Examining Bijan Masumian's article 'Baha'u'llah's Seclusion in Kurdistan'

By Interlocutor110

Bijan Masumian

These are my comments to the article, Baha'u'llah's Seclusion in Kurdistan, by Bijan Ma'sumian.

The square brackets are my addition to the quote below.
Although He [Baha'u'llah] condemned the actions of these radicals [of the assassination attempt], He realized that He might be sought by the government officials as a Bábí leader and He chose to surrender Himself to the authorities. He was taken to a prison where He remained for four months (the Siyyah Chál, or "Black Pit").
So Baha'u'llah imprisoned Himself for four months even though He did nothing wrong and all because of a suspicion that He might have been arrested anyways? Is it just me or was He, in fact, one of those radicals?
Among them was His half-brother Mírzá Yahya, otherwise known as Subh-i-Azal ("Morn of Eternity"), whom the Báb had appointed to head the Bábí movement after His death.
Remember folks that being appointed by a Manifestation of God as the head of His movement does not make you His successor.
Bahá'í accounts claim that the Báb's appointment of Azal (who was thirteen years younger than Bahá'u'lláh) was only nominal, as he was only in his teens at that time.
In The Dawn-Breakers, p. liii, the ninth, tenth, and twelfth Imams are listed as having been inaugurated at the ages of 8, 7, and 5, respectively.
The square bracket is my addition to the quote below.
The purpose behind this [ie. appointment of Mirza Yahya] was to divert the attention of the opposition from Bahá'u'lláh, the Promised One of the Bábí dispensation, Whose rising prominence was endangering His life.
The arrangement was suggested by Bahá'u'lláh to the Báb, Who approved it. Beside Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, only two other individuals, Mírzá Musá (Aqáy-i-Kalím), Bahá'u'lláh's full brother, and a certain Mullá Abdu'l-Karím-í-Qazvíní, who was later martyred in Tehrán, were aware of this arrangement. However, following the Báb's martyrdom, the question of succession came to cause much disturbance among the faithful. It ultimately came to result in a permanent rift between Bahá'u'lláh and Azal.
I suppose that this must have been some sort of cruel joke.
While future historians may need to further clarify the exact nature of Azal's nomination, there is little doubt at this time that, following the Báb's execution in 1850, the generality of Bábís came to regard Azal as the Báb's successor.
Go figure.
The events transpiring in Baghdád during the next few years indicate that Azal was not a particularly effective leader.
The remainder of this article makes it clear that populism is what bought Baha'u'llah His ticket to successorship.
Bahá'u'lláh and Azal were of significantly different temperaments and abilities. As a consequence, they had sharply contrasting leadership styles which soon became evident. Whereas Azal was normally withdrawn and retiring, Bahá'u'lláh was energetic and active. Understandably, those who came to support them had opposing views of the other leader's attributes. What Bahá'ís regarded as Azal's cowardice was to Azalis his caution as the surviving head of the movement, and what the latter considered Bahá'u'lláh's ambition was to Bahá'ís His love and concern for a community that, because the martyrdom of the Báb, was demoralized and disintegrating.
Sounds like an impartial attempt to describe the differences between the two. Well done.
On the morning of April 10th, 1854, to their utmost surprise, Bahá'u'lláh's household awoke to find Him gone. He had left Baghdad for the mountains of Sulaymáníyyih in the heart of Kurdish Iraq.
If my father pulled this shit, I would never forgive him.
In one of His later writings, He thus explained His reason for leaving Baghdad:
The one object of Our retirement was to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions, the means of injury to any soul, or the cause of sorrow to any heart.
The cause of sorrow to any heart? How about the hearts of those nearest to Him?
Our grief was intense when my father left us. He told none of us either where he was going or when he would return. He took no luggage, only a little rice, and some coarse bread. So we, my mother, my brother `Abbas and I, clung together in our sorrow and anxiety.
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 51)
The author continues...
Azal's supporters, true to form, offered a different interpretation of the events that led to Bahá'u'lláh's return, trying to convince others that Bahá'u'lláh left Sulaymáníyyíh in 1856 at the command of Azal. They also maintained that Bahá'u'lláh considered Himself to be under Azal's authority.
Sounds more plausible.

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