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.
Nabíl heard from Bahá'u'lláh, alone or amidst other disciples, sitting in His presence, accounts which he includes in the narrative. He included accounts of the Badasht conference and relates more here.
After he described the Zanján struggle, Nabíl was ushered into Bahá'u'lláh's presence, blessed with 2 visits over the 2nd and 4th of 4 days in 1889 in which He stayed at Áqáy-i-Kalím's house. Nabíl and pilgrims from Sarvistán and Fárán and a few resident believers heard Him speak.
Bahá'u'lláh praised God that everything essential for the believers–clearly defined expectations for duties & deeds–has been revealed in the Book of His Revelation. He called them to put them into action. He warned them not to pass the bounds of moderation, and not to betray by their lips the wonders of faith, knowledge, and love which might agitate their soul and disturb their serene countenance or reveal in their behavior their intense emotions.
He stated that He had never concealed Himself or His Cause He was to proclaim. Though not wearing the garb of the learned, He reasoned with the scholars of Núr and Mázindarán, persuading them of its truth. He never flinched in determination or hesitated to accept any challenge.
He found all receptive, and stated that Núr and Mázindarán would have been entirely won to the Cause and become its leading strongholds, were it not for the shameful behavior of the people of Bayán.
He mentioned His intention to leave Núr for Tabarsí during its struggle, intending to send 'Abdu'l-Vahháb ahead to announce His approach and to sacrifice with them. God preserved Him from their fate to accomplish His work, as He was intercepted by the governor of Ámul who had been tipped off to His intended departure. While resting and taking tea, He was surrounded by horsemen who seized His belongings and steeds, gate Him a poorly saddled and uncomfortable animal to ride, and handcuffed the rest of the friends to Ámul. Despite the resulting tumult, and 'ulamás opposition, Mírzá Taqí had Him released and returned to his own house.
Occasionally he yielded to the 'ulamás pressure and felt powerless to defend Him. When the Sardár returned from the army in Mázindarán returned to Ámul and learned of this, he rebuked Mírzá Taqí, asking what the importance of and reason for being swayed by those ignorant peoples' denunciations were. He stated he should have been satisfied with preventing them from reaching their destination and had him safely and immediately returned to Tihrán.
In Sárí, He was again exposed to the people's insults. Despite the notables having met Him in Tihrán and been His friends, they insulted Him when the townspeople had recognized Him walking with Quddús in the streets. They bitterly cried "Bábí! Bábí!" wherever He went.
He was imprisoned twice in Tihrán for defending an innocent against an oppressor. When Mullá Taqíy-i-Qazvíní was slayed and He assisted those on whom a severe punishment had been undeservedly inflicted, He was imprisoned. The second time, infinitely more severe, was precipitated by the irresponsible followers' attempt to kill the Sháh, leading to His banishment to Baghdád.
From there, He went to the Kurdistán mountains contemplating a life of complete solitude, seeking shelter on a remote mountain summit about 3 days' distance from the nearest human habitation, isolated from life's comforts and fellow men until Shaykh Ismá'íl discovered His abode and brought Him necessary food.
On returning to Baghdád, He was astonished to find the Báb's Cause sorely neglected, its influence had waned, and its name almost sunk into oblivion. He arose to save the Cause from decay and corruption, and to enkindle enthusiasm into those who had become fearful, perplexed, and lukewarm. He therefore fearlessly and determinedly reasserted the Faith's essential verities and summoned them to an enthusiastic espousal of their grievously neglected Faith. He sent His appeal to the world's peoples, inviting them to look to the light of His Revelation.
When the report of a discussion among government officials in Constantinople regarding whether He and the companions should be thrown into the sea, reached Persia (after He left Adrianople), a rumor began that that actually occurred, perturbing the friends, particuarly in Khurásán. Mírzá Ahmad-i- Azghandí immediately refused to credit such a rumor, declaring the Báb's Revelation to be false were such a rumor true. The news of His safe arrival in 'Akká rejoiced the friends, deepened the Khurásání believers admiration for Mírzá Ahmad's faith in Him.
From the Most Great Prison, He sent letters to several rulers and crowned heads of the world, summoning them to arise and embrace the Cause. He sent a Tablet to the Sháh of Persia through Badí' who raised it aloft to the multitude's eyes and appealed to the Sháh to heed its words. The other Epistles reached their destination. He sent a Tablet to the Emperor of France telling him to advise the high priest to cease ringing the bells since the Most Great Bell is made manifest in His chosen person rung by God's will. The reply sent by his minister is now in 'Abdu'l-Bahá possession. Only the Epistle to the Czar failed to reach him, though it will eventually be delivered into his hands.
He told them to be thankful to God for being enabled to recognize His Cause. Though he was unaware of its character, whoever has recognized Him must have performed some deed ordained by God as the means by which he was guided to it. Those deprived of such recognition were deprived solely by their own acts. He expressed the hope that they would do the utmost to banish superstition and unbelief, with deeds proclaiming their faith and guiding the erring to eternal salvation. He declared this night's memory would never be forgotten, and wished that it never be effaced from the passage of time and that its mention would linger forever on men's lips.
The 7th Naw-Rúz after the Báb's Declaration was a month and a half after the Zanján struggle. Bahá'u'lláh left the same year for Karbilá.
Nabíl was staying in Kirmánsháh with Mírzá Ahmad, the Báb's amanuensis, who had been ordered by Bahá'u'lláh to collect and transcribe the Writings, the originals of which were mostly in his possession.
At his father's house, Nabíl had learned in Zarand of the fate of the Seven Martyrs of Tihrán. He left for Qum (ostensibly to visit the shrine). When he did not find Mírzá Ahmad, he left for Káshán, as Hájí Mírzá Músáy-i-Qumí had told him only 'Azím in Káshán would know where he was. Back in Qum, Nabíl met Siyyid Abu'l-Qásim-i-'Aláqih-Band-i-Isfáhání who had acccompanied Mírzá Ahmad to Kirmánsháh. 'Azím had him bring Nabíl to the city gate to tell him Mírzá Ahmad's location and arrange for him to go to Hamadán. Siyyid Abu'l-Qásim in turn referred Nabíl to Mírzá Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Tabíb-i-Zanjání who would be in Hamadán to direct him to Mírzá Ahmad. When Nabíl met him, Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí had him meet a merchant Ghulám-Husayn-i- Shushtarí in Kirmánsháh who would bring him to Mírzá Ahmad's residence.
Mírzá Ahmad told Nabíl that he had succeeded in teaching Íldirím Mírzá (Khánlar Mírzá's brother and then governor of Khurram-Ábád in Luristán province) in Qum. He wished for Nabíl to bring him the "Dalá'il-i-Sab'ih" ("Seven Proofs"–one of His best-known works). He eagerly responded. As Íldirím Mírzá was encamped with his army in the Khávih-Válishtar mountains, Nabíl went with a Kurdish guide for 6 days and nights through mountains and forests to reach his headquarters. After the delivery, he returned to Mírzá Ahmad with a written appreciation of the gift and assurance of his devotion to the Cause.
On returning, Nabíl learned from Mírzá Ahmad that Bahá'u'lláh had arrived in Kirmánsháh. Ushered into His presence, they were blessed to hear Him reading the Qur'án (as it was Ramadán). After Nabíl presented the letter to Bahá'u'lláh, He remarked after reading it that a Qájár dynasty member's professed faith could not be relied on and that his declarations were insincere and actuated by his expectation that the Bábís would one day assassinate the sovereign and acclaim him the successor. The truth of His words were made known in a few months as Íldirím Mírzá had ordered a fervent believer Siyyid Basír-i-Hindí be put to death.
During Shaykh Sa'í-i-Hindí's (one of the Letters of the Living) proclaiming of the Faith's precepts throughout India (as the Báb had charged him to do), he visited the town of Mooltan where he met the blind and vastly learned Siyyid Basír who immediately perceived the significance of Shaykh Sa'íd's message with his inner eye. His learning had enabled him to grasp its meaning and greatness of power while he severed himself from leadership, friends, and kinsmen to serve the Cause.
Siyyid Basír had shown signs of his faculties since childhood. As he lost his vision at 7, he began to gain his inner vision. From infancy he had a good disposition and amiable character in word and deed. To this he added a unique piety and soberness of life.
At 21 he set out with great pomp and state using his great wealth in India for pilgrimage, associating with every sect and party in Persia (well-acquainted with the doctrines and tenets of all), giving large sums of money to charity (poor), submitting to most rigorous religious discipline. As his ancestors had foretold the appearance of a Perfect Man in Persia he was continually inquiring into it. He visited Mecca, and after the performing the rites, went to the shrines of Karbilá and Najaf where he met and sincerely befriended Hájí Siyyid Kázim. He returned to India, but on reaching Bombay, heard of the Báb's appearance, then immediately turned back.
He went to Shíráz hoping to meet Him but on arriving learned of His banishment to and solitude in Ádhirbáyján. He went to Tihrán, then to Núr, where he met Bahá'u'lláh, thereby relieving his sorrow at not meeting the Báb. Subsequently he was able to powerfully impart the joys and blessings he had received to those of whatever class or creed he met.
Shaykh Shahíd-i-Mázkán related how he met Siyyid Basír during his passage at summer's height through Qamsar (where the leading Káshání men go to escape the town's heat). He was arguing with ability and insight day and night with the leading 'ulamás, expounding fearlessly and unreservedly the fundamentals of the Cause and refuting their arguments no matter their learning or experience. His insight and knowledge of Islám's teachings and ordinances caused them to think him an evil sorcerer who would soon rob them of their position.
Mullá Ibráhím (Mullá-Báshí, martyred in Sultán-Ábád) recounted that he had met Siyyid Basír toward the end of Siyyid Basír life's as he passed through Sultán-Ábád. He was continually associated with the leading 'ulamás, surpassing their knowledge of the Qur'án and traditions and striking terror by his understanding, fluency, and facility at using incontrovertible proofs. When they questioned his quotations' accuracy or traditions' existence, he referred to the 'Usúl-i-Káfí' and 'Biháru'l-Anvár, instantly bringing out the tradition establishing his words' truth.
Siyyid Basír left for Luristán, visiting Íldirím Mírzá's camp, being respectfully and considerately received. However, when he referred to Muhammad Sháh in certain tone, vehemance, and terms that aroused his anger, Íldirím Mírzá ordered his tongue to be pulled out through the back of his neck. Though he steadfastly endured it, he succumbed to the pain. That same week, when Íldirím Mírzá's brother discovered an abusive letter written about him by Íldirím Mírzá (whom he hated), he obtained the Sháh's consent to treat him however he pleased, then ordered him to be stripped & conducted naked and in chains to Ardibíl, where he was imprisoned and eventually died.
After Bahá'u'lláh spent the entire Ramadán in Kirmánsháh, He left for Karbilá with only Shukru'lláh-i-Núrí (His kin) and Mírzá Muhammad-i-Mázindarání (who had survived Tabarsí).
Nabíl heard Him say that he left Tihrán for Karbilá after the Amír-Nizám had summoned Him. The Amír had gently insinuated that he knew of Bahá'u'lláh's nature and influence of support and able and skilled direction and assistance to Mullá Husayn and companions, enabling the band of inexperienced students to resist government forces for 7 months, exciting the Amír's admiration, despite his lack of evidence at Bahá'u'lláh's complicity. He expressed his pity that One so resourceful would be idle and not be able to serve his country and sovereign, prompting his intention to ask Bahá'u'lláh to go to Karbilá and appoint Him as Amír-Díván upon the Sháh's return from his contemplated journey to Isfáhán. Though Bahá'u'lláh vehemently protested his accusations and refused to accept the position he hoped to offer Him, He left for Karbilá a few days after that interview.
Before leaving, He summoned Mírzá Ahmad and Nabíl, bidding them go to Tihrán where Nabíl was to immediately meet Mírzá Yahyá & take him to fort Dhu'l-Faqár Khán in the vicinity of Sháhrúd and stay until Bahá'u'lláh returned to the capital. Mírzá Ahmad was to remain in Tihrán until He arrived, entrusted with a box of sweetmeats & letter to Áqáy-i-Kalím who was to forward the gift to Mázindarán where 'Abdu'l-Bahá & His mother were residing.
Mírzá Yahyá refused to leave, however, and directed Nabíl to Qazvín, compelling him to go with certain letters for his friends there. When Nabíl returned to Tihrán, his kin insisted he leave for Zarand. Mírzá Ahmad promised and fulfilled his promise to arrange Nabíl's return. 2 months later, he lived with him for the whole winter in a caravanserai outside the Naw gate while Mírzá Ahmad enthusiastically translated the "Dalá'il-i-Sab'ih".
Mírzá Ahmad gave Nabíl 1 copy to give to Mírzá Siyyid 'Alíy-i-Tafarshí (Majdu'l- Ashráf) who was completely won over to the Faith as a result and 1 copy to Mustawfíyu'l-Mamálik-i-Áshtíyání who unfavorably spoke of the continued activities of the Faith in a meeting where Áqáy-i-Kalím was present. He publicly declared that "this sect" was still living, with its emissaries hard at work spreading their leader's teachings including a youth who presented him with a highly dangerous treatise which would beguile any of the common people by its tone.
As Áqáy-i-Kalím immediately understood that Mírzá Ahmad had sent the Book through Nabíl, he asked Nabíl to visit him that day. He advised him to return to Zarand and asked him to induce Mírzá Ahmad to leave instantly for Qum as he believed both to be in great danger. Per Mírzá Ahmad's instructions, Nabíl induced the siyyid to return the offered Book. Nabíl then accompanied Mírzá Ahmad as far as Sháh-'Abdu'l-'Azím until they parted for their assigned destinations. Nabíl never met Mírzá Ahmad again.
On His way to Karbilá, He stayed a few days in Baghdád (where He was soon to visit again and where His Cause would mature and unfold to the world). Late summer of 1851 He arrived at Karbilá.
Shaykh Sultán and Hájí Siyyid Javád had fallen under Siyyid-i-'Uluvv's deadly evil influence, supporting him as their leader and superstitiously believing him the incarnation of the Divine Spirit. Shaykh Sulán was his among his most fervent disciples and considered himself as the next foremost leader of his countrymen. Bahá'u'lláh through His counsel and loving-kindness succeeding in purging his mind from idle fancies and abject servitude, winning him to the Báb's Cause and kindled the desire to propagate the Faith. When his fellow-disciples saw the effects of his immediate and marvelous conversion, they embraced the Cause one after another. Abandoned and despised, Siyyid-i-'Uluvv was reduced to recognizing Bahá'u'lláh's authority and superior position, expressing repentence and pledging never to advocate the same theories and principles he had.
During this visit to Karbilá, Bahá'u'lláh met Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí walking through the streets eagerly searching the promised Husayn referred to by the Báb, to whom He confided the secret He would later reveal in Baghdád (see narration of Shaykh Hasan begun on pg. 25 in Chapter 2, specifically mentioning this encounter with Bahá'u'lláh on pp. 32-33). Shaykh Hasan became magnetized by His charm and would have proclaimed the return of the Husayn they were expecting had Bahá'u'lláh not urged him to exercise restraint.
Mírzá Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Tabíb-i-Zanjání came to feel His power, implanted with a seed which would grow into an faith and tenacity unquenchable to persecution. Bahá'u'lláh testified to his high-mindedness and singleness of purpose. His faith led to his eventual martyrdom.
Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Vahháb-i-Shírází (Hájí 'Abdu'l-Majid's son) shared the same fate. Though Bahá'u'lláh advised him to be patient and not abandon his work as a shop-owner in Karbilá and forsake his possessions to follow his Master until he would be summoned to Tihrán, giving him a sum of money to extend his business' scope, Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Vahháb was unable to concentrate his attention on his trade and hastened to Tihrán where he remained until thrown into a dungeon where his Master was confined and there suffered martyrdom for Him.
Shaykh 'Alí-Mírzáy-i-Shírází was likewise attracted and remained a staunch, devoted, and selfless supporter beyond all praise to his death. He recounted to friend and stranger alike his experiences of the influence Bahá'u'lláh's presence had on him & enthusiastically described the signs and wonders he witnessed during and after his conversion.
The Declaration of the Báb's Mission
(Condensed Summary of Chapter 25)
Cross-References for Chapter 25