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

Not long after, Bahá’u’lláh in a Tablet addressed to His currier (Shaykh Salman) conveyed to Jináb-i-Zayn that he should not be afraid of the people but rather be patient. When Jináb-i-Zayn received this message, he thought about its reason for the situation was very calm in Isfahan. It would not be long before Jináb-i-Zayn realized the meaning of this.

As it happened, two persons in Najafabad had a dispute over a piece of land. They agreed to take the matter to Shaykh Muhammad-Baqir in Isfahan. Bahá’u’lláh later gave Shaykh Muhammad-Baqir the name “the wolf” and addressed His Tablet “The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf” to his son.

A Siyyid who was presenting one of the parties in this conflict, was an avid opponent of the Bábis. He saw an opportunity to initiate fresh persecutions. Using the legal case at hand as pretence, he gathered some other Siyyids who were ill willed against Bábis and went to Isfahan. While in Isfahan to discuss with Shaykh Muhammad-Baqir on legal matters, they raised the issue of the Bábis of Najafabad. They claimed that a group had under the leadership of Jináb-i-Zayn, betrayed Islam by becoming Bábis.

Shaykh Muhammad-Baqir did not require much convincing. He sent of the Mujtahid of Najafabad and together went to Mullah Nasrullah who was the aid of the Governor in Isfahan. The Governor at that time was Jalal al-Dawlih. They were granted a meeting with the Governor and demanded that all Bábis be executed and their properties confiscated. The Governor agreed. However they had to first arrest the Bábis without giving the a chance to escape or flee the city. They devised a plan.

They decided to call a certain number of Najafabad inhabitants to Isfahan for tax related purpose. Then they composed a list consisting of the names of all the Bábis living in Najafabad mixed with names of ordinary Muslims. They sent the list to Najafabad with the instructions to gather these persons and send them to Isfahan.

The list was taken to Najafabad and given to the proper authorities. The chief of Najafabad wanted to read the list and have those listed, informed about the matter. However, the person who had brought the list insisted they should wait until the next day. One of the persons present at this meeting got suspicious and informed Jináb-i-Zayn. They realized that they were in imminent danger and needed to hide in the mountains or in Isfahan.

Jináb-i-Zayn felt that Isfahan was the better choice. If something would happen to them while hiding in the mountains, nobody would know. Therefore it would be better to hide in Isfahan. They went to stay at a friends place in Isfahan. Some of the other Bábis managed to escape while others were arrested and taken to Isfahan. In Isfahan the names on the list were read. Every time the name of a Bábi came up, the Wolf would curse them and they were arrested. Someone present asked as to why he is cursing the person when nothing had been proven yet. The Wolf responded that their infidelity had already proven to him.

Torture of the Bábis

These Bábis met a very cruel fate. Some of them were put in prison. One of them was executed on the insistence of the Wolf. Two of the Bábis got their ears cut of and two others were severely beaten by soldiers. One of the Bábis was hung upside down by his feet. He begged for someone to cut his head off and relieve him of the pain but no one intervened. As this torture of the Bábis was going on, news arrived that the Governor had been replaced. Before the Governor left his office, he divided the remaining Bábis in three groups. One group of Bábis was given to a group of savage villagers who were told they were free to punish the prisoners as they saw fit. These villagers were extremely cruel. They took them back to Najafabad. Two of the prisoners had their ears cut off and mounted on a donkey. Another one got his nose pierced and had a ring put in. The prisoners were then paraded in the village where people would throw stones at them and hurl verbal abuses.

The second group was sent to Teheran with extremely cruel soldiers. One of the prisoners died on the way to Teheran from repeated beatings and mistreatment. Another died in a prison in Teheran. The rest were released after some time and returned to Isfahan.

The third group of prisoners remained in the prison of Isfahan. Three of them were beheaded.

While these events took place, Jináb-i-Zayn and his friend were in hiding in Isfahan. The officials tried to find Jináb-i-Zayn by conducting a house search in Najafabad. They found a copy of the Book of Certitude, the Bayan and some prayers and Writings transcribed in the handwriting of Jináb-i-Zayn. All of these were taken to Isfahan. The Wolf was very disappointed with the failure of finding Jináb-i-Zayn and was consoled by others who reassured him that they would find him once the new Governor is in office.

Leaving Iran

Rumours spread that they would conduct a house-to-house search in Isfahan to find Jináb-i-Zayn. The owner of the house in which Jináb-i-Zayn and his friend were hiding, became nervous and suggested that Jináb-i-Zayn and his friend find another place to hide until the search had been completed. This situation forced Jináb-i-Zayn and his friend to retreat to some ruins in the outskirts of the city. Once there, they realized that they could not enter the city again because orders every person entering the city must show proper documentation. If they attempted to re-enter the city, they would surely be recognized and arrested. Therefore, they went to a village close by named Dolatabad. In this village, they met Mirza Kazim, a Bahá’í and the brother of the two illustrious martyrs of Isfahan (the King and the Beloved of the Martyrs). They consulted and came to a decision that the best recourse would be to take (smuggle) Jináb-i-Zayn and his friend to Isfahan. They entered the city by night on donkeys and a few days later, the King of Martyrs helped them leave Isfahan. He gave them provisions to travel to Baghdad (probably sometime in 1864). Jináb-i-Zayn had now left Iran and would not return anymore.

It is worth noting that the religious leaders of Isfahan truly hated Jináb-i-Zayn. Although Jináb-i-Zayn had left Isfahan and Iran altogether, they had not forgotten him. Every day a person would stand at the market square of Isfahan and with a loud and clear voice, curse Abu-Bakr, Omar, Uthman (the first three Caliphs who are considered to have gone against the last Will of Prophet Muhammad by Shia Muslims), Yazid and Shemr (they were responsible for the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn). At the end he would add, “upon Mullah Zaynul-Abadin, Babi-i-Najafabad, also be a curse”.