FĀŻEL MĀZANDARĀNĪ, MĪRZĀ ASAD-ALLĀH, Bahai scholar and missionary (b. Bābol, 1298/1881; d. Ḵorramšahr, 5 Dey 1336 Š./26 December 1957). His father Mīrzā Maḥmūd was a merchant and government official and a Shaikhi by religion. His mother was the daughter of the poet Mīrzā Āqā Bozorg Qaṣṣāb Māzandarānī. Fāżel received his early education in his hometown before moving in 1903 for further studies to Tehran, where he became a teacher (modarres). He encountered a number of Bahais there and eventually became a Bahai in about 1909.
Fāżel traveled to Najaf in 1910 on the orders of ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ (q.v.) to meet the Shiʿite religious leader Aḵūnd Mollā Moḥammad-Kāẓem Ḵorāsānī (q.v.), to present him with some Bahai literature, and to acquaint him with the Bahai faith. However, he and his companion Mīrzā ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Ardestānī were arrested on their arrival in Najaf; they were deported once the nature of their mission was known.
In 1910-11 Fāżel traveled to Egypt, where he met ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ, and went from there to India and Burma to promote the Bahai faith. His journeys to North America in 1920-21 and 1923-25 were on the orders of ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ and Shoghi Effendi, respectively. In 1928, he traveled in Caucasia and Turkmenistan, besides traveling on many occasions throughout Persia. He married Żīāʾīya Ḵānom in Rašt in October 1917. They had two sons. He married a second time later in life and had one more son.
Fāżel is best known for his literary output. His major works are: Ketāb ẓohūr al-ḥaqq, the most detailed history of the Bahai faith in nine volumes (III, Tehran, n.d., VIII, Tehran, 1974-75); Asrār al-āṯār (5 vols., Tehran, 1967-72), an encyclopedia of terms found in the Bahai scriptures; ʿAmr wa ḵalq (4 vols., Tehran, 1954, repr. in 2 vols., Langenhain, Germany, 1985-86), a compilation of Bahai scriptures categorized by subjects in the fields of theology and law.
Fāżel Māzandarānī, Ketāb ẓohūr al-ḥaqq, VIIIb, Tehran, 132 B.E./1975, pp. 825-881 (autobiography).
D. MacEoin, The Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History, Leiden, New York, and Cologne, 1992, pp. 174-75.
ʿA. Solaymānī, Maṣābīḥ-e hedāyat, 9 vols., Tehran, 104-32 B.E./1948-75, II, pp. 69-141.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
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Vol. IX, Fasc. 5, pp. 460-461