18 Letters of the Living

Updated: 5 days ago

The First 18 Believers of the Bab

Between May and July 1844, eighteen men and woman became the first followers of the Báb. Each found him with out guidance and on their own accord. Ever wonder who they were and what happened to them? Here is a short summary of each:


Mulla Husayn

Mulla Husayn was the first Letter of the Living and was given the title ‘Babu’l-Bab’ which means Gate of the Gate, by the Bab. He is one of the three best known Letters of the Living and was martyred on the 2nd of February, 1849 at the age of 35 at the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi. He became a Disciple of Siyyid Kazim at the age of 18 and shortly after Siyyid Kazim’s passing her went to Shiraz to search for the “Promised One.” On the 22nd of May, 1844 he met the Bab in Shiraz and during an interview at the Bab’s house, the Bab declared that he was the “Promised One” he had been searching for.


Muhammad-Hasan Bushru’i

Muhammad-Hasan Bushru’i was the second Letter of the Living and was the brother of Mulla Husayn. He passed away at the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi and Babis consider him a martyr.


Muhammad-Baqir Bushru’i

Muhammad-Baqir Bushru’i was the third Letter of the Living and the nephew of Mulla Husayn and the son of Muhammad-Hasan Bushru’i. He was killed at the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi and Babis consider him a martyr.


Mulla ‘Ali Bastami

Mulla ‘Ali Bastami was the fourth Letter of the Living. He was also the first Babi Martyr.

Mulla Khuda-Bakhsh Quchani was the fifth Letter of the Living and was later named Mulla ‘Ali Razi. He returned to Karbala from Shiraz and didn’t actively participate in the Babi community. He died a natural death and his son Mashiyyatu’llah, was martyred in his youth.


Mulla Hasan Bajistani

Mulla Hasan Bajistani was the sixth Letter of the Living. He didn’t play a significant role as a Babi and talked about his doubts of the Bab’s message whilst in a meeting with Baha’u’llah.

Siyyid Husayn Yazdi was the seventh Letter of the Living and was known as the Bab’s amanuensis. He was imprisoned in Maku and Chihriq with the Bab. He was the secretary that the Bab had spoken to before being taken away to be shot. Siyyid Husayn Yazdi was executed in Tehran in 1852 in the aftermath of an attempted murder of the Shah.


Mulla Muhammad Rawdih-Khan Yazdi

Mulla Muhammad Rawdih-Khan Yazdi (or Dhakir-i-Masa’ib) was the eighth Letter of the Living. He returned to Yazd from Shiraz and because of the persecution of the Babis, he didn’t reveal his beliefs but taught the Babi faith secretly until his death.


Sa’id Hindi

Sa’id Hindi was the ninth Letter of the Living and was from Multan, a place in (present-day) Pakistan. He was one of the students of Siyyid Kazim Rashti in Iraq and het met the Bab after he had declared his mission in 1844. After meeting the Bab, he was sent to India to announce the faith.


Mulla Mahmud Khu’i

Mulla Mahmud Khu’i was the tenth Letter of the Living and was killed at the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi.


Mulla Jalil Urumi

Mulla (‘Abdu’l-)Jalil Urumi (Urdubadi) was the eleventh Letter of the Living and was killed at the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi.


Mulla Ahmad-i-Ibdal Maraghi’i

Mulla Ahmad-i-Ibdal Maraghi’i was the twelfth Letter of the Living and was killed at the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi.


Mulla Baqir Tabrizi

Mulla Baqir Tabrizi was the thirteenth Letter of the Living and survived all of the other Letters of Living. He was the only one to embrace the Cause of Baha’u’llah and remain devoted and loyal. He went with Baha’u’llah to the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi and was at the Conference of Badasht. He received a letter from the Bab saying he would attain ‘Him whom God shall make manifest. Quickly after meeting Baha’u’llah, he had become a devoted believer and teacher of the Baha’i faith and mostly taught in Adhirbayjan. He passed away in Istanbul around 1881.


Mulla Yusuf Ardibili

Mulla Yusuf Ardibili was the fourteenth Letter of the Living and was killed in the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi. Babis consider him a martyr.


Mulla Hadi Qazvini

Mulla Hadi Qazvini was the fifteenth Letter of the Living and actively distanced himself from the Babis. He is a very controversial Letter of the Living and to this day it’s still debated if he truly was one. After the Bab’s death he became a devout Azali and was kicked out of the community by Baha’u’llah.


Mulla Muhammad- ‘Ali Qazvini

Mulla Muhammad- ‘Ali Qazvini was the sixteenth Letter of the Living and Tahirih’s brother-in-law. He was killed at Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi.


Tahirih

Tahirih was the seventeenth Letter of the Living and her birth name was Fatemeh Baraghani. She was born in 1817 in Qazvin, Iran and was martyred in the September of 1852 in the Ilkani Garden. Her last words were “you can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.” She is one of the three best known Letters of the Living. She is usually singled out as not only the only female Letter of the Living, but she recognized the Bab without even meeting him. She had sent a letter of belief through her brother-in-law and was certain he would find the Bab. She was the woman who threw aside her veil at the Conference of Badasht and proclaimed the New Day. She was considered a child prodigy and was considered equally intelligent and beautiful. She was highly esteemed, even by the most arrogant of noblemen in Iran.


Learn More about Tahirih >


Quddus

Quddus was the eighteenth and last Letter of the Living and his birth name was Mulla Muhammad ‘Ali-i-Barfurushi. He was born in 1820 and martyred on the 16th of May, 1849. He is one of the three best known Letters of the Living. He was picked by the Bab to go with him on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. He was the cousin of Mulla Husayn (the first Letter of the Living.) He attended the Conference of Badasht and had joined the Babis in the Battle of Fort Shaykh Tabarsi. He was handed over to an angry mob and in regards to this event Nabil said: “By the testimony of Baha’u’llah, that heroic youth, who was still on the threshold of his life, was subjected to such tortures and suffered such a death as even Jesus had not faced in the hour of His greatest agony.”

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