Baha'i Library Online

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COLLECTIONBook excerpts
TITLEThe City of Dancing Dervishes: And other sketches and studies from the Near East
AUTHOR 1Harry Charles Luke
PUB_THISMacmillan and Company
ABSTRACTOne-half page summary of the Mahdi and Bahá'í history.
NOTES Author's name is here written as "Harry Charles Lukach," but in other publications the surname is given as "Luke."

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TAGS- Báb, The; Mahdi

1. Text

[page 116]

.. Mahdi, and is believed not to have died, but to be withdrawn from the world. He will reappear in the last days to reign over the universe for seven years with equity and justice, assuming the title of Mahdi, or "Director."

Many Mahdis have appeared in the course of time, to meet with varying measures of success, although not with the official recognition of the Imamiyeh body. The best known to Englishmen, and one of the most successful, was the Mahdi Mohammed Ahmed of Dongola, under whose tyranny and that of his successor, the Khalif 'Abdu'llah, the Sudan was for so long the scene of bloodshed and desolation. Among others may be mentioned the Fatimite 'Obaidallah, already alluded to, and Mirza 'Ali Mohammed, the Bab, who was executed in Tabriz in 1850. The Bab's importance lies not so much in the Babi movement, of which he was the founder, for of Babis properly so called there are no more, and of their direct descendants, the Ezelis, or followers of Subh-i-Ezel, practically none. But from Babism has developed the more extended movement known as Bahá'ísm, whose name is derived from the Bab's pupil Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh claimed

[page 117]

that the Bab's mission was but to herald his, Bahá'u'lláh's, advent; and established the headquarters of the new movement at Acre in Syria. He died there in 1892, and was succeeded by his son 'Abbas, now known as 'Abdu'l Baha. ...

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