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Baha'i Communities of Iran 1851 to 1912, Vol. 2: The South of Iran

Author: Dr. Moojan Momen
Product Code: BCI2
ISBN: 978-0-85398-630-0
Publisher: George Ronald
Availability: In stock

The early histories of all the Baha’i communities of southern Iran are narrated here for the first time.

Drawing on original sources including manuscript histories, letters, family records and material previously published only in Persian, Dr Moojan Momen provides a panoramic yet detailed account of the largest and the smallest Baha’i communities during the period 1851 to 1921. During this time they acquired characteristics that differentiated them from the rest of the population – their ethos and outlook, their system of administration and social institutions – and the persecution they faced as a result.

The study of the religious minorities in Iran is still at an early stage. In particular, the Baha’i community has received relatively little attention, despite being the largest non-Muslim minority in Iran. Moojan Momen sets out to remedy this situation. Using a narrative style, he presents an account of the Baha’i communities in the southern half of Iran, province by province, during the early years of their formation and development. The starting point is the execution of the Bab in 1850 and the holocaust of 1852 when the shah gave orders for the extermination of the Babi community and thousands of Babis were killed. Set against the background of the turmoil in the social and economic conditions in Iran, the book stretches across the period of the leadership of the Baha’i community by Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

The book traces the developments in the Iranian Baha’i community as it emerged from the Babi community and, under the guidance of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha, became less parochial and more global in its outlook, seeking education and raising the position of women in its local communities. By the period of the leadership of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, these communities were making a notable difference, with the establishment of modern schools, the promotion of the education and social role of women, the development of health facilities and the building of modern public baths. In all these areas the Baha’is were at the forefront of modernity and development in Iran. However, each upsurge in the activities of the Baha’i community resulted in an upsurge of persecution.

This book is an important contribution to the knowledge of the early days of the Baha’i Faith, the development of the largest non-Muslim minority in Iran and the emergence of modernity in the Middle East.


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