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(bä`bĭzəm), system of doctrines proclaimed in Persia in 1844 by Ali Muhammad of Shiraz. Influenced by the Shaykhi Shiite theology that viewed the Twelve Imams as incarnations of the Divine, Ali Muhammad proclaimed himself the Bab, the living door to the twelth Imam and the knowledge of God, and sent missionaries throughout Persia. He also announced a series of revelations, detailing the cosmogonic sequence, abrogating Islamic obligations and replacing them by a new set, structured around esoteric concepts such as the importance of the number 19. The year was hence divided into 19 months of 19 days each; the community was led by a council of 19 members. The movement placed special emphasis on the coming of the Promised One, who would embody all the tenets of the new religion. In 1848 the movement declared its complete secession from Islam and all its rites; upon the accession of a new shah, the Babi (the Bab's followers) rose in insurrection and were defeated. Many of the leaders were killed, and the Bab was executed at Tabriz in 1850. Two years later, after an attempt on the life of the shah, there followed more persecutions. In 1863 the Babi were removed to Constantinople and later to Adrianople and Cyprus. After 1868 one group had its center in Acre under the leadership of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (known as Baha UllahBaha Ullah
or Baha Allah
[Arab.,=glory of God], 1817–92, Persian religious leader originally named Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri. One of the first disciples of the Bab (see Babism), he and his half-brother Subhi Azal became the leaders of the Babi faith.
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), the founder of the Baha'iBaha'i
, religion founded by Baha Ullah (born Mirza Huseyn Ali Nuri) and promulgated by his eldest son, Abdul Baha (1844–1921). It is a doctrinal outgrowth of Babism, with Baha Ullah as the Promised One of the earlier religion.
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 faith, who declared himself the Promised One.


See E. G. Browne, ed. and tr., A Traveller's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Bab (1891) and Materials for the Study of Babi Religion (1918); H. M. Balyuzi, The Bab (1973).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the religious doctrines of the babi sect, created by the Bab in the 1840’s in Iran. Babism proclaimed the end of the era of the laws based on the Koran and Shariat and their replacement by a new, essentially bourgeois order as expounded in the sacred book of babism, Al-Bayan, written by the Bab. The new order included the equality of all people, protection of the rights of the individual and of personal property, the establishment of a sacred kingdom of the babis, the driving out of all non-babis from the kingdom and the confiscation of their property for distribution among the babis, and other laws. The democratic elements in babism were developed by the pupils of the Bab—Muhammad Ali of Barfurush, Kurrat al-Ain, and others—who propounded the abolition of all taxes, obligations, and private property and the introduction of common ownership and equality of women and men. After the defeat of the babi uprisings of 1848–52, one of the Bab’s followers, Baha’u’llah, rejected the radical content of babism and created a new, cosmopolitan doctrine—baha’ism.


Abdal-Rahman Tag. La Bâbisme et I’lslam. Paris [1942].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Babi Yar, a ravine outside the city of Kiev, was first named in historical accounts in relation to its sale by an old woman ("baba") to a Dominican Monastery in 1401.
Plus, Sachin's mother owned design boutiques that featured Indian ethnic wear, while Babi's mother is a garment designer.
Reportedly schizophrenic, Babi later fled Bollywood to join Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's Oregon ashram.
The hostility of the Shi'i ulama to the Baha'is started with the emergence of the Babi movement.
Babi chief executive, Richard Fursland, said: 'From a very strong list of nominations, Sir Anthony Bamford emerged as the unanimous choice to receive our UK Entrepreneurial Award for 2003, in recognition of his and JCB's outstanding achievements.
In today's International Herald Tribune they report on the first reparation payments for slaves captured during the Second World War, the Russians who mark the 61st anniversary of the invasion of their country by Hitler and the Pope who is visiting the monument at Babi Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of Kiev where the Nazis massacred more than 30,000 Jews in two days.
Chaudhry, leader of the Fijian Labour Party (FLP), and the country's first prime minister of Indian descent, nominated two indigenous Fijians as his deputies, Tupeni Babi of the FLP and Adi Kuini Speed of the Fijian Association Party.
Perhaps this was due to the Babi threat which welcomed him to the throne and a few years later actually made an assault on his life.
True enough, but this does not reduce the reality of those unambiguously evil acts associated with the names Auschwitz, Babi Yar, Sand Creek, Bataan, My Lai, and many others.
Babi Yar (in full Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel) Prose work by ANATOLY KUZNETSOV , published serially as Babi Yar in 1966.
The bureaucracy, if it can be called that, was nothing more than a haphazard collection of hereditary accountants (mostowfis) and secretaries (mirzas) in the central and provincial capitals.(34) The Qajars' defeats at the hands of Imperial Russia in 1813 and 1828 underlaid their political impotence.(35) These defeats led to the collapse of governmental authority in various parts of the country,(36) and put peasants under considerable pressure because they were the ones who had to carry the main burden of the wars.(37) This situation provided the social conditions for the occurrence of another serious blow to governmental authority, the rise of the Babi movement in the mid-nieteenth century.