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Vahid Darabi

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Siyyid Yahyá Dárábí Váhid (??? - June 29, 1850) was an eminent Bábí who stirred up the Nayriz upheaval. He was also a theologian, a contemporary of the Báb, and one of his most learned and influential followers.

Váhid's conversion

Fearing the expansion of the Bábí Faith in Iran and unable to leave the situation unattended for any longer, the king of Iran, Nasser al-Din Shah, sent Váhid - an erudite man who knew no less than 30,000 hadiths by memory - to investigate the situation and report back to him.

Over the course of three interviews with the Báb, Váhid was totally won over by his arguments and character.

Their first interview centered around the metaphysical teachings of Islam, the most obscure passages of the Qur’an, and the traditions and prophecies of the Imáms.

During the second interview, Váhid was astounded to find that he had forgotten the questions which he had intended to submit for elucidation to the Báb, and yet, to his utter amazement, he discovered that the Báb was answering those very questions.

During the third interview, Váhid was so overpowered by the revelation of the Báb’s commentary on the Surih of Kawthar, comprising no less than two thousand verses, that he, contenting himself with a mere written report to the Court Chamberlain, arose to dedicate his entire life and resources to the service of a faith that was to requite him with the crown of martyrdom during the Nayriz upheaval.[1]

Travels, journeys, and death

Váhid traveled throughout many cities including Qazvin, Qum, Isfahan, and Yazd, talking about the fundamental teachings of the Bábi Faith with zest and fearlessness. At a Naw-Ruz celebration, he made a bold and sarcastic remark which angered one of his most hateful adversaries, Navváb-i-Radavi, to the point that he wanted to kill Váhid. At that celebration, he talked about Bábi principles again, more people disregarded than embraced them. Those antagonistic to Váhid joined forces and made the destruction of Váhid's life their main objective. From this point onward, Váhid and his followers would hide in forts throughout various cities while preaching about the Bábi faith in mosques, his number of followers increasing, with some attacks occurring along the way.

One of the later battles in particular included nearly all of the Bábis, even the women, and they all shouted "Allah-u-Akbar!" while running to their death. Many were wounded, and no less than sixty died.

Zaynu’l-`Abidin Khan, the biggest conspirator involved in this upheaval, then sent a fake peace offering to Váhid who, already knowing this, accepted it anyway. Váhid was eventually forced to write a letter to his companions, telling them to come join him in the enemy’s place and that everything had been settled. However, he also wrote a second letter, describing everything that was actually taking place, and he instructed Haji Siyyid `Abid, another conspirator, to destroy the first letter and to give the latter to his friends. He betrayed Váhid and gave the second letter to Zaynu’l-`Abidin Khan. The first letter was given to his companions and his confused friends then dispersed. Váhid was eventually captured; the captors wound his turban around his neck, bound him to a horse, and dragged him into the city, where all of the people who hated him could laugh and ridicule him as he cried in agony, asking God if He was witnessing the occurring events and how he would never submit to his adversaries.

Váhid continued to endure torture until he died shortly afterwards on June 29, 1850, ten days before the Báb was martyred.[2] According to reports Yahya was skinned, his skin stuffed with straw, and sent to the Shah. Four hundred men were decapitated in these events and women on unsaddled camels held pikes with a head on each pike. The group as then in procession to Shiraz, welcomed by the governor - and a parallel was made during comments with the events of the martyrdom of Imam Husain - that the procession was not illumined and the women lead to Damascus. The procession then went to Abadeh.[3]


  1. Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 11-12
  2. Nabil-i-Zarandi, The Dawn Breakers, pp. 465-499
  3. Fischer, Michael; Abedi, Mehdi (1990). Debating Muslims. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 232. ISBN 0299124347. 


  • Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979 second printing.
  • Nabil-i-Zarandi, The Dawn Breakers. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois, 1970.

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