The Anniversary ofthe Martyrdom of the Bab


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Redlands, California
As we approach this Holy Day Thursady July 9th the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab it occurred to me to post some remembrances of it's signiifcance. Here is the writing of Shoghi Effendi about the Shrine of the Bab:

Within this Most Holy Land rises the Mountain of God of immemorial sanctity, the Vineyard of the Lord, the Retreat of Elijah, Whose return the Bab Himself symbolizes. Reposing on the breast of this holy mountain are the extensive properties permanently dedicated to, and constituting the sacred precincts of, the Báb's holy Sepulcher.

In the midst of these properties, recognized as the international endowments of the Faith, is situated the most holy court, an enclosure comprising gardens and terraces which at once embellish, and lend a peculiar charm to, these sacred precincts. Embosomed in these lovely and verdant surroundings stands in all its exquisite beauty the mausoleum of the Bab, the shell designed to preserve and adorn the original structure raised by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the tomb of the Martyr-Herald of our Faith.

Within this shell is enshrined that Pearl of Great Price, the holy of holies, those chambers which constitute the tomb itself, and which were constructed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Within the heart of this holy of holies is the tabernacle, the vault wherein reposes the most holy casket. Within this vault rests the alabaster sarcophagus in which is deposited that inestimable jewel, the Báb's holy dust.

So precious is this dust that the very earth surrounding the edifice enshrining this dust has been extolled by the Center of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant, in one of His Tablets in which He named the five doors belonging to the six chambers which He originally erected after five of the believers associated with the construction of the Shrine, as being endowed with such potency as to have inspired Him in bestowing these names, whilst the tomb itself housing this dust He acclaimed as the spot round which the Concourse on high circle in adoration.

~~~ Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, pp. 95-96
During His early years a Youth Whose name was Ali-Muhammad appeared in Persia. He was entitled the Bab, which means door or gate. The bearer of this title was a great Soul from Whom spiritual signs and evidences became manifest. He withstood the tests of time and lived contrary to the custom and usages of Persia. He revealed a new system of faith opposed to the beliefs in His country and promulgated certain principles contrary to the thoughts of the people. For this, that remarkable Personality was imprisoned by the Persian government. Eventually, by order of the government He was martyred.

The account of this martyrdom, briefly stated, is as follows: He was suspended in a square as a target and shot to death. This revered Personage foreshadowed the advent of another Soul of Whom He said, "When He cometh He shall reveal greater things unto you."

~ Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 371
Mirza Hasan Khan summoned his chief of the farrashes, and gave him his instructions. They removed the Báb's turban and sash which were the signs of His Siyyid-hood, brought Him with four of His followers to the barrack square of Tabriz, confined Him in a cell, and appointed forty of the Christian soldiers of Tabriz to guard Him.

Next day the chief of the farrashes delivered over the Báb and a young man named Aqa Muhammad-'Ali who was of a noble family of Tabriz to Sam Khan, colonel of the Christian regiment of Urumiyyih, at the sentences of the learned divine Mulla Muhammad of Mamaqan, of the second ecclesiastical authority Mulla Mirza Baqir, and of the third ecclesiastical authority Mulla Murtada-Quli and others

~ Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 26
As soon as the cloud of smoke had cleared.....

Sam Khan ordered his men to drive a nail into the pillar that lay between the door of the room that Siyyid Husayn occupied and the entrance to the adjoining one, and to make fast two ropes to that nail, from which the Bab and His companion were to be separately suspended.

Mirza Muhammad-'Ali begged Sam Khan to be placed in such a manner that his own body would shield that of the Bab. He was eventually suspended in such a position that his head reposed on the breast of his Master. As soon as they were fastened, a regiment of soldiers ranged itself in three files, each of two hundred and fifty men, each of which was ordered to open fire in its turn until the whole detachment had discharged the volleys of its bullets.

The smoke of the firing of the seven hundred and fifty rifles was such as to turn the light of the noonday sun into darkness. There had crowded onto th[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]e roof of the barracks, as well as the tops of the adjoining houses, about ten thousand people, all of whom were witnesses to that sad and moving scene.[/FONT]
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As soon as the cloud of smoke had cleared away, an astounded multitude were looking upon a scene which their eyes could scarcely believe. There, standing before them alive and unhurt, was the companion of the Bab, whilst He Himself had vanished uninjured from their sight. Though the cords with which they were suspended had been rent in pieces by the bullets, yet their bodies had miraculously escaped the volleys.
Even the tunic which Mirza Muhammad-'Ali was wearing had, despite the thickness of the smoke, remained unsullied. "The Siyyid-i-Bab has gone from our sight!" rang out the voices of the bewildered multitude.
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- From Nabil's Narrrative The Dawn-Breakers

Read more go to:

"It is a miracle! He was a man of God!"

Sam Khan, could delay the command no longer. The Báb had told him to do his duty; therefore, it was apparently the will of God that his regiment should take the life of the Báb.

This was a source of great sorrow to him. Reluctantly
he gave the command, "Fire!" In turn, each of the files opened fire
upon the Báb and His companion until the entire regiment had
discharged its volley of bullets. There were over ten thousand
eye-witnesses to the electrifying spectacle that followed. One of
the historical accounts of that staggering moment states: "The
smoke of the firing of the seven hindered and fifty rifles was such
as to turn the light of noonday into darkness.

"As soon as the cloud of smoke had cleared away, an astounded multitude looked upon a scene which their eyes could scarcely believe. "There, standing before them, alive and unhurt, was the companion of the Báb, whilst He, Himself, had vanished from their sight. Though the cords with
which they had been suspended had been rent in pieces by the
bullets, yet their bodies had miraculously escaped the

Cries of astonishment, confusion and fear rang out
from the bewildered multitude. "The Báb has vanished!" "He is
freed!" they shrieked. "It is a miracle! He was a man of God!"
"They are slaying a man of God!" An intense clamor arose on all
sides. The crowd was already dangerous. The public square became
a bedlam as a frantic search for the Báb began.

M C. Huart, a
French author who wrote of this episode, says:

"The soldiers in
order to quiet the excitement of the crowd which, being extremely
agitated, was quite ready to believe the claims of a religion which
thus demonstrated its truth, showed the cords broken by the
bullets, implying that no miracle had really taken place."[F16]
"Look!" their actions implied. "The seven hundred and fifty
musket-balls have shattered the ropes into fragments. This is what
freed them. It is nothing more than this. It is no miracle."
Uproars and shouts continued on all sides. The people still were
not certain themselves what really had happened.
\M. C. Huart, giving his view of that astonishing event, states:

"Amazing to believe, the bullets had not struck the condemned but,
on the contrary, had broken the bonds and he was delivered. It was
a real miracle."

~ William Sears, Release the Sun, p. 174