Baha’is commemorate martyrdom of the Bab

6 July 2008

HAIFA, Israel — This week Baha’is mark the 158th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Bab, one of the two central figures in the founding of their religion.

On 9 July 1850, at noon, the Bab was put to death by firing squad in the public square of Tabriz, Iran.

Six years earlier, He had declared that He was a messenger of God whose mission was to prepare the way for the imminent arrival of the Promised One of all religions who would come to establish a new age of peace and prosperity in the world. In 1863, Baha’u’llah announced publicly that He was that Promised One.

The Bab attracted tens of thousands of people to His teachings, thousands of whom were killed in persecutions that swept Iran. Finally, authorities had the Bab Himself put to death in an attempt to stamp out the new religion.

A half century after His execution, His sacred remains were brought to Haifa for entombment on Mount Carmel. Today His shrine is one of the most famous landmarks in Israel, and the Baha’i Faith is established in virtually every country.

The anniversary of the martyrdom of the Bab is one of nine holy days when Baha’is suspend work. It is commemorated with prayers and special programs at noon on 9 July.