The King of the Martyrs and Beloved of the Martyrs were born to a noble family in Isfahan. They were nine and ten years of age respectively when the Declaration of the Báb took place in 1844.
Their two illustrious uncles, Mirza Hadi and Mirza Muhammad-'Ali (the father of Munirih Khanum, the wife of 'Abdu'l-Bahá) had embraced the Faith of the Báb in the early days of its Revelation. They both took part in the Conference of Badasht. But their father, Mirza Ibrahim, was not a believer at the time; he recognized the truth of the Faith later. He was engaged in the service of Mir Siyyid Muhammad, the Imam-Jum'ih  of Isfahan, as manager of his financial affairs. When the Báb went to that city He stayed part of the time as a guest in the home of the Imam-Jum'ih.
Because of his close association at that time with the Báb, Mirza Ibrahim, though not a believer, entertained Him one day in his home. On that occasion the two young brothers and their uncles attained the presence of the Báb. This meeting left an abiding impression on the two youths, who became ardent believers through the efforts of their uncles, especially Mirza Muhammad-'Ali who later accompanied them to Baghdad where they attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh. As a result of their meeting with Him, they became aware of His exalted Station and were filled with the spirit of faith and certitude. The splendours of the Face of their Lord brightly illumined their beings and they returned home radiant as shining lights.