|Subh-i-Azal with his family|
“We have seen that Subh-i-Azal, the half-brother of Baha’u’llah, was appointed by the Bab as his successor. According to Abdul Baha, this appointment was a dishonest subterfuge on the part of Baha, arranged by him through secret correspondence with the Bab, in order that Baha might be relieved of danger and persecution and be protected from interference. . . This account shows the low ideas of honour and truthfulness in the minds of Baha and Abdul Baha” (Wilson, p. 204).Wilson (Wilson, p. 204) also quoted from Abul Fazl’s account of the same event in his book ‘Baha’i Proofs,’ p. 52, in which Fazl “states the position of the ‘Traveler’s Narrative”:
“The Bab and Baha'u'llah, after consulting together, made Azal appear as the Bab’s successor. In this manner they preserved Baha'u'llah from interference.”Fazl’s testimony is important because he is quoted as an authority in Baha’i literature. For example, see J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era.Wilmette, IL: Baha’i Books, 1923, Revised edition 1970, 1976, 1978 edition, p. 113, hereafter:Esslemont).
Another authority that Wilson quotes (Wilson, p. 204-205) is Professor Edward G. Browne who is frequently quoted in Baha’i literature, particularly because of his description of a meeting he had with Baha’u’llah, and his friendship with Abdul-Baha. For example, see ‘The Baha’is: A Profile of the Baha’i Faith and its Worldwide Community”[magazine format]. Baha’i International Community, Baha’i World Centre; Haifa, Israel, 2005, pp. 21, 57.
Wilson’s note quoting Professor Browne is thus:
“The Baha’is are impaled on the other horn of the dilemma also, for, as Professor Browne says (‘Mirza Jani [‘s History]’, p. xxxiii.) ‘The difficulty lies in the fact that Subh-i-Azal consistently refused to recognize Baha’s claim, so that the Baha’i is driven to make the assumption that the Bab, who is acknowledged to be divinely inspired and gifted with divine knowledge and prescience, deliberately chose to succeed him one who was destined to be the ‘point of darkness,’ or chief opponent, of ‘Him whom God should manifest’” (Wilson, 204).There are problems as a result of the foregoing. First, it shows that Baha’u’llah’s half-brother, Mirza Yahya rather than Baha’u’llah was the one chosen by the Bab to be his successor. Also, it shows that Baha’u’llah was dishonest, a strange activity for a manifestation of God. Finally, whenever, we read Baha’i literature that quotes the Bab as speaking of “Him who God will manifest,” it is not Baha’u’llah whom he had in mind.
Incidentally, the same Professor Browne that is regularly appealed to as a source by Baha’is, reported about the regular use of opium by the early Baha’is:
“All present were Babis (Baha’is) and we sat sipping our tea and whiffing opium.We sat talking late and smoking opium. The wildest ascriptions of deity to Baha were made when intoxicated with wine and opium” (Wilson, p. 215).