(40.) At-I'lam wa-l-ihtimam hi-jam' fatawa shaykhi
l-islam Abi Yahya Zakariyya ibn Muhammad al-Ansari, ed.
This produced over time a new denominational configuration, claiming enhanced temporal authority for the clergy in the social and legal spheres, along with receding literalist traditionalism (Akhbari), a dominant rationalist fundamentalism (Usuli), and an emerging patriarchal ecstaticism (Shaykhi
) as competing denominations.
There is also a sectarian element to the Saudi Shiite community which is the Shaykhi
founded in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century by Sheikh Ahmad A1-Ahsai.
The origin of the Baha'i faith can be traced to the city of Shiraz in southwest Iran, where, in 1844, Sayyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi confided to a select group of Shaykhi
Shi'a Muslims that he was the Bab, the gate to the Hidden Imam of the Shi'a.
Specifically, he writes, "many of the existing trends in Iranian religious thought had been synthesized in the so-called 'Shaykhi' school of Shaykh Ahmad Ahsa'i."
For many in the Shaykhi sect, this longing was satisfied by the emergence of a new figure, Siyyid Ali Muhammad, known as the Bab, which means "gate" in Arabic.
Babi ideology originated from the thinking of Shaykh Ahmad Ahsa'i, a forerunner of gnostic Shi'ism (irfan) and founder of the Shaykhi school.
In 1844, Sayyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi (1819-1850), a disciple of the Shaykhi school and founder of Babism, claimed that he was the bab and was in communication with the hidden Imam.
(70) Although Asir' Palacios considered Ibn al-cArif to be Ibn Barrajdn's Sufi master, Paul Nwyia inverted this relationship in his edition of letters from Ibn al-cArif to Ibn Barrajdn since Ibn al-(Arif addressed Ibn Barrajdn with shaykhi
(lily master') and imami ('my imam') It can be argued that the use of such terms is merely a sign of respect and does not imply a master-disciple relationship, in which case Ibn al-(Arif might be expected to address other people in the correspondence collected by his disciple Aba Bala cAtiq b.
1826), founder of the above-mentioned Shaykhi
school, mentions several, sometimes conflicting, hadiths on the subject.
(24) On the teachings of this shaykh, founder of the Shaykhi
school of thought, see Momen, An Introduction, 225-31.