The Bahá’í Faith and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911)

While the Bahá’ís have generally rejected partisan politics in favor of grassroots service and bringing about unity among differing factions the Bahá’ís did engage in some political activity in the aftermath of the Revolution. Most significant was an attempt to have Bahá’ís represented by elected Bahá’í members in the Parliament. This plan never officially materialized. A study of the Bahá’í discourses on the Constitutional Revolution and the ensuing Bahá’í quietism is an issue that has not been addressed in any academic literature. There is ample literature, for instance on the role of the Azalís in the Constitutional Revolution.[3] Browne, Bayat and Afary all devote much attention to the Azali involvement in the Constitutional Movement. The Bahá’ís are, however, barely discussed. This despite the fact that the Bahá’ís numbered between 50,000-100,000 during this period and the Azalís were probably only about three to four thousand.[4] The Bahá’ís also had much more receptivity to possibility and advantages of a Constitutional Movement as suggested by many of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings.[5] The lack of academic literature on this issue probably stems from the primary sources and has been carried over to the secondary Western sources. This vacuum is the attention of this paper. I will begin with the most general of sources and will analyze the most specific surveys later. Not all sources are examined at the same level of detail, because the methodological approaches of some works require more discussion.

I wanted to draw the attention of those passionate historians amongst us to a series of enlightening articles appearing about a subject so relevant and critical in these momentous times; please see the site,
Postsecularism: Discourses on History, Sociology and Religion, and the latest piece about 

The Bahá’í Faith and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911) ن

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