Bahai News - Baha'i community observes martyrdom of the Bab
Last modified at 5:53 p.m. on Friday, July 6, 2001
Baha'i community observes martyrdom of the Bab
By Floyd Lee
The anniversary of martyrdom of a central figure of the Baha'i Faith, a
messenger of God called the Bab, will be observed Monday by the local
The Martyrdom of the Bab is a holy day, observed on July 9 every year by
Baha'i members around the world. Local Baha'i congregants will commemorate
the event at 11 a.m. Monday at 603 S.W. 8th St.
"It is another example of how the world rejects those who bring messages
from God -- they are considered crazy, heretics, troublemakers, and often
killed," said Duane Herrmann, a representative of the Baha'i community in
"Despite their death," Herrmann said, "their message spreads and the power
of their words changes lives and civilizations."
In the Baha'i faith, the Bab, which literally means, "the Gate," is the
messenger of God who prepared people for the coming of Baha'u'llah, the
Promised One of all religions. On May 23, 1844, a young Persian merchant
named Siyyid 'Ali Muhammad announced that he had been sent by God to
prepare people for the coming of a divine teacher, the Promised One.
Traveling throughout Persia, proclaiming new religious laws and new
social norms, the Bab soon gathered a following of thousands.
Opposition arose from religious and governmental authorities, and he was
imprisoned and eventually sentenced to death by firing squad. At noon on
July 9, 1850, the sentence was carried out, but the Baha'i faith
continued to spread.
Among the foremost supporters of the Bab was a young nobleman named
Mirza Husayn 'Ali. He had been given the title "Baha'u'llah", or "the
Glory of God," by the Bab himself. Imprisoned because of his beliefs
in1852, Baha'u'llah had a vision while in prison, a revelation that he
was the Promised One the Bab had proclaimed. Although he spent his life
in exile or in prison, Baha'u'llah continued to spread the teachings of
the Baha'i faith, especially through his writings. He died in 1892.
"The Bab's mission was a turning point of humanity," Herrmann said.
"Those things that were prophesied in the Old Testament and the Koran
are coming to pass."
The Baha'i faith teaches the oneness of God, the unity of the world's
religions, and equality of both gender and race. There are an estimated
6 million adherents worldwide in 120,000 localities.
©Copyright 2001, The Topeka Capital-Journal
Page last updated/revised 071101
Return to the Bahá'í Association's Main Web Page