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Chronology of Persecutions of Babis and Baha'is

compiled by Jonah Winters.
1998
This chronology was compiled from a number of English-language histories of Babi and Bahá'í history. Its purpose was to set in context the events of persecution and martyrdom, both to track chronological order and to show the broader historical or social context of each event. I prepared it as background work for my master's thesis Dying for God: Martyrdom in the Babi and Bahá'í Religions, online at bahai-library.com/winters_dying_for_god.

I also recommend two other resources for chronological study. The first is the exhaustive chronology of Babi and Bahá'í History by Glenn Cameron and Wendi Momen, A Basic Bahá'í Chronology (Oxford: George Ronald, 1996). The second is Moojan Momen's detailed "A Chronology of some of the Persecutions of the Babis and Bahá'ís in Iran, 1844-1978," published in The Bahá'í World 1979-1983, vol. XII, pages 380-392. -J.W.

Key to Sources:

Amanat = Abbas Amanat, Resurrection and Renewal
The Bab = H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab
Bayat = Mangol Bayat, Mysticism and Dissent
Brown = Ramona Brown, Memories of Abdu'l-Bahá
Browne = E.G. Browne, Materials for the Study of The Babi Religion
Burgel = Joseph Burgel, "The Bahá'í Attitude towards Peace and its Christian and Islamic Background,"
     in The Bahá'í Faith and Islam
EM = Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís in the Time of Bahá'u'lláh
Fischer = Michael Fischer, "Social Change and the Mirrors of Tradition: The Bahá'ís of Yazd,"
     in The Bahá'í Faith and Islam
Furutan = Ali-Akbar Furutan, The Story of My Heart
HMHA = Hájí Mírzá Haydar-'Alí, Stories From the Delight of Hearts
Huddleston = John Huddleston, The Earth is But One Country
King = H.M. Balyuzi, Bahá'u'lláh: King of Glory
Ma'ani = Baharieh Ma'ani, "Interdependence of Bahá'í Communities...," JBS 4:1
Moayyad = Heshmat Moayyad, "The Historical Interrelationship of Islam and the Bahá'í Faith,"
     in The Bahá'í Faith and Islam
Momen = Moojan Momen, The Babi and Bahai Religions--Western Accounts
Nabil = Nabil, The Dawnbreakers
Nash = Geoffrey Nash, Iran's Secret Pogrom
Olya = Olya Roohizedegan, Olya's Story
Qazvin = Qazvin's history in E.G. Browne's Materials for the Study of The Babi Religion
Rabbani = Ruhiyyih Rabbani, Priceless Pearl
Root = Martha Root, Tahirih the Pure
Salmani = Ustad Salmani, My Memories of Bahá'u'lláh
SBBR = Studies in The Babi and Bahá'í Religions series vol. x
Schimmel = Annemarie Schimmel, "Iqbal and the Bahá'í Faith,"
     in The Bahá'í Faith and Islam
SE = Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By
Sears = William Sears, Cry from the Heart
Shii = Moojan Momen, Introduction to Shi'i Islam
Smith = Peter Smith, The Babi and Bahá'í Religions
Stories = Ali-Akbar Furutan, Stories of Bahá'u'lláh
SWEGB = E.G. Browne, Selections from the Writings of E. G. Browne
Thrzdh = Adib Taherzadeh, Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, vol. x
Waite = Gary Waite, "The Religious State...," JBS 7:1
Walbridge = John Walbridge, Sacred Acts Sacred Space Sacred Time
WM = Wendi Momen, A Basic Bahá'í Dictionary

Chronology:

DateDescriptionSources
1805-1813 Russo-Persian wars Amanat 45
1829 Massacre of Russian legation Amanat 27
1839/40 The Bab leaves for pilgrimage Smith 13
1840 The Bab's stay in Bushihr, Najaf, and Kerbela Bayat 88
1840/41 The Bab returns to Shiraz Smith 14
1841 The Bab in Najaf and Karbila, after having been in Bushihr SBBR 15
1842.11 Massacre of Shaykhis at Karbala Amanat 60, 68, 220, The Bab 193 ff.
1843.12.31 Death of Siyyid Kazim Rashti Momen xxviii
1844.01.22 Mulla Husayn arrives at Karbila. Then on to Najaf, then Bushihr, then Shiraz, where he met The Bab on 1844.5.22
1844.05.23 Declaration of The Bab
1844.06? Mulla Husayn goes to Isfahan, then Kashan, then Qum, then Tehran, then Khurasan
1844.09 The Bab, Quddus, and a servant leave from Shiraz on hajj (Bayat says uncle--Bayat 91). Momen says 1844.11.12 (Momen xxviii). They leave from Bushihr 1800.10 SBBR 23
1844.10 (1845?) Arrest, trial, and death of Mulla Ali Bastami. Haji Abdul Majid beat Mulla Ali repeatedly. This was the first affliction that befell a disciple of The Bab after His declaration. He later died, the first The Babi martyr. WMomen gives date as end of 1846. Amanat gives 1844.10, as does Huddleston. SE just says it was before 1845.02. Waite says it was 1845.06 when The Bab heard the news and returned to Iran. Momen, xviii, gives 1845.01.13. Nabil 61-3, WMomen 15, Amanat 220-237, 254, Huddleston 147, Waite 83, The Bab 58-68
1844.12 The Bab arrives at Mecca Nabil ?, Bayat 91
1845 A joint fatwa condemning The Bab's writings as kufr is issued. Shii 141
1845.02 The Bab arrives in Medina Waite 83
1845.03.04 The Bab leaves Jidda, arrives Bushihr 1845.05.15 SBBR 23
1845.05.15 The Bab returns to Shiraz from pilgrimage Momen xxviii
1845.06 Disciples of The Bab punished at Shiraz. The Bab is arrested, taken to Shiraz Momen xxviii
1845.07 The Bab brought under guard to Shiraz, released, re-arrested in Shiraz in 1845.09 Amanat 254-7, Huddleston 145, Smith 16, The Bab 105
1845.07? The Bab arrives at Bushihr (Nabil says "9 mos. after leaving same city on hajj"). Sends Quddus to Shiraz
1845.07? Quddus and Mulla Sadiq beaten and persecuted severely. First Babis persecuted on Persian soil for the sake of their faith. Nabil 103, 131, Thrzdh3 253-7
1845.10.01 The Bab arrives at Medina (1 Muharram 1261)
1846.09 The Bab leaves Shiraz for Isfahan, arrives 1846.9/10. Stays in home of governor of Isfahan. Momen, xxviii, gives 1846.07.23 SE 13, Smith 16, 21, Waite 84, The Bab 105
1847-48 With The Bab in prison, Babis got more militant. Folks killed and tortured. "Qazvin massacre." Bahá'u'lláh has Tahiri taken to Tehran to protect her. Bahá'u'lláh and Tahiri go to Mashhad Nabil 201-3, Amanat 350, Smith 21-3
1847.02 Manuchir Khan dies, The Bab ordered to Tehran Huddleston 146
1847.03.19 The Bab arrives at Kashan from Isfahan (?) Smith 21
1847.03.21 The Bab delivered into hands of govt., taken to Qum and Tabriz
1847.03.28 The Bab arrives at Kinar-Gird, near Kulayn, near Tehran. Next day, 1847.3.29, sets up a tent near Kulayn, where he stays a fortnight
1847.04.11 The Bab leaves his tent at Kulayn for Tabriz Waite 83
1847.07 The Bab arrives at Mah-Ku, rejects offer of rescue Waite 84
1847.08-09 Mulla Abdullah arrives in Qazvin to visit The Bab and heard rumors that Mulla Taqi pronounced The Bab a heretic. So he killed Mulla Taqi, in retaliation for which many Babis are tortured and killed. First Babis to have bloodshed on Persian soil. Huddleston 147 gives 1848 as date of first Persian death. Tahiri escapes. Amanat 322-4, 350-1, Nabil 196-200, Waite 86, The Bab 166, Root 74-9
1848.03.29 Mulla Husayn leaves Mah-Ku for Mazindaran, stays with Quddus
1848.04.10 The Bab leaves Mah-Ku for Chihriq SE 19, The Bab 132, Momen xviii.
1848.04.? Mulla Husayn goes to Mashhad, where Quddus soon joins him
1848.06-07 Badasht Momen xxviii.
1848.07 Skirmish at Niyala kills some Amanat 328, Nabil 215-8
1848.07-08 The Bab brought to Tabriz, tried, and then bastinadoed Amanat 391, Smith 20-1
1848.07.21 Mulla Husayn carries the Black Flag from Mashhad to Tabarsi Waite, 83, gives date as 1848.10
1848.09-10 Mulla Husayn's party gets in fight near Barfurush, which leads up to the siege of Tabarsi, Mazandaran Nabil 238-49, Bayat 118--121
1848.09.04 death of Muhammad Shah, ascension of Nasiri'd-Din Shah Smith 26
1848.10.10 The Babis first attacked at Barfurush. First of Mulla Husayn's engagements Nabil 276
1848.10.12 The Babis arrive at Tabarsi, construct fortress, 1848.12.01: Quddus leads attack from Tabarsi, vanquishes most of enemy army. No Babis killed, only one wounded. 2nd of Mulla Husayn's engagements. 1848.12.21: Engagement with forces of Mihdi Quli Mirza. Quddus injured. 3rd of Mulla Husayn's engagements. 1849.02.01: A well inside Tabarsi was finished. Mulla Husayn says now is the time to prepare to die. 1849.02.02: Mulla Husayn killed shortly after midnight. 4th of his engagaments. 90 others wounded that night; most died. 1849.04-5: Black Standard ceases to fly. 1849.05.09: Tabarsi ends Nabil 249-302, Smith 26-7, WMomen 217, Shii 141, Smith 26-7, SWEGB 415-6, Momen 91-7
1848.12? Bahá'u'lláh arrested on the way to Tabarsi and bastinadoed Nabil 265-70
1849.05.16 Quddus killed Nabil 295-301, Bayat 121
1850 uprisings in Zanjan, Yazd, Nayriz, and an aborted one in Tehran Bayat 121, Shii 141, The Bab 171-88
1850.01/02 Uprising in Yazd The Bab 204-5, Momen 106-09
1850.02.14-50.03.15 The Babis incarcerated in Tehran, persecuted, and tortured after assassination plot uncovered. Seven became the "7 Martyrs of Tehran." Smith and Momen give date as 1850.02.19/20 Nabil 326-341, Bayat 124, WMomen 225, Amanat 397, Smith 28, The Bab 206-8, Momen xviii, 100-105
1850.05.10 Skirmish between Vahid's forces and their enemy at Yazd Nabil 349, Fischer 28
1850.05.13 Zanjan uprising. First martyr from this upheaval killed 05.16. Hujjat dies from his wounded arm (Wendi Momen says 1850.05) Zanjan suppressed 1851.01.08. Nabil 393, 420, WMomen 111, 245 (diff. date), Amanat 397, 405, Smith 28, Bayat 123-5, The Bab 209-13, Momen 114-127
1850.05.27-06.21 Vahid arrives at Nayriz. Some take shelter in the fort of Khajih, fight over 1,000 govt. troops. Nabil 353-67, Bayat 121-5, Amanat 397, Smith 28, Momen 109-113
1850.06.19 The Bab arrives in Tabriz Momen xxix
1850.06.29 Vahid killed Nabil 367
1850.07.09 Martyrdom of The Bab Bayat 126, Amanat, Nabil, The Bab 202-3, SWEGB 420, Momen 77-82
1851.06 Bahá'u'lláh leaves capital for Karbila, arrives 1851.08 Nabil 430, 436
1852.08.15 Attempt on life of Shah. Extensive reprisals followed, including Sulayman Khan's famous martyrdom and Tahirih's. Huddleston 153, King 86-9, Nabil 459, Amanat 366-7, 405, TN 330-31, Momen 128-46, Browne 265-271, SWEGB 422-3, Momen 9, 128-46, 245, Fischer 28, 46, Thrzdh2 27-51, Root 96-109
1853.01.12 Bahá'u'lláh leaves for Baghdad. Arrives 1853.04.08 Nabil 474
1853.10 Second Nayriz uprising. Ends 1853.12 Smith 29, EM 25-6, Momen xxix, 147-52
1854.04.10 Bahá'u'lláh leaves for Sulayman, returns 1856.03.19
1857/58 Sayyid Ismail Zavari kills himself. Qazvin 10-11, King 132-4
1863.04.22 Bahá'u'lláh goes to the Najibiyyid Garden, makes declaration
1863.05.03 Bahá'u'lláh and companions depart for Istanbul, arrive 1863.08.16
1863.12.? Bahá'u'lláh and companions depart for Adrianople, arrive 1863.12.12
1864-1914 Thirteen episodes of persecution in Isfahan Shii 141
1864.05 upheaval at Najafabad Momen xxix, 268-9
1867.01.11 execution of 3 Bahá'ís at Tabriz, followed by martyrdoms in Zanjan and Tehran King 237-8, Momen xxix, 251-4, Thrzdh2 60-1
1868 Hajji Jafar tries to kill himself bc he can't go with Bahá'u'lláh to Akka Qazvin 28-9
1868.07 persecution of Bahá'ís in Egypt Momen xxix, 257-64
1868.07 Bahá'ís in Baghdad exiled to Mosul Momen xxix, 266-7
1868.08.12 Bahá'u'lláh and companions depart for Akka, arrive 1868.08.31
1869.07 Badi martyred Furutan 116-8, Salmani 89-90, SE 199, Qazvin 47-9, SWEGB 91, Momen 254-5, Thrzdh3 174-92, 198-203
1870 Ashraf killed, his mother says not to recant or she'd disown him. EM 25, King 470, Qazvin 36-7, Thrzdh2 225-30
1870.06.23 Mirza Mihdi dies WMomen 155, SE 188, Qazvin 49, Thrzdh3 205-11
1870.10 Bahá'u'lláh, in Akka, moved from citadel to a house
1872.01.23 Murder of 3 Azalis in Akka Momen 212-15
1874.05.08 Upheaval in Isfahan Momen xxix, 269-73
1877.06 Bahá'u'lláh moves to Mazra'ih
1877.12 martyrdom of Mulla Kazim of Talkhunchih Momen xxix, 273-4, Thrzdh4 384-5
1879.03.17 King of and Beloved of Martyrs killed WMomen 130, Nash 31, EM 33-51, Traveller's Narrative 93, SWEGB 19, 150-151, Momen 274-80, Thrzdh4 73-90
1882.12 Arrest of Bahá'ís in Tehran Momen xxix, 292-5
1888.10.23 Mirza Ashraf killed in Isfahan. EM 31, Qazvin 40 (and Browne ?), Browne 291-308, SWEGB 19, 304-5, Momen xxix, Thrzdh4 385-6
1889 Muhammad Riza killed Moayyad 88, Nash 31, Thrzdh4 342-5
1889.07 Upheaval at Najafabad Momen xxix, 280-4
1889.07.08 Martyrdom of Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani at Ishqabad Momen xxix, 296-300
1890.02.25 Sidih martyrdoms Momen xxix, 284-8
1891.05.19 7 Martyrs of Yazd, etc. Sears 59-64, Fischer 29, 46, Nash 32, Qazvin 41-3, Browne 291-308, SWEGB 19, Momen 301-304, Thrzdh3 194-6, Thrzdh4 347-50
1892 (?) Martyrdom of Sabzivari Ficher 43-4. 46
1892.05.20 Passing of Bahá'u'lláh at Akka
1896.05.01 Nasiri'd-Din Shah killed EM 101-04, Momen 158-60, 359-61
1896.05.? Varqa and Ruhullah killed EM 75-97, Momen 361-2, Thrzdh4 57-72
1896.08 Martyrdom of five Bahá'ís of Turbat-i-Haydari Momen xxix, 405-6
1898.02.09 Martyrdom of Haji Muhammad-i-Turk at Mashhad Momen xxx, 406-17
1898.12.10 First Western pilgrims arrive at Akka Momen xxx
1899.04 Upheaval at Najafabad Momen xxx, 426-31
1903.05 Upheaval at Rasht Momen xxx
1903.05-06 Incident at Russian Consulate in Isfahan Momen xxx
1903.06-07 Martyrdoms in Yazd and Isfahan, 100 killed Nash 33-5, Fischer 29, 43-6, Moayyad 89, Shii 141, Nash 36-8, Ma'ani 22-3, Momen 363-6, 373-402, Thrzdh2 358-68, Thrzdh4 124
1906.12.30 Shah signs new Constitution Momen 353-5
1908.07 Abdu'l-Bahá freed after Young Turks' Revolution
1909.11.05 Martyrdom of Haji Haydar at Isfahan Momen xxx, 430-4
1911.08-12 Abdu'l-Bahá's first Western tour
1912.03.25 Abdu'l-Bahá's second Western tour, ends 1913.06.17
1915.03.14 Martyrdom of Shaykh Ali-Akbar Quchani at Mashhad Momen xxx, Momen 420-4
1917.05.02 Martyrdom of Mirza Muhammad-i-Bulur-Furush at Yazd Momen xxx, 443-6
1920.04.17 Knighting of Abdu'l-Bahá
1920.05.21 Martyrdom of Haji Arab at Sultanabad Momen xxx, 345-6, 444-6, 451
1921.01.23 Martyrdom of Mirza Ya'qub-i- Muttahidih in Kirmanshah Momen xxx, 446-50
1921.11.28 Passing of Abdu'l-Bahá
1926.04.07 Beginning of attacks on Bahá'ís in Jahrum. Sears 30, Nash 39-40, 48, Rabbani 97-99, Momen xxx, 465-72
1934.12.09 Bahá'í Tarbiyat Schools in Tehran closed Momen xxx, 475-9
1942-3 House of The Bab damaged first time Sears 72, WMomen 108
1944 Three believers martyred in Shahrud, releasing spiritual energy Furutan 81, 116
1944.05 Persecutions at Abadih Momen xxx, 479-80
1955-- Persecutions, and Burujirdi's role in them, and etc. Shii 248, 253, Nash 41-2, Rabbani 310-12, Mottahedeh 239-40
1955.04.21 Troops surround BNC, take it on 1955.05.07, destroy it on 1955.08. House of The Bab, too. Sears 31-44, Moayyad 87, Furutan 122
1955.07.28 7 Martyrs of Yazd Sears 57, Fischer 29
1963 Bahá'ís singled out for attack by anti-govt. rioters Nash 44
1978 Many student protesters in Iran killed, and their martyrdoms were later commemorated Shii 283-5
1978.09 Savak begins anti-Bahá'í campaign Sears 55-6, Fischer 44
1979.09.08 House of The Bab destroyed third time Sears 73-6, WMomen 108, Z&B 123-5, Olya 23-7
1980.09.08 7 Martyrs of Yazd Sears 64-8, Fischer 29, 41, 48-51
currentsee articles online at bahai-library.com/Newspapers
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