“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.”