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Ishráq Khávarí

by Vahid Rafati

published in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 8
New York: Columbia University, 1998
EŠRĀQ ḴĀVARĪ, ʿABD-AL-ḤAMĪD (b. Mašhad 1320/1902, d. Tehran 15 Mordād 1351 Š./6 August 1972) Bahai scholar, teacher, and author. He received a traditional Islamic clerical education and studied literature, the religious sciences, and philosophy under Adīb Nīšāpūrī, a well-known poet and man of letters. He studied in Qom and Isfahan before settling in Malāyer, where he became a preacher and school teacher. His conversion to the Bahai faith in 1345/1927 cost him his teaching job and forced him to leave Malāyer. He spent the rest of his life as an itinerant Bahai teacher, living in Hamadān, Ḵūzestān, Khorasan, Isfahan, and Tehran, and visited many countries in the Middle East and South and East Asia. He played an important role in the development of Bahai religious education in Persia.

Ešrāq wrote many books on the Bahai faith. While traditional and uncritical in their methodology, they contain many texts and large amounts of information and remain basic research tools in Bahai studies. His best known work is Qāmūs-e īqān (4 vols., Tehran, 127-28 B. (Badīʿ era)/1970-71), a commentary on B ahāʾ-Allāh’s Ketāb-e īqān arranged in the form of a glossary of proper names and difficult words and phrases. He wrote several other commentaries in the same form: Raḥīq-e maḵtūm (2 vols., Tehran, 103 B./1946), Asrār-e rabbānī (2 vols., 118 B./1961), and the unpublished Dāʾerat al-maʿāref. Also noteworthy are several compilations of Bahai scripture: Ayyām-e tesʿa (Tehran, 103 B./1946), on Bahai holy days; Māʾeda-ye āsmānī (9 vols., Tehran, 128 B./1971), on theological topics; and Ganjīna-ye ḥodūd wa aḥkām (Tehran, 128 B./1971), on Bahai law. Other significant works include Moháāżarāt (2 vols., Tehran, 121 B./1964), a collection of lectures; Nūrayn-e nayyerayn (Tehran, 123 B./1966), a biography of the martyred Nahrī brothers of Isfahan; and Ganj-e šāyagān (Tehran, 124 B./1967), a description of Bahāʾ-Allāh’s major works. He wrote many other works of polemics, history, prophecy interpretation, and fiction, and translated from Arabic and English. Ešrāq’s papers and unpublished works are kept in the Bahai World Center Archives. Bibliography: N. Ḏokāʾī Bayżāʾī, Taḏkera-ye šoʿarā-ye qarn-e awwal-e Bahāʾī, Tehran, 121 B./1964, I, pp. 55-68. Ešrāq Ḵāvarī’s autobiography in Āhang-e badīʿ (Tehran) 27/1-2, 129 B./1972, pp. 10-18. Ṣ. Mawlawī-nežād, “Be yād-e moḥaqqeq-e barjasta. . .,” Āhang-e badīʿ 27/5-6, 129 B./1972, pp. 30-51. Idem, “Āṯār wa taʾlīfāt-e dānešmand-e faqīd. . .,” Payām-e Bahāʾī 158, 1993, pp. 18-22. V. Rafati, “Āṯār-e ḵaṭṭī-e janāb-e Ešrāq Ḵāvarī,” Payām-e Bahāʾī 158, pp. 23-36. R. Sabet, “Ishráq-Khávarí,” in The Bahá’í World 15, Haifa, 1976, pp. 518-20. A. Solaymānī, Maṣābīḥ-e hedāyat, Tehran, 132 B./1975, IX, pp. 8-122.

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