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Holy Day Program - Martyrdom of the Bab

A collection of stories to commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab

The Bab and his uncle set out for Bushihr at this time to engage in some commerce… I cannot remember now how long the Bab’s trip lasted. While he was in Bushihr I dreamt that it was our wedding night and that I was sitting in His presence. He was wearing a green cloak around which there was writing. Within those writings, verses from the Qur’an were inscribed. One of the verses was Ayatu’l-nur (the Verse of Light), and light emanated from His person. The intensity of my happiness at seeing Him in this state woke me up. After this dream, I felt assured that He was a great personage and a great love for Him filled my heart. Yet I could not confide these thoughts to anyone. He returned from Bushihr after some time, and His uncle arranged the wedding ceremony. So, the marriage took place in 1842. And still I found myself completely detached from material things and my heart attracted only by Him. I could see by His behaviour, His words, His tranquillity, and dignity that He was a great person. But I never imagined that He was the Promised Qa’im…

- Khadijih Bagum


 

The sun was setting…when the Countenace of the Peerless Beloved illumined His home with the light of His effulgent Face. According to the usual custom, tea was served in the chamber of His mother and the dinner table was set. That night His blessed Person was not hungry but accompanied others and had a little food, then He went to bed.

Around midnight His wife noticed His absence. She became worried and searched the courtyard of the House and the room of His mother, but did not find Him anywhere. As she was not yet aware of His inner heart’s secret, her anxiety heightened with the passing of every second. She involuntarily climbed up the staircase and, lo and behold, she saw the upper chamber of the House immersed in light. What was the source of all this light, and where had the lamps come from, she asked herself. But this was not tangible light; it was divine light, and she did not see it with her outward eyes but with her inner sight.


She proceeded towards the guest room. There she saw that world-illuminating Sun and light-shedding Moon standing in the middle of the room with His hands raised heavenward. While her eyes were fixed upon the dazzling light emanating from His Being, a feeling of awe and fright came over her. She wanted to return but was unable to move. Her awe grew to such intensity that she felt stupefied. At this point His Blessed Person relieved her of her bewilderment. By uttering the words ‘go back’ He gave her new life and revived her faculties. She returned to bed but could not sleep. She communed with the Almighty saying ‘O my God, what power and grandeur! What greatness and glory! What is the wisdom in your revealing to me that effulgent Sun? Is He my Siyyid Ali-Muhammad? Will I hence-forth be able to live with that luminous Sun? Nay, nay, the rays of this Resplendent Sun will consume me, and will reduce me to ashes. I possess not the power to withstand it.’

Her thoughts were all night revolving around this episode until she heard the voice of the mu’adhdhin from the adjacent mosque. At that time the Immaculate Being descended the steps. His esteemed wife, who had beheld the majesty and greatness of her glorious husband, was trembling as she thought of meeting Him face to face, and tried to conceal herself. When the breakfast table was spread and she went, according to the usual practice, to the room of His mother, she was still trembling, and would not lift her head, The Exalted Being poured tea and offered it to her. He enquired, ‘What is the matter with you?’ She replied, ‘What was the condition I saw you in?’ The Tongue of Grandeur uttered such words that caused her anxiety to vanish, and confirmed her in what she had seen. He spoke words such as these: ‘Know thou that the Almighty God is manifested in ME, I am the One whose advent the people of Islam have expected for over a thousand years. God has created Me for a great Cause, and you witnessed the divine revelation. Although I had not wished that you see Me in that state, yet God had so willed that there may not be any place in your heart for doubt and hesitation.’


 

What an extraordinary night that was! The Bab said to me: ‘Tonight we will entertain a dear guest.’ His whole being was ablaze. I was most eager to hear what He had to say, but He turned to me and told me: ‘It is better if you go and sleep.’ I did not wish to disobey Him, but I remained awake all night and could hear His blessed voice until the morning, conversing with the Babu’l-Bab, chanting verses, and presenting proofs and arguments.

Every day, from then on, the Bab entertained an unknown guest and they would converse in the same way.

- Khadijih Bagum



One night [23 September 1846] we were asleep. Suddenly, the chief of police, the accursed ‘Abdu’l-Hamid Khan, entered with his men through the roof of the house and seized the Bab, who was clad only in a thin robe. They took Him away without any explanation. I never saw Him again. I cannot describe the terrible trials, ordeal, and difficulties that occurred after this. I did not see even one of His friends or followers after his arrest. The doors were shut on all sides, and communications were cut off completely.

- Khadijih Bagum



The Orange Tree

The Bab lived in a city called Shiraz. Shiraz at the time was a very big city in Iran and still is now. The Bab had a beautiful home, in the middle of the cream-coloured house was a lovely courtyard. Inside the courtyard was a tall orange tree with lush green leaves that glistened every morning. Besides the orange lay a rectangular pond that was filled with still, blue water.

Baha’is have gone on pilgrimage to the Bab’s house to pray and show their respect. When they went to see The Bab’s orange tree, they would pick up the oranges from the ground and either eat them or use the seeds to plant their own orange trees.


Baha’is visited this beautiful home often and enjoyed it greatly. But the government feared the Baha’is and wanted to upset them. So, the government destroyed The Bab’s home. Baha’is of course were devasted by this, so decades later when the shrine of the Bab was completed and its terraces built, they planted two orange trees on the terrace in front of the shrine. The orange trees were grown from the seeds of an orange tree from the Babs courtyard. So now when you visit the Shrine of The Bab you will know why there are orange trees and why they are so beautiful.


Tablet of Visitation

The praise which hath dawned from Thy most august Self, and the glory which hath shone forth from Thy most effulgent Beauty, rest upon Thee, O Thou Who art the Manifestation of Grandeur, and the King of Eternity, and the Lord of all who are in heaven and on earth! I testify that through Thee the sovereignty of God and His dominion, and the majesty of God and His grandeur, were revealed, and the Daystars of ancient splendour have shed their radiance in the heaven of Thine irrevocable decree, and the Beauty of the Unseen hath shone forth above the horizon of creation. I testify, moreover, that with but a movement of Thy Pen Thine injunction "Be Thou" hath been enforced, and God's hidden Secret hath been divulged, and all created things have been called into being, and all the Revelations have been sent down.

I bear witness, moreover, that through Thy beauty the beauty of the Adored One hath been unveiled, and through Thy face the face of the Desired One hath shone forth, and that through a word from Thee Thou hast decided between all created things, caused them who are devoted to Thee to ascend unto the summit of glory, and the infidels to fall into the lowest abyss.


I bear witness that he who hath known Thee hath known God, and he who hath attained unto Thy presence hath attained unto the presence of God. Great, therefore, is the blessedness of him who hath believed in Thee, and in Thy signs, and hath humbled himself before Thy sovereignty, and hath been honoured with meeting Thee, and hath attained the good pleasure of Thy will, and circled around Thee, and stood before Thy throne. Woe betide him that hath transgressed against Thee, and hath denied Thee, and repudiated Thy signs, and gainsaid Thy sovereignty, and risen up against Thee, and waxed proud before Thy face, and hath disputed Thy testimonies, and fled from Thy rule and Thy dominion, and been numbered with the infidels whose names have been inscribed by the fingers of Thy behest upon Thy holy Tablets.


Waft, then, unto me, O my God and my Beloved, from the right hand of Thy mercy and Thy loving-kindness, the holy breaths of Thy favours, that they may draw me away from myself and from the world unto the courts of Thy nearness and Thy presence. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. Thou, truly, hast been supreme over all things.


The remembrance of God and His praise, and the glory of God and His splendour, rest upon Thee, O Thou Who art His Beauty! I bear witness that the eye of creation hath never gazed upon one wronged like Thee. Thou wast immersed all the days of Thy life beneath an ocean of tribulations. At one time Thou wast in chains and fetters; at another Thou wast threatened by the sword of Thine enemies. Yet despite all this, Thou didst enjoin upon all men to observe what had been prescribed unto Thee by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.


May my spirit be a sacrifice to the wrongs Thou didst suffer, and my soul be a ransom for the adversities Thou didst sustain. I beseech God, by Thee and by them whose faces have been illumined with the splendours of the light of Thy countenance, and who, for love of Thee, have observed all whereunto they were bidden, to remove the veils that have come in between Thee and Thy creatures, and to supply me with the good of this world and the world to come. Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.


Bless Thou, O Lord my God, the Divine Lote-Tree and its leaves, and its boughs, and its branches, and its stems, and its offshoots, as long as Thy most excellent titles will endure and Thy most august attributes will last. Protect it, then, from the mischief of the aggressor and the hosts of tyranny. Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the Most Powerful. Bless Thou, also, O Lord my God, Thy servants and Thy handmaidens who have attained unto Thee, Thou, truly, art the All-Bountiful, Whose grace is infinite. No God is there save Thee, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous.


- Bahá'u'lláh

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