pursuing Mullá Husayn rejoined to attack Quddús, raining 1000 bullets upon him, and leading one to strike out some of his teeth and injure his tongue and throat. Mullá Husayn ran to his care, was assured by Quddús, and obeyed him by taking the prince's and Quddús' sword and routed the enemy. Upon their return to the fort, Quddús assured them amidst their sorrow of God's will (as the Prophet had lost teeth by a stone), that they should remain steadfast & not stain his gratitude & joy by their sorrow.

    V. Bahá'u'lláh wished to proceed to the fort, but the friends accompanying Him, insisted on resting. They were overtaken by guards of the acting governor, who had been tipped off his secret emissaries and were to report anyone approaching the fort. They were treated with respect after Bahá'u'lláh expressed their intentions & admonished them not to take actions they might regret. As they were being conducted away, Bahá'u'lláh ordered the friends to discard their manuscripts in the river. The acting governor, who did not know Bahá'u'lláh was with them, called a meeting of the 'ulamás & leading siyyids and felt compelled to pretend to reprimand Him so as not to jeopardize his position . Despite Bahá'u'lláh's competent defense of their innocence, and after one siyyid criticized the orthography of a passage he supposed to the Báb's and discovered that it was instead of the Imám 'Alí, orders were given to punish them and they called for His execution. Bahá'u'lláh interceded for the friends, and Himself received the blows of the bastinado, despite the acting governor's wishes. This punishment, as others, paralleled and followed those of the Báb's, His Forerunner.
    A. The acting governor sought to deliver Bahá'u'lláh Himself into his home but was in the process threatened by an angry siyyid with a club and a crowd that gathered. The governor's attendants were surprisingly able to adeptly usher Him away from the scene, and the governor himself lavished his devotion on Bahá'u'lláh as He stayed there, though he would not let Bahá'u'lláh leave for fear of His safety upon the real governor's return, despite Bahá'u'lláh's assurance of their Divine protection. Once the governor did return, he had become impressed by the fortitude of the Bábí defenders, criticized the reception accorded Bahá'u'lláh, hinted at their hypocrisy and lack of faith.

    B. Nabíl related here how Bahá'u'lláh had been saved despite His intention to join the defenders of the fort to be able to consummate His work and steer the course of His Cause.

    Cross-References for Chapter 19

    Regarding the Mázindarán upheaval (DB 324-377, see also 378-429), see GPB 17, 37, 38-41, 62, 63; TN 19 , 22 -24 .

    Regarding Mullá Husayn and his martyrdom (DB 328-383, see also 48), see GPB 38-41, 50; TN 19 , 22 -24 .

    Regarding the frenzy of the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá (DB 328, see also 410), see GPB 39.

    Regarding the Amír Nizám's ruthlessness (DB 332-353, see also 446-452, 500-502, 504, 526), see GPB 47, 51-52, 82; TN 20 -22 , 28 -29 .

    Regarding the persecutions of the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá (DB 338-339 note 1, 347, see also 265- 267, 408-411), see GPB 83.

    Regarding a summary of Bahá'u'lláh's life before the assassination attempt on the Sháh (and implied fulfillment of the Báb's prophecies) DB 348-350, 369-374, see also 106- 107, 112-117, 227-228, 279, 284-286, 292-299, 519-522, 593-594), see GPB 40, 66-70; TN 34 -37 .

    Regarding the deliverance of documents, seals, and rings for Bahá'u'lláh (DB 368, see also 504-505), see GPB 51, 69; TN 25 -26 .

    Regarding Quddús (DB 349-377, see also 378-415), see GPB 40-42.

    Overall of Chapter 19 (DB 324-377): GPB 17, 37-42, 47, 50-52, 62, 63, 66-70, 82-83; TN 19-26, 28-29, 34-37.

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