The belief in the revelation of a redeemer has existed at different ages through the history. The Divine and Holy prophets, as the Messengers of Allah, have been the harbingers of monotheism and justice all around the world. They have borne the good news of the establishment of the global government by the just leader of humanity who will rid the world and protect it from sedition and injustices. Bearing these tidings of the future of the world has been among the most important ordained duties of the prophets.
Right from the beginning, there has been a form of enmity and hostility to the holy belief of Mahdiism. The prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his household) introduced Mahdi (a.s.) as the one who will establish the global government and take charge of the affairs of the world, the one who will rid the world of sedition and fill it with justice and equity.
About 170 years ago, the opposition against the promised Qa’em (Mahdi) manifested itself in the beliefs of a misled group called Babi (later Baha’i) in Iran. This article will highlight the rise of this movement.
In the early years of the 18th century, “Shaikh Ahmad Ahsaei” in Karbala (Iraq), claimed that he was in direct contact with Imam Mahdi (a.s.). His claim laid the grounds for the rise of a new sect called “Shaykhi”. Shaikh Ahmad’s successor, “Sayyed Kazim Rashti” extended this claim and disseminated it among the public. The dissemination coincided with Iran’s wars with Russia and its repeated defeats which laid the grounds for public despair and frustration. Ultimately it led some people, in their search for salvation from sedition, to follow the Shaykhi teachings. They claimed to communicate directly with Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and this caused a feeling of hope and expectancy in the public, and hence the leaders of the Shaykhi reaped the benefits of this situation. Although they pretended to agree with Shi’a beliefs, and believed in the prophet of Islam as the seal of prophets, and accepted Imam Mahdi as the promised Qa’em, but they prepared the circumstances for the coming of the Babi group, which later on became a source of sedition in Iran.
Babi dispensation by Mirza Ali Mohammad Shirazi(surnamed Bab)
Ali Mohammad Shirazi was born in Shiraz (South Iran) in 1819 .His father was Mirza Reza cloth seller there. He went to old fashioned primary school when he was five years old. His teacher was among the followers of Shaikh Ahmad and taught him the preliminary lessons.
Bab went to Bushehr when he was young and engaged in commerce. After a while, he went to Karbala and lived there for a short time, where he became one of Sayyed Kazim-i-Rashti’s followers.
Sayyed Kazim did not appoint a successor for himself, the so-called “fourth pillar of faith” or the intermediary between the public and Imam Mahdi (a.s.), and thus his death divided his followers. One of these searching for a new successor was “Mulla Hussein-i-Boshrui” who went to Shiraz to meet “Mirza Ali Mohammad Shirazi” who was his classmate in Karbala. Mirza, a young Shaikh from Shiraz, claimed to be the fourth pillar of faith and called himself Bab or gate of Qa’em(Mahdi(
This obvious novelty caused an uproar and disorder in Shiraz. It was clear that Bab had orchestrated this novelty so they recalled him and Bab retracted his claim when he was slapped in the face and accordingly said:
Damn to the men who call me as the attorney of the Hidden Imam.Damn to the men who suppose me as the denier of Imamate of Amir-Al Momenin Ali (a.s.) and other Imams. Damn be to the men who called me the Bab of Imam.
After this confession, he secretly remained in contact with his followers. These contacts continued until a widespread Cholera outbreak in Shiraz, and as anarchy prevailed, at an opportune moment Bab fled Shiraz for Isfahan (Center of Iran).
A Mysterious Countenance
“Manouchehr Khan Motamed-Al Dovle Gorji” was the Armenian governor of Isfahan with some secret contacts withthe Czar Russian Government. He was irreligious and had a secretive personality. He persuaded Isfahan’s Friday Prayers Chief Mullah to send his brother to welcome Bab when he arrived in Isfahan. His obvious support resulted in public some complaints against him. The Iran central government ordered Manouchehr Khan to send Bab, under guard, to the capital but surprisingly, he disobeyed the order and hid Bab in the Sun palace, and married him to a beautiful girl!
Bab enjoyed life during that period, but his luck soon ran out when the governor of Isfahan died, his hidden residence in the Sun palace was revealed and the governor’s successor had to send him to Tehran. Halfway to Tehran, they received an order from capital to conduct Bab and imprison him in Maku (North West of Iran) and then in Chehrigh there.
Dispersion of sedition
Mirza Ali Mohammad manifested his claim as Bab in 1844 and continued until 1848. In that year, a group of his followers gathered in Badasht(North Iran ) which was a plain of a pleasant climate to decide the future. The main director of the meeting was one of Bab’s young followers called “Mirza Hussein Ali Noori Mazandarani”. After much deliberation they finally decided to proclaim the abrogation of Islam. They believed that the age of Islam had come to an end.
After this incident, Bab made a new proclamation as the Qa’em. Then he said:
“I am the right Qa’em whom you have been promised to his appearance!”
Later Bab stepped beyond his limit once again and claimed Prophet-hood. He brought a new religion and a new book which he called Bayan. Later, as he approached the end of his life, he claimed divinity in his ‘tablet of Heikal-Al Din’.
Repentance; the eternal shame
After the incidents of Badasht, and during the succession of Naser-al Din Mirza, Bab was recalled from Chehriq. In Tabriz a meeting was organized, in which the successors’ aides, some advisors, and some clerics attended. At this meeting Bab repented and renounced his claims .They did not order his execution as Bab was considered as a mad man.
But during the succession of Amir Kabir, Bab and his followers engineered some civil disturbances and uprisings, which were dealt with decisively by Amir Kabir. Bab was tried in court and later executed in 1850.
Mirza Hussein Ali Noori Mazandarani (Bahaullah)
After Bab’s death, and according to his testament, Mirza Yahya(Mirza Hussein’s brother ) who was called Sobh-i Azal was introduced as his successor. He was 19 years old and he was an inexperienced and timid young man who could not cope with Baha’i affairs and his older brother practically took charge of Babis affairs. His name was Hussein Ali who was among the main directors of the Badasht incidents.
Hussein Ali was born in Tehran, in 1817. His father, Mirza Abbas, was a clerk in the King Mohammad Qajar court. Amir Kabir who was a clever premier, realized the danger posed by the Babis, and believed Hussein Ali was the main planner of the recent riots and acts of sedition. Therefore, he publically stated that Hussein Ali had inflicted great losses on the country’s treasury. Later on, he issued the order to exile Hussein Ali to Iraq.
Hussein Ali was exiled to Iraq which was under Ottoman colonial rule. But unfortunately when Amir Kabir was discharged from chancellorship, he returned to Iran and immediately with the aid of his followers, made an unsuccessful terror attempt on the life of King Nasser-Al Din.
After the failed assassination attempt, all those involved were arrested and executed except Baha’u’llah who asked for asylum at the Russian embassy.
Due to the generous Russian support, the King was compelled to simply exile Bahaullah
The beginning of division
In the aftermath of the failed assassination of King Naser-L Din, Mirza Yahya (Azal) fled to Iraq in disguise and was joined by Bab’s followers. By order of the Ottoman government, Bab’s followers were exiled to Istanbul in 1280A.H. for their obscene behavior at the holy cities.
According to the Baha’is, at the beginning of this journey and upon earlier rumors, Hussein Ali proclaimed himself as “the one who was revealed by God”; the Promised One whose appearance had been foretold by Bab.
Hussein Ali had begun to spread rumors of his Prophet-hood in Baghdad in the spring of 1280 A.H. and he made these claims public in Istanbul.
Four months later, Bab’s followers were recalled from the Ottoman capital to Adriano and from then on they became divided.
A group of Bab’s followers believed Sobh-i Azal to be Bab’s successor so they were called Azali.
The other group considered Mirza Hussein Ali as Bab’s successor and they were called Baha’i.
The end of Hussein Ali’s life
As the confrontation between the two brothers and their followers reached critical proportions, the Ottoman government was forced to intervene to separate them.
They sent Azal and his followers to Magusti in Cyprus and Baha and his followers to Akka castle in Palestine.
Mirza Hussein Ali (Bahaullah) also died in Akka in 1309 A.H.
Baha’is are not supposed to indulge in politics but the Universal House of Justice does!!!
Baha’u’llah has repeatedly warned the Baha’i not to indulge in politics
Baha’u’llah addressing His followers wrote: “Forbear ye from concerning yourselves with the affairs of this world and all that pertained unto it, or from meddling with the activities of those who are its outward leaders. The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath bestowed the government of the earth upon the kings. To none is given the right to act in any manner that would run counter to the considered views of them who are in authority.”
)Gleanings from the writings of Baha’u’llah p. 241(
The Blessed Beauty hath even prohibited the believers from discussing political affairs.
Here we come across the activities of the universal house of justice exactly contrary to what Baha’u’llah, said and practiced:
The visit of different politician to the World Centre
“Official visits to the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa were made by the representatives of the Governments of Brazil, Egypt, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, India, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Spain, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. A delegation from the European Parliament was received, as were visitors from the World Council of Faiths, the World Affairs Council, and Rotary International.
)Baha’i World Volume 16, Page 60(
“During the month that followed most of the governments of the world, including those responsible for the administration of significant territories and islands, had received the Statement. The presence in the Haifa/’Akka area of the World Centre of the Faith made it possible for two members of the Universal House of Justice to join officers of the Baha’i International Community in calling on Mr. Chaim Herzog, President of Israel for the presentation that took place on 4 December. By Ridvan 1986 a total of 138 such presentations had occurred. Of these, 62 had been made in meetings between Baha’i delegations and the responsible Head of State, 42 through meetings with representatives of a Head of State, and 21 through the United Nations missions of the countries concerned through the intermediary of the Baha’i International Community. Through force of circumstance 13 were dispatched by mail.”
)Baha’i World Volume 16, Page 335)
The Baha’i should know that: “sovereign remedy” lies in turning and submitting to the “skilled,” the “all- powerful,” and “inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error.”
)World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 39-40(
Had the UHJ being a true UHJ as prophesized by Baha’u’llah it would have acted on the sayings of Baha’u’llah thereby attracted the multitudes to the radiance of His glorious Faith, and enable them to warm their hearts and ignite their souls with the flames of that undying Fire which “blazeth and rageth in the world of creation.”
It is apparent that the Universal House of Justice is far from what was dreamt of by Baha’u’llah. It lacks the requisite standing .authority and legitimacy. The so called House of Justice situated at Haifa, Israel is deprived of any validity.