This post, the sixth and final one, is the story of how Khadijih Bagum, the wife of the Báb, became a believer in the Báb. It also tells the story of the Bab preparing Himself for His Declaration. It is not clear exactly when this story took place but it was before the 23rd of May 1844.

During these past days, as preparation for a more spiritual celebration of the Declaration of the Bab, stories from His life prior to the 23rd of May, 1844, has been posted. All the stories posted, are gathered in  Selected Stories from the Life of the Bab prior to His Declaration.

 Khadijih Bagum recalled that one day in the late afternoon He came home earlier than usual. That evening, He said, He had a particular task to attend to, and asked that dinner be served earlier. Fiddih, the servant who did the cooking, was so informed, and the family had their evening meal in the room of the mother of Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad. Then He retired for the night.

Speaking of the events of that memorable night, which, according to recollections of members of the Afnan family, occurred some time before the Báb declared His mission, Khadijih Bagum related: ‘An hour later, when the house was quiet and its occupants had gone to sleep, He rose from His bed and left the room. At first I took no particular notice of His absence, but when it lengthened to more than an hour I felt some concern. Then I went out to look for Him, but He was nowhere to be found. Perhaps, for some reason, He had left the house, I thought; but, trying the street door I found it locked from within, as usual. Then I walked to the western side of the house, looked up at the roof-top, and saw that the upper chamber was well lighted. This added to my surprise, because I had never known Him to go to that part of the house at that hour of the night, unless He had guests. And He always told me when a visitor was expected. He had not said that He was to have a guest that night. So, with both astonishment and trepidation, I went up the steps at the northern side of the courtyard. 

There I saw Him standing in that chamber, His hands raised heavenwards, intoning a prayer in a most melodious voice, with tears streaming down His face. And His face was luminous; rays of light radiated from it. He looked so majestic and resplendent that fear seized me, and I stood transfixed where I was, trembling uncontrollably. I could neither enter the room nor retrace my steps. My will-power was gone, and I was on the point of screaming, when He made a gesture with His blessed hands, telling me to go back. This movement of His hands gave me back my courage, and I returned to my room and my bed. But all that night long I remained deeply disturbed. In my fitful moments of sleep that scene in the upper chamber would present itself to my mind, adding to my consternation. I kept asking myself what grave event had come to pass to evoke such sorrow and such tears, inducing prayer and supplication of such intensity. Sleep was impossible that night, and then came the dawn, so foreboding, and I heard the muezzin’s call to prayer.

‘At sunrise Fiddih took the samovar and tea-things to the room of my mother-in-law and, as usual, He went to His mother’s room to take tea. I followed Him there, and as soon as my eyes alighted on Him, that attitude and that majesty which I had witnessed the night before took shape before me. I paled and shuddered involuntarily. His mother had, at that moment, gone out of the room, and He was quietly drinking His tea. He raised His face to me, and received me with great kindness and affection, bidding me be seated. Then He passed to me what was left of the tea in His own cup, which I drank. His kindness restored my courage, and when He asked me what it was that troubled me, I boldly replied that it was the change in Him which weighed heavily on my mind. “You are no longer”, I told Him, “the same person I knew in our childhood. We grew up together, we have been married for two years, living in this house, and now I see a different person before me. You have been transformed.” I further remarked that this had made me anxious and uneasy. He smiled and said that although He had not wished to be seen by me in the condition of the previous night, God had ordained otherwise. “It was the will of God”, He said, “that you should have seen Me in the way you did last night, so that no shadow of doubt should ever cross your mind, and you should come to know with absolute certitude that I am that Manifestation of God Whose advent has been expected for a thousand years. This light radiates from My heart and from My Being.”[1] As soon as I heard Him speak these words I believed in Him. I prostrated myself before Him and my heart became calm and assured. From that moment I lived only to serve Him, evanescent and self-effacing before Him, no thought of self ever intruding.’ (H.M. Baluzi, Khadijih Bagum The Wife of the Báb, page 10-13) 

[1 These are the words of the Báb as recalled by Khadijih Bagum in later years, and recorded decades after, and should not be taken as His exact words on that occasion. (Ed.)]

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