Central Figures of the Baha'i Faith

                

The Báb ("The Gate")

Prophet and Herald of the Baha'i Faith

Born in 1819 in Persia (Iran), and trained as a merchant, the Bab proclaimed His Revelation on May 23, 1844, beginning a brief but turbulent mission to prepare the way for "Him Whom God will make manifest." His call to purity and morality swept through Persia, causing great consternation among the government and the corrupt Muslim clergy. He was imprisoned for several years in remote places, then in 1850 was brought to Tabriz and executed by a firing squad of 750 rifles. Tens of thousands of His followers were also martyred during the ensuing persecutions.

                              

Bahá'u'lláh ("The Glory of God")

Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith

A well-respected descendant of ancient Persian kings, Baha'u'llah became a follower of the Bab. Imprisoned and tortured in the "Black Pit" in 1853, He was exiled with His family to Baghdad. Baha'u'llah declared His Mission as the Promised One of all ages and religions in 1863, just prior to further banishments, eventually being imprisoned in the foul penal colony of 'Akka in Palestine (Israel). He proclaimed His Revelation in over one hundred volumes, and wrote to the kings and rulers of the world, calling them to unite for the sake of God. His teachings form the basis for the establishment of the "Most Great Peace," the long-awaited "Kingdom of God on earth." He passed from this life in 1892, still a prisoner and an exile.

                                            

'Abdu'l-Bahá ("Servant of Glory")

Center of Baha'u'llah's Covenant

Born on the same night of the Bab's Declaration, 'Abdu'l-Baha, the eldest son of Baha'u'llah, shared in his Father's exile and imprisonment. In His Book of the Covenant, Baha'u'llah appointed him as His successor, the perfect Exemplar of a Baha'i, the only authorized Interpreter of His Writings, and the Center of His Covenant, to whom all Baha'is should turn. (The Covenant has kept the Faith free from schism and division - there are no denominations in Baha'i.) Freed from captivity in 1908, 'Abdu'l-Baha journeyed to Europe and America in 1911-1912, teaching his Father's Message of unity and peace. Referred to as the Beloved Master, he passed away in the Holy Land in 1921.