The Bab

Celebrating the birth of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh’s herald

“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.

Annual Birth of the Bab Celebration - Oct. 20 - Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA

Annual Birth of the Bab Celebration – Oct. 20 – Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA

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.”

Local Baha’is to celebrate Birth of the Báb, Sunday, October 20

A picnic-gathering of Bahá’ís in northern Virginia to celebrate the Birth of the Báb, the Herald Prophet of the Bahá’í Faith, will be held on Sunday, October 20, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm at the Cherry Hill Park in Falls Church, VA.

Annual Birth of the Bab Celebration - Sunday, Oct. 20 - Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA

Annual Birth of the Bab Celebration – Sunday, Oct. 20 – Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA

The Holy Day program including music, prayers and readings, storytelling around the firm, and children’s activities, will begin at 2:00 pm. Hot dogs will be provided; bring food for all to enjoy. Please join us, families and children, one and all!

Annual Birth of the Bab Celebration - Sunday, Oct. 20 - Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA

Annual Birth of the Bab Celebration – Sunday, Oct. 20 – Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA

*The park is located in the 300 block of Park Av.,
one block north of West Broad St.(Route 7), two blocks west of Washington St. (Rte 29)
and behind City Hall and the Community Center

Click here for a Google map.

Declaration of the Báb

On May 22, 1844 two hours after sunset, Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad announced that He was the bearer of a new Divine Revelation which would prepare humanity for the coming of the Promised One of all religions. Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad took the title “the Báb” which means “the Gate”. The Báb stated that His purpose was to prepare mankind for this next Divine Messenger who would usher in a time where peace and harmony would be established on earth and humankind will live in prosperity.

The Declaration of the Bab took place in this room (pictured) in Shiraz, Iran in 1844 Bahá’u’lláh, announced in April 1863 that He was the Divine Messenger the Báb had promised. Today Bahá’ís all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the Báb declaration of His mission on the evening of May 22 and during the day of May 23. May 23 is one of the nine holy days Bahá’ís suspend work or school.

Here in Arlington, we will be commemorating this very important date with friends in Fairfax East and Mount Vernon on Friday May 22. To find out more about these celebrations or to join us, please contact us. Everyone is welcome to attend these celebrations.

Centenary of the Interment of the Sacred Remains of the Báb

The Shrine of the Bab in 1909Naw-Rúz, 166 B.E. – observed March 21, 2009 by members of the Baha’i Faith – marked the 100th anniversary in the of the interment of the sacred remains of the Báb in the shrine on Mt. Carmel – an occasion that Shoghi Effendi describes in the following passage from God Passes By, p. 276:

On the 28th of the month of Safar 1327 A.H., the day of the first Naw-Ruz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands-in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving-the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion.

When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr Prophet of Shiraz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God’s holy mountain, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotions.

The Shrine of the Bab 2006“The most joyful tidings is this,” He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, “that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb… after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquility has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel… By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Rúz, a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city… and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.”