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from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1848 (In the year) The birth of Mírzá Mihdí, `the Purest Branch', the son of Bahá'u'lláh and His wife Ásíyih Khánum (Navváb) in the family’s rented house near the Shemiran Gate (Darvázih Shimrán) in northern Tehran. [BBD155]
  • He was named after Mihdí, Bahá’u’lláh’s elder full brother, who was dear to Him and who had recently died. In later years Bahá’u’lláh gave Mírzá Mihdí the title "the Purest Branch."
  • In January of 1853 Bahá'u'lláh and His family left Tehran on the first stage of their exile. Mírzá Mihdí, who was unwell at the time and unfit to undertake three months of hard travel across the Iranian Plateau and the Zagros Mountains in severe winter weather, had to be left behind in the care of relatives. The Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, which has no definitive information on the topic, suggests that it is possible that more than one relative may have cared for Mírzá Mihdí over the seven years before he rejoined his parents in Baghdad. RoL165 says that he was left with his maternal grandmother, CH45 says it was his maternal great-grandmother, BKG13 says it was his paternal aunt, Hadrat-i-Ukht, identified as Sárih Khánum.
  • He was reunited with his parents in 1860 after Bahá’u’lláh’s return from the mountains of Sulaymaniyah and the family remained in Baghdad for another three years, until April 1863.
  • Mírzá Mihdí accompanied Bahá’u’lláh in His successive exiles to Istanbul, Edirne, and, finally, to Akka.
  • Despite his youth, Mírzá Mihdí was accustomed to hardship and was recognized as "a pillar of strength" among the exiles during the difficult period after their departure from Baghdad. He resembled ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in appearance and character and was noted for his piety, gentleness, dignity, courtesy, and patience. Throughout his brief adult life, Mírzá Mihdí was Bahá’u’lláh’s companion and served as one of His secretaries, recording the sacred tablets that He revealed. Many such manuscripts in Mírzá Mihdí’s excellent handwriting are extant." [Bahá'í Encyclopedia]
  • See also Mírzá Mihdí: The Purest Branch by Boris Handel published by George Ronald Publisher, 2017
  • See 22 June 1870 and 23 June 1870
  • Tihran; Iran Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Births and deaths; Bahaullah, Family of; Boris Handel
    1853. 12 Jan 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 Àsíyih Khánum. They were escorted by an officer of the Persian imperial bodyguard and an official representing the Russian legation. [BKG102–5; GPB108]
  • 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.
  • Iran; Baghdad; Iraq Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Mirza Rida-Quli; Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Abdul-Baha, Life of; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Mirza Musa; Mirza Mihdi; Mirza Muhammad-Quli; Isfandiyar; Russian officials; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1860. c. 1860 Mírzá Mihdí, the son of Bahá'u'lláh, was taken from Tihrán to join his family in Baghdád. He was about 12 years old. [RB3:205]
  • He traveled with the second wife of Bahá'u'lláh, Mahd-i-‘Ulyá. [MMNF]
  • Tihran; Iran; Baghdad; Iraq Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Mahd-i-Ulya (Fatimih Khanum)
    1862. 5 May Mírzá Mihdíy-i-Káshaní was directed to remain in Baghdad to guard the Holy House. He remained until banished, along with the other Bahá'ís, to Mosul. [MoF96] Baghdad; Firayjat; Iraq; Shiraz; Iran House of Bahaullah (Baghdad); Caretakers; Mirza Mihdiy-i-Kashani
    1863. 9 May Bahá'u'lláh and His party left Firayját for Istanbul although at this point the destination was unknown to the exiles. [CH57, GPB156; SA235]
  • While Navvab and Mahd-i-'Ulya travelled with Him in all His exiles, Gawhar Khanum remained in Baghdad with her brother, Mirza Mihdiy-i-Kashani. Gawhar Khanum was His third wife. The dates of her birth, marriage and death are not known. Her marriage took place some time in Baghdad before the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh's mission. For some years she was among the Bahá'í refugees in Mosul and later went to 'Akka at Bahá'u'lláh's instruction. She gave birth to one daughter, Furughiyyih; mother and daughter both became Covenant-breakers after the passing of Bahá'u'lláh. [CoC22]
  • The journey took 110 days. [GPB156]
  • For the number of people on the journey see BKG179 (72), GPB156 (26 plus members of His family plus guards), RB2:5–6 (54) and SW13:277 (72).
  • The caravan consisted of fifty mules, a mounted guard of ten soldiers with their officer, and seven pairs of howdahs, each pair surmounted by four parasols. By virtue of the written order of Namiq Pasha Bahá'u'lláh was accorded an enthusiastic reception by the religious notables and government officials as the caravan wound its way northward. [ALM12]
    • Gawhar Khanum, Bah´'u'lláh's third wife whom He married in Baghdad before the declaration of His mission, remained in Baghdad with her brother, Mirza Mihdiy-i-Kashani. [MoF95]
  • For the details of the journey see BKG176–96; GPB1567; SW13:277.
  • See BKG180 for a map of the journey.
  • They passed through the following:
    • Judaydih
    • Dilí-'Abbás
    • Qarih-Tapih
    • Saláhíyyih (stay two nights)
    • Dúst-Khurmátú
    • Táwuq
    • Karkúk (stay two days)
    • Irbíl
    • By the River Záb
    • Bartallih
    • Mosul (stay three days)
    • khú
    • Jazírih
    • Nisíbín (Nusaybin)(On the boarder of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey)
    • Hasan-Áqá
    • Márdiín (three day halt)
    • Díyár-Bakr (after three days of travel) (stay two-three days) It was here that Mírzá Yahyá made himself known to the party after having travelled in disguise from Mosul. [ALM12]
    • Ma'dan-Mis (one night)
    • Khárpút (one day's travel)(stay two or three days)
    • Ma'dan-Nuqrih
    • Dilik-Tásh
    • Sívás
    • Túqát (Tokat)
    • Amasia (Amasya)(stay two days)
    • Iláhíyyih (the last day of the overland journey)
    • Sámsún on the Black Sea. (110 days after departure) [The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1953 :Information Statistical & Comparative p43]
  • As the party drew close to Sámsún on the Black Sea Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Súriy-i-Hawdaj. [BKG195; RB2:6]
  • Picture
  • The party remained in Sámsún for seven days. [GPB157]
  • Iraq; Turkey; Firayjat; Samsun; Istanbul (Constantinople); Judaydih; Dili-Abbas; Qarih-Tapih; Salahiyyih; Dust-Khurmatu; Tawuq; Karkuk; Irbil; Bartallih; Mosul; Zakhu; Jazirih; Nisibin; Hasan-Aqa; Mardiin; Diyar-Bakr; Madan-Mis; Kharput; Madan-Nuqrih; Dilik-Tash; Sivas; Tuqat; Amasia; Ilahiyyih Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Journeys; Black Sea; Suriy-i-Hawdaj; Bahaullah, Writings of; Navvab; Mahd-i-'Ulya; Gawhar Khanum; Furughiyyih; Mirza Mihdiy-i-Kashani
    1870. 22 Jun Mírzá Mihdí, the Purest Branch, fell through the skylight in the roof of the prison in `Akká onto a crate lying on the floor below. [BKG311–12; GBP188; RB3:205]
  • It was a normal practice for prisoners to go onto the roof in the summer evenings for fresh air. [RB3:205]
  • He was chanting the verses of Bahá'u'lláh's Qasídiy-i-Varqá'íyyih. [RB3:206]
  • He was so badly injured that his clothes have to be torn from him. [RB206]
  • Bahá'u'lláh came to him at His bedside and asked His son whether he wished to live; the Purest Branch begged Bahá'u'lláh to accept his life as a ransom for the opening of the gates of the prison to pilgrims. Bahá'u'lláh accepted this sacrifice. [BKG311–12; GPB188; RB3:208]
  • Akka Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Qasidiyyih-Varqaiyyih (Ode of the Dove); Citadel; Sacrifice; Pilgrimage; Pilgrims; First pilgrims
    1870. 23 Jun Mírzá Mihdí died from his injuries 22 hours after his fall. [BKG311–12; GPB188; RB3:208]
  • See BKG313, GPB188 and RB3:210 for the prayer of Bahá'u'lláh for His son.
  • Shoghi Effendi equate his death with the acts of atonement associated with Abraham's intended sacrifice of His son, with the crucifixion of Christ and with the martyrdom of Imám Husayn. [GPB188]
  • He was interred in the cemetery next to the shrine of Nabí Sálih in `Akká. [GBP188; RB3:209]
  • Also see BBD155, BKG311–14, RB3:204–20.
  • Akka Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Cemeteries and graves
    1902 (In the year) Shanghai was re-opened to the Bahá'í Faith by the arrival of two Bahá'ís from`Ishqábád, Áqá Mírzá Mihdí Rashtí and Áqá Mírzá `Abdu'l-Baqí Yazdí, who opened a branch of the Ummi'd company, an import-export firm. [PH25] Shanghai; Ishqabad; Turkmenistan Aqa Mirza Mihdi Rashti; Aqa Mirza Abdul-Baqi Yazdi
    1939 (In the year) Shoghi Effendi ordered twin monuments from Italy similar in style to that of the Greatest Holy Leaf and sought permission from the British authorities to reintere the remains of Navváb and the Purest Branch on Mount Carmel near those of Bahíyyih Khánum and the Holy Mother. Marble for the monuments came from Chiampo, Italy as for the Archives Building, the Shine of the Báb, the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, The Terraces project, and the Houses of Worship in India and Samoa. It was cut and chiseled by a firm called Margraf, formerly known as Industria Marmi Vincentini. [DH162; PP259] BWC; Mount Carmel Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Mount Carmel; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Monument Gardens; World Centre; Marble; Cemeteries and graves; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Margraf
    1939 3 Dec Shoghi Effendi obtained permission from the British authorities in Palestine to reinter the bodies of Navváb and the Purest Branch on Mount Carmel. [DH162; PP260]
  • For the report of the Haifa District Commissioner see BBR460–1.
  • Mount Carmel; BWC Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Mount Carmel; Monument Gardens; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1939 5 Dec Shoghi Effendi disintered the remains of Navváb and the Purest Branch. [DH162; PP260]
  • He went to the 'Akká cemetery at daybreak to and removed the remains of Navváb to a new coffin. [DH162; PP260]
  • He then went to the Nabí Sálib cemetery and transfered the remains of the Purest Branch to a second new coffin. [DH162; PP260]
  • He transported them both to Mount Carmel, near the grave of the Greatest Holy Leaf. [DH162; PP260]
  • Akka; Mount Carmel Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Monument Gardens; Cemeteries and graves; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1939 24 Dec Shoghi Effendi reinterred the remains of Navváb and the Purest Branch. [DH162; GBF116; GPB347–8]
  • Two vaults were cut into the solid rock in the garden area near the monument of the Greatest Holy Leaf. [DH162]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s cable announcing this see DH162 and PP262.
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s letters and cables concerning this see BW8:245–53, DH162 and PP261.
  • For a description of the reinterment see BW8:253–8.
  • For the prayer of visitation to the resting place of Navváb see BW8:251 and DH166.
  • Mount Carmel; BWC Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Tablets of Visitation; Monument Gardens; World Centre; Cemeteries and graves; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Works of
    1940 9 Feb The monuments of Navváb and the Purest Branch were dedicated at a ceremony in Haifa. [ZK293]
  • For details of the ceremony, see ZK293–6.
  • Marble* for the Monument Gardens came from Chiampo, Italy as did marble for the Archives Building, the Resting Place of Shoghi Effendi, the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the Terraces Project, and the Houses of Worship in India and Samoa. [BWNS1223]

    *Edward Keith-Roach OBE (Born 1885 Gloucester, England— died 1954) was the British Colonial administrator during the British mandate on Palestine, who also served as the governor of Jerusalem from 1926 to 1945 (excluding a period in the 1930s when he was governor of the Galilee). He was nicknamed “Páshá of Jerusalem". He approved exemption from duties and established a policy that was continued by Israel that allowed materials for the BWC to enter duty free, such as the marble for the buildings on the Arc. [Shoghi Effendi, Uncompiled Published Letters]

  • Mount Carmel; BWC; Chiampo; Italy Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Monument Gardens; Marble; BWNS; Shoghi Effendi, Life Of; Edward Keith-Roach
    1970 23 Jun The centenary of the death of Mírzá Mihdí was commemorated with a day of prayer by Bahá’ís around the world and in the Holy Land with a pilgrimage to the barracks in ‘Akká, Bahjí and to his monument. [BW15:162–3] Akka; Bahji Mirza Mihdi (Purest Branch); Centenaries; Monument gardens

    from the chronology of Canada

    from the main catalogue

    1. Audio-Video Presentations: Mirza Mihdi; historia de la familia Khamsi; Varqá and Rúhu'lláh, by Boris Handal (2020). Links to five Youtube videos in English and Spanish, including "Mírzá Mihdí: The Purest Branch," "Mírzá Mihdí: La Rama Más Pura," "Historia de la Familia Khamsi, un Legado de Servicio," and "Life and Martyrdom of Varqá and Rúhu’lláh." [about]
    2. Divine Simplicity: Remembering the last Hand of the Cause of God, 'Ali-Muhammad Varqa, by Jack McLean (2008). Biography of Dr. Varqa, partly based on interviews with people who knew him in Iran. [about]
    3. El Concurso en Lo Alto: La Vida de Once Distinguidos Personajes de la Edad Heroica de la Fe , by Boris Handal (1985). Biographies of eleven important Baha’i personages of the Heroic Age of the Bahá'í Faith: Mulla Ḥusayn, Vahid, Quddus, Mulla Sadiq, Shaykh Salman, Nabil-i-A’zam, Asiyih Khanum, Mirza Mihdi, Badi, and Varqa and Ruhu’llah. [about]
    4. List of Articles on BahaiTeachings.org, by John S. Hatcher (2015). List of online essays and articles by Dr. John Hatcher. [about]
    5. Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986: Third Epoch of the Formative Age, by Universal House of Justice (1996). [about]
    6. Mihdí, Mírzá, by Shahriar Razavi, in The Bahá'í Encyclopedia (2009). On the son of Bahá’u’lláh, who entitled him "the Purest Branch," younger brother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Bahíyyih Khánum. [about]
    7. Mirza Mihdi: The Purest Branch, by Boris Handal (2017). Two excerpts from a book-length biography of the son of Bahá'u'lláh — "Akká, the Most Great Prison" (chapter 1) and "The Treasure of God in the Holy Land" (chapter 9) —  which describe the life and martyrdom of Mirza Mihdi on 23 June 1870. [about]
    8. Mirza Mihdi, "Holy Family", capitalization of pronouns, Guardian's use of English, by Universal House of Justice (1998). Five unrelated questions about Mirza Mihdi; use of the title "Holy Family"; capitalization of personal pronouns; and the Guardian's use of English in his translations. [about]
    9. میرزا مهدی غصن اطهر: Mirza Mehdi, Ghusn-i-Athar, by Boris Handal (2022). Two chapters of the longer book, shared as a sample: Chapter 1 " عکّا - سجن اعظم " and Chapter 9 " گنجینۀ نفیس حق در ارض اقدس ". [about]
     
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