The hostile clerics of Ámul had created a major commotion in the town. Having Baha’u’llah and His companions in their midst, the situation was further exacerbated by the divines calling upon the people to protect their religion by demanding severe punishment upon the captives – including murder. People were told to come to the mosque, fully armed -- the butcher with his axe, the carpenter with his hatchet – prepared to make a rush at Baha'u'llah and murder Him. The divines of Ámul were particularly marked for their rapacity.
The Acting Governor realized that any indulgence on his part would be fraught with personal danger. By inflicting a befitting punishment upon the captives, he sought to check the mob’s passions. He ordered punishment by bastinado - a form of torture that involves being beaten on the soles of the feet with a rod. He also promised that the captives would be kept in custody following this punishment until the return of the governor.
|The Mosque of Ámul, circa 1935|
When He had been bound in the humiliating bastinado position, His legs in the air, bare feet exposed and lashed to a bar held by assistants, Mulla Zaynu'l-'Abidin, Baha’u’llah’s paternal uncle and one of the company, threw himself in front of Baha’u’llah, and was thrashed until he fainted from the pain. Baha’u’llah was then beaten with rods until His feet bled. He was then removed, along with his companions, to one of the rooms of the mosque, and held there until the return of the Governor from his visit to Fort Shaykh Tabarsi.
(Adapted from ‘The Dawn-Breakers’, by Nabil, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi; ‘Baha’u’llah, The King of Glory’, by Balyuzi; and ‘The Robe of Light, vol. 1’, by Ruhe)