Shrine Of The Bab

Bahá’í leader’s birth is celebrated around the world.

Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází, born on October 20 in 1819, is a central figure for the Bahá’í faith. On his birthday, his life is celebrated by followers of the Bahá’í faith with prayer, fellowship, music and devotional readings. While there are no ceremonies particular to the celebration of this Bahá’í holy day, it is marked, as are many others, by abstinence from work.

This year’s celebrations began last night at sundown.

At only 24 years old, Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází announced, in Shiraz, Persia, that he was the interpreter for the Qur’an, inspired by Allah for the Shaykhi school of religious thought known as Twelver Shi’ism. During a trial held in Tabriz in 1847, he made the claim of being the Shi’i, meaning, “promised one.” After he declared this, he decided his title should be “Báb,” which means “Gate.” After his proclamation and assuming the title of Báb, he worked tirelessly composing many books and letters outlining his claims and giving definition to his teachings, making them part of a new sharí’ah.

View of the Shrine through the Gardens
View of the Shrine through the Gardens

The Báb’s teachings were not well received by the Iranian Shi’i clergy and were ruthlessly suppressed by the government. During this time, 2,000-3,000 Bábís were persecuted and killed. After being persecuted, arrested, imprisoned and brutally beaten, the Báb was executed publically in Tabriz in 1850. Furthermore, 20,0000 followers were serially massacred all over Persia.

The prophet and herald for the Bahá’í faith, the Báb, considered proclaiming the arrival of Baha’u’llah to be his most important and sacred mission. Today, the majestic, gold-domed shrine where his earthly remains are buried can be visited in Haifa, Israel. Visitors to the shrine will typically recite the Tablet of Visitation, which has also become an important prayer during observance of the Birth of the Báb.

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