art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #9, Special Bicentenary Issue
autumn 2019



  • This Holy Land of Persia by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

  • Personal Reflection Piece

  • The Gate to Eternal Life by Roxana Karamzadeh

  • Sweet Fruit

  • A Small Window on the Big Blue Sky by Mahtab Rezvani
  • Planting Seeds by Shadi Saadat
  • Broken Dreams by Roxana Karamzadeh
  • * Reading Anne Frank in Isfahan by Sahba
  • * Sweet Fruit by Anisa Bahamin

  • In the Land of Persia

  • An Alley Called Golestan by Nabil Zarei
  • Culinary Sisters-in-Law by Neda Akhavan
  • My Grandfather’s Library by Siavash Haghighat
  • * A Small Piece of Heaven on Earth by Saba Shadabi
  • * Riding a Purple Bicycle in the City of Isfahan by Sahba

  • Holy Places and People

  • Maku and the Muslim Man by Shadi Saadat
  • Fort Tabarsi and The Courage of the Brave Bábís by Negin Rezghi
  • The Cloak by Shadi Sadaat
  • The Mysterious Box by Sara Shakeri
  • Haji Assad, the Great Teacher of Seysan by Shadi Saadat
  • * A Glimpse of the Glorious Landscape by Rojin Ghavami

  • Through a Child’s Eyes

  • The Grief of War by Tanin Azadi
  • An Earthen House by Nava Habibi
  • A Cherished Dream by Elmira G.
  • The Golden Crown by Shaghayegh Rashedi
  • A Dream of Childhood by Basir Samimi
  • * The Love Bird by Zarrin Kasiri

  • Comic

  • Ruhi & Riaz
    by Eira

  • From Yazd to New Delhi

  • A Weekend in a One Hundred Star Hotel by Saba Shadabi
  • The Long Journey from Yazd to Tihran by Ali F.
  • The Road at the End of the World by Tanin Azadi
  • My Soul Dances in New Delhi by Roxana Karamzadeh
  • The Turkish Girl by Nava Habibi

  • The Left Hand of an Artist

  • The Left Hand of an Artist by Sara Shakeri
  • To Sing or not to Sing by Ellie
  • A Sympathetic Friend by Farina Shafei
  • Taraneh Alidoosti, My Hero by Nava Habibi

  • * asterisked works appeared in previous issues of e*lix*ir.

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    Haji Assad, the Great Teacher of Seysan


    Before the Báb declared His mission, there were a few people who announced the coming of a Promised One to the people of Iran. One of these was Haji Assad, who lived in a village near Tabriz. The haji made it his mission to tell everyone, especially the residents of Seysan, of the coming of a new Manifestation. Haji Assad was a pious person who had visited Mecca and Karbala several times. He was also a mystic and a seer. He had spiritual insight, and it was this insight that enabled him to recognize the Báb and believe in Him even before He had declared Himself.

    In 1825, Haji Assad went to Seysan, a village in which the majority of people were Shia Muslim. Once there, he announced the coming of the Báb, the Qaim-i Al-i Muhammad or “He who will arise from the family of Muhammad,” the very one who the people had been waiting for. Haji Assad told the people that the Báb was a young man of medium height who came from Shiraz, and would bring new teachings to revive the world, and he directed his students to start searching for Him.

    Haji Assad did not have many followers. Most of the inhabitants of Seysan opposed him or were indifferent. Those who opposed him asked the head of the village to bar him from entering Seysan. Despite such obstacles, Haji Assad continued to visit Seysan to teach the illiterate villagers about the need to cultivate divine virtues, such as humility and chastity. He also did his best to eradicate superstitious beliefs, which were leading the people astray.

    Before his death, Haji Assad gathered his students together to give them some final guidance. “The coming of the Báb is close at hand,” he said, “and if you hear of someone who the ulama have sentenced to death because of the heresy of His claims, rest assured that He is the promised one you have been looking for.” Haji Assad died two years before the Báb declared His mission in 1844, but the haji’s predictions came true. His followers in Seysan heard of a person who called himself “the Promised One,” and so they went to Tabriz to look for Him, and, before long, this holy Person was sentenced to death for heresy.

    Without question, it was Haji Assad who planted the seed of faith in the hearts of the people of Seysan. It was he who encouraged them to look for the Promised One. Although he faced much opposition, he persisted in teaching the villagers of Seysan about the importance of divine virtues and in alerting them to the coming of a new Prophet. Before his death, Haji Assad predicted that the villagers would see this holy soul sentenced to death. As we know, this prediction came true. Haji Assad did not himself meet the holy Báb, but, overcoming many obstacles and in the face of much opposition, he succeeded in preparing the villagers of Seysan for His coming.