December 14, 2013

Bahá’u’lláh’s marriage to Ásíyih Khánúm and their early lives together up until His recognition of the Báb

When Bahá’u’lláh was nearly eighteen years old, His older sister requested their father's permission for her Brother to marry her husband's sister, Ásíyih Khánúm. Ásíyih Khánúm, who was then fifteen years old, was exceedingly beautiful, lively and winsome. Their marriage, which took place in the fall of 1835, opened a new level of responsibility and fulfillment for the young nobleman. He was to share a lifetime of love and extreme difficulties with this great noblewoman who later was known by the title Navváb (her Highness, her Excellency).

The young married couple devoted themselves to charitable activities during the early years of their married life. Their daughter Bahíyyih Khánúm recounted many years later how her parents "took part as little as possible in State functions, social ceremonies, and the luxurious habits of ordinary highly-placed and wealthy families in the land of Persia. [They] … counted these worldly pleasures meaningless, and preferred rather to occupy themselves in caring for the poor, and for all who were unhappy, or in trouble.'" Their Son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, also recalled His Father's role during those early years of His marriage:

"He was most generous, giving abundantly to the poor. None who came to Him were turned away. The doors of His house were open to all. He always had many guests. This unbounded generosity was conducive to greater astonishment from the fact that He sought neither position nor prominence. In commenting upon this His friends said He would become impoverished, for His expenses were many and His wealth becoming more and more limited. 'Why is He not thinking of His own affairs?' they inquired of each other; but some who were wise declared, 'This Personage is connected with another world; He has something sublime within Him that is not evident now; the day is coming when it will be manifested.'  In truth, the Blessed Perfection [Bahá’u’lláh] was a refuge for every weak one, a shelter for every fearing one, kind to every indigent one, lenient and loving to all creatures."

Due to such acts of charity and service Bahá’u’lláh and His wife earned widespread reputation as "The Father of Poor" and "The Mother of Consolation".