- Start: May 23, 2019 10:00 pm
- End: May 23, 2019 11:30 pm
“On this date in 1844, a young merchant announced that He was the bearer of a message destined to transform the life of humanity.
The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been God’s method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future! - The Báb
At a time when His country, Iran, was undergoing widespread moral breakdown, His message aroused excitement and hope among all classes, rapidly attracting thousands of followers. He took the name “The Báb”, meaning “the Gate” in Arabic.
With His call for spiritual and moral reformation, and His attention to improving the position of women and the lot of the poor, the Báb’s prescription for spiritual renewal was revolutionary. At the same time, He founded a distinct, independent religion of His own, inspiring His followers to transform their lives and carry out great acts of heroism.
The Báb announced that humanity stood at the threshold of a new era. His mission, which was to last only six years, was to prepare the way for the coming of a Manifestation of God Who would usher in the age of peace and justice promised in all the world’s religions: Bahá’u’lláh.
On the evening of May 23, two hours past sunset, Bahá’ís in St. John’s will gather to celebrate this great declaration.
On this evening, 175 years ago, an eager scholar and seeker of truth approached the gates of Shiraz. Standing outside this historic city known for its roses, its cypress trees, and its long tradition of poetry, he was searching for a new messenger of God.
His arrival would lead him to a profound discovery. It was in Shiraz on that evening that he first met the Bab. In the conversation that followed, the Bab made known that He was the Founder of a new religion that was to prepare the world for the coming of Baha’u’llah and presaged the latest stage in humanity’s social evolution.
The events of this night are the origins of the global Baha’i community’s endeavors for the betterment of the world. From community building activities, to projects of social action, to involvement in public discourse, those seeking to put into practice Baha’u’llah’s teachings find the origin of their efforts in that first conversation.
This October marks the bicentenary of the Bab’s birth. In this year, the Baha’i World News Service is examining some of the most salient moments in the life of the Bab. The latest podcast episode focuses on the night of His declaration. This year, it is being celebrated around the world from sundown Thursday to sundown Friday.