The Ministry of the Báb
23 May 1844 – The Declaration of the Báb
Siyyid ‘Alí-Muḥammad, then a young merchant living in the city of Shíráz, Persia,
announced that He has been sent by God to prepare humanity for the coming of a new
age and the advent of another, greater Messenger Whose coming has been promised
in the sacred scriptures of all the religions that have come before. He took the
title of the Báb, which in Arabic means “the Gate.” This date is now celebrated
by Bahá’ís worldwide as a Holy Day commemorating the Báb’s Declaration and the birth
of the Bahá’í Faith.
The Shrine of the Báb in Haifa,
Israel, situated on Mount Carmel
1844-1850 – The Báb’s Message embraced
Denounced as heretical and vehemently opposed by the clergy and the government,
still the Báb’s religious teachings spread rapidly and were embraced by thousands
of followers. The Báb Himself was imprisoned and more than 20,000 of His followers,
known as Bábís, were put to death for their beliefs in a storm of persecution marked
by violent massacres throughout the country.
9 July 1850 – Martyrdom of the Báb
The Báb was publicly executed by a firing squad in the city of Tabríz. Some 10,000
people were there to witness the execution.
1852 – Bahá’u’lláh’s imprisonment and Revelation
Bahá’u’lláh, then known as one of the Báb’s foremost followers, was arrested, beaten
and thrown into a terrible underground dungeon known as the Síyáh-Chál (Black Pit).
A wave of intense persecution following the martyrdom of the Báb resulted in many
others of the Báb’s followers being executed or imprisoned from 1850 to 1852, in an
attempt to finally end the fledgling Faith’s still spreading Message from progressing
any further. While in the darkness of the pestilential dungeon, Bahá’u’lláh received
the Revelation that He is the Messenger foretold by the Báb. After four months Bahá’u’lláh
was released and He and His family were exiled from Persia over the mountains to Baghdad.