A quest initiated by a learned scholar of Islam named Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai, to see the Advent of The Qa’im, The Promised One of Islam began in 1783 in Persia. Subsequently Shaykh Ahmad passed away and was succeeded by a young man named Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti . Siyyid Kazim continued to spread the word of the Advent of the Promised One. Before Siyyid Kazim passed away he instructed one of his pupil named Mulla Husayn to continue searching for the Promised One. This search lead Mulla Husayn,his brother and a nephew to the city of Shiraz on May 22, 1844. Mulla Husayn while asking his companions to wait for him at a mosque wandered awhile, promising to join them for the evening prayers.
Outside the gates of the city,a few hours before sunset he was unexpectedly greeted by a young man. When Mulla Husayn told that he had to leave to join his companions for the evening prayers, the young man with extreme courtesy and calm invited Mulla Husayn to to join him instead for the evening prayers. Soon after the evening prayers, an hour after sunset the young man began to converse with Mulla Husayn. ” Has your teacher, the young man asked Mulla Husayn, given you any detailed indications as to the distinguishing features of The Promised Qa’im? ” Yes, ” Mulla Husayn replied, He is of a pure lineage,is of illustrious descent, and the seed of Fatimih. As to His age, He is more than twenty and less than thirty. He is endowed with innate knowledge. He is of medium height, abstains from smoking and is free from bodily deficiencies.” The. young man paused for a while and then with a vibrant voice declared: ” Behold, all these signs are manifest in Me!” The young man, whose name was Siyyid Ali Muhammad proceeded to demonstrate that each of the signs given by Siyyid Kazim were indeed applicable to Him. Yet Mulla Husayn was unsure, he had prepared two tests for anyone claiming to be the Promised One. The first was to produce a detailed commentary regarding the concealed teachings of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim. The second was to unravel the mysteries of the Surih of Joseph, a chapter of the Quran. To the astonishment of Mulla Husayn, within a few minutes Siyyid Ali Muhammad with characteristic vigor and charm unraveled all its mysteries and resolved all its problems. ” This night, He declared, ” this very hour will in the days to come be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals.
From that day forward Siyyid Ali Muhammad referred to Himself as The Bab ( The Gate ) and Mulla Husayn became His first disciple. Although The Bab was indeed the Promised One foretold by Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim, He taught that He was but the Herald of another Messenger ( Baha’u’llah ) who would appear very soon after Him and the power of whose revelation would far exceed any previously sent down by God.