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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 53-55


The following particulars regarding the marriage of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were kindly supplied to the writer by a Persian historian of the Bahá’í Faith:—
During the youth of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the question of a suitable marriage for Him was naturally one of great interest to the believers, and many people came forward, 54 wishing to have this crown of honor for their own family. For a long time, however, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá showed no inclination for marriage, and no one understood the wisdom of this. Afterwards it became known that there was a girl who was destined to become the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, one whose birth came about through the Blessing which the Báb gave to her parents in Iṣfahán. Her father was Mírzá Muḥammad ‘Alí, who was the uncle of the “King of Martyrs” and the “Beloved of Martyrs,” and she belonged to one of the great and noble families of Iṣfahán. When the Báb was in Iṣfahán, Mírzá Muḥammad ‘Alí had no children, but his wife was longing for a child. On hearing of this, the Báb gave him a portion of His food and told him to share it with his wife. After they had eaten of that food, it soon became apparent that their long-cherished hopes of parenthood were about to be fulfilled, and in due course a daughter was born to them, who was given the name of Munírih Khánum. 1 Later on son was born, to whom they gave the name of Siyyid Yaḥyá, and afterwards they had some other children. After a time, Munírih’s father died, her cousins were martyred by Zillu’s-Sulṭán and the mullás, and the family fell into great troubles and bitter persecutions because of their being Bahá’ís. Bahá’u’lláh then permitted Munírih and her brother Siyyid Yaḥyá to come to ‘Akká for protection. Bahá’u’lláh and His wife, Navváb, the mother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, showed such kindness and favor to Munírih that others understood that they wished her to become the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The wish of His father and mother became the wish of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, too. He had a warm feeling of love and affection for Munírih which was fully reciprocated, and erelong they became united in marriage.
The marriage proved exceedingly happy and harmonious. Of the children born to them four daughters have survived the rigors of their long imprisonment, and, through their beautiful 55 lives of service, have endeared themselves to all who have been privileged to know them.
1. It is interesting to compare this story with that of the birth of John the Baptist; see St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter I.   [ Back To Reference]