Babi and Baha’i Millennialism

Peter Smith and William P. Collins

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Babi and Baha’i Millennialism

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This article describes millennialism in Islam, which are exemplified by the Babi and Baha'i movements. It ensued with an Iranian youth, Sayyid Alí-Muḥammad claiming to be the intermediary between the Islamic messianic figure, the twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, believed to return to salvage man at the end time. As such he was the gate—the “Bab”—between the divine and men. Hence, it was called the Babi movement. The prophet's eventual declaration of himself as the Mahdi and his preaching of the replacement of Sha'ria and Quranic ways with alternative ways, reflected a millennial initiative into accelerating the end time so as to facilitate the manifestation of the savior. The movement was ultimately culled by the state and its members executed. It again resurfaced in Iraq under the Baha'i umbrella, restored assuming the title Bahá'u'lláh (divine glory). This strain gathered global expanse, spreading to the Americas, Eurasia, and India, indigenizing its conceptual tenets across places.

Keywords: Bbai movement; Baha'i movement; Mahdi; Bahá'u'lláh; Bab; Quranic ways

Article.  8562 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Islam

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