Badi was born in Iran, in a town called Nishapur near Mashhad. His name was Áqá Buzurg-i-Nishapuri and was later given the title of Badi which translated to “the wonderful”. As a young child, he was a rebellious one which made his father (a devoted and outstanding Baha’i) worry.
When Nabil Zarandi (author of the Dawnbreakers) came to Nishapur, one day he had a conversation with Badi which changed his life forever. He talked to Badi about the sufferings and tribulations of Bahá’u’lláh using a poem Bahá’u’lláh had written, Badi started to weep. The next morning Nabil told Badi’s father that the boy had lost himself and was completely given to God.
Badi insisted on accompanying Nabil on his journey to spread the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh but his father asked him to wait until he was finished with his studies. Upon completion, Badi set off to serve the Baha’i friends as a water bearer in Mosul. After Mosul he again served as water bearer for friends after they were taken away as prisoners. Badi even though was hurt badly went ahead of the group to arrive early so he could continue to serve them.
His heart was not at ease. Suddenly he was attracted to the Mediterranean. He went to the city of Akka (Acre) in what today we know as Israel. Since he was still dressed in the humble clothes of a water bearer, he entered the city without any problems of being recognized as a Baha’i (back then the city was heavily guarded and whoever entered was seen by the guards).
Bahá’u’lláh was a prisoner in that city and Badi was blessed to meet with Him twice. During these interviews Bahá’u’lláh mentioned the Tablets He wrote to the rulers of the world of that time and the one addressed to Nasiri’din Shah of Iran. Badi humbly requested to be given the Table so he could deliver it personally to its destinatary even though he knew his life would be taken if he did so. Bahá’u’lláh agreed.
Badi traveled alone, on foot without being able to contact any of the Baha’is on his way (this was due to the risks involved in his mission) for thousands of miles for about four months! I cannot even imagine undertaking a journey of that kind! What bravery! So much love!! It is told that he would constantly stop, turn to Akka and pray for God to help him carry out his mission.
Upon arrival in Tehran, Badi went to where the Shah was on his hunting expedition. He waited on a rock for four days for the Shah and his guards to come across him. Badi was instructed that once he reached Tehran, to put on a white robe and hold the Tablet over his head so they could all see he had no weapons on him.
All these things he did and when the Shah and his train found him, the Shah requested the letter to be brought to him since he believed it was a petition from someone. Badi told him it was not a petition but a command.
Badi bravely told the Shah that His Beloved told him the Shah was going to kill him to which the Shah angrily replied: I won’t kill you so we prove your Master wrong. Immediately Badi was seized by the guards. The Shah ordered the Tablet to be sent to the clerics of Tehran for a reply to be prepared for Bahá’u’lláh. The clerics, ignoring this command suggested Badi to be executed.
For three days, Badi’s body was tortured, branded with hot irons. They wanted to get information on the Baha’is but the more they tortured Badi, the happier he looked! It was as if he knew that the time of his martyrdom was rapidly approaching. These news were taken to the Shah who after looking at a photo of Badi while being tortured ordered for him to be executed, forgetting his previous statement; and action that fulfilled Bahá’u’lláh’s promise to Badi.
After the three days, Badi’s skull was crushed with the back of a rifle and his body thrown into a pit and covered with dust and stones.
He was only seventeen years old.
After three months of this event, the Shah ordered for the Tablet to be taken to him. After reading some of it he shouted that the Tablet should be taken from him because if he read any more, himself would become a Baha’i.
Badi was a perfect example of courage, love, steadfastness and determination. His life and important mission will be remembered throughout history. Bahá’u’lláh named Badi one of his nineteen apostles and wrote: “The temple of the cause of God was adorned by Badi. His station is so exalted no pen can describe it.”