The Báb on the Rights of Women


Abstract: In his writings, the Bāb (1819–1850), the founder of the Bābī religion, introduced laws and pronounced ethical injunctions pertaining to women that marked a significant departure from Muslim legal norms and social customs prevailing in Iran and the wider Islamic world. His statements signal a deliberate attempt to improve the status of women, including in marital relations. They addressed issues such as mutʿah and taḥlīl marriages, polygyny, bridal consent, divorce and spousal relations. This article examines the Bāb’s statements on these issues and reflects on their significance for the rights of women in the context of Muslim juridical opinions and social customs, focusing mainly on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


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