The Dawn-Breakers Study Outline

Chapter 23

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2) Jump to the Chapter 23 Extended Contents View with Summaries.

3) Jump to the Condensed Summary for Chapter 23.

4) Jump to the Chapter 23 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

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    Extended Contents View with Summaries


    The Declaration of the Báb's Mission

    (Condensed Summary of Chapter 23)

    I. Given that their Leader and faith had only grown in power with persecution, Mírzá Taqí Khán sought to eliminate the disturbances by killing the person of the Báb. Although he imagined the Báb to be weak and incapable of inspiring the courage demonstrated by His followers, the Vazír decided against seeking to publicly humiliate the Báb given the strength and charm He had demonstrated even in prison and given the risks of exacerbating the problem by giving Him a forum and increasing His credibility.

    II. Although his minister of war protested the cruelty of executing a harmless siyyid, the Amír disputed these protests, feeling justified in taking a hard stance to extirpate the problem at the Root to preserve the State's unity, citing the State's execution of Imám Husayn as support.

    III. The Amír directed that the prince Navváb Hamzih Mírzá deliver the Báb to Tabríz. As the prince thought this was for the purpose of delivering Him home, he agreed and sent Him with a trusted escort. The Báb, however, in anticipating His immanent martyrdom, sent His Tablets, documents, pen-case, seals & rings into a locked coffer with a letter and key to His amanuensis. Several including Nabíl were witness to its contents, including a Tablet He wrote in a pentacle with 360 derivatives of Bahá, before being delivered to its final and intended recipient, Bahá'u'lláh.

    IV. However, when the prince received the orders via the Amír's brother, Mírzá Hasan Khán, that the Báb was to be executed , he disputed the Amír's judgment, and when the Amír renewed the order, the prince failed to meet the messenger, claiming illness. The brother then himself ordered the Báb's transfer and Sám Khán's guarding of Him.

    V. As the Báb and amanuensis was lead through the streets, deprived of lineage emblems turban and sash, a breathless and dishevelled youth emerged imploring to be with Him. 2 others also emerged to pledge their loyalty. They were then placed in the same cell. In anticipation of His immanent martyrdom, He was in great joy. When He expressed the wish to be martyred by a friend instead of enemy, the others teared at His wish, but only the youth was ready to obey. After convincing him otherwise, the Báb announced the youth would be martyred with Him.

    VI. The Amír's brother ordered the Báb to be brought by the head attendant to the mujtahids for consent to execute, but when the attendant sought to interrupt the Báb's conversation with Siyyid Husayn, in which He was telling him to recant in order that he might propagate the truth of His story, the Báb warned him that no earthly power could interrupt His purpose.

    VII. Despite multiple attempts by the mujtahids to induce him to recant, the youth refused to renounce His adored Master. He declared that he was not mad but rather one who wished the Qá'im's death. He had written earlier to his older brother of his contentment and his desire for his brother's forgiveness and to intercede for his family. He cried when he was to be placed away from the Báb, and was then given to Sám Khán for execution should he not recant.

    VIII. A commotion was caused as the Báb & disciples were brought out in chains, with Bábís seeking to arouse pity, others leaving in disgust, while most thronged in curiosity. Some flung insults to provoke a reaction and some threw stones, arousing laughter among the crowd.

    IX. When the Báb was brought into each mujtahid's presence, each signed or had signed his warrant, though none condescended to meet Him.

    X. Out of fear of executing an innocent Man (& fear of God), Sám Khán professed himself a Christian to the Báb, and requested Him to deliver him from shedding His blood, if His Cause were of Truth. The Báb promised God's delivery if he were sincere.

    XI. Per the youth's request, he was placed so as to shield Him and his head was placed against His breast as they were suspended by 2 ropes on a nail by Siyyid Husayn's cell. Watched by 10000 gathered on roofs of buildings, the men then arranged in 3 files of 250 men, and each group fired all its bullets until the smoke of the rifles turned the noon sunlight into darkness. However, after the smoke cleared, the youth was left standing unhurt and unsullied, while the Báb had disappeared. The soldiers sought to appease the hysteria when they recovered the Báb in His room speaking with Siyyid Husayn by showing them the broken cords, implying the bullets had merely missed them and struck the cords to free them. However, on witnessing the Báb finish His conversation, the head attendant resigned and spread this story. Also, Sám Khán ordered his men's departure and wished never to harm Him even should this require his death.

    XII. Áqá Ján Khán-i-Khamsih, the Muslim body-guard colonel, volunteered to execute Him in the same manner. The Báb's told the people that had they believed, they would have followed the youth's example in sacrificing themselves. He also foretold that they would recognize Him one day, but He would be gone then. This time, however, their bodies were struck and blended into one mass, though His face was virtually unscathed. A severe storm then came over the city bringing a dust whirlwind that blinded vision from noon to midnight. However, the people nevertheless missed all these events significance.

    XIII. The bodies were brought to a moat edge outside the city gate and watched over by sentinels. The Russian consul and artist came and made a sketch (so faithful that it brought Hájí 'Alí-'Askar 3 days of grief).

    XIV. Siyyid Husayn was summoned by the Russian consul (whose Czar had sought to investigate His situation before learning of His death) and hinted at what transpired (fearing speaking fully with the Muslims there) and gave some of the Báb's Writings.

    XV. The second day after His martyrdom, Hájí Sulaymán Khán, after stating his intent to rescue the remains despite the risk, was informed by the mayor that Hájí Alláh-Yár would do it. That night he brought the bodies to a Mílání believer's silk factory, placed them in a specially constructed wooden case and brought them to safety.

    XVI. To avoid dishonor, the sentinels and, tacitly, their superiors maintained wild beasts carried the bodies away while they slept. The Bábís, in not wishing attention, did not dispute this, leading to many to believe the story.

    XVII. In accordance with the Báb's wishes (as He voiced in a Tablet), on discovering the bodies' location, Bahá'u'lláh arranged for the bodies transference to Tihrán. Though at first only 2 knew of their bodies' location in the Shrine of the Imám-Zádih-Hasan, the bodies were later uncovered and eventually brought to the Holy Land

    XVIII. Mírzá Áqá Khán-i-Núrí had sworn to protect the community if he would regain the position he was deprived of. 'Abdu'l-Bahá assured him of becoming the Grand Vazír and not to forget his promise. As he was regaining his position, he expressed the hope to Bahá'u'lláh that the Báb's death might give Him peace (believing the Faith to be quenched) though Bahá'u'lláh said these forces would grow even stronger. In replying to a son who doubted Bahá'u'lláh's glorious destiny, he showed his understanding by describing Bahá'u'lláh's ascendancy as outlasting all kings, not only past their lives, but also in the depth of devotion which they would inspire.

    XIX. Their treatment of the Báb brought great calamities on the persecutors and Persia. The indifferent people were subjected to near national bankruptcy, pervasive plagues and fear of starvation, though they remained unaware of the Cause. Husayn Khán died miserably after the plague, Hájí Mírzá Áqásí was thrown from power, exiled, and died in poverty and distress, while 1/3 of the Muslim executing regiment was killed in an earthquake that year, and the rest were all shot twice by firing squad for mutiny then impaled. Given the similar circumstances, the people questioned whether this was due to their treatment of the Báb, though the mujtahids sought to beat or fine those who made such conjectures. The Amír-Nizám and brother the Vazír-Nizám were dreadfully punished within 2 years leading to their miserable death. Disgraced and due to royal hatred, his veins were slashed open (as had his victims) staining the public bath of Fín.

    Cross-References for Chapter 23

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

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

    Regarding the Amír-Nizám's commissioning of his own brother for the execution of the Báb (DB 506), see GPB 52; TN 26 .

    Regarding the demise of Mírzá Hasan Khán (DB 506-507, 526), see GPB 83; TN 25 -26 .

    Regarding the leading mujtahids signing the Báb's death warrant (DB 508-510), see GPB 52.

    Regarding the Báb insisting to finish His converstaion (DB 508-509), see GPB 52.

    Regarding the commissioning of Sám Khán and the volley (DB 512-514), see GPB 52- 53; TN 27 .

    Regarding the acceptance of Áqá Khán and the Martyrdom of the Báb (DB 514), see GPB 53; TN 27 .

    Regardintg the fate of the remains of the Báb (DB 517-522), see GPB 54; TN 27 -28 .

    Regarding further tributes to the memory of the Báb (DB 514-515 note 2, 518 note 1), see GPB 55-56.

    Regarding the resulting disasters (DB 515, 525-526), see GPB 53-54, 84.

    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 519-522, see also 106- 107, 112-117, 227-228, 279, 284-286, 292-299, 348-350, 369-374, 593-594), see GPB 40, 66-70; TN 34 -37 .

    Regarding the demise of Husayn Khán (DB 524, see also 193-198), see GPB 83; TN 9 .

    Regarding Hájí Mírzá Áqásí and clerical opposition (DB 524-525, see also 231-234 and note 2, 263), see GPB 18, 36-37, 82; TN 15-18, 29.

    Overall of Chapter 23 (DB 500-502 504-510, 512-515, 517-522, 524-526:) see GPB 40, 47, 51-56, 66-70, 82-84; TN 9, 15-18, 20-22, 25-29, 34-37.

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