Mírzá Jalal Misaghi

The fourth child of Mírzá ‘Abdu’l Husayn, was Mírzá Jalal Misaghi, born in Nayriz. ‘Abdu’l Husayn died when Jalal Misaghi was still a toddler. He and his brothers: Mírzá Muhammad Shafi, Mírzá Khalil, Mírzá Ismá’íl, Mírzá Ali Akbar and Hubor, his sister were blessed with being descendants from two distinguished family lines that were noted for service to the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. On his mother’s side, they were related to Mullá ‘Abdu’l Husayn, the elderly man who greeted Vahid on his arrival to the Nayriz area. On his father’s side he was related to Siyyid Ja’far-i-Yazdi, the companion of Vahid. Siyyid Ja’far-i-Yazdí was the grandfather of the former member of Universal House of Justice, and author of several books on Bahá’u’lláh, Adib Taherzadeh.

After completing the sixth grade education in Shiraz, Jalal Misaghi returned to Nayriz and began working for his uncle, Shaykh Muhammad Husayn in the pharmacy, where he assisted in the care of patients using herbs and medications. He endured trials and suffered tremendously during agitation against the Bahá’ís by Siyyid Aziz, Shaykh Muhammad Yazdi and Shaykh Javad Khohestani in Nayriz.

He was instrumental in helping the Bahá’ís of Nayriz open a school to replace their traditional Muslim education. The curriculum included studying the Qur’án, the work of traditional Persian poets, Hafez and Saadi and reading, writing and arithmetic. The Local Spiritual Assembly of Nayriz organized the school and appointed a group of teachers including Jalal Misaghi, who by then had received his certificate, which was quite an advanced degree to have in those days. Unfortunately, under the rule of Reza Sháh Palavi, all the Bahá’í schools in Iran were eventually closed.

He married Rooha, the daughter of Shaykh Muhammad Husayn and joined the educational department as a teacher in the city of Fasa. Misaghi was in Fasa, during an exciting period for the Bahá’í community who had built a Bahá’í Center where they had many meetings. Unfortunately the enemies of the faith began to attack them, destroying the door of the Bahá’í Center. At night ruffians would throw stones at the homes of Bahá’ís who were also denied the right to buy food or to gather water. At one point, they stoned and injured his four-year-old son while in the courtyard of his home. The local police tried to help, but to no avail.

Then the rumour came that a Siyyid from Shiraz was coming to attack all the Bahá’ís in town. Misaghi, accompanied by his family, was forced to escape from Fasa. In the middle of the cold winter night, the whole family moved to Shiraz. In Shiraz they lived in the Bahá’í Center. At that time Mr.Samandari and the historian Muhammad Ali Faizi were also there. They were all treated well. It was also during this time, that a company in the cotton business hired Misaghi. He worked for them for many years. The principle owner, a wonderful man by the name of Khazrai, sold his shares to others. The new owners were not very friendly to the Bahá’ís. One of them was a covenant breaker. After thirty years of service to the company, with no pension, nor insurance, Misaghi came to the conclusion that he would leave the company all together. He started his own business. He was much more successful working for himself.

In 1948, when instructions came from the guardian of the faith - Shoghi Effendi, and the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran to the Bahá’ís of Nayriz and their local assembly that they should try to move the eighteen bodies of the martyrs of Shaykh Zakeria’s incident (the third upheaval) to a better setting. With the help of Hájí Mírzá Ahmad Nayrizi - my grandfather, Jalal Misaghi and another man, worked out a plan to complete this mission. Under the cloak of night they opened the graves and one by one they moved the bodies, collected whatever was left of the remains of those eighteen martyrs, put them in individual bags, and moved them the next day or the day after to a wonderful place by the Khájih Fortress. The new burial place was also near a place called the “Anthole”, where over four hundred Babi’s were killed while leaving the fortress during Vahid’s time. The cemetery is called Golestan Javid, or the Eternal Garden. He remembered that in the pieces of clothing buried with the bodies one could find little seeds that were still in their pockets; remnants of what they were eating when they were killed.

During the ten years crusade, Misaghi decided to go home front pioneering to Qasroldasht, which was six kilometres away from downtown Shiraz. They were accompanied by a couple of other families, including eleven youths, most of whom were medical students at Pahlavi University. Most of these youth later on became great servants of the faith. Although living conditions were tough and the commuting was very difficult, they had wonderful times in their gatherings with music and frequent visits by Bahá’í teachers.

He attended the opening of the Bahá’í temple in New Delhi, India and fell in love with the people, their teaching activities and their music. He and his wife Rooha decided to move to the Pune area as Bahá’í Pioneers. They stayed at the New Era Academy Bahá’í School, which had more than a thousand students. Counsellor Afshin was instrumental in inviting them and establishing their situation. Misaghi loved to garden. All the gardening of the school was his job and his wife was in charge of the kitchen. Later on, they stayed in the school dormitory and began to do extensive local travel teaching accompanied by two wonderful Bahá’ís: Azadi and Sanaei. Their time in India was the highlight of his life as they were able to travel and teach the faith.

Later they moved to Iran, where they live now.

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