Nasiri'd- Din Shah, ruler of Baha'u'llah's native Persia, was a callous dictator to whom policies of genocide and blood- curdling torture seemed second nature. Baha'u'llah wrote of him and others like him: 'God hath not blinked... at the tyranny of the oppressor. More particularly in this Revelation He hath visited each and every tyrant with His vengeance.' He added that Nasiri'd- Din, being the 'Prince of Oppressors', was therefore destined to become an 'object- lesson for the world'. This stroke fell on 1 May 1896, the eve of his fiftieth anniversary Jubilee, when Nasiri'd- Din died at the hand of a terrorist hired by a political adversary (who also was, incidentally, a prominent persecutor of the Baha'i Faith). Since the shooting occurred while the shah was away from the capital, his ministers- desperate to suppress the news- propped up his corpse in the royal carriage during the return trip, hoping that the watching public would assume all was well. (174:2)
Baha'is were initially blamed for the crime. A number were executed in retaliation, including the famous Baha'i poet Varga and his twelve- year- old son.. The accusation was dropped, however, after the assassin, Mirza Rida, turned out to be a Pan- Islamic terrorist.. himself a well- known enemy of the Baha'i Cause.