The "daughter of evil"

In Karbila, Tahirih taught the Bab’s message boldly and publicly including in long letters to all the leading clerics of the city even though the written word was the province of educated men whose prerogative it was to instruct, to debate, and to explicate.

She had come to believe that the Bab was both the redeemer foretold by Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim and the bringer of a new Divine revelation. God’s Revelation did not cease:

“And day after day the cycle of the universe is in progress and ‘there is no suspension in his emanation’. Praise be to God and our prayer and gratitude [to Him] that the Cause is everlasting.”[i]

She saw that few Shaykhis and Babis understood the true station and claims of the Bab who believed he was a divinely inspired reformer of Islam not the bringer of new revelation.

The leader of these more conservative Babis in that region did not approve at all of Tahirih’s more radical interpretation and of her public teaching, even going so far as to call her, in writing, the “Daughter of evil.”

Despite the opposition, Tahirih gathered a group of fervent followers around her, ‘the Qurratiya’, which included both male and female and Persian and Arab. One of the Arab men became the first martyr for the new religion on Persian soil. Women were attracted to her radical teachings and the possibilities that these created. Her most devoted students carried these new ideas beyond Karbila. Tahirih insisted that her followers observe dietary teachings that included abstaining from smoking or drinking coffee.

Click below to learn about to learn more about the extraordinary life of Rabia of Basra a female Muslim mystic who was a highly influential spiritual teacher--nine-hundred years before Tahirih!