Quddús (q.v.) the leading disciple of the Báb came from Bárfurúsh in Mázandarán. After accompanying the Báb on the pilgrimage to Mecca, Quddús returned to his native town where he remained for some two years building up the Bábí community. Bahá'u'lláh was active in propagating the religion of the Báb in his home district of Núr. Most of the larger towns and many villages such as Bihnamír came to have important communities. The episode of ShaykhTabarsí (q.v.) was perhaps the most important event in this province during this period. Some 36% of the Bábí participants were from Mázandarán (Momen 164).
In 1852, just before the attempt on the life of the Shah, Azal (q.v.) left Tehran for Núr where he tried to organize an uprising to co-incide with the attempt. This failed leading to the deaths of many Bábís and the looting of the houses of many villagers by an army detachment sent to deal with the episode.
After the Shaykh Tabarsí and Núr episodes, the Bábí community of Mázandarán faced a difficult decade. Many of them were known to the population as Bábís. Their position in Bárfurúsh would have been much worse had it not been for the protection of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Hamzih Sharí`atmadar, one of the prominent `ulamá of the town (RR 100-101, 182-3). After him, his son and grandson, who succeeded to his religious leadership, also protected the Bahá'ís, while another son, Shaykh `Abdu'l-Karím, and a son-in-law, Shaykh Muhammad-Taqí Mu'ayyidu'l-Islám, became Bahá'ís during the time of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Lutf-`Alí Khán Salár Kalbádí who lived near Bandar Jaz and in Sárí was an influential landowner and military commander who was a Bahá'í and also able to protect the Bahá'ís until his death in 1933.
In villages such as Bihnamír where there had been many Bábís, a number of the notables of the village became Bahá'ís and were able to protect the community. In Máhfurúzak, Mullá `Alí Ján was the religious leader. When he became a Bahá'í, he was able to convert some 1500 in the village and its vicinity before he was arrested and sent to Tehran where he was executed on 23 Sha`bán 1300/29 June 1883. His wife, `Alaviyyih Khánum, continued his work. A number of Lúrí tribesmen who migrated to Mázandarán at the time of the famine of 1288/1871 and settled in Bábul became Bahá'ís.
After the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, Áqá Jamál Burújirdí travelled through Mázandarán trying to enlist the support of the Bahá'ís there for Mírzá Muhammad `Alí but to little avail. Much more serious were the effects of the Constitutional Revolution of Iran upon the Bahá'ís of this province. Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí Mushíru't-Tujjár, Áqá Muhammad-Ismá`íl Amínu't-Tujjár and Áqá Muhammad Sá`at-Sáz were killed in Sárí and two others in the surrounding villages in January 1912 during the disturbances of the Constitutional Revolution. In Bábul, Mír Muhammad-`Alí Mu`ínu't-Tujjár and his wife were killed at about the same time.
Bahá'í schools were set up in the towns of Bárfurúsh
and Sárí and also in the village of Bihnamír.
For events after 1921, see entry "Iran".
See also: "Shaykh Tabarsí"