Discussion:
Bahai Murders of the Believers of the Primal Point
(too old to reply)
303
2008-06-26 09:21:01 UTC
Permalink
In their effort to escape this dilemma [Husayn Ali's claim to being
Him whom God will Manifest], Baha and his partisans did two things:
first, they got rid of the most leading Babis who sided with Subh-e
Azal; and, second, they rewrote the history of the Babi movement,
largely ignoring Subh-e Azal, greatly magnifying the person and
position of Baha, and degrading the Bab from the position of a Major
Manifestation to that of a "forerunner" of Baha, who was the real
Manifestation for the age....[therefore] those Babis who remained
faithful to Subh-e Azal, later known as Azalis or Babis, about twenty
were murdered in Baghdad, Edirne and Akka by followers of Baha. Two of
those killed were brothers of Fatima the widow of the Bab, and was her
husband Siyyid Muhammad Isfahani, and two were Letters [of the Living]
appointed by the Bab. It has been said that these assassinations were
the work of the too-zealous followers of Baha, and that he was not
himself responsible. However this may be, could one who possessed the
divine knowledge and power to influence men which Baha claimed to
have, been able to prevent such acts on the part of his intimate
disciples?

William McElwee Miller, THE BAHA'I FAITH: ITS HISTORY AND TEACHINGS,
1974, pp.100-01.

At first not a few prominent Babis, including even several "Letters of
the Living" and personal friends of the Bab, adhered faithfully to
Subh-e Azal. One by one these disappeared, most of them, as I fear
cannot be doubted, by the foul play on the part of too zealous
Baha'is. "Companions" (as-hab), Mirza Riza Kulli and Mirza Nasr'ullah
of Tafrish, were stabbed or poisoned in Adrianople and Acre. Two of
the "Letters of the Living," Aka Siyyid `Ali the Arab, and Mulla Rajab
`Ali Kahir, were assassinated, the one at Tabriz, the other at
Kerbela. The brother of the latter, Aka Ali Muhammad, was also
murdered in Baghdad [by a Baha'i]....

E.G. Browne in his introduction to his translation of the Tarikh-e
Jadid (New History of Mirza `Ali Muhammad, the Bab), 1975,
pp.xxiii-xxiv.

See also p.42 of E.G. Browne's Persian introduction to his edition of
the Kitab-e Nuqtat'ul-Kaf.
303
2008-06-26 09:21:46 UTC
Permalink
Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri had several of the outspoken prominent Babis who
supported Azal murdered in Baghdad, Adrianople and Akka. See the
introduction to E.G. Browne's translation of The New History of Mirza
Ali Muhammad, the Bab (Tarikh-i-Jadid)(Amsterdam: 1975) pp.
xxiii-xxiv, for some of the names and particulars as well as the
Persian introduction to Nuqtat'ul-Kaf. In Note W (Mirza Yahya
Subh-i-Azal) of his critical edition of A Travellers Narrative
(Cambridge: 1891), 2 volumes, citing Hasht Behesht, Browne says, "All
prominent supporters of Subh-i-Azal who withstood Mirza Husayn Ali's
claims were marked out for death, and in Baghdad Mulla Rajab Ali
"Kahir" and his brother, Hajji Mirza Ahmad, Hajji Mirza Muhammad Reza,
and several others fell one by one by the knife or bullet of the
assassin" p.359. "As to the assassination of the three Ezelis, Aka Jan
Bey, Hajji Seyyed Muhammad of Isfahan, and Mirza Riza-Kulli of
Tafrish, by some of Beha's followers at Acre, there can, I fear, be
but little doubt...the passage in the Kitab-i-Aqdas alluding
(apparently) to Hajji Seyyed Muhammad's death...proves Beha'u'llah
regarded this event with some complaisance" p.370. On the murder of
one Aqa Muhammad Ali of Isfahan in Istanbul (who first bore allegience
to Husayn Ali and then went back to Azal) by one Mirza Abu'l-Qasim the
Bakhtiyari, Browne quotes the words of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri addressed
to the latter, "O phlebotomist of the Divine Unity! Throb like the
artery in the body of the Contingent World, and drink of the blood of
the Block of Heedlessness for that he turned aside from the aspect of
thy Lord the Merciful!" p.363. Baha'i sources carefully omit all of
these facts but they have been recorded for posterity by scholars like
E.G. Browne, William Miller and Vince Salisbury in their European
language studies, not to mention the original language, source
documentation which has been provided in Azal's Notes. Baha'i sources
have even gone through great lengths to twist, hide and obfuscate
their crimes and attribute them to Azal and the Babis. For example,
Baha'is make much noise about a poisoning incident in Adrianople
whereby Azal is supposed to have attempted to poison his own brother.
Baha'is use the fact that their prophet's hand shook for the rest of
his life as evidence (I doubt very much if poison had anything to do
with it. I think the man was simply a nervous wreck. I am unaware of
any kind of poison in existence in the nineteenth century, which
without killing its intended victim as meant, would instead cause
permanent nervous damage! Besides, it does not occur to me that
amongst either the partisans of Husayn Ali or Azal there was anyone
who possessed a sophisticated knowledge of chemistry to contrive such
a potion. The Baha'is, typically, are simply attributing their own
malefeasance unto others.) When the counter facts, and the accounts of
direct eyewitnesses, one by one, are examined it turns out that it was
actually the other way around and that Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri and his
partisans where the ones attempting to poison and murder Azal (not
once, but several times, each time their plans backfiring in some
way). There is a first-hand eyewitness report in existence, currently
only in manuscript, by a maid who was working on the day in question
in Azal's household kitchen – an account never published anywhere to
my knowledge but whose manuscript I have been shown – which shows that
Husayn Ali had put his own agents up in Azal's kitchen on the day in
question and that she witnessed them pouring something in vials into
the food being prepared for Azal. In the aforementioned work, Browne
states: "Mirza Husayn Ali...caused poison to be placed in one side of
a dish of food which was to be set before himself and Subh-i-Azal,
giving instructions that the poisoned side was to be turned towards
his brother. As it happened, however, the food had been flavoured with
onions, and Subh-i-Azal, disliking this flavour, refused to partake of
the dish. Mirza Husayn Ali fancying that his brother suspected his
design, ate some of the food from the side of the plate; but, the
poison having diffused itself to some extent through the whole mass,
he was presently attacked with vomiting and other symptoms of
poisoning. Thereupon he assembled his own followers and intimates, and
declared that Subh-i-Azal had attempted to poison him" p.359. Mirza
Aqa Khan Kirmani (d. 1896), a son-in-law of Azal and a major figure of
the Iranian secular liberal democratic Constituional movement in the
19th C. (who was executed as a co-conspirator along with his
brother-in-law, Shaykh Ahmad Ruhi, after the assassination of
Nasiruddin Shah in 1896), quotes part of the woman's account regarding
the poisoning incident in the historical section which he wrote of the
'8 Heavens' (Hasht Behesht). It will be translated in full in my
forthcoming Materials for the Study of the Bayani Religion. Later
"...[a] plot was arranged against Subh-i-Azal's life, and it was
arranged that Muhammad Ali the barber should cut his throat while
shaving him in the bath. On the approach of the barber, however,
Subh-i-Azal divined his design, refused to allow him to come near,
and, on leaving the bath, instantly took another lodging in Adrianople
and separated himself entirely from Mirza Husayn Ali and his
followers" p.360. This same Muhammad Ali (Salmani) was later in Acre,
Palestine, responsible for taking a shovel to the head and thereby
killing one of Azal's chief Witnesses exiled with the Baha'is: Siyyid
Muhammad Isfahani (source, Juan Cole, discussion on the
***@yahoogroups.com list, November 2000). In the eternal words of
Shaykh Ahmad Ruhi, "If this Husayn Ali is the manifestation of the
Husayn of Ali, a thousand mercies of God be upon the pure soul of
Yazid" (agar in Husayn Ali mazhar-e Husayn-e Alist, sad rahmat-e haqq
bar ravan-e pak-e Yazid) verses quoted by Izziyyeh Khanum in her
epistle ‘Tanbih'u-Na'imin' (for those who don't know, Yazid is the
character – and Muslim ruler - responsible for the martyrdom of the
Prophet Muhammad's grandson, the 3rd Shi'ite Imam Husayn [the paragon
martyr of all martyrs in Shi'ism], and his small band on the plains of
Karbalah in 680 CE who were on their way to Kufa to raise an army to
revolt against the Ummayyad rulers in Damascus – i.e. the progeny of
Abu Sufyan: Muhammad's kinsman and bitter Qurayshite Meccan enemy in
the early days of Islam). This poem conveys a profound antinomy about
Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri and his bogus claims, namely, that if this guy
is the Return of the paragon martyr of Islam, then perhaps those who
killed him were in the right after all.

Another issue the Baha'is have used to hammer the Bayanis with is the
marriage of Azal to the Bab's second wife. As far as some of the
Bayani sources are concerned this did not happen exactly as the
Baha'is have made it out to be. But even assuming it did occur exactly
how the Baha'is portray it, one only needs to read between the obvious
lines to realize the Baha'is are wishing to have their cake and eat it
too and intentionally making mountains out of molehills in order to
castigate their enemies with irrelevant strawmen, whilst
opportunistically remaining silent on the fact that Husayn Ali himself
had two temporary wives (sigheh, muta') besides his two other official
wives. Also, despite what the Baha'is say, I have yet to see from
which letter or work of the Bab he prohibited the re-marrying of his
two wives or anyone to marry these two widows, and I have read pretty
much everything by the Bab. This statement and the purported letter or
epistle it comes from simply does not exist. I will go on record and
say that I believe the Baha'is have made it up. This is the nineteenth
century Middle East we're talking about, and a widow and unmarried
Iranian woman in exile is completely at the mercy of the world around
her, totally unprotected and without any means. This is also the Bab's
second wife we're talking about here and a sister of a Letter of the
Living and Witness of Azal, the abovementioned murdered Mulla Rajab
Ali Qahir who was killed by one Nasir the Arab, a devotee of Husayn
Ali Nuri! Besides, the Bab had already maintained that he and Azal
were made of the same metaphysical substance (were One, as it were),
so what is the big deal if the Bab in his second Return was taking
back his own wife? A fair minded, objective person cannot see any
blame here. I sure can't. Moreover, this woman composed later a
treatise in refutation of the claims of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri to being
the Babi messiah, which conclusively shows where her views and
sentiments were on the matter, an issue which is quite embarrassing to
the Baha'i historians who keep hammering on this marriage of Azal to
the Bab's second wife and who in their all too typical dishonest,
gratutious and obfuscatory ways carefully gloss over this last detail
about the refutation in their accounts that explains the nature of
this 'purported' marriage in some detail. But this refutation exists,
I have seen it, and even according to one of my correspondents in
Haifa, Israel (who wishes to remain anonymous), the Baha'is have
copies of it sitting in their manuscript archives at their World
Center over there in Haifa, Israel, among many other juicy tidbits
they won't let anyone see. It was due to such incidents, such as the
"poisoning incident" and the general sectarian strife that had emerged
between the followers of Husayn Ali and Azal, who in Edirne due to the
circumstances the Ottomans had created for them where outnumbered by
the partisans of Husayn Ali Nuri, whereby the Ottoman authorities
exiled Azal, his family and followers to Famagusta, Cyprus, and the
older brother and his to Acre, Palestine, in the late 1860s.

Browne produces some discussion in the aforementioned work in the same
section (W) about an anonymous letter the Baha'is apparently
manufactured against Azal in Adrianople, pretending to be speaking on
his behalf and inciting a revolution against the Ottoman government
with Azal taking over as sovereign. This rumour mongering, overtly
suggestive of outright political sedition against the Turkish Imperial
state, finally forced the hand of the Sublime Porte (i.e. the seat of
power in Istanbul) to act against both factions. Knowing the
duplicitous ways of the Baha'i leaders, their track record and
proclivity for criminalism, manufacturing of evidence and thuggery all
too well, unlike Browne, I personally give one hundred percent
credence to this last story. See for example Browne's Materials for
the Study of the Babi Religion (Cambridge: 1961) pp. 154-69 regarding
the murder of an Azali-Bayani in Jedda in 1900 on Abbas Effendi's
direct, explicit orders: an individual who briefly had become a
supporter of Abbas Effendi's rival and half-brother, Mirza Muhammad
Ali (d. 1930) - who was designated in Husayn Ali's own will and
testament (Kitab-e Ahdi, Book of My Covenant) as his second succesor.
(The events of the first generation were repeated again in the second,
third and fourth generations, first, with Abbas Effendi and Muhammad
Ali, then with Shoghi Effendi and his family and several other
individuals (Ruth White, Farid, Ahmad Sohrab, et al), and finally with
the Hands of the Cause and American socialite and self-styled Guardian
Charles Mason Remey. Conflict, bids for power and factionalism is an
endemic part of the whole Baha'i experience from day one). Browne
translates several important documents in these pages that establishes
the guilt and complicity of the Baha'is and their leader beyond any
reasonable doubt whatsoever. Recent Baha'i scholarship has attempted
to dismiss this particular work of Browne's, but to no avail, see for
example fundamentalist UK Baha'i Moojan Momen's caustic remarks on
Browne's Materials in his introduction to Selections from the Writings
of E.G. Browne on the Babi and Baha'i Religions (Oxford: 1987). In a
typical attempt to obfuscate the actual issues by casting aspersions
on the character of the individual scholar and his work, i.e. ad
hominem (a common tactic used amongst Baha'is in virtually all forums
which Frederick Glaysher has most appropriately dubbed The Baha'i
Technique), Momen at no time attempts to even address the substance or
content of the matters he criticizes in Browne characterized as "of
dubious value" p.4. The same can be said across the board from
Gulpayagani to Balyuzi's tortuous , transparent, vacuously polemical
and unsubstantiated attacks on Browne's credibility, political agenda
and scholarship in his Edward Granville Browne and the Baha'i Faith
(Wilmette: 1970).

As far as I am concerned this is a common tactic employed in the
pseudo-historiographical scholarship of virtually all cults when
dealing with thorny historical facts and those who critically evaluate
them. Some years ago Juan Cole showed me an article at his home of a
case of a Trotskyist Marxist cult in Britian which, if one subsituted
key concepts, would mirror the Baha'i experience point by point,
letter by letter in this regard. Denis MacEoin experienced the exact
same thing in the early 80s when his scholarship on Babism began
coming out. For example, see the trilogy of articles: "From Babism to
Baha'ism: Problems of Militancy, Quietism and Conflation in the
Construction of a Religion," Religion 13, 1983: 93-129, "Baha'i
Fundamentalism and the Western Academic Study of the Babi Movement,"
Religion 16, 1986: 57-84 and "Afnan, Hatcher and an Old Bone,"
Religion 16, 1986: 193-95. Unless one possesses a trained eye and much
background reading in texts and methodology, not to mention
experience, it is quite easy to be misled and fall prey to such
uncritical obfuscations by these cultists and their bogus , largely
hagiographical and totally one-sided meta-narratives. "Baha'i
scholarship" is the perfect examplar of the sort of contrived,
Twilight Zone like bizarre ahistoriographical "cult" tradition of
pseudo-scholarship taken as objective historiography by adherents that
I am talking about here.
the dominant power elite of Baha'ism today is bent on a wholesale
kulturkampf against Iranians, Iranian culture and Iranian identity
(whether in Iran or outside of it) throughout the Baha'i community
tout court and its replacement by a sanitized, hyper-conservative
(nay, outright reactionary) White Anglo-Saxon Anglo-American
Protestant "Baha'i" culture, ethic and pseudo-identity.

Baha'ism today is very much in toe with the international menace of
the Neo-Conservative coup d'etat and its Anti-Non-White Anglo-American
agenda, which is why Iranians have generally been turned into the
'Other' in the popular perception of the Baha'i community and
scape-goated by the powers that be for virtually everything. This, in
my view, is clearly a systematic and orchestrated attempt at
undermining their ethnic self-confidence and cultural integrity by
this dominant clique bent on cultural colonization, who as far as I am
personally concerned, are one of the countless tentacles of the
neo-Fascist "Beast" and "Antichrist." The same case as Taheri's also
involved another, and Sufi oriented, Iranian Baha'i, Ahmad Karimpour.
But he has yet to be sanctioned and excommunicated, although he is
continually being harrassed locally by the Iranian Baha'i Continental
Board of Counsellor member and her Auxilliary Board Member, all based
out of Perth, WA. Iranian members of the Baha'i administration are
generally of the Uncle Tom, ethnic traitor and system-collaborator
types (i.e. such as those Jews who collaborated with the Nazis in the
SS, the Warsaw Ghetto and the camps). They are what Franz Fanon
appropriately characterized as those baring black faces but donning
white masks. The history of Baha'ism, from the very outset, is
underscored by a long and protracted attempt by White Anglo European
elites at cultural colonization of Iranians, together with those elite
Iranian cultural lackies who collaborated with them, and as such the
late Jalal Al-e Ahmad's neologism "Westoxication" (gharbzadegi) very
much applies to many Iranian Baha'i elites of the upper classes who
look down their noses at their middle, petty bourgeois and working
class Iranian compatriots whom they see as culturally "too Iranian,"
"backward peasants" and thus not Western, White and
'modernized'-sanitized enough. Interestingly, it is those very same
upper class Iranian Baha'i elites who are the most vociferous in their
defense of the cult system and a Baha'i theocracy, and thus the most
anti-democratic, fascist, Westoxicated, comprador-lackey and
reactionary of all – a profoundly dogged anti-intellectualism is also
a pronounced characteristic of this sub-culture, not to mention their
highest value and that which they hold the dearest to their hearts is
'money' (their true god)! I know, because I came from out of this
sub-culture and have spent pretty much my whole adolescent and adult
life rebelling against its skewed and mind-boggling shallow value
system of callous materialism, hypocrisy and double-standards. Juan
Cole believes this to be a vestige of the Pahlavi era mindset. I think
he is generally right about this but believe that the matter requires
further problematization beyond even that era. Note that much of
Husayn Ali's economic enterprises (such as publications of works in
Cairo and Bombay, etc) in the 1870s-90s was bankrolled by a successful
mercantile elite, the Afnans, who had their fingers in numerous pies
of the late 19th C. international trade in the East from Hong Kong to
Beirut, particularly in opium, whom the Afnans held a monopoly on at
one point inside Iran. It is quite ironic that the publication of
Husayn Ali's 'Most Holy Book' (Kitab-i-Aqdas) was quite possibly
produced by profits coming from the coffers of the Afnans lucrative
opium monopoly. When Abbas Effendi decided he was no longer going to
support the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Iranian
parliament's fight against Qajar royalist reaction and its Russian
patrons from 1909 onwards, or when he accepted the knighthood offered
him by the British towards the end of World War I, there was no
Pahlavi regime in existence. And what about Habib Sabet's central role
in the events of the 1953 CIA-spearheaded coup d'etat against Premier
Mohammad Mossadeq: the same Habib Sabet who was soon designated a
'knight of Baha'u'llah' by Shoghi Effendi and who sat on the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iran until the eve of the Islamic
(Counter-)Revolution? As such Juan Cole and others who see evidence of
a liberal progressivism in the thought of Husayn Ali and his son, I
believe, are overlooking many other things, romantizing and thus
reading too much into works like Effendi's Secret of Divine
Civilization and Treatise on Politics, etc., see his Modernity and the
Millenium: The Genesis of the Baha'i faith in the Nineteenth Century
Middle East (Columbia: 1998) Husayn Ali's own 'Most Holy Book' is
already several dozen steps back in retreat from the Bayan. Words are
cheap and when the evidence is looked at closely, time and again, when
push has come to shove, the Baha'i leaders and their successors have
always sided with the forces of reaction and the powers that be, ergo
the principle of "obedience to government," never on the side of the
fighting underdog or the masses and progressive forces. Therefore the
liberal and progresssive sounding works of Husayn Ali and his son
should be taken as so many PR, window-dressings, and not serious
positions maintained by either. Unlike the liberals, I no longer
maintain "something went wrong after `Abdu'-Baha." I believe the
fascism of Baha'i culture to be a reflection of the earliest period
and the mind of Husayn Ali and Abbas Effendi. And I will say that this
is very much a reflection of the mentality of a 19th century Iranian
aristocrat in exile seeking reconciliation with the powers that be
after the initial failure and bloody debacle of the Babi revolution (I
say 'initial' because the Babi revolution is not over yet by a long
shot). The ambivalence of the American Baha'i leadership in its
support of the Civil Rights movement in the 50s and 60s is certainly
evidence of this, not to mention the aborted "Southern Teaching"
campaign in South Carolina in the early 1970s that was explicitly
aborted by the Baha'i leaders in the US because a large southern
African-American Baha'i constituency was seemingly threatening the
very elite "White" foundation and make-up of the American Baha'i
leadership of the time.
303
2008-06-26 09:31:23 UTC
Permalink
http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as01.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as02.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as03.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as04.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as05.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as06.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as07.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as08.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as09.html

http://bayanic.com/notes/assas/as10.html

http://bayanic.com/lib/fwd/qahir/Qahir-FWD.html
303
2008-06-26 09:34:51 UTC
Permalink
http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/diglib/books/A-E/B/browne/tn/tnappx2.htm

(iv) All the splendour of the Beyán is 'He whom
God shall manifest.'
[Váhid iii, ch. 14.]


NOTE W.

MÍRZÁ YAHYÁ "SUBH-I-EZEL."


After the Báb himself, Behá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Ezel are without
doubt the most important figures in the history of Bábísm. To the
words and deeds of the former a large

[page 350]

portion of the present work is devoted, while the latter, when
mentioned, is spoken of slightingly as a mere "man of straw." One
whose knowledge of Bábí history should be limited to the account given
in this Traveller's Narrative would, therefore, by no means properly
apprehend the importance of the part actually played by Subh-i-Ezel.
In my opinion it is proved beyond all doubt that the Báb ere his death
chose him as his successor, duly appointing him as such by the form of
words which I published at pp. 996-997 of my second paper on the Bábís
in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, and that during the period which elapsed
from the Báb's death till the advancement of Behá'u'lláh's claim to be
"Him whom God shall manifest" (i.e. from 1850 to 1864 at any rate) he
was recognized by all the Bábís as their spiritual chief. Even now the
number of his followers, though small in comparison to that of the
Behá'ís, is considerable; and since, in addition to all this, the old
Bábí doctrines and traditions, which have undergone considerable
modification at the hands of Behá'u'lláh, are preserved intact by Subh-
i-Ezel, I have considered it incumbent on me to embody in a separate
note all the more important facts relating to him which I have been
able to ascertain, together with a complete account of the Bábís
exiled to Cyprus based on the most authentic documents.

The sources from which my information is derived are, broadly
speaking, four in number, as follows:-

(1) Letters received from Subh-i-Ezel himself between August
1889 and the present time, the correspondence still continuing. In
only one or two of these letters, however, does he speak of his own
adventures and circumstances with any approach to freedom.

(2) Conversations between Captain Young or myself on the one
hand and Subh-i-Ezel or his sons on the other. In the numerous and
protracted interviews which I had with Subh-i-Ezel between March 22nd
and April 4th, 1890, I was able to recur for my own satisfaction to
almost every point which the preliminary enquiries kindly undertaken
by Captain Young had first elicited.

(3) Offical documents relative to the exiles preserved in the
archives of the Cyprus government. Sir Henry Bulwer, with a kindness
and courtesy for which I cannot

[page 351]

sufficiently express my gratitude, permitted me freely to inspect and
copy all the more important of these documents, and, with one
exception, to make use of the information therein contained, as has
been set forth in detail in the Introduction.

(4) A bulky MS. of a hitherto unknown Ezelí controversial work
entitled Hasht Bihisht ("The Eight Paradises"), which I was fortunate
enough to obtain a few days ago (February 2nd, 1891) from a learned
Ezelí resident in Constantinople. The whole of this work is not at
present in my possession, 10 fasciculi (160 pp.) out of the middle
having unfortunately fallen into the hands of the Philistines after
they had been written out by the scribe. The original MS. is, however,
in safe keeping, and in the course of a month or two I hope to receive
a fresh transcript of the missing portion, which extends from p. 128
to p. 329 inclusive1. The whole work contains nearly 450 pp., and
deals chiefly with the philosophical basis of Bábíism, its superiority
to other religions, and the proofs of its divine origin; but a great
deal of information is also given about the history, especially the
later history, of the movement. The account given of the schism which
separated the Behá'ís from the Ezelís is, especially when taken in
conjunction with the version given in this present work, extremely
instructive; and the polemical portion, wherein the claims of Behá are
attacked, and those of Subh-i-Ezel defended, is full of interest. At
some future date I hope to give a fuller notice of this valuable work,
but for the present I must needs content myself with extracting from
it the chief facts recorded concerning the life of Subh-i-Ezel.

How best to deal with the information scattered through these
numerous documents, notes, and letters in manner which shall combine
reasonable brevity with sufficient fullness is a matter which has cost
me considerable thought. The plan which I have finally decided to
follow is to give firstly, a full and literal translation of a short
section of the Hasht Bihisht entitled Sharh-i-hál-i-Hazrat-i-Thamara-
i-
< br> 1 The fresh transcript of the missing portion reached me
on March 23rd, 1891.

[page 352]

Beyán ("Elucidation of the circumstances of His Highness the Fruit of
the Beyán"); secondly, a brief abstract of the account given in the
same work of the origin and progress of the schism; thirdly, an
epitome of the information derived directly from Subh-i-Ezel, either
by letter or in conversation; and lastly, a resumé of the official
documents preserved in the archives of the Cyprus government.

I. Translation from Hasht Bihisht.


"Now during the two last years [of the Báb's mission], when
the five years' cycle1 of the 'Minor Resurrection' had come to an end,
the manifestation of His Highness the Eternal (Hazrat-i-Ezel) took
place. And he, being then nineteen years of age, appeared in the
hamlet of Takúr in [the district of] Núr of Mázandarán, and began with
untaught tongue (lisán-i-ummí) to utter the Innate Word (kalima-i-
zátí) and spontaneous verses (áyát-i-fitrí). When the first letter
from him was conveyed by means of Mírzá 'Alí Sayyáh. to His Highness
the Point [i.e. the Báb], the latter instantly prostrated himself to
the earth in thankfulness, saying, 'Blessed be God for this mighty
Luminary which hath dawned and this noble Spathe which hath arisen in
the night2,' testifying of him that he spoke spontaneously and by the
Self-Shining Light, which is the Innate Word, the Natural Reason ('akl-
i-fitrí), the Holy Spirit, the Immediate Knowledge ('ilm-i-laduní),
the Suffi

1 A passage in the Dalá'il-i-sab'a ("Seven Proofs"), to which I
referred at p. 913 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S.
for 1889, affords confirmatory evidence of what is here alleged
concerning the date of Subh-i-Ezel's first appearance. This passage
runs as follows: [six lines of Persian/Arabic text].
2 [one line of Persian/Arabic text]

[page 353]

d \widctlpar cing Light (núr-i-mustakfí), or, after another manner of
speech, by Inspiration (wahy), Revelation (tanzíl d \widctlpar ), and
Illumination (fardáb ú fartáb).

"At this time His Highness the Point was imprisoned on the
mountain of Makú, and he therefore sent the writings of His Highness
the Eternal for each of the Letters of the Living and the chief
believers, testifying to his [i.e. Hazrat or Subh-i-Ezel's] innate
capacity (fitrat), and calling him by the names of 'Fruit of the
Beyán' (Thamara-i-Beyán), 'Morning of Eternity' (Subh-i-Ezel),
'Countenance' (Wajh), 'Splendour of God' (Behá'u'lláh),
'Mirror' (Mir'at), 'Crystal' (Bellúr), 'Essence of Sweet
Perfume' (Jawhar-i-Káfúr)1, 'Sun of Eternity' (Shams-i-Ezel), 'Second
Point' (Nukta-i-thání), 'One' (Wahíd)2, 'the Living, the
Speaking' (Hayy3, see Gobineau, p. 320. Subh-i-Ezel's name Yahyá not
only contains the root hayy (indeed by merely altering the vowel-
points it becomes Yuhyí, "he quickens," or "gives life"), but is also,
as has just been pointed out, numerically equivalent to Wahíd "One,"
another word of singular virtue.]-i-Nátik), and sundry other titles.
Having designated Hazrat-i-Ezel as his successor, he made over to him
generally and particularly all the affairs of the Beyán, even
transferring to him the [right of] disclosing the eight
'paths' (manhaj) of the Beyánic ordinances4 which had [hitherto]
remained con-

1 Cf. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, Book i, part vii, p. 2622,
col. 3, s. v. ~~~, and Kur'án, lxxvi, 5. For an instance of the
employment of this expression (which occurs repeatedly in the Báb's
writings), see Mirza Kazem-Beg's last article in the Bábís in the
Journal Asiatique for 1866 (sixième série, vol. viii) p. 501, last
line.
2 The numerical equivalent of Wahíd (28) is the same as that of
Yahyá. [See my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S for 1889,
pp. 996-997.]
3 Concerning the sacred nature of the word ~~~.
4 By these 'eight paths' of the Beyán are evidently intended
the unrevealed Váhids. Gobineau, whose penetration suffered nothing to
escape him, has not failed to notice that the Beyán - or rather
Beyáns, for, as has been pointed out, there are several - are
purposely left incomplete. I cannot do better than quote his own words
(p. 332):- "Le Biyyan étant le livre divin par excellence, doit
nécessairement être constitué sur le nombre divin, [footnote goes onto
page 354] c'est-à-dire sur le nombre 19. Il est donc composé, en
principe, de 19 unités ou divisions principales, qui, à leur tour, se
subdivisent chacune en 19 paragraphes. Mais le Bâb n'a écrit que onze
de ces unités, et il a laissé les huit autres au véritable et grand
Révélateur, à celui qui complétera la doctrine, et à l'égard duquel le
Bâb n'est autre chose que ce qu'était saint Jean-Baptiste devant Notre-
Seigneur."

[page 354]

cealed within the Divine Volition (whereon their disclosure depended),
in case the time should demand this.

"In short, during the two last years [of the Báb's life and
mission] all that emanated from the Supreme Pen bore reference to His
Highness the Fruit [of the Beyán], whom he [i.e. the Báb] recommended
to all the people of the Beyán, saying that should they bring sorrow,
even to the extent of the mention of aught, on his holy heart, all
their good works and devotions would become as scattered dust. Of the
words of His Highness the Point [i.e. the Báb] still extant at the
present day, what bears reference to the Fruit [of the Beyán, i.e.
Subh-i-Ezel] exceeds 20,000 verses, not counting what has disappeared.
And for ten years after [the death of] His Highness the Point all the
people of the Beyán were unanimous and agreed as to the bestowal of
the successorship on His Highness the Eternal [i.e. Subh-i-Ezel]. And
he abode for more than two years in Teherán and Shimírán, whence he
departed into Mázandarán, whence again (because men had been stirred
up on behalf of the government to seek him out) he set out disguised
in the garb of a dervish for Hamadán and Kirmánsháhán1. Thence he
proceeded to the Abode of Peace of Baghdad2, and in reference to this
the 'Tongue of the Unseen' [i.e. the poet Háfiz] says:-

1 Cf. pp. 51-52 supra.
2 Dáru's-salám ("the Abode of Peace") is the official title of
Baghdad, just as Teherán is called Dáru'l-khiláfat ("the Abode of the
Caliphate"), Isfahán Dáru 's-saltanat ("the Abode of the
Sovereignty"), Shíráz Dáru 'l-'ilm ("the Abode of Knowledge"), Yezd
Dáru 'l-'ibádat ("the Abode of Worship"), Kirmán Dáru 'l-amán ("the
Abode of Security"), and the like. The Bábís, so prone to regard such
coincidences, attach great importance to this title of Baghdad (which
for eleven or twelve years was their head-quarters and rallying-point
and the home of their chiefs), and quote as prophetic Kur'án vi, 127:-
~~~ [footnote goes onto page 355] ~~~ ("Theirs is an Abode of Peace
beside their Lord, and He is their Protector by reason of that which
they have done").

[page 355]

(Couplet)

'Baghdad shall be filled with tumult; one with lips like sugar
shall appear;
I fear lest the disturbance of his lips may cast Shíráz into
confusion1.'

"At this juncture Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [i.e. Behá'u'lláh], the
elder brother of His Highness [Subh-i-Ezel], came to Baghdad with two
other brothers and several of the believers, and these gathered round
that Most Mighty Light, who, in accordance with instructions which His
Highness the Point of Revelation [i.e. the Báb] had given him, passed
his nights and days behind the curtains of seclusion apart from
believers and others-

(Couplet)

'Behind a veil sits that moon-browed beauty;
He has rent asunder the veils of the world, yet sits behind a
veil'-

and none approached him save his brothers and certain favoured
followers. But from behind that veil issued forth letters, epistles
(alwáh), and books [written] in reply to men's questions and
petitions."

Here ends that section of the Hasht Bihisht which I deemed it
desirable to translate in full. It is followed by a section entitled
Sharh-i-hál-i-'ijl ú Sámirí ("Elucidation of the circumstances of the
Calf and Sámirí")2, which in

1 This verse I have generally heard somewhat differently
quoted; see B. ii, pp. 993-994 and note 2 at foot of former page. My
MS. of the Hasht Bihisht puts "Ahwáz" in the margin as an alternative
reading for "Shíráz." The couplet is not to be found in the Díván of
Háfiz. - at least in any of the copies which I have seen.
2 Allusion is made to the Golden Calf which the Children of
Israel were misled by Sámirí into worshipping. (See Kur'án, vii, 146;
xx, 87, et seq.; and numerous other passages.) By 'the Calf' the Ezelí
controversialist, of course, means Behá'u'lláh (or, [footnote goes
onto page 356] as he calls him throughout, Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí), and by
'Sámirí,' Áká Mírzá Áká Jan (abusively designated as the "scald-headed
soap-seller of Káshán"), to whom he attributes a rôle similar to that
wherewith Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán is credited by the Behá'ís at pp.
93-98 of the present work. Concerning Áká Mírzá Áká Ján (called by the
Behá'ís Jenáb-i-Khádimu 'lláh, "His Excellency the Servant of God")
see Introduction, and also B. i, p. 519.

[page 356]

turn is succeeded by another entitled Sharh-i-hál-i-fitné-i-saylam
("Elucidation of the Direful Mischief"), by which is meant the
succession (according to the Ezelí view) of Behá and his followers.
These sections occupy many pages, are of a violently polemical
character, and contain grave charges against the Behá'ís and vehement
attacks on their position and doctrines. The gist of their contents is
given in the following abstract.

II. Abstract from Hasht Bihisht.


Subh-i-Ezel having retired into a seclusion inviolable save to
a chosen few, his elder brother Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [Behá'u'lláh] found
the practical direction of affairs in his own hands. Now he was a man
who from his youth upwards had associated and mixed with men of every
class, whereby he had acquired a certain "breadth of
disposition" (was'at-i-mashrab) and "religious pliability" (rakháwat-i-
maz-hab) which attracted round him men of like mind, to whom some
slackening of the severer code of the Beyán was not unwelcome. Certain
of the old school of Bábís, such as Mullá Muhammad Ja'far of Nirák,
Mullá Rajab 'Alí "Kahír," Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán1, Hájí
Seyyid Jawád of Kerbelá, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad-i-Kátib2, the Mutawallí-
báshí (Chief Custodian of the Shrine) of Kum, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad
Rizá, and others, perceiving this tendency to innovation and
relaxation, remonstrated so vigorously with Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí that he
left Baghdad in

1 See pp. 93-98 supra. d \widctlpar
2 Mullá 'Abdu'l-Karím of Kazvín is generally designated by this
title d \widctlpar (see supra, pp. 41-42, and footnote to former),
but, as he was killed at Teherán in 1852, either this must be a
mistake, or some other person bearing the same name must be intended.

[page 357]

wrath and went towards Suleymániyyé, in the neighbourhood of which he
abode amongst the Kurds for nearly two years1 During all this period
his whereabouts was unknown to the Bábís at Baghdad. When at length it
became known, Subh-i-Ezel wrote a letter to him inviting him to
return.

About this time Mírzá Asadu'lláh entitled "Deyyán2" (one of
the second group of "Letters of the Living" or "Second Unity"), called
by the author of the Hasht Bihisht "the Judas Iscariot of this
people," who had been appointed by the Báb amanuensis to Subh-i-Ezel,
and who was learned in the Hebrew and Syriac languages, declared
himself to be "He whom God shall manifest"; and one Mírzá Ibráhím
forthwith believed in him. Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [Behá'u'lláh], after a
protracted discussion with him, instructed his servant Mírzá Muhammad
of Mázandarán to slay him, which was accordingly done. Shortly after
this, Mírzá 'Abdu'lláh called Ghawghá ["Conflict"] advanced the very
same claim; and he in turn was followed by Huseyn of Mílán, commonly
known as "Huseyn Ján," who made the same pretension in Teherán4 The
matter did not end even here, for these pretenders were followed by
Seyyid Huseyn of Isfahán4, and Mírzá Muhammad "Nabíl" of Zarand,
called "the tongue-tied" (akhras)5;

1 Cf. pp. 64-65 supra, and verse 6 of Nabíl's chronological
poem at pp. 983 and 987 of my second paper on the Bábís in the J. R.
A. S. for 1889. Subh-i-Ezel also mentioned that Behá'u'lláh withdrew
for some while from Baghdad because he "got angry" (kahr kard).
2 See Gobineau, pp. 277-278. The passage is quoted in full on
p. 365 infra.
3 See supra, pp. 330-331. If Huseyn of Mílán was killed at
Teherán in 1852, it is evident that whatever claim he advanced was
long anterior to this period, for, according to Nabíl's chronological
poem (B. ii, pp. 983-984 and 987, verses 6 and 7), Behá'u'lláh was 40
years old when he returned from Kurdistán to Baghdad, which, as he was
born in A.H. 1233, must have been in A.H. 1273 (= A.D. 1856-7).
4 Or of Hindiyán. See p. 331 supra, and cf. Gobineau, p. 278.
5 The same Nabíl who is now at Acre, and who wrote the
chronological poem referred to in the last footnote but one. Some
poems attributed to him and written apparently during the [footnote
goes onto page 358] period of his claim are in my possession. In one
of them the following verse occurs:-

[two lines of Persian/Arabic text]
"I am the uplifted Tree of Life; I am the hidden and apparent
Fruit;
I am the King of Kings of the Beyán, and by me is the Beyán
exalted."

[page 358]

until, to quote verbatim from the Hasht Bihisht, "the matter came to
such a pass that everyone on awakening from his first sleep in the
morning adorned his body with this pretension."

Now when Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí beheld matters in this disordered
state, he bethought himself of advancing the same claim himself
(considering that from the prominent position which he had long held
as practical director of affairs, he stood a better chance of success
than any previous claimant), and in this idea he was greatly
encouraged by Áká Mírzá Áká Ján of Káshán. Little by little his
resolution took more definite shape, and he fell to thinking how he
might compass the destruction of such of the Bábís as were likely to
oppose his contemplated action.

About this time the Muhammadan clergy of Baghdad, Kerbelá, and
Nejef began to complain loudly because of the large number of Bábís
who continued to flock thither from Persia, and the Persian Government
accordingly instructed Mírzá Huseyn Khán Mushíru'd-dawla, its
representative at the court of the Ottoman Sultan, to petition the
Turkish authorities for the removal of the Bábís to some part of their
dominions remote from the Persian frontier1. To this request the
Turkish authorities, anxious to put a stop to the quarrels which were
continually arising between the Bábís and Muhammadans, acceded. The
Bábís were summoned to Constantinople; whence, four months after their
arrival, they were sent to Adrianople. On their arrival in that city,
Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, still instigated and

1 Cf. pp. 82-89 supra.

[page 359]

encouraged by Áká Mírzá Áká Ján, gradually made public his claim to
be, not only "He whom God shall manifest," but an Incarnation of the
Deity Himself, and began to send letters and epistles in all
directions. And now, according to the Ezelí historian, began a series
of assassinations on the part of the Behá'ís. All prominent supporters
of Subh-i-Ezel who withstood Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí's claim were marked out
for death, and in Baghdad Mullá Rajab 'Alí "Kahír" and his brother,
Hájí Mírzá Ahmad, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad Rizá, and several others fell
one by one by the knife or bullet of the assassin1. But the author of
the Hasht Bihisht brings a yet graver charge against Mírzá Huseyn
'Alí, and asserts that he caused poison to be placed in one side of a
dish of food which was to be set before himself and Subh-i-Ezel,
giving instructions that the poisoned side was to be turned towards
his brother. As it happened, however, the food had been flavoured with
onions, and Subh-i-Ezel, disliking this flavour, refused to partake of
the dish. Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, fancying that his brother suspected his
design, ate some of the food from his side of the plate; but, the
poison having diffused itself to some extent through the whole mass,
he was presently attacked with vomiting and other symptoms of
poisoning. Thereupon he assembled his own followers and intimates, and
declared that Subh-i-Ezel had attempted to poison him2.

Shortly after this, according to the Ezelí writer, another
plot was laid against Subh-i-Ezel's life, and it was arranged that
Muhammad 'Alí the barber should cut his throat while shaving him in
the bath. On the approach of the barber, however, Subh-i-Ezel divined
his design, refused to allow him to come near, and, on leaving the
bath, instantly

1 Cf. B. i, p. 517, and B. ii, pp. 995-6.
2 The Behá'ís reverse this story as well as the following in
every particular, declaring the Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezelattempted to
poison Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh, and after his failure spread
abroad the report that the attempt had been made on himself.
Behá'u'lláh's version will be found in the Súra-i-Heykalat pp. 154-155
of Baron V. Rosen's forthcoming work. The text and translation of this
passage, which Baron Rosen has most kindly permitted me to copy from
the proof-sheets of his still unpublished work, will be found a few
pages further on.

[page 360]

took another lodging in Adrianople and separated himself entirely from
Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí and his followers.

Some while after this, says the author of the Hasht Bihisht,
Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí devised a new stratagem. A number of letters were
written in different handwritings by Áká Mírzá Áká Ján, Mushkín Kalam,
'Abbás Efendí, and other partisans of Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí to sundry
Turkish statesmen and officials to the following effect:- "About
thirty thousand of us Bábís are concealed in disguise in and around
Constantinople, and in a short while we shall rise. We shall first
capture Constantinople, and, if Sultán 'Abdu'l-'Azíz and his ministers
do not believe [in our religion], we shall depose and dismiss them
from their rule and administration. And our King is Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-
Ezel." These letters were left by night at the Sultán's palace and the
houses of the different ministers by Mushkín Kalam and other partisans
of Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí resident in Constantinople. When next day these
letters were discovered, the Turkish Government, which had treated the
Bábís with kindness, and afforded them shelter and hospitality, was
naturally greatly incensed. The letters were forthwith laid before the
Persian Ambassador, and, at a joint assembly of Turkish and Persian
officials, it was decided to exile the Bábí chiefs to some remote
island or fortress on the coast1.

Meanwhile Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán, a philosopher of
note, and Áká Ján Bey, nicknamed Kaj-kuláh ("Skew-cap")2, who held the
rank of lieutenant-colonel (ká'im-makám) in the Turkish army,
discovered how matters stood, and made known to the Ottoman
authorities the hostility which existed between the two brothers at
Adrianople. The only good result which followed from their
intervention was that it was decided by the Turkish government to
exile Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezel and Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh not to
the same but to two different places; the former was ordered to be
sent with his

1 Cf. the Behá'í account of the events which led to the removal
of the Bábí chiefs from Adrianople at pp. 98-99 supra, and Subh-i-
Ezel's account in note 1 at the foot of the latter page.
2 See B. i, p. 517, and note 1 at foot of p. 99 supra.

[page 361]

family and four of Behá'u'lláh's followers, to wit Mushkín-Kalam1,
Mírzá 'Alí Sayyah, [Muhammad] Bákir, and 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár, to Famagusta
[Mághúsá] in Cyprus; the latter, with his family, about 80 of his
adherents, and four of Subh-i-Ezel's followers, to wit Hájí Seyyid
Muhammad of Isfahán, Áká Ján Bey, Mírzá Rizá-Kulí of Tafrísh, and his
brother Áká Mírzá Nasru'lláh, to Acre ['Akká] in Syria. Before the
transfer was actually effected, however, Mírzá Nasru'lláh was poisoned
by Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí at Adrianople. The other three Ezelís were
assassinated shortly after their arrival at Acre in a house which they
occupied near the barracks, the assassins being 'Abdu'l-Karím,
Muhammad 'Alí the barber, Huseyn the water-carrier, and Muhammad Jawád
of Kazvín.

After remarking that Adrianople is called "the Land of the
Mystery" (~~~)2 because therein took place the separation between the
Light and the Fire, the People of the Right Hand and the People of the
Left Hand, the Good and the Evil, the True and the False, the Ezelí
historian proceeds to describe, with much censure and animadversion,
the propaganda by letters and missionaries set on foot throughout
Persia by Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, the extravagant claims advanced by him,
and the high-sounding titles conferred on his wives, sons, and chief
followers. Amongst the titles so conferred are enumerated the
following:- (on his wives) Mahd-i-'Ulyá("the Supreme Cradle" - a title
reserved for the Queen-mother in Persia); Waraka-i-'Ulyá ("the Supreme
Leaf"); (on his sons) Ghusn-i-A'zam ("the Most Mighty Branch"); Ghusn-
i-Akbar3 ("the Most Great Branch"); Ghusn-i-At-har ("the Most Pure
Branch"); (on Áká Mírzá Áká Ján of Káshán) Avvalu man ámana ("the
First to believe") and Jenáb-

1 See B. i, p. 516, and B. ii, p. 994. Fuller particulars
concerning all of these will be found at the end of this Note.
2 Moreover the sum of the letters in the word (~~~) (Mystery)
is the same as in the word (~~~) (Adrianople), viz. 260.
3 See B. i, p. 518.

[page 362]

i-Khádimu'lláh ("His Excellency the Servant of God")1; (on others of
his followers) Mushkín-i-Iláhí("Divinely Fragrant"); Zeynu'l-
Mukarrabín2 ("the Ornament of the Favoured"); Ghulámu'l-Khuld ("the
Servant of Paradise"); Jabrá'íl-i-Amín ("Gabriel the Trusty");
Kannádu's-Samadániyyat ("the Confectioner of the Divine Eternity");
Khabbázu'l-Wáhidiyyat ("the Baker of the Divine Unity"); Dalláku'l-
Hakíkat ("the Barber of the Truth"); Malláhu'l-Kuds ("the Sailor of
Sanctity"); and the like.

The author of the Hasht Bihisht, after indulging in a good
deal of strong invective, garnished with many allusions to Pharaoh,
the Golden Calf, and Sámirí, brings forward further charges against
the Behá'ís. Certain persons, he d \widctlpar says, who had at first
been inclined to follow Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, subsequently withdrew and
separated themselves from h d \widctlpar im. Some of these, such as
Áká 'Abdu'l-Ahad, Áká Muhammad 'Alí of Isfahán, Hájí Áká of Tabríz,
and the son of Hájí Fattáh, fled from Acre; but the Khayyát-báshí
(chief tailor) and Hájí Ibrahím were assassinated in the Caravansaray
of the corn-sellers (Khán-i-gandum-firúshán) and buried in quick-lime
under the platform, which was duly mortared up over their bodies.
After a while, however, the smell of the decomposing corpses became so
offensive that the other inhabitants of the caravansaray complained to
the local authorities, who instituted a search and discovered the
bodies. Without mentioning what further action was taken by the
Turkish government in the matter (a point certainly demanding
elucidation, for we cannot suppose that, if what the Ezelí historian
relates be true, they took no action at all to punish the murderers)
the author proceeds with his indictment. Hájí Ja'far, says he, had a
claim of 1200 pounds against Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí, and demanded the
payment of this debt with some violence and importunity. Mírzá Áká Ján
of Káshán thereupon instructed one 'Alí of Kazvín to slay the old man
and throw his body out of the window of the upper room which

1 See Introduction, and B. i, p. 519.
2 The writer of the MS. from which the fac-simile forming vol.
i of the present work is taken. See Note Z, infra.

[page 363]

he occupied into the courtyard of the caravansaray. It was then put
about that he had "cast himself out and died, yielding up his life to
the Beloved." Another disappointed creditor, a native of Khurásán, is
said to have gone mad in Acre from chagrin and deferred hope. Other
assassinations in other places are alleged, the following being
specially notified:- Áká Seyyid 'Alí the Arab, one of the original
"Letters of the Living," was killed in Tabríz by Mírzá Mustafá of
Nirák. and Sheykh [name omitted] of Khurásán; Mullá Rajab 'Alí Kahír,
also one of the "Letters," was killed at Kerbelá by Násir the Arab;
his brother Áká 'Alí Muhammad was killed in Baghdad by 'Abdu'l-Karím;
and, in short, if we are to believe the Ezelí writer, most of the more
prominent Bábís who withstood Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí's pretensions were
sought out and slain wherever they chanced to be, amongst these being
Hájí Áká of Tabríz.

The indictment does not stop here. Amongst those who had at
first inclined to follow Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí was, according to the Hasht
Bihisht, a merchant named Áká Muhammad 'Alí of Isfahán, who at this
time resided in Constantinople. Owing to certain discoveries which he
had made, however, his faith had undergone considerable abatement, and
signs of coolness had been observed in him. Mírzá Abú'l-Kásim the
Bakhtiyárí robber was consequently despatched from Acre with
instructions to "bleed that block of heedlessness whose blood is in
excess." On his arrival in Constantinople he took up his lodging with
the unsuspecting merchant in the Khán-i-Sharkí. Here he remained till
one day he found opportunity to break open his host's private safe and
abstract therefrom \'a3350. A part of this sum he retained for
himself; with the remainder he bought clothes, stuffs, and other goods
which he sent to Acre. In return for this service he received the
following epistle:- "O phlebotomist of the Divine Unity! Throb like
the artery in the body of the Contingent World, and drink of the blood
of the 'Block of Heedlessness' for that he turned aside from the
aspect of thy Lord the Merciful1!" Here

1 The original text of this epistle stands as follows in the
Hasht Bihisht:- [footnote goes onto page 364] ~~~

[page 364]

ends the list of charges alleged against the Behá'ís by the Ezelís,
and what follows is of a purely controversial nature, consisting of
refutations of the claims advanced by Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh,
and arguments to prove the rights of Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezel. This
controversial portion, interesting as it is, I am forced to omit here
for lack of space.

It is with great reluctance that I have set down the grave
accusations brought by the author of the Hash Bihisht against the
Behá'ís. It seemed to me a kind of ingratitude even to repeat such
charges against those from whom I myself have experienced nothing but
kindness, and in most of whom the outward signs of virtue and
disinterested benevolence were apparent in a high degree. Yet no
feeling of personal gratitude or friendship can justify the historian
(whose sole desire should be to sift and assort all statements with a
view to eliciting the truth) in the suppression of any important
document which may throw light on the object of his study. Such an
action would be worse than ingratitude; it would be treason to Truth.
These charges are either true or false. If they be true (which I
ardently hope is not the case) our whole view of the tendencies and
probable influences of Behá's teaching must necessarily be greatly
modified, for of what use are the noblest and most humane utterances
if they be associated with deeds such as are here alleged? If, on the
other hand, they be false, further investigation will without doubt
conclusively prove their falsity, and make it impossible that their
shadow should hereafter darken the page of Bábí history. In either
case it is of the utmost importance that they should be confronted,
and, to this end, that they should be fully stated. Inasmuch as the
Hasht Bihisht only fell into my hands as I was beginning to write this
note, and as several of the charges alleged in it against the Behá'ís
are new to me, I regret that I cannot at present offer any important
evidence either for their support or

[page 365]

their refutation. Certain points, however, which are connected with
the narrative of the Ezelí controversialist and can be checked by
other testimony are as follows:-

(1) For the claim advanced by Mírzá Asadu'lláh "Deyyán" of
Tabríz, and the fate which it brought down upon him, we have
Gobineau's testimony, given (at pp. 277-278 of his work) in the
following words:- "L'élection [c-à-d. de Hezret-è-Ezel] avait été
toute spontanée et elle fut reconnue immédiatement par les bâbys.
Cependant, un des membres de l'Unité, qui n'était pas à Téhéran au
moment où elle eut lieu, et qui se nommait Mirza-Asad-Oullah, de
Tebriz, surnommé Deyyân, ou 'le Juge suprème,' personnage très-
important et membre de l'Unité prophétique, entreprit de se faire
reconnaître lui-même pour le nouveau Bâb. Il courut dans l'Arabistan
et cheracha à yréunir un parti. Mais les religionnaires se mettant sur
ses traces, l'atteignirent près de la frontière turke, et lui
attachant des pierres au cou, le noyèrent dans le Shât-el-Arâb. Cette
tentative malheureuse n'encouragea pas les dissidents." From
Gobineau's account we are led to infer that this episode occurred very
soon after the death of the Báb and the election of Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-
Ezel, that is to say some time before the Baghdad period.

(2) For the claim advanced by Huseyn of Mílán we have Subh-i-
Ezel's evidence (see Note T, p. 331 supra), but since, as has been
already pointed out, this Huseyn was amongst the Bábís killed at
Teherán in 1852, this event has no more connection than the last with
the Baghdad period.

(3) That Nabíl advanced a similar claim which he subsequently
withdrew is a statement which I have heard made once if not oftener by
Bábís (of the Behá'í sect) in Persia. Some of the poems attributed to
him, if really his, afford confirmatory evidence, as has been already
observed (p. 357, note 5, supra).

(4) The assertion that Behá'u'lláh alleges against Subh-i-Ezel
an attempted fratricide, of which, according to the Ezelí writer, he
was in reality himself the author, is fully borne out by the following
passage in the earlier part of the Súra-i-Heykal, which Baron Rosen
has most kindly permitted me to quote from his still unpublished
work:-

[page 366]

[one page of Persian/Arabic text]



[page 367]

[one page of Persian/Arabic text]



[page 368]

[three lines of Persian/Arabic text]

"Then tell them that we chose out one from amongst our
brethren, and sprinkled upon him drops from the depths of the Ocean of
Knowledge; then we arrayed him in the raiment of one of the [Divine]
Names1, and upraised him unto [such] a station that all arose to
praise him; and we preserved him from the hurt of every hurtful thing
in such wise as [even] the powerful cannot do. We were alone against
the dwellers in the heavens and the earth in the days when all men
arose to slay me, and we were in their midst, speaking in
commemoration of God and His praise, and steadfast in His affair,
until the Word of God was realized amongst His creatures, and its
tokens became public, and its power waxed high, and its dominion shone
forth; whereunto testify favoured servants. Verily my brother, when he
saw that the matter had waxed high, discovered in himself pride and
error; then he came forth [from] behind the veils, and warred with me,
and contended with my signs, and denied my proof, and repudiated my
tokens; neither was the belly of the glutton sated till that he
desired to eat my flesh and drink my blood, whereunto bear witness
those servants who fled into exile with God, and beyond them those
brought nigh. And herein he took counsel with one of my attendants,
tempting him unto this. Then God helped me with the hosts of the
Invisible and the Visible, and preserved me by the truth, and revealed
unto me that which withheld him from what he purposed, and brought to
naught the device of those who denied the signs of the Merciful [God]:
are they not a people unbelieving? And when that whereunto his passion
[had] seduced him was divulged, and those who [had] fled into exile
became aware thereof, outcry arose from these,

1 Cf. pp. 95-96 supra, and footnotes thereon.

[page 369]

and attained such a pitch that it was within a little of being
published throughout the city. Then we restrained them, and revealed
unto them the word of patience, that they might be of those who are
patient; and by God, than whom there is none other god, we were
assuredly patient in this, and enjoined patience and self-restraint on
[God's] servants, and went out from amongst these, and dwelt in
another house, that the fire of hatred might be quenched in his bosom
and he might become of those rightly directed. Neither did we
interfere with him nor see him afterwards; we sat alone in the house
watching for the Grace of God, the Protector, the Self-subsistent. But
he, when he became aware that the matter had become publicly known,
took the pen of falsehood, and wrote unto the people, and attributed
all that he had done to my peerless and wronged Beauty, seeking
mischief in himself, and the introduction of hatred into the breasts
of those who [had] believed in God the Mighty, the Loving. By Him in
whose hand is my soul, we are amazed at his device, nay rather all
being, invisible and visible, is amazed! Yet withal he rested not in
himself till be committed that which the pen cannot set down, that
whereby he dishonoured me, and God, the Potent, the Mighty, the
Praised. Should I describe that which he did unto me, the seas of the
earth would not complete it were God to make them ink, neither would
all things exhaust it were God to turn them into pens. Thus do we
reveal that which hath befallen us, if ye [will] know it."

I never heard Subh-i-Ezel himself allude to the events in
question, for he is little addicted to complaints, and reticent as to
all that concerns his brother Behá'u'lláh, but his son 'Abdu'l-'Alí
gave me the same account as is set forth in the Hasht Bihisht.

(5) The account of the forged letters circulated by the
Behá'ís is improbable in itself (for the catastrophe which they were
intended to produce was bound to involve all the Bábís at Adrianople),
and is at variance with the versions given by Behá'u'lláh (supra, pp.
98-99) and Subh-i-Ezel (supra, pp. 99, note 1).

(6) The names of the Behá'ís exiled with Subh-i-Ezel to
Famagusta are stated correctly, as proved by the documents of the
Cyprus Government shortly to be cited.

[page 370]

(7) As to the assassination of the three Ezelís, Áká Ján Bey,
Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán, and Mírzá Rizá-Kulí of Tafrísh, by
some of Behá's followers at Acre, there can, I fear, be but little
doubt; for the account of this event which I published at p. 517 of my
first paper on the Bábís in the J. R. A. S. for 1889 was given to me
by a Behá'í who had during his visit to Acre seen, and, I think,
conversed with some of the perpetrators of this deed. It is curious
that he, so far from attempting to minimize the matter, raised the
number of the victims and assassins from three and four to seven and
twelve respectively. Subh-i-Ezel's account (B. ii, pp. 995-6) agrees
with that contained in the Hasht Bihisht. There is, however, no
evidence to prove that the assassins acted under orders, though the
passage in the Kitáb-i-Akdas alluding (apparently) to Hájí Seyyid
Muhammad's death, which is quoted at the foot of p. 93 supra, proves
that Behá'u'lláh regarded this event with some complaisance. His son
'Abbás Efendí d \widctlpar would also seem to have interceded for the
murderers (B. i, p. 517). Mr Oliphant in his work entitled Haifa (see
supra, pp. 209-210), afte d \widctlpar r speaking of the mystery which
surrounds Behá'u'lláh and the difficulty of seeing him, says, in a
passage which appears to bear reference to these assassinations (op.
cit., p. 107):-

"Not long ago, however, public curiosity was gratified, for
one of his [i.e. Behá'u'lláh's] Persian followers stabbed another for
having been unworthy of some religious trust, and the great man
himself was summoned as a witness.

"'Will you tell the court who and what you are?' was the first
question put.

"'I will begin,' he replied, 'by telling you who I am not. I
am not a camel-driver' - this was an allusion to the Prophet Mohammad
- 'nor am I the son of a carpenter' - this in allusion to Christ.
'This is as much as I can tell you to-day. If you will now let me
retire, I will tell you tomorrow who I am.'

"Upon this promise he was let go; but the morrow never came.
With an enormous bribe he had in the interval purchased an exemption
from all further attendance at court."

Since these assassinations took place within the last

[page 371]

23 years, it is not too much to hope that further investigation may
serve to throw fuller light on the matter. The examination of Turkish
official records (should this be possible) would probably do more than
anything else to elicit the truth.

Of the other assassinations alleged by the author of the Hasht
Bihisht, those of the following persons were independently mentioned
by Subh-i-Ezel:- Mullá Rajab 'Alí Kahír; Áká 'Alí Muhammad of Isfahán,
brother of the above; Mírzá Nasru'lláh; Hájí Mírzá Ahmad, brother of
Mírzá Jání (see Note T, p. 332 supra); Hájí Ibrahím. The last was
stated to have been at first a fanatical Behá'í, and to have cruelly
beaten Hájí Seyyid Muhammad of Isfahán the Ezelí on board the ship
which bore the exiles to Acre, of which action he subsequently
repented sincerely. The following three persons, not mentioned in the
Hasht Bihisht, were also stated by Subh-i-Ezel to have been
assassinated:- Huseyn 'Alí and Áká 'Abdu'l-Kásim of Káshán; Mírzá
Buzurg of Kirmánsháh. This raises the total number of alleged
assassinations of Ezelís to sixteen (unless, as appears probable, one
of the last three be identical with the "Khayyát-báshí" mentioned in
the Hasht Bihisht), which agrees pretty well with Subh-i-Ezel's
statement to Captain Young (B. ii, p. 996) that about twenty of his
followers were killed by the Behá'ís1.

It should be borne in mind, however, that the removal of
persons inimical to a religious movement by violent means, or in other
words religious assassination, is a thing far less repugnant to the
Eastern than to the Western mind. Since the first beginning of Islám
(not to go further back) it has been freely practised; and the Prophet
Muhammad gave to it the sanction of his example on numerous occasions.
Nothing can illustrate in a more striking manner the difference
between the Oriental and the Occidental attitude of mind than a
narrative given by

1 The words "at Acre" added to this statement are clearly due
to a misapprehension of the interpreter, d \widctlpar and should read
"of Acre," for Subh-i-Ezel distinctly and repeatedly alluded to the
majority of these assassinations as having taken place d \widctlpar at
Baghdad and elsewhere.

[page 372]

Ibn Hishám in his Life of Muhammad (ed. Wüstenfeld, pp. 553-555) to
which my attention was first called by my friend Mr A. A. Bevan. This
narrative is briefly as follows. There were in the time of Muhammad
two brothers, of whom the younger, named Muhayyisa, had embraced
Islám, while Huwayyisa, the elder, still remained a pagan. Muhayyisa,
at the command of the Prophet, assassinated a Jewish merchant named
Suneyna (or Subeyna) with whom Huwayyisa was on terms of friendship.
Huwayyísa, on hearing of this, fell upon his younger brother with
blows and reproaches, saying, "O enemy of God, hast thou slain him? By
God, many a fat morsel of his wealth has gone into thy maw!" To this
the other replied, "By God, I was ordered to kill him by one at whose
command I would smite off thy head were he so to direct me!" "Would'st
thou indeed slay me if Muhammad should order it?" asked Huwayyisa.
"Yes," answered the other, "by Alláh, were he to command me to cut off
thy head I would assuredly do so." "By Alláh," said the elder brother,
"a religion which hath brought thee to this is assuredly a marvellous
thing!" and he thereupon adopted the Muhammadan faith. The legend of
Khizr and Moses in the Kur'án (súra xviii, v. 64-81), and the first
story in the Masnaví of Jalálu'd-Dín Rúmí (well styled by Jámí "the
Kur'án in the Persian language"), which describes with the utmost
nonchalance how a poor goldsmith is slowly poisoned by a saintly
personage to gratify the ignoble passions of a king, afford further
illustration of this attitude of mind, which also revealed itself to
me very clearly in a conversation which I had with a Bábí Seyyid of
Shíráz with whom I was disputing about the divine origin of Islám. In
the course of the discussion I animadverted on the bloodshed and
violence resorted to by Muhammad and his followers for the propagation
of their religion. "Surely," replied the Seyyid, with a look of
extreme surprise, "you cannot pretend to deny that a prophet, who is
an incarnation of the Universal Intelligence, has as much right to
remove anyone whom he perceives to be an enemy to religion and a
danger to the welfare of mankind as a surgeon has to amputate a
gangrened limb?"

I have insisted thus strongly on this point because we

[page 373]

cannot properly estimate the probability or improbability of an action
alleged but not proved to have been committed by a given body of men
unless we are in a position to form a just judgement on their opinions
as well as their character. The idea of secret assassination is so
repugnant to us, and so incompatible with our notions of virtue and
moral rectitude, that we naturally shrink from imputing it without the
clearest evidence to a man or body of men of whose character and
qualities we have otherwise formed a high opinion. But in Asia, where
human life is held cheap, and religious fervour runs high, a different
standard of morality prevails in this matter; and we must beware of
being unduly influenced in our judgement by our own sentiments.

III. Additional information derived directly from Subh-
i-Ezel.


Mírzá Yahyá Subh-i-Ezel is the son of Mírzá 'Abbás (better
known as Mírzá Buzurg) of the district of Núr in Mázandarán, and the
half-brother of d \widctlpar Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí Behá'u'lláh (see note 2
on p. 56 supra), to whom he is junior by 13 years d \widctlpar 1. He
was born in Teherán about the year A.D. 18302. His father died when he
was 7 years old.

1 This is according to the first statement made to Captain
Young, but on another occasion the difference was stated as 11 or 12
years. Since, however, Behá'u'lláh was, according to Nabíl (see B. i,
p. 521, and B. ii, pp. 983 and 986), born in the year A.D. 1817, and
since Subh-i-Ezel would seem to have been born in A.D. 1830 or 1831,
thirteen years is the probable difference between their ages.
2 The Persians are, as a rule, very careless about dates, and
even well-educated men are often unable to state their exact age. To
this rule Subh-i-Ezel is no exception. Thus in November 1884
(according to official documents) he gave his age as 56, while in
October 1889 he informed Captain Young that he was 58 or 59 years old.
Perhaps, however, the former figure may be due to a misunderstanding
on the part of the official engaged in drawing up the report on the
exiles, for several remarks which Subh-i-Ezel made to me point to the
correctness of the latter. Thus on one occasion he said, pointing to
his son 'Abdu'l-Wahíd (a youth of apparently about 17 years of age),
"I was quite young [footnote goes onto page 374] like him when I left
Persia" (in A.D. 1852). "About seventeen?" I enquired. "No," he
answered, "more than that; about 20 or 21." A Turkish dervish who,
impelled by curiosity to see so celebrated a heresiarch, visited him
soon after his arrival in Cyprus, remarked with surprise ~~~ "He is
still but a child!" Gobineau (p. 277) makes his age only 16 at the
time of the Báb's death (A.D. 1850), but it is more probable that this
was his age when he was designated by the Báb as his successor, in
which case he would be about 19 when he actually succeeded. Bearing in
mind the extraordinary virtue attributed by the Bábís to this mystical
number, we may well believe that such a coincidence would strongly
influence the choice of the faithful in his favour.

[page 374]

When and how he was brought to embrace the Bábí doctrines I have not
been able to ascertain, but he was appointed by the Báb as his
successor after the deaths of Mullá Huseyn of Bushraweyh and Mullá
Muhammad 'Alí of Bárfurúsh (who was killed in the summer of A.D.
1849), the appointment (for text and translation of which see B. ii,
pp. 996-997) being written from Chihrík. From that time until A.D.
1852 he generally resided during the summer at Teherán or Shimrán, and
during the winter in the district of Núr in Mázandarán, being
continually occupied in teaching and diffusing the Bábí doctrines. At
the time of the Báb's martyrdom (July 1850) he was residing at the
village of Zargandé near Teherán. Mírzá Áká Khán of Núr, who succeeded
Mírzá Takí Khán as Prime Minister at the end of A.D. 1851 under the
title of Sadr-i-A'zím, was related to Subh-i-Ezel. Although formerly,
when living in retirement at Káshán, he had pretended to be favourably
disposed towards the Bábís, and had even had several interviews with
Mullá Sheykh 'Alí Jenáb-i-'Azím, he now shewed the utmost hostility
towards them especially towards Subh-i-Ezel. Indeed his brother,
Ja'far-Kulí Khán, who was on extremely had terms with him, strongly
advised Subh-i-Ezel to keep out of his power, and, if possible, to
avoid both Teherán and Núr.

When the attempt on the Sháh's life was made in August 1852,
Subh-i-Ezel was at Núr, and so escaped arrest, though the Sháh offered
a reward of 1000 túmáns

[page 375]

for his capture, and though on one occasion he actually met and
conversed with an Arab who had been sent to apprehend him but failed
to recognize him. It was probably immediately after this that he set
out, disguised as a dervish (pp. 51-52 and p. 354 supra), for Baghdad,
where he arrived, according to his own statement, "in the year A.H.
1268, a few days after the arrival of Behá'u'lláh" Since, however,
Behá'u'lláh was imprisoned in Teherán for four months after the
attempt on the Sháh's life, i.e. till December 1852, and since the
year A.H. 1268 ended on October 14th, 1852, this date would appear to
be erroneous.

Forty days after the attack on the Sháh, after Subh-i-Ezel had
fled in disguise as above described, a raid was made on Núr by two
regiments of soldiers under the command of Mírzá Abú Tálib Khán. It
appears that the Sháh was induced to sanction this raid by
representations made by Mírzá Áká Khán the Sadr-i-A'zam to the effect
that Subh-i-Ezel had "arrived there, declared himself to be the Imám-
Mahdí, and collected about a thousand followers." Mírzá Abú Tálib
Khán, though related to Subh-i-Ezel by marriage (his sister being
wedded to Subh-i-Ezel's eldest brother), shewed no compunction in
carrying out the designs of his uncle the Sadr-i-A'zam with the utmost
rigour, and, indeed, totally disregarded the remonstrances and pleas
for mercy which some of his subordinate officers ventured to advance
on its appearing that, so far from there being any rising, such of the
inhabitants of the doomed village as had not fled into the mountains
were unarmed and entirely unprepared for resistance. The village
(containing some sixty houses) was sacked and plundered; two of its
inhabitants, who were Bábís, were killed; Subh-i-Ezel's house was
occupied by the principal officers; and his female relatives were
confined to the upper rooms. A day or two after this a pursuit of the
fugitives was organized; a shepherd betrayed their retreat; and the
soldiers, falling upon them unawares, killed some (including Mírzá
Muhammad Taki Khán), wounded others (including Mullá Fattáh, who
subsequently died in prison), and carried off 26 or 27 (amongst whom
were two women) to Teherán as captives. These captives, except the two
women, were compelled to perform the journey on foot and in chains. On
their

[page 376]

arrival at Teherán they happened to meet the Russian Ambassador, who
was moved with compassion at the sight of their misfortunes, and
addressed a remonstrance to the Sháh. He, finding on enquiry that
there had been no insurrection at all, ordered them to be set at
liberty; but the Sadr-i-A'zam contrived to detain them in prison on
various pretexts, and there most of them died of erysipelas, gaol-
fever, and other diseases which rage in Persian prisons, or were
secretly made away with. The ravaged district of Núr was made over to
the Sadr-i-A'zam, and one of the two houses possessed by Subh-i-Ezel
in Teherán was confiscated by the Sháh, the other being sold by
Behá'u'lláh.

As I have embodied in previous footnotes all the more
important particulars which I learned from Subh-i-Ezel relative to the
expulsion of the Bábís from Baghdad (p. 84, note 2 supra), the journey
from Baghdad to Constantinople (p. 90, note 1 supra), and the
expulsion of the Bábís from Adrianople (p. 99, note 1 supra); and as
the Ezelí version of the state of things which prevailed in the Bábí
community at Baghdad and Adrianople is sufficiently set forth in the
earlier portion of this note, I may now pass on to consider the
evidence afforded by the state archives preserved in Cyprus.

IV. State papers preserved by the Cyprus Government.


These documents, to which, as explained in the Introduction,
the kindness and courtesy of Sir Henry Bulwer allowed me so free an
access during my stay in Cyprus, are very numerous, and range from
August 1878 (the year of the English occupation) to June 1889. The
majority of them are written in English, and to those written in
Turkish English translations are always appended. All the papers of
importance bearing on the subject, with the exception of certain
despatches, were placed at my disposal, and during the four days for
which they remained in my hands I was able to make a complete
transcript of them. This transcript occupies 32 pages of foolscap.

With these documents a desire to avoid undue prolixity compels
me to deal as briefly as may be. Many of them,

[page 377]

indeed, would not be worth reproducing in full in any case, while
others are abrogated by fuller and later reports, and there are
naturally a good many repetitions, besides discussions of the basis
whereon the pensions of the exiles are to be calculated, which may
well be omitted or abbreviated; but, were space of no object, there
are several which I would fain have inserted in full. As it is, I can
only give the substance and not the form of the papers; while, to save
explanations and prevent confusion, I have normalized the spelling of
names in accordance with the system adopted throughout this work,
besides correcting obvious errors. With these preliminary observations
I proceed to the examination of the documents in question.

When the Turks evacuated Cyprus in 1878 they left behind them
certain prisoners who had been interned in the fortress of Famagusta.
In August of that year the Chief Secretary requested the Commissioner
of that town to report on the number of these prisoners, their terms
of imprisonment, their offences, and the like. The Commissioner of
Famagusta stated in a brief reply (dated August 8th, 1878) that the
prisoners in question were five in number, to wit (1) a Greek named
Kátirjí Yání, sentenced for life for robberies committed in Syria; (2)
a Bosnian named Mustafá, (3) a Turk named Yúsuf, sentenced for life
for "speaking against the Turkish religion," and two Persians, (4)
Subh-i-Ezel, and (5) Mushkín Kalam, whose crime and punishment are
described as follows:- "They wished to invent some new religion, and,
when pressed, fled from Persia and settled in Turkey. After a time
they again tried to carry out their madness, and were consequently
condemned by the Turkish authorities to imprisonment for life."

Nearly three months after this date further information
concerning the prisoners was demanded by the Chief Secretary, with the
especial object of determining the amounts of the pensions or
allowances which they were drawing. In his reply (dated November 5th,
1878) the Commissioner of Famagusta states that he "cannot get any
official information about them. The Kází says if there were any
papers about them the late Ká'im-makám destroyed them, or his
secretary lost them, for there are none forthcoming

[page 378]

now." He then proceeds to speak of the two Persian prisoners as
follows, premising that all the information which he has been able to
obtain was "gathered from the men themselves":-

"1st, Subh-i-Ezel. Handsome, well-bred looking man, apparently
about 50. In receipt of pias. 1193 per month (the Kází only gets pias.
1020). States that he was for a long time at the Persian Court, where
his brother1 was next officer in rank to the vizier. He afterwards
went to Stamboul and then to Adrianople, where he was accused of
plotting against the Porte and the religion of Islám. Sentence - for
life. Been here for 11 years.

"2nd, Mushkín Kalam. >From Khurásán. Allowed pias. 660 per
month. Sentence - for life. Been here 11 years. Came here at same time
as Subh-i-Ezel. Sentenced for religious offence against Porte. Is 53
years old. Has two families, one here, and one in Persia. In
appearance is a dried-up, shrivelled old man, with long hair almost to
the waist." Similar accounts of the other prisoners follow, and the
report concludes with the statement that the late Ká'im-makám had left
some old books, which, being alleged to contain only accounts for past
years, were used in the office as Account and Military Police books,
but that some old books still left would be searched for further
particulars.

The next document of interest is a petition from Mushkín-Kalam
addressed to "His Excellency the High Commissioner of Cyprus" and
dated August 15th, 1879. The original of this petition (apparently
written by Mushkín Kalam himself) is in Turkish, but an English
translation is appended. In it Mushkín Kalam states that he is a
native of Khurásán; that, having proceeded to Mecca by way of Diyár
Bekr, he had extended his journey to Adrianople to see his "Sheykh"
Mírzá Huesyn 'Alí [Behá'u'lláh]; that, after accomplishing this
object, he was arrested in A.H. 1284 ("A.D. 1867")2 and exiled to
Famagusta, where he had now

1 Probably this is a mistake for "father," as Subh-i-Ezel
repeatedly described the position of his father Mírzá Buzurg in these
very words.
2 A report from the Muhásébéjí's (Accountant's) Office dated
December 10th, 1884, states that, although the original fermán of
[footnote goes onto page 379] banishment cannot be found, an
unofficial copy of it, received at the time, gives the date of their
banishment as Rabí'ul-Ákhir 5th A.H. 1285 (July 26th, A.D. 1868), and
there is no doubt that this is the correct date. The reckoning called
Rúmí (Turkish), which is more than a year behind the hijra, was
probably used by Mushkín Kalam, and misapprehended by the translator.

[page 379]

resided for 12 years; and that he has suffered much grief by reason of
his long banishment and separation from his family. In conclusion, he
begs the High Commissioner "to pity his position, deprived so long of
his family, and to deliver him from such a hard punishment." The
immediate effect of this petition was to call forth another demand for
fuller information from the Chief Secretary, who desired especially to
be informed on what authority Mushkín Kalam had been permitted to
reside outside Famagusta (his petition having been sent in from
Nicosia). The Commissioner of Famagusta replied that the permission in
question had been granted by a letter from the Chief Secretary dated
June 20th, 1879, and that, in the absence of any official Turkish
register, a report based on the statements of the prisoners themselves
and information supplied by the Turkish Ká'im-makám had been compiled
by the Local Commandant of Military Police. This report discusses the
cases of seven "prisoners," to wit those five previously mentioned, a
woman named Khadíja charged with incendiarism, and an old blind man
named Khudáverdí, formerly in the Turkish artillery, who proved not to
be a prisoner at all but a pensioner! That portion of the report which
deals with the cases of Subh-i-Ezel and Mushkín Kalam is as follows:-

"No. 3. Subh-i-Ezel of Írán. Trade? Nil. Crime? Falsely
accused of preaching against the Turkish religion. Where? Adrianople.
Who was charge made by? A man of Írán. By whom tried? Came from
Baghdad and went to Adrianople where charge was made. Válí of
Adrianople ordered him to Constantinople, where he was examined by
Kámil Páshá (Prime Minister). When? Twelve years ago. Previous
imprisonment before coming here? Five months in Constantinople, before
coming here under arrest, five years at Adrianople. Undergone here?
Twelve years.

[page 380]

Pension? 38½ piastres a day current. Do. before? 38½ piastres a day
Government exchange. Has a family of 17. His father was Chief
Secretary of State to the present Sháh of Persia (Násiru'd-Dín Sháh).

"No. 4. Mushkín Kalam Efendí. Trade? Writer. Crime? Being in
company with a preacher against Mahometanism who came from Persia and
Acre in Syria. Where? Constantinople. Punishment? Transported for
life, and to be imprisoned in Famagusta fortress. By whom? Authority
of Sultán 'Azíz. Date? November A.H. 1284 (A.D. 1868)1 [In the
original document the corresponding Christian year is erroneously
given as "A.D. 1876"]. Previous Imprisonment? Six months in
Constantinople. Has undergone? Twelve years. Any lodging? The fermán
ordering banishment stated that he was to get free lodging, but he has
not had any [sc.free] lodging. This man has sent a petition to
government about a week ago. 23/6/'79."

A document based on records of the Temyíz Court and dated
March 8th, 1880, first mentions Bábíism ("i.e." it explains,
"communism") as the crime with which Subh-i-Ezel and Mushkín Kalam
were charged. It is further stated that they were deported under
Imperial Fermán, and not sentenced by a judicial tribunal. The next
document (undated), embodying the results of further enquiries at
Famagusta, gives the date of their arrival in the Island as August
24th, A.H. 1284. [As the month and year are seemingly given according
to the Turkish style, this would correspond to September 5th, A.D.
1868.] In this document mention is first made of Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh,
who arrived as an exile at Famagusta, accompanied by his wife and five
children, in A.H. 1285 (A.D. 1869-70)[footnote 1 repeated]. He died2
on July

1 See preceding footnote.
2 According to a statement made to me by Subh-i-Ezel, Sheykh
'Alí Sayyáh. (who was only about 35 years old) died very suddenly as
though from poison, scarcely having time to summon his wife to his
side ere he expired. He was arrested in company with 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár
and Muhammad Bákir (immediately to be mentioned), and banished with
them to Famagusta. He continued till his death to profess friendship
towards Subh-i-Ezel, declaring that his only object in keeping on good
terms with the [footnote goes onto page 381] Behá'ís was to endeavour
to bring about a reconciliation and heal the schism. Subh-i-Ezel,
however, held aloof from him, and disregarded his overtures. From the
Hasht Bihisht (see p. 352, supra) it would appear that the first
communications between the Báb and Subh-i-Ezel passed through him.
[page 381]

22nd, A.H. 1287 ("August 4th, A.D. 18711"), and an allowance of 2½
piastres a day to his widow and each of his children was made by the
government. Mushkín Kalam subsequently married the widow, and drew her
pension in addition to his own. At the end of this document it is
mentioned that "a note in the Register of Orders in the
Muhásebéjís[Accountant's] office states that an allowance of 4
piastres a day for 14 persons in all, and 2 servants at 5 piastres the
two" was granted to Subh-i-Ezel, Sheykh 'Alí Sayyah. Mushkín Kalam,
and their respective families.

The next document of importance is a report in Turkish, dated
March 11th, 1880, from the Muhásebéjí's office, to which an English
translation is appended. From this it appears that the original number
of Bábí exiles sent to Famagusta was 14; that these were accompanied
by 2 servants; that to each of the former 4 piastres a day and to each
of the latter 2½ piastres a day (making a total of 61 piastres a day)
were allowed; that 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár succeeded in effecting his escape
from the Island on September 17th, A.H. 1286[footnote 1 repeated]
("Sept. 29th, A.D. 1870"); that [Sheykh] 'Alí Sayyáh of Kára-Bágh died
on July 22nd, A.H. 1287 (see preceding paragraph); that Fátima, one of
Subh-i-Ezel's daughters, died on August 17th, A.H. 1287 ("Aug. 29th,
A.D. 1871"); and that Muhammad Bákir died on November 10th, A.H. 1288
("Nov. 22nd, A.D. 1872"); that in consequence of this diminution in
the number of the exiles a deduction of 16 piastres a day was made,
thus reducing the daily allowance to 45 piastres; but that
subsequently, by an order dated September 25th, A.H. 1289 (?Oct. 7th,
A.D. 1873), 2½ piastres a day were allowed to

1 In this and the succeeding dates wherein Christian months are
combined with Muhammadan years the Turkish reckoning (which, as
already noted, is more than a year behind the normal Muhammadan
reckoning) seems to be employed. The Christian dates here given in
inverted commas are derived from another document dated October 13th,
1884.

[page 382]

the widow and each of the five children of Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh, thus
raising the daily allowance of the exiles again to 60 piastres1.

The following document in Mr Cobham's handwriting, dated March
11th, 1880, gives some additional statements made by Mushkín Kalam
about himself:-

"It appears that in 1867 Mushkín Kalam Efendí came from Mesh-
hed in Khurásán to Constantinople. His fame as a scribe had preceded
him, and Fu'ád and 'Alí Páshás asked him to remain in Constantinople.
He refused both pension and presents offered him by [Sultán]
'Abdu'l-'Azíz, for whom he executed some illuminations.

"Presently he was accused by one Subh-i-Ezel, a Persian then
at Adrianople, himself a member of some schismatic sect, of heresy. He
had lived six months at Constantinople, where he was imprisoned,
without question or trial, for another six months, and then sent to
Famagusta.

"Subh-i-Ezel was exiled at the same time on a similar charge
of heresy."

The next document of importance is a petition in Turkish
addressed by Subh-i-Ezel to the Commissioner of Famagusta, bearing the
date April 27th, A.D. 1881. From this it appears that on the 24th of
the preceding month Subh-i-Ezel had been informed that he might
consider himself free to go where he pleased. For this permission he
expresses the warmest gratitude, and further prays that, if it be
possible, he may become an English subject, or be taken under English
protection, so that he may with safety return to his own country or to
Turkey. To this request, however, the Government did not see fit to
accede.

The next group of documents belong to the latter part of the
year 1884, when a fresh attempt was made to

1 It appears that Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh's wife and five children
(or such of them as were then born) joined him in Cyprus some time
subsequently to his banishment, and hence were not included in the
enumeration of the original exiles, and were not entitled to a
pension. But in any case the rule appears to be that, unless specially
continued by the Government, pensions to the families of exiles cease
on the death of their head.

[page 383]

establish the amount of the pension paid to the exiles on a definite
basis. To this end it became important to discover (1) who were the
original exiles; (2) which of them had died or quitted the island, and
when; (3) which of their children had been born previously to and
which subsequently to their banishment. For the elucidation of these
points several lengthy reports were compiled in the Muhasebéjí's
(Accountant's) office. As it was also decided that any one of the
exiles entitled to a pension lost that pension on quitting the island,
but might recover it on returning thither, their subsequent movements
were carefully recorded. The details of apportionment of these
pensions are of little historic interest, and I therefore omit them;
but it is a most fortunate circumstance that they were apportioned in
this way, inasmuch as the full record of facts embodied in these
documents is entirely due to this circumstance. These various reports
and tables I have striven to combine in the following tabular form,
wherein is incorporated also information derived from Captain Young
and Mr Houston independently of the reports. The names of the original
exiles (described as 14 "masters" and 2 servants) are printed in
italics, and after each of these is placed in heavier type the number
which they bear on the pension-roll. The names of those who
subsequently settled or were born in the island are printed in
ordinary type. To the names of all alike ordinal numbers are prefixed.

[page 384]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in
1884. Remarks.
1. Subh-i-Ezel 1. Head. 56
2. Fátima. 9. Wife. -- Died, apparently soon after arrival.
3. Rukayya. 10. " 48 Appears also to bear the name of Badr-i-
Jihán, since a petition written in Greek to the Commissioner of
Famagusta on September 13th, 1886, is signed "[Greek text]." In this
petition the writer asks leave for herself and her two daughters
Tal'at and Safiyya to go to Constantinople. In reply she is informed
that only her husband [Subh-i-Ezel] is a State prisoner, and that she
is free to go where she pleases.
4. Núru'lláh -- Son. -- Was residing in Persia in 1889, and seems
never to have been included amongst the exiles (probably because he
parted from Subh-i-Ezel previously to 1868), as his name nowhere
appears. It is only from information given to Captain Young by Subh-i-
Ezel that his existence is known to me. He has thrice visited his
father in Cyprus, once before, and twice since the English occupation.
The last time is said to have been in 1878.


[page 385]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in
1884. Remarks.
5. Hádí. -- Son. -- Also lives in Persia. The first portion of
the preceding remarks applies to him also.
6. Ahmad. 2. Son. 31 Left for Constantinople on May 3rd 1884.
Seems to have visited his father since then.
7. 'Abdu'l-'Alí. 3. " 27 Resident in Famagusta. See Introduction.
8. Safiyya. 5. Daughter. 23 Named in some of the documents
"Rekié" (~~~) and "Refié" (~~~), but, as it would seem, incorrectly.
She went to Constantinople on September 21st 1886, married a man named
Hasan 'Abdu'r-Rahmán Efendí, and returned without her husband to
Cyprus on December 12th 1888.
9. Behjat Raf'at 6. " 22 Also called in some documents "Bákir,"
on which the following comment is made by the Local Commandant of
Police:- "Bákir" means in Turkish a virgin or girl. Subh-i-Ezel has no
daughter called Bákir."
10. Rizván 'Alí. 4. Son. 21 Resident in Famagusta. See
Introduction.
11. Tal'at 7. Daughter. 20 Accompanied her sister Safiyya to
Constantinople, and returned thence with her (see above). Described as
"either a widow, or left by her husband."


[page 386]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in
1884. Remarks.
12. Fátima. 8. Daughter. -- Died on August 29th 1871.
13. Muhammad. -- Son. 17 Though the names of these occur on
nearly all the lists, I could discover no
14. Fu'ád. -- " 15 other trace of their existence.
15. 'Abdu'l-Wahíd -- " 13 Called in some of the documents 'Abdu'r-
Rashíd.
16. Maryam. -- Daughter. 11
17. Takiyyu'd-Dín -- Son. 8 Called in some of the documents
Ziyá'u'd-Dín. >From an undated Turkish document preserved at Famagusta
it appears that the last three are the children of Badr-i-Jihán (see
No. 3 supra). From this document the following particulars are also
derived.
18. Fátima. -- Daughter-in-law. 21 Wife of Ahmad (see No. 6
supra).
19. 'Ádila. -- Grand-daughter 4 Daughter of Ahmad and Fátima.
20. Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh, of Kára-Bágh 11. Head. See p. 380 supra.
Died August 4th 1871. See pp. 380-381 supra, and note 2 on former.


[page 387]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in
1884. Remarks.
21. Fátima. -- Wife. 47 After the death of Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh.
married Mushkín Kalam, and was with him at Nicosia in 1884. It does
not appear that she accompanied him to Acre in 1886.
22. Jalálu'd-Dín. -- Son. 25 Was employed as Land Registry clerk
at Kyrenia in 1889.
23. Jamálu'd-Dín. " 23 Was employed as a trooper in the Cyprus
Military Police in 1889.
24. Kamálu'd-Dín. " 21 Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh's family are
described as having arrived "from Babylon" in a
25. Jamáliyya. -- Daughter. 16 state of destitution. No allowance
seems
26. Rukayya. -- Servant. 47 to have been made to them till two
years after his death, i.e. in October 1873. This allowance was
stopped in the case of the sons on April 1st 1884, but the allowance
to the widow and daughter was continued, and thus went to increase
Mushkín Kalam's pension, which, in 1884-5, amounted to £58.17.0. As
the estimates for 1889-90 still shew a sum of £20.13.0 payable to
Mushkín Kalam's family, and as he lost his pension on leaving Cyprus
for Acre in September 1886, while his sons' pensions ceased in 1884,
it would appear certain that Fátima, Jamáliyya, and the servant
Rukayya. remained in Cyprus.


[page 388]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in
1884. Remarks.
27. Mushkín-Kalam, of Khurásán. 12. Head. -- From the colophon of
a MS. transcribed by Mushkín Kalam and presented by him to Mr Cobham
on his departure for Acre, it appears that in the year [A.H. 12]91
(=A.D. 1874) he was still, to use his own phrase, "imprisoned for the
love of God" (~~~) at Famagusta. He subsequently went to Nicosia, and
thence to Larnaca, where he was in 1884. His final departure from
Cyprus is notified by Mr Cobham in a letter dated September 18th
1886:- "The Persian heresiarch and calligraphist Mushkín Kalam left
Cyprus for St. Jean d'Acre on the night of Tuesday September 14-15,
renouncing his pittances and the protection of the Island Government.
He found an unwonted opportunity in a Syrian vessel going direct to
Acre, the head quarters of the Báb [sc Behá'u'lláh]... I am extremely
sorry to lose him as a Persian munshí." He was still in April 1890 at
Acre, where I met him (see Introduction).
28. (Name not given). -- Servant. After his marriage with
Sheykh 'Alí Sayyáh's widow, Mushkín Kalam obtained


[page 389]

Order. Name. Original number. Relation to head of family. Age in
1884. Remarks.
possession of both the servants allotted to the exiles. "It is
not clear," observes the Receiver General, "why Mushkín Kalam should
have both the servants, but Government need not, I think, object to
the arrangement if Subh-i-Ezel consents, which I doubt his doing."
29. 'Abdu'l-Ghaffár. 13. Head. -- Escaped from Cyprus on
September 29th 1870, during the fair held at Famagusta, in company
with two other prisoners. According to Subh-i-Ezel he went to Acre,
but, though a Behá'í, was somewhat coldly received. He subsequently
settled in Beyrout and changed his name.
30. Muhammad Bákir, of Isfahán. 14. Head. -- Died at an advanced
age on November 22nd 1872.
[page 390]
303
2008-06-26 09:47:41 UTC
Permalink
http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/diglib/books/K-O/N/Succeseur/Succeseur.htm
PaulHammond
2008-06-26 14:39:40 UTC
Permalink
"In my opinion it is proved beyond all doubt that the Báb ere his
death
chose him as his successor, duly appointing him as such by the form
of
words which I published at pp. 996-997 of my second paper on the
Bábís
in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, and that during the period which elapsed
from the Báb's death till the advancement of Behá'u'lláh's claim to
be
"Him whom God shall manifest" (i.e. from 1850 to 1864 at any rate) he
was recognized by all the Bábís as their spiritual chief. Even now
the
number of his followers, though small in comparison to that of the
Behá'ís, is considerable"

---

This appears to contradict what you earlier said to Viv, when she
mentioned that the majority of Babis eventually became Baha'is.

Browne appears to note this as a fact, while lamenting that it makes
it harder to study the religion of the Bab in its original, rather
than modified form.

ANyway, why is this reproduced under a heading about the murder of
some of Azal's followers? All of this material appears to be related
to the successorship claims of Azal, which I believe the Baha'is do
not dispute.

The Baha'is don't argue that Baha'u'llah was appointed by the Bab as
his successor. They argue that he was appointed by God, and that his
status as "Him Whom God Will Make Manifest" supersedes any mere
temporal appointments made by the Bab.

Paul
303
2008-06-27 03:23:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by PaulHammond
"In my opinion it is proved beyond all doubt that the Báb ere his
death
chose him as his successor, duly appointing him as such by the form of
words which I published at pp. 996-997 of my second paper on the Bábís
in the J. R. A. S. for 1889, and that during the period which elapsed
from the Báb's death till the advancement of Behá'u'lláh's claim to be
"Him whom God shall manifest" (i.e. from 1850 to 1864 at any rate) he
was recognized by all the Bábís as their spiritual chief. Even now the
number of his followers, though small in comparison to that of the
Behá'ís, is considerable"
---
This appears to contradict what you earlier said to Viv, when she
mentioned that the majority of Babis eventually became Baha'is.
Not exactly. E.G. Browne provided no more evidence for what he said
other than on the say-so of the Bahais who were in contact with him
and providing him with misinformation, which he acknowledged as being
such elsewhere. Yet you scumbags have yet to ever produce a shred of
actual documentary evidence as to who these original Babis were who
all became Bahais. Nada! None of the original Babi hierarchy who had
remained by the late 1860s became Bahais. All of them were murdered.
All you had were a few common ruffians and a few opportunists like
Nabil Akhras Zarandi, Zayn'ul-Muqarribin and the like, who were
complete nobodies in the period under question.
Post by PaulHammond
The Baha'is don't argue that Baha'u'llah was appointed by the Bab as
his successor. They argue that he was appointed by God, and that his
status as "Him Whom God Will Make Manifest" supersedes any mere
temporal appointments made by the Bab.
Husayn-Ali's claim was bogus per the very appointment by the Primal
Point of a successor. The stupidity of such a position held by you
sectarian cultists was summarized by Browne in the English notes of
his Nuqtat'ul-Kaf and by others as well, not to mention the testimony
of the Persian Bayan itself which confutes you cultists and which you
have deliberately withheld from diffusing.

W

PaulHammond
2008-06-26 14:20:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by 303
It has been said that these assassinations were
the work of the too-zealous followers of Baha, and that he was not
himself responsible. However this may be, could one who possessed the
divine knowledge and power to influence men which Baha claimed to
have, been able to prevent such acts on the part of his intimate
disciples?
William McElwee Miller, THE BAHA'I FAITH: ITS HISTORY AND TEACHINGS,
1974, pp.100-01.
Wow! Is THIS the best you can do for making a case that Baha'u'llah
directly ordered the murder of Azalis?

You quote a hostile CHristian hack-job like Miller, and even HE won't
play fast and loose enough with the facts to state the allegation
directly!

The best he can do is a mealy-mouthed "if he really knows everything,
he must have known this" sort of non-argument.

This sounds exactly like something we studied at school, about making
allegations without ever actually saying anything.

Pathetic, Nima - truly pathetic.
303
2008-06-27 03:14:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by PaulHammond
Post by 303
It has been said that these assassinations were
the work of the too-zealous followers of Baha, and that he was not
himself responsible. However this may be, could one who possessed the
divine knowledge and power to influence men which Baha claimed to
have, been able to prevent such acts on the part of his intimate
disciples?
William McElwee Miller, THE BAHA'I FAITH: ITS HISTORY AND TEACHINGS,
1974, pp.100-01.
Wow! Is THIS the best you can do for making a case that Baha'u'llah
directly ordered the murder of Azalis?
<Hammond's sectarian sensitivities ignition snip>

Obviously you need glasses and a new brain, since there are 4 more
follow-ups on the thread plus links irrefutably showing the evidence
together with scans of prima facie documentation.

W
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...