Ridván is the most sacred of all Bahá’í festivals and it commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration of His Mission. After spending 10 years in exile in Baghdad, the Ottoman Empire determined to exile Him further. Therefore before they left for Constantinople, for 12 days Bahá’u’lláh and His companions camped in the Najibiyyih Garden on the outskirts of Baghdad. It was in this garden in April 1863 that Bahá’u’lláh announced to his followers and to the world that He was the Promised One for which humanity had been waiting. The garden where this momentous proclamation was made became known as “Ridván” which means “paradise”, and the festival commemorating this historic event is also known as Ridván. Bahá’u’lláh referred to this twelve day period as “the King of Festivals” and Bahá’ís suspend work on the first, ninth and twelfth day. These days commemorate His arrival to the garden, the arrival of His family, and His departure from the garden respectively.
This festival is not only a time for Bahá’ís to contemplate on the historic significance, but also to reflect on His Mission that was revealed. Bahá’u’lláh has explained that His Mission is the unification of mankind. “’The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race…” And He warns, “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” Please contact us to find out more about what the Bahá’ís in Arlington are doing to help bring about unity.