The Bayani or Babi Faith


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OTHER NAMES: Babis, Azalis


The Primal Point identified himself with the name Bab (Gate) during the first 4 years of this manifestation. This period was known as the Babi-hood period. In the year five, the Primal Point identified himself with the name
Qaem(or 'Him Who Prevails'). The year six of the Babi faith is when the period of the Bab's declaration of divinity began (The book of Five Grades, page 11). For more details please see the Background to the religion of Bayan on the main page of

Western and Eastern historians have generally referred to the followers of the Primal Point as Babis. This also includes Bahais. While this convention may appear to be sufficient from the point of view of historians, it is however ambiguous and needs clarification: Given the description given above, those followers during the first four years ONLY were considered as Babis. From year six when the Bayan was revealed, his followers were and will be considered as Bayanis. Babi is no longer applicable as the name Bab no longer presented the station of Primal Point and his mission since the year five of the Bayanic manifestation. In the Persian Bayan, followers of Bayan are referred to as the People of the Bayan (or Bayanis).


Bahais are those who believe that the Promised of Bayan (i.e. He Whom God Shall Make Manifest) who according to Bayan is to appear after 1511 to 2001 Bayani years was Mirza Hussayn Ali Nuri commonly known as Baha or Baha
ullah who claimed the office of the promised of Bayan when Bayan was at its infancy. Given the description provided under Babi above, Bahais correctly no longer identify themselves as Babis. To Bayanis, Bahaism is a diversionary offshoot of the Bayani faith.


Generally, historians have referred to those followers of the Primal Point who rejected the claims of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri and followed the Point's successor Mirza Yahya Nuri (entitled Subh-i Azal) as Azalis. This naming was mainly used to make a distinction between what they called two factions of Babis (i.e. Azalis and Bahais).

It also suited the Bahai purpose, as it would hide away the relationship between Bayanis and the Primal Point. In fact this is how Bahais refer to Bayanis even though Aqdas (the Bahai principal book) uses same term that was used in Persian Bayan i.e. People of Bayan (or Bayanis). The term Azali may also imply that Subh-i Azal had a claim of his own and that perhaps he was the author of new teachings which is incorrect. In essence, Bayanis need not be re-labelled. The term Bayani fully and uniquely identifies them and qualifies their belief. In summary, there is no such thing as Azali as all Azalis are Bayanis and all Bayanis are Azalis.

HISTORICAL ORIGIN: (Much of this information is gleaned from Within Shiite Islam exists a large group known as Twelver Islam who regard the twelfth Im
ám as the last of the Imáms. They contend that the twelfth Imám is in "occultation"(that is, hidden from mortal eyes) and that he will eventually begin again communicating with his loyal followers, as he did during the period of his "minor occultation" (Ghaybat al-Sughra, AD 874- 940). It was in this sense, and not, as has been often asserted, in the sense of "Gate of God" or "Gate of Religion," that the title Báb was understood. However, though his claim was at first understood by some of the public at the time to be merely a reference to the Gate of the Hidden Imám of Muhammad, which he publicly disclaimed. He later proclaimed himself, in the presence of the Heir to the Throne of Persia and other notables, to be the Promised One or Qá'im to Shí'ih Muslims.

In the 1830's in Persia, Siyyid K
ázim of Rasht was the leader of the Shaykhis, a sect of Shiite Islam. The Shayhkis were a group expecting the imminent appearance of the Qá'im of the House of Muhammad, also called the Mahdi or (Messiah). At Siyyid Kázim's death in 1843, he had counselled his followers to leave their homes to seek the Lord of the Age whose advent would soon break on the world.

On 23 May 1844 Mull
á Husayn of Bushruyih in Khorasan, a prominent disciple of Siyyid Kázim entered Shiraz on the search for the Qaim that Siyyid Kázim had set him on. He encountered Mirza Ali Muhammad, who invited him to his home, and showed him hospitality. Mullá Husayn had been given a test to apply to any claiming the station of Báb, that the one he found would reveal, without prompting, a commentary on the Surah of Joseph from the Qur'an. That night Mirza Ali Muhammad fulfilled the prophecy to Mullá Husayn, and ordered him to wait until 17 others had independently recognized the station of the Báb before they could begin teaching others about the new revelation. The Báb's first eighteen followers were called the "Letters of the Living", and were charged with spreading the movement. After his revelation then, Mirza Ali Muhammed soon assumed the title of the Báb. Within a few years the movement spread all over Iran, causing controversy.


The history of the B
ábís, though covering a comparatively short period, is so full of incident and the particulars now available are so numerous, that the following account purports to be only the briefest sketch. The Báb himself was in captivity first at Shiraz, then at Maku, and lastly at Chihriq, during the greater part of the six years (May 1844 until July 1850) of his brief ministry, but an active propaganda was carried on by his disciples, which resulted in several serious revolts which brought government suppression, especially after the death of Mohammad Shah Qajar in September 1848. All of these resulted in Bábí massacres; Bahá'í authors give an estimate of 20,000 Babis killed from 1844 to present, with most of the deaths occurring during the first 20 years. Supporters paint their struggle as basically defensive in nature; Shi'i writers on the other hand point to this period as proof of the subversive nature of Bábísm.


Of these risings the first and most well known (December 1848-July 1849) took place in M
ázandarán, at the ruined shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi, near Badasht, where a little over 300 Bábís, led by Mullâ Muhammad `Ali of Bârfurfish, surnamed Quddús, and Mullá Husayn defied the shah's troops for seven months before they were finally subdued and put to death or imprisoned. Although this revolt included less participants, the number of leading Bábís who died makes it best remembered.


The revolt at the fortress of 'Ali Mardan Khan in Zanjan in the north-west of Persia, was by far the most violent of all the conflicts. It was headed by Mulla Muhammad-
Aliy-i-Zanjani, surnamed Hujjat, and also lasted seven or eight months (May 1850-December 1850).It was preceded by years of growing tension between the leading Islamic clergy and the new rising Babi leadership. The enemies of Hujjat petitioned the government and claimed that he was "an advocate of heresy and a repudiator of all that is sacred and cherished in Islam." In the village of Zanjan, nearly two thousand followers of the Báb, including Hujjat, gave up their lives.

The governor of Zanjan, after personally killing one of the Babis, sent a crier through the streets saying, "All who throw in their lot with Hujjat will be destroyed, and their wives and children exposed to misery and shame!" This warning divided the city into two camps. There were sights of families being separated by their belief or disbelief in the B
áb. Fathers turned away from their sons, women from their husbands, children from their mothers. Zanjan became a city of panic, with men running around, frantically trying to collect their wives and children and to persuade them to stand with them. Families divided their belongings and their children. Whole houses were deserted. When a man, a woman, or a child would tear itself from its family or friends and rush to the support of Hujjat, a cry of joy would go up from one camp, and a moan of despair from the other.

Fierce battles followed for months on end, with government forces sieging the Babis' fort. The Persian forces would frequently send a crier to the fort saying that anyone wishing to escape and renounce his religion would be forgiven and lavished with gifts. The siege was also famous for a female Babi named Zaynab, who cut her hair and disguised herself as a man, in order that she could fight. She fought for 5 of the 7 months, and became known by her the enemy as the most fierce and able in battle.

After being humiliated by Hujjat's forces in battle, the sieging general, Amir-Tuman, gave the impression that the Shah had ordered an end to the siege. He was in fact, ordered to put an end to the life of every last person in the fort. Amir-Tuman sent Hujjat a signed and sealed copy of the Qur'an, which said:

"My sovereign, has forgiven you. You, as well as your followers, I hereby solemnly declare to be under the protection of his Imperial Majesty. This Book of God is my witness that if any of you decide to come out of the fort, you will be safe from any danger." (Source: The Dawn-Breakers, p. 564)

The few old men and children that left the fort had their beards torn out and were put to death. This was followed by a month-long non-stop siege, which was supported by a stream of local supporters and national troops. At the end of the month, a stray bullet struck Hujjat in the arm, which caused some of his supporters to leave their posts. The enemy took advantage of their absence and broke through the main gate.Shortly before his death, Hujjat's wife and child were slain before his eyes.



While a serious but less protracted struggle was waged against the government at Nayriz in Fars by Aga Siyyid Yahyá, surnamed Vahid, of Nayriz.


The revolts in Zanjan and Nayriz were in progress when in 1850 the Báb, with one of his devoted disciples, was brought from his prison at Chihriq to Tabriz and publicly shot in front of the citadel. The body, after being exposed for some days, was recovered by the Bábís and conveyed to a shrine near Tehran, whence it was ultimately removed to Haifa, where it is now enshrined.

For the next two years comparatively little was heard of the Bábís, but on 15 August 1852 three of them, acting on their own initiative, attempted to assassinate Nasser-al-Din Shah as he was returning from the chase to his palace at Niyávarfin. The attempt failed, but was the cause of a fresh persecution, and on the 31 August 1852 some thirty Bábís, including the beautiful and talented poetess Qurratu'l-Ayn, were put to death in Tehran with atrocious cruelty.

Another of the victims of that day was Hâjji Mirza Jâni Kashani, the author of the oldest history of the movement from the Bábí point of view. Only one complete manuscript of his invaluable work (obtained by Count Gobineau in Persia) exists in any public library: the Bibliothèque nationale at Paris. There are other copies elsewhere (see MacEoin Early Babi Doctrine and History: A Survey of Source Materials, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1992). The so-called "New History" (of which an English translation was published at Cambridge in 1893 by E. G. Browne) is based on Mirza Jani's work.


The Báb appointed on his death Mirza Yahya Nuri, surnamed Subh-i Azal (Morn of Eternity), who escaped to Baghdad, and became the pontiff of the religion. He lived, however, in great seclusion, leaving the direction of affairs almost entirely in the hands of his elder half brother, Bahá'u'lláh.

Mírzá Husayn-'Alí, entitled Bahá'u'lláh, thus gradually became the most conspicuous and most influential member of the Bábís. In 1863, however, Bahá'u'lláh declared himself to be He whom God shall make manifest; a Messianic figure within Bábí tradition of whose advent the works of the Báb are filled, and who Subh-i Azal was directed to follow. Bahá'u'lláh called on all the Bábís to recognize his claim. Most of those living in exile within the Ottoman Empire accepted the claims of Bahá'u'lláh, and accordingly they became known as Bahá'ís. The Bahá'í Faith, sees itself as a separate and independent religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh, however it recognizes the station of the Báb as a messenger of God, equal to that of Bahá'u'lláh; Bahá'ís see the Bábí movement as a part of their own sacred history.

While the majority responded to Bahá'u'lláh's claim, Subh-i Azal and some of his faithful adherents refused. After that date the Bábís divided into two groups -- the Azalis and the Bahá'ís -- of which the former steadily lost and the latter gained ground, so that in 1908 there were probably from half a million to a million of the latter, and at most only a hundred or two of the former. In 1863 the Bábís were, at the instance of the Persian government, removed from Baghdad to Constantinople, whence they were shortly afterwards transferred to Adrianople. In 1868 Bahá'u'lláh and his followers were exiled to Acre in Syria (now Acca, Israel), and Subh-i Azal with his few adherents to Famagusta in Cyprus.

Subh-i Azal died in Famagusta, Cyprus in 1912, and his followers are usually called Azalis or Bayanis and their populations are likely to be quite low. Beginning in 2002, a new web presence of Bayanis was begun, but their connection to the original community is unclear.

Bahá'u'lláh died at Acre on 16 May 1892. In Bahá'u'lláh's Will and Testament he appointed his son `Abdu'l-Bahá, (the servant of Bahá), his successor, but another of his four sons, Mírzá Muhammad `Alí, put forward a rival claim. This caused a fresh and bitter schism, but 'Abdu'l-Bahá steadily gained ground, and there could be little doubt as to his eventual success.


The Báb's writings include the Qayyum al-Asma ("Reality of the Names", a commentary on the Qur'anic Sura of Joseph), and the Arabic and Persian Bayan ("Exposition", which the Bábis saw as superseding the Qur'an). The latter has been translated into French; only portions exist in English.

The following are titles of the Bab's writings only some of which have portions translated into English:

The Persian Bayan (vols. 1-4)

The Arabic Bayan

The Seven Proofs

The Tablet of Justice

Commentary on Surat al-Fatiha

Commentary on Surat val-Asr

Commentary on Surat al-Kowthar

Autograph Epistles of the Primal Point And Aqa Sayyid Husayn of Yazd

The Book of Five Modes

The Testamentary Disposition of Primal Point

Book of Names

Unity 2 Chapter 10 to Unity 4 Chapter 19

Unity 6 to Unity 9

Unity 10 Chapter 1 to Unity 11 Chapter 16

Unity 15 Chapter 12 to Unity 19 Chapter 19

The Talisman of The Religion

The Commentary on the Talisman of The Religion

Prayers - From Writings of the Primal Point

Misclaneous Bayanic Writings of the Primal Point

Misclaneous Bayanic Writings of the Primal Point

Commentary on Surat-al Youseph [The First Book] (Ahsan-al Qisas)

Tablet of Razavieh

Book Of Recompense

Prayers For Religious Visitations - From Writings of the Primal Point

Writings of Subh-i-Azal:

Persian Bayan - Supplementary

The Conduct of The Clergies

The Book of Aqsa

Athar-al Azaliyya (Works of Eternity) - Persian)

Athar-al Azaliyya (Works of Eternity) - (Arabic)

Seven Worlds and Seven Senses

Book of Musta'n (Helper)

Book of Light

Book of Spirit

Book of Spirit

Book of Spirit

Book of Unity

Book of Living

Book of Radiations

Book of La'ali va Majali

Manuscript 1

Manuscript 2


Sanctity of Azal

Al-Mustayghath (The Wakeful)

Manuscript 1.

Manuscript 2. (Incomplete Copy)

Sahifeh-i Vajdiyeh (Tablet of Joy)

Conduct of Heads of States Persian & English Translation

Commenraty on The Letter HA

One Hundred and Ten Prayers

Songs of Spirit

Volume 2 of The Commentary on Quran's Surat-al Baqarah

Book of Elegy

Writings of Quddus (First of the Letters of the Living):

Works of His Holiness Qodous

As well much academic research has focused on the Bábís including Abbas Amanat, Resurrection and Renewal; Denis MacEion, Rituals in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions; (t.k.).


Peter Smith, the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions - from messianic Shi'ism to a world religion; Cambridge University Press (1987); ISBN 0-521-30128-9

Abbas Amanat, Resurrection and Renewal - the Making of the Bábí Movement in Iran 1844-1850; Cornell University Press (1989); ISBN 0-8014-2098-9

Bayani community online


The Báb appointed on his death Mirza Yahya Nuri, surnamed Subh-i Azal (Morn of Eternity), who escaped to Baghdad, and became the pontiff of the religion. He lived, however, in great seclusion, leaving the direction of affairs almost entirely in the hands of his elder half brother, Bahá'u'lláh.

:eek: What?!!

Mirza Yahya was the bad guy who tried to poison Bahaullah!!
:eek: What?!!

Mirza Yahya was the bad guy who tried to poison Bahaullah!!
Not merely tried, but succeeded. However, the intent of the poison was to kill Baha'u'llah. Instead, it left his hand shaking for the rest of his life. This can be seen from his later handwritten writings; it managed not to suffer too much despite the shaking.
Not merely tried, but succeeded. However, the intent of the poison was to kill Baha'u'llah. Instead, it left his hand shaking for the rest of his life. This can be seen from his later handwritten writings; it managed not to suffer too much despite the shaking.
Oh, I didnt know he succeeded aswell...

Dear all,
Please ignore my previous posting
Right now im reading "The covenant of Bahaullah" by Adib Taherzadeh (which by the way, is an AMAZING book). This evening I started on chapter 3 and what a coincidence! Its titled "Mirza Yahya, the nominee of the Bab" and its explaining how Mirza Yahya broke the Bab's covenant. Its explained a lot of things very well and in a simple manner.

(Everyone should read this book, the youth especially, its so interesting and i love it!)