THE CENTRAL FIGURES OF THE BAHA'I FAITH

The Bab

On May 23, 1844, in Shiraz, Persia, a young man known as the Bab announced the imminent appearance of the Messenger of God awaited by all the peoples of the world. The title Bab means "the Gate." Although Himself the bearer of an independent revelation from God, the Bab declared that His purpose was to prepare mankind for this advent. Swift and savage persecution at the hands of the Persian authorities followed this announcement. The Báb was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and finally on July 9, 1850 was executed in the public square of the city of Tabriz. Some 20,000 of His followers perished in a series of massacres throughout Persia. Today, the majestic building with the golden dome, overlooking the Bay of Haifa, Israel, and set amidst beautiful gardens, is the Shrine where the Báb's earthly remains are entombed.


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Abdu'l-Baha

Baha'u'llah's eldest son, Abbas Effendi, later known as 'Abdu'l Baha (Servant of Glory) was appointed by Him as His lawful successor and the authorized Interpreter of His teachings. 'Abdu'l Baha devotedly served His father from the age of nine, and bore all the hardship and deprivation this entailed until His (Baha'u'llah's) death in May, 1892. Between 1911 and 1913 'Abdu'l-Baha travelled to Egypt, Europe and North America to proclaim His Father's Faith. He passed away in 1921.

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Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi Rabbani was the eldest great-grandson of Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, appointed in the Will and Testament of his grandfather, 'Abdu'l Baha, the son and successor of Baha'u'llah as His Successor and Head of the congregation of Baha'i's throughout the world.


Baha'u'llah

Baha'u'llah is recognized by millions throughout the world as the Messenger of God for this age. The Baha'i Faith is founded upon His teachings. Born in 1817 to a prominent family in Iran, He showed from childhood an unusual intellectual precocity, although unschooled in the kind of learning prevalent in 19th century Iran; He demonstrated, too, a particular devotion to relief of the condition of the poor. His given name was Mirza Husayn Ali, but He identified Himself as Baha'u'llah, which means Glory of God. Because of His teachings, He was banished for forty years. His exiles eventually took Him to the Holy Land where He passed away in 1892.

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