Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Tahirah Qurrat al-ʻAyn

b. 1815 or 1816 Qazvin
d. August or September 1852

Fatimah Baraghani (Zarrin Taj, known as Tahirah Qurrat al-‘Ayn), daughter of Aminah Khanum Qazvini and Mulla Muhammad Salih Baraghani, was born to an educated family in Qazvin in 1814 (or 1818). She used the name ""Aminah"" in her signatory seal. In 1828, she married her cousin, Mulla Muhammad, and they had two sons and a daughter. After her marriage, she travelled to Karbalaʼ with her husband. She joined the Shaykhis. As the religious dispute grew between Qurrat al-‘Ayn and her husband, she eventually left her husband and her children. After the death of Sayyid Kazim Rashti and emergence of the Babi movement, Qurrat al-‘Ayn became a member and leader of the Babis. In 1852, Qurrat al-‘Ayn was arrested in the battle between the Babis and the government forces and was taken to Tehran. After attempts by some Babis to assassinate Nasir al-Din Shah, Qurrat al-‘Ayn was sentenced to death. There are several narratives about her execution and her burial place.

Fatimah Baraghani (Zarrin Taj, known as Tahirah Qurrat al-‘Ayn), daughter of Aminah Khanum Qazvini and Mulla Muhammad Salih Baraghani, was born in Qazvin in 1814 (or 1818). She used the name ""Aminah"" in her signatory seal. Women of her family, including her mother, Aminah Khanum, her aunt, Mah Sharaf Khanum, and her sister, Rubabah Khanum, were all counted among the educated and knowledgeable women of Qazvin. Her father was one of Qazvin's mujtahids and her uncle, Mulla Muhammad Taqi Baraghani was a marja‘ (source of imitation) and head of Qazvin's seminary. Under her father and her uncle, Fatimah learned theology. She liked writing poetry and used Umm Salamah as a pen name. In 1828, she married her cousin, Mulla Muhammad, and they had two sons and a daughter. After her marriage, she travelled to Karbalaʼ with her husband. Sources differ as to whether she travelled only once to Karbala' after joining the Shaykhis. While in Karbalaʼ, Mulla Muhammad continued his education in theology under the guidance of Mulla Muhammad Baqir Qazvini. Fatimah, who had been introduced to Shaykh Muhammad Ahsaiʼs ideas, also had a chance to become more learned in Shaykhi ideas. After returning to Qazvin (in 1841), she joined the Shaykhis, corresponded with Sayyid Kazim Rashti, and sent him some of her writing. She received the title of Tahirah Qurrat al-‘Ayn from him. Qurrat al-‘Ayn's Shaykhi affiliations triggered disputes between her, her husband, and her father-in-law. Eventually, Qurrat al-‘Ayn left her husband and children and returned to her father's house. In 1847, she travelled to Karbalaʼ along with her sister and her brother-in-law, but Sayyid Kazim died ten days before they reached Karbalaʼ. She resided in his widow's house, and upon the Bab's emergence, she joined the Babi movement. There are many narratives about her short life as a leader of this movement. In 1852, Qurrat al-‘Ayn was arrested in the battle between Babis and government forces and was deported to Tehran. After several attempts by Babis to assassinate Nasir al-Din Shah, Qurrat al-‘Ayn was sentenced to death. There are several narratives about her execution and the place of her burial. Close

Amanat, Abbas. Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989. Encyclopaedia Iranica: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/women-babi http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/bahaism-iii http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/bahaism-xii رجبی، محمدحسن. مشاهیر زنان ایرانی و پارسی گوی. تهران: سروش، ۱۳۷۴. سپهر، محمدتقی خان. ناسخ التواریخ. به کوشش محمدباقربهبودی. تهران: اسلامیه، ۱۳۸۵. نورمحمدی، مهدی. شیخیه و بابیه در ایران. تهران: نگاه، ۱۳۹۲. Close

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