Ahmad Kasravi (1890-1946) was a notable Iranian linguist, historian, and reformer. Even though in his early years he was trained in a seminary, he soon found himself involved with the constitutional revolution of 1905-11, and a life devoted to writing and religious criticism. He wrote several books critical of Shi’ism, Sufism and the Baha’i Faith (published in 1940s). It is the latter polemic which is the subject of the recent monograph by Bahman Nikandish under the title Kasravi va Kitab-e Baha’igari uo [Kasravi and His Baha’ism].
Nikandish writes in a neutral, learned language, dealing with all the major criticisms raised by Kasravi, who, in his fairness, recognized the Baha’i Faith as an original Iranian religion – not, like so many other polemists, as a product of imperialism. Nonetheless, against his own personal antagonism towards the Shi’a religion and Sufi proclivities, Kasravi dealt in a confused and rather hostile way towards the Baha’i Faith. With great patience and facility, Nikandish untangles various issues raised by Kasravi and produces a brilliant and cogent analysis, completely demolishing Kasravi’s unfounded arguments.