Mirzá Ali, Known as Sardar

Mirzá Ali, known as Sardar, “Chief Officer ” was the leader of the second Nayriz upheaval. He belonged to two distinguished families living in the Chinár-Sukhtih district of Nayriz: the Dah-Bradaran and Zarmaqali families. He never married. My grandmother is the granddaughter of Sardar's sister.

He was a favourite and loyal follower of the Báb. Young, brave and extremely clever, when the first Khájih Fortress battle was over, he escaped with a few other Bábís. Living outside the city limits, he stayed in the mountains or in the surrounding orchards. A very cautious man, well known to the governor and others who were suspicious of him, he refused to return to Nayriz during daylight. Clothed in the darkness of night, he would frequently enter the town. The governor was aware of his coming and going, and although there wasn't much the governor could do about it, he was constantly planning to capture the illusive Sardar. Eventually he was caught.

There was a rebellion in the town of Qatriuh, not far from Nayriz, owned by the governor, as Lord of the Village. The villagers refused to make tax payments. The Governor told Sardar, that he would be released, if he would quell the rebellion. Sardar accepted the assignment in defence of his life. Before leaving for Qatriuh, the governor gave him a horse and a sword as gifts.

Sardar collected some of his friends: mostly Bábís. As they approached the village, which had a fortress, he sent a message to the leader of the small rebel group, told him he was there to carryout the order of the governor and that he was there not to harm them but to bring order and to collect the taxes. The villagers refused to open the gates and let Sardar or his companions inside the fortress.

One night Sardar took advantage of the darkness. He and his friends climbed over the fortress wall. They put a few of the village leaders under arrest. The villagers had no choice but to cooperate. Sardar promised that the governor would treat them justly. After he brought about some order to the village, he released the former agents of the governor who had been imprisoned by the villagers and returned administrative authority to them.

Even though there was a message from the governor that he was anxious for Sardar to return to Nayriz to receive his reward, Sardar refused to do so. He sent a message to the governor saying that the best thing for them would be to stay away from each other: that he should live his life and Sardar would live his. He returned to the safety of the mountain, where he devoted his time to caring for the Babis and those who were in need.

Sardar's relationship with the governor further deteriorated for good reason. Sardar believed in the coming of Qa'im, he accepted the Cause of the Bab, which was contrary to the governor's beliefs. Sardar loved and supported Vahid, during the first Khájih Fortress battle. Remembering what they did to him left a scar in his heart. The governor arrested and harassed the Bábí leader even after the incident was over. The governor had killed his own brother when he claimed the governorship. The children of the dead brother were taking advantage of this friction between Sardar and the governor, encouraging the Sardar to lead a battle against the governor.

Sardar, after leaving Qatriuh, collected all the materials, food supplies and clothing that he needed, and then took refuge in the mountains. Other Babis gradually realizing that their lives were also threatened joined him and that was the start of the Second Upheaval.

Sardar had a very close friend, Hasan Mírzá, who was like a brother to him. Throughout Sardar's life Hasan was by his side. By the time Sardar accepted the cause of the Báb, Hasan also became a believer and later on gave his life for his beliefs. The event that made the two of them very popular in the Nayriz area occurred when they fought some 70 tribesmen in the village of Rustaq, one of the towns he administered for Governor Zaynu'l-Ábidín Khán. They easily captured the thieves and handcuffed them. However, before they could bring the captives to the governor's house for punishment, the delinquents begged Sardar and Hasan for forgiveness. So, they let them go. Behaviours like this added to their popularity with the villagers too. He was killed before the end of the Second Upheaval.

back to Biographies

  Copyright © 2023 by Hussein Ahdieh. All rights reserved.