Virgin Islands Bahá’ís will join millions of their fellow believers in universally celebrating the Births of Bahá’u’lláh, Founder of their Faith, and the Báb, His Forerunner, on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30. For Bahá’ís, these two days are “as one in the sight of God.”
This year, Oct. 29 celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of the Bab, the 200th anniversary of His birth in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran). The Bahá’í Faith teaches that “the reality of Divinity is like an endless ocean.” Religion is an outward expression of that ocean. From it precedes a never ending “process of progressive Revelation.” Divine Educators, who perfectly reflect into the world the will, attributes and qualities of God, appear from that ocean in cycles of approximately 1,000 years duration.
Each Educator renews eternal spiritual truths and reveals social and moral teachings suited for that age and man’s capacity to understand. They include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
Their teachings unfold, as chapters in an endless book, providing the foundation for religion and civilization. Bahá’u’lláh, who publicly announced His Revelation in 1863, is the most recent of these Divine Educators. This chapter of progressive Revelation opened with the Báb who, in 1844, began a new religious movement in Iran. The purpose of the Báb’s Revelation was to prepare the world for the Promised One of All Ages, Bahá’u’lláh. The Báb’s religion swept through Iran like wildfire.
The fear and apprehension it caused among the political and religious leaders resulted in the public execution of the Bab by firing squad in 1850 and the imprisonment and exile of Baha’u’llah for the remainder of His earthly life. Even though the Báb established a new religion, revealed a Holy Book, laws and calendar, He considered Himself Baha’u’llah’s forerunner. The Báb’s Dispensation “together with that of Bahá’u’lláh’s…form one entity, the former being introductory to the advent of the latter.” They are one complete whole and cannot be divorced from each other.
Bahá’u’lláh abrogated many of the laws and teachings of the Báb, but adopted, with appropriate changes, His calendar. The Badi calendar, meaning ‘unique’ or ‘wonderful,’ is based on a solar rather than a lunar year. It has 19 months each with 19 days and begins on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring, generally March 20th or 21st . It designates Holy Days, a period of fasting, and significant events in the history of the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, including Their births.
The Bahá’ís of the Virgin Islands invite the community to join them on these two Holy Days to celebrate this sacred moment and to strengthen with them the devotional and social life of our community.
For more information, please call 998-6132 on St. Thomas or 643-7863 on St. Croix. Please visit www.bahai.org for further information on the Bahá’í Faith.