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Montreal, October 18, 2020 - In Montreal's neighbourhoods, as well as in numerous cities and towns around the world, members of the Bahá’í Community and their friends gathered in large numbers to celebrate the birth of the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, the Báb, and the Founder of this movement, Bahá'u'lláh, via teleconference.

The Báb, whose name was Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad, was born in the city of Shiraz, the first day of muharram of the year 1235 after the Hegira corresponding to October 20, 1819 AD, while Baha'u'lalh was born in Tehran on the second day of muharram in the year 1233 after the Hegira corresponding to November 12, 1817.

In 2014, the Universal House of Justice, the institution that runs the affairs of the Bahá’í Community around the world, decided to celebrate the two Holy Days on the first and second day after the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz (the Bahá’í New Year), starting on March 20, 2015. Thus, from March 20, 2015, the day the birth of Baha'u'l'lh will be celebrated after that of the Báb and therefore subject to change from year to year.

The Báb, whose name was Siyyid Ali Muhammad, was born in the city of Shiraz, on the first day of Muharram, in the year 1235 A.H. He belonged to a house which was renowned for its nobility and which traced its origin to Muhammad Himself. The date of His birth confirmed the truth of the prophecy traditionally attributed to the Imam Ali: "I am two years younger than my Lord." Twenty-five years, four months, and four days had elapsed since the day of His birth, when he declared His Mission. In His early childhood He lost His father, Siyyid Muhammad-Rida, a man who was known throughout the province of Fars for his piety and virtue, and was held in high esteem and honour. Both His father and His mother were descendants of the Prophet, both were loved and respected by the people. He was reared by His maternal uncle, Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali, a martyr to the Faith, who placed Him, while still a child, under the care of a tutor named Shaykh Abid. The Báb, though not inclined to study, submitted to His uncle's will and directions.

He declared his divine mission as related by His first disciple: "'That night, that memorable night, was the eve preceding the fifth day of Jamadiyu'l Avval, in the year 1260 A.H.

It was about an hour after sunset when my youthful Host began to converse with me. "Whom, after Siyyid Kazim (the leader of Shaykhism - 1793–1843)" He asked me, "do you regard as his successor and your leader?" "At the hour of his death," I replied, "our departed teacher insistently exhorted us to forsake our homes, to scatter far and wide, in quest of the promised Beloved. I have, accordingly, journeyed to Persia, have arisen to accomplish his will, and am still engaged in my quest." "Has your teacher," He further enquired, "given you any detailed indications as to the distinguishing features of the promised One?" "Yes," I replied, "He is of a pure lineage, is of illustrious descent, and of the seed of Fatimih. As to His age, He is more than twenty and less than thirty. He is endowed with innate knowledge. He is of medium height, abstains from smoking, and is free from bodily deficiency." He paused for a while and then with vibrant voice declared: "Behold, all these signs are manifest in Me!" He then considered each of the above-mentioned signs separately, and conclusively demonstrated that each and all were applicable to His person.

This night," He declared, "this very hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals. Render thanks to God for having graciously assisted you to attain your heart's desire, and for having quaffed from the sealed wine of His utterance. 'Well is it with them that attain thereunto.

Baha'u'lláh was the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, which advocates universal peace and unity among all races, nations and religions.

At the age of 27, Bahá’u’lláh became a disciple of the Báb, who began to preach that God would soon send a new prophet similar to Moses, Jesus or Muhammad.

Bahá’u’lláh's mother was so captivated by him that she could not contain her wonder at her behaviour. "This child never cries," she said. "It is different from other babies who cry, cry and never rest easy in their childhood...”  

 At the age of five or six, Bahá’u’lláh had a dream that he described to his father. In this dream, he was in a garden. Huge birds attacked Him from all sides, but could cause him no harm. He then went into the sea and while He was swimming, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea attacked him, but without harming him.

His father asked a renowned seer to interpret the dream. "This dream means," replied the seer, "that the Child will be the founder of a great Cause, and that all the rulers and scholars of the whole world will attack Him, but, in the same way as birds and fish, they will not be able to harm Him. He will be victorious over all of them! »  

When Bahá’u’lláh was seven years old, one day His mother considered the elegance of his allure as he walked from here and there, and said, "He's a little short in size," but his father replied, "This doesn't matter. Don't you know His skill and abilities? Such intelligence! And such a perception! It's a flame of fire. Even young as He is, He surpasses mature men.”

When difficult problems were discussed and no one seemed able to solve them, the young Blessed Beauty provided the solution.

While He was still a child, the Blessed Beauty observed that a government tax collector, on three different occasions, had approached His father and asked, in an unjust and cruel way, for the payment of taxes. Unable to bear the injustice of all this, although still in his early childhood, Bahá’u’lláh rode His horse and his ride lasted two days to Tehran. When he got there, he sought to have the unjust and tyrannical tax collector dismissed. He was able to obtain the necessary papers for his impeachment and returned to his parents.

In the name He bore He combined those of the Imam Husayn, the most illustrious of the successors of the Apostle of God -- the brightest "star" shining in the "crown" mentioned in the Revelation of St. John -- and of the Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, the second of the two "witnesses" extolled in that same Book. He was formally designated Bahá'u'lláh, an appellation specifically recorded in the Persian Bayan, signifying at once the glory, the light and the splendor of God, and was styled the "Lord of Lords," the "Most Great Name," the "Ancient Beauty," the "Pen of the Most High," the "Hidden Name," the "Preserved Treasure," "He Whom God will make manifest," the "Most Great Light," the "All-Highest Horizon," the "Most Great Ocean," the "Supreme Heaven," the "Pre-Existent Root," the "Self-Subsistent," the "Day-Star of the Universe," the "Great Announcement," the "Speaker on Sinai," the "Sifter of Men," the "Wronged One of the World," the "Desire of the Nations," the "Lord of the Covenant," the "Tree beyond which there is no passing." He derived His descent, on the one hand, from Abraham (the Father of the Faithful) through his wife Katurah, and on the other from Zoroaster, as well as from Yazdigird, the last king of the Sasaniyan dynasty. He was moreover a descendant of Jesse, and belonged, through His father, Mirza Abbas, better known as Mirza Buzurg -- a nobleman closely associated with the ministerial circles of the Court of Fath-'Ali Shah -- to one of the most ancient and renowned families of Mazindaran.

"In God's eyes, these two days (birth of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh) are one," Baha'u'lah says in His Most Holy Book, the Kitab-i-'Aqdas.

 Photos : Room in which the Báb was born and the view of Tihrán where Bahá'u'lláh was born.

Referances : Nabil Narrative, London, UK: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. 1953

God Passes By. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1944

Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book, the Universal House of Justice, Haïfa, 1992

Talks given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Haïfa, from “Habib Recollections” Bahá’í Publishong Trust, Persia 118 B.E.

 

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