A remarkable episode in Yazd: Bahá’u’lláh


Dhabihu’llah Mahrami died in a prison cell in Yazd, Iran on December 15, 2005, where he had been held in jail for 10 years solely because he was a follower of Bahá’u’lláh.  The causes of his death are not clear. He was named a martyr by the Universal House of Justice. Photo and information courtesy of http://www.bahai.us/.






 Bahá’ís do not disbelieve in accounts of miracles found in the holy texts of other religions or in the ability of a Manifestation of God to perform them, although some of these accounts are actually symbolic expressions or metaphors for important spiritual occurrences.  After all, who can find them convincing or persuasive other than eye witnesses? And what do they have to do with a Manifestation’s divine mission? Even Pharoah’s priests were able to turn staffs into serpents in the presence of Moses, so apparently this power is not confined to God’s Messengers. As a result, Bahá’ís pay little attention to the personal accounts of believers or others of miracles by the Báb or Bahá’u’lláh.  They are given no special attention in our literature, but they are there.  


The martyrs of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh are not alone at the time of their martyrdom. Here is a remarkable story of  Bahá’u’lláh being physically present in two places at the same time – Akká and Yazd. Yazd has been the scene of much barbaric cruelty toward Bábís and Bahá’ís for over 160 years. The episode is the martyrdom of seven Bahá’ís in Yazd in 1891.  It is told by Adib Taherzadeh in The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Vol III.


But thousands of men and women who went to the field of martyrdom and joyously laid down their lives in the path of God must have experienced the presence of Bahá’u’lláh so vividly and with such real feeling that the giving of life became a joy instead of torture. To cite an example, the following is a story which Haji Muhammad-Tahir-i-Malmiri has recounted about Mirza Aqay-i-Halabi Saz who was a devoted believer and had had the privilege of attaining the presence of Bahá’u’lláh. He was a tinsmith and had a shop in one of the bazaars of Yazd. In 1891, seven Bahá’ís were put to death by the order of Mahmud Mirza, the Jalalu’d-Dawlih, the Governor of Yazd. They are known as the first seven martyrs of Yazd, the story of whose martyrdom Bahá’u’lláh wrote to The Times of London. The seven were chained together and conducted towards the bazaar amid scenes of jubilation, and at each major crossroads one of them was executed in a most barbaric fashion. The other believers who were shopkeepers or merchants were ordered to stay at their premises and were forced to join others in decorating their shops to celebrate the event.

Haji Mirza was sitting in his shop, his heart filled with grief owing to the tragic turn of events. Then came the tense moment when the few remaining of the seven, chained together, passed in front of his shop. The next junction where one of them was to be beheaded was not far away and could be easily sighted. Haji Muhammad-Tahir-i-Malmiri has recounted that Haji Mirza used to tell the believers in Yazd of his unusual experience on that occasion. He saw to his great surprise that Bahá’u’lláh Himself passed in front of his shop only a few hundred paces behind the martyrs-to-be and was walking quickly in order to reach them. Haji Mirza immediately stepped out of his shop to follow Bahá’u’lláh, who signalled him with the movement of His hand that he should return to the shop. From there, Haji Mirza looked out and saw that Bahá’u’lláh reached the party at the junction and at that very moment the executioner removed the chain from one man and executed him.

Of course, Haji Mirza knew that Bahá’u’lláh was in ‘Akká and not in Yazd, but he had no doubt that it was Bahá’u’lláh whom he saw in the bazaar. From this amazing vision he realized that the martyrs were not alone at the time of martyrdom, that their unparalleled courage and heroism was not entirely due to themselves, that Bahá’u’lláh strengthened them with His unfailing power and that those who had reached the pinnacle of faith and assurance were bound to feel the  presence of Bahá’u’lláh at their side. It is interesting to note that some years later, Haji Mirza himself was martyred in Yazd.

What Haji Mirza witnessed in the bazaar, although there is no way of proving it, was not mere imagination. The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh is not a man-made, man-inspired cult. Any cult which the minds of men have created can only be expressed within the bounds of man’s experience by virtue of its limitations. On the contrary, the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh has originated from God, it has released unimaginable potentialities, both material and spiritual, within human society and like other religions it has brought forth mysteries which human beings can in no wise fathom. The history of the Faith shows episodes similar to that experienced by Haji Mirza.


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1 Comment(s)

  1. On Feb 10, 2013, Shahram Moosavi said:

    Beautiful story. I believe the story because I myself have had an experience with Abdul-Baha and only me and my brother both can attest to this since no one else but us were around.
    Thank you

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