Posted by: samandal | October 20, 2009

Bahá’u’lláh, IV

Birth of the Báb

Almost all of the Bábís in Edirne chose Bahá’u’lláh over Azal and became Bahá’ís, as did the Bábís in Iran. His ascendancy over Subh-i-Azal, the Antichrist (Dajjál) of the Bahá’í revelation, was consolidated in September 1867, when the traitorous pretender challenged Bahá’u’lláh to mubáhala, a religious challenge in which two disputants call upon God to decide between the truth of the one and the error of the other. Azal then declined to attend the arranged challenge he himself had insisted upon, a significant factor in his loss of leadership and credibility, one that reinforced his violent impulses and homicidal tendencies.

Bahá’u’lláh was then accused of sedition by the partisans of Subh-i-Azal who sought to discredit him with the Ottoman authorities. He was investigated and cleared of these allegations, but both Bahá’u’lláh and Azal were condemned to perpetual imprisonment and isolation in ‘Akká and Cyprus respectively. Their entire entourage was coercively escorted from exile in Edirne on 12 August 1868 and sent by sea to their separate destinations. Bahá’u’lláh and his sixty-six companions arrived in ‘Akká on 31 August and were imprisoned in the barracks block of its citadel.

Three of the exiles died soon after their arrival from the lack of food and water. Mírzá Mihdí, the younger son of Bahá’u’lláh by his first wife Ásíyih Khánum, died on 23 June 1870 after he fell through a skylight on the roof of the barracks. Conditions improved after they left the barracks on 4 November 1870, although they remained confined to ‘Akká. Then, after the overthrow of the Ottoman Sultan ‘Abdu’l-‘Azíz on 30 May 1876, Bahá’u’lláh and his companions were able to leave ‘Akká to reside first, from June 1877, in the mansion of Mazra‘ih, then finally, from September 1879, in the mansion of Bahjí (Arabic, Delight).

Bahá’u’lláh remained in the mansion of Bahjí until his death and ascension to heaven on 29 May 1892. He penned or dictated over fifteen thousand tablets (alwáh) in both Persian and Arabic in excess of forty thousand manuscript pages. A principal Bahá’í scripture is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), a text revealed in 1873, wherein he propounds the religious laws and principles of the Faith. It consists of core text and commentary, from which applicable law is extracted, then subjected to a process of contemplation and internalization. The Aqdas prescribes a devotional practice, not a license to exercise power over others.

“And in His law doth he meditate day and night.”                                              (Psalm i. 2, Authorised Version)