The following article outlines some of the atrocities committed by the followers of the Babi Faith. While a few of the incidents of carnage and violence are committed by the Babis (including some of the Letters of the Living), it is interesting to note that The Bab in Bayan actually encouraged violence to establish his doctrine on the earth. Unfortunately, a few of his followers, as the incidents below will show were only to happy to comply with his order.

The murder of Haji Mulla Taqi
Haji Mulla Taqi was a leading cleric in Iran who denounced the Bab and his doctrine. Interestingly, Tahera Qurratul Ayn was his daughter-in-law. E G Browne writes, "This (public denunciation of the Bab) cost him his life, for at length certain Babis, stung by his words into uncontrollable anger fell upon him early one morning as he was praying in the mosque and with knives and daggers inflicted upon him eight wounds from the effects of which he expired two days later."
(Ref: Traveller's Narrative, page 198. Also Nuqtatul Kaf, pages 142-143)

Attacking a town and killing its governor
They (Babis) attacked the town and even killed the governor Zainul Abedin Khan - the chief author of their sufferings - while he was at the bath. Finally troops were sent from Shiraz by the governor Tahmas Mirza, and these aided by the tribesmen of Darab and Sabumat, succeeded at length in stamping out the insurrection"
(Ref: Traveller's Narrative, page 258)

The burning of villages
The Babis started looting and plundering the adjoining villages and whatever they could lay their hands on. If they met with any resistance, then they would burn the entire village.
(Ref: Materials For The Study Of The Babi Religion, Prof. E. G. Browne, Page 241)

In one such village the Babis saw that some non-Babis had sought protection. Mulla Hussain and some other Babis arrived at the village and killed 130 people in one night.

Mulla Husayn, the first to believe on the Bab, "notwithstanding his slender and fragile frame and trembling hand," attacked the man who had killed the first Babi and "sliced him in two like a fresh cucumber." Then six other Muslims were killed. "One child was killed accidentally with its father, a dervish, whom they [the Babis] slew because he purposely gave them a misleading answer to a question which they had put to him as to their road."
(Ref: Taarikhe' Jadid, page 50, 361)

Wherever the Muslims existed, the rampaging Babis set out to plunder and annihilate them. None was spared. Children were killed, elders were massacred, the pregnant women had their wombs ripped open, and several females were defiled. Mere killing did not satiate the devilish desires of the Babis, they would loot their belongings and set their houses afire.
(Ref: Nuqtatul Kaf, Page 161, Kashfuz Zulumah, Page 125).

There are historical narrations about the 'mistakes' committed by villages.
"Initially these villages believed in Bab, but later they denied him, and so they had endure the punishment"
(Ref: Nuqtatul Kaf, Page 163)

The violent doctrines of the Bab

  • The Babi Shariah directs that all who did not accept this Shariah should be put to death,
    (Ref: Makatib, Volume 2, page 266)

  • The Bab has directed that all books other than those written by him should be destroyed.
    (Ref: Al-Munazirat, page 167, Bayan, Arabic Chapter 1)

  • O my followers! Surely Allah has made fighting obligatory for you. You must conquer the cities and the people for Babism and don't be at peace with those who reject Babism".
    (Ref: Bayan, Arabic Chapter 1)

  • It is the duty of every Babi king that he should not allow any non-Babi to live n his realm. This is also binding upon the other Babis as well. The only non-Babi who could be allowed to live in the country was one who carried on some trade of benefit for other people.
    (Ref: Bayan, Bab 4, Wahid 8)

  • The Bab began the fifth Wahid of the fifth Bab Al-Bayan as follows: "Those who do not accept the Bab and his religion, all their belongings should be snatched away from them, if that is possible: but if they accept him their property can be returned to them."

  • The Babi Sharia ordains that where a man was in possession of a hundred misqals of gold, he should hand over 19 misqals to the Bab and 18 disciples called the Haruful Hayi. In case these had died, the gold was to be given to their heirs. It has also been ordained that of everything the best portion was for the Bab; the middle one for disciples specially near and dear to him; and only the lowest quality was for the use of the common people.
    (Ref: Bayan, Bab 16, Wahid 8)

  • The principle has been laid down that all Babis were pure people, while all those who failed to accept the Bab were impure and dirty, and the same principle applied to all their belongings and things connected with them. The Bab has further explained this point by saying that even if the non-Babis bathed in the sea a thousand times every day, they could not become clean and pure in body.
    (Ref: Bayan, Bab 2, Wahid 6)

  • The Bab has directed that no follower should read any book other than Al-Bayan.
    (Ref: Bayan, Wahid 4, Bab 10)

  • "If a Babi acquires a thing from a non-Babi, then by the transfer of the thing, it becomes lawful for him".
    (Ref: Bayan, Arabic Chapter 4)

  • It is ordained in the Babi Shariah that any one who hurts the feelings of the Bab, or his successors after him, was to be killed; and for bringing about his death every possible means could be adopted.
    (Ref: Al-Bayan, Bab 15, Wahid 6)

The above words of the Bab are not open to any kind of explanation. The Bab expressly prohibited the interpretation of his words. He wrote, "It is not permissible to interpret the Bayan other than in accordance with the interpretation given by its Tree (the Bab)."
(Ref: Bayan Persian, Unity Two).

So if the Bab encouraged Babis to kill, loot and plunder, no explanation is required except to say that the Bahai Faith is nothing but a child of the Babi Faith. Readers must also note that the Bahais take the name of the Bab with great reverence - as pointed out in the introduction to this series on the Bab, "Bahais believe that the Bab (1819-1850) was an independent Messenger of God, whose mission was to inaugurate a new cycle in humanity's spiritual development. His writings prepared the way for the mission of Bahaullah." Having said that, the Bahais should acknowledge the violent character of the Babi Faith.

Readers should also appreciate the subtle differences between law and practice. When the law is corrupt, the practices will be too. When the law is not corrupt, it does not automatically guarantee that the practices will not be corrupted. However if they are, then the practice is to be blamed and not the law. In the case of the Babi Faith, the former is true. Violence against non-Babis was a law which was willingly practised by the Babis..

Needless to say that these beliefs of the Bab are in stark contrast with the beliefs of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) who propagated peace in the true sense, who bade us to do good to our parents even if they be non-Muslims, to live peacefully with our neighbors and to maintain their rights. My readers may not take these views on the Holy Prophet (pbuh) kindly given that in present days Islam is much maligned. The media has made terrorism synonymous with Islam. However I can assure you that an objective study of Islam and the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his successors - the Imams (as) will reveal otherwise.

The Bab - Life and Times

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