April 30, 2019
I AM TWO YEARS YOUNGER THAN MY LORD 
When the headmaster finally caught sight of Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad reciting prayers behind the school, he was determined to interrupt Him and punish Him for not returning to class in time. However, so beautiful was the sight of this small child – the sweetness and utter devotion in His expression, His face lifted heavenward and bathed in light – that he was utterly spellbound. At last the child bent his forehead to the ground in a final reverence. After a moment’s hesitation, the headmaster finally approached the boy – no longer with anger, but with awe. “Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad! To whom were you praying with such fervor?” he inquired with a wink of humour and a slight unsteadiness in his voice. “To my grandfather,” replied the boy, very calmly. He meant, of course, the Prophet Muhammad.
Siyyid ‘Alí Muhammad’s gift for prayer would move many people whose spiritual eyes and ears were receptive. All people are born with gifts of some sort – some create paintings that stir the imagination; some play music or dance beautifully or discover distant planets or invisible particles. Siyyid ‘Alí Muhammad had the rarest of gifts, however, which was a soul so clear and pure and a love for God so great that when he prayed it was as though you could see God moving within him like a great white whale leaping majestically in shimmering emerald waters, or like a huge orange sun rising from the centre of his being.
The headmaster, Shaykh ‘Ábid, did not know what to do with his brilliant student. At every moment the wisdom of this seven-year-old child declared his own ignorance. At every opportunity, this boy showed an understanding of the Qu’rán far beyond his own. Therefore, he decided to return the boy to his home and confess his inability to adequately teach him.
Hají Mirzá Siyyid ‘Alí was the boy’s maternal uncle and legal guardian to both his sister and the boy since his father’s death. He was not pleased to see the headmaster arrive with his nephew. Now what has he done? he thought. It was not that Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad was ever a bad boy. It was rather that he was different. From the moment of his birth in the southwestern Iranian city of Shíraz as dawned peeked over the earth on October 20, 1819, he rarely cried, played very quietly and was always even-tempered. When he spoke, he would say the most amazing things. His uncle witnessed how people were drawn to the little boy.
“I have brought him to you,” said Shaykh ‘Ábid, “and commit him to your protection. He is no ordinary child, for in him I can already see the evidences of the mighty power that only the Promised One can reveal. He needs no teachers such as I.”
“Have you forgotten my instructions?” his uncle demanded. “Did I not ask you to follow the example of your schoolmaster, observe silence and listen carefully to your teacher’s every word?
 Islamic hadith
(saying) attributed to the Imam ‘Alí, which gives a clue as to when the
promised One would be born. The Báb was born in 1819 and Bahá’u’lláh in
 Islamic hadith (saying) attributed to the Imam ‘Alí, which gives a clue as to when the promised One would be born. The Báb was born in 1819 and Bahá’u’lláh in 1817.