Islam and the Baha'i Faith

A Comparative Study of Muhammad ‘Abduh and ‘Abdul-Baha ‘Abbas

By Oliver Scharbrodt

© 2008 – Routledge

256 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415664035
pub: 2011-03-24
US Dollars$54.95
x
Hardback: 9780415774413
pub: 2008-04-29
US Dollars$165.00
x

About the Book

Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849-1905) was one of the key thinkers and reformers of modern Islam who has influenced both liberal and fundamentalist Muslims today. ‘Abdul-Baha (1844-1921) was the son of Baha’ullah (1817-1892), the founder of the Baha’i Faith; a new religion which began as a messianic movement in Shii Islam, before it departed from Islam.

Oliver Scharbrodt offers an innovative and radically new perspective on the lives of these two major religious reformers in 19th century Middle East by placing both figures into unfamiliar terrain. While one would classify ‘Abdul-Baha, leader of a messianic movement which claims to depart from Islam, as an exponent of heresy in Islam, ‘Abduh is perceived as an orthodox Sunni reformer. This book, however, argues against the assumption that both represent two extremely opposite expressions of Islamic religiosity. It shows that both were influenced by similar intellectual and religious traditions of Islam and that both participated in the same discussions on the reform of Islam in the 19th century.

Islam and the Baha'i Faith provides new insights into the Islamic background of the Baha’i Faith and into ‘Abduh’s own association with so-called heretical movements in Islam.

Reviews

"Oliver Scharbrodt provides a striking exception to this history of disinterest and neglect. He does not just take a second look at the two movements; he places them ?rmly within the history of modern Islamic reform. The result is a compelling achievement that opens up new avenues for research in both areas and for the re-examination of matters chronologically prior to and after the two men whose careers form the basis for the present work. Scharbrodt’s own research is just what a study like this demands: detailed, wide-ranging, and careful."

- Denis MacEoin in Religion 40 (2010), pp. 72-73

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Formative Years: Mysticism and Millenarianism 3. Into Modernity 4. Succession and Renewal 5. Charisma Routinized 6. Creating Orthodoxy: The View of Posterity Epilogue Bibliography

About the Author

Oliver Scharbrodt is Lecturer in the Study of Religions at University College Cork, Ireland. His research interests lie in the study of modern Islam and of Iranian Shiism and Sufism.

About the Series

Culture and Civilization in the Middle East

This series studies the Middle East through the twin foci of its diverse cultures and civilizations. Comprising original monographs as well as scholarly surveys, it covers topics in the fields of Middle Eastern literature, archaeology, law, history, philosophy, science, folklore, art, architecture and language. While there is a plurality of views, the series presents serious scholarship in a lucid and stimulating fashion.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
REL000000
RELIGION / General
REL037000
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOC053000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies