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Bahá'í Firsts - Ministry of Báb
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This is a collection of the first time certain events occured within the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths. Below are entries from the Bahá'í Chronology with the information about the "First" in bold. The full entries are listed to give context to the events.
• Istijlál 7 'Aẓamat 1 B.E.
• Yawm al-Khamīs 5 Jumādá al-ūlá
   A.H. 1260
• Wednesday* 22 May A.D. 1844
• Yom Chamishi 5 Sivan A.M. 5604

* After sunset = Thursday 23rd in the other three calendars.
Declaration of the Báb's Mission

Two hours and eleven minutes after sunset Siyyid 'Alí-Muḥammad makes His declaration to Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bushrú'í.

First, the greatest, and mightiest of all books in the Bábí Dispensation
• Ráḥmat / Asmá' 1 B.E.
• Jumādá al-ākhirah / Sha'bān A.H. 1260
• Jul / Aug A.D.1844
• Tammuz / Elul A.M. 5604
The intention of the Báb is to introduce the new Revelation slowly so as not to cause estrangement. He instructed them to spread out and teach His Faith and to this end He assigned each one a special task, most often to their own native provinces. [BBRSM14-16, 36; SWB119, BBR2p36, DB92-4; MH82-6; SBBH1:19]
  • To Mullá Ḥusayn He had given the task of delivering a Tablet to Bahá'u'lláh in Ṭihrán and going to the court of the S̲h̲áh to apprise him of the Báb's cause. Mullá Ḥusayn is not able to gain access to the S̲h̲áh. [B48-57; BBRSM15; BKG32-3; CH22-3; DB85-87, 97; MH90-2, 102]
  • Mullá Ḥusayn carries to Ṭihrán a Tablet revealed by the Báb for Muḥammad S̲h̲áh. This is the first of a number of unsuccessful attempts to enlist his aid. [BBRSM20-1; MH102; SWB13]
  • Note: MH118-119 and DB127-128 indicate that Mullá Ḥusayn had been in Tehran "between the months of Jámádí and Rajab". The first day of Jámádí, 1260 corresponds to 18 June, and the last day of Rajab to 15 August, 1844.
  • See RB2:303, 'The Báb … sent Tablets to only two monarchs of His day — Muḥammad S̲h̲áh of Persia and Sultán 'Abdu'l-Majíd of Turkey.'
  • From S̲h̲íráz he journeys north to Iṣfahán where Mullá Ja'far, the sifter of wheat, is the first to embrace the Cause of the Báb in that city. Mullá Ḥusayn then travels to Kás̲h̲án, about 130 miles from Iṣfahán. He then goes to Qum, another 100 miles from Kás̲h̲án. After Qum he goes to Ṭihrán. [MH98-101, DB99]
  • See B53-6; DB104-7, MH104-110 for the delivery of the Báb's Tablet to Bahá'u'lláh. Mullá Ḥusayn does not meet Bahá'u'lláh on this occasion.
  • On receiving the Tablet of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh accepts His Cause. He immediately journeys to Mázindarán, His native province, to promote the Cause of the Báb. He returns after the death of the S̲h̲ah in 1848 [BKG39-40; BW8:782; DB109; TN35, SoB6, BPP45, 48, SoG4]
  • Mullá Ḥusayn leaves for K̲h̲urásán, as he had been instructed, winning supporters for the Báb's Cause while there he writes to the Báb regarding these new believers and Bahá'u'lláh's immediate response to the Báb's Revelation. [B56, DB128-9, MH118]
  • See MH121-2 for a discussion of the speed of Mullá Ḥusayn's journey before the letter was dispatched to the Báb. It assumes that Mullá Ḥusayn departed after The Báb met with all the Letters of the Living (date not before 2 July, 1844.) In fact both Mullá Ḥusayn and Mullá 'Alíy-Basṭámí had been dispatched before this meeting. [DB85-86, 92, HotD46] .
First to embrace the Cause of the Báb in the city of Isfahán; first of a number of unsuccessful attempts to enlist aid of Muḥammad S̲h̲áh
• Jamál 11 Kamál 1 B.E.
• Yawm al-Aḥad 26 Rajab A.H. 1260
• Sunday 11 August A.D. 1844
• Yom Rishon 26 Av A.M.5604
The Báb sends Mullá 'Alíy-i-Basṭámí to Najaf and Karbalá to proclaim His Cause among the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ís. In Najaf Mullá 'Alí delivers a letter from the Báb to S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Muḥammad-Ḥasan Najafí, the leading S̲h̲í'í divine and the keeper of the shrines in Iraq. [BBRSM15; DB87-91; SBBH20-1, HotD46] First martyr of the Bábí Dispensation; first major challenge to Babism from a S̲h̲ayk̲h̲í leader
• Sulṭán 1 / Bahá 2 B.E.
• Muḥarram / Rabī' al-awwal
         A.H. 1261
• February / March A.D. 1845
• Shevat / Veadar A.M. 5605
The Báb returns to Bús̲h̲ihr. He sends Quddús to S̲h̲íráz with a letter addressed to His uncle Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid 'Alí who embraces his Nephew's Cause, the first, after the Letters of the Living, to do so. The Báb also entrusts Quddús with a treatise for him entitled d̲h̲asá'il-i-Sab'ih ('the Seven Qualifications') and promises him his impending martyrdom. (He gave is life as one of the Seven Martyrs of Tehran, see 1850 19 or 20 Feb.) [B77-8; DB142-3; MS2]
  • B77 and GPB10 say the Báb arrived in Bús̲h̲ihr in February - March.
  • SSBH1p23 and BBRSM216 say 15 May, 1845.
  • Before leaving on pilgrimage the Báb had stated that He would return to Karbalá and asked His followers to congregate there. An explanation in part for the large following that have gathered there is the messianic expectation associated with the year 1261, a thousand years after the Twelfth Imám's disappearance in 260 A.H.. This gathering is perceived as a threat by the authorities. [BBRSM15, 45, 216; DB157-8; SBBH1p23, 32]
  • The Báb changes His plan to meet His followers in Karbalá and instructs them to go to Iṣfahán instead. A number abandon Him, regarding this as badá', 'alteration of divine will'. [BBRSM16; DB158; MH125; SBBH23]
  • Some speculate that He did not go to Karbalá to avoid conflict and sedition. Many Bábís had gone to Karbalá armed in preparation for holy war, 'jihád'. [BBRSM21-2; SBBH1:23]
first to embrace the Cause after the Letters of the Living.
• Jalál 17 'Ilm 2 B.E.
• Yawm as-Sabt 1 Dhū al-Qa'dah
    A.H.1261
• Saturday 1 November A.D. 1845
• Yom Shabbat 1 Cheshvan A.M. 5606
The Times of London carries an item on the arrest and torture of Quddús, Mullá Ṣádiq-i-K̲h̲urásání, Mullá 'Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání and Mullá Abú-Tálib in S̲h̲íráz in June. This is the first known printed reference to the Revelation. A similar article is reprinted on 19 November. [B76-7; BBR4, 69] First known published reference to The Báb.
• Qawl / S̲h̲araf 3 B.E.
• Dhū al-Ḥijjah A.H. 1262 / Muḥarram
   A.H. 1263
• December A.D. 1846
• Kislev / Tevet A.M. 5607
Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí dies in Istanbul naval dockyards. He is the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. First martyr of the Bábí Dispensation
• Kamál 16 Mulk 3 B.E.
• Yawm al-Ithnayn 15 Ṣafar A.H. 1263
• Monday 22 February A.D. 1847
• Yom Sheni 6 Adar A.M. 5607
Birth of Thornton Chase, designated the first American Bahá'í, in Springfield, Massachusetts. First American Bahá'í
• Bahá / `Izzat 4 B.E.
• Rabī' ath-thānī / Rajab A.H. 1263
• Spring / Summer A.D. 1847
• Nissan / Tishri A.M. 5607
Ṭáhirih's activities in Iraq so alarm some Bábís of Kázimayn that they agitate against her. Siyyid `Alí Bis̲h̲r writes to the Báb in Máh-Kú on their behalf. The Báb replies praising Ṭáhirih, causing the Kázimayn Bábís to withdraw from the Faith. [B 163]
  • Among those Ṭáhirih meets in Bag̲h̲dád is Ḥakím Masíḥ, a Jewish doctor who years later becomes the first Bahá'í of Jewish background. [B165]
  • Ṭáhirih is sent back to Persia by Najíb Pás̲h̲á. She is accompanied by a number of Bábís; they make a number of stops along the way, enrolling supporters for the Cause of the Báb. [B163-4; BBRSM216]
  • Ma'ani says Ṭáhirih left Bag̲h̲dád early in 1847.
  • In Kirand 1,200 people are reported to have volunteered to follow her. [B164; DB272; TN20]
  • B164 says the number is 12,000; DB272 says it was 1,200.
  • In Kirmáns̲h̲áh she is respectfully received by the `ulamá. [B164; DB272]
  • Ṭáhirih arrives in Hamadán. Her father has sent her brothers here to persuade her to return to her native city of Qazvín. She agrees on condition that she may remain in Hamadán long enough to tell people about the Báb. [B165; DB273]
  • MF180 says Ṭáhirih remained in Hamadán for two months.
First Bahá'í of Jewish background
• Kamál / Asmá' 4 B.E.
• c.  Sha'bān / Ramaḍān A.H. 1263
• c. August A.D. 1847
• c. Av / Elul A.M. 5607
Mullá Ḥusayn is residing in Mas̲h̲had, in K̲h̲urásán, where he has been since returning from S̲h̲íráz in 1845. The leader of a local rebellion wishes to enlist the Bábís on his side and seeks a meeting with Mullá Ḥusayn. To avoid entanglement in the affair, Mullá Ḥusayn decides to make a pilgrimage to Máh-Kú. [TB56; DB254-5; MH133-5]
  • As an act of piety, he makes the whole 1,200-mile journey on foot. Along the route he visits the Bábís and in Ṭihrán meets secretly with Bahá'u'lláh. No account of their interview survives. In Qazvín, Mullá Ḥusayn meets Ṭáhirih for the first time. [DB255; MH137]
First meeting of Mullá Ḥusayn and Ṭáhirih
• `Ilm / S̲h̲araf 4 B.E.
• Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1263 / Muḥarram
    A.H. 1264
• November / December A.D. 1847
• Cheshvan / Kislev A.M. 5607
Bahá'u'lláh, who is living in Ṭihrán, visits the detainees and gives them money. [BKG41; DB278-9; GPB68]

Mullá `Abdu'lláh confesses to the murder of Ḥájí Mullá Muḥammad Taqí and is helped to escape. [BKG41-2; DB278]

  • See BKG42 for why Bahá'u'lláh was thought to have engineered his escape. Bahá'u'lláh is imprisoned for a few days for having assisted in Mullá `Abdu'lláh's escape.
  • This was Bahá'u'lláh's first imprisonment. [BKG41; BW18:380; DB585]
  • Shayk̲h̲ Ṣáliḥ-i-Karímí, one of the imprisoned Bábís, is publicly executed in Ṭihrán.
  • He is the first to suffer martyrdom on Persian soil. His remains are interred in the courtyard of the shrine of the Imám-Zádih Zayd in Ṭihrán. [B166; BW18:380; DB280]
  • The remaining captives are returned to Qazvín. Ḥájí Asadu'lláh-i-Farhádí is secretly put to death in prison. Mullá Táhir-i-S̲h̲írází and Mullá Ibrahím-i-Maballátí are also put to death. [B166; BW18:380; DB280-3]
  • DB280-3 says `the rest of' the detainees were put to death by the relatives of Ḥájí Mullá Muḥammad Taqí.
First imprisonment of Bahá'u'lláh; first martyr on Persian soil
• last week in Kalimát 5 B.E.
• last week in Sha'bān A.H. 1264
• last week in July A.D. 1848
• last week in Tammuz A.M. 5608
The Báb arrives in Tabríz and is brought before a panel of which the 17-year-old Crown Prince Náṣiri'd-Dín Mírzá is the president. The Báb publicly makes His claim that He is the Qá'im. This claim has also been announced to those gathered at Badas̲h̲t. [B140-7; BBR157; BBRSM23, 216; BW18:380; DB314-20; GPB21-2; TN14]
  • This constitutes the formal declaration of His mission. [GPB22]
  • The purpose of the public forum is to force the Báb to recant His views; instead He takes control of the hearing and embarrasses the clergy. After considerable argument and discussion, they decide He is devoid of reason. [GPB22]
  • The Báb is bastinadoed. [B145; BBD44; DB320; GPB22; TN14-15] This is the first formal punishment He receives. [BBRSM20]
  • He is first attended by an Irish physician, Dr William Cormick, to ascertain His sanity and later to treat Him for a blow to the face that occurred during the bastinado. Cormick is the only Westerner to meet and converse with Him. [B145; BBR74-5, 497-8 DBXXXIL-XXXIII]
  • The clergy issue a fatwa or legal pronouncement against the Báb condemning Him to death for heresy, but to no purpose as the civil authorities are unwilling to take action against Him. [BBRSM19-20]
  • For an account of the life of Dr. William Cormick see Connections by Brendan McNamara.
First formal punishment of the Báb; first and only westerner to meet the Báb.
• Fidál 5 `Izzat 5 B.E.
• Yawm ath-Thulāthā' 13 Shawwāl
   A.H. 1264
• Tuesday 12 September A.D. 1848
• Yom Shlishi 14 Elul A.M.5608
The accession of Náṣiri'd-Dín S̲h̲áh at Tabríz. [BBR482]
  • He is 17 years old. [BBR158; GPB37]
  • He ruled from 1848 to 1 May 1896 when he was assassinated on the eve of his jubilee. [BBD168; BBR482]
  • The first four years of his reign were marked by the `fiercest and bloodiest of the persecutions of the religion of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh'. During the whole of his reign there were `sporadic persecutions and, in at least some cases, he himself was directly responsible for the death of the martyrs'. [BBR157]
  • For the first time in the Faith's history the civil and ecclesiastical powers banded together in a systematic campaign against it, one that was to `culminate in the horrors experienced by Bahá'u'lláh in the Síyáh-C̲h̲ál' and `His subsequent banishment to Iraq'. [GPB37]
  • See BBRSM25 for an explanation of why the Bábí religion was a challenge to the secular regime.
  • See SB86 for a reason for Náṣiri'd-Dín S̲h̲áh's cruelty towards the Bábís and Bahá'ís.
  • See RB3:201 for an explanation of his lengthy reign.
  • He chose as his prime minister Mírzá Taqí K̲h̲án-i-Faráhání, known as a great reformer and a founder of modern Iran. [BBD221; BBR160]
  • It was not until the spring of 1849 that the new regime was in firm control.
First time the civil and ecclesiastical powers banded together in a systematic campaign against the Faith
• Kamál 11 `Aẓamat /
   Istiqlál 17 Núr 7 B.E.

• Yawm al-Aḥad 15 Rajab /
   Yawm as-Sabt 10 Sha'bān A.H. 1266
• Thursday 27 May / 21 June A.D.1850
• Yom Rishon 16 Sivan /
   Yom Shabbat 11 Tammuz A.M. 5610
First Nayríz upheaval.

Vahíd travels from Yazd towards S̲h̲íráz, eventually coming to Nayríz. He goes to the Mosque of Jum‘ih where he ascends the pulpit and proclaims the Cause of God. The Governor makes moves against him and Vahíd orders his companions to occupy the fort of K̲h̲ájih. The siege that follows lasts a month. [B178, 204–5; BBR109–13; BW18:381]

First Nayríz upheaval
• 'Idál 12 `Ilm 9 B.E.
• Yawm al-Arba'ā' 13 Muḥarram A.H. 1269
• Wednesday 27 October A.D. 1852
• Yom Reviʻi 14 Cheshvan A.M. 5613
The Bábí Faith is first mentioned in the 27 October 1852 volume of Magyar Hírlap (The Hungarian Newspaper), under the title „Persia műveltségi történetéhez" („To the History of Education in Persia") where Captain Von Goumoens, a captain of the Austrian army based in Tehran reports on the terrible events related to the persecution of Bahá'ís in Iran. [www.bahai.hu] First mention of the Faith in Hungary
• 10 B.E.
• A.H. 1269 or 1270
• A.D. 1853 or 1854
• A.M. 5613 or 5614
Birth of Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí, first son of Bahá'u'lláh and His second wife, Mahd-i-‘Ulyá. [CB 125] First son of Bahá'u'lláh and His second wife, Mahd-i-‘Ulyá; first year of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival Baghdád
     
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