Martyrs of Tabarsi

Below is a list of the names of the martyrs of Fort Tabarsi as given in “The Dawnbreakers”. The Guardian calls it an incomplete list and hopes that the other names may be added later when found. I have added a few notes of my own.

1. First and foremost among them stands Quddus, upon whom the Báb bestowed the name of Ismu’llahu’l-Akhar.[1] He, the Last Letter of the Living and the Báb’s chosen companion on His pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, was, together with Mulla Sadiq and Mulla Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani, the first to suffer persecution on Persian soil for the sake of the Cause of God. He was only eighteen years of age when he left his native town of Barfurush for Karbila. For about four years he sat at the feet of Siyyid Kazim, and at the age of twenty-two met and recognized his Beloved in Shiraz. Five years later, on the twenty-third day of Jamadiyu’th-Thani in the year 1265 A.H.,[2] he was destined to fall, in the Sabzih-Maydan of Barfurush, a victim of the most refined and wanton barbarity at the hands of the enemy. The Báb and, at a later time, Bahá’u’lláh have mourned in unnumbered Tablets and prayers his loss, and have lavished on him their eulogies. Such was the honour accorded to him by Bahá’u’lláh that in His commentary on the verse of Kullu’t-Ta’am,[3] which He revealed while in Baghdad, He conferred upon him the unrivalled station of the Nuqtiy-i-Ukhra,[4] a station second to none except that of the Báb Himself.

[1 Literally “The Last Name of God.”]

[2 May 16 1849 A.D.]

[3 Qur’án, 3:93.]

[4 Literally “The Last Point.”]

2. Mulla Husayn, surnamed the Babu’l-Bab, the first to recognize and embrace the new Revelation. At the age of eighteen, he, too, departed from his native town of Bushruyih in Khurasan for Karbila, and for a period of nine years remained closely associated with Siyyid Kazim. Four years prior to the Declaration of the Báb, acting according to the instructions of Siyyid Kazim, he met in Isfahan the learned mujtahid Siyyid Baqir-i-Rashti and in Mashhad Mirza Askari, to both of whom he delivered with dignity and eloquence the messages with which he had been entrusted by his leader. The circumstances attending his martyrdom evoked the Báb’s inexpressible sorrow, a sorrow that found vent in eulogies and prayers of such great number as would be equivalent to thrice the volume of the Qur’án. In one of His visiting Tablets, the Báb asserts that the very dust of the ground where the remains of Mulla Husayn lie buried is endowed with such potency as to bring joy to the disconsolate and healing to the sick. In the Kitáb-i-Íqán, Bahá’u’lláh extols with still greater force the virtues of Mulla Husayn. “But for him,” He writes, “God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor have ascended the throne of eternal glory!”

 

3. Mirza Muhammad-Hasan, the brother of Mulla Husayn.

4. Mirza Muhammad-Baqir, the nephew of Mulla Husayn. He, as well as Mirza Muhammad-Hasan, accompanied Mulla Husayn from Bushruyih to Karbila and from thence to Shiraz, where they embraced the Message of the Báb and were enrolled among the Letters of the Living. With the exception of the journey of Mulla Husayn to the castle of Mah-Ku, they continued to be with him until the time they suffered martyrdom in the fort of Tabarsi.

5. The brother-in-law of Mulla Husayn, the father of Mirza Abu’l-Hasan and Mirza Muhammad-Husayn, both of whom are now in Bushruyih, and into whose hands the care of the Varaqatu’l-Firdaws, Mulla Husayn’s sister, is committed. Both are firm and devoted adherents of the Faith.

6. The son of Mulla Ahmad, the elder brother of Mulla Mirza Muhammad-i-Furughi. He, unlike his uncle, Mulla Mirza Muhammad, suffered martyrdom and was, as testified by the latter, a youth of great piety and distinguished for his learning and his integrity of character.

7. Mirza Muhammad-Baqir, known as Harati, though originally a resident of Qayin. He was a close relative of the father of Nabil-i-Akbar, and was the first in Mashhad to embrace the Cause. It was he who built the Bábíyyih, and who devotedly served Quddus during his sojourn in that city. When Mulla Husayn hoisted the Black Standard, he, together with his child, Mirza Muhammad-Kazim, eagerly enrolled under his banner and went forth with him to Mazindaran. That child was saved eventually, and has now grown up into a fervent and active supporter of the Faith in Mashhad. It was Mirza Muhammad-Baqir who acted as the standard-bearer of the company, who designed the plan of the fort, its walls and turrets and the moat which surrounded it, who succeeded Mulla Husayn in organising the forces of his companions and in leading the charge against the enemy, and who acted as the intimate companion, the lieutenant and trusted counsellor of Quddus until the hour when he fell a martyr in the path of the Cause.

8. Mirza Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Juvayni, a native of Sabzihvar, who was distinguished for his literary accomplishments and was often entrusted by Mulla Husayn with the task of leading the charge against the assailants. His head and that of his fellow-companion, Mirza Muhammad-Baqir, were impaled on spears and paraded through the streets of Barfurush, amid the shouts and howling of an excited populace.

9. Qambar-‘Ali, the fearless and faithful servant of Mulla Husayn, who accompanied him on his journey to Mah-Ku and who suffered martyrdom on the very night on which his master fell a victim to the bullets of the enemy.

10. Hasan and

11. Quli, who, together with a man named Iskandar, a native of Zanjan, bore the body of Mulla Husayn to the fort on the night of his martyrdom and placed it at the feet of Quddus. He it was, the same Hasan, who, by the orders of the chief constable of Mashhad, was led by a halter through the streets of that city.

 

12. Muhammad-Hasan, the brother of Mulla Sadiq, whom the comrades of Khusraw slew on the way between Barfurush and the fort of Tabarsi. He distinguished himself by his unwavering constancy, and had been one of the servants of the shrine of the Imam Rida.

13. Siyyid Rida, who, with Mulla Yusuf-i-Ardibili, was commissioned by Quddus to meet the prince, and who brought back with him the sealed copy of the Qur’án bearing the oath which the prince had written. He was one of the well-known siyyids of Khurasan, and was recognized for his learning as well as for the integrity of his character.

14. Mulla Mardan-‘Ali, one of the noted companions from Khurasan, a resident of the village of Miyamay, the site of a well-fortified fortress situated between Sabzihvar and Shah-Rud. He, together with thirty-three companions, enlisted under the banner of Mulla Husayn on the day of the latter’s passage through that village. It was in the masjid of Miyamay, to which Mulla Husayn had repaired in order to offer the Friday congregational prayer, that he delivered his soul-stirring appeal in which he laid stress upon the fulfilment of the tradition relating to the hoisting of the Black Standard in Khurasan, and in which he declared himself to be its bearer. His eloquent address profoundly impressed his hearers, so much so that on that very day the majority of those who heard him, most of whom were men of distinguished merit, arose and followed him. Only one of those thirty-three companions, a Mulla Isa, survived, whose sons are at present in the village of Miyamay, actively engaged in the service of the Cause. The names of the martyred companions of that village are as follows:

15. Mulla Muhammad-Mihdi,

16. Mulla Muhammad-Ja’far,

17. Mulla Muhammad-ibn-i-Mulla Muhammad,

18. Mulla Rahim,

19. Mulla Muhammad-Rida,

20. Mulla Muhammad-Husayn,

21. Mulla Muhammad,

22. Mulla Yusuf,

23. Mulla Ya’qub,

24. Mulla Ali,

25. Mulla Zaynu’l-‘Abidin,

26. Mulla Muhammad, son of Mulla Zaynu’l-‘Abidin,

27. Mulla Baqir,

28. Mulla Abdu’l-Muhammad,

29. Mulla Abu’l-Hasan,

30. Mulla Isma’il,

31. Mulla Abdu’l-‘Ali,

32. Mulla Aqa-Baba,

33. Mulla Abdu’l-Javad,

34. Mulla Muhammad-Husayn,

35. Mulla Muhammad-Baqir,

36. Mulla Muhammad,

37. Haji Hasan,

38. Karbila’i Ali,

39. Mulla Karbila’i Ali,

40. Karbila’i Nur-Muhammad,

41. Muhammad-Ibrahim,

42. Muhammad-Sa’im,

43. Muhammad-Hadi,

44. Siyyid Mihdi,

45. Abu-Muhammad.

Of the companions of the village of Sang-Sar, which forms part of the district of Simnan, eighteen were martyred. Their names are as follows:

46. Siyyid Ahmad, whose body was cut to pieces by Mirza Muhammad-Taqi and the seven ulamas of Sari. He was a noted divine and greatly esteemed for his eloquence and piety.

47. Mir Abu’l-Qasim, Siyyid Ahmad’s brother, who won the crown of martyrdom on the very night on which Mulla Husayn met his death.

48. Mir Mihdi, the paternal uncle of Siyyid Ahmad,

49. Mir Ibrahim, the brother-in-law of Siyyid Ahmad,

50. Safar-‘Ali, the son of Karbila’i Ali, who, together with Karbila’i Muhammad, had so strenuously endeavoured to awaken the people of Sang-Sar from their sleep of heedlessness. Both of them, owing to their infirmities, were unable to proceed to the fort of Tabarsi.

51. Muhammad-‘Ali, the son of Karbila’i Abu-Muhammad,

52. Abu’l-Qasim, the brother of Muhammad-‘Ali,

53. Karbila’i Ibrahim,

54. Ali-Ahmad,

55. Mulla Ali-Akbar,

56. Mulla Husayn-‘Ali,

57. Abbas-‘Ali,

58. Husayn-‘Ali,

59. Mulla Ali-Asghar,

60. Karbila’i Isma’il,

61. Ali Khan,

62. Muhammad-Ibrahim,

63. Abdu’l-‘Azim.

From the village of Shah-Mirzad, two fell in defending the fort:

64. Mulla Abu-Rahim and

65. Karbila’i Kazim.

As to the adherents of the Faith in Mazindaran, twenty-seven martyrs have thus far been recorded:

66. Mulla Riday-i-Shah,

67. Azim,

68. Karbila’i Muhammad-Ja’far,

69. Siyyid Husayn,

70. Muhammad-Baqir,

71. Siyyid Razzaq,

72. Ustad Ibrahim,

73. Mulla Sa’id-i-Zirih-Kinari,

74. Riday-i-‘Arab,

75. Rasul-i-Bahnimiri,

76. Muhammad-Husayn, the brother of Rasul-i-Bahnimiri,

77. Tahir,

78. Shafi’,

79. Qasim,

80. Mulla Muhammad-Jan,

81. Masih, the brother of Mulla Muhammad-Jan,

82. Ita-Baba,

83. Yusuf,

84. Fadlu’llah,

85. Baba,

86. Safi-Quli,

87. Nizam,

88. Ruhu’llah,

89. Ali-Quli,

90. Sultan,

91. Ja’far,

92. Khalil.

Of the believers of Savad-Kuh, the five following names have thus far been ascertained:

93. Karbila’i Qambar-Kalish,

94. Mulla Nad-‘Aliy-i-Mutavalli,

95. Abdu’l-Haqq,

96. Itabaki-Chupan,

97. Son of Itabaki-Chupan.

From the town of Ardistan, the following have suffered

martyrdom:

98. Mirza Ali-Muhammad, son of Mirza Muhammad-Sa’id,

99. Mirza Abdu’-Vasi’, son of Haji Abdu’l-Vahhab,

100. Muhammad-Husayn, son of Haji Muhammad-Sadiq,

101. Muhammad-Mihdi, son of Haji Muhammad-Ibrahim,

102. Mirza Ahmad, son of Muhsin,

103. Mirza Muhammad, son of Mir Muhammad-Taqi.

From the city of Isfahan, thirty have thus far been recorded:

104. Mulla Ja’far, the sifter of wheat, whose name has been mentioned by the Báb in the Persian Bayan. The first convert of Mulla Husayn.

105. Ustad Aqa, surnamed Buzurg-Banna,

106. Ustad Hasan, son of Ustad Aqa,

107. Ustad Muhammad, son of Ustad Aqa,

108. Muhammad-Husayn, son of Ustad Aqa, whose younger brother Ustad Ja’far was sold several times by his enemies until he reached his native city, where he now resides.

109. Ustad Qurban-‘Aliy-i-Banna,

110. Ali-Akbar, son of Ustad Qurban-‘Aliy-i-Banna,

111. Abdu’llah, son of Ustad Qurban-‘Ali-i-Banna,

112. Muhammad-i-Baqir-Naqsh, the maternal uncle of Siyyid Yahya, son of Mirza Muhammad-‘Aliy-i-Nahri. He was fourteen years old and was martyred the very night that Mulla Husayn met his death.

113. Mulla Muhammad-Taqi,

114. Mulla Muhammad-Rida, both brothers of the late Abdu’s-Salih, the gardener of the Ridvan at ‘Akká.

115. Mulla Ahmad-i-Saffar,

116. Mulla Husayn-i-Miskar,

117. Ahmad-i-Payvandi,

118. Hasan-i-Sha’r-Baf-i-Yazdi,

119. Muhammad-Taqi,

120. Muhammad-‘Attar, brother of Hasan-i-Sha’r-Baf,

121. Mulla Abdu’l-Khaliq, who cut his throat in Badasht and whom Tahirih named Dhabih.

122. Husayn,

123. Abu’l-Qasim, brother of Husayn,

124. Mirza Muhammad-Rida,

125. Mulla Haydar, brother of Mirza Muhammad-Rida,

126. Mirza Mihdi,

127. Muhammad-Ibrahim,

128. Muhammad-Husayn, surnamed Dastmal-Girih-Zan,

129. Muhammad-Hasan-i-Chit-Saz, a well-known cloth man

130. Muhammad-Husayn-i-‘Attar,

131. Ustad Haji Muhammad-i-Banna,

132. Mahmud-i-Muqari’i, a noted cloth dealer. He was newly married and had attained the presence of the Báb in the castle of Chihriq. The Báb urged him to proceed to the Jaziriy-i-Khadra and to lend his assistance to Quddus. While in Tihran, he received a letter from his brother announcing the birth of a son and entreating him to hasten to Isfahan to see him, and then to proceed to whichever place he felt inclined. “I am too much fired,” he replied, “with the love of this Cause to be able to devote any attention to my son. I am impatient to join Quddus and to enlist under his banner.”

133. Siyyid Muhammad-Riday-i-Pa-Qal’iyi, a distinguished siyyid and a highly esteemed divine, whose declared purpose to enlist under the banner of Mulla Husayn caused a great tumult among the ulamas of Isfahan.

Among the believers of Shiraz, the following attained the station of martyrdom:

134. Mulla Abdu’llah, known also by the name of Mirza Salih, Murderer of Haji Mulla Taqiy-I-Baraghani the father-in-law of Tahirih.

135. Mulla Zaynu’l-‘Abidin,

136. Mirza Muhammad.

Of the adherents of the Faith in Yazd, only four have thus far been recorded:

137. The siyyid who walked on foot all the way from Khurasan to Barfurush, where he fell a victim to the bullet of the enemy.

138. Siyyid Ahmad, the father of Siyyid Husayn-i-‘Aziz, the amanuensis of the Báb,

139. Mirza Muhammad-‘Ali, son of Siyyid Ahmad, whose head was blown off by the ball from a cannon as he was standing at the entrance of the fort, and who, because of his tender age, was greatly loved and admired by Quddus.

140. Shaykh Ali, son of Shaykh Abdu’l-Khaliq-i-Yazdi, a resident of Mashhad, a youth whose enthusiasm and untiring energy were greatly praised by Mulla Husayn and Quddus.

Of the believers of Qazvin, the following were martyred:

141. Mirza Muhammad-‘Ali, a noted divine, whose father, Haji Mulla Abdu’l-Vahhab, was one of the most distinguished mujtahids in Qazvin. He attained the presence of the Báb in Shiraz, and was enrolled as one of the Letters of the Living.

142. Muhammad-Hadi, a noted merchant, son of Haji Abdu’l-Karim, surnamed Baghban-Bashi,

143. Siyyid Ahmad,

144. Mirza Abdu’l-Jalil, a noted divine,

145. Mirza Mihdi.

146. From the village of Lahard, a man named Haji Muhammad-‘Ali, who had greatly suffered as a result of the murder of Mulla Taqi in Qazvin.

Of the believers of Khuy, the following have suffered martyrdom:

147. Mulla Mihdi, a distinguished divine, who had been one of the esteemed disciples of Siyyid Kazim. He was noted for his learning, his eloquence, and his staunchness of faith.

148. Mulla Mahmud-i-Khu’i, brother of Mulla Mihdi, one of the Letters of the Living and a distinguished divine.

149. Mulla Yusuf-i-Ardibili, one of the Letters of the Living, noted for his learning, his enthusiasm and eloquence. It was he who had aroused the apprehensions of Haji Karim Khan on his arrival at Kirman, and who struck terror to the hearts of his adversaries. “This man,” Haji Karim Khan was heard to say to his congregation, “must needs be expelled from this town, for if he be allowed to remain, he will assuredly cause the same tumult in Kirman as he has already done in Shiraz. The injury he will inflict will be irreparable. The magic of his eloquence and the force of his personality, if they do not already excel those of Mulla Husayn, are certainly not inferior to them.” By this means he was able to force him to curtail his stay in Kirman and to prevent him from addressing the people from the pulpit. The Báb gave him the following instructions: “You must visit the towns and cities of Persia and summon their inhabitants to the Cause of God. On the first day of the month of Muharram in the year 1265 A.H.,[1] you must be in Mazindaran and must arise to lend every assistance in your power to Quddus.” Mulla Yusuf, faithful to the instructions of his Master, refused to prolong his stay beyond a week in any of the towns and cities which he visited. On his arrival in Mazindaran, he was made captive by the forces of Prince Mihdi-Quli Mirza, who immediately recognized him and gave orders that he be imprisoned. He was eventually released, as we have already observed, by the companions of Mulla Husayn on the day of the battle of Vas-Kas.

[1 November 27, 1848 A.D.]

150. Mulla Jalil-i-Urumi, one of the Letters of the Living, noted for his learning, his eloquence, and tenacity of faith.

151. Mulla Ahmad, a resident of Maraghih, one of the Letters of the Living, and a distinguished disciple of Siyyid Kazim.

152. Mulla Mihdiy-i-Kandi, a close companion of Bahá’u’lláh, and a tutor to the children of His household.

153. Mulla Baqir, brother of Mulla Mihdi, both of whom were men of considerable learning, to whose great attainments Bahá’u’lláh testifies in the “Kitáb-i-Íqán.”

154. Siyyid Kazim, a resident of Zanjan, and one of its noted merchants. He attained the presence of the Báb in Shiraz, and accompanied Him to Isfahan. His brother, Siyyid Murtada, was one of the Seven Martyrs of Tihran.

155. Iskandar, also a resident of Zanjan, who, together with Hasan and Quli, bore the body of Mulla Husayn to the fort.

156. Isma’il,

157. Karbila’i Abdu’l-‘Ali,

158. Abdu’l-Muhammad,

159. Haji Abbas,

160. Siyyid Ahmad — all residents of Zanjan.

161. Siyyid Husayn-i-Kulah-Duz, a resident of Barfurush, whose head was impaled on a lance and was paraded through its streets.

162. Mulla Hasan-i-Rashti,

163. Mulla Hasan-i-Bayajmandi,

164. Mulla Ni’matu’llah-i-Barfurushi,

165. Mulla Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Qarakhili,

166. Ustad Zaynu’l-‘Abidin,

167. Ustad Qasim, son of Ustad Zaynu’l-‘Abidin,

168. Ustad Ali-Akbar, brother of Ustad Zaynu’l-‘Abidin.

The last three were masons by profession, were natives of Kirman, and resided in Qayin in the province of Khurasan.

169 and 170. Mulla Riday-i-Shah and a young man from Bahnimir were slain two days after the abandonment of the fort by Quddus, in the Panj-Shanbih-Bazar of Barfurush. Haji Mulla Muhammad-i-Hamzih, surnamed the Shari’at-Madar, succeeded in burying their bodies in the neighbourhood of the Masjid-i-Kazim-Big, and in inducing their murderer to repent and ask forgiveness.

171. Mulla Muhammad-i-Mu’allim-i-Nuri, an intimate companion of Bahá’u’lláh who was closely associated with Him in Nur, in Tihran, and in Mazindaran. He was famed for his intelligence and learning, and was subjected, Quddus only excepted, to the severest atrocities that have ever befallen a defender of the fort of Tabarsi. The prince had promised that he would release him on condition that he would execrate the name of Quddus, and had pledged his word that, should he be willing to recant, he would take him back with him to Tihran and make him the tutor of his sons. “Never will I consent,” he replied, “to vilify the beloved of God at the bidding of a man such as you. Were you to confer upon me the whole of the kingdom of Persia, I would not for one moment turn my face from my beloved leader. My body is at your mercy, my soul you are powerless to subdue. Torture me as you will, that I may be enabled to demonstrate to you the truth of the verse, ‘Then, wish for death, if ye be men of truth.'”[1] The prince, infuriated by his answer, gave orders that his body be cut to pieces and that no effort be spared to inflict upon him a most humiliating punishment.

[1 Qur’án, 9:94.]

172. Haji Muhammad-i-Karradi, whose home was situated in one of the palm groves adjoining the old city of Baghdad, a man of great courage who had fought and led a hundred men in the war against Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt. He had been a fervent disciple of Siyyid Kazim, and was the author of a long poem in which he expatiated upon the virtues and merits of the siyyid. He was seventy-five years old when he embraced the Faith of the Báb, whom he likewise eulogised in an eloquent and detailed poem. He distinguished himself by his heroic acts during the siege of the fort, and eventually became a victim of the bullets of the enemy.

173. Sa’id-i-Jabbavi, a native of Baghdad, who displayed extraordinary courage during the siege. He was shot in the abdomen, and, though severely wounded, managed to walk until he reached the presence of Quddus. He joyously threw himself at his feet and expired.

The circumstances of the martyrdom of these last two companions were related by Siyyid Abu-Talib-i-Sang-Sari, one of those who survived that memorable siege, in a communication he addressed to Bahá’u’lláh. In it he relates, in addition, his own story, as well as that of his two brothers, Siyyid Ahmad and Mir Abu’l-Qasim, both of whom were martyred while defending the fort. “On the day on which Khusraw was slain,” he wrote, “I happened to be the guest of a certain Karbila’i Ali-Jan, the kad-khuda [1] of one of the villages in the neighbourhood of the fort. He had gone to assist in the protection of Khusraw, and had returned and was relating to me the circumstances attending his death. On that very day, a messenger informed me that two Arabs had arrived at that village and were anxious to join the occupants of the fort. They expressed their fear of the people of the village of Qadi-Kala, and promised that they would amply reward whoever would be willing to conduct them to their destination. I recalled the counsels of my father, Mir Muhammad-‘Ali, who exhorted me to arise and help in the promotion of the Cause of the Báb. I immediately decided to seize the opportunity that had presented itself to me, and, together with these two Arabs, and with the aid and assistance of the Kad-khuda, reached the fort, met Mulla Husayn, and determined to consecrate the remaining days of my life to the service of the Cause he had chosen to follow.”

Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers