Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1922
1. Excerpt from book[page 127]
... There was no opposition to the accession of the heir, Nasir-u-Din, who was a youth of sixteen. He was Governor-General of Azerbaijan, and brought with him his adviser, Mirza Taki Khan, whom he appointed Vizier with the title of Amir-i-Nizam. The new Vizier was the most remarkable Persian of his generation, for he was not only capable and hard-working, but also honest, a virtue that even today can hardly be said to exist in Persia. He set to work to abolish the sale of justice and of appointments, and also the enormous number of pensions granted to court parasites and men of wealth; the embezzlement of the soldiers' pay, and other abuses were also taken in hand. Wonderful to say, he began to succeed, but his reforms raised up a host of enemies, among them the mother of the Shah; and finally, Nasir-u-Din, realizing his great influence, became afraid for his own safety, and executed his great minister.
During the early part of Nasir-u-Din's reign, Persia gave birth to a new religion. Its founder was born in 1820 at Shiraz, and was the son of a grocer. He studied at Kerbela, and at the age of twenty-four proclaimed himself the Bab or "Gate" which men through might attain to knowledge of the Twelfth Imam. In the same year the Bab undertook the pilgrimage to Mecca, and
After his death the new doctrine spread far and wide, and its adherents displayed a spirit of reckless fanaticism and extreme cruelty. At Zenjan the chief mulla headed an outbreak and defied a large Persian army, buoyed up with the hope that the whole world would be the prize of success. The siege lasted for several months, and the crazy fanatics were massacred upon the capture of their stronghold. Two years later an attempt on the Shah's life resulted in cruel persecutions, which proved to the world the earnestness of the Babis and probably gained many converts.
The successor of the Bab fled to Baghdad, and ten years later he and his followers were transferred to Adrianople. While living in this city there was a split in the party, accompanied by assassinations. The Turkish Government interned the winner in the struggle at Acre. The present head of the religion, who is generally known
2. PDF of complete book
Click here to download it: sykes_persia_1922.pdf.