The Báb sent Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí to Najaf and Karbalá to proclaim His Cause among the Shaykhís. In Najaf Mullá `Alí delivered a letter from the Báb to Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan Najafí, the leading Shí`í divine and the keeper of the shrines in Iraq. [BBRSM15; DB87-91; SBBH20–1, HotD46]
The Shaykh's rejection of the claim led to a violent debate. Mullá `Alí was taken to Baghdád and imprisoned there. After a public trial, a joint tribunal of Sunní and Shí`í `ulamá, he was sent to Istanbul. He was the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. It is significant that Mullá Hasan Gawhar, a leading figure of the Shaykhí school, participated in the condemnation as it marks the first major challenge to Bábism from a Shaykhí leader. [Bab27, 37–8, 58; BBR83–90; BBRSM17; BKG31; DB90–2; MMBA, BBR2p17, GPB10]
The trial of Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí in Baghdád. A fatwá is issued in Baghdád against both Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí and the Báb, condemning the Báb, who is unnamed in the fatwá, to death as an unbeliever. [Bab64; BBRSM15, 215; SBBH21, 22]
Táhirih was sent back to Baghdád from Karbalá. She was lodged first in the house of Shaykh Muhammad Shíbl and then in the house of the Muftí of Baghdád where she stayed for three months. During her time in Iraq she enlisted a considerable number of followers and made a number of enemies among the clergy [Bab162; DB81note2; 271]
Táhirih's activities in Iraq so alarm some Bábís of Kázimayn that they agitated against her. Siyyid `Alí Bishr wrote to the Báb in Máh-Kú on their behalf. The Báb replied praising Táhirih, causing the Kázimayn Bábís to withdraw from the Faith. [Bab163]
Among those Táhirih met in Baghdád was Hakím Masíh, a Jewish doctor who years later becomes the first Bahá'í of Jewish background. [Bab165]
Táhirih was sent back to Persia by Najíb Páshá. She was accompanied by a number of Bábís; they made a number of stops along the way, enrolling supporters for the Cause of the Báb. [Bab163–4; BBRSM216]
Ma'ani says Táhirih left Baghdád early in 1847.
In Kirand 1,200 people are reported to have volunteered to follow her. [Bab164 DB272; TN20]
B164 says the number is 12,000; DB272 says it was 1,200.
In Kirmánsháh she was respectfully received by the `ulamá. [Bab164; DB272]
Táhirih arrived in Hamadán. Her father had sent her brothers here to persuade her to return to her native city of Qazvín. She agreed on condition that she may remain in Hamadán long enough to tell people about the Báb. [Bab165; DB273]
MF180 says Táhirih remained in Hamadán for two months.
See AB10–11, BBD211–12, BKG79–83, CH41–2, DB631–3, GPB109 and RB1:9 for a description of the prison and the conditions suffered by the prisoners.
No food or drink was given to Bahá'u'lláh for three days and nights. [DB608]
Photo of the entrance to the Siyah-Chal (Black-Pit) where Baha’u’llah was imprisoned in Tehran.
Bahá'u'lláh remained in the prison for four months. [CH41; ESW20, 77; GPB104; TN31]
A silent video presentation on Bahá'u'lláh's time in the Síyáh-Chál made for the 150th anniversary of the event.
"Upon Our arrival We were first conducted along a pitch-black corridor, from whence We descended three steep flights of stairs to the place of confinement assigned to Us. The dungeon was wrapped in thick darkness, and Our fellow prisoners numbered nearly a hundred and fifty souls: thieves, assassins and highwaymen. Though crowded, it had no other outlet than the passage by which We entered. No pen can depict that place, nor any tongue describe its loathsome smell. Most of these men had neither clothes nor bedding to lie on. God alone knoweth what befell Us in that most foul-smelling and gloomy place!" [ESW20-21]
See CH42–3 for the effect of Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment on His wife and children. Friends and even family were afraid to be associated with His immediate family. During this period Mírzá Músá helped the family surreptitiously and Mírzá Yúsif, who was married to Bahá'u'lláh's cousin, a Russian citizen and a friend of the Russian Consul, was less afraid of repercussions for his support of them.
They were also assisted by Isfandíyár, the family's black servant that had been emancipated in 1839 on the order of Bahá'u'lláh. This man's life was in great danger. At one time they had 150 policemen looking for him but he managed to evade capture. They thought that if they questioned (tortured) Isfandíyár he would reveal Bahá'u'lláh's nefarious plots. [SoW Vol IX April 28, 1918 p38-39]
Another who helped the family was Mírzá Muhammad Tabrizi who rented a house for them in Sangelak. [PG122]
‘Abdu'l-Bahá, as a child of eight, was attacked in the street of Tihrán. [DB616]
See AB11–12, RB1:9 for ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's account of His visit to His father.
Bahá'u'lláh's properties were plundered. [CH41; RB1:11]
See BBD4–5; DB663; BKG94–8 and Bahá'í Stories for the story of ‘Abdu'l-Vahháb-i-Shírází who was martyred while being held in the Síyáh-Chál.
See BBD190, 200 and ESW77 about the two chains with which Bahá'u'lláh was burdened while in the Síyáh-Chál. Five other Bábís were chained to Him day and night. [CH41]
Bahá'u'lláh had some 30 or 40 companions. [BBIC:6, CH41]
For the story of His faithful follower and his martyrdom, 'Abdu'l-Vahháb see TF116-119.
An attempt was made to poison Him. The attempt failed but His health was impaired for years following. [BBIC:6; BKG99–100, GPB72]
Bahá'u'lláh's half-brother Mírzá Yahyá fled to Tákur and went into hiding. He eventually went to Baghdád. [BKG90, 107, CH41]
Bahá'u'lláh and His family departed for Baghdád after a one month respite in the home of his half-brother Mírzá Ridá-Qulí. During the three-month journey Bahá'u'lláh was accompanied by His wife Navváb, (Who was six weeks from giving birth upon departure.) His eldest son ‘Abdu'l-Bahá (9), Bahíyyih Khánum (7) and two of His brothers, Mírzá Músá and Mírzá Muhammad-Qulí. Mírzá Mihdí (2), was very delicate and so was left behind with the grandmother of the child, the mother of Àsíyih Khánum. They were escorted by an officer of the Persian imperial bodyguard and an official representing the Russian legation. [BKG102–5; GPB108; MM31; RoL165]
In a letter sent on behalf of the Universal House of Justice dated 1998-10-14 it is stated that there is very little historical information on who took care of Mírzá Mihdí until he was transported to Baghdad to rejoin the Holy Family.
CH44–5 says the family had ten days after Bahá'u'lláh's release to prepare for the journey to Iraq.
‘Never had the fortunes of the Faith proclaimed by the Báb sunk to a lower ebb'. [DB651]
This exile compares to the migration of Muhammad, the exodus of Moses and the banishment of Abraham. [GPB107–8]
See BKG104 and GPB108–9 for conditions on the journey. During His crossing of the Atlantic on his way from Naples to New York He said the His feet had become frostbitten during the trip to Baghdad. [SYH52]
Bahá'u'lláh's black servant, Isfandíyár, who had managed to evade capture during this dark period, after he had paid all the debts to various merchants, went to Mazandaran where he was engaged by the Governor. Years later when his master made a pilgrimage to Iraq Isfandíyár met Bahá'u'lláh and stated his preference to return to His service. Bahá'u'lláh said that he owed his master a debt of gratitude and could not leave his employ without his permission. It was not granted and Isfandíyár returned to Mazandaran and stayed with the Governor until his passing. [PUP428; SoW IX 28 April, 1918 p38-39]
Also see A Gift of Love Offered to the Greatest Holy Leaf (compiled and edited by Gloria Faizi, 1982), by Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qasim Faizi, which includes a brief summary of the character of Isfandiyar and his services to the Holy Family on pages 14-16.
Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i Kullu't-ta‘ám (Tablet of All Food). [BRSM:62; BKG112]
The revelation of this Tablet pointed out Mírzá Yahyá's lack of ability. [BKG 112]
This Tablet also describes five Worlds of God.
It is an esoteric scriptural Tablet expository of Qur'an 3:87  and incorporating issues of Bábi authority and religiosity. It is addressed to the Bábi believer Ḥajjī Mīrzā Kamāl al-Dīn Narāqī (d. Narāq c.1298/1881). An inadequate printed text is found in Ishrāq Khavari (comp.) Mā'ida-yi āsmani IV :265-276 and a slightly better one in Rahiq-i makhtum II :416-426. A superior photocopied ms. is to be found in INBMC 36:268-277. [U of Cal. MERCED]
It was during the Baghdad period that 'Abdu'l-Bahá became conscious to the station of His Father.
"The Bab states that the first one to believe in a Manifestation of God is the essence of the achievement of the preceding dispensation; and so, 'Abdu'l-Baha, the first to believe with His whole being in the Mission of His Father, was the most eminent representative of the virtues called forth by the Bab." [AB13]
See a letter from the Universal Housed of Justice dated 20 June 1991 para 7 where "the first person to recognize Bahá'u'lláh as a Manifestation of God" is discussed.
"Mirza Yahya had never lifted a finger to protect the Faith of which he was supposed to be the nominal head. Now, incited and aided by Siyyid Muhammad and a few, very few, others of the same nature, Mirza Yahya began a secret campaign to discredit Baha'u'llah. He circulated wild rumours, ascribed to Baha'u'llah actions, opinions, views and intentions totally at variance with truth. These undercurrents and innuendoes became so perilous for the integrity of the Faith of the Bab, threatening it with bitter controversies and even fatal divisions, that Baha'u'llah reached the decision to take Himself away from Baghdad and from the society of men whom He knew - and who knew Him... "
"Mirza Aqa Jan himself has testified: 'That Blessed Beauty evinced such
sadness that the limbs of my body trembled.' He has, likewise, related, as
reported by Nabil in his narrative, that, shortly before Baha'u'llah's
retirement, he had on one occasion seen Him, between dawn and sunrise,
suddenly come out from His house, His night-cap still on His head, showing
such signs of perturbation that he was powerless to gaze into His face,
and while walking, angrily remark: 'These creatures are the same creatures
who for three thousand years have worshipped idols, and bowed down before
the Golden Calf: Now, too, they are fit for nothing better. What relation
can there be between this people and Him Who is the Countenance of Glory?
What ties can bind them to the One Who is the supreme embodiment of all
that is lovable?' 'I stood,' declared Mirza Aqa Jan, 'rooted to the spot,
lifeless, dried up as a dead tree, ready to fall under the impact of the
stunning power of His words. Finally, He said: "Bid them recite: 'Is there
any Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All
are His servants, and all abide by His bidding!' Tell them to repeat it
five hundred times, nay, a thousand times, by day and by night, sleeping
and waking, that haply the Countenance of Glory may be unveiled to their
eyes, and tiers of light descend upon them." He Himself, I was subsequently
informed, recited this same verse, His face betraying the utmost sadness." [BKG114]
Bahá'u'lláh in Sulaymaniyyih
Bahá'u'lláh suddenly left Baghdád and went to the mountainous wilderness of Sar Galu, around Sulaymaniyyah in Iraqi Kurdistán. [BKG115-122; DB585; GPB120-124; TN38; CH256; KI250-251; AB392]
Before He left, Bahá'u'lláh asked His family to look after Mírzá Yahyá during His absence. [CB70–1; CH50–1,]
Bahá'u'lláh lived for some time as a dervish in a cave on the mountain of Sar-Galú. He took the name Darvísh Muhammad-i-Írání to conceal His true identity. [BBD214–15; BBRSM:60–1; BKG116–19; GPB120–1; TN38–9]
This action compares to Moses' going out to the desert of Sinai, to Buddha's retreat to the wilds of India, to Christ's walk in the wilderness and to Muhammad's withdrawal to the hills of Arabia. [BKG114]
Áqá Abu'l-Qásim-i-Hamadání was His only companion. Áqá Abu'l-Qásim was killed by thieves on a journey to collect money and provisions. [BKG116–17]
"It was this period of voluntary seclusion, following shortly after the execution of the Báb in 1850, which bequeathed to history irrevocable proof that Bahá'u'lláh and not His half-brother, Subhi-Ezel, was, in reality, the one celebrated by the Báb and for whom the Bábí Movement was the spiritual preparation. By this act of voluntary retirement, Bahá'u'lláh gave Sebhi-Ezel unhampered opportunity to exercise the spiritual leadership over the Bábís which the latter claimed as his right. The result, however, demonstrated Subhi-Ezel's utter incapacity to maintain unity among the Bábís, inspire them with faith and confidence sufficient to meet their many difficulties and guide them along lines of true future progress. Nonother than the return of Bahá'u'lláh could re-quicken the flames of their ardour or supply them with the more universal principles of conduct and faith required to transform the Bábí Movement into a world religion." [BW2Surveyp33]
It was during this time that Bahá'u'lláh revealed the poem Qasídiyi-i-‘Izz-i-Varqá'íyyih (Ode of the Dove). It was composed of 2,000 couplets but Bahá'u'lláh allowed only 127 to be preserved. [BBD215; BKG118; GPB123]
See BKG114, GPB117–19 and K1250 for reasons for Bahá'u'lláh's retirement.
Before and during His absence no fewer than 25 people claimed to be the One promised by the Báb. [BBRSM29, 59; EB269; GPB125]
As his position as nominal head deteriorated Mírzá Yahyá became more desperate, he had one such claimant, Mírzá Asadu'lláh Khí'í Dayyán, assassinated around 1856. [Bahá'u'lláh and the Naqshbandí Sufis in Iraq by Juan Cole p4]
See BKG115–19 and GPB120 for Bahá'u'lláh's activities while in Kurdistán.
See KI248–51 for Bahá'u'lláh's own account of the episode.
See BKG119–22 and GPB124–6 for the condition of the Bábí community in Baghdád during this period.
The son born to Navváb shortly after the family's arrival in Baghdád became ill and died during Bahá'u'lláh's absence. [CB71; CH51–2]
See SBBR2:1–28 for Bahá'u'lláh's contact with Súfís.
BW16:528 for an account of Daoud Toeg, who visited the caves of Sar-Galú and photographed them in August of 1940.
Mírzá Yáhyá, who had been hiding in Mazíndarán since the attempt on the life of the Sháh, at some point prior to Bahá'u'lláh's retirement to the mountains of Kurdistán, had joined the exiles in Baghdád. During Bahá'u'lláh's absence He asked that the friends treat him with consideration and that the family offer him shelter and hospitality in the family home.
See CH50-52 for the effect this had on the family. Eventually the family relocated to a different house during this period and Yáhyá did come come with them out of fear of exposure but rather he lived in a smaller house near theirs where they could continue to supply him with meals.
At some point during the retirement of Bahá'u'lláh, Mírzá 'Aqá Ján was engaged in the service of Mírzá Yahyá who wanted him to go on a secret mission to Tehran to assassinate Násiri'd-Dín Sháh. He accepted the assignment and soon after his arrival managed to obtain access to the court in the guise of a labourer. He realized the extent of his folly and returned to Baghdád and when Bahá'u'lláh returned from exile he confessed his part in the scheme and begged Bahá'u'lláh's forgiveness and he was permitted to resume service for Bahá'u'lláh. [CoB181-182]
Bahá'u'lláh's writings during this period were so prolific that in one hour He would reveal a thousand verses and in the course of one day the equivalent of the Qur'án. He revealed a vast number of works and then commanded that hundreds of thousands of verses be destroyed. [BBRSM62–3; BKG167; GPB137–8]
Áqá Kalím, Bahá'u'lláh's faithful brother, felt that Bahá'u'lláh should return from his self-imposed exile owning to the state of the community so he sent his Arab father-in-law, Shaykh Sultán, to find Him and try to convince Him to return. He carried letters from several family members, including Mírzá Yahyá, pleading with Him to return. [Bahá'u'lláh and the Naqshbandi Sufis in Iraq, 1854-1856 p20-21]
Bahá'u'lláh returned from Sulaymáníyyih, Kurdistán two years after His withdrawal, a moment Shoghi Effendi has described as “a turning point of the utmost significance in the history of the first Bahá’í century.” [GPB127]
Baha’u’llah’s return revived and animated the Bábí community.
"He Himself has described the situation which then confronted Him:
We found no more than a handful of souls, faint and dispirited, nay utterly lost and dead. The Cause of God had ceased to be on any one's lips, nor was any heart receptive to its message. [GPB125]
From this time Bahá'u'lláh started to educate the believers in the principles of the Faith. [GPB127–8; TN39]
During Bahá'u'lláh's absence Mírzá Musá rented a house near the Al-Kazimiyya mosque and shrine, in the Kādhimayn district in Baghdad. (It is the burial place of Imam Musa Al-Kadhim and Imam Muhammad Al-Jawad, they are respectively the Seventh and the Ninth of the Twelve Imams.) The house was large, two or three stories, and was made of simple mud brick with a surrounding central courtyard. At some point before His departure on the 22nd of April, 1863, the house was purchased. He later named it "The Most Great House" and designated it a place of pilgrimage. It is also referred to as the "Throne of His Glory", and the "Lamp of Salvation between earth and heaven". [CEBF66]
After His departure the House was held in the names of various custodians and allowed to fall into disrepair. [CEBF66]
Bahá'u'lláh revealed a Tablet to be used when making a pilgrimage to the House. [GWB111-114; 114-115]
Siyyid Asadulláh of Khuy was an influential and devoted Bábi whom the Báb had designated "Dayyán" (Judge). During Mírzá Yahyá's leadership in Baghdad he had found him so weak and the community so desperate that he, like some twenty others, declared himself to be to be the Promised One. He soon rescinded his claim after Bahá'u'lláh's return when he, as the Báb had promised, became the third person to believe in Bahá'u'lláh. Mírzá Yahyá saw this man a threat and ordered his servant Mírzá Muhammad-i-Mázindarání to murder him. [MCS562]
In Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (p174-176) Bahá'u'lláh mentions Mírzá 'Alí-Akbar, a relative of the Báb and Abu'l-Qásim-i-Káshí and states "several other suffered martyrdom through the decree pronounced by Mírzá Yahyá."
The revelation of Sahíiy-i-Shattíyyih (Book of the River or Book of the Tigris) by Bahá'u'lláh.
See Tablet of the River [Tigris] by Bahá'u'lláh translated by Juan Cole, 1997 for the background to the Tablet and a translation. Cole contends, by his translation, that at this time Bahá'u'lláh, had no thought of advancing any claim to Revelation.
See Concealment and Revelation in Bahá'u'lláh's Book of the River by Nader Saiedi published in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 9:3, 1999 where Saiedi postulates, based on his translation that Bahá'u'lláh was fully aware of His mission from at least the time of his imprisonment in the Siyah-Chal and rejects any suggestion that Bahá'u'lláh's consciousness evolved in this regard.
See Messianic Concealment and Theophanic Disclosure by Moojan Momen
published in Online Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 1 Association for Bahá'í Studies of New Zealand, 2007, where Momen contends that the controversy is an illusory one caused by the specific nature of the meaning of the word "amr" and that the phrase that is the subject of dispute proves neither side's case, however it is translated. He explains it by say there is a theological schematic of the stages of the evolution of the mission of the Manifestations of God, the phenomenon of a period of messianic concealment followed by a theophanic disclosure. He then imposes this schematic upon the dispensation of the Báb creating a new interpretation of His ministry and further suggests it could be applied to the Revelation of Muhammad and Jesus.
Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Four Valleys, (Chahar Vadi) addressed to Shaykh ‘Abdu'r-Rahmán-i-Tálabání (or Karkútí), a man of erudition and understanding and a leader of the Qádiríyyih Order, someone He had come in contact with in Kurdistán. In it He describes four different paths of approach to the Divine. [SA157–8, BKG163; RoB1p104]
"The Four Valleys was revealed ... in a mystical language and style, in response to a request made by a prominent Sufi. Yet, despite the traditional Sufi concepts, language, and symbolism employed by Bahá’u’lláh, studying the text in light of the totality of Bahá’í writings demonstrates that its main purpose is to guide the wayfarers to the recognition of the Manifestation of God, soon to be revealed to be Bahá’u’lláh Himself. Furthermore, understanding the text as portraying two complementary paradigms—four parallel paths towards God and the four stages of a single path—leads to integrative and holistic perspectives and practices prescribed in the Bahá’í writings." [Reflections on The Four Valleys of Bahá’u’lláh by Amrollah Hemmat found in the Journal of Bahá'í Studies 30 4 2020]
Nabil, who had met Bahá'u'lláh in 1850, was one of the Bábí leaders who claimed to be the promised messianic figure according to the Báb’s prophecies. After his return to Baghdad he withdrew his claim when he recognized Bahá'u'lláh’s status as the fulfillment of the Báb’s predictions and the leader of the Bábís. He became one of Bahá'u'lláh’s earliest followers. [RoB1p202, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica]
It was in this period that Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Seven Valleys (Haft Vadi)in response to a request from a Súfí, Shaykh Muhyi'd-Dín, the Qádí of Khániqayn, whom He may have met in Kurdistán. In it Bahá'u'lláh described the "seven stages which the soul of the seeker must needs traverse ere it can attain the object of its existence." These seven stages were originally proposed by the great Persian Sufi poet Shaykh Faridu'd-Din Attar (d1230C.E) in his renowned work the Mantiqu't-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds.) [BBS94; GPB140; BBD206; BBRSM:64; SA150; BKG161-163; RoB1p98-101]
For details of the composition and content of the Seven Valleys see SA150.
The revelation of Javáhiru'l-Asrár, (meaning literally the "gems" or "essences" of mysteries) (in Arabic) by Bahá'u'lláh in reply to a question posed by Siyyid Yúsuf-i-Sihdihí Isfahání, who, at the time, was residing in Karbilá. One of the central themes of the treatise is the subject of "transformation", meaning the return of the Promised One in a different human guise. The second theme can be said to be mystical in nature. It has many similarities to The Seven Valleys. Bahá'u'lláh described the seven valleys, but the names and orders of valleys are slightly different from those found in the book of The Seven Valleys [GDMii]
BBS94 says this was revealed at about the same time as the Seven Valleys>.
Of the Suratu'l-Bayan (The Epistle of Utterance) it is written: "This highly eloquent and challenging treatise highlights some key spiritual verities from am Bahá'u'lláh's teachings. Written entirely in the Arabic language, its timeless message is primarily addressed to the generality of His faithful followers. " [BBS124-131]
In this Tablet the Maiden appears as the personification of the spirit of God. The Maiden has emerged from her hidden chamber symbolizes the appearance of Bahá'u'lláh's revelation in the world, and her afflictions mirror that of Bahá'u'lláh's. In the Surah of the Bayan Bahá'u'lláh identifies with Himself a passage in the Qayyumu'l-Asma in which the Báb had referred to "the Maid of Heaven begotten by the Spirit of Baha" (SWB:54).
In all likelihood this treatise was revealed during the in Baghdad during the visionary, allegorical period of His Writings, however the manner in which Bahá'u'lláh refers to the "Maiden" is in keeping with the style of the Akka period.
Portions of this treatise can be found in Gleanings CXXIX, CXXVIII, And CXLV.
Mullá Sádiq-i-Muqaddas-i-Khurásání (Ismu'láhu'l-Asdaq), a Bábí and father of Ibn Asdaq, met Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád and became a follower. Previously he had recognized the Báb through a dream and the memory of seeing Him in the congregation during a sermon he had delivered in a mosque in Karbila when a ray of light shone on the lap of the Báb as he sat listening attentively. [BKG18; PG108-109]
Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Kitáb-i-Íqán (The Book of Certitude), ‘a comprehensive exposition of the nature and purpose of religion'. In the early days this Tablet was referred to as the Risáliy-i-Khál (Epistle of the Uncle). [BBD134, 162; BKG159; BBD134; BBRSM64–5; GPB138–9; RB1:158]
The Tablet was revealed in answer to four questions put to Bahá'u'lláh by Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Muhammad, a maternal uncle and caregiver of the Báb (the Greater Uncle, the eldest of the three brothers). He had been persuaded by a devout Bábí, Aqá Mírzá Núru'd-Dín, to make a pilgrimage to the holy Shrines of the Imáms in Iraq and where he could put these questions to Bahá'u'lláh as well as visit his sister, the mother of the Báb, who was not yet herself a Bábí. [BBD134, 162; BKG163–5; RB1:158]
It was revealed in the course of two days and two nights in early January. [BBS107; BBD 134; BKG165; GPB238; RB1:158]
The original manuscript, in the handwriting of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, is in the Bahá'í International Archives. See Reflections p149 for the story of the receipt of the original tablet, written in the hand of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by Shoghi Effendi in the Holy Land. [BKG165; RB1:159]
It was probably the first of Bahá'u'lláh's writings to appear in print. [BKG165; EB121]
For a discussion of the circumstances of its revelation, its content and major themes see RB1:153–97.
Bahá'u'lláh sent a ring and cashmere shawl to His niece, Shahr-Bánú, the daughter of Mírzá Muhammad-Hasan, in Tihrán to ask for her hand in marriage to ‘Abdu'l-Bahá. Shahr-Bánú's uncle, acting in place of her dead father, refused to let her go to Iraq. [BKG342–3]
Colonel Sir Arnold Burrowes Kemball, the British Consul-General in Baghdád, offered Bahá'u'lláh the protection of British citizenship and offered Him residence in India or anywhere of Bahá'u'lláh's choosing. [BBR183, 234; BBRSM65; GPB131]
Bahá'u'lláh declined the invitation, preferring to remain in Ottoman lands. [GBP131]
See BBR183, 508 for details on Kemball; see BBR160–1 for a picture.
The governor of Baghdád, Námiq Páshá, received the first of ‘five successive commands' from ‘Alí Páshá, the Grand Vizier of Turkey, to transfer Bahá'u'lláh to Constantinople. This order was ignored by the governor, who was sympathetic to Bahá'u'lláh. In the next three months, four more orders were received and similarly ignored before the governor was compelled to comply. [BKG154; GPB131]
Bahá'u'lláh met the deputy governor in a mosque opposite the Government House where the Farmán which had been sent by the Sultán was announced to Him and advised that He and His family were to be exiled to an unknown destination. Námiq Páshá, the governor of Baghdad, could not bring himself to meet Bahá'u'lláh and give Him this news in person. At first he summoned Him to the courthouse but when He refused to attend he asked Him to meet in the mosque. [CH81-82,BKG154–5; GPB147–8; RB1:229]
See BKG155–6 and GPB148 for the effect of this news on the believers.
Bahá'u'lláh and His family had been given Ottoman citizenship by this time. [BBRSM66]
See BKG156–8 for a list of those chosen by Bahá'u'lláh to migrate with Him.
See TN50–3 for the story of the sedition behind Bahá'u'lláh's removal from Baghdád.
Fearful of Bahá'u'lláh's growing influence in Baghdád, the Persian Consul-General, Mirza Burzurg Khan, had made representation to the Sultan to have Him delivered to the Persian authorities. The Sultan, although the Caliph of Sunni Islam, considered himself a mystical seeker and was no doubt intrigued with Bahá'u'lláh from the reports of the Governor of 'Akká, Námiq Páshá, and his own Prime Minister, 'Alí Páshá. This combination of sympathy and interest led the Ottoman government to invite Him to the capital rather than send Him to a remote location or return Him to Persia to an uncertain fate. [BBD196; BBIC13, 57note 68; RoB1p142-147]
Bahá'u'lláh revealed Lawh-i-Fitnih, "Tablet of the Test". The Tablet, as its title indicates, is about tests and trials which are associated with the Day of God. In it Bahá'u'lláh alludes to His own Revelation and states that through His advent the whole creation will be tried; no soul will be exempt. All those who are the embodiments of piety and wisdom, of knowledge and virtue, every accomplished man of learning, the servants of God and His sincere lovers, the angels that enjoy near access to God, the Concourse on high, every righteous man of discernment, every mature embodiment of wisdom, even the realities of the Prophets and Messengers of God -- all will be tested. [CoCp35]
There is a tradition in Islam quoted by Shoghi Effendi in his Persian writings which sets forth the difficulties and perils encountered by man on his journey to God. It describes how all men will perish and die except the believers; all the believers will perish and die except those who are tested, all who are tested will perish and die except those who are sincere, and those who are sincere will be in great danger. [CoCp35]
Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in the Garden of Ridván.
The garden was located in a large agricultural area immediately north of the walls of the city of Baghdad, about 450 metres (1,480 ft) from the city's northern Mu'azzam gate. Located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in what is now the Bab al-Mu'azzam neighbourhood of Baghdad's Rusafa District, it was directly opposite the district in which Bahá'u'lláh lived during his stay in the city, on the river's western bank. [Wikipedia]
Extract from a Tablet of Baha'u'llah-Khadimu'llah. (Edited provisional translation below)
"On the first day that the Ancient Beauty occupied the Most Great Throne in a Garden which hath been designated Ridván, the Tongue of Grandeur uttered three blessed verses.
 The first of them was that in this Manifestation the use of the sword in holy war is put aside.
 Secondly, prior to the completion of a millennium any theophanological claim put forward by any person must be considered baseless. In this respect the year should be considered a complete year.
 Thirdly, the True One, exalted be His Glory, at that time manifested all the Divine Names upon all things.
“Verily, all created things were immersed in the sea of purification when, on that first day of Ridván, We shed upon the whole of creation the splendours of Our most excellent Names and Our most exalted Attributes”. [Kitab-i-Aqdas para75 p47]
And the following choice verse was subsequently revealed but has been ordained to be of the same rank as the preceding three; namely, whatever personal designations are mentioned before the Face, whether living or dead, such have thereby attained the Presence of God by virtue of being mentioned by the King of Pre-Existence.
Thirty–one days after Naw-Rúz, which in this year fell on 22 March, Bahá'u'lláh left His house for the last time and walked to the Najíbíyyih Garden, afterward known as the Garden of Ridván (Paradise). This garden was on an island in the Tigris River and belonged to the governor of Baghdad, Najib Pásha. The river has since changed its course and the island is now a park on the north bank of the Tigris. [C3MT15]
See BKG168, GPB149, RB1:260–1 and SA234–5 for details of His walk.
For the first time, He wore a tall táj as a symbol of His station. [BBD221; BKG176; GPB152]
Bahá'u'lláh entered the Garden just as the call to afternoon prayer was being made. [GPB149; RB1:261]
On this day Bahá'u'lláh declared His mission to a few of His disciples. [RB1:260, 262]
On the afternoon of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival at the Garden He revealed the Lawh-i-Ayyúb (Tablet of Job) (also known as the Súriy-i-Sabr (Súrat of Patience), Madínatu's-Sabr (City of Patience) and Súrat Ayyúb for Hájí Muhammad-i-Taqíy-i-Nayrízí whom He surnamed Ayyúb (Job). He was a veteran of the battle of Nayríz. The Tablet praised Vahíd and the believers of Nayríz. [SA239; Tablet of Patience (Surih Íabr): Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh and Selected Topics by Foad Seddigh]
He also revealed the Tablet of Ridván, an Arabic tablet beginning with "He is seated upon this luminous throne.... [SA239]
...and Húr-i-'Ujáb (The Wondrous Maiden). [SA239]
...as well as Qad atá Rabí'u'l-Bayán, ...The Divine Springtime is come.... [SA240]
and an Arabic Tablet that begins...When the gladness of God seized all else. [SA240]
‘Of the exact circumstances … we, alas, are but scantily informed.' [BKG173; GPB153]
For such details as are known, see BKG173–5 and GPB153. iiiii
For the import of the event, see BKG169–73; G27–35; GBP153–5.
This initiated the holy day of the First Day of Ridván, to be celebrated on 21 April. [BBD196]
This marked the end of the dispensation of the Báb and of the first epoch of the Heroic or Apostolic Age of the Bahá'í dispensation. [BBD72, 79]
On the same day Bahá'u'lláh made three important statements to His followers:
He forbade the use of the sword.
He stated that no other Manifestations will appear before one thousand years. This was later reiterated in the Kitáb-i-Badí‘ and in The Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
He stated that, as from that moment, all the names and attributes of God were manifested within all created things, implying the advent of a new Day. [RB1:278–80]
During the 12 days in the Ridván Garden Bahá'u'lláh confided to ‘Abdu'l-Bahá that He was ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest'. [CH82]
See CH82–3 for the effect of this announcement on ‘Abdu'l-Bahá.
Mírzá Yahyá fled Baghdád, travelling to Mosul in disguise. [BKG158; RB252–5]
Mírzá Yahyá had, since Bahá'u'lláh's return, concealed himself indoors ore, whenever danger threatened, would withdraw himself to Hillih or Basra where he disguised himself as a Jewish shoe merchant. [BKG224]
CH59 says that he left Baghdád about two weeks before the larger party.
Bahá'u'lláh advised him to go to Persia to disseminate the Writings of the Báb. [RB1:252–3]
Mírzá Yahyá abandoned the Writings of the Báb and travelled surreptitiously to Constantinople, joining the exiles when they passed through Mosul. He had obtained a passport in the name of Mírzá 'Alíh-i-Kirmánsháhí. [ESW167–8; RB1:255; BKG224]
This initiated the holy day the Twelfth Day of Ridván, to be celebrated on 2 May. [BBD196]
As He was about to leave He revealed a Tablet addressed to Áqá Mírzá Áqá in Shíráz. It brought relief and happiness to those who received it. [EB222]
His leaving was accompanied by symbolic signs of His station: He rode a horse rather than a donkey and wore a tall táj. [BBD221; BKG176]
See BKG175–6, GPB155 and RB1:281–2 for descriptions of the scenes that accompanied His departure.
Bahá'u'lláh and His party arrived at Firayját, about three miles away on the banks of the Tigris. [BKG176]
There they stayed in a borrowed garden for a week while Bahá'u'lláh's brother, Mirza Musa, completed dealing with their affairs in Baghdad and packing the remaining goods. Visitors still came daily. [SA235]
One of the loyal followers who was left behind was Ahmad-i-Yazdi. He would later make the journey to Constantinople where he received a Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh. [C3MT17]
After years of imprisonment in Tehran, Àbdu'r '-Rasúl-Qumí visited Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople then took up residence in Baghdad, caring for the garden of the House of Bahá'u'lláh. He was well-known to the Muslims and a target of their attacks. One morning as he was carrying skins of water from the Tigris River he was ambushed by a number of attackers and was mortally wounded. He managed to disperse the assailants, drag himself to the garden where he watered the flowers for the last time.
His name was mentioned in many Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, consoling his family. His son was appointed caretaker of the pilgrims in 'Akká and he served in this capacity until the days of Shoghi Effendi. [FAA8]
Nabíl-i-A‘zam was dispatched to Iraq and Iran to inform the Bábís of the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. He was further instructed to perform the rites of pilgrimage on Bahá'u'lláh's behalf in the House of the Báb and the Most Great House in Baghdad. [BKG250; EB224; GPB176–7]
For details of his mission see EB224–7.
On hearing Nabíl's message, the wife of the Báb, Khadíjih Khánum, immediately recognized the station of Bahá'u'lláh. [EB225]
Nabil was the first Bahá'í to perform pilgrimage to the house of the Báb in Shiraz in fall 1866, in accordance with the rites prescribed in the Surat al-ḥajj revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. He also went to Baghdad and performed the pilgrimage to the House of Bahá'u'lláh in spring 1867, according to another sura, Surat al-damm written by Bahá'u'lláh for that purpose. Nabil’s pilgrimage to those two houses marked the inception of pilgrimage laws ordained by Bahá'u'lláh later in his Kitāb-i-Aqdas. For the rites of these two pilgrimages performed by Nabíl see SA113–15. [GPB176-177, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica, DB434-435]
Lawh-i-Hajj (Tablet of Pilgrimage) (Note: there were numerous Tablets revealed with this same name. [BW19p584] (Leiden List shows 18 in total.)
Principal Bahá'ís in Baghdád were arrested by the Turkish authorities and exiled to Mosul and other places. [BBR265; BKG247; CH129–30; RB2:333]
RB2:333 indicates this took place towards the end of Bahá'u'lláh's stay in Adrianople.
About 70 people were exiled. [GPB178; RB2:334] Estimate given by Hájí Mirzá Haydar-;Alí is 80. (DOH12]
See BKG184 for an illustration of Mosul.
See BKG183 for a description of the city.
See RB2:334 for the hardships suffered by the exiles.
They remained in Mosul for some 20 years until Bahá'u'lláh advised the community to disband (1885-1886). Their hardship was lessened by generous contributions from the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs. A charity fund was established, the first fund of that kind in any Bahá'í community. [RB2:334–6]
The law of the Huqúqu'lláh was put into practice because the work of teaching the Cause began to expand in Persia and in neighbouring countries and there was a need for funds but Bahá'u'lláh put restrictions on its collection. [ESW56]
The first Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh was Hájí Sháh-Muhammad-i-Manshádí, or Jináb-i-Sháh Muhammad from Manshád, Yazd who had become a believer in Baghdad. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]
His title was Amínu'l-Bayán (Trustee of the Bayán).
He made many journeys between Iran and the Holy Land carrying donations and petitions from the friends and returning with Tablets and news.
See SABF47-48 for the story of the lost coin given as a donation by a very poor woman.
He was tasked with receiving the casket of the Báb after the location had been discovered by a number of believers. He transferred it to the Mosque of Imámzádih Zayd in Tehran where it was buried beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary of the shrine. It was consequently discovered and moved to a series of private homes in Tehran until 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent for it for the internment. [ISC-1963p32]
Hájí Sháh-Muhammad was in 'Akká when Áqá Buzurg, entitled Badí', came to confer with Bahá'u'lláh. He and Badí met on Mount Carmel as directed by Bahá'u'lláh.
He was killed as a result of wounds incurred during an attack during a Kurdish revolt. [RoB3p73]
He was one of 19 Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh designated by Shoghi Effendi in recognition of distinguished services that those nineteen loyal and devoted Persian Bahá'ís have rendered to their faith. [BW3p80-81]
Nabíl was born in the village of Zarand on the 29th of July, 1831. He had become a Bábí around 1847 after over-hearing a conversation between two men about the Báb. He accepted the faith of Bahá'u'lláh in 1858. During his years as a Bábí, Nabil traveled to Lorestan, Kermanshah, Tehran, and Khorasan; he met with the Bábís and Bábí leaders in those provinces to foster the Bábí ideology and inspire the believers to arise, consolidate, and expand the new Bábí communities. He also transcribed and distributed Bábí literature among the rank and file of the society to promote the Bábí faith. He was jailed in Sāva for four months because of his pro-Bábí activities. In September 1854, he set out for Baghdad and Karbala, where he stayed until October 1856. During late 1856 to July 1858, he traveled to Hamadan, his hometown Zarand, and many major Babi communities in the capital province and returned to Baghdad on 19 July 1858.
Nabil’s life as a Bahá'í is summed up in his extensive travels throughout Iran, Iraq, Turkey, the Caucasus, Egypt, and Palestine. In his early travels as a Bahá'í, he met with the Bábí communities to invite them to the Bahá'í faith; he attracted the Bábi leaders to the recognition of Bahá'u'lláh as the fulfillment of the Báb’s prophecies concerning the promised messianic figure and helped reinforce the belief of the new Bahá'ís in the teachings and principles that were being advanced by Bahá'u'lláh. Through these activities, Nabíl became an outstanding teacher, defender, and promulgator of the Bahá'í faith.
[Dawn over Mount Hira, "The Poet Laureate" p19-104, or p85-98, “Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica, DB434-435]
Although known primarily as an historian in the West he was a gifted and prolific poet who devoted most of his poetry to the historical events in the Bábí and Bahá'í faiths. His most famous poem in couplet form about the history of the Bahá'í faith was published as Maṯnawi-e Nabil Zarandi in Cairo in 1924 in 65 pages and reprinted in Langenhain in 1995. In this poem he describes major historical events from the early days of the Bábí movement to the year 1869. His second poem, in 666 verses, deals with Bahá'u'lláh’s banishment from Edirne to Akka. Other historical poetry of Nabil consists of his poem titled “Maṯnawi-e weṣāl wa hejr” in 175 verses (pub. in Rafati, 2014, Chap. 6; Ḏokāʾi, p. 416) and his poem on the life of Āqā Moḥammad Nabil Akbar Qāʾeni in 303 verses (Ḵušahā-i az ḵarman-e adab wa honar 13, pp. 108-16). In addition to those poems, Nabil left behind a great collection of poetry in different forms, only a fraction of which has been published.
His other works in prose included a treatise on the Bábí-Bahá'í calendar, a treatise on Bahá'í inheritance laws (Fāżel Māzandarāni, IV pp. 1, 214), and his account on the event of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh (Nabil Zarandi, Maṯnawi-e Nabil Zarandi, Langenhain, 1995, pp. 67-108). But Nabil’s most celebrated work is Maṭāleʿ al-anwār, an extensive historical narrative of the Bábí faith, written in Akka in 1888-90, which was edited and translated into English by Shoghi Effendi as The Dawn-Breakers. The work was first published in the United States in 1932. [“Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica; DB434-435]
After the establishment of British control of Iraq and the appearance of religious freedom and greater security, 'Abdu'l-Bahá authorized repairs to begin on the House. The renovations attracted the attention of neighbouring Shi'as and, after the passing of the custodian, Muhammad Husayn Bábí, they sued for possession on the grounds that he had no heirs. [SETPE1p25]
A second suit for the possession of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad was decided in favour of the Shi'a claimants. This allowed them to apply to the Peace Court in 1922. [SETPE1p25]
Before the application went before the Court the Shi'a group prevailed upon King Faisal to give an illegal personal order to the Governor of Baghdád to evict the Bahá'ís and then return the keys to them. All this was against the opinion of the British High Commissioner. [SETPE1p25]
The case was passed from court to court and finally brought before the Court of Appeal in Baghdád which, by a majority of four (the Iráqí members) to one (the British Presiding Justice), decided in favour of the plaintiffs. [SETPE1p25]
King Feisal of Iraq ordered the Bahá'ís to be turned out of the Most Great House in Baghdád to keep the peace. [BW354; GPB343; PP54]
King Feisal, who had been crowned King of Syria in March 1920, was known to Àbdu'l-Bahá. In about July or August 1920 he had escaped Damascus in a cattle car bound for Haifa carrying a white donkey for Àbdu'l-Bahá. During his brief stay in Haifa the two became acquainted. [from Sunburst by Lorol Schopflocher p83-84 quoting from T E Lawrence's Revolt in the Desert]
The Nairn Transport Company was a pioneering motor transport company that operated a trans-desert route from Beirut, Haifa and Damascus to Baghdad, and back again, from 1923. Their route became known as "The Nairn Way". The firm continued, in various guises, until 1959. [Wikipedia]
Lorol Schopflocher used this service for her trip from Baghdad to Beirut after one of her visits to King Faisal in Baghdad.
The Peace Court ruled in favour of giving the Bahá'ís possession of House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád, however, the Council of Ministers, with the approval of King Feisal, ordered that the property not be returned until ownership could be established. [SETPE1p26]
The Guardian sent 19 cables to various individuals and national bodies with instructions that the Bahá'ís should send cables to the British High Commissioner in Iráq, Sir Henry Dobbs, as well as to the British authorities in Iráq and in London as well as to King Feisal to protest the action of the Council of Ministers. In communities where the numbers are stronger, Persia and America, he instructed that every local assembly protest directly. The Guardian himself sent over 600 pieces of correspondence during the following six months concerning this issue. [PP94-6, GBF33-34 BA94-95]
The Iráqí government refused to bow to the pressure put upon them. [PP96]
Lorol Schopflocher was sent by the Guardian to speak with King Feisal of Iraq. The King was not receiving visitors so she made an unorthodox entrance by driving her car through the gates at high speed and coming to an abrupt stop in front of the palace. [SETPE1p105]
Her autobiographical book, Sunburst, p150, gives a somewhat different account of this incident.
Shoghi Effendi reported in a letter that the case of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád was then before the court of the First Instance and had been postponed for some time. He stated that, should the appeal be successful, the opponents were likely to refer the case to the Court of Appeal and, should that happen, the government would likely delay the return of the keys for the House. [BA76]
Iraq's highest tribunal ruled against the Bahá'ís in the question of ownership of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád. Shoghi Effendi immediately sent a cable urging the American National Assembly and all local assemblies to write or cable the Iraq High Commissioner through the British Consular authorities, to the King of Iraq and to the British central authorities to protest against the injustice. [SETPE1p138]
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Iraq submitted a petition to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations for the return of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád. [BW3:198–206]
It was recommended to the Council of the League of Nations to request that the British Government make representations to the Iraqi Government to redress the denial of justice to the Bahá'ís with reference to House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad. [GBF35]
The Council of the League of Nations adopted the conclusion reached by the Mandates Commissions upholding the claim of the Bahá’í community to the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád. They directed the Mandatory Power (Great Britain) to make representations to the government of Iraq with a view of the immediate redress of the injustice suffered by the petitioners (NSA of Iraq). Also, the International Baha'i Bureau was asked by the League's Publishing Bureau for a short historical account that appeared in that same year's publication.
[BW3:50-55; BIC History page 18 Mar 1928]
For Shoghi Effendi’s response to this see BW3:206–9 and BA175-180.
Shoghi Effendi announced that the Council of the League of Nations had pronounced in favour of the Bahá'í petition regarding the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad. Unfortunately, King Faisal, a Sunni, relented under the pressure of the Shi'iah element and the property was never returned. [Bahá'í News Letter, no. 31 (April 1929), p.6, SETPE1p169]
Martha Root met with King Faisal of Iraq in Baghdad to discuss the issue of the House of Bahá'u'lláh. The King said that a committee had been formed to study the problem and to settle it in such a way as to satisfy all groups interested in the matter. [MRHK149]
The term of The Kingdom of Iraq under British Administration or "Mandatory Iraq" came to an end. It had been created in 1921 following the Iraqi Revolt in 1920 and enacted via the 1922 Anglo-Iraqi Treaty. The British chose Faisal I bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi as king of of Iraq and Syria. He fostered unity between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and tried to promote pan-Arabism with the goal of creating an Arab state in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Fertile Crescent. Faisal died in Switzerland while there for a medical examination at the age of 48, under what some consider to be suspicious circumstances. [Wikipedia]
Iraq was admitted to the League of Nations. [BW5p357]
Meeting of the 22nd Session of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations in Geneva at which the Bahá’ís pleaded their case for the possession of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád. [BW5:351–4]
After five years of deliberations and intervention from the League of Nations, the Iraqi government decided to protect the house as part of an urban improvement plan. The property was originally designated for destruction. [BIC History page 18 Mar 1933]
The 24th session of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations was held in Geneva at which the case of the possession of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád was again raised. [BW5:354–5]
The passing of Haji Mahmúd Qassabchí. In 1933 Qassabchí had suffered a severe attack of paralysis which he narrowly survived and as a result of which he could hardly move or speak for the rest of his life. He was buried at Salman Pak, about thirty miles southeast of Baghdad. [BW11p502-503]
He had become a Bahá'í in 1911 after reading accounts of the travels of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the Star of the West. Prior to that he had made the acquaintance of Músá Banání and had been impressed with the young man's honesty. With regard to his service to the Faith, after WWI he undertook the restoration of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad. A few years later he played a leading part in the purchase and the establishment of the Hazíratu'l-Quds of Baghdad and he participated in no small measure to the erection of the Hazíratu'l-Quds in the village of Avasiq, the first built in Iraq.
His most imperishable service was the construction of three rooms at the rear of the Shrine of the Báb that were temporarily used as the International Bahá'í Archives before the construction of its permanent seat. [BW11p502-503]
He had been a believer since 1906 and by 1909 he had made two pilgrimages to 'Akká as well as a third in early 1921.
In 1922 he and Roy Wilhelm were invited to Haifa to discuss the possibility of calling for the formation of the Universal House of Justice.
He was the first chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada when it first formed in 1922 and was elected to that body seven times between 1922 and 1937 and was responsible for the final draft of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws adopted in 1927.
One of his most outstanding achievements was his role in the case of the appeal for possession of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. He made two trips to Baghdad and had audiences with King Feisal. During one of these trips he was brutally assaulted and suffered the effects for many years.
He met with Professor E. G. Browne and, after hearing Mr. Mills explanation of the evolution of the Faith and of the Covenant, Mr. Browne realized he had been veiled by conflicting claims and disturbances following the martyrdom of the Báb and expressed a desire to translate later Bahá'í works but died before this contribution could be made. [BW11p509-511]
In July, 1957 the sacred remains of Mirzá Buzurg, the father of Bahá’u’lláh, were identified and removed to a Bahá’í cemetery. On July 27 of that year, Hands of the Cause ‘Ali Akbar Furfltan, Shu‘é‘u’llah ‘Alá’í and ‘Ali Muhammad Varqa arrived from Ṭihrán to join Hand of the Cause Tarézu’lláh Samandari in paying homage, on behalf of the Guardian, to the memory of that “blessed and highly revered personage.” [BW13p297
At the trial of nearly 50 Bahá’ís in Baghdád, the Iraqi military court sentenced 13 men and one girl to life imprisonment, one man and two girls to 15 years’ imprisonment, and two men and seven women to ten years’ imprisonment; 13 Bahá’ís were fined and released. [BW16:138]
Contrary to the constitution which established the government's commitment to assuring and maintaining the sanctity of holy shrines and religious sites and guaranteeing the free practice of rituals. In addition the penal code that criminalized disrupting or impeding religious ceremonies and desecrating religious buildings, and specified that it applied to religious minorities. In Iraq followers of all religious groups and sects were free in the practice of religious rites and in the management of religious endowments, their affairs, and their religious institutions.
And contrary to the plans of the Department of Antiquities who had declared it a heritage site in a decree by the Iraqi Culture Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi not two years earlier, the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád was razed to make way for the construction of a husseniya or Shiite congregation hall. [Message from the Universal House of Justice date 17 July 2013, SETPE1p170; Al-Monitor 11 December, 2018]
In a message from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies it advised of the news of the destruction of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad. (Bayt-i-A'zam) [Message of 27 Jun 2013; Message of 17 July, 2013]
Grieve not, O House of God, if the veil of thy sanctity be rent asunder by the infidels. [GWB114]
In truth, I declare, it shall be so abased in the days to come as to cause tears to flow from every discerning eye...And in the fullness of time, shall the Lord by the power of truth exalt it in the eyes of all the world, cause it to become the mighty standard of His domination, the shrine round which shall circle the concourse of the faithful. [BA99-100; BWNS961]
See GPB110 for the various designations of the Most Great House.
Within its walls the “Most Great House of God,” His “Footstool” and the “Throne of His Glory,” “the Cynosure of an adoring world,” the “Lamp of Salvation between earth and heaven,” the “Sign of His remembrance to all who are in heaven and on earth,” enshrining the “Jewel whose glory hath irradiated all creation,” the “Standard” of His Kingdom, the “Shrine round which will circle the concourse of the faithful” was irrevocably founded and permanently consecrated. Upon it, by virtue of its sanctity as Bahá’u’lláh’s “Most Holy Habitation” and “Seat of His transcendent glory,” was conferred the honor of being regarded as a center of pilgrimage second to none except the city of ‘Akká, His “Most Great Prison,” in whose immediate vicinity His holy Sepulcher, the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world, is enshrined.
Bahá'ís celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh in a ceremony in Baghdad attended by representatives from the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR), the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, civil society as well as media activists.
This was considered the most prominent ceremony where Bahá'ís officially announced themselves for the first time in 47 years, as the Baathist Revolutionary Command Council issued Decree No. 105 in 1970 to ban Bahá'í activities. As a consequence, Bahá'í administrative institutions in Iraq were dissolved and any activity where Bahá'ís declared their religious identity was punishable by imprisonment.
During the proceedings they asked for support to rescind the law on prohibiting Bahá'í activity, which was still in effect despite the fact that the law contradicted the 2005 constitution, which guaranteed freedom of belief to all citizens.
Millions of Bahá'ís around the world celebrated the honorary bicentennial of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on Oct. 21-22. Bahá'ís in Baghdad celebrated after one month of postponements given the security difficulties and challenges surrounding the ceremony.
Baha'u'llah's Paradise of Justice: Commentary and Translation, by Christopher Buck and Adib Masumian, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 20 (2014/2018). The tablet Riḍvānu’l-‘Adl, "Paradise of Justice," shows how the concept of justice — which encompasses both faith and action — is the essence of the Baha’i concept of salvation, both individual and societal. [about]
Concealment and Revelation in Bahá'u'lláh's Book of the River, by Nader Saiedi, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 9:3 (1999). Analysis and provisional translation of Sahífiy-i-Shattíyyih (Book of the River); on Bahá'u'lláh's experience in the Síyáh-Chál and whether he considered himself a Manifestation of God prior to his Ridván declaration. [about]
Encyclopedia of Islam and The Muslim World, by William F. McCants and John Walbridge (2004). Articles on Abdu'l-Bahá, the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths, Hujjatiya, Persian language and literature, Shaykhism, and Twelver Shi'ism. [about]
Journey Motif in the Bahá'í Faith, The: From Doubt to Certitude, by Roshan Danesh, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 22:1-4 (2012). The process of individual spiritual growth lies at the heart of human purpose. Bahá’u’lláh speaks about the collective spiritualization of humanity — creating new patterns of community and social relations — as the "journey" of the human body politic. [about]
Light of the World: Selected Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by Abdu'l-Bahá (2021). Tablets of ‘Abdul-Bahá describing aspects of the life of Bahá’u’lláh including the tribulations He suffered, events in His homeland, the purpose and greatness of His Cause, and the nature and significance of His Covenant. [about]
Minutes of the Sixteenth Session, 1929, by Permanent Mandates Commission (1929). Petition from the Bahai Spiritual Assembly of Baghdad regarding the confiscation of property; measures taken after the Council's decision. [about]
Pilgrimage in Baha'u'llah's Writings, by Ahang Rabbani (2010-01). On pilgrimage to the Twin Shrines in the Holy Land and their Tablets of Visitation, to the House of the Bab in Shiraz, and to the House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad. Includes provisional translations of several Tablets of Visitation. [about]
Reconstructing Ridvan, by Ismael Velasco, in Bahá'í Journal UK, 19:1 (2002-05). Brief historical overview of an event about which the Guardian said the circumstances are "shrouded in an obscurity which future historians will find it difficult to penetrate." [about]
Tablet of All Food and the Nature of Reality, The, by Karl Weaver (2016). Review of the Tablet's historical background, antecedents for specific phrases, English literary commentaries, its color system as related to Bábí and Islamic traditions, the meaning of 'food,' and a different way of looking at the five levels of reality. [about]
Trial of Mullá 'Alí Bastámí, The: A Combined Sunní-Shí'í Fatwá against The Báb, by Moojan Momen, in Iran: Journal of the British Institute for Persian Studies, 20 (1982). The trial of Mullá `Alí Bastámí was one of the most important episodes of 1844-45, being both the first occasion on which the new Bábí movement encountered the opposition of the ulama, and a crucial turning point in the development of the movement. [about]