The Bahá’í Faith


Signs of Greatness

Bahá’u’lláh was born in 1817 in Tihrán, the capital of Iran. From His early childhood, He showed signs of greatness. He received some instruction at home, but did not need to attend school, for He was endowed by God with innate knowledge. Bahá’u’lláh came from a noble family and when he was a young man, was offered a high position in the court of the King, but He refused it. He wished to dedicate His time to helping the oppressed, the sick and the poor, and to champion the cause of justice.

Suffering and Influence

There are two aspects of Bahá’u’lláh’s life which should be mentioned in particular. One is the suffering He endured. The other is the tremendous influence He had on the hearts and minds of people. These in fact characterise the lives of all the Manifestations of God.

Remember My days during thy days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison. And be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver, even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the earth arise against thee

Bahá’u’lláh’s sufferings began the moment He arose to proclaim the Cause of God. His life was one of exile, imprisonment and persecution. He was put in chains in a dark and dismal dungeon in Tihrán. He was exiled four times from land to land, finally being sent to the Prison City of `Akká in the Ottoman Empire. So intense were His sufferings there that He has referred to `Akká as the “Most Great Prison”.

Light of Truth Not Easily Extinguished

The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that ye may be exalted, and have suffered manifold afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish. He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they that have joined partners with God have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities!

Every effort was made by two powerful courts - those of the King of Iran and the Ottoman Emperor - to oppose Bahá’u’lláh and His Teachings. But the Light of Truth is not easily extinguished. The very water that is poured on this fire to put out its flame turns into oil, and the fire burns with more intensity. Nothing could be done to stop Bahá’u’lláh’s growing influence. The farther the authorities banished Him, the greater the number of people who were attracted to His Teachings and recognised His Power and Majesty. In spite of constant persecution, Bahá’u’lláh continued to reveal the Word of God for more than forty years and brought so much love and spiritual energy into this world that the final victory of His Cause is certain.

Bahá’u’lláh passed away in 1892. His Shrine, which is considered by the Bahá’ís to be the Holiest Spot on earth, is located near the city of ‘Akká.