The Birth of the Bab
Huffington Post / Shastri Puroshatma
19-Oct-2011 (one comment)

One of the first words that a new student of Arabic learns is "Bab." It is one of the simplest combinations of the two initial letters of the alphabet, and means "gate" or "door." This easy combination, however, becomes a gateway or a door to countless hours of study needed to master one of the world's richest languages.

My Arabic professor on that first night of class at George Washington University also said this, with a smile on his face: "The word Bab means "gate," "door" or "the co-founder of a world-religion." "That last reference was to a young merchant named Siyyid-Ali Muhammad who was born in the city of Shiraz, Persia (now Iran) on October 20, 1819. In his mid-twenties, he announced that he was the bearer of a new religious message and took the title of "the Bab." One interpretation of his reason for choosing this title is that his teachings would serve as a gate for religion to evolve to an entirely new phase. Another interpretation is that his teachings would serve as a gate to the holy land that is potentially within all of us -- the human heart or soul.

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A historical day in Iranian history

by Ali Najafi on

I posted this news item to remind us of the historical event that took place in Iran on October 20th, 1819. As Iranians, no matter our religious or philosophical beliefs, the personage of the Bab and His teachings had a profound impact on challenging societal norms and advancing social discussions taking place in 19th and early 20th century Persia. One of His first disciples. Tahirih (Qurratu'l-Ayn), is known for her removal of the veil and the call for the full equality of women and men.

His birthday is remembered not only in Iran, but also celebrated by people all over the world.