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Search for tag "Mirza Yahya"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1831. c. 1831 Birth of Mírzá Yahyá (Subh-i-Azal), half brother of Bahá'u'lláh. Mazandaran; Iran Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Births and deaths; Bahaullah, Family of
1846 Sep - Oct On His approach to Isfahan the Báb wrote to Manúchihr Khán, the governor-general of Isfahán, and asked him where He should take shelter. The governor requested that Siyyid Muhammad, the Imám-Jum`ih of Isfahán, accommodate Him. During His stay of 40 days the Báb impresseed His host as well as many of the clerics. [Bab109–10, 13; DB199–202, 208]
  • See Bab108–9 for information on Manúchihr Khán.
  • It was during His six-month stay in Isfahán that the Báb took a second wife, Fátimih, the sister of a Bábí from that city. She was the sister of Mulla Rajab-`Alí Isfahání. [RB1:249]
    • She became the 6th wife of Mírzá Yahyá in 1854 - 1856. He married her in Baghdad during Bahá'u'lláh's absence in Sulaymaniyah, and divorced her about a month later, giving her in marriage to Sayyid Muhammad Isfahani. [The Cyprus Exiles by Moojan Momen]
  • Isfahan; Iran Bab, Life of; Manuchihr Khan; Governor-generals; Siyyid Muhammad (Imam-Jumih); Fatimih; Mirza Yahya
    1852 Aug-Dec Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment in the Síyáh-Chál
  • See AB10–11, BBD211–12, BKG79–83, CH41–2, DB631–3, GPB109 and RB1:9 for a description of the prison and the conditions suffered by the prisoners.
  • No food or drink was given to Bahá'u'lláh for three days and nights. [DB608]
  • Bahá'u'lláh remained in the prison for four months. [CH41; ESW20, 77; GPB104; TN31]
  • "Upon Our arrival We were first conducted along a pitch-black corridor, from whence We descended three steep flights of stairs to the place of confinement assigned to Us. The dungeon was wrapped in thick darkness, and Our fellow prisoners numbered nearly a hundred and fifty souls: thieves, assassins and highwaymen. Though crowded, it had no other outlet than the passage by which We entered. No pen can depict that place, nor any tongue describe its loathsome smell. Most of these men had neither clothes nor bedding to lie on. God alone knoweth what befell Us in that most foul-smelling and gloomy place!" [ESW20-21]
  • See CH42–3 for the effect of Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment on His wife and children. Friends and and even family were afraid to be associated with His immediate family. During this period Mírzá Músá helped the family surreptitiously and Mírzá Yúsif, who was married to Bahá'u'lláh's cousin, a Russian citizen and a friend of the Russian Consul, was less afraid of repercussions for his support of them.
  • They were also assisted by Isfandíyár, the family's black servant that had been emancipated in 1839 on the order of Bahá'u'lláh. This man's life was in great danger. At one time they had 150 policemen looking for him but he managed to evade capture. They thought that if they questioned (tortured) Isfandíyár he would reveal Bahá'u'lláh's nefarious plots. [SoW Vol IX April 28, 1918 p38-39]
  • Another who helped the family was Mírzá Muhammad Tabrizi who rented a house for them in Sangelak. [PG122]
  • ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, as a child of eight, was attacked in the street of Tihrán. [DB616]
  • See AB11–12, RB1:9 for ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's account of His visit to His father.
  • Bahá'u'lláh's properties were plundered. [CH41; RB1:11]
  • See BBD4–5 and BKG94–8 for the story of ‘Abdu'l-Vahháb-i-Shírází who was martyred while being held in the Síyáh-Chál.
  • See BBD190, 200 and ESW77 about the two chains with which Bahá'u'lláh was burdened while in the Síyáh-Chál. Five other Bábís were chained to Him day and night. [CH41]
  • Bahá'u'lláh had some 30 or 40 companions. [BBIC:6, CH41]
  • An attempt was made to poison Him. The attempt failed but His health was impaired for years following. [BBIC:6; BKG99–100, GPB72] Bahá'u'lláh's half-brother Mírzá Yahyá fled to Tákur and went into hiding. He eventually went to Baghdád. [BKG90, 107, CH41]
  • Tihran; Takur; Iran; Baghdad; Iraq Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Attempts on; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Prison; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Vahhab-i-Shirazi; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Poison; Chains; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bahaullah, Basic timeline
    1853 or 1854 Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i Kullu't-ta‘ám (Tablet of All Food). [BRSM:62; BKG112]
  • The revelation of this Tablet pointed out Mírzá Yahyá's lack of ability. [BKG 112]
  • This Tablet also describes five Worlds of God.
  • Baghdad; Iraq Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Writings of; Lawh Kullut-Taam (Tablet of All Food); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Worlds of God
    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
    1854 10 Apr-1856 19 Mar Mírzá Yáhyá, who had been hiding in Mazíndarán since the attempt on the life of the Sháh, at some point prior to Bahá'u'lláh's retirement to the mountains of Kurdistán, had joined the exiles in Baghdád. During Bahá'u'lláh's absence He asked that the friends treat him with consideration and that the family offer him shelter and hospitality in the family home.
  • See CH50-52 for the effect this had on the family. Eventually the family relocated to a different house during this period and Yáhyá did come come with them out of fear of exposure but rather he lived in a smaller house near theirs where they could continue to supply him with meals.
  • Baghdad; Iraq Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Bahaullah, Life of
    1855. During Bahá'u'lláh's absence At some point during the retirement of Bahá'u'lláh, Mírzá 'Aqá Ján was engaged in the service of Mírzá Yahyá who wanted him to go on a secret mission to Tehran to assassinate Násiri'd-Dín Sháh. He accepted the assignment and soon after his arrival managed to obtain access to the court in the guise of a labourer. He realized the extent of his folly and returned to Baghdád and when Bahá'u'lláh returned from exile he confessed his part in the scheme and begged Bahá'u'lláh's forgiveness and he was permitted to resume service for Bahá'u'lláh. [CoB181-182] Baghdad; Iraq; Tihran; Iran Mirza Aqa Jan; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Nasirid-Din Shah
    1856 (after Bahá'u'lláh's return) Siyyid Asadulláh of Khuy was an influential and devoted Bábi whom the Báb had designated "Dayyán" (Judge). During Mírzá Yahyá's leadership in Baghdad he had found him so weak and the community so desparate that he, like some twenty others, declared himself to be to be the Promised One. He soon rescinded his claim after Bahá'u'lláh's return when he, as the Báb had promised, became the third person to believe in Bahá'u'lláh. Mírzá Yahyá saw this man a threat and ordered his servant Mírzá Muhammad-i-Mázindarání to murder him. [MCS562]

    In Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (p174-176) Bahá'u'lláh mentions Mírzá 'Alí-Akbar, a relative of the Báb and Abu'l-Qáaim-i-Káshí and states "several other suffered martyrdom through the decree pronounced by Mírzá Yahyá."

    Baghdad; Iraq Siyyid Asadullah (Dayyan); Mirza Yahya; Mirza Muhammad-i-Mazindarani; Mirza Ali-Akbar; Abul-Qaaim-i-Kashi; He Whom God shall make manifest
    1863 Apr Mírzá Yahyá fled Baghdád, travelling to Mosul in disguise. [BKG158; RB252–5]
  • Mírzá Yahyá had, since Bahá'u'lláh's return, concealed himself indoors ore, whenever danger threatened, would withdraw himself to Hillih or Basra where he disguised himself as a Jewish shoe merchant. [BKG224]
  • CH59 says that he left Baghdád about two weeks before the larger party.
  • Bahá'u'lláh advised him to go to Persia to disseminate the Writings of the Báb. [RB1:252–3]
  • Mírzá Yahyá abandoned the Writings of the Báb and travelled surreptitiously to Constantinople, joining the exiles when they passed through Mosul. He had obtained a passport in the name of Mírzá 'Alíh-i-Kirmánsháhí. [ESW167–8; RB1:255; BKG224]
  • See ESW167 and RB1:253–4 for Yahyá's movements.
  • Baghdad; Mosul; Iraq; Istanbul; Turkey; Iran Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal)
    1863. 16 Aug Bahá'u'lláh and His party arrived at Constantinople at noon. He was received with great honour by a government official appointed At that time it was a city of about 100,000 inhabitants. [BKG197; GPB157; RB2:1]
  • Picture.
  • The band of exiles had been augmented along the journey and now numbered about 70. At first the Governor allotted them space in an inn that was inadequate for their numbers and then 'Abdu'l-Bahá asked the governor that the family have a house apart. Mírzá Yáhyá and his family were invited to share the house. [CH59]
  • See The Bahá'í Faith in Turkey or Essays and Notes on Babi and Bahá'í History Chapter 4 by John Walbridge
  • Istanbul; Turkey Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal)
    1863 16 Aug - 1 Dec Bahá'u'lláh in Constantinople

                 "spot that art situate on the shores of the two seas" [KA217] 

    Upon arrival He and His family were driven to the residence of Shamsi Big near the Sharif Mosque. They stayed here about one month. His companions were given accommodation elsewhere in the city. [BKG197, 204; GPB157–61, HDBFXXVIII]

  • See BKG197–204 for an account of Bahá'u'lláh's stay.
  • His arrival in Constantinople and stay of about 5 years marked the first time in history that a Manifestation of God had set foot in the European continent. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 2 June, 1982 addressed To the Friends gathered at the International Conference in Dublin.]
  • Among the works Bahá'u'lláh revealed in Constantinople was Mathnaví-i-Mubárak. [RB2:29–54]
  • It was during Bahá'u'lláh's stay in Constantinople that the conciliatory attitude of the authorities changed to that of hostility as a direct consequence of the intrigues and misrepresentations of the Persian Ambassador. [ALM16]
  • News was brought to Bahá'u'lláh by Shamsí Big of the possibility that He would be transferred to Adrianople. [BKG199]
  • Bahá'u'lláh refused to leave, on pain of martyrdom, but Mírzá Yahyá and his comrades, cowardly and fearful, persuaded Him to go. [BKG201–3]
  • Sultán ‘Abdu'l-‘Azíz issued an edict banishing Bahá'u'lláh to Adrianople. It was issued "less than four months after the arrival of the exiles."[GPB159–60; RB2:57]
  • The decision was taken to further exile Bahá'u'lláh in part due to the machinations of the Persian Ambassador Mírzá Husayn Khán and his accomplice, Hájí Mírzá Hasan-i-Safá whose government was continually pressing the Turkish forces to arouse hostility against HIm. [GPB159}
  • See BBIC:34, note 68, BKG201 and GPB159 for reasons for the edict.
  • On the same day Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i-‘Abdu'l-‘Azíz-Va-Vukalá, a Tablet addressed to the Sultán. When the Grand Vizier perused it he turned pale. The text of this Tablet has been lost. [BKG206; GPB160]
  • "...Sultán 'Abdu'l-'Azíz, the self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islám and the absolute ruler of a mighty empire. So potent, so august a personage was the first among the sovereigns of the world to receive the Divine Summons, and the first among Oriental monarchs to sustain the impact of God's retributive justice." [GPB158]
  • Istanbul; Edirne; Turkey Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Mathnaviyi-i Mubarak; Shamsi Big; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Sultan Abdul-Aziz; Lawh-i-Abdul-Aziz-Va-Vukala; Grand Viziers; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bahaullah, Writings of; Z^^^^
    1864. c. During time in Adrianople At some point near the end of His life the Báb had consigned His remaining papers, His seal, His qalam-dán (pencil-box) and His last Tablets to Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Karím Qazvíní with instructions to deliver them to Mírzá Husayn-'Alí Núrí should something happen to Himself. In His last Tablets, Mírzá Husayn-'Alí Núrí was referred to again and again as "Him Whom God shall make Manifest" also, He was referred to as "Bahá'u'lláh". Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Karím Qazvíní fulfilled this trust and these items remained in the possession of Bahá'u'lláh until the days of Adrianople. When Mírzá Yáhyá asked permission to see these articles Bahá'u'lláh consented but they were never returned. Yahyá kept these items as a support of his claim to leadership asserting that the Báb had given them to him. [CH49] Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Bab, Life of; Bahaullah, Life of; Bab, Writings of; Mirza Abdul-Karim Qazvini; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Box with writings; Boxes; Relics
    1864 c. During the time in Adrianople In their efforts to discredit Bahá'u'lláh and His companions, the followers of Azál made complaints to the authorities. They alleged that they had insufficient means of livelihood, blaming Bahá'u'lláh for depriving them of their share of the allowances. Àqá Ján Kajkuláh, instigated by Siyyid Muhammad, wrote to dignitaries and government representatives with the false accusation that Bahá'u'lláh had made an alliance with Bulgaria for the purpose of conquering Constantinople.
  • The Persiana ambassador in Constantinople took advantage of the disturbance in Turkey to inform Persian Consuls in Iraq and in Egypt that the Turkish government had withdrawn protection for the Bábí sect. This news precipitated malice and mischief in both countries. [FAA7]
  • Edirne; Adrianople Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Aqa Jan Kajkulah; Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani; Antichrist
    1864 Dec Mírzá Yahyá began his attempts on Bahá'u'lláh's life about one year after the arrival of the exiles. He invited Bahá'u'lláh to a feast and shared a dish, half of which was laced with poison. Bahá'u'lláh was ill for 21 days following this attempt and was left with a shaking hand for the rest of His life.
  • Bahá'u'lláh was attended by a foreign Christian doctor named Shíshmán who died shortly after seeing Him. Bahá'u'lláh intimates that the doctor has sacrificed his life for Him.
  • On another occasion he poisoned the well which provided water for the family and companions of Bahá'u'lláh. [BKG225]
  • Mírzá Yahyá tried to convince the barber, Ustád Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Salmání, to assassinate HIm. This enraged the barber and, contrary to Bahá'u'lláh's instructions, disclosed Mírzá Yahyá's intentions to the community thus causing further discontent. [CH60, BKG225–30, CB82–3, GPB165-166 and RB2:158–61]
  • Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Bahaullah, Attempts on; Poison; Sacrifice
    1865 (In the year) French diplomat Joseph Comte de Gobineau published Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, over half of which is devoted to a study of the Bábí movement.
  • Gobineau's work was written when Mírzá Yahyá was still know as the nominal head of the Bábí Faith between 1855 and 1858 when Gobineau was First Secretary and Chargé d'Affaires of the French Legation. Two embassy employees during his time there were ardent supporters of Mírzá Yahyá, one of whom was his brother-in-law. (He served as the Ambassador from March 1862 until September, 1863.)
  • This work attracted a number of other European intellectuals, including E. G. Browne of Cambridge, who eventually became the most prolific western writer and researcher of the Bábi religion. [BBR17, MCS483; 500; 512]
  • France; Iran Joseph Comte de Gobineau; Babi studies; Edward Granville Browne; Mirza Yahya
    1866 c. Mar The Most Great Separation

    Mírzá Yáhyá's behaviour could no longer be tolerated or concealed. Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Súriy-i-Amr (Súrih of Command) as a direct order to him. [CH60, 83, CB84; GBP166; BKG223-245]

  • This was the formal announcement to the nominee of the Báb of the station of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest' and a summons for him to pay allegiance to His Cause. [CB83–4; RB2:161]
  • Bahá'u'lláh directed his amanuensis to take the Tablet to Mírzá Yáhyá. Upon receipt he became very angry and a "jealous fire consumed him". He responded, after a requested day's respite, by claiming that he was the recipient of a divine revelation and all must turn to him. [CH60, BKG230; CB84; GPB166–7; RB2:162]
  • Shoghi Effendi described this event as "one of the darkest dates in Bahá'í history and was the signal for the open and final rupture between Bahá'u'lláh and Mírzá Yahyá. [GPB167]
  • The announcement that Bahá'u'lláh was the Promised One spread quickly to Iraq and to Persia. The followers were happy for the clarification and glad to be rid of Yáhyá. Only the express command of Bahá'u'lláh prevented them from ridding the world of such nefarious traitor. [CH61]
  • It is believed that Yáhyá's conduct and accusations precipitated the next exile. [CH61]
  • Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Suriy-i-Amr (Surih of Command); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Most Great Separation; Firsts, other; Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Z^^^^
    1866. 10 Mar Bahá'u'lláh and His family withdrew from the house of Amru'lláh, the residence shared with the exiles, and went to the house of Ridá Big. [BKG230; GPB167; RB2:162]
  • He stayed in this house for about one year. [GPB168]
  • See BKG235 for a description of the house of Ridá Big.
  • Bahá'u'lláh went into isolation for two months. He ordered that all of the family's goods should be divided. He even hed delivered to him certain relics he had long coveted such as the seals, rings and manuscripts in the handwriting of the Báb. The companions were to choose between Himself and Azal. This has become known as the ‘Most Great Separation'. [BBRSM67; BKG230–2; GPB167–8; RB2:162]
  • See BKG231–2, GPB167 and RB2:163 for the effect of this.
  • See BBRSM59–60 for a description of Azal's leadership.
  • The continued efforts of Mírzá Yahyá and Siyyid Muhammad sullied the reputation of Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople and in the capital. In addition, temporary beach had been made in the ranks of the supporters. [GPB170]
  • Mírzá Yahyá sent messengers to Persia with false accounts of the events. He sent one of his wives to the authorities claiming that Bahá'u'lláh had deprived him of his fair share of the allowances. [BKG233]
  • Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; House of Amrullah; Rida Big; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Most Great Separation
    1867. c. Aug Bahá'u'lláh refused to draw the allowance granted Him by the Ottoman government. [RB2:327]
  • Mírzá Yahyá had twice petitioned the government to convince it that he ought to be the recipient of the allowance. [RB2:327]
  • Bahá'u'lláh sold some of His belongings to provide the necessities for Himself and His dependents. [RB2:327]
  • Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Bahaullah, Life of; Ottoman government; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal)
    1867 Sep "The Most Great Idol" was cast out of the community.

    Mírzá Yahyá's henceman, Siyyíd Muhammad, convinced Yahyá to challenge Bahá'u'lláh to to face-to-face encounter in the mosque of Sultán Salím in a distant part of the city, believing that Bahá'u'lláh would not show. Bahá'u'lláh immediately set out to walk to the appointed mosque. Upon learning this Mírzá Yahyá postponed the interview for a day or two. Bahá'u'llah returned to His home and revealed a Tablet to be delivered to Siyyíd Muhammad when he produced a sealed note stating that should Mírzá Yahyá fail to appear at the trysting-place, he would produce a document refuting Yahyá's claims. Neither were forthcoming and the Tablet to Siyyid Muhammad remained undelivered.

    Prior to this the community had been divided however this incident firmly established His ascendency. The Covenant of the Báb had prevailed [GPB168-170]

  • A period of prodigious activity ensued. Bahá'u'lláh later stated in the Lawh-i-Siraj, "In those days the equivalent of all that hath been sent down aforetime unto the Prophets hath been revealed." [GPB171]
  • Edirne; Adrianople The Most Great Idol; Mirza Yahya; Siyyid Muhammad
    1867 Sep Thinking that He will not accept Mírzá Yahyá, prodded on by Mír Muhammad, challenged Bahá'u'lláh to a public confrontation in the mosque of Sultán Salím. In the end, it was Mírzá Yahyá who did not appear. [BKG239–41; GPB168–9; RB2:291–300, SDH22]
  • The incident gained Bahá'u'lláh respect in the eyes of the people. [RB2:289]
  • See [RB2:304] for a picture of the mosque.
  • Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Mir Muhammad; Bahaullah, Life of; Confrontation; Mosques; Challenges
    1867 Sep - Aug 1868 In this period the extent of the Faith was enlarged with expansion in the Caucasus, the establishment of the first Egyptian centre and the establishment of the Faith in Syria. [GPB176]
  • While Nabil was in Khorasan in spring 1866, at his suggestion, the greeting Alláh-u-Abhá (God is the most Glorious) was adopted by the followers of Bahá'u'lláh, replacing the old salutation of Allāho Akbar (God is the Greatest), which was common among the Bábis. This was a significant action that gave group identity to the Bahá'ís and was a sign of their independence from the Bábís and the Azális, a Bábí faction that considered Mírzá Yaḥyā Ṣobḥ-e Azál as the legitimate successor to the Báb. The greeting Alláh-u-Abhá superseded the Islamic salutation and was simultaneously adopted in Persia and Adrianople. [BKG250; GPB176, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica,]
  • The phrase ‘the people of the Bayán', which now denotes the followers of Mírzá Yahyá, was discarded and is replaced by the term ‘the people of Bahá'. [BKG250; GBP176]
  • Caucasus; Egypt; Syria; Khurasan; Iran; Edirne; Adrianople; Turkey Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Nabil-i-Azam; People of the Bayan; People of Baha; Allah-u-Abha; Greatest Name; Most Great Separation
    1868. 26 Jul Bahá'u'lláh was banished to 'Akká

    Sultán `Abdu'l-`Azíz, at the instigation of his Prime Minister, Ali Pasha, issued a firmán condemning Bahá'u'lláh to perpetual banishment. [BKG283–4; GPB179, 186; RB2:401–2]

  • See RB2:402 for a list of those included in the edict.
  • BKG261, GPB181 and RB2:403 indicate that it was not until the party reached Gallipoli that they were informed that their ultimate destination was `Akká.
  • BBD40 says that it was because of the disloyal Mírzá Yahyá's plotting against Bahá`u`lláh that the Turkish authorities condemned Him to perpetual imprisonment in `Akká.
  • Edirne; Istanbul; Turkey; Baghdad; Iraq; Gallipoli; Akka Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Sultan Abdul-Aziz; Khurshid Pasha; Firmans; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1868. 21 Aug Bahá'u'lláh and His companions left Gallipoli on an Austrian-Lloyd steamer. CH62 says it was a Turkish boat. [BKG263; GPB182; RB2:411]
  • CH62 says it was a Turkish boat.
  • There were 72 exiles, 10 soldiers and 2 officers. The journey took 11 days. [CH63]
  • See BKG270 for map of the journey.
  • Towards sunset the same day the steamer touched on Madellí and stoped for a few hours. It continued on to Smyrna the same night where they stayed for two days and left at night. [BKG264; N&N22]
  • Mírzá Yahyá and the four Bahá'ís arrested at Constantinople, including Mishkín-Qalam, were sent to Famagusta in Cyprus. [BKG268; GPB179]
  • See also
  • Gallipoli; Madelli; Smyrna; Famagusta; Turkey; Cyprus Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Ships; Mishkin-Qalam; Mirza Aliy-i-Sayyah-i-Maraghihi (Mulla Adi-Guzal); Aqa Abdul-Ghaffar; Aqa Muhammad-Baqir (Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallati); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Exile; Cyprus exiles; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1868. 5 Sep The ship that had delivered the exiles to 'Akká carried on and Mírzá Yahyá arrived in Cyprus with his entire family but without a single disciple or even a servant. [BBR306]
  • Also exiled to Cyprus were four loyal Bahá'ís and they were:
      Mishkín-Qalam (Áqá Hussain Isfahání)
      Mirzá ‘Alíy-i-Sayyáh-i-Maraghih'í (Mullá Ádí-Guzal)
      Áqá ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffár
      Áqá Muḥammad-Báqir (Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallátí) (coffee-maker)
  • With their arrival Cyprus became the first island in the Mediterranean to receive the Faith.
  • See also GPB 182 and AB285, 523.
  • Famagusta; Cyprus Mishkin-Qalam; Mirza Aliy-i-Sayyah-i-Maraghihi (Mulla Adi-Guzal); Aqa Abdul-Ghaffar; Aqa Muhammad-Baqir (Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallati); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Exile; Cyprus exiles; First Bahais by country or area; Islands
    1872. 22 Jan Three Azalís were murdered by seven Bahá'ís in 'Akká. [BBD163; BKG3256 DH41; GPB189; RB3:235]
  • Siyyid Muhammad Isfahání, Nasr’ulláh Tafríshí, Áqá Ján Ka’j Kuláh and Ridá Qulí, these four kept vigil from the second story window of a building overlooking the land gate to ensure no followers of Bahá'u'lláh would have access to the prison city. For some time they had been successful at preventing the entrance of pilgrims, some of whom who had spend some six months even traveling on foot. This also precluded the possibility of communications from 'Akká reaching the believers in other lands. After two years and a few months, Bahá’u’lláh was released from the His cell and was free to walk among the prison population. Some of the friends, including Salmání, decided to get rid of these enemies and, during the night, went to their place and killed Siyyid Muhammad, Áqá Ján and another person. [Sweet and Enchanting Stories, Aziz Rohani, p. 31.]
  • Bahá'u'lláh was taken to the Governorate where He was interrogated and held for 70 hours. [BKG317-330; GBP190; RB3:234-239, AB34-36]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá was thrown into prison and kept in chains the first night. Twenty–five of the companions were also imprisoned and shackled. [BKG328; GBP190; RB3:237]
  • See BKG331, GPB191 and RB3:238 for the effect of the murders on the local population.
  • Ilyás `Abbúd put a barricade between his house and the house of `Údí Khammár, which he had rented for use by Bahá'u'lláh's family. [BKG331; GPB191]
  • See BKG330; DH44 and RB3:239 for the fate of the murderers, who were imprisoned for seven years.
  • Siyyid Muḥammad-i-Isfahání has been described by Shoghi Effendi as the “Antichrist of the Bahá’í Revelation.” He was a man of corrupt character and great personal ambition who had induced Mírzá Yaḥyá to oppose Bahá’u’lláh and to claim prophethood for himself. Although he was an adherent of Mírzá Yaḥyá, Siyyid Muḥammad was one of the four Azalis exiled with Bahá’u’lláh to ‘Akká. He continued to agitate and plot against Bahá’u’lláh. In describing the circumstances of his death, Shoghi Effendi has written in God Passes By:

    A fresh danger now clearly threatened the life of Bahá’u’lláh. Though He Himself had stringently forbidden His followers, on several occasions, both verbally and in writing, any retaliatory acts against their tormentors, and had even sent back to Beirut an irresponsible Arab convert, who had meditated avenging the wrongs suffered by his beloved Leader, seven of the companions clandestinely sought out and slew three of their persecutors, among whom were Siyyid Muḥammad and Áqá Ján.

    The consternation that seized an already oppressed community was indescribable. Bahá’u’lláh’s indignation knew no bounds. “Were We,” He thus voices His emotions, in a Tablet revealed shortly after this act had been committed, “to make mention of what befell Us, the heavens would be rent asunder and the mountains would crumble.” “My captivity,” He wrote on another occasion, “cannot harm Me. That which can harm Me is the conduct of those who love Me, who claim to be related to Me, and yet perpetrate what causeth My heart and My pen to groan.” [GPB189-190]

  • Akka Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani; Ilyas Abbud; House of Abbud; House of Udi Khammar; Bahaullah, Houses of; Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Antichrist; Murders; Opposition; Azali Babis; Ustad Muhammad-Ali Salmani; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Basic timeline, Expanded
    1881 24 Mar Mírzá Yahyá was granted freedom by the British administration of Cyprus. [BBR311]
  • He asked for British citizenship or protection so that he might return to Iran or Turkey in safety but was denied so stayed on in Cyprus for the rest of his life with a pension of 1193 pias/month from the British government. [BBR311]
  • Famagusta; Cyprus Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal)
    1887 – 1888 E. G. Browne, the noted Orientalist, spent 12 months in Persia. An important purpose of his journey was to contact the Bábís. [BBR29]
  • For a list of his books and other works and his relationship with the Bahá'í Faith see BBR29–36.
  • Also see BBD47; Balyuzi, Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith and Momen, Selections From the Writings of E. G. Browne.
  • While sailing from Naples to New York 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave an account of Mírzá Yahyá and his followers and of the complaints they made to Edward G. Browne: "They tampered with the contents of the history of Hájí Mírzá Jání by removing some of its passages and inserting others. They sent it to the libraries of London and Paris and through such falsehood induced him [Browne] to translate and publish the document. In order to achieve his own selfish desires, he had it printed." [Mahmúd's Diary p21]
  • Iran; United Kingdom Edward Granville Browne; Mirza Yahya; Covenant-breakers; Haji Mirza Jani
    1912 29 Apr Mírzá Yahyá died in Famagusta. [BBD243; BBR312]
  • He had been deserted by most of his followers and was given a Muslim funeral. [BKG426; GPB233]
  • Years later the sons of Mírzá Yahya and their relatives reconciled themselves to the authority of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [CH237-238]
  • In the late 1950s a meeting that was held in Famagusta at which representatives of all three main generations of Bahá'ís were present including: Jalal Azal representing the followers of Mirza Yahya (Bayanic), `Ismat and others represented the followers of Mirza Muhammad `Ali (Unitarian Baha'is), and Ahmad Sohrab represented those opposed to any form of administration. One of the aims of this conference was to build a mausoleum over the grave of Mirza Yahya. The project came to naught. [Bahá'í Awareness]
  • Famagusta; Cyprus Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Covenant-breakers; Cyprus exiles; Births and deaths; Ahmad Sohrab
    1926 25 Jan The passing of Professor Edward Granville Browne, (b. on the family estate in Gloucestershire, 7 February, 1862. d. near Cambridge). He is buried at Elswick Cemetery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Find a grave.

    Browne was a British orientalist who published numerous articles and books of academic value in the areas of Persian history and literature. He had a number of private interviews with Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí in 1890. He was the only Westerner to have met Bahá’u’lláh and to have left a description of the experience (see Scholar Meets Prophet: Edward Granville Browne and Bahá'u'lláh).
    In 1912-13, while `Abdu'l-Bahá was in Europe, Browne visited him in London and Paris. These visits were supplemented by some correspondence between the two. Other Bahá'ís, including Montford Mills, also visited and corresponded with Browne from time to time. When `Abdu'l-Bahá passed away in 1921, Browne penned a sympathetic obituary. He also wrote a pen-portrait of Àbdu'l-Bahá. [Bahá'í Tributes]

  • Charles Melville, Professor of Persian History at Pembroke College in Cambridge headed the Browne Archive Project to digitize Browne's diaries and notes.
  • See Encounter with Bahá'u'lláh, a short video about Browne's life and his famous interview.
  • See MCS529-545 for a discussion of Browne's lack of objectivity and his partisanship as a researcher that lead to his committing some serious errors in his work on the Bábí-Bahá'í Faith.
  • He himself a professor of Arabic, found the Báb's style of writing very difficult and said of his works: "...some are so confused, so full of repetitions, extraordinary works and fantastic derivatives of Arabic roots, that they defy the most industrious and indefatigable reader." [SBBH5p227]

    Browne's Publications

    • Religious Systems of the World: A Contribution to the Study of Comparative Religion (1889)
    • A Traveller's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Báb (1891) A history by`Abdu'l-Bahá which Browne translated and extensively annotated.
    • Tarikh-i-Jadid or New History of Mirza`Ali Muhammad the Báb (1893) by Mirza Husayn Hamadani translated by E.G.Browne.
      • Hájjí Mírzá Jani Kashani wrote a substantial history of the Bábi Faith sometime between 1850-1852. (He was martyred in 1852.) These memoirs as they were copied and re-copied and spawned a great many versions which differed particularly in their portrayal of Subh-i-Azál and Bahá'u'lláh, depending on the editor’s loyalty.
      • In about 1880 Mírzá Husayn Hamadani with the support of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl took some version of Mírzá Jani's 1851 account and worked it up into a new history, The Tárikh-i-Jadíd. He did this at the request of a Zoroastrian, Manakji, who then added a preface, an epilogue, and an unknown number of amendments to the text and then published it under his own name.
      • Nabil-i-Akbar, in response to a commission by Bahá'u'lláh, made a revision of this work somewhere between 1880-1883 which is known as The Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání.
      • Browne used two these two manuscripts, The Tárikh-i-Jadíd and The Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání to write the single volume The New History (tarikh-i-jadid) of Mírzá Ali-Muhammed, the Báb. In referring to Mírzá Jani's history throughout the footnotes, he was not aware of the problems of discerning what represents the original memoirs and what others have added.
    • A Year Among the Persians (1893) Vividly describes his adventures, including his encounters with the Bahá'ís and Azalís during his time in Persian from October 1887 to September 1888.
    • A chapter from the history of Cannabis Indica (1897)
    • A Literary History of Persia From Firdawsí to Sa'dí (in four volumes) (1902-24)
    • The Persian Revolution of 1905–1909 (1910) About the Persian Constitutional Revolution, of which Browne was an ardent supporter.
    • He published, in Persian, the text of The Kitab-i-Nuqtatu'l-Kaf, being the earliest History of the Bábís compiled by Hájji Mírzá Jání of Kásgán between the years 1850 and 1852, edited from the unique Ms. Suppl. Persan 1071. (1910) This was a work that he had done at an earlier date. It was published at the instigation of Mirza Muhammad Qazvini, a well-known Iranian literary critic and Azalí sympathizer, who wrote the Persian Introduction to this volume. After the publication of this work, `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote to a number of Iranian Bahá'ís, urging them to compile material to refute its contents. One such work was Dashf al-Ghitá by Mírzá Abul-Fazl Gulpáyigání. [RR232] [See The History and Provenance of an Early Manuscript of the Nuqtat al-kaf dated 1268 (1851-52) by William F. McCants and Kavian Sadeghzade Milani and Nuqtat al-Káf by Kavian Sadeghzade Milani as well as Nuqtat al-Kaf and the Babi Chronicle Traditions by Juan Cole; The Bab's Stay in Kashan: A Historiographical Analysis of the Kitab-i-Nuqtatu'l-Kaf Based on the Kashan Pericope by Kavian Milani; MCS517; 541]
    • It is reported that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was "deeply annoyed" with Browne over the publication and dissemination of the Kitáb-i Nuqtatu'l-Káf as reported by Áqáy-i-Taqízádih in ´Ábdu'l-Baha's Meetings with Two Prominent Iranians introduced and translated by Ahang Rabbani. [World Order Vol 30 No 1 Fall 1998 p46]
    • 'Abdu'l-Bahá is reported to have said, "They tampered with the contents of the history of Hájí Mírzá Jání by removing some of its passages and inserting others. They sent it to the libraries of London and Paris and through such falsehood induced him [Browne] to translate and publish the document. In order to achieve his own selfish desires, he had it printed." [MD24]
    • Also from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, "I wrote to him, saying, `You are the first European teacher and author to have attained His Blessed Presence. Do not lose this distinction.' He did not understand me and his loss will be known when the lights of guidance shine in England with supreme brilliancy." [MD278]
    • From GPB81, Browne's testimony, “One of those strange outbursts,”...“of enthusiasm, faith, fervent devotion and indomitable heroism … the birth of a Faith which may not impossibly win a place amidst the great religions of the world.” And again: “The spirit which pervades the Bábís is such that it can hardly fail to affect most powerfully all subjected to its influence.… Let those who have not seen disbelieve me if they will, but, should that spirit once reveal itself to them, they will experience an emotion which they are not likely to forget.”
    • The Persian Constitutional Movement (1918) [MCS544]
    • Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion (1918) The book represented no great amount of original work on Browne's part since it was mainly documents that he had collected.
    • Arabian Medicine (1921) [Browne, Edward Granville by Moojan Momen] iiiii
    • For scholarly works on the life of Browne see Selections From The Writings of E.G. Browne - On The Babi And Baha'i Religions by Moojan Momen and Edward Granville Browne and the Baha'i Faith by Hasan Balyuzi. Both have been published by George Ronald.
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Cambridge Edward Granville Browne; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Montford Mills; Hajji Mirza Jani Kashani; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Mirza Husayn Hamadani; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Manakji; Nabil-i-Akbar; Abdu'l-Baha, Life of

    from the main catalogue

    1. Account of the Death of Mirza Yahya Subh-i-Azal, by Alili Ridvan, in Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion. [about]
    2. Additional Tablets, Extracts and Talks, by Abdu'l-Bahá (2018). [about]
    3. Anatolica, by Harry Charles Luke, in Anatolica (1924). One-page discussion of Mirza Yahya, Subh-i-Azal. [about]
    4. Azálí-Bahá'í Crisis of September, 1867, The, by Juan Cole, in Studies in Modern Religions, Religious Movements, and the Babi-Bahá'í Faiths, Moshe Sharon, ed. (2004). On the history of a fateful weekend during which the Bábí movement in the nineteenth-century Middle East was definitively split into the Bahá'í and Azalí religions. [about]
    5. Baha'u'llah's Seclusion in Kurdistan, by Bijan Ma'sumian, in Deepen, 1:1 (1993). Reconstruction of parts of this mostly undocumented period in Bahá'u'lláh's life. [about]
    6. Characterization in the Writings of Shoghi Effendi: With Special Attention to Yahya, by Jack McLean (2000). The Guardian employed a creative literary device of adding moralistic comment about historical figures, such as kings and clerics, casting them as "heroes" or "villains." Mirza Yahya is depicted with aspects of the demonic. [about]
    7. Chosen Highway, The, by Lady Sarah Louisa Blomfield (Sitarih Khanum) (1940). [about]
    8. Cyprus Exiles, The, by Moojan Momen, in Bahá'í Studies Bulletin, 5:3-6:1 (1991). History of Mirza Yahya's family and the four followers of Baha'u'llah exiled with them in Cyprus. Includes genealogies. [about]
    9. Dawn over Mount Hira and Other Essays, by Marzieh Gail (1976). A collection of essays on various topics of interest to Baha'i studies and history. Most of these were first published in Star of the West and World Order between 1929 and 1971. [about]
    10. Divisions and Authority Claims in Babism (1850-1866), by Denis MacEoin, in Studia Iranica, 18:1 (1989). Factors leading to the division of Babism into the Azalís and the Bahá'ís, and the question of succession and the claims of Mírzá Yahyá, Dayyán, and Bahá'u'lláh. [about]
    11. History and Provenance of an Early Manuscript of the Nuqtat al-kaf dated 1268 (1851-52), The, by William F. McCants and Kavian Sadeghzade Milani, in Iranian Studies, 37:3 (2004). [about]
    12. Mírzá Yahyá Azal, Designation of in the Writings of the Báb, by Universal House of Justice, in Lights of Irfan, Volume 8 (2007). [about]
    13. Nuqtat al-Káf, by Kavian Sadeghzade Milani, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (2008). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    14. Nuqtat al-Kaf and the Babi Chronicle Traditions, by Juan Cole, in Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies, 2:6 (1998). History of the writing of this early Babi historical text, and some recent interpretations of its history. [about]
    15. Personal Reminiscences of the Babi Insurrection at Zanjan in 1850, by E. G. Browne, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 29 (1897). [about]
    16. Scholar Meets Prophet: Edward Granville Browne and Bahá'u'lláh (Acre, 1890), by Christopher Buck and Youli Ioannesyan, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 20 (2014). Details of E.G. Browne's handwritten notes about his meeting with Baha'u'llah, his stay in Akka in April 1890, and his correspondence with Russian academics. [about]
    17. Study of the Meaning of the Word "Al-Amr" in the Qur'án and in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, A, by Moojan Momen, in Lights of Irfan, Book 1 (2000). [about]
    18. Surah of God, by Bahá'u'lláh, in Bahá'í Studies Bulletin, 6:4-7:2 (1992). Includes essay about the "Most Great Separation"(1866) and historical events in Baha'u'llah's household in the mid-1860s. [about]
    19. Tablet of the Báb Lawh-i-Vasaya, "Will and Testament"; Titles of Mírzá Yahyá, by Universal House of Justice (2004). Two questions: on the Tablet of the Bab "Lawh-i-Vasaya: The Will and Testament"; the nature of the appointment and titles of Mírzá Yahyá. Includes two attachments: Tablet of the Bab Lawh-i-Vasaya and excerpt from Making the Crooked Straight. [about]
    20. Tablet of the Nightingale and the Owl (1863). The Tablet of the Nightingale and the Owl is a short story, which reads like a fairy tale, about the search for the Beloved. [about]
    21. Tablet to Hájí Muhammad-Nasír-i-Qazvíní: Excerpts, by Bahá'u'lláh (1986). Excerpts translated by Christopher Buck in Studies in Bábí and Bahá’í History vol. 3 (Kalimát Press, 1986) and by Shoghi Effendi in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. [about]
    22. Tablets concerning the Divine Test, by Bahá'u'lláh (2000). Baha'u'llah's writings about the divine test between Baha'u'llah and Mirza Yahya at the Sultan Selim Mosque in Edirne in September, 1867, which led to the final schism between the Baha'is and the Azali Babis. [about]
    23. Will and Testament: Translation and Commentary, by Báb, The (2004). Examination of four available manuscripts, dates of issue, variations, exclusions, verse numbering followed by a running commentary on its tone, message and implications for the future of the Babi movement. [about]
    24. Will and Testament of The Báb, by Báb, The, in Lights of Irfan, Volume 8 (2007). One-page scan of a document commonly, though inaccurately, referred to as the "Will and Testament." [about]
    25. Yahyá, Mírzá, by Moojan Momen, in The Bahá'í Encyclopedia (2009). On the younger half-brother of Bahá’u’lláh, later his opponent, known as Subh-i-Azal, described by Shoghi Effendi as "the arch-breaker of the Covenant of the Báb." [about]
     
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