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Chapter Summary

Babism up to about 1853, when the leadership of the sect moved from Iran to Iraq and internal developments began which led to the Bahāʾī/Azalī split. Babism may be divided into two main periods: 1) from 1250/1844 to 1264/1848, when the Bāb claimed to be the gate preparing the way for the return of the Hidden Imam and the movement around him was characterized by intense Islamic piety and observance of the Sharīʿa or Islamic law; and 2) from 1264/1848 to 1269/1853, beginning with the Bāb's claim to be the Imam in person and the abrogation of the Islamic Sharīʿa, through his assumption of the role of an independent theophany and his promulgation of a new religious law, to his execution in Tabrīz, the collapse of the leadership of the movement, the proliferation of authority claims, and the dispersal of a hard core of the sect to Baghdad.

Keywords: Bāb; Babism; Iraq; Islamic Sharīʿa



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