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THE KILLING OF MIRZA YAHYA

 

"A few nights later towards the dawn one knocked at the door of my house. Who is it ? ' I cried. Then seeing that it was a maid-servant, I added, ' What wilth thou?' She replied, 'Mirza Yahya is done for.' I at once ran thither. Hajji Muhammad Baqir also was present . I saw that blood was flowing from his (Mirza Yahya’s) throat, and that he was unable to move. By this time it was morning. I at once brought thither an Indian doctor. He examined him and said, ' A blood-vessel in his lung is ruptured. He must lie still for three days and not move, and then he will recover.' He then gave him some medicine. The hemorrhage stopped for two days and his condition improved In spite of this he was not admonished to return to the Truth. After two days there was a second flow of blood from his throat, and he was nearly finished. The doctor came again and gave him medicine, but ultimately it profit him nothing. Twice again he vomited undiluted blood, then surrendered his spirit lo [he Angel of Torment.

" This event was in truth a warning to all beholders, is to say to such as see and read this Tablet. Please God, you have read it in its entirety and found your way to meaning thereof. One individual hath He thus swiftly removed. Assuredly hereafter the Lord will accomplish every promise which He hath uttered. I take refuge with God from the wrath of God ! I seek from the Truth that will aid us to stand firm in His Covenant and Compact. In a little while the Covenant-breakers will be overtaken by calamities such that they shall fee bare-headed to the mountains and deserts, but shall find there no way of escape."

The author, Hajji Mirza Hasan of Khurasan, here observes that never in any previous dispensation was so clear a threat followed by so swift and condign a punishment, or so explicit a prophecy so speedily accomplished For, says he, though God's patience is almost inexhaustible there comes an end to it, especially in the case of such apostates, who sin against the Light, and who do far more harm to the cause than the theologians, jurisconsults and rulers who ignorantly oppose and oppress it. He then quoted another Tablet which was sent to him by 'Abbas Efendi after the death of Mirza Yahya, and which runs thus ;

" Write to Mulla. Husayn of Lar that these were circumstances connected with Yahya. the shameless, to that he wrote a letter to the leading Covenant-breakers, and made use of a very vile expression concerning the Centre of the Covenant'1 such as none, not ever the lowest, would utter; to wit, an expression which was to the leading Covenant-breakers as a floral festival, a joy, and the cause of boundless delight [causing them lo say] ' Praise be to God because such souls have appeared who dare to belittle ignominiously the Polestar of the Covenant ' Therefore was the threat of vengeance and the imminence of the thunderbolt of destruction thus explicitly given; for assuredly the framer of the Covenant and the protector of the Compact will vindicate the Centre of the Covenant. These are isolated events; with these same outward eyes it will be seen in what abasement and disgrace, and in what calamities, afflictions and chastisements the 'quakers'2 shall be overwhelmed. Say, 'Wait until God shall .accomplish His purpose, 0 company of Shame., O faction of Rebellion, and ye shall see yourselves in the lowest of Hell-fires ' Upon thee be the Splendour3 "'

Hajji Mirza Hasan of Khurasan concludes his pamphlet promising further details concerning the schism, the obstinacy of 'Abbas Efendi's half-brothers, the "boldness and discourtesy" of Mirza Aqa Jan, and other Kindred matters, and, as already noted, dates the completion of work the 9th of Rajab, 1316 (November 23, 1898).

One fact which is very clearly brought out by pamphlet is that the detestation in which the followers of Abbas Efendi hold the rival faction of his half-brother Muhammad 'All equals, if it does not exceed that in which the Baha'i’s generally hold the Azalis, and far surpasses the dislike entertained by any of these three parties for the adherents of other creeds which stand entirely outside Babi-Baha’i circle. This phenomenon, however, is not peculiar to Babism. At all events this second schism amongst the Babi community, which began almost immediately after Baha’ullah’s death in 1892 and culminated (as will be subsequently explained in fuller detail) in 1895, was singularly fierce and bitter, and in due course naturally extended to the American Baha'i’s. lbrahim Khayrullah’s; secession from 'Abbas Efendi seems to have begun soon after his return from 'Akka (about the end of 1898), and, as we have seen, at the: end of November, 1900, the fanatical Hajji Mirza Hasan (the author of the pamphlet just analyzed) was threatening him in Chicago for his apostasy. The great, majority of the American Baha’i's adhered to the party of 'Abbas Efendi, who had established there as elsewhere great personal ascendancy which his half-brother Muhammad 'Ali completely failed to rival, though one at least of his adherents, Mirza Ghulamu'llah, the son of Mirza Muhammad Jawad of Qazwin, author of the life of Baha’ullah translated in the first section of this volume visited America to promote his Master's interests and press his claims.4



1. i.e. Abbas Efendi ‘Abdul Baha
2. This is the literal meaning of Mutazalzilin, a term here used as equivalent to Naqizin, 
    "Covenant-breakers."
3. Alayka’l Baha, the Baha’I equivalent of the Muslim alayka’s-salam!
4. He was in New York in March 1901, and in Chicago in the following month, and visited me in 
    Cambridge on his way to America



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