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Montréal, July 7, 2016 - This Saturday, July 9, is a holiday and a holy day for the whole of the Bahá’í Community of Montreal and their co-religionists around the world. 

To the extent possible, every believer is invited to cease work on this day, in honour of the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Báb, Herald and Forerunner of the Bahá'í Faith, which took place in Persia on July 9, 1850, at noon. 

A commemoration will take place at the Ferme Bord-du-Lac - 1530, chemin du Bord-du-Lac - île-Bizard, Quebec, prayers, meditation, music and songs, followed by a historical presentation and prayers marking the martyrdom of the Báb will start at 11 a.m. 

This commemoration is open to all whether Bahá'í or not. 

Each Bahá'í community celebrates this commemoration around noon, when it is possible, organizing gatherings either in private homes or in Bahá'í Centres. Programwill include Prayers, Holy Writings, music and very often story telling of the life of the Báb and his last earthly moments.

Here is a brief story of the life of the Báb:

Siyyíd ‘Ali-Muhammad was born in October 20, 1819, in Shiráz in Iran, possessed from childhood surprising wisdom and sensitivity. During His adult years, he joined his uncle in the family business. Its integrity and piety earned him the esteem of other merchants with whom it came in contact. The poor knew Him for his generosity.

On May 23, 1844, Siyyíd ‘Ali-Muhammad, announced His mission in his hometown in presence of one of the believers who was searching after the Promised one of Islam. He then took the title of « the Báb », Word which means in Arabic, "Gate".

The Bábi Faith spread very rapidly in the country, which led instantly Government and the clergy of Persia to join together to commit cruel misdeeds towards the early believers of the Báb. Historians estimate, the number of victims of these persecutions to about 20,000.

Under pressure from the clergy, the Government finally gave order to imprison the Báb in the military barracks of Tabriz in Persia, convinced that this action will stop the expansion of the young Faith.

On July 9, 1850, at noon, about 10,000 people were massed on the roofs of buildings and houses around the courtyard of the barracks. Two ropes suspended the Báb and one of His young followers against a wall. A regiment of 750 Christian Armeniansoldiers, ready in three rows of 250 men each, opened fire on three successive times. The smoke from gunpowder and shooting was so dense, reported by the Westerneyewitnesses present, that the sky became black and the courtyard was plunged into the darkness.

As evidenced by the archives of the Department of the British Foreign Affairs,when smoke was dissipated, the Báb had disappeared. His companion standing there unharmed and spared by the bullets. The ropes to which they had both been attached were more than shreds.

The Báb was found in His cell, giving instructions to one of His secretaries. At the break of day, when the guards came to pick Him up for execution, He told them that "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 came to pick Him up for the second time, He calmly announced to them: "Now you may proceed to fulfill your intention."

For the second time, the Báb and his young companion were therefore brought before the firing squad. Armenian soldiers refusing to carry their action for a second time, the task was entrusted to a Muslim regiment. This time their bodies were shattered and were blended together.

"The most joyful tidings is this," 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, "that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb ... after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquility has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Ruz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel...” By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Ruz (1909), a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city … and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Temple there.

 

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