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||At the age of 12 Mulla Husayn finished his studies in Bushíhr and went to Mashhad, the most prestigious centre of religious study in Iran. In 1830-1 he relocated to Karbala to study under Siyyid Kázim. [MH7-8; MH113]
||Karbala; Iraq; Mashhad; Bushihr; Iran
||Mulla Husayn; Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti
||Siyyid `Alí Muhammad (the Báb) goes to Najaf and Karbalá where He attends the lectures of Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí, Shaykh Ahmad's successor. He remains here for about a year. [B42–4; MH25; RB3:254; SBBH15]
- The followers of Shaykh Ahmad number about 100,000 in Iraq alone. [MH25, HotD25]
- BBRSM13 says the Báb went to Najaf and Karbalá in 1839/40.
|Najaf; Karbala; Iraq
||Bab, Life of; Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti; Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai; Shaykhism; Bab, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
||The sacking of the holy city of Karbalá at the hands of the Turks. Thousands of its citizens were killed even those taking refuge in the Shrines of Imám Husayn or 'Abbás. [BBRSM55, HotD10, DB36]
||Ottoman Empire; War (general); History (general)
|1843 31 Dec
||Passing of Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí, the disciple and self-proclaimed successor of Shaykh Ahmad, in Karbalá. Because Siyyid Kázim designated no successor, within a short period of time the Shaykhí school was split into several factions. The two largest were grouped around Siyyid `Alí Muhammad and Hájí Mullá Muhammad Karím Khán Kirmání. The first faction moved away from the outward practice of Islám towards a development of inner realities and ultimately a new revelation. The second emphasized the continuing role of the Prophets and the Imáms and sought acceptance from the Shí'í majority which had formerly excommunicated Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim. [BBD126–7; MH26; SBBH1; TB6, Sayyid Kazim Rashti by Moojan Momen]
The latter, Hájí Mullá Muhammad Karím Khán Kirmání, became an enemy of the Báb. [SDH165]
- BBRSM9 for a brief account of his life and the Shaykhí school under his leadership.
- See MH28 for a picture.
- See DB43–5, MH46–7 for an account of a warning of his passing.
- Bahá'u'lláh condemns him in both the Kitáb-i-Íqán (p.184-186) and the Lawh-i-Qiná.
||Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti; Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai; Shaykhism; Siyyid Ali Muhammad; Haji Mulla Muhammad Karim Khan Kirmani; Shiism; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1844 10 Jan
||The arrival of Táhirih in Karbilá. She had learned of the views of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim and had corresponded with the latter from whom she received her name, Qurratu'l-Ayn, meaning "Solace of the Eyes". Against the wishes of her family she had left her home to join the circle of his students but arrived in Karbilá ten days after his passing. Convinced that the Promised One would soon appear she stayed on in that city as Siyyid Kázim's disciples were departing in their search. To one of them, her brother-in-law, Mírzá Muhammad-i-Alíy-i-Qazvíní, she gave a sealed letter and told him to deliver it to the One Sought. This he did and the Báb recognized her as one of the Letters of the Living. [B25-26]
||Tahirih; Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai; Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti; Mirza Muhammad-i-Aliy-i-Qazvini; Letters of the Living
|1844. 22 Jan
||Mullá Husayn returns to Karbalá after a journey of two years in Persia. He has been on a mission in Isfahán and Mashhad where he has successfully defended the views of his master, Siyyid Kázim, before the leading clerics of those cities. [MH49]
- After a period of mourning and 40 days of prayer and fasting in the vicinity of the shrine in Najaf he sets out for Persia in the company of his brother and his nephew following the last wishes of Siyyid Kázim that his followers quit Karbalá and search for the Promised One. The party go to Búshihr and then on to Shíráz. [MH50–55, HotD28]
- See SI dustjacket for a photo of the Shrine of Imam 'Ali.
|Karbala; Isfahan; Mashhad; Najaf; Bushihr; Shiraz; Iraq; Iran
||Mulla Husayn; Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti
|1844. 11 Aug
||The Báb sends Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí to Najaf and Karbalá to proclaim His Cause among the Shaykhís. In Najaf Mullá `Alí delivers a letter from the Báb to Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan Najafí, the leading Shí`í divine and the keeper of the shrines in Iraq. [BBRSM15; DB87-91; SBBH20–1, HotD46]
- The Shaykh's rejection of the claim leads to violent debate. Mullá `Alí is taken to Baghdád and imprisoned there. After a public trial, a joint tribunal of Sunní and Shí`í `ulamá, he is sent to Istanbul. He is the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. It is significant that Mullá Hasan Gawhar, a leading figure of the Shaykhí school, participated in the condemnation as it marks the first major challenge to Babism from a Shaykhí leader. [B27, 37–8, 58; BBR83–90; BBRSM17; BKG31; DB90–2; MMBA, BBR2p17, GPB10]
|Istanbul; Turkey; Iraq; Baghdad; Najaf; Karbala
||Bab, Life of; Mulla Ali Bastami; Ulama; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Shaykhism; Firsts, Other; Trials; Court cases; Persecution, Court cases; Letters of the Living
|1844 2 or 3 Oct
||The Báb departs from Búshihr on His pilgrimage. [B57; MH119, 121, GPB9]
- He instructs His followers to await His arrival in Karbalá. [DB86, 87; MH122; SBBH1:23]
- He has been awaiting the letter from Mullá Husayn before starting on His pilgrimage. [DB123; MH117]
- The vessel taking the Báb to Jiddah is probably the Arab sailing-boat named Futúh-ar-Ras`ul. [B69]
- He joined the company of a group of pilgrims from Fárs. [DB76-77]
|Karbala; Iraq; Jiddah; Saudi Arabia
||Bab, Life of; Bab, Pilgrimage of; Mulla Husayn; Ships
|1845. c. Jan
||Crowds gather in Karbalá in response to the Báb's summons, among them Táhirih. [BI62; BBRSM15, 215; SBBH1:22]
||Bab, Life of; Tahirih
|1845. Jul and months following
||The Báb is told to attend a Friday gathering at the Mosque of Vakíl to appease the hostility and the curiosity of some of the residents of Shíráz and to clarify His position. The exact date of His attendance is unknown. He makes a public pronouncement that He is neither the representative of the Hidden Imám nor the gate to him, that is, His station is higher. [B94–8; DB151–7]
- He is released to the custody of His uncle, Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Alí. [DB151, LTDT13]
- see DB152 for pictures of the above mosque.
- Upon hearing the news of the confinement of the Báb, Mullá Husayn and his companions leave Isfahán where they have been awaiting further instructions and travel to Shíráz. Mullá Husayn is able to meet secretly with the Báb several times in the house of His uncle. The Báb sends word to the remainder of His followers in Isfahán to leave and travel to Shíráz. [B102–3; MH128–9]
- After a time the presence of Mullá Husayn in Shíráz threatens to cause civil unrest. The Báb instructs him to go to Khurásán via Yazd and Kirmán and tells the rest of the companions to return to Isfahán. [B90, 102–3; DB170; MH130]
- This time, described as the `most fecund period' of the Báb's ministry, marks the birth of the Bábí community. [B89–90]
- The Sháh sends one of the most learned men in Persia, Siyyid Yahyáy-i-Dárábí, surnamed Vahíd, to investigate the claims of the Báb. He becomes a follower of the Báb. As a result of his conversion most of the inhabitants of the town of Nayríz later become Bábís. [B90–4; BBD216; BBRSM41; CH21; DB171–7; GPB11–12; TN7–8]
- Another learned scholar, Muhammad-`Alíy-i-Zanjání, surnamed Hujjat, becomes a believer after reading only one page of the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá'. Several thousand of his fellow townspeople become Bábís. [B100–2; BBD111; BBRSM16; GPB12]
- Mírzá Ahmad-i-Azghandí, yet another learned man, who had compiled traditions and prophecies concerning the expected Revelation, becomes a believer as well. [GPB12–13]
|Shiraz; Isfahan; Khurasan; Yazd; Kirman; Nayriz; Iran; Karbala; Iraq
||Bab, Life of; Vakil Mosque; Mosques; Mulla Husayn; Bab, Family of; Muhammad Shah; Shahs; Vahid (Siyyid Yahyay-i-Darabi); Hujjat; Qayyumul-Asma (book); Mirza Ahmad-i-Azghandi; Tahirih; Mirza Ahmad-i-Azghandi
|1845 July and months following
||In Karbalá Táhirih revives the remnant of the Bábí community there. She is considered a part of the radical element of Shaykhí Bábís because she believes that the Shaykhí tradition has been abrogated by the new Revelation. The new Bábí movement causes the Shaykhí leaders to unite in their opposition to the Báb and to redefine the nature of the school, toning down its more controversial teachings and moving back towards mainstream Shí`ísm. [BBRSM16–18]
|1845. 30 Dec
||The Báb's birthday falls on the first day of the mourning observance for the Imám Husayn. Táhirih, who is in Karbalá with the widow of Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí, instructs her relatives and the Bábís to dress in bright clothing and joyously celebrate the Báb's birth. This causes a considerable disturbance, even among the Bábís. Táhirih is arrested and expelled from the city. [RR305, SA217]
||Tahirih; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
|1846 (In the year)
||Táhirih is sent back to Baghdád from Karbalá. She is lodged first in the house of Shaykh Muhammad Shíbl and then in the house of the Muftí of Baghdád. During her time in Iraq she enlists a considerable number of followers and makes a number of enemies among the clergy [B162; DB271]
||Baghdad; Karbala; Iraq
|1847 Jul to 1848 Apr
||The people of Máh-Kú show marked hostility to the Báb on His arrival. Later they are won over by His gentle manners and His love. They congregate at the foot of the mountain hoping to catch a glimpse of Him. [B129; DB244–5]
At the beginning of the Báb's incarceration the warden `Alí Khán keeps the Báb strictly confined and allows no visitors. He has a vision of the Báb engaged in prayer outside of the prison gates, knowing that the Báb is inside. He becomes humble and permits the Bábís to visit the Báb. [B129–31; DB245–8]
The winter the Báb spends in Máh-Kú is exceptionally cold. [DB252]
Many of the Báb's writings are revealed in this period. [GPB24–5]
- It was probably at this time that He addressed all the divines in Persia and Najaf and Karbalá, detailing the errors committed by each one of them. [GPB24]
- He revealed nine commentaries on the whole of the Qur'an, the fate of which is unknown. [GPB24]
- He revealed the Persian Bayán, containing the laws and precepts of the new Revelation in some 8,000 verses. It is primarily a eulogy of the Promised One. [BBD44–5; BBRSM32; BW12:91 GPB24–5]
- The Báb began the composition of the `smaller and less weighty' Arabic Bayán. [B132; BBD45; GPB25]
- He stated in the Bayán that, to date, He had revealed some 500,000 verses, 100,000 of which had been circulated. [BBRSM32, GPB22]
- In the Dalá'il-i-Sab'ih (Seven Proofs) the Báb assigned blame to the seven powerful sovereigns then ruling the world and censured the conduct of the Christian divines who, had they recognized Muhammad, would have been followed by the greater part of their co-religionists. [BBD63; BW12:96; GPB26]
- The Báb wrote His `most detailed and illuminating' Tablet to Muhammad Sháh. [GPB26]
|Mah-Ku; Iran; Najaf; Karbala; Iraq
||Bab, Life of; Ali Khan; Bayan-i-Farsi (Persian Bayan); Bayan-i-Arabi (Arabic Bayan); Bayan; Dalail-i-Sabih (Seven Proofs); Bab, Writings of; Tablet to Muhammad Shah; Muhammad Shah; Bab, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1848 c. Jul
||Quddús is arrested and taken to Sárí where he is placed under house arrest in the home of Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí, a leading cleric. [B171; BKG50; DB300]
Táhirih is arrested and is later taken to Tihrán where she is held in the home of Mahmúd Khán, the Kalántar of Tihrán, until her martyrdom in August 1852.
Mullá Husayn leaves the army camp near Mashhad where he has been a guest of a brother of the Sháh. He plans to make a pilgrimage to Karbalá. While making preparations for the journey he receives a Tablet from the Báb instructing him to go to Mázindarán to help Quddús, carrying a Black Standard before him. He is also instructed to wear the Báb's own green turban and to take the new name Siyyid `Alí. [B171; BKG50; DB324; MH174]
|Sari; Tihran; Mashhad; Mazandaran; Iran; Karbala; Iraq
||Quddus; Mirza Muhammad-Taqi; Tahirih; Mahmud Khan; Kalantar; Mulla Husayn; Shahs; Black Standard; Green turban; Turbans; Names and titles; Letters of the Living
|1849. 1 Aug
||Death of Hájí Mírzá Áqásí at Karbalá. [B147; BBD19; BBR156]
||Karbala; Iraq; Iran
||Haji Mirza Aqasi; Prime Ministers of Iran; Prime Ministers
|1851 Jun c.
||Mírzá Taqí Khán meets with Bahá'u'lláh and tells Him that it would be advisable for Bahá'u'lláh to leave Tihrán temporarily. [BKG66; DB591]
A few days later, Bahá'u'lláh leaves Tihrán for Karbalá on pilgrimage. [BKG66; DB587]
|Tihran; Iran; Karbala; Iraq
||Mirza Taqi Khan; Bahaullah, Life of
|1851. 28 Aug
||Bahá'u'lláh arrived in Karbalá via Baghdád on His pilgrimage. He stayed here for 10 months. [BKG67; DB593; GPB70]
- See BKG68 and DB593–4 for those who became Bábís in Karbalá in this period.
|Karbala; Baghdad; Iraq
||Bahaullah, Life of; Pilgrimage; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1851 5 Oct
||Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí, the Báb's amanuensis, had been sent from the Báb's side in Chihríq to live in Karbilá at a time just before the incident at Shaykh Tabarsí when all available believers were being dispatched to assist Quddús. Here, the Báb told him, he would meet the promised Husayn. Although he had never met Bahá'u'lláh before, on this day he recognized Him as He walked by the inner courtyard of the Shrine of the Imám Husayn. [BKG67–8]
- There is a Shíh tradition that, in the Latter Days, 'Alí would re-appear twice, once before Muhammad and once after Husayn. The Báb's name was 'Alí-Muhammad and Bahá'u'lláh's name was Husayn-Alí, hence the prophecy was fulfilled. Shaykh Hasan wants to proclaim the advent of the Promised One however Bahá'u'lláh advises him that it is not yet time.[OPOP163, DB31-33]
||Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunuzi; Bab, Life of; amanuensis; Bahaullah, Life of; Imam Husayn; Prophecies
||After learning of the death of the Báb, his mother Fáṭimih Bagum moves to Karbilá with her closest companions.
||Fatimih Bagum; Bab, Family of
|1852 Apr - May c.
||Bahá'u'lláh returned to Iran from Karbalá. [DB598]
- He was the guest of the Grand Vizier for one month. [BKG74; DB598–9]
|Karbala; Iraq; Iran
||Bahaullah, Life of; Grand Viziers; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
||Bahá'u'lláh revealed His station and mission to Mírzá Áqá Ján in Karbalá. [BKG109–11; GPB115–16]
||Bahaullah, Life of; Mirza Aqa Jan
||a few newspaper stories in English mention 'A certain "Babee"'|
||Death of former Prime Minister Mírzá Áqá Khán, in Qum. He is buried at Karbalá. [BBR165]
||Qum; Iran; Karbala; Iraq
||Prime Ministers; Mirza Aqa Khan
|1892 3 Sep
||Nabíl, inconsolable at the death of Bahá'u'lláh, committed suicide by drowning himself in the sea. [AB56; BBD167; BKG265-268, , 427–8; MF32-37; DH81; EB268-270; GPB222; Rob1p201-206]
- He left a note paying homage to `Abdu'l-Bahá, writing the date of his death in the single Arabic word `Gharíq' (drowned), the numerical value of which is AH 1310 (AD 1892–3). [MF35; RB1:205]
- See OPOP86 for "Pilgrim's Note" concerning what Jináb-i-Fádil said that 'Abdu'l-Bahá said about Nabil's suicide.
- See DH81 for his own epitaph.
- He was buried in the Muslim Cemetery near `Akká. [DH81]
- He was one of 19 Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh designated by Shoghi Effendi in recognition of distinguished services that those nineteen loyal and devoted Persian Bahá'ís have rendered to their faith. [BW3p80-81]
- Nabíl was born in the village of Zarand on the 29th of July, 1831. He had become a Bábí around 1847 after over-hearing a conversation between two men about the Báb. He accepted the faith of Bahá'u'lláh in 1858. During his years as a Bábí, Nabil traveled to Lorestan, Kermanshah, Tehran, and Khorasan; he met with the Bábís and Bábí leaders in those provinces to foster the Bábí ideology and inspire the believers to arise, consolidate, and expand the new Bábí communities. He also transcribed and distributed Bábí literature among the rank and file of the society to promote the Bábí faith. He was jailed in Sāva for four months because of his pro-Bábí activities. In September 1854, he set out for Baghdad and Karbala, where he stayed until October 1856. During late 1856 to July 1858, he traveled to Hamadan, his hometown Zarand, and many major Babi communities in the capital province and returned to Baghdad on 19 July 1858.
Nabil’s life as a Bahá'í is summed up in his extensive travels throughout Iran, Iraq, Turkey, the Caucasus, Egypt, and Palestine. In his early travels as a Bahá'í, he met with the Bábí communities to invite them to the Bahá'í faith; he attracted the Bábi leaders to the recognition of Bahá'u'lláh as the fulfillment of the Báb’s prophecies concerning the promised messianic figure and helped reinforce the belief of the new Bahá'ís in the teachings and principles that were being advanced by Bahá'u'lláh. Through these activities, Nabíl became an outstanding teacher, defender, and promulgator of the Bahá'í faith.
[Dawn over Mount Hira, "The Poet Laureate" p19-104, or p85-98, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica, DB434-435]
- Although known primarily as an historian in the West he was a gifted and prolific poet who devoted most of his poetry to the historical events in the Bábí and Bahá'í faiths. His most famous poem in couplet form about the history of the Bahá'í faith was published as Maṯnawi-e Nabil Zarandi in Cairo in 1924 in 65 pages and reprinted in Langenhain in 1995. In this poem he describes major historical events from the early days of the Bábí movement to the year 1869. His second poem, in 666 verses, deals with Bahá'u'llāh’s banishment from Edirne to Akka. Other historical poetry of Nabil consists of his poem titled “Maṯnawi-e weṣāl wa hejr” in 175 verses (pub. in Rafati, 2014, Chap. 6; Ḏokāʾi, p. 416) and his poem on the life of Āqā Moḥammad Nabil Akbar Qāʾeni in 303 verses (Ḵušahā-i az ḵarman-e adab wa honar 13, pp. 108-16). In addition to those poems, Nabil left behind a great collection of poetry in different forms, only a fraction of which has been published.
His other works in prose included a treatise on the Bábí-Bahá'í calendar, a treatise on Bahá'í inheritance laws (Fāżel Māzandarāni, IV pp. 1, 214), and his account on the event of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh (Nabil Zarandi, Maṯnawi-e Nabil Zarandi, Langenhain, 1995, pp. 67-108). But Nabil’s most celebrated work is Maṭāleʿ al-anwār, an extensive historical narrative of the Bábí faith, written in Akka in 1888-90, which was edited and translated into English by Shoghi Effendi as The Dawn-Breakers. The work was first published in the United States in 1932. [“Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica; DB434-435]
|Akka; Zarand; Sava; Baghdad; Karbala; Cairo; Erdine; Turkey
||Nabil-i-Azam; Suicide; Apostles of Bahaullah; Births and deaths; Cemeteries and graves