Translation of French Foot-Notes of the Dawn-Breakerstranslated by Emily McBride Périgord
Wilmette, IL: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1939
original written in French.
Note: The three translations of French passages not currently elsewhere translated in the footnotes to The Dawn-Breakers are the following:
Ch.IX, p.188, f.2:
The translator of these Notes has not striven primarily for an interpretation of marked literary excellence. Her first concern has, at all times, been accuracy. When necessary she has chosen to sacrifice elegance of style to fidelity to the original text. This may explain a few instances of apparently awkward phrasing where the French construction is felt in the English translation.
[From a hand-written] Letter [on behalf] of Shoghi Effendi, through his secretary, to Dr. and Mrs. Périgord:
November 29th, 1939.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Perigord,
I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to convey to you his very sincere thanks for your messages which he has just received.
He is indeed most pleased to know of your interest in, and genuine admiration for, the principles and teachings
of the Bahá'í Faith, and keenly appreciates the warm response you have made to Mrs. French's suggestion regarding the translation of the French notes contained in the "Dawn-Breakers" into English.
This is truly and important service you have kindly accepted to render the Cause, and the Bahá'ís will all feel immensely grateful to you for it, specially those who, due to their lack of knowledge of the French language, have so far been unable to understand the many and extensive French quotations
found in that book.
Shoghi Effendi has every reason to hope that the rendering (?) will be faithful and in excellent language, and trust that you will find it possible to proceed with the work at once.
Again with deepest thanks for your very cordial message, and in the hope that this letter will find you both in the best of health,
Yours very, (?) Sincerely,
H. (?) Rabbani
Ch. I, p. 1, f. 1
His genealogy, according to his son Shaykh Abdu'llah, is the following: "Shaykh Ahmad ibn-i-Zaynu'd-Din-ibn-i-Ibrahim-ibn-i-Sakhr-ibn-i-Ibrahim-ibn-i-Zahir-ibn-i-Ramadan-ibn i-Rashid-ibn-i-Dahim-ibn-i-Shimrukh-ibn-i-Sulih." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme" I, p. 1.)
Ch.I, p.1., f.2
Born Rajab, 1166 A.H., 24th of April-24th of May, 1753, in town of Ahsa in district of Ahsa, northeast of Arabian peninsula. (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, p. 1.) Born a shi'ah, though his ancestors were sunnis. (Ibid., p. 2.) According to E. G. Browne ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note E, p. 235), Shaykh Ahmad was born in the year 1157 A.H. and died in 1242.
Ch. I, p.1, f.3
Siyyid Kazim, in his book entitled "Dalilu'l-Mutahayyirin," writes as follows: "Our master, one night, saw the Imam Hasan; upon him may the blessing of God rest! His Holiness put in his mouth his blessed tongue. From the adorable saliva of His Holiness he drew forth the sciences and the assistance of God. To the taste it was sweeter even than honey, more perfumed than the musk. It was also quite warm. When he came to himself and wakened from his dream, he inwardly radiated the light of divine contemplation; his soul overflowed with the blessings of God and became entirely severed from everything save God. "His faith, his trust in God and his resignation to the Will of the Most High grew apace. Because of a great love and an ardent desire which arose in his heart, he forgot to eat or to clothe himself except barely enough to sustain life." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, p. 6.)
Ch. 1, p.2 , f.1
"He [Shaykh Ahmad] knew full well that he was chosen of God to prepare men's hearts for the reception of the more complete truth shortly to be revealed, and that through him the way of access to the hidden twelfth Imam Mihdi was reopened. But he did not set this forth in clear and unmistakable terms, lest `the unregenerate' should turn again and rend him." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 15.)
Ch.I, p.2, f.2
"Karbila is about 55 miles S.W. of Baghdad on the banks of the Euphrates.... The tomb of Husayn is in the centre of the city, and of his brother Abbas in the S.E. quarter are the chief buildings." (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia,' p. 486.) Najaf is revered by the shi'ahs, as it enshrines the tomb of Imam Ali.
Ch. I, p.3, f.1
"The chief peculiarities of Shaykh Ahmad's views seem to have been as follows. He declared that all knowledge and all sciences were contained in the Qur'an, and that therefore to understand the inner meanings of the latter in their entirety, a knowledge of the former must be acquired. To develop this doctrine, he used to apply cabalistic methods of interpretation to the sacred text, And exerted himself to acquire familiarity with the various sciences known to the Muslim world. He entertained the most exaggerated veneration for the Imams, especially the Imam Ja'far-i-Sadiq, the sixth of them in succession, whose words he would often quote.... About the future life, and the resurrection of the body also, he held views which were generally considered to be heterodox, as previously mentioned. He declared that the body of man was composed of different portions, derived from each of the four elements and the nine heavens, and that the body wherewith he was raised in the resurrection contained only the latter components, the former returning at death to their original sources. This subtle body, which alone escaped destruction, he called Jism-i-Huriqliya, the latter being supposed to be a Greek word. He asserted that it existed potentially in our present bodies, `like glass in stone.' Similarly he asserted that, in the case of the Night-ascent of the Prophet to Heaven, it was this, and not his material body, which performed the journey. On account of these views, he was pronounced unorthodox by the majority of the ulamas, and accused of holding the doctrines of Mulla Sadra, the greatest Persian philosopher of modern times." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, article 12, pp. 890-91.)
Ch. I, p.4, f.1
In the ninth century the remains of the Imam Rida, son of the Imam Musa and eighth of the twelve Imams, were interred in Mashhad.
Ch. I, p.4, f.2
"In the country of Fars, there is a Mosque in the center of which rises a structure similar to the Ka'bih, (Masjid-i-Jum'ih). It was built only as a sign indicating the Manifestation of the Will of God through the erection of the house in that land. [Allusion to the new Mecca, i.e., the house of the Bab in Shiraz.] Blessed be he who worships God in that land; truly we, too, worshipped God there, and prayed for him who had erected that building." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 2, p. 151.)
Ch. I, p.5, f.1
A. L. M. Nicolas, in Chapter 5 of his book, "Essai sur leShaykhisme," gives a list of no less than ninety-six volumes as representing the entire literary output of this prolific writer. Among them, the more important are the following:
1. Commentary on the Ziyaratu'l Jami'atu'l-Kabirih of Shaykh Hadi. 2. Commentary on the verse "Qu'l Huvallah-u-Ahad." 3. Risaly-i-Khaqaniyyih, in answer to Fath-'Ali Shah's question regarding the superiority of the Qa'im over His ancestors. 4. On dreams. 5. Answer to Shaykh Musay-i-Bahrayni regarding the position and claims of the Sahibu'z-Zaman. 6. Answer to the Sufis. 7. Answer to Mulla Mihdiy-i-Astirabadi on the knowledge of the soul. 8. On the joys and pains of the future life. 9. Answer to Mulla Ali-Akbar on the best road to the attainment of God. 10. On the Resurrection.
Ch. I, p.5, f.2
"The news of his arrival caused a great stir and certain Ulamas among the most celebrated received him with reverence. They accorded him great consideration and the inhabitants of the town did likewise. All of the Ulamas came to see him. It was well known that he was the most learned among the most learned." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," p. 18.)
Ch. I, p.5, f.3
A. L. M. Nicolas, in his book "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," pp. 19-20, refers to a second letter addressed by the Shah to Shaykh Ahmad: "The Shah, forewarned, wrote again telling him that evidently it was his duty, his, the King's, to go out of his way to come to Yazd to see the illustrious and holy person whose feet were a blessing to the province upon whose soil they had trodden, but because of political reasons of high importance he could not, at this moment, leave the capital. Besides it was necessary, he said, in case of change of residence, to bring with him a force of at least ten thousand men, and, as the town of Yazd was too small to support such a large population, the arrival of so many troops would most certainly occasion a famine. `You would not wish such a calamity to occur, I am quite certain, and I think therefore that, although I am of very small importance compared to you, you will consent, nevertheless to come to me.'"
Ch. I, p.8, f.1
"God is Most Great."
Ch. I, p.8, f.2
October 20, 1819 A.D.
Ch. I, p.9, f.1
November 12, 1817 A.D
Ch. I, p.9, f.2
Ch. I, p.9, f.3
"His [Siyyid Kazim's] family were merchants of repute. If is father was named Aqa Siyyid Qasim. When twelve years old, he was living at Ardibil near the tomb of Shaykh Safi'u'd-Din Ishaq, the descendant of the seventh Imam Musa Kazim and the ancestor of the Safavi kings. One night in a dream it was signified to him by one of the illustrious progenitors of the buried saint that he should put himself under the spiritual guidance of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, who was at this time residing at Yazd. He accordingly proceeded thither and enrolled himself amongst the disciples of Shaykh Ahmad, in whose doctrine he attained such eminence that on the Shaykh's death he was unanimously recognised as the leader of the Shaykhi school." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note E, p. 238)
Ch. I, p.10, f.1
Ch. I, p.12, f.1
"The Shah felt his good will and respect for the Shaykh grow increasingly from day to day. He felt obliged to obey him and would have considered it an act of blasphemy to oppose him. However, at this time, a succession of earthquakes occurred in Rayy and many were destroyed. The Shah had a dream in which it was revealed to him that, if Shaykh Ahmad had not been there, the entire city would have been destroyed and all the inhabitants killed. He awakened terrified and his faith in the Shaykh grew apace." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, p. 21.)
Ch. I, p.12, f.2
Mirza Abu'l-Fadl asserts in his writings that the genealogy of Bahá'u'lláh can be traced back to the ancient Prophets of Persia as well as to its kings who ruled over the land prior to the Arab invasion.
Ch. I, p.12, f.3
His name was Mirza Husayn-'Ali.
Ch. I, p.13, f.1
November 12, 1817 A.D.
Ch. I, p.13, f.2
"Kirmanshah awaited him with great impatience. The Prince Governor Muhammad-'Ali Mirza had sent the entire town to meet him and they had erected tents in which to receive him at Chah-Qilan. The Prince went even beyond to the Taj-Abad which lies four farsakhs distant from the town." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, p. 30.)
Ch. I, p.15, f.1
Ch. I, p.15, f.2
"The Prince of Martyrs."
Ch. I, p.16, f.1
A. L. M. Nicolas, in his preface to "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, quotes the following as having been spoken by Shaykh Ahmad regarding Siyyid Kazim: "There is only Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti who understands my objective and no one but him understands it.... Seek the science after me from Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti who has acquired it directly from me, who learned it from the Imams, who learned it from the Prophet to whom God had given it.... He is the only one who understands me!"
Ch. I, p.17., f.1
"The Ascent" of Muhammad to Heaven.
Ch. I, p.17, f.2
The Bab, Himself, refers to this passage and confirms it in the "Dala'il-i-Sab'ih": "The words of the revered Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i are well known. They contain numerous allusions to the subject of the Manifestation. For example, he has written with his own hand to Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti: `Just as it is necessary in order to build a house to have suitable ground, so also for this Manifestation must the moment be propitious. But here one cannot give an answer clearly foretelling the moment. Soon we shall know it with certainty.' That which you have heard so often yourself from Siyyid Kazim, is not that an explanation? Did he not reiterate every minute--`You do not wish then that I should go away so that God may appear?'" ("The Book of the Seven Proofs," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, p. 58.) "There is also the anecdote referring to Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i on his way to Mecca. It has been proven that this anecdote is authentic and hence there is something which is certain. The disciples of the deceased have related the sayings which they have heard and also certain personages were mentioned such as Mulla Abdu'l-Khaliq and Murtada-Quli. Mulla Abdu'l-Khaliq relates that the Shaykh said to them one day: `Pray that you may not be present at the beginning of the Manifestation and of the Return, as there will be many civil wars.' He added: `If any one of you should still be living at that time, he shall see strange things between the years sixty and sixty-seven. And what strange thing can be more strange than the very Being of the Manifestation? You will be there and you will witness another extraordinary event; that is to say, God, in order to bring about the victory of the Manifestation, will raise up a Being who will speak his own thoughts without ever having been instructed by anyone.'" (Ibid., pp. 59-60.)
Ch. I, p.18, f.1
According to the Abjad notation, the numerical value of the word "Hin" is 68. It was in the year 1268 A.H. that Bahá'u'lláh, while confined in the Siyah-Chal of Tihran received the first intimations of His Divine Mission. Of this He hinted in the odes which He revealed in that year.
Ch. I, p.18, f.2
He died in a place called Haddih, in the neighbourhood of Medina. (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, p. 60.)
Ch. I, p.18, f.3
"His body was carried to Medina where it was buried in the Cemetery Baqi, behind the walls of the cupola of the Prophet, on the south side, under the drain spout of Mihrab. They say that there also is to be found the tomb of Fatimih facing that of Baytu'l-Hazan." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, pp. 60-61.) "The death of Shaykh Ahmad put an end for a few days to the conflict, and the anger seemed appeased. Moreover it was at this time that Islam received a terrible blow and that its power was broken. The Russian Emperor defeated the Moslem nations and most of the provinces, inhabited by the Moslem peoples, fell into the hands of the Russian armies." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," II, p. 5.) "On the other hand, it was thought that Shaykh Ahmad being now dead, his doctrine would definitely disappear with him. Peace lasted for nearly two years; but the Muhammadans returned quickly to their former sentiments as soon as they saw that the light of the doctrine of the deceased still radiated over the world, thanks to Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti, the best, the most faithful disciple of Shaykh Ahmad, and his successor." (Ibid., pp. 5-6.)
Ch. II, p.20, f.1
He was the first to believe in the Bab, who gave him this title.
Ch. II, p.23, f.1
"The Madrisih or Persian colleges are entirely in the hands of the clergy and there are several in every large town. They generally consist of a court, surrounded by buildings containing chambers for students and masters, with a gate on one side; and frequently a garden and a well in the centre of the court.... Many of the madrisihs have been founded and endowed by kings or pious persons." (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," p. 365.)
Ch. II, p.23, f.2
A loose outer garment, resembling a cloak, commonly made of camel's hair.
Ch. II, p.23, f.3
Worth approximately one hundred dollars, a substantial sum in those days.
Ch. II, p.23, f.4
Ch. II, p.23, f.5
The Bab, in the " Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," refers to Mulla Husayn in these terms: "You, especially, know who is the first witness of that faith. You know that the majority of the doctors of the Shaykhi and the Siyyidiyyih and other sects admired his science and his talent. When he came to Isfahan the urchins of the town cried out as he passed, `Ah! Ah! a ragged student has just arrived!' But behold! This man by his proofs and arguments convinced a Siyyid, one known for his proven scientific knowledge, Muhammad-Baqir! Truly that is one of the proofs of this Manifestation, for after the death of the Siyyid, this personage went to see most of the doctors of Islam and found Truth only with the Master of Truth. It was then that he attained the destiny which had been determined for him. In truth the people of the beginning and of the end of this Manifestation envy him and will envy him until the Day of Judgment. And who then can accuse this master-mind of mental weakness and infidelity?" ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, p. 54.)
Ch. II, p.24, f.1
The Bab in this connection reveals the following in the " Dala'il-i-Sab'ih": "That which he was still saying at the time of his last journey, that which you, yourself, have heard, is it not being spoken of? And likewise the account of Mirza Muhammad-i-Akhbari which Abdu'l-Husayn-i-Shushtari relates? Mirza Muhammad-i-Akhbari, while at Kazimayn, one day asked of the venerable Siyyid when the Imam would manifest himself. The Siyyid looked over the assembly and said: `You will see him.' Mulla Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Haravi also related this incident in Isfahan." ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, p. 58.)
Ch. II, p.25, f.1
See note, at the beginning of the book, on "Distinguishing Features of Shi'ah Islam."
Ch. II, p.25, f.2
"There seems to be conclusive evidence that Siyyid Kazim adverted often near the close of life to the divine Manifestation which he believed to be at hand. He was fond of saying, `I see him as the rising sun.'" (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's the Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 19.)
Ch. II, p.27, f.1
Ch. II, p.31, f.1
A juz' is one-thirtieth of the Qur'an.
Ch. II, p.32, f.1
The ninth day of the month of Dhi'l-Hijjih.
Ch. II, p.32, f.2
October 5, 1851 A.D.
Ch. II, p.33, f.1
Chapter 2 of A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," II, is entirely devoted to a detailed enumeration of the hundred and thirty-five works composed by Siyyid Kazim, among which the following are of outstanding interest:
1. Sharh-i-Khutbiy-i-Tutunjiyyih. 2. Sharh-i-Qasidih. 3. Tafsirih Ayatu'l-Kursi. 4. Dar Asrar-i-Shihihadat-i-Imam Husayn. 5. Cosmography. 6. Dalilu'l-Mutahayyirin.His works are said to exceed 300 volumes. ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note E, p. 238.)
Ch. II, p.33, f.2
" Dhikr" means "mention," "remembrance."
Ch. II, p.34, f.1
A. L. M. Nicolas quotes in Chapter 3 of his "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," II, p. 43, the following extract from the Sharh-i-Qasidih of Siyyid Kazim: "I have announced that every hundred years there are a chosen few who spread and sow the precepts which explain that which is lawful and that which is unlawful; who tell of the things that were hidden during the hundred preceding years. In other words, in every century a learned and perfect man is found who causes the tree of religious law to revive and bloom; who regenerates its trunk to such an extent that at last the book of Creation comes to its end in a period of twelve hundred years. At that moment, a certain number of perfect men will appear who will reveal certain very intimate things which were hidden.... Therefore, when the twelve hundred years will have been completed, when the first cycle is ended, which depended upon the appearance of the Sun of the Prophet and of the Moon of the Vilayat, then the influence of that cycle is ended and a second cycle begins in which the intimate precepts and hidden meanings of the former cycle are explained." He himself then adds these words: "In other words, and in order to render clearer this amazing statement which truly needs no interpretation, Siyyid Kazim tells us that the first cycle which lasts twelve hundred years is solely for the education of the bodies and of the spirits which are dependent upon them. It is like a child in the womb of the mother. The second cycle is for the education of the pure spirits, the souls which have no relation to the world of matter. It is as though God wished to elevate the spirit by means of the performance of its duty in this world. Therefore, when the first cycle is completed, the glory of which is the name of Muhammad, comes the cycle of the education of the intimates. In this cycle the appearances obey the intimates, just as in the preceding cycle the heavenly name of the Prophet, which is Ahmad, is the place of the appearance, the Master: `But this name must necessarily be found to be of the fruit of the best soil and of the purest air.'" Nicolas further adds in a footnote the following words: "The name of Ahmad mentioned above would lead one to believe that it refers to Shaykh Ahmad, but one cannot say, however, in speaking of Lahca, that it is the best of lands, or of the purest air. We know, on the contrary, that all the Persian poets sing the praises of Shiraz and of its ideal climate. It is only necessary to see what Shaykh Ahmad himself said of his country."
Ch. II, p.36, f.1
Brother of the Imam Husayn.
Ch. II, p.36, f.2
Ch. II, p.37, f.1
A. L. M. Nicolas, in his "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," II, pp. 29-30, describes the event as follows: "It was in the year 1258 (1842) that this event took place, on the day of the Feast of Qadr. The armies of Baghdad, under the leadership of Najib Pasha, took possession of Karbila whose inhabitants they massacred and whose rich Mosques they pillaged. About nine thousand people were killed, the majority of whom were Persians. Muhammad Shah was seriously ill at the time of this disaster and therefore his officials had kept the news from him. "When the Shah heard later on of these events, he grew furiously angry and swore fierce vengeance, but the Russian and English representatives intervened in order to quiet things. Finally Mirza Ja'far Khan Mushiru'd-Dawlih, on return from his ambassadorship at Constantinople, was sent to Erzeroum there to meet the English, Russian and Ottoman delegates. "Having arrived at Tabriz, the Persian plenipotentiary fell ill and Haji Mirza Aqasi appointed in his place Mirza Taqi Khan-i-Farahani, Vazir Nizam: this man appeared in Erzeroum with two hundred officers. "The Turkish delegate was Anvar Effendi who showed himself both courteous and conciliatory, but one of the men of the Amir Nizam committed an offense against the Sunnite religion; the population then attacked the camp of the Ambassador, two or three Persians were killed, everything was pillaged and the Amir Nizam was saved only through the intervention of Badri Pasha. "The Turkish Government expressed regret and paid an indemnity of 15,000 tumans. "In his Hidayatut-Talibin, Karim Khan asserts that during the sack of Karbila, the victorious troops respected the homes of the Shaykhis. All those, he said, who sought refuge in them were saved, together with many precious objects which were gathered there. None of the companions of Siyyid Kazim were killed, while those who had sought refuge in the holy sepulchres were massacred without mercy. It is said that the Pasha entered on horseback within the sacred precincts."
Ch. II, p.37, f.2
January 10, 1843 A.D.
Ch. II, p.38, f.1
A. L. M. Nicolas, in his "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," Il, pp. 60-61, gives the following extract from the writings of Siyyid Kazim: "You have understood, I think, that the religious law and the precepts of morality are the food of the Spirit. It is then necessary that these religious laws be diverse; it is necessary that sometimes the older regulations be annulled; it is necessary that these precepts contain some things which are doubtful and some things which are certain; some things general and some things specific; some things absolute and some things finite; some of appearances and some of inner realities, so that the child may reach adolescence and may be perfect in his power and his capacity.
"It is, at that time, that the Qa'im will appear and after his manifestation the length of his days will come to an end and he will be martyred, and when he is martyred, the world will have reached its eighteenth year."
Ch. II, p.39, f.1
According to Samandar (p. 32), Shaykh Abu-Turab was a native of Ishhtihad, and ranked among the leading disciples of Siyyid Kazim. He married the sister of Mulla Husayn. He died while in prison in Tihran.
Ch. II, p.39, f.2
"The Bab wrote to Haji Muhammad-Karim Khan ... and invited him to acknowledge his authority. This the latter not only entirely refused to do, but further wrote a treatise against the Bab and his doctrines." (P. 910.) "At least two such treatises were written by Haji Muhammad-Karim Khan. One of them was composed at a later date than this, probably after the Bab's death, at the special request of Nasiri'd-Din Shah. Of these two one has been printed, and is called `the crushing of falsehood' ( Izhaqu'l-Batil)." (Footnote 1, p. 910.) (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, article 12.)
Ch. II, p.41, f.1
Ch. II, p.41. f.2
References to the Bab and to Bahá'u'lláh, respectively.
Ch. II, p.42, f.1
The tombs of "the two Kazims," the seventh Imam Musa Kazim and the ninth Imam Muhammad-Taqi, about three miles north of Baghdad. Around them has grown up a considerable town, inhabited chiefly by Persians, known as " Kazimayn."
Ch. II, p.42, f.2
November 23--December 23, 1843 A.D.
Ch. II, p.44, f.1
December 31, 1843 A.D.
Ch. II, p.45, f.1
" Karim Khan, regarding the taking of Karbila, speaks emphatically of the respect which the attacking troops showed to the Shaykhis and to Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti. He declares, without the least hesitation, that it is very likely that Siyyid Kazim was poisoned in Baghdad by this infamous Najib Pasha who, he says, gave him a potion to drink which caused such intense thirst that it brought about the death of Siyyid Kazim. It is thus that the Persians record history!" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," II, pp. 30-31.)
Ch. II, p.45, f.2
"He was buried behind the window in the corridor of the tomb of the Lord of the Confessors. This tomb was built on an incline toward the interior of the forbidden precincts." (Ibid., p. 31.)
Ch. II, p.46, f.1
"During the lifetime of Siyyid Kazim, the doctrine of the Shaykhis spread over all Persia so well that in the Province of Iraq alone there were more than a hundred thousand murids." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 463.)
Ch. II, p.46, f.2
"Here ends the history of the establishment of Shaykhism, or at least of its unity, for, after the death of Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti, it became divided into two branches. One branch, under the name of Babism, flowered as foreshadowed by the strength of the movement created by Shaykh Ahmad, thus fulfilling the expectations of the two masters, if one may believe their predictions. The other, under the leadership of Karim Khan-i-Qajar-i-Kirmani, will continue its struggles against the Shiite sect, but will always seek security in affecting the outer appearance Ithna-'Asharisme. If, according to Karim Khan, the Bab and his followers are infamous and impious, for the Babis, Karim Khan is the Anti-Christ or Dajjal foretold by Muhammad." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," II, p. 31.)
Ch.III, p.47, f.1
"Mulla Husayn-i-Bushru'i was a man whose great learning and strength of character were acknowledged even by his enemies. He had devoted himself to study from early childhood and his progress in theology and jurisprudence had won him no little consideration." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 128.)
Ch.III, p.47, f.2
January, 22, 1844 A.D
Ch.III, p.48, f.1
Ch.III, p.53, f.1
Ch.III, p.55, f.1
Ch.III, p.56, f.1
Corresponding with the evening of May 22, 1844 A.D. The 23rd of May fell on a Thursday.
Ch.III, p.59, f.1
" Mulla Husayn is reported to have said the following: "One day, when I was alone with the late Siyyid [ Kazim] in his library, I enquired the reason why the Suriy-i-Yusuf was entitled in the Qur'an `the Best of Stories,' to which he replied that it was not then the proper occasion for explaining the reason. This incident remained concealed in my mind, neither had I mentioned it to anyone." ("The Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 39.)
Ch.III, p.61, f.1
The date of the Manifestation is fixed by the following passage in the Persian Bayan [ Vahid 2, Bab 7): "The beginning thereof was when two hours and eleven minutes [had passed] from the evening preceding the fifth of Jamadiyu'l-Ula, 1260 [A.H.], which is the year 1270 of the mission [of Muhammad]." (From manuscript copy of Bayan written by the hand of Siyyid Husayn, amanuensis and companion of the Bab.)
Ch.III, p.62, f.1
A. L. M. Nicolas quotes the following from the Kitabu'l-Haramayn: "In truth, the first day that the Spirit descended in the heart of this Slave was the fifteenth of the month of Rabi'u'l-Avval." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 206.)
Ch.III, p.62, f.2
Quotations from the Qur'an.
Ch.III, p.63, f.1
+F1 The Bab's commentary on the Surih of Joseph.
Ch.III, p.63, f.2
"In the first of his books he was, above all, pious and mystical; in the second, polemics and dialectics held an important place, and his listeners noticed that he unfolded, from a chapter in the Book of God which he had chosen, a new meaning which no one had heretofore perceived and especially that he drew from it doctrines and information wholly unexpected. That which one never tired of admiring was the elegance and beauty of the Arabic style used in those writings. They soon had enthusiastic admirers who did not fear to prefer them to the finest passages in the Qur'an." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 120.)
Ch.III, p.63, f.3
Ch.III, p.65, f.1
"It is related in the ` Biharu'l-Anvar,' the ` Avalim,' and the ` Yanbu" of Sadiq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke these words: `Knowledge is seven and twenty letters. All that the Prophets have revealed are two letters thereof. None thus far hath known any besides these two letters. But when the Qa'im shall arise, He will cause the remaining five and twenty letters to be made manifest.' Consider: he hath declared Knowledge to consist of seven and twenty letters, and regarded all the Prophets, from Adam even unto the `Seal,' as Expounders of only two letters thereof, and as having been sent down with these two letters. He also saith that the Qa'im will reveal all the remaining five and twenty letters. Behold from this utterance how great and lofty is His station. His rank excelleth that of all the Prophets, and His Revelation transcendeth the comprehension and understanding of all their chosen ones." ("The Kitab-i-Iqan," p. 205.)
Ch.III, p.66, f.1
"Understand in the same way the beginning of the manifestation of the Bayan during forty days no one but the letter Sin believed in B. It was only, little by little, that the Bismi'llahu'l-Amna'u'l-Aqdas clothed themselves with the garment of faith until finally the Primal Unity was completed. Witness then how it has increased until our day." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 4, p. 119.)
Ch.III, p.71, f.1
The father of Quddus, according to the " Kashfu'l-Ghita'," died several years before the Manifestation of the Bab. At the time of the death of his father, Quddus was still a boy studying in Mashhad in the school of Mirza Ja'far. (P. 227, note 1.)
Ch.III, p.72, f.1
He is also known by the following designations: Siyyid-i-Dhikr Abdu'dh-Dhikr Babu'llah Nuqtiy-i-Ula Tal'at-i-A'la Hadrat-i-A'la Rabb-i-A'la Nuqity-i-Bayan Siyyid-i-Bab
Ch.III, p.72, f.2
October 20, 1819 A.D
Ch.III, p.72, f.3
According to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl (manuscript on history of the Cause, p. 3), the Bab was still an infant, and had not yet been weaned, when His father passed away.
Ch.III, p.75, f.1
According to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl (manuscript, p. 41,) the Bab was six or seven years of age when He entered the school of Shaykh Abid. The school was known by the name of " Qahviyih-Awliya." The Bab remained five years at that school where He was taught the rudiments of Persian. On the first day of the month of Rabi'u'l-Avval, in the year 1257 A.H., He left for Najaf and Karbila, returning seven months after to His native province of Fars.
Ch.III, p.75, f.2
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
Ch.III, p.75, f.3
"The Lord of the Age," one of the titles of the promised Qa'im.
Ch.III, p.76, f.1
According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 37), the Bab assumed, at the age of twenty, the independent direction of His business affairs. "Orphaned at an early age, he was placed under the tutelage of his maternal uncle, Aqa Siyyid Ali, under whose direction he entered the same trade in which his father had been engaged (that is to say, the mercantile business)." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 189.)
Ch.III, p.76, f.2
According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 37), the Bab's marriage took place when He was twenty-two years of age.
Ch.III, p.76, f.3
The Bab refers to her in his commentary on the Surih of Joseph ( Surih of Qarabat). The following is A. L. M. Nicolas' translation of the passage in question: "In truth I have become betrothed before the throne of God with Sara, that is to say, the dearly beloved, because `dearly beloved' is derived from Dearly Beloved (the Dearly Beloved is Muhammad which signifies that Sara was a Siyyid). In truth I have taken the angels of heaven and those who dwell in Paradise as witnesses of our betrothal. "Know that the benevolence of the Dhikr Sublime is great, O dearly beloved! Because it is the benevolence which comes from God, the Beloved. Thou art not like other women if thou obeyest God with regard to the Dhikr Sublime. Know the great truth of the Holy Word and glory within thyself that thou art seated with the friend who is the Favorite of the Most High God. Truly the glory comes to thee from God, the Wise. Be patient in the command which comes from God concerning the Bab and his family. Verily, thy son Ahmad has a refuge in the blessed heaven close to the great Fatimih!" (Preface to A. L. M. Nicolas' "Le Bayan Persan," vol. 2, pp. 10-11.) ?The Bab?s widow survived till A.H. 1300 (1882-83).? (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, article 12, p.993.) Both were the sons of Mirza Ali, who was the paternal uncle of the mother of the Bab. Mirza Muhsin and Mirza Hadi, respectively the son and grandson of Mirza Siyyid Hasan and Mirza Abu?l-Qasim, became sons-in-law of ?Abdu?l-Baha.
Ch.III, p.76, f.4
The Bab refers to his son in his commentary on the Surih of Joseph. The following is A. L. M. Nicolas' translation: "In truth, thy son Ahmad has a refuge in the Blessed Paradise near to the Great Fatimih." ( Surih of Qarabat.) "Glory be to God Who in truth has given to the `Delight of the Eyes,' in her youth, a son who is named Ahmad. Verily, we have reared this child toward God!" ( Surih of Abd.) (Preface A. L. M. Nicolas' "Le Bayan Persan," vol. 2, p. II.)
Ch.III, p.76, f.5
Ch.III, p.77, f.1
"He left Shiraz for Bushihr at the age of 17, and remained there for five years engaged in commercial pursuits. During this time he won the esteem of all the merchants with whom he was brought in contact, by his integrity and piety. He was extremely attentive to his religious duties, and gave away large sums to charity. On one occasion he gave 70 tumans [about 22] to a poor neighbour." (Appendix 2 of Tarikh-i-Jadid: Haji Mirza Jani's History, pp. 343-4.)
Ch.III, p.77, f.2
"He was already predisposed to meditation and inclined to be silent, while his fine face, the radiance of his glance as well as his modest and contemplative mien drew, even at that early date, the attention of his fellow-citizens. Though very young, he felt an invincible attraction to matters of religion, for he was barely nineteen when he wrote his first work, the ` risaliy-i-Fiqhiyyih' in which he reveals a true piety and an Islamic effusion, which seemed to predict a brilliant future within the law of Shiite orthodoxy. It is probable that this work was written at Bushihr, for he was sent there by his uncle at the age of eighteen or nineteen to look after his business interests." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 188-189.)
Ch.III, p.79, f.1
"In society he held converse preferably with the learned or listened to the tales of travelers who congregated in this commercial city. This is why he was generally considered to be one of the followers of Tariqat who were held in high esteem by the people." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 335.)
Ch.III, p.79, f.2
"The Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" gives the following particulars regarding this remarkable person: " Haji Siyyid Javad himself informed me that he was a resident of Karbila, that his cousins were well known among the recognised ulamas and doctors of the law in that city and belonged to the Ithna-'Ashari sect of Shi'ah Islam. In his youth he met Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, but was never regarded as his disciple. He was, however, an avowed follower and supporter of Siyyid Kazim, and ranked among his foremost adherents. He met the Bab in Shiraz, long before the date ofthe latter's Manifestation. He saw Him on several occasions which the Bab was only eight or nine years old, in the house of His maternal uncle. He subsequently met Him in Bushihr and stayed for about six months in the same khan in which the Bab and His maternal uncle were residing. Mulla Aliy-i-Bastami, one of the Letters of the Living, acquainted him with the Message of the Bab, while in Karbila, from which city he proceeded to Shiraz in order to inform himself more fully of the nature of His Revelation." (Pp- 55-7.)
Ch.III, p.79, f.3
"[The] Bab possessed a mild and benignant countenance, his manners were composed and dignified, his eloquence was impressive, and he wrote rapidly and well." (Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," p. 178.)
Ch.III, p.79, f.4
"Withdrawn within himself, always absorbed in pious practices, of extreme simplicity of manner, of a fascinating gentleness, those gifts further heightened by his great youth and his marvellous charm, he drew about himself a number of persons who were deeply edified. People then began to speak of his science and of the penetrating eloquence of his discourses. He could not open his lips (we are assured by those who knew him) without stirring the hearts to their very depths. "Speaking, moreover, with a profound reverence regarding the Prophet, the Imams and their holy companions, he fascinated the severely orthodox while, at the same time, in more intimate addresses, the more ardent and eager minds were happy to find that there was no rigidity in his profession of traditional opinions which they would have found boring. His conversations, on the contrary, opened before them unlimited horizons, varied, colored, mysterious, with shadows broken here and there by patches of blinding light which transported those imaginative people of Persia into a state of ecstasy." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 118.)
Ch.III, p.81, f.1
According to Samandar, who was one of the early believers of Qazvin (manuscript, p. 15), Tahirih's sister, Mardiyyih, was the wife of Mirza Muhammad-'Ali, who was one of the Letters of the Living, and who suffered martyrdom at Shaykh Tabarsi. Mardiyyih appears to have recognised and embraced the Message of the Bab (p. 5). Mirza Muhammad-'Ali was the son of Haji Mulla Abdu'l-Vahhab, to whom the Bab addressed a Tablet while in the neighbourhood of Qazvin.
Ch.III, p.81, f.2
According to the "Memorials of the Faithful" (pp. 291-8), Tahirih had two sons and one daughter, none of whom recognised the truth of the Cause. Such was the degree of her knowledge and attainment, that her father, Haji Mulla Salih often expressed his regret in the following terms: "Would that she had been a boy for he would have shed illumination upon my household, and would have succeeded me!" She became acquainted with the writings of Shaykh Ahmad while staying in the home of her cousin, Mulla Javad, from whose library she borrowed these books, and took them over to her home. Her father raised violent objections to her action and, in his heated discussions with her, denounced and criticised the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad. Tahirih refused to heed the counsels of her father, and engaged in secret correspondence with Siyyid Kazim, who conferred upon her the name of " Qurratu'l-'Ayn." The title of " Tahirih" was first associated with her name while she was staying in Badasht, and was subsequently approved by the Bab. From Qazvin she left for Karbila, hoping to meet Siyyid Kazim, but arrived too late, the Siyyid having passed away ten days before her arrival. She joined the companions of the departed leader, and spent her time in prayer and meditation, eagerly expecting the appearance of Him whose advent Siyyid Kazim had foretold. While in that city, she dreamed a dream. A youth, a Siyyid, wearing a black cloak and a green turban, appeared to her in the heavens, who with upraised hands was reciting certain verses, one of which she noted down in her book. She awoke from her dream greatly impressed by her strange experience. When, later on, a copy of the " Ahsanu'l-Qisas," the Bab's commentary on the Surih of Joseph, reached her, she, to her intense delight, discovered that same verse which she had heard in her dream in that book. That discovery assured her of the truth of the Message which the Author of that work had proclaimed. She herself undertook the translation of the " Ahsanu'l-Qisas" into Persian, and exerted the utmost effort for its spread and interpretation. For three months her house in Karbila was besieged by the guards whom the Governor had appointed to watch and prevent her from associating with the people. From Karbila she proceeded to Baghdad, and lived for a time the house of Shaykh Muhammad-i-Shibl, from which place she transferred her residence to another quarter, and was eventually taken to the home of the Mufti, where she stayed for about three months.
Ch.III, p.82, f.1
According to the " Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" (p. 93), Tahirih was informed of the Message of the Bab by Mulla Aliy-i-Bastami, who visited Karbila in the year 1260 A.H., after his return from Shiraz.
Ch.III, p.82, f.2
"One of the most distinguished families of Qazvin--and by this I mean most distinguished by the number of high offices which their various members held in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, as well as by their reputation for science--was, without doubt, the family of Haji Mulla Salih-i-Baraqani who received after his death the title of ` Shahid-i-Thalith', that is to say, `the third martyr.' We shall review their early history in order to make clear the role which they played in the religious dissensions of Persia, as well as in the catastrophe which was fatally to develop the arrogant character of the brother of Mulla Salih. When the great Mujtahid Aqa Siyyid Muhammad arrived at Qazvin, someone asked him if Haji Mulla Salih-i-Baraqani was a Mujtahid. `Assuredly,' replied the Siyyid, and that all the more so since Salih was one of his former students who towards the last had followed the teachings of Aqa Siyyid Ali. `Very well,' replied his questioner, `but his brother Muhammad-Taqi, is he also worthy of the sacred title?' Aqa Siyyid Muhammad replied by praising the qualities and the science of Taqi but avoiding a precise answer to the direct question put to him. However, this did not prevent the questioner from spreading abroad in the city the news that Siyyid Muhammad himself acknowledged Taqi as a Master whom he had declared Mujtahid in his presence. "Now Siyyid Muhammad had gone to live with one of his colleagues, Haji Mulla Abdu'l-Vahhab. The latter learned quickly of the news which was thus noised abroad and he immediately summoned before him the questioner of the Siyyid whom he reproached severely in the presence of witnesses. Naturally, the rumor spread from tongue to tongue until it reached Taqi, who became furious and declared each time he heard the name of Mulla Abdu'l-Vahhab,--`I only respect him because he is the son of my blessed Master.' "Siyyid Muhammad, having been informed of all these incidents and of all the rumors, and realizing that he had saddened the heart of Taqi, came one day to invite him to luncheon; he treated him with great respect, wrote for him his brevet of Mujtahid and, this same day, accompanied him to the Mosque. The prayer over, he sat down on the steps of the pulpit where he spoke the praises of Taqi and confirmed him in his new dignity, in the presence of the entire assembly. It happened that, a little later, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i passed through Qazvin. This personage, said to be the very pious author of ` Qisasu'l-'Ulama,' was declared impious because he had endeavored to reconcile philosophy and religious law, `and everyone knows that in most cases to try to blend religious law with intelligence is an impossibility.' Be that as it may, Shaykh Ahmad rose high above his contemporaries, many men sharing his opinions. He had followers in all the cities of Persia and the Shah Fath-'Ali treated him with great deference, while Akhund Mulla Ali said of him, `He is an ignorant man with a pure heart.' "While in Qazvin, he sojourned in the house of Mulla Abdu'l-Vahhab who was henceforth to be the enemy of the Baraqani family. He went to worship in the Mosque of the parish and the ulamas of Qazvin came to pray under his guidance. He naturally returned all the visits and courtesies extended to him by these holy men, was on good terms with them and soon it became known that his host was one of his disciples. One day he went to call upon Haji Mulla Taqi-i-Baraqani who received him apparently with profound respect, but took advantage of the opportunity to ask him some insidious questions. `Regarding the resurrection of the dead on the Day of Judgment,' he asked, `do you share the opinion of Mulla Sadra?' `No,' replied Shaykh Ahmad. Then Taqi, calling his youngest brother Haji Mulla Ali, said: `Go to my library and bring me the Shavahid-i-Rububiyyih of Mulla Sadra.' Then, as Haji Mulla was slow to return, he said to Shaykh Ahmad: `Although I do not agree with you on this subject, I am nevertheless curious to know your opinion on the matter.' The Shaykh replied, `Nothing would be easier. My conviction is that the resurrection will not take place with our material bodies but with their essence, and by essence I mean, for example, the glass which is potentially in the stone.' "Excuse me,' Taqi replied maliciously, `but this essence is different from the material body and you know that it is a dogma in our holy religion to believe in the resurrection of the material body.' The Shaykh remained silent and it was in vain that one of his pupils, a native of Turkistan, endeavored to divert the conversation by starting a discussion which was likely to be a lengthy one, but the blow was dealt and Shaykh Ahmad withdrew, convinced that he had been compromised. It was not long before he realized that his conversation had been carefully related by Taqi for, that very day, when he went to the Mosque to pray he was followed only by Abdu'l-Vahhab. A misunderstanding was broiling and threatened to break, but Abdu'l-Vahhab, thinking he had found a way to smooth things over and remove all the difficulties, entreated his Master to write and publish a book in which he would affirm the resurrection of the material body. But he had not taken into account the hatred of Taqi. In fact, Shaykh Ahmad did write the treatise, which still may be found in his book entitled ` Ajvibatu'l-Masa'il' but no one cared to read it and his impiety was noised abroad increasingly from day to day. It came to the point where the Governor of the city, Prince Ali-Naqi Mirza Ruknu'd-Dawlih, considering the importance of the personages involved in the controversy and afraid being blamed for allowing this dissension to grow, resolved to bring about an agreement. "One night, he invited all the celebrated Ulamas of the city to a great banquet. Shaykh Ahmad was given the seat of honor and close to him, only separated by one person, was Taqi. Platters were brought, prepared for three people, so that the two enemies found that they were obliged to eat together, but the irreconcilable Taqi turned toward the platter of his neighbors on his right hand and to the great consternation of the Prince, he placed his left hand over the left side of his face in such a manner that he could not possibly see Shaykh Ahmad. After the banquet which proved rather dull, the Prince, still determined to reconcile the two adversaries, bestowed great praise on Shaykh Ahmad, acknowledging him as the great Arabian and Persian Doctor and saying that Taqi should show him the greatest respect; that it was not proper for him to give ear to the gossip of men eager to create conflict between two exceptional minds. Taqi interrupted him violently and declared with great contempt, `There can be no peace between impiety and faith! Concerning the resurrection the Shaykh holds a doctrine opposed to the religion of Islam, ( Islamic law) therefore, whoever holds such a doctrine is an impious one and what can such a rebel and I have in common?' "The Prince insisted and entreated in vain, but Taqi refused to yield and they all adjourned." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 263-267.)
Ch.III, p.83, f.1
Ch.III, p.84, f.1
" Mulla Salih had among his children a daughter, Zarrin-Taj (Crown of Gold), who had attracted attention from early childhood. Instead of taking part in games and amusements like her companions, she passed hours at a time listening to her parents discuss religious matters. Her keen intelligence quickly perceived the fallacies of Islamic science without succumbing to it and soon she was able to discuss points which were most obscure and confusing. The Hadiths (traditions) held no secrets for her. Her reputation soon became widely known in the city and her fellow-citizens considered her a prodigy, and justly so. A prodigy in science, also a prodigy of beauty, for the child, as she grew to girlhood, possessed a face which shone with such radiant beauty that they named her ` Qurratu'l-'Ayn', which M. de Gobineau translates as `The Consolation of the Eyes.' Her brother Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Qazvini who inherited the learning and reputation of his father, himself relates, in spite of the fact that he remained, at least in appearance, a Muhammadan: `None of us, her brothers or her cousins dared to speak in her presence, her learning so intimidated us, and if we ventured to express some hypothesis upon a disputed point of doctrine, she demonstrated in such a clear, precise and conclusive manner that we were going astray, that we instantly withdrew confused.' "She was present at her father's and uncle's classes, in the same room with two or three hundred students, but always concealed behind a curtain, and more than once she refuted the explanation that these two elderly men offered upon such and such a question. Her reputation became universal throughout all Persia, and the most haughty Ulamas consented to adopt some of her hypotheses and opinions. This fact is all the more extraordinary because the Shiite Muhammadan religion relegates the woman almost to the level of the animal. They consider that she has no soul and exists merely for reproduction. " Qurratu'l-'Ayn married, when still quite young, the son of her uncle, Muhammad-i-Qazvini who was the Imam-Jum'ih of the city and later she went to Karbila where she attended the classes of Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti. She shared with enthusiasm the ideas of her Master, ideas with which she was already familiar, the city of Qazvin having become a center for the Shaykhi doctrine. "She was, as we shall see later, of an ardent temperament, of a precise and clear intelligence, of a marvellous presence of mind and indomitable courage. All of these qualities combined were to bring her to take interest in the Bab whom she heard speak immediately after his return to Qazvin. That which she learned interested her so vitally that she began corresponding with the Reformer and soon, convinced by him, she made known her conversion urbi et orbi. The scandal was very great and the clergy were shocked. In vain, her husband, her father and her brothers pleaded with her to renounce this dangerous madness, but she remained inflexible and proclaimed resolutely her faith." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 273-274.)
Ch.III, p.85, f.1
"`This name comes to them,' said Haji Karim Khan in his Hidayatu't-Talibin, `from the fact that the late Shaykh Ahmad, being at Karbila during his pilgrimages to the holy tombs, and out of respect for the Imams, recited his prayers standing behind the Imam, that is to say, at his feet. In fact, for him there was no difference between the respect to be tendered to a dead Imam or a living Imam. The Persians, on the contrary, when entering into the tomb, placed themselves at the head of the Imam and consequently turned their backs to him when they prayed because the dead saints are buried with their heads towards the Qiblih. This is a disgrace and a lie! The apostles of Jesus pretending to have come to the assistance of God, were called ` Nasara,' a name which was given to all those who followed in their footsteps. It is thus that the name of Bala-Sari extended to all that follow the doctrine of those who pray standing at the head of the Imam.'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, preface, pp. 5-6.)
Ch.III, p.90, f.1
Ch.III, p.91, f.1
According to Muhammad Mustafa (p. 106), Mulla Ali suffered six months' imprisonment in Baghdad by order of Najib Pasha, the governor of the city. He was thence ordered to leave for Constantinople, according to instructions received from the Ottoman government. He passed through Mosul, where he was able to awaken interest in the new Revelation. His friends were, however, unable to discover whether he eventually reached his destination.
Ch.III, p.92, f.1
Ch.III, p.93, f.1
Ch.III, p.93, f.2
Ch.III, p.93, f.3
One of the Bab's titles.
Ch.III, p.94, f.1
The Bab refers to the Letters of the Living in the Persian Bayan ( Vahid I, Bab 2) in the following terms: "All of these formed the name of the Living One, for these are the names that are the nearest to God; the others are guided by their clear and significant actions, for God began the creation of the Bayan through them, and it is to them that the creation of the Bayan will again return. They are the lights which in the past have eternally prostrated themselves and will prostrate themselves eternally in the future, before the celestial throne." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 1, pp. 24-25.)
Ch.III, p.94, f.2
A. L. M. Nicolas, in his introduction to volume I of "Le Bayan Persan" (pp. 3-5), writes as follows: "Everyone agrees in acknowledging that it would be absolutely impossible for him to proclaim loudly his doctrine or to spread it among men. He had to act as does a physician to children, who must disguise a bitter medicine in a sweet coating in order to win over his young patients. The people in the midst of whom he appeared were, and still are, alas, more fanatical than the Jews were at the time of Jesus, when the majesty of Roman peace was no longer there to put a stop to the furious excesses of religious madness of an over-excited people. Therefore, if Christ, in spite of the relative calm of the surroundings in which He preached, thought it necessary to employ the parable, Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, a fortiori, was obliged to disguise his thought in numerous circuitous ways and only pour out, one drop at a time, the filter of his divine truths. He brings up his child, Humanity; he guides it, endeavoring always not to frighten it and directs its first steps on a path which leads it slowly but surely, so that, as soon as it can proceed alone, it reaches the goal pre-ordained for it from all eternity."
Ch.IV, p.97. f.1
"In crowds they gathered to hear the teacher. He occupied in turn all the pulpits of Isfahan where he was free to speak publicly and to announce that Mirza Ali-Muhammad was the twelfth Imam, the Imam Mihdi. He displayed and read his Master's books and would reveal their eloquence and their depth, emphasizing the extreme youthfulness of the seer and telling of his miracles." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 130.)
Ch.IV, p.99, f.1
`Behold the land of Sad ( Isfahan) which in this world of appearances is the greatest of lands. In every one of its schools, numerous slaves are found who bear the name of savants and contestants. At the time of the election of members, even a sifter of grain may put on the garb of primacy (above the others). It is here that the secret of the word of the Imams, regarding the Manifestation, shines forth: "The lowliest of the creatures shall become the most exalted, and the most exalted shall become the most debased.'" ("The Bayan Persan," vol. 4, p. 113.)
Ch.IV, p.100. f.1
Reference to Abdu'l-Bahá's marriage with Munirih Khanum.
Ch.IV, p.100. f.2
Gobineau (p. 129) mentions Mulla Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Harati, a well-known juris-consult, as one of the earliest converts to the Faith.
Ch.IV, p.101. f.1
"The sojourn of Bushru'i in Isfahan proved a triumph for the Bab. The conversions that he performed were numerous and brilliant; but, such are the ways of the world, that they drew down upon him the fierce hatred of the official clergy to which he was obliged to yield and he withdrew from that city. In fact, the conversion of Mulla Muhammad Taqi-i-Hirati, a jurist of the first rank, brought their fury to a climax, because over-flowing with zeal as he was, he would go every day to the mambar where he talked to men openly of the greatness of the Bab to whom he gave the rank of Na'ib-i-khass of the twelfth Imam." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 255.)
Ch.IV, p.101, f.2
According to the " Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" (pp. 42-5), Haji Mirza Jani was known by the people of Kashan as Haji Mirza Janiy-i-Buzurg in order to distinguish him from his namesake, who was also a merchant of Kashan, known by the name of Haji Mirza Janiy-i-Turk, or Kuchiq. The former had three brothers the eldest was named Haji Muhammad-Isma'il-i-Dhabih, the second Haji Mirza Ahmad, the third Haji Ali-Akbar.
Ch.IV, p.103, f.1
"He passed several days in that capital but he did not appear in public. He limited himself to confidential conversations with those who visited him. He thus received many and won over to his doctrine a fairly large number of enquirers. Each one wished to see him, or to have seen him, and the King, Muhammad Shah and his Minister, Haji Mirza Aqasi, true Persians as they were, did not fail to have him brought before them. He laid before them his doctrine and gave to them the Books of the Master." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 131.)
Ch.IV, p.104. f.1
According to Samandar (manuscript, p. 2), Mulla Husayn, on his way from Shiraz to Tihran in the year 1260 A.H., was the bearer of a Tablet revealed by the Bab for Muhammad Shah.
Ch.IV, p.106, f.1
"On one occasion," writes Dr. J. E. Esslemont, " Abdu'l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh, related to the writer the following particulars about His Father's early days: `From childhood He was extremely kind and generous. He was a great lover of outdoor life, most of His time being spent in the garden or the fields. He had an extraordinary power of attraction, which was felt by all. People always crowded around Him. Ministers and people of the Court would surround Him, and the children also were devoted to Him. When He was only thirteen or fourteen years old He became renowned for His learning.... When Bahá'u'lláh was twenty-two years old, His father died, and the Government wished Him to succeed to His father's position in the Ministry as was customary in Persia, but Bahá'u'lláh did not accept the offer. Then the Prime Minister said: "Leave him to himself. Such a position is unworthy of him. He has some higher aim in view. I cannot understand him, but I am convinced that he is destined for some lofty career. His thoughts are not like ours. Let him alone."'" (" Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era," pp. 29-30.)
Ch.IV, p.107, f.1
Tea and that variety of sugar being extremely rare in Persia at that time, +F1 both were used as gifts among the higher classes of the population.
Ch.V, p.111, f.1
The kulah, a lambskin hat, differentiated the clergy from the laity, and was worn invariably by State officials.
Ch.V, p.113, f.1
"His [ Bahá'u'lláh's] speech was like a `rushing torrent' and his clearness in exposition brought the most learned divines to his feet." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 120.)
Ch.VI, p.123, f.1
The numerical value of the word " vahid," which means "unity," is 19.
Ch.VI, p.123, f.2
The numerical value of " Kull-i-Shay'," which means "all things," is 361, or 19 X 19.
Ch.VI, p.125. f.1
"The pilgrim, as was customary with him, would make the most of his stay which he would prolong if need be, in the villages, towns and cities on his way, in order to hold conferences, to speak against the Mullas, to make known the Books of the Bab and to preach his doctrines. He was summoned everywhere and waited for impatiently; he was sought after with curiosity, listened to eagerly and believed with little difficulty. "It was at Nishapur above all, that he made two important conversions in the persons of Mulla Abdu'l-Khaliq of Yazd, and of Mulla Ali the Young. The first of these Doctors had been the pupil of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i. He was a person celebrated for his science, for his eloquence and for his standing among the people. The other, a Shaykh like the first, a man of strict ethics and high understanding, held the important position of the principal mujtahid of the city. Both became ardent Babis. They made the pulpits of the Mosques resound with violent denunciations of Islam. "During several weeks, it seemed as though the old religion had been completely defeated. The clergy, demoralized by the defection of their chief and frightened by the public addresses which did not spare them, either dared not show themselves or had taken flight. When Mulla Husayn-i-Bushru'i came to Mashhad he found, on the one hand, the population stirred up and divided about him, on the other hand, the clergy forewarned and very anxious, but exasperated and determined to oppose a vigorous resistance to the attacks about to be launched against them." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 139-140.)
Ch.VI, p.126. f.1
Corresponding with the night preceding the 10th of October, 1844 A.D.
Ch.VI, p.126. f.2
The Laylatu'l-Qadr, meaning literally "Night of Power," is one of the last ten nights of Ramadan, and, as is commonly believed, the seventh of those nights reckoning backward.
Ch.VII, p.129, f.1
According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 72), the Bab set out on His pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in the month of Shavval, 1260 A.H. (Oct., 1844 A.D.).
Ch.VII, p.129, f.2
"He retained the most disagreeable impression of his voyage. `Know that the sea voyages are hard. We do not favor them for the faithful; travel by land,' he wrote in the Kitab-i-Baynu'l-Haramayn in addressing himself to his uncle, as we shall soon see. He elaborates upon this subject also in the Bayan. Do not consider this childish, the feelings which moved the Bab in his horror of the sea are far more noble. "Struck by the selfishness of the pilgrims which was heightened by the discomforts of a long and dangerous sea voyage, equally shocked by the unclean conditions that the pilgrims were obliged to endure on board, he wished to prevent men from yielding to their lower instincts and treating one another harshly. We know that the Bab especially commended politeness and the most refined courtesy in all social relations. `Never sadden anyone, no matter whom, for no matter what,' he enjoined, and during this voyage he experienced the meanness of man and his brutality when in the presence of difficulties. `The saddest thing that I saw on my pilgrimage to Mecca was the constant disputes of the pilgrims between themselves, disputes which took away the moral benefit of the pilgrimage.' ( Bayan, 4:16.) "In time he arrived at Mascate where he rested for several days during which he sought to convert the people of that country but without success. He spoke to one among them, a religious man probably, one of high rank, whose conversion might also have been followed by that of his fellow citizens, at least so I believe, though he gives us no details upon this subject. Evidently he did not attempt to convert the first comer who would have had no influence on the other inhabitants of the city. That he attempted a conversion and did not succeed is an indisputable fact because he himself affirms it: `The mention of God, in truth, descended upon the earth of Mascate and made the way of God come to one of the inhabitants of the country. It may be possible that he understood our verses and became one of those who are guided. Say: This man obeyed his passions after having read our verses and in truth this man is by the rules of the Book, among the transgressors. Say: We have not seen in Mascate men of the Book willing to help him, because they are lost in ignorance. And the same was true of all these voyagers on the boat with the exception of one who believed in our verses and became one of those who fear God.'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 207-208.)
Ch.VII, p.130, f.1
"It is thus that I myself saw, on the voyage to Mecca, a notable who was spending considerable sums of money but who hesitated to spend the price of a glass of water for his fellow-traveler. This happened on the boat where the water was scarce, so scarce in fact, during the voyage from Bushihr to Mascate, which lasted twelve days with no opportunity to get water, that I had to content myself with sweet lemons." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 2, p. 154.) "One cannot imagine on the sea anything but discomfort. One cannot have all the necessities as in land travel. The mariners are obliged to live thus but by their services they come nearer to God, and God rewards actions performed on the land and on the sea but He grants a two-fold recompense for those services accomplished by one of the servants on the sea, because their work is more arduous." (Ibid., pp. 155-156.) "I have seen (on the way to Mecca) acts of the vilest kind, in the eyes of God, which were sufficient to undo the good resulting from the pilgrimage. These were the quarrels among the pilgrims! Verily, the House of God has no need of such people!" (Ibid., p. 155.)
Ch.VII, p.132, f.1
The day preceding the festival.
Ch.VII, p.133, f.1
December, 1844 A.D.
Ch.VII, p.137, f.1
Verses of the Qur'an.
Ch.VII, p.137, f.2
"The Epistle between the Two Shrines."
Ch.VII, p.138, f.1
Ch.VII, p.139, f.1
July, 1850 A.D.
Ch.VII, p.140, f.1
Friday, January 30, 1845 A.D.
Ch.VIII, p.142, f.1
Similar to a caravanserai.
Ch.VIII, p.143, f.1
Literally meaning "The Seven Qualifications."
Ch.VIII, p.144, f.2
Reference to the name of the Bab.
Ch.VIII, p.144, f.3
Reference to Bahá'u'lláh. Refer to Glossary.
Ch.VIII, p.145, f.1
According to the " Tarikh-i-Jadid" (p. 204), he was also styled " Nizamu'd-Dawlih."
Ch.VIII, p.146, f.1
"One of the tribes of Turan, a Turkish family, called the Qajar, which first appeared in Persia in the invading army of Changiz Khan." (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," p. 339.)
Ch.VIII, p.146, f.2
According to A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab" (footnote 175, p. 225), this meeting took place on August 6, 1845 A.D.
Ch.VIII, p.146, f.3
According to the "Traveller's Narrative" (p. 5), a certain Mulla Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani was, together with them, subjected to the same persecution.
Ch.VIII, p.147, f.1
Ch.VIII, p.148, f.1
"This city became the arena for passionate discussions which profoundly troubled the general peace. The curious, the pilgrims, the scandal-mongers met there commenting upon the news, approving or blaming, exalting the young Siyyid, or, on the contrary, heaping upon him maledictions and insults. Everyone was excited and enervated. The Mullas saw with bitter anxiety the growing number of adherents to the new doctrine and their resources diminished correspondingly. It became necessary to act, as prolonged tolerance would empty the Mosques of their believers who were convinced that since Islam did not defend itself, it acknowledged defeat. On the other hand, Husayn Khan, governor of Shiraz, Nizamu'd-Dawlih, feared that, in letting things drift, the scandal would become such that later it would be impossible to suppress it; that would be to court disgrace. Besides, the Bab did not content himself with preaching, he called to himself men of good-will. `He who knows the Word of God and does not come to His assistance in the days of violence is exactly like those who turned away from the testimony of his holiness Husayn, son of Ali, at Karbila. Those are the impious ones!' ( Kitab-i-Baynu'l-Haramayn.) The civil interests concurring with the interests of heaven, Nizamu'd-Dawlih and Shaykh Abu-Turab, the Imam-Jum'ih agreed that humiliation should be inflicted upon the innovator such as would discredit him in the eyes of the populace; perhaps thus they might succeed in quieting things." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 229-230.)
Ch.VIII, p.150, f.1
Ch.VIII, p.154, f.1
"Following this public seance provoked by the folly of the Mullas and which won for him numerous partisans, the trouble became serious in all the provinces of Persia; the dispute grew into such a grave situation that Muhammad Shah sent to Shiraz a man in whom he had complete confidence, instructing him to make a report of everything he saw and understood. This envoy was Siyyid Yahyay-i-Darabi." (A. L. M. Nicolas' Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 232-233.)
Ch.VIII, p.155, f.1
March, 1845 A.D.
Ch.VIII, p.155, f.2
Ch.VIII, p.157, f.1
"Be that as it may, the resultant impression was immense in Shiraz and all the learned and religious gathered around Ali-Muhammad. As soon as he appeared in the Mosque, they surrounded him and, as soon as he was seated in the pulpit, everyone was silent in order to listen to him. His public talks never attacked the essentials of the Faith of Islam, they respected most of its ritual; in fact, the Kitman dominated. Nevertheless, they were daring discourses. The clergy was not spared; its vices were cruelly lashed. The sad and painful destiny of humanity was generally the theme. Here and there, certain allusions, the obscurity of which irritated the passions of some while it flattered the pride of others already initiated as a whole or only in part, gave to his prophecies such a bitter truth that the crowd was growing day by day and so, in all Persia, they were beginning to talk of Ali-Muhammad. "The Mullas of Shiraz had not waited for all this agitation to unite against this young detractor. From his first public appearances, they sent to him their most able Mullas to argue with him and confuse him, and these public debates were held either in the Mosques or in the colleges in the presence of the Governor, the military chiefs, the clergy, the people, in fact before everyone. But, instead of benefiting the clergy, they contributed quite a little to spread and exalt, at their own expense, the renown of this enthusiastic teacher. It is a fact that he defeated his adversaries, he condemned them--which was not very difficult--with the Qur'an in hand. It was an easy matter for him to show before all these crowds who knew the Mullas well, at which point their conduct, their precepts, and to what extent their beliefs, even their theology, were in flagrant contradiction with the Book, which they could not deny. "Possessed of extraordinary daring and exaltation, he flayed unsparingly the vices of his antagonists, disregarding all ordinary conventions. After having proven their infidelity to their own doctrine, he shamed them in their lives and threw them at pitch and toss to the indignation or the contempt of the auditors. "At Shiraz, his first appearances, when he preached, were so profoundly moving that even the orthodox Muhammadans who were present have retained an indelible memory of them and never recall them without a sort of terror. They agreed unanimously that the eloquence of Ali-Muhammad was of an incomparable kind, such that, without having been an eye-witness, one could not possibly imagine. Soon the young theologian no longer appeared in public without being surrounded with many partisans. His house was always filled with them and he not only taught in the Mosques and in the colleges, but it was principally at his house and in the evenings that, withdrawn in a room with the elite of his admirers, he lifted for them the veils of a doctrine which even for himself he had not yet fully established. "It seemed in these early days that he was occupied with polemics rather than with dogmatic statements and nothing is more natural. In these secret talks, his bold declarations which were much more frequent than in the public addresses, grew each day and tended so clearly to a complete overthrow of Islam that they were a prelude to a new profession of Faith. The little congregation was ardent, brave, carried away, ready for anything; they were fanatical in the true and noble sense of the word, that is to say, that every one of its members thought himself of no importance and burned with a desire to sacrifice his life-blood and his belongings for the cause of Truth." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 120, 122.) "These ethics taught by a young man at an age when passions were intense, deeply impressed an audience, religious to the point of fanaticism, above all when the words of the preacher were in perfect harmony with his conduct. No one doubted the continence and the firmness of Karbila'i Siyyid Ali-Muhammad; he spoke little, meditated constantly and most of the time fled from the presence of men, which all the more aroused their curiosity. He was sought after everywhere." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 341.) "By the uprightness of his life the young Siyyid served as an example to those about him. He was willingly listened to when, in his ambiguous and interrupted talks, he condemned the abuses evident in all classes of society. His words were repeated and elaborated upon and they spoke of him as the true Master and gave themselves to him unreservedly." (Ibid.)
Ch.VIII, p.162, f.1
Ch.VIII, p.167, f.1
The night preceding February 13, 1840 A.D.
Ch.VIII, p.168, f.1
Ch.IX, p.170, f.1
" Babism had many adepts in all classes of society, and many among them were of important standing; great lords, members of the clergy, military men and merchants had accepted this doctrine." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 8, p. 251.)
Ch.IX, p.171, f.1
Refer to "Pedigree of the Qajar Dynasty" at the beginning of the book. [not online yet]
Ch.IX, p.171, f.2
Concerning him, Abdu'l-Bahá has written the following: "This remarkable man, this precious soul, had committed to memory no less than thirty thousand traditions, and was highly esteemed and admired by all classes of people. He had achieved universal renown in Persia, and his authority and erudition were widely and fully recognized." (From manuscript relating to martyrdoms in Persia.) "This personage was, as his name indicates, born at Darab near Shiraz; his father, Siyyid Ja'far, surnamed Kashfi, was one of the greatest and most celebrated Ulamas of that period. His high moral character, his righteous ways had attracted to him universal esteem and consideration. His science had won for him the glorious name of Kashfi, that is to say, one who discovers and explains the divine secrets. Brought up by him, his son was not slow to equal him in every way and he enjoyed the public favor bestowed on his father. When he went to Tihran, he was preceded by his fame and popularity. He became the regular guest of Prince Tahmasp Mirza, Mu'ayyadu'd-Dawlih, grandson of Fath-'Ali Shah by his father Muhammad-'Ali Mirza. The government itself paid homage to his science and to his merit and he was consulted more than once in trying circumstances. It was of him that Muhammad Shahet Haji Mirza Aqasi thought when they wished to find an honest emissary whose faithfulness could not be questioned." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 233.) "While these events were taking place in the north of Persia, the central and southern provinces were deeply roused by the fiery eloquence of the missionaries of the new doctrine. The people, light, credulous, ignorant, superstitious in the extreme, were struck dumb by the incessant miracles which they heard related every moment; the anxious priests, feeling their flock quivering with impatience and ready to escape their control, redoubled their slanders and infamous imputations; the grossest lies, the most bloody fictions were spread among the bewildered populace, torn between horror and admiration.... Siyyid Ja'far was unacquainted with the doctrine of the Shaykhis as he was with those of Mulla Sadra. Nevertheless, his burning zeal and his ardent imagination had carried him, towards the end of his life, out of the ways of the orthodox Shiite. He interpreted the ` hadiths' differently from his colleagues and claimed even, so they said, to have fathomed the seventy inner meanings of the Qur'an. His son, who was to outdo these oddities, was at that time about thirty-five years of age. After the completion of his studies, he came to Tihran where he became intimately associated with all that the court counted of great personages and distinguished men. It was upon him that the choice of His Majesty fell. He was, therefore, commissioned to go to Shiraz to make contact with the Bab and to inform the central authority, as exactly as possible, of the political consequences which would result from a reform which seemed likely unsettle heart of the country." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 387-388.)
Ch.IX, p.174, f.1
Ch.IX, p.175, f.1
According to the " Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (p. 81), no less than two thousand verses were revealed on that occasion by the Bab. The bewildering rapidity of this revelation was no less remarkable in the eyes of Siyyid Yahya than the matchless beauty and profound meaning of the verses in that commentary. "Within five hours' time he revealed two thousand verses, that is, he spoke as fast as the scribe could write. One can judge thereby that, if he had been left free, how many of his works from the beginning of his manifestation until today would have been spread abroad among men." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. I, p. 43.) "God had given him such power and such fluency of expression that, if a scribe wrote with the most extreme rapidity during two days and two nights without interruption, he would reveal, out of this mine of eloquence, the equivalent of the Qur'an." (Ibid., vol. 2, p. 132.)
Ch.IX, p.175, f.2
"Certainly the fact of writing, currente calamo, a new commentary on a surih whose meaning is so obscure, should deeply astonish the Siyyid Yahya, but that which surprised him even more was to find, in this commentary, the explanation that he, himself, had found in his meditation on these three verses. Thus he found himself in agreement with the Reformer in the interpretation that he had believed himself to be the only one to have reached and that he had not made known to anyone." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 234.)
Ch.IX, p.176, f.1
"It was a strange circumstance," writes Lady Sheil, "that among those who adopted [the] Bab's doctrine there should have been a large number of mullas, and even mujtahids, who hold a high rank as expounders of the law in the Muhammadan church. Many or these men sealed their faith with their blood." ("Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," pp. 178-9.)
Ch.IX, p.177, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 8), Siyyid Yahya "wrote without fear or care a detailed account of his observations to Mirza Lutf-'Ali, the chamberlain, in order that the latter might submit it to the notice of the late king, while he himself journeyed to all parts of Persia, and in every town and station summoned the people from the pulpit-tops in such wise that other learned doctors decided that he must be mad, accounting it a sure case of bewitchment."
Ch.IX, p.177, f.2
His name was Siyyid Ja'far, known as Kashfi "the Discloser," because of his skill in the interpretation of the Qur'an and the visions which he F2 claimed to have.
Ch.IX, p.178, f.1
He was styled Hujjatu'l-Islam.
Ch.IX, p.178, f.2
Literally meaning "The Four Gates," each of whom claimed to be an intermediary between the absent Imam and his followers.
Ch.IX, p.178, f.3
He was an Akhbari. For an account of the Akhbaris, see Gobineau's "Les Religions et Les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 23 et seq.
Ch.IX, p.179, f.1
"`I met him [ Mulla Muhammad-'Ali],' says Mirza Jani, `in Tihran, in the house of Mahmud Khan, the kalantar, where he was confined because of his devotion to His Holiness. He said: `I was a mulla, so proud and masterful that I would abase myself to no one, not even the late Haji Siyyid Baqir Rasht, who was regarded as the `Proof of Islam' and the most learned of doctors. My doctrines being after the Akhbari school, I differed in certain questions with the mass of the clergy. People complained of me, and Muhammad Shah summoned me to Tihran. I came, and he perused my books and informed himself of their purport. I asked him to summon the siyyid [i.e. Siyyid Baqir of Rasht] also, that we might dispute. At first he intended to do so, but afterwards, having considered the mischief which might result, suspended the proposed discussion. To be brief, notwithstanding all this self-sufficiency, as soon as news of the Manifestation of His Holiness reached me, and I had perused a small page of the verses of that Point of the Furqan, I became as one beside himself, and involuntarily, yet with full option, confessed the truth of His claim, and became His devoted slave; for I beheld in Him the most noble of the Prophet's miracles, and, had I rejected it, I should have rejected the truth of the religion of Islam."'" ( Haji Mirza Jani's History: Appendix 2 of " Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 349-50.)
Ch.IX, p.183, f.1
A similar statement is reported in the " Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (p. 227). Such a statement, the author declares, was made to him by several residents of the province of Mazindaran.
Ch.IX, p.187, f.2
"A bitter struggle broke out between the Muqaddas and Karim Khan who, as it is known, had taken the rank of chief of the Shaykhi sect, after the death of Kazim. The discussion took place in the presence of many people and Karim challenged his opponent to prove the truth of the mission of the Bab. `If you succeed,' he said to him, `I will be converted and my pupils with me; but if you fail, I shall have it proclaimed in the bazaars: "Behold the one who tramples under foot the Holy Law of Islam!'" `I know who you are, Karim,' replied Muqaddas to him. `Do you not remember your Master Siyyid Kazim and that which he told you: "Dog, do you not wish that I should die that, after me, may appear the absolute truth?" Witness how today, urged on by your passion for riches and for glory, you lie to yourself!' "Begun in this vein, the discussion was bound to be brief. Instantly, the pupils of Karim drew their knives and threw themselves upon him who was insulting their chief. Fortunately, the governor of the city interposed; Muqaddas arrested and brought to his house where he kept him for a while and, when the excitement had subsided, he sent him away by night, escorted for several miles by ten mounted men." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 228-229.)
Ch.IX, p.188, f.1
Title given by the Bab to Siyyid Yahyay-i-Darabi.
Ch.IX, p.188, f.2
The remarkable circumstances attending the conversion of Haji Siyyid
Javad-i-Karbila'i are fully related in the " Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (pp. 70-77),
and reference is made to a significant Tablet revealed to him by
Bahá'u'lláh (p. 63), in which the importance of the Kitab-i-Aqdas is
fully stressed, and the necessity of exercising the utmost caution and
moderation in the application and execution of its precepts emphasised.
The text of this Tablet is found on pp. 64-70 of the same book. The
following passage of the " Dala'il-i-Sab'ih" refers to the conversion of
Haji Siyyid Javad: " Aqa Siyyid Javad-i-Karbila'i a dit qu'avant la
manifestation, un indien lui avait ecrit le nom de celui qui serait
manifeste." ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," traduction par A. L. M. Nicolas,
Ch.IX, p.188, f.3
Literally meaning "radiant siyyid."
Ch.IX, p.190, f.1
Ch.IX, p.191, f.1
The thirteenth century A.H. ended in October, 1882 A.D.
Ch.IX, p.192, f.1
"The Bab's widow survived till A.H. 1300, only six years ago. She was the sister of my friend's maternal grandfather. The above particulars are derived from an old lady of the same family, so that there is every reason to regard them as reliable." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, p. 993.)
Ch.IX, p.193, f.1
"Meanwhile the turmoil, the intense discussions, the scandal continued in Shiraz, so much so that, annoyed by all this uproar and fearful of the outcome, Haji Mirza Aqasi ordered Husayn Khan Nizamu'd-Dawlih to be done with the Reformer and to have him killed immediately and secretly." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 235.)
Ch.IX, p.194, f.1
"Extremely irritated, discontented and worried, the Mullas of Fars, unable to foresee the heights that popular indignation against them might reach were not the only ones to be perplexed. The authorities of the town and of the province understood only too well that the people, who were under their care but who were never very much under their control, this time were quite independent of it. The men of Shiraz, superficial, mockers, noisome, quarrelsome, rebellious, insolent in the extreme, perfectly indifferent toward the Qajar dynasty, were never easy to govern and their administrators often passed wearisome days. What then would be the position of these administrators if the real chief of the city and of the country, the arbiter of their thoughts, their idol, were to be a young man who, undaunted, with no ties whatsoever, and no love of personal gain, made a pedestal of his independence and took advantage of it by impudently and publicly attacking every day all that which, until now, had been considered as strong and respected in the city? "In truth, the court, the government and its policies had not as yet been the object of any of the violent denunciations of the Innovator, but, in view of the fact that he was so rigid in his habits, so unrelenting against intellectual dishonesty and the plundering practices of the clergy, it was unlikely that he would approve the same rapaciousness so flagrant in the public officials. One could well believe that the day when they would fall under his scrutiny, he would not fail to see and violently condemn the abuses which could no longer be concealed." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 122-123.)
Ch.IX, p.195, f.1
September 23,1845 A.D. See " Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 204.
Ch.IX, p.196, f.1
Outbreak of cholera.
Ch.IX, p.196, f.2
The Bab refers to this incident in the " Dala'il-i-Sab'ih" in the following terms: "Recall the first days of the Manifestation, how many people died of cholera! That was one of the wonders of the Manifestation yet no one understood it. During four years the scourge raged among the Muhammadan Shiites without anyone grasping its true significance." ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, pp. 61-62.)
Ch.IX, p.196, f.3
A garden in the outskirts of Shiraz.
Ch.IX, p.197, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 11), " Husayn Khan released the Bab on condition of his quitting the city."
Ch.X, p.199, f.1
Ch.X, p.199, f.2
"He [ Manuchihr Khan] was a man of energy and courage and in 1841 completely crushed the Bakhtiyari tribes, which had risen in rebellion. His vigorous though severe administration secured to the people of Isfahan some little justice." (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," p. 487.)
Ch.XX, p.199, f.3
According to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl (manuscript, p.66), the name of the Imam-Jum'ih of Isfahan was Mir Siyyid Muhammad, and his title "Sultanu'l-'Ulama'." "The office of Sadru's-Sudur, or chief priest of Safavi times, was abolished by Nadir Shah, and the Imam-Jum'ih of Isfahan is now the principal ecclesiastical dignitary of Persia." (C.R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," p.365.)
Ch.X, p.201, f.1
Meaning female serpent.
Ch.X, p.201, f.2
Ch.X, p.202, f.1
Muhammad's "Specific Mission."
Ch.X, p.203, f.1
Reference to His own Mission and to Bahá'u'lláh's subsequent Revelation.
Ch.X, p.207, f.1
See Note K, "A Traveller's Narrative," and Gobineau, pp. 65-73.
Ch.X, p.207, f.2
" Muhammad having grown silent, Mirza Muhammad-Hasan, who followed the philosophical doctrine of Mulla Sadra, questioned the Bab in order to induce him to explain three miracles which it would suffice to relate in order to enlighten the reader. The first one was the Tiyyu'l-Ard, or the immediate transfer of a human being from one part of the world to another very distant point. The Shiites are convinced that the third Imam, Javad, had adopted this easy and economical way of traveling. For example, he betook himself, in the twinkling of an eye, from Medina in Arabia to Tus in Khurasan. "The second miracle was the multiple and simultaneous presence of the same person in many different places. Ali was, at the same moment, host to sixty different people. "The third miracle was a problem of cosmography which I submit to our astronomers who will certainly relish it. It is said that, during the reign of a tyrant, the heavens revolve rapidly, while during that of an Imam they revolve slowly. First, how could the heavens have two movements and then, what were they doing during the reign of the Umayyads and the Abbassids? It was the solution of these insanities that they proposed to the Bab! "I shall not dwell on them any longer but I believe I must here make clear the mentality of the learned Moslems of Persia. And if one should consider that, for nearly one thousand years, the science of Iran rests upon such trash, that men exhaust themselves in continuous research upon such matters, one will easily understand the emptiness and arrogance of all these minds. "Be that as it may, the reunion was interrupted by the announcement of dinner of which each one partook, after which they returned to their respective homes." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 239-240.)
Ch.X, p.209, f.1
Reference to Munirih Khanum's marriage with Abdu'l-Bahá.
Ch.X, p.209, f.2
According to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, about seventy eminent ulamas and notables had set their seal to a document which condemned the Bab as a heretic, and which declared Him to be deserving of the penalty of death.
Ch.X, p.211, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 13), the Mu'tamid gave secret orders that when the Bab reached Murchih-Khar (the second stage out from Isfahan on the north road, distant about 35 miles therefrom), He should return to Isfahan.
Ch.X, p.211, f.2
"Thus this room (in which I find myself) which has neither doors nor definite limits, is today the highest of the dwellings of Paradise, for the Tree of Truth lives herein. It would seem that all the atoms of the room, all sing in one voice, `In truth, I am God! There is no other God beside Me, the Lord of all things.' And they sing above all the rooms of the earth, even above those adorned with mirrors of gold. If, however, the Tree of Truth abides in one of these ornamented rooms, then the atoms of their mirrors sing that song as did and do the atoms of the mirrors of the Palace Sadri, for in the days of Sad ( Isfahan) he abided therein." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 1, p. 128.)
Ch.X, p.211, f.3
According to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 13, the Bab remained four months in that house.
Ch.X, p.212, f.1
"On the fourth of March, 1847, Monsieur de Bonniere wrote to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of France: ` Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih, governor of Isfahan, has just died leaving a fortune appraised at forty million francs.'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 242, note 192.)
Ch.X, p.214, f.1
Ch.X, p.214, f.2
He died, according to E. G. Browne ("A Traveller's Narrative,' Note L, p. 227), in the month of Rabi'u'l-Avval of the year 1263 A.H. (Feb.-March, 1847 A.D.).
Ch.X, p.214, f.3
According to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 13, he was the nephew of the Mu'tamid.
Ch.X, p.215, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 14, the members of the escort were Nusayri horsemen. See note 1, p. 14.
Ch.X, p.215, f.2
?Chaparchi? means "courier."
Ch.X, p.215, f.3
"The Shah, whimsical and fickle, forgetting that he had, a short time before, ordered the murder of the Reformer, felt the desire of seeing, at last, the man who aroused such universal interest; he therefore gave the order to Gurgin Khan to send the Bab to him in Tihran." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 242.)
Ch.XI, p.221, f.1
Ch.XI, p.221, f.1
Ch.XII, p.223, f.1
The site of the second most sacred shrine in Persia, and the burial-place of many of her kings, among them Fath-'Ali and Muhammad Shah.
Ch.XII, p.224, f.1
"At Qum are deposited the remains of his [ Imam Rida's] sister, Fatimiy-i-Ma'sumih, i.e. the Immaculate, who, according to one account, lived and died here, having fled from Baghdad to escape the persecution of the Khalifs; according to another, sickened and died at Qum, on her way to see her brother at Tus. He, for his part, is believed by the pious Shi'ahs to return the compliment by paying her a visit every Friday from his shrine at Mashhad." Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 2, p. 8.)
Ch.XII, p.225, f.1
A station on the old Tsfahan road, distant about 28 miles from Tihran. ("A Traveller's Narrative," p. 14, note 2.)
Ch.XII, p.226, f.1
See "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 14, note 3.
Ch.XII, p.227, f.1
"As the order of the prime minister Haji Mirza Aqasi became generally known, it was impossible to carry it out. From Isfahan to Tihran, everyone spoke of the iniquity of the clergy and of the government towards the Bab; everywhere the people muttered and exclaimed against such an injustice." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 355.)
Ch.XII, p.227, f.2
March 29, 1847 A.D.
Ch.XII, p.227, f.3
April 1, 1847 A.D.
Ch.XII, p.229, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 14), the Bab remained in the village of Kulayn for a period of twenty days.
Ch.XII, p.229, f.2
" Muhammad Shah," writes Gobineau, "was a prince of peculiar temperament, a type often seen in Asia but not often discovered or understood by Europeans. Although he reigned during a period when political practices were rather harsh, he was kind and patient and his tolerance extended even to the discords of his harem which were of such a nature as normally to cause grave annoyance; for, even in the days of Fath-'Ali Shah, the laisser-aller, the whims and fancies were never carried to such an extreme. The following words which our 18th century might recognize as its own are attributed to him: `Why are you not more discreet, Madam? I do not wish to hinder you from enjoying yourself.' "But, in his case, it was not affected indifference, but fatigue and boredom. His health had always been wretched; seriously ill with gout, he was hardly ever free from pain. His disposition naturally weak, had become very melancholy and, as he craved love and could not find it in his family either with his wives or children, he had centered all his affection upon the aged Mulla, his tutor. He had made of him his only friend, his confidant, then his first and all-powerful minister, even his god! Brought up by this idol with very irreverent sentiments toward Islam, he was equally as indifferent toward the dogmas of the Prophet as toward the Prophet himself. He cared little for the Imams and, if he had any regard for Ali, it is because the Persian mind is wont to identify this venerable personage with the nation itself. "But in brief, Muhammad Shah was no better Muhammadan than he was Christian or Jew. He believed that the Divine Essence incarnates Itself in the Sages with all Its power, and, as he considered Haji Mirza Aqasi a Sage par excellence, he felt certain that he was God and he would piously ask him to perform miracles. Often he said to his officers with earnestness and conviction, `The Haji has promised me a miracle for tonight, you shall see!' As long as the character of the Haji was not involved, Muhammad Shah was completely indifferent regarding the success or failure of this or that religious doctrine; he was rather pleased to witness the conflict of opinions which were proof to him of the universal blindness." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale,' pp. 131-132.)
Ch.XII, p.230, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 14), the Bab "forwarded a letter to the Royal Presence craving audience to set forth the truth of His condition, expecting this to be a means for the attainment of great advantages." Regarding this letter, Gobineau writes as follows: " Ali-Muhammad wrote personally to the Court and his letter and the accusations of his adversaries all arrived at the same time. Without assuming an aggressive attitude toward the king, but trusting on the contrary to his authority and justice, he represented to them that the depravity of the clergy in Persia had been well known for many years; that not only morals were thereby corrupted and the well-being of the nation affected, but that religion itself, poisoned by the sins of so many, was in great danger and was about to disappear leaving the people in perilous darkness. "As for himself, called by God, in virtue of a special mission, to prevent such an evil, he had already begun to apprise the people of Fars that the true doctrine had made evident and rapid progress; that all its adversaries had been confounded and were now powerless and universally despised; but that this was only a beginning. "The Bab, confident of the magnanimity of the king, requested the permission to come to the capital with his principal disciples and there hold conferences with all the Mullas of the Empire, in the presence of the Sovereign, the nobles and the people, convinced that he would shame them by exposing their faithlessness. He would accept beforehand the judgment of the king and, in case of failure, was ready to sacrifice his head and that of each one of his followers." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 124.)
Ch.XII, p.231, f.1
March 19-April 17, 1847 A.D.
Ch.XII, p.231, f.2
According to Hidayat in the " Majma'u'l-Fusaha'," the name of Haji Mirza Aqasi was Abbas-'Ali. He was the son of Mirza Muslim, one of the well-known divines of Iravan. His son, Abbas-'Ali, was a pupil, while in Karbila, of Fahkru'd-Din Abdu's-Samad-i-Hamadani. From Karbila he proceeded to Hamadan, visited Adhirbayjan, and from there undertook a pilgrimage to Mecca. Returning, in circumstances of extreme poverty, to Adhirbayjan, he succeeded in gradually improving his position, and was made the tutor of the children of Mirza Musa Khan, the brother of the late Mirza Abu'l-Qasim, the Qa'im-Maqam. Muhammad Mirza, to whom he had announced his eventual accession to the throne of Persia, was greatly devoted to him. He eventually was appointed his prime minister, and retired after the death of the monarch to Karbila, where he died in Ramadan, 1265 A.H. (Notes of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl.) According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 120), Haji Mirza Aqasi was born in Mah-Ku, where his parents had been residing after their departure from Iravan, in the Caucasus. " Haji Mirza Aqasi, native of Iravan, attained unlimited influence over his weak-minded master, formerly his tutor, and professed Sufi doctrine. A quizzical old gentleman, with a long nose, whose countenance betokened the oddity and self-sufficiency of his character." (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia" p. 473.) "As for the Haji, he was a very special kind of god. It was not absolutely certain that he did himself believe that of which the Shah was convinced. In any case, he preferred the same general principles as the King and he had taught them to him in good faith. He could nevertheless be a buffoon; jesting was the policy, the rule of his conduct and of his life. He pretended to take nothing seriously, not even himself. "`I am not a prime minister,' he often said, especially to those whom he mistreated; `I am an old Mulla of humble birth and without merit and, if I find myself in this high office, it is because it is the wish of the King.' "He never referred to his sons without calling them `sons of hussies and sons of dogs.' It is in these terms that he enquired of them or sent them orders by his officers, when they were away. His greatest delight was to pass in review units of cavalry in which he would assemble, in their most gorgeous trappings, all the nomad Khans of Persia. When these warlike tribes were gathered in the valley, the Haji would appear, dressed like a beggar, with a threadbare and shapeless cap, a sword dangling awkwardly at his side and riding a small donkey. Then he would draw up the horsemen about him, call them fools, make fun of their attire, show their worthlessness, and then send them home with presents; for his sarcasm was always tempered with generosity." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 132-133.)
Ch.XII, p.231, f.3
"An anecdote shows the real motive of the prime minister in the suggestions he made to the Shah concerning the Bab. The Prince Farhad Mirza, still young, was the pupil of Haji Mirza Aqasi. The latter related the following story: "When His Majesty, after consulting the prime minister, had written to the Bab to betake himself to Mah-Ku, we went with Haji Mirza Aqasi to spend a few days at Yaft-Abad, in the neighborhood of Tihran, in the park which he had created there. I was very desirous of questioning my master regarding the recent happenings but I feared to do so publicly. One day, while I was walking with him in the garden and he was in a good humor, I made bold to ask him: " Haji, why have you sent the Bab to Mah-Ku?" He replied,--"You are still too young to understand certain things, but know that had he come to Tihran. you and I would not be, at this moment, walking free from care in this cool shade."'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 243-244) According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 129), the chief motive which actuated Haji Mirza Aqasi to urge Muhammad Shah to order the banishment of the Bab to Adhirbayjan was the fear lest the promise which the Bab had given to the sovereign that He would cure him of his illness, were he to allow Him to be received in Tihran, should be fulfilled. He felt sure that should the Bab be able to effect such a cure, the Shah would fall under the influence of his Prisoner and would cease to confer upon his prime minister the honours and benefits which he exclusively enjoyed.
Ch.XII, p.232, f.1
According to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, Haji Mirza Aqasi sought, by his reference to the rebellion of Muhammad Hasan Khan, the Salar, in Khurasan, and the revolt of Aqa Khan-i-Isma'ili, in Kirman, to induce the sovereign to abandon the project of summoning the Bab to the capital, and to send Him instead to the remote province of Adhirbayjan.
Ch.XII, p.232, f.2
"Nevertheless, on this occasion, his expectations did not materialize. Fearing that the presence of the Bab in Tihran would occasion new disturbances (there were plenty of them due to his whims and his poor administration), he altered his plans and the escort, charged to take the Bab from Isfahan to Tihran, received, when about thirty kilometers from the city, the order to take the prisoner directly to Mah-Ku. This town, in the mind of the prime minister, would offer nothing to the impostor because its inhabitants, out of gratitude for the favors and protection they had received from him, would take steps to suppress any disturbances which might break out." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 356.)
Ch.XII, p.233, f.1
"The state of Persia, however, was not satisfactory; for Haji Mirza Aqasi, who had been its virtual ruler for thirteen years, `was utterly ignorant of statesmanship or of military science, yet too vain to receive instruction and too jealous to admit of a coadjutor; brutal in his language; insolent in his demeanour; indolent in his habits; he brought the exchequer to the verge of bankruptcy and the country to the brink of revolution. The pay of the army was generally from three to five years in arrears. `The cavalry of the tribes was a almost annihilated.' Such--to adopt the weighty words of Rawlinson--was the condition of Persia in the middle of the nineteenth century." (P. M. Sykes' "A History of Persia," vol. 2, pp. 439-40.)
Ch.XII, p.234, f.1
? Haji Mirza Aqasi, the half crazy old Prime Minister, had the whole administration in his hands, and obtained complete control over the Shah. The misgovernment of the country grew worse and worse, while the people starved, and cursed the Qajar dynasty.... The condition of the province was deplorable and every man with any pretension to talent or patriotism was driven into exile by the old haji, who was sedulously collecting wealth for himself at Tihran, at the expense of the wretched country. The governorships of provinces were sold to the highest bidders, who oppressed the people in a fearful manner." (C. R. Markham's "A General Sketch of the History of Persia," pp. 486-7.)
Ch.XII, p.234, f.2
Gobineau writes regarding his fall: " Haji Mirza Aqasi, robbed of the power which he had constantly ridiculed, had retired to Karbila and he spent his remaining days playing tricks on the Mullas and scoffing even at the holy martyrs." ("Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 160.) "This shrewd man had gained such power over the late Shah that one could truly say that the minister was the real sovereign; he could not therefore survive the loss of his good fortune. At the death of Muhammad Shah, he had disappeared and had gone to Karbila where, under the protection of the sainted Imam, even a state criminal could find an inviolable asylum. He was soon overcome by gnawing grief which, more than his remorse; shortened his life." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, pp. 367-368.)
Ch.XII, p.235, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 16), the Bab "wrote a letter, in the course of the journey, to the Prime Minister, saying: `You summoned me from Isfahan to meet the doctors and for the attainment of a decisive settlement. What has happened now that this excellent intention has been changed for Mah-Kuh and Tabriz?'"
Ch.XII, p.235, f.2
According to Samandar (manuscript, pp. 45), the Bab tarried in the village of Siyah-Dihan, in the neighbourhood of Qazvin, on His way to Adhirbayjan. In the course of that journey, He is reported to have revealed several Tablets addressed to the leading ulamas in Qazvin among whom were the following: Haji Mulla Abdu'l-Vahhab, Haji Mulla Salih, Haji Mulla Taqi, and Haji Siyyid Taqi. These Tablets were conveyed to their recipients through Haji Mulla Ahmad-i-Ibdal. Several believers, among whom were the two sons of Haji Mulla Abdu'l-Vahhab were able to meet the Bab during the night He spent in that village. It is from this village that the Bab is reported to have addressed His epistle to Haji Mirza Aqasi.
Ch.XII, p.236, f.1
In the " Tarikh-i-Jadid," Muhammad Big is reported to have related the following account to Haji Mirza Jani: "So we mounted and rode on till we came to a brick caravanserai distant two parsangs from the city. Thence we proceeded to Milan, where many of the inhabitants came to see His Holiness, and were filled with wonder at the majesty and dignity of that Lord of mankind. In the morning, as we were setting out from Milan, an old woman brought a scald-headed child, whose head was so covered with scabs that it was white down to the neck, and entreated His Holiness to heal him. The guards would have forbidden her but His Holiness prevented them, and called the child to Him. Then He drew a handkerchief over its head and repeated certain words; which he had no sooner done than the child was healed. And in that place about two hundred persons believed and underwent a true and sincere conversion." (Pp. 222-21.)
Ch.XII, p.236, f.2
Mirza Abu'l-Fadl states in his writings that he himself, while in Tihran, met the son of Muhammad Big, and heard him recount the remarkable experiences his father had had in the course of his journey to Tabriz in the company of the Bab. Ali-Akbar Big was a fervent believer in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and was known as such by the Bahá'ís of Persia.
Ch.XII, p.239, f.1
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 16), the Bab remained forty days in Tabriz. According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's manuscript (p. 138), the Bab spent the first night, on His arrival in Tabriz, in the home of Muhammad Big. From there He was transferred to a room in the Citadel (the Ark) which adjoined the Masjid-i-'Ali Shah.
Ch.XII, p.239, f.2
"The success of this energetic man, Mulla Yusuf-i-Ardibili, was so great and so swift that, at the very gates of Tauris ( Tabriz), the inhabitants of this populous village acknowledged him as their leader and took the name of Babi's. Needless to say that, in the town itself, the Babi's were quite numerous, even though the government was taking steps to convict the Bab, to punish him and thereby justify itself in the eyes of the people." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, pp. 357-358.)
Ch.XII, p.239, f.3
`God is the Most Great."
Ch.XIII, p.242, f.1
Literally "the Open Mountain," allusion to Mah-Ku. The numerical value of "Jabal-i-Basit equivalent to that of "Mah-Ku."
Ch.XIII, p.242, f.2
Literally "the Grievous Mountain," allusion to Chihrig. The numerical value of "Jabal-i-Shadid" is equivalent to that of "Chihrig."
Ch.XIII, p.243, f.1
Literally "the Open Mountain," allusion to Mah-Ku. The numerical value of "Jabal-i-Basit" is equivalent to that of Mah-Ku."
Ch.XIII, p.243, f.2
Literally "the Grievous Mountain," allusion to Chihrig. The numerical value of "Jabal-i-Shadid is equivalent to that of "Chihrig."
Ch.XIII, p.244, f.2
"He dwells in a mountain of which the inhabitants could not even pronounce the name `Jannat' (Paradise) which is an Arabic word; how then could they understand its meaning? Imagine then what can happen in the matter of the essential truths!" ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 4, p. 14.)
Ch.XIII, p.244, f.3
"The country of the first minister on the Adhirbayjan frontier, this village was lifted out of obscurity under the administration of this minister and many citizens of Mah-Ku were raised to the highest offices in the state, because of their slavish attitude toward Haji Mirza Aqasi." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 356, note 1.)
Ch.XIII, p.245, f.1
"The Bab himself tells us how he spent his days in the prison in which he was held captive. His lamentations, so frequent in the Bayan, were, I believe, due to the discipline which, from time to time, grew more severe at the command from Tihran. All the historians, in fact, Babis as well as Moslem, tell us that in spite of the strict orders to keep the Bab from communicating with the outer world, the Bab received great numbers of disciples and strangers in his prison. (The author of Mutanabbiyyin writes: `The Babis from all parts of the earth went to Adhirbayjan on a pilgrimage to their chief.')
"`Oh! How great is your blindness, O my children ! That which you do, you do believing to please me! And in spite of these verses which prove my being, these verses which flow from my power, the treasure of which is the very being of this personage (the Bab), in spite of these verses which come from his lips only by my permission, behold that, without any right whatsoever, you have placed him on the summit of a mountain whose inhabitants are not even worthy of mention. Close to him, which is close to me, there is no one except one of the Letters of the Living of my book. In his hands, which are my hands, there is not even a servant to light the lamp at night. And behold! The men who are upon the earth have been created only for his own existence: it is through his good will that has come all their joy and they do not give him even a light!' (Unite 2, porte 1.)
"`The fruit of the religion of Islam is faith in the Manifestation (of the Bab) and behold they imprison him in Mah-Ku!' (Unite 2, porte 7.) `All that belongs to the divinely Chosen One is in heaven. This solitary room (wherein I am) which has not even a door, is today the greatest of the gardens of Paradise, for the Tree of Truth is planted herein. All the atoms of which it is composed cry out, "In truth, there is no other God but God, and there is no other God beside me, the Lord of the Universe!"' (Unite 2, porte 16.)
"`The fruit of this door is that men, seeing that it is permitted to do all that for the Bayan (that is, spend so much money) which is only the foreshadowing of Him whom God shall make manifest, must realize what should be done for Him whom God shall make manifest, when he will appear, so that he will be spared what is happening to me on this day. That is to say, that there are throughout the world many Qur'ans worth thousands of tumans, while He who has showered verses (the Bab) is imprisoned on a mountain, in a room built of bricks baked in the sun. And, notwithstanding, that room is the Arch itself (9th heaven, the abode of Divinity). Let this be an example to the Bayanis so that they may not act toward Him as the believers in the Qur'an have acted toward me.' (Unite 3, porte 19.)" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 365-367.)
"All believe in Him, and still they have imprisoned him on a mountain! All are made glad in Him and they have abandoned him! No fire is fiercer for those who have acted thus than their very works; likewise for the believers no heaven is higher than their own faith!" ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 1, pp. 126-127.)
Ch.XIII, p.248, f.1
So great multitudes continued to come from all quarters to visit the Bab, and the writings which emanated from His inspired pen during this period were so numerous that they amounted in all to more than a hundred thousand verses." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 238.)
"Behold, that about one hundred thousand lines similar to these verses have been scattered among men not to mention the prayers and questions of science and philosophy." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 1, p. 43.) "Consider also the Point of the Bayan. Those who are familiar with it know how great its importance was before the manifestation; but thereafter, and although it has revealed more than five hundred thousand verses upon diverse subjects, attacks are made upon it which are so violent that no writer would wish to relate them." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 3, p. 113.)
"The verses which have rained from this Cloud of Divine mercy [the Bab] have been so abundant that none hath yet been able to estimate their number. A score of volumes are now available. How many still remain beyond our reach! How many have been plundered and have fallen into the hands of the enemy, the fate of which none knoweth!" (The "Kitab-i-Iqan," pp. 182-3.)
Ch.XIII, p.248, f.2
Allusion to Bahá'u'lláh. "To Mulla Baqir, one of the Letters of the Living--the glory and favour of God be upon him--He [the Bab] addresses these words: `Haply, in the eighth year, the Day of His Manifestation, thou mayest attain His presence.'" ("The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," p. 129.)
Ch.XIII, p.248, f.3
"It is always in the same line of thought that when imprisoned in Mah-Ku he addressed a long letter to the Shah (Muhammad Shah) which we are about to analyze here. The document begins like nearly all the literary documents of the Bab with exalted praise of Divine Unity. The Bab continues in praising, as is fitting, Muhammad, the twelve Imams, who, as we shall see in the second volume of this work, are cornerstones of the Bayan edifice. `I affirm,' he exclaims, `that everything which is in this world of possibilities other than they, is, in comparison, as absolute nothingness, and if one could express it at all, all that is but a shadow of a shadow. I ask God to pardon me for assigning to them such limits. In truth, the highest degree of praise which one can confer upon them is to confess in their very presence that it is impossible to praise them....
"`This is why God has created me out of a clay from which no one else has been created. And God has given me what the learned, with all their science, are unable to understand, what no one can know unless he be completely humbled before my revelation.... Know then in truth, I am a pillar of the first word; whosoever knows that first word has known God wholly, and has entered into the universal good. Whosoever has refused to know it has remained in ignorance of God and has entered into the universal evil.
"`I take God as witness, the Master of the two worlds, he who here below lives as long as nature permits and remains all his life the servant of God in all the works prescribed by true religion, if he entertains in his heart any enmity towards me, even so little that God alone might be aware of it, he is useless and God will prepare for him a punishment; he will be among those destined to die. God has determined the good which is implied in obedience to me, and all the evil which follows disobedience to my commands. In truth, today I see all that I have just said; I see the children of my love, the obedient ones in the highest heaven, while my enemies are thrust into the depths of eternal fire!
"`By my life, I swear, if I had not been obliged to accept the station of the Hujjat of God, I would not have warned you!'...
"It is evident that the Bab re-states his affirmations made in the Kitab-i-baynu'i-Haramayn without addition or retraction. `I am,' he says, `the Point from which all being flows. I am that Face of God which never dies! I am that Light which is never extinguished! He who knows me is accompanied with all good, he who rejects me is pursued by evil. In truth, when Moses besought God that he might gaze upon Him, God radiated upon the mountain and as the hadith explains, "this light, I solemnly affirm was my light." Do you not see that the numerical value of the letters which make up my name is equal to the value of those which compose the word Rabb (Lord)? But has not God said in the Qur'an, "And when your Rabb radiates upon the mountain"?'
"The Bab continues with a study of the prophecies contained in the Qur'an and in some of the hadiths concerning the manifestation of the Mihdi. He relates the celebrated hadith of Mufaddal which is one of the strongest arguments in favor of the truth of his mission.
"It is said in the Qur'an, chapter 32, verse 4: `From the heaven to the earth, He governeth all things; hereafter shall they come up to Him on a day whose length shall be a thousand of such years as ye reckon.' (Note: J. M. Rodwell's translation.)
"On the other hand, the last Imam disappeared in the year 260 of the Hegira; it is at that time that the prophetic manifestation is completed and that `The door of science is closed.' But Mufaddal questioned the Imam Sadiq as to the signs of the coming of the Mihdi and the Imam answered: `He will appear in the year sixty and his name will be glorified.' This means in the year 1260 which is precisely the year of the manifestation of the Bab.
"On this subject Siyyid Ali-Muhammad said: `I declare before God I have never been taught and my education has been that of a merchant. In the year sixty, I felt my heart filled with potent verses, with true knowledge and with the testimony of God and I proclaimed my mission that very year.... That same year I sent you a messenger (Mulla Husayn-i-Bushru'i) carrying a Book, so that the government might fulfill its duty towards the Hujjat. But the will of God being that civil war should break out which would deafen the ears of men, blind their eyes and crush their hardened hearts, the messenger was not permitted to reach you. Those who considered themselves patriots intervened and, even today, after a lapse of four years, no one has told you the truth regarding this occurrence. And now as my time is near and my work is not human but divine, I have written briefly to you.
"`If you could know how during these four years your officials and delegates have treated me! If you knew, the fear of God would choke you unless you would decide immediately to obey the Hujjat and make amends for the harm done.
"`I was in Shiraz and I suffered from this evil and accursed governor such tyrannies that, if you knew even the least of them, your sense of justice would exact revenge, because his cruelty has drawn the punishment of heaven even unto the judgment day on the entire empire. This man, very proud and always inebriated, never gave an intelligent order. I was forced to leave Shiraz and was on my way to visit you in Tihran, but the late Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih understood my mission and did what respect for God's elect demands. The ignorant of the city started an uprising and I, therefore, hid myself in the Palace of Sadr until the death of Mu'tamidu'd-Dawlih. May God reward him! There is no doubt that his salvation from eternal fire is due to what he has done for me. Then Gurgin forced me to travel during seven nights with five other men, exposed to every discomfort and brutality and deprived of every necessity. At last, the Sultan ordered that I should be taken to Mah-Ku without even providing me with a mount. I finally reached that village whose inhabitants are ignorant and coarse. I affirm before God, if you knew in what place I dwell, you would be the first to pity me. It is a dungeon on a mountain top and I owe that to your kindness! My companions are two men and four dogs. Imagine how I spend my days! I thank God as He should be thanked, and I declare before God that he who has thus imprisoned me is satisfied with himself. And if he only knew who it is he has so treated he would never again taste happiness!
"`And now I reveal a secret to you! This man in imprisoning me has imprisoned all of the prophets, all the saints and him who is filled with divine wisdom. There is no sin which has not brought me affliction. When I learned of your command (to take me to Mah-Ku) I wrote to Sadr-i-A'zam: "Kill me and send my head wherever you please, because to live without sin among sinners does not please me." He did not reply and I am convinced that he did not understand the matter, because to sadden without reason the hearts of the believers is worse than to destroy the very house of God; but I declare that it is I who am today the house of God! Reward comes to him who is good to me; it is as though he were good to God, to His angels and to His saints. But perhaps God and His saints are too high above us for the good or evil of men to reach their threshold, but what happens to God, happens to me. I declare before God that he who has imprisoned me has imprisoned himself; only that which is the will of God can happen to me. Woe to him whose hand works evil! Blessed is he who scatters good!
"`At last, to sum up this letter already too long: The late Mu'tamid, one night, dismissed all his guests to retire, even Haji Mulla Ahmad, and then he said to me: "I know very well that all I have acquired has been obtained through force and all that I have belongs to the Sahibu'z-Zaman. I therefore give it all to thee, thou art the Master of Truth and I ask of thee the privilege of ownership." He even took the ring off his finger and gave it to me. I took it and gave it back to him and I sent him away in possession of all his goods. God is witness of the truth of this testimony. I do not wish for a dinar of his wealth, that is for you to dispose of; but as, in any dispute, God requires the testimony of two witnesses, from the midst of all the learned, call Siyyid Yahya and Akhund Mulla Abdu'l-Khaliq. They will show you and will explain my verses and the truth of my testimony will appear.
"`Of these two personages, one knew me before the manifestation, the other afterward; I have chosen them because they both know me well!'
"The letter ends with cabalistic proofs and some hadiths. It is clear therefore that the Bab was very unhappy in his prison. He evidently remained there a long time, as the document which we have quoted dates back to 1264, and the execution of the martyr took place only on the twenty-seventh of Sha'ban of the year 1266 (July 8, 1850)." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 367-373.)
Ch.XIII, p.249, f.1
This is the prayer which the Bab Himself quotes in the "Dalia'il-i-Sab'ih" as His supplication during the months of His captivity in the castle of Mah-Ku:
"O my God! Grant to him, to his descendants, to his family, to his friends, to his subjects, to his relatives and all the inhabitants of the earth the light which will clarify their vision and facilitate their task; grant that they may partake of the noblest works here and hereafter! "In truth, nothing is impossible to Thee.
"O my God! give him the power to bring about a revival of Thy religion and give life by him to what Thou hast changed in Thy Book. Manifest through him Thy new commandments so that through him Thy religion may blossom again! Put into his hands a new Book, pure and holy, that this Book may be free from all doubt and uncertainty and that no one may be able to alter or destroy it.
"O my God! Dispel through Thy splendor all darkness and through his evident power do away with the antiquated laws. By his preeminence ruin those who have not followed the ways of God. Through him destroy all tyrants, put an end, through his sword, to all discord; annihilate, through his justice, all forms of oppression; render the rulers obedient to his commandments; subordinate all the empires of the world to his empire!
"O my God! Humble everyone who desires to humble him; destroy all his enemies; deny anyone who denies him and confuse anyone who spurns the truth, resists his orders, endeavors to darken his light and blot his name!"
The Bab then adds these words:
Ch.XIII, p.250, f.1
"L'auteur du Mutanabiyyin ecrit: `Les Babi de toutes les parties de la
terre se rendaient en Adhirbayjan, en pelerinage aupres de leur chef.'"
(Prince Ali-Quli Mirza, I'tidadu's-Saltanih being the author.) (A. L.
M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 365, note 227.)
Ch.XIII, p.252, f.1
December 9, 1847-January 8, 1848 A.D.
Ch.XIII, p.252, f.2
"During his sojourn in Mah-Ku, the Bab composed a great number of works amongst the most important of which may be especially mentioned the Persian Bayan and the Seven Proofs, (Dala'il-i-Sab'ih) both of which contain ample internal evidence of having been written at this period. Indeed, if we may credit a statement made in the Tarikh-i-Jadid, on the authority of Mirza Abdu'l-Vahhab, the various writings of the Bab, current in Tabriz alone, amounted in all to not less than a million verses!" ("A Traveller's Narrative" Note L, p. 200.)
Regarding the "Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," Nicolas writes as follows: "`The Book of Seven Proofs' is the most important of the polemical works from the pen of Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, dit le Bab." (Preface, page 1.)
"His correspondent evidently asked him for the proofs of his mission and his answer is admirable for its precision and clearness. It rests upon two verses of the Qur'an; according to the first, no one can reveal verses even though assisted by the entire world of men and evil spirits; according to the second, no one can understand the meaning of the verses of the Qur'an except God, and men of solid learning." (Preface, p. 5.)
"Clearly the arguments of the Bab are new and original and one can see, by this brief reference, of what profound interest must be his literary work. The scope of my work does not permit me to expound, even briefly, the principal dogmas of a bold doctrine the form of which is both brilliant and attractive. I hope to do so in the future but I wish to make another comment upon the `Book of the Seven Proofs': toward the end of his book, the Bab speaks of the miracles which have accompanied his manifestation. This will probably astonish the readers, as we have seen the new apostle deny clearly the truth of the physical miracles which the Muhammadan imagination attributes to Muhammad. He affirms that, for himself as well as for the Arabian Prophet, the only proof of his mission was the outpouring of the verses. He offers no other proof, not because he is unable to perform miracles, (God being all-powerful) but simply because physical marvels are of inferior order in comparison with spiritual miracles." (Preface, pp. 12-13.) ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translation by A. L. M. Nicolas.)
Ch.XIII, p.253, f.1
"The province had been for some years the scene of serious uprisings. At the end of 1844 or at the beginning of 1845, the governor of Bujnurd had revolted against the authority of the Shah and had made an alliance with the Turkomans against Persia. The Prince Asifu'd-Dawlih, governor of Khurasan, asked the capital for assistance. The general Khan Baba Khan, commander-in-chief of the Persian army, was ordered to send a thousand men against the rebels but the scarcity of public funds prevented the expedition. The Shah, therefore, planned to head personally a campaign in the spring. The preparations began immediately. Soon ten battalions, of one thousand men each, were ready awaiting the arrival of Prince Hamzih Mirza, appointed general-in-chief of the expedition. All of a sudden, the governor of Khurasan, Asifu'd-Dawlih, brother of the King's mother, feeling that his security was threatened by the suspicions of the authorities at Tihran, arrived at the Court humbly to protest at the feet of the King and to assure him of his complete devotion, and demand that his defamers be punished.
"It so happened that the principal one among his adversaries was Haji Mirza Aqasi, the all-powerful prime minister. A long trial took place which ended with the defeat of the governor and he was ordered to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca with the mother of the King.
"The son of Asifu'd-Dawlih, Salar, guardian of the mosque at Mashhad, wealthy in his own right, confident because of his alliance with the chief Kurd, Ja'far-Quli Khan, Ilkhahni of the tribe of Qajar, assumed a hostile attitude. Thereupon 3000 men and 12 pieces of artillery were sent in retaliation and the government of Khurasan was given into the hands of Hamzih Mirza.
"The news that Ja'far-Quli Khan, heading a large troop of cavalry, had attacked the royal expedition, caused five more regiments and eighteen additional field pieces to be sent. On the twenty-eighth of October, 1847, this uprising was completely crushed, through the victory of Shah-rud (September 15) and the defeat and flight of Ja'far-Quli-Khan and of Salar." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 257-258.)
Ch.XIII, p.254, f.1
"Mashhad is the greatest place of pilgrimage in all Persia, Karbila being, as everyone knows in Ottoman territory. It is in Mashhad that the holy shrine of the Imam Rida is located. I shall not enlarge upon the hundreds of miracles that have taken place and still take place at this shrine; it is enough to know that every year thousands of pilgrims visit the tomb and return home only after the shrewd exploiters of that productive business have separated them from their last penny. The stream of gold flows on and on for the benefit of the greedy officials; but these officials need the cooperation of many partners to catch their innumerable dupes in their nets. This is, without doubt, the best organized industry in Persia. If one half of the city derives its living from the Mosque, the other half is likewise keenly interested in the great concourse of pilgrims. The merchants, the restaurant and hotel keepers, even the young women who find among the visitors an abundant supply of `husbands for a day'!
"All these people were naturally allied against a missionary whose teachings were threatening their livelihood. To denounce these abuses in any other city was tolerable but it was quite improper to denounce them where everyone of every class was thriving upon them. The Imam Mihdi had undoubtedly the right to come but he certainly was a public nuisance. It may have been very thrilling to undertake with him the conquest of the world, but there was fatigue, risk and danger in the enterprise while now they were enjoying perfect peace in a fine city where one could earn a living with ease and security." (Ibid., pp. 258-259.)
Ch.XIII, p.256, f.1
Ch.XIII, p.257, f.1
Literally "Land of Paradise."
Ch.XIII, p.258, f.1
According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (pp. 67-8), Mirza Habib-i-Shirazi better known by the name of Qa'ini, one of the most eminent poets of Persia, was the first to sing the praise of the Bab and to extol the loftiness of His station. A manuscript copy of Qa'ini's poems, containing these verses, was shown to the author of the narrative. The following words, he says, were written at the head of the eulogy: `In praise of the manifestation of the Siyyid-i-Bab.'
Ch.XIII, p.259, f.1
In the "Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," the Bab reveals the following: "The hadith `Adhirbayjan' referring to this matter says: `The things which will happen in Adhirbayjan are necessary for us, nothing can prevent their occurrence. Remain therefore in your homes, but if you hear that an agitator has appeared then hasten towards him.' And the hadith continues, saying: `Woe to the Arabs, for the civil war is near!' If, in speaking these last words, the Prophet had intended to refer to his own mission, his statement would have been vain and worthless." ("The Book of Seven Proofs," Nicolas' translation, p. 47.)
Ch.XIII, p.260, f.1
Reference to the Prophet Muhammad
Ch.XV, p., f.268, f.1
"It will surprise no one to learn," writes Clement Huart, "that the new sect spread more rapidly in Khurasan than it had anywhere else. Khurasan has been singularly fortunate in that she has always offered to new ideas the most propitious field. It is out of this province that came many evolutions which caused fundamental changes in the Muhammadan Orient. It is enough to recall that in Khurasan the idea of the Persian renovation originated after the Arabian conquest. It was there likewise that the army was organized which, under the orders of Abu-Muslim placed the Abbassides upon the throne of the Khalifs by overthrowing the aristocracy of Mecca which had occupied it since the accession of the Umayyads." ("La Religion de Bab," pp. 18-19.)
Ch.XV, p.269, f.1
Ch.XV, p.269, f.2
"It is believed," writes Lieut.-Col. P. M. Sykes, "that the twelfth Imam never died, but in A.H. 260 (873) disappeared into miraculous concealment, from which he will reappear on the Day of Judgment in the mosque of Gawhar-Shad at Mashhad, to be hailed as the Mihdi or `Guide' and to fill the earth with justice." ("A History of Persia," vol. 2, p. 45.)
Ch.XV, p.269, f.3
According to Muhammad Mustafa (p. 108), Tahirih arrived in Karbila in the year 1263 A.H. She visited Kufih and the surrounding district, and was engaged in spreading the teachings of the Bab. She shared with the people whom she met the writings of her Master, among which was His commentary on the Surih of Kawthar.
Ch.XV, p.270, f.1
"It was in her own family that she heard, for the first time, of the preaching of the Bab at Shiraz and learned the meaning of his doctrines. This knowledge, even incomplete and imperfect as it was, pleased her extremely; she began to correspond with the Bab and soon espoused all his ideas. She did not content herself with a passive sympathy but confessed openly the faith of her Master. She denounced not only polygamy but the use of the veil and showed her face uncovered in public to the great amazement and scandal of her family and of all the sincere Mussulmans but to the applause of many other fellow citizens who shared her enthusiasm and whose numbers grew as a result of her preaching. Her uncle the doctor, her father the jurist, and her husband tried in every way to bring her back at least to a conduct more calm and more reserved. She rebuffed them with arguments inspired by a faith incapable of placid resignation." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 137-138.)
Ch.XV, p.271, f.1
According to Samandar (manuscript, p. 9), the main reason for the agitation of the people of Karbila which induced them to accuse Tahirih before the governor of Baghdad was her bold action in disregarding the anniversary of the martyrdom of Husayn which was being commemorated in the early days of the month of Muharram in the house of the late Siyyid Kazim in Karbila, and in celebrating instead the anniversary of the birthday of the Bab, which fell on the first day of that month. She is reported to have asked her sister and relatives to discard their mourning garb and wear instead gay attire, in open defiance of the customs and traditions of the people on that occasion.
Ch.XV, p.272, f.1
According to Muhammad Mustafa (pp. 108-9), the following disciples and companions were with Tahirih when she arrived in Baghdad: Mulla Ibrahim-i-Mahallati, Shaykh Salih-i-Karimi, Siyyid Ahmad-i-Yazdi (father of Siyyid Husayn, the amanuensis of the Bab) Siyyid Muhammad-i-Bayigani, Shaykh Sultan-i-Karbila'i, the mother of Mulla Husayn and her daughter, the wife of Mirza Hadiy-i-Nahri and his mother. According to the "Kashfu'l-Ghita'" (p. 94), the mother and sister of Mulla Husayn were among the ladies and disciples who accompanied Tahirih on her journey from Karbila to Baghdad. On their arrival they took up their quarters in the house of Shaykh Muhammad-ibn-i-Shiblu'l-'Araqi, after which they were transferred, by order of the governor of Baghdad to the house of the Mufti Siyyid Mahmud-i-Aluri, the well known author of the celebrated commentary entitled "Ruhu'-Ma'ani," pending the receipt of fresh instructions from the Sultan in Constantinople. The "Kashfu'l-Ghita'" further adds (p. 96) that in the "Ruhu'l-Ma'ani" references are reported to have been found to the conversations which the Mufti had had with Tahirih, to whom, it is reported, he addressed these words: "O Qurratu'l-'Ayn! I swear by God that I share in thy belief. I am apprehensive, however, of the swords of the family of Uthman." "She proceeded directly to the house of the chief Mufti, before whom she defended her creed and her conduct with great ability. The question whether she should be allowed to continue her teaching was submitted first to the Pasha of Baghdad and then to the central government, the result being that she was ordered to leave Turkish territory." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note Q. p. 310.)
Ch.XV, p.272, f.2
According to Muhammad Mustafa (p. 111), the following accompanied Tahirih from Khaniqin (on the Persian frontier) to Kirmanshah: Shaykh Salih-i-Karimi, Shaykh Muhammad-i-Shibl, Shaykh Sultan-i-Karbila'i, Siyyid Ahmad-i-Yazdi, Siyyid Muhammad-i-Bayigani, Siyyid Muhsin-i-Kazimi, Mulla Ibrahim-i-Mahallati, and about thirty Arab believers. They tarried three days in the village of Karand, where Tahirih fearlessly proclaimed the teachings of the Bab and was highly successful in awakening the interest of all classes of people in the new Revelation. Twelve hundred persons are reported to have volunteered to follow her and do her bidding.
Ch.XV, p.272, f.3
According to Muhammad Mustafa (p. 112), an enthusiastic reception was accorded her on her arrival in Kirmanshah. Princes, ulamas, and government officials hastened to visit her, and were greatly impressed by her eloquence, her fearlessness, her extensive knowledge, and the force of her character. The commentary on the Surih of Kawthar, revealed by the Bab, was publicly read and translated. The wife of the Amir, the governor of Kirmanshah, was among the ladies who met Tahirih and heard her expound the sacred teachings. The Amir himself, together with his family, acknowledged the truth of the Cause and testified to their admiration and love for Tahirih. According to Muhammad Mustafa (p. 116), Tahirih tarried two days in the village of Sahnih on her way to Hamadan, where she was accorded a reception no less enthusiastic than the one which had greeted her in the village of Karand. The inhabitants of the village begged to be allowed to gather together the members of their community and to join hands with the body of her followers for the spread and promotion of the Cause. She advised them, however, to remain, extolled and blessed their efforts, and proceeded to Hamadan.
Ch.XV, p.272, f.4
According to the "Memorials of the Faithful" (p. 275), Tahirih tarried two months in Hamadan.
Ch.XV, p.273, f.1
According to Muhammad Mustafa (p. 117), among those who had been sent from Qazvin were the brothers of Tahirih.
Ch.XV, p.275, f.2
"How could it be that a woman, in Persia where woman is considered so weak a creature, and above all in a city like Qazvin, where the clergy possessed so great an influence, where the Ulamas, by their number and importance attracted the attention of the government and of the people,-- how could it be that there, precisely under such untoward circumstances, a woman could have organized so strong a group of heretics? There lies a question which puzzles even the Persian historian, Sipihr, for such an occurrence was without precedent!" (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 474.)
Ch.XV, p.276, f.1
August 13-September 12, 1847 A.D.
Ch.XV, p.284, f.1
Ch.XV, p.285, f.1
According to the "Kashfu'l-Ghiti'" (p. 110), Mulla Husayn is reported by Mulla Ja'far-i-Va'iz-i-Qazvini to have met Tahirih in Qazvin at the home of Aqa Hadi, who is probably none other than Muhammad Hadiy-i-Farhadi, who was commissioned by Bahá'u'lláh to conduct Tahirih to Tihran. The meeting is stated to have taken place prior to the murder of Mulla Taqi.
Ch.XV, p.285, f.2
Abdu'l-Bahá relates, in the "Memorials of the Faithful" (p. 306), the circumstances of a visit paid by Vahid to Tahirih, while the latter was staying in the home of Bahá'u'lláh in Tihran. "Tahirih," He writes, "was listening from behind the veil to the utterances of Vahid, who was discoursing with fervour and eloquence on the signs and verses that bore witness to the advent of the new Manifestation. I was then a child and was sitting on her lap, as she followed the recital of the remarkable testimonies which flowed ceaselessly from the lips of that learned man. I well remember interrupted him, and, raising her voice, vehemently declared: `O Yahya! Let deeds, not words, testify to thy faith, if thou art a man of true learning. Cease idly repeating the traditions of the past, for the day of service, of steadfast action, is come. Now is the time to show forth the true signs of God, to rend asunder the veils of idle fancy, to promote the Word of God, and to sacrifice ourselves in His path. Let deeds, not words, be our adorning.'"
Ch.XV, p.287, f.1
"Garden of Paradise."
Ch.XVI, p.289, f.1
"O Lord of the Age!" one of the titles of the promised Qa'im.
Ch.XVI, p.289, f.2
Allusion to his own martyrdom.
Ch.XVI, p.292, f.1
Allusion to Quddus.
Ch.XVI, p.294, f.1
According to the "Kashfu'l-Ghita'," a decision had been previously arrived at between Quddus and Tahirih, in accordance with which the latter was to proclaim publicly the independent character of the Revelation of the Bab, and to emphasise the abrogation of the laws and ordinances of the previous Dispensation. Quddus, on the other hand, was expected to oppose her contention and strenuously to reject her views. This arrangement was made for the purpose of mitigating the effects of such a challenging and far-reaching proclamation, and of averting the dangers and perils which such a startling innovation was sure to produce. (P. 211.) Bahá'u'lláh appears to have taken a neutral attitude in this controversy, though actually He was the prime mover and the controlling and directing influence throughout the different stages of that memorable episode.
Ch.XVI, p.294, f.2
"But the effect produced had been astounding! The assembly was as if struck by lightning. Some hid their faces with their hands, others, prostrated themselves, others covered their heads with their garments so that they could not see the features of her Highness, the Pure One. If it was a grievous sin to look upon the face of an unknown woman who might pass by, what a crime to let one's eyes fall upon her who was so saintly! The meeting was broken up in the midst of an indescribable tumult. Insults fell upon her whom they thought so indecent as to appear thus with her face uncovered. Some armed that she had lost her mind, others that she was shameless, and some, very few, took up her defense." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 283-284.)
Ch.XVI, p.295, f.1
Daughter of Muhammad, and wife of the Imam Ali.
Ch.XVI, p.297, f.1
"It was this bold act of Qurratu'l-'Ayn which shook the foundations of a literal belief in Islamic doctrines among the Persians. It may be added that the first-fruits of qurratu'l-'Ayn's teaching was no less than the heroic Quddus, and that the eloquent teacher herself owed her insight probably to Bahá'u'lláh. Of course, the supposition that her greatest friend might censure her is merely a delightful piece of irony." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 103-4.)
Ch.XVI, p.297, f.2
"It has been suggested that the true cause of the summoning of that assembly was anxiety for the Bab, and a desire to carry him off to a place of safety. But the more accepted view--that the subject before the Council was the relation of the Babis to the Islamic laws--is also the more probable." (Ibid., p. 80.) "The object of the conference was to correct a widespread misunderstanding. There were many who thought that the new leader came, in the most literal sense, to fulfil Islamic Law. They realised, indeed, that the object of Muhammad was to bring about an universal kingdom of righteousness and peace, but they thought this was to be effected by wading through streams of blood, and with the help of the divine judgments. The Bab, on the other hand, though not always consistent, was moving, with some of his disciples, in the direction of moral suasion; his only weapon was `the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.' When the Qa'im appeared all things would be renewed. But the Qa'im was on the point of appearing, and all that remained was to prepare for his Coming. No more should there be any distinction between higher and lower races, or between male and female. No more should the long, enveloping veil be the badge of woman's inferiority. The gifted woman before us had her characteristic solution of the problem... It is said in one form of tradition, that Qurratu'l-'Ayn herself attended the conference with a veil on. If so, she lost no time in discarding it, and broke out (we are told) into the fervid exclamation, `I am the blast of the trumpet, I am the call of the bugle,' i.e. `Like Gabriel, I would awaken sleeping souls.' It is said, too, that this short speech of the brave woman was followed by the recitation by Bahá'u'lláh of the Surih of the Resurrection (75). Such recitations often have an overpowering effect. The inner meaning of this was that mankind was about to pass into a new cosmic cycle, for which a new set of laws and customs would be indispensable." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 101-3.)
Ch.XVII, p.301, f.1
July 3-August 1, 1848 A.D.
Ch.XVII, p.301, f.2
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 18) the Bab remained for three months in the castle of Chihriq before He was taken to Tabriz to be examined.
Ch.XVII, p.302, f.1
"The Bab was subjected to a closer and more rigorous confinement at Chihriq than he had been at Mah-Ku. Hence he used to call the former `the Grievous Mountain' (Jabal-i-Shadid the numerical value of the word `Shadid'--318--being the same as that of the name Chihriq), and the latter `the Open Mountain' (Jabal-i-Basit)." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note L, p. 276.)
Ch.XVII, p.302, f.2
"There like everywhere else, the people crowded around him. M. Mochenin says in his memoirs concerning the Bab: `In the month of June, 1850, (is this not more likely to be 1849?), having gone to Chihriq on duty, I saw the Bala-Khanih from the heights of which the Bab taught his doctrine. The multitude of hearers was so great that the court was not large enough to hold them all; most of them stayed in the streets and listened with religious rapture to the verses of the new Qur'an. Very soon after the Bab was transferred to Tauris (Tabriz) to be condemned to death.'" (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 371.)
Ch.XVII, p.304, f.1
Literally "Tablet of the Letters."
Ch.XVII, p.304, f.2
One of the titles of the Bab.
Ch.XVII, p.304, f.3
Science of divination.
Ch.XVIII, p.311, f.1
Ch.XVIII, p.313, f.1
The heir to the throne.
Ch.XVIII, p.313, f.2
Literally meaning "great."
Ch.XVIII, p.314, f.1
Born July 17, 1831; began to reign September, 1848, died 1896. "This Prince left Tihran to return to his government the twenty-third of January, 1848. His father having died the fourth of September, he returned to assume the title of Shah on the eighteenth of September of the same year." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 243, note 195.)
Ch.XVIII, p.314, f.2
"A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 19) mentions in addition the name Mirza Ahmad, the Imam-Jum'ih.
Ch.XVIII, p.317, f.1
Ch.XVIII, p.319, f.1
"If anyone should raise an objection to the grammar or syntax of these verses, this objection is vain, because the rules of grammar should be taken from the verses and not the verses written in compliance with the rules of grammar. There is no doubt that the Master of these verses denied these rules, denied that he, himself, was ever aware of them." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 1, pp. 45-46.)
Ch.XVIII, p.319, f.2
"And as for the Muslim accounts, those which we have before us do not bear the stamp of truth: they seem to be forgeries. Knowing what we do of the Bab it is probable that he had the best of the argument and that the doctors and functionaries who attended the meeting were unwilling to put upon record their own fiasco." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Race and Religions," p. 62.) "It is difficult to decide to what measure of credence the above narrative [the Muhammadan version of the examination of the Bab at Tabriz] is entitled Very probably such questions as are there recorded--and assuredly some of them are sufficiently frivolous and even indecent--were asked; but, even though the Bab may have been unable to answer them, it is far more likely that, as stated in the `Tarikh-i-Jadid' he preserved a dignified silence than that he gave utterance to the absurdities attributed to him by the Muhammadan writers. These, indeed, spoil their own case; for desiring to prove that the Bab was not endowed with superhuman wisdom, they represent him as displaying an ignorance which we can scarcely credit. That the whole examination was a farce throughout, that the sentence was a foregone conclusion, that no serious attempt to apprehend the nature and evidence of the Bab's claim and doctrine was made that from first to last a systematic course of browbeating, irony, and mockery was pursued appear to me to be facts proved no less by the Muhammadan than by the Babi accounts of these inquisitorial proceedings" ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note M, p. 290.)
Ch.XVIII, p.320, f.1
The following is Dr. Cormick's account of his personal impressions of Mirza Ali-Muhammad the Bab, extracted from letters written by him to the Rev. Benjamin Labaree, D.D. (Dr. Cormick was an English physician long resident in Tabriz, where he was highly respected. The document was communicated to Professor E. G. Browne of Cambridge University, by Mr. W. A. Shedd, who wrote concerning it, in a letter dated March 1, 1911: "Dear Professor Browne, In going over papers of my father (the late Rev. J. H. Shedd, D.D., of the American Mission at Urumiyyih, Persia, of the same mission as Dr. Benjamin Labaree), I found something which I think may be of value from a historical point of view. I have no books here, nor are any accessible here, to be certain whether this bit of testimony has been used or not. I think probably not, and I am sure that I can do nothing better than send them to you, with the wish that you may use them as you think best. Of the authenticity of the papers there can be no doubt.")
"You ask me for some particulars of my interview with the founder of the sect known as Babis. Nothing of any importance transpired in this interview, as the Bab was aware of my having been sent with two other Persian doctors to see whether he was of sane mind or merely a madman, to decide the question whether to put him to death or not. With this knowledge he was loth to answer any questions put to him. To all enquiries he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting in a low melodious voice some hymns, I suppose. Two other Siyyids, his intimate friends, were also present, who subsequently were put to death with him, besides a couple of government officials. He only once deigned to answer me, on my saying that I was not a Musulman and was willing to know something about his religion, as I might perhaps be inclined to adopt it. He regarded me very intently on my saying this, and replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans coming over to his religion. Our report to the Shah at that time was of a nature to spare his life. He was put to death some time after by the order of the Amir-Nizam Mirza Taqi Khan. On our report he merely got the bastinado, in which operation a farrash, whether intentionally or not, struck him across the face with the stick destined for his feet, which produced a great wound and swelling of the face. On being asked whether a Persian surgeon should be brought to treat him, he expressed a desire that I should be sent for, and I accordingly treated him for a few days, but in the interviews consequent on this I could never get him to have a confidential chat with me, as some government people were always present, he being a prisoner. He was very thankful for my attentions to him. He was a very mild and delicate-looking man, rather small in stature and very fair for a Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much. Being a Siyyid, he was dressed in the habit of that sect, as were also his two companions. In fact his whole look and deportment went far to dispose on in his favour. Of his doctrine I heard nothing from his own lips, although the idea was that there existed in his religion a certain approach to Christianity. He was seen by some Armenian carpenters, who were sent to make some repairs to his prison, reading the Bible, and he took no pains to conceal it, but on the contrary told them of it. Most assuredly the Mussulman fanaticism does not exist in his religion, as applied to Christians, nor is there that restraint of females that now exists." In connection with this document, Professor Browne writes as follows: "The first of these two documents is very valuable as giving the personal impression produced by the Bab, during the period of his imprisonment and suffering, on a cultivated and impartial Western mind. Very few Western Christians can have had the opportunity of seeing, still less of conversing with, the Bab, and I do not know of any other who has recorded his impressions." (E. G. Browne's Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion," pp. 260-62, 264.)
Ch.XVIII, p.322, f.1
Hashim was the great-grandfather of Muhammad.
Ch.XVIII, p.323, f.1
Literally "Sermon of Wrath."
Ch. XIX, p.325, f.1
Literally "Verdant Isle."
Ch. XIX, p.325, f.3
July 21, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.325, f.4
Bearer of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to Nasiri'd-Din Shah.
Ch. XIX, p.326, f.1
"He (Mulla Husayn) arrived first at Miyamay where he rejoined thirty Babis whose chief, Mirza Zaynu'l-'Abidin, pupil of the late Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, was an elderly, pious and respected gentleman. His zeal was so intense that he brought with him his son-in-law, a young man of eighteen years, who had been married to his daughter only a few days. `Come,' he said to him, `Come with me on my last journey. Come, because I must be a true father to you and make you partake of the joy of salvation!' "They departed therefore, and it was on foot that the aged man desired to travel the road which was to lead him to martyrdom." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 290.)
Ch. XIX, p.326, f.2
August 31-September 29, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.326, f.3
Muhammad Shah died on the eve of the sixth of Shavval (September 4, 1848 A.D.). "There was an interregnum of about two months. A provisional government was formed comprising four administrators under the presidency of the widow of the deceased Shah. Finally after much hesitation, the lawful heir, the young Prince Nasiri'd-Din Mirza, governor of Adhirbayjan was permitted to ascend the throne." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 367.)
Ch. XIX, p.329, f.1
"The minister [Mirza Taqi Khan] with the utmost arbitrariness, without receiving any instructions or asking permission, sent forth commands in all directions to punish and chastise the Babi's. Governors and magistrates sought a pretext for amassing wealth, and officials a means of acquiring profits, celebrated doctors from the summits of their pulpits incited men to make a general onslaught; the powers of the religious and the civil law linked hands and strove to eradicate and destroy this people. Now this people had not yet acquired such knowledge as was right and needful of the fundamental principles and hidden doctrines of the Bab's teachings, and did not recognise their duties. Their conceptions and ideas were after the former fashion, and their conduct and behaviour in correspondence with ancient usage The way of approach to the Bab was, moreover, closed, and the flame of trouble visibly blazing on every side. At the decree of the most celebrated of the doctors, the government, and indeed the common people, had, with irresistible power, inaugurated rapine and plunder on all sides, and were engaged in punishing and torturing, killing and despoiling, in order that they might quench this fire and wither these poor souls. In towns where these were but a limited number all of them with bound hands became food for the sword, while in cities where they were numerous they arose in self-defence in accordance with their former beliefs, since it was impossible for them to make enquiry as to their duty, and all doors were closed." ("Traveller's Narrative," pp. 34-5.)
Ch. XIX, p.330, f.1
"The bullet struck Siyyid Rida full in the chest and killed him instantly. He was a man of pure and simple ways, of deep and sincere convictions. Out of respect for his master he always walked alongside of his horse ready to meet his every need." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 294.)
Ch. XIX, p.330, f.2
No one is to be slain for unbelief, for the slaying of a soul is outside the religion of God; ... and if anyone commands it, he is not and has not been of the Bayan, and no sin can be greater for him than this." ("The Bayan." See Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Oct. 1889, art. 12, pp. 927-8.)
Ch. XIX, p.331, f.1
"But the pain and the anger redoubled the strength of Mulla Husayn who with one single blow of his weapon cut in two the gun, the man and the tree." (Mirza Jani adds that the Bushru'i used his left hand on this occasion. The Mussulmans themselves do not question the authenticity of this anecdote.) (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 295 and note 215.) Then Jinab-i-Babu'l-Bab turned himself about, saying: `Now have they made it our duty to protect ourselves'; grasped the hilt of his sword, and, acquiescing in that which the providence of God had ordained, began to defend himself. Notwithstanding his slender and fragile frame and trembling hand, such were his valour and prowess on that day that whosoever had eyes to discern the truth could clearly see that such strength and courage could only be from God, being beyond human capacity.... Then I saw Mulla Husayn unsheathe his sword and raise his face towards heaven, and heard him exclaim: `O God I hare completed the proof to this host, but it availeth not.' Then he began to attack us on the right and on the left I swear by God that on that day he wielded the sword in such wise as transcends the power of man. Only the horsemen of Mazindaran held their ground and refused to flee. And when Mulla Husayn was well warmed to the fray, he overtook a fugitive soldier. The soldier sheltered himself behind a tree, and further strove to shield himself with his musket. Mulla Husayn dealt him such a blow with his sword that he clave him and the tree and the musket into six pieces." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp 49, 107-8.)
Ch. XIX, p.331, f.2
Ch. XIX, p.332, f.1
Mirza Taqi Khan, I'timadu'd-Dawlih, Grand Vazir and successor to Haji Mirza Aqasi. The following reference is made to him in "A Traveller's Narrative" (pp. 32-3): "Mirza Taqi Khan Amir-Nizam, who was Prime Minister and Chief Regent, seized in the grasp of his despotic power the reins of the affairs of the commonwealth, and urged the steed of his ambition into the arena of wilfulness and sole possession. The minister was a person devoid of experience and wanting in consideration for the consequences of actions; bloodthirsty and shameless; and swift and ready to shed blood. Severity in punishing he regarded as wise administration, and harshly entreating, distressing, intimidating, and frightening the people he considered as a fulcrum for the advancement of the monarchy. And as His Majesty the King was in the prime of youthful years the minister fell into strange fancies and sounded the drum of absolutism in (the conduct of) affairs: on his own decisive resolution, without seeking permission from the Royal Presence or taking counsel with prudent statesmen, he issued orders to persecute the Babis, imagining that by overweening force he could eradicate and suppress matters of this nature, and that harshness would bear good fruit; whereas (in fact) to interfere with matters of conscience is simply to give them greater currency and strength; the more you strive to extinguish, the more will the name be kindled, more specially in matters of faith and religion, which spread and acquire influence so soon as blood is shed, and strongly affect men's hearts."
Ch. XIX, p.337, f.1
Ch. XIX, p.337, f.2
"`The Babu'l-Bab,' says our author, `wishing to fulfill a religious duty and at the same time to give an example of the firm conviction of the believers, of their contempt for life, and to show the world the impiety and irreligion of the so called Mussulmans, commanded one of his followers to ascend the terrace and intone the adhan.'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 295-6.) "It was at Marand," writes Lady Sheil, "that I first heard the adhan, or call of the Muslims to prayer, so solemn and impressive, specially when well chanted, for it is in fact a chant.... He turned towards Mecca, and placing his open hands to his head, proclaimed with a loud sonorous voice, `Allah-u-Akbar,' which he repeated four times; then `Ashhad-u-an-la-ilah-a-illa'llah' (I bear witness there is no God but God), twice; then `Ashhad-u-inna-Muhammadan-Rasu'llah' --(I bear witness that Muhammad is the Prophet of God), twice; then `I bear witness that Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, is the friend of God.'... The single toll in the knell for transporting the dead to their last earthly abode arouses, perhaps from association, ideas of profound solemnity; so too does the trumpet echoing through the camp when it ushers the dragoon to his grave; but above both, in solemn awe, is the keening as it sweeps afar over the dales and hills of Munster, announcing that a Gael has been gathered to his fathers. The adhan excites a different impression. It raises in the mind a combination of feelings, of dignity, solemnity, and devotion, compared with which the din of bells becomes insignificant. It is an imposing thing to hear in the dead of the night the first sounds of the mu'adhdhin proclaiming `Allah-u-Akbar--Mighty is the Lord--I bear witness there is no God but God!' St. Peter's and St. Paul's together can produce nothing equal to it." ("Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," pp. 84, 85.)
Ch. XIX, p.338, f.1
"Sa'idu'l-'Ulama' wishing to have done at any cost, gathered together as many people as he could and again began the attack in front of the caravansary. The struggle had been waging from five to six days when Abbas-Quli Khan Sardar-i-Larijani appeared. In the meantime, and since the outbreak of the conflict, the Ulamas of Barfurush exasperated by the numerous conversions which Quddus had been able to make in the city (three hundred in a week, the Muhammadan historians admit reluctantly), referred the case to the governor of the province, Prince Khanlan Mirza. He, however, paid no attention to their grievances, having many other preoccupations. "The death of Muhammad Shah worried him much more than the wrangling of the Mullas and he made ready to go to Tihran to pay homage to the new king, whose favor he hoped to win. "Having failed in this attempt, under the pressure of events, the Ulamas wrote a very urgent letter to the military chief of the province, Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani. He however, thinking it unnecessary to trouble himself, sent Muhammad Bik, Yavar (captain), at the head of three hundred men, to restore order. Thus it was that the Muhammadans began to attack the caravansary. The struggle went on, but if ten Babis were killed, an infinitely larger number of aggressors bit the dust. As things continued to drag along, Abbas-Quli Khan felt he should come himself in order to size up the situation." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 296-297.)
Ch. XIX, p.339, f.1
Gobineau describes him in the following terms: "The Turkish and Persian nomads pass their lives in hunting, often also in fighting and above all in talking of the hunt and of war. They are brave but not always and they are well described by Branttome who, in his war experience had often encountered that type of bravery which he called `one day courage.' But this is what they are in a very regular and consistent manner, great talkers, great wreckers of towns, great assassins of heroes, great exterminators of multitudes, in a word, naive, very outspoken in their sentiments, very violent in the expression of anything which arouses them and extremely amusing. Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani although well born, was a perfect type of nomad." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 171.)
Ch. XIX, p.339, f.2
A notorious scoundrel who often rebelled against the government.
Ch. XIX, p.340, f.1
October 10, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.341, f.1
Ch. XIX, p.342, f.2
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 36), it was Mirza Lutf-'Ali, the secretary who drew his dagger and stabbed Khusraw.
Ch. XIX, p.343, f.1
"Then turning to his companions he said: `During these few days of life which remain to us, let us beware not to be divided and estranged by perishable riches. Let all this be held in common and let everyone share in its benefits.' The Babis agreed with joy and it is this marvellous spirit of self-sacrifice and this complete self-abnegation which made their enemies say that they advocated collective ownership in earthly goods and even women!" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 299.)
Ch. XIX, p.343, f.3
Shrine of Shaykh Ahmad-ibn-i-Abi-Talib-i-Tabarsi, situated about fourteen miles S.E. of Barfurush. Professor Browne, of Cambridge University, visited the spot on September 26, 1888, and saw the name of the buried saint inscribed on a tablet with the form of words used for his "visitation," the tablet hanging suspended from the railings surrounding the tomb. "It consists at present," he writes, "of a flat, grassy enclosure surrounded by a hedge and containing, besides the buildings of the shrine and another building at the gateway (opposite to which, but outside the enclosure, stands the house of the mutavalli, or custodian of the shrine), nothing but two or three orange trees and a few rude graves covered with flat stones, the last resting places, perhaps, of some of the Babi defenders. The building at the gateway is two storeys high, is traversed by the passage giving access to the enclosure, and is roofed with tiles. The buildings of the shrine, which stand at the farther end of the enclosure, are rather more elaborate. Their greatest length (about 20 paces) lies east and west; their breadth is about ten paces; and, besides the covered portico at the entrance they contain two rooms scantily lighted by wooden gratings over the doors. The tomb of the Shaykh, from whom the place takes its name, stands surrounded by wooden railings in the centre of the inner room, to which access is obtained either by a door communicating with the outer chamber, or by a door opening externally into the enclosure." (For plans and sketches, see the author's translation of the "Tarikh-i-Jadid.") (E. G. Browne's "A Year Amongst the Persians," p. 565.)
Ch. XIX, p.345, f.1
October 12, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.351, f.2
July 3-August 1, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.351, f.3
April 24-May 23, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.352, f.1
Literally "Remnant of God."
Ch. XIX, p.352, f.2
Ch. XIX, p.354, f.1
November 27, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.354, f.1
Reference to the year 1280 A.H. (1863-4 A.D.), in which Bahá'u'lláh declared His Mission in Baghdad.
Ch. XIX, p.354, f.2
The assembling of three hundred and thirteen chosen supporters of the imam in Taliqan of Khurasan is one of the signs that must needs herald the advent of the promised Qa'im. (E. G. Browne's "A History of Persian Literature in Modern Times" [A.D. 1500-1924], p. 399.)
Ch. XIX, p.354, f.3
Amongst them also was Rida Khan, the son of Muhammad Khan the Turkaman, Master of the Horse to his late Majesty Muhammad Shah. And he was a youth graceful of form, comely of face, endowed with all manner of talents and virtues, dignified, temperate gentle, generous, courageous, and manly. For the love and service of His Supreme Holiness he forsook both his post and his salary, and shut his eyes alike to rank and name, fame and shame, reproaches of friends and revilings of foes. At the first step he left behind him dignity, wealth, position, and all the power and consideration which he enjoyed, spent large sums of money (four or five thousand tumans at least) in the Cause, and repeatedly showed his readiness freely to lay down his life. One of these occasions was when His Supreme Holiness arrived at the village of Khanliq near Tihran, and, to try the fidelity of His followers, said: `Were there but a few horsemen who would deliver Me from the bonds of the froward and their devices, it were not amiss.' On hearing these words, several tried and expert horsemen, fully equipped and armed, at once prepared to set out, and, pronouncing all that they had, hastily conveyed themselves before His Holiness. Amongst these were Mirza Qurban-'Ali, of Astaribad, and Rida Khan. When they were come before His Holiness, He smiled and said, "The mountain of Adhirbayjan has also a claim on Me,' and bade them turn back. After his return, Rida Khan devoted himself to the service of the friends of God, and his house was often the meeting place of the believers, amongst whom both Jinab-i-Quddus and Jinab-i-Babu'l-Bab were for a while his honoured guests. Indeed, he neither spared himself nor fell short in the service of any of this circle, but, notwithstanding his high position, strove with heart md soul to further the object of God's servants. When, for instance, Jinab-i-Quddus first began to preach the doctrine in Mazindaran, and the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama, being informed of this, made strenuous efforts to do him injury, Rida Khan at once hastened to Mazindaran, and, whenever Jinab-i-Quddus went forth from his house, used, in spite of his high position and the respect to which he was accustomed, to walk on foot before him with his drawn sword over his shoulder; seeing which, the malignants feared to take any liberty.... For some while, Rida Khan remained after this fashion in Mazindaran, until he accompanied Jinab-i-Quddus to Mashhad. On his return thence, he was present at the troubles at Badasht, where he performed the most valuable services, and was entrusted with the most important and delicate commissions. After the meeting at Badasht was dispersed, he fell ill, and, in company with Mirza Sulayman-Quli of Nur (a son of the late Shatir-bashi, also conspicuous for his virtues, learning, and devotion), came to Tihran. Rida Khan's illness lasted for some while, and on his recovery the siege of the castle of Tabarsi had already waxed grievous. He at once determined to go to the assistance of the garrison. Being, however, a man of mark and well known, he could not leave the capital without giving some plausible reason. He therefore pretended to repent his former course of action, and begged that he might be sent to take part in the war in Mazindaran, and thus make amends for the past. The king granted his request, and he was appointed to accompany the force proceeding under Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza against the castle. During the march thither he was continually saying to the prince, `I will do this,' and `I will do that', so that the prince came to entertain high hopes of him, and promised him a post commensurate with his services for till the day when battle was inevitable and peace no longer possible, he was ever foremost in the army and most active in ordering its affairs. But on the first day of battle he began to gallop his horse and practise other martial exercises, until, without having aroused suspicion, he suddenly gave it free rein and effected a junction with the Brethren of Purity. On arriving in their midst, he kissed the knee of Jinab-i-Quddus and prostrated himself before him in thankfulness. Then he once more returned to the battle-field, and began to revile and curse the prince, saying: `Who is man enough to trample underfoot the pomp and circumstance of the world, free himself from the bonds of carnal lusts, and join himself, as I have done, to the saints of God? I, for my part, shall be satisfied with my head only when it falls stained with dust and blood in this plain.' Then, like a ravening lion, he rushed upon them with naked brand, and quitted himself so manfully that all the royalist officers were astonished, saying: `Such valour must have been newly granted him from on high, or else a new spirit hath been breathed into his frame.' For it happened more than once that he cut down a gunner as he was in the very act of firing his gun, while so many of the chief officers of the royalist army fell by his hand that the prince and the other commanding officers desired more eagerly to revenge themselves on him than on any other of the Babis. Therefore, on the eve of the day appointed for Jinab-i-Quddus to surrender himself at the royalist camp, Rida Khan, knowing that because of the fierce hatred which they bore him they would slay him with the most cruel tortures, went by night to the quarters of an officer in the camp who was an old and faithful friend and comrade. After the massacre of the other Babis, search was made for Rida Khan, and he was at length discovered. The officer who had sheltered him proposed to ransom him for the sum of two thousand tumans in cash, but his proposal rejected, and though he offered to increase the sum, and strove earnestly to save his friend, it was of no avail, for the prince, because of the exceeding hatred he bore Rida Khan order him to be hewn in pieces." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 96-101.)
Ch. XIX, p.357, f.1
"According to the descriptions which I have heard, the fortress erected by Mulla Husayn soon became a very strong building. Its walls made of large stones reached a height of ten meters. On this base, they raised a construction made of enormous tree trunks in the middle of which they arranged a number of loopholes; they then surrounded it entirely with a deep ditch. In fact it was a kind of great tower having stones for the foundation while the higher stories were of wood and provided with three rows of loopholes where they could place as many tufang-chis as they wished, or rather, as they had. They made openings for many doors and postern gates in order to facilitate entrance and exit. "They dug wells, thus securing an abundance of water; underground passages were excavated in order to provide refuge in case of need; storehouses were built and filled with all sorts of provisions either bought, or perhaps taken in the neighboring villages. Finally, they manned the fortress with the most energetic Babis, the most devoted, and the most dependable available among them." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 156.)
Ch. XIX, p.359, f.1
"Thus frantic about the maintenance of order, the Amir-Nizam disposed quickly of the Mazindaran question. When the leading men of this province came to Tihran to pay their respects to the king, they were ordered, as they departed, to take necessary measures to put an end to the sedition of the Babis. They promised to do their best and in fact, as soon as they returned, these chiefs began to gather their forces and to deliberate. They wrote to their relations to come and join them. Haji Mustafa Khan called for his brother Abdu'llah, Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani sent for Muhammad-Sultan and Ali-Khan of Savad-Kuh. All of these worthies decided to attack the Babis in their fortress before they, themselves, could assume the defensive. The royal officers, seeing the chiefs of the country so willing, summoned a grand council to which hastened the lords already mentioned and also Mirza Aqa, Mustawfi of Mazindaran, superintendent of finances, the head of the Ulamas and many other men of high standing." (Ibid., pp. 160-161.)
Ch. XIX, p.360, f.2
"On his side, the superintendent of finances raised a troop amongst the Afghans domiciled at Sari and added to it several men from the Turkish tribes under his administration. Ali-Abad, the village so severely punished by the Babis, which aspired to avenge itself, furnished what it could and was reinforced by a party of men from Qadi who, being in the neighborhood, were willing to enlist." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 161.)
Ch. XIX, p.361, f.1
December 1, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.363, f.1
"The Amir-Nizam grew violently angry at the news of what had happened. The description of the terrors aroused his indignation. Too far from the scene of action to appraise the wild enthusiasm of the rebels, the only conclusion he could reach was that the Babies should be done away with before their courage could be further stimulated by real victories. The Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza, appointed lieutenant of the king in the threatened province, left with a grant of extraordinary powers. Instructions were given to draw up a list of the men who had died in the attack on the Babis' fortress and in the sacking of Ferra and pensions were promised to the survivors.
"Haji Mustafa Khan, brother of Abdu'llah, received substantial tokens of the royal favor; in a word, all that was possible was done to restore the courage and confidence of the Mussulmans." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 164-165.)
Ch. XIX, p.366, f.1
"We have left Mihdi-Quli Mirza running away from his burning home and wandering alone in the country, in the snow and the darkness. Toward dawn, he found himself in an unknown mountain pass, lost in a wild country, but in reality only a short distance away from the slaughter of battle. The wind brought to his ears the noise of the volleys of musketry.
"In this sad state, completely bewildered, he was met by a Mazindarani, mounted on a fairly good horse, who recognized him. This man dismounted, placed the Prince on his horse and offered to serve him as guide. He led him to a peasant's hut, settled him in the barn (this is not considered a place to frown upon in Persia) and while the Prince slept and ate, the Mazindarani mounted his horse and, covering the country side, gave out the glad tidings that the Prince was safe and well. Thus he brought to him all his men, or at least a respectable number of them, one band after another.
"If Mihdi-Quli Mirza had been one of those proud spirits not easily broken by reverses, he would have considered his position only slightly altered by the mishaps of the previous evening; he could have believed that his men had been unfortunately surprised; then with the remainder of his forces he would have saved appearances and held the ground, for in fact, the Babis had retreated and were out of sight. But the Shahzadih, far from priding himself on such firmness, was a weak character and, when he saw himself so well guarded, he left the barn and hurried to the village of Qadi-Kala whence he reached Sari in great haste. This conduct strengthened in the whole province the impression caused by the defeat of Vaskas. Panic ensued, open towns believed themselves exposed to every danger and, in spite of the rigor of the season, one could see caravans of non-combatants in great distress, taking their wives and children to the desert of Damavand to save them from the miserable dangers which the cautious conduct of Shahzadih seemed to foretell. When the Asiatics lose their heads they do so completely." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 169-170.)
Ch. XIX, p.366, f.2
"In a few moments his army already in such confusion, was scattered by the three hundred men of Mulla Husayn! Was not this the sword of the Lord and of Gideon?" (Ibid., p. 167.)
Ch. XIX, p.366, f.3
According to Gobineau (p. 167), they were Sultan Husayn Mirza, son of Fath-'Ali Shah, and Dawud Mirza, son of Zillu's-Sultan, uncle of the Shah. A. L. M. Nicolas, in his "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab" (p. 308), adds Mustawfi Mirza Abdu'l-Baqi.
Ch. XIX, p.368, f.1
December 21, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XIX, p.372, f.1
O Shaykh! Things the like of which no eye hath seen have befallen this wronged one. Gladly and with the utmost resignation I have accepted to suffer, that thereby the souls of men may be enlightened and the Word of God be established. When we were imprisoned in the Land of Mim [Mazindaran], they one day delivered us into the hands of the ulama. the Wolf," p. 57.)
Ch. XIX, p.372, f.2
Ch. XIX, p.372, f.3
Literally "black pit," the subterranean dungeon in which Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned.
Ch. XX, p.378, f.1
"Thus perplexed and not knowing which way to turn, Shahzadih, poor man, gave orders to gather together new soldiers and raise another army. The population was not eager to serve under a chief whose worth and intrepidity had not brilliantly stood the test. Nevertheless, by the help of money and through promises, the Mullas particularly, who did not lose sight of their interests, and who had the most at stake, displayed such zeal that in the end a fair number of tufang-chis were assembled. As for the mounted soldiers of the various tribes, from the moment their chiefs mount their horses, they do likewise without even asking why. "Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani obeyed without hesitation the order to send new recruits. This time however, either through distrust of a Prince whose ineptitude might endanger the lives of his relatives and subjects, or because ambitious to distinguish himself, he no longer gave anyone the command of his forces. He led them himself by a daring move and, instead of rejoining the royal army, he went straight on to attack the Babis in their refuge. Then he gave notice to the Prince that he had arrived at the fortress of Shaykh Tabarsi and that he was besieging it. Besides, he notified him that he had no need of assistance nor of support, that his forces were more than adequate and that, if his royal highness would see for himself how he, Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani was about to treat the rebels, he would be both honored and gratified." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 170-171.)
Ch. XX, p.378, f.2
"Mihdi-Quli Mirza could not pass for a bold warrior, as we have just seen, but he substituted for an excessive intrepidity another quality very useful to a general, he did not take literally the boastings of his lieutenants. Therefore, fearing that ill might befall this impudent nomad, he sent him reinforcements immediately. Thus departed in great haste Muhsin Khan-i-Ashrafi with his cavalry, a troop of Afghans, Muhammad-Karim Khan-i-Ashrafi with some of the tufang-chis of the town, and Khalil Khan of Savad-Kuh with the men of Qadi-Kala." (Ibid., p. 171.)
Ch. XX, p.379, f.1
February 1, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.380, f.1
"Although seriously wounded, the Babi chief continued, nevertheless, to give orders and to lead and stimulate his men until, seeing that little more could be gained, he gave the signal to retreat, remaining himself with the rear guard." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 174.)
Ch. XX, p.381, f.1
"His [Mulla Husayn's] mortal remains still repose in the little inner room of the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi where, at the direction of Mulla Muhammad-'Ali Barfurushi, they were reverently laid by the hands of his sorrowing comrades in the beginning of the year A.D. 1849." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note F, p. 245.)
Ch. XX, p.382, f.1
October 10, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.382, f.2
February 2, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.382, f.4
December 1, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.382, f.4
December 1, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.382, f.5
December 21, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.383, f.1
"Among them was Mulla Husayn, who was made the recipient of the effulgent glory of the Sun of Revelation. But for him, God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory." (The "Kitab-i-Iqan," p. 188.) See note 5, p. 23. "Frail of form, but a gallant soldier and an impassioned lover of God he combined qualities and characteristics which even in the spiritual aristocracy of Persia are seldom found united in the same person." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 83.) "At last," writes Gobineau, "he passed away. The new religion, which found in him its first martyr, lost, in the same stroke, a man whose moral strength and ability would have been of great value to it, had he lived longer. The Muhammadans naturally feel a hatred for the memory of this leader, which is as deep as the love and veneration shown for him by the Babis. They can both justify their opposing sentiments. What is certain is that Mulla Husayn-i-Bushru'i was the first to give to Babism, in the Persian empire, the status which a religious or political body acquires in the eyes of the people only after it has demonstrated its warlike strength." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 176.) "The late Haji Mirza Jani writes: `I myself met him [Mirza Muhammad-Hasan, the younger brother of Mulla Husayn] when he was bringing his mother and sister from Karbila to Qazvin and from Qazvin to Tihran. His sister was the wife of Shaykh Abu-Turab of Qazvin, who was a scholar and philosopher such at is rarely met with and believed with the utmost sincerity and purity of purpose, while such was his love and devotion to the Bab that if anyone did so much as mention the name of His Supreme Holiness (the souls of all beside him be His sacrifice) he could not restrain his tears. Often have I seen him, when engaged in the perusal of the writings of His Supreme Holiness, become almost beside himself with rapture, and nearly faint with joy. Of his wife he used to say: "I married her three years ago in Karbila. She was then but an indifferent scholar even in Persian, but now she can expound texts from the Qur'an and explain the most difficult questions and most subtle points of the doctrine of the Divine Unity in such wise that I have never seen a man who was her equal in this, or in readiness of apprehension. These gifts she has obtained by the blessing of His Holiness the Supreme and through converse with her holiness the Pure (Qurratu'l-'Ayn). I have seen in her a patience and resignation rare even in the most self-denying men, for during these three years, though I have not sent her a single dinar for her expenses and she has supported herself only with the greatest difficulty, she has never uttered a word; and now that she has come to Tihran, she refrains altogether from speaking of the past, and though, in accordance with the wishes of Jinab-i-Babu'l-Bab, she now desires to proceed to Khurasan, and has literally nothing to put on save one well-worn dress which she wears, she never asks for clothes or travelling-money, but ever seeks reasonable excuses wherewith to set me at my ease and prevent me from feeling ashamed. Her purity, chastity, and virtue are boundless, and during all this while no unprivileged person hath so much as heard her voice." But the virtues of the daughter were surpassed by those of the mother, who possessed rare attainments and accomplishments, and had composed many poems and eloquent elegies on the afflictions of her sons. Although Jinab-i-Babu'l-Bab had warned her of his approaching martyrdom and foretold to her all the impending calamities, she still continued to exhibit the same eager devotion and cheerful resignation, rejoicing that God had accepted the sacrifice of her sons, and even praying that they might attain to this great dignity and not be deprived of so great blessedness. It is indeed wonderful to meditate on this virtuous and saintly family, the sons so conspicuous for their single-minded devotion and self-sacrifice, the mother and daughter so patient and resigned. When I, Mirza Jani, met Mirza Muhammad-Hasan, he was but seventeen years of age, yet I observed in him a dignity, gravity, composure, and virtue which amazed me. After the death of Jinab-i-Babu'l-Bab, Hadrat-i-Quddus bestowed on him the sword and turban of that glorious martyr, and made him captain of the troops of the True King. As to his martyrdom, there is a difference of opinion as to whether he was slain at the breakfast-table in the camp, or suffered martyrdom with Jinab-i-Quddus in the square of Barfurush.'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 93-5.) The sister of Mulla Husayn was surnamed "Varaqatu'l-Firdaws" and was intimately associated, while in Karbila, with Tahirih. ("Memorials of the Faithful," p. 270.)
Ch. XX, p.386, f.1
"This time the terror knew no bounds; throughout the province the people, deeply aroused by the repeated defeats of Islam, were beginning to lean toward the new religion. The military leaders felt their authority tottering, the religious chiefs saw their power over souls waning; the situation was extremely critical and the least incident might place the province completely under the influence of the Reformer." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 315.) "But when the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama' was informed of this, he (fearing lest the Babis should enter Barfurush and mete out to him the punishment which he deserved) was overcome with trouble and consternation, and wrote several successive letters to Abbas-Quli Khan, saying: `I congratulate you on your courage and discretion, but how much to be deplored it is that after you have been at such pains, lost so many of your kinsmen, and gained at length so signal a victory, you did not follow it up. You have made a great multitude food for the sword, and have returned, leaving only a few decrepit old men as survivors. Alas, that, after all your efforts and perseverance, the prince is now prepared to march against the castle and take captive these few poor wretches, so that after all he will get the credit of this signal victory, and will appropriate to himself all the money and property of the vanquished! You must make it your first and most important business to return to the castle ere he has set out, for the government of a province like Mazindaran is not a thing to be trifled with. Strive, then, to gain the entire credit of this victory, and let your exertions accomplish what your zeal has begun.' He also wrote at great length to the clergy of Amul urgently exhorting them to use their best endeavours to make the Sartip Abbas-Quli Khan start at once without further delay. So they continued too remind him incessantly that it was his duty to march with all speed against the castle; and the Sartip, though he knew that what the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama' had written to him was utterly false and baseless, was eager, if it should be possible, to make some amends for what had passed, and so to clear himself in some measure of the disgrace which he had incurred in the eyes of the Larijani women whose husbands he had sacrificed, and of the government. But inwardly he was consumed with anxiety, fearing that, as in the previous campaign, he might fail to accomplish anything. Most of his men, too, were wounded, while many had fled and concealed themselves in the surrounding villages distant four or five farsangs from the city. So, as a makeshift, he wrote to the clergy of Amul, saying: `If indeed this be a religious war, you, who are such zealous champions of the Faith, and to whom men look for example, should take the lead, and make the first move, so that others may follow you.' The clergy, not being prepared with a suitable answer, and seeing no way of excusing themselves, were obliged to send a message to the effect that the war was a religious war. A great company of tradesmen, common people, and roughs was assembled, and these, with the clergy and students, set out, ostensibly for the accomplishment of a religious duty, but really bent on plunder and rapine. Most of these went to Barfurush and there joined the advance of Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza, who, on reaching a village distant one farsang from the castle, sent a body of his men to reconnoitre and collect information about the movements of the Babi garrison." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 72-3.)
Ch. XX, p.387, f.1
"The reverend divines, who with their pupils, had come to take part in the holy war, were scarce able to sleep at night for fear (though their quarters were in a place distant two farsangs from the castle), and continually in their conversation would they roundly abuse the prince and Abbas-Quli Khan and curse the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'; `for,' said they, `these have, without sufficient reason, taken us away from our studies, our discussions, and the earning of our livelihood, besides bringing us into dire peril; since to fight with men like these, who have renounced the world and carry their lives in their hands, is to incur great risk.' So the holy verse, `Cast not yourselves into peril with your own hands,' became their daily utterance. One said: `Certain circumstances exonerate me from the duty of taking part in this war at present.' Another (adducing thirty different pretexts) said: I am lawfully excused and am compelled to turn back.' A third said: `I have little children dependant on me; what can I do?' A fourth said: `I have made no provision for my wife, so I must go, but, should it be necessary, I will return again.' A fifth said: `My accounts with certain persons are not yet settled; should I fall a martyr my wealth will be wasted and an injustice will be done to my wife and children; and both waste and injustice are condemned as repugnant to our holy religion and displeasing to God.' A sixth said: `I owe money to certain persons and have none to acquit me of my debt. Should I fall my debt will not allow me to cross the Bridge of Sirat.' A seventh said: `I came away without the knowledge of my mother, and she had said to me: "Shouldst thou go I will make the milk wherewith I nourished thee unlawful to thee." I fear, therefore, that I may be cast off aa undutiful by my mother.' An eighth wept, saying: `I have made a vow to visit Karbila this year; one circumambulation of the holy sepulchre of the Chief of Martyrs is equivalent in merit to a hundred thousand martyrdoms or a thousand pilgrimages to Mecca. I fear to fail in the fulfilment of my vow and to be disappointed of this great blessing.' Others said: `We for our part, have neither seen in these people, nor heard of them aught that showeth them to be unbelievers, for they also say: "There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Apostle of God and Ali is the Friend of God." At most, they maintain that the advent of the Imam Mihdi has taken place. Let them be; for at all events they are no worse than the sunnis who reject the twelve Imams and the fourteen immaculate saints recognise such an one as Umar as caliph, prefer Uthman to Ali-ibn-i-Abi-Talib, and accept Abu-Bakr as the successor of our holy Prophet. Why should our divines leave those alone and fight with these about matter whereof the rights and wrongs have not been properly determined?' In short throughout the camp, murmurs arose from every tongue, and complaints from every mouth; each one sang a different tune and devised a different pretext; and all awaited but some plausible excuse to betake themselves to flight. So when Abbas-Quli Khan perceived this to be the case, he, fearing lest the contagion of their terror might spread to his soldiers, was forced to accept the excuses of these reverend divines and their disciples and followers, who forthwith departed, rejoicing greatly, and uttering prayers for the Sartip's success." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 74-6.)
Ch. XX, p.389, f.1
"Mihdi-Quli Mirza was somewhat surprised. He felt deeply disappointed, but what impressed him even more was that the Sardar could be considered as having been defeated as well as he, and this thought, flattering to his self-love, brought him no little pleasure. Not only did he no longer fear that one of his lieutenants might have won an enviable glory in taking the fortress of the Babis; but it was not he himself alone who had failed; he had a companion in misfortune and a companion whom he would succeed in proving responsible for the two defeats. Overjoyed he called together his chiefs great and small and apprised them of the news, deploring of course the tragic fate of the Sardar and expressing the ardent hope that this valiant soldier might be more fortunate in the future." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 179.)
Ch. XX, p.390, f.1
Ch. XX, p.390, f.2
"The Prince assigned to each one his post during the siege; he entrusted Haji Khan Nuri and Mirza Abdu'llah Navayy with the responsibility of securing adequate supplies. As military leaders, he selected the Sardar Abbas-Quli-i-Larijani, towards whom, since his recent failure, he was showing more sympathy; then Nasru'llah Khan-i-Bandibi, another chieftain, and Mustafa Khan from Ashraf to whom he gave the command of the brave tufang-chis of that city and also the command of the suritis. Other lesser lords led the men of Dudankih and Bala-Rastaq as well as several Turkish and Kurdish nomads who were not included in the bands of the great chiefs. These nomads were entrusted with the special duty of watching every move of the enemy. Past experience had convinced them that they should be more vigilant in the future. Turks and Kurds were given therefore the responsibility of following, night and day, the operations of the enemy and to be ever on the alert in order to prevent possible surprises." (Ibid., p. 181.)
Ch. XX, p.391, f.1
"Mihdi-Quli Mirza, however, wished to combine recent strategy with old military technique and ordered to be brought from Tihran two cannon and two mortars with the necessary ammunition. He also enlisted the assistance of a man from Hirat who had discovered an explosive substance which could project flames to a distance of seven hundred meters and set fire to anything combustible within that radius. A trial test was made and it proved satisfactory; the burning material was shot out into the fort, a conflagration started immediately and all the dwellings or shelters whether of wood, of reeds or of straw, which the Babis had erected, either within the enclosure or upon the walls, were reduced to ashes. "While this destruction went on, the bombs and bullets shot from the mortars seriously damaged a building hastily erected by men who were neither architects nor engineers and had never anticipated an artillery attack. In a very short time, the outer defences of the fortress were dismantled; nothing was left of them but fallen girders, smoked and burning timbers, scattered stones." (Ibid., pp. 181-182.)
Ch. XX, p.391, f.2
"After taking these precautions, they dug holes and trenches for the use of the tufang-chis who were ordered to shoot down any Babis who might appear. They built large towers as high as the various levels of the fortress or even higher and, through a continuous plunging fire, they rendered the circulation of the Babis within their fort extremely dangerous. It was a decided advantage for the besiegers, but, in a few days, the Babi chiefs, taking advantage of the long nights, raised their fortifications so that their height exceeded that of the attacking towers of the enemy." (Ibid., p. 181.)
Ch. XX, p.391, f.3
The ninth day after Naw-Ruz.
Ch. XX, p.392, f.1
"Once indeed, some few of them did go out to try to obtain a little tea and sugar for Jinab-i-Quddus. The most notable of these was Mulla Sa'id of Zarkanad. Now he was a man so accomplished in science that when certain learned men of the kindred of Mulla Muhammad-Taqi of Nur addressed to Jinab-i-Quddus in writing certain questions touching the science of divination and astrology, the latter said to Mulla Sa'id: `Do you speedily write for them a brief and compendious reply that their messenger be not kept waiting and a more detailed answer shall be written subsequently.' So Mulla Sa'id though hurried by the presence of the messenger and distracted by the turmoil of the siege rapidly penned a most eloquent address wherein while replying to the questions asked he introduced nearly a hundred well-authenticated traditions bearing on the truth of the new Manifestation of the promised Proof besides several which foreshadowed the halting of those who had believed in the Lord about Tabarsi and their martyrdom The learned men of Nur were amazed beyond all measure at his erudition and said: `Candour compels us to admit that such a presentation of these matters is a great miracle, and that such erudition and eloquence are far beyond the Mulla Sa'id whom we knew. Assuredly this talent hath been bestowed on him from on high and he in turn hath made it manifest to us.' Now Mulla Sa'id and his companions, while they were without the castle fell into the hands of the royal troops and were by them carried before the prince. The prince strove by every means to extract from them some information about the state of the Babi garrison their numbers and the amount of their munitions; but do what he would, he could gain nothing. So when he perceived Mulla Sa'id to be a man of talent and understanding he said to him: `Repent, and I will release you and not suffer you to be slain.' To this Mulla Sa'id replied `Never did anyone repent of obedience to God's command; why then should I? Rather do you repent who are acting contrary to His good pleasure, and more evilly than anyone hath heretofore done.' And he spoke much more after the same fashion. So at length they sent him to Sari in chains and fetters and there slew him under circumstances of the utmost cruelty along with his companions, who appear to have been five in number." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 79-80.)
Ch. XX, p.393, f.2
"Thus the latter constructed four towers on the four sides of the castle, and raised them so high that they were able to command the interior of the fortress with their guns, and to make the garrison targets for their bullets. Then the faithful, seeing this, began to dig subterranean passages and to retreat thither. But the ground of Mazindaran lies near the water and is saturated with moisture, added to which rain fell continually, increasing the damage, so that these poor sufferers dwelt amidst mud and water till their garments rotted away with damp.... Whenever one of their comrades quaffed the draught of martyrdom before their eyes, instead of grieving they rejoiced. Thus, for instance, on one occasion bomb-shell fell on the roof of a hut, which caught fire. Shaykh Salih of Shiraz went to extinguish the fire. A bullet struck his head and shattered his skull. Even as they were raising his corpse a second bullet carried away the hand of Aqa Mirza Muhammad Ali, the son of Siyyid Ahmad who was the father of Aqa Siyyid Husayn, `the beloved.' So too, was Aqa Siyyid Husayn `the beloved,' a child ten years of age slain before his father's eyes and he fell rolling in mud and gore, with limbs quivering like those of a half-killed bird." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 81-3.)
Ch. XX, p.394, f.1
"This state of affairs had lasted four months. The Shah began to grow impatient. The success of the Babis aroused his anger which according to the Persian historian he expressed thus: `We thought that our army would go without hesitation through fire and water, that, fearless, it would fight a lion or a whale, but we have sent it to fight a handful of weak and defenseless men and it has achieved nothing! Do the notables of Mazindaran think that we approve of this delay? Is it their policy to allow this conflagration to spread in order to magnify their importance in case they later put an end to it? Very well, let them know that I shall act as though Allah had never created Mazindaran and I shall exterminate its inhabitants to the last man!" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 322.)
Ch. XX, p.394, f.2
"The siege had been going on for four months and had made no visible
progress. The old fortifications had been destroyed but, with indomitable
energy, the Babis had built new ones and, night and day, they restored and
enlarged them. It was impossible to foresee the outcome of this situation,
the more so because, as I have already said, Mazindaran was not the only
region in Persia where the devotees of the new Faith were giving evidence
of their zeal and their daring. The King and the prime minister, in their
anxiety, burst forth into abuse against their lieutenants. Not only did
they charge them with incompetence, in the most bitter terms, but they
threatened to extend to them the same treatment planned for the Babis, if
a final settlement were not reached without delay. Thereupon, the command
was taken from Mihdi-Quli Mirza and given to the Afshar Sulayman Khan,
a man of acknowledged firmness and of great influence, not only in his own
tribe, one of the noblest in Persia, but throughout the military circles
who knew him and held him in high esteem. He was given the most rigorous orders." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies
dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 183-184.)
Ch. XX, p.395, f.1
Abdu'l-Bahá refers, in the "Memorials of the Faithful" (pp. 16-17) to the hardships and sufferings endured by the heroic defenders of the fort of Shaykh Tabarsi He pays a glowing tribute to the constancy, the zeal and courage of the besieged, mentioning in particular Mulla Sadiq-i-Muqaddas. "For eighteen days," He says, "they remained without food. They lived on the leather of their shoes. This too was soon consumed, and they had nothing left but water. They drank a mouthful every morning and lay famished and exhausted in their fort. When attacked, however, they would instantly spring to their feet, and manifest in the face of the enemy a magnificent courage and astonishing resistance.... Under such circumstances to maintain an unwavering faith and patience is extremely difficult, and to endure such dire afflictions a rare phenomenon."
Ch. XX, p.395, f.2
April 24-May 23, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.397, f.2
Reference to God, the word Rahman meaning "merciful."
Ch. XX, p.399, f.1
May 9, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.399, f.2
"This stark and desperate bravery, this unquenchable enthusiasm gave grave concern to the leaders of the imperial army. Despairing to break through the fortification after repeated defeats, they thought of resorting to shrewdness. The Prince was naturally shrewd and Sulayman Khan-i-Afshar, recently sent by the Shah, was urging such a method, fearful that longer delays might endanger his prestige and his life." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 325.)
Ch. XX, p.400, f.1
Ch. XX, p.403, f.2
"All the fortifications constructed by the Babis were razed to the ground and even the ground was leveled to remove any evidences of the heroic defense of those who had died for their Faith. They imagined that this would silence history." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 327.)
Ch. XX, p.403, f.3
"They formed them in a line and made sport of cutting open their stomachs. This amused them the more because, from the perforated intestines, issued grass still undigested, striking evidence of the sufferings they had endured and also of the faith that had sustained them. Some, very few, succeeded in escaping into the forest." (Ibid.)
Ch. XX, p.404, f.1
Haji Abdu'l-Majid-i-Nishaburi, who was eventually martyred in Khurasan.
Ch. XX, p.404, f.2
"It was then, says Mirza Jani, that Islam gave a shameful exhibition to the world. The victors, if they can be so called, wished to enjoy the intoxication of their triumph. They bound in chains Quddus, Mirza Muhammad-Hasan Khan, brother of the Babu'l-Bab, Akhund Mulla Muhammad-Sadiq-i-Khurasani, Mirza Muhammad Sadiq-i-Khurasani, Haji Mirza Hasan Khurasani, Shaykh Ni'matu'llah-i-Amuli, Haji Nasir-i-Qazvini, Mulla Yusuf-i-Ardibili, Aqa Siyyid Abdu'l-'Aim-i-Khu'i and several others. These they placed at the center of the parade which started out at the sound of the trumpets, and, every time they went through an inhabited section, they struck them." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 327-328.) "The cruelty went further still. If a few escaped death, having been sold into slavery, others were tortured until they died. Those who found kindly masters were Akhund Mulla Muhammad-Sadiq-i-Khurasani, Mulla Muhammad-i-Mahvalatiy-i-Dugh-Abadi, Aqa Siyyid Azim-i-Khu'i, Haji Nasir-i-Qazvini, Haji Abdu'l-Majid-i-Nishaburi and Mirza Husayn-i-Matavalliy-i-Qumi. Four Babis suffered martyrdom at Barfurush, two were sent to Amul; one of these was Mulla Ni'matu'llah-i-Amuli, the other Mirza Muhammad-Baqir-i-Khurasaniy-i-Qa'ini, cousin of our Babi author. "Qa'ini lived previously at Mashhad, on the avenue called Khiyaban-Bala, and his house, which had been named `Babiyyih,' was the rendezvous of the secretaries as well as the home for the co-religionists journeying through. It is there that Quddus and the Babu'l-Bab sojourned on their way to Khurasan. Besides his religious knowledge, Qa'ini was very skillful with his hands and it was he who designed the fortifications of Shaykh-Tabarsi." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 329.)
Ch. XX, p.404, f.3
"As to the other prisoners they were made to lie down on the ground and the executioners cut open their stomachs. It was noticed that several of these unfortunates had raw grass in their intestines. This massacre completed, they found that there was still more to be done and they assassinated the fugitives who had already been pardoned. There were women and children and even fifty were not spared and their throats were cut. It was indeed a full day with much killing and no risk!" (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 189.) "On his arrival at Amul, Mulla Ni'matu'llah was tortured with ruthless ferocity. Apparently, this scene threw Qa'ini into a fit of rage. In any case, when the executioner approached, Qa'ini, breaking his bonds, jumped upon him, snatched his sword and struck him with such violence that his head rolled about fifteen feet away. The crowd rushed upon him but, terrible in his strength, he mowed down all those who came within his reach and they had finally to shoot him with a rifle in order to subdue him. After his death, they found in his pocket a piece of roasted horse flesh proof of the misery that he had endured for his faith !" (Ibid., pp. 329-330.)
Ch. XX, p.405, f.1
"The whole world marvelled at the manner of their sacrifice.... The mind is bewildered at their deeds and the soul marvelleth at their fortitude and bodily endurance.... These holy lights have for eighteen years, heroically endured the showers of afflictions which, from every side have rained upon them With what love, what devotion, what exultation and holy rapture they sacrificed their lives in the path of the All-Glorious! To the truth of this all witness. And yet how can they belittle this Revelation? Hath any age witnessed such momentous happenings? If these companions be not the true strivers after God, who else could be called by this name? Have these companions been seekers after power or glory? Have they ever yearned for riches? Have they cherished any desire except the good pleasure of God? If these companions with all their marvellous testimonies and wondrous works be false who then is worthy to claim for himself the truth? By God! their very deeds are a sufficient testimony, and an irrefutable proof unto all the peoples of the earth, were men to ponder in their hearts the mysteries of Divine Revelation. `And they who act unjustly shall soon know what a lot awaiteth them!'" (The "Kitab-i-Iqan," pp. 189-91.)
Ch. XX, p.406, f.1
Ch. XX, p.408, f.1
May 11, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.410, f.1
"The Babis call attention to the fact that shortly afterwards a strange disease afflicted Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'. In spite of the furs which he wore, in spite of the fire which burned constantly in his room, he shivered with cold yet, at the same time, his fever was so high, that nothing could quench his intolerable thirst. He died, and his house, which was very beautiful, was abandoned and finally crumbled into ruins. Little by little, the practice grew of dumping refuse on the site where it had once so proudly stood. This so impressed the Mazindaranis that when they quarrel among themselves, the final insult frequently is, `May thy house meet the same fate as the house of Sa'idu'l-'Ulama!'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 330.)
Ch. XX, p.413, f.1
"At all events it appears that after the martyrdom of Jinab-i-Quddus a pious divine Haji Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Hamzih by name, whose skill in exegesis and spiritual gifts was recognised by all, secretly sent several persons to bury the mutilated remains in the ruined college already mentioned. And he, far from approving the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama''s conduct, used to curse and revile him, and never himself pronounced sentence of death against any Babi, but, on the contrary used to obtain decent burial for those slain by the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'. And when men questioned him concerning the garrison of the castle, he would reply: `I do not condemn them or speak evil of them.' For this reason half of Barfurush remained neutral, for at first he used to forbid men to traduce or molest the Babis, though later when the trouble waxed great, he deemed it prudent to be silent and shut himself up in his house. Now his austerity of life, piety, learning, and virtue were as well known to the people of Mazindaran as were the irreligion immorality and worldliness of the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama'." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 92.)
Ch. XX, p.413, f.2
"He who knew Quddus and who made the pilgrimage with him is the one upon whom `eight unities' have passed and God honored him among His angels in the heavens, because of the way in which he had withdrawn himself from all and because he was without blame in the sight of God." ("Le Bayan Persan," vol. 2, p. 164.) "Yet more wonderful than the events above described is the account of them given by Abbas-Quli Khan, with many expressions of admiration to Prince Ahmad Mirza. The late Haji Mirza Jani writes: `About two years after the disaster of Shaykh Tabarsi, I heard one, who, though not a believer, was honest, truthful, and worthy of credit, relate as follows: "We were sitting together when some allusion was made to the war waged by some of those present against Hadrat-i-Quddus and Jinab-i-Babu'l-Bab. Prince Ahmad Mirza and Abbas-Quli Khan were amongst the company. The prince questioned Abbas-Quli Khan about the matter, and he replied thus: `The truth of the matter is that anyone who had not seen Karbila would, if he had seen Tabarsi, not only have comprehended what there took place, but would have ceased to consider it and had he seen Mulla Husayn of Bushruyih he would have been convinced that the Chief of Martyrs had returned to earth; and had he witnessed my deeds he would assuredly have said: "This is Shimr come back with sword and Lance." I swear by the sacred plume of His Majesty the Centre of the Universe that one day Mulla Husayn, having on his head a green turban, and over his shoulder a shroud, came forth from the castle, stood forth in the open field, and, leaning on a lance which he held in his hand said: "O people, why, without enquiry and under the influence of passion and prejudiced misrepresentation, do ye act so cruelly towards us, and strive without cause to shed innocent blood? Be ashamed before the Creator of the universe, and at last give us passage, that we may depart out of this land." Seeing that the soldiers were moved, I opened fire and ordered the troops to shout so as to drown his voice. Again I saw him lean on his lance and heard him cry: "Is there any who will help me?" three times so that all heard his cry. At that moment all the soldiers were silent and some began to weep, and many of the horsemen were visibly affected. Fearing that the army might be seduced from their allegiance, I again ordered them to fire and shout. Then I saw Mulla Husayn unsheathe his sword raise his face towards heaven, and heard him exclaim: "O God I have completed the proof to this host, but it availeth not.' Then he began to attack us on the right and on the left. I swear by God that on that day he wielded the sword in such wise as transcends the power of man. Only the horsemen of Mazindaran held their ground and refused to flee. And when Mulla Husayn was well warmed to the fray, he overtook a fugitive soldier. The soldier sheltered himself behind a tree, and further strove to shield himself with his musket. Mulla Husayn dealt him such blow with his sword that he clave him and the tree and the musket into six pieces. And, during that war not once was his sword-stroke at fault, but every blow that he struck fell true. And by the nature of their wounds I could recognise all whom Mulla Husayn had cut down with his sword, and since I had heard and knew that none could rightly wield the sword save the Chief of Believers, and that it was well-nigh impossible for sword to cut so true, therefore I forbade all who were aware of this thing to mention it or make it known, lest the troops should be discouraged and should wax faint in the fight. But in truth I know not what had been shown to these people, or what they had seen, that they came forth to battle with such alacrity and joy, and engaged so eagerly and gladly in the strife, without displaying in their countenance any trace of fear or apprehension. One would imagine that in their eyes the keen sword and blood-spilling dagger were but means to the attainment of everlasting life, so eagerly did their necks and bosoms welcome them as they circled like salamanders round the fiery hail of bullets. And the astonishing thing was that all these men were scholars and men of learning, sedentary recluses of the college and the cloister, delicately nurtured and of weakly frame, inured indeed to austerities, but strangers to the roar of cannon, the rattle of musketry, and the field of battle. During the last three months of the siege, moreover, they were absolutely without bread and water, and were reduced to the extreme of weakness through lack of even such pittance of food as is sufficient to sustain life. Notwithstanding this, it seemed as if in time of battle a new spirit were breathed into their frames, insomuch that the imagination of man cannot conceive the vehemence of their courage and valour. They used to expose their bodies to the bullets and cannon-balls not only fearlessly and courageously, but eagerly and joyously, seeming to regard the battle-field as a banquet, and to be bent on casting away their lives.'"'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 106-9.)
Ch. XX, p.414, f.1
Ch. XX, p.414, f.2
November-December 1888 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.414, f.3
Literally "The Last Name of God."
Ch. XX, p.415, f.1
May 16 1849 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.415, f.2
Ch. XX, p.415, f.3
Literally "The Last Point."
Ch. XX, p.424, f.1
November 27, 1848 A.D.
Ch. XX, p.426, f.1
Ch. XI, p.430, f.1
June 22-July 21, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.431, f.1
November 17-December 17, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.431, f.2
The tenth of Muharram the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn, fell in that year on November 26, 1849 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.431, f.3
According to the "Kashful'l-Ghita'" (p. 241) his full name was Mirza Aliy-i-Sayyah-i-Maraghih'i. He had acted as the servant of the Bab in Mah-Ku, ranked among His leading companions, and subsequently embraced the Message of Bahá'u'lláh.
Ch. XI, p.432, f.1
January 15, 1850 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.432, f.2
January 23, 1850 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.433, f.1
Ch. XI, p.433, f.2
Followers of Mirza Yahya.
Ch. XI, p.433, f.3
The claims of this young man were based on a nomination-document now in the possession Prof. Browne, and have been supported by a letter given in a French version by Mons. Nicolas. Forgery, however, has played such great part in written documents of the East that I hesitate to recognize the genuineness of this nomination. And I think it very improbable that any company of intensely earnest men should have accepted the document in preference to the evidence of their own knowledge respecting the inadequate endowments of Subh-i-Azal.... The probability is that the arrangement already made was further sanctioned, viz. that Bahá'u'lláh was for the present to take the private direction of affairs and exercise his great gifts as a teacher, while Subh-i-Azal (a vain young man) gave his name as ostensible head, especially with view to outsiders and to agents of the government." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 118-19.)
Ch. XI, p.433, f.4
"I adjure thee by God, the One, the Mighty, the Omnipotent, to ponder in thine heart those writings which were sent in his [Mirza Yahya's] name to the Primal Point [the Bab], that thou mayest recognise and distinguish, as manifest as the sun, the signs of the True One." (The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," p. 125.)
Ch. XI, p.434, f.1
Ch. XI, p.434, f.2
July 29,1831 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.435, f.1
Ch. XXI, p.436, f.1
Ch. XI, p.439, f.1
Ch. XI, p.440, f.1
Literally "The Most Exalted Leaf."
Ch. XI, p.440, f.2
Title of Abdu'l-Bahá.
Ch. XI, p.441, f.1
Meaning "Master" by which title Abdu'l-Bahá was then designated.
Ch. XI, p.441, f.3
A kind of overcoat.
Ch. XI, p.443, f.1
February 14-March 15, 1850 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.444, f.1
Ch. XI, p.445, f.1
One of the titles of the Bab.
Ch. XI, p.445, f.2
February 14, March 15, 1850 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.446, f.1
He was the son of Qurban, the head cook of the Qa'im-Magam, the predecessor of Haji Mirza Aqasi.
Ch. XI, p.446, f.2
Literally, "The Greatest Uncle."
Ch. XI, p.446, f.3
Ch. XI, p.448, f.1
"He took off his turban, and, raising his face towards heaven, exclaimed, `O God, Thou art witness of how they are slaying the son of Thy most honourable Prophet without fault on his part.' Then he turned to the executioner and recited this verse: `How long shall grief of separation from Him slay me? Cut off my head that Love may bestow on me a head.'" (Mathnavi, Book 6, p. 649, 1, 2; ed. Ala'u'd-Dawlih.) ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note B, p. 174.)
Ch. XI, p.449, f.1
The Seventh Imam.
Ch. XI, p.449, f.2
According to Haji Mu'inu's-Saltanih's narrative (p. 131), Mirza Qurban-'Ali the dervish, met the Bab in the village of Khanliq.
Ch. XI, p.450, f.2
"Mirza Qurban-'Ali was famous amongst mystics and dervishes, and had many friends and disciples in Tihran, besides being well known to most of the nobles and chief men, and even to the Shah's mother. She, because of her friendship for him and the compassion she felt for his plight, said to his Majesty the king: `He is no Babi, but has been falsely accused.' So they sent and brought him out saying: `Thou art a dervish, a scholar, and a man of learning; thou dost not belong to this misguided sect; a false charge has been preferred against thee.' He replied: `I reckon myself one of the followers and servants of His Holiness, though whether or no He hath accepted me as such, I wot not.' When they continued to persuade him, holding out hopes of a pension and salary, he said: `This life and these drops of blood of mine are of but small account; were the empire of the world mine, and had I a thousand lives, I would freely cast them all at the feet of His friends:
`To sacrifice the head for the Beloved, in mine eyes appears an easy thing indeed; Close thy lips, and cease to speak of mediation, For of mediation lovers have no need.'So at length they desisted in despair, and signified that he should die." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 254.)
Ch. XI, p.451, f.1
Reference to the Bab.
Ch. XI, p.452, f.1
Qurban means "Sacrifice"; hence, "Sacrifice for the Bab."
Ch. XI, p.453, f.1
"When he was brought to the foot of the execution-pole, the headman raised his sword and smote him on the neck from behind. The blow only bowed his head, and caused the dervish's turban which he wore to roll some paces from him on the ground. Immediately as it were with his last breath, he sent a fresh pang through the heart of everyone capable of emotion by reciting these verses:
`Happy he whom love's intoxication So hath overcome that scarce he knows Whether at the feet of the Beloved It be head or turban which he throws!'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid", pp. 254-5.)
Ch. XI, p.455, f.1
"Now when they were ready to begin their work of decapitation and slaughter, it was Haji Mulla Isma'il's turn to die, one came to him, saying: `Such an one of your friends will give such-and-such a sum of money to save you from death, on condition of your recanting, that thus they may be induced to spare you. In a case of dire necessity, when it is a question of saving your life, what harm is there in merely saying, "I am not a Babi," so that they may have a pretext for releasing you?' He replied: `Were I willing to recant, even without money none would touch me.' Being further pressed and greatly importuned, he drew himself up to his full height amidst the crowd, and exclaimed, so that all might hear:
`Zephyr, prithee bear for me a message To that Ishmael who was not slain: "Living from the street of the Beloved Love permits not to return again."'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 253-4.)
Ch. XI, p.455, f.2
Ch. XI, p.456, f.1
The Imam Husayn.
Ch. XI, p.458, f.1
"After detailing the occurrences briefly set forth above, the Babi historian proceeds to point out the special value and unique character of the testimony given by the "Seven Martyrs.' They were men representing all the more important classes in Persia--divines, dervishes, merchants, shopkeepers, and government officials; they were men who had enjoyed the respect and consideration of all; they died fearlessly, willingly, almost eagerly, declining to purchase life by that mere lip-denial which, under the name of kitman or taqiyyih, is recognised by the by the shi'ahs as a perfectly justifiable subterfuge in case of peril; they were not driven to despair of mercy as were those who died at Shaykh Tabarsi and Zanjan and they sealed their faith with their blood in the public square of the Persian capital wherein is the abode of the foreign ambassadors accredited to the court of the Shah. And herein the Babi historian is right: even those who speak severely of the Babi movement generally, characterising it as a communism destructive of all order and all morality, express commiseration for the guiltless victims. To the day of their martyrdom we may well apply Gobineau's eloquent reflection on a similar tragedy enacted two years later: ..."This eventful day brought to the Bab more secret followers than many sermons could have done. I have just said that the impression created by the prodigious endurance of the martyrs was deep and lasting. I have often heard repeated the story of that day by eye witnesses, by men close to the government, some even important officials. From their accounts, one might easily have believed that they were all Babis, so great was the admiration they felt for memories which were not to the honor of Islam, and so high was the esteem they entertained for the resourcefulness, the hopes and the chances of success of the new doctrine." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note B, pp. 175-176.)
Ch. XI, p.459, f.1
December 11, 1888 A.D.
Ch. XI, p.459, f.2
According to Islamic traditions, Fatimih, Muhammad's daughter, will appear unveiled as she crosses the bridge "Sirat" on the Day of Judgment. At her appearance a voice from heaven will declare: "Turn your eyes away, O concourse of people!"
Ch. XI, p.460, f.1
Mirza Aqa Khan-i-Nuri, who succeeded the Amir-Nizam as Grand Vazir of Nasiri'd-Din Shah.
Ch. XI, p.460, f.2
Aqay-i-Kalim, brother of Bahá'u'lláh.
Ch. XI, p.460, f.3
Ch. XI, p.461, f.1
Ch. XI, p.463, f.1
"When the executioners had completed their bloody work, the rabble onlookers, awed for a while by the patient courage of the martyrs, again allowed their ferocious fanaticism to break out in insults to the mortal remains of those whose spirits had now passed beyond the power of their malice. They cast stones and filth at the motionless corpses, abusing them, and crying out, `This is the recompense of the people of affection and of such as pursue the Path of Wisdom and Truth!' Nor would they suffer their bodies to be interred in a burial-ground, but cast them into a pit outside the Gate of Shah Abdu'l-'Azim, which they then filled up." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note B, pp. 174-5.)
Ch. XI, p.464, f.1
?While these developments were taking place in the north of Persia, the provinces of the center and the south were deeply stirred by the enthusiastic appeals of the missionaries of the new doctrine. The people-- light, credulous, ignorant, superstitious in the extreme--were dumbfounded by the accounts of continuous miracles of which they heard every minute; the Mullas, deeply concerned, feeling that their wavering flock was ready to escape their control, multiplied their slanders and defamation; the grossest lies, the most cruel fictions were circulated among the bewildered masses, divided between terror and admiration.? (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 387.)
Ch.XXII, p.465, f.1
"When, after the lapse of some time," writes Mirza Jani, "I again had the honour of meeting Aqa Siyyid Yahya in Tihran, I observed in his august countenance the signs of a glory and power which I had not noticed during my first journey with him to the capital, nor on other occasions of meeting, and I knew that these signs portended the near approach of his departure from the world Subsequently he said several times in the course of conversation: `This is my last journey, and hereafter you will see me no more'; and often, explicitly or by implication, he gave utterance to the same thought. Sometimes when we were together, and the conversation took an appropriate turn, he would remark: `The saints of God are able to foretell coming events, and I swear, by that loved One in the grasp of whose power my soul lies, that I know and could tell where and how I shall be slain, and who it is that shall slay me And how glorious and blessed a thing it is that my blood should be shed for the uplifting of the Word of Truth!'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 115.)
Ch.XXII, p.466, f.1
Ch.XXII, p.467, f.1
"Carried away by his zeal and overflowing with the love of God, he was eager to reveal to Persia the glory and joy of the one eternal Truth. `To love and to conceal one's secret is impossible,' says the poet; so our Siyyid began to preach openly in the Mosques, in the streets, in the bazaars, on the public squares, in a word, wherever he could find listeners. Such an enthusiasm brought forth fruit and the conversions were numerous and sincere. The Mullas, deeply troubled, violently denounced the sacrilege to the governor of the city." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 390.)
Ch.XXII, p.468, f.1
His name was Aqa Khan.
Ch.XXII, p.471, f.1
The Imam Husayn.
Ch.XXII, p.471, f.2
The tenth of Muharram, the day on which the Imam Husayn was martyred.
Ch.XXII, p.473, f.1
"God is Most Great."
Ch.XXII, p.473, f.2
May 10, 1850 A.D.
Ch.XXII, p.475, f.1
"When they would have bound him with his back towards the gun, he said: `Bind me, I pray you, with my face towards the gun, that I may see it fired.' The gunners and those who stood by looking on were all astonished at his composure and cheerfulness, and indeed one who can be cheerful in such a plight must needs have great faith and fortitude." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 117.)
Ch.XXII, p.475, f.2
"When Aqa Khan had verified the disappearance of the rebel, he gave a sigh of relief. Besides, he felt that to pursue the fugitives would involve some peril and that, therefore, it would be infinitely more practical, more beneficial, more profitable and less dangerous to torture the Babis, or those presumed to be Babis--provided that they were wealthy--who had remained in the city. He sought out the most prosperous, ordered their execution, and confiscated their possessions, avenging thus his outraged religion, a matter perhaps of little concern to him, and filling his coffers, which pleased him immensely." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 391.)
Ch.XXII, p.477, f.1
"The Nayrizis welcomed Siyyid Yahya with the greatest enthusiasm. Barely two days after his arrival, a large number came to see him by night out of fear of the government, says the Fars-Namih, and offered their services, for they hated their rulers. Others, mostly residents of the district of Chinar-Sukhtih, were converted in great numbers. Their example was contagious and soon the Babis could count, in their midst, the tullabs of Chinar-Sukhtih who numbered about one hundred, their chief Haji Shaykh Abdu'l-'Ali, father of the wife of Siyyid Yahya, the late Akhund Mulla Abdu'l-Husayn, an aged gentleman well versed in religious literature, Akhund Mulla Baqir, Pish-namaz of the district, Mulla Ali Katib, another Mulla Ali with his four brothers, and the kad-khuda, and the Rish-Safid, and other citizens from the quarter called `Bazar', such as the late Mashhadi Mirza Husayn called Qutb, with all of his family and his relatives, Mirza Abu'l-Qasim who was the nephew of the governor! Haji Muhammad-Taqi surnamed Ayyub and his son-in-law Mirza Husayn and many others from the quarter of the Siyyid, and the son of Mirza Nawra, and Mirza Ali-Rida, son of Mirza Husayn, and the son of Haji Ali, etc., etc. All were converted, some at night in deadly fear, others openly and fearlessly." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 393.)
Ch.XXII, p.478, f.1
May 27, 1850.
Ch.XXII, p.478, f.2
"He ascended the pulpit and cried out: `Am I not he whom you have always considered your shepherd and your guide? Have you not always depended on my teaching for the direction of your conscience in the path of salvation? Am I not he whose words of counsel you have always obeyed? What has happened that you should treat me as though I were your enemy and the enemy of your religion? What lawful deeds have I forbidden? What illicit action have I permitted? With what impiety can you charge me? Have I ever led you into error? And behold! That because I have told you the truth, because I have loyally sought to instruct you, I am oppressed and persecuted! My heart burns with love for you and you persecute me! Remember! Remember well, whosoever saddens me, saddens my ancestor Muhammad, the glorious Prophet, and whosoever helps me, helps him also. In the name of all that is sacred to you let all those who love the Prophet follow me!'" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 395.)
Ch.XXII, p.485, f.1
The author of Nasikhu't Tavarikh affirms without the least sorrow that the imperial troops were poorly trained and not at all eager to fight, so, with no thought of attacking, they established a camp which they hastened to fortify immediately." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 401.)
Ch.XXII, p.488, f.1
"Although the losses were almost even this time, the imperial troops were none-the-less frightened; things were dragging on and might moreover end in the general confusion of the Mussulmans, so they resolved to resort to deceit." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 403.)
Ch.XXII, p.494, f.1
"He took hold of the green belt of Yahya, symbol of his holy ancestry, tied it in a knot about his neck and began to drag him on the ground. Then came Safar whose brother Sha'ban had fallen during the war, then Aqa Jan, son of Ali-Asghar Khan, brother of Zaynu'l-'Abidin Khan, and the Muhammadans, aroused by the scene, stoned and beat to death the unfortunate man. They then severed the head, tore off the skin, stuffed it with straw and sent that trophy to Shiraz!" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 406.)
Ch.XXII, p.495, f.1
According to Abdu'l-Bahá's testimony, he had committed to memory no less than thirty thousand traditions. (Manuscript entitled "Bahá'í Martyrs".)
Ch.XXII, p.495, f.2
Bahá'u'lláh refers to him as "that unique and peerless figure of his age." (The "Kitab-i-Iqan," p. 188.) The Bab, in the "Dala'il-i-Sab'ih," refers to him in the following terms: `Behold again the number of the name of God (Siyyid Yahya)! This man was living a holy, peaceful life in such a way that no one could deny his talents or his sanctity, all admired his greatness in the sciences and the heights he had attained in philosophy. Refer to the commentary of the Suratu'l-Kawthar (Qur'an: S. 108) and to the other treatises written for him, which prove how high a place he occupies in the sight of God!'" ("Le Livre des Sept Preuves," translated by A. L. M. Nicolas, pp. 54-55.)
Ch.XXII, p.495, f.3
"Siyyid Yahya was strangled with his own girdle by one whose two brothers had been killed during the siege, and the other Babis likewise died by the hands of the executioner. The heads of the victims were stuffed with straw, and bearing with them these grim trophies of their prowess, together with some forty or fifty Babi women and one child of tender age as captives, the victorious army returned to Shiraz. Their entry into that city was made the occasion of general rejoicing; the captives were paraded through the streets and bazaars and finally brought before Prince Firuz Mirza, who was feasting in a summer-house called Kulah-i-Farangi. In his presence Mihr-'Ali Khan, Mirza Na'im, and the other officers recounted the details of their victory, and received congratulations and marks of favour. The captive women were finally imprisoned in an old caravanserai outside the Isfahan gate. What treatment they experienced at the hands of their captors is left to our conjecture." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note H, p. 190.) "This day was a fete day, so an eye witness tells us. The inhabitants were scattered about through the countryside, bringing with them their food and many among them drinking, on the sly, whole bottles of wine. The air was filled with musical strains, the songs of musicians, the screaming and laughter of the lewd women. The bazaars were adorned with flags joy was general. Suddenly there was absolute silence. They saw coming thirty-two camels, each carrying an unfortunate prisoner, a woman or a child, bound and thrown crosswise over the saddle like a bundle. All around them were soldiers carrying long lances and upon each lance was impaled the head of a Babi who had been slain at Nayriz. The hideousness of the sight deeply affected the holiday population of Shiraz and they returned, saddened, to their dwellings. "The horrible caravan passed through the bazaars and continued to the palace of the governor. This personage was in his garden where he had gathered in his kiosk (called Kulah-i-Farangi) the rich, the eminent citizens of Shiraz. The music ceased, the dancing stopped and Muhammad-'Ali-Khan as well as Mirza Na'im, two small tribal chiefs who had taken part in the campaign, came to tell of their brave deeds and to name one by one the prisoners." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 407.)
Ch.XXII, p.496, f.1
"It would seem, alas, that all this bloodshed would have been sufficient to appease the hatred and the lust of the Muhammadans. Not at all! Mirza Zaynu'l-'Abidin Khan, finding himself threatened with a desire for revenge on those he had betrayed and vanquished, gave neither truce nor rest to the surviving ones of the sect. His hatred knew no bounds and it was to last as long as he lived. It was actually the very poor that had been sent to Shiraz, the rich had been kept back. Zaynu'l-'Abidin Khan had entrusted them to a guard who was ordered to walk them through the city beating them as they went. The people of Nayriz were greatly entertained that time. They hung the Babi's by four nails and everyone came to gloat over their anguish. They placed burning weeds under the nails of these unfortunate martyrs, they branded them with hot irons, they deprived them of bread and water, they cut holes through their noses, and running through them a cord they led them as one would a bear!" (Ibid., p. 408.)
Ch.XXII, p.498, f.1
"Aqa Siyyid Ja'far-i-Yazdi saw the executioners burn his turban and then they took him from door to door making him beg for money." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 408.)
Ch.XXII, p.499, f.1
"Aqa Siyyid Abu-Talib, who was very wealthy, was bound with chains and sent by the governor of Nayriz to Ma'dan, and there poisoned by Haji Mirza Nasir, the same man who had ordered the Bab to kiss the hand of Shaykh Abu-Turab. Two Babi women, rather than be taken prisoners, threw themselves in a well and perished. Some Babi's, eager to see Mirza Zaynu'l-'Abidin Khan punished, started for Tihran to protest to his Majesty against the atrocities which had been committed. They were but two or three stations away from the capital and, after the fatigue of the journey, were enjoying a little rest, when a caravan of Shirazi people went by and recognized them. They were all arrested except Zaynu'l-'Abidin who succeeded in reaching Tihran. The others were taken to Shiraz where the Prince immediately ordered them executed, and so these men, Karbila'i Abu'l-Hasan, a dealer in crockery, Aqa Shaykh Hadi, uncle of the wife of Vahid, Mirza Ali and Abu'l-Qasim-ibn-i-Haji-Zayna, Akbar-ibn-i-'Abid, Mirza Hasan and his brother Mirza Baba all died for their faith at this time. (Ibid., pp. 408-409.)
Ch.XXII, p.499, f.2
June 29, 1850 A.D.
Ch.XXII, p.501, f.1
"It was only too well known that Babi's were to be found everywhere. Persia was full of them and, if the minds concerned about transcendental questions, if the philosophers in search of new formulas, if the bruised souls shocked by the injustices and weaknesses of the present day--had given themselves up eagerly to the thought and to the promises of a new and more satisfactory world order, one could properly think that the turbulent imaginations eager for action, even at the price of failure, the brave and militant hearts, and finally the daring and ambitious would easily be tempted to throw themselves in with an army which revealed itself so well supplied with soldiers fit to constitute dauntless battalions. "Mirza Taqi Khan, cursing the laxity with which his predecessor Haji Mirza Aqasi had allowed so great a peril to grow, realized that this weak policy should not continue and decided to destroy the evil to its very roots. He became convinced that the main cause was the Bab himself, father of all the doctrines which were arousing the people, and he decided to remove that cause." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 210-11.)
Ch.XXII, p.501, f.2
"In the meantime, Haji Mirza Taqi resolved to strike at the very head of this monster of Babism and he imagined that, after such a blow which would definitely remove the instigator of that agitation and silence his appeal, the old order would be restored. Nevertheless, strange phenomenon in an Asiatic government, and especially in a statesmen like Mirza Taqi Khan who could indulge in excessive severity without scruple, this minister did not order the death of the reformer! He thought that the most effective way to destroy him was to ruin him morally; to bring him out of his retreat in Chihriq where a halo of suffering, holiness, science and eloquence made him radiate like a sun; to show him to the people just as he was--that is to say, just as he thought he was--was the best way to render him harmless by destroying his prestige. "He was picturing him as a vulgar charlatan, a weak dreamer who did not have courage enough to conceive, still less to direct the daring enterprises of his three apostles, or even to take part in them. Such a man, taken to Tihran and brought face to face with the most subtle dialecticians of Islam, could not but surrender shamefully. His influence would vanish the more rapidly than if while destroying his body, one allowed to linger in the minds of the people the phantom of a superiority which death would have consecrated. It was therefore decided to arrest him and bring him to Tihran and, on the way, to exhibit him publicly in chains and humiliated; to make him debate everywhere with the Mullas, silencing him whenever he would become too audacious; briefly, to engage him in a series of unequal encounters in which he would inevitably meet defeat, as he would have been previously demoralized and heartbroken. It was a lion that they were eager to unnerve, hold in chains and strip of claws and teeth, then turn him over to the dogs to show how easily they could overpower him. Once defeated, his ultimate fate was of little importance. "This plan was not devoid of sense, but it rested upon premises which were far from proven. It was not enough to imagine that the Bab was without courage and firmness, it was necessary that he be really so. But his conduct in the fort of Chihriq gave no such evidence. He prayed and worked unceasingly. His meekness was unfailing. Those who came near him felt in spite of themselves the fascinating influence of his personality, of his manner and of his speech. His guards were not free from that weakness. He (the Bab) felt that his death was near and he would frequently refer to it as to a thought that was not only familiar but even pleasant. Suppose, for a moment, that thus exhibited throughout Persia he would still remain undaunted? Suppose he would display neither arrogance nor fear but would rise far above his misfortune? Suppose that he succeeded in throwing into confusion the learned, subtle, and eloquent doctors arraigned against him? Suppose he would remain more than ever the Bab for his old followers and become so for the indifferent and even for his enemies? It was risking much in order to gain much, without doubt, but also perhaps to lose much and, after having weighed the matter with care, they dared not take the chance." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 211-213.)
Ch.XXII, p.504, f.1
"The prime minister, having summoned Sulayman Khan, the Afshar, asked him to carry to Tabriz, to the Prince Hamzih Mirza, governor of Adhirbayjan, the order to take the Bab out of the fort of Chihriq and to imprison him in the citadel of Tabriz where he would later be apprised of his fate." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 213.)
Ch.XXII, p.505, f.1
June 12-July 11, 1850 A.D.
Ch.XXII, p.505, f.2
According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 42), the Bab had produced no less than three hundred and sixty derivatives from the word "Baha."
Ch.XXII, p.505, f.3
Title by which Bahá'u'lláh was designated in those days.
Ch.XXII, p.505, f.4
"The end of the Bab's earthly Manifestation is now close upon us. He knew it himself before the event, and was not displeased at the presentiment. He had already `set his house in order,' as regards the spiritual affairs of the Babi community, which he had, if I mistake not, confided to the intuitive wisdom of Bahá'u'lláh.... It is impossible not to feel that this is far more probable than the view which makes Subh-i-Azal the custodian of the sacred writings and the arranger of a resting-place for the sacred remains. I much fear that the Azali's have manipulated tradition in the interest of their party." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 65-6.)
Ch.XXII, p.506, f.2
Persecutors of the descendants of Muhammad
Ch.XXII, p.507, f.1
"It is no doubt a singular coincidence that both Ali-Muhammad and Jesus Christ are reported to have addressed these words to a disciple: `To-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.'" (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 185.)
Ch.XXII, p.508, f.2
"On the following day, early in the morning, the people of Hamzih Mirza, having opened the doors of the prison, brought out the Bab and his disciples. They made sure that the irons which they had around their necks and on their wrists were secure; they tied to the iron collar of each one a long cord the end of which was held by a farrash. Then, so that everyone could see them well and recognize them, they walked them about the town, through the streets and the bazaars, overwhelming them with blows and insults. The crowd filled the streets and the people climbed upon each others' shoulders better to see this man who was so much talked about. The Babi's, scattered in all directions, were trying to arouse among some of the onlookers a little pity or some feeling of sympathy which might have helped them to save their Master. The indifferent ones, the philosophers, the Shaykhis, the Sufis, turned away from the sight with disgust and returned to their houses, or on the contrary waited for the Bab at a street corner and simply watched him with silent curiosity. The tattered crowd, restless and excitable, flung insulting words at the three martyrs, but they were all ready to change their minds with any sudden change of circumstances. "Finally, the victorious Muhammadans pursued the prisoners with insults, tried to break through the guard in order to strike them in the face or on the head and when they succeeded, or when a missile thrown by some child would strike the Bab or one of his companions in the face, the guard and the crowd would burst into laughter." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 220.)
Ch.XXII, p.512, f.1
"The Bab remained silent. His pale handsome face framed by a black beard and small mustache, his appearance and his refined manners, his white and delicate hands, his simple but very neat garments--everything about him awakened sympathy and compassion." (Journal Asiatique, 1866. tome 7, p. 378.)
Ch.XXII, p.512, f.2
"Proof of the devotion and steadfastness of this noble man is afforded by a letter in his own blessed writing which was in the possession of his brother Mulla Abdu'llah, who still lives in Tabriz. This letter he wrote from the prison, three days or two days before his martyrdom, in reply to his brother, who had written to him counselling him to turn aside from his devotion and thraldom; and therein he makes his apology. And since the martyr was the younger of the two brethren, therefore he adopts a respectful tone in his letter. The text of this letter of reply is as follows: `He is the Compassionate. O my Qiblih! Thanks be to God, I have no fault to find with my circumstances, and "to every travail rest succeeds." As to what you wrote, that this matter hath no end, what matter, then, hath an end? We, at least, have no discontent therein; being, indeed, unable sufficiently to express our gratitude for this blessing. At most we can but be slain for God's sake, and, oh, what happiness were this! The Lord's will must be accomplished through His servants, neither can prudence avert predestined fate. What God wills comes to pass: there is no strength save in God. O my Qiblih! The end of the life of the world is death: "every soul shall taste of death." If the appointed destiny which the Lord (mighty and glorious is He) hath decreed should overtake me, then God is the guardian of my family, and thou art my trustee; act in such wise as accords with God's good pleasure. Forgive any failure in the respect or duty owed to an elder brother of which I may have been guilty, seek pardon for me from all those of my household, and commend me to God. God is my portion, and how good is He as a guardian!'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 301-3.)
Ch.XXII, p.512, f.3
"When the condemned are shot in Persia, they are bound to a post looking away from the spectators so that they are not able to see the signals for execution given by the officer." (Journal Asiatique, 1866, tome 7, p. 377.)
Ch.XXII, p.513, f.1
"An intense clamor arose from the crowd at this moment as the onlookers saw the Bab freed from his bonds advancing towards them. Amazing to believe, the bullets had not struck the condemned but, on the contrary, had broken his bonds and he was delivered. It was a real miracle and God alone knows what would have happened without the fidelity and calm of the Christian regiment on this occurrence. The soldiers in order to quiet the excitement of the crowd which, being extremely agitated, was ready to believe the claims of a religion which thus demonstrated its truth, showed the cords broken by the bullets, implying that no miracle had really taken place. At the same time, they seized the Bab and tied him again to the fatal post. This time the execution was effective. Muhammadan justice and ecclesiastical law had asserted themselves. But the crowd, vividly impressed by the spectacle they had witnessed, dispersed slowly, hardly convinced that the Bab was a criminal. After all his crime was only a crime for the legalists and the world is indulgent toward crimes which it does not understand." (M.C. Huart's "La Religion du Bab," pp. 3-4.) "An extraordinary thing happened, unique in the annals of the history of humanity: the bullets cut the cords that held the Bab and he fell on his feet without a scratch." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 375.) "By a strange coincidence, the bullet only touched the cords which bound the Bab, they were broken and he felt himself free. Uproar and shouts arose on all sides, no one understanding at first what it was all about." (Ibid., p. 379.)
Ch.XXII, p.514, f.1 According to "A Traveller's Narrative" (p. 45), "the breasts [of the victims] were riddled and their limbs were completely dissected, except their faces, which were but little marred."
Ch.XXII, p.514, f.2
"Praise be to God who manifested the Point [the Bab] and caused to proceed therefrom the knowledge of all that was and shall be.... He is that Point which God hath made to be an Ocean of light unto the faithful among His servants, and a Ball of Fire unto the deniers among His creatures and the impious among His people." (Bahá'u'lláh, the "Ishraqat," p. 3.) "In His interpretation of the letter `Ha,' He craved martyrdom, saying: `Methinks I heard a voice calling in My inmost being: "Do Thou sacrifice the thing which Thou lovest most in the path of God, even as Husayn, peace be upon him, hath offered up his life for My sake." And were I not regardful of this inevitable mystery, by Him in whose hand is My soul, even if all the kings of the earth were to be leagued together, they would be powerless to take from Me a single letter; how much less can such servants as these, who are worthy of no attention, and who verily are of the outcast? that all may know the degree of My patience, My resignation and self-sacrifice in the path of God.'" (Idem, the "Kitab-i-Iqan," p. 195.) "The Bab, the Lord most high, may the life of all be a sacrifice unto Him, hath specifically revealed an Epistle unto the ulamas of every city, wherein He hath fully set forth the character of the denial and repudiation of each of them. Wherefore, take ye good heed, ye who are men of insight!" (Ibid., p. 193.) "This illustrious Soul arose with such power that He shook the supports of the religion, of the morals, the conditions, the habits and the customs of Persia, and instituted new rules, new laws, and a new religion. Though the great personages of the State, nearly all the clergy, and the public men, arose to destroy and annihilate Him, He alone withstood them, and moved the whole of Persia.... He imparted Divine education to an unenlightened multitude and produced marvellous results on the thoughts, morals, customs, and conditions of the Persians." (Abdu'l-Bahá, "Some Answered Questions," pp. 30-31.) "Christians believe that if Jesus Christ had wished to come down from the cross he could have done so easily; he died of his own free will because it was written that he should and in order that the prophecies might be fulfilled. The same is true of the Bab, so the Babi's say, who, in this way, gave a clear sanction to his teachings. He likewise died voluntarily because his death was to be the salvation of humanity. Who will ever tell us the words that the Bab uttered in the midst of the unprecedented turmoil which broke out as he ascended? Who will ever know the memories which stirred his noble soul? Who will reveal to us the secret of that death.... The sight of the baseness, the vices, the deceptions of that clergy shocked his pure and sincere soul: he felt the need of a thorough reform in public morals and he undoubtedly hesitated more than once, at the thought of a revolution, which seemed unavoidable, to free the bodies as well as the minds from the yoke of brutishness and violence which weighed upon all Persia for the selfish benefit of a minority ... of pleasure lovers, and to the greatest shame of the true religion of the Prophet. He must have been much perplexed, deeply anxious, and he stood in need of the triple shield of which Horace speaks, to throw himself headlong into that ocean of superstition and hatred which was fatally to engulf him. His life is one of the most magnificent examples of courage which it has been the privilege of mankind to behold, and it is also an admirable proof of the love which our hero felt for his fellow countrymen. He sacrificed himself for humanity, for it he gave his body and his soul, for it he endured privations, insults, torture and martyrdom. He sealed, with his very lifeblood, the covenant of universal brotherhood. Like Jesus he paid with his life for the proclamation of a reign of concord, equity and brotherly love. More than anyone he knew what dreadful dangers he was heaping upon himself. He had been able to see personally the degree of exasperation that a fanaticism, shrewdly aroused, could reach; but all these considerations could not weaken his resolve. Fear had no hold upon his soul and, perfectly calm, never looking back, in full possession of all his powers, he walked into the furnace." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, dit le Bab," pp. 203-204, 376.) "The head of the new religion was dead and, according to the provisions of the prime minister, the minds of the people would now be at peace and there was no room for further anxiety, at least from that source. But such political wisdom was baffled and, instead of appeasing the flames, it had fanned them into greater violence." "We shall see shortly, when I shall examine the religious dogmas preached by the Bab, that the perpetuity of the sect did not in the least depend upon his physical presence; all could proceed and grow without him. If the premier had been aware of this fundamental trait of the hostile religion, it is not likely that he would have been so eager to do away with a man whose existence, after all, would not have had any more significance than his death." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans +F3 l'Asie Centrale," pp. 224-225.) Such a prophet," writes the Rev. Dr. T. K. Cheyne, "was the Bab; we call him `prophet' for want of a better name, `yea, I say unto you, a prophet and more than a prophet.' His combination of mildness and power is so rare that we have to place him in a line with super-normal men.... We learn that at great points in his career, after he had been in an ecstasy, such radiance of might and majesty streamed from his countenance that none could bear to look upon the effulgence of his glory and beauty. Nor was it an uncommon occurrence for unbelievers involuntarily to bow down in lowly obeisance on beholding His Holiness-- while the inmates of the castle though for the most part Christians and Sunnis, reverently prostrated themselves whenever they saw the visage of His Holiness. Such transfiguration is well known to the saints. It was regarded as the affixing of the heavenly seal to the reality and completeness of [the] Bab's detachment." ("The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 8-9.) "Who can fail to be attracted by the gentle spirit of Mirza Ali-Muhammad? His sorrowful and persecuted life; his purity of conduct, and youth; his courage and uncomplaining patience under misfortune; his complete self-negation; the dim ideal of a better state of things which can be discerned through the obscure and mystic utterances of the Bayan; but most of all his tragic death, all serve to enlist our sympathies on behalf of the young Prophet of Shiraz. The irresistible charm which won him such devotion during his life still lives on, and still continues to influence the minds of the Persian people." (E. G. Browne's art. "The Babi's of Persia," Journal of J. R. A. S., 1889, p. 933.) "Few believe that by these sanguinary measures the doctrines of [the] Bab will cease from propagation. There is a spirit of change abroad among the Persians, which will preserve his system from extinction; besides which, his doctrines are of an attractive nature to Persians. Though now subdued, and obliged to lurk concealed in towns, it is conjectured that the creed of [the] Bab, far from diminishing, is daily spreading." Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," p. 181.) "The story of the Bab, as Mirza Ali-Muhammad called himself, was the story of spiritual heroism unsurpassed in Svabhava's experience; and his own adventurous soul was fired by it. That a youth of no social influence and no education should, by the simple power of insight, be able to pierce into the heart of things and see the real truth, and then hold on to it with such firmness of conviction and present it with such suasion that he was able to convince men that he was the Messiah and get them to follow him to death itself, was one of those splendid facts in human history that Svabhava loved to meditate on... The Bab's passionate sincerity could not be doubted, for he had given his life for his faith. And that there must be something in his message that appealed to men and satisfied their souls was witnessed to by the fact that thousands gave their lives in his cause and millions now follow him. If a young man could, in only six years of ministry, by the sincerity of his purpose and the attraction of his personality, so inspire rich and poor, cultured and illiterate, alike, with belief in himself and his doctrines that they would remain staunch though hunted down and without trial sentenced to death, sawn asunder, strangled, shot, blown from guns; and if men of high position and culture in Persia, Turkey and Egypt in numbers to this day adhere to his doctrines, his life must be one of those events in the last hundred years which is really worth study." (Sir Francis Younghusband's "The Gleam," pp. 183-4.) "Thus, in only his thirtieth year, in the year 1850, ended the heroic career of a true God-man. Of the sincerity of his conviction that he was God-appointed, the manner of his death is the amplest possible proof. In the belief that he would thereby save others from the error of their present beliefs he willingly sacrificed his life. And of his power of attaching men to him the passionate devotion of hundreds and even thousands of men who gave their lives in his cause is convincing testimony." (Ibid., p. 210.) "The Bab was dead, but not Babism. He was not the first, and still less the last, of a long line of martyrs who have testified that even in a country gangrened with corruption and atrophied with indifferentism like Persia, the soul of a nation survives, inarticulate perhaps, and in a way helpless, but still capable of sudden spasms of vitality." (Valentine Chirol's "The Middle Eastern Question," p. 120.)
Ch.XXII, p.517, f.1
July 9, 1850 A.D.
Ch.XXII, p.518, f.1
"`The Emperor of Russia,' he [Haji Mirza Jani] says, `sent to the Russian consul at Tabriz, bidding him fully investigate and report the circumstances of His Holiness the Bab. As Soon as this news arrived, they, i.e. the Persian authorities, put the Bab to death. The Russian consul summoned Aqa Siyyid Muhammad-i-Husayn, the Bab's amanuensis, who was imprisoned at Tabriz, into his presence, and enquired concerning the signs and circumstances of His Holiness. Aqa Siyyid Husayn, because there were Musulmans present, dared not speak plainly about his Master, but managed by means of hints to communicate sundry matters, and also gave him [the Russian consul] certain of the Bab's writings.' That this statement is, in part at least, true is proved by the testimony of Dorn, who, in describing a M.S. of one of the Bab's `Commentaries on the Names of God' (which he calls `Qur'an der Babi') says, on p. 248 of vol. 8 of the Bulletin de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg, that it was `received directly from the Bab's own secretary, who, during his imprisonment at Tabriz, placed it in European hands.'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 395-6.)
Ch.XXII, p.519, f.1
"Following an immemorial custom of the Orient, usage exemplified at the siege of Bethulie as well as at the tomb of our Lord, the sentinel is a soldier who sleeps, to his heart's content, at the post which he is expected to guard." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 166.) "We have been able to see throughout this history what the Persian guards are; their functions consist principally in sleeping by the trust that they are given to watch over." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 378.)
Ch.XXII, p.519, f.2
"M. de Gobineau, in agreement with the authors of the Nasikhu't-Tavarikh, of Rawdatu's-Safa, of Mir'atu'l-Buldan, in a word with all the official historians, relates that after the execution the body of the Bab was thrown in a moat of the city and devoured by dogs. In reality it was not so, and we shall see why this news had been spread by the authorities of Tabriz (little eager to draw upon themselves a rebuke of the government for a favor dearly sold) and by the Babi's, desirous to prevent any further investigation by the police. The most reliable testimony of the actual witnesses of the drama or of its actors do not leave me any doubt that the body of Siyyid Ali-Muhammad was carried away by pious hands and, at last, after various incidents which I shall narrate, received a burial worthy of him." (Ibid., p. 377.)
Ch.XXII, p.521, f.1
"Tihran is thus endowed in respect of the mausoleum and sanctuary of Shah Abdu'l'-Azim. Reposing beneath a golden-plated dome, whose scintillations I had seen from afar while riding towards the city, the remains of this holy individual are said to attract an annual visitation of 300 thousand persons. I find that most writers discreetly veil their ignorance of the identity of the saint by describing him as `a holy Musulman, whose shrine is much frequented by the pious Tihranis. It appears, however, that long before the advent of Islam this had been a sacred spot, as the sepulchre of a lady of great sanctity, in which connection it may be noted that the shrine is still largely patronised by women. Here, after the Musulman conquest, was interred Imam-Zadih Hamzih, the son of the seventh Imam, Musa-Kazim; and here, flying from the Khalif Mutavakkil, came a holy personage named Abu'l-Qasim Abdu'l-'Azim, who lived in concealment at Rayy till his death in about 861 A.D. (This is the account given by the Persian Kitab-i-Majlisi, quoting Shaykh Najashi, quoting Barki.) Subsequently his fame obscured that of his more illustrious predecessor. Successive sovereigns, particularly those of the reigning dynasty, have extended and beautified the cluster of buildings raised above his grave, the ever-swelling popularity of which has caused a considerable village to spring up around the hallowed site. The mosque is situated in the plain, about six miles to the south-southeast of the capital, just beyond the ruins of Rayy, and at the extremity of the mountain-spur that encloses the Tihran plain the southeast." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," pp. 345-7.)
Ch.XXII, p.521, f.2
A local shrine in Tihran.
Ch.XXII, p.526, f.1
"It is true," writes Lord Curzon, "that his [Nasiri'd-Din Shah's] reign has been disfigured by one or two acts of regrettable violence; worst among which was the murder of his first Prime Minister, Mirza Taqi Khan, the Amir-Nizam.... The brother-in-law of the Shah, and the first subject in the kingdom, he owed the vindictiveness of court intrigue and to the maliciously excited jealously of his youthful sovereign, a disgrace which his enemies were not satisfied until they had fulfilled by the death of their fallen, but still formidable victim." ("Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 1, p. 402.)
Ch.XXII, p.526, f.2
"Every one knew that the Babis had foretold the death of the prime minister and predicted the manner of his going. It happened precisely, it is said, as the martyrs of Zanjan, Mirza Rida, Haji Muhammad-'Ali and Haji Muhsin had announced. Fallen into disgrace and pursued by the royal hatred, his veins were slashed open in the village of Fin, near Kashan, as the veins of his victims had been slashed. His successor was Mirza Aqa Khan-i-Nuri of a noble tribe of Mazindaran, and erstwhile minister of war. This new official took the title of Sadr-i-A'zam which is the privilege of the grand viziers of the Ottoman Empire. This occurred in 1852. (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 230.)
Ch.XXIV, p.527, f.1
Capital of the district of Khamsih. "Khamsih is a small province to the east of Kaflan-Kuh or Mountain of the Tiger, between Iraq and Adhirbayjan. Its capital, Zanjan, is a beautiful city surrounded by an embattled wall fortified with towers like all Persian cities. The inhabitants are of the Turkish race and the Persian language is seldom spoken, unless it be by government employees. The surrounding country is studded with villages which are fairly prosperous. Powerful tribes visit them, especially in the winter and spring." (Ibid., p. 191.)
Ch.XXIV, p.529, f.1
"Now in these years [A.H. 1266 and 1267] throughout all Persia fire fell on the households of the Babi's, and each one of them, in whatever hamlet he might be, was, on the slightest suspicion arising, put to the sword. More than four thousand souls were slain, and a great multitude of women and children, left without protector or helper, distracted and confounded, were trodden down and destroyed." ("A Traveller's Narrative," pp. 47-8.)
Ch.XXIV, p.529, f.2
"There lived in that city a mujtahid called Mulla Muhammad-'Aliy-i-Zanjani. He was a native of Mazindaran and studied under a celebrated master. Dignified with the title of Sharifu'l-'Ulama, Muhammad-'Ali had concentrated his attention on dogmatic theology and jurisprudence, and had become famous. The Muhammadans affirm that, in his function as mujtahid, he showed himself restless and turbulent. No question ever seemed to him either sufficiently studied or properly solved. His repeated fatvas disconcerted the conscience and confused the practices of the faithful. Eager for change, he was neither tolerant in discussion nor moderate in debate. Sometimes he would unduly prolong the fast of Ramadan for reasons which no one had advanced before; sometimes he would alter the ritual of prayer in quite a novel way. He became obnoxious to the peaceful and odious to the traditionalists. But it is also admitted that he counted many followers who considered him a saint, prized his zeal, and put their faith in him. An impartial judge could recognize in him one of the Muhammadans who are only so in appearance, but urged on by a living faith and an abundant religious zeal for which they are eager to find a scope. His misfortune was that he found, or thought he found, a natural use for his powers in the overthrow of traditions whose minor significance did not justify such a disturbance." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 191-192.)
Ch.XXIV, p.529, f.3
Ch.XXIV, p.529, f.4
"Among the Ulamas of the city was a man called Akhund Mulla Abdu'r-Rahim renowned for his piety. He had a son who lived in Najaf and at Karbila where he attended the lectures of the celebrated Sharifu'l-'Ulamay-i-Mazindarani. This young man was of a restless nature and rather impatient with the narrowness of Shi'ism." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 332.)
Ch.XXIV, p.530, f.1
"On his way back from the Holy Land he stopped at Hamadan where the citizens welcomed him cordially and entreated him to remain." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 336.)
Ch.XXIV, p.530, f.2
"All the Ulamas of the city called on him and left concerned over the few words which he had spoken and which revealed quite a novel turn of mind. Indeed the attitude of the newcomer very quickly proved to these pious men that their conjectures were well founded." (Ibid.)
Ch.XXIV, p.530, f.3
"There was a caravansary of the days of Shah-'Abbas which had gradually become a sighih-khanih: in order to prevent a breach of the Shiite law a certain Mulla Dust-Muhammad who made his residence there, would bless the transitory union between the male visitors to the place and the inmates. Hujjatu'l-Islam, such was the title which our hero had assumed, ordered the institution to be closed, gave in marriage the greater number of these women and secured employment for the others in respectable families. He also caused a wine dealer to be whipped and his house to be torn down." (Ibid., pp. 332-333.)
Ch.XXIV, p.530, f.4
"But this was the limit of his activity. Always troubled with the problems raised by a religion founded upon hadiths which were frequently contradictory, he perplexed the conscience of the faithful by peculiar fatvas which upset old traditions. Thus he restored the hadith according to which Muhammad would have said: The month of Ramadan is always full.' Without investigating the origin of that tradition, without enquiring whether those who had related it were worthy of faith, he commanded that it should be literally obeyed, thus inducing his hearers to fast on the day of Fitr which is held to be a grievous sin. He also permitted that prostrations be made at prayer time by resting the head upon a crystal stone. All these innovations won for him a large number of partisans who admired his science and his activity; but they displeased the official clergy whose hatred, further augmented by anxiety, soon knew no bounds." (Ibid., p. 333.)
Ch.XXIV, p.532, f.1
"Hujjat came and, by his courtesy and his captivating personality, soon won over all those who came in contact with him, even His Majesty. One day, so the story goes, he was in the palace of the Shah with several of his colleagues, when one of them, an Ulama of Kashan, brought out a document and besought the king to sign it. It was a royal decree granting certain stipends. Hujjat rose up and bitterly denounced a clergy who begged pensions from the government. He had recourse to the hadiths and to the Qur'an to show how shameful was such a practice which had originated with the Bani-Umayyih. His colleagues were beside themselves with anger, but the Shah, pleased with such frankness, presented our hero with a staff and a ring and authorized him to return to Zanjan." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 373-374.)
Ch.XXIV, p.532, f.2
"The inhabitants of Zanjan came in crowds to meet him and offered sacrifices of oxen, chickens and sheep. Twelve children, each twelve years of age, with red kerchiefs about their necks to show their readiness to sacrifice their all, were in the center of the cortege. It proved a triumphal entry." (Ibid., p. 334.)
Ch.XXIV, p.532, f.3
"He transformed his disciples into models of virtue and temperance; henceforth the men quenched their thirst at the fountains of spiritual life. They fasted during three months, lengthened their prayers by adding to them daily the invocation of Ja'far-i-Tayyar, performing once a day their ablutions with the water of the Qur (legal measure of purity) and finally on Fridays they crowded the Mosques." (Ibid., p. 334.)
Ch.XXIV, p.533, f.1
"Finally, he uttered in a clear voice the Friday prayer which must be said instead of the habitual daily one said when the Imam comes. He then expounded several sayings of the Bab and concluded thus: `The goal for which the world has been striving is now here, free from veils and obstacles. The sun of Truth has risen and the lights of imagination and imitation have been extinguished. Fix your eyes upon the Bab, not upon me, the least of his slaves. My wisdom compared to his is as an unlighted candle to the sun at midday. Know God by God and the sun by its rays. So, today has appeared the Sahibu'z-Zaman. The Sultan of Possibilities is living.' Needless to say, these words made a deep impression upon the audience. Nearly all accepted this message and conversed among themselves regarding the true nature of the Bab." (Ibid., p. 335.)
Ch.XXIV, p.533, f.2
"The conversion of Mulla Muhammad-'Ali and his numerous partisans had in fact exhausted the patience of the Imam-Jum'ih and of Shaykhu'l-Islam. They wrote indignant letters to His Majesty who in reply gave orders for the arrest of the offender." (Ibid., p. 336.)
Ch.XXIV, p.539, f.1
"He was in Tihran until the day when, after the death of Muhammad Shah, Nasir'd-Din Mirza now Nasiri'd-Din Shah, appointed as governor of Zanjan, one of his uncles, Amir Arslan Khan Majdu'd-Dawlih, who was Ishiq Aghasi of the palace." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 337.)
Ch.XXIV, p.540, f.1
"He made a triumphant entry into his native city. Now that he was a Babi, to his old friends were added the believers in the new doctrine. A large number of men, rich and respected, soldiers, merchants, even Mullas came to meet him, at a distance of one or two stations away, and conducted him home, not as an exile who returns, not as a suppliant who asks only rest, not even as a rival strong enough to demand respect, but he entered as a master." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 193.) "The author of `Nasikhu't-Tavarikh' himself acknowledged that a goodly number of citizens of Zanjan, and among them high officials, traveled the distance of two stations to meet him. He was received like a conqueror and many heads of sheep were sacrificed in his honor. None of his opponents dared ask him why he had left Tihran and had returned to Zanjan; but Islam was severely tried as the Zanjanis did not hesitate to preach throughout the city the new doctrine. The Muhammadan writer points out that all the Zanjanis were simple-minded and so fell easily into the snare; but contradicting himself he declares that only the knaves, greedy for worldly possessions, and the impious ones gathered round the new leader. However they were quite numerous and, according to his story, about fifteen thousand, which seems rather an exaggerated estimate." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 337-338.)
Ch.XXIV, p.540, f.2
"Majdu'd-Dawlih, governor of the city, a cruel, heartless and severe man, enraged at the news of the return of so troublesome a person as Hujjat, ordered that Muhammad Big be whipped and that the tongue of Karbila'i Vali be cut out." (Ibid., p. 337.)
Ch.XXIV, p.542, f.2
"At the spectacle, the Muhammadans took flight and the wounded man was cared for the aunt of Mir Salah in her own house." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 341.)
Ch.XXIV, p.543, f.1
May 16, 1850 A.D.
Ch.XXIV, p.543, f.2
"The governor and the Ulamas wrote to His Majesty reports in which their fear and perplexity were revealed. The Shah, hardly rid of the war in Mazindaran and enraged at the thought of another sedition in another section of his empire, urged also by his son Sadr-i-A'zam and by the ulamas who had declared a holy war, gave orders to kill the Babis and plunder their possessions. It was on Friday the third of Rajab that the order came to Zanjan." (Ibid., pp. 341-342.)
Ch.XXIV, p.544, f.1
"All was bewildering confusion. The Muhammadans were frantically running to and fro, looking for their wives, their children or their belongings. They came and went crazed, aghast, weeping over what they had to abandon. Families were separated, fathers thrusting back their sons, wives their husbands, children their mothers. Whole houses remained deserted. so great was the haste, and the governor sent soldiers to the neighboring villages to secure new recruits for the holy war." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 342.)
Ch.XXIV, p.544, f.2
"The Babis, on the other hand, were not passive. They were organizing for their own protection. Hujjat was exhorting them never to attack but always to defend themselves. `Brothers,' he would say to them, `do not be ashamed of me. Do not believe that because you are the companions of the Sahibu'z-Zaman you are to conquer the world by the sword. I take God as witness; they will kill you, they will burn you, they will send your heads from town to town. The only victory in store for you is to sacrifice yourselves, your wives and your possessions. God has always decreed that in every age the blood of the believers is to be the oil of the lamp of religion. You have learned of the tortures endured by the saintly martyrs of Mazindaran. They were put to death because they affirmed that the promised Mihdi had come. I say to you, whosoever has not the strength to bear such torture, let him go over to the other side for we will have to endure martyrdom. Is not our master in their power?'" (Ibid., pp. 342-343.)
Ch.XXIV, p.545, f.1
"Picture to yourself a Persian city. The streets are narrow, of a width of four or five or eight feet at the most. The surface unpaved has so many holes that one must proceed cautiously to avoid breaking one's legs. The houses, with no windows opening on the street, present on both sides unbroken walls, generally about fifteen feet high and topped with a terrace without a railing, sometimes crowned by a bala-Khanih or open pavilion which is usually an indication of a wealthy house. All that is of adobe or bricks baked in the sun. The uprights are of bricks baked in the kiln. This type, of venerable antiquity and in use even before historical times in the ancient cities of Mesopotamia, has many advantages: it is inexpensive, it is sanitary, it adapts itself to modest or pretentious plans; it can be a cottage or a palace entirely covered with mosaics, brilliant paintings and gold ornaments. But, as is always the case in this world, so many advantages are offset by the ease with which such dwellings crumble to pieces. Cannon balls are not needed, the rain is quite sufficient to demolish them. Thus we can visualize these famous sites covered, according to tradition, with immense cities of which nothing remains but ruins of temples and palaces and mounds scattered over the plains. "In a few years whole districts vanish without leaving a trace, if the houses are not kept in repair. As all the cities of Persia are constructed after the same plan and of the same material, it is easy to visualize Zanjan with her crenellated walls with high towers, her crooked streets unpaved and full of ruts. In the midst of these rose a formidable citadel called `Chateau d''Ali-Mardan Khan.'" (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 197-198.)
Ch.XXIV, p.546, f.1
"He [the governor of Zanjan] fearing for himself at once took measures to safeguard his authority and forwarded to Mirza Muhammad-Taqi Khan Amir-i-Kabir a garbled account of the affair; for he was fearful lest another should acquire more influence than he possessed and so his authority and consideration should be weakened. In consequence of his representations Siyyid Ali Khan Lieutenant-Colonel of Firuz-Kuh received the royal command to proceed with a numerous body of horse and foot to Zanjan, and to arrest Mulla Muhammad-'Ali, who had retired with his followers (nearly five thousand in number) to the citadel. On his arrival Siyyid Ali Khan laid siege to the citadel and thus was the fire of strife kindled, and day by day the number of those slain on either side increased until at length he suffered an ignominious defeat and was obliged to ask for reinforcements from the capital. The government wished to send Ja'far-Quli Khan, Lieutenant-Colonel, the brother of I'timadu'd-Dawlih, but he excused himself, and said to Mirza Taqi Khan Amir-i-Kabir: `I'm not an Ibn-i-Ziyad to go and make war on a band of siyyids and men of learning of whose tenets I know nothing, though I should be ready enough to fight Russians Jews or other infidels.' Other officers besides him showed a disinclination to take part in this war. Amongst these was Mir Siyyid Husayn Khan of Firuz-Kuh, whom Mirza Taqi Khan the Amir dismissed and disgraced as soon as he became acquainted with his sentiments. So also many of the officers who were of the sect of the Aliyu'llahis, although they went to the war withdrew from it when they learned more of the matter. For their chief had forbidden them to fight, and therefore they fled. For it is written in their books that when the soldiers of Guran shall come to the capital of the king then the Lord of the Age (whom they call God) shall appear; and this prophecy was now accomplished. They also possess certain poems which contain the date of the Manifestation, and these too came true. So they were convinced that this was the Truth become manifest, and begged to be excused from taking part in the war, which thing they declared themselves unable to do. And to the Babis they said: `In subsequent conflicts, when the framework of your religion shall have gathered strength, we will help you.' In short, when the officers of the army perceived in their opponents naught but devotion, godliness, and piety, some wavered in secret and did not put forth their full strength in the war." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 138-43.)
Ch.XXIV, p.547, f.1
According to Gobineau (p. 198), he was the grandson of Haji Muhammad Husayn Khan-i-Isfahani.
Ch.XXIV, p.547, f.2
"On the fourth day, the Muhammadans saw with great joy Sadru'd-Dawlih, grandson of Haji Muhammad-Husayn Khan of Isfahan, enter their section of the city coming from Sultaniyyih, at the head of the tribe of Khamsih. For several days thereafter, reinforcements arrived in great numbers. First of all, Siyyid Ali Khan and Shahbar Khan, one from Firuz-Kuh, the other from Maraghih, with two hundred horsemen from their respective tribes. After them came Muhammad-'Ali Khan-i-Shah-Sun with two hundred mounted afshars; fifty artillerymen with two field guns and two mortars, so that the governor was provided with as much assistance as he could have wished and surrounded with a goodly number of military chieftains, among whom were several who were famous throughout the country." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," 198-199.) "One of the most terrible encounters related in the journal of the siege, is the one which took place on the fifth of Ramadan. Mustafa Khan, Qajar, with the fifteenth regiment of Shigaghi Sadru'd-Dawlih with his horsemen of Khamsih; Siyyid Ali Khan of Firuz-Kuh with his own regiment; Muhammad Aqa, colonel, with the regiment of Nasir called the royal regiment; Muhammad-'Ali Khan with the Afshar cavalry; Major Nabi Big with his cavalry and a troop made up of loyal citizens of Zanjan; all these men at dawn attacked the fortifications of the Babis. The resistance of the Babis was magnificent but disastrous. They saw their best leaders fall, one after another, leaders brave and true, saints who could not be replaced: Nur-'Ali the hunter; Bakhsh-'Ali the carpenter; Khudadad and Fathu'llah Big, all indispensable to the attainment of victory. They all fell, some in the morning and others in the evening." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 200.)
Ch.XXIV, p.548, f.1
"I have seen at Zanjan the ruins of that fierce encounter; whole sections of the city have not yet been rebuilt and probably never will be. Some of those who took part in the tragedy have related to me upon the very spot certain incidents: the Babis ascended and descended the terraces while carrying their cannon with them. Sometimes the earthen floor, not very firm, gave way and they had to raise the heavy gun again by dint of man power and had to prop the ground up with beams. When the enemy approached the crowd surrounded the guns with enthusiasm, all arms extended to lift them up and, when the carriers fell under the bullets of the assailants, a hundred comrades vied with each other for the honor of replacing them. Assuredly this was true faith!" (Ibid., pp. 200-201.)
Ch.XXIV, p.551, f.1
Ch.XXIV, p.552, f.1
"God the Great."
Ch.XXIV, p.552, f.2
"God the Most Great."
Ch.XXIV, p.552, f.3
"God the Most Beauteous."
Ch.XXIV, p.552, f.4
"God the Most Glorious."
Ch.XXIV, p.552, f.5
"God the Most Pure."
Ch.XXIV, p.556, f.1
According to Gobineau (p. 202), Aziz Khan was "general-in-chief of the troops of Adhirbayjan and then first aide-de-camp of the king. He was passing through Zanjan, on his way to Tiflis, to congratulate the grand duke, heir apparent of Russia, on the occasion of his arrival in Caucasia."
Ch.XXIV, p.557, f.2
"Muhammad Khan, then Bigliyirbigi and Mir-panj, or general of the division, today become Amir-Tuman, joined the troops already engaged in this city; he brought them three thousand men of the regiments of Shigaghi and certain regiments of the guards with six cannon and two mortars. Almost at the same time Qasim Khan arrived from the frontier of Karabagh, entering Zanjan from another quarter, and the major Arslan Khan with cavalry from Khirghan, and Ali-Agbar, captain of Khuy, arrived with infantry. For each one had received orders from the king and they were all hastening to comply." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 201.)
Ch.XXIV, p.560, f.2
There is no God but God.
Ch.XXIV, p.561, f.1
"The Exalted Spot," title given to Zanjan by the Bab.
Ch.XXIV, p.562, f.1
"Mother of Ashraf."
Ch.XXIV, p.563, f.1
"The desperate resistance offered by the Babis must therefore be attributed less to the strength of the position which they occupied than to the extraordinary valour with which they defended themselves even the women took part in the defence, and I subsequently heard it stated on good authority that like the Carthaginian women of old, they cut off their long hair and bound it round the crazy guns to afford them the necessary support." (E. G. Browne's "A Year amongst the Persians," p. 74.)
Ch.XXIV, p.564, f.1
"Decidedly the situation was becoming critical for the Muhammadans and it looked as though they would never overcome such a tenacious resistance. Moreover, why take so much trouble? Why endanger uselessly the lives,--not of the soldiers, mere cannon fodder they,--but those of the officers and the generals? Why expose oneself daily to ridicule and to defeat? Why not follow the example of Shaykh Tabarsi? Why not resort to deceit? Why not make the most sacred promises, even though it might later become necessary to massacre those gullibles who had put their trust in them?" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 350.)
Ch.XXIV, p.567, f.1
Ch.XXIV, p.567, f.2
Ch.XXIV, p.568, f.1
"Finally the threats of the court, the encouragement and the reinforcements arrived so fast, there was such a disproportion as to soldiers and supplies between the Babis and their adversaries that the outcome became both evident and imminent." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 203.)
Ch.XXIV, p.569, f.1
"The regiment of Karrus under the command of the chief of the tribe, Hasan-'Ali Khan (today minister to Paris), took the fort of Ali-Mardan Khan; the fourth regiment broke into the house of Aqa Aziz, one of the strongholds of the city, and burnt it to the ground; the regiment of guards blew up the hotel located near the Hamadan gate and, though it lost one captain and several soldiers, nevertheless it remained in possession of the place." (Ibid., p. 203.)
Ch.XXIV, p.573, f.1
January 8, 1851 A.D.
Ch.XXIV, p.575, f.1
"Then Muhammad Khan Bigliyirbigi, Amir Arslan Khan and the other commanders, although they had guaranteed on their honor to spare the lives of the Babis, assembled them in front of their troops to the accompaniment of drums and trumpets and ordered one hundred men, chosen from the different regiments, to take the prisoners and place them in a row. The command was then given to pierce them with bayonets, which was done. Then the leaders of the Babis, Sulayman the shoemaker and Haji Kazim Giltughi were blown to pieces from the mouths of mortars. This type of execution invented in Asia, but practised also by the English troops during the revolt in India, with the refinement with which European science and intelligence invest everything they do, consists in tying the victim to the mouth of the cannon loaded with powder. When the explosion takes place, the victim is torn to pieces, the size of the pieces depending upon the amount of powder used. "The execution over, the captives were sorted again. They set aside Mirza Rida, lieutenant of Mulla Muhammad-'Ali, and on all those of high standing or importance they placed chains about their necks and shackles on their hands and feet. They then decided to disregard the royal command and to take them to Tihran in order to augment their triumph. As for the few unfortunates who were left and whose life or death was of no importance to anyone, they were abandoned and the victorious army returned to the capital, dragging with them their prisoners, who walked ahead of the horses of the victorious generals. "Upon their arrival in Tihran, the Amir Nizam, prime minister, found it necessary to make an example of this new execution and Mirza Rida, Haji Muhammad-'Ali and Haji Muhsin were condemned to have their veins slashed open. The three victims learned the news without betraying the least emotion; they declared, nevertheless, that the lack of good faith, of which the authorities had been guilty, was not one of those crimes that the Almighty could be satisfied with punishing in the ordinary way; He would demand a punishment more impressive and striking for the persecutors of His saints. Consequently, they foretold that the prime minister would very soon suffer the same death that he was inflicting upon them. "I have heard this prophecy referred to and I do not doubt for an instant that they who informed me of it, were firmly convinced of its truth. I must however state here that when I was told about it, four years had elapsed since the Amir-Nizam was thus put to death by royal edict. The only thing I can affirm therefore is that I was given assurance that the prophecy had really been made by the martyrs of Zanjan." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 207-209.)
Ch.XXIV, p.576, f.2
"God is Most Great."
Ch.XXIV, p.577, f.1
"After the execution, the spectators invaded the field of death, some searching for the body of a friend in order to bury it, others moved only by morbid curiosity. It is said that a Muhammadan, named Vali-Muhammad, came upon the body of one of his neighbours and, noticing that he was not quite dead, he called to him and said, `I am your neighbor Vali-Muhammad. If you need anything call on me.' The other indicated that he was thirsty. Immediately the Muhammadan fetched a large stone and returning to his neighbor, said, `Open your mouth, I bring you water.' As the dying man complied he crushed his head with the stone. "At last, the Bigliyirbigi started for Tihran, taking with him forty-four prisoners among whom were the son of Mirza Rida, Haji Muhammad-'Ali and Haji Muhsin the surgeon. These three were put to death after their arrival, the others were doomed to rot in prison." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 363.)
Ch.XXIV, p.577, f.2
"It was not enough for them to have gained the victory, they had even to insult the bodies of their enemies. They were eager to question the Babis but, no matter how great the torture with which they threatened them, the Babis refused to speak. They poured boiling oil upon the head of Aqa Din-Muhammad, but he remained silent. Finally, the Sardar had the son of the deceased chief brought before him. This child was but seven years of age, his name was Aqa Husayn and, through clever threats and insidious flattery, they succeeded in making him speak." (Ibid., p. 361.)
Ch.XXV, p.582, f.1
January 9, 1889 A.D.
Ch.XXV, p.586, f.1
Ch.XXV, p.587, f.1
Ch.XXV, p.587, f.2
June 1-30, 1851 A.D.
Ch.XXV, p.587, f.3
One of the Bab's best-known works.
Ch.XXV, p.588, f.1
"From his childhood, Siyyid Basir showed signs of the wonderful faculties which he afterwards manifested. For seven years he enjoyed the blessings of sight, but then, even as the vision of his soul became clear, a veil of darkness fell on his outward eyes. From his infancy, he had displayed his good disposition and amiable character both in word and deed, he now added to this a singular piety and soberness of life. At length, at the age of twenty-one, he set out with great pomp and state (for he had much wealth in India) to perform the pilgrimage; and, on reaching Persia, began to associate with every sect and party (for he was well acquainted with the doctrines and tenets of all), and to give away large religious discipline. And since his ancestors had foretold that in those days a Perfect Man should appear in Persia, was continually engaged in making enquiries. He visited Mecca and, after performing the rites of the pilgrimage, proceeded to the holy shrines of Karbila and Najaf, where he met the late Haji Siyyid Kazim, for whom he conceived a sincere friendship. He then returned to India; but, on reaching Bombay, he heard that one claiming to be the Bab had appeared in Persia, whereupon he at once turned back thither." (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 245-6.)
Ch.XXV, p.590, f.1
Compilations of Muhammadan traditions.
Ch.XXV, p.593, f.1
July 30-August 28, 1851 A.D.
Ch.XXVI, p595, f.1
Ch.XXVI, p.595, f.2
"About four miles to the southwest of Kashan, on the slopes of the mountains, is situated the palace of Fin, the springs of which have rendered it a favourite resort of royalty from early times.... In later times, a gloomier memory has attached to the palace of Fin; for here, in 1852, Mirza Taqi Khan, the first great minister of the reigning Shah, and brother-in-law of the king, was put to death by the Royal order, his veins being opened in a bath. The place is now deserted." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 2, p.16.) "A lady of the harem was sent to the Princess, telling her to dry her tears, for that the Shah had relented, and that the Amir was to return to Tihran or go to Karbila, the usual haven for Persians who have lost court favour. `The khal'at or coat of honour,' said she, "is on the way, and will arrive in an hour or two; go therefore, to the bath, and prepare to receive it.' The Amir all this time had not once ventured to quit the safety afforded by the apartment of the Princess, and of her presence. On hearing the joyful news, however, he resolved to take the advice of this woman, and indulge in the luxury of a bath. He left the Princess, and she never saw him more. When he reached the bath the fatal order was revealed to him, and the crime perpetrated. The farrash-bashi and his vile crew presented themselves, and the choice of the mode of death was given to him. It is said he bore his fate with patience and fortitude. His veins were opened, and he at length expired." (Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," pp. 251-2.)
Ch.XXVI, p.598, f.1
His title was the I'timadu'd-Dawlih, the Trusted of the State. (Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," p. 249.)
Ch.XXVI, p.598, f.2
April 21-May 21, 1852 A.D.
Ch.XXVI, p599, f.1
"Shimiran or Shimran (sometimes used in the plural, Shimranat) is the name applied generally to the villages and mansions situated on the lower slopes descending from Elburz which serve as summer residences to the wealthier inhabitants of Tihran." ("Traveller's Narrative," p. 81, footnote 1.)
Ch.XXVI, p.599, f.2
Shavval 28; August 15, 1852 A.D.
Ch.XXVI, p.599, f.3
"In the morning, the king went out for a horseback ride. Before him, as usual, went equerries carrying long lances, grooms leading horses with embroidered saddle cloths, and a group of nomad riders with their rifles slung over the shoulder and their swords hanging from their saddles. This vanguard preceded the king in order that he might not be annoyed by the dust raised by the cavalry, and the king followed along slowly, a little distance from the retinue of the great lords, chiefs and officers who accompanied him everywhere. He was near the palace and had barely passed the small door of the garden of Muhammad-Hasan, Sanduq-dar or treasurer of the Savings, when he noticed, at the side of the road, three men, three gardeners, standing two on the left, and one on the right side, seemingly waiting for him. He did not suspect danger and rode on. When quite close, he saw them bow very low and he heard them cry out together, `We are your sacrifice! We make a request.' This is the traditional formula, but instead of remaining aloof as is customary, they rushed on him repeating, `We make a request!' Surprised, the king shouted, `Rascals, what do you want?' At that moment, the man on his right took hold of the bridle of the horse and fired upon the king. In the meantime, the two men on the left fired also. One of the shots cut the collar of pearls adorning the horse's neck, another riddled with buckshot the right arm and back of the king. Immediately, the man on the right pulled on the leg of His Majesty and would have unsaddled him, had it not been that the two assassins on the left were pulling on the other side. The king was striking his assailants on the head with his fists, while the jumping of the frightened horse paralyzed their efforts and delayed their aggression. The royal retinue, at first dumbfounded, hurried towards their master. Asadu'llah Khan, the grand equerry, and one of the nomad riders killed the man on the right with their swords. In the meantime, several lords threw down the other two men and bound them. "Doctor Cloquet, the court physician, had the king brought quickly into the garden of Muhammad-Hasan, Sanduq-dar; as no one seemed to know what had really happened, and those who sensed an imminent danger, had no idea of what a catastrophe it might be. During more than an hour, a great tumult reigned in the city of Niyavaran, while ministers headed by the Sadr-i-A'zam rushed into the garden. The bugles, the drums, the tambourines and the fifes were calling the troops together; the ghulams came riding at full speed; everyone was giving orders, no one saw, heard or knew anything. In the midst of this confusion a courier arrived from Tihran, sent by Ardishir Mirza, governor of the city, to enquire what had happened and what measures should be taken in the capital, for, on the previous evening, the rumor had grown into a certainty that the king had been assassinated. The bazaars, policed by men in arms, had been deserted by the merchants. All night long, bakeries had been surrounded, everyone trying to store up provisions for several days, as people do when they foresee trouble. "At dawn, as the agitation grew, Ardishir Mirza had ordered the gates of the citadel of the town closed, put the regiment on a war footing, and pointed his guns, although he did not know who the enemy was; and now he was asking for orders." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 231-233.)
Ch.XXVI, p.600, f.1
Lord Curzon, who regards this event as being "most unfairly mistaken for a revolutionary and anarchical conspiracy," writes as follows: "From the facts that Babism in its earliest years found itself in conflict with the civil powers, and that an attempt was made by Babis upon the life of the Shah, it has been wrongly inferred that the movement was political in origin and Nihilist in character. It does not appear from a study of the writings either of the Bab or his successors, that there is any foundation for such a suspicion. The persecution of the government very early drove the adherents of the new creed into an attitude of rebellion; and in the exasperation produced by the struggle, and by the ferocious brutality with which the rights of conquest were exercised by the victors, it was not surprising if fanatical hands were found ready to strike the sovereign down. At the present time the Babis are equally loyal with any other subjects of the Crown. Nor does there appear to be any greater justice in the charges of socialism, communism, and immorality, that have so freely been levelled at the youthful persuasion. Certainly no such idea as communism in the European sense, i.e., a forcible redistribution of property, or as socialism in the nineteenth century sense i.e., the defeat of capital by labour, ever entered the brain of the Bab or his disciples. The only communism known to and recommended by him was that of the New Testament and the early Christian Church, viz the sharing of goods in common by members of the faith, and the exercise of almsgiving, and an ample charity. The charge of immorality seems to have arisen partly from the malignant inventions of opponents, partly from the much greater freedom claimed for women by the Bab, which in the Oriental mind is scarcely dissociable from profligacy of conduct.... Broadly regarded, Babism may be defined as a creed of charity, and almost of common humanity. Brotherly love, kindness to children, courtesy combined with dignity, sociability, hospitality, freedom from bigotry, friendliness even to Christians, are included in its tenets. That every Babi recognises or observes these precepts would be a foolish assertion; but let a prophet, if his gospel be in question, be Judged by his own preaching." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," pp. 501-2.)
Ch.XXVI, p.603, f.2
Ch.XXVI, p.603, f.3
"When I was in chains and fetters, in the prison of Ta, one of thine ambassadors assisted Me. Therefore hath God decreed unto thee a station which none but Himself can comprehend. Beware lest thou change this lofty station." (Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to the Czar of Russia.)
Ch.XXVI, p.605, f.1
Renan, in his work entitled "Les Apotres" (p. 378), characterises the great massacre of Tihran, following on the attempt made on the life of the Shah, as "un jour sans pareil peut-etre dans l'historire du monde." [This untranslated phrase might perhaps be translated as "A day perhaps without parallel in the history of the world." - B.Z.] (E. G. Browne's introduction to "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 45.) "The number of martyrdoms which have taken place in Persia has been estimated at ten thousand. [This estimate is conservative. Many place the number at from twenty to thirty thousand. [This estimate is conservative. Many place the number at from twenty to thirty thousand, and some even higher.] Most of these occurred during the early history of the faith, but they have continued with diminishing frequency, even down to the present time." (M. H. Phelps' "Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi," introduction, p. 36.) "Amongst the documents referring to the Babis in my possession is a manuscript copy of an article in German published on October 17, 1852 in No. 291 of some German or Austrian newspaper of which, unhappily, the name is not noted. I think that I received it a good many years ago from the widow of the late Dr. Polak, an Austrian doctor, who was a physician to Nasiri'd-Din Shah at the beginning of his reign, and who is the author of a valuable book and several smaller treatises on Persia and matters connected therewith. It is chiefly based on a letter written on August 29, 1852, by an Austrian officer, Captain von Goumoens, who was in the Shah's service, but who was so disgusted, and horrified at the cruelties he was compelled to witness that he sent in his resignation. The translation of this article is as follows: `Some days ago we mentioned the attempt made on the life of the Shah of Persia on the occasion of a hunting-party. The conspirators, as is well known, belonged to the Babis, a religious sect. Concerning this sect and the repressive measures adopted against it, the letter of Austrian Captain von Goumoens lately published in the "Soldier's Friend" (Soldatenfreund) contains interesting disclosures, and elucidates to some extent the attempt in question. This letter runs as follows: "Tihran, August 29, 1852. Dear Friend, My last letter of the 20th inst. mentioned the attempt on the King. I will now communicate to you the result of the interrogation to which the two criminals were subjected. In spite of the terrible tortures inflicted, the examination extorted no comprehensive confession; the lips of the fanatics remained closed, even when by means of red-hot pincers and limb-rending screws they sought to discover the chief conspirator.... But follow me, my friend, you who lay claim to a heart and European ethics, follow me to the unhappy ones who, with gouged-out eyes, must eat, on the scene of the deed, without any sauce, their own amputated ears; or whose teeth are torn out with inhuman violence by the hand of the executioner; or whose bare skulls are simply crushed by blows from a hammer; or where the bazar is illuminated with unhappy victims, because on right and left the people dig deep holes in their breasts and shoulders and insert burning wicks in the wounds. I saw some dragged in chains through the bazar preceded by a military band, in whom these wicks had burned so deep that now the fat flickered convulsively in the wound like a newly-extinguished lamp. Not seldom it happens that the unwearying ingenuity of the Orientals leads to fresh tortures. They will skin the soles of the Babi's feet, soak the wounds in boiling oil, shoe the foot like the hoof of a horse, and compel the victim to run. No cry escaped from the victim's breast; the torment is endured in dark silence by the numbed sensation of the fanatic; now he must run; the body cannot endure what the soul has endured; he falls. Give him the coup de grace! Put him out of his pain! No! The executioner swings the whip, and--I myself have had to witness it--the unhappy victim of hundredfold tortures and runs! This is the beginning of the end. As for the end itself, they hang the scorched and perforated bodies by their hands and feet to a tree head downwards, and now every Persian may try his marksmanship to heart's content from a fixed but not too proximate distance on the noble quarry placed at his disposal. I saw corpses torn by nearly 150 bullets.... When I read over again what I have written I am overcome by the thought that those who are with you in our dearly beloved Austria may doubt the full truth of the picture, and accuse me of exaggeration. Would to God that I had not lived to see it! But by the duties of my profession I was unhappily often, only too often, a witness of these abominations. At present I never leave my house, in order not to meet with fresh scenes of horror. After their death the Babis are hacked in two and either nailed to the city gate, or cast out into the plain as food for the dogs and jackals. Thus the punishment extends even beyond the limits which bound this bitter world, for Musulmans who are not buried have no right to enter the Prophet's Paradise. Since my whole soul revolts against such infamy, against such abominations as recent times, according to the judgment of all, present, I will no longer maintain my connection with the scene of such crimes."' (He goes on to say that he has already asked for his discharge, but has not yet received an answer.)" (E. G. Browne's "Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion," pp. 267-71.) "Ardishir Mirza was forced to act in consequence. He kept the gates of the city closed and guarded, giving orders to examine closely all those who might ask to leave. The people were urged to climb the walls near the Shimiran gate in order to see in the open field across the bridge the mutilated body of Sadiq. The prince governor called together the Kalantar or prefect of police, the Vazir of the city, the Darughih or police judge, and the heads of the boroughs and ordered them to seek and arrest all persons suspected of being Babis. As no one could leave the city, they waited until night-fall to start ferreting them out, ruse and cunning being the main requisites employed. "The police force in Tihran, as in all Asiatic cities, is very well organized. It is a legacy of the Sassanides which the Arabian Khalifs have carefully preserved. As it was to the advantage of all governments (no matter how bad, and even more so to the worst ones) to maintain it, it has remained, so to speak, unchanged, in the midst of the ruins of other institutions, equally efficient, which have decayed. "One should know that the head of every borough, always in touch with the Kalantar, has under him a few men called `sar-ghishmihs,' policemen who, without either uniform or badge, never leave the streets which are assigned to them. They are generally well liked by the people and they live on familiar terms with them. They are helpful at all times and, at night, be it winter or summer, they recline under the awning of any store, indifferent to rain or snow, and watch over private property. In this way they reduce the number of thefts by rendering them difficult. Moreover, they know every dweller and his ways, so that they can assist in case of investigation; they know the minds, the opinions, the acquaintances, the relations of everyone; and if one asks three friends to dinner, the sar-ghishmih without spying, so well informed is he about everyone, knows the time of the arrival of the guests, what has been served, what has been said and done, and the time of their departure. The Kad-khudas warned these policemen to watch the Babis in their respective sections and everyone awaited the results." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 234-235.)
Ch.XXVI, p.607, f.1
Name of the dungeon, meaning "Black Pit."
Ch.XXVI, p.607, f.2
The Imam Husayn.
Ch.XXVI, p.608, f.1
"If sometime thou shouldst happen to visit the prison of His Majesty the Shah, ask thou the director and chief of that place to show thee those two chains, one of which is known as Qara-Guhar and the other as Salasil. I swear by the Day-star of Justice, that during four months, I was weighted and tormented by one of these chains. `The sorrow of Jacob paleth before my sorrow; and all the afflictions of Job were but a part of my calamities.'" ("The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," p. 57.) "Concerning the Persian mode of imprisonment, the practice is as different from our own as in the case of penalties. There is no such thing as penal servitude for life, or even for a term of years; hard labour is unknown as a sentence; and confinement for any lengthy period is rare. There is usually a gaol-delivery at the beginning of the new year; and when a fresh governor is appointed, he not uncommonly empties the prison that may have been filled by his predecessor, one or two of the worst cases, perhaps, suffering the death penalty, in order to create a salutary impression of strength. There is no such thing as a female ward, women being detained, as also are male criminals of high rank, in the house of a priest. In Tihran there are said to be three kinds of prison the subterranean cells beneath the Ark, where criminals guilty of conspiracy, or high treason are reported to have been confined; the town prison, where the vulgar criminals may be seen with iron collars round their neck, sometimes with their feet in stocks, and attached to each other by iron chains; and the private guard-house, that is frequently an appurtenance of the mansions of the great. It will be seen that the Persian theory of justice, as expressed both in judicial sentences, in the infliction of penalties, and in the prison code, is one of sharp and rapid procedure, whose object is the punishment (in a manner as roughly equivalent as possible to the original offence), but in no sense the reformation, of the culprit." Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. i, pp. 458-9.)
Ch.XXVI, p.609, f.1
"We had nothing to do with this odious deed, and Our innocence was indisputably proved before the tribunals. Nevertheless, they arrested Us and brought Us to the prison in Tihran, from Niyavaran, which was then the seat of the royal residence; on foot, in chains, and with bare head and feet, for a brutal fellow who was accompanying Us on horseback snatched the hat from Our head, and many executioners and farrashes hurried Us along with great speed and put Us for four months in a place the like of which has not been seen. In reality, a dark and narrow cell were far better than the place where this wronged One and His companions were confined. When We entered the prison, on arrival, they conducted us along a dismal corridor, and thence We descended three steep stairs to the dungeon appointed for Us. The place was dark, and its inmates numbered nearly a hundred and fifty--thieves, assassins, and highway robbers. Holding such a crowd as this, it yet had no outlet but the passage through which We entered. The pen fails to describe this place and putrid stench. Most of the company had neither clothes to wear nor mat to lie on. God knows what We endured in that gloomy and loathsome place! By day and by night, in this prison We reflected on the condition of the Babis and their doings and affairs, wondering how, notwithstanding their greatness of soul, nobility, and intelligence, they could be capable of such a deed as this audacious attempt on the life of the sovereign. Then did this wronged One determine that, on leaving this prison, He would arise with the utmost endeavour for the regeneration of these souls. One night, in a dream, this all-glorious word was heard from all sides: `Verily We will aid Thee to triumph by Thyself and by Thy pen. Grieve not for that which hath befallen Thee, and have no fear. Truly Thou art of them that are secure. Ere long shall the Lord send forth and reveal the treasures of the earth, men who shall give Thee the victory by Thyself and by Thy name wherewith the Lord hath revived the hearts of them that know.'" (Bahá'u'lláh's reference to the Siyah-Chal in "The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf.") "Abdu'l-Bahá," writes Dr. J. E. Esslemont, "tells how one day He was allowed to enter the prison-yard to see His beloved Father when He came out for His daily exercise. Bahá'u'lláh was terribly altered, so ill He could hardly walk. His hair and beard unkempt, His neck galled and swollen from the pressure of a heavy steel collar, His body bent by the weight of His chains, and the sight made a never-to-be-forgotten impression on the mind of the sensitive boy." ("Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era," p. 61.)
Ch.XXVI, p.610, f.1
"They ordered the body of Sadiq, the Babi who had been murdered, to be tied to the tail of a mule and dragged over the stones as far as Tihran, so that the entire population could see that the conspirators had failed. At the same time, messengers were sent to Ardishir Mirza to dictate to him what he should do." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 234.)
Ch.XXVI, p.612, f.1
"It was on this occasion that Mirza Aqa Khan, the Grand Vazir, in order to distribute the responsibility of punishment and to lessen the chances of blood-revenge, conceived the extraordinary idea of assigning the several criminals for execution to the principal ministers, generals, and officers of the Court, as well as to representatives of the priestly and merchant classes. The Foreign Secretary killed one, the Home Secretary another, the Master of the Horse a third, and so on." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," p. 402, note 2.)
Ch.XXVI, p.612, f.2
"His Excellency resolved to divide the execution of the victims among the different departments of the state; the only person he exempted was himself. First came the Shah, who was entitled to Qisas, or legal retaliation, for his wound. To save the dignity of the crown, the steward of the household, as the Shah's representative, fired the first shot at the conspirator selected as his victim, and his deputies, the farrashes, completed the work. The Prime Minister's son headed the Home Office, and slew another Babi. Then came the Foreign Office. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a pious, silly man, who spent his time in conning over the traditions of Muhammad, With averted face made the first swordcut, and then the Under-Secretary of State and clerks of the Foreign Office hewed their victim into pieces. The priesthood, the merchants, the artillery, the infantry, had each their allotted Babi. Even the Shah's admirable French physician, the late lamented Dr. Cloquet, was invited to show his loyalty by following the example of the rest of the Court. He excused himself, and pleasantly said he killed too many men professionally to permit him to increase their number by any voluntary homicide on his part. The Sadr was reminded that these barbarous and unheard-of proceedings were not only revolting in themselves, but would produce the utmost horror and disgust in Europe. Upon this he became very much excited, and asked angrily, `Do you wish the vengeance of all the Babis to be concentrated upon me alone?' The following is an extract from the `Tihran Gazette' of that day, and will serve as a specimen of a Persian `leader': `Some profligate, unprincipled individuals, destitute of religion, became disciples of the accursed Siyyid Ali-Muhammad Bab, who some years ago invented a new religion, and who afterwards met his doom. They were unable to prove the truth of their faith, the falsehood of which was visible. For instance, many of their books having fallen into our hands, they are found to contain nothing but pure infidelity. In worldly argument, too, they never were able to support their religion, which seemed fit only for entering into a contest with the Almighty. They then began to think of aspiring to sovereignty, and to endeavour to raise insurrections, hoping to profit by the confusion, and to pillage the property of their neighbours. A wretched miserable gang, whose chief, Mulla Shaykh Ali of Turshiz, styled himself the deputy of the former Bab, and who gave himself the title of High Majesty, collected round themselves some of the former companions of [the] Bab. They seduced to their principles some dissolute debauchees, one of whom was Haji Sulayman Khan, son of the late Yahya Khan of Tabriz. In the house of this Haji it was their practice to assemble for consultation, and to plan an attempt on the auspicious life of his Majesty. Twelve of their number, who were volunteers for the deed, were selected to execute their purpose, and to each of them were given pistols, daggers, etc. It was resolved that the above number should proceed to the Shah's residence at Niyavaran, and await their opportunity.' Then follows an account of the attack, which I have already given in sufficient detail. `Six persons, whose crimes were not so clearly proved, were condemned to perpetual imprisonment; the remainder were divided among the priesthood, the doctors of the law, the chief servants of the court, the people of the town, merchants, tradesmen, artisans, who bestowed on them their deserts in the following manner: The mullas, priests, and learned body slew Mulla Shaykh Ali, the deputy of [the] Bab, who gave himself the title of Imperial Majesty, and who was the author of this atrocity. The princes slew Siyyid Hasan, of Khurasan, a man of noted profligacy, with pistol-shots, swords, and daggers. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, full of religious and moral zeal, took the first shot at Mulla Zaynu'l-'Abidin of Yazd, and the secretaries of his department finished him and cut him in pieces. The Nizamu'l-Mulk (son of the Prime Minister) slew Mulla Husayn. Mirza Abdu'l-Vahhab, of Shiraz, who was one of the twelve assassins, was slain by the brother and the sons of the Prime Minister; his other relations cut him in pieces. Mulla Fathu'llah, of Qum, who fired the shot which wounded the royal person, was killed thus: In the midst of the royal camp candles were placed in the body (by making incisions) and lighted. The steward of the household wounded him in the very place that he had injured the Shah, and then the attendants stoned him. The nobles of the court sent Shaykh Abbas of Tihran to hell. The Shah's personal attendants put to death Mulla-Baqir, one of the twelve. The Shah's master of the horse and the servants of the stable horse-shod Muhammad-Taqi of Shiraz, and then sent him to join his companions. The masters of the ceremonies and other nobles, with their deputies, slew Muhammad of Najaf-Abad with hatchets and maces, and sent him to the depths of hell. The artillerymen first dug out the eye of Muhammad-'Ali of Najaf-Abad and then blew him away from a mortar. The soldiers bayoneted Siyyid Husayn, of Milan, and sent him to hell. The cavalry slew Mirza Rafi'. The adjutant-general, generals, and colonels slew Siyyid Husayn.'" (Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," pp. 277-81.) ..."On that day, a spectacle was witnessed in the streets and bazaars of Tihran which the people can never forget. Even to this very day, it remains the topic of conversation; one still feels a shocking horror which the years have not been able to lessen. The people saw marching, between executioners, children and women with deep holes cut into their flesh in which lighted wicks were inserted. The victims were dragged with ropes and goaded on with whips. Children and women went forth singing this verse: `In truth, we come from God and unto Him do we return.' Their voices were raised triumphant above the deep silence of the crowd, for the citizens of Tihran were neither mean nor great believers in Islam. When one of the victims fell to the ground and they prodded him up with bayonets, if the loss of blood which dripped from his wounds had left him any strength, he would begin to dance and to cry out with even greater enthusiasm: `In truth, we come from God and unto Him do we return!' "Some of the children expired on the way. The executioners would throw their bodies under the feet of their fathers and sisters, who proudly walked over them without giving it a second thought. When the cortege reached the place of execution near the New Gate, the victims were given the choice between life and abjuration of their faith; they were even subjected to every form of intimidation. One of the executioners conceived the idea of saying to a father that, unless he yielded, he would cut the throats of his two sons on his very breast. The sons were quite young, the oldest about fourteen. Covered with blood, their flesh scorched, they were listening stoically to the threats. The father replied, while laying himself down, that he was ready and the older of the boys, claiming a prior right, requested to be the first to die. It may be that the executioner denied him even that last comfort. "At last, the tragedy was over and night fell upon a heap of formless bodies; the heads were tied in bundles to the posts of justice and the dogs on the outskirts of the city were crowding about. That day won for the Babis a larger number of secret followers than much exhortation could have done. "As I have said above, the impression caused by the terrifying impassibility of the martyrs was deep and lasting. I have often heard eye witnesses describe the scenes of that fateful day, men close to the government, some even holding important positions. While listening to them, one could easily have believed that they were all Babis, so great was their admiration for the events in which Islam played so inglorious a part, and so high a conception did they entertain of the resources, the hopes and the means of success of the new religion." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 248-250.) "These executions were not merely criminal, but foolish. The barbarity of the persecutors defeated its own ends, and instead of inspiring terror, gave the martyrs and opportunity of exhibiting a heroic fortitude which has done more than any propaganda, however skilful, could have done to ensure the triumph of the cause for which they died.... The impression produced by such exhibitions of courage and endurance was profound and lasting; nay, the faith which inspired the martyrs was often contagious, as the following incident shows. A certain Yazdi rough, noted for his wild and disorderly life, went to see the execution of some Babis, perhaps to scoff at them. But when he saw with what calmness and steadfastness they met torture and death, his feelings underwent so great a revulsion that he rushed forward crying, `Kill me too! I am also a Babi!' And thus he continued to cry till he too was made a partaker in the doom he had come out only to gaze upon." (E. G. Browne's "A Year amongst the Persians," pp. 111-12.)
Ch.XXVI, p.614, f.1
According to Samandar (manuscript, p. 2), Sulayman Khan attained to the presence of the Bab in the course of His pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
Ch.XXVI, p.616, f.1
Ch.XXVI, p.617, f.2
His name was Haji Ali Khan. (See "A Traveller's Narrative," p. 52, note 1.)
Ch.XXVI, p.617, f.3
The Imam Ali.
Ch.XXVI, p.619, f.1
Ch.XXVI, p.620, f.1
"The extraordinary heroism with which Sulayman Khan bore these frightful tortures is notorious and I have repeatedly heard it related how he ceased not during the long agony which he endured to testify his joy that he should be accounted worthy to suffer martyrdom for his Master's cause. He even sang and recited verses of poetry, amongst them the following: `I have returned! I have returned! I have come by the way of Shiraz! I have come with winsome airs and graces! Such is the lover's madness!' `Why do you not dance,' asked the executioners mockingly, `since you find death so pleasant?' `Dance!' cried Sulayman Khan. `In one hand the wine-cup, in one hand the tresses of the Friend. Such a dance in the midst of the market-place is my desire!'" ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note T, pp. 333-4.) He was martyred in August, 1852. "When they arrested Sulayman Khan, and strove, in consideration of his faithful service and loyalty, to induce him, by promises of rewards from the king, to abandon the creed which he had adopted, he would not consent, but answered firmly: `His Majesty the King has a right to demand from his servants fidelity, loyalty, and uprightness; but he is not entitled to meddle with their religious convictions.' In consequence of this boldness of speech, it was ordered that his body should be pierced with wounds, and that into each of these wounds a lighted candle should be inserted as an example to others. Another victim was similarly treated. In this state, with minstrels and drummers going in advance, they led him through the bazaars, and he, meanwhile, with smiling countenance, kept repeating these verses:
`Happy he whom love's intoxication So hath overcome that scare he knows Whether at the feet of the Beloved It be head or turban which he throws!' Whenever one of the candles fell from his body, he would with his own hand pick it up, light it from the others, and replace it. The executioners, seeing in him such exultation and rapture said: `If thou art so eager for martyrdom, why dost thou not dance?' Thereat he began to leap, and to sing, in verses appropriate to his condition: `An ear no longer dulled with ignorance And self-subdued entitles one to dance. Fools dance and caper in the market-place; Men dance the while their life-blood flows apace. When self is slain, they clap their hands in glee, And dance, because from evil they are free.' In such fashion did they lead these two forth through the gate of Shah Abdu'l-Azim. When they were preparing to saw that brave man asunder, he stretched out his feet without fear or hesitation, while he recited these verses: `I hold this body as of little worth; A brave man's spirit scorns its house of earth. Dagger and sword like fragrant basil seem, Or flowers to deck death's banquet with their gleam.'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 228-30.)
Ch.XXVI, p.621, f.1
"If one conclusion more than another has been forced upon our notice by the retrospect in which I have indulged, it is that a sublime and unmurmuring devotion has been inculcated by this new faith, whatever it be. There is, I believe, but one instance of a Babi having recanted under pressure or menace of suffering, and he reverted to the faith and was executed with two years. Tales of magnificent heroism illumine the blood-stained pages of Babi history. Ignorant and unlettered as many of the votaries are, and have been, they are yet prepared to die for their religion, and the fires of Smithfield did not kindle a nobler courage than has met and defined the more refined torture-mongers of Tihran. Of no small account, then, must be the tenets of a creed that can awaken in its followers so rare and beautiful a spirit of self-sacrifice.... It is these little incidents, protruding from time to time their ugly features, that prove Persia to be not as yet quite redeemed, and that somewhat a stagger the tall-takers about Iranian civilization." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 1, p. 501.)
Ch.XXVI, p.622, f.1
"She remained in Tihran a long time receiving numerous visitors both men and women. She aroused the women by showing them the abject role which Islam assigned to them and she won them over to the new religion by showing them the freedom and respect which it would bestow upon them. Many domestic disputes followed, not always to the advantage and credit of the husband. These discussions might have continued at length, if Mirza Aqa Khan-i-Nuri had not been appointed Sadr-i-A'zam. The premier ordered Haji Mulla Muhammad Andirmani and Haji Mulla Ali Kini to call on her in order to examine into her belief. They held seven conferences with her in which she argued with much feeling and affirmed that the Bab was the promised and expected Imam. Her adversaries called her attention to the fact that, in accordance with the prophecies, the promised Imam was to come from Jabulqa and Jabulsa. She retorted feelingly that those prophecies were false and forged by false traditionalists and, as these two cities never existed, they could only be the superstitions of diseased brains. She expounded the new doctrine, bringing out its truth, but always encountered the same argument of Jabulqa. Exasperated, she finally told them: `Your reasoning is that of an ignorant and stupid child; how long will you cling to these follies and lies? When will you lift your eyes towards the Sun of Truth?' Shocked by such blasphemy, Haji Mulla Ali rose up and led his friend away saying, `Why prolong our discussion with an infidel?' They returned home and wrote out the sentence which established her apostasy and her refusal to retract, and condemned her to death in the name of the Qur'an!" (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 446-447.)
Ch.XXVI, p.622, f.2
"While a prisoner in the house of the Kalantar, the marriage of the son of the family took place. Naturally, the wives of all the prominent men were invited; but, although the host had gone to a great deal of expense to provide the customary entertainment, the women loudly demanded that Qurratu'l-'Ayn be brought before the company. She had hardly appeared and begun to speak when the musicians and dancers were dismissed. The ladies, forgetful of the sweets of which they were so fond, had eyes only for Qurratu'l-'Ayn." (Ibid., p. 448.)
Ch.XXVI, p.622, f.3
Mahmud Khan-i-Kalantar, in whose custody she was placed.
Ch.XXVI, p.625, f.2
"Across from the English Legation and the Turkish Embassy stretched a rather vast square which since 1893 has disappeared. Toward the center of this square, but in line with the street, stood five or six trees which marked the spot where the Babi heroine had died, for in those days the garden of Ilkhani extended that far. On my return in 1898 the square had entirely disappeared overrun by modern buildings and I do not know whether the present owner has saved those trees which pious hands had planted." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," p. 452.)
Ch.XXVI, p.628, f.1
August, 1852 A.D.
Ch.XXVI, p.628, f.2
See Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, article 6, p. 492.
Ch.XXVI, p.628, f.3
Ch.XXVI, p.629, f.1
"Beauty and the female sex also lent their consecration to the new creed and the heroism of the lovely but ill-fated poetess of Qazvin, Zarrin-Taj (Crown of Gold; or Qurratu'l-'Ayn (Solace of the Eyes), who, throwing off the veil, carried the missionary torch far and wide, is one of the most affecting episodes in modern history." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 1, p. 497, note 2.) "No memory is more deeply venerated or kindles greater enthusiasm than hers, and the influence which she wielded in her lifetime still inures to her sex." (Valentine Chirol's "The Middle Eastern Question," p. 124.) "The appearance of such a woman as Qurratu'l-'Ayn is in any country and any age a rare phenomenon, but in such a country as Persia it is a prodigy--nay, almost a miracle. Alike in virtue of her marvellous beauty, her rare intellectual gifts, her fervid eloquence her fearless devotion, and her glorious martyrdom, she stands forth incomparable and immortal amidst her countrywomen. Had the Babi religion no other claim to greatness, this were sufficient--that it produced a heroine like Qurratu'l-'Ayn." ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note Q, p. 213.) "Almost the most remarkable figure in the whole movement was the poetess Qurratu'l-'Ayn. She was known for her virtue, piety, and learning, and had been finally converted on reading some of the verses and exhortations of the Bab. So strong in her faith did she become that although she was both rich and noble she gave up wealth, child, name and position for her Master's service and set herself to proclaim and establish his doctrine... The beauty of her speech was such as to draw guests from a marriage feast rather than listen to the music provided by the host. And her verses were among the most stirring in the Persian language." (Sir Francis Younghusband's "The Gleam," pp. 202-3.) "Looking back on the short career or Qurratu'l-'Ayn, one is chiefly struck by her fiery enthusiasm and by her absolute unworldliness. This world was, in fact, to her, as it was said to be to Quddus, a mere handful of dust. She was also an eloquent speaker and experienced in the intricate measures of Persian poetry. One of her few Poems which have thus far been made known is of special interest, because of the belief which it expresses in the divine-human character of some one (here called Lord), whose claims, when once adduced, would receive general recognition. Who was this Personage? It appears that Qurratu'l-'Ayn thought Him slow in bringing forward these claims. Is there any one who can be thought of but Bahá'u'lláh? The poetess was a true Bahá'í." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 114, 115.) "The harvest sown in Islamic lands by Qurratu'l-'Ayn is now beginning to appear. A letter addressed to the "Christian Commonwealth" last June informs us that forty Turkish suffragettes are being deported from Constantinople to Akka (so long the prison of Bahá'u'lláh): `During the last few years suffrage ideas have been spreading quietly behind in the harems. The men were ignorant of it; everybody was ignorant of it; and now suddenly the floodgate is opened and the men of Constantinople have thought it necessary to resort to drastic measures. Suffrage clubs have been organised, intelligent memorials incorporating the women's demands have been drafted and circulated; women's journals and magazines have sprung up, publishing excellent articles; and public meetings were held. Then one day the members of these clubs--four hundred of them--cast away their veils. The staid, fossilised class of society were shocked, the good Musulmans were alarmed, and the Government forced into action. These four hundred liberty-loving women were divided into several groups. One group composed of forty have been exiled to Akka, and will arrive in a few days. Everybody is talking about it, and it is really surprising to see how numerous are those in favour of removing the veils from the faces of the women. Many men with whom I have talked think the custom not only archaic, but thought-stifling. The Turkish authorities, thinking to extinguish this light of liberty, have greatly added to its flame, and their high-handed action has materially assisted the creation of a wider public opinion and a better understanding of this crucial problem.'" (Ibid., pp. 115-16.) ..."The other missionary, the woman to whom I refer, had come to Qazvin. She was without doubt, at the same time, the object of the Babis highest veneration and one of the most strikingly fascinating manifestations of that religion." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 136.) "Many who have known her and heard her at different times have stated that, for a person so learned and so well read, the outstanding characteristic of her discourse was an amazing simplicity and still, when she spoke, her audience was deeply stirred and filled with admiration, often in tears." (Ibid., p. 150.) "Although the Muhammadans and Babis speak in the highest terms of the beauty of `Consolation of the Eyes,' it is beyond dispute that the intelligence and character of this young woman were even more remarkable than has been related. Having heard, almost daily, learned conversations, it seems that, at an early age, she had taken a deep interest in them; hence it came about that she was perfectly able to follow the subtle arguments of her father, her uncle, her cousin and now her husband, and even to debate with them and frequently to astonish them with the power and keenness of her mind. In Persia, one does not frequently see women engaged in intellectual pursuits but, nevertheless, it does sometimes occur. What is really extraordinary is to find a woman of the ability of Qurratu'l-'Ayn. Not only did she carry her knowledge of Arabic to an unusual degree of perfection, but she became also outstanding in the knowledge of the traditions of Islam and of the varied interpretations of the disputed passages of the Qur'an and of the great writers. In Qazvin, she was rightly considered a prodigy." (Ibid., p. 137.)
Ch.XXVI, p.645, f.1
"Strange as it may seem, they respected the women whom they gathered and led to Mount Biyaban. There were, among them, two old men too feeble to fight, Mulla Muhammad-Musa, a fuller, and Mashhadi Baqir, a dyer. These were murdered. Mashhadi Baqir was killed by Ali Big, captain of the Nayrizi soldiers, who severed the head from the body of his victim and gave it to a child; then, covering the head of the niece of his victim with a black veil, he led her to Mirza Na'im, who was then on Mount Biyaban seated upon a stone in a garden. When Ali Big approached him, he threw the head of Baqir at him and shoved the little girl abruptly forward. She fell on her face, as he cried out, `We have done as you wished, the Babis are no more!' "Akhund Mulla Abdu'l-Husayn ordered that the mouth of Mirza Na'im be stuffed with dirt, then a ghulam shot him in the head but the wound was not fatal. "Approximately six hundred and three women were arrested and taken to the mill called `Takht' which is near Nayriz. One author tells the following anecdote: `I was very young then and I was following my mother who had another son younger than I. A man, called Asadu'llah, was carrying my brother on his shoulders. The child wore a hat decorated with a few ornaments. A rider saw the hat and snatched it with such brutality that he took hold at the same time of the hair of the baby. The child was thrown about ten feet away and my poor mother found him unconscious.' "I shall not expatiate upon the horrors which followed this victory. It is enough to know that Mirza Na'im rode on, preceded and followed by men carrying the heads of the martyrs on pikes. The prisoners were prodded along with whip and sword. The women were jostled into ditches full of water. The night was spent at the caravansary in Shiraz. In the morning, the women were taken out, all entirely naked; they were kicked, stoned, whipped and spat upon. When their tormentors grew tired, they were confined for twenty days, during which time they were constantly insulted and outraged. Eighty Babis bound together in tens, were entrusted to one hundred soldiers, with Shiraz as their destination. Siyyid Mir Muhammad Abd died from exposure to cold at Khanih-gird, others expired a little further on. The guards, from time to time, would cut off the head of one of them. At last they entered Shiraz, through the gate of Sa'di. They paraded the prisoners through the streets, then they cast them into prison. The women were taken out of the school building after twenty days and separated into two groups. One group was set free, the others were sent to Shiraz with other prisoners who had lately been arrested. "On reaching Shiraz, the caravan was again divided into two groups; the women were sent to the caravansary Shah Mir Ali-Hamzih and the men to prison with the other Babis. The next day was a feast day. The governor, surrounded by all the prominent citizens of Shiraz, ordered the prisoners to be brought before him. A Nayrizi called Jalal, whom Na'im had nicknamed `Bulbul,' revealed the names of his fellow-citizens. The first one to appear was Mulla Abdu'l-Husayn, who was commanded to curse the Bab. He refused and his head rolled on the ground. Haji son of Asghar, Ali Garm-Siri, Husayn son of Hadi Khayri, Sadiq son of Salih, and Muhammad-ibn-i-Muhsin all were executed. The women were set free and the men who survived were taken back to prison. The Shah having demanded that the prisoners be sent away, seventy-three were sent to Tihran. Twenty-two died during the journey, among whom were Mulla Abdu'l-Husayn who died at Saydan, Ali son of Karbila'i Zaman at Abadih; Akbar son of Karbila'i Muhammad at Qinarih; Hasan son of Abdu'l-Vahhab, Mulla Ali-Akbar, at Isfahan. Karbila'i Baqir son of Muhammad-Zamam, Hasan and his brother Dhu'l-Faqar, Karbila'i Naqi and Ali his son, Vali Khan, Mulla Karim, Akbar Ra'is, Ghulam-'Ali son of Pir Muhammad, Naqi and Muhammad-'Ali, sons of Muhammad, expired likewise during the course of the journey. "The others reached Tihran and, on the very day of their arrival, fifteen of them were put to death, among them Aqa Siyyid Ali who had been abandoned as dead, Karbila'i Rajab the barber, Sayfu'd-Din, Sulayman son of K. Salman, Ja'far, Murad Khayri, Husayn son of K. Baqir, Mirza Abu'l-Hasan son of Mirza Taqi, Mulla Muhammad-'Ali son of Aqa Mihdi. Twenty-three died in prison, thirteen were freed after three years, the only one who remained in Tihran, to die there a little later, was Karbila'i Zaynu'l-'Abidin." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad dit le Bab," pp. 421-424.) "Their persecutors, having captured and killed the men, seized and slew forty women and children in the following manner: They placed them in the midst of a cave, heaped up in the cave a vast quantity of firewood, poured naphtha over the faggots strewn around, set fire to it. One of those who took part in this deed related as follows: `After two or three days I ascended that mountain and removed the door from the cave. I saw that the fire had sunk down into the ashes; but all those women with their children were seated, each in some corner, clasping their little ones to their bosoms, and sitting round in a circle, just as they were when we left them. Some as though in despair or in mourning, had suffered their heads to sink down on their knees in grief, and all retained the postures they had assumed. I was filled with amazement, thinking that the fire had not burned them. Full of apprehension and awe, I entered. Then I saw that all were burned and charred to a cinder, yet had they never made a movement which would cause the crumbling away of the bodies. As soon as I touched them with my hand, however, they crumbled away to ashes. And all of us, when we had seen this, repented what we had done. But of what avail was this?'" (The "Tarikh-i-Jadid," pp. 128-31.) "The author of the "Tarikh-i-Jadid," in concluding this narrative, takes occasion to point out how literally was fulfilled in these events the prophecy contained in the tradition referring to the signs which shall mark the appearance of the Imam Mihdi: `In Him (shall be) the perfection of Moses, the preciousness of Jesus, and the patience of Job; His saints shall be abased in His time, and their heads shall be exchanged as presents, even as the heads of the Turk and the Daylamite are exchanged as presents; they shall be slain and burned, and shall be afraid, fearful, and dismayed; the earth shall be dyed with their blood, and lamentation and wailing shall prevail amongst their women; these are my saints indeed.' [This tradition, called Hadith-i-Jabir, is also quoted from the "Kafi," one of the principal compilations of shi'ite traditions, in the "Iqan."] When I was at Yazd in the early summer of 1888, I became acquainted with a Babi holding a position of some importance under government, two of whose ancestors had taken a prominent part in the suppression of the Nayriz insurrection. Of what he told me concerning this the following is a summary taken from my diary for May 18th, 1888: `My maternal grandfather Mihr-'Ali Khan Shuja'u'l-Mulk and my great-uncle Mirza Na'im both took an active part in the Nayriz war--but on the wrong side. When orders came to Shiraz to quell the insurrection, my grandfather was instructed to take command of the expedition sent for that purpose. He did not like the task committed to him and communicated his reluctance to two of the ulamas, who, however, reassured him, declaring that the war on which he was about to engage was a holy enterprise sanctioned by Religion, and that he would receive reward therefor in Paradise. So he went, and what happened happened. After they had killed 750 men, they took the women and children, stripped them almost naked, mounted them on donkeys, mules, and camels, and led them through rows of heads hewn from the lifeless bodies of their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands towards Shiraz. On their arrival there, they were placed in a ruined caravanserai just outside the Isfahan gate and opposite to an Imam-zadih, their captors taking up their quarters under some trees hard by. Here they remained a long while, subjected to many insults, and hardships, and many of them died. Now see the judgment of God on the oppressors; for of those chiefly responsible for these cruelties not one but came to a bad end and died overwhelmed with calamity. My grandfather Mihr-'Ali Khan presently fell ill and was dumb till the day of his death. Just as he was about to expire, those who stood round him saw from the movement of his lips that he was whispering something. They leant down to catch his last words and heard him murmur faintly "Babi! Babi! Babi!" three times. Then he fell back dead. My great-uncle Mirza Na'im fell into disgrace with the government and was twice fined ten thousand tumans the first time, fifteen thousand the second. But his punishment did not cease here, for he was made to suffer diverse tortures. His hands were put in the "il-chik" (the torture consists in placing pieces of wood between the victims fingers, binding them round tightly with cord. Cold water is then thrown over the cord to cause its further contraction) and his feet in the "tang-i-Qajar" (or "Qajar squeeze," an instrument of torture resembling the "boot" once used in England, for the introduction of which Persia is indebted to the dynasty which at present occupies the throne); he was made to stand bareheaded in the sun with treacle smeared over his head to attract the flies; and, after suffering these and other torments yet more painful and humiliating, he was dismissed a disgraced and ruined man.'" ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note H, pp. 191-3.)
Ch.XXVI, p.650, f.1
January 12,1853 A.D.
Ch.XXVI, p.650, f.2
Ch.XXVI, p.650, f.3
Mirza Musa, commonly called Aqay-i-Kalim, the ablest and most distinguished among Bahá'u'lláh's brothers and sisters, and His staunch and valued supporter.
Epilogue, p.654, f.1
Mirza Abu'l-Fadl quotes in his "Fara'id" (pp. 50-51), the following remarkable tradition from Muhammad, which is recognised as an authentic utterance of the Prophet and to which Siyyid Abdu'l-Vahhab-i-Sha'rani refers in his work entitled "Kitabu'l-Yavaqit-iva'l-Javahir": "All of them [the companions of the Qa'im] shall be slain except One who shall reach the plain of Akka, the Banquet-Hall of God." The full text is also mentioned, according to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, by Shaykh Ibnu'l-'Arabi in his "Futuhat-i-Makkiyyih."
Epilogue, p.654, f.2
"`A hollow receptacle of about the size and shape of a cocoa-nut, round the orifice of which two chains are attached at four points to serve as a handle. It is used by dervishes as an alms-basket." ("A Traveller's Narrative," p. 51, note 3.)
Epilogue, p.657, f.1
"Excellency, After the carrying out of those energetic measures on the part of the Persian Government for the extirpation and extermination of the misguided and detestable sect of the Babis, with the details of which Your Excellency is fully acquainted [allusion is made to the great persecution of the Babis in Tihran in the summer of 1852], praise be to God, by the attention of the Imperial mind of is most potent Majesty, whose rank is as that of Jamshid, the refuge of the True Religion--may our lives be his sacrifice!--, their roots were torn up." (Extract from letter addressed by Mirza Sa'id Khan, ex-foreign minister of Persia; to the Persian ambassador in Constantinople; dated 12th of 12th Dhu'l-Hijjih, 1278 [May 10, 1862]. Facsimile and translation of the document reproduced in E. G. Browne's "Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion," p. 283.)
Epilogue, p.657, f.2
"It was a terrible journey in rough mountain country and the travellers suffered greatly from exposure." (Dr. T. K. Cheyne's "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 121.)
Epilogue, p.658, f.1
"But just as remarkable as his boldness in claiming Divine authority is his restraint in insisting that his authority was not final. He felt competent and commissioned to reveal much, but he felt with equal certainty that there was infinitely more yet to be revealed. Herein was his greatness. And herein was his greatest sacrifice. He thereby risked the diminution of his personal fame. But he insured the continuance of his mission.... He insured that the movement he had started would grow and expand. He himself was but `a letter out of that most mighty book, a dewdrop from that limitless ocean.'... This was the humility of true insight. And it had its effect. His movement has grown and expanded, and it has yet a great future before it." (Sir Francis Younghusband's "The Gleam," pp. 210-11.)
Epilogue, p.658, f.2
"During the days when I was imprisoned in the Land of Ta [Tihran], although the galling weight of chains and the loathsome atmosphere of the prison allowed me little sleep, yet occasionally, in my moments of slumber, I felt as if something were pouring forth over breast, even as a mighty torrent, which, descending from the Summit of a lofty mountain precipitates itself over the earth. All my limbs seemed to have been set aflame. At such moments my tongue recited what mortal ears could not hear." ("The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," p. 17.)
Epilogue, p.659, f.1
Gobineau, writing in about the year 1865, testifies as follows: "Public opinion holds that the Babis are to be found in every social class and among the members of every religion, with the exception of the Nusayris and the Christians, but it is especially the educated classes, the men of learning who are suspected of sympathy with Babism. It is believed, and with good reason, that many mullas and, among them, outstanding mujtahids, magistrates of high rank, and high court officials very close to the king, are Babis. According to a recent estimate, there would be in Tihran, a city of about eighty thousand souls, five thousand Babis. But this estimate is not very reliable and I am inclined to think that, if the Babis were to triumph in Persia, their number in the capital would be much larger, for, at that moment, one would have to add to the number of the zealous ones, whatever that number may now be, a large proportion of those who are recently in favor of the officially condemned doctrine and to whom victory would impart the courage to declare their faith openly." (Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 251.) "Half a century has not yet elapsed since Mirza Ali-Muhammad, the young Seer of Shiraz, first began to preach the religion which now counts its martyrs by hundreds and its adherents by hundreds of thousands; which seemed at one time to menace the supremacy alike of the Qajar dynasty and of the Muhammadan faith in Persia, and may still not improbably prove an important factor in the history of Western Asia." (E. G. Browne's introduction to the "Tarikh-i-Jadid," p. 7.) "Babism," writes Professor James Darmesteter, "which diffused itself in less than five years from one end of Persia to another, which was bathed in 1852 in the blood of its martyrs, has been silently progressing and propagating itself. If Persia is to be at all regenerate it will be through this new faith." (Extract from "Persia: A Historical and Literary Sketch," translated by G. K. Nariman.) "If Babism continues to grow at its present rate of progression, a time may conceivably come when it will oust Muhammadanism from the field in Persia. This, I think, it would be unlikely to do, did it appear upon the ground under the flag of a hostile faith. But since its recruits are won from the best soldiers of the garrison whom it is attacking, there is greater reason to believe that it may ultimately prevail. To those who know anything of the Persian character, so extraordinarily susceptible of religious influences as it is, it will be obvious to how many classes in that country the new creed makes successful appeal. The Sufis, or mystics, have long held that there must always be a Pir, or Prophet, visible in the flesh, and are very easily absorbed into the Babi fold. Even the orthodox Musulman, whose mind's eye has ever been turned in eager anticipation upon the vanished Imam, is amenable to the cogent reasoning, by which it is sought to prove that either the Bab, or Baha, is the Mihdi, according to all the predictions of the Qur'an and the traditions. The pure and suffering life of the Bab, his ignominious death, the heroism and martyrdom of his followers, will appeal to many others who can find no similar phenomena in the contemporaneous records of Islam." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 1, p. 503.) The author, in the same chapter, commenting on the prospects of Christian missionary enterprise in Persia, writes as follows: "Persia has even been described as the most hopeful among the fields of missionary labour in the East. While conscious of the valuable work that has been and is being done by the representatives of English, French, and American Mission societies in that country, by the spread of education, by the display of charity, by the free gift of medical assistance, by the force of example, and while in no way suggesting that these pious labours should be slackened, I am unable, from such knowledge as I possess, to participate in so sanguine a forecast of the future." (p. 504.) "...In Persia, however, not the least of the obstacles with which Christian communities are confronted arise from their own sectarian differences, and the Musulmans are perfectly entitled to scoff at those who invite them to enter a flock the different members of which love each other so bitterly. Protestants squabble with Roman Catholics, Presbyterians with Episcopalians, the Protestant Nestorians look with no very friendly eye upon the Nestorians proper, and these, again, are not on the most harmonious terms with the Chaldaeans, or Catholic Nestorians. The Armenians gaze askance upon the United (or Catholic) Armenians, and both unite in retarding the work of the Protestant missions. Finally, the hostility of the Jews may, as a rule, be reckoned upon. In the various countries of the East in which I have traveled, from Syria to Japan, I have been struck by the strange and, to my mind, sorrowful phenomenon, of missionary bands waging the noblest of warfares under the banner of the King of Peace with fratricidal weapons in their hands." (Pp. 507-8.) "...If, then, the criterion of missionary enterprise in Persia be the number of converts it has made from Islam, I do not hesitate to say that the prodigious expenditure of money of honest effort, and of sacrificing toil that has been showered upon that country has met with a wholly inadequate return. Young Muhammadans have sometimes been baptised by Christian missionaries. But this must not too readily be confounded with conversion, since the bulk of the newcomers relapse into the faith of their fathers and I question if, since the day when Henry Martyn set foot in Shiraz up till the present moment, half a dozen Persian Muhammadans have genuinely embraced the Christian creed. I have myself often enquired for, but have never seen, a converted Musulman (I exclude, of course, those derelicts or orphans of Musulman parents who are brought up from childhood in Christian schools). Nor am I surprised at even the most complete demonstration of failure. Putting aside the dogmatic assumptions of Christianity (e.g. the doctrine of the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ), which are so repugnant to the Muhammadan conception of the unity of God, we cannot regard the reluctance of a Musulman to desert his faith with much astonishment when we remember that the penalty for such an act is death. The chances of conversion are remote indeed so long as the body as well as the soul of the convert is thrown into the scales But personal apprehensions, though an important are not the deciding factor in the situation. It is against the impregnable rock-wall of Islam as a system embracing every sphere, and duty, and act of life, that the waves of missionary effort beat and buffet in vain. Marvellously adapted alike to the climate, character and occupations of those countries upon which it has laid its adamantine grip, Islam holds its votary in complete thrall from the cradle to the grave. To him, it is not only religion, it is government, philosophy, and science as well. The Muhammadan conception is not so much that of a state church as, if the phrase may be permitted, of a church state. The undergirders with which society itself is warped round are not of civil, but of ecclesiastical, fabrication, and, wrapped in this superb, if paralysing creed, the Musulman lives in contented surrender of all volition, deems it his highest duty to worship God and to compel, or, where impossible, to despise those who do not worship Him in the spirit, and then dies in sure and certain hope of Paradise. So long as this all-compelling, all-absorbing code of life holds an Eastern people in its embrace, determining every duty and regulating every act of existence, and finally meting out an assured salvation missionary treasure and missionary self-denial will largely be spent in vain. Indeed, an active propaganda is, in my judgment, the worst of policies that a Christian mission in a bigoted Musulman country can adopt and the very tolerance with which I have credited the Persian government is in large measure due to the prudent abstention of the Christian missionaries from avowed proselytism." (Pp. 508-9.)
Epilogue, p.660, f.1
Gobineau, writing about the year 1865, gives the following testimony: "Thus Babism has won a considerable influence on the mind of Persia, and spreading beyond the Persian frontier, has overflowed into the pachalick of Baghdad and penetrated into India. Among its characteristics, one of the most striking is that, even during the life of the Bab, many of the new faith, many of its most convinced and devoted followers, have never known personally their prophet and do not seem to have attached great importance to the hearing of his instructions from his own lips. Nevertheless, they rendered him, completely and without reservation, the honors and the veneration to which, in their own eyes, he was certainly entitled." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," p. 255.)
Epilogue, p.663, f.1
"The Cause of the Bab is on the road to great achievements. We have now shown how there has taken place a religious movement which absorbs the deepest attention of Central Asia, that is to say, of Persia, several regions of India and a section of Asiatic Turkey; a religious movement, therefore, truly remarkable and worthy of being studied. Through it, we witness events, manifestations, catastrophes such that one could only imagine possible in remote ages when the great religions were born. I even confess that if I were to see appear in Europe a religion like unto Babism, with advantages such as Babism possesses, with complete faith, an undaunted enthusiasm, tried courage and proven devotion, winning the respect of the indifferent, frightening its adversaries and, moreover, a tireless proselytism constantly gaining adherents in every social class, --if I were to see such a phenomenon in Europe, I would not hesitate to predict that, within a given time, power and sovereignty would of necessity belong to a group so richly endowed." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 116, 293-294.) "It seems certain that from the religious standpoint and especially from the moral one, Babism marks an advance over the teachings of Islam; one may hold with M. Vambery (French Academy, March 12, 1892) that its leader has expressed doctrines worthy of the greatest thinkers.... In any case the growth of Babism is an interesting chapter in the history of modern religions and civilization. And thus, after all is said, those who praise it are perhaps right; it may be that from Babism will come the regeneration of the Persian peoples, even of the whole of Islam which is in real need of it. Unfortunately there is seldom a national regeneration without much shedding of blood." (M. J. Balteau's "Le Babisme," p. 28.) "Now it appears to me that the history of the Babi movement must be interesting in effort ways to others besides those who are directly engaged in the study of Persian. To the student of religious thought it will afford no little matter for reflection; for here he may contemplate such personalities as by lapse of time pass into heroes and demi-gods still unobscured by myth and fable he may examine by the light of concurrent and independent testimony one of those strange outbursts of enthusiasm, faith, fervent devotion, and indomitable heroism--or fanaticism, if you will-- which we are accustomed to associate with the earlier history of the human race; he may witness in a word, the birth of a faith which may not impossibly win a place amidst the great religions of the world. To the ethnologist also it may yield food for thought as to the character of a people who, stigmatised as they often have been as selfish, mercenary, avaricious, egotistical, sordid, and cowardly, are yet capable of exhibiting under the influence of a strong religious impulse a degree of devotion, disinterestedness, generosity, unselfishness, nobility, and courage which may be paralleled in history, but can scarcely be surpassed. To the politician, too, the matter is not devoid of importance; for what changes may not be effected in a country now reckoned almost as a cypher in the balance of national forces by a religion capable of evoking so mighty a spirit? Let those who know what Muhammad made the Arabs, consider well what the Bab may yet make the Persians." (E. G. Browne's introduction to "A Traveller's Narrative," pp. 8-9.) "So here at Bahji was I installed as a guest, in the very midst of all that Babism accounts most noble and most holy; and here did I spend five most memorable days, during which I enjoyed unparalleled and unhoped-for opportunities of holding intercourse with those who are the very fountain-heads of that mighty and wondrous spirit which works with invisible but ever-increasing force for the transformation and quickening of a people who slumber in a sleep like unto death. It was in truth a strange and moving experience, but one whereof I despair of conveying any save the feeblest impression. I might, indeed, strive to describe in greater detail the faces and forms which surrounded me, the conversations to which I was privileged to listen, the solemn melodious reading of the sacred books, the general sense of harmony and content which pervaded the place, and the fragrant shady gardens whither in the afternoon we sometimes repaired; but all this was as nought in comparison with the spiritual atmosphere with which I was encompassed. Persian Muslims will tell you often that the Babis bewitch or drug their guests so that these, impelled by a fascination which they cannot resist, become similarly affected with what the aforesaid Muslims regard as a strange and incomprehensible madness. Idle and absurd as this belief is, it yet rests on a basis of fact stronger than that which supports the greater part of what they allege concerning this people. The spirit which pervades the Babis is such that it can hardly fail to affect most powerfully all subjected to its influence. It may appeal or attract: it cannot be ignored or disregarded. Let those who have not seen disbelieve me if they will; but, should that spirit once reveal itself to them, they will experience an emotion which they are not likely to forget." (Ibid., pp. 38-9.) "It will thus be seen that, in its external organisation, Babism has undergone great and radical changes since it first appeared as a proselytising force half a century ago. These changes, however, have in no wise impaired, but appear, on the contrary, to have stimulated, its propaganda, which has advanced with a rapidity inexplicable to those who can only see therein a crude form of political or even of metaphysical fermentation. The lowest estimate places the present number of Babis in Persia at half a million. I am disposed to think, from conversations with persons well qualified to judge, that the total is nearer one million. They are to be found in every walk of life, from the ministers and nobles of the Court to the scavenger or the groom, not the least arena of their activity being the Musulman priesthood itself. It will have been noticed that the movement was initiated by siyyids, hajis, and mullas--i.e. persons who, either by descent, from pious inclination, or by profession, were intimately concerned with the Muhammadan creed; and it is among even the professed votaries of the faith that they continue to make their converts. Many Babis are well known to be such, but, as long as they walk circumspectly, are free from intrusion or persecution. In the poorer walks of life the fact is, as a rule, concealed for fear of giving an excuse for the superstitious rancour of superiors. Quite recently the Babis have had great success in the camp of another enemy, having secured many proselytes among the Jewish populations of the Persian towns. I hear that during the past year they are reported to have made 150 Jewish converts in Tihran, 100 in Hamadan, 50 in Kashan, and 75 per cent of the Jews at Gulpayigan." (Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question," vol. 1, pp. 499-500.) "From that subtle race," writes Dr. J. Estlin Carpenter, "issues the most remarkable movement which modern Muhammadanism has produced.... Disciples gathered round him, and the movement was not checked by his arrest, his imprisonment for nearly six years and his final execution in 1850.... It, too, claims to be a universal teaching; it has already its noble army of martyrs and its holy hooks; has Persia, in the midst of her miseries, given birth to a religion which will go round the world?" ("Comparative Religion," pp. 70, 71.) "Once again," writes Professor E. G. Browne, "in the world's history has the East vindicated her claim to teach religion to the West, and to hold in the Spiritual World that preeminence which the Western nations hold in the Material." (Introduction to M. H. Phelps' "Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi," p. 15.)
Epilogue, p.665, f.1
Epilogue, p.666, f.1
"The Caliphate began with the election of Abu-Bakr in A.D. 632 and lasted until A.D. 1258, when Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad and put Mu'tasim-Bi'llah to death. For nearly three centuries after this catastrophe the title of Caliph was perpetuated in Egypt by descendants of the House of Abbas who lived under the protection of its Mameluke rulers, until in A.D. 1517 Sultan Salim, the Osmanli, having conquered the Mameluke dynasty induced the helpless Caliph to transfer to him the title and insignia." (P. M. Sykes' "A History of Persia," vol. 2, p. 25.)