Handtyped and proofread by Alison Marshall, formatted by Jonah Winters.
Online version is exact replica of original, except diacritics
Persian and Arabic text will be added later; currently indicated by ~~~ or "[Persian/Arabic text]."

[page 171]


[page 172]


[page 173]




        Four works, besides the present, written in the Persian language treat more or less fully of the history of the Bábí movement. Two of these, the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh and the Rawzatu's-Safá, are general histories compiled by Musulmán historians; one, the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, is a monograph on the said movement, whereof the author, if not actually a Bábí, at least sympathised warmly with the reformers; one, the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá, is a biography of Shi'ite divines, which deals incidentally at some length with the Bábí doctrines and the history of their originator and his precursors. Each of these works I shall now consider in detail.

1.         The Násikhu't- Tawáríkh.

        This is a general history of the world, intended, as its name implies, to supersede all preceding works of a similar character. Its author is Mírzá Takí Mustawfí, better known by his poetical nom-de-guerre of Sipihr and his official title of Lisánu'l-Mulk ('The Tongue of the Kingdom'). Gobineau, at p. 454 of his interesting work Trois Ans en Asie (Paris, 1859), gives a description of the social aspects of this historian (to whom he is indebted for the greater part of the facts relating to the Bábí movement so graphically pourtrayed in his Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale), and of Rizá- Kulí Khán, the author of the work to be next mentioned. The Násikhu't-Tawáríkh consists of a series of large volumes, each of which deals

[page 174]

with a particular period of history. The last volume is entirely devoted to the Kájár dynasty, and with it alone are we here concerned. It is divided into three parts, of which the first treats of the origin and rise of the Kájárs and the reigns of Áká Muhammad and Fath-'Alí Sháh; the second of the reign of Muhammad Sháh; and the third of the reign of Násiru'd-Dín, the present Sháh, down to the year A.H. 1267 (A.D. 1850-1851). A further supplement published separately carries the history down to the year A.H. 1273 (A.D. 1856-1857). All that relates to the Bábís is contained in the second and third parts of the main volume and in the supplement, of the contents of which I shall immediately give a brief abstract. My intention was to have made this abstract a complete index of contents, but, having already written more than half of it, I perceived that it would occupy more space than could conveniently be spared, and I was therefore compelled to confine myself to a mere summary of the chief heads of the narrative, deferring a fuller presentation thereof till some future occasion. This is the less to be regretted, inasmuch as almost everything relating to the subject before us which is contained in this history has been embodied in the works of Gobineau and Kazem-Beg. The whole of the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh has been lithographed at Teherán, but unfortunately the pages are unnumbered and there is no index save occasional marginal references to the chief events narrated in the text. The numeration of the pages here given is supplied by myself. It is re-commenced for each part and for the supplement, but, inasmuch as my copy of the latter has no title-page and appears to be incomplete, it cannot in this case be regarded as having more than a relative value.

Contents of Part ii of the Kájáriyya volume in
so far as they relate to the Bábís.

        P. 130. Events of the year A.H. 1260 (A.D. 1844). Appearance of the Báb - His parentage, education, and character - Development of his claims - Peculiarities of his doctrines and ordinances - Reception accorded to him by different classes.

[page 175]

        P. 131. Proofs advanced by the Báb - His innovations in matters of religion - Accusations against the chastity and temperance of his followers - The Báb's pilgrimage to Mecca and return to Bushire - Action taken against him and his missionaries by Huseyn Khán Ajudán-báshí the governor of Fárs - The Báb confined to his house.

        P. 132. The Báb is entrapped by a stratagem of Huseyn Khán's into a too free enunciation of his doctrines - He is punished, and imprisoned with greater rigour for six months - Minúchihr Khán Mu'tamadu'd-Dawla, the governor of Isfahán, succeeds in effecting the Báb's release and bringing him to Isfahán, where he treats him with consideration and kindness.

        P. 133. Huseyn Khán expels Seyyid Yahyá and other prominent Bábís from Shíráz - Minúchihr Khán, anxious to test the Báb's knowledge, summons a number of learned men to confer and dispute with him. [See Note J, infra.]

        P. 134. [first 7 lines]. Conclusion of this conference - Minúchihr Khán conceals the Báb in his house and sets afloat a rumour that he has sent him to Teherán.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 175 [last 3 lines]. Account of the Báb's first examination before the clergy of Tabríz in A.H. 1263 (A.D. 1847).

        P. 176. Continuation of the same. [See note M, infra.]

        P. 177. Continuation of the same.                         "

        P. 178 [first 9 lines]. Conclusion of the same - The Báb is bastinadoed until he recants.

Contents of Part iii of the Kájáriyya volume in
so far as they relate to the Bábís.

        P. 45. Events of the year A.H. 1264 (A.D. 1848). Kurratu'l-'Ayn, her parentage, education, beauty, learning and eloquence - She embraces the Bábí doctrines.

        P. 46 [first 12 lines]. The devotion inspired by Kurratu'l-'Ayn in her followers - She discards the veil, and openly preaches the new doctrines - Anger of her uncle, Mullá Muhammad Takí - He drives her from his house - He is assassinated by Bábís - Kurratu'l-'Ayn flies from

[page 176]

Kazvín, but continues her propaganda elsewhere. [See Note Q, infra.]

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 53 [last line]. Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh and the Bábí insurrection in Mázandarán.

        P. 54. Mullá Huseyn is converted to Bábíism - His missionary journey - His reception and adventures in Isfahán, Káshán, and Teherán.

        P. 55. Mullá Huseyn attempts to attach Muhammad Sháh and Hájí Mírzá Ákásí to the Báb's cause - He is compelled by threats to leave Teherán - He proceeds to Khurásán - Conversions to Bábíism - Measures adopted against the Bábís - Hamzé Mírzá imprisons Mullá Huseyn in his camp at Rádagán - Escape of Mullá Huseyn from custody - His journey westward, successes, and rebuffs.

        P. 56. Continuation of Mullá Huseyn's journey towards Mázandarán - Encounter with the populace at Miyámí and defeat of the Bábís - Altercation with Mullá Muhammad Kázim, the mujtahid of Sháhrúd - Death of Muhammad Sháh - Account of Hájí Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh - He falls in with the Báb on the pilgrimage to Mecca and embraces his doctrines - He returns to Bárfurúsh - He joins Mullá Huseyn at Mash- had - Returns thence on the arrest of his colleague - At Badasht near Bistám meets Kurratu'l-'Ayn and her followers who have arrived from Kazvín.

        P. 57. Kurratu'l-'Ayn's address - Its effect on the audience - She returns with Hájí Muhammad 'Alí towards Mázandarán - Imputations on the conduct of Kurratu'l- 'Ayn and Hájí Muhammad 'Alí - They are attacked by the people of Hazár-Jaríb - They separate, he returning to Bárfurúsh, and she continuing to wander through Mázandarán preaching - Mullá Huseyn joins his colleague at Bárfurúsh - Success of the Bábí propaganda - Enmity of the Sa'ídu'l-'Ulamá - Preparations for battle - Khánlar Mírzá's aid invoked by the orthodox party to put down the innovators.

        P. 58. The Bábís retreat from, but return to, Bárfurúsh - 'Abbás-Kulí Khán of Láriján interferes - Collision between the two parties in the city - Terms offered by the

[page 177]

Bábís and accepted by 'Abbás-Kulí Khán - The Bábís retire accompanied by an escort sent by 'Abbás- Kulí Khán - After the escort leaves them they are attacked at Khusraw of Kádí-Kalá at the head of a band of plunderers - Khusraw is killed and his followers routed - The Bábís take up their quarters at the Tomb of Sheykh Tabarsí.

        P. 59. The Bábís fortify their position strongly without let or hindrance, most of the nobles and chiefs of the province having gone to assist at the Sháh's coronation at Teherán - Description of these fortifications - Garrison and commissariat of the Bábís - Mullá Huseyn continues his propaganda - Extreme veneration paid to Hájí Muhammad 'Alí by the Bábís - Mullá Huseyn's encouragements and exhortations to his followers.

        P. 60. A letter arrives from the Báb containing this passage: -

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        'They [the Bábís] shall descend from the Green Isle [Mázandarán] unto the foot of the mountain of Zawrá [Teherán], and shall slay about twelve thousand of the Turks' - The Government, informed of the Bábís' proceedings, instructs the Mázandarání chiefs to take action against them - Áká 'Abdu'lláh marches against Sheykh Tabarsí with some Afghan, Kurdish, and Turkish tribesmen and volunteers from Kádí-Kalá - Mullá Huseyn makes a night-attack on the besiegers.

        P. 61. Áká 'Abdu'lláh is slain and his force routed with a loss of thirty killed - The fugitives flee to the village of Farrá, which is sacked, burned, and razed to the ground by the Bábís, and its inhabitants put to the sword - Rage of Násiru'd-Dín Sháh on hearing this news - Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá is ordered to proceed against the Bábís with all speed and exterminate them - He quits Teherán at the end of Muharram [A.H. 1265 = Christmas, A.D. 1848] for Mázandarán - 'Abbás-Kulí Khán marches by another route to join him - The Prince takes up his quarters at Vásaks

[page 178]

near 'Alí-ábád - His negligence - Stormy weather and snow come on.

        P. 62. Mullá Huseyn makes a sortie with 300 resolute men before dawn on Safar 15th [A.H. 1265 = January 10th A.D. 1849] - By means of a stratagem he enters Vásaks, surrounds and fires the Prince's quarters, and defeats and disperses the enemy, of whom many are killed, including two princes, Sultán Huseyn Mírzá and Dá'úd Mírzá - Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá escapes with difficulty - Hájí Muhammad 'Alí is wounded in the mouth

        P. 63. Courageous stand made by the men of Ashraf against the Bábís - Cowardice of the other troops - Triumphant return of the Bábís to their fortress - The Prince is discovered and harboured by a peasant, and his troops gradually re-assembled - He declines to risk another encounter - Arrival of 'Abbás-Kulí Khán with his troops before Sheykh Tabarsí - His foolhardiness and negligence - Mullá Huseyn at the head of 400 Bábís makes a sortie before dawn on Rabí'u'l-Avval 10th [A.H. 1265 = February 3rd A.D. 1849].

        P. 64. Description of the engagement - Rout of the besiegers - Mullá Huseyn is mortally wounded - The Bábís retire in good order to their stronghold - After their departure and the dawn of day some of the scattered besiegers return, bury their own dead, decapitate the Bábí corpses, and retire.

        P. 65. How the news of the defeat is communicated to Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá - Death of Mullá Huseyn after re-entering Sheykh Tabarsí - His dying injunctions - His burial in the shrine - Thirty other Bábís die of their wounds - The Bábís go out to bury their dead, find them decapitated, and in retaliation exhume and decapitate the Musulmán corpses and fix their heads on posts round the gate of the fortress - How the news of the defeat is received by the Prince - After much hesitation he advances against the Bábís and encamps at Kiyá-Kalá.

        P. 66. On reaching Sheykh Tabarsí the Prince's courage fails him - He retires to Kásht, and there meets 'Abbás- Kulí Khán - Preparations for the siege of Sheykh Tabarsí - Arrival of artillery - Discontent and insubordination amongst the besieging troops caused by the wilfulness and incapacity of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá.

[page 179]

        P. 67. Sortie of 200 Bábís - They capture one of the towers erected by the besiegers - Cruelty of Mahdí- Kulí Mírzá to one of his wounded officers - Renewed anger of the Sháh because the siege has lasted for four months without any decisive advantage have been gained - Threats and reproaches addressed by the Sháh to the besiegers.

        P. 68. Suleymán Khán Afshár is sent from Teherán to superintend the siege - Revival of the courage of the besiegers - A breach is effected in the Bábí fortifications by means of a mine sprung under the western tower of the fortress - A vigorous attempt to storm the breach fails, once again through the incapacity of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá - Desertions from the Bábí camp - Fate of Aká Rasúl and thirty other deserters.

        P. 69. Desertion of Rizá Khán and some others from the Bábís - They receive promises of pardon from the Prince - They are placed in the custody of Hádí Khán of Núr - The Bábís, having consumed all their provisions, are reduced to eating grass, leaves, boiled leather, and broth made from the bones of dead horses - They make another desperate sortie, and attempt, but fail, to capture the tower erected by the besiegers against the western gate - The Bábís capitulate on receiving a written promise, signed and sealed by the Prince, that their lives shall be spared.

        P. 70. Evacuation of Sheykh Tabarsí and entry of the surviving Bábís (216 in number) into the royalist camp - They are reassured by the manner in which they are at first received, but on the following day are perfidiously massacred, except Hájí Muhammad 'Alí and some of the other chiefs, who are reserved to grace the Prince's triumphal entry into Bárfurúsh - The Prince visits the deserted fortress, marvels at the skill displayed in its construction, and carries off the spoils accumulated by the Bábís - Execution of Hájí Muhammad 'Alí and the other Bábí chiefs by command of the Musulmán clergy - During the whole war in Mázandarán 1500 Bábís and 500 soldiers perished.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 83 [last 12 lines]. Troubles at Zanján - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí Zanjání - His character and previous career - His innovations, and disagreements with the other clergy.

[page 180]

        P. 84. He is summoned to Teherán by Muhummad Sháh and forbidden to return to Zanján - On the death of that king he escapes in disguise and returns home - He is received with acclamation by his admirers - He begins to preach the Bábí doctrines, and soon gains 15,000 adherents - Action is taken against him by the government - Collision between him and Aslán-Khán the governor of Zanján.

        P. 85. The Bábís assume the offensive - Their organization and preparations - Fighting begins on Rajab 5th [A.H. 1266 = May 17th, A.D. 1850. In the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh these events are described under the year A.H. 1265, but this is an error, as proved by the accounts of Watson and Lady Sheil] - Names of some of the killed and wounded, who number about forty in all - Execution of a Bábí prisoner named Sheykhí remarkable for his valour - Attack on Aslán Khán's residence by a party of Bábís led by one Mír Sálih. - Repulse of the Bábís and death of their leader - Names of some of the killed and wounded.

        P. 86. Arrival of Sadru'd-Dawla on Rajab 20th [June 3rd], and of Seyyid 'Alí Khán of Fírúzkúh, Shahbáz Khán of Marágha, Muhammad 'Alí Khán Shahsívan, Kázim Khán Afshár, and Mahmúd Khán of Khúy with large reinforcements of cavalry and artilllery [sic] on Sha'bán 2nd-5th [June 13th-16th] - Capture of a Bábí position held by Mashhadí Pírí on Sha'bán 20th [July 1st] - Impatience of the Government - Mustafá Khán Kájár, colonel of the 16th (Shakákí) regiment, is sent to join the besiegers - Capture of a Bábí position held by Mírzá Faraju'lláh after a desperate struggle on Ramazán 15th [July 25th] - Besiegers further reinforced by Násiriyya regiment and a corps of picked marksmen, and threatened with severe punishment unless they quickly bring the siege to a close - General attack on the Bábís on Ramazán 25th [August 4th].

        P. 87. The day goes against the Bábís till Mullá Muhummad 'Alí creates a diversion by setting fire to the bazaar - On Shawwál 8th [August 17th] the besiegers are further reinforced by Muhammad Khán Begler-begí with 3000 troops, 6 cannons, and 2 mortars - On the same day the Násiriyya and Shakákí regiments are ordered to attack

[page 181]

the Bábís - The stratagem whereby Mullá Muhammad 'Alí throws the Násiriyya regiment into confusion - Description of the Bábí defences - The Begler-begí tries conciliatory measures, wherein he is seconded by 'Azíz Khán Ajúdán-báshí and Mírzá Hasan Khán the Amír-Nizám's brother, both of whom happen to pass through Zanján at this time - Conciliation failing, a fresh attack is made.

        P. 88. Failure of this attack - Punishment inflicted on certain officers - The Sadru'd-Dawla is replaced by Farrukh Khán (the son of Yahyá Khán of Tabríz and the brother of Suleymán Khán the Bábí), who reaches Zanján on Zi'l-Ka'da 4th [September 11th] - Arrival of fresh reinforcements - A way of escape is intentionally left open for the Bábís - The Bábís again turn to account the covetousness of the troops of inflict on them fresh losses - Extraordinary courage of the Bábí women - Letter from the Amír-Nizám to Farrukh Khán - The stratagem whereby the Bábís decoy Farrukh Khán to his destruction.

        P. 89. Capture of Farrukh Khán by the Bábís - He and two renegades are tortured to death and their heads cast into the camp of the besiegers - Anger of the King at this news - More artillery is sent against Zanján - Renewed attack on the Bábís - Capture of the Castle of 'Alí-Mardán Khán and other Bábí positions - Twenty Bábís taken prisoners.

P. 90. Execution of these prisoners - Desertion and capture of twenty-five Bábís - Their ultimate fate - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí is wounded - He survives his wound for one week - His dying instructions - His death and burial - His followers capitulate on receiving promise of pardon - Entry of the royal troops into Zanján - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí's body is exhumed and dishonoured - Bad faith of the royalist leaders - Plunder of the Bábí quarter - Massacre of the Bábí prisoners on the third day after the surrender.

P. 91 [first 7 lines]. Hájí Kázim Kaltúkí and Mashhadí Suleymán the cloth- maker are blown from the mouths of mortars - Approval of the Sháh - Some of the Bábí chiefs are brought to Teherán - Mírzá Rizá, Hájí Muhammad 'Alí, and Hájí Muhsin are put to death at the command of the Amír-Nizám, while the rest are cast into prison. * *

[Fourth and third lines from the bottom.] Suleymán

[page 182]

Khán Afshár arrives at Tabríz with the death-warrant of the Báb.

        *         *         *         *         *        

P. 93. Mírzá Taki Khán the Amír- Nizám advises Násiru'd-Dín Sháh to order the Báb to be put to death - Discussion between the King and the Minister - The Báb's execution is finally decided on - Suleymán Khán Afshár is sent to Tabríz with the Báb's death-warrant and instructions to Hamzé Mírzá, the Prince-Governor of Ázarbaiján, as to the method of procedure - The Báb and his amanuensis, Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd, are brought from Chihrík. to Tabríz - Áká [here called Mullá] Muhammad 'Alí of Tabríz is also arrested - His brother, Áká 'Abdu'lláh, unsuccessfully attempts to induce him to recant - Hamzé Mírzá desires the clergy of Tabríz to dispute with and confute the Báb - They decline.

P. 94. The Báb is brought before Hamzé Mírzá, Mírzá Hasan, Hájí Mírzá 'Alí, and Suleymán Khán Afshár by night - Hamzé Mírzá asks him to recite verses concerning a crystal candlestick - The Báb complies, and these verses are written down - Hamzé Mírzá requests the Báb to repeat these verses - They are repeated differently - It is decided to kill the Báb with the utmost publicity - He is taken to the houses of three prominent members of the clergy, Hájí Mírzá Bákir, Mullá Muhammad Mámakání, and Áká Seyyid Zanvazí, who ratify the sentence of death - Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd recants - The steadfastness of Áká Muhammad 'Alí - The execution takes place on Sha'bán 27th [A.H. 1266, not 1265 as stated by Sipihr and Kazem-Beg. See pp. 45 and 186 - 187] - The firing-party is formed of Christian soldiers - At the first volley Áká Muhammad 'Alí is killed, but the Báb, released from his bonds by the bullets, falls uninjured to the ground - He takes refuge in the rooms of one of the soldiers.

P. 95 [first 9 lines]. Reflections on his strange occurrence - The Báb is dragged forth from his retreat by Kúch 'Alí Sultán, again bound, and once more fired on by the

[page 183]

soldiers - This time he is killed - Indignities offered to his body.

        *         *         *         *         *        

P. 112 [last half]. The insurrection at Níríz - Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb - His character, and that of his father Áká Seyyid Ja'far-i- Kashfí - Seyyid Yahyá is converted to the Bábí doctrines - He goes to Teherán to preach the new faith - He goes to Yezd - The Yezd insurrection and its failure - Seyyid Yahyá goes to Fasá in Fárs - Bahrám Mírzá having been dismissed from the government of Fárs, and Fírúz Mírzá not having yet arrived to take his place, Mírzá Fazlu'lláh Nasíru'l-Mulk is the supreme authority in the province - The nobles of Fasá request him to put a stop to Seyyid Yahyá's propaganda.

P. 113. The Nasíru'l-Mulk writes a letter to Seyyid Yahyá - He receives a reassuring reply - Fresh complaints are made - Another message to Seyyid Yahyá proves equally ineffectual - Seyyid Yahyá goes to Níríz with the force which he has collected - Disaffection of Níríz, and unpopularity of its governor, Zeynu'l- 'Ábidín Khán - Seyyid Yahyá, with 300 followers, occupies an old castle near Níríz - The Nasíru'l-Mulk sends him a third message - His answer - He makes a night attack on Níríz, sacks the town, and puts Zeynu'l- 'Ábidín Khán to flight - Hereupon many recruits join the Bábís, so that their forces amount to more than 2000 men.

P. 114. Fírúz Mírzá the new governor, when distant four stages from Shíráz, receives news of the success of the Níríz insurgents - He sends a messenger to Shíráz instructing Mihr 'Ali Khán Núrí Shujá'ul-Mulk and Mustafá-Kulí Khán to proceed against Seyyid Yahyá with two Káragúzlú regiments - The Nasíru'l-Mulk writes to Zeynu'l'Ábidin Khán the fugitive governor of Níríz ordering him to collect what forces he can and join the attacking force - The royalist forces combine and proceed to Níríz - Preliminary skirmish - Siege operations commenced - Failure of Mustafá-Kulí Khán's attempts to bring about a peaceable settlement - Seyyid Yahyá supplies his followers with amulets - Sortie of 300 Bábís - Failure of the sortie

[page 184]

after prolonged fighting, during which 150 Bábís and four soldiers are slain - Desertions amongst the Bábís - Second sortie of the Bábís.

P. 115 [first half]. Repulse of Bábí sortie - Valí Khán is sent with reinforcements from Shíráz - Seyyid Yahyá is induced to quit his fortress, and, accompanied by one attendant, to return to his house in Níríz - On his way thither he is met by the sons of 'Alí 'Askar Khán who kill him in revenge for their father's death - Seyyid Yahyá's two sons and thirty of his followers are brought to Shíráz - The former are spared in consideration of their being seyyids, but the latter are put to death by order of Fírúz Mírzá.

Contents of the Supplement to the Kájáriyya volume
in so far as they relate to the Bábís.

P. 22. Events of the year A.H. 1268 [A.D. 1852]. Imám- Kuli Mírzá is appointed governor of Kirmánsháh - His energy in restoring order to his province - He arrests Mullá 'Alí Asghar, a Bábí missionary, and sends him in chains to Teherán - One Teymúr1 of Kal'a- Zanjírí claims to be the vicegerent of the Absent Imám and draws to himself a great number of people - He is seized and put to death by Imám- Kulí Mírzá - Account of the attempt on the Sháh's life - Digression on the character and doctrines of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í.

        P. 23. Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht succeeds Sheykh Ahmad - Dissensions amongst his followers after his death - Mullá Huseyn persuades many of the Sheykhís to follow Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb - His journey to Khurásán - Mullá Sheykh 'Alí [whom the Bábís entitle Jenáb-i-'Azím] becomes a Bábí and engages in active propaganda - He goes from Kerbelá to Káshán, where he sees and attempts to

        1 Subh-i-Ezel informed me that this Teymúr was not a Bábí but advanced a claim on his own account. After his death, however, a youth calling himself Seyfúr, who was a Bábí, appeared, and used to declare that he was Teymúr returned again from the dead.

[page 185]

convert Mírzá Áká Khán of Núr, afterwards Sadr-i-A'zam (Prime Minister) - He goes to Teherán, where, under various names and in diverse disguises, he continues his attempts at proselytizing - During the ministry of the Amír- Nizám he mediates a rising to be inaugurated by the slaughter of Mírzá Abú'l Kásim the Imám Jum'a - This plot is discovered by government spies and reported to the Amír- Nizám - Mírzá 'Abdu'r-Rahím, the brother of Mullá Muhammad Takí of Herát, one of the disciples of Mullá Sheykh 'Alí, is arrested.

        P. 24. Mírzá 'Abdu'r- Rahím refuses to betray his confederates - Mírzá Táhir, fellow-lodger of the above, is questioned - Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán is beguiled by a forged letter into revealing Mullá Sheykh 'Alí's abode - A servant of Mullá Sheykh 'Alí's is arrested and tortured, but discloses nothing - He is put to death, but Mírzá 'Abdu'r-Rahím's life is spared - Mullá Sheykh 'Alí escapes and takes refuge in Sháh 'Abdu'l- 'Azím, whence he presently flies to Ázarbaiján - On the fall of the Amír-Nizám, Mullá Sheykh 'Alí returns to Teherán and begins to organize the conspiracy against the Sháh's life - The house of Hájí Suleymán Khán of Tabríz becomes the meeting-place of the conspirators, and there Mullá Sheykh 'Alí takes up his quarters - Seventy persons are involved in the conspiracy - Nature of the plot - Twelve Bábís volunteer for the attempt, amongst them being Muhammad Sádik. [of Zanján], Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Wahháb of Shíráz, Mullá Fathu'lláh of Kum, and Muhammad Bákir of Najafábád.

        P. 25. The attempt on the Sháh's life is made on Sunday, Shawwál 28th [A.H. 1268 = August 15th, 1852] - Account of the attempt and its failure. [See infra, Note T.]

        P. 26. Fate of the assassins - Consternation of the ministers - Conjectures as to the originators of the plot - Firmness of the Prime Minister (Sadr-i-A'zam).

        P. 27. Messengers despatched to all parts of the kingdom to announce the Sháh's safety - The search for the Bábís begins - Arrest of Hájí Suleymán Khán and twelve of his confederates - On information obtained from some of these prisoners 36 Bábís are captured, amongst whom is Mullá Sheykh 'Alí.

        P. 28. The Hájibu'd Dawla cuts off Mullá Sheykh

[page 186]

'Alí's ear - Examination of the prisoners - Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Núrí [apparently Behá'u'lláh himself], Mírzá Suleymán-Kulí, Mírzá Mahmúd, Áká 'Abdu'lláh, Mírzá Jawád of Khurásán, and Mírzá Huseyn of Kum are imprisoned, there not being sufficient evidence to incriminate them in the plot: the other Bábí prisoners are apportioned amongst the different departments and classes each to be slain in such fashion as shall please those to whom he has been assigned - The slaughter takes place on the last day of Zi'l-Ka'da [A.H. 1268 = September 15th, A.D 1852] - Account of the executions [see infra, Note T].

        P. 29. Account of the executions continued, including that of Kurratu'l-'Ayn [see infra, Notes Q and T] - Public rejoicings.

        Whoever carefully examines the arrangement of matter in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh as indicated in the above table of contents will perceive that this arrangement is not strictly chronological, although ostensibly intended to be so. A desire not to interrupt the continuity of the narrative in relating an episode often induces the historian to include under the year in which the episode which he is describing first began, events properly belonging to subsequent d \widctlpar years. Thus the first public appearance of the Báb was in the year A.H. 1260, but the narrative is carried on without interruption not only to the tim d \widctlpar e of his return from Mecca to Bushire, which certainly did not occur till A.H. 1261, but to the period of his concealment by the Mu'tamadu'd-Dawla in Isfahán, which belongs to the year A.H. 1262. So likewise the beginning of the insurrection in Mázandarán was in A.H. 1264, while its final suppression did not take place till A.H. 1265; yet the whole insurrection from its earliest beginning to its ultimate conclusion is described under the year A.H. 1264, the only indication of a change of year being afforded by the rotation of the months. Other instances might be adduced, but these are sufficient to prove a fact which it is most important to bear in mind. The erroneous dates given for the siege of Zanján and the Báb's martyrdom (of which events, according to all testimony, the latter took place during the

[page 187]

former) cannot, however, be satisfactorily accounted for in this way; and I am forced to suppose that in this case the Lisánu'l Mulk has committed a positive error, which, as it has been copied and reproduced by Kazem-Beg and a number of writers who have followed him, it is necessary to expose in the clearest manner possible. This I strove to do in my first paper on the Bábis in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1889 (pp. 511-513), where I attempted to prove that both of the events in question were to be assigned, not, as stated in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh and repeated by those who have unreservedly followed it, to the year A.H. 1265 (A.D. 1849), but to the year A.H. 1266 (A.D. 1850). It is unnecessary for me to repeat in this place the arguments there adduced to support an opinion in which further study of the matter serves but to confirm me; I will only observe that further corroboration of that opinion is afforded not only by the present work (supra, pp. 44-45) and the Rawzatu's- Safá, but also by Dr A. H. Wright's memoir contributed to the Z. D. M. G. in 1851, wherein the Báb's execution is described (p. 385) as having occurred "last year," and by Binning (Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia &c., London, 1857, vol. i, p. 407), who, in a passage written in 1850 or early in 1851, remarks, after describing the Báb's execution, that "a large number of them [i.e. the Bábís] are now up in arms in Zenjân."

        Complete impartiality is a quality we could not reasonably expect to find in the court historian of a despot whose ears must hear what is pleasant rather than what is true, and whose actions must be not only justified but extolled as models of wisdom and virtue. When we consider that, apart from this, the Lisánu'l-Mulk, as a presumably orthodox Shi'ite Muhammadan, was bound to disparage and traduce in every way possible those whose object was nothing less than the complete overthrow of Islám and the abrogation of its ordinances, we cannot but admire the candour which he displays; for if, on the one hand, he brings against the Bábís many unfounded and absurd accusations, on the other hand he pourtrays with a fidelity scarcely surpassed by the witty and sarcastic Comte de Gobineau the cowardice, incapacity, and treachery of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá, the courage of Mullá Huseyn of Bush-

[page 188]

reweyh, the constancy of Áká Muhammad 'Alí of Tabríz, and the heroism of the Bábí women of Zanján.

        Each page of the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh consists of 29 lines containing on an average 21 words each, so that a page is equivalent to about 600 words. That portion of the narrative which refers to the Bábís occupies in all not less than 46 pages, and cannot contain fewer than 27,000 words.

2. The Rawzatu's-Safá.

        The Teherán lithographed edition of this work, whereof the publication was completed in Rabí'u'l-Avval A.H. 1274 (Oct-Nov., A.D. 1857), consists of ten volumes bound in two. Of these ten volumes the first six composed by Mírkhwánd (d. A.D. 1498) and the seventh composed by his grandson Khwándamír (d. A.D. 1534) constitute the whole of what is generally understood by European writers when they speak of the Rawzatu's-Safá. The three last (eighth, ninth, and tenth) volumes, which supplement the older work and bring the narrative down to our own days, were written by that most talented and learned scholar Rizá- Kulí Khán 'Lelé-Báshí,' of whose life and works a most valuable account from the pen of Mr Sidney Churchill will be found in vol. xviii (New Series) of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, pp. 196-206. All that relates to the Bábís is contained in the last (tenth) volume, with which alone, therefore, we are here concerned. The numeration of the pages in this volume is supplied by my hand, the pages in the original being unnumbered. As the narrative of the Bábí movement here given agrees very closely for the most part with that contained in the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh, I shall in the summary of its contents about to be given indicate very briefly that portion of it dealt with in each page, except in cases where some fact is added or differently stated.

Contents of vol. x of the Rawzatu's- Safá
in so far as they relate to the Bábís.

        P. 69 [last 17 lines]. From the first appearance of the

[page 189]

Báb to the stratagem whereby Huseyn Khán Ajúdán-Báshí induces him to expose his ideas without reserve.

        P. 70 [first 18 lines]. From the Báb's disputation with the clergy of Shíráz to the death of Minúchihr Khán in Rabí'u'l-Avval A.H. 1263 and the Báb's removal to Chihrík. Reflections on the causes which led to the rapid spread of his doctrines. He is accused of holding and teaching the doctrine of metempsychosis.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 118 [first 26 lines]. From the beginning of Mullá Huseyn's propaganda to his escape from Mash-had and advance on Mázandarán with 300 or 400 followers. It is stated that his original intention was to proceed to Chihrík. and liberate the Báb. The last three lines of this page begin the account of the Báb's first examination (A.H. 1263=A.D. 1847) by the clergy of Tabríz presided over by the present Sháh, at that time Crown-Prince. The account of the proceedings of this assembly is professedly copied "without favour or enmity" from the report written by Hájí Mullá Mahmúd the Nizámu'l-'Ulamá. Concerning this conference see supra, pp. 18-21, and infra, Note M.

        P. 119. Account of the conference continued.

        P. 120. Account of the conference continued.

        P. 121. Conclusion of the conference, and punishment of the Báb, who is afterwards sent back to Chihrík. - Exasperation of the Bábís on hearing what indignities have been offered to their master - Mullá Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh - Kurratu'l-'Ayn - The meeting of Badasht - The attack on the Bábís at Hazár-Jaríb - The death of Muhammad Sháh (Shawwál, A.H. 1264=August 31st - September 28th, A.D. 18481) - Beginning of the Mázandarán insurrection.

        P. 122. Recapitulation of Mullá Huseyn's earlier adventures and behaviour - Narrative of events from the collision between Mullá Huseyn's 700 or 800 white-robed, white- turbaned followers and the Musulmáns of Bárfurúsh to the occupation of Sheykh Tabarsí by the former - Description of the Bábí fortress.

        1 According to Watson (History of Persia, p. 354), the death of Muhammad Sháh took place on September 4th, 1848.]

[page 190]

        P. 123. Continuation of narrative of the Mázandarán insurrection to the surprise and discomfiture of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá by the Bábís at Vásaks.

        P. 124. Continuation of narrative to the night attack of the Bábís led by Mullá Huseyn on 'Abbás- Kulí Khán's army. The date of this event is here stated as Rabí'u'l-Avval 10th A.H. 1266 (January 24th, A.D. 1850), which is a mistake. The correct date, Rabí'u'l-Avval (10th) A.H. 1265 (February 3rd, A.D. 1849) is given in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh.

        P. 125. From the death of Mullá Huseyn to the second advance of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá against Sheykh Tabarsí.

        P. 126. Continuation of the narrative to the arrival of Ja'far-Kulí Khán and Tahmásp Kulí Khán with reinforcements for the besiegers.

        P. 127. Continuation of the narrative to the Bábí sortie, which results directly in the death of Tahmásp-Kulí Khán, and indirectly in that of his uncle Ja'far-Kulí Khán through the wanton and inconsiderate cruelty of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá.

        P. 128. Conclusion of the narrative of the Mázandarán insurrection. Beginning of the narrative of the Zanján insurrection.

        P. 129. Continuation of the narrative to Seyyid 'Alí Khán's unsuccessful attempt at pacification.

        P. 130. Continuation of the narrative to Farrukh Khán's capture and terrible fate.

        P. 131. Continuation of the narrative to Hasan Khán's unsuccessful attempt at pacification. (According to the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh this event preceded the last, and this version is on the face of it more probable.)

        P. 132. Conclusion of the narrative of the Zanján insurrection - Brief account of the execution of the Báb at Tabríz. (The date of this event is here correctly stated as A.H. 1266. The account itself is most meagre, amounting in substance merely to this: that the Báb was brought from Chihrík. to Tabríz, condemned to death by the clergy of that city, and suspended and shot, together with two of his disciples, by the Christian regiment, his body being afterwards cast outside the city as food for wolves and dogs.

[page 191]

No mention is made of his miraculous escape from the first volley by the soldiers) - Beginning of the narrative of the Níríz insurrection.

        P. 133. Conclusion of the narrative of the Níríz insurrection. (According to this account, Aká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb the insurgent leader was brought to Shíráz and there put to death. Allusion is also made to the second Bábí rising at Níríz and the assassination of the governor Zeynu'l-'Ábidín Khán, which events occurred about two years later. See Note H, infra.)

        *         *         *         *         *        

        P. 167 [last 21 lines]. The attempt on the Sháh's life (see Note T, infra). Preliminary recapitulation of similar attempts on the lives of kings and ministers made by members of heretical sects - Eulogies of Násiru'd-Dín Sháh.

        P. 168. After the death of the Báb a new leader (whom the author of this history apparently believes to have been Mullá Sheykh 'Alí 'Jenáb-i-'Azím') is chosen by his followers - The Bábí conspiracy - The assassination is planned by twelve Bábís, who arrange that the attempt shall take place on the morning of Sunday the 28th of Shawwál A.H. 1268 (August 15th, A.D. 1852) as the Sháh is riding out on a hunting expedition from his summer residence at Niyávarán - Description of the Royal Cavalcade and the approach of the conspirators in the guise of suppliants.

        P. 169. Of the twelve assassins, six fail to arrive in time, while three lag behind - The three who are ready approach the Sháh as petitioners, surround him, and fire two shots at him - The Sháh's retainers come up and kill one of the conspirators - Another shot is fired wounding the Sháh in the shoulder - The two surviving conspirators are seized and retained for examination - The Sháh wishes to continue his expedition, but is dissuaded by the Prime Minister - Panic in Teherán - The Sháh holds a public reception on the following day.

        P. 170. Messengers are despatched in all directions to announce the Sháh's safety - Certain malicious persons strive unsuccessfully to cast suspicion on the Prime Minister and Muhammad Hasan Khán of Erivan - It is

[page 192]

discovered that 70 Bábís are in the habit of resorting to the house of Hájí Suleymán Khán, on which accordingly a raid is made, resulting in the capture of Suleymán Khán and twelve others - Mullá Sheykh 'Alí and thirty-six other Bábís are also arrested - Account of the execution of these - The Sháh returns to Teherán from Niyávarán amidst general rejoicings on Friday, Zi'l-Ka'da 17th, A.H. 1268 (September 2nd, A.D. 1852).

        Rizá-Kulí Khán's narrative substantially agrees with that of the Lisánu'l-Mulk, but is on the whole less full, more bombastic, and more vituperative, execrations and curses on the Bábís severally and generally being freely introduced throughout. Some new dates are added, and some, such as that of the Zanján troubles, which are erroneously stated in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh, are here correctly given; but, on the other hand, some fresh chronological errors, notably in the case of Mullá Huseyn's last sortie and death, are introduced. The account given of the Báb's death is extremely meagre; and in other parts of the narrative we miss that abundance of detail and fulness of description which render the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh so readable and so graphic.

        Each page of the Rawzatu's- Safá contains 33 lines, and each line an average of 26 words, making about 858 words to the page. The number of pages devoted to the Bábís is in all twenty and a half, so that the whole narrative above summarized contains not fewer than 17,500 words, and is about two-thirds of the length of the account given in the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh.

3.         The Táríkh-i- Jadíd.

        Of this work, which exists only in manuscript, two copies only, so far as I know, have reached Europe1. One,

        1 Quite recently, as I have learned from Baron Rosen, another MS. of this work, obtained by M. Tumanski at Ishkábád, has been added to the library of the Institut des Langues Orientales of St Petersburg.

[page 193]

obtained by Mr Sidney Churchill, is in the library of the British Museum, and is numbered Or. 2942. The other is in my own possession, and is briefly described at p. 496 of my first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, and at pp. 1002-1003 of my second paper in the same volume. Of the manner in which I first became acquainted with this work, of the means whereby I obtained the MS. now in my possession, of my intention of publishing it, and of the causes which led me to lay aside (I trust but for a season) the text and translation on which I was engaged in favour of the present work, I have already spoken in the Introduction. As the Táríkh-i-Jadíd is not at present generally available to scholars, I shall confine myself to giving a brief statement of its contents based on my own MS. Before doing so, however, a few words must be said concerning the British Museum codex, which is superior alike in accuracy, neatness, and calligraphy to my own.

        In the MS. catalogue of recent acquisitions the MS. in question is described thus:-

        "Or. 2942. Táríkh-i-Jadíd. A history of the Bábís. A.H. 1298 (1881). Persian."

        On its cover it bears the following inscription:-

OR. 2942

        Inside the cover is written:-

~~~ (sic)

        The blank leaf at the beginning bears the name of the work (~~~) both in Arabic and English characters, the date July 1882, and Mr Sidney Churchill's signature, substituted for that of Hr Henry Churchill through which a pen has been drawn.

        At the end of the text is the following colophon:-


        (Rajab A.H. 1298 = May 30th - June 28th A.D. 1881).

[page 194]

        A final note states that the MS. was bought of [sic] Mr S. Churchill on October 10th, 1885. It consists of 177 fol. (354 pp.). Quotations, headings, and the initial words of sentences are sometimes written in red. The paper is of a bluish colour. The text, so far as I have collated it, offers a good many variants from, and some additions to, my MS., and its readings are generally preferable.

        My MS. consists of 374 pp., each of which contains 19 lines numbering on an average 10 words apiece. The whole history may be estimated to contain over 70,000 words.

        As regards the authorship of the work, it is concealed for obvious reasons; and indeed the author goes out of his way to describe himself as a traveller who, having visited all parts of Europe and India, undertook a journey to Persia for scientific purposes and especially geographical research. He expresses thankfulness to God that he does not belong to the Persian nation, whose faults he exposes unsparingly. He pourtrays himself as a non-Muhammadan open to conviction on matters of religion and associating freely with all sects. And at the conclusion of his work he apologizes for his lack of literary style, advances as an excuse the statement that Persian is not his native tongue, and alludes to a "treatise written in his own language in French writing" wherein the matter in hand is more eloquently set forth. Now that any European should have been capable or desirous of composing such a work is on the face of it extremely improbable, and there can be little doubt that the author advanced the statements above alluded to merely as a blind. Of the Bábís whom I have questioned on the subject some attribute the authorship of the work to a certain well- known and widely-travelled resident in the Persian capital, whom, as he is still living, I do not feel myself justified in indicating more particularly; others to his mírzá or secretary, now dead. It appears not improbable that it was the joint product of these two. Whoever the author or authors may have been, the information set forth is so detailed and so minute that it must have been derived for the most part from persons who had conversed with actual eye-witnesses of the events described, if not from eye-witnesses themselves. The author, whether

[page 195]

he had really embraced the Bábí faith or not, was, on his showing, a warm admirer of the Báb and his apostles and disciples, and was during the composition of his work in continual communication with certain prominent members of the sect. Yet the work when completed - perhaps because of the violence wherewith it denounces the Musulmán clergy and reproaches the Persian nation, perhaps because of the slight mention which it makes of Behá'u'lláh (of Subh-i-Ezel it makes no mention at all) and the exaggerated veneration paid to the Báb - did not meet with the approval of the Bábí chiefs in Acre, and as early as the spring of 1888 I learned in Shíráz that instructions had been issued for the compilation of a new history more in accordance with the views entertained by those chiefs. Of these instructions the history now offered to the public is the outcome.

Summary of the contents of the

        Pp. 1-381. Introduction.

        "         39-40. Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht foretells the approaching 'manifestation' and dies.

        Pp. 41-47. Conversion of Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh.

        Pp. 48-50. Conversions of Hájí Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh ('Jenáb-i- Kuddús'), Mullá Muhammad Sádik. of Khurásán ('Mukaddas'), and others.

        Pp. 51-55. From Mullá Huseyn's journey to Khurásán to his entry into Bárfurúsh with Hájí Muhammad 'Alí and their combined followers.

        Pp. 56-114. From the first collision between the Bábís and the Musulmáns in Bárfurúsh to the fall of the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí.

        Pp. 115-132. Biographies of certain eminent Bábís who suffered martyrdom in Mázandarán, with some reflections on the heroism displayed by the besieged.

        Pp. 133-155. The struggle at Níríz, and reflections thereon. (See Note H, infra.)

        1: The pagination refers to my own MS., not to the British Museum Codex.

[page 196]

        Pp. 156-163. The siege of Zanján.

        Pp. 164-166. Reflections thereon.

        "         167-176. Account of a disputation between a learned Bábí and an assembly of Musulmán divines.

        Pp. 177-201. The decadence of the Persian empire and the deterioration of its people traced to the complete ascendancy obtained by the clergy, whose ignorance, wickedness, and arrogance are unsparingly exposed.

        Pp. 202-222. Personal history of the Báb from the beginning of his mission until his exile to Mákú.

        Pp. 223-236. Sufficiency of the testimony given by a host of martyrs of every class to the truth of Bábíism. Objections answered.

        Pp. 237-240. Personal history of the Báb continued until his removal from Mákú to Chihrík.

        Pp. 241-243. History of the 'Indian believer' (~~~)

        Pp. 244-246. History of Seyyid Basír the Indian.

        "         247-249. Eulogy on the devotion and self-sacrifice of the Bábís.

        Pp. 250-261. History of the 'Seven Martyrs' (See Note B, infra.)

        Pp. 262-264. Reflections thereon.

        "         265-277. History of Kurratu'l-'Ayn. (See Note Q, infra.)

        Pp. 278-280. First examination of the Báb at Tabríz. (See Note M, infra.)

        Pp. 281-286. Reflections on the unfairness of the proceedings.

        Pp. 287-300. Personal history of the Báb until his martyrdom.

        Pp. 301-305. Review of former prophetic dispensations and comparison of these with the present 'manifestation.'

        Pp. 306-322. Discussion of the kind of proof necessary to establish the truth of a new revelation, and reflections on the hard-heartedness, obstinacy, and stiff-neckedness of the Musulmáns in general and their clergy in particular, together with further proofs of their want of

[page 197]

fairness illustrated by additional details concerning the conference at Isfahán. (See Note J, infra.)

        Pp. 323-331. The irrational beliefs, absurd traditions, and gross ignorance of the generality of Shi'ite divines.

        Pp. 332-369. Account of a discussion which took place in the author's presence between a Bábí and a mujtahid, and discomfiture of the latter.

        Pp. 370-372. Refutation of certain charges falsely alleged against the Bábís.

        Pp. 373-374. Conclusion.

4.         The Kisasu'l- 'Ulamá.

        This is a work of 350 pages containing biographical notices of 153 eminent Shi'ite divines, amongst whom the author, Mírzá Muhammad ibn Suleymán-i-Tanakábuní, includes himself. It was published for the second time at Teherán in A.H. 1304 (A.D. 1886-7), together with two treatises composed by Seyyid Murtazá ''Ilmu'l-Hudá,' which are included in the same volume. The second biography in this volume, extending from p. 12 to p. 43, is devoted to Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí ibn Muhammad al-Burghání al-Kazvíní, called by the Shi'ites Shahíd-i-Thálith ('the Third Martyr'), and treats incidentally at some length of the Bábís, with whom the subject of the memoir in question came into such fatal collision. Of the book under consideration we are here concerned with this section alone, and indeed only with a part of that.

        Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí was the eldest of three brothers, of whom the second, Hájí Mullá Muhammad Sálih, was also a divine and jurisconsult, while the third, Hájí Mullá 'Alí, was first a disciple of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í and afterwards a partisan of the Báb. Now Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí detested Sheykh Ahmad and his doctrines, and was indeed the first amongst the Shi'ite clergy to denounce him as a dangerous heretic; but if his detestation of the Sheykhís was great, much bitterer and more violent was his hatred of the Bábís. The fact that not only his youngest brother Hájí Mullá 'Alí, but also his niece and daughter- in-law Zarrín-Táj (or, to give her the title whereby she has become for ever famous, Kurratu'l-

[page 198]

'Ayn), had embraced the doctrines which he so abhorred, must have greatly conduced to an intensification of this hatred, which rose to such a pitch that, as we learn from the present work, he was during the last year of his life chiefly engaged in violent public denunciation of the Báb and his religion. This cost him his life; for at length certain Bábís, stung by his words into uncontrollable anger, fell upon him early one morning as he was praying in the mosque, and with knives and daggers inflicted on him eight wounds, from the effects of which he expired two days later. He was buried at Kazvín in the precincts of Sháhzádé Huseyn.

Contents of the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá in so far as they
relate to the Bábís.

        P. 20. Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí first denounces Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í as a heretic - Account of Sheykh Ahmad.

        Pp. 21-30. Account of Sheykh Ahmad and Hájí Seyyid Kázim - Exposition and refutation of their doctrines. (See Note E, infra, and B. ii, pp. 890-892.)

        Pp. 30-35. Account of Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán of Kírmán - Further remarks on the Sheykhí doctrines.

        P. 36. Account of the assassination of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí by certain Bábís in A.H. 1264 (A.D. 1848).

        P. 37. Account of Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb - His diligent attendance at Hájí Seyyid Kázim's lectures. (See B. ii, p. 894.)         P. 38. How the attention of the author was first drawn to the Báb (see B. ii, pp. 894, 895) - The Báb returned to Bushire and begins to practise austerities - He composes a 'Kur'án' - The heresy of his doctrines exposed.

        P. 39. Imprisonment of the Báb at Chihrík. - His first examination before the clergy of Tabríz. (See Note M, infra.)

        Pp. 40, 41. Account of the Báb's examination continued and concluded - He is bastinadoed - Further particulars concerning Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán.

        Pp. 42, 43. Disparagement of Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán, and proofs of his lack of scholarship.

[page 199]


        Besides the Persian works above noticed which bear directly on the history of the Bábí movement, we may observe that the Persian poet Ká'ání has two kasídas written to celebrate the Sháh's escape from the attempt on his life1. These, however, as one would naturally expect, throw very little new light on the facts of the case. It is said that Ká'ání was at first disposed to regard the Báb with favour, and that the kasída beginning:-

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

"The ensample of men and jinn hath appeared,
The leader of these and those hath appeared,"

was written in his honour. If this be so, it is by no means the only instance of inconsistency wherewith this talented but fickle poet can be taxed.

        In Arabic there is an article on Bábíism in the Encyclopaedia (~~~) of Butrusu'l-Bustání (Beyrout, 1881) which contributes some important facts not previously published, but also contains one or two grave errors. It comprises about 1600 words, and is based on information communicated by Seyyid Jemálu'd-Din al-Afghán. Of a portion of this I published a translation in my second paper on the Bábís (J. R. A. S. for 1889, pp. 942-943).

        In Turkish a short article of about 240 words in vol. ii of Sámí Bey's Dictionnaire Universel d'Histoire et de Géographie (~~~, Constantinople, A.H. 1307) contains no new facts, but several new errors.

1: See infra, Note T

[page 200]


        Numerous accounts of the Báb and his religion have been published in Europe, and these, so far as they are known to me, I shall now enumerate in the order of their publication, noting as far as possible whence each work derives the information which it embodies. A mere casual remark of some traveller often sheds a fresh ray of light on the matter, or helps to decide some doubtful date, and therefore I shall include in my list several works wherein only a few paragraphs are devoted to the Bábís; while on the other hand I do not consider it necessary to refer to all of the numerous articles on the subject which have appeared in various encyclopaedias and magazines, since these for the most part merely repeat more or less fully and eloquently the facts recorded by other writers.

        [A.D. 1851.] Bâb und seine Secte in Persien, by A. H. Wright of the American Mission at Urúmiyya, Persia, contributed by J. Perkins, also of the aforesaid Mission, to the German Oriental Society, and published in Vol. v of the Z. D. M. G. (Leipzig, 1851, pp. 384-385). From a note appended by the Editor we learn that the MS. of this article, dated March 31, 1851, was forwarded with a letter from Mr Perkins dated March 29, and that another copy of the same article was sent to the American Oriental Society. From the Journal of the last-named society it appears that this paper was read at one of their meetings, but, so far as I can discover, it was not published, so that we have it only in its German dress. This document is of capital importance, and I have more than once had occasion to refer to it in my notes.

        [A.D. 1856.] Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia, by Lady Sheil (London, 1856). The authoress of this work also was resident in Persia during the Bábí troubles, and much valuable information is supplied by her. That this information was derived for the most part, if not entirely, from bitter enemies of the new faith, or in other words from persons attached to the Persian Court, is sufficiently

[page 201]

evident. Some of the statements advanced seem to be traceable to one or other of the Court historians whose works have already been noticed. Others - especially one to the effect that the Báb, while resident at Baghdad or Kerbelá, was arrested by the Turkish authorities, and only saved from execution at their hands by the intervention of the Persian consul (p. 177) - stand alone, and are unsupported by other testimony. What relates to the Bábís in this work is as follows:

        P. 176. Origin of the sect.

        P. 177. Personal history of the Báb until his death.

        P. 178. Confessions of ex- Bábís.

        P. 179. Bábí doctrines exposed.

        P. 180. Bábís compared to Assassins and Mazdakites - Mázandarán and Yezd insurrections - Execution of the 'Seven Martyrs'

        P. 181. Rising at Zanján - Probability that the Bábí faith is spreading.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        Pp. 273-282. Accounts of the attempt on the Sháh's life and of the Bábí executions which followed it, the latter translated from the 'Teherán Gazette' in which it appeared.

        [A.D. 1857.] Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia, Ceylon, etc., by Robert B. M. Binning, Esq., of the Madras Civil Service (London, 1857, 2 vols). Some few pages of the twentieth chapter of this work (vol. i, pp. 403-408) are devoted to the Bábís. Of all accounts which I have read, not excluding those given by the Musulmán historians, this is the most hostile, the most unfair - I had almost said the most libellous. The writer, not content with likening the Bábís to Mormons and Sadducees and describing their Founder as a kind of oriental Joe Smith, casts aspersions on the Báb's honesty, and almost accuses him of theft in so many words. This should not, perhaps, cause us much surprise in one who considers that the Gospelof Christ would be best commended to the people of Persia by the annexation of their country by some "Christian State," and who thinks that King Núshírván acted "very properly" in ordering the massacre of Mazdak and his adherents. In

[page 202]

point of accuracy, too, this account leaves much to be desired. Thus the author, writing in 1850-1851, describes the Níríz insurrection and the death of Seyyid Yahyá as having occurred "about five years ago," and states that the Báb himself travelled into Mázandarán, evidently confusing him with Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh. Yet, open to criticism as it is, Mr Binning's narrative has its value, and, as I have shown above (p. 187), helps to determine some doubtful points of chronology. Mr Binning appears to have left Persia by way of Bushire on February 7, 1852, having learned, almost at the moment of his departure, the tragic fate of Mírzá Takí Khán Amír-Nizám, which befel in January of that year.

        [A.D. 1864,65.] In the Bulletin de l'Académie Impériale de St Pétersbourg, dated December 22, 1864 (vol. viii, pp. 247-248), is a most valuable article by Dorn on certain Bábí MSS. belonging to the St Petersburg collection. One of these - described as "the Koran of the Bábís" - derives special value from the fact that it was written by the Báb's own secretary, and by him placed in European hands. A portion of this text given by Dorn as a specimen was pronounced by Subh-i-Ezel (to whom I submitted it) an extract from the Book of Names (~~~). The other MS. described is a history of the Mázandarán insurrection composed in the Mázandarání dialect, and was obtained by Dorn during his sojourn in that province in 1860. From the abstract given of its contents it would appear to be of the highest interest, even though it be not in all respects worthy of credence. A short postscript referring to the authenticity of these two MSS. is added in the Bulletin for February 8, 1865. Concerning the occurrences in Mázandarán, Dorn also refers to a previous article of his at p. 353 of vol. iv of the Bulletin (Mélanges Asiatiques, vol. iv, p. 442), but this I have not seen.

        [A.D. 1865.] Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, by M. le Comte de Gobineau (Paris, 1865 and 1866). This most brilliant, most graphic, and most charming work is too well known to need any detailed description.

[page 203]

Though largely based on the Lisánu'l-Mulk's account of the Bábí movement, it embodies also many statements derived from Bábí sources; and not only are the facts thus obtained sifted with rare judgment and arranged with consummate skill, but the characters and scenes of this stirring drama are depicted in a manner so fresh, so vivid, and so lifelike that the work in question must ever remain a classic unsurpassed and indeed unapproached in the subject whereof it treats. The account of the Bábí books and doctrines (occupying 50 pages) is of the utmost value, being based on Bábí MSS. (now in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris) obtained by the author; and the translation of the Book of Precepts (~~~), which forms an Appendix of 82 pages, is still the only complete translation into any European language of a Bábí sacred book. Of the 543 pages composing this volume, 299 are devoted to the Bábís.

        [A.D. 1865.] Persien. Das Land und seine Bewohner, by Dr Jakob Eduard Polak, formerly Physician to the Sháh of Persia and Professor at the Medical College of Teherán (Leipzig, 1865, 2 vols). This work, embodying as it does researches into every phase of Persian life made by one whose position gave him rare opportunities of observing facts which his scientific training enabled him to describe with precision and accuracy, is also of the highest value. What relates to the Bábís occupies only four pages (pp. 350-353) of the first volume. Of these four pages the contents are briefly as follows:-

        P. 350. The Báb and his teaching - Its rapid spread, especially amongst Seyyids, men of learning, and women of the most cultured class - Kurratu'l-'Ayn - Alleged use of narcotics such as hashísh by the Bábís - Determination of the Amír-Nizám to put the Báb to death.

        P. 351. Execution of the Báb - Insurrections in Mázandarán and Zanján. [Both of these risings are here described as having taken place subsequently to the Báb's death, whereas in fact the former had terminated and the latter was in progress when this event occurred.] - Attempt on the Sháh's life in 1852.

[page 204]

        P. 352. Attempt on the Sháh's life - Persons suspected - "Macchiavellian means" adopted for the extirpation of the Bábís - Hájí 'Alí Khán the Farrásh-Báshí - His cruel disposition - Partition of the Bábí prisoners.

        P. 353. Horrible cruelties perpetrated on the Bábís - Their extraordinary fortitude - The tortures inflicted on the beautiful Kurratu'l-'Ayn, and the "superhuman courage" wherewith she endured her lingering death. [Of this execution Dr Polak was himself a witness] - Persecutions in the provinces - Activity of the Bábís continued, though concealed.

        [A.D. 1865.] Journey from London to Persepolis, by John Ussher, F.R.G.S. (London, 1865). This work contains (pp. 627-629) some mention of the Bábís, and depicts in vivid colours the reign of terror which succeeded the attempt on the Sháh's life. A portion of this description is quoted in a footnote on p. 120, supra.

        [A.D. 1866.] Bab et les Babis, an article - or rather a series of five articles - communicated to the Journal Asiatique for 1866 by Mirza Kazem-Beg. The Journal Asiatique for each year being divided into two volumes in the second of which the pagination is recommended, I have, for the sake of brevity, denoted all that portion of Mirza Kazem- Beg's article which occurs in vol. vii (6th series) by the abbreviation 'Kazem-Beg i,' and that which occurs in vol. viii by 'Kazem-Beg ii,' whenever I have had occasion to refer to them. The whole article amounts to 251 pages distributed in the two volumes as follows:-

        Vol. vii (sixième série), pp. 329-384. Preface, and biography of the Báb in 16 sections.

        Pp. 457-522. The Sheykhí doctrines. History of the Bábís, until the final suppression of the Mázandarán insurrection.

        Vol. viii (sixième série), pp. 196-252. History of the Bábís concluded. (Insurrections of Zanján and Níríz, attempt on the Sháh, persecution of A.D. 1852.)

        Pp. 357-400. The doctrine of the Bábís, and its antecedents.

        Pp. 473-507. Two letters from a Bábí Seyyid -

[page 205]

Changes in the original doctrine of the Báb wrought by his followers - Translations from a Bábí work of a devotional character. [This work, as I have attempted to show on pp. 897-899 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S., is none other than the Ziyárat-náma - the so-called "Récit du Pèlerinage" - composed by the Báb.] - Conclusion.

        The sources from which Mirza Kazem-Beg drew his information are, as stated by himself in a note on p. 332 (vol. vii), the following:-

        (() The Násikhu't- Tawáríkh.

        (() The MS. History in the Mázandarání dialect described by Dorn (see p. 202, supra). Its author calls himself Sheykhu'l-'Ajam. Kazem-Beg describes the work in question as "full of inexactitudes," "of no historic value," and "curious only because composed in the dialect of Mázandarán."

        (() A memoir on the Bábís by M. Sévruguin, who resided for twenty years in Persia.

        (() Another memoir by M. Mochenin, who was in Persia at the time of the Bábí troubles, and who (vol. vii, p. 371) was so fortunate as to be at Chihrík. in June 1850, and even, as it would appear, to see the Báb addressing the multitudes who flocked thither.

        Some of Kazem-Beg's dates and facts I have already had occasion to criticize (though in almost all such cases it is the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh which is ultimately responsible); neither can I concur in several of the views which he advances (especially his estimate of the characters of Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd and Áká Seyyid Yahyá of Dáráb and his theory of the passive part taken by the Báb in the formation of the new doctrines); but, whatever new light further research may throw on the subject treated of by Mirza Kazem-Beg, there is no doubt that his work will always remain one of the chief authorities thereon.

        [A.D. 1866.] History of Persia from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century to the Year 1858, by Robert Grant Watson, formerly attached to Her Majesty's Legation at the Court of Persia (London, 1866). This work is also of the utmost value, since the author, from the position which

[page 206]

he occupied, had at his disposal the best means for arriving at the truth of matters of historical fact (especially of chronology), and was, moreover, by no means disposed unreservedly to follow the Musulmán historians, of whose unreliability he was well aware. What refers to the Bábís in this work is as follows:-

        Pp. 347-352. Origin of the movement - Early life of the Báb - The treatment experienced by him at the hands of Huseyn Khán - Edicts against the Bábís.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        Pp. 360-362. Rising at Yezd (not described in this passage as Bábí).

        P. 385. Yezd rising described as a Bábí movement.

        P. 386. Account of the 'Seven Martyrs'

        P. 387. Siege of Zanján.

        Pp. 388-392. Execution of the Báb - Fall of Zanján.

        *         *         *         *         *        

        Pp. 407-410. Attempt on Sháh's life - Executions of Bábís.

        [A.D. 1867.] Meine Wanderungen und Erlebnisse in Persien, by Hermann Vámbéry (Pest, 1867). This well-known traveller, à propos of a conversation which he had during his passage through Mázandarán with some of the inhabitants of 'Alí-ábád, in whose minds the recollection of the siege of Sheykh Tabarsí was still fresh, gives a dissertation on the Bábís which extends from p. 286 to p. 303 of this work. This account seems to be based almost entirely on what be [sic] was able to learn from the Persians, though Gobineau's work is occasionally quoted. The details here given concerning Suleymán Khán's martyrdom (which differ somewhat from those embodied in other traditions) will be referred to in Note T, infra.

        [A.D. 1868.] Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des Islams, by Baron Alfred von Kremer (Leipzig, 1868). Twenty pages of this work (pp. 202-222) are devoted to Bâb und seine Lehre, which article constitutes sect. vii of Book ii. One of the Bábí MSS. in the British Museum (Or. 3114) was, as appears from a note on the first page, bought from

[page 207]

Baron von Kremer, and contains a short note in pencil in his handwriting, but it does not seem that he made use of this in the compilation of the article in question.

        [A.D. 1869.] L'Année Philosophique for this year contains an article by F. Pillon referred to with approbation in the last edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (vol. iii, s. v. Bâbi).

        [A.D. 1872.] Essays und Studien, by Dr Hermann Ethé (Berlin, 1872). Of this work 61 pages (pp. 301-362) are occupied by an essay on the Báb and his doctrine entitled Ein moderner Prophet des Morgenlandes and based on the works of Gobineau, Kazem- Beg, Vámbéry, and Perkins. This essay is written in a sympathetic spirit, and the Bábí doctrines are expounded in a very lucid and logical manner.

        [A.D. 1873.] The Journal Asiatique for this year (7th series, vol. ii, pp. 393-395) contains an article "Sur les sectes dans le Kurdistan" by M. t. Gilbert wherein is included a short notice of the Bábís. After briefly describing the beliefs attributed to them by their neighbours, M. Gilbert estimates the number of those settled in Kurdistán at about five thousand.

        [A.D. 1874.] Persia - Ancient and Modern, by John Piggot, F.SA., F.G.S, F.R.G.S. (London, 1874). The account of the Bábí movement given in this work is full of inaccuracies. Thus, on p. 104, speaking of the Bábís up in arms at Yezd in May 1850, the writer says, "failing in this" (i.e. their attempt to capture the citadel) "they retired to Zinjan"; and he further describes the Báb as having been present in person amongst the besieged in that city, and as having been captured "in one of the assaults of the Sháh's troops" and executed there.

        [A.D. 1874.] Gurret- ül-Eyn: Ein Bild aus Persiens Neuzeit, by Marie von Najmájer (Vienna, 1874). This is a poem in six cantos in honour of the Bábí heroine Kurratu'l-'Ayn, which, if not possessing much historic value, is at

[page 208]

least a graceful and pleasing tribute to the memory of a noble woman.

        [A.D. 1875.] Journey in the Caucasus, Persia, and Turkey in Asia, by Lieut. Baron Max von Thielmann, translated into English by Charles Henneage, F.R.G.S. (London, 1875, 2 vols). The first volume of this work contains (at p. 262) a brief reference to the Bábís à propos of 'Muridism.' The second volume contains (at p. 52) an allusion to the Báb's execution in the citadel (arg) of Tabríz, which event is wrongly described as having occurred in A.D. 1843; and (at pp. 90-91) an interesting account of a Bábí named Hájí Muhammad Ja'far[footnote 1: Baron von Thielmann's fellow-traveller is very probably identical with the Hájí Muhammad Ja'far mentioned on p. 100, supra, and in note 1 on the same page.] who was the author's fellow-traveller from Tabríz to Mosul.

        [A.D. 1877.] Collections Scientifiques de l'Institut des Langues Orientales, vol. i, Manuscrits Arabes, by Baron Victor Rosen (St. Petersburg, 1886). To this most valuable contribution to our knowledge I have had occasion to refer frequently, both in my second paper on the Bábís (pp. 886, 905-909, 954-960, &c.), and in the present work. Of the two Bábí MSS. described, the first is conjectured by Baron Rosen (and there can hardly be a doubt that his conjecture is right) to be the Commentary on the Súra of Joseph (~~~) composed by the Báb at the beginning of his mission; the second, concerning which I was unable to arrive at a definite conclusion in my second paper on the Bábís (p. 954-958), has since been proved beyond all question to be a copy of Behá's Súra-i-Heykal, whereof the Epistles to the Kings (including the Epistle to the Sháh, a complete translation of which is given in the present work[footnote 2: See pp. 108-151, supra, and Note X, infra. The latter contains a translation of that portion of the Arabic exordium which is not cited in the Persian text.]) form a portion. Baron Rosen's convincing arguments (which he has kindly allowed me to see in proof) are prefixed to the text of the MS., which will be published in

[page 209]

extenso in vol. vi of the Collections Scientifiques &c., shortly to appear (p. 145 et seq.).

        [A.D. 1879.] The Deutsche Rundschau (vol. xviii, pp. 284-291) contains an article entitled Orientalischer Socialismus by Professor t. N\'f6ldeke, in which the tenets of the Bábís are briefly discussed, and compared with those of the Mazdakites.

        [A.D. 1886.] Collections Scientifiques &c., vol. iii, Manuscrits Persans, by Baron Rosen (St Petersburg, 1886). This volume, equally valuable with the other, contains descriptions of MSS. of the Persian Beyán (pp. 1-32) and the Íkán (pp. 33-51).

        [A.D. 1887.] The Revue Critique d'Histoire et de Littérature for April 18th of this year contains (pp. 297-298) a review of Baron Rosen's Manuscrits Persans by M. E. Fagnan. Special notice is taken of the Bábí MSS. described by Baron Rosen, and some valuable information is given concerning the five Bábí MSS. brought by Gobineau from Persia, which, on the death of their owner, were bought by the Bibliothèque Nationale.

        [A.D. 1887.] Haifa, or Life in Modern Palestine, by Laurence Oliphant (Edinburgh and London, 1887). This work consists of a series of letters or essays on different subjects connected with the Holy Land, of which the twenty-first, entitled "the Babs and their Prophet" (pp. 103-107), gives an account of a visit paid by the writer to one of Behá's gardens in the vicinity of Acre, together with such information as to the history of the Báb and the Bábís and the personal character and claims of Behá as he was able to collect. This account is very noteworthy, since it is, so far as I know, the first published notice of Behá and the Bábí colony at Acre. Several erroneous statements are made, especially one to the effect that Behá "is visible only to women or men of the poorest class," and that "his own disciples who visit him are only allowed a glimpse of his august back." I myself, during the week which I spent at Acre (April 13th-20th, 1890), was

[page 210]

admitted to the august presence four times, each interview lasting about 20 minutes; besides which on one occasion I saw Behá walking in his garden of Janayn surrounded by a dozen or so of his chief disciples. Not a day passes but numerous Bábís of all classes are permitted to wait upon him.

        [A.D. 1887.] Note sur trois ouvrages Bâbis communicated by M. Clément Huart to the Journal Asiatique for 1887 (eighth series, vol. x, pp. 133-144). Of the first of the three MSS. described I submitted an extract to Subh-i-Ezel, who pronounced it to be (as M. Huart had conjectured) from his own work the Kitáb-i-Núr ('Book of Light'), or rather from one of the two works which go by that name. The translation of Subh-i-Ezel's words (contained in a letter written at the end of September 1889) will be found in Note U infra. The other two MSS. described by M. Huart appear to be from the same source. Baron Rosen alludes to another article about these MSS. by M. Huart in the Revue de l'Histoire des Religions (vol. xviii, p. 279-296), which I have not seen.

        [A.D. 1889.] La Religion de Bab, a little volume of 64 pages, also by M. Huart, forming one of the series known as the Bibliothèque Orientale Elzévirienne (Paris, 1889). This contains some translations from the above MSS. The historical portion supplies us with no new facts.

        [A.D. 1889.] The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society [New Series] vol. XXI contains my two papers on the Bábís, whereof the first (throughout this work referred to as B. i) is entitled The Bábís of Persia. I. Sketch of their History and Personal Experiences amongst them, and the second (referred to as B. ii) The Bábís of Persia. II. Their Literature and Doctrines. These two papers embody the results of my investigations on this subject during the year which I spent in Persia (1887-1888).

        [A.D. 1889.] Baron Rosen's Zapiski (vol. iv, parts 1 and 2, pp. 112-114) contains a short account of four Bábí works recently brought to St Petersburg. These four

[page 211]

works are:- (1) A MS. of the ~~~; (2) A copy of the Bombay lithographed edition of the ~~~; (3) A MS. of the ~~~ (which work I wrongly named ~~~ in my papers on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S.); (4) A MS. of the ~~~ (or ~~~). A much fuller description of all these will be found in vol. vi of the Collections Scientifiques when it appears. See immediately below.

        [To appear shortly.] Collections Scientifiques, vol. vi, by Baron Rosen. Although this volume is not yet published, the kindness of the learned author in sending me the proof-sheets as they were printed off has enabled me to make reference to it when occasion required. It will contain, amongst much other valuable matter, the complete text of the Súra-i- Heykal.

        See also articles in the Encyclopaedia Britannica sv. Bâbi (vol. iii, 1875, pp. 180-181), Persia, Modern History (vol. xviii, 1885, pp. 650-651), and Sunnites and Shí'ites (vol. xxii, 1887, p. 665); and articles in the following periodicals:- Contemporary Review (vol. xi, p. 581; vol. xii, p. 245), Chambers' Journal (vol. xxix, p. 45), All the Year Round (vol. xxii, p. 149), Hours at Home (vol. viii, p. 210), and (vol. ii, p. 793).



        "This year," says Lady Sheil writing in September 1850, "seven Ba[macron over the a]bees were executed at Tehran for an alleged conspiracy against the life of the Prime Minister. Their fate excited general sympathy, for every one knew that no criminal act had been committed, and suspected the accusation to be a pretence. Besides this Bábeeism

[page 212]

had spread in Tehran too. They died with the utmost firmness. Previously to decapitation they received an offer of pardon, on the condition of reciting the Kelema, or creed, that Mahommed is the Prophet of God. It was rejected, and these visionaries died steadfast in their faith. The Persian minister was ignorant of the maxim that persecution was proselytismsup>1". Amongst these seven - 'the Seven Martyrs' as they are called by the Bábís - was the Báb's uncle Hájí Mírzá Seyyid 'Alí. The other sufferers were Hájí Mullá Isma'íl of Kum, Mírzá Kurbán 'Alí the dervish, Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Turshíz the mujtahid, Hájí Mullá Nakí of Kirmán, Mírzá Muhammad Huseyn of Tabríz, and Mullá Sádik. of Marágha. Of their martyrdom the Táríkh-i-Jadíd gives a long and touching account, on which I here append an abridgement.

        What led to this tragic event was, as stated by Lady Sheil, a report conveyed to Mírzá Takí Khán the Prime Minister that the Bábís in Teherán meditated a rising. Thirty-eight persons suspected of belonging to the obnoxious sect were therefore arrested and cast into prison. After a few days it was decided that all of these who would consent to renounce or repudiate their connection with the Báb and his doctrines should be released, but that those who refused to do so should suffer death.

        When this news was brought to the prisoners, Hájí Mullá Isma'íl of Kum, who was one of the earliest believers and who had been present at the conference at Badasht [see Gobineau, pp. 180-184], arose and addressed his fellow-captives, announcing his own intention of standing firm in the faith even unto death, and exhorting others like-minded with himself and not hindered by any impediment to follow his example, "for," said he, "if we do not show forth the religion of His Highness the Ká'im, who then will show it forth?" At the same time he declared that those whose faith was weak, or who were prevented by domestic ties from freely laying down their lives, must judge for themselves as to the duty incumbent upon them, and decide whether they were justified in making a formal renunciation of the Báb's doctrine.

        1 Lady Sheil's Life and Manners in Persia, pp. 180-181.

[page 213]

        Accordingly of the thirty-eight prisoners seven (including Hájí Mullá Isma'íl) determined to adopt the more courageous course, while the others for various reasons were not prepared to forfeit their lives, and decided to recant. The latter were therefore released: the former were led out to die.

        In spite of the wide-spread sympathy felt for the sufferers there were not lacking wretches to deride and mock them as they were led forth to the place of execution1. Some of these threw stones at them; others confined themselves to abuse and raillery, crying out, "These are Bábís and madmen." Thereupon Hájí Mullá Isma'íl turned towards them and said, "Yes, we are Bábís; but mad we are not. By God, O people, it is for your awakening and your enlightenment that we have foregone life, wealth, wife, and child, and have shut our eyes to the world and its citizens, that perchance ye may be warned and may escape from uncertainty and error, that ye may fall to making enquiry, that ye may recognize the Truth as is meet, and that ye may no longer be veiled therefrom."

        Now when they were come to the place of execution, one came to Hájí Mullá Isma'íl and said, "Such an one of your friends will, on condition of your recanting, give a sum of money in order that they may not kill you. To save your life what harm is there in saying merely 'I am not a Bábí'?" To this, however, Hájí Mullá Isma'íl would by no means consent; and, when greatly importuned, he drew himself up and said,
    [two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

    "O zephyr! Say from me to Isma'íl2 destined for sacrifice,
    'To return alive from the street of the Friend is not the condition of love.'"
        1 This, as I have heard, was the square called Sabz-i-Meydán, adjoining the northern limit of the bazaars, but according to the Táríkh-i-Jadíd the execution took place in the Meydán-i-Sháh
        2 According to the Muhammadans it was Ishmael [Ismá'íl] not Isaac [Is-hák] whom Abraham designed for a sacrifice to God.

[page 214]

Then he took off his turban and said to the executioner, "Go on with thy work;" and the latter, filled with amazement, struck the fatal blow.

        The next victim was Mírzá Kurbán-'Alí the dervish, an old man highly respected and beloved of all, who had spent the last night in prison in exhorting and encouraging his comrades and reciting verses appropriate to their condition. So high was the consideration in which he was held that the Sháh's mother exerted her influence with her son to have him pardoned, declaring that it was impossible that he could be a Bábí. So, as he stood there awaiting death, messengers came from the palace to give him another chance of saving his life. "Thou art a dervish," said they, "and art a man of excellence and virtue: they have thrown suspicion upon thee, but thou art not of this misguided people." "I consider myself as one of the disciples and servants of His Highness [the Báb]," answered the old dervish, "though whether He hath accepted me into His service or not I know not." And when they continued to press him and urge him to save his life he cried, "This drop of blood - this poor life - is nought: were I possessed of the lordship of the world, and had I a thousand lives, I would freely cast them before the feet of His friends." So, when they perceived that their efforts were of no avail, they desisted therefrom, and signified to the executioner that he should proceed with his work. The first blow struck only wounded the old man's neck and cast his turban to the ground. He raised his head and exclaimed,
    [two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

    "O happy that intoxicated lover who at the feet of the Friend
    Knoweth not whether it be his head or his turban which he casteth!"
Then the executioner quickly dealt him another blow which slew him.

[page 215]

        After him was slain Áká Seyyid Huseyn the mujtahid of Turshíz, who, returning homewards from Kerbelá to visit his friends and family, had been arrested in Teherán. He too died with the utmost firmness and alacrity.

        Then came the turn of the Báb's uncle Hájí Mírzá Seyyid 'Alí. A merchant of his acquaintance wished to ransom him for the sum of three hundred túmáns, but he declared that to suffer martyrdom was his greatest desire. Then he took off his turban, and, raising his face towards heaven, exclaimed, "O God, Thou art witness of how they are slaying the son of Thy Most Honourable Prophet without fault on his part." Then he turned to the executioner and recited this verse:-
    [two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

    "How long shall grief of separation from him slay me?
    Cut off my head, that Love may bestow on me a head1."
When he had said this he too submitted himself to the executioner's hands.

        After this the other three victims, each in his turn, met their death with like heroism. Of the martyrdom of one of these not specified by name but described as "a young Seyyid of pleasing countenance and attractive aspect"; of the attempt to save him made by Hájí 'Alí Khán the Hájibu'd-Dawla (see p. 52, note 1), who was superintending the execution and was moved to a compassion rare in him at the sight of so youthful and comely a sufferer; and of the refusal of the youthful Bábí to escape death and secure wealth, luxury, and a fair bride as the price of a simple recantation, the Táríkh-i-Jadíd gives a detailed account, which, notwithstanding its pathetic interest, lack of space compels me to omit in this place.

        When the executioners had completed their bloody work, the rabble onlookers, awed for a while by the patient courage of the martyrs, again allowed their ferocious fanati-

1 Masnaví, Book VI, p. 649, l. 2 (ed. 'Alá 'ud-Dawla).

[page 216]

cism to break out in insults to the mortal remains of those whose spirits had now passed beyond the power of their malice. They cast stones and filth at the motionless corpses, abusing them, and crying out, "This is the recompense of the people of affection and of such as pursue the Path of Wisdom and Truth!" Nor would they suffer their bodies to be interred in a burial-ground, but cast them into a pit outside the Gate of Sháh 'Abdu'l-'Azím, which they then filled up.

        After detailing the occurrences briefly set forth above, the Bábí historian proceeds to point out the special value and unique character of the testimony given by the "Seven Martyrs." They were men representing all the more important classes in Persia - divines, dervishes, merchants, shop-keepers, and government officials; they were men who had enjoyed the respect and consideration of all; they died fearlessly, willingly, almost eagerly, declining to purchase life by that mere lip-denial, which, under the name of ketmán or takiya, is recognized by the Shi'ites as a perfectly justifiable subterfuge in case of peril; they were not driven to despair of mercy as were those who died at Sheykh Tabarsí and Zanján; and they sealed their faith with their blood in the public square of the Persian capital wherein is the abode of the foreign ambassadors accredited to the court of the Sháh. And herein the Bábí historian is right: even those who speak severely of the Bábí movement generally, characterizing it as a communism destructive of all order and all morality, express commiseration for these guiltless victims. To the day of their martyrdom we may well apply Gobineau's eloquent reflection on a similar tragedy enacted two years later:- "Cette journée donna au Bâb plus de partisans secrets que bien des prédications n'auraient pu faire. Je l'ai dit tout \'e0 l'heure, l'impression produite sur le peuple par l'effroyable impassibilité des martyrs fut profonde et durable. J'ai souvent entendu raconter les scènes de cette journée par des témoins oculaires, par des hommes tenant de près au gouvernement, quelques-uns occupant des fonctions éminentes. A les entendre, on eut pu croire aisément que tous étaient bâbys, tant ils se montraient pénétrés d'admiration pour des souvenirs o\'f9 l'Islam ne jouait pas le plus beau rôle, et par

[page 217]

la haute idée qu'ils avouaient des ressources, des espérances, et des moyens de succès de la secte1."

        With regard to Hájí Mírzá Seyyid 'Alí the Báb's uncle, with whom we are more particularly concerned, the Táríkh-i-Jádid gives the following additional particulars. Before leaving Shíráz (where, as it would appear, he had remained after the Báb departed to Isfahán) he set all his affairs in order and paid all his creditors in person, as though in anticipation of a speedy death. Then he took a tender farewell of all his friends and relatives, besought them to pardon any fault which he might have committed in regard to them, and set out for Teherán, apparently with the intention of proceeding thence to Chihrík. to visit the Báb. Perhaps on his arrival at the capital he was met with the news of his nephew's martyrdom at Tabríz on July 9th 1850: at all events it would appear that he continued there till, not two months later, he himself met with a similar fate.

        As the Bábí historian does not omit to point out, no stronger evidence of the marvellous personal influence of the Báb over all with whom he came in contact can be found than the devoted attachment to him manifested by his aged uncle, who, knowing him from his childhood upwards, and being fully conversant with his daily life, was one of the first to embrace the faith for which he died. Of the extraordinary purity and piety of the Báb's life, indeed, we have ample evidence. His bitterest enemies cannot asperse his personal character. Hence those who knew him best loved and revered him most. I was fortunate enough to meet at Acre one who was the Báb's cousin, comrade, play-fellow, and brother-in-law. He was a gentle old man with light blue eyes and white beard. I begged him to give me some account of the Báb's personal character. "He was very dignified and gentle in his manner," replied he, "yet at times, when any attempt to treat him unfairly or discourteously was made, he could be very stern. Once I remember while we were engaged in business at Bushire a custom-house officer attempted to

        1 Gobineau, Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, 2nd ed. p. 303.

[page 218]

extort money from him wrongfully and treated him with disrespect. Thereupon the Báb, finding remonstrance unavailing, struck his assailant with his slipper once, accompanying the blow with a look of such majestic anger that the latter instantly became silent and took his departure."


        The Báb mentions his age in two passages in the Persian Beyán. The first of these occurs in hid II, ch. 1 and runs as follows in my MS. The variants of the British Museum codex marked Or. 2819 are here and hereafter given at the foot of each page. This codex is denoted by the letter B.

[six lines of Persian/Arabic text, including seven footnotes]

[page 219]

[eight lines of Persian/Arabic text, including eleven footnotes]

        "And if anyone should reflect on the appearance of this Tree12, he will without doubt admit the loftiness of God's religion. For in one from whose life [only] twenty-four years had passed, who was devoid of those sciences wherein all are learned, who now recites verses after such fashion without thought or hesitation, who in the course of five hours writes a thousand verses of supplications without pause of the pen, who produces commentaries and learned treatises of so high a degree of wisdom and understanding of the Divine Unity that doctors and philosophers confess their inability to comprehend those passages, there is no doubt that all this is from God. What pains do these doctors

        12 i.e. the Báb, who repeatedly calls himself "the Tree of Truth."

[page 220]

take who study diligently from the beginning to the end of their lives when writing a single line of Arabic! Yet after all [the result] is but words which are unworthy of mention. All these things are for a proof unto the people; else is the religion of God too mighty and glorious for one to be able to understand it by aught other than itself; rather by it is all else understood"

        The second passage occurs in hid vi, ch. 11, which prohibits the cruel beating of children and defines the penalties incurred by schoolmasters and teachers who infringe this injunction. After stating these in full it continues as follows:-

[five lines of Persian/Arabic text, including five footnotes]

        "The fruit of these ordinances is this, that perchance no sorrow may befal that Soul from the ocean of whose bounty all are endowed with existence. For the teacher doth not recognize the Teacher of himself and of all, even as in the manifestation of the Furkán [i.e. the Kur'án] none recognized that Sun of Truth till forty years had passed, and in the [case of the ] Point of Revelation [i.e. the Báb] for twenty-five years."

        In my first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. (B. i, pp. 509-511), I was disposed to believe that in each of these two passages the Báb referred to his actual age at

[page 221]

the time of writing, and that this was why he described himself in one passage as being twenty-four years of age and in the other as twenty-five. Starting with this hypothesis, I attempted to fix as nearly as possible the date when the first of these passages was written, and decided that it must have been about the end of A.D. 1847 or the beginning of A.D. 1848. From this I concluded that the Báb must have been born not earlier than A.D. 1824, and that he was consequently only nineteen years old at the commencement of his mission, as alleged by Gobineau (pp. 142-143) and by some of the Bábís whom I saw in Kirmán. Further information as to the date of the Báb's birth, which reached me after the publication of my first paper, compelled me to abandon this view1. Indeed, had I not been unduly influenced by the idea that the Báb was nineteen years of age at the commencement of his mission, and had I more carefully considered the second of the two passages above quoted, I should have perceived that the Báb speaks of his own age and that of Muhammad at the beginning of their respective missions when their prophetic office was first disclosed to mankind. In ~~~ (Seven Proofs) the Báb also describes himself as ~~~ "of an age which did not exceed five and twenty." When in Cyprus I one day enquired of Mírzá YahSubh-i-Ezel how old the Báb was at the time of the 'manifestation.' He replied without hesitation "twenty-four, and entering on his twenty-fifth year." Now the date of the 'manifestation' is given in the Persian Beyán (the passages will be quoted immediately) as Jamádí-ul-Úlá 5th A.H. 1260 (May 23rd A.D. 1844). It therefore follows that the Báb, being at that date, according to his own statement, over twenty-four and under twenty-five years of age, must have been born on Muharram 1st A.H. 1236 (October 9th, A.D. 1820) rather than on Muharram 1st A.H. 1235 (October 20th, A.D. 1819) as stated at p. 2 of the present work. The

        1 This information will be found at p. 993 of my second paper on the Bábís.

[page 222]

correctness of the former date is further corroborated by the enquiries kindly undertaken by a friend of mine at Shíráz who is himself connected with the Báb's family (see B. ii, p. 993), and I think there can be little doubt that it is the true one.

        The first passage in the Persian Beyán where the date of the 'manifestation' is given occurs in hid II, ch. 7, which treats of the real meaning of the Resurrection. It commences as follows:-

[nine lines of Persian/Arabic text, including 12 footnotes]

[page 223]

[11 lines of Persian/Arabic text, including 14 footnotes]

[page 224]

[six lines of Persian/Arabic text, including 7 footnotes]

        "The seventh chapter of the second Váhid. In explanation of the Day of Resurrection. The quintessence of this chapter is this, that what is intended by the Day of Resurrection is the day of the appearance of the Tree of Truth: but it is not seen that any one of the Shi'ites hath understood the Day of Resurrection; rather have they fancifully imagined a thing which with God hath no reality. [And that which hath no reality with God hath no reality.] But what is meant by God and by those who are wise amongst the people of truth by the Day of Resurrection is this, that from the time of the appearance of the Tree of Truth, at whatever period, and under whatever name [or form] (it be), until the moment of its disappearance is the Day of Resurrection. For example, from the (first) day of the mission of Jesus till the day of His ascension was the Resurrection of Moses, for during that period the manifestation of God [appeared in the form of that Truth, who rewarded by His word everyone who believed in Moses, and punished by His word everyone who did not believe. For what God regarded at that time] was what God beheld in the Gospel. And after the (first) day of the mission of the Prophet of God

[page 225]

till the day of his ascension was the Resurrection of Jesus, wherein the Tree of Truth appeared in the form of Muhammad, rewarding by his word every one who was a believer in Jesus, and tormenting by his word every one who was not a believer in Him. And from the moment when the Tree of the Beyán appeared until it disappeareth is the Resurrection of the Prophet of God which God hath promised in the Kur'án; of which appearance the beginning was when two hours and fifteen minutes (had passed) from the eve of [Friday the fifth of] Jamádí-ul-Úlá (A.H.) 1260, which is the year 1270 of the mission (of Muhammad). (This) was the beginning of the Day of Resurrection of the Kur'án. And until the disappearance of the Tree of Truth1 is the Resurrection of the Kur'án. For of no thing doth the Resurrection occur till it reacheth the stage of perfection. The perfection of the religion of Islám was consummated ere the beginning of this Manifestation, and from the beginning of this Manifestation till the moment of disappearance the fruits of the Tree of Islám, whatever they are, will become apparent. And the Resurrection of the Beyán is from the (first) appearance of Him whom God shall manifest; for to day the Beyán is in the stage of seed, but at the beginning of the manifestation of Him whom God shall manifest the ultimate perfection of the Beyán will become apparent, when He shall gather the fruits of the trees which have been planted."

        The second passage giving the date of the 'manifestation' occurs on hid vi, ch. 13 and runs as follows:-

[three lines of Persian/Arabic text, with seven footnotes]

\tab 1 See note 12 at the foot of p. 219.

[page 226]

        "And after the planting of the Tree of the Kur'án the perfection thereof was attained in one thousand two hundred and seventy years. Had the maturity thereof been (attained) at two o'clock on the night of [Thursday] the fifth of Jamádí-ul-Úlá, it (i.e. the new manifestation) would not have appeared five minutes later."

        The above quotations also illustrate what I have had occasion to notice in my first Paper on the Bábís (B. i, p. 507), viz. that the Báb prefers to date not from the flight of Muhammad but from the beginning of his mission, which he places ten years earlier. Hence he usually states the beginning of his own mission as having occurred not in the year 1260 A.H., but "1270 years after the mission of Muhammad." Cf. Persian Beyán, hid ii, ch. 7; iv, 14; iv. 16; iv, 18; vi, 7; vi, 8; vi, 13 (bis).


        Every writer who has made mention of the Báb has pointed out that this title assumed by him at the beginning of his mission signifies in Arabic 'Gate' or 'Door,' but in specifying that whereunto he professed to be the 'Gate' they are no longer in accord. Kazem-Beg says (i, p. 343) that one day, falling into ecstasy, Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad "discovered that he was the Báb, the Gate of Truth," and a few lines lower he says, "Je ne sais si les paroles du Christ: 'Je suis la porte' lui étaient connues; mais il n'ignorait sans doute pas que Mahomet avait dit: 'Je suis la ville du savoir et Ali (son gendre) est la porte de cette ville'." Gobineau (pp. 149-150) says, "Il annonca qu'il était le Bâb, la Porte par laquelle seule on pouvait parvenir à la connaissance de Dieu." Lady Sheil says (p. 176), "this amiable sect is styled Ba[macron]bee, from Ba[macron]b, a gate, in

[page 227]

Arabic, the name assumed by its founder, meaning, I suppose, the gate to heaven." Watson (p. 348) gives the clearest and most correct statement of the meaning of the title in question. He says, "He (Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad) now gave out that as Ali had been the gate by which men had entered the city of the prophet's knowledge, even so he was the gate through which men might attain to the knowledge of the twelfth Imam. It was in accordance with this doctrine that he received the distinguishing appellation of Ba[macron]b, or gate; from which his followers were styled Ba[macron]bis."

        As regards the Muhammadan historians, the Násikhu 't-Tawáríkh of Sipihr, which gives the fullest account of the Bábí movement, and which has served as a basis of information to most European writers, says in speaking of the beginning of what it calls "the mischief (fitna) of Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb":-

[nine lines of Persian/Arabic text]

[page 228]

[three lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        "When Hájí Seyyid Kázim departed from this world to the Eternal Abode, he [Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad] carried off several of his disciples and retired for vigils and worship to the mosque of Kúfa, where he abode forty days. All at once his disposition swerved aside from rectitude. Then he secretly seduced men to his own austerities and doctrine, inviting them to devote themselves to him. And in whomsoever he felt confidence, to him he would say, 'I am the Gate of God: enter, then, houses by their gates: one cannot enter any house otherwise than by the gate thereof. Whosoever desireth to come to God and to know the religion of God cannot do so until he seeth me and receiveth permission from me.' Therefore he became known as 'Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb'; and when a few days had passed he was named 'the Báb,' and his own name rarely crossed men's tongues."

        During the latter part of the reign of Muhammad Sháh when the Báb, then in captivity at Chihrík, was brought to Tabríz, and examined concerning his doctrine by a council of divines and doctors presided over by the present Sháh of Persia, then Crown-Prince, he was required to explain the title which he had assumed and to state what meaning he attached to it. The account given of this examination in the present history (pp. 19-21, supra) is brief compared to the accounts contained in the supplement of the Rawzatu's-Safá, the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, and the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá (concerning which works see above, Note A). Of the proceedings of this council a fuller account compiled from the above sources will be found in Note M. For our present purpose it is sufficient to observe that when the Báb was asked by his inquisitors, "What is the meaning of [the name] Báb?" he answered, "The same as in the holy tradition, 'I am the City of Knowledge and 'Alí is the Gate thereof'."

[page 229]

        Von Kremer, in the account of the Báb which he gives in his Herrschenden Ideen des Islams, quotes this same tradition as the probable source whence Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad derived his title, and further points out (p. 209) that he was not the first to adopt it, one Abú Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Alí ash- Shalmaghání, generally known as Ibn Abí Azákir, having suffered death under the Caliph Ar-Rádhí for assuming this same title of Báb and teaching new and heretical doctrines which included the tenet of metempsychosis. In his case also the title was explained by Ibn Abdús, one of his followers, as signifying "the door which led to the expected Imám." So likewise Abu'l-Kásim al-Huseyn ibn Rúh1, a contemporary of ash- Shalmaghání who died A.H. 326 (A.D. 937-938), was regarded by his disciples as one of the "doors leading to the Lord of the Age" (Sáhibu'z-Zamán). Lack of space forbids further discussion on the history of this title and its employment. Those who desire fuller information may consult the authorities referred to by von Kremer, viz. Ibn Khallikán, ed. Wüst, p. 129, Vita 186; Baron MacGuckin de Slane's translation of Ibn Khallikán, vol. i, pp. 436-437, and notes on p. 439; Hammer-Purgstall, Litt. Geschichte der Araber, vol. v, p. 283; and Ibnu'l- Athír, vol. viii, p. 217.

        It must be borne in mind that, as is clearly explained by Gobineau (pp. 150 and 156) and Watson (p. 348), the title of Báb was only provisionally and temporarily adopted by Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad, nor is he now generally so styled by his followers, who call him ~~~ ('l'Altesse Sublime' of Gobineau), ~~~ ('His Highness the Point of Revelation'), ~~~ ('His Highness the First Point'), or even ~~~ ('His Highness my Lord the Supreme'). In the Persian Beyán he applies to himself other titles in addition to the

\tab 1 For further particulars concerning this personage, see Note O, infra.

[page 230]

second and third of those above enumerated, such as ~~~ (the 'Tree of Truth'), ~~~ (the 'Person' or 'Essence of the Seven Letters,' because his name, ~~~, contains seven letters), and the like. But amongst the Behá'ís there is a tendency (very evident in the present work, where the term Báb is used throughout, and no mention is made of the fuller development of doctrine and exaltation of rank which marked the later period of Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad's mission) to suppress the higher titles implying a supremacy which they would reserve for Behá, and to speak of the Báb as ~~~ ('His Highness the Evangelist'). In reading the present history, the fact that it represents throughout the view of the Behá'ís, not of the original Bábís or the Ezelís of to-day, must never be lost sight of. When, in the words of Gobineau (p. 156), Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad "déclara qu'il n'était pas le Bâb, comme on l'avait cru jusqu'alors, comme il l'avait pensé lui-même, c'est-\'e0-dire la Porte de la connaissance des vérités, mais qu'il était le Point, c'est-\'e0-dire le générateur même de la vérité, une apparition divine, une manifestation toute-puissante," then, to continue the quotation, "le titre de Bâb, ainsi devenu libre, pouvait désormais récompenser le pieux dévouement de l'un des néophytes," and it was on Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh that it was bestowed. Accordingly by Subh-i-Ezel this illustrious champion of the new faith is always spoken of as ~~~, while in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd he is called ~~~ 'His Excellency the Gate of the Gate.'

        In his earlier writings (e.g. the Commentary on the Súra-i-Yúsuf, for specimens of which see Rosen's MSS. Arabes, pp. 179-191) Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad repeatedly uses the term Báb and apparently applies it to himself. In the Persian Beyán, which was composed during his imprisonment at Mákú and embodies his fully developed doctrine, he continues to use the term, but no longer limits

[page 231]

it to himself, though still occasionally employing it as his own title, as, for instance, in the following passage in hid ii, ch. 1:-

[seven lines of Persian/Arabic text, with six footnotes]

        "God demandeth in His own speech, 'Whose book is the Kur'án?' All the believers said to Him, 'It is the Book of God' Afterwards it was asked, 'Is any difference seen between the Furkán [i.e. the Kur'án] and the Beyán?' The spiritually-minded answered, 'No, by God, all is from our Lord': and none are mentioned but those endowed with discernment. Then the Lord of the World [thus] revealed:- 'That Word is by the tongue of Muhammad the Apostle of God, and this is my Word by the tongue of the Person of the Seven Letters, the Gate of God'."

        In other passages, however, the term is employed (often in the plural) in a more general sense. Thus the last four

[page 232]

chapters of the first hid, consisting, as it would appear, of mere titles uncommentated and undeveloped, stand as follows:-

[nine lines of Persian/Arabic text, with six footnotes]

        "The sixteenth chapter of the first Váhid. Concerning this, that the First Gate (Báb) hath returned to the world with everyone who believed in him truly or otherwise."

        "The seventeenth chapter...&c. Concerning this, that the Second Gate..." &c.

        "The eighteenth chapter...&c. Concerning this, that the Third Gate..." &c.

        "The nineteenth chapter...&c. Concerning this, that the Fourth Gate..." &c.

        In one of my interviews with Subh-i- Ezel I asked him

[page 233]

who were intended by these 'Bábs' or 'Gates,' and he answered that Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í and Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht [see Note E, infra, and also B. ii, pp. 884-885 and 888-892] were two of them. But this would only signify that in them reappeared, or 'returned to the world,' two of the four original 'Gates' And by these can only be meant those four persons who, during the period of seclusion of the twelfth Imám known as the "Lesser Occultation" (~~~), acted as intermediaries between him and his followers. These four were, according to the ~~~, (1) Abú 'Umar 'Othmán ibn Sa'íd; (2) Abú Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Othmán, son of the above; (3) Huseyn ibn Rúh. [see Note O, infra, and the beginning of this note, p. 229]; (4) Abú'l- Hasan 'Alí ibn Muhammad Símarí.

        So also in hid ii, ch. iv, this sentence occurs:-

[five lines of Persian/Arabic text, with five footnotes]

        "For God hath assimilated refuge in Himself to refuge in His Apostle, and refuge in His Apostle to refuge in His executors (i.e. the Imáms), and refuge [in His executors to refuge] in the Gates (Abwáb or Bábs) of His executors..... For refuge in the Apostle is identical with refuge in God,

[page 234]

and refuge in the Imáms is identical with refuge in the Apostle, and refuge in the Gates is identical with refuge in the Imáms."

        So likewise in other passages "Gates of the Fire" (~~~) are spoken of as identical with "Letters of Denial" (~~~), both terms signifying such as vehemently oppose the Truth and lead men to hell.


        The founder of the Sheykhí school, with which in its origin the Bábí movement is so closely connected, was Sheykh Ahmad of Ahsá (often, but apparently erroneously, written Lahsá) in the province of Bahreyn. The following is a brief account of his life, for which I am indebted to the kindness of one of my Persian friends in Teherán. The genealogy therein contained purports to be based on an account written by the Sheykh himself for his son Sheykh Muhammad Takí.

        Sheykh Ahmad was the son of Sheykh Zeynu'd- Dín Ahsá'í, son of Sheykh Ibrahím, son of Sheykh Sakr, son of Sheykh Ibrahím, son of Sheykh Dághir, son of Sheykh Ramadhán, son of Sheykh Ráshid, son of Sheykh Dihím, son of Sheykh Shamrúkh of the tribe of Sakr, one of the most important tribes of the Arabs. From Sheykh Shamrúkh to Sheykh Ramadhán the family were ostensibly not of the Imámite (Shi'ite) faith, but conformed outwardly to the practices of the Sunnites.

        According to my correspondent's statement, the year of Sheykh Ahmad's birth is represented by the chronogram

[page 235]

~~~ (A.H. 1166 = A.D. 1752-53). I think, however, that it should be ~~~, "the water- courses overflowed." This sentence yields the date 1157 A.H., which agrees with the other particulars given, and also conveys an intelligible meaning, neither of which conditions, so far as I can see, are fulfilled by the first chronogram. The year of his death (A.H. 1242 = A.D. 1826-27) is contained in the following chronogram:-

[one line of Persian/Arabic text]

"Thou hast victoriously attained unto Paradise, O Ahmad son of Zeynu'd- Dín!" Sheykh Ahmad was eighty-five years old at the time of his death.

        From his youth upwards Sheykh Ahmad was pious, devout, and ascetic in his life. At the direction of his spiritual guides he quitted his native country and went to 'Irák. (Kerbelá and Nejef), where he took up his abode and occupied himself in teaching and diffusing religious knowledge. He soon acquired great fame, and many students gathered around him. His fame continuing to increase, he was invited by Fath-'Alí Sháh, Prince Muhammad 'Alí Mírzá Ruknu'd-Dawla, and other eminent personages, to visit Persia. He accordingly came to Teherán; thence he proceeded to Kirmánsháhán, and thence to Yezd, where he abode of twelve years. He performed the pilgrimage to Mecca several times, and on the last occasion for doing so died two stages from Medína, where he was buried in the cemetery called Bakí' [-ul-Gharkad. See Lane's Arabic- English-Lexicon, Book I. Part i, p. 235].

        The account of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í contained in the Kisasu'l- 'Ulamá1 differs somewhat from that above given. Thus it is asserted that he came direct from Bahreyn to Yezd where he abode some time; that from Yezd he went to Kirmánsháhán, where he received yearly the sum of 700 túmáns from Fath- 'Alí Sháh's son Muhammad 'Alí Mírzá
1 See Note A, pp. 197-198, supra.

[page 236]

Ruknu'd-Dawla; and that thence he went to Kerbelá where he finally took up his abode. It would appear, however, that he again visited Persia towards the end of his life, and that on this occasion he passed through Kazvín, where he paid a visit to Hájí Mullá Muhammad Takí1 . The latter questioned him concerning his views on the resurrection, and, after a violent altercation, declared them to be heretical. In consequence of this many other divines, who had hitherto regarded Sheykh Ahmad almost as a saint, began to look askance at him or even to display open hostility, so that he was compelled to leave Kazvín. He intended to proceed to Mecca, but died on his way thither at Basra.

        The chief points wherein Sheykh Ahamd's doctrine is regarded as heterodox are stated as follows. He believed that the body of man was compounded of parts derived from each of the nine heavens and the four elements; that the grosser elemental part perished irrevocably at death; and that only the more subtle celestial portion would appear at the resurrection. This subtle body he named ~~~ (the word Huwarkilyá being supposed to be of Greek origin) and believed to be similar in substance to the forms in the "World of Similitudes' (~~~). Similarly he denied that the Prophet's material body had, on the occasion of his night-journey to heaven (~~~), moved from the spot where it lay in a trance or sleep. He was much given to fasts, vigils, and austerities, and believed himself to be under the special guidance of the Imáms, especially, as it would appear, the Imám Ja'far-i-Sádik. He regarded the Imáms as creative forces, quoting in support of this view the expression ~~~ "God, the Best of Creators," occurring in Kur'án xxiii, 14; "for," said he, "if God be the Best of Creators He cannot be the sole Creator." He also adduced in support of this

        1 The maternal uncle and father-in-law of Kurratu'l- 'Ayn, see Note Q, infra, and pp. 197-198, supra.

[page 237]

view the tradition wherein the following words are attributed to 'Alí:-

        ~~~ "I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth" He even went so far as to assert that in reciting the opening chapter of the Kur'án (~~~) the worshipper should fix his thoughts on 'Alí as he repeats the words ~~~ "Thee do we worship."

        Sheykh Ahmad composed a number of works, amongst which the following are enumerated by the author of the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá:-

        ~~~ Commentary on the Ziyárat-i-Jámi'a, in four vols. According to Subh-i-Ezel's statement it is in this work that the doctrine of the subtle body (~~~ or ~~~) which survives the dissolution of the material frame is elaborated.

        ~~~ Answers to questions.

        ~~~ Commentary on the 'Arshiyya of Mullá Sadrá1 .

        ~~~ Commentary on the Mashá'ir of Mullá Sadrá.

        ~~~ Commentary on the Tabsira-i- 'Alláma2 .

        1 Concerning Mullá Sadrá and his doctrines see Note K, infra.
Concerning 'Alláma ('the Sage'), i.e. Jemálu'd-Dín Hasan ibn Yúsuf ibn 'Alí of Hilla, see a footnote on Note M, infra. The full title of the work here mentioned appears to be ~~~ ("The Enlightenment of students on the ordinances of Religion.")

[page 238]

        ~~~ The Fawá'id and Commentary thereupon.

        Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í was succeeded at his death by his disciple Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht, of whose life the following brief account was supplied to me by the same friend to whom I am indebted for the biography of Sheykh Ahmad given at the beginning of this note. His family were merchants of repute. His father was named Áká Seyyid Kásim. When twelve years old he was living at Ardabíl near the tomb of Sheykh Safí'ud-Dín Is- hák, the descendant of the seventh Imám Músá Kázim and the ancestor of the Safaví kings. One night in a dream it was signified to him by one of the illustrious progenitors of the buried saint that he should put himself under the spiritual guidance of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í, who was at this time residing at Yezd. He accordingly proceeded thither and enrolled himself amongst the disciples of Sheykh Ahmad, in whose doctrine he attained such eminence that on the Sheykh's death he was unanimously recognized as the leader of the Sheykhí school. He died at Baghdad ere he had attained his fiftieth year A.H. 1259 (A.D. 1843-1844). The date of his death is contained in the following chronogram: ~~~, "The moon of guidance hath disappeared" His works are said to exceed 300 volumes.

        Up to this point the Sheykhís were a united body, for the succession of Hájí Seyyid Kázim would seem to have been approved and accepted by all. This unanimity was no longer to continue. Seyyid Kázim had not explicitly nominated a successor; indeed according to the Bábí historian he had hinted that the transitional state of things under which he and his master Sheykh Ahmad had assumed the guidance of the faithful was with his declining life drawing to a close, and that a brighter light was about to shine forth from the horizons of the spiritual world. Let the Bábí historian, the author of the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, take up the tale, and describe in the words of his informant the closing scenes of the life of Seyyid Kázim.

        "When Hájí Seyyid Kázim had but recently departed

[page 239]

this life, I arrived at the Supreme Shrines [Kerbelá and Nejef] and heard from his disciples that the late Seyyid (may God exalt his station) had, during the last two or three years of his life, wholly restricted his discourse, both in lecture- room and pulpit, to discussing the promised Proof, the signs of his appearance, and their explanation, and enumerating the qualities of the Master of the Dispensation, repeatedly declaring that he would be a youth, that he would not be versed in the learning of men, and that he would, moreover, be of the race of Háshim. Sometimes, too, he would say, 'I see him as the rising sun.' At length during the last journey which he made with the intention of visiting Kázimeyn and Surra-man-ra'a, while he was returning from the latter place to Kázimeyn and Baghdad, he was entertained by one of his friends and disciples, some dozen of his [other] disciples and pupils being [also] present in that garden. Suddenly an Arab entered, and, still standing, made representation thus:- 'I have seen a vision touching your Reverence.' On receiving permission, he repeated the dream; whereupon Seyyid Kázim appeared somewhat troubled, and said, 'The interpretation of this dream is this, that my departure from this world is nigh at hand and I must go hence.' His companions who were present were much distressed and grieved at this intelligence, but he turned his face towards them and said, 'The time of my sojourn in the world has come to an end, and this is my last journey. Why are ye grieved and troubled because of my death? Do ye not then desire that I should go and the True One should appear?'

        "This is as I have heard it from Hájí 'Abdu'l-Muttalib of Isfahán, and Suleymán Khán Afshár1 of Sá'ín Kal'a, who were present in that assembly. Indeed from the noble personage alluded to [apparently Suleymán Khán] I further

        1 This must be a mistake. Suleymán Khán Afshár was conspicuous as a persecutor of the Bábís, for he was not only chiefly instrumental in putting down the Mázandarán insurrection, but was also the bearer of the Báb's death-warrant from Teherán to Tabríz. Hájí Suleymán Khán the son of Yahyá Khán of Tabríz, one of the most ardent adherents and steadfast martyrs of the Bábí faith [see Note T, infra], is no doubt intended.

[page 240]

heard as follows:- 'The late Seyyid specially promised me that I should myself apprehend the Manifestation, saying, "Thou shalt be there and shalt apprehend" Now the utterance of these words and good tidings by him [Seyyid Kázim] as here described is a matter of notoriety and a thing universally admitted amongst his intimates, being authenticated by several letters from well-known persons to others who accepted the new Manifestation also1 . Indeed some of those [who were] present in that assembly are still alive, and confess to having heard that announcement from the late Seyyid. Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh, one of the most distinguished of divines, who was moreover intimately acquainted with the late Seyyid, made urgent enquiry as to the manner in which the Manifestation should come to pass. The latter, however, only replied, '"Permission is not accorded unto me to say more than this2 ." But from whatever quarter the Sun of Truth shall arise it will irradiate all horizons and render the mirrors of believers' hearts capable of receiving the effulgences of the lights of wisdom.' At all events after his return from Surra-man-ra'a the revered Seyyid departed this life as he had foretold"

        Whatever credence we may be disposed to attach to this narrative, there is no doubt that the Sheykhís were, in general, anxiously expecting the appearance of someone who should assume the leadership of their party. A number of the late Seyyid Kázim's immediate disciples repaired directly after his death to the mosque at Kúfa, and there, with fasting, vigils and prayers, sought for God's guidance in the choice of a spiritual director. Having completed their religious exercises they dispersed each in his own way. Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh proceeded to Shíráz, and on his arrival there paid a visit to Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad, with whom he had become acquainted at Kerbelá. To him first of all did the young prophet announce his

        1 "The new Manifestation" (~~~) may mean only the dispensation inaugurated by the Báb, but the force of the "also" (~~~) which follows leads me rather to conjecture that the dispensation of Behá is intended.
        2 This quotation is from the beginning of the first book of the Masnaví.

[page 241]

divine mission, adducing in proof thereof his Commentary on the Súra of Joseph, and showing other signs whereby Mullá Huseyn, after a mental struggle which lasted several days, became firmly convinced that the Master so eagerly sought for and so earnestly desired had at length been found. No sooner was he himself convinced than, with that fiery energy which so pre-eminently distinguished him even amongst the eager active spirits who were soon to carry the new doctrine throughout the length and breadth of the Persian land, and cause the echo of its fame to reverberate through the civilized world, he hastened to apprise his friends and comrades of his discovery. Thus did he become the "Gate of the Gate" (~~~), the "First Letter" (~~~), the "First to believe" (~~~). The rapidity with which the new doctrine spread was wonderful, representatives of all classes hastening to tender their allegiance to the young Seer of Shíráz, but it was from the old Sheykhí party that the most eminent supporters of the new faith were for the most part derived.

        It must not be supposed, however, that all the followers of the late Seyyid Kázim accepted the new doctrine. A considerable number, headed by Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán of Kirmán, utterly declined to admit the Báb's pretensions (for so they regarded his claims), and these became the bitterest and most violent of his persecutors. Of those doctors who heaped insult on the Báb during his first examination at Tabríz, and those who two years later ratified his death-warrant in the name of religion, several were Sheykhís. Hence it is necessary to recognize clearly the difference between the relations of Bábíism to the old and the new Sheykhí school. From the bosom of the former it arose, and, in great measure, derived its strength; with the latter it was ever in fiercest conflict. Of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í and Seyyid Kázim of Resht both Bábís and Sheykhís speak with reverence and affection; but Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán and his followers are as odious in the eyes of the Bábís as Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb

[page 242]

and his adherents are execrable in the opinion of the modern Sheykhís. The Báb stigmatized Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán as "the Quintessence of Hell-fire" (~~~) and "the [infernal] Tree of Zakkum" (see B. ii, pp. 910-911), while Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán wrote at least two treatises (one called "the crushing of Falsehood," ~~~) in refutation and denunciation of the Bábí doctrines. Of the bitter enmity which subsists between these two sects I had ample evidence during the two months which I spent at Kirmán in the summer of 1888, and on more than one occasion when representatives of both parties happened to visit me simultaneously their scarcely disguised animosity, which seemed ready at the slightest opportunity to burst forth into open conflict, caused me the liveliest disquietude.

        I trust that I have succeeded in making clear the relations which exist between the Bábís on the one hand, and the old and new Sheykhís on the other; for a proper appreciation of these is essential to a clear understanding of the history of Bábíism. Indeed we cannot consider that we have thoroughly fathomed the drift and purport of the Bábí movement until the writings of Sheykh Ahmad Ahsá'í and Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht shall have been submitted to careful and minute examination and study. This, however, is a labour still unaccomplished, and, with the exception of one point to be noticed immediately, I shall say no more about the Sheykhí doctrines in this place. Some further information concerning them will be found in Kazem-Beg's articles on the Bábís (Journal Asiatique, 1866, 6me série, tome vii, pp. 457-464); in von Kremer's Herrschenden Ideen des Islams (pp. 206-208); and in my second article on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889 (pp. 884- 885 and 888-892).

        The point of doctrine above mentioned as demanding some explanation (for it is alluded to in the present text) is that of the "Fourth Support" (~~~). What I shall say concerning it is derived from notes of a conversa-

[page 243]

tion which I had in June 1888 with a Sheykhí doctor of Kirmán named Mullá Ghulám Huseyn. I asked him to explain to me wherein the doctrine of the Sheykhís chiefly differed from that of other Shi'ites. His answer was in substance as follows:- "The Bálásarís [i.e. non- Sheykhí Shi'ites] hold that the 'Supports,' or essential principles of religion (~~~), are five, to wit (1) Belief in the Unity of God (~~~); (2) Belief in the Justice of God (~~~); (3) Belief in Prophethood (~~~); (4) Belief in the Imámate (~~~); (5) Belief in the Resurrection (~~~). Now two of these (Nos. 2 and 5) we refuse to admit as separate principles, for why should we specify belief in the Justice of God as one of the essentials of faith and omit belief in the Mercifulness of God, the Wisdom of God, the Power of God, and all the other Attributes? These, moreover, as well as belief in the Resurrection, are really included in the third principle, for belief in Prophethood involves belief in the Prophet, and this again involves belief in his book, wherein these two so-called principles are set forth and whence only they are known. Of the five 'principles' of the Bálásarís, therefore, we only accept three, viz. (1) Belief in the Unity of God; (2) Belief in Prophethood; (3) Belief in the Imámate; but to these we add another, which we call the 'Fourth Support' (~~~), viz. (4) that there must always be amongst the Shi'ites some one perfect man (whom we call ~~~ 'the perfect Shi'ite') capable of serving as a channel of grace (~~~) between the Absent Imám and his church. Such is our doctrine of the 'Fourth Support,' and it is evident that, whereas four supports are under all circumstances necessary for stability, a greater number than this is unnecessary."

        As so explained, the 'Fourth Support' is a term applicable rather to that article of faith which declares that there must always exist in the Church of the Imáms some visible

[page 244]

head who enjoys their special spiritual guidance and serves to convey their wishes and their wisdom to all true Shi'ites, than to the actual personage who fulfils this function. Yet outside the Sheykhí circle, both amongst the Bálásarís and the Bábís, it certainly bears the second meaning as well; and it is commonly asserted that Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán regarded himself, and was regarded by his followers, as being this 'Fourth Support' or Channel of Grace from the Spiritual World. It is evidently this second meaning which the term bears in the present text, and if it bore it from the first it is evident that there was originally very little difference between the pretensions of Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad the Báb and those of Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán, since both, in the first instance, claimed to be neither more nor less than intermediaries between the absent Imám and his Church, exactly in the same sense as were the four original 'Gates' (Abwáb, or Bábs) who served as a connection between the Twelfth Imám and his followers during the period of the 'Lesser Occultation.' [See end of Note D, supra.]

        As regards the actual condition of the Sheykhís at the present day, their head-quarters are still at Kirmán, near which city, in a little village called Langar, situated two or three miles from Máhán (the burial-place of the great dervish Sháh Ni'matu'lláh), several of the sons of Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán still reside. During my stay at Kirmán I visited Langar and was permitted to sit for half an hour at the feet of 'the Masters' (Ákáyán) as they are called by their followers. The elder brothers were at Kerbelá at that time (where, I believe, they were very coldly received, being, indeed, prevented from preaching in the mosque as they desired to do), but two younger brothers were engaged in expounding the doctrines of Sheykh Ahmad to an appreciative audience of heavy-turbaned votaries. At the conclusion of the lecture I had some conversation with them, but, though I had no reason to complain of lack of courtesy on their part, I cannot say that I was greatly impressed with their wisdom. After Kirmán I believe that Tabríz contains more Sheykhís than any other city in Persia, but they are to be found in most of the large towns. They are generally regarded by orthodox Shi'ites with considerable dislike and suspicion.

[page 245]



        Concerning several of the persons mentioned in the passage to which this note refers, the information at present at my disposal is deplorably scanty. Such as it is, however, I set it down, hoping that others may be able in the future to supplement these meagre notes with further details.

        Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh ('The Gate of the Gate,' ~~~). Concerning this illustrious personage we have the fullest information. The Násikhu't- Tawáríkh devotes some 10 pages (each containing about 600 words) to his history, and the Rawzatu's-Safá gives an almost equally detailed account of his career. Gobineau and Kazem-Beg both treat of his life, work, and gallant death at Sheykh Tabarsí very fully, and in the present work a sufficient summary thereof is contained. Some account of his conversion will be found in Note E above. Nothing further need be added here except that, so far as I can learn, his mortal remains still repose in the little inner room of the shrine of Sheykh Tabarsí where, at the direction of Mullá Muhammad 'Alí Bárfurúshí, they were reverently laid by the hands of his sorrowing comrades in the beginning of the year A.D. 1849.

        Mírzá Ahmad of Azghand is mentioned in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd in the following passage:-

[three lines of Persian/Arabic text]

[page 246]

[three lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        "In short, after a while His Excellency 'the Gate of the Gate' [i.e. Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh above mentioned] set out for Khurásán. And after that there emanated from the Source of Command [i.e. the Báb] an epistle to confer honour on the faithful, wherein it was made incumbent upon them to proceed to Khurásán in the case of this being possible and their being able. And in the epistle addressed to Áká Mírzá Ahmad Azkandí, who was one of the chief disciples of the late Seyyid [Kázim of Resht], he [the Báb] foreshadowed the catastrophe of Mázandarán." In only one other passage in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd can I find any reference to Mírzá Ahmad of Azghand, and this, consisting of a mere list of the names of learned and pious persons who believed in the Báb and "most of whom attained the lofty rank of martyrdom," throws no further light on the matter. I cannot find any other mention of this Mírzá Ahmad in any of the documents at my disposal.

        Mullá [Muhammad] Sádik, entitled "the Holy" (~~~), or "the Holy one of Khurásán (~~~), was, according to the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, one of the first converts gained by Mullá Huseyn to the new faith. He was, previously to his conversion, a mudarris, or professor, at one of the colleges of Isfahán. On the arrival of Mullá Huseyn in that city (the first visited by him on the missionary journey which at the command of his master he undertook) Mullá Sádik. sought and obtained an interview with him, listened to his arguments, examined the sacred books of the new creed, and, after a brief but severe mental struggle, wherein love of truth finally triumphed over fear and prudence, embraced the doctrines of

[page 247]

the Bá b. We next find him some months later (Sept. 23rd or 24th, A.D. 1845) at Shíráz, suffering the penalty of his zeal as described in the text. Expelled from Shíráz, he seems to have made his way to Mázandarán; at all events we find him amongst the number of the besieged at Sheykh Tabarsí, and after the capitulation he was one of those reserved from the general massacre to grace the triumphal entry of Prince Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá into Bárfurúsh. Here again fortune so far favoured him that he was saved by being sold into slavery1 from the direr fate which overtook almost all of his companions. What befel him after this I know not, but from the manner in which he is referred to in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd it would appear that he was no longer alive at the time when that work was composed.

        Sheykh Abú Turáb of Ashtahárd is only twice alluded to in the Táríkh-i- Jadíd, and I can find no further account of him elsewhere. In the second of these passages his name is merely mentioned in the list of eminent men converted to the new faith of which I have already spoken. In the first it is stated that he was married to the sister of Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh, a woman of extraordinary virtue and piety, who, from association with the celebrated Kurratu'l-'Ayn [see Note Q, infra], had attained to the highest degree of excellence and learning. Although the Sheykh Abú Turáb here mentioned is described as Kazvíní, not as Ashtahárdí, I think that the same person is intended in both passages.

        Mullá Yúsuf of Ardabíl. See Kazem-Beg (Journal Asiatique, sixi\'e8me série, tome vii, pp. 357, 358, 467, 468, 473, 477, 486, and 522). Mullá Yúsuf was one of the Báb's most energetic missionaries, and was deputed to preach the doctrine in Ázarbaiján. Through his instrumentality the majority of the inhabitants of Mílán were converted. He afterwards attempted to join the Bábís at Sheykh Tabarsí, but on his way thither fell into the hands of Mahdí-Kulí Mírzá, who detained him as a prisoner till the conclusion of the siege, when, in company with several of the Bábí chiefs reserved from the general massacre to grace the Prince's triumph, he was led captive into Bár-

1 See, however, note 2 at the foot of p. 129 supra.

[page 248]

furúsh. There, according to M. Sévruguin's account quoted by Kazem-Beg (loc. cit, p. 522), he was blown from the mouth of a cannon. The remainder of Kazem-Beg's account differs from that given in the Táríkh-i- Jadíd, in that it represents him not only as reaching the Castle of Sheykh Tabarsí, but as taking a prominent part in the defence thereof.

        Mullá Jalíl of Urúmiyya and Mullá Mahdí of Kand are merely mentioned in the list of illustrious martyrs contained in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd.

        Of Sheykh Sa'íd the Indian I can find no other mention.

        Mullá 'Alí of Bistám, according to the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, was one of those who, on the death of Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht, assembled in the mosque at Kúfa to fast and pray for guidance. Subh-i-Ezel in December 1889 wrote for me a short account of the history of the Bábí movement, which at some future date I hope to publish. In this occurs the following message:-

([five lines of Persian/Arabic text])

        "His Excellency Mullá 'Alí Bistámí, who was noted for his sanctity (for he is 'the Holy One of Khurásán'), set out towards Turkey, but in Baghdad they took him and imprisoned him. Then, at the decision of the Muftí, they sent him off towards Constantinople, but martyred him by poison at a place near Baghdad called Bad- rá'í." In one of the interviews which I had with Subh-i-Ezel during my stay at Famagusta in March 1890 he communicated to me the

[page 249]

following additional particulars:- "Mullá 'Alí of Bistám was the first martyr, and the only one who died by the hands of the Osmánlí Turks. His martyrdom occurred in the second or third year of the 'Manifestation' [A.H. 1262-3, A.D. 1846-7]. He was arrested at Baghdad and cast into prison. All the muftís of Baghdad, headed by Mahmud Efendí and Sheykh Muhammad Hasan1, signed his death-warrant, save one, Muhsin or Hasan by name, who refused, saying that he was doubtful as to the rightfulness of so doing. Subsequently the Báb addressed these words to the above-mentioned Muhsin or Hasan in the Book of Names (~~~):- 'Because you doubted and declined to take part in this murder, therefore hath God decreed that in the Day of Resurrection the fire shall not touch you.'"

        1 Probably the same Sheykh Muhammad Hasan who is censured in the Kitáb-i-Akdas (see B. ii, p. 980).



        As the accounts hitherto published of the Báb's movements during the earlier period of his mission are somewhat contradictory, it has seemed to me advisable to embody in the present note all that I have been able to learn on this matter, together with the conclusions which may be fairly deduced from the facts at present available.

        First of all let us enumerate briefly the facts which seem to be sufficiently established by good evidence.

        (1) Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad, afterwards the Báb, was born at Shíráz either on Muharram 1st A.H. 1236 (Oct. 9th, A.D. 1820), or on Muharram 1st 1235 (Oct. 20th, A.D. 1819), most probably (for the reasons advanced in Note C, p. 221, supra) the former.

[page 250]

        (2) Whilst he was still of tender age he lost his father, Seyyid Muhammad Rizá, and was placed under the care of his maternal uncle, Mírzá Seyyid 'Alí (supra, p. 2).

        (3) On attaining years of discretion (probably, as Kazem- Beg states at p. 335 of his first article, when about fourteen or fifteen years old) he was sent to Bushire to help in his uncle's business (supra, p. 2).

        (4) Disinclined by nature to the calling for which he was destined, he proceeded at some time antecedent to the year A.H. 1259 (in which year Seyyid Kázim died, see p. 238, supra) to Kerbelá, where he resided for some time (two months, according to the Táríkh-i-Jadíd), occasionally attending the lectures of Hájí Seyyid Kázim of Resht.

        (5) In A.H. 1258 (A.D. 1842) when in his twenty-third year he married (B. ii, p. 993). There is no positive evidence to show whether this marriage took place at Shíráz or Kerbelá, but the former hypothesis appears more probable. By this marriage he had (according to a statement made by Subh-i-Ezel) one son named (if my memory serves me aright) Ahmad, who died in infancy. The loss of this child is said to be alluded to in the Commentary on the Súra of Joseph.

        (6) On Jamádí-ul-Úlá 5th, A.H. 1260 (May 23rd, A.D. 1844) Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad - then "twenty-four years of age and entering on his twenty-fifth year" as Subh-i-Ezel states, or, in his own words, "at an age which did not exceed five and twenty" (see p. 221, supra) - first became clearly conscious of the divine mission laid upon him, and (apparently without much delay) began to announce himself as the Báb. If by the 'manifestation' (~~~) we are to understand that period at which the views of the young Seer first became definitely formulated rather than that at which they were first made known to others, it is of course possible that some little while elapsed between the 'manifestation' and its disclosure. This hypothesis is supported by the narrative of the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, according to which Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh (who was, as is unanimously admitted, and as his titles 'the first Letter' and the 'First who believed' imply, the earliest convert) came to Shíráz shortly after the death of Seyyid Kázim, visited Mírzá 'Alí

[page 251]

Muhammad (with whom he had been previously acquainted at Kerbelá), and, during this first visit, was surprised by his former fellow-student demanding of him 'whether he saw in him the signs which must characterize Seyyid Kázim's successor?' (see B. ii, pp. 902-903). On the other hand it is clear that not more than a month or two can have elapsed between the time of the 'manifestation' and its disclosure, firstly, because the beginning of the Bábí propaganda is placed by both of the Musulmán historians in this same year of A.H. 1260; secondly, because seven months after the 'manifestation' (as will be shown immediately) the Báb, having laid the foundations of his religion at Shíráz, was away performing the pilgrimage to Mecca.

        We have now reached the point to which this note specially refers - the Báb's pilgrimage to Mecca. Concerning this Gobineau says simply (pp. 144-145), "Il fit très-jeune le pèlerinage de la Mecque...Il est bien probable que ce fut dans la ville sainte elle-même qu'il se détacha absolument et définitivement de la foi du Prophète, et qu'il concut la pensée de ruiner cette foi pour mettre à sa place tout autre chose." Kazem-Beg says (i, p. 344), "Après avoir semé bon gré mal gré quelques mauvais grains dans cette terre de Chiraz si fertile en préjugés et en superstitions, le Kerbèlaï Seïd Ali-Mohammed se rendit en pèlerinage à la Mecque." In this instance Kazem-Beg is undoubtedly right; it was after, not before, the manifestation that the Báb went to Mecca. The Násikhu't-Tawáríkh is clear on this point. "To proceed with the narrative," it says, "when the Báb had laid the foundations of such an edifice, he, according to his promise, set out for Mecca the venerable." The promise alluded to in this passage is thus noticed on the preceding page: "Since tradition affirms that His Highness the Ká'im (i.e. the Imám Mahdí) shall come forth from Mecca the venerable, he (the Báb) used to tell his disciples that next year he would announce his claim in Mecca and come forth with the sword" A statement of Subh-i-Ezel's to the effect that the manifestation was in Shíráz (not in Kerbelá, as stated in the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh), that Mullá Huseyn first believed, and that soon after this the Báb set out on the pilgrimage to Mecca, taken in conjunction with the above testimony, seems to prove conclusively that the

[page 252]

pilgrimage-journey took place shortly after the 'manifestation.'

        Now since, as we have seen, the 'manifestation' was on Jamádí-ul-Úlá 5th A.H. 1260, and since the pilgrimage must be performed in the month of Zi'l-Hijjé (the last month of the Muhammadan year), it follows that Kazem-Beg's statement (i, p. 346) that "at the end of the year 1260 (1844) he (i.e. the Báb) returned from Mecca to Bandar-Bushire, where he was arrested in the month of October, by order of the Nizámu'd- Dawla Huseyn Khán, governor of Shíráz," is erroneous. For, according to the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh, the horsemen sent to Bushire to arrest the Báb set out from Shíráz on Sha'bán 16th, and returned, bringing with them their prisoner, on Ramazán 19th. The latter of these dates is confirmed by the Rawzatu's- Safá; while the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, after mentioning that the Báb's return to Bushire occurred in A.H. 1261, says that he was brought before Huseyn Khán on the eve of Ramazán 21st. Though neither of the Musulmán historians mentions the year1, it is evident that A.H. 1261 is intended, for in Ramazán A.H. 1260 the Báb had not yet started for Mecca. We may therefore add to the facts previously stated about the Báb's earlier movements-

        (7) That towards the end of the year A.H. 1260, and presumably in the month Zi'l-Ka'da of that year (November, A.D. 1844), he set out from Shíráz for Mecca.

        (8) That he remained at Mecca at any rate till Zi'l- Hijjé 13th A.H. 1260 (December 24th, A.D. 1844) for the completion of the rites incumbent on pilgrims.

        (9) That he returned by sea some time during the first half of the year A.H. 1261 (A.D. 1845) to Bushire, whence he sent missionaries to Shíráz, he himself remaining at the former place. (See supra, p. 5.)

        (10) That on Sha'bán 2nd A.H. 1261 (August 6th, A.D. 1845) strong measures were adopted by Huseyn Khán against these missionaries. (See supra, pp. 5-6.)

        (11) That on Sha'bán 16th A.H. 1261 (August 20th, 1845) horsemen were sent from Shíráz to arrest the Báb at Bushire.

1 Compare the remarks on pp. 186-187, supra.

[page 253]

        (12) That these horsemen re-entered Shíráz with their prisoner on Ramazán 19th A.H. 1261 (September 21st, A.D. 1845), and that on that same day (according to the Rawzatu's- Safá), or on the evening of the following day (according to the Táríkh-i-Jadíd), the Báb was brought before Huseyn Khán.

        There is not at present sufficient evidence to determine definitely the following points:-

        (1) At what age the Báb lost his father.

        (2) At what age he first left Shíráz and went to Bushire.

        (3) How long he remained at Bushire engaged in commerce.

        (4) When he went to Kerbelá, how long he remained there, and whether he married before, during, or after his sojourn there.

        (5) Whether he returned directly to Bushire after performing the rites of the pilgrimage at Mecca and visiting Medína, or whether he remained some few months in Arabia.

        The Báb was accompanied on the pilgrimage by Hájí Muhammad 'Alí Bárfurúshí (Kazem-Beg, i, p. 344, note; confirmed by Subh-i-Ezel), and was (according to Subh-i-Ezel) joined later by Hájí Suleymán Khán.


        Gobineau makes no mention of the Níríz insurrection. Kazem-Beg gives a long account of it, occupying fifteen pages (ii, pp. 224- 239), which contains neither much more nor much less than the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh. His error as to the date of the Zanján siege (see supra, p. 187) has led him to give a wrong date for this event likewise. Áká Seyyid Yahyá's death - the closing catastrophe of the Níríz insurrection - occurred, not, as he implies, early in A.D. 1850, but on Sha'bán 28th A.H. 1266 (July 9th, A.d.

[page 254]

1850, see supra, p. 45, note 1). The Rawzatu's-Safá contains a much briefer account of the matter, which agrees in the main with those above alluded to. The Táríkh-i-Jadíd, on the other hand, differs considerably from the Musulmán histories, and supplies us with much new matter. As the versions embodied in the latter are rendered sufficiently accessible to the European reader by Kazem-Beg's narrative, I shall confine myself here to giving a brief presentation of the account according to the Bábí tradition.

        Seyyid Yahyá's father Seyyid Ja'far, surnamed Kashfí or Kashsháf ('the Discloser') because of his skill in the exegesis of the Kur'án and the visions which he claimed to have, seems, according to all accounts, to have been universally respected and revered. Before the events with which we are concerned took place he left his native town of Dáráb and settled in Burújird. His son Seyyid Yahyá would seem to have resided at Teherán for some time previously to the Báb's appearance, but for how long does not appear. At all events, shortly after this took place he (at the command of Muhammad Sháh as stated at p. 7 of the present work, at the request of his disciples and followers according to the Táríkh-i- Jadíd) proceeded to Shíráz with the express object of enquiring into the Báb's claims; and was present, according to the Násikhu't- Tawáríkh, at the Báb's examination before Huseyn Khán on Ramazán 21st A.H. 1261 (Sept. 23rd, A.D. 1845). Although, if we are to give credence to the Musulmán historian's assertions, the Báb scarcely emerged from this ordeal with flying colours, Seyyid Yahyá was sufficiently impressed by what he saw of the young reformer to desire fuller opportunities of conversing with him. The usual result followed. After a brief period of hesitation and doubt, Seyyid Yahyá eagerly embraced the new faith. A long account of his conversion is given in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, which, interesting as it is, lack of space compels me to omit.

        Seyyid Yahyá does not seem to have remained in Shíráz long after his conversion. The present history (p. 8) states that he "hastened to Burújird to his father Seyyid Ja'far"; the Táríkh-i- Jadíd describes him as "setting out for Yezd";

[page 255]

while the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh asserts that after the Báb's flight to Isfahán he was informed by Huseyn Khán that "his further sojourn in Fárs was undesirable," and that accordingly he betook himself to Yezd. Whatever his immediate movements on quitting Shíráz may have been (and it is not improbable that he may have visited many towns besides those mentioned to preach the new faith, being, as would appear, commissioned by the Báb so to do) he would seem to have again visited Teherán, and there to have remained for some considerable time. Subh-i-Ezel, in reply to a question which I addressed to him as to the character of Áká Seyyid Yahyá and the truth or falsity of the charge of perfidy brought against him by a certain writer (Kazem-Beg, ii, p. 239), wrote thus:- "The virtue and perfections of His Excellency Áká Seyyid Yahyá were beyond all limits and bounds. He was not such as that historian has described. I bear witness by God and His Spirit that this [historian] has written downright falsehood. Most of the people of Persia admitted his virtue and perfections. I myself in the days of my youth met him several times at night in my own house and elsewhere, and witnessed the perfection of his virtues and endowments"

        The information at our disposal is insufficient to enable us to trace Seyyid Yahyá's movements from the period of his conversion in the autumn of A.D. 1845 till we find him involved in the troubles at Yezd in May 1850. If the reiterated assertions of the Táríkh-i-Jadíd to the effect that he proceeded directly from Shíráz to Yezd, returned directly from Yezd to Shíráz and Níríz, and also visited Teherán, are to be credited, we must suppose that he visited Yezd twice at least during this period. At all events in May 1850 we find him in that city, busily engaged in preaching the Bábí doctrines, and surrounded by a considerable number of followers. The governor of Yezd, Áká Khán, at length considered it advisable to interfere, and sent men to arrest Seyyid Yahyá, who retired with some of his followers to the citadel and prepared to defend himself. An unsuccessful attack on the insurgents' position resulted in a loss of thirty lives to the besiegers and seven to the Bábís.

[page 256]

        Seyyid Yahyá, however, does not seem to have been altogether satisfied with his position. One night he said, "If anyone could lead out my horse so that I could go forth to put an end to this matter and convey myself to some other place, it would not be a bad thing." A youth named Hasan, distinguished by a singular devotion to Seyyid Yahyá, at once volunteered to make the attempt, and persisted in his purpose in spite of his master's warning that he would be taken and slain. This actually befel. Hasan was captured by the enemy and brought before the governor, who ordered him to be blown from the mouth of gun. So little did this terrible sentence affect the brave youth that he requested that he might be bound with his face towards the cannon so that he might see the match applied. In spite of this untoward event Seyyid Yahyá succeeded in effecting his escape from Yezd in company with one of his disciples. He first made his way to Shíráz, whence he proceeded to Níríz. After his departure, the Bábís at Yezd were soon subdued by the governor, who punished some with death, some with imprisonment, and some with fines.

        No sooner had Seyyid Yahyá reached Níríz than he again began his propaganda, undeterred by the remonstrances and threats of the governor Zeynu'l-'Ábidín Khán. The latter finally called upon the people of Níríz to assist him in forcibly expelling the disturber. Seyyid Yahyá, being apprised of this, repaired to the mosque where his father had been wont to preach, and addressed to the people there assembledan affecting discourse, wherein he reminded them of their former love for himself, declared that his only object was to make him partakers in that faith which had been to him a source of such great happiness, and concluded by conjuring them by the veneration in which they held his father's memory not to suffer themselves to be made the instruments of the governor's malice. Having finished his discourse he left the town accompanied by seventeen of his followers, and took up his abode at an old ruined castle in the neighbourhood.

        Seyyid Yahyá was not suffered to remain long undisturbed. His foes soon discovered his retreat and proceeded to lay siege to it. At first they were unsuccessful, Seyyid

[page 257]

Yahyá having apparently been joined by a large number of supporters (three hundred according to the Musulmán historian); and indeed the Bábís gained at least one decided victory over their foes. But in a short while the besiegers were re-inforced by troops sent from Shíráz at the command of Fírúz Mírzá, the new governor of Fárs, and commanded by Mihr 'Alí Khán Shujá'u'l-Mulk of Núr and Mustafá-Kulí Khán Kára- gúzlú. The arrival of these troops greatly dispirited the besieged; many of the less ardent deserted, and in a short time the occupants of the castle were reduced to seventy.

        In spite of the defections from their ranks, the Bábís (according to the Táríkh-i-Jadíd) continued to defend themselves with such vigour that the besiegers were fain to have recourse to treachery similar in character to that whereby Sheykh Tabarsí and Zanján were finally subdued. They sent a message to Seyyid Yahyá asking him to come to their camp and hold a peaceful consultation with the royalist leaders, and assuring him with oaths registered on the Kur'án that no harm should befal him at their hands. Seyyid Yahyá, in spite of the remonstrances and warnings of his followers, acquiesced in the proposed arrangement, and forthwith betook himself to the besiegers' camp. He was at first received with courtesy and treated with all respect, but when, on the following morning, he attempted to leave the tent which had been assigned to him, he was prevented by the sentinels from so doing. The Bábís, becoming aware in some way of the insult offered to their chief, made a sudden sortie and succeeded in greatly discomfiting their foes. Thereupon the officers of the besieging army hastened to Seyyid Yahyá's tent and remonstrated with him on the action of his followers, reminding him that he had agreed to co-operate with them in striving to bring about a peaceful settlement. Seyyid Yahyá in turn reproached them with wanton violation of good faith in confining him to his tent, which conduct on their part, he assured them, was the sole cause of what had now occurred. The royalist officers apologised for the insult offered, which, they declared, they had in no wise sanctioned, and finally prevailed on Seyyid Yahyá to write to his followers instructing them to lay down their arms, evacuate their

[page 258]

fortress, and return to their homes. The Bábís faithfully obeyed the commands of their chief, but no sooner were they disbanded and scattered than they were seized by the soldiers and brought in chains to the camp, while their houses were given over to plunderers.

        The besiegers, having now gained their object, readily forgot their oaths and plighted troth. Seyyid Yahyá was strangled with this own girdle by one of whose two brothers had been killed during the siege, and the other Bábís likewise died by the hands of the executioner. The heads of the victims were stuffed with straw1, and, bearing with them these grim trophies of their prowess, together with some forty or fifty Bábí women and one child of tender age as captives, the victorious army returned to Shíráz. Their entry into that city was made the occasion of general rejoicings; the captives were paraded through the streets and bazaars and finally brought before Prince Fírúz Mírzá, who was feasting in a summer-house called Kuláh-i-Firangí. In his presence Mihr 'Alí Khán, Mírzá Na'ím, and the other officers recounted the details of their victory, and received congratulations and marks of favour. The captive women were finally imprisoned in an old caravansaray outside the Isfahán gate. What treatment they experienced at the hands of their captors is left to our conjecture. Twelve Bábís who had escaped from Níríz to Isfahán were there captured and sent to Shíráz where they were executed. Thus ended the first Níríz insurrection.

        The second insurrection occurred about two years later. A number of Bábís took refuge with their wives and children in the mountains about Níríz, and for a long while offered a vigorous and successful resistance to those who strove to dislodge them. They even attacked the town and killed the governor Zeynu'l-'Ábidín Khán - the chief author of their sufferings - while he was at the bath. Finally troops were sent from Shíráz by the governor Tahmásp Mírzá, and these, aided by the tribesmen of Dáráb and Sábúnát, succeeded at length in stamping out the insurrec-

        1 Concerning this disgusting practice compare Eastwick's Diplomate's Residence in Persia, vol. ii, pp. 55-56.

[page 259]

tion. The fate of the captives was in every respect similar to that which had befallen their predecessors.

        The author of the Táríkh-i- Jadíd in concluding this narrative takes occasion to point out how literally was fulfilled in these events the prophecy contained in a tradition referring to the signs which shall mark the appearance of Imám Mahdí:-

[five lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        "In him [shall be] the perfection of Moses, the preciousness of Jesus, and the patience of Job; his saints shall be abased in his time, and their heads shall be exchanged as presents, even as the heads of the Turk and the Deylamite are exchanged as presents; they shall be slain and burned, and shall be afraid, fearful, and dismayed; the earth shall be dyed with their blood, and lamentation and wailing shall prevail amongst their women; these are my saints indeed"1

        When I was at Yezd in the early summer of 1888, I became acquainted with a Bábí holding a position of some importance under government, two of whose ancestors had taken a prominent part in the suppression of the Níríz insurrection. Of what he told me concerning this the following is a summary taken from my diary for May 18th, 1888:-

        "My maternal grandfather Mihr 'Alí Khán Shujá'u'l-Mulk and my great-uncle Mírzá Na'ím both took an active

        1 This tradition, called [~~~] is also quoted from the Káfí (one of the principal compilations of Shi'ite traditions) in the Ikán.

[page 260]

part in the Níríz war - but on the wrong side. When orders came to Shíráz to quell the insurrection, my grandfather was instructed to take command of the expedition sent for that purpose. He did not like the task committed to him and communicated his reluctance to two of the 'Ulamá, who, however, re- assured him, declaring that the war on which he was about to engage was a holy enterprise sanctioned by Religion, and that he would receive reward therefor in Paradise. So he went, and what happened happened. After they had killed 750 men, they took the women and children, stripped them almost naked, mounted them on donkeys, mules, and camels, and led them through rows of heads hewn from the lifeless bodies of their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands towards Shíráz. On their arrival there, they were placed in a ruined caravansaray just outside the Isfahán gate and opposite to an Imám- zádé, their captors taking up their quarters under some trees hard by. Here they remained for a long while, subjected to many insults and hardships, and many of them died.

        "Now see the judgement of God on the oppressors; for of those chiefly responsible for these cruelties not one but came to a bad end and died overwhelmed with calamity.

        "My grandfather Mihr 'Alí Khán presently fell ill and was dumb till the day of his death. Just as he was about to expire, those who stood round him saw from the movement of his lips that he was whispering something. They leant down to catch his last words and heard him murmur faintly 'Bábí! Bábí! Bábí!' three times. Then he fell back dead.

        "My great-uncle Mírzá Na'ím fell into disgrace with the government and was twice fined, 10,000 túmáns the first time, 15,000 the second. But his punishment did not cease here, for he was made to suffer diverse tortures. His hands were put in the el- chek1 and his feet in the tang-i- Kájár2; he was made to stand bare-headed in the sun

        1 The torture called el-chek consists in placing pieces of wood between the victim's fingers, binding them round tightly with cord. Cold water is then thrown over the cord to cause its further contraction.
        2 The tang-i- Kájár or 'Kájár squeeze' is an instrument of torture resembling the 'boot' once used in England, for the introduction of which (as its name implies) Persia is indebted to the dynasty which at present occupies the throne.

[page 261]

with treacle smeared over his head to attract the flies; and, after suffering these and other torments yet more painful and humiliating, he was dismissed a disgraced and ruined man."1

        Áká Seyyid Yahyá was, as Subh-i-Ezel informed me, not more than forty years old at the time of his death. A certain Bábí named Biyúk Áká used to say jestingly, "I like a handsome 'Commander of the Faithful' like Seyyid Yahyá, not an ugly old man bent double with age like Mullá Sheykh 'Alí."

        Major-General Sir Frederick Goldsmith was kind enough to call my attention to the following passage in Lovett's Surveys on the road from Shíráz to Bam (Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 1872):-

        "It (i.e. Níríz) is divided into three parishes or mahallas; that to the South, termed the 'Mahalla-i- Bábí' is well known to be peopled almost entirely by Bábís, who, though they do not openly profess their faith in the teachings of Seyyid 'Alí Muhammad the Báb, still practise the principles of communism he inculcated. It is certain, moreover, that the tolerance which was one of the precepts inculcated by the Báb is here shewed, for not only was I invited to make use of the public hammám, if I required it, but quarters were assigned to me in a madrasa."

        Is it in the least degree probable that, if Seyyid Yahyá's conduct had been such as Kazem-Beg describes it, Níríz should have continued so long one of the strongholds of that faith whereof he was the apostle?

        1 Another yet more striking instance of Divine vengeance was related to me in the same connection, but I omit it as not bearing on the present subject. The belief prevalent amongst the Bábís, that signal punishment befalls those who are most active in persecuting them, is strangely supported not only by the above instances but by the fates of the Amír-Nizám (Gobineau, pp. 253-254), of Mahmúd Khán the Kalántar (Gobineau, p. 295), of Sheykh Bákir, and others (B. i, pp. 491-492).

[page 262]



        According to the Táríkh-i- Jadíd the Báb, after his examination before Huseyn Khán on Ramazán 21st, A.H. 1261 (Sept. 23rd, A.D. 1845), was confined, not, as stated in this history (p. 6), in the house of his uncle Hájí Seyyid 'Alí, nor, as asserted by the Musulmán historians, in prison, but in the house of 'Abdu'l-Hamíd Khán the Dárúghá or chief constable of Shíráz. That for some portion of the six months which elapsed between his arrest and his escape to Isfahán the Báb was an inmate of the house of this official would appear certain, for Subh-i-Ezel, whom I questioned on the subject, affirmed this to have been the case, adding, in answer to further questions as to how strict was the custody in which he was kept, that the rawza- khwáns or religious recitations, of which the constable's house was frequently the scene, afforded opportunities to the Bábís of seeing and conversing with their Master.

        That some attack on the Báb's house such as that described at p.10 of the present work did take place appears to be proved by the following passage from one of the Báb's works, for which I am also indebted to Subh-i-Ezel:-

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]

        "His party entered in unto my house on the 'Night of Worth'1 and took what they could of that which my Lord hath caused me to possess, at the command of the ruler of Fárs, upon whom be the curse of God!"

        1 The Leylatu'l-kadr ("Night of Worth" or "Decrees") is generally supposed to be the night between the 23rd and 24th of Ramazán. (See Sale's translation of the Kur'án, note on sura xcvii.)

[page 263]

        The account of the Báb's escape from Shíráz contained in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd differs somewhat from that here given, and is in substance as follows. When the plague broke out in Shíráz the son of 'Abdu'l-Hamíd Khán was amongst those stricken by the awful malady. 'Abdu'l-Hamíd Khán in his distress and anxiety appealed to the Báb, entreating him to pray for the youth's recovery. This shortly took place; whereat the grateful father sought out his illustrious guest, and, with profuse expressions of thankfulness, assured him that he might consider himself free to go where he pleased. According to the Musulmán accounts (which, together with a note containing a very pertinent criticism on their intrinsic improbability, will be found in Kazem-Beg's first paper, pp. 348-349) Minúchihr Khán Mu'tamadu'd-Dawla, the governor of Isfahán, sent horsemen to Shíráz expressly to deliver the Báb from his captivity and bring him to Isfahán. It is but fair to add that Subh-i-Ezel also attributed the Báb's release directly to Minúchihr Khán's efforts.

        Of the Báb's journey to Isfahán in company with Áká Huseyn of Ardistán and Áká Seyyid Kázim of Zanján (who died shortly after reaching Isfahán) the Táríkh-i-Jadíd gives a detailed account on the authority of Hájí Mírzá Jání of Káshán, who had heard it from the above-mentioned Áká Muhammad Huseyn himself. The most noteworthy feature of this account is its evident tendency to invest in the Báb's slightest actions with a miraculous character.

        The Báb probably reached Isfahán early in the summer of A.D. 1846, since, according to both the Musulmán historians, his captivity at Shíráz lasted six months, and since, according to the present history (p. 11), the hot weather (which seldom sets in till the beginning of May at the earliest) had already begun ere he left Shíráz. On approaching Isfahán he addressed a letter to the governor Minúchihr Khán asking permission to enter the city and craving protection. Of this letter Kazem-Beg (i. p. 352 and note) gives a translation, which, as it appears to be derived from authoritative sources, I here reproduce:- "Poursuivi par tous, persécuté, j'accours me placer sous

[page 264]

votre égide; j'attends votre réponse au seuil de la capitale, et n'y entrerai pas avant d'avoir obtenu l'assurance de votre protection."

        During the first forty days of his sojourn in Isfahán the Báb was, as stated at p. 11 of the present work and also in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, the guest of the Imám-Jum'a, who at first treated him with great respect, and at whose request he wrote the Commentary on the Súratu'l-'Asr. Of this work I have been fortunate enough to obtain a MS. quite recently. [See infra at the end of Note U].



        Of the circumstances which led to the conference, and the considerations which induced the majority of the clergy invited to take part in it to absent themselves therefrom, the Táríkh-i-Jadíd gives the following account. Although the 'Ulamá of Isfahán headed by the Imám- Jum'a had at first behaved towards the Báb with respect, and expressed themselves favourably with regard to him, they began after a while to be alarmed at his increasing influence over the governor Munúchihr Khán. Alarm presently passed into hatred: they began to speak ill of him whom they had professed to admire, and even destroyed certain books which he had composed at their request. Munúchihr Khán on hearing this was greatly incensed, and bitterly reproached these divines with the fickleness of their conduct. "At first," he said, "you praised and admired. What has happened now to cause you to become so hostile and envious and induce you to speak so ill? There is no sense in denunciation without investigation or enquiry. If you are in truth searchers and strivers in matters of faith and religion, then choose one of three places - the Imám-Jum'a's house, my house, or the Masjid-i-Sháh - and hold discussion with him [the Báb]. If he can establish and prove the truth of his claim so as to persuade and convince you,

[page 265]

admit it, so that the clergy of Persia may not oppose and resist it without reason, or turn away from the truth without cause. If he cannot succeed in establishing his claim, then do you be the first to rebut it, so that this mischief may cease, and mankind may be set at ease. But it is a condition that I myself be present and that only one person at a time speak, for if once wrangling begins and clerical tricks are resorted to, the matter will not be understood"

        The clergy agreed to this proposal, and selected the Masjid- Sháh as the scene of the conference. On the appointed day Mír Seyyid Hasan Mudarris, Hájí Mullá Hasan 'Alí of Túsirkán, Áká Muhammad Mahdí Kalbásí, and other members of the clergy who were to take part in the discussion met at the house of Hájí Muhammad Ja'far of Fárs, intending to proceed with him to the Masjid-i-Sháh. Hájí Muhammad Ja'far, however, who was the oldest and most learned of those present, expressed a strong opinion to the effect that they would act most wisely in refusing to take any part in the projected discussion with the Báb, "for," said he, "if you prevail over him you will add but little to your reputation, seeing that he is confessedly unlearned and untrained in science; while if he prevail over you, you will be for ever shamed and disgraced. Under these circumstances it is best that we should sign a declaration stating that we are convinced of the heretical character of his doctrines, and refuse to have any further dealings with him." This expedient was, after some discussion, unanimously adopted, and the declaration was sent to Minúchihr Khán, who was greatly incensed thereat.

        That some of the clergy who had been invited to take part in the discussion refused to attend is a fact vouched for by both of the Bábí historians, though as to the names of the absentees they are not in complete accord, Áká Muhammad Mahdí, for instance, being specially designated in the present work (p. 12) as having been present at the conference. The Násikh 't-Tawáríkh gives a totally different account of the matter, including a report of the discussion. This account is in substance as follows.

        Minúchihr Khán, anxious to test the Báb's wisdom, one

[page 266]

night invited to his house several eminent members of the clergy of Isfahán, amongst these being Mírzá Seyyid Muhammad Imám-Jum'a, Áká Muhammad Mahdí Kalbásí, and Mírzá Muhammad Hasan of Núr. Shortly after these had arrived the Báb entered and was placed in a seat of honour. The following colloquy then took place:-

        Áká Muhammad Mahdí. - "Persons who follow the path of Religion belong to one of two classes: either they themselves deduce and determine religious questions from history and tradition, or else they follow some competent authority (mujtahid)".1

        Báb: - "I follow no one, and moreover I regard it as unlawful for each one to act after his own fancy."

        Á. M. M. - "To-day the Gate of Knowledge (Báb-i-'ilm) is shut, and the Proof of God[i.e. the Twelfth Imám.] absent. Unless you hold converse with the Imám of the Age and hear the explanation of questions of truth from his tongue, how can you attain certainty and be assured? Tell me, whence have you acquired this knowledge, and from whom did you gain this assurance?"

        Báb. - "You are educated in tradition and are as a child learning the alphabet. The 'Station of Praise and of the Spirit' is mine. You cannot speak with me of what you know not"

        Mírzá Hasan (the Platonist and follower of Mullá Sadrá). - "Stop at this statement which you have made! We in our terminology have assigned a station to 'Praise and the Spirit,' whereunto whosoever attaineth is conversant with all things; from him nothing remains concealed, and there is nothing which he knoweth not. Do you recognise the 'Station of Praise and of the Spirit' as such, and does your nature thus comprehend all things?"

        Báb (without hesitation). - "It is even so. Ask what you please."

        M. H. - "One of the miracles of the Prophets and Saints was, as it appears, the [instant] traversing of the

        1 He who follows is called mukallid, and he who leads, mujtahid. Everyone belonging to the former class is at liberty to select his own guide from the latter.

[page 267]

earth. Tell me now, that I may know, how the earth can be thus traversed. For instance, His Holiness Jawád1 (upon him be peace) lifted up his foot in Medína and put it down in Tús? Whither went the space which was between Medína and Tús? Did the ground between these two cities sink down, so that Medína became contiguous to Tús? And when the Imám (upon him be peace) reached Tús, did the earth again rise up? This cannot have been, for how many cities are there between Medína and Tús, all of which must in that case have been swallowed up and every living thing therein destroyed! And if you say that the lands [between them] were agglomerated so that they became amalgamated, this too is impossible, for in that case how many cities would have been obliterated or would have passed beyond Medína or Tús, whereas [in fact] no part of the earth was altered or moved from its place. And if you say, 'The Imám flew, and leapt with his mortal body from Medína to Tús,' this likewise agreeth not with sound reasonings. Say also how 'Alí the Prince of Believers (upon Him be peace) was in one night - nay, in one moment - a guest in forty [different] houses. If you say, 'It was not 'Alí, but a simulacrum [of him] appeared,' we admit it not, for God and the Prophet lie not, neither was 'Alí a juggler. And if it was in truth he, how was it so? So likewise it is [stated] in tradition that the heavens moved swiftly in the time of Sultán Jábir, but had a slow motion in the time of the Imáms. Now firstly how can there be two sorts of motion for the heavens? And secondly the Omeyyad and 'Abbásid Kings were contemporary with our Imáms (upon them be peace), so that the heavens must at one time have had both a slow and a swift motion. Discover this mystery also."

        Báb. - "If you wish, I will explain these difficulties verbally; if not, I will write [their solutions] with fingers and pen on paper."

        M. H. - "The choice is yours. Do whichever you please."

        Then the Báb took pen and paper and began to write.

        1 Jawád ("the Generous") is one of the titles assigned to the ninth Imám, Muhammad Takí.

[page 268]

At this moment supper was brought in. Mírzá Hasan picked up the paper on which the Báb had written a few lines and, after glancing at it, said, "It appears that you have begun a homily, and have only written an exordium of praise to God and a few words of prayer, without acquainting us with that which we desired to know." Here the discussion dropped, and after partaking of supper each one returned to his own home.

        Whatever may be the truth about this conference and the behaviour of the clergy of Isfahán towards the Báb, one fact is clearly proved by all accounts, namely, that from first to last Minúchihr Khán shewed himself a sincere and faithful friend to the Báb. Whether, as stated by Subh-i-Ezel, he wrote to Muhammad Sháh telling him that "it was unseemly for the Government to engage in a quarrel with a private individual," and offered all the money at his disposal and even the rings on his hand to the Báb; or whether, as asserted by the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, he even went so far as to offer to place 50,000 troops at the Báb's disposal, march on Teherán, and compel the King to accept the new faith and bestow the hand of one of his daughters on its founder, must remain doubtful; but this much at least is certain, that almost the only period of comparative peace and comfort enjoyed by the Báb from the beginning of his mission till his martyrdom was the year which he passed in Isfahán under the protection of the wise and powerful Georgian eunuch.



        Gobineau in his Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale (pp. 81-91) has given so admirable an account of the life of this great philosopher and of the part played by him in the revival of metaphysical learning in Persia that any very detailed notice of his career on my part would be superfluous. I shall therefore confine myself to reproducing

[page 269]

a brief sketch of his biography as it was related to me by a most learned and amiable scholar - himself a pupil of Hájí Mullá Hádí of Sabzawár, whose fame as a metaphysician has almost eclipsed that of the illustrious Mullá Sadrá - with whom it was my privilege to study for some time in Teherán. This account agrees in the main with Gobineau's, but differs in some few points.

        Mullá Sadrá's father was a rich merchant of Shíráz, but though he had reached an advanced age he had no child to whom he might bequeath his wealth. This caused him much sorrow, and he prayed earnestly to God that a son might be vouchsafed to him, making a vow that if his prayer were granted he would bestow a túmán a day in alms on the poor. Shortly after this, that which he so earnestly desired came to pass, and a son - afterwards the great Mullá Sadrá - was born to him. From an early age the boy gave indications of extraordinary talent and virtue. When his father died, he decided, after consulting his mother, to give the greater portion of the wealth which he had inherited to the poor, reserving only what was sufficient for his modest needs. He then left Shíráz and took up residence in Isfahán, which was at that time unrivalled in Persia as a seat of learning. On his arrival there he enquired who were the best teachers of philosophy, and was answered that they were three - Mír Dámád, Mír Fandariskí, and Sheykh Behá. To the first of these he forthwith presented himself, and asked advice as to the course of study which he should pursue. "If you want sheer ideas," replied Mír Dámád, "go to Mír Fandariskí; if you want merely eloquence, go to Sheykh Behá; if you want both, come to me." Mullá Sadrá accordingly attended with diligence the lectures of all three, but chiefly those of Mír Dámád. After a while Mír Dámád, wishing to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, bade a temporary farewell to his students, and instructed each of them to compose during his absence a treatise on some branch of Philosophy. On his return he asked to see the results of their labours. These he glanced over in private, and all of them he laid aside after a cursory inspection save the treatise composed by Mullá Sadrá under the name of Shawáhid-i-Rubúbiyya ('Evidences of Divinity') - a treatise to this day most

[page 270]

highly esteemed in Persia. A few days after, as he was riding through the streets attended by his disciples, he called Mullá Sadrá to him and said:- "Sadrá ján! Kitáb-i-mará az meyán burdí!" ("My dear Sadrá, you have done away with my book!"), meaning to signify that the pupil had superseded the teacher. Shortly after this Mullá Sadrá, having completed his studies, went to Káshán, and thence, after a while, to Kum, in the mountains around which city he long lived a secluded and studious life, troubled occasionally by the malice and hostility of the mullás.

        Gobineau says (loc. cit., p. 89) that Mullá Sadrá's philosophy was simply a revival of Avicenna's and contained nothing new; but this, as he himself remarks, is not the general opinion in Persia. The following three points, as I was informed, constitute the chief original features of Mullá Sadrá's system:-

        (1) The aphorism

        [one line of Persian/Arabic text]
        "The elementary Reality is all things, yet is no one of them."

        (2) The doctrine of "the Union of the Intellect with the Intelligible" (~~~), according to which the clear apprehension of an idea implies and involves the establishment of a kind of identity between it and the mind which apprehends it.

        (3) The doctrine of "the Incorporeality of Imagination" (~~~) - a doctrine involving the important consequence that Reason (or the development of that principle which stands above Imagination in the evolution of the spiritual faculties) is not a necessary condition of immortality, and hence that not infants only but even animals possess a spiritual part which survives the death of the body.

        Mullá Sadrá composed a great number of works, whereof the Asfár ('Treatises'), in two large volumes, and the Sha-

[page 271]

wáhid-i-Rubúbiyya ('Evidences of Divinity') mentioned above, are the most important. His influence on Persian thought has been great; and his relations with the later developments thereof - especially with the Sheykhí school (concerning which see Note E supra) - merit a much more careful study than they have yet received.



        The Báb was accompanied on his journey to Mákú by his amanuensis Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd, Mullá Sheykh 'Alí 'Jenáb-i-'Azím', Mullá Muhammad 'Mu'allim-i-Núrí' (afterwards killed at Sheykh Tabarsí)1, and an escort of twelve horsemen under the command of Muhammad Beg Chápárjí. A full account of this journey, on the authority of Hájí Mírzá Jání of Káshán, who had it directly from the aforesaid Muhammad Beg, is contained in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd. The substance of this account is as follows:-

        When Muhammad Beg was ordered to conduct the Báb to Tabríz and there deliver him over to Bahman Mírzá the governor, he was so averse to undertaking this charge that he feigned illness in hopes of being excused so thankless a task. His orders, however, were peremptorily repeated, and he was obliged to set out. He had been instructed not to take the Báb into the towns which they must pass on the road, and accordingly on approaching Zanján he called a halt at a stone caravansaray situated outside and at some distance from the city. In spite of this, no sooner did their arrival become known than numbers of the inhabitants came out in the hopes of being able to get a

        1 This is according to Subh-i-Ezel's statement. According to the Táríkh-i- Jadíd his companions were, besides the escort, Áká Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Wahháb, Mullá Muhammad, Áká Seyyid Huseyn the amanuensis, his brother Áká Seyyid Hasan of Yezd, and Seyyid Murtazá.

[page 272]

glimpse of the Báb. Muhammad Beg, being occupied with other business, took no heed of what was passing, while the other men who composed the escort only offered such opposition to the entry of each group of eager visitors as sufficed to procure for themselves a gift of money. Presently an urgent message was brought from Ashraf Khán the governor of Zanján (who was greatly alarmed at the popular excitement caused by the Báb's proximity to the town) ordering Muhammad Beg at once to start again and proceed to some spot further distant. Muhammad Beg accordingly informed the Báb, with many apologies and expressions of regret, that he must prepare to resume his journey without delay, to which, with a single expression of surprise and regret at the governor's harshness, he submitted, and they pushed on to a brick caravansaray two farsakhs beyond Zanján. At Mílán the Báb's arrival was the signal for a similar demonstration of enthusiasm on the part of the populace, and some two hundred persons who had come out of mere curiosity were converted to the new faith.

        Before Tabríz was reached Muhammad Beg too began to experience that marvellous fascination which the Báb exerted over almost everyone with whom he came in contact, and ere the journey was completed he had become an avowed believer in the divine mission of the captive whom he was conducting into exile. Of those disciples who accompanied the Báb on this journey two only - Áká Seyyid Huseyn and Seyyid Murtaza - allowed it to appear that they were his companions. The others used to follow at some distance behind, and only on halting for the night did they seek to find some pretext for approaching their beloved Master. In spite of these precautions, Muhammad Beg, whose faculties were perhaps quickened by his own recent conversion, did not fail in time to discover what they wished to keep secret from him, for of the change which had been wrought in his opinions and feelings they were not yet aware. One day, however, he opened his heart to them, declaring that when he reflected on the service in which he was engaged he felt himself to be worse than Shimr and Yazíd, and expressing the warmest admiration for the patience, sweetness, gentleness, and holiness of the Báb, "for," said he, "had he chosen to give the slightest

[page 273]

hint to the people of Zanján or Mílan that they should effect his deliverance, they would not have given us time to draw our breath ere they had effected their object."

        Muhammad Beg was in hopes that he might be appointed to accompany the Báb to Mákú - his ultimate destination - and this hope he communicated to the Báb, who, however, replied that this was by no means a thing which he desired, for that in that journey there would be harshness and cruelty shewn wherein he would not that Muhammad Beg should bear any part. When they had come within a stage of Tabríz the Báb requested Muhammad Beg to go on in advance and announce his approach to Bahman Mírzá, to whom he also sent a message praying that he might not be sent to Mákú but might be allowed to remain in Tabríz. To this message the Prince merely replied that it had nothing to do with him, and that the instructions given at the capital must be complied with. Much distressed at being the bearer of such unwelcome tidings, Muhammad Beg returned to meet the Báb, whom he brought in to his own house at Tabríz. There the Báb remained for several days until the fresh escort which was to conduct him to Mákú arrived. The Báb sent Muhammad Beg with a second message to the Prince, again renewing his request for permission to remain at Tabríz. To this message also Bahman Mírzá turned a deaf ear; and such was Muhammad Beg's chagrin, and so great the sorrow which he experienced on parting from the Báb (whose new escort would suffer no further delay in starting), that he fell ill of a fever which did not quit him for two months.

        No sooner had Muhammad Beg recovered his health than he set out for Mákú to visit the Báb. On his arrival there he fell at the Báb's feet, entreating him to overlook and condone any fault of which he might have been guilty. The Báb answered that he was not willing that even his enemies should suffer, much less his friends, and that he freely forgave all who had wittingly or unwittingly trespassed against him. He then enquired concerning the details of the disgrace which had befallen two of those who had slighted him - Ashraf Khán and Bahman Mírzá - with which Muhammad Beg forthwith proceeded to acquaint him; and, on hearing the indignities to which Ashraf Khán

[page 274]

had been subjected by the relatives of a woman whom he had seduced, he expressed sorrow that so severe a punishment should have overtaken him.

        The confinement to which the Báb was subjected at Mákú was by no means an excessively rigorous one. Not only his amanuensis Áká Seyyid Huseyn, but also (according to Subh-i-Ezel) Mullá Sheykh 'Alí, and apparently others amongst the most earnest and devoted of his followers, were constantly with him, while many others flocked to Mákú from all parts of Persia and were permitted to hold almost unrestricted converse with their Master. Besides this, continual correspondence was carried on between the Báb and his most active apostles, in spite of the instructions given to 'Alí Khán the warden of Mákú Castle by the Prime Minister Hájí Mírzá Ákásí to the effect that no such correspondence was to be permitted. Whether 'Alí Khán found himself unable to prevent his correspondence (at any rate without risking a popular tumult), or whether he simply connived at it either from indolence, indifference, or partiality for the Báb, does not very clearly appear. It would at any rate seem that he always treated his prisoner with the utmost respect and deference, toiled daily up the steep road from the village to the Castle (which stood on the summit of a neighbouring hill), and, when questioned by his friends as to the opinion which he had formed of the Báb, would reply that, although he was not clever enough to understand his sayings, he was convinced of his greatness and holiness.

        During his sojourn at Mákú the Báb composed a great number of works, amongst the more important of which may be especially mentioned the Persian Beyán and the 'Seven Proofs' (Dalá'il-i- Sab'a), both of which contain ample internal evidence of having been written at this period (B. ii, pp. 912-913). Indeed, if we may credit a statement made in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd on the authority of Mírzá 'Abdu'l-Wahháb, the various writings of the Báb current in Tabríz alone amounted in all to not less than a million verses! The Prime Minister himself, Hájí Mírzá Ákásí, was made the object of a homily entitled "The Sermon of Wrath" (~~~) "which," says the author

[page 275]

of the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, "if anyone will peruse, he shall understand the true meaning of inward Strength and Power." Whether this document reached the eyes of him for whom it was intended and roused him to take further steps for the more effectual isolation of its author is uncertain; but at all events fresh instructions of a more peremptory character were despatched by the Prime Minister to the Warden of Mákú commanding him at once to put a stop to the interchange of letters between the Báb and his followers. 'Alí Khán replied that he was absolutely unable to do this; whereupon orders were issued by the Prime Minister for the removal of the Báb from Mákú to Chihrík. 'Alí Khán, though his own action had brought about this transference, communicated the announcement thereof to the Báb with every expression of distress and concern, but the latter sternly cut short his apologies saying, "Why dost thou lie? Thou didst thyself write, and dost thou excuse thyself?" So the Báb was taken to Chihrík. and placed in the custody of Yahyá Khán.

        The Táríkh-i-Jadíd, ever disposed towards the marvellous if not the miraculous, relates that Yahyá Khán saw the Báb in a dream a short time before his actual arrival at Chihrík, and that this dream he related to Jenáb-i- 'Azím (Mullá Sheykh 'Alí), declaring at the same time that should the Báb's appearance prove to be such as he had seen in his vision he would know for a surety that this was indeed the promised Imám Mahdí. On the Báb's arrival Yahyá Khán went out to meet him and beheld his face even as the face in the dream. Thereupon, being greatly moved, he bowed himself in reverence before the Báb, and brought him in with all honour into his own house, neither would he sit down in his presence without permission. In consequence of the impression thus produced on Yahyá Khán, the Báb, in spite of Hájí Mírzá Ákásí's stringent orders, was not much more isolated from his followers at Chihrík. than he had been at Mákú.

        Subh-i-Ezel's version is quite different, and is not only much more probable in itself, but also rests on much better authority, since through his hands passed the greater part of the correspondence which was carried on with the Báb. According to this version, the Báb's confinement at Chihrík.

[page 276]

was of the most rigorous kind, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that letters could be conveyed to or from him. Some of the expedients resorted to for this purpose were described by Mullá Sheykh 'Alí to Subh-i-Ezel and by him to me. Sometimes the letter to be conveyed to the Báb was carefully wrapped up in a waterproof covering, weighted, and sunk in a vessel filled with mást (curdled milk), which vessel the Bábí messenger would pray the guards to convey as a trifling present to the captive. Sometimes the letter was enclosed in a candied walnut of the kind called juzghand. The bearer, on his arrival at Chihrík, would enter into conversation with the sentries, offer them a share of his juzghands, and finally, having sufficiently ingratiated himself with them, request them to carry a handful of sweetmeats to their prisoner. If they consented to do this, the walnut containing the letter was dexteriously slipped into the handful destined for the Báb.

        A passage from M. Mochenin's memoir quoted by Kazem-Beg (i. p. 371) would seem, however, to imply that even at Chihrík. the Báb was permitted to address those who came to hear and see him. "The concourse of people," he says, "was so great that, the court not being spacious enough to contain all the audience, the greater number remained in the street listening attentively to the verses of the new Kur'án." But at all events the Báb was subjected to a closer and more rigorous confinement at Chihrík. than he had been at Mákú. Hence he used to call the former "the Grievous Mountain" (~~~)1) for which it stands.], and the latter "the Open Mountain" (~~~). His gaoler at Chihrík. was moreover a coarse and unsympathetic creature, to whom Áká Seyyid Huseyn of Yezd gave the name of "Fierce and Terrible" (~~~)2.

        The last point which requires discussion is this:- of the three and a half years which elapsed between the death

        1 It will be noticed that the numerical value of the word ~~~ (318) is the same as that of the name Chihrík. (~~~)
        2 Kur'án, lxvi. 6.

[page 277]

of Minúchihr Khán (Rabí'ul-Avval A. H. 1263 = Feb. - March A. D. 1847) and the execution of the Báb (Sha'bán 27th A.H. 1266 = July 8th A.D. 1850) what portion was passed by the Báb at Mákú and Chihrík. respectively? As the Báb did not leave Isfahán till after Minúchihr Khán's death, we may, allowing for the time consumed in travelling and probable delays, assume that he did not reach Mákú much before June A.D. 1847. Kazem-Beg says that he remained there six months ere he was transferred to Chihrík, where, if this statement be correct, he must have arrived about the beginning of A.D. 1848. From Chihrík. he was brought to Tabríz to undergo his first examination (see subsequent note) during the life of Muhammad Sháh, who died on Sept. 4th, A.D. 1848; and from Chihrík. he was again brought to Tabríz in July A.D. 1850 to suffer martyrdom. It would therefore seem that of the last three years of the Báb's life six months (from June to December, A.D. 1847) were spent at Mákú, and two years and a half (January A.D. 1848 - July A.D. 1850) at Chihrík.



        Of what took place in this assembly we have four accounts besides that which is contained in the present work, whereof two - those contained in the Rawzatu 's-Safá and the Kisasu 'l- 'Ulamá - are almost identical. The version contained in the Násikhu 't- Tawárikh is substantially a mere condensation of these, and contains little new matter, though the order of the proceedings is somewhat differently given. The account contained in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd is relatively very brief, and in the main agrees with what is stated in the present work. Bábí tradition, in short, supplies us with no detailed narrative of this event, the reason for this being apparently that the assembly in question was held with closed doors, and that

[page 278]

the Báb (so far as we can tell) was unsupported by the presence of a single friend.

        As to the credibility of the Muhammadan version, Kazem- Beg has some very pertinent remarks in his first article (pp. 360-363). While fully sharing the doubts which he expresses as to the historical value of this version, I have nevertheless thought it worth reproducing in this place, believing that, whether it be true or false, it will not be found altogether uninteresting as a specimen of the method of judicial enquiry adopted by an Ecclesiastical Court in Persia. I have in the main followed the account given in the Rawzatu 's-Safá and the Kisasu 'l-'Ulamá, except in a few cases where a question or answer seemed to be more clearly put in the Násikhu 't- Tawáríkh.

        In the Násikhu 't-Tawárikh this conference is described as having taken place in the year A.H. 1263. If this were so,1 it must have been at the close of that year (which ended on December 8th, A.D. 1847), inasmuch as the Báb was, according to all authorities (including Dr A. H. Wright of Urúmiyya), brought to Tabríz from Chihrík, whither (as I have attempted to shew in the previous note) he was not transferred much before the beginning of A.D. 1848.

        The chief persons who took part in this examination of the Báb were:-

        siru 'd-Dín Mírzá, now King, then Crown-Prince, of Persia, who was at this time about sixteen years old, and on whom the government of Ázarbaiján had only recently been bestowed; Hájí Mullá Mahmúd entitled Nizámu'l-'Ulamá, the young Prince's tutor; Mullá Muhammad Mámakání entitled Hujjatu'l-Islám, an eminent Sheykhí divine; Hájí Murtazá-Kulí Marandí entitled 'Ilmu 'l-Hudá; Hájí Mírzá 'Alí Asghar the Sheykhu'l-Islám; and (according to the present work) Mírzá Ahmad the Imám-Jum'a. Shortly after these had assembled the Báb was brought in, and (according to the Musulmán, but not the Bábí, accounts) was motioned to a seat of honour. The following dialogue then ensued:-

        Hájí Mullá Mahmúd. - "The command of His Imperial Majesty the King is that you should set forth your

        1 But see remarks on pp. 186-187 supra.
[page 279]

claims in the presence of the doctors of Islám, so that the truth of falsehood thereof may be established. Although I myself am not one of the learned and only occupy the position of an attendant, I am free from prejudice, and my conversion will not be without importance. Now I have three questions to ask of you. Firstly, are these books composed in the fashion and style of the Kur'án, of Epistles, and of Prayers, and disseminated through all parts and regions of Persia yours, and did you compose them, or do men [wrongly] attribute them to you?"

        Báb. - "They are from God"

        H. M. M.- "I am no great scholar; if they are yours, say so; and if not, don't"

        Báb. - "They are mine."

        H. M. M. - "The meaning of your saying 'They are from God' is that your tongue is like the Tree on Sinai1 -

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]2

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]3

        Báb. - "Mercy be upon you!"

        H. M. M. - "They call you 'Báb.' Who gave you this name, and where did they give it? What is the meaning of 'Báb'? And are you content with this name or not?"

        Báb. - "God gave me this name."

        H. M. M. - "Where? In the House of the Ka'ba, or in the 'Holy House,'4 or in the 'Frequented House'?"5

        1 i.e. The Burning Bush. Cf. Kur'án xxvii, 7-9; and xxviii, 29-30.
        2 "If [to say] 'I am the Truth' (i.e. God) be right in a tree, Why should it not be right in some favoured man?"
        3 See note 1 at the foot of p. 23 supra.
        4 Jerusalem.
        5 See Kur'án lii, v. 4, and explanations in the commentaries.

[page 280]

        Báb. - "Wherever it was, it is a divine name."

        H. M. M. - "In that case of course you are content with a 'divine name.' What is the meaning of 'Báb'?"

        Báb. - "The same word 'Báb' in [the tradition] -


        H. M. M. - "Then you are the 'Gate of the City of Knowledge'?"

        Báb. - "Yes"

        H. M. M. - "Praise be to God! For forty years have I journeyed seeking to meet with one of the 'Gates,' and it was not granted to me. Now, praise be to God, you have come to me in my own country, even to my very pillow! If it be so, and I can but assure myself that you are the 'Gate,' give me, I pray, the office of shoe- keeper!"

        Báb. - "Surely you are Hájí Mullá Mahmúd?"

        H. M. M. - "Yes"

        Báb. - "Your dignity is great; great offices should be bestowed upon you."

        H. M. M. - "I only want that office, and it is sufficient for me."

        The Prince. - "We too will leave and deliver over this throne to you who are the 'Gate.'"

        H. M. M. - "As the Prophet or some other wise man hath said -


        I ask, then, in Medicine, what occurs in the stomach when a person suffers from indigestion? Why are some cases amenable to treatment? Any why do some go on to permanent dyspepsia or syncope,3 or terminate in hypochondriasis?"

       1 "I am the City of Knowledge and 'Alí is its Gate (Báb)."
       2 "Knowledge is twofold - knowledge of bodies, and knowledge of religions;" i.e. Medicine and Theology are the only two branches of science which are really worthy of attention."
        3 ~~~ swooning or syncope. For fainting-fits in connection with dyspepsia, see Avicenna's Kánún (Rome, A.D. 1593), vol. i, p. 440.

[page 281]

        Báb. - "I have not studied Medicine."

        The Prince. - "If so be that you are the 'Gate of Knowledges,' yet say 'I have not studied Medicine,' this is quite incompatible with your claim!"

        H. M. M. - (To the Prince) "It is of no consequence, for this is but the art of the veterinarian and is not included amongst sciences; so that herein is no incompatibility with Báb-hood" (To the Báb) "Theology consists of the sciences of 'Principles' ([~~~]) and 'Applications' ([~~~]). The science of 'Principles' has a beginning ([~~~]) and a conclusion ([~~~]). Say then: are [the Divine Attributes of ] Knowledge, Hearing, Seeing, and Power identical with the [Divine] Essence, or otherwise?"

        Bab. - "Identical with the Essence."

        H. M. M. - "Then God is multiple and composite; the [Divine] Essence and the [Divine] Knowledge are two things like vinegar and syrup which have yet become identical; [God is] compounded of [the Divine] Essence plus Knowledge, of [the Divine] Essence plus Power, and so on. Besides this, the [Divine] Essence is 'without Opposite, without Antithesis' But Knowledge, which is identical with the [Divine] Essence, has an opposite, which is Ignorance. Besides these two objections, God knows, the Prophet knows, and I know: we [therefore] partake in Knowledge. We also have a 'ground of distinction'; for the Knowledge of God is from Himself, while our knowledge is from Him. Therefore God is compounded of a 'ground of distinction' and a 'ground of identity.' But God is not composite."

        Báb. - "I have not studied Philosophy." (The Prince smiles, but preserves silence.)

        H. M. M. - "The science of 'Applications' is elucidated from the Book and the Code1, and the understanding of the Book and the Code depends on many sciences, such as Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic. Do you who are the Báb conjugate Kála?"

        Báb. - "What Kála?"

        1 i.e. the Kur'án and the Traditions.

[page 282]

        H. M. M. - "Kála, yakúlu, kawlan." (Begins to say the past tense after the fashion of a school-boy - "Kála, kálá, kálú; kálat, kálatá, kulná." Then addressing the Báb) "Do you say the rest."

        Báb. - "I learned it in childhood, but I have forgotten it"

        H. M. M. - "Give the derivatives of Kála."

        Báb. - "How give the derivatives?"

        H. M. M. (after giving some of the derivatives) - "Now give the rest."

        Báb. - "I told you, I have forgotten."

        H. M. M. - "Explain this verse of the Glorious Kur'án:-

[one line of Persian/Arabic text]1

and tell me also what is the construction of ~~~?"

        Báb. - "I don't remember."

        H. M. M. - "What is the meaning of this tradition:-

[one line of Persian/Arabic text]2

        Báb. - "I don't know."

        H. M. M. - "Explain the meaning of this tradition of what passed between Ma'mún the Caliph and His Highness Rizá the eighth Imám:-

        1 "It is He who maketh you to behold the lightning, a fear and a hope." Kur'án, xiii, 13.
        2 "May God curse the eyes, for verily they have acted unjustly towards the one eye." I regret to say that I have failed to ascertain by whom and on what occasion these words were uttered or to what they allude.

[page 283]

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]1

What was the nature of the argument employed by Rizá (on him be peace), and what the point of Ma'mún's objection and of Rizá's reply thereto?"

        Báb. - "Is it a tradition?"

        H. M. M. - "Yes" (Cites authorities) "The circumstances under which the Súratu 'l-Kawthar was revealed were, as is well known, the following:- His Highness the Prophet was passing by. 'Ás said, 'This is the childless man!' Shortly afterwards he died, leaving no children. His Highness the Prophet was grieved, and so this Súra was revealed for his consolation. Tell me now, what was the nature of the consolation which it contained?"2

        Báb. - "Were these indeed the circumstances under which it was revealed?"

        1 "Ma'mún said, 'What is the proof for [the right to] the Caliphate of thine ancestor 'Alí ibn Abí Tálib?' He [i.e. Rizá] said, 'The sign of ourselves' He [i.e. Ma'mún] said, 'If it were not for our wives!' He [i.e. Rizá] said, 'If it were not for our sons!' Then Ma'mún was silent" By his first answer the Imám Rizá means that the right of 'Alí and his descendants to the Caliphate is sufficiently proved by their being what they are and connected as they are with the Prophet. Ma'mún objects, 'Yes, that is all very well, but we too are related to the Prophet on the female side;' to which objection the Imám Rizá replies, 'But our connection is in the male line;' for connection in the male line is a much closer tie, as expressed in the following verse from on old Arab poet for which I am indebted to my friend Mr Khalíl Khayyát. of Beyrout:-
    [one line of Persian/Arabic text]
    "Our sons' sons are our sons, but as for our daughters
    Their sons are the sons of strange men."
This, at least, appears to me to be the explanation of the tradition.
        2 Concerning the circumstances under which the Súratu'l-Kawthar was revealed see Ibn Hishám's Life of Muhammad, ed. Wüstenfeld, p. 261.

[page 284]

        H. M. M. - "Yes" (Cites authorities.)

        (The Báb asks for time to think.)

        H. M. M. - "In the days of our youth we used, according to the dictates of our age, jestingly to repeat this sentence of 'Alláma1 whereof I desire you now to explain to me the meaning:-

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]2

        Why should this be so?"

        Báb. - (after reflecting for a while) "Is this sentence from 'Alláma?"

        The audience (unanimously). - "Yes!"

        H. M. M. - "Suppose it is not 'Alláma's but mine, do you nevertheless explain its meaning. After all you are the 'Gate of Knowledge'!"

        Báb. - "I cannot think of anything."

        H. M. M. - "One of the miracles of the Arabian Prophet is the Kur'án, and the miraculous character thereof is derived from its fasáhat and its balághat. What is the definition of fasáhat and balághat? Is the relation which subsists between them tabáyun, tasáwí, 'umúm wa khusús. min wajh, or 'umúm wa khusús-i- mutlak?"3

        1 The title of the 'Alláma ("the very erudite"), is used by the Shi'ites to designate one of their great theologians named Hasan ibn Yüsuf ibn 'Alí of Hilla. According to the Kisasu'l-'Ulamá he was born on Ramazán 19th, A.H. 648 (December 15th, A.D. 1250), and died on Muharram 11th, A.H. 726 (December 18th, A.D. 1325). No less than seventy-five of his works are enumerated
        2 "Si vir cum hermaphrodito, hermaphroditus cum muliere rem habet, ab hermaphrodito requiritur ut aquâ se purget, non vero a viro et muliere."
        3 Fasáhat and balághat both signify in general "eloquence," but the former especially denotes correctness of diction and chasteness of style, the latter moving and affecting language which reaches the hearts of the hearers or causes the speaker to reach his object. (See Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, sv. [~~~] and [Arabic word].) [footnote goes onto page 285] The "four relations" recognized by Muhammadan logicians and here enumerated are in detail as follows:- (1) Tasáwí ("Equivalence" or "Co-extensiveness"), as "man" and "endowed with articulate speech" (2) Tabáyun ("Diversity"), as "man" and "stone." (3) 'Umúm wa khusús. i-mutlak. ("Relation of genus and species absolutely"), as "animal" and "man." (4) 'Umúm wa khusús. min wajh ("Relation of genus and species under one aspect"), as "animal" and "white."

[page 285]

        Báb. - "I don't know." (The audience manifest signs of anger and impatience.)

        H. M. M. - "If you were in doubt between two and three [inclinations in prayer] what would you do?"1

        Báb. - "I would assume two."

        Mullá Muhammad Mámákání:- "O impious one! You do not even know what to do in cases of doubt in prayer, and yet you claim to be the Báb!"

        Báb. - "I would assume three."

        1 This question, with what immediately follows it, refers to the duty incumbent on a Musulmán who, while engaged in the performance of one of the prescribed prayers, becomes conscious of a doubt as to whether he has duly fulfilled some one or more of its essential elements, e.g. as to whether he has performed two or three inclinations (rak'a). Every possible case of doubt is provided for in that section of Muhammadan jurisprudence which is entitled [Arabic script] concerning which see Querry's Droit Musulman (Paris, 1871) vol. i, pp. 107-109. The general rule is thus stated at p. 21 of the catechism called Su'ál ú Jawáb ("Questions and answers") composed by Hájí Seyyid Muhammad Bákir of Isfahán and printed at Teherán in A.H. 1247 (A.D. 1831-2):- "He who is doubtful assumes the [performance of the] act concerning which he doubts, whether it relates to the number of inclinations (rak'a) or not; except in cases where [the performance of] the act concerning which he doubts would cause nullity [of the prayer], when he assumes its omission. If, then, he be doubtful whether it is two or three inclinations [which he has performed], he assumes three; if he be doubtful whether he has performed the inclination or the prostration or not, he assumes that he has performed them; and if he be doubtful whether he has performed the recitation (kará'at), he assumes that he has performed it. But [on the other hand] if he be doubtful whether he has inclined twice or once he assumes that he has inclined [only] once; and if he be doubtful whether he has performed four inclinations of prayer or five, he assumes that it is four."

[page 286]

        H. M. M. - "Evidently if it is not two you must say three."

        H. M. M. - "Three is also wrong. Why did you not ask whether it was in the morning or evening prayer that I was in doubt, and whether it was after the inclination or before the inclination, or after the completion of two prostrations?"

        H. M. M. - "You ought to give thanks, for had he said 'I would assume two' (inasmuch as engaging in an indubitable duty demands fulfilment of that indubitable duty) what would you have done then1?" (To the Báb)

"Did you write:- ~~~?2

Is this expression yours or not?"

        Báb. "Yes, it is mine."

        H. M. M. - "Then in that case you were the leader and they were followers, and you must be superior to them?"

        Hájí Murtazá- Kulí Marandí. - "The Lord of the Universe has said:-

[one line of Persian/Arabic text]3

        1 If I have understood this rather obscure expression (~~~) it means that the undertaking of an obligation such as prayer necessitates and requires the due discharge of all that is properly involved therein, without which it is null and void. Hence if it were necessary in a case of doubt such as is indicated above to assume that only two inclinations had been performed (or, in other words, to assume the minimum instead of the maximum), then all persons who had followed the rule ordinarily received would have been guilty of numerous sins of omission for which they would be held responsible.
        2 "The first to believe in me was the Light of Muhammad and [the Light of] 'Alí."
        3 "And know that whenever ye seize anything as a spoil, to God belongs a fifth thereof, and to His Apostle......" Kur'án, viii, 42.

[page 287]

while you in your Kur'án say [Arabic script]1 . On what authority, and why?"

        Báb. - "A third is the half of a fifth. What difference does it make?"

(The audience laugh).

        H.M.-K. M. - "In how many ways is nine divisible?"

(The Báb gives no answer.)

        H. M. M. -

        "[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]2

        I am not tied down to words; shew me a miracle suitable to your claims, so that I may become your follower, and on my submission many will set their footsteps within the circle of devotion to you, for I am well known as learned, and the learned man will never follow the ignorant"

        Báb. - "What miracle do you desire?"

        H. M. M. - "His Majesty the King Muhammad Sháh is sick. Restore him to health"

        The Prince. - "Why go so far? Are not you present? Let him exert an influence over your being and restore you

       1"A third thereof." As a matter of fact the ordinances contained in the Persian Beyán relative to the disposal of spoils taken from infidels do not accord with the statement here made, which is probably quite fictitious. They will be found in Váhid v, ch. vi, and are in substance as follows:- (1) One-fifth of the spoils, together with whatever is incomparable in value or beauty, belongs to the Báb. If he be no longer alive it is to be held in trust for "Him whom God shall manifest" (2) Of what remains the warriors who have won it take what suffices for their needs. (3) The residue is given to the poor, all of whom, so far as possible, are to be made partakers in the bounty. Should anything still remain over, it may be expended on building or repairing shrines etc.
       2    "How long these words and this concealment and metaphor?
              I would burn, burn, and acquiesce in that burning.
Masnaví (ed. 'Alá'u'd-Dawla, p. 143, line 8).

[page 288]

to youthfulness, so that you may ever continue in attendance on our stirrup. We too, on witnessing the accomplishment of this miracle, will resign this throne to him."1

        Báb. - "It is not in my power."

        H. M. M. - "Then honour is not rendered without some reason. O dumb in the realms of words and dumb in the realms of ideas, what virtue then do you possess?"

        Báb. - "I can utter eloquent words" (Recites)

        [one line of Persian/Arabic text]2

(pronouncing the last word with final fat-ha).

        Prince (smiling). -

        [two lines of Persian/Arabic text]3

        Báb. - "My name 'Alí Muhammad corresponds with Rabb" (Lord).4

        H. M. M. - "Every 'Alí Muhammad and Muhammad 'Alí corresponds with Rabb. Besides in that case you should claim to be the Lord rather than the Báb."

        Báb. - "I am that person for whose appearance ye have waited a thousand years"

        H. M. M. - "That is to say you are the Mahdí, the Lord of Religion?"5

        1 There is something almost ludicrous in the eagerness wherewith the Crown-Prince interposes to check the miracle designed to restore his dying father to health"
        2 "Praise be to God who created the heavens."
        3 "That which forms its plural in alif and is pointed with kesra alike in the adjective and in the dependent cases." This sentence is from the well-known versified Arabic Grammar called the Alfiyya, and will be found on p. 19 of Dieterici's edition of that work (Leipsic, 1851).
        4 The sum of the letters in 'Alí Muhammad is 202, which is also the numerical equivalent of Rabb.
        5 i.e. the Twelfth Imám. See Note O infra.

[page 289]

        Báb. - "Yes"

        H. M. M. - "The same in person, or generically?"

        Báb. - "In person."

        H. M. M. - "What is your name, and what are the names of your father and mother? Where is your birthplace? And how old are you?"

        Báb. - "My name is 'Alí Muhammad; my mother was named Khadíja and my father Mírzá Rizá the cloth-seller; my birth-place is Shíráz; and of my life, behold, thirty-five years have elapsed"1 Kazem-Beg (i, p. 334, note 4) bases the calculation whereby he arrives at the date of the Báb's birth on this passage, which, as a matter of fact, affords a strong proof of the falsity of the whole narrative wherein it occurs, since the Báb's age certainly did not exceed 29 years at this time (see Note C supra).]

        H. M. M. - "The name of the Lord of Religion is Muhammad; his father was named Hasan and his mother Narjis; his birth- place was Surra-man-Ra'a; and his age is more than a thousand years. There is the most complete variance. And besides I did not send you."

        Báb. - "Do you claim to be God?"

        H. M. M. - "Such an Imám is worthy of such a God"

        Báb. - "I can in one day write two thousand verses. Who else can do this?"

        H. M. M. - "When I resided at the Supreme Shrines I had a secretary who used to write two thousand verses a day. Eventually he became blind. You must certainly give up this occupation, or else you too will go blind"

        The conference then broke up, and the Báb was taken back to the house of Muhammad Kázim Khán the Farráshbáshí. Next day he was again brought before the Prince and the doctors, who sentenced him to the bastinado. The Muhammadan historians admit that the farráshes were still, in spite of what had taken place at the examination on the previous day, so strongly inclined to sympathize with the Báb that they positively refused to take part in administering the punishment decreed, the execution of which therefore devolved on the servants of Hájí Mullá Muhmúd and the Sheyku 'l-Islám. It is of course asserted

[page 290]

by the Musulmán historians that the Báb again recanted and revoked all his claims under the chastisement inflicted upon him, whereupon he was released and sent back to Chihrík.

        It is difficult to decide to what measure of credence the above narrative is entitled. Very probably such questions as are there recorded - and assuredly some of them are sufficiently frivolous and even indecent - were asked; but, even though the Báb may have been unable to answer them, it is far more likely that, as stated in the Táríkh-i-Jadíd, he preserved a dignified silence than that he gave utterance to the absurdities attributed to him by the Muhammadan writers. These, indeed, spoil their own case; for, desiring to prove that the Báb was not endowed with superhuman wisdom, they represent him as displaying an ignorance which we can scarcely credit. That the whole examination was a farce throughout, that the sentence was a foregone conclusion, that no serious attempt to apprehend the nature and evidence of the Báb's claim and doctrine was made, and that from first to last a systematic course of brow-beating, irony, and mockery was pursued appear to me to be facts proved no less by the Muhammadan than by the Bábí accounts of these inquisitorial proceedings.

  • Return to home page of A Traveller's Narrative

  • Appendices Pt. 2 (N-Z) of A Traveller's Narrative

  • Introduction to A Traveller's Narrative

  • Translation of A Traveller's Narrative

  • Index of A Traveller's Narrative

  • Return to Table of Contents for Books

  • Return to Table of Contents for Digital Library of European-Language Works related to the Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i movements

  • Return to H-Bahai Home Page

  • Links to pages with similar resources

  • H-Net, Humanities OnLine
    Generously Supported by:
    [The National Endowment for the Humanities]