July 10, 2016

The story of how Baha’u’llah’s Father received the title of “Buzurg” - “the Great” – from the King of Persia

Specimen of the calligraphy of Mirza Buzurg
The father of Bahá'u'lláh was Mirza 'Abbas-i-Nuri. His family lived in the district of Nur, in the northern Persian province of Mazindaran.

One day during the reign of Fath-'Ali Shah, (the king of Persia from 1797 to 1834), the king was shown a masterpiece of calligraphy made by a very celebrated calligrapher who had passed away. Marvellous was the beauty of that piece of handwriting, and Fath-'Ali Shah wondered if anyone living in Persia could match its excellence. One of his sons mentioned the name of Mirza 'Abbas-i-Nuri. Thereupon king sent his representative to the District of Nur to show that masterpiece to Mirza ‘Abbas (Baha’u’llah’s father) and challenge him if he could to produce its like.

Upon receiving that masterpiece, Mirza 'Abbas first produced a piece like the original and then added some additional lines of his own, had them suitably illuminated and presented to Fath-'Ali Shah.

The Shah's admiration was boundless. A royal decree bestowed upon Mirza 'Abbas the name Mirza Buzurg, [the ‘Great’] and invested him with a robe of honour - a garment which the monarch himself had worn. At the same time the Shah exempted the people of the village of Takur, Mirza Buzurg’s home, from the payment of taxes. A few years later, Mirza Buzurg was appointed vizier to the twelfth son of Fath-'Ali Shah, who was the chief of the clans of the Qajar tribe, to which the royal family itself belonged.

Mirza Buzurg prospered in the service of the State, until the days of Muhammad Shah (reigned 1834-48), when he encountered the ill will of that monarch's notorious Prime Minister, Haji Mirza Aqasi, and lost his position and much of his considerable wealth.  
(Adapted from ‘Baha’u’llah, The King of Glory’, by Balyuzi)