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Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

The Story of Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq

Ibn-Asdaq, son of Mullá Sádiq
Ibn-Asdaq, son of Mullá Sádiq

Notable among the visitors was {to the house of 'Údí Khammár} Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání. 'Sádiq' meaning 'truthful', Bahá'u'lláh entitled him Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq (the Name of God, the Most Truthful). As we shall see, he was instrumental in confirming the first Jewish convert to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.

It was Bahá'u'lláh who, unasked, had sent a Tablet to Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq in Khurásán and invited him to travel to 'Akká for the purpose of attaining His presence. He was one of the most outstanding and devoted believers in this Dispensation. He was a man of learning. Prior to his conversion to the Faith of the Báb he had been a Muslim divine esteemed for his uprightness and dignity, and renowned throughout the province of Khurásán for his piety and truthfulness. A Shaykhí, he had had the unique privilege of meeting the Báb several times in the city of Karbilá prior to His declaration. He had been deeply impressed by the radiance and gentleness mingled with majesty which the youthful Báb evinced as He prayed most tearfully at the Shrine of Imám Husayn. Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq is reported to have exclaimed when his eyes first fell on Him, 'Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!' He had become a devoted admirer of that Youth while in Karbilá, in spite of the fact that the Ismu'lláh was a learned divine, one who was held in high esteem by the people, while the Báb was a youth with little education. He had also witnessed the extraordinary reverence shown to that Youth by Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí, the celebrated leader of the Shaykhí community, who knew that He was none other than the Qá'im Himself, the Promised One of Islám.

Soon after the Declaration of the Báb in 1844, when Mullá Husayn was on his way to Tihrán, he met Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq in the city of Isfahán, informed him of the advent of the Báb and gave him some of His Writings to read. Upon reading a few pages he became an ardent believer. But Mullá Husayn, as bidden by the Báb, was not allowed to reveal the identity of the Báb as yet.

In his narratives, Nabíl-i-A'zam records the circumstances in which the Ismu'lláh became an ardent believer:

Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání, formerly known as Muqaddas, and surnamed by Bahá'u'lláh, Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq, who according to the instructions of Siyyid Kázim, had during the last five years been residing in Isfahán and had been preparing the way for the advent of the new Revelation, was also among the first believers who identified themselves with the Message proclaimed by the Báb. As soon as he learned of the arrival of Mullá Husayn in Isfahán, he hastened to meet him. He gives the following account of his first interview, which took place at night in the home of Mírzá Muhammad-'Alíy-i-Nahrí: 'I asked Mullá Husayn to divulge the name of Him who claimed to be the promised Manifestation. He replied, "To enquire about that name and to divulge it are alike forbidden." "Would it, then, be possible," I asked, "for me, even as the Letters of the Living, to seek independently the grace of the All-Merciful and, through prayer, to discover His identity?" "The door of His grace," he replied, "is never closed before the face of him who seeks to find Him." I immediately retired from his presence, and requested his host to allow me the privacy of a room in his house where, alone and undisturbed, I could commune with God. In the midst of my contemplation, I suddenly remembered the face of a Youth whom I had often observed while in Karbilá, standing in an attitude of prayer, with His face bathed in tears at the entrance of the shrine of Imám Husayn. That same countenance now reappeared before my eyes. In my vision I seemed to behold that same face, those same features, expressive of such joy as I could never describe. He smiled as He gazed at me. I went towards Him, ready to throw myself at His feet. I was bending towards the ground, when, lo! that radiant figure vanished from before me. Overpowered with joy and gladness, I ran out to meet Mullá Husayn, who with transport received me and assured me that I had, at last, attained the object of my desire. He bade me, however, repress my feelings. "Declare not your vision to anyone," he urged me; "the time for it has not yet arrived. You have reaped the fruit of your patient waiting in Isfahán. You should now proceed to Kirmán, and there acquaint Hájí Mírzá Karím Khán with this Message. From that place you should travel to Shíráz and endeavour to rouse the people of that city from their heedlessness. I hope to join you in Shíráz and share with you the blessings of a joyous reunion with our Beloved."' (The Dawn-Breakers, pp. 100-101.)

Soon after he embraced the Faith of the Báb, persecutions and sufferings descended upon the Ismu'lláh and he bore them with exemplary patience and joy. He was one of the three believers who were severely tortured for the first time in the history of the Faith in Persia. The other two were Quddús and Mullá 'Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání. The scene of these harrowing persecutions was the city of Shíráz. Nabíl recounts the following story concerning Ismu'lláhu'l-Asdaq, whom he refers to as Mullá Sádiq:

An eye-witness of this revolting episode, an unbeliever residing in Shíráz, related to me the following: 'I was present when Mullá Sádiq was being scourged. I watched his persecutors each in turn apply the lash to his bleeding shoulders, and continue the strokes until he became exhausted. No one believed that Mullá Sádiq, so advanced in age and so frail in body, could possibly survive fifty such savage strokes. We marvelled at his fortitude when we found that, although the number of the strokes of the scourge he had received had already exceeded nine hundred, his face still retained its original serenity and calm. A smile was upon his face, as he held his hand before his mouth. He seemed utterly indifferent to the blows that were being showered upon him. When he was being expelled from the city, I succeeded in approaching him, and asked him why he held his hand before his mouth. I expressed surprise at the smile upon his countenance. He emphatically replied: "The first seven strokes were severely painful; to the rest I seemed to have grown indifferent. I was wondering whether the strokes that followed were being actually applied to my own body. A feeling of joyous exultation had invaded my soul. I was trying to repress my feelings and to restrain my laughter. I can now realise how the almighty Deliverer is able, in the twinkling of an eye, to turn pain into ease, and sorrow into gladness. Immensely exalted is His power above and beyond the idle fancy of His mortal creatures."' Mullá Sádiq, whom I met years after, confirmed every detail of this moving episode. (The Dawn-Breakers. pp. 147-8)

Excerpt from the The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 3, by Adib Taherzadeh



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