Baha’is celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the Baha’u’llah

The Shrine of the Baha'u'llah. © Baha'i International Community Toronto, Ontario, 11 November 2014 (CBNS) — This Wednesday November 12th, Canadian Baha’is and their friends will gather to celebrate the anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith.

Baha’u’llah, a title that means "the Glory of God" in Arabic, was born on 12 November 1817 in Tehran, Iran. His given name was Husayn Ali, and He was the son of a wealthy government minister, Mirza Buzurg-i-Nuri. Baha’u’llah led a princely life as a young man, receiving an education that focused largely on calligraphy, horsemanship, classic poetry, and swordsmanship.

His son, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, said this concerning His childhood: "… Baha’u’llah, belonged to the nobility of Persia. From earliest childhood He was distinguished among His relatives and friends.… In wisdom, intelligence and as a source of new knowledge, He was advanced beyond His age and superior to His surroundings. All who knew Him were astonished at His precocity. It was usual for them to say, 'Such a child will not live,' for it is commonly believed that precocious children do not reach maturity." (1)

Instead of pursuing a life of power and leisure, as was expected of someone in his position, Baha’u’llah chose to devote His energies to a range of philanthropies which had, by the early 1840s, earned Him renown as “father of the poor.”

In 1853, Baha’u’llah and his immediate family was exiled from His native land to Baghdad, where in 1863 He announced that He was the bearer of a new revelation from God that would bring unity to the peoples of the world. He was later exiled to Acre, in present-day Israel, where He passed away in 1892.

This Wednesday, Baha’is will invite their friends and the public to join them in celebrating Baha’u’llah’s life. Gatherings are held in thousands of localities around the world – in homes, at public facilities, at local and national Baha’i centers, and at Baha’i Houses of Worship. Celebrations include offering prayers, as well as sharing special programs, artistic performances, and refreshments. The Birth of Baha’u’llah is one is one of nine holy days during the year when Baha’is are enjoined to suspend work.

1. Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Pages 25-29