By Martha L. Root, revised edition with an introductory essay by Marzieh Gail
Táhirih the Pure is the story of the premier woman of the
Bábí Faith. This story is told by Martha Root, the
indomitable Bahá'í teacher who followed in Táhirih's
footsteps, widened the path which Táhirih had walked, and
eventually attained the rank of Hand of the Cause of God.
The Iran of Táhirih's time was only beginning to stir from
its feudal sleep. The nation was ruled by the whim of an absolute
monarch, and the masses were held in the grip of a fanatical Muslim
clergy. Women remained veiled and secluded, denied education, and
dominated their whole lives, first by fathers, and then by husbands.
During such a time, Táhirih boldly proclaimed to her native
land the advent of a new Day of God.
A renowned poet, quick in argument and eloquent of speech, uncompromising
in her demands for the emancipation of women, Táhirih became
a legend in her own time. Despite fierce opposition from her own
family, denunciations by the Muslim clergy, arrests and imprisonment,
she traveled between Iran and Iraq teaching her revolutionary Message.
Finally, she stunned the nation and challenged her fellow believers
by discarding the symbol of the inequality of her sex, appearing
before an assemblage of men unveiled. Nearly a century later, Martha
Root became fascinated by Táhirih's story and traveled to
Iran in an effort to learn more about this remarkable woman. This
book is the result of her research. As she pieces together the story
of her spiritual sister from many sources, we learn as much about
Martha as we do about Táhirih.
Originally published in 1938, in Karachi, Pakistan, Martha Root's
book remains the only one of its kind. A new preface by Marzieh
Gail introduces us to both Táhirih and to Martha, to their
times, and to the mystic tie which seems to unite these two brilliant
heroines of the Faith.
Price: $21.95 paperback
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