Martyrdom of the Bab: Baha’is recall remarkable events of 1850

White fence in foreground, lit stairway and lit domed building in back, at night

Baha’i Shrine of the Bab, lit up at night. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

TUESDAY, JULY 9: Baha’is lament the death of the Messenger of God at noon today, on the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab. By just 31 years of age, the Bab—whose name means “the gate”—had made his declaration as the forerunner of the Promised One and gathered tens of thousands of followers to the Babi religion. He also sparked fierce oppposition. Before a crowd in a public square in Persia (modern-day Iran), the Bab was put to death on this date in 1850.

In Persia in 1844, the Bab officially declared his mission as the one who would herald the arrival of a Promised One. Almost immediately, thousands flocked to the Bab and his proclamations spread like wildfire. Fearful of his influence, political and religious authorities sought a solution: the Bab would be arrested. At 31, the Bab’s execution was ordered. (Find details at the Baha’i Library.)

Today, Baha’is commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab with programs and prayers at noon. It is one of nine holidays during which work and school are suspended. (For a meditation on the Martyrdom of the Bab, visit NYBahai.)

NEWS: BAHA’U’LLAH’S HOUSE DESTROYED

Though details remain unclear, the sacred house of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad—known as the Most Great House and a sacred site in the Baha’i faith—has recently been found demolished. (Read the announcement letter from the Baha’i Universal House of Justice.) Baha’u’llah is regarded as the Promised One in the Baha’i faith, and the Most Great House is where he resided for the majority of his exile from Iran. Bani Dugal, the Principal Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations, commented, “This deplorable act has robbed people throughout the world of a priceless piece of their spiritual heritage.” (Read more here.)

NEWS: WORK CONTINUES ON CHILEAN HOUSE OF WORSHIP

Construction continues on the House of Worship in Santiago, Chile. A new video has been released for the project, made available in English and Spanish, that highlights the link between the project and the local community. Construction on the House of Worship began in 2010, and when finished, the House will be the only one of its kind to serve the South American continent. (Baha’i World News Service has the story.)

*Note: Although Baha’i days begin at sunset, the Martyrdom of the Bab is officially recognized at noon on July 9—the time of the Bab’s execution.

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