Ahsa'i, Ahmad al-


Ahsa'i, Ahmad al-

biographical name

(born 1753, Al-Hasa, Arabia—died 1826, near Medina) Founder of the heterodox Shi'ite Muslim Shaykhi sect of Iran. He traveled widely in Persia and the Middle East. In 1808 he settled in Yazd, Persia, where he attracted followers with his interpretation of Shi'ism. He claimed knowledge from visions of Muhammad and the imams and contended that the imams were originally beings of divine light who participated in the creation of the world. Orthodox Shi'ite theologians declared him an apostate in 1824; he died two years later on pilgrimage to Mecca, but the Shaykhi sect survived him.

Variants of AHSA'I, AHMAD AL-

Ahsa'i, Ahmad al- in full Shaykh Ahmad ibn Zayn al-Din Ibrahim al-Ahsa'i

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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