October 20


The Shrine of
the Bab The Baha'i (pronouced buh-HIGH) religion was founded by Siyyid Ali Muhammed who was born in Persia, which we now call Iran, on October 29, 1819. In 1844, he began teaching, calling himself the Bab, which means the gate. He meant he was the Gate to God. The Bab claimed that he was the forerunner of the Great Divine Teacher Baha'u'llah, who would appear soon and fulfill the promises of all the world's religions. The Bab was executed in 1850 by order of the Shah's chief minister. Muslim religious leaders thought this movement was a threat to orthodox Islam.

In 1866, one of the Bab's followers, Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri (1817-1892), a prominent follower of the Bab, declared that he was the Manifestation predicted by the Bab. He called himself Baha'u'llah. The world headquarters of the Bahá'í Faith is in the Holy Land. There are about 5 million followers of the Baha'i religion worldwide.

Baha'is believe that humanity is a single people with a common destiny. In the words of their Founder, "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."

The Bahá'i religion teaches that there is one God who little by little reveals His will to humanity. There have been several Messengers of God -- Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Muhammad and Zoroaster -- in the world's great religions. Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent Messenger.

The Bab's son came to Canada in 1912 and gained many followers. Canada is second only to the United States in the number of followers. In 1937 a woman from Montreal married the grandson of the Bab. Her house, called the Maxwell House in Montreal, is a pilgrimage site for Baha'is.

The birthday of the Bab is celebrated with prayers and great joy. There is no work on the Bab's birthday.

©Copyright 2000, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Top 19 Baha'i Sites Page last updated/revised 071401
Return to the Bahá'í Association's Main Web Page