Badi` Khurasani Aqa Buzurg (c. 1852-1869), who was given the title Badi` (wondrous, new) by Baha'u'llah, was the bearer of Baha'u'llah's tablet to Nasiru'd-Din Shah and was killed on the orders of the Shah in 1869.
 

Aqa Buzurg was the son of Haji `Abdu'l-Majid Nishapuri, a Babi who had survived Shaykh Tabarsi (q.v.). In his early years, Badi` showed no interest in his father's religion and even some antagonism, to the extent that the other Babis of Nishapur were worried that Aqa Buzurg might denounce them.

Nabil-A`zam (q.v.), who was visiting Nishapur, managed one day to engage Badi` in conversation and win him over to the new religion. Badi` now became so fervent in his new belief that he managed to persuade his father to allow him to go with Shaykh Ahmad Fani, who was setting off to visit Baha'u'llah in Edirne.

Shaykh Ahmad stopped in Yazd for a time and Badi`, impatient to proceed, set off on foot towards Baghdad. Shortly after Badi` reached Baghdad, there occurred in about April-May 1868, the martyrdom of Aqa `Abdu'r-Rasul Qumi, who had been the water-carrier for the House of Baha'u'llah in Baghdad. As there was no one to perform this task, Badi` stayed for a time and carried water from the Tigris river to the House of Baha'u'llah and to the Baha'is of Baghdad. It was a dangerous occupation, as the enemies of the Baha'is were constantly taunting him, and he was attacked on several occasions and stabbed. When the Baha'i community of Baghdad was exiled to Mosul in August 1868, Badi` also went there and for a time continued to act as water-carrier.

Eventually, hearing of Baha'u'llah's transfer to Akka, Badi` set off for there. He arrived outside the city walls of Akka in 1869. Because he wore the humble clothes appropriate to a water-carrier, he was able to slip inside the city past the guards who rigorously excluded Baha'i pilgrims.

Badi` wandered around Akka and eventually found the Baha'i prisoners when they came to the mosque for prayers. He was able to get inside the citadel and had two interviews with Baha'u'llah.

The tablet to Nasiru'd-Din Shah had been revealed some years before in Edirne and Baha'u'llah now commissioned Badi` to deliver this personally to the Shah. Baha'u'llah arranged for the tablet to be delivered to Badi` in Haifa and Badi` immediately set off on the journey back to Iran.

On his arrival in Tehran, Badi` sought out the Shah's summer camp, approached the Shah, and delivered Baha'u'llah's tablet. Badi` was arrested and tortured to reveal the names of his Baha'i companions; but he maintained, as was indeed the case, that he had had no companions and was merely following the orders of Baha'u'llah. In the end he was killed in July 1869. An account of his heroism in the face of torture has been left by Muhammad-Vali Sipahdar-i-A`zam, who heard it from Kazim Khan, the executioner (BKG 300-309).

See also: "Kings and Leaders, Letters to"; "Nasiru'd-Din Shah."

Moojan Momen

Bibliography. BKG 293-310. ZH 6:30-32. BBR 254-55.
 
 

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