Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Lawh-i-Ibn-i-Dhib):
Biography of Siyyid Ismail of Zavarih
In Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
Bahá'u'lláh mentions a martyr who had committed suicide. Who was this?
The person who had committed suicide and is mentioned in the Epistle to the
Son of the Wolf is Siyyid Ismail of Zavarih (a small township near
Isfahan). He was one of the early believers to the Báb (during the Báb's
stay in Isfahan) whose story is recorded by Nabíl in the Dawnbreakers
(p.437). Later on he went to Baghdad. His living quarters was next to the
residence of Bahá'u'lláh. He was a devotee to Bahá'u'lláh to the extent
that every morning he would take off his green turban (sign of being a
siyyid) and would sweep the dust from the footsteps of Bahá'u'lláh by his
turban, collecting the dust and throw it to the river.
Bahá'u'lláh in Kitáb-i-Badí' has related the rest of Siyyid Ismail's story.
Briefly He gives the following account. One day he requested Bahá'u'lláh to
grace his residence by His presence. He offered fruits and sweets to his
Beloved Master. He expressed extreme lowliness and servitude to the Blessed
Beauty and begged Bahá'u'lláh to grant him with spiritual food in order to
put his soul in fire. Bahá'u'lláh commanded him to come and seat in front
of Him. Then the Blessed Beauty began to speak to him with such words that
completely transformed him and filled him with such extreme love and
devotion that he completely ignored his own being and everything in this
contingent world. Then Bahá'u'lláh adds that the whole world will not be
able to describe what went on in that encounter. Being so in love with his
Beloved he could not stand the unpleasant behavior of the enemies and those
who outwardly claiming to be believers but were practically causing Him to
be harmed. So one early morning after sweeping the area around
Bahá'u'lláh's residence took the dust to the nearby river and went to meet
with a few of his fellow believers. Then he went to the riverside near the
House and in the ecstasy of his love for Bahá'u'lláh and sorrow of what was
being done to him committed suicide by cutting his own throat. This action
impressed some of the enemies of Bahá'u'lláh to the extent that they
changed their attitudes and became friendly towards Him.
Bahá'u'lláh in Kitáb-i-Badí' has recorded this story and at the end He adds
that when Siyyid Ismail was going towards that spot to sacrifice himself
all the Angels on High were circumambulating him. In the famous Tablet
addressed to the Prime Minister of Ottoman Empire (Lawh-i-Ra'ís)
Bahá'u'lláh referring to Siyyid Ismail calls him The Beloved and the King
(Summarized from La'Alí-yi-Derakhshan,
by M.A. Faizi, pp. 195-99)
These two titles were also given by Bahá'u'lláh to the two brothers in
Isfahan, Mírzá Siyyid Hassan as the King of Martyrs and Mírzá Siyyid Husain
as the Beloved of Martyrs who were martyred by Shaykh Muhammad Baqir
surnamed Zi'b (Wolf) by Bahá'u'lláh.
* There is a difference between "The
King of Martyrs" and "The Beloved of Martyrs," two individuals who attained martyrdom on March 17 1879, and "The Kind and Beloved of Martyrs," a single individual, Siyyid Ismail.