- Category: Alison Marshall's Column
- Created: Sunday, 04 February 2007 14:30
- Published: Sunday, 04 February 2007 14:30
- Written by Alison Marshall
- Hits: 8396
I suspect that not many people will know about Ahang Rabbani's website. He has given it the title: Studies in the Babi and Baha'i Faiths. Ahang Rabbani.
Ahang is a humble, and a great, Baha'i scholar. He has done some extraordinary research and writing for the faith. He can read Persian and Arabic and has dedicated his life to translating and researching the writings of those who interacted with the Bab, Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, as well as other works. He writes up the fruits of his research in various documents. One great thing about these documents is that anyone can read them. You don't have to be a scholar or knowledgeable about the history of the faith to follow them. Ahang footnotes his work to help the lay reader understand what's going on.
As luck would have it, last year Ahang decided to put on a website a large collection of his documents. It is a mine of information about the history of the faith. If you look closely at what Ahang has produced, you can only marvel at the breadth and depth of it. For example: Do you know who or what the Afnan family is? Well, wonder no more because Ahang has written a 50-page genealogy of the family with biographical notes about each member, stretching back to before the Bab and forward to roughly the present day. By reading it, you get a really good picture of who the family was and the sort of lives its members lived. I know there has been controversy about whether members of the family traded in opium. The details about that are there.
Another of Ahang's achievements is his book, In the Land of Refuge: The Genesis of the Baha'i Faith in Shiraz. As the title indicates, the book is a detailed account of the fortunes of the faith in the Bab's hometown. It's a real eye-opener. You begin to appreciate what life was like in those days and what it meant to be a believer. It also sheds light on the culture in which the faith originated.
So, if you're looking for some interesting reading, then I highly recommend Ahang's works. What little I have read has changed me and greatly increased my understanding of where the faith has come from.
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