Talismans in the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths

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Talismans are referred to in several of the writings of the Báb, founder of the Bábí Faith, and to a lesser extent in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith.[1]

In Bábism[edit]

A Da'ira (دائرة circle) is a symbolic circular talisman for women described by the Báb. For men he instructed the use of a Haykal (temple), a five-pointed star.[2] Nader Saiedi explains that these terms should not be interpreted too literally, and that one should focus on their spiritual meaning. The Haykal is a symbol for the Manifestation of God, while the circle refers to the "Sun of Truth," another term for the Manifestation of God. Their purpose is constant awareness of the symbolic meanings, and to help the Bábís to recognize "He whom God shall make manifest" when he would appear.[3]

In the Bahá'í Faith[edit]

Bahá'u'lláh, who claimed to be the one promised by the Báb, de-emphasized this type of esoteric elements of Bábism (including alchemy [4][5]) and stressed rationality. He states for example "Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess."[6][7] Bahá'í scholar Udo Schaefer states that Bahá’u’lláh uses the talisman as a metaphor, and that humans possess two properties of a talisman when they try "to follow their true spiritual vocation". They have the capacity to do good deeds and attract blessings, and are able to ward off evil from themselves or others.[6]

There are some Bahá'í prayers that offer talismanic protection, for example, the Long Healing Prayer. 'Abdu'l-Bahá stated that the Greatest Name offers protection.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Smith, Peter (2000). "talismans". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 333–334. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  2. ^ Denis MacEoin (1994). Rituals in Babism and Baha'ism. UK: British Academic Press and Centre of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. pp. 14–21. ISBN 1-85043-654-1. 
  3. ^ Saiedi, Nader (2008). Gate of the Heart. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 330–331. ISBN 978-1-55458-035-4. 
  4. ^ Brown, Keven (2002/2012). A Reflection on the Theory of Alchemy as Explained in the Bahá'í Writings.
  5. ^ Brown, Keven (1997). Hermes Trismegistus and Apollonius of Tyana in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh in Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology, Studies in the Babi and Bahá'í Religions, vol. 8, pp. 153-187. Kalimat Press, Los Angeles.
  6. ^ a b Schaefer, Udo (2007). Bahá'í Ethics in Light of Scripture, Volume 1 - Doctrinal Fundamentals. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 52. ISBN 0-85398-505-7. 
  7. ^ Shahvar, Soli (2009). The Forgotten Schools: The Bahá'ís and Modern Education in Iran 1899-1934. International library of Iranian studies. 11 (illustrated ed.). I. B. Tauris. ISBN 1845116836. 

Further reading[edit]