Tárikh-i-Jadíd / Táríkh-i Badí'-i Bayání

An 1880 History of the Báb based on the 1851 account.

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This Version : 2009-06-18.

Mistakes and Comments : All comments welcome, do please send to David at www.paintdrawer.co.uk/david/Email.php

Quick Contents

Important Note about this Work
Background of this History
The Account
Appendix I - Omitted Digressions (Extract)
Full Contents

Important Note about this Work

by David Merrick, not part of the original book

Haji Mirza Jani Kashani was a noteworthy follower of the Báb, a merchant by profession.

Immediately after the Báb's martyrdom in 1850, he wrote a substantial history (or memoirs) of the Báb, sometime between 1850-1852. (He himself was martyred in 1852.)

These memoirs as they were copied, spawned a great many versions, which differ particularly in their portrayal of Subh-i-Azal or Bahá'u'lláh, depending on whether they were followers of one or the other. It is unknown what form the original memoirs took: if they were just loose notes and sheets, someone else unknown must first also have worked them up after him into something finished in the first place.

In about 1880, the Bahá'í Mirza Husayn Hamadani with the support of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl took some version of Mirza Jani's 1851 account and worked it up into a new history, the Tárikh-i-Jadíd. However he did this at the request of a Zoroastrian, Manakji, who then added a preface, an epilogue, and an unknown number of amendments to the text, to publish under his name. It can be suggested that these amendments are mostly in the form of the many digressions that appear throughout the text and interrupt the history, and also the introduction and conclusion to the work (both omitted in this). Due to copying mistakes and personal amendments, this history has also over time collected its own errors, notes and additions.

The prominent Bahá'í Nabil-i-Akbar in response to a commission by Bahá'u'lláh, in turn made a conscious revision of this work somewhere between 1880-1883, which is known as the Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání.

Browne used two manuscripts in his possession to produce this work, therefore, one of the Tárikh-i-Jadíd, and one of the Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání, and he has translated the two together into a single whole. In addition, in referring to Mirza Jani's history throughout the footnotes, he is unaware of the problems of discerning what represents Mirza Jani's original memoirs and what others have added.

There are now many more manuscripts of each of these three works than Browne had to use, and they'll need many lifetimes of work to compare and sort out, which has barely been started.

Nevertheless, the result of Browne's first endeavour, is a fantastic piece of history, in which he has cut down the digressions, and with these cautions in mind, it is hoped that you will enjoy reading it.

At some stage this work will be compared and corrected against other manuscripts of the Tárikh-i-Jadíd and Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání, and a more accurate assessment be made.


Throughout the text, where the two versions differ, one has been put in the main text and the other in the footnotes.

"L" is a version of the Tárikh-i-Jadíd, and is coloured and enclosed in [single brackets]. This "London Codex" was transcribed in June 1881.

"C" is a version of the Táríkh-i Badí'-i Bayání, and is coloured and enclosed in [[double brackets]]. This is the "Cambridge Codex".

Pages are in <angled brackets> and coloured.

Extra words inserted to make sense are in <angled brackets>.

Poetic words are indented.

Footnotes are small superscript numbers. Click a footnote number to jump to the note, and then click its number to jump back again.

Background of this History

Epistle of Alexander by Mirza Abú’l-Fazl Gulpáyagáni

Cited in the Introduction to the New History


"Third Question.

"Enquiry was made touching the author of the Tárikh-i-Jadíd (New History). The writer and author of the Tárikh-i-Jadíd was the late Mírzá Huseyn of Hamadán. He was a youth of the kinsfolk of Rizá Khán the son of Muhammad Khán the Turcoman, who is reckoned amongst the martyrs of the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí, and whose name is recorded in the Tárikh-i-Jadíd1. The aforesaid author, in consequence of the calligraphic and epistolary skill which he shewed in drafting letters, was at first secretary to one of the ministers of the Persian Government. At the time of His Majesty Násiru’d-Dín Sháh's first journey to Europe he too visited those countries in the Royal Suite. On his homeward journey he remained for some time at Constantinople. After his return to Persia, he was amongst those imprisoned in consequence of the troubles of the year A.H. 1291 (A.D. 1874), when His Reverence Áká Jemál of Burújird was committed to the prison of His Majesty the King after his dispute with the clergy of Teherán2.

"After his release from the prison of Teherán, he obtained employment in the office of Mánakjí the Zoroastrian, well known as an author and writer3. Mánakji treated <xxxviii> him with great respect, for had he not become notorious as a Bábí, he would never have engaged in this work. Now it chanced one night that he and Muhammad Isma‘íl Khán the Zend, who was a writer skilful in Persian composition, were Mánakjí's guests at supper; and Mánakjí requested each one of them to write a book (for he was most zealous in book-collecting, and whomsoever he deemed capable of writing and composing he would urge to write a book or compose a treatise). So on this night he requested Muhammad Isma’íl Khán to write a history of the kings of Persia, and begged Mírzá Huseyn to compile a history of the Bábís.

"To be brief, Muhammad Isma‘íl Khán wrote the book called Firázistán, on the ancient empire of Persia from Mah-ábád till the fall of the Sásánians, in pure Persian, which, as a matter of fact, he made a veritable rag-bag of legends and myths from the Sháhnáma, the Chahár Chiman, and the Dasátír. But Mírzá Huseyn came to the writer and asked his assistance, saying, 'Since hitherto no full and correct history has been written treating of the events of this Theophany, to collect and compile the <xxxix> various episodes thereof in a fitting manner is a very difficult matter. For what Sipihr and Hidáyat4 have written touching its circumstances is, by reason of their extreme obsequiousness <to the Court> and their utter error, altogether sheer calumny and downright falsehood. And the accounts given by narrators, too, are so diverse and different that the reconciliation of them is not free from difficulty.'

"To this I replied, 'There is in the hands of the Friends a history by the late Hájí Mírzá Jání of Káshán, who was one of the martyrs of Teherán, and one of the best men of that time. But he was a man engaged in business and without skill in historiography, neither did he record the dates of the years and months. At most he, being a God-fearing man, truthfully set down the record of events as he had seen and heard them. Obtain this book, and take the episodes from it, and the dates of the years and months from the Násikhu’t-Tawáríkh and the appendices of the Rawzatu’s-Safá; and, having incorporated these in your rough draft, read over each sheet to His Reverence Hájí Seyyid Jawád of Kerbelá (whose name has been repeatedly mentioned in these pages), for he, from the beginning of the Manifestation of the First Point [i.e. the Báb] until the arrival of His Holiness Behá’u’lláh in Acre, accompanied the Friends everywhere in person, and is thoroughly informed and cognizant of all events. Thus diligently correct the history, in order that this book may, by the will of God, be well finished, and may win the approbation of the learned throughout the world.'

"Then he requested the writer to indite the introductory <xl> preface, and so open for him the path of composition. So I, agreeably to his request, wrote two pages at the beginning of that book, and embellished this introduction with prefatory exhortations and incitements to strive after truth5. Now it was his intention to compose this book in two volumes6, the first volume about the events connected with the Manifestation of the First Point [i.e. the Báb], and the second volume about the circumstances of the Most Holy and Most Splendid Dawn7. But after he had completed the first volume, fate granted him no further respite, for he died in the city of Resht in the year A.H. 1299 [=A.D. 1881-2].

"But Mánakjí would not suffer this history to be finished in the manner which the writer had suggested, but compelled the chronicler to write what he dictated. For Mánakjí's custom was to bid his secretary write down some matter and afterwards read the rough draft over to him. So first of all the secretary used to read over to him the rough draft which he had made in accordance with his own taste and agreeably to the canons of good style; and then, after Mánakjí had made additions here and excisions there, and had docked and re-arranged the matter, he used to make a fair copy. And since Mánakjí had no great skill or science in the Persian tongue, the style of most of the books and treatises attributed to him is disconnected and broken, good and bad being mingled together. In addition to this defect, ignorant scribes and <xli> illiterate writers have, in accordance with their own fancies, so altered the Táríkh-i-Jadíd8 that at the present day every copy of it appears like a defaced portrait or a restored temple, to such a degree that one cannot obtain a correct copy of it, unless it were the author's own transcript; otherwise no copy can be relied upon.

"As for Hájí Mírzá Jání of Káshán, he was one of the most highly respected merchants of that town, and believed in the blessed mission of the First Point [i.e. the Báb] at the very beginning of the Theophany. He was brother to Jenáb-i-Zabíh (who is mentioned in the Lawh-i-Ra’ís9, and was honoured with the title of Anís). He it was who, when the First Point (exalted be his Supreme Name!) was being conveyed, by command of Muhammad Sháh, from Isfahán to Teherán, entertained His Holiness for three nights in his house at Káshán10. Some while afterwards he came from Káshán to Teherán, and abode in Sháh ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím11, where he wrote his history. He was involved in the catastrophe of the year A.H. 1268 (A.D. 1852, Aug.-Sept.), and in prison shared the same cell with His Holiness Behá'u'lláh, and was bound by the same iron chain. Some days later he was put to death, an innocent victim, in this massacre12, and attained to the rank of martyrdom. <xlii> But of his history I, the writer, cannot now procure a copy; for from Samarkand to Teherán is very far, and fortune frowns on the People of Behá, and is beyond measure jealous of them.

"God Almighty best knoweth the truth of all matters.

"Written on the twenty-first day of the month of Rabí‘u’th-thání A.H. 1310, corresponding to the thirty-first of Tashrín-i-avval [October]13 A.D. 1892, by the pen of the author of this treatise, Abú’l-Fazl Muhammad ibn Muhammad Rizá of Gulpáyagán."

Browne's Introduction also states:

... <xliii> ... Seyyid Jawád was a man equally remarkable for his illustrious descent, his learning, and his piety; he was brought up in the Sheykhí doctrines, followed the lectures of Seyyid Kázim, and was one of the earliest believers in the Báb, whom he knew personally. His nature was so gentle and temperate that, according to Mírzá Abú’l-Fazl, "he would speak ill of no one, mentioning all religious opinions, whether of Hindoos, Jews, Christians, Musulmáns, Ezelis, or Behá’ís, with respect.".

[However, it proved difficult for Hamadani to visit Seyyid Jawád in Teherán, and so he may not have been greatly consulted as advised.]


On page 57 of this work, there also appears the following statement:-

"The writer of these pages, being actuated by no wish to produce an elegant literary work, but only desiring to set down a true, faithful, and correct account of these matters, has become assured, after the most careful investigation, that what the late Hájí Mírzá Jání has written concerning the events of this Manifestation is in accordance with truth and actual fact, and is the outcome of careful and discriminating enquiry. He has, therefore, for the better informing of his readers and their fuller assurance, succeeded, with the assistance of a distinguished and noble Seyyid, who is also eminent in literary attainments, in obtaining a copy of this work."

The Account

Siyyid Kazim

[[I visited the holy shrines of Kerbelá and Nejef shortly after the death of Hájí Seyyid Kázim, and learned from his disciples that during the last two or three years of his life he had spoken in lecture-room and pulpit of little else but the approaching advent of the promised Proof, the signs of his appearance and their signification, and the attributes by which he would be distinguished, declaring that he would be a youth of the race of Háshim, untaught in the learning of men. Sometimes he used to say, "I see him as the rising sun." During his last pilgrimage to Surra-man-ra’a, while he was returning thence to Baghdad by way of Kázimeyn, he was entertained by one of his friends and disciples, about a dozen others being present. All of a sudden an Arab entered, and, still standing, said, "I have seen a vision touching your Reverence." Permission to speak having been accorded to him, he related his dream; whereupon Seyyid Kázim appeared somewhat disturbed, and said, "This dream signifies that my departure from the world is near at hand." Hearing this, his friends were greatly troubled, but he turned to them, saying, "Why are ye grieved and troubled at my approaching death? Desire ye not that I should depart and that the Truth should appear?"

This the account which I have heard from Hájí 'Abdu'l-Muttalib of Isfahán and Hájí Suleymán Khán[14], <32> who were present on the occasion alluded to. The latter further added, "Seyyid Kázim specially promised me that I should myself participate in the new Manifestation, saying, "Thou shalt be there and shalt apprehend it."

That the late Seyyid actually gave utterance to these words, and announced these good tidings as above described, is a matter of notoriety, and a thing universally admitted athongst those who were intimate with him. The fact, moreover, is further authenticated by several letters from well-known persons to others who also believed in the new Manifestation15. Indeed, some who were present on the occasion above described are still alive, and these admit that they heard this announcement made by Seyyid Kázim.

Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh, a most eminent divine who enjoyed great intimacy with Seyyid Kázim, urgently besought him to enlighten them further as to the manner in which the Manifestation would take place, but he only replied,]]16 "More than this I am not permitted to say, but from whatever quarter the Sun of Truth shall arise, <33> it will illuminate all hearts which are receptive of Divine Grace."

Death of Siyyid Kazim; Disciples Search for Promised One

On his return from Surra-man-ra‘a the venerated Seyyid departed this life, even as he had foretold; and I, after a while, repaired to the mosque of Kúfa, and there abode for a time engaged in the performance of certain spiritual exercises which I had undertaken. Here I saw Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh, Mullá ’Alí of Bistám, Hájí Mullá Muhammad ’Alí of Bárfurúsh, Áká ’Abdu‘l-Jalíl the Turk, Mírzá ’Abdu‘l-Hádí, Mírzá Muhammad Hádí, Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd, Mullá Hasan of Najistán, Mullá Bashír, Mullá Bákir the Turk, and Mullá Ahmad Abdál17, with many other learned and devout men who had retired into seclusion to undergo as severe a spiritual discipline as can well be imagined. On the completion of these exercises I proceeded to visit Nejef, while the others departed each on his own way.

Now as it has been said,

"Whate'er man seeks as surely he obtains,

If he but seek it with sufficient pains;

God's shadow falls upon His servant's mind,

And he who striveth in the end shall find18,"

So God did direct their steps in the path of search until they came to Shíráz. To Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh <34> was granted the happiness of first coming to His Supreme Holiness, and he became "the first who believed19."

Hájí Mírzá Jani's Book

The late Hájí Mírzá Jání, one of the most respected of the inhabitants of Káshán, who was remarkable for his self-devotion, virtue, and purity of heart, who had with his own eyes witnessed all the most important events of the Manifestation, and who for his zeal finally suffered martyrdom (whereof he foretold all the circumstances some while before their occurrence to certain of his acquaintance), wrote a book describing the course of events and setting forth arguments in support of the faith. In this work he recorded all that he was able to ascertain [from first to last, by diligent enquiries most carefully conducted,] about each of the chief disciples and believers.

Mullá Huseyn's Conversion

Concerning Mullá Huseyn's conversion he writes as follows:-

"I myself heard directly from Mírzá ’Abdu‘l-Wahháb of Khurásán, a most eminent divine, the following narrative of this event:-

"'I enquired' (said he) 'of Mullá Huseyn concerning the manner of his conversion.

He replied, "After the death of Seyyid Kázim I became afflicted with great perturbation of mind, and, in the course of my mental struggles, went from Kerbelá to Shíráz in the hope of benefiting a palpitation of the heart from which I suffered. And since the Seyyid ’Alí Muhammad had honoured me with his friendship during a journey which we made together to the Holy Shrines <of Kerbelá and Nejef>, I at once on reaching Shíráz sought out his abode.

As I approached the door I desired inwardly to tarry there some few days. So I knocked at the door. [Before he had opened it or seen me, I heard his voice exclaiming, 'Is it you, Mullá Huseyn?'] <35> Then he opened the door. [It did not at the time strike me how strange it was that without having seen me he should know I was there.]20 When he [had opened the door]21 he smiled and said, 'All day I have felt disinclined to go to the caravansaray, and now I know that it was because of your coming.'

So we entered the house and sat down, and after we had exchanged the customary enquiries he said, 'Do not you Sheykhis believe that some one must take the place occupied by the late Seyyid Kázim? Five months have now elapsed since his death. Whom do you now recognize as your Master?'

'As yet,' I replied, 'we have recognized no one.'

'What manner of man,' asked he, 'must the Master be?'

Thereupon I enumerated some of the requisite qualifications and characteristics.

'Do you observe these in me?' he asked.

Now during the two months he abode at Kerbelá I had not observed in him any signs of special knowledge, and I knew that he had not studied in the colleges nor attended the lectures of any teacher, so I answered, 'I see in you none of these qualities.'

To this he replied nothing. After a while I observed several books lying on a shelf. I picked up one of them, and found it to be a commentary on the Súratu‘l-Bakara22. After reading a little I perceived it to be a commentary of remarkable merit, and demanded in astonishment who the author might be.

'A mere youthful beginner,' answered he, 'who nevertheless lays claim to a high degree of knowledge and greatness.'

I again asked who and where the writer was.

'Thou seest him,' he replied; but I did not at the time apprehend his meaning, and continued to read <36> on till I came to a passage where it was written, 'the explanation of the inmost of the inmost.' This appeared to me to be an error, and I remarked, 'Here it should be "the inmost," and "the inmost of the inmost" is written.'

'What can I say?' he answered, 'the author of this Commentary lays claim to more even than this of greatness and knowledge. Consider the passage attentively.'

I did so, and said, 'It is quite correct. But I am wearied. Do you read, and I will listen.'

He read for a time, and then, as men are wont, I said, 'It is enough. Do not trouble yourself further.'

Towards evening tea was brought, and several learned Sheykhís and merchants who had been informed of my arrival came to see me. In the course of conversation they, supported by Mírzá ‘Alí Muhammad, made me promise to deliver a lecture, and arranged to assemble on the morrow in the Ílkhání mosque to hear it.

Next morning, agreeably to this arrangement, they assembled in the mosque, whither I also repaired. When, however, I desired to begin my discourse, I found that in place of the ready flow of language and easy delivery generally at my command I was as though tongue-tied and unable to speak. This filled me with amazement, for I was persuaded that so unusual an occurrence must be due to some unusual cause, and wondered much who it was that exercised this secret control over me, and what might be his object. Such was the astonishment and emotion which took possession of me that I was obliged to make the best excuses I could for cutting short my discourse. Thereupon the assembly broke up, and I returned to my lodging deeply meditating.

Next day when I wished to preach precisely the same thing happened, and so again a third time. On this last occasion I came out from the mosque in a state of the utmost misery and astonishment.

Mírzá ‘Alí Muhammad said, 'Let the rest of our friends go to their own houses, and do <37> you alone accompany me.'

When we reached his house he said, 'By what sign canst thou recognize the Master, and what proof dost thou deem most effectual to convince thee that thou hast attained the object of thy search?'

I answered, 'The possession of the Point of Knowledge, which is the source and centre of all the wisdom of past and future prophets and saints.'

'Do you perceive this in me?' he asked; 'How if I were so endowed?'

'That you are devout, godly, and holy of life,' I answered, 'is true; but only knowledge derived directly from God can admit to this lofty rank.'

At this he was silent for a while as though in wonder, while I thought to myself, 'What idea can this devout youth be harbouring in his mind that he so persistently introduces this topic? I must at all events ask some question of him which he has never heard discussed and cannot answer, so that he may be turned aside from his vain imaginings.'

I therefore put to him a question which appeared to me very difficult of solution, and which had always been in my mind during the life-time of the late Seyyid <Kázim>, though I had never found an opportunity of propounding it in such wise as to have my difficulties removed in a satisfactory manner. Without hesitation he gave me a full and sufficient answer. I was filled with amazement, and proceeded to propound to him several other hard questions, each of which, to my utter astonishment, he answered in the most conclusive way. Yet withal I reflected within myself, 'Is not this he who but a few days ago blundered over a sentence in the Commentary on the Súratu‘l-Bakara? How is it that he has now become the source and well-spring of this divine wisdom?'

Even as I thus thought, I looked up, and saw him sitting in a most dignified and majestic attitude, the left hand laid on the left knee and the right hand over it; and, even as I looked, he began to utter most wondrous <38> verses containing answers to every thought which passed through my mind, until seventy or eighty verses had been revealed. During all this time I waited anxiously for him to be silent, so strong was the fear and awe which possessed me.

At length he ceased, and I, in the extremity of terror, rose up to flee, as some delinquent might flee from before a mighty king. But he withheld me, saying, 'Sit down! Whither goest thou? Anyone who should see thee in this state would think thee mad.'

So I was constrained to sit down as he bade me, while he withdrew to his private room. During his absence I was a prey to most anxious thoughts. Care for my worldly interests and fear of incurring suffering alike urged me to draw back; and yet, ponder as I might, I could find no pretext whereby I might excuse myself, neither did I perceive any course save confession and acceptance. So was I greatly perturbed, and troubled beyond all measure.

After some while Mírzá ‘Alí Muhammad returned, and, contrary to his usual custom, himself brought in the tea. Having set tea before me, he seated himself by my side, and continued to behave towards me most graciously.

I remained, however, as one distraught, and presently again asked permission to depart.

'Thou art still,' said he, 'in a state of extreme bewilderment, though thou art not thyself aware of it. Should anyone see thee thus he would assuredly deem thee mad.' A little while afterwards, however, he suffered me to depart.

On the occasion of another visit I saw a commentary which he had written on the Tradition of the Handmaiden23. Now the late Seyyid had been wont to say when he was alive that the Proof who was to appear would compose a full explanation of this tradition, and that sign I now <39> witnessed. Moreover one day, when I was alone with the late Seyyid in his library, I enquired the reason why the Súra-i-Yúsuf was entitled in the Kur'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. One day Mírzá ’Alí Muhammad said to me, 'Dost thou recollect enquiring once of the late Seyyid why the Súra-i-Yúsuf was called "the Best of Stories," and how he replied that the proper occasion for explaining this had not yet come? The time for this explanation has now arrived.' Thereupon he shewed me a Commentary <on this Súra> of the most perfect lucidity and eloquence, [whereat I was utterly astounded, perceiving that my trained intelligence was incompetent to grasp all the subtle mysteries and lofty ideas contained therein]." ' "

The account given by Hájí Mírzá Jání of Mullá Huseyn's conversion is much more detailed than this, but were I to repeat a tithe of what I have heard on the most trustworthy evidence weak reason would fail to comprehend it.

"Should I attempt to write or utter it,
The mind would stagger and the pen would split."

Quddus' Conversion

But Hájí Mullá Muhammad ’Alí of Bárfurúsh, a man of singular excellence, and noted for his piety and godliness, had no sooner seen and conversed with the Báb than, because of the purity of his heart, he at once believed without seeking further sign or proof; for "to demand a sign after attaining the thing signified is unseemly24." So, because he recognized the Proof by its very nature [[without any further sign]], he received the title of Jenáb-i-Kuddús, <40> and became the companion of His Holiness on the journey to Mecca, and the possessor in a high degree of all manner of miraculous powers and divine illuminations.

Other Letters of the Living

To be brief, other learned and eager seekers after truth who were wandering amazed in the path of search were drawn unwittingly to Shíráz by the attraction of the True Beloved, and there, each in a different way, were brought to see and apprehend the Truth. Each of these, according to the measure of his strength and his capacity, drank of the wine of faith and wisdom; forgot all ties and obstacles, and, indeed, his very being; rent asunder the veils of name, fame, and worldly position; purified his heart from the stain of apprehension; and, resolute in the pursuit of the desired object, set off, each in a different direction, to spread the good tidings of the Manifestation and to convey the signs25 of it to all. And, because of the love and fervour which possessed them, they thought not of the enmity of the stubborn, neither did they anticipate the opposition and rejection which they were to encounter at the hands of the froward. So, briefly, the matter came to the ears of most men, great and small; of whom some believed, though the more part turned aside, [while many set themselves to stir up trouble].

Mullah Husayn to Isfahan and Conversion of Mullá Muhammad Sádik

At this time Mullá Huseyn [of Bushraweyh, who was entitled Bábu‘l-Báb,] set out for Isfahán, where he fell in with Mullá Muhammad Sádik [generally known as the saint] of Khurásán, a professor in that city, who, when he had heard the matter, and considered the proofs and signs thereof, believed. The circumstances of his conversion (which I heard directly from himself) were thus told by His Excellency the Saint of Khurásán:-

"When I had considered the clear signs and proofs set <41> before me, I could see no possible way of rejecting or denying them. For the Merciful Lord hath plainly said in the Kur‘án that though all genii and men should combine together they could not produce a sign like unto it1, and, during these twelve hundred and sixty years which had elapsed since that time, none, however skilled in rhetoric and eloquence, had presumed even to make this attempt. But these verses were incomparably superior to the Kur‘án in point of eloquence and beauty, so that it was impossible to take exception to them or deny them. Nevertheless I remained overwhelmed with amazement, wondering how such verses could be poured forth like copious showers by this simple and unlettered youth26. 'O God!' I cried in my heart, 'in face of such ample proofs how is denial possible? Yet how can I confess and accept this illiterate and uneducated young merchant as Báb and Ká‘im?' So for a while I subjected myself to a severe discipline, keeping continual vigils during the night, and praying God for help and guidance; until one night, when I had been engaged in prayer and self-abasement till near the morning, a little before dawn [[I came somewhat to myself, and began to reproach myself, saying,]]27 'Wherefore these plaints and prayers, and this tarrying in the world of form? Why be blinded by the limitations of the commonplace, and kept back by the restrictions of the nominal? Is God's hand shortened, then, or is He unable to accomplish His will? Is He not one who "doeth what He pleaseth and ordaineth what He willeth?"28' At this inward <42> communing I was overcome with fear; but when I came to myself the veil was lifted, and I beheld within myself a state of freedom and peace transcending description."

Now although I have myself with mine own eyes beheld greater wonders than those above recorded, yet am I fain to excuse myself from relating or publishing them; for that Gem of created essences <the Báb> was in no wise eager or desirous for the disclosure of such occurrences, neither did he seek to make known such evidences of power as were manifested in him, since he regarded his nature as his proof and his verses as his sign. [...... So much was this the case that Mullá Mírzá Muhammad, one of the most eminent of those divines and highly-gifted men who hastened to accept the new Manifestation, one who had, moreover, himself witnessed the greater part of the occurrences connected with it, and who was amongst the remnant who escaped the sword at Sheykh Tabarsí, at the request of a certain learned and eminent enquirer set down in writing two thousand four hundred occurrences of a miraculous character which he had witnessed on the part of His Holiness, and, during the siege of the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí, on the part of Jenáb-i-Kuddús and his companions and supporters. But when he had completed this, he became aware that His Holiness in no wise regarded these miracles, wonders, and supernatural occurrences as a proof of his mission, and did not desire them to be published; wherefore he effaced what he had recorded in that precious book, and refrained from publishing it. Somewhat of the nobility of nature and eminence of this great man we shall describe, if God so please, when we come to speak of the learned doctors and eminent divines who entered into this new dispensation.]

Mullá Husayn, to Khurasan and beyond

Let us return, however, to Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh entitled Bábu‘l-Báb. In every part of the country which <43> he visited he made converts amongst men of learning and discernment, until at length he reached Khurásán, where also he guided many to the truth. The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes [[in his book]] as follows:-

"Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh, who was entitled Bábu‘l-Báb, set out from Khurásán [after he had remained there some while] with the intention of visiting His Holiness the Supreme. So great was his devotion, and the sense of unworthiness which possessed him, that he went on foot to Mákú (where at that time His Holiness abode), conducting himself everywhere on the way with caution and prudence. After he had been honoured by admission to the Blessed Presence, the Báb informed him of his approaching martyrdom and the many cruel afflictions which were impending, ordering him at the same time to return to Khurásán, and adding, 'Go thither by way of Mázandarán, for there the doctrine has not yet been rightly preached.' So, agreeably to these instructions, he came to Mázandarán, and there joined Jenáb-i-Kuddús. Such of the faithful as were present at that meeting relate that on the first day of his arrival Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb sat, as befitted his rank, in the place of honour, while Jenáb-i-Kuddús took a lower place; for Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb was unrivalled in excellence and learning, while Jenáb-i-Kuddús appeared to possess no special merit or distinction, save that he had accompanied His Holiness the Supreme on the pilgrimage to Mecca. But on the following morning they beheld Jenáb-i-Kuddús seated on the chief seat, and Mullá Huseyn standing humbly and reverentially before him. Until that time the virtues and extent of spiritual knowledge possessed by the former had been suspected by none, but during that night such evidences of hidden wisdom and knowledge of divine mysteries had been witnessed in him by Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb that on the morrow he was <44> fain to stand humbly before one who had neither studied deeply, nor, to all outward appearance, attained any very high degree of excellence. Be this as it may, they relate that in a single night Jenáb-i-Kuddús wrote a sublime commentary of some three thousand verses on the words "God the Eternal29," and that in a brief space of time nearly thirty thousand verses of learned discourses, homilies, and supplications proceeded from him30."

To return, however, to our narrative. After a while Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb set out for Khurásán, and shortly after this the faithful were honoured with an Epistle from the Fountain-head of the Faith, bidding them, in case it should be possible, to proceed to Khurásán. In the letter addressed to Mírzá Ahmad of Azkand, one of the chief disciples of the late Seyyid, the impending catastrophe of Mázandarán was made known. So Jenáb-i-Kuddús, accompanied by several of the faithful, set out towards Khurásán, but after a while turned back into Mázandarán. On arriving there, he despatched a letter to Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb announcing the news of his approaching [death, along with seventy believers31, as well as the circumstances of his own] martyrdom, and bidding him depart out of Khurásán. Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, on receiving this letter (which is known as "the Eternal Witness"), came out from that holy sanctuary with a number of his companions, and set out for Mázandarán. On reaching Miyámí, these were further reinforced by a band of about thirty believers. The leader of these was a devout and saintly old man named Mullá Zeynu‘l-’Abídín, a disciple of <45> the late Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'i. So great was his devotion and the ardour of his affection that he had said to his recently-wedded son, a lad eighteen years of age, "Come with me, O my son, for this journey is to the Hereafter, and I imagine for thee a right goodly marriage." And everywhere this white-bearded old man went on foot.

Now when Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb had reached the confines of Mázandarán, he began to tarry on the way, and even when he advanced it was but a parasang or half a parasang a day. His companions enquired of him whether he was expecting aught that he thus loitered and lingered, to which he replied that they would soon know the reason. After some days the news of the decease of His Majesty Muhammad Sháh arrived, whereupon Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb recommenced his march, saying, "It was this news which I was awaiting." They were at that time at Árím, one of the villages of Sawád-Kúh, for which latter place they at once set out, and there performed the daily prayers incumbent on them. Now it was the custom of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb to preach to the faithful twice a day, exhorting them to remember God, to purity their hearts, and to hold themselves aloof from the world. So he ascended into the pulpit, and, after delivering a homily containing many exhortations, counsels, and disparagements of this transitory world, thus addressed them:-

"Know, O people, that, according to the dictates of sound reason, it is impossible to combine things essentially opposed, and that therefore the pursuit of worldly prosperity is incompatible with the perfecting of religious life, and that the amassing of wealth is antagonistic to the working out of faith. For, from the very creation of the world until now, such as were guided by Divine Grace and fitted by their natural dispositions for the search after true wisdom and the attempt to perfect themselves in faith and <46> service, if they did not at the first stop close their eyes to wealth, wife and child, nay, life itself, could in no wise take a second step in advance. Thus it is that, in every past age down to the present time, until the prophets, the saints, and the elect had themselves crossed over the Bridge32 of attachment to this Old Inn33; displayed, along with their companions and followers, the utmost constancy and steadfastness in supporting all manner of sharp afflictions and grievous trials; and advanced with eager steps towards martyrdom, they did not succeed in delivering their benighted people from the abyss of error and the snare of unbelief, or in guiding them into the city of assurance and the haven of faith. For this it was that the Chief of Martyrs34, together with his supporters and adherents, stood so firm in that plain of self-sacrifice35 and bore active witness to the truth, for the guidance of mankind and the establishment of the faith; whereby, long years after the consummation of their martyrdom, the Law of the Prophet <47> was matured, and the ordinances of his holy religion established. And now we likewise, for the awakening of our fellow-men, be they rich in virtues or beset with faults, intelligent or heedless, wise or simple; for the removal of the doubts and objections of the obdurate; and for the admonition of the careless and indifferent, are constrained by the good pleasure of the Beloved to bear witness by our deeds to the truth of this new revelation, to prove our sincerity by disregarding all earthly considerations, to undergo sufferings transcending human imagination and endurance, and to lay down dear life itself for the establishment of this great truth and the perfecting of the proof to our perverse and benighted opponents. Know, then, for a surety, that once arrived in Mázandarán all paths of escape will be closed to us; that we shall without doubt be slain with most grievous torments; and that the land beyond Bárfurúsh shall be dyed with the blood of these our comrades. Indeed our supreme object in pressing forward to the goal of this our journey of woe is naught else than to bear witness to the truth and attain to the lofty rank of martyrdom. Whosoever feeleth himself able to bear steadfastly, contentedly, nay, rapturously, this heavy burden, let him remain; but if there be any who perceive in themselves, be it even in the least degree, signs of weakness, they are enjoined to depart, for it is not meet to lay on anyone more than he can bear. Let these, then (if such there be), bid a last farewell to their friends and comrades, and turn back even from this place."

On hearing these words those faithful companions wept much, and replied, "When we entered on this journey we shut our eyes to all worldly considerations and earthly ties, firmly resolving not to shrink from laying down our lives." And there were present in this assembly two hundred and thirty persons, all distinguished for learning and virtue, <48> many of them being also men of wealth and position. Of these, two hundred unhesitatingly agreed to endure even unto death. The other thirty, by reason of diverse impediments, felt constrained to excuse themselves, and asked permission to depart. And these turned back from that place.

[[The reviser of this history says:- "Several persons worthy of credence affirm that it was on this occasion that Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb informed his companions of the impending death of Muhammad Sháh, who was at that time still alive; even as he had previously, while in the Most Holy Land36, made the same announcement, along with others bearing reference to the calamities and afflictions which God had decreed to take place in the Most Holy Land, to a certain great and eminent man of Khurásán who is now present."]]37

Mullá Husayn to Bárfurúsh; Skirmishes and Seige

After this, Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb and his remaining companions mounted and proceeded towards Bárfurúsh. But when news of their advent reached the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá, he, because of a former difference which he had had with Jenáb-i-Kuddús, whose devoted friend he knew Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb to be, issued orders that they should not be suffered to approach the city. Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, who, with some of his companions, was a little in advance of the others, said to those who would oppose their advance, "Because of the King's death and the disturbed state of the roads and highways we come to you as guests seeking shelter. In accordance with the tradition, 'Honour the guest even though he be an infidel,' suffer us to abide for a few days in your land of safety, and seek not to injure <49> us. For according to no creed is it lawful and right to molest strangers, or to spurn such as come seeking protection." Yet, notwithstanding the arguments thus advanced, and the efforts made to induce a kindlier feeling, these pretended followers of the Prophet of God, instigated by their clergy in general and the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá in particular, refused to be turned from their purpose; nay rather in face of this gentleness and forbearance they waxed yet more insolent, and grew bolder in their attempts on the life and property of the strangers.

So Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, determined to complete the proof, and, if possible, to avert strife, submitted and turned back, while these devout and godly professors of the holy religion of Islám continued to follow them, till at length one fellow, more insolent than the rest38, discharged his musket. Now Áká Seyyid Rizá, a man eminent for his piety and virtue, was wont, by reason of the ardour of his devotion, to walk everywhere by the stirrup of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb; and he, thus running by his leader's side, received that fatal shot, and forthwith gave up the ghost. And so, in like manner, were two others amongst the faithful slain.

Then Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb 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 was 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. <50>

So the Bábís, obediently to their leader's command, began to defend themselves and to wage battle until they came to the city. One of their opponents fired a shot which did not take effect, and Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb made as though he would punish the attempt, but nevertheless spared the offender because of his entreaties. The action was, however, again repeated; the foolish wretch fired a charge of shot full at Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb's face, and inflicted on him a serious injury. At this the latter was filled with wrath, and rushed upon his antagonist, who took shelter behind a tree, striving to guard himself with the barrel of his musket. So Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, perceiving that with the right hand he could not reach him, smote him with his sword a left-handed blow beneath the arm-pit and clave him in twain. After this he pushed on to the door of the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá's house; but, though he could easily have entered it (for most of the combatants, on beholding the last blow dealt by him, had taken to flight or hidden themselves, while such as remained kept crying out afar off in terror for their lives), he refrained for several reasons from doing so, in order that this man and his deeds might remain on the page of time as a warning to such as are endowed with discernment. So he spoke him fair, and turned back thence to the Herb Market, in which is a caravansaray wherein they took up their quarters. Again the townspeople attacked them, surrounding the caravansaray and striving to set fire to it, until at length some of the faithful sallied forth and put them to flight.

Now when these were come back, Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb said, "Let one among you go up and sound the call to prayer." So one went up, but ere he had uttered more than a few words he was stricken down by a bullet. Then Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb said, "The call to prayer must be completed." Another went up, but, before he had finished, <51> he too was shot. Forthwith a third went up, and completed the remainder of the call, but, even as he did so, he also fell a martyr, and was united to his comrades who had preceded him. The object of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb in thus insisting on the completion of the call was, as it would appear, to make apparent to those benighted people the steadfastness and self-devotion of himself and his companions in proclaiming the word of God, and to demonstrate conclusively to all mankind the absence of all piety, mercy, and true religion in those pretended Muslims.

Although in this age there are but few who are impartial or disposed to believe, those of the time to come will meditate on these events diligently and without prejudice, and these will distinguish the oppressed from the oppressor, the wise from the foolish, and the true from the false. It is related that [four hundred, or, according to another tradition] seventy doctors and divines of repute signed the warrant authorizing the murder of the Chief of Martyrs39 and declaring him a heretic. But now, after the lapse of a thousand years, they admit their wrong-doing, and vainly beat their breasts and heads in mourning for that broken troth and the desertion of that holy one whom they left alone in the plain of Kerbelá, crying out continually, "O would that we had been with you!" Yet withal, because of their heedlessness and blind prejudice, they continue to act towards the saints of this dispensation, and even towards the Proof foretold to this ignorantly-expectant people, in such wise as hath happened in no former age, and with a cruelty and injustice never heretofore witnessed. And, on the other hand, there hath never been any people so patient under the most cruel wrongs, or of like fortitude under afflictions so grievous. Every sound understanding must admit that men so reasonable and so learned <52> would not thus cast the coin of life into the crucible of tribulation, or plunge their wives and children into the abyss of woe, unless they had first seen visibly before them that which they sought, and experienced within themselves a peace and power from God.

"When saints behold the Hour of Union nigh

Then seemeth it to them most sweet to die;

E'en those magicians, stirred with gratitude

To Moses, passed with rapture to the rood40."

To return, however, to our narrative. The Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá gathered together from all quarters a great multitude, who laid siege to the caravansaray, so that for the space of five or six days there was strife and battle. At the end of this time 'Abbás-Kulí Khán of Láríján entered Bárfurúsh, and, having heard what had taken place on either side, sent his son-in-law to wait upon Jenáb-i-Bábu'l-Báb with a message to this effect:- "Although the people of this place have acted wrongly and foolishly in not observing the respect due to you, who came unto them as <53> strangers seeking hospitality, and in further seeking to do you injury, yet since, owing to the death of His Majesty the late King, the public order is disturbed, it is desirable, especially having regard to the fact that blood has been shed between you, that you should depart out of this city."

Fort of Sheykh Tabarsi

To this message Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb thus replied:- "On condition that they suffer us to depart without harm, we have no objection to go. If you will promise that no fresh attempt shall be made to cause bloodshed and provoke strife, we will not refuse to withdraw." To this the chief pledged himself, and sent his son-in-law41 Sa’ádat-Kulí Beg to bear them company till they should reach a place of safety. Their antagonists, however, conspired with a certain Khusraw of Kádé-kalá, a matchless and notorious scoundrel, to follow and treacherously rob and murder them in a certain part of the forest. So Khusraw of Kádékalá, taking with him a hundred horsemen, rode off with [[the Sardár's son-in-law]] Sa’ádat-Kulí Beg. When they had proceeded a short distance [[’Abbas-Kulí Khán's son-in-law]]42 took leave of them and turned back, while Khusraw continued to accompany them till he came near to his own home, to a place hard by the Tomb of Sheykh Tabarsí43. When they were come there, some of the faithful <54> observed to Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb that it was the time for [the noon-tide] prayer, whereupon he alighted to pray. Khusraw, seeing his opportunity, approached him, saying, "We wish to turn back; give us a present." So, in accordance with the instructions of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, they gave him a sum of one hundred tumáns in money, besides other articles. He then demanded Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb's horse and sword, but the latter replied, "Make not this request, for these were given to me by a certain holy man, and I cannot part with them to anyone." "If you will not give them up," returned Khusraw, "I am authorized [by the clergy] to kill you; your [lives and] possessions are lawful to us." As he continued to speak after this unseemly fashion, Mírzá Muhammad Takí [of Juveyn] caught hold of his hand and drew him back a few paces, gently remonstrating with him, and even offering to add to the sum of money which he had already received if he would but refrain from molesting Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb. Remonstrances and offers, however, proved equally unavailing; and Mírzá Muhammad Takí, having completed the proof, and being reduced to despair, with a blow of his dagger freed mankind from Khusraw's malice. On seeing their leader fall, the others took to flight, but, their village being near at hand, soon returned with a great multitude, overtook the Bábís in a narrow path, and prepared to attack and plunder them. So Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, seeing that in that forest-path there was neither room to pass nor to fight, commanded his companions to abandon their baggage and retreat. In obedience to his command, therefore, they <55> retired into the tomb of Sheykh Tabarsí. When they reached it, he said to them, "Here shall we attain our object, and here also will the purpose of the froward and unrighteous be fulfilled." And in passing this spot on his way to Bárfurúsh he had similarly said, "In this place will the blood of God's soldiers and saints be shed, and many a pure spirit shall be quenched in dust and gore." And most of his companions knew what he intended to signify.

After this several mounted men were sent to collect the baggage, and they gathered it together and brought it in. Then Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb said, "If ye be united in spirit, it is contrary to the dictates of self-devotion and single-heartedness to make any distinction in these perishable possessions during the few brief days for which a respite may be granted to you. Forsake, then, all such distinctions, and, for this short while, share what ye have in common." So they appointed a steward and a cook; and at breakfast and supper they sat round like brethren, one plate containing a uniform portion being placed before every two of them. Thus did they live happily together in content and gladness, free from all grief and care, as though resignation and contentment formed a part of their very nature.

For about twenty days and nights did they thus tranquilly await the fulfilment of divine destiny, but during all this time the continuous rain suffered none to leave his house. When the weather cleared, the comrades of Khusraw of Kádé-kalá, banding themselves together, surrounded the Castle with a great host of horsemen and footmen, determined to shed the blood of its inmates. When news of this was brought to Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb most of his followers were without the fortress. But he said, "Let none of those who are without the castle stir from their places, and let those who are within go forth and sit down <56> outside boldly and unflinchingly." And all obeyed his command.

What ensued is thus related by one worthy of credence who was of the remnant spared by the sword in the Castle:-

"We, as we had been commanded, were sitting round about outside the Castle, while our foes came so near us that their bullets and shots passed by our cheeks and whistled round about and beside us. Inwardly we were somewhat disquieted, but Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb came up to us and said, 'Fear not; but if ye be indeed fighting for God, if ye be content with His good pleasure, ready to endure affliction and martyrdom, and freed from all worldly ties, then stand firm even where you are, and bow your heads in submission. If so be that God's will requireth your martyrdom, then great is your honour and happiness! But if God purposeth not that you should be slain, then none of these successive shots will effect your death; and this will be but one amongst the countless manifestations of His Power and Grace. If, therefore, anyone, in whatever position he may be, should so much as move his head to avoid a passing bullet, or should inwardly desire that the bullet should pass by him, he hath failed to attain to a state of true spiritual peace and contentment, is an unfaithful and wavering servant, and advanceth a vain boast.'

"Such was the effect of these words that our hearts became filled with strength, and so ready were we to lay down our lives that without flinching we joyfully exposed our breasts to the fire of the malignants. The enemy's horsemen galloped round about us in great numbers, but, though they fired many shots at close quarters, none of us suffered any injury, and it almost seemed as though their erring bullets were testifying to the error of their ways.

"After a little while Jenáb-i-Kuddús came forth <57> from the Castle, picked up several small pebbles, and cast them towards the enemy, saying, 'This is what David44 did to the troops of Goliath45'; whereupon, in the course of a few minutes, all were dispersed and incontinently fled."

To proceed. Soon after this occurrence Jenáb-i-Kuddús arrived at the Castle with a number of his companions. [The writer of these pages, being actuated by no wish to produce an elegant literary work, but only desiring to set down a true, faithful, and correct account of these matters, has become assured, after the most careful investigation, that what the late Hájí Mírzá Jání has written concerning the events of this Manifestation is in accordance with truth and actual fact, and is the outcome of careful and discriminating enquiry. He has, therefore, for the better informing of his readers and their fuller assurance, succeeded, with the assistance of a distinguished and noble Seyyid, who is also eminent in literary attainments, in obtaining a copy of this work.] Of the detailed account of these transactions [there given]46 the following is an epitome of what is most material. When Jenáb-i-Kuddús had arrived at the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí and interviewed those who already occupied it, he proceeded to determine the extent and limits of the fortress, and ordered a wall to be built about it. He likewise commanded all such as were <58> skilled in any craft to exercise that craft for God's glory in as perfect a manner as was possible, to the end that their brethren might be profited thereby. So the mason busied himself with building, the tailor with tailoring, and the sword-maker with the manufacture of swords. The number of those amongst them who were craftsmen and artisans was but small; but what was intended by this command was that all should profit by the results of one another's gifts and talents. Wherefore in like manner such as were divines and men of learning busied themselves in searching out divine mysteries and expounding philosophic truths, whereby those who lacked learning and scholarship were enabled to partake in the advantages which these confer, and to advance towards perfection, learning to base their faith on grounds of reason, and not on mere imitation or blind devotion.

The news of the construction of the fortress was soon spread abroad in every direction. It was at this time the beginning of the reign of His Imperial Majesty Násiru‘d-Dín Sháh Kájár (may God perpetuate his rule)47, and to his court did the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá forward a petition, in response to the demands and lying assertions of which orders for the annihilation of the Bábís were issued to the chief local authorities. [Áká ‘Abdu’lláh, the brother of Hájí Mustafá Khán, with a body of skilled marksmen and experienced soldiers; Mírzá Áká, the secretary, with a host of Kurdish, Turkish, and Afghan horsemen from Sárí; and <59> Muhammad Beg, the captain, with 300 marksmen, set out in haste to subdue and destroy the Castle, and, on their arrival there, began to throw up earthworks and to dig a trench.]48 But on the other side, as a measure of defence, a body of men marched out; attacked the entrenchment, routed the enemy, and, without losing even one of their own men, slew a hundred and thirty of their antagonists. And Jenáb-i-Kuddús had announced that in this fight none of them were fated to fall.

When this news reached Teherán, Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá was appointed to the government of Mázandarán with commands to put down the Bábís, and ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán of Láríján received instructions to help and support the Prince. So the latter, with two or three thousand soldiers, advanced to within two parasangs of the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí, and halted at Dih-i-Bázú to await the arrival of the remainder of the royal troops with ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán.

During this period of inactivity the Prince addressed a letter to Jenáb-i-Kuddús, demanding what his real aim might be, and whether he was fighting for religious or political objects, and calling upon him in any case to abandon his present attitude.

In reply to this letter, Jenáb-i-Kuddús wrote nearly as follows:- "We are exceedingly adverse to enmity and discord, much more to actual strife and warfare, especially with His Majesty the King. Only those who dream of lordship and dominion deliberately seek war with established authority, not such as these, who, foredoomed to destruction in this narrow enclosure, have nobly and devotedly cast from them such power, authority, and lordship as they formerly possessed, abandoning worldly success and supremacy to such as seek after these things. For we, agreeably to the duty incumbent on the doctors of Islam, who pretend to have been expecting the Master's coming for <60> twelve hundred and sixty years, and who continually pray 'May God hasten his glad advent,' have announced the appearance of that promised Proof and declared his signs; and we maintain that you should not, like most of the doctors of former ages (who, through their blind adhesion to vain superstitions, remained shut off from the blessing of recognizing the Prophet of their time, whereby the common people also were held back, doubting and expecting, in the desert of error), continue to await in darkness the accomplished Manifestation, as do the diverse sects of Hindoos, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians. Of these, some were indifferent, some mocked, some fell to chiding or cursing, while others again set themselves to fight and oppose the new truth, and, without investigation or enquiry, denounced as infidels and doomed to death the innocent objects of their cruel hatred. And now, by their misrepresentations, they have induced His Majesty the King to send forth his hosts to battle, thus bringing eternal disgrace on this Royal house. Had they been indeed seekers after God and desirous of distinguishing truth from falsehood, they should at least, when this matter first became apparent, have made it their business to enquire into it, and ought not to have rested for a moment until they had seen and questioned the Master, and verified or disproved his claim, so that they might be in a position to direct the rest of mankind without war and bloodshed. But now the government, refusing to give the matter due consideration, has imprisoned that Day-spring of Divinity in the remotest borders of its territory, and has carried war and slaughter against a mere handful of its subjects who have renounced the world and all that therein is. Hereby it has exposed itself to the reprobation of all nations and peoples, who will say, 'Bigotry and injustice have come to such a pass that guns and muskets have <61> become the arbitrators between truth and falsehood.' Can gunners and soldiers distinguish right and wrong? This is the work of learned divines, on whom devolves the duty of enquiring into the matter. If differences can be removed by reasonable discussion and argument, well and good. If not, then let us invoke God's curse on whomsoever is in error, leaving to Him the decision. Or, if this content them not, let us kindle a fire49 and enter in to the midst thereof, that the truth or falsehood of either side may be made apparent without the shedding of blood or the slaughter of God's servants. And should they agree to none of these alternatives, we for our part have no quarrel with any one, being strangers, who have suffered much in this wilderness, and are the objects of causeless persecution. Suffer us then to depart, that we may with all speed quit this land and pass to the holy shrines of Kerbelá and Nejef. But if you encompass us on all sides and suffer us not to depart, and if ye be indeed bent on the slaughter of innocent folk, then have we no choice but to defend ourselves and to prove the sincerity of our belief by laying down our lives as martyrs to our cause. But do not thou, O noble Prince, take part in bringing about this bloodshed. Misrepresentations have made His Majesty the King hostile to us without cause, else by counsel and fair dealing could our differences be removed without the unsheathing of a single sword or the utterance of a single unkind word. Even Pharaoh, notwithstanding his claim to divinity, his exceeding greatness and power, and his conviction that Moses was but what he seemed - the son of one of his own slaves, and a self-confessed murderer fleeing from justice - still ostensibly acted towards him with justice <62> and fairness. For he summoned Moses before him, spoke with him at length, heard what he had to say, and demanded a sign. Moses answered, 'The rod and the white hand are my signs.' 'These,' said Pharaoh, 'are but a juggle'; but he was met with the answer, 'Produce the like thereof if ye speak truly50.' To this, notwithstanding all his power and despotic authority, Pharaoh raised no objection, but, at great expense, assembled about a thousand magicians from all parts of the country in order that a like sign might be wrought by them. So in like manner did Hárúnu‘r-Rashíd, whom our divines regard as accursed and an unbeliever, assemble nearly four hundred learned doctors to answer Hasaniyya the handmaiden51 and to test the truth of her assertions. How different is the case now, when, though more than three hundred eminent and gifted divines confidently assert the truth of this new doctrine, these people, who profess to have been expecting this Manifestation for twelve hundred and sixty years, are at no pains to enquire into this matter with a view to arriving at the truth, and so preventing a powerful government from being led by the wilful misrepresentations of prejudiced persons from carrying battle and slaughter against a mere handful of its subjects. According to the Law they regard the testimony of two just witnesses as sufficient, even where life is involved: wherefore, then, do they refuse to accept the testimony of three hundred men who are not only just, but, for the most part, learned, discreet, self-devoted, and ready to lay down their lives at God's bidding? If they declare these to be in error and delusion, we reply that it is most improbable that three hundred learned men possessed of such means for forming a correct judgment should fall into such an error, seeing that each one of <63> them attained the goal in view with infinite pains and after enduring countless privations and hardships. Only when a thousand difficulties, whereof the solution was a thousand times harder than the Cleaving of the Moon52, had been resolved, did they suffer their doubts, which formed a rampart more stubborn than the Wall of Alexander, to be surmounted; neither did their pride of learning and priestly arrogance permit them to bow their heads in humble submission until they had been convinced by irrefragable proofs of the plenary authority bestowed from on high on that Well-spring of divine wisdom. Yet do men foolishly imagine that they lightly and easily relinquished their supremacy, and chose without reason such utter self-abandonment, little thinking what hesitation, diffidence, fear, and anxiety each of them experienced ere he became fully assured of the truth...... Again, if it be asserted that they embraced this doctrine in the hope of securing to themselves authority and lordship, this is an evident calumny, credible only to such as regard learning merely as a means for the acquisition of the perishable wealth and worthless consideration of the world. These things which they already enjoyed, yea, the very hope of life, they freely forsook for the good pleasure of the Beloved and the awakening of benighted souls. Their very deeds bear witness to the purity of their motives, for, in so dire a pass, even the most faithful are in grievous peril, and the elect quake and tremble in fear of stumbling.

['Cast away thy sword and buckler, make thy life thy shield instead;

Only he can head the van who feareth not to lose his head.']"

Now when the Prince had perused this letter, guile entered into his heart, and he wrote in reply as follows:- "What you have written accords with truth and sound <64> reason. I will convene the clergy for the consideration of the claims advanced on either side, and will endeavour to arrive at a true decision in this matter." His real object, however, was only to gain time till his reinforcements should arrive and he should be in a position to make a night attack upon the fortress; and meanwhile he arrested all such as he knew to be well disposed towards the Báb or believers in the Beyán, displaying in his treatment of them no lack of cruelty and harshness. Amongst these was Mullá Yúsuf of Ardabíl, who, in company with another, was proceeding to the Castle. These they arrested and imprisoned in the camp. About the same time that this misfortune occurred, the late Hájí Mírzá Jání, the chronicler of these events, together with Muhammad Takí Khán of Núr and several others, arrived in the neighbourhood in company with His Holiness Behá53 (the lives of all beside him be his sacrifice), the mystery of whose real nature was still hidden within the veils of the divine Wisdom, and desired to proceed to the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí. The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes, "We repeatedly urged him54 to proceed, and to let us bear him company, but he replied, 'If we go, they will not suffer us to reach the Castle; for this is unattainable, and the matter is otherwise predestined." At length, however, he yielded <65> to the entreaties of his devoted companions. Of the sums of money which others have mentioned, they had with them in all not less than four thousand túmáns in cash, besides other goods and chattels. When they had come within two parasangs of Sheykh Tabarsí, they were observed and seized by the royalist troops, who stripped them and bore them to the camp, intending to put them to death. As, however, Behá belonged to a distinguished family of Mázandarán, certain of the royalist officers accorded him their protection and sent him to Bárfurúsh, where he suffered such afflictions as the pen is ashamed to portray. As to Hájí Mírzá Jání, two merchants of Káshán, who had a claim on certain of the officers, received him as the equivalent of four hundred túmáns which were owing to them, and set him at liberty. [When he was setting out from Teherán, some of his friends had strongly dissuaded him from going, but he replied in answer to their remonstrances, "I shall suffer martyrdom in Teherán, and though on this journey I shall be taken captive, I shall be released. Yet that I may have no cause for shame in not going, and that I may to the full accomplish my endeavour, I will go.

'Better he who boldly fronts the desert is than he in languid ease who lies;

I at least am free to make the effort, even though I fail to win the prize.'"]

Now inasmuch as Jenáb-i-Kuddús had, in the address known as the "Eternal Witness55," made known the circumstances of his own and his companions' martyrdom in the plainest manner, and knowledge of this had reached most of the brethren whether far or near, who were firmly persuaded of the truth of his foreshadowings, these no sooner learned how he and his followers were hemmed in by so great a beleaguering force in the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí than they knew <66> for a surety that in a little while that devoted band would to a man fall before the guns of the foe, and stain the earth with their life-blood. In spite of this knowledge, however, they eagerly set out from the most distant provinces to share the martyrdom of those already assembled in that fatal spot. I know not what these people had seen or apprehended that they thus readily cast aside all that men do most prize, and thus eagerly hastened to imperil their lives. Surely their conduct was such as to leave no room for doubt of their sincerity and devotion in any unprejudiced mind; and in truth what they did and suffered was little short of miraculous, being beyond mere human capacity. In them was exemplified the blessed verse, 'Desire death then if ye be sincere56,' while through their steadfastness the words, 'Those who strive in the way of God with their possessions and persons, these are highest in rank before God, and these are they who shall be happy57,' gained a new lustre......

So Jenáb-i-Kuddús, being well aware of the Prince's real intentions, and perceiving that his design was nothing else than to gain time till his re-inforcements should arrive and he should be able to make a night attack, repeated the blessed verse, 'They devised stratagems, and God devised stratagems, and God is the best deviser of stratagems58,' and issued orders that three hundred men should that night hold themselves in readiness for battle. And when these were ready, Jenáb-i-Kuddús mounted his horse, and Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb rode forth by his side, and all set out towards the camp.

Now when those who were in the royalist camp saw <67> them, they rejoiced, thinking that it was ‘Abbás-Kulí-Khán arriving with re-inforcements. But when they came to the magazine they set fire to it, and then surrounded the Prince's quarters. Then cries and shouts arose from the soldiers on all sides, and the fire of battle blazed high. The royalist troops, unable to withstand the attack, were utterly routed and took to flight, while the followers of Jenáb-i-Kuddús continued to fight with the utmost courage, and succeeded in releasing such of their companions as were confined in the camp, besides setting fire to the Prince's quarters. Prince Sultán Huseyn Mírzá, a son of the late king Fath-‘Alí Shah, Prince Dá‘úd Mírzá, son of the late Zillu‘s-Sultán, and Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Bákí, not being quick enough to effect their escape, were burned to death in the fierce conflagration; but Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá, being swift and cunning in flight, boldly leaped from the high roof and hid himself in the forest.

The Bábís of Mázandarán, about a hundred and twenty in number, whose leader was Áká Rasúl59, together with some others, began to spoil and plunder. Thereupon Jenáb-i-Kuddús called out to them, "O brethren, do not disgrace your cause by associating it with rapine!" But the weak brethren of Mázandarán, seeing a clear field and abundant spoil, paid no heed to the commands of their leader, and continued plundering till dawn began to brighten the sky. Now some thousand of the royalist soldiers had hidden themselves in the defile of a mountain hard by, and when these perceived that the Bábís were but few in number, and that, in addition to this, many of them were scattered abroad or laden with booty, they took courage, surrounded them, and opened fire. Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb attacked them <68> with drawn sword, and was pressing them hard, when suddenly a bullet was fired which struck Jenáb-i-Kuddús in the mouth, knocking out several of his teeth, and shattering one side of his face. When Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb witnessed this catastrophe, he began to fight even as Huseyn fought at Kerbelá, and to mete out to the enemy the recompense of what they had done. The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes that in that onslaught he dismissed nearly three hundred from their evil courses to the place whereunto they belonged60. The rest, unable to withstand him, fled and hid themselves, while Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb halted till all his comrades were collected together, and then set out on his return to the Castle.

Now in spite of the success achieved by the Bábís, two misfortunes had befallen them. Firstly, three of the believers had been slain; of which the reason was that Jenáb-i-Kuddús had given permission to three hundred only to take part in the enterprise, and these three had gone in excess of the number so ordained. Secondly, some of the weaker brethren had engaged in plundering and straggled from the main body, thus delaying the return; and their transgression had been visited on Jenáb-i-Kuddús, for "the kindred bear the blood-wit." Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb was deeply distressed at this sad misfortune, and seemed overcome with shame in the presence of his chief; for Jenáb-i-Kuddús was unable to eat solid food, and for three months tasted nothing, except now and then a little tea or broth. And this was a most marvellous thing, yea, almost a miracle; for during these three months he neither lost colour nor wasted away, nor was any impairment of bodily strength perceptible in him, nor any sign of pain or uneasiness. <69>

Death of Mullá Husayn

When news of the Prince's defeat reached the Sartíp ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán, he assembled his troops and joined him in Bárfurúsh, whence they set out together with a large force for the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí. On their arrival they began to entrench themselves, and sometimes at night they would make a sudden attack on the Castle. But Jenáb-i-Kuddús used to warn the garrison in advance, saying, "To-night these pretended watchers for the advent of the lmám Mahdí intend to attack us, therefore let nineteen men be ready to repel them." The royalists, imagining that their antagonists had no knowledge of their plans, sought by all manner of devices to capture the fortress; but on each occasion they were routed at the outskirts of the Castle and driven back in shame and confusion by these nineteen men.

After the war had continued for some time, Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb said to Jenáb-i-Kuddús, "I can no longer bear to look upon the wound which mars your glorious visage. Suffer me, I pray you, to lay down my life this night, that I may be delivered alike from my shame and my anxiety." So Jenáb-i-Kuddús suffered him to go, and bade the faithful bear him company.

Now it was the custom of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb to go forth to fight in this wise: he himself, followed by several other mounted men, would ride in advance, while the rest of his companions followed on foot. If it was at night-time, they would put on felt caps, gird their swords to their belts, and, with bare feet and arms uncovered to the elbow, rush upon the very centre of the hostile army with cries of "Yá Sáhibu’z-zamán61!" Then, with swords worth not more than five krúns, which they had wrought for themselves within their castle, they would cut down men whose gear had cost a thousand túmáns. <70> So Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb and his companions advanced calmly upon the enemy in this fashion, and quitted themselves that night like men of valour. Though their opponents were more than seven thousand strong, within one hour they captured seven of their entrenchments. When ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán saw this, he disguised himself in change of raiment, quitted the camp with two of his retainers, and concealed himself in the shelter of a hillock, or, according to another account, in a hollow tree. Now since the night was very dark, and rain was falling heavily, the Bábís, fearing to injure one another, had set fire to the wood which had been stacked in the camp (or, as others relate, to the bundles of reeds which were there), that they might have light enough to distinguish friends from foes. They had also hung white shawls across their shoulders as a token to serve for mutual recognition, and this rendered them conspicuous to ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán, who presently caught signs of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, and discharged a bullet at him which struck him in the breast. He followed up this shot with another, which also took effect.

Now Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, knowing for a surety that he would meet his death that night, had, in the very midst of the conflict, said to one who was beside him, "Mount behind me on my horse, and when I say, 'Bear me to the Castle' turn back with all speed." So now, overcome with faintness, he said, "Bear me to the Castle." Thereupon his companion turned the horse's head and brought him back to the entrance of the Castle; and there he straight-way yielded up his spirit to the Lord and Giver of life.

So they brought in his body and laid it before Jenáb-i-Kuddús, who neither wept, nor moved from his place, nor by any change of countenance betrayed his emotion, but only pointed to it with his staff, saying, "Leave it here, and go dig a grave in such-and-such a spot." <71> What followed is thus related by him who made ready the grave:- "When the grave was completed, I advanced to the curtain <which guarded the entrance of the chamber> to request permission to enter, and to announce that the grave was ready. As I did so, the low murmur of conversation reached my ears. I softly raised a corner of the curtain, and beheld Jenáb-i-Kuddús seated beside Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, from whose face the covering had been removed, engaged in conversation with him. When I saw this, fear overcame me, and I quaked with terror. Suddenly Jenáb-i-Kuddús said to me, 'Is the grave ready?' I replied in the affirmative. 'Enter, then,' said he, 'and take away the body.' So I entered the chamber, bore away the body of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb from before him, and buried it with the raiment in which it was clad."

The royal troops had that night suffered a disgraceful defeat, and were scattered in flight. Many of the Bábís, too, had in the darkness and pouring rain missed the way to the Castle and become separated from their comrades, but, when the time for prayer came, these, guided by the sound of the azán, found their way back thither. For it was customary with the garrison of the Castle to keep vigil during the last third of the night, to read and pray aloud with fervent devotion until day-break, and to offer up their petitions to the Just and Gracious Lord. Far otherwise was it in the royalist camp, where wine-bibbing, foul and licentious acts, dice-playing, and utter neglect of spiritual exercises universally prevailed.

When these belated stragglers reached the Castle, and were informed of the martyrdom of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, they became exceeding sorrowful. And when they computed the number of those who had fallen by his side from the beginning of the war until that night, there were seventy, neither more nor less, exactly as Jenáb-i-Kuddús <72> had explicitly declared in the sermon of the "Eternal Witness62." But in the royalist camp more than four hundred men perished that night, including thirty-five officers of distinction, and more than a thousand were wounded, while the survivors had betaken themselves to flight. So ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán gathered up the corpses of his officers, and retired to Ámul to mourn their loss.

But when the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá was informed of this, he (fearing lest the Babls should enter Bárfurúsh and mete out to him the punishment which he deserved) was overcome with trouble and consternation, and wrote several successive letters to ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán, 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 Mázandarán 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 Ámul, urgently exhorting them to use their best endeavours to make the Sartíp ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán start at once without further delay. So they continued to remind him <73> incessantly that it was his duty to march with all speed against the Castle; and the Sartíp, though he knew that what the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá 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 Lárijání 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 parasangs from the city. So, as a makeshift, he wrote to the clergy of Ámul, 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 Bárfurúsh and there joined the advance of Prince Mahdí-Ku1í Mírzá, who, on reaching a village distant one parasang from the Castle, sent a body of his men to reconnoitre and collect information about the movements of the Bábí garrison.

But Jenáb-i-Kuddús was well aware of the circumstances just detailed, and said to his followers, "Go, and set up on posts the heads of such of our antagonists as were slain, arranging them in regular order round the ramparts of the Castle." So they did as he commanded. <74>

And when the royal troops, with the rabble who accompanied them, drew nigh to the Castle, and saw these heads, with mouths gaping horribly and blackened faces, set up on posts round the fortress, they were filled with indescribable terror. And even as they stood gazing thus, fifteen horsemen emerged from the Castle crying "Yá Sáhibu’z-zamán63!" and scattered before them the cavalry of the enemy (though these were more than five hundred strong), slaying not a few.

After this it became clear to the royal troops that they could not carry the fortress by storm. They therefore employed carpenters to construct scaling-ladders and battering-rams, which they carried to the Castle and erected during the night. They also began to dig trenches, and thus gradually advanced. Many came from the surrounding district to help them; ammunition and artillery began to arrive daily from Teherán; and the garrison of the Castle came forth but seldom, only firing occasional shots from the tops of their towers.

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 parasangs from the Castle), and continually in their conversation would they roundly abuse the Prince and 'Abbás-Kulí Khán and curse the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá; "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 hands64" became their daily utterance. One said, <75> "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 dependent 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 Sirát65". A seventh said, "I came away without the knowledge of my mother, and she had said to me, 'Should'st thou go, I will make the milk wherewith I nourished thee unlawful to thee.' I fear therefore that I may be cast off as undutiful by my mother." An eighth wept, saying, "I have made a vow to visit Kerbelá this year; one circumambulation of the holy sepulchre of the Chief of Martyrs66 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 so to be disappointed of this great blessing." Others said, "We, for our part, have neither seen in these people, nor heard of them, aught which sheweth them to be unbelievers, for they also say 'There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Apostle of God, and ‘Alí is the Friend of God.' At most, they maintain that the advent of the Imám Mahdí has <76> taken place. Let them be; for at all events they are no worse than the Sunnís who reject the twelve Imáms and the fourteen immaculate saints, [[recognise such an one as ‘Umar as caliph, prefer ‘Othman to ‘Alí ibn Abí Tálib, and accept Abú Bekr as the successor of our holy Prophet]]. Why should our divines leave those alone, and fight with these about matters 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 sung a different tune and devised a different pretext; and all awaited but some plausible excuse to betake themselves to flight. So when ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán 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 Sartíp's success. Men of discernment can easily appraise the faith and understanding of persons like these, who came to join in a holy war at the command of ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán and turned back from it by his permission, not having sense enough to see that the wise would deride their conduct, saying, "If, agreeably to God's command, it was a religious duty to fight with these people, then the clergy should have taken the lead; in which case, why did they not from the first undertake this duty? And when, impelled by the zeal of ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán, and at his command, they had entered upon the war, what occasion had they for turning back without striking a blow? If, on the other hand, it had not yet been shewn that the Bábís were infidels, and if war with them were a thing displeasing to God, then why did they not strive to restrain ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán instead of submitting to his opinion?" In a word, they went forth to <77> fight actuated solely by their passions, and turned back by reason of their own selfish motives. By this all may judge of the rest of their actions, for whosoever is endowed with discernment will perceive that all their words and deeds were prompted by self-interest, and that their conduct was wholly at variance with right. They regard knowledge but as a means of obtaining power and winning men's esteem; they barter religion for gold and silver; and they study the Law but to demand 'restitution of wrongs67,' 'Imám's money68,' and 'thirds69' of the property left by persons dying, or to obtain bribes in lawsuits and presents for pronouncing decisions contrary to what God hath revealed. [[Thus do they amass wealth without the trouble of engaging in commerce or agriculture.]]

["If every sinner got drunk with sin as the toper does with wine,

How many a sin would stand revealed which we scarcely now divine!"]

Now after the martyrdom of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, Jenáb-i-Kuddús made it his chief object to prepare his companions for death and departure from the world, and to set in order the means for their deliverance from earth and ascent to the realms of true existence, desiring that the period of strife and suffering might be shortened, and that they might the sooner escape from the prison of the body, and rest in the presence of the Beloved. For they had no <78> other object in placing their lives in jeopardy than to publish the news of the Manifestation, proclaim the word of God, complete the proof, and convey the summons to all peoples of the world; so that all such as were open to receive the truth at that time or in after ages might, according to the degree of their fitness, become enquirers or believers. When, therefore, they knew that the fame of their deeds and doctrine had been sufficiently noised abroad and had reached the ken of all nations and peoples, then, their sole object being accomplished, they made haste to lay down their lives and depart to the invisible and eternal world. Thus Jenáb-i-Kuddús, coming forth one day from the room wherein he dwelt, saw lying a quantity of rice in the husk70. Thereupon he said to his companions, "We came hither to shew forth God's truth, not to live gluttonously. If the aim in view were to maintain in luxury these perishable bodies, had you not in your own homes all manner of delicate foods? Why then did ye forsake these to come hither? But if ye came to die, then you need not fodder and provisions." To this his companions replied, "Whatever your orders may be, we are ready to obey them." Then said he, "Give the rice to the horses and sheep and cattle for them to eat it." For they had over two hundred horses, forty or fifty milch-cows, and three or four hundred sheep, most of which had been given to them by the people of Mázandarán, who, as many as believed, brought with them to the Castle of what they possessed. So the Bábís, eager to obey the commands of Jenáb-i-Kuddús, took no pains to husband their resources, so that in a little while their provisions were exhausted; while, inasmuch as the enemy had <79> surrounded the Castle on all sides, they could not go forth to procure fresh supplies.

Once, indeed, some few of them did go out to try to obtain a little tea [and sugar] for Jenáb-i-Kuddús. The most notable of these was Mullá Sa‘íd of Zarkanád. Now he was a man so accomplished in science that when certain learned men of the kindred of [[Mírzá]]71 Muhammad Takí of Núr addressed to Jenáb-i-Kuddús in writing certain questions touching the sciences of divination and astrology, the latter said to Mullá Sa‘íd, "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 Mullá Sa‘íd, 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 Tabarsí, and their martyrdom. The learned men of Núr were amazed beyond all measure at his erudition, and said, "Candour compels us to admit that such presentation of these matters is a great miracle, and that such erudition and eloquence are far beyond the Mullá Sa‘íd 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 Mullá Sa‘íd 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 Bábí garrison, their numbers, <80> and the amount of their munitions; but do what he would he could gain nothing. So, when he perceived Mullá Sa‘íd 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 Mullá Sa‘íd 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 Sárí in chains and fetters, and there slew him, with circumstances of the utmost cruelty, along with his companions, who appear to have been five in number.

We have, however, wandered from our subject, which was the scarcity of provisions from which the garrison of the Castle began to suffer. When their stores were exhausted, and they began to suffer the hardships of privation, they represented to Jenáb-i-Kuddús that the horses were perishing of hunger. So he ordered them to drive out from the Castle such as were lean, and to slay and eat such as were fat, seeing that this was now become lawful to them72. One can readily imagine how grievous and how distasteful the eating of horse-flesh must have seemed to persons habituated to such luxuries as Russian sugar, Austrian tea73, and fine aromatic rice. Yet they ate submissively and with contentment so much as was needful to sustain life, bowing patiently, yea, thankfully, before the Divine decree. Now there were in the Castle from olden time the remains of a bath, which the Bábís had <81> endeavoured to repair. One day Jenáb-i-Kuddús, as he came forth from this bath, saw some of his companions roasting and eating horse-flesh. "Let me see," said he, "what this food, which the Beloved hath apportioned to us, is like." Then he took a little and sucked it in his mouth, and presently remarked that the meat was very pleasant to the taste, and sweet in savour. After this, horse-flesh seemed to the taste of all so sweet and so palatable that they were filled with astonishment, saying, "It is as though our food savoured of paradise, for never have we tasted meat so delicious."

Now when the horse-flesh came to an end they began to subsist on vegetables, until even the grass and the leaves of the trees within the fortress were all consumed, so that, as some have related, they ate even the leather off their saddles74. Grass became harder to find than the Philosopher's Stone, and if they sought to gather it outside the Castle, they were at once exposed to the fire of the enemy. They therefore ceased to attempt to leave their fortress, and abstained from food, so that for nineteen days they took no sustenance (save that morning and evening they drank each a cup of warm water), drawing their strength from their converse with Jenáb-i-Kuddús. And as his aim was to hasten the impending catastrophe, so did the strength of the faithful wane daily on every side, while that of their foes ever waxed greater. 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 Mázandarán lies near the water and is saturated <82> with moisture, added to which rain fell continually, in creasing the damage, so that these poor sufferers dwelt amidst mud and water till their garments rotted away with damp, and a voice from the Unseen seemed to proclaim to each,

"Clothe thy body with the garb of nakedness

Ere the cloak of death shall fall upon thy frame;

So renounce the things of earth that at thy death

E'en the shroud upon thy corpse may seem a shame."

So their bellies clave to their back-bones, as though to say, "Ye are come near to the spirit be ye therefore like unto the angels;" their bodies became like skeletons, reminding them that -

"There they seek for wasted frames and know the worth of wearied hearts;"

their cheeks grew pallid as amber, telling them that the signs of a faithful lover are a heart filled with woe, bitter sighs, and a sallow complexion. They were ready to breast the steep ascent to martyrdom and bliss; they hovered like moths round the cannon-balls and bullets, which they hailed as a means of deliverance; they rushed towards immolation with an impetuosity which imagination can scarce conceive.... They seemed weary of life and of their bodies, and met the afflictions which continually beset them with the cry of "Is there more75?" Whenever one of their comrades quaffed the draught of martyrdom before their eyes, instead of grieving they rejoiced. Thus, for instance, on one occasion a bomb-shell fell on the roof of a hut, which caught fire. Sheykh Sálih of Shíráz 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 Áká Mírzá Muhammad ‘Ali, the son of <88> Seyyid Ahmad, who was the father of Áká Seyyid Huseyn "the beloved." So, too, was Áká Seyyid Huseyn "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. His father heaved a deep sigh and said, "May thy filial piety find acceptance!" On another day a bomb-shell fell on the wooden roof of the hut occupied by Jenáb-i-Kuddús. Mullá Muhammad Sádik, who was better known as Mukaddas-i-Khurásání, involuntarily sprang up, crying, "O my master, quit thy place!" But the other answered composedly, "If the Beloved of all worlds desires that we should fall by a bullet, then why should we flee, our object being gained? But if He desire it not, then shall we assuredly not be slain; wherefore then should we move?" Jenáb-i-Mukaddas-i-Khurásání used to declare that forthwith the projectile rose up from the ground and burst in the air, and this notwithstanding the fact that bomb-shells commonly enter the ground where they fall, and then leap back and burst.

So every day the final catastrophe drew nearer, and ever the royalist troops devised some fresh plan for capturing the Castle. Amongst other devices, they had some while before dug a mine under one of the towers, charged it with powder, fired it, and destroyed the tower; but during the following night the garrison, at the command of their illustrious chief, rebuilt it, and completed it ere dawn. Now again in these last days they made a mine under one of the walls of the Castle, placed therein a cauldron full of powder, and fired it, thus destroying the wall. Jenáb-i-Kuddús, being informed of this, said, "Do not rebuild it, for when we bade you repair the breach in the tower we had need of it for other six months, but now we need these things no longer. Let two marksmen sit there; so shall none be able to approach or enter in." <84> The first attempt of the enemy to storm the fortress was made on the covered way76. As soon as they approached the Castle in force, fifteen [[mounted]] men [[and five]] on foot sallied forth and attacked them. Many of the soldiers were slain, and amongst them fell the Sardár ‘Abdu’lláh Khán. Of the defenders only two were killed. The attacking force retired in despair, while the garrison collected the bodies of their slain, and carried them into the Castle. The disastrous result of the attack on the covered way was openly admitted in the royalist camp, but nevertheless, seeing that the garrison did not repair the breach in the walls, they again prepared to make an attempt to carry the Castle by storm. It was arranged by the royalist leaders that there should be five standards, and that to him who should first succeed in planting one of them on the Castle wall should be awarded a sum of five hundred túmáns, to the second four hundred, and to each subsequent one a hundred túmáns less, by which arrangement the bearer of the last standard would receive one hundred túmáns. They then disposed the artillery, marshalled out seven thousand regulars, horse and foot, and boldly began the advance. When they were come near to the Castle, the first standard-bearer succeeded in planting his standard on the ramparts, but a bullet struck his foot and he fell. He bravely regained his feet, but a second shot struck him in the breast, and he fell down headlong with his standard. The defenders of the Castle, hungry and barefooted as they were, hurled themselves upon the enemy sword in hand, and displayed that day a courage and heroism which the world had never before seen, and which must appear to such as consider it little short of miraculous. So fiercely did they drive back that mighty host that many even of the bravest and boldest were <85> unable to escape from their hands, while the rest, overcome with panic, could neither fight nor flee.

End of the Seige

That night the chiefs of the besieging army met in council. "We cannot," said they, "carry the Castle by storm; every attempt to do so results only in defeat, disgrace, and useless loss of life." Even Suleymán Khán Afshár, a man wise in council and skilled in war, who had been sent from Teherán to take the Castle at all hazards, gave up in despair, and retired to ‘Alí-ábád with the intention of returning [[to the capital]]. The Prince and ‘Abbas-Kulí Khán also declared in the despatches which they forwarded to the King that in spite of the most strenuous efforts the troops could gain no advantage, and that it appeared certain that there was but little chance of their obtaining a victory. So the Prince, despairing of effecting aught by force, again resorted to a stratagem, and wrote to Jenáb-i-Kuddús as follows:- "Seek not to inflict further hurt on the Musulmáns. For nine months have both sides been engaged in hostilities without any truce or respite. We now consent to abandon all thought of war, and, for the sake of peace, to agree to what terms you may propose."

When Jenáb-i-Kuddús had read this letter, he said, "Although he meditates treachery, and designs to shed the blood of these innocent people, yet, since his designs accord with destiny, and since we desire but to die and escape from this transitory world, we will even suffer his schemes to prevail." Therefore he wrote in reply, "If you will guarantee our safety and let us pass without molestation, we will depart out of your land and go into another country."

The Prince, on receiving this letter, rejoiced exceedingly, and both he and ‘Abbás-Kulí swore on the Kur’án to respect the terms of the treaty, which contained <86> the following clause:- "To whatsoever place ye desire to go, none shall let or hinder you in any way." Moreover the Prince [sent a horse, and] expressed a great wish to meet Jenáb-i-Kuddús, who, out of respect for the Kur’án on which the oaths were sworn, agreed to the proposals made, saying, "Although his object is evident [and his treachery clear to our minds (for he has made the Word of God the instrument of his guile, and will in no wise abide by the Kur’án or his word, oath, treaty, and covenant) yet we would rather lose our lives than fail in respect for God's Word, and will therefore accede to his invitation, and, of our own free will, tread submissively this path of agony."]77

So the horse was sent for Jenáb-i-Kuddús, and he mounted it, and came forth with such of his men as still survived, two hundred and thirty in all, walking on his right hand and on his left. Outside the camp a place had been prepared for them, and there they alighted. Then a messenger came from the Prince to Jenáb-i-Kuddús, saying, "Either permit me to pay you a short visit here, or else be kind enough to come to me, that we may converse together for a while, and arrange some plan for your departure." So Jenáb-i-Kuddús, with fourteen (or, as some say, seven) others, came to the Prince's quarters.

Slaughter of Bábís

After the interchange of the usual compliments, the Prince requested Jenáb-i-Kuddús to order his followers to lay down their arms, because these were a menace and a cause of fear to the troops. This request he urged so persistently that Jenáb-i-Kuddús finally sent orders to his men to lay aside their weapons, which orders were cheerfully and willingly obeyed. Then the soldiers gathered <87> up the arms and weapons and bore them away. Before this was done the Prince had ordered breakfast to be brought for the Bábís. But when these sat down unarmed to eat, the soldiers surrounded them and fired a volley upon them, and then rushed in amongst the survivors, giving them for refreshment the draught of martyrdom. Then they seized Jenáb-i-Kuddús and those who were with him. A strange hospitality and welcome did they shew to these poor people! After they had for three months suffered such hunger that they would eagerly eat grass, and even that failed them, they were bidden on the Word of God to a feast, yet ere they had tasted a single morsel their hunger was appeased with bullets! And so much of their blood was collected in a hollow of the ground that the truth of a tradition which affirms that in that land shall be such bloodshed that a horse shall wade knee-deep in gore was made manifest.

Martyrdom of Quddus

Next day the royalists fell on the Castle, and carried off as plunder all the goods and chattels which were therein. After this they moved their camp from that place, carrying with them in shameful bonds Jenáb-i-Kuddús, Mírzá Muhammad Hasan the brother of Jenáb-i-Bábu’l-Báb, Mullá Muhammad Sádik of Khurásán78, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad Hasan of Khurásán, Sheykh Ni‘matu’lláh of Ámul, Hájí Nasír of Kazvín, MuIIá Yúsuf of Ardabíl, Áká Seyyid ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím [[of Khúy]]79, and several others. They beat the drums to celebrate their victory, and displayed such pride in their prowess that one would have supposed that they had either retaken from Russia the territories once owned by Persia, or obtained some great victory over the English, which had placed them in possession of India, or <88> annexed Balúchistán, Afghánistán, Balkh, and Bukhárá, or recovered their captives from the Turcomans, or won from the Turks Baghdad, Kerbelá, and Nejef, and brought back with them as prisoners of war many a proud Páshá and great captain.

When these few half-famished men, who for three months had suffered such pangs of hunger as can scarcely be conceived, were brought in <to Bárfurúsh>, the people decorated the city and made great rejoicings. Jenáb-i-Kuddús on his arrival in the city besought the Prince to send him to the capital, to be dealt with by the King himself, and to receive judgement according to the right. The Prince at first acceded to his request, but when the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá heard that he had done so, he sent him a message, saying, "Beware that you meddle not in this matter, for he is a plausible fellow and hath a specious tongue; should he be suffered to appear before His Majesty the King, he will assuredly succeed in misleading him. Send him to me, and I will give you a thousand túmáns." So the Prince accepted the thousand (or, according to another account, four hundred) túmáns, and delivered over Jenáb-i-Kuddús to the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá.

Now when Jenáb-i-Kuddús was brought in before him, the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá abused him right foully and entreated him most cruelly. With his own hands he first cut off both his ears, and then struck him on the crown of the head with an iron axe which he held in his hands, which blow caused his death. After that, a student severed his holy head from his body in the midst of the market-place80. Then the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá commanded that his body should <89> be burned. So they tried to set fire to it by kindling dried rice-stalks. [According to the account given by Hájí Mírzá Jání, not even the blazing fire thus kindled would burn those holy remains. Some firmly believe this, and regard it as an assured fact; but the writer of these pages81 regards fire as a thing which must in its very nature burn, and is essentially a consumer; that this natural quality should be taken from it appears to him impossible. But God knows best, and the responsibility for this narrative lies on the narrator. Hájí Mírzá Jání further writes that when they saw this they informed the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá.]82 He, fearing lest men might now condemn his action, bade them go at once and cut the body in pieces and scatter them in the fields. And they did as he commanded. But at night 83 certain of the faithful, not known to men as such, watched their opportunity, and came and gathered up the fragments of the body, and buried them in a ruined college. [[Hájí Mírzá Jání writes:-]] "A believer whose words are worthy of all credence narrated as follows:-

'One day, before ever these matters were talked of, I was in the company of that holy man. We were taking a walk in the country, and in the course of it chanced to pass by the gate of that same ruined college. He, speaking of the <90> vicissitudes of the world, said by way of illustration, "This college, for instance, was once frequented and flourishing, and is now desolate and ruined. After a while some illustrious man will be buried here, men will come from afar to visit the place, and once again it will flourish." So likewise in the year of his martyrdom, before he went to Khurásán, he chanced one day to pass with a companion through the square in which he suffered death. His eyes happening to fall on a heap of dried rice-stalks, he remarked, 'This very year they will slay a certain holy man in this very spot after the vilest fashion, and will attempt to burn his body with these very rice-stalks, but the fire will be ashamed to touch it, though this people will not be ashamed.' Then he heaved a deep sigh and was silent."

So likewise in the exhortation known as "the Eternal Witness84," which he wrote while on his way to Khurásán to Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb, and wherein, besides foreshadowing his own martyrdom, he clearly made known to him how he should die together with seventy85 just and righteous men, he wrote, "I shall bury my body with my own hands," by which expression he signified that none86 would bury him [but that one of themselves would succeed in accomplishing his interment]. Again in that same year he had repeatedly said to his sister and his step-mother, "This year all manner of troubles will befall you by reason of the love ye bear me, but be ye patient and thankful when affliction comes and the predestined blow falls, and display resignation and fortitude." There is also a well-authenticated tradition to the effect that a bearded woman of Jewish extraction called Sa‘ída shall compass the martyrdom <91> of the Ká’im87 with an iron pestle in Fárán88 of Teherán. And since Jenáb-i-Kuddús had arisen to proclaim this teaching, he was in a sense Lord of the Dispensation, even as it runs in the tradition. And by "the bearded Sa‘ída" the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá appears to be meant, for he lacked all virtues of manhood and was probably effeminate in the worst sense89. And the "iron pestle" was that same iron axe wherewith he smote the head of his illustrious victim, while as to his being a recent convert to Islám and of Jewish extraction there is no doubt, this fact being well-known 90 to all the people of Mázandarán. Moreover, after the martyrdom of Jenáb-i-Kuddús the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá suffered a grievous punishment. For God deprived his body of the element of heat, so that in mid-summer, even while the sign of the Lion was dominant, two iron chafing-dishes filled with glowing fire were brought with him whenever he went to the mosque, and, although he always wore a sheep-skin cloak over his vest, and over the sheepskin a thick mantle, he would make haste to finish his prayers, and at once return to his home. And on his arrival there, they would put the chafing-dishes under a kursí91 and cover him with many thick quilts, yet still his body would shiver and shake under the kursí by reason of <92> the cold. So by reason of his lack of caloric and heat-producing power also one may describe him as bereft of virility and manhood.

At all events it appears that after the martyrdom of Jenáb-i-Kuddús, a pious divine, Hájí Muhammad ‘Alí Hamza’í by name, whose skill in exegesis and spiritual gifts were recognized by all, secretly sent several persons to bury the mutilated remains in the ruined college already mentioned. And he, far from approving the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá's conduct, used to curse and revile him, and never himself pronounced sentence of death against any Bábí, but on the contrary used to obtain decent burial for those slain by the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá. 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 Bárfurúsh remained neutral92, for at first he used to forbid men to traduce or molest the Bábís, 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 Mázandarán as were the irreligion, immorality, and worldliness of the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá.

"The doctor oft of wisdom hath no share,

And is but wisdom's guardian, not its heir.

'Which beareth books93,' saith God. A mere dead load

Is knowledge which is not by Him bestowed.

A sword in savage hands is not more dire

A danger than the knowledge fools acquire!

Rank, wealth, authority, and scripture lore

In evil hands cause only strife and war. <93>

Whene'er the unjust judge controls the pen,

Some Mansúr94 dies upon the gallows then.

Whene'er fools wield authority, God's Word

'They slay the prophets95' is a thing assured."96

Since an attempt to describe even in outline and in the most concise manner possible all that relates to the garrison of the Castle would lead us too far beyond our original design, and would even then tell but a tithe of what took place, we must perforce content ourselves with giving for illustration brief and succinct accounts of some few individuals only.

Mírzá Muhammad Hasan, the brother of Mullá Huseyn

<Account of Mírzá Muhammad Hasan, the brother of Mullá Huseyn.>

Amongst these was Mírzá Muhammad Hasan, the [younger] brother of Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb. The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes, "I myself met him when he was bringing his mother and sister from Kerbelá to Kazvín and from Kazvín to Teherán. His sister was the wife of Sheykh Abú Turáb of Kazvín, who was a scholar and philosopher such as is rarely met with, and believed with the utmost sincerity and purity of purpose, while such was his love and devotion to the Báb 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 <94> 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 Kerbelá. She was then but an indifferent scholar even in Persian, but now she can expound texts from the Kur’án 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 Pure97 (upon whom be the splendour of God!). 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 dínár 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 Teherán she refrains altogether from speaking of the past, and though, in accordance with the wishes of Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb, she now desires to proceed to Khurásán, and has literally nothing to put on save the 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 voice98.'

"But the virtues of the daughter were surpassed by <95> 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 Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb 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, Mírzá Jání, met Mírzá 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 Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb, Hazrat-i-Kuddús99 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 Jenáb-i-Kuddús in the square of Bárfurúsh." [But the more probable version, which, indeed, amounts almost to a certainty, is that he suffered martyrdom with that holy man.] <96>

Rizá Khán

[Account of the noble Rizá Khán, and his courage and devotion.]

Amongst them also was Rizá Khán, the son of Muhammad Khán the Turkmán, Master of the Horse to his late Majesty Muhammad Sháh. 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 túmáns at least) in the cause, and repeatedly shewed his readiness freely to lay down his life. One of these occasions was when His Supreme Holiness arrived at the village of Khánlik near Teherán, 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, renouncing all that they had, hastily conveyed themselves before His Holiness. Amongst these were Mírzá Kurbán ‘Alí of Astarábád and Rizá Khán. When they were come before His Holiness, he smiled and said, "The mountain of Ázarbaiján100 has also a claim on me," and bade them turn back. <97>

After his return Rizá Khán devoted himself to the service of the friends of God, and his house was often the meeting-place of the believers, amongst whom both Jenáb-i-Kuddús and Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb were for a while his honoured guests. Indeed he neither spared himself nor fell short in the service of any of this circle, but, not withstanding his high position, strove with heart and soul to further the objects of God's servants. When, for instance, Jenáb-i-Kuddús first began to preach the doctrine in Mázandarán, and the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá, being informed of this, made strenuous efforts to do him injury, Rizá Khán at once hastened to Mázandarán, and, whenever Jenáb-i-Kuddús 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. Whoever considers such behaviour fairly and without prejudice will surely allow that it is in itself a thing transcending ordinary experience and beyond the measure of merely human strength. For no one would without good reason voluntarily forego the consideration and respect to which he is accustomed, incur the recriminations and reproaches of his fellows, and walk alone, bare footed and with drawn sword, before the horse of another amidst a host of foes, thereby placing his life in peril, had he not first clearly beheld the goal before him and recognized an object worthy of his endeavour. ‘Alí, with all his might and valour, [and though it was well known to his companions that if he did but put his hand to the hilt of Zu’l-Fikár101 he would drive a multitude from the world of Being to the realms of non-existence, and that none could withstand him, {and that when he went forth to fight in the <98> field of battle he regarded the population of the whole world as naught and their existence as of none account, standing not in need of any help but God's,} nevertheless]102 said to his august companions:-

["Shave your heads, lay your naked swords across your shoulders, and come, so that, according to your request, I may set myself to promote God's cause." In the morning, of all those followers, who in word had been so eager for that enterprise, only four came to the door of ‘Alí's abode. Of these four, only Salmán had shaved his head and girded on his sword (and that secretly beneath his cloak); and yet he was accounted almost as one of ‘Alí's household, while his life was far advanced towards its natural term, neither did he enjoy any special rank, power, or authority. Moreover he knew ‘Alí to be both wronged and able to redress his wrongs, and yet he girded on his sword beneath his cloak! As for the other three followers, they were not even willing to give up the hair on their heads!]103 So, then, for one in authority and in the prime of youth to renounce without constraint his life and all the good things of the world, to run with drawn sword over his shoulder before the horse of his beloved master, and to fear not a whole city-full of obstinate foes, is a thing which <99> transcends the strength of man, and hath not heretofore been heard or seen.

To continue. For some while Rizá Khán remained after this fashion in Mázandarán, until he accompanied Jenáb-i-Kuddús to Mash-had. 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 Mírzá Suleymán-Kulí of Núr (a son of the late Shátir-báshí104, also conspicuous for his virtues, learning, and devotion), came to Teherán. Rizá Khán's illness lasted for some while, and on his recovery the war of the Castle <of Tabarsí> 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 Mázandarán, and thus make amends for the past. The King granted his request, and he was appointed to accompany the force proceeding under Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá 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 <100> having aroused suspicion, he suddenly gave it free rein and effected a junction with the Brethren of Purity105. On arriving in their midst, he kissed the knee of Jenáb-i-Kuddús, 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 under foot 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 only be satisfied with my head 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 fixing 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 Bábís. Therefore, on the eve of the day appointed for Jenáb-i-Kuddús to surrender himself at the royalist camp, Rizá Khán, 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 Bábís, search was made for Rizá Khán, and he was at length discovered. The officer who had sheltered him proposed to ransom him for a sum of two thousand túmáns in cash, but his proposal was rejected, and though he offered to increase the sum, and strove earnestly to save <101> his friend, it was of no avail, for the Prince, because of the exceeding hatred he bore Rizá Khán, ordered him to be hewn in pieces.

"E'en so, without a tear or smile, he sped;

One spirit woke to life, another fled."


<Account of Murshid>

Amongst the garrison of the Castle was another person named Murshid, a notable scholar and mystic, remarkable alike for his intellectual and moral excellence, who had visited all parts of the world, associated with every class and circle of society, and was familiarly acquainted with the most distinguished men of the capital. On the day when the royal troops took captive and massacred the garrison of the Castle, violated their oath and covenant, and made manifest their infidelity and disbelief in the Kur’án, Murshid was amongst those whom they brought bound before the Prince. Now Suleymán Khán106 was an old and intimate friend of Murshid's, and, as soon as his eyes fell upon him, he said, "How came you to be involved in this peril? Thank God that I was here, else you would certainly not have escaped." Murshid answered, "If you desire to do me a friendly service such that I may bear you eternal gratitude, do not intercede for me and thereby deprive me of the glory of martyrdom." Suleymán Khán, overcome with astonishment, strove by every means to dissuade him from this course, but he only replied, "I have tasted to the full the bitter and sweet of life, its hot and cold, its ups and downs. I have trodden every path, held converse with every class, associated with men of every <102> sort and condition, and sought to fathom every creed, but nowhere have I beheld the Truth save in this supreme station, where I have seen with mine eyes and heard with mine ears things passing description. For a while I have walked with these in the path of love and with them have trod its stages, and I would not leave them now. Suffer me, then, to bear them company, and set me free from the trammels of this life.

'I know for sure that this my life is death;

My true life opens at my closing breath."

So he would not suffer himself to be moved by Suleymán Khán's persuasions, but continued looking towards the executioner and awaiting the death-blow; wherefore, seeing him so eager for the draught of martyrdom, they quenched his thirst with the bright sword. And Suleymán Khán and the other officers were amazed beyond description at his steadfastness.

So in like manner there was another, a mere youth, whom the soldiers had hidden to save from death, [that advantage might accrue to them from his family.] But when his eyes fell on Jenáb-i-Kuddús, whom they were leading away in fetters and chains, he was overcome with uncontrollable emotion, and cried out, "Would that I were blind, that I might not see you thus!" Then he began to weep and cry out, saying, "Let me go to my master;" and though they bade him hold his peace and not make known his connection with the Bábís, he did but cry the more, "Do ye not see that I am one of them?" until at length the others perceived the true state of the case, and bore him away to death.

Now as to the remnant of the faithful who were left alive, they brought them in fetters and chains to Bárfurúsh. Some of them they sold, such as [[Mullá Muhammad <103> Sádik]]107 of Khurásán, Áká Seyyid ‘Azím the Turk, Hájí [Mírzá] Nasír of Kazvín, and Mírzá Huseyn of Kum108. Several were sent to Sárí, and there suffered martyrdom; others were put to death at Bárfurúsh; while two more were sent to Ámul. Of these latter, one was Mullá Ni‘matu’lláh of Ámul, a man skilled in philosophy and science, and endowed with singular virtues; the other was Mírzá Muhammad Bákir [[of Ká’in]] of Khurásán, who, apart from his learning, was a man of many arts and resources and very brave and valorous, and who had planned most of the strategical movements of the garrison. Mullá Ni‘matu’lláh was first slain with every circumstance of cruelty and indignity, but when the headsman would have killed Mírzá Bákir and began to mock and revile him, his anger blazed forth, and, calling to mind the Beloved of the worlds, he broke the bonds which confined his arms, plucked the knife from the headsman's hands, and smote him so sharply on the neck that his head rolled away some ten or fifteen paces. The bystanders rushed upon him, but he despatched several of them to the hell whence they originally came, and wounded some others, until at length they shot the brave youth from afar off. Men and women marvelled at his courage and manhood, wondering how he was able thus to burst asunder those strong links of iron and oppose so fierce a resistance to a thousand foes all thirsting for his blood. When he had fallen, they searched his pockets and found therein a little roasted horse-flesh [which had become too dry for him to eat,]109 and many a heart was moved at the thought of his courage and his afflictions110. <104>

Seyyid Ahmad of Semnán

[Account of Áká Seyyid Ahmad of Semnán and his circumstances.]

Of the number of those brave warriors of truth who were most eminent for their attainments was Áká Seyyid Ahmad of Semnán, a preacher of incomparable eloquence and rare powers of diction and delivery, well known throughout all Mázandarán for his godliness, simplicity of life, virtue, and piety. When he saw the faithful beleaguered in the Castle of Tabarsí, and ascertained them to be for the most part learned, wise, and virtuous beyond the generality of their fellows, he was convinced by his natural acuteness of apprehension that they would not have embarked on so hazardous an enterprise or have thus imperilled their lives unless they had clearly recognized <in the new doctrine> something <worthy of their self-devotion>. This was in the early days of the siege, before the garrison of the Castle were subjected to a rigorous blockade. And the inhabitants of Shah-Mírzá and Dasak-sar111, two considerable villages situated near to the Tomb of Sheykh <105> Tabarsí, moved by the same considerations as had influenced Áká Seyyid Ahmad, resolved to enquire into the matter, and waited upon him to unfold their views. "I also," replied he, "am filled with wonder at their behaviour, and am much disposed to examine their doctrine, and discover what object they have in view." To this the others replied, "We entertain no doubt concerning your piety and wisdom, and if you, having visited them, affirm the truth of their claims, we too will join ourselves to them and help them, so far as lies in our power, with men and supplies."

Now although at this time none dared so much as speak of the Bábís, much less go to their stronghold and converse with them, Áká Seyyid Ahmad, actuated solely by his natural goodness and sincerity, manfully set out for the Castle to ascertain the truth of the matter. And it had been agreed that, so soon as he should have satisfied himself, he should return and inform the others of the state of the case, so that, if they held to their promise, they might all join the defenders of the Castle, and furnish them with supplies. So Áká Seyyid Ahmad, shutting his eyes to all worldly considerations, and impelled by zeal to discover the truth, set his feet within that vortex of affliction. And when he was come thither, and had met and conversed with Jenáb-i-Kuddús and others of the believers, the veil of doubt fell from his eyes, and he saw plainly that which he sought transcending the understandings of the wisest amongst mankind. So he believed with his whole heart, and thereafter turned not back from the path on which he had entered.

Then he sent word to the inhabitants of the two villages,

"'That which my heart hath long essayed to find

Is found at length, concealed this veal behind.'" <106>

So the villagers began to make preparations to go to the Castle, but just at that time the troops hemmed it in on all sides, closing every avenue of approach, so that they were unable to reach it. Surely men care naught for religious truth, and are held back by the bonds of passion and self- interest from taking thought of spiritual things, for of those, whether wise or simple, who set themselves to enquire into the matter not one but was convinced.

"The physician of Love hath the healing breath of Christ, and is prone to heal,

But how can he undertake the cure of a pain which thou dost not feel?"

Yet more wonderful than the events above described is the account of them given by ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán, with many expressions of admiration, to Prince Ahmad Mírzá. The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes:- "About two years after the disaster of Sheykh Tabarsí 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 Hazrat-i-Kuddús112 and Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb. Prince Ahmad Mírzá and ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán were amongst the company. The Prince questioned ‘Abbás-Kulí Khán about the matter, and he replied thus:- "The truth of the matter is that anyone who had not seen Kerbelá would, if he had seen Tabarsí, not only have comprehended what there took place, but would have ceased to consider it113; and had he seen Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh he would <107> have been convinced that the Chief of Martyrs114 had returned to earth; [[and had he witnessed my deeds he would assuredly have said, 'This is Shimr come back with sword and lance.']]115 I swear by the sacred plume116 of His Majesty the Centre of the Universe that one day Mullá Huseyn, 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 least give us passage, that we may depart out of this land [to Europe, or Turkey, or India.]' 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 cry, 'Is there any who will help me?' three times]117, 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 Mullá Huseyn unsheath his sword, raise his face towards heaven, and 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 <108> wise as transcends the power of man. Only the horsemen of Mázandarán held their ground and refused to flee. And when Mullá Huseyn 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. Mullá Huseyn dealt at him such a blow with his sword that he clave him and the tree and the musket into six pieces118. And during all that war not once was his sword-stroke at fault, but every blow which he struck fell true. And by the nature of their wounds I could recognize all whom Mullá Huseyn had cut down with his sword119, [and since I had heard and knew that none could rightly wield the sword save the Chief of Believers120, 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 shewn 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 countenances 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, <109> 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 was 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 lives121."'"

In short, seldom has the eye of time beheld or the historian been called upon to record events so wondrous or afflictions so dire as those which befell these devoted believers in Mázandarán. And withal these men were for the most part honourable amongst their people, delicately nurtured in the lap of luxury, accustomed to comfort if not to splendour, highly considered and esteemed by their neighbours, and in the enjoyment of fame, influence, and high authority. Yet they manfully severed all worldly ties, abandoned every hope and ambition of their own, and for nine months were exposed to all manner of afflictions, suffering such long stress of hunger that they were content to eat grass and the flesh of horses and to drink each day a single cup of warm water. Yet, so far from complaining or <110> sorrowing, they endured patiently and even joyfully, not swerving aside by so much as a hair's breadth from the path which they so steadfastly followed, and attaining to heights of constancy whereof the lowest degree transcends the imagination of saints and apostles. The pen is powerless to describe the full measure of their high-souled devotion and heroism, but a sufficient hint of it has been given in this brief narrative to prevent the uninformed from regarding this episode as a matter of small consequence, or imagining that it was but men of mean position who, misled by idle dreams, suffered themselves to be slain. Let this much at least be known and recognized, that these were men of consequence and the best of every class, and that they, disregarding all worldly considerations, did, being of full knowledge and understanding, voluntarily and cheerfully lay down their lives in the way of the Beloved.

Now these events took place in the fifth122 year of the Manifestation, corresponding to the year A.H. 1264123, and the period of their duration [from first to last] was nine months [or even more].

Seyyid Yahyá

[Account of the Episode of the learned, virtuous, and incomparable Áká Seyyid Yahyá, the possessor of divine gifts of the highest order, the strenuous striver after knowledge, who went to Fárs to seek after the truth, and proved His Supreme Holiness, until at length he reached the haven of faith; and how he went thence to Yezd, and there set up the standard, and thence to Níríz; and of the circumstances incidental to all this.]

Yet more wonderful than the Mázandarán episode is that which befell Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb, son of the late Áká Seyyid Ja‘far-i-Kashfí. And he was eminent amongst divines and thinkers, divinely gifted with supernatural faculties, notable for his sanctity, and unrivalled in austerity of life and piety. Now when he heard the report of the Manifestation, he went to Shíráz expressly to enquire into the matter. There he met with a certain eminent and illustrious divine who is in truth learned in Divine Knowledge and wise in the wisdom of the Eternal, one whose being is an ever-stirring sea harbouring ideas bright as pearls. But men know him not by this name <of Bábí>, for the All-Wise hath till now kept him under the shadow of His protection for the perfecting and training of His servants, the guidance of such as wander in the wilderness of search into the straight highway of knowledge, and the deliverance from error of such as seek after truth. With this illustrious personage and several other learned and pious believers did this thirsty pilgrim in the path of enquiry meet on his arrival at Shíráz. He was eager to obtain forthwith an interview with the Báb, but permission was for sundry reasons deferred, and Seyyid Yahyá spent this interval in examining some of the sacred <112> writings. Finding in them no ground for objection or denial, he said in confidence to the illustrious divine already referred to, "These luminous words bear witness to the truth of the claim, and leave no room for doubt; yet were it permitted to me to behold some miracle or sign beyond this, I should gain a fuller assurance." To this the other answered, "For such as have like us beheld a thousand marvels stranger than the fabled cleaving of the moon to demand a miracle or sign from that Perfect Truth would be as though we should seek light from a candle in the full blaze of the radiant sun:

'In presence of the sun's effulgence bright

Should we from lamp or candle seek for light,

’T would surely be an act as vain as rude,

A proof of folly and ingratitude.

The sun, in sooth, requires no further sign

Than the slant sun-beam's long-protracted line.'124"

So Áká Seyyid Yahyá set down in writing several hard questions of his own devising, and one night, about five hours after sun-set, sent this paper by means of the eminent divine afore-mentioned to His Supreme Holiness. In the morning the messenger brought the answer, wherein were nearly three thousand verses of texts and explanations sufficient to dispel all doubts. No sooner had Áká Seyyid Yahyá glanced at these than he was filled with wonder, and said to that illustrious divine, "I have beheld a marvel a hundred-thousand-fold beyond what I sought, for, with all my learning and scholarship, I spent nine whole days in writing one single page of questions containing not more than twelve lines. Most wonderful, therefore, does it seem to me that over two thousand verses and illustrations of such exceeding eloquence and beauty of style should be revealed and written down during five or six hours of the <113> latter part of the night, which is the time for His Holiness' repose."

When, therefore, Áká Seyyid Yahyá had well considered that writing, [and the solutions therein offered of the hard questions which he had propounded, his doubts were completely removed]125; and, after a sojourn of some little while, during which the honour of an interview was accorded to him, he received permission to depart, and set out for Yezd. The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes, "Áká Seyyid Yahyá agreeably to the behest of His Supreme Holiness, came from Yezd to Teherán, and it was during this journey that I had the honour of meeting him. It was at a season when snow had covered the earth, the air was bitter cold, and snow and rain threatened travellers with destruction and rendered locomotion almost impracticable. Nevertheless I beheld in him a blitheness and content which knew no limit. I once demanded of him in the course of conversation what had been the means of his conversion, and how he had come to believe. His answer was as follows:- 'After the report of the Manifestation had been spread abroad, men would ask of me, "What say you of him126?" to which I was forced to reply, "Not having seen him, what can I say? When I have seen him, and ascertained somewhat about him, I shall be able to impart to you what I have understood." After a while I set out for Shíráz to enquire into the matter. In the first interview with His Holiness wherewith I was honoured, I spoke, after the manner of divines, in a somewhat arrogant fashion, asking numerous questions, and conducting myself haughtily, as men of learning are wont to do. His Holiness answered me; but, <114> my eyes being still covered with a veil of egotism and self-approval, his words found no favour in my sight. I began to be somewhat sorry that I had troubled myself to no purpose, and fruitlessly undertaken so long and tedious a journey, though His Holiness smiled upon me, and treated me very graciously. On returning to my lodging, I said to some of his disciples who were profoundly versed in knowledge, "You are far wiser and more learned than this youth; for what reason do you acknowledge the truth of his claim and admit the cogency of his proofs?" "If you will but be patient," answered they, "for a little while, you too will confess and yield." I wished to return to my home, and was actually intending to start, but my companions prevented me, saying, "You too will be fully convinced." I enquired on what grounds they based their belief. They replied, "Experience has taught us that anyone whom His Holiness receives graciously, and to whom he shews affection, is in the end invariably persuaded, even though he be filled with antagonism and aversion; while, on the other hand, anyone on whom His Holiness looks not favourably turns aside, even though at first he incline to believe."

"'To be brief, one night His Holiness summoned me, and, after receiving me very graciously, said, "What dost thou desire of me?" I replied, "I am a man of learning, and learning is my daily bread. I have in mind several questions, the which should you be able to solve I shall know that the Point of Knowledge is yours." "Write down your questions," said he, "that I may answer them in writing." Now I had in mind three questions. Two of these I wrote down and handed to His Holiness, who at once took a pen, and, without reflection or hesitation, wrote, as fast as pen could travel, answers of surpassing merit. Then he took another sheet of paper and wrote, "The third question which you have in your mind is this, and this is <115> its answer." When I had considered these full and sufficient answers, and the reply given to the question which I had in my mind (which I regarded as more weighty and important than the other two, but deemed unanswerable), I submitted so entirely to the power of attraction and influence which he possesses that at a mere hint on his part I am proud and glad to undertake a journey in this cold winter weather, my only hope being that he will of his grace and favour accept me as the servant of his servants, and that I may be permitted to shed even a drop of my blood in the furtherance of his cause.'

"When, after the lapse of some time, I again had the honour of meeting Áká Seyyid Yahyá in Teherán, 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!"....127

So Áká Seyyid Yahyá, after he had believed and made submission, took leave of the Báb, and set out from Shíráz <116> for Yezd. For a while during the earlier period of his mission he expounded the Báb's doctrines only in gatherings of such as were prepared and fitted to hear them. But afterwards, according to the purport of the verse -

"Prudence and love can ne'er walk hand in hand,"

and the verse -

"Love and fair fame must wage eternal war;

O lover, halt not at the loved one's door!"

he began openly to proclaim the truth, and converted a great multitude, besides leading many who had not reached the stage of conviction and the haven of assurance to profess devotion and sympathy. At length, through the officiousness of certain meddlesome and mischievous persons, the governor of Yezd was informed of what was taking place. He, fearing for himself, sent a body of men to arrest Seyyid Yahyá. A trifling collision occurred between the two parties, and thereupon the governor prepared to effect his capture by force of arms.

Seyyid Yahyá retired with a number of his followers and friends into the citadel of Yezd, while the myrmidons of the governor surrounded it and commenced hostilities. At length the matter came to actual warfare, in the course of which some thirty or more [[of the governor's men and the rogues and vagabonds of the city who had joined them were killed, while seven]] of Áká Seyyid Yahyá's followers [were also slain; and the rest were besieged for some time, till some], unwilling to endure further disaster, dispersed. Seyyid Yahyá therefore determined to set out for Shíráz, and said one night, "If one of you could manage to lead out my horse, so that I might escape this disaster, and convey myself to some other place, it were not amiss." One Hasan by name, who had been for some time in <117> attendance on Seyyid Yahyá, and had displayed in his service the utmost faithfulness and devotion (having witnessed on the part of his august master many a display of miraculous and supernatural faculties), made answer, saying, "With your permission, I will lead out the horse." "They will capture and slay you," replied Seyyid Yahyá. "That," rejoined Hasan, "is easy to bear, if it be for love of you, and I have no ambition beyond it." So Seyyid Yahyá suffered him to go, and, even as he had announced, they took the youth captive outside the citadel and brought him before the governor, who ordered him to be blown from the mouth of a cannon. 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.

Seyyid Yahyá, however, succeeded in effecting his escape from the citadel with one other, and set out for Shíráz, whence he proceeded to Níríz. After his departure his followers were soon overcome by the governor. Several of them were taken captive and put to death, while from the rest, after they had suffered divers torments, fines of money were exacted.

Now when Seyyid Yahyá was come to Níríz, where was the abode of his family, and where he had many adherents (some of the country-folk being believers, others deniers, and many halting undecided), the governor of that district, though he had formerly professed the most devoted attachment, no sooner perceived that a struggle was imminent, and that the government would pass out of his hands, than he sent word to Seyyid Yahyá saying, "I do not consider it expedient that you should continue any longer in this <118> province. It is best that you should depart with all speed to some other place." To this Seyyid Yahyá made reply, "I have returned hither, after a prolonged absence, to learn how matters fare, and to see my wife and family, neither do I wish to interfere with anyone. What makes you order me to quit my house, instead of affording me protection, and observing towards me the respect which is my due? Do you not fear God, and have you no shame before His apostle?"

So when the governor saw that Seyyid Yahyá heeded not his words and answered him sharply, he was filled with obstinate spite, and strove to raise a popular tumult, inciting such men of every class and kind as were most wicked and mischievous to make a disturbance and drive out Seyyid Yahyá who, perceiving this, repaired to the mosque, and, after performing his devotions, entered the pulpit formerly occupied by his grandfather, and spoke as follows.

"Am I not he whose opinions and prescriptions ye were wont to follow in all religious questions? In your needs and trials, as well as in all matters of doctrine and practice, used ye not to prefer my word to that of any other? Was not my belief, and the judgement which my studies had led me to form, the criterion of all your actions? What has come to you that you meet me now with opposition and enmity? What forbidden thing have I sanctioned, or what lawful thing have I forbidden, that you thus without reason charge me with heresy and error? I stand here amongst you wronged and oppressed for no other cause than that I have, for your awakening and enlightenment, spoken true words and held faithful discourse, and that I have, out of sympathy for you and desire for your welfare, made known to you the way of salvation. This being so, let each who slights or supports me know for a surety that, <119> whatsoever he does, he does in regard to my illustrious ancestor128."

When he had spoken to this effect, some were sorry, and some wept bitterly, saying, "We still continue in our former allegiance and devotion to you, and all that you say we hold true and right."


Then Seyyid Yahyá came forth from the mosque, quitted the city, and alighted in a ruined castle hard by, those friends who bore him company being not more than seventeen in number. But even after he had left the city his malicious and mischievous persecutors ceased not from their evil designs, for they followed him with a great multitude, scouring the country in all directions until they discovered his retreat. Thereupon they laid siege to the castle and opened hostilities. Then Seyyid Yahyá commanded seven of his men to go out and drive them away, and gave them full instructions as to the ordering of the sally, adding that whoever should occupy a certain station would be slain by a wound in the breast, and that such as went in a certain direction would return unhurt. One amongst those present, a young lad of Yezd, good of heart and comely of countenance, arose and said, "I pray you suffer me to be the pioneer of this much-wronged band and to precede my comrades in martyrdom." And Seyyid Yahyá kissed him on the cheek, and breathed a prayer for him. Then the defenders of the castle sallied swiftly forth, and attacked that godless host of hypocrites, and ere long scattered them and put them to flight. But the Yezdí lad, even as his master had foretold, and he had himself desired, drained the draught of martyrdom, escaped from the bonds of earth's deceits, and gained the everlasting world and the life eternal. But the rest returned victorious, having learned the <120> meaning of "verily we belong to God, and unto Him do we return."

At the very time when these events were in progress, Prince Fírúz Mírzá129 came to assume the government of Shíráz, and was informed of what had taken place. He at once collected a considerable force, which he despatched under the command of Mihr ‘Alí Khán [[Shujá‘u’l-Mulk]]130, son of Hájí Shukru’lláh Khán of Núr, and Mustafá-Kulí Khán Káragúzlú, colonel, to subdue and take captive the insurgents. When this force reached the castle, the number of Seyyid Yahyá's followers had increased to seventy. Several encounters took place between the two forces, and on each occasion the Bábís routed and dispersed their opponents and obtained possession of a goodly spoil. And all this while the devotion, faith, and love of Seyyid Yahyá's companions were much increased by the many prodigies which he wrought, so that each was fully prepared to lay down his life. And when Seyyid Yahyá had repeatedly described to his companions the circumstances of his approaching end, and all had, for the good pleasure of the Beloved, washed their hands of life, and, quit of earthly ties, were awaiting martyrdom, those who had come to take them, being unable, notwithstanding all their efforts, to prevail by force of arms, and despairing of the final issue, had recourse to treachery, and wrote to Seyyid Yahyá expressing perplexity as to his mission, making excuses for the past, declaring themselves to be desirous of enquiring into the matter, and begging for instruction. They further pledged them, with oaths plighted on the Word of <121> God, that if he would be good enough to come out to them, they would agree to whatever terms he might propose.

So Seyyid Yahyá, out of respect for the Kur’án <on which they had sworn>, prepared to go forth. But his followers surrounded him on every side, saying, "We are fearful and anxious about your outgoing, for this host is more faithless than the men of Kúfa131. No reliance can be placed on their oaths and promises, neither ought you to believe their asseverations." To this Seyyid Yahyá replied, "By God, I clearly perceive their perfidy, faithlessness, and treachery, and I know it as well as my saintly ancestor132 knew the perfidy of the men of Kúfa. But how can I resist their wiles, these being in accord with divinely-appointed destiny? Because of what they have written and pledged themselves on the Kur’án to perform, it is incumbent on me to go and complete the proof. Do you abide here till you receive my written instructions." [[Then, having wept a while with them, he mounted his horse and rode forth.]]133

So Seyyid Yahyá came to the royalist camp, and there alighted. And at first they treated him with all respect and deference, [such respect as Ma’mún observed towards the holy Imám ‘Alí ibn Músá er-Rizá while inwardly bent on his death.] And they agreed to postpone all discussion <122> of terms till the morrow, and spent that night in conversing on various topics. But when morning was come, and Seyyid Yahyá would have gone forth from his tent, the sentinels prevented him, saying, "It is not permitted to you to go out." So he remained a prisoner in the tent.

No sooner had tidings of this reached Seyyid Yahyá's faithful followers than, unable to restrain themselves, they emerged from their castle, hurled themselves upon the centre of the army, and, in the space of one hour, threw the whole camp into confusion. The officers, seeing this, hastened into Seyyid Yahyá's presence, saying, "Was it not agreed between us last night that there should be peace and concord?" "Aye," said he, "but your conduct this morning provoked this reprisal." "It was done without our knowledge," answered they, "and without our sanction. Some of our men, who have lost kinsmen and relatives in this warfare, offered you this insult ignorantly and without our knowledge. You, who are merciful and generous, must overlook their fault" "What", quoth he, "would you have me do?" "Write", said they, "to these men of yours, bidding them evacuate the castle and return to their own homes, that the minds of our soldiers may be reassured; and we will then arrange matters as you may determine, and act agreeably to your suggestions."

So Seyyid Yahyá had no recourse but to write to his followers, "Come what may, you must submit to divinely-ordered destiny; and meanwhile there is nothing for it but that you should gather up your own gear, leaving the spoils you have won exactly as they are, and return to your own homes. Let us wait and see what God wills." So these poor people, being constrained to obey his behest, departed to their homes. But no sooner were they come thither than their foes attacked their houses, captured them singly, carried off their goods as spoil, destroyed their dwellings, <123> and brought them in chains, bound hand and foot, to the camp.

Now there was with Seyyid Yahyá a certain believer of Yezd who had served him faithfully both at Yezd and Níríz, renouncing all and suffering much for his sake. And when word was brought that the headsman was on his way from the city charged with the execution of Seyyid Yahyá134, this man began to make great lamentation. But his illustrious master said, "It is thee, not me, whom this headsman shall slay; he who shall slay me will arrive to-morrow." When the morrow was come, about an hour after the time of the morning prayer, he said again, "He who is to slay me is now come." Shortly after this, a party of farráshes arrived and led out Seyyid Yahyá and the Yezdí from the tent. Then the headsman, just as Seyyid Yahyá had foretold, administered to the youth the draught of martyrdom; but, when his glance fell on Seyyid Yahyá, he said, "I am ashamed before the face of God's Apostle, and will never lift my hand to slay his offspring," neither would he, for all their importunity, consent to do their bidding. Then one who had lost two brothers in the earlier part of the war, and therefore cherished a deep resentment, said, "I will kill him." And he loosed the shawl wherewith Seyyid Yahyá was girt, cast it round his neck, and drew it tight. And others beat his holy body with sticks and stones, dragging it hither and thither over the plain, till his soul soared falcon-like to the branches of paradise. Then they severed his head from his body, skinned it, stuffed it with straw, and sent it, with other heads, along with the captives to Shíráz. And they sent an announcement of their victory <124> and triumph to Prince Nusratu’d-Dawla135, and fixed a day for their entry <into Shíráz>. And when on the appointed day they drew near, the city was decorated, and the people were busy enjoying themselves and making merry, most of them having come out from the town to meet the victorious troops and gaze on the captives.

The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes:- "One Kúchak ‘Alí <Beg>136, the head-man and chief of the Básirí137 tribe of Shíráz, related as follows:- 'After they had slain Áká Seyyid Yahyá they came to take camels from our people, intending to set the captives on bare-backed camels. I was distressed at this, but could not resist the governor's order. I therefore rode away from my tribe at night and came to Shíráz, that at least I might not be amongst my people and have to endure the insolence of the soldiers. When I was come within half a parasang of Shíráz, I lay down to sleep for a while and so get rid of my weariness. When I again mounted, I saw that the people of Shíráz had come out in troops with minstrels and musicians, and were sitting about in groups at every corner and cross-road, feasting and making merry with wanton women. On every side I noted with wonder drunken broils, wine-bibbing, the savour of roasted meats, and the strains of guitars and lutes. Thus wondering I entered the city.

"'After a while, unable to endure the suspense, I determined to go out and see what was taking place. [As I <125> came forth from the gate, I heard an old man asking another, "What has happened to-day that the people have thus left their houses and gone out of the town as though to see some great sight, and why do they thus make merry?" The other, a youth, replied, "You must surely be a stranger not to know about the heretic who renounced our faith and creed and rebelled against His Majesty the King, and how a great force of troops was sent against him. Well, they have taken and slain him, and made captive his family and his followers, whom they will bring into the city to-day." "By which gate," asked the old man, "will they enter?" "By Sa‘dí's gate," answered the other.

"'He was a wise old man,' continued Kúchak ‘Alí Beg, 'and had seen the world and read its history!138 As soon as I had heard what passed between him and the youth, it at once recalled to me the story of Sahl ibn Sá‘id, how he questioned the man of Damascus, and how just such a dialogue ensued, and how the latter said, "They will enter Damascus by the gate of Sá‘át139." I was much struck by <126> the coincidence, and my wonder increased. When I had gone somewhat further,] I saw such feastings and rejoicings as I had never before witnessed. Most of the men were engaged in sports and games, making merry and toying with their lemans. After a little while I saw approaching the camels, whereon there were set some forty or fifty women. [[Many of the soldiers bore on their spears the severed heads of the men they had slain.]]140 And till this time the towns-folk had been busy with their merry-makings, but no sooner did their eyes fall on the severed heads borne aloft on spears and the captives set on bare-backed camels than they incontinently burst into tears.

"'So they brought the captives thus into the bazaars, which had been decorated and adorned, and though it was no great distance from the bazaars to the citadel, yet such was the throng of spectators (who purposely retarded the passage of the captives) that it was after mid-day when they reached the governor's palace. The Prince was holding a pleasure-party in the summer-house called Kuláh-i-Firangí141 and the garden adjoining it, he sitting on a chair, and the nobles and magnates of the city standing. On one <127> side was drawn a curtain, behind which the women of the Prince's household were ensconced. And the captives [all bound to one chain] were led in this sad plight into the garden and brought before the Prince. Then Mihr ‘Alí Khán, Mírzá Na‘ím142, and the other officers recounted their exploits and their glorious victory, with various versions and many embellishments, to the Prince, who on his part kept enquiring the names, rank, and family of the captives, and throwing in an occasional, "Who is this?" and "Which is that?" And all the captives were women, with the exception of one child four or five years of age who was with them. [And that sickly child was in truth a partaker of the sufferings of these unfortunate women.

"'Now when the conversation had been protracted for a long while, suddenly a very tall woman who was amongst the captives cried out, "O son of Marjána143, hast thou no fear of God and no shame before my ancestor144 that thou thus lookest on his offspring before all these strange men?"145' Here Kúchak ‘Alí Beg would add an oath as he continued, 'The woman's words produced such an effect on the hearts of those who were present that had <128> the sight-seers and townsfolk been there and witnessed what took place there would assuredly have been a disturbance and revolt. The Prince first ordered the woman to be killed, but afterwards, seeing the temper of the bystanders greatly changed, he grew apprehensive, and ordered the captives to be dismissed.]'"146

On the night when the raid had been made on the houses of the faithful <at Níríz> and they were taken captive, twelve persons had succeeded in effecting their escape. These, however, were subsequently captured in [[the neighbourhood of]] Isfahán and brought to Shíráz, where they suffered martyrdom.

But besides all this, [[as it would seem two years later,]]147 they again waged a strangely protracted mountain warfare with the believers <of Níríz>, who, because of the cruelties and exactions to which they were subjected, were for a long while in hiding in the mountains with their wives and children.

[[This struggle lasted for a long while; and that little band, hemmed in as they were in their mountain fastness, succeeded in holding their ground until a mighty host of regular troops and volunteers from far and near had been gathered against them, and they had fought many a hard fight, and won many a gallant victory. Often would a company of seven or nineteen men come down with cries of "Yá Sáhibu’z-zamán148!" attack a battery, cut down all who opposed them, capture the gun, and bear it away with them to the mountain, where they would mount it on a <129> tree trunk and fire it morning and evening against the camp. At other times they would make night-attacks on certain suburbs of Níríz inhabited by God's enemies, numbers of whom they would send to the abyss of hell-fire. At such times none could withstand them, or do aught but choose between submission and flight.

Now Zeynu’l-‘Abidín Khán the governor of Níríz had taken the chief part in bringing about all these troubles. He it was who had compassed the death of the much-wronged Seyyid Yahyá in the first war; he it was who devised most of the stratagems, tactics, dispositions, and arrangements of the army; he it was who, both in the first and the second war, provoked strife for the sake of securing his position as governor and winning approval from the government; he it was, in short, who had driven away the Bábís from their homes and possessions, and caused them with their wives and families to be beleaguered in the mountains. So one day when this honourable governor had gone to the bath, the insurgents attacked the bath and slew him.

But reinforcements of men and guns sent in rapid succession by Prince Tahmásp Mírzá (at that time governor of Fárs) continued to arrive and occupy the rising ground adjoining the mountain. Yet, notwithstanding the greatness of their host and the small number of the besieged, they did not venture to ascend the mountain and attack them. Even in their camp they were ill at ease because of the night-attacks and sudden onslaughts made upon them by parties of their antagonists ten or twenty strong. These, as is related, would oft-times rush into the camp, attack the artillery, slay the gunners, and return, pushing the guns with their shoulders, till they reached the mountain. Then, because the gun-carriages would go no further, they would dismount the guns, and, with shoulders and ropes, push and drag them up the mountain. There they would remount them on tree-trunks in place of carriages.

So when the royalist troops saw that they could effect nothing, they sent into Sábúnát, Dáráb, and the other districts round about Níríz, and commanded the tribes to furnish as many marksmen and warriors as could be mustered, that these might surround the mountain on all sides and storm it after their own fashion of warfare. And when this had been done there were, besides the regular troops deputed for this task, nearly ten thousand horse and foot of the people of Fárs, the tribesmen, and others. These ascended the mountain on every side and made a simultaneous attack <on different points of the position occupied by the insurgents>. The Bábís, men and women alike, defended themselves most gallantly, and everywhere displayed, both in defence and attack, the most desperate courage, until most of them were slain, and the few survivors, having exhausted their powder and shot, were taken <181> prisoners. Then the people, swarming over the mountain on all sides, seized the grief-stricken and distracted women whose husbands had been slain, and brought them, together with a few little children, to the camp; and we can well guess the treatment to which these women and children were there subjected.149 After that the host of local auxiliaries dispersed, while the regular troops broke up their camp, and, carrying with them their prisoners, and the severed heads of the men, set out for ShIráz, which in due course they reached.

The above brief narrative of these events is what the illustrious Nabíl, the reviser of this poor history of mine, heard when he passed through Níríz from certain aged folk who had survived that time and had full knowledge of all that took place. And in truth the events of the second struggle were by many degrees stranger and more remarkable than those of the first, which took place in Seyyid Yahyá's lifetime.]]150. But at that time the Bábís were subject to so rigorous a persecution, and matters went so hard with them, that none dared so much as utter their name, or allude to them in any way, or enquire aught <132> concerning them. The full narrative of these events, therefore, would greatly exceed what is here recorded, but the epitome of them here set forth is all that could be ascertained. And these details were for the most part related by persons who were not believers, though candid and truthful after their own fashion. "Excellence is that whereunto foes testify."

Even this brief summary, however, will suffice for the information of unprejudiced persons. The right of the matter is, indeed, sufficiently indicated by a tradition of Jábir, who, speaking of the promised Proof, says, "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 Deylamite 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 indeed151."

Glory be to God! A thousand years before this Manifestation the signs and tokens whereby its saints might be distinguished were thus explicitly declared by the Imáms of our holy religion for the information of this misguided people and their deliverance from error. The fulfilment of these foreshadowings is now clearly seen; yet still the majority of mankind, so blinded are they by wilful prejudice, refuse to recognize this, and pay no heed to the accomplishing of the prophecy handed down by tradition from the Imáms of old. Yet have they clearly seen or heard how the heads of these true believers were sent as presents from country to country, how they were slain and burned, how their wives and children and those of their households <133> were led captive from city to city, and how, just as the Imáms foretold, the earth was dyed with their blood. Yet do many, accounting as sound reason their own erring and wilful judgments, stigmatize as misguided or mad men such as these, who were in truth kings in the spiritual world, gracious proofs of the Point of Unity, exemplars of 'I was a hidden Treasure, and I desired to be known, therefore I created creation that I might be known152,' to whom, moreover, such words as 'These are my saints indeed' were addressed. And the greatest marvel is that before those who believed in this sublime and holy faith had embraced the new doctrine all men readily admitted their virtue, leaning, sincerity, integrity, wisdom, and piety, and allowed them to be incontestably superior to their contemporaries in austerity of life, godliness, intelligence, and good works. Thus Seyyid Yahyá, for example, was confessedly one of the most eminent doctors of Islam, being remarkable not only for his singular holiness of life, but for his rare insight and miraculous faculties. Whenever he entered any town within the lands of Islám he was met by all the divines, nobles, and great men of the district, and was brought into the city with every mark of deference and respect. It was considered an honour to serve him, and at whatever house he alighted the owner thereof would glory over his fellows. In short, all men regarded his society as a privilege, and converse with him as a legitimate cause for pride. But when he had, after most careful and diligent enquiry, recognized the Lord of the world, and, actuated only by a desire to please God, set himself to save from error those who still wandered in the wilderness of heedlessness and delusion, and to guide them into the haven of peace and <134> assurance, then, because bat-like they hated the light of Truth, they acted according to their evil nature and their ancient custom, and, in return for his charity towards them, stirred up strife and blood-shed, persecuted and afflicted him, stuffed his holy head with straw as though it had been the head of a Turcoman153, Belúch, or Deylamí, and bore it from town to town. Then, just as the holy Imáms had foretold, they grievously afflicted and slew his friends and followers, cruelly burned their bodies with fire, and sent their heads as a show and a gift from land to land, as though to say, "This is the meaning of 'Love's portion is affliction,' and this the way of such as are permitted to draw near to the courts of GodI

'The guest whose place is highest in this banquet

They ply most often with the wine of woe.'"

So they acted as they had done of yore in the time of God's Apostle, dealing with these sorely afflicted people as they dealt with the Chief of Martyrs154 and his followers on the plain of Kerbelá, and as they had erst dealt with the Holy Spirit of God155 and his disciples. But the cruelty, hardness of heart, and unbelief which they had displayed towards Moses and the other prophets of bygone time appeared in this Manifestation with redoubled intensity, revealing to all discerning persons the infidelity which permeated every recess of these men's being. For just as in every previous age they slandered the prophets and saints, accounting it a work of merit to slay them, burn them, saw them asunder, and crucify them in blind obedience to their priests' command; just as they reviled, cursed, and rejected them, and <135> convened assemblies to devise means for the shedding of their blood; just as they set in order proofs for the justification of their own assertions and actions, and arguments for the falsity of the claim advanced by those who announced themselves to be God's messengers; just as they accounted their miracles naught but magic or jugglery, and their revelations mere tales and "fables of the ancients156," so in this Manifestation did they say and do more than ever they had said or done in days of yore.157


[Account of the Catastrophe of Zanján, and of His Excellency Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí 'Hujjatu’l-Islám', who before the Manifestation held the doctrine of the Akhbárís158; his conversion and public appearance in Zanján, and how he laid down his life.]

Now after the Níríz catastrophe came the siege of Zanján and the martyrdom of Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí Zanjání, a most devout, learned and pious divine, whose power of mind and holiness of spirit made him heedless of <136> men's opinion, and to whom most of the people of Zanján professed a devoted allegiance.159

Account given in L.:-

[And the manner of his conversion was as follows. He was endowed with supernatural faculties, and foretold the approaching Manifestation to the people of Zanján seventeen years before it took place, so that all were expecting it and keeping count of the years. And when at length the year of the Lord's Manifestation was come, he sent one Mash-hadi Ahmad by name to Shíráz with several letters, in answer to which several epistles were brought back. On the day when Mash-hadí Ahmad reached Zanján, bearing nineteen epistles addressed to nineteen different persons, Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí announced his return, wherefore a great multitude assembled in the mosque. Then Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, when he had performed the prayers, went up into the pulpit and said, "Lo, even as I promised you the Sun of Truth has appeared and shone forth!" And he invited the people <to embrace <137> the new doctrine>, such of them as he deemed capable of receiving it, in secret; and sometimes he would say openly, "The author of these verses claims to be the Báb, as <in the tradition> 'I am the City of Knowledge, and ‘Alí is its Gate.'" And he appointed one Mash-hadi Iskandar his messenger, and he used to wait upon the Báb and bring epistles <from him>. And so matters continued till they brought the Báb through Zanján on his way to Mákú. The people, being apprized of this, gathered in crowds to see him, but Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí restrained them, and. wrote <to the Báb> as follows:- "May we be thy sacrifice! Do you grant us permission to assemble in force and deliver you out of the hands of the escort, or to enjoy the honour of waiting upon you?" This letter he concealed inside a cucumber, which he placed in a basket with several other cucumbers, and sent to the caravansaray. The guards wished to seize it, but <the messenger> would not give it up. At that moment the Báb came out from his room and said, "Give up the cucumbers and come with me." It was Mash-hadí Iskandar who had brought the cucumbers, <138> and he thereupon gave them to the guards and himself followed the Báb. Then the Báb, without having seen the letter, wrote in answer to it as follows:- "Your project accords not with expediency, for to-day strife is not approved. Moreover they have summoned you to Teherán, and the governor has already despatched horsemen to set you on the road" (as will be described in connection with the Báb's journey). Now since Mullá Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí previously to the Manifestation had been an Akhbárí160, and was continually engaged in disputations with the divines and lawyers, these had appealed against him to Teherán, and he had five times been summoned thither, kept for a while, and then suffered to depart, so that this was the sixth time. For even as the Báb was setting out again, horsemen came and bore away Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí to Teherán. There the late Hájí Mírzá Ákásí assembled together the doctors that he might dispute with them. And when he had silenced and discomfited them all, they afterwards again complained, declaring that he was stirring up sedition in Zanján. So they detained him in Teherán. <139> One night I, by name ‘Árif, entitled Zabíh, in company with Sheykh Abú Turáb, met him at the abode of the Most Precious Appearance161 (the soul of the world be his sacrifice!), and enjoyed the opportunity of observing his virtues and knowledge. He there said, "Before the Manifestation I had no faith in Sheykh Ahmad Lahsá’í162 and Hájí Seyyid Kázim, but His Supreme Holiness wrote that they were men whom he held in high consideration, so I now account myself their slave." And he would read the Báb's writings and verses, and weep over them. And he was honoured with an epistle from Mákú in which the Báb wrote as follows:- "Muhammad Sháh is about to die. Do not you go away anywhere, but remain in Teherán." So he remained in Teherán till Muhammad Sháh died and His Majesty Násiru’d-Dín Sháh entered the capital. Then he waited upon the young king, who received him with honour, and was well pleased that he, being a prisoner <at large>, had not gone away, and asked him why he had not <140> done so. "I awaited the honour of appearing before Your Majesty," replied he. So the king gave him permission to depart. Dín Muhammad163, who was always with him, observed to him, "Now that you have the king's permission to depart, there is no object in your remaining." So he departed from the capital.

On the other hand Mash-hadí Iskandar came to Zanján, bringing a number of epistles. Thence he came to Kazvín, intending to come to Teherán. But in Kazvín they arrested him with his letters, and sent him to Teherán, where he suffered martyrdom. Then the king was sorry that he had suffered Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí to depart.

But on the other hand, on the day when Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí reached Zanján a great multitude came out to meet him, and they slew in his honour as many as four hundred beasts164. The clergy were jealous, and wrote an <141> account of the matter to Teherán. Instructions were sent to His Excellency Majdu’d-Dawla either to pacify the clergy, or to arrest and send <to the capital> Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí. His Excellency Majdu’d-Dawla sent the order to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, and summoned him to appear. Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí said to his friends, "Let two hundred men accompany me." So they girded on their swords, and went with him and Dín Muhammad to the audience-hall of Majdu’d-Dawla, and there remained without, awaiting instructions. Majdu’d-Dawla treated Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí most respectfully, and they agreed that the followers of the latter should pay treble taxes so that the governor's men might refrain from molesting them, and that any one of the believers who did wrong should be sent before him. Then Majdu’d-Dawla wrote to Teherán declaring that he had effected a reconciliation, and further requested Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí not to repair to the mosque. So he used to pray and to preach in his own house. <142>

At that time came the news of <what was taking place in> Mázandarán, and Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí said to his followers, "Let us equip ourselves and set off thither." But an epistle arrived <from the Báb> saying, "It will come to you there." One night one of the believers had spoken ill of the clergy in his own house. The neighbours came by night and strangled him, and left him for dead; but he was not dead. Dín Muhammad was informed of this. He at once went to the man's house, taking with him thirty of his followers. They found the man still living, and in the morning brought him before Majdu’d-Dawla, who, however, paid no heed to their suit. So the Bábís went to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí and said, "Because you remain within your house and go not to the mosque, our enemies have waxed bold." He answered, "Tell the believers to muster in force tomorrow, that I may complete the proof, and afterwards go to the mosque." So his friends assembled. Then he addressed them as follows:- "You wish me to go to the mosque. Do you not know that there will be a disturbance, that our enemies will make a riot, that there will be slaughter and spoiling, that they will send word to Teherán, and that guns and mortars will be brought against you?" All replied, "We are ready to lay down our lives." So he took from them an oath of allegiance, and said, "Bid all the people of the city and those of the neighbouring villages come to the mosque on Friday, for <143> public prayer on Friday is obligatory." So they bade them; and about four or five thousand assembled and sacrificed about a hundred head of beasts165. Thus honourably did MuIIá Muhammad ‘Alí come to the mosque. And when prayers were concluded he preached to them, and then returned to his house. And His Excellency Majdu’d-Dawla and the clergy were filled with apprehensions.

One day one ‘Abdu’l-‘Alí by name, a Bábí, had a quarrel in the market-place with certain of the enemy. These complained to the governor, who sent and arrested him, and cast him into prison, contrary to the agreement <made between himself and Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí>. The Bábís represented this to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí. He sent a message to Majdu’d-Dawla, saying, "Yield us up our man, and let them bring him to us." But he sought excuses and said, "The vizier imprisoned him; I know nothing about it." So they told this to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí. Then he said, "Let them go to the prison and bring him forth." So the Bábís went and brought him out from the gaol.

Then the clergy sent to Majdu’d-Dawla, saying, "Thou art no longer governor; the actual governor is Dín Muhammad." Thereupon Majdu’d-Dawla ordered proclamation to be made that all who were Bábís should withdraw to one side <of the town>; and the bazaars were closed. And whosoever of the faithful had his dwelling on that side <of <144> the town> abandoned it and came to this side, and so likewise did the enemy. Thus were the true and the false separated from one another; and the number of the Bábís was about five thousand.

That night His Excellency Majdu’d-Dawla quitted Khamsa166 to go into the surrounding country and collect troops.

Such was the position till Friday the first of the month of Rajab, A.H. 1266167. On that day Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí summoned Dín Muhammad, and said to him, "Take two hundred men and go to the house of Mash-hadí Karím the powder-maker; seize whatever powder he has, and bring it away with you." So they went and brought it. Now the enemy had arranged to go to the mosque and seize Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí and take him prisoner. Near noon a servant brought word that they had surrounded the mosque on all sides. Sheykh Sálih was in the mosque, and him, with flattery and a show of weakness, they succeeded in seizing. But he clapped his hand to the hilt of his sword, and, crying out, "Yá Sáhibu’z-zamán168 attacked them. The <145> enemy laughed that one should think to fight with so great a host, but on the other side one Mash-hadí Haydar also rushed to attack them. Pahlaván Asadu’lláh Zirih-púsh had fallen upon Mash-hadí Haydar, when Sheykh Sálih smote him on the head, so that the blow shore through his hat and clave his skull to the brow. Then all the enemy drew their swords and charged. Áká Mír Sálih had wounded four men, when the other Bábís rushed to the attack with cries of "Yá Sáhibu’z-zamán," and surrounded the enemy, who, being unable to withstand them, took to flight. The Bábís wished to follow them, but Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí sent and forbade them, saying, "You have no permission to undertake a religious war; if they attack us we will defend ourselves, and if we fall we shall die martyrs." It was then ascertained that Sheykh Túpchí, one of the believers, had fallen a martyr, and that two others had been wounded. On the other side four men had been killed and twenty wounded. These occurrences were reported to Teherán by the other side, who declared themselves unable to cope with the Bábís.

Now there was near the citadel a castle known as the Castle of ‘Alí-Murád Khán, and this castle the enemy had occupied. On one aide of it was the quarter of the friends, on the other that of the enemy, but the enemy held possession of it, and had placed in it five hundred marksmen, and its towers were lofty. So the Bábís represented to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí that the enemy, so long as they occupied this castle, would harass them sorely. Then said he, "Dín <146> Muhammad, send two hundred men, and let them capture the castle from the enemy." Now there was within the castle a bath, and the doorway of this bath was toward the quarter occupied by the believers. And that night two hundred Bábís entered the castle by this bath. The enemy had occupied the roofs all round about, and there were within the castle ten enclosures one within another, and the roofs of these had the enemy occupied on every side, and thereon had they posted sentries. All at once the Bábís burst open the door of the bath and entered through the bath into the midst of the castle. Then Amír Sálih with two others took the staircase and began to ascend thereby, holding shields over their heads, and caring naught for the bullets aimed at them. So these went up, their comrades supporting them, and defeated the enemy, some of whom they hurled down from the roof-tops, and some of whom they slew with the sword, while the rest took to flight. Seven hours of the night had passed when they gained possession of the castle. Fifty-eight of the enemy were slain, and the plenteous store of muskets and other arms which were in the castle fell into the hands of the Bábís. They then posted sentinels round about the castle, to wit fifty men under the command of Kerbelá’í Haydar and Áká Fath-‘Alí. And all the provisions which they had they stored together in the castle. Three times during that day did the enemy attack them, and each time they were worsted and compelled to retire.

At the end of the month of Rajab169, Seyyid ‘Alí Khán <147> came from the capital, bringing with him four regiments of soldiers and four cannons, and entered the town. In the town they had made forty-eight ramparts, and half the town with three gates was in the hands of the enemy, and half the town with three gates in the hands of the friends. Seyyid ‘Alí Khán arrived there in the morning to reinforce the enemy, and issued orders that they should that very night attack <the Bábís> on all four sides. Dín Muhammad told off two hundred men to repel the enemy, and ordered the rest to keep watch on the ramparts. The night set in dark with heavy rain. The enemy made a general attack, but were slain or overcome and put to rout.

Again they sought help from Teherán; but Dín Muhammad also was engaged in devising means of opposing them. He had caused four guns of iron to be made (Seyyid Ramazán the courier acting as gunner) in addition to the twenty camel-guns which the Bábís already had. And he had made an iron rod, wherewith any wall which he might indicate could be pierced, so that <the rod> went through on that side170. So, in like manner, all night until the morning he had miners171 in the entrenchments, who dug shafts from the midst of the street, so that they came out into <148> the market-place and there fought; for they had ramparts round about, and these they mined.

So matters were till Kásim Khán, Lieutenant-Colonel, came from the capital with four regiments of soldiers, three guns, and two mortars, entered the city, and established himself in the entrenchments. Then he wrote a letter to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí requesting permission to visit him. Permission having been granted, Kásim Khán with three of his officers waited upon Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, who imparted to them the new doctrine. And they remained with him till morning, and said to him, "We have two regiments of soldiers under our command; let us bring them, and imperil our lives with you." But he answered, "Stay in your entrenchments, and order your soldiers not to charge their muskets with bullets, and <in appearance> continue to act with the other officers, lest hurt come to you. Act with prudence: God will cause you to attain to His Supreme Grace."

On the following night <the enemy> made an attack on all four sides, and fought on until the morning, the strife continuing into the day until noon; but at length they were defeated, and fell back. In that day and night's fighting twenty-eight of the friends fell martyrs, and three hundred of the opposite side perished.

Again <the besiegers> applied to Teherán for re-inforcements, and for three or four days abstained from fighting. On the fifth of the blessed month <of Ramazán>172 they made a mine under the ramparts. Áká Fathu’lláh, who was in an upper room, informed Dín Muhammad, who came <149> and put down a saucer there, and placed in the middle of the saucer some nuts. These moved, and by this he knew that they were mining <underneath>173. Thereupon he withdrew his men from that rampart. In the morning they fired the mine. The upper room was blown up and overthrown. Seven of the Bábís were blown into the air, but remained alive, and were extricated with a thousand difficulties <from the ruins>. Then word was brought that Hájí Ghulám had constructed a box with double sides of planks and wood, behind which they had piled up earth, and that they had mounted this on a gun-carriage to serve as a gabion, and were pushing it forwards from behind. Fire at this as they would, the Bábís could produce no effect upon it. Áká Ahmad, the brother of Haydar Beg, taking with him nineteen men, went to the rampart of the Ákhúnd's Mosque. Ascending the minaret he cried out, "Bring pick-axes, and let us destroy this." One Huseyn by name went up on to a roof, took aim at Áká Ahmad, and <150> shot him, so that he fell from the minaret. The foe charged, but the friends also charged, and the attack was repelled. Áká Ahmad's bones were broken <by his fall>. The Bábís, with a thousand difficulties, succeeded in obtaining possession of his body, which they buried. But Dín Muhammad rejoiced greatly, and the other Bábís congratulated him; for it was their custom when any one of the friends fell a martyr to congratulate his relations.

A few days only had elapsed <after this> when Suleyman Khán arrived with five regiments of infantry, four guns, and six thousand cavalry. The cavalry remained outside, while the <infantry> regiments entered the city. Encounters took place daily; and if, for example, a hundred Bábís attained the rank of martyrdom, five hundred men fell on the other side. One day a woman came out with a black pitcher in her hand to sprinkle water <on the dust>. The Bábís seized her, and then discovered that she was really a man <in disguise>. They asked him what he was doing. He answered, "The clergy of the town have repeated spells over this water for forty days, and have given me twenty túmáns to sprinkle it, so that <your> people may be dispersed." Then they brought him before Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, to whom he said, "Six of the clergy have read prayers over this water for forty days and given it to me to bring and sprinkle here." Said Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, "Their wickedness stands revealed, but no blame attaches to a messenger." Then he gave the man a present, and dismissed him.

The clergy daily sent letters saying, "Come, let us make peace." Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí's reply to these was, <151> "My answer is the sword." The clergy and the governor wrote to Teherán bringing malicious accusations against Kásim Khán, whom they accordingly summoned thither. On his arrival they secretly put him to death. But his two regiments continued to render services <to the Bábís>, and to send them word when the besiegers intended to make a night attack.

At length one day it was arranged that the whole besieging force should, in a combined attack, strive to capture the Bábí positions. The attack was made simultaneously on twelve different points. Several officers and nearly a thousand soldiers, horse and foot, were slain, while of the Bábís sixty-seven men fell, and the besiegers were utterly routed. They again wrote to Teherán saying, "They have finished us." Muhammad Khán, Brigadier-General, was sent to their assistance, and came bringing with him eight regiments of soldiers, four guns, and two mortars. He encamped outside the city, and fired on it daily to destroy the towers. On the other side also they maintained a continual fire with cannons and camel-guns, and inflicted great loss on the soldiers.

One day the besiegers made an attack and captured one of the towers, on which they planted a standard. Haydar Beg had remained beneath the tower. The Bábís made a charge and drove down the enemy from the top of the tower. Dín Muhammad was wounded in the thigh, and was confined to his house for some days, when, being somewhat recovered, he again came out.

One day Dín Muhammad made intercession with MuIlá Muhammad ‘Alí for some aged men of the enemy who were <152> in prison, and he let them go. When they were gone, one of them, by name Kalb ‘Alí, went to the camp, waited on the Brigadier-General, talked with him, and obtained his consent to conclude a truce. Then he came back to Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí and submitted to him <the following proposal>:- "You shall give <a sum of> five crores <of dínárs>174, and some of your old men, with a few children, shall take the Kur’án, and go and sit beneath one of the guns175. Then the Brigadier-General will send a despatch to the Government to say that these have thrown themselves on its clemency. Then they will carry the vizier176 before His Majesty the King, and the common folk can go their own way." Dín Muhammad carried this proposal before Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, who replied, "You are a free agent; act in whatever way you think best." So Dín Muhammad chose out sixty old men of eighty or ninety years of age and a few children, and <153> put the Kur’án in their hands, and sent them to the camp, ordering the ramparts, meanwhile, to be well guarded.

As soon as the old men were come to the camp they seized them, thinking them to be the chiefs of the Bábís, and ordered an attack. But the Bábís too were ready behind their ramparts, and as soon as the troops approached they were received with volleys of musketry and cannon-shots, to which they replied with guns and camel-guns. The fight was fierce, but at length the troops were forced to beat a retreat. It was ascertained that on that day nine hundred soldiers were slain.

But the old men whom they had taken captive they wounded and cast into the <full glare of the> sun, and there they lay, crying out continually for the thirst which was upon them. When Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí heard this, he summoned Dín Muhammad and said, "I require of you the hostages." "With all my heart," answered he. So when it was night he took four hundred men, removed the earth with which they had stopped up the gates, opened the gate, issued noiselessly forth, and made a sudden attack on three different points. When the besiegers became aware of what was taking place, they loaded their cannon with small shot and fired. The Bábís lay down, and, when the shot had passed, sprang to their feet and rushed forwards, scattering an army of thirty thousand. They gave water to the hostages, set them free, seized all the weapons and provisions on which they could lay their hands, and returned <to their entrenchments>. Seyyid Ramazán succeeded in carrying off a cannon, which he mounted on a gun-carriage he had made. They also brought back many muskets. <154>

The enemy again applied to Teherán, and continued to devise schemes for the capture of the Bábís, until one night Farrukh Khán (the son of Yahyá Khán <of Tabríz>, and the brother of <Hájí> Suleymán Khán) Lieutenant-Colonel, resolved to come and take captive Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí. So he took with him two others clad in helmets and coats of mail, and two of the enemy, who had been in prison <in the hands of the Bábís> and had escaped, as guides. And about twenty thousand soldiers, whom Farrukh Khán and the other officers had maddened with drink, took part in the attack. They first attacked Hájí Banná's barricade, drove him into a corner of it, and surrounded him. There were five men at that barricade, who, seeing this, abandoned it and fell back on a house behind it.

Haydar Beg relates as follows:- "While we were going the rounds with Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí he said, 'I am going home; do you go and win some good, and then come to me.' So I went off. Then I saw that they had taken the barricade and were preparing to set fire to it. At that moment Mírzá Jalíl came up with nineteen men, and my father also with a number of others. We besieged that house, where a number <of the enemy> were in a room, and cut them off, so that no more from the army could come to their assistance. Then I entered the room, and with fair words induced them one by one to come forth, and our men stripped them of their weapons, saying, 'We will take you before the Master,' until two and twenty of them had come out, and Farrukh Khán alone remained. Notwithstanding all we could do, he would not come out. <155>

One of the faithful named ‘Alí Akbar entered the room. Farrukh Khán fired at him with a pistol and killed him. My father said, 'Do you stand still?' Thereupon I entered the room. He fired at me, but hit my shield, so that no harm befell me. Then I seized him tightly, and my comrades came, and took him, and led him out, and brought him before Mullá Muhammad 'All. 'By command of what prophet,' said he, 'do you madden <your men> with drink, and attack the houses of God's servants, and kill several?' Then he ordered him and the twenty-two other prisoners to be put to death177. My father and I, taking a company of our men, also attacked a great bastion on which were seven guns, and set fire to it. We likewise captured and destroyed six barricades besides it, and came back and presented ourselves before Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, who rewarded us with increase of rank and robes of honour.

"Two days after this, Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí ordered me to go to the Castle of ‘Alí Murád Khán and bring to him Kerbelá’í Haydar and Áká Fath-‘Alí. So I went and brought them. Then he said to them, 'You have betrayed the people's possessions to the enemy for money, intending to take flight yourselves. Why have you not gone? And why have you given the people's possessions to the enemy?' For a while they answered nothing; then they said, 'We wished to know whether you would discover it or not.' So <156> Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí commanded them to be imprisoned; and there were thirty-five of them178. Then he placed ten other believers in the Castle <of ‘Alí Murád Khán in their stead>.

"Next day the other side made a fresh attempt, and attacked the upholders of Truth at ten different points. For a day and a night fierce conflict was waged. One hundred of the faithful suffered martyrdom, and one thousand two hundred and five of the enemy were slain.

"But now orders were issued from the capital that His Holiness the Supreme Lord179 should be brought from Chihrík to Tabríz to suffer martyrdom (as will be described in detail at a subsequent page). News of his martyrdom was brought to Zanján, and they cried out at the barricades, 'They have killed your Imám! Wherefore do you imperil your lives?' Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí said, 'My Master is one who lives, and death cannot touch him; yea, even those live who believe <in him>.'

"Then the enemy wrote to Teherán, and <Mírzá Takí Khán> the Amír-i-Kabír issued further commands, and from Luristán, and the districts of Hamadán and Tabríz, regiment after regiment of troops, horse and foot, continued to pour in and join the <besieging> army, until a host of about thirty or forty thousand lay round about us, and <157> some of the friends took to flight, and some were captured and slain.

"Now the followers of Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí had nineteen barricades, and in each barricade were stationed nineteen men. When it was night one of them used to cry 'Alláhu Abhá' ninety-two times, according to <the number of> the name Muhammad, and the other eighteen used simultaneously to respond 'Alláhu Abhá,' and ere morning they used five times to chant the sacred texts of the new dispensation with melodious voice, and till the morning they were occupied with prayer.180

"To return. The Government wished to send Ja‘far Kulí Khán, General of Division, from Teherán. But he said to <Mírzá Takí Khán> Amír-i-Kabír, 'I am not Ibn Ziyád to go to fight against a band of Seyyids and men of learning, though I have no objection to wage war against heretics such as the Turcomans and the like.' And some officers who had gone did but feign to fight, such as Mír Seyyid Huseyn Khán of Fírázkúh, whom the Amír-i-Kabír, on discovering this, dismissed. So likewise did some officers of the ‘Alí-Iláhi sect who had gone to the war, so soon as they became acquainted with the true state of the case; for their Seyyid had forbidden them, therefore they fled. For it is written in their books and traditions that when the soldiers of Gúrán shall come to the Capital of the King, <158> then the Lord of the Age (whom they call God) shall appear; and this prophecy was now fulfilled. 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; but they excused themselves from giving active help and support <to the Bábís>, saying, 'In subsequent conflicts, when the framework of your religion shall have gathered strength, we will help you.'181

End of the Zanján Siege

"Now when the enemy discovered that there was no one in the castle, they made a sudden and simultaneous attack, and took the castle and some of the barricades and houses, while the believers retreated from certain of their outworks, and fell back. The troops then occupied themselves in plundering the Bábís' property for one day, when they again put forth their whole strength, and poured down like a flood through every street and over every roof. The believers, being but few in number, were unable, strive as they might, to check their advance, and the enemy imagined that they had gone to fight in the lower part of the town. Four thousand soldiers with their officers had collected behind the house of Huseyn Páshá. A woman brought word of this to Dín Muhammad, who sent a body of men into the upper story. These saw that the enemy were boring holes underground at the back of the house, which would come out in the court-yard. Although I discharged muskets and pistols at them, they would not move. We therefore retreated to the court-yard to go out. One <159> of the enemy recognized Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí and cried out 'Seize him!' Another of them approached, intending to lay hands on him, but he put his hand to his sword and smote his assailant so fiercely on the right shoulder that the sword came out under his left arm-pit, cutting him clean in two. When the enemy saw this, they halted in consternation, and we went out from the house. But others of our friends, having been apprized of what was taking place, rushed into the yard sword in hand, and the assault was repelled." Three hundred soldiers were killed, and the rest were routed and put to flight. Haydar Beg was wounded with a sword-cut, and his maternal uncle was killed.

Haydar Beg continues as follows:- "One day I was going the rounds with His Holiness <Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí>. We came to a house the rooms of which had been destroyed and in which there was no one. He said to me, 'See whether anyone is on guard here or not.' I looked, and saw no one. Now there was a narrow embrasure between two alcoves, and I looked through this to see whether the enemy had a barricade at this point, intending to discharge my gun, that they might not imagine that there was no one there. His Holiness was standing, his cloak thrown over his shoulder, opposite to the embrasure, when a bullet fired from the other side came through it, and, as fate would have it, struck his hand, shattering the bones. 'I render praise to God,' ejaculated he, 'that I have not been disappointed of this supreme blessing, that is to say martyrdom, but have at length attained to it.' I took out my handkerchief and bound up his wound, after which he went to his house. 'Go,' said he then, 'bring hither your father Dín Muhammad.' I therefore went and informed my father, and <160> he came, bringing with him a surgeon, and they bandaged the wounded hand of our chief.

"Now when the enemy learned that His Holiness had been wounded by a bullet, they attacked us on all sides, and ceased not for a moment to pour down on us cannon- balls and bullets, as a cloud in spring-time <pours down rain>. On every side they made good their advance, and captured our barricades and houses. The houses which they took they set on fire, carrying off the furniture as spoil. Every day they took several barricades, until at length they surrounded one of the houses belonging to His Holiness. Bomb-shells would come and fall in the house, bury themselves in the ground, again emerge, and burst, killing several of the faithful. And now all the believers had fallen martyrs save eighty only, who still survived, and continued to fight at the barricades and in the trenches.

"It was now forty days since His Holiness had received his wound, yet he used to come out every day. But one room was his own private retreat. Round one side of that court-yard the enemy had erected a stockade from which they used to fire cannons, so that the cannon-balls came through the alcoves of the room. One day we went to move His Holiness and take him out. In an adjoining room one of his wives, a woman of Zanján, had in her arms a child still at the breast. A cannon-ball came and took off the heads of both mother and child, so that both fell martyrs, and were buried in that same room. While we were carrying His Holiness out the enemy discharged another cannon, and the ball entered the room. A girl fell into the fire-place and was burned.

"His Holiness had three wives, two of them natives of <161> Zanján and one a woman of Hamadán. The Hamadání, with one son named Huseyn, was taken to Shíráz, where they still are.

"We had removed the carpets and vessels of copper from one room, banked it up with earth, and converted it into a barricade. That was during the days of the month of Muharram182. And when the enemy saw that they could not prevail against us, they ordered large quantities of firewood to be brought, and piled it up, meaning to set fire to it suddenly and burn us. But when it was the night of the twenty-fifth of Safar183 five hours of the night being past, His Holiness summoned Dín Muhammad and three others, and thus communicated to them his last behests:-]184

Alternative version in C., originally as a footnote:

[[Since to describe in detail the circumstances of his conversion, and how, with much caution and hesitation, and after manifold strivings and searchings of heart, he made profession of his faith, would render our narrative unduly prolix, and divert us from our original purpose, we must of necessity confine ourselves to a bare statement of the facts. One day, soon after the Manifestation had taken place, while he was engaged in lecturing to an attentive audience of students and men of learning, one entered, and handed to him a letter. No sooner had he perused it than the signs of a most extraordinary perturbation of mind appeared in him, and so much disquieted was he that he could not continue his lecture, and was forced to make his excuses to his audience. These, therefore, dispersed, save some few intimates, who remained and pressed him to make known to them the cause of his disquietude. In reply he shewed them the letter, saying, "The writer of these verses claims to be the Báb, and, so far as my knowledge enables me to judge without prejudice, they do not resemble mere human words." This letter, in brief, led him to make earnest search and enquiry; and, when he himself was fully convinced, he began to impart his belief to others. As his heart waxed stronger, and love gained fuller sway over him, he grew by degrees less prudent and cautious, and publicly preached the new faith to God's servants, till at length Amír Aslán Khán the governor <of Zanján> was made acquainted with the matter. He, fearing for himself, at once took measures to safeguard his authority, and forwarded to Mírzá Muhammad Takí Khán Amír-i-Kabír 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, Seyyid ‘Alí Khán, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Fírúzkúh, received the royal command to proceed with a numerous body of horse and foot to Zanján, and to arrest Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, who had retired with his followers (nearly five thousand in number) to the citadel. On his arrival, Seyyid ‘Alí Khán 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-Kulí Khán, Lieutenant-Colonel, the brother of I‘timádu’d-Dawla, but he excused himself, and said to <Mírzá Takí Khán> Amír-i-Kabír, "I am not an Ibn Ziyád185 to go and make war on a band of Seyyids and men of learning of whose tenets I know nothing, though I should be ready enough to fight with Russians, Jews, or other infidels." Other officers besides him shewed a disinclination to take part in this war. Amongst these was Mír Seyyid Huseyn Khán of Fírúzkúh, whom <Mírzá Takí Khán> the Amír dismissed and disgraced so soon as he became acquainted with his sentiments. So also many of the officers who were <of the sect of the> ‘Alí-Iláhís, 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 Gúrán 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 poems186 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 Bábís> 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. Therefore was the duration of the siege greatly protracted. Now the Bábís, in whose hands was more than half the city, erected nineteen ramparts. And they had thirty captains, over all of whom Dín Muhammad held an unquestioned supremacy. In each redoubt nineteen devoted men who had bidden farewell to life kept watch and ward, and one of these was captain over the others, and according to his behests and forbiddings did they act. Five times each night did they pray and read or chant the sacred texts of the new dispensation with sweet and strange utterance. 'Then one amongst them would repeat the words "Alláhu Abhá187" two and ninety times, according to the number of the letters in Muhammad, and the other eighteen would respond "Alláhu Abhá" in melodious unison. Thus were they wont to engage in prayer and praise till morning, being filled with ecstacy and joy. Now when the duration of the siege was long protracted, and the royal troops had the worst of it for the most part, Muhammad Khán of Gílán was commissioned to destroy Zanján and slay its inhabitants, and set out, bringing with him fierce soldiers and murderous guns. But though the besiegers had now more than thirty thousand horse and foot and nineteen pieces of ordnance, still for a long while (six months according to one account, nine months after another version) the citadel held out, though its defenders were only three hundred and sixty men, all divines or artizans, who had never before seen a battle-field, and to whom the very name of strife, much more actual war, was most distasteful. Yet, in spite of this, they fought so bravely throughout this long struggle as to leave on the page of time a lasting record of their valour, which must fill with wonder all discerning men, and appears little short of miraculous. For, while they thus triumphed, an incomparable cavalry, trained to warfare, and accustomed to victory, was continually put to flight, although its leader was a soldier inured to battle, brave, experienced, and capable, who had control over the treasury of His Holiness the Eighth Imám188, and lavished money on the soldiers as though it had been but sand. But no great while elapsed ere he suddenly fell from favour, was disgraced, and met with the punishment which his actions merited. And these three hundred and odd men, who were no soldiers, who had neither treasure, nor artillery, nor stores and munitions of war, and who were supported only by spiritual grace, stoutness of heart, and that new power of endurance bestowed on them from on high, wrought during those days deeds which were an absolute miracle, for they were always successful in repelling the foe, and held in check an army of thirty thousand. At length one day when Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí had himself mounted on to one of the barricades, a chance bullet struck his hand, inflicting on him a grievous hurt. A few days before this he had signified to the faithful that such an injury was about to befall him. In brief, he turned back from the barricade <to his house>, and was for some days confined to his bed. Then he summoned three or four of his chief followers and said:-]]

End of alternative versions.


"'The time of my sojourn in this wretched world, which is the abode of disruption and strife and the home of woes and afflictions, is ended, and my departure is nigh at hand. In this great trouble I enjoin on you patience and steadfastness. Be patient for three days more, for [three days] after my decease a strong189 wind will blow [[with great violence]]. If you endure and are patient, after the wind falls God will grant you [[victory and]] happiness. But if you are not patient, and if dissension and discord arise in your midst and ye become disunited, you will all be slain. Do not forget my words, for if you act agreeably to them you will see their fruit, and if you neglect them you will suffer their hurt and will be sorry. In either case you will see <162> that I have not spoken vainly.' Then he bade them bury him in the clothes he wore, adding to Dín Muhammad, who was his confidential friend, 'Suffer no one to remove the diamond ring which I wear on my hand.' Being asked the reason of this injunction, he said, 'They must cut off my finger [as they did that of Huseyn ibn ‘Alí] [[for the ring ere they can take it]]'.

"So when His Holiness Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí had yielded up his spirit to the Lord of life, passed away from this transitory world, and ascended to a throne of supreme and everlasting glory, his followers, as he had bidden them, buried his body [with its gear] in [the same room where they had buried his wives and his child]190, as above described, and then, betook themselves anew to [[the defence of their stockades and]] the repelling of the enemy. And the besiegers were amazed at their resolution and courage, marvelling that they should be thus ready to imperil their lives now that they were without a leader. They therefore, despairing of being able to carry the position by storm, began, after their wont, to devise treachery.

"And now a strong wind began to blow and rain to fall, and the air grew dark and gloomy. [[‘Amír Aslán Khán]]191 Majdu’d-Dawla, [[Muhammad Khán]] the Brigadier-General, and the other chief officers, seeing that in face of the rain, the gloominess of the weather, and the violence of the wind (which was like to blow down all the tents in the camp) it was equally impossible to continue fighting or to wait patiently, had recourse to deceit, and sent [Suleymán Khán with] a promise of amnesty plighted on the Kur’án to the Bábís. [Although Dín Muhammad said to them, 'You see what the wind is doing: be patient for one day more!' they did but answer, 'Do you want them <163> to burn our wives and children?'] Then the besiegers declared with the most solemn and binding oaths, 'It was Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, not you, whom we sought to take. Do not then seek to bring further sufferings on the soldiers or on yourselves. Be easy in mind, for with you we have no quarrel.' So these poor simple-minded folk suffered themselves to be beguiled by the plighted Kur’án and these solemn oaths, and came before Dín Muhammad, and said, 'Now that they desire peace, as witnessed by their treaty and covenant, it is displeasing in God's sight that we should reject their proposals and persist in continuing the strife.' He answered, '[By God, they speak falsely, and will shew us no mercy.] Do you not see what the wind is doing [[to-day]]? Be patient for two or three days more, that God may give you deliverance.' Most of them, however, because of their simplicity of heart, believed the treachery of the enemy to be the promised deliverance, and imagined that they had plighted their word on the Kur’án in all truth and sincerity, really wishing to conclude the strife."

192[But on the side of the enemy they did not wait for the Bábís to come forth of their own accord, but encompassed them round on every side. The Brigadier-General with his officers ascended the roofs, while an army of thirty <164> thousand poured into the houses, seized their occupants, and cast some down from the roofs on to the ground. Dín Muhammad and his friends and relatives were all gathered together in the room which had been occupied by His Holiness the martyr <Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí>. With them were his wife193 and children, several old men, and their own wives. The rest of the Bábís were in their own houses. The soldiers poured into the houses, stripped the men, and carried off the women which these had with them. Haydar Beg relates:- "I and my father Dín Muhammad were in a room 194{in which was an ice-cellar wherein the Bábís had stored all the money and goods which they had secured}. The women they had assembled in the house of Huseyn Páshá. A regiment of soldiers surrounded them, veiled as they were, and bore them off to the house of Mírzá Abu’l-Kásim the mujtahid, to whose custody they committed them. Another regiment marched Dín Muhammad with fifteen others out of the city to the caravansaray of <165> His Holiness Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, stripping them, so that they had nothing but their shirts and drawers. The rest of the Bábís they left in the city, making them find sureties <for their appearance>.

"Next day at sundown they sent and brought Dín Muhammad before the Brigadier-General, who said to him, 'Tell me where they have buried the corpse <of Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí>?' My father answered, 'Since we shall be killed in any case, why should we tell you?' All said, 'He speaks truly.' Then they brought the eldest son of His Holiness <Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí>, a boy of about seven years of age named Huseyn, and questioned him. He pointed out the spot. They dragged up the corpse of His Holiness, and questioned the people of Zanján <as to its identity>. All said, 'It is the Master's corpse.' The eyes of one of the officers fell on the ring. He drew his knife, cut off the finger, and removed the ring. The Brigadier-General remonstrated with him, saying, 'Why did you cut off the finger of this corpse? For people will say that even this detail is like what befell Imám Huseyn195.' According to what is related, they dragged the corpse about the streets for three days, and none knows what they did with it at last."

On the same day whereon two regiments of soldiers had brought Dín Muhammad and the other Bábís to the market-place in the morning, Dín Muhammad's eyes fell on <166> the body of His Holiness, from which they had severed the finger, and he began to weep, and at once it flashed upon the others that the words which His Holiness had spoken, at the moment of his departure, "They will cut off my finger and take the ring" had come true. They therefore entreated the Brigadier-General, saying, "Order them to kill ns now, and send us to join him." The Brigadier-General was beyond all measure astonished at their request, and said,]196

"What have you beheld in this house of oblivion197 that you seek thus eagerly after your own slaughter?" They replied, "May you never see what we have seen, and may God never make it your portion; please God you will never hear what we have heard -

'We have seen what heretofore hath been seen by no mortal eye;

[To us is the mystery, "I was a treasure concealed"198 made plain,

For "We are nearer to you", saith He, "than the jugular vein".199

We marvel wherefore the Truth ye still reject and deny!]'"

[So two regiments of soldiers bore them away to the <167> market-place, and there they blew three of them from the mouths of mortars, and the rest they impaled on spears. Thus did they send them to join their leader.]200

[But they spared Haydar ‘Alí Beg, seeing that he was but a child, though he continued to revile them, saying, "Kill me too!" For they thought that His Holiness must have amassed treasure, and hoped, by tormenting the child, to make him point it out to them, therefore they refrained from killing him. And God also willed to make manifest His might. So they imprisoned the lad, and next day brought him forth and said, "Make known to us the site of the treasure." He answered, "There was naught but what you have taken." Then they ransacked the room, but found nothing. Then they said to the child, "Why did you not curse the Báb yesterday?" He replied, "So that you might kill me also." "Was it so great a thing to kill you?" said they. "No," answered he, "but I would that the merit of the act might be yours." Then they tied him to the poles; but, beat him as they might, he continued, so long as he had sufficient strength, to revile them. And after that they continued to beat him until they thought he was dead, when they carried him away and cast him on an ash-heap. About the time of the morning call to prayer he came to his senses. Twice afterwards they seized and imprisoned him. When the Brigadier-General was about to return <to Teherán> he gave him to Majdu’d-Dawla, who repeatedly tormented him that he might point out the supposed treasure, but, as there was none, he still said nothing. Haydar Beg relates as follows:- "They carried away the corpses of His Holiness Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí and my father and cast them out into the moat. At <168> night the gunners took away the four corpses and buried them. Afterwards they summoned four others with the wife of His Holiness to Teherán." There were four of the Bábí leaders who had survived (for though they had been wounded they had not died), to wit: Muhammad Bákir the surgeon, ‘Alí Muhammad, Hádí Beg, and Haydar Beg, together with the widow of His Holiness. All these they brought to Teherán. The widow of His Holiness they sent to Shíráz201. The four leaders they sentenced to death. They brought them to the foot of the execution-pole and slew three of them; "But for me," says Haydar Beg, "they substituted another, one Abú’l-Hasan, whom they killed; for Hájí ‘Alí Khán made representation to the King, saying, 'Since this one is a mere child it is not good that his blood should be shed.' They sent me to the gaol, where I remained for nearly two years. Then they set me free, and I came out, and was for some years in attendance on him202, until he too suffered martyrdom, while I survive till this day."]

After they had thus made an end of the Bábís, they destroyed their houses with artillery so utterly that no trace of them was left, and, having accomplished all this, tuned back, conquering and victorious, with demonstrations of triumph.

Now the full details of these events are many, and what has been here set forth is but as one in a thousand and a little out of much. I know not how it could be that <169> no wise statesman or prudent counsellor perceived and pointed out to His Majesty the King, that he ought to take thought for his poor subjects, the prosperity of his realms, and the freedom of his nation, and ought not, merely on account of religious differences, to send armies to ravage the land and destroy the people. Differences of faith can only be removed by conferences and discussions between learned divines, and the unbiassed investigations of properly qualified persons, not by massing of troops and massacre of the people. At the beginning of the war His Holiness Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, desirous of perfecting the proof, wrote the following letter to <Mírzá Takí Khán> Amír-i-Kabír:-203

"Your Excellency has been misinformed concerning this matter. It behoves a strong and honourable government to subdue by force of arms rebels and disaffected persons who seek to grasp for themselves independent authority, but not such as myself and this little band of devoted men, who have trodden under foot all worldly ambitions and hopes. We would discuss the signs whereby the recipients of Divine revelation may be recognized with those who, alas! have made their knowledge but an instrument wherewith to secure worldly consideration and the esteem of men. It is not seemly to attempt the removal of this difference by armed force, injustice, and violence. Justice and fairness rather demand that a conference should be arranged to take place in the presence of Your Excellency where we may discuss the matter with the clergy, who are responsible for the misrepresentations from which we suffer, and the war and strife which these have entailed. Should this be done, either truth will be distinguished from falsehood <170> [[in which case the establishing of the former and the suppression of the latter will be easily effected]], or you can give us leave to depart into foreign lands without strife and bloodshed."

The Amír-i-Kabír, however, notwithstanding his desire for the welfare of the state, and his great administrative capacity, was so blinded by selfish interest that he paid no heed to a single word of this address, and became the cause of terrible devastation of property and destruction of life both amongst the troops and the people, until at length lie received his deserts. Even the representatives of foreign powers, actuated solely by humane and philanthropic motives, pointed out to him at the beginning of these events how ill it beseemed the majesty of the Sovereign to send his troops to destroy a number of his own subjects, for the most part men of learning, who had neither injured nor molested anyone, nor been guilty of any treasonable action towards the government, merely on the ground of a difference of belief between them and the rest of the clergy.... Their representations, however, proved inefficacious, and deeds were done which ill befitted the kingly dignity.

A Bold Apologist

[Account of the letter addressed to His Majesty the King by the Letter J.]204

In like manner some while ago one of the most profoundly learned, earnest, and virtuous of divines addressed to His Majesty the King a letter to this effect:-"Through the machinations of the clergy, and at their command, these <171> people205 have for a long while been visited with the scourges of wrath and anger. If this bitter animosity and these harsh measures arise from the fact that the clergy regard them as heretics and infidels, then convene an assembly in the presence of some few persons who enjoy the confidence both of the government and the people, so that I your petitioner may make it clear by irrefragable proofs that the clergy are in error, and may banish these dissensions from our midst, in order that His Majesty the King may henceforth refrain from molesting these much-wronged and innocent people."

Certain passages of this document which bear most on the topic before us are as follows:- "Is the measure of peace and security granted to humble and unobtrusive folk to be dependent on the whims of sectarian zealots steeped in selfishness and prejudice and thinly disguising their greed of worldly lucre under a veil of sanctity? Or is it to be dependent on the judgement of His Majesty's trusted advisers, the requirements of the national well-being, and the principles of a just administration designed to increase the prosperity of the country, to suppress sedition, and to promote the welfare of mankind? If the former, then ere long neither state nor people will remain, and we had best abandon forthwith our lives and property, and depart to the realms of non-existence. If the latter, then wherefore all this strife and disputation? I know not what advantage cunning and spiteful men obtain from religion. I swear by God that religion cannot be combined with worldliness, nor true faith with greed of gold. From old time proneness to strife and discord hath been one of the characteristics of the worthless and ignorant. In matters of faith and doctrine hatred and malice should have no place, for religion is a hidden mystery appertaining to the heart, and cannot be placed in dependence on any man's will. The <172> Most Merciful God hath endowed every soul with the means of recognizing Him, and hath rendered it independent of all else. Blind subservience to authority hath never been right, nor are vain fancies a sufficient guide. Every soul must attain to a knowledge of the truth by its own earnest endeavour."

It was therefore decreed by His Majesty the King that a discussion should take place in the house of one of the ministers of state, between several prominent members of the clergy on the one hand, and the learned petitioner on the other, in order that some conclusion might be reached as to the validity of the claims advanced on either side. After much discussion, and re-iterated demands on the part of the clergy for reasons why their authority was disputed, some left the room in anger, and the others declared that they would no longer remain in the same city with their opponent. In consequence of this the King imprisoned that learned and saintly man for a whole year, merely to propitiate the clergy, and to protect the state from the sedition which they would otherwise have stirred up.

The learned Bábí, on his part, wrote an account of the discussion which took place between himself and the clergy in the Arabic language. A perusal of this document will convince all fair-minded persons that the clergy were actuated solely by a selfish desire to retain their supremacy, and that the motive which led them to reject the Lord of the Age was a fear lest their authority might be weakened and their commands and prohibitions made of none effect. To make this clear, we append a translation of this account, rendered in the Persian language by that eminent scholar and illustrious divine Áká Mírzá Abu’l-Fazl206 originally of <173> Gulpáyagán, without either addition or suppression. The account, as rendered by the Mírzá in Persian, runs as follows:-

"This is a true account of what passed between this oppressed servant of God on the one hand, and two factions of the mighty ones of the earth207 on the other, when they brought me in to their assembly with malice and great injustice. When I had entered and seated myself, they first demanded what I sought and intended by the petition which I had submitted to His Majesty the King, and the complaints which I had therein made against the clergy. When they had finished speaking, I answered them as follows.

"'A tradition which hath been handed down from the holy Imáms and the pure ones of God's chosen family saith, "When heresies appear amongst mankind, then let the wise man shew forth his knowledge." Now since I do clearly perceive that heresies and falsehoods have appeared in your midst, and since I find you all pursuing the path of error, I am come to shew forth such knowledge and wisdom as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, to warn alike the ministers of state and the clergy of their errors, and to call your attention to those ordinances of the Book of God which you have ignored.

"'Now what I have to say to the representatives of the government is this, that kings and rulers have no right to exercise control over anything beyond the outward body of the world. Their function is to maintain order in their realms, to strive to secure the prosperity of their lands, to suppress sedition, to seek after the amelioration of men's condition, and to be diligent in the furtherance of all <174> measures conducive to the tranquillity and welfare of the community and the increase of the national wealth. But kings have no right to interfere with the religious opinions of their subjects, or to seek control over men's beliefs. Because the King hath done this, enmity and war have been rife for nearly thirty years208, during which time nearly a hundred thousand souls have been slain or scattered abroad in distant and foreign lands. Had these been spared, the number of them and their offspring would now have amounted to five hundred thousand, and thereby the prosperity of the country would have been greatly increased, for how much may be effected with even a hundred thousand!

"'To the clergy I have three things to say. First of all, if one appears in great glory and power summoning men to God, if he be not from God does it rest with God to confute him and bring him to naught, or with men?'

"They answered, 'It rests with God.'

"'Then,' said I, 'what say you of him who appeared in the year A.H. 1260, with great glory and cogent proofs, calling men to God, and directing them to the divine law? For the Lord did in no wise confute him, but, on the contrary, exalted his doctrine, made manifest his deeds, and rendered clear his proofs, so that his verses are disseminated throughout the world, and his writings found in every region and quarter.'

"They answered, 'Learned divines, who are God's representatives amidst men, turned away from him and rejected him, even as we also reject him.'

"'Are you then,' said I, 'the representatives of God, <175> the elect of the Sure Faith, the guides to the Straight Path - you, who are devoid of the very rudiments of wisdom, who know no method but conjecture and imagination? How can such as have no certain conviction in minor points of religion and jurisprudence, who can pronounce no final decision, and who regard the Gate of Knowledge as shut209, think themselves entitled to decide on the highest questions relating to the Divine Unity, or to recognize those well-springs of holy inspiration who are the channels whereby God's grace is conveyed to mankind? How can they consider their acceptance or rejection of God's apostles and messengers as a thing to be greatly heeded? Can one so blind that he cannot see his own foot, but stumbles into the pits of error and strays in the valleys of destruction, claim to distinguish between truth and falsehood, or to be a measure for the knowledge of Him who created the heavens, the Lord of the Names and Attributes?'

"When my discourse had reached this point, all were silent in wonder and amazement, and I continued: 'Let us descend, however, from this level, and suppose that these people are in error. Even in this case, what right have you to regard them as unbelievers and to sanction the shedding of their blood, seeing that they make the same profession as the Muslims in what regards the prophetic office of the prophets, the sanctity of the saints, the sufficiency of the Book of God for a proof, and the binding nature of its commands and prohibitions? Yet have you unjustly slain these holy and spiritual men with such cruelty as hath not been witnessed or heard of in any of the heathen tyrants of bygone time.'

"This sect,' answered they, 'maintain that that Holy <176> Being whose coming hath been promised to us hath been born in this time, which assertion is contrary to truth. With those who hold such a belief we will have no dealings.'

"'By what proofs,' I demanded, 'do you make good this assertion? For, according to the established principles of your religion, this is not unbelief.'

"'The proof,' replied they, 'is the self-evident necessity of the matter in the eyes of all adherents of our faith; for if you enquire of even the common folk and tradespeople, they will unanimously declare that the promised advent cannot possibly take place in this age.'

"'Great heavens!' I exclaimed, 'I marvel at <your adducing> a proof so flimsy and weak that a child would laugh at it! The common folk and tradespeople are a branch from your stem; their beliefs are gathered from your discourses, and their errors learned from you. And now you regard these beliefs of theirs as "fundamental principles of faith" which are necessarily true, cling to figments more unsubstantial than a spider's web, and cast yourselves adrift from the "Strong Rope" and "Most Firm Hand-hold"210 of the Lord.'

"When the discussion had reached this point, they, being unable to justify their deeds, sought to repudiate them, saying, 'We have not pronounced the ban of infidelity against this sect, nor have we seen in them any evil, nor do we seek to shed their blood. The author of this bloodshed and these imprisonments, and the cause of this terror and persecution is the King.'

"Why then,' I retorted, 'did ye not enjoin on him the right and forbid him the wrong, seeing that in the Book of God ye are bidden to summon men into the way of <177> righteousness and salvation, and not to hide from them the divine ordinances?'

"Finding my arguments stronger than their own and my faith more firmly established, they remained silent, and I continued, 'There is another point to which I would call your attention. To day the Manifestation of God's command and the Well-spring of His inspiration is apparent in the world, and, with God-given power, hath proclaimed his mission, summoning the great ones of every people and the kings of every nation to enter the Straight Way and to embrace the Firm Faith211. Agreeably to the purport of the blessed verse, "The believers should not march forth all together; and if a troop of every division of them march not forth, it is only that they may study religion,"212 was it not incumbent on you to enquire into his doctrine, that your uncertainty might give way to assurance and full conviction? O assembly of divines, why do ye keep men back from the fount of the sweet water of God, and shut them out from the Straight Way of the Lord? Why do ye hide the truth with falsehood, strive to extinguish God's Light, and sell religion for the world? Answer fairly: can Almighty God, under whose absolute control are the souls of all mankind and the uttermost parts of the earth, patiently suffer anyone to maintain successfully a false claim to saintship and authority in such wise that the most discerning minds and the keenest intellects should submit to his sway, as you have seen them do in this case?' <178>

"'Aye,' said one of those present, 'men submitted to his attraction, allowed his claims, believed in him, and made him their refuge, but without proof or token.'

"'Then,' answered I, 'to God is the greater glory for endowing His Manifestation with a majesty so unapproachable and a power so supreme as to be in himself a sufficient proof. He is the realization of the blessed word "O Thou whose essence proveth Thine essence," the mirror of the glorious truth "High is He above all likeness to the manifestations of His Names and Attributes", the fulfilment of the word "Exempt is He from participation in the nature of His creatures", inasmuch as He is independent of all else than Himself and of all which men denote by the term "thing".'

"They replied, 'In proof of your assertion shew us some miracle the like of which no man can perform.'

"'I am but a humble servant of God,' said I, 'and a believer in the King of kings; yet if all of you, great and small, prince and peasant, learned and simple, will agree respecting the sign you desire, and will publicly notify it to all men, and appoint a day for its exhibition, I, by means of that instrument known as the telegraph whereby communication can be established with distant lands, will, on the day so appointed, pray him who is the Manifestation of Divine Power and the Well-spring of Revelation213 to shew you what you desire.'

"Perceiving by the confidence with which I advanced so bold a challenge that I stood on firm ground, they replied, 'It was you who first provoked this contest, and it is therefore incumbent upon you to shew us some sign on your own part, that we may admit the validity of your claim.' <179>

"'By Him in whose control my spirit lies,' said I, 'I hold myself as nothing more than a believing servant of the Lord of Unity, neither do I claim aught beyond this. But answer me fairly: what greater miracle can there be than that I should thus fearlessly confront you, expose your errors, and dispute with you, undeterred by fear of your malignant hatred, or your notorious eagerness to shed the blood of such as hold this certain truth? For every man of discernment well knows that any one of you who should have reason to believe that he had incurred the enmity of a powerful noble or high officer of the King would be overcome by that dread and fearfulness which are the constant portion of the erring, and would hasten to hide himself like a timid girl.'

"When the discussion had reached this point, my adversaries dispersed from before me and assembled in another place, whither they summoned others of God's servants whom they had arrested and imprisoned with me, and began to ply them with questions. Then they called me into their presence a second time. When I entered, I saw the friends of God sitting abashed and confounded before them. 'Tell me,' cried I, 'of what wrong towards church or state these poor innocents have been guilty, that in the land of Káshán they should have been exposed to the malice and spite of a pack of scoundrels, and that you, instead of succouring the afflicted and protecting the oppressed, should punish and imprison them?'

"Then a certain divine of Káshán, overstepping all bounds of decorum, cried out at me, 'What hast thou to do with these, that thou seekest to defend them and darest call learned and eminent divines "tyrants" and "scoundrels"?'

"Then was I filled with wrath, and sat down on my knees, and thus spake: 'Such words beseem not thee and <180> such as thee, who are unworthy to speak of higher things. It is only the ignorant who dare shew discourtesy to those superior to themselves alike in birth and position, and none but fools fancy themselves wise in the absence of all learning and culture. How can one ignorant alike of the decencies of society and the amenities of discussion, and neglectful of the ordinary rules of good breeding incumbent upon all, account himself wise in matters of faith, and competent to decide as to the repudiation or acceptance of God's elect?'"

Disastrous Effects of the Clergy

Repeated attempts were subsequently made at Kerbelá and Nejef to compass the death of this learned apologist, but these were frustrated by the justice of His Majesty the King, who, to put a stop to the trouble, subjected him to a temporary confinement. No one can blame the King for acting thus; for such is the influence which the clergy enjoy, and so great is their power in every department of the state, that they have nullified the sovereign's authority in exactly the same way as they have destroyed all but the name of religion and law. Through their successive encroachments and usurpations of power the King is reduced to the semblance of a lifeless body, or a half-killed bird whose struggles tell but of approaching death.... The King cannot issue any command or take any step opposed to their views, and they imagine that he exists but to maintain their authority and to give effect to their decisions. Thus should any governor or minister, however powerful, issue any order or take any steps to secure the well-being of those subject to him, or to promote the national prosperity, without first consulting them, they will, by a mere hint, incite the people of his province or city to harass, vex, and thwart him till they have driven him out, after which they will fall to plundering men's property and carrying off their <181> wives, without the least respect for the authority of the King or any other person. That they should so act towards governors is indeed a common-place scarcely worthy of mention, for they have always behaved in the same unseemly fashion towards the most powerful monarchs of former days, not suffering them to take any step in accordance with their own judgement, or to adopt any measure for the good of the nation; and, at the least opposition or offence, inciting the people to rebel against the royal authority. Down to the present day they have continued to hold the government and the people in subjection to themselves, and have at all times been the cause of national decay. All history bears witness to the truth of this assertion, on which it is unnecessary to expatiate further; but at no previous time have any clergy possessed such power as is now wielded by the mullás of Persia, who regard themselves as the representatives of the Imáms, and call their kings "dogs of the Imáms' threshold." If some effectual means be not soon adopted to disperse this hierarchy, nullify their power, and destroy their authority, they will ere long bring about the fall of this empire also, seeing that they have now waxed exceedingly bold and powerful. On the return of His Majesty the King from Europe214 they not only clamoured for the dismissal of the Prime Minister, circulating false reports of his atheism, but also prevented the introduction of railways, which would have greatly conduced to the prosperity of the country and the freedom of the people. Had the King not adopted the <182> wise policy of conciliating them by acceding to their demands, they would assuredly, as they had openly declared, have refused to let the Royal cavalcade enter the capital, or the King take his seat on the throne. In short, if effectual steps be not taken to check these mischief-makers, they will, for the attainment of their own selfish ends, so destroy and blot out this dynasty that no trace of its existence shall remain on the page of time, even as they destroyed the mighty monarchies of bygone days. Even towards the great kings of the Achćmenian dynasty they behaved in a manner which it is a shame even to mention. Did not rash and inconsiderate priests persuade Shírúyé to kill King Parvíz in order that he might become king in his stead, and afterwards induce him to put to death twenty- one of his brethren, each one a prince of the blood royal?215 Yet even then, notwithstanding his obedience to their will, they would not suffer him to govern according to his own pleasure.

["Would'st thou know the many ills obedience to a priesthood brings?

Read the records of the world, and search the stories of its kings!"]

Did not the territory of this same Persia once extend eastwards to Transoxania and the mountains of Thibet and China, westwards to the river Euphrates, southwards to the Gulf of Oman, and northwards to the Aral Mountains? Even in the time of Khusraw Parvíz, notwithstanding all the troubles and revolutions brought about by the priests, the revenue of what remained of the Persian Empire amounted to eight hundred and twenty-nine crores216 [[of <183> dínárs]] of red gold, while in might, majesty, and power they had no rival. All the kings of the earth rendered homage to the monarchs of the Achćmenian dynasty and were as naught beside them, just as at the present day Persia is as naught beside the nations of Europe, but is like a dismissed governor or a cancelled edict, heeded by none. This abasement is the outcome of the learning of these divines, these upholders of religion and law, and the result of their undue power and influence. By the troubles which they have stirred up Persia has been made desolate and reduced to a few empoverished and deserted provinces, the total revenue derived from which at the present day only amounts to seven crores <of túmáns>217, and even of this, were the taxes fairly levied, not half would come into the royal treasury.

Shame on the people of Persia for their lack of spirit! By God, they have not a spark of patriotic or manly feeling; they have grown habituated to cowardice, falsehood, and flattery; they acquiesce in tyranny and oppression, and, relinquishing the position of free agents, have become mere passive instruments in the hands of the clergy! Do they forget that in days of yore their glory and honour, their wealth and prosperity, were the envy of all peoples? Do they not ask themselves why they have now become a bye-word amongst the nations for abject misery, meanness, and baseness? Moreover did they not once excel all mankind in every art, trade, and handicraft? Why are they now sunk in savagery, poverty, and ignorance, and notorious for their utter want of generosity, justice, and wisdom? Do they never reflect why it is that their science is now restricted to such things as purifications, washing the orifices of the body, dyeing the beard, clipping the <184> moustache, disputing about payment of tithes and alms, atonement for wrongs218, Imám's money, and the like, for the determination of which things even it does not suffice? Yet so heedless are they that they do not perceive that most of these divines originally spring from the rustic population or the scum of the towns. They enter our cities and colleges with a smock and a staff, and feet full of sores encased in coarse socks and canvas shoes. There, by the alms and votive offerings of the people, by begging from this one and that one, by prayers and fastings paid for at the rate of two túmáns a year, by reading through the whole Kur’án for a krán, and by fees obtained for the performance of devotions, they manage to live in extreme wretchedness and poverty. After reading a few books, learning Arabic, filling their minds with all manner of doubts, hesitations, and vain scruples, and developing their obsolete superstitions and prejudices, they leave college, take their seats in the chair of the Law and the Imámate, and forthwith become the absolute arbiters and law-givers of the nation, the controllers of all men's lands and possessions, the owners of horses, mules, gold, and silver. They then think themselves entitled to set their feet on the necks of all mankind, to lord it over the noble, to maintain troops of horses and retinues of servants, to claim to be the vicegerents of the Imám, to receive his tithes, and to make atonements for wrongs. They account themselves the most noble amongst all creatures and the most perfect, the generality of men as "like cattle"219 and the common folk as "even more astray"220. They become dead men's heirs, consumers of endowments, and collectors of tithes and "thirds", and usurp the station of "the One, the Dominant" "to whom belongeth dominion"221. Well says Háfiz,

"These preachers, who, when in their pulpits, of virtue make such a display,

Behave, I assure you, in private in quite a dissimilar way.

That they put any faith in the Judgement they preach one can scarcely believe

When Him who shall judge them they daily attempt to out wit and deceive."222

Most people, however, have not sufficient sense to perceive from what sources all these luxuries, powers, shops, villages, lands, aqueducts, possessions, and moneys which the clergy possess are derived. Have they skill in working mines? No. Do they traffic in the merchandise of India, China, America, or Europe? No. Do they traverse land and sea, or cultivate fields which lie waste? No. Have they amassed their wealth by the discovery of new arts? No. This luxury and opulence results, as all, wise or simple, may plainly see, from the plunder of rich and poor, from payments for legal decisions written or pronounced, from the profits of writing, "I decree this", or saying, "I am witness to this" and "it is thus and thus", and from the hire obtained for the use of their honourable seals. Such being the case, what folly it is to take as guides men so notoriously evil and hypocritical, to follow their opinions, to be governed by their decisions, to cringe to them, flatter them, beseech their favour, and reckon them, forsooth, as the repositories of learning! For mystics and thinkers alike recognise three degrees of knowledge and three classes of learned men, corresponding to the Truth, the Path, and <186> the Law223. Knowledge obtained by divine illumination through the fulness of God's grace, without effort or study on the part of the recipient, is called "Imparted" or "Immediate Knowledge"224. Knowledge revealed after long search and striving on the part of the recipient, but not arrived at by induction or reasoning, is called "Ecstatic" or "Disclosed Knowledge"225. Of neither of these kinds of knowledge have the clergy any share. As to the third kind of knowledge, obtained by toil and study, it is known as "Acquired" or "Ordinary Knowledge"226, and comprises knowledge of the Law, and of the means whereby happiness in the life to come and disregard of worldly objects may be secured. By it are the faulty perfected and the erring guided. By it are men taught the way of salvation and the mode of performing acceptable service to God. By it are they rescued from the abyss of error and led to the loftiest heights of sanctity and blessedness. Those who have this knowledge are also divisible into three classes. The first class are such as put it into practice, regulate their conduct by it, and thus secure the results above enumerated. To call in question the conduct of such as these is downright infidelity, and he who does so is an unbeliever <187> and an atheist. The second class are trees without fruit, wise in theory but not in practice. These also, although they have no real eminence, and reap none of the fruits of their knowledge, should still, in consideration of the form of wisdom which they possess, be treated with respect and deference, and to speak slightingly of them is a grave fault. As to the third class, who deliberately disobey God's commands, and act contrary to what they how and teach, it can be easily seen that they are no better than thieves and traitors clad in a garb of knowledge, who pollute the whole world with their foul deeds and words, use their science as an instrument for plundering mankind, and make of legal quibbles and fictions of their own devising steps to secure their own advancement. The wickedness of their nature prompts them to practise every species of treachery and deceit, to give free rein to their wicked lusts, and to yield an unreserved allegiance to the devil. These are in very truth hypocrites and liars, inasmuch as their outward appearance is at variance with their actual life, and their hearts agree not with their lips. God hath called the hypocrites accursed and rejected in all the sacred books, and so, wherever in this history allusion is made to their evil qualities, it applies only to this third class, and no general condemnation of leaned doctors is intended. A true divine was the late Sheykh Murtazá227 (whose station may God exalt!), for he renounced all worldly pomps and luxuries, would not on any pretext take from anyone a single dínár, and [during the earlier part of his life] lived contentedly in poverty [[such that at his death the total value of all that he possessed did not amount to two and <188> twenty túmáns228]]229, So also, when I was in Isfahán, one of my friends told me of the piety and virtue of a lately deceased divine's brother, whose honoured name has through lapse of time escaped my memory. For when the people be sought him with much importunity to accept the position rendered vacant by his brother's death and to act as their spiritual director and leader in prayer, refusing to accept his apologies and excuses, and finally compelling him by their urgency to accede to their request, he stipulated for three days' grace. When these had elapsed he repaired to the mosque and assumed the functions thrust upon him. One of his intimates enquired of him the reason why he had demanded the three days' grace. He answered, "I had in my house fifteen maunds of barley. Generosity and justice alike forbade that I should have by me provision for fifteen days while some lacked for two days' food. During those three days I distributed this barley amongst the deserving poor, and only when I had done this did I feel myself entitled to perform divine service."

Men such as these one may indeed describe as earnest and learned divines, but not those who in a year of famine daily saw a thousand dying for want of a morsel of bread, and yet refused to sell the corn hoarded in their granaries for forty túmáns a kharvár. Such was actually the case in Teherán, where one of the clergy living in odour of sanctity and enjoying universal respect had in store enough corn to satisfy all the people of the city, the season for a new harvest being, moreover, nigh at hand. The King wished to buy his corn at forty túmáns the kharvár and sell it at a cheap rate to the people, so that they might not perish <189> of hunger. But this reverend, religious, righteous exponent of the Law withheld the people's food in the hope that its value might rise above forty túmáns! May such as these be the sacrifice of Vátil the Armenian merchant, who, some years ago, during the famine at Hájí Tarkhán, procured through his agents in neighbouring countries a sufficient quantity of corn at twenty-five roubles per sack of five poods230, imported it to Hájí Tarkhán, and sold it to his fellow-townsmen for ten roubles the sack rather than suffer them to know the meaning of famine.

Men of sense are fully alive to the wickedness of these hypocrites, and well know that the existence of such a body is a menace to the order and well-being of the community and the stability of the government; but the fear of forfeiting their position, their property, or even their lives, keeps them silent. Let none take exception to what we have alleged, or shall hereinafter, as occasion arises, allege as to the malign influence of this body on the government, and let all know that herein no particle of blame attaches to His Most Sacred Majesty the King, although in general kings are held accountable for all that takes place within the scope of their authority. But these clergy, by reason of their evil nature and their anxiety to retain the authority which they now enjoy, are continually seeking to impair the strength of the government and to encroach on the sovereign's powers, and though they describe themselves as "praying for the continuance of the state," there are in truth none who wish it so ill. They are ever bent on securing sole and supreme sway, becoming dominant in every department of affairs, and absorbing every prerogative of the king, even as they already regard their own decisions as superior in authority to those of the civil courts, <190> disregard the commands and prohibitions of the functionaries of the state, and stigmatize all government officials as tyrants and oppressors. Yet the respect and consideration which they enjoy are in truth theirs only through the King's bounty, and they are but one class of his servants, differing from others only in this, that while all others perform services commensurate with the wages which they receive, and exhibit gratitude and devotion proportionate to the favours bestowed upon them, they do but devour the public wealth and substitute treason for service.

During the quarrel which arose in the reign of the late King Fath-‘Alí Sháh between the Persian and Turkish governments and the war consequent thereon231, His Highness the late Ná’ibu’s-Saltana was engaged on the frontier in repelling the attacks of the Ottoman forces. The clergy of Tabríz, regarding his absence as their opportunity, began to stir up sedition and create disturbances. The Ná’ibu’s-Saltana wrote to his deputy a letter expressing his views of their conduct, part of which we shall quote as bearing on the subject before us.

Ná’ibu’s-Saltana's Letter Describing the Clergy

[Copy of the Ná’ibu’s-Saltana's letter to his deputy.]

"It is your pilaws of sugar and beans and bowls of broth and syrup which have made these gentry so vicious. The Arab steed will not eat more than its due measure of barley, and the Cossack gelding, though it should eat ten maunds of corn at a feed, does not go mad with exuberance; but the wretched pack-horse, if it gets a trifle more barley <191> than usual, or is allowed to graze unhindered in the paddock, first bites or kicks the groom who tends it.

'The gardener's feet, O rose-bud sweet,

Were the first to feel thy thorn!'

"From the time of the Moghul invasion, when the Sheykhu’l-Islám [[of Tabríz]] declared it to be expedient for the Musulmáns to take oaths of allegiance, until to-day, whether under Jihán-Sháh, the Muzaffars, the Safaví Kings, Nádir Sháh, Karím Khán, the Deylamís, or Ahmad Khán, never have the clergy of Tabríz and of Persia generally enjoyed so great a measure of respect, honour, consideration, and power. It is through our fortune and by our favour that they have waxed so great; and now for that good they return us this evil; for to-day, when we are arrayed against a hostile army, leaving our unguarded property to the care of the people of Tabríz, they create disturbances, close the shops and bazaars, go off to Seyyid Hamza and the Bágh-i-Mísha, and furthermore publish abroad their exploits, some in the Russian dominions, some, like Safí Khán, at the Court, others in Turkey. The faces of the people of Tabríz are indeed whitened! Had Fath-‘Alí Khán possessed a particle of self-respect, or the elders of the city a grain of manhood, an ignorant fellow like Fattáh would never have dared to act thus. That these gentry should not be sated with broth and pilaw is only natural, but how is it that you have not yet had enough of the hypocritical piety of these mullás? Books enough have been written about religious warfare; the divine mission of Muhammad has been sufficiently demonstrated; we are tired of the wrangling of the colleges;-

'Yet still to your darling you render

The worship and service of yore.'

If one-hundredth part of all this talk about religious <192> warfare had been addressed to armed men instead of to peaceful citizens, by this time there would not be a single infidel left to necessitate champions for the true faith. Hence forth, at all events, you had best invite to your Thursday and Friday banquets the elders of the city, the magistrates of the different quarters, persons worthy and honourable, and men of position and sense. Away with tables spread for hypocrisy and cant! Learn to recognize base and spurious coin!

'Coin which bears the Súfí superscription

Is not always pure and unalloyed;

Many a dervish-cloak is only worthy

In the blazing fire to be destroyed.'232

"Hitherto no advantage has accrued to us from our perusal of this page or our pursuance of this path; on the contrary, all these troubles which beset us are the outcome of the Friday prayers and Thursday evening devotions of these mullás. If you desire the society of the learned, have you not in your city accomplished scholars like Hájí Fázil and Hájí Razzák Beg, who work much, eat little, and live reasonably, honestly, and soberly? God is our refuge! Where ten mullás are met together, there is God! However often you ask, 'Art thou full?' they answer 'Is there any more?'233 like lazy over-fed pack-horses, which are consumers of chaff and demolishers of barley. May they be the sacrifice of the Turkish Efendís and the Frankish priests! They have neither learning enough to write a confutation of the latter, nor zeal and enthusiasm enough to decorate their mosques and roads with bunches of flowers like the former. Let them call upon the people to defend their country and protect their faith, in like manner as they were wont to do in our presence. But when they do <193> muster up courage to unsheathe the sword, it is not against the Ottoman troops, but against Mírzá Amín of Isfahán! To hunt tame animals and conduct themselves like mad men seems to be their creed. But since they are grown so bold, and have armed themselves with clubs and swords, let them at any rate be good enough to employ their weapons against rebels. Herein we delegate to you our authority by these our letters, and empower you to act as you may think best in all matters. Farewell."

If these clergy, who make such pretensions to learning, who regard themselves as the wisest and most competent of men, who have obtained the control of every department of state, who give effect to every command which they issue, and who consider all men bound to submit to their decisions, were even men of sense and intelligence, who would educate and develop the people instead of reducing them to beggary with their legal quibbles and tricks of priest-craft, it would not so much matter. But, as a matter of fact, their stupidity, ignorance, and folly are absolutely unparalleled; though the common people, sunk as they are in brutish ignorance, give them credit for faithfulness and virtue. Thus it is related that a thief was brought before a certain eminent divine of Isfahán, and made confession of his crime, saying, "I went to the man's house a little while before midnight with the intention of robbing it. Till near dawn I was occupied in forcing the doors of rooms and wrenching open boxes. When the day began to dawn the occupants of the house discovered my presence and effected my capture." "Accursed wretch!" exclaimed the learned divine, "If thou wert engaged in theft from midnight until morning, when and where didst thou perform the night-prayer ?"..! The atmosphere of the college and cloister had so disordered the poor divine's <194> brain that he did not so much as perceive that thieves are not in the habit of paying much attention to their devotions, and that they do not as a rule perform the obligatory prayers of the day, much less the supererogatory prayers of night!

"Never hath college or cloister yielded a man of sense;

Perish these homes of folly, whose learning is all pretence!"

A certain wise and learned Persian has unsparingly exposed the evil lives and vicious practices of these mullás, supporting his assertions with forcible proofs and eloquent arguments, and shewing that the disordered state of Persia, the decay of its government, the wretchedness of its people, and the decline of religion are directly traceable to them. He points out, amongst other things, that religion has been brought into contempt by the mass of spurious traditions and absurd fables which they have fabricated, whereby other traditions which are authentic are brought into disrepute. Thus they assert in their books that the sun turned back in its course thirteen times for His Holiness the Chief of believers234, in support of which assertion they adduce a thousand traditions, being too ignorant of science and too devoid of sense to understand that such retrogression of the sun is an absolute impossibility, and that furthermore, even could such an impossibility have taken place, all men would have observed it, and would have sought to discover its cause. For assuredly, had so incredible a prodigy occurred, all would, without further hesitation or delay, have embraced the religion of Islám, and at least they would not have failed to record in their chronicles so remarkable an event.

So again they do not hesitate to attribute to his Holiness the Chief of believers the same neglect of religious <195> duties which characterizes themselves. For they say that one day he overslept the season of mid-day prayer, and did not awake till sundown to discover his neglect. Well says Jalálu’d-Dín Rúmí in answer to this absurd and senseless fiction -

"A wakeful heart a hundred sights espies,

Though slumber overcome the weary eyes.

The Prophet said, 'My eyes are closed in sleep,

Yet my heart faileth not its watch to keep'.

Of this heart-watch to tell the meaning true

A thousand Masnavís were all too few."

Notwithstanding all their toilsome studies and pretensions to profound learning, they do not yet understand that for the sun there is neither rising nor setting, but that evening becomes morning and day night by the movement of the earth, so that the day of Persia is the night of America, and vice versá. For the sun has a motion of its own, but not round this earth; rather its attraction causes the earth to revolve continually round itself at a speed of sixty thousand miles an hour. For it to turn back in its course, then, the earth would need to perform a retrograde movement until it reached the point which corresponds to the post-meridian.

So also they say in their books that on the day of the ‘Áshúrá235 noon lasted seventy-two hours, never perceiving that every man of sense and sound reason must deride such an assertion, and will suppose all the rest of their traditions to be as false as this. For it is perfectly evident to every rational being that had the forenoon of that day really been prolonged to seventy-two hours the whole order of the world would have been disturbed, and all men must needs <196> have observed it and recorded it in their histories. Secondly, as is plain to the most simple, were an Arabian sun to shine continuously for seventy-two hours the sand on the plain would become like fire, the blood would boil in the veins, and no living thing could survive. Thirdly, men of science have ascertained that anyone deprived of sleep for seventy-two hours of necessity dies, more especially if, in addition to this, he partakes of no food. How then could that host of horse and foot burdened with their harness and weapons of war continue to fight for seventy-two hours in that scorching Arabian desert without eating, sleeping, or drinking? No man could do this; and these were not Imáms whose holy nature might endow them with miraculous powers of endurance.

[[In truth, any man of discernment has but to consider attentively the sayings and doings of these mullás to perceive that their folly exceeds all bounds and surpasses all conception. When, for instance, in the reign of Sultán Huseyn the Safaví, in the year A.H. 1135, the Afghans, led by Mír Mahmúd Ghilzá’í, invaded Persia, and drew near to Isfahán (at that time the capital), the clergy reassured the king, promising to proclaim a religious war, and declaring that, fortified by the Holy Law and their own sanctity, they would not suffer a single Afghan to escape with his life. When the Afghans had encompassed Isfahán and laid siege to it, the clergy assembled to drive them away with cries of "Verily there is no god but God", and these cries were the sole outcome of their religious war. It is indeed a matter for astonishment that notwithstanding their excessive folly these people dare lay claim to be spiritual guides and representatives of the Imáms, and consider themselves the most discerning and virtuous of mankind.

So, too, in the reign of the late King Fath-‘Alí Sháh, in <197> the year <A.H. 1241>236, when strife was impending with Russia, the clergy urged the government to make war. Sheykh Ja‘far the Arab and Mírzá Masíh were most importunate in this matter, saying, "We will proclaim a religious war, and our courage shall rend asunder the veil of Russia's honour; we will invade and occupy the whole of that prosperous kingdom, and, fortified by our Holy Religion, will take captive all their soldiers, or make them food for the mace and the sword." But in the end their religious war resulted only in disgrace and humiliation to Persia, while the Russian troops occupied the whole province of Ázarbaiján and its dependencies, and advanced as far as Turkmán-cháy, which is but a few stages from Teherán. Had the Persians not concluded a peace and agreed to all the Russian demands, the Russians would have occupied Teherán, and perhaps the whole of Persia. Indeed it was only the attitude of the English government (which will not allow Russia to interfere with Persia, because they regard it as a barrier between the Russian territories and their own) that induced Russia to consent to peace, because, had she not done so, she would have been obliged to fight the English. Whoever reads with attention the articles of the treaty concluded at Turkmán-cháy will be filled with pity for the utter helplessness of Persia and her readiness to make any concession for the sake of peace. Thus a religious war kindled by a few ignorant wretches resulted in the loss of the half of Persia and the destruction <198> of her power; whereas, had Persia not entrusted her honour to these dolts, and had she first cast out the foe within, the foe without would not have ventured on such high handed aggression, she would not have been so humbled before her neighbours, and foreigners would not have leagued together to take possession of her land. But these household foes have now waxed so strong that, if matters continue as they are, God only knows what disaster may befall Persia through them.]]237

Báb on Pilgrimage

[How His Supreme Holiness (the lives of all beside him be his sacrifice!) made known his religion; how he sent faithful converts into the regions round about to announce his mission; how he bade Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb go to Isfahán; how Jenáb-i-Mukaddas of Khurásán, who was a professor at Isfahán and a leader of divine worship, believed on seeing God's revealed verses; how he was sent to Yezd and Kirmán, that after preaching the doctrine there he might come to Shíráz; and how His Holiness proceeded to Mecca and returned thence to Bushire.]

Now in the year A.H. 1261238, when the appearance of His Holiness the Báb (whom the Bábís call "His Supreme Holiness") had, by means of those learned men who had <199> charged themselves with the promulgation of his doctrines, been noised abroad throughout all the provinces, and had in Shíráz especially obtained the fullest notoriety, His Holiness returned from Mecca, whither he had gone to proclaim his religion, to the end that the fame of the Manifestation might be more fully diffused through all countries. Thus writes the late Hájí Mírzá Jání239:- "A certain pious and trustworthy person belonging to the mercantile class, and noted for his virtue and sincerity, on his return from Mecca related as follows: 'I beheld the Lord of the world performing the ceremony of circumambulation at the Holy Mosque with such an air of solemn ecstasy, reverence, and humility as filled me with amazement, so that I knew for a surety that this must be either He who is to arise out of the family of Muhammad240 or else one of the Guardians241 who shall accompany him. On returning to my lodging I related what I had seen to my companions, confirming it <200> with an oath, because of the fullness of my conviction. I subsequently enjoyed the privilege of meeting him at Medína, where, according to the measure of my fitness, I saw what I had to see, drew from it my own inference, and confessed the sufficiency of the proof revealed by His Holiness.'"

Báb Amends the Call to Prayer

To be brief, His Holiness returned by sea to Bushire. [He despatched a letter to Jenáb-i-Mukaddas of Khurásán, bidding him perform divine worship in the Sword-maker's Mosque at Shíráz and insert these words in the call to prayer:- "I bear witness that ‘Alí <Muhammad> His servant is the Remnant of God242." This was at the time when Jenáb-i-Mukaddas, having met Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb at Isfahán243, and having been converted by an examination of the sacred verses and prayers, had been commissioned by His Supreme Holiness to go to Yezd and Kirmán. There he attempted to convert Hájí Muhammad Karim Khán244, who, by reason of his overweening pride and presumption, repelled his attempts, and issued orders for him and Mulla ‘Alí Akbar of Ardistán, who was in his company, to be killed. But the government protected them, as did also Áká Seyyid Jawád the mujtahid245, and they escaped to Níríz, and came <201> thence to Shiráz, where they awaited the arrival of His Holiness. As he had been commanded, Jenáb-i-Mukaddas used there to perform the prayers in the mosque which is situated near to the Báb's house in the sword-maker's bazaar, and Mullá ‘Alí Akbar used to act as mu’ezzin and to insert the new clause in the call to prayer. The clergy, greatly incensed, went before the governor and complained. He accordingly sent to summon the mu’ezzin into his presence, but Jenáb-i-Kuddús246 came first, and held a protracted discussion with him. The governor at length ordered him to be smitten with many blows and to be cast into prison. When the mu’ezzin was brought into the governor's presence, he saw them leading away Jenáb-i-Kuddús with a night-cap247 on his head to prison. On entering, he saw a number of the clergy and merchants sitting round. He took his seat on the bare ground without a carpet. The governor loaded him with reproaches, and bade him repeat the clause which he had inserted in the call to prayer. He did so. The governor then bade his servants lead him forth from the assembly, bind him to the triangle, and scourge him. So Mullá Muhammad Sádik received four hundred lashes with the whip248. One <202> of his friends named Mullá Abú Tálib, who had come to the garden249 to see what was taking place, was also seized, and scourged with four hundred lashes. Then they tied up Mullá ‘Alí Akbar and inflicted on him two hundred lashes, when, on the intercession of a certain merchant, they desisted. Then the governor ordered a lighted candle to be held under the beard of Mullá Abú Tálib (which was of great length and thickness) till it was burned, whereby his chin also was severely scorched250. They likewise burned the beard of Jenáb-i-Mukaddas, which was also very long. Then they were committed to prison.

Next morning four executioners led them forth from the prison, so that they were convinced that their martyrdom was at hand. Leading-ropes251 were attached to them, and, in the very height of summer, they were led barefoot round the bazaars and the different quarters of the town from morning till night, while the people spat on their faces. They were then expelled from the city, and twelve horsemen were sent by the governor to bring His supreme Holiness from Bushire.]252 His Holiness had already started from Bushire, and fell in with them on the road one dark night. They did not recognize him, and would have passed <203> him by, but he called to them, saying, "Since you have come in search of me, turn back, and let us go together." So the horsemen, observing his behaviour, escorted him with all respect to Shíráz, and made known all that had happened to the governor, who, abandoning certain ideas which he had entertained, issued orders that after three days all access to the Báb should be denied to his friends, and that he should be prevented from writing or receiving any letters. But however men may strive to hide the Sun of Truth with the clouds of formal restrictions, its radiance becomes but the more apparent; even as these people253, the more they are arrested and slain, do but continue to multiply the more. So, although to all appearance the believers were denied access to their Master, they still continued to submit to him their questions and difficulties, and to receive replies, for it is incumbent on the generous to answer him who asks254 more especially when his questions refer to religious matters, and his demands are for guidance and direction into the path of salvation. A number of people from the surrounding country also came to enquire into the matter, and these likewise submitted their questions, and received, each according to his own capacity, full and satisfactory answers, whereby they too were brought to believe.

The opponents of the Truth, however (according to the verse, "Verily the devils inspire their friends255" became cognizant of this, and informed the governor, who issued orders for the Báb's arrest; and on the eve of Ramazán <204> 21st <A.H. 1261>256 some of them [attacked]257 his house, seized him and his venerable uncle [Hájí Seyyid ‘Alí258 (an old man eighty years of age, very pious and enlightened, and greatly respected amongst his fellow merchants), and brought them before the governor259.]260 The governor addressed them most discourteously, confiscated all the Báb's property and household goods, and inflicted the bastinado on his uncle.261 Then he committed His Holiness to the custody of ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Khán the chief constable262.

Báb Leaves Shíráz

Now at this time the Ocean of the Divine Wrath was stirred for the warning and awakening of men, and a grievous pestilence, which raged with especial fury in Shíráz, fell upon the land of Persia. Great multitudes perished; and a prophecy handed down by tradition foretelling the "White Plague263" and the "Red Plague" as signs of the new Dispensation was fulfilled. For the <205> "White Plague" was what they now experienced; and the "Red Plague", which signified sword and bloodshed, appeared in Mázandarán and Zanján and Níríz. And it chanced that the son of ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Khán the chief-constable fell sick of the pestilence and came nigh to death's door, and 'Abdu'l-Hamíd besought the Báb, who prayed for him, and he recovered. When ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Khán beheld such evidence of spiritual power, he believed, and said to the Báb, "Depart whithersoever your holy inclinations may lead you, and I, so far from hindering you, will assist you in every way that lies in my power." So His Holiness 264[summoned Áká Muhammad Huseyn of Ardistán, and gave him fifty túmáns, saying, "Go to the market-place, and there buy three horses with such-and-such marks and distinctive qualities; and when you have bought them, take them to the Mausoleum of Háfiz, and bring word to me." Muhammad Huseyn was somewhat surprised and puzzled at this precise description of the horses, wondering what he should do if three such horses should not be immediately forthcoming, or if they should refuse to let him have them for fifty túmáns, and why their signs should be thus specified. In this state of wonder he went to the market-place, and saw a man with three horses exactly such as had been described to him. These he bought and brought to the Mausoleum of Háfiz. Then the Báb, having bade farewell to his wife and his relations, repaired to the Háfiziyya, and thence]265 set out for Isfahán. <206>

The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes266:- "When His Supreme Holiness was at Mákú, the afore-mentioned Áká Muhammad Huseyn was an old man with a white beard, enfeebled and bowed down with extreme age. When I met him he was proceeding on foot to Mákú, and, not withstanding his age and debility, such was his extreme love and enthusiasm that his countenance betrayed no sign of distress, weariness, or fatigue, but rather excessive joy and ecstasy. In the course of our conversation I questioned him as to the incidents of the journey to Isfahán, and he related to me as follows:-267 one part of our road we came to a place notorious as a haunt of robbers, whereby none dared to pass save with a large company. No sooner had we reached it than we saw a number of robbers waiting on the side of the hill. I was overcome with fear, for I made sure that they would strip us and perhaps inflict on us some injury. It chanced to be the time for the noon-day prayer, and His Holiness alighted from his horse and engaged in his devotions, which he protracted to an unusual length. I was so preoccupied with anxiety that I forgot to replace my socks and garters268 (which I had removed for the performance of my ablution), and instead placed them in my pocket. When His Holiness had again mounted, and we were some considerable distance from the robbers, he turned his blessed countenance towards me and said, "Why have you not put on your mittens?" I answered that I had lost them. "You have not lost them," said he, "but through excessive terror you put them in your pocket, being overcome with fear. Yet you see that the thieves did not strip you." <207>

"'So 269on another occasion, it being an extremely dark night, sleep overtook me on the road. When I awoke, I missed His Holiness. I urged on my horse for some considerable distance, but, advance as I might, I could discover no trace of him. After proceeding some way, I saw Áká Seyyid Kázim [[and]] the muleteer, who had also been overcome with sleep. I awoke them and asked them about His Holiness, but they too knew not what had become of him. I was much amazed and disquieted, but, even as I wondered, I heard the voice of His Holiness over against me, saying, "Áká Muhammad Hasan, why are you troubled? Come!" I looked, and saw the form of His Holiness erect in the saddle like the Alif <which is symbolical> of the Divine Unity, [while a continuous flow of light hung like a veil round about him and rose heaven-wards. And this light so encompassed him, forming, as it were, a halo round about him, that the eye was dazzled by it, and] a state of disquietude [and perturbation was produced. On beholding this, Áká Seyyid Kázim]270 uttered a loud cry and swooned away. The muleteer, however, observed nothing. Then His Holiness dismounted and said, "Make some tea." And he took Áká Seyyid Kázim's head on his bosom, and fed him with the tea until he was somewhat recovered; yet he was never again the same as before, and continued thus fey, until, as the effect of that vision of glory, he yielded up his spirit in Isfahán to Him who is the Lord of Glory. His Supreme Holiness was present at his funeral, and alone read the prayers over him.'"

This same Áká Muhammad Huseyn [took part] in the Mázandarán war [, joining himself to the people of truth, <208> and] fell wounded by a bullet on the field of battle. Being carried to the royalist camp and interrogated271 as to the state of the garrison of the Castle, he refused to give any information. At length they said, <"If you do not tell us> we will kill you." "How great an honour," answered he, "and how great a happiness!" They asked him in what way he would be slain. He answered, "In whatever way is most painful." Then they put the muzzle of a gun to his right eye and fired. Thus did he attain to martyrdom.

Báb at Isfahán

Now when His Holiness reached the outskirts of Isfahán, he sent a message to <Minúchihr Khán> the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla saying272, "If you will grant me permission, but not otherwise, I will tarry for a little while in your government." His Excellency the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla, who was a statesman wise in the affairs of the world, actuated alike by his own goodness of disposition and the dictates of wisdom, sent word to the Imám-Jum‘a saying, "He who claims to be the Gate to the Imám (upon whom be peace) has come to this country; send servants to wait upon him and convey an invitation, that perchance he may come to your house." The Imám-Jum‘a did so, and His Holiness alighted at his abode and tarried there forty days, during which time the Imám-Jum‘a behaved towards him with every appearance of friendship and respect. Many persons, gentle and simple, enjoyed the honour of meeting him, and propounded to him hard questions, to which they received full and satisfactory answers easy to understand, so that many accepted his doctrine. His Excellency the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla also came to see him, and His Holiness returned the visit. The Imám-Jum‘a had demanded of <209> him, "By what sign do you establish the truth of your claim?" "By verses," answered he, "for, without pause of the pen, I can, in the space of three hours, write a thousand sentences on any subject that I please." "But," objected the Imám-Jum‘a, "you may have considered the matter previously." "I will write," replied he, "on any subject you like." "Then," said the Imám-Jum‘a, "write for me a commentary on the súra beginning Wa’l-‘asr273, even you wrote for Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb a commentary on the Súratu’l-Kawthar274." So His Holiness began to write, and in thee hours wrote a thousand verses. Then the Imám-Jum‘a was convinced that such power was from God, being beyond the capacity of man.

The late Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla likewise requested a treatise on the Special Prophetic Mission of Muhammad, which, accordingly, the Báb wrote in such fashion as to excite the wonder of scholars and men of learning.

Now when His Holiness returned the visit of the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla, Áká Muhammad Mahdí the son of the late Hájí Muhammad Ibrahim Kalbásí, and the son MuIIá ‘Alí of Núr chanced to be present in his house. These put forward many hard questions touching the nature of the Divine Unity and other problems of philosophy, to all of which they immediately received full an conclusive answers; wherefore they were wont for some while to speak of His Holiness to their associates in terms of the highest praise. But when they saw the people disposed to admit the truth of his claim, then, fearing to lose their authority, they began to disparage him, tore up his writings, and strove to stir up opposition. Then the <210> Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla sent them a message, saying,275 "Wherefore do ye now hate, envy, and malign one in whose praises ye were formerly so loud? It is unreasonable to reject a doctrine into which you have not enquired. If ye be indeed seekers after truth in matters of religion, then meet the Báb, either in the Imám-Jum’a's house, or in my house, or in the Masjid-i-Sháh, and confer with him. If he can satisfactorily establish the validity of his claim, then you shall acknowledge it, so that the clergy of Persia shall not oppose it causelessly, nor, without reason, turn aside from the truth. If, on the other hand, he fail to make good his claim, then shall you be the first to refute it, whereby dissensions shall cease and the world be at rest. But it is a stipulation that I myself be present at the discussion and that only one of you speak at a time, for, if wrangling and clerical wiles be resorted to, the matter will only be obscured."

The clergy very unwillingly agreed to this proposal, and arranged that the conference should take place on a specified day in the Masjid-i-Sháh. Ere the appointed day, however, one of their principal men sent a message to his colleagues to this effect:- "We have committed a great mistake in consenting to this arrangement, for this man pretends to be the Proof, and declares his verses to be evidence of the truth of his claim, saying, 'Produce the like of this if ye speak truly'276. Now there is none among us who can do this, wherefore, our inability becoming evident, his claim will be established. Should we then still withhold our belief, the people will raise a clamour against us; while if we make confession of faith how shall we answer to the King and to such as do not believe?" <211>

These reasonings seemed to the rest sound and forcible, and so, when the appointed day came, they, with their usual dishonesty, and in violation of their agreement, began to wrangle and dispute contentiously. When the Báb perceived this, he charged them with deliberately intending to suspend the discussion, and proposed that both sides should conjointly invoke God's curse on whichever of them was in error. This, however, men afraid of fair argument naturally declined to do; and, to be brief, these learned doctors, instead of enquiring into the matter, addressed to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí an appeal, wherein the facts of the case were grossly misrepresented, and the most unseemly charges were advanced against that Sun of Holiness. To such a pass did they bring matters that the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla, actuated solely by a desire to avert the possible consequences of their malice, transferred the Báb to the royal Palace of the Sun277, continuing to shew him every attention, and striving in every way to protect and shield him. So steadfast, indeed, was his devotion that he paid no heed to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí's demands for the surrender of the Báb, to whom he repeatedly made the following proposal. "If," said he, "[[your religion needs the support of the sword for its advancement, I will assemble more than fifty thousand men, both horse and foot, of the Sháh-sevan and other tribes devoted to my interests, and will march with all speed on the capital to make war against the King of Islám, should he persist in rejecting your mission. If, on the other hand,]] the propagation of your religion is to be effected by policy, I will accompany you to Teherán, and will so explain the nature of your mission and doctrine to His Majesty that he shall accept them and bestow on you one of his daughters in marriage. Your position being <212> thus strengthened by an alliance with the Royal Family, you may safely make public announcement of your claims." He likewise placed at the Báb's disposal his treasure-chests and all else that he possessed, [remarking, "I have no children, and 'whatsoever the hands of the slave possess belongs to his master.'"]

To these proposals His Holiness replied as follows:- "The diffusion of God's truth cannot be effected by such means, but rather by the faithfulness and constancy of His servants, who, disregarding alike hopes of gain and fear of loss, shall support the faith, proclaim God's Word, and, with eyes averted from all worldly objects, walk in the way of the Lord, for Him, and in Him. Thus shall these holy spirits continue to bear witness to the Truth, until the sincerity of their belief shall be attested by their martyrdom. 278....The Lord is able to cause His religion to prevail and to defeat the devices of the froward: we await His will and His good pleasure, and seek help from none other: we carry our lives in our hands [[and stand steadfastly confronting our enemies and awaiting martyrdom]]. And for you also the time to quit this low world is nigh at hand."279 <213>

A few days after this, even as the Báb had announced, the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla quitted this transitory abode for the mansions of eternity.

After this, Mírzá Gurgín Khán280 the Deputy-governor, anxious to perform some service pleasing to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí, in return for which the government of Isfahán might be bestowed on him, and forgetful of the injunctions of his benefactor, spoke to the Báb as follows:- "The clergy are bent on opposition and strife. Should I deliver you into their hands, I should betray the trust reposed in me by my benefactor, and bring injury on one whom he held dear. If, on the other hand, I refuse to surrender you, they will write to Teherán, Hájí Mírzá Ákásí will demand you at my hands, and I shall have no choice but to submit, seeing that I have not strength to resist like the Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla. So the best thing is that you should leave this place, and, if such be your wish, withdraw to Khurásán." And in his letter to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí he set forth what he had done, and strongly emphasized the value of the service he had rendered in sending the Báb away. But His Holiness, being well aware of his treachery, said, "Please God, thou wilt fail to attain what thou desirest;" as in fact eventually happened.

Báb at Káshán

His Holiness, therefore, left Isfahán with an escort of [seven]281 horsemen. When he reached Káshán, two believing brothers [, Hájí Muhammad Isma‘íl surnamed Zabíh, and Hájí Mírzá Jání,]282, men widely respected and noted <214> for their piety, being informed of his arrival went and saw the horsemen, and, by means of bribes, obtained permission for His Holiness [accompanied by five of the escort] to be a guest at their house. Hájí Mírzá Jání gives in his book a full description of all the wonderful things which they witnessed in those [[two]]283 days and nights, at the conclusion of which he says, "If I should seek to narrate in detail all that took place during those [[two]]284 days and nights, it would fill a large volume." [[This is the exact expression of which he makes use in his book.]]285 Since <however> the object is not to describe wonders and miracles [it is sufficient to mention one incident.

Mír ‘Abdu’l-Bákí the Principal of the Madrasa-i-Sháh, a scholar of eminence, and a man of remarkable sanctity and learning, was a believer in the Báb. <Hájí Muhammad Isma‘íl surnamed> Zabíh craved permission from His Holiness to acquaint him with his arrival. This was granted, on condition that he should not be informed who would be present. "We invited the reverend doctor to supper", <215> <says the narrator> "but told him nothing till the night when he met His Holiness, who had exchanged his turban for a lamb-skin hat, and ceded the corner-seat to his companions, Jenáb-i-‘Azím286, Áká Seyyid Huseyn the amanuensis, and Mullá Muhammad 'Mu‘allim'. In consequence of this, Mír ‘Abdu’l-Bákí failed to recognize him, walked straight to the corner of the room, and seated himself by the side of Jenáb-i-Sheykh-i-‘Azím287. After the customary greetings had been interchanged, His Holiness tuned towards Mír ‘Abdu’l-Bákí and said, 'I hear that you believe in the author of these doctrines, and publicly expound them in the mosque.' On receiving an answer in the affirmative, he continued, 'By reason of what sign have you believed in him?' 'By reason of his verses,' answered the other. 'I too,' replied His Holiness, 'can write verses.' 'By reason of his commentaries and supplications and homilies,' said the divine. 'These too I can write.' 'By reason of his exegetic knowledge, then,' said Mír ‘Abdu’l-Bákí. 'You may ask of me what you please,' said His Holiness, 'and I will answer you.' The learned doctor was overcome with amazement, but did not fall down in adoration saying, 'Thou art the man!' All he said was, 'I know of none under heaven more leaned than myself, and I know not who amongst those here present wields that spiritual power which has taken from me what I had288.' For since His Holiness had said, 'He shall not know me', he departed without having recognized him, notwithstanding all the hints whereby we, ignoring the fact that this Word had <216> been created an active force, strove to apprize him of the truth. On his way home, however, the truth suddenly flashed upon him. He wished to return, but decided not to do so, because of the lateness of the hour. Next morning he came as soon as he had left the mosque, but our visitors had already departed. Then was he very sorry when sorrow was of no avail. And he was a man of great learning and ascetic life, thoroughly versed in the doctrines of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá’í.

"Now since that Holy Being was, as it runs in the tradition, 'a dark, dreadful, dire calamity289,' on the day of his arrival at Káshán he had said, 'If one could deliver me from these guards it were not amiss.' So after the two days, when he was about to depart, Zabíh said to him, 'It would be possible to bring you forth from hence; we pray you therefore to accord us permission,]290 and you can go whithersoever you please, and we will attend and accompany you wherever it be; for we will thankfully and gladly give up our lives, our wealth, our wives, and our children for your sake.' But he answered, 'We need the help and support of none but God, and His will only do we regard.'"291

Báb at Khánlik

After leaving Káshán, the Báb came to Khánlik292, a village distant about [[five or]] six parasangs from Teherán which had belonged to the late Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla. Thence the escort sent word of their arrival to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí. Now the late king Muhammad Sháh was desirous <217> of an interview with His Holiness, but the Hájí, influenced by certain absurd fancies (for he regarded the Báb as [[a magician]] skilled in gaining sway over men's hearts), and actuated by considerations of self-interest, would not suffer it. For he feared that in a single interview the Báb might bewitch the King, or that his followers might determine on revolt and raise an insurrection. He therefore appointed twelve horsemen to conduct him to [[Ázarbaiján]]293. But while he was still at Khánlik many persons of note visited him. Amongst these were His Holiness BEHÁ (may the lives of all beside him be his sacrifice!), Rizá Khán the son of Muhammad Khán the Turcoman, and many others. A full account of all that took place on this occasion would form a narrative of surpassing strangeness, but would transcend the comprehension of common folk, besides involving undue prolixity294.

The late Hájí Mírzá Jání writes:- "The chief of the twelve horsemen appointed to conduct His Holiness to Mákú was Muhammad Beg Chápárchí-báshí295, whom I subsequently met on his return from that journey. He was a man of kindly nature and amiable character, and so sincere and devoted a believer that whenever the name of His Holiness was mentioned he would incontinently burst into tears, saying,

'I scarcely reckon as life the days when to me thou wert all unknown,

But by faithful service for what remains I may still for the past atone.' <218>

In the course of conversation I enquired concerning what passed during the journey, whereupon he related as follows.

"'When I received orders to escort His Holiness to Tabríz under guard of a company of horsemen, I was very reluctant to undertake the duty, for, though I had not as yet recognized the truth of his claim, I had heard that he was a Seyyid of distinguished merit. I therefore feigned illness for two or three days, hoping that perhaps this duty - in truth a blessing, though in appearance an affliction - might be delegated to another. For I little knew how signal a blessing the Divine Bounty had apportioned to one so unworthy as myself: My excuses, however, did not meet with acceptance, and I, much against my will, was compelled to set out.

Báb to Zanján

["''The horsemen placed at my disposal had already gone to take charge of His Holiness the night before I joined them. And since such men, inured to deeds of violence, are accustomed, especially at the outset, to adopt a harsh manner, calculated, in their opinion, to inspire respect, they acted on this occasion with undue rigour. One of them locked the door of the room occupied by His Holiness on the outside, lest perchance that Central Point of the universal circle might effect his escape. In the morning he saw the door which he had locked standing open, and the Báb tranquilly performing his ablutions by the brink of the stream, whereupon he cried out angrily and discourteously, "By what means did you open the door which I locked?" "I did but lay my hand upon it," answered the Báb, "and it opened." The other then began to behave with violence, when all of a sudden he was attacked with so sharp a pain at the heart that even he was admonished, and rolled in the dust demanding pardon. Thereupon His Holiness consented to overlook his fault, and he was at once restored to health. On my arrival <219> I heard of this event, and,]296 according to the measure of my insight, I perceived the signs of the glory and greatness of His Holiness, towards whom I continued to act deferentially until the day when we reached the [[stone]] caravansaray [[at]]297 Zanján, where we halted. For our instructions were to avoid bringing His Holiness into any city; therefore did we halt at that caravansaray outside the town. We were wearied after a long day's march, and I had many matters to attend to, when a messenger came from the governor of Zanján [bringing word that he wished to see the Báb. I was so busy that I omitted to convey this message, and it subsequently passed from my mind.

"'As soon as the people of Zanján became aware of the Báb's arrival]298 they began to approach in companies, with a reverence and respect which baffle description, to wait upon His Holiness. [His Reverence Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí had addressed to him a letter, and concealed it inside a cucumber, which he placed in a basket full of cucumbers. His messenger brought the cucumbers to deliver them to His Holiness. The guards would have taken them from him, but he refused to give them up. While they were disputing, His Holiness cried out from his cell, "Give up the basket of cucumbers, and come hither." So the messenger surrendered the basket to the guards and was admitted to the presence of His Holiness, who had written an answer as follows:- "It is not expedient. This very night a horseman will come to take you to Teherán. Such is your affair."]299. <220>

"'Now the guards, with a view to their own profit, were contesting the entrance of all who approached, and these <to secure admission> were giving ungrudgingly such sums of money, copper, silver, and túmáns, as they had upon them. And when the press and throng of people had waxed very great, the governor, being alarmed, sent a message to me, saying, "You must proceed on your journey at once, for if you remain here to-night a general rising will assuredly take place." Hard upon this messenger came another, urging us to mount with all speed. I was therefore obliged to inform His Holiness that, although neither he nor the guards were yet rested from the fatigues of the road, there was no choice but to go on. He arose, saying, "O God, be Thou witness of how they are dealing with the descendant of Thy Prophet!" Then he repeated the message which I had forgotten [to give him], saying, "This, notwithstanding the message which he sent on my first arrival! What is his present action, and what does it mean?" Thereat was I exceedingly ashamed and confused, because I had neglected to deliver the message; and thenceforth, perceiving that he knew all men's thoughts and could read their minds, I continually exercised the most unremitting vigilance lest I should be guilty of any overt or covert disrespect towards him.

Báb at Milan

"'So we mounted and rode on till we came to a [[brick]] caravansaray distant two parasangs 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 Mílán, an old woman brought a scald-headed child, whose head was so covered <221> 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. In short [our object in entering into so prolonged and detailed an account was to narrate how, on leaving Mílán, while we were on the road His Holiness suddenly urged his horse into so swift a gallop that all the horsemen composing the escort were filled with amazement, seeing that his steed was the leanest of all. We galloped after him as hard as we could, but were unable to come up with him, though the horsemen were filled with apprehension lest he should effect his escape. Presently he reined in his horse of his own accord, and, so soon as we came up to him, said with a smile, "Were I desirous of escaping, you could not prevent me." And indeed it was even as he said; had he desired in the least degree to escape, none could have prevented him, and] under all circumstances he showed himself endowed with more than human strength. For example, we were all practised horsemen inured to travel, yet, by reason of the cold and our weariness, we were at times hardly able to keep our saddles, while he, on the other hand, during all this period shewed no sign of faintness or weariness, but, from the time when he mounted till he alighted at the end of the stage, would not so much as change his posture or shift his seat.

Bab to Tabríz

"'The instructions which I had received were to convey His Holiness to Tabríz, whence Prince Bahman Mírzá was to send him to Mákú. Now I hoped that the Prince would keep him at Tabríz, and that, should he decide to send him to Mákú, I might be permitted to attend him thither. <222>

I made known this inward desire to His Holiness, who replied, "I do not wish that you should accompany me beyond Tabríz. I did desire inwardly that you should come from the capital to Tabríz, but from thence to Mákú I desire it not, for it will be a journey of wrong, and I like not that you should enter into the company of the wrong-doers. [["Then he continued, "]] On our arrival within one stage of Tabríz [[do thou go on before us and explain the matter to the Prince, for if he can keep me in Tabríz it is better, while, if he will send me to Mákú, God will take vengeance on him." Now when we were come within one stage of Tabríz]]300 I had a severe attack of fever, and while I was thus prostrate His Holiness summoned me and said, "Go on to Tabríz." I replied, "I cannot move while the fever in me runs so high." His Holiness, who was drinking tea, handed me his cup, saying, "Drink this." No sooner had I drunk it than I was restored to health. So I went that very night to Tabríz, and laid the whole matter before Prince Bahman Mírzá, who replied "It has nothing to do with me; you must act according to the orders which you received in the capital." I therefore turned back to meet His Holiness with a heart exceeding sorrowful, and told him all that had happened. He heaved a deep sigh and said, "I acquiesce in God's decree, and submit to His command."

Bab to Mákú

I brought His Holiness to my own house, situated outside the town, and there he tarried for some days. On the day fixed for his removal to Mákú the horsemen appointed to attend him thither came to him, saying, "Come, mount!" He answered, "Let Muhammad Beg go once again to the Prince and complete the proof to him, telling <223> him that I do not wish to go to Mákú, [[and bidding him fear God and not persist in this determination]]301." I accordingly went as he bade me, and represented the state of the case, but the Prince again refused to incur any responsibility, and I returned so grieved at heart that on reaching home I was once more prostrated with fever. The horsemen continuing to press for an immediate departure, His Holiness came into my private apartment to bid me farewell, and then mounted. I wept much at his departure, and was ill for two months.

"'After this I went to Mákú for the express purpose of visiting His Holiness. On entering his presence I fell at his feet to ask for pardon, for I had seen how both Ashraf Khán the Governor of Zanján and Prince Bahman Mírzá, because they had been guilty of some slight disrespect <towards him>, had in a little time been visited with severe punishment. Therefore was I much troubled, and entreated His Holiness, saying, "If I have inadvertently been guilty of any shortcoming in my service, or committed any fault by reason of which I merit reprobation and chastisement, forgive me!" He replied, "Muhammad Sháh and his minister302 have dealt with me thus unjustly, yet have I not cursed them. I desire not evil for mine enemies, much less for my friends."

"'He then questioned me concerning Ashraf Khán the Governor of Zanján, and I related to him in detail the indignities to which he had been subjected by the people of Zanján. In brief, the history of these is as follows. Ashraf Khán had conceived a passion for a certain woman of Zanján, and sent men to carry her to a place which he <224> had appointed. Her husband, being apprized of this, informed his relations and friends, who assembled in full force, attacked Ashraf Khán's house, and carried off as plunder the furniture and ornaments. Ashraf Khán himself, who was fair of skin and smooth of cheek, they entreated most foully, even making use of sticks;303 then they blackened his face, put a paper cap on his head, mounted him on a bare-backed ass, and thus ignominiously expelled him from the city. When His Holiness had heard this, he said, "I did not wish that it should be thus, or that he should be so grievously shamed." Then I related to him the punishment which had overtaken Bahman Mírzá, and his disgrace, whereon he remarked, "The True Avenger will sooner or later, as His wisdom determines, take vengeance on such as contemn the Truth and slight or injure God's servants."'"

Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Wahháb related as follows:- During the journey to Ázarbaiján I, together with Mullá Muhammad ‘Mu‘allim', and Áká Seyyid Hasan, the brother of Áká Seyyid Huseyn the amanuensis, accompanied His Holiness with circumspection, following him, according to his instructions, at a distance of some two thousand paces. [And when we reached our halting-place, we used to take up our quarters near to his, but elsewhere.] But Áká Seyyid Huseyn and Áká Seyyid Murtazá with the twelve304 <225> mounted guards always rode by him. And we, on reaching the end of our day's journey, used always to contrive some fresh excuse or pretext for approaching him, so that Muhammad Beg the Chápárchí-báshí and the other horsemen composing the escort might not notice it or perceive that we were the devoted followers of His Holiness. When we were within two or three stages of Tabríz, however, Muhammad Beg, who had charge of the escort, discovered by divers indications, both overt and covert, our deep devotion to the Master. One day, therefore, in the course of conversation he observed, 'During this journey I have come to regard myself as worse than Shimr and Yazíd.' 'Why,' I asked, 'do you think thus, and [[in what connection do you say it?]]305' 'Because,' said he, 'they have commissioned me to do their work, and because I have witnessed on the part of this holy man things so passing strange that they cannot be uttered or heard.' ['What new thing have you seen,' I demanded, 'to cause you such astonishment?' He replied, 'Amongst other things which I have witnessed during these days was this. When we set out from the capital he entrusted to my keeping a box of gez306, which I consigned to the care of one of my men. Every morning he asks for it, and gives a piece to each of the escort, and to his own companions, and to my servants, in addition to which he generally bestows a piece on each of you. And throughout the whole journey that same box has been in my keeping!'"

Áká Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí the martyr, who consummated his martyrdom in the presence of His Holiness at Tabríz, related as follows:- "When His Holiness reached <226> Tabríz he took up his abode in the house of Muhammad Beg, whose next-door neighbour had a garden adjoining his dwelling. One day His Holiness desired to take his afternoon tea in this garden. When, in accordance with the permission readily granted to him by the proprietor, he had gone thither, one Mash-hadí ‘Alí by name entered the garden in a state of great trouble, saying, 'Three of my family are sick, and I despair of the lives of two of them, since there is no hope of their being restored to health; but the third, whose recovery appears possible, I pray you to heal.' 'Be of good cheer,' answered His Holiness, 'all three will get well.' After a while the man departed, but next morning he came to me, saying, 'On arriving at my house I beheld all three sitting up in perfect health, as though they had never been ill.' This man became a sincere believer, and was converted, and set himself to perform humble and devoted service. So likewise others who heard and understood were amazed at the might and spiritual virtues of His Holiness."

Reflections on the Bab and on Men

Greatness of the Báb

[In short, we wish to make it clear that though in appearance His Holiness was compelled to go to Tabríz and Mákú, in reality he only did so of his own free will for the accomplishment of God's plan and purpose, being fully able to effect his escape had he so pleased. We have already mentioned307 how on the way he put his horse into a gallop, how the horsemen of the escort pursued him, how not one of them could come near him, and how he could without difficulty have got away had he desired. Again, when, as we have described308, he arrived at Khánlik, Rizá Khán and Mírzá Kurbán-‘Alí, both men of unrivalled courage, each of whom was equal to a hundred horsemen, waited upon him with several brave and skilful mounted men, saying, "We <227> will convey you to whatever place you please, as you may command?" But he refused their offer, saying, "The mountain of Ázarbaiján, too, has its claims." So likewise on the road five of his most trusty followers, whose names have been mentioned, bore him company; and it is evident that five such persons are equal to a hundred others, and could, at the merest hint from His Holiness, have so utterly annihilated and destroyed those twelve guards that no trace of them should be seen and no tidings heard in the world.] So, too, had he made the least sign to the believers of Zanján, Mílán, and other places, they would not have given the guards time even to draw breath; for, as we have mentioned, three hundred and sixty of them held their own for nine months against thirty thousand regular soldiers and nineteen guns, continually inflicting defeat and coming off victorious.

[But apart from all this, what need of outward means has one endowed with inward power and spiritual virtue so perfect that, as has been mentioned309, a door bolted and locked could not prevent his entrance or exit, but opened and shut at his slightest command? Such an one is able to do what he wills, for his will is identified with God's will, and, in all essential respects, he mirrors the Divine Essence, and shews forth the Names and Attributes. When you look at his outward appearance he is "a man like unto you310," but when you regard him truly he is <one of whom it may be said> "I have times with God wherein neither angel of the Presence nor prophet of plenary authority can approach me,"311... But better than all the proofs which we have mentioned is the fact that] <228> the very horsemen who were his guards actually beheld in him during the course of the journey proofs of so wonderful a power that most of then sincerely believed in him, and, like Muhammad Beg their chief, shewed him every service which was in their power. They even declared that they would readily risk their lives to convey him to any part of the world which he might choose, but he refused their offer, saying, "Your readiness is in itself an accepted offering." And now not only those horsemen, but many of their children and grandchildren, are so clad in the raiment of faith that not even the hope of sovereignty could tempt them to lay it aside. This is the meaning of "the humblest of you shall be the most exalted, and the most exalted shall be brought low."

First Class of Men - Governors

For men are divisible into three classes. The first includes kings, courtiers, governors, and their retainers, all of whom the clergy regard as men of violence, and call tyrants. These have no thought save for maintaining and extending their sway, and are engrossed in love of power and pleasant living; neither do they greatly heed the ordinances of religion. For men of this class to believe and to disregard all worldly ties - wealth and life, child and wife - is a wonderful thing. If one should carefully consider the circumstances of the heroic [deaths]312 of Hájí Suleymán Khán [and Rizá Khán, both of whom were nobles]313 of high position, he will easily perceive that thus readily to abandon all that men do most prize, and eagerly to court a martyr's death, is a thing transcending human capacity. And it is evident that had not their eyes clearly beheld the object of their search, they would not thus readily have laid down their lives. When they arrested Suleymán Khán, and strove, in consideration of his faithful service and <229> 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 victim314 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 this verse -

"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!315"

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 exaltation 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 entitle one to dance.

Fools dance and caper in the market; <230>

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 Sháh ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím.] 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 gleam316."

Is it possible that such heroism and self-devotion, such readiness to forsake the world and all that is therein, should be vain and causeless? Rather what better proof could be adduced for the reality of the cause? And moreover this man was by birth and training one of those whom the clergy and common folk are wont to call "tyrants" and "men of violence"!

Second Class of Men - The Scholarly; Eminent Bábís

The second class consists of divines, doctors, philosophers, scholars, and the like. Of these such as were wise and earnest in the search after truth, and possessed true religious feeling, sought without prejudice to distinguish the true from the false. To these, agreeably to the promise "Fear God, and God will teach you317," the Lord opened the gates of Eternal Wisdom and made known the <231> truth; for "Knowledge is a light which God putteth into the heart of whomsoever He pleaseth." And when the Sun of Wisdom dawned within them, and Divine Ideals became mirrored in their souls, they ascended from the abyss of doubt, and, with the wings of renunciation, soared aloft to the heights of certainty, even as it is written, "O peaceful soul! Return unto thy Lord well pleased and well pleasing318." So they aspired to trample under foot all worldly considerations, and to proclaim without fear or reserve the manifestation of God's truth. And inasmuch as they regarded their earthly frames but as a barrier withholding them from union with the object of their hopes and longings, they were eager to divest themselves of the cloak of corporeal form, and continued to press on towards martyrdom, until at length they obtained that which they sought. For "Whosoever strenuously seeketh aught assuredly findeth it." Of this class more than four hundred accepted the New Dispensation, and attained the lofty rank of martyrdom. Amongst these were:- Mullá319 Huseyn of Bushraweyh, and Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb320 (both divines of uncontested eminence); Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí of Zanján [whom men used to call 'the Proof of Islam'; Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí of Mázandarán, on whom the title of Jenáb-i-Kuddús was conferred]; MuIIá ‘Alí of Bistám; Mullá Sa‘íd of Bárfurúsh; Mullá Ni‘matu’lláh of Mázandarán; [Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Khálik of Yezd, one of the <232> disciples of Sheykh Ahmad, and a most illustrious theologian;] Mullá Yúsuf of Ardabíl; Mullá Mahdí of Khúy; Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Turshíz; Mullá Muhammad of Mahallát321; Mullá Mahdí of Kan322, Mullá Bákir [his brother]323; Sheykh Abú Turáb of Ashtahárd [, who was unique in his time]; [[Hájí]] Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Bákí of Káshán; [Áká Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Bákí, Head of the College]; Mullá Ja‘far of Káshán; Mulla Muhammad Sádik of Khurásán324; [[Mullá ‘Alí of Burkán;]]325 Mullá Yúsuf ‘Alí of Khúy; [Mírzá Muhammad Bákir]326 of Khurásán; Hájí Mullá Isma‘íl of Kum; Mírzá Kurbán-‘Alí [the philosopher]327; Mírzá Muhammad Huseyn [the philosopher]328 of Kirmán; Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí Nehrí of Isfahán; Mullá Muhammad Takí of Isfahán; Mullá Jalíl of Urúmiyya; Áká Seyyid Ahmad of Semnán; [Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Tabríz]; Mullá Sa‘id of Zirih-Kinár; Mírzá Muhammad Bákir of Herát; the Sheykh [[Ahmad]] of Ma‘múra; Mírzá Ahmad of Azghand; [[Mírzá Muhammad Bákir of Kán in Khurásán]]; Mullá Áká of Herát; Hájí Mírzá Hasan Rizaví; Mírzá Muhammad of Juveyn; Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Bákí of Gilán; [Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Wahháb of Khurásán;] Hájí [Mírzá] ‘Abdu’l-Majíd of Níshápúr; [Hájí Mírzá Jání of Káshán, and his brother Zabíh329]; Mullá <233> Ahmad of Hisár; Mullá ‘Abdu’lláh of Mahallát330; [[Mullá Muhammad of Mahallát ibid; Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí the son of Mullá Ahmad of Mahallát ibid]]; Mullá Hasan of Mahallát ibid [[the son of Mullá Muhammad Rizá]]; Mullá Hasan [[the son of Mullá Muhammad]]; Jenáb-i-Sheykh-i-‘Azím331; Mullá Najaf-‘Alí of Tabas; Mírzá Muhammad Takí of Kirmán]; and more than four hundred such others, including many whose names, since they are still alive, I have not considered it expedient to mention.

It seems a strange thing that, whereas in the eyes of the ecclesiastical and civil law any case is deemed to be sufficiently proved by the evidence of two righteous men, while on the testimony of four veracious witnesses the administrators of these laws unhesitatingly pronounce sentence - even of death - on one charged with heresy or brought within the operation of the Lex talionis, these same people are so steeped in heedlessness and prejudice that in this matter they disregard the testimony of four hundred witnesses of such virtue, integrity, and learning. Great heavens! More than four hundred eminent divines, remarkable alike for the soundness of their judgement and the extent of their learning, bear witness to the truth of His Holiness the First Point332, and, for the awakening of their fellow-men, sever all worldly ties, and willingly quaff the draught of martyrdom; and still these perverse and froward men continue to demand a sign, saying, "By what evidence can you shew that this man was the promised <234> Proof ?" Why, what evidence could be more conclusive than the mere existence of such witnesses? Whoever shall consider without prejudice the circumstances of these people, their earnest strivings after truth, the sublimity of their heroism and self-devotion, and what they wrought and suffered in Mázandarán, at Níríz, and at Zanján, will be convinced that there could be no testimony more conclusive, no argument more eloquent. Any unbiassed seeker after truth who will but meditate on these things in the spirit of the tradition, "Seek a decision from thy heart, even though he who is in error condemn thee," will unfailingly be illumined by the light of God...333 But such divines as sought only preferment and authority, and were blinded by their own vain imaginings, refused to recognize the promised Proof, demanding why a face had not appeared in the disc of the sun to announce the Manifestation, or why the ass of Antichrist had not come forth from the well in Isfahán; and these, in their blind prejudice and self-conceit, failed to apprehend alike the meaning of the signs and the true nature of the thing signified.

So, merely because the ass of Antichrist had not appeared, they denied the Manifestation of God Most High; and, on no better ground than the unfounded calumnies fabricated by froward and perverted men to the effect that the Bábís allowed nine husbands to one woman, and accounted things prohibited by the religion of Islám as lawful and right, pronounced virtuous and holy men to be sinners and heretics without further enquiry. Thus did they remain in darkness themselves, and also keep back the common folk from participating in the grace of God334. <235>

Third Class of Men - Ordinary Folk

The third class comprises the common folk, of whom such as considered the matter with even a little intelligence became convinced that one who, alone and unfriended, dared proclaim God's message to all with such unwavering courage and steadfastness, while well knowing that he was destined to fall a martyr to the malice of his adversaries in the very prime of manhood, must assuredly be sent and supported by God. For he himself foretold his own martyrdom in the following words335:- "It is as though I heard one crying within my soul, 'The most pleasing of all things is that thou shouldst become a ransom in the way of God, even as Huseyn (upon whom be peace) became a ransom in my way.' And were it not that I have regard to this mysterious truth, by Him in whose hand is my soul, were all the kings of the earth to unite together they could not take from me a single letter, much less could my servants, who are of no such account that they could attempt this, and who are indeed rejected..," until he says, "..that all may know the extent of my patience, and contentment, and self-sacrifice in the way of God." For, were it otherwise, so great a multitude of expert doctors and devout seekers after truth would assuredly not have accepted him as a Divine Manifestation, nor rapturously laid down their lives for love of his surpassing beauty and longing for union with him. For all must admit that these pious divines occupy the position of a touchstone or measure for the proving of his words, which touchstone or measure distinguishes base metal from true with unswerving and <236> unbiassed fidelity. So men of this class, influenced by such considerations, fell to making enquiry, and, according to the verse -

"Who seeks with diligence shall surely find,"

were ere long brought to a knowledge of that for which they sought. For God guideth such as enquire after truth and delivereth them from doubt, according to His promise, "Those who strive strenuously for Us, We will assuredly direct them into Our ways336." And such as have once been brought to embrace this wondrous faith do forthwith perceive for a surety that all the calumnies which they were wont to hear are devoid of foundation and originate solely in the malice of enemies, and that the Bábís are remarkable only for their devotion, charity, kindliness, purity, godliness, rectitude, sincerity, integrity, generosity, chastity, and strict avoidance of all forbidden things and actions injurious to their fellow-men. Thus it is that no one who hath once entered on this path can be diverted from it, even though all men should combine against him, or all the kingdoms of the world should be offered him as an equivalent. But such as slavishly follow formalist divines, and ignorantly await the fanciful appearance in the sun's disc of a form which shall cry, "O believers, be gladdened with the tidings of the Mahdí's advent!" wot not that while they lie lapped in careless slumber the Sun of Truth hath arisen and hath reached the zenith. Even so was it when the Sun of Jesus had filled the whole world with light, and such of the Jews as had eyes to see had followed and confessed Him, while others, learned and ignorant, rejected Him, saying, "Not so did Moses foretell the signs of his return; for he said, 'I will come down to you from the roof-top on a Friday night, and if I bid you <237> not observe the eve of Saturday, receive me not." So, because of the non-337appearance of the expected tokens, they remained cut off from the knowledge of him betokened, and continue till this day to wander erringly in the abyss of careless denial, while their exceeding wickedness and folly prompted them to inflict on that Incarnation of the Spirit cruelties too notorious to stand in need of enunciation. And so in like manner when the Sun of Muhammad's Truth shone forth from the heaven of Divine Grace, and all in whose hearts gleamed even a spark of the light of wisdom advanced to welcome him, the majority of the priests and laymen of that time rejected him, and demanded a sign, saying, "The Lord Jesus hath declared in the Gospel that He will descend from heaven" (after a certain fashion which they defined and conditioned), "and He must come riding on a cloud, and in His hand there will be a spear of light, and His head will be of gold, and His feet of molten metal;" and these are still expecting Christ to appear in such fanciful fashion as has just been described. So, in like manner, these clergy and laymen of the present day expect the appearance of the Ass of Antichrist and sundry other things which they have fondly imagined, thus remaining, like their predecessors, veiled from the appearance of the Sun of Truth by a parcel of fond superstitions, even as Mawláná Jalálu’d-Dín Rúmí says338 -

"O foolish man! Herein the mischief lies:

God's saints appear mere mortals in thine eyes.

E'en as accursed Iblís thou dost say,

'I am of fire, and Adam naught but clay!" <238>

To pursue this topic further would, however, unduly prolong our history, so we must return from the digression into which we were led by a consideration of the sincere devotion and faith of certain of the horsemen who formed the escort of His Holiness. To continue, then. The guards who conveyed His Holiness to Mákú returned as soon as they had accomplished their duty. Hájí Mírzá Ákásí had written to ‘Alí Khán the warden of Mákú charging him to keep His Holiness the Báb in the closest custody, and not to suffer him to communicate or correspond with anyone. His Holiness was therefore lodged in the Castle of Mákú, which is situated on a mountain, and none were permitted to approach him. Yet, notwithstanding this, whenever His Holiness desired to see anyone, sentinels and gaolers were alike powerless to thwart the accomplishment of his wishes, and numbers who flocked in from every quarter were honoured by admission to his presence. Even ‘Alí Khán, who was remarkable for his dulness and lack of apprehension, used to wait on him daily, though the steepness of the ascent from his house to the Castle was such that it was necessary to go on foot. And whenever he was questioned about the Báb, he would answer, "I am too dull to comprehend his words fully, but I am filled with wonder at his dignity, for whenever I go to see him the majesty and glory of his presence so profoundly affects me that, though he is a prisoner committed to my charge, I am involuntarily compelled to withdraw."

So great multitudes continued to come from all quarters to visit the Báb, 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. <239>

[[Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Wahháb of Khurásán, who was subsequently known as Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Jawád, made the following statement:- "While His Holiness was dwelling at Mákú we reckoned up the verses, epistles, prayers, supplications, homilies, treatises in Arabic and Persian, commentaries on the Kur’án, and forms of visitation, and found that they exceeded a million verses."]]

Báb Moved to Chihrík

For nearly three years the Báb abode at Mákú339. But at length Hájí Mírzá Ákásí discovered that he was still visited by his followers, and that his writings (comprising exhortations, admonitions, proofs of the truth of his doctrines, homilies, and prayers) continued to circulate, some of them even finding their way to himself and to the king. In some of these last, moreover, complaints were made of his attempts to suppress the preaching of the Word. One of these complaints is known as "the Sermon of Wrath340," and whoever shall peruse it will apprehend the true meaning of spiritual power.

So, to be brief, Hájí Mírzá Ákásí wrote to ‘Alí Khán strictly enjoining him to keep a most diligent watch over the Báb and not to allow him to send out any more of his writings. But all attempts to prevent this proved futile, and at length ‘Alí Khán wrote to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí declaring his inability to carry out his instructions. So orders were issued by the Minister of His Majesty the Vicar of God for the removal of His Holiness to the Castle of Chihrík and the custody of its warden Yahyá Khán. Just as the Báb was mounting the horse provided for his conveyance thither, ‘Alí Khán came out to make his apologies. "I never desired this change," said he, "for I am <240> loth to be debarred from the privilege of waiting upon Your Holiness." "Wherefore dost thou seek to deceive me?" answered the Báb, "thou didst thyself write <to Hájí Mírzá Ákásí>, and dost thou now seek to excuse thyself?" Then he set out for the Castle of Chihrík.

The Castle of Chihrík is situated not far from the town of Urúmiyya, of which place Yahyá Khán was at this time the governor. Some time before his removal thither was decided upon, the Báb had instructed <Mullá> Sheykh ‘Alí (better known as <Jenáb-i-> ‘Azím) to proceed to Urúmiyya, and there to abide. After it had been arranged that His Holiness should be transferred to Chihrík, on the very night which preceded the day of his arrival, Yahyá Khán saw His Holiness in a dream. Next morning he made known this matter to Sheykh-i-‘Azím, adding, "If when I see His Holiness I find that his appearance and visage correspond with what I beheld in my dream, I shall be convinced that he is in truth the promised Proof." His Holiness chanced to arrive that very day, and, at the first glance, Yahyá Khán instantly recognized him as identical with the saint whom he had beheld in his dream. Involuntarily he bent down in obeisance and kissed the knee of His Holiness, whom he then brought in to his own house. Thenceforth he would never seat himself in the Báb's presence until he had received permission, and when His Holiness had been to the bath he bought the water in which he had washed for eighty túmáns.

Notwithstanding the rigorous prohibition of Hájí Mírzá Ákásí, the followers and friends of His Holiness continued to hold communication with him, even after his removal to Chihrík, and many persons in the surrounding district were converted to his doctrines. And Yahyá Khán, so long as he was warden, maintained towards him an attitude of unvarying respect and deference. <241>

Bab Declares as Qá’im; the Indian Believer

It was during his sojourn at Chihrík, too, that the Báb, having due regard to the exigencies of the time, the dictates of expediency, and the capacity of men, declared himself to be the Ká’im341; though some think that he made this declaration during the latter days of his residence at Mákú. At all events, this announcement was proclaimed through the region of Turkistán342 by the "Indian believer," concerning whom Hájí Mírzá Jání has written a long account343, whereof the substance is in brief as follows. He belonged to a noble Indian family, and was remarkable alike for his sober and abstemious habits, his piety, and his manifold virtues. He was diligent in all good works enjoined in sacred tradition, and at length, in the course of his search after truth, came to Persia. No sooner did he hear tidings of the Manifestation of His Holiness than he set out for Chihrík to enquire into the matter. This occurred at the time when the Báb had declared himself to be the Ká’im, and when such radiance of might and majesty streamed from his countenance that none could bear to look upon the effulgences of his glory and beauty. Áká Seyyid Hasan, the brother of Áká Seyyid Huseyn, was unable to gaze upon the splendours apparent in the visage of His Holiness, while even Seyyid Huseyn himself would not eat before him nor enter the blessed Presence without first asking permission. Nor was it an uncommon occurrence even for unbelievers involuntarily to bow down in lowly obeisance on beholding His Holiness; while the inmates of <242> the castle, though for the most part Christians344 or Sunnis, reverently prostrated themselves whenever they saw the visage of His Holiness appear resplendent over the walls of the building. In short, at no previous time had the serene and awful beauty of that noble countenance exercised so irresistible an attraction over all who came within the sphere of its influence. No sooner, then, did the "Indian believer," as he approached the building, catch sight of the face of His Holiness, than he involuntarily exclaimed, "This is my Lord!345" and fell swooning on the ground. On coming to his senses he wept much, and, the glory of that divine apparition irradiating a heart clear and receptive as a mirror, began to chaunt the words, "I am the Ká’im become manifest," and, like Mansúr346, to cry out, "I am the Truth!"

"E'en as the ruby, which, at first a stone,

Sunlike by drinking in the sun hath grown.

It grows in light; its stony nature goes;

Throughout its substance light and sunshine flows347." <243>

Now when the "Indian believer" returned to his lodging in this state of rapture and exaltation, his companions saw that -

"An atom to a radiant sun was changed,"

whereat they marvelled much, and sought to do him service in all humility. In his company they went to Salmás; and to so lofty a degree of spirituality did they attain that they found themselves able to dispense with solid food, and, for a period of forty days, took no nutriment save a little rose-water and sugar. He, meanwhile, continued to expound the most subtle mysteries of the Divine Unity, and the nature of the Ká’im, in so transcendental a manner that the keenest intellects were unable to follow his thought. Not only mystics, but learned scholars, overcome with wonder at his condition, submitted to the influence of his attraction.

When tidings of this reached the governor of Khúy, he, fearful of a popular tumult, and the censure which such an event would bring down on him from the king, caused the "Indian believer" to be arrested and brought before him, together with two of his companions, Sheykh Sálih the Arab and Mullá Huseyn of Khurásán, both of whom were disciples of His Supreme Holiness. Yet still the "Indian believer," like Mansúr, ceased not to cry, "I am the Truth," and to declare his intention of preaching and proclaiming <244> the new faith. At length, by order of the governor, these upright men were cast down in the dust of tribulation, and blows were rained on the feet which had walked so steadfastly with the rods which are the portion of faithful lovers, until Sheykh Sálih the Arab yielded up his spirit to Him who is the Creator of souls. But though they continued to beat the others in hopes of making them deny the faith which they had confessed, they persistently refused to do so, saying, "We are not such hypocrites that suffering and torture can make us deny the truth." So at length they shaved the heads of those chiefs of the children of wisdom, mounted them on asses, and paraded them through the town, crying, "This is the recompense of seekers after truth, and of such as would attain to union with the True Beloved, who shut their eyes to all other considerations, and erase name and fame from the tablet of their being: be admonished, therefore, O people of discernment!"

Seyyid Basír

[Account of Jenáb-i-Basír, a saintly and noble mystic of India, endowed with wonderful and miraculous powers and faculties.]

Another Indian convert was Seyyid Basír, a man of unequalled virtue and learning, endowed with many wonderful gifts and miraculous faculties. Many were the souls whom he awoke to life and directed into the right way, and many the perverted scoffers whom he persuaded to accept the truth and raised to the degree of perfection; for he drew to him like a magnet all such as were susceptible to his holy influence. Although the late Hájí Mírzá Jání has written but a brief summary of his virtues, even one tenth part of what he has written would suffice to form a separate volume. The substance of the matter, however, is as follows. His Reverence was of the family <245> of Áká Seyyid Jalál the Indian, an eminent and holy mystic, to whom the Dághdárí348 dervishes (who are represented even within the confines of Persia) trace back their order. This family enjoys a high degree of consideration in India, for from of old the saints of the aforesaid order have always sprung from them, and the number of their disciples is enormous.

From his childhood Seyyid Basír shewed signs of the wonderful faculties which he afterwards manifested. For seven years349 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 sums of money in charity to the poor, submitting himself the while to the most rigorous religious discipline. And since his ancestors had foretold that in those days a Perfect Man should appear in Persia, he was continually engaged in making enquiries. He visited Mecca, and, after performing the rites of the pilgrimage, proceeded to the holy shrines of Kerbelá and Nejef, where he met with the late Hájí Seyyid Kázim, for whom he conceived a sincere friendship. He then returned to India; but, on reaching Bombay, he heard that <246> one claiming to be the Báb had appeared in Persia, whereupon he at once turned back thither.

Meets the Báb at Mecca

On reaching Persia <for the second time>, he found that His Holiness had gone to Mecca350. Impatient of further delay he followed him thither, and at length enjoyed the privilege of meeting him in the Holy Sanctuary. Blind as he was, the eye of his heart saw for a surety that the Báb's claim to be the Ká’im was a true one, and he ascended to the most sublime heights of faith and assurance.

After a while he returned by sea to Persia, through which he travelled, preaching God's Word with due circumspection and caution, perfecting the defective, and directing the erring. His words went home to the hearts of all seekers after truth, for he was as remarkable for his learning as he was for his virtue, and was well versed in Medicine, Astronomy, Divination, and other sciences351. He was also thoroughly acquainted with the doctrines of the mystics, and proficient in several languages. So, in every town and hamlet which he visited, his influence brought many learned and pious persons into the way of salvation, for he exercised a marvellous power of attraction over all with whom he came in contact [including the author]; and so numerous were the prodigies and miracles which he wrought that one may say without exaggeration that his every action was in some sort a miracle. [Thus, amongst other things, he paid no heed to the attempts made to <247> win over the faithful to Ezel, who was a mute352, and believed in Behá353 (the soul of the universe be his sacrifice!)354 before he revealed himself.]

When the strife waxed hot in Mázandarán, Seyyid Basír proceeded to the district of Núr, intending to join [the martyrs; but, because of the close investment of the Castle, and because, moreover, his time to die was not yet come, he was unable to carry out his design. After the catastrophe he went to ‘Irák, preaching the doctrine everywhere, until he was arrested in Burújird by the Prince- Governor, who, because he was so ready of speech and eloquent in discourse, first ordered his tongue to be cut out, and then put him to death.]355

In such devoted and faithful believers as these one may indeed say that the blessed verse, "Invoke death then, if ye be faithful356" finds its fulfilment; for they, being at the time of their capture no more than 313 in number, saw the whole power of the King directed, with the sanction of the clergy, towards the extermination of all who professed the faith which they held; saw themselves girt about by thousands of blood-thirsty soldiers provided with death-dealing artillery and all munitions of war; saw every avenue of escape closed, and themselves made targets for <248> the shots of their ruthless enemies; and yet continued without abatement or remission to hurl themselves on destruction, and to court the fate which had already overtaken their comrades. Such courage, steadfastness, devotion, and eager striving after martyrdom appear to some persons easy enough, so long as it is only a question of talking about them; and those whom prejudice has blinded regard this heroic episode as they would a mere idle tale or childish game; whereas, could they have actually witnessed the deeds of these men, it would have been clear and evident to them that such courage and endurance transcend the power of all men save the greatest prophets and saints. The illustrious companions of the Prophet, seeing ‘Alí wronged and robbed of his rights, repeatedly urged him to assert his claims, saying, "Why, in spite of your signal courage and brilliant abilities, do you suffer others to usurp the Caliphate, and to do injury to the faith and the law, while you sit quietly at home ?" ‘Alí answered, "As you have determined to devote yourselves to God's cause and to give me your help, come to me tomorrow with your heads shaven and your drawn swords over your shoulders, that we may fight with unflinching courage for God's cause and our own rights." His companions, who were the very best of the people of that time, were ready enough in word, and were so full of hope and confidence that they declared themselves ready to die for one before whom they accounted themselves as nothing. But when it came to deeds and they were put to the proof, all their pretensions proved vain, and it became apparent that their devotion was only verbal, not actual. Four of them, however, did actually come in obedience to ‘Alí's command. Of these, three had shaved off a little of the hair at the sides of their heads, and concealed the rest under their turbans; while Salmán, though he had shaved his whole head, had girded on his <249> sword under his cloak. When ‘Alí saw this, he said, "How can you, who would not even give up the hair on your heads, forsake life, possessions, wife, and children? The reason why I sit silent in my house and bear all these slights and injuries while others usurp the Caliphate is that I have no friend on whom I can rely, and see devotion and constancy in none of my adherents. In word they are ready enough; but when it comes to deeds they flee as they have done to-day, and will not sacrifice even a hair of their heads!" Yet these same disciples regarded themselves as incontestably superior to all peoples and nations, even accounting themselves more excellent than the prophets of olden time. Anyone who will put aside prejudice, and fairly weigh their deeds with those of the Bábís, will perceive that they differ as earth from heaven, or truth from fiction. Of such persons <as the Bábí champions> it may indeed be said, "The doctors of my church are more excellent than the prophets of the Children of Israel," for they are the very crown of creation, bright gems of God, the desire of the saints, the elect of the prophets, such as were intended by the holy Imáms when they said, "Had we but seven (or, according to other traditions, seventeen) helpers, we would publicly advance our claim!"

[But let us proceed to narrate the history of the Seven Martyrs, each of whom represented a different class, to which his martyrdom was the completion of the proof, and all of whom were conspicuous for their piety and virtue.]357 <250>

Seven Martyrs

<The Seven Martyrs.>

The death of the Seven Martyrs358 took place after the episode of the Indian Believer, and blotted out from the hearts of friends all recollection of [[previous]] events.

"Love's sorrow came and swept away the sorrow of the world."

Their faithfulness, constancy, and devotion, apart from all other proof or evidence, was a worthy and sufficient demonstration of the truth of that for which they suffered; by their actions the very essence of love was made manifest in the world; and in their martyrdom the true meaning of faith and devotion was revealed to all discerning persons. In pure spite the enemies of God would have quenched the lamp of believers and friends by means of the blasts of persecution, but, according to the verse, "They desire to put out the light of God with their mouths, but God will not have it but that we should perfect His light, averse though the misbelievers be359," their devilish designs had the opposite effect to what they intended.

"A foeman's act may turn to good, if such be God's design."

So God, in despite of these malicious enemies, made these men as it were a candle of guidance and wisdom, which burned but the brighter for decapitation360, and was preserved by extinction361; for the drops of their blood were as <251> seed for the extension of the faith, and from each drop which fell to the ground sprung forth a tree, whose leaves were the children of wisdom, and its fruit believers in the Divine Unity.

"Still, however many be the lovers

His incomparable beauty slays,

Ever there appears another cohort

Ready from the dust their heads to raise."

To proceed with our narrative. Certain malicious and evilly-disposed persons represented to Mírzá Muhammad Takí Khán the Prime Minister that the Bábís were meditating a fresh rebellion. He, remembering the Mázandarán insurrection and the stubborn courage which the Bábís then displayed, was filled with apprehensions, and ordered suspected persons to be arrested. His myrmidons poured forth in every direction on their cruel errand, and, after infinite exertions, succeeded in capturing thirty-eight persons, some of whom were only suspected of sympathizing with the Bábís. Without stopping to reflect that so small a number of men could not possibly raise an insurrection, the Minister cast them all into prison.

After some days it was decided, by his command, that such of the prisoners as would renounce the Bábí faith and speak evil of its Founder should be released, while such as confessed it should forthwith suffer death. When word of this was brought to the prisoners, Hájí Mullá Isma’íl of Kum, a divine of Kerbelá conspicuous for his virtue and learning, who was accounted one of the chiefs of the faithful and had been most strenuous in the service of God's cause, on whose part, moreover, many strange matters had been witnessed at the Meeting of Badasht362, thus addressed his companions:- " I, for my part, am resolved to confess my <252> faith and lay down my life; for if we fail to proclaim the advent of the Ká’im, who else will proclaim it? And if we fail to direct men into the right way, to tear asunder the veils of their heedlessness, to arouse them from the slumber of sloth, to demonstrate to them the worthlessness of this transitory world, and to give active testimony to the truth of this most high and most ineffable faith, who else will do so? Let everyone, then, who is able to acquit himself of this obligation come forth in all steadfastness and bear me company; while such as are hindered by private reasons, and such as are falsely suspected <of holding our faith> are excused, and may act as seems to them right." Therefore six, who were faithful believers, said, "We will bear you company on this journey;" while the rest, some of whom were not perfect in faith, and some of whom, being falsely suspected, were excused, determined to adopt a course of concealment363. And these seven faithful lovers and loyal friends [, who were the <seven hornless> goats of the much-wronged Lord of the Age,] <were> Hájí Mullá Isma’íl of Kum, Hájí Mírzá Seyyid ‘Alí, the maternal uncle of His Supreme Holiness, Mírzá Kurbán-‘Alí the dervish, Áká Seyyid Huseyn [[the mujtahid]] of Turshíz, [Hájí] Mullá Takí of Kirmán, Mírzá Muhammad [[Huseyn]]364 of Tabríz, [[and another, a native of Marágha.]]

So [those who recanted were set free, while those who made confession of their faith]365 were led forth on the morrow to the square366 to die. On their way thither the <253> spectators reviled them and cast stones at them, saying, "These are Bábís and madmen!" Mullá Isma‘íl answered, "Yes, we are Bábís, but mad we are not. By Alláh, O people, it is to awaken and enlighten you that we have forsaken life, wealth, wife, and child, and have shut our eyes on the world and such as dwell therein, that perchance ye may be admonished, may escape from confusion and error, may be led to make enquiry, may rightly apprehend the truth, and may no longer remain veiled."

Now when they were ready to begin their <work of> decapitation and slaughter, and it was Hájí <Mullá Isma‘íl>'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]]367 saying, 'I am not a Bábí,' 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]368 further pressed and greatly importuned, he drew himself up to his full height amidst the crowd, and exclaimed, so that all might hear,-

"Zephyr, prythee bear for me a message

To that Ishmael369 who was not slain,

'Living from the street of the Beloved

Love permits not to return again'." <254>

Then he removed his turban from his head and said to the headsman, "Do thy work"; and the headsman, filled with wonder, made him quaff the cup of martyrdom.

Mírzá Kurbán-‘Alí was famous amongst mystics and dervishes, and had many friends and disciples in Teherán, besides being well known to most of the nobles and chief men, and even to the Sháh's mother370. She, because of her friendship for him and the compassion she felt for his plight, said to His Majesty the King371, "He is no Bábí, 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. When he was brought to the foot of the execution-pole, the headsman raised his sword and smote him on the neck from behind. The blow only bowed his head, <255> 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 every one capable of emotion by reciting this verse -

"'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 throws372!'"

When the spectators saw and heard this, a murmur of sympathy arose from them, and the headsman with all haste smote him another blow which severed his head from his body.

Seyyid Huseyn of Turshíz

[Account of Áká Seyyid Huseyn <of Turshíz>, the mujtahid.]

Now as to Áká Seyyid Huseyn [[the mujtahid]], he had but recently returned from Kerbelá; and all the divines of that place had testified in writing that he had duly qualified himself for the rank of mujtahid. So, after an absence of several years, he set out <thence> for his native land to visit his relations and family. In Teherán, however, he met with the "Brethren of Purity373," became their fellow-traveller, returned to his true home in the Eternal World, forsook all hope of revisiting his home and kindred, and eagerly quaffed the draught of martyrdom.

Seyyid ‘Alí, Uncle of the Báb

[Account of <the death of> Áká Seyyid ‘Alí, who was the maternal uncle of His Supreme Holiness, and who laid down his Iife in Teherán.]

Now as to the Báb's uncle, he, with his aged hands, removed the turban from his head, and, raising his face <256> towards the heaven of God's justice and glory, said, "O God, Thou art witness how they are about to slay the son of Thy most noble Prophet [, and how they kill Thy faithful servants as infidels, themselves claiming to be the votaries of religion]."

A certain merchant offered to give three hundred túmáns if they would spare his life and set him free, but he would not consent, saying, "My sole desire is martyrdom, and the attainment of this happiness. The bonds of our service and devotion are too firm to be severed by the swords or the threats of tyranny, and the chain of our steadfast love is too strong to be snapped by such jerks as these." Then he turned his face towards the headsman and said,

"I am already dead with parting's pain;

Kill me, that love may make me live again!374"

Remaing Three

[Account of the slaughter of the other three, and how ‘Alí Khán the Hájibu’d-Dawla sought to persuade that comely youth <to recant> by the promise of a pension and the offer of his daughter's hand.]

Then they caused the other three victims to attain their desire in like manner. Hájí ‘Alí Khán the Hájibu’d-Dawla375 thus described what took place to one of his intimate friends, with many expressions of astonishment:-

"His Majesty the King, in view of certain contingencies, instructed me to be present at the execution of these persons. When I reached the spot appointed for the <257> execution, I noticed amongst the seven prisoners a young Seyyid of comely and pleasing countenance376. So fair of face and attractive of aspect was he, that my heart was moved to pity at his plight, and I fell to wondering whether it were possible in any way to save him from death, and, for God's sake, to prevent him from being thus cut off in the prime of his youth. [[So when four or five of the others had been put to death,]] I called him to my side and whispered in his ear, 'Come, recant; for I swear by the crown377 of His Majesty the King that <if you will but do so> naught that you can desire or hope for shall be withheld from you. I will present you to His Majesty the King and will obtain for you <from him> a pension and allowance of five hundred túmáns a year.' I saw him look wonderingly at me, and I continued, 'If you will instantly forsake this path, I will buy for you a fine house, and will give you my daughter in marriage, together with much riches.' Having listened to all these inducements, he answered, 'Tempt me not with your beautiful daughter and the perishable wealth of this world; we readily relinquish the world and the things thereof to you and such others as seek after them. For us it sufficeth to drain this draught of martyrdom in the way of the Beloved -

"The thought of the Beloved fills my Spirit,

There is not left for aught beside a place;

Let the foeman take the Here and the Hereafter;

Enough for me to see the Loved One's face!"'

[[When I heard him speak thus, and]]378 saw that he <258> was not to be persuaded, I smote him on the mouth, and bade them kill him before the rest."

Now <when all was over> the heedless rabble foully entreated the lifeless corpses of those holy martyrs, spitting upon them, casting stones at them, and reviling them, saying, "This is the reward of lovers and pilgrims on the path of wisdom and truth!" Neither would they suffer them to be buried in the cemetery; wherefore they dug a pit hard by the solitary brick tower which stands outside the Gate of Sháhzádé ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím, so that one sign marked the spot where those seven planets had set379.

All persons of intelligence and discernment who attentively and fairly consider the matter will admit that never in any previous age has the like of this event taken place, and that in no history is so remarkable an episode recorded, to wit that seven men should thus readily and eagerly agree and consent to lay down their lives for the diffusion of God's Word. I glory in Him whose controlling power could obtain so absolute a sway over the hearts of these men that they were brought to regard all in the world save His countenance as transitory and unreal; and who so intoxicated them with the wine of Divine love and wisdom that they forgot all beside Him! For concerning the [defenders of <Sheykh> Tabarsí and Zanján]380 certain of the <259> malignants asserted that they aimed at the supreme power, and being, as it were, caught in a trap, had no choice <but to fight>. [[And concerning the "Indian believer," likewise, some captious sceptics say that he was by habit a dervish, and was intoxicated and crazy with opium]]381. Therefore did He who orders the courses of the worlds determine a design whereof the waters of doubt should be unable to obliterate a single letter, and cause these seven to consent and combine with one accord in bearing active testimony to the truth of His doctrine and the reality of His revelation. The witness which they bore was without flaw or fault. They unflinchingly consummated their martyrdom in the Royal Square382 of the Capital of Persia, wherein reside representatives and ambassadors of every state and sovereign, through whom true accounts of the matter would reach all nations and governments; and they were one and all men of mark and chiefs in their respective classes. This was in order that the proof might be fulfilled to all peoples, and that room for objection might remain to none.

Thus Hájí Mullá Isma‘íl was one of the most learned divines of Kum, noted everywhere, but especially in Kerbelá, for his austere and virtuous life, so that those who knew him were wont to declare that such godliness, self-restraint, piety, and integrity they had observed in no one else. They also narrated many instances of the wonderful powers which he could exert over objects, and the prodigies which <260> they had seen him perform. He foretold the manner of his martyrdom some time before it took place, and used to sleep no more than two hours each night, being engaged until morning in supplications and supererogatory prayers which he would never omit. He had many disciples, and, without being constrained by lack of means, travelled eighty stages on foot to proclaim the doctrine of His Holiness.

Mírzá Kurbán ‘Alí was an aged dervish, who had travelled much, seen the world, and mixed with all classes and sects, until he had completed his experience, and become thoroughly acquainted with all. Thus strenuously pursuing his enquiries, he had at length found in this faith that for which he sought. He had disciples of every nation and every sect; his temperament was as enthusiastic as his judgement was sound; his virtues equalled his accomplishments; and, alike in morals and manners, he was incomparable. Many strange virtues and powers were witnessed in him, and during the few days which he passed in the prison he won the devotion and praise of most of his fellow-captives. On the last night preceding his death he remained awake till morning, continually reciting verses appropriate to the occasion, amongst which was the following:-

"Thou'rt interminable, sombre, and disordered,

Night of Parting, like the tresses of the Friend;

Art beyond the reach of Time, O Night of Parting?

For Time and Life speed onward to their end."

In short, during that night he continued in a state of ecstasy and exaltation which baffles description, and filled all who witnessed it with boundless wonder.

Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Turshíz was an eminently learned and pious divine, who united knowledge with practice, and was endowed with all the characteristics of virtue. Most jurisconsults [and grammarians] have given some <261> account of his circumstances <in their books>, and all men of learning admit his scholarship, which, indeed, can no more be denied than his virtue. <This was so ordained in order> that he might be a witness to the clergy, and that they should not be able to say, "He was but a common man, who, through ignorance and lack of judgement, fell into error and heresy." [He likewise shewed a degree of disinterested devotion which plunged all thoughtful persons in amazement, in that, after years of study, he disregarded love of home, worldly ambition, authority, wealth, and position, and willingly quaffed the draught of martyrdom.]

Hájí Seyyid ‘Alí, the maternal uncle <of the Báb>, was an aged merchant who had seen the world and enjoyed universal respect, for he was famed for his piety and godliness, [[besides being a descendant of the Prophet, and the uncle of His Supreme Holiness. When he decided to set out from Shíráz and Yezd to lay down his life for the sake of God and for love of the Beloved of the World, he examined all his accounts, and went in person to the houses of all to whom he owed money to pay them their dues, demand quittance and absolution, and bid them a last farewell. So, in like manner, did he take leave of all his friends and relatives one by one, after which he set out for the capital, intending to proceed to Ázarbaijan to wait on His Holiness.]] So he sacrificed life and wealth in the service of His Holiness, [and in his old age suffered death for the Beloved's sake,] that his act might serve as a witness to all merchants, and that they might know that he, having watched over and tended the Báb from infancy to boyhood, and thence onwards until the Manifestation was vouchsafed, had beheld in him virtues and powers never before seen in man, whereby he was led to devote himself to his service, and lay down life for his sake; else would <262> he never have courted death with such readiness, or met it with such fortitude. It is, therefore, certain that he was irresistibly drawn to His Holiness by beholding the miraculous faculties which he constantly displayed.

On Uncle of the Bab and the Childhood of the Báb

[Thus at the moment of his birth he exclaimed, "The Kingdom is God's383". And in his boyhood they sent him to be taught his lessons by Sheykh ‘Ábid, an accomplished scholar and a godly man, who was one of the disciples of Sheykh Ahmad <of Ahsá>, and subsequently became an ardent believer in His Holiness. Amongst other anecdotes of the Báb's boyhood which he used to relate, one was as follows. "The first day that they brought him to me at the school, I wrote down the alphabet for him to learn, as is customary with children. After a while I went out on business. On my return, I heard, as I approached the room, someone reading the Kur’án in a sweet and plaintive voice. Filled with astonishment, I entered the room and enquired who had been reading the Kur’án. The other children answered <pointing to His Holiness> 'He was.' 'Have you read the Kur’án?' I asked. He was silent. 'It is best for you to read Persian books,' said I, putting the Hákku’l-Yakín384 before him, 'read from this.' At whatever page I opened it, I saw that he could read it easily. 'You have read Persian,' said I; 'Come, read some Arabic; that will be better.' So saying, I placed <263> before him the Sharh-i-amthila385. When I began to explain the meaning of the Bismi’lláh to the pupils in the customary manner, he asked, 'Why does the word Rahmán include both believers and infidels, while the word Rahím applies only to believers?' I replied, 'Wise men have a rule to the effect that <extension of form implies>386 extension of meaning387, and Rahmán contains one letter more that Rahím.' He answered, 'Either this rule is a mistake, or else that tradition which you refer to ‘Alí is a lie.' 'What tradition?' I asked. 'The tradition,' replied he, 'which declares that King of Holiness to have said:- "The meanings of all the Sacred Books are in the Kur’án, and the meanings of the whole Kur’án are in the Súratu’l-Fátiha, and the meanings of the whole Súratu’l-Fátiha are in the Bismi’lláh, and the whole meaning of the Bismi’lláh is in the <initial letter> B, and the meaning of the B is in the point <under the B>, and the point is inexplicable."' On hearing him reason thus subtilely I was speechless with amazement, and led him back to his home. His venerable grandmother came to the door. I said to her, 'I cannot undertake the instruction of this young gentleman,' and told her in full all that had passed. Addressing him, she said, 'Will you not cease to speak after this fashion? What business have you with such matters? Go and learn your lessons.' 'Very well,' he answered, and came and began to learn his lessons like the other boys. <264> He even began with the alphabet, although I urged him not to do so. One day I saw him talking in a whisper to the boy who sat next him, but when I would have listened he was silent. Then I pretended to pay no heed to what he was saying, though in reality I listened attentively, and I heard him say to the other boy, 'I am so light that, if I liked, I could fly up beyond the Throne388; would you like me to go?' So saying, he made a movement from the ground. As he said 'would you like me to go?' and made this movement, I smiled in wonder and bewilderment, and as I did so he suddenly ceased speaking. So likewise, before he had begun to practise writing, I observed that every day he used to bring with him a pen-case and engage in writing something. I thought to myself, 'He sees the other boys writing, and, wishing to write too, draws lines like them, and scribbles on the paper.' For several days he continued to act thus, until one day I took the paper from him to see what he was doing. On glancing at it I saw that he had actually written something. Wondering how, without having practised, he could write, I proceeded to examine what he had written, and found it to be a dissertation on the mystery and knowledge of the Divine Unity, written in the purest and most eloquent style, and so profound that the keenest intellect would fail to penetrate its <whole> meaning." Áká Seyyid Yahyá and Jenáb-i-Azím389 saw these writings in the possession of the aforesaid <Sheykh ‘Ábid>, and declared that they contained nearly four thousand verses, which differed in no respect from what was written after the Manifestation.]

Thus, even in his childhood, signs of the Báb's holiness, majesty, and lofty rank were apparent, [so that, for instance, <265> as a boy he used to predict of pregnant women whether they would bring forth a male or a female infant, besides foretelling many chance occurrences, such as earthquakes and the ruin of certain places, as they actually took place, to relate which things fully would lead us too far from the matter in hand.] Our chief point, however, is that persons so virtuous and reasonable <as these> would not have been so convinced <of the truth of the Báb's claim> as thus willingly and joyfully to forego life, wealth, fame, name, wife, and child, unless they had observed in that Proof of God the clearest evidences of Divine powers and qualities. This especially applies to the <Báb's> maternal uncle <Hájí Seyyid ‘Alí>, who, though filled with wonder at the miraculous powers which he observed in His Holiness even as a child, did nevertheless pause to make earnest and diligent enquiry after the Manifestation took place ere he became fully convinced of its truth. But this conviction, once attained, was so firm that, as has been mentioned, his steadfast resolve to devote his life to the cause could not be shaken, though one would have given three hundred túmáns to save him from death; but he would not consent, and said, "I regard martyrdom as the greatest happiness and honour to which it is possible for me to attain, and my utmost ambition is to lay down my life in the way of the Beloved390".

On the Other Martyrs

Hájí Mullá Takí, who was both a merchant and a scholar, was a man of remarkable piety and a native of Kirmán, where his godliness, integrity, intelligence, virtue, and wisdom were admitted by all, and where he had not a few devoted admirers. His testimony, therefore, appeals especially to all devout and godly persons.

Digression on the Proof of their Constancy

As for the two others, one [was Mírzá Huseyn of <266> Tabríz, the comely and devoted youth whom Hájí ‘Alí Khán sought to tempt391, and his testimony was a proof to courtiers and government officials;]392 and the other belonged to the class of tradespeople, and was a witness to all such. And one cannot assert that these seven were madmen devoid of understanding and sense; or that they aimed at the supreme power; or that they were entrapped without means of escape; for, had they not voluntarily confessed, they would have been spared, and, even after they had made confession, each one, as has been described, was offered a chance of deliverance, and all alike refused it. So they wrought a deed such as human endurance had never before compassed; yet, notwithstanding this, men blinded by prejudice and passion charge them with heresy and error, not reflecting that no one abandons life and wealth, and disregards fame, repute, consideration, wife, and children without good cause and reason! The disciples of ‘Alí393, as has been already mentioned, were not willing to abandon the hair of their heads, much less their lives. Wherein did these men, who had for five consecutive years striven after truth, fall short in endeavour? Did they not go from town to town, seeking knowledge of that promised Proof? Did they not endure the hardships of exile, and the persecution of foes? Did they not bear patiently every kind of affliction, trouble, and sorrow? And, when they had learned the truth, did they not, unlike those who would not give up so much as the hair upon their heads, sacrifice all, even life itself, for the <267> Beloved of the World? If these were not rightly guided by God's grace, then no one in the world deserves to receive guidance; and if God did not direct seekers so strenuous and so sincere as these, then (God forgive us for speaking thus!) He would have broken His promise, and "God breaketh not His promise394". For it is incumbent on His grace and mercy to deliver souls so strenuous in the search after truth from doubt and error, to guide them into the way of salvation, and to raise them to the highest degree of certainty and knowledge. So, after the death of these Seven Martyrs, all wise and discerning persons, who heard what fortitude and steadfastness they had shewn in their captivity and martyrdom, clearly perceived that devotion such as this could not exist without a sufficient reason, and that an event of such magnitude could not be regarded as a trivial matter. Such persons, therefore, fell to making enquiry; and a great number of them crossed the bridge395 of doubt, reached the haven of assurance, were invested with the robe of faith and right guidance, and, in turn, effected the conversion and salvation of many others. But in others, by reason of their lack of fairness, was realized the meaning of the verse, "They recognize the favours of God, and yet they deny them396".

Now these seven saints were the seven hornless goats which, agreeably to a well-accredited tradition, are to appear in Mecca before His Holiness <the Imám Mahdí>. <268> And, since these are a sign of the Manifestation, therefore such as were anxiously expecting its advent truly and sincerely believed with great joy. For the holy Imáms (upon whom be peace) have said, "Nahnu’r-rá‘í, wa shí‘átuná ghanam," that is to say, "We are the shepherd, and our followers are the flock, which we pasture in the spacious meadow of wisdom, and preserve from the claws of the wolf of ignorance and folly." [Now the interpretation of this saying, that His Holiness the Ká’im shall cause his flock to appear in the land of Mecca, is that by Mecca the land of Belief in the Divine Unity is intended; for this it is which especially appertaineth to God. And the source and home of this belief is the heart, even as God says:- "Neither my earth nor my heaven sufficeth for me, but only the heart of my faithful servant." So the true House of God is the heart; it is the mirror of God, and in it Divine Inspiration appears. This subject requires a lengthy explanation, which will be given in its proper place.] And what is meant by their saying "the goats have no horns" is, briefly, that they suffer wrong, that is to say that they neither struggle nor resist. The sayings of the Imáms contain many meanings which these formalist doctors are unable to penetrate, even as they have failed to comprehend this tradition; wherefore, through lack of sense and discernment, they do both keep the unfortunate laity in expectation, and themselves expect that His Holiness shall appear in the desert of Mecca, in the guise of a shepherd driving seven goats, which are animals devoid of reason, before him. A fine and honourable occupation do they assign to their Master! Yet they themselves are entirely unconscious of the evilness of their assertions and beliefs: and if some poor fellow would explain the true meaning of such traditions, they dub him an infidel, because he interprets the words of the Imám in a manner <269> contrary to their preconceived ideas. For their pride and arrogance make it seem to them a hard thing to prefer the assertion of another to their own vain fancies, and, even though they be inwardly compelled to assent, and to allow that his words accord with reason and truth, their self-conceit makes it impossible for them to admit this explicitly. Thus Hájí Mullá Sálih, for all his piety, sanctity, scholarship, and show of religion, repeatedly said to his daughter Jenáb-i-Táhira, better known as Kurratu’l-‘Ayn397 398, "If you, with all the learning, scholarship, and intelligence which you possess, were to claim to be the Báb, or even more than that, I would readily admit and allow your claim; but what can I do when you choose to follow this Shirází lad?" Great heavens! Such is the arrogance and prejudice of these persons that the imagination can scarcely conceive the least of its developments! Here was one who saw that his daughter, notwithstanding her talents and accomplishments, regarded herself but as dust in comparison with that Sun of Truth, and publicly said, "With the knowledge which I possess it is impossible that I should be mistaken in the recognition of Him who is the Lord of the World, whom all peoples anxiously expect: I have duly recognized Him by the proofs of reason and the evidences of knowledge, though this knowledge and these attainments of mine are but as a minute drop beside that vast and <270> all-embracing ocean, or as an insignificant mote beside that mighty and radiant luminary;" yet, notwithstanding this, he answered, "Though you regard your excellence and leaning as of such small account in comparison with <the virtues of> that Shírází lad, still, had you been my son <instead of my daughter>, and had you put forward this claim, I would have accepted it."...

"Wine still is wine, the rose is still the rose,

Where e'er that ripens, and where e'er this grows.

Though from the West its course should be begun

The sun's the sun, and nothing but the sun."


<Account of Kurratu’l-‘Ayn.>

Now, since occasion hath arisen, it behoves us to say somewhat concerning Jenáb-i-Táhira. She, as has been already stated, was the daughter of Hájí Mullá Sálih of Kazvín, was a sincere friend and admirer of [[the late Sheykh <Ahmad Ahsá’í> and]] Hájí Seyyid Kázim <of Resht>, and in virtue, piety, and learning had no equal. It was from the late Seyyid399 that she received the title of Kurratu’l-‘Ayn. And since he had, before his death, gladdened his chosen disciples with tidings of the approaching manifestation of the promised Proof400, therefore was she also one of those who were anxiously expecting the appearance of the Truth, and seeking, with prayer and fasting, knowledge and faith. So, when Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh, who was <subsequently> entitled Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb, fell to making enquiry, and resolved to set out from Nejef the holy to prosecute his search, she wrote a letter expressing in general terms her devotion to, and <271> belief in, the subsequent Manifestation. And when Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb at length attained to the honour of meeting His Supreme Holiness, and had recognized his true nature, he presented her letter, and she became included amongst the Letters of the Living401, and reached the loftiest degree of truth and knowledge. A little time after this, she enjoyed opportunities of perusing some of the verses, exhortations, devotional works, and doctrinal treatises of His Holiness, by which her conversion was definitely effected. So steadfast in faith did she become that [although she was both rich and noble] she disregarded wealth, child, name, and position for her Master's service, and set herself to proclaim and establish his doctrine with clear proofs and demonstrations. So subtilely did she expound the mysteries of the Divine Unity that even of the late Seyyid <Kázim>'s disciples, who were the elect of the age, the most part were unable to follow her thought. [[After the death of the late Seyyid, at the time of her conversion402]] she instituted a course of lectures, in which, seated behind a curtain, she instructed the [[Sheykhís]]403. Her followers submitted themselves to a religious discipline <272> so severe that they were brought nigh unto death, while [[so scrupulous were they that]] for the most part they would not eat victuals prepared in the bazaars, especially cooked meats and butcher's meat. Such scrupulousness and caution on their part soon attracted attention, and was reported in various shapes to the governor, who determined to arrest Kurratu’l-‘Ayn. She <being apprised of this> sent to him the following message:- "I advance no claim save a claim to learning. Assemble the doctors, both Sunní and Shi‘ite, that we may confer and dispute, so that the truth and falsity of either side, and the wisdom and learning of both parties, may be made apparent to all persons of discernment." Thereupon it was decided that she should not leave Kerbelá until a definite reply to this request should arrive from Baghdad. As, however, this reply was delayed, she left the town without a passport, in such wise that none of the gate-keepers or officers appointed for the supervision of passports saw or stopped her. On reaching Baghdad, she proceeded to the house of the chief Muftí, with whom she held a discussion wherein she obtained a manifest advantage. [[The Páshá of Baghdad forwarded to the Sublime Porte a detailed report of her case, including this discussion, and asked for instructions as to the course which he should pursue. In reply, there came an order that she should remain no longer in ‘Irák<-i-‘Arab>, but that <the Páshá> should make his excuses to her for sending her back to Persia, and that she should there abide.]]

Accordingly she set out for ‘Irák[[-i-‘Ajam]]. On her way thither she proclaimed in the clearest and most explicit manner certain subtle mysteries of the Divine Unity to which but few ears had been privileged to listen, and which most of the profoundest philosophers had hesitated to formulate and divulge. <Some of her companions,> <273> such as the late Sheykh Sálih the Arab, Sheykh [[Táhir]] the Preacher, Mullá Ibráhím of Mahallát, [[the late Sheykh Sultán the Arab,]] and some others, who were endowed with the requisite capacity and understanding, comprehended these lofty themes; but others, unable to grasp them, raised objections, and wrote a letter to His Supreme Holiness complaining of her. To each was returned an answer adapted to his capacity and understanding, the substance of this answer being <in each case> that her homilies and dissertations on the Divine Unity were divinely inspired, and that her name should henceforth be called Táhira404. [[After this, those same persons who had raised objections,]]405 being made acquainted with the inner meaning of her words, began to ask her pardon and to make their excuses.

So that Blessed Leaf406 went to Kirmánsháhán, where she thoroughly preached the doctrine. Thence she proceeded to Hamadán (where also she converted many), intending to visit the capital, and to acquaint His late Majesty Muhammad Sháh with the truth [of the matter]. Her father, however, being made aware of <her movements>, sent and brought her to Kazvín, where he talked much with her, and, as has been already mentioned, said, "Any claim which you, with your learning and intelligence, had put forward I should have accounted worthy of full acceptance; but how can I accept the word of this Shírází <274> lad?" To such speeches, however, she refused to listen; nor, do what they might, would she consent to be reconciled with her husband Mullá Muhammad, who was the son of Hájí Mullá <Muhammad Takí>, [[and was accounted her cousin]]. <In reply to all such proposals of reconciliation> she answered, "He, in that he rejects God's religion, is unclean, while I am 'Pure'407: between us there can be naught in common [[nor any equality]]." So she refused to be reconciled to her husband.

After this befell the catastrophe of Hájí Mullá <Muhammad> Takí's murder. Now the cause of this was that [[in every assembly and gathering]] he was wont to curse and revile the late Sheykh Ahmad <of Ahsá>, displaying herein the most obstinate pertinacity. A certain Mírzá Sáiib, [[who was a native of Shíráz and]] one of the Báb's followers, formerly devoted to the late Sheykh Ahmad, had heard [[in Kazvín]] that Hájí Mullá [Muhammad] Takí regarded the late Sheykh as an apostate and a heretic, and was in the habit of cursing him. He therefore waited upon the Hájí [[after the performance of public prayer]]408, and enquired his opinion of Sheykh Ahmad. The Hájí cursed and reviled him [[exceedingly]]. Thereupon Mírzá Sálih (agreeably to the tradition handed down from the Imáms "whosoever curseth our followers hath cursed us, and whosoever curseth us hath cursed the Apostle of God, and whosoever hath cursed the Apostle of God is an infidel") knew him for an evil man and an apostate, and, in accordance with the tradition above quoted, became assured of his infidelity, and deemed it incumbent on himself to slay him. So, without communicating his <275> design to anyone, he went by night, and, by the altar409, inflicted on him several <mortal> wounds. And this thing was the consequence of the Hájí's conduct on the occasion of the Báb's passing through Kazvín. For His Holiness, as he passed through Kazvín, had, with the design of proving others and admonishing them by this transaction, written <a letter> to him, saying, "I am of the offspring of the Prophet; I am wrongfully entreated; and I have come to your city. How would it be if you were to afford me some succour?" But the Hájí tore the letter in fragments and made several unseemly remarks. When they reported this to His Holiness, he said, "Was there no one to smite him on the mouth?" Wherefore the Lord brought it to pass that he was smitten in the mouth with a spear-head, that he might no more speak insolently of the saints of religion410.

Now after the attack on Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí, a great disturbance arose in Kazvín. For the people attributed this deed to Jenáb-i-Táhira, and suspected her followers, though neither she nor they were privy to it. So they arrested [nearly seventy]411 persons, and, though Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí>412 said of each one brought before him, "It was not he," cast them into prison and tormented them in divers ways. Amongst others they beat Sheykh Sálih the Arab with many stripes, and would have branded him. [[They also brought Jenáb-i-Táhira to the government <276> house, along with one of her servants, and fell to tormenting her, thinking that perhaps she might make some statement; neither would they believe her, though she declared on oath that she had absolutely no knowledge of this event. For the heirs of the murdered man, amongst whom was Jenáb-i-Táhira's husband Mullá Muhammad, persisted in affirming that this deed had been committed by her followers and with her consent. And she meanwhile was engaged in tearful and humble prayer to Him who is the Fulfiller of all needs.]]

Suddenly Mírzá Sálih of Shíráz [[, seeing the torments to which a number of innocent and virtuous persons were being subjected, could no longer maintain silence, but, impelled by common fairness and uprightness, devotedly]] advanced the foot of manful courage, and made full confession, setting forth in detail the motives which had impelled him to commit the murder, and adding, "I considered myself obliged by the duty which I owe to Religion and the Sacred Law to do this deed." In such wise did he express himself that <even> the governor of Kazvín applauded his eloquence and boldness. [[When they reproached him, saying, "Why didst thou act thus towards so learned a divine?" he replied, "Who, then, was he but one who had culled from the garden of Abú Hanífa413 a single nosegay, in virtue of which he claimed to be a learned divine?" The people were amazed at the readiness of his replies; but the heirs <of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí> and those who were specially prejudiced against Kurratu’l-‘Ayn and the others arrested on this charge, and who bore them an invincible hatred, not anticipating such truth, loyalty, fairness, and courage from an assassin, refused to <277> credit this confession, or to pay any heed to it. But the youth adhered to his statement, and, on their refusing to believe it, described in detail the manner in which he had done the deed, adding, "If you desire to verify my statement, go, and take out the spear-head wherewith I slew him from beneath the stool414 under which I cast it, that you may know that my account is a true one." So they went and took out the spear-head from under the stool, and the truth of his statement was <thus> conclusively proved. They therefore cast him into prison and put him in fetters, and the sons of the murdered Hájí Mullá <Muhammad> Takí went to the prison to vex and revile him. Mírzá Sálih, losing control of his temper, cried out, "I have sent him to hell, and I will now send you after him." So saying, he sprang forward with such energy that he dragged his chain, wrenched out from the ground the long iron staple to which it was attached, and hurled it at them with such vigour that they fled in terror in all directions. The long staple struck the door of his cell and pierced it; whereat the prison warders were so greatly alarmed that they shut the door upon him and locked it.

Notwithstanding all this415 they would not release those others <whom they had arrested>, but, anxious only to establish a reputation for filial piety, continued to account them accomplices and accessories.]] And although Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí had declared with his dying breath that he forgave his murderer416, [Mullá Muhammad]417 <278> his son caused [five]418 of the prisoners to be sent in fetters and chains from Kazvín to Teherán in the bitter cold of the winter season. Amongst these [five] ibid, one was an old man of ailing health [[named Hájí Asadu’lláh]]; whom, though he was perfectly innocent, and ignorant <of the charge preferred against him>, they dragged from a bed of sickness and led away; and who, on reaching Teherán, expired [[in prison]] from his illness and the fatigues of the road. But Mírzá Sálih, the actual murderer, [[who had himself confessed, and whom Hájí Mírzá Ákásí had consigned to the custody of Mírzá Shafí‘ the Sáhib-díván,]] escaped from prison by night, [[and, making straight for the Castle of <Sheykh> Tabarsí, joined himself to the people of God, amongst whom he attained to martyrdom419.]]

Those [[three]]420 innocent persons remained in prison, but though the son of Hájí Mullá [Muhammad] Takí made the most strenuous efforts to obtain from the administrators of the Sacred Law in Teherán an order for the execution of one of the prisoners, he was not successful. Then he accused the Bábís of being this and that; and His Majesty [[Muhammad]]421 422 Sháh ordered the learned mujtahid Áká Mahmúd of Teherán, [[the son of Áká Muhammad ‘Alí of Kirmánsháhán,]]423 to investigate and ascertain their tenets. So [they brought them424 before him, and when he had]425 met <279> [and conversed much with] them 426 the falsity of Mullá Muhammad's assertions [concerning this sect] became evident. Finally <Mullá Muhammad> went before His Majesty the King, and rent his shirt, and began to weep, saying, "They have slain Hájí Mullá [Muhammad] Takí, [[and shall no one's blood be shed <in atonement>?]]427" The King answered, "The murderer, who has himself confessed, has escaped [from prison]. If thou desirest the lawful application of the lex talionis, then no administrator of the Sacred Law will sentence an innocent man to suffer death instead of the escaped murderer. But if thou seekest for illegal retaliation, then why dost thou introduce the name of law? Go, kill one <of them>." So they took Sheykh Sálih the Arab, a godly man, endowed, as was proved in several ways, with a pure heart428, and consummated his martyrdom [[by blowing him from a gun]].

Then <Mullá Muhammad> prayed that he might be permitted to take the [[two]]429 other prisoners [[, one of whom was Sheykh Táhir of Shíráz the preacher, and the other Mullá Ibráhím of Mahallát,]] to Kazvín, in order that he might do honour to his father's memory by causing them to walk round his grave, after which he would let them go. To this His Majesty the King agreed [, not guessing the extent of his godlessness and priestly cunning]. So <MuIIá Muhammad> took [[them]]430 with him to Burkán, and on <280> the way thither inflicted on them all manner of hurts and torments. After this he took them to Kazvín [[. On the day when he was taking them]] to make them walk round his father's grave, 431 he made known his intention 432 to the whole populace, [that they might make]433 a general attack <on the prisoners>[. So, as soon as they brought them forth to make them walk round the grave, Sheykh Táhir] and Mullá Ibráhím 434 [were]435 done to death with a cruelty surpassing all imagination. [[Sheykh Táhir was bound to a tree and tortured to death by his assailants, and a number of the mob brought leaves and set fire to the foot of the tree.]] And the body of the poor victim was consumed with fire. [[Then they bore both the bodies out of the city gates and cast them into a hollow, and only after some days did they allow a grave to be dug in that place and the corpses to be laid therein.]]

So the heirs <of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí>, being of a highly-considered family of divines and administrators of the Sacred Law, and regarding themselves as the authorized representatives of this Law, and the exponents of Religion, in retaliation for the death of one person slew [four]436 437 innocent men who had no complicity in the matter; although the actual murderer had before his flight declared that, in accordance with <what he regarded as> <281> his religious obligation, he had on his own account done this deed without the complicity of any one else. And these four innocent and unwitting men they slew thus shamefully and cruelly with the knowledge of His Majesty the King and all the Musulmán clergy and laity; nor did one of all these pious divines and Muslims ask by what religion and what law such a sentence was ever ordained or sanctioned. Assuredly from the first creation of the world until now never in any one of all these different creeds was such a thing done; [never according to any law, civil or ecclesiastical, was such a sentence pronounced;] and never in any age has such a deed been heard or seen. Nor is it likely that such a sentence should be pronounced or such a deed sanctioned in the name of any religion at any future time, unless it be by these same occupants of the seat of authority and <self-styled> executors of the Holy Imám........438

To resume. After these events Jenáb-i-Táhira, [[to escape from the reproaches, rebuffs, suspicions, and unkind treatment of her relations, set out secretly for Teherán; whence, intending to preach God's religion, and to join herself to Hazrat-i-Kuddús439, Mullá Huseyn Jenáb-i-Bábu‘l-Báb, and the other believers in Khurásán, she]]440 proceeded to Khurásán. Near Sháhrúd441 she met Jenáb-i-Kuddús <282> [and his followers, whose number amounted to three hundred and thirteen men. Hazrat-i-Kuddús became the Tongue of the Ká’im, and, ere His Supreme Holiness had laid claim to this rank, formally announced himself as the Ká‘im, even as tradition runs; and, in brief, spoke that word which the Ká’im must speak. His followers hesitated <at first> to admit <his claim; but afterwards>, having searched every realm of their being and found no truth but His Holiness, they listened and confessed442. Then Jenáb-i-Táhira ascended into a pulpit and exhorted the believers443, setting forth the mysteries of the Divine Unity and the renewal <of all things>. Thereafter so great a mass of writings, comprising prayers, homilies, and doctrinal <283> treatises, emanated from that much-wronged woman that the eye of time has never beheld anything like it. Thus, for instance, Mullá ‘Abdu’l-‘Alí and Mullá Jawád of the Sheykhí sect addressed certain questions to His Supreme Holiness (the soul of the world be his sacrifice!). He replied to them; but they, not understanding <his answer>, made objections. Jenáb-i-Táhira, being apprized of this, wrote two or three thousand verses to confute their objections and to establish the thesis of His Supreme Holiness. This she did in such wise as to fill all persons of learning with wonder and astonishment at her scholarship, for she proved the utterances of His Holiness in every point by verses from the Kur’án and traditions of the Imáms. On the dispersal of <the assembly at> Badasht, she was taken prisoner and conveyed to Teherán444. For some while she was in the house of Mahmúd Khán the Kalántar445, where she exhorted and counselled the women of the household446, till one day she went to the bath, whence she returned arrayed in white garments, saying, "Tomorrow they will kill me." Next day the executioner came and <284> took her to the Nigáristán447. As she would not suffer them to remove the veil from her face (though they repeatedly sought to do so), they applied the bow-string over her veil, and thus compassed her martyrdom. Then they cast her holy body into a well in the garden448. Her words shall be recorded in another place, so that the extent of her virtue, chastity, godliness, and purity may become known to all persons of discernment.]449 For her utterances conclusively prove that she was divinely inspired and fortified, such eloquence and grace of speech [and such comprehensive knowledge] being unattainable and inconceivable [even for men]. We must, however, return to our previous topic, lest the thread of our proper narrative be unduly prolonged.

Báb from Chihrík to Tabríz, Examination

After His Holiness the Primal Point (the souls of all beside him be his sacrifice!) had arrived at the Castle of Chihrík and dwelt there for some time, Hájí Mírzá Ákásí wrote to His Majesty Násiru’d-Dín Sháh, who was at that time Crown-Prince and Governor of Ázarbaiján, directing him to summon that Sun of the Heaven of Truth to Tabríz, convene an assembly of the clergy there, dispute with him, and determine the validity or falsity of his claim. But <Hájí Mírzá Ákásí's> real object was not to ascertain the truth or sift the matter, [else he would have summoned <the Báb> to Teherán and caused him to be examined in <285> his own presence]. For he was certainly well aware that the clergy would never relinquish their material authority; that their overweening arrogance and clerical pride would never suffer them to acknowledge the truth of the Báb's claim or the reality of his mission; and that it was impossible for them <voluntarily> to abandon their mastery and to adopt an attitude of submission and obedience, more especially since he had heard how most of them regarded <the Báb> as a madman. For some of them declared that his brain was disordered, and that his writings consisted of 'fables of the ancients450' set forth in incoherent words;451 while others asserted that His Holiness did not really claim to be the Báb, but that Mullá. Huseyn of Bushraweyh, a man of unrivalled scholarship and virtue, was the actual claimant, and that all these teachings and writings emanated from him452.

So they summoned His Holiness to Tabríz453, and convened an assembly <of the clergy>, which was attended by Mullá Muhammad Mámaghání, Hájí Mullá Mahmúd Mullá-báshí, a number of divines of the Sheykhí party, and a few state functionaries. They <further> agreed that, should His Holiness, not being of unsound mind, claim to be the Báb, they would pronounce sentence of death against him. After a while that Full Moon of the Heaven of Saintship <286> entered the assembly with a calm and dignified mien, being freshly come from the bath, perfumed with scent, his hands passed through the sleeves [[of his cloak]]454, a staff in his hand, and his tongue engaged in commemorating the Divine Friend. <As he entered> he saluted <those present>, who returned his salutation, but did not indicate a place for him to sit, they themselves having <already> occupied the places of honour. His Holiness remained standing for about a minute, and then silently sat down in the lowest place of the assembly without uttering a word. Then Mullá Muhammad said, "Sir Seyyid, certain writings are in men's hands which are currently attributed to you. We for our part do not believe or credit this. Is it so or not?" This he said anticipating a denial; but His Holiness answered, "Yes, those writings are the words of God emanating from my pen." "We have heard," continued they, "that you claim to be the Báb." "Yes," replied he.

"What," demanded Mullá Muhammad with a scornful smile, "does 'Báb' mean?" "The same," answered His Holiness, "as in the holy saying <of the Prophet>, 'I am the City of Knowledge, and ‘Alí is its Gate455.'" "On what night," continued the other, "wert thou thus favoured456, and who assigned this name to thee?" His Holiness answered, "I am He whose advent ye have been expecting for one thousand two hundred [[and sixty]] years457, and whom <287> ye now deny." They said, "We are expecting Him who is to arise of the kindred of Muhammad, to wit, Muhammad ibnu’l-Hasan, whose mother is Narjis Khátún, and who is of the Arabs; thy birthplace is Fárs, thou art of the Persians, and thy father and mother, too, are known458." "By just such nominal considerations was it," he replied, "that all <former> peoples were veiled from knowledge of the prophet of their time; you too are veiled, else I am indeed He." "Whence," asked they, "shall we recognize you?" He answered, "By the evidence of the verses <revealed through me>."

Then said one of those present459, "Repeat some verses concerning thy staff." He began to do so, but another interrupted him, saying, "We do not understand the verses." "How then," asked His Holiness, "can you understand the proof of the Kur’án?" "I too," remarked an officer <who was present>, "can reveal verses"; and forthwith he began to repeat a string of incoherent words. In short from the first those who composed the assembly had no other design than to mock and to cavil, wherefore each strove to excel his fellows in displaying in the clearest manner his self-conceit. One asked about the rule in cases of doubt between two and three <prostrations in prayer>460; <288> another called for the conjugation of the verbs kála and dahraja; and, in brief, one and all fell to asking the most senseless and impertinent questions461. When His Holiness perceived this, and saw that from the first all were unanimous in adopting a tone of mocking raillery, he ceased to concern himself about answering any of them, and, with dignified anger, left the assembly.

All discerning and unprejudiced persons will perceive that such behaviour and such style of controversy are not those adopted by earnest enquirers after truth, and that all who seek to determine the truth or falsehood of any question ought wholly to lay aside all prejudices and preconceived notions, and to observe the utmost fairness and courtesy in discussion. Their questions and answers should be entirely free from contentiousness and mockery; for, if so much as a suspicion of fanaticism or prejudice be observable in their actions or words, firstly the question will not be <properly> determined; and secondly they cannot be called true and impartial enquirers, and consequently their conclusions, whether they be in the affirmative or the negative, will not merit the slightest attention or consideration. It is clear, at all events, that those 'enquirers' who composed this honourable assembly, and who pretended to be expecting the advent of the promised Proof, made manifest the utter falsity of their pretensions at the very outset of the discussion. For, if they were really in expectation of this advent, they should have been ever on the watch to see from what region of the world a voice would arise; and when, after one thousand two hundred and sixty years, they heard that one had arisen boldly and unwaveringly proclaiming to all peoples that he was the promised <289> Manifestation, such condition of expectancy demanded that they should gladly and thankfully hasten to meet him, postponing all private affairs, and earnestly hoping that his claim might prove to be true. And, a meeting being secured, they should have carefully observed the rules dictated by courtesy and respect; should, when engaged in discussion, have avoided all contentious disputation; and should have laid aside all selfish interest and foolish prejudices, the better to understand the matter. But these persons acted in a manner exactly contrary to this, their whole behaviour being prompted by self-conceit, based on self-interest, and opposed to equity and fairness. For, on <first> hearing the news of the Manifestation, not only did they display no inclination to enquire into and investigate the matte; but, without search, discussion, or enquiry, they were instrumental in bringing about the captivity and confinement of His Holiness. And when, after a long while462, His Majesty the King appointed a council of enquiry and investigation, they decided, even before His Holiness had appeared or spoken, and ere they had apprehended or understood one jot of his words and teachings, that, should he claim to be the Báb, they would pronounce sentence of death against him. This alone so clearly and conclusively demonstrates their malice and self-conceit that there is no need to seek for any external proof. God, whose wisdom is absolute, thus exposed their prejudice before the discussion began, that it might be a warning to all men of discernment, who should thus know that these were not enquirers after truth, but its malicious opponents....463 <290>

Báb Bastinadoed

Now since the martyrdom of His Holiness was not predestined or fore-ordained to take place in that year, and God willed not that the sentence of the doctors charged with this inquisition should prove effective, they agreed together to dishonour him by the infliction of stripes. The Crown-Prince's farráshes, however, refused to execute this disgraceful mandate464; wherefore, on the following day, the Sheykhu’l-Islám charged himself with this hateful task, summoned the Báb to his house, and instructed a certain Seyyid to inflict on the soles of his feet [eighteen]465 blows with a rod [, according to the number of the "Letters of the Living," to explain the subtle mystery of which would here be out of place]. And His Holiness had <previously> foretold to his companions at Chihrík how these people, in their exceeding heedlessness and folly, would commit this vile deed, and suffer the punishment merited by their actions; wherefore, about this time, occurred the disgrace of the Sheykhu’l-Islám and the death of Mírzá Ahmad. For when His Holiness was on his way from Chihrík, Mírzá Ahmad, by whose house he passed, refused to afford him countenance or protection, fearing to injure his own position; besides which he declined to be present at the conference, and acted in a proud and presumptuous manner.

Báb to Chihrík from Tabríz

After this, they again sent His Holiness to Chihrík. Soon afterwards, His Majesty Muhammad Sháh passed <291> away to the mansions of Paradise466; and the late Hájí Mírzá Ákásí [[fell into disgrace, was reduced to beggary, and finally]] took refuge in Sháh ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím467 [[, where he had to listen to the taunts and gibes of friend and foe and the recriminations of man and woman, thus obtaining the recompense of his actions]]. But when His Majesty Násiru’d-Dín Sháh had ascended the throne, <Mírzá Takí Khán> the Amír-i-Kabír, notwithstanding that he had witnessed the disgrace, abasement, and humiliation of Hájí Mírzá Ákásí, failed to apprehend the true cause and reason thereof and fell upon the Bábís in like manner, till he too fell. Neither did the True Avenger long delay His vengeance. <Ere a great while had elapsed, the Amír> reaped the fruits of what he had sown, and received the recompense of his actions; for never will good fall to the lot of the evil-doer, nor will he who sows barley gather wheat. He desired [according to his vain thought and fancy] to quench God's light; but God made manifest His light and proclaimed His Manifestation, while he was numbered amongst the losers.

Condemnation of the Báb

[[To be brief, when the reduction of Zanján had been effected468 after the custom of these Musulmáns, by false oaths sworn on the Kur’án (as had been done in Mázandarán and Níríz also) <Mírzá Takí Khán> the Amír-i-Kabír, exasperated at the loss of so many distinguished officers and such vast numbers of soldiers, one day <292> addressed His Majesty the King as follows:- "Although, agreeably to the tradition 'The just to God, and the unjust to me,' it appears an unseemly and unblessed, if not an unlawful, act to kill this Seyyid (so conspicuous for his singular sobriety, holiness, godliness of character, patience, dignity, leaning, and meekness) who advances this claim, even though all the clergy were unanimous in pronouncing sentence of death against him, yet what can I do? For it is as clear to Your Majesty as it is to myself that the cause of these insurrections, disorders, and bloody wars in Zanján, Mázandarán, Níríz, and other places is this sect, and that all of them are actuated in what they do by their unbounded devotion to this Seyyid, who advances so high a claim, and in whom such strange powers and faculties are witnessed. So long as he is alive, even though he be a prisoner, his followers and admirers, whether of the clergy or the laity, will never rest, but will continually rear up the standards of insurrection; and I fear that this may gradually culminate in a general revolution and the overthrow of the present dynasty. Wherefore, if you desire the tranquillity of your realms and the security of the State, there is nothing for it but that you should give me your consent and permission to strike at the root of the evil. You saw with what trouble to ourselves, what loss to the state, the country, and the people, and what sacrifice of officers and men, we succeeded at Zanján in subduing a handful of peasants and artisans led by one of the clergy who had believed in the claim advanced by this person."469

His Majesty the King, being accustomed to confide all affairs of state and all measures designed to secure the honour of the Crown and the tranquillity and order of the <293> realm to the absolute discretion of the minister, in whose soundness of judgement, sagacity, wisdom, and loyalty he had implicit confidence, necessarily heard these representations in silence, acquiesced in the Amír's views, and gave him full authority to act in this matter in whatever way might seem to him best.]]470

So <Mírzá Takí Khán> despatched a special messenger from the capital, and, according to one account, wrote to Prince Hamzé Mírzá instructing him to summon the Báb from Chihrík to Tabríz, and [[, after making plain his heresy to the people,]] to put him to death [[by warrant of the clergy]]. So they brought that promised Proof to Tabríz.

[[According to the account of a certain man of position and probity who was the confidential attendant of Prince Hamzé Mírzá (which account he had from the Prince's own mouth, and which is further corroborated by the narrative of an honoured initiate471 who was in the Prince's service at Tabríz and was actually present at the examination, and into whose hands the Prince entrusted the blessed writings and autograph letters of His Holiness, which writings I, the reviser of this history, Nabíl, a native of ‘ÁIín472, have <294> seen in his possession), what took place was as follows. "When the Báb was come to Tabríz, one night, to satisfy our curiosity as to his character and demeanour, we assembled in a room well-lighted with lamps, and summoned him to attend. On his entry, I observed towards him so much respect as to advance some distance down the room to meet him, although the messenger from Teherán had brought him thither in disrespectful fashion, to wit without turban or coat, and clad only in his under-coat473. I seated him on the dais, which was the place of honour, opposite to myself; while his amanuensis Áká Seyyid Huseyn, who was suffered to remain in attendance on him as his single confidential friend, sat between us. I then demanded of him, 'Sir, what doings are these which you have brought about in the world, causing all this trouble and the shedding of the blood of God's servants?' 'What,' said he, 'have I done, save that I am wrongfully a prisoner and in bonds? I am not responsible for the deeds of others: "no bearer shall bear the burden of another474."' Then I said, 'Very well; but what do you teach and what do you intend? After all, these people claim connection with you, and it is for love of you that they have adopted this attitude.' He replied, 'I have done nothing and said nothing save that I have declared, as I do still declare, that I am that promised deliverer for whom ye have waited one thousand two hundred and sixty years, to wit the Ká’im.' 'Very good, Sir,' answered I, 'but your bare assertion is not sufficient: by what proof, warrant, or sign can you make good this claim?' 'By the same proof and sign,' replied he, 'to which the Prophet of God appealed, namely my verses and <295> writings, which are in the hands of all.' 'Good;' said I, 'repeat and make known to me some of those verses.' As, however, I was inwardly somewhat apprehensive that he might repeat verses appropriate to the topics under discussion which he had previously composed and committed to memory, and that so the matter might remain doubtful, I added a request that he would repeat verses bearing reference to the lamps and illumination of the room. He was silent for a while; then, assuming an attitude at once dignified and respectful, he pronounced the 'Bismi'lláh,' opened the Súra, and, in a sweet and melodious voice, began to recite, and continued without pause or hesitation for about an hour, when he ceased. Now I had previously instructed my secretary who was present to provide himself with blank paper, and rapidly to take down in writing all that he said. Of this task the secretary acquitted himself precisely as I had desired. <I took from him the paper, and saw that written thereon> were verses in the style of the Chapter of Light475 containing allusions to light, lamps, sconces, globes, lanterns, and crystal, and embodying the views which he held concerning the Unity of God, saintship, and the 'Manifestation' <set forth> in such wise that astonishment overcame me and I could find no ground for objection. But again I doubted, and another test occurred to me. I said to him, 'I desire you to repeat again what you have just now recited.' Again he was silent for a while; then, pronouncing the <initiatory> 'Bismi’lláh,' he proceeded with the repetition of the verses. Once more I made a sign to the secretary to take down in writing what was uttered, until the Báb again paused and was silent. Then I asked for this copy, and, on comparing it with the first, perceived that the latter verses were not identical <296> with the earlier ones... I said, 'Sir, I asked you to repeat what you recited before, and this is not identical with that, but differs from it.' He <only> replied, 'Thus was it revealed476.'

"Now since this plan and idea of mine had miscarried, I <once more> began to doubt; so, not being clear as to how I ought to act, I said to the Báb, 'Go now to your lodging, and rest.' Thereupon he got up, and again I accompanied him as far as the door of the room.

"Next morning I said to the delegate <sent from Teherán>, 'I will in no wise meddle further in this affair; it is for you to decide; act as you think best, and in accordance with the instructions which you have received, and apply to the clergy in this matter.' So the delegate, with a great thong and crowd of people, dragged the Báb, with every circumstance of indignity, to the houses of two or three well-known members of the clergy. These reviled him; but to all who questioned him he declared, without any attempt at denial, that he was the Ká’im. At length Mullá Muhammad Mámaghání, one of the Sheykhí party, and sundry others, assembled together in the porch of a house belonging to one of their number, questioned him fiercely and insultingly, and, when he had answered them, explicitly condemned him to death."]]477 <297>

Báb in Tabríz - His Last Few Days

So they imprisoned him who was athirst for the draught of martyrdom478 for three days, along with Áká Seyyid Huseyn <of Yezd>, the amanuensis, and Áká Seyyid Hasan, which twain were brothers, wont to pass their time for the most part in the Báb's presence.

Now before this event the Báb had, to complete the proof, sent to the clergy of Tabríz, by means of Áká Seyyid Ahmad of Tabríz (known as "the Scribe"479), Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí of Tabríz, and two other persons, sundry epistles containing exhortations, admonitions, and declarations of his truth. When these epistles were presented, one of the clergy had wished to express his contempt and scorn for the blessed writing. These forerunners of the field of courage advanced the foot of fortitude to prevent this, and, their dispute ending in strife, were incarcerated in the prison of His Highness Prince Hamzé Mírzá. There, as is currently reported, two of them would seem to have been poisoned, though according to another account the Prince released them without the cognizance of the clergy. But Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí remained in the prison till such time as His Supreme Holiness was brought thither, and there enjoyed the honour of meeting him.

On the night before the day whereon was consummated the martyrdom of that Gem of created essences480, he said to <298> his companions, "Tomorrow they will slay me shamefully [[and with boundless indignity]]. Let one of you now arise and kill me, that I may not have to endure this ignominy and shame from <my> enemies; for it is [[far]] pleasanter to me to die by the hands of friends than of foes." His companions, with expressions of grief and sorrow, sought to excuse themselves, with the exception of Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí, who at once made as though he would obey the command. His comrades, however, anxiously seized his hand, crying, "Such rash presumption ill accords with an attitude of devoted service!" "This act of mine," replied he, "is not prompted by presumption, but by unstinted obedience, and desire to fulfil <my Master's> behest.

['If the grace of the Beloved dooms his lovers

To hell, I were a craven if my eyes

Should so much as turn towards the stream of Kawthar,

Or the gardens and delights of Paradise.']

After giving effect to the command of His Holiness, I will assuredly pour forth my life also at his feet" 481 His Holiness 482 smiled <approvingly>, and, applauding his faithful devotion and sincere belief, said, "Tomorrow, when you are questioned, repudiate <me> and renounce <my doctrines>, for thus is the command of God now laid upon you, especially on Áká Seyyid Huseyn, in whose keeping are the gems of wisdom483, which he must convey to God's people, and to such as seek after the way of true guidance." The <Báb's> companions agreed <to this>, with the exception of Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí, who fell at the feet of His Holiness and began to entreat and implore, thus praying <299> with utmost self-abasement:- "Debar not this thy faithful servant from the blessing of thy presence, and graciously accord permission to me, who am but an insignificant mote or a handful of dust, to lay down my life <along with thee>." So earnestly did he urge his entreaties that His Holiness, though <at first> he strove to dissuade him, at length graciously acceded <to his request>.

Martyrdom of the Báb

Now when a little while had elapsed after the rising of the sun, they brought them, without cloak or coat, and clad only in their under-coats and night-caps484 to the Government House, where they were sentenced to be shot. Áká Seyyid Huseyn the amanuensis, and his brother Áká Seyyid Hasan, recanted, as they had been bidden to do, and were set at liberty; and Áká Seyyid Huseyn bestowed the gems of wisdom treasured in his bosom upon such as sought for and were worthy of them, and, agreeably to his instructions, communicated certain secrets of the faith to those for whom they were intended. He <subsequently> attained to the rank of martyrdom in the Catastrophe of Teherán485.

Execution of Anis

But since Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí, athirst for the draught of martyrdom, declared <his faith> in the most explicit manner, they dragged him along with that <Central> Point of the Universal Circle to the barracks situated by the citadel486, and, opposite to the cells on one side of the <300> barrack, suspended <him> from <one of> the stone gutters erected under the eaves of the cells. Though his relations and friends cried, "Our son is gone mad; his confession is but the outcome of his distemper and the raving of lunacy, and it is unlawful to inflict on him the death-penalty," he continued to exclaim, "I am in my right mind, [nay, rather I am a lover who has soared above reason], perfect in service and sacrifice." The bystanders bade him not to compass his own destruction, but to [[repent and]] recant, that he might escape, and not suffer this ignominious death; but he only answered, "To repent and recant is for you, liars and hypocrites in faith and doctrine that ye are, not for me, who attest my sincerity by courting death, and am enamoured of self-sacrifice and martyrdom in the service of the Beloved.

['I still adore him, be he harsh or kind;

Unequal moods an equal welcome find.

I cry, yet fear lest he may heed my cry,

And, pitying, abate his cruelty.'487"

Now he had a sweet young child; and they, hoping to work upon his parental love, brought the boy to him, that <perhaps, at the sight of him,> he might renounce his faith. <But> he <only> said,

"'Begone, and bait your snares for other quarry;

The ‘Anká’s488 nest is hard to reach and high.'"]489 <301>

So they shot him in the presence of his master490. and laid his faithful and upright form in the dust, while his pure and victorious spirit, freed from the prison of earth and the cage of the body, soared to the branches of the 'Lote-tree beyond which there is no passing491,' and there rested with the Beloved. [[Thus did he attain to peace after travail, and enjoy the fruits of his heroism.

Letter of Anis to Brother

Says the reviser492:- Proof of the devotion and steadfastness of this noble man (upon whom be the splendour of God493 and His approbation) is afforded by a letter in his own blessed writing which was in the possession of his brother Mullá ‘Abdu’lláh, who still lives in Tabríz. This <302> 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:-494

"He is the Compassionate.

"O my Kibla495!

"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 O, what happiness were this! The Lord's will must be accomplished on His servants, neither can prudence avert predestined fate. What God wills <comes to pass>: there is no strength save in God.

"O my Kibla! The end of <the life of> the world is death: 'every soul shall taste of death496.' 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 <303> 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!"

If anyone will rightly consider the contents and purport of this letter, he will not fail to appreciate the nobility of the writer's character, and the true sublimity of his devotion.]]497

Execution of the Báb

Now after this, when they had suspended His Holiness <in like manner>, the Shakákí regiment received orders to fire, and discharged their pieces in a single volley. But of all the shots fired <none took effect, save> two bullets <, which respectively> struck the two ropes by which His Holiness was suspended on either side, and severed them. The Báb fell to the ground [[and took refuge in the <adjacent> room498]]. As soon as the smoke and dust of the powder had somewhat cleared, the spectators <looked for, but> did not find, that Jesus of the age on the cross. <304> <Thereat> a great clamour brake forth amongst them. Some said, "He has disappeared!" Others, "He has gone up to heaven!" Search being made, they <presently> perceived him in the cell [writing this verse on the wall with a fragment of charcoal:-

"I bid thee not be moth or salamander,

But, an thou 'rt bent on burning, be a man!"]

Such, however, was their heedless presumption and folly that they did not so much as perceive [that no sign or marvel could be imagined transcending this]499 that of all those bullets not one should touch the [[blessed]] body of His Holiness, but that they should <instead> strike those slender cords. [[God was pleased <thus> to manifest His]]500 sovereign power to those foolish men. [[For if His will and purpose ordain not martyrdom and affliction for His saints and for such as manifest His Spirit, to prove the hard-heartedness, sinfulness, obduracy, and rebelliousness of the wicked, or the patience and meekness of just and saintly men, and their resignation to whatsoever the Pen of Destiny may award; if <in short> the purpose of mankind accord and agree not with <God's> sovereign will and supreme pleasure, though]]501 all the inhabitants of earth should set themselves to contend and oppose, their carefully-planned shots and well-aimed darts will every one fall wide <of the mark>. [[For it is evident that those who fired the first volley at the Blessed Figure <of the Báb> <305> purposed naught else than to effect his martyrdom, but that time he did not endorse their purpose, and did not, as on the second occasion, will what they willed. <This he did> for the shewing forth of his power, the accomplishing of his will, the perfecting of his grace, and the fulfilling of his proof, to confirm his servants and to corroborate the truth of His502 word - 'But ye shall not will, unless God willeth,' and His word- 'Thou willest, and I will; but there shall not come to pass save that which I will503.' But on the second occasion, when all these results were accomplished, in accordance with <the verse> 'We will cause him to obtain that to which he is inclined504,' <Divine> Grace constrained him to endorse and give effect to the choice of <306> <those who were in truth> his servants. The Will of God accepted what they willed and do will, and that happened which happened. But men, in their exceeding folly and blind heedlessness, did not then apprehend this point, and]]505 were not warned, and did not recognize <the truth on seeing> that a bullet struck and severed that slender rope, <nor marvel> how it could be, and what might be the reason, that, notwithstanding its proximity to all those bullets, that Blessed Figure was not struck by one. So, notwithstanding this <miraculous escape>, they again suspended His Holiness, and gave orders to fire another volley. The Musulmán soldiers, however, made their excuses and refused. Thereupon a Christian regiment506 was ordered to fire the volley, and <with this order> they were obliged to comply. According to the account written by the late Hájí Mírzá Jání, on this second occasion also no hurt accrued to the Blessed Figure of His Holiness507 but at the <307> third volley three bullets [[struck]]508 him, and that holy spirit, escaping from its gentle frame, [[ascended to the Supreme Horizon.509

This event took place on Thursday the 27th of the month of Sha‘bán, in the year one thousand two hundred and sixty of the hijra510, being the seventh year of the "Manifestation511"; and thus did these <pretended Musulmáns> seek to cleanse and purify themselves for entering upon the blessed month of Ramazán, and to secure the acceptance of their daily fastings and devotions and their nightly services by the murder of an heir of the Prophet, the darling of our Lady of Grace512! Cursed be that people which slew the son of their Prophet's daughter in his <own special> month, and their promised and expected deliverer in his time, after they had long awaited him; and which made this deed a preparation for prayer for the month of God, and a means of approach and access <to God>! May <308> their predecessors curse them even as they curse their predecessors513!]]

Digression on Clemency at God's Grace

O wonderful! The Kings of Europe in general, and [[as runs in my mind]] those of England in particular, <have this custom, that> when the worst imaginable crime has been proved against and brought home to a criminal in the most conclusive and indubitable manner, and when, in accordance with the laws of justice, he is ordered to be hanged, if the bolt514 fail to do its work in the first instance, they not only pardon the convict, but entreat him respectfully, saying, "Since God spared him and was not willing <309> that he should be slain, how should we kill him?" And supposing that the bullet should strike the rope wherewith he is bound and sever it, and he should fall <to the ground>, if he has suffered any hurt by his fall, they will at once procure a doctor, and set about the alleviation of it. And, even though he be not hurt, still they will [[then and there]] summon a medical man <specially appointed> on the part of the State, who will administer to him a cordial, so that, should he have been afraid, no harm may come to him from excessive terror. Such are the generosity, wisdom, and justice of those who, in the opinion of the doctors of Islám, are infidels; while as for the justice of these devout and religious Musulmáns, it is so self-evident as to need no comment.

['What need of explanation for a thing already plain?']

Báb's Letter to Suleymán Khán

[Hájí Mírzá Jání writes:- "Hájí Suleymán Khán, concerning whom somewhat has <already> been said, related <to me as follows>:- 'Six months before this culminating catastrophe took place, His Supreme Holiness (the souls of all beside him be his sacrifice!) graciously favoured me with a letter. On opening the letter, I saw inside it an envelope sealed and fastened down. In the letter he had written, "Thou art not permitted to open the enclosed writing until such time as some sorrow and affliction, than which thou canst conceive none more grievous, shall befall thee. At that time open the writing, and act in accordance with what is therein contained." Being so strongly enjoined not to open this document, I did not venture to do so, but kept it till the time when His Holiness made his second journey from Chihrík to Tabríz. On his arrival I enjoyed the honour of waiting upon him. No sooner had I entered his presence than he said, "Do thou go at once to thy house and there remain; thou art not permitted to come forth <310> from thence, nor to hold intercourse with any one. Come not to me either; and whatsoever thou may'st hear of hurts and injuries inflicted upon me, thou art not permitted to utter a word, much less to attempt a rescue." Thus peremptorily did he send me to my house, where, agreeably to his orders, I remained, and whence I came not forth; though I continued in a circumspect manner to acquaint myself with his condition. At length one day I was told that that very day they would make His Holiness a target for their cruel bullets. In extremity of anguish I paced up and down my house, sometimes ascending to the roof and straining my eyes in all directions, till suddenly I heard the report of a volley of many muskets. This was repeated three times. Then I knew that they had done that which they ought not to have done, and I was overcome with a grief and sorrow so great that none could possibly be conceived as surpassing it. At that moment the contents of that blessed Epistle passed through my mind, and I said to myself, "No grief can be greater than this, and no affliction more grievous." I withdrew to a private chamber and opened the sealed letter, wherein I read as follows:- "Six months from the time of writing this, on such-and-such a day, I shall suffer martyrdom in Tabríz along with one named Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí. Be it incumbent on thee <to observe an attitude of> patience and self-restraint, neither must thou contend with anyone. Two nights after my martyrdom thou must go, and, by some means or other, buy my body and the body of Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí from the sentinels for four hundred túmáns, and keep them in thine house for six months. Afterwards lay Áká Muhammad ‘Alí with his face upon my face, place <the two bodies> in a strong chest, and send it with a letter to Jenáb-i-Behá (great is his majesty!)515. <311> There is nothing else for thee to do. The clothes which I wore are thine." When I looked at the date, I saw that it was exactly six months past that very day, just as he had written.'"]

Collection of the Báb's Earthly Remains

To be brief, two nights later, when they cast the most sacred body [[of His Holiness]] and that of Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí into the moat, and set three sentries over them, Hájí Suleymán Khán 516 and three others, having provided themselves with arms, came to the sentries and said, "We will ungrudgingly give you any sum of money you ask, if you will not oppose our carrying away these bodies; but if you <attempt to> hinder us, we will kill you." The sentinels, fearing for their lives, and greedy for gain, consented, and <as the price of their complaisance> received a large sum of money. [But, as would appear, they obtained another dead body, and cast it down in the same place, so that others might not perceive <what they had done>.]

So Hájí Suleymán Khán bore those holy bodies to his house, shrouded them in white silk, placed them in a chest, and, after a while, transported them to Teherán, where they remained in trust517 till such time as instructions for their interment in a particular spot were issued by the <312> Source of the Will of <God's> Eternal Beauty, [[the Supreme Manifestation in this last cycle, that Most Glorious Appearance518 described in the language of the First Point519 in the books and epistles as "He whom God shall Manifest."]] [Several persons charged with the transfer and burial <of the bodies>, on proceeding <to the place where they lay>, saw that absolutely no change had taken place in them, but that they were <still> perfectly sweet and fresh, as though they had fallen asleep. One or two <of those entrusted with their removal> were so overcome with fear and astonishment <at this sight> that for some time they suffered from an acute fever520. But, notwithstanding this, the malignants, <blinded> by their excessive prejudice, proclaimed that the Báb's holy body had been cast out into the moat and devoured by the wild beasts.]521


Appendix I - Omitted Digressions (Extract)

Appendix I.


ALTHOUGH I have throughout my translation condensed and curtailed the long and rather wearisome digressions into which, on every opportunity, the author loves to plunge, and wherein he displays in an exaggerated form that verbosity and iteration which are so often the bane of Persian writers, in only two places have I entirely suppressed passages of any considerable length, which, though not of sufficient interest to merit full translation, nevertheless present some features deserving of notice. Both of these omitted digressions occur in the concluding portion of the book. The first, indicated by the asterisks on p. 312 supra,, consists of a review of previous prophetic dispensations, a comparison of them with the Bábí dispensation (greatly to the advantage of the latter), an attempt to discredit miracles and their evidential value, refutations of certain calumnies against the Bábís, and, of course, the inevitable diatribes against the ignorance, worldliness, and unfairness of the Shi‘ite clergy. The second, indicated by the asterisks on p. 314 supra, contains an account of a religious discussion which Mánakjí succeeded in provoking between one of his Bábí friends and a Shi‘ite divine. The character of these digressions, and the points of interest which they present, can, I think, be sufficiently indicated by a table of contents of that portion of the book which they occupy, enlarged, where necessary, by abstracts. The pagination refers to the British Museum MS. (Or. 2942), which affords the most convenient standard.



1 See pp. 96-101, and 365 infra.

2 A full account of this discussion will be found at pp. 170-180 infra. This account, as appears from p. 172, last paragraph, was originally written by Áká Jemál himself in Arabic, and translated by Mírzá Abú’l Fazl of Gulpáyagán into Persian. The conjecture which I hazarded in n. 1 on p. 170 as to the identity of "the Letter J" proves to be correct.

3 The full name of Mánakjí, late Zoroastrian Agent at Teherán, was Mánakjí the son of Límjí Húshang Hátaryárí Kiyání, surnamed Darvísh-i-Fání (###). Thus it is given by himself in the preface which he wrote to the Farhang-i-Anjuman-árá-yi Násirí of Rizá-Kulí Khán Lálá-báshí, and at the beginning of the Persian translation of the account of his travels in Persia published under the title ### at Bombay in A.H. 1280 (A.D. 1863). He appears to have come to Persia from India in 1854, for the German missionaries Petermann and Brühl travelled with him, his son Ormazdjí, a Múbad or Zoroastrian priest, a secretary named Key Khusraw, and a cook named Shápúrjí, from Shíráz to Yezd in July of that year. (See an article by F. Justi on the dialect of Yezd in the Z. D. M. G. for 1881, vol. xxv, pp. 327-8, and a foot-note on p. 328, according to which Mánakjí acted for a while as French consul at Yezd.) He died a year or two ago.

4 Concerning Sipihr (better known as Lisánu’-l-Mulk) and Hidáyat (Rizá-Kulí Khán Lálá-bashí), and their histories, the Násikhu’t-Tawáríkh and the supplement to the Rawzatu’s-Safá, see vol. ii of my Traveller's Narrative, pp. 173-192.

5 Cf. J.R.A.S. for 1892, p. 442. According to Baron Rosen's letter there cited, the portion of the Preface of the New History composed by Mírzá Abú’l-Fazl extends from the beginning to l.3 of p. 3 infra.

6 See pp. 318-319 infra.

7 By this expression (###) the Manifestation of Behá’u’lláh is meant.

8 The multitude of variants and divergences in the two MSS. of which I made use in preparing this translation fully bears out this statement.

9 See index, s.v. Zabíh; and the J. R. A. S. for 1892, p. 311, where my conjecture as to the identity of Zabíh seems to have been erroneous.

10 See pp. 213-214, and 349 infra.

11 The celebrated shrine and city of refuge, distant about 5 or 6 miles from Teherán to the south.

12 On September 15th, A.D. 1852. See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 332.

13 This date is given according to the old style prevalent in Russia. The corresponding date according to our style is November 12th.

14 C. has, "Suleymán Khán Afshár of Sá‘in-Kal’a," an evident error, as Suleymán Khán Afshár was one of the most determined persecutors of the Bábís. Hájí Suleymán Khán of Tabríz, the son of Yahyá Khán, is without doubt intended. See my Traveller's Narrative p. 239 and foot-note.

15 Cf. Traveller's Narrative, p. 240, note 1.

16 [I visited the holy shrines of Kerbelá and Nejef shortly after the death of Hájí Seyyid Kázim, and learned from his disciples that the late Seyyid had, a few days before his journey to Surra-man-ra‘a and death, said, "This is the last time that I shall visit Surra-man-ra‘a, for the days of my sojourn in this world are ended, and it is time for me to depart." His friends thereat displayed much sorrow, but he replied, "Grieve not, but rather be thankful and rejoice, for after I am gone you shall be permitted to behold the Promised Proof."]

17 L. is corrupt here, interrupting the continuity of the narrative with a verse of poetry bearing reference to Seyyid Kázim's death, and omitting the list of names given above. Probably the scribe intended to write them in afterwards with red ink, as two lines are left blank.

18 Both these couplets are from the third book of the Masnaví, but they do not belong to the same context. The first will be found at p. 229, l. 13, and the second at p. 319, l. 13 of the Teherán edition of ‘Alá’ud-Dawla.

19 See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 241, 250.

20 [[As it chanced he came to the door in person.]]

21 [[had seen and recognized me]]

22 See my Catalogue of 27 Bábí MSS. in the J. R. A. S. for 1892, where the text of this passage is quoted in a description of the work in question.

23 See Rieu's Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, vol. i, p. 30, where an outline of the story here alluded to is given.

24 Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. i, p. 12; vol. ii, p. 9.

25 i.e. the sacred writings, to which alone the Báb appealed in proof of his divine mission. Cf. Gobineau, p. 158.

26 [whom in his childhood they had brought to me for instruction, though he attended my class only one day.]

27 [being wide awake, I plainly saw His Holiness appear to me saying,]

28 Kur'án, xvii, 90.

29 Kur'án, cxii, 2.

30 Concerning the writings of Jenáb-i-Kuddús, see Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p.30, n. 1; and J.R.A.S. for 1892, p. 485 et seq.

31 Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 308.

32 Whether the report of Mullá Huseyn's address to his followers here given be literally correct or no, it at least shews an evident reflex of his Master's doctrines and phraseology. The Báb distinctly taught that Heaven, Hell, the Questioning of the Tomb, Hades (Barzakh), and the Bridge (Sirát) here alluded to, were not to be understood in a material sense, as by the Muhammadans, but metaphorically. This doctrine is elaborated in detail in the second Váhid of the Persian Beyán, whereof the twelfth chapter, treating of "the Bridge," begins thus:- "What has at all times been intended by 'the Bridge' is the manifestation of God and His religion. Whosoever is steadfast is on the Bridge of God, else is he not on the Bridge." Cf. J. R. A. S. (new series), vol. xxi, p. 930.

33 i.e. the world, often likened to a caravansaray or inn where the traveller sojourns but a few days.

34 i.e. Huseyn b. ‘Ali b. Abí Tálib, the third Imám.

35 i.e. the plain of Kerbelá

36 i.e. Mash-had, the place of martyrdom and burial of the Imám Rizá

37 This paragraph, which occurs only in C., is evidently an addition to the original text. Cf. p. 45, supra.

38 L. reads shakhsí khabbází "a certain fellow who was a baker," instead of shakhsí jabbárí which is C.'s reading.

39 Huseyn b. ‘Alí b. Abí Tálib, the third Imám.

40 See Kur‘án vii (pp. 115-117 in Sale's translation). According to the Muhammadan account, the magicians summoned by Pharaoh to oppose Moses were so overcome by witnessing the true miracles wrought by him that they fell on their faces crying, "We believe in the Lord of all creatures, the Lord of Moses and Aaron." Thereat was Pharaoh very wroth, and said, "Have ye believed on Him are I have given you permission so to do? Verily this is a plot which ye have contrived in the city, that ye may drive out thence the inhabitants thereof. But ye shall know for a surety <that I am your master, for> I will cause your hands and your feet to be cut off on opposite sides, then will I cause you all to be crucified." They answered, "We shall assuredly return unto our Lord; for thou takest vengeance on us only because we have believed in the signs of our Lord when they came unto us. O Lord, pour on us patience, and cause us to die Muslims.'

41 L. adds "and," thus making Sa’ádat-Kulí Beg a different person from the chief's son-in-law. According to Subh-i-Ezel, Sa’ádat-Kulí Beg was himself a Bábí. He had a young daughter whom he used occasionally to dress in boy's clothes.

42 [Sa’ádat-Kulí Beg]

43 The Tomb of Sheykh Tabarsí lies to the south of the road leading from Bárfurúsh to Sárí, some twelve or fifteen miles S.E. of the former town. I visited it on September 2 6th, 1888, in the company of a very intelligent tradesman of Bárfurúsh. Yet, though he was intimately acquainted with the country, so intricate are the paths leading to it, and so uncertain the state of the quagmires and marshes which must be traversed to reach the forest on the edge of which it lies, that we were continually obliged to ask the road and to change our course wherever the swampy rice-fields proved impassable. Altogether, a worse ride of three hours I never saw.

44 C. reads Jánúb and L. Jálút (Goliath). The first is a mere copyist's error, and the second an evident mistake. I have substituted Dá‘úd (David), which the sense of the passage obviously requires. Allusion is made to the transaction here referred to in Kur‘án ii, 252. A. full account of it, according to the Muhammadan tradition, is given in Book 1 of the Rawzatu‘s-Safá and in other Muhammadan histories.

45 C. and L. both read Tálút (Saul) instead of Jálút (Goliath), an error which I have not hesitated to correct.

46 [[written by the late Hájí Mírzá Jání]]

47 L. inserts "corresponding to the year......", the date being left blank. The coronation of Násiru‘d-Dín Sháh took place on Zí‘l-Ka’da 22nd, A.H. 1264 (Oct. 20th, A.D. 1848).

48 [[So there came to war with them a great host, who entrenched themselves in a village hard by the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí and made preparations for battle.]]

49 The ordeal by fire would seem to have been long known to the Persians, for we find an account of it in the Episode of Siyávush in the Sháhnámé (ed. Vüllers, vol ii, pp. 550-3).

50 Cf. Kut‘án, ii, 21; x, 39; xi, 16; lii, 34.

51 See note 1 at the foot of p. 38, supra.

52 One of the miracles ascribed to Muhammad.

53 This passage is very important, as it shows not only that the author of this history wrote after Mírzá Huseyn ‘Alí Behá‘u‘lláh had advanced his claim to supremacy, but also that he recognized the validity of this claim. That he drew his inspiration from Behá‘í sources is also shown by the fact that he makes but one doubtful reference to Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezel, who, whatever view be taken of his position, certainly played a part in Bábí history too important to be ignored by any disinterested historian.

54 i.e. Behá‘u‘lláh.

55 See p. 44 supra.

56 Kur‘án, ii, 88; lxii, 66.

57 Kur‘án, ix, 20. The verse is not, however, quoted quite accurately.

58 Kur‘án, iii, 47.

59 C. adds ###. The title is hardly legible in L., but seems to read ###.

60 i.e. Hell.

61 "O Lord of the age!"

62 See p. 44 supra.

63 "O Lord of the age!" Cf. p. 69 supra.

64 Kur’án, ii, 191.

65 The narrow bridge "finer than a hair and sharper than a sword" which, as the Muhammadans believe, all must traverse to reach paradise.

66 Huseyn b. ‘Alí b. Abí Tálib, the third Imám.

67 When a Persian Shi‘ite dies, it is customary to give a certain proportion of the wealth he leaves behind him to the clergy, to be expended on pious and charitable objects, and thus to atone for the wrongs which the deceased during his life-time may have done to his fellow-men. This is called radd-i-mazálim ('restitution of wrongs').

68 See Querry's Droit Musulman, vol ii, pp. 327-362 passim.

69 Ibid., vol. i, p. 633, § 178, and p. 162, § 210.

70 Shaltúk, i.e. rice not yet separated from the husk. In Hindústání it is called shálí, and by Anglo-Indians "paddy."

71 [Mullá]

72 See Querry's Droit Musulman, vol. ii, p. 230, § 10, and p. 242, § 100.

73 "White tea" (cháy-i-safíd) and "Austrian tea" (cháy-i-Namsé) are the names given in Persia to the finest variety of the leaf.

74 The saddles used by the Persians are chiefly composed of wood.

75 Kur’án l, 29.

76 Kúché-i-salámat.

77 [[still, that we fail not in respect for the Kur’án, or in readiness to respond to his overtures, it is good for us to tread submissively this path of agony.]]

78 [[Mírzá Muhammad Sádik of Khurásán]]

79 [of Marágha]

80 [And when they slew him no blood came forth from his body. So they told this to the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá. And he said, "He was afraid, and his blood left him."]

81 A part of the passage from L. inserted here in the text has been erased in the original MS. by a stroke of the pen; but, notwithstanding this, it is easily legible. The erasure begins at the words "but the writer (musawwid) of these pages...", and extends to the words "Hájí Mírzá Jání further writes that...". Very probably the passage in L. is an interpolation of the copyist, and was deleted by a former possessor of the MS., who disapproved of such scepticism.

82 [[But the fire would not consume it. They secretly told the Sa‘ídu’l-‘Ulamá of this.]]

83 [[according to Hájí Mírzá Jání's account,]]

84 See p. 44, supra.

85 See p. 44, n. 3, supra.

86 i.e. no Musulmán.

87 "He who is to arise", i.e. the Mahdí.

88 The arabicized form of the Mount Paran of the Old Testament. L.'s reading, Fárá, seems to be a mere slip.

89 In the original, "wa gháliban zan-tabi‘at búdand."

90 [by diverse indications and signs]

91 The kursí, much used by the Persians in cold weather, is like a low table under which a chafing-dish filed with burning charcoal is placed. The legs are put beneath it, and the remainder of the body, supported by pillows, is protected from the cold with rugs and quilts.

92 Literally "silent."

93 This alludes to Kur’án, lxii, 5, where the Jews are reproved for their rejection of Muhammad in these words, "Those unto whom the Pentateuch was committed, and who observed it not, are like unto an ass which beareth books, &c."

94 Huseyn b. Mansúr-i-Halláj (the wool-carder) was a celebrated $úfí who wandered about teaching the most exalted mysticism till he was finally sentenced to death by the ‘Ulamá at Baghdad, and there hanged or crucified in the year A.H. 309 (A.D. 922). He was condemned on a charge of blasphemy, because in one of his mystical ecstasies he had cried out "Ana’l-Hakk" (i.e. "I am God").

95 Kur’án, iii, 108.

96 This quotation is from the Masnaví.

97 Jenáb-i-Táhira, i.e. Kurratu’l-‘Ayn.

98 This sister of Mullá Huseyn's may perhaps be the same who is known amongst the Bábís as Jenáb-i-Maryam, one of whose poems - an imitation of the ghazal of Shams-i-Tabríz beginning, 'Bi-n’máy rukh, ki bágh ú gulistánam árzúst - is in my possession.

99 Although in this history the lower title of Jenáb rather than the higher title of Hazrat is generally given to Hájí Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí of Bárfurúsh, amongst the early Bábís generally the latter appears to have been accorded to him. Subh-i-Ezel, for instance, always spoke and wrote of him as Hazrat-i-Kuddús.

100 i.e. Mákú on the frontiers of Ázarbaiján, which the Báb in the Persian Beyán generally alludes to as "Jabal-i-Mím" ("the Mountain of M.").

101 The name of ‘Alí's celebrated sword.

102 This passage occurs only in L., the words enclosed between braces [orig, daggers] having been subsequently inserted in the margin.

103 [["Let seven (or four) men accompany me to the mosque with drawn swords." Salmán, who was preferred before the other followers in service and honour, and who hew ‘Alí to be both wronged and able to redress his wrongs, and to have been the victim of an unlawful usurpation, nevertheless girded on his sword secretly under his cloak, and this though his life had almost reached its natural term, neither did he enjoy any special rank, power, or authority.]]

104 The Shátir-báshí is the chief or superintendent of the footmen who run before the Sháh on state occasions and clear the way for him.

105 Ikhwánu’z-zafá, a name still often applied by the Bábís to themselves. L., however, substitutes, "Friends of God".

106 i.e. Suleymán Khán Afshár, who was sent to supersede Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá in the actual command of the besieging force. See p. 85 supra.

107 [Jenáb-i-Mukaddas]

108 Cf. my Traveller's Narrative, p. 129, n. 2.

109 [[which he had not been able to eat]]

110 In the notes taken during one of my interviews with Subh-i-EzeI at Famagusta I find the following entry, which in some measure confirms what is here related:-"Mírzá Bákir, who had been half-starved, and had had his nose cut off, was shot on the bridge at Ámul, but not till he had wounded several of his foes with a knife."

111 I am uncertain as to the correct spelling of this name, which is not clearly written in either MS. In C. it appears to stand as ###; in L. as ###; but in either case the first letter may be a # instead of a #. Perhaps it is the same village as that called in the Rawzatu’s-Safá ###, in the Násikhu’t-Tawáríkh ###, and by Gobineau (p. 202) Daskčs. In the Traveller's Narrative (vol ii, pp. 177 and 190) I have transliterated this name as Vásaks, but this is merely conjectural.

112 See n. 1 on p. 95 supra.

113 i.e. the courage displayed by the Bábís at Sheykh Tabarsí and the afflictions endured by them resembled, but far surpassed, the fortitude and the sufferings of the Imám Huseyn and his followers at Kerbelá.

114 i.e. the Imám Huseyn

115 [‘Abbás-Kulí Khán's description of Mullá Huseyn's entry into the field of battle.]

116 Jíka, properly the aigrette worn by the Sháh in the front of his kuláh.

117 [[that his voice was raised]]

118 i.e. he cut each of them in two.

119 [knowing it to be the blow of his hand]

120 ‘Alí b. Abí Tálib, the first Imám.

121 Subh-i-Ezel informed me that on one occasion, when some of the clergy of Núr began to revile Mullá Huseyn in the presence of ‘Abbás- Kulí Khán, he said- ### "There is no occasion for reviling: he was a brave man, who slew and was slain."

122 C. has "third". The fifth year of the Manifestation began on the Nawrúz of A.H. 1264 (about March 21st, A.D. 1848). Cf. Traveller's Narrative, p. 425.

123 C. has "A.H. 1263". The troubles in Mátzandarán began towards the end of the year A.H. 1264 (autumn of A.D. 1848) and lasted till Ramazán or Shawwál A.H. 1265 (July or August 1849).

124 This quotation is from the Masnaví.

125 [[he at once believed and prostrated himself in worship]]

126 i.e. the Báb.

127 Some reflections of the author, which merely serve to interrupt the continuity of the narrative, are here omitted.

128 ‘Alí b. Abí Talib the first Imám.

129 Both C. and L. have "Prince Farhád Mírzá," an obvious error. Cf. my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 183, and 257-8.

130 [Díván-Begí]

131 The people of Kúfa by their promises of support induced the Imám Huseyn to take up arms, but failed him in the day of need.

132 Imám Huseyn, from whom, as a Seyyid, Seyyid Yahyá claimed descent.

133 [Then he mounted his horse and took a last farewell of his companions, saying, "Verily we belong to God, and verily unto Him do we return." And his followers wept bitterly.]

134 L. has án wajh-i-Rabb, "that Face of the Lord," i.e. "that apparition of the Divine." Wajh (Face, mask, apparition) was a title assumed by the Báb, Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezel, and, I think, others of the chief Bábís.

135 The same Fírúz Mírzá previously mentioned. L., constant in its error, substitutes "Mu‘tamadu’d-Dawla", the title of Prince Farhád Mírzá, but this, as already observed, is a mistake.

136 L. omits, and C. reads "Ník", but this seems to be a mistake for "Beg". The name occurs a little further on (in a passage omitted in C.) as here given in the text.

137 The Básirí is one of the Khamsa (Arab) nomad tribes of Fárs and Láristán. See Curson's Persia, vol. ii, p. 114.

138 The narrator means, I suppose, to imply that the old man, struck by the resemblance between the episodes of Níríz and Kerbelá, intentionally asked this question to bring out this resemblance more clearly.

139 In illustration of this narrative, I subjoin the translation of a passage occurring in a manuscript collection of ta‘ziyas belonging to the University Library of Cambridge (Add. 423, f. 63b):- "It is related on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbás that Sahl-i-Sá'idí related as follows:- 'I had gone on business to Damascus. One day I arrived at a village in the neighbourhood of Damascus. I found that orders had been issued for the village to be decorated, and that the people were flocking out as though to see some sight, with rejoicings and beatings of drums and kettle-drums. I said to myself, "Surely these people must have some festival not common to other men." I asked one what was toward. He replied, "O Sheykh, art thou then an Arab of the desert?" I answered, "I am Sahl-i-Sá‘dí, and one of the companions of our Holy Prophet." The man heaved a sigh and began to weep and make lamentation, saying, 'It is wonderful that the heavens do not rain down blood at this calamity." Then said I, "Speak more clearly." Then quoth he, "The people of Damascus are rejoicing and making merry over the blessed head of Imám Huseyn which they of ‘Irák have sent to Yazíd." I said, "From which gate of the city will they bring forth that head?" He answered, "From the Gate of Sá‘át."...'"

140 And by the side of each camel and captive was a severed head stuck on the point of a spear.

141 "The European's hat." This summer-house was still standing when I was at Shíráz in the Spring of 1888.

142 See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 259-261.

143 i.e. Shimar ibn Jawshan, one of the murderers of Imám Huseyn. See Sir Lewis Pelly's Miracle Play of Hasan and Huseyn, vol. ii, p. 258, and Tabarí's Annales, series ii, vol. i, p. 377, l. 8.

144 The Prophet Muhammad, or his cousin and son-in-law ‘Alí b. Abí Talíb, from whom the woman, as belonging to a family of Seyyids, claimed descent.

145 i.e. men beyond the circle of those whose nearness of kinship to a woman entitles them to look on her unveiled.

146 [[Then they dismissed the captives from the Prince's presence, and, as it would seem, appointed them lodgings in a caravansaray.]]

147 [after a time]

148 "O Lord of the Age!" Cf. pp. 69 and 74, supra.

149 [The Bábís fought most gallantly and were always victorious, until at length, after a desperate resistance, they were overcome, and suffered martyrdom. 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, and 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?"]

150 I have relegated L.'s version to the foot of the page rather as a matter of convenience than because I am disposed to regard it as an interpolation. Indeed the longer narrative given by C. would seem, from the closing words, to have been a subsequent addition to the original text. Concerning Mírzá Muhammad Nabíl of Zarand, called al-akhras ("the tongue-tied"), see my Traveller's Narrative, p. 357 and note 5 at the foot of that page. [DM: Rather it is Nabíl-i-Akbar.]

151 See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 259.

152 This well-known tradition, according to Muhammadan belief, embodies God's answer to David's question, "O Lord, wherefore didst thou create the world?"

153 Cf. Eastwick's Diplomate's Residence in Persia, vol. ii, pp. 55-56.

154 Imám Huseyn.

155 Jesus Christ, called by the Muhammadans 'Rúhu’lláh', "the Spirit of God".

156 Kur’án, vi, 25; viii, 31; xvi, 26; &c.

157 L. appends to this narrative three couplets from the Masnaví as a conclusion.

158 [He was summoned to Teherán several times. Never had the eye of time beheld so incomparably learned a doctor. One night the late Hájí Mírzá Ákásí assembled a concourse of divines, all of whom he silenced and discomfited. He was ordered to remain in Teherán, but after the death of Muhammad Sháh he returned to Zanján.] - These words, included in the title, written partly in red ink, which L. prefixes to the narrative of the Zanján rising, are relegated to the foot of the page because they do not in truth partake of the nature of a title at all, but rather of a note which has become incorporated in the text.

159 Here begins the first important divergence between the texts of C. and L. The full and detailed account of the Zanján siege given by the latter I have, as a matter of convenience, placed in the body of this work, although it appears to be an interpolation added by one ‘Árif; the meagre version of the former, which still supplies us with some new facts, at the foot of the page. [In this document, placed after.]

160 For an account of the Akhbárís, see Gobineau's Religions et Philosophies &c., p. 28 et seq.

161 Tal‘at-i-Abhá; i.e. Mírzá Huseyn ‘Alí Behá’u’lláh.

162 More commonly, and, apparently, more correctly, Ahsá’í. Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 234.

163 This name, in the earlier part of L.'s narrative, appears as ###. I at first conjectured that it should be Dá’í Muhammad; the title Dá’í (uncle) being not uncommonly prefixed to the names of Persians. But an old Bábí, now resident at Famagusta, who was in Zanján during the siege (though he was then but a child of 11) wrote the name for me as Dín Muhammad or Dín-i-Muhammad (###), which spelling I therefore adopt. The name also occurs in this form in the latter part of L.'s narrative.

164 It is customary in Persia to sacrifice sheep or other animals before a great man returning from a journey, especially when he reaches his own town, Cf. Traveller's Narrative, p. 326 and footnote.

165 See note 2 on p. 140 supra.

166 Khamsa is the small province or district of which Zanján is the capital.

167 May 13th, A.D. 1850. L. has "1267", which is certainly a mistake (though the 1st of Rajab in that year did actually fall on a Friday), as is clearly proved by unimpeachable testimony. Cf. my first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, pp. 511-512 and 524, and my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 186-187.

168 Cf. pp. 69 and 74 supra.

169 The month of Rajab of the year A.H. 1266 ended on June 11th, 1850.

170 This description is not very clear, but what seems to be meant is that an iron punch or boring-rod was constructed, by means of which the walls could be loop-holed for musketry at any point attacked. It must be borne in mind that the walls of Zanján, like those of all other Persian towns, are made of nothing stronger than sun-baked clay.

171 The word mughanní (properly mukanní) really denotes a professional maker of the subterranean channels (kanát) whereby water is conveyed to towns, villages, and fields in Persia.

172 Ramazán 5th, A.H. 1266 = July 15th, A.D. 1850.

173 A similar device is mentioned by Ferrier (Journeys in Persia and Afghanistan, London, 1857, p. 156) as follows:- "He [Yár Muhammad Khán] mentioned, however, in high terms the bravery of the [Persian] troops, and furnished me with much curious information respecting the siege [of Herát]; his mode of ascertaining the direction in which the besiegers were carrying the galleries of their mines to reach the ditch of the place was very ingenious. Plates were filled with as much small seed as they would hold and placed upon the ground in those spots under which it was presumed the sappers were at work; and, in spite of all their precautions, the least concussion or blow from a spade or pick brought down a few grains from the heap, and discovered their position."

174 i.e. 250 túmáns, or about Ł76, according to the present rate of exchange. It seems incredible that five crores (two and a half millions) of any larger unit than the dínár could even be demanded by the royalist general.

175 The privileges of sanctuary (bast) are still accorded in Persia to wrong-doers of any class who take refuge either in a holy city or shrine (such as Kum or Sháh ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím), in the royal stables, or in certain other places and objects specially associated with royalty. A certain large gun which stands in one of the squares of Teherán is "bast." The same virtue appears to be attributed here to the royal artillery in general.

176 It is not clear who is meant by "the vizier," but presumably the Bábí chief Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí, or his lieutenant Dín Muhammad is intended.

177 According to Subh-i-Ezel, Farrukh Khán was, or pretended to be, a Bábí; and it was, no doubt, for this reason that he was put to death so cruelly, being first skinned alive and then roasted. (Cf. Kazem-Beg, ii, pp. 217-220). His horse and sword were brought to his brother Yahyá Khán, by whom they were offered to Subh-i-Ezel. [DM: The punishment may seem harsh, until one realises how happy he was to betray so many to cruel torture and death.]

178 It appears from p. 146 supra that the defence of the Castle in question had been entrusted to fifty men commanded by Kerbelá’í Haydar and Áká Fath-‘Alí, and that thirty-three of these had been guilty of making overtures to the enemy.

179 Hazrat-i-Rabb-i-A‘lá, one of the Báb's titles. See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 229.

180 The substance of this and the following paragraphs occurs in C. also, as will be seen by referring to the translation of C.'s text at the foot of pp. 139-146 supra. The writer of the L. text has introduced them here most inopportunely, as the paragraph which succeeds should clearly follow immediately the paragraph which precedes them.

181 Cf. the translation of C.'s text at the foot of pp. 139-142 supra, and the preceding note.

182 Muharram A.H. 1267 began on November 6th and ended on December 5th, A.D. 1850.

183 December 30th, A.D. 1850.

184 Here the L. and C. texts unite.

185 ‘Ubeydu’lláh ibn Ziyád, the governor of Kúfa under Mu‘áviya, and Yazíd, whom, by reason of his severities and cruelties towards the Imám Huseyn and his friends and followers, the Shi‘ites regard with singular detestation.

186 The Bábís profess to find in certain verses of several of the mystic poets, notably Sháh Ni‘matu’lláh, Háfiz, and Pír of Ardistán, foreshadowings of the Báb's appearance. This is especially the case with the first of these three, who is said to have foretold the year (A.H.) 1260 as the year of the Mahdí's coming. This verse was shewn to me at Kirmán, but when I consulted the copy of Sháh Ni‘matu’lláh's works kept at his shrine at Máhán I found that a different date was there given.

187 Cf. my first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, pp. 498-9; and my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. xxxviii.

188 The Imám Rizá, to whom Mash-had owes its sanctity.

189 [black]

190 [[A room near a well]]

191 [His Excellency]

192 Here begins the second important divergence between the accounts given by C. and L. of the Zanján siege. The former is as usual the shorter, the poorer in detail, and the more bombastic and inflated in style, and is relegated for these reasons to the foot of the page.

193 i.e. the Hamadání woman who alone survived of the three wives.

194 The text is here so corrupt as to be almost unintelligible, and I offer the translation enclosed between daggers as a mere guess at the sense. The text stands as follows in the MS.:- ###

195 Cf. Sir Lewis Pelly's Miracle Play of Hasan and Huseyn, vol. ii, pp. 153-156.

196 [[So they came forth from the castle submissively, hopefully, even joyously, and surrendered it to the besiegers. But when these had thus captured them (through their respect for the Kur’án and the plighted troth) they slew them with every species of cruelty and indignity, and in most cases burned their bodies, all save some few whom they led forth in chains and fetters to be carried before the Amír. Then they fell upon their houses and seized all that they had as spoil, took captive their women and children, whom they sold for a small price, and exhumed the corpse of His Holiness the Proof from the spot where it was buried. As they were doing so, the eyes of one of these just and righteous Musulmáns fell on the ring on its finger, and he immediately drew out his knife, cut off the finger, and removed the ring. Then it flashed upon the minds of Dín Muhammad and several others who were in chains with him that the words which their illustrious leader had uttered at the time of his death, 'They will cut off my finger and take the ring' had come true. Thereupon they began to weep bitterly, and urgently to entreat Muhammad Khán, saying, 'Kill us also, and send us to join that great and holy man.' Muhammad Khán was beyond all measure astonished and said,]]

197 Farámúsh-kháné ("House of Oblivion") is the name given by the Persians to a masonic lodge. See Gobineau's Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, p. 306.

198 Alluding to the well-known words in which, according to Muslim tradition, God made known to David the object of creation:- 'I was a Hidden Treasure, and I desired to be known; therefore I created creation that I might be known'. Cf. p.133 supra.

199 Kur’án, l, 15.

200 [[So they surrounded those poor victims also, and struck blows at each one, until they had sent them to join their leader.]]

201 See p. 161 supra.

202 It is impossible to say to whom the pronoun refers. As the plural is used, and as the person designated is said to have "suffered martyrdom" it is clear that some one of the Bábí saints is intended. None who escaped the massacre of Zanján having been mentioned, one can only conjecture that one of the Bábís put to death at Teherán in 1852 may be meant. No doubt the unrecorded circumstances or the context of Haydar Beg's narrative rendered the point clear enough to his hearers.

203 [Account of the letter of His Holiness 'the Proof' to Mírzá Takí Khán Amír-i-Kabír.]

204 By "the Letter J." (###) I conjecture that Áká Jemál of Burájird, one of the most learned and influential of the (Behá’í) Bábís resident in Persia, is meant. That he was imprisoned for some time in Teherán (see pp. 172 and 180 infra) I know from one who shared his captivity.

205 i.e. the Bábís.

206 C. introduces this account with a somewhat different form of words, and suppresses the name of Mírzá Abú’l-Fazl, concerning whom see my Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts in the J. R. A. S. for 1892, pp. 442-3, 663-5, and 701.

207 i.e. the representatives of the government and the clergy.

208 From this It would appear that the discussion here described took place about A.H. 1290 (A.D. 1873). Cf. my Remarks on the Bábí texts published by Baron Rosen &c. in the J. R. A. S. for 1892, p. 281.

209 i.e. who deny the possibility of any further revelation, or the existence of any open channel of communication between God and men. Cf. my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 243-4.

210 Kur’án, ii, 257; xxxi, 21.

211 Since the Bábí apologist at the beginning of his discourse (p. 174 supra) spoke of his fellow-believers as having been subjected to persecutions "for nearly thirty years" it is evident that Behá'u'IIáh is here intended The concluding words in the sentence can hardly allude to anything else than his Epistles to the Kings (Alwáh-i-Salátín).

212 Kur’án, ix, 123.

213 i.e. Behá’u’lláh, who must at this time have already taken up his abode at Acre in Syria. See n. 1 on p. 174 supra.

214 Násiru’d-Dín Sháh set out from Teherán on his first journey to Europe on Saturday, the 21st of Safar, A.H. 1290 (April 20th, 1873), and again set foot on Persian soil on Saturday, the 13th of Rajab of the same year (September 6th, 1873). This allusion is important, as giving some indication of the date when this history was written.

215 See Tabarí's Annales, series i, vol. ii, pp. 1058-1060, and Noeldeke's Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden, pp. 379-383, and n. 1 at the foot of the latter page.

216 The Persian crore (###) is half a million.

217 Between a million and a million and a half pounds sterling.

218 See the foot-notes on p. 77 supra.

219 Kur’án, vii, 178; xxv, 46.

220 Ibid.

221 Kur’án xl, 16.

222 For the original text of these verses, see Rosenzweig-Schwannau's edition of the Dívám of Háfiz, vol. i, p. 342, first and fourth couplets.

223 Hakíkat, Taríkat, Sharí‘at. The Law is incumbent on all believers, and contains the commandments revealed as necessary for the direction of their conduct. The Path is the higher ethical and moral standard to which such as would know the Truth - the inward mystery of Being - must conform. "Live the life," says a well-known aphorism of the mystics, "and thou shalt know the doctrine."

224 ‘Ilm-i-vahbí or laduní. This is the knowledge of the prophets.

225 ‘Ilm-i-zawkí or kashfí. This is the knowledge of the mystics, saints, and Súfís.

226 ‘llm-i-kasbí or rasmí. This is the knowledge of divines, doctors, and scholars.

227 See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 86 and footnote, and p. 129.

228 At the present rate of exchange less than Ł7.

229 [although in his later days the fees paid to him for his lectures enabled him to live on a somewhat more liberal scale.]

230 The Russian pood is equivalent to about 36 lbs.

231 i.e. the war of A.H. 1237 (A.D. 1822). It was in May of that year that ‘Abbás Mírzá the Ná’ibu’s-Saltana marched from Tabríz against the Turks.

232 Háfiz, ed. Rosenzweig-Schwannau, vol. i, p. 474, first couplet.

233 Kur’án, l, 29.

234 ‘Alí ibn Abí Tálib, the first Imám.

235 The tenth day of Muharram, on which the battle of Kerbelá was concluded, and the martyrdom of Imám Huseyn and his companions consummated.

236 A.D. 1826. The date is left blank in the MS., and is supplied by myself from the Násikhu’t-Tawáríkh, in which, under the year A.H. 1241, a full account of the rash folly of the mullás in provoking the war will be found. See also Watson's History of Persia from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century till the year 1858, pp. 208-209; and my Traveller's Narrative, pp. 118-119, and n. 3 on the former page.

237 [At all events it is best for us to cease from this discourse, and to narrate in detail the history of His Supreme Holiness (may the life of all Contingent Being be his sacrifice!). And our sole object is to set forth the truth of the matter.]

238 A.D. 1845. See my Traveller's Narrative, pp. 251-252, where I have striven to fix the dates of this and other events connected with the earlier portion of the Báb's mission as nearly as possible.

239 The discovery of this passage on ff. 86b-87a of the Paris MS. (Suppl. Pers. 1071) first led me to suspect that it might contain the actual text of Hájí Mírzá Jání's history. The merchant whose narrative is quoted is there described as a "fellow country man" of the author of the history (###). A marginal note added in another hand gives his name as Hájí Muhammad Rizá, the son of Hájí Rahím the velvet-maker (###), and states that he lived for twelve years after his conversion, suffered much at the hands of the unbelievers, was repeatedly imprisoned, and finally died in the year A.H. 1274 (A.D. 1857-8). Subh-i-Ezel, whom I questioned on the subject, wrote to me that the person intended was probably Hájí Muhammad Rizá of Isfahán, merchant, who died in prison about the year A.H. 1270. It was given out by his gaolers that he had committed suicide by strangling himself.

240 i.e. the Mahdí.

241 Concerning the "Guardians" (###), see Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 303-4.

242 See Kazem-Beg's last article on the Bábís in the Journal Asiatique for December 1866, pp. 486-488, especially lines 8 and 9 on the last page.

243 See pp. 40-42 supra.

244 The chief of the modern Sheykhí school. See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 241-244.

245 Áká Seyyid Jawád of Kerbelá, a prominent member of the clergy at Kirmán, was himself a Bábí. When the schism between Subh-i-Ezel and Behá’u’lláh took place, he followed the former. To his care were many of Subh-i-Ezel's books and papers entrusted. (See Traveller's Narrative, p. 342, n. 2.) He was, as I have lately learned, the author of both volumes of the Hasht Bihist. (See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 351-364; and my Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts in the J.R.A.S. for 1892, pp. 680-697.) The comparative strength of the Ezelís at Kirmán is probably largely due to his influence. He died about 1884.

246 For this and what follows cf. Traveller's Narrative, pp. 5-6.

247 Cf. the account of the Báb's execution at p. 321 of my Traveller's Narrative. The shab-kuláh, or night-cap, serves also by day as a basis for the turban, which is wound round it. The removal of the turban is a mark of disrespect.

248 This is the ecclesiastical method of inflicting castigation (hadd). The bastinado on the soles of the feet is the form of punishment generally resorted to by governors and civilians.

249 Probably the same garden to which the Níríz captives were brought, as described at p. 126 supra. It adjoins the governor's palace, and in it is situated the summer-house called Kuláh-i-Fírangí.

250 Cf. Traveller's Narrative, pp. 5-6.

251 Mahár is the leading-rope attached to the nose of a camel. It is not clear whether the noses of the Bábí missionaries were pierced, or whether the ropes were attached in some other manner, as, for instance, round their necks.

252 [[At this time Huseyn Khán the governor <of Fárs> sent several horsemen to Bushire to seek out <the Báb>.]]

253 i.e. the Bábís.

254 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 87b et seq. From this point onwards the correspondence between the Paris MS. history and the Táríkh-i-Jadíd is very close.

255 Kur’án, vi, 121.

256 Sept, 23rd, A.D. 1845. See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 10-11, and 262.

257 [scaled the wall of]

258 See my Traveller's Narrative, pp. 2 and 6, and Note B at end.

259 This person I have in my translation generally designated "the governor" (Sáhib-ikhtiyár), by which title he is generally mentioned in L., nor have I deemed it necessary to note every place where C. substitutes his name, Huseyn Khán, or his other title, Nísámu’d-Dawla.

260 [[and brought them to the house of Huseyn Khán Nizámu’d-Dawla]]

261 [[So likewise he inflicted many stripes on Jenáb-i-Kuddús, Mukaddas-i-Khurásáni, and Mullá ‘Alí Akbar of Ardistán, caused them to be led through the bazaars with leading-ropes, and expelled them from the city.]]

262 Dárúgha.

263 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 88a.

264 This passage, omitted in C., is found in Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 88a.

265 [[in company with Áká Muhammad Huseyn of Ardistán, who was one of his disciples,]]

266 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 88a.

267 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 88a, l. 9.

268 Much-pích (###). I am indebted to my friend Mírzá Huseyn-Kulí Khán for the explanation of this word.

269 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 89a.

270 C., by an obvious error on the part of the copyist, omits the words enclosed in brackets, so that its text gives no meaning.

271 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 90a.

272 Cf. Kazem-Beg, i, p. 352 and n. 2; and Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 263-4.

273 Kur’án, ciii. See my Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts in the J. R. A. S. for 1892, pp. 637-640.

274 Kur’án, cviii. See my Catalogue &c., pp. 643-8.

275 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 91a.

276 Cf. Kur’án, ii, 21.

277 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 92a. Cf. my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 13, n. 2.

278 A tradition describing the attributes of God's saints is here quoted from the Lawh-i-Fátima (see my Traveller's Narrative, p. 123, n. 1), but the text is so corrupt that I have been compelled to omit it.

279 Hájí Mírzá Jání's history (Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 92b-93a) here inserts an account of the miraculous transmutation of a metal pipe-cover (sar-púsh-i-kalyán) into gold at the Báb's touch, and adds that the Báb foretold Minúchihr Khán's death 19 days before it took place to two of his disciples, one of these being Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb, who was then in Yezd. Then follows the author's narrative of his meeting with Áká Seyyid Yahyá, and the account given by him of his conversion. (See p. 113 supra.)

280 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 95a.

281 [[six]]

282 C. omits these words, which enable us (provisionally) to identify the Zabíh previously cited in the account of the siege of Zanján (p. 139 supra) with Hájí Mírzá Isma‘íl, concerning whom see my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 332.

283 [three]

284 [three]

285 I include in the body of the text the additional particulars given by L. merely as a matter of convenience, for all that Hájí Mírzá Jání actually says about the Báb's stay at Káshán (Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 96a) is as follows:- ### "And he [i.e. the Báb] ### did not again eat food save only in Káshán. And in Káshán he abode two days and two nights. Wondrous and marvellous signs were shewn by that Sun of Truth. A full description of these would form a book by itself." It is the last sentence to which allusion seems to be made in C.

286 i.e. Mullá Sheykh ‘Alí.

287 i.e. Mullá Sheykh ‘Alí.

288 Compare a similar experience of Mullá Huseyn's, p. 36, supra.

289 ###

290 [[he has omitted all mention of the events of those two days and nights during which the Báb was in Káshán, lest it should result in prolixity. And during those two days and nights they repeatedly entreated His Holiness to flee, saying, 'It is now possible,]]

291 A quotation from the Masnaví is here omitted.

292 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 96a Khánlik is there described as "near Kinár-i-gird".

293 [Mákú]

294 L. here inserts some verses from Masnaví.

295 Chief postman or courier. This narrative occurs on f. 96b et seq. of Suppl. Pers. 1071, and corresponds almost word for word with that here given.

296 C. omits this passage, which, however, occurs in Hájí Mírzá Jání (Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 96b).

297 [outside the town of]

298 C., by an evident slip, omits these words.

299 This incident, omitted in C., has been already related somewhat more clearly and circumstantially in connection with the siege of Zanján. See pp. 13-8 supra.

300 L. omits, probably by a mere slip resulting from homśoteleuton.

301 [and let him press his suit urgently, and threaten him with God's vengeance].

302 i.e. Hájí Mírzá Ákásí.

303 This passage, which differs somewhat in the two texts, I have slightly modified in my translation. The text of L., which is the more explicit, runs as follows:- "###"... &c. Hájí Mírzá Jání's version, substantially identical with that here given, occurs on ff. 100b-101a of Suppl. Pers. 1071.

304 C. has the absurd and obviously erroneous reading "twelve thousand".

305 [why do you say what you should not say?]

306 A sweetmeat made from the manna yielded by the tamarisk. The best quality is manufactured at Isfahán.

307 See p. 221 supra.

308 See pp. 96 and 216-7 supra.

309 See p. 218 supra.

310 Kur’án, xxiii, 34, 36.

311 A well known traditional saying of Muhammad. Three couplets from the Masnaví which follow here are omitted.

312 [[death]]

313 [[who was a noble]]

314 MuIlá Fathu’lláh of Kum, one of the three Bábís who made the attempt on the Shah's life.

315 See the account of the "Seven Martyrs" given a little further on, where this verse is, with much greater probability, placed in the mouth of Mírzá Kurbán-‘Alí the dervish. For an account of Suleymán Khán's martyrdom, see my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 332-334, where the verses recited by him at his execution are given.

316 These two couplets are from the Masnaví, and will be found on p. 101 of ‘Alá’ud-Dawla's Teherán edition, ll. 26 and 27. C. adds two more, which appear to be improvised for the occasion. These are as follows:- ###.

317 Kur’án, ii, 282.

318 Kur’án, lxxxix, 28, 29.

319 [Muhammad]

320 L. adds, "commonly known as Kashfí (the expounder)", but this is an error, the title in question belonging to Seyyid Yahyá's father Seyyid Ja‘far. See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 7, 8, 183, and 254; and p. 111 supra.

321 Both MSS. have ###.

322 C. ###; L. ###.

323 [[of Kan]]

324 C. here inserts the name of Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Khálik of Yezd.

325 Kurratu’l-Ayn's uncle. See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 197, 310.

326 [[His Reverence Mullá Muhammad Sádík]]

327 ###.

328 ###.

329 The title ### or ### is added after Zabíh, but as I am uncertain as to the true reading I omit it.

330 As before, both MSS. have ###. Mullá Muhammad of Mahallát has been already mentioned.

331 i.e. Mullá Sheykh ‘Alí. L. adds "of Khurásán". C. here inserts "Áká Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Wahháb of Turshíz", who would seem to be identical with the "Mírzá ‘Abdu’l-Wahháb of Khurásán" before mentioned in L.

332 Hazrat-i-Nukta-i-Úlá, one of the titles of the Báb.

333 Here follows a page or so of eulogies on the afore-mentioned martyrs, which, as it does but repeat what has been already said, I omit.

334 Three couplets from the Masnaví are here omitted.

335 This passage is also quoted in the Íkan as occurring in one of the Commentaries written by the Báb, and will be found in the description of that work published by Baron Rosen in vol. iii of the Collections Scientifiques de l'Institut des Langues Orientales; pp. 43-44. The text as there given, however, differs slightly from that which is here translated.

336 Kur’án, xxix, 69.

337 The imperfect St Petersburg MS. of the Táríkh-i-Jadíd ends abruptly here. See vol. vi of Baron Rosen's Collections Scientifiques de l'Institut de Langues Orientales, p. 244, and my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 192, n. 1.

338 Of the four couplets here quoted I translate only the first two. The verses will be found at p. 252 of ‘Alá’u’d-Dawla's Teherán edition of the Masnaví, l. 20 et seq.

339 This is certainly a mistake. The Báb seems to have remained at Mákú for only six months. See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 277.

340 Khutba-i-kahriyya.

341 i.e. the Imám Mahdí.

342 It seems hardly possible that what is ordinarily called Turkistán can be here intended. The term probably denotes in this case the Turkish-speaking provinces of Persia, that is to say, Ázarbaiján and its dependencies. Cf. my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 89, n. 2.

343 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 153b et seq.

344 The text has Arámina (Armenians), a term often loosely applied by Musulmán Persians to other Oriental Christians, such as the Nestorians of Urúmiyya, who are probably intended here. Compare M. Mochenin's memoir, quoted by Kazem-Beg (i, p. 371), and Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 276.

345 Kur’án, vi, 76, 77, 78.

346 Huseyn ibn Mansúr-i-Halláj (the wool-carder), called also Abú’l-Mughíth, who was born at Beyza in Fárs, and, after a life spent in teaching the most exalted mysticism, was put to death for crying out in one of his raptures "I am the Truth" (i.e. God), by command of the Muhammadan doctors of religion. His execution took place at Baghdad on the 24th of Zí’l-Ka‘da, A.H. 309 (March 26th, A.D. 922).

347 These verses will be found on p. 484 of ‘Alá’u’d-Dawla's Teherán edition of the Masnaví, lines 10 and 11. L. substitutes another quotation of three couplets from the same poem. C. adds another verse occurring a few lines lower, which I omit. It is commonly believed in the East that rubies and cornelians are slowly formed from common pebbles by the action of the sun. Thus the well-known verse: ### "It needs ages ere one primitive stone can, by the action of the sun, become a ruby in Badakhshán or a cornelian in Yaman."

348 The name of the order is uncertain, this reading being a conjecture of mine. L. has apparently ### and C. ###, the word being indistinctly written in both cases.

349 [for seven is the number of action]

350 See pp. 198-9 supra.

351 [In spite of his blindness, if he wanted any passage found in the Kur’án, and if the seeker failed to find it quickly, he would take the Kur’án from him, open it, find the verse, and give it back to him; or he would himself repeat it.]

352 ###, the opposite of ###, i.e. one who does not utter revelations. Cf. de Sacy's Religion des Druses, vol. i, pp. ciii, n. 1; and civ, n. 1.

353 ###.

354 C. omits this remarkable passage, which is very probably an interpolation by some ardent Behá’í scribe. It is rather corrupt, but I believe that the above translation correctly represents its general sense.

355 [[the defenders of the Castle; but, since it was otherwise ordained, he failed to accomplish his design]].

356 Kur’án, ii, 88; lxii, 6.

357 [[A full account of the circumstances of Seyyid Basír and the manner of his martyrdom would here result in undue prolixity. Should fortune favour us we will, please God, insert it in the second volume.]]

358 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 156a, et seq.

359 Kur’án, ix, 32.

360 The snuffing of a candle is often compared by the Persians to decapitation.

361 Literally "by killing". "To kill a candle" is the ordinary expression in Persian for "to put out a candle." The writer means to say that just as a candle burns the brighter for being "beheaded" (snuffed) and lasts the longer for being "killed" (extinguished), so it is with the persecuted faith of the Báb.

362 See Gobineau, pp. 180-4; and Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 176, 189, 212, and 312.

363 Ketmán, the word applied especially to the concealment of religious opinions dictated by prudential motives, also called takiya. See Gobineau, Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, pp. 15-21.

364 Hasan

365 they

366 Their execution took place either in the Meydán-i-Sabz or the Meydán-i-Sháh. See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 213, n.1.

367 [having recourse to prudential concealment, and]

368 [[He would not consent. When]]

369 i.e. Ishmael (Isma‘íl) the son of Abraham. According to the Muhammadan belief it was he, not Isaac, whom Abraham was commanded to offer up. The singular appositeness of these verses which Mullá Isma‘íl addresses to his namesake and prototype of old will not escape the reader. The Persian original will be found at p. 213, vol. ii, of my Traveller's Narrative.

370 Mahd-i-‘ulya, "the Supreme Cradle", is the title conferred on the Queen-mother.

371 i.e. Násiru’d-Dín, the present Sháh.

372 See p. 229 supra.

373 Ikhwánu’s-safá. This title is not unfrequently applied by the Bábís to such as hold their faith.

374 This quotation is from the Masnaví, and is quoted in the original, with reference, at p. 215, vol. ii, of my Traveller' Narrative.

375 Concerning this atrocious wretch, see Polak's Persien, vol. i, p. 352, and my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 52, n. 1.

376 Subh-i-Ezel informed me that the name of this young Bábí was Mullá Sádik-i-Turk. He would therefore appear to be identical with the "man of Marágha" mentioned at p. 252 supra.

377 "Bi-jíka-A‘lá-Hazrat-i-Kibla-i-‘Álam", literally "by the aigrette of His Majesty the Kibla of the Universe." Cf. p. 107, n. 2, supra.

378 [I could not but admire the boy's spirit and courage, yet, since I]

379 In the original ###. I have slightly turned the phrase to preserve the double relation between ### (a sign of the zodiac; also a tower) and the "seven planets" to which the Seven Martyrs are likened. L. here inserts two couplets from the Masnaví, which I omit.

380 [[believers of Mázandarán]]

381 [<Our reply to this is that,> first of all, why did they, being so strong, suffer themselves to be besieged in the Castle? Secondly, how should one who has forsaken life, wealth, and wife, and who foretells his own martyrdom, care for worldly sovereignty?]

382 Meydán-i-Sháh. See, however, note 2 on p. 252 supra.

383 ###.

384 Two celebrated works bear this title. One is a compendium of Shi‘ite doctrine composed by the eminent theologian Muhammad Bákir Majlisí in the year A.H. 1109 (A.D. 1698) in the reign of Sultán Huseyn the Safaví, and it is probably to this work that reference is here made. The other Hákku’l-Yakín was written in the 8th century of the hijra by Sheykh Mahmúd Shabistarí (better known as the author of the Gulshan-i-Ráz); and treats of Súfí doctrine.

385 Commentary on Grammatical forms. There is a work of this name by Surúrí (see Cat. Cod. Orient. Mus. Brit., pars ii, Cod. Arab., p. 235, top of first column), but I am not sure whether this is the one here intended.

386 These words are not in the original, having evidently been omitted accidentally. They are necessary to complete the sense.

387 ###. See Palmer's Arabic Grammar, p. 33, n. 1.

388 ‘Arsh, the throne of God, situated above the highest heaven.

389 Mullá Sheykh ‘Alí

390 Two beyts from the Masnaví here inserted by L. are omitted.

391 See, however, note 1 at the foot of p.257 supra.

392 [[belonged to the class of government officials and servants of the state]]

393 See pp. 248-9 supra. C. repeats the whole story in full, and I therefore follow L. without further notice of the variants.

394 Kur’án, xxx, 5.

395 Sirát, the bridge "finer than a hair and sharper than a sword" which, according to the Muslim belief, spans the gulf which surrounds Paradisa. The allegorical meaning of this image is treated of in the twelfth chapter of the second Váhid of the Persian Beyán. Cf. B. ii, p. 930; and n. 1 at the foot of p. 46 supra.

396 Kur’án, xvi, 85.

397 [[as did also her uncle Hájí Mullá <Muhammad> Takí 'the murdered,' who was a learned scholar, and, indeed, in his own opinion, the most learned doctor of his time]]

398 Concerning Kurratu’l-‘Ayn, her father Hájí Mullá Sálih, and her uncle Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí (called by the Shi‘ites "Shahíd-i-Thálith") see my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 309-316.

399 This statement, together with most of what is here related concerning Kurratu’l-‘Ayn, is taken from Hájí Mírzá Jání's history (Suppl. Pers. 1071, ff. 107b-110b).

400 See pp. 31-33 supra.

401 Cf. Gobineau, p. 328.

402 In the text, "hangámí ki musharraf shudé búd", literally, "at the time when she" [or "he"] "had been honoured." The implied pronoun appears to refer to Kurratu’l-‘Ayn rather than to Seyyid Kázim; and therefore, as she appears never to have actually met the Báb (cf. Gobineau, p. 310), we must understand "musharraf" as equivalent to "musharraf bi-sharaf-i-ímán" (" honoured with the dignity of belief"), which is a common expression among the Musulmáns. With the Bábís the word more often signifies "honoured with an actual interview." Cf. my first article on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, p. 519.

403 [people]

404 "The Pure."

405 [<So they,>]

406 As the Báb is often styled "The Tree of Truth" (Shajara-i-Hakíkat), so those who believe in him are sometimes called "Leaves". The title of Waraka-i-‘Ulyá ("The Supreme Leaf") was conferred by Behá’u’lláh on one of his wives. See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 361.

407 Táhira. See the end of the preceding paragraph.

408 [in the place of prayer]

409 Mihráb, properly the niche or alcove in the mosque which shews the direction of Mecca.

410 Some verses from the Masnaví, differently given in C. and L., are here omitted.

411 [[a great number of]]

412 The wounds inflicted on Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí did not at once prove fatal. According to the Kisasu’l-‘Ulamá he survived the attempt on his life by several days.

413 Abú Hanífa, Málik, Sháfi‘í, and Ibn Hanbal were the founders of the four orthodox schools or sects of the Sunnites; learned theologians, no doubt but of little account in Shi‘ite, much less in Bábí eyes.

414 This word is doubtful. It appears to read ### to which I can assign no suitable sense. I therefore conjecture ###.

415 i.e. the confession of Mírzá Sálih.

416 Hájí Mírzá Jání adds that Mullá Muhammad himself made this statement.

417 [[still]]

418 [[six]]

419 See p. 82 supra. That the Sheykh Sálib there mentioned is identical with this Mírzá Sálih is clearly shown by Hájí Mírzá Jání's account of his death, in which he is described as "the murderer of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí of Kazvín."

420 [four]

421 [Násiru’d-Dín]

422 This appears to be an anachronism. Hájí Mírzá Jání only says "the King."

423 [who was unrivalled in his time]

424 i.e., as it would appear, the three remaining prisoners.

425 [[he]]

426 [[and]]

427 [how can it be right that his murderer should not be slain?]

428 Hájí Mírzá Jání says that Sheykh Sálih was believed by some (of the Bábís) to be (a re-incarnation of) "the Pure Soul" (###); concerning whom see el-Fakhrí (ed. Ahl-wardt), p. 195 et seq.

429 [three]

430 [the three men]

431 [and]

432 [and gave his directions]

433 [[who made]]

434 [and the other prisoner]

435 [[was]]

436 [[three]]

437 C. has "three" here, but, like L., "four" in the next sentence. Mírzá Asadu’lláh, the old man who died of cold and exposure, seems to be reckoned as the fourth victim. I am by no means certain, however, that there was not another victim (unnamed), for the higher numbers, which I have relegated to the foot of the page, are confirmed by Hájí Mírzá Jání.

438 About a page of similar diatribe is here omitted.

439 See n. 1 at the foot of p. 95 supra.

440 [having procured a divorce from her husband Mullá Muhammad,]

441 Suppl. Pers. 1071, f. 110b. The event described is there referred to the "third year of the Manifestation", "wherein," says Hájí Mírzá Jání, alluding to a tradition of Kumeyl, "was revealed the meaning of ###." See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 352, n. 1.

442 These two sentences are so ambiguous, especially as regards the pronouns, that I give them in the original:- ###. It is abundantly clear from Hájí Mírzá Jání's history that Hazrat-i-Kuddús advanced the most extravagant claims, and that many of the Bábís were disposed to regard him as superior to the Báb. He not only declared himself to be Christ come back to earth, but even went so far as to say, "Whosoever hath known me is become a polytheist, and whosoever hath not known me is become an infidel, and whosoever asketh 'why,' or 'wherefore,' or 'how' concerning me is become a reprobate."

443 Cf. Gobineau, pp. 181-4.

444 It was, apparently, only after the fall of Sheykh Tabarsí that she was given up to the authorities by the people of Núr, where she (together with Subh-i-Ezel, as Hájí Mírzá Jání states in his history) had taken refuge. Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 312-3. It is worth noting that Hájí Mírzá Jání calls her "the Mother of the World" (###).

445 See Gobineau, pp. 292-5.

446 See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 31.

447 A palace in Teherán built by Fath-‘Alí Sháh. It derives its name from the pictures and portraits wherewith the walls of several of its rooms are ornamented, and is situated in the northern quarter of the city, not very far from the English Embassy.

448 Cf. my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 313-4.

449 [[An account of her subsequent history until the time when she attained to the rank of martyrdom, together with an appendix containing some of her exhortations, prayers, and teachings, will be written in another place; so that the extent of her virtue, chastity, godliness, and purity, as well as the services which she rendered to the Desired Appearance [Tal‘at-i-Maksúd, i.e. Behá’u’lláh], (who, at that time hidden behind a veil, was <only> known as Jenáb-i-Behá) and the wisdom and excellence whereunto by his help she attained, may become known to all persons of discernment.]]

450 Kur’án, vi, 25; viii, 31 &c.

451 [whereas the Kur’án contains <only> eight thousand verses, while the Báb had produced more than a million, <so that, according to them,> the branches exceeded the root.]

452 Hájí Mírzá Jání also refers to these opinions. Cf. Mírzá Kazem-Beg, ii, p. 394; and my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 230.

453 He was lodged, as Hájí Mírzá Jání adds, in the house of Mírzá Ahmad the Imám-Jum‘a.

454 The concealment of the hands in the sleeves is a mark of humility, and a tacit confession of inferiority and subserviency, unsuitable to the rank of a messenger of God, even in the presence of princes.

455 Hájí Mírzá Jání reports a much fuller dissertation on the title Báb, which the compiler of the New History has omitted.

456 In the original ###.

457 Hájí Mírzá Jání has "for one thousand years," which is a much better reading, since the Shi‘ites could not begin to expect the return of the Twelfth Imám till after his Occultation. Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 297 and foot-note.

458 i.e. "there is no mystery about your birth and parentage." The Imám Mahdí, it must be remembered, is believed by the Shi‘ites never to have died, but to be hidden in one or other of the fabulous cities Jábulká and Jábulsá. See Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 296-301.

459 Amír Aslán Khán, the maternal uncle of the Crown-Prince, according to Hájí Mírzá Jání.

460 See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 285, and n. 1 thereon.

461 Hájí Mírzá Jání adds that the Crown-Prince, whom he dubs "a young wretch" (###), rolled a globe towards the Báb, bidding him explain the structure of the earth.

462 Hájí Mírzá Jání says "four years."

463 Here follow about four pages of similar tirade, which, as they contain little of value which has not been sufficiently said elsewhere, I omit.

464 According to Hájí Mírzá Jání, the Crown-Prince gave this order, but his farráshes declared that they would rather throw themselves down from the roof of the palace than carry it out. Thereupon the Sheykhu’l-Islám charged himself with its execution.

465 [[several]]

466 "Went to hell" is Hájí Mírzá Jání's expression. He adds that, shortly before Muhammad Sháh's death, Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá dreamt that he saw the Báb shoot the King in full audience.

467 The celebrated shrine and city of refuge situated about a league and a half to the south of Teherán.

468 This is an evident anachronism, for the Báb was put to death during the progress of the Zanján siege. Cf. p. 156 supra.

469 It need hardly be said that no trace of this extremely improbable speech occurs in Hájí Mírzá Jání.

470 This passage, entirely omitted in L., I have somewhat abbreviated.

471 In the original, ###, which expression, as I have little doubt, signifies that the narrator in question was a Bábí.

472 As Nabíl is a fictitious substitute for Muhammad (with which its numerical value, according to the abjad notation, is identical), so ‘Álín may very probably be a fictitious substitute for the name of some town or village numerically equivalent to it. The celebrated Nabíl (cf. p. 131 supra) was of Zarind (=261), but this does not give the same numerical value as ‘Álín (=161). The words of the text are:- ###. [DM: Nabíl is Nabíl-i-Akbar of Qá’in.]

473 In the original, arkhálik, a garment shaped like the kabá (coat) and worn beneath it. Cf. n. 2 on p. 201 supra, and p. 299 infra.

474 Kur’án, xvii, 16, &c.

475 Súra-i-Núr, the twenty-fourth chapter of the Kur’án.

476 Subh-i-Ezel admitted that the verses were given differently on the second recital; "for," said he, "they flowed forth ever fresh, like the water from a fountain from which the same jet cannot issue twice."

477 The whole of this narrative, which appears to have been added to the original text by its reviser Nabíl, is lacking in L. I am not sure whether the last three sentences really form part of Prince Hamzé Mírzá’s account of this transaction, but have thought it best on the whole to include them in the inverted commas.

478 i.e. the Báb. This passage will be found translated at pp. 319-321 of vol. ii of my Traveller's Narrative.

479 In the footnote on p. 320 of my Traveller's Narrative I have suggested that this title of 'the scribe' is here wrongly applied to Áká Seyyid Ahmad of Tabríz, whom the author may have confounded with Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Karím of Kazvín, known amongst the Bábís as "Mírzá Ahmad-i-Kátib". Hájí Mírzá Jání, however, agrees with the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, for he speaks of ###.

480 i.e. the Báb.

481 [How the disciples, especially Áká Seyyid Huseyn and Áká Seyyid Hasan, were bidden to deny their faith]

482 [after <witnessing> this action of Mírzá Muhammad ‘AIí]

483 i.e. the Báb's last words and instructions.

484 Cf. n. 2 on p. 201 supra. The night-cap (shab-kuláh), which is of such shape and size as to adapt itself closely to the head, is often worn by itself in the house, even during the day time, the turban, which at other times is wound round it, being laid aside.

485 Here ends the portion of this account translated at pp. 319-321 of vol. ii of my Traveller's Narrative.

486 I visited the citadel (arg) of Tabríz on November 4th, 1887. It is of great height, and formerly criminals condemned to death used sometimes to be thrown from the summit into the moat below. The building appears to have been originally a mosque, and the spacious mihráb is still visible in the wall facing the barrack-square. On the left of one entering this square is the staircase which leads to the summit of the citadel, while on the right are the barracks and store-rooms (anbár), which were probably originally designed for a college.

487 Three more lines are omitted.

488 A mythical bird similar to the phśnix.

489 C. omits this touching incident, which, however, is mentioned by Gobineau (p. 269), though not by Hájí Mírzá Jání.

490 It is clear from this, as well as from Hájí Mírzá Jání's account, that the first volley of the firing-party was aimed at Mírzá Muhammad ‘Alí alone, and not, as Gobineau (p. 270) and the Traveller's Narrative (vol. i, pp. 55-56; vol. ii, pp. 43-44) imply, at the Báb also. Three volleys were fired in all (as appears from Suleymán Khán's narrative on p. 310 infra), but only two at the Báb. Hence the erroneous statement (opposed to Hájí Mírzá Jání's account) on pp. 306-7 infra that the Báb twice escaped the shower of bullets.

491 Kur’án, liii, 14. Hájí Mírzá Jání adds that the Báb, as the body of his disciple fell bleeding at his feet, smiled, and said, "Thou shalt be with me in Paradise" (###). Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 322.

492 The reviser who supplies us with this interesting addition to the original history may not improbably be in this case also Nabíl. See pp. 131 and 293 supra.

493 This formula - ' ‘aleyhi behá’u’lláh '- was and is the common form of benediction amongst the Bábís for absent or deceased believers. I am not certain, however, whether it is still used by the Ezelís, who, though they declare that the title Behá’u’lláh originally belonged to Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezel (see my Traveller's Narrative, p. 353), cannot but associate it now with his great rival Mírzá Huseyn ‘Alí.

494 Both the text and translation of this letter I published in the October number of the J. R. A. S. for 1889. The former will be found at p. 938, the latter at p. 992.

495 Kibla, the point towards which one turns to pray. Kibla-gáh (Kibla-place) is a formula often used in letters in addressing elder relatives.

496 Kur’án, iii, 182; xxi, 36; xxix, 57.

497 [Suspension of the Blessed Appearance.] - By "the Blessed Appearance" (Tal‘at-i-Mubárak) the Báb is meant. So Behá’u’lláh is called Tal‘at-i-Abhá. Cf. n. 1 on p. 139, and n. 2 on p. 247, supra.

498 The barracks in the citadel at Tabríz, like all similar buildings in Persia, consist of a series of rooms or cells (hujra), exactly like those in a caravansaray, opening by a single door on to the platform (sakú) which fronts the building. From the description of the execution here given, it appears that the Báb and his companion were suspended by double ropes (attached, probably, to either arm) from the parapet or rain-gutter running along the face of the building over these doors. When, therefore, the Báb was thus unexpectedly released by the breaking of the ropes, he would naturally fall on the stone platform on which the cells open, and a few steps at most would enable him to reach one of them.

499 [[what was the reason and wherefore it was]]

500 [His Holiness, by this display of might and control, desired to manifest his]

501 [<as though to say,> "If we submit and consent not, nor acquiesce in the Divine ruling, ye can of your own will effect naught;" for though]

502 i.e. God's word (Kur’án, lxxvi, 30). It is impossible to determine at what previous point the pronouns cease to refer to the Báb and begin to refer to God. But after all, since the Báb is regarded as a 'Manifestation' of the Divine Essence, the question would to a Bábí be of trivial import.

503 I cannot find in the Kur’án such words as these.

504 Kur’án iv. 115.

505 [Even so twelve thousand arrows were fired simultaneously at <Imám Huseyn> the Chief of Martyrs, of which not <even> one touched his blessed form, because on that occasion he was pleased to exert his <supernatural> power. But when he resigned himself <to the divinely-appointed fate>, Harmala note took aim at his fore head, and his shot missed not its mark; and this thing was a proof of <Imám Huseyn's> perfect service <to God>, not of his powerlessness <to save himself>. But those men, by reason of their exceeding folly, did not at that time recognize so signal a manifestation of power, just as in this time also they]

note Harmala b. el-Káhin. In none of the histories or Shi‘ite martyrologies which I have consulted do I find this man credited with a direct share in the death of Huseyn. He it was, however, who shot Huseyn's little nephew ‘Abdu’lláh b. al-Hasan (Tabarí, series ii, vol. i, p. 387, ll. 8-9), also called ‘Alí Asghar, the circumstances of whose death are detailed in the Rawsatu’s-Shuhadá, and in Ockley's History of the Saracens, vol. ii, p. 175. Hájí Mírzá Jání makes a more correct allusion to the incident in a different connection.

506 Cf. Gobineau, p. 270, and the Traveller's Narrative, vol. i, pp. 55-57, and vol. ii, pp. 43-45. Hájí Mírzá Jání confirms this detail.

507 This is incorrect, for Hájí Mírzá Jání says that the second volley proved fatal to the Báb. His words are as follows :- ###. Cf. n. 1 on p. 301 supra.

508 [permitted to strike]

509 [ascended to the zenith of the Realms of Holiness, and to the station of 'two bow-shots or less.' note]

note These words, occurring in Kur’án, liii, 9, describe Muhammad's near approach to God on the occasion of his night-journey to heaven (mi‘ráj).

510 July 8th, A.D. 1850, which, however, appears to have fallen on a Monday. In the Traveller's Narrative (vol. i, p. 57; vol. ii, p. 44) the date is given as Sha‘bán 28th, but Subh-i-Ezel's statement corroborates the New History.

511 The Báb's "Manifestation" took place on Jemádí-ul-Úlá 5th, A.H. 1260 (May 23rd, A.D. 1844), but the Bábí era, as I have shewn at p. 425 of vol. ii of my Traveller's Narrative, is reckoned from the preceding Nawrúz (Wednesday, March 20th, A.D. 1844).

512 Seyyida-i-Batúl, i.e. Fátima, the daughter of the Prophet and wife of ‘Alí. Al-Batúl is the name given by Arabic-speaking Catholics to the Virgin Mary.

513 This, I think, is the proper rendering of the Words ###, the meaning being that as they curse those who slew the Imám Huseyn in the early days of Islám, such as Shimr and Yazíd, so may these in turn curse them for their greater obduracy and wickedness.

514 Literally, "if the shot first fired at him misses". I have here attempted, by an equivoque which could not be maintained in the next sentence, to bring the author's idea of the method of inflicting capital punishment employed in England into closer correspondence with the reality. He evidently supposes that it is customary to suspend the condemned man and then shoot him, exactly as was done in the case of the Báb. The whole passage affords a curious example of the strangely distorted though partially true conceptions formed by the Persians of things European. Many of those who read this passage will, however, call to mind the case of John Lee, convicted of the Babbicombe murder, which created so great a sensation at the time. Three times in succession was the condemned man placed on the drop, but in each case it remained fixed after the withdrawal of the bolt, nor could the stampings of the executioner effect its displacement. In consequence of this, and the awful suspense and mental agony which the unfortunate man must have suffered, a reprieve was granted, and the capital sentence was finally commuted to penal servitude for life.

515 That Mírzá Huseyn ‘Alí Behá’u’lláh should be dignified only with the inferior title of Jenáb (Excellency) instead of the higher one of Hazrat (Highness or Holiness) accords as well with the supposition of the genuineness of this letter as the parenthesis following the name does ill; for, as we learn from Gobineau (p. 277), he was only known as Jenáb-i-Behá in the days of Hazrat-i-Ezel's undisputed supremacy. Concerning the Báb's last dispositions, cf. my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, pp. 41-2, and n. 1 at the foot of p. 46.

516 [[concerning whom somewhat has <already> been said]]

517 See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 46, n. 1.

518 Tal‘at-i-Abhá, a title not uncommonly applied to Behá’u’lláh by his followers.

519 Nukta-i-Úlá, i.e. the Báb.

520 The removal of the Báb's body was effected by Behá’u’lláh against the will and without the knowledge of Subh-i-Ezel, who was unable to ascertain whither it had been transferred. An interesting Muhammadan parallel to the miracle here recorded will be found alluded to in a footnote on p. 240 of the second volume of Sir Richard Burton's Pilgrimage to el-Medina and Mecca.

521 Here follow some twenty pages of controversial matter. Of these, as well as of another portion of the conclusion which I have not thought worth translating, an epitome is given in Appendix A.


Quick Contents
Important Note about this Work
Background of this History
The Account
Siyyid Kazim
Death of Siyyid Kazim; Disciples Search for Promised One
Hájí Mírzá Jani's Book
Mullá Huseyn's Conversion
Quddus' Conversion
Other Letters of the Living
Mullah Husayn to Isfahan and Conversion of Mullá Muhammad Sádik
Mullá Husayn, to Khurasan and beyond
Mullá Husayn to Bárfurúsh; Skirmishes and Seige
Fort of Sheykh Tabarsi
Death of Mullá Husayn
End of the Seige
Slaughter of Bábís
Martyrdom of Quddus
Mírzá Muhammad Hasan, the brother of Mullá Huseyn
Rizá Khán
Seyyid Ahmad of Semnán
Seyyid Yahyá
End of the Zanján Siege
A Bold Apologist
Disastrous Effects of the Clergy
Ná’ibu’s-Saltana's Letter Describing the Clergy
Báb on Pilgrimage
Báb Amends the Call to Prayer
Báb Leaves Shíráz
Báb at Isfahán
Báb at Káshán
Báb at Khánlik
Báb to Zanján
Báb at Milan
Bab to Tabríz
Bab to Mákú
Reflections on the Bab and on Men
Greatness of the Báb
First Class of Men - Governors
Second Class of Men - The Scholarly; Eminent Bábís
Third Class of Men - Ordinary Folk
Báb Moved to Chihrík
Bab Declares as Qá’im; the Indian Believer
Seyyid Basír
Meets the Báb at Mecca
Seven Martyrs
Seyyid Huseyn of Turshíz
Seyyid ‘Alí, Uncle of the Báb
Remaing Three
On Uncle of the Bab and the Childhood of the Báb
On the Other Martyrs
Digression on the Proof of their Constancy
Báb from Chihrík to Tabríz, Examination
Báb Bastinadoed
Báb to Chihrík from Tabríz
Condemnation of the Báb
Báb in Tabríz - His Last Few Days
Martyrdom of the Báb
Execution of Anis
Letter of Anis to Brother
Execution of the Báb
Digression on Clemency at God's Grace
Báb's Letter to Suleymán Khán
Collection of the Báb's Earthly Remains
Appendix I - Omitted Digressions (Extract)