This short compilation gives an understanding of the wealth of Bahá’u’lláh prior to losing everything in 1852. From various texts, we can begin to understand the extensiveness of His wealth by reading about (1) what properties He owned, (2) about His wedding and finally some of (3) His very valuable possessions. The final part includes quotes from Bahá’u’lláh where He states (made before He lost everything) that all this possessions means nothing to Him. It can be downloaded as pdf from The Wealth of Bahaullah prior to 1852

 

The Properties of Bahá’u’lláh

1.    We used to go to our house in the country sometimes; my brother ‘Abbas and I loved to play in the beautiful gardens, where grew many kinds of wonderful fruits and flowers and flowering trees; but this part of my early life is a very dim memory. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 40)

 
2.    My father was away at his country house in the village of Niaviran, which was his property, the villagers of which were all and individually cared for by him. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 40)

 
3.    In the village of Takur, in the district of Nur, His sumptuously furnished home, inherited from His father, was, by order of Mirza Abu-Talib Khan, nephew of the Grand Vizir, completely despoiled, and whatever could not be carried away was ordered to be destroyed, while its rooms, more stately than those of the palaces of Tihran, were disfigured beyond repair. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 78)

 
4.    The first journey Bahá’u’lláh undertook for the purpose of promoting the Revelation announced by the Báb was to His ancestral home in Nur, in the province of Mazindaran. He set out for the village of Takur, the personal estate of His father, where He owned a vast mansion, royally furnished and superbly situated. It was my privilege to hear Bahá’u’lláh Himself, one day, recount the following: “The late Vazir, My father, enjoyed a most enviable position among his countrymen. His vast wealth, his noble ancestry, his artistic attainments, his unrivalled prestige and exalted rank made him the object of the admiration of all who knew him. For a period of over twenty years, no one among the wide circle of his family and kindred, which extended over Nur and Tihran, suffered distress, injury, or illness. They enjoyed, during a long and uninterrupted period, rich and manifold blessings. Quite suddenly, however, this prosperity and glory gave way to a series of calamities which severely shook the foundations of his material prosperity. The first loss he suffered was occasioned by a great flood which, rising in the mountains of Mazindaran, swept with great violence over the village of Takur, and utterly destroyed half the mansion of the Vazir, situated above the fortress of that village. The best part of that house, which had been known for the solidity of its foundations, was utterly wiped away by the fury of the roaring torrent. Its precious articles of furniture were destroyed, and its elaborate ornamentation irretrievably ruined. This was shortly followed by the loss of various State positions which the Vazir occupied, and by the repeated assaults directed against him by his envious adversaries. Despite this sudden change of fortune, the Vazir maintained his dignity and calm, and continued, within the restricted limits of his means, his acts of benevolence and charity. He continued to exercise towards his faithless associates that same courtesy and kindness that had characterised his dealings with his fellow-men. With splendid fortitude he grappled, until the last hour of his life, with the adversities that weighed so heavily upon him.” (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 109)

 
5.    One day, as he (Haji Mirza Aqasi) was passing through the village of Quch-Hisar, which belonged to Bahá’u’lláh, he was so impressed by the charm and beauty of that place and the abundance of its water that he conceived the idea of becoming its owner. (The Dawn-Breakers p 121)

 
6.    One day Bahá’u’lláh sent ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to inspect the work of the shepherds who were taking care of His sheep. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was a small child at the time, and the persecutions against Bahá’u’lláh and His family had not yet started. Bahá’u’lláh then had a good deal of land in the mountains and owned large herds of sheep. When the inspection was finished and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was ready to leave, the man who had accompanied Him said, “It is your father’s custom to leave a gift for each shepherd.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá became silent for awhile, because He did not have anything to give them. The man, however, insisted that the shepherds were expecting something. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had an idea that made Him very happy! He would give the shepherds the sheep they were taking care of! Bahá’u’lláh was very much pleased when He heard about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s generous thoughts towards the shepherds. (Ruhi Book 3, Unit 2, section 6)

 

The Wedding of Bahá’u’lláh

7.    My father was Mirza Husayn-‘Ali of Nur, who married my beautiful mother, Asiyih Khanum, when she was very young. She was the only daughter of a Persian Vizier, of high degree, Mirza Isma’il, He, as well as Mirza ‘Abbas Buzurg, my paternal grandfather, possessed great wealth. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 39)

 
8.    When the brother of my mother married my father’s sister, the double alliance of the two noble families roused much interest throughout the land. “It is adding wealth to wealth,” the people said. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 39)

 
9.    Asiyih Khanum’s wedding treasures were extensive, in accordance with the usual custom in families of their standing; forty mules were loaded with her possessions when she came to her husband’s home. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 39)

 
10.    For six months before the marriage a jeweller worked at her home, preparing jewellry — even the buttons of her garments were of gold, set with precious stones. (These buttons were destined to be exchanged for bread, on the terrible exile journey from Tihran to Baghdad.) (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 39)

 

The Possessions of Bahá’u’lláh

11.    In one of His talks on the month of August 1915, Abdul-Baha related this story: Prayer beads made of pearls – one of the most precious of the household possessions of the Blessed Beauty and valued at 10 000 tumans in the currency of those days – had been spared for us. Every bead was the size of a hazel-nut, and in the middle of each was embedded an emerald. After our possessions had been looted, we were obliged to leave this string of beads in a trust for 1000 tumans. Since interest charges were accumulating, we could not afford to reclaim it. Today, if those same prayer beads were still in our possessions, they could be sold for 100 000 tumans in Paris. (Stories of Bahá’u’lláh, A.A. Furutan no. 22)

 
12.    Another precious object which was in the possession of the Blessed Beauty was the book of Hafiz, in the handwriting of Mir Imad. Muhammad Shah sent an envoy to enquire about the price of the book. The Blessed Beauty gave the reply: “The book contains 12 000 verses; with each verse valued at one ashrafi [a gold coin], the book therefore has a value of 12 000 ashrafis. Muhammad Shah’s answer was: “With 12 000 ashrafis, we are able to outfit two full regiments of soldiers.” (Stories of Bahá’u’lláh, A.A. Furutan no. 22)

 
13.    Yet another of the valuable possessions of the Blessed Beauty was the prayer of Kumayl in the handwriting of the Imam Ali, son of Abu-Talib, in the Kufic style of calligraphy. The scholars of that day, including Mir Imad, had testified in handwriting that the handwriting was that of the Imam Ali. It was truly of such value that no price could be put on it. (Stories of Bahá’u’lláh, A.A. Furutan no. 22)

 
14.    Vast amounts of jewellery and many precious objects were in our possession, but all of them were lost. Despite all this material wealth, we arrived in Baghdad with nothing. (Stories of Bahá’u’lláh, A.A. Furutan no. 22)

 

The Insignificance of Bahá’u’lláh‘s Wealth to Him

15.    Even in the early years of their married life, they, my father and mother, took part as little as possible in State functions, social ceremonies, and the luxurious habits of ordinary highly-placed and wealthy families in the land of Persia; she, and her noble-hearted husband, counted these worldly pleasures meaningless, and preferred rather to occupy themselves in caring for the poor, and for all who were unhappy, or in trouble. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 39)

 
16.    After the death of the Vazir, Haji Mirza Aqasi continued to show the utmost consideration to Bahá’u’lláh. He would visit Him in His home, and would address Him as though He were his own son. The sincerity of his devotion, however, was very soon put to the test. One day, as he was passing through the village of Quch-Hisar, which belonged to Bahá’u’lláh, he was so impressed by the charm and beauty of that place and the abundance of its water that he conceived the idea of becoming its owner. Bahá’u’lláh, whom he had summoned to effect the immediate purchase of that village, observed: “Had this property been exclusively mine own, I would willingly have complied with your desire. This transitory life, with all its sordid possessions, is worthy of no attachment in my eyes, how much less this small and insignificant estate. As a number of other people, both rich and poor, some of full age and some still minors, share with me the ownership of this property, I would request you to refer this matter to them, and to seek their consent.” (The Dawn-Breakers p. 121)

 
17.    This Youth regarded the scene with great amazement. When the royal audience was ended, the curtain was drawn, and, after some twenty minutes, a man emerged from behind the tent carrying a box under his arm. “What is this box,” I asked him, “and what was the nature of this display?” “All this lavish display and these elaborate devices,” he replied, “the king, the princes, and the ministers, their pomp and glory, their might and power, everything you saw, are now contained within this box.” I swear by My Lord Who, through a single word of His Mouth, hath brought into being all created things! Ever since that day, all the trappings of the world have seemed in the eyes of this Youth akin to that same spectacle. They have never been, nor will they ever be, of any weight and consequence, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. How greatly I marveled that men should pride themselves upon such vanities, whilst those possessed of insight, ere they witness any evidence of human glory, perceive with certainty the inevitability of its waning. “Never have I looked upon any thing save that I have seen extinction before it; and God, verily, is a sufficient witness!” (Baha’u’llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 166)

 
18.    In those sinister hours, she often recounted, her parents had so suddenly lost their earthly possessions that within the space of a single day from being the privileged member of one of the wealthiest families of Tihran she had sunk to the state of a sufferer from unconcealed poverty. (Compilations, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 31)

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