October 20, 2009

Two accounts of the Bab’s childhood days at school

There are some accounts left for posterity concerning the time that the Bab attended school in Shiraz, Persia. Such accounts are priceless because they help us understand how each Manifestation of God exhibits very special God given qualities even in their childhood.

First Account:
A fellow student who was then twelve years old related the following account many years later concerning the Bab’s first day at school.

“The Báb had taken a seat, with great courtesy, in between this boy and another pupil who was also much older than Himself. His head was bowed over the primer put in front of Him, the first lines of which He had been taught to repeat. But He would not utter a word. When asked why He did not read aloud as other boys were doing He made no reply. Just then two boys, sitting near them, were heard to recite a couplet from Hafiz (a well known Persian poet), which runs thus:

From the pinnacles of Heaven they call out unto thee;
I know not what hath thee here entrapped.

'That is your answer,' said the Báb, turning to …” the older boy who recalled this incident. (The Bab, 'The Herald of the Day of Days', by Hand of the Cause Balyuzi)

The thing remarkable about this account is that not only the Bab who was then only about five years old understood fully the meaning of this couplet, but that he equated himself with the phrase “thee”. To posses such keen understanding of such issues at such a young age is another proof of His innate and God given knowledge.

Second Account:
Another incident that relates to the time when the Bab attended school involves an occasion where certain older students were discussing a rather difficult religious topic with their teacher. It appears that their teacher had an auxiliary optional program at their school in which older students would get together with him and review certain religious topics. The Bab, however wasn’t part of this group probably because of His younger age.

On one of these occasions these students posed a question concerning a religious issue that they had been reviewing during their daily sessions. After a long period of discussion it appears that their teacher was not able to provide them with a satisfactory answer to their question. As a result, their teacher offered to postpone the subject until he had had an opportunity to consult some authoritative works that same night and present them with the solution the following day. The Bab who happened to be sitting nearby that day overheard the points that were being explored. When He heard that their teacher was not able to provide the students with a satisfactory answer He politely offered to provide an explanation. He then proceeded with sound reasoning to put forward the answer that they sought. His explanations were so brilliant that the students and their teacher were wonder-struck. They knew that the Bab could not have heard their earlier discussions about that subject a few days ago so He that could have looked up some authoritative references and have memorized the answer. So they were puzzled as to how He was able to come up with such illuminating answer at the very first time that He heard their last conversation about it. Their teacher therefore asked Him where He had gained such knowledge. The Bab’s reply, once again, included quoting a verse from a poem written many centuries earlier by a famous Persian poet:

Should the grace of the Holy Spirit once again deign to assist,
Others will also do what Christ could perform.

Once again using His innate and God-given knowledge He provided them with an incredible rich answer!
(Adapted from The Bab – The Herald of the Day of Days, by Hand of the Cause Balyuzi)