June 24, 2011

Bahá’u’lláh sends a messenger to the Shah of Persia – the amazing Badí’

In 1869 Aqá Buzurg arrived at the prison city of 'Akka, disguised as an Arab. He handed his written declarationof faith to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, who greeted him warmly and took him to the barracks cell. There he attained the Goal of his desire. Twice he conversed privately with Bahá’u’lláh, Who gave him a new name: Badí’ (Wonderful).

For more than two years after writing His Tablet to the Shah, the Blessed Beauty had been waiting for a devoted soul to arise and carry it to the ruler of Persia. The reborn Badí’ ended His waiting. Haji Shah Muhammad Amin, Bahá’u’lláh 's Trustee, brought the youth a small case and the Tablet, and has left this account of their meeting:

". . . we left the town and walked up Mount Camel where I handed him the case. He took it into his hands, kissed it, and knelt with his forehead to the ground; he also took the sealed envelope, walked twenty to thirty paces away from me, sat down facing 'Akka, read it, and again knelt with his forehead to the ground. The rays of ecstasy and the signs of gladness and joy appeared on his face. . . .

I mentioned that we had better go to Haifa, in order that, as instructed, I might give him some money. He declined to go with me, but suggested that I could go alone and bring it to him.

When I returned, in spite of much searching, I could not find him. He had gone. . . .” (Adib Taherzadih, 'Three Momentous Years," Baha'i News, no. 474, September 1970)

The illustrious youth had already left on his mission to Tihran, knowing full well the fate that awaited him. After four months of travel, alone and on foot, over dangerous terrain, he arrived in the capital where he patiently spent three days in prayer and fasting. Finally, he met the Shah proceeding on a hunting expedition. While the local populace cowered on the ground in fear of the Monarch, Badí’ calmly and respectfully approached him, calling out, "O King! I have come to thee from Sheba with a weighty message." (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 199) The Shah, dispatching the Tablet to his divines (who were never able to draft an adequate reply), ordered the arrest of this bold youth. He was brutally tortured for three successive days. His jailers branded him, beat his head to a pulp with the butt of a rifle, threw his body into a pit, and heaped earth and stones upon it. So amazed were they at his endurance that they commissioned a photograph of him sitting calmly in front of the brazier containing the hot bars of iron which were used to scorch his flesh, his neck unbowed by the weight of a heavy chain. The date was July, 1870. Badí’ was seventeen years old.

Referring to the transformation of the rebellious Aqá Buzurg into the heroic Badí’, Bahá’u’lláh says, "We took a handful of dust, mixed it with the waters of might and power and breathed into it the spirit of assurance." (Adib Taherzadih, 'Three Momentous Years," Baha'i News, no. 474, September 1970) He explained that the station of this youth was so great that no Tablet could carry its weight nor any pen describe its glory. Single and alone, He attests, Badí’ could have conquered all that was in heaven and on earth. For three years the Blessed Beauty wrote of this hero in such terms, characterizing those references as the "salt of My Tablets."
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 199) (Philip Christensen, Baha’i News, November 1974)