The Báb and ʿAlí Muḥammad, Islamic and Post-Islamic: Multiple Meanings in the Writings of Sayyid ʿAlí Muḥammad Shírází

Through the lens of multiple meanings, this presentation analyzes the interplay between the Báb’s identity and His writings as they relate to Islam. The Báb’s writings echo a long tradition of Islamic literary culture that creates meaning through metaphorical and symbolic language. The Báb’s claims are evident through His titles of the Gate (Báb), Remembrance (Dhikr), Point (Nuqṭah), ʿAlí , and Muḥammad, which point to the Imām, Prophet Muḥammad, and a new Manifestation. The simultaneous absence and presence of Islam in the Báb’s Writings created a real-world division between the Báb’s followers and His critics, leading to a post-Islamic future.

  • Zackery Heern

    Zackery Mirza Heern is a specialist in Middle East and Islamic Studies, focusing on Shiʿism as well as Bábí and Bahá’í studies. Dr. Heern is a Professor of History at Idaho State University, where he served as Chair of the Department of History for five years. He currently serves as the Associate Dean for Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Arts and Letters at ISU.


48th Annual Conference

The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.