Were Baha’i Leaders Peaceful and Against Violence?

  1. The Bab’s orders to burn non-Bābī books, behead and massacre those who did not believe in him, and to destroy all monuments.

“The utterance of the [book or religion] of Bayān in the day of the appearance of his Highness A`lā (meaning the Bāb) was to behead, burn the books, destroy the monuments, and massacre [everyone] but those who believed [in the Bāb’s religion] and verified it,”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 2, p. 266.

2. The conflicts between the followers of the Bāb in a bid to become his successors.

(Twenty seven people among the Bābīs brought themselves forth as the Promised One in the Book of Bayān, such as Mīrzā Yaḥyā Ṣubḥ Azal, Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī (Bahā’u’llāh), Mīrzā Asad-Allāh Dayyān, Mīrzā Muḥammad Nabīl Zarandī, Mīrzā Ghughā Darwīsh, and Sayyid Baṣīr Hindī.)

Reference: See Muḥammad `Alī Fayḍī, Ḥaḍrat Bahā’u’llāh, pp. 103–104.

3. Start of three major internal wars in Iran due to the Bāb’s orders with tens of thousands of casualties.

Reference: See `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Talkhīṣ tārīkh Nabīl, pp. 330, 345–6, 434.

4. The fights and quarrels between Bahā’u’llāh and his brother Mīrzā Yaḥyā Ṣubḥ Azal and the consequent fights between their followers.

5. The fights between `Abdu’l-Bahā and his brother Muḥammad `Alī Afandī for the succession of their father.

Bahā’u’llāh had willed that his successor would be Ghuṣn A`ẓam (`Abdu’l-Bahā’) and after him Ghuṣn Akbar (`Abdu’l-Bahā’’s brother Muḥammad `Alī): “God has destined the station [for] Ghuṣn Akbar after his position (meaning `Abdu’l-Bahā’), for He is the Commanding Wise. We chose the Akbar after the A`ẓam, an order from the All Knowing and Aware (God). All must show kindness towards the two Ghuṣns . . . All must respect and admire the two Ghuṣns,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Majmū`iy-i alwāḥ-i mubārak-ih, pp. 302–303.

After Bahā’u’llāh’s death the two brothers differed on the amount of authority they had and fights ensued between them and their followers.

6. Shoghi’s conflicts and fights with other Baha’i members.

According to Bahā’u’llāh’s orders the successor after `Abdu’l-Bahā was supposed to be his brother Ghuṣn Akbar. `Abdu’l-Bahā disobeyed this decree and instead appointed his own grandson Shoghi Effendi as his successor. This resulted in many differences and conflicts between Shoghi and many Baha’is who didn’t accept his authority.

7. Fights of Rūḥiyyih Maxwell and the members of the institution of the Hands of the Cause with Mason Remey.

In contrast to what `Abdu’l-Bahā had prophesized, Shoghi was sterile and had no children to succeed him. In a bid to become his successor, an internal conflict erupted between Bahā’u’llāh’s followers. Amongst these conflicts, the most intense was the one between Shoghi’s widow (Rūḥiyyih Maxwell) and Mason Remey (President of the International Baha’i Council). Mason Remey claimed that the UHJ established by Rūḥiyyih Maxwell was illegitimate and in a countermove the UHJ excommunicated Mason Remey from the Baha’i community.

8. Murders in Iraq

Bahā’u’llāh’s older sister `Izziyi Khanum (Khanum Buzurg) describes the situation in Iraq and tells us about the atrocities committed by his brother and his followers in Iraq:

“They gathered a group of hooligans from different provinces of Iran and from the same places fugitives who had never believed in any religion and had no faith in any prophet and had no work but manslaughter and had no occupation but stealing peoples’ property….”

“The breath of any soul who uttered anything but what they were satisfied with was suffocated. They beat any head which made the slightest sound other than accepting their guardianship. They cut every throat which showed other than humbleness towards them. They pierced every heart which had love towards other than them. They beheaded Sayyid Ismā`īl Iṣfahānī, they ripped Mīrzā Aḥmad Kāshī’s guts, they killed Āghā Abul-Qāsim Kāshi and threw his body in the Tigris river, they finished Sayyid Aḥmad with a gun, they scattered Mīrzā Ridhā’s brain with rocks, they cut Mīrzā `Alī’s body from the sides and pushed him unto the path of demise. Other than these, they killed others in the darkness of night and threw their bodies in the Tigris river; yet others were killed in the Bazaar in daylight and cut to pieces with daggers and machetes . . .”

Reference: `Izziye Khānum (Khānum Buzurg), Tanbīh al-nā’imīn, pp. 11–12.

 

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