Tag Archives: Martyrdom of the Bab

The Báb in the Bahá’í Faith – Born on October 20th, 1819.

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.

Gate of Shiraz where The Báb could have met Mullá Husayn in 1844.


The Martyrdom of The Bab

The Bab was martyred in Tabriz, Iran on the 9th of July 1850. Here is a brief recollection of the events that took place that day:

While The Bab was in his prison cell, working with His secretary, an officer suddenly interrupted the conversation to take Him to the place where the execution was to happen. “Not until I have said to him all the things that I wish to say, can any earthly power silence Me” He replied. Careless of the power of these words, the officer carried out his orders and took The Bab, along with one of His followers (Anis -who begged to be martyred with His Beloved) to the courtyard where a large crowd of people were gathered to witness the event.

Both individuals were lifted from the floor and tied to a nail on the wall. 750 armed soldiers were lined on three rows of 250 soldiers each to shoot at the couple. After the order, each row shot their rifles and a large cloud of smoke filled the atmosphere. After it had cleared away, the astonished crowd and frightened army saw Anis standing, unharmed and The Bab gone. A search for Him began, having found Him back in His cell, finishing what he had to say to His secretary. Once He was finished, he told the officers that they could carry out their orders, He was ready.

Once again, He was taken to the courtyard and a new army had to be brought in for the execution (the officer in charge refused to make his men shoot once again). This time, when the order was given, the bullets found their target and the sacred body of The Bab, as well as that one of Anis were destroyed, however, their faces remained almost intact.

Before the regiment opened fire, The Bab addressed the multitude with these Words:

“Had you believed in Me, O wayward generation, everyone of you would have followed the example of this youth, who stood in rank above most of you, and willingly would have sacrificed himself in My path. The day will come when you will have recognized Me; that day I shall ceased to be with you”.

Shrine of The Báb in Haifa, Israel

Detail of the Shrine of The Báb in Haifa, Israel

The twin Manifestations of God in the Baha’i Faith

What is that about?

Well, in the history of the Baha’i Faith, there have been two Manifestations of God that made possible the birth of this new Revelation. The One to appear first was The Bab -that literally translates to “The Gate”. He had this title because He was the “Gate” or the way to Bahá’u’lláh who was to come after Him, a few years later. Now, the closeness of their appearance in the world of humanity has never happened in the past between two Manifestations of God.

To have a better understanding, here is a VERY brief historic recollection from a book called: “The Twin Manifestations” from the Ruhi Institute:

The Báb was born on October 20th 1819 in Shiraz, Iran. He was from a noble family that gave Him the name of Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad. Ever since He was a child, He showed signs of innate knowledge, power and greatness. The evening of the 23rd of May 1844, He declared that He was the Promised One when He was only 25 years old. Soon after, as His fame and followers increased numerously, the opposition of the clergy and the government were clearly visible. The Báb endured 6 years of constant persecution, banishment and cruelty that lead to His martyrdom only 6 years after His Declaration -exactly 59 years ago on July 9th 1850 (details of His Martyrdom will appear on my next post). The Báb’s mission was to prepare the people for the coming of “Him Whom God shall make manifest”. Among those blessed souls that recognized His position during His life was Bahá’u’lláh.

Bahá’u’lláh was born in Tehran, Iran the 12th of November 1817. His Name was Mirzá Husayn-‘Ali. Like The Báb, He was also born into a noble and very wealthy family. From His childhood, He showed signs of greatness and wisdom. He did not pay attention to the luxury and comfort He was born into but dedicated His time defending the poor and helping the needy. When The Báb declared, He was 27 years old and three months later He sent The Báb a scroll in which Bahá’u’lláh recognized His Station. As the rest of the followers of The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh endured suffering and persecution in the hands of the opposition of this new Faith that was spreading throughout the region like wildfire.

After the martyrdom of The Báb in Tabriz, Iran, the attacks on the Babis increased looking to exterminate this new religion. Bahá’u’lláh was amongst those that remained steadfast and taught this Faith fiercely. He was a prisoner for 40 years of His Blessed life and was exiled many times. However, it was not all gloomy and sadness for the Babis. During one of His exiles (from Baghdad to Istanbul) and after receiving the revelation from God, Bahá’u’lláh announced in April 1863 that He was the One, the Promised One of all ages! (Baha’is in the world celebrate this Most Great Festival for 12 days from the 21 of April to the 2 of May). Bahá’u’lláh wrote to the kings and rulers of the world during that time, proclaiming to rejoice on that blessed day where a new Messenger of God had come.

Bahá’u’lláh after years and years of imprisonment, cruelty and false accusations left this mortal world near the city of Akka (where he was last exiled to) on the 29th of May 1892.

The Báb, as well as Bahá’u’lláh wrote hundreds of Tablets, prayers and Books. A prayer revealed by The Báb that is very close to my heart is this:

“Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants and all abide by His bidding!”.