Gate of the Heart: Understanding the Writings of the Báb
Co-published with the Association for Bah’ Studies
In 1844 a charismatic young Persian merchant from Shiraz, known as the Bb, electrified the Sh’ih world by claiming to be the return of the Hidden Twelfth Imam of Islamic prophecy. But contrary to traditional expectations of apocalyptic holy war, the Bb maintained that the spiritual path was not one of force and coercion but love and compassion. The movement he founded was the precursor of the Bah’ faith, but until now the Bb’s own voluminous writings—complex, mystical, highly symbolic—have been seldom studied and often misunderstood. Gate of the Heartoffers the first in-depth introduction to the writings of the Bb.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the author examines the Bb’s major works in multifaceted context, explaining the unique theological system, mystical world view, and interpretive principles they embody as well as the rhetorical and symbolic uses of language through which the Bb radically transforms traditional concepts. Arguing that the Bb movement went far beyond an attempt at an Islamic Reformation, the author explores controversial issues and offers conclusions that will compel a re-evaluation of some prevalent assumptions about the Bb’s station, claims, and laws.
Nader Saiedi’s meticulous and insightful analysis identifies the key themes, terms, and concepts that characterize each stage of the Bb’s writings, unlocking the code of the Bb’s mystical lexicon. Gate of the Heartis a subtle and profound textual study and an essential resource for anyone wishing to understand the theological foundations of the Bah’ religion and the Bb’s significance in religious history.
What people are saying - Write a review
Fantastic. Nader does it again.
This book is a great antidote for those who have been waiting a long time
for new English translations of the Bab's writings. Some of us are gettingold and will never learn Arabic. Saiedi's work is well appreciated.
The Persian leaders of the Bab's time were well aware that if they did
not kill this new faith that it would take over the country.