This is a story passed through the generations of my family, about how one of my ancestors became a Bahá’í. My grandmother, who passed away last year, related it to me when I was eleven years old. She was staying the night with us and told the story to me and my sister when we were in our beds. After hearing it, I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it was to have such a story in my background.
My great-grandfather was a farmer in a village, far away from the capital city of Tehran. One day, after working in the field all morning, he decided to take a nap. As he slept, he had a strange dream that forever changed his life and the lives of all the generations to come in his family.
My great-grandfather dreamed he was walking alongside a huge river when a venerable man wearing a brown cloak and green turban approached him. It is noteworthy that male descendants of the Prophet Muhammad typically wore green turbans. The man taught him how to perform ablutions using the water of the river, and to pray in a way different from the way that Muslims pray. Then he put his hand on my great-grandfather’s back.
As my great-grandfather was about to ask the man his name, he was awakened by his friend, and was so furious at the untimely interruption that he grabbed his shovel and chased his friend around the field, threatening to hit him!
In the end, my great-grandfather found out that the man in the dream was Siyyid ‘Alí Muḥammad Shírází, the Báb, and the river was the Tigris. My grandmother said that after my great-grandfather woke up, a green handprint appeared on his back, in the place where the Báb had touched him. It was this dream which led my great-grandfather to become a Bahá’í. It is mysterious how a simple thing like a dream can change a person’s life and shape the lives of his descendants as well.