The Bahá’í community is a religious one found in all regions of Ghana, and almost every country of the world. Though relatively small in population (some 5 to 7 million adherents worldwide, according to independent estimates), the community is so diverse as to be recognised in the 1992 Britannica Book of the Year as second only to Christianity in its geographic spread.
The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the independent religions of the world. It began in 1844 when a young male merchant of Shiraz in Iran, called The Báb, proclaimed himself a “Manifestation of God”, a term used by Bahá’ís to refer to those transcendental figures whose appearance in the world from age to age ushers in a revolution in the spiritual and moral spheres and the emergence of a new divine civilisation. Such personalities include Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, in chronological order.
While assuming the rank of an independent Manifestation, with his own sacred book and laws, The Báb announced himself the Forerunner to a greater Manifestation, who was soon to appear to unite all the peoples of the world in one global family.
The Báb’s innate knowledge and extraordinary capacity was recognised from childhood. After he declared his mission in 1844, at age 25, the number of his followers quickly multiplied, but the government authorities and the clergy rose up against the new Faith of God. They arrested The Báb, maltreated him, imprisoned him in remote fortresses, and persecuted and killed his followers. Finally, in 1850, at age 31, The Báb himself was martyred—shot by a regiment of soldiers in a public square in Tabriz, Iran.
By giving up his life, The Báb prepared the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, the banner of whose faith was soon to be raised in every corner of the planet. The name “Bahá’u’lláh” is Arabic and means “The Glory of God”.
As a young man, Bahá’u’lláh was renowned for his deep intelligence, wonderful character, generosity and compassion, as well as his disinterest in worldly distinctions. A prominent follower of The Báb, he was, in 1852, arrested and put in chains in one of the most terrible prisons of Tihrán. It was here that God revealed to him that he was the one promised by The Báb. He was released soon after and exiled from his country.
Throughout the 40 years of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry, he suffered persecution at the hands of the secular and religious leaders of his day, including imprisonment and exile that took him from Tihrán to Baghdad, to Istanbul and Edirne in present-day Turkey, and finally to Akká in today’s Israel. He passed away in May 1892, and is buried in Bahjí, near Akká.
Bahá’u’lláh is the Manifestation of God for today and the Promised One of all religions, with a mission to unite and bring peace to humanity. He says: “He that hath Me not is bereft of all things. Turn ye away from all that is on earth and seek none else but me. I am the Sun of Wisdom and the Ocean of Knowledge. I cheer the faint and revive the dead. I am the guiding Light that illumineth the way. I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight.”
Bahá’u’lláh was two years older than The Báb. The interesting thing is that in the Muslim lunar calendar of Iran, the anniversary of his birth and that of The Báb fall on consecutive days—the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on the second day of the month of Muharram 1233 A.H.
( November 12, 1817), and the birth of The Báb on the first day of the same month 1235 A.H. (October 20, 1819). They are thus referred to as the "Twin Birthdays" and Bahá'u'lláh states that: “These two days are accounted as one in the sight of God.” This year (2015) they will be celebrated across the globe on the of November 13 and 14.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Ghana invites you to join the Bahá’ís in celebrating the birth of the Twin Holy Manifestations—The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.