SOON after Tahirih had started on her journey, Baha'u'llah instructed Aqay-i-Kalim to complete the necessary preparations for His contemplated departure for Khurasan. He committed to his care His family and asked him to provide whatever might be conducive to their well-being and safety.
When He arrived at Shah-Rud, He was met by Quddus, who had left Mashhad, where he had been residing, and had come to welcome Him as soon as he had heard of His approach. The whole province of Khurasan was in those days in the throes of a violent agitation. The activities which Quddus and Mulla Husayn had initiated, their zeal, their courage, their outspoken language, had aroused the people from their lethargy, had kindled in the hearts of some the noblest sentiments of faith and devotion, and had provoked in the breasts of others the instincts of passionate fanaticism and malice. A multitude of seekers constantly poured from every direction into Mashhad, eagerly sought the residence of Mulla Husayn, and through him were ushered into the presence of Quddus.
Their numbers soon swelled to such proportions as to excite the apprehension of the authorities. The chief constable viewed with concern and dismay the crowds of agitated people who streamed unceasingly into every quarter of the holy City. In his desire to assert his rights, intimidate Mulla Husayn, and induce him to curtail the scope of his activities, he issued orders to arrest immediately the latter's special attendant, whose name was Hasan, and subject him to cruel and shameful treatment. They pierced his nose, passed a cord through the incision, and with this halter led and paraded him through the streets.
Mulla Husayn was in the presence of Quddus when the news of the disgraceful affliction that had befallen his servant

reached him. Fearing lest this sad intelligence might grieve the heart of his beloved chief, he arose and quietly retired. His companions soon gathered round him, expressed their indignation at this outrageous assault upon so innocent a follower of their Faith, and urged him to avenge the insult. Mulla Husayn tried to appease their anger. "Let not," he pleaded, "the indignity that has befallen Hasan afflict and disturb you, for Husayn is still with you and will safely deliver him back into your hands to-morrow."
In the face of so solemn an assurance, his companions ventured no further remarks. Their hearts, however, burned with impatience to redress that bitter injury. A number of them eventually decided to band themselves together and loudly raise, through the streets of Mashhad, the cry of "Ya Sahibu'z-Zaman!"(1) as a protest against this sudden affront to the dignity of their Faith. That cry was the first of its kind to be raised in Khurasan in the name of the Cause of God. The city re-echoed with the sound of those voices. The reverberations of their shouts reached even the most outlying regions of the province, raised a great tumult in the hearts of the people, and were the signal for the tremendous happenings that were destined to transpire in the future.
In the midst of the confusion that ensued, those who were holding the halter with which they dragged Hasan through the streets, perished by the sword. The companions of Mulla Husayn conducted the released captive into the presence of their leader and informed him of the fate that had befallen the oppressor. "You have refused," Mulla Husayn is reported to have remarked, "to tolerate the trials to which Hasan has been subjected; how can you reconcile yourselves to the martyrdom of Husayn?"(2)
The city of Mashhad, which had just recovered its peace and tranquillity after the rebellion that the Salar had provoked, was plunged again into confusion and distress. Prince Hamzih Mirza was stationed with his men and munitions at a distance of four farsangs(3) from the city, ready to face whatever emergency might arise when the news of these fresh disturbances suddenly reached him. He immediately

despatched a detachment to the city with instructions to obtain the assistance of the governor for the arrest of Mulla Husayn, and to conduct him into his presence. Abdu'l-'Ali Khan-i-Maraghiyi, the captain of the prince's artillery, immediately intervened. "I deem myself," he pleaded, "one among the lovers and admirers of Mulla Husayn. If you contemplate inflicting any harm upon him, I pray you to take my life and then to proceed to execute your design; for I cannot, so long as I live, tolerate the least disrespect towards him."
The prince, who knew full well how much he stood in need of that officer, was greatly embarrassed at this unexpected declaration. "I too have met Mulla Husayn," was his reply as he tried to remove the apprehension of Abdu'l-'Ali Khan. "I too cherish the utmost devotion to him. By summoning him to my camp, I am hoping to restrict the scope of the mischief which has been kindled and to safeguard his person." The prince then addressed in his own handwriting a letter to Mulla Husayn in which he urged the extreme desirability of his transferring his residence for a few days to his headquarters, and assured him of his sincere desire to shield him from the attacks of his infuriated opponents. He gave orders that his own highly ornamented tent be pitched in the vicinity of his camp and be reserved for the reception of his expected guest.
On the receipt of this communication, Mulla Husayn presented it to Quddus, who advised him to respond to the invitation of the prince. "No harm can befall you," Quddus assured him. "As to me, I shall this very night set out in the company of Mirza Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Qazvini, one of the Letters of the Living, for Mazindaran. Please God, you too, later on, at the head of a large company of the faithful and preceded by the `Black Standards,' will depart from Mashhad and join me. We shall meet at whatever place the Almighty will have decreed."
Mulla Husayn joyously responded. He threw himself at the feet of Quddus and assured him of his firm determination to discharge with fidelity the obligations which he had imposed upon him. Quddus lovingly took him in his arms and, kissing his eyes and his forehead, committed him to the

Almighty's unfailing protection. Early that same afternoon, Mulla Husayn mounted his steed and rode out with dignity and calm to the encampment of Prince Hamzih Mirza, and was ceremoniously conducted by Abdu'l-'Ali Khan, who, together with a number of officers, had been appointed by the prince to go out and welcome him, to the tent that had been specially erected for his use.
That very night, Quddus summoned to his presence Mirza Muhammad-Baqir-i-Qa'ini, who had built the Babiyyih, together with a number of the most prominent among his companions, and enjoined upon them to bear unquestioned allegiance to Mulla Husayn and to obey implicitly whatever he might wish them to do. "Tempestuous are the storms which lie ahead of us," he told them. "The days of stress and violent commotion are fast approaching. Cleave to him, for in obedience to his command lies your salvation."
With these words, Quddus bade farewell to his companions and, accompanied by Mirza Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Qazvini, departed from Mashhad. A few days later, he encountered Mirza Sulayman-i-Nuri, who informed him of the circumstances attending the deliverance of Tahirih from her confinement in Qazvin, of her journey in the direction of Khurasan, and of Baha'u'llah's subsequent departure from the capital. Mirza Sulayman, as well as Mirza Muhammad-Ali,

remained in the company of Quddus until their arrival at Badasht. They reached that hamlet at the hour of dawn and found there assembled a large gathering of people whom they recognised as their fellow-believers. They decided, however, to resume their journey, and proceeded directly to Shah-Rud. As they were approaching that village, Mirza Sulayman, who was following at a distance behind them, encountered Muhammad-i-Hana-Sab, who was on his way to Badasht. In answer to his enquiry as to the object of that gathering, Mirza Sulayman was informed that Baha'u'llah and Tahirih had, a few days before, left Shah-Rud for that hamlet; that a large number of believers had already arrived from Isfahan, Qazvin, and other towns of Persia, and were waiting to accompany Baha'u'llah on His intended journey to Khurasan. "Tell Mulla Ahmad-i-Ibdal, who is now in Badasht," Mirza Sulayman remarked, "that this very morning a light has shone upon you, the radiance of which you have failed to recognise."(1)
No sooner had Baha'u'llah been informed by Muhammad-i-Hana-Sab of the arrival of Quddus at Shah-Rud than He decided to join him. Attended by Mulla Muhammad-i-Mu'allim-i-Nuri, He set out on horseback that same evening for that village, and had returned with Quddus to Badasht the next morning at the hour of sunrise.
It was then the beginning of summer. Upon His arrival, Baha'u'llah rented three gardens, one of which He assigned exclusively to the use of Quddus, another He set apart for Tahirih and her attendant, and reserved the third for Himself.


Those who had gathered in Badasht were eighty-one in number, all of whom, from the time of their arrival to the day of their dispersion, were the guests of Baha'u'llah.
Every day, He revealed a Tablet which Mirza Sulayman-i-Nuri chanted in the presence of the assembled believers. Upon each He bestowed a new name. He Himself was henceforth designated by the name of Baha; upon the Last Letter of the Living was conferred the appellation of Quddus, and to Qurratu'l-'Ayn was given the title of Tahirih. To each of those who had convened at Badasht a special Tablet was subsequently revealed by the Bab, each of whom He addressed by the name recently conferred upon him. When, at a later time, a number of the more rigid and conservative among her fellow-disciples chose to accuse Tahirih of indiscreetly rejecting the time-honoured traditions of the past, the Bab, to whom these complaints had been addressed, replied in the following terms: "What am I to say regarding her whom the Tongue of Power of Glory has named Tahirih [the Pure One]?"
Each day of that memorable gathering witnessed the abrogation of a new law and the repudiation of a long-established tradition. The veils that guarded the sanctity of the ordinances of Islam were sternly rent asunder, and the idols that had so long claimed the adoration of their blind worshippers were rudely demolished. No one knew, however, the Source whence these bold and defiant innovations proceeded, no one suspected the Hand which steadily and unerringly steered their course. Even the identity of Him who had bestowed a new name upon each of those who had congregated in that hamlet remained unknown to those who had received them. Each conjectured according to his own degree of understanding. Few, if any, dimly surmised that Baha'u'llah was the Author of the far-reaching changes which were being so fearlessly introduced.
Shaykh Abu-Turab, one of the best-informed as to the nature of the developments in Badasht, is reported to have related the following incident: "Illness, one day, confined Baha'u'llah to His bed. Quddus, as soon as he heard of His indisposition, hastened to visit Him. He seated himself, when ushered into His presence, on the right hand of

Baha'u'llah. The rest of the companions were gradually admitted to His presence, and grouped themselves around Him. No sooner had they assembled than Muhammad-Hasan-i-Qazvini, the messenger of Tahirih, upon whom the name of Fata'l-Qazvini had been newly conferred, suddenly came in and conveyed to Quddus a pressing invitation from Tahirih to visit her in her own garden. `I have severed myself entirely from her,' he boldly and decisively replied. `I refuse to meet her.'(1) The messenger retired immediately, and soon returned, reiterating the same message and appealing to him to heed her urgent call. `She insists on your visit,' were his words. `If you persist in your refusal, she herself will come to you.' Perceiving his unyielding attitude, the messenger unsheathed his sword, laid it at the feet of Quddus, and said: `I refuse to go without you. Either choose to accompany me to the presence of Tahirih or cut off my head with this sword.' `I have already declared my intention not to visit Tahirih,' Quddus angrily retorted. `I am willing to comply with the alternative which you have chosen to put before me.'
"Muhammad-Hasan, who had seated himself at the feet of Quddus, had stretched forth his neck to receive the fatal blow, when suddenly the figure of Tahirih, adorned and unveiled, appeared before the eyes of the assembled companions. Consternation immediately seized the entire gathering.(2) All stood aghast before this sudden and most unexpected

apparition. To behold her face unveiled was to them inconceivable. Even to gaze at her shadow was a thing which they deemed improper, inasmuch as they regarded her as the very incarnation of Fatimih,(1) the noblest emblem of chastity in their eyes.
"Quietly, silently, and with the utmost dignity, Tahirih stepped forward and, advancing towards Quddus, seated herself on his right-hand side. Her unruffled serenity sharply contrasted with the affrighted countenances of those who were gazing upon her face. Fear, anger, and bewilderment stirred the depths of their souls. That sudden revelation seemed to have stunned their faculties. Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Isfahani was so gravely shaken that he cut his throat with his own hands. Covered with blood and shrieking with excitement, he fled away from the face of Tahirih. A few, following his example, abandoned their companions and forsook their Faith. A number were seen standing speechless before her, confounded with wonder. Quddus, meanwhile, had remained seated in his place, holding the unsheathed sword in his hand, his face betraying a feeling of inexpressible anger. It seemed as if he were waiting for the moment when he could strike his fatal blow at Tahirih.
"His threatening attitude failed, however, to move her. Her countenance displayed that same dignity and confidence which she had evinced at the first moment of her appearance before the assembled believers. A feeling of joy and triumph had now illumined her face. She rose from her seat and, undeterred by the tumult that she had raised in the hearts of her companions, began to address the remnant of that assembly. Without the least premeditation, and in language which bore a striking resemblance to that of the Qur'an, she delivered her appeal with matchless eloquence and profound fervour. She concluded her address with this verse of the Qur'an: `Verily, amid gardens and rivers shall the pious dwell in the seat of truth, in the presence of the potent King.' As she uttered these words, she cast a furtive glance towards both Baha'u'llah and Quddus in such a manner that those who were watching her were unable to tell to which of the two she was alluding. Immediately

after, she declared: `I am the Word which the Qa'im is to utter, the Word which shall put to flight the chiefs and nobles of the earth!'(1)
"She then turned her face towards Quddus and rebuked him for having failed to perform in Khurasan those things which she deemed essential to the welfare of the Faith. `I am free to follow the promptings of my own conscience,' retorted Quddus. `I am not subject to the will and pleasure of my fellow-disciples.' Turning away her eyes from him, Tahirih invited those who were present to celebrate befittingly this great occasion. `This day is the day of festivity and universal rejoicing,' she added, `the day on which the fetters of the past are burst asunder. Let those who have shared in this great achievement arise and embrace each other.'"
That memorable day and those which immediately followed it witnessed the most revolutionary changes in the life and habits of the assembled followers of the Bab. Their manner of worship underwent a sudden and fundamental transformation. The prayers and ceremonials by which those devout worshippers had been disciplined were irrevocably

discarded. A great confusion, however, prevailed among those who had so zealously arisen to advocate these reforms. A few condemned so radical a change as being the essence of heresy, and refused to annul what they regarded as the inviolable precepts of Islam. Some regarded Tahirih as the sole judge in such matters and the only person qualified to claim implicit obedience from the faithful. Others who denounced her behaviour held to Quddus, whom they regarded as the sole representative of the Bab, the only one who had the right to pronounce upon such weighty matters. Still others who recognised the authority of both Tahirih and Quddus viewed the whole episode as a God-sent test designed to separate the true from the false and distinguish the faithful from the disloyal.
Tahirih herself ventured on a few occasions to repudiate the authority of Quddus. "I deem him," she is reported to have declared, "a pupil whom the Bab has sent me to edify and instruct. I regard him in no other light." Quddus did not fail, on his part, to denounce Tahirih as "the author of heresy," and stigmatised those who advocated her views as "the victims of error." This state of tension persisted for a few days until Baha'u'llah intervened and, in His masterly manner, effected a complete reconciliation between them. He healed the wounds which that sharp controversy had caused, and directed the efforts of both along the path of constructive service.(1)
The object of that memorable gathering had been attained.(2) The clarion-call of the new Order had been sounded.

The obsolete conventions which had fettered the consciences of men were boldly challenged and fearlessly swept away. The way was clear for the proclamation of the laws and precepts that were destined to usher in the new Dispensation. The remnant of the companions who had gathered in Badasht accordingly decided to depart for Mazindaran. Quddus and Tahirih seated themselves in the same howdah
(1) which had been prepared for their journey by Baha'u'llah. On their way, Tahirih each day composed an ode which she instructed those who accompanied her to chant as they followed her howdah. Mountain and valley re-echoed the shouts with which that enthusiastic band, as they journeyed to Mazindaran, hailed the extinction of the old, and the birth of the new Day.
Baha'u'llah's sojourn in Badasht lasted two and twenty days. In the course of their journey to Mazindaran, a few of the followers of the Bab sought to abuse the liberty which the repudiation of the laws and sanctions of an outgrown Faith had conferred upon them. They viewed the unprecedented action of Tahirih in discarding the veil as a signal to transgress the bounds of moderation and to gratify their selfish desires. The excesses in which a few indulged provoked the wrath of the Almighty and caused their immediate dispersion. In the village of Niyala, they were grievously tested and suffered severe injuries at the hands of their enemies. This scattering extinguished the mischief which a few of the irresponsible among the adherents of the Faith had sought to kindle, and preserved untarnished its honour and dignity.
I have heard Baha'u'llah Himself describe that incident:

"We were all gathered in the village of Niyala and were resting at the foot of a mountain, when, at the hour of dawn, we were suddenly awakened by the stones which the people of the neighbourhood were hurling upon us from the top of the mountain. The fierceness of their attack induced our companions to flee in terror and consternation. I clothed Quddus in my own garments and despatched him to a place of safety, where I intended to join him. When I arrived, I found that he had gone. None of our companions had remained in Niyala except Tahirih and a young man from Shiraz, Mirza Abdu'llah. The violence with which we were assailed had brought desolation into our camp. I found no one into whose custody I could deliver Tahirih except that young man, who displayed on that occasion a courage and determination that were truly surprising. Sword in hand, undaunted by the savage assault of the inhabitants of the village, who had rushed to plunder our property, he sprang forward to stay the hand of the assailants. Though himself wounded in several parts of his body, he risked his life to protect our property. I bade him desist from his act. When the tumult had subsided, I approached a number of the inhabitants of the village and was able to convince them of the cruelty and shamefulness of their behaviour. I subsequently succeeded in restoring a part of our plundered property."
Baha'u'llah, accompanied by Tahirih and her attendant, proceeded to Nur. He appointed Shaykh Abu-Turab to watch over her and ensure her protection and safety. Meanwhile the mischief-makers were endeavouring to kindle the anger of Muhammad Shah against Baha'u'llah, and, by representing Him as the prime mover of the disturbances of Shah-Rud and Mazindaran, succeeded eventually in inducing the sovereign to have Him arrested. "I have hitherto," the Shah is reported to have angrily remarked, "refused to countenance whatever has been said against him. My indulgence has been actuated by my recognition of the services rendered to my country by his father. This time, however, I am determined to put him to death."
He accordingly commanded one of his officers in Tihran to instruct his son who was residing in Mazindaran to arrest


Baha'u'llah and to conduct Him to the capital. The son of this officer received the communication on the very day preceding the reception which he had prepared to offer to Baha'u'llah, to whom he was devotedly attached. He was greatly distressed and did not divulge the news to anyone. Baha'u'llah, however, perceived his sadness and advised him to put his trust in God. The next day, as He was being accompanied by His friend to his home, they encountered a horseman who was coming from the direction of Tihran. "Muhammad Shah is dead!" that friend exclaimed in the Mazindarani dialect, as he hastened to rejoin Him after a brief conversation with the messenger. He drew out the imperial summons and showed it to Him. The document had lost its efficacy. That night was spent in the company of his guest in an atmosphere of undisturbed calm and gladness.
Quddus had in the meantime fallen into the hands of his opponents, and was confined in Sari in the home of Mirza Muhammad-Taqi, the leading mujtahid of that town. The rest of his companions, after their dispersal in Niyala, had scattered in different directions, each carrying with him to his fellow-believers the news of the momentous happenings of Badasht.

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