A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Tahirih

He feels that the projected radio broadcasts are of the utmost importance as they afford you an opportunity of bringing to many listeners a sense of the greatness of the Cause. In this connection he has some advice to give you: You should stick carefully to facts and beware of putting any interpretations of facts into it. Your best sources are Nabil’s Narrative and Martha Root’s book on Tahirih, as far as she is concerned, and, of course the general literature of the Faith. The Guardian advises you not to introduce into a series for public consumption anything obscure or mystical. By all means avoid the scene in the Presence of Bahá’u’lláh between Tahirih and Quddus. Her separation from her husband and children, her teaching in Baghdad, her imprisonment and death, and her poems, make a beautiful and moving tale. He would not call her the first suffragette, for this certainly was strictly speaking no part of her concept.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 583)


History records the appearance in the world of women who have been signs of guidance, power and accomplishment. Some were notable poets, some philosophers and scientists, others courageous upon the field of battle. Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, a Bahá’í, was a poetess. She discomfited the learned men of Persia by her brilliancy and fervor. When she entered a meeting, even the learned were silent. She was so well versed in philosophy and science that those in her presence always considered and consulted her first. Her courage was unparalleled; she faced her enemies fearlessly until she was killed. She withstood a despotic king, the Shah of Persia, who had the power to decree the death of any of his subjects. There was not a day during which he did not command the execution of some. This woman singly and alone withstood such a despot until her last breath, then gave her life for her faith.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 74-75)


Qurratu’l-‘Ayn was a Persian woman without fame and importance—unknown, like all other Persian women. When she saw Bahá’u’lláh, she changed completely, visibly, and looked within another world. The reins of volition were taken out of her hands by heavenly attraction. She was so overcome that physical susceptibilities ceased. Her husband, her sons and her family arose in the greatest hostility against Bahá’u’lláh. She became so attracted to the divine threshold that she forsook everything and went forth to the plain of Badasht, no fear in her heart, dauntless, intrepid, openly proclaiming the message of light which had come to her. The Persian government stood against her. They made every effort to quiet her, they imprisoned her in the governor’s house, but she continued to speak. Then she was taken and killed. To her very last breath she spoke with fervid eloquence and so became famous for her complete attraction in the path of God. If she had not seen Bahá’u’lláh, no such effect would have been produced. She had read and heard the teachings of scriptures all her life, but the action and enkindlement were missing. All women in Persia are enveloped in veils in public. So completely covered are they that even the hand is not visible. This rigid veiling is unspeakable. Qurratu’l-Ayn tore off her veils and went forth fearlessly. She was like a lioness. Her action caused a great turmoil throughout the land of Persia. So excessive and compulsory is the requirement for veiling in the East that the people in the West have no idea of the excitement and indignation produced by the appearance of an unveiled woman. Qurratu’l-Ayn lost all thought of herself and was unconscious of fear in her attraction to God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 249)