THE BÁB BURNED AWAY THE VEILS THAT HINDERED PEOPLE FROM RECOGNIZING HIM AND LATER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AS A MANIFESTATION OF GOD
The Báb burned away the veils that hindered people from recognizing Him, and later Bahá’u’lláh, as a Manifestation of God.
In the last two lessons, we learned how the Letters of the Living immediately recognized the Báb and spread out in different directions to share with others the good news of His appearance.
There were many people with pure hearts, who were able to recognize the Báb without hesitation the moment they received the glad-tidings of His appearance. They could see the truth of His Message as clearly as they could see the sun. But there were veils that prevented others from seeing with their inner eyes the light that shone forth from God’s Manifestation.
Ignorance, prejudice, superstition, and pride, are like clouds that hide the physical sun, and act like veils that prevent people from perceiving the radiance of the Manifestation.
So powerful is the light that shines from His Person that it burns away many of these veils, and gradually more and more people come to recognize His station.
In Persia, thousands upon thousands of people accepted the Báb’s Message as soon as they received it. Others, blinded by their own prejudice or by the hatred instilled in them by their leaders, failed to see His greatness. Yet, we already know from the last lesson that, wherever the Báb went, His gentle, loving character and penetrating words soon burned away the veils which hindered them from recognizing the Manifestation of God. The anger, pride, and cruelty they carried in their hearts gave way to love and adoration for the Báb. Learned divines, ordinary people, guards, and governors alike came to believe in Him and to support His Cause.
1. Is there any remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding!
2. Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth. Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.
3. O Lord! Thou art the Remover of every anguish and the Dispeller of every affliction. Thou art He who banisheth every sorrow and setteth free every slave, the Redeemer of every soul. O Lord! Grant deliverance through Thy mercy, and reckon me among such servants of Thine as have gained salvation.
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GATHER BY THE GATE
REMOVER OF EVERY ANQUISH
GLORIFIED ART THOU
Say God Sufficeth
Suffer not yourselves to be shut out as by a veil from God after He hath revealed HimselfBahá’u’lláh
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The historical episode for this lesson provides an account of the circumstances surrounding the Báb’s imprisonment in the fortress of Máh-Kú.
The episode is divided into three stories:
- The first related events following His departure from Shíráz leading up to His imprisonment, including His stay in Iṣfáhán;
- The second describes the conditions of His imprisonment and the vision beheld by Alí Khán, warden of the fortress;
- And the third focusing on Mullá Ḥusayn’s visit.
Departure from Shíráz: props can include a map of Iran, Photos of Shíráz, etc.
Over two years had passed since the Báb made the momentous declaration that He was the Promised Qá’im, and the country was filled with excitement. From Shíráz, the Báb traveled north to the city of Iṣfáhán, where He was received with enthusiasm by the people. Moreover, the governor of that province, unlike the one for Shíráz, was a just and truth-seeking man. His name was Manúchihr Khán, and he ensured that the Báb was accorded every respect. But, as you can imagine, here too, the growing popularity of the Báb soon aroused the resentment of the clergy. They viewed with concern and envy the influence that the Báb was gradually exerting over their followers. And so they began to plot against Him. No sooner had Manúchihr Khán been informed of their plottings than he devised a plan of his own to protect the Báb. He issued immediate instructions for five hundred horsemen of his own guards to escort the Báb out of the gate of the city at sunset and to proceed in the direction of the capital Ṭihrán. Every few kilometers, one hundred of this mounted escort should return directly to Iṣfáhán until one hundred remained. To the head of this contingent of one hundred, a man in whom the governor placed great confidence, he gave a special instruction: After completing a certain distance, he should send twenty horsemen back at a time. When only twenty were left, he should choose ten of the most reliable and send the other ten on an assignment. With the remaining ten, he should bring the Báb back to Iṣfáhán in disguise by an unfrequented route and, at an unsuspected hour, reenter the city and conduct the Báb to his own home. Manúchihr Khán’s plan worked, and the Báb was able to stay as his guest for four months. During this time, the governor waited in person on the Báb and provided whatever was required for His comfort and safety.
Manúchihr Khán was a fairly wealthy man. He was without a wife and children, and one day, while seated with the Báb in the garden within the courtyard of his house, he turned to Him and said:
“The almighty Giver has endowed me with great riches. I know not how best to use them.”
Now that he had recognized the truth of the new Message from God, he had no other desire but to dedicate all of his possessions to its promotion. But that was not all. He offered the Báb the resources of his army, which were considerable, that they might march to the capital Ṭihrán and approach the king, Muḥammad Sháh.
The king greatly respected Manúchihr Khán, and he was convinced that he could win him over to the Cause and that he, too, would arise to promote it.
“I hope to be enabled,” he stated further, “to incline the hearts of the rulers and kings of the earth to this most wondrous Cause ”
To all of this the Báb replied: “May God requite you for your noble intentions. So lofty a purpose is to Me even more precious than the act itself. Your days and Mine are numbered, however; they are too short to enable Me to witness, and allow you to achieve, the realization of your hopes.”
The triumph of the new Faith, the Báb explained, would not be achieved, as Manúchihr Khán imagined, through wealth and worldly power. Rather, through the poor and lowly of the land and their sacrifice in His path would the Almighty God ensure the victory of His Cause.
“Of the span of your earthly life,” the Báb went on to say, “there remain only three months and nine days, after which you shall, with faith and certitude, hasten to your eternal abode.”
Manúchihr Khán was thus resigned to the Will of God, and in the weeks that followed, he prepared himself for the departure that the words of the Báb had so clearly foreshadowed. He wrote his will, settled his private affairs, and bequeathed whatever he possessed to the Báb. Often during those days he would seek the presence of the Báb and express concern for His safety when he was no longer there to protect him.
“Fear not,” was the Báb’s response. “I have committed Myself into the hands of God. My trust is in Him.”
And, indeed, immediately upon the death of Manúchihr Khán, his successor destroyed his will, seized all his property, and contemptuously ignored his wishes. The protection that the Báb had enjoyed was gone.
Bábs’ imprisonment and the vision beheld by Alí Khán
Now, Muḥammad Sháh, then king of Persia, was becoming more and more aware that the Báb’s Message was affecting many in the land. So he summoned the Báb to the royal court in Ṭihrán, ready to meet this extraordinary Personage for himself. But, unfortunately, he was a weak king, who allowed himself to be controlled by his ministers. The Prime Minister, his chief advisor, was a selfish and incompetent man. He was determined that no such meeting would ever take place. He sent a message to intercept the Báb, Who was approaching the capital city under guard and to divert Him to a small village, where He would be held until further instruction. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister convinced the king that the Báb was a threat to his power and that He should be banished to a far-off corner of the country. There, cut off from His followers, the Báb would be forgotten, the Prime Minister thought.
It was now the spring of 1847, three years after the Báb’s declaration, and orders were issued for Him to be taken to the fortress of Máh-Kú, a large stone edifice, high on a mountain in a lonely, remote region of the country. At the foot of the mountain was an entrance to the road, preventing anyone from going there without permission. To this desolate and forsaken place, the Báb was brought in the summer of 1847, still under guard. He was kept alone in a room, without even a lamp by which to read.
The warden of the fortress, a stern man by the name of ‘Alí Khán, was cautioned not to allow the Báb to affect him. Accordingly, ‘Alí Khán laid down strict orders that no one, with the exception of two attendants, should be permitted to see the Báb. Further, if any of His followers arrived in the village, he refused to let them remain there, even for one night.
Yet soon, in Máh-Kú, as elsewhere, the hearts of the people were softened by the ennobling influence of the Báb’s love. They were drawn to His Person and to the truth of His Message. Early each morning many would gather at the foot of the mountain on the road below the prison fortress and call out to Him, seeking His blessing for their daily work. ‘Alí Khán tried to stop them, but the longing of the people to see the Báb could not be diminished, and they continued to gather every day in the hope of catching a glimpse of Him at His window.
Then one day, ‘Alí Khán appeared at the door of the Báb’s room a changed man. No longer proud and cruel, he had become courteous and gentle but was obviously confused and agitated. The Báb arose from His seat and welcomed him. With humility and reverence, ‘Alí Khán flung himself at the Báb’s feet. “Deliver me,” he pleaded, “from my perplexity.” He then explained that he had just had a most extraordinary experience: “I was riding through the wilderness and was approaching the gate of the town, when, it being the hour of dawn, my eyes suddenly beheld You standing by the side of the river engaged in offering Your prayer. With outstretched arms and upraised eyes, You were invoking the name of God. I stood still and watched You. I was waiting for You to terminate Your devotions that I might approach and rebuke You for having ventured to leave the castle without my leave. In Your communion with God, You seemed so wrapt in worship that You were utterly forgetful of Yourself. I quietly approached You.” ‘Alí Khán went on to explain that he was suddenly seized with fear at the idea of disturbing the Báb, so he decided to leave Him and rebuke the guards for their negligence instead. However, to his surprise, upon arriving at the fortress, he found the gates locked and the guards at their post. Then he said, “I was ushered into Your presence, and now find You, to my wonder, seated before me. I am utterly confounded.”
“What you have witnessed is true and undeniable,” said the Báb. Through this experience, He explained, God had clearly revealed to ‘Alí Khán the truth of the Báb’s Message. ‘Alí Khán’s heart was greatly calmed by the Báb’s words, and he was determined to do everything in his power to make up for his past behavior. Immediately, he lifted the restrictions imposed on the Báb, and the doors of the fortress were opened to all those who wished to enter His Presence. An increasing number of His followers from different parts of Persia began to travel to Máh-Kú in order to visit the Báb, converse with Him, and receive His guidance. ‘Alí Khán himself never failed to pay his respects to the Báb each Friday and to assure Him of his unswerving loyalty and dedication
Mullá Ḥusayn’s visit
Now you remember that, following the declaration of His Mission three years earlier, the Báb had sent Mullá Ḥusayn on a most important mission to Ṭihrán. After the completion of the task with which he had been entrusted, Mullá Ḥusayn continued to spread the glad- tidings of the appearance of the Promised Qá’im. But, finally, he could bear the pain of separation from the Báb no longer. He vowed to walk the long distance to Máh-Kú in order to attain His presence, and he set out on foot at once. It was spring when he arrived at the fortress, following a winter that had been so unusually cold that the water the Báb used to prepare Himself for prayer would glisten into drops frozen upon His face. Now the one to whom the Báb referred as His “Primal Mirror”, the first to recognize His station, had joined Him. It was a time of joyous celebration.
Mullá Ḥusayn remained in Máh-Kú for only a short period. One day, as the Báb was looking out over the landscape of the surrounding country from the roof of the fortress, He turned to Mullá Ḥusayn and described to him events that would come to pass in the weeks and months ahead. Then He made clear that His days of relative freedom in Máh- Kú would soon end.
“A few days after your departure from this place,” the Báb informed Mullá Ḥusayn, “they will transfer Us to another mountain. Ere you arrive at your destination, the news of Our departure from Máh-Kú will have reached you.”
And, not long after, when Mullá Ḥusayn was preparing to make his leave, the Báb addressed him with these words:
“You are destined to exhibit such courage, such skill, and heroism as shall eclipse the mightiest deeds of the heroes of old. Your daring exploits will win the praise and admiration of the dwellers in the eternal Kingdom.”
All that the Báb had predicted soon came to pass. You see, the Prime Minister had learned that ‘Alí Khán had become a devoted supporter of the Báb, and so he ordered that the Prisoner should be transferred to another fortress in Chihríq. The Báb bade a loving farewell to the people of Máh-Kú, who, during the nine months He had been in captivity there, had recognized to a remarkable degree the power of His personality and the greatness of His character. As for Mullá Ḥusayn, we will learn in another class about the trials he would face and the acts of bravery he would perform. But, for now, there is one more important thing you need to know about the time the Báb spent in Máh-Kú.
During the period of His imprisonment there, the Báb revealed the Persian Bayán, in which He established the laws of His Dispensation, plainly and directly announced the coming of another Revelation greater than His Own, and urged His followers to seek and find
“Him Whom God shall make manifest”.
One of His followers who was in Máh-Kú at the time later explained:
“The voice of the Báb, as He dictated the teachings and principles of His Faith, could be clearly heard by those who were dwelling at the foot of the mountain. The melody of His chanting and the rhythmic flow of the verses which streamed from His lips caught our ears and penetrated into our very souls. Mountain and valley re-echoed the majesty of His voice. Our hearts vibrated in their depths to the appeal of His utterance.”
And in the Persian Bayán, the Báb refers to the days He spent in that fortress-prison, where His captors were
“so veiled from Him as to refuse Him even a lamp!”
But of course, you know that nothing can prevent God from achieving His purpose, and the light of the Báb’s Revelation soon burned away the veils that kept His captors from seeing the truth. The fire of the love of God that He ignited in heart after heart continued to spread throughout the land. And now that the beautiful Shrine of the Báb has been built at the heart of Mount Carmel in Haifa, every evening it is flooded with light, illumined for One Who was denied even a lamp in that fortress in Máh-Kú.
Reflections on the stories
This historical episode is replete with ideas of deep spiritual significance to reflect on.
Among them is the profound truth, expressed by the Báb in response to Manúchihr Khán’s offer of assistance, that it is not through worldly power but through the efforts we all make—men and women, young and old— that the Cause of God advances.
- We can all be champions of God’s Cause.
- We can also see that once more the foes were turned into friends.
- That no matter how the people tried to hide the light of Báb revelation, people found the light and were attracted to it.
USE THE RESOURCES BELOW AS NEEDED
FACTS ABOUT THE BÁB
- The governor of Iṣfáhán was named Manúchihr Khán.
- With shelter offered by Manúchihr Khán, the Báb remained in Iṣfáhán for about six months, from the fall of 1846 to the spring of 1847.
- An order was issued by the king in the spring of 1847 for the Báb to be taken to the fortress of Máh-Kú, in a remote, mountainous region of Persia.
- A little over three years after the declaration of His Mission, in the summer of 1847, the Báb was imprisoned in the fortress of Máh-Kú.
- The warden of the prison-fortress of Máh-Kú was called ‘Alí Khán.
- During His imprisonment at Máh-Kú, the Báb revealed the Persian Bayán, His Most Holy Book.
- After nine months imprisoned in Máh-Kú, the Báb was moved to another fortress called Chihríq.
Download the memorization aid cards FACTS ABOUT THE BAB HERE
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THE BÁB LOVED TEA.
Use the template below to make a teacup and attach the quote and gift it to someone you know
Template found on this SITE to make a teacup.
Add the quote below and a tea bag. Gift it to someone.
ADD THE QUOTE
THE BAB REMOVED VEILS
Do you remember the story in the bible about the blind man?
W know that some of these stories were written in the form of parables to indicate deeper meaning like the spiritual vails that are lifted or burned awat, and our spiritual blindness opened.
we will use this as an example for our craft and construct a blind man who can see.
DOWNLOAD MY CRAFT TEMPLATE HERE
This site has a great craft that can be used to “Remove the Veils”
follow the instructions. use the image of a veil or curtain and then the quote when the tab is pulled.
Shutters are closed.
BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE
Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men
Selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
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