BABI, babe, the name of a modern Persian sect, derived from the title, Bib-ed-Din (gate of the faith), assumed by its founder, Mirza Ali Mohammed, a native of Shiraz, who in 1843 undertook to establish a new religion from a mixture of Mohammedan, Christian, Jewish and Parsee elements. His controversies with the mollahs shortly led to his confinement to his own house, where he formulated his doc trines, privately instructed his disciples and increased his pretensions. The sect soon be came numerous; but on the accession of Nasir ed-Din in 1848, apprehending persecution, they took up arms, proclaiming the advent of the Bib as universal sovereign. The insurgents were reduced by famine, and most of them executed (1849-50). The Bib had held aloof from the revolt, but was arrested and put to death, after a long imprisonment, in 1850. His successor was recognized in the youthful son of the governor of Teheran, who retired to Bagdad, where he afterward lived quietly. An attempt of three believers to assassinate the Shah, in 1852, led to a persecution of the sect ; numbers were tortured and burned, among them Gurred-ul-Ain. Bibism is at present widely diffused in Persia; its members live in apparent conformity to orthodox Mohammedanism, but privately holding in Bib's doctrines, which are contained in an Arabic treatise, 'Biyan' (the exposition), written by the founder himself.
They form essentially a system of Pantheism, with Gnostic and Buddhistic additions. All beings are emanations from the Deity, by whom they will ultimately be reabsorbed. 13ibism enjoins few prayers, and those only on fixed occasions; encourages hospitality and charity; prohibits polygamy, concubinage and divorce; discourages asceticism and mendicancy; and directs women to discard the veil, and share as equals in the intercourse of social life. (See BAH ISM ). Consult Andreas, 'Die Babis in Persien' (Leipzig 1896) ; Browne, 'A Travel er's Narrative' Written to Illustrate the Epi sode of the Bib (Cambridge 1892) ; Beha Ullah, 'Les Preceptes du Behaisme' (Paris 1906) ; Huart, 'La religion de Bab' (ib., 1889) ; Dreyfus, 'Essai sur le Behaisme) (ib., 1909) ; Mirth Huseyn, 'Le Beyin arabe le livre sacre du Babysme) (Paris 1905) ; Phelps 'Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi) (New York 1903).