All around the globe, Bahá’í Communities commemorate 170th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Báb, the Prophet-Herald of the Baháʼí Faith, on Thursday, the 9th July 2020 believing that the Báb set in motion a fresh cycle of Progressive Revelation to the humanity.
All Bahá’í Communities throughout the world and individual Bahá’ís commemorate this Holy event at their homes among family members and online gatherings, because of Coronavirus.
The programme includes devotional prayers with special programs at noon to coincide with the time of His execution on 9th July 1850 (17 Raḥmat, 177 B.E.)
It is one of the nine Bahá’í Holy Days when Bahá’ís suspend work.
The mankind aware of the fact that Founders of the world's great religions were persecuted by the religious leaders in horrible ways. Abraham and Moses faced prison, exile, ridicule, and persecution. Krishna and Buddha were also suffered and they were persecuted. Society's leaders crucified Jesus Christ. They also made war on Prophet Muhammad.
The Prophet-Founder of the Baháʼí Faith, Baháʼu'lláh was also tortured, exiled and imprisoned for forty years.
The Báb (The Prophet- Herald of the Baháʼí Faith) was also executed by the religious leaders in Persia (Iran).
The Báb founded the Baháʼí Faith's precursor religion - He was the Herald of a new System of Belief, and a Prophet of God in His own right.
The Báb started a progressive new Faith in the midst of one of the world's most corrupt and backward societies.
The Báb, which means The Gate (in Arabic) suffered enormously as a result, but even after His gruesome execution, the Bábi Faith paved the way for the global emergence of the Baháʼí Faith, just as John the Baptist did for Jesus's new Faith at the biggining of the Christian Era.
The Báb began His new Faith in 1844. Emerging out of the prophetic Sufi mysticism prevalent in 19th Century Persia, the Báb's stirring message, which heralded the future appearance of a great, worldwide revelation, rapidly caught fire in that very tradition-bound Shi’a Muslim culture. At first just a few people learned about the Báb, but then thousands and tens of thousands began to become Bábis radically breaking away from their society’s Islamic traditions and practices.
The Bábi Faith’s very existence called into question the authority of Persia’s Islamic religious leaders.
In fact, the rapid growth of the Bábi Faith challenged the basic underpinnings of Persian society.
On May 23, 1844, the Báb declared His Mission in the Persian City of Shiraz (Iran) that He was a Messenger of God sent to prepare the way for the long awaited Promised One of all
religions, who would come to establish an Age of universal peace and transform the world.
In 1863 Baháʼu'lláh announced publicly that He was that Promised One.
The proclamation of the Báb attracted tens of thousands of people to His teachings, as mentione above. Fearful of the Bab’s growing influence caused by His proclamation and teachings, which called for spiritual and moral renewal, religious and political leaders arose to oppose and persecute the Báb and His followers.
More than 20,000 of His followers were killed in several waves of brutal persecution.
Though guilty of no crime, the Báb was arrested and
exiled by the authorities, to the remote mountains of Azerbaijan, a province in Northwest Persia, and
imprisoned Him in the fortresses of Mah-Ku and Chihriq, where the Báb spent the last three years of His life.
Eventually, on 9th July 1850, at the age 31, the Báb was executed by a firing squad in Tabriz, the provincial capital of Azerbaijan.
A mere six years after the Bab’s announcement of His new Faith in 1844, the government ordered the execution of this young, intensely charismatic Messenger,
only thirty years old at the time.
At His execution, the Báb and a young disciple who begged to share His martyrdom were suspended by two ropes from a nail driven into a pillar of the army barracks at the public square of Tabriz.
A regiment of 750 armed soldiers faced them in three lines of 250 each.
A crowd of about 10,000 was gathered on the roof of the barracks and on the roofs of nearby houses.
Each group of 250 soldiers fired. The smoke of the guns " turned the light of the noonday sun into darkness.”
When the smoke cleared, the multitude was astounded to see that the two ropes were completely severed, and standing there unharmed was the Báb's disciple.
The Báb was nowhere to be seen. After a hurried search, the Báb was found, unhurt and unruffled, in the very room He had occupied the night before, engaged in completing His interrupted conversation with His amanuensis.
Earlier in the day, when the guards had come to take Him to the courtyard, the Báb had warned: " Not until I have said to him all those things that I wish to say, can any earthly power silence Me. Though all the world be armed against Me, yet shall they be powerless to deter Me from fulfilling, to the last word, My intention."
When the guards arrived second time, the Báb calmly announced:
" Now you may proceed to fulfill your intention."
The commander of the regiment was so unnerved that he ordered his men to quit the scene immediately.
Another regiment was called into service and the sequence of the execution repeated.
Once again, the air filled with thick smoke. This time, after the smoke cleared, it was clear that the bullets hit their target and the bodies of both the Báb and His follower had been melded into a single pile of flesh, with their faces intact.
After this, a gale of exceptional severity swept over the city of Tabriz, and a whirlwind of dust obscured the light of the sun from noon until dusk.
Today, the sacred remains of the Báb rest on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, at the heart of the Spiritual and Administrative Centre of the Baháʼí Faith.
The property numbers 26 buildings, monuments and sites at 11 locations in Acre (Akka) and Haifa, associated with the Founders of the Faith, among them the Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh in Acre and the Mausoleum of the Báb in Haifa, and the carefully maintained surrounding gardens, have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are open to everyone as a place for prayer and meditation.
Several millions of people from all over the globe visit those most Holy Spots, and every day the Shrine of the Báb proclaims the Bahá’í message of unity, peace, love and selflessness to the world.
Báb's revolutionary new teachings, spiritual, and moral renewal opened the path for the new Message of Baháʼu'lláh, and His ultimate sacrifice gave us all a new vision of a unified world.
Compiled by: Jaya Raju Thota