Friday, July 21, 2017

Who was responsible for Baha'u'llah's sufferings (2) !?

In July of 1850 the Bab was executed by the Iranian government. Thereafter a number of important Babis put forth extravagant claims, including, in 1851, Sayyid Basir-i Hindi of Multan. Baha'u'llah challenged Sayyid Basir, and asserted his own divinity instead (many Babi leaders of the time represented themselves as participating in a pleroma of divine manifestation, similar in some ways to that claimed by Sufis or mystics). In June, 1851, the vizier put pressure on Baha'u'llah to leave the country, which suggests that the government had by that time infiltrated the Babis and discovered who the community's real leader was. Baha'u'llah went to the shrine city of Karbala in Iraq, the site of the tomb of the Imam Husayn, where a small but active Babi group existed. He found that it was led by a Sayyid `Uluvv, who had made claims to being God incarnate. Baha'u'llah faced the man down and convinced him to retract those claims. On the other hand, during his stay in Karbala between August 1851 and March 1852, Baha'u'llah told some of his close companions that he was himself the return of the Imam Husayn, whose return Shi`ites expected after the advent of the Qa'im or Mahdi. During Baha'u'llah's absence, the more radical leaders of the Babi community in Tihran, such as Azim and Azal, plotted the assassination of Nasiru'd-Din Shah in retaliation for his execution of the Bab. In the meantime, a new vizier had come to power, Mirza Aqa Khan of Nur, a cousin of Baha'u'llah, and he called Baha'u'llah back to the capital. There was some expectation of better relations between the government and the Babis.

On his arrival, however, Baha'u'llah discovered the assassination plot, and denounced it. The plot was carried out on August 15, 1852, by some young fanatics, but failed when the pistol misfired. Baha'u'llah was staying with his brother-in-law, a secretary to the Russian ambassador. The shah demanded that the Russian legation allow Baha'u'llah to be surrendered to the government, but the Russians handed him over to the vizier, Aqa Khan Nuri, who was sympathetic to him. The vizier found it impossible to protect Baha'u'llah when anti-Babi riots broke out in Tihran, and Baha'u'llah was arrested and made to walk in chains to the Siyah-Chal, the Black Pit dungeon. The vizier, furious, offered his resignation over Baha'u'llah's false arrest. During his imprisonment in the filthy, disease-ridden dungeon Baha'u'llah saw several Babi friends executed and suffered horribly. He underwent mystical experiences, feeling energy wash over his body from the crown of his head, and saw a visions that encouraged him to arise to reform the Babi community (Nabil's Narrative, 595-650).

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