Táhirih: Poet, Scholar, Women's Emancipation Revolutionary

In a society that considered it dangerous for women to read, think, write, or be seen in public, Táhirih did all of these things, and more, in profound ways. Believing in the power of words to produce revolutionary change in society, she was one of the most intellectually active and spiritually independent women to ever live, in any land, at any time.


Many historical details of Táhirih's life are shrouded in mystery, either unrecorded at the time, effaced by her enemies, or simply lost. The image above is allegedly a likeness of her published in a Baghdad newspaper of the time. Artists have also offered various portrayals drawing on the image above or other inspirations. Click on any image to see its source.

The Life of Táhirih - In this reflective and probing 10-minute talk, Dr. Bahíyyih Nakhjavání, a scholar and novelist intimately familiar with Táhirih's storied life, briefly places Táhirih's life story within the cultural and historical setting of 19th Century Persia. The talk is in English, although the opening moments might lead one to expect otherwise.
Breaking Barriers for the Freedom of All Women - In this 8.5-minute video, Pegah Nabili presents Táhirih's signifcance as a call to action for us today.
Dust-Flower-Flame - This compelling 76-minute documentary offers a thorough exploration of Táhirih's life, based on what is documented in historical records, her family heritage, and what is known about the cultural and historical dynamics of the time. This exceeding rich documentary is powered by a fusion of historical images with commentary from distinguished scholars from diverse academic and religious backgrounds, woven together around the search of a contemporary woman to discover the real story of Táhirih. Prepared for an Iranian/Iranian diaspora audience, the soundtrack is primarily in Persian, but English subtitles accompany the dialogue as necessary within the documentary itself, which beings at 10:00 into the video, following the filmmaker's opening remarks.

Newspaper report of Táhirih's execution: New York Times, New York, NY; 28 Oct 1852, p 6.

A Woman's Jewels - Dr. Bahíyyih Nakhjavání reads excerpts from her novel about Táhirih, The Woman Who Read Too Much.
Remembering What Has Been Forgotten - Dr. Anthony Lee offers several English translations of Táhirih's poems, which he translated with Dr. Amin Banani.