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Shrine of the Báb, Mount Carme, Haïfa, Israël * Photo: Golgasht Mossafai

Montreal, May 23, 2020 - In a dozen neighbourhoods in Montreal and around the world, Bahá'ís celebratedthe declaration of the mission of the Báb, the Herald of a Universal Faith. These celebrations wereorganized by online Communications Applications  with the participation of a large number of participants.

This day is also important for the entier world because the first Morse communication signals weretransmitted from Baltimore; a telegraph message made up of dots and dashes! A curious message; "Whathath God wrought." The author of the message; an Old Testament verse (Number 23:23); was none otherthan Annie Ellsworth, who was looking for a suitable sentence, at the request of Samuel Morse, designer ofthe alphabet of the same name, to be transmitted by Morse Codes. It is not certain whether Annie foundthis verse by chance or that she took her time to find a sentence that could convey the importance of theevent! The event occurred in the basement of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., the place where thecountry's Supreme Court is located. Annie's attention was drawn on a Bible in the room and, probably, shethought she could find a sentence of an importance significance in this book to convey the importance of that remarkable event and strange enough, she found it!

Samuel Morse was not meant to mark the history of telecommunications. Can you imagine that, by trade,he was an artist painter! This idea of sending messages at the speed of electricity would have come to himat the time of the death of his wife... He was on a trip to Washington for a portrait of General de La Fayetteand, learnt too late of his wife's condition, he was unable to return in time to bid her farewell. He thenpromised to invent a way to transmit information faster than at the speed of mail.

Morse was 600 kilometres away in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. The destination of the message wasBaltimore. The speed of transmission was thirty characters per minute nevertheless this short messagetransformed the history of telecommunications around the world! Since then, the Morse Code has falleninto disuse, replaced by radios, laptops, and even the Internet!

Samuel Morse's device, telegram, the Bible in question, telegraph message in the form of dots and dashesare currently at the Science and Technology Museum in Washington D.C.

During the same 24 hours, in the upper chamber of a modest residence in a poor neighbourhood of Shiráz,Iran, the son of a mercer, descendent from the prophetic lineage of Abraham and Muhammad, inaugurateda New Dispensation for humanity, a unifying Revelation that prompts the future global relationship of humanbeings, the New Era of humanity!  The life and teachings of the Báb symbolises a turning point in thehistory of mankind.

Born Siyyid Ali-Muhammad in 1819, he took the name Báb, which means "The Gate" in Arabic. Its publicmission, from 1844 to 1850, represented a spiritual revolution that overturned the social, political andreligious order that prevailed in Persia, opening the door to the new unifying vision of Bahá'u'lláh. The Bábwas a Messenger of God in the succession of divine educators who came over the centuries, includingAbraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. The Báb appeared at a time inhistory when the cultures and peoples of the world were getting closer than ever before. The 19th centurysaw a series of profound economic, political, scientific and cultural changes that an eminent historian calledit the "transformation of the world."

 

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