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Adíb Tálaqání (Hand of the Cause)

by Moojan Momen

published in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 1
New York: Columbia University, 1985
ADĪB ṬĀLAQĀNĪ, ḤĀJJ MĪRZĀ ḤASAN, prominent Iranian Bahaʾi author of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born in Ṭālaqān in Šawwāl, 1264/September, 1848, the son of an eminent ʿālem, Mīrzā Moḥammad-Taqī. After his father’s death he studied in Tehran and Isfahan; in 1291/1874 he was employed by Eʿteżād-al-salṭana and later by Moʿtamad-al-dawla, playing an important part in the production of books by these two princes. He became, eventually, Emām-e Jomʿa and teacher in the Dār al-Fonūn, and was given the title Adīb-al-ʿolamāʾ. He was also prominent in the Shah Neʿmatallāhī order of Sufis.

His close friend, Shaikh Hādī Naǰmābādī, pointed out to Adīb the similarity of his views to those of the Bahaʾis and thus prompted him to investigate the Bahaʾi faith. In about the year 1307/1889 after conversations with Mollā Moḥammad Nabīl-e Akbar, he was converted and was soon afterwards designated by Bahāʾallāh as one of the Hands of the Cause (Ayādī-e Amr Allāh). In 1315/1897-98, he participated in the meetings of the Hands of the Cause in Tehran which evolved into the Spiritual Assembly of Tehran, of which he was the chairman. He played an important part in the founding of the Tarbīat Bahaʾi school in Tehran in 1317/1899 and in its administration. In 1903, he traveled to Isfahan and became involved in the upheaval there, being briefly imprisoned. From there he went to Ābāda, Shiraz, Bombay, and eventually to ʿAkkā, where he met ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ. After going on a tour of India and Burma with the American Baha’i, Sidney Sprague, he returned to Tehran, where he died on 6 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 1337/2 September 1919.

Adīb was the author of several books, including al-Estedlālīya on Bahaʾi proofs, an autobiographical tract, and much poetry. He was also one of the four contributors to the encyclopedic work Nāma-ye dānešvarān. But his adoption of the Bahaʾi faith caused his dismissal soon after the publication of the first volume in Šaʿbān, 1296/September, 1878.

Bibliography : N. Rastegār, “Mīrzā Ḥasan-e Adīb,” in Moʾassesa-ye Ayādī-e Amr Allāh, compiled by ʿA. ʿAlāʾī, Tehran, 130 Badīʿ/1973, pp. 450-64. F. Māzandarānī, Ẓohūr al-ḥaqq VIII, Tehran, 131 Badīʿ/1974, pp. 462-78.

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