1817 - 1892

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

country of citizenship:  Qajar Iran
languages spoken, written or signed:  PersianArabic

Baháʼu'lláh (born Ḥusayn-ʻAlí; 12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was the founder of the Baháʼí Faith. He was born to an aristocratic family in Persia and was exiled due to his adherence to the messianic Bábí Faith. In 1863, in Iraq, he first announced his claim to a revelation from God and spent the rest of his life in further imprisonment in the Ottoman Empire. His teachings revolved around the principles of unity and religious renewal, ranging from moral and spiritual progress to world governance.Baháʼu'lláh was raised with no formal education but was well-read and devoutly religious. His family was considerably wealthy, and at the age of 22 he turned down a position in the government, instead managing family properties and donating time and money to charities. At the age of 27 he accepted the claim of the Báb and became among the most outspoken supporters of the new religious movement that advocated, among other things, abrogation of Islamic law, which attracted heavy opposition. At the age of 33, during a governmental attempt to exterminate the movement, Baháʼu'lláh narrowly escaped death, his properties were confiscated, and he was banished from Iran. Just before leaving, while imprisoned in the Síyáh-Chál dungeon, Baháʼu'lláh claimed to receive revelations from God marking the beginning of his divine mission. After settling in Iraq, Baháʼu'lláh again attracted the ire of Iranian authorities, and they requested that the Ottoman government move him farther away. He spent months in Constantinople where the authorities became hostile to his religious claims and put him under house arrest in Edirne for four years, followed by two years of harsh confinement in the prison-city of ‘Akká. His restrictions were gradually eased until his final years were spent in relative freedom in the area surrounding ‘Akká. Baháʼu'lláh wrote at least 1,500 letters, some book-length, that have been translated into at least 802 languages. Some notable examples include The Hidden Words, the Book of Certitude, and the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Some teachings are mystical and address the nature of God and the progress of the soul, while others address the needs of society, religious obligations of his followers, or the structure of Bahá’í institutions that would propagate the religion. He viewed humans as fundamentally spiritual beings and called upon individuals to develop divine virtues and further the material and spiritual advancement of society.Baháʼu'lláh died in 1892 near ‘Akká. His burial place is a destination for pilgrimage by his followers, known as Bahá’ís, who now reside in 236 countries and territories and number between 5 and 8 million. Baháʼís regard Baháʼu'lláh as a messenger or manifestation of God in succession to Buddha, Jesus, or Muhammad. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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