Baha'i Library Online

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TITLETraveler's Narrative, A Study Outline and Cross-Reference
CONTRIB 1Brett Zamir, comp.
ABSTRACTSummary headings and correlation of passages with The Dawn-Breakers, God Passes By, the Lawh-i-Sultán, and other works.
TAGS- Cross-reference; Dawn-Breakers (book); God Passes By (book); Lawh-i-Sultan (Tablet to Nasirid-Din Shah); Nasirid-Din Sháh; Tablets to kings and rulers; Travelers Narrative (book)

"It was through His [`Abdu'l-Bahá's] unremitting efforts...that the ablest and most valuable presentation of the early history of the Faith and of its tenets had been transmitted to posterity."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 241-242)

The following outline of A Traveler's Narrative (TN) by 'Abdu'l-Bahá includes topic headings only up to the point where cross-references have been found in The Dawn-Breakers (DB). References for the Bábí history in God Passes By (GPB) are also included.

Although there are a few other anecdotes in the rest of the work (some of which might be contained in God Passes By), much of the rest of the work is not a detailing of sequential events, but is rather a defense of the Faith in demonstrating its nonviolent, apolitical motives. Nevertheless, I believe it could be beneficial to create an outline for the remainder of the text as well (correlating it with God Passes By if possible), if anyone wished to help expand within this outline. The pages correlating to the Lawh-i-Sultán (part of the Súriy-i-Haykal) are listed below. Note: Additional discrepancies between versions (such as missing sentences) may exist in addition to those noted below.

To offer one potential overview of the work, to see how its parts fit together, in my view, the text seems to abide by the following sequence:
  1. A dispassionate history of the (tumultuous) Bábí Faith
  2. Assertion that Bahá'u'lláh reformed their morals and enjoined non-retaliation after the foundation had been laid by the Báb (an citation of texts that indicate this)
  3. Description of the further trials facing Bahá'u'lláh from the individuals against Him and leading to His exiles
  4. Description of and citation from the Súriy-i-Haykal to offer Bahá'u'lláh's own attempt at that point to establish the truth and nature of His mission
  5. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's citation of other Tablets and the Kitáb-i-Aqdas to indicate some of the teachings of the Faith
  6. Arguments offered in favor of the king extending rights to and protecting all citizens and not interfering in matters of conscience
The over-arching theme, even beyond these details, seems to me to be to establish the moral, non-political nature of the Faith.

(Feel free to send me an email at if you have any suggestions, comments, or interest in collaboration on study materials.)

Please feel free to also visit The Dawn-Breakers Study Outline or an Outline of God Passes By

TN page #TopicGPB/DB page # (or TN page # cross-reference)
3Introduction/Purpose (to set forth the facts)(None)
4Birth of the Báb(DB 8, 14, 72)
4The Báb as a merchant(DB 30, 129)
4Declaration of the Báb and the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá(GPB 5-7, DB 52-66)
4-5Bahá'u'lláh in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá(GPB 67, see also TN 13-14, 25-26, 32-34)
5Enrollment of the Letters of the Living(GPB 7-8, DB 66-96)
5The Báb leaves for pilgrimage(GPB 8-9, DB123-129)
5-6Commotion after return to Shíráz(GPB 10, DB 87-92)
6Persecution of Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání and Quddús(GPB 10-11, DB 144-148)
6Clergy's spreading of the Faith through their opposition(See also TN 7, 21, 29)
6-7The Báb's arrest and persecution(GPB 11, DB 148-170, 171)
7Clergy's spreading of the Faith through their opposition(See also TN 6, 21, 29)
7-8Enrollment of Vahíd(GPB 11-12, DB 171-177)
8Hujjat's enrollment(GPB 12, DB 177-179)
8-9Hujjat and the Sháh(DB 531-532)
9Husayn Khán and the Plague(GPB 13, DB 193-198)
9-11Manúchihr Khán Impelled to Visit(GPB 14-15, DB 202-204)
9-11Interference of Ecclesiastics(GPB 15-16, DB 204-216)
11The Báb went to the fortress of Kinár-Gird/neighborhood(GPB 16, DB 225-226)
11The Báb went to Kulayn (outside village)(GPB 16, DB 226-227)
11-12(From about 30 kilometers to Tihrán, the Báb received a letter from the Sháh to go to Máh-Kú (He first went to Siyáh-Dihan (near Qazvín) and Tabríz))(GPB 16, DB 235-239-243)
12Máh-Kú(GPB 16, DB 243-308-323 (passim))
12Stay in Tabríz(GPB 18, DB 239-243)
12-13Arrival in Máh-Kú(GPB 18-19, DB 243-245)
13Relaxing of Severe Discipline by 'Alí Khán(GPB 19, DB 246-248)
13Mullá Husayn's Journey to Máh-Kú(GPB 19, DB 254-259)
13Transfer of the Báb to Chihríq (predicted by Him before this)(GPB 19-20, DB 259-261, 301-303)
13Notables (including Dayyán and Indian dervish) Espouse New Cause(GPB 20, DB 303-305)
13-14The Báb's thoughts on Bahá'u'lláh in Máh-Kú(See also TN 13-14, 25-26, 32-34)
14The Báb Summoned to Tabríz (via Urúmíyyih avoiding Khuy)(GPB 20-21, DB 305-315)
14-15His examination in Tabríz: Public Proclamation of the Báb(GPB 21-22, 35; DB 315-319)
15-18Hájí Mírzá Áqásí and Clerical Opposition(GPB 36-37, DB 231-234)
19Mullá Husayn and his martyrdom(GPB 38-41, 50; DB 48, 328-383, see also TN 22-24)
19-20Táhirih and martyrdom(GPB 23, 66, 72-77; DB 268-272, 285, 292-297, 621-631)
20-22Amír Nizám's ruthlessness(GPB 47, 51-52, 82; DB 332-353, 446-452, 500-502, 504, 526; see also TN 28-29)
22-24Mázindarán upheaval(GPB 38-41; DB 324-429; See also TN 19)
24-25Zanján and Nayríz upheavals(DB 527-581 and DB 465-499)
25-26Deliverance of documents, seals, and rings for Bahá'u'lláh(GPB 51, 69; DB 368, 504-505)
26Amír-Nizám's commissioning of own brother for execution(GPB 52, DB 506)
27Commissioning of Sám Khán and volley(GPB 52-53; DB 512-514)
27Acceptance of Áqá Khán and the Martyrdom of the Báb(GPB 53, DB 514)
27-28Fate of the remains of the Báb(GPB 54, DB 517-522)
28-29Amír-Nizám's ruthlessness(GPB 47, 51-52, 82; DB 332-353, 446-452, 500-502, 504, 526; see also TN 20-22)
29Clergy's spreading of the Faith through their opposition(GPB 63; DB 605-606 note 1; see also TN 6, 7, 21)
29-31Overview of the Attempt on the Life of the Sháh and Its Consequences(GPB 61, 62; DB 595-650, 655-656)
31Accusations toward Bahá'u'lláh(GPB 70-71; DB 299-300, 591, 602, 604)
31Bahá'u'lláh's bravely turning Himself in(GPB 71; DB 599, 602)
32-34The Báb's references to Bahá'u'lláh(GPB 67, DB 96, 142-143; see also TN 4-5, 13-14, 25-26)
34-37Summary of Bahá'u'lláh's life before the assassination attempt on the Sháh(and implied fulfillment of the Báb's prophecies)(GPB 40, 66-70; DB 106-107, 112-117, 227-228, 279, 284-286, 292-299, 348-350, 369-374, 519-522, 593-594)
37-38Nomination of Mírzá Yahyá as figurehead(GPB 28-29; DB 654)
38-0Bahá'u'lláh's exile from TihránGPB 106-109, DB 650
38-1-39-0Increased fame of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád (while Mírzá Yahyá went around in disguise), retirement to Turkish Kurdistán/Sulaymáníyyih, and returnGPB 109-145 (From here to the end, the passages don't correlate with The Dawn-Breakers, though 60-2 - 85-0 might be correlatable with God Passes By)
39-1-40-0Bábís though increasing in number despite opposition, due to the Báb only having begun lay moral foundations, engaged in self-defense; Bahá'u'lláh, however, instilled in them to only be preoccupied with morals-
40-0Due to their transformation into showing positive behavior and morals, objections changed to target their spiritual state and tenets-
40-0-40-1Man cannot interfere and change the beliefs of others (as God alone can), as man cannot even voluntarily withhold himself from thought-
40-1No trouble has arisen for these people since then, though occasionally doctors stir up trouble, ending up edifying and advertising the Faith rather than quenching it-
40-2-41-1Story of a Bábí who retaliated after another Bábí was injured, was reprimanded by the Bábís and fled, was handed over to the government by the clergy, and was freed after he amused the governor in positing that he would consent to be put to death (as his actions had been condemned in the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh that he was carrying), as soon as the governor put into practice all of His commands as well-
Page numberSummary (Incomplete)Source
41-2 - 42-0'Abdu'l-Bahá indicates that the following citations from Bahá'u'lláh (as Bahá'u'lláh made at the time) enjoin morality, advocate for sciences and progress, prohibit sedition, etc.-
42-1-48Quotation of other works of Bahá'u'lláh enjoining morality and refrain from sedition-
Apparent paraphrasing of Unnamed tablet on suffering of Bahá'u'lláh (in Gleanings, no. 46) though second part of paragraph is apparently not in Gleanings
42-2(Just a transition, "So again:")-
Cited in greater detail (except that it is missing the beginning sentence in the TN paragraph) in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 13-2 to 14-2 (almost to the end)
Except for first sentence, "We trust that God will assist the kings of the earth to illuminate and adorn the earth with the refulgent light of the Sun of Justice." (source?), in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 15-0-15-1
TN page #TopicGPB page # (or TN page # cross-reference)
49-1The objections toward the Faith shifted from the behavior of its followers (since they had been so reformed) to its tenetsGPB 132-134
49-2 (and 53-1)Their exile brought fame and notoriety which brought factions to seek Him out but when He exhorted them to good and obedience to the state, His good behavior led to further suspicions of sorcery, etc.GPB 128-129
49-3 - 51-0Government functionaries sought Him out but He refused (including the Holy Family in Iraq who sought to conspire with foreign governments against the State), leading some in Iraq to praise Bahá'u'lláh, but due to instigating Shaykhs and silent ministers, rumors reported to the king's court gained credence, though minimized in effect by good ministers in Iraq, until the drunkard Mirza Buzurg Khan became consul-general and worked with the ShaykhsGPB 131, 141-143
51-0They were thwarted when, after meeting also with divines in Karbila and Najaf, Shaykh Murtada refused to conspire since he said he knew nothing of their beliefs or any bad actions.GPB 143
51-1 - 53-0Some, including Mirza Buzurg Khan, tried to provoke the Babis by claiming the Shah desired to destroy them and that the Baghdad authorities would hand them over; when this failed, he sought to humiliate and disturb them to such a degree that some of the Babis enrolled as Ottoman subjects in order to stop the disturbances; he was dismissed and eventually even became penitent.GPB 143-144
53-1Bahá'u'lláh's kindness and problem-solving amid scholars and others led to fame (and accusations of sorcery, etc.)GPB 128-129
53-2Mírzá Yahyá continued hiding himself and in disguise, finally joining the caravan of Bahá'u'lláh in Mosul on their way to ConstantinopleGPB 127, 128, 155, 164
53-3 - 54-0At first they were well-treated on their way to Constantinople despite being accused of being mischievous. GPB 155-157, 159
54-0 - 55-0Bahá'u'lláh refused advice of high persons to supplicate the Ottoman government, saying He had come in compliance with the decree of the King and trusting that, if wise, the leaders would inquire into His case on their own.GPB 159
55-1Another edict caused their banishment to Adrianople, but with Bahá'u'lláh's attracting visitors, material comfort was provided there.GPB 158-162
55-1 - 56-0Siyyid Muhammad of Isfahán there began to tempt Mírzá Yahyá, seeking him to gain a name for himself based on the however flimsy pretext of his having been given a title (by the Báb for the sake of expediency); Bahá'u'lláh dismissed them both after the women of Mírzá Yahyá sought charity from the governor despite being well off there.GPB 167-170
56-1 - 57-0Siyyid Muhammad also sought a stipend from Constantinople, and while there, was flattered by mischief-makers into desire for authority; in addition, the mischief-makers denounced the Bábís, leading to Bahá'u'lláh's further banishmentGPB 168, 177-179
57-1Although not initially permitted, many clamored to join Bahá'u'lláh until Hájí Ja'far cut his throat to join, prompting the government to allow them to join Him on the way to 'Akká (Mírzá Yahyá was sent to Famagusta).GPB 180-182
58-1Before being exiled again, Bahá'u'lláh wrote an epistle in which He expounded the Faith's teachings, principles, and ethics (including loyalty) and some political questions; and offered proofs and fragments of prayers. He asked one willing to be martyred to deliver it (Mírzá Badí) who went and on seeing the king's Royal Train, stood a ways off and fasted until the king noticed him and asked for him.GPB 172, 173-174, 199
58-1 - 59-0On being permitted to approach, he announced he came bearing a weighty message; the king wanted him arrested to be able to understand, but those with him advocated him to be tortured. During his severe torture, Badi refused to give his friends' names, was photographed, then killed him.GPB 199
59-1 - 60-0After the king read some of the epistle, he regretted his courtiers' actions, asking why they punished a mere messenger, and then required a his divines prepare a reply.GPB 199?
60-0 - 60-1The king was not satisified with the divines' reply, saying there was nothing in the epistle against Law or reason and did not interfere in political matters.-
Traveller's Narrative page and paragraph #Summons of the Lord of Hosts, Súriy-i-Haykal paragraph #Summary (incomplete)
60-2186-191(TN text here is not a quotation, but a summary of these Súriy-i-Haykal paragraphs; citation of passages intended to provide better understanding for everyone)
61-0192-204(TN text here is not a quotation, but a summary of these Súriy-i-Haykal paragraphs)
61-1205(Begin actual quotations from the Súriy-i-Haykal)
69-5Not present(Simply says "finis" in TN)
73-2241 (2nd to 4th sentences absent in TN)
Not presentEnd of 246-248
75-2249 (2nd sentence missing in TN)
81-0270 (small part missing in TN)
82-1274 (last sentence not in TN)
Not present276
Traveller's Narrative page and paragraph #Summary
83-1'Abdu'l-Bahá introduces that He will take advantage of the occasion to cite passages bearing on the main principles of the Faith to prove their basis (in the Writings)
Traveller's Narrative page and paragraph #Original Source in Bahá'u'lláh's WritingsSummary (Incomplete)
83-2Kitáb-i-Aqdas (KA) par. 144
83-3Tablet of Ishraqat (introduction), TB 120-121
83-4Tablet of Ishraqat (6th), TB 127-128
83-5Kitáb-i-Aqdas par. 48, Tablet of Ishraqat (7th), TB 128
83-6-84-0Tablet of Ishraqat (8th), TB 128-129
84-1-85-0Tablet of Ishraqat (9th), TB 129-130 (1st and 2nd par.)
Traveller's Narrative page and paragraph #Summary
85-1Need to discover the Faith's principles from its authoritative Writings (as above; see also same argument made on p. 88)
85-2Transfer of Bahá'u'lláh to 'Akká (and Mirzá Yahyá to the fortress of Famagusta) [See also GPB, p. 179]
85-2-92Enlightened persons appealed to and informed the king regarding:
85-2-86-0, 88-0
1) the actual moral and non-political nature of the Faith
86-0, 87-0
2) recognize that a king should protect all under his care
86-0-87-0, 88-0
3) kings should avoid interfering in private matters of conscience (and the violence done for the sake of interference has been useless or counter-productive)
4) Civilized countries attained preeminence by protecting conscience of all, putting away inter-religious strife, and serving interests of all, punishing evil-doers and showing favor to good actions regardless of their background
5) Times have changed, and although political or materialistic factions which seek to interfere must be handled carefully or with apprehension, the Faith was about morals and not political matters
6) Should look to the Writings of the Faith which establish its real principles
7) Persecution has not been helpful to the king, and in fact other countries which eliminated persecution in seeing it was counter-productive were able to abate revolutions (and is the reason why they have proclaimed equal rights and liberty).
8) Despite the Faith's growth, after much admonishment and encouragement of virtue, they have become loyal subjects, so there are no legal grounds for slighting them or letting them be slighted.
9) Interference in conscience/belief impedes the expansion of the kingdom and increase in territory or number of subjects
10) When Persia did not interfere, there were many different peoples under its banner and it expanded to include the greater part of Asia, but when interference in creed began (as the mutually antagonistic clergy would be if handed power), the Persian empire diminished, losing the provinces of Túrán, Assyria, and Chaldea; much of Khurásán left its control, and Afghan and Turkmen people, who were always a part of Persia revolted, so avoiding interference in conscience (but not in disobedience and rebellion) is beneficial.
11) The times have changed and the decline of Eastern governments has been for reason of such inteference and laws, while a small remote island country as England has expanded around the world (and was only able to do so) for offering equal dealing and uniform rights
12) True religious zeal is in good qualities not interference with others' beliefs, destroying edifices, or cutting off humanity
13) In the Middle Ages (from decline of Roman Empire to capture of Constantinople), fierce intolerance and molestation occurred in Europe due to religious leaders, leading to almost complete disorder and disaster among kings and the masses until the removal of persecution and embrace of equal liberties, when their kingdoms attained until great glories and reversed positions with Asia.
14) If conscience is seen respected as sacred, as a result, ideas are widened, moral and behavior improved, and discoveries in creation are discovered
15) If interrogation of conscience were to take place in this world, what would be left for God in the day of resurrection (Who alone, unlike kings, has dominion over the souls of men)?
16) No two persons (or peoples) can be found alike
17) Energy and time spent in persecution could instead strengthen the monarchy, making its realms prosperous and just, and Persia's splendors would be wholly apparent
92-1('Abdu'l-Bahá Himself again:) The king has apparently investigated the truth on his own and realized that most suspicions were fabrications and caused by the influential seeking more advantage for themselves; as these helpless people clearly have no ability to threaten the king or military.
92-2-93-0From the time of the king's investigation into the matter, disturbances have waned, but the official doctors, in seeking advantage, on occasion still stir up the people.
93-0-94-010 or 12 years ago in Isfahan the virtuous (and wealthy but generous) brothers Siyyid Hasan and Siyyid Husayn of Tabátabá were the targets of such abuse: the Mír Muhammad Husayn (the Imám-Jum'ih of Isfahán) ended up owing them money, and accused them before the king and instigated a mob to plunder and terrify their families, and fearing punishment of the king, he cooperated with doctors to pronounce them to death; having no legitimate excuse, he required them to recant, and when they eloquently refused, he killed them and committed indignities to their bodies, even causing the Christian priest of Julfá and others to weep for them
94-0-94-1They had been known to relieve the poor during a famine and never harm anyone, yet were cruelly killed, though the king has for a good time now prevented such abuses.
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