Exile to Constantinople and Adrianople

The journey to Constantinople was arduous and fatiguing, taking 110 days to reach the Port of Samsun on the Black Sea. The route took the party across uplands, woods, valleys and mountain passes which entailed the careful negotiation of narrow roads above dangerous precipices. Accompanying Bahá’u'lláh were members of His family, including His faithful brothers Aqay-i-Kalim and Mirza Muhammad-Quli, and 26 men, among them His disciples and Siyyid Muhammad Isfahani, as well as Mirza Yahya, who joined the party en route.

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 72)

Another important question was the relationship between Bahá’u'lláh and Mirza Yahya. They wanted to know who Mirza Yahya was, and what was the extent of his knowledge and his following. Every one of the Bahá’í prisoners testified that he did not associate with him and was not therefore in a position to know much about him. Most of them, however, said that Mirza Yahya was as a drop compared with the ocean of Bahá’u'lláh’s knowledge. Here we can see again their wisdom in dealing with this controversial subject. They did not speak of Mirza Yahya’s activities. They only made it clear that Bahá’u'lláh was as the light and that light and darkness cannot come together. When Darvish Sidq-’Ali was asked ‘How many of Bahá’u'lláh’s brothers were in Adrianople?’, he replied that there were only two, Mírzá Músá and Mírzá Muhammad-Quli! When asked who then Mirza Yahya was, he replied that he was no longer a brother of Bahá’u'lláh and was cut off from Him.

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u'llah v 2, p. 331)

The man who brought the Sultan’s edict to Bahá’u'lláh was received by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His uncle, Mírzá Músá. Then it was that Bahá’u'lláh made the first public proclamation of His Mission to circles beyond the community of the Báb. It was contained in a Tablet (the text of which is not extant) revealed in answer to the imperial edict, and delivered three days later to the same man who had brought that edict. That Tablet, admonitory and severe, was addressed to the person of the Sultan. Referring to it its Author said:

Whatever action the ministers of the Sultan took against Us, after having become acquainted with its contents, cannot be regarded as unjustifiable. The acts they committed before its perusal, however, can have no justification.

(H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu’l-Baha – The Centre of the Covenant, p. 17)

That same day a Tablet, severely condemnatory in tone, was revealed by Bahá’u'lláh, was entrusted by Him, in a sealed envelope, on the following morning, to Shamsi Big, who was instructed to deliver it into the hands of Ali Pasha, and to say that it was sent down from God. “I know not what that letter contained,” Shamsi Big subsequently informed Aqay-i-Kalim, “for no sooner had the Grand Vizir perused it than he turned the color of a corpse, and remarked: ‘It is as if the King of Kings were issuing his behest to his humblest vassal king and regulating his conduct.’ So grievous was his condition that I backed out of his presence.” “Whatever action,” Bahá’u'lláh, commenting on the effect that Tablet had produced, is reported to have stated, “the ministers of the Sultan took against Us, after having become acquainted with its contents, cannot be regarded as unjustifiable. The acts they committed before its perusal, however, can have no justification.”

That Tablet, according to Nabil, was of considerable length, opened with words directed to the sovereign himself, severely censured his ministers, exposed their immaturity and incompetence, and included passages in which the ministers themselves were addressed, in which they were boldly challenged, and sternly admonished not to pride themselves on their worldly possessions, nor foolishly seek the riches of which time would inexorably rob them.

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 159)

As stated earlier, the only other place apart from mosques and public baths which Bahá’u'lláh visited from time to time, was the house of Mírzá Músá, Aqay-i-Kalim, to meet various officials who had come with messages from the Government. On these occasions He was attended by Aqa ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffar, who was conversant with Turkish and acted as interpreter.

One day as Mirza Musa approached the Big-Ughli bazaar, a photographer came up and said that he wished to photograph him, without charge, and would present a number of copies to him. Nabil, who relates this incident, writes that Mirza Musa responded to the photographer’s request: ‘He wants to earn something by photographing us. This is his means of livelihood. We will not deprive him of it.’ According to Nabil, they were then all photographed.

(H.M. Balyuzi, Baha’u'llah – The King of Glory, p. 199)

‘My condition was such that nothing could calm me. As it happened I the Blessed Perfection did not come to the bath that day, but Mírzá Músá came, and I told him that Azal had set me on fire with his fearful suggestion. Mírzá Músá said, “He has been thinking of this for years take no notice of him. He has always been thinking in this way.” No one else came to the bath; so I closed it. I then went to the Master ['Abdu'l-Bahá, the Most Great Branch] and told Him that Mirza Yahya had spoken words which had infuriated me and that I had wanted to kill him, but did not. The Master said this was something which people did not realize and told me not to speak of it but to keep i. secret. I then went to Mirza Aqa Jan and reported the whole incident to him and asked him to tell Bahá’u'lláh. Mirza Aqa Jan returned and said: “Bahá’u'lláh says to tell Ustad Muhammad-’Ali not to mention this to anyone.”

(H.M. Balyuzi, Baha’u'llah – The King of Glory, p. 229)

Mirza Yahya began to show a curiosity in the sklls of his half brother Mírzá Músá. Mírzá Músá knew the healing uses of herbs and plants, and Mirza Yahya asked him many questions. Which part of this plant did he use, and what effect did the plant have? Most important, which ones were poisonous? Mírzá Músá was happy to answer the questions of his curious younger half-brother. He had no suspicion of Mirza Yahya’s real purpose.

(Druzelle Cederquist, The Story Of Bahá’u'lláh, p. 181)

“Go back,” they told her. “We will see to it.” After this an inspector came from the seat of government, said his say, and investigated. (Following the separation, Bahá’u'lláh would divide the funds that were allotted by the government, giving an adequate sum to Mirza Musa and Mirza Muhammad-Quli, giving a share to the friends. For example, He paid me five majidis every month. And after all the others were provided for, He and Azal would be left. He would keep a small amount for Himself, which would be in the hands of Mirza Aqa Jan, and the remainder — a share larger than anyone’s — He would give to Azal.) The inspector examined the books and saw that the complaint was demonstrably a calumny and nothing more.

(Ustad Muhammad-’Aliy-i Salmani, My Memories of Baha’u'llah, p. 95)