Release the Sun
Millennial fervour gripped many people around the world in the early nineteenth century. While Christians anticipated the return of Jesus Christ, a wave of expectation swept through Islam that the "Lord of the Age" would soon appear. In Persia, this reached a dramatic climax on May 23, 1844, when a twenty-five-year-old merchant from Shiraz named Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad, later title "The Báb," announced that He was the bearer of a divine Revelation destined to transform the spiritual life of the human race. Furthermore, He claimed that He was but the Herald of another Messenger, who would soon bring a far greater Revelation that would usher in an age of universal peace. Against a backdrop of wide-scale moral decay in Persian society, this declaration aroused hope and excitement among all classes. The Báb quickly attracted tens of thousands of followers, including influential members of the clergy - and the brutal hand of a fearful government bent on destroying this movement that threatened to rock the established order.