This is the second post in a series of posts telling the life story of Zaynu’l-Muqarrabín.

Zaynu’l-Muqarrabín was born in May 1818 in one of the villages outside of Najafabad. He was born to a religious family where his father was a Shia Mullah and the leader of a Mosque.

When he was a child, like almost every other child of that time and place, he believed in anything that he was taught and told by religions leaders. But before his maturity (probably before he became 15 years old), something changed.

He started to feel that what he had been taught by the religions authorities was not satisfactory. He felt that he was just accepting what is being said without understanding it. This made him think. In fact, he embarked on a journey of rationally finding his faith rather than simply accepting it based on what others say. He therefore started to meditate, ponder, think and read the Quran several times. As a result he had an epiphany. He came to a conclusion. He realized that the source of one’s understanding of religion must be insight and certitude rather than following a certain person and they things they preach.

In this process of deep reflection he argued for himself that if it had been enough to follow a person and accept what he says, God would and could not punish someone who did not believe in Him. As Jináb-i-Zayn was aware that the Quran clearly says that if a person would claim that he did not believe because he followed his father, it would not be accepted as a valid reason. Therefore, how could God punish someone for not believing when they had followed somebody who did not believe? From this, at an early stage of maturity, Jináb-i-Zayn understood that belief based on what others say is not reasonable and not a valid reason for faith.

Having reached this conclusion, another question arose. What is the reason for Quran being the truth? Again he began to reflect deeply and reading the Quran until he came across a certain verse. This verse says that if someone is in doubt about the validity of the Quran, then bring forth another Surah like it. The meaning of this verse is that the Word of God can only come from a Manifestation of God, and only Manifestations of God can produce such verses. Jináb-i-Zayn understood that if anybody claimed to be from God, they must be able to produce verses like those of the Quran. He concluded that as this has not been done in the past 1260 years, it is clear that the Quran is the truth.

He had now become convinced that the truth of the Quran, not because of his father was a Muslim clergy nor because all were Muslims around him, but because the Holy Word of the Quran is its proof and if someone is fair in their judgement, they will recognize the divine origin of the Quran.

This was an important point in his life. He decided that, from then on he would not follow the general opinion and the sayings of various clergy but rather investigate every single matter and decide for himself. He had become calm and confident in his faith. However, as he explains himself, despite this new understanding he still continued to listen, agree and accept the mainstream Shia doctrinal teachings such as literal interpretations of day of judgement and resurrection.

The next post will tell the story of how Jináb-i-Zayn first came in contact with the Revelation of the Bab.