This post, the third one, continues the series of stories from the life of the Báb that show signs of His Greatness from early childhood, long before He openly declared His Mission. Here are some stories that show His extraordinary devotional attitude. Maybe these stories will be conducive to a more spiritual celebration of this Holy Day.

His father recounts;

Now, when He is five years old, He sometimes raises His hands to the threshold of the One God, and recites prayers. He wakes in the middle of the night and stands to offer His obligatory prayers, in the midst of which He weeps. (Accounts of Mírzá Habíbu’lláh Afnán)

A certain book-binder of Shiraz named Siyyid Muhammad, whose house neighboured that of the Báb’s, but who in later years removed to Saray-i-Amir[1] in Tihran to ply his trade, had heard Shaykh ‘Abid relate that it was customary, when the season was clement, for the boys to invite their teacher and their fellow-pupils on Fridays (the day of rest) to an outing in one of the numerous gardens which bordered the city of Shiraz. At times they would find that the Báb had betaken Himself to a shaded, secluded spot in a corner of the orchard to pray and meditate. (H.M. Baluzi, The Báb, Chapter 2)

Haji Siyyid Javad-i-Karbila’i had himself encountered the Báb in the years of His childhood. … One of his journeys took him to Shiraz, at a time when the Báb was about nine years old. Being well acquainted with Haji Siyyid Muhammad (one of the Báb’s maternal uncles), Haji Siyyid Javad visited him occasionally. Decades later he recalled that on one of these visits he could hear the intonations of a melodious, enraptured voice, coming from the direction of the alcove reserved for devotions. Before long a boy stepped out of the recess and Haji Mirza Siyyid Muhammad introduced Him as his nephew who was orphaned. (H.M. Baluzi, The Báb, Chapter 2)

Once the uncle of the Báb (Hájí Mírzá Siyyid ‘Alí) discussed the claim of the Báb, with his younger brother Hájí Mírzá Hasan-‘Alí. During this discussion, the younger brother accused his older brother of having departed from their ancestral religion and chosen to follow their nephew. Hájí Mírzá Siyyid ‘Alí (the older brother) then responded;

“You should know well that God Most High has fulfilled the proof before me. After what I saw with my own eyes in His childhood and what I know with complete confidence about him since His adulthood, there is no room for doubt for anyone, especially for me.” Have you forgotten our journey to Sabz-Púshán when He was a child aged nine years old? There was a group of us, and He came along as well. When we arrived, being completely exhausted, we performed our ablutions, offered our late afternoon and the evening obligatory prayers, paid our homage of visitation, ate dinner, and went to bed.

It was not long after, at midnight, that I awoke and noticed that He was not in bed. Deeply perturbed, I was overtaken with anxiety that perhaps He had fallen from the mountain. Finally, after searching extensively, I heard a voice raised in the obligatory prayer and prayers of glorification to the Lord, coming from the lower extremities [of the mountain]. When I followed the melody of that chant, I found the Child, standing alone and in private, in consummate rapture voicing prayers and supplications to the One Who transcends all mention, on the deserted mountainside and at that late hour of the night. 

My beloved brother, I ask: After observing such things, is there any room for doubt? With a knowledge born of certainty, with truth that stands most manifest, and with my own unimpeachable observations, it is thoroughly evident that the Promised One whom we had anticipated has now appeared after twelve hundred and sixty years. (Accounts of Mírzá Habíbu’lláh Afnán)

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