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Art. VI.—The Bábís of Persia. I. Sketch of their History, and Personal Experiences amongst them

  • Edward Granville Browne

My object in the present essay on the Bábís is twofold. Firstly, I desire to bring to the notice of those who are interested in the history of thought generally, and Oriental thought in particular, the results of my investigations into the doctrines, history, and circumstances of a religious body which appears to me to constitute one of the most remarkable phenomena of the present century.

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page 495 note 1 More mature consideration has made me regret having used this term, owing to its ambiguity, and the number of Bábí works to which it has been applied, as will be pointed out in my second paper.

page 506 note 1 Since writing the above, several other works bearing on the subject have come under my notice. To some of these I shall allude more fully in my next article on the Bábís. Briefly, they are as follows: Descriptions of Bábí MSS. in the St. Petersburg Library by Dorn, (Bulletin de. l'Académie Impériale de St. Pétersbourg, 18641865), and Baron V. Rosen (Collections de l'Institut Oriental); Description of three Bábí (Ezeli) MSS., by Huart, C., in the Journal Asiatique for 1887; an article on Bábíism, in the Arabic Encyclopaedia, called Dá'irattu'l-Ma'árif, published at Beyrout by Buṭrus-el-Bustání, which is based chiefly on information supplied by Jemálu'd-Din el-Afghán; and a few pages on “Báb and his teaching,” in A. von Kremer's Herrschenden Ideen des Islams.

page 517 note 1 In the article on Bábíism in the Arabic Encyclopaedia called Dá'iratu'l-Ma'árif, to which I have alluded in a previous note, it is stated that the Turkish Government “exiled Ṣubḥ-i-Ezel (‘the Morning of Eternity,’ i.e. Mírzá Yaḥyá) to the island of Cyprus, where he died; and exiled Behá to Acre, where he still lives with a number of his followers.” Within the last few weeks, rumours have reached me from Beyrout to the effect that Behá is dead, and that one of his followers named Seyyid ‘Alí, Shírází, has been chosen to fill his place. For the truth of this report, however, I cannot vouch.

page 520 note 1 Of the second and sixth of these I do not possess a copy, and of the existence of the latter I am doubtful. The other letters, as well as the Lawḥ-i-Ria'ís, not mentioned here, are fully discussed in my second paper.

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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