A Letter From the Bab Before His Martyrdom

The inner feelings of the Manifestations of God in the face of imprisonment, persecution, crucifixion, and cruelty of the people of their time, has been a very deep quest of mine.

In this very intimate and transparent letter revealed by the Bab almost a year before His martyrdom by the Islamic authorities and government of Iran in 1849 AD, He makes it very clear how sad he feels and yet at the same time how absolutely, accepting of God’s will.

Abdu’l-Baha was asked about the process of becoming spiritual by a Western believer. In response, His advice was for her to study the life of the Manifestations of God such as Abraham, Moses, Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha’u’llah and following their example, life The Life, life the Life. We know very little of the intimate feelings and thoughts of almost all of these luminaries because of the length of time and the thousands of years that have gone by. However, humanity today is most lucky to have original recordings in the handwritings of The Bab and Baha’u’llah, not to mention the volumes left for us in the hand and voice of The Mystery of God, Abdu’l-Baha who passed away so close to our time; November 1921. For the first time, humanity can read the Hand Writings of God left for us just less than 200 years ago telling us about the inner thoughts and feelings of these luminaries who were independent of aught else except God. We are fortunate to take their words to heart when we visit thousands of prayers and tablets, letters, and also eyewitness accounts of those who were nearby.


This letter of the Bab sheds such a luminous light on one of the great mysteries of the inner feelings and thoughts of the Manifestations of God. The Bab is trying to console His mother while dealing with the test and trials that were showered upon Him left and right. In this letter, He talks about the ultimate sacrifice, the surrender of His will as a Manifestation of God to God, in order to awaken the people from their sleep of ignorance.


Also, in this letter, the manner in the Bab chooses to console His mother is of great significance. His mother was a devoted Muslim which ultimately lead her to embrace the truth of the New Cause of God.  At the time of Baha’u’llah, she was able to recognize the coming of the two Manifestations of God ushering in the glad tidings of the age of the oneness of all mankind. Her embrace of the station of her son fulfilled the promise of God about the acceptance of the Cause of God by the family of the Bab foretold in Islamic Traditions. In His letter, The Bab asks His mother not to worry and if this is difficult for her, try to remember the life and plight of Joseph mentioned both in the Old Testament and Quran and also the life of Imam Moosa Kazem, the 7th Imam in Shia Islam. Abdu’l-Baha has a bit of similar advice for those of us who get trapped in the worries of this earthly life, to direct our thoughts to life example those who knew of the real truth of this transient life, remembering what is the real purpose of life.


Finally, my heart and heartfelt prayers go to all the relatives of those devoted Baha’is in Iran who lost a loved one in obedience to the will of God paying for their allegiance with the ultimate sacrifice. This sacrifice, like all other losses, is shared by the close family especially children who are unable to justify the loss of a parent specially when this was met with the parent’s will of welcoming the price. It is devastating to the spouse and children when they witness the violence with which their lives and dreams are shattered even in a case of a most worthy cause. In His letter, the Bab hopes humanity will wake up and eventually claim their God-like loving, and universal God!!

Since the inception of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1979 many Baha’is were arrested and imprisoned and in many cases executed unless they took the offer of Islamic Republic Regime authorities to recant their Faith publicly so others can learn what the Islamic republic Regime wanted the citizens to learn. Like the Bab, the mothers, the fathers, the children, and families of these Baha’is, were faced with the bitter reality of their loved ones faced with choosing them or choosing God!! And they witnessed helplessly the torment of their loved ones making the ultimate sacrifice.


Sadly for all of us, the families were faced with the heartbreaking and devastating news of the greatest loss. The letter of the Bab, lovingly admits the painful nature of all that happens when humanity is deaf and blind, asleep on its couch of heedlessness, attached to their vein imagination of others and us, indifferent to the pain and misery they cause.


The full letter of the Bab is published in the Maakhez-i-Ashar vol 4 p. 73 by Dr. Vahid Rafati.

A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years, specializes in using the Bahá’í Teachings to identify theories, techniques, and approaches that produce the best results for her clients. She is the founder and executive director of the Center for Global Integrated Education, a non-profit Bahá’í-inspired educational organization.


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