Baha's Grounds of Pretensions
Title of Baha, Unauthorized And Self-Assumed


10.    Title of Baha, Unauthorized And Self-Assumed
10.1   Nabil’s version
The Dawn-Breakers, Nabil’s Narratives, Shoghi Effendi’s translation, P. 293) (See Badasht Conference (this link is not yet available)):
Those who had gathered in Badasht were eighty-one in number, all of whom, from the time of their arrival to the days of their dispersion, were the guests of Bahaullah. Every day, he revealed a Tablet which Mirza Sulayman-i-Nuri, chanted in the presence of the assembled believers.
Upon each he bestowed a new name. He himself was henceforth designated by the name of Baha; Upon the last Letter of the Living [i.e. Haji Mirza Muhammad Ali of Barfurush] was conferred the appellation of Quddus, and to Qurrat al-Ayn [i.e. Zarrin-Taj] was given the title of Tahira [the Pure One]. To each of those who had convened at Badasht a special Tablet was subsequently revealed by the BÁB, each of whom he addressed by the name recently conferred upon him. When, at a later time, a number of the more rigid and conservative among her fellow-disciples chose to accuse Tahira of indiscreetly referring the time-honored traditions of the past, the BÁB, to whom these complaints had been addressed, replied in the following terms: ‘What am I to say regarding her whom the tongue of Power and Glory has named Tahira?” Each day of that memorable gathering witnessed the abrogation of a new law and the repudiation of a long established tradition… No one knew, however, the Source whereof these bold and radiant innovations proceeded, no one suspected the hand which steadily and unerringly steered their course, even the identity of him who had bestowed a new name upon each of these who had congregated in that hamlet remained unknown to those who had received them. Each conjectured according to his own degree of understanding. Few, if any, dimly surmised that Bahaullah was the author of the far-reaching charges which were so fearlessly introduced.”
Bahaullah’s sojourn in Badasht lasted two and twenty days (ibid, P. 298).”

10.2   Kitab-i-Zuhur-al-Haq
Kitab-i-Zuhur-al-Haq, Vol. III. The author of this book was a prominent Bahai who has surpassed his name. He is identical to Mirza Fadil, who hailed from a village in Shiraz district. In PP. 109-112 he gives an account of the Badasht conference held in “Rabi’ Thani A.H. 1284 (March 1848)” and reproduces the original Persian text of Nabil’s version quoted in (1) above. The discrepancies between the text and Shoghi Effendi’s translation are as follows:

  1. Bestowal of new names took place by “drawing of lots.”
  2. The ‘conferees’ designated Mirza Husayn Ali as “Baha”. Mirza Muhammad Ali of Barfurush as “Quddus”, and Qurrat-al-Ayn as “Tahira”.
  3. Upon complaint to the BÁB against Qurrat-al-Ayn the BÁB replied: “What am I to say regarding a power whom god has named Tahira.”
  4. Some of the conferees were under the impression that “these names were revealed by Quddus for these persons,” while others held the opinion that “they were revealed by Tahira”. But it was inferred from the Point’s reply that they were ‘from god’. The grantor of the new names remained unknown to the assemblage owing to the exigencies of the time.
  5. Each day an idol was demolished, and a veil was rent asunder. But as in the case of “the descent of the names, the source of these orders and injunctions (touching demolition and rending] was unknown. Each attributed it to the grantor to which he was inclined.”

Now according to Kitab-i-Zuhur-al-Haq, the Badasht conference was held in March 1848, according to another source, See Qurrat-al-Ayn Address At Badasht & Allegations of Misconduct at Badasht (This link is not provided yet!, the Badasht conference wound up its proceeding in the first half of A.H. 1264 (ending June 5, 1848).
Mirza Husayn Ali [Baha] “returned to Teheran after the death of the late Prince Muhammad Shah (on September 4, 1848), having in his mind [the intention] of corresponding and entering into relations with the BÁB.”, Sir Abbas Effendi’s (Traveler’s Narrative, P. 62).
Mirza Husayn Ali [Baha] received the first intimations of his divine mission in A.H. 1268 (1852), while confined in the Siyah-Chal of Teheran,” following the attempt on the Shah’s life in August 1852. The Dawn-Breakers Nabil’s Narrative, P. 18, Shoghi Effendi’s footnote 1.

Mirza Husayn Ali “revealed himself in 1863 in the garden of Ridvan in Baghdad”, (Shoghi Effendi’s god passes by, P. 153) of which no record exists.
Mirza Husayn Ali could not, therefore ‘reveal’ tablets or grant titles in 1848, as on that date he had (not) “yet even “received the first intimations of his divine mission.”

The assembled believers, Mirza Husayn Ali including, could not arrogate to themselves the right to grant titles or names to themselves, as such grants are in the gift of the Manifestation of the age, and the Primal Point was the Manifestation in the Bayanic dispensation (Persian Bayan Wáhid V, BÁB 8).

10.3   Shoghi Effendi’s version
In God Passes By, P. 32, Shoghi Effendi gives an amended version of Nabil’s account: “On each of the twenty two days of his [i.e. Mirza Husayn Ali’s] sojourn in that hamlet [i.e. Badasht] he revealed a Tablet, which was chanted in the presence of the assembled believers. On every believer he conferred “new name, without, however, disclosing the identity of the one who had bestowed it. He himself was henceforth designated by the name of Baha. Upon the Last Letter of the Living was conferred the appellation of Quddus, while Qurrat-al-Ayn was given the title of Tahira. By these names they were all subsequently addressed by the BÁB in the Tablets he revealed for each one of them.” This is dealt with under V.

10.4   Kashf-al-Hiyal
Abdul Husayn Ayati surnamed Awara’s account in Kashf-al-Hiyyal, Vol. I., 6th impression, PP. 20-21:
Bahai leaders insist “that no one has mentioned Mirza Husayn Ali by name. They call him by unknown names, whose grantor and the purpose for which they were granted, are “mystery to this day. His most reputed name is Bahaullah. All my efforts to trace the source from which he came to acquire this title failed, because “the grantor of titles in the BÁB’s religion was the BÁB himself and not any other person.” Quddus [i.e. Mirza Muhammad Ali of Barfurush], BÁB-al-BÁB [i.e. Mulla Husayn of Barfurush] and others received their titles from the BÁB himself. No writing by the BÁB ever been seen indicating that Mirza Husayn Ali was designated Bahaullah. What is notorious is that at Badasht the BÁB’s companions had forgathered to manufacture and fabricate a common law, and consulted together whether the Islamic law should be abrogated and innovated. There exists no precedent for such a thing in any faith, and no prophet has ever entrusted a consultative body the matter of abrogating an earlier law, and of introducing a new law. During the conference at Badasht epistles were received from the BÁB in Maku conferring titles on his companions, with the exception of a body of them who were of the second category, and were of no importance in the eyes of the BÁB. The one and only error of the BÁB was that he put Mirza Husayn Ali in the second category and bestowed no title on him. For this reason he was exceedingly furious and gave notice of his intention to walk out of the conference and to quit the place. Consequently Qurrat-al-Ayn, who attached great importance to the convention, and turning aside, even of a mediocre person discountenanced Mirza Husayn Ali’s intended retirement and told him ‘Let the title of Baha be for you.”

10.5   The Merit of the Claim
In as much as publicizing, without the Point’s permission, of this title was improper, Mirza Husayn Ali did not come to be known by this title immediately. After the martyrdom of the Primal Point, a fancy for god-ship went into Mirza Husayn Ali’s head. With the death of the prominent BÁBis, and Qurrat-al-Ayn herself, who could no longer tell the truth, Mirza Husayn Ali by auto-suggestion, and at the suggestion of members of his own family, appropriated to himself not only the title of Baha but also that of Bahaullah.

10.6  Awakening of the Sleepers
The authoress of Tanbih-al-Naimin’s account, P.5
In the Badasht conference Mirza Husayn Ali was in attendance of Tahira together with a number of companions. He received the title of Baha from that great and pure lady. He became privileged by this title of which he was proud, and which he gloried among his equals.”

10.7  New History
Tarikh-i-Jadid, Appendix II, Mirza Jani’s History, P. 377.
“After this his brother [i.e. Mirza Husayn Ali [Baha], set out for the Most Holy Land [i.e.] Mash-had], and on the way thither met with [literally, was in attendance on] Janab-i-Tahira, with whom he tarried, doing her much service both there and at Teheran … In short, he remained in Sabzawar till Hazrat-i-[i.e. His Holiness] Quddus [i.e. Last Letter of the Living] Muhammad Ali of Barfurush] came thither, on whom he had the honor of waiting.”
These quotations show that Baha, contrary to Nabil’s and Shoghi Effendi’s versions, was inferior to Tahira and Quddus.

On the authority of Sir Abbas Effendi’s Traveller’s Narrative, P. 62, “It was after the death of the late Prince Muhammad Shah [on September 4, 1848, ibid, Prof. Browne’s Note M, P. 277, long after Badasht conference] that he [i.e. Mirza Husayn Ali] returned to Teheran, having in his mind [the intention of] corresponding and entering into relations with the BÁB.”

Therefore Shoghi Effendi’s statement in god passes by, P. 31, to the effect that “Baha, maintaining through continual correspondence close contact with the BÁB … presided over that [i.e. the Badasht] conference, and guided and controlled its proceeding” is devoid of historical foundation.

10.8  The Title ‘Baha’ was for Tahira
The collection containing Some of the autograph Epistles of the Primal Point and of his amanuensis Aqa Sayyid Husayn [of Yazd].
The document on page 31 of this collection is facsimile of Aqa Sayyid Hussein’s autograph epistle addressed to the “scribe of Subh-i-Azal’s writings (Asar-i-Azaliyya) in the Holy Land (عرض مقصود) [i.e. Teheran]”, namely, Mulla Abd-al-Karim of Qazwin, known as Mirza Ahmad-i-Katib (the scriber).

The segment containing reference to the title Baha is magnified below:

Typed copy of the segment above:

« ........................................ و چند جزوه از آثار بدیعه این سنه ابدیة ارسال شد هر جزوی باسم اسمی از اسما بر راس آن ذکر شده اسم ازل للثمرة الازلیه و الوجة الالهیة والطلعة الابدیة فی ذکر اسم العزیز و اسم الجمیل لاسم الله الکریم وجود الله قدیم مبشر بهجة الازلیة و مذکر ذکر الابدیة و سبحانه سبحانه عن کل ما یذکره الذاکرون تسبیحا سبیحا و اسم الحی للوحید الفرید الذی نزل فی حقه ظهورالوحید خیر من عبادة الثقلین و ان غلب فهوالغالب ان جندالله لهم الغالبون و اسم البهاء للشجرة البهاء و الساکن فی بحرالعماء قل لها من لسانی فاحمدی الله ربک و رب کلشئ لما استجاب دعائک و احبی اولیائک تحمیدا علیا و اسم الدیان فی اسم الاحد لحظرت الامجد الا وحد الا سدالضرعام والنور القمام والعارج الی ذروة المراد فی سبیل الله الملک العلام و اسم العلی فی اسم الجلیل لاسم الله الاعلی سید 110 و ارسلتها الیکم فاحفظوها ... »

The epistle speaks of a number of documents enclosed therewith “in this year of abad [i.e. the seventh year, A.H. 1266 (1850), reckoning from the Point’s declaration as Jamad-Awwal 5, 1260 (May 23, 1844)], and intended for a number of persons designated threin.
The epistle refers to a document addressed as follows: ”and the name of al-Baha is for the tree of al-Baha, abiding in the ocean of the divine mystery. Tell her, by my tongue, the following: ‘Render thanks (Fa-ahmadi) unto thy Lord, and all things, for having answered thy prayer; and love (Fa-ahibbi) thy saints with highly praise’. “

The pronouns in the female gender in the passage indicate that the title of Baha was bestowed by the Primal Point on Tahira. The letter Ta in Tahira and the word Baha have the same numerical equivalent, viz., 9.
Reference is also made in the epistle to the Point’s document addressed to “238 [i.e. the numerical value of Husayn Ali] the brother of the Fruit [i.e. Subh-i-Azal] dealt with in section 20, 21.16.

9.9  The Diary of The Primal Point
The Point’s autograph Personal Diary.

On page 1 of the diary the following entry is posted:
“Monday 6”“Shajara-i-Baha”
[10 Jamad Awwal, A.H. 1266][The Tree of Baha]
[24 March 1850]“Panj Waraq”
[Five Papers]
This means that the document addressed by the Primal Point to Tahira was written on that date and represents the Point’s writing of five grades or styles made of verses, supplications, commentaries, and Persian words. The personal diary, among other things, is a record of the Point’s writing in this style addressed to prominent BÁBis to mark the appointment of Subh-i-Azal as his successor and vicegerent these writings constitute. The Point’s Five Grades (Panj Sha’n). Such of these writings as were available were printed and published in a book form. The writing addressed to Tahira appearing on PP. 172-212 in the published Five Grades.

Her names was Zarrin-Taj (T.A, Prof. Browne’s Note Q. P.309).
She is known as “Baha, the letter Fa (Fatima), Qurrat-al-Ayn (The Solace of the Eye), the Shajara (the Tree), the Za (Zahra), the Ta (Tahira, the Pure)”, Tarikh-i-Jadid, Appendix III, PP. 436-441; footnote 1 and 3, P. 439).
Tahira was one of the Letters of the Living.

Tahira held this title as of right, Mirza Husayn Ali may hold the title of Baha on sufferance. But this title ex-gratia was bestowed on the part of Tahira did not qualify him to hold as of right. Such titles were not transferable and assignable by their grantees.
The title of Baha and Bahaullah taken by Mirza Husayn Ali are unauthorized and self-assumed.

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