Sections, Summaries, and Links to Outlines (where applicable) for The Dawn-Breakers

(Note: Highlighted page numbers following headings lead to the text of The Dawn-Breakers whereas highlighted headings lead to detailed outlines of the section in question.)
  1. Introductory Quotation (willingness of Bahá'u'lláh to lay down His Life for the Báb) - 0
  2. Dedication (to the Greatest Holy Leaf, last survivor of a Glorious and Heroic Age) - v
  3. Table of Principal Contents (used here as a basis for the outline of the chapters) - vii
  4. List of Illustrations (self-explanatory) - xvii
  5. Facsimile of the Báb's Autograph Tablets Addressed to the Letters of the Living and to Bahá'u'lláh (self-explanatory) - xvii
  6. Introduction - xxiii     (Click here to view a set of study questions for the introduction.)
    1. (Condensed Summary of) the first section of the Introduction
    2. (Detailed Summary of) the first section of the Introduction
  7. Subsequent sections in the Introduction (These sections in the introduction emphasize various aspects of the above summary of the first section of the introduction (separate more detailed outlines are included below). #1, #3, and #4 below give more background information on the difficulties facing the Báb, whereas #2 below is a kind of proof based on such information.)

    1. Persia's State of Decadence in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century (buttresses the evidence of the challenges arrayed against the Báb or those challenges to His succeeding in His mission of reform, whether from the A. King, B. Government, C. People, or D. Ecclesiastics, whether by their brutality, venality, apathy, haughtiness, bigotry, or their other corrupt attitudes and practices). - xxxviii
    2. Bahá'u'lláh's Tribute to the Báb and His chief Disciples (Bahá'u'lláh uses their example as a logical proof of the validity of His mission.) - xlix
    3. Distinguishing Features of Shí'ah Islám (Describes the differences of Shí'ahs and sunnís, gives details on the Imámate and their expectations of the Day of Return.) - li
    4. Genealogy of the Prophet Muhammad (self-explanatory) (Though this section is included in the introduction, unlike the other sections, it does not show the reason for the opposition the Báb faced.) - liv
    5. Theory and Administration of Law in Persia in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century (describes the structure of civil and religious institutions and refers to their corruption and ruthlessness) - liv-b
(The following are further sections in the beginning of the book with possible details of interest.)
  1. Genealogy of the Báb* (self-explanatory) - lviii
  2. (Pedigree of) the Qájár Dynasty** (self-explanatory) - lx
  3. Acknowledgment (self-explanatory) - lxii
  4. Preface - lxiii
In the main body of the work:
  1. Jump to the actual Chapters of The Dawn-Breakers:
    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
  2. Jump to the Condensed and Extended Contents for the following chapters:
    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
At the end of the work:
  1. Epilogue (A cynical reader (and the Sháh) might have thought they had extinguished the Bábí Faith, but Bahá'u'lláh's Faith rapidly grew out of the ashes, and the promise of even greater victories remain ahead.) - 651
    A. A cynical reader (and the Sháh) might have thought they had extinguished the Bábí Faith. - 651
    B. However, Bahá'u'lláh's Faith rapidly grew out of the ashes. - 657
    C. The promise of even greater victories remain ahead. - 667

(See also the following (self-explanatory) items at the end of the work. The Guide to Pronunciation in the Index may be a useful tool to use in the beginning of any study of this work.)
  1. Appendix
    1. List of the Báb's Best-Known Works - 669
    2. Works Consulted by the Translator - 669
    3. Administrative Divisions of Persia in the Nineteenth Century - 671
      1. Larger Provinces or Districts
    4. British and Russian Envoys to the Court of Persia, 1814-1855 - 671
    5. List of Months of the Muhammadan Calendar - 672
    6. Guide to the Pronunciation of the Proper Names Transliterated in the Narrative - 673
  2. Glossary - 674
  3. Map of Persia - 677
  4. Index - 679

*[Ed. note pertaining to the Genealogy of the Báb, there is a more expansive genealogy (from Adam to Shoghi Effendi) which includes the Báb at http://www.bahai-library.com/visuals/genealogy.guardian.html]

**[Ed. note pertaining to the (Pedigree of) the Qájár Dynasty, see for example http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~royalty/persia/persons.html
(also http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~royalty/persia/persons.html)]





VI.-A (Condensed Summary of) the first section of the Introduction: - xxiii
  1. (The Báb's (and Bábís') interesting history is best appreciated by an understanding of the opposition against Him and His and His followers' steadfastness (and morality) amidst this.) (a proof of the Bábí Faith's validity)
    1. Nabíl's story is well worth reading by many, but it requires some priming in background knowledge about Persia's peoples', government's, and ecclesiastics' resistance and opposition to reform.
    2. The Báb knew these difficulties arrayed against Him in proclaiming His message and reforming the people, but He persisted.
    3. As a result, His followers were harrassed and martyred by Shí'ahs who held different expectations, and finally He was Himself executed (despite His wide following).
    4. The Bábís were uninformed as to the Báb's teachings on non-violence so they arose (strictly) in self-defense, but were defeated anyhow (due to the enemy's larger numbers and treachery).
  2. (The Faith nevertheless arises again, grows, and gives hope.) (proofs of Bahá'u'lláh's Faith)
    1. Nevertheless, Bahá'u'lláh was preserved and, as foretold by the Báb, led and reenergized the people, (taught religious nonviolence,) and from His influence, the Faith has expanded tremendously.
    2. His vision gives hope to many now who are disillusioned with antiquated traditions.
  3. (Nabíl's Narrative can enhance this appreciation now of the Lives and Faith of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh (and their inspired followers).) (and give hope)
    1. Nabíl's Narrative gives a unique and truthful perspective to this early history and will be valued for what will be seen by future generations as highly significant events.







VI-B (Detailed Summary of) the first section of the Introduction - xxiii

  1. (The Báb's (and Bábís') interesting history is best appreciated by an understanding of the opposition against Him and His and His followers' steadfastness (and morality) amidst this.) (a proof of the Bábí Faith's validity) - xxiii

    1. Nabíl's story is well worth reading by many, but it requires some priming in background knowledge about Persia's peoples', government's, and ecclesiastics' resistance and opposition to reform.

      1. Given the Bahá'í Movement's becoming well known, Nabíl's Narrative, with its great drama and moral power, will now interest many. (see also the end of this section: section VI.c.1.D.)

        1. Nabíl, often a participant, was moved to write about persecution.
        2. Nabíl's writing style (focus on deeds of champions, careful quoting of sources)

      2. Main features of narrative universal, but details and magnitude of odds against Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, require background knowledge that Nabíl had assumed. - xxiv

        1. English literature on 19th century Persia can supplement this.

      3. All observers agree on Persia as then being feeble, incapable, nationalistic self-content, backward, corrupt, and ferocious

        1. To 'Abdu'l-Bahá (or any student of history), this degeneracy contrasted with the illustrious and powerful history of Persia is extremely pitiful. - xxv

      4. Aspects of Persia's backwardness (church-state and people) demonstrate the difficulty of the mission of the Báb:

        1. Church-State of Muslim orthodoxy and Sháh's absolute despotism. (lack of law or law court - see xxix-1)
          1. Nepotism extreme - xxvi
          2. Interested witnesses and venal ministers (calling on the ubiquitous institution of madákhil) made justice impossible even to a well-intended Sháh. (the quotation here extending to p. xxviii is also in section C., "People" on pp. xliii-xlv - covered below (a more detailed outline is there)- xxvii

      5. Certain aspects show the dangers He faced in proclaiming this mission:.
        1. Extreme Brutality of Penalties and Prisons (entire quotation repeated in Conclusion on p. xlvii) - xxviii
          1. Savage, ingenious, and indifferent punishments and torture include people being crucified, blown from guns, buried alive, impaled, shod, set on fire, skinned alive, and torn by two trees bent and sprung back.

      6. Government leads to lack of confidence or personal/social morality. - xxix
        1. Twofold governing system is corrupt. (quotation segment repeated in Conclusion on p. xlviii)
          1. In administration all are bribers and bribed.
          2. The judicial process is without law or legal court.
        2. As a result:
          1. There is no confidence in the government.
          2. There is no personal or patriotic sense of duty or honor/shame and no positive cooperation.

    2. The Báb knew these difficulties arrayed against Him in proclaiming His message and reforming the people, but He persisted.

      1. The Báb's awareness of opposition of people and mullás did not prevent His persisting with drastic religious innovations--to be the Promised Qá'im and Gate Herald of greater future Manifestation.

    3. As a result, His followers were (easily) harrassed and martyred by Shí'ahs who held different expectations, and finally even He Himself was executed (despite His wide following).

      1. As a result of His persistance, the Shíah's (and Sunnís) who did not accept the Báb's claims opposed and finally executed Him.
        1. As He claimed to fulfill prophecy, shí'ahs and sunnís held conflicting interpretations.
          1. Shí'ahs expect the Twelvth (Hidden) Imám (or Qá'im) to return and bring in a millenium. They also expect the return of Imám Husayn. (see section below on Shí'ah Islám) - xxx
            1. The Imáms were a line of twelve individuals after Muhammad chosen by their predecessor and believed by shí'ahs to be spiritual and authorities to obey.
            2. The Twelvth Imám had disappeared and communicated through a series of gates (also appointed by their predecessor) until the fourth, Abu'l-Hasan-'Alí declined to appoint another gate and spoke of God having another plan.
              1. When the Báb claimed the station of the Qá'im and the "Gate", they therefore mistook His meaning as referring to the fifth gate following Abu'l-Hasan-'Alí (though He announced otherwise to be the Gate of the greater Faith of Bahá'u'lláh).
          2. Sunnís await the Mihdí and the "return of Jesus Christ".
            1. Sunnís see (all) their leaders, the Khalífs, only as the Defenders of the Faith who are selected and approved by the people.
        2. Despite the many authentic traditions to the contrary, the hierarchy refused to accept that the Qá'im would bring new laws, fail to advance their prestige and authority, and would advance morality by precept and example. - xxxi
        3. They therefore opposed Him before the Sháh and people as a traitor to and subverter of the Faith and State.
        4. Jesus Christ was opposed and crucified for the same reason that He brought a new law (in addition to reiterating the spiritual principles of the past). - xxxii

      2. However, even in this fanatical country, mullás (as with the scribes in the Holy Land) could not find an easy pretext to destroy Him.

      3. Reasons why it was difficult for the mullás to destroy the Báb personally.
        1. His gentle yet forceful personality, charm, and judgment led to His quick popularity and won over almost all He met, even His jailers.
        2. His personality impressed a European doctor.
          1. The only known European record of the Báb--a record that was favourable--was by the English physician, Dr. Cormick in Tabríz. (despite the Faith's subsequent spread through the West).
            1. Dr. Cormick's initial visit (to determine His sanity)
              1. Dr. Cormick was sent with 2 Persian doctors to determine the sanity of the Báb and fitness for execution
              2. The doctors were also in the presence of two siyyids, His to-be-martyred friends, and a couple of government officials.
              3. After the doctor said he might adopt His faith, the Báb listened and stated confidently that all Europeans would adopt it.
              4. The doctor reported to the Sháh to spare His life, but the Báb was bastinadoed.
            2. Dr. Cormick's second visit (to treat His wounded face) - xxxiii
              1. He was in the process struck in the face, and later requested Dr. Cormick, though they were not able to talk as government officials were present.
              2. Dr. Cormick was struck by the pleasing appearance and manner of the Báb.
            3. Dr. Cormick's remarks on an incident of Armenian Christian carpenters.
              1. These carpenters saw the Báb reading the Bible, and He spoke to them about it.
              2. Dr. Cormick gave his impression that Muslim fanaticism toward Christians did not exist in His Faith, and that its then present restraint of females also did not exist.

      4. Persecution by Mullás
        1. The mullás, however, could more easily persecute His followers.
          1. Bigotry of the Sháh to the commoners could easily be harnessed against any religious development (by accusing them of disloyalty and political motives).
          2. Political fears of the authorities could be exploited also. - xxxiv
          3. Covetous neighbors (and officials) could be instigated to plunder given the significant number of Bábís, some of whom were rich,
        2. Nabíl covers happenings at Mázindarán, Nayríz, and Zanján showing Bábís desperate need for self-defense in heading to defensive retreats with moral justification, (also in the section summary: A.#4 The Bábís were uninformed as to the Báb's teachings on non-violence so they arose (strictly) in self-defense, but were defeated anyhow (due to the enemy's larger numbers and treachery). (this heading ends at section d.iv.c below)
          1. They clearly showed no political motives.
          2. They were always ready to return if not persecuted.
          3. They took care not to go on the offensive even in fierce conflict.
        3. 'Abdu'l-Bahá in "Traveller's Narrative", further justified this morally.
          1. Description of minister Mírzá Taqí Khán's own initiative against Bábís to exterminate them.
            1. Governors and officials sought pretext for amassing wealth.
            2. Doctors from their pulpits incited onslought.
            3. Religious and civil law together sought to eradicate the Bábís.
            4. Common people arose to aid in rapine, plunder, torture, and killing.
          2. The Bábís' had a lack of knowledge of the Báb's deeper teachings (on nonviolence) due to lack of opportunity amidst the turmoil. - xxxv
            1. The Bábís were captured and killed in towns with few of them but arose in self-defense elsewhere.
          3. Bahá'u'lláh after proclaiming His Mission, however, indicated that in such a context it was better to be killed than to kill.

        4. The Bábís resistance, however, was ineffective, however, given larger numbers against them.
          1. The Báb was executed.
          2. All of His chief disciples besides Bahá'u'lláh were killed.
          3. Bahá'u'lláh, with His family and a few devoted followers, was driven into exile and prison
            abroad.

  2. (The Faith nevertheless arises again, grows, and gives hope.) (proofs of Bahá'u'lláh's Faith)

    1. Nevertheless, Bahá'u'lláh was preserved and, as foretold by the Báb, led and reenergized the people, (taught religious nonviolence,) and from His influence, the Faith has expanded tremendously.

      1. Fire continued however in the hearts of the exiles and amidst the unextinguished hearts in Persia who were ready for a breath of spirit to transform into an all-consuming fire.

      2. Second and Greater Manifestation proclaimed at given time as per the Báb's prophecy
        1. 9 years after the Bábí Dispensation began--1844 --> 1853) Bahá'u'lláh's allusioned to His own identity and then later in Baghdád proclaimed Himself.

      3. Under Bahá'u'lláh, the movement initiated by the Báb began to spread and mature. - xxxvi
        1. Though Bahá'u'lláh died in exile known to few Europeans, His epistles were sent to the rulers of both hemispheres.
        2. His Son 'Abdu'l-Bahá visited Egypt, Europe, and the U.S. announcing the new Dispensation.
        3. After His Ascension, the Faith is now everywhere in Persia, in America and every country.
        4. A large volume about the sacred Writings and its exposition is growing.
        5. Bahá'u'lláh's spiritual and humanitarian principles, enunciated in the darkest East are now being unconsciously adopted.
        6. Those conscious of Bahá'u'lláh, however, are also able to be confident about the future, unlike those perplexed by the inadequacy of the old guidance. (also #B.2. His vision gives hope to many now who are disillusioned with antiquated traditions.)


  3. (Nabíl's Narrative can enhance this appreciation now of the Lives and Faith of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh (and their inspired followers).) (and give hope)

    1. Nabíl's Narrative gives a unique and truthful perspective to this early history and will be valued for what will be seen by future generations as highly significant events.

      1. Uniqueness of narrative
        1. The door of contemporary information on the great Leaders and Their disciples is now closed.
        2. Nabíl's Narrative, however, was done for the sake of truth and in Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime.
      2. Nabíl's life and association with the leaders of the Cause (qualifications for writing the narrative).
        1. Though only a boy at the time, Nabíl wished to head off to join Mullá Husayn but found out about their massacre. - xxxvii
        2. He was qualified based on his association with the leaders of the cause.
          1. He met the Báb's maternal uncle from his visit in Chihríq and associated for many years with the Báb's secretary Mírzá Ahmad.
          2. He met Bahá'u'lláh in Kirmánsháh and Tihrán before His exile and was in attendance upon Him in Baghdád, Adrianople, and 'Akká.
            1. He was sent multiple times to Persia to promote the Cause and encourage the believers.
            2. He was living in 'Akká when Bahá'u'lláh passed away.
              1. (He drowned himself in grief as a result.)
      3. Nabíl's chronicling process and scope of coverage.
        1. He began writing in 1888 with Mírzá Músá's assistance (Bahá'u'lláh's brother).
        2. He finished in a year and a half, with some parts reviewed and approved by Bahá'u'lláh or 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
        3. His complete work follows the Movement until Bahá'u'lláh's Ascension in 1892.
        4. This narrative has the first half, closing with Bahá'u'lláh's expulsion from Persia.

      4. Its significance
        1. Its evident importance is primarily in the abiding significance of the events it uniquely records
          (though also for the stirring passages of action and pictures of heroism and faith).




VII. Subsequent sections in the Introduction (they begin on p. xxxviii)

(The following section (i.e., its components (A-D)), except perhaps the titles of the sections, are exclusively extracts from Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question.")

  1. Persia's State of Decadence in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century - xxxviii
    1. The Qájár Sovereigns - xxxviii  (See also The Promised Day is Come, section 18.)
      1. The king technically held absolute power over legislative, executive, and judicial functions, accountable only in needing to outwardly observe Islám. (See the top of p. xxxix and p. xlii for other references to the Shh's absolute power.)
        1. He could appoint or dismiss any minister, judge, or official.
        2. He had unchecked power of life and death over his family (including his sons), government (including his ministers), and military (whose property would be his) (see p. xlii also)
          1. Only he could take life (though he could and did delegate this).
        3. All property not purchased or granted by the crown was his.
        4. All resources (e.g., public works and infrastructure) would need to be purchased from him.
      2. Absolute servility characterized relations toward the king.
        1. Terminology by or towards the king was extremely extravagent, even by his confidential ministers.
          1. Only foreign ministers might convey the truth or disinterested advice.
        2. His vices were accepted as virtue. - xxxix
        3. Contradicting him could lead to bloodshed.
        4. Elected or other secular or religious councils do not check his power.
        5. The king's "divinity" is seen in his not even eating with his subjects.
      3. However, this lack of truthfulness and corruption surrounding the king leads to ineffectiveness of any reforms he might initiate.
        1. Half the money he approved would land in the hands of officials.
        2. The officials were confident that the king's whims would allow his dereliction of duty to be overlooked.
      4. Savagry could await political challenges or irritants.
        1. A century before, possible aspirants to the throne were blinded, indefinitely imprisoned mutilated, or killed.
        2. Disgrace could be sudden or fatal.
      5. The king's prolific offspring are a drain on the country due to allowances, posts, and priviliges.
        1. His wives were numbered in the hundreds as were his children and descendants (Sháh-zádihs). - xl
        2. (The Scriptural quotation on p. xl is from Psalm 45:16.)
        3. Some scions, despite privileges, now have inferior positions as clerks, etc.
        4. They occupied every bulúk (district), city, and town (with their own court and harem).
          1. They were ubiquitiously employed, leading to resentment by all. - xli
      6. Attempts at reform, technological, educational, humanitarian, military, or legal are predictably abandoned (as are material collections from Europe).
        1. e.g., gas, electric lights, staff college, military hospital, Russian uniform, German man-of-
          war for the Persian gulf, army warrant, new code of law, etc.
        2. (p. xli) bric-à-brac = Small, usually ornamental objects valued for their antiquity, rarity,
          originality, or sentimental associations.
      7. Three successive sovereigns put their highest or first ministers to death out of jealousy.
        1. (The kings: Fath-'Alí, Muhammad, and Násiri'd-Dín Sháh)
        2. (Muhammad Sháh's minister: Mirzá Abu'l-Qásim, the Qá'im-Maqám, or Grand Vazír)

    2. The Government - xli
      1. Given Persia's backwardness in legal institutions, authority in this system is mostly an arbitrary exercise of authority (though hierarchical from top to bottom).
        1. Hierarchical description
          1. Lower officials only fear their superiors who can often be assuaged. - xlii
          2. Higher officials only fear the king who can also often be assuaged.
          3. The king only fears the criticism of the European Press.
          4. (repeats the type of information at p. xxxviii (1st paragraph) (also the top of p. xxxix) which explains the Shh's absolute power. See also above for the outline of the first of these pages.)
        2. Ministers' character and accomplishments (per Sir J. Malcolm's History)
          1. Ministers are usually apt and astute bureaucrats of mild and polished manners.
          2. Ministers obtain livelihood from corrupt sources and in corrupt intrigues to preserve themselves or ruin others.
          3. Ministers possess no liberal knowledge.
          4. Ministers only speak artful flattery and deceit (out of venality).
          5. Even the few exceptions were forced to accommodate their principles, particularly those without the king's special favor, to be subservient and dissimulating.

    3. The People (Exchange of presents (madákhil)) (the quotation on pp. xliii-xlv (covered in #1-5 below) is also on pp. xxvi-xxviii and covered above (a less detailed outline)) - xliii
      1. Defining this exchange of presents.
        1. It was a balance of personal advantage.
        2. Interpersonally one needed to overcompensate the giver (proportional to the original gift) in any transaction.
        3. It was exacted by superiors or even equals.
        4. This institution was in many forms as well as breadth.
      2. Not as shameless in any other country than Persia at that time - xliv
        1. Generosity and service erased by greed as virtue.
        2. Those failing to take opportunities to line their pockets are in fact denigrated.

      3. Government and life itself were largely an interchange of presents.
        1. Madákhil was a central interest and joy of existence.
      4. System of bribery was well engrained from the Sháh downwards and prevents reform.
        1. Few with any wealth or position did so without gifts.
          1. A bribe would most likely influence the choice of a candidate.
          2. Office is the common means to wealth.

      5. Extremes of wealth occur with luxurious country houses, European curiosities, and large number of servants gained from the work of the uncomplaining poor (peasants). - xlv

      6. Officials can accumulate from 50 to 500 attendants (or even 3000 for the Prime Minister) (though this would not be if the retinue had to be paid).
        1. Eastern custom enforces this phenomenon of personal importance being shown by a public show of servants, whenever going out to visit, whether on foot or riding.
        2. The retinue seeks to join for the opportunities of extortion.

      7. This all drains the country's wealth without creating.



    4. The Ecclesiastical Order - xlv
      1. Role of religion for the common people.
        1. Islám is well-adapted in indoctrinating through not only religion but also ubiquitiously in government, philosophy, and science. (the quotation is also used in footnote 1 beginning on p. 659 (but the reference in the print copy is on p. 661)
        2. Highest duty is considered to be worship of God and to compel or despise those who don't. - xlvi
        3. Expectation is of Paradise.
      2. Position of siyyids (descendants of the Prophet)
        1. Alleged descent gives prerogative of the green turban which leads to sense of independence and insolence in bearing for many.
      3. Position of Persian Jews
        1. Persian Jews are sunk in poverty and ignorance.
          1. They usually live separately in a ghetto and marked as social pariahs.
        2. They are degraded even in Isfáhán where they have higher status and 3700 of them exist.
          1. They cannot wear the kuláh (Persian head-dress).
          2. They cannot have shops in the bazaar.
          3. They cannot build their house's walls as high as a Muslim neighbor's.
          4. They cannot ride in the streets.
        3. They are apt to be the first victims of an ouburst of bigotry or street mob.
      4. Pertaining to pilgrimage and the shrine in Mashhad, material solace during the journey and hardships of distance and isolation, the ecclesiastics and their law permit temporary marriage contracts.
        1. There is a large permanent population of "wives" there. - xlvii
        2. A mullá will approve a contract both parties seal formally and pay for.
        3. After the specified fortnight, month, etc., the contract will terminate.
          1. The man will return home.
              p. xlvii (in the middle of the beginning paragraph). Lares et penates: Household gods
          2. The woman must then remain celibate for 14 days.

      Conclusion (revisiting of penalties and prisons and systemic lack of virtue and opportunity for progress) - xlvii
      1. Extreme Brutality of Penalties and Prisons (entire quotation is also in the first part of the Introduction on pp. xxviii-xxix)
        1. Savage, ingenious, and indifferent punishments and torture include people being crucified, blown from guns, buried alive, impaled, shod, set on fire, skinned alive, and torn by two trees bent and sprung back.
      2. Corruption in Government (and populace) leads to lack of confidence or personal/social morality. - xlviii
        1. Twofold governing system is corrupt. (part of this quotation here is also in the first part of the Introduction on p. xxix)
          1. In administration all are bribers and bribed.
          2. The judicial process is without law or legal court.
        2. As a result:
          1. There is no confidence in the government.
          2. There is no personal or patriotic sense of duty or honor/shame and no positive cooperation.
      3. Even with surface improvements, the core will not be reformed.
        1. (Infrasructure, exploitation of natural resources, military training and equipping of craftsman will not civilize the nation deeply.)
        2. With even the king mostly impotent, little hope is felt.
          1. The Sháh, as a benefactor of the system, is tainted by it.
          2. Those who condemn it privately, still dissimulate in public and lack the will to rebel against it.
              p. xlviii - Rimmon: Syrian pagan idol

  2. Bahá'u'lláh's Tribute to the Báb and His chief disciples (Extracts from the Kitáb-i-qán) - xlix
    1. Bahá'u'lláh describes the Báb's steadfastness in proclaiming the Faith despite His youth and opposition of all as a proof of Divine Revelation.
      1. Bahá'u'lláh underscores how a human being could not take on such a task let alone achieve it.
      2. Bahá'u'lláh questions how madness or desire for leadership and riches could be seen as a motivation for the Báb.
        1. He rather shows the Báb's willingness to suffer in God's path and fulfill His pleasure.
        2. p. xlix - Sadrih=Branch
      3. Bahá'u'lláh describes how many holy souls arose with stainless deeds (despite opposition and executions) as a result of the Báb's power and greatness of His Revelation. - l
        1. Instead of complaint, the Bábís thanked God.
        2. The Bábís steadfastly saw the persecution against them as salvation and success (despite the public cursing and scorn). - li

  3. Distinguishing Features of Shí'ah Islám - li
    1. Shí'ahs differ from sunnís primarily in their accepting the Imámate.
      1. Sunnís believe that the Prophet is represented outwardly through his followers electing the Khalíf or Defender of the Faith.
        1. He is seen as qualified by tradition and administrative capacity more than a divine right.
      2. Shí'ahs believe God alone, first through Muhammad, chose the Imáms.
        1. Shí'ahs believe the Imám is also endued with all perfections and divine guidance and commands absolute final obedience.
    2. Different groups exist which accept the Imámate
      1. The Church of the Twelve (Madhhab-i-Ithná-'Asharíyyih) or Shí'ahs believe in the Imámate.
      2. (The Báqirís and Ismá'ílís also believe in it though they trace the succession differently.)
    3. (The twelve Imáms accepted by Shí'ahs (and Bahá'ís) are listed in order with their genealogy and years of martyrdom (usually by poisoning except for Alí, Husayn, and Imám-Mihdí (the twelfth)). - lii
        p liii. - kunyih = designation

    4. Shí'ahs believe in the Lesser and Greater Occultations of the Twelvth Imám. liii
      1. Shí'ahs believe he disappeared after becoming an Imám and presiding at his father's burial.
      2. They believe he communicated through a series of four "gates" over 69 year period called the Lesser Occultation.
        1. (The first gate was appointed by the prior Imám and the remaining by him).
      3. The Greater Occultation
        1. They believe the Greater Occultation began when the fourth gate refused to appoint another gate, stating that God had a purpose.
        2. They believe he disappeared into an underground passage surrounded by his followers in a mysterious city. (Note: A pilgrim's note of Shoghi Effendi on p. 21, if it can be considered authentic, indicates, after stating that it will be the role of Baháís to establish the spiritual position of the Imáms in the future, that the Imám died, not that he disappeared.)
        3. They believe that he will return, with the return of Jesus Christ, to bring forth out of increasing injustice, a new millennium of peace.

  4. (Genealogy of the Prophet Muhammad - grouped as VIII. since it does not directly bear on the explicit subsections of the Introduction) (see above for genealogy through the Imáms) - liv
    [Ed. note: Quraysh at http://www.al-islam.org/masoom/bios/quraysh.html]


  5. Theory and Administration of Law in Persia in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century - liv

    1. Persian (and Muslim) law can be divided into religious and common law.

      1. Religious law (Shar') is based on Islámic Scripture and administered by ecclesiastics.
        1. It is based on the Qur'án, the Imáms, and commentaries of jurists. - lv
        2. The jurists have added much.
        3. The law was framed into four heads.
          1. Religious rites and duties
          2. Contracts and obligations
          3. Personal affairs
          4. Sumptuary rules (personal moral regulations) and judicial procedure
        4. Mullás (Lay priests and mujtahids (learned doctors of the law)) comprise the court.
          1. They are sometimes assisted by qádís or judges.
        5. The courts differ by the size of their jurisdiction.
          1. They are under the presidency of an official, the Shaykhu'l-Islám, who is appointed to every large city by the king.
            1. The chief of this hierarchy used to be the Sadru's-Sudúr, who was appointed by the king and placed over all the preists and judiciary.
              (Nádir Sháh abolished this in his anti-clerical campaign.)
          2. In smaller centres, the local mullá or mullás replace this court.
        6. Method in the higher courts
          1. The higher courts write out their decisions with a Scriptural or commentatary citation.
        7. Referrals
          1. More important decisions are referred to the fewer, more eminent mujtahids.
            1. These are chosen by learning/ability and popular ratification and are seldom challenged.

        8. Religious courts deal with matters of heresy, adultery/divorce, intoxication, or anything else against the Qur'án but not common law (as with the common alcohol problem?) - lvi

      2. Common law ('Urf) is based on precedent of civil tribunals.
        1. Manner of determination
          1. This is to be based on oral tradition, precedent, and custom.
          2. Being no written code, it varies more with its (single) administrator (no secular court or bench of judges).
        2. The administrators' titles differ.
          1. The head secular judge of the village is the kad-khudá.
          2. The head secular judge of the town is the dárúghih (police magistrate).
        3. Scope of jurisdiction
          1. There is actually really no distinction between criminal cases being taken by ecclesiastical courts and civil cases by civil courts as it differs by the times.
          2. The local courts deal with petty offences.
            1. Larceny, assault, etc. generally require in kind or monetary restitution for those with means, and a thrashing for those without means.
        4. Appeals Process
          1. Ordinary cases are brought before the hakím (town governor).
          2. More important cases are brought to the provincial governor or governor-general.
          3. The ultimate appeal is the king (though he is seldom reached by those far from the capital).
        5. Publicity is the sole guarantee of fairness. - lvii
          1. Píshkash (tribute) and bribes are common, especially in the lower elements, but
            even in higher ranks.
          2. Dárúghihs are known as being harsh and venal.




XI. Preface - lxiii
  1. Nabíl's Intentions
    1. Scope and Extent of Coverage
      1. Nabíl's intention is to narrate chronologically regarding Shaykh Ahmad, Siyyid Kázim, the Báb, (and Bahá'u'lláh) up until 1887-1888A.D. (He actually covered until 1892).
    2. Level of Detail
      1. Sometimes to be in detail, at other times in brief summary.
    3. Sources
      1. To give an account of events he personally witnessed or those of trustworthy, recognized informants (with their specified names and standing).
  2. Acknowledgements and Prayer
    1. Indebted to Mírzá Ahmad-i-Qazvíní, Siyyid Ismá'íl-i-Dhabíh, Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí, Shaykh Abú-Turáb-i-Qazvíní, and Mírzá Músá, qáy-i-Kalím, brother of Bahá'u'lláh.
    2. Thanks to God for His assistance and Bahá'u'lláh's approval.
    3. Prayer for assistance to complete the task he set for himself.



XIV. Epilogue - 651

(Summary: A cynical reader (and the Sháh) might have thought they had extinguished the Bábí Faith, but Bahá'u'lláh's Faith rapidly grew out of the ashes, and the promise of even greater victories remain ahead.)

Summary Outline:

A. A cynical reader (and the Sháh) might have thought they had extinguished the Bábí Faith. - 651
B. However, Bahá'u'lláh's Faith rapidly grew out of the ashes. - 657
C. The promise of even greater victories remain ahead. - 667



  1. A cynical reader (and the Sháh) might have thought they had extinguished the Bábí Faith. - 651

    1. Bahá'u'lláh's banishment marked a low point in the Faith.
    2. Though the Bábí Faith with the many tragic disappointments it faced might be seen by a skeptic (including the Sháh to have been doomed to failure.
      1. Every step of the Báb seems to have been curtailed.
        1. The Báb's plans to proclaim His Message in Mecca and Medina did not materialize as planned.
          1. His messenger, Quddús, was apathetically received by the ruler of Hijáz and custodian of the Ka'bih. - 652
        2. His plan to triumphantly return to Karbilá and Najaf was shattered.
        3. The essentials of the program He communicated to the Letters of the Living were unfulfilled.
          1. Their heedless lack of moderation helped shatter these plans.
        4. The wise and capable ruler, the Mu'tamid, who had protected Him, died, leaving Him at the hands of Gurgín Khán.
        5. Hájí Mírzá qásí, out of fear for his interests, dashed the Báb's hopes of meeting Muhammad Sháh (as He requested).
        6. Two of His foremost disciples' failed in their attempts to introduce the Faith abroad.
          1. Mullá 'Alíy-i-Bastámí was cruelly martyred at the outset and prevented from proclaiming the Faith in Turkey.
          2. Shaykh Sa'íd-i-Hindí's attempts failed in India by only succeeding in converting a siyyid who was destroyed by ldirím Mírzá in Luristán.
        7. The Báb was Himself isolated and imprisoned in dhirbáyján strongholds. - 653
        8. The Báb's followers were being sorely tried by a rapacious enemy.
        9. He Himself was tragically martyred.
      2. His martyrdom would seem to have sealed their however heroic efforts.
      3. His followers afterwards suffered even moreso (also seeming to limit the potential of His Faith).
        1. Shaykh Tabarsí took His ablest, Quddús and Mullá Husayn, as well as 313 staunch supporters (the cruelest blow so far).
        2. The loss of the most learned Vahíd and the other cruelties of Nayríz was an additional blow to the remnant of believers.
        3. The eternally shameful siege of Zanján depleted supporters including the inspiring Hujjat, the last of the bold, authoritative, exemplary and learned leaders among the disciples.
        4. Enslaved women and children were left to suffer after the carnage. - 654
        5. The Bábís were deprived of the sustenance provided by their leaders.
      4. The only One capable remaining (especially given the fate of the Báb's Writings), was Bahá'u'lláh (and He was exiled).
        1. (Bahá'u'lláh's remaining alone was prophesied in Islám by the sayings that the companions of the Qá'im would be slain besides the One Who would reach the plain of 'Akká. - See note 1 on p. 654)
        2. The Báb's nominal designee, Mírzá Yahyá, hid in the Mázindarán mountains upon turmoil in Tihrán.
          1. Disguised as a dervish, he fled with an alms basket (with chain handles) (see note 2 on p. 654 to the forests of Gílán.
        3. The Báb's faithful followers were silenced.
          1. The well-informed and well-prepared Siyyid Husayn, the Báb's amanuensis and Mírzá Ahmad (his collaborator), were chained in the Síyáh-Chál in Tihrán and later were cruelly martyred.
          2. The Báb's most capable maternal uncle (who abundantly cared for him as a Child and served Him in His early sufferings in Shíráz) was prematurely imprisoned where he languished.
          3. The impetuous, courageous, ardent, knowledgeable Táhirih (who might have won over the women in Persia) was martyred and her influence seemingly extinguished. - 655
          4. The remainder of the Letters of the Living were either martyred, imprisoned, or were living an obscure life remote in the realm.
        4. The troublesome fate of the Báb's Writings
          1. Many of His many works were destroyed.
          2. Other works were torn and reduced to ashes.
          3. A few of His works were corrupted.
          4. Many of His works were seized by the enemy.
          5. The rest were disorganized and undeciphered, and dangerously hidden and scattered among His surviving companions.
        5. It would have seemed that Bahá'u'lláh might have then been able to revive the community in Persia (alone), but the attempt on the life of the Sháh prevented His remaining to achieve this.
          1. The vision, courage, and wisdom He had already shown since His championing of the Cause of the Báb, appeared to qualify Him to revive the Faith in Persia.
          2. An unexampled catastrophe in the Faith prompted a hitherto unparalleled persecution and wrecked the remaining hopes.
            1. He was denounced as the prime mover of an attempt on the Sháh's life. - 656
              1. His possessions in Núr and Tihrán were all plundered.
              2. He was abandoned by His kindred (besides immediate family).
              3. He was despised by His former friends and admirers.
              4. He was plunged into the dark, pestilential dungeon.
              5. He was finally exiled with His family beyond His native land (a low point of the Faith).
      5. Násiri-d-Dín Sháh prided himself on wrecking the Cause he had long battled.
        1. He thought his banishment of Bahá'u'lláh would be the Faith's death-knell.
        2. He thought the terror was over and the tide was turning to allow his country peace.
        3. He thought that the elimination of the Báb and its mighty pillars, the fear and exhaustion of the mass of its followers, and the exile of Bahá'u'lláh (willingly) into the stronghold of shí'ah fanaticism, had caused the Faith to vanish.
        4. He trusted his counselors (a letter extract is in note 1 on p. 657) that they would never hear of the Faith.
      6. Even the surviving Báb's followers (including even among those in the caravan exposed to cold in their journey through the snowy mountains near 'Iráq - see note 2 on p. 657) may have thought the Báb's Cause had failed. - 657
      7. The Sháh thought he could now rescue his land from the delusion of the Faith which had seemed to have absorbed all his forces and robbed him of sleep and prevent similar occurrences from challenging Church or State.



  1. However, Bahá'u'lláh's Faith rapidly grew out of the ashes. - 657


    1. The Sháh was gravely mistaken in thinking the Faith had been crushed, as it rather went through a fiery transitional test to emerge stronger and purer than ever on its path to a higher destiny and eventually blossom into a far mightier Revelation.
      1. The seed planted by the Báb was destined to grow into a Tree spreading over all the peoples of the earth. - 658
      2. Even if the Báb's disciples were tortured, killed, humiliated, reduced to lesser numbers, or apostatized, the promise of His word could not be stopped.
    2. The first glimmerings of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation (whose dawning was humbly foretold by the Báb - see note 1 on p. 658) could be seen amidst the gloom of the Síyáh-Chál (in His experience of Revelation).
      1. The force unleashed by the Báb's Revelation was pulsing in Bahá'u'lláh's veins while threatened with death (and would encompass the earth).
      2. The voice of the Maiden did not reach the Sháh who had thought the Faith was extinguished, however. - 659
      3. The Sháh who had thought Bahá'u'lláh's name had been branded with infamy by His imprisonment (and to be rendered impotent by His coming humiliating banishment) did not imagine that the first stirrings of His ever-growing Faith had begun there.
        1. The expanding Faith he thought he had extinguished was to be made known in Baghdád and proclaimed in 'Akká to the Sháh as well as other rulers of the world.
    3. The Sháh was (simply) an unwitting instrument of God's purpose in subsequently ordering Bahá'u'lláh's banishment.
    4. The Sháh had not imagined that the Faith would be revived at the end of his reign (though Christian scholars later witnessed to why it could be successful).
      1. It was revived with a vitality he could not have imagined possible for it (as numerous Western and Christian scholars have testified - see note 1 on pp. 659-662.)
        1. The Bábí Faith was seen by scholars to be the only hope for Persia.
          1. Its demonstrated success in winning converts
            1. In 1865 Gobineau wrote that the Bábís and their sympathizers were amidst every class and religion (besides the Nusayrís and Christians) but particularly amongst the educated, even among many mullás, oustanding mujtahids, and high ranking magistrates and court officials close to the king.
            2. He thought that with the high number of Bábís would be even higher if it included the less zealous admirers who may become favorable with the success of the Bábís.
            3. His most convinced followers often never even met Him personally (or felt it necessary to do). (see note 1 on p. 660)
          2. The Bábí embrace of Islám
            1. Súfís believe in the need for a Pír or Prophet in the flesh.
            2. The orthodox Muslims expect the Imám/Mihdí foretold in the Qur'án and traditions.
            3. The Báb's suffering, shameful death, and His followers' heroism (unseen in contemporary Islám) will appeal to many.
        2. This is contrasted with the despair facing the Christian potential for success.
          1. Challenges to Christian conversion of Muslims
            1. Challenges to Muslim conception of one God
              1. Dogmatic Christian assumptions of the Trinity and Divinity of Christ
            2. Squabbles and fatricide amongst Christian denominations (and hostility of the Jews)
            3. Promise of assured salvation in Islám
            4. Ubiquitous influence of Islám (part of the quotation is also in the Introduction, in section D., on p. xlv)
            5. Penalty of conversion is death (though not the all-important prohibitive factor) (also applicable to the Bábí Faith)
          2. This is despite the efforts of Christian missionaries.
            1. Displays of free charity and example, outward baptisms, etc., made at great financial cost and effort, have failed to convert the Muslims (besides those orphaned and brought up in Christian schools
          3. The tolerance of the government (to Christians) is due to the "prudent" abstention of missionaries from avowed proselytism (worst policy seen to be an active propaganda there).

      2. It was revived not only in his realm, but expanded to neighboring 'Iráq and Russia, and even as far east as India and as far west as Egypt and European Turkey (as testified by Western scholars - see note 1 on p. 660)
      3. He had not imagined that Bahá'u'lláh's personality or the Revelation's inherent strength could be so strong.
    5. The Sháh was finally convinced by various factors that the Faith was invincible.
      1. The Faith was rapidly revived and consolidated inside his territory. (also mentioned above)
      2. The Faith spread beyond its confines. (also mentioned above) - 661
      3. Bahá'u'lláh steadfastly made stupendous claims amidst the stronghold He chose to dwell in (of Shí'ah orthoxy).
      4. He boldly made a public proclaimation of His Faith in European Turkey.
      5. He made challenging proclamations in His Epistles to the rulers of the earth (including the Sháh himself).
      6. He evoked great enthusiasm in the hearts of His followers.
      7. The centre of His Cause was transfered to the Holy Land. - 662
      8. The severity of His confinement was gradually relaxed at the closing days of His life.
      9. The ban by the Sultan of Turkey on (assorted Eastern) visitors and pilgrims was lifted.
      10. The spirit of enquiry began to awake among Western thinkers.
      11. The forces attempting a schism (and the fate of its chief instigator) were utterly disrupted.
      12. Above all, His sublime teachings in published works were being read, spread, and taught by growing numbers in Russian Turkistán, 'Iráq, Indi, Syria, and to European Turkey.

    6. The futility of his efforts (and attempt to conceal his feelings) was only too apparent. - 663

    7. The Báb's Cause had arisen phoenix-like from its ashes toward undreamt-of achievements.
      1. One scholar stated its upheavals and events were only thought possible at the birth of the great religions. (see note 1 on pp. 663-665)
      2. This scholar stated if the advantages of the Bábí Faith with the enthusiasm and devotion it inspires (even among the indifferent) prompting them to teach, and the fear it arouses in its adversaries appeared in Europe, it would succeed in winning them over.
      3. Its conditions (and lessons of achievements) may be appealing to many.
        1. The student of religion may find a unique opportunity to be able to see the birth of a Faith's powerful heroism unobscured by myth and with independent testimony.
        2. An ethnologist may find evidence that a people known as selfish, egotistical, and cowardly could become, with the impulse of religion, devoted, generous, and courageous.
        3. Even the politician may find that a religion is capable of transforming a nation.
      4. E.G. Browne, though despairing of being able to describe his experience amidst the founts of the Bábí spirit, describes the swaying power of attraction (or repulsion) which the Bábí spirit instills.
        1. He says that the Persian Muslims' fables of Bábís bewitching or drugging their guests has a strange basis in truth in the moving spirit they inspire.
      5. Lord Curzon described the success of the Bábís (and gave some other details).
        1. Lord Curzon states that Bábís who walk circumspectly are free from persecution and those poorer conceal it for fear of inviting the superstitious rancor of superiors.
        2. Lord Curzon's describes the then recent success of Bahá'ís converting Jewish populations in Tihrán, Hamadán, Káshán, and Gulpáyigán.
      6. The Religious and moral teachings of the Bábí Faith have been recognized by several Western scholars as advanced over Islám and having the potential to regenerate Persia (albeit at least one thought probably with the shedding of blood) and even spread over the whole world and once again in history teach spirituality from the East to the West.
    8. Nabíl himself could not really imagine that within 40 years of his narrative's writing, the Faith could have spread so far to world recognition and triumph. - 664
      1. He could little have imagined that:
        1. Less than 40 years after Bahá'u'lláh's death, His Faith has spread beyond the East to the ends of the earth.
        2. It spread to the heart of the American continent, the leading capitals of Europe, the southern confines of Africa, and as far as Australasia.
        3. The Tomb Shrine of the Báb, the ultimate destination of which he indicated his ignorance, could become in the heart of Carmel a place of pilgrimage from visitors around the earth. - 665
        4. Bahá'u'lláh's humble dwelling amid the tortuous lanes of old Baghdád would, due to a tireless enemy, become an object of deliberation for the representatives of the leading powers of Europe.
        5. Despite his praise of Him, that 'Abdu'l-Bahá would have awakened the northern States of America to the glory of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation.
        6. The tyrannical monarchs he described, would have fallen to the fate they had attempted to impose.
        7. The whole ecclesiastical hierarchy, the prime mover and instrument against the Faith, was subdued by the latter's spiritual forces.
        8. Sunní Islám's Sultanate and Caliphate, the twin oppressors of the Faith, would be ruthlessly swept away by the professing adherents of Islám. - 666
          1. The latter began in 632 A.D. with Abú-Bakr's election until 1258 when Hulagu Khán sacked Baghdád and killed Mu'tasim-Bi'lláh, and continued in title by Abbásid descendants under Mameluke protection until the conqueror of the Mamelukes, Sultán Salím, the Osmanli, forced the Caliph to give him his title and insignia. (see note 1 on p. 666)
        9. The Faith would be so consolidated and its administration would demonstrate a united, coordinated, and inextinguishable world-wide Commonwealth. - 667

  1. The promise of even greater victories remain ahead. - 667

    1. What even greater achievements may be in store for the trustees of its heritage.
      1. Perhaps the turmoil facing present-day society may lead to His World Order sooner than expected (even though barely discernible in His communities now).
      2. The golden age promised by Bahá'u'lláh is to surpass in glory past achievements.
        1. Despite opposition and a desperate, prolonged struggle with many disappointments, the Faith will eventually surpass all other Faiths in history.
        2. The dream of East and West uniting in peace through recognition of His law are but chapters to unfold in Bahá'u'lláh's Faith.
    2. We are unable now to yet conceive the full measure of the Faith's promised glory.
    3. The blood of countless martyrs should testify that no matter the forces against it or reverses it will suffer, it will ever march onward until all of Bahá'u'lláh's words are fulfilled. (ends on p. 668)






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