EVER since I began the writing of my narrative, it has been my firm intention to include, in such accounts as I might be able to relate of the early days of this Revelation, those gems of inestimable value which it has been my privilege to hear, from time to time, from the lips of Baha'u'llah. These words, some of which were addressed to me alone, others which I shared with my fellow-disciples as we sat in His presence, are mainly concerned with the very episodes I have essayed to describe. Baha'u'llah's comments on the conference of Badasht, and His references to the tumult that marked its closing stages, to which I have referred in a preceding chapter, are but instances of the passages with which I hope to enrich and ennoble my narrative.
Upon the termination of the description of the struggle of Zanjan, I was ushered into His presence, and received, together with a number of other believers, the blessings which on two occasions He deigned to confer upon us. Both visits took place during the four days which Baha'u'llah chose to tarry in the home of Aqay-i-Kalim. On the second and fourth nights after His arrival at His brother's house, which fell on the seventh day of the month of Jamadiyu'l-Avval, in the year 1306 A.H.,
(1) I, together with a number of pilgrims from Sarvistan and Faran, as well as a few resident believers, was admitted into His presence. The words He spoke to us lie for ever engraved upon my heart, and I feel it my duty to my readers to share with them the gist of His talk.
"Praise be to God," He said, "that whatever is essential for the believers in this Revelation to be told has been revealed. Their duties have been clearly defined, and the deeds they are expected to perform have been plainly set forth in

Our Book. Now is the time for them to arise and fulfil their duty. Let them translate into deeds the exhortations We have given them. Let them beware lest the love they bear God, a love that glows so brightly in their hearts, cause them to transgress the bounds of moderation, and to overstep the limits We have set for them. In regard to this matter, We wrote thus, while in Iraq, to Haji Mirza Musay-i-Qumi: `Such is to be the restraint you should exercise that if you be made to quaff from the well-springs of faith and certitude all the rivers of knowledge, your lips must never be allowed to betray, to either friend or stranger, the wonder of the draught of which you have partaken. Though your heart be aflame with His love, take heed lest any eye discover your inner agitation, and though your soul be surging like an ocean, suffer not the serenity of your countenance to be disturbed, nor the manner of your behaviour to reveal the intensity of your emotions.'
"God knows that at no time did We attempt to conceal Ourself or hide the Cause which We have been bidden to proclaim. Though not wearing the garb of the people of learning, We have again and again faced and reasoned with men of great scholarship in both Nur and Mazindaran, and have succeeded in persuading them of the truth of this Revelation. We never flinched in Our determination; We never hesitated to accept the challenge from whatever direction it came. To whomsoever We spoke in those days, We found him receptive to our Call and ready to identify himself with its precepts. But for the shameful behaviour of the people of Bayan, who sullied by their deeds the work We had accomplished, Nur and Mazindaran would have been entirely won to this Cause and would have been accounted by this time among its leading strongholds.
At a time when the forces of Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza had besieged the fort of Tabarsi, We resolved to depart from Nur and lend Our assistance to its heroic defenders. We had intended to send Abdu'l-Vahhab, one of Our companions, in advance of Us, and to request him to announce Our approach to the besieged. Though encompassed by the forces of the enemy, We had decided to throw in Our lot with those steadfast companions, and to risk the dangers with which

they were confronted. This, however, was not to be. The hand of Omnipotence spared Us from their fate and preserved Us for the work We were destined to accomplish. In pursuance of God's inscrutable wisdom, the intention We had formed was, before Our arrival at the fort, communicated by certain inhabitants of Nur to Mirza Taqi, the governor of Amul, who sent his men to intercept Us. While We were resting and taking Our tea, We found Ourselves suddenly surrounded by a number of horsemen, who seized Our belongings and captured Our steeds. We were given, in exchange for Our own horse, a poorly saddled animal which We found it extremely uncomfortable to ride. The rest of Our companions were conducted, handcuffed, to Amul. Mirza Taqi succeeded, in spite of the tumult Our arrival had raised, and in the face of the opposition of the ulamas, in releasing Us from their grasp and in conducting Us to his own house. He extended to Us the warmest hospitality. Occasionally he yielded to the pressure which the ulamas were continuously bringing to bear upon him, and felt himself powerless to defeat their attempts to harm Us. We were still in his house when the Sardar, who had joined the army in Mazindaran, returned to Amul. No sooner was he informed of the indignities We had suffered than he rebuked Mirza Taqi for the weakness he had shown in protecting Us from Our enemies. `Of what importance,' he indignantly demanded, `are the denunciations of this ignorant people? Why is it that you have allowed yourself to be swayed by their clamour? You should have been satisfied with preventing the party from reaching their destination and, instead of detaining them in this house, you should have arranged for their safe and immediate return to Tihran.'
"Whilst in Sari, We were again exposed to the insults of the people. Though the notables of that town were, for the most part, Our friends and had on several occasions met Us in Tihran, no sooner had the townspeople recognised Us, as We walked with Quddus in the streets, than they began to hurl their invectives at Us. The cry `Babi! Babi!' greeted Us wherever We went. We were unable to escape their bitter denunciations.
"In Tihran We were twice imprisoned as a result of Our

having risen to defend the cause of the innocent against a ruthless oppressor. The first confinement to which We were subjected followed the slaying of Mulla Taqiy-i-Qazvini, and was occasioned by the assistance We were moved to extend to those upon whom a severe punishment had been undeservedly inflicted. Our second imprisonment, infinitely more severe, was precipitated by the attempt which irresponsible followers of the Faith made on the life of the Shah. That event led to Our banishment to Baghdad. Soon after Our arrival, We betook Ourself to the mountains of Kurdistan, where We led for a time a life of complete solitude. We sought shelter upon the summit of a remote mountain which lay at some three days' distance from the nearest human habitation. The comforts of life were completely lacking. We remained entirely isolated from Our fellow men until a certain Shaykh Isma'il discovered Our abode and brought Us the food We needed.
`Upon Our return to Baghdad, We found, to Our great astonishment, that the Cause of the Bab had been sorely neglected, that its influence had waned, that its very name had almost sunk into oblivion. We arose to revive His Cause and to save it from decay and corruption. At the time when ear and perplexity had taken fast hold of Our companions, We reasserted, with fearlessness and determination, its essential verities, and summoned all those who had become lukewarm to espouse with enthusiasm the Faith they had so grievously neglected. We sent forth Our appeal to the peoples of the world, and invited them to fix their gaze upon the light of His Revelation.
"After Our departure from Adrianople, a discussion arose among the government officials in Constantinople as to whether We and Our companions should not be thrown into the sea. The report of such a discussion reached Persia, and gave rise to a rumour that We had actually suffered that fate. In Khurasan particularly, Our friends were greatly perturbed. Mirza Ahmad-i-Azghandi, as soon as he was informed of this news, was reported to have asserted that under no circumstances could he credit such a rumour. `The Revelation of the Bab,' he said, `must, if this be true, be regarded as utterly devoid of foundation.' The news of Our safe arrival

in the prison-city of Akka rejoiced the hearts of Our friends, deepened the admiration of the believers of Khurasan for the faith of Mirza Ahmad, and increased their confidence him.
"From Our Most Great Prison We were moved to address to the several rulers and crowned heads of the world Epistles in which We summoned them to arise and embrace the Cause of God. To the Shah of Persia We sent Our messenger Badi', into whose hands We entrusted the Tablet. It was he who raised it aloft before the eyes of the multitude and, with uplifted voice, appealed to his sovereign to heed the words that Tablet contained. The rest of the Epistles likewise reached their destination. To the Tablet We addressed to the Emperor of France, an answer was received from his minister, the original of which is now in the possession of the Most Great Branch.(1) To him We addressed these words: `Bid the high priest, O Monarch of France, to cease ringing his bells, for, lo! the Most Great Bell, which the hands of the will of the Lord thy God are ringing, is made manifest in the person of His chosen One.' The Epistle We addressed to the Czar of Russia, alone failed to reach it destination. Other Tablets, however, have reached him, and that Epistle will eventually be delivered into his hands.
"Be thankful to God for having enabled you to recognise His Cause. Whoever has received this blessing must, prior to his acceptance, have performed some deed which, though he himself was unaware of its character, was ordained by God as a means whereby he has been guided to find and embrace the Truth. As to those who have remained deprived of such a blessing, their acts alone have hindered them from recognising the truth of this Revelation. We cherish the hope that you, who have attained to this light, will exert your utmost to banish the darkness of superstition and unbelief from the midst of the people. May your deeds proclaim your faith and enable you to lead the erring into the paths of eternal salvation. The memory of this night will never be forgotten. May it never be effaced by the passage of time, and may its mention linger for ever on the lips of men."
The seventh Naw-Ruz after the Declaration of the Bab

fell on the sixteenth day of the month of Jamadiyu'l-Avval in the year 1267 A.H.,(1) a month and a half after the termination of the struggle of Zanjan. That same year, towards the end of spring, in the early days of the month of Sha'ban,(2) Baha'u'llah left the capital for Karbila. I was, at that time, dwelling in Kirmanshah, in the company of Mirza Ahmad, the Bab's amanuensis, who had been ordered by Baha'u'llah to collect and transcribe all the sacred writings, the originals of which were, for the most part, in his possession. I was in Zarand, in the home of my father, when the Seven Martyrs of Tihran met their cruel fate. I subsequently succeeded in leaving for Qum, under the pretext of desiring to visit the shrine. Unable to find Mirza Ahmad, whom I wished to meet, I left for Kashan, on the advice of Haji Mirza Musay-i-Qumi, who informed me that the only person who could enlighten me as to the whereabouts of Mirza Ahmad was Azim, who was then living in Kashan. With him I again returned to Qum, where I was introduced to a certain Siyyid Abu'l-Qasim-i-'Alaqih-Band-i-Isfahani, who had previously accompanied Mirza Ahmad on his journey to Kirmanshah. Azim instructed him to conduct me to the gate of the city, where he was to inform me of the place where Mirza Ahmad was residing, and to arrange for my departure for Hamadan. Siyyid Abu'l-Qasim, in turn, referred me to Mirza Muhammad-'Aliy-Tabib-i-Zanjani, whom he said I was sure to find in Hamadan and who would direct me to the place where I could meet Mirza Ahmad. I followed his instructions and was directed by this Mirza Muhammad-'Ali to meet, in Kirmanshah, a certain merchant, Ghulam-Husayn-i-Shushtari by name, who would conduct me to the house where Mirza Ahmad was residing.
A few days after my arrival, Mirza Ahmad informed me of his having succeeded, while in Qum, in teaching the Cause to Ildirim Mirza, brother of Khanlar Mirza, to whom he wished to present a copy of the "Dala'il-i-Sab'ih,"(3) and expressed his desire that I should be its bearer. Ildirim Mirza was in those days governor of Khurram-Abad, in the province of Luristan, and had encamped with his army in the mountains

of Khavih-Valishtar. I was only too glad to grant his request, and expressed my readiness to start immediately on that journey. With a Kurdish guide, we traversed mountains and forests for six days and six nights, until we reached the governor's headquarters. I delivered the trust into his hands and brought back with me for Mirza Ahmad a written message from him expressing his appreciation of the gift and assuring him of his devotion to the Cause of its Author.
On my return, I received from Mirza Ahmad the joyful tidings of the arrival of Baha'u'llah in Kirmanshah. As we were being ushered into His presence, we found Him, it being the month of Ramadan, engaged in reading the Qur'an, and were blessed by hearing Him read verses of that sacred Book. I presented to Him Ildirim Mirza's written message to Mirza Ahmad. "The faith which a member of the Qajar dynasty professes," He remarked, after reading the letter, "cannot be depended upon. His declarations are insincere. Expecting that the Babis will one day assassinate the sovereign, he harbours in his heart the hope of being acclaimed by them the successor. The love he professes for the Bab is actuated by that motive." Within a few months we knew the truth of His words. This same Ildirim Mirza gave orders that a certain Siyyid Basir-i-Hindi, a fervent adherent of the Faith, should be put to death.
It would be appropriate at this juncture to deviate from the course of our narrative and refer briefly to the circumstances of this martyr's conversion and death. Among the disciples whom the Bab had instructed, in the early days of His Mission, to disperse and teach His Cause, was a certain Shaykh Sa'id-i-Hindi, one of the Letters of the Living, who had been directed by his Master to journey throughout India and proclaim to its people the precepts of His Revelation. Shaykh Sa'id, in the course of his travels, visited the town of Mooltan, where he met this Siyyid Basir,
(l) who,

though blind, was able to perceive immediately, with his inner eye, the significance of the message Shaykh Sa'id had brought him. The vast learning he had acquired, far from hindering him from appreciating the value of the Cause to which he was summoned, enabled him to grasp its meaning and understand the greatness of its power. Casting behind him the trappings of leadership, and severing himself from his friends and kinsmen, he arose with a fixed resolve to render his share of service to the Cause he had embraced. His first act was to undertake a pilgrimage to Shiraz, in the hope of meeting his Beloved. Arriving in that city, he was informed, to his surprise and grief, that the Bab had been banished to the mountains of Adhirbayjan, where He was leading a life of unrelieved solitude. He straightway proceeded to Tihran, and from thence departed for Nur, where he met Baha'u'llah. This meeting relieved his heart from the burden of sorrow caused by his failure to meet his Master. To those he subsequently met, of whatever class or creed, he imparted the joys and blessings he had so abundantly received from the hands of Baha'u'llah, and was able to endow them with a measure of the power with which his intercourse with Him had invested his innermost being.
I have heard Shaykh Shahid-i-Mazkan relate the following: "I was privileged to meet Siyyid Basir at the height of summer during his passage through Qamsar, whither the leading men of Kashan go to escape the heat of that town. Day and night, I found him engaged in arguing with the leading ulamas who had congregated in that village. With ability and insight, he discussed with them the subtleties of their Faith, expounded without fear or reservation the fundamental teachings of the Cause, and absolutely confuted their arguments. No one, however great his learning and experience, was able to reject the evidences he set forth in support of his claims. Such were his insight and his knowledge

of the teachings and ordinances of Islam that his adversaries conceived him to be a sorcerer, whose baneful influence they feared would ere long rob them of their position."
I have similarly heard Mulla Ibrahim, surnamed Mulla-Bashi, who was martyred in Sultan-Abad, thus recount his impression of Siyyid Basir: "Towards the end of his life, Siyyid Basir passed through Sultan-Abad, where I was able to meet him. He was continually associated with the leading ulamas. No one could surpass his knowledge of the Qur'an and his mastery of the traditions ascribed to Muhammad. He displayed an understanding which made him the terror of his adversaries. Often would his opponents question the accuracy of his quotations or reject the existence of the tradition which he produced in support of his contention. With unerring exactitude, he would establish the truth of his argument by his reference to the text of the Usul-i-Kafi' and the `Biharu'l-Anvar,'(1) from which he would instantly bring out the particular tradition demonstrating the truth of his words. He stood unrivalled alike in the fluency of his argument and the facility with which he brought out the most incontrovertible proofs in support of his theme."
From Sultan-Abad, Siyyid Basir proceeded to Luristan, where he visited the camp of Ildirim Mirza, and was receive by him with marked respect and consideration. In the course of his conversation with him one day, the siyyid, who was a man of great courage, referred to Muhammad Shah in terms that aroused the fierce anger of Ildirim Mirza. He was furious at the tone and vehemence of his remarks, and ordered that his tongue be pulled out through the back of his n eck. The siyyid endured this cruel torture with amazing fortitude, but succumbed to the pain which his oppressor had mercilessly inflicted upon him. The same week a letter, in which Ildirim Mirza had abused his brother, Khanlar Mirza, was discovered by the latter, who immediately obtained the consent of his sovereign to treat him in whatever way he pleased. Khanlar Mirza, who entertained an implacable hatred for his brother, ordered that he be stripped of his clothes and conducted, naked and in chains, to Ardibil, where he was imprisoned and where eventually he died.

Baha'u'llah spent the entire month of Ramadan in Kirmanshah. Shukru'llah-i-Nuri, one of His kinsmen, and Mirza Muhammad-i-Mazindarani, who had survived the struggle of Tabarsi, were the only companions He chose to take with Him to Karbila. I have heard Baha'u'llah Himself give the reasons for His departure from Tihran. "The Amir-Nizam, He told us, "asked Us one day to see him. He received Us cordially, and revealed the purpose for which he had summoned Us to his presence. `I am well aware,' he gently insinuated, `of the nature and influence of your activities, and am firmly convinced that were it not for the support and assistance which you have been extending to Mulla Husayn and his companions, neither he nor his band of inexperienced students would have been capable of resisting for seven months the forces of the imperial government. The ability and skill with which you have managed to direct and encourage those efforts could not fail to excite my admiration. I have been unable to obtain any evidence whereby I could establish your complicity in this affair. I feel it a pity that so resourceful a person should be left idle and not be given an opportunity to serve his country and sovereign. The thought has come to me to suggest to you that you visit Karbila in these days when the Shah is contemplating a journey to Isfahan. It is my intention to be enabled, on his return, to confer upon you the position of Amir-Divan, a function you could admirably discharge.' We vehemently protested against such accusations, and refused to accept the position he hoped to offer Us. A few days after that interview, We left Tihran for Karbila."
Ere Baha'u'llah's departure from Kirmanshah, He summoned Mirza Ahmad and me to His presence and bade us depart for Tihran. I was charged to meet Mirza Yahya immediately after my arrival and to take him with me to the fort of Dhu'l-Faqar Khan, situated in the vicinity of Shahrud, and remain with him until Baha'u'llah returned to the capital Mirza Ahmad was instructed to remain in Tihran until His arrival, and was entrusted with a box of sweetmeats and a letter addressed to Aqay-i-Kalim, who was to forward the gift to Mazindaran, where the Most Great Branch and His mother were residing.

Mirza Yahya, to whom I delivered the message, refused to leave Tihran, and directed me instead to leave for Qazvin. He compelled me to abide by his wish and to take with me certain letters which he bade me deliver to certain of his friends in that town. On my return to Tihran, I was constrained, on the insistence of my kinsmen, to leave for Zarand. Mirza Ahmad, however, promised that he would again arrange for my return to the capital, a promise which he fulfilled. Two months later, I was again living with him in a caravanserai outside the gate of Naw, where I passed the whole winter in his company. He spent his days in transcribing the Persian Bayan and the "Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," a work he accomplished with admirable enthusiasm. He entrusted me with two copies of the latter, asking me to present them on his behalf to Mustawfiyu'l-Mamalik-i-Ashtiyani and Mirza Siyyid Aliy-i-Tafarshi, surnamed the Majdu'l-Ashraf. The former was so much affected that he was completely won over to the Faith. As for Mirza Siyyid Ali, the views he expressed were of a totally different character. At a gathering at which Aqay-i-Kalim was present, he commented in an unfavourable manner upon the continued activities of the believers. "This sect," he publicly declared, "is still living. Its emissaries are hard at work, spreading the teachings of their leader. One of them, a youth, came to visit me the other day, and presented me with a treatise which I regard as highly dangerous. Anyone from among the common people who shall read that book will surely be beguiled by its tone." Aqay-i-Kalim immediately understood from his allusions that Mirza Ahmad had sent the Book to him and that I had acted as his messenger. On that very day, Aqay-i-Kalim asked me to visit him and advised me to return to my home in Zarand. I was asked to induce Mirza Ahmad to leave instantly for Qum, as both of us, in his opinion, were exposed to great danger. Acting according to Mirza Ahmad's instructions, I succeeded in inducing the siyyid to return the Book that had been offered him. Shortly after, I parted company with Mirza Ahmad, whom I never met again. I accompanied him as far as Shah-'Abdu'l-'Azim, while he departed for Qum, while I pursued my way to Zarand.

The month of Shavval, in the year 1267 A.H.,(1) witnessed the arrival of Baha'u'llah at Karbila. On His way to that holy city, He tarried a few days in Baghdad, that place which He was soon to visit again and where His Cause was destined to mature and unfold itself to the world. When He arrived at Karbila, He found that a number of its leading residents, among whom were Shaykh Sultan and Haji Siyyid Javad, had fallen victims to the pernicious influence of a certain Siyyid-i-'Uluvv, and had declared themselves his supporters. They were immersed in superstitions and believed their leader to be the very incarnation of the Divine Spirit. Shaykh Sultan ranked among his most fervent disciples and regarded himself, next to his master, as the foremost leader of his countrymen. Baha'u'llah met him on several occasions and succeeded, by His words of counsel and loving-kindness, in purging his mind from his idle fancies and in releasing him from the state of abject servitude into which he had sunk. He won him over completely to the Cause of the Bab and kindled in his heart a desire to propagate the Faith. His fellow-disciples, witnessing the effects of his immediate and marvellous conversion, were led, one after another, to forsake their former allegiance and to embrace the Cause which their colleague had risen to champion. Abandoned and despised by his former adherents, the Siyyid-i-'Uluvv was at length reduced to recognising the authority of Baha'u'llah and acknowledging the superiority of His position. He even went so far as to express repentance for his acts, and to pledge his word that he would never again advocate the theories and principles with which he had identified himself.
It was during that visit to Karbila that Baha'u'llah encountered, as He was walking through the streets, Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunuzi, to whom He confided the secret He was destined to reveal at a later time in Baghdad. He found him eagerly searching after the promised Husayn, to whom the Bab had so lovingly referred and whom He had promised he would meet in Karbila. We have already, in a preceding chapter, narrated the circumstances leading to his meeting with Baha'u'llah. From that day, Shaykh Hasan became magnetised by the charm of his newly found Master, and

would, but for the restraint he was urged to exercise, have proclaimed to the people of Karbila the return of the promised Husayn whose appearance they were awaiting.
Among those who were made to feel that power was Mirza Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Tabib-i-Zanjani, in whose heart was implanted a seed that was destined to grow and blossom into a faith of such tenacity that the fires of persecution were powerless to quench it. To his devotion, his high-mindedness and singleness of purpose Baha'u'llah Himself testified. That faith carried him eventually to the field of martyrdom. The same fate was shared by Mirza Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Shirazi, son of Haji Abdu'l-Majid, who owned a shop in Karbila and who felt the impulse to forsake all his possessions and follow his Master. He was advised, however, not to abandon his work, but to continue to earn his livelihood until such time as he should be summoned to Tihran. Baha'u'llah urged him to be patient, and gave him a sum of money wherewith he encouraged him to extend the scope of his business. Unable to concentrate his attention upon his trade, Mirza Abdu'l-Vahhab hastened to Tihran, where he remained until he was thrown into the dungeon in which his Master was confined and there suffered martyrdom for His sake.
Shaykh Ali-Mirzay-i-Shirazi was likewise attracted to, and remained to his last breath a staunch supporter of, the Cause to which he had been called and which he served with a selflessness and devotion beyond all praise. To friend and stranger alike he recounted his experiences of the marvellous influence the presence of Baha'u'llah had had upon him, and enthusiastically described the signs and wonders he had witnessed during and after the days of his conversion.

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