October 3, 2009

The Bab's schoolmaster

The principal of the school that the Bab attended when He was almost five years old has left the following description about Shaykh ‘Abid, the Bab’s schoolmaster. It should be noted that in those years in Persia, the schools basically taught students how to read and write passages from the Qur’an.

“The honored Shaykh ‘Abid, a man of many qualities, was the schoolmaster and taught the children of the noblemen, the affluent, the merchants and other distinguished citizens. He was tall, ever-dignified man with a long beard. A follower of the late Shaykh Ahmad Ahsa’I and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, he ranked among the leading figures and divines in Shiraz. …. Those wishing for their youngster to receive tuition from him, had to come beforehand and meet with him in person. They would ask the Shykh for a place either through a letter or through a distinguished intermediary. This was because the Shaykh did not accept the children of just anyone and was particularly reluctant to accept lads from the bazzari shopkeepers, because of all their ill manners and dirty clothing.”
(The Genesis of the Babi-Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars by Mirza Habibu’llah Afnan, translated by Ahang Rabbani)