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To the Abode of the Hidden One: The Green Isle in Shīʿī, Early Shaykhī, and Bābī-Bahāʾī Sacred Topography

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by tracing the provenance of the story of the Green Island. It then proceeds to study the highly original interpretation given to the account in the eschatological speculations of the first two leaders of the Shaykhiyya. The chapter presents a study of references to the Green Island in the writings of the central figures of the Bābī and Bah āʾī religions. It explains how the motif of the Green Isle served the objective of demythologizing the Shīʿī promised figure while simultaneously signifying the fulfillment of Shīʿī messianic expectation in the person of the promised one and in the spiritual and physical topography associated with him. The chapter also explains how the Bah āʾī writings dramatically demythologize the Hidden Imām and deny outright all of the Shīʿī beliefs and dogmas about his existence while simultaneously appropriating a Shīʿī name and investing it with new meaning and significance.

Keywords: Bābī religion; Bah āʾī religion; Green Island; Shīʿī; Shaykhī; Shaykhiyya



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