A Poem[1] on the Martyrdom of Badí‘

By Houshang Mahmoudi[2].  This translation is by Hajir Moghaddam.


A Letter from the Lord was issued by the Pen of Bahá[3] in the Land of Mystery[4]. The name of the Letter was ‘The Tablet to the King’[5]. The text of the Letter invited to God the Iranian Qajar King[6].

For many years lingered this Letter.

The Tablet to the King was not just any letter

to be sent by a courier with stamps and coins.

The Tablet to the King was but a Tablet, issued by the Pen of Bahá,

the value of its stamps was the price of the courier’s blood,

the price of the blood of Badí‘ [7].

For many years this Letter lingered.

Until when the Truth[8] created, out of the path of grace,

out of a fruitless existence,

out of a heart empty of the love of Truth

and full of malice for the Friend,

[created] a new creation.

Then, his[9] heart began to glow with the light of Abhá[10],

and his heart became full of the love of Bahá.

The heart became restless to see His Face.

The heart became filled with desire for the presence of the Friend.

For this reason he[11] immediately set out on his journey.

He journeyed to the place of the God of Love,

the shrine[12] of the Goal, the point[13] (Qiblih) of all Hopes, the habitation of the Beloved, the abode of Abhá.

He prostrated his head as he trode,

his heart’s compulsive obsession now cured.

Nearness to the Beloved Bahá opened the secret of his heart.

His Eminence Abhá[14] said to him:

“O trustworthy messenger, have you arrived?

I have been, for years, expecting you.

I have made a new wondrous creation (Badí‘) out of you, I have created you.

I took a fistful of dust and into it breathed the Spirit of My own Cause.

Thus I created a creation and made it wondrous and new[15] (Badí‘)

so that you would hand this Letter into the hands of the King of Iran Nasiri’d-Din.

O Badí‘, be aware,

you will lose your life in this path.

If you accept this, now here’s this playing field, this polo mallet, this Letter, and you,

then immediately journey into the path of sacrifice.”

In response,

he[16] smiled, that prince of sacrifice, that master of integrity, that new creation (Badí‘).

Badí‘ bowed and prostrated,

a prostration of praise, in gratitude, and thanks to his Beloved.

Afterwards they exchanged with one another that of which no one is informed.

From the providence of the Friend, Badí‘ departed straight for the path of sacrifice and

with his own hand delivered the Letter into the hands of the King of Iran Nasiri’d-Din.

King Nasir asked: “Who sent this Letter and from where?”

He[17] said: “From God is this Letter,

issued by the Pen of Bahá, from Akka have I come.”

He[18] said: “Tell me the names of your comrades.”

He[19] said: “Whoever you see, He is my beloved.  He is a friend.

I have no enemies in the world.  If you want the name of the followers of the Beloved Abhá,

I tell you truthfully, I don’t know.”

King Nasir said to Kazim Khan the Turk: “If you torment him

you will get the names and identities of his comrades.  If he doesn’t say, then torture him,

and burn him, and if he still doesn’t say, then kill him.”

He[20] who was of love and faithfulness had no equal.  He had no wish other than martyrdom in the path of Abhá.

He[21] smiled, as a gentle breeze, as spring, as paradise.

This gentle breeze became a whirlwind and intensified the flames of the fire of the chief executioner.

And it began in accordance with the command of Khan the Turk.

Such did the whip of tyranny strike the figure of the trustworthy messenger

that the executioners had no energy left.

The one who was offering his life in the path of the Friend had no other wish in his heart and soul.

He smiled. Kazim Khan asked: “Why do you smile?”

He[22] said: “I am giving praise to the Friend.”

Kazim Khan the Turk said: “If you tell me the names of your comrades,

I will spare your life.  You are a young boy – I can give you anything you want.

But if you don’t tell me the names of your comrades I will burn you, I will scorch your breast, and will break your endurance.”

Once again he[23] smiled, that prince of sacrifice, that master of patience and forbearance, that prince of love and obedience.

The heat of his[24] smile flamed the fire of the chief executioner and his[25] patience ran over.

He[26] ordered fire be brought to brand and burn

the forgiving-breast of the new wondrous creation Badí‘.

The chief executioner burned with fire,

the fire of envy and malice, the fire of ignorance and corruption.

But, this Nimrodic fire[27] of the Qajar King became Badí‘’s heavenly garden.

Once again the lips of Badí‘ smiled,

as the red-hot fire of the red rose of spring, as red anemones, as violets along the stream.

Kazim Khan the Turk said: “Have compassion for yourself, young boy.

Don’t stain my hands with your blood.

If you don’t want to tell me the names of your comrades, at least say that it’s not a Letter but a petition.

Instead of saying it is a Letter, say that it is a petition to a superior, and he will forgive you.

Instead of saying it is a Letter, say that it is a petition.

Say that it is a petition to a superior, and he will forgive you.”

The Pride of Martyrs[28] of the Most Holy Beauty Abhá said: “Shut up, man!

This is a Tablet.  It is not a petition, but a Letter from God,

issued by the Pen of Bahá.  Shame on you!  If you want to take my life then do it immediately.

This is all that I wish,

until I give my life in the path of the love of Bahá!”

Then he[29] turned his face to the heavens and said:

“O Bahá! O Bahá!  You are aware of my soul, heart, and secrets,

informed of my inward and outward being.

O Sovereign of my body and my heart and my faith!

That which You graced me with Your mercy,

do not take away with Your justice.

You promised that You would accept my life as an ant’s gift[30] before the court of the eminence of Solomon,

Right now this is me, this is me, O Lord of Promise of Promises!”

When Kazim Khan witnessed this declaration he said:

“Bring the hammer club.”

Then he repeated his threat:

“Instead of saying it is a Letter, say that it is a petition. Hey young boy, instead of saying it is a Letter, say that it is a petition.

If you don’t say it immediately, I will pound this heavy club over your head.”

Once again he[31] smiled, that prince of sacrifice,

as heaven, as the red rose of spring, as violets along the stream.

And suddenly the chief executioner shouted and pounded, pounded, and crushed the skull

of that Pride of the Martyrs of Bahá with the heavy club.  But there was still a smile on his turned lips,

as the spring, as a wondrous new creation (Badí‘),

as Badí‘,

the exclusive sacrifice in the path of Bahá.

Say: his desire was to be martyred for the Beauty of Abhá.

[1] Original Persian text in http://www.aeenebahai.org/node/741

[2] Mr. Houshang Mahmoudi lived from x to 1980 when he disappeared and is presumed to be dead.  He was a lawyer by training and also a prolific writer, poet, a fiery and skilful speaker, educator, director and producer of many television programs and documentary films.  On August 22, 1980, Mr. Mahmoudi and 8 other members of the NSA of Iran (as well as two others) were abducted by unknown agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran while in an NSA meeting in Tehran. (Source: http://www.ybcl.org)

[3] Bahá’u’lláh

[4] Edirne, Turkey

[5] Lawh-i-Sultan, http://reference.Bahái.org/en/t/b/SLH/slh-9.html

[6] Nasiri’d-Din Shah Qajar lived from July 16, 1831 to May 1, 1896 and was the King of Persia from September 17, 1848 until his assassinated. He was the son of Mohammad Shah Qajar and the third longest reigning monarch king in Persian history after Shapur II of the Sassanid Dynasty and Tahmasp I of the Safavid Dynasty. He had sovereign power for close to 50 years and was also the first Persian monarch to ever write and publish his diaries. (Source: Wikipedia)

[7] Mírzá Áqá Buzurg-i-Nishapuri, titled Badí‘, Pride of Martyrs, and an Apostle of Bahá’u’lláh, was the son of  `Abdu’l-Majid-i-Nishapuri and lived from 1852 to 1869.  Badí‘ is most famous for being the bearer of a tablet written by Bahá’u’lláh to Nasiri’d-Din Shah, for which he was tortured and killed at the age of 17.  The word Badí‘ means a ‘wondrous new creation’. (Source: wikipedia)

[8] Bahá’u’lláh

[9] Badí‘

[10] Bahá’u’lláh

[11] Badí‘

[12] Ka’bih (Kaaba).  It is a cube-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the most sacred site in Islam, where all Muslims face during prayers.

[13] Qiblih (Qiblah).  It is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays.

[14] Bahá’u’lláh

[15] This is the meaning of the word Badí‘

[16] Badí‘

[17] Badí‘

[18] Nasiri’d-Din Shah

[19] Badí‘

[20] Badí‘

[21] Badí‘

[22] Badí‘

[23] Badí‘

[24] Badí‘

[25] The chief executioner

[26] The chief executioner

[27] Qur’an 21:51-70.  The Qur’an says Nimrod persecuted Abraham and cast him into a fire that did not harm him.

[28] Badí‘

[29] Badí‘

[30] Qur’an 27:16-19.  While Solomon and his army approached a colony of ants, one ant called all other ants to hide to avoid getting crushed.  In response, Solomon thanks Allah.

[31] Badí‘

2 thoughts on “Poem of Badi”

  1. Dear Mr. Moghaddam,

    Thank you for the posting translation of Mr. Houshang Mahmoudi poem for Badi. Do you know how can I find audio of this recorded poem or and Persian text of it online?

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