Aylesbury's Baha'i community celebrates 200th anniversary of the birth of The Bab - columnist
On October 29th this year, the Baha'is of Aylesbury Vale and all around the world will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the birth of The Bab, born in 1819, in Persia. The Bab announced that He was the bearer of a message that will transform the life of humanity.
The brilliance of the light of the Báb seems the more dazzling when set against the darkness of the social milieu in which He appeared. Nineteenth-century Persia was far removed from its glory days when its civilization was the envy of the world. Ignorance now prevailed; senseless dogmas went unchallenged; inequality was fuelled by rampant corruption.
Religion, the foundation of Persia’s former prosperity, had become a body devoid of its animating spirit.
Each succeeding year offered the subjugated masses only disillusionment and hopelessness. Oppression was complete.
Then, like a spring storm, the Báb came to purge and purify, to uproot the withered and spent customs of a wayward age, and to wash away the obscuring dust from the eyes of those blinded by illusion. But the Báb had a special object in view. He sought to prepare people for the imminent appearance of Bahá’u’lláh—the second of the Twin Luminaries destined to bring new light to humankind.
Thus did the Báb and, with even greater splendour, Bahá’u’lláh illuminate a society and an age shrouded in darkness.
They inaugurated a new stage in social evolution: the stage of the unification of the entire human family. The spiritual energies They released into the world infused a new life into every sphere of endeavour, the results of which are evident in the transformation that has occurred. Material civilization has advanced immeasurably; astounding breakthroughs in science and technology have been achieved; the gates to the accumulated knowledge of humanity have been flung open.
And principles set out by Bahá’u’lláh for the upliftment and progress of society and for ending systems of domination and exclusion have come to be widely accepted. Consider His teaching that humanity is one people, or that women are equal with men, or that education must be universal, or that rational investigation of the truth must prevail over fanciful theories and prejudices. Across all nations, a large segment of the world’s people now agrees with these fundamental values.
Throughout the globe, communities are emerging patterned on Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings.
They seek to bring about spiritual, social, and material progress simultaneously. These are communities that champion the education of both girls and boys under all circumstances; that look to spiritual aspirations, rather than self-interest; they define themselves by their commitment to the oneness of humanity.
They value the rich diversity represented by all the world’s kindreds, while maintaining that one’s identity as a member of the human race has precedence before other identities and associations. They affirm the need for a global consciousness, arising from a shared concern for the well-being of humankind, and they count all the peoples of the earth as spiritual brothers and sisters.
To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the Bab, the International Baha’i Community has produced a short film entitled ‘Dawn of the Light’. The film can be viewed online. The Bahai’s of Aylesbury Vale are also organizing future events to view the film in public places.
Dr. Burhan Hayati
Member of Aylesbury Vale Baha’i Community