Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find our most Frequently Asked Questions about BÃ¡bism and Bahaâ€™ism Idea.
The idea of a Messiah rising and conquering the world to a ubiquitous justice has been present in all Abrahamic religions. In Islam, Prophet Muhammad talks about a â€˜universal kingdomâ€™, â€˜the annihilation of oppression and tyrannyâ€™ and â€˜filling the world with justice and fairnessâ€™1. In Prophet Muhammadâ€™s traditions he has introduced Imam Mahdi as the twelfth Imam and the eleventh son of Imam Ali and the ninth son of Imam Hussein which will have a long occultation2. In the past 180 years, the belief of Mahdi has been attacked by some groups. Among these groups are Bahaâ€™ism.
In the 19th century, after the wars between Iran and the Russian government, there was a low morale among the people which made the government lose its peopleâ€™s trust. People were all looking for a breakthrough.
It was then that Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsaâ€™i, who knew himself as a Muslim clergy3claimed that Islam has â€˜four pillarsâ€™, Tawhid, Nubuwwah, Imamah and the fourth pillar and claimed to be the fourth pillar himself.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsaâ€™i appointed Sayyid Kazim Rashti as his successor, he continued the claim of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsaâ€™i, though before his death he did not choose any successor for himself.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsaâ€™i
Sayyid Kazim Rashti
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsaâ€™i claimed that the fourth pillar was the intermediate between the occulted Imam (Imam Mahdi) and the people. This claim gathered attention because of the low morale of the society, since everyone was hoping that something good would happen.
Since Sayyid Kazim Rashti did not appoint any successor his disciples were all looking for a new leader, after a quarrel between his disciples, Siyyid `Ali Muhammad ShirÃ¡zi who call himself the BÃ¡b5 of Imam Mahdi â€“ by which he meant that he himself is the intermediate whom Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsaâ€™i was meant i.e. the fourth pillar â€“ came out victorious over others.
`Ali Muhammad ShirÃ¡zi (BÃ¡b)
When Mulla Hussain Boshruâ€™i was looking for the next gate, BÃ¡b brought the â€˜Tafsir-i6Surah Yusuf7â€™ as a proof for being the gate of Imam Mahdi8 in 1844. Mulla Hussain Boshruâ€™i went and spread the claim of BÃ¡b to other people.
After one of BÃ¡bâ€™s disciples added a sentence to Azan9 on BÃ¡bâ€™s order, the governor of Shiraz summoned BÃ¡b and once being slapped his face, he desisted from his initial claim and said:
Curse against anyone who knows me as the deputy of the occulted Imam. Curse anyone who knows me as the gate of Imam Mahdiâ€¦ Curse anyone who thinks of me as denying Amir-al-Moâ€™menin and the other Imams.10
1- The reader must bear in mind that the magnitude of a universal kingdom with justice, cannot ever be achieved without divine aid. Applying this touchstone is a great measure for diving the truth from the lies.
2- Many prophets have had occultation. Prophet Idris, Prophet Joseph, Prophet Moses, etc. For more information please refer to the great book of Shaykh al-Saduq: â€˜Kamal Al-Din wa Tamam Al-Niâ€™mahâ€™
3- His belief was as any other Shiâ€™a
7- Surah Yusuf is the 12th surah (chapter) of the Quran
8- Rahiq Makhtum, Vol. 1, Page 22 ( 1st ed.), Asrar al-Asar, Vol. 2 appendix for BÃ¡b
9- Islamic call to prayer
10- Dawnbreakers, Pages 137-141