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The Twelfth Day of Ridvan – May 2, 2023

The Twelfth Day of Ridvan is celebrated on May 2. In the Arabic language, Ridván is translated to ‘paradise.’ During Baha’u’llah’s stay in Baghdad’s Garden of Ridván in 1863, the 12th day of Ridván was the final day he spent there. The Prophetic Mission of Baha’u’llah was first announced to His followers during this period. Even though Ridván is a joyful occasion, the 12th day of the festival was a day of sorrow for those who had to remain in the garden after his departure. Baha’u’llah rode out of the garden on a horse at midday, 12 days after he arrived.

History of The Twelfth Day of Ridvan

It is during these 12 days known as Ridvan that Baha’u’llah first announced his new revelation to the world. Before the arrival of Baha’u’llah in Najibiyyih Garden, Ridvan’s story begins with a man who referred to himself as “the Bab” (translated, the Gate). He established his claim to be the Bab in 1844 A.D., and he predicted that a Messiah would be born in Shiraz at that time. When Baha’u’llah was in prison in Tehran, Iran, he had an epiphany: he was the Promised One, just as Bab had predicted.

He moved to Baghdad after his release from prison, where the Babi (followers of the Bab) movement had already established itself. While Baha’u’llah never made any explicit claims about his revelation, he began to amass a growing number of Babi devotees. As Baha’u’llah became more prominent and the Babi community grew, the government exiled him from Baghdad to Constantinople. Baha’u’llah stayed at the Najibiyyih Garden to meet visitors and give his family time to pack for the voyage once he had completed his packing.

Just 31 days after Naw-Ruz, Baha’u’llah and a small group of companions withdrew from Baghdad’s old city center to a garden across the Tigris River. His prophetic purpose was revealed in the Najibiyyih Garden, where he spoke to a few close friends and family members. The three other things Baha’u’llah said were that religious war was not permitted, that another manifestation from God would not happen again for 1,000 years and that the names of God were fully evident in all things during his lifetime. The Najibiyyih Garden was Baha’u’llah’s temporary residence for 11 days. When he arrived in Constantinople on the 12th day, he was greeted by his entire family.

The Twelfth Day of Ridvan timeline

1844
The Bab

Following a Shi'a religious concept, Siyyid Al-Muhammad of Shiraz claims to be the "Báb."

1852
Revelation

When imprisoned in Tehran's Syah-Chál, Bahá'u'lláh is told that he is the Promised One of the Báb.

1863
Enters the Garden

On April 22, Bahá'u'lláh enters the garden with his sons, secretary, and a few others.

1875
Rented Garden

Abdul-Baha leases a small plot of land near Akka for the use of Baha'u'llah.

The Twelfth Day of Ridvan FAQs

What's the location of the Ridván Garden?

An ancient garden called the Garden of Ridván or Najibiyyih Garden was located on the banks of the Tigris River in what is now Baghdad’s Rusafa District.

What are the pillars of the Baha'i faith?

Regardless of gender, race, nationality, or creed, all human beings are equally God’s creations and deserve to be treated with respect and without discrimination. Equal rights for men and women as well as the emancipation of minorities are also part of the religious beliefs.

Who is credited with the founding of the Baha'i faith?

Mirza Husayn ‘Ali Nuri (1817 to 1892), the Baha’i faith’s revered founder and major figure, adopted the title ‘Baha’u’llah’ (lit. ‘the Glory of God’) when he established the Baha’i faith.

The Twelfth Day of Ridvan Activities

  1. Abstain from work

    On this day, work is prohibited. You can celebrate by not doing any work and resting as much as you can.

  2. Pray

    During Ridván, the Bahá' community gathers to read passages from the Tablets aloud or privately. The members of the community gather together to also pray.

  3. Gather

    The members of the community gather and hold celebrations. The celebrations celebrate the beginning of the Baha’i Faith.

5 Interesting Facts About Ridvan

  1. Universal House of Justice

    Annually, the Universal House of Justice sends a "Ridván message" to the worldwide Bahá'u'lláh community, which reviews the previous year and offers additional guidance for the upcoming year.

  2. A festival

    Ridvan is known as the "King of Festivals" and "Most Great Festival."

  3. Holy day

    On the first, ninth, and 12th days of Ridvan, work and school are usually suspended.

  4. Twelfth Day

    On the 12th day, Baháʼu'lláh departs from the garden.

  5. The garden of Ridvan

    When Bahá'u'lláh was exiled by the Ottoman Empire, he spent 12 days in the city before beginning his journey to Constantinople.

Why We Love The Twelfth Day of Ridvan

  1. Impact on Bahá'is

    Bahá'u'lláh spent a significant amount of time at the Garden of Ridván in April 1863, and the accompanying festival and celebration have a significant impact on Bahá'is. Bahá'u'lláh refers to it as one of two "Most Great Festivals," and characterizes the first day as "the Day of Supreme Happiness." He depicts Ridvan as "the Spot from which He showered over the rest of creation, the splendors of his Name, The All-Merciful."

  2. He left his home

    To enter the Garden of Ridván, Baha'u'lláh left his home in Baghdad, which he referred to as the "Most Great House." Bahá'u'lláh likens this journey from the Most Great House to Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Medina.

  3. Beginning of the Bahá' Faith

    Bahá'u'lláh made a private announcement to only a few followers that he was "Him Whom God shall make manifest" and a Manifestation of God during the festival. This marked the beginning of the Bahá' Faith, which was separate from the Babi religion at the time.

The Twelfth Day of Ridvan dates

YearDateDay
2023May 2Tuesday
2024May 2Thursday
2025May 2Friday
2026May 2Saturday
2027May 2Sunday

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