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Muḥammad ʿAlī Bārfurūs̲h̲ī

(345 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
Ḳuddūs , Mullā (1239-65/1824-49) outstanding leader of early Bābism [see bāb , bābīs ]. Born to a peasant family in Bārfurūs̲h̲ in Māzandarān, he pursued religious studies there and in Mas̲h̲had. In 1256/1840-1, he moved to Karbalāʾ, where he studied under Sayyid Kāẓim Ras̲h̲tī [ q.v.], head of the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ī school [ q.v.]. He was the last member of the small group of S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ī ʿulamāʾ to accept Sayyid ʿAlī Muḥammad S̲h̲īrāzī (sc. the Bāb) as Ras̲h̲tī’s successor in 1260/1844. Bārfurūs̲h̲ī accompanied S̲h̲īrāzī on a ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ journey (1844-5), was arr…


(243 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
(Ṭabarsī), Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ Mīrzā Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad Taḳī Nūrī (1254-1320/1839-1902) It̲h̲nā-ʿas̲h̲arī S̲h̲īʿī scholar and divine considered by some to have been the greatest S̲h̲īʿī exponent of ḥadīt̲h̲ and ak̲h̲bār since Muḥammad Bāḳir al-Mad̲j̲lisī (d. 1699 [ q.v.]). Ṭabrisī first studied in his home province of Nūr in northern Persia under S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Burūd̲j̲irdī, with whom he later travelled to the S̲h̲īʿī shrine centres in ʿIrāḳ. He studied in Nad̲j̲af, Karbalāʾ and Sāmarrā for several years (with intervals in Pers…

Ras̲h̲tī, Sayyid Kāẓim

(405 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
b. Ḳāsim (d. 1259/1844), the head and systematiser of the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ī school of S̲h̲īʿism after Aḥmad al-Ahsāʾī [ q.v.]. The son of a merchant, Sayyid Kāẓim was born in Ras̲h̲t [ q.v.], in northern Persia, between 1194/1784 and 1214/1799-1800. Details of his early life are sparse and contradictory. Educated in Ras̲h̲t, he underwent mystical experiences and, somewhere between his mid-teens and early twenties (between 1809 and 1814?), became a pupil of al-Aḥsāʾī, then living in Yazd. He also studied under and received id̲j̲āzāt from other mud̲j̲tahids . The Sayyid soon came to hold …

Muḥammad ʿAlī Ḥud̲j̲d̲j̲at-i Zand̲j̲ānī

(435 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, Mullā (1227-67/1812-51), leading exponent of Bābism in Zand̲j̲ān, and chief protagonist of the Bābī uprising there. Born in Zand̲j̲ān to a clerical family, he studied in Nad̲j̲af, but on his father’s death returned to take his place. He soon acquired a reputation for a puritan implementation of the s̲h̲arīʿa and for his introduction of religious innovations, thereby incurring the disfavour of the clerical establishment. The circumstances of his conversion to Bābism around 1260/1844 are unclear, but his connection with the sect intensified his role as an ind…


(1,334 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
(a.), pl. maẓāhir , literally “place of outward appearance”, hence “manifestation, theophany”, a technical term used in a wide variety of contexts in ąīʿism, Ṣūfism, Bābism, and, in particular, Bahāʾism, where it is of central theological importance. At its broadest, the term may be applied to any visible appearance or expression of an invisible reality, reflecting the popular contrast between ẓāhir and bāṭin . In its more limited application, however, it refers to a type of theophany in which the divinity or its attributes are made vi…

Mas̲h̲riḳ al-Ad̲h̲kār

(388 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, a term used in the Bahāʾī movement for four related concepts: 1. In Iran (loosely) to describe early morning gatherings for reading of prayers and sacred writings. 2. Generally of any house erected for the purpose of prayer. 3. Most widely, to refer to Bahāʾī temples ( maʿbad ) or “houses of worship”, of which six have been built on a continental basis. The earliest was constructed in As̲h̲kābād, Russian Central Asia by the expatriate Iranian Bahāʾī community there (begun 1902; completed ¶ 1920; damaged by earthquake 1948; demolished 1963). The others are: Wilmette, Illinois…

Sarkār Āḳā

(222 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
(p.), a term used for a number of heterodox religious leaders within the broad S̲h̲īʿī tradition. It appears to have originated in the 19th century, possibly in recognition of links between the title’s bearers and the Ḳād̲j̲ār court. The title (meaning something like “lord and chief”) was used for the first Āḳā K̲h̲ān (Ḥasan ʿAlī S̲h̲āh, 1804-81 [ q.v.] and several of his successors, as heads of the Nizārī Ismāīʿlīs (sometimes as Sarkār Āḳā K̲h̲ān); it is, however, not in current use. Leaders of the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ī branch of the Twelver S̲h̲īʿa [see s̲h̲ayk̲h̲iyya ] ha…


(608 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
(a.), lit. “foregoers”: a term occasionally applied in S̲h̲īʿism to the Prophet, Imāms, and Fāṭima in recognition of their status as preexistent beings and the first of God’s creatures to respond to the demand “Am I not your Lord?” ( a-lastu bi-rabbikum ?). The term derives primarily from Ḳurʾān, LVI, 10-11 ( wa ’l-Ṣābīḳūn al-Ṣābīḳūn ulāʾika ’l-muḳarribūn ); there are also examples of verbal usage (e.g. “how could we not be superior to the angels, since we preceded them ( sabaḳnāhum ) in knowledge of our Lord?” al-Kirmānī, Mubīn , i, 304). The S̲h̲īʿī concept o…

Mullā Ṣadrā S̲h̲īrāzī

(921 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, Ṣadr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm Ḳawāmī S̲h̲īrāzī ( ca. 979-80/1571-2 to 1050/1640), known as Mullā Ṣadrā, the leading Iranian S̲h̲īʿī philosopher of the Ṣafawid period. After elementary studies in S̲h̲īrāz, he completed his education in Iṣfahān, where his teachers included three of the chief thinkers of his day: Mīr Muḥammad Bāḳir Astarābādī (Mīr Dāmād [see al-dāmād ]), S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Bahāʾ al-Dīn ʿĀmilī [ q.v.] (S̲h̲ayk̲h̲-i-Bahāʾī), and—probably—Mīr Abu ’l-Ḳāsim Findiriskī [ q.v. in Suppl.]. Ṣadrā’s subsequent exposition of unorthodox doctrines, notably that of waḥdat al-wud̲…

Ṣubḥ-i Azal

(640 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, the sobriquet of Mīrzā Yaḥyā Nūrī ( ca. 1830-1912), founder of the Azalī sect of Bābism [ q.v.]. Yaḥyā’s father was the calligrapher and civil servant, Mīrzā ʿAbbās Nūrī (d. 1839). In Yaḥyā’s early childhood, Nurī was dismissed from his governorship and dispossessed of much of his considerable wealth and property. Yaḥyā’s mother died about 1844; by then he was living in Tehran under the tutelage of an older brother, Mīrzā Ḥusayn ʿAlī (Bahāʾ Allāh [ q.v.]). In 1844, Ḥusayn ʿAlī and Yaḥyā, then about fourteen, were among the first converts to Bābism in the capital. Four …

Naḳḍ al-Mīt̲h̲āḳ

(453 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
(a.), denotes the act of violating a religious covenant ( ʿahd or mīt̲h̲āḳ ), occasionally used in S̲h̲īʿsm and, more commonly, Bahāʾism [ q.v.], where the standard English term is “covenant-breaking”. The terms ʿahd and mīt̲h̲āḳ are Ḳurʾānic (II, 27, 63, 83; III, 81; VIII, 56; XIII, 20, ¶ 25; XVI, 91, etc.), where they refer to God’s general covenant with men or His prophets, or to specific covenants, such as that with the Banū Isrāʾīl [see mīt̲h̲āḳ ]. In S̲h̲īʾī tradition, the Prophet entered into a specific mīt̲h̲āḳ concerning the succession of ʿAlī. Each Imām in turn enters int…

S̲h̲awḳī Efendi Rabbānī

(606 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, conventional form Shoghi Effendi (b. 1 March 1897, d. 4 November 1957), head or Guardian of the Bahāʾī religion 1921-57. The great-grandson of Mīrzā Ḥusayn ʿAlī Nūrī Bahāʾ Allāh [ q.v.], the sect’s founder, Shoghi was born in Haifa, Palestine, for some time the home of his grandfather, ʿAbbās Efendi ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ [ q.v.] and later the international centre for the movement. Shoghi was educated in Haifa and at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut, after which he spent about a year at Balliol College, Oxford. In November 1921, he was recalled to Palestine on the death of ʿAbbās Efendi. In his…


(2,366 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, an important school of speculative theology within Twelver S̲h̲īʿism, influential mainly in Persia and ʿIrāḳ since the early 19th century. Although at times its leaders have been excommunicated and its doctrines condemned as heretical, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ism (also known as the Kas̲h̲fiyya) has accommodated itself fairly successfully with the majority Uṣūlī establishment and is generally regarded as a school ( mad̲h̲hab ) rather than a sect ( firḳa ). Bābism [see bāb , bābīs ] began in the 1840s as a radical development of S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ī heterodoxy. 1. Early history. The origins of S̲h̲ayk̲h̲…

Nuḳṭat al-Kāf

(404 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, an early work on the Bābī [ q.v.] movement. In 1910, E.G. Browne published a work entitled Kitáb-i Nuqṭatu ’l-Káf , a Persian history of the early Bābī movement, based on a “unique” manuscript (Suppl. persan 1071) in the Bibliothèque Nationale. This manuscript had been bought by the library in 1884, in a sale of books belonging to the late Comte de Gobineau. Authorship of the history was ascribed by the Bābī leader Ṣubḥ-i Azal [ q.v.] to Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Mīrzā D̲j̲ānī, a Kās̲h̲ānī merchant killed in 1852. Browne’s text soon became the centre of a controversy that still continues. The …

Muḥammad Ḥusayn Bus̲h̲rūʾī

(324 words)

Author(s): MacEoin, D.
, Mullā (1229-65/1814-49), the first convert to Bābism [ q.v.], and a leading figure of the movement’s early period. Born in K̲h̲urāsān to a mercantile family, he pursued religious studies in Mas̲h̲had, Tehran, Iṣfahān and Karbalāʾ, where he studied under Sayyid Kāẓim Ras̲h̲tī [ q.v.], head of the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ī school [ q.v.]. During a long residence, he acquired a private following, which gave grounds for believing he might become Ras̲h̲tī’s successor. Following the latter’s death in 1844, Bus̲h̲rūʾī left for Kirmān to interview another prospective leader, Karīm K̲h…

Ḳurrat al-ʿAyn

(903 words)

Author(s): Elwell-Sutton, L.P. | MacEoin, D.
, Fāṭima Umm Salmā , also known as D̲h̲akīya, Zarrīn-tād̲j̲, Ṭāhira (see below), Persian poetess and Bābī martyr, was born in Ḳazwīn in 1231/1814, the eldest daughter of a famous mud̲j̲tahid , Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ Mullā Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ Barag̲h̲ānī. She was educated in Ḳazwīn, and became proficient in the Islamic sciences. She was married to Mullā Muḥammad, the son of her uncle Mullā Muḥammad Taḳī, by whom she had three sons, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Ismāʿīl, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Ibrāhīm and S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Isḥāḳ, and one daughter. While staying with him in Karbalā, she j…