Birth of Baha’u’llah 2023
On October 16, Baha’is around the globe will celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. Baha’i communities gather for prayers and devotional readings followed by fellowship and celebration. They invite their friends and the public to join them in offering prayers and celebrating with special programs, artistic performances, and refreshments.
The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions. Bahá’ís come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background. Bahá’u’lláh’s name means the “Glory of God”, and is considered by His followers to be the Universal Manifestation of God who is ushering in a new age of Unity. Baha’is believe he is the latest in a series of Divine Messengers that have taught humanity about God throughout history – Messengers such as Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad.
The Birth of Baha’u’llah
The date is one of nine holy days during the year when Baha’is suspend work. Baha’u’llah was born in 1817 into a prominent Iranian family in Tehran, the capital of Persia(now Iran). Known for his innate knowledge, insight, and wisdom, he was in no need of formal schooling, but received training as a nobleman in riding, using a sword or gun, good manners, calligraphy, poetry, and reading. Despite a lack of education, all who knew Bahá’u’lláh were astonished at his abilities. It was usual for them to say, that “such a child will not live beyond maturity.” By the time he was 13, Bahá’u’lláh could discuss any matter, and resolve any problem presented before Him.
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How the Baha’i Faith Began
In 1853, He was exiled from His native land to Baghdad, where in 1863 He announced that He was the bearer of a new revelation from God that would bring unity to the peoples of the world. Bahá’u’lláh suffered 40 years of imprisonment, torture, and exile for bringing God’s latest message to humanity. He was later exiled to Acre, in Acre, in present-day Israel, where He passed away in 1892.
Millions of people are learning to apply His teachings to their individual and collective lives for the betterment of the world. Bahá’ís believe that all humanity was created by one God and we are all part of one human race and that the purpose of life is to know and worship God, to acquire virtues, to promote the oneness of humankind, and to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.
Like John the Baptist some 2,000 years before, the Bab called on the people to purify themselves for the coming of the day of God. Unlike John the Baptist, however, He founded an independent religion and claimed equal station with Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Baha’is view the Bab and Baha’u’llah as Manifestations of God.
Some of the other teachings of Baha’u’llah – Equality of men and women, universal compulsory education, the harmony of science and religion, independent investigation of truth, oneness of religions (religion is progressive), spiritual solution of economic problems, elimination of all types of prejudices and World peace – is vital for the well-being of mankind.
So Powerful is the light of unity that it may illuminate the whole world. -Bahá’u’lláh
In observing the Birth of Baha´’u’lla´h, Baha´’ı usually refrains from working and/or attending school. Whether celebrated jointly as one occasion or independently, these are joyous events for Baha´’ı´s, who rejoice together to increase the unity of the community through collective worship and fellowship, often through devotional meetings or musical programs.
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