History. The Bahá'í Faith was founded in 1844 in Iran and has spread to over 230 countries with nearly 6 million believers. Although the Báb was not the founder of The Bahá'í Faith, he was born October 20, 1819 in Iran, and he became a merchant in Shíráz where, on the evening of May 22, 1844, He declared that He was the Qá'im of Shi'a Islám, heralding the imminent advent of the Promised One of all the world's religions. The vast majority of Muslim clerics and government officials rejected His claim and severely persecuted Him and His followers.

Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, was born November 12, 1817 in Iran. He became an early follower of the Báb. While imprisoned in 1852/3, He had a vision in which He learned of His mission. Upon His release in 1853, He was forced to go into exile in Baghdad, Iraq, where He, His family, and many of His followers lived for the next ten years. In 1863, when He was forced to leave Baghdad for Constantinople and Adrianople in Turkey, He declared His mission publicly for the first time. In 1867, as the result of continued agitation by Iranian government officials and other people, He and His followers were exiled to 'Akká (Acre) in Palestine, near Haifa.

'Abdu'l-Bahá was the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh and was a constant companion of His father. As He matured, He began to handle the relations of the Bahá'í community with the outside world, permitting Bahá'u'lláh to reveal the Word of God without much distraction. In 1911 through 1913, He traveled extensively throughout the West (Europe and America), spreading the news about the Faith wherever He went. He was well-respected by everyone in 'Akká and Haifa, even the non-Bahá'ís.

Beliefs and Practices. The basic teachings of the Bahá'í Faith are:
  • The oneness of God
  • The oneness of humanity Independent investigation of truth
  • The common foundation of all religions
  • The essential harmony of science and religion
  • The equality of men and women
  • The elimination of all kinds and forms of prejudice and discrimination
  • Universal compulsory education
  • A spiritual solution to the economic problems facing the world
  • A universal auxiliary language
  • Universal peace upheld by a world government

Calendar. The Bahá'í or Badi calendar begins each year on 21st March. Although the vernal equinox may change, the new year date is fixed in relation to the Gregorian calendar. The beginning of each month is also fixed in relation to the Gregorian calendar.

Bahá'ís celebrate eleven (11) Holy Days, all associated with significant dates in the history of the Faith and its historical figures. On all but two of these days, all work should cease. They are listed in chronological order according to the Bahá'í calendar.

Naw Rúz -- March 21 The Bahá'í New Year

First Day -- April 21
Ninth Day -- April 29
Twelfth Day -- May 2
The Ridván (pronouced "riz-wan") festival commemorates the first public declaration by Bahá'u'lláh of His Station and mission (in 1863).

Declaration of the Báb -- May 23 Commemorates the date in 1844 when the Báb first declared His mission

Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh -- May 29 Commemorates the date in 1892 when Bahá'u'lláh ascended to heaven (i.e., passed away)

Martyrdom of the Báb -- July 9 Commemorates the date in 1850 when the Báb was executed by a 750-man firing squad in Tabríz, Iran

Birth of the Báb -- Oct. 20 Commemorates the date in 1819 when the Báb was born in Shíráz, Iran

Birth of Bahá'u'lláh -- Nov. 12 Commemorates the date in 1817 when Bahá'u'lláh was born in Tihran, Iran

Work does not have to cease on these Holy Days:

Day of the Covenant -- Nov. 26 This day is celebrated in lieu of the Birth of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, which falls on the same day as the Declaration of the Báb.

Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá -- Nov. 28 Commemorates the day in 1921 when 'Abdu'l-Bahá ascended to heaven (i.e., passed away)

You can learn more about the Bahá'í Faith at or at

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