41 Facts About Baha'u'llah


Baha'u'llah was born to an aristocratic family in Iran, and was exiled due to his adherence to the messianic Babi Faith.

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Baha'u'llah's teachings revolved around the principles of unity and religious renewal, ranging from moral and spiritual progress to world governance.

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Baha'u'llah's family was considerably wealthy, and at the age of 22 he turned down a position in the government, instead managing family properties and donating considerable time and money to charities.

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Baha'u'llah spent months in Istanbul where the authorities became hostile to his religious claims and put him in house arrest in Edirne for four years, followed by a harsh confinement in the prison of 'Akka, where he spent his final 24 years.

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Baha'u'llah viewed humans as fundamentally spiritual beings, and called upon individuals to develop divine virtues and further the material and spiritual advancement of society.

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Baha'u'llah's burial place is a destination for pilgrimage by his followers, known as Baha'is, who now reside in 236 countries and territories, number between 5 and 8 million, and represent the only independent world religion to emerge in the modern age.

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Baha'u'llah was born Husayn-?Ali, and as the son of a nobleman in the province of Nur he was known as Mirza Husayn-?Ali Nuri.

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Baha'u'llah's name is pronounced in four sylables: Ba, as in bat; ha, as in hard; the apostrophe-like mark after "Baha" is for the Arabic letter hamza which represents the glottal stop; u'l as in old ; and lah as in law.

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Baha'u'llah's mother was Khadijih Khanum, his father Mirza ?Abbas-i-Nuri, known as Mirza Buzurg, served as vizier to Imam-Virdi Mirza, the twelfth son of Fath-?Ali Shah Qajar.

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Baha'u'llah assumed the title “the Bab”, indicating his position as a spiritual “gate to divine knowledge”, and to a still greater God-sent educator whose imminent appearance he was preparing the way for.

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Baha'u'llah received the tablet when he was 27, he immediately acknowledged the truth of the Bab's message and arose to share it with others.

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The “inseparable” nature and unity of the twin revelations of the Bab and Baha'u'llah are why Baha'is consider both faiths as forming one complete religious entity, and the reason the 1844 declaration of the Bab is considered the starting date of the Baha'i Faith.

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One of these was Mirza Yahya, a half-brother 13 years younger than Baha'u'llah, who followed him into the Babi Faith and even accompanied him on some early journeys on its behalf.

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Baha'u'llah later wrote that he withdrew to avoid becoming a source of disagreement within the Babi community.

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Baha'u'llah engaged in criminal activities, including persuading several followers to murder other Babis whom Yahya viewed as potential adversaries, or as supporters of such imagined rivals.

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When rumors of a 'saint' living in Sulaymaniyyih reached Babi friends in Baghdad they suspected it was Baha'u'llah and asked one of his relatives to locate and beg him to return to help the community.

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Baha'u'llah left the Ridvan garden on 3 May 1863 and proceeded with his family to Constantinople as guests of the Ottoman government, accompanied by a mounted government escort arranged for their protection by 'Ali Pasha, the Sultan's prime minister.

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Baha'u'llah was welcomed by various government ministers of the Sultan, and by prominent personalities who paid their respects.

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When Baha'u'llah did not return any visits, Kamal Pasha, a former Ottoman prime minister, even reminded him of the custom.

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Baha'u'llah's response was that he knew of the practice “but had no demands to make of anyone nor did he require favors from them; therefore there was no reason” for him to call upon anyone.

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The stirring spiritual power of his words and the confirming influence of devoted believers whom Baha'u'llah dispatched to guide Babis in Iran attracted most to recognize him as the leader of their faith.

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Baha'u'llah's doing so caused a severe month-long illness that left Baha'u'llah with a tremor in his hand for the rest of his life.

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Until this incident, because Yahya was a half-brother whom Baha'u'llah always treated with kindness and care, most in the Babi community showed Yahya respect, even if they did not accept his claims to a special religious status.

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Besides unequivocally proclaiming his spiritual station, Baha'u'llah called upon Yahya “to recognize and support him as the Bab had explicitly instructed him to do.

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Baha'u'llah was buried adjacent to the mansion in an existing building which now serves as his shrine.

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Baha'u'llah asserted that the Creator cannot be grasped by Its creation—for anything made can never comprehend its maker.

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Baha'u'llah explains human knowledge of God's existence and awareness of the Creator's attributes have been—and will forever be—only possible to the extent that these are shared by special Beings he and the Bab describe as Manifestations of God.

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Baha'u'llah says the guidance of manifestations necessarily differ due to the particular situations and requirements of those they deal with:.

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Baha'u'llah encourages believers to associate with those of all faiths in a friendly and loving manner, condemns and forbids all forms of religious violence, including jihad.

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Baha'u'llah clearly proclaims the principle of the oneness of mankind, urging heads of state to join together in resolving existing disputes to achieve peace and to safeguard it through collective security.

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Covenant of Baha'u'llah explicitly conveyed “authority for the establishment of an institutional system designed to guide, protect, and enlarge the emerging Baha'i community.

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Baha'u'llah strongly encouraged personal initiative among Baha'is in sharing his teachings, but forbade proselytizing.

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The majority of Baha'u'llah's writings take the form of short letters, or tablets, addressed to an individual or several persons.

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Baha'u'llah explores theodicy, and reasons for difficulties in this life; and he wrote numerous prayers and meditations.

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Baha'u'llah wrote a series of letters addressed individually and collectively to monarchs, political rulers, and clerical leaders, in which he claimed to be the Promised One of the Torah, the Gospels, and the Qur'an.

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Baha'u'llah asked them to accept his revelation, renounce their material possessions, rule with justice, protect the rights of the downtrodden, reduce their armaments, reconcile their differences, and collectively strive for the betterment of the world and the unification of its peoples.

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Baha'u'llah warned that the world of that period was ending and that a global civilization was being born.

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Baha'u'llah further asserted that inexorable historical forces were in motion and that rulers should use the powers entrusted to them by God to serve humanity and bring about justice, peace, and unity.

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Baha'u'llah describes each manifestation as having a twofold nature, one relating to God, the other to this material world.

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Baha'u'llah says all manifestations, as “channels of God's all-pervasive grace”, are unfailingly guided by the Creator to use “the inspiration of Their words” to affect human hearts and souls, so that open-minded individuals will grasp the truths being given.

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In many writings Baha'u'llah speaks as a caring counselor or friend sharing with another; in others it is someone conveying what the manifestation asked him to pass on; in some it is as if God is speaking in the first person; and in still others it is a lowly one speaking with profound humility before God—in absolute servitude and self-effacement.

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