The Bab and the Babi Community of Iran

Edited by Fereydun Vahman

In 1844, Sayyid Ali-Muhammad of Shiraz, Iran – better known as the Bab, an Arabic word meaning door or gate – declared himself a messenger of God, announcing the beginning of a new age. At a time when many in Iran anticipated the return of the messiah of Islam, he amassed thousands of followers, even as he contradicted traditional Shi‘i beliefs by declaring his religion a new revelation, appearing after Islam and other faiths. Regarded as a threat by state and religious authorities, the Babis were subject to intense persecution for the duration of the Bab’s short ministry, which ended with his execution on 9 July 1850.

In this volume, leading scholars of Islam, Baha’i studies and Iranian history come together to offer a unique exploration of the life and legacy of the Bab, from his childhood to Baha’u’llah’s founding of the Baha’i faith and beyond.