An Azali (Persian: ازلیان‎)[1][2][3][4] or Azali Bábí[5][6] is a follower of the monotheistic religion of Subh-i-Azal and the Báb. Early followers of the Báb were known as Bábís; however, in the 1860s a split occurred after which the vast majority of Bábís followed Mirza Husayn `Ali, known as Bahá'u'lláh, and became known as Bahá'ís, while the minority who followed Subh-i-Azal came to be called Azalis.[7]

Current estimates are that there are no more than a few thousand.[2][5][6]

Iranian Azali community or Isfahan, Iran Azali community
The Azali Community in Isfahan early 20th century

Distinguishing characteristics

Azalis do not accept any of those who have advanced claims to be the Báb's promised one (known as "He whom God shall make manifest"). The most bitterly contested claim is that of Bahá'u'lláh in 1863. Azalis rejected his claim of divinity, arguing that the world must first accept the laws of the Báb before "He Whom God Shall Make Manifest" can appear.[8]

Involvement in Persian secular and constitutional reform

With respect to the direction that Azali Bábism took immediately after the split, MacEoin said:

Azali Babism represents the conservative core of the original Babi movement, opposed to innovation and preaching a religion for a non-clerical gnostic elite rather than the masses. It also retains the original Babi antagonism to the Qajar state and a commitment to political activism, in distinction to the quietist stance of Baháism [sic]. Paradoxically, Azali conservatism in religious matters seems to have provided a matrix within which radical social and political ideas could be propounded.

— [6]

After the split with the Bahá'ís, some Azalis were very active in secular reform movements and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905–1907), including Shaykh Ahmad Ruhi Kermani and Mirza Abd-al-Hosayn Kermani. However, the community was still suppressed as a heresy, and the accusation of being an Azali was often enough for most to believe it to be true. Coupled with the Azali practice of taqiyya (dissimulation), determining whether or not a particular figure in Persian politics was an Azali is difficult.[6]


Taqiya ("dissimulation") was practiced by some Bábís. It was justified by some as a response to the often violent oppression the community faced. However, prominent Bábí leaders never encouraged individuals to practice it; and some who had practiced taqiyya later abandoned it, declared themselves openly, and were put to death.[9]

Among Azalis, however, the practice became ingrained and widespread. One historian has noted:

The Azali Babis and in particular Mirza Aqa Khan Kirmani and Shaykh Ahmad Ruhi showed little hesitation in alteration and falsification of Babi teachings and history in their works. Azali Babis regarded taqiyyah as an imperative requirement. In contrast the Azali Babis glorified taqiyyah in their literature. Taqiyyah was considered a virtue and classified into various levels of concealment. Prominent Azali leaders openly recanted their faith and even abused [the] Bab and Azal in the process.

— [9]

Succession and aftermath

There was some dispute on the question over who was Subh-i-Azal's appointed successor.[10] MacEoin states that Subh-i-Azal appointed Yahya Dawlatábádí as his successor in turn after the death of his (Yahya's) father, Mirza Hadi Dawlatábádí.[6] However, this was disputed by Subh-i-Azal's grandson, Jalal Azal , indicating that this question was not entirely resolved.[11]

MacEoin notes that, in any event, neither he (Yahya Dawlatábádí) nor anyone else arose to organize the affairs of the community, or produce significant writing to develop the religion. He goes on to say (writing in 1999):

With the deaths of those Azalis who were active in the Constitutional period, Azali Babism entered a phase of stagnation from which it has never recovered. There is now no acknowledged leader nor, to the knowledge of the present writer, any central organization. Members tend to be secretive about their affiliation, converts are rare, and association appears to run along family lines. It is difficult to estimate current numbers, but these are unlikely to exceed one or two thousand, almost all of whom reside in Iran.

— [6]

See also


  1. ^ Browne (1889) pp. 351-352
  2. ^ a b "Azali". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2006-12-26.
  3. ^ MacEoin, Dennis (1999). "Sub-i Azal". Encyclopædia of Islam.
  4. ^ Amanat, Abbas (1989). Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. pp. 384, 414.
  5. ^ a b Barrett (2001) p. 246
  6. ^ a b c d e f MacEoin, Dennis (1989). "Azali Babism". Encyclopædia Iranica.
  7. ^ "But the upshot of the whole matter is, that out of every hundred Bábís probably not more than three or four are Ezelís [sic], all the rest accepting Behá'u'lláh [sic] as the final and most perfect manifestation of the Truth." (Browne (1889) p. 351)
  8. ^ "Azali". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2006-10-17.
  9. ^ a b Manuchehri 1999
  10. ^ Browne (1918) pp. 312-314
  11. ^ Momen, M. (1991). "The Cyprus Exiles". Bahá'í Studies Bulletin: 106.


External links

2002 Comorian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in the Comoros in 2002. In accordance with the new constitution approved in a referendum the previous year, the island of Grande Comore was to provide the candidates for this election as part of a rotation agreement between the three islands. A first round was held on Grande Comore on 17 March, after which the top three candidates, Azali Assoumani, Mahamoud Mradabi and Saïd Ali Kemal went through to a second, national round of voting on 14 April. However, both Mradabi and Kemal boycotted the second round, leaving first round winning Assoumani as the only candidate.

2016 Comorian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in the Comoros on 21 February 2016, with a second round to be held on 10 April 2016, alongside elections for the Governors of the three islands. Azali Assoumani of the Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros was elected President with 41% of the vote.

2018 Comorian constitutional referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in the Comoros on 30 July 2018. The constitutional amendments proposed would remove the presidential term limits and requirement for the presidency to rotate between the three main islands. Following the approval of the amendments by 92% of voters, President Azali Assoumani will be allowed to run for another five-year term in a vote moved forward to 2019 instead of 2021.

2019 Comorian presidential election

Early presidential elections were held in the Comoros on 24 March 2019 alongside regional elections. A second round would have been held on 21 April if required, but incumbent President Azali Assoumani was re-elected in the first round of voting.

Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi

Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi (Arabic: أحمد عبدالله محمد سامبي‎, born 5 June 1958) is a Comorian Islamic leader and politician, and former President of Comoros. He is popularly known as 'Ayatollah'. After easily winning the 14 May 2006 presidential election with 58.02% of the national vote, Sambi was inaugurated as President of the Union of the Comoros on 26 May 2006. It was the first peaceful transfer of power in the history of the Comoros.

Azali Assoumani

Azali Assoumani (Arabic: غزالي عثماني‎, born January 1, 1959) is a Comorian politician who is the President of the Comoros. He has been in office since 2016. Previously he was President from 1999 to 2002 and again from 2002 to 2006.

He became leader of the Comoros on 30 April 1999 after leading a coup to depose acting president Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde, who he saw as pandering to the independence movement on Anjouan. He won multi-party elections in 2002, prior to which he was constitutionally required to temporarily step down in order to run as a candidate.

On 15 May 2016 he was declared by the Constitutional Court to have won the 2016 presidential election to succeed President Ikililou Dhoinine.

Bahá'í/Bábí split

The Bahá'í/Bábí split occurred when most Bábís accepted Bahá'u'lláh as the messiah of the Báb's writings, leading them to become Bahá'ís, and leaving a remnant of Bábís who became known as Azalis. The split occurred after Bahá'í founder Bahá'u'lláh made his claims to be the messiah public in 1866, leading to expressions of support from the majority of the Bábí community, and opposition from Subh-i-Azal, who became the leader of the remaining group.

Hamada Madi

Hamada Madi, widely known as "Boléro", is a Comorian politician, former Prime Minister and interim President. He is Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission.

Human rights in the Comoros

Historically, Comoros has had a relatively poor human rights record. In early 1979, Comorian authorities arrested some 300 supporters of the Soilih's regime and imprisoned them without trial in Moroni. Four of Soilih's former ministers also disappeared. For the next two years, there were further arrests, shootings, and disappearances. Under pressure from France, some trials were held but many Comorians remained political prisoners, despite protests from Amnesty International and other humanitarian organizations. The Abdallah regime also restricted freedom of speech, press, association, citizens' rights to change their government, women's rights, and workers' rights. After Abdullah's death on November 27, 1989, the country's human rights record improved. The European mercenaries who ruled the island ordered only a few arrests and released nearly all political prisoners who had been detained after the 1985 and 1987 coup attempts.

This trend continued until March 1990, when Djohar became president of Comoros. Opposition to his regime resulted in questionable human rights practices. For example, after an unsuccessful August 18–19, 1990 coup attempt, the authorities detained twenty-four people without trial in connection with the uprising. In October 1990, the security forces killed Max Veillard, the leader of the conspirators. The following year, after efforts to remove him from the presidency for negligence failed, Djohar ordered the arrest of several Supreme Court judges and declared a state of emergency. Another failed coup attempt on September 26, 1992, prompted the authorities to detain more than twenty people, including former Minister of Interior Omar Tamou. Police held these detainees incommunicado and reportedly tortured some of them. The Comorian Human Rights Association also accused the Djohar regime of extrajudicially executing individuals suspected of supporting armed opposition groups. By late 1993, groups such as Amnesty International continued to monitor the human rights situation in Comoros, and to speak out against the Djohar regime.

Ikililou Dhoinine

Ikililou Dhoinine (born 14 August 1962) is a Comorian politician who was the President of the Comoros from 2011 to 2016; he was a Vice-President of Comoros from 2006 to 2011.

List of ancient tribes in Illyria

This is a list of ancient tribes in the ancient territory of Illyria (Ancient Greek: Ἰλλυρία). The name Illyrians seems to be the name of a single Illyrian tribe that was the first to come into contact with the ancient Greeks, causing the name Illyrians to be applied to all people of similar language and customs. The locations of Illyrian tribes/peoples prior to the Roman conquest are approximate, as sometimes many wholly different locations are given by ancient writers and modern authors (as in the case of the Enchelei).

After the Great Illyrian Revolt, the Romans deported, split, and resettled Illyrian tribes within Illyria itself and to Dacia, sometimes causing whole tribes to vanish and new ones to be formed from their remains, such as the Deraemestae and the Docleatae, some of them mixed with Celtic tribes (see Celticization). Many tribal names are known from Roman civitates and the number of their decuriae, formed of the dispersed tribes in Illyria.

List of heads of state of the Comoros

The following is a list of heads of state of the Comoros, since the country gained independence from France in 1975.

Mahmudabad-e Azali

Mahmudabad-e Azali (Persian: محمود آباد ازلي‎, also Romanized as Maḩmūdābād-e Āzalī; also known as Maḩmūdābād, Moḩammadābād, Muhammadābād, and Muhaniprābād) is a village in Nakhlestan Rural District, in the Central District of Kahnuj County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 239, in 51 families.

Mohamed Said Fazul

Mohamed Said Fazul (born 18 September 1960) was president of the Comorian island of Mohéli from 19 May 2002 to 1 July 2007.

He worked as a pharmacist and taught natural sciences at a Fomboni college until his nomination by President Azali Assoumani in March 2001 to be governor of Mohéli. He benefited from his incumbent position as island governor and the backing of Azali in beating his rival, Mohamed Hassanaly, in the second round of the elections for the presidency of Mohéli on 7 April 2002, although Hassanally had received more votes in the first round.

After two rounds of elections in June 2007, he was defeated by Mohamed Ali Said, who took office on 1 July.

National Rally for Development

The National Rally for Development (French: Rassemblement National pour le Développement, RND) was a political party in the Comoros.

Politics of the Comoros

Politics of the Union of the Comoros takes place in a framework of a federal presidential republic, whereby the President of the Comoros is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament.

As of 2008, Comoros and Mauritania were considered by US-based organization Freedom House as the only real “electoral democracies” of the Arab World.


Ṣubḥ-i-Azal (Persian: یحیی صبح ازل‎)(Morning of Eternity) (1831–1912, born Mírzá Yaḥyá Núrí) was a Persian religious leader of Azali Bábism also known as the Bayání Faith.Born in the year 1831, he was orphaned at a very young age and taken into the care of his stepmother, Khadíjih Khánum. In 1850, when he was just 19 years old, he was appointed by 'Ali Muhammad Shirazi, known as the Báb, to lead the Bábí community.

Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde

Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde (Arabic: تاج الدين بن سعيد مسوندي‎, 1933 in Anjouan – February 29, 2004) was a Comorian politician.

Vice-President of the Comoros

Vice-President of the Comoros was a political position in the Comoros. Vice-Presidents are appointed by the President. From 2002 to 2011, the Presidency and the positions of the two Vice-Presidents were rotated between the three islands, Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli. From 2011 to 2019, there were three Vice-Presidents, one from each of the islands in the Union of the Comoros. The positions of Vice-Presidents were abolished as part of the implementation of constitutional referendum held in 2018 in May 2019.

History of the office holders follows.

Major groups
Notable figures
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