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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 17-18

Martyrdom of the Báb

On the 9th of July, 1850, 1 the Báb Himself, Who was then in His thirty-first year, fell a victim to the fanatical fury of His persecutors. With a devoted young follower name Áqá Muḥammad ‘Alí, who had passionately begged to be allowed to share His martyrdom, He was led to the scaffold in the old barrack square of Tabríz. About two hours before noon the two were suspended by ropes under their armpits in such a way that the head of Muḥammad ‘Alí rested against the breast of his beloved Master. A regiment of Armenian soldiers was drawn up and received the order to fire. Promptly the volleys rang out, but when the smoke cleared, it was found that the Báb and His companion were still alive. The bullets had but severed the ropes by which they were suspended, so that they dropped to the ground unhurt. The Báb proceeded to a room 18 nearby, where He was found talking to one of His friends. About noon they were again suspended. The Armenians, who considered the result of their volleys a miracle, were unwilling to fire again, so another regiment of soldiers had been brought on the scene, who fired when ordered. This time the volleys took effect. The bodies of both victims were riddled by bullets and horribly mutilated, although their faces were almost untouched.
By this foul deed the Barrack Square of Tabríz became a second Calvary. The enemies of the Báb enjoyed a guilty thrill of triumph, thinking that this hated tree of the Bábí faith was now severed at the root, and its complete eradication would be easy! But their triumph was short-lived! They did not realize that the Tree of Truth cannot be felled by any material ax. Had they but known, this very crime of theirs was the means of giving greater vigor to the Cause. The martyrdom of the Báb fulfilled His own cherished wish and inspired His followers with increased zeal. Such was the fire of their spiritual enthusiasm that the bitter winds of persecution but fanned it to a fiercer blaze: The greater the efforts at extinction, the higher mounted the flames.
1. Friday, 28th Sha’bán, 1266 A.H.   [ Back To Reference]