Following the article on the Holy Prophet (saw) versus the Bab, Mr. Imran Shaykh requested me to prepare a similar compilation comparing the Mahdi in Islam with Mirza Ali Mohammed Shirazi, the Bab. I thought that it was an excellent idea - given that I have maintained for long that the foundation of Bahaism is highly dependent on the premise of the Bab being the 12th Imam or the Mahdi. If one were to challenge this premise and actually prove that the Bab was far from being the promised Mahdi, then the edifice of Bahaism crumbles.

From the feedbacks that I have received from visitors for some of the earlier articles, it is also clear that readers on are research oriented. This feedback is satisfying for it is a reflection of the audience that the web site attracts. Such readers will be pleased to read this article for I have brought sufficient references at every stage to underscore my point. I look forward to their views and constructive criticism on my articles.

An important point to note - I have said this earlier - despite claiming to be the religion that has succeeded Islam, Bahais do not bring any Islamic traditions to make their point. And on the rare occasions that they do, it is without relevant references for the same. How often have I read Bahai books in the hope that they would be able to substantiate their concepts - the continuation of messengership, the arrival of the Mahdi or spiritual resurrection - all of which are contrarian to Islam, only to be frustrated that they argue their case through the words of poets and Orientalists! This approach is meaningless given that we are evaluating one's faith here and not indulging in word play.

Bahais should be aware that Islam has a rich culture of preserving traditions, which has served it well. Muslims refer to these traditions to interpret the word of Allah - the Holy Quran.

Having said that, one wonders that why the Bahais avoid the traditionalist route. Perhaps the reason is that the Bahais are concious that they are and will be unable to substantiate any, I repeat, any of their concepts in the realm of Islamic traditions. So they rely upon their own interpretations of the verses of Quran even though the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) expressly prohibited it and condemned it strongly. My Muslim brethren may be well advised that they should refer to the exegesis of the verses of the Quran which are quoted by the Bahais (please confirm the reference first!) so that they may become aware of the correct interpretation of the verse as per the Holy Prophet (saw) and the Holy Imams (as).

As regards the Mahdi, as described in Islam and Mirza Ali Mohammed Shirazi, it is relevant to mention that there is no comparison between the two. My studies have shown that there is not a single element where the Bab fits into any of the clear prophecies which were made by the Holy Prophet (saw) and the Holy Imams (as). Having said that, I have been encouraged by the verse of the Quran in which Allah (swt) explains the difference in opposites (Muslims, Atheists) as follows,

مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالأَعْمَى وَالأَصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلاً أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ

"These two kinds (of men) may be compared to the blind and deaf, and those who can see and hear well. Are they equal when compared? Will you not then take heed?"
(Surah Hud, verse 24)

Surely, the Quran is a guide for those who seek guidance. With the recitation of this verse, I beseech Allah in all humility that He guides all to the truth and assists us in overcoming those shortcomings which act as barriers in accepting guidance. I also seek the help and blessings of the Holy Prophet (saw) and the Holy Imams (as) that they recommend the forgiveness of my shortcomings to Allah and intercede on my behalf on the Day of Judgement.

The Mahdi of Islam v/s The Bab

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