October 24, 2009

Some impressions about the Bab by His schoolmaster Shaykh ‘Abid

There are left for posterity some overall recollections about the Bab’s personality by His schoolmaster many years after he became aware that the Bab was the Founder of a new religion for humanity. These impressions were in addition to his shock and amazement concerning the Bab’s depth of intelligence and knowledge at such a young age.

One of the qualities that he noticed about the Bab was the nobility of His character and the charm of His personality. He recalled that the Bab was always very dignified, serene and calm. Although He was very handsome He did not show much interest in pursuing those activities that were common to boys His age.

Shaykh ‘Abid also remembered that every now and then the Bab used to come late to the school. When asked why He was late, the Bab would typically remain silent. On some occasions he would become worried about His absence and would end up sending some of His classmates to go and check on His whereabouts. They would come back and tell him that they had found the Bab at His own home engaged in prayers. This wasn’t commonly expected of children his age – He was about ten years old then.

On one occasion when His schoolmaster questioned the Bab why He was late, He quietly replied that He had been in the house of His 'Grandfather'. This was a common way in which those who were descendents of Prophet Muhammad would refer to their time of devotions in the spiritual presence of Muhammad. When Shaykh ‘Abid angrily said that He was only ten years old and that such rigorous attention to devotions was not required of Him, the Bab calmly said ‘I wish to be like My Grandfather’. His schoolmaster did not make of it much and attributed it to the Bab’s innocence and lack of adequate understanding of the subject being covered. 
(Adapted from 'The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days', by Hand of the Cause Balyuzi)