The Dawn-Breakers Study Outline

Chapter 21

1) Jump to the Chapter 21 Condensed Contents View.

2) Jump to the Chapter 21 Extended Contents View with Summaries.

3) Jump to the Condensed Summary for Chapter 21.

4) Jump to the Chapter 21 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
For other sections, see the Contents page.

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 21)

    I. The Báb anguished at news of the friends' martyrdoms. He refused to have food, or drink for 9 days and languished for 5 months, refusing that his lamentations be recorded. Eventually, He was able to write Tablets in their memory, describing their character and foretelling His own immanent martyrdom.

    II. The Báb summoned Mullá Ádí-Guzal, titled him Sayyáh, sent him on a pilgrimage to reverently visit their resting-places, had him bring back some of the earth covering their graves out of remembrance.

    III. After undertaking this mission, Sayyáh went to Bahá'u'lláh's home in Tihrán arriving with modest clothing despite the deep winter. Vahíd, who was a guest there, showed great respect to this visitor, kissing his feet as he appeared, despite his eminent position, as Sayyáh's pilgrimage symbolized the love and death of the martyrs. (Bahá'u'lláh showered such deep love for Vahíd as Áqáy-i-Kalím had never seen, indicating to him the future heroism and martyrdom of Vahíd.) Sayyáh did not recognize His host then, despite His favors. He was given an epistle by Him (in Mírzá Yahyá's name) to which the Báb replied committing Mírzá Yahyá to Bahá'u'lláh's training. This was later misconstrued as favors upon Mírzá Yahyá (it was actually a praise of Bahá'u'lláh).

    IV. Nabíl accepted the Faith the same year. Though he had had but a basic education, he was fond of reciting and studying the Qur'án as his shepherding life allowed him. His devout father brought him to the mujtahids of Qum, whom he began to believe were insincere and of base character. His father feared his aversion for them would lead him to trouble.

    V. Nabíl one day overheard some men discussing the circumstances of the Báb's imprisonment and suffering as well as His great wonders. This excited Nabíl's interest, preoccupying him to the degree that when he returned home, he lost appetite and sleep until Siyyid Husayn-i-Zavár'í appeared and befriended him. Nabíl shared his longing with him, who, to his surprise, was also enthralled.

    VI. Siyyid Husayn's cousin, Siyyid Ismá'íl-i-Zavári'í, had met the Báb and witnessed His revealing of verses. He was induced to leave because of his preaching, and Siyyid Husayn left too. Siyyid Husayn met Hájí Mírzá Jání who gave him some of the Báb's Writings. He was so impressed, he copied the whole thing. He missed seeing the Báb, Who had stayed at Hájí Mírzá Jání's, but was directed in His direction. He came to a fortress where a man came out & inquired as to who he was. When he responded that he was a poor wandering siyyid, the man stated he suspected him to be a Bábí, which he also was, and that he had instructions to dissuade any of the friends from following Him, but to instead consecrate their lives in service to His Cause.

    VII. Nabíl was relieved by this, refreshed by the Báb's Writings the siyyid gave him, and was moved to catch up with Siyyid Ismá'íl-i-Zavári'í in Qum. Nabíl told his father he wanted to go to study Arabic (to avoid being prevented from going by the Muslim judges). His relatives were won over after they visited him there. Nabíl was given certitude by Siyyid Ismá'íl when he arrived by explaining the continuity and oneness of religion. He advised Nabíl to stay there until receiving word from Tihrán.

    VIII. Nabíl caught up with him but discovered that the defenders of Tabarsí had already been massacred. He then returned home with his concerned father and family. After winning over his brother, he went with Mírzá Ahmad (whom Siyyid Ismá'íl had charged with watching over him). Mírzá Ahmad copied the Writings for many of the friends. Nabíl bore these gifts from him to Mullá Mihdíy-i-Kandí's wife (the mother of the infant son whose father left to join the friends at Tabarsí).

    IX. Through visits to the Holy Family's house by Mírzá Ahmad, he met Mírzá Yahyá whose unworthy features startled him and met 'Abdu'l-Bahá (though unaware of His station) Who was 6. He was asked to take 'Abdu'l-Bahá out, and He took his hand (instead of being carried). He returned later by the Master's request and was given a letter from Mírzá Yahyá to bring to Bahá'u'lláh and was to return His reply. He met Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Alí later and was impressed by his noble features and character (confirmed by his unwillingness to flee from danger).

    X. A Siyyid Muhammad had continued association with a suspicious siyyid who ended up giving a list of about 50 believers' names to Mahmúd Khán-i-Kalantar who ordered their arrest, bringing 14 in. As a result, Mírzá Ahmad left Nabíl a warning letter encouraging him to leave, take some of his copies of sacred Writings, and to meet him later. When he met Mírzá Ahmad, Nabíl was informed that he had been attacked and that Bahá'u'lláh had sent Mírzá Ahmad a letter informing him that the Ámír intended to violate the right of asylum, and that he and Nabíl should leave town. Through this letter, and the concerned entreaties of Nabíl's relations, Nabíl returned to his family in Zarand and enjoyed Naw Rúz with them, which was the Báb's last.

    XI. Nabíl found out to his duress that 14 disciples had been detained at Mahmúd Khán-i-Kalantar's house and (some) were subjected to ill treatment including torture. Muhammad-Husayn-i-Marághi'í refused to give any of the believers' names, causing his oppressors to think he was mute. When Hájí Mullá Ismá'í informed them he was not by calling his name, Muhammad-Husayn responded.

    XII. When the matter was referred to Mírzá Taqí Khán, 7 yielded to the pressure while 7 others were martyred.

    XIII. The Báb's maternal uncle, Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Alí, was one of those martyred. He had watched over the Báb after His father's death. He had one son, Siyyid Javád who died in infancy. After accepting the Faith, he left for Chihríq, and then went to Tihrán. Several affluent merchants sought to purchase his release which he released. After the Amír-Nizám sought his recantation, he refused, stated his wish to join the other martyrs, declared such a denunciation to be a denunciation of every previous Revelation, and requested to be the first of these martyrs to die. The Amír was stunned and despairingly motioned for his beheading. The victim uttered words of gratitude to God, noted his acknowledged character and willing sacrifice and irony of their failure to recognize what they prayed for, and asked for their forgiveness, despite their merits.

    XIV. The executioner was affected to the degree that he pretended his sword needed resharpening and left. He expressed his deep sorrow and repentance at having committed such an act of such an innocent man as holy as the Imám Músáy-i-Kázim (7th Imám) and cried at the mention of his victim's name who had so moved him.

    XV. Mírzá Qurbán-'Alí was so revered by other notables, to the extent one left his followers and joined him on pilgrimage. He, however, disdained their pomp. Though unable to join the martyrs of Tabarsí due to illness, he longed to join Vahíd. He was dressed in humble clothing enjoined by the Báb. The Amír brought to his attention the notable's appeals and stated he should at least claim a station above the Báb. He retorted that his knowledge caused him to accept Him, that rejecting His Cause would reject each previous one, that though he could not move any of his admirers, the Báb had induced the lowliest to sacrifice their lives for His Cause. When the Amír hesitated to kill him because of his station, he insisted that he be martyred as the Báb had declared him to be one. When the Amír insisted he be taken away for fear of falling under his spell, he indicated that only the pure in heart could be affected. This induced the Amír to order his beheading as well as any after him.

    XVI. He rejoiced at his coming martyrdom, but deplored none could be found to share his joy in recognizing that 'Alí-Muhammad was the return of Muhammad as a rose is a rose in whatever garden it appears. He embraced the Greatest Uncle's body, stated their inseparability, and was struck in the neck, causing his turban to fall off and the onlookers to lament as was done on the day of 'Áshúrá.

    XVII. Hájí Mullá Ismá'íl-i-Qumí had been a disciple of Siyyid Kázim, and became deepened by fellow believers at Badasht, and gaining zeal and desire to sacrifice himself befittingly for the Cause after being unable to join the defenders of Tabarsí due to illness. He praised the 2 martyrs before them (though regretting not having been first), asked for something sweet, and gave some to the executioner, forgiving him and requesting him to strike. He refused an offer to save him stating that those who would be sacrificed do not turn back, out of love. He asked for God's forgiveness, and was executed in the midst of his devotions.

    XVIII. Siyyid Husayn-i-Turshízí was a learned mujtahid who had been commissioned by other mujtahids to propagate these principles. On his way to Persia he met and joined Hájí Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Kirmání who had been converted by the Báb's uncle whom he later accompanied to Tihrán. Siyyid Husayn was converted on this journey by Hájí Muhammad-Taqí. At his coming martyrdom, he spoke of his lineage, learning, dedication to the Cause as the requirement of every Faith, and called the people to gather the learned that he might be judged by them. An officer brought forth his death-warrant from the learned, laid the responsibility on those leaders, and stabbed him. XIX. Hájí Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Kirmání became violently indignant at seeing his friend killed, and told the tyrant to quickly kill him that he may join his beloved Husayn and not endure the torture of living after him.

    XX. As his friend said this, Siyyid Murtadá then flung himself over his friend's body, and pleaded to be executed first, arguing his martyrdom as a siyyid would be more meritorious and calling to mind his martyred brother who had struggled with Mullá Husayn, astonishing the onlookers with his deep faith.

    XXI. Muhammad-Husayn-i-Marághi'í then asked to be martyred before them, threw himself on the body of his friend Hájí Mullá Ismá'íl-i-Qumí & declared they would never be separated. Their eagerness to precede one another, which greatly astonished the multitude, led to their being beheaded at the same moment.

    XXII. Their refusal to make a justified lip-denial and remain faithful (while not under threat as those at Tabarsí or Zanján), inspired many secret followers and admirers, even among important officials, despite the dishonor the acts brought to Islám.

    XXIII. Bahá'u'lláh had just revealed a Tablet explaining the Islámic tradition of Fátimih appearing on Judgment Day and was holding a marriage ceremony for a prince in Tihrán when Siyyid Ahmad-i-Yazdí, father of the Báb's amanuensis (Siyyid Husayn) appeared beckoning Him with an important message though He could not leave at the moment. When He did, He learned of Táhirih's confinement and danger in Qazvín and immediately summoned Muhammad-Hádiy-i-Farhádí to get her released and bring her to the capital. Though unable to host her indefinitely at His home, He arranged for her to go to the Minister of War's house (Mírzá Áqá Khán-i-Núrí) hosted by the minister's sister until the call to proceed to Khurásán came. Mírzá (Áqáy-i-Kalím) was sent to bring her outside the city gate and then to somewhere suitable nearby. He brought her to an orchard near a deserted building under the care of an old man and upon their return, Bahá'u'lláh arranged for her departure which He was to follow in a few days.

    XXIV. He joined her at Badasht where He rented a garden for her & had Muhammad-Hádí as her doorkeeper. 70 friends joined them in the area. As Bahá'u'lláh was sick in bed, Táhirih called upon Him, and He was at a loss as to what to reply. She appeared at the door unveiled causing great fear & bewilderment that some (including Siyyid-i-Nahrí (Mírzá Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Nahrí), and His brother Mírzá Hádí) fled to a deserted castle nearby. Bahá'u'lláh sent word that this desertion was not necessary.

    XXV. When Bahá'u'lláh went to Ámul, masses congregated to see him while the head mullá denounced Him, for his understanding of a dream in which the Qá'im watched him with great surprise as Bahá'u'lláh arrived. Bahá'u'lláh assured him, however, it was disapproval at their treatment of Him that caused His surprise. Though Bahá'u'lláh spoke of the Báb's pure mission, the man and followers did not believe Him and confined Him. When the acting governor obtained His release (entering through a wall to get Him) the people congregated, pelted Him with stones and insults. Meanwhile Bahá'u'lláh was not deterred from seeking Táhirih's deliverance, despite the risks.

    XXVI. For 3 days and nights, the martyrs' bodies were left in the Sabzih-Maydán while the shí'ahs spat on their faces, kicked, pelted, cursed, mocked & dumped refuse on them (saying that was the recompense of people of affection and those who pursue Wisdom and Truth) without any protest being made. The bodies were buried outside the capital gate (in a pit they filled) beyond the limits of a public cemetery, adjoining the moat, between the gates of Naw and Sháh 'Abdu'l-'Azím, united in death as in life.

    XXVII. Their martyrdom brought an added blow to the Báb, already sad about the Tabarsí martyrs. He revealed a detailed Tablet referring to them as the Seven Goats (of a tradition) that would walk in front of the Qá'im (die before Him, their Shepherd), having lived heroically and dying by His will (4 months before His death).

    Cross-References for Chapter 21

    Regarding the effects of the disaster on the Báb (DB 430-431), see GPB 49.

    Regarding Sayyáh to meet Bahá'u'lláh (though he did not recognize Him) (DB 431-433), see GPB 28.

    Regarding the Báb foreshadowing His death (DB 444-445), see GPB 50.

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

    Regarding brief references to Tihrán (DB 446-459, 462-463), see GPB 46-48;, 50;, 62;, 82.

    Overall of Chapter 21 (DB 430-433, 444-459, 462-463): GPB 28;, 46;-52;, 62;, 82;; TN 20 -22, 28-29.

    back to Dawnbreakers study outline   |   back to Baha'i Library Online