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1865 (In the year) French diplomat Joseph Comte de Gobineau published Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, over half of which is devoted to a study of the Bábí movement. He relied heavily on the Násikhu't-Taváríkh (The History to Abrogate All Previous Histories) written by Lisánu'l-Mulk. Bahá'u'lláh had condemned this account as "a falsification of history, one which even an infidel would not have had the effrontery to produce". [SUR36-37]
  • "The Comte de Gobineau’s work with its obvious parallels drawn between the life and martyrdom of the Báb with that of Jesus Christ, was the most influential volume in carrying the story to Western minds. The English poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold, in A Persian Passion Play, wrote that the chief purpose of Gobineau’s book was to give a history of the career of Mirza Ali Mahommed…the founder of Bâbism, of which most people in England have at least heard the name. The notion that most people in England, in Arnold’s view, were aware of the Báb indicates how deeply His fame had penetrated into far-off societies." [Tales of Magnificent Heroism: The impact of the Báb and His followers on writers and artists by Robert Weinberg.
  • Gobineau's work was written when Mírzá Yahyá was still known as the nominal head of the Bábí Faith between 1855 and 1858 when Gobineau was First Secretary and Chargé d'Affaires of the French Legation. Two embassy employees during his time there were ardent supporters of Mírzá Yahyá, one of whom was his brother-in-law. (He served as the Ambassador from March 1862 until September 1863.)
  • This work attracted a number of other European intellectuals, including E. G. Browne of Cambridge, who eventually became the most prolific western writer and researcher of the Bábi religion. [BBR17, MCS483; 500; 512 The Comte de Gobineau’s Religions et Philosophies dans l’Asie Centrale (1865)—with its obvious parallels drawn between the life and martyrdom of the Báb with that of Jesus Christ—was the most influential volume in carrying the story to Western minds. The English poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold, in A Persian Passion Play, wrote that the chief purpose of Gobineau’s book was to give a history of the career of Mirza Ali Mahommed…the founder of Bâbism, of which most people in England have at least heard the name. The notion that most people in England, in Arnold’s view, were aware of the Báb indicates how deeply His fame had penetrated into far-off societies.
  • France; Iran Comte de Gobineau; Babism; Edward Granville Browne; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Matthew Arnold
    1887 – 1888 E. G. Browne, the noted Orientalist, spent 12 months in Persia. An important purpose of his journey was to contact the Bábís. [BBR29]
  • For a list of his books and other works and his relationship with the Bahá'í Faith see BBR29–36.
  • Also see BBD47; Balyuzi, Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith and Momen, Selections From the Writings of E. G. Browne.
  • While sailing from Naples to New York 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave an account of Mírzá Yahyá and his followers and of the complaints they made to Edward G. Browne: "They tampered with the contents of the history of Hájí Mírzá Jání by removing some of its passages and inserting others. They sent it to the libraries of London and Paris and through such falsehood induced him [Browne] to translate and publish the document. In order to achieve his own selfish desires, he had it printed." [Mahmúd's Diary p21]
  • Iran; United Kingdom Edward Granville Browne; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Covenant-breakers; Haji Mirza Jani
    1888 29 Mar The first lecture in the West on the Bahá'í Faith (`Bábism') was given by E. G. Browne at the Essay Society, Newcastle, England. [SCU12] Newcastle; United Kingdom Edward Granville Browne; Firsts, Other
    1889 Jun E. G. Browne gave a paper on the Bahá'í Faith (`Bábism') at the Royal Asiatic Society, London. London; United Kingdom Edward Granville Browne; Royal Asiatic Society
    1890 c. E. G. Browne was in `Akká. Bahá'u'lláh was staying in the Templer colony in Haifa when he arrived. [BBR253] Akka; Haifa Edward Granville Browne; Templer colony; Bahaullah, Life of
    1890. 15–20 Apr E. G. Browne was granted four successive interviews with Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí. [BBD43; BBR225; BKG371; GPB193]
  • See BBR225–32 for Browne's own account of the visit.
  • See BBR229–31, BKG371–3 and DH110 for Browne's pen portrait of Bahá'u'lláh.
  • 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave Browne the manuscript of A Traveller's Narrative: the Episode of the Báb in the handwriting of Zaynu'l-Muqarrabín for him to translate. [EGB54, BW11p510]
  • BFA1:445; Balyuzi, Edward Granville Browne and The Bahá'í Faith and Momen, Selections From the Writings of E. G. Browne.
  • E.G. Browne was also in the presence of Bahá’u’lláh in the Junayn Garden (occurred some time during his five day visit to Bahjí from April 15th to April 20th in 1890). [Reflections on the Bahá'í Writings.]
  • Akka Edward Granville Browne; Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Pen portraits of; Pen portraits; Portraits; Travelers Narrative (book); Zaynul-Muqarrabin (Mulla Zaynul-Abidin); Bahji; Junayn gardens
    1891. (In the year) Bishárát (Glad-Tidings) is considered one of the major writings of Bahá'u'lláh. [Bahá'u'lláh's Bishárát (Glad-Tidings): A Proclamation to Scholars and Statesmen by Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan]

      The Tablet of Glad-Tidings is a selective compendium of Bahaullah's laws and principles, sequentially presented in a series of 15 Glad-Tidings. As the Arabic term Bisharat suggests, these Glad-Tidings were a public announcement of some of the essential teachings of the new Bahá'í religion. The Glad-Tidings is the most extensive of several tablets by Bahá'u'lláh that present key teachings in a numbered structure. The Glad-Tidings may, in part, be regarded as serially articulated world reforms intermixed with religious reforms emanating from Bahá'u'lláh in his professed role as World Reformer. The Glad-Tidings also functioned analogously (albeit anachronistically) to a press release, serving not only as a public proclamation but to rectify the inaccuracies and gross misrepresentations that had previously circulated in print. Intended for widespread translation and publication, the Glad-Tidings was sent to scholars notably Russian orientalist, Baron Viktor Rosen (1849-1908) and Cambridge orientalist, Edward Granville Browne (1862-1926) and possibly pre-revolutionary Russian statesmen as well. As a Proclamatory Aqdas, the Tablet of Glad-Tidings was part of a much broader proclamation by Bahaullah, who proclaimed his mission to the political and religious leaders of the world.
  • buck_ioannesyan_bisharat_proclamation.pdf.
  • Bishárát from Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh p21-29.
  • See "Faculty Notes" by Robert Stockman.
  • See GPB216 and BBS158.
  • Bahaullah, Writings of; Bisharat; Glad-Tidings; Baron Rosen; Edward Granville Browne
    1891. 15 Feb First public lecture in the West on the Bahá'í Faith was given by E. G. Browne at the Southplace Institute, London.
  • He spoke to the Pembroke College Literary Society in England (Martletts), at which the Faith was discussed at length.
  • London; United Kingdom Edward Granville Browne; Southplace Institute; Firsts, Other find reference
    1909 Summer Sir Ronald Storrs, then a student of Arabic of Edward Granville Browne, visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Akka. [BW10p192; CH226] Akka Ronald Storrs; Edward Granville Browne
    1911 4 Sep `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived in London accompanied by His secretary, Mírzá Mahmúd and Khusraw, His servant. This marked His first visit to the country and lasted 29 days. [ABL53, AB140; GBP280; SBR22, 148, BW4p378, In the Footsteps of the Master p.5]
  • CH149 says He arrived 8 September and 3 September as per the UK Bahá'í site.
  • Those Bahá'ís who assembled to meet him were listed as: Lady Blomfield (in whose home at 97 Cadogan Gardens He stayed), Mrs Thornburg-Cropper, Miss Ethel Rosenberg, Miss Gamble, Miss Herrick, Mrs Scaramucci, Miss Elsie Lee, Mr Catanach, Mr Cuthbert, Mr and Mrs Jenner, Miss Yandell, Miss Julia Culver, Mrs Stannard, Mr and Mrs Eric Hammond, The Rev Harrold Johnston, The Rev Cooper Hunt, Miss Juliet Thompson, Mrs Louise Waite, Mrs Movius, Mrs Claudia Coles, Mr Mountfort Mills, Mr Mason Remey and Miss Drake Wright. Mr and Mrs Dreyfus-Barney provided translation. In addition there were a number of Persians who took the opportunity to meet Him. [BW4p377]
  • As described by Lady Blomfield those who came to see him were: "Ministers and missionaries, Oriental scholars and occult students practical men of affairs and mystics, Anglican-Catholics and Nonconformists, Theosophists and Hindus, Christian Scientists and doctors of medicine, Muslims, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians. There also called: politicians, Salvation Army soldiers, and other workers for human good, women suffragists, journalists, writers, poets and healers dress-makers and great ladies, artists and artisans, poor workless people and prosperous merchants, members of the dramatic and musical world, these all came; and none were too lowly nor too great to receive the sympathetic consideration of this holy Messenger, who was ever giving His life for others' good." In addition there was a representation from the Bramo-Somaj Society, a Hindu reform group. [CH150-152]
  • See BW4p377 where Lady Blomfield reported that Prince Jalalu'd-Dawlih entreated to be received by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and when in His presence fell prostrate and implored pardon for his crimes. (see 1891 19 May) [BW4p377]
  • Among the list of visitors were: Professor Edward Granville Browne, Mr Tudor-Pole, Emmeline Pankhurst, a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. [BW4p377]
  • See BW4p381 for the story of a homeless, suicidal man who had seen a picture of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in a newspaper in a shop window.
  • See BW4p382-383 for the story of the persistent journalist who imposed upon the appointment of two ladies from Scotland who had journeyed all that day and intended to make the return voyage that same evening.
  • For details of His stay in England see AB140–58 and GPB283–5.
  • It is implied that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was attended by Dr Lutfu-lláh Hakím while in London. [BW4p380]
  • During His stay in London 'Abdu'l-Bahá received death threats by anonymous letter and he was advised to give up He planned journey to Egypt. He ignored them. [BW4p 387]
  • During His stay in London He had professional photographs of Himself taken by the Irish photographer, James Lafayette (1853-1923). "...to have a picture of oneself is to emphasise the personality, which is merely the lamp, and is quite unimportant. The light burning within the lamp has the only real significance." [SBR25, BW4p383-384, ABF84]
  • London; United Kingdom Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Pictures and portraits; Portraits; Abdul-Baha, Death threats to; Mary Virginia Thornburgh-Cropper; Ethel Rosenberg; Juliet Thompson; Louise Waite; Mountfort Mills; Charles Mason Remey; Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Jalalud-Din-Dawlih; Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani; Khusraw; Edward Granville Browne; Wellesley Tudor Pole; Emmeline Pankhurst; Lutfullah Hakim; James Lafayette
    1912 18 Dec 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk at which E. G. Browne was present. He visited `Abdu'l-Bahá several more times while in London. [SoW Vol III no19 2Mar1913 p4, AB346, ABTM277-278]
  • Hájí Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardakání (Hájí Amín) arrived in London from Paris with three young Persian. He spoke neither English nor French and had had some difficulty in getting from Paris to London. He crossed the English Channel and then found himself back in Paris. His second attempt was successful. [SoW Vol III no19 2Mar1913 p4, AB346–7, ABTM278]
  • London; United Kingdom; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Edward Granville Browne; Haji Amin (Abul-Hasan-i-Ardikani)
    1913. 12 Feb Date of the last of the 12 letters sent to Edward Granville Browne by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The first of these letters was written on the 4th of August, 1890. Edward Granville Browne find reference
    1926 25 Jan The passing of Professor Edward Granville Browne, (b. on the family estate in Gloucestershire, 7 February, 1862. d. near Cambridge). He is buried at Elswick Cemetery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Find a grave.

    Browne was a British orientalist who published numerous articles and books of academic value in the areas of Persian history and literature. He had a number of private interviews with Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí in 1890. He was the only Westerner to have met Bahá’u’lláh and to have left a description of the experience (see Scholar Meets Prophet: Edward Granville Browne and Bahá'u'lláh).
    In 1912-13, while `Abdu'l-Bahá was in Europe, Browne visited him in London and Paris. These visits were supplemented by some correspondence between the two. Other Bahá'ís, including Montford Mills, also visited and corresponded with Browne from time to time. When `Abdu'l-Bahá passed away in 1921, Browne penned a sympathetic obituary. He also wrote a pen-portrait of Àbdu'l-Bahá. [Bahá'í Tributes]

  • Charles Melville, Professor of Persian History at Pembroke College in Cambridge headed the Browne Archive Project to digitize Browne's diaries and notes.
  • See Encounter with Bahá'u'lláh, a short video about Browne's life and his famous interview.
  • See MCS529-545 for a discussion of Browne's lack of objectivity and his partisanship as a researcher that lead to his committing some serious errors in his work on the Bábí-Bahá'í Faith.
  • He himself a professor of Arabic, found the Báb's style of writing very difficult and said of his works: "...some are so confused, so full of repetitions, extraordinary works and fantastic derivatives of Arabic roots, that they defy the most industrious and indefatigable reader." [SBBH5p227]

    Browne's Publications

    • Religious Systems of the World: A Contribution to the Study of Comparative Religion (1889)
    • A Traveller's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Báb (1891) A history by`Abdu'l-Bahá which Browne translated and extensively annotated.
    • Tarikh-i-Jadid or New History of Mirza`Ali Muhammad the Báb (1893) by Mirza Husayn Hamadani translated by E.G.Browne.
      • Hájjí Mírzá Jani Kashani wrote a substantial history of the Bábi Faith sometime between 1850-1852. (He was martyred in 1852.) These memoirs as they were copied and re-copied and spawned a great many versions which differed particularly in their portrayal of Subh-i-Azál and Bahá'u'lláh, depending on the editor’s loyalty.
      • In about 1880 Mírzá Husayn Hamadani with the support of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl took some version of Mírzá Jani's 1851 account and worked it up into a new history, The Tárikh-i-Jadíd. He did this at the request of a Zoroastrian, Manakji, who then added a preface, an epilogue, and an unknown number of amendments to the text and then published it under his own name.
      • Nabil-i-Akbar, in response to a commission by Bahá'u'lláh, made a revision of this work somewhere between 1880-1883 which is known as The Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání.
      • Browne used two these two manuscripts, The Tárikh-i-Jadíd and The Táríkh-i Badí‘-i Bayání to write the single volume The New History (tarikh-i-jadid) of Mírzá Ali-Muhammed, the Báb. In referring to Mírzá Jani's history throughout the footnotes, he was not aware of the problems of discerning what represents the original memoirs and what others have added.
    • A Year Among the Persians (1893) Vividly describes his adventures, including his encounters with the Bahá'ís and Azalís during his time in Persian from October 1887 to September 1888. The memoir of his sojourn did much to familiarize English readers with the Báb, His gentleness and patience, the cruel fate which had overtaken him, and the unflinching courage wherewith he and his followers, from the greatest to the least, had endured the merciless torments inflicted upon them by their enemies. [Tales of Magnificent Heroism by Robert Weinburg.
    • A chapter from the history of Cannabis Indica (1897)
    • A Literary History of Persia From Firdawsí to Sa'dí (in four volumes) (1902-24)
    • The Persian Revolution of 1905–1909 (1910) About the Persian Constitutional Revolution, of which Browne was an ardent supporter.
    • He published, in Persian, the text of The Kitab-i-Nuqtatu'l-Kaf, being the earliest History of the Bábís compiled by Hájji Mírzá Jání of Kásgán between the years 1850 and 1852, edited from the unique Ms. Suppl. Persan 1071. (1910) This was a work that he had done at an earlier date. It was published at the instigation of Mirza Muhammad Qazvini, a well-known Iranian literary critic and Azalí sympathizer, who wrote the Persian Introduction to this volume. After the publication of this work, `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote to a number of Iranian Bahá'ís, urging them to compile material to refute its contents. One such work was Dashf al-Ghitá by Mírzá Abul-Fazl Gulpáyigání. [RR232] [See The History and Provenance of an Early Manuscript of the Nuqtat al-kaf dated 1268 (1851-52) by William F. McCants and Kavian Sadeghzade Milani and Nuqtat al-Káf by Kavian Sadeghzade Milani as well as Nuqtat al-Kaf and the Babi Chronicle Traditions by Juan Cole; The Bab's Stay in Kashan: A Historiographical Analysis of the Kitab-i-Nuqtatu'l-Kaf Based on the Kashan Pericope by Kavian Milani; MCS517; 541]
      • When E.G. Browne published the Nuqtatu'l-Kaf with its Persian and English introductions that contained much material hostile to the Bahá'í Faith, a number of Bahá'í scholars worked on refutations of this book. [Mirza Abu'l-Fadl] Gulpaygani also began to work on such a book, but when heard that work on a similar book in Iran under the guidance of the Hands of the Cause had reached an advanced stage, he suspended work on his book awaiting a manuscript from Iran. Unfortunately he never got back to this book and at his death the manuscript was incomplete. When Mirza Abu'l-Fadl's papers were sent to his cousin Sayyid Mahdi Gulpaygani in Ashkhabad, the latter undertook to complete the work. The final work was published in Ashkhabad. Of the 438 pages of the book some 132 are attributed to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl. The final work, however, has a tone and vehemence completely uncharacteristic of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl and `Abdu'l-Baha instructed that it should not be distributed. [from a post by Adib Masumian to the [bahai-library.com/tarikh] list 25 April 2021]
      .
    • It is reported that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was "deeply annoyed" with Browne over the publication and dissemination of the Kitáb-i Nuqtatu'l-Káf as reported by Áqáy-i-Taqízádih in ´Ábdu'l-Baha's Meetings with Two Prominent Iranians introduced and translated by Ahang Rabbani. [World Order Vol 30 No 1 Fall 1998 p46]
    • It would appear that Browne loved the Bábi movement however as the religion changed into the Bahá'í Faith, he insisted on calling it the Bábi religion. Browne did not understand the the claims of Baha’u’lláh and the transitional and the historical factors at work. He saw the early Bábi movement as the beginning of the Faith and thought that the Bahá'í Faith was a sect of Bábism. This was largely due to the influence of Bahá’u’lláh’s half-brother, Azal. Browne was disappointed that the Bahá'ís did not take up the cause of constitutional reform but he was well aware that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had forbidden participation in political struggles, and that had they supported the Constitutionalists, it would the brought that wrath of the persecution of the Bahá'ís down upon them.
    • 'Abdu'l-Bahá is reported to have said, "They tampered with the contents of the history of Hájí Mírzá Jání by removing some of its passages and inserting others. They sent it to the libraries of London and Paris and through such falsehood induced him [Browne] to translate and publish the document. In order to achieve his own selfish desires, he had it printed." [MD24]
    • Also from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, "I wrote to him, saying, `You are the first European teacher and author to have attained His Blessed Presence. Do not lose this distinction.' He did not understand me and his loss will be known when the lights of guidance shine in England with supreme brilliancy." [MD278]
    • From GPB81, Browne's testimony, “One of those strange outbursts,”...“of enthusiasm, faith, fervent devotion and indomitable heroism … the birth of a Faith which may not impossibly win a place amidst the great religions of the world.” And again: “The spirit which pervades the Bábís is such that it can hardly fail to affect most powerfully all subjected to its influence.… Let those who have not seen disbelieve me if they will, but, should that spirit once reveal itself to them, they will experience an emotion which they are not likely to forget.”
    • The Persian Constitutional Movement (1918) [MCS544]
    • Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion (1918) The book represented no great amount of original work on Browne's part since it was mainly documents that he had collected.
    • Arabian Medicine (1921) [Browne, Edward Granville by Moojan Momen] iiiii
    • For scholarly works on the life of Browne see Selections From The Writings of E.G. Browne - On The Babi And Baha'i Religions by Moojan Momen and Edward Granville Browne and the Baha'i Faith by Hasan Balyuzi. Both have been published by George Ronald.
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Cambridge Edward Granville Browne; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Montfort Mills; Hajji Mirza Jani Kashani; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Mirza Husayn Hamadani; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Manakji; Nabil-i-Akbar (Aqa Muhammed-i-Qaini); Abdul-Baha, Life of
    1942 (The early 20th Century) Bahá'í Scholarship

    The publication in 1865 of the Comte de Gobineau’s (1816-1882),Les Religions et Les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale created an interest in Europe. A scholar that was inspired by Gobineau was E.G.Browne. He travelled to Iran and also visited Bahá’u’lláh in Akka in the latter days of His life. He translated two histories of the new religion and published two other books as well as a number of articles. He also made an important collection of manuscripts that he gave to Cambridge University Library. Bahá'ís have criticized Browne's work for being too sympathetic to Azal, Baha'u'llah's half-brother and implacable enemy. One of the books that Cobineau for Les Religions... was Násikhu't-Taváríkh (the 'history to abrogate all previous historiies') by Lisánu'l-Mulk. This book had been condemned by Bahá'u'lláh as a falsification of history one which even an infidel would not have had the effrontery to produce. [SUR36-37]      

    A.L.M. Nicolas (1864-1939) was a French consular official in Iran who researched and wrote a biography of the Báb as well as translating three of the Báb's major works into French.

         Just as the Báb was the centre of the scholarly interests of Gobineau, Browne and Nicolas, some Russian scholars who were more interested in Bahá'u'lláh. Baron Viktor Rosen (1849-1908), the director of the Oriental Department of the University of St. Petersburg was assisted by Aleksandr Tumanski (1861-1920). He spent a great deal of time with the Bahá'í community of Ashkhabad and with Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani. Although he did not write as much as Browne or Nicolas, what he did write was derived from a very deep and thorough investigation. [L&E43-83]

      See An Officer and an Orientalist: Alexander Grigorevich Tumanskii and His Contribution to Russian Historiography on and Policy towards the Babi-Baha’i Religion by Soli Shahvar, Bahá'í Studies Review 20 (1), 3-19

         There was much interest in scholarship in the early days of the Faith because almost all of the most important disciples of the Báb were Islamic religious scholars, as were many of the leading converts to the Bahá'í Faith in later years. The most important of these was the above mentioned Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1844-1914). He was learned in the Zoroastrian and Jewish scriptures and spent some time in the Christian West at the request of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá prior to His visit.

         During the 1930s to 1960s, a second generation of Iranian Bahá'í scholars, such as Fadil Mazandarani (1881-1957), 'Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari (1902-1972), and 'Azizu'llah Sulaymani (1901-1985) systematized Bahá'í theology and law, developed aids for scholars such as dictionaries of Bahá'í terminology, and wrote histories and biographies. This was of course a more traditional style of scholarship than is current in the West, but it continues to be useful to all present scholars.

         The above-described initial flurry of interest in the Bábí and Bahá'í religions in the West was not sustained and from the 1920s to the 1970s, there were no Western scholars who were as deeply engaged as the above-named ones and only a handful of studies that can be said to have done much to advance knowledge. From the 1970s onward, there gradually emerged a new stream of scholars who can be said to be a fusion of the above two groups, the Western and the Bahá'í scholars. This new generation of scholars mostly began as Bahá'ís, although some have subsequently left the religion. They use Western academic methodology and most operate from within Western universities but they have access to insider information and resources. Apart from these individuals, the Bahá'í Faith has been very little studied by Western scholars of religion.

         A word must also be said about what passes for scholarship on the Bahá'í Faith in Iran and to a lesser extent in the rest of the Middle East. Bahá'ís have been persecuted in many Middle Eastern countries and rejected by Islamic leaders, and one form of this discrimination has involved the manipulation of information. For most of the last 100 years, deliberately distorted or falsified information and documents have been created mostly by some within the Islamic religious establishment and then distributed as though these were facts about the Bahá'í Faith. Since the Bahá'ís have had no ability to respond to this material in the Middle East, these distortions have gradually become accepted in the Middle East as the truth. One example is the forged memoirs of Count Dolgorukov, the Russian ambassador to Iran in the 1840s to 1850s. This and other contradictions were so clearly spurious that even some Iranian scholars debunked them when they were first published in the 1940s. But despite this, they are often regularly cited by Middle Eastern writers up to the present day as though they are a reliable source for the history of the religion.

         Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, this manufacturing of disinformation and forged material has increased greatly with programs in the media, articles, and books appearing on a frequent basis, especially in the government-run media. The result is that there is almost nothing published in the Middle East that has reliable information about the Bahá'í Faith in it. A little of this sort of scholarship has also appeared in the West; some Christian missionaries, notably Reverend William McElwee Miller(1892-1993)(Also see WOB83) have written anti-Bahá'í material and ex-Bahá'ís have published academic work that is calculated to make the Bahá'í community resemble a cult as portrayed in the anti-cult campaigns that were carried out in the Western media in the 1980s. [The above was copied from the website Patheos and has been edited for brevity. It was contributed by Dr. Natalie Mobini]

  • See as well the publication of Der Bahā'ismus, Weltreligion der Zukunft?: Geschichte, Lehre und Organisation in Kritischer Anfrage (Bahá'ísm-Religion of the Future? History, Doctrine and Organization: A Critical Inquiry) by Francesco Ficicchia under the auspices of the Central Office of the Protestant Church for Questions of Ideology in Germany.
  • Bahai studies; Babism; Comte de Gobineau; Edward Granville Browne; A.L.M. Nicolas; Baron Rosen; Alexander Tumansky; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Mirza Asadullah Fadil-i-Mazandarani; Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari; Azizullah Sulaymani; Reverend William McElwee Miller; Francesco Ficicchia; Baron Viktor Rosen
    1949 24 Apr The passing of Montfort Mills.
  • He had been a believer since 1906 and by 1909 he had made two pilgrimages to 'Akká as well as a third in early 1921.
  • In 1922 he and Roy Wilhelm were invited to Haifa to discuss the possibility of calling for the formation of the Universal House of Justice.
  • He was the first chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada when it first formed in 1922 and was elected to that body seven times between 1922 and 1937 and was responsible for the final draft of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws adopted in 1927.
  • One of his most outstanding achievements was his role in the case of the appeal for possession of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. He made two trips to Baghdad and had audiences with King Feisal. During one of these trips he was brutally assaulted and suffered the effects for many years.
  • He met with Professor E. G. Browne and, after hearing Mr. Mills explanation of the evolution of the Faith and of the Covenant, Mr. Browne realized he had been veiled by conflicting claims and disturbances following the martyrdom of the Báb and expressed a desire to translate later Bahá'í works but died before this contribution could be made. [BW11p509-511]
  • United States; Baghdad; Iraq House of Bahaullah (Baghdad); In Memoriam; Edward Granville Browne; Births and deaths; Covenant-breakers
    2017 6 Nov - 22 Jan An exhibition of Bahá'u'lláh’s writings opened at the John Addis Gallery in the British Museum.
  • One of the central themes was the power of the Word, which refers to divine revelation, a concept fundamental to the origins of all the world’s great faiths. The exhibition showed original handwriting of Bahá'u'lláh, as well as other archival items associated with His life such as His reed pens and examples of "revelation writing" by His scribe as he tried keep up with Bahá'u'lláh's dictation.
  • The exhibition, timed to commemorate the period of celebration of the 200th anniversary of His birth, was open to the public until the 22nd of January. [BWNS1220]
  • See the British Museum blog entitled Displaying the Bahá'í Faith: the pen is mightier than the sword.
  • London; United Kingdom British Museum and British Library; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; Relics; Bahaullah, Writings of; Exhibitions; Reed pens; Reed (general); Calligraphy; Revelation writing; Kalimat-i-Maknunih (Hidden Words); Bahaullah, Pen portraits of; Pen portraits; Edward Granville Browne; Gifts

    from the main catalogue

    1. Babi Pamphlet, A, by W. A. Rice, in The Church Missionary Intelligencer, 53:27 (1902). Review of an unnamed booklet sent to E.G. Browne, a "little manuscript book of 118 small pages, written in the beautiful Persian character," which was "originally composed before Behaullah’s death in 1892." [about]
    2. Babism, by E. G. Browne, in Religious Systems of the World: A Contribution to the Study of Comparative Religion (1890). An early academic account of Babi-Bahá'í history and belief. [about]
    3. Bahá'u'lláh's Bishárát (Glad-Tidings): A Proclamation to Scholars and Statesmen, by Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 16 (2010). Historical and textual study of the one of the major writings of Bahá'u'lláh, and new theories as to its provenance and purpose; it may have been revealed for E. G. Browne. [about]
    4. Bábís of Persia, The: I. Sketch of Their History, and Personal Experiences amongst Them, by E. G. Browne, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 21:3 (1889). Results of Browne's investigations into the doctrines, history, and circumstances of this "most remarkable" religious phenomenon, and outline of things yet to be studied. [about]
    5. Bábís of Persia, The: II. Their Literature and Doctrines, by E. G. Browne, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 21:4 (1889). Overview of Bábí literature and doctrine. [about]
    6. Browne and the Babis, by Arthur J. Arberry, in Shiraz: Persian City of Saints and Poets (1960). Brief history of the Babis and E. G. Browne's relations with them. [about]
    7. Browne's Mirza Yahya, Before and After His Second Visit: Tarikh-i-Jadid vs. Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion, by Grover Gonzales (2019). E. G. Browne visited Yahya, Subh-i-Azal, in 1890 and 1896. He wrote about Azal with a positive tone in New History (1893) and a disillusioned tone in Materials (1918). This is a brief history of Browne's shifting perspective of the Azalis. [about]
    8. Browne, Edward Granville: Babism and Bahá'ísm, by Juan Cole, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 4 (1990). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    9. Browne, Edward Granville: life and academic career, by Michael Wickens, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 4 (1990). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    10. Browne, Edward Granville: Persian Constitutional movement, by Kamran Ekbal, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 4 (1990). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    11. Browne, Edward Granville, by Moojan Momen (1995). Short biography of an English orientalist and famous scholar of the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths. [about]
    12. Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts, by E. G. Browne, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1892). Categorization, descriptions, and excerpts of 27 manuscripts by the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh, Abdu'l-Bahá, and Subh-i-Azal. [about]
    13. Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts 2 (Continued from Page 499), by E. G. Browne, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1892). Categorization, descriptions, and excerpts of 27 manuscripts by the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh, Abdu'l-Bahá, and Subh-i-Azal. [about]
    14. Development of the Babi/Bahá'í Communities, The: Exploring Baron Rosen's Archives, by Youli A. Ioannesyan (2013). 19th-century private letters and diplomatic correspondence from a prominent Russian scholar, one of the first to study the rise of the Babis. Excerpt from book: contents and Introduction. (Offsite.) [about]
    15. Edward Granville Browne, by Christopher Buck, in British Writers, Supplement XXI (2014). Bio of E.G. Browne, with focus on his books and translations. [about]
    16. Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith, by H.M. Balyuzi: Review, by L. P. Elwell-Sutton, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1972). [about]
    17. English Amongst the Persians During the Qajar Period 1787-1921, The, by Denis Wright (1977). Passing mentions of Bahá'ís seeking support or asylum from British consulates or missionaries in the 1800s; overview of E. G. Browne's time in Iran. [about]
    18. First Recorded Bahá'í Fireside, The, by Christopher Buck, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 21 (2019). An episode from Browne's A Year Amongst the Persians which can be regarded as a first "fireside" — a meeting with Bahá'ís in Shiraz in March 1888. [about]
    19. Introduction to Nuqtat-al-Kaf, and Index and Concordance to the Persian Bayán, by E. G. Browne, in Kitab-i Nuqtat al-Kaf: Being the Earliest History of the Babis (1910). Browne's English-language introduction to the earliest Bábí history Kitab-i Nuqtat al-Kaf, plus his detailed, annotated "Index of Chief Contents" of the Persian Bayán. [about]
    20. Literary History of Persia: Volumes 1-4, by E. G. Browne (1902). The essential text for students of Iranian literature through the ages. [about]
    21. Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion (1918). An early collection of historical documents related to Bahá'í and Bábí studies. (Not fully complete.) [about]
    22. New History (tarikh-i-jadid) of Mirza Ali-Muhammed the Bab, The, by Husayn Hamadani (1893). Detailed history of the Bab, translated into English. Also known as Tarikh-i Badi'-i Bayani. [about]
    23. Nuqtat al-Káf, by Kavian Sadeghzade Milani, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (2008). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    24. Nuqtat al-Kaf and the Babi Chronicle Traditions, by Juan Cole, in Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies, 2:6 (1998). History of the writing of this early Bábí historical text, and some recent interpretations of its history. [about]
    25. Persian Revolution of 1905-1909, The, by E. G. Browne (1910). Includes discussion of Bahá'ís and Bábís in "Attitude of Bahá’ís towards Persian Politics" (pp. 424-429) and "The Assassination of Nasiru'd-Din Shah" (60-62). Search text for Bábí for other references. [about]
    26. Persian Revolution of 1905-1909, The, by E. G. Browne: Reviews, by Various (1996). Three reviews, published in CIRA Bulletin, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and Journal of Islamic Studies. [about]
    27. Picture Gallery of Early British Bahá'ís (1998). Published in honor of the UK Bahá'í Centenary, 1998/99. [about]
    28. Scholar Meets Prophet: Edward Granville Browne and Bahá'u'lláh (Acre, 1890), by Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 20 (2014). Details of E.G. Browne's handwritten notes about his meeting with Bahá'u'lláh, his stay in Akka in April 1890, and his correspondence with Russian academics. [about]
    29. Selections from the Writings of E. G. Browne on the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions, ed. Moojan Momen: Review, by John Danesh, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 1:3 (1989). [about]
    30. Study of the Meaning of the Word "Al-Amr" in the Qur'án and in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, A, by Moojan Momen, in Lights of Irfan, Book 1 (2000). Examines two controversies about the Arabic-Persian term "al-amr"/"amr" regarding Quranic prophecy and the status of Subh-e Azal. [about]
    31. Tablet of Glad-Tidings: A Proclamation to Scholars and Statesmen, by Christopher Buck and Nahzy Abadi Buck (2012). The Lawh-i-Bishárát as a Proclamatory Aqdas and public announcement of principles from 'The Most Holy Book'; a proclamation to scholars and statesmen; Cambridge manuscripts from the E.G. Browne Collection; response to modernity; Persian original. [about]
    32. Tales of Magnificent Heroism: The Impact of the Báb and His Followers on Writers and Artists, by Robert Weinberg, in Bahá'í World (2019). This concise survey explores how this particular episode in humanity’s religious history resonated so strongly through the decades that followed. [about]
    33. Traveller's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Báb, A, by E. G. Browne and Abdu'l-Bahá (1891). Annotated translation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's history of the Bábí and early Bahá'í movements, dated 1886; includes many historical appendices by Browne. [about]
    34. Yahyá, Mírzá, by Moojan Momen, in The Bahá'í Encyclopedia (2009). On the younger half-brother of Bahá’u’lláh, later his opponent, known as Subh-i-Azal, described by Shoghi Effendi as "the arch-breaker of the Covenant of the Báb." [about]
    35. Year Amongst the Persians, A, by E. G. Browne (1893). Browne's famous account of his extended visit to Iran in 1887-1888; includes many references to Bábí and Bahá'í history and personages. [about]
     
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