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Part II: Early Bahai History
A remarkable thing about the early Bahai history is that wherever Bahais or Babis went, they caused civil disturbances. In fact Lady Shiel who was in Persia herself at the time of the Babi movement likeness the Babis to assassins (page 201 - European Accounts).

Also Robert B. M. Birming in 'Journal of Two Years travel in Persia, Ceylon etc.' has commented on the Babi movement. the author Prof. E. G. Browne states thus, "the writer not content with likening the Babis with Mormons and Sadducees and describing their founder as a kind of Oriental Joe Smith, casts aspersions on the Bab's honesty, and almost accuses him of theft in so many words". (page 201 - European Accounts).

Another reliable author, Dr. Jacob Edward Polak, about whose work Prof. Browne says, "whose position gave him rare opportunities to observe facts which his scientific training enabled him to describe with precision and accuracy, is also of the highest value", alleges use of narcotics such as 'hashish' by the Babis (page 203).

These observations by different authors and historians are eye openers for those misled by false propaganda. I take this opportunity to narrate some examples from Bahai history which though of a vile nature have been accepted without any remorse.

1. The murder of Haji Mulla Taqi: "This (public denunciation of the Bab) cost him his life, for at length certain Babis, stung by his words into uncontrollable anger fell upon him early one morning as he was praying in the mosque and with knives and daggers inflicted upon him eight wounds from the effects of which he expired two days later" (page 198)

2. Attacking a town and killing its governor: They (Babis) attacked the town and even killed the governor Zainul Abedin Khan - the chief author of their sufferings - while he was at the bath. Finally troops were sent from Shiraz by the governor Tahmasp Mirza, and these aided by the tribesmen of Darab and Sabumat, succeeded at length in stamping out the insurrection" (page 258)

3. Disturbances in Baghdad: "This ignorance of proper conduct was the reason that in some parts disturbances occurred" (page 65). An example of 'ignorance of proper conduct' is this; 'Haji Mirza Ahmed was killed in Baghdad by certain Bahais, he being one of those who refused to transfer their allegiance from Subh-e-Azal to Baha" (page 332).

4. Disturbances in Adrianopole: "The detection of some attempts at propogandism on the part of the Bahais impelled the Turkish government to change their place of exile once more" (page 100, note 1). It is sufficient here to point out that the propogandism was such as to greatly incense the Turkish government who then chose to split the Bahais into two groups and exiled each to a remote place far away from each other.

Looking at the above example of Bahai conduct, it is not surprising to view the comments of historians as seen before. Another incident that deserves mention is the attempted assassination of the Shah of Persia by the Babi leaders.

Prof. Browne has summarised the conspiracy from 'Rauzatus Safa' thus:
"The Babi conspiracy - the assasination is planned by 12 Babis who arrange that the attempt shall take place on the morning of Sunday 28th Shawwal 1268 AH (August 15th, 1852) as the Shah is riding out on a hunting expedition from his summer residence" (page 191).

This incident earned the Babis disrepute all over Persia and they were eventually exiled to Baghdad.

This is the darker side of the Bahai history. The Bahais who claim to be a peace loving people and advocate the cause of world peace should read this book. They will then realise that the 'persecution' which they were subjected to then was a result of their own excesses.

Even before reaching Baghdad, immediately after Mirza Ali Mohammed's death, there started  a feud for successorship. Given below is the list of Babis who put forward the claim of successorship of the Bab.

1. "For the claim advanced by Mirza Asadullah 'Dayyan' of Tabriz... from Gobineaus account we are led to infer that this episode took place very soon after the death of the Bab and the election of Mirza Yayha Subn-e-Azal, that is to say some time before the Baghdad period." (page 365).

2. "For the claim advanced by Husayn of Milan, we have Subh-e-Azal's evidence, but as has already been pointed out, this Husayn was amongst the Babis killed in Tehran in 1852" (page 365)

3. "That Nabil advanced a similar claim which he subsequently withdrew is a statement which I have heard made once if not oftener by Babis (of the Bahai sect) in Persia" (page 365).

4. According to Rauzatus Safa, Babis chose Janabe Azim as their leader after the death of the Bab (page 191)

5. Syed Husayn of Hindiyan near Muhammara who gathered round him about 40 disciples and who, though not recognised or accredited by the Babi chiefs continued to send greetings to them while they were exiled in Baghdad (page 331)

6. "Shaykh Ismail believed to be still alive (when the author visited Bahaullah) who subseqently withdrew the claim, which he has advanced" (page 331)

7. "Mirza Yahya Subh-e-Azal held the fourth place in this heirarchy (Hurufat-e-Hayy) and on the death of the 'point' and first 2 letters rose by natural process of promotion to the position of chief of the sect" (page xvi, Introduction)

8. Mirza Hussain Ali Bahaullah: Prof. Browne writes, "My surprise was great when I discovered that, so far from being the case, the majority of the Babis spoke only of Baha as their chief and prophet; asserted that Bab was merely his heralder and forerunner (page xv, Introduction)

Of the above, Mirza Hussayn Ali was apparently the most successful candidate though in the beginning Mirza Yahya was unanimously considered chief as the author states, "In my opinion, it is proved beyond all doubt that Bab on his death chose him (Mirza Yahya) as his successor duly appointing as such by the form of words which I (have already) published....., and that during the period which elapsed from the Bab's death till the advancement of Bahaullah's claim to be "He who God shall manifest" (i.e., from 1850 to 1864 at any rate), he (Mirza Yahya) was recognised by all Babis (including Bahaullah) as their spiritual chief. Even now the number of his followers, though small in comparison to that of the Bahais is considerable, and since in addition to all this, the old Babi doctrines and traditions which have undergone considerable modifications at the hands of Bahaullah, are preserved intact by Subh-e-Azal" (page 350)

We present below an account of how Mirza Yahya's leadership was usurped by Mirza Hussayn Ali.

"Subh-e-Azal having retired into a seclusion inviolable to a chosen few, his elder brother Mirza Husayn Ali Bahaullah found the practical direction of affairs in his own hands. Now he was a man who from his youth upwards had associated and mixed with men of every class whereby he had acquired a certain 'breadth of disposition' and 'religious pliability' which attracted towards him man of like mind to whom slackening of the severer code of the Bayan was not unwelcome. Certain of the old school of Babis such as Mulla Mohammed Jafar,....., and others, perceiving this tendency towards innovation and relaxation, remonstrated so rigorously with Mirza Hussayn Ali that he left Baghdad in wrath and went towards Sulaymania" (page 356)

"After this Subh-e-Azal called him back to Baghdad by writing him a letter" (page 357)

"Taking advantage of Subh-e-Azal's seclusion, many people claimed to be the "One who God will manifest". For example, Mirza Abdullah called "Ghaugha', Sayed Hussayn of Isfahan, Mirza Mohammed Nabil" (page 357)

Mirza Hussayn Ali saw this confusion among the Babis caused by several claimants as an opportunity. "Now when Mirza Hussayn Ali beheld matters in this disordered state, he bethought himself of advancing the same claim (considering that from the prominent position which he had long held as practical director of affairs, he stood a better chance of success than any other claimant) and in this idea, he was greatly encouraged by Aqa Mirza Aqa Jaan of Kashan" (page 358)

It is interesting to note that various people started making claims to be "One who God shall manifest" only during the period when Mirza Hussayn Ali was the practical director of affairs.

Prof. Browne asserts that Subh-e-Azal was the rightful leader of the Babi movement saying that 'when and how he was brought to embrace the Babi doctrines I have not been able to ascertain, but he was appointed by Bab as his successor after the death of Mulla Husayn of Bushraweh and Mullah Mohammed Ali of Barfarosh, the appointment being written from Chirik' (page 374)

Also in an effort to be fair, the Professor has brought an abstract from a Babi work - 'Hasht-e-Bahisht'(The Eight Garden of Paradise) of which we present below some parts which reveal how Mirza Husayn Ali - Bahaullah came to be the leader of the Babi Movement.

1. "On their arrival in that city (Adrianopole), still instigated by Aqa Mirza Jan gradually made public his claim to be not only 'He who God shall Manifest', but an incarnation of the deity himself". (page 358)

2. 'All prominent supporters of Subh-e-Azal who withstood Mirza Husayn Ali's claim were marked out for death and at Baghdad, Mulla Raja Ali 'Khahir', and his brother Haji Mirza Ahmed, Haji Mirza Mohammed Reza and several others fell by the knife or bullet of the assassin' (page 359)

3. 'He (Mirza Husayn Ali) caused poison to be placed on one side of a dish of food which was to be set before himself and his brother Subh-e-Azal, giving instructions that the poisoned side be turned towards his brother'. (page 359)

4. 'Another plot was laid against Subh-e-Azal's life and it was arranged that Mohammed Ali, the barber should cut his throat while shaving him in the bath'. (page 359)

5. Mirza Husayn Ali started giving his followers high sounding titles by the dozen, some of which were, "Gabriel - the trustworthy", "The Baker of Divine Unity", "The Barber of the Truth". (page 362)

6. 'Certain persons, he (the author) says, who had been first inclined to follow Mirza Husayn Ali. subsequently withdrew and separated themselves from him. Some of them were murdered and buried under quick lime. (page 362). Further on the author has brought 15 such examples of similar assassinations (page 362, 363).

This article, especially the debate enumerated, puts to rest doubts about the authenticity of Bab. I have also supported my contetion with Quranic verses to put the issue beyond doubt. I leave it to my readers to make an objective assessment of Bab's claims and by logical extension, the Bahai's. If any of my readers has reached a conclusion different from mine, I am most keen to hear about it.

Part I: History of the Babi Faith
Part II: The Examination of Bab
Part III: Early Bahai History

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