“The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion.”
— The Báb
On Monday, October 20, 2014, from noon till 4 pm, the Bahá’is of Arlington, VA will join neighboring communities in celebrating the Birth of the Báb, with a picnic and devotional program hosted by the Bahá’i community of Falls Church, at Cherry Hill Park.
The Bahá’í Faith traces its origin to 1844 and the announcement by a young man, Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, in Shiraz, Persia. He took the title of the Báb (meaning “Gate” in Arabic). On May 22, 1844, in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran)— the Báb announced that He was the bearer of a Divine Revelation, which would prepare humanity for the advent of the Promised One foretold by all the world’s religions.
The Báb’s role can be compared to John the Baptist in the founding of Christianity. The Báb was Bahá’u’lláh’s herald: His primary mission was to prepare the way for Bahá’u’lláh’s coming.
“Harbinger of the Most Great Light” as extolled by Abdu’l-Bahá, the Bab describes Himself as:
the “Primal Point from which have been generated all created things”,
one of the “sustaining pillars of the Primal Word of God”,
the “Mystic Fane”,
the “Great Announcement”,
the “Flame of that supernal Light that glowed upon Sinai”,
the “Remembrance of God”,
the “Qa’im” promised to the Shi’ahs,
the “Mihdi” awaited by the Sunnis,
the “Return of John the Baptist” expected by the Christians,
the “Ushidar-Mah” referred to in the Zoroastrian scriptures, and
the “Return of Elijah” anticipated by the Jews.
As Baha’is all over the world come together to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of this Glorious Figure, we can reflect on the words of the Báb:
“Issue forth from your cities, O peoples of the West and aid God ere the Day when the Lord of mercy shall come down unto you in the shadow of the clouds with the angels circling around Him [cf.Qur'an 2:206], exalting His praise and seeking forgiveness for such as have truly believed in Our signs. Verily His decree hath been issued, and the command of God, as given in the Mother Book, hath indeed been revealed…
Become as true brethren in the one and indivisible religion of God, free from distinction, for verily God desireth that your hearts should become mirrors unto your brethren in the Faith, so that ye find yourselves reflected in them, and they in you. This is the true Path of God, the Almighty, and He is indeed watchful over your actions.”
The Martyrdom of the Báb, the forerunner of the Baha’i Faith, took place on July 9, 1850 at noon. An event with no parallel in history save the crucifixion of Jesus, it is commemorated as a solemn Holy Day by Bahá’ís around the world.
The holy day commemorates the anniversary of the execution of the Bab, the herald of the Baha’i Faith, by a firing squad on July 9, 1850, in Tabriz, Persia. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work, for Baha’is, is suspended. There are no prescribed activities for this solemn day, but usually Baha’is will gather to read from the writings and say prayers at noon (the time of the execution).
Arlington Baha’is will commemorate the Martyrdom of the Báb on at 1 pm on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014, at the the Woman’s Club of Arlington (700 S Buchanan St, Arlington, VA 22204) with a devotional program and light refreshments.
All are invited to the commemoration. In order to ensure a solemn atmosphere for the devotional program, please arrive by 12:45 pm.
A group of Arlington Baha’is, joined by a Chilean guest, gathered in the evening of May 22, 2014 to commemorate the Declaration of the Bab, marking 170 full years since the beginning of the Baha’i Faith!
While sharing light refreshments, the friends viewed a video presentation about the house of the youthful Messenger of God whose title the Bab means the Gate to the knowledge of God.
The gathering continued with spiritually-uplifting conversations about the momentous event which took place 170 years ago in the city of Shiraz, Iran, and concluded with songs and the reading of the potent Tablet of Visitation at 10:31 pm — two hours and 11 minutes after sunset — the moment when the Bab informed His first disciple of His mission.
“I am,” thrice exclaimed the Báb, “I am, I am, the promised One! I am the One whose name you have for a thousand years invoked, at whose mention you have risen, whose advent you have longed to witness, and the hour of whose Revelation you have prayed God to hasten. Verily I say, it is incumbent upon the peoples of both the East and the West to obey My word and to pledge allegiance to My person.”
The Baha’ís in Arlington begin celebrating their holiest religious festival at sunset on Sunday, April 20, 2014. It is also the time during which the community will elect a new Local Spiritual Assembly, the governing body for the Arlington Baha’í community.
The Festival of Ridvan is a twelve-day period commemorating Baha’u’llah’s announcement of His claim to prophethood and his departure from Baghdad in 1863, observed from sunset 20 April to sunset, 2 May. The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are major Bahá’í holy days on which work should be suspended.* Baha’i elections are normally held during Ridvan. The name derives from the Najibiyyih Garden in Baghdad where Baha’u’llah stayed during this period and to which He gave the name Ridvan (Paradise).