Babism

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Babism

(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.

Bibliography

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).

Babism

 

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.

REFERENCE

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

M. S. IVANOV

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