Declaration of the Báb
He is the Ever-Abiding, the Most Exalted, the Most Great.
Lo, the Tongue of Glory hath called aloud and the Word of God hath cried out, proclaiming: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Creator of the heavens and the Lord of all names!” And yet the people, for the most part, are heedless. The entire creation resoundeth with the melodies of the All-Merciful, the realms of sanctity are redolent with the fragrance of His raiment, and the Most Great Name hath shed the splendour of His glory upon all who dwell on earth, and yet the people are wrapped in a palpable veil.
O Pen of Glory! Intone the anthems of grandeur, for We have inhaled the fragrance of reunion at the approach of that Day whereon the kingdom of names was adorned with the ornament of Our Name, the Exalted, the Most High. No sooner was this Day mentioned before the Throne than the Maids of Heaven chanted a wondrous melody, the Nightingale pealed out its heavenly song, and the All-Merciful gave voice to that which enraptured the souls of the Messengers of God, His chosen ones, and those who enjoy near access to Him.
This is the eve of that Day from whose horizon the ancient Morn hath dawned forth with the splendour of the light beaming from that effulgent horizon. Say: This is the Day whereon God established the Covenant concerning Him Who is the voice of Truth (1) by sending forth the One (2) Who imparted unto humankind the glad-tidings of this Great Announcement. This is the Day whereon the Most Great Sign appeared and proclaimed this mighty Name, captivating thereby all created things with the reviving breezes of the verses of God. Happy the one that hath recognized his Lord and is numbered with them that have attained His presence.
Say: He, verily, is the most perfect Balance established amongst the nations, through Whom the measures of all things are made manifest by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. He it is Who hath intoxicated every understanding heart with the wine of His utterance, and Who hath torn asunder the veils through the power of My Name that overshadoweth the worlds. He, verily, hath ordained the Bayán to be a leaf of this Garden and adorned it with the mention of this incomparable Remembrance. He hath admonished all men not to withhold themselves from the Dayspring of ancient glory, nor to cling, at the time of His manifestation, to such tales and traditions as are current amongst them. Thus hath it been decreed in accordance with that which He hath revealed, and unto this beareth witness He Who speaketh the truth. No God is there beside Me, the Almighty, the Most Generous.
They that have turned away from the latter Manifestation have indeed failed to recognize the former. Thus hath it been ordained by the Author of all causes in this mighty adornment. Say: He, verily, announced unto you this Root; wherefore they that are held back by reason of a mere branch are in truth accounted among the dead. Alas, the people are clinging to the branch and have turned away from God, the King, the Glorious, the All-Praised. He conditioned all that He hath revealed upon Mine acceptance and made every matter contingent upon this manifest and resistless Cause. But for Me, He would not have uttered a single word, nor would He have manifested Himself before all who are in heaven and on earth. How often did He lament My banishment, My captivity, and My tribulations! That which was sent down in the Bayán beareth witness unto this, could ye but perceive it. Powerful indeed is the one who, through the might of God, hath become severed from all else but Him, and powerless the one who hath turned away from Him after He hath appeared with manifest sovereignty.
O peoples of the earth! Make mention of God on this Day whereon the Spirit hath spoken and the realities of those who were created by the Word of God, the Mighty, the Exalted, have ascended unto Him. It behoveth everyone on this day to rejoice with exceeding gladness, to clothe himself in his finest attire, to celebrate the praise of his Lord, and to give thanks unto Him for this most great favour. Blessed are they that have apprehended the purpose of God, and woe betide the heedless.
Having revealed this Tablet on this night, We desire to send it unto thee as a token of Our grace, that thou mayest be of those who are grateful. After thou hast received it, recite it in the presence of the loved ones of God, that they may hearken unto that which the Tongue of Grandeur hath pronounced and be of those who act in accordance with its counsels. Thus have We singled thee out and adorned thee with that raiment wherewith We have adorned the pure in heart. Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds!
(1) Bahá’u’lláh; (2) The Báb.
On a spring evening in 1844, a conversation took place between two young men that heralded a new era for the human race. A Persian merchant announced to a traveller in the city of Shiraz that He was the Bearer of a Divine Revelation destined to transform the spiritual life of humanity. The merchant’s name was Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad, and He is known to history as the Báb (meaning “the Gate” in Arabic).
The middle of the 19th century was one of the most turbulent periods in the world’s history. Great revolutions were under way. In parts of Europe and North America, time-worn social structures and relationships were being challenged by sudden and unprecedented changes in the fields of agriculture, industry, and economics. At the same time, throughout the world followers of divers religions perceived that humanity was on the cusp of a new stage in its development, and many prepared themselves for the imminent coming of a Promised One, praying fervently that they would recognise Him.
A Quest Fulfilled
A young scholar named Mulla Husayn was one such soul engaged in a life-changing quest. He felt drawn, as if by a magnet, to Shiraz—a city renowned for the perfume of its roses and the singing of nightingales. On the evening of 22 May 1844, as he approached the gate of the city, he was greeted by a radiant young man who wore a green turban. This stranger greeted Mulla Husayn as if he were a lifelong friend.
“The Youth who met me outside the gate of Shiraz overwhelmed me with expressions of affection and loving-kindness,” recalled Mulla Husayn. “He extended to me a warm invitation to visit His home, and there refresh myself after the fatigues of my journey.”
The two men spent the entire night immersed in conversation. Mulla Husayn was astonished to discover that each of the characteristics he was seeking in the Promised One was manifest in this young man. Before departing early the next morning, his Host addressed to him these words: “O thou who art the first to believe in Me! Verily I say, I am the Báb, the Gate of God…Eighteen souls must, in the beginning, spontaneously and of their own accord, accept Me and recognize the truth of My Revelation.”
Within several weeks of the Báb’s declaration, seventeen more people had, by their own spontaneous efforts, recognized His station, had renounced the comforts and security of their old way of life, and—severed from all attachments—had set out on the mission of spreading His teachings. These first eighteen followers of the Báb became known collectively as the “Letters of the Living.”
One of them, the poetess Tahirih, was to play a pivotal role in breaking with the past, raising the call to full equality between women and men. The last member of the group, a young man who was given the title Quddus—meaning “The Most Holy”—displayed a level of devotion and courage that made him the most revered of the Letters of the Living.
Mulla Husayn was overwhelmed at the words that poured forth from the Báb that night. The Báb demonstrated an innate wisdom that, even when He was young, had left His family awe-struck. “He is not to be treated as a mere child,” His schoolmaster had told them, “He, verily, stands in no need of teachers such as I.”
(Source of information bahai.org “copyright © Bahá'í International Community”)
Featured photo: The room in the House of the Báb where the Báb declared His Mission in Shíráz, Iran, before its destruction in 1979. Source of photos: Bahá'í Media Bank (copyright © Bahá'í International Community).