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COLLECTIONSBooks, Historical documents, Biographies
TITLEMaterials for the Study of the Babi Religion
CONTRIB 1E. G. Browne, comp.
CONTRIB 2E. G. Browne, trans.
PUB_THISCambridge University Press
ABSTRACTAn early collection of historical documents related to Bahá'í and Bábí studies. (Not fully complete.)
NOTES Hand-typed by Doug Couper, 1999. Other than a number of missing pages, this online version of the book is exact replica of original, except: underscore used to indicate under-dot; Ayn and hamza both indicated by straight apostrophe ('). Arabic and Persian text in original not included here. Anomalies from original (occasional missing periods, unaccented words) retained.

This book is also available in image format: Duane Troxel scan and [26 MB] Microsoft scan [30 MB].The 2013 paperback edition is also available for preview on Google Books, which lists the publication history as "First published 1918, reprinted 1961, first paperback edition 2013."

TAGSAlan Coupe; Bábísm; Bahá'í history; Edward Granville Browne
CONTENTS                                                    PAGE

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   vii
I.    An epitome of Bábí and Bahá'í history to A.D. 1898,
          translated from the original Arabic of Mírzá
          Muhammad Jawád of Qazvín . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
II.   Ibráhím George Khayru'llah and the Bahá'í Propa-
          ganda in America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   113
III.  Further Notes on the Bábí, Azali and Bahá'í Litera-
          ture, Oriental and Occidental, printed, litho-
          graphed and manuscript . . . . . . . . . . . . .   173
IV.   Five unpublished contemporary documents, Per-
          sian and English, relating to the Báb's exami-
          nation at Tabríz in 1848 . . . . . . . . . . . .   245
V.    An Austrian Officer's account of the cruelties
          practized on the Bábís who suffered in the
          great Persecution of 1852. . . . . . . . . . . .   265
VI.   Two unpublished contemporary State Papers
          bearing on the removal of the Bábís from
          Baghdád to Turkey in Europe, dated May 10,
          1862 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   273
VII.  Persecutions of Bábís in 1888-1891 at Isfahán
          and Yazd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   289
VIII. Account of the Death and Burial of Mírzá Yahyá
          Subh-i-Azal on April 29,1912 . . . . . . . . . .   309
IX.   List of the Descendants of Mírzá Buzurg of Nur,
          and Father both of Bahá'u'lláh and of Subh-i-
          Azal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   317
X.    Thirty heretical doctrines ascribed to the Bábís
          in the Ihqaqu'l-Haqq of Áqá Muhammad Taqí
          of Hamadán . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   323
XI.   Selected poems by Qurratu'l-'Ayn and Nabíl

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .   359



'Abbás Efendi 'Abdu'l-Bahá . . . . . . . . . . . .  Frontispiece
                                                       To face p.
Invitation to centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's birth to be cele-  xxiv
    brated at Chicago on November 10-12, 1917 . . . . . .
Mushkín Qalam the Bábí calligraphist . . . . . . . . . . .    44
Portraits of ten notable Bábís . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    56
The North American of Feb. 16, 1902. . . . . . . . . . . .   151
The New York Times of Dec. 18, 1904. . . . . . . . . . . .   152
The Bahá'í News of Aug. 1, 1910. . . . . . . . . . . . . .   177
Fac-simile of document A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   249
       "       "       B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   256
       "       "       B1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   259
       "       "       A.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   277
       "       "       A.7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   279
Funeral of Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Azal . . . . . . . . . . . .   312
Subh-i-Azal and three of his sons. . . . . . . . . . . . .   322
Fac-simile of alleged autograph poem by Qurratu'l-'Ayn . .   344


      The descriptions of Sections VIII and XI should stand as
   given in the Table of Contes on the preceding page, and not
   as in their respective titles on pp. 309 and 341.


Nearly thirty years have elapsed since I first established direct relations with the Bábís in Persia, having already become deeply interested in their history and doctrines through the lively and graphic narrative of the Comte de Gobineau in his classical work Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale. Subsequently (in the spring of 1890) I visited Mírzá YahSubhi-i-Azal ("The Dawn of Eternity") and Mírzá Husayn `Alí Bahá'u'lláh ("the Splendour of God"), the respective heads of the two rival parties into which the original community had split, at Famagusta in Cyprus and at `Akká (St Jean d'Acre) in Syria; and from that time until now I have maintained more or less continuous relations with both parties through various channels. Fresh and fuller materials for the study of Bábí history and doctrine have continued to flow into my hands through these channels, until, apart from what I had utilized fully or in part in previous publications,1 a considerable

    1 The more important of these publications, arranged in chronological order, as as follows. (1) The Bábís of Persia: 1. Sketch of their History and Personal Experiences amongst them: ii. Their Literature and Doctrines (J.R.A.S., Vol.xxi, 1889). (2) A Traveller's Narrative etc., Persian text and English translation, 2 vols. (Camb. Univ. Press, 1891). (3) Some Remarks on the Bábí Text edited by Baron V. Rosen (J.R.A.S., Vol. xxiv, 1892). (4) Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts (J.R.A.S., Vol. xxiv, 1892). (5) A Year amongst


amount of new and unpublished matter had accumulated in my hands. Much of this matter, consisting of manuscript and printed documents in various Eastern and Western languages, could only be interpreted in connection with the correspondence relating to it, and would inevitably, I felt, be lost if I did not myself endeavour to record it in an intelligible form, capable of being used by future students of this subject. Hence the origin of this book, which, if somewhat lacking in coherence and uniformity, will, I believe, be of value to anyone who shall in the future desire to study more profoundly a movement which, even if its practical and political importance should prove to be less than I had once thought, will always be profoundly interesting to students of Comparative Religion and the history of religious Evolution.

    The book, in the form which it has finally assumed, comprises eleven more or less independent sections, about each of which something must be said.

    Section I (pp.3—112) is a translation into English of a short historical and biographical sketch of the Bábí movement, of the life of Bahá'u'lláh, of the further schism which succeeded his death, and of the Bahá'í propaganda in America, written in Arabic by Mírzá Muhammad Jawád of Qazwín, by whom the original, and, I believe, unpublished manuscript was transmitted to me. I was not personally

the Persians (A. and C. Black, 1893). (6) The Ta'ríkh-i- Jadíd or New History of...the Báb, translation (Camb. Univ. Press, 1893). (7) Personal Reminiscences of the Bábí Insurrection at Zanján in 1850, translated from the Persian (J.R.A.S., Vol. xxix, 1897). (8) The Kitáb-i-Nuqtatu'l-Káf, being the earliest history of the Bábís, compiled by Hájji Mírzá Jání of Káshán: Persian text with Introduction in English (E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series, Vol. xv, 1910). Also articles on Bábís in the Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Hastings' Dictionary of Religions.


acquainted with the author, but his son Mírzá Ghulámu'lláh, paid me a visit of several days at Cambridge in January, 1901, on his way to the United States. Both belong to that section of the Bahá'ís, called by themselves "Unitarians" (Ahlu't-Tawhíd, Muwahhidún) and by their opponents "Covenant-breakers" (Náqizún), who reject the claims of `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá (whom the majority of the Bahá'ís recognize as their head) and follow his half-brother, Mírzá Muhammad `Alí. From incidental remarks in the narrative we learn that the author, Mírza Muhammad Jawád, was at Baghdád (p.15) about 1862 or a little earlier, shortly before the removal of the leading Bábís thence to Adrianople; that he was with them at Adrianople (pp.25, 27, 28) for rather more than a year before Bahá'u'lláh was transferred thence to `Akká in August, 1868; that he was Bahá'u'lláh's fellow-passenger on the steamer which conveyed him from Gallipoli to Hayfá (p.32); that he was at `Akká in January, 1872 when Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahán and the other Azalís were assassinated (pp.54-5) and also at the time of, or soon after, Bahá'u'lláh's death on May 28, 1892, when he was one of the nine Companions chosen by `Abbás Efendi to hear the reading of the "Testament" or "Covenant,", (p.75). We also learn (pp.35-6) that he was one of several Bábís arrested at Tabríz about the end of 1866 or beginning of 1867, when, more fortunate than some of his companions, he escaped with a fine. This is the only mention he makes of being in Persia, and it is probable that from this date onwards he was always with Bahá'u'lláh, first at Adrianople and then at `Akká, where, so far as I know, he is still living, and where his son Mírzá Ghulámu'lláh was born and brought up. Since the entry of Turkey into the European War in November, 1914, it has, of course, been impossible to communicate with `Akká, or to obtain news from thence.


    Mírzá Jawád's narrative is valuable on account of the numerous dates which it gives, and because it comes down to so late a date as March, 1908 (p.90), while Nabíl's chronological poem (see p.357) stops short at the end of 1869. The value of his account of the propaganda carried on in the United States of America by Dr. I. G. Khayru'lláh has been somewhat discounted by this gentleman's recent publication of his autobiography in his book O Christians! why do ye believe not in Christ? ( p. 181), which reached me only after this portion of my book was already in type.

    Section II (pp.115-171) deals more fully with the Bahá'í propaganda carried on in America since 1893 by Dr. I. G. Khayru'lláh and his converts with remarkable success. Of the methods employed an illuminating account (pp.116—142) is given by an American lady of enquiring mind who attended the classes of instruction in a sympathetic but critical spirit. Her notes show very clearly the adaptation of the Bahá'í doctrine to its new environment in a manner which can hardly fail to remind the Orientalist of the old Isma`ilí propaganda, still further recalled by the form of allegiance (p.121) which the neophyte is obliged to sign before he is fully initiated into the details of the new doctrine. Extracts from the American Press in the years 1902—4 are cited to show how much attention, and even in some quarters alarm, was aroused by the success of the new doctrines. Khayru'lláh's narrative (pp.154—5) of the threats addressed to him on account of his apostasy from `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá by Mírzá Hasani-i-Khurásáni, and the history of the sad fate of Mírzá Yahyá at Jedda (pp.156—167) read like extracts from the history of the Assassins of Alamút and "the Old Man of the Mountain."

    Section III (pp.175—243) contains a bibliography


of everything written by or about the Bábís and Bahá'ís in eastern or western languages which has come under my notice since the publication of the bibliography in Vol. II of my Traveller's Narrative in 1891, and of my Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts in the J.R.A.S. for 1892. This supplementary bibliography contains descriptions of 49 printed works in European languages (English, French, German and Russian), 18 printed and lithographed works in Arabic and Persian, and between 30 and 40 Bábí, Azalí and Bahá'í books which exist only in manuscript. Nearly all of these are in my own library, and in many cases were presented to me by their authors or by kind friends who knew of the interest I felt in the subject, but in the case of the manuscripts I have included brief descriptions of a number of books (mostly obtained from Cyprus through the late Mr Claude Delaval Cobham, for whom they were copied by Subh-i-Azal's son Rizwán `Alí, alias "Constantine the Persian") belonging to the British Museum, which were examined and described for me by my friend and former colleague Dr Ahmad Khán. For several rare manuscript works I am indebted to an old Bábí scribe of Isfahán, resident at Tihrán, with whom I was put in communication by Dr Sa`id Khán of Hamadán, who, though coming of a family of mullás, is a fervent Christian, while preserving in true Persian fashion a keen interest in other religious beliefs. This old scribe, a follower of Subhi-i-Azal, seems to have been in close touch with many Bábís in all parts of Persia, and on several occasions when persecutions threatened or broke out to have been entrusted by them with the custody of books which they feared to keep in their own houses, and which in some cases they failed to reclaim, so that he had access to a large number of rare Bábí works, any of which he was willing to copy for me at a very moderate charge.


    Section IV (pp.247—264) contains the text and translation, with photographic fac-similes, of three original Persian documents connected with the examination and condemnation of the Báb for heresy, one of which appears to show that he formally abjured all his claims, and begged for mercy and forgiveness. These are followed by two English documents penned by the late Dr Cormick of Tabríz, one of which gives the impression produced on him by the Báb, whom he was called into see professionally. I do not know of any other European who saw and conversed with the Báb, or, if such there were, who has recorded his impressions.

    Section V (pp.267—271) contains a moving account by an Austrian officer, Captain von Goumoens, who was in the service of Násiru'd- Dín Sháh in the summer of 1852, of the horrible cruelties inflicted on the Bábís in the great persecution of that period which resulted from the attempt by three Bábís on the Sháh's life; cruelties so revolting that he felt himself unable to continue any longer in the service of a ruler who sanctioned them.

    Section VI (pp.275—287) contains the fac-similes, texts and translations of two Persian State papers bearing on the negotiations between the Persian and Turkish Governments as to the removal of the Bábí leaders from Baghdád to a part of the Ottoman Empire more remote from the Persian frontier. These documents were kindly communicated to me by M. A.-L.-M. Nicolas, a French diplomatist who has devoted much attention to the history and doctrine of the Bábís, and whose father is well known to Persian students as the first to introduce to Europe the now celebrated quatrains of `Umar-i- Khayyám.

    Section VII (pp.291—308) contains accounts received at the time from various correspondents as to the persecutions of Bábís at Isfahán and the neighbouring villages of Si-dih


and Najafábád in 1888—9, and at Yazd in May, 1891. For these accounts I am indebted to the late Dr Robert Bruce, Mr Sidney Churchill, Mr (now Sir) Walter Townley, `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá, his brother Mírzá Badí`u'lláh, and two other Bahá'ís, one actually resident at Yazd at the time of the persecution. To another horrible persecution of Bábís in the same town in the summer of 1903 some references will be found in the Rev. Napier Malcolm's illuminating work Five Years in a Persian Town (pp.155—6, 186 etc.).

    Section VIII (pp.311—315) contains the translation of an account of the death and burial of Mírzá YahSubh-i- Azal on Monday, April 29, 1912, written in Persian by his son Rizwán `Alí alias "Constantine the Persian," and also some further information on matters connected with the succession kindly furnished to me by Mr H. C. Lukach, to whom I am further indebted for permission to reproduce here two photographs of the funeral which he published in his book The Fringe of the East; for which permission I desire to express my sincere gratitude both to him and his publishers, Messrs Macmillan.

    Section IX (pp.319—322) contains a list of the descendants of Mírzá Buzurg of Núr in Mázandarán, the father of both Bahá'u'lláh and Subhi-i-Azal, of which the original Persian, drawn up by a yonger member of the family, was sent to me by the Bábí scribe already mentioned (p.xi supra). This is followed by lists of the children of Bahá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Azal compiled from other trustworthy sources.

    Section X (pp.325—339) contains a condensed summary in English of a portion of the polemical work Ihqáqu'l-Haqq dealing with the principal doctrines of the Bábís and Bahá'ís deemed heretical by the Shí`a Muhammadans. I have sometimes been reproached with having written so much more about the history of the Bábís than about their doctrines,


though I hope that the Introduction to my edition of Hájji Mírzá Jání's Nuqtatu'l-Káf has in some degree removed this reproach. But the fact is that, though the synthesis may be original, almost every single doctrine held by the Bábís and Bahá'ís (and their doctrine, even on such important matters as the Future Life, is by no means fixed and uniform) was previously held and elaborated by one or another of the earlier cognate sects grouped together under the general title of Ghulát, whereof the Isma`ilís are the most notable representative. The Ihqáqu'l-Haqq, which shows a much better knowledge of the opinions which it aspires to refute than most polemical works directed against the Bábís, summarizes in a convenient form the most salient points of doctrine in which the Bábís differ from the Shí`a Muhammadans.

    Section XI (pp.343—358), which concludes the volume, contains the texts, accompanied in some cases by translations, of one unpublished and two already published poems by Qurratu'l-`Ayn and of two poems by Nabíl of Zarand. I should like to have enlarged this section by the addition of other Bábí poems in my possession, especially of the Qasída-i-Alifiyya of Mírzá Aslam of Núr (see pp.228—9), but the book had already considerably exceeded the limits which I had assigned to it, and I regretfully postponed their publication to some future occasion.

    As regards the illustrations, the originals from which they are taken have in several cases been in my possession for many years, but I desire here to express my thanks to Dr Ignaz Goldziher for the two American newspapers partly reproduced on the plates facing pp.151 and 152; to M. Hippolyte Dreyfus for the three documents (A., B., and B1.) bearing on the

1 Vol. xv of the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series.


examination of the Báb; to M. A.-L.-M. Nicolas for the two Persian State papers dealing with the expulsion of the Bábís from Baghdád; to Mr H. C. Lukach and his publishers Messrs Macmillan for their kind permission to reproduce the two illustrations mentioned above (p. xiii), and to my old friend and colleague Mr Ellis H. Minns, who has given me valuable help in connection with the Russian books mentioned in the bibliography.

    In conclusion I desire to add a few words as to what I conceive to be the special interest and importance of the study of the Bábí and Bahá'í movements. This interest is in the main threefold, to wit, political, ethical and historical, and I shall arrange what I have to say under these three headings.

1. Political interest.

    The original Bábís who fought so desperately against the Persian Government at Shaykh Tabarsí, Zanján, Nayríz and elsewhere in 1848—50 aimed at a Bábí theocracy and a reign of the saints on earth; they were irreconcilably hostile to the existing government and Royal Family, and were only interested for the most part in the triumph of their faith, not in any projects of social or political reform.

    Of their attitude during the Baghdád and Adrianople periods (1852—63 and 1863—68) we know little, and the anxiety of the Persian Foreign Office as to their activities in the former place is sufficiently explained by fear of the propaganda which they were so easily able to carry on amongst the innumerable Persians who passed through it on their way to and from the Holy Shrines of Najaf and Karbalá.

    After the schism and the banishment of Subhi-i-Azal to Famagusta in Cyprus, and of Bahá'u'lláh to `Akká in Syria,


we have to distinguish between the activities of the two rival parties. The Azalís, from the first a minority, were much more cut off from external activity than the Bahá'ís. They represented what may be called the conservative party, and experience shows that with such religious bodies as the Bábís fresh manifestations of activity and developments of doctrine are essential to maintain and increase their vitality. The same phenomenon was witnessed again in the further schism which took place after the death of Bahá'u'lláh in 1892; the conservative tendencies represented by Muhammad `Ali could not hold their own against the innovations of his more able and energetic half-brother `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá, who since the beginning of this century commands the allegiance of the vast majority of the Bahá'ís both in the East and in the West.

    That the Bahá'ís constituted a great potential political force in Persia when I was there in 1887—8 was to me self-evident. Their actual numbers were considerable (Lord Curzon estimated them at the time he wrote1 at nearer a million than half a million souls), their intelligence and social position were above the average, they were particularly well represented in the postal and telegraph services, they were well disciplined and accustomed to yield a ready devotion and obedience to their spiritual leaders, and their attitude towards the secular and ecclesiastical rulers of Persia was hostile or at least indifferent. Any Power which, by conciliating their supreme Pontiff at `Akká, could have made use of this organization in Persia might have established an enormous influence in that country, and though the valuable researches of the late Baron Victor Rosen and Captain Tumanskiy were no doubt chiefly inspired by scientific curiosity, there may have been, at any rate in the

1 Persia (London, 1892), Vol. i, p.499.


case of the latter gentleman, some arrière-pensée of a political character. At any rate the Russian Government showed a good deal of civility to the Bahá'ís1 of `Ishqabad (Askabad), where they allowed or encouraged them to build a Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, or place of worship, which was, I believe, the first of its kind ever erected; and when a leading Bahá'í was murdered there by fanatics from Mashhad, the Russian authorities condemned the assassins to death, though subsequently, at the intercession of the Bahá'ís, their sentence was commuted to hard labour in the Siberian mines. That Bahá'u'lláh was not insensible to these amenities is clearly apparent from two letters filled with praises of the Russian Government which he addressed to his followers shortly afterwards, and which were published by Baron Rosen, together with an account of the circumstances above referred to, in Vol. vi of the Collections Scientifiques2. If the statement (on p. 11 infra) that Colonel (afterwards Sir) Arnold Burrows Kemball, when British Consul-General at Baghdád about 1859, offered British protection to Bahá'u'lláh be true, this would account for the laudatory tone adopted by him in the epistle which he addressed to Queen Victoria. None of the other rulers addressed in the "Epistles to the Kings" come off so well, and for Napoleon III in particular disaster is clearly foretold. Germany fares no better than France, being thus apostrophized in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas:

    "O banks of the river Rhine, we have see you drenched in gore for that the swords of the foes are drawn against you;

    1 Already in 1852 the Russian Minister at Tihrán had intervened in Bahá'u'lláh's favour (see pp.6—7 infra), for which intervention Bahá'u'lláh expresses his gratitude in the Epistle to the Tsar of Russia (J.R.A.S. for 1889, p.969).
    2 See also my Remarks on these texts in the J.R.A.S. for 1892, pp. 318-321.


and you shall have another turn! And we hear the wail of Berlin, although it be to-day in conspicuous glory!"1

    The occasion of this outburst, according to Roemer2, was the omission of the then Crown-Prince of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm to pay his respects to Bahá'u'lláh when he visited Palestine in the autumn of 1869. In the main, however, Bahá'u'lláh wisely avoided any political entanglements, and indeed sought rather to conciliate the Sháh and the Persian government, and to represent such persecutions of his followers as took place in Persia as the work of fanatical theologians whom the government were unable to restrain. The Azalís, on the other hand, preserved the old Bábí tradition of unconquerable hostility to the Persian throne and government.

    In the Persian Constitutional or National Movement dating from the end of 1905 the Azalís and Bahá'ís were, as usual, in opposite camps. Officially `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá commanded his followers to abstain entirely from politics, while in private he compared the demand of the Persians for parliamentary government to that of unweaned babes for strong meat. Some of the leading Bahá'ís in Tihrán, however, were accused, whether justly or not, of actually favouring the reaction3. In any case their theocratic and international tendencies can hardly have inspired them with any very active sympathy with the Persian Revolution. The Azalís, on the other hand, though they cannot be said to have any collective policy, as individuals took a very prominent part in the National Movement even before the Revolution, and such men as Hájji Shaykh Ahmad

    1 See J.R.A.S. for 1889, p. 977.
    2 Die Babi-Beha'i (Potsdam, 1911), p. 108.
    3 See Roemer, op. cit. pp.153-8, and my Persian Revolution, pp.424—9.


"Rúhi" of Kirmán, son-in-law to Subh-i-Azal, and his friend and fellow-townsman Mírzá Aqá Khán, both of whom suffered death at Tabríz in 1896, were the fore-runners of Mírzá Jahángír Khán and the Maliku'l-Mutakallimín, who were victims of the reactionary coup d'état of June, 1908. Indeed, as one of the most prominent and cultivated Azalís admitted to me some six or seven years ago, the ideal of a democratic Persia developing on purely national lines seems to have inspired in the minds of no few leading Azalís the same fiery enthusiasm as did the idea of a reign of the saints on earth in the case of the early Bábís.

    The political ideals of the Bahá'ís have undergone considerable evolution since their propaganda achieved such success in America, where they have come into more or less close connection with various international, pacifist and feminist movements. These tendencies were, however, implicit in Bahá'u'lláh's teachings at a much earlier date, as shown by the recommendation of a universal language and script in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the exaltation of humanitarianism over patriotism, the insistence on the brotherhood of all believers, irrespective of race or colour, and the ever-present idea of "the Most Great Peace" (Sulh-i-Akbar). In connection with the last it is interesting to note that Dr I. G. Khayru'lláh, "the second Columbus" and "Bahá's Peter" as he was entitled after his successes in America, definitely stated in his Book Behá'u'lláh, originally published at Chicago in 1899 (Vol.ii, pp.480—1), that "the Most Great Peace" would come in the year 1335 of the Hijra, which began on October 28, 1916 and ended on October 17, 1917. This forecast, based on Daniel xii, 12, "Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the end of the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days," has, unfortunately, not been realized, but the paragraph in which Khayru'lláh speaks of the frightful


war which must precede "the Most Great Peace" is so remarkable, when one remembers that it was written fifteen years before the outbreak of the Great War, that I cannot refrain from quoting it.

    "In testimony of the fulfilment of His Word, the Spirit of God is impelling mankind toward that outcome with mighty speed. As the prophet indicated, the final condition in which peace shall be established must be brought about by unparalleled violence of war and bloodshed, which any observer of European affairs at the present day can see rapidly approaching. History is being written at tremendous speed, human independence is precipitating the final scenes in the drama of blood which is shortly destined to drench Europe and Asia, after which the world will witness the dawn of millennial peace, the natural, logical and prophetical outcome of present human conditions."

    And again two pages further on (p. 483) he says:

    "Although the thousand years began with the departure of the Manifestation1 in 1892, the commencement of the 'Great Peace" will be in 1917."

    He also quotes Guinness as having written (in 1886)2: "The secret things belong to God. It is not for us to say. But there can be no question that those who live to see this year 1917 will have reached one of the most important, perhaps the most momentous, of these terminal years of crisis."

2. Ethical interest.

    While ethical teaching occupies a very subordinate place in the writings of the Báb and his disciples, it constitutes the chief part of the Bahá'í teachings. Sir Cecil Spring-Rice,

    1 i.e. the death of Bahá'u'lláh.
    2 Light for the Last Days (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1886), pp.345—6. The reference (p.224) given by Khayru'lláh is evidently to a different edition.


formerly British Minister at Tihrán, who had the most extraordinary insight into the Persian mind, made one of the most illuminating remarks I ever heard in this connection. He pointed out most truly that the problem which Bahá'u'lláh had to solve was a far greater one than any mere question of claims of succession, and was essentially the same as that which confronted St Paul, viz. whether the new religion which he represented was to become a world religion addressed to all mankind, or whether it was to remain a more or less obscure sect of the religion from which it sprang. Mutatis mutandis the strife between Bahá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Azal was essentially identical with the strife between St Paul and St Peter, though in the former case the resulting separation was even greater, and the Bahá'ís regard the Báb as a mere fore-runner and harbinger of the greater Manifestation, and his writings and teachings as practically abrogated, for which reason they no longer willingly suffer themselves to be called Bábís, a name which was still almost universally applied to them in Persia by those who were not members of their body at any rate when I was there in 1887—8.

    Of the ethical teaching of Bahá'u'lláh numerous specimens are given in this volume (pp.64—73 infra) and many more have been published in English by the American "Bahá'í Publishing Society1" and elsewhere. These teachings are in themselves admirable, though inferior, in my opinion, both in beauty and simplicity to the teachings of Christ. Moreover, as it seems to me, ethics is only the application to everyday life of religion and metaphysics, and to be effective must be supported by some spiritual sanction; and in the case of Bahá'ism, with its rather vague doctrines as to

    1 Address: 84 Adams Street, Chicago; or, Charles E. Sprague, Publishing Agent for the Bahá'ís' Board of Counsel, 191, Williams Street, New York.


the nature and destiny of the soul of man, it is a little difficult to see whence the driving-power to enforce the ethical maxims can be derived. I once heard Mr. G. Bernard Shaw deliver an address to a branch of the Fabian Society on "The Religion of the Future." In this lecture he said that he was unwilling that the West should any longer be content to clothe itself in what he called "the rags of Oriental systems of religion"; that he wanted a good, healthy Western religion, recognizing the highest type of humanity as the Superman, or, if the term was preferred, as God; and that, according to this conception, man was ever engaged in "creating God." As I listened I was greatly struck by the similarity of his language to that employed by the Bahá'ís1, and was diverted by the reflection that, strive as he would, this brilliant modern thinker of the West could not evolve a religion which the East had not already formulated. Yet it would be an error to regard Bahá'ism merely as an ethical system, as is already shown by the opening verse of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas:—"The first thing which God hath prescribed unto His servants is the recognition of the Dawning-place of His Revelation and the Day-spring of His Dispensation. Whosever attaineth unto Him hath attained unto all good, and whosoever is hindered therefrom is in truth of the people of error, even though he bring forth all good works."

3. Historical interest.

    But the chief interest of the study of the Bábí and Bahá'í movements is, as it seems to me, neither political nor ethical, but historical, because of the light it throws on the genesis and evolution of other religions. Renan emphasized this in

    1 Cf. p. 346 infra, n.1 ad calc.; and p. 211 of my Year amongst the Persians.


his work Les Apôtres, and it was he, I think, who said that to understand the genesis and growth of a new religion one must go to the East where religions still grow. And this holds good particularly of Persia, which has ever been the fertile breeding-ground of new creeds and philosophies from the time of Zoroaster, Manes and Mazdak to the present day. It would be interesting to compute how many of the "seventy-two sects" into which Islam is supposed to be divided owe their existence wholly or in part to the theological activity of the Persian mind.

    The phenomena actually presented by Bábíism are often such as one would not primâ facie expect. In spite of the official denial of the necessity, importance or evidential value of miracles in the ordinary sense, numerous miracles are recorded in Bábí histories like the Nuqtatu'l-Káf and the Ta'ríkh-i-Jadíd, and many more are related by adherents of the faith. The most extraordinary diversity of opinion exists as to doctrines which one would be inclined to regard as fundamental, such as those connected with the future life. A similar diversity of opinion prevails as to the authorship of various Bábí books and poems, though the beginnings of Bábí literature only go back to 1844 or 1845. The earliest, fullest and most interesting history of the Báb and his immediate disciples (that of Hájji Mírzá Jání of Káshán1) was almost completely suppressed because it reflected the opinion which prevailed immediately after the Báb's martyrdom that his successor was Mírzá YahSubhi-i-Azal, and thus came into conflict with the Bahá'í contention which arose ten or fifteen years later, and a recension of it was prepared (known as "the New History," Ta'ríkh-i-Jadíd) in

    1 The Nuqtatu'l-Káf, edited by me in the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series (Vol.xv) from the Paris MS., the only complete one extant in Europe.


which all references to Subhi-i-Azal were eliminated or altered, and other features regarded as undesirable were suppressed or modified. Later a third official history, "The Traveller's Narrative," Maqála-i-Shakhsí Sayyáh1, in which the Báb was represented as a mere forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh, was issued from `Akká, and subsequently lithographed to secure its wider diffusion, while the Ta'ríkh-i-Jadíd, of which not more than three or four copies exist in Europe, was suffered to remain in manuscript. Certain critical Christian theologians have seen in Hájji Mírzá Jání's history in its relation to the later narratives a close parallel to the Gospel of St Mark in its relation to the synoptic gospels.

    Of the future of Bahá'ism it is difficult to hazard a conjecture, especially at the present time, when we are more cut off from any trustworthy knowledge of what is happening in the world than at any previous period for many centuries. Less than a month ago the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's birth was celebrated in America, whither his teachings have spread only within the last twenty years, but what influence they have attained or may in the future attain there or elsewhere it is impossible to conjecture.

                        EDWARD G. BROWNE.

            December 10, 1917.

1 Edited by me with English translation and notes in 1891.

Chapter 1

This chapter is not yet online. However, the Arabic pages of the original text are online at

Qazvini's history is valuable in certain ways; it was done by an individual who felt himself faithful to the Bab and to Bahá'u'lláh, and so its early sections were written to cast a positive light on the early periods of the Bahá'í Faith. However, its author rebelled against `Abdu'l-Bahá, and so much of its later content is doctrinally suspect. It will not be posted until a sufficiently annotated edition can be produced. (-J.W., 1999)

Chapter 2



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    The account of Khayru'lláh's life given by our author Muhammad Jawád may be regarded, so far as it goes, as perfectly authentic, since it is based on his own statements1. I shall here endeavour to add such further details about the propaganda in which he took so great a part, and generally about the Bahá'í movement in America, as I have been able to glean from the sources at my disposal, which include, besides various published works, Eastern and Western, a number of letters written to me at various dates between December 1897 and August 1906 by some dozen American Bahá'ís, and three American newspapers (of August 12, 1900; February 16, 1902; and December 18, 1904) which Dr Goldziher of Budapest was kind enough to send me, and each of which contains, besides illustrations, some account of the progress of the movement.

    Khayru'lláh, as we have seen, reached America in the course of the year 1893, and almost immediately began his propaganda in Chicago2, which, as Mr Thornton Chase wrote to me ten years later (October 29, 1903), "still remains the stronghold and practical centre of the teachings in this country," and maintains a "House of Spirituality" (founded later by Mírzá Asadu'lláh of Isfahán by command of `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá) and a "Bahá'í Publishing Society," for which translations of the most notable Bahá'í writings were

    1 As already mentioned (p.93 supra, n.1 ad calc.) the original autobiography has lately (1917) been published in English.
    2 In the Preface to his work Behá'u'lláh, dated Jan.1, 1900, he says that he began to preach the Bahá'í gospel "over seven years ago."


prepared by the above-mentioned Asadu'lláh and later by his son Mírzá Faríd Amín, who came to Chicago about the end of 1901. For five years, during which he published (in 1896) his pamphlet entitled Bábu'd-Dín, Khayru'lláh's propaganda went quietly but steadily forward, without interference, and without attracting much notice outside the United States, especially in Chicago, New York and Ithaca, until in June, 1898, he set out with a few American believers on the visit to `Akká which has been fully described above, and in which were sown the first seeds of the estrangement between him and `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá.

    The most interesting of my American correspondents was a Miss A. H. of Brooklyn, New York, from whom, between May and September 1898, I received five letters, together with notes of the first thirteen lectures given by Khayru'lláh in his course of instruction to enquirers. These throw so much light on the methods employed by him and the form given to the Bahá'í doctrine in America that I think it worth while to quote them in full.

1st Letter (May 15, 1898)

    My dear Dr Browne:

    The only apology which I have to offer for this intrusion is that I most earnestly desire information concerning Bábism, and that you are the only one known to me competent to give it.

    A most ardent follower of Behá'u'lláh1 is teaching here, and I, with many others, have been attending the classes. The lecturer, a Dr Kheiralla, has made the most astounding statements regarding Behá, but the proofs brought forward are sadly inferior to the claims set forth, so it seems to me. Most of them are verses taken from the prophetic books of

1 I follow the spelling adopted by the writer.


the Bible. According to this doctor, Behá was God Himself. He teaches that god did not manifest through the personality of Behá, as in the case of Jesus, but that He really was God, and that He will not come again during this cycle. We are all called upon to believe this, or else forever lose our chance of salvation. Believing it makes us the adopted children of God, and we are given the power of creation. Prayer is taught, and little type written prayers composed by Behá are given to the students, and they are told to pray for spiritual things, which, however, they have no right to, else they would have received them, and there would be no need of asking for them. This is one of the principal points in the teachings. The first prayer given is really the most inclusive and truly beautiful one I have ever know. Angels are placed lower than man, for they are controlled by God, and man is not, but has free will and the power of choosing. Those who die without hearing of Behá are reincarnated and have another chance; those who have already heard do not. Believers see their friends who are not in the earth-body. God never takes a female form as he selects the stronger one to manifest Himself. There is to be a great time in the future when Napoleon IV, who is now a colonel in the Russian army, will war against the religion of Christ, aided by Russia, and the "Red Dragon" the Pope. France is to be an empire. The Napoleons are the Antichrists. Mírzá Yahyá1 is scarcely spoken of, but when he is mentioned he is called Satan. I think very few of the students know anything about him. These are a few of the many statements made in the course of thirteen lessons; but there is not the slightest reference throughout the entire course to the development of character, and those who claim an inner guidance are particularly censured and ridiculed. Certain

1 i.e. Subhi-i-Azal.


forms of metaphysical thought that have proved helpful to hundreds of people here receive a severe drubbing. Everything seems to be on the outside - just a belief in the "Manifestation" is what the doctor calls "Truth," so far as I have been able to learn, and that one's actions have nothing whatever to do with the case. At the last lecture the people are told, if they believe in the "Manifestation," to write a letter to `Abbás Efendi, who is a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, stating their belief and begging to have their names recorded in the "Book of the favorites." They are informed that Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and Daniel are reincarnated and are at Acre, the "Holy Place." The doctor further says that he has been sent by the Father and Jesus Christ to deliver the message concerning the "Manifestation" to the people of this country. He claims there are fifty-five million believers at the present time. A great mystery is made of the whole thing and the ideas are given out in minute portions, as we, it seems, are account slow of understanding in this country. The "message" or "pith," as it is called, is not given until the eleventh lesson. The effect upon the people is very strange. I never knew any one idea to create so many different and curious impressions. You will no doubt be surprised to hear that six hundred persons in Chicago, where Dr Kheiralla taught, are said to have declared themselves to be believers and that about two hundred persons in New York, so I am told, have written the letters to `Abbás Efendi. The teachings are all free and are given with a sincerity and earnestness which I heartily admire. Such untiring devotion must appeal to all fair-minded persons, no matter how much they may differ as to the truth of the teachings.

    This is the first that I have know of Bábism, so I am very ignorant concerning it. What I want so much to know


is whether these ideas are held in general by the Beháí's, and above all if Behá'u'lláh himself believed he was God, the Almighty, and that the salvation of the race rests upon that belief. We have been taught nothing about the life and character of Behá. To me it seems perfectly absurd to believe in the vanishing form of a man.

    I found your interesting books in a reading library, and I go there to read them; but I have not yet been able to find out for sure that Behá was what this Bábí doctor claims for him.

    When I began this letter I had no idea it would assume the proportions of a small book; but perhaps you will pardon its length when I tell you I really could not make it shorter and say what I wished to.

                        With respect, I am,
                                Most sincerely,
                                    (Miss) A. H.

2nd Letter (June 15, 1898).

    My dear Dr Browne,

        Your kind letter of May 29th has reached me, and I am much surprised to learn of the error made in the number of Behá's followers, for I sincerely believe that Dr Kheiralla would not wilfully make a false statement. I have noticed that his intense zeal and love for the cause make him at times use extravagant language, and I have made due allowance for this. For instance he told me a few weeks since in speaking of the "believers" in America that every one of them would lay down his life for the cause. He is rather excitable, but he has an extremely kind and sweet heart, and I am sure that could he but suffer martyrdom he would be supremely happy. How he has come to give the statistics so remarkable a twist I cannot imagine. Besides stating that there are at present fifty-five million believers, he told us in


his last lecture that there were forty millions at the time of Behá's death in 1892. The New History I have not yet read, but I found your articles on Bábism in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1889 and '92. Much of it I was unable to read on account of its being written in Persian; the English language is the only one that I know. But when I found the summary of the "Most Holy Tablet" I was very happy because it gave me some knowledge of Behá. I have enjoyed it very much, especially whenever there was anything about the Bábí who visited Behá so many times. What you wrote in your letter concerning the two views of God's way of dealing with man is exceedingly helpful, for things have been a trifle hazy since I have been investigating Bábism, and you will understand why when you know more of its propaganda. My belief is very simple in spite of a great fondness for metaphysics, and there is nothing I love so well as to hear about the ways to God. The mystics have always a wondrous charm for me. It must be true that the Father manifests in all His children, but that some minds are purer and are better media for the Light to shine through; that He is with each of us at all times. If God is omnipresent, surely He is with every soul. You see that I can accept a "Manifestation," and when I first heard of Behá and `Abbás Efendi I was very glad, as I have wished many times to know some great soul on the earth who had made the "union." I have had so many teachers and I find alas! they really know nothing about God; most of their words are born on their lips and they have not the slightest perception of the profound ideas which they voice; but when I met Dr Kheiralla I saw that at last I had found one who really believes his own teaching and is giving all that he has to spread what he things is true; right or wrong he is faithful. Behá must have been a marvellous personality to


so control another. I wanted to know of the great force back of this new teacher, and I listened to the teachings very closely; but nothing that I was in search of came. So one day I went to Dr Kheiralla and asked him if he meant to simply declare the "Manifestation"—if that was not his only message. He said yes, and that was all he had to do—just to bring the people to God. No ethics, no religious life does he pretend to teach. But he does such a peculiar thing; at the end of the thirteenth lesson all teaching ends for those who do not write the letter to `Abbás Efendi; but those who do are received into the fold and are given further instructions. The following is a fairly accurate form of the letter given to the students:

    "To the Greatest Branch,
    In God's Name, the Greatest Branch, I humbly confess the oneness and singleness of the Almighty God, my Creator, and I believe in His appearance in the human form; I believe in His establishing His holy household; in His departure, and that He has delivered His kingdom to Thee, O Greatest Branch, His dearest son and mystery. I beg that I may be accepted in this glorious kingdom and that my name may be registered in the `Book of Believers.' I also beg the blessings of worlds to come and of the present one for myself and for those who are near and dear to me (the individual may ask for anything he likes); for the spiritual gifts which Thou seest I am best fitted for - for any gift or power for which Thou seest me to be best fitted.

Most humbly thy servant,      ......."

    It is impossible for me to write such a letter, for the doctor has not proved to my satisfaction that Behá was a particular "manifestation" and there is really nothing in the letter that I can honestly say I believe - except the "oneness and singleness of the Almighty God." Besides, to beg for


spiritual gifts and blessings of any human being at Acre or anywhere else is to me positively shocking. The idea of favoritism is also very repulsive. But I want very much to learn all that I can of Behá and `Abbás Efendi, and the ethics and religious life of the sect. The believers are given some mysterious name which openly they always call "The Greatest Name." It is given very privately and in a very solemn manner. They are supposed to make use of it when in need. I am sorry to say that some people have sent the letter for the sake of the rest of the teaching and for a mysterious something which they hope to get. This propaganda is the strangest and the most unique one that America has ever known and I'm quite sure that you cannot form a correct idea of it unless you have heard something of every one of the lectures, and in the order in which they were given. I have therefore concluded to send you what I can of the leading ideas of each one. Many things I cannot explain, for explanations were not given, but we were told that we should know in the future. That future has never come—it may be reserved for the believers. Besides the doctor requested the students to take no notes up to about the tenth lecture, when the use of pencils and paper was allowed. The "message" is given in the eleventh lesson. After each lecture I jotted down what I could remember of the main ideas. There will be a good deal of fog, but I hope you will be able to see through it. The doctor repeatedly declares that this is a teaching where everything is proved and I should like you to know just how he proves the "Manifestation."

    With this letter I send the first two lectures. I will send the others later on.

                                Sincerely yours,
                                    A. A. H.


3rd Letter (July 10, 1898).

    My dear Dr Browne,

        Enclosed you will find four more lectures. The meaning of the sixth lesson is distressingly obscure in my mind, and I could not do otherwise than place it so on paper. But I have tried to do Dr Kheiralla justice, and trust that I have given everything just as I heard it. I believe there are two different "images", but I am not at all sure. The doctor does not seem to be able to express his ideas in our language so clearly as the Hindoo exponents of the Vedanta philosophy and other forms of Oriental thought. The students are in utter ignorance as to what the religion or sect really is until the eleventh lesson; it was called the "Religion of God"; at first we were told it is in all parts of the world, even in the heart of Africa. To our amazement we find out when we reach the last lesson that there is some literature on the subject. As the taking of notes is seldom allowed the memory is mainly depended upon, and the result is that at the end of the course, the Báb, `Abbás Efendi and Behá'u'lláh are most ludicrously confounded: under the circumstances perhaps Mírzá Yahyá has fared better by being kept out. I asked one of the most enthusiastic believers about Subhi-i-Ezel, and she said that she had heard him lecture; she thought he was one of the Hindoo Swamis! When I told her I meant Satan she seemed to know. This confusion exists in New York I am sure, as I have talked with a number of the people who have listened to the entire course and have repeated the lectures. A woman who has been a believer for more than three years and is now a teacher (there are more than twenty teachers in Chicago), told me a few weeks since that she has never read any of the


books on the subject. It is my impression that very few of the believers have. This may not be the case with those in Chicago. Some New York people have sent recently for copies of the Traveller's Narrative. There is little chance for discussion at any lecture, as the doctor has an extremely funny way of telling people who oppose his view in the class that they are "excused." Of course they have to leave, and in profound silence the surprised offender arises, packs up what belongs to him and makes as graceful an exit as he can under the trying conditions. The lesson is then resumed with great serenity on the doctor's part. At the first lecture the people are requested not to talk over what they are told with outsiders. An air of mystery is over the whole affair and infinitesimal things are most enormously magnified, and the way in which [some] matters are minimized in order to maximize other points in the teaching is truly remarkable; I mean interpretations of the English Bible. Many people hear all they care to in a very few lesson. The doctor works hard and faithfully, starting class after class until there are seven or eight, all receiving the same lectures. One can repeat a lecture a number of times provided one has heard the previous lesson. If a student loses one, Mrs Kheiralla sometimes gives the main points privately. Public talks on reincarnation, evolution, and Bible interpretation are given; but the "Manifestation" is not taught outside of the classes, or in some private way. A great deal is made of visions; they are seeing Acre, `Abbás Efendi, the old man at Acre that we were told is Joshua reincarnated, and others of the household. The visions are told to the doctor, and he does the best he can with them and there is great satisfaction. The believers have organized in New York with a president and several vice- presidents. The first vice-president told me that they are 107 or 109 in


number and that they call themselves an "Assembly." The believers (I do not know that this includes the Chicago people) have collected about one thousand dollars. The movement was started in New York last February by a Mr Dodge, formerly of Chicago, who is now president of the New York organization. He sent for Dr Kheiralla who was living in Chicago, paid the expenses of the doctor and his wife while in New York, and provided the rooms for the classes which ended in June. The lessons are to be begun again in the fall. I most sincerely hope that `Abbás Efendi will send others that we may know whether these ideas are held in common by the sect; one gets a very imperfect idea from only one representative. I asked Mr Dodge how many believers there are now, and he said about fifty-five or sixty millions! I was very much amazed at the sudden rise in numbers. This gentleman is exceedingly generous and is working hard upon an invention by which he hopes to make one million dollars. His wife told me that he intends to put all of this money into the movement; this was not told me in confidence1.

    I enclose two prayers which Dr Kheiralla gave me in the class, that you might see the exact form in which they were given. Will you kindly return the smaller one only, marked "4th Lesson" at your leisure....... I am on a summer tour, but I have all the lecture notes with me and can send them just the same. I hope the first two reached you.

                                Respectfully yours,
                                            A. A. H.

    1 Mr. A. P. Dodge came to England in November, 1900, when I met him in Cambridge. See p. 148 infra.


4th Letter (Aug. 20, 1898).

    My dear Dr Browne,

        Enclosed are five more lectures. In the tenth lesson Dr Kheiralla is entirely wrong about the Christian Scientists. They teach that man is a reflection of perfect Mind or Principle - never that he is God. No Christian Scientist every says "I am Brahma" as a Vedantist of the Adwaita school does. I think he has confused the two. He has a queer conception of some of the ideas promulgated here; he thinks that those who teach the mother principle of God mean that He is a woman. A few of the dates in the 11th lesson concerning the "Manifestation" the doctor was not sure about, as he relied upon his memory only. The book written by Behá is at Acre and in the Sultan's library. The doctor says that his people do not call themselves Bábís but others do. I believe that I have not mentioned the doctor's healing; he assured me that he gives no medicine, but to some patients he gives a hubble-bubble to inhale the fumes of certain herbs; of course this is medicine. He has another way of healing. A person who has rheumatism in her fingers told me that she went to him twice for treatment and he sat very quietly and held her fingers for a time. This patient was not helped; she was not a believer. But a believer told me he had cured her of some trouble, and Mrs Kheiralla informed me that he has quite a practice in Chicago. The lessons are free, but the treatments are two dollars each. Healing is said to be a gift, but I have not read anywhere that Bábís heal mentally. In lesson five it is clearly stated that Behá was a Manifestation of God, but in lesson eleven he is God Himself. I was much puzzled and asked Dr Kheiralla about it. He very humbly attempted to explain and began by saying that Behá was a Manifesta-


tion only, but before he ended he certainly spoke of him as being God. I asked if Behá'ul-Abhá is the "Most Sacred Name" and was told that it is not; that is one of the names of Behá. I think the name contains nine letters1 as the place where it is omitted on the slip of papers which I sent contains nine dots.

                                        A. A. H.

5th Letter (Sept. 18, 1898).

    My dear Dr Browne,

        The enclosed two lectures are the last in the course of thirteen delivered by Dr Kheiralla on the religion of the Behá'ís. I have sent eleven others at different times, which I hope have reached you. Perhaps you may not care for the notes; but it occurred to me that since you had spent so much time in investigating Bábism and in helping others to learn what it is, possibly you might like to know just what is being taught in America concerning it, especially as Doctor Kheiralla was sent by Behá himself. I have tried to be accurate and to give as full notes as lay in my power, but lack of interest prevented me from remembering more, which I now regret, as I fear it has hindered me from presenting the teachings quite fairly. However, I do not think that I have omitted anything which was given as "proof" of the "Manifestation."

    With hearty appreciation of your earnest study of spiritual ideas and of the aid which you render to others in increasing their knowledge of religious thought, I am,


                            Sincerely yours,
                                        A. A. H.

This is correct as regards the Arabic form [ARABIC TEXT].



1st Lesson.

    Proof of soul and its immortality—Matter is indestructible.—— Silver dollar used as illustration.——Its qualities, as weight, density, smoothness, hardness, etc. spoken of.——Back of every quality is an essence.—The essence is unknown; the qualities prove the essence. We can never know an atom in our present condition. The soul has nine qualities; namely, perception, will, reason, judgment, memory, consciousness, mental taste, imagination and abstraction. Back of the qualities there must be an essence. Matter has none of these qualities. If matter is indestructible, how much more the soul. The consciousness carries things to the soul; it is a reporter. Perception and intuition are only a strong power of classification (an intuitive person knows just how to place things). Man has not the creative power, he only combines. God is perfection; nothing can be added to Him or taken from Him. He cannot be divided; we are not parts of Him.

2nd Lesson.

    What mind is.—In all languages mind means that which protects us from what is harmful, and is the receiver of that which is good. In Syriac it means a fort built on a hill. Mind is a collective name given to the nine qualities or faculties of the soul when they are in operation. The qualities act together, never singly. They are always fighting for us; they hurry us to the table when hungry, they tell us to protect ourselves when cold, etc. There is no mortal mind, no universal mind. Each one has a mind and a soul


or spirit. The mind is eternal, because the essence or soul is eternal, and its qualities are eternal. We can receive nothing except through mind. Thought is the action of the mind's nine qualities. The action is never the actor. When we remember, it is the action of the mind.—We are not memory; when we judge we think, when we reason we think. Contact with the outside develops these qualities; a child left alone would still be a baby at forty years of age. What is called subjective and objective mind is the same mind, only different operations or conditions of that same mind. Mind has an internal, or subjective, and an external, or objective, action. We have not two minds. Different workings of a fort likened to the qualities of the soul. The officer (reason) commands the soldiers (will), etc. God is not Love, He is Loving; God has Power, He is not Power; He is not Mind, and those who say so blaspheme. God is limited to Himself, because He knows Himself; to us He is limitless. He is manifested through everything, but He is not the thing manifested.

3rd Lesson.

    The needs of the Soul and the Body.—The body needs food, drink, and protection. God has given us kitchens, to wit the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, where we can supply the needs of the body, and we do not need to pray for such things. Man spends most of his time in taking care of the body. This teaching has nothing to do with the body. The teaching is for the soul and is spiritual; the food for the soul is not material. What we eat does not make us spiritual. The animals are for us to eat. (The condition of India, which was spoken of as a place of plague and famine, kept in subjection by a few red-coats, was here compared with America, and the vegetarians were


unmercifully criticised.) The soul needs food, drink and protection. The food of the soul is the knowledge of God; the drink of the soul is faith; the protection of the soul is love. We should ask for knowledge, faith and love. The knowledge of God produces faith. We are taught to believe only what we know. We cannot love God if we do not know Him. (I have heard the doctor say that we can never know God.) When we know Him we shall love each other, and we shall also know why knowledge is knowing facts, while wisdom is knowing how to use knowledge.

    Jesus was the greatest one ever on this planet. (A great difference is made between Jesus and Behá; God is said to have manifested through Jesus.)

4th Lesson.

    Prayer: - Nine is a sacred number; everything in nature is planned on the number nine (this was not explained). There are nine openings in the body; the navel opening was locked and you are going to know why (this too was never explained). The sacred number nine is in this prayer. (I have marked the divisions in the prayer.) 19, 29 and 90 are also sacred numbers, but 9 is the most sacred one. In our religion prayer is called commune. We need to pray; God does not need our prayers. We do not need to ask for those things which God has given us the power to get, things out of the earth, etc. - but we should ask for what we have not received yet - what is not our right to have - and we shall receive if we ask earnestly. We should pray for spiritual things. Some pray for material things; some pray and use the wrong Name; they will not receive; some think they are gods, and have no need of prayers. We believe in prayer. We are here to battle and we need help. We will not develop if we do not pray. We should


not beg but ask earnestly. We are to share God's majesty and glory through prayer. We communicate with God through talking with Him. Use of the right Name is the pass-word. When you become "believers" the "Greatest Name" will be given to you to be used in time of need. Prayers are pass-words and we have used prayers of our own making; have used the wrong pass-word; should not compose them. If we do not use the right pass-word God will hear, but He will not answer. We prove our teachings in three ways: by science and logic, by the prophets and teachers, and by revelations. We believe that we have the absolute truth. If you use these prayers earnestly you will have dreams or visions which will come to pass. I promise you that you will have revelations if you use them. All do who use them; but we do not depend upon revelations for proof of the truth. [The doctor told the students to tell him their visions, and if they came to pass they would know them to be true.] You can have dreams and visions through hypnotism. [Some Eastern practices for spiritual development were spoken of and condemned.] Gazing at the tip of the nose is the most powerful form of hypnotism. Don't concentrate: you will go crazy, as professional chess-players do. The real dreams and visions will be those that come to pass.

    Many have been sent by God, Noah, Moses, and others; but the teachings were all corrupted. When they become so, God sends another. At last He sent Jesus, His Beloved son. Brahmins and Buddhists do not know what their true religion is. The Mohammedan is the most corrupt of all. A few days (I'm not sure about the exact number of days) after the death of Mohammed his teaching was corrupted.

    Truth is to know God. We must know god if we are to love Him, otherwise we love our imaginations.


5th Lesson

    Second prayer given. There are 27 [?28] letters called the "Letters of Luddon," and every letter signifies a great power which can only be received by special permission from head-quarters (Acre). Luddon1 means presence of God, or presence of the Almighty. This prayer is very important, as it asks for growth "by that letter"; letter means growth, not creation. "The fruits appeared"; the tree came first and then the fruit. God created one man and one woman; they obeyed the law of multiplication and wove a tent for another soul. "The trees began to thrive," God made one tree and from the seeds came others. "The traces were destroyed"; in all material growth the last destroys the traces of the first. "The curtains were torn asunder"; here the spiritual part of the prayer begins. The finite cannot comprehend the infinite; this is what is between God and us. (Read from Isaiah xlii, 102 and St John i, 18.) God is forever unknowable. He wished to make Himself known, and as the finite cannot comprehend the infinite He made a form, He chose a "Face3," that through that He might become known to us. He is not the form; it only represents Him. He is back of it, and is not confined to the form. "The faithful hurried": when the faithful hear of this "Face" of God they hasten to live with this form of God for ever. The "face" is called by different names; as, "The Chosen," "my Son David," etc. He came here that we might gain higher limitations. We receive the Letters of Luddon in our new limitations. Jesus had 12 powers, 8

    1 Probably [ARABIC PHRASE] in the original Arabic phrase.
    2 Though I have done my best to verify and correct these references to the Bible, here and in some other cases I have failed to do either, and so leave them as they stand.
    3 Wajh [ARABIC WORD], a term which the Báb often applied to himself.


first, then 4 (did not say what they all were). One power is to communicate without material means; another one is sight. The teacher has no power to convey to another these powers given by head-quarters. We gain by being active not passive, but gain nothing by sleep. (The spiritual were censured for "sitting development.") There is such a thing as "sitting in the silence."

    Jesus came to teach the Kingdom of God. (Read Luke iv, 43.)

    The soul does not leave the body until death. We do not travel in the astral [body] and see places. People say that they have seen a thread connection1, but we know it is not so. We see things as if the light were reflected in one mirror and then in another and another. The soul thinks it is moving when something is only passing before it.

6th Lesson.

    This is a very important lesson, as it tells where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. Eden means the paradise of God. It is not a place. No tree of knowledge and evil can grow in the soil; it is not a real tree (read Revelation xxii, 2 as one proof). Rivers mentioned in Genesis (ii, 10—14) are not real rivers, for you never see rivers branching into four heads. (We were told in a later lecture that the "Manifestation" is the big river and the four branches are the four sons of Behá.) There are three Adams - the race, our ancestor, and we shall know the other (Behá) when we get to the "pith." Adam spoke the Kurdish language, which has no alphabet and is a short

    1 This apparently refers to the belief (finely set forth near the beginning of the First Book of the Mystical Mathnawí) that men's souls escape from their bodies during sleep, but are attached to them by an immaterial thread which compels them to re-enter their respective bodies when the night is over.


spoken language only. Silence will prove this. Adam does not mean "red earth"; it means the "skin" or "surface." Eve means life1. God gave Adam and Eve "coats of skin," to wit the body. He made but two coats of skin. The meaning of "coats of skin" is His "image." Adam and Eve obeyed the law of multiplication and gave tents to other souls. They had two children, Cain and Abel. These are not material children. Cain means the material and Abel means the spiritual, and these are always at war. There are three bibles: the Hebrew, the Egyptian, and the Chaldean. The Hebrew borrowed from the Egyptian, and the Egyptian from the Chaldean. All have [the same] account from Adam to Moses. We were in Eden, the Paradise of God. The serpent, Wisdom, suggested to us that we should go higher and be as gods. We asked God for this great privilege, and we were allowed to come to earth where this great privilege is to be gained. The "flaming sword" is the earth. Our will is free at all times; we can choose. Angels are always controlled by God; they are lower than man and never gain the "great privilege," as they have no desire to go higher. We come to earth to overcome. To overcome means to have the desire for a knowledge of God above all desires. We are not here to love each other or to be kind to one another; of course we should be [so]; but that is not what we are here for. Those who overcome return to Eden. The tree of knowledge and tree of life are God. When we become adopted children we eat of the tree of life. Cain, the material, is cast out. Cain's "mark" is God's image, the skin(?) (It is the thickest kind of fog right here.) Those having the"mark"

    1 In Arabic Hawwá, from the same root as hayy, "living," and hayát, "life."


never become the adopted children of God; they bring this upon themselves; it is not a punishment. Cain went to the Land of Nod [Genesis iv, 16] which means wandering. Impossible to live with God unless we have the image. All go to the Land of Nod who do not conquer. (The Prodigal Son was quoted as proof that Jesus taught these ideas.) We learn to know the good from the evil.

    Shepherd in the Bible means spiritual man.

    It is a blessing not to remember our past. A baby remembers at first, but after three days the memory is locked.

7th Lesson.

    Noah's Ark.—The ark is a symbol of God, and means protection. The Temple of Solomon is the same. The clean animals "by sevens' (Genesis vii, 2) are the believers; "by two" means the believers' parents, who are protected because of the believers. 70 persons went into the ark; 40 first and then 30. The translation is wrong. "Raven" means calamities, and "dove" peace. (A curious story was related in which a dot caused by a fly changed a character which meant husband to mean mule1.) Jesus in speaking of the rich did not use the word which means camel; he used a word which means thread. He meant those who thought themselves rich in spiritual things. It is just as easy for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as it is for others. The entrance to a city is not called "Eye of a Needle" in the New Testament, and theologians know it, but will not say so for fear of the people's faith.

    "Water" in the Bible means teachings, and "Mountains" the might ones of earth. [Compare p. 140, l. 3 infra.]

    1 I do not recognize this story, but a similar one about a fly which changed (PERSIAN LETTER) (with) into (PERSIAN LETTER) (or) is related in Ouseley's Notices of the Persian Poets (London, 1846), pp.157—8.   


8th and 9th Lessons (given as one lesson).

    The prayer and Bible references were given to each person. The references were to be studied, and each student was to come to the 10th lesson prepared to give his idea of the meaning. The class were then permitted to ask questions. These are a few of the statements in answer to questions. God never chooses a female form through which to manifest: He chooses the male as it is the stronger. There is no sex in spirit. "Curse" means to put in a lower place. The serpent, Wisdom, was compelled to go lower. When we do wrong it bites our heel or where we are walking. Moses and Elias did really return to this earth and appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. The accounts of Creation in Genesis were given by three different persons. The prophets themselves did not know the meaning of their own prophecies; the meaning was always concealed until the prophecy came to pass. God made disease; it exists because of the perfection of the law; it is the result of the law. We must all die. It is possible to communicate with others without physical contact. There are 42 million "tablets" (alwáh) in the religion of the Behá'ís.

10th Lesson.

    The class were asked to give their ideas as to the meaning of the biblical references in the 9th lesson, but scarcely any one answered satisfactorily. Some said Jesus was referred to, but this was denied with great energy by Dr Kheiralla, and Isaiah ix, 6 was given as proof. Jesus was not "the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace"; he was not a ruler. The answer which seemed to give satisfaction was that a manifestation of God was foretold. Revelation i was read as evidence that Jesus bore


witness to the Manifestation. Job xix, 25; Ezekiel xliii, 4; Isaiah lxiii, 1, and Jude 14 are proofs of the Manifestation. In Isaiah xxiv, 23 the "moon" means Turkey and the "sun" means Persia. (Headquarters at Acre are called Jerusalem, and some place in the mountains is Zion.) Isaiah xlvii was read and a very strong body of religionists in America called Christian Scientists was condemned for saying, "I am and none else beside me" (verse 10). II Timothy iv, [3—4, but perhaps I, iv is meant] was read as referring to those who are now promulgating certain ideas here. The meaning of "clouds" is ignorance. Jesus taught the Kingdom of God; 226 years after Christ the Trinity was taught.

11th Lesson.

    The "Pith".—In 1844 the Báb appeared in Persia. He was 19 years old. He came as Elijah. He used sometimes to set a chair, covered with cashmere, for the one whose coming he foretold, but he did not know when or where the "Manifestation" would appear. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God at hand. He said, "God is among the human race; the Father is come." In 1844 the Millerites also appeared. The Báb had wonderful spiritual powers and was remarkable for his power of logic. Like Abraham he was a wanderer; like Mahomet he was a merchant; like Moses he had power of argument; and he was like Christ because he was crucified. He wrote a large book called the Beyán. The Báb had a great following. He was persecuted by the Mohammedans; was arrested by the government; foretold his own death. In 1850 the Báb and his secretary were suspended by ropes from a wall; soldiers fired; the secretary was killed, but the bullets cut the ropes by which the Báb was suspended and he escaped. The soldiers refused to fire again, but other soldiers fired and the Báb was killed. Mahomet prophesied


the Báb's death. Mahomet was a true prophet. A tradition 1300 years ago says that Mahomet said ships (railroads) would sail on land; railroads were introduced in 1828. In 1852-1853 the Incarnation of God (Behá) appeared. He left Tihrán as an exile in 1852. He was of family of Kings1. Went to Baghdád to River Chebar with 7000 prophets (Ezekiel xliii, 3). Here he manifested himself for 5 days as the Lord of Hosts, having been previously shaved by a barber (Isaiah vii, 20), after which he veiled himself. Jesus Christ (`Abbás Efendi) as a boy was with him. In 1863 the Sultan invited the "Manifestation" to visit Constantinople. At this time there were 30,000 believers. He appeared before the Sultan, who asked for proof of his divinity. Behá asked the Sultan if he believed in Mahomet. The Sultan said that he did, and Behá asked for a sign. The Sultan replied that the Korán was a proof. Behá then wrote a book larger than the Korán in 6 hours as a sign of his own divinity. Behá was ordered to Adrianople. At one time a regiment was sent against him. Behá rebuked it and the regiment returned, without harming him (Psalm lxxvi). Behá declared himself God to the world in 1866. He was exiled to Acre in 1868-1869. He prophesied that the ship in which he sailed would go to pieces, and it sunk on its return voyage. Micah contains an account of Acre, the New Jerusalem. In 1869-1870 Behá sent tablets to the different rulers calling upon them to throw their kingdoms at his feet and worship him. He sent Napoleon III two tablets, and the Pope three. A tablet was sent to General Grant. The only ones who replied were Queen Victoria and Alexander II. The Queen said if it was of God it would stand, and the Czar said that he should investigate the

    1 This, of course, is quite incorrect. He was the son of Mírzá Buzurg of Núr.


matter. Napoleon tore the tablet, and said that if Behá was God, he was also. Behá told Napoleon his secrets and prophesied that he would be punished. He also prophesied as to the future of the German Emperor. There was a conference of the Powers against Behá. The "Manifestation" left the earth in 1892, leaving the Kingdom to Jesus Christ. The 25 years following the departure of the "Manifestation"1 will be years of calamities. The Millennium is to come in 1917; this is the Resurrection, when one out of every three will become a follower of Behá. Napoleon IV who is in the guards of the Czarina will defeat Germany aided by the "Dragon," the Pope and Russia. He will persecute the believers. France will be an empire. There are now fifty-five million believers in this religion.

    A message, said to be from Jesus Christ and addressed to the students in Chicago where there were about thirty, was read.

12th Lesson.

    In 1852-1853 God Almighty appeared. He was born in Persia among the Mohammedans; declared himself God in 1866 and departed in 1892. He wrote forty million "tablets", no two alike. Numbers have letters; 1892 spells Jehovah in Hebrew. Prof. Totten predicted the end of the world in 1892, but this was really the end of a dispensation. See Isaiah xxiv, 23 and Revelation xii, 1; where the woman clothed with the Sun (Persia) and the Moon (Turkey) under her feet, is Mahomet, while the "twelve stars" [indicate the period]2 from Mahomet to the Báb. Rock (stone) means Mohammedanism, and is a prophecy of Behá. 600 years after Christ came Mahomet and the Pope. Catholics fought Mohammedans 400 years (Revelation xii,


1 i.e. 1892-1917.              2 i.e. the number of centuries.


3, 4). The "Dragon" is the Pope; seven great powers under the Pope; "the third part" (the Christians) followed the Pope. In Revelation xii, [15—]16 "water" means "teachings." In Revelation xii, 6 "a thousand two hundred and three score days" means 1260 years. (Compare Ezekiel iv, 6, according to which 1260 days = 1260 years).
    [The year] 1260 of the Mohammedan era = A.D. 1844.
    1260 = "a time, and times, and half a time." (Revelation xii,14.)
    Time = 360         \
    Times = 360 x 2     > = 1260
    Half a time = 180  /
    Daniel xii, 11. The "Abomination" is Napoleon III.
    Daniel viii, 13. The "transgression of desolation" means Napoleon III. The Napoleons are the anti-Christs. 483 years between "vision" and Christ; 2300 days between Christ and the "Manifestation." (Daniel ix, 25, and viii, 13, 14.)
    Daniel xii, 7. "The man clothed in linen" means Christ.
    Daniel xii, 4. "Many shall run to and fro" means shall read page after page. "The book" is sealed because it is a prophecy; it will be opened when it comes to pass. Calamities will purify the believers.
    Daniel xii, 12. The "Thousand three hundred and five and thirty days" mean A.H. 1335 = A.D. 1916-1917.
    A.D. 1892 = 1309 Mohammedan date.
    In the Millennium we shall live as one family.
    John was not regenerated.
    Abraham, Moses, Jacob and Daniel are all at Acre.

13th Lesson.

    The household and departure of the "Manifestation." Zechariah iv is a prophecy of the household of the "Manifestation." The candlestick is the "Manifestation," God


(verse 14). He married two wives1; they are the "anointed ones" or "olive trees." People object to the "Manifestation" because of his being married. A real man ought to marry; a monk is the invention of priests. God came as a man, had a father and mother, fulfilled His own law, and married. In Isaiah xlv (9—)11 we are rebuked for thinking God should do as we think best. The greatest reason why God should marry is that the race is grafted through His having children. He is the Tree of Life and we are grafted. See Genesis vi (1—4) concerning marriage of the sons of God. Also Isaiah lxvi, 9. The "seven lamps" or "seven eyes" are the children of Behá, 4 males and 3 females. One wife had two daughters, the other had one. One wife died. The four sons are called Branches2; the three daughters are the Holy Leaves3. Every woman belongs to one of the Holy Leaves; every man belongs to one of the Holy Branches. The eldest son is Jesus Christ. Mary, the mother is buried at Acre. The eldest daughter is equal in power with the eldest son. We are the trees in the Garden of Eden, the big river is the "Manifestation" and the "four rivers" are the four sons.

    The body.—The heart represents the "Manifestation"; the lungs, the two wives; the 24 ribs, the 24 elders. (I could not remember other parts—something about the tribes of Israel and leaves of lungs being like the daughters, etc.)

    Zechariah iii, 8—9.—Joshua too the place of Satan; the "stone" means God. The tabernacle of Moses, Ark of Noah, Temple of Solomon, Pyramids, and tabernacle of

    1 One named Nawwáb, the mother of `Abbás Efendi and his sister Bahiyya; the other entitled Mahd-i-`Ulyá, the mother of Muhammad `Alí, Ziyá'u'lláh, and Badá`u'lláh. See pp.62—3 supra and Section IX infra.
    2 Ghusn, plural Aghsán.
    3 Waraqát.


Buddha were built on the plan of the "Manifestation's" household. Zechariah xii, 10 et seqq. is a prophecy of the death of Behá. Also Zechariah xiii, 1—7.

    David is sometimes used to mean the "Manifestation." He is sometimes called "My servant." Ezekiel xxxiv, 23—24.

    All prophecy is about the "Manifestation," and henceforth there will be no more prophecy. At the time of Behá's death, there were 40 million believers.

    Dr E. G. Browne of Cambridge was appointed by the Royal Asiatic Society to investigate Bábism1.

    The account of the visit to Acre in The Traveller's Narrative was read, and also the announcement of Behá's death sent to Dr Browne by the youngest Branch2. The members of the class were told what a great privilege it is to have one's name written in the "Book of the Believers," and it was suggested that they should write to the Greatest Branch3 to beg this privilege. The form of the letter was read and some of the members made copies of the form. Those who write the letter and are "accepted" join the class of believers, and the mysteries contained in the book of Revelation are revealed to them4.

    These notes of Khayru'lláh's propagandist lectures in America, though fragmentary, are instructive as to the methods he adopted and the modifications he introduced into Bahá'í doctrine to adapt it to American taste and

    1 This, of course is a pure fiction, though my first papers on the subject were published in 1899, in the Journal of that society.
    2 i.e. Mírzá Badí`u'lláh, entitled Ghusn-i-Anwar, "the Most Luminous Branch." The text and translation of this communication will be found in the J.R.A.S. for 1892, pp. 706—9. It was written on June 25, 1892.
    3 i.e. `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá, entitled Ghusn-i-A`zam.
    4 Here ends Miss A. A. H.'s communication.


comprehension. Particularly noticeable is the extensive application of Bible prophecies, especially the very ingenious interpretations of the obscure sayings and numbers in the Book of Daniel and in the Apocalypse of St John. The full elaboration of Khayru'lláh's teaching is contained in his books Báb-ed Dín, the Door of True Religion (Chicago, 1897), and Behá'u'lláh (the Glory of God), 2 vols. (Chicago, Jan. 1, 19001). His statement that "at the time of Behá's death there were forty million believers" is, of course, an absurd exaggeration; still more so his assertion that "at the present time (i.e. 1897 or 1898) there are fifty-five million believers." In his pamphlet The Three Questions (undated) Khayru'lláh says (p.22), however, that though this number was given to him by his teacher `Abdu'l-Karím of Tihrán, resident in Cairo, and was confirmed by `Abbás Efendi's secretary, Sayyid Muhammad Taqí Minshadí, "the number of Beháists is not known, but cannot be more than three millions."

    The interesting account of the Bábís entitled Ta'ríkhu'l-Bábiyya, aw Miftáhu Bábi'l-Abwáb ("History of the Bábís, or the Key to the Gate of the Gates"), composed in Arabic by Dr Mírzá Muhammad Mahdí Khán Za`ímu'd- Dawla (editor of the Persian paper Hikmat), and published at Cairo by the Press of Al-Manár in 1321 (1903-4), concludes (pp.437—9) with a rather malicious version of the propaganda in America, of which the translation is as follows:

    "A little while after the death of Bahá there was in Egypt a Syrian Christian named Ibráhím Khayru'lláh who had been a friend of ours for twenty five years. He was employed in translating and in business, and subsequently took to farming, but ill-luck accompanied him in all his

    1 As already mentioned, this book has been republished in smaller form in one volume this year (1917).


adventures. Latterly he became acquainted with Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím of Tihrán, one of the leaders of the Bahá'í-Bábís in Egypt, and inclined to their belief. These two consulted frequently as to how they could best render service to their doctrine, and finally agreed that Ibráhím [Khayru'lláh] should go to New York and invite the people there to embrace the Bábí religion, on the understanding that Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím should defray the expenses of the journey. So Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím, having sought permission from `Abbás Efendi, bestowed on him the money and provided him with the new teachings. So the man departed thither, and devoted himself to organizing the propaganda; for he was eloquent in speech and resolute of heart. And there inclined to him a certain rich old American lady, whom he inspired with the desire of visiting the tomb of Bahá and meeting `Abbás Efendi at `Akká. There her faith was confirmed and she gave a donation of £.500 to improve the tomb of Bahá1. On her return journey she visited Egypt, where she remained for some while, and where we made her acquaintance. Thence she journeyed to her country, and laboured with Ibráhím Khayru'lláh to spread the teachings of Bahá amongst the Americans, of whom a few inclined to her, for seldom does anyone advance any claim [there] without evoking an immediate response. And Ibráhím Khayru'lláh reckoned this acceptance on their part a piece of good luck to himself, and set to work to seek subsistence from them and to get money from them2 by every imaginable title and pretext, while they were like wax in his hands3. And when he had collected and stored up about £.3000

    1 This would seem to have been in the latter half of 1898.
    2 I know of now foundation for this ill-natured session. Cf. p.118 supra, II, 7—3 from the bottom.
    3 Lit. "Like the corpse between the hands of the washer."


tidings of this new and profitable traffic reached Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím's ears, and demanded his share from Khayru'lláh, who, however, refused to divide the spoil. Then Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím succeeded in obtaining from `Abbás Efendi an order that he should go to America and dispute the accounts with Khayru'lláh. But when he reached New York, Ibráhím Khayru'lláh, hearing of the dispute between `Abbás Efendi and his brother [Muhammad `Alí], seized this fine opportunity to appropriate the money, declaring himself an adherent of Mírzá Muhammad `Alí and denouncing `Abbás Efendi, whom he accused of apostasy from the new religion So he set to work to invite the people to accept Mírzá Muhammad `Alí, and dissensions arose amongst the Bábís, and there were sent from Mírzá Muhammad `Alí to Ibráhím Khayru'lláh letters wherein he exposed the misdeeds of `Abbás Efendi. Thus was the community divided into two parties, whereby the star of Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím's good fortune shone forth, since a number of the rich American Bábís went over to him, from whom he received several thousand pounds wherewith to strengthen `Abbás Efendi's position. Having obtained this he returned to Cairo1, where, having settled down comfortably, he suddenly manifested a distaste to the Bábí religion, denounced as misbelievers the Báb, Bahá and `Abbás Efendi, and reverted to Islám. Then he and his son Muhammad Hasan began to enumerate the vices of the Bábís and to declare their evil deeds, for he had been one of the leading Bábís, and was well acquainted with all which they revealed or concealed. So turmoil arose amongst the Bábís, and they were prodigal

    1 The New York Herald of Sunday, August 12, 1900, in the course of a long article on the Bahá'í propaganda in America and its success, states that `Abdu'l-Karím had sailed for Europe a week previously, i.e. about August 5, 1900.


of all things, cheap or dear, if the man would but desist from reciting their vices, or at least be silent about them; but he only increased in violence. So, when they despaired of him, they gave out that he was mad. But he, together with his son, who is still living in Egypt, remained in the faith of Islám for a while, until he died lately, being about a hundred years old. And the apostasy of Ibráhím Khayru'lláh from `Abbás Efendi, together with the return to Islám of Hájji `Abdu'l-Karím, was a heavy blow to the Bahá'ís.

    "For some time `Abbás Efendi bore with these alarming circumstances, until latterly he set himself to stir up the fanaticism of a man named Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán, one of the leading Bábís in Egypt, and commissioned him to proceed to America to repair this rupture. The latter obediently accepted this commission, took with him as interpreter Husayn Rúhi the son of Hájji Mullá `Ali of Tabríz, and went to America, where he remained some time1. At first he tried to bring back Ibráhím Khayru'lláh to Abbás Efendi, but, not succeeding in his efforts, he busied himself for a while in declaring and proving to his friends the sanctity of `Abbás Efendi. But he failed to achieve his object, and returned to Egypt, where he was stricken with imbecility, and is at present under treatment in Egypt. Then `Abbás Efendi sent Mírzá Asadu'lláh, `Alí-qulí Khán, and Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl [of Gulpáyagán]2, author of the two books entitled ad-Duraru'l- Bahiyya ("The Pearls of great price")3

    1 He was there, as we shall presently see, at the end of 1900.
    2 This seems to have been early in 1902, for the North American of Sunday, Feb. 16, 1902, contains a leader on the "astonishing spread of Bábism," with pictures of `Abbás Efendi, Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl, and Hájji Niyáz of Kirmán, with whom I was acquainted in Cairo in the early part of 1903. This article speaks of "hundreds converted to `Abbás Efendi in Baltimore."
    3 Published at Cairo in 1318/1900: pp. 279.


and al-Fará'id ("Rarities")1, to Chicago to spread the Bábí propaganda. There they founded a garden which they called by a name ["Green Acre"} equivalent in meaning to `Akká al-Khadrá2. There they assemble at stated times to chant the "Tablets" (Alwáh) of Bahá and to mutter his sayings. No credence is to be attached to their pretence that they have converted several hundreds or thousands of the Americans, the truth being that which we have already mentioned in this book of ours after profound investigations and protracted enquiries.

    "`Abbás Efendi desired to enhance his glory by means of the Americans and to fortify his religion by the protection of their Government, and he began to construct a temple surrounded by fortifications at Hayfá, which, as he announced, was for the Americans, and which he placed over the tomb which he had constructed for the Báb, and in which they suppose his bones to be, as has been already mentioned in its proper place. But his brother, Mírzá Muhammad `Alí, proceeded to inform His Majesty the Sultán of this, and an Imperial Rescript was issued ordering that the building should not be completed, and that the leaders of the Bábís exiled to `Akká should be restrained3 so that they should not quit its fortifications, whereas they had previously been wont to wander about in Syria as they pleased."

    1 Published at Cairo in 1315/1898: pp. 25 + 731.
    2 Green Acre (Eliot, York County, Maine) seems to have been founded by Miss Sarah Jane Farmer ( who wrote me a long letter about it on May 14, 1901) in consequence of a dream which she dreamed in June, 1892.
    3 This restraint of the freedom of the Bahá'ís at `Akká took place early in 1903, while I was in Egypt. They regained complete liberty after the Turkish Revolution in July, 1908. Miss E. Rosenberg, however, states at p. 11 of her Brief Account of the Bahá'í Movement, published in 1911, that `Abbás Efendi's custody was made much more stringent in April, 1901.


    As regards the total number of Bábís and Bahá'ís, different writers take the most widely divergent views, according to their predispositions. Lord Curzon, writing in 1892 and speaking only of Persia, says (Persia, vol.i, p.499): "The lowest estimate places the present number of Bábís in Persia at half a million. I am disposed to think, from conversations with persons well qualified to judge, that the total is nearer one million...I hear that during the past year they are reported to have made 150 Jewish converts in Tihrán, 100 in Hamadán, 50 in Káshán, and 75 per cent. of the Jews in Gulpáyagán." On the other hand Dr Mírzá Muhammad Mahdí Khán, whom we have just been quoting, puts the total number of Bábís of all sects at the absurdly low figure of 7200, viz. (1) Kullu-Shay'ís, or Old Bábís, who do not concern themselves with any developments subsequent to the martyrdom of the Báb in 1850, 200 souls in Persia1. (2) Azalís 2000 or a little over. (3) Bahá'ís of both factions (i.e. followers of `Abbás Efendi, called by their opponents Máriqín, "Rebels" or "Apostates," and followers of Muhammad `Alí, called by their opponents Náqizín, or "Covenant-breakers"), 3000 in Persia and 2000 elsewhere. As regards the American Bahá'ís (Mr August J. Stenstrand is the only American Azalí I ever heard of), one of them, Mr A. P. Dodge, who paid me a visit at Cambridge on November 6, 1990, told me that Ibráhím Khayru'lláh, after three years' propaganda in Chicago, had made some hundred converts by 1896, but that latterly their numbers had greatly increased, and that at the time he spoke (1900) there were at least 3000, to wit, in Chicago about 1000; in New York about 300; in Kenosha (Wisconsin) 300 or 400: in Cincinnati 50 to 100; and a few more in Boston,

    1 According to the statement of Sayyid Muhsin of Dahaj, which will be quoted later, their number was very much smaller.


Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, San Francisco (20 or 30) Detroit (Michigan), Newark (New Jersey) and Hoboken (New Jersey). Mr Stoyan Krstoff Vatralsky of Boston, Mass., in a remarkable attack on the Bahá'í religion published in the American Journal of Theology for January, 1902 (pp.57—78), and entitled "Mohammedan Gnosticism in America: the Origin, Character, and Esoteric Doctrines of the Truth-Knowers," writes as follows (p.58):

    "Ibráhím Khayru'lláh, the propagandist of the sect, claims to have converted two thousand Americans in the space of two years. How far this boast is true I am unable in every particular to verify; but there is no room to doubt that the man has had incredible success. I have personally seen large, well-organized congregations of his converts both in Kenosha, Wis., and in Chicago. I have also reasons to believe their claims that similarly growing assemblies are holding their secret meetings in every large city of the United States. This is the more remarkable when we recall the fact that never before in the history of the world has a Mohammedan sect taken root among a Christian people without the aid of the sword. I believe it would not have happened to-day had it come bearing its own proper name, flying its own native colours. It has succeeded because, like a counterfeit coin, it has passed for what it is not. Most of the converts hardly realize what they have embraced, and whither they are drifting. I consider it a duty, therefore, to tell the American people what I know of this secret and mysterious sect, and what are its origin, character, and purposes."

    Again he says (p.69):

    "It was from there [`Akká or Acre in Syria] that a missionary of the sect was sent to propagate the faith in this country, which seems to have prove a fruitful field.


According to Mullá Ibráhím G. Khayru'lláh, the Bábí-Bahá'í missionary to America, he converted no less than 2000 Americans during his first two years of labour. Of these about 700 were living in Chicago; between 250 and 300 in Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee; about 400 in New York; and the rest in Boston and other large cities. Lately it has been reported, I know not how truly, that there are now about 10,000 Bábís in the United States1. But as they are a secret cult, no outsider can know their exact number. The means for the propaganda are furnished, it is said, by a wealthy New York woman, a convert."

    Amongst the literary curiosities which I possess are three American newspapers, containing accounts of the Bahá'í propaganda in the United States, which were sent to me by Dr Ignaz Goldziher of Buda-Pest.

    The first is a copy of the New York Herald for Sunday, August 12, 1900. The front page is adorned with a picture of the "City of Acre," an old and atrociously bad portrait of `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá; a fac-simile of an autograph letter of the Báb's; another fac-simile of part of the instructions written on the back of Bahá'u'lláh's Epistle to Násiru'd-Dín Sháh; and some fantastic friezes of ancient Persian soldiers. The head-lines are as follows: "These believe that Christ has returned to Earth."— "Strange Faith Has Attracted Many Followers, a large Number of Whom are in New York City."—"A New Gospel according to `Abbás of Acre." The accompanying letter-press deals chiefly with the history and doctrines of the Bábís, and begins as follows:

    "Is Christ living in the world to-day? There are tens of thousands of persons who believe that He is; that the Kingdom of Heaven has been established upon earth, and

The Advance, Chicago, August 30, 1900.

[blank page]

[facsimile of leaflet]


that the prophecies of the book of Revelation and the Koran are already in process of fulfilment. There are hundreds who claim to have looked upon the face and to have listened to the voice of the Divinity, and there are other hundreds who can exhibit personal letters said to have been transcribed by His own hand."

    The article mentions that `Abdul-Karím of Tihrán had sailed for the East from New York a week previously "after a visit to the Faithful in America," whose numbers are estimated at about two thousand, of whom those of New York are about a hundred, with their head-quarters at Carnegie Hall. "Chicago," the article concludes, "where the Rev. Ibráhím Khayru'lláh has been spreading the new faith, is another place where they have a number of members, and there is a considerable colony of Bábís at Wankegan, Wis."

    The second is a copy of The North American (Philadelphia) of Sunday, February 16, 1902. The front page is headed "The Astonishing spread of Bábism," and contains fairly good portraits of `Abbás Efendi as a young man (head and shoulders only), and full-length tinted portraits of Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl of Gulpáyagán and Hájji Niyáz of Kirmán; also a picture of `Akká from the sea, and a vignette of Colonel Nat Ward Fitzgerald, of Washington, who is described as "at present, perhaps, the leading native male expounder of the new faith in this country." The accompanying letter-press is headed "Hundreds converted to `Abbás Efendi in Baltimore," and "They hold that the Redeemer prophesied is now alive," and begins with the statement of Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl of Gulpáyagán: "If we make the same percentage of converts throughout the country as we have made in Baltimore and Washington, within a year's time the Bábí faith will have two million adherents in the United States."


"Thus far," it observes further on, "but 30,000 followers of `Abbás Efendi are claimed in America. But then no organized effort has been made until now to extend the faith." Mention is also made of "Mrs. Loua M. Getsinger, of Washington, who has devoted much time to the study of comprehensive [?comparative] religions. For one year she took up her residence in the Acre domicile of the man who claims to be the second Christ, and daily had communion with him. When she left him, `Abbás Efendi gave to her the name `Maid Servant of the Lord.'"

    The third is a copy of the New York Times of Sunday, December 18, 1904, of which p.5, headed "Babist Propaganda making headway here," contains an interesting account of "A Sunday morning gathering of New York believers in this New Oriental Cult.— Impressive Spirit of Earnestness in Evidence.—History of the Religion and its present High Priest." The illustrations include a portrait of `Abbás Efendi, the "Master at Acre: last photograph taken 30 years ago"; a picture of the "Tomb of the `Báb,' near Acre"; and sketches of the meeting described and types of its American supporters. Thus we have "Mr. Hoar opening with a prayer": "Reading a Tablet from the Master": "A Broadway Merchant": "A Family Group": and an elderly lady in spectacles labelled "Curiosity attracted her." The article accompanying these illustrations contains a full account of a Bahá'í meeting at 226, West Fifty-eighth Street, at "a demure brown-stone building...which is down on the city map as Genealogical Hall." The New Religion is described as having "within forty years illumined for 9,000,000 human beings the path which leads to Acre and to Him Who Lives There." The congregation, consisting of nearly two hundred men and women, is thus described. "Oriental silken garments swished sibilantly as a group of handsomely gowned    ...p. 153

[facsimile of leaflet]

[blank page]


women entered the Tabernacle. Men of iron gray hair and steel gray eyes—thinkers and doers rather than dreamers—accompanied them with such other variations as merit another paragraph. Somewhat as follows was the tout ensemble." After a florid description of the room in which the meeting was held, the congregation is described as follows. "Who were the audience? Among them were a score of men who have business in the Wall Street district and on both Broadway and Fifth Avenue. They were solid men of affairs whose names figure frequently in the public prints, and whose fortunes run into many figures. As pillars of the Bábist cause in this city they have plenty of financial sinew to support the movement and Him Who Lives at Acre."

    The chair having been taken by Mr William H. Hoar, of Fanwood, New Jersey, a hymn was sung, followed by an interval of silent meditation, which was brought to an end by an address from Miss Isabella Brittingham, recently returned from `Akká, of which a pretty full report is given. At its conclusion the whole audience simultaneously ejaculated "Alláhu Abhá," " another hymn was intoned, and then everybody began talking." In conclusion the information is vouchsafed that a few days previously nine American pilgrims, including Mr Howard MacNutt, and shepherded by Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl of Gulpáyagán, had "started for Acre to acquaint the One Who Lives There with the amazing progress the cause is making in America. Up at 226 West Fifty-eighth Street it was vouchsafed that the soul of the late Colonel Ingersoll went to Acre."

    I have not been able to fix exactly the date when Ibráhím Khayru'lláh definitively broke with `Abbás Efendi and adhered to the faction of Muhammad `Alí, but it was probably soon after his return from `Akká, for which he set out from America


in June 1898, and certainly before November, 1900, when he was reproached and threatened for his apostasy by Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán, as described in the following remarkable statement, which is initialled by Ibráhím Khayru'lláh, and was forwarded to me by him, together with other documents, in a letter written from Chicago on February 26, 1901.

"Statement of the words of Mírzá Hasan Khurásání
to me on November 30th, 1900.

    "`I came here especially to bring you back to your allegiance to `Abbás Efendi, and am prepared to stay ten years if necessary. If you return to `Abbás Efendi, I will cause the American believers to follow you as head in everything even better than heretofore. If you will not listen to me and become a follower of `Abbás, your abode will be in the bowels of the earth. I come here because of pity for you, and to save you. If you will not listen, your life will be short. If `Abbás Efendi should give me the word to cut you to pieces, or to tear your eyes out, or to kill you, I will do so at once. I fear not the consequences to myself. You know that I am from Khurásán, and that the sword of Khurásán is so powerful that if a blow is struck with it, it will cut from above the stars to the depth of the earth, and will cut even the fishes of the sea.'

    "He then repeated to me the fate of Mírzá Yahyá of Jedda, and offered me a copy of the pamphlet published by himself entitled `the Great Miracle of `Abbás Efendi.' The above is the substance of what he said to me on Friday, November 30, 1900.

    "On Saturday, December 1st, 1900, Mírzá Hasani-i- Khurásání again called in the company of Mírzá Asadu'lláh, and their interpreter Mírzá Husayn [Rúhí]. We all discussed


the difference of faith for about eight hours in the presence of my son-in-law Amír Hání Shiháb and his wife Mrs Shiháb (my daughter), also my daughter Labíba, and my son George Khayru'lláh M.D. During this discussion Mírzá Hasani-i-Khurásáni mentioned to those present that the day before, while talking to me alone, he had plainly told me the consequences of not acceding to their wishes. Upon this I repeated to all present the threatening words he had uttered the day before, and he acknowledged before all that he had said the words above reported by me.

                                        "I. J. K."

    Enclosed with this were translations of two letters and the original Arabic of a third written from `Akká by one Mahmúd, a partisan of Muhammad `Alí, to Ibráhím Khayru'lláh. The first two both seem to have been written at `Akká on October 20, 1900, and received a month later by Khayru'lláh at Chicago. The shorter one is as follows:

    "Lately, in this present week, three American ladies and a gentleman arrived by the regular steamer viâ Beyrout, and are stopping at the Kraft, a German hotel at Haifa. Up to the present time they have not spoken to any of the Unitarians1, because they are prevented in the ways you know."

    The longer letter, of which I have somewhat emended the style (which is clumsy and loaded with parentheses) runs as follows:


[Here follows the usual compliments, etc.]

    "I have already informed you that some of the followers

    1 This is the name by which the followers of Muhammad `Alí call themselves (Muwahhidín), while their opponents call them "Covenant-breakers" (Náqizín).


of `Abbás Efendi, our opponents, have left here for America. One of them is Mírzá Asadu'lláh of Isfahán, of whose cunning and shrewdness of intrigue you cannot fail to be aware, and who is the brother-in-law and secretary of `Abbás Efendi, and in all matters his most trusted and confidential agent. To no one else does `Abbás reveal his hidden secrets, and these people are of the most unscrupulous, and will hesitate at nothing and fear no consequences, being resolved to accomplish their purpose and spread abroad their vicious principles, even by the shedding of blood and the destruction of lives by hidden methods and secret intrigues. This obliges me to explain to you a certain cruel deed which they accomplished not long since. It is one of their many deeds which inspire detestation and break the heart with horror.

    "Now therefore I say that there was in the port of Jedda a certain man of the Unitarians named Mírzá Yahyá, who was the son-in-law of one Hájji Mírzá Husayn of Lár, the Persian Vice-Consul at Jedda, and a merchant noted for his wealth. As is well known to you, these people take great and exquisite pains to attract to themselves persons of wealth and influence. When, therefore, they discovered that Mírzá Yahyá openly confessed his faith, and that he was of the party of the true Unitarians, and was wont to discuss with his father-in-law the questions at issue and the differences between the two parties, they were afraid that in the future the words of the son-in-law would influence the father-in-law, to wit the Hájji above mentioned, and eventually be the cause of depriving them of his money and wealth. They were, moreover, convinced of the impossibility of bringing Mírzá Yahyá over to their faction.

    "One of the followers of `Abbás Efendi named Mírzá Mansúr, who is now in India, was therefore commanded by his master to proceed at once to Jedda and there conspire


with the Hájji above mentioned for the destruction of Mírzá Yahyá. At that time, the said Hájji was also at `Akká, but whether the plot was concocted there or at Jedda I am unable to say. To be brief, one night Mírzá Mansúr succeeded in administering to Mírzá Yahyá a poison which killed him at once. The subtlety of this plot lay in the perpetration of this horrid deed in such a city as Jedda1.

    "Before the conspiracy had accomplished its purpose, `Abbás Efendi had written from `Akká to one of his friends informing him that some such calamity would befall Mírzá Yahyá, and that he would be punished. Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán published in Cairo a pamphlet concerning this event and the `Great miracle' wrought herein by `Abbás Efendi. It is unnecessary to send you this lengthy pamphlet, our object being merely to make known to you the character of these peoples' intrigues. You must employ every needful precaution, for, should they be unsuccessful or disappointed in inducing you to return to their party, they will endeavour by every means and without scruple to injure you. Concerning what befell Mírzá Yáhyá we have heard from certain persons who were at Jedda at the time that as he had no heirs, and as his father-in-law, the said Hájji, was of `Abbás Efendi's party, and was also Persian Vice-Consul at Jedda, no one appeared to demand an enquiry into the causes of his death.

    "I therefore entreat you carefully to avoid taking from the hands of these people any food, drink, or other thing, although we know that the Lord (Glory be to Him) is the Protector and Sustainer, and will without doubt protect His friends and shelter those who love Him, especially him who has displayed the greatest energy, and has fought so faithfully in preaching to the people the Manifestation of His Most Great Name al-Abhá.

    1 Where the crime would easily pass unnoticed, as, in fact, was the case.


    "Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl [of Gulpáyagán] and Hájji Mírzá Hasan [of Khurásán] and the others, while they were here recently , did not visit any of the Unitarians, neither the Blessed Branches (Aghsán)1 nor the others. They neither wrote nor spoke to them concerning the differences of faith, and some of them used even to avert their faces from them if they happened to pass each other in the street."

    The translation of the last of Mahmúd's letters, of which the Arabic text was communicated to me, is as follows:

    "I inform you also of an event which happened in these days, which is that Husayn the Confectioner (Shakarjí), who has a shop opposite to the Government House at Hayfá, as you will remember, died of poison on the eve of Saturday the 28th of Ramazán2 in the house of His Holiness the Most Mighty Branch.3 He was seen by the municipal doctor, who reported that he died of poison. This is as much as we have heard hitherto, but should we obtain more detailed information, we will, please God, communicate it to you.

    "He who prays for you, Mahmúd. - January 30th, 1901."

    It is my good fortune to possess a copy of Hájji Mírzá Hasani-i-Khurásání's pamphlet above mentioned, which was sent to me on March 12, 1901, by Ibráhím Khayru'lláh. It contains only 27 pages measuring 5_ by 3_ inches, is entitled Risála-i-Bushrá wa Aya-i- Kubrá ("The Tract of Good Tidings and the Most Great Sign"), was printed at the Hindiyya Press in Egypt, and was completed on Rajab 9, 1316 (November 23, 1898). My copy is signed and sealed on the last page by the author, so that there is no doubt

    1 i.e., `Abbás Efendi's three younger half- brothers, Muhammad `Alí, Badí`u'lláh, and Ziyá'u'lláh.
    2 The year of the hijra is not mentioned, but Jan. 19, 1901, appears to be the date indicated.
    3 Al-Ghusnu'l-A`zam, i.e. `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l- Bahá.


about its authenticity. It opens with a brief doxology, in which `Abbás Efendi is spoken of as "the Lord of the World and Goal of the Peoples, the Most Noble Mystery of God1, the Most Mighty Branch of God and His Enduring Proof in the World," designated to succeed himself by Bahá'u'lláh since "God, great is His glory, arrived in the luminous city of `Akká." Texts from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and from Bahá's Testament are cited in proof of this assertion, and the action of those who "broke the Covenant" (i.e. who sided with `Abbás Efendi's half-brother, Muhammad `Alí) is deplored and denounced. "Our object at present," continues the author, "is not, however, to discuss these matters, which are not hidden or concealed from any one, but to gladden the Friends of God with good tidings of a wonderful event which happened in the city of Jedda, and of a clear sign and evident miracle from the writings of the holy pen of His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá...(may the Life of the Worlds be a sacrifice to the dust of his footsteps!)." After this brief introduction, the author proceeds to describe as follows the life and death of Mírzá Yahyá of Isfahán, and the words of `Abbás Efendi wherein that death was foreshadowed.

    This Mírzá Yahyá was originally an Azalí, but in the year of Bahá'u'lláh's "Ascension" (i.e. death), 1892, he came to `Akká, met `Abbás Efendi, by whom he was very well received, and wrote a refutation of Subhi-i-Azal. After a while he departed to Jedda (the port of Mecca on the Red Sea), where he became intimate with a well-known Bahá'í named Hájji Mírzá Husayn of Lár, whose daughter he presently asked and received in marriage. When the dispute between `Abbás Efendi and his half-brother Muhammad `Alí became acute, and the Bahá'í community was rent asunder by this schism, Mírzá Yahyá became the trusted agent and


Sirru'lláh, one of the titles often given to `Abbás Efendi.


fervent supporter of Muhammad `Alí, in whose favour he carried on an active propaganda. "It is a curious fact," observes the author, "that the `Covenant-breakers' (Náqizín) become the devoted admirers and faithful friends of every atheist, Azalí and Sophist, and of such as deny God's Holy Law and disobey His command, and are the kind friends and congenial intimates of every party except the true believers..., so that the truth of the tradition, `Infidelity constitutes a single church'1 might become apparent and manifest." So Yahyá grew ever bolder in his opposition to `Abbás Efendi, "the Great Mystery of God, and the Branch derived from the Ancient Stock," until God's patience was exhausted and His Anger moved to destroy the offender, and a "Tablet" (Lawh) was sent by `Abbás Efendi to Hájji Mullá Husayn of Lár, of which a copy was forwarded to the author enclosed in a letter dated the 2nd of Jumáda 1, 1316 (=September 18, 1898). This "Tablet," which Hájji Mírzá Hasan read aloud at the time of its arrival to a circle of fellow-believers in Cairo, is of considerable length and partly in Arabic. The prophetic threats are contained in the later Persian portion, of which a translation is here appended.

    "The glance of [Divine] Favour embraceth that friend, and all good is predestined in respect to him, but a great barrier hath intervened [between us and him], and a formidable obstacle hath appeared; and God controlleth [men's] secret thoughts. Praise be to God, during the Day of the Theophany that friend attained to the honour of meeting and secured the distinction of listening to the address. You will ultimately appreciate the worth of this Pearl of Great Price of the Divine Covenant. For [MISSING WORD IN ORIGINAL] unique Pearl was nourished in the embrace of the shell of

    1 i.e. all misbelievers have a natural sympathy for one another, and form, as it were, a coherent community.


the Most Glorious Kingdom (Malakút-i-Abhá) and included in the range of the Supreme Pen, and hath had no peer or like since the beginning of Creation. But certain children, having gathered together, have vainly thought to cast the Joseph of the Covenant into the Pit of Oblivion, and so themselves to become famous throughout the city and the market- place, and to sell this Precious Pearl for a few dirhams, and to endeavour to give currency to their own potsherds, heedless of the fact that the Beloved (`Azíz)1 of the Divine Egypt hath come forth from the bottom of the pit in despite of every envious and obstinate foe, and by the Favour of the Most Splendid Beauty (Jamál-i-Abhá)2 hath reached the zenith of the moon. Soon you will see that by the aid of the Most Glorious Kingdom (Malakút-i- Abhá) the Standard of the Promise will wave above the Pole of the Horizons, while the Lamp of the Covenant will shine so brightly through the glass of Contingent Being that the darknesses of the Violation of the Covenant will altogether disappear, and the cry of `By God, verily God hath preferred Him over all mankind' will be heard. If a little consideration and reflection be exercised concerning past events, the truth of the matter will become plain and proved. Say, `O Shaykh, this Covenant is the Light of the Horizons, and this is the Promise of God, not the plaything of children.' Say, `So shall ye behold yourselves in manifest loss, while damage shall result and be evident, and injury shall shortly overthrow the edifice.' Say, `The first hurt, please God, will be a warning to you, [making you reflect] what was the cause of this hurt and what the reason of this loss.' At all events do you observe with new and sharpened sight, so that you may

    1 This is the title commonly given to Joseph when he was made governor of Egypt.
    2 i.e. of Bahá'u'lláh


find your way to the aims of these plotters and destroyers. Consider of whom it is said in the Qur'án, `They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts1.' Explain for them [the verse] `And when they see those who believe, they say, "We believe"; but when they withdraw privily to their devils, they say, "We are only scoffers!"2' Elucidate the meaning of, `But God shall mock at them, and continue them in their impiety; they shall wander in confusion3.' Say to him who was alive and is soon to die4: `Like the covenant-breakers5 the children of Israel wrought for themselves Sámirí6 and the [Golden] Calf. Was not Joshua the son of Nun divinely designated?' Thou didst err and make a grievous mistake when thou dist so vehemently belittle and contemn the divinely designated Centre [of Authority]7. If the Eternal Beauty8 should say to thee, `How didst thou call the Centre of my Covenant, the Branch derived from my Ancient Stock, him who was explicitly designated in my Perspicuous Book, and the Expositor of that Book, "a

    1 Qur'án, xlviii, 11.
    2 Ibid. ii, 13.
    3 Ibid. ii, 14.
    4 There is a word play on the name Yahyá, which, connected with the root hayy, means "He liveth." He was Yahyá'í, but shall soon be Yamútí, "doomed to die."
    5 Náqizín, i.e the partisans of Muhammad `Alí.
    6 The maker of the golden Calf is so named in the Qur'án. See xx, 87, 90, 96. The comparison of a false claimant of Divine or prophetic qualities to the Golden Calf, and of his aider, abettor and instigator to Sámirí, is common with the Bábís. In the Azalí Hasht Bihisht Bahá'u'lláh and his amanuensis, Mírzá Aqá Ján of Káshán, are made to play these rôles. See Vol. ii of my Traveller's Narrative, p. 355 and n.2 ad calc.
    7 Meaning `Abbás Efendi, whom Mírzá Yahyá is accused of mocking and defying.
    8 i.e. Bahá'u'lláh.


[Golden] Calf? what answer, O shameful Yahyá, wilt thou give? If thou would'st not render help, why scorn? If thou would'st not be the salve, why be the sore? Was not the Kitáb-i-Aqdas revealed thirty years ago? Did I not summon all to obey the Derived Branch? Did I not direct all to submission, calling him the Expositor of the Perspicuous Book? Did I not awaken most of the Friends, and did I not dissociate him before all from what is beneath him? Did I not engage his Covenant and Compact in the writings of the Supreme Pen, and did I not in plain language command all the Branches (Aghsán) and Twigs (Afnán)1 and Kinsmen generally to have regard and look to him? What more could I do? How could I further strengthen the matter? O shameful Yahyá, how could'st thou deny this clear Light, or how could'st thou sanction so cruel a slander against this great Designate? What hurt had'st thou suffered at his hands that thou did'st desire for him such abasement, or what injury had'st thou experienced from him that thou did'st display such great hatred?' What answer wilt thou give? At all events, while it is yet time express regret, and manifest repentance and remorse, and bareheaded in the mountain and the desert cry out that ye be not touched, and pour forth from thine eyes like the Oxus-flood tears and blood, and become the associate of lamentation and remorse, that perchance the breeze of forgiveness may blow, the grossness of thy sin may decrease, the Ocean of Mercy may be stirred, and the Cloud of Pardon may pour forth its rain, so that this filth of Covenant-breaking may be removed. For if not, then expect the Divine Vengeance, and look for blackness of face2 in both worlds. As God liveth,

    1 The sons of Bahá'u'lláh are called Aghsán (sing. Ghusn), and the relatives of the Bab Afnán.
    2 i.e. disgrace.


verily humiliation shall flee from thee by reason of its abundance, and loss shall take refuge from thee with the All-Merciful, and thou shalt behold thyself in the lowest depths of Hell. For abasement, remorse and disgrace shall be the portion of those who violate the Covenant of the High, the Mighty."

                (`Abbás `Abdu'l- Bahá) [ARABIC LETTERS `Ayn `Ayn, the signature of `Abdu'l- Baha]

    The author, Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán, next quotes the covering letter (or "Tablet" addressed to himself by `Abbás Efendi, and dated ("contrary to what is customary") the 2nd of Jumáda II, 1316 (Sept 18, 1898). The latter portion of this runs as follows:

    "O Friend, you wrote about Yahyá, who supposed that `Abdu'l- Bahá was heedless of his evil intentions and intrigues. Therefore a little while ago a letter was written to Jedda, of which a copy is enclosed. Read it, that thou may'st be assured that the clemency of `Abdul-Bahá is great and his patience strong, but that, when the Command comes, he speaks and writes and cries, `This is the Truth, and after the Truth is naught save error. O Friend, so proclaim the Covenant that the deaf ears of the [Covenant- ]breakers may hear, and so shine in the Assembly of Constancy that the blind eyes of the perjured ones may see. And the Glory [Bahá] be upon every one who is steadfast in the Covenant of thy Lord the Mighty."

                                [ARABIC LETTERS `Ayn `Ayn, the signature of `Abdu'l-Bahá]

    Not long after the receipt of this letter, which was read aloud to the faithful in Egypt, a letter dated the 27th of Jumáda I, 1316 (=October 13, 1898) was received from Hájji Mullá Husayn of Lár from Jedda by Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán declaring that "God, mighty is His glory, had removed Yahyá, that incorrigible Covenant-breaker, and had opened before his face the Door of the fierce threats of the All-Glorious Lord, which are explicitly


mentioned in the Two Holy Tablets. The simoom of Divine Wrath blew, and the gale of Celestial Anger breathed, and his (Yahyá's) darkened spirit, fulfilled with envy and hatred, descended to the abyss of Hell." Here follows Hájji Mullá Husayn of Lár's narrative of what took place, as communicated by him in a letter to Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán:

    "Touching the Tablet which was vouchsafed from the Land of Heart's Desire1, in truth if anyone should possess the eye of discernment, these same Blessed Words which were thus fulfilled are a very great miracle. But what profits it, since the discerning eye is lacking?

    "I read the Tablet to Mírzá Yahyá, and he listened. I said: `Assuredly thou sayest in thy heart, "I do not believe in the words thereof."' He answered, `It is even so; I have no sort of belief either in him or his father2.' I said, `If that which hath issued from the Blessed Pen does not speedily overtake you, it were well that they should shave off my beard3.' Then he rose up and departed to his own house.

    "A few nights later towards the dawn one knocked at the door of my house. `Who is it?' I cried. Then, seeing that it was a maid-servant, I added, `What wilt thou?' She replied, `Mírzá Yahyá is done for.' I at once ran thither. Hájji Muhammad Báqir also was present. I saw that blood was flowing from his (Mírzá Yahyá's) throat, and that he was unable to move. By this time it was morning. I at once brought thither an Indian doctor. He examined him and said, `A blood vessel in his lung is ruptured. He must lie still for three days and not move, and then he will

    1 Arz-i-Maqsúd, i.e. `Akká.
    2 i.e. "either in `Abbás Efendi or Bahá'u'lláh."
    3 i.e. Subject me to any disgrace.


recover.' He then gave him some medicine. The haemorrhage stopped for two days and his condition improved. In spite of this he was not admonished to return to the Truth. After two days there was a second flow of blood from his throat, and he was nearly finished. The doctor came again and gave him medicine, but ultimately it profited him nothing. Twice again he vomited undiluted blood, and then surrendered his spirit to the Angel of Torment.

    "This event was in truth a warning to all beholders, that is to say to such as see and read this Tablet. Please God you have read it in its entirety and found your way to the meaning thereof. One individual hath He thus swiftly removed. Assuredly hereafter the Lord will accomplish every promise which He hath uttered. I take refuge with God from the wrath of God! I seek from the Truth that He will aid us to stand firm in His Covenant and Compact! In a little while the Covenant-breakers will be overtaken by calamities such that they shall flee bare-headed to the mountains and deserts, but shall find there no way of escape."

    The author, Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán, here observes that never in any previous dispensation was so clear a threat followed by so swift and condign a punishment, or so explicit a prophecy so speedily accomplished. For, says he, though God's patience is almost inexhaustible, there comes an end to it, especially in the case of such apostates, who sin against the Light, and who do far more harm to the cause than the theologians, jurisconsults and rulers who ignorantly oppose and oppress it. He then quotes another Tablet which was sent to him by `Abbás Efendi after the death of Mírzá Yahyá, and which runs thus:

    "Write to Mullá Husayn of Lár that these were the circumstances connected with Yahyá the shameless, to wit that he wrote a letter to the leading Covenant-breakers, and


made use of a very vile expression concerning the Centre of the Covenant1 such as none, not even the lowest, would utter; to wit, an expression which was to the leading Covenant- breakers as a floral festival, a joy, and the cause of boundless delight [causing them to say] `Praise be to God because such souls have appeared who dare to belittle so ignominiously the Pole-star of the Covenant!' Therefore was the threat of vengeance and the imminence of the thunderbolt of destruction thus explicitly given; for assuredly the Framer of the Covenant and the Protector of the Compact will vindicate the Centre of the Covenant. These are isolated events; with these same outward eyes it will be seen in what abasement and disgrace, and in what calamities, afflictions and chastisements the `quakers2' shall be overwhelmed. Say, `Wait until God shall accomplish His purpose, O Company of Shame, O Faction of Rebellion, and ye shall see yourselves in the lowest of Hell-fires!' Upon thee be the Splendour3!"

    Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán concludes his pamphlet by promising further details concerning the schism, the obstinacy of `Abbás Efendi's half-brothers, the "boldness and discourtesy" of Mírzá Aqá Ján, and other kindred matters, and, as already noted, dates the completion of his work the 9th of Rajab, 1316 (November 23, 1898).

    One fact which is very clearly brought out by this pamphlet is that the detestation in which the followers of `Abbás Efendi hold the rival faction of his half- brother Muhammad `Alí equals, if it does not exceed, that in which

    1 i.e. `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l- Bahá.
    2 This is the literal meaning of Mutazalzilín, a term here used as equivalent to Náqizín, "Covenant-breakers."
    3 `Alayka'l-Bahá, the Bahá'i' equivalent of the Muslim `alayka's-salám!


the Bahá'ís generally hold the Azalís, and far surpasses the dislike entertained by any of these three parties for the adherents of other creeds which stand entirely outside the Bábí-Bahá'í circle. This phenomenon, however, is not peculiar to Bábíism. At all events this second schism amongst the Bábí community, which began almost immediately after Bahá'u'lláh's death in 1892 and culminated (as will be subsequently explained in fuller detail) in 1895, was singularly fierce and bitter, and in due course naturally extended to the American Bahá'ís. Ibráhím Khayru'lláh's secession from `Abbás Efendi seems to have begun soon after his return from `Akká (about the end of 1898), and, as we have seen, at the end of November, 1900, the fanatical Hájji Mírzá Hasan (the author of the pamphlet just analysed) was threatening him in Chicago for his apostasy. The great majority of the American Bahá'ís adhered to the party of `Abbás Efendi, who had established there as elsewhere a great personal ascendancy which his half-brother Muhammad `Alí completely failed to rival, though one at least of his adherents, Mírzá Ghulámu'lláh, the son of Mírzá Muhammad Jawád of Qazwín, author of the life of Bahá'u'lláh translated in the first section of this volume, visited America to promote his Master's interests and press his claims1. In 1901 we find Ibráhím Khayru'lláh defending his position against the American followers of `Abbás Efendi in two tracts entitled respectively Facts for Bahá'ists (Chicago, 1901), and The Three Questions (undated, but published subsequently to April, 1901). The former is prefaced by the following "Statement of the House of Justice of the Society of Bahá'ists to all the followers of Bahá'u'lláh":

    "The time has come to publish some of the numerous

    1 He was in New York in March 1901, and in Chicago in the following month, and visited me in Cambridge on his way to America.


facts which have been obtained through a very careful and strict investigation concerning the differences existing between the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh [i.e.`Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá] and his younger brothers.

    "For the sake of Truth and Justice we urge every believer to read carefully the contents of this pamphlet, and judge for himself which of the two parties is following the teachings of the Father and obeying His Commandments.

    "It is intended gradually to publish the many facts in our possession, and they are open at any time to those who wish to investigate them."

    "The Three Questions" answered by Khayru'lláh in his second pamphlet are as follows:

    (1) "Why have some followers of Bahá'u'lláh and yourself rejected `Abbás Efendi, the Greatest Branch, and his teachings?

    (2) "Did you receive the instructions you gave in America from Bahá'u'lláh in person, or from `Abdu'l-Karím of Cairo, Egypt?

    (3) "Why did you not denounce `Abbás Efendi upon your return from `Akká?"

    From the answer to the second question it appears (p.23) that `Abdu'l- Karím of Tihrán, by whom Khayru'lláh was first converted to the Bahá'í faith, and who, as we have seen, visited America in the summer of 1900, told Khayru'lláh, in the presence of some believers, that if he returned to `Abbás Efendi he was right and all he taught was right; but that if not he was wrong, and all he taught was wrong. "Besides this," says Khayru'lláh, "he promised me plenty of money, and when I refused he renounced me and all that I taught, and prohibited the believers from reading or buying my work Behá'u'lláh."


    From the answer to the third question we learn that it was not until nearly seven months after Khayru'lláh's return to America that he definitely repudiated `Abbás Efendi and espoused the cause of Muhammad `Alí and the younger brothers. This event must have taken place in the year 1899.

    `Abbás Efendi, as soon as Khayru'lláh's defection was known, seems to have taken vigorous steps to destroy his supremacy and influence in America. `Abdu'l- Karím was sent to America for this purpose in 1900. At the end of the same year, as we have seen, another ardent partisan of `Abbás Efendi, to wit Hájji Mírzá Hasan of Khurásán, was in America, not only remonstrating with but threatening Khayru'lláh. A little later Mírzá Asadu'lláh, a vehement partisan of `Abbás Efendi, founded the "House of Spirituality" in Chicago. About the end of 1901 or beginning of 1902 his son, Mírzá Faríd Amín, a lad of about twenty, who had graduated with honours in English, succeeded and aided his father as the recognized translator into English of the Bahá'í writings in Arabic and Persian.

    Early in 1902 we find two more prominent Bahá'ís, both adherents of Abbás Efendi, to wit the learned and indefatigable Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl of Gulpáyagán (whose propagandist activities were also displayed at `Ishqábád, or Askabad, in Russian Turkistán and in Egypt) and the amiable old Hájji Niyáz of Kirmán (with whom I was acquainted in Cairo in the early part of 1903) carrying on an active propaganda in America. The former, unless he paid two visits to America, must have remained there nearly three years, for he sailed thence for `Akká with nine American pilgrims, including Mr Howard MacNutt (formerly associated with Khayru'lláh in the publication of his book Behá'u'lláh) in December, 1904.


    The last news I had of Ibráhím Khayru'lláh was in a letter from Chicago dated April 4, 1917, in which he wrote:

    "The Bahá'í movement in America became slow and dull since the sad dissension reached the West nineteen years ago [i.e. in 1898]. I thought then that to call the people to this Great Truth was equivalent to inviting them into a quarrel. But the visit of `Abbás Efendi `Abdu'l-Bahá to this country, his false teachings, his misrepresentations of Bahá'ism, his dissimulation, and the knowledge that his end is nigh, aroused me to rise up for helping the work of God, declaring the Truth, and refuting the false attacks of theologians and missionaries. Now I am struggling hard to vivify the Cause of God after its having received by the visit of `Abbás Efendi a death-blow."

Chapter 3

Note: pages 176-236 have not yet been entered. All that's
thus far been typed from this chapter is pages 237-243. -J.W.



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   I need only allude to the publication in extenso of Hájji Mírzá Jání of Káshán's Nuqtatu'l- Káf in the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series (Vol.xv, 1910), of which, as the earliest extant account of the Báb and his contemporaries by one of the first believers and martyrs, it is impossible to overestimate the importance and interest. Of the very interesting criticisms on my Introduction to this work by another early Bábí, Sayyid Mahdí of Dahaj, who wrote only three or four years ago I have already spoken (pp. 231—-3 supra); as well as of Mírzá Muhammad Jawád of Qazwín's two treatises, one in Arabic, translated in full in this volume, and another in Persian, of which unhappily I possess only the latter half (pp.230—-1 supra). The only writings of this class which it remains to notice here in somewhat greater detail are three short monographs on the Bábí insurrection in Mázandarán   


and the siege of Shaykh Tabarsí, sent to me in October, 1912, by the Bábí scribe to whom I have already had occasion to allude repeatedly.

   (1) The first of these monographs, entitled Waqáyi`-i-Mimiyya, or "Events [in the Land] of M." (i.e. Mázandarán) is by Sayyid Muhammad Husayn ibn Muhammad Hádí of Zuwára, poetically surnamed Mahjúr. It appears to have been composed in the fifth year of the Manifestation of the Báb (A.H. 1265 = A.D. 1848-9). This date is followed by the date A.H. 1278 (= A.D. 1861-2), which must be the date of transcription of the original from which this copy, which is quite modern, was made. The narrative was compiled at the request of the mother and sister of Mullá Husayn of Bushrawayh, entitled Janáb-i-Bábu'l-Báb, and is based, in part at least, on the account of one of the few survivors amongst the insurgents, Hájji `Abdu'l- Majíd ibn Hájji Muhammad of Nishápúr. This part of the MS. comprises 91 pages.

      The careers of Janáb-i-Quddús and Janáb- i-Bábu'l-Báb are briefly sketched from A.H. 1261 (A.D. 1845), the year after the Manifestation, but the detailed narrative begins on Sha`bán 19, 1264 (July 21, 1848) with the departure of the former and his followers from Mashhad westwards on the journey which ended at Shaykh Tabarsí. The number of Bábís who entered Mázandarán was 318, of whom Isfahán supplied 40, Ardistán 7, Shíráz 8, Kirmán 3, Mashhad 22, Bushrawayh 24 (some say 40), Qum 12, Turbat 5, Herát 14, Turshíz 10, Kákhak 4, Mayámí 14, Qá'in 4, Tihrán 9, Káshán 6, Karbalá 5, Qazwín 10, Hamadán 6, Tabríz 5, Zanján 12, Kirmánsháh 3, Bárfurúsh 4 (some say 40, some 60), Sang-i- sar 10, Sháh Mírzár (?) 9, Amul 2, Shaykh Tabarsí 2, Khúy 3, Kand 2, Yazd 3, Sháhrúd 3, Turkey in Asia (Rúm) 3, India 4. the narrative of the siege of Shaykh   


Tabarsí, which lasted from about August, 1848, to April 1849, is given in great detail, and in general outline agrees with the account given by Hájji Mírzá Jání and in the New History (pp. 45 of my translation). In many cases the author gives the authority (isnád) for his statements, mentioning the name of his informant.

   (2)   The second monograph (pp.92—-110), written partly in verse, partly in prose, is by the same Sayyid Husayn "Mahjúr," and describes the death or "martyrdom" of Mullá Husayn of Bushrawayh, variously entitled Bábu'l-Báb, Qá'im-i-Khurásání and Sultán Mansúr. It is entitled:


   It begins with 23 verses of poetry of which the first is:


   The whole composition is in the style used by the rawzakhwáns who celebrate in the month of Muharram the sufferings of the Imáms. The pieces of poetry with which the narrative is ornamented are in various metres. The colophon is dated Ramazán 21, 1130 (September 3, 1912).

   (3)   The third monograph, comprising 128 pp., contains another account of the Mázandarán insurrection by Lutf `Alí Mírzá, a Prince of the Qájár house. This, at least, is the opinion of the sender (the Bábí scribe already so often mentioned) as to its authorship, of which the manuscript   


itself gives no indication, though written throughout in the first person as the autobiography of one who took part in the events narrated. Thus it begins:


   "On the twelfth of Ramazán, A.H. 1264 (= August 12, 1848), when this worthless atom, after returning from waiting upon the Supreme Source1, set out for the land of Khá (i.e. Khurásán), I had the honour of kissing the dust at the feet of His Holiness the Báb2 (upon whom be the Peace of God) at a station named Dih-i-Mullá, one of the dependencies of Dámghán, and illuminated my dimmed eyes with the light of his comeliness, and had the honour of waiting on the Friends3."

   The narrative is very detailed, but appears to be incomplete, ending about two months before the final tragedy, i.e. in February, 1849. There is no colophon or date at the end, and the work has no apparent title.

   1i.e. the Báb or Nuqta, who was then imprisoned at Mákú.
   2i.e. Mullá Husayn of Bushrawayh, to whom the original Báb transferred this title when he himself took the higher one of "the Point" (Nuqta). Mullá Husayn is also, with less risk of confusion, entitled (as in the previously described narrative) Bábu'l-Báb, "the Gate of the Gate."
    3i.e. the other Bábís, the disciples and followers of Mullá Husayn.



   In this connection I should like to cite the following note by Captain C. F. Mackenzie, from an unpublished record of his journey from Rasht to Astarábád in 1859, communicated to me on October 10, 1913, by Mr H. L. Rabino, H.B.M. Consul at Casablanca in Morocco, formerly at Rasht in Persia.

"Bábí revolt in Mázandáran.

   "During this revolt the Bábís took up a fortified position 10 or 12 miles from Bárfurúsh, at the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsí, near the river Tálár; they were few in number, but determined and fanatic, and after putting several envoys of the authorities to death, they prepared for a siege by collecting provisions from the neighbouring country; whenever the villagers hesitated or refused to give what they required, their houses were burnt about their ears.

   "Their numbers gradually increased from forty or fifty to between four and five hundred, and their recruits were chiefly men from the district of Sawádkúh. One of these latter was styled Amír-i-Tabardár, because his favourite weapon was the tabar, a poleaxe, from which the former name of the province Tabaristan was derived.

   "Hostilities commenced by an attack made by Aqá `Abdu'lláh Surtej, with 200 Hazár-Jarib tufangchís. His camp was surprised by the Bábís the day after his arrival, and he and forty or fifty of his men were slain. The remainder fled to Sárí, and on receipt of orders from Tihrán, another body of troops, about 500 strong, was sent to exterminate the Bábís. Their commander was `Abbás-qulí Khán, who in the first engagement shot Mullá Husayn, the chief of the Bábís, who, before dying, bequeathed his authority to Hájji Muhammad `Alí Bárfurúshí, and expressed a wish   


to be buried with his arms. After his death, the Bábís made a desperate sally and put the besiegers to death.

   "The insurrection had now become formidable, and Prince Mahdí-quli Mírzá was appointed to suppress it. His troops were 2000 in number and he had both field-artillery and mortars.

   "He took up his quarters at a place called Wáskus about two miles from Shaykh Tabarsí, and during the night his camp was so invaded by the Bábís that he had barely time to escape by a window and hide himself in the jungle.

   "The whole village was on fire; two unlucky Princes, Dáwúd Mírzá and his uncle Sáhib-Qirán Mírzá, perished in the flames, and a great slaughter was made amongst the royal troops.

   "Mahdí-quli Mírzá, after wandering about in fear of his life, luckily met with one of his own servants, who, although a fugitive like himself, had a horse upon which the Prince mounted and thus reached `Alíábád.

   "After collecting the scattered remnants of his army and receiving a number of tufangchís and other riffraff, he again set about besieging the Bábís, who, although pressed by hunger and ill furnished with ammunition, held out for two months more.

   "At the end of this period, the Prince, seeing that he could not take the place and that by driving the rebels to desperation he would run the risk of being defeated a second time, offered them terms.

   "He informed them that if they abandoned their position and went away quietly, each man to his own home, they would not be molested.

   "The Bábís consented to this arrangement, and came forth to the number of about 200 fighting men. They were   


then deprived of their arms, and the greater number, with the usual Asiatic respect for treaties, were massacred on the spot.

   "Some victims, amongst whom was their leader Hájji Muhammad `Alí, were reserved for a more barbarous punishment. They were taken to Bárfurúsh and burnt alive on the Sabzi Maydán (the green plain lying between the town and the Bágh-i-Sháh). Thus ended the Bábí revolt in Mázandarán, after costing about 1500 lives."

Chapter 4



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   In February, 1912, I received from M. Hippolyte Dreyfus, the most eminent and learned European adherent of the Bahá'í doctrine, three photographs of documents connected with the interrogation to which the Báb was subjected at Tabríz in the presence of Násiru'd-Dín Mírzá (afterwards Sháh), at that time Wali-`ahd or Crown Prince, during the latter days of the reign of Muhammad Sháh, who died on Sept. 4, 1848. Concerning these documents M. Dreyfus wrote as follows in two letters dated respectively Feb.4 and Feb 9, 1912:


   "Cher Monsieur Browne,

      "J'ai grand plaisir à vous communiquer les deux documents ci-inclus, sur lesquels je serais très-heureux d'avoir votre opinion.
   "Le premier (A) est la photographie d'une lettre de Nacer-oud- Dín Mirza (alors Wali'ahd) à son père sur un prétendu interrogatoire du Bab à Tabriz. Croyez-vous que ce soit une relation plus ou moins exacte de l'interrogatoire rapporté également dans le Nuqtatu'l- Káf? Ou bien s'agit-il d'un autre interrogatoire?
   "Le deuxième (B) paraît bien être de l'écriture si caractéristique du Bab, et être adressé au même Nacer-ou-Dín Mirza. Il y nie toute prétention à une `Cause' ([ARABIC TEXT]) et implore la clémence.


   "B1 est la réponse des Mudjtahids.
   "Croyez-vous ce second document authentique? Il constituerait une seconde amende honorable, après le reniement de Chiraz dont parle Nicolas dans la traduction du Bayán persan.
   "Je serais très désireux d'avoir votre opinion sur ces documents, que je m'excuse de vous prier de bien vouloir me retourner quand vous les aurez lus, ayant eu grand peine à me les procurer. Il van sans dire que vous pouvez les faire photographier, car j'ai peur que le photographe de Téhéran ne les livre pas volontiers.
   "Avec mes meilleures sympathies, croyez moi toujours votre dévoué H. Dreyfus.          4. 2. 12."


   "Cher Monsieur,

      "Après avoir examiné un peu plus attentivement la lettre du Bab, je ne crois pas, vu sa forme, qu'elle soit adressée à Nacer-oud- Dín Mirza, et je me demande si ce n'est pas las lettre adressée au gouverneur de Chiraz dont parle Nicolas dans le préface du Bayán persan. Je fais rechercher les noms des Mudjtahids de Chiraz, ce qui pourra me fixer.
   "En tous cas je serais heureux d'avoir votre opinion.
   "Bien cordialement à vous, H. Dreyfus.      9. 2. 12."

   Here follow the texts and translations of these documents. As regards the first (A) it appears certain that the writer of it was Amír Aslán Khán (ín ghulám, "this servant," as he calls himself), who, as Mírzá Jání informs us, was present at this interrogatory, and was maternal uncle to Násiru'd-Dín Mírzá, who nominally presided at it. It would appear, from certain expressions used, to be addressed to the then reigning

1See my New History of...the Báb, p. 287, n.2 ad calc.

[blank page]

[full page is facsimile of document A]


King, Muhammad Sháh. That it refers to the interrogatory of the Báb at Tabríz is clear from its agreement, as regards the questions asked and the replies given, with the accounts of the same transaction given both by the Bábí and the Muhammadan historians1.


[sixteen lines of ARABIC TEXT]

   1These accounts I have combined in Note M at the end of Vol. ii of my edition and translation of the Traveller's Narrative (pp.277—290).


[entire page is ARABIC TEXT]


[entire page is ARABIC TEXT]


[seven lines of ARABIC TEXT]


"HE is GOD, exalted is His State.

   "May I be the sacrifice of the dust of Thy blessed feet!

   "As concerning the Báb, the Command whose course is as that of Fate had been issued that the learned on both sides should be convened and dispute with him. Therefore, in accordance with the Imperial Command, I sent an officer to bring him in chains from Urumiyya [i.e., the Castle of Chihríq] and hand him over to Kázim Khán; and I wrote a note to His Holiness the [Chief] Mujtahid that he should come and hold discussion with him with the arguments, proofs and laws of the Perspicuous Religion [of Islám]. His Holiness the Mujtahid, however, wrote in reply, `From the declarations of numerous trustworthy persons and the perusal of documents, [it appears that] this person [i.e. the Báb] is devoid of religion, and that his infidelity is clearer than the sun and more obvious than yesterday. After such evidence of witnesses there is no obligation on your humble servant to renew the discussion.'


   "I therefore summoned Akhúndi-i-Mullá Muhammad1 and Mullá Murtazá-qulí2, while of [Your Majesty's] servants this slave Aslán Khán, Mírzá Yahyá and Kázim Khán were also present in the assembly.

   "First Hájji Mullá Mahmúd3 asked, saying: `It hath been heard that thou sayest, "I am the Imám's vicegerent and the Báb"; nay, that thou hast uttered certain words implying that thou art actually the Imám or a Prophet.' The Báb answered, 'Yes, my friend, my Qibla, I am the Imám's Vice-gerent and the Báb, and what I have said and you have heard is true. It is incumbent on you to obey me, by virtue of [the saying] "Enter the Door [Báb] with adoration." But I did not utter these words: He uttered them who uttered them.' They asked, `Who, then, is the speaker?' He answered, `He who shone forth on Mount Sinai:

   "[If to say] `I am the Truth' be seemly in a Tree,4

   Why should it not be seemly on the part of some favoured man5?" There is no I-ness in the case: God hath said these things, while I am but as the Tree [or Burning Bush] on Sinai At that time [the Divine Word] was created in it, and now in me. And I swear by God that I am that person whom you have been expecting from the beginning of Islám until now; I am he whom forty thousand doctors will deny.'

   1 Called Mámqání, a notable Shaykhí divine entitled Hujjatu'l-Islám.
   2 Of Marand, entitled `Alam'l-Hudá.
   3 The tutor of the Crown-Prince, entitled Mullá- báshí, and Nizámu'l-`Ulamá.
   4 Alluding to the Burning Bush.
   5 Alluding to the celebrated Súfí mystic Husayn ibn Mansúr-i-Halláj, who was put to death in A.D. 921 for heresy and blasphemy, and chiefly for his saying Ana'l-Haqq, "I am the Truth."


   "They enquired, `In what book is this tradition that forty thousand doctors will deny?' He replied, `If it be not forty thousand, it is at any rate four thousand.' Mullá Murtazá-qulí said, `Very well; then according to this statement, thou art the Author of a [new] Dispensation. But it is in the Traditions and a necessary part of our Faith that the [Promised] One shall appear from Mecca, and that the leaders of men and Jinn, together with forty-five thousand Jinnís will believe in him, and that he will have with him the heir-looms of the Prophets, such as David's coat-of-mail, the rod of Moses, Solomon's ring, and the White Hand1. Where, now are the rod of Moses and the White Hand?' The Báb answered, `I am not permitted to bring them.' Akhúnd-i- Mullá Muhammad said, `Thou didst err in coming without permission.' Then they asked him, `What hast thou of signs and miracles?' He replied, `My miracle is this, that I can cause verses to be revealed for my staff,' whereupon he began to recite the following words:

   "`In the Name of God the Merciful the Forgiving. Glory be to God the Holy the Glorified, Who created the Heavens and the Earth as He created this staff, as one of His signs.' But according to the rules of [Arabic] grammar he wrongly vocalized the word Samáwát (Heavens) as Samáwáta. They said, `Make its [final] vowel i.' Then he recited the word al-ard (the Earth) also with a [final] i. Amír Aslán Khán observed that if such words were of the nature of `Signs,' he likewise could produce such, and proceeded to recite: `Praise be to God who created the staff as He created the morning and the evening': whereat the Báb was greatly ashamed.

   "Afterwards Hájji Mullá Mahmúd enquired saying:

   1 i.e. the Hand of Moses, which he drew forth from under his cloak "as white as snow."


`It hath come down in Tradition that Ma'mún asked of His Holiness the Imám `Á'lí Rizá, "What is the proof of the [right to the] Caliphate of your grandfather?" His Holiness answered, "The sign of ourselves." Ma'mún said, "Were it not for our women." His Holiness said, "Were it not for our sons." Elucidate this dialogue and explain the point1.' The Báb reflected for a while, but answered nothing.

   "After that they asked some questions on Jurisprudence and other sciences, which he was unable to answer, not even the plainest juridical questions, such as those concerning doubt and error [arising during the performance of prayer2], but hung his head and again began to utter such meaningless words as, `I am that very Light which shone forth on Sinai, for it hath come down in tradition that that Light was the Light of one of the Shí`ís3.' Thereupon this servant remarked, `Wherefore shouldst thou be that Shí`í? Perhaps it was the Light of Mullá Murtazá-qulí.' Thereat he was more ashamed than before, and hung his head.

   "When the discussion was concluded, His Reverence the Shaykhu'l-Islám was summoned, who had the Báb beaten and inflicted on him an exemplary chastisement, so that he apologized, recanted, and repented of and asked pardon for his errors, giving a sealed undertaking that henceforth he would not commit such faults. Now he is in prison and bonds awaiting the decision of His Most Sacred, Royal and Imperial Majesty, may the souls of the worlds be his sacrifice!"

   1 The point is no clearer to me that it was 25 years ago when I published my translation of the Traveller's Narrative, q.v. (Vol.ii, pp.282—4 and n. 1 on p.283 ad calc.). My friend Muhammad Shafí` suggests that the allusion is to Qur'án, iii, 54.
   2 See ibid., pp.285—6 and footnotes
   3 i.e. of the followers of `Á'lí ibn Abí Tálib, the First Imám.


[full page is facsimile of document B]


   The second document, unsigned and undated, is apparently in the Báb's handwriting and consists of a complete recantation and renunciation of any superhuman claim which he may have advanced or have appeared to advance. There is nothing to show to whom it is addressed, or whether it is the recantation referred to in the last paragraph of the preceding document or another. The handwriting, though graceful, is not easily legible, and the text appears to run as follows:

[fourteen lines of ARABIC TEXT]

[blank page]


[eight lines of ARABIC TEXT]


   "May my life be thy sacrifice! Praise be to God such as He deserves and merits, in that He hath caused [those who are] the Manifestations of His Grace and Mercy under all circumstances to comprehend all of His servants. Praise be to God, and again praise, that He hath deigned to make one like your Excellency1 the source of His Clemency and Mercy, by the manifestation of whose kindness He hath pardoned His servants, cast a veil over [the faults of] sinners, and shown mercy to the transgressors. I take God to witness on His part that this weak servant never intended aught contrary to the good pleasure of the Lord of the World and the Company of Saints. Although my very existence is in itself utterly faulty, yet since my heart firmly believes in the unity of God (glorious in His mention), and the Prophethood of His Apostle, and the Saintship of the Community of Saints, and since my tongue acknowledgeth all

   1 The title might equally be rendered "Highness," "Holiness," "Reverence," etc. according to the station of the person addressed.

[blank page]


that hath been revealed on the part of God, I hope for His Mercy. Never have I desired aught contrary to the Will of God, and, if words contrary to His good pleasure have flowed from my pen, my object was not disobedience, and in any case I repent and ask forgiveness of Him. This servant has absolutely no knowledge connected with any [superhuman] claim. I ask forgiveness of God my Lord and I repent unto Him of [the idea] that there should be ascribed to me any [Divine] Mission. As for certain prayers and words which have flowed from my tongue, these do not imply any such Mission (amr), and any [apparent] claim to any special vicegerency for His Holiness the Proof of God (on whom be Peace!) is a purely baseless claim, such as this servant has never put forward, nay, nor any claim like unto it. Therefore it is thus hoped from the clemency of His Imperial Majesty and of Your Excellency, that they will exalt the head of him who continually prays for them by the favours and graces of their clement and compassionate court. Farewell."


   The third document, likewise undated, is addressed to Sayyid `Á'lí Muhammad the Báb, and contains the fatwá or ecclesiastical sentence of the `ulamá, by two of whom, Abu'l-Qásim al- Hasaní al- Husayní and `Á'lí Asghar al- Hasaní al-Husayní, it is formally sealed. The latter is probably the Shaykhu'l-Islám, who caused the Báb to be beaten after the Tabríz interrogatory; the former I have not yet been able to identify.

   1 Such as that he was the "Gate of Knowledge" (Bábu'l-`Ilm), or the like.
   2 i.e. the Twelfth Imám or Imám Mahdí.
   3 See Traveller's Narrative, ii, pp.20—21 and 278.

[full page is facsimile of document B1]


[eleven lines of ARABIC TEXT]


   "Sayyid `Á'lí Muhammad-i-Shírází:

   "In the Imperial Banquet-hall and August Assembly of His Highness the Crown Prince of the undeclining Empire [of Persia], (may God aid, support and strengthen him!) and of a number of learned doctors, thou didst admit certain matters each one of which separately implied thy apostasy and justified thy death. The repentance of an incorrigible apostate is not accepted, and the only thing which has caused the postponement of thy execution is a doubt as to thy sanity of mind. Should this doubt be removed, the sentence of an incorrigible apostate would without hesitation be executed upon thee."

  Sealed by {Abu'l Qásim al-Hasaní al- Husayní}
            {`Á'lí Asghar al-Hasaní al-Husayní}


   The last two documents, which are in English, were kindly communicated to me by Mr W. A. Shedd, who wrote concerning them as follows in a letter dated March 1, 1911:

   "Dear Professor Browne,

      "In going over papers of my father, I found something which I think may be of value from a historical point of view. I have no books here, nor are any accessible here, to be certain whether this bit of testimony (or rather these two bits) have been used or not. I think probably not, and I am sure that I can do nothing better than send them to you, with the wish that you may use them as you think best. Of the authenticity of the papers there can be no doubt.

      "Yours very truly,            W. A. Shedd."

   The first of these two documents is very valuable as giving the personal impression produced by the Báb, during the period of his imprisonment and suffering, on a cultivated and impartial Western mind. Very few Western Christians can have had the opportunity of seeing, still less of conversing with, the Báb, and I do not know of any other who has recorded his impressions. The second document, belonging to a later period, describes the circumstances attending the presentation to Násiru'd-Dín Sháh of the letter addressed to him by Bahá'u'lláh and transmitted by the hand of Mírzá Badí` in July, 18691.



    "You ask me for some particulars of my interview with the founder of the sect known as Bábís. Nothing of any

1 See Traveller's Narrative, ii, p. 393.


importance transpired in this interview, as the Báb was aware of my having been sent with two other Persian doctors to see whether he was of sane mind or merely a madman, to decide the question whether to put him to death or not. With this knowledge he was loth to answer any questions put to him. To all enquiries he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting in a low melodious voice some hymns, I suppose. Two other Sayyids,1 his intimate friends, were also present, who subsequendy were put to death with him2, besides a couple of government officials. He only once deigned to answer me, on my saying that I was not a Musulmán and was willing to know something about his religion, as I might perhaps be inclined to adopt it. He regarded me very intently on my saying this, and replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans coming over to his religion. Our report to the Sháh at that time was of a nature to spare his life. He was put to death some time after by the order of the Amír-i-Nizám Mírzá Taqí Khán. On our report he merely got the bastinado, in which operation a farrásh, whether intentionally or not, struck him across the face with the stick destined for his feet, which produced a great wound and swelling of the face. On being asked whether a Persian surgeon should be brought to treat him, he expressed a desire that I should be sent for, and I accordingly treated him for a few days, but in the interviews consequent on this I could never get him to have a confidential chat with me, as some Government people were always present, he being a prisoner.

    1These were, no doubt, the two brothers Sayyid Hasan and Sayyid Husayn of Yazd, of whom the latter was especially his amanuensis.
    2 This is an error. Sayyid Husayn was put to death in the great persecution of 1852, two years after the Báb.


    "He was very thankful for my attentions to him. He was a very mild and delicate-looking man, rather small in stature and very fair for a Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much. Being a Sayyid, he was dressed in the habits of that sect, as were also his two companions. In fact his whole look and deportment went far to dispose one in his favour. Of his doctrine I heard nothing from his own lips, although the idea was that there existed in his religion a certain approach to Christianity. He was seen by some Armenian carpenters, who were sent to make some repairs in his prison, reading the Bible, and he took no pains to conceal it, but on the contrary told them of it. Most assuredly the Musulmán fanaticism does not exist in his religion, as applied to Christians, nor is there that restraint of females that now exists.



   "The story of the Bábís having reappeared in Tihrán, threatening the Sháh's life, etc. some time back, was partly true. The version of the story, as related to me by Sulaymán Khán, who was in Tihrán at the time and confirmed by others, is this. The Sháh, when out riding one day, perceived at some little distance a man mounted and equipped watching him attentively1. He immediately sent to have him seized and brought to him. The Sháh said, on his being brought, `I have observed you for some time past always following me when out riding, and as you are not a

   1 The man to whom reference is here made was undoubtedly Mírzá Badí`, who brought Bahá'u'lláh's letter to Násiru'd-Dín Sháh from `Akká to Tihrán in July, 1869.


servant of mine, you are most probably a Bábí? To this the man, nothing daunted, replied that he was. On further enquiry he added that he was the bearer of a letter to the Sháh, and that he was seeking a favourable opportunity to present it to him, and that the letter was sent by their Chief, who had at this moment 70,000 Bábís obeying his orders. The Sháh asked for the document, which, being presented to him, was found to be a petition praying him to allow his sect, viz. the Bábís, to establish themselves in Persia and exercise their religion openly the same as Christians and other sects, [undertaking] that they would live peaceably under his rule and infringe no laws, [and] that if any doubt existed in the Sháh's mind as to their religion being the true one or not, he prayed that a conference might be granted between some members of their religion and some Musulmán Mujtahids and chief Mullás of Tihrán to discuss the points of difference between them. If they should succeed in proving that they were in the right, what further cause was there for oppressing them? If not, they consented to undergo any oppression the Sháh might subject them to, beginning by putting to death the members sent to discuss the points.

   "This petition, it appears, had no effect upon the Sháh, for he ordered the bearer of it to be taken and tortured to find out if he had any accomplices in Tihrán; but he divulged nothing, saying that he was alone, and adding that the fact of his being killed was of no consequence, as the 70,000 Bábís under their Chief were all like him, ready to die for their religion, and no doubt other messengers would be sent to kill the Sháh at last, unless he granted the prayer of the petition. Under all the great tortures inflicted on him he remained firm, writing with a piece of stick on the ground till death put an end to his sufferings. After this


some little disturbance took place in Tihrán in searching for Bábís, but not with much result. The Bábís succeeded, however, in setting fire to an Imám-záda and burning it down. There was, however, no sign of any conspiracy existing. There are some people who think that both the Sháh and the Mustawfiyu'l-Mamálik with other great personages are disposed to allow the Bábís to exercise their religion openly in Persia, but the fear of the Mullás and their power to create a revolution against them, prevents them doing so."

(Extract from a letter to Mr Labaree.)

   "The above was found among papers belonging to the late Rev. J. H. Shedd, D.D., of the American Mission at Urúmiyya, Persia, in whose handwriting it is. Dr Cormick was an English physician long resident in Tabríz, where he was highly respected. The letter was certainly written and the copy of the extracts made before June, 1870. Mr Labaree is the Rev. Benjamin Labaree, D.D., of the same Mission as Dr Shedd. The letter was certainly written after 1862 and probably in 1869 or 1870, as Dr Labaree spent some months in Tabríz in 1869. An Imám-záda is the tomb of a reputed descendant of one of the Imáms, and, as such, a shrine. There are many such in Persia.

                           "W. A. Shedd."

Chapter 5

[Note: The first part of Chapter 5, pages 265-268, appear to be missing.]     "Amongst the documents referring to the Bábís in my possession is a manuscript copy of an article in German published on October 17, 1852 in No. 291 of some German or Austrian newspaper of which, unhappily, the name is not noted. I think that I received it a good many years ago from the widow of the late Dr. Polak, an Austrian doctor, who was a physician to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh at the beginning of his reign, and who is the author of a valuable book and several smaller treatises on Persia and matters connected therewith. It is chiefly based on a letter written on August 29, 1852, by an Austrian officer, Captain von Goumoens, who was in the Sháh's service, but who was so disgusted, and horrified at the cruelties he was compelled to witness that he sent in his resignation1. The translation of this article is as follows.

(Number 291. October 17th, 1852.)

    "Some days ago we mentioned the attempt made on the life of the Sháh of Persia on the occasion of a hunting-party. The conspirators, as is well known, belonged to the Bábís, a religious sect. Concerning this sect and the repressive measures adopted against it, the letter of Austrian Captain von Goumoens lately published in the "Soldier's Friend" (Soldatenfreund) contains interesting disclosures, and

    1 Compare for details of this massacre Traveller's Narrative, ii, pp. 323—334.


elucidates to some extent the attempt in question. This letter runs as follows:

"Tihran, August 29, 1852.

    "'Dear Friend, My last letter of the 20th inst. mentioned the attempt on the King. I will now communicate to you the result of the interrogation to which the two criminals were subjected. In spite of the terrible tortures inflicted, the examination extorted no comprehensive confession; the lips of the fanatics remained closed, even when by means of red- hot pincers and limb-rending screws they sought to discover the chief conspirator....


But follow me, my friend, you who lay claim to a heart and European ethics, follow me to the unhappy ones who, with gouged-out eyes, must eat, on the scene of the deed, without any sauce, their own amputated ears; or whose teeth are torn out with inhuman violence by the hand of the executioner; or whose bare skulls are simply crushed by blows from a hammer; or where the bázár is illuminated with unhappy victims, because on right and left the people dig deep holes in their breasts and shoulders and insert burning wicks in the wounds. I saw some dragged in chains through the bázár preceded by a military band, in whom these wicks had burned so deep that now the fat flickered convulsively in the wound like a newly-extinguished lamp.

    "'Not seldom it happens that the unwearying ingenuity


of the Orientals leads to fresh tortures. They will skin the soles of the Bábí's feet, soak the wounds in boiling oil, shoe the foot like the hoof of a horse, and compel the victim to run. No cry escaped from the victim's breast; the torment is endured in dark silence by the numbed sensation of the fanatic; now he must run; the body cannot endure what the soul has endured; he falls. Give him the coup de grâce! Put him out of his pain! No! The executioner swings the whip, and--I myself have had to witness it--the unhappy victim of hundredfold tortures and runs! This is the beginning of the end. As for the end itself, they hang the scorched and perforated bodies by their hands and feet to a tree head downwards, and now every Persian may try his marksmanship to heart's content from a fixed but not too proximate distance on the noble quarry placed at his disposal. I saw corpses torn by nearly 150 bullets....


    "'When I read over again what I have written I am overcome by the thought that those who are with you in our dearly beloved Austria may doubt the full truth of the picture, and accuse me of exaggeration. Would to God that I had not lived to see it! But by the duties of my profession I was unhappily often, only too often, a witness of these abominations. At present I never leave my house, in order not to meet with fresh scenes of horror. After their death the Bábís are hacked in two and either nailed to the city gate, or cast out into the plain as food for the dogs and jackals. Thus the punishment extends even beyond the limits which bound this bitter world, for Musulmáns who are not buried have no right to enter the Prophet's Paradise.

    "'Since my whole soul revolts against such infamy, against such abominations as recent times, according to the judgment of all, present, I will no longer maintain my connection with the scene of such crimes...1.'

    1He goes on to say that he has already asked for his discharge, but has not yet received an answer.

Chapter 6


DATED MAY 10, 1862

[blank page]

    The two following documents, which are of considerable historical interest, were most obligingly communicated to me by Monsieur A.L.M. Nicolas, at that time First Dragoman of the French Legation in Tihran, in March, 1902, and were accompanied by the following lines, written in Paris, on the 19th of that month.


        "M'occupant depuis une dizaine d'années de l'étude de la Manifestation Béyânie, il m'a été donné de recueillir beaucoup de documents inédits pendant un long séjour en Perse.

    "Seuls ceux qui regardent directement le Báb m'intéressent d'une facon immédiate: soit qu'ils concernent l'histoire, soit qu'ils se rapportent au dogme. J'estime cette tâche suffisante pour le moment, et je ne m'occuperai que par la suite de l'Imamat de Soubh-i-Ezel et de la seconde Manifestation divine en la personne de Béha.

    "L'histoire que je prépare s'arrêtera donc à la fuite à Baghdad, ou plutôt aux exécutions qui suivirent l'attentat contre S.M. le Chah.

    "Vous vous êtes, Monsieur, magistralement occupé de cette seconde partie de l'évolution Béyânie. Aussi crois-je vous être agréable et utile en vous communiquant deux pièces se rapportant au séjour des exilés à Baghdad. Ces deux pièces sont de la plus haute importance : elles démonstrent d'abord que le Gouvernement Persan a parfaitement sollicité du Gouvernement Ottoman l'extradition des fugitifs,


elles sont ensuite muettes sur la personne de Soubhi-i-Ezel, ce qui vous étonnera certainement: il semble, à la lecture de ces documents que, dès ce moment Mirza Housseïn Ali fut—sinon le chef—du moins la personnalité la plus marquante du parti.

    "Les pièces originales sont de la main même de Mirza Saïd Khan, ex-Ministre des Affairs Étrangères. (Elles sont adressées à L'Ambassadeur à Constantinople). Les photographies faites par moi sont suffisantes pour reconnaître l'écriture. Le cachet se trouve naturellement au dos: c'est pourquoi il ne paraît pas sur les épreuves que je vous envoie. Elles se trouvaient toutes deux, collées sur carton percé à l'endroit du cachet au milieu d'un recueil assez considérable de pièces émanant de la même main Vezîrielle et relatives au diverses affaires soumises au Ministère. Deux autres lettres s'y trouvaient encore relatives aux Babis. L'une est un très court billet du Ministre à un correspondant inconnu dans lequel l'auteur affirme avoir essayé de rendre service aux sectaires, et s'étonne que ses démarches aient été dénaturées; la seconde est une longue lettre du grand Moujtehed de Tauris: dans un passage de cette lettre le prélat se fait fort de déraciner ce qu'il appelle l'hérésie.

    "Je ne pause pas de me trouver, Monsieur, un intermédiarie plus compétent et plus autorisé que vous pour la publication de ces pièces, et je suis convaincu que le Journal de la Société Royale Asiatique s'empressera d'accueillir, présentés par vous, ces éclaircissements sur un point si intéressant de l'histoire qui nous passionne tous deux.

    "Je tiens les clichés à votre disposition pour le cas où vous en aurez besoin.

    "Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, mes salutations les plus empressées.
                                "A. L. M. Nicolas."

[page is facsimile of the document A.6.]


    The documents in question are distinguished by the marks "A.6" and "A.7." I begin with the former, which is the shorter.


[eighteen lines of ARABIC TEXT]



       "Although in a separate and detailed letter mention has been made of the letter of the Right Honourable Mírzá Buzurg Khán to Prince `Imádu'd-Dawla, and of the said Prince's letter to [His Majesty's] Most Sacred and Royal Presence, yet no reference is made to the sending of the originals or copies of these letters, because that detailed letter is so phrased that if you deem it expedient you can read it to their Excellencies Fu'ád Pasha and 'Alí Pasha, but had any explicit reference been made to the sending of the aforesaid originals or copies, perhaps you would not have considered it expedient to show them, whilst now it entirely depends on your own judgement. The originals of the aforesaid letters are enclosed in this packet. After perusing them you will consider the matter, and if it appears expedient you will show them exactly as they are or with some slight change and emendation. The object is that as the most emphatic Royal Command and Injunction hath been honoured by issue as to the removal and repression of these evil men1, or their arrest and the handing over of them to the officers of the illustrious Prince `Imádu'd-Dawla, or their removal from `Iráq-i-`Arab to some place which you regard as expedient, it may, if God so please, be duly and speedily fulfilled.

        "Written on the 12th of Dhu'l-Hijja, 1278"
                        (=May 10, 1862).

1 i.e.the Bábís at Baghdád.

[blank page]

[page is facsimile of the document A.7.]



[entire page is ARABIC TEXT]


[entire page is ARABIC TEXT]


[entire page is ARABIC TEXT]


[entire page is ARABIC TEXT]


[seven lines of ARABIC TEXT]


       "After the carrying out of those energetic measures on the part of the Persian Government for the extirpation and extermination of the misguided and detestable sect of the Bábís, with the details of which Your Excellency is fully acquainted1, Praise be to God, by the attention of the Imperial mind of His most potent Majesty, whose rank is as that of Jamshíd, the refuge of the True Religion (may our lives be his sacrifice!), their roots were torn up. It was proper, nay, necessary, that not one of them should be suffered to survive, more especially such as had been overtaken by the bonds and captivity of the Government. But by chance, and through the ill-considered policy of former officials, one of them, to wit Mírzá Husayn 'Alí of Núr2, obtained release from the Anbár prison and permission to

   1 Allusion is made to the great persecution of the Bábís in Tihrán in the summer of 1852.
   2 i.e. Bahá'u'lláh.


reside in the neighbourhood of the Shrines, whose rank is as that of God's Throne1, whither he departed. From that time until now, as your Excellency is aware, he is in Baghdád, and at no time hath he ceased from secretly corrupting and misleading foolish persons and ignorant weaklings. Sometimes, moreover, he hath put his hand to sedition and incitements to murder, as in the case of His most accomplished Reverence Mullá Aqá of Darband, whom they grievously wounded with intent to kill, though Providence permitted him to survive for some while; besides sundry other assassinations which took place. Yet had his affair not then reached the pitch which it hath now attained; nor had he gathered round himself so many disciples and followers as it is heard he hath done in these days; nor did he dare to display the ambitions which he harboured, or to surround himself with armed and devoted men when going hither and thither, or passing backwards and forwards, or remaining outside his lodging, or to encompass himself with this self-devoted crew. Besides the informations which have been acquired through numerous channels by the intermediary of persons of consideration and worthy of credence, a letter from the highly-placed and well-beloved of the Supreme Court Mírzá Buzurg Khán, Consul of the Persian Government resident in Baghdád, has reached the illustrious Prince `Imadu'd-Dawla, Governor of Kirmanshahan and its dependencies, while a representation has been made by the Prince above mentioned to the most beneficent Sacred and Imperial Presence, which depicts and portrays before our eyes these proceedings of Mírzá Husayn `Alí. In face of these proceedings, it would be a proof of the most complete negligence and lack of prudence on the part of the Persian Government

1 i.e.Karbalá and Najaf.


to disregard these acts which may produce such deplorable consequences, and not to set itself to seek some means to remedy or remove them.

        `I see beneath the ashes the glow of fire,
        And it wants but little to burst into a blaze1.'

    "For the character and nature of this misguided sect in the dominions of the Persian Government, and their boldness and audacity in the most perilous enterprises have been repeatedly put to the proof, and it is clear that the principles of this new, false and detestable creed are based on two horrible things, first an extraordinary hostility and enmity towards this Islámic State, and secondly an incredible pitilessness and ruthlessness towards all individuals of this nation, and a readiness to lose their own lives in order to achieve this sinister object. But it is evident that, thanks be to God Most High, through the good dispositions and sincerity of the governors of the two Empires [Persia and Turkey], the developments of friendship and single-mindedness between these two powerful Islamic States have reached such a point that, alike in profit and loss, they have brought about complete participation and equality. How then should it be that the great statesmen of that Empire, after acquainting themselves with these matters, should grudge or withhold their united support and participation to the statesmen of this Sublime State [i.e. Persia] in taking the necessary measures for the removal of this [plague]? Therefore, in accordance with the Royal command, resistless as fate, of His Imperial Majesty, the Shadow of God, the Benefactor of all the protected provinces of Persia (may my

   1 This celebrated verse is the first of several written by the Umayyad Governor of Khurásán, Nasr ibn Sayyár, as a warning to his sovereign on the eve of Abú Muslim's successful rebellion in A.H. 129 (A.D. 746- 7).


life be his sacrifice!), I your faithful friend have been ordered to convey these matters to Your Excellency's knowledge by means of a special messenger, and to instruct you without delay to seek an appointment with their most glorious Excellencies the [Ottoman] Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and to set forth this matter in such wise as the friendship and harmony of these two Sublime States require, and as the character for benevolence and sound understanding of their Excellencies above mentioned suggests, and, having devoted the deepest and most careful consideration to all its aspects, to request of their extreme benevolence and disinterestedness the removal of this source of mischief from a place like Baghdád, which is the meeting-place of many different peoples and is situated near the frontiers of the protected provinces of Persia.

    "This point is agreed upon in the view of our statesmen, that it will not do to leave Mírzá Husayn `Alí and his intimate followers there, or to allow fuller scope to their mischievous ideas and probable actions. One of two courses appears proper in the eyes of our statesmen, to wit that if the statesmen of the Ottoman Empire are prepared to cooperate fully in this important matter with the statesmen of this country, without showing any personal consideration for those irreligious and mischievous persons, and, as is fully hoped and expected, do not introduce any discussion foreign to this question into this field wherein stands the foot of State expediency, then the best thing is that explicit orders should be given to His Excellency Námiq Pasha the governor of the Province of Baghdád, while on this side also orders should be issued to the Prince-Governor of Kirmánsháhán, that Mírzá Husayn `Alí and such of his followers and familiars as are the cause and root of the mischief should be arrested in such manner as is requisite, and handed over at the


frontier to the officers of the afore-mentioned Prince; and that the Government should detain them, under guard and supervision, in some place in the interior of the country which it regards as suitable, and not allow their evil and mischief to spread. But supposing that the statesmen of that [i.e the Ottoman] Government hesitate, on whatever consideration it may be, to act in accordance with this first alternative, then it is unfailingly necessary that they should arrange as quickly as possible to deport and detain that mischief-maker [i.e. Bahá'u'lláh] and his several intimates from Baghdád to some other place in the interior of the Ottoman kingdom which has no means of communication with our frontiers, so that the channel of their mischief-making and sedition may be stopped.

    "Let your Excellency take such steps and show such zeal in this matter as accords with this emphatic Imperial command and the despatch of this special [King's] messenger, and let him notify his agreement in writing as soon as possible, that it may be so notified before the Most High and Sacred Presence (may our lives be his sacrifice!).

        "Written on the 12th of Dhu'l-Hijjá, A.H. 1278"
                        (=May10, 1862).

Chapter 7



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    The persecutions at Si-dih and Najafábád near Isfahán took place in the latter part of 1888 and beginning of 1889; Mírzá Ashraf of `Abáda was put to death at Isfahán in October, 1888; and the Yazd persecutions took place in May, 1891. Of Mírzá Ashraf's martyrdom I published an account in the J.R.A.S. for 1888, pp. 998—9, and concerning the Yazd persecution I received several letters at the time from `Akká, enclosing one from Yazd, of which I shall here give the translations. First, however, I shall quote extracts from three letters received during the autumn of 1889 and the spring of 1890 from English residents in Persia, which throw some light on the persecutions of Si-dih and Najafábád.

(1)    From Dr Robert Bruce, Church Missionary Society,
Julfá, Isfahán; September
6, 1889.

    "Yes, it is quite true that Áqá Mírzá Ashraf of Abáda was put to death for his religion in the most barbarous manner in Isfahán about October last. The hatred of the Mullás was not satisfied with his murder; they mutilated his poor body publicly in the Maydán in the most savage manner, and then burned what was left of it. Since then we have had two other persecutions of Bábís, one in Si-dih and the


other in Najafábád. In Si-dih, where the Bábí community is small, their houses were burned and their wives and children ill- treated. The men saved themselves by flight to Tihrán, and I am told that about 25 of them have just returned to Isfahán and are in the Prince's stables in bast1. In Najafábád there are about 2000 Bábís. They tried the same game with them, but some hundreds of them took refuge in the English Telegraph Office in Julfá, and the Prince took their part and banished from Najafábád to Karbalá the Mujtahid who persecuted them, so the result is that they are freer now than they have ever been. I took very great interest in the poor people, not only for their own sakes, but for the sake of Persia also; as, if liberty is gained for them, it will be a great step towards breaking the power of the Mullás and getting liberty for all. Just before the last persecution of the Bábís the Mujtahids in Isfahán, especially Hájji [sic] Najafí, tried a persecution of Jews also, and threatened Christians with the same. The 13 rules (of `Umar I believe, at least most of them may be traced to him) were enforced for a short time: (1) that no Jew should wear an `abá2; (2) that they should wear a mark on their dress; (3) not to ride any beast of burden in the city; (4) not to leave their houses on a wet day3; (5) not to purchase merchandize [sic] from a Muslim; (6) that when a Jew meets a Muslim he is to salute him and walk behind him; (7) not to return abuse; (8) not to build a house higher than a Muslim neighbour; (9) not to eat in the presence of a Muslim during Ramazán, etc, etc."

   1 i.e. sanctuary.
   2 Cloak.
   3 This rule used also to be applied to the gabrs, or Zoroastrians, of Yazd. The reason is that an impure creature (such as a dog or an unbeliever) only defiles by contact when it is wet.


(2)From Sidney Churchill, Esqr., British Legation,
Tihrán, December
12, 1889.

    "The Bábí sect are multiplying in numbers daily, and their increasing multitudes are giving cause for anxiety as to the attitude which the authorities will have to adopt towards them in the immediate future. The extraordinary development of this faith is not quite in itself a source of surprise. The Persian as a rule is ready to adopt any new creed, no matter what it is; but when he finds in it as one of its fundamental principles the liberty of thought and the expression thereof, with the ultimate possibility as a result that he may shake off the oppression he suffers at the hands of the local authorities, who are beyond the sphere of the Sháh's immediate supervision and control, he readily affiliates himself with those holding such doctrines with the object of combating existing evils.

    "The spread of Bábism of late in Persia, particularly its development during the Sháh's absence, has caused much surprise, and is likely to give us trouble. But the question is, what are the real ideas of most of those professing Bábism. Do they look upon themselves as followers of a new religion, or as the members of a society for political and social reform?..."

(3)From Walter Townley, Esq. (now Sir Walter Townley),
British Legation, Tihrán, April
13, 1890.

    "I am afraid I have not been able to do much for you in the furtherance of your two requests beyond having searched through our archives from A.D. 1868 to 1875 for some


reference to the young Bábí who brought Bahá's letter to the Sháh1, without, I am sorry to say, finding any notification at all of the event, but I am told that it was in the summer (about July) of 1871 or 1872, and have still hopes of getting an authentic date fixed. Had such an event occurred under our present Minister it would most undoubtedly have been recorded, but in those days Persia was not so well known as it is now, and affairs were conducted less minutely....

    "You have doubtless heard of the late Bábí massacre at Isfahán, and I will only therefore tell you, in case you have not, the principal points. They are inhabitants of a district called Si-dih, and last summer a large number of them, owing to constant persecution, left their villages and came to Isfahán, whence after a time they returned home, with the exception of a certain number who came to Tihrán. On the return of these men to their homes about six weeks ago they were met and attacked by a mob headed by a man called Áqá Najafí, and seven or eight of them were killed and their bodies burnt with oil. They then took refuge at the Telegraph Office, and finally, after persistent representations from this Legation, have been received by the Deputy Governor. It is hoped that on the Zill[u's-Sultán]'s return in a few days they will be able to go home. Áqá Najafí has been summoned to Tihrán and well received. Of course they are said to be Bábís, though there seems to be no real proof that they are of that persuasion. When the murders took place they were under the care of an escort which was intimidated by the mob and left them."

    Concerning the Yazd persecution I received four letters in Persian, of which translations of the relevant portions here follow.

   1 i.e. Mirza Badi`. See pp.262—4 supra and footnote to p. 262.


Translation of part of a letter written to me from `Akká
by `Abbás Efendí `Abdu'l-Bahá on August
19, 1891.

    "The events which have recently taken place in Persia have darkened the world; one cannot speak of them save with weeping eyes and burning heart, for their recital is enough to break the hardest heart and wring from it sighs and groans. Briefly they are as follows. For some while the partisans of Mírzá Malkom Khán1 in Persia have been in a state of activity and agitation, and engaged in carrying on an active propaganda, censuring and blaming the heads of the administration and their actions. Sometimes by implication and suggestion, but in private in the plainest language, they violently attacked the conduct of the Prime Minister2 and loudly complained of the incompetence of the government and the thoughtlessness of the ruler. At length the newspaper Qánún3 appeared, and Shaykh Jamálu'd-Dín al-Afghán4 too, from every side and corner, began to criticize and condemn the government, with which he was highly displeased, and in the course of his conversation used openly to excite and inflame the people and disparage and attack [the Sháh]. According to accounts received, matters reached such a point that they wrote pamphlets and scattered them in the streets and bázárs, and even, by a clever stratagem, succeeded in conveying a most strongly-worded letter to the Sháh himself. And since they are well acquainted with the Sháh's character, they made it appear that there was a large party which would soon raise up the standard of

   1 See my Persian Revolution, pp. 32—45.
   2 i.e. the Amínu's- Sultán, afterwards entitled Atábak-i- A`zam, who was finally assassinated by `Abbás Áqá of Tabríz on August 31, 1907. See my Persian Revolution, pp. 150ãã1.
   3 See Persian Revolution, pp. 35—42.
   4 Ibid. pp. 1—30.


liberty. So the government determined to attack them, thinking to extirpate and crush them. The partisans of Malkom Khán and Jamálu'd- Dín devised a plan to alarm, intimidate, and greatly disturb the government by involving the Bábís also in suspicion, and wrote pamphlets so worded that it might appear that there was an alliance between these and themselves. To be brief, they arrested Malkom Khán's brother with your friend the Mírzá of Hamadán1 and several others, and also two Bábís, and the government officials, without any enquiry or investigation, began on every side to persecute this oppressed community, although these poor innocents, as I swear by God's Might, knew absolutely nothing of this agitation and disturbance, non-interference in political matters being required by their creed.

    "No sooner did this news reach Isfahán that the Prince [Zillu's-Sultán], one of whose confidential advisers had been accused and arrested, considered it expedient, for the exculpation of himself from all suspicion of complicity in this plot and for the concealment of his own evil deeds, to inaugurate a violent and cruel persecution of the Bábís. So he entered into correspondence with [his son] Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla, and a persecution was set on foot in the city of Yazd and the surrounding villages, where such cruelties and injustices were perpetrated as are unparalleled in the history of the world.

    "Amongst other instances, with chains and fetters, swords and scimitars, they dragged seven men, to whose purity, nobility, excellence, and virtue all bore witness, who had

   1 A former attaché at the Persian Legation in London. He was recalled to Persia when Mírzá Malkom Khán was dismissed from the post of Minister. Some time afterwards, in the early part of this year (1891), he was arrested, cast into prison, and, I believe, narrowly escaped death.


never in their lives injured even an ant, and against whom nothing could be alleged save that they were Bábís, before a few ignorant wretches like unto Annas and Caiaphas who account themselves learned, and commanded them to disavow their connection with this creed. When they refused to do this, and indeed confessed and admitted it, they beheaded each of these poor oppressed ones in a public thoroughfare, affixed them to gibbets, dragged their bodies with ropes through the streets and bázárs, and at length cut them in fragments and burned them with fire. Some others they spirited away, and it is not known what sufferings were inflicted upon them. About a thousand persons have fled from Yazd into the wilderness and open country, some have died from thirst in the mountains and plains, and all their possessions have been plundered and spoiled. Oppression and tyranny have so destroyed and uprooted these poor oppressed people that for several days the families and wives and children of the murdered men were weeping, sorrowing, and shivering, hungry and thirsty, in underground cellars, unable even to ask for water; none had any pity for them, but only blows; and indeed the common people, incited and goaded on by the clergy and the government, strove to injure them in every way, in which endeavour they showed neither ruth nor remission. Only after some days certain Christian merchants who were passing through Yazd brought bread and water for the children of the victims; but the poor unfortunates were so filled with fear and apprehension that they would not open the door. That night all the townsfolk decorated and illuminated the city and made great rejoicings that so signal a victory and so glorious a triumph had been accomplished, not seeing in their ignorance that in truth they are striking the axe on their own roots and rejoicing thereat, and overthrowing the foundations of


their own house and accounting it eternal life. Moreover they fail to see that the tears of the oppressed are a rising torrent and the sighs of the victims a kindling fire!..."

Translation of a letter written to me from `Akká by Mírzá Badí`u'lláh on Muharram 15, A.H. 1309 (August 21, A.D. 1891).


    "The appearance of afflictions and calamities in the Land of Yá (Yazd). The eye of Justice weepeth: Equity waileth! O God! In Persia men glory in cruelty, oppression, ruthlessness, and the attributes of beasts of prey! The wolves of the islands of ignorance and folly have torn God's lambs. Grievous loss they account great gain. To-day lamentation arises from all things in the Land of Yá, and the moans and mourning of the Josephs of the Spirit rise up from the pit of the seat of the oppressors. A grievous wound hath been inflicted on the bosom of Justice, and a sore blow hath fallen on the frame of Equity. The hunters of hatred lie in ambush for the gazelles of the plains of love and purity, and shameless unblushing tyrants pursue after babes in their cradles. In place of Justice and its hosts stand Oppression and its troops. Mercy has become in Persia like the Phoenix, a mere name without substance, and equity like the Philosopher's Stone1, heard of, but not seen!

    "On the evening of the 23rd of Ramazán2 a mighty dust and smoke of spirit rose up from the hatred and malice of the unbelievers and scoffers, in such wise that it obscured the radiance of the luminary of Justice, nay, blotted it out.

   1 Kibrít-i-Ahmar, lit. "Red Sulphur."
   2 A.H. 1308 = May 2, 1891.


Without cause of reason they seized two poor friendless victims, Áqá `Alí and Áqá `Alí Asghar (upon whom be the Splendour of God and His Grace), in the mosque of Shaykh Hasan of Sabzawár, and carried them in the custody of Hájji [sic] Na'ib before the Prince with every kind of indignity. Then they inflicted on them all manner of punishments, and afterwards imprisoned them. They took from them, as is related, all the money they could get and then released them.

    "After this another smoke arose from the well-springs of wickedness and sin, and that seizure of saintly souls was at another time. They arrested seven, amongst them being Mullá `Alí of Sabzawár and likewise Mullá Mahdí (upon whom be the Splendour of God and His Grace). The Prince said to one, `Recant, that I may release thee.' That truly devoted man replied, `For forty years I have been awaiting this day: praise be to God that to-day I have attained to it!' Another, as he was being dragged through the streets, cried to the executions, farráshes, and spectators, `O people! The Chief of martyrs said, "Is there anyone who will help me (yansuru-ní)?" But I say, "Is there anyone who will look upon me (yanzuru-ní)?"'

    "At all events, in such wise the fire of persecution kindled that the pen is unable to portray it. These two saintly souls, together with the others, laid down their lives with the utmost steadfastness. The blood of these it is which now causes the people of Persia to hear somewhat of the matter and maintain silence, or even acquiesce. The people of Persia have held no intercourse with strangers because (God is our refuge!) they regarded them all as unclean, and accounted it unlawful to converse with them. Now, by the Grace of this Most Mighty Manifestation, the gates of Wisdom are opened, and these immoderate barbarisms,


these shunnings and repellings, are departing from their midst, while He hath gladdened them with the good tidings of friendly converse and association, and caused them to attain thereunto. The blood of lovers hath wrought miracles throughout the horizons and hath driven away the causes of isolation with the scourge of the Bayán, substituting in their place an approach to peace and quietude, so that now most of them [i.e. the Persians] hold friendly and familiar intercourse with all nations of the world. In truth there hath been made manifest a love for all mankind which seemed to human eyes an impossibility. Blessed is the Beneficent One, the Lord of great bounty! Now all have become eyes to see and ears to hear. The hosts of confession have driven denial from the field. Think on the influence of the Supreme Pen and the power of the Most High Word, how great a change they have wrought and how they have brought night [what seemed unattainable].

    "To return, however. They martyred those of whom we have spoken with the worst torments in the world. One they strangled to death with the bow- string, and after him they slew and carried away the rest. Some with stones, some with sticks, some with chains, and some with weapons of war, they tore in pieces those holy frames. Afterwards they set fire [to their bodies] and cast their bones into pits. According to the accounts received, a thousand persons have fled into the wilderness, neither is it known whither they have gone or what has become of them. And in those days none enquired after the widows and children of these wronged ones nor went near them, through fear and dread, and the unfortunate ones remained without food. But, as has been heard, some of the followers of His Holiness the Spirit1

   1 hu'lláh, i.e. Jesus Christ.


(may God Strengthen them!) went with the utmost secrecy and without the knowledge of any man and succoured them, sending them daily provision. O spiritual friend! to-day [sic: l/c in original] lamentation arises from the very pebbles in the deserts and wailing goes up from the trees! On the night of that day by command of the government the people held high festival and made great rejoicing, as though they had captured a kingdom."

Translation of a letter written to me from Alexandria
on Muharram
19, A.H. 1309 (August 19, A.D. 1891) by
Áqá Muhammad `Alí, merchant, of Yazd.

    "The first arrests on the ground of Bábíism took place on the evening of the 23rd of Ramazán, A.H. 1308 (May 2, 1891), in the mosque. Shaykh Hasan of Sabzawár, a prominent member of the clergy, caused two men, named Áqá `Alí and Áqá [`Alí] Asghar, to be seized. Gradually they arrested twelve persons in all, inflicted on them several severe beatings, and cast them into prison. On the morning of Monday the 9th of Shawwál (May 18, 1891) they brought seven of them before Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla, the Governor of Yazd. Several of the clergy sat concealed [in the room]. The Prince said, `The Bábís are released: let them go.' After giving them these good tidings he conjured them, saying, `By my life, are you Bábís?' They answered, `Yes.' Then the clergy wrote their death warrant. They first ordered one named Asghar, a man of about thirty years of age, to be strangled with the bow-string. Before carrying the sentence into execution they said to him, `Revile [the Báb].' He refused. Then they applied the cord and cruelly slew him. The six others were present


there. Then they came out thence with trumpets and drums and many other instruments of music, accompanied by a great multitude shouting and clamouring. At the back of the Telegraph Office they tried to make Mullá Mahdí of Khawírak (an old man about eighty years of age) curse the Báb. He answered, `For forty years I have been expecting this day.' So they cut his throat even where he stood, and ere he was dead ripped open his belly and cast stones at him. After that they carried away his body and set fire to it. They next beheaded Áqá `Alí (a man of about thirty years of age) opposite to the gate of Jazíra-i-Mullá, stuck the head on a spear, and stoned the body. Mullá Alí of Sabzawár they brought to the door of Shaykh Hasan of Sabzawár. He cried out, The Imám Husayn, the Chief of martyrs, said to the people, "Will any help me?" but I say, "Will any look upon me?"' Him also they beheaded and cast stones at his body. And his age was about thirty-five. Then they beheaded Áqá Muhammad Báqir at the door of the Sadr's house. He also was about thirty-five years old. Two others, brothers, they carried to the Maydán-i-Sháh. According to some accounts they bound Áqá Asghar (aged about twenty-five) to a tree, first cut off his hands, then beheaded and stoned him. The other brother, Áqá Hasan, aged twenty years, they beat and chased about, saying, `Revile the Báb!' He answered, `What should I say? Do what you are commanded.' One of those present cried out, `Let every one who loves `Alí strike a blow at him.' A man thrust a sword into his side, and the rest then cut his body to pieces with their daggers, while another drove a spear into his breast. Then the executioner severed his head from his body, stuck it on his knife, and carried it to Shaykh Hasan of Sabzawár, famed for his learning, from whom he receive a present of ten tumans (£3). The body,


as it would seem, was burned, while the head was paraded through that quarter of the town. Some of the bodies they dragged in the dust round the bázárs, while the people pelted them with stones, or struck them with sticks. Afterwards they carried away what was left of the bodies and cast them all together into a well. Then, by the Prince's command, they illuminated and decorated the city. For two nights the populace continued their rejoicings, and shut up all the shops in the bázárs. One can easily imagine what took place at such a time: the people congratulated one another, and played music at the doors of the murdered men, while their poor widows and children shut themselves within and none dared bring anything for them, neither did they dare to go out. Some paid fines and were suffered to go forth, and some were cast into prison. At length after all this they seized a saintly old man named Hájjí Mullá Muhammad Ibráhim Mas'ila-gú, who had always been noted for his learning, virtue, and piety, and had afterwards become a Bábí, and imprisoned him. Some Europeans made intercession for him. At length the Prince said, `I will not kill him; I will send him to Tihrán.' But, as it would appear, traces of his mangled limbs and body were afterwards seen outside the city, and in all probability he too was secretly put to death.

    "Since the utmost tumult and disorder prevail, it is impossible to obtain an accurate account of all that took place. I have written it very briefly: the full details far exceed this. We have no certain account of the cruelties and indignities suffered by Hájjí Muhammad Ibráhím. The greater part of what happened I have not written, and much is not know. According to later information quiet has been restored and the arrests have ceased. Since that we have had no further news."


Translation of a letter written from Yazd on Shawwál
15 A.H. 1308 (May 24, 1891) by one Husayn to Hájji
Sayyid `Alí Shírází at `Ishqábád; and by him com-
municated to me.

    "On the evening of the 23rd of the month of Ramazán A.H. 1308 (May 2, A.D. 1891) two persons, named respectively Áqá `Alí Asghar Yúzdárúní and Áqá Gázargáhí, went to the mosque of Amír Chaqmáq. The people who were in the mosque recognised these two as Bábís, and said to them, `You are Bábís; why do you come to the mosque? Curse [the Báb], or we will torment you.' They answered, `We are not Bábís.' `If you are not Bábís,' said their persecutors, `then curse.' As they refused to curse or revile [the Báb], the people loaded them with abuse, and raised a clamour, crying, `These two men are Bábís and have entered our mosque,' and began to insult and maltreat them. Hájjí Ná'ib, the Farrásh-báshí of Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla, who was present in the mosque, seized these two men and carried them before the Prince. They were severely beaten, cast into prison, and fined. Three days later they were released.

    "Three days after their release, Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla again demanded them at the hands of the Farrásh- báshí, who set himself to discover them. One Mahdí by name, the son of Ustád Báqir the druggist, offered his services to the Farrásh-báshí, saying, `I know where they are, and will point them out to you.' So he accompanied the Farrásh- báshí, together with ten farráshes, as a guide, and led them to the house of Ustád `Abdu'r-Rahím Mushkí-báf, where they arrested these two men and five others who were with them in the house. The seven they seized and brought before the Prince-governor, Jalálu'd-Dawla, striking them


often on the way about the face and head, and finally casting them into prison. The names of the other five prisoners were, Mullá `Alí of Sabzawár, Asghar, Hasan, Áqá Báqír, and Mullá Mahdí.     "Next day Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla summoned them before him and interrogated them, bidding them curse and revile [the Báb], that he might set them free. They refused to do this, and frankly avowed that they were Bábís.

    "The clergy, who have ever been mischief-makers and are always eager to provoke trouble and bloodshed, hastened to avail themselves of this opportunity, and urged Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla to kill these seven men. So far as can be ascertained, the Prince wrote his consent and desired the clergy to ratify it with their seals and signatures. So they agreed to make these seven pass beneath the sword of cruelty and injustice. While the Prince was interrogating them, some of his own attendants who were in his presence were filled with wonder and amazement, saying to themselves, `These have done nothing for which they deserve to incur wrath and punishment!'

    "On the morning of Monday the 9th of Shawwál (May 18, 1891) the following members of the clergy, Shaykh Hasan of Sabzawár, Shaykh Muhammad Taqí of Sabzawár, Mírzá Sayyid `Alí Mudarris, Mullá Hasan of Ardakán, and Mullá Husayn of Ardakán came to Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla's palace. They were concealed behind a curtain, and the seven Bábís were then brought in. The Prince said to them, `I wish to set you free. Now by my head I conjure you to tell me truly whether you are Bábís or not.' ` Yes,' they replied, `we are Bábís,' confessing and acknowledging it. The clergy who were concealed behind the curtain of deceit heard their avowal, and at once wrote


out and sealed the warrant for their death. The executioner was summoned forthwith and ordered to slay them. `Ali Asghar was strangled with the bow-string in the Prince's presence in the most cruel manner. The other six were led through the bázárs with music and beating of drums to the market-place, where they were killed one after another. The rabble of the people mobbed them, striking them with sticks, spitting on them, reviling them and mocking them. As the throat of each one was cut, the mob tore open the body to look at the heart, saying, `How bold they are in the presence of death and the death- warrant and the headsman! With what strength of heart do they yield up their life, while no word of cursing or reviling escapes their lips! We must see what sort of hearts they have.'

    "When they had slain all the seven, they poured tar over their bodies and set fire to them. Never before this day have such behaviour, such malevolence and wickedness, been seen in any people as are seen amongst these Shí`ites in Persia. One of the Bábís (he who was named Asghar) they bound to a tree in the market-place, cut off his hands with the sword, then ripped open his belly, and finally beheaded him. Another, Hasan, they wounded in the head with swords and sticks, driving him about the market-place and bidding him curse and revile [the Báb]. `What should I say?' he answered, `do whatever is commanded you.' So they cut him in pieces.

    "Till sunset of that day the bodies of these seven were in the hands of the roughs and rabble of the populace, and they brutally pelted them with stones, set fire to them, and burned them. After they had killed them and burned their bodies they asked permission of Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla to illuminate the city, and he give [sic] them permission for two nights, but such was the disorderly conduct of the roughs and the


exultation of the clergy on the first night that permission for the next night was withdrawn.     "The widows and children of these seven men dared not, for fear of the mob, leave their houses or enter the bázárs even to obtain food and drink, and so remained without water or food until at length some Christian merchants of the Dutch nation sent provisions to them.

    "After the blood of these seven had been shed, a Bábí named Hájjí Mullá Muhammad Ibráhím Mas'ila-gú, who had gone to a place ten hours distant from the city towards the mountains, was followed and arrested by Hájjí Ná'ib the Farrásh- báshí, severely beaten, brought back with every indignity to the city, carried before Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla, and cast into prison. His wife and children went to the Dutch merchants and entreated them to intercede and deliver him from the cruel clutches of his persecutors. These accordingly went before the Prince, but he would not admit their mediation, and declared that he had already sent the man to Tihrán. On the following night he slew him with his own hands and had the body cast into a well.

    "By reason of these events many persons have fled into the surrounding country, and a strange commotion and disquietude prevail. The authorities have made it a pretext for extorting money, and have fined and mulcted many persons. They have also arrested several more, who are still in prison. They seized one named Áqá Husayn, a silk-merchant, who had in his possession nearly five hundred túmáns' (£150) worth of silk belonging to himself and others, all of which they took from him. The clergy and Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla have made this thing a means of obtaining money, and have extorted large sums from all [the Bábís], leaving their wives and children without bread.

    "Never before has such injustice been seen. Why


should loyal and obedient subjects, who have been guilty of no offence, and who seek but to reform men's morals and to increase the welfare of the world, be subjected to such cruel persecutions by order of the foolish ones of the earth who show themselves under a garb of knowledge? Why should they be compelled to flee as outlaws and to wander as beggars from door to door, or be scattered abroad in mountains and deserts? Loyalty forbids us to appeal to foreign Powers, and we can but cry in our anguish, `O God! We submit with patience and resignation to what we suffer at the hands of these godless, merciless and cruel people!' Thus do we tell our sorrow to our God, praying Him to take away from us the wickedness and oppression of the froward and ignorant ones of the earth. We have no helper but God, and none to support and succour us save Him.

    "This which has been written is a full account of the events of these days and the tyranny of the clergy and Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla. We do not complain of the cruelty of the common folk, for they are completely under the control of the clergy and Prince Jalálu'd-Dawla. The city is now in a most disturbed state, and the roughs and rowdies act as they please; whatever they do no one hinders them. Several other persons were cast into prison, but it is not known what they will do with them. I have nothing further to add."

Chapter 8



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    "Know that the Eternal Fruit (Thamara-i-Azaliyya=Subhi-i- Azal) fell somewhat sick in July, 1911. Gradually he ceased to go from one house to another, until he even ceased to come down from the upper story, and lost his appetite. In the month of September his condition became very critical; he lost all strength and a great debility appeared in his body. He was compelled to accept the ministrations of the physician, who, however, was unable to cure him. In consequence of material troubles and endless vexations he had no rest, and finally on the 28th of April [1912] his condition became suddenly much worse. At seven o'clock on the morning of Monday, the 29th of April, he bade farewell to this transitory world and passed into the world of Immortality. His household and its members applied to the government and asked permission from the Governor [i.e. Commissioner] of Famagusta to deposit his body in a place which belonged to that Blessed Being and which is situated about one European mile outside Famagusta near to the house of Bárútjí- záda Hájji Háfiz Efendi. His Excellency the Commissioner granted this permission with the utmost kindness and consideration, and a grave was dug in that place and built up with stones. A coffin was then constructed and prepared, and in the afternoon all the government officials, by command of the Commissioner and at their own wish and desire, together with a number of the people of the country, all on foot, bore the corpse of that Holy Being on their shoulders, with pious ejaculations and prayers, and


every mark of extreme respect, from his house to the site of the Holy Sepulchre. But none were to be found there of witnesses to the Bayán1, therefore the Imám-Jum`a of Famagusta and some others of the doctors of Islám, having uttered [the customary] invocations, placed the body in the coffin and buried it. And when they brought it forth from the gate of Famagusta some of the Europeans also accompanied the Blessed Body, and the son of the quarantine doctor took a photograph of it with a great number [of the bystanders], and again took another photograph at the Blessed Tomb2.

    "Now this Holy Person [i.e. Subhi-i-Azal] before his death had nominated [as his executor or successor] the son of Aqá Mírzá Muhammad Hádí of Dawlatábád, who was one of the leading believers and relatively better than the others, in accordance with the command of His Holiness the Point [i.e. the Báb], glorious in his mention, who commanded saying, 'And if God causeth mourning to appear in thy days, then make manifest the Eight Paths,' etc., until he says, `But if not, then the authority shall return to the Witnesses of the Bayán3.' Therefore he appointed him, though hitherto no one has found his testament amongst the writings of that Blessed Being. Moreover twenty-eight years ago he had written for himself a lengthy form of visitation4 at the beginning of which he wrote Li'l-Wahídi'l-Farídi'l-Mawtúr. Please God after the lapse of some days, I will write it out for

   1 i.e. Bábís.
    2 These photographs were published by Mr. H. C. Lukach in his book The Fringe of the East, pp. 264 and 266, and he has most kindly permitted me to reproduce them here.
    3 This obscure quotation is doubtless from the Bayán, but I have not found it, and do not know the context.
    4 Ziyárat-náma, i.e., a form of prayer to be used by those visiting the tomb of a saint or martyr.

[two photographs]

Photographs of the Funeral of Mírzá YahSubh-i-Azal at
Famagusta, Cyprus, on April 29, 1912.

(Reproduced by kind permission of Mr H.C. Lukach and Messrs
Macmillian from his book The Fringe of the East.)

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your Excellency and send it. I cannot copy it now because my eyes see badly. Please God you will forgive me. I hope that God Most High will vouchsafe a complete cure to your Honour and remove the sickness which you have.

    "At all events that Most Blessed Being four hours before his death wept and sorrowed because those of the notable and great men of Europe and other lands whom he had met were not present at his last breath. I have nothing more to add except that whatever difficulties you and equally Mr. Edward Browne may have, if you will refer them to me I will so far as possible give a satisfactory answer. The Light be upon you, and may God heal you and assuage your suffering.

    "July 11, 1912.     C. P." (Constantine the Persian).

    The above account of Subhi-i-Azal's death and burial was communicated to me on September 3, 1912, by Mr. C. D. Cobham, for whom it was written in Persian by Rizwán `Ali (or, as he has called himself since his conversion to Christianity [GREEK TEXT]. On the preceding May 19 Mr. H. C. Lukach, secretary to the High Commissioner of Cyprus, had already written to ask me for a copy of my "brochure on the subject of the community of Bábís dwellng at Famagusta," adding that "the Báb" (meaning Subhi-i-Azal) "died on April 29th last, aet. circâ 82." On the 5th of September he very kindly communicated to me the following further particulars concerning Subhi-i-Azal's family and possessions:

    "I am now able to give you a little further information with regard to the family of the late Subhi-i-Azal.

    "It appears that Subhi-i-Azal left a letter saying that he of his sons who resembled him most closely in his mode of life and principles was to be his successor. The point as to


which of the sons fulfils this condition has not yet been decided; consequently all the children would appear at present to be co-heirs.

    "The eldest surviving son is Ahmad Subhi-i-Azal, a poor man who is obliged to earn his living as a railway porter in Famagusta. The most affluent of the brothers is `Ali, who keeps a shop. Another, Mehmed (i.e. Muhammad) is not quite right in his head. The youngest, and, as far as I can gather, the favourite son (by a second wife) is one Taqiyyu'd-Dín, who was always near his father. `Constantine the Persian,' alias `Costi2', has been far away from Famagusta for some time. It may be that he will consent to sell some of his father's manuscripts in his possession. The other brothers are at present not prepared to sell theirs.

    "No steps have, as far as I am aware, yet been taken to elect a walí (i.e. successor or executor). I am afraid this information is meagre, but, having been on Mount Troodos for the last few months, I have had no opportunity of making personal investigations in Famagusta."

    On the 23rd of January, 1913, Mr. Lukach wrote to me again, enclosing a letter from a Syrian named Mughabghab who lived in Famagusta, and kindly offering his help should I desire to enter into negotiations for the purchase of any of the late Subhi-i- Azal's manuscripts. From Mr. Mughabghab's letter it appeared that Subhi-i- Azal's son "Costi" (i.e. Rizwán `Alí) was prepared to sell his share of his father's manuscripts, nine in number, but was anxious that his brothers should not know of his intention, as they desired to keep all these books and manuscripts together. The prices demanded

    1 This, I think, must be `Abdu'l-`Alí, who kept a shop in Varoshia, a suburb of Famagusta
    2 His proper original name was Rizwán `Ali.


were, in my opinion, excessive, and I did not pursue the matter further. The list was as follows:

    (1) Kitábu'n-Nur ("Book of Light") (see p.216 supra), the first and largest of the works so entitled, composed at Baghdád, £30.

    (2) Díwánu'l-Azal (see p.214 supra), £20.

    (3) Lahadhát, £20.

    (4) Sata`át, £20.

    (5) Jawámi-`u'l-Hayákil, £20.

    (6) Lawámi`, £20.

    (7) Lawáhidh wa Nafáyi` (507 súras), £20.

    (8) As-Sawáti`, £20.

    (9) Latá'ifu'l-Azal, £20.

    Four of these manuscripts (nos. 3,4,6 and 7 in the above list) have, as I have recently learned (Sept.26, 1917), been offered to the British Museum. The title of No. 7 is somewhat differently given as Lawáhidhu'n- Nafá'ih, which is no doubt correct.

Chapter 9



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    This list was sent to me in June, 1912, by the already-mentioned Azalí scribe of Isfahán, resident in Tihrán, with whom I succeeded in establishing relations, and who supplied me with numerous precious documents. The original is written, not very distinctly, by a certain Mírzá Ibráhím Khán, the son of Fátima Khánim, the niece of Mírzá Buzurg's daughter (the half-sister of both Bahá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Azal) Sháh Sultán Khánim, commonly known as Hájji (or Hájjiya) Khánim-i- Buzurg. It is accompanied by a more legible transcript by the aforesaid scribe.

    Mirzá Buzurg seems to have had six wives (unnamed in the list) who bore him children, and who are here distinguished by Roman numbers.

(1) Mírzá YahSubh-i-Azal.

(2) Mírzá Husayn `Ali Bahá'u'lláh: (3) Mírzá Músá Kalimu'lláh1, who followed Bahá: (4) an unnamed daughter

(5) Mírzá Muhammad Hasan (Azalí).

(6) Mírzá-quli: (7) an unnamed daughter (both Bahá'ís).

    1 The only one of Mirza Musa's sons with whom I was acquainted was Majdu'd-Din, but he had three other sons named `Ali Rizá, Jamil and Kamál.


(8) Hájji Mírzá Rizá-qulí, known as Hakím (the Philosopher), d. A.H. 1311 (=A.D. 1893-4), aet.90: (9) Sháh Sultán Khánim, commonly called Hájji Khánim-i-Buzurg, d. A.H. 1322 (=A.D. 1904-5), aet. 84. She wrote in 1310/1892-3 a refutation of `Abdu'l-Bahá (`Abbás Efendi) known as Risála-i-`Amma ("the Aunt's Epistle")1: (10) Mírzá Muhammad Taqí, known as Paríshán, d. A.H. 1292 (=A.D. 1875-6), aet. 45: (11) Mírzá Ibráhim, aet.30: (12) Fátima Khánim, still living in A.D. 1912, aet. 70. All these five were Azalís.

(13) Husayniyya (Azalí).

    In 1912 five of Fátima Khánim's children, three daughters (Fakhriyya, Hamída and Zamzam) and two sons (Muhammad Khán and Ibráhím Khán), all Azalís, were still living.

Descendants of Mírzá Husayn `Alí Bahá'u'lláh

    Bahá'u'lláh had two wives, each of whom bore him six children.

    In 1251/1835, when 18 years of age, he married Nawwáb, who bore him:

    (1)   Sádiq, who died at the age of 3 or 4.

    (2)   `Abbás, now known as `Abdu'l-Bahá, who was born in 1257/1841. He had four daughters, two of whom were married to Mírzá Hádí and Mírzá Muhsin respectively.

1 See p.117 supra.


    (3)   Bahiyya Khánim, b. 1260/1844 (unmarried).

    (4)   `Alí Muhammad, d. aged 7 in Mázandarán.

    (5)   Mahdí, who died at `Akká 1287/1870-1.

    (6)   `Alí Muhammad, b. and d. at Baghdád, aged 2.

    In 1266/1849 he married his cousin Mahd-i-`Ulyá, who bore him:

    (1)   Muhammad `Alí in 1270/1853, the rival claimant to `Abbás. He has three sons, Shu`á`u'lláh, Amínu'lláh and Músá.

    (2)   Samadiyya Khánim, b. at Baghdád, d. aged 49 in 1322/1904-5. She was married to her cousin Majdu'd-Dín (son of Mírzá Músá) and had two daughters.

    (3)   `Alí Muhammad, d. at Baghdád, aged 2

    (4)   Sádhajiyya Khánim1, b. at Baghdád, d. aged 2 at Constantinople.

    (5)   Ziyá'u'lláh, b. at Adrianople 1282/1865, d. at Hayfá, aged 34, 1316/1898. He was married, but died without issue.

    (6)   Badí`u'lláh, b. at Adrianople 1285/1868.

Descendants of Mírzá YahSubh-i- Azal

    Concerning those of Subh-i-Azal's family who came with him to Cyprus and resided or were born there full particulars, abstracted from official documents preserved in the island, were published by me in Vol.ii of my Traveller's Narrative, pp. 376-386. They included two wives, Fátima and Ruqayya; nine sons, of whom the two eldest, Núru'lláh

    1 I have been informed that Bahá'u'lláh had another daughter named Fárúqiyya, who married Sayyid `Alí Afnán and bore him two sons.


and Hádí, seem to have resided in Persia and only to have visited their father occasionally, while a third, Ahmad, left Cyprus for Constantinople (probably with his wife Fátima and his four-year old daughter `Adila) in 1884; and five daughters. Of the sons whom I met in Cyprus the eldest and most intelligent was `Abdu'l- `Alí1. The next, Rizwán `Alí, who was for some time in the service of the late C. D. Cobham, Esq., Commissioner of Larnaca, turned Christian and took the name of "Constantine the Persian." He died recently. Most of the Azali MSS. in the British Museum were transcribed by him.

1 See p. 314, n.1 supra.

[photograph of Yahyá with three of his sons]

Chapter 10



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    Mention has been already made (pp.189—190 supra) of a very elaborate and detailed refutation of the Bábís entitled Ihqáqu'l- Haqq, in the course of which (pp.244—279) the author, Áqá Muhammad Taqí of Hamadán, enumerates some thirty heresies which he ascribes to the Bábís (including under this term the Bahá'ís and the Azalís) and which he endeavours to refute. This portion of the work, which gives a convenient synopsis of most of the characteristic doctrines of this sect, I shall here abridge and summarize in my own words for the information of those who desire to form a general ideal of Bábí theology, and to understand the extreme aversion with which it is regarded by Muslims, alike of the Sunní and Shí`a persuasions.

1.    Denial of miracles.

    They assert that God does not violate the laws of nature, and that the miracles ascribed in the scriptures and in tradition to the Prophets are to be explained allegorically. (Bahá'u'lláh's Iqán, one of the chief polemical works of the Bábís, affords many instances of such allegorical interpretation of signs and wonders; and when more or less miraculous occurrences are mentioned by Bábí historians and biographers, e.g. in the Ta'ríkh-i-Jadíd or "New History," care is almost always taken by the writer to explain that he attaches little importance to them, and that they are of no evidential value.)


2.    The only miracle is the Revelation itself.

    They assert that the receiving of revelations and the production of a Scripture or revealed Book are sufficient in themselves to establish the claim to Prophethood, without any adventitious support from such miracles as are generally ascribed to the great Prophets of yore. (In this connection the Bábís are very fond of quoting Qur'án xviii, 110 and xli, 5: "I am only a human being like unto yourselves [but] revelations are made to me.")

3.    Revelation not subject to the laws of grammar.

    The Báb's grammar, especially in his Arabic utterances, afforded an easy target for criticism, being, in fact, judged by ordinary standards, extremely incorrect1. His reply to his critics was that the rules of grammar were deduced from the Scriptures, while the Scriptures were not compelled to conform to the rules of grammar. He had "freed" the Arabic language from the many limitations (quyúd) or rules wherewith it had hitherto been fettered. But why, asks the author of the Ihqáq, should Persian prophets (if such there be) address their countrymen in a foreign tongue like Arabic, contrary to the practice of all previous prophets, and to the explicit verse of the Qur'án (xiv, 4): "We have not sent any Apostle save with the speech of his own people, that he may make clear to them [his message]"?

4.    By "Signs" they understand revealed verses only.

    The author has no difficulty in showing that in the Qur'án the word áyat (pl. áyát) is used of any "sign" by which the Divine Power is manifested, not only by revealed

1 cf. p. 254 supra, last paragraph.


verses, in which sense especially if not exclusively the Bábís understand it. According to a prevalent theory of the Muhammadans1, each prophet was given as his special "sign" the power to work that miracle which most appealed to his own people and his own period. Thus in the time of Moses and amongst the Egyptians, magic was rated most highly, so he was given power to excel the most skilful of Pharaoh's magicians in their own art; in the time of Jesus Christ medical skill was most esteemed, so He was given miracles of healing; while the Arabs contemporary with Muhammad valued eloquence above all else, and he therefore received the miracle of eloquence, the Qur'án, the like of which none can produce, as it is said (xvii, 90): "Say, verily if mankind and the Jinn should combine to produce the like of this Qur'án, they will not produce the like of it, even though one of them should aid another"' and again (ii, 21—2): "And if ye be in doubt concerning that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a súra like unto it, and summon your witnesses besides God, if ye be truthful. (22) But if ye do it not (and ye will not do it), then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers." The well-known saying, "His signs are His proof and His existence His affirmation," refers to God, not to the prophets, and will not bear the construction the Bábís place on it.

5.    The Qur'án can be understood by all and needs
no exponent.

    It is said in the Qur'án (iii, 5): "None knoweth its interpretation save God and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge"; and the Prophet said: "I shall depart from

   1 See Dawlatsháh's Memoirs of the Poets" (Tadhkiratu'sh-Shu`ará), pp. 5—6 of my edition.


your midst, but I leave with you two great, weighty and precious things, which two things will never be separated or parted from one another until they come to me by the brink of the Fountain of al-Kawthar; and these are God's Word and my kin." So not even the Prophet's contemporaries and fellow-countrymen could without help understand the revelation given to him, though in their own language. How, then, can the Bábís pretend that a revelation in Arabic can be understood without external help by Persians, even the illiterate?

6.    The signs by which each Prophet foretold that his successor
would be distinguished are to be understood allegorically.

    The Mahdí or Qá'im whom the Shí`a expect and for whose advent they pray is the identical Twelfth Imám, the son of the Eleventh Imám and Narjis Khátún, who disappeared a thousand years ago, and who has been miraculously hidden away until the fulness of time, when he shall appear with sundry signs and wonders, enumerated in the Traditions, and "fill the earth with justice after it has been filled with iniquity." But the Bábís, giving the lie to all these traditions, would have us believe that Mírzá `Alí Muhammad of Shíráz, the son of Mírzá Rizá the cloth-seller and Khadája Khánim, who grew up in the ordinary way at the age of twenty-four advanced his claim, was the Expected Imám.

7.    The Prophets are not "immaculate' (ma`súm).

    In support of this view the Bábís appeal to certain doubtful phrases in the Qur'án and to certain incidents narrated in the Old Testament (which the author, in common with most Muslims, holds to be corrupt and distorted in the form


in which it now exists). But if the prophets be not "immaculate" and without sin, what virtue have they over other men, and what claim have they to be listened to?

8.    Purity and impurity, lawfulness and unlawfulness, and
the like, depend solely upon the Prophet's arbitrary volition.

    The prohibitions, sanctions and obligations laid down by the Prophet are all based on reason and prompted by care for the welfare of mankind: they are not mere arbitrary enactments, and, though they may be modified in detail in successive dispensations, they cannot be altered in principle. The contrary view, held by the Bábís, is both heretical and opposed to reason.

9.    The term "Seal of the Prophets" explained away.

    In the Qur'án (xxxiii, 40) Muhammad is called "the Seal of the Prophets" (Khátamu'n-Nabiyyín), and, according to a well-known tradition, he declared that there would be no prophet after him. Belief in the finality of his mission and revelation is therefore a cardinal and universal tenet of the Muslims; but the Bábís, desiring to represent the Qur'án and the Law of Islám as abrogated in favour of their own Scriptures and Law, endeavour to explain away this explicit and unambiguous declaration.

10.    The claim that the Báb or Bahá'u'lláh is the
Qá'im or Khátam.

    The Bábís claim that certain of the signs (such as earthquakes, famine and the like) which shall herald the advent of "Him who shall arise (al- Qá'im) of the House of Muhammad," i.e the Mahdí, did actually precede or accompany


the "Manifestation" of the Báb. Now as we have seen above (No. 6) they assert that these promised "Signs" are to be understood allegorically, not literally. They cannot have it both ways, or claim that such of these signs as happened to accompany the Báb's advent are to be taken literally, while such as did not appear are to be explained allegorically.

11.    Denial of the Resurrection and belief in Metempsychosis
and the like

    The Bábís deny the Resurrection of the body, for which they substitute the doctrine of the "Return" (Raj`at) to the life of this world of the dramatis personae—both believers and unbelievers —of previous "Manifestations" or Dispensations. This doctrine the author regards as hardly distinguishable from transmigration (tanásukh) and re-incarnation (hulúl), but in reality it appears that such "returns" are regarded by Bábís less as re-incarnations than as re-manifestations of former types, comparable to the repetition of the same parts in a drama by fresh actors, or the re-writing of an old story. Significant in this connection is the favourite Bábí designation of the protagonists on either side as "Letters of Light" (Hurúfu'n- Núr) and "Letters of Fire" (Hurúf'n-Nár).

12.    Denial of a Future Life.

    The Bábís deny the Resurrection of the body, and explain allegorically all the beliefs connected therewith. Thus Heaven is belief in and Hell denial of the New Theophany; the Angels are its emissaries and the Devils its antagonists; and so with the Questioning of the Tomb, the Bridge of Sirát, the Balance, the Reckoning, and the like.


13.    Denial of the miraculous eloquence of the Qur'án.

    The Bábís eagerly associate themselves with the Jews and Christians in denying not only the supreme eloquence of the Qur'án, but even in some cases the correctness of its phraseology and grammar. This they do to palliate the manifest and manifold errors of their own Scriptures.

14.    Their claim that the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and
Subh-i-Azal were "illiterate"

    In two passages in the Qur'án (vii, 156 and 158) the Prophet Muhammad is described as "the illiterate Prophet" (an-Nabiyyu'l- Ummí). "This defect," says Sale in Sect. ii of his Preliminary Discourse, " was so far from being prejudicial or putting a stop to his design, that he made the greatest use of it; insisting that the writings which he produced as revelations from God could not possibly be a forgery of his own; because it was not conceivable that a person who could neither write nor read should be able to compose a book of such excellent doctrine, and in so elegant a style, and thereby obviating an objection that might have carried a great deal of weight." The same claim, prompted by similar motives, was advanced in turn by the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Azal; but in their case our author is at some pains to show that it is not true, and that each of them received at any rate a respectable education.

15.    Rapidity and quantity of output of "verses" deemed
by the Bábís an additional miracle

    As every letter, nay, every line, written by, or at the dictation of, the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, or Subh-i-Azal is deemed inspired, and as they wrote or dictated almost incessantly,


the amount of their writings is prodigious; while the Báb in particular repeatedly boasts of the number of "verses" he could produce in a given time, so that it is said that ten scribes writing simultaneously could hardly succeed in recording his utterances. The idea that this, apart from the quality of the "verses," is a miracle or even a merit is strongly combated by our author, who inclines to the view expressed in the well-known Arabic saying, "the best speech is that which is briefest and most to the point."

16.    Their assertion that the miraculous quality (I`jáz) of
the Qur'án can be appreciated by the ignorant and illiterate

    The Bábís say that if the miraculous quality of the Qur'án were not apparent to all, learned and illiterate, Arab and non-Arab, alike, its proof would not be complete; and they adduce in support of this view the tradition, "Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He will." This view also the author energetically repudiates.

17.    Their contention that willingness to die for one's
religious convictions is a proof of truth.

    In support of this view (which the author repudiates) the Bábís cite Qur'án lxii, 6, "Say, O ye who follow the Jewish faith, if ye suppose that ye are the friends of God beyond other men, then invoke Death, if ye be sincere." (In spite of our author, there is, however, no doubt that nothing so greatly conduced to the fame and diffusion of the Bábí religions as the unflinching courage with which its adherents confronted death in the most cruel forms. Compare p. 268 supra.)


18.    Their assertion that the Muhammadan doctors persecuted
them because they cannot answer their arguments

    All that the author has to say on this head is that the `Ulamá did not resort to violent methods until they had first tried persuasion and offered opportunities for recantation, and that in this they did but follow the example of the Prophets, whose heirs they are, in their dealings with heretics and infidels.

19.    Their refusal to listen to rational or traditional argu-
ments based on Scripture and tradition, philosophy and
reason, or experience and perception

    The author's meaning, which is not very clearly expressed here, appears to be that while the Bábís constantly quote texts from the Old and New Testaments and the Qur'án when these serve their purpose, they refuse to listen to such texts as run contrary to their beliefs, on the ground that the later and more perfect Theophany is its own proof (as the sun shining in heaven is its own proof) and that earlier and lesser manifestations are proved by it rather than it by them.

20.    Their assertion that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures
have not been tampered with

    It is implied in the Qur'án1 and Traditions, and almost universally believed by the Muslims, that the Scriptures now possessed by the Jews and Christians have been corrupted and mutilated, especially as regards the prophecies of Muhammad's mission which they were alleged to contain. The Bábís hold the contrary view, asserting that no people

   1 See especially ii, 39; iii, 63—4; and iv, 48 and the commentaries thereon.


possessing a Scripture which they regard as God's Word would willingly and deliberately tamper with its text; and they take a similarly indulgent view of the Zoroastrian Scriptures. Their object in this, says our author, is to flatter and gratify these people and win them over to their doctrines, in which aim they have had no small success.

21.    Their pretended tolerance and gentleness towards all.

    Bahá'u'lláh's commendation of tolerance, charity and loving kindness towards all men, irrespective of race and creed, is constant and continuous, but the author (with some reason) maintains that the practice of his followers, especially in relation to the Muslims, more particularly the Shí`ites, is very far removed from their professions.

22.    Their adherence to the heresy called Badá.

    The verb badá, yabdú in Arabic means "to appear," and with the preposition li "to occur to," of a new idea occurring to a person. In theological terminology the verbal noun al-badá denotes the heresy of those who assert that God can change his mind, especially in the designation of a prophet or Imám. The classical case of this use of the term is a traditional saying of the Sixth Imám of the Shí`a, Ja`far as-Sádiq, who intended or desired that his son Isma`il should succeed him as Imám, but subsequently bequeathed the Imámate to his other son Músá, called al-zim; concerning which substitution he is alleged to have said "God never changed His mind about anything as He did about Isma`il1." Thereafter this doctrine became very famous in Islám as characteristic of certain heretical sects, notably the

    1[one line of ARABIC TEXT]


Ghulát, or extreme Shí`ites, of whom ash Shahristáni says in his "Book of Sects" (Kitábu'l-Milal wa'n-Nihal1) that all branches of them agree in four cardinal heresies, viz. metempsychosis (tanásukh), incarnation (hulúl), return2 (raj`at), and change in the Divine intention (badá). The author discusses this question very fully and repudiates this meaning of badá as applied to God. He says that the Bábís cling to it so that, when confronted by arguments as to the signs accompanying the Advent of the Promised Imám in the last days, they may say, "Yes, this was what God originally intended, but He changed His mind and altered His plan."

23.    Their assertion that no one can falsely claim to be
a Prophet or Imám

    In support of this view the Bábís adduce Qur'án lxix, 44—6, which Sale translates: "If Muhammad had forged any part of these discoveries concerning us, verily We had taken him by the right hand, and had cut in sunder the vein of his heart; neither would we have withheld any of you from chastising him." This means, they say, that God would not suffer a false prophet to live, or his religion and law to continue on earth. (They even go so far as to say that as the proof of the architect is his ability to build a house, and of the physician to heal the sick, so the proof of the prophet lies in his ability to found a religion; and this is what they mean by their favourite phrase of nufúdh-i-kalám, or the compelling and penetrating power of his creative Word, concerning which doctrine see the article immediately following. Hence the Bábís, unlike the Muhammadans, are compelled to admit that such religious leaders as Zoroaster and Buddha were true prophets. Compare article 25 below.)

1 See Cureton's edition, p. 132.                2 See p. 330 supra.


24.    Their assertion that the proof of a Prophet lies not in the
eloquence but in the compelling power of his utterance

    According to the Bábís the miraculous quality of the Qur'án was not its eloquence (fasáhat wa balághat), but its compelling power (nufúdh, qáhiriyyat), so that, for example, the Prophet ordered all his followers to fast during the month of Ramazán, and to this day, for more than thirteen centuries, this hard discipline has been scrupulously observed by millions of believers. The author repudiates this view, which he says that the Bábís have taught in order to divert attention from the lack of eloquence and even of grammatical accuracy of their own Scriptures.

25.    Their assertion that the Founders of all religions were
really Prophets, and their books Divine Revelations, and
that on the subsequent idolatrous accretions were not
from God

    This doctrine the author ascribes not so much to the Bábís and Bahá'ís in general as to their celebrated apologist Mírzá Abu'l- Fazl of Gulpáyagán, who explicitly lays it down in his book entitled Kitábu'l-Fará'id1, declaring that all the religions of the world, Brahminism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and even Fetish-worship and Idolatry, were originally based on a true Revelation, though they may have become corrupted in course of time.

26.    Their assertion that the promised Messiah, Mahdí, or
Qá'im will not be, as the Muhammadans imagine, a
victorious and all- compelling conqueror, but one oppressed
(mazlúm) and constrained (maqhúr).

    The author says that the early Bábís who fought at Shaykh Tabarsí, Zanján, Nayríz and elsewhere believed, in

1 See p. 196 supra.


common with their antagonists, that the Imám Mahdí or Qá'im (by whom they understood the Báb) should be a conqueror and rule by virtue of the sword; and that only later when they were defeated and their hopes and aspirations disappointed, did they evolve this theory of a patient, gentle, persecuted Messiah.

27.    Their assertion that the interpretation of the prophecies
given in one Dispensation only becomes clear in the suc-
ceeding one

    The purpose of this doctrine, as of the doctrine of Badá noticed above (article 22), is, according to our author, to evade the argument of those who seek to prove that the appearance of the Báb was not accompanied by the signs foretold as heralding the advent of the Mahdí. (The Bábís on their part appeal to the history of Christ, who was the Messiah expected by the Jews, though He did not appear as they expected. The signs foretold as heralding his advent were duly manifested, but in an allegorical, not in a literal way.)

28.    Their assertion that the Mahdí or Qá'im is not merely
a Divine Messenger but a Manifestation of the Deity

    It does not suffice the Bábís to claim that the Báb was actually the expected Mahdí, Qá'im, or Twelfth Imám; they go further, and assert that he is the bringer of a new Dispensation, a new Law and a new Scripture abrogating those of Muhammad. To the clear declaration1 "What Muhammad

    1[one line of ARABIC TEXT]


hath sanctioned will remain lawful until the Resurrection Day, and what he hath forbidden unlawful," they oppose certain ambiguous traditions which speak of the Mahdí as bringing "a new law," "a new Book," or "a new Dispensation," which traditions are susceptible of a different explanation.

29.    Their assertion that the imagined return of the Mahdí
the Messiah and the Imám Husayn is really a re-mani-
festation of the same prototypes, not an actual return of
these individuals

    This is practically, to some extent at any rate, a repetition of article 11 dealing with the Bábí doctrine of "Return" (Raj`at). It is very characteristic of Bábí thought, and I have discussed it pretty fully in my translation of the New History, pp. 334 et seqq. It was in that sense, no doubt, that Khayru'lláh told his American proselytes (p. 118 supra) that "Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua and Daniel are re-incarnated and are at Acre, the `Holy Place.'" In our author's terminology, they hold that the qualities of Christhood (Masíhiyyat), Mahdí-hood (Mahdawiyyat), Qá'im- hood (Qá'imiyyat) and Husayn-hood (Husayniyyat), if these expressions may be permitted, are generic (naw`i), not personal (shakhsí).

30.    Their doctrine that God, the Eternal Essence, is beyond
all human cognizance and definition, and that we can
only see, meet, know, revere, worship and obey Him in His
Manifestations, to wit the Prophets, Imáms, "Gates," etc.

    This doctrine is also discussed in the New History (p. 331) and elaborated in the Báb's Persian Bayán, to which references are given in Vol. xv of the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series (text of Mírzá Jání's Nuqtatu'l-Káf), p. lxvi.


It is strongly denounced by our author as the quintessence of heresy, leading to an anthropomorphism which oscillates between polytheism and atheism. He concludes this section of his work (p. 279) by saying that this list of Bábí heresies is by no means exhaustive, but lack of time prevents him from enlarging it, though incidental allusion will be made elsewhere to other heretical tenets of the sect.

Chapter 11



[blank page]

    The following Persian poem was given to me in manuscript by the late Shaykh Ahmad hí of Kirmán, the ill-fated son-in-law and follower of Subh-i-Azal, who told me that the poem (of which, so far as I know, no other copy exists) was composed by Qurratu'l-`Ayn, and that the manuscript which I now publish is in her own handwriting1. Without being able to guarantee either of these assertions, I am inclined to credit them, for the poem is evidently by a Bábí, and the handwriting appears to be a woman's, closely resembling that of a letter from Qurratu'l-`Ayn to Mullá Shaykh `Ali (called Janáb-i- Azím) given to me by Subh-i-Azal, and reproduced in fac- simile, with printed text and translation, in my translation of the New History (pp.434- 441). The two or three other poems ascribed to her are ghazals written in the Kámil metre. This, on the other hand, is a mathnawí of the kind known as Sáqí-náma, or Invocations to the Cup-bearer, such as Háfiz and other lyrical poets have written.

[three lines of PERSIAN TEXT]

   1 It was enclosed in a letter written from Constantinople on Sept. 19, 1892, and received by me five days later. The writer says that in response to his request his friends in Persia had sent one leaf in "the blessed writing of Janáb-i- Táhira, who herself transcribed some of her works."


[entire page is PERSIAN TEXT]

   1 This is perhaps an allusion to Qurratu'l-`Ayn's title Janáb-i-Táhira ("Her Holiness the Pure").
   2 i.e. [PERSIAN TEXT]

[unnumbered page, facsimile of PERSIAN TEXT]

Fac-simile of alleged autograph poem by Qurratu'l-`Ayn

[blank page]


[entire page is PERSIAN TEXT]

   1 There may be an allusion here to the Bábí assembly at Bahasht, where the meeting of Qurratu'l-`Ayn and Janáb-i-Quddús was hailed as "the conjunction of the Sun and Moon." See New History, p. 359, n. 2 ad calc.


[fourteen lines of PERSIAN TEXT]

   1 The rare Azalí controversial work entitled (see J.R.A.S. for 1892, pp.680-697) complains that Bahá'u'lláh, not content with making himself God, and even a "Creator of gods," assigns the latter title "even to his meanest servants." It quotes the Bahá'í poet Nabíl as saying:

[two lines of PERSIAN TEXT]
"Men say that Thou art God, and I am moved to anger: remove the veil and submit no longer to the disgrace of [mere] Godhead!"
   2 These verses appear to be addressed to Subh-i- Azal, who is also entitled "the Eternal Fruit" (Thamara-i-Azaliyya).


[seven lines of PERSIAN TEXT]

    Though Qurratu'l-`Ayn's fame as a poetess is considerable, I know only two other poems commonly ascribed to her, both ghazals composed in the Kámil metre, which, though common in Arabic, is little used in Persian save by a few mystical poets like Jámí. Both of these poems are very fine, being only marred by the incorrectedness of the Arabic phrases which they containã-a defect only too common in Babi writings. In spite of this I think them worth preserving, and, though I have published both of them before, the first in the J.R.A.S. for 1899 (Vol.xxi,pp.936-7 and 991-2) and the second in my edition and translation of the Traveller's Narrative (Vol.ii,pp.314-316), I here reprint them, together with the versified translations, in which I have made a few trifling alterations.

[six lines of PERSIAN TEXT]


[ten lines of PERSIAN TEXT]


The thralls of yearning love constrain in the bonds of
    pain and calamity
These broken-hearted lovers of thine to yield their lives in
    their zeal for thee
Though with sword in hand my Darling stand with intent
    to slay, though I sinless be,
If it pleases him, this tyrant's whim, I am well content with
    his tyranny.
As in sleep I lay at the break of day that cruel charmer
    came to me,
And in the grace of his form and face the dawn of the morn
    I seemed to see.
The musk of Cathay might perfume gain from the scent
    those fragrant tresses rain,

1 This poem is presumably addressed to the Báb.


While his eyes demolish a faith in vain attacked by the
    pagans of Tartary1.
With you, who contemn both love and wine2 for the hermit's
    cell and the zealot's shrine,
What can I do, for our Faith divine you hold as a thing of
The tangled curls of thy darling's hair, and thy saddle and
    teed are thy only care;
In thy heart the Absolute hath no share, nor the thought of
    the poor man's poverty.
Sikandar's3 pomp and display be thine, the Qalandar's4
    habit and way be mine;
That, if it please thee, I resign, while this, though bad, is
    enough for me.
Pass from the station of "I" and "We," and choose for
    thy home Nonentity,
For when thou has done the like of this, thou shalt reach
    the supreme Felicity. The second of these two odes or ghazals is as follows:

[six lines of PERSIAN TEXT]

   1 i.e. the religion of Islam, which, having survived the terrible Tartar or Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, fell before the Báb
   2 "Love and wine" are to be understood here in a mystical sense.
   3 Alexander the Great.
   4 A Qalandar is a kind of darwísh or religious mendicant.


[eight lines of PERSIAN TEXT]


The effulgence of thy face flashed forth and the rays of thy
    visage arose on high;
Then speak the word, "Am I not your Lord?" and "Thou
    art, thou art!"
we will all reply1.
Thy trumpet-call "Am I not?" to greet how loud the drums
    of affliction2 beat!
At the gates of my heart there tramp the feet and camp the
    hosts of calamity.
That fair moon's love is enough, I trow, for me, for he
    laughed at the hail3 of woe,
And triumphant cried,as he sunk below,"The Martyr of
    Karbalá am I4!"

   1 See Qur'án vii, 171. The meaning is, "If you claim to be God, we will all accept your claim."
   2 There is a play on the word balá, which means "yea" and also "affliction."
   3 Salá, which I have translated "hail," means a general invitation or summons.
   4 i.e. the Imám Husayn, of whom several of the Bábí leaders claimed to be a "Return." See p. 338 supra.


When he heard my death-dirge drear, for me he prepared,
    and arranged my gear for me;
He advanced to mourn at my bier for me, and o'er me wept
    right bitterly.
What harm if thou with the fire of amaze should'st set my
    Sinai- heart ablaze,
Which thou first mad'st fast in a hundred ways but to shake
    and shatter so ruthlessly?
To convene the guests to his feast of love all night from the
    angel host above
Peals forth this summons ineffable, "Hail, sorrow-stricken
Can a scale of the fish of amaze like thee aspire to enquire
    of Being's Sea?
Sit mute like Táhira, hearkening to the whale of "No" and
    its ceaseless sigh1.

    There is another Bábí poem in the same metre and rhyme which is sometimes ascribed to Qurratu'l-`Ayn, but more often, and with greater probability, to Nabíl of Zarand, who at one time advanced a "claim" on his own behalf, but afterwards became the devoted follower and, if the term may be permitted, the poet-laureate of Bahá'u'lláh. This poem I published with a prose translation in the J.R.A.S. for 1892, pp. 323-5, together with another, a tarkíb-band of unknown authorship, in praise of Bahá'u'lláh. Its boastful character may be judged by the three following verses, which are not devoid of a certain grandeur:

[two lines of PERSIAN TEXT]

   1 i.e. "Thou art a mere tiny scale on the smallest fish of the Ocean of Being, and even the Leviathans of that Ocean can but proclaim their own insignificance and non-existence."


[four lines of PERSIAN TEXT]


If anyone walks in my path I will cry to him that he may be
That whoever becomes my lover shall not escape from sorrow
    and affliction.
If anyone obeys me not and does not grasp the cord of my
I will drive him far from my sanctuary, I will cast him in
    wrath to the winds of "No2."
I am Eternal from the Everlasting World; I am the One
    from the Realms of the Limitless;
I am come [to seek for] the people of the Spirit, and towards
    me indeed do they advance3.

    Yet a fourth poem in the same rhyme and Kámil metre, of uncertain authorship, occurs in a manuscript (BBP.7) which I brought back from Persia, and which is described in the J.R.A.S. for 1892, pp.444-9; and I have copies of several more contained in a manuscript bearing the classmark P.92 kindly lent to me many years ago by the late M. Ch. Schefer, to whom it belonged. Indeed it would be easy to compile a fair-sized anthology of Bábí poems, but in

   1 Or Saintship, for Wiláyat has both meanings. Amongst the Arabs he who would seek the protection of some great Shaykh or Amír catches hold of one of the cords of his tent, crying Aná dakhíluk! "I place myself under the protection!"
   2 Not-Being, or Negation, or Annihilation.
   3 The Arabic words with which this line concludes are, as is too often the case with the Bábís, hopelessly ungrammatical.


this place I shall only add two of the best, both by Nabíl. The first is a very fine address to Bahá'u'lláh, in the same Kámil metre for which the Bábís show so marked a predilection. The following English rendering of the five opening verses, intended to give some idea of the form as well as the sense of the original, was read before the Persia Society on April 26, 1912, and was afterwards published for them by Mr. John Hogg of 13, Paternoster Row.

Though the Night of Parting endless seem as thy nigh-black hair,
    Bahá, Bahá,
Yet we meet at last, and the gloom is past in thy lightning's
    glare, Bahá, Bahá!
To my heart from thee was a signal shown that I to all
    men should make known
That they, as the ball to the goal doth fly, should to thee
    repair, Bahá, Bahá!
At this my call from the quarters four men's hearts and
    souls to thy quarters pour:
What, forsooth, could attract them more than that region
    fair, Bahá, Bahá?
The World hath attained to Heaven's worth, and a Paradise
    is the face of earth
Since at length thereon a breeze hath blown from thy nature
    rare, Bahá, Bahá!
Bountiful art thou, as all men know: at a glance two
    Worlds thou would'st e'en bestow
On the suppliant hands of thy direst foe, if he makes his
    prayer, Bahá, Bahá!

[two lines of PERSIAN TEXT]


[entire page is PERSIAN TEXT]


[entire page is PERSIAN TEXT]


[entire page is PERSIAN TEXT]

1 Qurá'n liii, 8.


[twelve lines of PERSIAN TEXT]

    There is another poem by Nabíl which, though singularly devoid of literary merit, is valuable for its contents, since it gives a chronology of Bahá'u'lláh's life from his birth on Muharram 2, 1233 (=Nov. 12,1817) to his arrival at `Akká on the 12th of Jumádá 1, 1285 (=Aug. 30, 1868). This poem, which comprises 19 stanzas, was written a year and four months later, in Shábán, 1286 (=Nov.-Dec. 1869), when Bahá'u'lláh was 54 years of age, and Nabíl himself, as he informs us in the last stanza, just 40, so that he must have been born about 1246/1830-1. The dates given in this poem, which I published with a translation in the J.R.A.S. for 1889, pp.983-990, agree for the most part with those given by Mírzá Muhammad Jawád in the first section of this book.


    Muhammadan compilers of anthologies and memoirs of poets generally ignore the Bábí poets, but a short notice is devoted to Qurratu'l-`Ayn in the Tadhkiratu'l-Khawátin, or "Memoirs of illustrious women," lithographed at Bombay in 1306/1888 pp.155-157. It contains, however, no new facts.

Chapter 12

The index to Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion will not be posted. First, it would be very time-consuming. Second, it is not needed; in an online format, one can just use the search engine. To restrict a search to this text, one could search for two terms: the one sought, and one found only in this book, such as "Materials" (case-sensitive).
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