Mulla ‘Abdu'l Husayn

Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn, a legendary ancestor of mine, was well known as a scholar in the province of Fars. He was admired for his keen intuition, eloquent speeches, and fluid writing.

It is said that tears were often flowing from his eyes while he was praying. As soon as he learned that eminent individuals such as Quduss, Mullá Husayn and Vahid had accepted the claim of the Báb, he knew instinctively that the Báb was the True One. He accepted Him in his heart and prayed to be able to render some service to Him. Mulla ‘Abdu'l Husayn and his family supported Vahid in his efforts during the first Nayriz upheaval at the fortress.

Eighty-year-old Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn and his son, with more than 100 others, traveled for 40 miles to Ronize from Nayriz to meet Vahid without any fear of reprisal from the angry governor. Shortly after meeting Vahid, he became one of the leaders of the Bábí movement in Nayriz, commanding unprecedented respect from Vahid. When Vahid received the news that Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn had been shot in the leg by one of the governor's soldiers, Vahid visited him. Later in a letter, he referred to Husayn as “the First Martyr of Nayriz” even though he survived that assault. Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn was martyred during a subsequent episode.

To protect his followers from further assault, Vahid then moved the followers to the Khajih Fortress. Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn and his family were among those who accompanied Vahid inside the fortress.

The famous author A. L. M. Nicolas, described some of the events of that period. He wrote that Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn was an expert in Islamic Law and the judge of the town. Nicolas also mentioned that Mulla Muhammad Taqi, Husayn's son, had returned from Herat, where he went to meet Siyyid Ja'far, and had joined the believers in battle. Mullá Muhammad Taqi was killed at the Khajih Fort. Vahid had tried to comfort Husayn, who answered that his only wish had been to sacrifice himself and his children in the path of the Loved One. He also said that the death of his son and the rest of the family was truly a gift to the Promised One and the highest station that one could ever attain.

After the Khajih Fort incident, Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn escaped, along with his four sons, three brothers and their families. The governor confiscated their homes and belongings. All of his sons and brothers were killed in the Second Nayriz upheaval while Husayn, with the rest of his family; mostly the women and children were captured and taken to Shiraz in chains.

In a gathering of Shiraz officials, Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn was questioned: ‘Why did you, at such an old age - with a white beard, choose to follow the Báb?” Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn answered, “ Because I wished to be a sincere one”. Not liking his answer, they filled his mouth with dirt and sand to humiliate him. The governor called him mischievous and asked Husayn if he would like to be a king. The elderly Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn replied that he did not have the energy to talk with them anymore due to his old age. “ Your soldiers beheaded my sons in front of me and took their wives as slaves …leave me alone.”

According to Nicolas, Husayn was wounded at that meeting when one of the soldiers took a shot at him.

Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn's grandson, Mullá Muhammad Shafi, the son of Mullá Ali Naqi, although only twelve during the first incident at the fort, kept a precise diary covering the lives of many individuals, including Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn. Shafi's diary has been referenced by Nabil in The Dawn Breakers.

After the interrogation in Shiraz, Mullá ‘Abdu'l Husayn was martyred as he and a score of other Bábís were being taken on foot from Shiraz to Tihrán by the order of the Sháh. In the village of Seadat-u-Abad, close to the city of Abadeh, he became very ill and could not continue the journey. Consequently, the soldiers decapitated him, buried his body, and then carried his head aloft a spear as they did with those of the other beheaded martyrs. Eventually they buried the decomposing heads, in a known location, after reaching Abadeh.

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