[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:] University of Religions and Denominations
[Date:] 22 Khordad 1389 [12 June 2010]
Holding a Defence Session For the Master’s Thesis, “Study of the Historical and Intellectual Relationship of Baha’ism and Sufism”
The defence session of Hojatoleslam Seyyed Hadi Seyyed-Vakili’s master’s thesis was held at noon on Thursday, 20 Khordad [10 June], at the University of Religions and Denominations.
In this meeting, which was attended by Dr. Kandahari as guiding professor, Dr. Seyyed Ali Mousavinejad, advisor, and Dr. Fakhari as a referee, as well as a group of lecturers and students of the University of Religions and Denominations, Seyyed Hadi Seyyed-Vakili, a student of Shiite studies, presented and defended his dissertation entitled “A Study of the Historical and Intellectual Relationship between Baha’ism and Sufism.”
Seyyed-Vakili first presented a report on the research and studies conducted on the relationship between Baha’ism and Sufism, and addressed the need to examine this issue, stating that the Baha’i sect is a kind of superficial imitation formed under the Shiite culture. He emphasized that although Baha’ism was exploited by the colonial governments, the emergence of this group also had an ideological-cultural background, which became a political party by being in the context of politics.
He went on to present his dissertation in six chapters. Referring to the historical and mystical contexts influencing the emergence of Baha’ism, he added, “Factors such as anti-science, irrationality, utopianism, discovery and intuition, as well as the unity of religions, are manifestations of mysticism in the teachings of the Baha’i sect.
At the end of his explanation, Seyyed-Vakili stated that although Baha’u’llah used Sufism as a tool, Baha’ism is not part of Sufism.
Dr. Fakhari, as a professor, called this dissertation scientific [and] practical, and pointed out that Baha’ism is a deviant sect that has collected together all the deviations in the other sects. He further emphasized that if one is exposed to mystical interpretations and justifications without considering the criteria, it will pave the way for the promotion of Baha’ism, because, unfortunately, there is a ground for deviation in our society, and the door to interpretation and simulation should not be opened.
At the end of the meeting, Dr. Mousavinejad pointed out that the Baha’is not only took advantage of Sufism but also Shiism and Mahdism. He said, “It is quite clear that each of these teachings has been confirmed and established, and Baha’ism has abused them to create itself.”
At the end of the session, the advisors, supervisors, guide and referee, after deliberation, review of the dissertation and evaluation of the student’s defence, deemed him worthy of obtaining an excellent grade with a score of 19.