The Babis

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The Babis - THE MOHAMMEDAN MESSIAH. Ois Coming: Will T!o...
THE MOHAMMEDAN MESSIAH. Ois Coming: Will T!o Foretold by Sixty Forerunners. According to tradition, says Tho Contemporary Review, the true Mahdi will be preceded by 60 forerunners—John Baptists or Eliuscs—called babs (bab means the door through which enters tho Messiah). As a rule those holy personages—ulcmas, or descendants of tho prophet, who end by setting up themselves as tho Messiah—begin by calling themselves only babs, or floors, and if they meet with success and arc accepted they then pose as the actual Mahdi. As to the buh'.sm of recent times, this is its simple origin: About 00 years ayo a young native of Shiraz named ilirza Ali Mohammed was tho favorite pupil of a celebrated shika, who was looked upon as a sort of bab, or forerunner of thu Mahdi. After ho died his young pupil, luir/a Ali Mohammed, announced himself as also a bab. Ho was soon surrounded with disciples. His popularity alarmed tho reigning shah. Ho was arrested and kept iu prison for somo timu, but as his followers Increased in number tho ulemas thought it prudent to condemn him to death by torture. Tho subsequent massacre of the babs is a matter of recent history. Tho babs that wero left, inspired by a thirst for vengeance, now plotted tho assassination of the shah, and each attempt has been followed by inoro bab massacres. Now you have tho key of the situation. The lato shah succumbed at last to cue of theso assassins, who had unsuccessfully attempted his destruction several times before. Tho bub, young Mirza, was not a highly educated person, but very proud nnd of irreproachable life. lie was not otherwise remarkable, but possessed of n strange faculty of writing with extreme speed (you would call it mediumistic writing, tin accomplishment considered miraculous by our adepts). Still, ho wrote little about his doctrine or his person, but after his death his apostles made a Mahdi of him, and from that to a divine incarnation was a step easily accomplshed, as wo have seen illustrated in your own Christian religion. To Mahdism wore soon joined mysticism and pantheism, which have i-.l- ways dominated tho philosophic instincts of the Iranian people. If you want to understand present Persian polities, you must bear in mind that Iranhi (Persia) lias always been and is now full of reels like babism, whk-h ai-u called Souil luiker.i, Sheikhi babis, etc.

Clipped from
  1. The Indiana Democrat,
  2. 16 Dec 1896, Wed,
  3. Page 5

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