Translations of Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Texts, No. 11 (December, 1997)

Ahang Rabbani, Trans.

Mirza Habibu'llah's Account of the Bab in Shiraz: Translation, and Commentary

Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 10:10:51 EST
Reply-To: h-bahai@h-net.msu.edu
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Subject: Bab 1/9
To: Multiple recipients of list H-BAHAI :

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 21:31:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Ahang Rabbani
Subject: Bab 1/9

In the early 1930's, the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith encouraged each township in Iran to prepare a history of the development and diffusion of the Cause in that region. To write the history of the Faith in Shiraz and its environs, Mirza Habib-i Afnan was commissioned by the Spiritual Assembly and wrote a detailed history titled "Tarikh-i Amry-i Fars va Shiraz." This history is a bit over 600 pages long and can be divided into four broad themes:

1. The first 153 pages deal with a family history of the Bab in Shiraz -- the subject of these nine postings on H-Bahai.

2. About 230 pages cover the life of the standard-bearer of the House of Afnan, Aqa Mirza Aqay-i Nur'd-Din, the author's celebrated father, and events occurring during his life.

3. Some 55 pages are on the history of the House of the Bab.

4. The remaining 170 pages deal half with the events that transpired in the course of Mirza Habib's life (something of an autobiography).

For two separate projects, about 75% of this book is presently translated and it is hoped that by Thanksgiving the remaining quarter is completed as well.

I thought folks on H-Bahai would enjoy seeing the first quarter of this book, the portion dealing with the life of the Bab in Shiraz. I should note that this translation is very rough and still requires much editing, corrections, etc. So, please forgive shortcomings.

Also, I apologize for not being able to post the 86 footnotes that have been added to this section (I wish I knew a way of copying from MS Word 7.0 to my email system directly, but I don't, and have to go through gyrations that makes transfer of footnotes impossible.)

The author of these pages, Mirza Habib, grew up in the House of the Bab through the loving-kindness of Khadijih Bagum, the widow of the Bab. His narrative for the most part represents what he heard from her, and from her sister, Zahra Bagum, the author's maternal grandmother. Some of the materials that you're about to read are new to English-speaking audience, but other parts should be known through such valuable books as Balyuzi's "The Bab" and "Khadijih Bagum". In fact careful readers will note that Mirza Habib's narrative forms the basis of some the pages of the above-noted books . . .

Enjoy, ahang.

[P.S.] In the footnotes for the . . . section [on Vahid and Nayriz] (which unfortunately I can't post), I have explained that Mirza Habib's description of Vahid and Nayriz I event is based on Siyyid Husayn Hamadani's and therefore I have used E.G. Browne's masterful translation with some slight modifications to make it congruent with Mirza Habib's text. (2) The last part, namely, the report of Kuchik Ali Beg, is *not* about Nayriz I, but it pertains to Nayriz II events. Hamadani was in error in thinking that it was about 1850 episode. Further, as I noted previously, Hamadani claims this section is based on Mirza Jani, but Kitab-i Nuqtatu'l-Kaf is missing this part. So, either Hamandani was using a different text of Mirza Jani's than NK, or he simply made an error in attributing it to the martyred-merchant-historian.]

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