In January 1930, Martha Root, an American Baha’i who travelled the world to spread the Faith, stepped into the room of the home in Qazvin, Iran, in which Tahirih had been born and knelt and kissed the floor.
She was the first Western Baha’i ever to visit this place where the great mystic had lived.
The descendants of Tahirih were shocked to see this woman from the west paying deep homage to their long-deceased relative. The owner of the hotel where Martha Root was staying had reprimanded one of them saying that they should have done more to memorialize her when an American had come from so far to pay homage to her.
Tahirih’s family’s home still retained its appearance as a beautiful old palace. Martha Root was shown the women’s quarters in which Tahirih was born and the library on the second floor where she had read so many books.
Having had an audience with Queen Marie of Romania and travelling for the Faith throughout Europe, she continued onwards on her travels despite poor health to China and India and passing away in Hawaii. Shoghi Effendi, the appointed Head of the Baha’i Faith (1921-1953), referred to her as the foremost Baha’i teacher of the first Baha’i century (1844-1944).
With the spread of the Baha’i Faith, awareness and appreciation of the life, work, and sacrifice pf Tahirih spread beyond Iran to the rest of the world. The attempt in that country to wipe away her traces Tahirih by destroying her personal records after her execution had failed.
To hear Martha Root read a prayer click here
To see footage of Queen Marie of Romania click here