This is the fourth post in the series on the Bahá’í Faith. In the first post we discussed the situation of the Bahá’ís in Iran, and the subsequent post talked about some essential teachings of the Bahá’í Faith. Our last postgave a brief overview of the life of its Founder, Bahá’u’lláh. Today’s post discusses the life of the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb.
The Báb was born on October 20, 1819, in Shiraz, Iran, and was known as Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad. The Báb, whose title means “the Gate,” was indeed a gate to a new era in human existence; a gate to the new Revelation of God. Bahá’is believe that this new Revelation is so vast that two Manifestations of God, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, were sent to usher it in. The Báb’s purpose was to announce the coming of Bahá’u’lláh.
The Báb belonged to a distinguished and noble family whose ancestry could be traced to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. Like Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb did not attend school as He was endowed with God by innate knowledge.
The Báb came at a time when many people in Iran were anticipating the coming of a Promised One. The Báb revealed that He was indeed this Promised Personage on May 22nd, 1844. His message served to prepare the masses for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, whose teachings would enable mankind to build a new world and live in peace and prosperity. With the Báb’s rising power and influence over the hearts and minds of people, the Iranian and Ottoman governments persecuted Him (and many of His followers) throughout His ministry. He was exiled from place to place, imprisoned in fortresses in remote areas, and was ultimately sentenced to execution. The Báb was martyred on July 9th, 1850 by a firing squad of 750 soldiers.
His Shrine is located on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, where the World Center of the Bahá’i Faith is located. His Shrine, along with that of Bahá’u’lláh, is one of the places Bahá’is visit on their religious pilgrimage. During the six years of His ministry, the Báb revealed beautiful prayers and scriptures, which add to the wealth of Holy Writings studied and used by Bahá’is in daily worship. Here is a short prayer revealed by the Báb, which Bahá’is often recite in times of difficulty:
“Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth. Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.”
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