Declaration of the Ba'b

I'm working on a post that is a bit difficult for me to write about because I have begun to realize just how much my life has been unmanageable for years, and what it means to turn my life over to the care of God. I keep standing in the way, blocking the plentiful blessings of the Almighty, not because I want to, but I have unknowingly been living in chaos and confusion for most of my life. Cleaning it up hasn't been easy because it requires that I develop something that I'm not very good at--humility. And I have to constantly ask for guidance from God and my recovery fellows because when I don't, things literally fall apart. And I thought my only problem was morbid obesity, and all I had to do to fix my life was lose weight! Good grief...that's only the beginning, it seems. Anyway, I hope I'll be able to post about what I've been going through real soon.

One thing I did do right for myself is celebrate the Declaration of the Ba'b with a friend. My lower back and left hip were hurting really bad that evening, and I felt it would be best to stay home, take my medicine and rest a bit. So I called up another Bahai' friend in a different community, and we discussed the miraculous history of Mulla Husayn finding the Ba'b in Shiraz, and that amazing night in which the Ba'b revealed himself as the next Manifestation of the new prophetic cycle. I felt so connected to the Ba'b, the Baha'i Faith and other Bahai's by talking about that with my friend. It was a wonderful Holy Day observance!

Celebrating the Declaration of the Báb, herald of Bahá'u'lláh
May 21, 2008 - 2:57pm

"His life is one of the most magnificent examples of courage which it has been the privilege of mankind to behold,” French writer A.L.M. Nicolas said of the Báb (“gate” in Arabic).

The Báb—born Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran)—announced on May 22, 1844, that He was the bearer of a Divine Revelation which would prepare humanity for the advent of the Promised One of all religions.

On the evening of May 22, Baha'is throughout the world commemorate the
Declaration of the Bab, which took place in this room (pictured) in the
Persian city of Shiraz in 1844. That Promised One, the Báb declared, was destined to usher in the age of justice, unity and peace promised in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and all the other world religions. Bahá'u'lláh, one of the Báb's leading advocates, announced in April 1863 that He was the Divine Messenger the Báb had promised.

The Báb’s announcement in the middle of the 19th century came at a time when many Christians were expecting the return of Christ based on their reading of Biblical prophecy. Simultaneously, half way around the world, in the Middle East, many followers of Islam were also expecting their Promised One to appear.

It seemed as if a new spiritual age was about to begin.

Those who had met the Báb were struck by the beauty of His being and grace. His voice, particularly, when chanting the tablets and prayers He revealed, possessed a sweetness that captivated the heart.

Against the backdrop of widespread moral breakdown in Persian society, the Báb's assertion that He was the Bringer of a new Revelation from God and His call for spiritual and social renewal aroused both hope and excitement among the masses and hostility among the religious and political leaders of His day.

He quickly attracted thousands of followers.

Soon the Báb and His followers were persecuted by the religious and political leaders. The Bab was imprisoned, exiled, beaten and finally executed. The followers, by the thousands, were tortured and martyred.

Their extraordinary moral courage in the face of persecution was noted by a number of Western observers, such as Leo Tolstoy and Sarah Bernhardt, who were deeply affected by the spiritual drama that was unfolding in what was regarded as a darkened land.

Despite the opposition, the Báb's religion survived. Most of the Báb's followers embraced Bahá'u'lláh's announcement that He was the One promised by the Báb. The religion, known as the Bahá'í Faith after Bahá'u'lláh's declaration, continued to expand although persecutions also continued.

Today, the Bahá'í Faith has more than five million followers from every part of the world, drawn from every class of society and nearly every religion. In the United States, the Bahá'í Faith now has about 160,000 adherents.

Bahá'ís celebrate the anniversary of the Báb’s declaration through prayers and programs where the story of His declaration may be retold. It is one of nine holy days in the Bahá'í calendar when Bahá'ís suspend work or school.

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