Since yesterday at sundown and until today at sundown, those of the Baha’i faith are observing the Martyrdom of the Báb. Today I implore you to take a bit of time to learn more about the Baha’is and this holy day.
First, let’s start with a video giving a basic introduction to Baha’is. This is narrated by Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office), who is himself a Baha’i. It runs about 15 minutes long – it’s worth it, promise!
If you want to take Rainn’s advice and read from Bahá’u’lláh’s writings, you can take a look here: Baha’i Reference Library
Next, let’s dive into the importance of the holy day taking place since yesterday at sundown until this evening’s sundown.
Martyrdom of the Báb (July 9 and 10): The holy day commemorates the anniversary of the execution of the Báb (Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad), the herald of the Baha’i Faith, by a firing squad on July 9, 1850, in Tabriz, Persia (now Iran). It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school. It is said there is no parallel event in history, save the execution of Jesus Christ.
From an article on bahaiteachings.org:
“The Bab founded the Baha’i Faith’s precursor religion—he was the Herald of a new system of belief, and a prophet of God in his own right. He started a progressive new Faith in the midst of one of the world’s most corrupt and backward societies. He suffered enormously as a result, but even after his gruesome execution the Babi Faith paved the way for the global emergence of the Baha’i Faith, just as John the Baptist did for Jesus’s new Faith at the beginning of the Christian era.”
The Barrack-Square in Tabriz where the martyrdom of the Bab took place.
“A mere six years after the Bab’s announcement of his new Faith in 1844, the government ordered the execution of this young, intensely charismatic messenger, only thirty years old at the time. The Persian government and the Islamic clerics had already gruesomely tortured and killed more than 20,000 of the Bab’s ardent followers during the short, intense duration of the Babi movement.”
Here is a video of someone telling the story of the Báb’s execution and historical photographs. It is about 6 minutes long and I would definitely recommend it for all its detail and context. The Martyrdom of the Bab.
Obviously, there is a lot more to learn about the Baha’is and today’s holy day, so this is a pretty basic introduction. Thank you for staying with me to the end, and I hope you learned something new!