August 5, 2021

1932: Visiting the resting place of Mulla Husayn at Fort Tabarsi – by Keith Ransom-Kehler

In my last letter we had been heartily welcomed by the Friends of Kafsha Kula, when I had to stop writing.

It was the end of a strenuous day, for before leaving Sari we had packed; gone to be photographed in the beautiful garden given by Abdul Molaki for the new Haziratu'l- Quds, been driven three times into the ditch by an inexperienced driver taking me over the new road built for my coming; met and addressed the Ahbab [Baha’i friends] of Mafruzac; commemorated the martyrdom of Mulla Ali Jan; said poignant goodbyes, which is always a stirring emotional experience; greeted, in passing, the Friends of Shahid, and then participated in the welcoming ceremonies of Kafsha Kula.

The challenge to science today is to unlock the energies resident in the atom and release them for human utility. If some inspired person could find a method of utilizing the flea power of Persia, the land would become, over-night, the greatest producer in the world. But even the fleas, which made riot with our unaccustomed flavor, were unable to detract from the joy of this memorable meeting.

To our intense relief the rains were holding off although it was November; but when we arose to find a grey morning we were urged to make an early start for Shaykh Tabarsi, lest bad weather detain us.

It is three miles across a wide river ford and through barren rice-paddies (the crop had been long harvested) from Kafsha Kula to the site of the Fort so heroically defended against an entire imperial army by three hundred and thirteen men -- not seasoned soldiers, not the grizzled veterans of many campaigns, like their opponents, but youthful students unaccustomed to arms and accoutrements, and long trained in the cloistered life of metaphysical argument and disquisition.

In the record of humanity we find no parallel to their accomplishment. Alexander's army of thirty thousand defeated the Persian forces of six hundred thousand fighting one to twenty; but they were a military organization, reared to "stratagems and sports." Quddus, Mulla Husayn and their followers, without previous training, without adequate supplies, with nothing but a flaming faith and an unquenchable devotion to their Lord, the Báb, repulsed not once, but again and again, one to a thousand, the forces arrayed against them.