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Who Is the Bab?

No understanding can grasp the nature of His Revelation, nor can any knowledge comprehend the full measure of His Faith . . . how great and lofty is His station!”     - Baha’u’llah

parkside“On a spring evening in 1844, a conversation took place between two young men that heralded a new era for the human race. A Persian merchant announced to a traveler in the city of Shiraz that He was the Bearer of a Divine Revelation destined to transform the spiritual life of humanity. The merchant’s name was Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad, and He is known to history as the Báb (meaning “the Gate” in Arabic).”Read More

The Roots of the Baha'i Faith: The Bab and Baha’u’llah

View Part 2... “Who is Baha’u’llah?”          leaf  The Life of the Bab

Where is the Bab
in The Story of Baha’u’llah?

Chapter 6: The Quest
Declaration of the Bab to Mulla Husayn

Chapter 7: Witnesses of the Dawn
Birth and background of the Bab

Chapter 10: Awake, Awake!
The Bab makes His announcement in Mecca;
arrested on His return to Persia

Chapter 11: The Scholar and the Governors
The Bab meets shah’s messenger, Vahid. Governor of Shiraz plans to execute the  Bab; governor of Isfahan protects Him. Grand vizier interferes with shah’s plan to meet the Bab.

Chapter 12: The Open Mountain and the Grievous Mountain
The Bab is imprisoned first in Mah-ku, then Chiriq; receives letter from Baha’u’llah. The Bab reveals holy book, the Bayan. Sends letter calling for conference of Babis.

Chapter 14: The Blast of the Trumpet
Correspondence between the Bab and Baha’u’llah throughout Conference of Badasht, indicating close collaboration in
events there.

Chapter 15: The Sermon of Wrath and a Royal Command
Grand vizier orders the Bab to Tabriz for interrogation. The Bab answers “Whom do you claim to be?” He suffers bastinado beating; prophecies grand vizier’s downfall.

Chapter 16: Bandar Gaz and the Black Standard
The Bab sends His green turban with message to Mulla Husayn to assist Quddus.

Chapter 18: Courage at Tabarsi
The Bab grieves at the deaths of nine of His disciples; refrains for six months from revealing sacred verses.

Chapter 19: Embattled
The Bab sends gift to Baha’u’llah; prepares for His execution.

Chapter 20: No Peace in the City of Tabriz
The Bab’s execution. Baha’u’llah’s words on martyrdom of the Bab.

Chapter 26: The Mystery of God and His Treasure
The Bab’s prophecy for the Promised One. Beila’s Comet:
the Bab and Baha’u’llah

Chapter 66: The Holy Mountain and the Maryrs of Yazd
Baha’u’llah shows ‘Abdu’l-Baha where to build the Bab’s final resting place. Summary of the intertwined lives of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Baha’u’llah’s words on the Bab and His Revelation.

“Witnesses of the Dawn”
from The Story of Baha’u’llah

While people in many parts of the world had been preparing for the coming of a new divine Messenger, ‘Ali-Muhammad – the Bab* – had been growing up quietly in Shiraz. . . . The Bab worked as a merchant from the age of fifteen. Always considerate, courteous, and truthful, fair in His dealings and generous to the poor, He earned a reputation as one whose character was above reproach.

(*pronounced Bob)


Then, taking up a fresh reed pen, his Host began to write quickly and without hesitation, intoning the verses as He wrote. The rich beauty of His voice and the spiritual power that poured forth as He chanted, captivated Mulla Husayn. These verses spoke to the deepest questions of his soul – questions that could only be answered by the promised Qa’im. . . .

As his host continued without pause, Mulla Husayn’s every doubt dissolved. Excitement and joy, awe and wonder flooded his being, for he knew his quest was complete. “This Revelation, so suddenly and impetuously thrust upon me came as a thunderbolt which, for a time, seemed to have benumbed my faculties,” Mulla Husayn would later report. “I was blinded by its dazzling splendor and overwhelmed by its crushing force.” . . .

“O thou who art the first to believe in Me!” said his Host. “Verily I say, I am the Bab, the Gate of God.” The Bab cautioned Mulla Husayn not to tell anyone what he had seen and heard. “Eighteen souls must, in the beginning, spontaneously and of their own accord, accept Me and recognize the truth of My Revelation.” . . . .

leaf    leaf   leaf  

With the number of His chosen disciples complete, the Bab gave them a sacred mission, directing His disciples “to teach the Word of God and to quicken the souls of men.” His Cause, He told them, was to proclaim the coming of the Qayyum – “the All-Compelling” – the Promised One of all religions. . . .

“O My beloved friends!” said the Bab, “You are the bearers of the name of God in this Day . . .
O My Letters! . . . You are the witnesses of the Dawn of the promised Day of God . . . Scatter throughout the length and breadth of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified hearts, prepare the way for His coming.”


On the other side of the world, American inventor Samuel F.B. Morse was testing a new invention – the telegraph. . . . He knew nothing about the Bab or His Letters of the Living, but on May 24, 1844 – one day after the Bab had revealed to Mulla Husayn that He was the Gate, the promised Qa’im – Samuel Morse sent the first official telegram. The message, taken from the Bible, said simply, “What hath God wrought!”          

That short verse, traveling from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland, reflected the same feelings of wonder and joy and gratitude that had stirred in the heart of Mulla Husayn half a world away when he realized that the young man in the green turban who had served him tea was the first trumpet blast of God – the first new divine Messenger sent to wake a sleeping world.

Bicentenary of the
Birth of The Bab – 2019


The Life of the Bab


'The Gate' to an
Era of Maturity

The light is as clear and crisp as the air this October morning. . . . Today’s sun is the same sun that rose, over a century ago, on the Kurdish villagers of Mah-Ku in a remote corner of Persia, where, in the summer of 1847, a mountain-fortress kept a new prisoner, the Bab.

Read More

An Astonishing
Turn of Events

Even as I recall the astonishing turn of events surrounding the martyrdom of the Bab, I am struck by how much of the story comes from choices – good and bad – made by ordinary people. Individuals who could never know that their choices would be woven into the fabric of collective remembrance. The setting was Tabriz, Persia, 1850. . . .

Read More

Bab shrine on hill

The Shrine of the Bab
– A Visual Journey

Timeline for the
Life of the Bab

Click image to view

Printable pdf

star flower bed

Quotations from the Bab


The Bab and His Revelation