Chapter 9     Chapter 11

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Religious Assassination

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The religion now entered upon the phase of intestinal dissensions, bitter animosities, schisms, and internecine strife. The pages of its history are henceforth filled with tales of dissension and disruption; of anathemas and accusations; of heresy and apostacy reiterated and reciprocated with increasing bitterness; of fratricidal assassinations and persecutions.--Professor Browne in "New History," p. x.

Subh-i-Azal is the Khalifa of the Bab and the Bahais are in bad faith when they deny it.--Nicolas, p. 20.

When inspiration and revelation failed, Baha did not disdain to benefit by the pointed argument of the dagger and the subtle persuasion of poison.--Vatralsky in "Amer. Jour. of Theology."

We cannot tolerate iniquity in God nor in one claiming to be God and we cannot conceive of God incarnate subject to the limitations of racial moral ideals.--R. E. Speer, p. 146.

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IN general Bahais claim that they and their leaders have been exemplars of love and harmony. Specific declarations of their excellence in this regard have been quoted. M. Abul Fazl [1] writes: "During the long years from the arrival of Baha Ullah in Bagdad to the present day they have not committed that which would disturb a single soul. They have been killed but they have killed no one." Mr. Horace Holley [2] says: "For forty years no judge has had to settle a dispute between them." It behooves us to inquire how the conduct of Baha and his adherents shows up in this regard during the first period of their exile. It is evident that in Persia Baha had no sincere love for his brother Azal, for he planned to secure safety for himself by putting Azal's life in jeopardy. (See Chapter VIII.) It is further plain that early in the exile jealousy, envy and hate manifested themselves, even while Baha was outwardly obedient to Azal. In Bagdad, says Bahiah Khanum, "disharmony and misunderstanding arose among the believers--discord--strife--contention." [3] Therefore Baha went, off to Kurdistan.

1. "Bahai Proofs," p. 52.
2. "The Modern Social Religion," p. 167.
3. Phelps, pp. 19--20.

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He refers in the "Ikan" to the dissensions, [1] "Such an odour of jealousy was diffused, banners of discord hoisted, enemies endeavoured to destroy this servant,--hardships, calamities and sufferings inflicted by Moslems were as nothing compared with what hath been inflicted by the believers." His opponents say that he wished to introduce innovations, relax the law and put forward on his own account a claim to be a Manifestation and being resisted in this, he" got angry." [2]After they were removed to Adrianople the quarrel waxed hotter. Abul Fazl describes it as one of "interior fires of dissension and jealousy between the rival leaders, far exceeding the jealousy of outsiders. [3] Mohammed Jawad Kasvini says there were "all manner of intrigues, falsehoods and untruths." I have received from a Moslem convert to Christianity an interesting account of conditions then and there. He was at that time a peesh-khidmat to the Persian Minister at Constantinople. He was at Samsun when Azal and Baha and their parties embarked and was introduced to them by Haji Rajab Ali Khan, brother-in-law of my informant. He saw them day by day and became a serious inquirer. Afterwards he went to Adrianople bearing presents to Baha. He found Baha and Azal living in separate rooms of the same house under guards. The two brothers were in dispute over the supremacy, and the murids had been won over by Baha. He narrates

1. Pages 178--181.
2. "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 356--358.
3. "Bahai Proofs," p. 51.
4. Manuscript "Life of Beha Ullah," p. 20.

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"I entered one day. I heard words of angry disputation and revilings. Yahya said, "Ay! Husain Ali, you are vile! Do you not remember your sodomies? You are defiled. Your wife is a bad one!" Husain Ali answered, "Ay, cursed one! Your son Nur Ullah is not your son but son of Sayid --. You yourself are a sodomite, an adulterer." Such like revilings they hurled at each other. I called Maskin Kalam and said to him, "What are these words and doings? If Baha is true why does he talk so? Why do these brothers revile each other? What a fool I am to come so many miles to hear such revilings from a divinity!" We then went to the room of Ishan. My companion said to Ishan, "Why do they curse so?" I said, "I wish to ask a question." He said, "What is it?" I said, "You say they do not work miracles, but must there not be personal power and influence in words?" [1]

      The condition at Adrianople culminated in a series of crimes, which now come before us for examination. Charges have been made, in detail, against the companions of Baha Ullah of assassinating the Azalis, the followers of his rival Subh-i-Azal. Most of the information regarding the matter is to be

1. Professor Browne, afterwards in Persia, found the attitude of the Bahais towards the Azalis "unjust and intolerant" and reprimanded then, for " their violence and unfairness." They cursed and reviled in the presence of Professor Browne ("A Year Among the Persians," pp. 525-530).

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found in the books and translations of Professor Browne, the great authority on Bahaism in the Anglo-Saxon world. I wish to present and weigh the evidence in hand regarding these accusations.

      The first charge is that Baha Ullah attempted to poison Subh-i-AzaA his half-brother and predecessor. This charge is found in the "Hasht Behesht," a history of Babism, by Aga Sayid Javad, [1] a prominent Mullah of Kirman and a leading disciple of the Bab. The occurrence took place when Azal and Baha were both at Adrianople under surveillance of the Turkish authorities. Baha, so it narrates, [2] ordered that there should be placed before him and "Azal a dish of plain food, with one side of which he had mixed some poison, intending to poison Azal. For hitherto the apportioned breakfast and supper had been from the house of Mirza Husain Ali (Baha Ullah). When that poisoned dish was placed before them, Baha pressed Azal to take of it. By a fortunate chance, the smell of onions was perceptible in the food, and Azal, being averse to onions, refused to taste it. Though urgently pressed, he refused, saying: 'It smells of onions. Baha, supposing his evil design was suspected, and to disguise the truth, ate a little from the other (unpoisoned) side in order that Azal's suspicions might be dispelled and that he might eat of the poisoned side. Now, inasmuch as the poison had to some extent diffused itself to the

1. New Hist.," p. 200, Note 4.
2. Jour. Roy. As. Soc., 1892, p. 296, by Professor Browne. Also "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 359.

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other side, it produced some slight effect on Baha, causing him sickness and vomiting, so that he summoned his physician." This account was confirmed by Mirza Abdul Ali, the son of Subh-i-Azal, to Professor Browne, when he visited him in Cyprus in 1888. [1]

      The daughter of Baha, Bahiah Khanum, gives a contradictory account of the same affair. [2] She says that the feast was at Azal's house and that rice for both was served on the same plate, having been prepared in Azal's house. "The portion of rice intended for my father was flavoured with onions, of which he was very fond. The servant, by direction of Azal, placed this portion towards my father. He ate some of it, but fortunately not very much. He preferred the rice prepared for Azal, and ate of it. Soon after eating he became ill. The physician dedared that he had been poisoned. He was so desperately ill for twenty-two days that the physician said he could not live." Mirza Abul Fazl, a Bahai writer, says, [3] "Azal sought to poison Baha Ullah, and attempted to do so twice, but failed to accomplish his design." "He repeatedly planned to murder Baha." Baha himself alludes to these events in the "Sura-i- Haykal." "My brother warred with me. He desired to drink my blood. He took counsel with one of my attendants tempting him unto

1. Trav.'s Narr.," p. 369.
2. Phelps, "Life of Abbas Effendi," pp. 40-44.
3. "Brilliant Proof," p. ii.
4. Chicago Edition, pp. 20-23; and" Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 368, 369.

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this. We went out from among them and dwelt in another house. Neither did we see him afterwards." Thus we have brother against brother, each accusing the other of attempting fratricide. How shall we settle the question of veracity? Mr. Phelps makes a plea for Baha, but his words lack foundation. He says that Azal's story "is a transparent fabrication because it assumes an impossible ignorance on the part of Baha Ullah that Azal disliked onions, as well as the impossible hypothesis that Baha Ullah would knowingly partake of food in which poison had been placed." But neither of these "impossible" things are a part of the story. The first objection can only be taken, if at all, to Professor Browne's abridged account in the "Traveller's Narrative," and not to the original in "Hasht Behesht," which distinctly states that onions had communicated their flavour to the other side of the platter, contrary to intention; and, secondly, Baha supposed when he ate (according to the "Hasht Behesht" account) that the poison had not communicated itself to his side of the platter of rice. Those familiar with Persian pillau, or boiled rice, in which each grain is separate and dry, will see that it would ordinarily be quite possible to put onions and poison on opposite sides of the platter without either reaching the other side. Each man would help himself, according to Persian custom, from the side of the dish next to him. Moreover, it was customary to prepare the food for Azal in the kitchen of Baha. [1]

1. Phelps, Ibid., p. 40.

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Up to the time of the incident they had both continued to live in the same house. This is evident from Baha's words in the "Sura-i-Haykal," where he says, "We went out, dwelt in another house, neither did we see him afterwards." This agrees with the "Hasht Behesht." In this and several other particulars the narrative of Bahiah Khanum is defective or misleading. Mr. Phelps plea, on account of the character of the Bahais, begs the question. This charge and subsequent ones to be discussed, involve the integrity of Baha's character and that of his immediate disciples. The history shows no more reason to believe Baha than to believe Azal, but rather less. [2]

2. The next charge of the Azahis is as follows: [1] "Shortly after this, another plot was laid against Subh-i-Azal's life, and it was arranged that Mohammed Ali, the barber, should cut his (Azal's) throat while shaving him in the bath. On the approach of the barber, however, Subh-i-Azal divined his design, refused to allow him to come near, and, on leaving the bath, instantly took another lodging, and separated himself entirely from Mirza Husain Ali and his followers."

      On the Bahai side, Bahiah Khanum says, [2] "One day in the bath Azal asked the servant (of Baha) 'whether it would not be easy for an attendant who was not faithful to Baha to make away with him while shaving him. The servant replied that this was certainly the case. Azal then asked whether, if

1. "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 359.
2. Phelps, p. 39.

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God should lay upon him the command to do this, he would obey it? The servant understood this to be the suggestion of such a command, and was so terrified by it that he rushed screaming from the room. This occurrence was ignored by my father, and our relations with Azal continued to be cordial."

      Here we have two stories in direct contradiction to each other. It may be observed that the attendant or barber, who was that day serving Azal in the bath, as is agreed by both parties, was a partisan of Baha, [1] without doubt the same barber, Mohammed Ali, who subsequently murdered the Azalis, [2] and who was decorated by Baha with the title Dallak-iHakikat, [3] "The Barber of the Truth." It was much more natural that Azal should be suspicious of him than try to tempt him to kill Baha.

      In either case, what do we see? Behold, these two "Manifestations of God" accusing each other of attempting assassination. They were brothers, both eminent disciples of the Bab, the "Point of Divinity" of the "new Revelation," both "revealers of inspired verses." The heart of each was full of hatred and envy and of desire to overreach the other. Neither is worthy of credence, both being steeped in Persian deception from childhood. Possibly, at that time, each was ready to compass the death of the other. The subsequent history, however, casts back its reflection upon the murder-plots at Adrianople, and in its lurid light the character of the Bahais grows darker. As a consequence, the

1. Phelps, p. 38.
2. "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 361.
3. Ibid., p. 362.

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charges of the Azalis against the Bahals become probable and are easily accepted.

3. The proved assassination of Azalis by Bahais at Acca. The quarrels and plots at Adrianople led to complaints of each party against the other before the Osmanli Government. For the sake of peace and safety they were separated. Azal was sent as a prisoner-pensioner to Famagusta, Cyprus. Baha was removed to Acca, Syria. The " Hasht Behesht" says: [1] "With the latter were his family, about eighty of his adherents, and four of Subh-i- Azal's followers, to wit, Haji Sayid Mohammed of Ispahan, Aga Jan Bey, Mirza Riza Kuli of Tafrish, and his brother Aga Mirza Nasrullah." These Azalis were murdered by the Bahais in Acca. Of this crime there are many who give testimony.

      (a) The "Hasht Behesht" says: [2] "Before the transfer was actually effected, however, Mirza Nasrullah was poisoned by Baha, at Adrianople. The other Azalis were assassinated shortly after their arrival at Acca, in a house which they occupied near the barracks, the assassins being Abdul Karim, Mohammed the barber, Husain the water-carrier, and Mohammed Javad of Kasvin" (all attaches of Baha).

      (b) Subh-i-Azal independently confirmed this account in conversation with Professor Browne. [3]

      (c) Bahai testimony also confirms it. Professor Browne heard the story at Kirman from Sheikh Ibrahim, a Bahai, who had suffered imprisonment

1. Trav.'s Narr.," p. 361.
2. Ibid., p. 361.
3. Ibid., p. 371.

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and torture for the faith, and who had seen some of the perpetrators while on a pilgrimage to Acca. He said, [1] "The Babis were divided into two factions. So high did feeling run that the matter ended in open strife, and two Azalis and one Bahai were killed" at Adrianople. "The Turkish Government sent seven [2] Azalis to Acca with Baha. They--Aga Jan, called Kaj-Kulah, Haji Sayid Mohammed of Ispahan, one of the original companions of the Bab, Mirza Riza, a nephew of the last, Mirza Haydar Ali of Ardistan, Haji Sayid Husain of Kashan, and two others whose names I forget--lived all together in a house situated near the gate of the city. Well, one night about a month after their arrival at Acca, twelve Bahais (nine of whom were still living when I was at Acca) determined to kill them and so prevent them from doing any mischief. So they went at night, armed with swords and daggers, to the house where the Azalis lodged, and knocked at the door. Aga Jan came down to open to them, and was stabbed before he could cry out or offer the least resistance. Then they entered the house and killed the other six." In consequence, "the Turks imprisoned Baha and all his family and followers in the caravanserai, but the twelve assassins came forward and surrendered themselves, saying, 'We killed them without the knowledge of our Master or of any of the brethren. Punish us, not them. So they were imprisoned for a while; but afterwards, at the

1. "A Year Among the Persian,," pp. 513--517.
2. Possibly he counts those who afterwards left their allegiance to Baha.

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intercession of Abbas Effendi (Abdul Baha), were suffered to be at large, on condition of remaining at Acca and wearing still fetters on their ankles for a time."

      (d) Mr. Laurence Oliphant gives an account of the Bahais at Acca in his "Haifa, or Life in Modern Palestine." [1] He substantiates the account of the assassinations, and narrates how Baha Ullah was called before the Osmanli Court to answer on the charge of complicity in them. He further states that after one session, Baha "purchased an exemption from further attendance at court with an enormous bribe."

      (e) The defense, unable to escape the force of the damaging testimony or to deny the facts against such testimony, can only offer some excuses in extenuation. Bahiah Khanum [2] reduces the number of Bahais who made the attack on the Azalis to three, asserts that their intention was to threaten death and frighten but not to kill them, that but two Azalis were killed and also one of the Bahais, that the provocation was that the Azalis had slandered Baha Ullah, forged letters in his name, which incited the Government against him and were threatening to kill him, and further that Baha was not cognizant of their intention. But Professor Browne shows that Baha regarded the murder with some complacency at least, [3] and refers to it in the "Kitab-ul- Akdas," saying, "God hath taken away him who led you astray,"

1. "Haifa, etc.," p. 107; "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 370.
2. Phelps, p. 75.
3. Jour. Roy. As. Soc., 1889, p. 519; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 94, 370.

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viz.: Haji Sayid Mohammed, one of the murdered men, who was Azal's chief supporter. He also confirms the fact that Abbas Effendi interceded for the murderers and secured their freedom from adequate punishment. - Just as Brigham Young [1] condoned and secured immunity from punishment, if he did not justify or instigate the crimes of his sect. Bahiah Khanum herself shows us that the murderers acted for the religion, and not from any private or personal motives; in other words, committed "religious assassination," after the traditional oriental custom.

      The same is shown and more facts brought out in the defense made by Mohammed Jawad Gasvini. [2] He writes that the three persons mentioned above published tracts which were calculated to excite the populace against Baha and his adherents. One, Nasir Abbas of Bagdad, came from Beirut to kill them but was enjoined by Baha not to do so. Then "Some believers organized a secret meeting to put an end to these evil doers. The author was among them and was of their opinion." Baha again restrained them, so the author avers. But, he continues, "The following seven persons secretly determined to put out of the way the aforesaid intriguers" (here follow their names and occupations). "These seven began to consort with the intriguers very cordially, pretending that they were in accord with them and

1. "Brigham Young," by Cannon, p. 271. "Brigham failed to punish or even condemn those criminals who served him too well."
2. Manuscript, pp. 41-48.

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with their belief, and continued to do so for some time. But one afternoon they entered their residence, which was situated opposite the residence of the governor of the city of Acca, and there they killed the said Sayid Mohammed, and Aga Jan, and Mirza Riza Kuli. This took place in the year 1288 A. H., i.e., 1870 A. D. When the Government heard of the tragedy it arrested the said seven and arrested all the followers of Baha Ullah who were in Acca." All, including Baha Ullah, Abbas Effendi and the other brothers were imprisoned. Baha was released after three days, after being interrogated by the court. Sixteen of the Bahais were confined in prison for six months and the seven for terms of seven to fifteen years, afterwards reduced by one-third. Thus twenty-three out of about forty male believers were found guilty of the assassinations or of complicity in the plot.

4. Various and sundry other assassinations for the faith. According to the Azali historian, these murders were followed by many others. Certain disciples separated themselves from Baha. Of these some fled from Acca, [1] "but the Khayyat Bashi (chief tailor) and Haji Ibrahim were assassinated in the caravanserai of the corn-sellers and buried in quicklime under the platform. Another, Haji Jaffar, importunately pressed his claim for a debt of 1,200 pounds which Baha owed him. (I wonder whether it was incurred to meet the 'enormous bribe. ) Thereupon Baha's amanuensis, Mirza Aga Jan Kashani,

1. "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 362.

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instructed a disciple, Ali of Kasvin, to slay the old man and throw his body out of the window of the upper room which he occupied in the caravanserai." It was then reported "that he had cast himself out and died, yielding up his life to the Beloved." "All the prominent supporters of Subh-i-Azal, who withstood Baha, were marked out for death, [1] and in Bagdad, Mullah Rajab Ali Kahir and his brother Haji Mirza Ahmad, Haji Mirza Mohammed Riza and several others fell one by one by the knife or the bullet of the assassin." The following others are specified with the place and name of the assassin, [2] "Aga Sayid Ali the Arab, one of the original 'Letters of the Living, was killed in Tabriz by Mirza Mustapha of Nirak; and Aga Ali Mohammed by Abdul Karim; Haji Aga of Tabriz met a like fate, as did Haji Mirza Ahmad, the brother of the historian H aji Mirza Jani. [3] Another, whose faith had grown cold, was Aga Mohammed Ali of Ispahan, who was residing at Constantinople. [4] Mirza Abul Kasim was sent from Acca with instructions to "bleed that block of heedlessness whose blood is in excess." He robbed his victim of [Pound sign] [sterling]350, with part of which he bought and sent goods to Acca. Another instance was Mirza Asad Ullah "Deyyan," who claimed to be a "Manifestation." [5] "Mirza Husain Ali (Baha), after

1. Trav.'s Narr.," p. 359; Jour. Roy. A. Soc., 1889, p. 519; 1892, pp. 995--996.
2. "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 363.
3. Ibid., p. 332. Also "New Hist.," p. 391.
4. "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 363.
5. Ibid., pp. 357, 365.

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a protracted discussion with him, instructed his servant, Mirza Mohammed of Mezanderan, to slay him, which was accordingly done." Count Gobineau confirms this account. [1] Concerning these crimes we have also the independent testimony of Subh-i-Azal, who mentioned most of these instances by name and added several others. Azal said to Captain Young, a British officer in Cyprus, [2] "About twenty of my followers were killed by the Bahais." He confirmed it in an autograph letter to Professor Browne, saying, "They (i. e., the Bahais) unsheathed the sword of hatred and wrought what they would. They cruelly put to death the remnant of my friends who stood firm." In the "New History" [3] Professor Browne names over the list of those assassinated, and adds, "Of the more prominent Azalis, Sayid Javad, of Kerbela (or Kirman), seems to have been almost the only one who long survived what the Azalis call 'The direful Disorder. " In Kirman, Professor Browne said to the Bahais, "From a statement of one of your own party, it appears that your friends at Acca, who complain so much of the bigotry, intolerance and ferocious antagonism of the Mohammed ans, and who are always talking about 'consorting with men of every faith with spirituality and fragrance,' could find no better argument than the dagger of the assassin wherewith to convince the unfortunate Azalis."

1. Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 277--278.
2. Jour. Roy. Ar. Soc., 1889, p. 996.
3. Page xxiii.
4. "A Year Among the Persians," p. 530.

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      5. The conduct of the primitive Babis and their leaders, and their attitude towards the taking of life, [1] has a bearing on the question of the conduct of the Bahais, for up to the time of the residence at Adrianople they were identical. The history of the Babis is a bloody one. The "first bloodshed which took place in Persia (in connection with the Babi movement) was the murder of a Shiah Mujtihid by one or more Babis." It was a "religious assassination." The circumstances were as follows, [2] When the Bab, as captive, passed through Kasvin, en route for Maku, he wrote a letter asking succour from Haji Mohammed Taki, an orthodox Mujtihid, who was the father-in-law of the celebrated Kurrat-ul-Ayn. "The Haji tore the letter into fragments, and made some unseemly remarks." When this was reported to the Bab, he said, "Was there no one to smite him on the mouth?" The Bahai historian (1880) continues, "Wherefore the Lord brought it to pass that he was smitten in the mouth with a spear head that he might no more speak insolently." Shortly afterwards a certain Babi, [3] named Salih, hearing the Mujtihid curse and revile Sheikh Ahmad, the teacher of the Bab, entered the mosque and slew him at the pulpit. The Bahai historian continues, "This was the consequence of the Haji's conduct to the Bab, and agreeable

1. The Bab asked his fellow prisoner to kill him (" Mirza Jani," p. xlvii.).
2. "New Hist.," pp. 274, 275; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 198, 199, 311.
3. The "Kasas-ul-Ulema," the Shiah history, says, "certain Babis, stung by his words, fell upon him early one morning as he was praying in the mosque, and with knives and daggers inflicted on him eight wounds from which he died two days later" ("Trav.s Narr.," p. 198).

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to the tradition of the Imams, 'whosoever curseth us . . . is an infidel,' and so he deemed it incumbent on himself to slay him."

      A variation of this story is found in a work by an American Bahai, Mary H. Ford, called "The Oriental Rose." She narrates that Kurrat-ul-Ayn heard the Mujtihid cursing the Bab, and gazing upon him she exclaimed, "How unfortunate you are I For I see your mouth filled with blood!" "The following morning, as he was crossing the threshold of the mosque, he was struck upon the mouth by the lance of a hidden assailant. The attack was followed up by five or six other assassins, who beat the life out of his mangled body." "The strange insight of Kurrat-ul-Ayn had foreseen it." "The assassination removed a serious obstacle from her pathway."

      From these narratives, both from the pens of "Friends," it is evident that the Bab and Kurrat-ulAyn each spoke words which were direct instigations and incitements to their fanatical followers to commit murder. The chief murderer fled and "joined himself to the people of God" at Sheikh Tabarsi. Disregarding his crime, they welcomed him to their ranks as a "follower of God, and he attained to martyrdom." [2] We can admire the courage and devotion of the Babis, but certainly their hatred and fanaticism carry them on to retaliation and revenge which are far from pure religion. Witness their deeds! Farrukh Khan, a prisoner of war, was first skinned alive and then

1. Pages 61, 62.
2. "New Hist.," pp. 82, 278.

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roasted, [1] and twenty-two prisoners of war were put to death at the same time, at Zanjan. At Sheikh Tabarsi, by order of Janab- i-Kuddus, His Excellency the Holy, the enemies slain in battle were decapitated and their heads set on posts around the ramparts. [2]

      The attempt to assassinate Nasr-i-Din Shah (1852) shows also the murderous spirit of the Babis. From seven to twelve [3] Babis were engaged in the plot, and four of them started out to take part in the assault. It was not, as is commonly represented by Bahais, the act of an unbalanced, weak-minded individual, but the revengeful plot of a number. The spirit of vengeance was very strong within them. Of this we have a witness from a very unexpected quarter, namely, the celebrated Bahai apologist, Mirza Abul Fazl. He writes, [4] "Numerous historical and tangible evidences can be furnished to prove that it was the pen of Baha Ullah which .protected from death his own enemies, such as Subh-i-Azal, Nasr-i-Din Shah and certain great doctors and divines. Otherwise the Babis would not have allowed a single one of these people to have escaped alive." He certainly must include Bahais, for the Babis would not have desired to kill Subh-i- Azal. But the assertion of M. Abul Fazl, that Baha was as the "Prince of Peace" among a lot of untrained, untamed disciples, will not stand investigation. For Baha's history shows the contrary.

1. New Hist.," p. 115 and note, p. 411.
2. Ihid., p. 73; "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 178.
3. Ibid., p. 323.
4. "The Brilliant Proof," p. 11.

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      6. Baha also commends suicide for his sake. It is narrated by Abdul Baha that rather than be separated in exile from Baha, "Haji Jafar was moved to lamentation, and with his own hand cut his throat." Baha, in the Lawh-i-Raiz, alluded to this event, saying, "One from amongst the Friends sacrificed himself for myself and cut his throat with his own hand for the love of God. This is such that we have not heard from former ages. This is that which God hath set apart for this dispensation." Another disciple attempted suicide about the same time. [2] This "old and faithful follower seized a knife and exclaiming, 'If I must be separated from my Lord, I will go and join my God, cut his throat. With the aid of a physician, his life was saved. Again when the ship bearing the exiles reached Haifa, Abdul Ghaffar, finding himself to be separated from his Lord, determined to sacrifice his life, and threw himself into the sea from the steamer, exclaiming, 'O Baha! O Baha!'" The sailors rescued him. [3] This tendency to suicide reveals an astonishing degree of fanaticism among the Bahais. But suicide is so rare among the Persian Shiahs that these reports arouse suspicion and call for further investigation. I was informed of one person whom the Bahais at Acca reported as a suicide, but who in reality had been murdered by them. Of another, named Haji Mirza Riza, who would have written a history favourable to Azal, the latter wrote to Professor Browne that "they (the Bahais) sought to slay

1. "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 100-101
2. Phelps, p. 50.
3. Manuscript Life, p. 36.

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him, and at length gave out that, on the first night of his imprisonment, he had bound a cord about his throat and destroyed himself and so became a martyr." [1] The celebrated Nabil, Bahai poet and historian, is reported to have committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea, shortly after the death of Baha Ullah. "He could stay on earth no longer -- he loved and yearned so for Baha Ullah." [2] As this same Nabil had himself claimed to be the Manifestation, [3] it was very convenient that he should make away with himself at that time, instead of renewing his pretensions.

      These instances of suicide are cited as proofs of the truth of the religion by M. Mohammed Husain Shirazi, who says, [4] "More faithful and devoted (than the early Christians), some martyrs of our day have killed themselves with their own hands out of devotion to their Lord Baha." Again Baha sent Badi, the messenger, to the Shah, with the "Epistle" from Acca, assuring him beforehand that he was going to death. [5] The letter could easily have been sent through one of the foreign consulates without sacrifice of life.

      Doctor Jessup says: [6] "They teach unscrupulous persecution of those obnoxious to them. I had a friend, a learned Mohammedan of Bagdad, called

1. Compare "History by Mirza Jani," p. xvi.
2. "Notes taken at Acca," by Mrs. C. True, p. 27.
3. "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 357--358.
4."Facts for Behaists," p. 42.
5. "Oriental Rose," p. 186.
6.. "Fifty-three Years in Syria," pp. 637, 605.

[page 241]

Ibrahim Effendi, of scholarly bearing, refined and courteous--a brother of the wife of Abbas Effendi. His father, a wealthy man, died when he was young and his uncle determined to bring him up as a Babite (Bahai). But the boy refused to accept it. His uncle then robbed him of his property," and threatened him. He fled and came to Beirut. He professed Christianity and was baptized at Alexandria, Egypt. While at Beirut, "he went down to Acca to visit. One night he found that his life was in great danger if he stayed through the night and he escaped to Beirut in great terror." [1]

      7. Psychological attestation of the accusation against the Bahais, of assassination, is seen in their doctrine of the power and prerogative of the "Manifestation," and the inference made by the Bahais from that doctrine. This is set forth in the Tablet of Ishrakat, "Verily He (Baha) hath come from the Heaven of the Unseen, and with Him the standard, of 'He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and the hosts of power and authority. As to all else save Him: It is incumbent upon them to cling unto that which he hath commanded." "Woe unto those who denied and turned away from Him." "The Most Great

1. Doctor Kheiralla believes that assassination is to be feared at the present time. He told me that a prominent follower of M. Mohammed Ali had been poisoned at Jiddah. Doctor Pease said to me, "Until now Doctor Kheiralla is afraid of assassination. A Bahai told me, 'We want only one thing from Kheiralla, i. e., the translation of the "Kitab-ul. Akdas," then we will get rid of him. " When Hasan Khorasani came to Chicago, Kheiralla was warned from Syria to beware of him and he put himself under special police protection.

2. Chicago Edition, 1908, pp. 11--14.

[page 242]

Infallibility" is applied only to one (the Manifestation), whose station is sanctified above commands or prohibitions. He is proof against error. Verily if he declares heaven to be earth, right to be left, or south to be north, it is true, and there is no doubt of it." "No one has a right to oppose him, or to say, 'Why or wherefore; and he who disputes Him is verily of the opposers." "He doeth whatsoever he willeth, and commandeth whatsoever he desireth." In like manner Abdul Baha states the authority of the Manifestation, "He is not under the shadow of the former laws. Whatever he performs is an upright action. No believer has any right to criticize." "If some people do not understand the hidden secret of one of his commands or actions, they ought not to oppose it."

      These principles are boldly interpreted and applied by the Bahais to the subject under discussion. Sayid Kamil, a Bahai of Shiraz, said to Professor Browne [2] with a look of supreme surprise, "You surely cannot pretend to deny that a prophet, who is an incarnation of the Universal Intelligence, has a right to inflict death, openly or secretly, on those who stubbornly opposed him. A prophet is no more to be blamed for removing an obdurate opponent that a surgeon for an amputation of a gangrenous limb." This opinion prevailed among the Bahais. At Yezd they said, [3] "A divine messenger

1. "Answered Questions," by Barney, pp. 199--201.
2. "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 372; "A Year in Persia," p. 328;
3. Ibid., p. 406.

[page 243]

has as much right to kill and compel as a surgeon to amputate." The Bahai missionaries maintained [1] that, "A prophet has a right to slay if he knows it necessary; if he sees that the slaughter of a few will prevent many from going astray, he is justified in commanding such slaughter. No one can question his right to destroy the bodies of a few that the souls of many may live." A Bahai acquaintance of Doctor Frame, of Resht, told him [2] "without any appearance of shame, that he paid so much to have a persecutor removed."

      8. In connection with all the above facts, it must be kept in mind that "religious assassination has been freely practiced since the beginning of Islam, and that the prophet Mohammed gave it the sanction of his example on numerous occasions." Professor Browne, [3] who thus emphasizes this fact, and gives instances from the Moslem biographies of Mohammed, points out its bearing on our judgment regarding the assassinations alleged against the Bahais, and concludes, "In Asia a different standard of morality prevails in this matter." Certain facts regarding the Imams revealed in the dark annals of Islam show what historical precedents the Babis and Bahais had back of them. Consider the deaths of the twelve Imams. Ali was [4] assassinated with a dagger, Husain killed after battle, nine other Imams were poisoned, and the last one mysteriously disappeared. To sum up. Our investigation has led to the

1. "A Year in Persia," p. 306.
2. Moslem World, 1912, p. 237.
3. "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 371-373.
4. Ibid., p. 296.


[page 244]

conclusion that the Bahais were guilty of these assassinations as charged. The evidence is both direct and circumstantial, with names and places. Some of the witnesses are still living. Some have given their testimony in writing, some in conversation with Europeans, who have reported it accurately to the world. The environment in which they lived, and the historical and theological traditions on which they fed, strengthen the direct proofs.

      The answer to these charges by Mirza Abul Fazl in his "Brilliant Proof" [1] is, that we should hear both sides, and that it is not right to accept the witness of enemies against the Bahais, which is as that of Protestants against the Catholics and vice- versa. Our reply is, that both sides have been heard, and examined, and that some of the most damaging testimony is from Bahais themselves. It should be noted that the testimony is altogether from the followers of the Bab, of various kinds and not from Moslem writers. Mr. Phelps, like many Bahai writers, would ignore the charges. He says, [2] "I do not think that it would be time well employed to advert to them in detail." He pronounces them "incredible" and "flatly in contradiction to the spirit, lives and teachings of Baha Ullah and his successor," and destined "quickly to fade away and be forgotten, if left to themselves." No indeed! Lovers of truth will not overlook and forget such a record. They will judge Bahais by their deeds, not by their professions.

1. A Reply to Rev. P. Z. Easton's article in the Evangelical CHristendom.
2."Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 43.

[page 245]

The conclusions of Professor Browne, who was undoubtedly a favourably-inclined judge, who investigated impartially and heard the testimony on both sides, has the greatest weight in determining the judgment of the world. [1] In the "Traveller's Narrative," his first volume on Babism and Bahaism, he states that it is only with great reluctance and solely in the interest of truth, that he sets down these grave accusations against the Bahais, and adds, [2] "If they are true, of what use are the noblest and most humane utterances, if they are associated with such deeds? If they are false, further investigation will, without doubt, conclusively prove their falsity." In the "New History," which was published two years later, after further investigation and calm deliberation, he wrote, [3] "At first not a few prominent Babis, [4]

1. Mr. A. J. Stenstrand, of Chicago, was convinced by the facts. He wrote, "When I studied the Babi history and read about the terrible cruelty and assassinations which the followers of Beha perpetrated upon Subh-i-Azal's supporters which made no resistance, this broke the backbone of my Behai faith." In conversation he told me that Doctor Kheiralla had informed the Chicago assembly that the account of the assassinations as narrated by Professor Browne was true and that the Manifestation had a right to slay them."
2. Page 364.
3. "New Hist.," p. xxiii.
4. One of these was the author of "Hasht Behesht." If the Bahais had the longer dagger, the Azalis did not lack the bitter pen. Professor Browne translates from this work as follows, "The misleadings of black darkness brought me into the city of blood (Acca). I met Abbas Effendi, the whisperer of evil thoughts, one of the manifestations of infidelity. Afterwards I saw the rest of the Wicked One's followers. Their words and arguments consist of a farrago of names, baseless stories, calumnies, falsehoods and lies, and not one of them had any knowledge of the first principles of the religion of the Bayan. They are all devoid of knowledge, [note continues p 246].. ignorant, short-sighted, of common capacity, hoodwinked, people of darkness, spurned of nature, hypocrites, corrupters of texts, blind imitators. God hath taken away from them His light and hath left them in the darkness of the Wicked One and bath destroyed them in the abysses of vain imaginings." He was admitted to audience with Baha and narrates, "When I came there and looked upon the Arch-idol, that Greatest Talisman, that personified Revolt, that rebellious Lucifer, the envious Iblis, I saw a form upon the throne and heard the lowing of the Calf (Baha -- Golden Calf). Then did I see how the light of the Most Great Name shone on Ahriman the accursed, and how the fingers of the demon wore the ring. (Alluding to the theft of Solomon's ring by the demon.) For they had written the name Baha-ul-Abba on divers writings and called it 'the Most Great Name. Thereat there came to my mind the verse of Hafiz:      

      Efficient is the name divine: be of good cheer, O heart!
      The div becomes not Solomon by guile and cunning art"

[page 246]

including even several 'Letters of the Living and personal friends of the Bab, adhered faithfully to Subh-i-Azal. One by one these disappeared, most of them as, I fear, cannot be doubted by foul play on the part of too zealous Bahais."

Chapter 9     Chapter 11

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