March 3, 2016

1925: Persecution and martyrdom in Farahan: Ride-Quli Khan, his wife, and son

“In Farahan, province of Iraq-i-Ajam, an old believer, Ride-Quli Khan, who for years past had at the instigation of the fanatical clergy suffered humiliations and heavy losses at the hands of the mob, proceeded a few days ago to Sultan-Abad in order to renew his complaints to the provincial authorities. Profiting by his absence, a band of ruffians break into his house at night in order to carry away any valuable property. His wife, an expectant mother, is awakened and offers resistance. Armed with poignards, they rush on her and inflict on her in a most brutal fashion several mortal wounds. They even proceed to murder her son and are only prevented from doing so by the cry of the neighbors who rush forth to intervene.” 
(A communication by the secretary of the Qaghan Spiritual Assembly to the National Assembly of Persia, dated January 7th, [1925], included in a letter from Shoghi Effendi dated March 3, 1925, addressed to the ‘beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West’; Baha’i News, no. 6, July-August 1925)

February 12, 2016

1925: Persecution in Qamsar - Aqa Rida and his wife; Nasru’llah and his wife

“In the village of Qamsar, not very far from Tihran, a Persian, Aqa Rida by name, embraces the Baha’i faith. His friends and relatives are indignant and furious. They determine to persecute him. He is several times beaten severely and injured. They secure the sanction of the local Mulla to enable his wife, without obtaining a divorce, to marry another man. This unhappy person hastens desperately to Qashan and appealing to local authorities seeks and obtains temporary and partial relief. A few days ago, the son of a Mulla, Aqa Ahmad by name, visited Qamsar. Mischief-makers instantly incite him to humiliate, torment, and even murder the miserable convert. He immediately orders his arrest. His agents without notice and in a barbaric manner break into the house of a believer called Nasru’llah, accuse him of having sheltered his co-religionist, and command him to deliver the refugee immediately. Unsatisfied by his protestations and emphatic assurances, they start to search his house, violate the privacy of his home, enter the chamber of his wife, find her lying in bed having given birth to a child the night before, approach her, violently expose her, and shamelessly injure her to the point of almost ending her life. They then turn to her wretched husband and, with the aid of clubs, sticks, and chains, pitilessly mutilate his body. Fallen unconscious, they leave him, thinking him dead, and continue their search. Having fully investigated the matter they find that the husband was right after all and that Aqa Rida had fled to Mazkan. Reinforced by two Siyyids they immediately resolve to pursue him, and arriving in the village suddenly make their appearance at a meeting where the Baha’is were gathered and there instantly recognize their victim. They mercilessly drag him out, bind his hands behind his back, thrust him to the front, and with their whips, chains, and the butt end of their rifles drive him on to Qamsar. The Baha’i women in the vicinity, alarmed and grief-stricken, run after these heartless villains, and with loud lamentations vainly implore their mercy. Annoyed by their wailing they fire at them and disperse them. They drag him to Qamsar till at last he is brought before the Mulla’s son who orders him to recant. But this ardent devotee, though young in faith, refuses to yield and with remarkable fortitude and sublime composure disdains the threats and insults of his enemies. The Mulla’s son, angry and exasperated, gives order first to throw him into the river, then to tie him to the trunk of a tree and inflict on him the most severe corporal punishment. The people, however, with unutterable cruelty drag him through the streets into the main thoroughfare and start to force handfuls of straw into his mouth and with blows and kicks strive to compel him to swallow. They then befoul his face with filth. Finally they so disgrace and dishonor him and resort to such vile methods that the pen would shrink from recording the further unspeakable indignities to which this unfortunate man was subjected...” 
(A communication by the secretary of the Qaghan Spiritual Assembly to the National Assembly of Persia, dated January 7th, [1925], included in a letter from Shoghi Effendi dated March 3, 1925, addressed to the ‘beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West’; Baha’i News, no. 6, July-August 1925)

January 9, 2016

Public beheading of a believer during early years of the Baha'i Faith

A square in Tihran, Persia 
(Source: 'Land of Resplendent Glory', by the International Baha'i Audio-Visual Centre, 1971)

December 27, 2015

December 13, 2015

Scene of numerous martyrdom and persecutions

An early 20th-century scene of daily life in an open square in front of the bazaar in central Tehran. This square was the scene of numerous public martyrdom and other persecutions of Bábís and Bahá'ís. 
(The American Bahá'í, August 20, 2002)

November 10, 2015

Badi – the "Pride of Martyrs", an Apostle of Baha’u’llah

Aqa Buzurg of Khurasan, the illustrious "Badi" (Wonderful); converted to the Faith by Nabil; surnamed the "Pride of Martyrs"; the seventeen year old bearer of the Tablet addressed to Nisiri'd-Din Shah; in whom, as affirmed by Baha’u’llah, "the spirit of might and power was breathed," was arrested, branded for three successive days, his head beaten to a pulp with the butt of a rifle, after which his body was thrown into a pit and earth and stones heaped upon it. After visiting Baha’u’llah in the barracks, during the second year of His confinement, he had arisen with amazing alacrity to carry that Tablet, alone and on foot, to Tihran and deliver it into the hands of the sovereign. A four months' journey had taken him to that city, and, after passing three days in fasting and vigilance, he had met the Shah proceeding on a hunting expedition to Shimiran. He had calmly and respectfully approached His Majesty, calling out, "O King! I have come to thee from Sheba with a weighty message"; whereupon at the Sovereign's order, the Tablet was taken from him and delivered to the mujtahids of Tihran who were commanded to reply to that Epistle - a command which they evaded, recommending instead that the messenger should be put to death. That Tablet was subsequently forwarded by the Shah to the Persian Ambassador in Constantinople, in the hope that its perusal by the Sultan's ministers might serve to further inflame their animosity. For a space of three years Baha'u'llah continued to extol in His writings the heroism of that youth, characterizing the references made by Him to that sublime sacrifice as the "salt of My Tablets."
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

November 5, 2015

Badi's martyrdom site

Site marked 'X' shows the spot where Badi, the bearer of Baha'u'llah's Tablet to the Shah of Persia, was martyred 
(The Baha'i World 1936-1938)

November 2, 2015

Táhirih's martyrdom site

Site of the Garden of Ilkhani where Táhirih was martyred 
(The Dawn-Breakers)

November 1, 2015

Táhirih's place of confinement in Tihran

The house of the Kalantar in Tihran where Táhirih was confined (upper room behind tree is the one she occupied) 
(The Dawn-Breakers)

October 31, 2015

Hujjat: “another champion of conspicuous audacity, of unsubduable will, of remarkable originality and vehement zeal”

Hujjat, another champion of conspicuous audacity, of unsubduable will, of remarkable originality and vehement zeal, was being, swiftly and inevitably, drawn into the fiery furnace whose flames had already enveloped Zanjan and its environs. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

October 30, 2015

Vahid: the "unique and peerless figure of his age"

Vahid, pronounced in the Kitáb-i-Íqán to be the "unique and peerless figure of his age," a man of immense erudition and the most preeminent figure to enlist under the banner of the new Faith, to whose "talents and saintliness," to whose "high attainments in the realm of science and philosophy" the Báb had testified in His Dala'il-i-Sab'ih (Seven Proofs), had already, under similar circumstances, been swept into the maelstrom of another upheaval, and was soon to quaff in his turn the cup drained by the heroic martyrs of Mazindaran. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

October 29, 2015

Mulla Husayn: “the one but for whom ‘God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory’”

Mulla Husayn, the first Letter of the Living, surnamed the Babu'l-Báb (the Gate of the Gate); designated as the "Primal Mirror;" on whom eulogies, prayers and visiting Tablets of a number equivalent to thrice the volume of the Qur'án had been lavished by the pen of the Bab; referred to in these eulogies as "beloved of My Heart;" the dust of whose grave, that same Pen had declared, was so potent as to cheer the sorrowful and heal the sick; whom "the creatures, raised in the beginning and in the end" of the Bábí Dispensation, envy, and will continue to envy till the "Day of Judgment;" whom the Kitáb-i-Íqán acclaimed as the one but for whom "God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory;" to whom Siyyid Kazim had paid such tribute that his disciples suspected that the recipient of such praise might well be the promised One Himself -- such a one had likewise, in the prime of his manhood, died a martyr's death at Tabarsi. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

October 28, 2015

Mírzá Abú-Tálib

Mírzá Abú-Tálib, one of the companions of Quddús who survived the struggle of Shaykh Tabarsí  (The Dawn-Breakers)

October 27, 2015

Quddus’ incredible station & his death compared to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Quddus, immortalized by Him [the Bab] as Ismu'llahi'l-Akhir (the Last Name of God); on whom Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet of Kullu't-Ta'am later conferred the sublime appellation of Nuqtiy-i-Ukhra (the Last Point); whom He elevated, in another Tablet, to a rank second to none except that of the Herald of His Revelation; whom He identifies, in still another Tablet, with one of the ‘Messengers charged with imposture’ mentioned in the Qur'án; whom the Persian Bayan extolled as that fellow-pilgrim round whom mirrors to the number of eight Vahids revolve; on whose ‘detachment and the sincerity of whose devotion to God's will God prideth Himself amidst the Concourse on high;’ whom 'Abdu'l-Bahá designated as the ‘Moon of Guidance;’ and whose appearance the Revelation of St. John the Divine anticipated as one of the two ‘Witnesses’ into whom, ere the ‘second woe is past,’ the ‘spirit of life from God’ must enter -- such a man had, in the full bloom of his youth, suffered, in the Sabzih-Maydan of Barfurush, a death which even Jesus Christ, as attested by Bahá'u'lláh, had not faced in the hour of His greatest agony. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

October 26, 2015

The “erudite, the twenty-two year old Quddus” – “in rank the first of these Letters [of the Living]

The last, but in rank the first, of these Letters to be inscribed on the Preserved Tablet was the erudite, the twenty-two year old Quddus, a direct descendant of the Imam Hasan and the most esteemed disciple of Siyyid Kazim. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (God Passes By)

October 25, 2015

The “glorious Báb, the immortal Quddus, the lion-hearted Mulla Husayn, the erudite Vahid, the audacious Hujjat, the illustrious seven martyrs of Tihran…”

No lesser tribute can be paid the memory of the glorious Báb, the immortal Quddus, the lion-hearted Mulla Husayn, the erudite Vahid, the audacious Hujjat, the illustrious seven martyrs of Tihran and a host of unnumbered heroes whose lifeblood flowed so copiously in the course of the opening decade of the first Bahá'í century, by the privileged champion-builders of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh during the present critical stage in the unfoldment of the Formative Age of His Dispensation, than a parallel outpouring of their substance by the builders of the most holy House of Worship laboring in the corresponding decade of the succeeding century. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated March 16, 1949; ‘Citadel of Faith’)

October 24, 2015

The Báb, Quddus, Mulla Husayn, Vahid, Hujjat, King of Martyrs, Beloved of Martyrs, Ashraf, Badi, the martyrs of the land of Yazd, the martyrs of Shiraz, those massacred in the land of Nayriz, the martyrs of Tabriz, those who renounced their lives in Mazandaran, the martyrs of Isfahan

…most of the favoured ones of God offered up their lives as martyrs in the field of sacrifice. He Who is the resplendent Morn of divine guidance, the Exalted One [the Bab] sank below the horizon of sacrifice. Quddus sought companionship with the Beloved through glorious martyrdom. Mulla Husayn opened a new gate to the field of martyrdom. Vahid distinguished himself as a peerless figure in the arena of sacrifice. Zanjani [Hujjat] offered up his life as a martyr upon the plain of tribulation. The King of Martyrs hastened forth to the place of sacrifice. The Beloved of Martyrs was enraptured with ineffable gladness when he offered up his life for the sake of God. Ashraf attained the heights of honour as he unflinchingly set his face towards the arena of sacrifice. Badi, as he breathed his last, exclaimed: 'Magnified be my Lord, the Most Glorious!' The martyrs of the land of Ya [Yazd] drank their fill with relish from the draught of glorious martyrdom, and the martyrs of Shiraz laid down their lives in the arena of ardent love to the tune of sweet and wondrous melodies. Those massacred in the land of Nayriz were inebriated with the brimful cup of sacrifice, and the martyrs of Tabriz were seized with ecstatic joy and unleashed new energies in the field of sacrifice. Those who renounced their lives in Mazandaran exclaimed: 'O Lord! Destine for us this cup that brimmeth over with the choice wine'; while the martyrs of Isfahan laid down their lives with utmost joy and radiance. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet; compilation: ‘Fire and Light’, prepared by the Baha’i World Center; The Baha’i World 1979-1983)