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Baháʼís gather in Victoria to commemorate the Martyrdom of the Báb |14 July 2020

Baháʼís gather in Victoria to commemorate the Martyrdom of the Báb

Children chanting a prayer

The Baháʼís commemorated the Martyrdom of the Báb on Thursday July 9, 2020 at 12 noon at the National Baháʼí Centre, observing social distancing.  The Martyrdom of the Báb is a Holy day commemorated by the Baháʼís around the world.

One of two main figures in the founding of their Faith – the Báb was executed by a firing squad of 750 soldiers in Iran, then called Persia, at the age of 31.

The  Báb, whose name means ‘Gate’, had declared in 1844 at the age of 25, that He was a messenger of God sent to prepare the way for the long-awaited Promised one of all religions who would come to establish an age of universal peace. In 1863 Baha'u'llah (Glory of God) announced publicly that He was that Promised one.

The Báb attracted tens of thousands of followers, and the unease and commotion created by His message led the authorities to put to death thousands of His disciples and after three years of terrible imprisonment and suffering, the Báb Himself on a charge of heresy. He and a youthful disciple who begged to share His martyrdom were executed in a public square in Tabriz in a miraculous way. The first attempt did not succeed. He had told his captors who had interrupted Him the night before that he had not finished giving his instructions and no power on earth could prevent that. Queen Victoria's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Tehran had written to Lord Palmerston, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs July 22, 1850.

“He was killed by a volley of musketry, and his death was on the point of giving his religion a lustre which would have largely increased his proselytes. When the smoke and dust cleared away after the volley, Báb was not to be seen, and the populace proclaimed that he had ascended to the skies…. His death, according to the belief of his disciples, will make no difference as Báb must always exist.”

When they finally found Him he was in that same room with the same disciple, He said “I have finished my conversation. Now you may proceed to fulfill your intention.”

The remains of the Báb are now entombed in Haifa, Israel, in a beautiful shrine on Mount Carmel. How the Báb was brought to Haifa to His final resting place is in itself a special chapter in Baha'i history. The remains of the Báb had been rescued by His followers from a ditch near the execution site and were carefully hidden in different places in Iran for 40 years, escaping the hands of His enemies many times by Baha’u’llah’s foreknowledge! In 1899, the remains were transported – under great threat from civil and religious authorities and others – by way of Isfahan, Kirmanshah, Baghdad and Damascus, to Beirut and then by sea to Acre north of Haifa.

Much later, an exquisite shrine with a golden dome was built over the tomb. This building and its spectacular gardens is an oasis of serenity in the Middle East and has become one of the best known landmarks of northern Israel and is a place of pilgrimage for Baha'is from all over the world. It is so brightly lit in remembrance that the Báb often had no candle or light during his long years of imprisonment in the prison fortresses of Chiriq and Mahku in Adzerbajan!


Contributed by the Baháʼí community of Seychelles

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