[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Adapted from website:] Faran
[Date:] 25 Bahman 1399 [13 February 2021]
Baha’is in Iran - The Constitutional Revolution 2
The present article deals with the ideas and ideologies of the Constitutional Revolution. The Constitutional Revolution began under the leadership of the clergy and with the support of the people to overthrow the domination of the oppressive kings in the country. The ideology of the Constitutional Revolution was Islamic before it was signed by Naser al-Din Shah. The Baha’is influenced the ideology of this great social movement in line with their goals and ideals.
The Position of Baha’ism and Babism in the Ideology of the Constitutional Revolution:
The Babis were part of a group of constitutionalists who, by hanging Sheikh Fazlollah Noori, destroyed the legitimacy of the movement and created despotic intellectuals. The line of thought of the clergy, who considered that the real government belonged to the Imam of the Age, sought to establish an Islamic House of Justice. But the intellectual line was moving towards the denial of religion and westernization. Baha’ism faced religious intellectuals and legitimists for their opposition and hostility towards Shi’a thought. Babis and Baha’is preached the idea of constitutionalism, which was liberal democracy. In doing so, they would achieve two goals:
- By these means, they could use the wave of revolution and remove their biggest obstacle and opposition, namely the clergy and Shi’a belief.
- With the advent of a liberal government, they could easily propagate the ideals and ideology of their sect.
Among the group of intellectuals, the sons-in-law of Azal (one of the leaders of the Babi sect), namely Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani and Sheikh Ahmad Ruhi, were very prominent. According to Nezam Al-Islam Kermani, Mirza Agha Khan Kermani was one of the most important founders of the [non-religious] intellectuals in the history of the Iranian Awakening.
The last word:
Although Babism and Baha’ism did not appear to be active in public at the time of the Constitutional Revolution, by cooperating effectively with Western intellectuals, they succeeded in achieving their enmity with two national authorities, the government and the clergy. This worked in favour of the third authority to which the Baha’is belonged, namely British authority.
(Adapted from the book, “Baha’ism in Iran” by Dr. Seyyed Saeid Zahed Zahedani)