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3 interviews that left Vahid 'speechless with wonder'

"This remarkable man, this precious soul, had committed to memory no less than 30,000 traditions, and was highly esteemed and admired by all classes of people. He had achieved universal renown in Persia, and his authority and erudition were widely and fully recognised."

This was how 'Abdu'l-Bahá referred to Siyyid Yahyá Dárábí, surnamed Vahíd Akbar.

Muhammad Shah
Muhammad Shah: He sent Siyyid Yahya Darabi to interview the Bab.

Muhammad Sháh was extremely devoted to him and trusted his judgment explicitly. He sent Siyyid Yahyá Dárábí to interview the Báb and to report to him the results of his investigations.

On his journey to Shiraz, as he passed through towns, he announced: "An illustrious Siyyid in Shiráz has declared Himself to be the Promised Qá'im and I am charged to proceed there and meet with Him.

"If in my judgment, I find Him to be an impostor, with this sword shall I deal with Him; and if I judge Him to be of the truthful, in his path I shall wage jihád."

On arrival in Shiraz, Vahíd was able to attain the presence of the Báb in the house of His uncle, Hájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Alí.

For about two hours he directed the attention of the Báb to the most abstruse and bewildering themes in the metaphysical teachings of Islam, to the obscurest passages of the Qur'án, and to the mysterious traditions and prophecies of the imams of the Faith.

The Báb at first listened to his learned references to the law and prophecies of Islam, noted all his questions and began to give to each a brief but persuasive reply. The conciseness and lucidity of His answers excited the wonder and admiration of Siyyid Yahyá. He was overpowered by a sense of humiliation at his own presumptuousness and pride. Mullá 'Abdu'r-Rahím Qazvíní states that in the course of his first visit to the Báb, Vahíd asked for the demonstration of the secret of alchemy as a sign of his greatness. The Báb at first ignored his request.

This grieved Vahíd and he thought that if indeed the Báb was the bearer of a true mission from God, He must, therefore, of necessity possess all knowledge, and as a such, if he failed to produce evidence of alchemy, then his claim could under no circumstances be considered true.

These thoughts were on his mind when, during the course of the second I interview, another visitor, who had brought as gift some fresh grapes for the Báb, entered the room. At the Báb's placed bidding, the grapes were placed on a tray and set in the middle of the room. The young claimant invited his guest to partake of the grapes and after Vahíd had done so, the Báb instructed him to rub a grapevine against the copper tray where the grapes were placed. To Vahíd's utter astonishment, upon being touched by the vines, the tray turned into purest gold.

The Báb then remarked:

"The purpose of God is not to turn copper into gold but rather through the divine elixir and knowledge to turn the hearts of men to gold."

In the course of his second interview, Vahíd, to his amazement, discovered that all the questions which he had intended to submit to the Báb had vanished from his memory. He contented himself with matters that seemed irrelevant to the object of his inquiry. He soon found, to his still greater surprise, that the Báb was answering those same questions which he had momentarily forgotten. He was doing so with the same lucidity and conciseness that had characterised His previous replies. "I resolved that in my third interview with the Báb I would in my inmost heart request Him to reveal for me a commentary on the Súrih of Kawthar," Vahid said. "I determined not to breathe that request in His presence." "Seek from Me," the Báb said, "whatever is your heart's desire. I will readily reveal it to you."

"I was speechless with wonder. Like a babe that can neither understand nor speak, I felt powerless to respond. He smiled as He gazed at me and said: 'Were I to reveal for you the commentary on the Surih of Kawthar, would you acknowledge that My words are born of the Spirit of God? Would you recognise that My utterance can in no wise be associated with sorcery or magic?" Tears flowed from my eyes as I heard Him speak these words. All I was able to utter was this verse of the Qur'án:

"O our Lord, with ourselves have we dealt unjustly: if Thou forgive us not and have not pity on us, we shall surely be of those who perish."

The Báb then requested that His pen case and paper be brought and He started to reveal His commentary on the Súrih of Kawthar.

"How am I to describe this scene of inexpressible majesty?" Vahid asked afterwards. "Verses streamed from His pen with a rapidity that was truly astounding. The incredible swiftness of His writing, the soft and gentle murmur of His voice and the stupendous force of His style amazed and bewildered me."

The Báb revealed the commentary from early afternoon until almost sunset. Then he asked for tea and without stopping soon after began to read the commentary aloud in Vahid's presence.

"My heart leaped madly as I heard Him pour out, in accents of unutterable sweetness, those treasures enshrined in that sublime commentary,"

Vahid said. "I was so entranced by its beauty that three tìmes over I was on the verge of fainting.

"He sought to revive my failing strength with a few drops of rosewater which He caused to be sprinkled on my face. This restored my vigour and enabled me to follow His reading to the end.

"Such was the state of certitude to which I had attained that if all the powers of the earth were to be leagued against me, they would be powerless to shake my confidence in the greatness of His Cause." Shoghi Effendi says of Vahid:

"Broadminded, highly imaginative, zealous by nature, intimately associated with the court, he, in the course of three interviews, was completely won over by the arguments and personality of the Báb."

The source of information for this article: The Bábís of Nayriz, by Ahang Rabbani

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