Sunday 20th October 2019, several millions Baha’is with their children and friends, from all racial and cultural backgrounds around the world will observe and celebrate a holy day i.e. the 200th birth anniversary of the forerunner of the Baha’i faith. – i.e. Ali Mohamad aka the Bab.
The Bab (Bab in Arabic means Gate) is the Forerunner to Baha u llah…the Prophet Founder of the Baha i Faith.
Bahá’ís believe that all humanity was created by one God, that we are all part of one human race and that the purpose of life is to know and worship God, to acquire virtues and to promote the oneness of humankind.
One of nine holy days on which Baha’is suspend work, the date marks the anniversary of the birth – in 1819 in Shiraz, Iran – of Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, known to history as the Bab.
In 1844, the Bab announced that He was the Promised One foretold in the great religions and that His mission was to alert people to the imminent coming of an even greater Divine Messenger, namely Baha’u’llah. Baha’is consider both the Bab and Baha’u’llah to be Messengers of God.
The Bab, who was a descendant of the prophet Muhammad through both His father and mother, attracted tens of thousands of followers in His native land. In 1850, by order of the government, he was executed in the public square of Tabriz, in northern Iran.
His remains were later brought to Haifa and entombed on Mount Carmel. His shrine, with its golden dome, is the most famous landmark of Haifa.
There is no prescribed ceremony or service for celebrating the anniversary of the Birth of the Bab. Baha’is often plan devotional meetings or musical programmes and gather for activities and fellowship.
Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad Shirazi (aka Bab), a merchant from Shiraz in southern Iran and direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad, was the founder of the Babi movement, the precursor of the Baha’i Faith. Despite the fact that he had no formal training in Arabic or the religious sciences, the Bab began in 1844 to write Arabic books that he claimed were from God. At first, his claim appeared to be that he was the Bab (lit. “Gate”), the intermediary between the people and the Shi’a messianic figure, Imam Mahdi. He dispersed his first group of 18 disciples (the “Letters of the Living”) to spread the news of his claim, but these were rejected by the senior Shi’a religious leaders, albeit many of his followers .
On the Bahá’í calendar the events of the birth, declaration and death of the Báb are commemorated by Bahá’í communities on a yearly basis. At the centennial of the declaration of the Báb to Mulla Husayn (one of the first to believe Him, in May, 1844,) the Bahá’ís had a viewing of the portrait of the Báb during the celebrations held at the Bahá’í House of Worship (Wilmette, Illinois USA).
Bahá’ís believe that all humanity were created by one God, that we are all part of one human race and that the purpose of life is to know and worship God, to acquire virtues and to promote the oneness of humankind.
The notion of “twin Manifestations of God” is a concept fundamental to Bahá’í belief, describing the relationship between the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Both are considered Manifestations of God in their own right, having each founded separate religions Bábism and the Bahá’í Faith and revealed their own holy scriptures. To Bahá’ís, however, the missions of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh are inextricably linked: The Báb’s mission was to prepare the way for the coming of Him whom God shall make manifest, who eventually appeared in the person of Bahá’u’lláh. For this reason, both the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh are revered as central figures of the Bahá’í Faith. A parallel is made between Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb as between Jesus and John the Baptist.
The Bāb wrote a great many works not only in his native Persian but also in Arabic. Among the most important and most sacred are the Arabic and the longer Persian versions of his Bayān. Although these are the holy books of Bābī revelation, all the writings of the Bāb and his successors are considered divinely inspired and equally binding.
Dr. William Cormick, whose family came from Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, is the only Westener known to have met the Báb.
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