Who Was She?
Who are the Bab and Hujjat?
Transcript: Welcome to Who was she? Podcast. I am your host, Tara Jabbari. After a decade working in documentaries, marketing and all things digital media, I found that podcasting is a strong medium to share stories. After years of producing for others, I decided to start my own biographical podcast.
Who was she? Podcast will focus on the stories of women throughout history that were active in the Baha’i Faith. This season is about Zaynab, a 19th century village girl from Iran who fought for religious freedom.
There is little information known about Zaynab but her bravery and sacrifice inspired many to follow in her footsteps. In order to understand what she did, we must first know about a man named, Mulla Muhammad-Ali also known as Hujjat and about the Prophet, The Bab.
The Bahai Faith has two Founders beginning with The Bab, who was born Say-yed ʻAlí Muḥammad Shírází on October 20th, 1819 in Shiraz, Iran. He was a merchant but many who met Him, knew there was something special about Him. In 1844, He revealed Himself to be a Messenger of God, a Divine Educator. He became known as The Bab, meaning the Gate and established the Babi Faith. Later, many of the Bab’s followers would become members of the Baha’i Faith when, Baha’u’llah, the next Messenger of God or Divine Educator, revealed His Station in 1863.
There is so much more to know about the Founders of the Baha’i Faith and I encourage you to research more! A trusted site is Bahai.org as a good starting point. For the purposes of this podcast, we will move on to learn more about one of the early believers, Hujjat.
Hujjat was born in Zanjan, Iran in 1812. His father was one of the leading mujtahids, or authority in Islamic law. Father and son were known for their great sense of character, knowledge and piety.
In Dawnbreakers, a book about the beginning of the Baha’i Faith, it writes, “(Hujjat) was a man of independent mind, noted for extreme originality and freedom from all forms of traditional restraint.” This caused great admiration from the people but hatred from the Islamic governing clergy.
When Huggat learned that a prophet, or manifestation was among them, he wanted to learn more for himself. Through an exchange of letters, Huggat acknowledged The Bab as a Prophet. “It is my firm and unalterable conviction that this Siyyid of Shiraz is the very One whose advent you yourself, with all the peoples of the world, are eagerly awaiting. He is our Lord, our promised Deliverer.”
He became a devout Babi. Hujjat taught the Faith to his hometown. It is reported that two-thirds of the people of Zanjan accepted It. The clergy were furious and worried, “The time is fast approaching when not only Zanjan but the neighboring villages also will have declared themselves his supporters.” The clergy believed that the Babi Faith was a disruption of their authority and would eventually destroy their institution.
They decided that the best thing to do was to kill Hujjat and his fellow believers.
But the Babis were not going to stay passive. They organized their own protection. It was important for them to defend themselves but never to instigate violence. “Do not think we are destined to conquer the world by the sword; in every age the blood of the believers has fueled the flame of Faith; we will be martyrs,” affirmed Hujjat.
In the next episode, we will learn about the siege of Zanjan, one of the most violent and devastating battles in the Faith’s history and the introduction of one of their most fearless warriors, Zaynab.
You can also find more information on our Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @whowasshe podcast. And please, rate and subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast.