The Declaration of the Báb in Shiraz Shavuot is observed annually on May 22. The actual event itself took place on May 23, 1844, but the observation begins two hours and 11 minutes after sunset on the 22nd. A Shi’a Muslim named Mulla Husayn was on a quest to search for the Promised One — a messiah described in the holy scriptures. This led to the formation of the Bahá’í faith, which quickly spread from Shiraz to 200 countries. The principles of the Bahá’í belief are based on the writings of the Báb.
History of Declaration of the Bab
One spring evening in Shiraz, Persia, a conversation revealed the prophecy of the Bahá’í Faith; the Declaration of the Báb. Every year, devotees of the Bahá’í Faith commemorate the story of the Promised One and the event in 1844 when the Báb announced himself as the Messenger of God. He was declared as the one who would “usher in the age of justice, unity, and peace” and took the name ‘Báb,’ which translates to ‘gate’ or ‘door’ in Arabic — emphasizing that he was the portal God would send His revelation through.
The arrival of the Promised One was anticipated decades before Báb’s Declaration. A man named Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsá’i started to preach the arrival of a great day when the Promised One will come with his message for the world. A group of students were keen followers of the Shaykh, and one of them became his successor, Sayyid Kázim-i-Rashti. He had his own students, among whom was Mulla Hussayn — the one who discovered the Báb.
When he set out to search for the Promised One, Husayn met a young man in Persia. Welcoming him graciously, the young man — named Siyyid Ali-Muhammad — and Husayn had a conversation over a cup of tea. During this conversation, Muhammad revealed that he was the Báb that Husayn was searching for. Astonished by this revelation, Husayn intensely questioned and tested the man, ending at the conclusion that he indeed, was the Promised One.
The adherents of the Bahá’í Faith comprise diverse people from around the world, but it is met with a lot of struggle. Thousands of followers were martyred when the belief spread, and Bahá’ís in Iran are met with resistance and persecution to this day.
Declaration of the Bab timeline
The Báb is born Siyyid Ali-Muhammad in Shiraz, Iran.
The Báb announces in Persia that he is the Promised One, bringing with him the Bahá’í Faith.
During his pilgrimage to Mecca, the Báb writes many of his prominent works.
Baháʼu'lláh claims to be the Promised One of the prophecy and establishes the Baháʼí Faith, 13 years after Siyyid Ali-Muhammad’s death.
Declaration of the Bab FAQs
What was the message of the Báb?
He revealed his fulfillment of the Promised One, a messiah who would arrive to spread a great message to his people and the world.
Did the Báb meet Bahá'u'lláh?
Even though they never met, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh were in constant correspondence and when the Báb knew that he would soon die, he sent his pens, seals, and papers to Bahá’u’lláh.
What happened to the Báb?
On July 9, 1850, the Báb was accused by the authorities of apostasy and shot on orders of the Prime Minister of the Persian Empire.
How to Observe Declaration of the Bab
Learn about the Bahá’í Faith
Learn about one of the oldest religions in the world, that is still widely practiced today. Take the time to read and share stories surrounding the roots of this religion and its people.
Visit a Bahá’í center
Find a Baha'i center in your local area, and speak to the visitors there. The best way to learn about their teachings and beliefs is by engaging with them.
Visit a Bahá’í temple
Another place to observe to learn about the Bahá’í Faith is the temples. Different rituals are performed today to remember the Báb and his teachings.
5 Rituals Practiced On Declaration Of The Báb
Excessive supplication is made throughout the day to commemorate the Bahá’í Faith.
Events detailing the Báb’s teachings are held.
No work or school
The day of the observance is a holiday with work and school suspended on this one out of the nine holy days in the Bahá’í Faith,
A special prayer is made
A special prayer is made two hours and 11 minutes after sunset.
Devotees of the Bahá’í Faith spend time reflecting and seeking spiritual enlightenment.
Why Declaration of the Bab is Important
It is an important religion
The Bahá’í Faith has five to eight million believers around the world. It is important to commemorate this day in history, which is of importance to the faith.
Creating interfaith understanding
Although the Bahá’í Faith is its own religion, its principles are rooted in universal truths and teachings that are similar to other belief systems and religions that other people can also still identify with. This day is the perfect opportunity to foster interfaith understanding.
Respecting other peoples’ beliefs
Observances such as today are very important for creating cultural and spiritual understanding in multifaceted societies where people from different religions live together. Learning about the rituals and traditions of the Bahá’í Faith develops tolerance, understanding, and respect for the religion.
Declaration of the Bab dates