20th October : 163rd Birth Anniversary of the Báb

(On the 20th of  October, 1980, the Bahá'í of the world will celebrate the 163rd Birth Anniversary of the Prophet-Herald of their faith - the BAB. The celebrations will include special prayers for the occasion, prayers for world unity and reading form the Holy Writings about His Mission, life and death. Here we produce a brief sketch of His life to mark the occasion. Please read on).

Bab, the Martyr-Prophet and the Forerunner of Bahá'í revelation. 'the point round whim the realities of the Prophets and Messengers revolve' was born in Shiraz (Iran) on October 20, 1817. He prophesized about the coming of Divine Essence - the 'Promised One' of all religions and peoples, Who would quicken the souls and infuse a new life in the whole of mankind.

As a youth, Bab was noted for great personal beauty and charm and also for exceptional piety, and nobility of character. He was unfailing in his observance of prayers, fasts and other ordinances of His religion. On reaching His twenty-fifth year, in response to divine command, He declared that 'God the exalted had elected Him to the station of Babhood.' (Bab literarily means the Gate). The exact date of His announcement is given in His most celebrated work 'BAYAN' i.e. the 23rd of May, 1844.

Before long, He had a large majority of followers, who were known as 'Babis'. The first eighteen disciples of the Bab (with Himself as nineteenth) became known as 'Letters of Living'. These disciples, He sent to different Paris of the world to teach about the advent of the 'Sun of the Truth.'

The growing popularity of the Bab, aroused the passions of the religious fanatics of the land. His followers, numbering more than twenty thousand, with in a short span of some six years, became the object of a violent persecution. Finally, Bab was himself martyred after six glorious years of His Ministry, in 1850. A volley of above seven hundred bullets stuck at His youthful breast 'under the eyes of a callous multitude of about ten thousand people bringing an end to the life of the One whose Revelation fulfilled the promise of all Revelations.

Bab in His manifold tablets and writings revealed during His life time, paid rich tributes to 'Promised One, Who He prophecies, would reveal Himself shortly. At on place in the Bayan, He has written, "The germ that holdeth within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come, is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of all those who follow me". Obviously, all these references were made to Baha'u'llah (Glory of God) the Founder-Prophet of the Bahá'í Faith, Who, proclaimed Himself as the 'Promised One'  of all ages in 1863, thirteen years after the passing away of the Bab. Bab thus foretold the coming of the Blessed Beauty Baha'u'llah  and suffered and even sacrificed His life for His appearance. The greatest tribute which Bab paid to the Blessed Beauty, as asserted by Himself, is this : " Of all the tributes I have paid to Him Who is to come after me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference to Him in my Book, the Bayan, do justice to His Cause.

-Anil Sarwal, Editor