Photo of chains placed on Baha'u'llah's neck

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    [​IMG]


    One of the chains placed around Baha'u'llah's neck in the Siyah-Chal

    Source:

    Baha'i Historical Facts: The only talk given by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to a Japanese audience – Oakland, California, October 1912

    O army of God! The Exalted One, the Báb, gave up His life. The Blessed Perfection gave up a hundred lives at every breath. He bore calamities. He suffered anguish. He was imprisoned. He was chained. He was made homeless and was banished to distant lands. Finally, then, He lived out His days in the Most Great Prison.

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 72
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "That act, though committed by wild and feeble-minded fanatics, and in spite of its being from the very first emphatically condemned by no less responsible a person than Bahá'u'lláh, was the signal for the outbreak of a series of persecutions and massacres of such barbarous ferocity as could be compared only to the atrocities of Mazindaran and Zanjan. The storm to which that act gave rise plunged the whole of Tihran into consternation and distress. It involved the life of the leading companions who had survived the calamities to which their Faith had been so cruelly and repeatedly subjected.

    That storm was still raging when Bahá'u'lláh, with some of His ablest lieutenants, was plunged into a filthy, dark, and fever-stricken dungeon,
    whilst chains of such weight as only notorious criminals were condemned to carry, were placed upon His neck.


    For no less than four months He bore the burden, and such was the intensity of His suffering that the marks of that cruelty remained imprinted upon His body all the days of His life."

    ~ Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 600
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The Siyah-Chal (Black Pit) was no ordinary prison, but a huge underground pit which once had served as a reservoir for one of the public baths of the city, and had only one entrance. It was situated in the heart of Tihran close to a palace of the Shah and adjacent to the Sabzih-Maydan, the scene of execution of the Seven Martyrs of Tihran. This dungeon was occupied by many prisoners, some of whom were without clothes or bedding. Its atmosphere was humid and dark, its air fetid and filled with a loathsome smell, its ground damp and littered with filth, and these conditions were matched by the brutality of the guards and officials towards the Bábí victims who were chained together in that dismal place.

    The notorious chains of Qara-Guhar and Salasil, one of which was placed around Bahá'u'lláh's neck at all times, cut through His flesh and left their marks on His blessed body till the end of His life. They were so heavy that a special wooden fork was provided to support their weight.[1]
    [1 Qara-Guhar, heavier than Salasil, weighed about seventeen 'man' (fifty-one kilos)]

    Through the kindness of one of the prison officials who was friendly towards Bahá'u'lláh, His eldest son 'Abdu'l-Bahá, then nine years of age,[1] was taken one day to visit His Father at the Siyah-Chal. He had descended only half-way down the steps when Bahá'u'lláh caught sight of Him and ordered that the child be taken out immediately. He was permitted to wait in the prison yard until noon when the prisoners were allowed an hour of fresh air.

    When 'Abdu'l-Bahá saw His Father, He was in chains and tied to His nephew, Mirza Mahmud. He walked with great difficulty, His beard and hair were unkempt, His neck bruised and swollen from the pressure of a heavy steel collar, and His back was bent with the weight of the chain. On witnessing this sight 'Abdu'l-Bahá fainted and was carried home, unconscious.

    [1 According to the lunar calendar. He was born 23 May 1844 and was in His ninth year.] 10

    ~ Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 8
     
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The account of Abdul-Baha:

    One day 'Abdu'l-Bahá, anxious to see His Father, was taken to the dungeon. This is His account of that awesome Visit:

    They sent me with a black servant to His blessed presence
    in the prison. The warders indicated the cell, and the
    servant carried me in on his shoulders. I saw a dark, steep
    place.

    We entered a small, narrow doorway, and went
    down two steps, but beyond those one could see nothing.
    In the middle of the stairway, all of a sudden we heard
    His blessed voice: 'Do not bring him in here', and so they
    took me back. We sat outside, waiting for the prisoners
    to be led out.

    Suddenly they brought the Blessed
    Perfection[1] out of the dungeon. He was chained to several
    others. What a chain! It was very heavy. The prisoners
    could only move it along with great difficulty. Sad and
    heart-rending it was.


    [1 One of the designations of Bahá'u'lláh.]

    ~ H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 11
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "Whosoever, O my Lord, is impatient in the tribulations befalling him in Thy path, hath not drunk of the cup of Thy love nor tasted of the sweetness of Thy remembrance.

    "I implore Thee, by Him Who is the King of all names and their Sovereign, Who is the Revealer of all attributes and their Creator, and by them who have soared aloft and drawn nigh unto Thee and winged their flight into the atmosphere of Thy presence, and have endured the galling of chains for Thy sake, to grant that all Thy people may be graciously aided to recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thine own Self, Who, because He summoned mankind unto Thee, hath been exiled and cast into prison.
    "

    ~ Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 136
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "Whensoever the clouds of tribulation have rained down the darts of affliction in the path of God, the Lord of all names, I have hastened to meet them, as every fair-minded and discerning soul shall attest.

    "How many the nights which found the beasts of the field resting in their lairs, and the birds of the air lying in their nests, while this Youth languished in chains and fetters with none to aid or succour Him!"


    ~ Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 96
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    How were those chains placed on Baha'u'llah?

    An abortive attempt on the life of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh by some crazed Babis in August 1852 led to a general round up of all the known followers of the Bab.

    Here is what Abdul-Baha wrote:

    Now after the occurrence of this grave matter all of this sect were suspected. At first there was neither investigation nor inquiry, but afterwards in mere justice it was decided that there should be investigation, inquiry, and examination. All who were known to be of this sect fell under suspicion.

    Bahá'u'lláh was passing the summer in the village of Afchih situated one stage from Tihran. When this news was spread abroad and punishment began, everyone who was able hid himself in some retreat or fled the country. Amongst these Mirza Yahya, the brother of Bahá'u'lláh, concealed himself, and, a bewildered fugitive, in the guise of a dervish, with kashkul in hand, wandered in mountains and plains on the road to Rasht.

    But Bahá'u'lláh rode forth with perfect composure and calmness from Afchih, and came to Niyavaran, which was the abode of the Royal Train and the station of the imperial camp.

    Immediately on His arrival He was placed under arrest, and a whole regiment guarded Him closely. After several days of interrogation they sent Him in chains and fetters from Shimiran to the jail of Tihran. And this harshness and punishment was due to the immoderate importunity of Haji 'Ali Khan, the Hajibu'd-Dawlih, nor did there seem any hope of deliverance, until His Majesty the King, moved by his own kindly spirit, commanded circumspection, and ordered this occurrence to be investigated and examined particularly and generally by means of the ministers of the imperial court.

    Now when Bahá'u'lláh was interrogated on this matter He answered in reply,

    "The event itself indicates the truth of the affair and testifies that this is the action of a thoughtless, unreasoning, and ignorant man. For no reasonable person would charge his pistol with shot when embarking on so grave an enterprise. At least he would so arrange and plan it that the deed should be orderly and systematic. From the very nature of the event it is clear and evident as the sun that it is not the act of such as Myself."


    (Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 30)

    Baha'u'llah also described the event as follows in the "Epistle to the Son of the Wolf":

    "By the righteousness of God! We were in no wise connected with that evil
    deed, and Our innocence was indisputably established by the tribunals.
    Nevertheless, they apprehended Us, and from Niyavaran, which was then the
    residence of His Majesty, conducted Us, on foot and in chains, with bared
    head and bare feet, to the dungeon of Tihran. A brutal man, accompanying
    Us on horseback, snatched off Our hat, whilst We were being hurried along
    along by a troop of executioners and officials. We were consigned for
    four months to a place foul beyond comparison."


    ~ H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 77
     
  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Why the focus on the chains placed on the neck of Baha'u'llah?

    There was a revelation while He was imprisoned in that Black Pit wearing those galling chains:

    XLI. God is My witness, O people! I was asleep on My couch, when lo, the Breeze of God wafting over Me roused Me from My slumber. His quickening Spirit revived Me, and My tongue was unloosed to voice His Call. Accuse Me not of having transgressed against God. Behold Me, not with your eyes 91 but with Mine. Thus admonisheth you He Who is the Gracious, the All-Knowing. Think ye, O people, that I hold within My grasp the control of God's ultimate Will and Purpose? Far be it from Me to advance such claim. To this I testify before God, the Almighty, the Exalted, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Had the ultimate destiny of God's Faith been in Mine hands, I would have never consented, even though for one moment, to manifest Myself unto you, nor would I have allowed one word to fall from My lips. Of this God Himself is, verily, a witness.

    ~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 90
     

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