Saturday, January 12, 2008

On Shaykh Tabarsi and Mob Violence: Saturday Night Stories

As usual, saffron-tinted Persian rice was served at Chris and Shadi's fireside tonight, only Shadi didn't make it. Chris did. Shadi was attending the funeral of her father in New Zealand. I will say prayers for the progress of his soul.

We heard Enayat tell stories tonight, personal stories of family members who were among those martyred at Shaykh Tabarsi. -gw
Fadhil bin Hassan bin Fadhil Al-Tabarsi (Arabic: فاضل بن حسن بن فاضل الطبرسي, Persian: فاضل بن حسن بن فاضل طبرسى), known as Shaykh Tabarsi (Arabic: شيخ الطبرسي Shaykh al-Tabrasî, Persian: شیخ طبرسی Shaykh Tabarsi), was a 12-century Persian Shia scholar. He died in 548 AH in Mazandaran. His main work is Majma'-al-bayān, a commentary (tafsir) of Qur'an.His shrine was the location of a battle between the forces of the Shah of Persia and the Bábís, followers of the Báb, over the period October 10, 1848 to May 10, 1849.

We also heard Enayat's story of family members who had to flee their small town when passions were aroused by the local mullahs. A group of Baha'is were surrounded and attacked by a mob that intended to kill them when a Muslim was inadvertantly killed instead during the defense by the Bahais. A Baha'i was subsequently thrown off a rooftop and martyred and the rest of the Baha'is forced to leave. And we heard of Enayat's own recollection of bravely identifying himself as a Baha'i and expounding on the teachings of the Baha'i Faith in the face of suspicion and hostility during his mandatory Shariah class in high school.

And we heard a full set of Russ Salton's wonderful songs. He has a new album of all Baha'i-inspired songs that will be done in the next three months or so. -gw

Photos by Rahmatullah Dannells

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