In 1844, a young merchant from Shiraz called Sayyid ‘Ali-Muhammad declared himself the ‘gate’ (the Bab) to the Truth and, shortly afterwards, the initiator of a new prophetic cycle. His messianic call attracted a significant following across Iran and Iraq.
Regarded as a threat by state and religious authorities, the Babis were subject to intense persecution and the Bab himself was executed in 1850.
In this volume, leading scholars of Islam, Baha’i studies and Iranian history come together to examine the life and legacy of the Bab, from his childhood to the founding of the Baha’i faith and beyond. Among other subjects, they cover the Bab’s writings, his Qur’an commentaries, the societal conditions that underlay the Babi upheavals, the works of Babi martyr Tahirih Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, and Orientalist Edward Granville Browne’s encounters with Babi and Baha’i texts.