Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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(720 words)

Baba is a title of uncertain origin used for spiritual leaders amongst Turkic and some other peoples, which apparently appears first in New Persian. A connection with the name of Bābak Khurramī (d. 223/838) is phonetically, geographically, and chronologically possible and semantically reasonable but remains unproven and speculative. Mandarin 爸爸 (bàba, “father”) is phonetically and semantically congruent and chronologically and geographically another possible source, but the word is absent from Classical Chinese. Baba does not appear in the second/eighth-century Turk…

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Heß, Michael R., “Baba”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 18 June 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_25077>
First published online: 2014
First print edition: 9789004269620, 2014, 2014-3

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