Search for tag "Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani"
|1844 (In the year)
||Birth of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh, in Gulpáygán.
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Apostles of Bahaullah; Births and deaths
|1876 (In the year)
||The conversion of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl Gulpáygání, a leading clerical philosopher. [BBRSM88; EB264]
See EB263–5 for details of his life.
See BKG262 for details of his conversion.
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani
|1889. 8 Sep
||Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání was martyred in `Ishqábád. He had been on of the most prominent Bahá'ís and acted as the agent for the Afnan family Ishqabad. The murder had been orchestrated by the clergy who had brought ruffians from Khurasan for this purpose. They were bold, thinking that they were acting with impunity because the victim was a Bahá'í but the authorities intervened and arrested nine of the perpetrators. Some 70 fled to Iran. The plan had been to incite a general attack on the Bahá'í community.
[BBRXXIX, 296–7; GPB202; The Baha'i Community Of Ashkhabad; Its Social Basis And Importance In Baha'i History by Mojan Momen p283]
"In the city of 'Ishqábád the newly established Shí'ah community, envious of the rising prestige of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh who were living in their midst, instigated two ruffians to assault the seventy-year old Hájí Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Isfáhání, whom, in broad day and in the midst of the bazaar, they stabbed in no less than thirty-two places, exposing his liver, lacerating his stomach and tearing open his breast. A military court dispatched by the Czar to 'Ishqábád established, after prolonged investigation, the guilt of the Shí'ahs, sentencing two to death and banishing six others - a sentence which neither Násir'd-Dín Sháh, nor the 'ulamás of Tihrán, of Mashad and of Tabríz, who were appealed to, could mitigate, but which the representatives of the aggrieved community, through their magnanimous intercession which greatly surprised the Russian authorities, succeeded in having commuted to a lighter punishment." [GPB202-203]
Pior to this time the Shi'i and the Bahá'í had lived side by side more or less peacefully. After this incident they were more segregated.
Czar Alexander III sent a military commission from St Petersburg to conduct the trial of those accused of the murder. [AB109; GPB202]
Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl served as chief Bahá'í spokesman at the trial that took place in November 1890[AB109]
Two were found guilty and sentenced to death, six others were ordered to be transported to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
Bahá'u'lláh attached importance to the action as being the first time Shí'ís received judicial punishment for an attack on Bahá'ís. [BBRSM91]
The Bahá'í community interceded on behalf of the culprits and had the death sentences commuted to transportation to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
For Western accounts of the episode see BBR296–300.
See as well The Martyrdom of Haji Muhammad-Rida by Mirza Abu’l-Fadl Gulpaygani, translated by Ahang Rabbani.
||Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani; Czar Alexander III; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Turkmenistan; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
|1894 (In the year)
|| `Abdu’l-Bahá sent Mírzá Abú’l-Fadl to Cairo. The Master
instructed the prominent Bahá’ís not to associate openly with him
so that he would not attract undue attention and notice. He moved to an apartment with two furnished rooms,
situated above the business of an Afnan in Saray-i-Jawahiri. He began
teaching philosophy and logic at Al-Azhar University and meeting
and associating with the learned and accomplished men of his time.
He organized and taught classes in various branches of knowledge
and philosophy. He was "outed" as a Bahá'í went he arose to defend the community in the aftermath of the assassination of the Shah in April of 1896. [Memories of the Báb,
Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá By
Mírzá Habíbu’lláh Afnán
He published the first series of Bahá’í books in Egypt, including the first
compilation of `Abdu’l-Bahá's Tablets, which the Master entitled Makatib-i-`Abdu’l-
See as well‘Abdu’l-Baha’s First Thousand-Verse
Tablet: History and Provisional
Translation by Ahang Rabbani
Khazeh Fananapazir pg 107-108.
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani
|1897. 26 Mar
||From the time of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, Abdu'l-Bahá endured significant family opposition to His authority and position as the Centre of the Covenant. For several years He had worked to contain the news of these defections and to prevent any word of them from reaching other Bahá'í communities. By 1896-7 the Bahá'ís of Egypt had heard enough of the details that when Mirza Habibu'llah Afnan was going on a pilgrimage, they asked him to learn as much as he could. To his great shock, the Afnan soon apprised that indeed Abdu'l-Bahá's brothers and the majority of his family had arisen against him in rebellion. They accused Him of claiming to be a manifestation Himself and for the mistreatment of the break-away part of the family. As instructed by 'Abdul-Bahá, he, on his return to Egypt, informed the Bahá'í community of the situation. Mirza Abu'l-Fadl found this hard to accept in view of Bahá'u'lláh instructions regarding the treatment of the Holy Family after His passing. Therefore, he wrote to Abdu'l-Bahá to confirm the truth of this news and received in response a lengthy tablet that has been called The First Thousand-Verse Tablet. [‘Abdu’l-Baha’s First Thousand-Verse Tablet: History and Provisional Translation by Ahang Rabbani and Khazeh Fananapazir]
In the Tablet He described how He had suffered from the activities of both "the waverers and the rebellious" from among the family and associates. They had deployed others to undermine the authority of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Persia (where Jamál-i- Burújirdí was foremost among the Covenant-breakers.) and in other lands and even used the name of steadfast believers to disseminate their messages to undermine His authority. Up until this time 'Abdu'l-Bahá had spent considerable effort in trying to contain the news of their activities and had amassed considerable debt in trying to appease their demands.
To compound 'Abdu'l-Bahá's woes and difficulties, in addition to opposition from within the Faith, the Azalis were active, particularly in Persia. Opposition also came from the Ottoman government in Istanbul, the local authorities and from the Islam and possibly the Christian communities in Akka. iiiii
Sometime later, in 1315 AH (which commenced on 2 June 1897), a similar tablet of the same name was composed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for Mirza Jalíl Khu’í, a coppersmith who lived in the province of Adhirbayjan. He had been influenced by Jamál-i- Burújirdí and had been appointed as his agent in that country. Khu’í had also received correspondence from Muhammad-'Alí. The tablet was read to Khu’i but a copy not given to him at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s instruction. Scholars have labelled this as the Second Thousand-Verse Tablet. [Tablet of Splendors (Lawh-i-Ishráqát): Tablet study outline; CoBp148-9, 157, 158, 229]
See how this Tablet became the source of the undoing of Mírzá Muhammad-Ali and Majdu'd-Dín in their plot to deceive the governor of Syria in Damascus, Názim Páshá, into believing that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was planning an insurrection. [CoB226-230]
|Akka; Iran; Adharbayjan; Egypt; Cairo
||Covenant-breakers; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Thousand-Verse Tablet; Khalil-i-Khui; Jamal-i-Burujirdi; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Mirza Muhammad Ali
|1899. c. 1 May (and period following)
||Kheiralla returned to the United States from `Akká. [BFA1:xxix, 158] (After his departure from Palestine he was abandoned by his British-American wife.) [SBBH1p239]
His ambitions to lead the Bahá'í Faith caused a crisis in the American Bahá'í community. [BFA1:158–84; CB247–9, GPB259–260; 319; SBBH194, 239; AY119; WOB82-83]
In the following months `Abdu'l-Bahá dispatched successive teachers to heal the rift:
"...four chosen messengers of 'Abdu'l-Bahá who, in rapid succession, were dispatched by Him to pacify and reinvigorate that troubled community. ...were commissioned to undertake, the beginnings of that vast Administration, the corner-stone of which these messengers were instructed to lay... [WOB83-84; AY119]
See BFA1:177–8 for lists of believers who sided with Kheiralla, left the Faith or remained loyal to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
See SBBH1:98–101 for Kheiralla's teachings.
- Hájí `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Tihrání, who had taught Kheiralla the Faith, from c. 26 Apr to 5 Aug 1900. [BFA1:173–6; BFA2:17–29]
- Hájí Hasan-i-Khurásání, from 29 Nov 1900 to Aug 1901. [BFA2:35, 389]
- Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání, from 29 Nov 1900 to 12 May 1902. [BFA2:VI, 35–43ff]
- Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl, accompanied by the young poet and diplomat, Ali-Kuli Khan, from Aug 1901 to Dec 1904. [BFA2:XV-XVI, 80–7; BW9:855–60]
- Note: GPB259 says that Kheiralla had returned from the Holy Land in December of 1899 but in fact it was in the month of May. [BFA1pxxix] iiiii
|United States; Akka
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla; Covenant-breakers; Haji Abdul-Karim-i-Tihrani; Haji Hasan-i-Khurasani; Mirza Asadullah-i-Isfahani; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Ali Kuli Khan
||Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl-i-Gulpáygání arrived in North America. [BFA2:XV]
Laura Barney financed the visit of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl to the United States in 1901-04 in order to propagate the Faith and to help publish the translation of his Ḥojaj al-bahīya (Cairo, 1342/1925; tr. Ali-Kuli Khan as The Bahá'í Proofs, New York, 1902; 2nd ed., ed. J. R. I. Cole, Wilmette, Ill., 1983) [Wikipedia, Laura Clifford Barney.]
See BFA2:80–7 and BW9:855–860 for accounts of his visit.
See Wikipedia, Green Acre and Wikipedia, Mary Hanford Ford for accounts of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl at Green Acre.
Mirza Ahmad Sohrab was sent to assist him. Sohrab remained and worked at the Iranian Consulate until 1912 and during this time he translated much of the correspondence between 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Western believers. At the conclusion of the American tour he returned to the Holy Land. After the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá he rejected the authority of Shoghi Effendi and was expelled. [APD155]
[LDNW17] says he was accompanied by Ali-Kuli Kahn.
||New York; United States
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Proofs; Publications; Laura Clifford Barney; Ahmad Sohrab; Covenant-breakers; Green Acre
|1904. 29 Nov
||Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl departed from the United States after a four year stay. He spent most of that time in the Washington, DC area. [BFA2:XVI. ASK20]
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani
|1911 15 Oct
||In the morning 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk at His apartment at #4 Avenue de Camoens. During the talk Muhammad Qazvíní and Siyyid Hasan Taqízásih entered the room. The former had written an introduction for and was the force behind the publication of Kitáb-i-Nuqtatu'l-Káf, a book that supposedly was an early history of the Faith but in reality was heavily biased to the the views of Mírzá Yahya. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had had Mírzá Abdu'l-Fadl write a refutation to the book. Both men had additional dinner engagements with 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His visit. ['Abdu'l-Bahá's Meetings with Two Prominent Iranians, World Order, Fall 1998 Vol 30, no 1 pp35-46, ABF71-76]
In the afternoon all were invited to meet Him at #22 rue Ledru- Rollin pré-Saint-Germais-sur-Seine outside the walls of Paris. The purpose was to visit a project run by Mons. V. Ponsonaille and his wife to provide some comfort to the poor children in an underprividged quarter of the city. For an account of this event see Glimpses of Abdul'Bahá in Paris by Alice Beede.[ABF76-79; SYH45]
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Kitab-i-Nuqtatul-Kaf; Criticism and apologetics; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Muhammad Qazvini; Siyyid Hasan Taqizasih
|1912 (In the year)
||The publication of The Brilliant Proof by Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl Gulpáygání in Chicago by the Bahai News Service, 1912. The first edition notes state that it was written December 28, 1911, in Syria, "by the pen of Mirza Abul Fazl Gulpaygan."
239D93 says this book was written by Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl in answer to a London minister's criticism of the Cause.
The publication of this book marked the end of an early era of Bahá'í teaching in the West. As 'Abdu'l-Bahá continued his journeys in the United States and Canada, He delivered hundreds of public talks and private addresses which were tailored to Western audiences. The fresh outpouring of teachings which resulted from these encounters produced a new Bahá'í literature of the words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the West. Examples include the following: The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by `Abdu'l-Bahá During His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912, compiled by Howard MacNutt, (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1922-25); Paris Talks: Addresses Given by `Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912 (London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1912); 'Abdu'l-Bahá in London.
||Chicago; United States
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Criticism and apologetics; Proofs; Publications; Abdul-Baha, Travels of
|1914 21 Jan
||Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh, passed away in Cairo. [AB404; BBD67]
... learned apologist . .. (one of the) successive messengers despatched by 'Abdu'l-Bahá
(who) succeeded in rapidly dispelling the doubts, and in deepening the understanding of
the believers, in holding the community together, and in forming the nucleus of those
administrative insitutions which, two decades later, were to be formally inaugurated
through the explicit provisions of'Abdu'l-Bahá'ís Will and Testament. Shoghi Effendi
- He became a believer in 1876. [RoB3p91-107]
- He was named as an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh.
- For biographical information see EM263–5; SDH113; RoB3p433-441; SBNB208-225
- See BW17p625 for Highlights in the life of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl based on an article by R Mehrabkani
- His resting place is now next to that of Lua Getsinger in the Bahá'í cemetery in Cairo. [BW9p87]
- His numerous works include Fará'id (The Peerless Gems) 1898; The Brilliant Proof; 1912; Bahá'í Proofs, 1902; and Al-Duraru'l-Bahíyih (The Shining Pearls, published in English as Miracles and Metaphors), 1900. [BBD7]
- Find a grave.
- See AY103, Star of the West, vol. IV, no. 19, pp. 316–7 and Bahá'í Proofs p17-18 for the story of how Ameen Fareed entered and secretly remained in Mírzá’s house, between the time of Mírzá’s death and his burial, and removed precious manuscripts which, slightly changed, he would spread among the believers in an attempt to undermine their unity at a later time.
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl in His home in Haifa on 21 and 22 January, 1914 as reported in SoW Vol 9 No 3 April 28, 1918.
- Among his works are:
- Borhān-e lāmeʿ, translated and published as The Brilliant Proof (1912),
- al-Ḥojaj al-bahīya, translated and published as Miracles and Metaphors (1981).
- A selection of his shorter works, entitled Letters and Essays (1985), is also available in English.
- His other works such as al-Farāʾed, Šarḥ-e Āyāt-e Mowarraḵa, Kašf al-ḡeṭāʾ, and a few collections of his shorter works exist in Arabic and Persian.
- See the Wikipedia page for links to his works.
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Apostles of Bahaullah; Lua Getsinger; Cemeteries and graves; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Ameen Fareed (Amin Farid); Covenant-breakers
|1916 2 May
||Louisa Aurora “Lua” Moore Getsinger, (b. 1 November, 1872 in Hume, Allegany County, New York) Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá, “Mother teacher of the West” died of heart failure in Cairo. [BBD87; Find a grave; Bahaipedia; GPB257]
'Abdu'l-Bahá's appointmented of Lua as "Herald of the Covenant" in the June 19, 1912. [LGHC157]
For an her obituary see [SoW Vol 7 No 4 May 17, 1916 p29-30].
She was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Cairo. In 1939 a court ruling enabled the Bahá'ís to reinter her in the first Bahá'í cemetery established in Cairo, El Qahira, Egypt. Her grave was now beside that of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl. [GPB344]
See Lua Getsinger: Herald of the Covenant by Amine DeMille. [USBN No489 December 1971 p1-5]
See also Sears and Quigley, The Flame.
See as well Lua Getsinger: Herald of the Covenant by Velda Piff Metelmann.
For a brief biography see 239Days as well as The Shining Lamp and Beyond Foreignness.
- For a photo of the reinterment see BW9p87.
||Lua Getsinger; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; Cemeteries and graves; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
|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).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]
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]
- 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.
||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; Manikchi Limji Hataria; Nabil-i-Akbar (Aqa Muhammed-i-Qaini); Abdul-Baha, Life of
|1939 21 Feb
||Situation in Egypt: Background Information
"riots which broke out with exceptional fury in Ismá'ílíyyih, when angry crowds surrounded the funeral cortege of Muhammad Sulaymán, a prominent Bahá'í resident of that town, creating such an uproar that the police had to intervene, and having rescued the body and brought it back to the home of the deceased, they were forced to carry it without escort, at night, to the edge of the desert and inter it in the wilderness." [GPB367-368]
The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt had, in respect to the decision of the 10th of May, 1925 declaring the Báhá'í Faith to be non-Muslim, petitioned the government for the right to administer laws of personal status to the Bahá'í community according to its Bahá'í Laws affecting Matters of Personal Status.
On the 29th of February, 1939, the Grand Muftí ruled that the Bahá'ís were not to be considered Muslims and had no right to be buried in Muslim cemeteries. Four plots of land were allocated to serve as cemeteries for the Bahá'í community in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and in Ismá'ílíyyih.
Immediately following this decision the remains of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl were transferred followed by the exhumation from a Christian cemetery in Cairo the remains of Lua Getsinger and subsequent re-interment in an adjacent plot. [GPB368-369]
|Cairo; Alexandria; Port Said; Ismailiyyih; Egypt
||Lua Getsinger; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani
|1942 (The early 20th Century)
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; Scholarship; Orientalism; 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
|1942. 18 Dec
||The Assembly of Egypt, after obtaining government permission to maintain a Bahá’í cemetery, arranged for the transfer of the remains of Abu’l-Fadl and of Lua Moore Getsinger from their respective graves. The members of the National Spiritual Assembly, together with its committee who carried out the transfer, accompanied by representatives of all Bahá’í communities of Egypt, conducted a service at the Bahá’í cemetery during the reinterment. See BW9p82; 83; 87 for photos.
After Abdu'l-Fadl passed away in early 1914 the American believers, in gratitude for the contribution he had made to the American Bahá'í community, collected a sum of money for the construction of a suitable monument for his grave. The work was interrupted with the Ascension of the Master and the money collected was reverted the National Fund. That money was now sent to the National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt. [BW9p89]
||Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Apostles of Bahaullah; Lua Getsinger; Cemeteries and graves; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
|1946 13 Dec
||The passing of Muhammad Taqí Isfahání. He had been born in Persia and was horrified by the behaviour of Mullá Muhammad Báqir (The Wolf) and Imám-Jum'íh who had killed the two brothers Muhammad Husayn and Muhammad Hasan so he left for Egypt and encountered many believers on his way. He passed through Akka and met both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'-Bahá.
His name is closely associated with the early progress of the Faith in Egypt. His house was the centre of activity and was were both Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl and Lua Getsinger spent their last days. He received 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His visit to Egypt. He was the chief member of the Publishing Committee and helped to translate many books into Arabic such as the Iqán and Some Answered Questions.
The Guardian announced his elevation to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God two days after his passing and donated a sum of money to be used for his tomb. He is buried in the Bahá'í Cemetery. [MoCxxii, BW11p500-502]
||Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Hands of the Cause, Activities; In Memoriam; Muhamman Taqi Isfahani; Lua Getsinger; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Translation
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- Abdu'l-Baha's First Thousand-Verse Tablet: History and Provisional Translation, by Ahang Rabbani and Khazeh Fananapazir, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 16:1 (2010-04). Tablet revealed in 1897 in response to events in Akka and the rebellion against Abdu'l-Bahá by his family members after the passing of Bahá'u'lláh. [about]
- Ante Litteram Critique of Orientalism, An: The Case of Abu'l-Fadá'il-i-Gulpáyigání and E.G. Browne, by Mina Yazdani and Omid Ghaemmaghami, in Religions, 14:6 (2023). Gulpaygani’s analysis of Orientalism as presented in his book Kashfu'l-Ghitá', which focused on the Cambridge scholar E.G. Browne and how his worldview prefigured that of Edward Said; colonial power relations. Link to article (offsite). [about]
- Apparent Contradictions in the Bahá'í Writings, Reconciliation of, by Universal House of Justice (2002-05-28). On apparent contradictions, regarding Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl on Abraham and Zoroaster; 'Abdu'l-Bahá and a Baby Naming Ceremony; Minimum Age of Marriage; Smoking and Firmness in the Covenant; Corporal Punishment; Táhirih as "Woman Suffragette." [about]
- Ashgabat Collection, by Olga Mehti (2019). On the life and works of Alexander Tumansky and his involvement with Bahá'í history. [about]
- Báb and the Bábí Religion, The, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani, in Letters & Essays 1886-1913 (1985). A general overview of Bábí history and thought, written in Arabic in 1896. [about]
- Bahá'í Proofs, The, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1902). A book of history and theology composed in America, in which Gulpaygani gives an exposition of the Faith from a Christian point of view. Until Esslemont's Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, it was a standard Bahá'í textbook. Persian original included. [about]
- Brilliant Proof, The, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1998). Two editions of a work of apologetics by an eminent Bahá'í scholar, first published in 1912 and reprinted 1998. [about]
- Brilliant Proof, The, by Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani: Review, by Devin Stewart, in Middle East Studies Association Bulletin (2002-06). [about]
- Commentary on the Saying "Knowledge is Twenty-Seven Letters", A, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani, in Letters & Essays 1886-1913 (1985). An explanation of a saying of Imám Ja'far as Sádiq, which was quoted in the Kitáb-i-Iqán, about the Promised One bringing the remaining 25 letters of knowledge. [about]
- Compilation of Extracts Regarding Arius, by Research Department of the Universal House of Justice and Abdu'l-Bahá (1991/1996). Collection of materials regarding an early Christian theologian who, in expounding that Christ was subordinate to God the Father, discarded the trinity and fractured the unity of the Church. [about]
- Dawn over Mount Hira and Other Essays, by Marzieh Gail (1976). A collection of essays on various topics of interest to Bahá'í studies and history. Most of these were first published in Star of the West and World Order between 1929 and 1971. [about]
- Elucidation of the Meaning of The Greatest Name, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1945?). Explanation of "The Greatest Name," with words of Abdu'l-Bahá, as copied by May Maxwell. Source and date not known. [about]
- Evolving Role of Bahá'í Scholarship, The, by Vahid Rafati, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 25:1-2 (2015). Lecture on the evolution of Bahá’í scholarship; ulamás and the Faith; role of the ulamás in Islam; changes instituted by Bahá'u'lláh; abolition of clerical authority; historical legacy of some scholars; present challenges and future scholarship. [about]
- Gulpáygání, Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, by Moojan Momen (1995). [about]
- Knowing God Through Love and Farewell Address of Mirza Abul Fazl, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1904). 16-page pamphlet containing Gulyaygani's address given at Green Acre, July 27 1904, and his farewell words to the American Bahá'ís at a reception given in his honor by Arthur Dodge in New York, November 29 1904. [about]
- Letters and Essays, 1886-1913, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1985). Treatises of "the greatest and most learned of all Bahá'í scholars" about Alexander Tumansky; on meeting Abdu'l-Bahá; and on the meaning of angels, resurrection, civilization, tests, angels, holy spirit, and the saying "Knowledge is twenty-seven letters." [about]
- Letters and Essays, The Master in Akká, and In Iran: Studies in Babi and Baha'i History vol. 3: Reviews, by Todd Lawson, in Iranian Studies, 21:3-4 (1988). Reviews of three books by Kalimat Press. [about]
- Light of the World: Selected Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by Abdu'l-Bahá (2021). Tablets of ‘Abdul-Bahá describing aspects of the life of Bahá’u’lláh including the tribulations He suffered, events in His homeland, the purpose and greatness of His Cause, and the nature and significance of His Covenant. [about]
- Martyrdom of Haji Muhammad-Rida, The, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1890). Gulpaygani's firsthand account of the events leading up to and following the murder of Muhammad-Rida and the trial of his killers. [about]
- Miracles and Metaphors, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1981). Collection of essays on metaphysical topics and Bahá'í answers to old religious controversies: are the Scriptures to be taken literally? Do miracles occur? What is an angel? Are the stories of the Old Testament to be believed? [about]
- Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl: The Greatest Scholar, by Darius Shahrokh, in Windows to the Past (1992). Lengthy biography of an early scholar, whose writings Persian Bahá'ís often consider as ranking second to the Holy Writings and the writings of Shoghi Effendi. [about]
- Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, by Babak Farrokhzad (2021). Wikipedia-Artikel über Mirza Abu‘l-Fadl, der den neusten Stand der Literatur (Oct 2021) berücksichtigt. [about]
- Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl Gulpáyegání, by Moojan Momen, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 1 (1985). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
- Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl in America, by Ali-Kuli Khan and Marzieh Gail, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 9 (1940-1944) (1945). Khan's personal recollections of Gulpaygani, with mentions of other early American Bahá'ís. [about]
- Prayer Revealed by the Exalted Pen for Mírzá 'Abu'l-Fadl, by Bahá'u'lláh (1995-12). Authorized translation of a short prayer, with a short introduction from the BWC Research Department. [about]
- Proof Based on Establishment (Dalíl-i-taqrír) and the Proof Based on Verses (Hujjiyyat-i-ayát), The: An Introduction to the Bahá'í-Muslim Polemics, by Kavian Sadeghzade Milani and Leila Rassekh Milani, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 7:4 (1997). Study of Bahá'í apologetics based largely on the work of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl. [about]
- Tabernacle of Unity, The: Bahá'u'lláh's Responses To Mánikchi Sáhib, by Bahá'u'lláh (2006). [about]
- Tablet on the Passing of Mirza 'Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání (Lawh-i-az Hadrat-i-‘Abdu‘l-Bahá‘ pas az Su‘udi-i-Mírzá Abu‘l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání), by Abdu'l-Bahá (2000). [about]
- Tablet to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Concerning the Questions of Manakji Limji Hataria: Baha'u'llah on Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, by Bahá'u'lláh (1995). Introduction to, article about, and translation of the Tablet to Maneckji. [about]
- Three Momentous Years of the Heroic Age, by Adib Taherzadeh, in Bahá'í World, Volume 15 (1968-1973) (1973-04-21). A look at the extraordinary period of Revelation immediately after Bahá’u’lláh’s imprisonment in Akká. [about]
- Visit to the Prophet of Persia, A, by Philip Sidersky and S. K. Braun, in Missionary Review, 25:10 (1902-10). Interview with Mirza Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpaygani in Washington, D.C., 1901. [about]
- Windows to the Past, by Darius Shahrokh (1992). Deepening talks on 25 topics about Bahá'í history and teachings, downloadable in MP3 audio format and PDF transcripts. [about]
- Wittgensteinian Language-Games in an Indo-Persian Dialogue on the World Religions, by Juan Cole, in Iran Nameh, 30:3 (2015 Fall). Reflections on Bahá'u'lláh's theology of previous religions and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s concept of "language games"; Hinduism, India, and 19th-century Iranian culture; Manakji’s questions about Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. [about]
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