|Tehran circa 1930s|
“I have heard Mullá Muhammad-i-Mu’allim, a native of Núr, in the province of Mázindarán, who was a fervent admirer of both Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim, relate this story:
‘I was in those days recognised as one of the favoured disciples of Hájí Mírzá Muhammad, and lived in the same school in which he taught. My room adjoined his room, and we were closely associated together. On the day that he was engaged in discussion with Mullá Husayn, I overheard their conversation from beginning to end, and was deeply affected by the ardour, the fluency, and learning of that youthful stranger. I was surprised at the evasive answers, the arrogance, and contemptuous behaviour of Hájí Mírzá Muhammad.
That day I felt strongly attracted by the charm of that youth, and deeply resented the unseemly conduct of my teacher towards him. I concealed my feelings, however, and pretended to ignore his discussions with Mullá Husayn. I was seized with a passionate desire to meet the latter, and ventured, at the hour of midnight, to visit him. He did not expect me, but I knocked at his door, and found him awake seated beside his lamp. He received me affectionately, and spoke to me with extreme courtesy and tenderness. I unburdened my heart to him, and as I was addressing him, tears, which I could not repress, flowed from my eyes.
“I can now see,” he said, “the reason why I have chosen to dwell in this place. Your teacher has contemptuously rejected this Message and despised its Author. My hope is that his pupil may, unlike his master, recognise its truth. What is your name, and which city is your home?” “My name,” I replied, “is Mullá Muhammad, and my surname Mu’allim. My home is Núr, in the province of Mázindarán.”
“Tell me,” further enquired Mullá Husayn, “is there to-day among the family of the late Mírzá Buzurg-i-Núrí, who was so renowned for his character, his charm, and artistic and intellectual attainments, anyone who has proved himself capable of maintaining the high traditions of that illustrious house?”
“Yea,” I replied, “among his sons now living, one has distinguished Himself by the very traits which characterised His father. By His virtuous life, His high attainments, His loving-kindness and liberality, He has proved Himself a noble descendant of a noble father.”
“What is His occupation?” he asked me. “He cheers the disconsolate and feeds the hungry,” I replied.
“What of His rank and position?” “He has none,” I said, “apart from befriending the poor and the stranger.”
“What is His name?” “Husayn-‘Alí.”
“In which of the scripts of His father does He excel?”
“His favourite script is shikastih-nasta’liq.”
“How does He spend His time?” “He roams the woods and delights in the beauties of the countryside.”
“What is His age?” “Eight and twenty.”
The eagerness with which Mullá Husayn questioned me, and the sense of delight with which he welcomed every particular I gave him, greatly surprised me. Turning to me, with his face beaming with satisfaction and joy, he once more enquired: “I presume you often meet Him?” “I frequently visit His home,” I replied. “Will you,” he said, “deliver into His hands a trust from me?” “Most assuredly,” was my reply.
He then gave me a scroll wrapped in a piece of cloth, and requested me to hand it to Him the next day at the hour of dawn. “Should He deign to answer me,” he added, “will you be kind enough to acquaint me with His reply.
I received the scroll from him and, at break of day, arose to carry out his desire.’"
- Nabil ('The Dawn-Breakers', translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)