August 14, 2015

Circa 1845: The Shah of Persia sends “one of the most erudite, eloquent and influential of his subjects” to independently investigate the claims of the Báb

Muhammad Shah
The commotion [in Shiraz] had assumed such proportions that the Sháh, unable any longer to ignore the situation, delegated the trusted Siyyid Yahyáy-i-Darábí, surnamed Vahíd, one of the most erudite, eloquent and influential of his subjects a man who had committed to memory no less than thirty thousand traditions to investigate and report to him the true situation. Broad-minded, highly imaginative, zealous by nature, intimately associated with the court, he, in the course of three interviews, was completely won over by the arguments and personality of the Báb.

Their first interview centered around the metaphysical teachings of Islám, the most obscure passages of the Qur’án, and the traditions and prophecies of the Imáms. In the course of the second interview Vahíd was astounded to find that the questions which he had intended to submit for elucidation had been effaced from his retentive memory, and yet, to his utter amazement, he discovered that the Báb was answering the very questions he had forgotten. During the third interview the circumstances attending the revelation of the Báb’s commentary on the súrih of Kawthar, comprising no less than two thousand verses, so overpowered the delegate of the Sháh that he, contenting himself with a mere written report to the Court Chamberlain, arose forthwith to dedicate his entire life and resources to the service of a Faith that was to requite him with the crown of martyrdom during the Nayríz upheaval. He who had firmly resolved to confute the arguments of an obscure siyyid of Shíráz, to induce Him to abandon His ideas, and to conduct Him to Tihrán as an evidence of the ascendancy he had achieved over Him, was made to feel, as he himself later acknowledged, as “lowly as the dust beneath His feet.” Even Husayn Khán, [the governor of Fárs] who had been Vahíd’s host during his stay in Shíráz, was compelled to write to the Sháh and express the conviction that his Majesty’s illustrious delegate had become a Bábí. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)