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1893 c. `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote Risáliy-i-Siyásiyyih (variously translated as "Treatise on Politics", "A Treatise on Statesmanship" and "Treatise on Leadership"). [ABMM] He wrote it in response to the crisis in Persia known as the Tobacco Revolt which was an insurrection against the Shah for having granted the tobacco monopoly to British interests at the expense of Persian farmers and businessmen.

The Treatise was the first policy statement of `Abdu'l-Bahá upon taking the reins of the leadership of the Bahá'í community. It shows His alarm at the increasing involvement of religious leaders and communities in this populist movement against the civil Iranian state and cites the way past such religious populist movements have led to foreign intervention or increased absolutism (e.g. the `Urabi Revolt in Egypt and the 1876 Constitutional Revolution in Istanbul). `Abdu'l-Bahá argues forcefully for a separation of religion and state as a basis for Bahá'í non-involvement in such anti-state violence.

  • See Treatise on Leadership by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as translated by Juan Cole.
  • It was published in Bombay in Farsi in 1893. No English translation has been published to date, apart from the provisional translation referred to above. [CEBF273]
  • Hand of the Cause Ibn-i-Asdaq was the messenger that delivered 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablet to the Shah and other notables in Iran. [EB176]
  • Akka; Bahji; Iran Risaliy-i-Siyasiyyih (Treatise on Leadership); Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Politics; Tobacco Revolt; Publications; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Church and state

    from the chronology of Canada

    from the main catalogue

    1. Church and State: A Postmodern Theology, Book One, by Sen McGlinn, in Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions, 19 (2005). Review of Bahá'í literature and of the scriptures of Christianity and Islam show that the separation of state from religion is a universal ideal. Excerpt from a lengthy book; includes Contents, Foreword, and Introduction. [about]
    2. Church and State in the World Order of Baha'u'llah, by Sen McGlinn (1994). The concept of theocracy as it applies to the Baha'i model of government. [about]
    3. Common sense versus secularism: American Bahá'í literature as a window on implicit culture, by Sen McGlinn (2007). Religion and politics must be kept in separate spheres with different, though complementary, rules. This paper questions whether that is understood by Baha'is, even in countries that claim to value the separation of church and state. [about]
    4. Difficult Case, A: Beyer's Categories and the Bahá'í Faith, by Sen McGlinn, in Social Compass, 50 (2003). Beyer considers that a religious movement which seeks to have religious norms enshrined in legislation has adopted the 'conservative option' in response to globalisation. Is this a useful categorisation for a global stage? [about]
    5. Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Bahá'í Faith in the Nineteenth-century Middle East [introduction only], by Juan Cole, in Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions (1998). Introduction and first 4 pages of Chapter One. [about]
    6. Takfir, declaration of unbelief: includes excerpts from Risáliy-i-Siyasiyyih, by Universal House of Justice (2001). Questions from an individual about the Muslim practice of takfir, declaring someone an unbeliever, whether this is practiced in the Baha'i Faith, and questions related to "church and state", followed by the House's response. [about]
    7. Theocracy and Separation of Church and State, by Universal House of Justice (1995). On theocracy in relation to the Baha'i model of government, and issues relating to the development of the Bahá’í Administrative Order. [about]
    8. Theocratic Ideas and Assumptions in Bahá'í Literature: An Inquiry, by Sen McGlinn, in Reason and Revelation: Studies in the Babi and Bahá'í Religions, 13 (2002). A selection and interpretation of scriptures which suggest that an institutional differentiation of the religious and political orders — i.e., the separation of church and state — is a central Bahá’í doctrine. [about]
    9. Theology of the State from the Bahá'í Teachings, A, by Sen McGlinn, in Journal of Church & State (1999). Western religions exhibit three types of divine societies: eschatological (the Kingdom of God on Earth); metaphysical (angels or the Hidden Imam interact with the world); and ecclesiological (the church as the body of Christ, or the Islamic community). [about]
    10. Treatise on Leadership: Introduction, by Juan Cole (1998). Informal notes about and introduction to `Abdu'l-Bahá's Risalih-i-Siyasiyyih (1893). [about]
    11. World Order, Evolution Towards: Notes on recent secondary literature, compilation, and two memoranda from the Bahá'í World Centre, by Universal House of Justice, in Online Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 1 (2007). Two letters, "Request for Materials about the World Order of Baha'u'llah" and "World Government and the Universal House of Justice," and compilation "Extracts from Letters Written by and on Behalf of the House of Justice on Evolution Towards World Order." [about]
     
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