Muhammad-Aliy-i-Zunuzi, also known as Anis, was a prominent figure in the Babi Faith, known for his unwavering devotion and courage. Born in Zunuz, a small town in Azerbaijan, Anis was a young merchant by profession. However, his life took a significant turn when he encountered the teachings of the Bab’i faith, which deeply resonated with him. He became a devoted follower, and his faith would eventually lead him to a path of great sacrifice.
Anis, formally known as Muhammad-Aliy-i-Zunuzi, was a young individual who became acquainted with the teachings of the Bab in Tabriz, subsequently developing a profound longing to meet him. However, Anis’ stepfather, a person of considerable social standing, found Anis’ conduct to be a source of embarrassment and dishonor. As a result, he confined Anis within their residence, prohibiting him from venturing outside.
This confinement caused considerable distress to Anis, a sentiment observed by a fellow adherent of the Babi faith who had the opportunity to visit him. However, during one particular visit, Anis was observed to be radiating joy. When queried about the source of his newfound happiness, Anis provided the following explanation:
… one day, as I lay confined in my cell, I turned my heart to Him and besought Him in these words: ‘Thou beholdest, O my Best-Beloved, my captivity and helplessness, and knowest how eagerly I yearn to look upon Thy face. Dispel the gloom that oppresses my heart, with the light of Thy countenance.’ What tears of agonizing pain I shed that hour! I was so overcome with emotion that I seemed to have lost consciousness. Suddenly I heard the voice of the Bab, and, lo! He was calling me. He bade me arise. I beheld the majesty of His countenance as He appeared before me. He smiled and He looked into my eyes. I rushed forward and flung myself at His feet. ‘Rejoice,’ He said; ‘the hour is approaching when, in this very city, I shall be suspended before the eyes of the multitude and shall fall a victim to the fire of the enemy. I choose no one except you to share with Me the cup of martyrdom. Rest assured that this promise which I give you shall be fulfilled.’
Anis is best remembered for his steadfast loyalty to the Bab, the founder of the Baha’i faith. When the Bab was imprisoned and sentenced to execution in the mid-19th century, Anis chose to share his fate. Despite the opportunity to renounce his faith and save his life, Anis refused, demonstrating an extraordinary level of commitment and courage. His last words, expressing his unwavering faith and acceptance of his fate, have been recorded in Baha’i history.
The story of Anis is a powerful testament to the strength of faith and the human spirit. His life and sacrifice have left a lasting impact on the Baha’i community worldwide. Today, Anis is revered as a martyr in the Baha’i faith, and his story continues to inspire countless individuals around the globe. His legacy serves as a reminder of the power of conviction and the profound impact one individual’s faith can have on the world.
You can’t keep me here, the love in my heart is too great This world gives me no fear, this fire will burn all the darkness away And I will give it all for you. My life, I would give it too All I want is to be close with you
I prayed for weeks on end, till one day you appeared In a mighty vision, you said my desire would be fulfilled And I will give it all for you. My life, I would give it too All I want is to be close with you.
– Lyrics of Anis
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