The opening scene of the initial act of this great drama was laid in the upper chamber of the modest residence of the son of a mercer of Shíráz, in an obscure corner of that city. The time was the hour before sunset, on the 22nd day of May, 1844. The participants were the Báb, a twenty-five year old Siyyid, of pure and holy lineage, and the young Mullá Husayn, the first to believe in Him. Their meeting immediately before that interview seemed to be purely fortuitous. The interview itself was protracted till the hour of dawn. The Host remained closeted alone with His guest, nor was the sleeping city remotely aware of the import of the conversation they held with each other. No record has passed to posterity of that unique night save the fragmentary but highly illuminating account that fell from the lips of Mullá Husayn.
It was this quest for the Qá’im, the Promised One of Islám, that led Mullá Husayn, his brother, and a nephew to the city of Shíráz on May 22, 1844. Having traveled far in search of the Qá’im, he sent his companions to the mosque to await him while he wandered awhile, promising to rejoin them for evening prayers. While walking outside the gates of the city a few hours before sunset, he was unexpectedly greeted by a young man. Mullá Husayn thought this man must be a disciple of Siyyid Kázim who had heard of his arrival in Shíráz and had come to welcome him. Even so, the manner of the greeting was astonishing…..