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|1844. 22 May
||Declaration of the Báb's Mission
Two hours and eleven minutes after sunset Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad made His declaration to Mullá Husayn-i-Bushrú'í in the upper room of His House. [DB52-65]
“I am, I am, I am, the promised One! I am the One whose name you have for a thousand years invoked, at whose mention you have risen, whose advent you have longed to witness, and the hour of whose Revelation you have prayed God to hasten. Verily I say, it is incumbent upon the peoples of both the East and the West to obey My word and to pledge allegiance to My person.” [DB315-316]
See SI231 for information on the anticipated return of the Hidden Imam. See BBR2pg42-3 and DB57 for a list of signs by which the Promised One would be known.
See BW5p600-4 for a brief biography of William Miller the founder of the Adventist sect who, after intense study of the Bible, had predicted the return of Christ on March 21, 1844. See BW5p604 for mention of other Christians who made similar predictions.
See DB383 and BBR2pg25 for information on Mulla Husayn-i-Bushru’i. See CoB110 for the significance of the first believer.
See SBBH1:14 for a possible explanation for Mullá Husayn's presence in Shíráz at this time.
Nabíl-i-A`zam relates that Mullá Husayn was welcomed at the Báb's mansion by Mubárak, His Ethiopian servant. Others resident in this house at the time were Fiddih (f), responsible for the preparation of the food and the mother of Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad, Zahrá Bagum. [DB53; KBWB5]
For more information about Mubarack see Black Pearls: Servants in the Household of the Bab and Baha'U'Llah p21-22.
He revealed the first chapter of the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá' (the Commentary on the Súrih of Joseph. The entire text would later be translated from the original Arabic by Táhirih. [B19–21; BBD190–1; BBRSM14–15; BKG28; BW12:85–8; BWMF16; DB52–65, 264, 216, BBR2pg14-15, GPB23, 73; MH56–71; SBBH17, HotD30]
This date marks the end of the Adamic Cycle of approximately six thousand years and the beginning of the Bahá'í Cycle or Cycle of Fulfilment. [BBD9, 35, 72; GPB100] Shoghi Effendi is quoted as saying that this is the second most important anniversary on the Bahá'í calendar. [ZK320]
The beginning of the Apostolic, Heroic or Primitive Age. [BBD35, 67]
See MH86–7 for an explanation of the implication of the word `Báb' to the Shí'í Muslims.
Three stages of the Báb's Revelation:
- Bahá'u'lláh has described this book as being `the first, the greatest, and mightiest of all books' in the Bábí Dispensation. [GPB23]
- See SBBH5pg1 for discussion on the Qayyumu’l-Asma’.
- This text was the most widely circulated of all the Báb's writings and came to be regarded as the Bábí Qur'an for almost the entirety of His mission. [BBRSM32]
- Images of the Qayyum al-asma' (‘Maintainer of the names’) can be see at the website of the British Library, Discovering Sacred Texts.
- He chose the title `Báb' and Mullá Husayn was given the title Bábu'l-Báb (the gate of the Gate).
- In the second year of the Revelation (from His confinement in the house of His uncle in Shíráz) He took the title of Siyyid-i-dhikr (dhikr means `remembrance of God') and gave the title `Báb' to Mullá Husayn. At Fort Tabarsí Mullá Husayn was called `Jináb-i Báb' by his companions.
- At His public declaration the Báb declared Himself to be the promised Qá'im. [MH87–8]
||Bab, Life of; Bab, Declaration of; Holy days; Bab, Writings of; Mulla Husayn; Qayyumul-Asma (book); Surih of Joseph; Tahirih; Bab, Life of; Cycles; Ages and Epochs; Heroic age; Qaim; Promised One; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bab, Basic timeline; Mubarak; Letters of the Living; Fiddih; Bab, House of (Shiraz)
||Bahá'u'lláh had a vision of the Maiden, who announced to Him that He was the Manifestation of God for this Age. [BBD142–3, 212; BKG823 ESW11–12, 21 GPB101–2; KAN62]
"While engulfed in tribulations I heard a most wondrous, a most sweet voice, calling above My head. Turning My face, I beheld a Maiden-" [SLH5-6]
This experience compares to the episode of Moses and the Burning Bush, Zoroaster and the Seven Visions, Buddha under the Bodhi tree, the descent of the Dove upon Jesus and the voice of Gabriel commanding Muhammad to ‘cry in the name of thy Lord'. [GPB93, 101]
The Báb repeatedly gave the year nine as the date of the appearance of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest'. The Declaration of the Báb took place in AH 1260; year nine was therefore AH 1269, which began in the middle of October when Bahá'u'lláh had been in prison for about two months. [CB46–7]
Subsequently in His Writings Bahá’u’lláh declared that He was the "Promised One" of all religions, fulfilling the messianic prophecies found in world religions. He stated that being several messiahs converging one person were the spiritual, rather than material, fulfilment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions. His eschatological claims constitute six distinctive messianic identifications: from Judaism, the incarnation of the "Everlasting Father" from the Yuletide prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, the "Lord of Hosts"; from Christianity, the "Spirit of Truth" or Comforter predicted by Jesus in His farewell discourse of John 14-17 and the return of Christ "in the glory of the Father"; from Zoroastrianism, the return of Shah Bahram Varjavand, a Zoroastrian messiah predicted in various late Pahlavi texts; from Shi'a Islam the return of the Third Imam, Imam Husayn; from Sunni Islam, the return of Jesus, Isa; and from the Bábí religion, He whom God shall make manifest.
While Bahá’u’lláh did not explicitly state Himself to be either the Hindu or Buddhist messiah, He did so in principle through His writings. Later, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated that Bahá’u’lláh was the Kalki avatar, who in the classical Hindu Vaishnavas tradition, is the tenth and final avatar (great incarnation) of Vishnu who will come to end The Age of Darkness and Destruction. Bahá’ís also believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the fulfilment of the prophecy of appearance of the Maitreya Buddha, who is a future Buddha who will eventually appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure Dharma. Bahá’ís believe that the prophecy that Maitreya will usher in a new society of tolerance and love has been fulfilled by Bahá’u’lláh's teachings on world peace. [Bahaipedia]
See P&M195-196 (1969), 298-299 (1987) where states, "...the First Call gone forth from His lips than the whole creation was revolutionized, and all that are in the heavens and all that are on earth were stirred to the depths". What was "the First Call"?. See GPB121, “These initial and impassioned outpourings of a Soul struggling to unburden itself, in the solitude of a self-imposed exile (many of them, alas lost to posterity) are, with the Tablet of Kullu’t-Tá’am and the poem entitled Rashh-i-‘Amá, revealed in Ṭihrán, the first fruits of His Divine Pen.”
"While engulfed in tribulations I heard a most wondrous, a most sweet voice, calling above My head. Turning My face, I beheld a Maiden—the embodiment of the remembrance of the name of My Lord—suspended in the air before Me. So rejoiced was she in her very soul that her countenance shone with the ornament of the good pleasure of God, and her cheeks glowed with the brightness of the All-Merciful. Betwixt earth and heaven she was raising a call which captivated the hearts and minds of men. She was imparting to both My inward and outer being tidings which rejoiced My soul, and the souls of God’s honoured servants.
See Two Episodes from the Life of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran (2019) pp12-20 by Moojan Momen for an analysis of the provisional translation of a Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh. His interpretation is as follows: As a child Bahá’u’lláh read a story of the sufferings and unjust killing of the Banú Qurayza tribe in the time of Muhammad. It filled Him with such sorrow that He beseeched God to bring about what would be the cause of love and harmony among the people for the world. While imprisoned in the Siyáh Chál, He had an experience that caused great turmoil within Him and elevated His spiritual state. The duration of this state is considered as the beginning of His mission as a Manifestation of God and occurred over a twelve day period from 2 Muharram to 13 Muharram 1269, which equates to 16 October to 27 October 1852 A.D. It was after this that He began to reveal verses. Later He openly manifested Himself in the Garden of Ridván in Baghdad. Finally He revealed the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and then a series of Tablets such as Ishráqát, Tajalliyyát, the Tablet of the World and the Book of the Covenant in which he gave all of the guidance necessary to eliminate the causes of suffering, distress, and discord and to bring about unity and fellowship, thus fulfilling what He had longed for in His childhood.
Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive. This is He Whose Presence is the ardent desire of the denizens of the Realm of eternity, and of them that dwell within the Tabernacle of glory, and yet from His Beauty do ye turn aside." Súriy-i-Haykal para 6-7; SLH5-6
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Birth of Revelation of; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Dreams and visions; Maid of Heaven; Angels; Year nine; Promised One; Prophecies; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; Lawh Kullut-Taam (Tablet of All Food); Rashh-i-Ama (Sprinkling from the Cloud of Unknowing); Firsts, Other; Dreams
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- Dawn over Mount Hira and Other Essays, by Marzieh Gail (1976). A collection of essays on various topics of interest to Baha'i studies and history. Most of these were first published in Star of the West and World Order between 1929 and 1971. [about]
- Declaration or Deflection?: An Exploration of the Intent of the Surih-i-Sabr, or Lawh-i-Ayyub, by Karen Anne Webb (2017). Does Bahá’u’lláh declare Himself to be the Promised One foretold by the Báb in the Surah of Patience/Job? [about]
- Symbolic Profile of the Bahá'í Faith, A, by Christopher Buck, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 8:4 (1998). [about]
- Tablet of the Báb Lawh-i-Vasaya, "Will and Testament"; Titles of Mírzá Yahyá, by Universal House of Justice (2004). Two questions: on the Tablet of the Bab "Lawh-i-Vasaya: The Will and Testament"; the nature of the appointment and titles of Mírzá Yahyá. Includes two attachments: Tablet of the Bab Lawh-i-Vasaya and excerpt from Making the Crooked Straight. [about]