[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Newspaper:] Ajang

[Date:] 25 Dey 1334 [16 January 1956]

[Issue No.:] 36

 

Marginal Notes on Religions and Sects

Naser al-Din Shah wrote to Qurratu’l-Ayn: If you recant the Baha’i religion and become righteous, you will be one of the wives of [my] harem …

Qurratu’l-Ayn replied: The glory and wealth of Alexander for you, the mendicant way and manner for me.

Based on a special request from some of our readers, we will create a column, starting with this issue, titled the Marginal Notes on Religions and Sects, in which we will provide the readers an opportunity to send us their thoughts, either for or against any subject, and we will surely publish them.

Mr. Editor of Ajang newspaper:

In issue number 35 of your newspaper, I read an article about Qurratu’l-Ayn. As a Muslim individual who, at least personally, has no doubt about my faith in Islam, I would like to tell you that, far from having any prejudice, I respect this woman. When I talk about Qurratu’l-Ayn, her being a Baha’i is not an issue for me; rather, I only look at her as a renowned poetess of our history.

In the third volume of the History of Qajar, the writer of Nasikh al-Tawarikh writes about this woman―keeping in mind that the writer of Nasikh al-tavarikh has not written this description free of prejudice, but in any case, [quoting] it is not irrelevant …

“… and the revolt of Qurratu’l-Ayn happened in this year. This woman was named Zarrin-Taj. She was the daughter of Haji Mulla Saleh Qazvini. Her father was an honourable jurist, and her husband was Mulla Mohammad, the son of Mulla Mohammad Taghi, who was her cousin. He was also learned to perfection. Her [paternal] uncle, Mulla Mohammad Taghi, was a clergyman, whose merit and piety were famous in all cities. In addition to the fact that this girl had the beauty of the moon, and from her hair one could inhale fragrance of musk, she was very learned in Arabic sciences, memorization of the [Islamic] traditions and recitation of the Qur’anic verses, to the utmost extent of delight. She became enamoured with the words of Mirza Ali Mohammad, the Bab, and became one of His apostles; slowly, she learned His way of life, which was the abolisher of the religious law―to the point where she considered the veils between women and men as a cause for retribution. 

“… the apostles of Mirza Ali Mohammad, the Bab, who were away from their own wives and children, lovingly gathered around her like moths around a candle. Sometimes they called her Badrod-Doja [the moonlight of thefourteenth night]. Sometimes they called her Shamsoz-Zoha [the morning sunshine], and eventually she was entitled Qurratu’l-Ayn. She used to decorate her meetings like a bridal chamber, adorn herself like a peacock of paradise, and appear unveiled among the followers of the Bab. She would sit on a throne and then talk about heaven and hell like a preacher, and illustrate the verses and traditions perfectly.”

I should also add that when Naser al-Din Shah heard about Qurratu’l-Ayn’s fame, and her beauty and perfection, he became totally enamoured and enchanted by her and sent her a letter, saying that if she left the religion of Baha and became righteous, she would become part of his harem, and most definitely be the favourite wife. But Qurratu’l-Ayn responded to the king’s letter with a lengthy elegy, two couplets of which are as follows:

 

The glory and wealth of Alexander for you,

The mendicant way and manner for me

If that one is pleasant, it is suited for you,

And if this is way is bad, I deserve it …

 

Isfahan – M. Towhidi