Montreal, July 10, 2023 - The Báhá'is of our Montreal neighborhoods, as well as communities around the world, have commemorated the martyrdom of the Báb, executed in 1850.

In the year 1901, after the publication of Tolstoy's famous book called “War and Peace”, Prince Reza Arfa Al-Feld (Ambassador of the Iranian government in Istanbul and also official representative of Iran during the first conference of The Hague) wrote a letter to Tolstoy asking him to explain to him the tools for a lasting peace. Here is Tolstoy's response: “I am grateful for your kindness. ...That question was very surprising and didn't sound so serious about how you asked me for the tools for lasting peace. If this question were sincere, the Iranian government and nation would not have martyred and exiled two prophets of peace named Hazrat Báb [his holiness The Door] and Hazrat Bahá'u'lláh [his holiness The Glory of God] who both came from Iran. ...Make sure the key to peace is in the hands of the prisoner of Akka [a city of Israel], Hazrat is Bahá'u'lláh. …”

This social and religious reform movement gained momentum on July 10, 1850 in Tabriz, Persia (today's Iran). In presence of the civil and religious authorities and the consular body, a young man of 31 years, called “the Báb”, was publicly executed by a squadron of soldiers. His crime? To have preached in the name of God, everyone's freedom of conscience, equality of sexes, social justice, but above all, the imminent coming of a great world educator, the Promised or the Messiah announced by the sacred writings of all religions of the world. The role of the Báb, forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) and having prepared the people to recognize him, is very similar to that of Saint John the Baptist. Just as John the Baptist said of Christ: “He who comes after me is more powerful than I, and I am not worthy to wear his shoes.” the Báb wrote concerning Bahá’u’lláh:” Verily, I myself am but a ring placed on the finger of him whom God will make manifest. He spins it as he pleases”.

Shortly before the Báb's execution, the young and devout disciple Áqá Muhammad 'Ali had ardently begged his executioners to be martyred with him and placed on the pillar in such a way that his own body would protect that of the Báb. A little later, they eventually were suspended by means of ropes placed under the arms in such a way that the head of Muhammad 'Ali rested on the chest of his beloved Master. “Had you believed in Me, O wayward generation,” were the last words of the Báb to the gazing multitude as the regiment was preparing to fire the final volley, “every one of you would have followed the example of this youth, who stood in rank above most of you, and willingly would have sacrificed himself in My path. The day will come when you will have recognized Me; that day I shall have ceased to be with you.”


Photo: Shrine of the Báb and the Hanging Gardens of Mount Carmel, Haifa-Israel.

Source : Face Book page, Jacques Proulx.


Bahá'í Center


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