Baha'i schools and their impact on the educational reality in Iran (1899 – 1934)


  • Haider Ali Khalaf Al Ouqili


Baha'i, Muzaffar al-Din Shah, Modern schools, Modern Education in Iran


This research, which studies the history of the Bahá'í schools in Iran over the course of thirty-three years, from the late Qajar era until the beginning of the Pahlavi dynasty, sheds light on the nature of contact between the Iranian and American Bahá'ís and some foreign missionaries, and the changing societal and organizational development of the Iranian and American Bahá'ís, and through the efforts American Persian Educational Society. American Baha'is funded some Baha'i schools and supervised their operations and teaching staff during the period in which these schools first appeared in Iran. With the growth of the number of schools in the country and the impact they left among Iranian society, they gained the approval of many Iranian classes. This caused many people to envy it, which led them to slander and fabricate it in order to close it. This coincided with the decline of American influence in Iran at a time when Iranian Baha’i institutions witnessed an unparalleled rise among ordinary Iranians. However, despite this, many the internal circumstances that contributed to the closure of these schools by the ruling authority in Iran in 1934. It seems that the opening of Baha'i schools coincided with a period in which the demand for modernizing education and keeping pace with its development in Europe increased. In addition, the period of Muzaffar al-Din Shah's rule was calmer for the Baha'is than the period of his father Nasir al-Din Shah, who fought them and eliminated many of them. Also, the Baha'i I became more understanding of the Iranian reality since the time of the Báb. Baha'i schools granted permission and licenses individually to some people without reference to their belief, and thus concealed the identity of those schools from Iranian society, and this explains the entry of the children of some Shiite religious families specifically into those schools.