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Abstract:
One of the earliest biographies of Shaykh Ahmad Ahsa'i and Siyyid Kazim Rashi, founders of Iranian reform movements in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Written in French.

Essai Sur le Cheikhisme

by A.L.M. Nicolas

Paris: Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1910/1911
About (from alexandremaps.com): The titles of the four volumes are: Cheikh Ahmed Lahcahi (1910), Seyyed Kazem Rechti (1911), La Doctrine (1911), and La Science De Dieu (1911). These books expound upon Shaykh Ahmad Ahsá'í (1753-1826) and Siyyid Kázim Rashtí (1793-1843) the leaders of the Shaykhi religious movement in Iran during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Rashti was appointed as the leader of the movement after the death of its founder, Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, in 1826. The movement was a reformist movement in Shia Islam, stating that the common literal interpretations of the “day of resurrection” were wrong, that it was a figurative way of stating that a new Messenger from God would make Himself manifest, and that such a day, that all the religions of the past prophesied, was going to happen very soon. The Shaykhi movement was a precursor to the Babi and Baha’i religions as the majority of Shaykhis believed that the Hidden Imam that they were waiting for was none other than the Bab. ALM Nicolas's father, J. B. Nicolas, was in the French Consular Service in Persia, and Nicolas himself was born at Rasht in Gilan in 1864. According to his own statement, he could speak Persian and Russian even before he learnt his native French. Like his father, he joined the French Consular Service and spent most of his working life in Persia where he developed an intense fascination with the Bab and his newly founded religion.
Volume 1, Cheikh Ahmed Lahçahi: nicolas_essai_cheikhisme_1.pdf

Volume 2, Seyyed Kazem Rechti: nicolas_essai_cheikhisme_2.pdf

Volume 3, La Doctrine: nicolas_essai_cheikhisme_3.pdf

Volume 4, La Science De Dieu: nicolas_essai_cheikhisme_4.pdf

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