Baha’i: In film and word, celebrate the birth of Baha’u’llah

A Baha’i house of worship, where all are welcome—thanks to teachings of unity by Baha’u’llah. Photo courtesy of Fotopedia. (Why isn’t there a photo of Baha’u’llah here? Baha’is regard Baha’u’llah’s portrait as so sacred that it should never be displayed in the open. Rather, it is to be viewed only by those who pay it appropriate reverence.)SUNSET SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11: What the world truly needs is unity—at least, that’s what Baha’i leader Baha’u’llah preached in the 19th century—and today, devotees worldwide celebrate the birthday of this Manifestation of God. Even Cambridge orientalist Edward Browne commented on his meeting Baha’u’llah with utmost reverence: “The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one’s very soul … I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!” (Read the whole piece at Baha’ On this date 195 years ago, Baha’u’llah was born in Tehran, Iran. Later, his birthday was deemed a holy day.

Though crediting several Messengers of God of other religions through the ages—including Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad—Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah became the Messenger for this era when he entered the world on Nov. 12, 1817. (Visualize his life in pictures or learn more about his writings at

Baha’u’llah’s emphasis on unity remains of utmost prominence in Baha’ism today. Baha’u’llah preached of one God, One from which all world religions stem. This leader’s birthday is one of nine holy days on the Baha’i calendar and is observed with community gatherings and prayer. (Wikipedia has details.)


While Baha’is face persecution worldwide, raising awareness of their continued message brings very real danger—and thus was the case with “The Gardner,” a film that told an inside story of Baha’ism at the recent Beirut International Film Festival. When famed Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf worked on the film, it was a “very secret affair,” a source reported to ALMonitor. The film was announced within 48 hours of its world premiere in Korea, and showing at the Festival occurred just hours later. Still, the festival’s founder is calling the film “beautiful.”

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