The first to embrace the Cause of the Báb in that city was a man named Mulla Jafar Isfahan, a sifter of wheat, who, as soon as the Call reached his ears, unreservedly accepted the Message. With marvellous devotion he served Mullá Husayn, and through his close association with him became a zealous advocate of the new Revelation.
A few years later, when the soul-stirring details of the siege of the fort of Shaykh Tabarsí were being recounted to him, he felt an irresistible impulse to throw in his lot with those heroic companions of the Báb who had risen for the defence of their Faith. Carrying his sieve in his hand, he immediately arose and set out to reach the scene of that memorable encounter. “Why leave so hurriedly?” his friends asked him, as they saw him running in a state of intense excitement through the bazaars of Isfahán. “I have risen,” he replied, “to join the glorious company of the defenders of the fort of Shaykh Tabarsí! With this sieve which I carry with me, I intend to sift the people in every city through which I pass. Whomsoever I find ready to espouse the Cause I have embraced, I will ask to join me and hasten forthwith to the field of martyrdom.”
Such was the devotion of this youth, that the Báb, in the Persian Bayán, refers to him in such terms: “Isfahán, that outstanding city, is distinguished by the religious fervour of its shí’ah inhabitants, by the learning of its divines, and by the keen expectation, shared by high and low alike, of the imminent coming of the Sáhibu’z-Zamán. In every quarter of that city, religious institutions have been established. And yet, when the Messenger of God had been made manifest, they who claimed to be the repositories of learning and the expounders of the mysteries of the Faith of God rejected His Message. Of all the inhabitants of that seat of learning, only one person, a sifter of wheat, was found to recognize the Truth, and was invested with the robe of Divine virtue!”
‘Behold the land of Sád (Isfahán) which in this world of appearances is the greatest of lands. In every one of its schools, numerous slaves are found who bear the name of savants and contestants. At the time of the election of members, even a sifter of grain may put on the garb of primacy (above the others).’
It is here that the secret of the word of the Imáms, regarding the Manifestation, shines forth:
“The lowliest of the creatures shall become the most exalted, and the most exalted shall become the most debased.’” (“The Bayán Persan,” vol. 4, p. 113.)
Nabil. The Dawn Breakers. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust: Chapter IV: p. 100
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