23 Mar 2015
The Baha'i Faith is an independent monotheistic religion. The Baha'i Faith is an independent religion in the sense that it has its own scriptures, own laws, own holy days as well as its own calendar. This faith is known to be one of the fastest growing religion in the world and is spread to at least 250 independent nations in the world. The Baha'i Faith represents approximately 2112 ethnic and tribal groups and is composed of as many as over six million people who have declared themselves as followers of the Baha'i Faith. This faith is distinct in terms of the diversity of the believers of the faith. The Baha'i Faith is a 'global' religion as the believers come from different cultural, ethnic, professional and social class background.
The second figure, Baha'u'llah (Glory of God) was known to be the founder of the Baha'i Faith. Baha'u'llah was born as Mirza Husayn- Ali Nuri in Tehran, Persia who was the son of a prominent Iranian noblemen. He was one of Bab's first disciples as well as the most renowned one. In his 20's, he renounced a life filled with wealth, privilege and high social standing in order to join the Babis and fight for humanitarian rights. When the Babis were being persecuted after the death of the Bab, Baha'u'llah also suffered and was thrown into the Siyah-Chal which is a black pit. It was during his imprisonment here where he received revelations through a maiden from God of him being a Messenger of God and him being the prophet of which the Bab had predicted. While most of the Babis were being killed, he was spared and released from prison but he was consequently exiled from Iran by the government. Baha'u'llah then made his way to Baghdad and began the quest to revive the Babi community there. Due to this, he was again exiled to Constantinople but before his departure, he revealed to his followers that he was the manifestation of God. This incident marked the birth of the Baha'i Faith. After his stay in Constantinople, he was again asked to depart for Adrianople, Turkey. Here, he openly revealed his claim of being the messenger of God and began proclaiming his station openly to the world at a larger scale. It was here also when Baha'u'llah sent a series of letters to the leading monarchs of his time to inform them about his faith. The monarchs included Pope Pius IX and Queen Victoria. Baha'u'llah was subsequently sent to Akka which is the modern day Acre, Israel. His final years were spent here but before his death, he assigned and declared his son, Abdu'l-Baha as the Centre of the Covenant, successor and interpreter of Baha'u'llah's writings.
The third figure, Abdu'l-Baha known as the Servant of God was the oldest son of Baha'u'llah and the successor of the leader of the Baha'i community. His appointment was stated in the will of Baha'u'llah. Abdu'l-Baha was born as Abbas Effendi in Tehran. His birth was special as that day marked the start of the mission of the Bab. From a very young age, he experienced the sufferings of exile and imprisonment alongside his father. Under his leadership, the Baha'i Faith expanded beyond the Middle East and found its way to Europe as well as North America.
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