The Dawn-Breakers Study Outline

Chapter 22



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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
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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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  • CHAPTER XXII: THE NAYRIZ UPHEAVAL

    Extended Contents View with Summaries




  • CHAPTER XXII: THE NAYRIZ UPHEAVAL



    The Declaration of the Báb's Mission

    (Condensed Summary of Chapter 22)


    I. Vahíd was teaching in Burújird & Kurdistán when he heard of the call to Mázindarán. Though saddened when told by Bahá'u'lláh of the impossibility of going, he was reinvigorated by His presence and counsel.

    II. He continued his fearless teaching, and went to Qum, Káshán, Isfáhán, Ardistán and Ardikán, winning supporters. He came to Yazd and was able to celebrate Naw Rúz with his family (was also the Báb's Declaration) in one of his well-furnished homes and hold a banquet for the 'ulamás and notables of the city.

    III. Navváb-i-Radaví questioned whether the Sháh's banquets would compare and whether Vahíd was celebrating another anniversary. Vahíd's bold and sarcastic reply to the wicked Navváb provoked others' laughter & embittered him.

    IV. Vahíd began to boldly teach in the Mosques, streets, bazaars, public squares. Though some were attracted & embraced it, others privately wished to destroy it & him.

    V. They later spread the news of his challenge, Qur'ánic and traditional proofs, and the inability of the eminent to refute them, resulting in greater enthusisam and conversions. Their spreading of this news had similiar results, despite enflaming hatred among some.

    VI. Many flocked to his house for 40 days to hear his message then learn what to do to demonstrate their faith. This led the Navváb-i-Radaví to instigate a mob to intimidate them and to influence the young, inexperienced governor Áqá Khán to send a regiment.

    VII. Vahíd remained tranquil and resigned to God's will despite the upheaval. He recounted his charge from the Sháh and how he became won over by the Báb. He also assured the agitated friends that God would impose a defeat on the enemy. News then arrived that Muhammad-'Abdu'lláh emerged from obscurity, and attacked in the name of the Lord of the Age and induced the enemy to flee.

    VIII. Though Muhammad-'Abdu'lláh expressed his intention of subjugating the enemy, Vahíd sought to induce him to desist and leave the city, as this was going to now be seen as a plot to conquer. Though Vahíd assured him that God would protect him, and advised him to leave the city, Muhammad-'Abdu'lláh ignored this, out of a wish not to abandon his friends, and hoped for God's forgiveness.

    IX. Siyyid 'Abdu'l-'Azím-i-Khu'í was sent by Vahíd to beseech the people to embrace the Cause & inform them of Vahíd's willingness to resort to self-defense, despite his reluctance to enter holy war, and added a booming warning that if they did not heed the warning, their fort's walls would crumble, and his arm would break their gates.

    X. The governor had his detachment join Navváb's. This added force fired on Muhammad-'Abdu'lláh as he was dispersing Navváb's mob, knocking him to the ground. Vahíd sent Mullá Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Manshádí with 6 others, despite their frailty, to disperse the oncoming enemy. They rescued Muhammad-'Abdu'lláh, and though Vahíd served him food and was concealed, he was eventually killed.

    XI. Vahíd sent the friends, his wife and children away, though insisting that his possessions be kept to be demolished for the Cause to potentially inspire the people to follow in his path of renunciation. Their property was indeed demolished.

    XII. Vahíd took the Báb's writings & his own treatises, and ordered Hasan to meet him on a certain route, warning him that failure to do so would prevent their meeting again. Hasan, however, was deterred by sentinels, captured in taking a different route, and blown from a cannon, requesting to be bound so as to see the gun being fired.

    XIII. Vahíd walked that night, and hid until his brother learned of his arrival and sent him provisions. The governor's troops arrived to search the brother's house, appropriate much of his property, and return in vain to Yazd.

    XIV. Along the way, he announced at every masjid and delivered the news at every pulpit, moving on the same day unless there were receptive souls. A large population of Nayríz went to meet him on hearing of his approach, many leaving at night, including notables and students, to avoid objection from the governor Zaynu'l-'Abidín. Vahíd enlightened them on the Báb's Tablet for the newly converted of that city.

    XV. When the governor heard of this exodus, he sent someone to threaten those leaving to ally themselves with Vahíd, with death and the seizure of their wives' & property, though it only increased their devotion. Out of fear of rebellion, he left for his home near a fortress whose inhabitants were trained marksmen.

    XVI. In Nayríz Vahíd went straight to the masjid to summon them to the Báb. He electified 1500 people to ally with him by referring to his example of guidance, his lack of deviation from their religion, his love for them despite their attacks, and the sadness which would redound to Muhammad by their actions because of his relation to Him.

    XVII. Though Vahíd wished to leave for fear of bringing bad treatment on them by the governor, the people insisted he stay. He used the time to continue teaching.

    XVIII. Out of fear of losing influence, the governor recruited 1000 well-prepared soldiers to detain Vahíd. Vahíd in turn ordered the taking & reinforing of the Khájih fort.

    XIX. Setting up at his house the governor ordered Muhammad-'Alí Khán to have the men fire, injuring an old man. Vahíd sent this man sympathy and consolation to him. Some of the converted wavered because of the attack and some even defected.

    XX. Vahíd joined his supporters at Khájih while the governor sent his elder borther, 'Alí-Asghar Khán and 1000 men to attack the 72 there. XXI. Vahíd sent some to disperse the enemy, leading to only 3 casualites on their side. Prince Fírúz Mírzá (Nusratu'd-Dawlih, governor of Shíráz) was unnerved and ordered their extermination. The governor of Nayríz sent one of the prince's attendants to urge Vahíd to leave Nayríz.

    XXII. Vahíd said his 2 sons were his only company, and asked why, as a descendant of Muhammad, he was receiving such treatment. He warned of sending 7 men to humiliate them if they persisted in denying him necessities of life. Since this was ignored, Vahíd sent these men to defeat the army. 'Alí-Asghár Khán was killed, 2 of his sons captured, and the governor retreated to urge the prince for reinforcements.

    XXIII. Vahíd ordered division of the labors toward increasing their defenses, and set up of a water-cistern and tents. He assigned positions of gatekeeper, fund custodian, garden superintendent, mill tower (Chinár) officer, executioner, chronicler, reader of these, gaoler, registrar, forces captain. He also admitted some more to the fort.

    XXIV. The governor appealed again to the prince, with 5000 túmáns delivered on his own steed by his good friend, Mullá Báqir. While he was stopping where roving tribes set up camp, Hájí Siyyid Ismá'íl saw his richly ornamented horse outside the tents and discovered he was a friend of the governor's.

    XXV. Hájí Siyyid Ismá'íl burst in on his horse with sword out, commanding the occupants to tie Mullá Báqir up for fleeing from the Lord of the Age. He brought him to be delivered to Vahíd. Upon hearing Mullá Báqir's frank response, Vahíd was willing to forgive him; however, the companions eventually killed him.

    XXVI. The governor sent some of his trusted men to Shíráz to bribe the prince to act promptly and to reinforce this by appealing by false imprecation to the 'ulamás and siyyids to likewise pressure the prince. The prince in turn sent 'Abdu'lláh Khán with well-led and equipped regiments reinforced by new recruits.

    XXVII. As they did not wish to fight, the large host dug trenches for barricades around the fort from which they fired. One companion returned fire, killing the artillery officer, thereby leading to the enemy's retreat. The next day Vahíd sent Ghulám-Ridáy-i-Yazdí and 14 others of old age or youth to disperse the enemy. With their cries, and despite the cannon & gun-fire, they bravely fought for 8 hours with 60 deaths. The women of Nayríz bravely cheered on, adding to the noise and demoralizing the enemy.

    XXVIII. Despite their resources and moral support of governor and people, they could not fairly defeat a seemingly untrained people. They appealed to them supposedly for peace, attributing their opposition as due to influence from mischief-makers and out of ignorance of true intent not to subvert State or Islám. They requested a meeting of representatives in which the Qur'án would serve as their judge, pledging allegiance should they be convinced, and free-return to the fort if not.

    XXIX. Though Vahíd received the Qur'án reverently and spoke of the immanent treachery leading to their martyrdom, we welcomed the opportunity to further teach, called a temporary cease to hostilities, and left with 5 men. The governor and staff received him ceremoniously and heard him plead his Message and question their treatment though they plotted his and the companions death. They sought to induce Vahíd to write of the settlement of their differences, despite his reluctance, in order to bring the companions out of the safety of the fort.

    XXX. Though Vahíd sent a letter to replace the original one, warning them of deceit, the carrier, Hájí Siyyid 'Ábid, destroyed it, informed the governor, and was charged to induce them to leave (through the lie that the enemy had been converted).

    XXXI. Out of a belief of obedience, the friends reluctantly left the fort unguarded and unarmed and were surrounded by the governor's forces. Some were martyred and the rest found refuge in the masjid. A Mullá Husayn was able to climb a minaret to topple a sniper. Confused and in hiding, the companions feared Vahíd's death.

    XXXII. The governor & staff were emboldened and took advantage of 'Abbás-Qulí Khán's offer to have the purported rebels arrested and killed (by those whose kin had been killed) as he had participated in their oath.

    XXXIII. These men removed Vahíd's turban, wound it around his neck, and attached it to a horse, dragging him through the streets, reminiscent of Imám's Husayn trampling by horsemen, speaking words as that Imám, testifying to his renunciation and eagerness to leave the enemy for God. The women of Nayríz danced around his corpse to drums, cymbals, and shouts of triumph of his murderers.

    XXXIV. His death led to 5000 men being commissioned to seize, chain and move, and eventually slaughter the men, confiscate their property and destroy their houses. They burned down the Khájih fort. They brought 40-50 women and a child as captives, thrown over saddles, with the heads of the male victims including Vahíd's (stuffed with straw) on long lances. Though Shíráz had been in a festive mood, the parading through streets and bazaars ruined this. They were brought to Prince Fírúz Mírzá (who was entertaining rich citizens in his gardens) upon which the music and dancing was stopped to hear officers tell of their victory. The prince then congratulated them. The soldiers then brought the captives to an old caravanserai & did God knows what.

    XXXV. The rich who had been kept in Nayríz and thrown into dungeons, were cruelly paraded through the streets, and tortured to obtain their funds. They were deprived of bread and water, branded with hot irons, their nails pulled out (burning weeds placed under them), lashed to death (as they went?), an incision made in their noses through which a string was driven, dragged through the streets, or with nails in their hands and feet, subjected to the masses' derision. Siyyid Ja'far-i-Yazdí, though formerly greatly honored by the people and governor, had his turban befouled and flung into the fire & was exposed to public scorn & humiliated by being forced to go begging door to door. Hájí Muhammad-Taqí, similiarly respected as by the court judges, was stripped, thrown into a pond, and lashed severely. Siyyid Ja'far, Shaykh 'Abdu'l-'Alí & Siyyid Husayn were exposed to the cold, with hired scum heaping cruelites on their shivering bodies. Many a poor man commissioned to carry out these acts, in hastening to obtain the reward rejected the money and turned away in loathing contempt.

    XXXVI. The wealthy Áqá Siyyid Abú-Tálib was chained and sent by the governor to Ma'dan where he was poisoned by Hájí Mírzá Nasír who had ordered the Báb to kiss Shaykh Abú-Turáb's hand. 2 Bábęwomen threw themselves in a well rather than be captured. Some Babís went to Tihrán to protest to the Sháh about the governor but were overtaken by a caravan which recognized them and had them arrested and executed by the prince's orders.



    Cross-References for Chapter 22



    Regarding the Nayríz upheavals (DB 465-499), see GPB 17;, 37;, 42;, 50;, 62;, 63; TN 24-25.






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