Abdul Baha says about his father:
As all the people of Persia know, He had never studied in any school, nor had He associated with the ulama or the men of learning. The early part of His life was passed in the greatest happiness. His companions and associates were Persians of the highest rank, but not learned men. In the Bab’s case, the witness to Abdul Baha’s claims were all the people of Shiraz, in Bahaullah’s case the matter is taken to a whole new level: all the people of Iran! The falsity of this claim is obvious.

Abdul Baha claims his father had not associated with the Ulama. Apparently he has forgotten that when he was exaggerating his father’s knowledge elsewhere, he had mentioned that his father had in fact associated with the Ulama: When He was only thirteen or fourteen years old He became renowned for His learning. He would converse on any subject and solve any problem presented to Him. In large gatherings He would discuss matters with the Ulama (leading mullas) and would explain intricate religious questions. All of them used to listen to Him with the greatest interest.

In whatever meeting, scientific assembly or theological discussion He was found, He became the authority of explanation upon intricate and abstruse questions presented.

The claims about Bahaullah’s superior knowledge in these gatherings, are merely Abdul Baha’s claims and have not been verified to date by any external source. In these talks, the Ulama are basically displayed as a group of unlearned foolish men who were begging Bahaullah to answer their questions. Once again, what is important here is that in contrary to what Abdul Baha had claimed, these quotes clearly show that Bahaullah would socialize and associate with the Ulama and scholars.

Yet Abdul Baha repeatedly insists that his father had not attended school. Here is another instance:
During the period of youth the Blessed Perfection did not enter school. He was not willing to be taught. This fact is well established among the Persians of Tehran.

This time the people of Tehran are used as witnesses. These hundreds and thousands of witnesses (!) too like the people of Shiraz were all probably dead when Abdul Baha made this claim.

In a similar quote Abdul Baha says:
He never attended school or college, and what little teaching He received was given at home.

In this quote, Abdul Baha admits that his father received education at home. We will allow Adib Taherzadeh, a member of the Universal House of Justice from 1988-2000, to tell us how Bahaullah was educated:
In Persia in the nineteenth century . . . There were two educated classes, divines and government officials, plus a small number of others . . . The second class included government officials, clerks and some merchants, who received a certain elementary education in their childhood. This consisted of reading, writing, calligraphy, the study of the Qur'an and the works of some famous Persian poets. All this was usually accomplished within the span of a few years, after which many of them would marry, as was customary, in their late teens.

It was to this class that Bahaullah belonged. His father was a senior dignitary at the court of the Shah and famous as a calligrapher-an art which carried with it great prestige in royal circles. Bahaullah as a child received a simple education for a brief period of time. Like His father, He excelled in calligraphy. Some specimens of His exquisite handwriting are kept in the International Baha’i Archives on Mount Carmel.

Adib Taherzadeh gives us further information elsewhere:
Bahaullah received an elementary education during His childhood in Tihran [sic]. The nobility of those days usually employed the services of a teacher at home to tutor their children. The main subjects were calligraphy, the study of the Qur'an and the works of the Persian poets. This type of schooling ended after only a few years when the child was in his early teens. Bahaullah’s education did not go further than this.

According to these words, the reason Bahaullah didn’t go to school was because he was born in a noble family and it was customary in these families to not send their children to school. Rather they would employ a private teacher to teach their children. It is well known that the quality of teaching received from a private tutor usually far exceeds the education that one might attain in a public school.

The final witness to how Bahaullah was educated is someone who knew him from childhood and as Abdul Baha claims, apparently reared him. This person is no one but his sister, Khanum Buzurg (also known as Shah Sultan Khanum and Izziye Khanum). Although she became a follower of Mirza Yahya, nonetheless, she was held with high esteem and was greatly respected by Abdul Baha.

The bond between Abdul Baha and his aunt was so strong that Abdul Baha used these words to address her:
Do you not remember that during my childhood and infancy what devotion I had to you, and now, for the sake of the Blessed Dust (Turbat Mubaraki) and the Encircling Place of the Most High Ones (Mataf Mala’ Ala), I still have the utmost love (for you). O intelligent aunt! I swear by the Encircling Place of the Most High Ones (Mataf Mala’ Ala) that in intelligence, cognition, reason, and understanding you have distinction and superiority over those who claim they are the pole/axis of the Merciful (Lord’s) world. The child that you had nurtured in your lap of love and affection had no similarity with his other brothers in any aspect and he wouldn’t accept any position.

These words show that Khanum Buzurg had very close ties to Bahaullah and Abdul Baha until they split up over the Bab’s successorship. The words also clearly show that Khanum Buzurg possessed a very high degree of intelligence. Furthermore, the child that Abdul Baha is referring to who she had nurtured, is most probably Bahaullah himself because he is the one that "wouldn’t accept any positions." These statement show that the Aunt knew a fair amount about the internal affairs of Bahaullah and how he had been schooled.

There are at least five tablets from Abdul Baha that have been addressed to her in a bid to persuade her to become a follower of Bahaullah. In the longest tablet, Abdul Baha refers to her as kind (mihraban), pure (tayyiba), honored (mukrama). It is in this tablet that he asks her to "awaken those who are asleep." In a response to this request, she sends him a letter with the title tanbih al-na’imin (Awakening the asleep) to refute his claims.

It is in this letter that she explains how Bahaullah-her brother-was tutored:
The Mirza (meaning Bahaullah), who was your father, from the beginning of his life to when he came of age-because the means were at hand and because of the gathering of the companions-was engrossed in studying and endeavored in homework . He wouldn’t disengage from learning the rudiments for a moment. After studying the rudiments of Arabic and literature he inclined towards the science of philosophy (hikmat) and mysticism (irfan) so that he might benefit from these. It was such that he would spend most of the day and night socializing with high statured philosophers and the gatherings of mystics and Sufis. When it was blown in Seraph’s Trumpet of Appearance (meaning when the Bab made his claims), he (meaning Bahaullah) was a man who had seen most of the words and phrases of the mystics and philosophers and had heard and understood most of the signs of the appearance (of the Mahdi) . . . after returning from Badasht and after the Shaykh Tabarsi Fort war was over, he was engaged day and night in socializing with great Islamic scholars and followers of mysticism . . .

Both friend and foe, admit that Bahaullah received education and was engaged in studying and socializing with the scholars in his youth. The story doesn’t end here, even Bahaullah himself admits that he used to read Islamic books when he was a child: This oppressed one in his childhood (tufuliyyat) saw the war of the tribe of Qurayza in a book that belonged to (was authored by) Mulla Baqir Majlisi, and has been sad and sorrowful ever-since.

Bahaullah also says that he "has been sad and sorrowful ever-since" whilst Abdul’-Baha had claimed the exact opposite: As all the people of Persia know, He had never studied in any school, nor had He associated with the ulama or the men of learning. The early part of His life was passed in the greatest happiness. His companions and associates were Persians of the highest rank, but not learned men. Bahaullah also unwittingly admits in the Iqan that he would read the books of other people:

For instance, a certain man, reputed for his learning and attainments, and accounting himself as one of the pre-eminent leaders of his people, hath in his book denounced and vilified all the exponents of true learning. This is made abundantly clear by his explicit statements as well as by his allusions throughout his book. As We had frequently heard about him, We purposed to read some of his works. Although We never felt disposed to peruse other peoples’ writings, yet as some had questioned Us concerning him, We felt it necessary to refer to his books, in order that We might answer Our questioners with knowledge and understanding. His works, in the Arabic tongue, were, however, not available, . . . We sent for the book, and kept it with Us a few days. It was probably referred to twice. The second time, We accidentally came upon the story of the "Mi’ráj" . . . We noticed that he had enumerated some twenty or more sciences, the knowledge of which he considered to be essential for the comprehension of the mystery of the "Mi’ráj".

These words clearly show that Bahaullah would read books to attain knowledge and would even refer to them to answer questions. This is while Abdul Baha says the knowledge of divine figures is divine not acquired:
Since the Sanctified Realities, the supreme Manifestations of God, surround the essence and qualities of the creatures, transcend and contain existing realities and understand all things, therefore, Their knowledge is divine knowledge, and not acquired-that is to say, it is a holy bounty; it is a divine revelation.

Furthermore, why would Bahaullah lie elsewhere and claim he had not read any books:
You know that we did not read the books of the people and were unaware of the sciences that they possessed.

And why would the Baha’i administration distort these words when translating them to English:
Thou knowest full well that We perused not the books which men possess and We acquired not the learning current amongst them.

Why would the word qara’a which simply means read be translated to peruse which means read or examine thoroughly or carefully?

Why would we "were unaware of the sciences that they possessed" be translated to "We acquired not the learning current amongst them"? Why does the Baha’i administration insist on presenting to the World a Bahaullah that isn’t the real Bahaullah?

When friend and foe and even Bahaullah himself admit that he had received education, had read the books, and had socialized with learned people, then why is there insistence by Baha’is that he was not schooled and his knowledge was Divine? The answer can be found in the Quran:
And before this you had not read any book and you do not write it by your right hand, for if it was so, the slanderers would have defamed you. Prophet Muhammad, prior to becoming a Prophet, had received no schooling or education. It was for this fact that when he became Divinely Inspired by knowledge and wisdom he was not refuted as a liar who had learned the knowledge that he was uttering in school or had read it in books. It is because of this verse, that Baha’is try to display an illiterate Bab and Bahaullah who had only attained knowledge through divine inspirations, whilst all evidence shows the contrary.

The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.

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