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New additions by on the Martyrdom

I have asked User talk: for his reference on his addition. Given the discussion below on the martyrdom of the Bab showing that it would be best that the claimed supernatural event should not appear on the page given the conflicting resources, I will remove his additions if the source of the addition does not come up. -- Fadeaway919 21:24, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

Questions about the execution

I just read the article and appreciate the education. This is quite new to me so pardon my naive and skeptical questions, but since this needs to be a neutral and balanced encyclopedia entry I hope you will agree such questions have to be asked and answered.

Is the story of the execution considered factual (or at all embellished or mythical)? Are there some neutral POV external links to support it (ie, not originating from Bahá'í Faith sites). I Googled for a while with no luck. It would seem that with 10,000 witnesses (plus the soldiers and officials) that more non-Bahá'í observers would collaborate and report on such an amazing event. Perhaps newspaper reports?

Please don't take this as disrespect for the Bahá'í Faith, but since this is an encyclopedia I'd like to ask if there exists strong evidence and neutral witnesses. Are there alternative explanations for these seemingly impossible facts:

  1. 750 trained executioners fire and all miss both Anís and the Báb
  2. the Báb vanishes and is found back in a cell
  3. 10,000 witnesses to a seeemingly supernatural event in modern times

I hope you entertain my desire for neutrality and evidence in this article. Thanks! --Ds13 20:55, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The BBC's series on Religion and Ethics [1] has an article on the Báb [2] on the third page [3] it recounts the same story. I'll try to find more non-Bahá'í sources for it; if I recount correctly the accounts you stated above were published in newspapers of the time in the West (I think in London) and there was much interest in the Babis in general among the intellectual classes, but this interest died down significantly in the years after the Báb's martyrdom. -- Fadeaway919 21:17, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)
The 1988 Encyclopedia Brittanica also has the same facts. Here is the section from the Encyclopedia "In 1850 he was brought to Tabriz, where he was suspended by ropes against a wall in a public square. A regiment of several hundred soldiers fired a volley. When the smoke cleared, the large crowd that had gathered at the place of execution saw ropes cut by bullets, but the Báb had disappeared. He was found unhurt in an adjacent building, calmly conversing with a disciple. The execution was repeated, this time effectively. There followed large-scale persecutions of the Bábís in which ultimately more than 20,000 people lost their lives." Article Baha'i Faith 1988 Encyclopedia Brittanica. Fadeaway919 22:00, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)
One final thing, while I haven't found precise references to the execution by western newspapers, this article gives references to a lot the western accounts of Bábism's early history and it implies that the execution was a topic that stayed in littery circles for a while [4]. -- Fadeaway919 22:20, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)

My (earlier) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica makes no reference at all to this story. I shall check later ones, however I have looked at W.M. Miller's version of events in his book "The Baha'i Faith". It makes no mention of the improbably large 750 man firing squad, but instead gives the folowing account:

The execution was carried out by firing squads of soldiers, who fired three volleys. The first firing party was composed of Christian soldiers, and the second of Muslims.
In the presence of a great crowd Mirza Muhammad Ali was suspended by ropes from the parapet, and his body was riddled by the first volley of bullets. Then a second volley was fired by the same firing squad at the Bab, who was similarly suspended. When the smoke rolled away, "a cry of mingled exultation and terror arose from the spectators – for the Bab had disappeared from sight! It seemed, indeed, that his life had been preserved by a miracle, for, of the storm of bullets which had been aimed at him, not one had touched him; nay, instead of death they had brought him deliverance by cutting the ropes which bound him, so that he fell to the ground unhurt."
Had the Bab been able to maintain his presence of mind and rush out alive and unhurt among the crowd, the spectators would without doubt have hailed his escape from death as a miracle of God, and would have eagerly espoused his cause. No soldier would have dared shoot at him again, and uprisings would have occurred in Tabriz which might have resulted in the overthrow of the Qajar dynasty. However, dazed by the terrible experiences he had passed through, the Bab took refuge in one of the rooms of the barracks. There he was soon found, "was seized, dragged forth, and again suspended; a new firing party was ordered to advance (for the men who had composed the first refused to act again); and before the spectators had recovered from their first astonishment, or the Babis had time to attempt a rescue, the body of the young prophet of Shiraz was riddled with bullets."

This version has the Bab's companion killed outright and the the Bab himself making an unsuccessful escape attempt. If members of the firing squad were either sympathetic to the Bab, or just frightened to kill a reputed holy man, the story seems somewhat less miraculous. It it easy to see how it can have grown in the telling, and the miraculous aspects increased, along with the creation of a fulfilled prediction by the Bab to make the escape attempt seem like a sign of holiness rather than self-preservation. I'm not saying that's what did happen, after all this version seenms to contain mistakes (referring to the Bab's companion by the actual name of the Bab himelf!), but we do need to qualify the presentation of the story. Paul B 10:37, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks PaulB for taking the time to research this. I'll spend some more time trying to find non-Baha'i sources as well. Just one point though is that while I accept that Baha'i sources are unacceptable as references, the Miller book is known to be have been written with a very anti-Baha'i POV and I would not call it encyclopedic. -- Fadeaway919 14:52, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, the Miller book is adopts an essentially Christian point of view. However I have just checked the latest edition of the Britannica. This is its version of the Bab's death: "a committee of mujtahids decided he was dangerous to the existing order and demanded his execution. On the first volley from the firing squad he escaped injury; only the ropes binding him were severed, a circumstance that was interpreted as a divine sign. On the second volley he was killed and his body disposed of in a ditch." This rather more sceptical that the account you cite, so I think some qualification is appropriate.
Again, thanks Paul B for taking the time to do the research!!. I will rewrite the last part of the article to conform with the newest Britannica article, and remove the miraculous or spectacular point of view. The miracle, if it is true, itself is not really the important part of the Bab's life. -- Fadeaway919 22:34, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)
Paul B can you please tell me which year the Britannica article was and which particle article so that I can update the refences? Also can you please check the wikipedia article to see if the changes I have made are enough/ok etc? -- Fadeaway919 22:42, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)
It's from the online Britannica, to which I have just taken out a subscription. According to the EB's bumf, it is regularly updated, but I assume that the majority of entries are identical to the latest printed version. I can't find any info online about the exact date of the latest printed edition, only information about how to buy it! Paul B 13:33, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

I wonder if the presentation of the Baha'i position on the Bab's execution isn't overly literalist. I don't know if you folks are familiar with Babi-Baha'i research list-servs, but I have seen Baha'is in those contexts take a much more agnostic approach to this, and recognize that Nabil's account was probably hyperbolic to some extent. Ahang Rabbani, a Baha'i scholar, demonstrated some years ago that the physical dimensions of the square in Tabriz unequivocally excluded the possibility of there having been a 750-man firing squad; they simply could not have fit in the space, even if they were in three ranks. I don't think that this whole thing needs to be presented in such stark, black-and-white terms. What the sources, Baha'i and otherwise, seem to make clear in any case is that the Bab was not killed in the first volley, and a second attempt had to be made before he was killed. To some spectators and in official Baha'i sources, this was the result of divine intervention. Why make so much more out of it? The miraculous status accorded to an event is always a subjective matter, anyway. Masarra 19:31, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Regardless of the listserves, the Baha'i position is that there was a 750-man firing squad. See God Passes By [5]. I no doubt you will say well that book, just like the Dawnbreakers, is biased text, but it is the Baha'i view, and if the position of polemical authors such as Miller and Maulana are in the article, then the position of the Baha'i Faith needs to be in the article. -- Jeff3000 19:56, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't mean to suggest that the Baha'i position, as you say, shouldn't be in the article. I meant to suggest two things; first of all, this section seems to be accorded too much space. As it stands, the longest section in the article is about the execution. Why have these long passages from books representing different positions? Everyone agrees on these points: the Bab was executed by firing squad in Tabriz in early July (there are early sources that give a different date in early July than the ninth, but that's a different issue). He had another Babi alongside him (Zunuzi). In the first volley, the Bab was not killed, left that area of the square, was rediscovered, and was again shot at by a firing squad, this time fatally. There is enough documentation from diverse sources that these should be considered settled points. In the Baha'i tradition this is considered a miraculous event. Why not just state the latter? Is there really a need to have these passages from Miller and Maulana? Of course there are non-Baha'is who don't believe any miracle occurred; that's obvious. An encyclopedia entry should be concise, it doesn't have to allow for every country to be heard from, as it were. And this isn't, after all, a major controversy; Maulana and Miller were both apologists writing with the intention of debunking any religious legitimacy that might be claimed for the Bab, so every detail of Babi history is presented in their books through that bias. This is one of those details, but isn't one they give particular emphasis vis-a-vis other details. And it's not as though Maulana and Miller bring new evidence to bear; they give the same basic account but offer skeptical conclusions. All I'm recommending is that this section be trimmed down. It *is* significant, I think, that there are Western diplomatic accounts, and the Palmerston passage should probably stay, since it not only gives the salient details, but also records the fact that it was perceived as miraculous by "the populace." (The next line after that passage has a bit about God Passes By and lack of sourcing; why not put a reference here to Momen's _Western Accounts_ textbook instead, where a more-or-less comprehensive compilation of Western notices on this event are provided and fully sourced.)
On a side note, I would observe that not all Baha'is would agree with you that it is "the Baha'i position" that there were 750 men in the firing squad. Shoghi Effendi, as you know, disclaimed having any infallibility as a historian, and a number of errors of fact have been documented in God Passes By and other works of his. Not all Baha'is elevate every single detail in accounts of historical events in the writings of Shoghi Effendi to the level of a "Baha'i position." I have personally seen a number of Baha'is take an agnostic view as to the actual number of soldiers, just as I have seen many Baha'is who don't believe that the philosophers of ancient Greece travelled to the Holy Land and sat at the feet of Israelite prophets. It was a Baha'i who first pointed out the physical impossibility of an entire regiment of 750 men participating in the firing squad. If they were in three rows of 250, and you allow 75cm of space for each soldier to crouch/stand, the three lines would each be over 200 yards long. The Tabriz square was much smaller than that. Even if the square *were* large enough, only the men in the middle of the lines would be able to see and aim; people on the toward the ends of the lines would be in excess of a hundred yards away. It may be that Sam Khan was in command of a regiment of 750 men, but it is simply not possible that all of them were used in the firing squad. Aside from the physical space problems, just think of the amount of powder and ball that would have been wasted; it is reasonable to assume that such an expenditure would not have been made. Masarra 22:30, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
BTW, please sign your last comment. It's not for us to debate on the talk page how many soldiers there were. I happen to agree with you that most of the section on the execution could be removed and linked for more information. Almost all historical issues on the Baha'i pages have the same pattern: non-Baha'i editors come here with the intent of defaming the Baha'i Faith, and try to spread around the information from Maulana and Miller as if it were well documented fact, and the only settlement is usually to quote various sources extensively (I should also mention that Baha'is come with the opposite intent of enhancing the reputation of the Baha'i Faith). The same thing happened on Sayyid Kazim about his relationship to the Bab, and the result is a page disproportionately dominated by nonsense. If you want to cut it down then go ahead. Just link to sources whenever possible. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 22:21, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Cunado, is there a WP page that discusses the Baha'i teachings on miracles? I was just thinking that this section on the execution could point out that this is one of the relatively few officially-recognized miracles in the Baha'i Faith, and if there's an article on that this should link to it. I'm sorry to hear about the editing pattern that you mention; it is really inappropriate to have these long passages from books like Miller's and Maulana's in encyclopedia articles, as these are blatanly tendentious works. (Thanks for the reminder on signing my last comment). Masarra 22:41, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Let's assume that they were 75cm apart, (but in line ups I think they could be much closer), then a line up of 250 soldiers has a length of 187.5m, but now let's assume that the soldiers were in a semi-circle, then that semi-circle has a radius of 59.6m, meaning the open square had to have a diameter of around 120m. In my mind, that's a not a very big square, about one and a half the size of a north/south New York city block, which are quite close together. Also, being 60 meters from a target is not that far. The point of this derivation, is that we can't make conclusions about how many people were in the square or not. It being Baha'i position or not may or may not being true, but almost all Baha'i sources state 750 soldiers, and therefore it has a role being in the article. Also your argument about it being reasonable expenditure or not is also against the point. If they were reasonable, then they wouldn't have persecuted the Babis in the way they did, there are much easier ways of killing people. But like Cunado said, if you want to go ahead and simplify the section to read easier, then go ahead.
There is currently no Baha'i miracles page. The closest thing is a Baha'i prophecies page. -- Jeff3000 22:47, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

A comment and question

1) Why is it written here that the Báb was "traditionally" seen as an independent Manifestation of God (as opposed to what)?

Ida know? Uh, as opposed to an Shi'a "Immam" or a political leader, or a heretical moslem? Probebly needs to go away. -- rboatright

2) The reference of the "Gate" for the Báb, though it may have been interpreted by some early on as having been a reference to the "gates" of the Hidden Imám (the 12th Imám), the Báb in fact refuted the claim to be (just) such a "gate" (see ) but rather claimed to be a full independent Manifestation of God (see ) (while He also still claimed to be a Herald to "Him Whom God would make manifest"). - Brettz9 07:07 Apr 11, 2003 (UTC)

Nodnod. A decent discussion of this actually occurs in the article on the Bábi Faith where there is a discussion of the terms "gate" and "primal point". Admittedly, some of that content could come over here, but I have not had time to work on these recently. -- Rboatright

okay...i changed it... - Brettz9 15:49 Apr 21, 2003 (UTC)


I read in a book that Mirza Ali Mohamed was initially a Shi'a from the Shayki branch. This should be mentioned. -- Error

..So, that would require some extensive articles on twelver islam wouldn't it? Or, just add that line if you feel it's needed. howver, yes, your information is correct as far as it goes. Actually, nothing at all is known of the Bab's beliefs BEFORE he met Mullah Hussain Ali that night of May 23, 1844. But the PRESUMPTION is that he had prior knowledge of the Shayki branch of twelver Islam. nodnod --rboatright

I didn't add it because I was unsereof the spelling. Wikipedia didn't recognze the links and I was quoting form non-English text. -- Error
Well, the Báb was reported to have attended at least one lecture of Siyyid Kázim, the prominent Shaykhí scholar, before His Declaration to Mullá Husayn, but this scholar actually alluded to Him as being the Promised One at that time before his students.
So, is Shaykhi a more frequent spelling? -- Error
Yes, at least within the (Bahá'í) literature I have read. "kh" is a distinct sound in Persian and Arabic (like "ch" in the Scottish "loch" or indicated in some transliteration systems by "x") and can indicate a different meaning than /k/. "Kh" (and "sh") would be properly underlined, and the "i" also would have the accent "í", but I think these could generally be intuited more easily.
As far as His schooling, the Báb never really attended any school at all, let alone took religious higher training (including Shaykhi classes in a regular manner). His uncle did bring Him to classes as a Child, but His teacher soon returned Him back to His uncle (His caretaker as His father had passed on), stating that he had nothing to teach Him. The uncle insisted and returned Him to school for a time, but it soon became apparent that this was not to any purpose, as the Child was deemed to have nothing to learn. He also was an orphan and later made a living as a merchant, so He had not received an upper class exposure to scholars in this manner.
Also, even after His Declaration, He continued to follow the Shí'ah rites on His pilgrimge to Mecca and Medina, venerated the Twelve Holy Imáms, and there were connections in His Faith to the Shaykhí tradition (though I am not aware exactly to what extent He endorsed all of the latter's tenets)...Though a materialist will probably insist that He would need to have learned His Knowledge of these traditions through study of some sort, to the Bábís of that time (and Bahá'ís such as myself today), His knowledge was innate and He had His own independent connection to the Source of all knowledge. For this reason, I would suggest altering the statement in the article that He had been "educated" in this tradition, and rather state, if desired, perhaps simply that He had endorsed this tradition. I think this would be more neutral and acceptable to all poitns of view. - Brettz9 05:25 Apr 30, 2003 (UTC)
Yeah... I think its fair to say the Dawn Breakers shouldn't be considered the authoritive documentation on the topic. I'm a Baha'i but I really don't know how much weight we can put on it particularly the story of the teacher sending him home etc. Correct me if I'm wrong but Nabil never met the Bab, and Baha'u'llah couldn't have spent long with him and I don't think they were recounting stories of what school was like. I've always considered the Dawn Breakers as fun stories to get the point across of what the early years were like. Remember it was written by a Persian for a very eastern culture - not aimed at western accademics etc.
Or am I just taking this a little too seriously? -- Tomhab 00:01, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Definitely, Tomhab, the Dawnbreakers should not be treated as the authoritative source of data for the life of the Bab. It is a religious text written for religious purposes. In this particular instance, the trope is an old and well-known one, and is often referred to as the "wise child's alphabet" motif. This story is told of Buddha, Jesus, the fifth Imam, Ben Sira, Guru Nanak, and other lesser-known figures in religious history. It is inappropriate to present this here as data fit for an encyclopedia. There is an article on this motif in the Dawnbreakers and parallel texts by Stephen Lambden, "An Episode in the Childhood of the Bab," in the third volume of the Studies series put out by Kalimat Press. I am removing that paragraph from the article. Masarra 22:56, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Please do not erase links to other groups you may not agree with they are there to preserve the neutral point of view required by Wikipedia, and removal and erasier of links can result in permanently beign banned from wikipedia of the one removing them.

mangled bodies

Although I think its important to make sure that people understand the bodies could not be separated, mangled seems a little emotive. Ideas? I'm having trouble. -- Tomhab 13:50, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Shoghi Effendi chose his words carefully. I understand that he used Webster's dictionary, but here is the first definition of the verb from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: "To hack, cut or lacerate by repeated blows; to reduce thus to a more or less unrecognisable condition." Considering that the closest words in Roget's Thesaurus are "lame, limping, mangled, marred, mutilated", it is probably best to stay with mangled. Occamy 19:22, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This debate is a little old. The problem with mangled is it is emotive. It has been changed anyway. In my opinion I'd have just quoted the original source which uses mangled now anyway. -- Tomhab 20:35, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Execution details

Just added a lot more detail about his execution and three different (opposing?) sources. Opinions? Not suitable? Its all sourced as you can see. -- Tomhab 17:40, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. It is a fascinating and controversial subject that is worth being exposed to critical analysis. Occamy 18:59, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)


These articles use the titles Baha'u'llah and Bab; should they refer to Subh-i-Azal too instead of Mirza Yahya? Occamy 18:59, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That may be more NPOV, I think - and certainly more respectful than using the names of both, which is the other option. Arvind 19:09, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm not so sure. Although, it comes down to respect etc, I think we should refer to people by the name they're best known as. I was brought up as a Baha'i and always knew him as Mirza Yahya. Problem I guess is that one could say that's not NPOV. Might be interesting to find out what Azalis called him and using that. -- Tomhab 21:23, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I favour using Subh-i-Azal because that is what academics seem to do. EG Browne uses it, for example, and it seems to be how the folks at H-Bahai refer to him. Following established academic usage seems is probably the most failsafe way of avoiding PoV. --Arvind 20:51, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand your point why Mirza Yahya might be POV ? Does it mean something special? I have no idea what it means if anything. Wjhonson 09:35, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Contrary POV of Baha's claim

Also, should the section on "A Contrary Point of View of Bahá'u'llah's Claim" perhaps be expanded to recite all the arguments used against Bahá'u'llah's claim by dissenting Babis (with a statement that most Babis of the time accepted his claim to be HWGSMM)? Arvind 19:09, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Just split up your question so they can be dealt with separately. Hmmm I've been curious about this for a while, but I don't like editting other peoples work just like that. Personally I don't like the fact that Baha'u'llah's claim takes up... around a quarter of the Bab's page. I reckon a better idea would be to start up a Azali-Bahá'í conflict (or alternatively Successorship of the Báb) which outlines their claims and counter claims etc. Also it means people can put as much in as they like. Thoughts? -- Tomhab 21:23, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, there's [6] which asserts itself as a Bayani web site. They state:
One may ask why responding to Bahai allegations and ignoring those made by others. The answer is simple. It is the view of the Bayanis that the harm made by Bahaism to the cause of religion of Bayan is far greater than the cruelty displayed by the tyrants of Qajar dynasty and those who have claimed to be followers of the Quranic faith and His Holiness Muhammad.
One of the main objectives is to defend the religion of Bayan against the massive misrepresentations and distortions promulgated by the Bahai hierarchy and to reassert the fact that BAHAISM SITS OPPOSITE TO THE RELIGION OF BAYAN AND NOT NEXT TO IT.
They appear to have been started, and funded by Nima Hazini, and you could go look up her discussion group at [7] but really, I think they have no "connectivity" to the older Azali group, and appear to have been started de-novo in late 2003. They are profoundly Azali tho, and if you want to be completist, you ought to mention them. Rick Boatright 22:17, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Someday I'll find out how the heck you know all you know Rick.... Why the persistent name changing though? Babi->Azali->Bayani? -- Tomhab 22:36, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm really good at using the world-mind [8]. In this case searching for Bayani Bab works. You can get THERE if you search for Azali Bab - as to the name change, Azali is really a Baha'i term, one they never used. The Azali's used Bayani, since they belived that Azal had been tasked to complete the Bayan. Rick Boatright 22:45, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
See, if you just said "dedicated my life to information and the Baha'i faith" I would be in awe right now... -- Tomhab 23:32, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

oh well. We'll save awe for another time. Rick Boatright 23:49, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I like the idea. There were so many allegations and counter-allegations running around during that period that it'd be good to sort them out on a page of its own. Succession to the Báb is only peripheral to an article about his life. --Arvind 16:43, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

One problem is I'm not at all familiar with the Azali side and I don't think I'll have the enthusiasm to research it. Anyone know enough about it? -- Tomhab 17:15, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This letter from the UHJ[9], and particularly the attachments thereto, might be a good starting point. It's from the Baha'i POV, but it gives a decent sense of why Azalis said that HWGSMM was not yet to come, and the reference to the Nuqtatul qaf suggests that the idea that HWGSMM wouldn't come for many years yet had been around for some time.
If anyone here can read Persian, it would be a great help to know exactly what the Báb said to Azal in the Panj sha'n. --Arvind 21:03, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Panj sha'n? Sorry don't know persian but if you're interesting in the will and testament check [10]. Its done by a Baha'i but very even handed in my opinion and quite informative. I've yet to read a baha'i discussion in this though about how it fits in with Abdul'Baha's traveller's narrative about Azal being a figure head so offer no answers. I'd like to hear suggestions though :) -- Tomhab 22:16, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks - I've seen the comparative translation of the will. On the status it assigns to Azal, the UHJ has this to say in the letter I mentioned above:
"It is important to call attention to the fact that, while in some quarters this Tablet has become known as the Will and Testament of the Báb, the Research Department has, to date, found no explicit evidence to suggest that the Báb, Himself, designated the Tablet as such. Indeed, from a perusal of the attached material, Mr. Villar will see that the Tablet bears no title. He will also see that, while the Tablet is addressed to Azal, there is nothing in its contents pertaining to questions of successorship and authority. Rather, the recipient is enjoined to promote and protect the Faith and to invite people to follow what has been revealed in the Bayán."
which seems to be a fairly cogent defense of Abdul'Baha's account of the successorship to the Báb.
The Kitab-i panj sha'n[11],[12] is one of the Báb's final works. There's a section addressed to Azal, which Ahang Rabbani has said uses a fairly reprimandary tone. It's never been translated, unfortunately, but it may cast some interesting light on exactly what the Báb intended of Azal. -- Arvind 00:04, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Miller account

Would anyone like to comment on this[13]? Basically some anon IP has removed a whole section about Millers report of the Bab's execution. I don't think its some Baha'i being protective as he's left the Maulana (which in my opinion a Baha'i would remove first). Is the article just too long with Miller you think? -- Tomhab 20:09, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, it's a clear copyright violation unless someone has gotten permission from the Miller estate. The copy of Miller's book at the christian university site is unauthorized, and the book does not carry a (PD) claim, and so for a 1974 book, this direct quote seems a clear violation of copyright. OTOH, I think that the Miller account deserves to be mentioned....
additionally, I would point out that this anon IP has been editing Baha'i pages since Feb, and posted a fairly long rant on Talk:Baha'u'llah signed " The Empyrean " Rick Boatright 22:08, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm good point about the copyright actually... Oh well. When I have time I'll collate a load of sources although I think I'm most impressed with the Amanat book at the moment -- Tomhab 22:49, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Actually it is not a copyright violation. The publication page states specifically (although this is unnecessary) that 'brief' quotations in scholarly articles are allowed. The wiki qualifies under that permission. Even if it didn't say it, it is normal for scholars to quote each other. Wjhonson 02:45, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
By what do you mean as "brief" though - that was three paragraphs. -- Tomhab 19:51, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It is "generally" believed, in the community of those who study copyright issues in the US, that you could possibly quote as much as ten percent of a work and not be in violation of copyright. Not sure if anyone has actually tried this. However I could, if you wish, contact the published and specifically ask them about their own posting of the entire work on their own web site. It seems relatively clear to me that they are not being overly protective. Three paragraphs from a 200 page book is certainly allowable, imho. Wjhonson 19:59, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
This sounds familiar, although the 10% rule doesn't. Three paragraphs sounds like fair-use if properly credited. MARussellPESE 21:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Just to add a bit, the *main* issue with copyright holders is, "Does the quote make people not need to go to the copyright holder to get a copy (for pay) or more information?". In this particular case, the quote is so brief, that anyone wishing more information, would buy the book. This serves to *increase* the copyright holder's income rather than decrease it, and so no financial loss can be ascribed to quotes of this length. Without financial loss, there is no breach of copyright. And in fact, these Baha'i pages probably have *increased* the sales of the book, if it's still in-print. Wjhonson 20:02, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
This is the valid economic argument for fair-use. MARussellPESE 21:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually yeah it does sound familiar - I remember photocopying limits on copyright material was several pages - quick search finds [14]. 5% for straight copying or 10% for photocopying is acceptable in British law. I'd guess it'd be similar in the US. -- Tomhab 00:47, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

New changes

I didn't really change anything important. I stopped when I got to the execution part, because I saw serious signs of a battle over the issues.

Is anyone still paying attention to this page? Just like the other controversial pages, this has been left all messy as a result of edit wars and people trying to smear anti-Baha'i garbage all over it.

If nobody has any ideas to work this out, I'll come in with some more Baha'i propaganda (that was for you PaulHammond). Cunado19 8 July 2005 16:12 (UTC)

Hey! Today is the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab! What a perfect day to edit this page. Cunado19 8 July 2005 16:14 (UTC)
Errrm the 9th is the martyrdom (so today). Yes I'm still watching this page. It does need a bit of a clean up, but bare in mind its tone. Much of the stuff Baha'i literature has about the Bab is not at Encyclopaedia level.
Have a go at it though. I'm probably too lazy to actually do much editting at this time. -- Tomhab 9 July 2005 00:52 (UTC)

The time that gets attached to my posting is in Europe or something. I'm in East Asia, so it actually was the 9th.

I will do my best. I'm trying to keep the attitude of presenting Baha'i information as Baha'i information, and any other valuable sources as that. I'm trying to cut down on the "some people think" comments too.

And for those opponents of the Baha'i view, the only reason this page exists is because Baha'is have so much recognition of him, and every introduction to the Baha'i Faith mentions him. The guy Azal appointed to succeed him ended up recanting his faith, and now only a few thousand people call themselves Babis, or Bayanis. Other than just a handful of brief accounts, what other sources of information are there that don't use Baha'i texts as their source? Cunado19 9 July 2005 03:01 (UTC)

Appointing Azal

Does anyone have a reference to say the Bab appointed Azal to "finish the Persian Bayan." I've never heard that before, and I'm guessing he said that HWGSMM would finish it, and not specifically Azal. In which case both Baha'u'llah and Azal both claim to have finished the Persian Bayan. That should be noted in the article. Cunado19 9 July 2005 03:55 (UTC)
In verses 30-33 of what is commonly known as the Will and Testament of the Bab, according to Sepehr Manuchehri in Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies,Vol. 7, no. 2 (September, 2004), "...the Bab reminds Subh-e Azal that eight chapters of the book remain uncompleted. Subh-e Azal is given the choice to complete them if ‘victory’ appears during his lifetime. In essence, the revelation of Bayan is to be completed by Subh-e Azal. Although it is not clear what is meant by the term victory. It may be a reference to a future Babi state, exacting revenge on the Qajar monarch or the appearance of HWGSMM. The fact that Bayan remains an uncompleted work is a signal that Subh-e Azal did not witness the victory during his life." [15] --Occamy 19:33, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
Also if you read down a bit, you'll find a reference to the Motammem Al-Bayan, which is Subh-i Azal building up the Persian Bayan from 8-and-ten-nineteenths to 11 vahids. So he partially completed the Bayan. Tomhab 00:10, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I've just been very enlightened on the subject after reading the will found here.

The page is really big, so here's the relevant quotes from the Bab's will (Addressed in the first verse to Azal)...

[Verse 25]
  • The number of chapters in the Bayan was based on the number of Kulu Shay. We only revealed 11 in number from that. That is, one Vahed for each Haykal out of 19. This is a mention from the great and elevated God.
[Verse 27]
  • We order you to obey Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest. He will verily appear amongst this people with a sublime reign in the final resurrection.
[Verse 28]
  • Verily we are all servants and kneel down before Him.
[Verse 30]
  • If God manifests victory in your time, you have the pleasure to reveal the eight sequels with His permission.
[Verse 33]
  • And if God does not manifest victory in your time, be patient with what has been revealed and do not forge a letter. This is an order from God in the greatest book.

I get the impression that the Bab tells Azal that he should obey HWGSMM, and when the victory comes, Azal might get to write the remaining 8 sequels, with the permission of HHGSMM. Then he gives Azal a warning not to write the 8 sequels without the permission. It is still not clear on what the "victory" means.

So I was wrong about my first impression, but I was right in saying that Azal was not appointed by the Bab to finish the Persian Bayan, which is what is said on several wiki pages right now. Cunado19 06:34, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The Bab sent Azal his pen. This is quoted in a few places. This was to indicate that Azal was now to take up the pen and write as his continuator. Wjhonson 09:25, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Azal's successor

This is copied from above: The guy Azal appointed to succeed him ended up recanting his faith, and now only a few thousand people call themselves Babis, or Bayanis. Cunado19 06:34, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

As for your other questions (bare in mind I'm a 'Haifan' Baha'i when I'm writing all this):
  • Recanting of faith is often confused with Taqiyya, a Shia practice, common in Islam AND Babism (although appears rarer imho in the Baha'i faith). See this article written about it [16]. In the days prior to his martyrdom the Bab told his immediate followers to practice Taqiyya in order that they live and can tell the story of the 750 rifles etc.
Its interesting to note though that Babis who practiced it a lot invariably became less active.
  • If you read the will above (and the notes are also written by a Baha'i scholar), Subh-i Azal is told to keep safe, and alive, so practicing Taqiyya.
  • Most Baha'i accounts of Azal aren't actually that harsh on him - hardly the Arch-enemy that modern Baha'is make him out to be. Shoghi Effendi even praised him in some ways, but called him easily fooled (paraphrasing) by Sayyid Muhammad.
Just re-read what I wrote - "praised" may be a bit strong. I think he called him "mild-mannered" and similar stuff. -- Tomhab 00:28, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  • A good neutral book to read about the years of the Bab is Resurrection and Renewal by Amanat (non Baha'i). I'll add it as a reference now. Widely accademically lauded as the best book on the Babis up to 1850. -- Tomhab 00:10, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm aware of the idea of Taqiyya (Shoghi Effendi's version: Taqiyyih). As far as I know it wasn't practiced by the Babis. The only reference I found to it is where it mentioned Babis not using Taqiyyih, and choosing to give up their lives instead.

I think the only time it's used is in selective circumstances (I may be wrong), like the Letters of the Living before the public declaration, or during the time of the Bab's martyrdom.

I suspect you're right, but Subh-i Azal was in hiding during that time --Tomhab 11:22, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The only source I can find on Hadiy-i-Dawlat-Abadi is from Baha'i sources. It appears that there was no successorship of Azal, as if his movement just died at that point, and today has no leadership, administration, or even followers (ok a few thousand in Iran). Which is another indication that he did recant. The website denies anything that Baha'is claim, but that's a whole different issue. [17]

I also found out that Azal's son became a Baha'i, along with 11 of his 18 disciples. If anyone has any other decent sources, then please provide them, otherwise I'll summarize the following passage as a Baha'i source and put it on the wiki page...

Believers also left Baha to join Azal. I can't remember any sources off hand, but anyway. I'm not doubting that the Baha'is attracted more believers, just that Azalis weren't as marginalised as Baha'is make out. Need I remind you of the "treachery" of Baha'u'llahs sons by his second and third wives. -- Tomhab 11:22, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
"Eleven of the eighteen "Witnesses" [Mirza Yahya] had appointed forsook him and turned in repentance to Baha'u'llah. He himself became involved in a scandal which besmirched his reputation and that of his eldest son, deprived that son and his descendants of the successorship with which he had previously invested him, and appointed, in his stead, the perfidious Mirza Hadiy-i-Dawlat-Abadi, a notorious Azali, who, on the occasion of the martyrdom of the aforementioned Mirza Ashraf, was seized with such fear that during four consecutive days he proclaimed from the pulpit-top, and in a most vituperative language, his complete repudiation of the Babi Faith, as well as of Mirza Yahya, his benefactor, who had reposed in him such implicit confidence. It was this same eldest son who, through the workings of a strange destiny, sought years after, together with his nephew and niece, the presence of Abdu'l-Baha, the appointed Successor of Baha'u'llah and Center of His Covenant, expressed repentance, prayed for forgiveness, was graciously accepted by Him, and remained, till the hour of his death, a loyal follower of the Faith which his father had so foolishly, so shamelessly and so pitifully striven to extinguish." [18]

Cunado19 06:34, 10 July 2005 (UTC) is not a Haifan Baha'i source. I'm really not sure how it fits into the Baha'i divisions, but they talk about their Universal House of Justice President etc...
Azal did die with supporters (although it is said by Shoghi Effendi that in Famagusta he died alone and was buried as a muslim) and even appointed a successor, but it appears he became disillusioned. EG Browne visited him more times than he did the Baha'is. I seem to remember the Azalis were fundamental in some revolution in Iran around 1905-10 and tried to get Azal to join them but he refused.
Anyway, my point is please don't marginalise Azal too much. It just looks like a cover-up if nothing else. -- Tomhab 11:22, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Wow! I didn't even notice that. The site conveniently doesn't say where they come from. I'm guessing they're the Montana group cause they seem preocupied with a world disaster (Remey was preocupied with it and made "prophecies" that made some followers move to remote montana) Anyway that quote is from God Passes By, I just wanted an easy link to show a reference.

I'll try not to marginalize him. At the same time the Baha'i Faith shouldn't be marginalized by building him up as something he isn't.

As far as sourcing, I've been using the same argument on a lot of pages, and I think it applies here too. Other than Baha'i sources, what other sources are there? There's a few Azali sources that basically say the opposite of anything that Baha'is claim. There is no objective outside source in almost every case. Shoghi Effendi claims something, and an Azali says it's not true. Neither is verifiable. So unless there is a non-Baha'i and non-Azali source, in my opinion the Baha'i source gains some precedence by the virtue of having documented accounts and textual references, and not just a website with someone saying "that's not true". I do recognize the fact that it should be mentioned as "Baha'is believe" or "Baha'is sources claim".

Maybe I should just learn to be quiet and listen to criticism. Cunado19 13:22, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

You are doing fine and I for one much appreciate your effort. Being a Baha'i makes one try extra hard to maintain a NPOV to contributions while trying not to over-compensate. Meanwhile, there are few independent authoritative sources, though the Amanat book is very good. As pointed out somewhere in the Talk pages, even EG Browne was not as discriminating as he could have been with his sources. --Occamy 19:32, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
But there are. Even Abdul states that Browne was an excellent scholar. From what I've read he seems quite impartial. If you don't read all the sources, then you will just have a myopic view of the truth. I try to read all the sources and then find a middle ground. That is why I post so many sources, so that others can find and read them themselves. Wjhonson 09:23, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Baha'i/Babi split

I took out a lot of the successorship part from the Bab's article and put it on the Bahá'í/Bábí split page. I just spent awhile going through it and making it more coherent. Let me know what you think. Cunado19 13:50, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Azal and He whom God shall make manifest

Did he ever make the claim? I have read quite a lot on the topic, and although it is a common Baha'i belief I really have never seen him make such a claim - I really suspect it to be a myth. Any help correcting myself would be much appreciated, but otherwise I think its gotta go -- Tomhab 23:02, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

I suspect the best source would be E.G. Brown, but I have never read it all the way through. I would guess that if he did make the claim, after his movement fell apart his followers stopped mentioning it. But since we have no proof either way other than Baha'i and Bayani sources, I guess we should defer to the Bayani claim that he didn't claim to be HWGSMM. Cunado19 00:25, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Are you asking if Azal claimed to be He whom God shall make manifest? No, even Browne doesn't state it. In fact, Azal completely rejected anyone's claim to the title. Maulana suggests that Azal felt HWGSMM would come in the far future, like the distance between Christ and Mohammed but he doesn't actually quote Azal saying that. Wjhonson 09:20, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

There was already a very lengthy discussion about this on Talk:Bahá'u'lláh#Azal's claim of HWGSMM after the comments on this page were made. Read the linked section and the one below it. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 18:49, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

The Gate? or the Madhi

Okay I've added a source, now you can add a source or whatever. I'll try to find the specific page number later today perhaps. Wjhonson 20:56, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Browne and Sources

The 1891 Browne document, is not idential with the one on the bahai site. That is why it's relevant. The pages that are missing are vital to an understanding of what Browne had to say. The 2004 reprint is not sufficient for that purpose. Wjhonson 21:01, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

The vital pages you're talking about refers to the introduction by Browne. The book is by Abdu'l Baha, and that is the part which is re-published. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 21:24, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes those extra pages are vital to understand how *Browne* felt about the book, and his notes regarding the book and the main actors, which is part of the point of including the book in the first place, imho. Wjhonson 21:43, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
The argument about sources relating to the Bab's relationship to Siyyid Kazim is being repeated on two pages. It seems more appropriate to mention the controversy and link to Siyyid Kazim's page, where it can go into more detail. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 23:43, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Moneerah, p 11 "When they were attending the classes of Haji Sayyid Kazem, they repeatedly had met His Holiness the Bab, and had observed many wonderful traces and spiritual signs appearing from His Holy Temple. Amongst many stories, my uncle used to relate this:" [She then goes on to describe how they met the Bab, MANY TIMES, this was prior to the death of the leader of the Shakhis. And continues later (p12) with "...Whenever he [the Bab] entered the class, Haji Siyyid Kasem would show him the greatest respect and honor."
  This is proof positive that the Shakhis, knew the Bab before he was "discovered" some time later. Wjhonson 23:51, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

á is not the same as a

So if Wikipedia chooses to sort it differently in the Categories, that is a Wikipedia choice, it is not inherently wrong, and thus the correct placement is with the á. -- Jeff3000 20:41, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't. There is no á in the English alphabet. It is indexed with the a, just like any other version of a with squiggles such as à or ä or whatever. See Wikipedia:Categorization:
  • Diacritics are omitted: e.g. Étretat: [[Category:Communes of Seine-Maritime|Etretat]], or: Ål: [[Category:Municipalities of Norway|Al]]
If you don't fix it, I'll be back tomorrow. Gene Nygaard 21:01, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Note further that not removing the indexing doesn't result in sorting in accordance with the sorting rules of any language whatsoever; rather, the sorting defaults to the number associated with the Unicode character. Other languages may choose to index things differently than we do in the English language. That's something which may or may not be true in this case, but whether it is or not is irrelevant: this is in fact the English Wikipedia, sorted in the English language. Gene Nygaard 21:05, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Since it's Wikipedia policy, I guess there is no choice, but I disagree with the policy, so I will not change it myself. -- Jeff3000 21:18, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand why you'd want to make it harder to find, by putting it somewhere where people looking for it wouldn't find it. This doesn't work like piping in the wikilinks. It shows up in the index with the squiggles, but indexed as expected. It in just an indexing key. In many categories it won't make much difference, but for example in Living people it would be many pages off.
I wonder also if this article is wrongly named under Wikipedia:Naming conventions. If I have to look into it, I may end up listing it on WP:RM. Gene Nygaard 22:07, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I want it to have the correct spelling, which is with the diacretic. By Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) and by Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics) (which is a not a policy yet), the diacretic in the title stays because the most common spelling in books and websites is with the diacretic. -- Jeff3000 22:22, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Gene, these words use a very precise transliteration. The diacritical are specific. This from Bahá'í orthography is on-point:

"While there are several transliterations of Arabic in the world, Bahá'ís use a particular and very precise transliteration of Arabic in their publications, which was common during the time of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith."

These transliterations are to be found in all Bahá'í publications and in almost all references to it. Dig around this academic site for lots of examples.

In short, these are not English words, are systematically rendered this way, and are the common names used for these people and subjects — so they do meet the Naming Conventions policy. MARussellPESE 23:00, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

You misunderstand the problem with hte naming; that has nothing to do with diacritical marks, but rather with the name used. Gene Nygaard 23:05, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't understant what you mean. The name (Báb vs Siyyid Mírzá 'Alí-Muhammad) and spelling/transliteration used (Báb vs Bab) in almost all books is with the Báb with the diacretic mark, so Wikipedia Naming Conventions states that the name of the article goes with that which is most common. -- Jeff3000 23:09, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Right, if the suggestion is to use Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad, then most people would have no idea who that is, whereas everyone familiar with the subject would know him as the Báb. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 23:53, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, Gene, I don't get what the "problem with the naming" is. Please clarify.
Regarding categorization, Gene's right that diacritical marks are omitted, but what does that do to the category page? It mis-names every article that uses them. I agree with Jeff3000 that this is really a wikipedia bug.
On the subject that á, à, â, ä, ã, a, a, a, etc. are not English letters. They're not standard English, but crack open any dictionary and you'll find most of them, and a good one will have all. They're the pronunciation guides. When rendering foreign words into English they are indispensible to convey the appropriate pronunciation without Aglicizing them. This particular style was developed by English speaking academics to do so. MARussellPESE 13:50, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
So, what's your point? None of those English dictionaries have any of their words sorted under any of those letters as distinct from a. That all the indexing key in the categories does, too. You still see all those ugly squiggles when you view the category. Gene Nygaard 21:55, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

One other problem with the naming conventions; the Arabic title sayyid is transliterated here and in Baha'i literature generally as siyyid. The harakat, or markings in Arabic script that provide the reader with cues on how to vowel a word, are always applied to this word in such a way as to indicate that its correct pronunciation is sayyid, not siyyid. Thus, it is almost universally transliterated this way in academic literature. Most of the available literature on the life and teachings of the Bab is academic in nature, and one finds in these works that the title is usually transliterated correctly, as sayyid. So, this presents a certain quandary; if the WP naming conventions indicate that the most common usage is to be given, what sort of "common usage" is implied? As I said, if one looks at the serious scholarship on the Bab, one will find sayyid (this includes the works of A. Amanat, D. MacEoin, T. Lawson, S. Lambden, V. Brown, W. McCants, K. Milani and S. Manuchehri - in other words, every contemporary specialist on the Bab writing in English). In Baha'i literature, the word is generally transliterated siyyid. It would seem to me that, given the context, the usage established in the scholarly treatment of this subject should prevail here. I'm going to implement that change, but will be happy to discuss this here if other find that objectionable. Masarra 23:50, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

See Bahá'í orthography, it explains it more clearly than I could here. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 16:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I ran across an interesting article here. Here's part of it:
"One of the peculiarities of the Bahá'í transliteration system is the propensity to use the short vowel "i" in many situations where the standard Persian pronunciation would be "a". Examples of this are: Siyyid, Karbilá, Mázindarán, Mihdí, and Ádhirbáyján where the normal pronunciation would give Sayyid, Karbalá, Mázandarán, Mahdí, and Ádharbáyján. It would appear that this is due to the fact that Shoghi Effendi spoke Persian with an Isfahání accent learned from his grandmother Munírih Khánum. She was from Isfahan and passed on her accent to her daughters and grandchildren.
"Two letters from the Universal House of Justice, dated 20 October 1978 and 8 March 1979, have developed the Bahá'í system of transliteration with the following additional principles: there is no need to transliterate the names of well-known places; -a or -ah can be used to indicate the Arabic tá marbútah; either Arabic or Persian forms of words and names may be used; and flat accents may be used."
Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 17:16, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Urgent Question about prison of Birjand

Who know which leader of Bahai faith was arrested in Birjand and where? I need the Info for completion of other Wikipedia page about Birjand. Furthermore which relation exists between shah seyyed Kazemi and shaikh movement leader seyyed Kazem of Rasht?

Neither the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh or `Abdu'l-Bahá were imrisoned in Birjand (as far as I know). One of the great teachers of the Baha'i Faith, Nabíl-i-A`zam, however, was imprisoned in Birjand:
"Having returned to his home town, Nabil began to teach the Faith. Although he was received at first with great honour and distinction, opposition began to mount. Eventually he was arrested and after a period of imprisonment in Birjand he was sent to Mashhad. The governor there, Sultan-Murad Mirza, Hisamu's-Saltanih, released Nabil, but on his return to Qa'in, he was again arrested and taken to Tihran in 1869. The 'ulama of Tihran plotted to kill Nabil and he had to flee.:
(H.M. Balyuzi, Eminent Baha'is in the Time of Baha'u'llah, pp. 113)
I couldn't find anything about shah seyyed Kazemi in relation to the Baha'i Faith or its predecessors. Do you have an alternate transliteration/spelling. Regards -- Jeff3000 14:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your answer. Here my info from wikipedia: The Shaykhi Movement In the 1790's in Persia, Shaykh Ahmad began a religious movement within Shi'a Islam. His followers, who became known as Shaykhís, were expecting the imminent appearance of the Qá'im of the House of Muhammad, also called the Mahdi. After the death of Shaykh Ahmad, leadership was passed on to Siyyid Kázim of Rasht.

During the Báb's pilgrimage in Karbila, he is known to have attended the lectures of Siyyid Kázim (=Seyyed Kazem) several times. The length of time and the extent of the relationship between the two became the subject of a debate between supporters and enemies of the Báb's movement. Bahá'í sources indicate that the Báb only attended a few lectures, and was not any kind of disciple of Siyyid Kázim. Other writers refuting the Báb's claim, such as the Ahmadi author Maulana, state that there was a close relationship that lasted possibly years, insinuating a less miraculous event when the Báb declared to be the Promised One.

Upon Siyyid Kázim death in 1843, he had counselled his followers to leave their homes to seek the Lord of the Age whose advent would soon break on the world. One of these followers named Mullá Husayn prayed and fasted for 40 days, then travelled to Shiraz, where he met the Báb.

And on or the search in english Wikipedia with Birjand you find the former baha'i Shah seyyed Kazemi.

Best regards Regards -- Freedom 14:13, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Hello, I very much doubt that a person named Shah Seyyed Kazemi from Birjand is related to Siyyid Kazim, who was the teacher of Mulla Husayn, who himself was the first believer of the Bab. Here are some excerpts about Siyyid Kazim's early life. You may be able to find some information about Shah Seyyed Kazemi to find any connection (specifically if you can find the dates of his life):
"Siyyid Kazim (1793-1843), who, in accordance with the will of Shaykh Ahmad, succeeded him in guiding his disciples, was the son of Siyyid Qasim of Rasht, a town in northern Iran close to the Caspian Sea. He came from a family of well-known merchants and was no more than thirty-three years old when he occupied the seat of authority."
(H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 3)
"His [Siyyid Kazim's] family were merchants of repute. If is father was named Aqa Siyyid Qasim. When twelve years old, he was living at Ardibil near the tomb of Shaykh Safi'u'd-Din Ishaq, the descendant of the seventh Imam Musa Kazim and the ancestor of the Safavi kings. One night in a dream it was signified to him by one of the illustrious progenitors of the buried saint that he should put himself under the spiritual guidance of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, who was at this time residing at Yazd. He accordingly proceeded thither and enrolled himself amongst the disciples of Shaykh Ahmad, in whose doctrine he attained such eminence that on the Shaykh's death he was unanimously recognized as the leader of the Shaykhi school.""
(Abdu'l-Baha, "A Traveller's Narrative," Note E, p. 238)

So if Shah Seyyed Kazemi has the same birthdates and deathdates as Siyyid Kazim (1793-1843) they may be the same person, but I don't think you'll find that to be the case. -- Jeff3000 13:43, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, there is still a time difference of unknown three generations. Maybe the prince is a descendant of him. Nobody will known it. He is the descendant of the 7th imam musa al-Kazem and the safawid kings and was a Baha'i till he married into the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's clan and his cousine married premier Alam. His descendants lived in Gorgan and Meshhed. Major part of district Moud shall be his relation. Some of the older relatives have another name 'Mirkazemi'. More, I don't know at this time. Thanks very much and best regards Goodbye -- Freedom 14:51, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Execution section changes

Cunado, in your changes to this section, you write that "some claim that he was killed by the first shots." I've not seen such reports. Every eyewitness report that Momen includes in "The Babi and Baha'i Religions, 1844-1944: Some Contemporary Western Accounts," both of Europeans and of locals, if they report the two-time firing squad, concur on the point that the Bab survived the first shots. In some of the accounts, Anis (or two accompanying Babis) are said to have been killed in the first volley. I have read all of the Persian accounts, and again, whenever the two firing squads are mentioned, it is the second one that proves to be fatal to the Bab. I don't know of reports, though, that claim that the Bab was killed on the first of two volleys. Do you have a source for this, other than the clearly-tendentious Miller account, which is obviously based not on any original evidence but on that author's well-known personal animus against his subject? If not, perhaps rephrase the last paragraph along these lines (and, because of reference to barracks, in the previous paragraph make this change: "the Báb was taken out to the courtyard of the barracks in which he was being held, where nearly ten thousand people had gathered to watch his execution.") : "While the ultimate significance of the events that followed is controversial, these details are well-established on the basis of numerous eye-witness reports, including those of Western diplomats; the order was given to fire upon the captives, the barracks square filled with musket smoke, and when it cleared the Bab was no longer seen to be suspended against the wall. Amid a great commotion in the crowd, many believing the Bab had ascended to heaven or simply disappeared, the soldiers subsequently found the Bab in another part of the barracks. He was tied up for execution a second time, a second firing squad was ranged in front of him, and a second order to fire was given. This time, the Bab was killed. His body and that of the Babi killed with him were then dumped outside the gates of the town to be eaten by animals, but the remains were clandestinely rescued by a handful of Babis and kept hidden until such time as they could be interred in a special tomb erected for this purpose by `Abdu'l-Bahá on Mount Carmel, in the Holy Land. In the Babi-Baha'i tradition, the failure of the first firing squad to kill the Bab is believed to have been a miracle." Sound good? Masarra 01:58, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

That sounds great. I certainly didn't write that by some accounts the first firing squad killed him. That was left over from previous editors. You are welcome/encouraged to edit the page yourself, your previous summary sounds fine. Don't forget to edit the subpage I created Execution of the Báb. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 08:08, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed on the whole, but I'd thought that the historical consensus was that he was found not "somewhere in the barracks" but back in his cell. Am I wrong? MARussellPESE 12:56, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
MARussellPESE, the cell itself was in the barracks, and it is only Nabil who specifically states that he was found back in his cell. Other eyewitness accounts and early reports simply say that he was found nearby, within the barracks, which doesn't exclude the cell, of course. Masarra 21:52, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

i have a question. in some sources i read the first fire was by muslem and 2sd fire was by armenians. but here in your article is kind of oposite? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

All the sources I've seen including from the Encyclopedia of Islam and Amanat's Resurection and Renewal state that the first regiment was mostly of Armenian heritage, and the second one wasn't. Regards, -- Jeff3000 22:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

But i have "nogtatol-Kaf" by syeyed mirza jani kashi and i saw in tarikhe alameye Gazvini and i know in any governmental sources from Gajar time which are located in Iran government library, historian mentioned at first it was Muslim shiee group and second group was Armenian. !!!!! --Asheemak 23:15, 18 September 2007 (UTC) link

Cunado, I think you should put the link to back in the article; there's no good reason why that shouldn't be there, and very good reasons why it should. This looks like pure partisanship. Masarra 22:53, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

hum... i checked the site and they are bayanis so the site its not directly related to the bab, in fact, i dont find anything in their site about the bab, they focus instead on Subh-i-Azal. the link should be in Bayani and in Subh-i-Azal but not here. - --Cyprus2k1 17:25, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Cyprus2k1, it seems you're unfamiliar with this religious tradition. The Bayanis are people who continue to practice the religious of the Bab, and in fact are the only people to do so today. This site is their main presense on the Web, and it contains an abundance about the Bab, the Bab's religion, Babi history, and includes one of the largest online libraries of the writings of the Bab in their original languages. It may help to know that the Bab is not generally called "the Bab" on this site, but is refered to by other titles such as the Primal Point. In any case, you are simply mistaken; the site is very much directly related to the Bab. (Note that I am not a Bayani, an Azali, a Muslim, or a religious person at all, so my point here has nothing to do with personal partisanship.) As Cunada has not responded, I'll put the link back. Masarra 20:09, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually Baha'is are followers of the Bab. I removed the link because there is an issue on all the Baha'i pages of linkspam. Someone once went through every single Baha'i page and added a link to Orthodox Baha'i websites. The actual Bayanis/Azalis are an extremely small group isolated in Iran. Their website is most appropriately linked under the Bayani page and Subh-i-Azal, which it already is. If you consider that there are over 6 million people in the world who believe in the Bab, then the small group of Bayanis, who by some accounts are a defunct group, are not significant, and an entire list of Baha'i websites should be linked as well.
Hmm, I was going to solve this by removing both links, and putting in a link to the bayani-supplied library of the Bab's writings, but unfortunately their website is built with heavy use of Javascript, in such a way as to make it impossible to link to a sub-section directly without dropping on the front door. Unfortunately, then, it only makes sense to drop both sites. The Bayani website is available from the Bayani article as well as the Subh-i-Azal article. --Christian Edward Gruber 13:05, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
That is not a resolution, Christian, it is a further imposition of Baha'i bias. Along the right side of this article is a gigantic banner with a total of 33 links to Baha'i articles, and it clearly represents this article as part of a "Baha'i series." Removing the link to leaves an over-abundance of pointers to Baha'i stuff and an inadequate representation on the Bayani side, creating an NPOV problem. In my opinion, Cunado and I resolved this matter by having both links. He removed, I put it back, so he added a link to Problem solved. I've tagged this article as POV in light of your deletions. To Cyprus2k1, Azal is not coequal with the Bab in the Bayani religion, and they do *not* believe in Azal the same way that Baha'is believe in Baha'u'llah. A better analogy would be that Azal has a position in that religion akin to an ithna `ashari Imam. You can see all of this for yourself at Masarra 02:27, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll obviously go with the consensus here, and I apologize, Masarra. My intent was not to add bias, and I was entirely not thinking about the huge Baha'i template on the side there. <sigh> I agree that both links make sense if one does. I do, however, wish that the site had direct-links to internal documents, so they could be referenced on Wikipedia. It's a technical issue, but such a hurdle will make it much harder to actually have links to Azal's or others' writings hosted on that site where they might be important. It will be harder for an individual to go to the site and sift through, rather than click a wiki reference and get the relevant piece of text. Anyway, I hope that Jeff3000 adding in the links resolves it. Sorry I didn't reply right away. I monitor so many pages, and I went away for a few days, and your reply to my comment fell through the cracks. --Christian Edward Gruber 03:59, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
And yes I have an obvious bias and I do not wish to promote any group within the Baha'i fold that is schismatic and contrary to my personal beliefs. I admit it. But in this case I think there is a valid argument, so if you think the page is better served with external links to followers of the Bab, then I'll add some more links. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 22:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi Cunado. I agree that a link to is appropriate here. Baha'is believe in the Bab but don't practice his religion; they practice the religion established by Baha'u'llah, though of course they see the Baha'i Faith as wedded to the Babi religion. There is a distinction though, as I'm sure you'll agree; Baha'is don't do Babi devotional practices, aren't bound by Babi law, and in a number of signicant ways don't share Babi beliefs. Bayanis do. They are the only religious group, admittedly small, for whom the Bab is the ultimate religious authority. With the exception of the Baha'i-published Selections book, they are the only people who continue to publish the Bab's writings. They have an important history distinct from the history of the Baha'i Faith; a great example is the Iranian constitutional revolution, in which many of the key players were Bayanis (`Abdu'l-Baha told the Baha'is to keep out of it). I don't see why "an entire list of Baha'i websites" should be linked here. Setting aside the Baha'i "covenant-breaker" sects, there are two religious communities for whom the Bab is religiously important, and they now both have their official web-presences linked here; the Bayani link also includes abundant resources on Babism. This argument you keep making about there being more Baha'is than Babis, or Shaykhis, or whatever, is not relevant to this context; just because you represent the largest group for whom a topic is significant doesn't mean that an encyclopedia should treat that topic in accordance with your biases. Masarra 01:36, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
IMHO, this article is about the Bab and so links like should not be here since they are not about the bab even thourgh bahais believe in the Bab as a prophet. The same is true for Bayanis, they are NOT (just) Babis, they believe in the Bab but they believe in Subh-i-Azal the same way Bahais believe in Baha´u´llah. Having their link here (or the bahai faith link) here is like having the bahai faith link in Mohamad article. in fact if you check the Mohamad aritcle, there are no external links to pages talking about islam, only biographies about Mohamad. - --Cyprus2k1 09:49, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I've included both links again, and removed the NPOV tag. In passing I would like to note Wikipedia's undue weight policy. From that section "Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and may not include tiny-minority views at all" The Bayani view is held by less than one thousandth of the Baha'i view. Quoting MARussellPESE on the policy "The fact that they exist just doesn't get them over the policy hurdle on undue weight. It's not a matter of respect. I didn't set that bar. We didn't set that bar. That's wikipedia's bar." -- Jeff3000 02:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

The Báb

This article should be titled "The Báb", not just "Báb" ss in "The Gate" not just "Gate" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

No it shouldn't, it's against the Wikipedia Manual of Style, see Avoid definite article -- Jeff3000 14:17, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it should be. Those guidelines offer exceptions: "If the name of the article is not the title of a work, an official name, or another proper name, avoid the definite ("the") and indefinite ("a"/"an") articles at the beginning of a page name."

The Bab is a proper name. It means "the Gate." 07:34, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

No, "the Bab" is not a proper name. "Bab" means "Gate" and the word "the" is used in English as a definite article to allow for it's usage. Consider President of the United States, the title of that page is not "The President of the United States" even though the word "the" must always be used in English grammar with the page. -- Jeff3000 13:17, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
If you want to be a grammar nazi, fine: "to allow for it's usage" should be "its". "it's" is only used when you could say "it is" in its place. As far as The Bab, find me the number of places in the English translation that He is called simply "Bab," then find where He is called "The Bab." This is an English wikipedia, and so you should follow the English standard, which is "The Bab." Can ANYONE ELSE WEIGH IN HERE? 00:49, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Please don't use an Ad hominem argument. Secondly your argument fails when compared to the President of the United States; when is that term used without the "The", but the title remains President of the United States. Take this to Wikipedia:Requested moves if you feel strongly, but I'm virtually sure that people who are not Baha'is will not agree to the inclusion of the word "The". Furthermore, all the active Baha'is on Wikipedia (including myself) are pretty confortable with it being titled "Bab", so I doubt your request will go through. -- Jeff3000 00:59, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Jeff. It's a wikipedia standard not to use the definite article. It's the same with the Baha'i Faith article. That always has a definite article, because there is no noun equivalent, like Islam or Christianity. So it's either use Baha'ism or Baha'i Faith, but not The Baha'i Faith. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 16:20, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


Why are some letters underlined?100110100 08:44, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

The underlines, which are part of the standardized Bahá'í orthography scheme, indicate sounds that are represented in the original Arabic alphabet by one letter. English spelling renders some sounds by way of digraphs (such as "th") for convenience rather than using a new letter. The "th" sound in the word "the" has no relation to either "t" or "h", but is mere convention. Keldan 10:13, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
A description of why the underlines are needed is in Arabic transliteration. It allows for a one to one mapping from the original Arabic to English and back. Since there are more phenomes in the Arabaic alphabet, new phenomes which are usually indicated by underlines or dots under conventional letters are used. -- Jeff3000 16:08, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Link to Bábism in opening statement

I suggest that the opening sentence or paragraph reference Bábism in the same way as the article on Bahá'u'lláh. In that article it states:

Bahá'u'lláh (ba-haa-ol-laa Arabic: ???? ????? ? "Glory of God") (1817 - 1892), born Mírzá ?usayn-`Alí (Persian: ????? ???? ???? ?), was the founder and prophet of the Bahá'í Faith.

The current paragraph is well worded, but perhaps could be altered to include the term Bábism, such as "Siyyid `Alí Mu?ammad (Persian: ??? ??? ?????? ?) (October 20, 1819 – July 9, 1850) was the founder and prophet of Bábism. He was a merchant from Shíráz, Persia, who at the age of twenty-five claimed to be a new and independent Manifestation of God and the promised Qá'im (or Mihdí)...." -- Parsa 17:55, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Good point, go ahead and change it. Note that not everything has to be discussed on the pages, go ahead and be bold, but be aware of Wikipedia policies and guidelines, WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV, WP:CITE. -- Jeff3000 17:58, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, I read the section on being bold a few days ago, and I agree with it. I just wanted to be respectful of the other editors, since this was an opening statement, not simply a grammatical or factual error. That and the fact that I'm relatively new here makes me want to have some experience and perspective before I go around altering essential aspects of main pages. I know you've experienced people who make deletions and alterations without the proper perspective on the way things work in Wikipedia. -- Parsa 18:55, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The Bab Recanted

This seems to be a dead topic but I think a section should be included regarding the Bab's recanting in (I think) Shiraz. If no one objects I will create such a section and properly source the information in it. It should also be noted, perhaps that the authorities claims against the Bab were not illegitimaet. At one point the Bab was called before a court and ordered to produce evidence of his 'divine mission'. He was subsequently ridiculed due to the fact that what followed was an Arabic diatribe riddled with grammatical mistakes (more of these mistakes are evident in his Arabic Bayan).Altrafton 00:11, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I've seen these allegations before, and they're specious. The state accounts of the Bab's trial are internally inconsistent, and don't jibe with the Bab's conduct either before or after the trial. See MacEoin here. To wit it explicitly states: "As noted above, one of the Bab's answers (number 6: 'I am that person you have been awaiting for one thousand years') occurs in some form in all nine sources, and I think we must conclude that it is the most authentic statement recorded from the trial. It seems highly plausible that he should have made such an egregious claim at this point. In 1263/1847, while in prison in Maku, the Bab had made an open claim to Mahdihood, a claim which he was now developing in his writings while in Chihriq."
Clearly, the Bab did not "recant". MARussellPESE 05:17, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Clearly he did. He was placed backwards on a donkey and publicly repeated the recantation in Tabriz (I can't remember off the top of my head which city). The Bab was the one who is inconsistent he continually changed his name. Bab, to Bab al-Bab to others. He was ignorant to the finer points of religion and Arabic and this should be noted. The research of one Baha'i scholar (MacEoin) who is the one repeatedly cited by Baha'is should not serve as exculpatory prima facie. The Bab's conduct before and after the trial was inconsistent thus anything at the trial would seem consistent with his general inconsistency. Why the absolute hostility to criticism? It seems there are Baha'i patrols dedicated to ridding the pages relating to Baha'ism of any criticism.Altrafton 17:52, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Care to actually provide a reference for that? MARussellPESE 14:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
First of all MacEoin is not a Baha'i. Secondly you have to be aware of Wikipedia's reliable source guidelines. Everything in Wikipedia has to be verifiable, but self-published and polemical sources are not acceptable as sources. Unless you have respectable source that backs up any of your statements, they have no place in the article. -- Jeff3000 17:56, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

MacEoin was a Baha'i he has said as much, it may be that he has renounced his faith. I do have reliable sources. I will post those in a minute.Altrafton 20:34, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Denis MacEoin is probably one of the most vocal and persistent critics of the Baha'is on the scene today. And he's been so for over twenty-five years. MARussellPESE 14:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The Bab’s recantation and punishment cited from the Persian sources, “The Final Break” p.391 (cited to: MSBR p.259, as a facsimile) response of Iranian authorities: “The repentance of an incorrigible apostate is not accepted, and the only thing which has caused the postponement of thy execution is a doubt about as to thy sanity of mind.” (The Bab had recanted in Shiraz). The Bab’s recantation: “The Final Break” p.392. “Exemplary chastisement… [The Bab] apologized, recanted, and repented of and asked pardon for his errors, giving a sealed undertaking that henceforth he would not commit such faults.” This was related after the Bab was visited by Dr. William Cormick, sent to establish the sanity of the Bab, and recommend punishment or not (which he did not immediately do). The Bab recanted publicly in Shiraz in 1847 (according to the documents, originally translated by E.G. Browne) The Bab claims to abrogate previous revelation (which is now contradicted by Baha’is see Muhammad Mustafa “The Great Announcement of the Qur’an” p.16 and p. 34). From “The Final Break” (p.375): “The advent of the Mahdi not only generated a resurrectionary rebirth, thus abrogating the validity of past revelation.” Said Amir Arjomand: Bab recanted Oxford Journal Book Review (Membership required). There is more information available, but it looks redundant. I will say that the absolute validity is questioned by some scholars. However it seems certain enough for it to receive mention in the article, without attaching certainty, I believe this would be fair. But again, I am trying to consult others as to flush out what is best for the article, which I fear may be lacking and overly panegyric.

Abbas Amanat, “The Final Break” Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1989 pp.372-404

To my knowledge non of these facisimiles are dated or signed. The Iranian authorities of course wanted the Bab to recant since it would seem as a triumph of the clergy over the new religious movement. Because of this there are multiple times that Iranian authorities have stated that there is proof that the Bab recanted; in fact, even last month one of the Iranian media outlets reported the discovery of another so-called recantation letter written by the Bab. As the story goes from that newspaper, after, or perhaps during, his trial in Tabriz, the Bab refuted any claim to be the Hidden Imam and supposedly this document was kept in the library of the national parliament in Tehran. However, apparently it had gone unnoticed all these years and only recently was discovered.
However, the three eye-witnesses in the Bab's trial, none of whom are favourable to the Bab, all stated the Bab stood firm at his trial and they wrote this down. In view of this, any report that the Bab recanted should be viewed with suspicion - especially if it is coming from a prejudiced source and was written years later.
Finally your understanding that the Baha'is don't believe that the Bab abrogated previous revelation is wrong. Baha'is clearly believe that the Bab's mission was indeed to sever ties with Islam as was confirmed at the conference of Badasht. Baha'is, however, also believe that Baha'u'llah also abrogated the Bab's teachings. -- Jeff3000 23:09, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I see the Bab as having recanted (I am not in anyway alone in that). He had been completely humiliated and exposed as a fraud before the court of the 'ulema'. He had not demonstrated the requirements of being Mahdi, nor the knowledge which would accompany the position. Certainly not in a posthumous view where if he had been the Mahdi he would have led the final battle for humanity. In view of this the recantation becomes more and more likely. The Bab himself displayed constant contradiction. The recantation fits that stream of existence. I insist this be addressed on merits not on an intransigent Baha'i doctrinal position. Altrafton 00:16, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

From the Baha'i perspective, it is not the religious leaders, but God who decides how and in what way prophecy is fulfilled. The Jews were awaiting the coming of the Messiah when Jesus Christ appeared. They had certain criterion for accepting Him as the messiah, which most believed he did not fulfill. They believed he would be a great king and would free them from Roman opression. Instead, Jesus conquered the Roman Empire spiritually. Christians, Muslims, and Baha'is believe that Christ fulfilled Jewish prophecy and was a messenger of God. In the same way, Baha'is believe that the Bab was a messenger of God. He was not subject to the criterion established by the Ulama. He and Baha'u'llah, Baha'is believe, fulfilled the prophecies of the Hadith and the Bible, but not in the way expected by the Ulama of Iran or by the Chrisitian clergy. The fact that the Baha'i Faith, in only 150 years, is one of the most global religions is a proof to Baha'is that the teachings and sacrifical lives of the Bab and Baha'u'llah are true. I don't think there will be a consensus among either Baha'is or religious scholars that the Bab recanted in Shiraz or elsewhere. Also, as far as I have heard, MacEoin is a religious scholar studying the Baha'i Faith, and not a Baha'i himself. - Parsa 00:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the place to decide if the Bab's claim is valid or not; what the requirements where of being the Hidden Imam or otherwise. Readers make their own decision. Nowhere in this article does it state that the Bab was the Hidden Imam, but that he claimed to be, and even further the article states clearly that there were different interpretations of that claim over time. Your interpretation of humiliation and contradiction, is someone else's proof, just as some people accepted Jesus and others did not. If you want a statement that most of the Ulema's did not accept the Bab's claim, that is a valid concern and that should be in the article, but it is not Wikipedia's place to prove anything. Furthermore, note that as per Wikipedia policy, polemical sources cannot be used. -- Jeff3000 02:19, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The Hadith are explicit in describing the coming of the Mahdi. He would come from Khurasan under black banners (flags). The Bab did not meet that requirement. The Hadith is explicit. The Mahdi would have to be proficient in Arabic (the Bab employed questionable Arabic, and I know it was a second language). The Baha'i faith spread so much because the Baha'is sent people to all corners of the globe to later make that claim. The doubts which exist around the Bab should be heard in this article. I am not speaking as to whether it is truth or not. Put it in the article with the caveat that Baha'is do not hold it to be true, and that it is a 'minority opinion'. But it needs to be in the article. I am not here to debate whether the Bab was a charalatan, I am saying that legitimate history needs to be placed in the article regardless of how it makes Baha'is look or feel. Altrafton 02:24, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

These are all intepretations and can be symbolic or otherwise. For example, for the black banner, Baha'is believe that that prophecy was done at the Battle of Shaykh Tabarsi. The proofs that Baha'is believe make the Bab's claim valid are not in this article, because it's not the place of Wikipedia to prove these things, and likewise the things that some Muslims make the Bab's claim not valid similarly have no place in this article. -- Jeff3000 02:29, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Ok this may be a digression but he still did not come from Khurasan. I get the message, criticism of the Bab or anything regarding the unflattering history of Babism and its offshoot Baha'ism will not be tolerated. If we could just get that out in the open this would go smoother. The fact that the editors of this article have the uncanny ability to manipulate everything to prove the undeniable legitimacy of the Bab despite all evidence to the contrary is astonishing. I don't care to expose the Bab as this or that. I simply want the following: To include the opinion (with the caveat it is not the most popular opinion and that Baha'is reject this) that he recanted, and that he failed in his own claims. That way people can see the criticism and rationalize it however they please.Altrafton 02:39, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

For God's sake, even the Holocaust article has Holocaust denial as a section. Can there be a more ridiculous minority? Altrafton 02:42, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

You are quite right that there should be discussion of the trial and of the claim that he wrote a recantation document. Paul B 02:45, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Personal opinions have no place in Wikipedia. The article states the facts; that the Bab claimed to be someone, with different claims at different times, and that a lot of people didn't accept his claim. If you want to include that he recanted, write the sentence that you want to include, with the sources, and include in the article, and take this forward. -- Jeff3000 02:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I will put the proposed section here and let someone else determine final content and place it where they see fit. I feel that is more than fair. Altrafton 02:56, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Section entitled: The Bab Recants.

There have been claims (however not validated beyond doubt) that the Bab had recanted after his trial in Shiraz. The ‘confession’ to be found in the Persian sources is as follows:

“The repentance of an incorrigible apostate is not accepted, and the only thing which has caused the postponement of thy [The Bab] execution is a doubt about as to thy sanity of mind.” {Abbas Amanat, “The Final Break” Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1989, p. 391}

“Exemplary chastisement… [The Bab] apologized, recanted, and repented of and asked pardon for his errors, giving a sealed undertaking that henceforth he would not commit such faults.” {Abbas Amanat, “The Final Break” Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1989, p. 392}

Both of these documents were unsigned, for whatever reason, this lends credibility to those who doubt the legitimacy of the Bab’s recantation.

Is this acceptable to all? I am open to suggestions and will let the previous editors place it wherever they wish in the article. Altrafton 03:06, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I have included a paragraph on the Bab's trial, and it includes both of the above references (except for the second one, I went back to the original reference, Browne's book. -- Jeff3000 03:53, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

If you had gone back to the original, you should have noted that the letter "seemed to have been writen in the handwriting of Ali Muhammad Shirzai [ie the Bab]" I am still doing some research, I will not make any changes until I have finished this task and have run the text by the editors. Thank you for pointing out the above claims, I missed them in the text of the article. Altrafton 04:09, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Asked and answered by Amanat, Al. This letter was of a different tone and style of anything else the Bab ever wrote. MARussellPESE 14:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
That is not a legitimate answer. Do all unbiassed authorities agree that the letter is spurious? If so we may say so. Are there reliable sources which accept the legitimacy of the letter, or are at least prepared to entain the possibility? On the face of it MacEoin seems to take the latter view. Paul B 14:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

It is most certainly a "legitimate" answer. It's Amanat's considered opinion.

If you dig into Browne's depiction of the letter, as cited by MacEoin, you'll see that Browne describes his copy of this document as:

"The second document, unsigned and undated, is apparently in the Báb's handwriting and consists of a complete recantation and renunciation of any superhuman claim which he may have advanced or have appeared to advance. There is nothing to show to whom it is addressed, or whether it is the recantation referred to in the last paragraph of the preceding document or another." (Materials, p. 256)

MacEoin goes no further than Browne in asserting that this is in fact the Bab's handiwork:

"We also possess a document, supposedly written shortly after this arraignment, and apparently in the Bab's handwriting, in which the young prophet recants any claim to a divine mission." ("The Trial of the Bab")

Amír Aslán Khán's account, presented by Browne, is as close to the "official" government account as one gets from the period:

"When the discussion was concluded, His Reverence the Shaykhu'l-Islám was summoned, who had the Báb beaten and inflicted on him an exemplary chastisement, so that he apologized, recanted, and repented of and asked pardon for his errors, giving a sealed undertaking that henceforth he would not commit such faults." (Materials, p. 255)

Where is this "sealed undertaking"? It is most likely the unsealed, unsigned, document noted above. While the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence (and certainly "apparently in the handwriting of" in absense of evidence), there is some very telling evidence to the contrary of a recantation.

The British Doctor who examined the Bab after his bastinadoing, MacEoin notes in Browne, leaves the firm impression that he had not recanted:

[He] "replied that he had no doubt of all Europeans coming over to his religion." (Materials, pp. 260-262)

Then there is the entire matter of why he would be put to death after he had delivered and signed, sealed and delivered recantation. This would be totally unnecessary. Keeping him alive to use him to discredit his sect would have been most effective. Having the Bab riding donkeys backwards throughout the realm would have stifled this group within weeks. This is something Amanat points out:

"Amanat's account is perceptive, drawing particular attention to the conflicting aims of the government (who wanted to humiliate the Bab, but to avoid a death sentence that might have aroused resentment among the populace at a time when the prophet was enjoying considerable popularity) and the 'ulama (many of whom wanted to put the apostate to death)." ("The Trial of the Bab")

The State would have seized any definite recantation to further it's ends. They even went so far as to claim that they had one (see above). However, the ulema forged ahead and ordered his death. We have this from Browne:

"The third document, likewise undated, is addressed to Sayyid `Á'lí Muhammad the Báb, and contains the fatwá or ecclesiastical sentence of the `ulamá, by two of whom, Abu'l-Qásim al- Hasaní al- Husayní and `Á'lí Asghar al- Hasaní al-Husayní, it is formally sealed.
"Sayyid `Á'lí Muhammad-i-Shírází:
"In the Imperial Banquet-hall and August Assembly of His Highness the Crown Prince of the undeclining Empire [of Persia], (may God aid, support and strengthen him!) and of a number of learned doctors, thou didst admit certain matters each one of which separately implied thy apostasy and justified thy death. The repentance of an incorrigible apostate is not accepted, and the only thing which has caused the postponement of thy execution is a doubt as to thy sanity of mind. Should this doubt be removed, the sentence of an incorrigible apostate would without hesitation be executed upon thee."
Sealed by (Abu'l Qásim al-Hasaní al- Husayní) (`Á'lí Asghar al-Hasaní al-Husayní)"
(Materials, pp. 258-259)

The ulema determined that he had apostasized Islam. Execution would hardly be necessary, even possible, if the Bab had, in fact, recanted. Not only would this have violated Islamic law, it would have put them directly at odds with the State.

As an aside, Al, there is no objection to adding material to Babi/Baha'i articles provided that they meet WP:V, WP:RS, WP:Undue weight and aren't WP:OR or WP:NOT. It'd be nice if they were true, too. MARussellPESE 16:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

"It'd be nice if they were true." The fact also remains that the Bab stood upon the minbar at a Friday prayer in Shiraz and publicly (however cryptically) recanted. This has been documented as well. I can see however that the undeniable status of the Bab as some sort of 'Prophet' for the Baha'is is not going away. The comment has been made that the Bab spent to much time upon the roof in Bushehr (making gestures and incantations at the midday sun), perhaps that is not too distant from the truth. The man, frankly could not take a consistent position. He denounced as disbelievers all who did not join his movement and condemned them to death. When informed of his faulty Arabic he retorted "I have been sent by God to liberate Arabic from needless grammatical rules" (He completely freed himself from grammatical obligations in his Arabic Bayan). He constantly shifted his position when confronted. For that reason it seems likely that he would recant (all evidence to the side). The Bab failed to write a tafseer of surat al-Yusuf prior to his proclamation (to fulfill the requirements) so he conveniently did so after being informed it was in fact a requirement. If I were prone to believe all propaganda about the Bab I would certainly be trying to advance the claim that he was supported and encouraged by Shaykh Issa Lankarani who was seen as a Russian agent (by his admission his name was actually Kimiaz Dolgorouki). I do not advance this claim. I have only advanced that the evidence of his recantation (alledged or otherwise) be given a place in the article. The fact that the Baha'i editors are rendered unobjective by their faith is what takes its toll on the discussion.

  • I think it should be noted that Altrafton is a supported of SAVAK, and is clearly exposed as an anti-Baha'i trying to convince people that the Baha'i faith is a false cult. This whole think strikes me as something that people should just WALK AWAY from. Zazaban 00:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

You will find no one who disdains the Shah and SAVAK more than myself. No one. If that is how you wish to end the discussion, then that is fine, but admit it is for reasons other than my 'support of SAVAK'. I have no issue with the Baha'i religion, nor do I wish to portray it as a cult. It is in fact a legitimate religion, the origins need to be described honestly. I would you would not escape with a ridiculous ad hominem "He likes SAVAK, Run". Altrafton 00:50, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Altrafton, I have yet to see you present a single reliable or verifiable source in support of any claim you've raised here or elsewhere. Sure, you have repeatedly said things like "well documented", "scholars agree", etc.; however, you have not presented a single source. How hard can it be?
When you ignore the other side's argument, assert that they are blinded by propaganda; but they use sources that are at best neutral, if not outright hostile, to carry the argument, that's not making an argument: it's being argumentative.
I'm sorry. I know that making a series of unsupported claims passes for logic in some quarters, but not here. There's nothing to discuss until there's an argument on the table to analyze. MARussellPESE 04:11, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

We seem to be approaching a growingly similar topic on two pages. The evidence: See Encyclopedia of Islam, Nuqtavis, the author (Dr. Hamid Algar) mentions the themes which remain in the thought of the Bab. If you were to bother yourself with reading the Arabic Bayan perhaps you would chance upon one of the many instances of the Bab espousing Nuqtavi and Hurufi doctrines (they are hard to miss occurring every other sentence). I will list the page numbers for you and the line in which it appears. I will give you the scholars who make the link (and the sources which they cite if you trouble yourself with Persian). Simply because you are either limited in ability or work ethic doesn't mean that this is untrue. Look at what I am asking, I even concede to putting on a different page. I came here to ask for imput, I came here to consult (and confront) these editors with what I have. If you refuse to look at the sources than tell me they are untrue because a Muslim or Iranian wrote them, that is the failure of logic. Sources Bektachiyya Journal (Published, Istanbul) (see also Golinparlu) Encyclopedia of Islam (Nuqtavis and Hurufis) Encyclopedia Iranica (Nuqtavis and Hurufis) The Arabic Bayan The Kitab-i Iqan. The Venture of Islam Vols. I and II The Final Break, Abbas Amanat. That should provide a few minutes of reading. If you fail to understand the link there is no hope. Altrafton 05:11, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Al, you need to review Wikipedia's policy on no personal attacks. I can't refuse to look at some source when you haven't provided them. Forgive me, but I don't have the Encyclopeadia of Islam on my bookshelf. Do you have a link?
And near as I can tell, from your paraphrase, Algar only says that these two share themes: a far cry from clear intellectual linkage. This sounds a lot like WP:OR. MARussellPESE 04:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I've added a section on his writings, which mention similarity to various different Shia denominations. -- Jeff3000 03:51, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Jeff, can we keep the citations consolidated please. I think it's overdone to have the same footnote called out in several successive sentences. MARussellPESE 04:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if the Encyclopedia of Islam has an online version, I will take a look. Altrafton 05:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Also the addition you made was well written, with respect to objectivity and historical accuracy, my compliments. I hate to be a bother but the 'Prophetic cycles' of which you wrote are echoes of the Nuqtavi doctrine which states that the total life of the earth is 64,000 years divided into four sections of 16,000 years which in turn are divided into two sections of 8,000 years, one being an Arab epoch and the other a Persian epoch. Mahmoud Pasikhani believed he was ushering in a Persian epoch (Encyclopedia of Islam, Nuqtavi, 1994 p. 115) This is in turn an echo of The Isma'ili theme of cyclical time and periods of renewal (ie prophetic renewal as such) {Hodgson, The Venture of Islam Vol. I p. 381- This may be to distant of a theme to include however considering that it requires and intermediary to establish filiation}. Also the Hurufis expounded a 'rising curve of revelation' {Hodgson, The Venture of Islam Vol. II p. 496}. I would say that this is echoed by the Bab. Thank you for the changes, it was well done. Altrafton 05:29, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Kudos to Jeff3000.
There are not a few similarities with some Sufi thought. Seeing where these shared themes are would be of interest. (Although I'm not sure they'd belong in a lead article. WP tries to keep articles manageable.) There are significant differences too. (See Note 10, p. 40, in the Seven Valleys [19].)
We need to be very careful and not extend "shared themes" all the way to "direct influence". Your initial comment over on the Baha'i talk page was: "A direct intellectual line can be traced from Baha'ism back to the Isma'ili heretical movement." That's a very expansive statement. WP addresses such things well in WP:RS.
And, I think I have an on-line source that seems on-point with respect to Baha'u'llah: M. Salim McCarron's "The Baha'i & Sufi Symbolic Cosmology" [20]. This discussion seems to detail very specific correlations between Sufi and some Ismaili concepts and jargon, and both the Bab and Baha'u'llah. Interestingly, all of Baha'u'llah's works that the author uses in his analysis are directed at Sufi audiences. He relies heavily on reading The Seven Valleys, which was written to a prominent Sufi of the time. McCarron also disects Baha'u'llah's Seven Valleys in detail here: "The Innefable in Context: A Study of Sufi Symbols in the Haft Vadi" (The Seven Valleys). I'd point out that the author does not rely on really significant works like the Kitab-i-Iqan as a source for Sufi symbolism.
It would be perfectly natural that Baha'u'llah's writing to a Sufi should be accessible to Sufi thinking. Similar things could be said about the Bab's. (Not being familiar with the specific texts cited as having similarities, I can't say for sure here.) But, there is a big step between correspondence clearly intended to be accessible to a particular audience, and a "direct intellectual line." Here I'd reiterate that Baha'i foundational texts, not written to Sufis directly, don't contain Sufi jargon and themes.
Second, McCarron points out that there is a fundamental difference between Sufis and Baha'is: "The difference lies chiefly in the understanding that there are distinct spheres in Baha'i thought compared with the unity-of-existence espoused by the Wahdat al-Wujudi sufis, such as al-Jami, the Bahai are exponents of the doctrine of Wahdat al-Shuhud, meaning that the mystic never achieves substantial union with the Divinity." ("Symbolic Cosmology") With these kinds of really fundamental differences, there is a distinct problem with drawing a direct line of influence. MARussellPESE 23:01, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Leave it out. It would only merit a mention as correspondent themes. To list every correspondent theme every where would open a paradoxical wild goose hunt. The article has been benefited, time to call it a day. Good work. Altrafton 00:13, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, "shared themes" does not neccessarily imply "direct influence." Baha'u'llah talked to Sufis using themes familiar to Sufis. He wrote to Zoroastrians in pure Persian. He wrote the Most Holy Tablet using Christian terminology. Anyone familiar with persian literature will realize the connection between the Seven Valleys and Attar's The Conference of the Birds:
"The birds must cross seven valleys in order to find the Simorgh: Talab (Quest), Ishq (Love), Marifat (Gnosis), Istighnah (Independence), Tawheed (Unity of God), Hayrat (Wonder) and, finally, Fuqur and Fana (Selflessness and Oblivion in God). These represent the stations that a Sufi or any individual must pass through to realize the true nature of God."
However, just because Baha'u'llah used this familiar theme of search and movement towards God does not mean he was being unoriginal in the content. He uses familiar themes, stories and terminology as an educational vehicle. BTW, I recommend that Baha'is and those studying the Baha'i Faith read this work by Attar. - Parsa 05:22, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Sections on Writings and Teachings

I just completed a two-day overhaul of the article and hope that the results are generally better. I have corrected misspellings, standardized punctuation according to American editing conventions (commas and periods inside closed quotation marks, for example) and tried to make the writing clearer. I have added dates just about everywhere I could. The section on "writings" was moved to "teachings" because that was basically what it was about and a new section on "Writings" was composed. It is basically a summary from Denis MacEoin's book with material from other sources, written by me over ten years ago as class notes and occasionally refined. The teachings section still needs a lot of work and if no one objects, I may make a new start on it. I would like to domore to this article, but since there is a long editing history, I have not disturbed some sections as much as I would like. If you have questions wh I changed something, plesase ask.

RHStockman 17:07, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I have added {{Fact}} notices to the parts of the new text that need references. They will probably be found in MacEoin's book but they need to be documented here. As well I have uncapitlizated the pronouns, and used more neutral writing; written instead of revealed, etc. -- Jeff3000 20:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll have access to MacEoin's book next week at the office and will add references. Almost all the marked material is indeed from MacEoin, but my notes did not include page numbers. - RHStockman 12:41, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I have now fixed the citations, as I have access to the main sources in the office. There are still a few "revealed" terms in the text, though. If I get the chance, I'll revise the section on the Bab's teachings.


The reason for the page Execution of the Bab, was that a previous editor felt (Masarra see above) that instead of all the long quotes, the different views could be summarized succinctly, as it is now presented, and the quotes could be moved to another page as per summary style. I don't really have a strong opinion one way or the other, but long quotes do take away from having an easy read. -- Jeff3000 00:54, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

The Neutrality of this article is disputed

This whole article is a largely Bahai propaganda rehearsal and thus ahistorical. Its neutrality is hereby disputed. It has also been reported here 12:15, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Congratulations. Do you have any useful suggestions? Paul B

Absolutely, I do. First, all Baha'is go away! Thamarih 12:25, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

If you have nothing more useful to say your tag will simply be removed. Paul B 12:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I've struck the {{npov}} tag, and the one on Azali. All of this article's sources are either the products of historians or direct personal accounts.All but one of the sources used in this article are non-Baha'i; and several are critical — even hostile to that religion.
The Baha'i editors have gone out of their way to avoid using Baha'i sources in this and other Babi & Azali articles. The accusation thtat his is a Baha'i spin-job just doesn't carry water. MARussellPESE 19:50, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Nonsense. And this is coming from one of the known sock-puppets of the Bahai administration Thamarih 02:47, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Please, don't go around calling people sock-puppets. Especially when you're suspected to be one yourself. Zazaban 03:25, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
As I mentioned previously on another talk page, if you have specific concerns, bring them up on the talk page and we'll see what the various reliable sources state. Making sweeping statements does nothing. Most of this article is sourced by MacEoin and Amanat, both of which have been quite critical to the Baha'i religion. Regards, -- Jeff3000 03:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View is a key policy of Wikipedia. From the policy page it states:

"The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting verifiable perspectives on a topic as evidenced by reliable sources."

The policy often means presenting multiple points of view with the important qualification of undue weight which states:

"Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and may not include tiny-minority views at all."

Now when editors have disagreements as to what constitutes NPOV, there is a process to getting it fixed, as that is what the aim is for Wikipedia to present. One technique is to put the {{npov}} tag, and then explain the specific reasons on the talk page:

"Note that the templates that can be used for NPOV concerns generally suppose that the suspected NPOV problem is explained on the article's or category's talk page."

Without having the specific statements on what is problematic and how it can be improved with veriable statesments in reliable sources with the condition of undue weight, the tag serves no purpose in improving the article. So Thamarih, as I've asked before, please bring your specific concerns here with sources that back them up so that they can incorporated into the article. Unless specific concerns are not brought up, the tag will be removed. Regards, -- Jeff3000 23:04, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

This article verbatim articulates the propaganda ahistorical falsifications of Bahai narratives so as such its neutrality is disputed. Simple as that. The concerns have already been voiced in the discussion pages for Azali and Subh-i-Azal Remove the tags at your peril. These articles have also been reported to what is fast becoming the ombudsman of the sort spin and propaganda wikipedia is being utilized for by bigger organizations Thamarih 03:31, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but your statements just don't pass water. Virtually all the sources are from MacEoin and others who are critical of the Baha'i religion. Please provide specific concerns. Regards, -- Jeff3000 03:42, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll assume good faith and ask you once again to bring about specific concerns that you have and bring reliable sources which show something that is against the views in this article, and then we can put them in if they pass all the Wikipedia policies. Making sweeping statements without proof is not the way things work. Regards, -- Jeff3000 03:45, 20 September 2007 (UTC)