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Title: Bahaism and Its Claims - A Study of the Religion Promulgated by Baha Utlah and Abdul Baha
Author: Wilson, Samuel Graham
Language: English
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                         Bahaism and Its Claims

                     SAMUEL G. WILSON, M.A., D.D.

                     _Bahaism and Its Claims._

    A Study of the Religions Promulgated by Baha Ullah and Abdul
    Baha. 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

    Bahaism is a revolt from the fold of Islam which in recent years
    has been bidding vigorously for the support of Occidental minds.
    Many of its principles are culled from the Christian religion
    which it insidiously seeks to supplant. What this Oriental cult
    is, what it stands for, and what it aims at, is told in a volume
    which forms a notable addition to the History of Comparative

                     _Persian Life and Customs._

    With Incidents of Residence and Travel in the Land of the Lion
    and the Sun. With a map and other illustrations, and an index.
    8vo, cloth, net, $1.25.

    "Not only a valuable contribution to the missionary literature
    of modern times, but is, in addition, a volume rich in the facts
    it contains in regard to that historic country. The American
    people generally should read this book, and thereby acquire much
    needed information about the Persians."--_Religious Telescope._

                         Bahaism and Its Claims

  _A Study of the Religion Promulgated by Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha_

                      SAMUEL GRAHAM WILSON, D. D.
                  _Thirty-two Years Resident in Persia
              Author of "Persian Life and Customs," etc._

                   NEW YORK     CHICAGO     TORONTO

                        Fleming H. Revell Company

                         LONDON AND EDINBURGH

                          Copyright, 1915, by
                       FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY

                      New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
                    Chicago: 125 North Wabash Ave.
                    Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W.
                     London: 21 Paternoster Square
                     Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street

                            _To my Wife_

              _whose love and appreciation are a constant
                   inspiration in our far-away home_


     INTRODUCTION                                                     11

     I. HISTORICAL SKETCH                                             17

        The East productive of religions--Imamat--Shiahism, its
        sects--Sheikhiism--The Bab-Subh i Azal--Baha Ullah--His
        policy--His haram--Abdul Baha--Journey to
        Occident--Education--Number of Bahais.

    II. THE GENERAL CLAIMS OF BAHAISM                                 29

        (I) New religion needed--(II) Bahaism that new religion--To
        supersede Christianity--Doctrines--Baha God--His
        Revelation--The Akdas--Conditions of discipleship--Position
        of Abdul Baha--(III) Claims superiority to former
        religions--In founder, books and doctrines--Not
        superlative--(IV) To be a universal religion--Defects in
        rites, regulations, calendar, civil government--House of
        Justice--Alphabet--Universal language.

   III. ITS SPECIFIC CLAIMS                                           61

        Unification of Mankind--Divisions in Persia--Of
        Bahais--Compulsory uniformity--One Language--Peace
        Movement--History of--Abdul Baha on war--Bahaism dogmatic
        and boastful.

    IV. BAHAISM AND CHRISTIANITY                                      81

        Antagonistic--Makes Christianity one among many--Abrogates
        it--Dethrones Christ--Presumes to be Christ's Second
        Coming--And the fulfillment of prophecy--Bahai meeting in
        Chicago--Method of interpretation--The "Ikan"--Dishonours
        and belittles the historic Christ.

     V. BAHAISM AND CHRISTIANITY (_Continued_)                       109

        Immortality and sin--Faith in Baha--Bahai Scriptures--Its
        worship--Hierarchy--Substitutes for Baptism and Lord's
        Supper--Christ's words
        Shrines--Festivals--Era--Propaganda anti-Christian.

    VI.  BAHAISM AND THE STATE                                       131

        Babism political Mahdiism--Hostile to
        Shah--Insurrections--Bahaism opportunism--Sought
        reconciliation--Tolerated--Indifferent to Constitutional
        struggle--Aided reactionary Shah--Rewarded by him Its
        political scheme--Houses of Justice--Dangerous to liberty.

   VII.  BAHAISM AND WOMAN                                           149

        Abdul Baha teaches equality of sexes--Baha does
        not--Education of girls neglected--Marriage
        enjoined--Bigamyallowed--And practiced--Polygamy of
        Baha--His family--Loose divorce--Intermarriage of
        races--Aims at amelioration of woman--Moslem efforts--Babi
        Kurrat ul Ayn--No successor to--Baha's haram--Men only to be
        rulers--Women secluded.

  VIII. ITS RECORD AS TO MORALS                                      177

        Claim superior conduct--Falsification of religious
        history--Suppression of facts--Changing sacred
        Writings--Surat ul Maluk--Lawh i Basharat--Forging
        quotations--Perversion of political history--Of Shahs--Of
        plot to assassinate--False claim to Martyrs--Double view of
        Abdul Hamid--Fact about imprisonment of
        Baha--_Tagiya_--Dissimulation--Orient Occident
        Unity--Pretense regarding Azal's succession--Maskin Kalam.

    IX. ITS RECORD AS TO MORALS (_Continued_)                        207

        Boast of Love--Hatred for Shiahs--For Persecutors--For
        Mullahs--Abusive language--Vindictiveness--Addiction to
        alcohol and opium--Testimonies.

     X. RELIGIOUS ASSASSINATION                                      219

        Strife between Baha and Azal in Bagdad--Baha goes to
        Kurdistan--Dissension at Adrianople--Testimony of an
        eye-witness--Attempted assassinations--Plots and counter
        plots--Bahais assassinate Azalis at Acca--Other
        assassinations--In Bagdad, in Persia--Attitude towards
        taking of life--Suicide commended--Psychological
        attestation--Traditional custom--Assassination practiced in
        Islam--Testimonies--Azali hatred.

    XI. THE QUARREL OVER THE SUCCESSION                              247

        Claim to love refuted--Death of Baha--Titles of
        sons--Quarrel over will--Abbas assumes Pontiffship--Brothers
        protest--Bitter schism--Boycott, anathema--Appeal to Turkish
        government--Results in restriction of liberty--Quarrel and
        schism in Persia--In America.

   XII. BAHAISM IN AMERICA                                           263

        First notices of--Kheiralla--His converts--Writings--An
        American Azali--Pilgrims to Acca--Quarrel and schism--Abdul
        Karim--Abul Fazl--Methods of
        propaganda--Publications--Orient Occident Unity--Abdul Baha
        visits America--Press agents--Photographs,
        movies--Addresses--Attitude of public--Communion service of
        Bahais--Bahai Temple, Mashrak ul Azkar--Memorial
        vase--Influence in America--Chicago congregation--Number in
        U. S. A. exaggerated--Statistics of other religious
        fads--Christian liberalism excessive.

  BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                       287

  INDEX                                                              291


Among movements in the Mohammedan world in modern times Babi-Bahaism is
one of the most interesting. It is a definite revolt from Islam within
its own fold. It has won its way in Persia amid considerable persecution
to a position as a separate religion. It has added another to the
permanent sects of the Near East. There Christian missions, inspired to
long-postponed effort to convert Mohammedanism, have come face to face
with Bahaism as a new and aggressive force. It has laid out a program as
a universal religion, has crossed the seas and aspires to convert
Christendom. Interest in it has been increased by this propaganda in the
West and by the visits to Europe for this purpose of its present head,
Abdul Baha Abbas, in 1911 and 1912.

Besides those who are interested in Bahaism as students of history and
comparative religions, there are several classes who have shown marked
favour to Bahaism.

(1) One class are simply bent on seeking some novelty. They are well
described by the _Egyptian Gazette_, of Alexandria, in speaking of the
reception of Abdul Baha in London: "About the London meetings there was
a certain air of gush and self-advertisement on the part of Baha's
friends, which was quite patent to all who are familiar with that kind
of religion which will listen to anything so long as it is unorthodox,
new, and sensational."[1]

(2) Another class are believers in the truth of all great religions,
and, with a vague pantheistic notion, recognize all great men as
God-inspired. They are willing to put Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha on the
list of true religious leaders. Such is Rev. R.J. Campbell, who, in
receiving Abdul Baha in London, spoke of the "diverse religious faiths
that are all aspects of the one religion," and of the services as "a
wonderful manifestation of the Spirit of God." He said to the
congregation: "We as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is to us
and always will be the Light of the World, give greeting to Abdul Baha."

Mr. Campbell gives opportunity to the Bahai propaganda in the _Christian
Commonwealth_, and has enlisted Abdul Baha as a contributor.

(3) Another class look on Bahaism as an ethical system, and Baha and
Abdul Baha as world teachers. Their relation to Christ has been only
that of a disciple to a teacher of morals. They recognize in Baha a new
schoolmaster. Being Bahais to them consists in admiration of certain
principles on which Abdul Baha is in the habit of dilating. But these
are not Bahaism any more than Romans xii.-xv. are Pauline Christianity.
Paul's gospel is Romans i.-viii. In its moral precepts and social
principles, Bahaism is a borrower from Christ's teaching, and sometimes
from Mohammed. However, Bahaism is a religion, not a system of morals.

(4) Some adherents regard Bahaism as Christianity continued or renewed
by the Second Coming of Christ, whom they recognize in Abdul Baha. Most
American Bahais are of this class, with faith in Baha Ullah as God the

How can I classify the late Prof. T. K. Cheyne of Oxford? This widely
known critic in his last work (1914), "The Reconciliation of Races and
Religions," bewilders me by his credulity. It is only charitable to
excuse it as the product of his dotage. How otherwise could an Oxford
scholar take pride in adopting the "new name" and titles given to him by
Abdul Baha, sign his preface "Ruhani," Spiritual, and have pleasure in
being called the "divine philosopher," "priest of the Prince of Peace
(Baha)," and being compared to St. Paul as a herald of the Kingdom, and
write himself a "member of the Bahai community." At the same time Doctor
Cheyne wrote himself down as a "member of the Nava Vidhan, Lahore"

At present there are Bahai congregations in sixteen of the United
States, in Canada, Hawaii, South Africa, England, Germany and Russia, as
well as in India and Burmah. The future of its propaganda in Christendom
lacks promise. Yet its measure of success makes it desirable to examine
its claims and the facts regarding them.

Fortunately besides the older Babi books, there is an abundance of Bahai
literature. There are (1) Treatises of Baha Ullah, (2) Tablets
(Letters) and Addresses of Abdul Baha, (3) Persian Narratives, (4)
Evidential books and tracts by its propagators, (5) Narratives of
pilgrimages to Acca. From an independent point of view, little has been
written. Nearly all of the many articles which have appeared in
periodical literature have been from the pens of Bahais, though often
not so ostensibly. Prof. E. G. Browne of Cambridge University, England,
has translated and edited important Babi-Bahai works. His Introductions,
Notes and Appendices to these books are storehouses of erudition and
enable the reader to correct the biased information of the text. They
pertain for the most part to the Babi period. So do the able
contributions of Mr. A. L. M. Nicolas, the Consul of France, with whom,
as my neighbour at Tabriz, I have had the pleasure of valuable
conversations on this subject on which he is such an authority. I have
had as sources of information also a manuscript "Life of Baha Ullah" by
Mohammed Javad Kasvini, the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," Most Holy Book, translated
by Dr. I. G. Kheiralla, in manuscript, and various unpublished letters
and documents. Besides all this, I have been in personal contact with
Bahais in Persia for a generation. My language teachers were Bahais, one
of them a convert to Christianity. I have found their journal, the _Star
of the West_, a prolific source of information. I may claim not to be of
the class referred to by Abdul Baha when he says, "Baha Ullah will be
assailed by those who are not informed of his principles."

After sketching, in brief, the history of Bahaism I will examine its
religious, moral, political and social doctrine and life. In doing this
I shall quote for the most part from the words of the "Revelation" and
its adherents, in order to insure fairness and justice. In the course of
the investigation, the history and character of the founders will be
considered. Finally I shall describe its propaganda in the Occident.

Bahais declare that Babism is abrogated and superseded. In reality it is
dead and I do not treat of it, except as it throws light on the history
or doctrines of Bahaism. To all intents and purposes, the Bab is as much
an obsolete prophet as Mani or Babak.

I am to deal with Bahaism in its latest phases. The term Babi is not
appropriate to the religion of Baha nor to his followers. Of the
"revelation," it may be said as Jacob said of his wages, they "have
changed them ten times." The Bab altered his declarations regarding
himself and his statements of doctrine. Subh-i-Azal made further
changes. Baha's standpoint in the "Ikan," at Bagdad, differs greatly
from that in the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," at Acca. Abbas gave the kaleidoscope
another whirl and added his interpretations and emendations. Besides all
these, it has been given a Western aspect for Christians. The Rev. H. H.
Jessup, D. D., compares it very aptly to the town clock in Beirut, which
has two kinds of dial plates. The face turned towards the Moslem quarter
has the hands set to tell the hour according to Oriental reckoning; the
face towards the Christian quarter, according to the European day. It
is the face towards the Christians that I shall look at specially in the
present investigation. However historical facts are the same and the
main doctrines taught in the West have no essential difference from
those of Persian Bahaism.

Acknowledgment and thanks are hereby tendered to _The Bibliotheca
Sacra_, _The Bible Magazine_, _The East and the West_, _The Church
Missionary Review_, _The Missionary Review of the World_, _The Moslem
World_, _The Union Seminary Review_, and The _Princeton Theological
Review_ for the use of materials which I have previously published in
their pages.


[1] Nov. 16, 1911, quoted in _Star of the West_, Dec. 11, 1911.


Historical Sketch

  Does it often happen that the earliest records of a religious
  movement...pass, within a short time after their completion, into the
  hands of strangers who, while interested in their preservation, have
  no desire to alter them for better or worse. So far as my knowledge
  goes, it has never happened save in the case of the Babi
  religion.--_"The New History of the Bab," p. xi, by E. G. Browne._

  Persia is, and always has been, a very hotbed of systems from the time
  of Manes and Mazdak in the old Sassanian days, down to the present
  age, which has brought into being the Babis and the Sheikhis.--_"A
  Year Among the Persians," p. 122._

  Outside of a certain mixture of Occidental science and philanthropy,
  introduced largely for foreign consumption and in order to give an
  up-to-date stamp or colouring to the movement, there is scarcely
  anything that distinguishes Babism from its predecessors. The
  materials are inextricably interwoven with the whole course of Persian
  history in all its departments, political, religious, social, and
  philosophical. Time has pronounced its verdict again and again in the
  most unmistakable manner. So deep a hold have the ideas, which lie at
  the foundation of Babism and similar sects, taken of the minds and
  hearts of the people, that it may be said that as every American is a
  possible president, so every Persian is a possible murshid. For every
  sect that makes its appearance on the page of history, there are
  hundreds of embryo sects, of whose existence no one knows outside of a
  very limited circle.--_P. Z. Easton, quoted in Speer's "Missions and
  Modern History," Vol. I, p. 121._

For the Bahais, the Bab became a sort of John the Baptist, sent to
announce to the world the coming of Mirza Husain Ali, Baha Ullah, and
perhaps of Abbas Effendi--a pitiable result of martyrdom. This thesis is
essentially false. Reading of the book (the "Bayan") will convince every
one of this.--_A. L. M. Nicolas, "Béyan Persan," Vol. I, p. 11._

The soil of the East has been fertile of religions. Montanus, Manes,
Mazdak, Babak, Mukanna--familiarized in Lalla Rookh as the Veiled
prophet of Khorasan,--Hasan Sabah chief of the Assassins, Hakim the
cruel God of the Druses, each of these propagated his doctrines, exerted
a wide influence, and left his mark on the people of the Orient.
Saad-i-Doulah the Jew, Argoon Khan the Mongol, Ala-i-Din al Khalig, king
of Delhi, and many others attempted to found new religions. In our own
day the Mahdi of the Sudan, Ahmad Quadiani of India and Sheikh Ali
Nur-i-Din of Tunis entered the lists. In the West, too, in America a
land unbridled by traditions, Mormonism, Dowieism and Christian Science
have flourished. To all these must be added Babism and Bahaism.

As an introduction to a discussion of Bahaism and its claims, I will
sketch briefly and simply its origin and history. Bahaism is derived
from Babism. Babism has its roots in Shiahism, a soil impregnated with
the doctrines of the Imamate and Mahdiism. The atmosphere is filled with
millennial hopes and dreamy mysticism, with Sufi philosophies and
allegorical fancies of its poets. This soil has been fruitful of many
sects. The Shiahism of Persia is called the "Religion of the Twelve"
because its fundamental doctrine is that the twelve Imams, the lineal
descendants of Ali and Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed, were the
rightful Caliphs of Islam, in succession to Mohammed. In the tenth
century (329 A. H. or 940 A. D.) the Twelfth Imam disappeared into a
well, and still lives in Jabulka or Jabulsa whence he is expected to
reappear as the Mahdi or Kaim. After his concealment, four persons in
succession were channels of communication between him and the faithful.
The title given to these was Bab or the Gate.

Among the sects which sprang up among the Shiahs or were related to them
were the Ismielis, Carmathians, Druses, Hurufis, Ali-Allahis or
Nusairiyeh, Assassins, Batinis and many others. A group of these were
called Ghulat, because they rendered excessive honour to the Imams,
believing them to be incarnations of the attributes or essence of God.
Those holding this view anticipated that the Imam Mahdi would be a
divine Manifestation.[2] At the beginning of the nineteenth century, a
sect arose in Persia, called Sheikhis. It received its name from its
founder, Sheikh Ahmad of Ahsa, 1752-1827. He taught that there was
always in the world a "perfect Shiah," who held communication with the
absent Imam and revealed his will. Sheikh Ahmad was that "perfect one."
He was favoured by the Kajar Shahs and had a considerable following. His
successor, Haji Kazim of Resht, near the time of his death, announced to
his disciples at Kerbela that the Manifestation was at hand. One of his
disciples was Mirza Ali Mohammed of Shiraz. When twenty-four years of
age in 1844, he laid claim to be the "promised one." He took the title
of "Bab," the Gate or Door of communication of the knowledge of God. His
followers were called Babis. He soon advanced his station and claimed to
be the Kaim or Mahdi. Still advancing he took the title of _Nukta_ or
Point of Divine Unity and announced his "Revelation" or "Bayan" as the
abrogation of Islam and the Koran. From Shiraz he went to Mecca and
proclaimed his manifestation. On his return he was imprisoned. Many of
the Sheikhis became his zealous followers and by their active propaganda
caused great agitation throughout Persia. The Bab was transferred to the
extreme northwest of Persia and confined in prison at Maku and Chirik.
His sectaries, oppressed and persecuted, rose in arms against Mohammed
Shah, anticipating victory through divine interposition. The Bab was
executed at Tabriz in 1850. The insurrections were put down and many of
the brave captives were treacherously slaughtered. A few Babis, seeking
revenge, attempted to assassinate the new Shah, Nasr-ud-Din. This led to
cruel reprisals. Four score Babis were executed at Teheran. Others fled
into exile, especially to Bagdad. Among these was Mirza Yahya whom the
Bab had appointed his successor. His title was Subh-i-Azal, the Dawn of
the Eternal, or His Holiness the Eternal.

A special point of the Bab's teaching was the announcement of the coming
of "Him whom God should manifest." After his death a number of the Babis
claimed to be the promised incarnation. There was a "chaos of divine
manifestations," including Hazret Zahib, Janab-i-Azim, Nabil and others.
Among these claimants was Mirza Husain Ali, a son of Mirza Abbas,
surnamed Buzurk, and his concubine. The father was steward or "vizier"
of the household of Imam Werdi Mirza, Governor of Teheran. He was half
brother to Mirza Yahya and thirteen years his senior. His title was Baha
Ullah, the splendour or glory of God. For many years Baha acted in
Bagdad (1852-67) as factotum for Azal, and acknowledged him as supreme.
Then he announced that he himself was "He whom God should manifest," and
took active measures to supplant Azal. About this time the Turkish
Government transferred them to Adrianople. Here developed bitter
jealousies, quarrels and foul play. The Sultan intervened and sent
Subh-i-Azal to Famagusta, Cyprus, and Baha Ullah to Acca[3] (Acre),
Syria, August 1868. Both were granted pensions and kept under police
surveillance as parties dangerous to religion and the state. Azal
continued to be the head of the Babis, called henceforth also Azalis.
Baha attracted most of the Babis to himself, and they became known as
Bahais. Baha relegated the Bab to the position of a forerunner, and
declared the "Bayan" and other books of the Bab to be superseded by his
own "Revelations." He changed in a measure the doctrines and laws of
Babism, liberalizing its provisions. He put himself forward as the Lord
of a new dispensation, the founder of a new religion.

During the next quarter of a century Bahaism made little stir in Persia.
Its advancement was by no means as rapid as during the earlier years of
the Bab. The zeal and devotion of the followers sensibly slackened.
_Tagiya_ (dissimulation regarding one's religion) was allowed and
practiced. The fierce warriors turned to professing the doctrines of
expediency, condemning as unwise zealots the fighting Babis of the
previous generation. During these years they escaped bloody persecutions
except in rare instances. They tried to make their peace with the Shah,
constantly emphasizing their loyalty, expurgating their books to
suppress condemnation of the dynasty, and inducing the Sadr-Azam, the
Prime Minister of Nasr-i-Din Shah, to tolerate and befriend them.

In Acca, too, Baha soon acquired considerable freedom, built a palace,
called Bahja, in a delightful garden and freely received the pilgrims.
He sent out many tablets, composed his Books of Revelation and had them
published in Bombay. He died at Acca in May, 1892, in his seventy-fifth
year. His temple tomb is near the Bahja.

Baha's haram consisted of two wives and a concubine. After his death,
the sons of the different wives quarrelled regarding the succession.
Abbas Effendi, the only son of the oldest wife, proclaimed himself the
successor, the Interpreter, the Centre of the Covenant, the Source of
Authority. Mohammed Ali and his brothers strenuously opposed Abbas and
intense animosity was engendered which divided the followers in Acca and
Persia. Abbas drew the greater number with him. He assumed the title of
Abdul Baha (Servant of Baha). He has the ambition to make the faith a
world religion and has inaugurated a propaganda in the West. After the
proclamation of constitutional liberty in Turkey, he resided in Egypt.
Later he made several journeys to Europe and one to North America. His
visit to the Occident brought him into the lime-light. He was given good
opportunity to present his cause.

The addresses of this "Infallible Interpreter" of the cult did not
reveal clearly the real doctrines and aim of the movement. Abdul Baha
confined himself mainly to the utterance of popular platitudes such as
are stock-in-trade for a multitude of social and religious reformers,
and most of which are original and accepted principles and precepts of
Christianity. The real claims of Bahaism are set forth in the Books and
Tablets (Epistles) of Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha, and in a considerable
literature by Persian and American Bahais.

Abdul Baha is an intelligent, well informed man, of fair sagacity. He
was educated at home after the custom of Persia. He says of himself, "I
have studied Arabic profoundly and know the Arabic better than the
Arabians themselves. I have studied the Persian and Turkish in my native
land, besides other languages of the East. But when I visit the West I
need an interpreter."[4] He said to Doctor Jessup, "Yes, I know your
Beirut Press and your books." His references to ancient and modern
philosophers, to historical events and to European writers, quoting from
the same, show some familiarity with literature.[5] He repudiates the
claims of some of his disciples that he has no literary culture, as that
of Abul Fazl[6] or of M. A. Lucas who says:[7] "He has had no access to
books, yet his knowledge is unbounded." On this point Professor Cheyne
remarks:[8] "His public addresses prove that through this and that
channel he has imbibed something of humanistic and even scientific
culture. He must have had some one to guide him in the tracks of modern
inquiry. I venture to hope that his expounding may not, in the future,
extend to philosophic, philological, scientific, and exegetical details.
Abdul Baha may fall into error on secular problems, among which it is
obvious to include Biblical and Koranic exegesis." "I am bound to say
that Baha Ullah has made mistakes and the almost equally venerated
Abdul Baha has made many slips."[9]

A word should be said about the number of Bahais. I have many data on
this point, but can here give only a summary. Regarding their numbers,
the Bahais have indulged in gross exaggeration. "Millions" is the usual
figure used by American Bahais. Thus Phelps[10] speaks of "the millions
of Bahais in Persia." MacNutt, in "Unity through Love," declares that
"His followers number millions from all the religious systems of the
world." Kheiralla[11] says: "Abdul Karim, 1896, assured me that the
believers in Baha were fifty millions. I wrote to Syria to ask. Sayid
Mohammed, secretary of Abbas Effendi, said that the number was
fifty-five million souls." Kheiralla afterwards denounces it as a gross
deceit. As to Persia, they place the proportion at one-third or
one-half. Dreyfus writes,[12] "Probably half the population of Persia is
Bahai." Some judicious non-Bahai writers allow them half a million or
less in Persia on a basis of ten millions of population. American
missionaries, as Jordan at Teheran, Frame at Resht and Shedd at Urumia,
calculate that the number in Persia does not exceed 100,000 to 200,000.
After careful inquiry I agree with this estimate.

As to other races and countries, let us see. Abul Fazl claims[13] that
"Jews, Zoroastrians, and Nusaireyah by thousands" are Bahais. M. Haidar
Ali[14] says: "The majority of Zoroastrians are recognized as Bahais in
all sincerity." On the contrary Professor Browne writes:[15] "I had been
informed that Zoroastrians were accepting Bahaism. However after much
intercourse with the Zoroastrians of Yezd and Kerman for the space of
three and a half months, I came to the conclusion that few, if any, had
adopted the Bahai creed." In India the proportion of Parsee-Bahais is
very small.

As to Jews:--Remey says: "In Hamadan there is a large Israelitish
following of Baha." A census made by a European Jew showed exactly 59
parents and with their children 194 persons out of a population of 6,000
Jews. As to the United States, I give some particulars in the closing
chapter. The census of 1906 reported 1,280 Bahais, which may have
increased to two or three thousand. In the Turkish empire they are few,
for Sunni Moslems are utterly indifferent to Bahaism. The Egyptian
_Gazette_ says of Egypt where Abdul Baha resided for two years, "The new
religion has made little perceptible progress; Islam remained
indifferent, and the Christian community was ignorant of his presence."
Of Syria, Mr. Phelps wrote:[16] "All the Bahais in Acca are Persians. No
other nationalities are among them." The inference is plain that no
native of Acca had become Bahai through forty years of contact with Baha
and his seventy followers. Bahais outside of Persia are probably all
told not more than 15,000 and one-third of these are Persians in Russia.
Abdul Baha gave the impression that many of the Christians of Persia are
converts to Baha. Dr. J. H. Shedd wrote, 1894, "I have heard of no case
of a Christian conversion to Bahaism." Dr. G. W. Holmes wrote, 1903, "I
do not know of a single Christian in Persia, who has been converted to
Bahaism. Some Bahais who made a profession of Christianity turned back
to Baha." Rev. J. W. Hawkes declares that in his observation none of the
members of the Syrian (Nestorian) or Armenian churches in Persia have
become Bahais.[17] I have known of one Armenian family in Resht and two
men in Maraga, one of whom was a notorious ne'er-do-well, who kept up
his opium using as before.


[2] Prof. E. G. Browne says ("A Literary History of Persia," p. 311),
"The resemblance between these numerous sects, whose history can be
traced through the last eleven centuries and a half, is most remarkable
and extends even to the minute details of terminology." "The doctrines
appear to be endemic in Persia, and in our own days appeared again in
the Babi movement."

[3] At that very time the chief of the Vashratis, who held that Sheikh
Ali Nur-i-Din, of Tunis, was a Manifestation of Mohammed, and his
essence divine, was in exile in Acca. He was in friendly relations with

[4] _Star of the West_, April 9, 1913, p. 35.

[5] Phelps' "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 227.

[6] "Bahai Proofs," pp. 94, 109.

[7] "My Visit to Acca."

[8] "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 155, 159.

[9] "The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," p. 181.

[10] "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 100.

[11] "Three Questions," p. 22.

[12] Page 42.

[13] Page 64.

[14] "Martyrdoms in 1903."

[15] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, p. 501, 1889.

[16] Page 109.

[17] R. E. Speer's "Missions and Modern Hist.," pp. 157, 181.


The General Claims of Bahaism

  The conception on which Bahaism bases its claim is false. Truth does
  not grow old, nor is it possible to change the religion with the
  growth of the race. A universal religion must present truth in a form
  that will reach men in every stage of civilization, for the reason
  that in every period of the world since the dawn of history there have
  been simultaneously men in every stage of intellectual
  development.--_W. A. Shedd in "Miss. Review of the World."_

  It (Bahaism) has not enough assurance of personal immortality to
  satisfy such Western minds as are repelled by the barren and jejune
  ethical systems of agnostics, positivists, and humanitarians who would
  give us rules to regulate a life which they have rendered
  meaningless.--_Professor Browne in Phelps' "Life of Abbas Effendi," p.

  The essence of being a Bahai is a boundless devotion to the person of
  the Manifestation and a profound belief that he is divine and of a
  different order from all other beings.--_Professor Browne, Art. "Bab"
  in Ency. of Religion and Ethics._

The claims of Bahaism are many and varied. They cover a wide range. I
will first consider its general claims and of these the most

I. First of all, Bahais claim that a new religion is needed. All the
great religions, they say, were true in their day; not only Moses,
Christ, and Mohammed, but Zoroaster, Confucius, and Buddha were Divine
Manifestations, and revealed God's truth. But now the old religions are
dead. Abdul Baha[18] says: "The Spirit has passed away from the bodies
of the old religions. While the forms of their doctrines remain, the
Spirit has fled." "The principles of the religion[19] of Christ have
been forgotten. It is then clear and evident that in the passage of time
religions become entirely changed. Therefore they are renewed." "There
is to-day[20] nothing more than traditions to feed upon.... The world of
humanity is in the dark." One chapter in Thornton Chase's "The Bahai
Revelation" is headed "The Bahai Revelation is needed." This he argues,
stating (1) that Christianity is condemned because after 1900 years it
has not been accepted by all people; (2) because it refuses to reject
miracles and the blood atonement and will not confine itself to the
"principles of Jesus," as the Brahma Samaj; (3) because it tends to
separate peoples, holding itself to be the only religion authorized by
God; (4) because people are dwelling in bondage and are no longer
satisfied. Tares are many and Baha Ullah must come and uproot them.[21]

"The old order of things is passing away," says Sprague;[22] "people are
being tossed about with every wind of doctrine." "True religion is
forgotten," says Phelps,[23] "or has become a hollow name; faith has
waned, men are wandering in the dark." This decay, they teach, is
inevitable and in accord with divine arrangement. They deny the belief
of Christians that Christianity is the permanent religion of humanity;
and that of Moslems, that Mohammed was the "seal of the prophets," and
hold that Christianity was succeeded by Islam, Islam by Babism, and
Babism by Bahaism. Abdul Baha says: "Time changes all things.
Transmutation and change are requirements of life. All religions of God
are subject to the same law. They are founded in order to blossom out
and develop and fulfill their mission. They reach their zenith and then
decline and come to an end." "A new cycle must begin, for the world
needs a new luminary."

It is not necessary to refute the fundamental fallacy of this first
claim, for it is patent that Christianity is alive and growing. Its
manifold spiritual activities, its varied and progressive efforts for
righteousness and peace among men, for social and moral reforms, its
zeal for Missions and their marvellous success, show that Christianity
is neither stagnant nor dead. It has a forward triumphant movement. The
Church renews its strength from its divine Head; He, alive forevermore,
is its Light and its Life.

II. Bahaism claims to be the divine Revelation in this new cycle--a new
Dispensation or Covenant. It disclaims being a new religion, affirming
rather that it is a renewal of religion or religion renewed. One writes:
"The Revelation is not a new religion, but the very essence of God's
word as taught by Christ (and Moses and Mohammed), but not perceived by
Christians at large" (nor by Jews nor Mohammedans). Baha Ullah[24] says:
"Of the utterances of the prophets of the past we have taken the
essence, and in the garment of brevity clothed it." Abdul Baha says:
"The same basis, which was laid by Christ and later on forgotten, has
been renewed by Baha Ullah." "All that is true in all religions will
stand; by the new Dispensation, new spirit is infused into these
teachings."[25] Phelps[26] says: "The body of doctrine which Bahaism
teaches is not put forward in any sense or particular as new, but as a
unification and synthesis of all other religions." Of its system of
morals the same is true. It is a restatement in unsystematic form of
common ethics. It reiterates the second table of the Mosaic Law, and the
New Testament principles of brotherly love and unity. Yet in some of his
addresses Abdul Baha names certain principles as new in the Bahai faith,
such as universal peace, the unity of humanity, arbitration, compulsory
education of both sexes, the harmony of science and religion, the evil
of prejudice and fanaticism, need of investigating the truth, etc. Not
one of these is new; not one owes its position in the world of thought
or activity to the Bahai propaganda.

But whether Bahaism claims to be new in its principles or disclaims it,
in fact it is a new religion. The disavowals are, no doubt, made for the
sake of obtaining easier access to the followers of the old religions,
and are only a temporary expediency. In this they are simply following
the example of Mohammed, who proclaimed his message to the people of
Arabia as the religion of Abraham, and as the same as that of the Law
and the Gospels. But it is evident that Bahaism is inconsistent with
Christianity, as indeed with Islam. Bahais' claims, if admitted, would
lead to the superseding of Christianity. This will appear when I state
its doctrines. The present attitude of Bahais in maintaining connection
with Christian Churches and at the same time worshipping Baha and
propagating Bahaism is one of intellectual stultification or of moral

In the same way, in Moslem lands, Bahais conform to the externals of
Islam. In the case of the latter the cause of this is often moral
obliquity or fear; with deceived Christian brethren it is probably
ignorance; by the Bahai propagandist it is allowed from astute policy.
It is an intellectual impossibility for one to accept the teachings of
Baha Ullah and to be his disciple and at the same time to be an
intelligent disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one excludes the
other. Bahaism is a distinct religion. It is not even a sect of Islam.
It abrogates and annuls it. Professor Browne says: "As Christianity is a
different religion from Judaism, and as Islam is distinct from
Christianity, so Bahaism is a separate religion, distinct from
Christianity or Islam." It even superseded and abrogated Babism. The Bab
has been relegated to the background, and put into the position of a
John the Baptist. His book, the "Bayan," is long ago neglected to such
an extent that Professor Browne had difficulty in obtaining a copy in
Persia. Remey[27] says: "Babism fulfilled its purpose, and when this was
accomplished in the appearance of Baha Ullah, it, as such, ceased to
exist." Mirza Abul Fazl[28] says: Babism "is not the same religion or
creed as Bahaism."

A statement of the fundamental doctrines of Bahaism will suffice to show
that it is a distinct religion.

(1) The fundamental assertion of Bahaism is that Baha Ullah is the
Manifestation or Incarnation of God the Father. Baha Ullah says of
himself in his letter to the Pope: "O Pope! This is indeed the Father
of whom Isaiah gave you tidings and the Comforter whom Christ promised."
Abdul Baha affirms: "The Father, foretold by Christ, has come amongst
us." "The Father of Christ is come among you."[29] "The manifested God
Himself has come."[30] He is called the "Lord of Hosts," "the Lord God
Almighty," "Creator of whomsoever is in the world," also "the Ruler."
Abdul Baha cabled back to America after his voyage: "Thanks to Baha
Ullah, we arrived safely at Liverpool."[31] Instead of beginning a book,
as the Moslems do, "In the name of God," the Bahais begin, "In the Name
of our Lord El Baha."

The Persian Bahais accept this teaching. One of them in Tabriz declared
to me: "Baha is very God of very God." M. Abdul Karim delivered the
doctrine in this form to the disciples in America[32] and said: "Upon
the Day, when God Almighty, in the form of man known as Baha Ullah
declared Himself and said, 'I am God and there is no God but Me,' the
old heavens and old earth passed away, all things became new." So it
continues to be preached.

Mr. Remey[33] says in the Bahai monthly (the capitals are his): "This
one is THE FATHER Himself, The Manifested GOD _Himself_ BAHAULLAH."

(2) The Revelation of Baha is contained in his Books and Tablets
(Epistles). Some of these are the "Ikan," the "Surat ul-Haykal," the
"Hidden Words," the "Seven Valleys," and the "Kitab-ul-Akdas." Remey[34]
pronounces them "The latest and greatest of God's revelations to the
world." "They contain knowledge which was sealed and closed up by the
prophets of bygone cycles, so that the minds of the wisest of men were
unable to comprehend it." Thornton Chase, exceeding the others in his
extravagant language, declares that "were all the books of former days
lost and forgotten, the whole of true religious teaching could be found
in the 'Bahai Revelation.'"

The "Kitab-ul-Akdas," "The Most Holy Book," is called by M. Abul Fazl
the "greatest" and "most important." It consists of 146 pages of
manuscript, about 10,000 words. It was written at Acca in Persian and
Arabic. It has been translated into Russian, and a synopsis of it is
given by Professor Browne,[35] of Cambridge University, in the _Journal
of the Royal Asiatic Society_, 1892, of which I make use. The
"Kitab-ul-Akdas" warns the learned against criticizing it, and in
imitation of Mohammed challenges them to produce the like of it. It is
similar in its teachings to the "Bayan" of the Bab, though less
fantastic and mystical. Its contents are confused and unsystematic. It
has laws--ceremonial, moral, civil, criminal--mingled with rhapsodies,
exhortations, addresses, and various digressions. After an introduction
and some laws, follow addresses to the Emperor of Germany and to the
Sultan of Turkey, to the cities of Teheran and Kirman, and to the
province of Khorasan. After more laws there is a digression about
revelation; then more laws and a digression about the Bab; again sundry
laws, followed by a denunciation of Subh-i-Azal, and this by various
civil laws, ending with a command to select a universal language.

The book is a medley, and bears internal evidence of the truth of the
tradition that it was written piecemeal in answer to various questions
from believers. The fragments were jumbled together without order. The
learned are reminded by Baha that he never studied the sciences, and
there is too abundant evidence in the book itself to confirm the
statement. It ranks far below Deuteronomy as a system of laws or a
literary composition.

The opening words of the Book of Akdas state the conditions of entrance
into the religion of Baha: (1) "Verily the first thing which God hath
ordained unto His servants is the knowledge of the Dawning-Place of the
Revelation [_i. e._, of Baha]. Whosoever hath attained thereunto hath
attained unto all good; and he who is deprived thereof is indeed of the
people of error--even though he bringeth all good actions." (2) "It
behoveth every one to follow that whereunto he is commanded. These two
things are inseparable." Acceptance of Baha as the Manifestation of God
and following Him in obedience are the two conditions of discipleship.
(3) A third condition has been added since the death of Baha--namely,
adherence to Abdul Baha Abbas as supreme Head, "the centre of the
covenant." This assumption of authority by Abbas caused a bitter and
angry schism at Acca.

Remey[36] says: "He [Baha] has pointed to the one who should be looked
upon as authority by all, and has closed the doors to outside
interpretation. Therefore obedience and submission must be shown
completely to him." Mirza Asad Ullah[37] says: "Whosoever turns away
from Abdul Baha is one of the companions of the left hand [a goat], and
one of the letters of hell-fire." The rejectors of Abdul Baha are termed
Nakazeen--"the violators." They are "cut off," are "no longer of the
Kingdom." They are "spiritual corpses," from them "goes forth a
poisonous infection," "they have a vile odour," says Abdul Baha,[38] the
preacher of brotherly love and unity. In this way they fulfill their
boast of consorting with all men in "harmony and fragrance."

The minority seem to have the best of the argument,[39] but Abbas has
established himself as Supreme Pontiff. His most honoured agents call
him by titles which imply his divinity. American pilgrims worship him as
"Christ, the Master."[40] Sprague[41] declares him to be "the third of
the great Trinity of Revelators." M. Abul Karim[42] writes: "God
appeared in the Bab as the Holy Ghost, in Baha as the Father, in Abbas
as His Son." Mrs. Grundy[43] says: "Within Abdul Baha is the
inexhaustible fountain of knowledge." Remey[44] says: "Through Abdul
Baha and through him only can believers receive the spiritual power and
sustenance necessary for their growth." Among Abbas's titles are the
"Greatest Branch of God," the "Mystery of God."[45]

These are a few of the salient points of the "new revelation."

III. Another claim of Bahaism is that of superiority to former

(_a_) Its founder is declared to be superior in his personality, in his
divine knowledge, in his power of revealing. In what has already been
quoted, this is evident. The great cycle which began in Adam is said to
have reached its culmination in Baha Ullah. "The Manifestations are
ended by the appearance of this, which is the greatest of all
Manifestations," which "manifests itself only once in 500,000 years."
"He is exalted above all those who are upon earth and in the heaven."
Abdul Baha[46] says: "Consider the time of Jesus. This is greater than
that for as much as it is the calling of the Lord of Hosts." "All the
great prophets were perfect mirrors of God--manifestations of the
'Primal Will' of God--and sinless, but in Baha[47] in some sense the
Divine Essence is manifested." Phelps[48] says: "He is greater than his
predecessors." "Baha," says Kheiralla,[49] "is the Everlasting Father,
who spoke in Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ, who were His ministers,
and at these latter days He came Himself in the flesh to judge the quick
and the dead." Abbas said to Mrs. Grundy: "Baha is the consummation of
all degrees. He is the Revelation of all truth and light." "Christ is
the vine, Baha is the husbandman--the Lord of the vineyard." A poem says
of Baha:

    By His life-fostering lip live a hundred such as Jesus;
    By the Sinai of His aspect sit a thousand such as Moses;
    Thou, on the night of ascent, didst entertain the prophet as Thy


      The Temple of God's glory is none other than Baha;
      If one seeks God, let him seek Him in Baha.
    Thou art the King of the Realm of the everlasting,
    Thou art the Manifestation of the essence of the Lord of Glory,
                      The Creator of Creation.

Such are some of the "great swelling words" with which his followers
exalt Baha. Yet when we examine his life we find nothing to justify such
extravagance. He was simply a man of like passions as others. It may
seem invidious to refer to scandalous stories of Baha's youth in
Teheran. But does not truth demand that it be stated that his reputation
in Persia is sullied by definite accusations of vice and immorality? I
have heard such narratives with statements of the time, place, and
associates who were partakers of his guilt. His family in riper years
exhibits no higher example than a bigamous household. According to the
narrative of Abdul Baha in the "Traveller's Narrative,"[50] he planned
in duplicity to reach the headship of the Babis; for while purposing all
the while to set forth a claim for himself, he put forward his
half-brother, Subh-i-Azal, as the successor of the Bab--to protect
himself and to insure his own safety during times of danger. He
outwardly supported Azal for many years, while secretly planning to
supplant him. While acting as Azal's trusted minister, he was drawing
the people to himself. We pass over the attempts of these brothers to
poison each other. Each accuses[51] the other, and, as the Persians
say, "God knows" whether both speak the truth. We pass over, at present,
the definite accusations against the Bahais of assassinating the
Azalis.[52] In the notorious case where Azalis were foully murdered[53]
by Bahais at Acca, and the latter were brought to trial before the
Turkish authorities, they were defended and kept in favour by Baha. He
had near Subh-i-Azal a spy named Maskin Kalam,[54] who by guile and
deceit kept away any who wished to visit Azal. He received this disciple
to his intimate circle after years of such active deception. Azal, who
is called by Bahais "the point of Satan," and is likened to Cain and
Judas, has a character gentler, more lovable, and more sincere than Baha
as the two are depicted in the writings of Professor Browne; albeit,
Baha is abler, more astute, more a leader of men. Professor Browne, in
his interviews at Famagusta and at Acca, did obeisance to each of them.
His bow to Azal may have been one of respect for his character or
disposition; his bow to Baha must rather have been out of regard for his
influence and leadership. But after all we need not wonder so much at
the delusion of the Bahais in exalting Baha, for we are familiar with
Dowie and Zion City, and with Joseph Smith and the Mormons. And we are
surely led to expect the appearance of such a deceiver who "as God
sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Bahais
certainly, in the words of the Apostle,[55] "have strong delusion, that
they should believe a lie."

(_b_) The Bahais claim superiority for the books and writings of Baha

(1) As to the rapidity of their composition, their style, and their
quantity. One of the proofs of the Bab was the rapidity with which he
composed verses,[56] "with amazing rapidity, without any reflection."
Sayid Yahya of Darab, one of his first converts,[57] was gained by such
a "sign," implying, as was supposed, divine inspiration. He propounded
certain questions. The messenger brought the answer, of which he says:
"I beheld a marvel a hundred thousandfold beyond what I sought for. Over
two thousand verses and illustrations of eloquence and beauty of style
revealed and written down during five or six hours." So also in Ispahan,
in answer to the Imam-Juma[58]: "The Bab began to write, and in three
hours wrote 1,000 verses. Then the Imam-Juma was convinced that such
power was from God, being beyond the capacity of man." In his trial at
Tabriz[59] the Bab cited as a proof of his divine mission: "I can write
in one day 2,000 verses. Who else can do this?"

In like manner the claim was made for Baha Ullah that he could compose
with miraculous rapidity. "The maximum speed of Baha's revelation is
said to be 1,500 verses in one hour." These were "written without
premeditation or reflection,"[60] and often dictated to his amanuensis.
To Baha is attributed the marvellous feat of composing and writing the
"Ikan" in a single night. This book in its English translation consists
of 184 printed pages. The translator, Mirza Ali Kuli Khan, Persian
Chargé des Affaires at Washington, a zealous Bahai, says in his
preface:[61] "According to the prevailing opinion of Bahais, the 'Ikan'
was written in one night by the supreme pen." He argues (faint-heartedly
apparently) for the truth of the statement, and cites Abul Fazl as
corroborating the tradition. It is altogether probable that Baha
prepared the "Ikan" during his retirement for two years to Kurdistan, in
the region of Suleimaniyeh. It is curious to note how the Bahais have
outdone Mohammed. He made his verses (ayat = signs), and their eloquence
and beauty the signs of his mission. But Babis and Bahais add rapidity
of composition as an additional sign or miracle.

The quantity of the writings is also emphasized as proving their divine
source and power. It was a matter of boasting that the Bab's writings
were from 100,000 to 500,000 verses, and he was executed at twenty-five
years of age. Of Baha's Abdul Baha says: "The Books of his Holiness
number more than 100; each one sufficient for mankind." Abul Fazl[62]
writes: "His Holy Tablets exceed in quantity the Heavenly Books and
Divine Writings possessed by all the different nations of the earth."
The number of these tablets is stated to be over 1,000. By way of
contrast, Christ's teachings are said by Abdul Baha to consist of only a
dozen pages scattered in the Gospels.

When they speak of the style, the eloquence, the enlightening power of
Baha's writings, it is with similar superlative adjectives of high-flown
Persian rhetoric.

It is hardly necessary to call attention to the fact that this so-called
proof is simply a matter of assertion and opinion. As to rapidity, we
could wish Baha had taken more time and made such books as the
"Kitab-ul-Akdas" more systematic, for, as we have pointed out, it is
sadly lacking in plan. The veriest tyro could improve on it by

If quantity were an argument, the product of Baha's pen has been
exceeded by many Christian and Moslem divines. Besides, what advantage
is it for a religion to be set forth in 100 volumes? Will God be heard
for His much speaking any more than man would be? The story of
redemption and God's revelation through 4,000 years makes but one goodly

As to style, the Persians would scorn to have the beauty of their great
poets or of such writings as the "Masnavi" put into comparison with the
"Ikan" or "Akdas." The Bab's writings were not even grammatical. Baha's
are more intelligible than the Bab's, but lack his originality and
depth. Baha's style is rhetorical, verbose, prolix, but with a certain
strength. But Mirza Abul Fazl holds a more forceful and sagacious pen.
In some things Baha's writings remind one of the Church Fathers in
contrast to the Gospel narratives. The quantity of his writings, his
system of quotations from former Holy Books, his allegorical
interpretations, recall Irenæus or Origen.

As to "verses" in general, and their rhetorical quality as a proof of
divine inspiration and revelation, it would be well for Bahais to
remember that the Bab recognized divine quality in the verses of
Subh-i-Azal, which the Bahais reject with disdain. When the "verses" of
Azal came to the Bab, he "rejoiced exceedingly,"[63] nominated him as
his successor, and left to him the completion of the "Bayan." Was he
mistaken in so important a matter? However that may be, the Bahais
contradict him and pronounce the "verses" of Azal good for nothing. M.
Ahmad Zohrab,[64] the interpreter of Abdul Baha, avers that "the
writings of Azal are most childish. They are jumbled, confused,
meaningless composition." Another Bahai, Nabil the poet, at one time
wrote "revealed verses," and Azal approved of them and sealed their
inspiration. Afterwards Nabil repudiated his own "divinity." Evidently,
then, the "proof from verses" is a very uncertain and unreliable one.

(2) They claim superiority for the contents of the Revelation. In
describing the substance and variety of it, their "great swelling
words" know no bounds. Abdul Baha says: "They are universal, covering
every subject. He has revealed scientific explanations ranging
throughout all the realms of human inquiry--astronomy, biology,
medicine, etc. He wrote lengthy tablets upon civilization, sociology,
and government." "One book of the Blessed Perfection is more
comprehensive than fifty volumes of the world's greatest wisdom." Empty

Professor Browne[65] says: "The countless tablets are for the most part
rhapsodies interspersed with ethical maxims." Let us give a few of
Baha's "revelations" on morals, philosophy, and science. His ethics
permit bigamy and _tagiya_, dissimulation regarding one's faith; his Law
punishes habitual theft by branding, and arson by burning, and compounds
adultery with a small fine; his philosophy affirms the eternity of
matter and the emanation theory of divine Manifestations; his science
decides the purity of water by three points--"colour, taste, and
smell"--but knows nothing of analysis, and affirms that "the food of the
future will be fruits and grains"; it abolished the weeks and months and
substitutes nineteen months of nineteen days each, and a system of
nineteen units for the decimal or metric system; it creates a new
alphabet to bother childhood; its ritual for prayer, fasting, and
pilgrimage somewhat resembles the Moslem, with times and places changed.
These are samples of its new and superior (?) laws and precepts, which
are mingled with a mass of ordinary moral teaching. There is far too
much of it for a religious system, but it is entirely inadequate as a
judicial and criminal code. Abul Fazl[66] grossly exaggerates when he
writes that "Baha has enacted laws and regulations concerning every
point or subject."

As a system Bahaism is not superlative. "It is," says Professor
Browne,[67] "at most a new synthesis of old ideas; ideas with which the
Eastern mind has for centuries been familiar, and which have ere now
been more clearly and more logically systematized by older schools of
thought, though perhaps they were without a certain tincture of modern
Western terminology which is perceptible in Bahaism." "Of the doctrines
of the Bab"--and the same is true of Bahaism--"taken separately, there
was hardly one of which he could claim to be the author, and not many
which did not remount to a remote antiquity."[68] "The theories of
symbolism,[69] incarnation, and other doctrines differ in no essential
particular from those held by the Ismielis." If desirable, the doctrines
and laws could be traced severally, as has been done by Doctor Tisdall
in his "Yanab-ul-Islam" regarding the Koran, and the source of each
shown. Borrowing so much from the Shiah sects, its fundamental basis in
philosophic thought is inferior even to Islam. But because it borrows so
much from the enlightened principles and practices of advanced Christian
peoples, its moral system is an advance on Islam. Christianity may
boldly assert its unique superiority to this "half-cooked" system, to
use a Persian idiom. Professor Browne[70] vetoes its claim to
superiority, saying: "I do not admit that the Bahai or any other
religion can supply a rule of life higher than that which Christ has
given us." Discussing with the Bahais in Shiraz,[71] he said: "The
religion of Mohammed was certainly not a higher development of the
religion of Christ. It is impossible for any one who has understood the
teachings of Christ to prefer the teachings of Mohammed. As you say each
Manifestation must be fuller, completer, and more perfect than the last,
you must prove that the doctrines taught by Baha are superior to those
of Christ--a thing that I confess seems to be almost impossible, for I
cannot imagine a doctrine purer and more elevated than that of Christ."

IV. Bahaism claims to be the Universal Religion. Dreyfus called his book
on Bahaism "The Universal Religion." Remey[72] says: "The Universal
Religion is what the Bahai movement offers to the world." Phelps[73]
says: "It is divinely inspired world-religion in its first youth. Baha
Ullah is a world-teacher in a broader sense than they"--_i. e._, the
founders of other religions. This claim is not only that it is intended
"for all people, under all conditions," and is adapted to all, but that
it is so all-inclusive and latitudinarian that it can[74] "unite all
those now following many systems into one universal faith," and that
"each religious sect[75] will hear in the words of Baha its own
oft-repeated message, which has been dulled and distorted."

The latter phase of this claim we may dismiss in a word. It is simply a
gloss. It is an imagination of enthusiastic Bahais. Neither Christians,
Moslems, nor others will be thus included, except some few before they
understand Bahaism. The only inclusion it offers is by accepting the
divine character and mission of Baha and Abbas;[76] in other words, by
becoming Bahais. When they address the Hindu, saying, "We are one with
you," "We teach the original Hinduism of your fathers," it is simply to
add: "Baha is the fulfillment of your books, follow him." When they
allow the Jewish Bahai of Hamadan still to consort with the Jews as a
Jew, and to be baptized and pass as a Christian at the same time, it is
an inclusiveness which is unjustifiable and deceitful. It is teaching
_tagiya_ or religious dissimulation to other races after the manner of
the Persian Shiahs. It is, at most, merely a temporary subterfuge.

Let such double-faced Bahais read Remey's article in the _Star of the
West_,[77] entitled "Let the New follow the New," and they will see how
untenable is their position. He says: "The Bahai Cause is not merely one
of many phases of universal truth (as some say), but is the only living
truth to-day; the only source of divine knowledge to mankind. The
revelation of Jesus was for His own dispensation--that of 'the Son.' Now
it is no longer the point of guidance to the world. We are in total
darkness if we are refusing the revelation of the present dispensation.
Bahais must be severed from all and everything that is past--things both
good and bad--everything. Now all is changed. All the teachings of the
past are past. Abdul Baha is now supplying all the world." We read this,
with amazement at such pretensions, such groundless assumptions, yet are
pleased with the ring of sincerity. We, too, say, "Let a Bahai stand for
Bahaism." Even so, let a Christian stand for Christianity, and not
stultify his intellect by professing to hold to both religions. But such
teachings as Remey's absolutely negative the claim of Bahaism to be able
to include the professors of all religions. In conclusion, Bahaism aims
at being universal just as every other "ism," even as Mormonism, by
persuading the world to forsake its old faiths and adopt its new dogmas.
Baha[78] states in a tablet: "Blessed is the brave one, who, with a firm
step, walks out of the corridors of intimacy [the old religious
restrictions] and takes a place in the ranks."

Is Bahaism fitted to be a universal religion? It has copied much from
Christianity and Islam; it would not be strange if it has caught
something of the same impetus towards universality. This is specially to
be looked for in Bahaism, since it is historically a revision of
Babism--revised with an aim to broadening it. Babism was notoriously
unfitted to be universal. Dreyfus[79] confesses: "Looking at the Bab's
work, we cannot fail to notice in it a certain sectarian particularism
which would have confined to Shiah Islam its benefits." Similarly
Professor Browne pronounced it[80] "utterly unfitted for the bulk of
mankind," and refers to[81] "the useless, impractical, and irksome
regulations and restrictions" which Baha abolished in order to make it
more capable of becoming what he intended it to be--"a universal system
suitable to all mankind." The question arises, Where was the Bab's power
of supernatural revelation if he promulgated a system and regulations of
such inferiority and destined to be superseded in less than a score of
years? Among these regulations[82] were the prohibition of the learning
of foreign languages, logic, philosophy, and jurisprudence, discouraging
foreign travel, enjoining the expulsion of all unbelievers from the five
chief provinces of Persia, together with the confiscation of their
property, the destruction of all books more than 202 years old, etc.

Baha, like a tailor trying to change a misfitting garment, ripped up the
seams, cut a piece out here and there, added some patches imported from
Christian civilization, until he had a coat of many colours, which he
advertised as the latest style of religion, fitted to humanity in
general. But he should have heeded the precept not to put new cloth on
an old garment. No wonder they have never yet published the
"Kitab-ul-Akdas" in English. It would tax their ingenuity to adapt all
its regulations and laws to the world-life.

Again I return to the question, "Is Bahaism specially adapted to be
universal?" By no means. It is unfitted in the most essential
particular. It is a religion of laws, not of principles. Mirza Abul
Fazl, in "The Brilliant Proof,"[83] emphasizes the fact that Bahaism
enjoins, commands, has imperative ordinances, laws, and enactments. But
the Gospels enunciate principles. These principles of the New Testament
are conscience-educating and life-directing. They are applicable to all
conditions the world over, and to every stage of human development.
Christianity implants in the heart great ruling motives. Its laws and
regulations are few. Hence it does not find itself butting against a
wall of unforeseen circumstances. Bahaism, on the contrary, is full of
the "beggarly elements." It has regulations, as we have noticed, in
regard to personal habits, hygiene, sociology, languages, the calendar,
civil government, penology, etc. It is like an omnibus with its top
overloaded with all sorts of baggage, which will delay and finally
wreck the vehicle. It has made itself a "judge and divider of
inheritances."[84] It gives directions as to the barber and the
undertaker; how you must bathe and wash your face, and what prayers you
shall say during each process. It directs as to the use of knives and
forks, of chairs, of perfumes. It graciously permits one to shave his
beard, but "the hair must not be allowed to grow below the level of the
ear." It tells us that "the nails are to be cut at least once a week,"
that "every one should wash his feet daily in summer, and at least every
three days in winter." And alas! for antique furniture and old Persian
rugs! For house furnishings must be changed every nineteen years. In
obedience to this command my old teacher in Persia got rid of his rugs,
whose sheen was polished and colours were mellowed with age, and
refurnished his house with gaudy modern rugs. In prescribing the Moslem
fast and namaz (prayer-rite), with some modifications, Bahaism limits
the spirit of liberty, which is the essence of universality.

Copying from the Bab, Baha has seen fit to regulate the calendar.
Following the Zoroastrian custom, Baha ordains that the year begin at
the vernal equinox--March 21--because that is the spring-time, the time
of the renewal of vegetable life. Good! But in Australia it is the time
of death--of the approach of winter. The reason assigned is not
universal, and is not adapted to all climes. As has been said above, the
months are ordained to be nineteen of nineteen days each, with four or
five intercalary days in March. The week is abolished, that primitive
division of time which has such a definite place in nature, in the
phases of the moon, and is established in the three great monotheistic
religions with their weekly Sabbaths. Instead of the latter is
substituted the nineteenth day Unity feast. How do such changes aid
universality or unification? Coinage, fines, taxes, and tithes are
arranged on the number 19. Remey's book has nineteen chapters, as the
"Bayan" has. _The Star of the West_, a magazine of the American Bahais,
is published every nineteen days, and bears the Bahai calendar on its
editorial page. Instances might be indefinitely extended. But later the
number nine, the number of Baha, has come more into use. Abbas has set
apart the ninth day of the month as well as the nineteenth for certain
religious purposes. The Bahai era is sometimes dated from the
declaration of the Bab in 1844, and sometimes from the birth of Baha in
1817. Are these innovations more an aid to universality than adherence
to the established calendar and era, or than the decimal system or the
metric system which the civilized world has been striving to extend?
Professor Browne says: "What could be more impractical than the adoption
of the number nineteen as the basis of measures or calculations?" It
bears the mark of Oriental fancy rather than of divine revelation.

Another illustration of this point--namely, that Bahaism enjoins and
regulates specifically, and does not, like Christianity, inculcate
guiding principles, is seen in the law regarding civil government. In
"Glad Tidings"[85] Baha teaches, as from God, that "although a
republican form of government profits, yet the majesty of kingship is
one of the signs of God. We do not wish that the countries of the world
should be deprived thereof." "Statesmen should combine the two," and[86]
"At present the form of government followed by the British nation seems
good, for that nation is illuminated both with the light of kingship and
consultation--_i. e._, parliament." "In the principal Laws [of Bahaism]
affairs have been placed in the hands of just kings and chiefs, and the
House of Justice." As a matter of opinion, I can join with Baha in
expressing my admiration for the British Constitution, but prescribing
it as a law of revelation is a different matter. A "universal religion"
should be adapted to all conditions. It is a fact of history that when
the tablet "Glad Tidings" was sent to Russia, section 15 was omitted.
The Bahais suppressed this portion from expediency, and it appears thus
mutilated in Baron Rosen's translation.[87] Is not this a high-handed
way to deal with God's Word, as they profess to regard it? Is it not
also conceivable that republics might take offense against Bahaism
because it maintains monarchy, even as autocracies because it approves
of parliamentary government? Had not a "universal religion" better let
politics alone? Christianity could adapt itself even to the government
of a Nero.

Another institution of Bahaism, ill-adapted to all races and conditions,
and certain to bring the very conflict and strife against which it is
supposed to guard, is the House of Justice. This is a religious court,
with civil and political functions, to be set up in every town and
country. It is to be composed of nine or more Bahai men. "They are
divine agents, representatives of God." Much is said of this House of
Justice in the Books of Revelation.[88] Dreyfus devotes a chapter to
it.[89] It is to have legislative, judicial, and administrative
functions. It will regulate estates, taxes, tithes, fines, capital and
labour, marriage, divorce, inheritances, minors, servants, charities,
reforms, houses of correction, schools, besides all matters of religion
and morals. They will rule "absolutely," and be "infallible," "guided by
God." It is the old dream of theocratic rule. I must leave it to the
imagination of the student of history to picture the dire confusion
which would ensue if this politico-religious hierarchy should begin its
sway. Those who are familiar with the perpetual conflict between the
urfi and the shari, the civil and the religious law in Persia, know how
this proposed organization would work confusion worse confounded.

Similar to these invasions of the province of science and Cæsar is the
attempt to improve philology by "revelation." Following the Bab again,
Baha Ullah promulgated a new alphabet. The Babi alphabet, unlike the
Arabic and Persian, was written from left to right. "Each letter
consists of thick, oblique straight lines, parallel and equidistant
from each other, running down to the left, to which thin hooks and
curves are appended to make separate letters." It is called the
Khatti-Badi. There were nineteen kinds of it; one kind was called the
Khatti-Baha. It was intended for the time when Babism would be
prevalent. It appears that Bahais have a new alphabet, different from
that of the Babis.

In the Akdas and in the sixth Ishrak[90] it is commanded that the "House
of Justice" must select one tongue out of the present languages, or a
new language, to teach the children in the schools of the world. Let us
suppose they decide on Persian or Arabic. The Anglo-Saxon children must
all begin to learn Arabic. Suppose they decide on English. Then Germans,
French, and Russians will have an additional reason for opposing the
religion. Suppose that Abdul Baha decides on Esperanto, as he seems
inclined to do, then will it be heresy for some one to invent a language
as much superior to Esperanto as it is to Volapuk? Had not a "universal
religion" better let linguistics alone? The spirit of Christianity gives
a free field to all tongues--this is the essence of liberty, of
universality. After this brief review of some of the provisions of the
"New Revelation," we can deny the claim that "its statutes meet the
necessity of every land," and that they can serve the world well for
1,000 years.


[18] Phelps' "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 144.

[19] "Some Answered Questions," by Barney, p. 19.

[20] _Star of the West_, May 17, 1913, p. 68. Abbreviated hereafter as
_S. W._

[21] Page 158 f.

[22] "Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 23.

[23] Phelps, _ibid._, p. 256.

[24] Phelps, "Jewels of Wisdom," p. 237.

[25] _Ibid._, p. 145.

[26] _Ibid._, p. 144.

[27] "The Bahai Movement," p. 20.

[28] "Bahai Proofs," p. 78.

[29] Chase, "The Bahai Revelation," p. 178.

[30] _S. W._, March 2, 1913, p. 10.

[31] See _S. W._

[32] Addresses in New York and Chicago, 1900.

[33] _S. W._, p. 10, March 2, 1913.

[34] _S. W._, 1913, p. 267.

[35] Prof. E. G. Browne has translated various books of the Bahais;
among them are "The Episode of the Bab," or the "Traveller's Narrative,"
and the "New History." His investigations and comments have given
offense to the Bahais, while his praises of them often wound the
Christian reader. I have been kindly permitted by Doctor Kheiralla to
examine his English translation of the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" in manuscript.

[36] _S. W._, July, 1912. See Chapter X.

[37] See "Sacred Mysteries," p. 100.

[38] _S. W._, Sept. 8, 1913, pp. 170-174.

[39] See "Facts for Behaists."

[40] Dr. H. H. Jessup in N. Y. _Outlook_, June, 1901.

[41] "A Year in India and Burmah," p. 10. Compare the Trinities of the
Nusaireyah, as given in "The Asian Mystery," p. 111. The first is Abel,
Adam and Gabriel: after others, comes Simon Peter, Jesus and Rozabah;
Ali, Mohammed and Salman the Persian. The first of each group, for
example Peter and Ali, is the supreme manifestation, the _maana_,
meaning or essence of God; the second of each group, Mohammed and Jesus
represent the _ism-azim_, the Greatest Name: while the third, that is,
Salman is termed the Bab. Baha is the Greatest Name. The place of Peter
remains for Abbas.

[42] "Facts for Behaists."

[43] "Ten Days in the Light of Acca," p. 105.

[44] _S. W._, Nov. 23, 1913, p. 242.

[45] See Chapter IV.

[46] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 10.

[47] "Some Answered Questions," pp. 129-131.

[48] _Ibid._, p. 148.

[49] "Beha' Ullah," by Kheiralla.

[50] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. xlv, 62-63.

[51] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 359, 368-369.

[52] See _Ibid._, Index word "Assassination"; "New Hist.," pp.

[53] _Ibid._, pp. 82, 278; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 361, 371.

[54] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1889, p. 516; 1892, pp. 994-995.

[55] 2 Thess. ii. 4 and 11.

[56] "Bahai Proofs," by Abul Fazl, p. 42.

[57] "New Hist.," p. 112.

[58] _Ibid._, p. 209.

[59] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 289.

[60] "Bahai Proofs," pp. 67-68, 72.

[61] "Ighan," Chicago Edition, pp. vii-viii.

[62] "Proofs," pp. 258-259.

[63] "New Hist.," p. 381; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 353-354.

[64] _S. W._, Nov. 4, 1913, p. 224.

[65] "Life of Abbas," by Phelps, p. xxii.

[66] "Bahai Proofs," p. 93.

[67] Phelps, p. xvii.

[68] "New Hist.," p. xiii.

[69] _Ibid._

[70] Phelps, p. xviii.

[71] "A Year Among the Persians," p. 307.

[72] "Bahai Movement," p. 1.

[73] "Life of Abbas," p. 148.

[74] Remey, _Ibid._, p. 39.

[75] Phelps' "Abbas," p. 254.

[76] _Ibid._, p. xxi.

[77] December 13, 1913.

[78] _S. W._, Jan. 10, 1914, p. 282.

[79] "The Universal Religion," p. 43.

[80] "New Hist.," p. xiii.

[81] _Ibid._, p. xxv.

[82] _Ibid._, p. xxvi.

[83] Pages 31-32.

[84] Luke xii. 14.

[85] Section 15, p. 91, Chicago Edition.

[86] "Tablet of the World," p. 33.

[87] "New Hist.," p. xxv.

[88] See "Glad Tidings," pp. 39, 90; "Words of Paradise," p. 53; "Tablet
of the World," p. 33; "Israket," p. 37; and "Kitab-ul-Akdas."

[89] "Universal Religion," pp. 131-144.

[90] "Ishrakat," p. 36.


Its Specific Claims

  Bahaism is a Persian delusion, whose headman Baha Ullah in Acre
  claimed to be an incarnation of God. Abbas Effendi succeeded him and
  is running the "incarnation" fraud for all it is worth, and it is
  worth a good deal, as pilgrims constantly come from Persia and bring
  their offerings in money with great liberality. Such men ... as the
  Babites of Persia turn up now and then in the East, "go up like a
  rocket and down like a stick."--_H. H. Jessup, "Fifty-three Tears in
  Syria," p. 637._

  I cannot understand how a Christian can possibly exchange the clear
  consistent plan of salvation through Christ for the misty and mystical
  platitudes of Bahaism.--_Ibid., p. 687._

Bahaism makes various claims of a practical nature. Some of these will
require detailed treatment. Several of them I will group in this
chapter. Additional light is thrown on the question of their validity by
facts subsequently brought forward, for many facts have a bearing on
several subjects.

Among the specific claims put forth by Bahaism is that of being
_specially adapted to promote the unification of mankind_, and of
accomplishing that end. Bahaism reiterates the Christian ideas that God
hath made of one blood all nations and that all shall be united in God's
spiritual kingdom. It repeats as a slogan, "the brotherhood of man." C.
M. Remey[91] says: "The Bahai cause stands for the unity of all
religions, political unity of nations, the social unity of all classes,
peoples and races." "Its aim," says Harold Johnson, "is to knit all the
faiths and all the peoples into one."[92] "The essential principle of
the teachings of Bahaism is the unification of the religious systems of
the world," says MacNutt.[93] This is a high ideal, which interpreted in
their several ways is the aim of Christianity, Islam, Socialism, etc.
And Bahai writers mean what all the other systems have meant, namely,
unity by all accepting their beliefs, for Remey[94] says: "Baha Ullah's
mission is to unite those now following many systems into one
brotherhood and one universal faith.... May God speed the day when all
of us may become true _Bahais_."

But the claim of Bahaism is presented in another form. It asserts that
it is actually bringing about this unification. "Abdul Baha is
harmonizing Christians, Jews, Mohammedans, Zoroastrians, Buddhists,
Hindus in the one and true faith."[95] Dreyfus says: "It is uniting all
men in the great universal religion of the future." At Oakland,
Cal.,[96] Abdul Baha said, "The revelation of Baha Ullah is the cause of
the oneness of the world of humanity. It is a unity which welds together
all the races." In illustration of this alleged result, the pilgrims to
Acca express their gratification and amazement that at Acca several
races meet together in love and unity. So in Rangoon, says Mr.
Sprague,[97] "I attended a Bahai meeting at which six of the great world
religions were represented united in the wonderful bond of friendship
and unity." In like manner Mr. Harold Johnson says, "What Christianity
has failed to accomplish, Bahaism has accomplished in uniting men of
different races and religions." If these assertions mean external
association, it may be said that Christians have had their Parliaments
of Religions and Congresses of all faiths, examples of polite toleration
and laboratories of the science of religion. If it means that
Christianity refuses to put itself on a level with other religions and
consort with them as equals, this is true, for Christianity is an
exclusive religion. It has entered the world, as it entered the Roman
empire, to displace all others. It refuses to have Christ occupy a niche
in the Pantheon. But Bahai writers mean rather that Bahaism is to be the
bond of unity by all races and religions accepting Baha. In this sense
their claim is based on very meagre premises. A few thousand only,
outside of Persia, have embraced Bahaism. Harold Johnson says: "The
Non-Mohammedans do not number probably very many thousands." But do we
not see myriads gathering into the Christian brotherhood out of every
race and religion of Asia, including even thousands from Islam. Thirty
thousand Moslems have become Christians in Malayasia in Abdul Baha's
lifetime. In Asia how many races and religions, forgetting their former
antagonisms, are united in the faith and baptism of the Lord Jesus
Christ. As an example of the living power of the Christian faith to
unite the races of men, take the Conference of the International
Christian Students' Federation, held at Lake Mohonk, N. Y. There Hindus
and British, Japanese and Koreans, Russians and Chinese, Greeks and
Armenians, French and Germans, Canadians and Brazilians, Americans and
Mexicans represented the wide world. Mutual esteem, love and spiritual
fellowship united members of the various Protestant Churches with
representatives of the Oriental Churches. The unity in Bahai Assemblies
is on so small a scale as to be not worthy of mention. How little Abdul
Baha knows of or appreciates the reality and power of Christian
spiritual fellowship is shown in his remarks at West Englewood, N.
Y.[98] "This gathering (of Bahais) has no peer or likeness upon the
surface of the earth, for all other gatherings and assemblages are due
to some physical basis or material interests. Bahai meetings are mirrors
of the kingdom." When Abdul Baha speaks about the results of Bahaism in
bringing about unification in Persia, his claims seem utterly
extravagant. To one who knows that country from long residence they are
explicable only on the supposition that he has been misinformed or
deceived by his own followers, for it must be borne in mind that Abdul
Baha left Persia when a child of six or eight and has never returned.
Hear these words which Abdul Baha addressed to Rev. J. T. Bixley, who
was writing on the Sect in the _North American Review_: "The fundamental
question is the unification of religious belief. In Persia, during the
last fifty years[99] ... the various religionists have united in the
utmost love and fellowship. No traces of discord or difference remain:
the utmost love, kindness and unity are apparent. They live together
like a single family in harmony and accord. Discord and strife have
passed away. Love and fellowship now prevail instead. Whether they be
Moslems, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Nestorians, Shiites,
Sunnis or others--no discord exists among them." In an address at New
York,[100] he said:

"In the Orient different races were at constant warfare until about
sixty years ago Baha Ullah appeared and caused love and unity to exist
among these various peoples. Their former animosities have passed away
entirely. It was a dark world, it became radiant.... You now see the
same people who were formerly at enmity and strife in far-off Persia,
people of various religions and denominations living in the utmost
peace." "His Highness, Baha Ullah, established such unity and peace
between the various communities." What does such language mean? At their
face value these words are erroneous in a high degree. All know indeed
that in Persia bigotry and religious and racial hatred have been
modified. In bringing this result about, Bahaism has had a share along
with Western civilization and education, the Nationalist movement,
medical missions, and even Pan-Islamism, for the latter has tended to
bring Shiahs and Sunnis nearer to each other. But it is notorious how
great the enmity and hatred is yet; how the Kurds have raided the Shiahs
and massacred or plundered the Nestorians and the Armenians: how the
Moslems oppress the Armenians in Karadagh: how Sheikhis have suffered
from Mutasharis; and Ali Allahis continued the practice of tagiya for
fear of them both. If Parsees enjoy more ease, it is through the efforts
of their co-religionists in India; if Christians are safer, it is
through the favour of the Shahs and the power of Christian governments:
in neither case is it due to Bahaism. The union with the Bahais of
possibly a dozen Armenians, a few score Zoroastrians and several hundred
Jews cannot be the basis for such extravagance of language: neither can
the rejection by Baha of the Shiah notion that other religions are
"unclean," for Sunnis all along held the "peoples of the Book" to be
"clean" and Christians of old learned to "call no man common or

As to unification, how is it? Babis were divided off from Sheikhis, and
Bahais from Babis, and Behais from Bahais and the flames of hate and
vindictiveness burn hotter between them than between the older sects and
races, while the Shiahs curse and at times persecute Babis and Bahais.
Instead of unity the Babi-Bahais have brought a greater division of
sects: instead of love renewed fires of animosity and fanatical hate. In
view of these conditions, how unreasonable for Abdul Baha to say that
"through the power of Baha Ullah, such affection and love is produced
among the various religions of Persia that they now associate[101] with
each other in the utmost love and concord."

Passing now to another phase of this subject, let us inquire what means
are prescribed for religious unification. The chief means seems to be
the forbidding of the right of private interpretation or opinion. Abdul
Baha writes[102] that he is "the Interpreter of all the works and books
of the Blessed Perfection. Were this not the case, every one would give
an interpretation according to his own inclination--this would lead to
great differences." This point is more plainly stated by M. Abul
Fazl:[103] "One of the explicit commands of Baha Ullah is the ordinance
abrogating differences which separate men.... If those having two points
of view, engage in strife in expressing their views, both will be
delivered to the fire.... Bahai law prohibits the interpretation of
God's word and exposition of personal opinion ... lest different sects
arise." "You must ask him (Abdul Baha) regarding the meaning of the
texts of the verses. Whatsoever he says is correct. Without his will,
not a word shall any one utter."[104] Baha Ullah "made provision against
all kinds of differences, so that no man shall be able to create a new
sect ... indicating the Interpreter so that no man should be able to say
that he explains a certain teaching in this way and thus create a new
sect."[105] After Abdul Baha whenever the House of Justice is organized,
it will ward off differences. But though the right of private judgment
was denied, yet a new sect arose and bitter disunion occurred over the
question of the Infallible Interpreter.

Another Bahai scheme to promote unity is the adoption of one language to
be a universal language; another is the amalgamation of all the races by
the marriage of blacks and whites, and all indiscriminately; another is
the discouragement of patriotism or any special love for one's country
or people, teaching an internationalism in the words, "Let not him glory
who loves his country, but let him glory who loves his kind." These
points need not detain us, nor need we stop to enlarge on the fact that
the new calendar, feasts, rites, laws, weights and measures, etc., tend
to disunion.

_The claims of Bahaism in regard to its relation to the movement for
peace and arbitration_ require consideration. Abdul Baha at Boston[106]
said: "Baha Ullah spread the teaching of Universal Peace sixty years
ago, when it was _not even thought of_ by the people. He sent tablets to
kings advising this." He wrote to Mr. Smiley of Lake Mohonk, "The matter
of International Peace was instituted by His Highness, Baha Ullah, sixty
years ago in Persia." Dreyfus[107] says: "Long before these ideas, i.
e., peace, brotherhood and arbitration, had taken form among us, at a
time when the Bab himself had sometimes excused the use of arms for the
propagation of religion, Baha Ullah had made these high principles the
one basis of his religion." Remey[108] states this claim yet more
strongly, saying: "Peace, arbitration, in fact universal civilization
_were unthought of_, when over half a century ago these teachers (Baha
Ullah and Abdul Baha) announced their message." Again, "Christ states
that His dispensation is to be a militant one, which would be followed
by another of peace. Baha Ullah has now brought that peace to the world.
He is the Prince of Peace who has established the foundations of peace
on earth."[109]

Now as to the facts. Bahaism certainly does advocate peace and
arbitration, in common with Tolstoism, socialism and many schools of
thought. Baha said to Professor Browne at Acca, in 1886: "This fruitless
strife, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the Most Great Peace
shall come. These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease and
all men be as one kindred and one family." In accordance with this,
Abdul Baha declares[110] universal peace and an international Court of
Arbitration to be fundamental principles of Bahaism. The Court will be
called the House of Justice and will be composed entirely of Bahais.
"Disputes will find a final sentence of absolute justice ... before the
Bahai House of Justice. War will be suppressed."[111]

It is good to have such a programme approved by one raised in a Moslem
environment. Yet it is evident that the claim to priority and
originality regarding it, constitute a grave anachronism and betray
ignorance of or perversion of history. Both the ideals and the programme
were in existence and in partial operation long before the time of Baha
Ullah. In the first place, Bahai teachings on peace are but an echo of
Christian hopes and doctrines of "peace on earth: good will to men."
Baha has but thrown on the screen again the vision of the seers of
Israel who foretold the age when "men shall learn war no more." The
hopes of the prophets, the longings of saints, the anthems of the
worshipping church found voice through the Christian centuries, with a
faith never dimmed, a desire never quenched, anticipating that

    "Then shall wars and tumults cease,
      Then be banished grief and pain,
    Righteousness and joy and peace
      Undisturbed shall ever reign."

Baha's teaching, though growing up in Islam, is transplanted from
Christian soil. He repudiates the teaching of Mohammed regarding "holy
wars." "The first Glad Tidings is the abolition of religious warfare
from the Book," _i. e._, the Koran. What Bahais would do in case of
provocation, accompanied by reasonable opportunity of success, is not
evident. The Babis were fierce warriors (1848-1850) and the Bab
expected that wars would continue. In the "Bayan" he makes provision for
the distribution of the spoils.[112] Baha, together with Azal, started
for and tried to join the army at Tabarsi,[113] and was absent from
participation in its sanguinary conflict, solely because his arrest by
the Persian authorities at Amul prevented him from reaching the fort.
After his release he fell under suspicion because[114] he "not
improbably harboured designs of setting up a standard of revolt on his
own account." He was, therefore, rearrested and sent to the capital. But
during his exile in Turkey, he tried to be reconciled to the Shah of
Persia. Following this change of policy, he was able to claim later[115]
that "for nigh upon thirty-five years no action opposed to the
government or prejudicial to the nation has emanated from this sect."
The Bahais did not join in the effort to establish constitutional
government in 1908-1911.[116] They have never had an even chance to
fight for their own cause and it remains to be seen what they would do
in such a case. There is no assurance that they would act like Quakers
or Dukhobors, for even Abdul Baha at times identifies himself and his
cause with the fighting Babis and appropriates their martial glory. He
said to Mr. Anton Hadad:[117] "When in Persia we were very few but owing
to animosity we stood before our numerous enemies, fought and defeated
them and gained the victory." He wrote a prayer on behalf of the
American army for the use of Bahais: "O God! Strengthen its soldiers and
its flag."[118] In his teachings, he leaves several pretexts for the
prosecution of war. He says:[119] "War is sometimes the foundation of
peace. If, for example, a sovereign should wage war against a
threatening foe or for the unification of the people, this war may be
attuned to peace: this fury is kindness; this war is a source of
reconciliation." In his scheme for arbitration, one is reminded of the
old saw, "we must have peace even if we have to fight for it." For he
says: "If any nation dares to refuse to abide by the decision of the
international court, all the other nations must arise and put down this
rebellion, ... they must rise up and _destroy it_, ... band together and
_exterminate it_."[120]

As to the claim that Baha _originated_ the movement for universal peace
and international arbitration, it only deserves consideration because it
is apparently put forth in sincerity. It absolutely contradicts history.
In fact the movement for "peace on earth" has long been an active one in
Christian lands, and arbitration has long been recognized and employed
as a method for promoting peace." "Under the influence of religious and
feudal ideas," says Professor Moore,[121] "arbitrations were very
frequent in the Middle Ages, which offered the remarkable spectacle of
conciliation and peace making way." Treaties were made which provided
for arbitration. In Italy there were one hundred arbitrations in the
thirteenth century. In the following centuries they were frequent in
Europe. Sometimes a king acted as arbitrator between kings or between
king and people. At other times a city, as for example the Republic of
Hamburg, or a great juristconsult or a Professor of a University acted
in this capacity. More often "the predominance of the popes constituted
them natural judges of international cases." Projects for universal
peace were put forward. One of the most celebrated was formed by Sully,
the minister of Henry IV. The Abbe de St. Pierre in 1713 published a
scheme for the federation of Christian States, with a central council to
decide all disputes. Grotius strongly advocated arbitration as a means
of avoiding war and the placing of nations under obligations to settle
disputes peaceably. Bentham in the eighteenth century proposed a plan
for a common tribunal to maintain universal and permanent peace.[122]
Fox, Penn and the Quakers, from Christian principles, strenuously
opposed war. There were nine principal arbitrations between the United
States and Great Britain, France and Spain from 1794 to 1863.

In 1815, before Baha's day, the Massachusetts Peace Society was formed
and in the following year the American Peace Society "to promote
universal permanent peace through arbitration and disarmament."[123]
For this purpose World Congresses were held at London 1843, Brussels
1848, Paris 1849, Frankfort 1850, London 1851, etc., and with great
enthusiasm. Men like Elihu Burritt, Victor Hugo, Richard Cobden, John
Bright and Charles Sumner led in advocacy of the cause. Tennyson, too,
saw the vision of peace,

    "In the Parliament of men, the Federation of the World,"

and the Scottish bard declared,

    "It's coming yet for a' that
    When man to man, the world o'er,
    Shall brothers be and a' that."

We can easily conceive how these ideas would penetrate the Near East and
how Baha Ullah in Turkey caught an echo of them and was happily
influenced to become himself an advocate of peace.

But what becomes of the claims of Abdul Baha and other Bahais, mentioned
above, that Baha, in 1863-1867, "_instituted_ the movement for peace and
arbitration" that he advised it to kings "when it had not even been
thought of," "before the attention of Western thinkers had to any degree
been directed towards universal peace." They are like so many claims
made by Bahaists, utterly groundless. Such statements, when made by
Abdul Baha, we may attribute to ignorance of the history of the
Occident, but this does not excuse American advocates of Bahaism for
endorsing such errors.

I need not discuss the assertion of Bahais that the Millennium began in
1844[124] or at latest in 1892, nor the announcement that the Most Great
Peace will be inaugurated in 1917, which they declare to be the end of
the 1335 days of Dan. xii. 12.[125]

_Another claim made for Bahaism is that it is a rational and undogmatic
religion._ Remey[126] says: "It does not put forth doctrine or dogma....
It is a religion free from dogma." It is "logical and reasonable."
Dreyfus denounces "dogmatic religions," and claims that Bahaism has
paved the way for the harmony of religion with free thought."[127] With
these accord the words of Abdul Baha to Pastor Monnier in Paris.[128]
"Our aim is to free religion from dogmas. Dogmas are the cause of
strife. We must give up dogmas." Now it is evident that Bahaism has not
a fixed body of doctrines: that it has not a definite and clear system
of theology. But it is very dogmatic in the common usages of that word.
Webster defines it as (1) positive, authoritative, and (2) as asserting
or disposed to assert with authority or with overbearing and arrogance.
Is not Bahaism a mass of assertions? For example, Baha declares that
"the universe hath neither beginning nor ending." Abdul Baha adds the
comment:[129] "_By this simple statement_ he has set aside elaborate
theories and exhaustive labours of scientists and philosophers."
Similarly he is said to have settled by a single word all discussions
about divine sovereignty and free agency. Abdul Baha might be called the
Lord of dogmas, for from his dicta none must vary by a hair's breadth.
Remey himself dogmatizes as follows: "The religion of Baha is the cause
of God, outside of which there is no truth in the world." Much in
Bahaism must be taken on faith, without logical proof. Professor
Browne[130] puts it mildly when he says: "The system appears to me to
contain enough of the mysterious and the transcendental to make its
intellectual acceptance at least as difficult as the theology of most
Christian churches to the sceptic." Elsewhere he says:[131] "It must be
clearly understood that Babism (or Bahaism) is in no sense
latitudinarian or eclectic, and stands therefore in the sharpest
antagonism to Sufism. However vague Babi doctrine may be on certain
points, it is essentially _dogmatic_, and every utterance or command
uttered by the Manifestation of the Period, _i. e._, Bab or Baha Ullah
or Abbas Effendi must be accepted without reserve."[132] Similarly Dr.
G. W. Holmes[133] writes: "Baha's appeal is only to his own word and to
his own arbitrary and forced interpretation of the Word of God, which
interpretations, as he states, find their sanction solely in his own

There are other claims of Bahaism of a specific nature which might be
considered. They would be found equally assertive and equally
groundless. Bahaism reminds me of a horse which was offered for sale in
Persia. It appeared like a fat and well fed animal. But the would-be
purchaser was warned that its skin had been puffed up with air which
would soon leak out, and he would have on his hands a lean, lank, bony
_yabi_ scrub. Bahaism does not even stop short of claiming that the
civilization of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is due to it. Its
braggart attitude may be fittingly symbolized by Rostand's "Chanticler,"
standing in the barnyard, flapping its wings in vain exultation,
imagining that it, by its crowing, has caused the sun to rise.


[91] "The Bahai Movement," p. 73.

[92] _Contemporary Review_, March, 1912.

[93] In "Unity Through Love."

[94] "The Bahai Movement," p. 39.

[95] _Ibid._, p. 27.

[96] _S. W._, Oct. 1912, p. 190.

[97] "Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 4.

[98] June 29, 1912.

[99] _S. W._, Sept. 27, 1912.

[100] _S. W._, Sept. 8, 1912.

[101] Professor Browne, in the Ency. of Ethics and Religion, article
"Bab," writes: "The Bahais are strongly antagonistic alike to the Sufis
and the Mohammedans, but for quite different reasons. In the case of the
Sufis they object to their latitudinarianism, their Pantheism, their
individualism and their doctrine of the inner light. With the Mohammedan
they resent the persecutions they have suffered. The Bahais detest the
Azalis, the followers of Abbas Effendi dislike and despise the followers
of his brother Mehemet Ali."

[102] _S. W._, Aug. 20, 1914.

[103] "Brilliant Proof," pp. 26-28.

[104] _S. W._, Nov. 23, 1913, p. 238.

[105] _S. W._, April 9, 1914.

[106] _S. W._, July 13, 1913, p. 122.

[107] "The Universal Religion."

[108] "Bahai Movement," p. 75.

[109] Page 54. In Dealy's "Dawn of Knowledge," the chapter on Baha Ullah
is entitled "Prince of Peace."

[110] _S. W._, Vol. IV, pp. 6, 8 and 254.

[111] "Answered Questions," p. 74; "Tablet of the World," p. 28.

[112] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 287.

[113] "New Hist.," pp. 378, 379.

[114] _Ibid._, p. 380.

[115] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 65-67.

[116] See Chapter VI.

[117] "A Message from Acca," p. 9.

[118] Tablet "9," p. 8, published by the New York Bahai Council.

[119] "Principles of the Bahai Movement," pp. 43, 47, Washington, 1912.

[120] _Ibid._, pp. 43, 45.

[121] "International Arbitrations," pp. 4826-4833.

[122] New International Ency., Art. "Arbitration," p. 713.

[123] _Atlantic Monthly_, Vol. XCIV, p. 358.

[124] _S. W._, March 21, 1914, p. 8.

[125] Dealy's "Dawn of Knowledge," p. 44; Kheiralla's "Beha Ullah," pp.
480, 483.

[126] Tract "Peace," pp. 8 and 14; "Bahai Movement," p. 89.

[127] "The Universal Religion," pp. 21, 44.

[128] _S. W._, April 28, 1913, p. 55.

[129] _S. W._, June 5, 1913, p. 90.

[130] Phelps, p. xviii.

[131] Ency. of Religion and Ethics, Art. "Bab."

[132] See also his "Literary History of Persia," p. 422.

[133] "Missions and Modern History," by Robert E. Speer, p. 171.


Bahaism and Christianity

  The whole Bahai movement is in fact, whatever it may have been in the
  mind of its originator the Bab, a counterfeit of the Messiahship of
  Christ. At least this is the side of it that is turned towards both
  Christians and Jews. All that relates to the second coming of Christ
  in the Old Testament or the New is bodily appropriated by Baha to
  himself and everything in them relating to God is boldly applied to
  himself.... It will bring a few of the Persians nearer to Christ. By
  far the greater number of its adherents will be brought into more
  active antagonism to Christianity than before.--_G. W. Holmes, M. D.,
  in Speer's "Missions and Modern History," Vol. I, p. 169._

  Can Bahaism make good its claim to be the fulfillment of and
  substitute for Christianity? It has no place for Christ except as one
  of a series, one, moreover, whose brief day of authority closed when
  Mohammed began to preach in Mecca.... If the claim be admitted that
  Bahaism is a republication of Christianity, the whole interpretation
  of the death of Christ contained in the Epistles must first be
  rejected.--_W. A. Shedd, in "Miss. Rev. of World," 1911._

Abdul Baha says: "Some say Abdul Baha is Antichrist. They are not
informed of Bahai principles. Baha Ullah[134] established Christ in the
East. He has praised Christ, honoured Christ, exalted Him, called Him
the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and spread His mention."[135] These
words could be written with the name Mohammed substituted for Baha
Ullah. But in the case of both of them it is the kiss of betrayal. Judas
also made known Jesus. Both Mohammed and Baha write "ex" before His
title "King of Kings." To accept Baha and Abdul Baha is to deny and
forsake Christ.

I hear some Christian say: "Of course. What you say is self-evident.
Bahaism is a new religion whose aim is to supplant Christianity." This
is true. Yet _the claim_ is put forth by Bahais, and, more strangely, it
is accepted by some Christians, _that the two religions are not
antagonistic, and may be held at one time by the same person_. To an
esteemed Christian lady I expressed my regret that a certain doctor,
forsaking Christ, had gone as a Bahai missionary to Persia. The reply
startled me: "Doctor----is very much a Christian." Yet why was I
startled? It was simply hearing an idea with which I was familiar in the
writings of the Bahais. Sydney Sprague says: "The true Bahai is also the
truest Christian."[136] Charles M. Remey says: "To be a real Christian
in spirit is to be a Bahai, and to be a real Bahai is to be a
Christian," for "Bahai teaching is only the perfection of
Christianity."[137] A report of an interview of Rev. R. J. Campbell, of
City Temple, London, with Abdul Baha, states the claim of Bahaism as
follows: "It does not seek to proselyte. One can be a Bahai without
ceasing to be a Christian, a Jew, or a Mohammedan."[138] In accordance
with this idea, Thornton Chase and some Bahais in America continued to
worship and teach in Christian churches, and to have their dead buried
by pastors. Some in London, in connection with the City Temple and St.
John's Church (Canon Wilberforce's), profess both Christianity and
Bahaism. Of Southern India, Dr. A. L. Wylie said: "It is said that there
are thirty-five Bahais in our city [Ratnagiri]. Some of these are
Christian converts. They continue to be Christians, saying that they can
remain such and are instructed to do so." Such an erroneous idea, when
not due to the misrepresentations of the leaders and Oriental _tagiya_
("dissimulation"), must arise from ignorance of or dislike to true
Christianity or ignorance of what Bahaism is.

I. Bahaism assigns Christianity a place as but one among the true
religions. Bahaism indorses and accepts in the same category with
Judaism and Christianity, as true and divinely revealed religions,
Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism,
Babism, and Bahaism. Abdul Baha says: "The reality of the religions is
one, the difference is one of imitation."[139] Remey says: "Bahais
consider all religions to be, from a spiritual standpoint, one
religion."[140] "Every religion has had its birth in the advent of its
divine founder."[141] "The founders of the world religions have been
seers as well as channels of truth to the people."[142] It tries to
build on all the other religions by professing to be the fulfillment of
each one. "The Bahai propaganda in India," says Sprague, "has not the
difficulty that besets a Christian missionary, that of pulling down: his
duty is only to build on what is already there. He sees the Hindu,
Buddhist, and Mohammedan with the same eye, acknowledges their truth and
shows that a further revelation has come through Baha Ullah."[143] It
says to each one, Baha fulfills your traditions and prophecies.[144]

But this liberality is only apparent. Only original Buddhism,
Christianity, etc., was God-given and true. Now all are corrupted. "The
key-note of Bahai teaching is identical with the Christian, but in
Christianity it was so forgotten that it came almost as a fresh, new
illumination from Baha."[145]

Christianity refuses to be classed with the ethnic religions. In its
nature it is exclusive. It admits that there is a measure of truth in
all religions, but Christ's gospel is the truth "once for all" delivered
to men.

II. Bahaism claims to abrogate and supersede Christianity. Bahaism in
its origin is a Mohammedan sect. It declares that Islam is from God.
Christianity was a divine revelation, but Islam was a better one. In the
"Ikan," Baha maintains the validity of Islam, testifies to its truth,
defends Mohammed's prophetic mission as the fulfillment of the New
Testament prophecies, and the Koran as the Book of God.[146] Abdul Baha
exalts Mohammed, and declares that he "gave more spiritual education
than any of the others,"[147] _i. e._, than Moses or Jesus. He justifies
Mohammed's life and conduct, and defends his laws and doctrines."[148]
He declares that "whatever European and American historians have written
regarding His Highness Mohammed, the Messenger of God, is mostly
falsehood.... The narrators are either ignorant or antagonistic."[149]
Christians have therefore been in the wrong for thirteen centuries. They
have sinned against God, and were a stiff-necked and perverse people in
rejecting Mohammed, as the Jews were in rejecting Jesus the Christ. "If
those who have accepted a revelation refuse to believe a subsequent
revelation, their faith becomes null and void."

Similarly Babism abrogated Islam. At the Badasht (Shahrud) Conference
(1848) the law of the Koran was formally declared to be annulled. Baha
abrogated Babism in the Rizwan at Bagdad in 1864. Bahaism is the New
Covenant, "which confirms and completes all religious teaching which has
gone before."[150]

Christianity is, according to this, a system of the distant past. It was
effective in its day, for "the Christian teaching _was_ illumined by the
Sun of Truth: the Christian civilization _was_ the best,"[151] concedes
Abdul Baha. But now, says Remey, "Bahaism is not one of many phases of
Universal Truth, but _the Truth_, the only Living Truth to-day, ... the
only source of Divine Knowledge to mankind.... Abdul Baha's word is the
Truth.... There are those who will say, 'Have we not Jesus? We want no
other.' The Revelation of Jesus is no longer the Point of Guidance to
the world. We are in total blindness if we refuse this new Revelation
which is the end of the Revelations of the past.... All the teachings of
the past are past.... Only that which is revealed by the Supreme Pen,
Baha Ullah, and that which issues from the Centre of the Covenant, Abdul
Baha, is spiritual food."[152] Bahaism in proclaiming thus the
abrogation of Christianity is emphatically antichristian.

III. Bahaism casts Christ from His throne as the unique manifestation of
God. Bahaism recognizes two classes of prophets: (1) The independent
prophets, who were lawgivers and founders of new cycles. Of this class
were Abraham, Moses, Christ, Mohammed, the Bab, and Baha. (2) The others
are dependent prophets, who are as "branches." Such were Isaiah and
Daniel. All the greater prophets, of the first class, were
Manifestations of God.[153] So Bahaism continues to honour Christ as the
Incarnate Word, the Spirit of God, God manifest in the flesh. At the
same time it exalts Baha to supreme and unique dignity and glory above
Christ and all prophets. In order to understand this essential,
fundamental doctrine of Bahaism, we must know its doctrine concerning
God and His Manifestation.

The teaching of Bahaism regarding God is hard to grasp, because it
oscillates between Theism and Pantheism. Myron Phelps' exposition of it
is certainly pantheistic.[154] Baha Ullah in many places bears out his
interpretation, as, for example, "God alone is the one Power which
animates and dominates all things, which are but manifestations of its
energy."[155] In subsequent expositions, as in "Answered Questions,"
Abdul Baha repudiates Pantheism, and so does M. Abul Fazl in "The
Brilliant Proof." Kheiralla, while maintaining that Baha taught Theism,
accused Abdul Baha of Pantheism. In "The Epistle to the Shah" Baha
simulates a monotheism almost as rigid as Islam: "We bear witness that
there is no God but Him. He is independent of the worlds. No one hath
known Him.... God singly and alone abideth in His own place which is
holy, above space or time, mention and utterance, sign, description,
definition, height and depth.... The way is closed and seeking is
forbidden." A favourite text is that of the Koran, in which God says: "I
was a hid treasure, I desired to be known, therefore I created the
world." In this process "the first thing which emanated from God
[eternally] was that universal reality which the ancient philosophers
termed the 'First Mind,' and which the people of Baha call the 'Primal
Will.' This is without beginning or end, essentially but not temporally
contingent, and without power to become an associate with God."[156] The
Primal Will, Holy Essence, Word, Spirit, is manifested in perfect men,
who are the Great Prophets. They are supreme, holy, sinless souls,
godlike in their attributes. They show the perfections of God.[157]
This reality does not change, but the garment in which it is clothed is
different. One day it is the garment of Abraham, who is Zoroaster, then
Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, the Bab, and Baha Ullah.[158]
Abul Fazl says: "All the prophets are respectively the Manifestations of
the single Reality and one Essence."[159] The "Ikan" says: "All are one,
as the sun of yesterday and to-day are one. The sun is one, the
dawning-points of the sun are numerous. One light, many lanterns."[160]
"Baha is the same light in a new lamp."[161] Yet there are differences
in degree. Of the Bab, Baha says: "His rank is greater than all the
prophets, and His Mission loftier and higher."[162] But he is merely as
a forerunner in comparison with Baha. Baha is superior to all, greater,
more glorious.[163] He is infallible, absolute, universal. "All the
prophets were perfect mirrors of God, but _in Baha_, _in some sense_,
_the Divine Essence is manifested_."[164] "All preceding ones are
inferior to him: all subsequent ones are to be under his shadow."[165]
But even the latter are not to come for a "thousand or thousands of
years," and perhaps not then, for the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" says: "O Pen,
write and inform mankind that the Manifestations are ended by this
luminous and effulgent Theophany."

The Manifestation has two stations: "One is the station of oneness and
the rank of absolute Deity, the second station is one of temporal
conditions and servitude. If the manifestation says, 'Verily I am only a
man like you,' or 'Verily, I am God,' each is true and without doubt."
The "Tajallayat" quotes the Bab as saying concerning "Him whom God shall
manifest"; "Verily he shall utter, 'I am God. There is no God but Me,
the Lord of all things, and all besides is created by Me! O ye, my
creatures, ye are to worship Me.'"[166] In Bahai literature such words
as the following are not uncommon: "Baha Ullah is the Lord of Hosts, the
Heavenly Father, the Prince of Peace, the Glory of God."[167] "He is
the framer of the whole Universe, the Cause of the life of the world,
and of the unity and harmony of the creatures."[168] "No one of the
Manifestations had such great power of influence as was with
El-Baha."[169] In passing, it may be noticed how little ground for such
boasting they have. How great in comparison was the influence of Moses
as leader of Israel, emancipator, lawgiver, and prophet! How great even
was Mohammed's success and influence, compared with what Baha has
accomplished! How evidently antichristian is Bahaism in denying that
Christ's name and glory are above all, and that to Him every knee should

IV. Bahaism wrongly assumes that its leader is Christ come again. There
is confusion about this claim, for some Bahais represent Baha to be
Christ, and others make Abdul Baha Abbas to be Christ come the second
time. Confusion also arises from the fact that Baha is set forth as the
Manifestation of all the "promised ones." He is set forth as the Messiah
for the Jews, God the Father, the Word, and the Spirit for the
Christians, Aurora or Shah Bahram for the Zoroastrians, the fifth Buddha
for Buddhists, reincarnated Krishna for Brahmans, the Mahdi or the
twelfth Imam or Husain for the Moslems.[170] "All are realized in the
coming of Baha Ullah."[171] In accord with this, Baha declared in his
"Epistle to the Pope": "Consider those who turned away from the Spirit
[Christ] when He came to them. Verily He hath come from heaven as He
came the first time. Beware lest ye oppose Him as the Pharisees opposed
Him. Verily the Spirit of Truth has come to guide you into all truth. He
hath come from the Heaven of Preëxistence." "Baha," says the editor of
the _Star of the West_, "is the fulfillment of the promise of the
'second coming' _with a new name_ (Rev. iii. 11-13)."[172]

It must be remembered that Bahaism, chameleon-like, takes on a different
aspect according to the environment of its adherents. In Persia its
creed is different from that of America in regard to the "return." For
the most part American Bahais regard Baha as God the Father, and Abdul
Baha Abbas as the Son of God, Jesus Christ. After the quarrel and schism
following the death of Baha (1892), Abbas became very wary of assuming
titles and dignities, lest he give a handle to his opponents to accuse
him of claiming to be a "Manifestation." So he assumed the title
Abd-ul-Baha, the "servant of Baha," which his followers translate
"Servant of God." He also calls himself the "Centre of the Covenant."
Baha had entitled him the "Greatest Branch of God" (Zech. vi. 12) and
the "Mystery of God" (1 Tim. iii. 16). He was commonly called "Agha,"
an equivalent in Persia of Effendi or Mister, but his followers
translate it "Master," and put into it the full New Testament
significance. Undoubtedly Western Bahais worship Abdul Baha as Jesus
Christ the Master come again. In spite of all disavowals and beclouding
by words, their faith is plain. Getsinger, a leader and missionary,
says: "Abbas is heir and Master of the Kingdom: he was on earth 1,900
years ago as the Nazarene." Mrs. Corinne True says: "If this is not the
resurrection of the pure Spirit of the Nazarene of 1,900 years ago, then
we need not look elsewhere."[173] Mr. Anton Hadad says: "The Master,
Abbas Effendi, the Lord of the Kingdom, is the one who was to renew and
drink the cup with his disciples in the Kingdom of the Father, the one
who taught the world to pray, 'Thy kingdom come,'" _i. e._, Jesus
Christ.[174] Chase says: "He has come again in the Kingdom of his
Father."[175] Mrs. Brittingham, on pilgrimage to Acca, writes: "I have
seen the King in his beauty, the Master is here and we need not look for
another. This is the return of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, of the
Lamb that once was slain;--the Glory of God and the Glory of the

Emphasizing the side of his divinity, we have such declarations as
these: M. Haydar Ali taught Mrs. Goodall, "God is not realized except
through His Manifestations. Now you have recognized Him and have come
to see Him,"[177] _i. e._, Abdul Baha (1908). M. Asad Ullah gave
instructions (1914): "This world has an owner, and Abdul Baha owns the
world and all that is in it."[178] "He is the Son of God"[179]--the only
Door, "the Lord of Mankind."[180] A supplication from Persia, given out
for publication, says: "O! Abdul Baha! Forgiver of sins, merciful,
bountiful, compassionate! How can a sinner like me reach Thee? Thou art
through all the Forgiver of Sins."[181]

But there is an interpretation to all this for "those of understanding."
Bahais reject metempsychosis, but they have a doctrine of "Return,"
which must be borne in mind. This principle is expressed by Phelps as
follows: "When a character with which we are familiar as possessed by
some individual of the past, reappears in another individual of the
present, we say that the former has returned."[182] Baha states it thus:
"In every succeeding Manifestation those souls who exceed all in faith,
assurance, and self-denial can be declared to be the return of the
former persons who attained to these states in the preceding
Manifestation. For that which appeared from the former servants became
manifest in the subsequent ones."[183] Their classic illustration of
this is John the Baptist. Abdul Baha says: "Christ said that John the
Baptist was Elijah. The same perfections which were in Elijah existed in
John, and were exactly realized in him. Not the essence but the
qualities are regarded. As the flower of last year has returned, so this
person, John, was a manifestation of the bounty, perfections, the
character, the qualities, and the virtues of Elias. John said, 'I am not
Elias'--not his substance and individuality."[184] Remey clearly states
the idea: "The return of a prophet does not refer to the return to this
world of a personality. It refers to the return in another personality
of the impersonal Spirit, the Word or Spirit of God, which spoke through
the prophets in the past.... People are mistakenly looking for the
personal _individual_ return of their own special prophet."[185] In
accordance with this theory of the "Return," Abdul Baha wrote to the
Bahai Council of New York: "I am not Christ; I am not eternal."[186] To
Mrs. Grundy he said: "Some call me Christ; it is imagination."[187] Yet
the final word of his missionary, Mr. Remey, is: "The same Christ which
was in Jesus is again manifest in the Bahai Revelation. The real
Christians are those who recognize the New Covenant to be the return of
the same Christ,--the Word of God."[188] In like manner this usurper of
Christ's name is proclaimed to be "the expected one," the "desire of
all nations" under other names to the various religions.

V. Bahaism deals with the prophecies of the Bible in a manner derogatory
to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Bahaism asserts
that "the promises and prophecies given in the Holy Scriptures have been
fulfilled by the appearance of the Prince of the Universe, the great
Baha Ullah and of Abdul Baha."[189] A volume would be necessary to
review their treatment of the prophecies. They quote a multitude of
verses without proof that their applications are valid. The "messenger"
and "Elijah" of the Book of Malachi are declared to be the Bab.[190] He
is also the Angel with the sound of the trumpet (Rev. iv. 1) and his
cycle is the "First Resurrection." Baha is declared to be the
fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecies. Of chapter ix. 1-6, "unto us a child
is born, ... the Prince of Peace." Dealy says: "Many misguided people
have referred this to Jesus Christ."[191] In verse 1, "Galilee of the
nations," land of Zebulun and Naphtali, is made to mean Acca (Acre in
Syria) where Baha lived in exile, and not the region of Christ's
ministry, contradicting Matthew iv. 13-16. By a great stretch of
imagination Acca[192] becomes Jerusalem, "the city of the great king"
(Ps. xlviii. 12), and Mount Carmel becomes Mount Zion, and Isaiah ii. 3
refers to them, "for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of
the Lord from Jerusalem." Even "the root out of Jesse"[193] and the
millennial peace are only partially referred to Christ. They find the
real fulfillment in Baha Ullah, whom they imagine to be descended from
Abraham, through an imaginary descendant of his named Jesse.[194] The
new covenant and the law written on the heart is again the Bahai
dispensation, contrary to Hebrews viii. 8, 10, 16. When Baha as a
prisoner in chains rode into Acca seated on an ass, he fulfilled
Zechariah ix. 9.[195]

I attended a Bahai meeting in the Masonic Temple in Chicago. The leader
read the following verses as all fulfilled in Bahaism.[196] The "son of
man" (Dan. vii.) was Abdul Baha, and the "Ancient of Days," Baha. The
question of Proverbs xxx. 3, "What is his name and what his son's name?"
was answered, Baha and Abdul Baha; similarly in Psalms lxxii. and ii.,
"The King" and the "King's Son." The "Branch" (Zech. vi. 12-13) who
shall build the temple was again Abdul Baha, and the latter is specially
urgent that the Bahai Temple in Chicago should be built in his day, so
that the prophecy may appear to be fulfilled. The dates in Daniel are
juggled with. For example, Abdul Baha explains Daniel viii. by taking
the _solar_ year. He calculates[197] that the 2,300 days were completed
at the Bab's manifestation in 1844. In Daniel xii. 6 the _lunar_[198]
year is resorted to, and the forty-two months (1,260 years) are dated
from the hegira of Mohammed, but Daniel xii. 11 does not come exactly
right, so the _terminus a quo_ is made to be the proclamation of the
prophethood of Mohammed, three years after his mission, which was ten
years before the hegira. By this means the date of Baha's manifestation
(1863) is reached. In connection with Daniel xii. and Revelation xi. we
have the startling information, so contradictory to history, that "in
the beginning of the seventh century after Christ, when Jerusalem was
conquered, the Holy of Holies was outwardly preserved, that is to say,
the house which Solomon built. The Holy of Holies was preserved,
guarded, and respected."[199] On this alleged fact Abdul Baha founds an
argument.[200] Prophecies referring to the glory of God or of the Father
are applied to Baha, because his title means "glory of God." The Bab,
according to the custom in Persia, gave many high-sounding titles.
Baha's rival was called "The Dawn of the Eternal." Voliva, the successor
of Dowie, might assume some fitting title and claim to fulfill the
prophecies. He has a good foundation for interpretation, he does really
live in Zion City (Illinois). Our Bahais further tell us that the "New
Jerusalem," the new heaven and the new earth, mean the new dispensation,
the new laws of Baha. This is now "the day of God," "the day of
judgment," "the kingdom of God," "the second resurrection."[201] The
parable of the vineyard is a favourite proof text. It says that the Lord
of the vineyard will come _himself_ and will utterly destroy the wicked
husbandmen. This, they say, is a real coming of the Father, even as the
Son came. In that case the destroying must be real, and we should expect
that Baha would have destroyed the religious leaders of Mecca or
Kerbela, Jerusalem or Rome. "No," says the Bahai, "the destroying is
figurative, and means simply the abrogation of their authority." Well,
if he escapes to a figurative interpretation, we too can interpret the
coming of the Lord of the Vineyard as his visitation on Jerusalem in the
time of Titus.

Baha Ullah's method of interpretation and adaptation of prophecies is
best seen in his "Ikan." In it he interprets at length Matthew
xxiv.[202] In brief it is as follows: "After the tribulation of those
days" means times of difficulty in understanding God's word and
attaining divine knowledge; "the sun shall be darkened and the moon
cease to give light," that is the teachings and the ordinances of the
preceding dispensation shall lose their influence and efficiency. "The
stars shall fall," etc., means the divines shall fall from the knowledge
of religion, and the powers of science and religion shall be shaken.
Because of the absence of the Son of Divine Beauty, the moon of
knowledge, and the stars of intuitive wisdom, "all the tribes of the
earth shall mourn." "They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds
of heaven," that is Baha Ullah shall appear from the heaven of the
Supreme Will, outwardly from his mother's womb. "In the clouds" means in
doubts which are caused by the human limitations of the Manifestation,
eating, drinking, marrying, etc. "And he shall send his angels," the
spiritual believers sent as preachers of Baha. The separation of the
sheep from the goats, as we learn subsequently, means the schism at the
death of Baha, when the violators, the brothers of Abdul Baha and their
adherents, were exscinded.[203] Even granting an allegorical
interpretation of Christ's words, only a stretch of imagination can find
any reference to Baha.

It should be borne in mind that Oriental Bahai writers have read Keith
on Prophecy in Persian and the publications of the Mission Press at
Beirut. Abdul Baha said to Dr. H. H. Jessup, "I am familiar with the
books of your press."[204] M. Abul Fazl refers to and quotes them.
Writers in English (as Kheiralla, Remey, Dealy, and Brittingham) refer
to Miller, Cummings, Seiss, Guinness, and others. Yet with all their
familiarity with apocalyptic literature, they make an exceedingly weak
presentation. Their claims are so baseless as to require no refutation.
They are a mass of unfounded assertions and assumptions,--vain, bold,
and brazen. We may admit the declarations of Baha and Abul Fazl, which
are but trite principles of hermeneutics, that figurative and
allegorical language abounds in the Scriptures, that many meanings are
"sealed" till after their fulfillment, that the prophecies of the Old
Testament were only partially fulfilled at Christ's first coming. But
their inference does not follow. There is nothing to prove the
assertions that the prophecies were fulfilled in the Bab and Baha. They
furnish no scintilla of evidence. For example, "the government shall be
upon his shoulders." Was this fulfilled in Baha? He came and went; the
nations and their rulers from 1817 to 1892 were neither literally nor
figuratively under his sway. He did not nor does he rule over the
nations. He did not reign in Mount Zion nor in Jerusalem. Jerusalem did
not cease to be trodden down of the Gentiles. Abundance of peace did not
attend him, but great wars. The signs of Christ's Second Advent have not
been fulfilled in Baha, either actually or metaphorically.[205] As well
may Ahmad Quadiani or Dowie assert their pretensions. Baha's claim is
antichristian. The day of Christ's power through the Holy Spirit has not
passed. It is still His day. The knowledge of Christ is yet more
covering the earth. Men of diverse races and religions in Asia, Africa,
and the isles of the seas are being joined in the common faith and
fellowship of Jesus Christ as Saviour of Men. There are more Christians
in Korea than Bahais in Persia. More Jews have become Christian since
Baha was born than have become Bahais from all races and religions
outside of Persia. Christ still goes forth conquering and to conquer.

VI. Bahaism, in its treatment of Jesus Christ as a man in His earthly
life, belittles Him by both its denials and its affirmations. Of His
temptation it says, "the devil signifies the human nature of Christ,
through which He was tempted." His miracles of healing are denied.[206]
Baha and Abul Fazl admit the possibility of miracles, but deny their
evidential value,[207] but Abdul Baha denies their reality. He says:
"The miracles of Christ were spiritual teachings, not literal
deeds."[208] The raising of the dead means that the dead (in sin) are
blessed with spiritual life.[209] By blindness (John ix.) is meant
ignorance and error; by sight, knowledge and guidance.[210] The spittle
coming from Christ was the meaning of His words, the clay was the
expression He used in accordance with their understanding.[211] At the
crucifixion darkness did not prevail, nor the earthquake, nor was the
vail of the temple rent in twain.[212] The crucifixion was not an
atoning sacrifice; Christ quaffed the cup of martyrdom "to cultivate and
educate us."[213] The washing away of sins by Christ was not by His
blood, but was by the practice of His teachings."[214] Christ did not
rise from the dead. "Resurrection of the body is an unintelligible
matter contrary to natural laws."[215] The body, which signifies His
word, arose when faith in His cause revived in the minds of the
disciples after three days.[216] Christ's real resurrection was the
coming of Mohammed. "Christ by saying that He would be three days in the
heart of the earth meant that He would appear in the third cycle. The
Christian was one, the Mohammedan the second, and that of Baha the
third." "The ascension of Christ with an elemental body is contrary to
science." He ascended in the same sense as Baha ascended, viz., departed
to the other world. Thus Bahaism denies the miracles,[217] atonement,
resurrection, and ascension of Christ.

A section of the "Tarikh-i-Jadid"[218] is devoted to the denial and
refutation of miracles. A blind man in Teheran sent to Baha praying that
his eyes might be opened. He received answer that it was for the glory
of God that he remain blind. The Bab, at his examination in Tabriz, was
asked to restore the sick Mohammed Shah to health. He replied: "It is
not in my power, but I can write two thousand verses a day. Who else can
do that?" He thus appealed not simply to the quality of his poetry but
to its quantity as a proof of his manifestation. In like manner, Manes,
in old times, painted pictures in his "revelations" and appealed to them
as proof of his inspiration. While denying miracles, Bahais lay much
stress, as we have seen, on minute fulfillments of prophecies.

Bahaism belittles the life and work of Jesus in instituting comparisons
between Christ and Baha derogatory to the former. Baha says: "It is not
meet ... to repeat the error of seeking help of ... the Son Jesus. Let
thy satisfaction be in myself." Abdul Baha says: "The difference between
Baha and Christ is that between the sun and moon. The light of the sun
[Baha] subsists in itself while the moon gets light from the Sun." "All
the teachings of Christ will not exceed ten pages.[219] Those of the
Blessed Perfection exceed sixty or seventy volumes. Christ's
instructions refer to individuals. Those of the Blessed Perfection are
for all nations, although they apply as well to all individuals. The
instructions of Christ were heard by but few persons; there were eleven
who believed, although Christians say there were one hundred and twenty.
The teachings of the Blessed Perfection were spread throughout the world
during his lifetime. The reputation of Christ did not extend from
Nazareth to Acca [22 miles]; the reputation of the Blessed Perfection
extended throughout the world. Jesus Christ did not send a letter even
to a village chief; the Blessed Perfection sent letters to all the kings
of the earth."[220] Notice how he repeats _ad nauseam_ the title for
Baha, but uses no title for the Lord Jesus Christ, though the Moslems
invariably do use a title in speaking of the latter.

There is an evident effort on the part of Kheiralla and Abul Fazl to
minimize the proofs regarding Christ from prophecy, miracles, and
history, with the idea thereby of magnifying the proof for Baha in
contrast. For example, "The Gospels contain only a few pages of the true
Words of God. Christ's teachings were not written in the original
language nor written in His day, His power was slow in proving
effective, and many even denied His existence."[221] "Even Peter denied
Him, but Baha Ullah has educated thousands of souls, faithful under the
menace of the sword."[222] In explaining the progress of Bahaism among
the Jews and Zoroastrians, Abul Fazl says: "Christians could not convert
even one Jew or Zoroastrian except by force or compulsion." He ignores
the fact that millions of Persians had been converted to Christ from
Zoroaster before the sword of Islam smote Persia. This belittling of
Christ--His life and work and influence--shows that a spirit
antagonistic to Christ really animates the Bahai leaders, in spite of
their professions to the contrary.


[134] In an interview with Rev. J. T. Bixby, who wrote on Bahaism in the
_North American Review_, June, 1912, Abdul Baha says: "Baha Ullah has
upraised the standard of Christ in the East in countries and among
peoples where there was formerly no mention of Christ's name." Not true.
Christ was known in Moslem lands, in India and Burmah.

[135] _S. W._, Sept. 8, 1913, p. 176.

[136] Sprague, "Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 21.

[137] Remey, "The Bahai Movement," p. 45.

[138] _The Christian Commonwealth_ (London), Sept. 13, 1911, p. 850.

[139] "Wisdom Talks," p. 21.

[140] Remey, "The Bahai Movement," p. 54.

[141] _Ibid._, p. 39.

[142] _Ibid._, p. 2.

[143] "The Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 17.

[144] So of Persia, _S. W._, April 28, 1914, p. 42.

[145] C. E. Maud, _Fortnightly Review_, April, 1912.

[146] Pages 68-158.

[147] "Table Talks with Abdul Baha," Dec. 2, 1900.

[148] "Answered Questions," pp. 22-29.

[149] _S. W._, Dec. 12, 1911, p. 7.

[150] Remey, "Tract on the Bahai Movement," p. 8.

[151] "Talks in Paris," p. 20.

[152] Remey, _S. W._, Dec. 31, 1913, pp. 267-271.

[153] In thus regarding the prophets as divine, Bahais are not setters
forth of strange doctrine in Persia, for the Ali Allahis (Nusaireyeh),
who number, possibly, twice as many as the Bahais in Persia, have the
same doctrine, and, in addition, regard the Imam Ali and others as
divine incarnations.

[154] Phelps, "Life of Abbas Effendi."

[155] Baha's "Words of Wisdom," p. 61. Notwithstanding these
repudiations of Pantheism, nearly every investigator finds it at the
basis of Bahai teaching.

[156] "Answered Questions," p. 23.

[157] Abdul Baha in Mrs. Grundy's "Ten Days in Acca."

[158] _Ibid._, p. 61: "The Blessed Perfection said in His Tablets that
once He was Abraham, once Moses, once Jesus, once Mohammed and once the
Bab. Baha Ullah is all the prophets, no matter by what name he chooses
to call himself."

[159] "Bahai Proofs," p. 209.

[160] Pages 14-15.

[161] "Answered Questions," pp. 199-201. Mr. Sprague says: "The Bahai
Faith teaches that the Universal Spirit, which is God, has manifested
itself to every race at some time or other, and that it comes again and
again, like the spring, to make all things new" ("A Year in India," p.

[162] "Ikan," p. 175.

[163] "Bahai Proofs," pp. 156-160. At the time of Azal there was a whole
"galaxy" of Manifestations. Baha wishes to stop the claimants, so he
declares that none is to be expected "for a thousand or thousands of
years." Persia has had numerous incarnations, so-called. They were found
among the Ismielis, Assassins, Ali-Allahis and all the _Ghulat_. The
veiled Prophet Mukanna, Babak and many pretenders have proclaimed
themselves God. In truth Persia never lacks for an incarnation or two.
One of these, of the Ali-Allahi sect, arrived in Tabriz some years ago,
and made an appointment to visit me at three o'clock P. M. My somavar
was set to boiling and I awaited his arrival. But he failed to keep his
engagement because the Governor-General, the Amir-i-Nizam, heard of his
presence in the city, and this God fled, forgetting to send me word not
to expect him.

[164] "Answered Questions," pp. 129-131, 199-201.

[165] _Ibid._, p. 184.

[166] "Ikan," pp. 123-127.

[167] Asad Ullah, "The School of the Prophets," p. 109.

[168] Mrs. Brittingham, "The Revelation of Baha Ullah," p. 32.

[169] _S. W._, Jan. 19, 1914, p. 283.

[170] "The Revelation of Baha Ullah," p. 24. Similarly Gulam Ahmad
Quadiani of India claimed to be Christ come again as well as Mohammed
and the Mahdi and also, for the Hindus, a new avatar or incarnation.

[171] C. M. Remey's tract, "The Covenant," pp. 14-15; Kheiralla's "Baha
Ullah," p. 533, and "Lawh-ul-Akdas," translated in _S. W._, Vol. IV, p.

[172] _S. W._, March 21, 1913, p. 13.

[173] "Notes at Acca," p. 24.

[174] "A Message from Acca."

[175] "Before Abraham was, I am," p. 46.

[176] "The Revelation," etc., p. 25.

[177] "Daily Lessons," p. 61.

[178] "Flowers from Rose Garden," p. 5; also, Dealy, "Dawn of
Knowledge," Chap. IV.

[179] Asad Ullah, "Sacred Mysteries," pp. 74, 85.

[180] "Bahai Proofs," p. 121; _S. W._, Jan. 19, 1914, p. 288.

[181] "A Heavenly Vista," p. 12.

[182] "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 197.

[183] "Ikan," p. 113.

[184] "Answered Questions," p. 152.

[185] "The Bahai Movement," p. 39.

[186] Phelps, p. 99.

[187] "Ten Days in the Light of Acca."

[188] _S. W._, Dec. 31, 1913, p. 269.

[189] M. Asad Ullah in M. H. Dreyfus's "Universal Religion," p. 63.

[190] Mal. iii. 1; iv. 5-6. See Dealy, "The Dawn of Knowledge," pp.

[191] _Ibid._, pp. 25, 30.

[192] Dealy says: "To quote all the passages of Scripture referring to
Acca would necessitate reading a great portion of the Bible. They
identify Accho with Acca (Acre). Even if this were so, Accho was not in
the land of Naphtali and Zebulun, but in Asher. Napoleon's siege of Acre
is called 'the abomination of desolation, standing in the holy place'"
(p. 40).

[193] Isa. xi. 1-10.

[194] "Answered Questions," pp. 72-75.

[195] Kheiralla, p. 419.

[196] Dealy, pp. 31-32, 44.

[197] "Answered Questions," pp. 50-52.

[198] Kheiralla (pp. 412, 480-483) also skips from lunar to solar year
and back, to make the dates tally.

[199] "Answered Questions," pp. 54-55. See Milman's "Gibbon," Vol. II,
p. 433. "The Emperor Hadrian's plowshare levelled the temple area."

[200] "Answered Questions," pp. 54-55.

[201] "Bahai Proofs," p. 140. "All in their graves arose spiritually at
his call, for service in his cause."

[202] Pages 17-67.

[203] Doctor Potter of Teheran says ("Missions and Modern Hist.," by R.
E. Speer, p. 162): "Their fanciful interpretations of plain Scripture
declarations renders it difficult to make any impression on them with
proof texts from the Bible. They reply, 'Yes, but we must break open the
word and extract its meaning.'" This, says Doctor Holmes, "is often
directly at variance with its apparent meaning, but this only displays
more clearly the divine insight of their teacher, that he is able to
recognize words no one else can understand."

[204] _The Outlook_ (New York), 1901, June, p. 451.

[205] In one particular, no doubt, Baha has fulfilled prophecy. At least
the Azalis say that he came "as a thief" and stole the succession from

[206] "New Hist.," p. 321.

[207] "Bahai Proofs," pp. 190, 204-207.

[208] Mrs. Grundy, p. 13.

[209] "Answered Questions," pp. 115-118.

[210] "Bahai Proofs," p. 232.

[211] M. L. Lucas, "My Visit to Acca," p. 20.

[212] "Answered Questions," p. 45.

[213] _S. W._, April 9, 1913, p. 40.

[214] Ibn Abhar. Thornton Chase says: "Christianity stands condemned
because it refuses to reject miracles and the blood atonement and will
not confine itself to the precepts of Jesus" ("Bahai Revelation," p.

[215] "Bahai Proofs," p. 155.

[216] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 192; "Answered Questions," pp.

[217] Yet Baha informs us that "copper in seventy years becomes gold in
its mine if it be protected from a superabundance of moisture" ("Ikan,"
p. 111).

[218] "New Hist."

[219] "Winterburn's Table Talks," pp. 19-20.

[220] "Bahai Proofs," p. 231.

[221] "Answered Questions," p. 42.

[222] "Bahai Proofs," p. 265.


Bahaism and Christianity (_Continued_)

  Mrs. Goodall:--"Is it necessary to arise to say the midnight prayers
  and to make ablution before them?"

  Abdul Baha:--"Ablution is only for obligatory prayers three times a
  day."--"_Daily Lessons_," p. 74.

  Abdul Baha restores man to his state a little lower than the
  angels.... On this occasion we newcomers were presented with a Bahai
  stone marked with Baha Ullah's name. Such objects contain a spiritual
  influence ... actually retain and set free something of the holy man's
  personality.... At my request, Abdul Baha graciously took back the
  stone I had received and returned it with a blessing for my baby girl,
  who thus, as it were, accompanied us on our pilgrimage and received
  its benefit.--_Horace Holley at Thonon. His "The Modern Social
  Religion," p. 216._

VII. Bahaism teaches another way of salvation. Man's origin and destiny
were formerly points of doubt in Bahai teaching, but the muddy mixture
has settled enough to give us a clearer view, at least as regards
Western Bahaism, though pantheistic notions still prevail. Abdul Baha
teaches that matter is eternal, self-existent, and fills all space.[223]
"God always had a creation; the universe has neither beginning nor
end."[224] "Creation out of nothing is unthinkable. Separate entities
come into being through the operation of God--are the perceptible
manifestations of Him." "There are four degrees of spirit concerned with
evolutionary growth: The mineral spirit, the vegetable, the animal, and
the human. The mineral spirit contains the latent principle of
life."[225] Yet man's origin is not from the animals.[226] "Species is
fixed; man was developed gradually as a distinct species."[227] The
spirit of man emanates from God as an action from an actor, a writing
from a writer--a manifestation of the Divine but not a division from it.
Sin arises from the physical qualities, from the physical nature which
we derive from Adam. Evil is really non-existent; it is simply lack of
good qualities. There is no Satan.[228] The "Genii" (jins) of the Koran
are evil passions in man; demons are the spirits of bad men.

As to the doctrine of personal immortality, there has been much
confusion of thought. Some have understood the doctrine of "rijat" or
"Return" as teaching transmigration of souls. Others have understood
their allegorizing about heaven as a rejection of the future life.
Others, as Phelps,[229] affirm the absorption of the soul in the
Infinite. My language teacher in Persia, a fervent Behai, said: "We
believe in a future state so unthinkably ecstatic that if its joys were
now revealed to men, they would commit suicide to hasten their entrance
into it." Baha Ullah wrote a "Tablet of the Spiritual World," of which
it is said:[230] "All who read it are filled with an anxious desire to
leave this world and enter the next condition, so wonderful are the
glories of the spiritual kingdom. In Persia one man who read the tablet
killed himself. He could not wait for the happiness it promised him.
Another, a youth of Ispahan, could not stand it and lost his reason."

Mrs. Grundy[231] and Mr. Phelps[232] understood Abdul Baha to teach the
annihilation of the wicked, but he denied this[233] and affirms their
conscious existence.[234] Heaven and hell are affirmed in some places,
denied in others.

Sin is little dwelt upon in Bahai literature, and the word repentance is
seldom used. In the "New History" and "Traveller's Narrative" sin,
transgression, forgiveness, expiation and such words find no place in
the indexes. The Moslem appeal for mercy is rarely made. In the chapter
on prayer, in the "Sacred Mysteries," there are no directions for the
confession of sins, no petition like, "forgive us our trespasses," no
cry of the prodigal--"Father, I have sinned." There is no atonement. The
daily sacrifice of the Book of Numbers is explained to mean "Divine
bounty." "The blood of Christ cleanses us" is interpreted "His spiritual
teaching and love which saved His disciples from the ruin of ignorance
and heedlessness." The stages of travel to God, the "Seven Valleys," are
(1) research, (2) love, (3) knowledge, (4) union, (5) content, (6)
perplexity or astonishment, (7) poverty and annihilation. There is no
mention of hatred of sin, turning from it and apprehending the mercy of
God. The plan of salvation has neither the Christian idea of atonement
by a mediator, nor the Mohammedan one of expiation by works of merit or
an equivalent. Its plan of salvation is simple, viz., to believe in and
follow Mirza Husain Ali, Baha Ullah, as the supreme and final
manifestation in this universal cycle which began in Adam and
culminated in Baha Ullah, who was God the Father in the flesh. Later
Bahais put Abdul Baha in the place of Christ as Son of God and Divine
Mediator. Remey's chapter on Eternal Life[235] is orthodoxy with Baha as
"Word of God." The doctrines of faith, regeneration, and sanctification
are Christian with the historic Christ eliminated. Error has clothed
itself as in garments of light. Antichrist would steal the livery of
Heaven and lead Christians to forget that there is no other name under
Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts iv. 12), and that
if Abdul Baha or an angel from Heaven pervert the Gospel of Christ or
preach any other Gospel, he is to be rejected (Gal. i. 7-9).

VIII. Bahaism abrogates the New Testament.

It is indeed honoured, but as the Revelation of a past dispensation.
Abdul Baha wrote in the Bible in the City Temple, London: "This book is
the Holy Book of God, of celestial inspiration. It is the Bible of
salvation, the noble Gospel. It is the mystery of the Kingdom of God and
its light. It is the Divine bounty, sign of the guidance of God." But
Harold Johnson, a friend of Bahaism, wrote, with true discernment:[236]
"In the same spirit he would have written the same words upon the
_Koran_ or the _Vedas_." Baha certifies the _Koran_ times without number
in the "Ikan." He wrote:[237] "Whoso hath not acknowledged the _Koran_
hath not in reality accepted the books which preceded it." By the same
reasoning, whoso does not acknowledge Baha's writings as "revealed"
rejects the former books also.

Bahais, even Persian Bahais, are familiar with the Bible. They quote
largely from the prophets, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation. They
use them for apologetic purposes, to dispute with Christians and to find
proofs for their perverted teachings. As the real Scriptures for the
present age, they present the writings of Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha.
These are read at their meetings and in their devotions and are chanted
at their shrines. These _only_ are to be read in the _Mashrak-ul-Azhar_,
the Bahai Temples.[238] The authority of all other Scriptures is
abrogated, even the "Bayan" of the Bab.[239] The "Kitab-ul-Akdas," the
Most Holy Book, consists of laws, exhortations, and warnings. The
"Ikan," written by Baha before he set up his own claim, is an attempt to
show from previous books the truth of the Bab's claims. The "Hidden
Words," "Surat al Haykal" (The human temple), the "Seven Valleys," the
"Effulgences," the "Glad Tidings," etc., contain principles, precepts,
and rhapsodies. There are also the Epistles to the Kings and numerous
tablets (letters) to individual believers. Besides all these, the
discourses and letters of Abdul Baha, containing interpretations and
commands, are regarded as revealed and inspired Words of God. These are
collected in "Tablets of Abdul Baha," "Addresses in Paris," "Addresses
in London," "Some Answered Questions," and in the _Star of the West_,

IX. Bahaism abolishes the Christian institutions--the Church, its
sacraments, and its polity.

The Church must soon cease to have any meaning for those who look for
grace and strength to another than "the head, even Christ" (Eph. iv.
15). Bahais in America have already organized separate meetings for
worship in all places where they have a score or more members. In
Chicago, which is the chief seat of the sect in America, they have 150
or more members. I attended their regular Sunday service, in a room
which they have rented in the Masonic Temple. About sixty were present,
one-half of whom were visitors like myself. The service was modelled
somewhat after the Protestant week-day meeting, but without any prayer.
Several hymns were sung in praise and worship of Baha, from a book
specially written for his adoration. The leader, a woman, read
selections from the "Tablets of Abdul Baha" and gave an exposition of
Bahai teachings and an invitation to faith in Baha and Abdul Baha, as
specially the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible. Another woman
read from the "Hidden Words." The editor of the _Star_, one of six Bahai
men present, gave the announcements and said that the meetings during
the summer would be on the ground, at Wilmette, where they expect to
build the temple (_Mashrak-ul-Azkar_). This temple is a darling project
of Abdul Baha. He dedicated the ground when he was in America and urges
all believers to build it quickly. He says: "The temple is the greatest
matter today for the upbuilding of the cause."[240] It will fulfill

The government of Bahaism is to be by "Houses of Justice." Each will be
composed of nine or more Bahai men elected by the people. Bahaism will
be the state religion. Kings will exist, but the politico-religious
hierarchy will perform many of the functions of the state, even to
settling international disputes. Churches, assemblies, and conferences,
bishops and popes--all will be dispensed with. The Bahai "houses" will
conduct and control religion for the world. The first universal
vicegerent of God is Abdul Baha. After him the supreme power will be
vested in the "house." Already signs of Bahai tyranny are manifest.
Abdul Baha declared that no believer "must vary one hair's breadth from
his word." No Bahai may publish anything on religion without first
submitting it to him for censorship. Such a command is made applicable
to all Bahais.[241] In the good time coming there will be a graduated
hierarchy--local, national, universal--who will bring "all secular
affairs under spiritual guidance."

With the Church and its ministry the "new revelation" abolishes also the
sacraments. Baptism is no longer necessary, for "baptism by water,"
says Abdul Baha, "was a symbol of repentance and of seeking forgiveness
of sins. In the cycle of Baha there is no longer need of this symbol,
for its reality, which is to be baptized with the Spirit and love of
God, is established."[242] Yet a substitute is at hand:[243] "Thou hast
asked regarding the naming of children. Prepare a meeting, chant verses,
supplicate guidance for the babe; then give the name and enjoy beverages
and sweetmeats. This is spiritual baptism." So Remey did. "I will make
mention of a Bahai christening [?] in Ferouzay [Persia]. We were asked
to name the baby. On the fifth day after the child's birth a feast was
spread. The baby was brought out. Mr. Sprague gave the name Ruhullah;
prayers, tablets, and a hymn in praise of Baha Ullah were chanted."[244]
Such is the substitute for baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit.

The Lord's Supper as a remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ is
abolished. Instead of it there is introduced an imitation, called the
Unity Feast, with traces of the Lord's Supper and of the _Agape_. Of it
Abdul Baha[245] says: "It must be inaugurated in such a way as to
resurrect the feast of the ancients, namely, the Lord's Supper." We have
descriptions of it as celebrated by Abdul Baha in America and at
Acca.[246] Sprague says: "The Master [at Acca] did not sit down with
us, but served us, going from one to another, heaping rice on our
plates, bringing home to us the words: 'Let him that is greatest among
you be your servant.' The Orientals could hardly bear that their Master
should wait on them. They felt as Peter did when Christ washed his feet.
After the supper a tablet of Baha was chanted in Persian. The supper was
truly the Lord's Supper in all its spiritual significance." Abdul Baha
said that the prophecy was fulfilled which said, "They shall come from
the east and the west and sit down in the kingdom of God." In America
Abdul Baha celebrated the supper with each group of his followers. In
his absence a vacant seat is left at the head of the table for the
"master" and passages from the "Hidden Words" are read as food is

Other imitations of Christ's works and words are repeated to keep up the
pretense that He is the Saviour. In Chicago and other places "the
children were on hand to receive the spiritual blessing of Abdul Baha.
He called each child to him and took him in his lap. He blessed them
all, laying his hand in blessing on each little head." At a Unity Feast
he said: "Abdul Baha is standing and waiting upon you." What is this but
a copying of the words: "I am among you as one that doth serve."
Palpable imitations of Christ's words abound in the so-called
Revelations. In the "Lawh-ul-Akdas "there is a series of beatitudes as:
"Blessed is the lowly one who holds to the rope of my might. Blessed is
the hungry one who hastens away from desire. Blessed is the thirsty one
who seeks the nectar of my benediction. Blessed is the spirit who was
stirred by my breath. Blessed is he who has suffered tribulation for my
name's sake," etc. Baha Ullah doubles the number of Christ's Beatitudes!
In the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," written many years before his death, Baha
imitates the parting words of Christ:

    Christ in the Gospel says:     Baha Ullah says:

    "Let not your hearts be        "Be not troubled."

    "Let not your heart be         "Let not your trouble take
    troubled; neither let          possession of you."
    it be afraid."

    "I am with you always."        "We are with you under
                                   all conditions."

    "If any man love me, he        "Whoso knoweth me, will
    will keep my words."           rise up to serve me."

    "It is expedient for you       "Verily there is in my occulation
    that I go away."               a reason."

    "I will see you again."        "We shall see you."

What palpable imitations of words so dear to the Christian heart! Words
which were in the mouth of Christ Jesus the expression of deep and
sincere emotion are used for effect!

X. Bahaism is antichristian in its rites and ceremonies.

These regulations are, for the most part, copied from the Moslem law and
are prescribed in the "Kitab-ul-Akdas." Ablution is commanded as a
religious rite, to be followed by sitting with one's face towards the
_Kibla_ (Acca) and repeating _Alla hu Abha_ ninety-five times (5×19). As
a Fast, Bahaism substitutes the last month of their year, named Ala for
Ramazan. As Christians have Carnival week before Lent, followed by
Easter rejoicings, and as Moslems have the Oruj Bayram, so Bahais have
five days of feasting before the Fast. This extends through a Bahai
month of nineteen days, March 2-20, and is followed by the Noruz or
Vernal Equinox. Noruz is consecrated and its ceremonies prescribed with
religious sanctions as among the Nusaireyah. The ordinance of fasting
says: "Thus ordaineth the Lord of men; abstain from eating and drinking
from dawn to sundown." This abstinence includes smoking as among
Moslems. The same exceptions are made as in the Koran--that the
traveller, the sick, and pregnant and nursing women are excused. Fasting
is obligatory after the age of fifteen. The Bab put the age limit at
forty-two, but Baha enjoined it as long as strength permits.[247] The
question naturally arises if obligatory fasting is good, why reduce the
time from thirty to nineteen days: if reform is the watchword, why not
have the liberty of the Gospel?

As in fasting, so in prayer Bahaism follows the Moslem ceremonial law.
Baha laid down a ritual on the same lines. There are modifications, but
no essential difference, from Islam. In Islam devotion is a strong
point, formalism is its weakness. Bahaism lessens the amount of
devotion, without getting rid of the prescribed formalism. Ablutions are
a necessary preliminary to the obligatory prayers, at least three times
a day, but if one wishes to make other prayers at night, he need not get
out of bed to perform the ablutions.[248] "He who doth not find water,
must say five times, 'In the name of God,'" etc. ("Akdas"). During the
ablutions certain petitions are prescribed as "while washing the hands,
say," etc.; "while washing the face, say," etc. Then the worshipper must
"stand facing the Holy Place" (Acca) and say a portion of the prayers;
then "bowing down with hands on knees," say another portion; then
"standing with hands outstretched forward and upward," another; then
"sitting down," another portion. Each prayer has three prostrations
(_rika_). Prayer times are morning, afternoon, and evening.
Congregational prayer or at funerals was abolished by Baha, but Abdul
Baha permits it for Americans.[249] Prayer is directed to Baha Ullah.
When the terms "God," "Lord," "Thy Greatest Name" are used, Mirza Husain
Ali is intended: "He, Baha," says Abdul Baha[250] "is the dawning place
of Divinity and the manifestation of Divinity. He is the ultimate goal,
the adored one of all, and the worshipped one of all." The editors add
(the capitals are theirs): "_Further than this_ MAN HAS NO OTHER POINT
FOR CONCENTRATION. HE (BAHA) IS GOD, _the worshipped one of all_."
Prayer, therefore, is no longer to be in the name nor for the sake of
Jesus Christ but in the "Greatest Name," _i. e._, Baha Ullah's, "at the
mention of which the people before the Houris fall down," "the Name of
Him who is Ruler over what was and is."[251] This name is graven on the
breastpins of Bahais, and as a monogram on rings, with two stars
alongside it, one of which represents the Bab and the other Abdul Baha.
This charm is to be buried with the body. A rosary of ninety-five beads
is used daily by the worshipper in saying the "Greatest name" 5×19
times. Allahu Abha is also to be said at the beginning of a meal or of
any business, or as a greeting, just as the Moslems say, "Bism ullah"
(In the name of God) or "Peace be to you." The figure 9, the sum of the
letters of Baha, is also a talisman.

Pilgrimage is considered meritorious and has been popular among American
as well as Persian Bahais, though Baha says:[252] "Visiting the tombs of
the dead is not necessary, it is better to give the money to the House
of Justice." The chief shrine is the tomb of Baha Ullah and of the
Bab[253] at Acca. There have been published accounts of a score of
American women and of some men who have obtained permission and entered,
as it were, through "the gate of heaven" and "paid their vows unto the
Most High." But not the least attraction was Abdul Baha, "the king in
his beauty." The pilgrim first does obeisance to him. This is an
ecstatic, hysteric event. Mrs. True, "perfectly intoxicated with the
realization," kissed his hand.[254] Another lady sat at his feet with
her head on his knee. Another, when she entered his presence, held out
her arms, crying: "My Lord, my Lord,"[255] and rushing forward, fell on
her knees, sobbing.[256] Another narrative says[257] that Abbas greeted
them, "clasped each one in a loving embrace," anointed each one with the
attar of roses. "Some of the believers kissed his hand." Of her good-bye
this lady says, "I held his hand a long time." Even Mr. Horace Holley,
author of "The Modern Social Religion," writes,[258] "This was he. My
whole body underwent a shock. My heart leaped, my knees weakened, a
thrill of acute receptive feeling flowed from head to foot.... From
sheer happiness I wanted to cry." Another man, L. G. Gregory, a negro,
writes: "My knee bent reverently before him." When Abdul Baha says: "I
am glad to see you," the pilgrims thrill at such wondrous words! "His
heavenly smile" gives them happiness! His trite platitudes are written
down beside the midnight lamp, for the delectation of similar dupes.

Next the pilgrims visit the Palace of Bahja and the beautiful pleasure
grounds where Baha resided during most of his confinement at Acca,
enjoying much freedom and even luxury as a "prisoner." The tomb of the
Bab draws them, but more sacred do they deem the tomb of Baha Ullah,
"the culmination of our pilgrimage." This shrine is in the Garden of
Bahja. Its outer court is adorned with beautiful rugs, vases,
chandeliers, and flowers. Here they chant verses from the Tablets. Each
pilgrim, taking off his shoes, enters the "holy precincts" alone. In
this "holy of holies," "the heavenly silence of that centre of peace,"
he "kneels and prays at the throne of grace for pardon and help,"
"remembering the friends far away before the presence." He counts it a
"glorious experience at once solemn and joyful." Coming out he is
"served with tea and given some beautiful roses which are carefully
preserved." Mrs. Grundy says that "they remained all night at the tomb,
chanting and praying without intermission, and standing throughout the
ceremonies ... communing with the glorified spirit of Baha Ullah." Under
the arbour was a chair where Baha Ullah used to sit. No one sits in it
any longer. She knelt at the foot of the chair whilst one of the
daughters of Baha chanted a prayer.[259]

A shrine, deemed even more sacred, yet remains. The pilgrims are
conducted to it in an inner room of the residence of Abdul Baha. Here
are the images "of the Glorious Ones of God." "We were all impelled to
remove our shoes before crossing the threshold. Approaching in reverent
awe, we were anointed with a fragrant perfume, and as we knelt before
the majestic likeness[260] of the Blessed Perfection, Baha Ullah and
that of the Bab, we were unable to speak."[261] "Here is seen the
expression of gentleness, meekness, wisdom, light, love, majesty, power,
holiness, in short, every attribute of God."[262]

How far from the Christian position the Bahais have wandered is seen in
the narratives of these pilgrims who take little interest

                        In those holy fields,
    Over whose acres walked those blessed feet
    Which, nineteen hundred years ago, were nail'd
    For our advantage to the blessed cross.

To them not Jerusalem but Acca is the Holy City. Not Nazareth and the
Sea of Galilee, but Haifa and its bay, not the Garden of Gethsemane but
the Rizwan, not Calvary but the Turkish prison barracks, not Mount
Olivet but Mount Carmel, attract their interest and engage their love.

XI. Bahaism in its festivals abandons the Christian year. In the
"Akdas," besides _Noruz_, New Year, there are two sacred days: (1) The
anniversary of the declaration of the Bab, May 23, 1844; and (2) the
birthday of Baha Ullah, November 12, 1817. To these have been added: (3)
The feast of _Rizwan_, April 21-May 2, commemorating the declaration of
Baha Ullah in Bagdad; (4) the death of Baha Ullah, May 28, 1892, at
Acca; and still later (5) the birthday of Abdul Baha, May 24, 1844; and
(6) his appointment as "Centre of the Covenant," November 26. The four
or five intercalary days, February 26-March 2, corresponding in a
measure to Carnival, are a feasting time before the annual fast.

The weekly holy days of the three monotheistic religions are abolished.
Instead of a Sabbath, every nineteenth day, the first of each month, is
a sacred day; even the week is abolished. The ninth day of each month
has been made sacred by Abdul Baha.

The era is also changed. The world and its events are to be reckoned
from the Bahai cycle. Just what this is seems to be doubtful, for some
date from the Declaration of the Bab and write 1914 as the year 70. The
_Star of the West_ is so dated. Some date from the birth of Baha Ullah
and count this as the year 97, as on the title page of "The Bahai
Movement," by Remey. Even the year of Abdul Baha's accession (1892) is
used as a date.[263] Thus Bahaism has no Christian era, no Christian
Sabbath, no Easter, no Christmas, no Trinitarian formula in benediction,
doxology, or sacrament, no symbol of the cross, no hymns to Christ, no
Apostles' Creed, no Lord's Prayer. Yet it claims to be Christian!

XII. In conclusion, Bahaism is antichristian in its aim and propaganda.
Whenever it comes in contact with Christian missions, in Persia, Syria,
Egypt, India, or Burmah, it is the opposer of the messenger of Christ
and His Gospel. A hope cherished thirty years ago, by some missionaries
and others, that it might be a stepping stone for Moslems to Christ has
not been fulfilled; albeit some of the best converts from Islam have
first sought the broken cisterns of Bahaism.[264] Bahaism is plainly
antichristian. It is a new and a different, an inferior and a false
religion. Its claims are contradictory to the claims of Christ. It
would draw men's allegiance to another person, to other Scriptures, to a
system of doctrine and way of salvation inconsistent with the Gospel, to
forms of worship, ceremonies, and festivals at variance with those of
Christianity. It declares that Christianity is abrogated and superseded.
Its erroneous dictum is that "the revelation of Jesus is no longer the
point of guidance for the world." Why cannot Christian people see that
its claims annul faith and loyalty to Christ? Surely giving Bahaism
countenance, assistance, and encouragement or opportunity for its
propaganda is to wound Christ in the house of His friends.


[223] Phelps' "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 69.

[224] "Answered Questions," pp. 209, 238, 317; _S. W._, June 5, 1913,
p. 90.

[225] Phelps, p. 116.

[226] "Answered Questions," p. 209.

[227] _Ibid._, p. 213.

[228] Phelps, p. 137.

[229] Page 173.

[230] Mrs. Grundy, p. 6.

[231] "Ten Days in the Light of Acca," p. 23.

[232] Pages 121-127, 173.

[233] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. iv.

[234] _S. W._, March 2, 1914, p. 321.

[235] "The Bahai Movement," p. 80.

[236] _Contemporary Review_, March, 1912.

[237] Page 145, Chicago Edition.

[238] Goodall, "Daily Lessons," p. 17.

[239] Dreyfus, "The Bahai Revelation," p. 59.

[240] "Table Talks," by True, p. 21; "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I,
p. 17.

[241] _Star_, July 13, 1913, p. 121; "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I,
pp. 118, 124.

[242] "Answered Questions," p. 106.

[243] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, pp. 149, 150.

[244] "Observations of a Bahai Traveller," p. 40.

[245] "Tablets," p. 149.

[246] "Daily Lessons," Goodall, p. 18; Sprague's "A Year Among Bahais,"
p. 8; _Star_, 1913, pp. 121, 159, 203.

[247] _Star_, Feb. 7, 1914, p. 306.

[248] "Daily Lessons," Goodall, p. 74.

[249] "Tablets," Vol. I, p. 15.

[250] _Star_, Feb. 7, 1914, p. 304.

[251] _Star_, Feb. 7, 1914, p. 298.

[252] "Glad Tidings," Tablets, p. 90.

[253] The Bab's body, at the time of his martyrdom at Tabriz, was thrown
to the dogs. It was rescued, taken to Teheran and interred. After many
years it was secretly transferred to Acca. The Bab's house in Shiraz was
first of all a shrine, and pilgrimage to it is enjoined in the "Akdas."
Another is the mausoleum over the grave of the martyrs at Teheran.
Similarly at Ispahan ("A Year Among the Persians," p. 13). Abdul Baha
seems to desire to increase reverence for shrines and inculcates such
honour for the martyrs as will soon develop into superstition. In the
"Visiting Tablets for Martyrs," he says (pp. 9-12): "Blessed is the one
who attains to visit thy grave. Blessed is the forehead that is set
against thy tomb. Blessed is the person who lights a lamp at thy
resting-place." "I beg God to make thy sepulchre a mine of mercy, a
depository of gifts, and to encompass it with manifold signs." A chant
for the pilgrim begins: "O peerless martyr! Verily I salute thy pure
dust and thy holy blessed tomb. The everlasting abode is for such as
visit thy tomb."

[254] "Table Talks," pp. 13, 17.

[255] Rev. H. H. Jessup, D. D., refers to this incident as published in
the _Literary Digest_ (_Outlook, Ibid._, and "Fifty-three Years in
Syria," p. 687). He said to Abbas Effendi, "An American woman has stated
that she came to Haifa and when she entered your room she felt that she
was in the presence of the very Son of God, the Christ, and that she
held out her arms, crying, 'My Lord, my Lord,' and rushed to you,
kneeling at your blessed feet sobbing like a child. Can this be right to
accept worship?" "I left Abbas Effendi with the painful feeling that he
was accepting divine honour from simple-minded women from America and
receiving their gifts of gold without protest or rebuke."

[256] New York _Outlook_, June, 1901, pp. 45, 46.

[257] Mrs. Grundy, _Ibid._, p. 73.

[258] Page 212.

[259] See "Ten Days in the Light at Acca," pp. 71-73; "My Visit to
Acca," p. 21; "In Galilee," p. 69; "Heavenly Vista," p. 22; "Daily
Lessons," p. 80; "Flowers from Acca," p. 36; "Table Talks," p. 14.

[260] Baha, in the "Akdas," forbids women from going on pilgrimage, the
adoration of pictures and the kissing of hands. Why does Abdul Baha
encourage them? Ignorant devotion has so soon degenerated into
superstition and iconolatry. Others are trading on the superstitious.
Abdul Baha writes: "I have received news that some one in Persia has
imitated the picture of the Manifestation and sold it for $200 to a
believer. The real picture is not in the possession of any one but me."

[261] "Flowers from Acca," p. 34.

[262] "A Heavenly Vista," p. 22; and above references.

[263] _Star_, March 2,1914, p. 321.

[264] Doctor Jessup, _Outlook, Ibid._, says, "An old Persian Sheikh, in
1897, came to the American Press in Beirut, with a large sheet of paste
board on which was written the motto 'Ya Baha ul Abha' and wished to
have a map mounted on the face of it. In reply to inquiry why he thus
would use it, he said: 'I have had it hanging on my wall for twelve
years and prayed to it, and found it to be vanity and worthless. I now
prefer to read the Bible.'"


  Bahaism and the State

  Bahaism certainly does contemplate an earthly dominion which shall
  eventually subvert all existing governments.--_Doctor Holmes in
  Speer's "Missions and Modern History," Vol. I, p. 129._

  The supreme manifestation of social morality is always government and
  in formulating a politic, Baha Ullah most clearly earned our reverence
  as the prophet of modern society.... Democracy alone tends to
  vulgarize personal values, as the United States proves. By uniting the
  aristocratic spirit with the democratic form of Government, he insured
  a politic at once equable and effective.--_H. Holley, "The Modern
  Social Religion" p. 203._

  In calling Babi-Bahaism a worse cult than Mormonism, I do so
  deliberately.--_S. K. Vatralsky in "Amer. Jour. of Theology," 1902, p.

  There can be little doubt from the intolerance they show to those who
  recant, that should they gain power enough they would be as ready to
  persecute Christians as was Mohammed to put to death the Jews of
  Medina.--_Dr. G. W. Holmes in Speer's ibid., p. 130._

Bahaism, as a new religion bidding for popular favour, should be
considered in its relation to the State, for this is an important factor
in forming our judgment of it. As it historically sprang from Babism, it
is well to review, first of all, the political relations of Babism.

I. Babism in Persia was a form of Mahdiism. Mirza Ali Mohammed, the Bab,
claimed to be the Mahdi, the Kaim, the twelfth Imam returned. According
to Shiah doctrine, the rulership of the State by divine law belongs to
the Imam. The Kajar Shahs had the right to kingship only in the absence
of the Imam. Their authority would cease with his appearance. This is so
universally recognized that the constitution of Persia drawn up by the
Parliament in 1906-1907 contains in the preamble the provision that it
shall continue only till the manifestation of the Imam.

In accordance with this principle the Babis looked upon Mohammed Shah
and Nasr-ud-Din Shah as no longer the rightful rulers. They were, _ipso
facto_, supplanted by the Bab, the Sahib-i-Zaman or Lord of the Age. The
Kajars were called by them "unlawful kings." Hazrat-Kuddus says,[265]
"We are the rightful rulers; know that Nasr-ud-Din is no true king and
that such as support him shall be tormented in hell-fire." Disloyalty
was an essential corollary of Babism and not a consequence of the
repression and persecution which it met. The measures of the Persian
Government were caused by this knowledge. The rebellions of the Babis
were justified in their eyes by self-preservation as well as by the
desire to remove, if possible, the Shah and make way for the reign of
the Bab. Professor Browne's opinion on these points is conclusive. He

"The Babis looked for their immediate triumph over all existing powers,
culminating in the universal establishment of the true faith and the
reign of God's saints on earth.... They intended to inherit the earth;
they held those who rejected the Bab as unclean and worthy of death, and
they held the Kajar Shahs in a detestation which they were at no pains
to hide.... They did not make any profession of loyalty to or love for
the reigning dynasty.... Unbelievers were flouted with scorn because
they supposed that the Promised Deliverer would confirm the authority of
the Shahs."

The "Bayan," the chief book of the Bab, anticipates the time when the
Shah's government shall be superseded by a Babi state, which shall
prevail in Persia. It gives the laws for this Babi state as well as
regulations for the distribution of the spoils of war and for the
Jahad,[267] showing that the Bab anticipated religious wars. The kings
of the Bayanic dispensation are directed what they should do. In the
five chief provinces of Persia, no unbelievers are to be allowed to
live, except some foreign Christian merchants. They are not to be
killed, but to be driven out and their property confiscated.[268]
Directions are given as to the use of their property. The strongly
intolerant doctrine is set forth[269] that "unbelievers have no right to
anything, not even to a believing wife. All that thou seest in the hands
of unbelievers is not theirs by right. If the manifestation has power,
he would even forbid their breathing."

Babism, therefore, was a political as well as a religious movement. As
such it fought and with some prospect of success, for, as Browne says,
"it seemed at one time to menace the supremacy alike of the Kajar
dynasty and of the Mohammedan faith in Persia."[270]

The Bab was executed in 1850. The Babi insurrections were suppressed.
Terrible reprisals followed the attempt on the life of Nasr-ud-Din Shah.
The leaders fled into exile to Turkey. Babism, repressed and forced into
concealment, entered upon a new phase. It emerged somewhat changed as
Bahaism (1867).

II. Bahaism should be considered in its political aspects in relation to
the Government of Persia.

(a) In Persia, the issue of the sword had declared against the Babis.
Baha Ullah adopted a policy aptly called "political opportunism."[271]
He proclaimed the loyalty of himself and his followers to the Shah,
denounced the attempted assassinations, wrote prayers to be said for the
Shah,[272] and pleaded for the toleration of the sect as one without
political aspirations. Bahai apologists condemned the Bab and the
conduct of the Babis, declaring it contrary to the principles of the
Bab.[273] Mirza Abul Fazl, on trial before the Persian Government,
repudiated the Babis, denounced their actions as unseemly and bad,[274]
and declared with emphasis that Bahaism was an entirely different
religion. He pronounced the Shah free from blame regarding the death of
the Bab[275] and the persecutions of the Babis, casting the
responsibility and reproach on the mullahs and the Ministers of
State.[276] He even made a show of blaming the attendants for the death
of Badi, the messenger who bore Baha's epistle to the Shah, and made as
though the Shah regretted it. The "New History" and the "Traveller's
Narrative" are both tendency writings, following out the same purpose,
glossing over the facts as given in the contemporary narrative of Mirza
Jani, putting the odium on the mullahs and asserting "that no particular
blame attaches to His Most Sacred Majesty the Shah";[277] though other
writings of Baha show a spirit of hostility to the Shah.[278] Following
the policy of conciliation the Bahais made petition to the Shah stating
that[279] "this sect has no worldly object nor any concern with
political matters, it has nothing to do with affairs of Government
neither has it any concern with the powers of the throne." They stated
that[280] "they have made no disturbance, or rebellions, or any sign of
sedition." So Baha[281] enjoined that "in every country they must behave
towards the Government with faithfulness, trustfulness, and
truthfulness." The Persian Government responded to this policy and
ceased to persecute as before. During the past fifty years the Bahais
have not been much molested. Their persecutions have been few and
generally due to local causes. The number of Bahais who have lost their
lives in the course of their history (after they cease to be Babis) is
probably not more than 300, more than half of whom were killed in riots
at Ispahan and Yezd in 1903. The Bahai historian[282] states that "on
rare occasions certain Ulema, for their own personal and private
advantage, molest one or two individuals of the sect." But the Shah's
Government has tolerated them.[283] Not counting the present Holy War
against the Christians, more have been killed in Persia in the half
century than Bahais.[284] The Government has shown liberality towards
Bahais by allowing them to occupy positions in the civil service, as
clerks in the post, telegraph, customs, courts, and consulates, and has
not discriminated against them.

(_b_) Coming to the period of the agitation for a constitution and the
revolution, it is plain that the Bahais had little to do with the
struggle. Neither they nor their teachings were the cause of it. The
causes were the same, in general, as those which influenced Turkey and
China towards constitutional reform. The occasions in local
circumstances and politics had nothing to do with Bahaism. The leaders
were enlightened Moslems, and even mullahs of the Shiahs. They were not
Bahais. These held aloof from the propaganda and the struggle for
popular liberties, took little part in the elections or in parliament,
and joined neither the army of the constitutionalists nor that of the
reactionaries. They displayed no love of country by striving for the
cause of the people, nor any real love or loyalty to the autocratic
Shah. Yet the influence of Abdul-Baha Abbas was thrown in favour of
Mohammed Ali Shah, and after he had scattered parliament at the cannon's
mouth and annulled the constitution, Bahais were granted appointments in
the civil service and rejoiced in the reactionary régime. A tablet of
Abdul Baha was circulated prophesying a long and prosperous reign for
Mohammed Ali Shah, who before many months was driven from his throne
into exile.

My personal knowledge of these circumstances is supported by abundant
printed evidence. First of all there is Abdul Baha's own statement. He
said in America,[285] "In Persia the Bahais have no part in the
movements which have terminated in corruption. They must have nothing to
do with seditious movements." Excerpts from his letters[286] show that
they were constantly enjoined "from the very beginning of the revolution
to stand aside from the struggle and war." To the same effect are the
words of the Bahai Remey,[287] "The Bahais had remained neutral in the
struggle for constitutional liberty and the renewal of Persia." So
Dreyfus, another Bahai,[288] "He (Abdul Baha) dissuaded them from mixing
themselves up in the political struggle. This explains the apparently
passive rôle played by the Bahais in contemporary events in Persia."
Because of this attitude, Professor Browne accuses them of lack of
patriotism and laments their inaction. But this attitude of neutrality
was only maintained by them as far as taking up arms and public action
were concerned. Their secret influence was on the side of the
reactionary party. It is plain that the constitutionalists regarded the
Bahais as their opponents, and Mohammed Ali Shah counted them as his
supporters. Abdul Baha said in New York,[289] "The Bahais have taken no
part whatever in political questions and disturbances. Their clamorous
persecutors were the revolutionists. These discontents wanted
constitutional rights and privileges. They were politicians, not
religionists." Certainly the hostile animus of these words is
unmistakable. There is indubitable proof, too, that Abdul Baha carried
on correspondence with Mohammed Ali Shah. M. H. Ford, a Bahai
writer,[290] states the fact in detail. Its purport was such that, when
the Constitutionalists knew it, Abdul Baha feared violence. This was
commonly reported in Persia. In Chicago the first Bahai missionary to
America confirmed this fact which he had heard from Acca. He said, "The
authorities intercepted Abbas's letter intriguing with Mohammed Ali
Shah, and therefore the revolutionists threatened him." Remey shows the
affiliation of the Bahais with the Shah, and his satisfaction with them.
He arrived at Teheran just when the Shah had scattered the parliament
and hanged the editors. He says, "We found the Bahais in the utmost
peace and happiness. They were in good esteem and respect of the
[reactionary] Government, and were now enjoying _unusual_ privileges....
Several of the Bahais had been appointed to high governmental
positions." In accord with all these facts is the statement of J. D.
Frame, M. D., of Resht:

"The political influence of the Bahais has been grossly exaggerated.
They were forbidden to accept seats in the first parliament and
professed to maintain strict neutrality, but in the spring of 1908 a
'tablet' was circulated among them, promising that Mohammed Ali Shah
would rule for the remainder of his life; and the writer possesses a
copy of another 'tablet' promising him speedy peace and prosperity. The
subsequent forced abdication of the king cost the Bahais considerable
prestige and some followers."[291]

We thus see a double failure on the part of this movement. As Babism it
failed in 1848-1852 in its rebellion and wars against the Kajars; as
Bahaism it failed to enter into and assist the modern movement, which,
aiming at reform and progress, inaugurated a constitution. The cause of
the latter is not far to seek; Bahaism has a political scheme of its
own. We will now consider it.

III. Bahaism has set forth a system of civil government. Claiming to be
a revelation from God, it has enunciated the laws and regulations of the
future State. It approves of constitutional monarchy as the best form of
government, and permits republics.[292] But this monarchy will be
limited not so much by its constitution as by the law of Bahaism and its
hierarchy. Baha, in the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," the Book of Laws, directs that
Bet-Adl, houses of justice, be established in every place, with nine or
more members, all Bahai men, who shall be Trustees of the Merciful,
Administrators for God. In the thirteenth of the "Glad Tidings"[293] he

"The affairs of the people are placed in charge of the men of the House
of Justice. They are daysprings of command (divine agents,
representatives of God). They may execute what they deem advisable. It
is incumbent upon all to obey them. Their souls will be inspired with
divine aspiration. God will inspire them with what He willeth."

With them will lie the interpretation of points of doctrine. They must
decree and judge according to Bahai revelation. "They must gaze day and
night towards that which hath been revealed from the horizon of the
Supreme Pen." They shall rule by divine right. Their authority shall be
absolute. Abdul Baha restates the words of Baha:[294] "The House of
Justice must be obeyed in all things." "It is the centre of true
government." "The Law of God will be invested in them, and they will
render decisions." "All judgment will be from the standpoint of God's
laws." "Its decisions and commands will be guarded from mistake. It will
have conferred upon it infallibility." The House of Justice will have
local councils, national ones, and an international one.[295] Of the
latter, Abdul Baha said in an address in New York:

"A universal or world House of Justice shall be organized. That which it
orders shall be the Truth in explaining the commands of Baha Ullah and
shall be obeyed by all. _All men shall be under its supervision._"[296]

Its functions are not confined to matters of faith, for Abdul Baha
continues: "The House of Justice is endowed with a political as well as
a religious aspect. It embodies both aspects, and is protected by the
preserving power of Baha Ullah himself." _In the political aspect it
will be supreme._ "The separation of the Religion and the State can only
be temporary," says Dreyfus,[297] "a momentary stage. For the present
the two spheres are separate. When Bahaism triumphs they will be
united." "The House of Justice[298] will have under its control almost
the whole administration, and naturally will take the place of our
municipal councils. Such has been Baha Ullah's intention. Further he
clearly aims not only at a municipal House of Justice, but also at a
legislative one, sitting as a national parliament and as an
international tribunal." Remember that all the members are to be Bahais.
So Remey says, "There will be a union of Religion and the State--the
governments of the nations. The material laws of men will be founded and
enforced according to Bahaism."[299] In this politico-religious régime,
the political will be subject to the religious. "The kings and rulers of
the world," says Abdul Baha,[300] "will find their true authority under
the rulings of the House of Justice. It will decide between kings and
kings." Baha addressed letters[301] to kings with arrogant assumption of
authority to control the civil powers.

The Houses of Justice will have _large financial powers_. They shall
inherit all property of those dying without heirs, and one-third of
that of those dying childless.[302] One-third of all fines for crimes
shall go to them. For example, in case of murder, two-thirds of the
blood money shall go to the family of the murdered and one-third to the
House of Justice. A tithe of nineteen-hundredths shall be given into
their hands. They shall act as trustees for minors and incapables, and
as a Poor Board.

They shall have _civil_ jurisdiction, "to settle material difficulties
between believers,"[303] for the protection of men, for the preservation
of human honour.[304] "If any man refuses to educate his children, the
House of Justice shall do it at his expense," and "shall order all the
negligent to pay" and use police powers to enforce it.

They must also interpret and administer _criminal_ law, for Baha has
"revealed" a code of laws and regulations concerning material as well as
spiritual things.[305] Abdul Baha says, "The revelations of Baha Ullah
contain all the great laws of social government." "The laws cover all
points and questions of national administration."[306] For example, in
the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," the punishment for theft is prescribed: for the
first offense, exile; for the second, imprisonment; for the third,
branding "thief" on the forehead, "lest other countries accept him." For
adultery a fine is to be paid to the House of Justice, and for the
second offense, double of the fine. Arson is made punishable by burning,
etc. This fiat legislation of Baha Ullah is to be imposed upon the
parliaments of all nations. "All legislative and administrative
functions," says Dreyfus,[307] "shall assume a sacred character" under
the control of the Bahai House of Justice.

In brief, Bahaism would set up in each town, in every country, ruling
councils, and a central one universal in its sway, composed entirely of
Bahais, clothed with supreme authority, because God-given, over kings,
parliaments, and peoples; councils infallible and absolute, superior to
appeal or protest; deciding and exacting obedience in every department
of the life of humanity--religious, domestic, social, educational,
financial, judicial, and political. It would be not an _imperium in
imperio_, but an Empire over all. It would be a priestcraft[308] such as
the world has not yet seen--a religious-political régime in which kings
and presidents will go not to Canossa but to Acca, and alike hold the
stirrups of Bahai justices, and laws of parliaments will be subject to
revision and veto by the Bahai House. In it is the certainty of priestly
oppression when fallible men set up their judgment as God's. The Bahais
claim to have no priests and no _hierarchy_. It is a question of names.
Their system and laws contain the real thing, full-fledged, men
mediating God's will. We may call it a _bahaiarchy_, if they prefer.

Abdul Baha, recognizing the objections that will be made to the
political functions of the Bahai justices, and foreseeing difficulty
with Governments, has, for the time being, directed that in America and
Europe the name "House of Spirituality" or "House of Consultation" be
used.[309] But change of name does not alter the reality or change the
"revelation" of Baha. The House of Justice (central) is to be set up
when Abdul Baha dies, and it will assume its functions gradually as
opportunity and expediency demand. Already orders have gone forth
prohibiting the interpretation of the words of Baha or personal
expositions of them.[310] Already the fiat has interdicted the
publication, by a Bahai, of a tract, book, or translation on the Bahai
religion without submitting it to the censor at Acca.[311]

The effect of the working of the Bahai system may be realized by
imagining it as set up in Persia. Suppose, for example, that the small
minority of Bahais now in Persia should become a majority, with a Bahai
Shah, Bahaism would become the established religion. "Houses of Justice"
would come into operation. What of those who remain Moslems and
Christians? Fortunately Baha has abolished the law of the Bab that
required their expulsion from the chief provinces of Persia and the
confiscation of their property. But either the other religions must be
judged by Bahai courts, or separate courts must be set up for them. This
would perpetuate the double system of courts, the _urfi_ or civil and
the _shari_ or religio-civil courts. The latter would be entirely Bahai
and either lording it over or in conflict with the civil administration.
This would be a continuation of the present confusion of Persian
conditions, only with the Bahais in control. What might the minority
expect? The oppressions and anathemas received by the old Bahais from
the followers of Abdul Baha Abbas give the answer.[312] Fortunately for
the world, the universal reign of Bahaism is not to be realized, neither
is the prophecy of Abdul Baha to be fulfilled which says[313] "that the
flag of Baha Ullah will overcome every other flag and all rulers will do
homage to it."


[265] "New Hist.," p. 362.

[266] _Ibid._, p. xvi.

[267] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 287.

[268] "Bayan," VI, 4.

[269] "Beyan Persan," Vol. IV, p. 118.

[270] Browne, "New Hist.," p. vii.

[271] Browne, "New Hist.," p. vii.

[272] _Ibid._, p. 316.

[273] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 65.

[274] "Bahai Proofs," pp. 51, 63, 77.

[275] _Ibid._, p. 38.

[276] "New Hist.," pp. 172, 180.

[277] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 189.

[278] See "Surat-ul-Muluk," and _S. W._, Sept. 27, 1913, pp. 9, 10. See
Chap. VIII, p. 186, 191.

[279] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 156.

[280] _Ibid._, p. 160.

[281] "Words of Paradise."

[282] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 166.

[283] Browne, "A Year Among the Persians," p. 101. M. A. Ford in "The
Oriental Rose," p. 74, says, "For many years before the death of Baha
Ullah, there was no persecution of the friends."

[284] See "Missions and Modern History," R. E. Speer, p. 130, Note 2.

[285] _S. W._, July 13, 1913.

[286] Browne's "Persian Revolution," pp. 424-429.

[287] "Observations of a Bahai Traveller," p. 53.

[288] _Ibid._, p. 172.

[289] _S. W._, August 1, 1912.

[290] "The Oriental Rose," pp. 185-186, 197.

[291] _The Moslem World_, 1912, p. 238.

[292] "Glad Tidings," p. 91.

[293] Chicago Edition, p. 89.

[294] Grundy's "Ten Days in Acca."

[295] "Answered Questions," by Abdul Baha, Barney, pp. 198-199.

[296] _S. W._, Dec. 12, 1913; April 9, 1914, p. 21.

[297] "The Bahai Revelation," p. 123.

[298] _Ibid._, p. 144.

[299] "Bahai Movement," p. 69.

[300] Grundy, _Ibid._

[301] Mohammed wrote to the rulers of Constantinople, Persia, Egypt, and
Syria. That which was a bold and striking act on the part of Mohammed is
a weak imitation on the part of Baha.

[302] They become what they accused the Shiah Mullahs of being; "Dead
men's heirs, consumers of endowments, and collectors of tithes and

[303] Dreyfus, p. 131.

[304] "Ishrakat," p. 33.

[305] Remey, p. 61.

[306] Kheiralla, p. 433.

[307] "The Bahai Revelation," p. 32.

[308] The word "priest" is used loosely for an officer of religion.
Bahais use no special term. Abdul Baha says ("Universal Principles," p.
38): "The making of specific laws is apportioned to the House of
Justice. The members will not form laws and statutes according to their
own opinions and thoughts, but by the power of inspiration."

[309] "Tablets," Vol. I, pp. 1 and 6.

[310] "Brilliant Proof," p. 26.

[311] _S. W._, July 13, 1913, p. 121.

[312] Abdul Baha justified Mohammed's use of the sword, saying,
"Mohammed commanded his followers to carry the religion of God by the
sword. It is right to inflict injury to save a man's life," therefore to
save his soul by force.

[313] "Daily Lessons at Acca" (Goodall and Cooper), p. 72.


Bahaism and Woman

  Baha Ullah in a letter to one of his wives:--This writing is to the
  Exalted Leaf, who hath tasted My Most Holy and Wonderful Saliva. We
  have given thee to drink from My Sweetest Mouth, O thou blessed and
  sparkling leaf. We have bestowed upon thee such a station as no woman
  had who preceded thee.--_In Prayers, Tablets and Instructions, 1900._

  There is a touch of oriental luxury of admiration in some estimates of
  Kurrat-ul-Ayn, who in important moral characteristics did not rise
  above the level of her time and place. And in its results Babism has
  not exalted woman.--_R. E. Speer, "Missions and Modern History" Vol.
  I, p. 150._

Abdul Baha while in Europe and America had much to say about the
relation of man and woman. In New York City, after referring the
audience to various books of the Bahai religion, he said: "Similarly all
the other tablets of Baha Ullah contain _new_ teachings, which have not
been revealed in any books of the past Prophets. The sixth new teaching
is the equality between men and women. This is peculiar to the teachings
of Baha Ullah, for all other religions placed men above women."[314] In
the exposition of Bahai teachings at Clifton, England, he declared: "His
Highness, Baha Ullah, established certain precepts or principles."[315]
"The sixth principle of Baha Ullah regards the equality of the sexes.
God has created the man and the woman equal. In the animal kingdom the
male and the female enjoy suffrage [laughter]; in the vegetable kingdom
the plants all enjoy equal suffrage [laughter and applause]. The male
and the female of the human kingdom are equal before God. Divine justice
demands that men and women have equal rights."

My first thought on reading these statements was one of surprise, for
they contradict my observations during thirty years' residence in
Persia, in close touch with Bahais. I decided to make a thorough
investigation of the teachings and practice of Baha Ullah bearing on the
relation of the sexes, to determine definitely whether these claims of
the "inspired interpreter" were valid or not. A considerable body of
Bahai literature and "revelation" is accessible. Examination of the
chief books, the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," the "Ikan" and the "Surat-ul-Haykal"
disclose no such teaching. Neither the 155 paragraphs of the "Hidden
Words," nor the "Seven Valleys" have any such delectable thoughts for
Oriental women. Neither the six "Ornaments"[316] of the faith nor the
four "Rays,"[317] nor the nine "Effulgences,"[318] nor the eleven
"Leaves of the Words of Paradise," nor the nine precepts of the "Tablet
of the World," nor the fifteen "Glad Tidings"--though they announce many
blessings, from freedom to cut the beard as you please to constitutional
monarchy as the best form of government--give the teaching of the
equality of woman with man. Neither Mirza Abul Fazl in his "Bahai
Proofs," representing the new Bahais of Abdul Baha, nor Doctor Kheiralla
in his ponderous volume on Beha Ullah, representing the old Behais, in
this bitter and rancorous schism; nor Myron Phelps in his "Life of Abbas
Effendi," nor Professor Browne of Cambridge University in his learned
and impartial investigations regarding the religion makes the statement
that Baha Ullah teaches the equality of man and woman. On the contrary,
investigation confirmed my previous conviction that the position of
woman under Bahai laws and customs is inferior to that she holds in
Western lands and that her lot is far less desirable and less blest than
in Christian civilization. I reached the conclusion that this doctrine
as enunciated by the "Interpreter" is a late addition to Bahaism,
intended to attract the attention and tickle the ears of audiences in
Europe and America.

Of the two or three thousand Americans who are following the cult of
Bahaism, most are women. Concerning this Abdul Baha says in a tablet:
"Today the women of the West lead the men in the service of the cause
(Bahaism) and loosen their tongues in eloquent lectures."[319] The
editor adds, "Nine-tenths of the active workers in the cause are
women."[320] Hence it is timely to consider the teaching and practice of
Baha Ullah with regard to women.

I. I will first take up the _subject of education_, for in regard to it
the law of Bahaism justifies, theoretically, their boast of maintaining
the equality of the sexes. In this it is, however, simply imitating the
law of enlightened Christian lands, nor does their practice at all keep
pace with their precepts. In the seventh Ishrak (Effulgence) it is
"enjoined upon all to instruct and educate their children."[321] The
"Kitab-ul-Akdas" decrees "that every father must educate his sons and
daughters in learning and in writing" and also in the Bahai religion.
Education is to be compulsory and if neglected by the parents must be
attended to by the "House of Justice." But, notwithstanding this law,
most Persian Bahais have allowed their girls to grow up in ignorance,
while educating many of their boys. Even at Acca,[322] Syria, the
headquarters of the sect, where Baha had a school for boys, no like
opportunity was furnished to the girls for an education. The fact that
modern schools for girls could not be opened in Persia is no adequate
excuse, for private tutors could have been employed, as is the custom in
many Persian Shiah families, or the fathers could at least have taught
their daughters to read. Lately American Bahais have begun to stir them
up. They have organized the Persian-American or Orient-Occident
Educational Society. It raises funds in America for Bahai schools and
hospitals. With exceeding lack of candour, it poses as simply a
philanthropic enterprise and conceals its primary and ulterior object,
which is the propagation of Bahaism. Its missionaries make their reports
of their work in the _Bahai News_ or _Star of the West_, of Chicago.
They have one or more schools for girls in Persia and several scores of
girls in attendance. The American Bahai missionaries are residing in
Teheran and Tabriz,[323] directing the propaganda and working for the
elevation of the girls and women through the Bahai religion.

II. I pass to the consideration of _the civil and domestic rights of
woman under Bahaism_, and will review the customs and regulations
regarding marriage--so fundamental in the constitution of human society.

(_a_) Marriage seems to be obligatory, according to the
"Kitab-ul-Akdas." It says: "A solitary life does not meet God's
approval; adhere unto what the trustworthy Counsellor commands. Deprive
not yourselves of that which is created for you."[324] Monks and nuns
are called upon to marry that they may have children "to celebrate the
praise of God." A tablet says: "Nor must they refrain from marriage
which causes procreation and multiplication of the servants of
God."[325] Mirza Abul Fazl, the learned philosopher of the dispensation,
interprets the law to mean: "He has enjoined upon the people of Baha
abstinence from monkhood as well as from ascetic discipline. He has
commanded them to marry."[326] Professor Browne says: "Marriage is
enjoined upon all." In like manner the "Bayan" of the Bab previously
made marriage obligatory, but unlawful with an unbeliever.

(_b_) Marriage is declared to be conditioned on the consent of both
parties and of the parents. But in practice the matter of consent is
still one-sided. Take, for example, an incident in the life of Abbas
Effendi.[327] The mother and sister were very desirous that he should
marry and looked about and found a girl of whom they approved. The
sister narrates that "without consulting my brother, I invited the girl
to visit us. After a wearisome journey, she and her brother reached
Haifa. We commenced quietly to make preparations for the marriage
without making known to my brother the arrival of the girl. My brother
saw that there was something unusual afoot, so he demanded of us with
considerable energy, 'What is this? What are all the people smiling
about? Are you again planning to get me a wife? If you are, give it up;
I will not marry.' We pleaded and reasoned with him. At length we said,
'She has come, what shall we do?' He hesitated and finally said: 'Well,
since you have brought her here, she belongs to me, and I will give her
in marriage to some one else.' At length my brother brought about her
marriage to a husband of his own selection." The "consent" of the girl
in this case seems to have been considered about as much as in ordinary
Oriental usage.

(_c_) Baha Ullah advised against child-marriages, yet, strange to say,
seems to have tolerated child-betrothals. Among Persians it is a common
custom to betroth children. Abbas was after this manner betrothed to his
cousin in infancy. When the household of Baha thought the time had come
for the marriage, Abbas thought differently and refused to agree to it.
This incident[328] occurred before the one narrated above and is
concerning a different girl. Curiously it was a girl named Moneera, who
had been betrothed to another in infancy who finally became the wife of
Abbas Effendi. She had been promised to her cousin Mohammed Tagi, and
after she had reached the age of maturity, the youth urged on the
marriage. The wedding was celebrated and the bride brought to the
groom's house. Then, so the story goes, the husband refused to see his
bride and continued in stubborn neglect and denial of marital rights
till his death--six months afterwards. Later Baha Ullah persuaded Abbas
to take the "sweet and amiable" virgin-widow for his wife and he is said
to have attained to "a warm affection and regard" for the woman he was
asked to marry.[329] Did I wish to assume the rôle of higher critic, I
might suggest that the latter incident, like that in "When Knighthood
was in Flower," is apocryphal, and intended to create a legend of her
virginity up to the time she became the "leaf" of the "Greatest Branch
of God."

Another account I have gathered from a Syrian disciple of Baha. He
reports that Abbas Effendi would not marry the girl his parents had
betrothed him to, because he had a love affair with Moneera, the wife of
Mohammed Tagi. The speedy demise of the husband was attributed to poison
administered by his wife, who thereupon became the wife of Abbas
Effendi. Her title among Bahais is "Holy Mother."

(_d_) Another part of the marriage law gives directions as to the number
of wives a man may take. The "Kitab-ul-Akdas" says: "God hath decreed
you to marry. Beware of marrying more than two, and whosoever is content
with one, attaineth peace for himself and her."[330]

Mr. Phelps[331] calls attention to this fact that the Book of Laws
permits of taking two wives. This limitation of the man to bigamy is
deemed an improvement on the law of Islam allowing polygamy.

But Bahai law does not permit a wife to have two husbands. This
absolutely invalidates the claim and declaration of Bahaism concerning
the equality of the sexes. It proclaims the woman the inferior, not the
equal. No equality can exist in a household under such a license. Where
is the boast of progress and superiority, when the most essential unit
of human society is nullified? "Twain shall be one," says the Gospel of
Christ. Can we believe that the "Incarnated Father of all" has revealed
a new "Most Holy Book" in which bigamy is permitted? _Akstag fur Allah!_
God forbid!

I will now give some details from the history of the Babi and Bahai
"Manifestations" to show their practice in regard to marriage.

After the execution of the Bab, 1850, the rival claimants to prophethood
were Mirza Yahya, surnamed Subh-i-Azal, and Mirza Husain Ali, surnamed
Baha Ullah. They were sons of Mirza Abbas of Nur,[332] called Mirza
Buzurk. He had a wife and a concubine. Yahya was the son of the wife and
Husain Ali of the concubine. This was under the law of Islam. The
subsequent enmity of the half-brothers exhibits one of the evil results
of polygamy.

Subh-i-Azal was the "Lord of two wives," whose names and condition are
recorded in the pension records[333] of the Turkish and British
Governments in Cyprus. The first was named Fatima and her companion wife
was Rukayya. They had fourteen children. Besides the two, who were with
Azal in Cyprus, it seems there were two others. Of the third wife he
says[334] in his personal narrative: "My wife, who was taken captive and
was released, has now grown old in Persia without an interview being
possible." The fourth quarrelled with her lord and accompanied the
Bahais to Acca.[335] After several of the Azalis, with whom she was
living, were murdered by the Bahais,[336] she was sent on to
Constantinople with a surviving Azali.[337]

Baha Ullah, like Mohammed, surpassed his own law. He had three wives, or
two wives and a concubine. Bahai writers generally omit this information
in describing his life and character. Kheiralla has a chapter on his
household and gives the names and titles of his children, twelve in
all, but fails to mention the fact that he had two wives, though he
says: "Like Abraham, by establishing his household, Baha Ullah perfected
the laws of man, and fulfilled the prophecies of scripture."[338] C. M.
Remey passes over the subject with the remark: "As a man he lived a life
in harmony with his Oriental environment."[339] Abbas Effendi in his
"Traveller's Narrative," Abul Fazl, Dreyfus, Sprague, Thornton and
others fail to inform their readers of the truth and this omission is
evidently with definite purpose. Phelps is more candid. He says that
"Baha Ullah had two wives; that the Book of Laws permits it."[340]
Professor Browne refers to the three, giving the honorary titles
conferred upon two of them. He makes a quotation[341] from Hasht Behasht
which reads: "Among the titles conferred by Baha Ullah are the
following:--on his wives, Madh-i-Ulya, 'the Supreme Cradle,' and
Varaka-i-Ulya, 'the Supreme Leaf.'" And in the "New History," he says:
"The title of Varaka-i-Ulya was conferred by Baha Ullah on one of his
wives."[342] The name of the first wife was Aseyeh or Nowab. She was the
mother of Abbas Effendi and six other children.[343] According to
Subh-i-Azal's narrative[344] she was a niece of the Shah's vizier. She
survived Baha and suffered much from the children of the other wife,
according to Abbas Effendi.[345] The first marriage was in Teheran in
1835. He took a "companion for her" in 1850. Her title was Madh-Ulya.
She was the mother of Mirza Mohammed Ali, Mirza Badi Ullah and other
sons and daughters. The manuscript, "Life of Baha Ullah," continues: "In
the last year at Bagdad (1867-68) before the exiling of our Lord to
Constantinople, the sister of Mirza Mahdi of Kashan was honoured to be
His wife." It appears that she was sent by a rich believer from Persia
to be a maid-servant in Baha's household. The Persian Consul in Bagdad,
Mirza Buzurk Khan Kasvini[346] desired to take her as his wife or
concubine. Baha himself took her as a concubine. Because he was
thwarted, the Consul showed special enmity to Baha and his followers.
The only child of this wife, a girl, was born at Acca in 1873. The three
wives survived Baha. After his death one of them suffered gross
indignities at the hands of Abbas Effendi, being furiously attacked by
him in his own house, so that she fled precipitately. This, at least, is
the report of Khadim Ullah, the lifelong amanuensis of Baha Ullah.[347]

It should be noted that all of Baha's wives[348] had children, and that
the first wife had a living son (Abbas) when he took the second wife, so
that the usual excuses cannot be pleaded in palliation. For it is common
for Bahais in Persia to quote their law, in speaking to a Christian, as
meaning that a man may take an additional wife if the first one is
childless. Mr. Phelps pleads[349] in extenuation for Baha Ullah that
"his second marriage occurred early in his life and under peculiar
circumstances, the exact nature of which I do not know." Such an excuse
might be accepted for a man like Mullah Mohammed Ali, the Babi leader of
the Zenjan insurrection, for, as far as is known, he entered upon his
polygamous life while he was a Mohammedan. Two of his wives[350] were
shot by a cannon ball and were buried with him in a room of his house,
while his third wife, with children, escaped and lived at Shiraz. But
for Baha Ullah the excuse of Mr. Phelps is inadmissible, for he was no
longer a Moslem when he took the second wife, and was thirty-three years
old, and he was fifty when he took the third wife in Bagdad, having been
born in 1817. At that time Baha had been for many years a leader in the
Babi religion, had written the "Ikan," and announced his mission. Nor
was this polygamous union a passing phase of his life, but one continued
through thirty or forty years. It would have concerned us little to know
the private life of Baha Ullah so long as the religion presented itself
merely as aiming at a reformation of Islam, for it may readily be
admitted that it is somewhat less of an evil to have two wives and one
concubine than the four wives and unlimited concubines that the Koran
allows, or the nine to thirteen wives that Mohammed took, and that if
Bahaism should cut off the temporary concubines, which disgrace Islam,
it would be doing a good thing--so far forth--but when the "Interpreter,
the centre of the Covenant," Abdul Baha, comes and stands in Christian
churches in London and New York and proclaims Bahaism as a new and
superior gospel, it is expedient that Baha's real life should be made
known to the women of Christian lands.

It is well to note the sentiment of Oriental Bahais with regard to
plural marriage. The opinion of those at Acca can be understood from Mr.
Phelps' narrative.[351] Abbas Effendi (Abdul Baha) had two sons and six
daughters. The sons died. After this, as his sister Behiah Khanum
narrates, "Many influences and those of the very strongest character
have been brought to induce my brother (Abdul Baha) to take another
wife. Believers have urged it strongly for several reasons. _Very many
of them wish to take a second wife_ themselves. Then there is a general
wish that the Master might have a son to succeed him. The pressure
brought to bear upon him has been very great, greater than you can
imagine." Baha desired that Abbas should take a second wife, but he
refused to do so unless Baha should command it. There is deep pathos in
the words of Abbas[352] welling from his sorrow-stricken heart. "If it
had been God's will that I should have a son, the two that were born to
me would not have been taken away." Albeit he was forgetful of his
theology which proclaims Baha as "God the Father incarnate." Why did not
Baha preserve alive one of the sons rather than wish him to marry a
companion-wife in order to have another? Mr. Phelps[353] attributes
Abbas Effendi's refusal to adopt polygamy, notwithstanding these "very
powerful influences which have urged him to do so" to "his appreciation
of the sufferings and discontent which it causes among women."[354]
Certainly the animosity and bitter quarrellings between the wives of
Baha and their respective children, resulting in a permanent split in
the family and a schism[355] in the Bahai community, were sufficient to
impress Abbas and his followers with the evil effects of plural
marriage. The narrative shows, however, that public sentiment among the
believers at Acca strongly favoured taking more than one wife. They
evidently had no desire to give up the license granted to them by the
"Kitab-ul-Akdas." They inclined to follow it and the example of Baha
Ullah rather than the example of Abdul Baha.

In conclusion, it is evident that the law and example of Baha Ullah both
sanction polygamy. By this the social _inequality_ of the sexes is
fixed. Any claim that Bahaism teaches and establishes equal rights for
man and woman is vain and groundless boasting.

III. _The regulation of divorce_ is another matter that vitally affects
the relation of man and woman. The divorce law of Baha, as prescribed in
the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," is a loose one. I again quote from Professor
Browne's translation.[356] It will be noticed that the conditions of the
law are set forth from the standpoint of the man. "If quarrels arise
between a man and his wife, he may put her away. He may not give her
absolute divorce at once, but must wait a year that perhaps he may
become reconciled to her. At the end of this period, if he still wishes
to put her away, he is at liberty to do so. Even after this he may take
her back at the end of any month so long as she has not become the wife
of another man." "The practice of requiring a divorced woman to cohabit
with another man before her former husband can take her back is
prohibited." (This abolishes one of the vile laws of Mohammedanism.) "If
a man is travelling with his wife and they quarrel, he must give her a
sufficient sum of money to take her back to the place they started from
and send her with a trustworthy escort." From these quotations it is
evident that the wife is dependent on the good pleasure and whim[357] of
the man. He may put away; he may take back. The law says nothing of her
right to divorce him. It does not appear that she has the right to
divorce her husband even in case he is guilty of adultery. The penalty
for adultery is slight. A fine of nineteen miscals of gold, equal to
fifty to sixty dollars, is imposed for the first offense and this is
doubled for the second offense. The fines are to be paid to the "House
of Justice." According to the "Bayan" of the Bab the husband must pay
the divorced wife a dowry of ninety-five miscals of gold ($300) if they
are city folks, and ninety-five miscals of silver ($10) if they are
villagers. These are paltry sums even on the basis of Persian poverty. I
may say, in passing, that the Laws of Inheritance give to the father a
greater portion than to a mother, to a brother greater than to a
sister, and gives the family residence to a male heir.

Freedom from the marriage bond is made easy by desertion. "Married men
who travel must fix a definite time for their return and endeavour to
return at that time. If their wives have no news from them for nine
months, after the fixed period, they can go to another husband. But if
they are patient it is better, since God _loves those_ who are patient."

How the husband who is away from his wife can act, we may judge by the
example of a celebrated Bahai,[358] Maskin Kalam, who was agent for Baha
to watch over and spy upon Azal and the Azalis in Cyprus. His wife was
in Persia; he simply took another in Cyprus.

The ease with which desertion may be practiced under Bahai law is seen
in the conduct of Doctor Kheiralla, one of the first apostles of Bahaism
to America, and founder of the Chicago Assembly. Dr. H. H. Jessup wrote:
"A cousin of Doctor Kheiralla, who is clerk in the American Press in
Beirut, gave me the following statement: 'Doctor Kheiralla, after the
death of his first wife in Egypt, in 1882, married first a Coptic widow
in El Fayum, whom he abandoned, and then married a Greek girl, whom he
also abandoned, and who was still living in 1897 in Cairo. He then
married an English wife, who abandoned him when his matrimonial
relations became known to her.'"[359]

According to the claims of Bahais these loose and imperfect divorce and
marriage laws are to be accepted and administered universally under the
future kingdom of Baha in its world-wide triumph!

It may be remarked in passing that Bahaism encourages the mixture of
races by marriage. Already several American Bahais have married Persian
women, and Persian men American women. One American Bahai woman has
married a Japanese. Abdul Baha illustrates the relation of the races by
a reference to animals. "Consider the kingdom of the animals. A pigeon
of white plumage would not shun one of black or brown." In a tablet sent
to America, he directs: "Gather together these two races, black and
white, into one assembly and put such love into their hearts that they
shall even _intermarry_."[360] Again he says:[361] "The coloured people
must attend all the unity meetings. There must be no distinctions. All
are equal. If you have any influence to get the races to intermarry, it
will be very valuable. Such unions will beget very strong and beautiful
children." Mr. Gregory, an American negro, followed this advice by
marrying an English woman, Miss L. A. M. Mathew.

IV. _The social position of women under Bahaism._ Professor Browne says:
"Their (the Bahais) efforts to improve the social position of women have
been much exaggerated."[362] It may be added that the success of their
efforts has been small. It is plain that the Bab recognized the
deplorable condition of women under Islam and desired to improve it. His
laws gave woman some liberties. She was permitted to put off the veil.
The Bab interpreted the prohibition of the Koran to mean that "only the
wives of the prophet had received the order to hide the face,"[363] so
"he relieved believers from the painful restraint of the veil." Women
might appear in society, hold conversation with men,[364] and go to the
mosques at night. Baha renewed these rules of the Bab. Still he seems to
have some distrust, for the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" says that "men are
forbidden to enter any man's house without his permission or in his
absence." Thus Bahai precepts tend in some degree to the liberation of
woman, though they fall much behind high Christian ideals and customs.

There is observable a wide-spread and influential movement among Moslems
for the amelioration of the condition of woman. This movement does not
have its source and inspiration in, nor is it peculiar to nor confined
to Bahaism. On the contrary, an oriental writer in a review of this
remarkable tendency says: "Its birth in Moslem lands undoubtedly is due
to the impact of the Occident upon the Orient, the missionary influence
playing a large part in it."[365] The new Moslems of India, under the
leadership of Justice Sayid Ali, as well as the Young Turks, Egyptians
and others, advocate freedom and education for women and have gone much
beyond the Bahais in practice. The Turkish women in Constantinople, who
aided in the establishment of the constitution and are aspiring to
enlarged liberty under its ægis, know Bahaism, if at all, simply as a
Persian heretical sect. The Persian women, described so graphically by
Mr. Shuster in "The Strangling of Persia,"[366] who formed clubs and
took such an active and heroic part in the constitutional agitation,
were not Bahai women. The Bahai women, as well as the men, were
forbidden by Abdul Baha to take part in the struggle for constitutional
liberty.[367] Professor Browne laments the lack of patriotism shown in
their conduct. Still the Bahais deserve some credit for the movement for
the uplift of Persian womanhood. They might have done much more,
notwithstanding the limitations to their liberty of action, had they
followed out the first ideals of the Bab. These were exemplified in the
celebrated Kurrat-ul-Ayn. This beautiful woman of genius--poet, scholar
and theologian, was a pupil at Kerbela, of Haji Kazim, the chief of the
Sheikhis. On his death she accepted the Bab, so that though a product of
the Sheikhi sect, her fame accrues to the honour of the Babis. At
Kerbela, she gave lectures on theology to the people from behind a
curtain, and at times, borne away by her enthusiasm and eloquence, would
allow her veil to slip off in the presence of men. Her preaching and
freedom of conduct was objected to even by Babis, but the Bab answered
them, commending her and giving her the title of Janab-i-Tahira, "Her
Excellency the Pure," and made her one of his nineteen "Letters of the
Living," or apostles. She is said to have claimed to be a
remanifestation of Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed. The Turkish
government at Bagdad began prosecution against her. She returned to
Persia and taught Babism even from the pulpit, at Kasvin, and also by
means of poetry. What were the social results of her breaking through
the restrictions of Islam? Her husband was Mullah Mohammed of Kasvin,
who was opposed to the Bab. On account of this she refused to live with
him. "In reply to all proposals of reconciliation, she answered: 'He, in
that he rejects God's religion is unclean, while I am 'Pure'; between us
there can be nothing in common.' So she refused to be reconciled to her
husband,"[368] and regarded herself as divorced.[369] Afterwards "she
set out secretly to join herself to Hazret-i-Kuddus (Lord, the Most
Holy)," that is, Mullah Mohammed Ali of Barfurush. Together they
attended, with Baha Ullah also, the celebrated conference at Badasht, at
which "the abrogation of the laws of the previous dispensation was
announced." There a sermon was preached by Hazret-i-Kuddus, which, says
Professor Browne, lends some colour to the accusation that the Babis
advocated communism and community of wives."[370] This learned
investigator further says: "The extraordinary proceedings at Badasht
seem to have scandalized not only the Mohammedans but even a section of
the Babis."[371] Mirza Jani, their first historian and a martyr, avers
that not all "have understood the secret of what passed between
Hazret-i-Kuddus and Kurrat-ul-Ayn at Badasht, and their real nature and
what they meant."[372] The Mohammedan historians openly accuse them of
immorality. The Sheikh of Kum, a Bahai, told Professor Browne, "After
the Bab had declared the law of Islam abrogated and before he had
promulgated new ordinances, there ensued a period of transition which we
call _fitrat_ (the interval), during which all things were lawful. So
long as this continued, Kurrat-ul-Ayn may very possibly have consorted,
for example, with Hazret-i-Kuddus, as though he had been her

It may be that the scandals that followed Kurrat-ul-Ayn's venture into
public life and her tragic death in the cruel reprisals that followed
the attempt of several Babis to assassinate the Shah, gave a backset to
the efforts to liberate women in Persia. Certain it is that during the
sixty years succeeding she has had no imitator or successor. Bahai women
have continued to wear the veil and have remained secluded from the
society of men, not only in Persia but at Acca, the headquarters of
Bahaism. The force of the new faith was not strong enough to free the
women. Rather they have compromised with their environment. Only in the
Caucasus and Trans-Caspia under Russian protection, have they partly
unveiled. Not even their women of the second and third generation have
been trained to act up to their precepts, but in Acca, as in Persia,
they are secluded from the society of even brethren in the faith. They
are more backward than some other sects and races of Moslems. I have
been entertained in the households of Kurds and Ali Allahis and have
dined and conversed with the host and his wife. I have, of course,
conversed with the families of Christian converts from Islam, but the
wife of a Bahai has never been introduced to me, even though I have
known the husband intimately and visited him in his home a score of
times in the course of as many years. In a few instances I have heard of
Bahai women, in company of their husbands, receiving gentleman visitors,
but these wives had resided in Russia. An Osmanli official, at times,
receives and makes visits in company with his wife.[374] But the ladies
of the household of Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha at Acca do not receive
gentlemen as visitors even when they are faithful and honoured American
believers. Mr. Myron Phelps, when preparing materials for his "Life of
Abbas Effendi," spent a month at Acca. He wished to embody in his book
the interesting narrative of Bahiah Khanum, the sister of Abbas. She,
though more than half a century had passed over her head, did not grant
him personal interviews.[375] Instead she told her narrative in
installments day by day to Madame Canavarro, who then came out and
repeated what she had heard to Mr. Phelps, who recorded it. He says:
"Social custom prevented me from meeting this lady," and again, "Social
custom prevented me from meeting the women."[376]

Now that the way is opened by the Revolution and by the
Constitutionalists (who were not Bahais), liberal-minded men of all
sects in Persia, Sufis, Sheikhis, Arifs, and even Mutasharis, as well as
Bahais, are showing considerable zeal for the elevation of women, and
for female education.

V. What does Bahaism teach as to the _political equality of man and
woman_? The future Bahai State and community is to be under the
administration of Boards--called Houses of Justice, local, national, and
universal. These are to be "divine agents," "representatives of God."
They are to have absolute authority and to be infallible in their
decisions. They will adjudicate questions of property, tithes,
inheritance, divorce, and of war and peace. They will have charge of
schools and of wives, children and servants as well as of religion. The
number of members in each Board is to be at least nine, "according to
the number of Baha."[377] The members are to be all _men_. No women are
to be admitted to these Boards or "Houses of Justice." This law
evidently did not suit the notion of some of the American Bahai sisters,
so they made bold to inquire about it. The "Infallible Interpreter,"
Abdul Baha, laid down the law plainly--which cannot be altered for 1,000
years at least. "From a _spiritual_ point of view, there is no
difference between women and men. The House of Justice, however,
according to the positive commandments of the Doctrine of God, has been
specialized to the _men_ for a specific reason or exercise of wisdom on
the part of God."[378] "As to you other maid-servants, give up your will
and choose that of God." "The maid-servants of the merciful should not
interfere with the affairs which have regard to the Board of
Consultation, or House of Justice."[379]

To sum up, it has been demonstrated that Bahaism does not, by its laws,
give woman equality with the man, either in the family or the state,
either as to domestic rights or political rights; that in the matter of
education it has not tried to give equal opportunities to girls; that it
conforms to the social life of its environment without transforming it;
that the claims of Abdul Baha before his audiences in Europe and America
were without foundation, disproved both by the teaching and by the
practice by Baha Ullah.


[314] _S. W._ (Bahai), Dec. 12, 1913, p. 254.

[315] _S. W._ (Bahai), March 21, 1913, p. 5.

[316] Tablet of Tarazat.

[317] Tablet of Tajalliyat.

[318] Ishrakat.

[319] _Bahai News_, Aug. 20, 1911.

[320] Mr. Remey writes: "In most places the work is carried on by the
women almost entirely. There is an absence of many men.... Men are most
in need of being reached.... To-day I had a letter from a good
maid-servant, saying that the only man in _her_ assembly had refused to
come to meetings, because he was the only man present. I mention this
because it is typical of most assemblies in America.... In most places
the men are doing but little." (_Bahai News_, Aug. 20, 1910, p. 3).

[321] "Tablet of Ishrakat," p. 36.

[322] Phelps, pp. 110, 229.

[323] Afterwards withdrawn from Tabriz.

[324] "Principles of the Bahai Movement," p. 16.

[325] Mirza Abul Fazl's "Bahai Proofs," p. 105.

[326] _Ibid._, pp. 95-96.

[327] Phelps, _Ibid._, pp. 86-87.

[328] Phelps, _Ibid._, p. 85.

[329] _Ibid._, pp. 88-90.

[330] See also Professor Browne in the _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1892.

[331] "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 139.

[332] "New Hist.," pp. 374-375.

[333] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 384.

[334] "New Hist.," p. 415.

[335] Phelps, p. 73.

[336] "New Hist.," p. xxiii; "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 361. Compare "A Year
Among the Persians."

[337] Phelps, p. 79.

[338] "Baha Ullah," by Kheiralla, pp. 491-492.

[339] "The Bahai Movement," by C. M. Remey, p. 24.

[340] Phelps, p. 139.

[341] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 361.

[342] "New Hist.," p. 273, Note 2.

[343] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, pp. 209, 218.

[344] "New Hist.," p. 415 and Note 1.

[345] "Tablets," Vol. I, p. 107.

[346] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 84.

[347] "Facts for Behaists," p. 59.

[348] _The Family of Baha Ullah (1817-1892)_

First wife, named Nawab, or Aseyeh, entitled Veraka-ulya, "the Supreme
Leaf," married at Teheran, 1251 A. H., _i. e._, 1835 A. D.

Her children, (1) Aga Mirza Sadik, born at Teheran, died at 4 years. (2)
Abbas Effendi, born at Teheran, 1841. (3) Bahiah Khanum, born at
Teheran, 1844. N. B.: Some reverse the order of (2) and (3). (4) Ali
Mohammed, born at Teheran, died at 7 years. (5) Aga Mahdi, born at
Teheran, died at Acca, 1871. (6) Ali Mohammed, born at Bagdad, died at 2

Companion wife, Ayesha, title Mahd Ulya, "the Supreme Cradle," married
A. H. 1266, 1850 A. D.

Her children, (1) Mohammed Ali, born at Bagdad, 1854. (2) Samadiah,
Bagdad, 1857, died Acca, 1904. (3) Ali Mohammed, Bagdad, died at 2
years. (4) Saz-Habbieh, Bagdad, died Constantinople. (5) Zia Ullah,
Adrianople, 1867, Haifa, 1898. (6) Badi Ullah, Adrianople.

Concubine, a sister of Mirza Mahdi Kashani, taken at Bagdad.

Her child, (1) One daughter, born 1873, at Acca, name Shuruk.

The wives and concubine of Baha Ullah all survived him.

[349] Phelps, p. 139.

[350] "New Hist.," pp. 160-162, 164.

[351] "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 92.

[352] Phelps, p. 94.

[353] Phelps, p. 105.

[354] A Chicago Bahai told me that Baha took several wives, that his
experience of the evils of polygamy, the quarrels of his wives and
children might be a warning to us not to follow his example!

[355] See Professor Browne's Introduction to Mirza Jani's "History."
Also Abul Fazl's "Bahai Proofs," pp. 113-119, and Kheiralla's "Facts for

[356] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1892.

[357] "The wife is still in a helpless state; her fate remains entirely
in the power of her husband's caprice "(Vatralsky in _Amer. Jour. of
Theology_, 1902, p. 72).

[358] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 378-379.

[359] _Outlook_, of New York, quoted in _The Missionary Review_,
October, 1901, p. 773.

[360] "A Heavenly Vista," by L. G. Gregory, p. 31.

[361] Page 15.

[362] "Encyc. Britt.," article, "Babism."

[363] Dreyfus, _Ibid._, p. 128.

[364] But if they limit themselves to twenty-eight words, it was better
for them, says the "Bayan."

[365] _American Rev. of Rev._, 1912, p. 719.

[366] Pages 191-198.

[367] "Observations of a Bahai Traveller," by Remey, pp. 53, 67; also
Dreyfus, _Ibid._, p. 172.

[368] "New Hist.," pp. 274, 441.

[369] Her spirit of intolerance is condemned by Professor Browne.

[370] "New Hist.," p. 357.

[371] Mirza Jani's "History," Introduction, p. xlii.

[372] "New Hist.," p. 365.

[373] "A Year Among the Persians," p. 523.

[374] "Mohammedan young men will no longer consent to marry girls they
have not seen, but now in Beirut visit them and drive out with them on
the public highways with the mothers as chaperones" (Jessup's
"Fifty-three Years in Syria," p. 640).

[375] Phelps, p. xxxix.

[376] _Ibid._, p. 109; Chase, "In Galilee," p. 63; Goodall, "Daily
Lessons," p. 19. Abdul Baha did not break through oriental custom nor
serve the lady guests before himself. The lady pilgrim writes, "The
first day at lunch, after Baha had partaken of the honey, he passed it
to us" ("Daily Lessons," p. 16). Like the ordinary Moslem he was well
pleased to sit down to eat with the foreign ladies but never arranged
that the American Bahai men should sit down to meals with his ladies.
Mr. C. M. Remey tells, in "Observations of a Bahai Traveller," of
meeting Persian Bahai women but rarely in Persia (pp. 75-76). In Kasvin,
in the garden of Kurrat-ul-Ayn, one woman partly raised her veil and
gave him a greeting of welcome. In Teheran a lady, unveiled, and her
husband entertained the Bahais. The husband and wife received the twenty
men in one room and the wife received the dozen women in another room.
They were separated by a curtain, through which Sprague and Remey spoke,
telling of the liberty of women in the West. The lady of the house used
her best persuasion to induce the other women to mix with the men.
Finally "the women arose and drawing aside their veils with one accord
entered the room. The men made place for the ladies by retreating to the
other side of the room, while the newcomers found seats. When the women
had arisen to the situation, they were quite equal to it. Then it was
the men who were ill at ease. In fact their embarrassment was
contagious, for even I began to be uneasy and scarcely dared to take a
look at the faces opposite. Sherbets and other refreshments were served
and chanting continued. Bit by bit the men gained their ease, but, as
their embarrassment passed, the women seemed to lose courage. Little by
little the veils were drawn over their faces. Then one moved as if to
leave, where upon all arose and like a flock of affrighted birds
fluttered from the room." This incident shows how little change has been
affected in the social habits of Bahai women in sixty years after

[377] B = 2, a = 1, h = 5, a = 1, total 9 in Persian Abjad counting.

[378] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 50.

[379] _Ibid._, p. 27.


Its Record as to Morals

  The Bahais are ignorant of the dogmas of Babism and of its history and
  its book. The "Traveller's Narrative," a work of Abbas Effendi, is a
  bad romance, composed solely for the purpose of proving that the Bab
  is simply a precursor and announcer of Baha Ullah. With extreme bias,
  he misconceives in every instance the true history, and the author has
  not even searched, as I have, in the immense works of the Bab for the
  autobiographical notes which are so plentiful. He is satisfied with
  the legends which fall in best with the end he is pursuing. It is
  regrettable that a man like Abbas Effendi should show himself ignorant
  of the life of the Bab.--_"Beyan Persan," A. L. M. Nicolas, Vol. I, p.

  To represent him (the Bab) as simply the forerunner of Baha is an
  historic falsehood. It is another to pretend that the religion of the
  Bab was universalized by Baha Ullah.--_Ibid., Vol. III, p. v._

  The Bab did not consider himself as the herald or forerunner of
  another dispensation, as a John the Baptist to Christ. This is devoid
  of historic foundation. In his own eyes as in those of his followers,
  M. Ali Mohammed inaugurated a new prophetic cycle and brought a new
  revelation which abrogated the Koran. He declared that he is not the
  last Manifestation. There would be a greater, whom he calls "Him whom
  God would manifest," but the Bab expected that the next manifestation
  would be separated from his own by an interval such as had separated
  previous dispensations. Possibly the "Bayan" indicates 1511 or 2001
  years as the interval.--_Professor Browne, "Introduction to Mirza
  Jani's History."_

The moral conduct of the founders of a religion, especially one that
requires trust in the person of its author, is a necessary subject of
investigation. The conduct of the immediate followers is not to the same
degree a subject of criticism. From one point of view it is no argument
against the truth of Bahaism that Bahais fail to live up to its precepts
and principles, for this can be said of all religions. But the claims of
Bahai writers make it necessary to consider their conduct. They boast of
superior exemplary character and make this a proof of Bahaism. Hence it
is necessary to show the groundlessness of their assertions. In the
following review, which covers several chapters, the conduct of Baha,
Abdul Baha and their early followers is treated together. The claim made
for the founders is nothing short of blessed perfection. For the
disciples, it is one of superlative excellence. Myron Phelps says:[380]
"This faith does not expend itself on beautiful and unfruitful theories,
but has a vital and effective power to mould life towards the very
highest ideals of human character--as exemplified in the life of Abbas
and the salient characteristics of his followers." The Bahai historians
say:[381] "They are remarkable only for their charity, kindliness,
purity, godliness, rectitude, sincerity, integrity, generosity, chastity
and strict avoidance of all forbidden things." "In their conduct,
action, morality and demeanour was no place for objection.... People
have confidence in their trustworthiness, faithfulness and godliness."
Abul Fazl[382] speaks of the supernatural character and morals of the
followers of Baha, who became universally celebrated for their just
characters, good conduct and excellent morals. So Remey:[383] "The
effect of this cause upon the lives of the peoples of every race and
religion leaves no doubt as to the divine source of its teachings."
Mirza Jani, speaking of the proofs the Babis gave to the Moslems,
says:[384] "We say, 'We have witnessed miracles on the part of this
man.' They retort, 'He is a sorcerer.' We say, 'Come, let us invoke
God's curse on whomsoever is in error, leaving to Him the decision.'
They reply, 'This is not permitted by our law.' We say, 'Let us kindle a
fire and enter into the midst together.' They answer, 'You are mad.' We
further say, 'Consider the godliness, piety and self-renunciation of
those who believe.' They return us no answer." I propose to return the

1. One characteristic of the Bahai leaders is _dishonesty in dealing
with their history_. This sometimes takes the form of the suppression
and concealment of documents, sometimes of the omission or perversion of
essential facts or their presentation in such a way as to falsify
history. In the writing of political history and in scheming for the
triumph of a political party, we may expect crookedness in dealing with
facts, but in the propagating of a new religion designed to supersede
Christianity and Islam, and purporting to be an improvement on them, we
do not expect to find dishonesty and misrepresentation. Yet this is
exactly what we find, namely, "a readiness to ignore or suppress facts,
writings or views (undoubtedly historical), which they regard as useless
or hurtful to their aims."[385]

When Mirza Husain Ali (Baha Ullah) started out as a "Manifestation," it
was necessary to get rid of certain facts and beliefs held by Babis. He
must reduce the Bab from his position as the Point of Divinity--the Lord
of a new Dispensation, as well as supplant and supersede the Bab's
successor, Subh-i-Azal.[386] Thoroughly to accomplish this object (after
the Babis leaders had been put out of the way), the history was
rewritten. While claiming that the Bab gave testimony to Baha and taking
to themselves the glory of Babi heroism and martyrdoms, the Bahais
relegated the "Bayan" and other "revelations" of the Bab, not yet a
score of years old, to dust-covered oblivion.[387] Subh-i-Azal avers
that they wilfully destroyed them. He writes[388] that thirty or more
bound books of the Bab were given in trust by him to his relatives (Baha
and his family) as trustees. "They carried off the trust," and "making
strenuous efforts, got into their hands such of the books of the Point
as were obtainable, with the idea of destroying them and rendering their
own works attractive." Professor Browne[389] informs us that it was very
difficult to obtain a Babi book from Persian Bahais and next to
impossible to get a glimpse of one at Acca, where the Bahais had them
concealed. The "holy, divine books" were shelved from motives of policy.

A primitive Babi work of first importance was the "History," by Mirza
Jani. This was an original narrative of events, at first hand, prepared
in sincerity by one who shortly suffered martyrdom for the cause (1852).
But its facts did not suit the Bahais. So it was superseded, first by
the "New History"[390] (1880), and secondly by the "Traveller's
Narrative" (1886). Both these histories purport to be written by
European travellers. We might excuse their being anonymous, to avoid
possible persecution, but to make pretense that the authors are
travellers who have come from afar ostensibly to investigate, and into
whose mouths are put praises of the religion, is but part of the
insincerity noticeable in other things.[391] Mirza Jani's "History"
passed out of sight, and it was only because a copy had been deposited
by Count Gobineau in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris that it has
reached our hands.[392]

Of the "New History" little need be said, except that it perverted
the history and "carefully omitted every fact, doctrine and
expression,"[393] not in accord with the policy of Baha.

Let us examine somewhat in detail how Abbas Abdul Baha treats facts in
his "Traveller's Narrative." He is undoubtedly the principal author of
this work.[394] The Persian Bahai, who sent Professor Browne the
lithographed (Bombay) copy of it, wrote, "It contains the observations
of His Holiness, the Lord, Mystery of God (May my personality be his
sacrifice)." Professor Browne was also presented with a copy of it at
Acca, which he published in Persian with an English translation. Of it
he says,[395] "It was written to discredit the perfectly legitimate
claims and to disparage the blameless character of his less successful
rival" (Azal). "There is good ground for suspecting a _deliberate
misstatement_[396] of facts and dates." He specifies[397] various points
in which Abbas Effendi perverted the facts. Undoubtedly one of the aims
of Abbas was to eliminate Azal. The latter had been regularly appointed
by the Bab as his successor,[398] but he refused to make way for Baha.
The Bahais tried to get rid of the question by suppressing all mention
of him, even of his name, and "of all documents tending to prove the
position which he undoubtedly held."[399] They would have consigned him
to oblivion.[400] The "New History" makes but one doubtful reference to
Azal.[401] Professor Browne says, "Abbas Effendi,[402] in order to
curtail the duration and extent of Subh-i-Azal's authority and to give
colour to their assertion that it was but temporary and nominal,
_deliberately and purposely antedated_ the Manifestation of Baha." And
he continues to the present to misrepresent the facts. In "Answered
Questions"[403] Baha is presented as the chief influence in Persia
immediately after the Bab. Other Bahai writers repeat this error.[404]

2. Another practice of the founders of Bahaism is _falsifying and
changing the documents and texts of their Sacred Writings_, namely,
those of the Bab and Baha, according to the exigency of circumstances.
Subh-i-Azal made the accusation "that the Bahais had tampered with the
Bab's writings to give colour to their own doctrines and views."[405] I
pass this by, to notice how they have tampered with their own
"Revelations." For example, take Baha's "Epistle to the Shah of Persia."
Its original text was published by Baron Rosen.[406] It is embodied by
Abbas Effendi in the "Traveller's Narrative."[407] The two do not agree.
"Very considerable alterations and suppressions were made in the text by
the author of 'Traveller's Narrative.'"[408] "The text has evidently
been toned down to suit a wider audience and to avoid giving offense to

There is also another "Epistle to the Shah" which is contained in the
"Surat-ul-Maluk." Its tone is strikingly different. The first is a
careful diplomatic document which acknowledges the faults of the Babis,
pleads pardon for the past and for religious toleration. It is
monotheistic, representing Baha as a humble suffering servant, with no
pretense to Divinity. The other "adopts a tone of fierce recrimination
towards the Shah, and upbraids him for the Bab's death, saying, 'Would
you had slain him as men slay one another, but ye slew him in such a way
as the eyes of men have not seen the like thereof and heaven wept over
him, and by God, the eye of existence hath not beheld the like of you;
you slay the son of your prophet and then are of those who are joyful.'"
He excuses the attempt on the life of the Shah, and threatens
vengeance[410] on him. These two Epistles to the Shah have been a
puzzle to the critics. This threatening, fierce letter seems so contrary
to the policy of Baha. An adequate and not improbable explanation[411]
would be that one letter was prepared for the perusal of his Majesty and
the other for the Bahais, to impress them with the boldness of their

Another example of this is seen in the suppression[412] of part of the
"Lawh-i-Basharat" ("Glad Tidings"). Its fifteenth section commands
Constitutional Government. When the Tablet was sent to Russia, this
section was suppressed by Bahais. The Tablet was published in its
mutilated form by Baron Rosen. Expediency, which rules Bahai practice,
required that an incomplete "Divine Revelation" should reach Russia.

Playing fast and loose with the "Revelations" prevailed still more at
the time of the bitter quarrel and schism on the death of Baha. Though
Baha's Tablets are regarded as "Holy Books" in the highest sense, yet
the Bahais commit the grave offense of changing them so as to
misrepresent facts. Mirza Mohammed Ali and Badi Ullah, younger sons of
Baha, in refuting the claim of Abbas Effendi to be Baha's successor,
say, "Has Abbas dared to change the texts uttered by Baha Ullah? Most
certainly, Yes. We have in our possession _many_ texts of Baha Ullah
which have been changed[413] by Abbas Effendi." Further, "he and his
party have stolen the first paragraph of a sacred Tablet and have
perverted its meaning, with deception."

Khadim-Ullah,[414] the lifelong amanuensis of Baha, asserts that Abbas
actually rejected a "Sacred Tablet," written in the handwriting of Baha
Ullah. Other Tablets are repudiated. For in "Hidden Words"[415] Baha
Ullah refers to the "Fifth Tablet of Paradise" and the "Ruby Tablet."
Abbas Effendi warns against accepting any such Tablets if they should be
brought to light. What other reason for this can we imagine than fear
that their contents would be against his claim. Enough has been said to
show the truth of the charge that the Bahais deal dishonestly with the
documents of their alleged revelation.

A peculiar instance of forgery occurs in the writings of Baha Ullah. In
his Epistle to the Shah Baha quotes certain verses as from the "Hidden
Book of Fatima." This book, the Shiahs believe, was revealed by Gabriel
to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed, disappeared with the twelfth Imam,
and will be brought back by the Mahdi at his coming. Professor
Browne[416] wrote to Acca making inquiry about this "Book of Fatima" and
the quotations from it. The authoritative reply which he received was,
"That naught is known of such a book but the name, but Baha Ullah
mentioned it in this manner to make known the appearance of the Kaim"
(Mahdi). In other words, Baha was making a false pretense of quoting
from the "Book of Fatima," as if he, as Mahdi, had brought it with him.

3. Bahais make _false representation of facts in political history_. The
"Traveller's Narrative" perverts the truth for "political
opportunism."[417] Contrary to the contemporary historian, Mirza Jani,
and the European chroniclers, the Shah is represented as ignorant and
innocent of and averse to the repressive measures taken by his
government against the Babis. Let me give specific proofs of this.

At the first trial of the Bab, at Tabriz, according to Mirza Jani,[418]
Nasr-ud-Din, then Crown Prince, whom he dubs "bastard," treated the Bab
disrespectfully by rolling a globe towards him and taunting him with
ignorance of it and by ordering him to be bastinadoed. The "Traveller's
Narrative,"[419] per contra, says, "The heavenly-cradled Crown Prince
pronounced no sentence with regard to the Bab, but the Mullahs ordered a
bastinado." The former history states that the Prime Minister consulted,
about the execution of the Bab, with the Shah,[420] who gave him full
authority to act in the matter," and that he then communicated with
Prince Hamza Mirza, Governor of Azerbaijan, who proceeded to make plans
for it. Abbas' Narrative[421] states that "the Minister, without the
Royal command and without his cognizance and entirely on his own
authority, issued commands to put the Bab to death"; "that Prince Hamza
utterly refused to have part in the trial and execution." Gobineau[422]
confirms the original account, and states that Prince Hamza "took a
leading part in the condemnation of the Bab." It is certain that
contemporary Babis[423] held the Shah responsible for their persecution
and were bitter against him. Mirza Jani records the death of Mohammed
Shah, by saying that "he went to hell"; the "New History" affirms "that
he passed to the mansions of Paradise." Nasr-ud-Din was no puppet king,
he was fully cognizant of the affairs of state. Regarding the
imprisonment of Baha, the "Traveller's Narrative"[424] says, "His
Majesty, moved by his own kindly spirit, ordered investigation and the
release of Baha Ullah." He had just ordered the execution of
twenty-eight Babis, with horrid cruelties, after the attempt on his
life. Regarding the torture and execution of Badi, who bore the Epistle
to the Shah, it says:[425] "It was contrary to the desire of the Shah,
and he manifested regret for it." This and much in that Epistle is
written with the idea of conciliating the Shah and obtaining toleration.
It is a sensible attitude, did they not maintain it with so much
misrepresentation and hypocrisy. The real spirit of Bahais towards
Nasr-ud-Din is seen in Baha's "Surat-ul-Maluk," and is one of "fierce
recrimination." Confirmation of this comes from conversations with

Another misrepresentation of history, which is universal among Bahais,
is in belittling the plot to assassinate Nasr-ud-Din Shah in 1852. Abbas
Effendi says,[426] "It was done by a certain Babi, by sheer madness, one
other person being his accomplice." His sister, Bahiah Khanum,
says,[427] It was "by a young Babi who had lost his reason."
Kheiralla,[428] says, It was "by a weak-minded, insane believer."
Similarly all their writers propagate a tradition that one irresponsible
man made the attempt. It is permitted to doubt the Shiah historian, who
gives a circumstantial account of how twelve Babis, including one high
leader, laid the plot. But Count Gobineau[429] is entitled to credence
when he says that there were a number of Babis in the plot and three
took part in the attempt. A nephew of one of the accomplices told
Professor Browne[430] that there were seven in the plot and three of
them went out to commit the act. Why will not Bahai writers give the
facts straight?

Another misrepresentation fostered by them is that of calling the Babi
martyrs Bahais. Thus Abdul Baha says,[431] "When they brought
Kurrat-ul-Ayn the terrible news of the martyrdom of the Bahais, she did
not waver." Again he says,[432] "Thousands of His (_i. e._, Baha
Ullah's) followers have given their lives, and while under the sword
shedding their blood they have proclaimed, 'Ya Baha-ul-Abha.'" He
said[433] in Doctor Cadman's church, "The King of Persia killed 20,000
Bahais." Again,[434] "In all parts of Persia his enemies rose against
Baha Ullah, imprisoning and killing _his_ converts, razing thousands of
dwellings." These are gross misstatements. In Kurrat-ul-Ayn's time there
were no Bahais, only Babis. No such efforts as those described were ever
made to crush Bahaism. The thousands who gave their lives were Babis.
Perhaps some one remarks, "What's the difference?" Foreign writers may
not know the difference, and an American audience certainly does not.
But Abdul Baha, from whom I have quoted, makes a great difference. It
arouses one's indignation to read Bahai literature, in which they claim
credit for all that is noble in Babi annals, such as the martyrdoms, and
yet they disparage and deny the Babis.

Read Abul Fazl's "Bahai Proofs." He said[435] to Prince Naibus-Sultaneh,
"The unseemly actions of the Babis cannot be denied nor excused, but to
arrest Bahais for them is oppression, for these unfortunates have _no
connection with the Babis_, who took up arms, _nor are they of the same
religion or creed_." In another place he writes[436] repudiating the
wars and disorders of the Babis, and affirming that they were guilty of
many censurable actions, such as taking men's property and pillaging the
dead, and engaging in conflict and bloodshed. If then the Bahais
repudiate them, they must not appropriate their glory, for the old
Babis, with all their faults, were at least heroic. Bahaism has, on the
contrary, the spirit of _tagiya_.

I pass on to consider Abdul Baha's representations regarding Sultan
Abdul Hamid. I present two quotations from Tablets addressed to American
believers. The first says,[437] "Here one witnesses the fairness and
impartiality of H. I. Majesty the Padishah of the Ottomans, who has
dealt with the utmost justice and equity. In reality to-day, in the
Asiatic world, the Padishah of the Ottoman Empire and the Shah of
Persia, Muzaffar-ud-Din, are peerless and have no equals. These two
kings have treated us with mildness--both are just. Therefore, pray ye
and beseech for their confirmation in the threshold of the Almighty,
especially for Abdul Hamid, who has dealt at all times in justice with
these exiled ones." Abdul Hamid--a peerless, just one! Surely this would
have remained among the _hidden things_ had not one "Servant of God"
(Abd-ul-Baha) revealed it to us about that other "Servant of God"
(Abd-ul-Hamid). This "revelation" is dated 1906. After Abdul Hamid was
deposed, Abdul Baha speaks[438] of "his oppression and tyranny," for the
Sultan sent "an oppressive, august commission, that with all kinds of
wiles, simulations, slander and fabrication of false stories, they might
fasten guilt upon Abdul Baha. But soon fetters and manacles were placed
around the _unblessed_ neck of Abdul Hamid." Did the "Infallible Pen"
err in the former character sketch? No, but Abdul Baha's oppression[439]
of his brothers, in retaining their patrimony, resulted in a bitter
quarrel and complaints, followed by an investigating Commission and
Abdul Baha's imprisonment. On this account the whitewash scaled off from
Abdul Hamid.

Another form of misstatement is their habitual way of speaking of the
imprisonment of Baha and Abdul Baha. Abdul Baha says of Baha,[440] "His
blessed days ended in the cruel prison and _dark dungeon_." "He passed
his days in the Most Great Prison."[441] Abdul Baha continually speaks
of himself in such words as the following, "Forty years I was a
prisoner; I was young when I was put in prison, and my hair was white
when the prison doors opened."[442] "After all these long years of
prison life." "My body can endure anything; my body has endured forty
years of imprisonment."[443] Now, what are the facts?

In Phelps' Life, Bahiah Khanum[444] says, "We were imprisoned in the
barracks at Acca two years (1868-70)." Then[445] "we were given a
comfortable house[446] with three rooms and a court." After nine years
of such restriction Baha Ullah moved to a beautiful garden outside the
city and built there a Palace, called Bahja. He had the freedom of the
surrounding country, visited Mount Carmel, and later spent a part of
each year at Haifa.[447] Baha Ullah died in this Palace, not in a

As to Abbas Effendi, during the first brief period only he was
restricted to the barracks. He was even temporarily put in chains in the
dungeon[449] when accused of participation in the assassination of the
Azalis. After that, for a period of _thirty years_, "he was permitted to
go about at his pleasure, beyond the walls of Acca."[450] He built a
fine residence[451] at Haifa, which I have seen. He journeyed to
Tiberias and as far as Beirut. Only after his quarrel with his brothers
and on their accusation was he ordered back to Acca, and even then he
had the freedom of the city (1905).[452] Such are the facts about Abbas
Effendi, whom Canon Wilberforce introduced in his church as "for forty
years _a prisoner for_ the cause of _brotherhood and love_." In truth it
was the quarrelling of the brothers, Azal and Baha, that led to the
banishment from Adrianople to Acca, the murder of Azalis by Bahais
increased its severity, the bitter hatred of the younger generation
against each other brought back the restraint.

4. Another immoral practice of Bahais is _tagiya_ or _ketman_, religious
dissimulation. This is taught and practiced by Shiah Moslems,[453] and
it is continued with all its offensiveness against good morals by
Bahais. In it concealment, denial or misrepresentation by word or act is
allowed for self-protection or for the good of the faith. It was
formally permitted by Baha Ullah. In accordance with this practice Abdul
Baha and his followers at Acca keep the Fast of Ramazan[454] in addition
to the Bahai Fast at Noruz. Dr. H. H. Jessup[455] wrote, "He is now
acting what seems to be a double part--a Moslem in the Mosque, and a
Christ in his own house. He prays with the Moslems, 'there is no God but
God,' and expounds the Gospels as the incarnate Son of God." Mirza Abul
Fazl, a Bahai missionary, lately died in Egypt. At his public
funeral[456] the Moslem _taziah_, with reading of the Koran, was held,
though he was a strenuous worker for the abrogation of Islam. Most
Bahais in Persia live in habitual _tagiya_. Fear of persecution is some
palliation for this, but it is a great defect. Very far from the truth
is the statement of Lord Curzon[457] that "No Babi (or Bahai) has ever
recanted under pressure." Mr. Nicolas,[458] the French Consul at Tabriz,
shows from the Bab's own writings that he himself denied his
Manifestation at his examination at Shiraz and signed a recantation. At
the execution[459] of the Bab in Tabriz (1850) two of his intimate
disciples denied the faith. The explanation of the fact is remarkable
and instructive. They were enjoined to do so by the Bab in order that
they might convey certain documents to a safe place. In other words,
they were to lie for the faith, by divine injunction. In another notable
instance,[460] seven Babis stood firm and were executed at Teheran,
while thirty recanted, being told by their leader to judge whether they
were justified by family ties, etc., in renouncing the faith. "They
determined to adopt a course of concealment, _tagiya_." Some years ago a
Bahai was called before the Governor of Tabriz and questioned, "Are you
a Bahai?" "I am a Mussulman." "Will you curse Baha?" "It is written in
the Koran not to curse, I am not a Bahai." By payment of a peshkesk this
answer was made acceptable. And no offense was recognized in conscience,
for Baha had said, "If your heart is right with me, nothing matters."
It were scarcely necessary to note that some Babis and Bahais have
denied their faith, except to correct the mistake of travellers, but the
fact that denial is permitted and approved is important. For _tagiya_ is
a deeply-rooted seed which bears evil fruits in their characters and

Even their propaganda is carried on in the same deceitful spirit. The
Bahai conceals from the one he approaches his status and beliefs,
insinuates himself into his confidence, suits the substance of his
message to the preconceptions and prejudices of his hearer and leads him
on, perhaps omitting to mention the real essentials of Bahaism.[461] One
of their methods is to worm themselves into the employ of Christian
Missions and clandestinely carry on their propaganda while they
undermine the work of the Mission. Perhaps the Mission wishes a language
teacher or a mirza. A Bahai presents himself. He talks well. In the
course of conversation the missionary inquires his religious views. He
appears liberal minded. Direct inquiry is made, "Are you a Bahai?" He
replies, "No, _I am not_, but I am tired of Islam; I am a truth-seeker."
The missionary employs him. After a time, maybe, he professes to be a
Christian, and is baptized. Such were a certain Mirza Hasan and a Mirza
Husain, who deceived the Swedish Mission and received salaries as
Christian evangelists, but had been and continued to be Bahais and
propagandists. I have heard that in a certain Station (not American)
Bahais, without revealing their faith, accepted positions as cook,
language-teacher, financial agent, etc., and so surrounded the new
Mission that it was a Bahai more than a Christian establishment. Doctor
Shedd[462] tells of an assistant he had with him in school work--a
Persian, with whom he discussed religious topics freely. For years the
man disavowed belief in Bahaism, but finally threw off the mask and
became an active propagandist. After his dismissal he instigated the
Persian pupils, whom he had previously secretly beguiled, and they
complained to the Persian Government that "they, as good (?)
Mohammedans, were offended by having to study the Christian Scriptures."
Great is _tagiya_!

What else can we expect, since Abdul Baha instructs his disciples in
pretense. A certain Madame Canavarro,[463] staying at Acca, expressed
her desire to assist in spreading Bahaism among the Buddhists, and spoke
of the difficulty of introducing it as a new religion. Abdul Baha
replied, "At first teach it as truths of their own religion, afterwards
tell them of me." She replied that she herself was imbued with the
spirit of Buddhism. He answered, "What you call yourself is of no
consequence." To a certain American lady who was afraid her friends
would be repelled by the idea of a new religion, Abdul Baha advised,
"Remain in the Church and teach Bahaism as the true teaching of Christ."

A striking instance of this religious dissimulation is seen in
Hamadan.[464] There about two-and-a-half per cent. of the Jews have
accepted Baha as the Messiah. But many of these continue in the outward
forms and associations of the Jews.[465] Others professed to be
Christians, and were protected as such by the Shah's government. After a
decade or two it became evident that they were hypocrites, cloaking
their Bahaism under the Christian name.

This Oriental dissimulation takes on a different phase in Western
Bahaism. The principle of the latter is stated thus, "Adhere to any
religious faith with which you are associated."[466] "No religious
relation[467] should be severed, but these relations should become as
avenues for giving forth the message of the Bahai faith." This idea is
delusive; it is self-deception, ignorance, or worse. No Christian can
give allegiance to Baha as incarnate God and accept, as he then must,
Islam,[468] Babism and Bahaism as successively true, and as higher
revelations abrogating Christianity, and still be loyal to Christ.
Bahaism is not a philosophy like Tolstoism, nor a theory of economics
like the "single tax"; it is a religion as much as Mormonism is.

A plain example of Bahai _tagiya_ is in connection with the organization
known as the "Persian-American Educational Society." This was organized
at Washington, D. C., under the patronage of Mirza Ali Kuli Khan,
Persian Chargé d' Affaires. Its organizing body, committee to draft its
constitution, its executive, are Bahais, yet its circular sets forth
seventeen purposes for its existence without naming the propagation of
Bahaism as one of them. It appealed for funds on general philanthropic
and educational grounds, never mentioning its religious motive. It
introduced the names of President Taft, Secretary Root, and other
prominent men in such a way as to lead the public to understand that the
movement had their intelligent endorsement. To its real purpose, viz.:
aiding existing and establishing new Bahai schools in Persia and the
Orient,[469] I am making no objection. It is the _concealment_ of this
purpose which is objectionable when contributions are asked from the
general public. It claims to be _unsectarian_, because its schools take
in pupils of all sects and religions. So do the schools of Christian
Missions, but they are none the less Christian schools, and the
"Orient-Occident" schools are distinctively Bahai. They _disclaim
proselytizing_. The claim is simply false. Bahai schools are hotbeds of
proselytizing, and must be so by their nature. Their law[470] says,
"Schools must first train the children in the principles of the
religion." Dreyfus[471] adds, "There is no fear of a prescription,
emanating from such authority, ever being disregarded." The Bahai school
in Teheran worked under cover for some years. Remey says,[472] "This
institution is not generally known as a Bahai School. However, it is in
the hands of the Bahais. From the directors down through the teachers
and students, the majority were of our faith." Similarly in Bombay,[473]
the Bahai teacher concealed his faith. "The Zoroastrian parents of his
pupils suspected him of Bahaism and so took their children out."

But to find the supreme example of Bahai _tagiya_ we have to go to the
fountainhead. Abdul Baha himself, oblivious to its moral obliquity, lays
bare the fact in his "Traveller's Narrative."[474] We have seen that
Subh-i-Azal, the half-brother of Baha Ullah, was appointed by the Bab as
his successor. According to Abdul Baha, this appointment was a dishonest
subterfuge on the part of Baha, arranged by him through secret
correspondence with the Bab, in order that Baha might be relieved of
danger and persecution and be protected from interference. So "out of
regard for certain considerations and as a matter of expediency, Azal's
name was made notorious on the tongues of friends and foes even to
jeopardizing his life, while Baha remained safe and secure, and no one
fathomed the matter." Abul Fazl[475] states the position of the
"Traveller's Narrative" as follows, "The Bab and Baha Ullah, after
consulting together, made Azal _appear_ as the Bab's successor. In this
manner they preserved Baha Ullah from interference." This account shows
the low ideas of honour and truthfulness in the minds of Baha and Abdul
Baha. And although their explanation is not true (but an invention of
their _tagiya_--_corrupted_ minds), it shows to what straits[476] they
were put to explain away the succession of Azal, the legitimacy of
which Azal still, in his ripe old age, maintains. Abdul Baha published
to the world Baha's deceitfulness, but only made the matter worse for

Of a piece with this was the action of Baha's trusted agent, Maskin
Kalam, in Cyprus. This Bahai was sent by the Turkish Government with
Azal. "He set up a coffee-house at the port where travellers must
arrive, and when he saw a Persian land he would invite him in, give him
tea or coffee and a pipe, and gradually worm out of him the business
that had brought him there. If his object were to see Subh-i-Azal, off
went Maskin Kalam[477] to the authorities, and the pilgrim soon found
himself packed out of the Island." This account is given by a faithful
Bahai. Afterwards Maskin Kalam retired to Acca and spent his old age as
an honoured guest of Baha.


[380] "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. xxxvii.

[381] "New Hist.," p. 236; "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 82.

[382] "Bahai Proofs," pp. 63, 77.

[383] "The Bahai Religion," p. 111.

[384] Quoted in "New Hist.," p. 373; comp. p. 61.

[385] Professor Browne's Introduction to Phelps, p. xxi.

[386] "New Hist.," p. 426.

[387] _Ibid._, p. xxvii.

[388] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 342-343.

[389] Browne's "A Year Among the Persians," p. 530. "If, instead of
talking in this violent and unreasonable manner, you would produce the
'Bayan,' of which ever since I came to Persia I have been vainly
endeavouring to obtain a copy."

[390] Its authors were Mirza Husain of Hamadan, M. Abul Fazl, and

[391] Numerous magazine articles, and even the "Life of Abbas Effendi"
have been written by Bahais, as if they were outsiders making

[392] In his Introduction (pp. xxxii.-v.) to Mirza Jani, which he has
had printed in Persian, Professor Browne says, "But for Count Gobineau
it would have perished utterly. This fact is very instructive, that so
important a work could be successfully suppressed," and "that the
adherents of a religion could connive at such an act of suppression and
falsification of evidence." "This fact is established by the clearest

[393] "New Hist.," p. xxix.

[394] _Ibid._, pp. xiv., xxxi.

[395] _Ibid._, p. xiv.

[396] "Encyc. Brit.," article, Babism.

[397] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. xlv. It (1) belittles the Bab and glorifies
Baha--making the former simply a forerunner; (2) belittles the
sufferings and deeds of Babis, passing over remarkable events almost
unnoticed and magnifies inferior deeds of Bahais; (3) debases Azal,
disregards his position as successor, disparages and scorns him as
lacking in courage and wisdom; (4) tries to curry the favour of the Shah
of Persia and excuses his persecutions, putting the blame on Mullahs and
Viziers, deprecating the resistance and wars of the early Babis.

[398] Count Gobineau (p. 277) says, "There was some little hesitation
about the successor of the Bab, but finally he was recognized as
divinely designated, a young man of sixteen, named M. Yahya (Azal). The
election was recognized by all the Babis."

[399] "Mirza Jani," p. xxxii.

[400] _Ibid._, p. xxxv. Professor Browne says, "When I was in Persia in
1887-1888, the Babis (Bahais) whom I met _feigned_ complete ignorance of
the very name and existence of Subh-i-Azal."

[401] Page 64, note.

[402] "Abbas Effendi _suppressed_ all incidents and expressions not in
accordance with later Bahai sentiment." "Of this I am certain that the
more the Bahai doctrine spreads, especially outside of Persia, the more
the true history is obscured and distorted" (Professor Browne in his
introduction to "Mirza Jani," p. xxxvi.).

[403] Pages 36-38.

[404] One need not be surprised at this falsifying of claims and
historical facts, for it is the testimony of the Bahai historian himself
("New Hist.," p. 5) that "the principal vice of the Persians is
falsehood--so universal and customary and so familiar that truthfulness
is entirely abandoned and ignored." "In matters relating to religion the
Mullahs have shown themselves to be ready liars and shameless forgers."
The degree of reliability of this History may be judged from the
following sentence, "When the people of Italy had proved the extent of
the Pope's hypocrisy, guile and deceit, they so effectually deposed him
and his children and his grandchildren that naught remained of him but
the appearance" (referring to 1870-1871). I have received a pamphlet by
A. J. Stenstrand, of Chicago, called "Third Call to Behaists." He writes
(p. 27), "The Babi history as well as their sacred scriptures prove that
a terrible corruption, changing and transposing of its meanings, has
been going on in the hands of the Behaists." Again (p. 28), "We have
plenty of proofs that there has been continual corruption,
interpolation, changing, transposing and stealing away the sacred
scriptures of the Babi religion in the hands of the Bahais."

[405] Cf. _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1892, p. 447.

[406] "The Alwah-i-Salatin," in Collections Scientifiques, St.
Petersburg, 1877.

[407] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 108-164.

[408] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1892, p. 313.

[409] _Ibid._, p. 286.

[410] _S. W._, Sept. 27, 1913, pp. 9, 10, "If thou dost not obey God,
the foundations of thy government shall be razed, and thou shalt become
evanescent--become as nothing. If no attention is paid to this book,
thou shalt become non-existent."

[411] The same explanation will account for the opposite narratives of
the trial of Baha before the Turkish Court at Acca. Mr. Laurence
Oliphant reports that the Court put the question to Baha, "Will you tell
the Court who and what you are?" "I will begin," he replied, "by telling
you who I am not. I am not a camel-driver (alluding to Mohammed), nor am
I a carpenter."

[412] "New Hist.," p. xxv.

[413] "Facts for Behaists," p. 27. We mention a few of the important
ones. (1) The so-called Tablet of Beirut, which confirmed the claim of
Abbas, and was said to be transcribed by Khadim Ullah. The latter
declared it to be a forgery by Abbas Effendi. (2) Abbas omitted the
middle part of the "Tablet of Command" to make it certify his claims. A
complete copy in Baha's own handwriting showed the subterfuge. (3) He
combined parts of two different Tablets, called it the "Treasure
Tablet," and claimed that it certified his succession. The two Tablets
were produced and proved the falsity of the claim.

[414] "Facts for Behaists," p. 55. Afterwards Badi Ullah, who had
accused the party of Abbas of making additions to the writings, with a
purpose changed sides in the quarrel and accused Mohammed Ali of the
same things--"interpolating," "erasing," "transposing," "replacing,"
"clipping and joining fragments," of the Tablets of Baha Ullah, besides
issuing "a false writing in his name." Mohammed Ali is also accused of
"carrying away by way of the window" two trunks full of the "blessed
writings." See "Epistle to the Bahai World," by Mirza Badi Ullah, pp. 3,
5, 12-17.

[415] "Hidden Words," numbers 20, 37, 48.

[416] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 123.

[417] "New Hist.," p. vii.

[418] _Ibid._, p. 353.

[419] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 20.

[420] "New Hist.," p. 292.

[421] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 40, 41. Abul Fazl also is apologetic for the
Shah, and says ("Bahai Proofs," p. 38), "Without seeking permission from
the Shah, the Minister issued the order for his death."

[422] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 259.

[423] In "New Hist.," p. xvii., Professor Browne says, "The Babis made
no profession of loyalty, nor did they attempt to exonerate the Shah
from the responsibility of the persecutions. To the Shahs, such terms as
tyrant, scoundrel, unrightful king, are freely applied. The battle cry,
'Ya Nasr-ud-Din Shah,' is described as 'a foul watchword.'"

[424] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 52.

[425] _Ibid._, pp. 104-106.

[426] _Ibid._, pp. 49, 50.

[427] Phelps, p. 13.

[428] "Beha Ullah," p. 411.

[429] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 53.

[430] _Ibid._, p. 323.

[431] _S. W._, Oct. 16, 1913, p. 210.

[432] _Ibid._, July 13, 1913, p. 118.

[433] _Ibid._, Sept. 18, 1912.

[434] "Some Answered Questions," p. 37.

[435] Pages 77, 78.

[436] Page 63.

[437] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 46.

[438] _S. W._, May 17, 1911, p. 6.

[439] Mrs. Templeton (previously Mrs. Laurence Oliphant), in "Facts for
Behaists," tells of the unrighteousness of Abbas Effendi (Abdul Baha) in
keeping from his brothers and stepmothers the pension money of the
Turkish Government and the revenue of Baha's villages, and of his
ostentatious charity in giving away part of these funds by distributing
coins to a mixed crowd of beggars every Friday.

[440] _S. W._, May 17, 1913, p. 74.

[441] "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 44.

[442] _S. W._, _Ibid._, p. 67.

[443] _Ibid._, Sept. 8, 1912, p. 5.

[444] Phelps, p. 66.

[445] _Ibid._, p. 70.

[446] This house was purchased by an American Bahai lady, that it might
remain in Bahai hands.

[447] "Bahai Proofs," by Abul Fazl, p. 66. Remey, p. 23.

[448] Mrs. Grundy, p. 73 ff., "Ten Days," etc., speaks of the Palace of
Joy as a very large white mansion. Professor Browne was received here
(1890). He was conducted through a spacious hall, paved with a mosaic of
marble, into a great antechamber, and entered through a lifted curtain
into a large Audience Room.

Of the Garden of Baha, Sprague ("A Year in India," etc., p. 1) says, "It
is a veritable garden of Eden, with luxuriant foliage and every fruit.
Baha Ullah used to sit under the large spreading tree and teach his
disciples." Mrs. Grundy says, "The Rizwan is filled with palm trees,
oranges, lemons and wonderful flowers. A river, the Nahr Naaman, runs
through it, in two streams, on which ducks and other fowls swim. On an
island is an arbour under two large mulberry trees. A fountain plays in
the midst. Under the arbour is a chair where Baha used to sit. No one
sits in it any more. (Mrs. Grundy knelt at the foot of the chair.) The
garden has a cottage, where Baha spent his summers." A Palace and a
luxurious summer place were Baha's "Most Great Prison" during most of
his years at Acca. Compare Laurence Oliphant's "Haifa," etc., p. 103,
for a fine description of his "pleasure ground." How unfounded are such
statements as Bernard Temple's (_S. W._, p. 39, April 28, 1914). "All
this while the founders were behind prison walls."

[449] Phelps, p. 75.

[450] _Ibid._, p. 80.

[451] Dr. H. H. Jessup, who visited him in 1900, writes (New York
_Outlook_, June, 1901), "Abbas Effendi has two houses in Haifa, one for
his family, in which he entertains the American lady pilgrims, and one
down town where his Persian followers meet him."

[452] Abbas Effendi in Acca at this time visited Mr. Remey ("Bahai
Movement," p. 108). He received American pilgrims. Mrs. Goodall ("Daily
Lessons," p. 6) speaks of "His bountifully spread table," the laughter
and good cheer, and (p. 13) remarks, "One would never realize he was
visiting a Turkish prison."

[453] Doctor Shedd says, "Concealment of religious faith is a common
practice in Persia, and it is approved and recommended by Bahais."

[454] Phelps, p. 101.

[455] New York _Outlook_.

[456] _S. W._, March 2, 1914.

[457] Phelps, p. xxxi.

[458] "Le Béyan Persan" (Paris), Introduction xvi.-xxiv., by A. L. M.

[459] "New Hist.," p. 252.

[460] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 252.

[461] S. M. Jordan, of Teheran, says ("The Mohammedan World," Cairo, p.
130), "We are honestly open in our methods, while they are the reverse."
Doctor Shedd says, "Christian Mission work is openly Christian, that of
Persian Bahais is professedly Mohammedan." "Bahaism, as offered to a
Jew, a Christian or a Mohammedan, varies greatly."

[462] _Missionary Review_, October, 1911.

[463] Phelps, p. 154.

[464] Miss A. Montgomery, in _Woman's Work_, 1913, p. 270, says of these
Bahais, "This sect of Moslems, thirty years ago, were afraid to appear
to be what they really were, they exercised the privilege of falsehood
their deceitful faith grants them, and called themselves Christians."

[465] A European Jew reports as follows (1914), "The Jewish Bahais in
Hamadan are few in number (exactly fifty-nine besides children). They
have not yet broken with Judaism. They go to the Synagogue and follow
outwardly our religious practices. They deny _in public_ that they are
Bahais from fear of the Mussulmans, who detest the new religion. But the
continual attacks of the Bahais against the Jews will exasperate our
co-religionists, who will cast them out finally. At present the
practical result is hatred and disdain, and bitter dissensions between
fathers and sons, sisters and brothers, husband and wife."

[466] Phelps, p. 96. The Report of the Bahais to the United States
Census Board says, "One may be a Bahai and still retain active
membership in another religious body."

[467] Remey's "The Bahai Movement," p. 97.

[468] Bahaism says, "Christians who do not believe in the Koran have not
believed Christ."

[469] The name of the Society has been changed to the "Orient Occident
Unity," and a commercial department added. Its contributions are
acknowledged, and its work reported through the _Star of the West_ as
Bahai work. An American, who imported a machine flour-mill to Persia,
under its auspices, told the Consul that the object of his coming was
not the mill but propagating Bahaism. In the _Jam-i-Jamsied_, Calcutta,
March 28, 1914, Dr. E. C. Getsinger boasts to the Parsees, "The American
Bahais have established schools in Persia, and have sent American
teachers to those schools."

[470] "Words of Paradise," p. 53.

[471] "The Universal Religion," p. 139.

[472] "Observations of a Bahai Traveller," 1908, p. 77.

[473] Sprague's "A Year in India," p. 16.

[474] Pages 62, 63, 95, 96.

[475] "Bahai Proofs," p. 52. See also Browne's "Mirza Jani's History,"
pp. xxxiii.-vi.

[476] The Bahais are impaled on the other horn of the dilemma also, for,
as Professor Browne says ("Mirza Jani," p. xxxiii.), "The difficulty
lies in the fact that Subh-i-Azal consistently refused to recognize
Baha's claim, so that the Bahai is driven to make the assumption that
the Bab, who is acknowledged to be divinely inspired and gifted with
divine knowledge and prescience, deliberately chose to succeed him one
who was destined to be the 'Point of darkness,' or chief opponent, of
'Him whom God should manifest.'"

[477] "A Year Among the Persians," p. 517.


Its Record as to Morals (_Continued_)

  In their teachings they speak constantly of knowing the truth, but
  never of speaking the truth. In his book Kheiralla never mentions
  veracity among the virtues nor lying among the vices. Religious
  duplicity, _tagiya_, is a Persian peculiarity and some Mohammedan
  sects among which are our "truth-knowing" Bahais have raised _tagiya_
  to a pious privilege. Baha, the crafty chief, requires policy in
  consideration of expediency, often at the expense of good faith. Until
  the final triumph of the religion he has sanctioned feigned
  conformity. They have divine authority for duplicity. This is to them
  a pious means to a pious end. Since Baha's influence has become
  paramount, they have adopted the plan of secret propaganda which does
  not hesitate, in case of need, at denying their faith under oath.
  Among Mohammedans they are primitive Islamites, among Christians they
  claim to be primitive Christians. If I had not taken their "private
  lessons," the supposition of such astounding duplicity would have
  appeared incredible or beyond even the Oriental proverbial
  duplicity.--_S. K. Vatralsky, "Amer. Jour. of Theology," 1902, pp. 73,
  74, 76._

Bahais particularly boast of love as one of their characteristics. They
often quote the words of Baha "to consort with all religions with
spirituality and fragrance." Phelps claims for them[478] "a peculiar
spirit, which marks them off from other men,--whose essence is expressed
in one word, Love. These men are Lovers; lovers of God, of their Master
and teachers, of all mankind." Dreyfus, with a forgetfulness or ignoring
of facts that is astounding, says, "Their conduct is so perfect, their
harmony so complete that although they have been there at Acca for forty
years, no judge had yet to intervene for them in any dispute." Chase
says "Bahaism removes religious rancour."[479] Let facts speak. Let me
array them first by showing the relation of the Bahais to the Moslems,
and then to the Azalis (see chapter on "Religious Assassination") and
finally to each other (see chapter on "The Quarrel over the

The Babis and Bahais show great hatred and animosity against the Shiahs
of Persia, abuse and revile them and heap maledictions and curses upon
them. These evil feelings are shown specially against the Mullahs and
the rulers. The Babi and Bahai historians indulge so much in diatribes
and maledictions that Professor Browne wearies of translating them and
omits pages of abuse.[480] More than enough is at hand to show the
rancorous spirit of the new religion.

First take a short backward glance at the Babis. Professor Browne
says:[481] "The Babis entertained for the Kajar rulers a hatred equal to
that for the Mullahs." Mohammed Shah and Nasr-ud-Din Shah are called
"bastard" and "scoundrel" and Mohammed Shah is consigned to hell at his
death. The Shiahs are called "foul Guebres" and the Mullahs heaped with
abuse. "They hated the Mohammedan clergy with an intense and bitter
hatred" and anticipated the fulfillment of the prophecy "when the Kaim
or Mahdi should behead 70,000 mullahs like dogs." The Bab called Haji
Kazim Khan, chief of the Sheikhis, "the Quintessence of Hell Fire and
the infernal tree of Zakkum." He even at times emphasized his words with
blows.[482] "When a prisoner in the household of Anti-Christ--that
accursed one (_i. e._, the Shah), the Mullah of Maku showed him some
discourtesy, whereupon the Ocean of Divine Wrath was stirred and He (the
Bab) brought down his staff with such vigour on the unclean form of
that foul creature that the august staff broke in two. He then ordered
Aga Sayid Hasan (his scribe) to drive out that dog from the room, though
the accursed fellow was a person of great consideration." "The Bab took
leave of his jailer, Ali Khan, with the words, 'Ay maalun' ('Accursed
One')."[483] It is unnecessary further to enlarge on the feelings of the
Babis towards the Shiahs, for the sanguinary wars and persecutions
explain them and they made no secret of their feelings of hatred.

I pass on to the Bahais, whom Abul Fazl claims were reformed and
transformed by Baha. Baha himself it is, who in the "Ikan" calls the
Shiahs "a foul, erring sect," who said of his Turkish guards, "Shame
upon them! God shall consume their livers with fire, and verily he is
the fiercest of avengers" (Lawh-i-Rais) and who exultingly celebrated,
in a hymn of triumph, the death of Fuad Pasha,[484] the vizier who had
exiled him, and consigned him to hell "where the heart boils and the
tormenting angel melts him." Baha's winsome words about the mullahs are,
in the "Ikan," "1278 years have passed and all these worthless wretches
have read the Koran every morning and have not yet attained to a single
letter of the purport of it."

The spirit of _love_ (?) is shown by Mirza Abul Fazl, the preacher and
apologist for Bahaism, in his discussion (1873) as recorded in the "New
History."[485] His abusive language runs on page after page. The
mullahs of Persia are called mischief-makers, dolts, a pack of
scoundrels, tyrants, fools, plunderers of men's properties and wives,
sectarian zealots steeped in prejudice and thinly disguising their greed
of worldly lucre under a veil of sanctity, sprung from the rustic
population and the scum of the towns, ignorant of the decencies of
society and neglectful of good breeding, with wickedness, worldliness,
rapacity and selfishness which are incurable and folly that exceeds all
bounds and surpasses all conception, with stupidity, overweening
arrogance and presumption absolutely unparallelled, hiding the truth in
falsehood, circulating false reports, possessing malignant hatred,
malice, spite and great injustice, and notoriously eager to shed blood,
yet with cowardice like a timid girl.

He avers further that they are lacking in patriotism, nullify sovereign
authority, encroach upon and usurp the power of kings, dismiss viziers,
invite the people to rebel, cause national decay, set their feet upon
the necks of all mankind, menace the order and well-being of the
government, devour public wealth and substitute treason for service.
"Perish their homes of folly whose learning is all pretense, their
colleges which never yielded a man of sense." This is a condensation of
the Bahai philosopher's amiable (!) description of the chiefs of his
national religion. The author of the "New History" almost surpasses him
in abuse.[486] He compares the mullahs to a "host of foul reptiles who
befoul and pollute the pure water of life so that it waxeth loathsome
and abominable.... They are fraudulent and sophistical hypocrites ...
inwardly reprobate and outwardly devout, clothing themselves in the garb
of spurious asceticism and simulated piety: fabricators of 'authentic'
traditions." Later Haji M. Haidar Ali,[487] writing by command of Abdul
Baha, says of Persia, "The old religious sects ... degenerated into
ferocious wolves and mad dogs, even surpassing the ravenous man-eating
beasts." Apropos of the martyrdom of Aga Sayid Jafar of Abargoo, "Our
Great Lord and Master Abdul Baha revealed the following in a Visiting
Tablet" to be _chanted at the tomb_: "Hell is for such as rejected thee,
fire for such as sentenced thee to death, infernal flame for such as
betrayed thee, and the hellish gulf for such as shed thy blood."[488]
These quotations show the vindictive spirit of the Bahai leaders. Any
one who is acquainted with Bahais in Persia knows that this is the
spirit that animates them, that they revile the Mutasharis and Sheikhis
and especially their mullahs. They are brotherly and helpful to their
own particular sect of Bahais, vindictive to all who have opposed them.
Doctor Frame quotes a Persian as saying this of the attitude of Abdul
Baha, "He is very kind towards his friends and bitter towards his
enemies." In view of all that has been brought forward, how can Mr.
Phelps aver "that they have no trace of bitterness or resentment for
their sufferings." The habit of Bahais in denying that they have
animosity against other religions reminds me of one of their own
stories. A certain mullah said to his friend, "If you notice in me any
objectionable habit please inform me." "I perceive no fault in you,"
answered his friend, "save a habit of using abusive language." "Abusive
language!" cried the mullah. "What rascally knave calls me abusive? What
shameless ruffian have I abused that he should dare accuse me?"

In the statements of Bahais which I quoted above, they laid claim to
superior chastity and sobriety. In the chapter on "Bahaism and Woman" I
have noticed their defects in regard to the treatment of women. In
regard to sexual immorality, they are neither better nor worse than
Persians of the middle class to which they mostly belong. Bahai law
follows the Moslem law in prohibiting the use of alcohol as a beverage,
as did the law of the Bab. The Bab prohibited opium and tobacco. Azal
follows the Bab in these restrictions, while Baha exempts tobacco from
the prohibition. A good many Moslems, especially of the cities and upper
classes, are addicted to alcohol, and have been through the centuries of
Islam. My observation leads me to believe that Bahais are more addicted
to the use of intoxicants than Moslems are. Regarding the relation of
Bahais to wine and opium, we have an impartial witness who writes his
experience without prejudice or motive. Professor Browne, in his "A Year
Among the Persians," tells of his social intercourse with the Babis,
Azalis and Bahais. His prolonged stay in Kirman was largely spent among
the Bahais. He became so intimate with them as to be considered one of
them by many in the city. He joined in their convivialities and he gives
us a simple narrative of everyday events and experiences. Read the
volume from page 475 to 540 and see how many of the Bahais lived in the
habitual use of wine and opium. It is shocking and shows what goes on
behind their doors. No other one has had opportunity to see and reveal
their hidden life. One and another and another of the Bahais is referred
to by name and occupation as addicted to intoxicants.[489] Sheikh
Ibrahim "is a drunkard and a libertine"; Usta Akbar, the pea-parcher,
"returned in a state of boastful intoxication, talking blasphemous
nonsense"; the son of the Bahai postmaster "wants money to get drunk and
play the libertine"; Haji Shirazi is "a drinker and a libertine" and a
reviler; another is a victim of copious libations of beer; another a
drunkard and blasphemous in his cups.

Regarding the use of opium they appear to be worse. It seems to be a
common habit among them. See pages 499, 500, 505, 520, 524, 525, 540. Of
certain dinners Professor Browne says, "All present were Babis (Bahais)
and we sat sipping our tea and whiffing opium." "We sat talking late and
smoking opium." "The wildest ascriptions of Deity to Baha were made when
intoxicated with wine and opium: then they praised the 'Beloved.'" "The
poor lad, the son of the telegrapher whom I had seen smoking opium, was
dead." "A Bahai dervish was engaged in smoking an opium pipe." The
Prince secretary, an Azali Babi, "was a confirmed opium smoker." Browne
even joined the Bahais in the use of opium and almost became a victim of
the habit. On one occasion[490] they secretly filled his pipe with
hashish (Bhang). He recognized the taste and refused it. Why did they do
so? Would they possibly have shown him visions with the hope of
persuading him of the truth of Bahaism? Maybe some such incidents are
the basis of the Moslem accusations against the Bahais of using hashish
on neophytes. The point of the above citations is plain. Bahaism does
not exercise the transforming power that is claimed for it. The Persian
Bahais are yet in the bonds of iniquity. The boasts of Bahais are
ungrounded. What of Abul Fazl's question,[491] "Have you ever heard of a
Bahai accused[492] of drinking wine?[493] None are accused of evil
deeds or bad morals." Again Sprague says, "The conditions of the
Millennium are already visible among these people," and Thornton Chase
declares, "It brings men to a higher conception of duty and life than
has been the heritage of the churches." How blind to facts is such


[478] Page 112.

[479] Yet Phelps, p. 158, and Chase themselves inveigh against orthodox
Christianity with bitterness and scorn.

[480] "New Hist.," pp. 320 f, 281, 289.

[481] "_Ibid._, pp. xvii. and 354.

[482] "Mirza Jani," pp. 131-132.

[483] "New Hist.," p. 352.

[484] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1892, p. 271.

[485] Pages 173-190.

[486] Pages 4-5, written 1880.

[487] "Martyrs of 1903," p. 3.

[488] "Visiting Tablets," p. 12, N. Y. Bahai Board of Counsel.

[489] Pages 436, 517, 524, 540.

[490] Pages 520-521.

[491] "Bahai Proofs," p. 79.

[492] The testimony of Mr. Getsinger that he saw the son of Baha Ullah
under the influence of liquor is given in Chapter XI.

The testimony of Professor Browne as to their habits is borne out, in a
general way, without his personal experience, by others who have had
long residence in Persia. Rev. W. A. Shedd, D. D., of Urumia writes,
"Does the religion bring about a change of life and character? The
reports given by Bahai travellers are glowing, but long residents in
Persia have no such a tale to tell. The Bahais are not noticeably more
honest, more truthful, more sober nor more reliable than others"
(_Missionary Review_, Oct. 1911). J. D. Frame, M. D., of Resht says
(_Moslem World_, July, 1912), "The real test of a religion is its
influence upon life. Repeatedly we have challenged the Bahais, 'Show us
from your personal lives a power to regenerate the lives of men.'" Rev.
S. M. Jordan of Teheran writes ("The Mohammedan World," p. 179), "By
neither Moslems, Jews, nor Christians are they considered morally
superior to the Moslems, while in some respects they rightly are judged
less so." The Rev. J. H. Shedd, D. D., writes, "The Bahai freedom runs
to license, and hence as a reform leaves men worse rather than better.
Mr. Browne found himself in the meshes of the opium habit in Kirman by
yielding too freely to their influence. There is undoubtedly a generous
fellowship in the Bahai community, but there is no moral principle....
There are no high and strong characters developed to lead the world in
true reform, no high motives to virtue are developed. The seeds of its
own destruction are in the system and the best argument against it will
soon be its fruits" (R. E. Speer's "Missions and Modern History," p.

[493] "Bahai Proofs," p. 82.


Religious Assassination

  The religion now entered upon the phase of intestinal dissensions,
  bitter animosities, schisms, and internecine strife. The pages of its
  history are henceforth filled with tales of dissension and disruption;
  of anathemas and accusations; of heresy and apostacy reiterated and
  reciprocated with increasing bitterness; of fratricidal assassinations
  and persecutions.--_Professor Browne in "New History," p. x._

  Subh-i-Azal is the Khalifa of the Bab and the Bahais are in bad faith
  when they deny it.--_Nicolas, p. 20._

  When inspiration and revelation failed, Baha did not disdain to
  benefit by the pointed argument of the dagger and the subtle
  persuasion of poison.--_Vatralsky in "Amer. Jour. of Theology."_

  We cannot tolerate iniquity in God nor in one claiming to be God and
  we cannot conceive of God incarnate subject to the limitations of
  racial moral ideals.--_R. E. Speer, p. 146._

In general Bahais claim that they and their leaders have been exemplars
of love and harmony. Specific declarations of their excellence in this
regard have been quoted. M. Abul Fazl[494] writes: "During the long
years from the arrival of Baha Ullah in Bagdad to the present day they
have not committed that which would disturb a single soul. They have
been killed but they have killed no one." Mr. Horace Holley[495] says:
"For forty years no judge has had to settle a dispute between them." It
behooves us to inquire how the conduct of Baha and his adherents shows
up in this regard during the first period of their exile. It is evident
that in Persia Baha had no sincere love for his brother Azal, for he
planned to secure safety for himself by putting Azal's life in
jeopardy. (See Chapter VIII.) It is further plain that early in the exile
jealousy, envy and hate manifested themselves, even while
Baha was outwardly obedient to Azal. In Bagdad, says Bahiah
Khanum, "disharmony and misunderstanding arose among the
believers--discord--strife--contention."[496] Therefore Baha went off to
Kurdistan. He refers in the "Ikan" to the dissensions,[497] "Such an
odour of jealousy was diffused, banners of discord hoisted, enemies
endeavoured to destroy this servant,--hardships, calamities and
sufferings inflicted by Moslems were as nothing compared with what hath
been inflicted by the believers." His opponents say that he wished to
introduce innovations, relax the law and put forward on his own account
a claim to be a Manifestation and being resisted in this, he "got
angry."[498] After they were removed to Adrianople the quarrel waxed
hotter. Abul Fazl describes it as one of "interior fires of dissension
and jealousy between the rival leaders, far exceeding the jealousy of
outsiders.[499] Mohammed Jawad Kasvini says[500] there were "all manner
of intrigues, falsehoods and untruths." I have received from a Moslem
convert to Christianity an interesting account of conditions then and
there. He was at that time a _peesh-khidmat_ to the Persian Minister at
Constantinople. He was at Samsun when Azal and Baha and their parties
embarked and was introduced to them by Haji Rajab Ali Khan,
brother-in-law of my informant. He saw them day by day and became a
serious inquirer. Afterwards he went to Adrianople bearing presents to
Baha. He found Baha and Azal living in separate rooms of the same house
under guards. The two brothers were in dispute over the supremacy, and
the _murids_ had been won over by Baha. He narrates, "I entered one day.
I heard words of angry disputation and revilings. Yahya said, "Ay!
Husain Ali, you are vile! Do you not remember your sodomies? You are
defiled. Your wife is a bad one!" Husain Ali answered, "Ay, cursed one!
Your son Nur Ullah is not your son but son of Sayid----. You yourself
are a sodomite, an adulterer." Such like revilings they hurled at each
other. I called Maskin Kalam and said to him, "What are these words and
doings? If Baha is true why does he talk so? Why do these brothers
revile each other? What a fool I am to come so many miles to hear such
revilings from a divinity!" We then went to the room of Ishan. My
companion said to Ishan, "Why do they curse so?" I said, "I wish to ask
a question." He said, "What is it?" I said, "You say they do not work
miracles, but must there not be personal power and influence in

The condition at Adrianople culminated in a series of crimes, which now
come before us for examination.

Charges have been made, in detail, against the companions of Baha Ullah
of assassinating the Azalis, the followers of his rival Subh-i-Azal.
Most of the information regarding the matter is to be found in the
books and translations of Professor Browne, the great authority on
Bahaism in the Anglo-Saxon world. I wish to present and weigh the
evidence in hand regarding these accusations.

1. The first charge is _that Baha Ullah attempted to poison Subh-i-Azal,
his half-brother_ and predecessor. This charge is found in the "Hasht
Behesht," a history of Babism, by Aga Sayid Javad,[502] a prominent
Mullah of Kirman and a leading disciple of the Bab. The occurrence took
place when Azal and Baha were both at Adrianople under surveillance of
the Turkish authorities. Baha, so it narrates,[503] ordered that there
should be placed before him and "Azal a dish of plain food, with one
side of which he had mixed some poison, intending to poison Azal. For
hitherto the apportioned breakfast and supper had been from the house of
Mirza Husain Ali (Baha Ullah). When that poisoned dish was placed before
them, Baha pressed Azal to take of it. By a fortunate chance, the smell
of onions was perceptible in the food, and Azal, being averse to onions,
refused to taste it. Though urgently pressed, he refused, saying: 'It
smells of onions.' Baha, supposing his evil design was suspected, and to
disguise the truth, ate a little from the other (unpoisoned) side in
order that Azal's suspicions might be dispelled and that he might eat of
the poisoned side. Now, inasmuch as the poison had to some extent
diffused itself to the other side, it produced some slight effect on
Baha, causing him sickness and vomiting, so that he summoned his
physician." This account was confirmed by Mirza Abdul Ali, the son of
Subh-i-Azal, to Professor Browne, when he visited him in Cyprus in

The daughter of Baha, Bahiah Khanum, gives a contradictory account of
the same affair.[505] She says that the feast was at Azal's house and
that rice for both was served on the same plate, having been prepared in
Azal's house. "The portion of rice intended for my father was flavoured
with onions, of which he was very fond. The servant, by direction of
Azal, placed this portion towards my father. He ate some of it, but
fortunately not very much. He preferred the rice prepared for Azal, and
ate of it. Soon after eating he became ill. The physician declared that
he had been poisoned. He was so desperately ill for twenty-two days that
the physician said he could not live." Mirza Abul Fazl, a Bahai writer,
says,[506] "Azal sought to poison Baha Ullah, and attempted to do so
twice, but failed to accomplish his design." "He repeatedly planned to
murder Baha." Baha himself alludes to these events in the
"Sura-i-Haykal."[507] "My brother warred with me. He desired to drink my
blood. He took counsel with one of my attendants tempting him unto
this. We went out from among them and dwelt in another house. Neither
did we see him afterwards."

Thus we have brother against brother, each accusing the other of
attempting fratricide. How shall we settle the question of veracity? Mr.
Phelps makes a plea for Baha, but his words lack foundation. He says
that Azal's story "is a _transparent_ fabrication because it assumes an
impossible ignorance on the part of Baha Ullah that Azal disliked
onions, as well as the impossible hypothesis that Baha Ullah would
knowingly partake of food in which poison had been placed." But neither
of these "impossible" things are a part of the story. The first
objection can only be taken, if at all, to Professor Browne's abridged
account in the "Traveller's Narrative," and not to the original in
"Hasht Behesht," which distinctly states that onions had communicated
their flavour to the other side of the platter, contrary to intention;
and, secondly, Baha supposed when he ate (according to the "Hasht
Behesht" account) that the poison had not communicated itself to his
side of the platter of rice. Those familiar with Persian _pillau_, or
boiled rice, in which each grain is separate and dry, will see that it
would ordinarily be quite possible to put onions and poison on opposite
sides of the platter without either reaching the other side. Each man
would help himself, according to Persian custom, from the side of the
dish next to him. Moreover, it was customary to prepare the food for
Azal in the kitchen of Baha.'[508] Up to the time of the incident they
had both continued to live in the same house. This is evident from
Baha's words in the "Sura-i-Haykal," where he says, "We went out, dwelt
in _another house, neither did we see him afterwards_." This agrees with
the "Hasht Behesht." In this and several other particulars the narrative
of Bahiah Khanum is defective or misleading. Mr. Phelps' plea, on
account of the character of the Bahais, begs the question. This charge
and subsequent ones to be discussed, involve the integrity of Baha's
character and that of his immediate disciples. The history shows no more
reason to believe Baha than to believe Azal, but rather less.

2. The next charge of the Azalis is as follows:[509] "Shortly after
this, another plot was laid against Subh-i-Azal's life, and it was
arranged that _Mohammed Ali, the barber, should cut his (Azal's) throat
while_ shaving him in the bath. On the approach of the barber, however,
Subh-i-Azal divined his design, refused to allow him to come near, and,
on leaving the bath, instantly took another lodging, and separated
himself entirely from Mirza Husain Ali and his followers."

On the Bahai side, Bahiah Khanum says,[510] "One day in the bath Azal
asked the servant (of Baha) 'whether it would not be easy for an
attendant who was not faithful to Baha to make away with him while
shaving him.' The servant replied that this was certainly the case. Azal
then asked whether, if God should lay upon him the command to do this,
he would obey it? The servant understood this to be the suggestion of
such a command, and was so terrified by it that he rushed screaming from
the room. This occurrence was ignored by my father, and our relations
with Azal continued to be cordial."

Here we have two stories in direct contradiction to each other. It may
be observed that the attendant or barber, who was that day serving Azal
in the bath, as is agreed by both parties, was a partisan of Baha,[511]
without doubt the same barber, Mohammed Ali, who subsequently murdered
the Azalis,[512] and who was decorated by Baha with the title
Dallak-i-Hakikat,[513] "The Barber of the Truth." It was much more
natural that Azal should be suspicious of him than try to tempt him to
kill Baha.

In either case, what do we see? Behold, these two "Manifestations of
God" accusing each other of attempting assassination. They were
brothers, both eminent disciples of the Bab, the "Point of Divinity" of
the "new Revelation," both "revealers of inspired verses." The heart of
each was full of hatred and envy and of desire to overreach the other.
Neither is worthy of credence, both being steeped in Persian deception
from childhood. Possibly, at that time, each was ready to compass the
death of the other. The subsequent history, however, casts back its
reflection upon the murder-plots at Adrianople, and in its lurid light
the character of the Bahais grows darker. As a consequence, the charges
of the Azalis against the Bahais become probable and are easily

3. The _proved assassination of Azalis by Bahais at Acca_. The quarrels
and plots at Adrianople led to complaints of each party against the
other before the Osmanli Government. For the sake of peace and safety
they were separated. Azal was sent as a prisoner-pensioner to Famagusta,
Cyprus. Baha was removed to Acca, Syria. The "Hasht Behesht" says:[514]
"With the latter were his family, about eighty of his adherents, and
four of Subh-i-Azal's followers, to wit, Haji Sayid Mohammed of Ispahan,
Aga Jan Bey, Mirza Riza Kuli of Tafrish, and his brother Aga Mirza

These Azalis were murdered by the Bahais in Acca. Of this crime there
are many who give testimony, (_a_) The "Hasht Behesht" says:[515]
"Before the transfer was actually effected, however, Mirza Nasrullah was
poisoned by Baha, at Adrianople. The other Azalis were assassinated
shortly after their arrival at Acca, in a house which they occupied near
the barracks, the assassins being Abdul Karim, Mohammed the barber,
Husain the water-carrier, and Mohammed Javad of Kasvin" (all attachés of

(_b_) Subh-i-Azal independently confirmed this account in conversation
with Professor Browne.[516]

(_c_) Bahai testimony also confirms it. Professor Browne heard the story
at Kirman from Sheikh Ibrahim, a Bahai, who had suffered imprisonment
and torture for the faith, and who had seen some of the perpetrators
while on a pilgrimage to Acca. He said,[517] "The Babis were divided
into two factions. So high did feeling run that the matter ended in open
strife, and two Azalis and one Bahai were killed" at Adrianople. "The
Turkish Government sent seven[518] Azalis to Acca with Baha. They--Aga
Jan, called Kaj-Kulah, Haji Sayid Mohammed of Ispahan, one of the
original companions of the Bab, Mirza Riza, a nephew of the last, Mirza
Haydar Ali of Ardistan, Haji Sayid Husain of Kashan, and two others
whose names I forget--lived all together in a house situated near the
gate of the city. Well, one night about a month after their arrival at
Acca, twelve Bahais (nine of whom were still living when I was at Acca)
determined to kill them and so prevent them from doing any mischief. So
they went at night, armed with swords and daggers, to the house where
the Azalis lodged, and knocked at the door. Aga Jan came down to open to
them, and was stabbed before he could cry out or offer the least
resistance. Then they entered the house and killed the other six." In
consequence, "the Turks imprisoned Baha and all his family and followers
in the caravanserai, but the twelve assassins came forward and
surrendered themselves, saying, 'We killed them without the knowledge of
our Master or of any of the brethren. Punish us, not them.' So they were
imprisoned for a while; but afterwards, at the intercession of Abbas
Effendi (Abdul Baha), were suffered to be at large, on condition of
remaining at Acca and wearing still fetters on their ankles for a time."

(_d_) Mr. Laurence Oliphant gives an account of the Bahais at Acca in
his "Haifa, or Life in Modern Palestine."[519] He substantiates the
account of the assassinations, and narrates how Baha Ullah was called
before the Osmanli Court to answer on the charge of complicity in them.
He further states that after one session, Baha "purchased an exemption
from further attendance at court _with an enormous bribe_."

(_e_) The defense, unable to escape the force of the damaging testimony
or to deny the facts against such testimony, can only offer some excuses
in extenuation. Bahiah Khanum[520] reduces the number of Bahais who made
the attack on the Azalis to three, asserts that their intention was to
threaten death and frighten but not to kill them, that but two Azalis
were killed and also one of the Bahais, that the provocation was that
the Azalis had slandered Baha Ullah, forged letters in his name, which
incited the Government against him and were threatening to kill him, and
further that Baha was not cognizant of their intention. But Professor
Browne shows that Baha regarded the murder with some complacency at
least,[521] and refers to it in the "Kitab-ul-Akdas," saying, "God hath
taken away him who led you astray," viz.: Haji Sayid Mohammed, one of
the murdered men, who was Azal's chief supporter. He also confirms the
fact that Abbas Effendi interceded for the murderers and secured their
freedom from adequate punishment. Just as Brigham Young[522] condoned
and secured immunity from punishment, if he did not justify or instigate
the crimes of his sect. Bahiah Khanum herself shows us that the
murderers acted for the religion, and not from any private or personal
motives; in other words, committed "religious assassination," after the
traditional oriental custom.

The same is shown and more facts brought out in the defense made by
Mohammed Jawad Gasvini.[523] He writes that the three persons mentioned
above published tracts which were calculated to excite the populace
against Baha and his adherents. One, Nasir Abbas of Bagdad, came from
Beirut to kill them but was enjoined by Baha not to do so. Then "Some
believers organized a secret meeting to put an end to these evil doers.
The author was among them and was of their opinion." Baha again
restrained them, so the author avers. But, he continues, "The following
seven persons secretly determined to put out of the way the aforesaid
intriguers" (here follow their names and occupations). "These seven
began to consort with the intriguers very cordially, pretending that
they were in accord with them and with their belief, and continued to
do so for some time. But one afternoon they entered their residence,
which was situated opposite the residence of the governor of the city of
Acca, and there they killed the said Sayid Mohammed, and Aga Jan, and
Mirza Riza Kuli. This took place in the year 1288 A. H., _i. e._, 1870
A. D. When the Government heard of the tragedy it arrested the said
seven and arrested all the followers of Baha Ullah who were in Acca."
All, including Baha Ullah, Abbas Effendi and the other brothers were
imprisoned. Baha was released after three days, after being interrogated
by the court. Sixteen of the Bahais were confined in prison for six
months and the seven for terms of seven to fifteen years, afterwards
reduced by one-third. Thus twenty-three out of about forty male
believers were found guilty of the assassinations or of complicity in
the plot.

4. Various and _sundry other assassinations for the faith_. According to
the Azali historian, these murders were followed by many others. Certain
disciples separated themselves from Baha. Of these some fled from
Acca,[524] "but the Khayyat Bashi (chief tailor) and Haji Ibrahim were
assassinated in the caravanserai of the corn-sellers and buried in
quicklime under the platform. Another, Haji Jaffar, importunately
pressed his claim for a debt of 1,200 pounds which Baha owed him. (I
wonder whether it was incurred to meet the 'enormous bribe.') Thereupon
Baha's amanuensis, Mirza Aga Jan Kashani, instructed a disciple, Ali of
Kasvin, to slay the old man and throw his body out of the window of the
upper room which he occupied in the caravanserai." It was then reported
"that he had cast himself out and died, yielding up his life to the
Beloved." "All the prominent supporters of Subh-i-Azal, who withstood
Baha, were marked out for death,[525] and in Bagdad, Mullah Rajab Ali
Kahir and his brother Haji Mirza Ahmad, Haji Mirza Mohammed Riza and
several others fell one by one by the knife or the bullet of the
assassin." The following others are specified with the place and name of
the assassin,[526] "Aga Sayid Ali the Arab, one of the original 'Letters
of the Living,' was killed in Tabriz by Mirza Mustapha of Nirak; and Aga
Ali Mohammed by Abdul Karim; Haji Aga of Tabriz met a like fate, as did
Haji Mirza Ahmad, the brother of the historian Haji Mirza Jani.[527]
Another, whose faith had grown cold, was Aga Mohammed Ali of Ispahan,
who was residing at Constantinople.[528] Mirza Abul Kasim was sent from
Acca with instructions to "bleed that block of heedlessness whose blood
is in excess." He robbed his victim of £350, with part of which he
bought and sent goods to Acca. Another instance was Mirza Asad Ullah
"Deyyan," who claimed to be a "Manifestation."[529] "Mirza Husain Ali
(Baha), after a protracted discussion with him, instructed his servant,
Mirza Mohammed of Mezanderan, to slay him, which was accordingly done."
Count Gobineau confirms this account.[530] Concerning these crimes we
have also the independent testimony of Subh-i-Azal, who mentioned most
of these instances by name and added several others. Azal said to
Captain Young, a British officer in Cyprus,[531] "About twenty of my
followers were killed by the Bahais." He confirmed it in an autograph
letter to Professor Browne, saying, "They (_i. e._, the Bahais)
unsheathed the sword of hatred and wrought what they would. They cruelly
put to death the remnant of my friends who stood firm." In the "New
History"[532] Professor Browne names over the list of those
assassinated, and adds, "Of the more prominent Azalis, Sayid Javad, of
Kerbela (or Kirman), seems to have been almost the only one who long
survived what the Azalis call 'The direful Disorder.'" In Kirman,
Professor Browne said to the Bahais,[533] "From a statement of one of
your own party, it appears that your friends at Acca, who complain so
much of the bigotry, intolerance and ferocious antagonism of the
Mohammedans, and who are always talking about 'consorting with men of
every faith with spirituality and fragrance,' could find no better
argument than the dagger of the assassin wherewith to convince the
unfortunate Azalis."

5. The conduct of the primitive Babis and their leaders, and _their
attitude towards the taking of life_,[534] has a bearing on the question
of the conduct of the Bahais, for up to the time of the residence at
Adrianople they were identical. The history of the Babis is a bloody
one. The "first bloodshed which took place in Persia (in connection with
the Babi movement) was the murder of a Shiah Mujtihid by one or more
Babis." It was a "religious assassination." The circumstances were as
follows,[535] When the Bab, as captive, passed through Kasvin, _en
route_ for Maku, he wrote a letter asking succour from Haji Mohammed
Taki, an orthodox Mujtihid, who was the father-in-law of the celebrated
Kurrat-ul-Ayn. "The Haji tore the letter into fragments, and made some
unseemly remarks." When this was reported to the Bab, he said, "Was
there no one to smite him on the mouth?" The Bahai historian (1880)
continues, "Wherefore the Lord brought it to pass that he was smitten in
the mouth with a spear head that he might no more speak insolently."
Shortly afterwards a certain Babi,[536] named Salih, hearing the
Mujtihid curse and revile Sheikh Ahmad, the teacher of the Bab, entered
the mosque and slew him at the pulpit. The Bahai historian continues,
"This was the consequence of the Haji's conduct to the Bab, and
agreeable to the tradition of the Imams, 'whosoever curseth us ... is
an infidel,' and so he deemed it incumbent on himself to slay him."

A variation of this story is found in a work by an American Bahai, Mary
H. Ford, called "The Oriental Rose."[537] She narrates that
Kurrat-ul-Ayn heard the Mujtihid cursing the Bab, and gazing upon him
she exclaimed, "How unfortunate you are! For I see your mouth filled
with blood!" "The following morning, as he was crossing the threshold of
the mosque, he was struck upon the mouth by the lance of a hidden
assailant. The attack was followed up by five or six other assassins,
who beat the life out of his mangled body." "The strange insight of
Kurrat-ul-Ayn had foreseen it." "The assassination removed a serious
obstacle from her pathway."

From these narratives, both from the pens of "Friends," it is evident
that the Bab and Kurrat-ul-Ayn each spoke words which were direct
instigations and incitements to their fanatical followers to commit
murder. The chief murderer fled and "joined himself to the people of
God" at Sheikh Tabarsi. Disregarding his crime, they welcomed him to
their ranks as a "follower of God, and he attained to martyrdom."[538]

We can admire the courage and devotion of the Babis, but certainly their
hatred and fanaticism carry them on to retaliation and revenge which are
far from pure religion. Witness their deeds! Farrukh Khan, a prisoner of
war, was first skinned alive and then roasted,[539] and twenty-two
prisoners of war were put to death at the same time, at Zanjan. At
Sheikh Tabarsi, by order of Janab-i-Kuddus, His Excellency the Holy, the
enemies slain in battle were decapitated and their heads set on posts
around the ramparts.[540]

The attempt to assassinate Nasr-i-Din Shah (1852) shows also the
murderous spirit of the Babis. From seven to twelve[541] Babis were
engaged in the plot, and four of them started out to take part in the
assault. It was not, as is commonly represented by Bahais, the act of an
unbalanced, weak-minded individual, but the revengeful plot of a number.
The spirit of vengeance was very strong within them. Of this we have a
witness from a very unexpected quarter, namely, the celebrated Bahai
apologist, Mirza Abul Fazl. He writes,[542] "Numerous historical and
tangible evidences can be furnished to prove that it was the pen of Baha
Ullah which protected from death his own enemies, such as Subh-i-Azal,
Nasr-i-Din Shah and certain great doctors and divines. Otherwise the
Babis _would not have allowed a single one of these people to have
escaped alive_." He certainly must include Bahais, for the Babis would
not have desired to kill Subh-i-Azal. But the assertion of M. Abul Fazl,
that Baha was as the "Prince of Peace" among a lot of untrained, untamed
disciples, will not stand investigation. For Baha's history shows the

6. _Baha also commends suicide for his sake._ It is narrated by Abdul
Baha[543] that rather than be separated in exile from Baha, "Haji Jafar
was moved to lamentation, and with his own hand cut his throat." Baha,
in the Lawh-i-Raiz, alluded to this event, saying, "One from amongst the
Friends sacrificed himself for myself and _cut his throat with his own
hand for the love of God_. This is such that we have not heard from
former ages. This is that which God hath set apart for this
dispensation." Another disciple attempted suicide about the same
time.[544] This "old and faithful follower seized a knife and
exclaiming, 'If I must be separated from my Lord, I will go and join my
God,' cut his throat. With the aid of a physician, his life was saved.
Again when the ship bearing the exiles reached Haifa, Abdul Ghaffar,
finding himself to be separated from his Lord, determined to sacrifice
his life, and threw himself into the sea from the steamer, exclaiming,
'O Baha! O Baha!'" The sailors rescued him.[545] This tendency to
suicide reveals an astonishing degree of fanaticism among the Bahais.
But suicide is so rare among the Persian Shiahs that these reports
arouse suspicion and call for further investigation. I was informed of
one person whom the Bahais at Acca reported as a suicide, but who in
reality had been murdered by them. Of another, named Haji Mirza Riza,
who would have written a history favourable to Azal, the latter wrote to
Professor Browne that "they (the Bahais) sought to slay him, and at
length gave out that, on the first night of his imprisonment, he had
bound a cord about his throat and destroyed himself and so became a
martyr."[546] The celebrated Nabil, Bahai poet and historian, is
reported to have committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea,
shortly after the death of Baha Ullah. "He could stay on earth no
longer--he loved and yearned so for Baha Ullah."[547] As this same Nabil
had himself claimed to be the Manifestation,[548] it was very convenient
that he should make away with himself at that time, instead of renewing
his pretensions.

These instances of suicide are cited as proofs of the truth of the
religion by M. Mohammed Husain Shirazi, who says,[549] "More faithful
and devoted (than the early Christians), some martyrs of our day have
killed themselves with their own hands out of devotion to their Lord
Baha." Again Baha sent Badi, the messenger, to the Shah, with the
"Epistle" from Acca, assuring him beforehand that he was going to
death.[550] The letter could easily have been sent through one of the
foreign consulates without sacrifice of life.

Doctor Jessup says:[551] "They teach unscrupulous persecution of those
obnoxious to them. I had a friend, a learned Mohammedan of Bagdad,
called Ibrahim Effendi, of scholarly bearing, refined and courteous--a
brother of the wife of Abbas Effendi. His father, a wealthy man, died
when he was young and his uncle determined to bring him up as a Babite
(Bahai). But the boy refused to accept it. His uncle then robbed him of
his property," and threatened him. He fled and came to Beirut. He
professed Christianity and was baptized at Alexandria, Egypt. While at
Beirut, "he went down to Acca to visit. One night he found that his life
was in great danger if he stayed through the night and he escaped to
Beirut in great terror."[552]

7. _Psychological attestation of the accusation_ against the Bahais, of
assassination, is seen in their doctrine of the power and prerogative of
the "Manifestation," and the inference made by the Bahais from that
doctrine. This is set forth in the Tablet of Ishrakat,[553] "Verily He
(Baha) hath come from the Heaven of the Unseen, and with Him the
standard of 'He doeth whatsoever He willeth,' and the hosts of power and
authority. As to all else save Him: It is incumbent upon them to cling
unto that which he hath commanded." "Woe unto those who denied and
turned away from Him." "The Most Great Infallibility" is applied only
to one (the Manifestation), whose station is sanctified above commands
or prohibitions. He is proof against error. Verily if he declares heaven
to be earth, right to be left, or south to be north, it is true, and
there is no doubt of it." "No one has a right to oppose him, or to say,
'Why or wherefore'; and he who disputes Him is verily of the opposers."
"He doeth whatsoever he willeth, and commandeth whatsoever he desireth."

In like manner Abdul Baha states the authority of the
Manifestation,[554] "He is not under the shadow of the former laws.
Whatever he performs is an upright action. No believer has any right to
criticize." "If some people do not understand the hidden secret of one
of his commands or actions, they ought not to oppose it."

These principles are boldly interpreted and applied by the Bahais to the
subject under discussion. Sayid Kamil, a Bahai of Shiraz, said to
Professor Browne[555] with a look of supreme surprise, "You surely
cannot pretend to deny that a prophet, who is an incarnation of the
Universal Intelligence, has a right to inflict death, openly or
_secretly_, on those who stubbornly opposed him. A prophet is no more to
be blamed for removing an obdurate opponent that a surgeon for an
amputation of a gangrenous limb." This opinion prevailed among the
Bahais. At Yezd they said,[556] "A divine messenger has as much right to
kill and compel as a surgeon to amputate." The Bahai missionaries
maintained[557] that, "A prophet has a right to slay if he knows it
necessary; if he sees that the slaughter of a few will prevent many from
going astray, he is justified in commanding such slaughter. No one can
question his right to destroy the bodies of a few that the souls of many
may live." A Bahai acquaintance of Doctor Frame, of Resht, told him[558]
"without any appearance of shame, that he paid so much to have a
persecutor removed."

8. In connection with all the above facts, it must be kept in mind that
"_religious assassination has been freely practiced since the beginning
of Islam_, and that the prophet Mohammed gave it the sanction of his
example on numerous occasions." Professor Browne,[559] who thus
emphasizes this fact, and gives instances from the Moslem biographies of
Mohammed, points out its bearing on our judgment regarding the
assassinations alleged against the Bahais, and concludes, "In Asia a
different standard of morality prevails in this matter." Certain facts
regarding the Imams revealed in the dark annals of Islam show what
historical precedents the Babis and Bahais had back of them. Consider
the deaths of the twelve Imams. Ali was[560] assassinated with a dagger,
Husain killed after battle, nine other Imams were _poisoned_, and the
last one mysteriously disappeared.

To sum up. Our investigation has led to the conclusion that the Bahais
were guilty of these assassinations as charged. The evidence is both
direct and circumstantial, with names and places. Some of the witnesses
are still living. Some have given their testimony in writing, some in
conversation with Europeans, who have reported it accurately to the
world. The environment in which they lived, and the historical and
theological traditions on which they fed, strengthen the direct proofs.

The answer to these charges by Mirza Abul Fazl in his "Brilliant
Proof"[561] is, that we should hear both sides, and that it is not right
to accept the witness of enemies against the Bahais, which is as that of
Protestants against the Catholics and _vice-versa_. Our reply is, that
both sides have been heard, and examined, and that some of the most
damaging testimony is from Bahais themselves. It should be noted that
the testimony is altogether from the followers of the Bab, of various
kinds and not from Moslem writers. Mr. Phelps, like many Bahai writers,
would ignore the charges. He says,[562] "I do not think that it would be
time well employed to advert to them in detail." He pronounces them
"incredible" and "flatly in contradiction to the spirit, lives and
teachings of Baha Ullah and his successor," and destined "quickly to
fade away and be forgotten, if left to themselves." No indeed! Lovers of
truth will not overlook and forget such a record. They will judge Bahais
by their deeds, not by their professions.

The conclusions of Professor Browne, who was undoubtedly a
favourably-inclined judge, who investigated impartially and heard the
testimony on both sides, has the greatest weight in determining the
judgment of the world.[563] In the "Traveller's Narrative," his first
volume on Babism and Bahaism, he states that it is only with great
reluctance and solely in the interest of truth, that he sets down these
grave accusations against the Bahais, and adds,[564] "If they are true,
of what use are the noblest and most humane utterances, if they are
associated with such deeds? If they are false, further investigation
will, without doubt, conclusively prove their falsity." In the "New
History," which was published two years later, after further
investigation and calm deliberation, he wrote,[565] "At first not a few
prominent Babis,[566] including even several 'Letters of the Living'
and personal friends of the Bab, adhered faithfully to Subh-i-Azal. One
by one these disappeared, most of them as, I fear, _cannot be doubted,
by foul play on the part of too zealous Bahais_."


[494] "Bahai Proofs," p. 12.

[495] "The Modern Social Religion," p. 167.

[496] Phelps, pp. 19-20.

[497] Pages 178-181.

[498] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 356-358.

[499] "Bahai Proofs," p. 51.

[500] Manuscript "Life of Beha Ullah," p. 20.

[501] Professor Browne, afterwards in Persia, found the attitude of the
Bahais towards the Azalis "unjust and intolerant" and reprimanded them
for "their violence and unfairness." They cursed and reviled in the
presence of Professor Browne ("A Year Among the Persians," pp. 525-530).

[502] "New Hist.," p. 200, Note 4.

[503] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1892, p. 296, by Professor Browne. Also
"Trav.'s Narr.," p. 359.

[504] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 369.

[505] Phelps, "Life of Abbas Effendi," pp. 40-44.

[506] "Brilliant Proof," p. 11.

[507] Chicago Edition, pp. 20-23; and "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 368, 369.

[508] Phelps, _Ibid._, p. 40.

[509] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 359.

[510] Phelps, p. 39.

[511] Phelps, p. 38.

[512] "Trav.'s Narr.," p, 361.

[513] _Ibid._, p. 362.

[514] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 361.

[515] _Ibid._, p. 361.

[516] _Ibid._, p. 371.

[517] "A Year Among the Persians," pp. 513-517.

[518] Possibly he counts those who afterwards left their allegiance to

[519] "Haifa, etc.," p. 107; "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 370.

[520] Phelps, p. 75.

[521] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1889, p. 519; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 94, 370.

[522] "Brigham Young," by Cannon, p. 271. "Brigham failed to punish or
even condemn those criminals who served him too well."

[523] Manuscript, pp. 41-48.

[524] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 362.

[525] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 359; _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1889, p. 519;
1892, pp. 995-996.

[526] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 363.

[527] _Ibid._, p. 332. Also "New Hist.," p. 391.

[528] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 363.

[529] _Ibid._, pp. 357, 365.

[530] "Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale," pp. 277-278.

[531] _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1889, p. 996.

[532] Page xxiii.

[533] "A Year Among the Persians," p. 530.

[534] The Bab asked his fellow prisoner to kill him ("Mirza Jani," p.

[535] "New Hist.," pp. 274, 275; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 198, 199, 311.

[536] The "Kasas-ul-Ulema," the Shiah history, says, "Certain Babis,
stung by his words, fell upon him early one morning as he was praying in
the mosque, and with knives and daggers inflicted on him eight wounds
from which he died two days later" ("Trav.'s Narr.," p. 198).

[537] Pages 61, 62.

[538] "New Hist.," pp. 82, 278.

[539] "New Hist.," p. 115 and note, p. 411.

[540] _Ibid._, p. 73; "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 178.

[541] _Ibid._, p. 323.

[542] "The Brilliant Proof," p. 11.

[543] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 100-101.

[544] Phelps, p. 50.

[545] Manuscript Life, p. 36.

[546] Compare "History by Mirza Jani," p. xvi.

[547] "Notes taken at Acca," by Mrs. C. True, p. 27.

[548] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 357-358.

[549] "Facts for Behaists," p. 42.

[550] "Oriental Rose," p. 186.

[551] "Fifty-three Years in Syria," pp. 637, 605.

[552] Doctor Kheiralla believes that assassination is to be feared at
the present time. He told me that a prominent follower of M. Mohammed
Ali had been poisoned at Jiddah. Doctor Pease said to me, "Until now
Doctor Kheiralla is afraid of assassination. A Bahai told me, 'We want
only one thing from Kheiralla, _i. e._, the translation of the
"Kitab-ul-Akdas," then we will get rid of him.'" When Hasan Khorasani
came to Chicago, Kheiralla was warned from Syria to beware of him and he
put himself under special police protection.

[553] Chicago Edition, 1908, pp. 11-14.

[554] "Answered Questions," by Barney, pp. 199-201.

[555] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 372; "A Year in Persia," p. 328.

[556] _Ibid._, p. 406.

[557] "A Year in Persia," p. 306.

[558] _Moslem World_, 1912, p. 237.

[559] "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 371-373.

[560] _Ibid._, p. 296.

[561] A Reply to Rev. P. Z. Easton's article in the _Evangelical

[562] "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 43.

[563] Mr. A. J. Stenstrand, of Chicago, was convinced by the facts. He
wrote, "When I studied the Babi history and read about the terrible
cruelty and assassinations which the followers of Beha perpetrated upon
Subh-i-Azal's supporters which made no resistance, this broke the
backbone of my Behai faith." In conversation he told me that Doctor
Kheiralla had informed the Chicago assembly that the account of the
assassinations as narrated by Professor Browne was true and that the
Manifestation had a right to slay them."

[564] Page 364.

[565] "New Hist.," p. xxiii.

[566] One of these was the author of "Hasht Behesht." If the Bahais had
the longer dagger, the Azalis did not lack the bitter pen. Professor
Browne translates from this work as follows, "The misleadings of black
darkness brought me into the city of blood (Acca). I met Abbas Effendi,
the whisperer of evil thoughts, one of the manifestations of infidelity.
Afterwards I saw the rest of the Wicked One's followers. Their words and
arguments consist of a farrago of names, baseless stories, calumnies,
falsehoods and lies, and not one of them had any knowledge of the first
principles of the religion of the 'Bayan.' They are all devoid of
knowledge, ignorant, short-sighted, of common capacity, hoodwinked,
people of darkness, spurned of nature, hypocrites, corrupters of texts,
blind imitators. God hath taken away from them His light and hath left
them in the darkness of the Wicked One and hath destroyed them in the
abysses of vain imaginings." He was admitted to audience with Baha and
narrates, "When I came there and looked upon the Arch-Idol, that
Greatest Talisman, that personified Revolt, that rebellious Lucifer, the
envious Iblis, I saw a form upon the throne and heard the lowing of the
Calf (Baha--Golden Calf). Then did I see how the light of the Most Great
Name shone on Ahriman the accursed, and how the fingers of the demon
wore the ring. (Alluding to the theft of Solomon's ring by the demon.)
For they had written the name Baha-ul-Abha on divers writings and called
it 'the Most Great Name.' Thereat there came to my mind the verse of

    Efficient is the name divine: be of good cheer, O heart!
    The div becomes not Solomon by guile and cunning art."


The Quarrel over the Succession

  The confusion, the reaction, and the spiritual division usually
  attendant upon a prophet's death were in this case happily averted
  (!?).--_Holley, a Bahai, "The Modern Social Religion," p. 169._

  The last schism and the bitterness to which it gave rise lead me to
  inquire, where is the compelling and constraining power which they
  regard as the essential and incontrovertible sign of the divine word
  as in the text, "Associate with all religions with spirituality and
  fragrance," when they can show such bitter animosity against those of
  their own household.--_Professor Browne._

  Whosoever claimeth a mission before the completion of a full thousand
  years from this manifestation is a lying impostor; whosoever
  interpreteth or explaineth this text different from what is obviously
  revealed, is bereft of the Spirit of God and His

The claims of Bahais in regard to the conduct of Abdul Baha must be
further considered. Mr. Phelps describes him as a man "who proves that
self can be utterly forgotten: that all-embracing love can be
substituted for egotism: the recorded love of Buddha and Christ may
indeed be realized." M. Asad Ullah writes: "He sees the Moslem, the
Christian and the Bahai, all with one eye,--he is equally kind to all."
Mr. Sprague affirms: "Abdul Baha manifests universal love in every word
and act." Mr. Chase says: "Bahaism does bring men into loving unity with
each other." Abdul Baha said in his address at Denver, Col., "All other
nations ... inquire as to the character of this love. What love exists
among the Bahais! What unity obtains among these Bahais! What agreement
there is among these Bahais! All envy it."[567] Again let the light of
history shine forth and these claims be justified or refuted by the

Baha Ullah died at Acca in May, 1892, in his seventy-fifth year. The
death of the father was the signal for a bitter quarrel among his sons.
The occasion was the succession to the leadership. The cause, no doubt,
lay partly in that jealousy which results from a polygamous household.
This polygamy was the occasion of misfortune even at the time, for the
Persian consul at Bagdad, named Mirza Buzurk Khan Kasvini, had desired
to wed one of the women and vented his disappointment on the Bahai
community by making accusation against them before the Persian and
Turkish Governments.[568]

Baha Ullah had twelve children. The four sons who grew to manhood
received "great swelling" titles. Abbas was entitled "The Greatest
(Azam) Branch of God" and regarded as the "return" of Jesus; Mohammed
Ali, "The Mightiest (Akbar) Branch of God" and the "return" of Mohammed;
Ziah Ullah, "The Purest Branch and as Abraham" (died 1898); Badi Ullah,
"The Most Luminous Branch and as Moses."

Abbas Effendi was the son of Aseyeh. The other three were sons of Ayesha
or Madh Ulya. Abbas Effendi claimed the succession, basing his right and
title on the Will of Baha, called the Kitab-il-Ahd and on previous
declarations. His right was disputed by the other brothers. I have a
manuscript by a lifelong Bahai which gives the following account: "Nine
days after the 'ascension' of Baha, Abbas Effendi desired nine of the
chief men to come to the house of Mohammed Ali Effendi. He opened the
will. It was in Baha's own handwriting and two pages long. The nine men
saw it. On the second page, over a part of the writing, Abbas had put a
blue paper that it might not be read, and he refused to have it read. On
the same day, the whole congregation (men) gathered to the palace of
Baha. Mirza Majd-i-Din (Abbas' sister's son) rose and read the will up
to the blue paper. Later the women were called to the Kasr Bahja and the
will was again read, but the concealed portion was not made known. It
was evident that it was for his own selfish purposes that Abbas
concealed it, because the future authority did not pertain to him. From
Persia and India many wrote, saying: 'Show the last portion; it is the
writing of His Holiness.' He refused. To this day it is concealed."

Abbas assumed authority as the Supreme Ruler of the new dispensation,
the Centre of the Covenant, and the Infallible Interpreter of its
teachings. His claim is clearly set forth in a Tablet[569] wherein,
speaking in the third person, he declares: "All Bahais must obey the
Centre of the Covenant and must not _deviate one hair's breadth_ from
obedience to Him." "He should be looked upon as authority by all."
"Obedience and submission must be shown Him and the face turned to Him
completely." He was given such titles as[570] "His Holiness the Master,"
"Our Lord," "The Centre of the Cause of God," "Dawning Place of the
Divine Light," "Dayspring of the Light of the Covenant." Indeed his
first Apostles to Persia bore the message, "I am the Manifestation of
God. My paps are full of the milk of Godhead. Whosoever will, let him
come and suck freely."

His claims to headship were strenuously opposed by his brothers and some
of the nearest disciples. A bitter quarrel began as a consequence and
has raged to the present time. Letters were sent by each party to the
Persian Bahais, involving them in the quarrel. Mohammed Ali composed a
book, called the "Ityan-i-Dallil," presenting proofs of the invalidity
of Abbas' claims, from the writings of Baha. They charge[571] Abbas with
concealing and annulling Baha's will, perverting his teachings, changing
the writings of Baha, publishing expurgated and interpolated editions of
them, and attempting to suppress the authorized Bombay editions.
Specifically they accuse him of publishing a Lawh-i-Beirut, a Tablet in
which Abbas is greatly exalted, and attributing it to Baha, though it is
spurious; that he has inserted verses into letters written in the hand
of Baha's amanuensis and published them as genuine; has omitted verses
from the "Tablet of Command"; made up the "Treasure Tablet" from parts
of several others; appropriated to himself Tablets pertaining to Mirza
Mohammed Ali; and commanded to destroy all Tablets of Baha which have
not his (Abbas') seal upon them.[572]

Per contra the party of Abbas accused his brothers of intemperance and
profligacy[573] and of heresy, covenant-breaking and fraud. Mr. Hadad
reported M. Mohammed Ali and Badi Ullah as "being profligate and
wanton, frequenting wine shops and being spendthrifts." Mr. Getsinger
said he had seen Badi Ullah in the street intoxicated and being helped
home by two servants, that he and his brother had taken and pawned the
effects of Baha, rugs, hand-bags, etc., and a pearl rosary belonging to
Baha which was valued at $10,000 (!) and had squandered the money."
Abbas said to Mrs. Grundy,[574] "Mohammed Ali has appropriated many
papers and tablets written by the Blessed Perfection (Baha). It is
possible for these writings to be altered, as the meanings in Persian
are greatly changed by a single dot here and there. Before His
Ascension, the Blessed Perfection said to me, 'I have given you all the
papers.' He put them in two satchels and sent them to me. After His
Ascension, Mohammed Ali said, 'You had better give me the two satchels
to take care of.' He took them away and never returned them." He said
that Mohammed Ali deceives, "for the Will was also written by Mohammed
Ali's own hand from dictation of the Blessed Perfection. By violating
the Covenant (Will) he has become a _fallen_ branch. All the beautiful
blossoms upon the Tree of Life were destroyed by Mohammed Ali."

Abbas proceeded to the use of boycott and anathema. He[575] ordered that
no one of the Acca community should send any letters anywhere without
first showing them to him, and commanded the Bahais in Persia not to
receive any letters that were not sealed by him, but to send them back
to him, and that in writing to Acca they should send their letters open.
These restrictions on freedom gave great offense. Abbas also prohibited
his followers from associating with his brothers and their followers,
strictly ordering them "not to sit, meet, speak or correspond with them,
not even to trade or associate with them in any profession."[576] Khadim
reports that "once in his own house, Abbas rose up and furiously
attacked" his stepmother, who, in return, reviled him and fled from the
house, wailing. "At the sacred tomb he used cruelly to treat the
brothers and sisters."[577] "On one occasion he repeatedly struck his
youngest (half) sister in the presence of her little ones and many
believers," scolding her "with a loud voice, uttering many harsh
words."[578] On another occasion he "insulted and beat Khadim (Mirza Aga
Jan, Baha's amanuensis) at the sacred place" and afterwards "ordered his
followers to imprison and cruelly beat him, which they did."[579] He
sent adrift Abdul Gaffar Ispahani, called Abdullah, one of the first
believers on Baha, in such destitute condition that he died of hunger
and was buried in a potter's field at Damascus.[580]

"Alas! Alas!" exclaims Mirza Aga Jan, "Abbas Effendi has caused his
followers to display such vehemence of hatred and rancour, the like of
which has never been shown by barbarous nations, and even by the most
ignorant tribes."[581] Of Abbas, Mrs. Templeton[582] writes: "His pride,
alas, is great.... He seems to be blinded.... With regard to business
matters Abbas Effendi has not been just to his brothers, who have
suffered a good deal in consequence."[583]

Abbas Effendi cut off the living of his stepmothers, brothers and their
dependents. Baha Ullah and his household had a stipend from the Turkish
Government, as Azal and the Babis in Cyprus had, and it was not an
ungenerous allowance.[584]

"The family had an income from the Government, as well as a revenue from
three villages."[585] "These funds Abbas Effendi appropriated and with
these made his charitable gifts (?) leaving the forty dependents of the
younger brothers to live as best they could."[586] This excluding the
protesters from their share of the income and offerings embittered the
strife, at the same time weakening their ability to propagate their
contention. Bitterness and enmity increased; recriminations and
accusations inflamed the passions of both sides.

Mirza Abul Fazl, the philosopher of the movement, gives, as a partisan
of Abbas Effendi, an account of these times in his "Bahai Proofs."[587]
He describes the "ruinous discords and divisions," "the world-consuming
flame of jealousy and hatred of the people of error," "the hard hearts
of the men of hostility," "the animosity and groundless pride," "the
senseless hatred, degradation and shame of the violators of the
covenant." He gives the opprobrious title of _Nakhazeen_ to Mohammed
Ali's party. He continues, "The evil intrigues, calumnies, false
pamphlets and accusations, evil tongues and cursings of the Nakhazeen
divided the community and filled it with foul odours." Several outside
parties tried to act as mediators and bring about a reconciliation.
Among these were the British Consul at Haifa and Mrs. Templeton. The
younger brothers agreed to the terms. Abbas Effendi was formally
requested to show the Will before impartial witnesses and all were to
abide by its word. "This he resolutely refused to do and he must stand
condemned for this before all impartial men."[588] After the failure of
these efforts at reconciliation, the anger and bitterness waxed hotter.
To quote Abul Fazl again: "The Nakhazeen cursed and insulted the
visitors to the tomb of the Blessed Perfection," so that there was
danger of its desecration. "Consequently Abbas Effendi asked the local
(Turkish) Government to supply a guard to accompany and protect" his
party. Abbas also went to Tiberias and made complaint to the Government
there.[589] As a result of all these conditions, "The people of
hostility and violation," says Abul Fazl, "availed themselves of
political machinations," in other words, Mohammed Ali's party, "those
dwellers in hellfire,"[590] appealed to the "fanatical men of those
lands," _i.e._, those same Turkish Authorities. Mohammed Ali formally
complained to the Governor of Damascus, Nazim Pasha, sending Mirza
Majd-ud-Din as his special messenger.[591] They accused Abbas of
retaining their stipends, of confiscating their patrimony, including the
father's gold watch which had been donated to Mohammed Ali. Above all,
according to the interesting narrative of Abbas' sister, Bahiah
Khanum,[592] they made accusation that the shrine which was being
erected on Mount Carmel "was intended as a fort, in which Abbas and his
followers would intrench themselves, defy the Government, and endeavour
to gain possession of this part of Syria." To use the words of Abbas,
they said that "he had hoisted the banner of independence; upon that he
had inscribed 'Ya Baha-ul Abha': that he had summoned all to assemble
that he might found a new monarchy." Therefore "an inquisitorial body (a
Commission) was appointed by the Government. To them the copartners of
my brothers confirmed them (the reports) and added to them."[593] After
the report of the Commission and in consequence of these charges and
counter-charges of the "Greatest Branch of God" and the "Mightiest
Branch of God," a telegram was received from the Sultan to the Governor
"issuing a firman, decreeing the original order, by which Baha's family
were confined within the walls of Acca." After _nine_ years of
quarrelling (_nine_ being the sacred number of Bahais) this order was
put in force, 1901 A.D. They were still confined to Acca in 1906 when I
visited Haifa. I saw the shrine and the fine residence of Baha at Haifa,
just beside the English Mission. It deserves to be emphasized that the
_cause of the Bahai leaders being restricted to Acca_ was not religious
persecution by Moslems but _their own quarrellings_.

So completely had the suspicions of Abdul Hamid's government been
aroused by their accusations against each other that the death sentence
was feared. Pilgrimages were stopped and terror rested on the
followers.[594] Abdul Baha wrote to his American disciples of these
conditions in the following hyperbolic words: "Verily, by God, I would
not change this prison for the throne nor for all the gardens of the
earth. Verily I hope to be suspended in the air, and that my breast may
become the target to be pierced by thousands of bullets: or that I may
be cast into the bottomless seas or thrown into the wilderness.... If I
could taste the cup of the great martyrdom, my greatest desire would be
fulfilled. This is my utmost aim, the animation of my spirit, the
healing of my bosom, the sight of my eyes." But when the establishment
of the Constitution in Turkey gave him freedom, he was quick to take
advantage of it. He went to Egypt and took up his residence there.[595]

The history I have narrated above refutes these various pretensions of
Bahaism, its claims, its "great swelling words" more forcibly than logic
or the judgments and opinions of myself and others. The conduct of Abdul
Baha and his followers towards the brothers and their followers, as well
as that of Bahais to the Azalis, contradicts their fine professions of
toleration and love to all religions and all men. Well may we exclaim
with Professor Browne: "Where is the restraining power, when they can
show such _bitter animosity_ against those of their own household!" The
numbers of Bahais living at Acca then was about ninety,[596] and of them
thirty[597] or forty[598] were of the opponents of Abbas.

In Persia, where Bahais number a hundred thousand, a small, but
influential minority rejected the authority of Abbas Effendi. These were
placed under the ban, anathematized, and ostracized. For example, one of
them, Mirza Jalil of Khoi, was driven out of his house, which was
destroyed by Shiahs, instigated by new Bahais. Another adherent of
Mohammed Ali, Mirza Khalil of Tabriz, was completely ostracized,
according to command received from Acca. His daughter, who was married
to a new Bahai, was allowed to visit her parents only once a year,
though living in the same city, and when she died they did not give them
word till six days after the funeral. Another Bahai libelled this man
to his employers in hope of injuring him.

Another result in Persia was the permanent estrangement of a
considerable number of Bahais who lapsed into scepticism.

Abbas Effendi, influenced by the opposition, put a veil over his high
claims and instructed his followers to speak of him as simply Abdul
Baha, "the Servant of Baha," which is usually translated by them "the
servant of God." The protesters replied, "Rather let the title be
Abdul-Hawa, 'the servant of air,'" _i.e._, windy and bombastic. But
notwithstanding his disavowals Abdul Baha allows himself to be assigned
a position both inconsistent with his own words and with the teachings
of Baha. Mr. Phelps, his disciple and biographer, says,[599] "Abdul
Baha, styled 'Our Lord,' 'Our Master,' is regarded with a love and a
_veneration_ second only, _if indeed second_, to that which they bestow
upon Baha Ullah. He is classed as the third or last of the Divine
Messengers of the present Dispensation." The Bab, Baha and Abbas
constitute, as it were, the Bahai trinity. Abdul Baha commended and
approved for publication an ode written by Thornton Chase in which he is
glorified with the following epithets among many others.

"O Thou Enlightener of the Spirits of Men! Thou Heart of the World!

"Thou Physician of Souls! Thou Prince of Peace!

"Thou Right Arm of the Almighty! Thou Lord of the Sabbath of Ages!

"Thou Mystery of God!"

Another disciple, Mrs. Grundy,[600] writes, "Abdul Baha is the Bazaar of
God, where everything humanity needs may be found without money and
without price." Mr. Remey (a Bahai) writes,[601] "The Divine Spirit is
manifested in Abdul Baha--_the Branch_. He is the unique channel through
which the Power of God is conveyed to each individual believer. He is
the intermediary. The spiritual well-being of every Bahai depends on his
connection with Abdul Baha."

The outcome of this quarrel in America is told in the following chapter.
An interesting sequel is the recantation of Mirza Badi Ullah. Doubtless
helped thereto by poverty, he made his submission to Abdul Baha, and
published a confession, called "An Epistle to the Bahai World."
Concerning it Doctor Pease told me that Badi Ullah is not the author of
the whole of that which is published in English under his name. The
Epistle says, I Badi Ullah "turn my face to the appointed station, Abdul
Baha--May the life of all existent beings be a sacrifice to Him."
Against M. Mohammed Ali, with whom he had associated himself for a
decade, he makes accusation of untrustworthiness, of purloining the
papers and books of Baha and interpolating and falsifying them, of
cursing and execrating Abdul Baha through jealousy. He turns on his
former supporters and says, "they (the Nakhazeen) have no God save
passion, no object save personal interest."[602] Doctor Jessup
says:[603] "Badi not long ago was threatening to kill Abbas, and
assassination is an old fashion of Persian fanatics.... He has become
reconciled but I would not guarantee that his main object is not to gain
his share of the money." Better had Badi stuck to his former plan when
he petitioned the Governor of Damascus and the Sultan to be sent as a
prisoner to Rhodes. Doubtless then he would have had an independent


[567] _S. W._, Nov. 4, 1913, p. 230; Phelps, pp. 255, 133.

[568] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 84, note 2.

[569] _S. W._, July 13, 1912.

[570] Abul Fazl's "Bahai Proofs," pp. 109-122.

[571] See "Facts for Behaists."

[572] We can well believe that these accusations are true, in view of
what we know from Professor Browne of the way Abbas Effendi perverted
facts of the history of the Bab and Subh-i-Azal, in the "Traveller's
Narrative" of which he was the author ("New Hist.," pp. xiv., xxxi.).

[573] "Facts for Behaists," pp. 8, 9.

[574] "Ten Days in the Light at Acca," p. 63.

[575] Persian Manuscript.

[576] "Facts, etc.," p. 45.

[577] _Ibid._, p. 59.

[578] _Ibid._, p. 60.

[579] _Ibid._, p. 25.

[580] Persian Manuscript.

[581] "Facts," p. 54.

[582] Mrs. Templeton was Mrs. Laurence Oliphant and had resided at Acca
and in intimate relations with the family of Baha for ten years.

[583] "Facts," pp. 6-7.

[584] "Trav.'s Narr.," p. 378.

[585] Mrs. Templeton's letter to Doctor Pease in "Facts," p. 9.

[586] Mrs. Templeton, p. 9.

[587] Pages 116-118.

[588] Mrs. Templeton.

[589] See "Facts, etc.," Khadim's letter.

[590] Page 136.

[591] "An Epistle to the Bahai World," by M. Badi Ullah, p. 19, and Mr.
Howard MacNutt's Interview with Badi Ullah, _S. W._, July 13, 1912.

[592] Phelps' "Life," p. 81.

[593] "Letters to the Friends in Persia," pp. 2-3. Comp. "Tablets of
Abdul Baha," Vol. I, pp. 45-47.

[594] "Daily Lessons," by Goodall, pp. 27-29 and the "Bahai Movement,"
pp. 106-108.

[595] "Tablets," Vol. I, pp. 4, 94.

[596] Phelps, p. 109.

[597] Abul Fazl, p. 118.

[598] Mrs. Templeton, "Facts, etc.," p. 9.

[599] Page xxxiv.

[600] "Ten Days at Acca," p. 105.

[601] _Star_, Sept. 8, 1913.

[602] Page 28.

[603] "Fifty-three Years in Syria," p. 687.


Bahaism in America

  I speak from the point of view of Persian Bahaism and not from that
  American fantasy which bears its name.--_Nicolas, "Béyan Persan," Vol.
  I, p. II._

  Abbas is an elderly and venerable man, very similar to a score of
  venerable Druse and Moslem Sheikhs I have met.... The Lord deliver
  them (American Christians) from the delirious blasphemies.... The
  claim that the Acca Sheikh is God is quite enough to condemn
  them.--_H. H. Jessup, "Fifty-three Years in Syria," p. 638._

  Pray for my return to America and say: O Baha Ullah! Confirm Him in
  the servitude of the East; so that He may not spend all his time in
  the Orient; that He may return to America and occupy His time in the
  Western world.--_Prayer of Bahais._

  It is doubtless this mystical, allegorical character of Bahaism which
  attracts a certain type of mind in America, in the main probably, the
  same type which follows after spiritualism, esoteric Buddhism, Swamis
  from India, theosophy, and other movements which play around the edges
  of the occult and magical, and help to dull the edge of present
  realities with the things which are neither present nor real....
  Indeed it is probably this soft compliance with anything and the
  absence of the robustness of definite truth and solid principle which
  makes Bahaism attractive to many moral softlings in the West.... It
  will run a brief course and amount to little in America.... The
  novelty will soon be over and the people who did not have sufficient
  discernment to discover the truth that will satisfy them in
  Christianity, will not find it in Baha Ullah or Abbas Effendi.--_R. E.
  Speer, "Miss. and Mod. Hist.," Vol. I, pp. 143, 162-168._

Bahaism, as distinguished from Babism, was, to a certain extent,
introduced to public notice in America by Christian missionaries, who
reported about it as a movement likely to break the solidarity of
Shiahism and facilitate the evangelization of Persia. With the same
thought in mind, Professor Browne's translations of "The New History"
and "The Traveller's Narrative" attracted attention. In the Congress of
Religions, at the Chicago Exposition in 1893, the eminent missionary,
Rev. H. H. Jessup, D. D., described Baha Ullah as "a famous Persian
sage,--the Babi saint, named Baha Ullah (the glory of God), the head of
that vast reform party of Persian Moslems, who accept the New Testament
as the word of God and Christ as the deliverer of men; who regard all
nations as one and all men as brothers."[604] Shortly after the
Exposition a Syrian, named Ibrahim G. Kheiralla, began a propaganda in
favour of Bahaism. He was of Christian parentage, born in Mount Lebanon,
and educated in Beirut College. At Cairo, under the tutelage of Mirza
Karim of Teheran, he accepted the Bahai faith. He was engaged in
business, to which he joined faith healing and lecturing. He was given a
fake degree of Doctor of something by a night school in Chicago. This he
rightly despised, but considered that he was entitled to the degree
because M. Mohammed Ali had addressed him as Doctor! I had several
interviews with him. He showed me a trunk full of Bahai manuscripts and
documents, and allowed me to read his translation into English of the
"Kitab-ul-Akdas." He is a man of strong mind, acute argumentative
faculties, fine conversational powers and altogether an interesting
personality. He first taught Bahaism in secret lessons, as a religion of
mysteries, a secret order, a doctrine for truth-seekers only, not for
the masses. "The secret teaching gives us the key to the truth."[605]

Mr. S. K. Vatralsky was among the private pupils at Kenosha. He did not
become a believer, but learned the esoteric doctrine and published an
interesting account of the cult under the title, "Mohammedan Gnosticism
in America."[606] Of the method used he writes, "In their secret lessons
they allegorize and explain away; in public by means of mental
reservation and the use of words in a double sense, they appear as they
wish to appear." Doctor Kheiralla published in 1897 a booklet called
"Bab-ed-Din, The Door of the True Religion--Revelation from the East."
It has two parts (1) On the Individuality of God and (2) A Refutation of
the Christian doctrine of the atonement. Later (1900), in conjunction
with Mr. Howard MacNutt, he published "Beha Ullah" in two volumes. It is
the theology and apologetics of Bahaism. Its Preface informs us that its
purpose is to "demonstrate that the Everlasting Father, the Prince of
Peace, has appeared in human form and established His kingdom on earth."
The propaganda met with considerable success in Chicago and its
vicinity. In 1897 Doctor Kheiralla went to New York City and in a short
time "140 souls" were persuaded. In this same year two of his pupils
were married in his house in Chicago, receiving his blessing. These were
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Getsinger. They "taught seekers" in Ithaca, N. Y.,
and afterwards in California. There they converted Mrs. H----, a woman
of great wealth, to the faith. Mr. Vatralsky narrates that Doctor
Kheiralla converted no less than 2,000 Americans during the first two
years of his labour. Of these 700 were living in Chicago (Doctor
Kheiralla told me 840), between 250 and 300 in Wisconsin, about 400 in
New York, the rest in Boston, etc. In his "Beha Ullah" Doctor Kheiralla
says, "Over seven years ago I began to preach the message. Since then
thousands of people of this country have believed and accepted the glad
tidings of the appearance of the Lord of Hosts, the Incarnation of
Deity, and the glorious message is rapidly spreading in the United
States." Speaking of this period Mr. Vatralsky writes: "It would not
have had its success, had it come flying its own native colours. It has
succeeded because, like a counterfeit coin, it has passed for what it is

A curious incident occurred on May 6, 1906. Mr. August J. Stenstrand was
exscinded from the "First Central Church of the Manifestation," because
he rejected Baha Ullah and accepted Subh-i-Azal. He was led to this step
by investigating the history as recorded in Professor Browne's
translations. He subsequently published three pamphlets, "Calls to
Behaists" (1907, 1910, 1913) setting forth the claims of Azal. I had
interesting interviews with him in 1914.

In the winter of 1898-99 pilgrimages were organized to visit the shrine
and leaders at Acca.[607] One party consisted of Mrs. H----, who bore
the expenses, Doctor and Mrs. Kheiralla, Mr. and Mrs. Getsinger, Mr.
Hadad and others. The pilgrimage turned out unfortunately. They found
the "holy household" divided. They saw only Abbas Effendi and one
sister. They were kept from even a sight of the others. Doctor Kheiralla
was bold enough to dispute with Abbas Effendi and he told me that for
this reason the latter conceived a grudge against him. Of this Dr. F. O.
Pease writes: "Doctor Kheiralla had some discussion with Abbas in the
presence of native guests and teachers at which Abbas took
umbrage."[608] The Getsingers accused Kheiralla of immoral conduct and
Abbas Effendi reported these stories to Mrs. Kheiralla and her
daughter, with the result that they repudiated Kheiralla. Certain
financial irregularities of the party further disgusted Mrs. H---- and
chilled her faith. So animosity and dissension sprang up.

Mr. Getsinger, on his return to America, announced that he was to be the
representative of Abbas Effendi, because Doctor Kheiralla's teachings
were erroneous and his conduct immoral. Doctor Kheiralla responded with
counter charges against his accuser, of a private and personal nature,
and declared him qualified for the Ananias club by his accounts of
himself in California. The Chicago and Kenosha assemblies were rent
asunder. In the correspondence, some of which I have in my possession,
they hurl at each other such terms as falsehood, lie, malevolence,
injustice, maliciousness, deluding, laying traps, etc. Thornton Chase
was accused of dishonesty in money matters. Doctor N----, the treasurer
of the "Assembly" in Chicago, was denounced for embezzling its funds.
Mirza Abdul Karim arrived from Acca to quiet matters but he poured oil
on the flames. Kheiralla was first informed that if he would submit and
coöperate, "he would never want anything." He writes:[609] "Abdul Karim
promised me plenty of money, and when I refused, he denounced me and
prohibited believers from buying or reading my book." He ordered a
social and business boycott against him and his party. Stenstrand
says,[610] "They have ousted, given bad names, and thrown mud at each
other both in their sermons and in print worse than any Christian or
heathen religions have done." The spirit of Abdul Karim may be seen from
one of his addresses: "O nakhiz (violator), thou spotted snake, thou
shalt be seized with a great torture and punishment and thou, O sister
serpent, who art wagging thy sinuous way and trailing thy deceitful
slime over another region, know thy fate." He declared that he would
call to God for vengeance against Kheiralla. Hasan Khorasani, too,
threatened him, saying, "He would be smitten of God in two weeks," and
"a sword shall cleave the sky and cut his neck." He was greatly
frightened. Doctor Pease said to him, "Do not be afraid, you have
nothing to fear." Kheiralla answered him, "I know these Orientals better
than you do. I know what they did to the Azalis." Before they came to
the next discussion, he had policemen concealed in his house for his
protection. The upshot of the whole matter was that protesters
repudiated Abbas Effendi, after a conference in Chicago on May 27, 1900,
finding "increasing evidence of falsity and double dealing in him."
Indeed, says Doctor Pease, "Why should we not inquire whether Abbas is
not _a_ son, if not _the_ son of perdition." They entered into
correspondence and became one with the party of M. Mohammed Ali. After
this the controversy took on a doctrinal aspect and all questions of
Abbas' supremacy and misconduct were thrashed out between the American
Behaists and Bahais. This controversy from the side of the Behaists is
contained in "The Three Questions" and "Facts for Behaists" (Chicago,
1901); from the other side in "Letters of Abdul Baha Abbas to the
Friends in Persia" and "An Epistle to the Bahai World," by M. Badi
Ullah, after his recantation. The details of the schism have been given
already. To heal the schism different leaders were sent to America
successively by Abbas Effendi. Following M. Abdul Karim, came M. Asad
Ullah, 1901. He published, in New York, "The Sacred Mysteries" in which
he anathematizes the Behaists. He organized a "House of Justice" in
Chicago, a step which had been previously taken by the other party. Next
came the learned Mirza Abul Fazl, 1901-1902. But their efforts were
unavailing though each was willing to acknowledge the faults of his
predecessor. The quarrel gave a great setback to the cause. Doctor Pease
wrote in 1902:[611] "About 1,700 have left us because of the dissension
and false teaching, and because they would not engage in religious
scandal. The whole number in the country is now 600 or 700. Of these 300
are Behaists; the others are Abbasites of one sect or another, holding
belief that Abbas is Lord and Master." Doctor Kheiralla says, "Many grew
cold, few remained." With this agrees the word of Thornton Chase:[612]
"We have seen too many, when the first winds of testing blew, show faith
of shallow depth." Abdul Baha says:[613] "Chicago, in comparison with
the cities of America, was in advance and numerically contained more
Bahais, but when the stench or vile odour of the Nakhazeen was spread
in that city there was stagnation." In Chicago Bahaism never recovered
from these quarrels. In 1914 Mr. F. A. Slack, "Spiritual Guide of the
Behaist Assembly of Kenosha," wrote to me "of the bitter invectives and
false accusations and persecutions we are subjected to" by the followers
of Abbas Effendi. The Behaists had dwindled to 40, according to their
own report to the U. S. Census in 1906, while the Bahais reported 1,280
in U. S. A. of whom 492 were in Illinois, 23 in two Assemblies in New
York State, 58 in New Jersey, 52 in Pennsylvania. One of the largest
Assemblies was in Washington, D. C., with 74 members, white and
coloured. These organized local "spiritual assemblies" were 27 in 1913,
a very small increase.[614] There are also "assemblies of teaching" for
the women. There are Annual Conventions with delegates from the
different groups. These conventions are "unique and peerless among the
assemblies of mankind," in the mind of their imaginative reporter,
"because of the divine favour of Baha Ullah which gathers them
together.... All other meetings in the world are for worldly or selfish
purposes. These alone are spiritual."[615] They also hold a summer
conference at Eliot, Maine.

The Bahai propaganda is carried on by means of these assemblies, by
parlour meetings, by personal intercourse and by letters (tablets) from
Abdul Baha. Their publicity bureau is most active and supplies many
articles to magazines and newspapers. They make use of the Chautauquas,
Peace Congresses, etc., to promulgate their peculiar tenets. Their press
at Chicago publishes the _Star of the West_, formerly the _Bahai News_.
It is issued monthly, that is, every nineteen days, according to the
Bahai calendar. For example, the issue of September 27, 1914, is dated
Masheyat 1, Year 70. It is printed in English and Persian, the latter
being lithographed. It is confined to Bahai subjects, giving many of
Abdul Baha's "revelations." Their literature, so far issued, is (1) The
Works of Baha Ullah, in six or more books. (2) The Tablets and Addresses
of Abdul Baha. (3) The Apologetics of Bahai writers, American or
translations from the Persian. (4) Journals of pilgrims to Acca. (5)
Tracts and reports. Of his own Tablets, Abdul Baha says:[616] "In course
of time, the light of these Tablets will dawn, the greatness, the
importance will be known. The truth I say unto thee, that each leaflet
will be a wide-spread book, nay rather a glistening Gem on the Glorious
Crown. Know then its value and hold great its station." These Tablets
are, for the most part, letters to individuals.

Besides the Bahai Publishing Society, another agency is the
Orient-Occident Unity,--first organized in 1909 as the Persian American
Educational Society. It has a commercial side, but its main object is to
promote Bahaism by assisting or opening schools and hospitals in Persia
and other Oriental countries. It has started mission work in Teheran,
Tabriz, Meshed and other points in Persia and in Burmah. They seek to
strengthen Bahaism in Persia where it is small and weak in comparison
with other sects. The work of the American Bahais there is of little
importance. "But the presence of American Bahais in Persia or the value
of an American newspaper is not their direct influence, but the
impression they give that America has largely accepted Bahaism."[617] In
the United States this Unity poses as philanthropical, not revealing in
its constitution, circulars and appeals for funds its Bahai connection.
This concealment is inexcusable and cannot be too strongly condemned.
Christians and Jews should not be asked to contribute to any cause under
false pretenses, nor should prominent statesmen, educators and
philanthropists be thus led to give their quasi endorsement to the

In 1912 Abdul Baha Abbas, after a sojourn in France and England, visited
America, arriving April 12 and departing December 5. America has not
lacked its own prophetic product, as witness Joseph Smith, Mary Eddy,
John Dowie, Crowdy and Indian medicine men. But Abdul Baha, except for
Hindu Swamis, was the first Asiatic revelator America has received. Its
hospitality showed up well. The public and press neither stoned the
"prophet" nor caricatured him but looked with kindly eye upon the grave
old man, in flowing oriental robes and white turban, with waving hoary
hair and long white beard.[619] His visit was noticed, as has been the
case with many distinguished foreigners, but did not create any special
sensation. His own press agents were active and aggressive, furnishing
many articles for newspapers and magazines. The reporters took the
exaggerated statements of the Bahais without sifting. He performed his
part fairly well and allowed himself to be interviewed and photographed
with the patience of an actress. He posed for the "movies" man and spoke
for the phonograph records. He sat for an oil painting and approved of
his bust in marble.[620]

Abdul Baha's tour comprised a number of the chief cities of the
northeast, followed by a rest at Green Acre Conference, Eliot, Maine,
and then a trip to Canada and California. His meetings and addresses
were of two kinds: for the public and for the Bahais. He spoke to the
churches, liberal and evangelical,[621] Socialists, Theosophists, etc.;
to Woman's Clubs, Suffragists, Colleges, Historical Societies, Peace
Societies and at the Conference on International Arbitration, at Lake

Abdul Baha's principle in his public addresses was "to talk about things
upon which we agree and say nothing about things upon which we
differ."[622] Thus he spoke much of the Fatherhood of God, but failed to
mention that he regarded Baha Ullah as "the Manifestation of the
Father." He spoke of brotherly love extensively yet never about the
violent quarrels that abound in Bahai annals. He said much of religious
unity[623] but did not state how the movement had increased the number
of sects in Persia and in America. He spoke much on "Universal peace,"
though Babi history, which they boast of, has some of the cruelest and
bloodiest conflicts of arms recorded in history. He dwelt much on the
principle of arbitration, though he had refused to arbitrate his dispute
with Mohammed Ali. Even while he was in America, a grandson of Baha
Ullah, who lives near Chicago, sent a request for an interview to lead
to a reconciliation. Abdul Baha ignored the request. He discoursed at
length on woman's rights and equality, but omitted to inform the public
that Baha Ullah had three wives and carefully concealed his women in an
oriental haram. Besides all these, he erroneously attributed to Baha
Ullah the origination of teachings which have been the age-long
possession of Christendom.

The meetings with the believers were of a different character. To them
his message was: "Teach Bahaism; work for the cause; spread the faith;
build the Temple." With them he celebrated the Unity Feast. This has
some of the features of the _agape_ of the ancient Church and some of
the Lord's Supper. Often a variety of food is partaken, Persian pilau
being a favourite. When all were seated Abdul passed through the rooms,
speaking:[624] "Abdul Baha is now walking among you commemorating Baha
Ullah. Blessed are ye who are the servants of Baha Ullah. In the utmost
of love I greet each and all of you. This is like the Lord's Supper.
Material food is prepared for you. The manna from heaven is present for
you. May your hearts be exhilarated in the kingdom of Abha. The labours
of Baha Ullah have not been in vain." After the Feast, he raised his
hands and pronounced his blessing upon them. This is called the 19th day
Unity Feast and is celebrated at the beginning of every Bahai month.
When Abdul Baha is not present the Tablets are read and praises to Baha,
as to God, are chanted.

One incident was the establishment of the Day of Thornton Chase as a
memorial anniversary. Chase is the first American Bahai to be canonized.
Abdul Baha visited his grave at Los Angeles, and ordained a saint's day
in the Bahai calendar, October 19th. He said:[625] "This revered
personage was the first Bahai believer in America. He served the cause
faithfully and his services will be ever remembered throughout ages and
cycles."[626] "He was of the blessed souls.... He witnessed the light of
the kingdom of Abha and wrote proofs and evidences of the
Manifestation." Thornton Chase certainly had a surprising faith in Abdul

A special event was the dedication of the grounds of the Bahai Temple,
the Mashrak-ul-Azkar (the Dawning-place of Praises). This took place in
the midst of the Rizwan Feast, on May 1, 1912, in the presence of the
Bahai Temple Unity composed of delegates from all the "spiritual
assemblies" in America, convened in its fourth annual convention. A site
of five acres has been purchased in the village of Willmette, a suburb
of Chicago. Abdul Baha, using a golden trowel, broke ground and others
of the different races, who were present, used picks and shovels and
prepared a place into which Abdul Baha put a stone. He said: "The
mystery of this building is great. It cannot be unveiled yet, but its
erection is the most important undertaking of this day. This Temple of
God in Chicago will be to the spiritual body of the world what the
inrush of the spirit is to the physical body of man, quickening it to
its utmost parts and infusing a new light and power.... Its results and
fruits are endless." Of the structure he said: "The Mashrak-ul-Azkar
will be like a beautiful bouquet. The central lofty edifice will have
nine sides, surrounded by nine avenues interlacing nine gardens where
nine fountains will play. There will be nine gateways and columns, with
nine arches and nine arched windows and nine caissons nine feet in
diameter. Nine will also be carried out in the galleries and dome.
Further, its meetings are to be held on the ninth of each month."[627]
Thus the Bahai sacred number will be exhibited everywhere. "Behold!"
exclaims the Bahai reporter. "What a priceless piece of ground is this
site, dedicated by the hands of the Orb of the Covenant and blessed by
his holy feet."[628] But in another place Abdul Baha urges them to
hasten the completion of the building, complaining[629] "America has not
been working enough for it." "Money comes slowly," says the treasurer;
"pledges were tremendous--as big as our eyes saw at the time and
afterwards we could collect[630] only a small proportion." After six
years of strenuous pleading and effort, they have paid for the ground.
The ladies evidently preferred to spend their money in jaunts to Acca,
with Paris and Cairo en route, rather than to put up an extravagant
temple in Chicago for 200 people who are scattered in that city--a
temple in which the believers in New York and Los Angeles may never
worship. The cause for haste is "to fulfill a great prophecy, that in
the day of the Branch shall the temple of the Lord be built" (Zech. vi.
12). And Abdul Baha is already more than seventy. When finished, "It
will have an effect on the whole world." "It will be dedicated to the
worship of Baha Ullah and his words only are to be read in it."[631]

After a sojourn of about eight months, Abdul Baha returned to England,
whence he telegraphed: "Thanks to Baha Ullah, I arrived safely." As a
souvenir of the visit, the American Bahais presented a silver vase to
the shrine of Abdul Baha Ullah at Acca, "the Holy City." Of this Mr.
Remey writes:

"The Holy Tomb in which this vase is to repose (we ardently hope) for
hundreds, perhaps thousands of years already contains precious
offerings, vases and many wonderful things placed there by people from
all over the world. Among this ever-growing collection at the Threshold
of the remains of the Earthly Tabernacle of Him who manifested forth to
a dying world the very Fatherhood of the Eternal of Him, who for us is
the Sublime King of Kings, must stand this silent token, as a measure of
the response from the hearts made glad by this ineffable sacrifice of
Him who, giving up all thoughts of self, came to us (_i. e._, to U. S.
A.) in our need, The Centre of the Covenant, His Holiness Abdul Baha."

The visit of Abdul Baha did not leave any great impression. His
personality had no deep influence. He appeared conspicuous neither for
intellectuality nor spirituality. Many a distinguished traveller has got
hold of the public ear and heart to a greater extent. I was in Baltimore
when he was there. He caused scarcely a ripple on the surface. His
addresses were tame and full of platitudes. It was told me that his
visit led to doubt and coldness on the part of some adherents. He was,
as Canon Wilberforce said, "not an orator, nor even a preacher,"
practiced in public address. One of the distinguished clergymen whose
pulpit he occupied said to me, "The man has no special message. He is a
faker." Another liberal thinker, who has given publicity to this
doctrine, after an interview, pronounced him a fraud. Some of the
American disciples, especially the ladies, idolized him, even to the
extent of bringing down upon them the reprobation of some English
disciples. One of the latter wrote:[632] "There seems to be a tendency
in America and elsewhere to focus too great attention on Abdul Baha
rather than upon the Manifistation."

What of the progress of Bahaism in America? It is making no marked
progress. In some sections it seems to have gone forward, as on the
Pacific coast and around New York and Washington. It has decreased in
the South and in the headquarters of the movement, Chicago. The
organization at Atlanta has disappeared from the list. The South will
not take kindly to the advocacy by Abdul Baha of the miscegenation of
the races. He recommends that efforts be made towards the intermarriage
of the coloured and white races as the ideal panacea for the present

I understand that a Washington negro has married an English Bahai woman,
the courtship having occurred when both were pilgrims, and under the
encouragement of Abdul Baha. Of the condition of the cause in Chicago I
can speak from personal investigation. I attended the regular Sunday
service in St. John's room, eighteenth floor of the Masonic Hall. It was
a pleasant May day. About sixty were present--twenty men and forty
women. I questioned the men and found that six of them were Bahais and
fourteen, like me, were visitors. The man next to me on the right was a
member of an ethical culture society that meets on the twelfth floor. I
asked the man on my left to what organization he belonged. He replied,
"To the kingdom of God." I inquired what was his opinion of Abbas
Effendi. He pulled from his pocket a much used New Testament and
pointed to the verse in Revelation which refers to the beast and said,
"That is he." I conversed with several of the Bahai ladies, two of whom
acted as instructors of the meeting. The Sunday-school held at an
earlier hour, I learned, was a class in Esperanto. To my question as to
the number of Bahais in Chicago, she replied "that Baha Ullah has told
us that there must be a falling away before the triumph," from which I
inferred that conditions were not prosperous. The next man, a Bahai,
told me the number was about one hundred and fifty. The leader, Mrs. C.
True, told me about three hundred. One of the opposing sect told me
there are only sixty, while his sect has lost all organization and
numbers only forty in the whole country. But if we take the number at
the highest estimate given, the number is less than fifteen years ago.

I go into particulars regarding this point, because there is a false
impression abroad, in Europe and Asia, an impression that is carefully
fostered. Take this incident. In Persia a Bahai affirmed before the
crowd that one-half of Chicago was Bahai. A Bible colporteur disputed
the statement and proposed to telegraph to the Mayor of Chicago and
inquire, and whichever side was wrong should pay for the telegram. The
Bahai declined. In distant India a similar impression is created for
effect. Mr. Getsinger wrote in the _Jam-i-Jamseed_ of Bombay:[634] "The
Bahai faith has spread in America by leaps and bounds, _the number
being beyond computation_." Strange exaggeration, if you give it no
worse name! Some such a one was no doubt interviewed by the "wayfarer"
of the Continent and told him that there were one million in the United
States.[635] But that well-informed reporter put the number at 3,000.
_The Star of the West_ (Feb. 7, 1912) says: "There are several thousand
Bahais in the United States." My own conclusion is that there are 2,000
in twenty-seven organizations. In 1906 they reported to the Census 1,280
members in twenty-four organizations. Most of the members are women.
(See Chap. VII.)

That the Bahai propaganda has nothing special to boast of in the United
States is evident when we compare its results with those of other
religious fads. The Dowieites of Zion City (followers of John Dowie who
claimed to be the prophet Elijah) report seventeen organizations in ten
states with 5,865 members; the Crowdyites (Crowdy was a negro cook who
in 1906 claimed to be a prophet) report forty-eight organizations and
1,823 members; Theosophists eighty-five and 2,336 members; Vedantists
(Swamiists) four and 340 members; Spiritualists 455 with 35,056 members;
Christian Scientists 638 and 85,000 members. Well may the Egyptian
_Gazette_ say: "If Bahaism has found favour in the United States, it
cannot be forgotten that countless other 'religions' have become popular
there which would not have been taken seriously in any other country in
the world." Yet, aside from the Mormons, how few they number altogether.

Is it not marvellous that clergy of various Protestant churches, even of
the Church of England, have given the use of their edifices for its
anti-Christian proselytism? Roman Catholic churches have not been open
to it. And this happened not only when Abdul Baha was a guest among our
people but is continued since. Surely such latitudinarianism must grieve
the heart of Christ even as it shocks His faithful followers and gives
boldness to those who would hurl Him from His mediatorial throne. It is
unnecessary now to catalogue the various Protestant pulpits and
platforms in Great Britain, and in America where, with readings from the
Bahai "revelations" and flattering introductions, place was given to the
"false Christ." But the disloyalty still continues. Lately a missionary
was a speaker at a Woman's Foreign Missions Society and was preceded by
a lady advocating Bahaism. In a late number of the _Star of the West_
(April 9, 1914) is a picture of the St. Mark's-in-the-Bowerie Episcopal
Church, New York, with a notice that an audience room had been granted
in the parish house for Bahai meetings every Sunday. This was followed
by a letter from Abdul Baha rejoicing in this opportunity "to promulgate
the principles of Baha Ullah," and by a request for the prayers of all
Bahais that "through this opened door many hearts may be turned to the
'Branch,'" _i. e._, Abdul Baha. Another issue contains an
announcement[636] of the marriage at Montreal of the editor, Doctor
Bagdadi, to Zeenat Khanum, both Persian Bahais of Mohammedan
antecedents. The narrative declares: "The minister who officiated
astonished all [even the Bahais] by reading from the Bahai writings!"

The Bahais still continue to proselyte through Ethical Culture and
Theosophic Societies and on the platform of peace congresses. Is it not
full time that Christian people and churches should cease to give
countenance to this system which is an enemy of the cross of Christ, and
which has already deceived several thousands of our fellow Christians?


[604] "Parliament of Religions," p. 640; I. G. Kheiralla, "Beha Ullah,"
p. ix.

[605] "Bab-ed-Din," by I. G. Kheiralla, pp. 9, 13, 18.

[606] _American Journal of Theology_, 1902.

[607] "Bahai Movement," p. 101; _S. W._, p. 38, 1914.

[608] An open letter to the Abbab in America, by Doctor Pease.

[609] "The Three Questions," p. 23.

[610] "Third Call to Behais," p. 3.

[611] Letter to M. Badi Ullah.

[612] "Before Abraham was I am," p. 1.

[613] _S. W._, Sept. 8, 1913, p. 174.

[614] _S. W._, Sept. 8, 1913, p. 127.

[615] _S. W._, May 17, 1914, pp. 51-52.

[616] "Tablets," Vol. I, p. ii.

[617] J. D. Frame, M. D., _Moslem World_, 1912, p. 243.

[618] Sec.'s Report, June, 1911; October Bulletin, 1911; _S. W._, May
17, 1911, July 13, 1913, Nov. 4, 1913, March and June, 1914.

[619] The "Kitab-ul-Akdas" commands that the hair should not be allowed
to grow below the level of the ear: why does not Abdul Baha keep this

[620] Myron Phelps states (p. 97) that Abbas Effendi wishes no
photographs of himself taken. This is certainly a mistake as years ago
they were circulated in Persia and purchasable in the bazaar. The
account of his posing for the motion pictures is amusing. When requested
to pass before the camera, he at once replied, "Khaili khob" (very
good). The Bahais present were very much upset and protested that his
picture would be scattered all over the country in the movies. He
replied, "Busiar khob" (still better). Later, in June, an extended
motion picture was taken. The scenes were somewhat spoiled by Abdul Baha
not remaining in focus and disarranging the scenario. These films, with
words, are being used in the Sunday services of the Bahais and are to be
used in the Orient in connection with the voice record on the Edison
talking machine.

[621] Mr. Remey said to him: "We expected an attitude of hostility
towards you from the clergy and theologians. We did not expect the
churches and religious societies would open their doors" (_S. W._, March
21, 1913, p. 18). Doctor Cadman of Brooklyn explained his inviting Abdul
Baha to preach in his pulpit by saying, "Christian people can afford to
be absolutely free and catholic in their extension of liberty and
courtesy to other people." Yet most Christians were grieved and consider
it disloyalty to Christ.

[622] _S. W._, March, 1913, p. 18.

[623] The striking lack of unity among the Bahais is evident from a
Tablet of Abdul Baha written shortly before his visit to America (_S.
W._, May 17, 1811). "In view of the differences among the friends and
the lack of unity among the maid servants of the Merciful, how can Abdul
Baha hasten to those parts? Is it possible? No, by God!" "Your worthless
imaginations, backbiting, and faultfinding enable the Nakhazeen to
spread a noose for you." The Americans could reply, "Physician, heal
thyself," for the worst anger and discord have been between the brothers
at Acca. And he himself continues to cry out, "Hold aloof from the

[624] _S. W._, Oct. 16, 1913, p. 203.

[625] _S. W._, Sept. 27, 1913, p. 187.

[626] Similar phrases addressed to his living disciples sound like
flattery and appeals to their vanity, such as, "Your names will go down
through the ages." "Kings and Queens will never be talked of as you will
be" (_S. W._, Dec. 13, 1913, p. 274, etc.).

[627] _S. W._, June 5, 1914.

[628] _S. W._, Dec. 31, 1913, p. 272.

[629] _S. W._, Aug. 1, 1913, p. 136-138.

[630] "The Oriental Rose," p. 11, says that $5,000 have been sent from
the Orient for the Temple.

[631] "Daily Lessons," p. 17.

[632] _S. W._, Dec. 11, 1911.

[633] L. G. Gregory, "The Heavenly Vista," pp. 13, 15, 25, 31.

[634] _S. W._, April 28, 1914.

[635] The _S. W._ of March 2, 1912, reported one organization in
Montreal, one in Hawaii, one in England, two in Germany, viz., Stuttgart
and Zuffenhausen, and one in Cape Town.

[636] _Star_, May 17, 1914, p. 57.


_Consulted by the Author_

(_1_) _Non-Bahai Writers_

E. G. Browne: "The Babis of Persia," _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, July,
Oct., 1889.

"Babi Manuscripts," _Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, April, July, Oct.,

Art. "Babism" in "Encyclo. Brit.," "Enc. of Religion and
Ethics," and "Enc. of Islam."

Introductions and Appendices to translations of Babi-Bahai

"A Year Among the Persians."

"Literary History of Persia."

A. L. M. Nicolas: "Sayyid Ali Mohammed dit le Bab"

R. E. Speer in "Missions and Modern History," Vol. I, Chap.
III, pp. 121-182, "The Religion of the Bab."

"Haifa or Modern Life in Palestine," by Oliphant.

Canon Sell "Babism" (Tract 1895), "Bahaism" (Tract 1912).

Critical Magazine Articles.

_American Journal of Theology_, Jan., 1902, "Mohammedan
Gnosticism in America," S. K. Vatralsky.

_North Amer. Rev._, June, 1912, J. T. Bixby; April, 1901, Prof.
E. D. Ross.

_Outlook_, June, 1901, Dr. H. H. Jessup.

_Open Court_, June and July, 1910 and 1904, Dr. P. Carus.

_Moslem World_, July, 1912, Dr. J. D. Frame.

_Mission. Rev. of World_, Oct., 1911, Dr. W. A. Shedd.

_Oxford Magazine_, May, 1892.

(_2_) _Babi or Bahai Writers_

By the Bab:

"Béyan Persan" (Fr.), 4 Vols, trans. by A. Nicolas.

By Baha Ullah:

"Akdas," MS. Trans., by I. G. Kheiralla.

"Ikan," "The Seven Valleys," "The Hidden Words," "Surat-ul-Hykl," "Words
of Paradise," "Glad Tidings," Tablets--of the World, of Ishrakat,
Tarazat, Tajallayat (Chicago).

By Abdul Baha:

"The Episode of the Bab or the Traveller's Narrative" (trans. by

"Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I; Addresses in Paris, London and America;
"Some Answered Questions," recorded by L. C. Barney; Letter to the
Friends in Persia, etc.; The Covenant or Will of Baha Ullah.

By Persian believers:

"Kitab-ul-Nuktatul Kaf," by Mirza Jani, with Introductions by Browne.

"New Hist. of the Bab," trans. by Browne.

"The Sacred Mysteries," Asadullah.

"School of the Prophets," Asadullah.

"Bahai Proofs," Abul Fazl.

"The Brilliant Proof," Abul Fazl.

"Martyrdoms in Persia in 1903," Haider Ali.

"Epistle to the Bahai World," Badi Ullah.

By Western believers:

"The Universal Religion," M. H. Dreyfus.

"The Bahai Revelation," Thornton Chase.

"Before Abraham was, I am," Thornton Chase.

"The Bahai Movement," C. M. Remey.

"Universal Principles of the Bahai Movement," and "Peace," and "The
Covenant," C. M. Remey.

"Observations of a Bahai Traveller," C. M. Remey.

"A Year Among the Bahais of India and Burmah," and "Story of the Bahai
Movement," Sydney Sprague.

"Dawn of Knowledge and the Most Great Peace," P. K. Dealy.

"The Revelation of Baha Ullah," Mrs. S. D. Brittingham.

"God's Heroes," Barney-Dreyfus.

"Abbas Effendi; His Life and Teaching," M. Phelps.

"The Oriental Rose," M. H. Ford.

"The Modern Social Religion," Horace Holley.

"Bahaism, the Religion of Brotherhood," F. K. Skrine.

"The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," T. K. Cheyne.

"Bahaism in Its Social-Economic Aspects," H. Campbell.

"Prayers and Communes," and "Songs of Prayer and Praise."

Narratives of Pilgrims to Acca:

"In Galilee," T. Chase.

"Unity Through Love," H. MacNutt.

"The Heavenly Vista," L. G. Gregory.

"Ten Days in the Light of Acca," Mrs. Grundy.

"Daily Lessons Received at Acca," Mrs. Cooper.

"My Visit to Abbas Effendi," Mrs. Peeke.

"Table Talks With Abdul Baha," G. T. Winterburn.

"My Visit to Acca," Mrs. Lucas.

"Flowers from the Rose Garden of Acca," Mrs. Finch.

"Notes at Acca," Mrs. True.


_The Bahai News_, and _The Star of the West_, from 1910 to 1915

Reports and Bulletins of the Persian-American Educational Society.

By Behaists:

"Beha Ullah," 2 Vols, I. G. Kheiralla.

"Bab-ed-Din," "The Three Questions," and "Facts for Behaists," I. G.

"Life of Baha Ullah," MS., Mohammed Javad Kasvini.

By Azalis:

"Call to Behaists" (Nos. I, II and III), Stenstrand.


Abbas Effendi (see Abdul Baha)

Abdul Baha, 48, 68, 76, 86, 87, 98, 138, 147, 175, 191, 204, 239;
  history of, 24, 66, 127, 128, 161, 164, 194-196 and note 3, 250-259;
  blesses charms, 110;
  charities criticized, 255;
  censorship, 117, 146;
  education, 25, 163;
  imprisonment, 195, 197, 258;
  intercedes for assassins, 231, 232;
  justifies Mohammed, 86, 147 note 1;
  marriage, 156-157, 164;
  position, 39, 40, 51, 62, 69, 88, 93, 117, 250;
  titles, 40, 93, 250, 251, 260, 261;
  photographs, 275;
  quarrel with brothers, 24, 39, 93, 187-188, 197, 248-262;
  receives pilgrims, 124, 125 (see Pilgrims);
  characterized, 245, 249, 254, 255, 264, 270;
  dogmatic, 77;
  suppresses facts, 184 and note 7;
  changes documents, 186, 188, 252;
  perverts facts, 192, 194;
  acts double part, 197;
  unjust to brothers, 194 note 2, 255;
  instructs in pretense, 200;
  uses boycott, 253;
  accused of sedition, 257;
  threatened with death, 262;
  covets martyrdom, 258;
  asks government for guard, 256;
  honoured as Christ, 92, 94, 96, 114, 260;
  as God, 95, 124, 251, 260, 282;
  vacant seat left for, 119;
  teachings, 24, 31, 32, 33, 41, 45, 56, 66, 71, 73, 77, 85, 88, 105,
    118, 151;
  advocates peace, 70;
  allows war, 74;
  favours Mohammed Ali Shah, 138-140;
  refuses arbitration, 256, 277;
  visits Egypt, 27;
  reception in London, 11, 12, 13, 163;
  contributor to _Christian Commonwealth_, 12;
  in Europe and America, 24, 64, 70, 114, 139, 142, 151, 153;
  reception in U. S. A., 274;
  addresses, 275-278;
  canonizes Chase, 278;
  dedicates temple, 278-279;
  memorial vase, 280;
  impression made, 280;
  aided by Christians, 285;
  writings, 24, 42, 115, 116, 178, 213, 273, 288

Abdul Karim, 26, 36, 40;
  visits America, 269, 270

Ablutions, 110, 120, 122

Abraham, 34, 41, 88, 90

Abul Fazl, 26, 35, 37, 45, 47, 49, 54, 69, 89, 101, 102, 106, 152, 155,
  160, 180, 197, 204, 211, 216, 221, 222, 225, 233, 244, 255, 256, 271;
  tried, 136;
  repudiates Babism, 136, 193;
  abuses mullahs, 211;
  visits America, 271;
  writings, 288

Acca (Acre), 22, 23, 27, 39, 43, 71, 94, 97 and note 4, 106, 118, 122,
  123, 125, 127, 140, 145, 146, 154, 159, 161, 165, 173, 182, 183, 187,
  195, 196, 200, 205, 229, 233, 241, 250-259

Adam, 41, 114

Adrianople, 22, 197, 222, 223, 229

Ahmad Ahsai, Sheikh, 20, 21, 236

Ahmad Qadiani (see Gulam Ahmad)

Ahmad Zohrab, 47

Akdas (see Kitab-ul-Akdas)

Alcohol, prohibited to Babis and Bahais, 214;
  used, 215

Ali Allahis, 20, 40 note 3, 67, 88, 91 note, 173

Ali Kuli Khan, 45, 202

Ali Mohammed (see Bab)

American Bahais (see Bahais)

American prophets, 274, 284

Annihilation, 112

Arbitration, 70, 71, 74-75

Armenians, 28, 67, 68

Asad Ullah, 39, 249;
  delegate to America, 271;
  writings, 271, 288

Assassins, Sect of, 19, 91 note

Assassinations, practiced in Islam, 243-244

Assassinations, by Bahais, 43, 159, 172, 197, 228-235, 241 note 1, 244,
  245 and note 1, 246, 270;
  were for the faith, 232, 233;
  so justified, 242, 243

Azal (see Subh-i-Azal)

Azalis, 23, 43, 69 note, 159, 167, 197, 214, 216, 227, 230, 231, 245,
  268, 270

Bab, the title, 20

Bab, The, 18, 35, 38, 47, 71, 73, 90, 91, 99, 126, 133-135, 181, 260;
  his history, 21, 41, 104, 123, 135, 186, 189-190, 198, 210, 211, 236,
  tomb, 123, 125;
  proof in verses, 44, 46;
  taught war, 135;
  not forerunner of Baha, 178;
  expected his dispensation to be long, 178;
  books (see Bayan);
  concealed by Bahais, 182, 183;
  tampered with, 185

Babis, character, 180;
  wars, 21, 71, 73;
  persecuted, 21, 136;
  martyrs, 192, 193;
  deny faith, 198;
  attempt to assassinate Shah, 21, 191, 230;
  executed, 21, 191;
  at Bagdad, 22, 221-222;
  murderous spirit, 236, 237, 238;
  sects of, 68

Babism, History of, 44, 87, 133, 135, 193, 236;
  abrogated Islam, 87, 172, 178;
  laws, 53, 55, 58, 215;
  make marriage obligatory, 155;
  practiced polygamy, 157, 159;
  gave some liberty to women, 169;
  accused of communism, 171;
  fast, 121;
  shrine, 123;
  records, 18;
  relation to Sheikhism, 20-21, 170;
  relation to Christians, 135;
  a political movement, 135;
  disloyal, 133, 134, 190 and note 5;
  intolerant, 135, 146;
  sectarian, 52-53;
  dogmatic, 78;
  superseded, 15, 87

Badasht, 87, 171

Badi, 136, 191, 240

Badi Ullah, 162, 187, 188, 250, 253, 261, 262, 271

Bagdad, 22, 87, 161, 171, 221, 234, 250

Baha Ullah, 11, 12, 18, 31, 36, 38, 39, 52, 68, 72, 78, 88, 92, 122,
  135, 142;
  history of, 22, 23, 42, 45, 70, 73, 76, 87, 102, 127, 159, 162-163,
    181, 187 and note 1, 190, 221, 225, 226, 230, 255;
  family, 162, 250;
  haram, 24, 150;
  polygamy, 126, 159-165, 250;
  wealth, 253, 255;
  prison, 195;
  palace, 125, 195 and note 4;
  picture of, 126 and note 2;
  quarrels with Azal, 220-228;
  supplants him, 42, 181, 185, 204;
  deceitfulness  regarding, 205, 208;
  alleged attempts to kill, 225, 227;
  exults over death of enemy, 211;
  complacency about murder, 231;
  trial and bribe-giving, 231;
  death, 24, 93, 104, 195, 250;
  will of, 250, 251, 256;
  tomb, 123, 280;
  will be assailed, 14, 83;
  exhorts to love, 209;
  writings: 37, 115;
  their character, 44, 186, 189;
  rapidity in composition, 45;
  quantity, 45, 46, 105, 253; style of, 46, 47, 150 (see Epistle to the
    Kings, Ikan,  Kitab-ul-Akdas, Seven Valleys, Glad Tidings, Ishrak,
    Epistle to Shah);
  Professor Browne on, 48;
  Abdul Baha on, 48, 68, 242;
  his beatitudes, 119;
    on inspiration, 33;
    on peace, 70-72;
    influenced by Peace Movement, 76;
    on fulfillment of prophecies, 97-98;
    on "Return," 95;
    enjoined loyalty, 137;
    commends suicide, 239-240;
    on civil government, 56 (see House of Justice);
  name used as charm, 110;
    claims: to be God, 36, 40, 42, 62, 90, 91, 122, 215, 267;
    superior to Christ, 105;
    a world teacher, 50, 85, 106;
    all the prophets, 90;
    infallible, 242;
    Prince of Peace, 71, 73, 92, 97, 238;
    is worshipped, 122;
    claim for, 179;
    character, 42, 43, 204, 220, 221, 227, 228, 246, 265

_Bahai News_ (see _Star of the West_)

Bahais in Acca (see Acca), 229, 230, 233;
  in Adrianople (see Adrianople);
  in Persia (see Persia), 23, 26, 28, 36, 50, 162, 175, 259;
  familiar with Bible, 115;
  persecutions, 137 and note 5;
  martyrs few, 192, 240;
  tolerated, 137, 140;
  pretend to be Christians, 199, 200, 201;
  converted to Christianity, 241;
  intolerant, 240, 241, 255, 259;
  not patriotic, 139;
  not supporters of constitution, 73, 133, 138-141;
  characterized by love of each other, 74;
  hatred of others, 69 note;
  lack of candour, 154, 202, 203;
  boasting, 42, 45, 46, 48, 49, 79, 179, 216, 285;
  foul play, 246;
  crimes against Azalis (see Assassinations), 223-235, 239, 245;
  suicides of, 239, 240;
  favour education, 144, 154;
  to be judged by deeds, 244;
  quarrel over succession in Acca, 251-259;
  in Persia, 252, 259-260;
  in America, 269-273, 276;
  numbers of, 13, 26, 27, 28, 65, 103, 268, 271;
  census, 273, 282-283

Bahais, American, 12, 13, 24, 26, 77, 84, 93, 96, 98, 119, 122, 153,
  154, 168, 173, 200;
  American pilgrims, 40, 94, 118, 123-126 and note 1, 174, 268, 269;
  narrative of, 289

Bahaism, History of, 21-24, 152;
  literature of, 14, 24, 115, 273, 289;
  a patchwork, 53;
  changed, 15;
  relation to Babism, 19, 52, 53, 55, 58, 135, 136, 178, 192, 193;
  relation to Mohammedanism, 32, 35, 51, 52, 55, 86, 209-213, 222;
  borrowed from Shiahism, 49;
  from former religions, 52;
  relation to Christianity, 31, 32, 34, 51, 54, 56, 65, 82-132, 209 note 2;
  classes interested in, 11-13;
  conditions of discipleship, 38, 39, 113, 114;
  doctrines: of God, 35-41, 49, 78, 88;
  of the Manifestation, 36, 41, 58, 92, 178, 241;
  its trinity, 40 and note 3, 260;
  eternity of matter, 77, 111;
  pantheistic, 88;
  of metempsychosis (see "Return");
  its moral system, 34;
  denied miracles, 103;
  resurrection, 104;
  laws: 38, 48, 54, 55, 214;
    civil, 58, 143;
    criminal, 144, 146;
    unalterable for 1,000 years;
    about woman (see Woman);
    equality of races, 168;
  its science, 48, 56, 58, 77, 104 note 6, 111;
  cycles, 41;
  era, 128;
  calendar, 48, 55, 127, 273;
  new alphabet, 58;
  advocates universal language, 59;
  favours education (see Education);
  its institutions, 116-119;
  its ceremonies, 118, 120-126;
  substitute for baptism, 118;
  for Lord's Supper (see Feasts; see also Fast, Pilgrimage, Prayer,
   Shrines, Charms, Funerals, Rosary);
    that a new religion is needed, 31;
    to be a new dispensation, 33;
    to supersede all religions, 32;
    and Christianity, 86, 87;
    to be universal, 29, 50;
    contrary shown, 54-59;
    claims superiority in personality, 40-44;
    in writings, 44-47;
    in substance of revelation, 48-50;
    disproved, 48-50, 54-59;
    to unify mankind, 63-67;
    means prescribed for, 67-70;
    to promote peace, 67, 70;
    fallacy of claim, 72-76;
    echo of Christianity, 72;
    to be undogmatic, 77;
    to be consistent with Christianity, 83;
    to be Christ's second coming, 92, 93;
    refuted, 85-132;
    to be the state religion, 117, 143, 145-147;
    to set forth a new government, 141-147;
    to regulate politics, 117, 132;
  professed loyalty, 136;
  pleads for toleration, 136;
  is intolerant, 132, 147, 191;
  wishes political power, 132, 135, 141;
  claim as to morals, 179-180, 209;
  like Persians, 214;
  testimony as to morals, 216 note 3;
  pervert history, 136, 181-185, 183 note 2, 184 note 2, 189-197, 220;
  falsify sacred writings, 185 and note 2, 185-189;
  forgery, 189;
  religious dissimulation (see Tagiya);
  addiction to alcohol, 214-215;
  opium, 215-216 and note 3;
  claim to love, 209, 221;
    animosity to Shiahs, 211;
    abuse of, 211-213;
    enmity to Azalis, 222, 235;
    murdering of (see Assassinations and Bahais--quarrels);
    sects in, 68;
    sects forbidden, 69;
    private interpretation forbidden, 69;
    methods of interpretation, 100, 101 note;
    exclusive, 52;
    a delusion, 62

Bahaism, American, 15, 16, 41, 94, 201, 264-283;
  census of, 268, 271, 273, 282, 283;
  condition of, 282-284;
  delegates from Acca, 271;
  literature of, 273;
  meetings, 272, 277, 282-283;
  propaganda, 267, 273-274;
  mission to Persia, 84, 154, 155, 202, 203, 273-274;
  quarrel and schism, 269-273, 276;
  visit of Abdul Baha (see Abdul Baha);
  press agents, 272

Bahai proofs (see Abul Fazl)

Bahai Temple (see Temple)

Bahiah Khanum, 156, 164, 174, 191, 195, 221, 225, 227, 232, 257

Batinis, 20

Bayan, 18, 21, 23, 35, 38, 47, 56, 73, 115, 134, 155, 166, 178, 181,
  183, 246

Beatitudes of Baha, 119

Behais, Behaists, 69, 188 notes, 268, 270, 289;
  number in America, 271, 272 (see Mirza Mohammed Ali)

Beha Ullah, so spelt by Behais, 267, 289

Beirut press, 25, 101, 167

Bibliography, 287-289

Bixley, J. T., 66, 83 note

Boycott, 253, 259

Brahma Samaj, 13

Brittingham, Mrs., 94, 289

Browne, Prof. E. G., 18, 20, 30, 35, 48, 50, 53, 56, 68 note 1, 78, 134,
  135, 139, 152, 155, 160, 165, 169, 171-172, 178, 190, 210, 216, 220,
  226, 239, 243, 248;
  writings of, 14, 37, 245, 265, 287-288;
  in Persia, 27, 215-216, 223 note, 229, 235;
  in Acca, 43, 71, 182, 183, 184 note 5;
  in Cyprus, 43, 225

Buddha, 31, 90, 92

Buddhist, 64, 67, 85, 86, 200

Burial (see Funerals)

Burmah, 13, 64, 83, 274

Campbell, R. J., 12, 84

Carmel, Mt., 127, 195, 257

Celibacy disapproved, 155

Changing documents, 57, 185-189

Charms, 110, 123

Chase, Thornton, 31, 37, 94, 104, 209, 217, 249, 269, 271;
  canonized, 278

Cheyne, T. K., 13

Chicago, 98, 116, 119, 154, 265, 267, 269, 270, 271, 279

Christ, Jesus, His teaching superior, 50;
  on peace, 72;
  Bahais concerning Him, 31, 32, 33, 35, 41, 46, 52, 71, 82-84, 86, 87,
    88, 93-107, 104 note 3, 113, 114, 122, 127, 128

Christians, attitude of to Bahaism, 52, 65, 67, 68;
  in Persia, 28;
  in Egypt, 27;
  in India, 84;
  in Occident, 12-13, 83-84, 274-275, 285-286

Christianity exclusive, 86;
  triumphant, 33, 50, 65, 103

_Christian Commonwealth_, 12, 84

Claims of Bahaism (see Baha Ullah and Bahaism)

Constantinople, 159, 161, 170, 235

Constitutional Movement, 133, 138-140, 170, 175, 187

Cyprus, 22, 43, 159, 167, 205, 225, 229, 235

Daniel, 88, 98, 99

Dealy, P. K., 71 note 2, 97

Divorce (see Woman)

Dowie, Alexander, 43, 99, 102, 284

Dreyfus, M. H., 26, 50, 53, 58, 64, 70, 77, 139, 143, 160, 203, 209, 288

Easton, P. Z., 18

Education to be compulsory, 144, 154;
  of girls, 154, 155;
  Bahai schools, 154, 202, 203;
  Educational Society (see Persian-American)

Egypt, Bahaism in, 27, 267;
  Abdul Baha in, 24, 197

_Egyptian Gazette_ on Bahaism, 11, 27, 284

Elijah, 96, 97

Emanations, 41, 89

Episode of the Bab (see Traveller's Narrative)

Epistle to Kings, 106, 115, 143 and note 5, 186-187

Epistle to Shah, 89, 136, 189, 191, 240;
  tampered with, 186

Epistle to the Bahai World, 188 note 2, 261, 271, 288

Era--Bahai, 56

Esperanto, 59, 283

Family (see Woman)

Fast, 120, 121, 197

Fatima, Book of, 189

Feasts, 55, 56, 121, 127;
  Unity Feast or Lord's Supper, 55, 118, 119, 276 (see Rizwan)

Ford, M. H., 137, 140, 237

Frame, J. D., 26, 140, 213, 216 243

Funerals, 122-123

Germany, Emperor of, addressed, 38

Getsinger, E. C., 94, 203, 253, 267, 268, 269, 283

Glad Tidings, 56, 57, 72, 115, 141, 152, 187

Gobineau, Count, 183 and note 2, 190, 191, 235

Goodall, Mrs., 94, 110

Gregory, L. G., 125, 168, 289

Grundy, Mrs., 40, 96, 112, 124, 125, 253, 261

Gulam, Ahmad, 19, 92 note, 102

Hadad, Anton, 73, 94, 253, 268

Haidar, Ali, 27, 94, 213

Haifa, 124, 127, 156, 195, 196, 256, 257

Hasht Behesht, 160, 224, 226, 227, 229, 245

Hawkes, J. W., 28

Hidden Words, 37, 115, 116, 119, 152, 188

Hindus, 51, 64, 65

Holley, Horace, 110, 124, 132, 221, 248

Holmes, G. W., 28, 78, 82, 101 note, 133

Houris, 123

House of Justice, 57, 58, 70-72, 117, 123, 141-147;
  supreme, 142;
  infallible, 145;
  inspired, 142;
  has political power, 143, 175;
  financial, 143, 146

House of Spirituality, 146

Ikan, 37, 45, 86, 90, 114, 115, 152, 163, 211, 222

Imams, 20, 88, 92, 133, 189, 236, 243

Immortality, 30, 112

Incarnations, 22, 88 note, 90 note 7

India, Bahaism in, 13, 27, 68, 83 note, 84, 85, 169, 203, 283

Inheritance, Law of, 166

Intolerance of Shiahs, 21, 136 (see Martyrs);
  of Babis, 135;
  of Bahais, 132 (see Tolerance)

Isaiah, 88, 97

Ishrak-Ishrakat ("Effulgences"), 59, 152, 154, 241

Islam (see Mohammedanism)

Ismielis, 20, 91 note

Jani, Mirza, 172, 180, 183 note 2;
  his "History," 182, 189, 190

Jerusalem, 97, 98, 99, 100, 127

Jessup, H. H., 15, 25, 62, 101, 124, 167, 196 note 3, 197, 240, 261,
  264, 265

Jewish Bahais, 26, 27, 51, 106, 201 and notes

Jews, 33, 51, 64, 67, 82, 84, 87, 92, 103;
  in Hamadan, 201

John Baptist, 18, 35, 96, 178

Johnson, H., 63, 64, 65, 114

Jordan, S. M., 26, 200, 216

Judaism, 33, 35, 41, 85

Kazim, Haji, 21, 170

Khadim, Ullah (Mirza Aga Jan), 161, 188, 233, 254

Kheiralla, 14, 26, 37, 41, 89, 106, 140, 152, 159, 191, 241, 245 note;
  history of, 167, 265, 271

Kirman, 27, 38

Kitab-ul-Akdas, 14, 37-39, 54, 59, 91, 115, 120, 121, 127, 141, 144,
  152, 154, 155, 158, 165, 169, 231, 241, 248

Koran, 49, 72, 86, 87, 89, 112, 114, 121, 197, 198, 211

Krishna, 90, 92

Kurrat-ul Ayn, 150, 170-172, 174 192, 236, 237

Laws (see Babism and Bahaism)

"Letters," 171

Lucas, M. A., 25, 289

MacNutt, H., 25, 63

Mahdi, 19, 20, 21, 92, 189, 210

Mahdiism, 19

Maku, 21, 210, 236

Manifestation (see Baha Ullah--Claims; Bahaisms--Doctrines)

Marriage obligatory, 155 (see Woman)

Martyrs, 123 note 3, 137, 192, 193, 213, 258

Mashrak-ul-Askar (see Temple)

Maskin Kalam, 43, 167, 205, 223

Metempsychosis, 95

Millennium, 77, 98, 217

Missions, Christian, 26, 30, 85, 199, 200, 203;
 converts from Islam, 65, 222, 241

Mohammed, 31, 33, 34, 45, 50, 82, 83, 86, 88, 92, 99, 159, 162, 243

Mohammedans, 64, 67, 68, 84, 92, 123, 138, 146, 166, 169, 172-174, 197,
  214, 243;
  Sunnis indifferent to Bahaism, 27;
  converted to Christianity, 65, 222, 241

Mohammedanism, 11, 48, 85, 113, 121, 123

Mohammed Ali, Mirza, son of Baha, 24, 69 note, 161, 187-188, 250, 252,
  253-261, 277;
  adherents of, 259, 270 (see Behais)

Mohammed Ali Shah, 138-140;
  rewarded Bahais, 138

Mohammed Ali, Mullah, of Zenjan, 162

Mohammed Ali, Mullah, of Barfurush, 171, 237

Mohammed Javad Kasvini, 14, 222, 229, 232

Mohammed Shah, 105, 133, 210 (see Shah)

Mohammed Taki, Haji, 172, 236

Mohonk, Lake, Conference, 65, 70

Morals (see Bahaism--Claims), 179-216

Mormons, 43, 52

Moses, 31, 41, 86, 88, 92

Mullahs, 137, 138, 144 note 1, 190, 210-212, 213

Nabil, 22, 47, 240

Nakhazeen (violators), 39, 256, 261, 270, 273

Nasr-ud-Din Shah, 133, 134, 135, 189-191, 210 (see Shah);
  attempt to assassinate, 21, 23, 238 (see Epistle to Shah)

Negro Bahais, 168, 282 (see Gregory)

Nestorians, 28, 67

New History, 37, 104, 113, 136, 160, 182, 184, 191, 211, 212, 245, 265

New Testament, 46, 47, 82, 86, 94, 106;
  declared abrogated, 114

Nicolas, A. L. M., 14, 18, 178, 198, 220

Noruz, 121, 127, 187

Number of Bahais (see Bahais)

Numbers, Sacred, nineteen, 56, 59, 121, 127;
  nine, 56, 117, 123, 127, 141, 175 note, 237, 258, 279

Nur-i-Din, Sheikh, 22

Nusairiyah (see Ali Allahi)

Oliphant, Laurence, 187 note 1, 194, 196 note, 231

Opium, use prohibited, 214;
  used by Bahais, 215

Orient-Occident Educational Society (see Persian-American Educational

Pantheism (in Bahaism), 88, 89 note

Parsees (see Zoroastrians)

Peace, 67, 70-76, 135, 276 (see Baha Ullah--Claims, Peace)

Persia, Babism in, 18, 53, 135, 146, 171, 236 (see Constitutional
  customs of, 25, 79, 94, 147, 185 note 2;
  religions of, 19, 66, 67, 88 note, 91, 107;
  religious law of, 58;
  mullahs, 212;
  Baha Ullah in, 22, 70, 161, 185, 221;
  Bahais in, 14, 23, 26, 58, 88 note, 93, 95, 103, 112, 118, 126 note 2,
    135, 139, 140, 154, 161, 192, 213-216, 259-260, 273, 274, 283

Persian-American Educational Society, 154, 202, 273

Phelps, Myron, 26, 32, 33, 50, 88, 95, 112, 158, 160, 164, 174, 179,
  195, 209, 213, 226, 244, 249, 260, 275;
  "Life of Abbas Effendi," 153, 173, 289

Pilgrimage, 123-126 (see Shrines and Bahai-American-Pilgrims)

Polygamy (see Woman, Babism, Bahaism)

Pope, Epistle to, 36, 93, 185 note 2

Potter, J. L., 101 note

Prayer, 74, 110, 113, 121, 164

Primal Will, 41, 89

Prophecies, 97, 102, 105, 106, 118

Prophets, 31, 41, 88, 89, 90, 98

Quarrel over succession, 247-262

Religious Assassinations, 219-246 (see Assassinations)

Remey, C. M., 27, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 50, 51, 56, 63, 64, 71, 77, 78,
  84, 85, 87, 96, 114, 118, 128, 138, 140, 143, 160, 174, 180, 203, 261,
  276, 280, 288

"Return," _rijat_, 95, 96, 110

Rizwan, 87, 127, 279

Rosary, 123, 253

Rosen, Baron, 57, 186, 187

Russia, 57, 173, 187

Satan denied, 112

Schools (see Education)

Schuster, Morgan, 170

Sects, Moslem, 19, 20, 91 note, 208 (see Persia--Religions of);
  Oriental in America, 264, 284

Seven Valleys, 37, 113, 115, 152

Shahs of Persia, 21, 73, 133, 134, 136, 137, 186, 192 (see under names)

Shedd, J. H., 28, 217

Shedd, W. A., 26, 30, 82, 197, 199, 200, 216

Sheikhis, 21, 67, 68, 170, 175, 213

Shiahs, 19, 20, 49, 51, 53, 67, 189, 191, 197, 210, 236, 239, 259
  (see Sects)

Shrines, 123 and note 3, 125, 126, 213

Sprague, Sydney, 32, 40, 64, 84, 85, 90, 118, 160, 217, 249, 289

Speer, R. E., "Missions and Modern History," 18, 28, 78, 82, 101, 133,
  150, 217, 220, 264

_Star of the West_, 14, 51, 56, 93, 116, 128, 154, 202, 273, 284, 285

State, Bahaism and the, 131-149

Stenstrand, A. J., 185 note 2, 245 note 1, 268, 269

Subh-i-Azal, 15, 38, 160, 185, 233, 238, 246, 268;
  history of, 22, 23, 43, 167, 197, 205, 221-228;
  polygamy, 159;
  attempt to poison, 224;
  attempt to murder, 227;
  witness to murder of Azalis, 229, 235;
  successor to Bab, 22, 42, 181, 183, 184 and note 3, 204, 220;
  writings, 74

Sufis, 68 note, 78, 175

Suicide, 112, 239, 240

Sultan of Turkey, 22, 38, 193-194, 257, 262

Surat-ul-Haykal, 37, 117, 152

Surat-ul-Muluk, 186, 191

Tabriz, 21, 44, 91 note, 105, 123, 155, 189, 198, 234, 259, 274

Tagiya (dissimulation), 23, 48, 51, 85, 193, 197-205, 208

Tajallayat, 91

Teheran, 21, 123, 140, 155, 161, 174, 198, 203, 274

Temples, Bahai, 98, 115, 116, 117, 278-280

Templeton, Mrs., 194, 255 note 2, 256

Tisdall, W. StC., 49

Toleration, 136, 137, 140;
  lack of, 21, 132, 135, 147, 191, 240, 241, 255, 259 (see Intolerance)

Traveller's Narrative, 37, 42, 113, 136, 182, 184 note 2, 186, 189, 190,
  204, 265;
  its author Abdul Baha, 159, 178, 183, 226, 245

Trinities, 40 note 3, 260

True, C., 94, 124, 283, 289

Turkey, Bahais in, 27, 76, 135 (see Bagdad, Adrianople, Acca)

Universal language, 59, 70

Universal religion, 29, 50-59

Vatralsky, S. K., 133, 208, 220, 266, 267

Wars of Babis, 21, 71, 73, 135;
  Baha starts to war, 73;
  condemns war, 67, 70, 71;
  Abdul Baha on war, 74

Wilberforce, Canon, 84, 197, 281

Woman, in Bahaism, 151-175;
  education of, 154 (see Education);
  equality with man taught, 151, 272;
  not taught by Baha, 152;
  position inferior under Bahaism, 153, 158, 163, 165, 166 note 1, 176;
  woman Bahais in America, 153, 163, 175, 277;
  civil rights of, 155-167;
  inheritance unequal, 166;
    enjoined, 155;
    with consent, 156;
    child betrothals, 157;
    bigamy allowed and practiced, 158, 164 note 3;
    wives of Baha, 160-162;
    Bahais favour plural marriage, 159, 164, 165;
    intermarriage with negroes, 168;
    loose law, 165;
    causes of, 166-167;
    alimony small, 166;
    desertion, 167;
    social rights, 169;
    continues veiled, 173;
    not receive men visitors, 173, 174 and note 2;
    no political equality, 175-176;
  no women in government, 176;
  movement to ameliorate among Moslems, 169-170, 173 and note 1
   (see Kurrat-ul-Ayn)

Writing of, 288-289 (see Bab--Books, Bayan, Baha Ullah)

Wylie, A. L., 84

Yahya, Mirza (see Subh-i-Azal)

Yahya, Sayid, 44

Zoroaster, 31, 107

Zoroastrians, 26, 27, 55, 64, 67, 68, 85, 92, 106, 203




  _Organizing Secretary of the Hartford School of Missions_

  8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

      The material for this able sociological survey Dr. Capen
      gathered during a visitation of the missionary fields of the
      world. Dr. James Dennis says: "Dr. Capen's grasp of a very large
      and complex subject is adequate and well balanced."


  Illustrated, 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

      "A careful study of the religious rites and gods of Hinduism,
      based on its observation during a 5,000 mile journey in the
      East, Dr. Zimmerman writes entertainingly and instructively of
      the life of these millions of our fellow human-beings of whom we
      have known so little"--_Syracuse Herald._



  Being the Record of the Life and Labors of John
  Hogg, D.D. Illustrated, 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

      Dr. Samuel M. Zwemer says: "It is bound to interest people as
      fully as the life story of any missionary published in recent



  Introduction by Bishop W. T. Hogue, cloth, net 75c.

      "An authoritative statement of just what those interested in
      world-wide evangelization desire to know regarding the occupied
      and unoccupied fields of missionary enterprise. The writer knows
      of no other work which presents so many and such varied facts
      regarding foreign missionary work within so small a
      compass."--_Bishop Wilson T. Hogue._

  _J. J. MULLOWNEY, D.D. and His Chinese Friend_

  12mo, cloth, net 75c.

      An authentic and intimate record of the Chinese Revolution. The
      author's data, inspired by men behind the scenes, shows how the
      extravagance and inefficiency of the Manchus brought about the
      ruin of their dynasty, and ushered in the first Republic of the
      East. There is, in addition, a closely-written and illuminating
      review of the social and political conditions which now obtain
      in the Flowery Kingdom.



  Illustrated. 12mo, cloth, net $1.50.

      The story of the first seventeen centuries of Christianity is
      here told in the lives of the great missionaries of the church
      beginning with St. Paul. So far as we are aware no single volume
      containing so complete a collection of the lives of these
      pioneers in missionary work has before been published. Miss
      Stubbs has done a very real and important service to the cause
      of missions in making the lives of these great men live for the
      inspiration of younger generations of to-day.


  12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

      The author is Secretary of the Medical Mission Auxiliary of the
      British Baptist Mission Society and Baptist Zenana Mission. He
      gives a general survey of the main considerations upon which the
      Medical Mission enterprise is based, presenting a true
      conception of the need, value and importance of this great work
      in the spread of the Gospel. Dr. Moorshead knows his subject
      well and he gives a wealth of interesting facts regarding The
      Character and Purpose of Medical Missions--The Origin and
      Authority, Justification, Need, Value--The Practice of Medical
      Missions, Woman's Sphere in Them, Training for, Home Base,
      Failure, Appeal, etc.



  Studies In Some of the Larger Aspects of a Great
  Enterprise. 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

      "This is a magnificent presentation of the call of missions,
      showing their great and sweeping influence on human life and
      social progress. It is a logical and searching study of the
      power of the Gospel as it goes into other lands and there meets
      the facts and elements that make up the life of the people. Dr.
      Dennis has had the personal experiences and knowledge which
      enable him to speak with authority. An exceedingly valuable
      contribution to the missionary literature of the day."--_Herald
      and Presbyter._


  Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

      The author of "Where the Book Speaks," has given in these
      "College of Missions Lectures" a series of sketches of modern
      missionary leaders which for clearness, brevity, directness of
      style and inspirational value, have rarely been surpassed. Each
      characterization is truly "much in little," and the book is a
      distinct and most acceptable addition to missionary biography.

  _ROBERT E. SPEER The Cole Lectures for 1911._


      Mr. Speer in his characteristic inspiring way has presented the
      key note of the lives of six of the World's greatest
      missionaries: Raymond Lull, the crusading spirit in missions;
      William Carey, the problems of the pioneer; Alexander Duff,
      Missions and Education; George Bowen, the ascetic ideal in
      missions; John Lawrence, politics and missions; and Charles G.
      Gordon, modern missionary knight-errancy.

  _S. M. ZWEMER, F.R.G.S., and Others_

  12mo, cloth, net $1.50.

      This volume presents the papers read at the Second Conference on
      Missions to Moslems, recently held in Lucknow, India. The
      contributors are all experts of large experience in such mission

  _VAN SOMMER, ANNIE, and Others_


  A New Era for Moslem Women. _In Press._

      Woman's work for Woman is nowhere more needed than on the part
      of Christian women for their sisters of Islam. It is a most
      difficult field of service, but this volume by authors long and
      practically interested in this important Christian ministry,
      demonstrates how effectually this work has opened and is being
      carried forward with promising results.


  _Introduction by President King, LL.D. of Oberlin College_

  12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

      The author of this careful, though popular, study, is eminently
      qualified to deal with the subject of his thoughtful volume.
      Equipped for this purpose through long residence in India and
      intimate study of India's religious history, what he says will
      be accepted as the estimate and interpretation of an authority.


  Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

      The author of this scholarly study of the Chinese woman and
      education is the daughter of Prof. Ernest E. Burton, of the
      University of Chicago.... The work is probably the most thorough
      study of an important phase of the economic development of the
      world's most populous country that has appeared.


  _Fifty Years Missionary of the American Board in Turkey_


  A Plea for Bridging the Chasm. Illustrated, net $1.25.

      "Dr. Herrick has given his life to missionary work among the
      Mohammedans. Opinions from leading missionaries to Mohammedans,
      in all parts of the world have been brought together in the book
      for the elucidation of essential points of the problem and form
      an immensely practical feature of the discussion."--_Henry Otis
      Dwight, LL.D._


  12mo, cloth, net 50c.

      By the Foreign Secretary of the American Board. The book is a
      notable addition to the apologetics of Missions and will carry a
      message of conviction to many a reader who may not be fully
      persuaded of the value and necessity of Christian work in
      foreign lands.


  Decorated Paper, in Envelope, net 25c.

      "It was a pretty conceit to have a disbanding mission circle
      keep up their mutual connection by writing a "round robin." It
      is just the thing for girls' mission bands."--_S. S. Times._

  _S. M. ZWEMER, F.R.G.S._


  Studies in the Geography, People and Politics of
  the Peninsula; with an account of Islam and Missionary
  Work. _New Edition._ Illustrated. 8vo,
  Cloth, net $2.00.


  Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net 75c.

      The author has vividly portrayed some of the ways in which
      Christ enters the Hindu heart; Just the book to read in the
      auxiliary society or to bring into the reading club."--_Mission

  Cloth, decorated, each, net 60c.

  _New Volumes._

  CHILDREN OF PERSIA. Mrs. Napier Malcolm.

      Each volume is written by an authority on the countries
      represented as well as by a writer who knows how to tell a story
      that will both entertain and instruct children.




  Studies In Some of the Larger Aspects of a Great
  Enterprise. 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

      Doctor Dennis has brought together in this, his latest volume on
      Foreign Missions, eighteen very suggestive and informing
      studies. The author might very properly be called the Dean of
      the School of the Philosophy of Modern Missions. He is both
      keenly analytical as well as broad in his outlook. This
      intensity and assurance can hardly fail to deeply impress and
      influence the reader. It is preeminently a dynamic book.


  Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

      The subject is treated historically, philosophically and
      suggestively. The contributions made by the government, the East
      Indians themselves and the missionaries, to solving the
      educational problems of the country are clearly shown. The book
      is an important and suggestive addition to the literature of
      education in foreign lands, being a worthy companion volume to
      Miss Burton's "The Education of Women in China."


  Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

      The author of "Where the Book Speaks," has given in these
      "College of Missions Lectures" a series of sketches of modern
      missionary leaders which for clearness, brevity, directness of
      style and inspirational value, have rarely been surpassed. Each
      characterization is truly "much in little," and the book is a
      distinct and most acceptable addition to missionary biography.

  _REV. W. MUNN_


  The Story of a River Voyage Told for Young
  Folks. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net 75c.

      The story of an actual trip up the Yang-tse river taken by three
      missionaries on the way to their stations. In breezy,
      easy-flowing narrative one of the three tells the very
      interesting story of their fifteen hundred mile journey. The
      book should be a very acceptable addition to missionary stories
      and side-light reading.


  The Duff Lectures for 1910.
  8vo, cloth, net $2.00.

      Among the many notable volumes that have resulted from the
      well-known Duff foundation Lectureship this new work embodying
      the series given by Mr. Robert E. Speer in Edinburgh, Glasgow
      and Aberdeen, will rank among the most important. The general
      theme, "The Reflex Influence of Missions upon the Nations,"
      suggests a large, important, and most interesting work. The name
      of the lecturer is sufficient guarantee of the method of


  Introduction by James S. Dennis. Two volumes, illustrated,
  8vo, cloth, boxed, net $5.00.

      This autobiographical record of half a century's experience in
      the mission field of Syria, is rich in color, narrative and
      insight. It is also incidentally a history of the mission work
      for the period but told with a personal touch and from the
      innermost standpoint. It is a pioneer's story, and as such never
      lacks in interest.


  8vo, cloth, net $2.50.

      A companion volume to "A History of Missions in India" by this
      great authority. The progress of the gospel is traced in Asia
      Minor, Persia, Arabia, Syria and Egypt. Non-sectarian in spirit
      and thoroughly comprehensive in scope. "It is truly a notable
      work and can be endorsed in unqualified terms."--_John R. Mott._


  Adapted for Boys and Girls.

  A Story and a Study of Missionary Effort from the Time of Paul to the
  Present Day. Cloth, net 60c; paper, net 30c.

      Brief sketches of great missionaries in chronological order,
      extending down through Augustine and Boniface the apostles to
      England and Germany, Xavier in Japan, and Brainerd among the
      Indians, to Carey, Moffat and Livingstone and Missionaries of
      our own day. Intensely stimulating and suggestive.

Transcriber's Notes:

Italics indicated by underscores _like this_

Bold and small caps indicated by upper-case LIKE THIS

Minor punction errors corrected without notice

p. 97 "Baba" changed to "Baha"

p 178. "percursor" changed to "precursor"

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