Central to this study is the pioneering character of the Baha’i community in the late 19th and early 20th century, with chapters examining the role of women in the Baha’i community; the impact of Baha’i-run schools on Iranian society, Baha’i contributions to public health initiatives; and the influence of Baha’i thought and the actions of individual Baha’is on the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911.
Conversion to the Baha’i Faith is another important theme, as contributors investigate the phenomenon of large scale conversion to the Baha’i Faith from the Jewish and Zoroastrian communities.
Finally, although persecution of the Baha’is has drawn the attention of the Western media, until now few scholars working in the field of Iranian studies have chosen to write on the history or details of this persecution. Here, five prominent figures in the field redress this balance and look at different aspects of this persecution, including its historical background, the attitude of secular Iranians, persecution before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and human rights perspectives.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Iranian studies, Middle Eastern studies and comparative religion, and with many chapters authored by leading academics in Iranian studies, The Baha’is of Iran addresses both a gap in academic literature on the Baha’i Faith, and in the study of modern Iran in general.
Dominic Parviz Brookshaw is Lecturer in Persian Studies and Iranian Literature at the University of Manchester.
Dr Seena B Fazel is Clinical Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and an honorary Consultant Psychiatrist.
'All the men I did get to know filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face.'
So begins Firdaus's remarkable story of rebellion against a society founded on lies, hypocrisy, brutality and oppression. Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus struggles through childhood, seeking compassion and knowledge in a world which gives her little of either. As she grows up and escapes the fetters of her childhood, each new relationship teaches her a bitter but liberating truth – that the only free people are those who want nothing, fear nothing and hope for nothing.
This classic novel has been an inspiration to countless people across the world. Saadawi's searing indictment of society's brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today.
In 1844 a charismatic young Persian merchant from Shiraz, known as the Báb, electrified the Shí‘ih world by claiming to be the return of the Hidden Twelfth Imam of Islamic prophecy. But contrary to traditional expectations of apocalyptic holy war, the Báb maintained that the spiritual path was not one of force and coercion but love and compassion. The movement he founded was the precursor of the Bahá’í Faith, but until now the Báb’s own voluminous writings have been seldom studied and often misunderstood. Gate of the Heart offers the first in-depth introduction to the writings of the Báb.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the author examines the Báb’s major works in multifaceted context, explaining the unique theological system, mystical world view, and interpretive principles they embody as well as the rhetorical and symbolic uses of language through which the Báb radically transforms traditional concepts. Arguing that the Bábí movement went far beyond an attempt at an Islamic Reformation, the author explores controversial issues and offers conclusions that will compel a re-evaluation of some prevalent assumptions about the Báb’s station, claims, and laws.
Nader Saiedi’s meticulous and insightful analysis identifies the key themes, terms, and concepts that characterize each stage of the Báb’s writings, unlocking the code of the Báb’s mystical lexicon. Gate of the Heart is a subtle and profound textual study and an essential resource for anyone wishing to understand the theological foundations of the Bahá’í religion and the Báb’s significance in religious history.