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|1854 10 Apr - 1856 19 Mar
||Bahá'u'lláh in Sulaymaniyyih
Bahá'u'lláh suddenly left Baghdád and went to Kurdistán. [BKG115; DB585; GPB120]
Before He left, Bahá'u'lláh asked His family to look after Mírzá Yahyá during His absence. [CB70–1; CH50–1]
Bahá'u'lláh lived for some time as a dervish in a cave on the mountain of Sar-Galú. He took the name Darvísh Muhammad-i-Írání to conceal His true identity. [BBD214–15; BBRSM:60–1; BKG116–19; GPB120–1; TN38–9]
This action compares to Moses' going out to the desert of Sinai, to Buddha's retreat to the wilds of India, to Christ's walk in the wilderness and to Muhammad's withdrawal to the hills of Arabia. [BKG114]
Áqá Abu'l-Qásim-i-Hamadání was His only companion. Áqá Abu'l-Qásim was killed on a journey to collect money and provisions. [BKG116–17]
"It was this period of voluntary seclusion, following shortly after the execution of the Báb in 1850, which bequeathed to history irrevocable proof that Bahá'u'lláh and not His half-brother, Subhi-Ezel, was in reality the one celebrated by the Báb and for whom the Bábí Movement was the spiritual preparation. By this act of voluntary retirement, Bahá'u'lláh gave Sebhi-Ezel unhampered opportunity to exercise the spiritual leadership over the Bábís which the latter claimed as his right. The result, however, demonstrated Subhi-Ezel's utter incapacity to maintain unity among the Bábís, inspire them with faith and confidence sufficient to meet their many difficulties and guide them along lines of true future progress. Non other than the return of Bahá'u'lláh could re-quicken the flames of their ardour or supply them with the more universal principles of conduct and faith required to transform the Bábí Movement into a world religion." [BW2Surveyp33]
It was during this time that Bahá'u'lláh revealed the poem Qasídiyi-i-‘Izz-i-Varqá'íyyih (Ode of the Dove). It was composed of 2,000 couplets but Bahá'u'lláh allowed only 127 to be preserved. [BBD215; BKG118; GPB123]
See BKG114, GPB117–19 and K1250 for reasons for Bahá'u'lláh's retirement.
Before and during His absence no fewer than 25 people claimed to be the One promised by the Báb. [BBRSM29, 59; EB269; GPB125]
See BKG115–19 and GPB120 for Bahá'u'lláh's activities while in Kurdistán.
See KI248–51 for Bahá'u'lláh's own account of the episode.
See BKG119–22 and GPB124–6 for the condition of the Bábí community in Baghdád during this period.
The son born to Navváb shortly after the family's arrival in Baghdád became ill and died during Bahá'u'lláh's absence. [CB71; CH51–2]
See SBBR2:1–28 for Bahá'u'lláh's contact with Súfís.
BW16:528 for an account of Daoud Toeg, who visited the caves of Sar-Galú and photographed them.
|Kurdistan; Baghdad; Iraq
||Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Life of; Dervishes; Sulaymaniyyih; Sar-Galu; Aqa Abul-Qasim-i-Hamadani; Poetry; Qasidiyyih-Varqaiyyih (Ode of the Dove); Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Sufism; Daoud Toeg; Caves; Interfaith dialogue; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded