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3 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 1:55PM #1
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,928

Exactly 192 years ago, on 20 October 1819, the Báb was born. The Báb was the Herald of Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He announced Himself as a Messenger of God, tasked to prepare the way for the imminent arrival of another, even greater Messenger of God. In memory of His remarkable life, and in the absence of a thread dedicated specially for Him, let me open up this new thread on the Báb, His life and His claims. The short but dramatic life of the Báb bears some remarkable parallels with the life of Jesus. The former is also prophetically linked to the latter in a manner unknown to most avid Bible eschatologists. Let us look at how.


When the disciples asked Jesus concerning the signs of His second coming, He cited the following events prophesied by Daniel to accompany the other signs mentioned in Matthew Chapter 24:


Matthew 24:15: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand)"


In this verse Jesus appears to refer to Daniel's time-prophecy of "2300 days" where Daniel points to a future date at which "the abomination of desolation" of "the sanctuary" shall come to an end (Daniel 8:13-14). William Miller (1782-1849), the preacher-founder of the movement known today as Seventh-day Adventism, was convinced that the time-prophecy of Daniel shall be fulfilled in and around 1843-44. Since, however, Christ did not literally descend upon the clouds with great power and glory at the appointed time, the Millerites and the Advent Movement came to remember the year 1844 as the Great Disappointment and revised their calculations repeatedly.


The starting point of the 1844 calculation was of course the very same edict of Artaxerxes I of Persia for the rebuilding of Jerusalem which was used for Daniel's prophecy of 69 and 70 weeks, anticipating accurately the First Coming.


It indeed appears to be a matter of historical fact that the early part of the 19th century witnessed the most fertile season of eschatological movements (i.e. movements awaiting the end of days and prophecizing about the Promised Day of God) in the history of mankind. The most notable of the Christian movements were the Millerites, its immediate offspring churches under the overall Advent Movement, and the German Templars. The Shí'áh movement of Shaykhism represented one of the most outstanding eschatological calls in the Muslim world. The era witnessed a score of Christian preachers and Hindu sages identifying themselves as Christ, several Mahdis and other Islamic equivalents of the return of Christ such as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement) and Muhammad Ahmad of Sudan (against whom the British fought). Joseph Smith, of course, was another fruit of the eschatological era. Many of these gentlemen advanced their claims rather theatrically, some militantly, while almost all of them, with the probable exception of Joseph Smith, faced little or no violent persecution for their claims. By and large, theirs was a safe bet.


Pro-biased though I am as a Bahá'í, I would like to think it at least interesting for an avid student of eschatological prophecies, that during the years 1843-44 there was indeed a lot of anticipation and disappointment among the Millerites, the most notable eschatological trumpeters in the Christian West, yet only One historical personage in record, a literal "thief in the night", announced, at the appointed time, to have been the Promised One of all ages. All theological and eschatological wrangling aside, this historical fact deserves at least to be noted, even if one chooses not to accept the claim of the said historical personage.


The following well-documented facts offer only a glimpse into one of the great untold stories of our time. These events actually happened, yet in their narrative strength they flow almost like a fairy tale. In the south of Persia a young merchant was born in the year of 1819. His appearance was delicate and he spoke with a gentle, melodious voice. A lineal descendant of the Prophet of Islam, he wore a green turban and was born with the title of “siyyid”. Of all the merchants in Shiraz he was noted for his honesty, humility and virtue. On May the 23rd in the year 1844, at the age of twenty-five, this merchant shared a strange secret with another youth by the name of Mullá Husayn in the course of a private interview at his house. The clandestine interview took place in the dead of night, literally. Mullá Husayn, his guest, was a passionate student of scriptural prophecies and a man of great learning for his young age. He had recently been awarded the prestigious title of a 'mujtahid'. While serving his guest tea from a silver samovar, the host, almost casually, related that he is none other than the Promised One of all ages foretold by all the Prophets of old. The merchant’s name was Siyyid Ali Muhammad and he took the title of the Báb, “the Gate”.


The Báb revealed to Mullá Husayn that his only purpose was to prepare the way for the imminent appearance of an even greater Messenger --“Him Whom God shall make manifest.” But the Báb cautioned that to embrace his cause was to put oneself in mortal peril. His public announcement was destined to result in violent persecution, nation-gripping bloodshed and, eventually, his own martyrdom at the hands of the Persian priestly elite. A bold claim to Messengership in succession to Muhammad, him who was deemed the 'final prophet', would undoubtedly be met with violent persecution by the orthodox Shí’áh clerics of Persia. Thousands of adherents, from all walks of life, were to flock to his Cause in a short period of time, despite a near-certain prospect of violent persecution, torture and death.



The intuitive learning, the flawless appearance, the powerful words and the heartfelt courtesy of that merchant however stirred Mullá Husayn to his depths. Fully aware of the mortal perils ahead, he spontaneously arose to proclaim the young merchant’s audacious claim and with single-minded determination dispatched, under the Báb’s instructions, on horseback to the capital Tehran. As to his mission to the capital, the Báb offered Mullá Husayn only these veiled words: “A secret lies hidden in that city. When made manifest, it shall turn the earth into paradise.”


At appears indeed that nobody, at least nobody who attracted any notable following, other than this young Shirazi Merchant, declared a Message from God during the course of the year 1844, and none other lived a life and suffered a fate so strikingly similar to that of the Christ. A score of unbiased and notable first-hand observers of Qajaric Persia in the 19th century, not the least of which were Lord George Curzon of Kedleston and Arthur de Gobineau, would attest in their numerous accounts that the whole of Persia was in turmoil after the revelation of this young Shirazi Merchant.


Allah'u'Abhá and kind regards,


LilWabbit


 



The Shrine of the Báb in Haifa, Israel


 

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 3:00PM #2
world citizen
Posts: 5,639

Thanks for the post, Lilwabbit.  I never tire of that story and look forward to commemmoration of the event later today at our local Baha'i Centre.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2011 - 7:49PM #3
Seefan
Posts: 3,971

Oct 20, 2011 -- 3:00PM, world citizen wrote:


Thanks for the post, Lilwabbit.  I never tire of that story and look forward to commemmoration of the event later today at our local Baha'i Centre.




You have a Baha'i Center?  That must be nice .........

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2011 - 7:51PM #4
Seefan
Posts: 3,971

Thanks for posting LilWabbit!  I enjoyed the read .......

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2011 - 2:10PM #5
world citizen
Posts: 5,639

Seefan, you're from a small community or are you an isolated Baha'i?

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2011 - 3:57PM #6
Seefan
Posts: 3,971

Oct 24, 2011 -- 2:10PM, world citizen wrote:

  Seefan, you're from a small community or are you an isolated Baha'i? 




Relatively small.  Most Baha'is live in the city about 30 to 40 minutes from where I'm at.  However, it is the same community of about 100 Baha'is, give or take ...


 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2011 - 5:21PM #7
world citizen
Posts: 5,639

Oct 24, 2011 -- 3:57PM, Seefan wrote:

Oct 24, 2011 -- 2:10PM, world citizen wrote:

  Seefan, you're from a small community or are you an isolated Baha'i? 




Relatively small.  Most Baha'is live in the city about 30 to 40 minutes from where I'm at.  However, it is the same community of about 100 Baha'is, give or take ...


 


Where do +/-100 Baha'is meet for Feast?  Do they meet in individual's homes scattered around the city depending on who lives near each other?  The local Baha'is here are scattered in and around outside the city limits (many isolated, like me) but we meet at the Centre which is fairly centrally located.  Years ago all communities within a given area concentrated fund-giving toward getting a centre and all contribute to its upkeep.  I know of a community in another state that has rented a storefront in a mall as their centre and have used it for many years.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2011 - 5:49PM #8
Seefan
Posts: 3,971

Oct 24, 2011 -- 5:21PM, world citizen wrote:

Oct 24, 2011 -- 3:57PM, Seefan wrote:


Oct 24, 2011 -- 2:10PM, world citizen wrote:

  Seefan, you're from a small community or are you an isolated Baha'i? 




Relatively small.  Most Baha'is live in the city about 30 to 40 minutes from where I'm at.  However, it is the same community of about 100 Baha'is, give or take ...


 




Where do +/-100 Baha'is meet for Feast?  Do they meet in individual's homes scattered around the city depending on who lives near each other?  The local Baha'is here are scattered in and around outside the city limits (many isolated, like me) but we meet at the Centre which is fairly centrally located.  Years ago all communities within a given area concentrated fund-giving toward getting a centre and all contribute to its upkeep.  I know of a community in another state that has rented a storefront in a mall as their centre and have used it for many years.




Depending on the occasion we may meet in rented halls.  Sometime we have local Feast and may hold it is a number of home.  The only time we had a store front was years ago during a special event and/or blitz.  We've often talked about a Center through the years but the cost and up-keep seemed too much for the community ...



Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2011 - 9:47PM #9
world citizen
Posts: 5,639

Seefan,


The nice thing about just renting a storefront is that there's little to NO upkeep - just contact the landlord when something needs fixing.  LOL!

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 27, 2012 - 7:45AM #10
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,928

I once heard a rumour that Spielberg was at some point interested in making a movie about the Báb but gave up the idea as he learned that Bahá'ís prefer that his person is not played by any actor. Have any of you heard of the same rumour? No doubt the stories of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh would make emotionally powerful and visually gripping motion pictures.


Kindly,


Wabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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