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Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
Go to printed page GO
Pages 68-70

Letter of 27 April 1927

27 April 1927 1
Dearly-beloved friends:
With feelings of horror and indignation I communicate to you the tale of yet another tragedy involving the shedding of the blood of a martyr of the Faith on Persia’s sacred soil. I have before me, as I pen these lines, the report of the local Spiritual Assembly of Ardibíl, a town on the north-east confines of the province of Ádhirbayján, not far distant from those hallowed spots where the Báb suffered His last confinement and martyrdom. Addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia, this report recounts in simple but moving language the circumstances that have led to the cowardly crime committed in the darkness of the night at the instigation of the fanatical clergy—the deadliest opponents of the Faith in that town.
Our martyred brother, Amínu’l-‘Ulamá by name had for some time past become notorious in the eyes of the Muslim inhabitants of Ardibíl for his tenacity of faith by openly refusing at every instance to vilify and renounce his most cherished convictions. In the latter part of Ramadán—the month associated with prayer, pious deeds and fasting—his use of the public bath—that long-established institution the amenities and privileges of which are as a rule accorded only to the adherents of the Muslim Faith—had served to inflame the mob, and to provide a scheming instigator with a pretext to terminate his life. In the market-place he was ridiculed and condemned as an apostate of the 69 Faith of Islám, who, by boldly rejecting the repeated entreaties showered upon him to execrate the Bahá’í name, had lawfully incurred the penalty of immediate death at the hands of every pious upholder of the Muslim tradition.
In spite of the close surveillance exercised by a body of guards stationed around his house, in response to the intercession of his friends with the local authorities, the treacherous criminal found his way into his home, and on the night of the 22nd of Ramadán, corresponding with the 26th of March 1927, assailed him in a most atrocious and dastardly manner. Concealing within the folds of his garment his unsheathed dagger, he approached his victim and claiming the need of whispering a confidential message in his ears plunged the weapon hilt-deep into his vitals, cutting across his ribs and mutilating his body. Every attempt to secure immediate medical assistance seems to have been foiled by malicious devices on the part of the associates of this merciless criminal, and the helpless victim after a few hours of agonising pain surrendered his soul to his Beloved. His friends and fellow-believers, alarmed at the prospect of a fresh outbreak that would inevitably result were his mortal remains to be accorded the ordinary privileges of a decent burial, decided to inter his body in one of the two rooms that served as his own dwelling, seeking thereby to appease the fury of an unrelenting foe.
He leaves behind in desperate poverty a family of minors with no support but their mother, expectant to bring forth her child, and with no hope of relief from their non-Bahá’í relatives in whose eyes they deserve to be treated only with the meanest contempt.
It appears from the above-mentioned report that the merciless assailant has been arrested, waiting, however, as has been the case with similar incidents in southern Persia, to be sooner or later released under the pressure of bribery and intimidation sedulously exercised by an impenitent enemy.
Dearest friends! Any measure of publicity the concerted efforts of the Bahá’í Spiritual Assemblies of the West, on whom almighty Providence has conferred the inestimable benefits of religious toleration and freedom, can accord to this latest manifestation of unbridled barbarism in Persia will be most opportune and valuable. It will, I am certain, confer abiding solace to those disconsolate sufferers who with sublime heroism continue to uphold the traditions of their beloved Faith. Our one weapon lies in our prayerful efforts, intelligently and persistently pursued, to arouse by every means at our disposal the 70 conscience of unheeding humanity, and to direct the attention of men of vision and authority to these incredibly odious acts which in their ferocity and frequency cannot but constitute in the eyes of every fair-minded observer the gravest challenge to all that is sacred and precious in our present day civilisation.
Your true brother,
1. Printed also in “Bahá’í Administration”.   [ Back To Reference]