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Original corridor to the entrance of the Síyáh-Chál in Tehran.

Síyáh-Chál (Persian: سیاه چال‎ literally "black pit") is the common word in Persian language for "dungeon".

Historically, siyah-chals were used as a harsher form of incarceration. Typically, such dungeons had no windows or outlets, other than the entrance, consisting of a short stairway into the ground.

In Bahá'í history the "Síyáh-Chál" refers to the dungeon south east of the palace of the Sháh and near the Sabzih-Maydán in Tehran where Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, was in captivity in 1852,[1] together with about 30 other Bábí's[2] if not more.[1] He claimed that here he had a vision of a Maid of Heaven, through whom he received his mission as a Manifestation of God and as the One whose coming the Báb had prophesied.[3] He described his experiences in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf and Súriy-i-Haykal.[4][5] It was also the place where he composed his first known tablet, the Rashh-i-'Amá.[6]

In 1868 the dungeon was filled-in and the Tikyíh Dowlat, an opera house, was built over the site.[7] The site was Bahá'í property from 1954 until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. It has been described by Shoghi Effendi as the second holiest Bahá'í site in Iran.[3]


  1. ^ a b Momen, Mojan (2009). "Tehran (Tihrán), Iran". Bahá’í Encyclopedia Project. Evanston, IL: National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States. 
  2. ^ Bahá'í International Community (1992). Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá'í World Centre. p. 3. 
  3. ^ a b Smith, Peter (2000). "Síyáh-Chál". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 323–267. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  4. ^ Bahá'u'lláh (1988) [1892]. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 20–22. ISBN 0-87743-182-5. 
  5. ^ Bahá’u’lláh, Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 5
  6. ^ Juan Ricardo Cole (1984). "Bahá'u'lláh and the Naqhbandí Sufis in Iraq, 1854–1856". In Moojan Momen. From Iran East and West. Kalimat Press. pp. 1–28. ISBN 978-0-933770-40-9. 
  7. ^ Khadem, Dhikru'llah (March 1976). "Bahá'u'lláh and His Most Holy Shrine". Bahá'í News (540): 1–16. 

Coordinates: 35°40′47″N 51°25′13″E / 35.67972°N 51.42028°E / 35.67972; 51.42028