December 27, 2018

Baha’u’llah explains to Nasiri’d-Din Shah circumstances in Iraq resulting in His and His companions’ application for Ottoman citizenship

By the leave and permission of the King of the Age, this Servant journeyed from the Seat of Sovereignty [Tihran] to ‘Iráq, and dwelt for twelve years in that land.  Throughout the entire course of this period no account of Our condition was submitted to the court of thy presence, and no representation ever made to foreign powers. Placing Our whole trust in God, We resided in that land until there came to ‘Iráq a certain official [1] who, upon his arrival, undertook to harass this poor company of exiles. Day after day, at the instigation of some of the outwardly learned and of other individuals, he would stir up trouble for these servants, although they had at no time committed any act detrimental to the state and its people or contrary to the rules and customs of the citizens of the realm.

Fearing lest the actions of these transgressors should produce some outcome at variance with thy world-adorning judgement, this Servant despatched a brief account of the matter to Mírzá Sa‘íd Khán [2] at the Foreign Ministry, so that he might submit it to the royal presence and that whatever thou shouldst please to decree in this respect might be obeyed. A long while elapsed, and no decree was issued. Finally matters came to such a pass that there loomed the threat of imminent strife and bloodshed. Of necessity, therefore, and for the protection of the servants of God, a few of them appealed to the Governor of ‘Iráq. [3]

Wert thou to observe these events with the eye of fairness, it would become clear and evident in the luminous mirror of thine heart that what occurred was called for by the circumstances, and that no other alternative could be seen. His Majesty himself is witness that in whatever city a number of this people have resided, the hostility of certain functionaries hath enkindled the flame of conflict and contention. This evanescent Soul, however, hath, since His arrival in ‘Iráq, forbidden all to engage in dissension and strife. The witness of this Servant is His very deeds, for all are well aware and will testify that, although a greater number of this people resided in ‘Iráq than in any other land, no one overstepped his limits or transgressed against his neighbour. Fixing their gaze upon God, and reposing their trust in Him, all have now been abiding in peace for well-nigh fifteen years, and, in whatever hath befallen them, they have shown forth patience and resigned themselves to God. 
- Baha'u'llah  (Tablet to Nasiri’d-Din Shah, Suriy-i-Haykal [Tablet of Temple]; ‘The Summons of the Lord of Hosts’)
[1] Mírzá Buzurg Khán, the Persian Consul-General in Baghdád.
[2] The Mu’taminu’l-Mulk, Mírzá Sa‘íd Khán-i-Anṣárí, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
[3] Bahá’u’lláh here refers to His and His companions’ application for Ottoman citizenship.