On July 9, an incredibly important date within the Bahá’í calendar,

Bahá’ís throughout Scotland joined other Communities around the world in commemorating the Martyrdom of the Báb.

It marks the 1850 execution in Persia of one of the founders of their faith and is one of nine holy days during which Baha’is suspend work and school. For Bahá’ís it is a day of contemplation, reflection and special prayers

This is one of the nine holy days throughout the year when Baha’is do not go to work. It is a day of rest and contemplation and remembrance theBáb, and the reading of special prayers at midday.

It was on this day, July 9, 1850, at the age of 31, just six short years after the declaration of his ministry, the Báb faced an execution squad of 750 soldiers. While giving his final instructions to his secretary, the Báb was interrupted to be brought to the public square for his execution. “Though all the world be armed against Me, yet shall they be powerless to deter Me from fulfilling, to the last word, My intention,” stated the Báb as he was separated from his secretary.

The commander of this regiment, Sam Khan, a Christian, was so impressed with the Báb’s demeanor and presence that he asked the Báb to intervene so that he would not have to carry out the execution and perhaps invite God’s punishment for his actions. The Báb instructed him to carry out his mission, telling him “if your intention be sincere, the Almighty is surely able to relieve you from your perplexity.”

The Báb was tied up and suspended by a rope against a wall, bundled together with a youthful follower named Anis, who refused to let the Báb die alone on that day. Roughly 10,000 people filled the public square to witness the execution of a man who teachings had captivated the nation. When the 750 shots were fired, a cloud of smoke filled the air. When it cleared, the public was shocked to see what appeared to be either a fluke or a miracle. Anis stood alone, unharmed, and the Báb was nowhere to be seen, the ropes which suspended them now laying on the ground in tatters.

After a frantic search, the Báb was found back in his room with his secretary, concluding his final instructions and messages. “I have finished my conversation,” remarked the Báb. “Now you may proceed to fulfill your intention.”

Sam Khan was so shaken that he would not proceed with the execution and ordered his men to depart. A new regiment was hastily put together to complete the task. The second time they succeeded, and the smoke from the 750 guns clouded the skies of Tabriz for the rest of the day.

“Had you believed in Me, O wayward generation,” the Báb declared in his final moments. “Every one of you would have followed the example of this youth, who stood in rank above most of you, and willingly would have sacrificed himself in My path. The day will come when you will have recognized Me; that day I shall have ceased to be with you.”

The Báb’s shattered remains were discarded outside the city walls to be eaten by dogs, but they were rescued by several of his followers, who kept them hidden for many years. Finally, in 1909 the Báb’s remains were entombed in a shrine in Haifa, Israel. This shrine, which sits on the historic Mount Carmel, is now a site for pilgrimage for Baha’is around the world.

 

 

 

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