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Islamic "Israelitica" literary traditions, the Bible, and their relationship to the Bábí and Bahá'í religions. Includes discussion of the Greatest Name, Ism Alláh al-A'zam.
Thesis for PhD in Religious Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mirrored with permission from

Some Aspects of Isrá'íliyyát and the Emergence of the Bábí-Bahá'í Interpretation of the Bible

by Stephen Lambden

Abstract: This thesis deals with Islamic Isralliyyat ("Israelitica") literary traditions, the Bible, and the relationship to them of two closely related post-Islamic movements, the Babi and Bahá'í religions. It concerns the Islamic assimilation and treatment of pre-Islamic, biblical and related materials and their level of post-Islamic Babi-Bahá'í assimilation and exposition. More specifically, this thesis focuses upon select aspects of the biblical and Islamo-biblical ("Islamified", "Islamicate") traditions reflected within the Arabic and Persian writings of two Iranian born 19th century messianic claimants, Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab (1819-1859), and Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri (1817-1892), entitled Baha'-Allah, the founders of the Babi and Bahá'í religions respectively.

The presence of Islamo-biblical citations and the absence of canonical biblical citations within the writings of the Bab will be argued as will the emergence of the Bahá'í interpretation of the canonical Bible though its founder figure Baha'-Allah, who first cited an Arabic Christian Bible version whilst resident in Ottoman Iraq (Baghdad) towards the end of what has been called the middle-Babi period (1861-2 CE). This laid the foundations for the Babi interpretation of the Bible which was greatly enriched and extended by oriental Babi apologists, Baha'-Allah's eldest son 'Abd al-Baha' Abbas (d. 1921) and his great-grandson Shoghi Effendi (d. 1957), who shaped the modern global Bahá'í phenomenon. Over a century or so the neo-Shi'i millennialist faction that was Babism (the religion of the Bab) evolved into the global Bahá'í religion of the Book.

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Click here to download it: lambden_bahai_interpretation_bible.pdf.

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