The members of the Hands of the Cause of God were appointed by Bahāʾ Allāh and Shoghi Effendi. It was founded by Baha'u'llah in Iran in the 19th century. The Báb and his followers were persecuted by the Muslim hierarchy and the Báb was eventually executed because his teachings contradicted a central point of Islamic faith - that Muhammad was the final prophet. The Bahāʾi Faith underwent a rapid expansion beginning in the 1960s, and by the early 21st century it had more than 180 national spiritual assemblies (national governing bodies) and several thousand local spiritual assemblies. Before Bahāʾ Allāh died in 1892, he appointed his eldest son, ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ (1844–1921), to be the leader of the Bahāʾi community and the authorized interpreter of his teachings. There also exist in the Bahāʾī Faith appointive institutions, such as the Hands of the Cause of God and the continental counselors. It grew out of the Shi’ite branch of the Muslim faith. The continental counselors are appointed by the Universal House of Justice. He died in 1892. Today, the distinctive unity of the Faith They founded stems from explicit instructions given by Bahá’u’lláh that have assured the continuity of guidance following His passing. The Bahá'í faith began to take its present form in 1844 in Iran. The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Bahāʾī House of Worship, Wilmette, Illinois. The Nineteen Day Feast, originally instituted by the Bāb, brings together the Bahāʾīs of a given locality for prayer, the reading of scriptures, the discussion of community activities, and the enjoyment of one another’s company. The Bahāʾīs use a calendar, established by the Bāb and confirmed by Bahāʾ Allāh, in which the year is divided into 19 months of 19 days each, with the addition of 4 intercalary days (5 in leap years). He claimed his authority came from special relationships with the Imams and he attributed his visionary experiences to them. 1 From that beginning in 1844, the Bahá'í Faith has evolved into newest of the world's main religions. The religion is estimated to have over five million adherents, known as Baháʼís, spread throughout most of the world's countries and territories. MAJOR EVENTS IN BÁBÍ AND BAHA'I HISTORY. The local spiritual assembly has jurisdiction over all local affairs of the Bahāʾī community. The faith was proclaimed by a … Membership in the Bahāʾī community is open to all who profess faith in Bahāʾ Allāh and accept his teachings. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? He founded a sect named Shaykhi and instructed his members to prepare for the coming of the Promised One of the Shi'ite tradition. The Baha’i Faith is a global faith community, established in virtually every country in the world. Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith records in his book that the Bahá'i religion started in Iran with " A handful of students, belonging to the Shaykhi school, sprung from the Ithna-'Ashariyyih sect of Shih'a Islam. " The history of Bahá'í explained in its historical, geographic and religious context. Bahá'u'lláh was the founder of the Bahá'í faith. The Baha'i Faith has taken a leadership role in promoting interfaith celebration and dialogue. One of the Bāb’s earliest disciples and strongest exponents was Mīrzā Ḥosayn ʿAlī Nūrī, who had assumed the name Bahāʾ Allāh when he renounced his social standing and joined the Bābīs. Bahá'u'lláh had written that `Abdu'l-Bahá had special powers, and that God would make sure that if `Abdu'l-Bahá explained anything that Bahá'u'lláh said, then the Bahá'ís should believe that explanation. Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion from God. Large-scale persecutions of his adherents, the Bābīs, followed. In 1863, shortly before being moved by the Ottoman government to Constantinople (now Istanbul), Bahāʾ Allāh declared to his fellow Bābīs that he was the messenger of God foretold by the Bāb. I. There had been four Bábs up to 941CE but the last Báb had died without naming a successor. After the death of Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí, Mulla Husayn set out to look for the Promised One. Despite their apparent differences, the world’s great religions, according to the Bahāʾīs, teach an identical truth. Although the Bábí movement is separate from the Bahá'í Faith and should be treated so, Bahá'ís regard the Bábí movement as inextricably bound up with the origins of their own Faith and thus consider the start of the Bábí movement in … If capable, those between the ages of 15 and 70 are required to fast 19 days a year, going without food or drink from sunrise to sunset. In the late 18th century, a Shi'a Muslim called Shaykh Ahmad al Ahsai set out in search of the 'Promised One' from Islamic scriptures. House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. The Baháʼí Faith is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. The cornerstone of Baha'i belief is the conviction that Baha' Ullah and his forerunner, who was known as the Bab, were manifestations of God, who in his essence is unknowable. Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí was the only man believed to have understood the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai and he remained in Karbila to continue his teaching after Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai's death in 1826. Baha'u'llah’s followers disseminated his teachings in the Middle East and beyond. It was widely believed that God would appoint a successor who would restore this channel of communication. He was released in 1853 and exiled to Baghdad, where his leadership revived the Bābī community. The seat of the Universal House of Justice is in Haifa, Israel, in the immediate vicinity of the shrines of the Bāb and ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ and near the Shrine of Bahāʾ Allāh at Bahjī, near ʿAkko. Baha’is believe that Baha’ Allah and his forerunner, the Bab, were manifestations of God. The Bab (1819‒50) and several thousand early Persian followers, regarded by the Muslim clergy as heretics, were persecuted and killed. Mulla Husayn and his brother and nephew travelled to Shiraz in search of the Promised One. All of this has helped Algoma University evolve as a centre of cultural and international exchange. Mīrzā ʿAlī Moḥammad first proclaimed his beliefs in 1844 and assumed the title of the Bāb. Throughout his disappearance, the 12th Imam was believed to have communicated with the outside world through a series of deputies who took the title 'gate' - or Báb. Yet Baha'is in Iran, who are the largest non-Muslim relig… The Jewish population, which had been significant before 1979, emigrated in great numbers after the revolution.…, The Bahāʾī faith won a considerable number of converts in North America during the early 20th century.…. Bahāʾ Allāh was arrested in 1852 and jailed in Tehrān, where he became aware that he was the prophet and messenger of God whose coming had been predicted by the Bāb. Established by Baháʼu'lláh in the 19th century, it initially developed in Persia and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. Centers of Learning The Baha’is of the United States operate three year-round conference and retreat centers that offer a wide range of programming for adults, youth and children. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. An overwhelming majority of Bābīs acknowledged his claim and thenceforth became known as Bahāʾīs. He taught that the Promised One was already on earth and, shortly before his own death in 1843 urged fellow Shaykhis to scatter until the Promised One was revealed to them. Soon the Bāb’s teachings spread throughout Iran, provoking strong opposition from both the Shiʿi Muslim clergy and the government. He proclaimed a spiritual doctrine emphasizing the forthcoming appearance of a new prophet or messenger of God who would overturn old beliefs and customs and usher in a new era. Omissions? He appointed his eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi Rabbānī (1897–1957), his successor. This body applies the laws promulgated by Bahāʾ Allāh and legislates on matters not covered in the sacred texts. The primary functions of both groups are to propagate the Bahāʾī Faith and protect the community. There are no initiation ceremonies, no sacraments, and no clergy. On the national scale, each year Bahāʾīs elect delegates to a national convention that elects a national spiritual assembly with jurisdiction over Bahāʾīs throughout an entire country. ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ (left) and his grandson Shoghi Effendi Rabbānī, Haifa, Palestine (now in Israel), 1919. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by,, The British Library - An introduction to the Baha’i Faith, Bahaʾi Faith - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Bahaʾi faith - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). A map showing the origins of the Baha'i Faith via the journeys and exile of The Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Updates? The Bahá’í Faith traces its origin to 1844 and the announcement by a young man, Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad, in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), that He had been sent by God to prepare humanity for a new age and the imminent appearance of another Messenger even greater than Himself. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) Those practicing the Bahāʾī faith, formerly too few to be treated by the census, have dramatically increased in number as a result of active proselytization. Zoroastrians (the Parsis), largely concentrated in Mumbai and in coastal Gujarat, wield influence out of all proportion to their small numbers because of…, Among these, members of the Bahāʾī faith—a religion founded in Iran—were the victims of the greatest persecution. These Manifestations include Abraham, Zoroaster, Moses, the Buddha, Krishna, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Bab, and the founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha‘u’llah. Baha'i faith, is a religion founded in Iran in the mid-19th century by Mirza Hoseyn 'Ali Nuri, who is known as Baha' Ullah (Arabic: "Glory of God"). Bahāʾīs believe in the oneness of humanity and devote themselves to the abolition of racial, class, and religious prejudices. He spent 40 days fasting and praying before leaving Karbila with his brother and nephew - both of whom were very young - seeking guidance only from God. Bahāʾīs believe that all the founders of the world’s great religions have been manifestations of God and agents of a progressive divine plan for the education of the human race. In the temples there is no preaching; services consist of recitation of the scriptures of all religions. Tahirih’s tireless work for the National Spiritual Assembly’s Office of Governmental Affairs brought her to Ottawa, and her devotion has landed her a position with the Baha’i International Community, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that both encompasses and represents the world-wide membership of the Bahá’í Faith. The Baha’i faith started in the 19th century. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It was from this tradition that the Bahá'í religion emerged in the mid-19th century. Despite my rejection of most Baha’i teachings, I later supported my friend Eric Stetson’s effort to establish a new Unitarian Baha’i (UB) community, blending Baha’i and Unitarian Universalist ideas. After Islamic fundamentalists came to power in Iran in 1979, the 300,000 Bahāʾīs there were persecuted by the government. However, the last Shi'a Imam - the 12th in line - had withdrawn into hiding in 873, hoping to avoid the fate of his predecessors. He said that a messenger would soon arrive from God, who would be the latest in a line of prophets including Moses, Muhammad and Jesus Christ. After he died, people followed `Abdu'l-Bahá. overview The Baha'i faith was founded in the mid-19th century C.E. Apparently, I knew this before anyone else did. The word of the day was international. The great bulk of Bahāʾī teachings is concerned with social ethics. "Glory" is a word that means "importance", "power", and "beauty". The Baha'i Faith began in 1844 in Persia (now Iran), with the announcement of the new age by Baha'ullah's forerunner, known as the Bab ("The Door"). While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. THE BAHA'I FAITH . He was known among Baha'i circles as Avarih. The cornerstone of Bahāʾī belief is the conviction that Bahāʾ Allāh and his forerunner, who was known as the Bāb (Persian: “Gateway”), were manifestations of God, who in his essence is unknowable. It grew out of the Shi'ite branch of the Muslim faith. The principal Bahāʾī tenets are the essential unity of all religions and the unity of humanity. in Iran. One of Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí's disciples was a man called Mulla Husayn - described as pure hearted and a seeker after truth. The faith was proclaimed by a young Iranian, who called himself The Báb. They were believed to be infallible. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. This man called himself the Báb, meaning “the Gate” in Arabic. The Bab (1819‒50) and several thousand early Persian followers, regarded by the Muslim clergy as heretics, were persecuted and killed. Shi'a Muslims believe that it was the Prophet Muhammad's intention that his descendants inherit the spiritual and temporal leadership of the Muslim faith and that these leaders be called Imams (or leaders). This idea of progressive revelation is of central significance for the Bahá'í faith. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. The Baha'i Faith is a religion that originated in Iran in 1863. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. This angered the Shiite government, and the Báb was … Baha'ullah was imprisoned and eventually exiled to the Turkish penal fortress of Akka, on the bay of Haifa in present-day Israel. The Bahá'í faith has continued to expand, particularly in the third world, and now is the most widespread faith in the world after Christianity. The shrines where the Bab and Baha'ullah lie buried are today the focal points of an imposing co… In the early 21st century there were nine Bahāʾī houses of worship: in Australia, Cambodia, Chile, Germany, India, Panama, Samoa, the United States, and Uganda. Its roots started with a young Persian merchant named Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, who took the name “Bab,” which in Arabic means “Gate” or “Door.” On May 23rd, 1844, he announced that he was the bearer of a Divine … Though new, these beliefs originated in Twelver Shiʿi Islam, which asserts a belief in the forthcoming return of the 12th imam (successor of Muhammad), who will renew religion and guide the faithful. The majority of Muslims in Persia at this time were Shi'a Muslims (as opposed to those of the Sunni tradition). Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Baha'i Faith. Bahāʾ Allāh was subsequently confined by the Ottomans in Adrianople (now Edirne, Turkey) and then in Acre in Palestine (now ʿAkko, Israel). The electoral process excludes parties or factions, nominations, and campaigning for office. The Bahá'í faith is one of the youngest of the world's major religions. A major doctrine of "Twelver" Shi'ite Islam is the expected return of the 12th imam (successor of Muhammad), who will renew religion and guide the faithful. It is believed that he will appear again to bring in the end times. The seat of the Universal House of Justice, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel. Notes: Prepared by a Reddit user going by the handle Thomas_the_Slav, who wrote "I'm studying geography. He also wrote a number of polemic works against the Baháʼí Faith. Shoghi Effendi also created or expanded the Bahá'í shrines and gardens in Israel. He called himself Bahá'u'lláh, meaning The Glory of God. Abdu'l-Bahá died in 1921 and was succeeded by his eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi, who continued the missionary work of the faith, and further developed Bahá'í philosophy. The Bahá'í faith began to take its present form in 1844 in Iran. Muslims have called this promised deliverer the Mahdi (the guided one) and Qaim (He Who Will Arise). Every Bahāʾī, however, is under the spiritual obligation to pray daily; to abstain totally from narcotics, alcohol, or any other substances that affect the mind; to practice monogamy; to obtain the consent of parents to marriage; and to attend the Nineteen Day Feast on the first day of each month of the Bahāʾī calendar. The Baha'i Faith began in 1844 in Persia (now Iran), with the announcement of the new age by Baha'ullah's forerunner, known as the Bab ("The Door"). The governance of the Bahāʾī community begins on the local level with the election of a local spiritual assembly. Its founder, Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahá’ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ, and Muhammad. Shaykh Ahmad's teachings were both controversial and complicated, but they emphasised the mystical dimension of faith. History. The Bāb was arrested and, after several years of incarceration, was executed in 1850. Iran was mainly a Muslim country, but there were also communities of Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews, all of whom made up the first adherents of the Bahá'í faith. Photographs related to the lives of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith: the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; selected images of individuals of historical significance to the Bahá’í Faith; and photos associated with the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran His son and successor, Abdu'l-Baha, traveled to Europe and the United States to spread the faith. The Bahāʾī community is governed according to general principles proclaimed by Bahāʾ Allāh and through institutions created by him that were elaborated and expanded on by ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ. All national spiritual assemblies of the world periodically constitute themselves an international convention and elect a supreme governing body known as the Universal House of Justice. The Baha'i Faith is a worldwide religion based on the teachings of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892). He stated that the time had come for the people of the world to put aside their differences and to unite on the basis of the teachings that he had brought. They taught that Muhammad's successor was imminent. He also developed Bahá'í ideas of social reform and international justice and expounded Bahá'í beliefs through a series of letters. The Bahá’í Faith and French Canada Between 1897 and 1963, fewer than fifteen French Canadians were known to have joined the Bahá’í Faith. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). As Christianity was born out of Judaism and Buddhism grew out of Hinduism, the Bahá'í Faith has its roots in Shi'ite Islam. The writings and spoken words of the Bāb, Bahāʾ Allāh, and ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ form the sacred literature of the Bahāʾī Faith. An interesting, very early, but indirect link between Guyana and the Faith is though Lady Sara Blomfield. `Abdu'l-Bahá also wrote a lot of letters and gave talks, and event… As many friends of Baha’is around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and in the spirit of celebrating the divine origin of Christianity, we thought we’d share a short list of books about Christianity and the Baha’i Faith. It grew out of the Shi'ite branch of the Muslim faith. Read more. Baha'u'llah encouraged Baha'is to cooperate with their governments and engage with the followers of all religions in a spirit of fellowship. The faith has no priesthood and does not observe ritual forms in its worship. Baha’is believe that God sends different prophets, or Manifestations of God, to reveal divine messages to humanity. The Bahāʾī religion originally grew out of the Bābī faith, or sect, which was founded in 1844 by Mīrzā ʿAlī Moḥammad of Shīrāz in Iran. He converted to the Baháʼí Faith at the age of 30 and 18 years later converted back to Islam, and authored a number of books on different subjects such as literature, history, poetry, Quran and Arabic. He was also a brilliant scholar. New organizations are working to make Sault Ste. In 1852, one of the Báb's persecuted followers had a revelation in prison that he was the prophet that the Báb had proclaimed. We thought it was the only way to save the Baha’i Faith itself from continuing to … After Shoghi Effendi's death in 1957, the leadership of the faith passed to a group of believers rather than an individual and now rests with the Universal House of Justice. ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ actively administered the movement’s affairs and spread the faith to North America, Europe, and other continents. Bahāʾ Allāh’s peculiar function was to overcome the disunity of religions and establish a universal faith. Six documents from Baha'i World 18 part four section 2: The Hands of the Cause of God and their functions, their work and travels 1979-1983, Boards of Counsellors and the International Teaching Centre, and tributes by Lilian Ala'i and Ray Hudson. Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. Baha’i Faith, religion founded in Iraq in the mid-19th century by Mirza Hosayn ‘Ali Nuri, who is known as Baha’ Allah. Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai and, later, his disciple and successor, Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí both taught a doctrine which departed from orthodox Shi'a belief. Baha’i Religion origin: The Bahá’í faith began to take its present form in 1844 in Iran. The Bahá'í Faith is an Abrahamic religion started in the 1800s by an Iranian person called Bahá'u'lláh who was born in Tehran, Iran.Followers of this religion call themselves Bahá'ís.The name Bahá'u'lláh is Arabic for "The Glory of God". The first two French Canadian Bahá’ís, Aimée (Montfort) Jaxon and Louis Bourgeois, enrolled in the Bahá’í Faith while outside Canada, both before 1907; likewise, Mr. Urbain Ledoux, living in New York City in the late 1910s, became a Bahá’í. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. His life as a prophet was spent in a series of exiles that culminated in Acre, where he wrote the Kitab-i-Aqdas, one of the key Bahá'í scriptures, as well as other spiritual works and letters. She produced several well-known books and hosted `Abdu'l-Bahá during both His visits to London in 1912 and 1913. The religion officially formed in 1863, but a Shiite Muslim man in Iran began paving the way in 1844 by announcing a new prophet was to come – after Muhammad. The year was 1260 in the Islamic calendar - precisely 1000 years since the disappearance of the Hidden Imam. Despite the persecution, the Baha'i faith has attracted millions of adherents around the globe for its ability to transcend nationalism, racism and the like. Although the finality of Muhammad's revelation is universally accepted by Muslims, some Bahá'i scholars suggest that this belief is based on a particular interpretation of Qur'anic verses and that a different interpretation is possible. About 5 million people worldwide adhere to the Baha’i faith, according to, but other sourcessay there are as many as 7 million around the world. Bahá'u'lláh was succeeded by Abdu'l-Bahá, who spent much time from 1908 spreading Bahá'í teachings around the world and the faith soon had significant (though small) communities in Europe and North America. The expansion has not been without trouble and Bahá'í have been persecuted, particularly in Iran, the land where the faith began. The Bahá’í Faith began with the mission entrusted by God to two Divine Messengers—the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Bahāʾī Faith, religion founded in Iraq in the mid-19th century by Mīrzā Ḥosayn ʿAlī Nūrī, who is known as Bahāʾ Allāh (Arabic: “Glory of God”). The Bahá'í faith was established in Iran, then called Persia, in the mid-nineteenth century. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The faith was proclaimed by a … This page has been archived and is no longer updated. 3. Read more. She was a prominent early member of the Baha'i Faith in London at the beginning of the twentieth century. Marie a welcoming place where we appreciate the richness of each nationality, our customs and their talents. The year begins on the first day of spring, March 21, which is one of several holy days in the Bahāʾī calendar. 14 Books About the Baha’i Faith and Christianity. The principal Baha’i tenets are the essential unity of all religions and the unity of humanity.