The Baha’i Faith originated in 19th-century Iran as a development from Shiʻa Islam. As a new monotheistic global religion it emphasised the ‘oneness’ of God with different faiths representing different approaches to the one religion. Today the Baha’i Faith thrives with several million adherents worldwide. The central figure is Mirza Husayn ‘Ali Nuri (1817–1892), who took the title Baha’u’llah, and whose writings represent the latest revelation of the Word of God. He was preceded by Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad Shirazi (1819–1850), the Bab (‘Gate’), whom Baha’is regard as having paved the way for Baha’u’llah. Both the Bab and Baha’u’llah are termed ‘Manifestations of God’, and are viewed as intermediaries between God and humanity. Baha’u’llah was succeeded by his eldest son ‘Abbas Effendi, known as ‘Abdu’l-Baha (1844–1921) and after him by ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (1897–1957). Today a nine-man body, the Universal House of Justice, first elected in 1963, is the international governing body of the worldwide Baha’i community.
Peter Smith looks at the central features of the Baha’i Faith, including its history, and the key beliefs, organisation and world-view of the Baha’i community.
The Baha’i Faith is a scriptural religion. Dr Moojan Momen explains the Baha’i beliefs about sacred texts and prophets, the transmission and distribution of the scripture and its role in the community.
Dr Moojan Momen explores life of the founder of the Baha’i Faith, as well as the lives of his forerunner and successor. He delves into the key events concerning their beliefs and teachings and reflects on their legacy.
More on the British Library website
Postson the Asian and African Studies blog:
Endangered Archives Programme: