The Pure One
Companion Site to
The Calling: Tahirih of Persia and Her American Contemporaries
A New Book by
Hussein Ahdieh & Hillary Chapman

Bahá'í Bookstore

Audio Book

Journeys of Faith (Blog)

In the 19th century, countless individuals believed a new Revelation was imminent.  In Persia, the Báb fulfilled the prediction by several clerics of the appearance of the Promised Qa’im.

Tahirih of Qazvin, a gifted teacher, was at the vanguard of spreading the Báb’s teachings. She unceasingly proclaimed the Bábí Faith and brought a deeper understanding of its teachings to the rapidly growing numbers of its converts. Her vibrant poetry gave voice to her spiritual longing and passion, and its freshness reflected the vitality of the new spiritual teachings. She emerged as the most outspoken of the Bábí leaders. The authorities responded by having her murdered in the dead of night. The memory of her life survives in her poems.

At the same time, many Americans believed the Second Coming of Christ was imminent.  Several churches and movements emerged, some founded by women.  Among them were Ellen G. White, a theological thinker who shaped the beliefs of the Adventist movement, Sojourner Truth, who came up from slavery to electrify audiences with her salvation preaching, and Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Church of Christian Science; these women leaders were prefigured in the 18th century by ‘Mother’ Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, and the long forgotten female ‘exhorters’.

In the hearts of Persian and American women, God’s Hand was at play, orchestrating a realization of the spiritual basis of life and the need to move towards oneness.

The Calling by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman describes Tahirih in a fresh, new manner, juxtaposing and interweaving her life and work with that of her American contemporaries—women whose existence she was probably not aware of, but who shared with her a spiritual bond and vision of progress and justice.

Zoom Talk: Baha’i Schools for Girls in Iran and Tahirih’s Influence in Their Establishment See YouTube Video

Zoom Talk: Tahirih, The Great Emancipator, Poet and Martyr by Hussein Ahdieh See YouTube Video

Audio Book: The Calling is now available in instantly downloadable audio book format from BahaiMusicStore.com.

Tahirih, Forerunner of Women’s Liberation in the East by Hussein Ahdieh is available in Persian from Amazon and Lulu. This book provides an inspiring account of Tahirih’s life and sacrifices.

Hussein Ahdieh has contributed a series of articles about Tahirih to the online publication BahaiTeachings.org. Among the titles are:

  • How the West Found Out About Tahirih
  • A Woman Sacrifices Her Life for Equality
  • The Revered Symbol of the Women’s Emancipation Movement
  • Tahirih’s Magical Influence Over the Masses
  • Tahirih Becomes a Heroic Figure in Books and Plays
  • Tahirih’s Role in Women’s Emancipation

Tahirih Story: Hussein Ahdieh Interviewed by Roya Shanks

Tahirih's Story for Junior Youth: Hussein Ahdieh Interviewed for Bahá'í Perspectives
Tahirih Proclaiming the Liberation of Women
Painted by Ivan Lloyd

Especially for Junior Youth!

The Chosen Path by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman is an exciting, inspiring account of the life, work and struggles of Tahirih, written to nourish the idealism of Junior Youth. Learn More...

About the Authors

Hussein Ahdieh moved to the USA as a teenager to pursue a Master's Degree in European Intellectual History and a Doctorate in Education. He helped to establish the world-renowned Harlem Preparatory School in New York City and was the Director of Higher Educational Programs at Fordham University.

Hillary Chapman earned a Bachelor's Degree in History and a Master's Degree in Education. He taught at the highly ranked Chapin School in New York City. He has had many songs and poems published.

In addition to their books about Thairih, Dr. Ahdieh and Mr. Chapman are co-authors of Awakening: A History of the Bahá’í and Bábí Faiths in Nayriz and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in New York, A Way Out of No Way: Harlem Prep: Transforming Dropouts into Scholars, 1967–1977 and Foreigner From an Iranian Village to New York City and the Lights That Led the Way..

Hussein Ahdieh presenting The Calling at Bahá'í Grand Canyon Conference, December 2014