October 23, 2019

July 1950: Pilgrimage to the Scenes of the Báb’s Captivity and Martyrdom – by Hand of the Cause Dhikru’llah Khadem, translated by Marzieh Gail

A hundred years have now gone by since the meek and holy Báb, the Gate of God, was put to death at noon on July 9, 1850, and even to the present day the world and its peoples ("except for those into whose eyes God hath shed the radiance of His Face") are fast in a deathlike sleep, unconscious of a mighty Faith, a transcendent Dispensation, which made prophets and seers of past ages cry out and weep with longing for it. At this time the Baha'is of the world, from the northernmost point of the globe to the southernmost, and from Far East to Far West, following the example of Shoghi Effendi turned their hearts toward the Country of Sorrows, to commemorate at the Guardian's bidding the first Centenary of the Bab's martyrdom. In recognition of this event the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia went on a nine days' pilgrimage into Adbirbayjan. This is an account of their journey and what it meant to one of them.

Journey to Tabríz
It is Thursday, the 6th of July, 1950. It is the day of Istijlál, the day of Qudrat, the month of Rahmat, of the year Javáb, of the sixth Váhid of the first Kull-i-Sbay'. The group of travelers has set out as pilgrims, in a spirit of humility and penitence and great love, going to the place of the Báb's last agony. They are traveling to that spot whose very name, some thousand years ago, set fire to the heart of Muhammad's descendent the Imám Muhammad-Báqir, so that he spoke these words of it: "Inevitable for us is Adhirbáyján. Nothing can equal it ... "

They are traveling to see the place with their physical eyes, but also to weep over the anguish of that Lord of men in the Country of Sorrows itself, where earth and air, mountains and lakes, streams, trees, and stones bear witness to the wrong that was done Him. They will pour out for Him as a libation something of the sorrow of their hearts.

The bus goes fast. Again it slows. It fulfills the promise as to the Day of the Lord and the coming of the Kingdom when, Scripture says, the earth will be rolled up. All along our talk is of the passion of the Báb.