He was named Muhammad-'Ali. He was born in the town of Barfurush in the province of Mazindaran in [northern] Persia. His mother died when he was very young. Through her he was a direct descendant of the Imam Hasan, the grandson the Prophet Muhammad. His step-mother loved him devotedly, as did everyone who knew him. When quite young he was sent to school in Mashhad and at eighteen, he had travelled all the way to Karbila, in 'Iraq, where attended the classes of the great religious teacher Siyyid Kazim [a forerunner of the Bab].
Siyyid Kazim's teachings were original and revolutionary. He was preparing his students for a Great One who was to come. In Siyyid Kazim’s classes Muhammad-'Ali appeared to be very young and very humble but Siyyid Kazim recognized his great spiritual potentialities and considered him one of his ablest pupils. At the end of his life Siyyid Kazim advised all of his followers to "quit their homes, scatter far and wide, purge their hearts of every idle desire and dedicate themselves to the quest of Him to whose advent he had so often alluded." He told them that the object of their quest was now revealed. ."The veils that intervene between you and Him are such as only you can remove by your devoted search. Nothing short of prayerful endeavour, of purity of motive, of singleness of mind, will enable you to tear them asunder. Has not God revealed in His Book: 'Whoso maketh efforts for Us, in Our ways will We guide them?'”
December 15, 2010
December 8, 2010
A famous philosopher named Celsus in the second century compiled an entire volume filled with terrible libels about Christ and His followers. Porphyry, one of the greatest of the Platonic philosophers, wrote a large book against Christ and the Christians, quoting the many abusive attacks against Jesus which were prevalent among the leaders and the masses. The book was later burned by order of Sydocius and Dovalantius, two Christian emperors, who after the passing of time lauded and defended Christ Whom the people of that same land had once called false and had despised.
James Murdock in his History of the Church quotes one of the great scholar-emperors of Rome, Marc Antony, as saying, "You should not ask concerning Jesus of Nazareth from these poor Romans, none of whom has seen him, but whom baseness and indolence have caused to follow him." He called them unimportant people, slaves, men and women without praiseworthy qualities. The emperor Julian, who denied his faith in Christ, said the Christians were the "enemies of the world of humanity."