|1831. c. 1831
||Birth of Mírzá Yahyá (Subh-i-Azal), half brother of Bahá'u'lláh.
||Mirza Yahya; Subh-i-Azal
||Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment in the Síyáh-Chál.
Bahá'u'lláh's half-brother Mírzá Yahyá flees to Tákur and goes into hiding. He eventually goes to Baghdád. [BKG90, 107, CH41]
- 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 is 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]
- 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.
- ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, as a child of eight, is 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 are 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]
|Tihran; Tehran; Takur; Iran; Persia; Baghdad; Iraq
||Life of Bahaullah; Siyah-Chal; Prison; ‘Abdu'l-Baha; ‘Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Shirazi; martyr; poison; Chains; Mirza Yahya; - Basic timeline
|1853 or 1854
||Birth of Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, first son of Bahá'u'lláh and His second wife, Mahd-i-‘Ulyá. [CB 125]
||Mirza Muhammad-‘Ali; birth; son; Baha'u'llah; wife; Mahd-i-‘Ulya; Lawh-i Kullu't-ta‘am; Tablet All Food; Mirza Yahya'
|1854 10 Apr - 1856 19 Mar
||Bahá'u'lláh suddenly leaves Baghdád and goes to Kurdistán. [BKG115; DB585; GPB120]
Bahá'u'lláh lives for some time as a dervish in a cave on the mountain of Sar-Galú. He takes the name Darvísh Muhammad-i-Írání to conceal His true identity. [BBD214–15; BBRSM:60–1; BKG116–19; GPB120–1; TN38–9]
- Before He left, Bahá'u'lláh asked His family to look after Mírzá Yahyá during His absence. [CB70–1; CH50–1]
- 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. Tor by this act of voluntary retirement, Bahá'u'lláh gave Sebhi-Ezel unhampered opportunity to exercise the spiritual leadhership 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. Nother but 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. 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.
||Life of Bahaullah; Dervish; Sulaymaniyyih; Sar-Galu; Aqa Abu'l-Qasim-i-Hamadani; Poetry; Qasidiyi-i-Izz-i-Varqaiyyih (Ode of the Dove); Navvab; Mirza Yahya; Sufism; Daoud Toeg; Caves
||Mírzá Yahyá flees Baghdád, travelling to Mosul in disguise. [BKG158; RB252–5]
- 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. [ESW167–8; RB1:255]
- See ESW167 and RB1:253–4 for Yahyá's movements.
|Baghdád; Mosul; Iraq; Constantinople; Istanbul; Turkey; Iran; Persia
|1863. 16 Aug
||Bahá'u'lláh and His party arrive at Constantinople at noon. [BKG197; GPB157; RB2:1]
- The band of exiles had been augmented along the journey and new 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 Baha’i Faith in Turkey or Essays and Notes on Babi and Baha’i History Chapter 4
|Constantinople; Istanbul; Turkey
|1863 16 Aug - 1 Dec
||Bahá'u'lláh resides in Constantinople. [BKG197, 204; GPB157–61]
- See BKG197–204 for an account of Bahá'u'lláh's stay.
- Among the works Bahá'u'lláh reveals in Constantinople is Mathnaví-i-Mubárak. [RB2:29–54]
News is brought to Bahá'u'lláh by Shamsí Big of the possibility that He will be transferred to Adrianople. [BKG199]
Bahá'u'lláh refuses to leave, on pain of martyrdom, but Mírzá Yahyá and his comrades, cowardly and fearful, persuade Him to go. [BKG201–3]
Sultán ‘Abdu'l-‘Azíz issues an edict banishing Bahá'u'lláh to Adrianople. [GPB159–60; RB2:57]
|Constantinople; Istanbul; Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Life of Bahaullah; Banishment of Bahaullah; Mathnavi-i-Mubarak; Shamsi Big; Mirza Yahya; Sultan ‘Abdu'l-‘Aziz; Lawh-i-‘Abdu'l-‘Aziz-Va-Vukala; Grand Vizier
Mírzá Yahyá makes an attempt on Bahá'u'lláh's life in the public bath see Ch60, BKG227–30, CB82–3, GPB166 and RB2:158–61.
||Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Mirza Yahya; attempt; bath
||Mírzá Yahyá invites Bahá'u'lláh to a feast and shares a dish, half of which was laced with poison. Bahá'u'lláh is ill for 21 days following this attempt and is left with a shaking hand for the rest of His life. [CH60, BKG225; GPB165]
- Bahá'u'lláh is attended by a foreign doctor named Shíshmán who dies shortly after seeing Him. Bahá'u'lláh intimates that the doctor has sacrificed his life for Him. [BKG225; GPB166]
|Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Mirza Yahya; attempt; poison
|1864 c. During the time in Adrianople
||In their efforts to discredit Bahá'u'lláh and His companions, the followers of Azál made complaint to the authorities. They complained 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 with 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]
|Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Mirza Yahya; Àqa Jan Kajkulah; Siyyid Muhammad; Azal
|1866. c. Mar 1866
||The Most Great Separation. Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Súriy-i-Amr (Súrih of Command) for Mírzá Yahyá. [CH60, 83, CB84; GBP166]
- This is 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 directs his amanuensis to take the Tablet to Mírzá Yáhyá. He becomes very angry and a "jealous fire consumed him". He responds by claiming that he is the recipient of a divine revelation and all must turn to him. [CH60, BKG230; CB84; GPB166–7; RB2:162]
- 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]
|Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Life of Bahaullah; Banishment of Bahaullah; Suriy-i-Amr; Surih Command; Mirza Yahya; Bab; Lawh-i-Baha; Khatun Jan; Tahirih; Rida Big; Tablet; people Baha; people Bayan; The Most Great Separation.
|1867. c. Aug
||Bahá'u'lláh refuses to draw the allowance granted Him by the Ottoman government. [RB2:327]
- Mírzá Yahyá twice petitions the government to convince it that he ought to be the recipient of the allowance. [RB2:327]
- Bahá'u'lláh sells some of His belongings to provide the necessities for Himself and His dependents. [RB2:327]
|Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Baha'u'llah; Ottoman government; Mirza Yahya
|1867 Sep - Aug 1868
||Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Kitáb-i-Badí‘, the Munájátháy-i-Síyám (Prayers for Fasting), the first Tablet to Napoleon III, the Lawh-i-Sultán written to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, and the Súriy-i-Ra'ís. [BKG245; GBP172]
- See RB2:370–82 for details of the Kitáb-i-Badí‘.
Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Súriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch) in which ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's future station is foreshadowed. [BBD218; BKG250; GPB177]
- See RB2:338–9 for a description of the Tablet.
||Baha'u'llah; Suriy-Muluk; Surih Kings; Kitab-i-Badi‘; Munajathay-i-Siyam; Prayers for Fasting; Napoleon III; Lawh-i-Sultan; Nasirid-Din Shah; Suriy-i-Ra'is; Suriy-i-Ghusn; Tablet of the Branch; ‘Abdu'l-Baha; Allah-u-Abha'; Bayan; Mirza Yahya
|1867 Sep - Aug 1868
||In this period the extent of the Faith is enlarged, with expansion in the Caucasus, the establishment of the first Egyptian centre and the establishment of the Faith in Syria. [GPB176]
The greeting Alláh-u-Abhá' supersedes the Islamic salutation and is simultaneously adopted in Persia and Adrianople. [BKG250; GPB176]
The phrase ‘the people of the Bayán', which now denotes the followers of Mírzá Yahyá, is discarded and is supplanted by the term ‘the people of Bahá'. [BKG250; GBP176]
|Caucasus; Egypt; Syria; Persia; Adrianople;
||Mirza Yahya; the people of the Bayan; the people of Baha; Allah-u-Abha
||Mírzá Yahyá, prodded on by Mír Muhammad, challenges Bahá'u'lláh to a public confrontation in the mosque of Sultán Salím, thinking that He will not accept. In the end, it is Mírzá Yahyá who does not appear. [BKG239–41; GPB168–9; RB2:291–300, SDH22]
- The incident gains Bahá'u'lláh respect in the eyes of the people. [RB2:289]
- See [RB2:304] for a picture of the mosque.
|Adrianople; Edirne; Turkey
||Mirza Yahya; Mir Muhammad; Baha'u'llah; confrontation; mosque Sultan Salim; challenge
|1868. 21 Aug
||Bahá'u'lláh and His companions leave Gallipoli on an Austrian-Lloyd steamer. CH62 says it was a Turkish boat. [BKG263; GPB182; RB2:411]
- 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 touches on Madellí and stops for a few hours. It continues on to Smyrna the same night. [BKG264]
- Mírzá Yahyá and the four Bahá'ís arrested at Constantinople, including Mishkín-Qalam, are sent to Famagusta in Cyprus. [BKG268; GPB179]
|Gallipoli; Madelli; Smyrna; Famagusta
||Life of Bahaullah; Banishment of Bahaullah; Mirza Yahya; Mishkin-Qalam
|1868. 5 Sep
||Mírzá Yahyá arrives 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 Muḥammad-Báqir (Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallátí) (coffee-maker)
- With their arrival Cyprus becomes the first island in the Mediterranean to receive the Faith.
- See also GPB 182 and AB285, 523.
||Mishkin-Qalam; Aqa Hussain Isfahani; Aliy-i-Sayyah-i-Maraghihi, Mirza; Mulla Adi-Guzal; Aqa Abdul-Ghaffar; Aqa Muhammad-Baqir; Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallati; Mirza Yahya
|1912 29 Apr
||Mírzá Yahyá dies in Famagusta. [BBD243; BBR312]
- He had been deserted by most of his followers and is given a Muslim funeral. [BKG426; GPB233]
- Years later his sons and their relatives reconcile themselves to the authority of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [Ch237-238]
||Mirza Yahya; Covenant-breakers; Subh'i'Azal