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Shirazi, Sayyid Ali Muhammad

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Shirazi, Sayyid Ali Muhammad

    (d. 1850 )

    Also known as Bab . Messianic religious leader. First individual in Islamic history to make a serious attempt to break away from Islam in order to found a separate religion with distinct books and laws. Initially claimed to be the gate (bab) or spokesperson for the Hidden Imam of Imami Shiism and an interpreter of the Quran; later he claimed to be the imam in person, and then a divine manifestation. Most of his prophetic career was spent under house arrest or in prison in northwest Iran. Shirazi was shot by a firing squad in 1850 . His followers declared a formal break with Islam in 1848 , and the movement became known as Babism. Bahais consider Shirazi a forerunner of the founder of their faith, Baha Allah .

    See also Babism; Bahais

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