On July 9, 1850, the Baha’i figure called the Bab was killed. Believed to be a messenger of God proclaiming the impending arrival of Baha’u’llah, he was executed for apostasy by firing squad in the Persian Empire.

According to Baha’i accounts, the Bab had disappeared when the smoke from the guns lifted, but he was found speaking to his cell guard shortly thereafter and submitted himself to his death. As the messenger sent ahead of Baha’u’llah, he is often compared to John the Baptist.

Within a decade of the Bab’s martyrdom, adherents teach that Baha’u’llah appeared and gathered followers to himself as the “Promised One” and “Manifestation of God.”

The Baha’i church now has roughly 5 million followers. The sacred text for the Baha’i faith is the Kitab-i-Aqdas, which was penned by Baha’u’llah, though its followers recognize the Bible, the Quran, and other books as holy texts as well.

Video courtesy of the Baha’i National Center, via Youtube.

8 Comments

  1. Speaking as a Baha’i; we don’t call ourselves a “church.”

    Also, many of the accounts of the Báb’s martyrdom were written by Europeans & those which weren’t were written down for posterity by many of the participants who often admitted that they had witnessed a true miracle. So saying things such as “According to Baha’i accounts,” etc. really feel as though you are “pooh-poohing” the actual recorded history of our times.

    Still I appreciate the article & thank you for the video.

  2. The narrative mentioned in this article is mostly based on disputed one sided accounts from Baha’i history books. The Bab had very fanatical beliefs and believed in the destruction and massacre of all who opposed him in any way. This is what the Baha’i leader Abdu’l-Baha says about him:

    “The utterance of the [book or religion] of Bayān in the day of the appearance of his Highness A`la (meaning the Bab) was to behead, burn the books, destroy the monuments, and massacre [everyone] but those who believed [in the Bab’s religion] and verified it.” (`Abdu’l-Baha, Makatib, vol. 2, p. 266.)

    When one reads the books of the Bab, these words can be clearly verified. For instance:

    “Chapter six of the sixth unit which is about destroying all books but those that have been written or will be written about this Order (meaning the Bab’s creed).” (The Bab, Farsi Bayan, unit 5, chap. 5)

    “The fifth chapter of the fifth unit which is about the decree of taking the property of those who do not believe in [the religion] of Bayan and giving it back if they become believers in this religion, except in the lands where taking [property] is not possible.” (The Bab, Farsi Bayan, unit 16, chap. 7)

    “The sixteenth chapter of the seventh unit which is about [the decree] that all rulers who rise who are [followers] of the religion of the Bayan, leave no-one in their land who is not a follower of this religion. This is compulsory upon all the people too.” (The Bab, Lauḥ haykal al-din, unit 4, chap. al-Baha)

    “He who acquires a position of ruling is a manifestation of God’s wrath and if possible for him, must not leave [alive] on earth anyone but the Babis!
    Make everyone accept the [religion of] Bayān and do not accept from them jewels that would amount to the whole earth as payment so that they are excused from becoming Babis.” (The Bab, Lauḥ haykal al-din, unit 5, chap. al-Lad)

    Many more quotes from the laws of this man can be found in “Twelve Principles: A Comprehensive Investigation on the Baha’i Teachings,” pp. 163-170
    http://www.avazedohol.com/eng/index.php/download
    www.avazedohol.com/eng/index.php/let-us-read-and-ponder

    • All the severe laws revealed by the Báb were subject to the approval of Him Whom God will manifest, Bahá’u’lláh. According to the Báb Himself, unless He Whom God will manifest (Bahá’u’lláh) gave assent, none of these oppressive laws of the Báb were to be enforced. The Báb revealed these harsh laws as evidence of His authority and power as a Manifestation of God. Nevertheless, He forbade His followers from enforcing these same laws without the full sanction of Him Whom God will manifest, I.e., Bahá’u’lláh. As a bounty from the will of Heaven and a token of God’s grace to all humanity, Bahá’u’lláh rescinded every one of these harsh laws of the Báb just as was intended by the Báb Himself.

    • For further clarification regarding the harsh laws of the Báb, I suggest looking at the section “A Special Question: The Law of the Sword” in the review of “Gate of the Heart” by Nabil Saiedi. This will be found at

      http://bahai-library.com/mclean_saiedi_gate_heart

      • The link you provided was a very inappropriate attempt at making right something crooked. For example it says:

        “At Bayán (8:15), the Báb states that the implementation of the severe laws of the Bayán should be delayed until “the exaltation of the Cause of God in the Day of Him Whom God shall make manifest.” Thus, the execution of the law of the sword is delayed until the coming of Bahá’u’lláh who abolished it on the first day of His arrival in the Garden of Ridvan.”

        I checked both Arabic and Farsi Bayan 8:15, there is no such thing. The other claims are also baseless. He claims only a ruler or King can implement these laws while the Bab clearly says the people can too:

        “The sixteenth chapter of the seventh unit which is about [the decree] that all rulers who rise who are [followers] of the religion of the Bayan, leave no-one in their land who is not a follower of this religion. This is compulsory upon all the people too.” (The Bab, Lauḥ haykal al-din, unit 4, chap. al-Baha)

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