I think it is important to write about who The Bab was and what He did for humanity. The Bab was the Herald of a New Era in the history of humankind.
The Báb was born in the city of Shiraz in what is today called Iran. He was born into a working class family and while He was a child, after the passing of His father He was raised by His maternal uncle. From the beginning of His Blessed life He showed signs that He was indeed a special and enlightened being. At school he was often challenged when asked to behave like the rest of His peers due to His bright mind and innate knowledge. His school teacher said that he felt unfit to teach Him, He was indeed a very special child.
The Bab followed the family trade and became a well-known merchant in the city for his honesty, love and compassion. When He was a very young man, He received the Revelation of God where God announced to Him what His mission on this earth was.
The Bab was only twenty-five years of age when He proclaimed that He had come as a Manifestation of God for this age and that He was preparing the hearts of the people so that they are able to recognize the coming of the “Promised One of All Ages” that was quickly approaching. He declared to Mulla Husayn on May 23rd 1844. The Ministry of The Bab only lasted a period of six years after which He was martyred in the city of Tabriz in 1850.
The Babi era – later evolving into what we know as the Baha’i era- is best described in the book God Passes By:
May 23, 1844, signalizes the commencement of the most turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Era, an age which marks the opening of the most glorious epoch in the greatest cycle which the spiritual history of mankind has yet witnessed. No more than a span of nine short years marks the duration of this most spectacular, this most tragic, this most eventful period of the first Bahá’í century.
Clearly, at the time of The Bab’s revelation, His believers were heavily persecuted and martyred in all corners of the Persian region. Thousands of souls gave their lives for their Beloved and their beliefs without hesitation.
The manifestation of The Bab fulfilled many prophecies of the coming of the “Twin Manifestations” (Himself and Baha’u’llah) and He came to the world as a Thief in the Night. This is said because He did not openly proclaim His Station but eighteen souls by themselves and unaided found Him and recognized Him while many others we asleep as we do in the middle of the night.
In the same book as above, written by Shoghi Effendi, is written:
We behold, as we survey the episodes of this first act of a sublime drama, the figure of its Master Hero, the Báb, arise meteor-like above the horizon of Shíráz, traverse the sombre sky of Persia from south to north, decline with tragic swiftness, and perish in a blaze of glory. We see His satellites, a galaxy of God-intoxicated heroes, mount above that same horizon, irradiate that same incandescent light, burn themselves out with that self-same swiftness, and impart in their turn an added impetus to the steadily gathering momentum of God’s nascent Faith.