Monday, November 12, 2007

Birth of Bahá'u'lláh

You may remember recently I posted about a Bahá'í holiday regarding the Birth of the Báb. The Báb came to prepare the way for Bahá'u'lláh and foretold his coming.

The Birth of Bahá'u'lláh is one of 9 holy days in the Bahá'í calendar. It celebrates the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith.

Bahá'u'lláh was born Mirza Husayn-Ali on November 12, 1817 in Tehran, Iran. His father was a prominent minister of state and he grew up as a member of a wealthy family with a carefree life. However, he was extraordinarily knowledgable and became famous at the Court for this before he was 13. Ministers would come to Him to discuss their problems. He spoke at great assemblies of theologians on complicated matters. He was also extremely kind and helpful and spent time caring for the sick and the poor.

When he was 27, he was given a scroll written by Báb and upon reading it realized he was the Messenger of God. He devoted himself to spreading the teachings of the Báb. He was persecuted, tortured, imprisoned many times, banished, and even his half brother tried to have him assassinated and later tried to poison him and his family.

He taught and wrote a number of important books. At one point he revealed to his followers that he was the Universal Educator promised by the Báb and all the Prophets of former ages. He was the Return of Christ, the Lord of Hosts, the Great Announcement, the Glory of God (Baha'u'llah). Eventually he became accepted by most of the Babis as the Promised Manifestation of God and they started calling themselves followers of Baha'u'llah, or Baha'is.

More than once he wrote to world leaders calling on them to accept his message and work for world peace. His followers eventually could be found in Persia, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Russia. They were frequently persecuted and imprisoned as well.

He died in 1892 at age 75.

The Birth of Bahá'u'lláh is usually observed with community gatherings where prayers are shared and his birth celebrated.


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