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Azalī Babism

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Chapter Summary

Azalī Babism represents the conservative core of the original Bābī movement, opposed to innovation and preaching a religion for a non- clerical gnostic elite rather than the masses. It also retains the original Bābī antagonism to the Qājār state and a commitment to political activism, in distinction to the quietist stance of Bahaʾism. Paradoxically, Azalī conservatism in religious matters seems to have provided a matrix within which radical social and political ideas could be propounded. If Babism represented the politicization of dissent within Shiʿism and Bahaʾism stood for a return to earlier Shiʿite ideals of political quietis, the Azalī movement became a sort of bridge between earlier Bābī militancy and the secularizing reform movements of the late Qājār period.

Keywords: Azalī Babism; Bābī movement; Qājār



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